Grist in Copenhagen

Little Mermaid statueCopenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue, inspired by the Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson.Photo: julienponsI’m off to Copenhagen today, to spend 16 days sampling various pickled fish, shopping at the Christmas market, and, if there’s time, checking out some environment conference thing I’ve been hearing about.

Seriously, I’ll be reporting on the climate talks, with a focus on business and industry players who’ll be trying to hamstring progress. I’ll be looking for the bad guys, so to speak, trying to find out who lobbies the negotiators, and for what. Do European corporations have resident climate-deniers? Who’s representing industry from the Global South? Can the U.S. Chamber of Commerce manage two weeks without embarrassing itself?

There should be plenty of good-guy business types too, judging from the 600 or so Bright Happy Green Opportunity Cash expos and side conferences scheduled alongside the main U.N. conference. There’s an event up the coast at Hamlet’s Castle—To Be, or Not to Be? New Leadership for a Sustainable Economy–with the CEOs of Duke Energy, Coca-Cola, and China Power International. There’s a gathering of international business students across the water in Malmö, Sweden, that sounds intriguing.

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Of course, I may well be distracted by other stories, people in funny costumes, and whatnot. Aside from the existential emergency underlying all this hubbub, it ought to be pretty awesome.

As Grist readers, it’s your right—nay, your duty—to call bull if I get too jargon-y, or too cynical, or too ooey-gooey and sincere. I reserve the right to ponder What It All Means whilst I gaze out on the open sea (no, that’s not the Little Mermaid statue I’m staring at).

To close for now, I’ll repeat a plea I’ve heard from philosophers, poets, idealists, political leaders, mothers, even the world’s children: follow me on Twitter.

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