Holding a gigantic conference on climate change (which opens this week) in a city whose name is also that of a brand of chewing tobacco is far from being the greatest irony associated with this event.
No; I think that honour has to go to the forms of transportation the city has laid on for the tens of thousands of delegates.
According to Q107’s John Derringer - he’s never lied to me before, as far as I know, and his "Tool of the Day" feature was subsequently backed up by a reputable British newspaper - Danish livery companies have laid on some 1,200 - twelve hundred! - limousines to schlep people around.
The number of hybrids and pure electrics in that mix?
Five? As in one-two-three-four-five?
Out of one thousand two hundred.
The rest are gasoline- or Diesel-powered.
Seems Danish taxes on new cars are so onerous that the all-foreign-made alternate-energy vehicles make even less financial sense here than they do everywhere else.
Which is to say, less-than-not-very-much.
There are also some 120 private aircraft flitting about the skies, making sure the pols and the celebs don’t have to rub shoulders with The Great Unwashed in commercial airports. (You think cars pollute? You should check out airplanes.)
The few landing fields in Denmark are so overcrowded, the planes have to fly to Sweden or Germany to park while awaiting Sir or Madam’s next transportation whim.
There’s actually a double irony working here, because generally speaking, Copenhagen is a fairly energy-conscious burg.
Among other things, Copenhagen has kabillions of bicycles.
Now, from what I remember from a couple of visits over the years, the main city is very compact, and the highest point of elevation is probably a speed bump on Hans Christian Andersens Boulevard.
Heck, the entire country of Denmark makes Saskatchewan look like Switzerland.
And the moderating effect of the near-by Gulf Stream, and whatever degree of global warming is in fact going on, mean it never gets too terribly cold here.
Which makes this city conducive to bicycles.
In stark contrast to a city chosen (by me...) completely at random - let’s say, oh, Toronto for instance, whose Lame-Duck-Thank-God Mayor and his acolytes have their heads buried coal-mine-shaft deep in the sand (or worse) on these very two issues (local geography; local weather).
So, why doesn't Copenhagen just lend a bicycle to every conference delegate for the duration of his/her stay?
Um, no - these people may be meeting here to save the planet for following generations, but needless to say they aren’t prepared to actually sacrifice their own comfort or convenience towards that goal.
You’d think that if they weren’t going to walk the walk, the least they could do is pedal the bike.
Because you know darned well they are going to talk the talk. The biggest hit our poor earth’s climate is likely to take over the coming few days will be the ‘emissions’ from the conference auditoriums, a word derived (as the old joke goes) from the Latin “audio” - to hear - and “taurus” - bull...
Which sort-of brings me around to the ‘other’ Copenhagen. Given the recent revelations and leaked e-mails from global warming alarmists that some of their data may have been fudged to fit the pre-determined conclusion, the delegates at this climate change conference sure have a lot to chew on.