Polar bears and a cactus urge climate action in Bonn

June 1, 2009

 U.N. climate talks started in Bonn on Monday with demonstrators dressed as camels, birds, trees, a cactus and several polar bears urging delegates to do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The cactus costume with the sign “water me” was my favourite (left).

Too many  protesters at U.N. meetings dress up as polar bears — the bears’ icy habitat is coming under threat from receding ice. So to get the polar-bear-weary delegates’ attention, a bit of variety is a good idea, even though it’s probably harder to make people feel sorry for a prickly plant than an iconic Arctic predator.

I am not sure what the creatures (below right) are — any ideas? They look to me like a cross between a polar bear and a penguin with a carrot stolen from a snowman’s nose.

Environmentalists want developed countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

The United States, even with President Barack Obama’s promises to do far more to fight climate change, says such a goal is impossible. U.S. delegates say even cutting back to 1990 levels by 2020 – a reduction of 14 percent from 2007 levels — is a stretch in an economy dependent on fossil fuels.

So what should the United States and other developed countries do at the June 1-12 talks as part of a new U.N. climate treaty due to be agreed in December?

Will they make the cactus happy?

One comment

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if nobody does anything then the polar bears will become extinct. I am with mr. cactus!!