Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
In the run-up to the next-to-last big meeting of the UNFCCC (United Nations Frequent Climate Change Carnival) held in Copenhagen in 2009, I showed the following graph under the title “Why Copenhagen Will Achieve Nothing“
At that time it was clear that if the entire industrialized world cut back to 1980 emission levels, the climbing global emissions would scarcely change.
We are now coming up on the 17th UN Climate Change Carnival … so many clowns … so few circuses. This Carnival will be held in Durban, South Africa. How have CO2 emissions evolved since the Copenhagen Carnival? The latest figures are just in. Many electrons are being sacrificed in anguish about the numbers. “Record High 2010 Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil-Fuel Combustion and Cement Manufacture Posted on CDIAC Site” shouts the headline from … well, that’s actually the self-referential headline on the CDIAC page itself. The CDIAC site says that the CDIAC site says that the CDIAC site says that a record …
Our friends at the UK Guardian newspaper enthuse that “Greenhouse gases rise by record amount.” Elsewhere the hype rises roughly proportionally with the distance from understanding what the numbers actually mean.
So how did we set this new record for carbon emissions? Figure 2 shows the information from the CDIAC site.
In interpreting these numbers, it is useful to remember that carbon emissions measure what is generally called “development” —access to all of the good things that energy brings to the citizens of the country. Medicine, and food, and shelter from the sun, and heat when its cold, and transportation, and communications, and refrigeration, and farm tractors … the list is long. It’s development, and it runs on and is synonymous with energy.
So when the developed world asks India and China and Brazil and Indonesia to cut back on carbon emissions, we’re asking them to cut back on developing their country’s health and well-being and infrastructure and manufacturing … good luck selling them that line of what my step-grandpa used to call “bull-dust” …
Remember that the Kyoto Protocol expires soon. The dream of the carbon alarmists is to extend Kyoto. They want to see a new set of global binding restrictions on the increase in carbon emissions. That is to say, they want to see binding restrictions on the increase in energy use in the developing world.
Me, I think that is one of the most inhumane proposals ever floated. The great masses of India and China and Brazil and the rest are finally clawing their way out of abject poverty, and the carbon alarmists want to put binding restrictions on their access to energy?!? Get real! The good news is, they will never, never agree to that. That carbon is what is fueling, quite literally, their rise out of the mire.
In addition, consider that agreements like Kyoto keep energy use from increasing. That approach sounds reasonable, at first blush. And for the developed countries, that’s not much problem, our use is plenty high already. But for China and India and the like? It means we’re saying they can’t ever catch up with us. I can assure you that they see the rank hypocrisy in that approach.
So if Kyoto is thankfully dead in a global sense, what does that leave? Well, I hate to be crass and crude about it but the bad news is that just leaves …
Money. Euros. Greenbacks. Simoleons. Follow the Benjamins.
What will happen in Durban is that the developing countries will pull out all of the stops to convince the developed world to give them money. We’ll hear endless heart-wrenching stories of climate refugees and dying reefs and ecological zones being uprooted and moved polewards without so much as a by-your-leave. And not forgetting, people in polar bear suits. Can’t have a UN Climate Change Carnival without polar bears.
And if history is any guide, in all probability, the carbon activists and quiche-eaters and Eurotrash we have representing the developed world will be unable to bear the guilt of actually being developed, and they will cave in to the demands and promise some money some time down the line … and then, thankfully, most countries likely won’t honor the promises, leading to diplomatic complaints and strongly worded protests.
(As an aside … Dear US Congress-Persons … can we stop funding the IPCC? They’re giving away the taxpayers’ money and getting nothing in return. That’s supposed to be your job, could you at least get rid of the competition? — TIA, willis.)
I leave it to the reader to consider further implications of these numbers. The sun is shining. I’m going outside to build something.