The news story itself actually raises the question:
More than 10,000 jet into Bali for global warming conference
Two big climate conferences have been held in less than a month, both in idyllic, far-flung holiday destinations -- first Valencia, Spain, and now Bali. They were preceded by dozens of smaller gatherings. In Bangkok, Paris, Vienna, Washington, New York and Sydney, in Rio de Janeiro, Anchorage, Helsinki and the Indian Ocean island of Kurumba.Haven't these guys heard of teleconferencing? But there wouldn't be any lobster or shrimp cocktail served that way.
The pace is only expected to pick up, prompting some to ask if the issue is creating a "cure" industry as various groups claim a stake in efforts to curb global warming.
No, says Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Climate Change Conference. "Wherever you held it, people would still have to travel to get there," he said. "The question is, perhaps: Do you need to do it at all? My answer to that is yes."
The U.N. estimates 47,000 tons of carbon dioxide and other pollutants will be pumped into the atmosphere during the 12-day conference in Bali, mostly from plane flights but also from waste and electricity used by hotel air conditioners.
If correct, Goodall said, that is equivalent to what a Western city of 1.5 million people, such as Marseilles, France, would emit in a day.
But he believes the real figure will be twice that, more like 100,000 tons, close to what the African country of Chad churns out in a year.
Organizers said they are doing everything possible to offset the effects.
Q. How can you tell that global warming activists have been in your city for the weekend?
A. They've produced as much carbon dioxide as an entire African nation does in a year.
The only thing that would be better would be: "Secret police, torturer reserve units mobilized to protect human rights conference."