Extra Extra…Fourteen shopping days left til climate collapse
It’s hard not to question world leaders’ commitment to ending global warming when what is being touted as a make-or-break-it summit is itself contributing mightily to the problem. Even knowing that private jets are one of the most harmful ways to travel, hundreds of big wigs opted for luxury-in-the-sky to get them and their staff to Glasgow. According to Matt Finch of UK’s Transport and Environmental campaign group, the average private jet emits two tonnes for C02 for ever hour of flight, about one quarter the yearly carbon footprint of the average citizen including all their travel and all they consume. In the meantime, it’s hard to fault Greta’s activist followers from indulging in some nihilistic humour, reading readily-on-hand mock newspapers headlined Don’t Panic: We’ve Still Got 23 Trees Left and Relax: We Still Have 14 Hours To Save The Planet. As for the actual negotiations, we all are watching for signs of real action versus more blah blah blah blah blah!
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A Leacock farce but with deadly consequences
All we ask is that climate change leaders do what they say they are going to do. As noted by Queen Elizabeth in October, It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.”
The Glasgow Climate Summit brings to mind Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches, where he describes the Whirlwind Campaign to raise money for a good cause in the town of Mariposa. Each day the notables meet for a free lunch, encourage each other to make pledges, each pledge conditional on reaching an ever- escalating sum. In the end, all are well fed but that’s it.
Ever attuned to folly, Leacock anticipates the Conference of the Parties in Glasgow: prominent people meet, encourage each other to make aspirational statements, and escalate the date to really doing something. In the end, there is much saying but no doing.
Leacock’s 1912 Whirlwind Campaign is a fictional and harmless farce. But the COP26 farce is far from harmless. Leaders like to give the impression of acting, but that’s all they are doing.
Bill Cooper, Kingston
Nov 12, 2021