Do you know why lots of people think the climate change movement is all about posing and politics, and not really about concern about long-term damage to the environment?
The British and Scottish governments, serving as hosts, are expecting up to 30,000 official attendees — who will be meeting indoors, huddling in tense talks, for hours and hours a day, from Sunday to Nov. 12 and potentially longer. It will be the largest summit ever hosted in Britain. Organizers are scrambling to make sure the conference does not morph into a superspreader event.
Up to 30,000 official attendees, in person?
Sure, the representatives from the United Kingdom could go by car or train, and certain European representatives could take the train by going through the Chunnel. But the overwhelming number of government officials in attendance will fly to Scotland. Most of those flights will generate more carbon emissions for each passenger in one flight than the average American generates in two weeks: “Flying from London to New York and back generates about 986kg of CO2 per passenger. There are 56 countries where the average person emits less carbon dioxide in a whole year.” That’s roughly one ton per passenger; the average American generates 20 metric tons of carbon per year.
And of course, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate change, John Kerry, travels by private jet. The average private jet emits as much carbon in one hour as the average American generates in six weeks.
For most of the past two years, almost everyone in the world had to forego in-person meetings and family gatherings to connect via Zoom and Skype and other Internet-based meeting tools. And yet those who proclaim to care the most about the environment just had to all fly to Scotland and back for their big summit? Can none of these people see the contradiction between their words and their actions?
Government officials want citizens to make sacrifices in the name of saving the planet, but they refuse to lead by example.