If you ever wondered whether the world-wide meeting in Copenhagen this week has any relevance to the real world, this news story from Politico.com should sort that out for you pretty quickly.
COPENHAGEN –Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe plan to address negotiators at international climate talks in Copenhagen next week.
The three leaders are listed in a line-up of more than 180 government officials published in a United Nations schedule of speakers. Each head of state will have up to three minutes to address roughly 700 delegates, reporter, observers and civil society groups.
The assistant president of Sudan, Nafie Ali Nafie kicks off the speeches at noon on Wednesday.
Nafie chairs the G-77 group, a block of developing nations pushing hard for more money and stricter emissions cuts from rich countries.
Mostapha Zaher, director-general of Afghanistan's Environmental Protection Agency, is listed as the final speaker. He’ll take the podium slightly before 2 a.m. next Friday.
Other leaders addressing the conference include everyone from Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Roughly 110 world leaders plan to attend the talks, an unprecedented number for a climate conference. Typically, only a handful of top leaders attend the negotiations. President Barack Obama is expected at the meeting on Friday.
Note that the speakers are limited to 3 minutes each. The Iranian leader was limited to 15 minutes at the United Nations and went on and on and on for 40 minutes without interference from the Chair. With Mugabe and Chavez scheduled as well, look for more CO2 to be spewed into the atmosphere than is produced in this country in one year. I would like to see any of these three limit themselves to 3 minutes.
You may be wondering why I led off with the picture. It is a woman in the U.S. midwest who is dressed to deal with the deep freeze that is currently setting new temperature lows in North America as a result of global warming. I included the picture because I have been opposed to the Burka, but I think I may have discovered a practical use for this garment in combatting the intense cold caused by global warming.