COP-26 Glasgow Tesla charging lot

Missing the Bus at COP26

Albert Bates
6 min readNov 10, 2021

This week is just for going through the motions

Inside the UN climate conference in Glasgow it is not possible to be both an optimist and a realist. Equally true it is not possible to be both a realist and a pessimist.

Today the big press conference was for a joint US-China accord on technology transfer. The US will share carbon capture tech and China will agree to clean up methane emissions. It is not a big ideal for either because the technology the US is offering is old and not commercially viable — a yard-sale unloading of the boxed-up stuff in the basement. China’s agreeing to clean up methane is something they should be doing anyway and we are all waiting to see if the US cleans up its own fugitive emissions while they’re at it. Still, everyone is applauding the US and China being nice to each other and coming out and shaking hands.

It is a lot about optics, isn’t it?

In other news, meat industry groups pledged to meet Paris Agreement targets by 2030. By 2025, all Meat Institute members that handle animals will need to pass third-party audits for animal care during transportation and handling. I don’t know how that reduces emissions, but maybe it will.

The United Nations was created to allow all the voices of all the people in the world, through their national representatives and representatives of “civil society” to come together and be heard in a fair and transparent forum.

Some forty years later the UN was tasked to try to solve the climate problem, using their level playing field and all the rules of multilateral fair play they had evolved. Yesterday the 76th session of the UN General Assembly convened in New York. Today the Secretary General flew back to Scotland to keep member nations laser-focused on job number one for his organization.

Today was Transport Day at COP26. Austria used it as a platform to roll out its 1000-euro Klima-ticket, a year-long pass to public transport on any…

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Albert Bates

Emergency Planetary Technician and Climate Science Wonk — using naturopathic remedies to recover the Holocene without geoengineering or ponzinomics.