The climate change conference trundling along in The Hague looks likely, as many had forecast, to result in depressing inaction. According to The New York Times, US negotiators are opening the door to agreement. But the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way.
The Guardian reports huge distance between the US and other countries on global warming. Everyone agrees that the US is overwhelmingly the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. US negotiators want a market-led approach: by planting trees, for example, the US would earn carbon credits to set against their many debits. The numbers, however, are punishing: without real cuts in emissions, things will not get better, and are likely to get worse.
In Davos last January, the assembled great and good picked climate change as the number one issue for the future. Unfortunately, too few of those who matter seem willing to make the hard choices necessary for change (Germany and the UK are salutary exceptions). George W Bush, the likely next US president, is — as one would expect from an old oil man — a climate change sceptic. The Republican-majority US Congress is as bad.
As editors used to say, this one will run and run. Sadly, without significant action now, the chances of solution get harder and harder to implement. A tremendous web-based summary of the issues has been prepared by The Guardian.
***Liberate the world from PowerPoint
Today’s Wall Street Journal has a good summary of the usability issues raised by the Palm Beach County ballot (subscription required). Better still is the link it provides to Peter Norvig’s translation of the Gettysburg Address to a PowerPoint presentation. If you are intending to use PowerPoint in Davos, look at this first. In fact, if you are intending to use PowerPoint anywhere, look at this first.
The best speakers, in my experience, rely on the strength of their ideas and insights, and have no need for presentational crutches.
***37 killed in AP, HP
The admirable Moreover.com sends me a daily email with headlines involving companies I am interested in. Hewlett-Packard is one of those. So the headline 37 killed in three incidents in AP, HP might have been interesting. Except HP stands for Himachal Pradesh, an Indian state. There are some things that intelligent people remain better at discerning than any computer program.