rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Weekly Mulch: Countdown to Copenhagen

On Wednesday, President Obama pledged to cut U.S. carbon emissions “in the range of” 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. Obama also confirmed that he will attend the international climate conference in Copenhagen next month, as Aaron Wiener notes for the Washington Independent. But here’s the catch: It’s a one-day deal. Obama is only planning to stop by Copenhagen on Dec. 9 before flying to Oslo to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. The climate talks, on the other hand, span Dec. 7 to Dec. 18.

Still, Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly writes that “Obama’s in-person lobbying efforts will give the talks a boost, and signal to the world that the United States intends to lead.”

Obama also announced plans to send a large delegation to Copenhagen, including his “Green Cabinet,” notes Talking Point Memo’s Christina Bellatoni. Former Vice President and global warming expert Al Gore will also attend the conference. Gore wrote that “[Obama's attendance] is another example of the significant change in policy on the climate crisis…Those who feared that the United States had abdicated its global responsibility should take hope from these actions and work towards completing a strong operational agreement next month in Copenhagen and guidelines for negotiators to complete their work next year on a comprehensive treaty.”

Meanwhile, climate skeptics had a field day last Friday after hundreds of private emails from prominent climate scientist Phil Jones were leaked. Naysayers claim that the emails suggest that climate scientists have overstated how much humans impact climate change. In the video below, the Real News reports that Jones stands by the data but admits that his emails were poorly worded.

Finally, in Mother Jones, Tristram Stuart suggests how we can be less wasteful this Thanksgiving. According to Stuart, about 50% of all food in the U.S. is wasted, which is “enough to feed all the hungry people in the world three times over.” Yikes! Although the biggest food wasters are farms, restaurants, supermarkets and warehouses, there are ways that the average consumer can conserve more. When looking at expiration dates, it is key to know the difference between “sell by,” “best before” and “use by” dates. Stuart writes that “sell by” dates should be completely ignored by consumers, “best” dates are simply a suggestion and “use” indicates when the food will start to spoil and is no longer safe to eat. And to make some foods last longer, Stuart suggests keeping your house cool, which has the added benefit of reducing your energy use and cutting your heating bill.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the environment by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Mulch for a complete list of articles on environmental issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Pulse and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.