Copenhagen Diary: Conference of a thousand limousines
Monday 07 December 2009
*After all the talk, the talks begin in earnest today, with a carbon footprint big enough to squash a small Pacific island. By boat, bus, plane and train (but mainly by plane), 20,000 delegates, campaigners and journalists are arriving in Copenhagen in advance of "the most difficult talks ever embarked on by humanity". More than 1,200 limousines will grace the city's streets as 98 world leaders talk about how to save the planet. Most of the stretched vehicles have been driven hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden. Last week, France ordered an extra 42 of them. Only five of the limos are hybrid – the rest are petrol and diesel.
*Copenhagen airport expects 140 extra private jets when the talks peak at the end of next week, a number so far beyond its capacity that they will be forced to drop off their VIPs before relocating to other regional airports to park, and then return to pick the passengers up.
*Among the personal jets will be Air Force One. President Obama's £180,000 limousine, known as "The Beast", will arrive on a separate flight with a fleet of decoy helicopters, up to 500 security staff, six doctors, two chefs and his personal BlackBerry handler.
*At the conference's halfway point, on 12 and 13 December, a special train will arrive in Copenhagen laden with demonstrators who will form (in their own words) a "blue tide, like drops of water". Waiting for them, and coming out of the opposite corner, will be the brand-new water cannon recently acquired by the Danish police – the nation's first. A local newspaper has been running a competition to name it.
*All hotel rooms were booked up long ago, but authorities have keenly advertised one final accommodation option – a temporary prison in a disused brewery, containing 37 steel cages, room enough for 370 detainees. Anyone after a place will need only to "inhibit police work", a custom-made crime carrying an automatic 40-day prison term. A shorter stay of 12 hours is also available, for which no evidence of crime is required.
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
At long last, Australia is able to halt the relentless advance of the cane toad
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 3 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...