The Rio+20 sustainable development summit will be held from 20 – 22 June 2012. There will be around 60 000 delegates (I’m not sure how many Australians will be attending).
I have a theory: the more people attending a summit, the less important is the summit. How many people attended the Potsdam Conference? (between 150-200 as best I can calculate from the various papers).
And yet communications were far less developed at the time of the Potsdam Conference – this would tend to increase the number of people required during the meeting.
Here we are in 2012, and a so-called major summit on sustainable development has 60 000 people flying to Rio and crowding out the city’s hotels when most of them could have participated via teleconference. Many of these will be from NGOs and will be passionate hypocrites trying to force a lower standard of living on the world’s population and condemn many to remain in abject poverty in the name of a response to climate change.
If each of the 60 000 delegates tried to meet bilaterally there would be 1 799 970 000 different meetings. If each of those meetings lasted 20 minutes, there would be 600 million hours of meetings.
Using the typical seat configuration for a Qantas 747, if all 60 000 delegates travelled economy class, they would require 191 Qantas 747s to fly them to Rio. If they all travelled business class: 1200 Qantas 747s.