Saturday, December 26, 2015

Jerome Wagner of Beyond Extreme Energy Sends this fr. Paris/11/28/'15

Subject: JW-COP21: Opening Comments - and "Gullibility? or Desperation?"
Dear All: Many of you were "along" for my fast in W-DC a few months ago. Now, I have the great fortune to be in Paris (France) to observe the climate conference.

Any of you who follow climate action know that we are a crucial juncture - effective, bold action vs. irreversible change and potential catastrophe. 
Currently, major global powers are postured to deliver commitments which will yield 2.7C of temperature increase; this, when 2C is deemed appropriate and many think 1.5C is more prudent (i.e., postured to under-whelm, to our collective distress). More is needed - faster.
I will report out periodically. Enjoy!
So the flight (United 57 from Newark to Charles DeGaulle) went great: left on time, arrived early, had a nice meal, found an electrical outlet to recharge the phone. Arrived in Paris at 7am local time: still nighttime (seemingly), fog as thick as pea soup. Pretty long wait at passport control; no customs inspections. Took the shuttle from the airport to the RER station and then the B train into town - Gare du Nord.

I had some idea what to do there - what metro train to look for. A fellow sort of bumps into me, starts tracking me. Starts by asking me where I'm going. Informs me that there is construction work going on along the route I had planned. Suggests an alternate approach, which I am familiar with. Buys a ticket, starts taking me toward that other train. Brings me to a relatively deserted area of the station, giving me the ticket he had bought and saying, "33 euros... It's good for several days, all over town..."

The good news: I did get where I wanted to go :) The bad news: That ticket wasn't good past the trip just taken :( 33 euros for a trip worth 1.70...

"Welcome to Paris," he explained when I said that sounded like a lot of money. Indeed.
Another man would have said, "Get lost" - perhaps.
The ATM's are glad to spit more money out for me so I'm not in trouble.
My life doesn't typically intersect with those who use such means to get along. It is unnerving to me.
Meanwhile, the brasseries along the street advertise meals for 10 euros. That is an expenditure I will soon be glad to make :)


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