In a speech last week, Pope Mark claimed that “climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer term prosperity.” But the primary threat comes not from climate change, but from climate change policy.
Details of two international agreements were released on Monday. One, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which reduces trade barriers between 12 signatories, including Canada, got lots of ink. The other, which purports to control global weather, end the era of fossil fuels, and place all human activity under bureaucratic control, got very little.
Excerpts from a “Draft Agreement” and “Draft Decision” released Monday, Oct. 5, by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced a_ction under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be used as a the basis for negotiation of the draft Paris climate package.
The pretensions of the latter text, released by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, ADP, which is assigned to come up with an agreement to put to the vast UN climate meeting in Paris in December, are mind-boggling. The fact that they attracted little attention means either that the media and public have no idea of the climate agenda’s implications, or that nobody takes the agenda seriously. Probably both. After all, the UN has been promoting the “urgent threat of climate change” for more than 25 years.
While the text of the TPP has yet to be finalized, that of the Paris meeting is skeletal. But, like skeletons, it is scary.
If anybody doubts the significance of the changes to which the puppeteers of Paris aspire, they should refer to remarks made last week by Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, who suggested that the climate thrust could destroy massive value as oil and gas assets are “stranded” by climate legislation.
Carney, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, has been lauded by segments of the Canadian mainstream media as a “rock star.” Indeed, he does bear some similarity – at least in orientation — to icon Neil Young, who has become deranged over the oil sands and recently signed his name to Naomi Klein’s loopy Leap Manifesto.
Carney would perhaps see his status as more analogous to another anti-capitalist crusader, Pope Francis, the man who put the “vestment” in “divestment.”
In fact, this is not the first time that Carney has addressed the risk of stranded assets. After a similar Bank of England claim earlier this year, Carney gave evidence before a House of Lords committee. Nigel Lawson, the redoubtable former Chancellor of the Exchequer and founder of skeptical think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, noted that the bank’s projections were entirely at odds with those of the International Energy Agency, which saw decades of fossil-fuelled growth. Lawson suggested that Carney should stick to his financial mandate, and that the Bank should stop spouting “green claptrap.” (Significantly, the draft Paris text cites “financial institutions” as key partners in its fight against capitalism. Meanwhile Carney isn’t just boss of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, he is head of the Financial Stability Board, a global organization of central bankers. He is reportedly to push the climate agenda at a G20 meeting in November).
The Paris text’s most significant feature is its lack of detail. It starts with the suggestion that the parties recognize “the intrinsic relationship between climate change, poverty eradication and sustainable development.”
But although the relationship may be intrinsic, it is far from clear. Insofar as the promoters of the agreement seek to starve poor countries of financing for “maladaptive” fossil fuel development, they are promoting poverty. Developing countries want nothing to do with having wind and solar foisted on them. They are gung ho for coal. They are also interested in the annual US$100 billion of handouts, starting in 2020, that was promised six years ago at Copenhagen but that, true to form, has not materialized.
The negotiating text betrays that peculiarly UN mindset that demands that all the world’s alleged problems be shouldered and addressed together, a kind of Gethsemane Syndrome. Not only will a giant interlinked series of new bureaucracies oversee programmes to regulate the climate and encourage appropriate technology and development to end poverty. They will negotiate these joint wonders while ensuring sensitivity to women, natives and the disabled. Their call to action claims to be based on “the best available scientific knowledge,” yet it also incorporates “traditional” — that is, distinctly non-scientific — knowledge.
Among additional “preambular paragraphs” being considered is a reference to “Mother Earth.” This is not just a spiritual add-on. As a provider of “environmental services” Gaia needs to be paid. Since she has no bank account, the UN is more than prepared to act as her proxy.
The document is a compendium of parentheses, that is, wording or issues that have yet to be decided. One parenthesis suggests that the famous 2 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures (since before the Industrial Revolution) that will put us at an existential tipping point might be changed to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Could that be a recognition of the inconvenient fact that global temperatures are refusing to rise despite unprecedented increases in the CO2 that is meant to drive them?
The desperation to negotiate a deal is obvious in provisions that signatories may be able to pull out after three years, and that there are no penalties for non-compliance.
The document is very big on “capacity building,” which means bureaucrats teaching people to think like them, in terms of “modalities and procedures” and “facilitative dialogues.” Best practices are a top priority, particularly if they are “scalable and replicable.” Needless to say, the world’s most obscure document is big on transparency.
In that speech last week, Pope Mark claimed that “climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer term prosperity.” But the primary threat comes not from climate change, but from climate change policy.
The Paris text several times stresses the critical importance of cities and non-governmental organizations in promoting the climate agenda. Thus, to the extent that Canadian export pipelines are being opposed by local authorities in Vancouver and Montreal, and challenged legally and illegally by the likes of Greenpeace and ForestEthics, the UN’s agenda isn’t just bureaucratic fantasy. It’s a real threat to prosperity and democracy.