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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 18, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    Copenhagen – Final Day and a sighting of Obama!

    Harry McGee

    Tortuous, divided, fractious, elusive, maddeningly diverse. Trying to find out about the progress of negotiations over the past 10 days has been like trying to find a needle in a haystack – a haystack that’s been placed on a trailer that is being driven away from you at speed.

    The process has been always complicated, sometimes chaotic. An all-night meeting of the 26 most powerful leaders in the world made a last-ditch effort to arrive at a text. What emerged has been described as incomplete and unsatisfactory. Reportedly, the developed world is offering no more than 16 per cent reduction. And what’s on the table will not prevent temperature rises of below 3 degrees Celsius which would be amazing. The developing nations have railed against the text, saying it’s watery and a compromise.

    Well, Barack Obama arrived in this morning and today is going to be all about him. He may address the plenary session this morning and, indeed, may be the hero of the hour, pulling a rabbit out the hat.

    He arrived into freezing and snowy Denmark this mornign (so much for global warming) and every movement of his since then has been under the gaze of the camera. He has met many of the world leaders and there have been reports that they are trying to find a formula.

    Anyways on to my little moment. I went to the main press conference room to cover Brazil president Luis Lula de la Silva but it was cancelled. While sitting there checking my emails – there were about 20 present altogether -  who breezes through the room but Obama.

    With a warm greeting of “Hi guys, how are you” he greeted everyone before psasing through, with an enormous entourage surrounding him.

    We should all be hardened and innured. But that fleeting appearance created a huge buzz among us. Shallow yes, but the highlight of the entire conference for me!

    • Danielle says:

      LuiZ Inácio Lula DA Silva made a great speech today.

    • David Quinn says:

      Harry,
      Cooing over a politician who has extended the illegal occupation of Iraq, spent more on the military budget than his predecessor (during a recession!), killed hundreds of civilians using unmanned drones in Pakistan, continued the CIAs illegal rendition/kidnapping programme, failed to close the torture facility that is Guantanamo Bay all in direct contradiction of his election campaign promises is dispiriting for those of us looking for serious probing analysis and penetrating questioning from our journalists. You could do worse than remember the following quotes from Mencken next time you are in the presence of the man who received more in corporate donations during his campaign than his rival McCain:

      “All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it; if the job is forced on them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else.”

      “The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.”


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