Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Participants Freeze Amid Climate Conference Chaos

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Copenhagen attendeesCOPENHAGEN — Upon arrival at the United Nations COP15 Climate Change Summit in Copenhagenon December 14, the police officer in military fatigues guarding the gate informed us that no, those crowds were not protesters, “They’re journalists.”

Snow was falling from the sky, and the rambunctious media personnel, national delegates, non-governmental organization representatives, and even scientists from around the world had been standing outside the barricades for hours. Many never made it in. Even some who arrived as early as 9 a.m. left in frustration after eight hours of standing in line.

Two scientists who spoke with The New American were obviously dismayed about the situation. They were supposed to give presentations to further convince the conference attendees that man was indeed responsible for global warming, but at least one of them — maybe both — likely never even got their credentials.

Every once in a while, somebody would come out with a megaphone to make an announcement. But it was impossible to hear. The words were almost immediately drowned out by the furious chants of the freezing mob outside: “Let us in! Let us in! Let us in! What do we want? Entrance! When do we want it? Now! UN shame! UN shame! UN shame!”

But even if the crowd had not been hollering, the line stretched so far back that most of the people in the queue would not have heard it anyway. Rumors swirled through the air as would-be conference participants called their people to figure out what was going on and if anything could be done about it. A reporter for Al-Jazeera said somebody had told her the passport machine was broken, while a Danish journalist who worked for the local public broadcasting station explained that for some reason the United Nations had approved tens of thousands more applicants than the Bella Center could actually accommodate.

Nobody really knew what was going on, but the New York Times eventually reported that Danish police had refused to admit more participants. Apparently the venue really was already filled to capacity.

Eventually several vans stuffed with police arrived at the entrance. As they assumed their positions, another voice came over a megaphone. This time, some people wanted to know what was going on so they shushed the shouting crowd. “Nobody else will be getting in tonight,” explained the voice, which instantly prompted more chanting.

Animal rights protestors dressed in various fluffy critter costumes stayed with the crowd throughout the whole ordeal, offering delicious tofu sandwiches and all manner of leaflets insisting that the true solution to “climate change” was global vegetarianism. Many of the people in line spoke of stealing one of the outfits to stay warm, while a giant LED screen loudly announced that Canada had received the “Fossil of the day” award for failing to fully cooperate with the negotiations. 

The world body aiming to regulate the carbon dioxide emissions for every human on Earth apparently cannot even handle its own accreditation process properly. How any of the people chattering their teeth outside could possibly support UN regulation of the global economy is simply unexplainable. But the irony was indeed delicious — even better than the tofu sandwiches: snow at a global-warming conference and absolute incompetence in even the most rudimentary tasks.

Photo of conference attendees waiting to get their credentials: AP Images

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