Image: Tipping-Point Narratives Of Climate Doom And Dying Polar Bears
Related: IPCC report is ‘code red for humanity’
Article originally from 2014
By torontosun via Principia Scientific International
The latest United Nations effort to draft a new global treaty on climate change proves Prime Minister Stephen Harper was right when he described its efforts as “a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.”
Harper was pilloried by Canada’s opposition parties after his statement, contained in a 2002 fundraising letter for the now-defunct Canadian Alliance, was revealed in 2007, shortly after he won the 2006 federal election.
But Harper was right. Indeed he was vindicated in 2011, when a senior UN climate official, German economist Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group III, explained:
“Basically, it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit (that one was in Cancun) is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War … one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
To Edenhofer and his fellow travellers at the UN, this is desirable because developed countries “having basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community” would now use a portion of the wealth this generated to assist developing countries in growing their economies in environmentally responsible ways.
Whatever one thinks of Edenhofer’s views, his statement has the virtue of honesty, rare in political discussions about climate change.
This has nothing to do with “saving the planet,” in the words of the environmental lobby.
In reality, nothing the UN or the developed world has tried to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions — carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, regulation — has worked.
Much of it, particularly cap-and-trade, has been steeped in political corruption, fraud and organized crime.
The only thing that did significantly cut global emissions — temporarily and as an unintended consequence — was the economic recession set off by the sub-prime mortgage scandal in 2008 that began in the U.S. and quickly spread around the world.
So the real debate at these never-ending UN climate meetings is about who will contribute and how much they will contribute to a $100-billion-a-year UN “Green Climate Fund”, starting in 2020, to be paid by developed nations like Canada to the developing world.
The purpose is ostensibly to help the developing world cope with the impact of climate change and reduce its emissions, since they are now rising fastest in the developing world as it industrializes.
The position of the developing nations is that they should be paid this money without having to agree to any hard targets, through which they would be required to reduce their emissions based on a clear timetable and specific dates.
China, the world’s largest emitter, ostensibly agreed in a recent side deal with lame duck President Barack Obama (the U.S. is the second-largest emitter), to lower its emissions after 2030, when they were expected to peak anyway.
But it has since made clear it will not submit its plan to do so for international review, nor tolerate questioning of it.
India, the world’s third-largest emitter, has not only rejected any emissions cap, but said its emissions will continue to rise for the foreseeable future because its priority (like China’s) is eliminating poverty.
Meanwhile, the position of the developed world, which will be making the payments into the Green Climate Fund, is that there must be hard targets and specific emission reduction timelines for the developing world.
So far a few countries, including Canada which contributed $300 million — similar to the U.S. commitment of $3 billion when population is factored in — have committed $10 billion to this fund.
But many of these commitments are spread over several years, far short of the $100 billion annually the UN wants in place by 2020, and who knows how much in subsequent years?
There is also a dispute over whether the climate fund should be composed only of public (tax) money, or include private investments.
Regardless, the thing to keep in mind as we head towards next December’s key UN meeting in Paris is that this debate has never been about “saving the planet” or even about reducing emissions. It’s always been about the money.