DESPITE the hype and the frenzied yet banal media coverage, all of this was inevitable, all of this was foreseen.

COP couldn’t not fail. It was designed to fail.

The political elites which gathered in Glasgow have no vested ­interests in changing the economic system they enjoy the benefits of.

The “hosts” were largely absent.

There is no surprise that the British team that brought you Brexit and openly flout ­international law and renege on treaties they themselves have just negotiated should be the same team that have failed at COP. When Boris Johnson did appear in Glasgow it was a deeply embarrassing experience with him using the international stage to proclaim that Britain wasn’t really corrupt.

The COP process is riddled with Big Oil and fossil fuel companies clinging on to their profits while investing heavily in greenwashing their past and our future.

Not all of the media is useless.

READ MORE: Coal and fossil fuel subsidy phase-out call survives into new COP26 draft text

Last week, openDemocracy revealed that ­officials from major oil companies ­including BP would be speaking at COP26 – despite ­assurances from organisers that they would not be welcome. openDemocracy also revealed that BP spent years spying on peaceful climate ­campaigners, even hiring a private intelligence firm to do so.

Jenna Corderoy revealed that details of a ­secretive meeting between the PM and the BP were among dozens of crucial climate ­documents the Cabinet Office has refused to release.

DeSmog reported that General Motors, one of many polluting companies at the heart of the COP pantomime: “General Motors, one of the world’s largest industrial corporations, is backing the ‘Pathways to 1.5’ pavilion at the Glasgow summit, which explores how businesses can reach the Paris Agreement target of restricting global heating to 1.5°C by the end of the ­century.”

The Ferret’s Rob Edwards reported, Scottish Government Urged Big Oil To Use Young ­People To Boost COP Message, that: “During a ­conference call in February 2021 the then energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, pressed for young people to be involved in ‘sharing the good practice’ of oil and gas companies.

“An official minute of the call released ­under freedom of information law reveals that he asked the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to talk to Holyrood political advisers about the industry ‘raising its profile internationally’ at COP26.”

Lily Henderson from the youth climate ­campaign, Fridays For Future Scotland, said: “Rather than challenge the dangers posed by the oil and gas lobby, the government lent them PR advice on how to tokenise our generation. If we are to save the planet we must stand up to the fossil fuel lobby, not pander to them.”

But if sections of the alternative media are large parts of the media are dangerously useless and seem just illiterate on the most important issue humanity faces.

Radio 4’s flagship World At One’s coverage consisted of Sarah Montague asking Allegra Stratton “Is 1.5 still alive?” relishing the phrase as a sort of joshing clever play on words. The Herald published an attack on Nicola ­Sturgeon accusing her of “abandoning Holyrood” by ­attending COP. The Daily Record, on the last day of the climate conference, reported that Kate Middleton had forgotten to zip up her “£645 Smythson Panama Ciappa East West Tote” handbag.

Among this pathetic coverage was peppered the familiar litany of lifestyle tips and banal “micro steps” because “we can all do our bit”. Absent from 90% of the media coverage is any analysis of the actual changes required to ­create the conditions for a liveable future.

Environmental justice, the absence of the global south, the failure of elite rule, the impossibility of a growth economy on a finite planet, or the brutal economic injustice at the very heart of all of this all are absent as the ­mainstream media chatters on and on and the politicians blah, blah, blah.

Despite the rhetoric that some magical ­solution would arise from this farce at the last minute, by Friday the initial draft (itself completely inadequate) was being watered down. The language on accelerating phase out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies was watered down and now become only “unabated” coal and “inefficient” subsidies. The calls for new 2030 ­climate plans next year were now “requests”, not ­“urges”. The draft treaty was being undermined not strengthened.

At the heart of this epic failure are the myths sustained and nurtured by the media dialogue. Last week saw Mark Carney launch the ­Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), ­Carney lamented: “A few years ago, the financial system held a mirror to the climate crisis. Not any more.”

Carney announced an eye-watering $130 trillion (£96 trillion) deal.

But, as David Whyte revealed on Bella, all was not as it seemed.

Whyte wrote: “... it was obvious to anyone who bothered to read the small print that there was no $130 trillion ‘deal’. All that the $130 ­trillion figure represented was a crude, back-of-the-envelope sum of the combined assets of all of the signatories. The figure released by Carney and the alliance was a notional one, dependent on a rather stretched leap of faith. The total ­assets held by signatories amounted to roughly 40% of the world’s financial capital (or something close to £130 trillion). If those signatories no longer invested in carbon projects, then all of their assets could be regarded as ‘green’. ­Simple.

“Few do read the small print, and we saw some spectacular misreporting. The New York Times headline screamed: ‘Financial industry, with $130 trillion, to pursue climate goals’; Bloomberg followed suit with: ‘Carney unveils $130 trillion in climate finance commitments’. He had done nothing of the sort. And they knew it. Michael Bloomberg is, after all, part of the GFANZ inner circle.”

THERE was no White Knight. The bankers weren’t coming to the rescue. Nobody was coming. Capital wasn’t going to abandon the drivers of growth, exploitation and consumption that are at its heart.

READ MORE: COP26: Negotiations over Glasgow agreement go into overtime

That’s not a surprise, that was inevitable. COP was designed to fail.

If the Glasgow COP saw the best and worst of humanity gathered in one city, if it represents a historic failure of an almost unimaginable scale, the only positive that can gleaned from the ­entire hellish process is that it itself is a ­revelation. The myths that surround COP: of a reformable capitalism; of politicians with the will and the motivation to effect real change; of technology as a saviour; all are redundant, ­empty. All those myths are broken and exposed.

Is 1.5 alive?

No it’s dead. It was killed by corporate power and a historic failure of political leadership and all the blah, blah, blah.

But, as the artificial light shines down on the Blue Zone, on the Spads and policy wonks, on the craven journalists and the corporate whores – outside are the rest of us: the young and the conscious, the fearful and the dispossessed. COP26 was the last chance for the powerful to prove that they had the capacity for change, that they had some moral authority or some ­flickering sign of leadership.

They failed. But this wasn’t our last chance, it was theirs.