The United Nations-sponsored global change conference in Copenhagen is turning into a shake-down of the West by developing countries. It is also a typical display of hysteria manufactured by UN bureaucrats to justify their sinecures.
“Decades of effort will come down to this one critical week,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters assembled for a press briefing on December 14th just before his departure for Copenhagen. “Seldom in history has a choice been so clear. We can move toward a future of sustainable green growth, or we can continue down the road to ruin.”
To show how seriously the United Nations establishment is taking this conference, its leadership has arranged a huge field trip for its bureaucrats to Copenhagen. The spokesperson for the Secretary General said there are 477 staffers from UN Secretariat units and 309 more from 19 specialized agencies and related organizations in Copenhagen. It may be no exaggeration to say that the transportation and feeding of nearly 800 UN bureaucrats – not to mention all the UN member state representatives, academics and hangers-on attending the two-week conference – is causing more carbon gas emissions than some countries experience in a year.
One leading theme of the Copenhagen conference is to obtain major funding commitments from developed countries to help the developing countries deal with climate change. “Looking ahead, we need greater clarity on a robust finance package for the middle and longer-term”, said Ban Ki-moon. “It is essential that we leave Copenhagen with a clear understanding of how we will meet the financing challenge through 2020.”
Some $10 billion in funds annually, up to 2020, is already on the table, but the Secretary General is looking for way more. So is China, the largest emitter of carbon gasses and an economic powerhouse in its own right. China has made clear during the conference that it still regards itself as a developing country and demands a free pass for its actions, even as it insists on severe restrictions on Western economies and trolls for hand-outs from what may turn out to be the most massive wealth transfer scheme in history.
We are not just talking about providing energy-efficient technology and technical assistance to truly poor economies, or financial aid to low-lying island and seacoast countries or agriculture-based economies, to enable them to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Those can be constructive measures. What some developing countries (and China) are demanding amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars of reparations for the alleged sins of economically prosperous countries. A commitment to solving their own pollution problems is not on the agenda. Nor is accountability for the monies they will receive.
Saudi Arabia has taken the shake-down to a new level, complaining that its economy will suffer very serious harm from any global pact that curbs demand for its oil. Therefore, it is demanding access to UN funds that are supposed to help countries adapt to climate changes from global warming, such as the rise in sea levels and extreme weather. “I’m surprised to see that developed countries expect they can get away with the things they want without giving equal treatment to what we want,” said Saudi Arabia’s lead climate negotiator earlier this year in the lead-up to Copenhagen.
Lest anyone question the agenda of the Copenhagen conference, a generous dose of hysteria is on offer as a distraction. The conference started off with a video setting the stage for urgency to deal with a problem that its sponsors have been hyping as a looming catastrophe. The video recalled the 1964 Lyndon Johnson-Barry Goldwater presidential campaign of the Johnson ad featuring a little girl picking flowers just before a nuclear bomb explosion. This time, the video featured a little girl running from the surging waters supposedly unleashed by man-made global warming and trying to climb a tree as her only temporary safe refuge. Hysterical appeals to emotion have replaced discussion of objective facts and reasoned expert opinions presented by all sides of the climate change issue.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was supposed to bring together the world’s best scientists with expertise in climate change who would follow the evidence, wherever that may lead. But the environmental panel had an ideological agenda. It produced a report with the participation of 2,500 scientists from 130 countries that was meant to “shock people, governments into taking more serious action,” in the words of the panel’s chairman.
As it turned out, the panel’s report was contaminated with fraudulent scientific research. As we now know from leaked e-mails exchanged by scientists who already had their minds made up without first dispassionately assessing all of the evidence, the data underlying the report was deliberately manipulated. The opinions of scientists dissenting against the conventional wisdom, which held that man-made global warming was an imminent existential danger, were suppressed. In spite of all the doubts raised by these revelations, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon still insists that “the science is clear and settled” and that those who continue to question the conventional wisdom are “wrong.”
To enforce the conventional wisdom, armed UN security officers were deployed to make sure that no dissenting voices were heard in the inner sanctums of the Copenhagen conference. In one outrageous instance, they intervened to stop aggressive questioning of Stanford University Professor Stephen Schneider, a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who was promoting his book during a press conference. The questions had to do with Climategate.
Apparently, this global warming alarmist found the questions too hot to handle. Professor Schneider refused to comment on the leaked e-mails. When he ran out of his talking points in response to questions from a skeptical film maker named Phelim McAleer who was pressing for some honest answers, the professor called for armed guards to intervene. The guards obliged by threatening the film maker, ordering him to stop filming and to stop asking any more questions.
“These questions should be answered,” said McAleer. “The attempts by UN officials and Professor Schneider’s assistant to remove my microphone were ham-fisted but events took a more sinister turn when they called an armed UN security officer to silence a journalist. This is a blatant attempt to stop journalists doing journalism and asking hard questions. It is not the job of armed UN security officers to stop legitimate journalists asking legitimate questions of senior members of the UN’s IPCC.”
This is not the first time that the UN blueshirts have been called in to muzzle dissent. Last month, the United Nations security department in New York detained a leading UN critic, Anne Bayefsky, and then escorted her out of the building after stripping her of her accreditation pass.
In dismissing the global warming skeptics, Ban Ki-moon said that “climate change is real, we are the primary cause, and it is up to us – here and now – to deal with it. Nature does not negotiate.”
Climategate is proving one law of nature: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The truth is pushing back against the forces of the climate change “consensus.”