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Crunch week for climate keeps Web abuzz

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-09-21

In this edition: Web users keep up the pressure ahead of a crucial week for the fight against climate change; Iran's opposition alive and kicking in the streets and online; and a pigeon turns out to be quicker than high-speed Internet.

Climate week

Three months ahead of a climate summit in Copenhagen, one hundred heads of state and government are in New York this week to attend an international meeting to discuss climate change. They aim to sketch out an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mobilisation online is intense .

In this video, available on the site of the ‘Climate Group’ association, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair recalls that the New York meeting must lay down the foundations for the negotiations in Copenhagen in December.

Although it remains difficult to reach an agreement, rapid action is required; as highlighted by the site of the online campaign, ‘tck tck tck’. An unpronounceable name which evokes the sound of a ticking clock. NGOs are also recalling that the poorest people are the first victims of climate change.

The UN has launched the site, ‘seal the deal 2009’. The organisation encourages Net users to sign a petition to push governments to reach an agreement and make concessions. And this video recalls that a global answer must be found to a problem that concerns the whole of humanity.

Greenpeace has posted online this interactive globe which allows users to visualise the regions already affected by climate change.

A series of video testimonies by victims of the disruption have also been made available to Net users. This Ugandan woman recounts how difficult daily life has become with the disturbed climate; periods of intense drought following periods of rain and flooding.


Iran: opposition movement

Over three months after the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian opposition movement is not giving up. On Friday protesters once more rallied on the occasion of the annual Palestinian solidarity day. A look back at a mobilisation widely broadcast online.

Many videos filmed by protesters on Friday were quickly posted on the share sites. On some of these we hear the crowds chanting the name of the opposition leader, Mirhossein Mousavi.

On others, like here, it is Russia which is targeted by the people’s anger. Moscow is accused by the opposition of training Iranian security forces.

Gatherings which also permitted protesters to pay tribute to opponents who died during clashes following the residential election. This amateur video shows the mother of Sohrab Arabi, a ‘martyr’, taking part in the protest, surrounded by men chanting anti-government slogans.

And many Net users are denouncing the violent repression by circulating images like here on twitpic. Several bloggers are broadcasting videos like this one in which we can clearly make out police officers violently attacking protesters.

Despite the repression and the fresh arrests of opponents, Net users remain mobilised. The aim is to denounce the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, like in this video, but also the practices of his regime. Several Twitter users call those in power to render this Government site, which tracks down protesters, inaccessible.

Winston the pigeon

Proof that a pigeon can transfer a significant amount of data more quickly than a high-speed internet connection. This was the challenge set by a South African company, specialising in new technologies. It compared the time it took for a carrier pigeon to carry 4 gigas of data between two offices 80 km apart and the time it took to collect this data via the web. And the winner was Winston the pigeon, who needed approximately 2h30 to complete the task!

The site SocialOrgs proposes online personalised coaching to companies who lack Net visibility to allow them to make efficient use of social networks. The aim being to acquire popularity and contacts on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. New studies confirm that use of social networks is set to exceed that of search engines.
Video of the day

How can we explain children’s temptation? In this video, which creates an online buzz, a young woman offers a marshmallow to several children. They can eat it immediately, but she explains that if they wait a while she will give them a second. And here are their reactions...


Date created : 2009-09-21