Danes Among World’s Top Consumers: But, Taxed So Much They Can’t Afford Hybrids; Copenhagen’s Caviar-Chomping Delegates Won’t Tell You That!

From the Los Angeles Times, “Denmark’s green credentials obscure some unpleasant facts“:

Though lauded for adopting wind power, its high recycling rate and its progressive policies, Denmark generates the most waste per capita in the EU and most of its energy still comes from coal.

Something is rotting in the state of Denmark. Lots of things, actually, and it’s a bit of an embarrassment for this Scandinavian nation as it prepares to host a widely anticipated global environmental summit this week.

Denmark is proud of its image as one of the greenest countries in the world; it’s probably why it was chosen as the site of the 15th United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

But beneath the gloss lurk some inconvenient truths, including the fact that, pound for pound, Denmark produces more trash per capita than any other country in the 27-member European Union.

The Danes tossed out 1,762 pounds of garbage per person in 2007, the latest year for which EU-wide statistics are available. That’s more than the Dutch (1,386 pounds), the Brits (1,258) and the French (1,190); a lot more than the Greeks (986); and double the Lithuanians (880).

It even surpasses the Americans (1,690 pounds), who are often held up as the boogeyman of heedless, needless consumption. By the numbers, Denmark is one of the most wasteful — in both senses of the term — societies in the world.

To be fair, the Danes are far more eco-friendly in terms of what they do with all that rubbish. A good portion of it is gardening waste, rather than soda cans and the like. Recycling rates are extremely high, and enormous incinerators around the country don’t just burn trash but convert it into energy. About 5% of garbage ends up in landfills, compared with 54% in the United States.

But, critics say, there has been no sustained push here to cut down the volume of trash at its source.

Plus, from the Telegraph U.K., “Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges“:

Copenhagen is preparing for the climate change summit that will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.

On a normal day, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen’s biggest limousine company, says her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the “summit to save the world”, which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200.

“We thought they were not going to have many cars, due to it being a climate convention,” she says. “But it seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report.”

Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. “We haven’t got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand,” she says. “We’re having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden.”

And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? “Five,” says Ms Jorgensen. “The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don’t have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it’s very Danish.”

The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports — or to Sweden — to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers.

As well 15,000 delegates and officials, 5,000 journalists and 98 world leaders, the Danish capital will be blessed by the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Helena Christensen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prince Charles. A Republican US senator, Jim Inhofe, is jetting in at the head of an anti-climate-change “Truth Squad.” The top hotels — all fully booked at :£650 a night — are readying their Climate Convention menus of (no doubt sustainable) scallops, foie gras and sculpted caviar wedges.

At the takeaway pizza end of the spectrum, Copenhagen’s clean pavements are starting to fill with slightly less well-scrubbed protesters from all over Europe. In the city’s famous anarchist commune of Christiania this morning, among the hash dealers and heavily-graffitied walls, they started their two-week “Climate Bottom Meeting,” complete with a “storytelling yurt” and a “funeral of the day” for various corrupt, “heatist” concepts such as “economic growth”.

I’ve highligted that part about taxes being too high for citizens to afford hybred vehicles? That’s a look at our future under an Obama-Copenhagen-U.N. cap-and-trade regime.

That’s not something the radical left doesn’t want you to know, of course.

And Glenn Reynolds adds, “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.”

Cross-Posted from American Power.

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