(This is a guest blog from BBC environment correspondent Richard Blackbin in Copenhagen.)
Why can’t more people be just like me?
The question first came to mind on the plane to Copenhagen as I caressed my cheek with my Guardian COP15 84-page pull-out supplement.
If more people were like BBC environment correspondents, I reflected, then the world would be a better place because people like me understand things so much better than ordinary folk.
Gazing out from the window at the frosty city landscape while we circled the airport, another thought struck me: perhaps I should have worn a little more than a Greenpeace T-shirt, Bermuda shorts and Birkenstock sandals.
I asked the stewardess if there was a clothes shop in the terminal building where I could purchase some sturdy boots and a reasonably priced winter coat made from sustainable natural products, but she didn’t seem to understand.
“Have you at least heard of Fair Trade in Denmark?” I asked, pointedly.
“Sir, I can’t understand a word you’re saying when you’ve got your thumb in your mouth,” she replied, rather too harshly for my liking. Maybe she was one of those “conservative women” one sometimes hears about. I was quite shaken, and decided not to press the issue. I would jolly well find a shop myself, I thought.
As things turned out, I didn’t have to.
There I was shivering by the baggage carousel waiting for my duffle bag (small size, made from sustainable Romanian hemp) when who should I see but Marmaduke Quimly-Farquharson, one of Oxfam’s go-getting young press officers. We have shared many thousands of air miles together travelling the world to exotic locations for various climate conferences. Indeed, we’d both been on the same flight just then but thanks to all this frightful recent scrutiny about BBC expenses I’m no longer able to travel up in first with all my pals from the NGOs.
In one of the many acts of kindness one often experiences at these events (populated as they are by caring planet-loving types and not old right-wing white men with their sceptical views) Marmaduke offered to lend me a coat on condition that I give Oxfam a bit of a mention now and then during my reports. I agreed, of course. “After all, we’re in this together!” I said.
“Indeed we are!” he replied. “Why quite can’t more people be just like you, Richard?”
My thoughts exactly.