Friday, November 13, 2015

What they have done

Paris, what have they done to you? I write this watching the images on TV5, the voices of the French news announcers betraying horror and confusion and disbelief, feeling much the same way myself.  It’s not yet known how many people have been killed or harmed, but clearly it’s many, and my immediate thoughts are of those poor families, especially since I can see out of the corner of my eye my own kid’s Asterix books on the coffee table.

Like many people who are concerned about climate change, Paris has been on my mind a lot lately, thinking about the Paris summit on climate change that is just about to start. I’ve been following on the #COP21 Twitter feed events that are already under way, like one to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on the world’s oceans. After years of the Canadian government stonewalling on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, I was feeling very hopeful about the new Trudeau government and Canadian premiers going to Paris to re-engage with the global community, showing that Canada is back and ready to do it’s share.

And now this. It would be entirely understandable if the French government were to cancel the climate summit given the obvious need to focus on their own security without having to worry about that of thousands of conference-goers. But I suspect the French will insist, for they are a resilient people, that the climate summit will go on, although in an understandably reduced and subdued way. Obviously the greatest loss and grief must be for the victims and the city of Paris, but we should also realize that the animals that carried out these attacks have taken something from all of us.

I have so many wonderful memories of past visits to Paris. There are good reasons why it is known as the City of Light. Once it is again ready to receive visitors, I hope to renew my acquaintance with it.

No comments: