Cartoon Courtesy of Garymarvel.com
Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus are believers in Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW, aka man-made global warming). Never-the-less, they have written a realistic blog entry about the Copenhagen Climate Conference. To understand why I say this, lets look at their blog entry lead to “Contrivance in Copenhagen”:
From the opening ceremony’s video of a little girl running from an earthquake to the promises of emissions reductions, everything taking place in Copenhagen is contrived. The outcome of climate talks — no treaty, no emissions reductions — was known in advance. And yet participants pretend there is an unfolding drama. As such, Copenhagen is history’s first completely postmodern global event. It’s a festival of phoniness. With the ambitions of Versailles but the power of Davos, Copenhagen creates a cognitive dissonance for its creators, which results in ever-more manic displays of apocalypse anxiety and false hope.
The authors build on this theme with this:
The final result is a conference that is desperately fake from beginning to end. It opened with a fictional girl who loses her polar bear to an angry earth. It will end on December 18, when President Obama and President Hu Jintao will, to the sound of thunderous applause, call for bold action while they, in reality, implement business-as-usual energy policies.
But it’s all transparently phony. There will be no “agreement” — Obama and Premier Wen Jiabao will simply announce their proposed national energy agendas as emissions reductions targets. As for being “politically binding,” both leaders remain bound to their nations, their interest groups, and their publics, not to each other, much less to U.N. diplomats.
The authors show that the UN centerpiece– carbon offsets, (the source of Al Gore’s recent wealth) are wide open to fraud:
Europe gamed the Kyoto protocol in 1997 by rigging the framework to start from a high 1990 baseline, instead of the much lower 1997 baseline. Europe was thus able to count big emissions declines dating back to the early 1990’s and create a perception of European leadership.
Europe’s claims are nothing short of fraudulent. Its emissions declined for reasons having nothing to do with Kyoto: rapid deindustrialization and a switch from coal to natural gas in the early ’90’s in Britain, and German reunification with a collapsing East German economy, are responsible for most of Europe’s claimed reductions.
As emissions rose, U.N. officials, European leaders, and greens maintained that progress was being made by pioneering the simulation of emissions reductions through what are known as “carbon offsets.” They are commodities with no fixed relationship to actual emissions reductions. A Stanford University study of the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism found that one- to two-thirds were completely phony, representations of emissions reductions not backed up by reality. The New York Times has charitably called Europe’s supposed reductions the result of “creative accounting.”
The authors also outline the insidious part that the media has played in this sham:
Journalists and activists alike value “global warming deniers” because they are useful villains in the story. Reporters and activists never tire of writing about Exxon-Mobil’s funding as some kind of a major scoop, and a researcher at Media Matters can feel like Woodward and Bernstein after just a few hours downloading IRS 990 financial statements from Guidestar.
But really it is phony investigative journalism posing as the real thing. In truth, skeptics of global warming are poor, not rich. According to Media Matters, Exxon-Mobil has given conservative think tanks less than $7 million total since 2001 — about $1 million a year. By contrast, the combined annual budgets of America’s leading environmental philanthropies and NGOs total well over $500 million a year. Two funders alone have promised to spend $2 billion on climate communications over the next few years. And governments collectively spend billions annually, as they should, funding climate scientists to conduct research and publish their work.
They believe that the AGW’s reliance on ever increasing levels of horror stories have backfired:
The big story is that there is now 20 years of evidence that green communications on climate have backfired. Public concern about global warming today is no greater than it was 20 years ago. Public support for action to reduce carbon emissions quickly evaporates as soon as there is a serious price tag attached. Increasingly dire warnings of impending climate catastrophes have triggered apocalypse fatigue and rising skepticism about climate science. Greens have not only failed to achieve action, they have made the situation worse, alienating the public even more than they had alienated them before 2004, when the two of us denounced apocalyptic environmentalism in “The Death of Environmentalism.
There are parts of this entry that are not factual in my estimation such as their contention that the Waxman-Markey bill would have little impact on the US economy. The say that ALL INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS show this. But except for advocate organizations like Greenpeace, I believe they are have missed all the analysis that show clearly the impact. The pupose of Waxman is to ration fossil and nuclear energy, drive up the price, and surplant fossil fuel use with high cost, not economically viable, alternative forms of energy.
The remainder of their posting is largely a discussion of philosophical concepts, particularily Nihilism and the AGW movement.
If you wish to read the entire nine pages, click here.