Monday 30 November 2015


COP21 From An Absurdist Point Of View

29 November, 2015

There have been many analytical articles addressing the role of upcoming climate change negotiations in Paris (COP21), but it seems regarding it as a Theatre of the Absurd is perhaps one way to maintain one’s sanity at such times. That said, here is my contribution of likely scenes:

David Cameron will bike from his hotel, preceded and followed by armored limousines carrying his aides, security and materials.

Al Gore will give a speech, broadcast to Syrian refugee camps, explaining that climate change is the most imminent global threat, and therefore funds will be diverted from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to pay for the purchase of electric vehicles by rich Californians.

Delegates will refuse to drink Perrier, and hold up the proceedings until Fiji water is flown in.

Leonardo di Caprio will jet in from his Palm Springs mansion with his entourage, to encourage the world to live a simpler lifestyle.

Every time the names “Exxon” or “Koch” is uttered, horses all over Paris will whinny, as in Frau Blucher (Young Frankenstein).

An award will be given to the protester with the best costume: a drowning polar bear mauling a topless woman.

A group of unheralded academics will meet on the sidelines and develop a rational, workable proposal for reducing GHG emissions and be totally ignored.

Printing the conference proceedings will prove profitable as the company receives carbon credits for the paper used. The carbon effect of flying them home in delegates’ luggage will be ignored, especially since most will be left in hotel rooms.

A standing ovation will honor Haitian peasants for embracing a biomass lifestyle. An award made out of mud from a deforested hillside will be created for future presentations.

The Pope will offer indulgences to anyone buying an electric car. Tesla Motors will introduce three new models: Inferno ($35k), Purgatorio ($50k) and Paradiso ($95k). Sales slogan: “It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle than a rich man to enter heaven, unless he drives a Tesla!”[/entity]

Probably, the happiest people involved will be the African immigrants who are (allegedly) the source of most marijuana sales in Paris. And of course their customers.

Finally, the meeting will conclude with delegates pronouncing it a complete success in that none of them is blamed for climate change and all have agreed that someone else should pay to fix the problem.

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