UN climate expert: Durban conference ‘make or break for humanity’

Josh Peterson Tech Editor

Attendees at a United Nations meeting in Durban, South Africa began this year’s round of climate change negotiations on Monday, and global-warming evangelists say the stakes are high.

The U.N. Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, Virginia Dandan, issued a statement calling for a “preventative” international solidarity among “old and new polluters” to confront “the massive irreversible damage that has already been caused not only by natural disaster but as well, by man’s activities.”

Dandan, appealing to the “Global Village,” said that the “Durban negotiations are a make or break for humanity.”

“Failure in Durban would impact on the three pillars of the U.N., namely peace and security, development and human rights, and pin the world down to ground zero,” she said.

International political differences are driving heated rhetoric surrounding the negotiations. The Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) blasted India and Brazil for joining the U.S., Japan and Russia in holding out against a new climate change treaties.

AOSIS said the move by those two countries was a “betrayal of all humanity.”

The meeting began amid new controversy: A new trove of 5,000 new emails surfaced last week, resembling a 2009 email leak which led to the “Climategate” controversy. The 2009 leak depicted climate change scientists from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) intentionally plotting to obscure data that did not fit their agenda. The new collection of emails has already been dubbed “Climategate 2.0.”

The recent emails, obtained from servers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, were linked to Professor Michael Mann, a scientist also implicated in the 2009 leak. Mann authored a theory of climate change that depicted the global rise in temperatures over time on a graph shaped like a hockey stick.

Republican Senator Jim Inhofe called the new email batch “just one more reason to halt the EPA’s job killing global warming agenda.” The Obama EPA based its current environmental regulations on the “endangerment findings” rooted in what Inhofe called “the flawed science of the IPCC.”

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