Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Climate researcher calls peers 'part of the problem'
CALGARY - Many scientists who jet around the globe to study the effects of climate change take a "do as I say, not as I do" approach to their own carbon footprint, says a University of Calgary Arctic researcher.

Lip service without personal change is part of why it's hard to get public buy-in for more strident action on climate change, says caribou researcher Ryan Brook.
Brook said he has raised the issue with colleagues, with little effect. "When I inquired about buying offsets, most were quick to dismiss them as a sham."

Brook added he has heard almost nothing from leading Canadian agencies that fund scientific research.

At the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada--which disperses more than $1 billion in grants each year --spokeswoman Natasha Gauthier said carbon credits are not covered by research grants.

"We have received requests from researchers periodically to claim it," Gauthier said.

But carbon credits are not considered a direct cost of research, and there is no means for verifying the carbon credits are legitimate.
Glacial pace in climate talks scored
BONN, Germany—Plans to combat climate change are on track for a new global climate agreement, with one exception: Governments seem to be taking it ever so slowly, with negotiations taking as much as an hour just to agree on a sentence.
Earlier, climate-change expert and British Economist Lord Stern stated that if public opinion on climate change action is strong, then politicians will listen.

“Clear and decisive leadership by legislative and business leaders can inform and influence public opinion, so that a more engaged public in turn press for greater action from their representatives,” said Stern.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, agreed that the talks needed to become more focused and move forward, but that delegates have shifted from discussions to negotiations, thus slowing down the work.

“Progress towards developing a global strategy to cut emissions is too slow,” said De Boer. “But the political moment is right to reach an agreement and there is no doubt in my mind that the Copenhagen climate conference in December is going to lead to a result.

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