Of course, the debate about acceptable levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions rages in Copenhagen at the climate talks, both in and outside the meeting halls. “No Planet B” signs read at the large protest march on Saturday. Indeed. But I wanted to share a few other calculations I’ve noted gathered in my few days here in Copenhagen. First, prices. Everything is expensive, or so it seems. A $40 lunch? No problem. A $7 cup of coffee? Just the daily grind. But this caught my eye: a Big Mac for 15 Danish krones. At about $3 that’s one of the biggest bargains in town. The (very) small seaweed salad I ate a lunch today? Thirty-seven krones. The soy latte I got to wake me up this morning? A mere (sic) 38 krones. Go figure.
Another quirk of the calculus. During the huge (and peaceful) climate march, the police were out in droves, in vans, on foot and in helicopters. It was strange and unsettling in this calm, collected city. A phalanx in riot gear were stationed in front of side-by-side McDonald’s and KFCs on the protestors’ route. I suppose there wasn’t much demand for the 15 Krone Big Mac that day in any case. Even the New York Times story on the protest march noted the large number of pro-vegetarian signs.