"If you want to read a blog to get a sense of what is going on in Hong Kong these days or a blog that would tell you what life was like living in colonial Hong Kong, this blog, WALTER'S BLOG, fits the bill." Hong Kong Blog Review
"Even national treasure David Attenborough couldn't provide enough heft to save the credibility of the whole show."
In case you hadn't noticed, COP 26 was a complete cop-out. After all the high-sounding faux pronouncements and hot air — including expelled from Biden's nether regions - COP26 concluded with a declaration that gives considerable wriggle room. Signatories have enough leeway to ignore or water down their headline pledges.
For starters, nations need not phase out coal because 'phasing down' is allowed. What does that mean? I guess anything you want it to mean. At least the tearful Chairman had enough courage to apologise for the outcome.
Along the way, we heard astonishing hypocrisy and self-serving sentiments that were too much. For example, Prince Charles, who talked of a climate apocalypse, cannot lecture anyone on these issues.
A man with a colossal carbon footprint waving around copies of 'The Prophecies by Nostradamus' looks silly. There was a time when the Windsors understood that massive privilege negates the right to complain and lecture others. Charles inverts this principle.
Then we heard from luvvie Joanna Lumley, who I generally consider a good egg. She opened her mouth to assert we need war-time style rationing to counter global warming. Will Joanna be giving up one of her many homes or her frequent overseas trip to prove commitment? Of course not.
Joanna is typical of the well-off set, who love telling the rest of us how to behave. Anyway, her intervention falters on the science. It is the advancement of people to more prosperity that will drive a commitment to reduce climate change. Joanna should stick to being absolutely fabulous because the hectoring look doesn't suit her.
While Greta Thunderbird rallied her zealots, all warrior-like with her furrowed brow and dismissive pout, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron glared at one another. Even national treasure David Attenborough couldn't provide enough heft to save the credibility of the whole show.
As I've repeatedly said, national interests will always shape the outcome. Thus, India, supported by China, wouldn't concede on the coal issue. And who can blame them when western nations continue to produce more greenhouse gases per capita and have done for much longer. Meanwhile, Australia dodged a bullet thanks to India and China. The Australian coal trade remains in play for now.
Australia's deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce summed it up best. He mocked the chair for becoming emotional about the watering down of coal commitments and attempting to "shut down industries in other people's countries".
Global warming is not new and hasn't just reared its head. But listening to the plaintive baying of our global leaders, you'd think it was a brand-new concept.
Then again, with flabby and false jocularity, the feckless Boris Johnson didn't let the facts get in the way of his usual bluster. He declared COP 26 a success and the 'end of coal'. What he failed to mention was the entire conference ran on coal-generated electricity. Due to low wind speeds, two coal-fired units at Drax came online to sustain the national grid.
We do need to focus on the environment and the future of our planet. Yet the hollow shindig that was COP 26 didn't help. And on that note, I find myself in a strange place by agreeing with Greta that all we got was "blah, blah, blah".
Walter De Havilland was one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Police Force. He's long retired.