Your Press Pass to Copenhagen
You don’t need to leave a carbon footprint (plane ticket to Copenhagen) or submit to the press pass racket ($250 to declare yourself a journalist) to get access to the political event of a lifetime, the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, a.k.a. COP15. The COP15 is making a lot of effort to be as transparent as possible, opening its public events to anyone with a computer.
The COP15 front page is your portal to all the news and gossip surrounding the Conference. The COP15 President and forceful Dane, Connie Hedegaard, maintains the blogs of many member countries and the news posted on the site is up to date and does not fall into the trap of being too insular, i.e. of only concentrating on events inside the conference. The front page has been quick to provide updates of the arrests made by Danish police outside the conference.
The best feature, by far, is the COP15 Webcast. Delegate negotiations are closed to the public, even the press who are physically at the COP15, but all official meetings and press conferences are webcast live and available to stream afterwards. Here is a quick guide to watching the major players at the Conference:
COP15 President: Connie Hedegaard is the forceful Dane in charge of the conference, making sure delegations are playing nice and is politically responsible for a positive outcome.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary: Yvo de Boer is the visionary of the conference, the U.N.’s climate change point man with the greatest understanding of all the issues at hand. Less politician than all the other major players, Mr. de Boer carries gravitas wherever he is seen.
CAN International: The Conference’s watchdog, CAN is a consortium of hundreds of NGOs who want to see progress made on every issue toward the best outcome possible for all nations.
Group of 77 and China: A group that often acts in concert but is notable for claiming China as a member, it contains 77 moderately developed countries. By virtue of their sheer number, a consensus among this group can go a long way.
European Union and Delegation of the United States of America: The major emitters who also claim most clean energy technology designed to get us out of this mess. They run the U.N.
Least Developed Countries Group: Tragically, they are not political powerhouses though they stand to suffer the most egregious injustices since they are the least responsible for climate change but will suffer from its effects the most.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.
- Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
- To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
- They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.