School of Mines wings it to Denmark for Kyoto Protocol confab

The Rocky Mountain West is representing, cowboy boots optional, at the World Wide Views on Global Warming conclave in Copenhagen, Denmark today to give ordinary people a voice in the climate change political process.

School of Mines environmental ethicist Sandy Woodson is huddling with 70 other citizen groups and non-governmental organizations from 45 countries to set the stage for the United Nations’ renegotiation of the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

The citizen-driven project, which has won the support of the UN, describes itself:

In deliberative processes, citizens have the opportunity to learn what competing experts and stakeholder groups think, to test their ideas against those of people holding different views, and to reach a considered judgment that integrates all of this new information with their own values, worldview and life experience. Contrary to opinion polls, deliberative methods thus ensure informed and well-considered answers from the citizens, thereby providing more robust and trustworthy policy advice.

Following the three-day confab, a Web-based gathering is planned for Sept. 26 to hammer out the socio-economic consequences of global warming and the direct effects on people’s lives. The responses will be provided to high-level government officials, global policy leaders and industry representatives at the official UN’s Dec. 7-8, 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen to negotiate a new, binding worldwide climate agreement.

Former President George W. Bush pulled out of the Kyoto Protocols claiming that it would gravely damage the U.S. economy. Environmentalists cheered the news that President Barack Obama has signaled an interest in having the U.S. take a leading role in the treaty climate negotiation. “Mr. Obama’s chief climate negotiator, Todd Stern, said that the United States would be involved in the negotiation of a new treaty — to be signed in Copenhagen in December — ‘in a robust way,'” reports the Boulder-based Elephant

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Wendy Norris

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