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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room

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Author Topic: How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room
philnotfil
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guardian.co.uk

quote:
Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China's strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world's poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was "the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility", said Christian Aid. "Rich countries have bullied developing nations," fumed Friends of the Earth International.

quote:
Here's what actually went on late last Friday night, as heads of state from two dozen countries met behind closed doors. Obama was at the table for several hours, sitting between Gordon Brown and the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi. The Danish prime minister chaired, and on his right sat Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the UN. Probably only about 50 or 60 people, including the heads of state, were in the room. I was attached to one of the delegations, whose head of state was also present for most of the time.

What I saw was profoundly shocking. The Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, did not deign to attend the meetings personally, instead sending a second-tier official in the country's foreign ministry to sit opposite Obama himself. The diplomatic snub was obvious and brutal, as was the practical implication: several times during the session, the world's most powerful heads of state were forced to wait around as the Chinese delegate went off to make telephone calls to his "superiors".

The rest of the article is worth reading.
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cherrypoptart
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What was the good deal that China wrecked that President Obama wanted?

In my opinion, if China wrecked everything they did us a favor. Even if the wealth transfer President Obama wanted to initiate went through, it's more likely the money would have went into the private accounts of corrupt third world leaders than that it would have done anything to mitigate the effects of global warming.

And I'm not sure if anyone has checked the American bank account lately, but if my recollection is correct we don't have a lot of extra money to throw at a bunch of poor countries that will waste it, probably even squander it counterproductively, worse than uselessly, anyway.

For instance, giving them money just encourages them to make matters worse so in a little while they can scream and pull their hair out again about how things are getting worse and more needs to be done, i.e. give more money. Just look at American public education for a lesson in that tactic.

I say, "Thanks China! You did us a big favor."

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edgmatt
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I'm with you on the preventing a bad deal from going through, Cherry. I am not happy about the snub job China gave our President. We should all be upset at China for the show of disrespect.
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Omega M.
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I'm not excusing China, but aren't they just demanding to be allowed to disregard the environment the way the developed world already has?

I wonder if China would be behaving the same way if the developed world had been cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions since, say, the Rio Summit of 1992.

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edgmatt
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Bad behavior should not be allowed on the basis of bad behavior of others.
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Sauurman
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Well Biden did warn us....
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Greg Davidson
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I believe the article was written by a paid employee of the Maldives (which is why he was in the session). His testimony is not necessarily credible.
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I believe the article was written by a paid employee of the Maldives (which is why he was in the session). His testimony is not necessarily credible.

It is a tad less likely to be biased by heavy industry though.
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Colin JM0397
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Good for China. Even the snub, IMO, is not such a bad thing. The US needs to back off and worry about our own business first and foremost. We've been bullying about the world for quite some time and we expect a rising power to just sit there and play nice?

Maybe the Chinese are jockeying for good or for bad, I don't think we can say at this point, but killing any powerful, UN-mandate that could overrule national sovereignty is a good thing at this point. Some of those ideas could have been a serious end-around.

BTW, where were the Russians in all this - haven't looked into it yet, but my money is on them either backing China, or, more likely, hanging back w/o saying much and letting China do the heavy beating on the West.

Beyond all this, am I the only one who sees the great irony of the big, bad Red China being the champion of national self-determination and shooting down a socialized world-power solution? Of course, they could just be waiting until they are strong enough to be in that driver’s seat… Still, one can’t help but ponder this bizzaro world we’re in today.

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PSRT
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Of course, national determination in this context is for idiots. "Oooh, yeah, we're not going to worry about what Bangledesh, China, Germany, and Brazil are doing, even though what they do is going to have a significant impact on our citizens and economy."

Same thing for China. Even more so, since most of their population and major cities are at risk. Protecting your citizens is not a fools game.

[ December 24, 2009, 09:47 AM: Message edited by: PSRT ]

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Colin JM0397
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And supra-state mandates that benefit a select few and will have the effect screwing the rest of us while doing jack sh!t for the environment are for blind ideological jackasses… In this context, of course.

National determination does not absolve anyone one from taking care of what needs to be taken care of, contrary of how said ideological jackasses feel about the unwashed masses having say over their own environment and lives.

If any of those asshats in Copenhagen were serious about the environment they would start with pollution, the great plastic island in the pacific, water quality, air quality, toxins in our food, not CO2 emissions. What do a few degrees warming/cooling matter if we’re all dead from environmental toxicity?

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PSRT
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quote:
National determination does not absolve anyone one from taking care of what needs to be taken care of
No, but it does prevent us from making sure that other people are doing what needs to be done to take care of us.

THere are a whole host of pollution issues. Dealing with one that is massively threatening to us does not prevent us from dealing with others that are threatening us as well. And many of them are being worked on internationally as well. So the false dichotomy you offer is just that.

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Colin JM0397
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Many are being worked on - that's a fantastic rebuttal. Many are being worked on... I feel so much better!
[Roll Eyes]

The CO2 debate is typical misdirection; it gets people focused on one issue (which is not proven to be "massively threatening" by the way) while the planet goes to pot in the meantime. Let’s argue about a possible .5 degree temperature variation while Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to dump excess drugs and medical waste right down the drain! Let's talk about Greenland's glaciers while the aforementioned plastic island grows and grows. Let’s talk tough on CO2 reduction, which just so would happen to keep all developing nations from developing anymore and challenging the current Western power structures… But it’s for their own good. Damn it! If they would just shut up and do what we know they should do for all of our own good! Those uppity Chinese just don’t know what’s good for themselves!

When we have so much time, money, and work going into only 1 "problem", it sure as hell detracts from work, money, and time being invested in other problems.

"...making sure that other people are doing what needs to be done to take care of us".
Thank Gaia we have enlightened souls such as you to tell the ignorant masses what's good for them!

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Greg Davidson
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Large scale environmental changes (such as the expansion of the Sahara desert) can lead to situations such as in Darfur, where traditional agricultural practices no longer fed the local population. A violent breakdown in civil order often follows, contributing to death totals in the thousands or even millions. The major risk of global warming is not that people will have to stand on their tippy-toes when they go to swim at the beach because the sea level is a little higher, it's that changing climate will reduce crop yields or bring new pests, producing wide-spread hunger to hundreds of millions of people. There are over a billion human beings alive right now living within the limits of subsistence agriculture.

Colin, how many potential additional deaths would it take for you to consider global warming "massively threatening"?

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PSRT
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quote:
Thank Gaia we have enlightened souls such as you to tell the ignorant masses what's good for them!
Yes. Its generally best if people don't try to determine what is best for themselves in a serious matter when they aren't an expert in that area. Large groups of experts make better decisions than individual non-experts, or large groups of non-experts.
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