Thursday, December 08, 2005


The United Nations climate change conference finally wraps up tomorrow. Even though I haven’t had a day off in two weeks, I’m sad to see it end. I really like having someone else make my bed every morning.

As for the conference itself, I’m happy it’s coming to a close. I’m tired of being surrounded by people who don’t speak English. Before you start sending me hate mail, I’m talking about the delegates, not Montrealers. Everyone here speaks in acronyms: SBSTA, UNFCCC, GHG, JI, CDM. And they wonder why they’re not getting much media coverage.

I have become deeply cynical about these meetings. There’s a lot of talk but not much action. The negotiations are tedious and the process is full of bureaucratic in-fighting and political posturing. I’m not very impressed.

I’ve noticed other things too, like:

1. The Tim Hortons outside the conference centre runs out of chocolate chip muffins by 2 p.m. every day.

2. Family Guy is still hilarious even when it’s dubbed in French and you can’t understand what the characters are saying.

3. They sell beer inside the conference centre.

4. The most popular side events are the ones with free booze.

5. Men here blatantly check you out. They also buy you drinks. It’s awesome.

6. There aren’t a lot of sexy environmentalists. I had my eye on a gorgeous German and danced with him (okay, near him) at the big NGO party on Saturday night. But he seemed more interested in saving the planet than creating a little global warming with me in my hotel room.

7. There’s not a lot going on at McGill University at night. I tried to find a class to sit in on for fun but most of the buildings were dark and empty.

8. The climate change conference somehow manages to be extremely stressful and exceedingly boring at the same time.

9. Montreal has great restaurants and bars but they’re too smoky. Boo!

10. People in Montreal are no more or less stylish than anyone else in the country: Yes, there are a lot of beautiful people here but I’ve also seen lots of bad hair, baggy fleece jackets and ratty jeans.

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