Obama spoke today at the Climate Change Circle Jerk Conference in Copenhagen and in an unusual bit of specifics, committed us to the following:
First, all major economies must put forward decisive national actions that will reduce their emissions, and begin to turn the corner on climate change. I’m pleased that many of us have already done so. Almost all the major economies have put forward legitimate targets, significant targets, ambitious targets. And I’m confident that America will fulfill the commitments that we have made: cutting our emissions in the range of 17 percent by 2020, and by more than 80 percent by 2050 in line with final legislation.
Do you have any idea what would be required to cut CO2 emissions in the US by 17 percent in the next 10 years? Further, where is the money going to come from to pay for the measures that countries would have to put in place? With the US debt at its current $1.5 to $1.7 trillion, our economy will not withstand the kind of taxation that would be needed to support such expenditures. Cutting our emissions by 80 percent would require that our emissions equal the US emissions at the beginning of the 20th century … when we had a population less than 100 million. Can you say stone-age?
However, Obama left a back door for himself:
Second, we must have a mechanism to review whether we are keeping our commitments, and exchange this information in a transparent manner. These measures need not be intrusive, or infringe upon sovereignty. They must, however, ensure that an accord is credible, and that we’re living up to our obligations. Without such accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page.
I don’t know how you have an international agreement where we all are not sharing information and ensuring that we are meeting our commitments. That doesn’t make sense. It would be a hollow victory.
China will never agree to the reduction verification regime envisioned by the other industrialized countries and Obama knew this was a likely outcome:
Obama, in his highly anticipated speech, declared: “The time for talk is over.” He acknowledged that the leaders were still far from a deal. “At this point, the question is whether we will move forward together, or split apart. Whether we prefer posturing to action.”
But his eight-minute speech offered nothing new or concrete about America’s actions on global warming, and he was as indisposed to be conciliatory as China.
He, like France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, also used the speech to take a shot at China for refusing to bow to American and European demands to submit to inspections of its actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions. “I don’t know how you have an international agreement where you don’t share information and ensure we are meeting our commitments,” he said. “That doesn’t make sense. That would be a hollow victory.”
Obama can promise anything as long as he can say “if only China would have … ” However, Obama remains disposed to use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement a taxing policy based on our “carbon footprint,” but the money spent to reduce carbon output will not match the taxes imposed. However, all of this … Copenhagen, global disaster, human tragedy-in-the-making, and a global agreement (or lack thereof) is not what the whole Climate Change Extravaganza is about.
Let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s say that astronomers in several countries, just say the US, France, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Russia, Iceland and Indonesia among others all announce the discovery of a five kilometer diameter asteroid that was on a collision course with the earth. All also agree on the estimated date of collision to be three years hence. Let’s also say that this discovery is confirmed by a number of respected amateur astronomers. Now we can be fairly certain that this is settled science. Sure, we’ll get some people who disagree, but their position isn’t based on anything other than, oh, let’s say their religion.
Do you believe that under the above scenario the major countries of the world would be unable to come to agreement to collectively develop a strategy to somehow meet this grave threat? I doubt it. They may have difficulty agreeing on exactly what form the strategy should take … send nuclear weapons to blow the asteroid into small pieces, attempt to attach multiple rocket engines to one side to “push” it on another trajectory, whatever … it doesn’t really matter. Most everyone sees the threat and knows something needs to be done, otherwise some or all of us will not survive.
So why wasn’t an agreement reached in Copenhagen to do something about Global Climate Change? Why couldn’t the developed countries reach an agreement on what everyone will do to reduce the “cause” of the so-called “climate disaster?”
First, there isn’t one single overriding reason for attending for all the countries that in fact are participating. No one big purpose. Some countries of the developing world are there for no other reason than to see how much they can shake down the first world for. Others are there so that if there is a hand-out, they won’t miss theirs. Some first would countries are attending because their leaders feel guilty for their predecessors’ colonial adventures; they need to give away their citizens’ hard-earned money to anyone with dark skin and a hand extended. Others just want an excuse to increase taxes.
Second, I suspect very few of the conference participants truly believe there is problem needing a solution. They all spout the doctrine of climate change, but if in fact most of them believed it, they would have a much less difficult time developing an agreement to do something about it.
Third, many are there because of the money … vast amounts of money. In addition to the transfer of wealth that many third-world countries would love to be the recipient of, there will be massive amounts of money from a commercial perspective. Questionably effective green technology, shoved down the throats of consumers through regulation by pliable governments, will create many very wealthy people so long as they can buy the right politicians or bureaucrats.
Lastly, the elitist are there for power … more power over the lives of any country stupid enough to buy into this global warming/climate change clap-trap. These generally have a “UN” somewhere on their business cards, or at least wished they did.
In my opinion, Climategate did much more damage to this conference than any of the participants would ever admit. Was it the cause of the failure? Probably not entirely. Lack of a central purpose was probably the primary reason for failure. When the participants all want more than they are willing to give, it’s a recipe for failure.