Cashing-in from Flopenhagen to Cancún
As a two-week, UN-sponsored climate change jamboree opened in Cancún, Mexico, participants hoped to salvage something from the snow-dumped wreck they left behind 11 months ago, at what the French now label, Flopenhagen.
Many Governments have gone global-lukewarm after the Copenhagen fiasco while voter concerns have shifted to global banks, global recession and severe economic shakedown.
“The whole atmosphere has changed dramatically in just a year,” says David Kreutzer, an energy and environmental scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank that is critical of US President Obama’s cap-and-trade approach to climate change issues.
That view notwithstanding huge sums are still at stake. Big business wants progress at Cancún because the eco-industry, a vast and expanding market, has been heavily oversold by investment advisors and others on a bandwagon driven by industry-subsidised climate “scientists” and some very dodgy alarmist lobbies.
According to USA TODAY some of the world’s largest investors (with collective assets totalling $15 trillion) are urging governments represented at Cancún to “take action now in the fight against global warming or risk economic disruptions far more severe than the recent financial crisis”. Some 259 signatories including major players such as Allianz Global Investors and HSBC Global Asset Management, many of the largest European pension funds and a dozen US public pension funds and state treasurers are behind the “largest ever group” of investors calling for international action on climate change.
Earlier Christopher Booker, a contributor to the London Daily Telegraph reminded sceptics that: “The bodies calling most stridently for ‘government action on climate change’ are the ones hoping to make vast sums of money out of it. They are desperate for a treaty of the type they failed to get at Copenhagen – even more so since the collapse of the US cap and trade bill – because they see their chance of turning global warming into the most lucrative fruit machine in history dwindling by the month.”
Those of a cynical mind might wonder if the economics of the multi-billion climate change industry — which in the US alone now attracts $4bn a year from public funding — is committed to keeping the scare going for reasons well removed from any concern about melting polar ice caps.
Critics of climate change note wryly that after the providential Arctic weather event that dumped a tonne of climate-warmed storms on Copenhagen, the UN this time headed for what it must hope will be more amenable subtropical Mexico.
However as nearly 200 delegates jetted off — piling up carbon footprints for which their followers ardently criticise everyone else — Europe unhelpfully shivered under the implacable advance of an early winter. There are strong signs that for the second straight year a harsh subzero winter lies ahead irrespective of the eco-warriors’ earth-warming mantras.
Despite the Al Gore-led investment carpetbaggers above clamouring for Cancún commitment (to profitable carbon trading and related schemes), others would appear to have thrown in the towel.
Indeed Booker, writing ahead of Cancún maintains eco-alarmists have lost the battle: “The Chicago Carbon Exchange, largest in the world, has stopped trading in “carbon” – buying and selling the right of businesses to continue emitting CO2. A few years back, when the climate scare was still at its height, and it seemed the world might agree the Copenhagen Treaty and the US Congress might pass a “cap and trade” bill, it was claimed that the Chicago Exchange would be at the centre of a global market worth $10 trillion a year, and that “carbon” would be among the most valuable commodities on earth, worth more per ton than most metals. Today, after the collapse of Copenhagen and the cap and trade bill, the carbon price, at five cents a ton, is as low as it can get without being worthless.”
Meanwhile in France leftwing-led eco-militants have headed the field in support of the EU-imposed 2001 directive on renewable energy (European Directive 2001/77/CE of 27 September 2001), almost unchallenged until recently. This even though France has a prudent, long-standing commitment to nuclear power generation to underwrite its highly industrialised economy. Indeed the country has little need for distributed generation, costly feed-in tariff schemes and alternative energy subsidies that merely drive up the price the consumer pays for domestic electricity and heating.
The Left however is beginning to lose its eco-crusade.
For President Nicolas Sarkozy, who three years ago committed his government to the Grenelle de l’environnement scheme headed by “super” Minister and friend Jean-Louis Borloo, has now dumped the idea. The Grenelle plan had included financial incentives for renewable energy, organic agriculture, better mass transit and rail freight infrastructure, and biodiversity. But faced with the much harsher and pressing realities of EU-wide austerity and irresponsible banker-driven monetary misery, French and other European leaders are letting global warming wither on the vine.
Prime intellectual fuel for this is provided by Claude Allègre, an illustrious French scientist and member of the prestigious French Academy of Science.
In his book entitled “The Climate Imposter or False Ecology,” Claude Allegre berates the work of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), alleging it has mobilised planetary opinion around “a baseless myth “. He also launched vehement attacks on the many climatologists who support the “climate imposters” at the IPCC.
Claude-Jean Allègre, 73, born in Paris, is a French geochemist and politician. His scientific work and his research are highly regarded. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences and was Minister of National Education, Research and Technology in the Lionel Jospin government between 1997 to 2000. His climate sceptical views have gained wide public support.
A Le Monde poll commissioned ten days ahead of Cancún showed on global warming, “young and old were divided”. 66% of those questioned felt that the consequences of global warming are already being felt. But the figures change by age group. For those under 35, the result climbs to 78%, but for those those aged 65 and above it drops sharply to 50%. Asked if they knew about climate scepticism, 69% of those responding said they did know some of the arguments, but again of those aged 65 and over 91% were aware of the sceptics with only 56% of those under 35 having similar knowledge.
Story: Ken Pottinger
Update: See this comment on the Cancún outcome Climate change: the warmist demands heat up as ‘green’ costs soar
Quote from the conservative US paper “Weekly Standard”:
The Great Global Warming Swindle makes at least one incontestable charge: A “discourse of catastrophe” has infected the scientific community’s approach to global climate change and is shaping the budget priorities of government. In this, the issue has taken on a quasi-religious character, with devotees on a quest for radical lifestyle alternatives to avert an apocalyptic future. “Monks have got something enduring,” gushed an editor for BBC’s Radio 4, “a sign post from them to us that could initiate a culture change shifting our relationship with the environment.” Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London and a program participant, takes a dimmer view of the spiritual fervor inspiring much of the movement. He worries about the way in which global warming provides meaning and mission–and employment–to countless scientists, activists, and journalists. “At the moment the greenhouse effect is like a puritanical religion,” he says, “and this is dangerous.” Dangerous, perhaps, but also profitable and difficult to dismantle: “If the global warming virago collapses,” Stott predicts, “there will be an awful lot of people out of jobs.”
In 1972 the writer attended the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, a forerunner to the climate change battleground of later decades. That conference was chaired by one Maurice Strong, founder of the “New Age” and the US Green movement, special adviser on the environment to UN secretary general Kofi Annan, and the man behind the Rio de Janeiro and Kyoto Protocols. Before he took refuge in China in 2005, he became infamous for his increasingly dangerous remarks on climate change including this one: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse.”
The irresponsibility of the fanatics inspiring the pseudo-‘settled science’ behind climate change is embodied in Maurice Strong.
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JOHNNY BALL , a self-styled climate change heretic, reflects on the distortions and maniputlations of the warmist lobby in the UK: “If it costs 2.3p to produce one unit of electricity using gas, it costs 2.5p to produce the same electricity using nuclear energy and perhaps 2.9p using coal. Using wind power, the cost is an astonishing 9.8p. “