The Bali achievement?: Given the accelerated melting these days in Greenland, it’s probably no longer appropriate to use the adjective “glacial” to describe treaty negotiations aimed at curbing dangerous human interference with the climate. The talks in Bali over the last two weeks were just the latest baby step in trying to make that happen. The Bali achievement? Two more years of talks. In the meantime, concentrations of carbon dioxide, the main climate-heating emission, continue the climb that began 250 years ago, as industrialization surged on a diet of fossil fuels. Darwiniana

Breakthrough in Bali: After long delays and all-night negotiations, political leaders at the UN climate conference in Bali finally hammered out a deal that will launch negotiations to put the world on a path towards deeper emission cuts after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. It was a long, exhausting process that went 24 hours into overtime. But in the end, Canada and the U.S. bowed to pressure and agreed to stop blocking progress. The two-week conference produced a “Bali road map,” which could put the world on a path to deeper emissions cuts after 2012. The road map includes a range of emission reductions for developed countries of 25 to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. David Suzuki Foundation Bali Blog

Trying to square the climate circle: Here, in the UK we have a minister for the environment, Hilary Benn is his name, son of doyen of the ‘left’ of the Labour Party, Anthony Wedgwood-Benn, whose swings from right to left are by now legendary (he’s currently stuck somewhere on what passes for the left).  Wedgie as he is known, renounced his aristocratic ‘pedigree’ to become plain ol’ Wedgie Benn. In any case Hilary (who seems to have dropped even more bits of his aristocratic legacy) is currently hanging out in Bali where the Climate Change conference has just come to a cliff-hanging conclusion, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 on 14/12/07. The exchange was remarkable for what wasn’t said rather than what Hilary could and should have said. The People’s Voice

400 more days: All of a sudden the countdown to the end of the Bush administration takes on new meaning and a sense of urgency. As Al Gore said in his address to the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali: “Over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere it is not now. You must anticipate that.” Indeed, there were strong anti-Bush sentiments expressed from all corners of the debate hall (all quotes from the New York Times). Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists: “The best we hoped for was that the U.S. would not hobble the rest of the world from moving forward. Our delegation here from the States has not been able to meet that low level of expectation.” Carbon neutral journal

Whatever it takes: beyond non-violence: With the US legislature stripping the energy bill of most of the things we need and with the failure to agree to tough action on climate change in Bali, I think we need to start reviewing our tactics. As Daniel Quinn writes in his book, Beyond Civilization , “Old minds think: If it didn’t work last year, let’s do MORE of it this year. New minds think: If it didn’t work last year, let’s do something ELSE this year.” These are words to contemplate as we head into a 2008 without any significant action taken by the US government (to say nothing of other countries) on climate change. We are in critical battle for this planet, and we need to think seriously about doing whatever it takes to stop the actions which are destroying the land and seas and contributing to snowballing (or, more appropriately, snow-melting) climate collapse. Are petitions, lobby days, call-ins, protests, and nonviolent civil disobedience enough? It’s getting hot in here

After Bali: Well something was signed at Bali to reduce greenhouse emissions, but I’m not sure what. I know that Australia is one of the developed countries most at risk from climate change. I also know that the UN negotiations did not go as far as specify any targets for cutting the emissions causing global warming.  But what was actually achieved? Does the deal open the way to real negotiations on effective measures to protect the climate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions? A road map was delivered. Was the Bali meeting a failure, even though it has been declared a success. Public Opinion