Divide and Conquer


‘Are you aware that the 2020 Climate Change Performance Index was released a couple of days ago, rating 57 countries.’ Camp said as he struggled out of his coat and placed his hat on the empty chair next to us. At that exact moment, like choreography, Vicky arrived with two lovely pints.

‘No, I didn’t know. So how did we do?  The hewers of wood, diggers of earth and growers of crops?’ I said, knowing the answer already.

‘Canada comes in as one of the worst players, at position 55, just ahead of Saudi Arabia and the USA, which has the poorest record of all. China is ranked 30th overall and the leaders are the Scandinavians and surprisingly, the United Kingdom takes seventh place.’

‘So how do they measure this index?’ I asked.

‘It’s a combination of actual emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy,’ Camp said. ‘They got their data from institutions like the International Energy Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization.’

‘I’m not surprised,’ I said. ‘Canada – Trudeau in particular – does a lot of talking, but is short on action, still subsidises carbon extraction and is well below the desired international targets we agreed to.’

‘There is an element of laisser-faire here. Canadians have a high opinion of themselves and love to point out that we’re a big country with only ten percent of the US population. Also, we are and probably will always be a recourse extractor and exporter of raw materials. We will not become Switzerland or Denmark anytime soon.’

‘Just to make this week’s uplifting news a bit more interesting, the US now has officially destroyed the World Trade Organization, pulled out of Climate Change agreements, scuttled the Iran Nuclear deal, threatens to leave the UN, NATO and the International Criminal Court in The Hague, thereby effectively deconstructing the international security apparatus that took decades to build. They act as if there was no tomorrow,’ Camp said, cooling his jets with a swig of beer.

‘Trump attached Greta Thunberg today for being Time magazine’s person of the year. ‘Greta must work on her anger management problems,’ he tweeted. She responded by changing her twitter profile to read: Teenager working on anger management and chilling.’

‘I guess he was pissed off because they chose her over him,’ he said.

‘And now Boris has won the biggest majority since living memory with his ‘Get Brexit Done’ and even northers working class voters disaffected with Corbyn, have turned away from labour and voted.’

‘Yes, it now looks certain that Britain will leave the EU. I can think of one happy camper in Moscow. Putin will surely celebrate. Divide and conquer all the way, he wants nothing more than to break up Europe.’  Camp said.

‘We now live in an ever more divided world it seems. It’s almost tribal in nature, to a point where the two sides hate each other. They don’t agree to disagree, they rather deny the other side the right to exist and wish them gone to hell.’

We both felt discouraged by so much divisive news and talk and it was left to Vicky to lift our spirits and bring us back to a semblance of harmony and wonder, in synch with our lovely surroundings in the village by the sea.

‘You two boys look like you need some seasonal cheer and here are four free tickets to the Vancouver Christmas market. The manager’s daughter is a good friend of mine. You two need to take your partners out for a fun evening. The food there is excellent and so are the German beer and the glühwein.’

Camp and I looked at each and the tickets and were speechless.

‘I want to hear all about it,’ Vicky said.

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