Today, COP28 starts. In Dubai, of all places. We are hurtling towards the climate apocalypse, and the only way of dealing with that is with combined forces. So these COP meetings are important! Even if they also have proven to sometimes be very ineffective.
The media recognises its duty to report on this event. And one radio station cluster, LBC/Heart/Capital FM/Smooth Radio (no, I had no idea they were in it together) wanted a climate scientist to comment on it, and contacted me. I'm not quite sure why they chose me, but I'll have it! They asked if they could briefly interview me before the start of the event, and I said yes. The communications were entirely in English, so I expected the interview would be too.
I saw the interviewer on Zoom. I appreciated that; I had done two radio interviews (this and this) before where I couldn't see my interviewer, and I don't like that at all. I was a lot happier when I later was asked for comment by the media, but the person interviewing actually showed up in person. I could look at him talking to me! That made it a lot easier.
We had a little chat, and the said that he assumed I didn't speak Welsh. I said I did. Then he said we could do the interview bilingually! He himself did not speak Welsh, but he could just ask me questions in English, and I could answer in Welsh. I did say I hadn't prepared for doing this in Welsh. But it wasn't live, so if I stumbled over a word, I could just look it up and say the sentence again.
So then we were off! First in English. He asked me whether I was optimistic about the COP meeting. I wasn't. Did I think it was important to show up? I said yes, because these meetings are the best available platform for making changes, and if you're not there, then you have guaranteed that you are not making a positive change. Wasn't in the UK doing really well anyway? And I admitted that the UK is doing a lot better than quite some other countries, including the Netherlands (check the emissions per capita), but that only means it is pushing us in the direction of climate apocalypse a bit slower than other countries. That's not really a reason to be proud.
When we had gone through that in English we just did it again in Welsh. I had to stop twice to look something up. But I think I got my point across.
I might have a look online today if I can find their news bulletins. I should be in it with some soundbites! Will it make a difference? Probably not. But one tries!
|The COP28 venue. Pic by Alan Santos|