Interesting News Features
This is a very quick post, but I just wanted to share with you some of the things I’ve been reading lately.
First, this is an interesting article from a few days ago: “Climate summit opens amid big emitters’ stalling tactics.”
Next, I was reading about a potential new Icelandic eruption. I especially like the ending:
But the biggest threat to Iceland’s icecaps is seen as climate change, not the volcanoes that sometimes melt the icecaps. They have begun to thin and retreat dramatically over the last few decades, contributing to the rise in sea levels that no eruption of Katla, however big, is likely to match.
And I just ran across this but haven’t read it yet, but it looks interesting: Has the Kyoto protocol failed Africa?
And finally, some blogs that I think are really important to read. First, my friend Hierald’s blog offers some really good analysis of COP17. He’s accredited so he’s been going to some of the official events, something I don’t have access to.
Next, the Canadian Youth Delegation blog is pretty awesome, and they update a lot. I just saw their posting about the police in Durban clearing the city of street people, and it’s just appalling. But also makes a lot of sense, since I haven’t seen any street kids around the city:
“Madam, madam! Are you with the press?” I hear a man shout behind me. Before waiting for my answer, he says, “the television won’t show what’s happening in the streets of Durban, madam”. He (I later learn his name is Joshua) goes on to tell me that he has been living on the streets for 25 years. Joshua explains that Durban’s street people are being cleared from the streets in a sweep to make the city more ‘attractive’ in the eyes of the thousands of visitors here for COP-17.
“They’re taking children, madam. Children! The police come, the metro police, and they are taking entire families”. Joshua is visibly outraged. He urges me to tell others about what is happening, and I promise to do so. We part ways at an intersection, waving.
While the Durban police are cleansing the streets from its traces of poverty, COP-17 delegates have it pretty good inside the ICC, with its air conditioning, free wifi, and immaculate washrooms. A maid can be found at all times in the ladies’ washrooms, wiping up drops of water from the sink after a delegate washes their hands, and mopping the floor whether it needs it or not. I enjoy a running joke with the woman who seems to be in charge of cleaning the washroom nearest the CYD booth; we both chuckle at how often I come to pee (it’s like 30 degrees outside – got to stay hydrated!).
Sadly, the “cleaning up the streets of visible homelessness” is a tradition for many global events that dates back a loong time. When Vancouver started doing something similar for the Olympics, my husband told me they did the same thing in Barcelona back in ’92 for theirs, as well as during the Franco years when El Generalissimo came to town for a visit. Le sigh.