COP26: A climate carnival to remember and ridicule - opinion

The 400 private planes parked nearby also made a mockery of the whole circus, as did the numerous delegate-laden commercial jets flying to various airports in the UK.

 An image of Earth is projected on the venue for COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland Britain, November 1, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY)
An image of Earth is projected on the venue for COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland Britain, November 1, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY)

Had participants in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow this week not taken themselves so seriously, the global happening would have made for great comedy. It’s always amusing watching the “woke” trip themselves up without even realizing it, after all.

A perfect example was the refusal of the guards at the Scottish Event Campus to allow Energy Minister Karin Elharrar to enter the premises. This was not, however, because the government official suffering from muscular dystrophy did not have the proper proof of COVID-19 vaccination – a requirement for all the delegates to the convention.

No, the most relevant politician to the topic at hand, aside from Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg, was safe on that score.

The reason for her inability to grace the place with her presence was, well, her disability. Somehow, with all the pining about the destruction of the planet and preparation for the summit, nobody among the enlightened crowd in kilt-land had thought to arrange for wheelchair accessibility.

In fairness, it’s hard for people who concern themselves with the plight of mankind – and fate of the world’s grandchildren – to take individual human beings into account. This makes sense. Huge goals, and the trillions of dollars pledged for their future realization, are a lot easier to contemplate than small, far less costly ones that need immediate and inconvenient attention.

 Energy Minister Karin Elharrar speaks with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). (credit: Courtesy) Energy Minister Karin Elharrar speaks with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). (credit: Courtesy)

When he learned of Elharrar’s predicament, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett complained, and rightly so. He went as far as to threaten not to attend the following day’s sessions if the matter was not rectified. When it was, he personally accompanied her to meetings. One of these was with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who made a point of personally apologizing to Elharrar.

Still, the blemish on the bleeding hearts had been exposed, and no amount of coronavirus masking could keep it concealed.

SPEAKING OF which, the packed halls were not exactly conducive to social distancing. It’s a practice that should not be necessary in a room full of inoculated, recovered and PCR-tested people. But woe to any skeptic who might suggest that a flimsy face-covering may be about as effective against eliminating a pandemic as banning straws keeps the temperature from rising.

And, while on that subject, it is particularly worthy of note that Israel’s COP26 contingent was 120-strong, which is a hefty percentage of an estimated total of 25,000 from some 100 countries all over the world.

This is funny, and not in a ha-ha way.

First of all, unlike most other countries represented at the climate festival, Israel is so tiny that it’s hard to locate on an atlas without a magnifying glass. Its contribution to the melting of the icebergs, thus, is minimal. Even if one accepts the debatable premise that human behavior and consumption are at fault for the uptick in floods, fires and other natural disasters – and despite bad individual Israeli habits – the Jewish state barely ranks on the list of offenders. The countries with the greatest amount of carbon emissions, in order of the tons of CO2 each ostensibly releases into the atmosphere are: China, the US, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Second, because Israel’s massive delegation stayed in Edinburgh, more than 50 miles away from the SEC, traveling for more than an hour each way between campus and hotel, it was releasing plenty of carbon into the air just by being at the summit. Ditto for the trips from various locations in Israel to Ben-Gurion Airport; double-time for the flight to Glasgow.

The Scottish government’s request that foreign delegations use trains to get to the SEC, apparently, was not heeded. The 400 private planes parked nearby also made a mockery of the whole circus, as did the numerous delegate-laden commercial jets flying to various airports in the UK.

PROTESTS OUTSIDE the venue were equally silly. Naturally, climate activist Greta Thunberg was prominent among the demonstrators, never missing an opportunity to spew a hefty dose of her own carbon emissions.

“No more blah, blah, blah,” she shouted. “No more whatever the f*** they’re doing inside there.”

It would have been wise advice, if she had not meant that they should be putting their money where their mouths are. Unfortunately, committing to throw exorbitant sums at the problem is precisely what they were “doing inside there.”

That was not good enough for Thunberg and her buddies, though. In an open letter and petition addressed to “world leaders,” they called governments’ failure to cut carbon emissions a “betrayal.”

They warned, “This is not a drill. It’s code red for the Earth. Millions will suffer as our planet is devastated – a terrifying future that will be created, or avoided, by the decisions you make. You have the power to decide. As citizens across the planet, we urge you to face up to the climate emergency. Not next year. Not next month. Now.”

The list of steps that these young hecklers demanded is as empty as their heads: “Keep the precious goal of 1.5°C alive with immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions unlike anything the world has ever seen; end all fossil fuel investments, subsidies and new projects immediately, and stop new exploration and extraction; end creative carbon accounting by publishing total emissions for all consumption indices, supply chains, international aviation and shipping, and the burning of biomass; deliver the $100 billion promised to the most vulnerable countries, with additional funds for climate disaster; and enact climate policies that protect workers and the most vulnerable, and reduce all forms of inequality.”

It’s incredible how many words can be wasted on conveying a tired, agenda-driven, socialist message. Yes, we know that a privileged girl like Thunberg can thumb her nose at the very Western actions and attitudes that have alleviated poverty.

She has the luxury to wail about inequality from the comfort of her superior perch, without giving a thought to what made it possible for her to flit around garnering accolades for her “individual” voice. What she clearly never has done is answer the question of how, thanks to the innovation and hard work of those she disdains, even the poorest people in the world can expect to live as long as those in the richest countries a mere 70 years ago.

INSTEAD OF bemoaning the ostensibly catastrophic scenario that our great-grandchildren will inherit, it’s time for the Thunbergs and her apologists to consider that many families today consist of five living generations. In the not-so-distant past, this would have been unthinkable.

But, then, “progressives” of her ilk do not think. They mimic, regurgitate and erupt on cue.

While engaging in this mindless exercise, and professing to worry about the welfare of all people, they fail to exhibit the most basic interest in or empathy for any particular person. Israel’s energy minister was treated to a small taste of this travesty. And this is in spite of her belonging to two groups favored by the self-anointed do-gooders: women and the disabled.

Stories like that of Elharrar explain why satire is in greater danger of extinction than rain forests and dolphins. It’s a sad state of affairs that deserves a hearty laugh in response.