UNFCCC has one more day to go in Bali

The UNFCCC (climate change conference) that is taking place in Nusa Dua is one of the most important events this decade. Future generations (assuming there are any) will look back at this meeting as a marker of when the human race stopped and finally took notice of what was happening to the Earth’s biosphere.

Of course not everyone is that concerned, with Al Gore pointing the finger at the Bush government. But outside of the White House the rest of the planet is feeling the urge to get serious on climate change.

This evening I rode my motorbike down to Nusa Dua to see what was going on. The security on the front gate asked me where I was going so I said “Bali Collection” (the shopping and restaurant precinct) and rode straight in. The friendly security guys on the check in to the Bali Collection were confused when I produced a folding knife from my bag and asked me how long I was going to be inside. “Only an hour” I said. “I promise not to stab anyone.” Inside the Bali Collection the holiday makers and delegates were dining alfresco in the pleasant late evening air. This has to be the most fun part of being a UNFCCC delegate, free beer on the company tab. Sitting in a restaurant patio, which played Middle Eastern music, I observed the 2 sexy (Middle Eastern) dancers taking a break inside.

Usually the Nusa Dua restaurant scene is pretty rigid. Having the place flush with delegates (and they stand out like a soar thumb), plus the air of excitement makes Nusa Dua feel marginally interesting. The whole time the UNFCCC has been going on I have not detected any delegate type person in Kuta / Seminyak out partying. After seeing them in person I know why. Bureaucrats don’t party at home, never mind during a conference.

Outside the Westin hotel, which is ‘ground zero’ for the conference, a line of taxis 20 long, extended to the main road inside the Nusa Dua complex. Security was present but if I wanted to skip across the lawn and check the place out there was nothing to stop me. Fortunately this conference is for the good of us all, so hopefully there will be no incidents and some major breakthroughs on the last day tomorrow.