Climate Change: Reality, Myth or Simply Inconvenient?
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 • Paris, France
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Just around the corner from the Opéra Garnier, one of the most opulent ever built, and the Galleries Lafayette, the world's first and most famous department store, this is both a perfect investment property or place to live if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city center. Rue des Mathurins is located in the middle of a major transportation hub linking several Métro lines and the RER A. You're one stop away from the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées, one stop away from Châtelet-Les-Halles. In the 9th arrondissement, bordering the 8th, this is both a center for tourism and business. The apartment known as “Lafayette” offers you 70 square meters and two bedrooms. The building is a neo-Haussmann-style with stone façade, blending perfectly into its surroundings. The interior is modern, with high ceilings. Each room has tall windows that open to the street. The main bedroom has a narrow balcony. The apartment layout is conventional, with a foyer that distributes access to the living room, the kitchen, and the bedrooms. The apartment is in impeccable, move-in condition as is. Still, with the help of our interior designers, it is possible to open some of the walls to create a more spacious, contemporary feel. The apartment also includes an underground parking space in a part of Paris where such space is rare. The parking space can be offered for rental, separate from the apartment.
Parler Paris Après Midi, our monthly coffee gathering, started as long ago as 2002, was just that -- a meeting place for readers of Parler Paris Nouvellettre®, and nothing more...until one day a few years ago we decided it would be more interesting to have a speaker. There are so many fascinating Anglophones living in Paris that could offer all sorts of information and ideas that we thought to try having someone come to speak for part of the time, the rest of the time devoted to simply talking and meeting one another.
Deborah Jenner at Parler Paris Après MidiAl Gore - An Inconvenient TruthDeborah Jenner slide presentation
Since then, we've had a cornucopia of enlightenment. Deborah Jenner's presentation yesterday certainly fit the bill...and then some. She's what is called a "Climate Reality Leader" -- one of Al Gore’s volunteers, trained by him personally at a conference in Istanbul in June 2013, at her own expense. Devoted to this topic, her primary profession is an Art Historian with a PhD from the Sorbonne Paris IV. Teaching at the Catholic Institute, her research centers on artwork promoting ecology and sustainable architecture.
With a selection of over 300 slides from his personal databank, Deborah set up her projector and computer, then shared graphic animations and the most recent scientific data, plus impressive footage and key facts as an update to Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth" -- a film that brought the urgency and reality of climate change to a broad public and awarded Gore the Nobel Peace Prize.
In response to having advertised her talk, we received one surprising email from a reader who clearly hasn't accepted the fact that our climate is changing 'thanks' to our bad treatment of our own environment. She wrote:
"Why would a an exciting property-based company like yours host an evening on "Climate Reality," especially one run by a volunteer trained by Al Gore, whose DVD contained at least nine scientific errors and whose own lifestyle is one of the most polluting on the planet (according to his own standards)? What does that have to do with your property business?"
I can answer that question:
1. We host a variety of topics that are of interest to everyone and not only 'property-related,' but lifestyle related. If you understand that 'property' is all about the 'earth,' then the topic is extremely relative. Property choices are changing because the climate in those places is changing. Take for example, the increased number of violent storms such as Sandy and Katrina that are a result of the warming of the oceans and how they have affected the property market in those two places alone.
2. The nine errors of which she writes, was a judgment ruled by a High Court in England who considered it a 'political film.' "His criticism followed an unsuccessful attempt by Stewart Dimmock, a Kent school governor, to block the Government's plan to screen the documentary in more than 3,500 secondary schools in England and Wales. See telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/ for a full description.
The critics didn't want to hear the 'Inconvenient Truth' it seems, but in fact, Justice Burton found no errors at all in the science. In his written judgment, the word "error" appears in quotes each time it is used -– nine points formed the entirety of his judgment -- indicating that he did not support the assertion that the points were erroneous. About the film in general, he said this:
"The following is clear: It is substantially founded upon scientific research and fact, albeit that the science is used, in the hands of a talented politician and communicator, to make a political statement and to support a political program. I have no doubt that Dr. Stott, the Defendant's expert, is right when he says that: 'Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.'"
People believe what they want to believe, and many chose to 'stick their heads in the sand,' but there is no doubt that our planet is changing rapidly -- so rapidly that slowing it down or better yet, halting the damage, is very difficult indeed. Just in Paris I have noticed the acute difference in temperature over the years -- my geraniums never used to survive the winters and now they flower throughout the winter months when they would be frost-bitten by January. It's a tiny, tiny sign, but nonetheless, it's reality. All the other signs the world over are indisputable.
Deborah is determined to get beyond the debate of whether the climate is actually changing or not to finding real solutions. We can put a stop to the change by doing some basic things ourselves -- in our daily lives. One is simply fitting your property with double paned windows to reduce heat loss!
Paris is participating! The campaign is going to five cities, Paris being the last stop. "The goal is a finalized global climate change agreement that will drastically change our current business-as-usual approach to carbon pollution."
Next December’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is meeting in Paris -– known as the 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP21. There are five key steps along the road to a major treaty in Paris:
1. COP20, Lima, Peru – December 2014 2. ADP Extra Session, Geneva, Switzerland – February 2015 3. INDCs Due – March 2015 4. ADP Intercessional Meetings, Bonn, Germany – June 2015 5. COP21, Paris, France – December 2015
Paris "is the final stop and the best hope for a new and binding international climate change agreement. World leaders and climate negotiators will use the meeting to again review, negotiate, and potentially adjust country commitments (INDCs). The goal is a finalized global climate change agreement that will drastically change our current business-as-usual approach to carbon pollution in time to prevent the most severe impacts of climate change."
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