Like ancient Druids pleading with the gods for good seasons, world leaders and their aides recently devoted a fortnight in Paris to pleading with each other to stop global temperatures from rising more than an average 2C above pre-industrial levels, when the Earth was emerging from the Little Ice Age.
Of the 196 nations represented at the COP21 conference, 154 were developing economies. Regardless of the direction of world temperatures, they left Paris happy that the UN’s Green Climate Fund, which aims to reach $US100 billion a year by 2020, will give them cash for anything they can pass off as remotely related to their intended national contributions to world CO2 reduction. They argue this is only fair. Poor countries fare worst from climate change and must be compensated for unspecified damage and their share of repairing the West’s legacy. You can bet $US100bn a year won’t do it.
Overwhelmingly, the money for the fund will come from 42 guilt-racked wealthy nations. That is their moral responsibility. They caused the warming. They threaten the planet. It’s time for them to repay their climate debts.
It matters not that there is no empirical scientific evidence to support these claims. Even the 2C target is not based on science, it was originally plucked out of thin air by the European People’s Party for election purposes. But then climate change is not about credible scientific evidence. It has its roots in Marxism, and ultimately the Green Fund is presided over by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, run by Costa Rican Marxist Christiana Figueres. The “paradigm-shifting” fund will provide employment for an army of green bureaucrats who will offer “concessional finance” for the development needs of less advanced countries.
China, the leading emitter, venting one billion tonnes of CO2 a year more than it admits to, has been adroit in dealing with the politics. It approaches its domestic air quality crisis under the banner of climate action and so turns a domestic necessity into a global virtue. From this and its lack of interest in aid for itself, China projects moral authority and, while there is no cap on its emissions and only a promise that they will peak by 2030, promotes emission restraints for others, for its own competitive advantage.
India has adopted a similar line. The world’s third largest emitter is set to overtake China. It will not accept constraints on development and does not spell out when emissions will peak. Like China, it will adopt cleaner energy to improve air quality and will claim UN compensation.
Having successfully captured the West, post-Paris, the noose will tighten. Despite assurances that intended nationally determined contributions, delivered before the conference, would keep temperature increases to no more than 2C, we are now told that even if fully implemented, temperatures will rise by 2.7C by 2100. So the Paris agreement will “only lay the groundwork” and all those hard-won pledges were based on a miscalculation.
How disappointing. But there is now an aspirational 1.5C ambition on the table that Figueres quickly endorsed. Should it ever be agreed to, expect more ambit claims. And without a Tony Abbott in Canberra or a Stephen Harper in Ottawa, no world leader utters a peep in protest.
Caught in a moral dilemma of its own making, the developed world concedes its culpability. Its representatives succumb to propaganda and bullying and credulously accept bogus science and catastrophism. They pay no heed to alternative views. They consider abandoning fossil fuels, the world’s cheapest, most efficient and wealth-creating power source, and baulk at nuclear alternatives.
Instead, they pour hundreds of billions of dollars into costly, in-efficient renewable energy, robbing their industries of flexibility and competitiveness and, punishing the world’s poorest citizens.
Indeed, Western capitalist societies have given up on rational thinking. They embrace junk science and junk economics and adopt wealth-destroying postmodern pseudo-economics, which teaches that taxpayer subsidies can produce desirable “economic transformation” and faster growth. Pigs may also fly.
Climate change has cowed once great powers into meekly surrendering sovereignty and independent thought to unelected bureaucrats in Geneva. From the White House to the Lodge, private choice now runs a distant second to collectivist visions.
Although only an aspiration now, the 1.5C target will be relentlessly pursued until adopted. The media, in step with the Green Machine, will bombard us with climate alarmism to the applause of the leader of the free world, Barack Obama, who says: “My mission is to make the world aware that climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism.” Really? That’s serious. Clearly authority, not common sense or science, now rules the world.
While some activists such as James Hansen may criticise the Paris agreement as “worthless words”, those such as Figueres, interested in reconfiguring the world’s political and economic structure, will be pleased with progress. We are another step closer to her ideal of ‘‘centralised transformation”, with the UN at the authoritarian centre, calling the shots and doling out transfer payments from the rich to ensure poor countries remain her mendicants. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says: “If we really want to put an end to global poverty, if we really want to make the world healthier and planet Earth environmentally sustainable, we have first to address the climate change issue.”
The only certainty to come out of COP21 is that there will be a COP22.