I see that the Prince of Wales will be speaking at COP26, and that the Pope will attend as well. There are also rumours that Greta has squared her attendance at the event with her conscience and so she will "probably" be there. Given that Sir David Attenborough has already agreed to be People’s Advocate for the event, this is almost a full house, if not quite a royal flush. What a pity Mother Teresa is not still alive. Can we hope, I wonder, that the presence of all these celebraties will be enough to persuade the unwilling to come good on all those promises they made in the Paris Agreement and haven't quite lived up to yet?
I read media accounts that the UK government will be blamed if COP26 doesn't result in significant changes to the world's plans for carbon reductions. Whilst it's always tempting to blame the government, this is surely like criticising stadium authorities for a crap performance by the teams on the pitch. Is it really the UK's fault that so many countries have not even filed their reduction plans with the UN by the July deadline? Whilst we have broad shoulders (and a heavy responsibility for inventing the industrial revolution for others to copy), accepting the blame for the Chinese communist party's reluctance to stop building coal-fired power stations seems a hair shirt too far.
I am still pondering a government adviser's advice not to rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. What, I wondered, about all those people who don't have dishwashers? Maybe, at the day of climate judgement (as Ian Paisley might have said *) dishwashers, along with heat pumps and electric cars, will be provided.
I have been aware for some time now that my electricity costs have been rising sharply, but unaware until I looked up the data last week that costs have actually doubled since 2011. This has been deliberate policy as electricity customers (ie, everyone) has been paying for the costs of shifting to wind, solar and other renewables as sources of power. Gas customers having been spared this trauma so far, but are now in the firing line and the news is being broken to them quietly in the hope they'll not notice.
I discover that Bernard Looney, the BP CEO, said that he was seeing “an improving outlook for the environment". As this came less than a year after his great green reset policy – which the Times noted involved “reimagining energy” – I fancifully expected more than greenwashing. However, 'twas not even this, as "environment" referred to the price of oil which, as you'll have noted, is on the up and up. Great for profits – and dividends – which as Milo Minderbinder noted, ultimately enrich us all.
I received a begging email last week which said: "With the IPCC report this week declaring code red for humanity, anger, panic and despair are all natural responses. But what we need now is measured, decisive action. One way to take action is by donating to The Great Imagining, and helping us carry out our plan to inspire a greener, fairer, wiser future." But it wasn't the IPPC that talked about "code red", it was the UN Secretary General which is not the same thing at all. As ever, misrepresentation goes round the world before the truth has got its boots on.
* The story goes that Paisley was preaching on the soon-to-come Day of Judgement, and had just noted there would be much weeping and gnashing of teeth [Luke 13:28] when a voice from the back called out: “Reverend Paisley! What about those of us who have no teeth?" "Teeth" Paisley thundered back, "will be provided."