A front row seat to history, including boring bits: You may be wondering what it’s like to be an observer at the UN climate conference in Bali. I’m here to tell you that it’s not all sunshine, beachside blogging and pina coladas at the swim-up bar. Nope. It’s mostly just meetings, meetings and more meetings. It never fails to amaze me how something so critically important can also be so tediously boring. — David Suzuki Foundation Bali Blog

Negotiations get serious: Business and research organizations had a more festive evening last night; attended functions, events and enjoyed the Bali nightlife. However, representatives from governments spent a good part of the night preparing text for the arrival of ministers. Key tensions remain the same – how to engage with the US, how to bridge the divide between the North and South in particular. For example, yesterday morning text from the chair of the Kyoto negotiations included reference to 25-40 per cent reductions for developed countries as a whole by 2020. Within two hours this reference had been removed.Climate Institute Bali Blog

Virtual Bali: Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, has decided to use Virtual Bali, on Second Life, for his speech to the UN Conference instead of spending the carbon to fly there. — UgoTrade

It’s Getting Hot in Here: On the one hand you have the negotiations, which you have to do a year’s worth of background reading just to understand. To unfamiliar ears, the negotiations may as well be in a different language. On the other hand, you end up riding the free bikes in your formal attire to get between the conference centers. After arriving late to our first two events, we discovered that walking was not a practical solution. Nor was it pleasurable in the heat. There are intense arguments over abstruse policy specific, followed by dancing to the “It’s Getting Hot in Here” song. —Terrapass

Non Paper Agreements: It has taken me years to get comfortable with some of the terms thrown around during international treaty negotiations. One phrase that still jars is “non paper.” This is text that doesn’t exist, but does exist, that is designed as a starting point for discussions leading toward formal language in a final document, but doesn’t bind anyone to anything. In the early stages of climate-treaty talks in Bali, conference leaders scurried among delegations and came up with a document called “Non-Paper by the Co-Facilitators.” — Dot Earth

Flashbacks at Bali: Walking into the Bali Convention Center, you know that you have become a fixture in the world of international sustainable development when the UN security guard welcomes you with a broad smile and a “how have you been.” You swore as a younger woman and an activist you would never become one of those grey haired incrementalists around the negotiating halls. — Private Sector Development Blog

Obama on Bali: The statement released by presidential hopeful Barack Obama yesterday looks worryingly like a defence of the untenable and destructive Bush Administration position on global warming. It looks like spin. — Desmogblog.com

Canada refuses to budge: It’s time to make some noise, Canada: head on over to avaaz.org and tell Harper to stop blocking the UN climate talks. It only takes a minute.It’s Getting Hot in Here

The US/Canada/Japan blockade: The big news coming out of the Bali Climate Convention (see our previous coverage) has been the steadfast commitment of the U.S. delegation (along with Canada and Japan) to avoid binding greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In fact, the U.S. seems to be in favor of eschewing numbers all together in favor of using Bali as nothing more than a platform for further negotiations. Historically, the Bush Administration has been in favor of non-binding targets for developed nations. —Celsias

A lesson in contrasts: Some of the very surreal aspects of the Bali Climate Change conference are the setting, the cast of players and how this contrasts with the gravity of the issues that we are here to deal with. Bali is a beautiful place. And the conference is being held in one of the grandest hotels on the island, the WestIn, in the resort area of Nusa Dua. Rumours abound that in the next week, in addition to the 15000 delegates already here, we will be graced by the presence of a cavalcade of stars, including, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, George Clooney, Al Gore, Arnie the Terminator and Leonardo DiCaprio. — Greenpeace Bali Blog