Saturday, 19 December 2009


We were delighted to discover that our visitor this weekend, Tony, is addicted to 'Strictly Come Dancing' - which means of course that instead of an evening of polite conversation we'll be able to indulge our Saturday night habit of ignorantly commenting on the merits of the dancing celebrities.  Ever since I learned of Ricky Whittle's taking dancing lessons in preparation for the series and especially since Chris Hollins' highly entertaining Charleston, I've been rooting for Chris and Ola - in a passive sort of way (none of this wasting money on phoning).  I'm told they're the people's favourite 'because of the journey', whereas Ricky's the judge's favourite because of his skill.  Interesting that: reminds me of the phrase, 'not because of works lest any man should boast'.

Meanwhile on a rather different level of significance the fortnight-long UN summit on climate change has come to an end.  I suspect the hope of achieving 'a legally binding agreement' at the end was always a pipe dream.  With 190+ states wanting to protect their own interests, only the most optimistic idealist could have hoped for a universal agreement.  And I've always wondered what sanctions in law would have been imposed on transgressors.  So there are some people bemoaning the talks as a complete failure, while the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban told journalists: "It may not be everything we hoped for, but this decision of the Conference of Parties is an essential beginning."  Robert Bailey, of Oxfam International, said: "It is too late to save the summit, but it's not too late to save the planet and its people."
I was interested by the quasi-religious terminology he used.  Religious fundamentalism is an accusation often made by the climate sceptics, I've noticed.  "We're not allowed to question the scientific orthodoxy on the subject," they complain.  Well, personally, I agree with Ban Ki-moon in his determination to press on towards something more concrete.  It seems to me that having brought China, the USA, Brazil, India and South Africa into the mainstream process was no mean achievement.  And it's up to us to keep praying for our political leaders.

1 comment:

  1. I was listening to a radio programme today which tried to depict life as it would have been thousands of years ago, when water levels were rising as the ice cap thawed and it was touch and go if you could still walk across to France: it set me wondering. I'm not a "global warming sceptic" but I am a "reason for it sceptic". Hope this cheers you up for Christmas!