As the Bali conference comes to a close I've decided to share what I learned from the little Professor who could. In no specific order:
1. Being leader of the official opposition in Canada is a great way to fill time and a real hoot!
The job of Opposition Leader is a demanding one – a great time-filler! The tight agenda that comes with the job sometimes leads to comical situations.
2. A sense of humor is relative....you know....kinda like why ten year old boys find fart jokes so fascinating.
Thus the date of December 11, 2007, which marks the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol, was celebrated here 13 hours before my home time. Standing before the cake that had been prepared to celebrate the occasion, I suddenly felt the pangs of doubt. You see, December 11 is also my wife Janine’s birthday! So had I committed the unforgivable sin of forgetting it or was I 13 hours ahead?Thankfully, the second hypothesis was the right one and as I cut the Kyoto cake, I promised myself to bring her a gift from Bali and to call her at the end of my day to surprise her at the beginning of HER day.
3. Hypothesis' are nearly as funny as fart jokes.
4. Achieving Achievements is really spiffy.
The achievements that ICLEI’s actions have achieved since its creation in 1990 are impressive.
Chucker Canuck has a nice take on Achieving Achievements. Read it if you haven't already. Other achievements included:
Just spending a full day without having to change clothes is an achievement of sorts.
This brings back memories of my most culinary enthusiastic son as a toddler. A case of more on him than in him.
5. Don't eat the salad.
As everyone knows, a trip to a country as exotic as Indonesia, or Asia in general, necessitates some precautions when it comes time to sit down for a meal.
Here in Bali, the decor is fantastic, and everything in the restaurants looks excellent. I say ‘looks’ because the Health Canada warnings tell us, not just once but twice, to be careful never to eat anything raw, even salads.
With a schedule as full as mine, the opportunities to take the time for a nice, relaxing meal are fairly limited. So what to do when walking into a Japanese restaurant where the sushi and sashimi look so appetizing, or a restaurant where the salads look like works of art?
Some of my friends who work for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have allowed themselves to be tempted. The result? Two days in bed with stomach cramps that make them regret having succumbed to temptation. They call it “Bali Belly”. And when you’re only in Bali for six days...I suppose that explains the latter half of the previously claimed achievements....at least he didn't shit himself, although one wonders at Stephane's choice of friends.
6. Stephane has hand-eye coordination on the level of the average two year old boy and the star struck adulation of the average thirteen year old girl.
One of the main media attractions of this conference is without a doubt the famous solar taxi that has been ferrying high-profile personalities around the site, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, and Bianca Jagger, who is a big fan of this Swiss invention, and about whom I will talk more, later in this blog.
First, I’d like to thank Louis Palmer and Thomas Gottschalk, who did exceptional work in developing a totally clean vehicle powered by solar energy.Having seen the configuration of this vehicle, I preferred being a passenger rather than driving it, so as to avoid any mishaps.
Good thinking Stephane, now staying away from the levers of power might not be a bad idea either eh?
7. Stephane and the Goracle share a passionate nature.
The result of much planning, this meeting proved to be very friendly and Mr. Gore showed himself to be very generous with his time and advice, despite a schedule that we know to be very full. Our passionate nature was a way for us to connect, and to persevere in the pursuit of our common goals.
8. You can sure pick up the babes in Bali with one of them solar rides.
My meeting with the team of inventors of the famous solar taxi allowed me to get a meeting with Bianca Jagger, who has for many years dedicated herself to the cause of protecting the environment. She is currently President of the World Future Council, based in London.
She had asked to meet me in order to find out more about Canada’s position, which she doesn’t share or understand. I talked with her about the Canadian reality and the issues we are facing. Our role in Opposition is to remain vigilant in the face of a government – a minority government, remember – that doesn’t represent in any way the views of Canadians, particularly when it comes to the environment and climate change.
I was surprised by her vast knowledge of environmental issues, but also by the strength of her determination to effect change.According to Stephane not all the chicks that banged members of the Stones are stone stupid. I would have been surprised also. And as far as speaking for Canadians......well we all know you ain't Canadian if you ain't Liberal.
A most excellent adventure dude!