I've landed in Glasgow, the old city by the river Clyde, many many times. But I usually never stay long.
After an hour or two I'm usually on a train heading for beautiful Edinburgh and the highlands up north where my family lives.
But this weekend as the COP26 climate summit wrapped up, my heart was in Glasgow.
For they have a wonderful slogan: "People Make Glasgow."
And boy did they deliver.
Hundreds of thousands of some of the finest young climate activists from all over the world converged on the city.
And although many of them were disappointed, as I was, by the way the summit ended.
Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that some high officials called a watering down of crucial language about coal.
They went home undefeated, and ready to keep on fighting even harder to do what must be done to save our precious blue planet.
For they are not the doomsters the celebrated environmental scientist Michael Mann warned us about;
The doomsters who by claiming that all is lost only play into the hands of the fossil fuelers who want us to lose hope.
And believe that the summit was only "blah blah blah."
When as Mann also points out, it delivered hope at a crucial moment in the climate battle.
For those looking for reasons to be cynical about the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland — COP26 — there seemed to be more than ample cause early on. Yet for those looking for hope, grounds for this too emerged later.
There was understandable anxiety, despair and righteous anger on the part of young people given the insufficiency of the progress and the bad actors who are creating obstacles. This led some to insist that the talks were just more “blah, blah, blah,” that COP26 was dead on arrival, and even that the entire process should be abandoned.
Walking away would have amounted to surrender.
After all, the U.N. COP process provides the only multilateral framework for negotiating global climate policy. And while the speed of work had been inadequate, some real progress was being made in key areas: on deforestation, methane emissions and, most importantly, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning.
It’s not good enough, of course. We need to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius to avert many of the worst impacts of climate change. But the latest commitments are meaningful and can be built upon.
After being all but buried by the Covid pandemic, climate change is back at the top of the agenda for human survival.
The key aim of COP26 was to “keep 1.5C alive.” Despite pessimism among many heading into Glasgow, there is still reason to believe that’s possible. But only if the hard work begins now. We need to hold leaders accountable for their pledges and see to it that plans are carried out. Our future depends on it.
And where it goes now is up to us.
The climate summit also helped expose which countries and which leaders want to be part of the solution, and which ones are the enemies of humanity.
After years when the Harper regime won one ghastly Fossil of the Year Award after the other, we are slowly making it back to where we should be as a country.
And Justin Trudeau has the support of most Canadians to do what must be done.
Almost two-thirds of Canadians support immediately capping greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands – even if it puts jobs at risk, according to a new poll.
Sixty-three per cent of respondents to a Nanos Research poll said they agree or somewhat agree that Canada should immediately limit emissions from the oil and gas sector and curtail them over time. Thirty-four per cent said they either disagree or somewhat disagree, and 3 per cent said they are unsure.
While Erin O'Toole and his ghastly Cons seem headed for electoral oblivion.
Which they so richly deserve.
But of course, what happens here as elsewhere, will depend on how we react.
For while I believe that the formidable Greta Thunberg is wrong about the "blah blah blah."
She's right about what is going to happen next.
And so am I...
The future belongs to the young.
I've been to Glasgow many times, but I've never seen a protest march as big as this one. Young people are setting out to save our poor burning planet, and nobody or nothing is going to stop them #COP26 https://t.co/eiVj14Hro1— 🇨🇦 Simon 🏴 🌈🏂 (@montrealsimon) November 6, 2021
And we will not betray them.
Thank you Glasgow my darling.
You never looked more beautiful...