Mayor Bloomberg is heading back to New York after participating in the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, where he joined dozens of the other mayors in signing a joint declaration urging world leaders "to embrace this chance and seal an ambitious and empowering deal in Copenhagen." While there, Bloomberg also took a swipe at Washington's $787 billion federal stimulus package, calling it a "great waste of money" when it was funneled to the states for projects.
"If the federal government really wants to do something, you give the money directly to the cities," Bloomberg told reporters. "The dumbest way to distribute the money is to send it to the states, because they have to spread it around the states for political reasons." That would never happen in New York City!
It's unclear if the Bedford Avenue bike lane malcontents made good on their threat to get in Bloomberg's face over the city's removal of a 14-block stretch of bike lane in South Williamsburg, but activists from around the world have rallied in Copenhagen all week. 100,000 marched over the weekend, and police arrested almost 1,000 people, according to Indymedia Denmark.
Today Danish police fired pepper spray and beat protesters with batons outside the Bella Center, where delegates from 193 have been unable to reach any agreement on core issues for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (Video below.) "We are extremely disappointed," Ian Fry of the tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu declared on the conference floor. "I have the feeling of dread we are on the Titanic and sinking fast. It's time to launch the lifeboats." Meanwhile, the NY Times reports that in Bolivia, where remaining glaciers in the Andes could be gone in twenty years, "lives have also been buffeted by an almost biblical array of extreme weather events, many of which scientists believe are probably linked to climate change."