Climate Watch in Copenhagen

Earthshine_NASAClimate Watch begins it’s coverage of the UN’s COP 15 climate talks in Copenhagen this evening, when KQED’s This Week in Northern California airs my recently taped interview with former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore. The original 20-minute interview has been “edited for TV,” down to about nine minutes. The full interview is to be posted on This Week’s website.

The interview begins with Gore’s assessment of the upcoming climate conference and then moves on to California’s role, the hype surrounding “green jobs,” controversy over climate science, his new book, and other topics. Regrettably, the interview was recorded before the eruption of the email scandal now known as “Climategate,” so I wasn’t able to get his take on that.

It’s pretty hard to spring anything on Gore. He’s heard every question there is to be asked about a thousand times and has carefully crafted, well-rehearsed answers to all of them. He did seem slightly off-balance when I asked him about FactCheck.org’s conclusions about some of the green job creation hype.

On Monday, our radio and online coverage begins in earnest when the first of Rob Schmitz’ reports from Copenhagen airs on The California Report. Schmitz, KQED’s Los Angeles Bureau Chief, arrives there on Saturday and will be there for the entire two weeks of events and negotiations. He’ll provide radio reports and frequent blog posts, covering–among other things–the appearance of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on “Subnational Day.” In a climate-related media event on Treasure Island this week, Schwarzenegger said his mission in Copenhagen would be to rally governors, mayors, provincial leaders and other subnational players, to continue their own progress toward greenhouse gas emissions and not wait for national governments and international bodies to take action.

Also on Monday, Rob and I will join host Michael Krasny and NASA climatologist James Hansen on KQED’s Forum program. Hansen was the original climate whistle-blower, complaining that the Bush administration was muzzling climate scientists. Hansen has since taken a hard line against the upcoming efforts in Copenhagen, saying that cap & trade is the wrong path to climate intervention (both Gore and Hansen are promoting new books of theirs).