Thousands of climate dignitaries representing almost every national government on Earth flew to Cancun, Mexico, for the great event. Security precautions were extensive: Battleships could be seen from the beach while thousands of soldiers and police lined the jam-packed roads. It was time for the 16th “Conference of the Parties,” or COP16 for short. The annual summit, which was held this year from November 29 through December 10, is an extravaganza of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC. The previous year’s COP15 in Copenhagen was massive — over 50,000 attendees in all, not counting protesters. It was well publicized, too. But after the spectacular failure of COP15 to deliver a binding climate treaty, and with little hope of securing one this time, expectations for COP16 were purposefully set low.
What a difference a year can make! In December 2009, thousands of politicians, diplomats, and bureaucrats swarmed into Copenhagen for the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), accompanied by hordes of journalists, celebrities, and paparazzi. According to a UNFCCC press release at the close of the conference, “119 world leaders attended the meeting, the largest gathering of heads of state and government in the history of the UN.” President Barack Obama was there. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was there, along with a sizeable congressional delegation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was there. Britain’s Prince Charles was there. Billionaire activist gadfly George Soros was there. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Bloomberg, Thomas Friedman, Darryl Hannah, and Bianca Jagger were there. And, of course, Al “Mr. Global Warming” Gore was there.
The New American has raised the ire of Britain's University of East Anglia (UEA) with an article that briefly recalled the Climategate scandal of November 2009, in which hundreds of hacked e-mails from the school's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) brought accusations of conspiracy and fraud against scientists there. The story is still making headlines more than one year later because the scientists involved are high-profile contributors to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization many skeptics believe was created exclusively to provide evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and usher in carbon-restricting climate policies.
Mother Nature has not been helpful to global warming alarmists of late. The record cold wave she unleashed across much of planet during the recent United Nations climate change conference (known by the unwieldy bureaucratic acronym UNFCCC-COP16/CMP6 — really) extended even to the fabled, usually warm-and-sunny beaches of Cancun, Mexico, as we previously reported (Record Cold at Cancun Climate Confab).
Scientists conducting research at taxpayers’ expense are, says ABC News, “outraged” over the fact that Sen. Tom Coburn’s Wastebook 2010 characterized their work as a study of “cow burps.” The Oklahoma Republican’s report on wasteful federal spending described the $700,000 Department of Agriculture-sponsored project as a study of “greenhouse gas emission from organic dairies, which are cause [sic] by cow burps, among other things.” It quoted the principal researcher of the project from a newspaper report: “Cows emit most of their methane through belching, only a small fraction from flatulence.”
It's going to be a white Christmas at London's Heathrow Airport, with record low temperatures and snowfall canceling and delaying hundreds of flights. BAA Airports, Ltd., which operates Heathrow, announced on Tuesday, December 21 that it will function at one-third capacity until Thursday morning. With more adverse weather in the forecast, it is doubtful the airport will return to full service even then. Heathrow's website asks travelers not to come to the airport unless they have confirmed in advance that their flights are still scheduled.
A coalition of automakers is suing President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hoping to overturn that agency's decision to allow the sale of E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol added to gasoline, for cars and light trucks manufactured since 2007. The Engine Products Group (EPG) filed suit on Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
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The United Nations and some of its most oppressive member states are clamoring for global regulation of the Internet, including possible censorship. Toward that end, the UN is working to set up an “intergovernmental task force” to figure out how to better control the web at the international level and how to “harmonize” policing of Internet content.