Daniel Sperling, a U.C. Davis professor, bicycles in Copenhagen with his California Air Resources Board colleague Anthony Eggert. (BreAnda Northcutt / For The Times.)
What are they there for?
None of the Californians are involved in the actual negotiations, which are led by diplomats behind closed doors. "Interacting with a delegate is about as likely as a comet colliding with a planet," said Margaret Bruce, director of the Center for Climate Action, a California-based nonprofit.
But that's not the idea. At hundreds of side panels, conferences, receptions and exhibits, everyone who is anyone in the world of carbon control gets a chance to rub shoulders with other players.
"This is Disneyland for policy wonks," said Gary Gero, president of the Los Angeles-based Climate Action Reserve, a nonprofit that designs protocols for greenhouse gas offsets.