The Copenhagen Climate Summit: Narratives to Suit Any Taste

Look! It’s a rainbow of spin! Today’s Copenhagen headlines are a snapshot of political narratives worldwide. Want to find out who’s still carrying water for Barack Obama and who’s not? Let’s have a look.

First the bad news: Germany’s honeymoon with the President is kaputt. The Teutonic brethren at Spiegel magazine discovered long ago that there’s big dough in Amerika bashing. Sure, the US President is ein netter Kerl, but these are hard times for journalists, and one can’t afford to be too finicky. You only need to learn three German words to get the gist of their coverage of all things American: Fiasko, Debakel, and Desaster. Need I translate? Here’s Spiegel’s take on the latest out of Copenhagen:

Full Speed Ahead into the Greenhouse

Failed Summit

What a fiasco: The Copenhagen climate summit has failed thanks to the politics of unyielding self interest of the USA, China, and many other states. We are likely to soon find out just how catastrophic climate change will really be – in a global greenhouse experiment.

Our British friends, whom Spiegel was fond of referring to as “vassals” and “poodles” of the US back in the days of Tony Blair, are taking a rather more charitable view of the affair. Apparently they’re still not quite ready to throw the President under the bus. According to the BBC,

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed a US-backed climate deal in Copenhagen as an “essential beginning”.

He was speaking after delegates passed a motion recognizing the agreement, which the US reached with key nations including China.

The more erudite among the BBC’s readers who get past the headlines will find some less than rosy details mentioned in passing in the body of the article, such as,

However, a number of developing nations were angered by the draft proposals.
BBC environment correspondent Richard Black said the language in this text showed 2C was not a formal target, just that the group “recognises the scientific view that” the temperature increase should be held below this figure.

but such minutiae don’t spoil the overall positive effect.

Here in the US one can also find a version of reality to suit any taste. Of course, they’re pulling no punches at Foxnews:

Has Copenhagen collapsed?

That seems to be the growing sentiment inside the city’s Bella Conference Center, where officials, environmentalists and even delegates to the international climate conference began streaming out Friday evening. What began with excitement and anticipation two weeks ago ended Friday night with disappointment and anger for thousands.

Collapse? What collapse! As I write this, it appears they haven’t noticed a thing at CNN. Their world headlines link has no mention of Copenhagen at all. However, more persistent readers who trouble themselves to click down a page or two will find reassuring “news:”

Obama announces climate change deal with China, other nations

President Obama announced what he called a “meaningful and unprecedented” climate change deal with China and other key nations that was expected to be sealed before the president headed home from the Copenhagen summit late Friday.

There, that’s all you need to know, now just move on. Well, all right, if you have a suspicious nature and don’t believe CNN, just check the rest of the mainstream media. True, the guys at MSNBC are a shade less sanguine, but, after all, the Pres did what he could:

U.S., others broker modest climate deal

Plan includes way to verify reduction in global warming emissions

That last blurb is a bit rich, even for MSNBC, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope the editors of Spiegel don’t see it. For that matter, it’s downright sober compared to the take at ABC:

Obama Hails ‘Significant Breakthrough’ at Climate Talks

Obama and Three World Leaders Have Agreed to a Political “Accord,” Official Says

President unites China, India and Brazil on climate agreement in Copenhagen.

There! See? Whatever were those silly fellows at Spiegel thinking with their hand wringing about a “fiasco?” Still don’t believe me? Apparently you’ll need an even stronger dose. Let’s move on to NPR’s website, where the President, arrayed in shining armor, still rides through cyberspace on his snow white charger:

The president tells the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen that America is setting an example of bold action and other nations must follow or see the world suffer catastrophic effects.

Good old NPR, fighting a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, German nitpickers.

One thought on “The Copenhagen Climate Summit: Narratives to Suit Any Taste”

  1. The Kyoto Protocol Fixation Syndrome (KPFS)

    “All you have to do is put a few micrograms of ink on a certain piece of paper, and millions of tons of carbon dioxide will miraculously disappear from the atmosphere.”
    -an anonymous patient

    Many people are fixated on the Kyoto Protocol.

    (The Kyoto Protocol is a supplement to the UNFCC.
    It is a voluntary agreement that set short term intermediate goals for some countries.
    Its basis, the actual main international climate change agreement, is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
    The United Stated signed the UNFCCC in 1992, thereby officially committing itself to limiting greenhouse gasses to a safe level.

    Some symptoms of the Kyoto Protocol Fixation Syndrome:
    Denial that the United States can do anything about climate change without signing the Kyoto Protocol.
    Denial that the United States is doing anything about climate change without signing the Kyoto Protocol.
    Denial that the United States has done anything about climate change without signing the Kyoto Protocol.
    Denial that the United States can set goals for the reduction of greenhouse gasses without signing the Kyoto Protocol.
    Denial of the existence of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), or its content, and/or its effectiveness.
    Denial of the existence of the Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP), or its content, and/or its effectiveness.
    The delusion that the signing of the Kyoto Protocol would solve the climate change problem.

    Closer examination usually also reveals these accompanying conditions:
    Ignorance of the fact that the United States can do something about climate change without signing the Kyoto Protocol.
    Ignorance of the fact that the United States is doing something about climate change without signing the Kyoto Protocol.
    Ignorance of the fact that the United States has done something about climate change without signing the Kyoto Protocol.
    Ignorance of the fact that the United States has set goals for the reduction of greenhouse gasses without signing the Kyoto Protocol.
    Ignorance of the existence of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) or its content, and/or its effectiveness.
    Ignorance of the existence of the Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP) or its content, and/or its effectiveness.
    Ignorance of the role of the Kyoto Protocol in solving the climate change problem.

    Apparently, the cause of this disorder seems to be that the affected persons are suffering from a sort of vitamin deficiency; namely insufficient Vitamin I (Infomatin). A preliminary Google survey of sources of Infomatin has revealed that the concentration of a particular variation of Vitamin I, Infomatin-clima-delta-policine (Icdp) is present only in extremely small quantities, on the order of only a few per million.

    But a deficiency of Vitamin Icdp alone does not necessarily lead to KPFS. Many people who have almost undetectable levels of Icdp do not develop KPFS. It would seem that there must be another factor involved. And indeed, researchers David and Ray of the DMKO institution have documented critically high levels of factor H (Hatin), specifically the variation Hatin-Amercin (Ha), in many common sources of vitamin I.

    One obvious possible form of treatment would be to give the patient supplemental doses of Icdp, but past experience has shown that high levels of factor H tend to block the intake of Vitamin I. And giving very large doses runs the risk of loosing the patient.

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