“I'm beginning to think climate change might be a problem. After all, every media outlet I know has been banging on about it incessantly for as long as I can remember (given the state of my attention span), and the message is always the same: climate change is a problem. I think they might be trying to tell me something. But what to do about it? I know! Let's burn off some aviation fuel by flying the usual politicians to a city in Scotland and asking them to agree that climate change is a problem. That should fix it!”
Heard the news at 11am this morning. Apparently, there are long queues to get into COP26 for the first day’s business. Reminded me of Sibos back in the day: never plan anything for the first hour of the first day of a big conference.
Just ever so slightly interesting (to me, anyway) that Laura Kuennsberg was telling Woman’s Hour (actually, at 10.55-ish) that COP26 would be significant even if it failed, and that agreements already reached would not be invalidated by a failure at COP26. I had been wondering how they (the ministerial ‘they’, not the BBC ‘they’) would spin it as a success despite the absence of Russia and China – but hey, I’m not any more.
Here’s what I think will happen.
Today’s media-political complex will continue as before. We will save the world every few years, by making speeches at conferences and setting climate-change targets, and the weather will go on getting weirder. We will be lulled into a new normal incrementally, televised catastrophe by televised catastrophe, and behind the scenes, the lobbying will continue. Fossil-fuel burning will be banned, but there will be exemptions for influential countries that want to burn fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, the world will change.
The pandemic will continue (we’ve been educated, entertained, trained to a story arc whereby it’s over, but it isn’t), birth rates will continue to fall, the ice caps will melt, cities will burn…
…and all of a sudden we’ll wake up to realise that the decision-makers are looking younger; they’re sounding more assertive; they don’t seem to take seriously the inertia-inducing processes, procedures and speech patterns of today’s – but suddenly, they’re of yesterday’s – politics.