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Passing the champagne for the planet

24 Jul 2019 | OP ED Watch

Britain’s Daily Mail runs a scathing piece on the high-living Committee on Climate Change, the great and good demanding we all do without income and energy so the country can signal its virtue by reaching a 2050 net-zero emission target. Apparently members of this quasi-governmental body, whose math on decarbonizing the British economy seems not to justify its cost, have been flying about first class including to Beijing, enjoying “unlimited glasses of the £125-a-bottle Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle champagne and a sumptuous array of dishes including Herefordshire beef, chocolate cherry cannelloni and Bleu d’Auvergne cheese” while spewing 9.2 tons of CO2 each. But give them a break, they’re saving the planet.

Obviously you have to fly at least part of the way to Beijing if you must go there from Britain. But why must you go there, especially given China’s dismal environmental record? They have nothing to teach you, and won’t listen to what you might teach them. If you must go anyway, why not fly steerage? Or hop the channel then take a train. And in other cases, committee members flew to places a train would have covered the entire journey.

What’s the excuse? We invite readers fluent in bureaucratese to draft the official statement themselves before perusing what the CCC’s chief executive produced by way of justification: “We consider our travel choices carefully. We use sustainable forms of transport wherever possible, and avoid air travel in all but exceptional circumstances. The small number of flights taken by committee members and staff allowed the CCC to support international climate work, where our expertise has been requested by the UK Government or international governments.”

Naturally that expertise was not in any form that could simply have been written down and transmitted by email. Thus everyone must sacrifice… um except meeeee because I’m so great and important. Why yes, I will have more Bleu d’Auvergne à l’Antoinette, thanks.

One comment on “Passing the champagne for the planet”

  1. With the Chunnel having been in existence for nearly 30 years now, you could take a train all the way from Britain to Beijing. Part of the trip might be reliably coal-powered, though.

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