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If the Marx Brothers Held a Climate Conference

5:58 PM, Dec 14, 2009 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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It would look like this: First, there'd be a mile-long line to get in. Once everybody was inside, the Group of 77, a coalition of "developing" countries, would walk out in protest over "the slow pace of negotiations." Then they'd come back. But the Group of 77 would actually be made up of 130 countries, so it would it be the Group of 77+53, and it would take a while for everyone to file back in. The European Union would offer the 130 countries of the Group of 77+53 $10.4 billion over the next two years "to jump-start the fight against climate change in developing countries." Burkina Faso and Nigeria would scoff, calling that offer "pathetic." The EU would "express indignation" over this criticism of its generous offer. The EU would also be incensed by the reluctance of the U.S. and China to "set more aggressive targets for controlling their emissions." The U.S. would refuse to subsidize China, and China would yell at the UN for rejecting "10 Chinese wind farm projects earlier this month" and accusing China of "fudging the numbers to make them eligible for international subsidies." The Group of 77+53 would yell at itself, as Saudi Arabia and Brazil (which are apparently "developing" countries) "sparred . . . over carbon capture and sequestration" (whatever they may be).

Then everyone would burst into a rousing version of this verse of "Hail, hail Freedonia" from Duck Soup:

The last man nearly ruined this place
He didn't know what to do with it
If you think this country's bad off now,
Just wait 'til I get through with it