Hopefully the weather won't be as stormy on Thursday when I head off on the 11 am HSS to Holyhead, en route to Brussels for a Climate Change conference on Friday.
I took this pic of Dublin Bay with Howth in the distance from beside the Martello Tower at Seapoint at the commemoration last Monday of the 200 year anniversary of the Prince of Wales and Rochdale shipwrecks in 1807. The weather was awful, and probably not that dissimilar to the storm that led to the building of construction of the breakwaters that now protect Dún Laoghaire Harbour.
Anyway, Friday's conference will be led by three great women: Gro Harlem Bruntland, Mary Robinson, and Margot Wallström (a fellow blogger). It's worth checking our their avatars on the website. For some reason you can get Mary and Margot to talk at the same time, but Gro seems to remain aloof from it all. On a more serious note you can register online and make changes in the Wiki of the communiqué. There doesn't seem to be much interest in making changes, but I I've increased the carbon emission reductions by the year 2050 up to 60-80% instead of the 50% that was previously listed, after all, that's what the European Commission has as a target. We'll see what happens to it on Friday.
The "Road to Copenhagen" refers to the cycle of conferences hosted by the IPCC leading from Bali this December to Poznan in 2008 and Copenhagen in 2009, and what's becoming increasing clear is the need to have clear plans for the post-Kyoto period. Their latest warning last week of the possibility of "abrupt and irreversible" impacts made for a scary read.
John Gormley's 40% improvements in the Building Regulations will hopefully kick in for all new planning applications from the middle of next year, but every other sector from agriculture to industry will have to play its part. The low-hanging fruit is easy, but the scale of the reductions needed requires significant changes in how we go about our lives, such as not flying, if there's a reasonable alternative.
I'll know on Saturday whether the low-carbon alternative was that reasonable this time round. If you see a tired, sea-sick and dishevelled TD crawling off the boat at five in the evening from a journey that began at seven o'clock that morning in the Brussels Eurostar terminal, I may be having second thoughts.