This week I was in Cornwall. The consultant who is part of the project team lives there and works from home. I have been there for a few days to work on a report. Cornwall is the southwestern tip of the UK, a train journey of more than 6 hours. My destination was a village on the coast with rolling meadows, small old walls and picturesque farms. The feeling of being in another world was enhanced by my phone having no signal.
At this remote location, we have followed the Philae landing. When it comes to long journeys, the Rosetta is in a category of its own. The ESA website has a clear animation about the route of Rosetta, which by the way only opens in Internet Explorer (apparently a cross-browser website is more difficult to realise than a comet landing). I found it a fascinating experience to witness how humanity made direct contact with a comet hurtling through space somewhere between Mars and Jupiter.
Closer to home, another historic moment took place. The U.S. and China have signed a climate deal in which China commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the first time. The importance of the agreement lies mainly in the fact that the two biggest polluting economies no longer hide behind each other:
Many US politicians have long argued against cutting greenhouse-gas emission on the grounds that China would never act — so what was the point? And China, for its part, has long insisted that rich countries should cut their own emissions and give developing countries like China time to grow.
With this deal, the two countries are beginning to cooperate rather than use each other as an excuse for inaction.
Of course we still have to see what comes of it, but there is at least a little positivity on the climate front. In the end, we do not want the band Live to be right when they sing: “We made it to the moon, but we can’t make it home.”