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December 25th, 2009

World Leaders Agree: Earth Has a Climate

Nations Declare For Fifteenth Time That "The Time For Action Is Now"

Obama urges delegates to vote
Obama urges delegates to vote 'yes' on the climate.
World - Leaders from 192 nations emerged triumphantly from the historic environmental summit in Copenhagen, having agreed to a provisional, non-binding resolution declaring that the earth does, according to the best available scientific evidence, have a climate.

The agreement describes the planet's climate as being "very, very important," and goes on to say that "a pronounced, rapid change in climate on a global scale, if it were to happen, and no one is saying that it will, could affect hundreds of people."

Attendees reported that President Barack Obama's appearance at the conference was highly influential. During the final, tense days of negotiations, Obama delivered an impassioned speech before the full delegation that helped secure support for the second "very" in the preceding statement.

Experts hailed the agreement as an "important first step" in taking on the daunting challenge of global warming. This makes it the fifteenth important first step since the establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. The fourteen previous first steps included the Berlin Mandate of 1995, the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, and a dozen other international climate change conferences.

The agreement came close to not happening at all. Diplomats were initially pessimistic after the first ten days of the twelve-day conference were squandered arguing over the distinction between the words "climate" and "weather." Veteran delegates were especially dismayed, having endured essentially the same discussion fourteen times before.

These semantic disputes were further complicated by language barriers. The Russian language has seventy-five words for "weather," and translators spent several days sorting out what all of them meant. It turned out that seventy-four of them translate to slight variations of "bad weather," a fact that the Jamaican delegation found hilarious.

On the other hand, some language differences proved enlightening, as when Western diplomats learned that the Chinese character for "climate change" is the same as the one for "opportunity."

Language barriers were eventually overcome by technology when Obama suggested using the Yahoo! Babel Fish service to provide quick and accurate translations. One passage translated in this way reads, "Inside the foremost soil, indoctrinating a heavy, muscular climate exceeds rapid importance for extensive humanity."

The resolution sparked hash criticism among skeptics. Writing in Newsweek, columnist George Will berated the conference for "buying into the discredited myth of a global climate." Will also argued that global warming, even if it is taking place, may be a benefit for humanity, as it will make a larger portion of the earth's land mass suitable for baseball.

World leaders hope to build on their success in Copenhagen during the 2010 climate change summit in Mexico, which is expected to focus on water quality and intestinal health issues. "I believe that during next year's conference, we can all come to an agreement that climate change is actually taking place," Obama said. "That would be an important first step."