The Skywriter

Weekly roundup 12/3/10: Kick off to Cancun (VIDEO)


Weekly roundup 12/3/10: Kick off to Cancun (VIDEO)


While we were all still trying to figure out how many dishes we could make with left-over turkey as the primary ingredient, the U.N. kicked off the COP16 climate conference in Cancun, Mexico.

U.N. Climate Talks

As week one in Mexico draws to a close, Japan has declared it doesn't want to extend the Kyoto Protocol after its 2012 expiration, citing a need to look towards new global agreements on climate change. While new agreements are needed, ending the Kyoto treaty puts the market for emissions credits at a substantial risk.

Reaching binding agreements in Cancun will prove difficult as China and the United States still come to terms with unresolved differences. The New York Times, published an editorial with a guide to the road From Copenhagen to Cancun.

Here at 1Sky, we launched our national day of action, which was a resounding success, thanks to so many of you. We demanded that President Obama honor his pledge to help fun climate adaption programs for poor nations. Allies came out, hundreds of you made calls, and a hefty electronic stack of petitions was delivered. You can check out our Flickr slideshow and summary of the day's events in our wrap-up post. We send off two of our organizers down to Cancun to do live coverage for us next week!

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have already called on President Obama to renegue on the funding we pledged during Copenhagen. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming lead the initiative, timing his concerns with the climate talks in Cancun.

Not in Mexico? How have you been getting pumped-up for COP16? While we can't deliver you some Cancun sun we can boost your audio and visual climate schoolin'. Google Earth has developed climate tour highlights. You could even get a walk through with Kofi Annan.

Sparking the "Sputnik moment"

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu likened China's innovation on the clean energy front to a "Sputnik moment" earlier in the week -- a call for the United States to make strides in "sensible, long-range energy policies" to stay competitive against China. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Before the Energy Secretary headed down to Cancun himself, he left us a reminder of what we're up against. H.E. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, said only last year,

We will make China a country of innovation. We will seek breakthroughs in key technologies that are vital to industrial transformation and upgrading, speed up the development of new industries of strategic importance, and give priority to research, development, and industrial application of technologies in new energy.

I encourage you to listen in on Chu's full remarks in the video below, particularly if you happen to be a member of Congress.

Victory, thy name is drilling ban

This week we had to quietly say goodbye to the House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, which was put to rest this week after only four years of service. Meanwhite, a huge battle was won for oceans as the Obama administration has announced a five-year drilling plan including no new offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. This is a massive win for our friends at Oceana and many other groups that have worked tirelessly on this front. We join them in declaring joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea and joy to you and me. Let's just call this the first step of many.


At the beginning of the week, wrapped up the 350 EARTH global climate art project and some incredible photos have rolled in from the larger-than-life displays. Participants from Brazil to Iceland created massive art installations as a tune up to the climate talks in Cancun. How massive, you ask? They're visible from space! Check out the video below to see these artists from around the world in action and get an inside look at the activity from up above and on the ground.

350 EARTH highlights 29 Nov 2010 from on Vimeo.

Last, but never least. We'd like to wish a special happy birthday to the EPA! Thanks for protecting our children's health, making our water safe to drink and putting controls on hazardous waste. Are you 40 years old already? You haven't aged a bit since the 70s!

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