Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Frank Newman: Madrid 2019

She moaned about over crowded trains, but travelled first class.  That pretty much sums up the hypocrisy of do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do radical environmentalists. 

"She" is Greta Thunberg, Times 2019 person of the year. The climate change icon tweeted a photo showing her sitting on the floor of a rail car among a pile of luggage, looking reflectively out of the window. Presumably her thoughts are of the earth's demise. The caption is, "Traveling on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home!"

She was returning from the annual UN Climate Change summit in Madrid.

As it turns out Greta's train trip was less of a hardship than the photo suggested. It seems she and her fellow eco-warriors had first class tickets.

In response to the tweet, the train company pointed out that the train was propelled by 100% eco-friendly electricity. So far so good. It also suggested to the teen that "it would have been even nicer if you had also reported how friendly and competently our team served you at your seat in first class."  Ouch!

How typical is that? Now that would be like a pro public transport Green Party Minister campaigning against roads, while travelling in a chauffeur driven ministerial car now wouldn't it?

As it happens, after two weeks of wining and dining and goodness knows what else at someone else's expense, the delegates from the 200 counties agreed to have another summit in November next year in Glasgow. They could have at least decided on somewhere a little warmer.

It seems these summits have become more like a mini Woodstock than a matter of business. According the UN, there were 26,706 participants registered for the summit. Of these, 13,643 represented the 200 or so countries. Just under 10,000 were from "observer" organisations (those who call themselves scientists, business groups and various non-governmental entities) and there were 3,000 or so journalists, most following Greta no doubt and capturing spontaneous moments like the photo-shoot on the train.

Here are some numbers:

·        197 participating countries
·        13,643 participants
·        On average each country sent 69 participants.

·        Most delegates: 348 from West African nation Côte d’Ivoire. The Democratic Republic of the Congo sent 293, followed by Spain with 172 delegates

·        Closer to home:
o   Tonga sent  42 delegates
o   Papua New Guinea and Fiji 35 each
o   Australia 20
o   New Zealand 19 (the attendees can be seen HERE)
o   Nauru, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu 18 each
o   Samoa 17
o   Cook Islands 11

No doubt, many have already circled 9 - 19 November in their 2020 diary, "Glasgow!"

Frank Newman, a political commentator, is an investment analyst and former local body councillor.

1 comment:

Ray S said...

Jaunts like these are right up there with CEOs salaries and perks. Cynicism is at work everywhere. Even I would have gone had they asked me.