The Irony of a Climate Change Conference: COP26

I recently had the opportunity to travel to COP26 as a member of the University of Michigan’s Delegation. What an experience! Attending events and plenaries where the discussions of climate action were taking place was exciting and yet frustrating. Frustrating because the negotiations were not progressing fast enough and were not aggressive enough to combat …

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The Business of Free. Something to learn for climate change?

“We could have saved [the Earth] but we were too damned cheap.”  -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., A Man Without a Country. Recently, I became aware of a Pew Research Center poll that found overwhelming support for requiring better fuel efficiency for vehicles (79%), funding for alternative energy (74%), and strong support for spending more on mass …

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Ratification of Kyoto Protocol Extension unlikely this week

Photo: Courtesy of Juan Cespedes, The University of Michigan COP 16 Envoy's guest photographer From inside the UN Delegation Hall: Only 132 countries of the expected 190 delegations are present in today's meetings. Only a few delegations - less than 25 by my count - have offered any indication that they will ratify an extension of …

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Adaptation Funding – A Real Need

From inside the UN Delegation Hall - 2:00 pm: Professor Thomas Gladwin, instructor for the University of Michigan's annual Erb Seminar, asked his students to debate the following statement: “Humanity will be able to limit global warming to no more than 1.5-2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and will thus experience abrupt, irreversible, runaway and …

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Imagining Cooperation on Climate

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein Can climate models embolden the imagination enough to push us through political stalemates? We are getting reports that the …

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50,000 Demonstrators Expected for Today’s Protest March in Copenhagen

“I would rather see no deal at all than a watered-down version that doesn’t help anyone,” fellow U of M delegate Ahmed Tawfik told Keith Schneider of Circle of Blue and Climate Action Network. Ahmed isn’t alone.  Only half way through the conference, already many people are beginning to fear that the bureaucratic powers-at-be won’t …

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