Although Copenhagen’s ongoing Climate Change Conference has prompted prominent world leaders to speak out against global warming, the fighting words of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke stood out the most in yesterday’s conference news coverage. He had walked into the city’s Bella Center feeling slightly optimistic, though now, thanks to recent developments, the man is straight pissed.
“Hysteria and confusion is in the air,” he wrote today on Radiohead’s official blog, Dead Air Space. The reason: U.N. leaders have requested to take extra time over the weekend to reach an agreement regarding the climate-change strategy. To Yorke, this is a rather baffling request. “I pray that something comes out of this process. That all of these people for all these years, all these flights to Copenhagen all this hot air has some meaning,” he wrote, referencing the 15 years in which the city has held such a conference.
Members of the press spotted Yorke wandering around just moments after he arrived at the center, with a press pass around his neck. “Do you imagine they’d let me in otherwise?” he said bemusedly a group of reporters. Yorke had not bothered to register as per U.N. request, though as he expressed to journalist after journalist who approached him, he felt that he had to be there. In 2005, Yorke teamed up with grassroots organization Friends of the Earth to launch their Big Ask campaign, requesting an 80 percent cut in U.K. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The British government eventually implemented it to law in 2008, though with non-government organizations (NGOS) now thrown out of the climate-change debate, Yorke remains concerned. “I think the nature of negotiations like this, it looks like it’s just a big thick cloud, and no normal person can see through it,” he told reporters yesterday. “That, to me, makes me angry because, you know, the basic principles are the basic principles, and, you know, it’s a lot of uptight, middle-aged men doing the negotiations, that need to be seen through their particular little spheres of self-interest and look into the bigger picture.”
Watch Thom Yorke talk to reporters once he arrives at the conference (via The Daily Swarm):
Watch Yorke call for a “pay-what-you-owe” economy (via Motherboard.tv):