It won't be easy, nor cheap to find a hotel room in the City of Spires this week. The great, good and terminally tedious have arrived in town for the optimistic 'Hopenhagen' conference. I shall not be able to attend this year, since the magnitude of my own carbon hoofprint is unacceptably large. Prince Charles is dropping in, apparently, so my place will be ably filled. I hope he's remembered to appoint someone to talk to his plants while he's away. Perhaps he'll avail himself of the not ungenerous offer of local prostitutes who are democratically offering free sex for anyone with a conference pass, in retaliation for the local council's advertisement to 'be sustainable, don't buy sex' posters. Carbon dating takes on a whole new meaning here.
The conference will itself generate a carbon dioxide per day equivalent of a town having a population of 140,000 - so 16,000 extra bodies commuting in and out in helicopters and limousines are each responsible for nine times the normal emissions, which hopefully has nothing to do with the sex workers.
If everybody took public transport from the airport, stayed in dormitories, rode bicycles to the meetings like the rest of the city does and ate communally, this might go some way towards ameliorating any small cynicisms I have. Copenhagen itself gave its name to the element hafnium which, I am informed, poses no threat to plants and is benignly non-toxic in small quantities, except for mucous membrane irritation and liver damage, so conference alcoholics and sneezers should be monitored carefully. Swine flu, or hafnium poisoning.. h'm...
But, of course, the whole shenanigan is eminently mockable, and even in the light of many countries' failures to live up to the Kyoto Protocols, it might be a tad previous to write off the whole deal as a lot of hot air, however clean. In the meantime, it's worth remembering that climate change however caused makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. Watch this space.