Christiana’s nightmare – for the rest of us
By Craig Rucker
This week, as United Nations luminaries gather in Doha, Qatar, for the 18th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, the self-described “daughter of a revolutionary,” has presented her goals. The most important is a massive transfer of wealth – $100 billion a year – from soon-to-be formerly rich Europeans and Americans to UN bureaucrats who claim to represent the world’s “developing” nations and Earth’s poorest citizens.
This astonishing concept is beyond surreal. It contends that the world already has enough wealth; that the developing world cannot or ought not generate any new wealth, certainly not from hydrocarbons, but rather should be content with receiving transfer payments monitored by the UN bureaucracy; and that the industrialized world should be put in an economic straitjacket, and yet charged $1 trillion per decade for climate change reparations and mitigation – on the premise that its carbon dioxide emissions have supplanted the many natural forces that caused extensive and repeated climate changes for eons.
Coupled with the underlying premise that wealth transfers are the only way to combat alleged planet-threatening, manmade global warming, is it any wonder that the entire Doha conference is like a bad dream (or horror movie)? Or that this ridiculous saga is taking place in the nation that boasts the world’s highest per capita carbon dioxide emissions?
Of course, the UN’s objective in Doha extends far beyond wealth transfers. It seeks a total restructuring of world political power, energy systems and economies – with the UN on top and nation states bowing before its ministers, just as a newly elected President Obama bowed before his eminence, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Just imagine: The gilded Lilliputians have gathered in Doha to strip the giants of their wealth, and oddly enough the giants (the EU and USA) are willing to be stripped naked, but only (apparently) if the emerging economic powers (including China and India) will follow suit and set their own economy-strangling carbon-cutting targets. We are witnessing Mutually Assured Destruction all over again! Except, of course, that China and very likely India will opt out of this charade, laughing all the way to the bank at this grand farce.
Despite 16 years of stable planetary temperatures, and growing evidence that prior projections of rapid warming were based on faulty modeling and outright disinformation, the mainstream media continue to hype the global warming cataclysm talking points.
Associated Press “reporter” Karl Ritter, for example, said the Doha battle “between the rich and the poor” is over “efforts to reach a deal to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2° C, compared to preindustrial times” – when Earth was emerging from the Little Ice Age. He cited a recent World Bank “projection” of an up to 4° C rise by 2100. Even worse, New York Times reporter James Atlas, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, warned that the Big Apple will likely sink beneath the sea in the next 50 to 200 years.
Both predictions must have been buried somewhere in Nostradamus or the Mayan calendar.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Energy Information Administration in 2011 forecast a 53% jump in world energy demand from 2008 levels by 2035. And the International Energy Agency predicted that the U.S. will be the world leader in natural gas production by 2015 and oil production by 2020, with Canada not far behind.
More to the point, despite Figueres’ blathering about increased investments in and reduced costs of “clean” energy, the fact is that oil, natural gas and, yes, even coal, will furnish much (if not most) of this expanding demand for energy. Expensive, subsidized, land-hungry, wildlife-killing, food-price-hiking “renewable” energy will remain a small niche player for decades to come.
It is not surprising that the bureaucrats at Doha are focusing on rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, given their catastrophic worldview that somehow fails to incorporate real economic progress for developing world citizens. They apparently see nothing wrong with the fact that most of the fossil energy production in Africa, for example, has contributed virtually nothing to constructing functional power grids, truck-worthy highways, or even air traffic routing that bolster trade, build local economies, lift families out of poverty, and help eliminate the wood and dung burning that kills millions from lung infections.
Instead, the energy is shipped overseas, to countries that don’t have enough indigenous energy – or to the United States, which refuses to develop its own vast hydrocarbon deposits.
And no wonder. Fossil fuel fired power plants in Africa do not fit the “Clean Development Mechanism” model that the UN devised – and foisted on poor countries – to enable rich nations to dump “clean energy” projects on the poor, while maintaining their own comparatively extravagant lifestyles and purchasing indulgences (carbon credits) to assuage their guilt.
Aside from the fact that someone (Al Gore, international bankers and their kin) will make a killing off any carbon trading schemes – and that the UN bureaucracy is seeking to pad its own employment rolls and pocketbooks – the sad reality is that none of the shenanigans at Doha (or at any previous or future UNFCCC dog and pony show) is likely to improve the well-being of the billions of humans in so-called developing countries one whit.
These people need cheap, reliable, abundant energy and the infrastructure it can support, in order to climb out of abject poverty, lengthen life spans grossly shortened by disease and malnutrition, and terminate the tyranny of neo-colonialists who, in the name of “preventing climate change,” continue to rule over them with iron fists.
By now, everyone knows that “global warming” or “climate change” or “weird weather” is nothing but a smokescreen for those like Figueres and Obama, who view economic growth as either evil or environmentally intolerable – and thus think taking from the rich and giving to bureaucrats who claim to represent the poor will even things out, and is the highest and best thing we can do.
A far better agenda for Doha would be encouraging the emergence of genuine leadership in the world’s poor nations (and its rich nations), to foster energy generation and infrastructure building, and unleash entrepreneurial instincts and wealth creation that truly enrich the lives and fortunes of their people.
Craig Rucker is executive director of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org)
This article originally appeared in the National Journal, in its Energy Experts Blog on climate change, December 4, 2012.