Tuesday, December 15, 2009

California does Copenhagen

California has "hundreds, if not thousands" of politicians, "academic superstars, green-tech gurus, environmentalists and college students" at the climate conference in Copenhagen this week according to this article by Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times. And in this photograph accompanying the article, we can see not all are in fancy limousines. Some are walking the talk. Or biking the talk, anyway, whatever.

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.

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