675,000

Still wondering whether that’s a lot. The 311,000 on foot in New York are impressive. But that the rest of the world does little more than double that number may be a bit disappointing.

The Dutch contribution to the Climate March was, with a vaguely estimated 5-10,000, a modest success, to which I contributed nothing. Isolating myself with cold shivers and a headache I tried to convince myself I did the right thing by not letting this virus (or whatever) loose upon the crowd. (And I refuse to attribute it to my crowd-aversion).

I didn’t even witness it indirectly. The Dutch (NOS) television news flatly ignored what was, after all, an unprecedented global mass gathering. It did find time to inform me in detail about two faits divers of regional interest: the enactment of a WW2 battle near Nijmegen, and the rising numbers of Chinese tourists who are flooding the picturesque village of Giethoorn.

Giethoorn has waterways for streets. By 2100 most of the Netherlands will have waterways for streets. “If global carbon emissions continue on current trends,” a report summarized in the New York Times tells us, “and sea levels are affected by climate change about as much as expected, 7.8 million residents in the Netherlands could be at risk of regular flooding”. Or, in the most favourable scenario (carbon emissions reduced very sharply, sea levels much less affected), 7.2 million.

But the Chinese may stay at home: China “leads the world in both current emissions and greatest number of people exposed to flood risk” (some 50-60 million). Globally, it’s between 129 and 177 million.

A few million of us should flood the streets in November 2015, before the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

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