Much like the buses of the great city playing host to the key climate summit, US presidents have been like buses in Glasgow – you wait so long for one to show up, and two appear within a week.
Crowds gathered to see former US president Barack Obama achieve the Herculean feat of walking down a flight of stairs, followed by a jaunt of around 10ft into a nearby meeting room where he spoke at an event on the impacts of climate change on island communities.
The onlookers gasped and applauded as the man who spearheaded the Paris agreement in 2015 almost glided past them, with even hardened political journalists swooning at the thought of being so close to the first black president.
In an action-packed day, Mr Obama spoke at the event in the morning, before addressing Cop26 in the afternoon, punctuated by private meetings and a roundtable with young activists.
“Those of us who live in big, wealthy nations, those of us who helped to precipitate the problem, we have an added burden to make sure that we are working with and helping and assisting those who are less responsible and less able, but are more vulnerable to this oncoming crisis,” he said.
Channelling his inner Alan Partridge
In a move reminiscent of the Steve Coogan character and his re-launch after a breakdown, former president Obama declared to delegates in Glasgow “the US is back” after the presidency of Donald Trump.
Just where the property developer turned politician took the world’s biggest economic power is not quite clear, but judging from the actions of a group of his supporters in Washington DC in early January, it is probably best the country did not stay there.
Hope and change in the… Emerald Isles?
In a speech typical of the man, the former president spoke with passion, fluidity and timing, even dropping in a few jokes about being able to get away with not wearing a tie without some portions of the US press corps clutching their collective pearls.
But, no one – not event the former resident of the Oval Office, holder of the position of Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy – is perfect, as was proven by a rare gaffe in referencing the “Emerald Isles” as he went on to quote from Shakespeare’s Othello.
The gaffe was easily missed, but given the line was delivered some 172 miles (as the crow flies) from the Republic of Ireland, someone in the former leader’s team may be in for a Baracking.
School’s back for Greta
Precocious climate campaigner, and one of the most famous teens in the world, Greta Thunberg left the summit over the weekend after leading about 25,000 young people on a march, in favour of a return to school.
Known for ditching classes to protest outside the Swedish parliament, Greta opted to leave the dreary grey of Glasgow for the dreary grey of Stockholm.
Presumably, the stories of what she did on her break would trump the holiday parks and summer jobs of her peers.