Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Vacation of the Parties, Another Conference of the Parties (both without me)

This is one of those times when I am partially reposting an entry from one of my two blogs onto the other.

Sunrise over the Pacific as seen from the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit, July 21, 2003, source here.

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My job interview was kinda good early today but in the end, you can never really tell. I should know in about a week.

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So here is where I WON'T be going this week ...

The beach and the Howard Johnson Plaza Resort in Deerfield Beach, Florida, as seen from the nearly calm surf last June on a trip there with Gary and Chris T.

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I was supposed to go to with them this week to Deerfield Beach / Boca Raton (they leave tomorrow), but I simply cannot go. I have to finish a few assignments and I am very low on money and I don't want to give up my tutoring income.

If all goes well, I should have a little cushion of money by the end of the month. Of course, as of right now, I'm behind on my rent and on everything for December.

I'm also flummoxed that this former friend -- no, not P. -- is apparently rabidly angry at me. Why she despises me so much, well, I'm not sure.

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This plastic pink flamingo lamp at Townhouse Tavern -- a grungy, smelly, three-story yet cluttered, multi-room bar next to Cobalt -- looks more like it should be on on the lawn of a South Florida home. I think Townhouse Tavern used to be the El Bodegón Restaurant years ago.

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So the gigantice, sprawling probably mostly ineffectual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen has begun and it is scheduled to run through Dec. 18th.


It is also known as the 15th Conference of the Parties ("COP15" in U.N.-speak) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was agreed to at the seminal U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), a.k.a. the Earth Summit in Rio in June 1992.

It's one of those whopper, hopelessly unwieldy UN conferences with 190+ nations in attendance. But the U.S. and China have already basically said no post-Kyoto Protocol legal treaty with numerical targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be reached and instead they will seek out a "political framework."

As it is, nothing can get through our Senate anymore. The Kyoto Protocol (which came out of UNFCCC / COP-3 held in Kyoto, Japan in Dec. 1997) was never even offered for ratification.

The conference is one of those mega-events that is just worth knowing about on a topic worth being informed about. The carbon footprint from this event will be equal to that of a medium-sized city.

Oh, yes, this EPA endangerment finding on six greenhouse gases, including CO2, is very important. Using the Clean Air Act as a vehicle by which to regulate and reduce GHGs, including CO2, is problematic but it is the best that we're going to get in the U.S. nowadays, even though there will be a billion legal challenges.

The GHGs are CO2, CH4 (methane), N2O (nitrous oxide) HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), PFCs (perfluorocarbons), and (my favorite named) SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride).

Read about it here.

This actually flows from the major 2007 Supreme Court ruling Massachusetts v. EPA during the Bush Error Era.

Comet McNaught as seen from the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia at dusk in January 2007. Source: Dec. 6, 2009 APOD

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I think that's all for now.

--Regulus

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