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Bali a big balloon

By Eve Savory, CBCNews.ca

If we really spoke in balloons, like cartoon characters, there would be a mushroom cloud over Bali.

That must be one noisy island right now.

There are national governments, municipal governments, international think tanks, oil companies, nuclear lobbyists, solar lobbyists, carbon traders, journalists, artists, women’s groups, justice groups, and every major environmental group on the planet that could scare up the funds there for a big meeting on climate change. Twenty thousand of them. Talking.

There will be demos, the giant thermometer, the fossil of the day award (Canada wins, hands down), side meetings, secret meetings, public meetings, news conferences, speeches, panels, reports, and blogs, blogs, blogs.

Noise.

The real work is quieter. It will be going deep into the night, and sometimes through it. By Wednesday, when the ministerial meetings begin, the word-by-word negotiations need to have produced a document that politicians can fine-tune and agree on by the end of the week.

No one wants failure, but there are 190 or so countries represented in Bali, each with their own national interest to protect and forward. The question for the week is: can the global interest score some points?

Just today, the UN Environment program released yet another warning. The report Climate Change and Conflict
says if unchecked, climate change is likely to “aggravate old and trigger new tensions” that could spiral into violence, conflict and war.

Meaning, the global interest is the national interest.

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