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Leaks and drafts leave climate bill exposed

December 9th, 2009
11:46 AM ET


The Danish draft climate proposal which was leaked to media organizations on Tuesday has handed the organizers of the U.N. summit another unwanted distraction from ongoing negotiations. 

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/09/leak.art.jpg

="The leaks of recent weeks threaten to derail climate talks in Copenhagen. "]

The document has provoked an angry reaction from developing countries and activists in Copenhagen who say that it appears to shift a greater burden onto poorer nations to reduce their greenhouse emissions.

The Danish government was further criticized for trying to pre-empt negotiations with the draft document.

Far from bringing developed and developing countries closer together, the publication of the document is serving to widen the rifts between the two.

We’re only three days into the summit and already the prospects for a legally-binding deal are becoming increasingly remote.

Despite Danish attempts to play down the document’s importance saying it is just a draft and should be read that way, the damage it has done to confidence not only inside the conference center but outside as well is difficult to quantify.

But coming off the back of the so-called “Climategate” emails, is the legitimacy of the conference now being called into question? Are the leaks part of a concerted effort by climate skeptics to derail the talks? What chances are there for a deal come the end of the conference in nine days time? We want to hear your views.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. lance

    Leaked by powers that reap big rewards by not having to adhere to new emission controls. Big business doesn't care about the planet...only the dollars that come from destroying it.

    December 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  2. Adam Bray

    Why does bringing the truth to light derail a discussion of science? Perhaps it is because consensus is not the same thing as science. Science is about repeatability and transparency. If what we have is not, then it is the realm of politics, not science. And politicians can rarely withstand the light of truth.

    December 9, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  3. Sev

    The entire debate about global warming (or maybe cooling) is a scam. Scientists and politicians on top do not care about environment protection (people like Al Gore have private jets and limos). In reality, it is all about introducing a new global tax. And what happened to other burning issues like deforestation and polluting our rivers and seas with toxic chemicals. Nobody talks about it anymore. Why? Speaking of the leaked documents, it is not important who diclosed this type of information. I am convinced that the data provided by so-called independant researchers were cooked.

    December 9, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  4. NMIlluminati

    These papers are only outrageous to the tin-foil hat crowd. They simply talk about an established non-controversial science topic from pre-climate change science days, and have been taken totally out of context. They have been obviously leaked in a vaery callous manner, and then allowed to have a psuedo-controversy stirred up about them. How blatant can those with a vested intrest in de-railing these talks be?

    December 9, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  5. Arthur

    Come on Lance! The "powers" are actually ordinary people like you and me, who do care about the planet. But not everyone follows the "consensus" blindly. If there is a conspiracy, it now appears to be with the "climate-changers", not the so-called skeptics.

    December 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  6. Developing World is Angry

    The answer is simple – PER CAPITA emissions caps based on consumption footprint. The West is afraid of the the simple and fair truth that it's not about how much people REDUCE it's about how much they are polluting in the first place. Americans still pollute 4 times more than the average Chinese and on top of this, much of Chinese pollution is due to exports to American consumers.

    No wonder no one in the developing world trusts EU, Japan and America.

    December 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  7. Jim

    Climate change caused by humans is a scam. It is a money making
    scam. The leader of the scam is Al Gore. He and his companies
    stand to make billions. The UN is the next biggest scam mongers.

    December 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  8. Reuben

    Developing countries possess legitimate concerns that efforts by developed countries to impose stronger limitations on emissions will disproportionately harm developing countries. Developing countries' economies are generally based on energy intensive industries such as manufacturing and petrochemical industries. In contrast, developed countries' economies are more centered around less energy-intensive technological and service based industries. Consequently, any limitations on emissions will harm developing countries' economies to a greater extant than developed countries.

    The fact that developing countries have economic concerns does not indicated that climate skeptics are conspiring to undermine the summit. The fact that this question was presented is absolute ridiculous and just demonstrates the egocentrism of the writer. Other people in the world exist, and they may have priorities that differ from your own! Who would've guessed that countries which have been repeatedly raped and destroyed by Western powers view efforts to limit economic potential for "the greater good" with suspicion??

    These are not climate skeptics, these are individuals who place greater priority in their country's immediate economic development needs than in long-term global environmental concerns. These are individuals who want their countries to economically develop so that the respective governments can build the necessary infrastructure to provide basic services like clean running water, sanitation, reliable food sources, and electricity. Why don't you tell that person that they can't get electricity built in their town because you don't want your beach property to wash away from another hurricane or from rising sea-level?

    December 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  9. Canuc

    The planet has been in existence for billions of years and it will be around long after we come to pass. So, this is not about saving the planet, the issue is saving humankind from itself. Copenhagen will provide insight as to humankind's ability to save itself but, it’s off to a bad start. As long as the "they vs us" rivalry remains the driving force, the best interest of all of us living on this planet will not be served. The bottom line, is will our leaders lead?

    December 9, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  10. AV

    This will never be solved by politics and politicians. It´s like handling the problem of drugs to drug dealers. It´s up to us to change it, change our habits, our priorities, our minds.

    December 9, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  11. JERZY

    After comparing temperatures from various U.S. cities at the end of 19th c. and beg 21st c, I am extremely skeptical about the global warming story. We know that temperatures in the Southern Baltic were approximately 3 degrees higher in 5th c., than they are today.
    We know also that there was a small ice age in the period of 1350/1880. We know and can prove that the East coast of India has
    been sinking for possibly at least 1000 years, and we also know that half a billion years ago there was approximately 23 times more CO2 in the atmosphere, and the land was covered by more ice than it is today.
    There are many factors deciding about the climate change, but the politicians keep on concetrating on only one aspect of it, It stinks.

    December 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  12. aRt

    I can't believe that people are still doubting the whole climate change issue's scientific merits. Regardless of how much or which way the temperature will change there is little doubt that extensive carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions will have an effect on the planet one way or the other. Same everyday individuals who dispute this probably don't know the basic science as to why the surface of Venus is so hot, and why the Earth used to be hot billions of years ago and had since cooled down and allow life to exist.

    All those leaks and papers are just smokescreen to distract people from really reading into basic scientific fundementals and think after they did so.

    Why are people disputing proven science really? It is like the who evolution and creation debate. It is proven. It is scientific truth. Just because there are exceptional circumstances where the speed of light limit can be circumvented doesn't mean the Theory of Relativity is not true. In all science there is an inherited chance of things to be unpredictable. It is called Principle of Uncertainty. Nothing is absolute, but that doesn't mean that it is not true.

    December 9, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  13. wipeout2097

    hi everyone there in the U.S. 🙂

    When I see climate change discussion on forums around the world, I believe that there's something that is not so clear on our global conscience. And I don't mean some American people, it's the same here in Europe.

    What I see is that claims like these usually come "packed together" or are usually part of long and tiresome argumentations written by the ones that defend the global warming thesis:
    1) – "If nothing is done, temperature in 2100 will be, let's say, 4ºC higher than now"
    2) CO2 and other green-house gasses are to blame for global warming
    3) "Human activity is to blame for releasing excessive CO2 to the atmosphere

    My point is that insisting on 2) and 3) ad nauseum had the consequence of introducting extreme polarization, flaming and so on. All this while people get distract from the fact that what matters is 1) !

    Because nature doesn't care, the planet doesn't care about our beliefs or who's to blame. It doesn't matter if warming happens due to human activity, the Sun cycle, a natural semi-random process that has happened for millions of years or other yet unexplained cause. If there's a 5 ºC increase, New York, Maldivas, London will STILL be flooded, coastline will still be lost, forest fires will be a major disaster, desertification will progress in Southern Europe and U.S, Africa, the Arabic countries, India, China. Millions of people may still die.

    Even if it's not our fault, it's clear that the planet is warmer and sea level is rising, because millions of people scattered around the globe can evidence that or can just ask their ancestors what was diferrent back then. So, even if we weren't or aren't the main cause for the planet to warm, we still have to try to keep the temperature stable! EVEN IF WE WEREN'T THE ONES THAT "BROKE IT", WE WOULD STILL HAVE TO FIX IT.

    This is IMHO the point that some people miss and that the "denialists" must be made to understand.

    December 10, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  14. Romeo

    How do climatologists know that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will warm the earth?
    Follow the answers and you will be able to understand if it is the truth (or not).

    December 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  15. A. Smith, Oregon

    Its not a problem, humanity is incapable of the necessary cuts in CO2 emissions to even level off the extreme levels of atmospheric CO2 levels that are now at their highest levels in 800,000 and rising.

    As desertification, droughts and famine sweep across the Earth, the Earths core is going to reach thermal saturation which is released by well known magma vents, commonly called VOLCANO's.

    Volcano's are natures safety valves, releasing excess thermal energy from the earth and coating the earths upper atmosphere with sun reflecting dust, further cooling the earth.

    To bad that one of the Super Volcano's is located in America near ole' faithful.

    December 10, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  16. A. Smith, Oregon

    Big Oil multi-national corporations are going to kick up as much a fuss as their Big Pharma and Medical Insurance company partners did previously. And of course with the Republican lawmakers in the pockets of Big Oil, you can bet they'll scream and yell at all attempts to fairly cap any and all toxic spewing coal plants across America.

    I hope the Democratic lawmakers cut the knees off of Big Pharma and force them to drastically lower their drug prices like Canada and all other nations have previously done.

    December 12, 2009 at 5:46 am | Reply

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