Copenhagen Wraps Up With An Agreement As Thin As Gruel – Cold gruel at that

First it is Jam Band Friday –

Things have gone pretty dismally in Copenhagen. The Developed Countries tried to bully the Developing Countries. The Newly Industrializing Countries sniffed at the DeIndustrializing Countries. The US yelled at China and China yelled back and jingled the coins in its pockets. After all that excitement I must say:


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Gruel is a food preparation consisting of some type of cereal— oat, wheat or rye flour, or also rice— boiled in water or milk. It is a thinner version of porridge that may be more often drunk than eaten and need not even be cooked. Historically, gruel, often made from millet or barley, or in hard times of chestnut flour and even the less tannic acorns of some oaks, has been the staple of the human diet, especially that of the peasantry. The importance of gruel as a form of sustenance is especially noted for invalids[1] and recently weaned children.

Gruel consumption has traditionally been associated with poverty. Gruel is a colloquial expression of any slop that is of unknown character, e.g. pea soup; soup is derived from sop, the slice of bread which was soaked with broth or thin gruel.[2


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Copenhagen climate change summit – final day live blog

World leaders are still trying to thrash out a last minute compromise climate deal. These are the final day’s main developments:
• In a disappointing speech Obama admitted that the talks are in the balance.
• Leaked documents showed a draft agreement is extremely weak.
• Obama held two crucial talks with the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.

Greenpeace has expressed its disgust at the draft Copenhagen accord currently doing the rounds.

Its climate campaigner Joss Garman said:

This latest draft is so weak as to be meaningless. It’s more like a G8 communique than the legally binding agreement we need. It doesn’t even include a timeline to give it legal standing or an explicit temperature target. It’s hard to imagine our leaders will try to present this document to the world and keep a straight face.


All this haggling is going to get us right where the top 500 POLLUTERS want us, sucking up their soot and poisons:

A third draft of the climate is agreement being considered by world leaders, according to AP. But they are some way off the pace, according to our environment editor John Vidal – he’s looking at sixth version.

For what its worth the third version reinstates targets omitted from earlier ones. It says rich countries should reduce their greenhouse emissions by at least 80% by the year 2050.

It adds that developing countries’ emissions should be 15-30% below “business as usual”.

Stay tuned for more details on that later version.


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This not the way that JESUS would have acted:

Tim Jones climate policy officer from World Development Movement, joins the chorus of disgust.

This summit has been in complete disarray from start to finish, and now appears to be culminating in a shameful and monumental failure that will condemn millions of people around the world to untold suffering. The leaders of rich countries have refused to lead and instead sought to bribe and bully developing nations to sign up to the equivalent of a death warrant. The best outcome now is no deal. Leaders of rich countries should go home and adopt new year resolutions to become low carbon economies and pay their climate debt. Then we may have a chance of a properly just and effective agreement in 2010.


On A Happier Front:

Energy-thrifty White House turns deeper shade of green 

WASHINGTON — The White House complex and the federal government are going green — and not just with Christmas trees and holly.

As President Obama meets with world leaders at the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen today, the government he runs at home is quietly engaged in an unprecedented effort to reduce its carbon footprint, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, cut waste and more.

In the complex that includes the White House, that means more efficient heating and cooling systems as well as organic paint, low-flow toilets and lights that turn off by themselves. Even the 800 Christmas ornaments adorning the 18-foot tree in the White House Blue Room were recycled from previous administrations in a nod to the environment and the bad economy.


GREEN HOUSE: Eco-friendly living tips

In many of the federal government’s other 500,000 buildings, the effort to go green includes cutting the amount of garbage produced in half and installing more efficient lights.

“This is a big leap forward for the federal government,” says Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of Obama’s White House Council on Environmental Quality. And the effort will be “sustainable itself beyond this president.”

Sutley says the federal government is the country’s single largest energy consumer, using 1.6% of all the power used nationwide, so reducing energy consumption will mean big savings.

The nation is the world’s second-largest producer of greenhouse gases, behind China, and the cuts could help there, as well, environmentalists say.

Erich Pica of Friends of the Earth says, “There are many economies of scale that President Obama can achieve by forcing the federal government to rethink its energy habits.Dot Dot Dot (as they say)

Environmental groups say Obama’s efforts go far beyond what’s been done before. “There’s real substance behind the rhetoric,” says Joel Makower, editor of, which reports on the greening of mainstream business.

Under a 15-page executive order Obama signed in October, government agencies must implement a host of changes, Sutley says. Among the requirements:

• Agencies must reduce waste by 50% by 2015.

• Agencies must show a 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020.

• All new buildings and any major renovations to existing buildings must be eligible for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification given by the U.S. Green Building Council to environmentally responsible buildings. In and around Washington, the Pentagon and the ornate 121-year-old Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House are in the process of becoming LEED-certified.

• The government’s 600,000 vehicles must operate with 30% less petroleum by 2020.

Pentagon officials, Sutley says, are “thinking about how they can power their vehicles in different ways, so they don’t have to transport as much fuel,” a change that would save money and improve safety for servicemembers.


So Copenhagen was pretty much a bust but it’s Christmas so let’s rock out!


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