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Michael, I agree that COP26 is daft. It shouldn’t even be necessary. Everyone knows what needs to be done, they should all just get on and do it, there should be no need to negotiate over which country does most, it is so urgent that they should all just do everything they can.
The real reason for COP26 is for national governments to argue about economic and financial matters, which seems to be all that politics is really about. The decisions that COP26 will (probably mostly fail to) make should be made by engineers and scientists, not politicians. It is engineers and scientists, not politicians, who know how to supply the most energy with the least emissions. Politicians just get in the way by each trying to put the least money into the engineering as possible.
But despite being paid somewhat more than the “lower” workers, engineers, scientists, doctors etc. are just lackeys in the current order of things. They just implement the things that the “uppermost” orders decide to pay for, just the same as any other workers.
Social scientists have a role too. Social science has shown that beyond the basics, more stuff is not what makes people happy. Community, equality, a just society, fairness, freedom, education, security, connection to nature – these are the sorts of things that make people happiest.
Whatever, the politicians have decided to go ahead, so I need to be there – so that, rather like you put it elsewhere – so that they know that we the people are watching their every move 🙂