What if they didn’t give a news conference and everybody came?

December 18, 2009

CLIMATE-COPENHAGEN/The only laughs in Copenhagen on Friday were for a news conference that never happened.

Rumours spread fast among thousands of journalists, particularly if they have spent a day watching climate talks slowly implode in Copenhagen, waiting hours for anyone to hand out snippets of information about what was going on.

Add in U.S. President Barack Obama’s star power and you have a recipe for pandemonium.

Which is exactly what ensued when news got out on twitter that Obama was giving a news conference.

Normally sluggish journalists were sprinting through the halls of the Bella Centre, there was a scrum at the conference room door and a rush for seats.

Only the news wasn’t news, it was just a rumour.

A bemused conference official eventually appeared on stage, to tell around four hundred people gathered with cameras and laptops that there might have been a mistake but he had no booking. Were we expecting the U.S. President? He looked slightly incredulous.

Five minutes later he was back to confirm that there were no plans from the U.S. delegation. We were welcome to stay for the next scheduled event in two hours, he added.

The whole room, after a day of gloom, burst out laughing. It was probably that or cry.

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Today the representatives in Copenhagen will announce they have agreed to put off a legally binding accord until the end of 2010. One more year of business as usual. Two thirds of the one billion dollars in Obama’s stimulus package will be executed by foreign corporations to develop wind production in the U.S.. Neither Wall Street or the energy industry are interested in alternative energy. I think passing climate legislation through the Senate will be harder than passing health care reform. I am curious as to how any U.S. President can guarantee any international legally binding agreement on climate?

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