As we speak, I am à Paris, attending EE Global (aka the Energy Efficiency Global Forum & Exposition), organized by the Alliance to Save Energy, self-billed as the first international conference entirely devoted to energy efficiency (well, second — the first EEGFE took place in D.C. in 2007).

As my devoted readers will no doubt hasten to point out, I killed approximately 272 puppies by flying here, so let’s hope I get at least that much cute, snuggly benefit out of it!

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The event is being held in the Palais des Congres, an enormous, white, shiny, utterly soulless business-center-slash-mall in the Porte Maillot district. The first plenary session hasn’t started yet. I took the opportunity a little while ago to walk up and stroll around the enormous exposition room, where one can find dozens of those carefully constructed corporate booths/advertisements, boasting of energy efficient appliances, smart meters, durable roofs, building management software, etc. There are also displays for various do-gooder groups intermixed, but they so convincingly mimic the look and feel of the corporate displays that my eye glides right past them as well. It’s like being in a car dealership, everything shiny and designed to impress, but paradoxically somewhat offputting — everyone is selling. One craves a more human touch.

UPDATE! It’s been so long since I’ve been able to find a reliable internet connection in Paris, the first plenary session is long past. Some very interesting, big-time-outside-the-US people spoke and there were some common themes. Perhaps I’ll write them up later.

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PS: I have two more nights here, and that means two more dinners. I welcome your suggestions for tasty dining in Paris: droberts at grist dot org.