When I visited Bali 20 years ago, the beaches teemed with people offering any manner of products and services, and the most abundant seemed to be blowguns. Lying in the sand with your eyes closed, you could just hear, above the rhythmic lapping of the waves, the repeated murmur of “Blowgun? Blowgun? Blowgun?” What the connection with Bali was, I couldn’t make out, but I can’t help but think they could come very much in handy to defend your own patch of beach over the coming two weeks as 20,000 people descend on the tranquil isle for the U.N. negotiations on climate change.
Hopefully the meeting won’t descend into the kind of rancor that involves air-powered weaponry — unless you count speechifying and hot air, of which there is certain to be an abundance. But there should also be plenty of significant discussions, as this conference marks an important milestone in the process of deciding a successor to the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period, which ends in 2012.
Specifically, Bali could deliver a mandate or roadmap toward the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009 (via Poznan, Poland, in 2008), where a deal on p... Read more