Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ecological high cost of a UN climate conference

The earth's ecology takes a hard hit when the United Nation gathers its professional conference goers and hangers on to talk about protecting the earth's ecology. Someone calculated the cost of 15,000 people traveling to the Indonesian island of Bali. 106,000 tons in the US system just for getting there. Times (UK) reports:
Calculations suggest flying the 15,000 politicians, civil servants, green campaigners and television crews into Indonesia will generate the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of extra CO2. That is similar to the entire annual emissions of the African state of Chad. When it was first conceived, only a few thousand politicians civil servants and environmentalists were expected to attend the conference — about normal for such an event. The meeting, which runs from December 3-14, aims to create the framework for a successor to the Kyoto treaty on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, which expires in 2012. However, climate change’s growing political importance has led to a surge in interest in the conference, which is being held in the luxury holiday resort of Nusa Dua on Bali’s palm-fringed southern coast. .... Indonesian officials say the final tally could reach 20,000 — and fear it could stretch the resort’s infrastructure to the limit. About 90% of the emissions will be generated by delegates flying thousands of miles to Bali, with the rest coming from the facilities they will be using. Chris Goodall, a carbon emissions expert who did the calculations for The Sunday Times, estimated that each person flying to Bali would, on average, generate the equivalent of 6.48 tonnes of CO2. If 15,000 people attend, this adds up to over 97,000 tonnes of CO2. To this must be added about 13,000 tonnes of CO2 from the conference venue and hotels — a total of 110,000 tonnes. [A tonne is a metric ton which is a 1,000 kgm - about 2,200 lbs.]
I don't think we can afford so many concerned people flying all over the place. The same people want you and me to stop traveling. But they are different.

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