Welcome to Durban

Your blog host on bikeWell, welcome to Durban if you’ve arrived here for COP 17. And thank you for having us, if you’re a resident. I arrived from Cape Town on Thursday, with my bike and have been really enjoying finding my way around, even climbing the formidable hill to the Howard College campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where many civil society events will be centred over the next two weeks.

Of course, the two biggest events will be the Multi-faith Mass Rally and Concert at Kings Park Stadium, led by Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu tomorrow (gates open 10am, music from 12.30pm, seriousness from 14h00), and the march on the Global Day of Action, next Saturday Dec 3. (Note that Kings Park Stadium is right behind the more modern Moses Mabhida Stadium).

I’ve added several schedules of events to this website, for the faith communities (pdf), the general public, and others. And here’s a list of all civil society events at Howard College UKZN.

In the last week, we’ve heard that the big polluters have decided to leave any serious action on climate till 2020. Not everyone is taking this lying down. You will have to decide for yourselves in the next couple of weeks whether this event can accomplish anything of substance, whether it is elaborate theatre designed to disguise business as usual for the powers that be, or both.

Richard Black of the BBC has outlined some of the other issues likely to be discussed:

EU plans on aviation, “climate aid” and the West’s past CO2 output are set to be divisive at the UN climate summit. India has tabled a paper arguing that the EU’s plan to include international flights in its emissions trading scheme violates the UN climate convention. Meanwhile, technical analysis for a group of developing countries says Western nations have a duty to absorb CO2 over the coming decades. It also says the West is not living up to promises on climate finance.

If you are an official COP delegate, and want to hire a city bicycle, you can do so for R50 an hour. Since this is approximately four times the cost of daily car hire, this is presumably a novel subsidy to the fossil fuel industry.

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Welcome to Durban

  1. teks

    Come on good people.Let us save our planet.The King of Pop did say this : Heal the world,make it a better place……….

  2. I love the world, I’m studying Environmental health.. I think COP17 will make a difference I support them! The world is ours we have 2 protect it.. Goodluck and all the best too the great people out there that sacrifice for the good of our world!

  3. Kafumusikanona

    How many Davids are there in Durban, who have cycled to the COP to reduce their Carbon Footprints? very few..bravo David! but may be for those who are participating, they need to take the Conference seriously, and come up with more lasting solutions to OUR global problem on pollution. There should be life after the KP after all! and this can only be achieved if the polluter countries agree to REDUCE their emissions period!

    • Hello Kafumusikanona,

      I must confess that I did not cycle to Durban; I flew here, and it is only locally that I am keeping my carbon footprint down.

      • Kafumusikanona

        At least you are trying David! wish all of us would do likewise! every long journey starts with the first step, you have just done that!

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  7. Shariful Alam

    In the last two years from the occurrence of AILA, Innumerable Heads of state, Prime Ministers participated in COP 15 and COP 16 Seminars on climate Change and have created funds of billions of dollars for welfare of the people of countries affected by Climate Change. In spite of this, In the last two years, Bangladesh has not received even a dollar’s worth of assistance through this fund.
    Now, the the question that remains to be answered by the world community is, WHEN will money be released to rebuild Cyclone affected Bangladesh ? Will it be when more AILA happen ? Or, When million more settlements get washed away ? Will it be When millions more die or When more COP seminars happen ? Can you please tell us, WHEN ?

  8. TIGER DRUMMERS FROM CHATSWORTH WILL PARTICIPATE IN THIS MARCH THEIR TEACHER MR ANAND SUPPORTS THE PEOPLES PARTICIPATION AT UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULUNATAL HOWARD COLLEGE

  9. MERVYN GOVENDER OF SSS TONGAAT IS SPEAKING TO HIS GROUP
    TO JOIN THE RALLY ON 03 DECEMBER 2011
    MERVYN GOVENDER IS ON FACE BOOK

  10. dom

    DURBAN 2011: IL DIBATTITO VA SPOSTATO SUI METODI PER TOGLIERE ANIDRIDE CARBONICA E METANO DALL’ATMOSFERA

    Vi inoltro la lettera che ho inviato ai principali media stamattina:

    Il futuro del pianeta viene deciso a Durban, ma anche Repubblica, Corriere, Rai e tutti i principali media del mondo sfuggono dal problema essenziale. Non va discusso solo su come diminuire le emissioni serra.

    L’anidride carbonica andrà tolta dall’atmosfera ed occorreranno decenni.

    Va discusso sui metodi per togliere anidride carbonica, se non si sa come
    toglierla non può essere emessa, gli stati che emettono poi dovranno
    togliere.

    Dovete scrivere un articolo sui metodi per togliere anidride carbonica
    e metano e spostare il dibattito.

    In teoria se venisse trovato un metodo per toglierla non ci si
    dovrebbe preoccupare neanche di emetterla, ma la verità è che non ci
    sono metodi.

    Il piano in 6 punti di Schietti è buono, ma occorreranno decenni per
    togliere tutta l’anidride carbonica e il metano in più:
    http://radici-del-male.blogspot.com/2011/05/come-togliere-anidiride-carbonica-e.html

    Ho scritto anche ieri un articolo per il mio gruppo Facebook di 6000
    persone sul tema che non andranno solo ridotte le emissioni, ma che
    l’anidride carbonica andrà tolta, se vi può servire da spunto è a
    questo link: http://il-filo-conduttore.blogspot.com/2011/11/durban-2011-ci-vorranno-decenni.html

    Fantomatici metodi come quello presupposto a questo link
    http://www.repubblica.it/ambiente/2011/08/28/news/foreste_artificiali_per_divorare_co2_un_clone_degli_alberi_salver_la_terra-20953893/?ref=HRERO-1
    avrebbero un costo altissimo e per giunta occuperebbero spazio e
    quindi tanto vale la pena coltivare alberi sullo stesso spazio che
    hanno un costo iniziale basso e poi avrebbero un valore, possono
    essere utilizzati per fare carta, legno, energia, mentre il carbonato
    di calcio è inutile.

    Insomma dovete spostare l’attenzione dell’opinione pubblica sui metodi
    per togliere anidride carbonica dall’atmosfera perchè la maggioranza
    delle persone pensa ancora che fra qualche anno verranno messi in
    produzione metodi segreti per produrre energia pulita e tutto si
    risolverà così.

    Invece per almeno altri 20 anni verrà emessa anidride carbonica e
    questo significa che almeno per 40 anni andrà levata, forse 60 per
    tornare ad una situazione come quella del 2011 che già è disastrosa.

    Quindi da Durban vogliamo che vengano prese iniziative per comincare
    ora a togliere anidride carbonica.

    Grazie

    Domenico Schietti

  11. We can already see that we have not a long wait to come face to face with what happens where the straight superhighway we have been traveling with effortless ease becomes a narrow, curved cliffside passage; for we are the ones who are alive in a pivotal moment in human history, when economic and ecologic systems fail, a global empire (like a house of cards) collapses and self-proclaimed masters of the universe (who are primarily responsible for the colossal catastrophe looming before humanity) take off in private jets and yachts for secret hideaways in faraway places….come what may.

  12. It is almost 2012. Why have many academicians apparently been rendered dumbstruck during my lifetime by what is all-too-obvious? Absolute global human population numbers can be clearly seen skyrocketing since the end of World War II. Are experts playing stupid? Have they been mislead by personal arrogance, extreme foolhardiness and wanton greed or overcome by a lust for influence, privilege and power? Or all of the above? When I was born, 2.3 billion human beings lived on Earth. In a single lifetime of threescore and ten years (1945 – 2015) human population numbers are projected and fully expected to increase by 5+/- billion people. How can so many economists and demographers not see what is happening? Do their professional activities have something to do with science? I say no, definitely not.

    I find much preternatural thought and unscientific research but cannot locate adequate scientific evidence that supports the idea of “human exceptionalism” with regard to the population dynamics of the human species. Although the idea of human exceptionalism is known to be specious from a scientific point of view, because it is of vital importance to ideologues and those who primarily benefit from the way the global political economy is organized and managed, human exceptionalism has not been the subject of sufficient scrutiny by scientists and consequently allowed to stand uncontested during my lifetime. Even today scientists refuse identify the idea of human exceptionalism regarding human population dynamics as the false proposition it is. They remain electively mute when confronted with scientific research that directly contradicts the idea of human exceptionalism. Where is the scientific research to support the idea that human beings are somehow exempted from ecological “rules of the house” in our planetary home, as many so-called experts in economics and demography have regularly and adamantly proclaimed since the time of my birth.

    The family of humanity appears to have been confused and harmed for many too many years by ideologically driven sycophants and absurdly enriched minions of the rich and powerful who have dishonestly been laying claim to scientific knowledge that they have not ever possessed. Demographaphers and economists are not scientists, the imprimatur of the IUSSP and the Nobel Prize Committee notwithstanding. These disciplines never have been fields of scientific study and never will be, at least not until demographic theories and economic models conform to the biological and physical laws of the world we inhabit, laws based upon the best available science. Science is. And whatsoever is is, is it not?

    Extant scientific research of human population dynamics/overpopulation has been consciously and deliberately ignored by scientists with adequate expertise. They have failed to stand up for science and humanity by speaking truth to the greedmongering movers and shakers of the global political economy who rule the world in our time and appear dead set on ravaging the Earth and degrading its environs until the planet is an unfit place for children everywhere to inhabit. If my perspective could somehow be on the right track, then we are bearing witness not only to the greatest failure of nerve, intellectual honesty, moral courage of all time, but also to an incomprehensible loss of capacity to do the right thing, according to the lights each of us possesses.

    If the population dynamics of the human species is essentially similar (not different from or exceptional) to the population dynamics of other species, then the most attractive, widely shared and consensually validated idea of a seemingly magical, automatic, benign demographic transition to population stabilization of the human species on Earth in the middle of Century XXI is a colossal mistake with potentially profound implications for future human well being and environmental health.

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