Feel free to fly to Copenhagen, I say
I read today that the Lib Dems are unhappy about Government plans to fly its sizeable delegation of politicians and officials to the COP15 climate talks in Copenhagen next month.
I have to say, I quite like the Lib Dems and their consistent concern for the environment, but this isn't something that unduly bothers me.
Sending 50 or so MPs and Whitehall workers by train would be, in my view, gesture politics and a tad of a waste of time - an important commodity for those who are supposed to be running our country.
The estimated cost of travel - £17,500 - is not a lot higher than the train fares, and is a drop in the ocean when talking about Government spend at a national level.
There is an irony of sorts in turning up at climate change talks just hours after touching down on the runway, but carbon emissions from the flights can always be offset (yes, boo hiss, i know offsets are not the perfect answer, but they're better than nothing).
For my money, it's vital that we don't allow these talks to get bogged down by petty tokenism and attempts to score political points - whether on a national or global platform.
I hope they focus on the big picture and pragmatic solutions that lead to real cuts in emissions - and I'm not too fussed about who makes what cuts where, and how equitable that is. I just want to see carbon levels fall, and I'd rather our team gets there feeling fresh and rested and ready to carve out the best possible deal, not shattered by a lengthy train trip.