A funny old comparison has been made over COP26. It looks, by the way, like a bust.
I get the very real sense that for the first time, of all the COPs and all the mad promises, this time it just happens to have coincided with some good tangible examples of why what they are after isn't actually doable in any real sense.
The fact China doesn’t have enough power to run their factories is all the evidence you need that right here, right now that the idea of renewables is fine, but we just don’t have enough of them.
We can't do what we want to do, economically, if renewables are all we use. The demand for renewables is increasing but at a greater rate than they can be supplied. What can be supplied is fossil fuel, and that’s what's driving the global economies coming out of a pandemic.
The comparison was made between Glasgow and Copenhagen. The comparison was made by Asad Rehman who is with the COP26 coalition. Copenhagen was, he says, deemed a bust. Nothing got sorted. Glasgow, he says, looks to be the same.
Here's an irony. Rehman says Copenhagen was billed, over a decade ago, as humanity's last chance to prevent the worst of the climate change. You see that’s their ongoing mistake. It's always the last chance, until it isn't.
Prince Phillip was an environmentalist. I watched a clip of him in the 1950s saying how we had to act urgently and now it was our last chance. That’s a lot of decades of last chances.
Rehman also argues that this COP has been ludicrously expensive, you can't get a room, and too many people have been locked out.
I get the sense that this time around, reality has smacked them in the face. The push back has been stronger. Once we, at the very least, all agreed, verbally anyway, that there was an issue and wouldn't it be awesome if we did something about it.
Then the promises were made that were never kept. Then the pandemic came along and climate change was no longer the most pressing thing about the place. Then the reality of fossil fuels and their indisputable contribution got laid bare by China and India. Then because too many were simply worn out by the world's worries, places like China, Russia, and co. no longer even turned up.
Hence, Glasgow looks like Copenhagen. Climate change looks like an expensive exercise in keeping a lot of NGOs in business and people like Greta Thunberg permanently disappointed.
Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.
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