I received this from a friend yesterday. It was taken on a mobile phone in Copenhagen where world leaders are meeting today in, as one newspaper amazingly put it, “the most important international meeting since World War II”. “Brad Pitt is saving planet Earth in Copenhagen” is printed on the side of a 20 ft long reflective metallic trailer parked in the streets of Copenhagen.
Here is another image of this monstrosity from (of all places) the America.gov Flickr photostream:
The caption? “Brad Pitt is Saving Planet Earth in Copenhagen”… a fun experimental project that will feature 12 non-Brads dressing up like the megastar to promote climate change action.
Yes, this comes from a US government social media account.
On the other side of the trailer is a web address which reads “bradpitt.dk”. When I checked the website, I found this awesome image:
Equiterre’s reaction on allegations from the Associate Director- Press Secretary of Prime minister Stephen Harper, Dimitri Soudas
Copenhagen, December 14, 2009- Equiterre reacted in the following terms regarding allegations made today by the Associate Director- Press Secretary of Prime minister Stephen Harper, Mr. Dimitri Soudas. Mr. Soudas accused Steven Guilbeault, cofounder and Deputy Director of Equiterre, to be the source of the spoof on Environment Canada that promotes an important change in the federal government’s climate change policy, The information can be found at the imitation website: www.enviro-canada.ca/index.php.
“Mr. Guilbeault clearly indicated that he is not the source of this spoof. Neither is Equiterre. It is shameful that Office of the Prime Minister is making such accusations without any proof. Mr. Guilbeault and Equiterre are asking Dimitri Soudas to retract his accusations and to present his excuses.
We also deeply regret that Canada’s position on cilmate change is nowhere near the one presented on Environment Canada’s fake website.
Equiterre suggests that the Associate Director, Communication/Press Secretary, Dimitri Soudas, from the Prime Minister office, should stop throwing baseless accusations. A better way to use his time would probably be to advise the Canadian government to change its deeply flawed position on climate.”
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+ 45 41 63 37 95
Where did the “accusation” come from? Soudas had send this email out to the media regarding the Prentice/WSJ spoof:
You may have received a release entitled:
“CANADA ANNOUNCES REVISED FIGURES FOR EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS, RELIEF FUNDS”
This is not a government of Canada press release.
We’re told it may have been issued by mr. Guilbault from equiterre.
If that’s the case, time would be better used by supporting Canada’s efforts to reach an agreement instead of sending out hoax press releases.
More time should be dedicated to playing a constructive role instead of childish pranks.
What made Soudas suspect Guilbault? Apparently, Guilbault forwarded the spoof press release to people and press attending the Copenhagen climate change summit.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Steven Guilbeault
Subject: Fwd: CANADA ANNOUNCES REVISED FIGURES FOR EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS, RELIEF FUNDS
Just got that
Début du message transféré :
Date: 14 décembre 2009 14:09:55 UTC+01:00
Objet: CANADA ANNOUNCES REVISED FIGURES FOR EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS, RELIEF FUNDS
December 14, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CANADA ANNOUNCES NEW AGENDA FOR CLIMATE AND WORLD DEVELOPMENT
Plan includes stricter emissions reductions and immediate “climate debt” bailouts for most affected countries
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — In a major development coming three days before the final round of UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, and responding to the recent concerns expressed by the G77 bloc of countries, Canada’s Attaché for Environment and Planning announced today an ambitious plan for a new climate change framework that answers vital concerns voiced by developing nations.
Dubbed “Agenda 2020,” the plan sets strict new emissions-reductions guidelines for Canada and fast-tracks financing for vulnerable countries beginning in 2010.
“Today the G77 has again made their voice very clear,” said Jim Prentice, Canada’s Minister for the Environment. “This policy is our answer. Long in discussion, and slated for release later this week, Agenda 2020 is Canada’s commitment to a science-based approach to climate change, and our way to assert our partnership with the developing world.”
Agenda 2020 sets binding emissions reductions targets of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050, in line with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and approaching the levels demanded by the African Group (link ). The plan also introduces a new instrument, known as the “Climate Debt Mechanism” (CDM), committing Canada to much-needed funding to those developing countries facing the most dire consequences of climate change. CDM payments will begin with 1% and rise to the equivalent of 5% of Canada’s GDP annually by 2030.
“We believe all people will benefit from an equitable climate deal that truly energizes the world economy,” said Prentice.
The initial 2010 CDM outlay (representing 1% of Canada’s GDP, or $13 billion) will be allocated to the African countries for emissions-reduction strategies and alternative-energy development programs. Payments will also finance resilience-building projects in specific communities already facing the results of climate change or threatened with its most dire consequences.
The CDM is the world’s first financial mechanism that truly addresses the rising costs of climate change in developing countries. It follows a November announcement from Canada and its Commonwealth partners committing $10 billion to climate change adaptation for vulnerable countries (link ). By providing quick access to adaptation finance, the CDM builds on this commitment and takes the global lead in supporting vulnerable countries. CDM payments will be completely separate from pre-existing development assistance and will be considered to be payments in a balance of trade.
“Canada is taking the long view on the world economy,” said Prentice. “Nobody benefits from a world in peril. Contributing to the development of other nations and taking full responsibilities for our emissions is simple Canadian good sense. We want to show the world that Canada is a leader on climate change.”
The full details of the CDM framework will be released when Prime Minister Stephen Harper attends the high-level session of the Copenhagen climate talks this Wednesday.
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Asst. Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment
888-349-7068 ext 101
For more information visit www.enviro-canada.ca/agenda2020
Tonight, Jack Layton attended a local candlelight vigil to mark/protest/mourn/do-something about climate change. The vigil was part of a larger global effort organized via Blackberry, cellphones and Facebook. He tweeted:
http://twitpic.com/taa1o – Joining a moving global candle vigil, in #Toronto, with new friends Anastasia and Michelle #cop15
Throughout our history of scientific achievement as a civilization, progress has most significantly been marked by maximizing outputs while minimizing input and waste output. This is the standard engineering principle of efficiency.
The industrial revolution that started in the 18th century is referenced as a pivot point of human impact on its environment. Since this era of increased efficiency, from the advent of the assembly line and distributed tasks at the outset to the miniaturization of electronics to maximize calculative output most recently, our progress is marked by our giant leaps of efficiency. It may be unpopular, but no less true, to recognize that it has been the industrial revolution — indeed still ongoing — that has and will continue to allow us to produce more from less and waste less in the process. For example, the wheel is one of our earliest innovations and has been improved and made more efficient at least one thousand fold with respect to input costs, labour and yes, even CO2 output.
Tonight, the leader of Canada’s socialist party — a party representing an ideology that has sought to increase the costs of input (organized labour, tariffs on inputs) while diminishing the benefit of the output (taxation on goods produced, regulations of its use) — very symbolically holds a flame for the very principles that would jam the gears of modernization, efficiencies and progress. Instead of allowing the inherent market mechanism that favours efficiency to reduce waste (CO2 as a by-product), Layton and friends use a sledgehammer instead of a scalpel to act broadly against desired outputs and necessary inputs rather than just waste.
While leaders around the world seek to reinvent the wheel outside of market based innovation and progress, Jack Layton is at home tending to our earliest invention. One hopes that Layton realizes that the candle he holds is more symbolic than logical as a burning candle produces 7x more CO2 output per lumen of light than a 40W incandescent lightbulb (calculation here). To decry our own greed and supposed inefficiencies, Layton harkens back to a time before the first refinement of our first spark of genius.
Layton’s flame is symbolic, though perhaps not in the way he intended. Indeed, his burning candle is symbolic to our self-loathing attitude towards a process that brought billions out of relative poverty since the 17th century, has extended our life expectancies by decades through health research and nutritional knowledge, and has allowed mass communicative capacity to organize protests, rallies, vigils and the like. Jack’s flame, much like his solutions, are inefficient and regressive.
Though Mr. Layton would put up flame to the bridges that have brought us health, wealth and happiness since a darker age, hopefully other leaders will have a lightbulb moment and realize that it has been our unbridled innovative capacity and not a misguided effort for central planning, that has and always will move us along the road to enlightenment.