United Nations conferences, by their nature, attract a diverse mix of people from all corners of the globe. With over 17,000 accredited delegates, the latest round of climate talks, COP18, currently underway in Doha, Qatar is no exception to this rule.
Here is some of the more out-of-the-box attendees of COP18.
His Holiness 1008 Shri Shri Soham Baba
Divine mystic, Himalayan cave dweller and philosopher, Soham Baba has attended a list of environmental conferences any climate change activist would be proud of.
Soham Baba has a very visible presence around environmental conferences, with his own exhibitors booth and oversized decorated lamp that he carries around as an accessory. He also holds regular press conferences, to share his first hand observations of climate change occurring in the Himalayan region.
When asked why he is actively seeking action on climate change, Soham Baba explained: “Twenty years ago, I noticed the Himalayan glacial ice was melting… we have the sacred technologies to empower the latent heat within the body, so we need the cold climate to enhance our organic system”
When not attending international conferences, Soham Baba offers followers a $400 per day “journey to the soul” guest packages to his Indian based mission camps.
“Lord” Christopher Monckton - 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
Infamous climate sceptic, hereditary peer, and (non-)member of the British House of Lords, Monckton arrived in Doha on Monday to spread his message of climate change scepticism.
Monckton is in Doha representing the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a conservative, Washington D.C. based collective of climate change deniers. Monckton can be credited with helping to popularise the phrase now popular with Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, that climate change action will be “all pain and no gain.”
In an interview with The Verb, Monckton said that he was here to provide an alternative view to climate change to those of the “pointy-heads” and was in fact working on his own post about the “kooks at climate negotiations.”
The contributions of meat production to world greenhouse gas emissions are significant, and eating less meat can have a positive impact on your carbon footprint. But the followers of the Loving Hut take this approach to a completely different level.
The Loving Hut is owned by its own religious guru, Supreme Master Ching Hai. Whilst not having formal accreditation to attend the negotiations, followers of The Loving Hut have spread themselves throughout Doha in an effort to influence delegates and insisting they follow the vegan lifestyle. Followers serve as a lesson in how to communicate a common message, being able to offer solutions to almost any climate change issue, from deforestation to desertification, through practising veganism.
Ironically, Supreme Master Ching Hai once caused over $1 million worth of environmental damage to the Biscayne Bay National Park in Miami, through the construction of a man-made island for use by her spiritual camps.
Sustainable Business Australia
An exhibitor at multiple climate conferences, including having booths at UN Conference of Parties dating back to Copenhagen in 2009, is Sustainable Business Australia (SBA), who present themselves as the “peak body in [Australia] for the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector.”
A visit to their booth provides a much different story. The purpose of their attendance of multiple international climate conferences of late has been to promote the Hidro “energy conversion technology.”
In essence, SBA is providing its services as a promotional tool for a perpetual motion device that defies the very laws of physics. That they have been granted exhibitors accreditation to three UN climate conferences alone, puts into questions the level of research the UNFCCC Secretariat does into what they allow to be promoted at their conferences.
By Michael Mazengarb. Have you seen something that deserves to be on this list? Send Michael a tip.