Copenhagen Climate Summit

Friday, December 11, 2009

Representatives from 192 countries are engaged in high level climate change conversations in Copenhagen. Dale Bryk, Director, Air & Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council discusses what she hopes will come of the talks.


Dale Bryk
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Comments [29]

kai from NJ-NYC

I guess Nazi/Holocaust allusions are all the stupid rage right now: whether it's right-wingers at the recent Tea Baggery protest in DC or well Hansen; all are foolish for making erroneous comparisons.

As for the so-called "climategate," where is climate science refuted? Give me ONE example. Out of the 1,000s of emails denialists pick up on the word "trick" and claim it shows conspiratorial deceit when it explains unused data sets. Do you see one single climate scientist backing down from the science after the illegal hacking of the emails? None, zero, zilch. The science speaks for itself.

What I propose is a "Scopes monkey trial-type" debate where the denialists stack up their meager quasi-scientific "findings" against the consensus climate scientists' raft of peer-reviewed, time-tested, verifiable data. Good luck...

“Climategate”: Hacked e-mails show climate scientists in a bad light but don't change scientific consensus on global warming.

"World Meteorological Organization announced on Dec. 8 that the 2000-2009 decade would likely be the warmest on record..."

Dec. 11 2009 04:10 PM
bernard joseph from brooklyn

to JAY F.-yes, we need to use eminent domain to make high speed rail happen in this country. we can use it to build stadiums and mcmansions to make private develepors rich but not for the pure public good of a public works project of this scale?
i fully understand the logistic issue of having a mostly straight and mostly flat rail line. yes, a NEW rail system that can be shared by freight rail as well. a huge project, but that is what this country needs- a huge project that is a win-win for all involved.. if europe can do it then so can we. they have hills and mountains there too. they also have really small cars. why? because fuel is so heavily taxed that it's not practical to be a moron driving around in a huge Escalade.

Dec. 11 2009 11:30 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

to People like Kai,

Hansen has compared his views on climate change to the holocaust and Nazis numerous times. It is fascinating that a “leader” in this field is so insecure or insensitive about his stance on the issue that he has to bring Nazis and slavery into the mix. Very odd. It is also odd that so many libs are taking the ACORN “nothing to see here” approach to climate gate. If the science is so strong, why do scientists have to find ways to undermine and hide data? If the science is so strong, why confuse the issue by bringing up concentration camps and Nazis?

Dec. 11 2009 11:29 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

In the end, many of you don't understand science. The consensus of climate scientists throughout the world in independent climate centers base their findings SOLELY on irreproachable data collected from many sources (e.g. 150 years of climate data, glacier core sampling, tree rings, fossil records, etc.) from the earth's history show that since the inception of humanity's Industrial Revolution, much more CO2 has been put into the system than would occur without human intervention.

That is fact.

What is not certain is the extent of damage that climate change will wreak on humans and other species, although it is known that damage is coming.

People like Peter (who seems even more fascinated by discussing Nazis and the Holocaust than Hansen) also latch onto the red herring of "Climategate" and mis-characterize what was said in the emails. There is not one iota of information that casts doubts on the data that was being shown, just the fact that some scientists were trying to quell the pro-fossil fuel/traditional-neoclassical economy crowd that seeks no change in the way we generate energy and run our economy.

What these people are fighting for is the status quo because obviously society has achieved perfection in its current formation and so has the economy and the environment. Any changes to the above is tyranny...right?

Dec. 11 2009 10:57 AM

If a bunch of emails were released showing cops spouting racist thoughts or being cavalier about the rights of suspects, how many Republicans (or anyone) would then say we should stop policing the streets?

This whole "climate change email" thing is a big distraction that I'm sure is being heavily funded by petroleum. Shame on you for even covering it on the show.


Dec. 11 2009 10:56 AM
Dennis from Levittown

It was the lack of turn out that caused Mangano, a complete unknown, to win the election.

Apathy is the enemy of Democracy.

Suozzi has done an amazing job in a very difficult economic climate.

Dec. 11 2009 10:44 AM
dwilson from New York

Also, Hansen in the past called for criminal trials of executives complicit in global warming. NRDC's spokesperon Phil Gutis came out against this.

Interestingly, the earlier NRDC guest Bryk used to work for Davis Polk and Wardwell which has long represented major power interests, including Exxon, as well as the likes of big tobacco.

Would this be an example of NRDC being to close to corporate interests and their law firms, thus making it awkward for NRDC to carry out this level of lawsuits against fossil fuel interests. (Yes, NRDC sues these interests, but such is tiddlywinks compared to suits for liability and criminality associated with global warming.)

Dec. 11 2009 10:43 AM
Jay F. from manhattan

#6 High speed rails are great... but logistics prevents us from having them.
In order for high speed rail to be effective you need the train to reach maximum speeds and for that to happen you need long, flat straightaways. Our rail system - as it is now - snakes its way throughout the country, especially on the East and West coasts. And, unless you are prepared to use eminent domain to reroute the rail system I don't think it is an option... except perhaps for a few short segments.
Also you must remember that commuter rail is at the mercy of the freight system.

Dec. 11 2009 10:41 AM
dwilson from New York

James Hansen recently took part in a protest against the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on account of its support of cap and trade.

Please ask your guest about this matter.
(Sorry my comment didn't seem to get through earlier when the representative from NRDC was on the air.)

Dec. 11 2009 10:40 AM
hjs from 11211

and the all the free cancers you want?

Dec. 11 2009 10:38 AM

My bad, I meant Diego Garcia! I was thinking of the MMA fighter I guess...

Dec. 11 2009 10:32 AM
Brad from Charlotte, NC

It's not that people are necessarily denying climate change, it is the extent to which humans have caused it.

Dec. 11 2009 10:32 AM
David Bender from 10804

I simply do not know why we are not immediately ordering 100 new Nuclear Plants.we would
Be carbon emission free
provide thousands and thousand of jobs
remove our dependence on countries that hate us.

Dec. 11 2009 10:31 AM
John Almberg from Huntington, NY

Pointless arguments. Neither the broken government of the US, nor the scared government of China will ever make the painful choices to control global warming. It's time to start thinking about how to cope with the effects, because they are surely coming.

Dec. 11 2009 10:31 AM
hjs from 11211

brian we live on the ocean!

Dec. 11 2009 10:31 AM

Hopefully the pentagon will get on board against global warming. They have a few torture prisons at sea level for instance at Diego Sanchez that will be underwater soon if they don't do something.

Dec. 11 2009 10:28 AM
George From CT from CT

Wouldn't a tax on carbon at a certain price per ton be more efficient and easier to implement than cap and trade? You could just tax the fuels, etc., at a rate proportional to their carbon content, and compute the amount of CO2 from their.

Dec. 11 2009 10:26 AM
hjs from 11211

we don't get facts from "the media"!

Dec. 11 2009 10:25 AM
dwilson from New York

Interesting combination of guests.

Hansen recently took part in a protest against NRDC regarding its support of cap and trade.

Also, Hansen in the past called for criminal trials of executives complicit in global warming. NRDC's spokesperon Phil Gutis came out against this.

Interestingly, Bryk used to work for Davis Polk and Wardwell which has long represented major power interests, including Exxon, as well as the likes of big tobacco. What clients did she represent there? Would this be an example of NRDC being to close to corporate interests and their lawyers, thus making it awkward for NRDC to carry out this level of lawsuits against fossil fuel interests. (Yes, NRDC sues these interests, but such is tiddlywinks compared to suits for liability and criminality associated with global warming.)

Please ask your guests about this matter.

Dec. 11 2009 10:24 AM
Robert from NYC

To the commenter who asks "where is the free press in this" I say there is no free press. There is corporate press, CNN (Time Warner) Fox (Fox) Bloomberg (your billionaire free market mayor), inter alia. These are also the lobbyists in DC with corporate agendas, so there is no free press except Amy Goodman, Democracy Now. Look for it in your area and listen to and watch it.

Dec. 11 2009 10:19 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Mr. Hansen seems fascinated with comparing climate change issues to the holocaust and Nazis. For example, there is this NY Times article which reported Mr. Hansen saying,

"If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains – no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria..."


and these similar comments,


And of course there is the Guardian article I mentioned above in which Mr. Hansen compares climate change issues to Nazis.


Please ask Mr. Hansen why he feels it is appropriate to diminish and denigrate the holocaust and the deaths of 45-50 million people in such a way?

Dec. 11 2009 10:10 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

hjs(5) - You contradict yourself:

"Why should the press be neutral? Intelligent people can look at the facts and form their own conclusions."

And where will intelligent peolple get many of their "facts"...from the media ! The Copenhagen conference is a good example. We all can't go we depend upon the objectivity and integrity of the reporters/bloggers who are there to accurately describe the proceedings. It is naive to believe that, because of the internet, we all have access to the real facts of anything. It is all filtered, even if only by the subset of facts that someone considers important to highlight.

Dec. 11 2009 10:05 AM

The "debate" over global warming is a big red herring. We don't need to know if global warming is real or not to know that polluting our air and water and food supply is a bad idea. We breath smog in our cities, we drink arsenic in our water, we eat esoteric chemicals in our food. Global warming is obviously a big deal, but if you don't believe it, why is the answer to deregulate polluters and not deal with gas guzzling cars? What kind of logic is that?

Dec. 11 2009 10:01 AM
bernard joseph from brooklyn

high speed rail, high speed rail, high speed rail!!!!
jobs, jobs, jobs!!!!
this kills many birds with one stone. this just gets mentioned in passing by the occasional politician and/or pundit. it should be a front and center issue.
why isn't it?

Dec. 11 2009 09:53 AM
hjs from 11211

Reality Check
why should the press be neutral? intelligent people can look at the facts and form the own conclusions. and they have

what year will we have the conference for refugees from the effects of climate change?

a national oil and gas tax would balance the budget real fast.
don’t take away my SUV or else!

Dec. 11 2009 09:30 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

The Guardian recently reported that Mr. Hansen “called the Obama government's policies ‘half-assed.’”

Why does Mr. Hansen think that President Obama is performing so poorly on climate change issues?

In the same article, Mr. Hansen said:

“[Facing climate change] is analagous to the issue of slavery faced by Abraham Lincoln or the issue of Nazism faced by Winston Churchill. On those kind of issues you cannot compromise. You can't say let's reduce slavery, let's find a compromise and reduce it 50% or reduce it 40%."

What exactly does Mr. Hansen mean by zero compromise? Is Mr. Hansen hinting or suggesting that violence and war should be used to get non-compliant countries to comply to his standards?


Dec. 11 2009 09:00 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

Bravo #2 !!!!

With Brian Lehrer as one of the few exceptions, the media/press has abandoned its obligations and objectivity and, instead, taken a seat in the bleachers as a cheerleader. No matter what one's stance on these issues, we must remember that everyone needs to continually and honestly re-examine their premises.

Looking forward to Hansen's remarks.

Dec. 11 2009 08:37 AM
Reality Check

Where is the free press in this debate ???

Where is the free press in the Health Care debate ???

Interviewing each other about how they feel about things ???

Regardless of how one "feels" about health care reform or how one "feels" about man made global warming...

We competitive solutions, designed to fix identified problems are being debated ....

And the free press is Absent without Leave on these debates.

That alone does not bode well for our country or the world.

Dec. 11 2009 08:08 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Here is a major problem with the climate debate. For years, public radio and other media outlets presented panels of “experts” who would debate whether global warming was real, who was to blame (people or the world), if global warming could be stopped, and if humanity could afford to stop global warming. Now, the new “line” on the matter by major media is “the debate is over” and “of course global warming is real and can be stopped.” This week on To the Point it went unchallenged for an entire show that all scientists agree that global warming is real. However, climate change scientists also got caught exchanging emails suggesting that they really are not confident in their science. They also got caught planning ways to blacklist dissenting scientists rather than engage them in scientific debate. It has gotten to the point where someone will stand up and say that the United States and the world can’t afford to put a dent in global warming and somehow this translates into denying the existence of global warming. When global warming “experts” have to plan ways to hide data and blacklist dissenting voices, something is wrong.

Dec. 11 2009 07:17 AM

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