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Monday 7 December 2009 - the plan so far

Verity Murphy | 11:14 UK time, Monday, 7 December 2009

Here is what we are lining up for tonight's programme:

The Copenhagen conference has opened today with delegates from 192 countries attending the two-week meeting, which is intended to come up with an agreement to supplant the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

We will be looking at what the summit is trying to achieve and what might a deal look like.

Also, Jackie Long has a special report on Britain's troubled families.

And we expect to be hearing more from Mark Urban who has been on an offensive to clear insurgents from a town in Helmand with US marines - as you can read in his Afghan blog.

More details later.

PS Thanks to those of you who made suggestions for Steve Smith's film on pop-ups. It was a bit last minute, but your help was much appreciated.


  • Comment number 1.

    copenhagen looks to me like one of those boiler room scams where they lock everyone in a room and then high pressure sell the trapped punters apartments or whatnot.

    then before they know where they are the punters have signed away their life savings on some ramshackle wreck while the agents go away backslapping each other for how well they fleeced them.

    In this case what is being high pressure sold is 'climate justice' and carbon trading. which are just mechanism for transferring money from the many to the few.

    maybe people are mad enough to think if they monetised fat into a fat exchange its going to make them thin? or if through 'fat justice' giving money to other people is going to make them thin? it'll only make them poor and still fat.

    one day they will write books about this delusion of monetising carbon and ask 'why did no one say anything'.

  • Comment number 2.

    A critical moment. Copenhagen is the issue.

  • Comment number 3.

    I hope your coverage of the Copenhagen conference devotes some time at some stage to the trade in carbon emissions. The idea that the people most devoted to the science of manmade global warming have also dreamt up what looks like a scam to make money out of it doesn't help their cause in my view. How does this trade differ from the buying and selling of any other invisible commodity - fairy dust, indulgences, fresh air?

  • Comment number 4.



    I think there's more to it, I think, in terms of survival, although one's family is quite often the priority, especially one's children but as we know not even this is always the case.

    Examples of breech:

    self- preservation

    getting obsessed with one's lover, not the father of the children resulting either in neglect or total abandonment, not talking of extreme cases of violennce, abuse or murder

    ideological obsession, etc


    P.S. Re: the bear story - are you talking of a specific case or just contemplating inter-race mating?

  • Comment number 5.

    Belgian PM (Copenhagen) says 'This is an opportunity the world can NOT afford to miss'.

    I concur. But we may not agree on the nature of that OPPORTUNITY.
    What is needed is an opportunity for truth, openness, integrity, and perhaps common sense.

    Even some hands up saying ‘we don’t really know’ the answer, but it’s certainly NOT as simple or as easy (yes, I said EASY!!!! In the greater scheme of things) as Carbon Trading.

    There are many much harder, more unpalatable truths and difficult decisions to face. Not least the fact that mankind may not be able to halt in the long term the unending ebb and flow of: temperature, climate, prevailing weather patterns, population growth et al.

    I think one thing is clear. The more the world population grows unchecked (warfare, pestilence, natural disaster aside that we seem to try and tame year on year) the less resources will be available to go round.

    The sort of OPPORTUNITIES being discussed in Copenhagen are a bit like those spandex pants. They don’t actually remove the flab, just shove it in a less visible place until it finally erupts in all sorts of strange places.

    We can but hope. But googling ‘the demise of common sense’ depresses.

  • Comment number 6.

    #4 Yes mim both your breeches could be correct, people don't know much these days about loyalty, respect and responsibility.

    Yes I believe it was a programme about Canada, might even have been a Ray Mears one. They filmed a black bear with lightish markings, and said the DNA had been checked, and it was a mixed breed bear.

  • Comment number 7.


    And I concur with you in turn, Brightyangthing.

    I'm quite convinced that apart from the need to drastically limit carbon 2 emissions, erupting pants will be discussed as well with, I should imagine, quite a bit of both giggling and awe as what happens in between must also be quite fascinating for the world to watch and take note of.


  • Comment number 8.

    #5 Very funny description BYT!

    The sort of OPPORTUNITIES being discussed in Copenhagen are a bit like those spandex pants. They don’t actually remove the flab, just shove it in a less visible place until it finally erupts in all sorts of strange places.

    I think the south east will explode, I saw an article recently where 36 per cent of britains population live there! I've also just commented on Fridays blog about over population, I feel it is one of the main threats to world resources. We in the west have to have less and the others have to have more, but how the dickens that is done fairly, I've no idea. We don't need so many things, we're just told we do by manufacturers, which funnily enough use the third world to produce them very cheaply for us! It's just all mad, we all ought to learn to live simpler lives, and probably slower and happier ones. Whatever happened to the "slow living movement" in europe?

  • Comment number 9.


    Apologies for being intrusive but Howe do you rate yourself with regard to the first paragraph? I don't expect the answe to this,ecolizzy but am simply wondering whether you've asked the question of yourself.

    I don't think it's anything to do wtb 'these days'. It doesn't look like basic human behaviour has changed that much since the beginning of times but perception and rationalisation of our behaviour has, at least in the Western and Western like democracies.

  • Comment number 10.


    Mim: "It doesn't look like basic human behaviour has changed that much since the beginning of time"

    Au contraire. This is why I keep writing of the 'Ape Confused by Language' and the Cerebral/Animal Split. We are procreative animals, with a bunch of procreative drives; or we would not be here. The sad event that (it seems) gave us a big brain and language, put us at odds with ourselves - probably terminal odds.
    Somehow, 'primitive man' (hollow laugh) intuited (or a spaceman told him) the need to PROSCRIBE 'PROGRESS' BEYOND THAT WHICH KEEPS US FROM EXTINCTION. But we eschewed 'primitive', opened Pandora's Box; stole the power of the gods; spoke the forbidden words - tell it how you like - and threw TABOO to the four winds. Even our religions are fudging their dogma now.

    Our animal behaviour has, almost certainly, changed little (as you say) but our CULTURE is in run-away flux, and will be the ruin of the underlying animal. Poignantly: the Ape can live without embellishment, but all embellishment will perish should the Ape cease to be.

  • Comment number 11.

    #5 (ME)

    Doh! Is there a cure for confusing your Chocolates (Belgian) with your pastries (Danish).


    '.... Belgian PM (Copenhagen) says 'This is an opportunity the world can NOT afford to miss'.


    DANISH!!!!!!!! The clues WERE there!

    I'll get me coat!

  • Comment number 12.

    (NOBODY TOLD ME WE ARE NOT TALKING TO SUSAN) (re-post from her thread)


    Good grief! The musicians (players) on the Titanic, having (re)arranged the deckchairs to their satisfaction, are now working on a protocol for deciding which pieces of music they might play, with due regard to the possibility of any copyright infringement.

    In the absolute vacuum of climate 'science', no one can hear me scream.

    Just as the Titanic up-ends, Commodore Obama will appear in the Bum Boat to orate his blessing.

    Oh God our help in ages past, your science was crap as well.

  • Comment number 13.



    If you knew and experienced the balance of mind & body that I'm in most of the time these days, I wouldn 't talking a lot of monkey tosh the way you do and I don't like your tone of supposedly having all the answers to what's suposed to be good for one.

    May I suggest you turn attention elsewhere?

  • Comment number 14.


    I meant to say you wouldn't be talking a lot of monkey tosh

    a sexual urge, in humans at least, goes well beyond procreational calls of nature

    besides, there is bonking and there is love making

  • Comment number 15.

    Can we trade Carbon Output for Climate Regugee Input?
    With apologies for late response to previous blog, but tonight's first two items still give the previous theme relevance.

    #106/114 barrie you're definately onto something here with you rat analogy. Here's some more scientific study on the rat issue.

    "Crowding and Social Behaviour
    In Calhoun’s rat study, overcrowding was associated with increased aggression,particularly in dominant rats. Studies of humans have suggested that social behaviour is adversely affected by higher
    population density. Altruistic behaviour tends to decline as crowding increases."

    Not only are those you mention likely sufferers from Universal Autism, they are also totally devoid of Altruistic Behaviour! Come to think of it, when did we last observe any of that from our government. The GBP had it in great measure during WWII, and at times of catastrophy such as the recent floods.

    However,given the further massive influxes (re-lizzy's link #111/113), the overcrowding ('managed immigration'?)due to the new category of 'climate refugees' will surely make us all aggressive and violent.

    The phenomena of big families to counteract high infant mortality and low life expectancy, was a feature of Victorian England, but better medical and living standards phased that out. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that this is the case with certain ethnic minorities, and our benefits system is counterproductive (an inappropriate word!)

    The Bangladesh Finance Minister seems oblivious to the fact that his country (and many others) are creating their own problems through overpopulation, whilst insisting that Europe should accept their responsibility. Surely some smart fat-cat(fat-rat?) lawyer could find some clause in the HR legislation that protects us all from being driven to aggression and violence due to overcrowding?

    #115 byt "Like I said. Some very uncomfortable facts to face and decisions to be made." I bet population increase won't be faced or even mentioned at Copenhagen. And for 'decision taking' read 'staying in power', just like Gordo is trying in this morning's speech containing his latest list of promises in the dying days of his reign.

  • Comment number 16.


    If I remember rightly, my reference to rats was more to give them their due as ADAPTABLE. I was pointing out that the climate will do what it is going to do, and all we can do is adapt (though I doubt in large numbers, through technology). More like the Polar Bear 'going black' for a spell on land. However, the rat studies are revealing. (And if JJ is reading: rats were beloved of Skinner, of course.)


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