Monday, December 07, 2009

India climate vote honest or rigged?

The send-a-message-to-Copenhagen online (Vote Earth!) petition has taken off with signatories increasing from over 50,000 on December 2 to over 60,000 on December 5 to an amazing 1,185,406 as of now. Europe had consistently led, followed by Australia and then Asia. Asia has taken the lead, followed by Europe and Australia. The distribution of signatories within Asia is, well, somewhat odd, however. (The map showing total vote and distribution is here.)

Out of over 90 million Japanese internet users only 183 have signed up. Only 87 of the technically savvy South Koreans have joined. China sits on 817. Where are the numbers coming from then? Surprisingly, 102,800 Bangladeshis have joined with India sitting on a whopping 1,001,333. This means that something like one out of every eight Indian internet users has signed the petition over two days. This is not impossible, of course, but is highly unlikely. Then again there might be an organized Indian campaign encouraging people to join. Or perhaps a left-wing Indian computer nerd has figured out how to manipulate the online sign-up system.

Overall the campaign is not a roaring success. Given Americans' attitude to the rest of the world it's not surprising that only 7,210 North Americans have joined in whereas 25,537 caring, sharing Europeans have put their hands up. But given the many millions of European internet users that relatively small number has to be very disappointing for the petition's organisers. Apathy rules.


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