Still, COP6 two years ago in Moscow was such a hilarious exercise in incompetence that I made a note then to go to the next one. I thought it might be hard to top that but before the bansturbator beano has even begun, the jokes have already started.
Chain smokers moving to Delhi to save money after hearing that breathing there is like smoking 40 cigarettes
That satirical headline has been prompted by widespread reports of appalling pollution in New Delhi where COP7 is taking place. Apparently, it is the worst the city has seen for 17 years.
According to one advocacy group, government data shows that the smog that enveloped the city midweek was the worst in the last 17 years. The concentration of PM2.5, tiny particulate pollution that can clog lungs, averaged close to 700 micrograms per cubic meter. That’s 12 times the government norm and a whopping 70 times the WHO standards.
The New York Times reports that over 1,800 schools have been closed and offer an apt comparison.
Sustained exposure to that concentration of PM 2.5 is equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes a day, said Sarath Guttikunda, the director of Urban Emissions, an independent research group.
And delegates should be aware of what this means to their pristine lungs as they arrive for the 5 day misery-fest.
Particulate matters (PM) are tiny particles in the air that cause visibility problems and health hazards. The permissible level of PM 2.5 is 60µg/m³ while PM10 is 100 µg/m³. Levels beyond that can cause harm to the respiratory system as the ultra fine particulates can embed themselves deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream.
Best invest in a mask, FCTC boys and girls.
If you want to know what it looks like, by the way, here's a lovely view of sunrise over Delhi on my flight in.
To clarify, those aren't clouds we were flying over, because there weren't any, that was on the approach to land and is a thick immovable bank of grime sitting stubbornly over the city. Here's the view from my smokefree (natch) hotel window.
So it seems that anti-smoking obsessives from all over the world - who constantly bark that choosing to smoke, vape or use smokeless tobacco is a health crisis - are walking into a solid gold, proper, bona fide public health crisis which puts their pathetic bleating exaggerations to shame.
It is in this atmosphere that the FCTC are going to spend hours arguing that smoking in a windy park and entirely harmless vaping in public should be banned. Risible, huh? I spoke to Jeff Stier of Washington's National Centre for Policy Research who is also here, and he commented "The WHO are summoning their tobacco control elites here, and in their minds this smog is about as dangerous as one vape!". Sadly, if you read some of the utter garbage that the FCTC cite in their pre-COP report, he is probably right.
I had to laugh on seeing the COP7 help desk in the airport arrivals hall, just next to an exit where people were donning masks just to step out into the 'fresh' air or choking if they didn't have one. It kinda puts it all into context, doesn't it?
|"Hello Sir, here's your agenda, security pass and gas mask"|
There have been numerous articles in the media about this event in recent weeks as the world has started to wake up to the secrecy and paranoia of the FCTC, so there might be quite a few eyes on what goes on this week. It's not the start the tobacco control industry Goliath would have wished for is it?
I'll be here for a while yet and, as someone with grizzled old lungs think I should survive the duration. I will keep you posted.