"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
"The two-week carbon footprint of the 25,000 delegates is estimated equal to that produced by Belgium in the same period."
If you believe the hype, delegates at COP26 in Glasgow will decide our fate as a species. The 14 day COP26 conference is described as the world's last chance to stop catastrophic global warming. Really?
About 25,000 delegates will attend. The Brits advised people to travel by train to Glasgow to avoid the unfortunate image of delegates arriving by polluting planes. Only one problem — the unfortunate British rail system. Trains are notoriously unreliable after decades of mismanagement and underinvestment.
And with no high-speed rail links, plus the usual lousy weather disrupting traffic, the whole shebang looks pretty chaotic before it begins.
Never mind, the organisers have electric vehicles to transport the VIPs but fell short on electric charging facilities. So they've resorted to diesel-fuelled generators. You couldn't make it up.
Add to that a lack of accommodation in Glasgow. The canny locals are charging an average of £6,000 for two weeks in Airbnbs.
With the Queen resting at home, the Prince of Piffle will be there. This sort of thing is right up his street. In 2019, Charles asserted we only had 18 months to save the planet. Recently he's cited ten years to doomsday. I suppose you lose track of time after the longest apprenticeship in history.
Anyway, it's essential to recognise the contribution made by the Royal Family. Prince Andrew has opted to remain at home for a while and forego any flights, especially those heading to America. That will help reduce his carbon footprint.
Of course, Greta Iceberg is there. She arrived on an eco-friendly motorised skateboard powered by unicorn tears. No doubt, the faithful will hang on her every word, amplifying her sound-bites to assuage their progressive guilt. You know the type, the sort of nutter who superglues their head to the road as an act of piety.
Greta has already decided that COP26 will fail. Brandishing an iPhone, she marched this week decrying air pollution. However, I'd take Greta a tad more serious if she bothered to set an example. Take that iPhone, for example.
Also, could she come up with a comprehensive, implementable and sustainable plan? I'm not holding my breath. These are vastly complex issues that touch on all aspects of human life, nationhood, geopolitics and the economy. Thus, I'm afraid trite chastisements from Greta and her crew will echo and fade off the wall of reality. It's easy to protest but challenging to come up with genuine solutions.
Meanwhile, Glasgow hosting COP26 has a touch of irony. The Glaswegians I know would welcome warmer weather.
Looking through all the guff about COP26, it appears the big goal is Net Zero, which means the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. That's relatively easy to achieve. You build loads of wind farms and close the coal-fired power stations. Everybody is happy.
Except, what happens when the wind stops blowing and your whole power supply is in jeopardy. Lets not forget that the UK came close to a complete shutdown earlier this year. When things like that start to impact the public, wait for the political fallout. A few grannies freezing to death without heat will soon swing sentiment to powering up the old coal burners.
Any proposals that come out of COP26 need to weigh against what unwelcome behaviours may arise. For example, Glasgow introduced a £35 fee to remove large domestic items and encourage recycling. But, immediately, fly-tipping increased as people dumped items in the common areas of buildings.
Cuts in the street cleaning budget, cuts in refuse collection and an ageing fleet of rubbish trucks created a perfect storm. Rats soon preyed on the piles of debris. To add to the fun, Glasgow's bin men have gone on strike for a week.
Lastly, the two-week carbon footprint of the 25,000 delegates is estimated equal to that produced by Belgium in the same period. So, what I find perplexing is that anyone believes this hysterical scam will make any difference.
Geopolitics, national self-interest, demographics and technology will influence the moves needed to limit climate change. There is a compelling argument that economic progress, with the emergence of affluence, does more to drive down climate change than any policy directives. Add to that falling birth rates, and then, hey presto, the job gets easier.
Self-important people blah, blah, blah in rooms will make no difference, and on that point, I agree with Greta.
In the meantime, I'd encourage more nutters to superglue their heads to the road in protest. It cheers me up no end watching this stuff.
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.