Last month’s United Nations’ climate change summit in Durban, South Africa generated plenty of its own hot air. But it mercifully failed to commit to any meaningful successor to the already failed Kyoto Treaty.
Of course, UN bureaucrats still proclaimed success. After all, one more international conference had generated reams of paperwork, likely cost millions of dollars, and provided another sumptuous setting and continued deep purpose for professional diplomatic busybodies.
But global warming activists, including the Religious Left, discerned the disappointing reality. Their crusade to stymie global economic growth through apocalyptic warnings of a climate catastrophe has lost steam and credibility.
“The global family is now in a perilous race against the clock on climate change,” complained a worried Church World Service, the $83 million dollar relief arm of the National Council of Churches that gets nearly half its funding from the U.S. government. “The lack of necessary action is mortgaging the lives of millions of people in developing nations,” it claimed, sternly warning this failure “threatens the future of the earth.”
Actually, the cooling of the global warming crusade is a great deliverance for “people in developing nations” whom the Religious Left claims to champion. Climate change inspired restrictions, intending to prevent any expansion of carbon producing industry, would effectively keep poor nations poor. Environmental extremists, motivated by apocalyptic scare scenarios, always believe the planet is facing disaster absent vast reductions of human activity. For them, animals and inanimate objects always are more important than improving standards of living for people.
Church World Service accurately and with frustration observed that the Durban summit “once again dangerously postpones meaningful action.” Durban paid lip service to continuing still unfulfilled Kyoto goals. And countless billions were theoretically pledged in international transfer payments without any specific means for their collection. Durban’s homage to global warming was as ethereal and gaseous as the atmosphere itself.
Usually having boundless faith in the UN and international diplomatic forums, the Religious Left perceptively realized the Durban summit was a flop. Supposedly a new climate agreement will be attained by 2015 and enacted by 2020. But the deadline may as well be 2120. “Church World Service is concerned that the negotiators have pushed decisive action many years ahead,” the federally funded relief activists bewailed. “In view of the history of negotiations and current practice, it is not at all certain that even this longer term process will be successful.” Right.
Church World Service poutingly announced it was “disappointed” in the Durban summit while pledging to remain a “passionate advocate for a more just and adequate climate policy.” Before the Durban summit, the relief group had directly warned President Obama: “It is particularly painful to know that the U.S. stood outside the international community in terms of not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and that recent U.S. Administrations – including your own – have made various political calculations that are making it difficult to reach a sufficiently strong, binding agreement on emissions reductions.”
The Religious Left is always exasperated that U.S. administrations must heed their own people in crafting policies. And it prefers European governments operating in multi-party systems more susceptible to the demands of extreme environmental groups. The National Council of Churches, the titular parent group of Church World Service, also complained of U.S. failure to act on its favored scared scenarios.
“As people of faith, we believe the United States has a moral obligation to ensure a fair, ambitious and binding agreement is put in place as the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end and that any agreement must provide adaptation assistance for the most vulnerable around the world,” a bureaucrat of the financially troubled and failing NCC intoned.
Finances seem to have prevented the National Council of Churches from dispatching its own activist to the Durban summit. But the United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, and Presbyterian Church (USA) did send concerned envoys. They also escorted “delegates from around the world to provide testimony to the impact that climate change is having on their communities and families.”
The international Religious Left watched and participated in the Durban summit with equal distress. In Geneva, the World Council of Churches had convened a special conference to explore the ethical imperative of climate change agreements. After Durban, a British Methodist relief official desperately urged a “tiny tax” on financial transactions as one “viable way” of funding international transfer payments in reparations for the ostensible havoc of global warming. “Our overseas partners are already facing dangerous climate change – they simply cannot afford for us to delay reducing CO2 emissions or providing funding for climate mitigation until 2020,” implored the Methodist Relief and Development Fund.
No doubt the international Religious Left would like more than a “tiny” tax to subsidize its ideological commitments. Its exertions to overthrow capitalism through support of Marxist liberation in the 1970s and 1980s have long since collapsed. More subtle attempts of the last two decades to halt international economic growth through extremist environmental demands are now discredited.
Under what guise will the Religious Left invest its next crusade against international market economies? Its slogans may shift, but the coercive, impoverishing goal remains constant.
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