For those of you worrying that I am slowly (or quickly?) morphing into Swampy with my sustained ‘climate change/justice’ articles, fear not. However, as you will be aware (some more than others), I cannot abide overt hypocrisy and people furiously trying to curry favour with the masses despite their own double standards, posturing and sheer sanctimoniousness.
Despite it having started only some 24 hours ago, COP26 in my own beloved home town, is already shaping up to be a hideous display of sheer hubris, profligacy and downright hypocrisy. The uberwealthy have jetted in from all over our already seemingly stricken planet by private Lear Jets, have been transported all over Central Scotland in gas-guzzling diesel and petrol limos and will dine on loads of expensive beef and no doubt jeroboams of champagne.
Of course simultaneously they will preach to us little people that we need to generally get our act together and ‘go electric’, stop gorging on steaks three times weekly and generally stop being so ungreen. The nauseating display of sheer imperiousness is quite breathtaking.
Something like 400 private planes will be used to ferry the bigwigs into Scotland whilst we are made to feel overcome with guilt for nipping on a annual jolly to Spain on a Jet2. The planes that can often cost over £10,000 an hour are used, in the main, by those that are telling us, the hoi polloi, that it is all our fault. Our very own Prince of Wales, the monarch-in-waiting, no doubt from one of his ‘palace residences’, swept into town to tell us somewhat bullishly that COP26 is the ‘last chance saloon for the planet’. But, collectively, the Royals have, over the last half a decade flown over half a million miles. God knows what that equates in ’emissions’. A lot, I’ll wager. As many a fellow citizen of my town might opine…… ‘Whoa, d’you know what pal? Do one’.
The whole episode is starting to feel like a fairly monumental piss-take.
Then there is the old nugget of ‘cars’. Us plebs are pilloried at every conceivable opportunity for even daring to drive our kids to school (we really should walk, of course) or take a loved one to hospital – or for the hordes of invaluable delivery drivers we rely on for, well just about everything. But oor Joe (or POTUS, to give him his nom de voyage) arrives in a 25+ strong motorcade (below) which has allegedly been scaled down from 85 vehicles in Rome. It was a bizarre sight, to put it mildly.
This is getting out of hand. Them and those, all huddled together giggling like school kids prepping for a sleepover at Glasgow’s SEC, experience more luxury in a couple of weeks than most of us do in a lifetime. Yet here they are pontificating to us and telling us that we need to get a grip on the destruction that we are doing to our planet and, well basically, ‘shame on us’. This deceitful, cretinous behaviour really is something else.
Say what you like about Greta Thunberg, the 18-year old whippersnapper from Stockholm, but she arrived by electric train, walked to her hotel, shunned the summit to join a demo in Govan (no less) and, on Saturday will join other protestors on a march from Kelvingrove Park to George Square.
What is starting to appear clear is actually how elitist and upper-class this whole ‘movement’ appears to be. The mega-wealthy with all their trappings of dosh and power and with the lifestyles to match, telling the rest of us where we are going wrong and what abject failures we have all become. Simultaneously they laugh like hyenas, quaffing rare wines and eating the finest cuisine available. Hapless, meagerly paid chauffeurs waiting to ferry them from Palace to Castle with the odd 7-star hotel en route with not an electric vehicle in sight. They care not a jot. It is lip service of the most deplorable kind.
But, again today, the ‘world leaders’ will fawn over one another and pose for childish selfies, in between visible naps. The world will watch and comment. Dare I say, many an article, a blog, will be penned by an aspiring writer (😊). We will be encouraged to listen intently to stories of the disappearing Amazon rainforest, to horrendous wildfires and floods globally and to ‘our fears’ for future generations. The familiar caveats will be issued so that we all feel hopeless, inadequate, borderline criminal and full of utter misery at the state of play.
Then, the majority will slip back into the leather-clad Maybach stretch limos, skip onto their private 747 jets and return to their manors leaving monumentally sized carbon footprints.