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A fly in the ointment

04 Sep 2019 | OP ED Watch

The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, CFACT, asks what the UN is thinking flying 5,000 people to Salt Lake City for yet another climate change conference. And concludes that they think it would be fun to party in Salt Lake City. Which might seem an unlikely purpose. But what else justifies burning all that jet fuel?

Salt Lake City might not seem like Fun City. But CFACT notes, it has beautiful scenery. And while the orthodox Mormon idea of “fun” might exclude not only beer but even, following the 1833 “Word of Wisdom”, such sinful “hot drinks” as coffee or tea, Utah is a far more cosmopolitan state than it used to be. In fact SLC mayor’s is an openly gay Unitarian who boasts of her city being “inclusive” and “safe”. There’s even a Starbucks at the airport (where yes you can get a souvenir mug). Moreover the luxurious Park City resort is a short gasoline-car-powered drive from SLC. But while it makes sense for environmentalists to like scenery, it’s really hard to figure out what other purpose the gathering could have.

Underlining hypocrisy might be an outcome, especially, as CFACT points out, “Salt Lake City is an isolated, medium-sized city… Most people flying to Salt Lake City for the UN conference will have to make at least one or two connecting flights to get there, exacerbating their carbon footprint for the conference.” But it’s hard to imagine that it’s the purpose. As for what they’re going to say, well, what can it be that they haven’t already said? Or won’t be saying next month at the UN youth gabfest in New York City where Greta Thunberg will be dispensing wisdom and issuing edicts? Or couldn’t save carbon by saying over the phone or by teleconference?

If they have some new alarmist story, it’s going to be all over the newspapers anyway. They could just email one another. Besides they already won the political debate and what they’re now stumbling over is implementing the glorious low-carbon future they have promised us. Including while boarding yet another jet airplane for yet another international flight to a toney spot.

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