Britain’s high commissioner to Canada, Susan Jane le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, greets incoming Parliamentarians in the Hill Times by saying “There is no greater challenge facing us than climate change.” Except perhaps pronouncing that last name. But she’s up for a challenge. It seems it’s not nearly ambitious enough just to save the planet by going carbon neutral by 2050. No. In addition “our response must be inclusive, involving contributions from all parts of society”. Her sacrifice? Driving or being driven about in an electric Jaguar not some ordinary gas-burning luxury automobile. Pricey? Sure. But one must do one’s part, especially when someone else is paying. Meanwhile those other parts of society can just do without.
Oddly, despite being three years into the job, Ms. le Jeune d’Allegeershecque didn’t do the Canadian thing of listing all those parts of society people like her don’t spend a lot of time with, like hockey and doughnut shops. But she did of course mention youth, who being young are the old people of tomorrow.
Thus warmed up on clichés, she also spoke of “Co-operation in science, technology and innovation is at the heart of our 21st century partnership” and “Working together on shared priorities, like climate change and Iran” and so forth. Then, one promise she’s already keeping, she said “we need to get under the skin of Canada”. Maybe that expression means something different in Blighty. But anyway “stand shoulder to shoulder in two World Wars… partners in the G7, 5 Eyes and NATO… a strong and dynamic force for good in the world… shared values… media freedom, and the rights of those who are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, race, religion or gender.” Ah. There. We got to the list, and it got under our skin.
Then she spoke of her High Commission's PR campaign “55 Parallels, highlighting our modern day ties” like (not again? Yes, again) “scientists working together to understand the impact of climate change on the Arctic… clean growth”. And then incongruously the “many thousands travelling between our shores every year for work, holidays and study” all spewing CO2 as they fly. Oh wait. She forgot the part about GHGs. But she finished strong.
“There is no closer relationship than ours. I look forward to working with you as we take it to the next level in this new decade.” The next level. Wow. Such PR wizardry leaves us with just one more question.
Does a person emit more CO2 if snoring vigorously?