Thursday, December 08, 2005

What planet are the eco-cultists on?

Comment by Mark Steyn

Is it just me or are the global warming headlines starting to overheat a little? The Independent on Sunday gave its report on the Montreal climate conference the somewhat overwrought title: "What planet are you on, Mr Bush? (And do you care, Mr Blair?)" Nothing in the rather dull article underneath justified the hectoring hysteria. And, to be honest, I've no real idea what it means. Is the IoS asking whether Mr Blair cares what planet Mr Bush is on? Well, no doubt he'd be startled to hear the President's moving to Pluto, but I expect he'd take it in his stride.

As to what planet Mr Bush is on, he's not on Pluto but on planet Goofy, a strange lost world where it's perfectly normal for apparently sane people to walk around protesting about global warming in sub-zero temperatures. Or, as the Canadian Press reported: "Montreal - tens of thousands of people ignored frigid temperatures Saturday to lead a worldwide day of protest against global warming." Unfortunately, no one had supplied an updated weather forecast to the fellow who writes the protesters' chants. So, to the accompaniment of the obligatory pseudo-ethnic drummers, the shivering eco-warriors sang: "It's hot in here! There's too much carbon in the atmosphere!" Is this the first sign of the "New Ice Age" the media warned us about last week?

The story originated in Nature, the hitherto distinguished scientific periodical whose environmental coverage increasingly resembles that celebrated Sunday Sport scoop about the London double-decker bus found frozen in the deepest ice of the Antarctic. That, of course, is absurd - in reality, as the trained scientists at Nature would be the first to point out, the Clapham omnibus would be lucky to make it as far as Tulse Hill before being embedded in a glacier. The eco-doom-mongers were speculating on possible changes in thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic - or, as the Daily Mail put it: "Is Britain on the brink of a New Ice Age?" Europe could get so chilly that shivering Muslim rioters might burn the entire Peugeot fleet on the first night. Which would be good for the environment, presumably. After that, they'd be reduced to huddling round the nearest fire-breathing imam for warmth.

But the point is, as Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace puts it: "Global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter, that's what we're dealing with." Got that? If it's hot, that's a sign of global warming, and, if it's cold, that's a sign of global warming. And if it's just kind of average - say, 48F and partially cloudy, as it will be in Llandudno today - that's a sign that global warming is accelerating out of control and you need to flee immediately because time is running out ! "Time is running out to deal with climate change," says Mr Guilbeault. "Ten years ago, we thought we had a lot of time, five years ago we thought we had a lot of time, but now science is telling us that we don't have a lot of time."

Really? Ten years ago, we had a lot of time? That's not the way I recall it: "Time is running out for the climate" - Chris Rose of Greenpeace, 1997; "Time running out for action on global warming Greenpeace claims" - Irish Times, 1994; "Time is running out" - scientist Henry Kendall, speaking on behalf of Greenpeace, 1992. Admirably, Mr Guilbeault's commitment to the environment extends to recycling last decade's scare-mongering press releases. "Stop worrying about your money, take care of our planet," advised one of the protesters' placards. Au contraire, take care of your money and the planet will follow. For anywhere other than Antarctica and a few sparsely inhabited islands, the first condition for a healthy environment is a strong economy. In the past third of a century, the American economy has swollen by 150 per cent, automobile traffic has increased by 143 per cent, and energy consumption has grown

45 per cent. During this same period, air pollutants have declined by 29 per cent, toxic emissions by 48.5 per cent, sulphur dioxide levels by 65.3 per cent, and airborne lead by 97.3 per cent. Despite signing on to Kyoto, European greenhouse gas emissions have increased since 2001, whereas America's emissions have fallen by nearly one per cent, despite the Toxic Texan's best efforts to destroy the planet.

Had America and Australia ratified Kyoto, and had the Europeans complied with it instead of just pretending to, by 2050 the treaty would have reduced global warming by 0.07C - a figure that would be statistically undectectable within annual climate variation. In return for this meaningless gesture, American GDP in 2010 would be lower by $97 billion to $397 billion - and those are the US Energy Information Administration's somewhat optimistic models.

I've mentioned before the environmentalists' ceaseless fretting for the prospect of every species but their own. By the end of this century, the demographically doomed French, Italians and Spaniards will be so shrivelled in number they may have too few environmentalists to man their local Greenpeace office. Is that part of the plan? To create a habitable environment with no humans left to inhabit it? If so, destroying the global economy for 0.07C is a swell idea.

But even the poseurs of the European chancelleries are having second thoughts. Which is why, in their efforts to flog some life back into the dead Kyoto horse, the eco-cultists have to come up with ever scarier horrors, such as that "New Ice Age". Meanwhile, the Bush Administration's Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate brings together the key economic colossi of this new century - America, China and India - plus Australia, Japan and South Korea, in a relationship that acknowledges, unlike Kyoto, the speed of Chinese and Indian economic growth, provides for the sharing of cleaner energy technology and recognises that the best friend of the planet's natural resources is the natural resourcefulness of a dynamic economy. It's a practical and results-oriented approach, which is why the eco-cultists will never be marching through globally warmed, snow-choked streets on its behalf. It lacks the requisite component of civilisational self-loathing. Wake up and smell the CO2, guys. Sayonara, Kyoto. Hello, coalition of the emitting.


What will these desperates come up with next?

The debate over climate change evolved into a battle of the sexes Monday at the 11th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal. The spokesman for a feminist-based environmental group accused men of being the biggest contributors to human-caused "global warming" and lamented that women are bearing the brunt of the negative climate consequences created by men. "Women and men are differently affected by climate change and they contribute differently to climate change," said Ulrike Rohr, director of the German-based group called "Genanet-Focal point gender, Environment, Sustainability."

Rohr, who is demanding "climate gender justice," left no doubt as to which gender she believes was the chief culprit in emitting greenhouse gasses. "To give you an example from Germany, it is mostly men who are going by car. Women are going by public transport mostly," Rohr told Cybercast News Service . Rohr was standing in front of her booth, which featured a banner calling for "creative gender strategies" from "rural households to global scientific bodies." "In most parts of the world, women are contributing less [to greenhouse gasses]," Rohr continued. But it is the women of the world who will feel the most heat from catastrophic global warming, she said. "At least in the developing countries, it is women who are more affected because they are more vulnerable, so they don't have access to money to go outside the country or go somewhere else to earn money and they have to care for their families," she said. "What we are calling for is to take into account more of the social aspects of climate change," Rohr added.

When Cybercast News Service asked Rohr if men should feel guilty for allegedly producing negative climate consequences for women, she responded, "No, they should change. I think [men do not] have to feel guilty, but it might help to take these [gender] issues a little bit more into account." A spokesman for a conservative group attending the conference mocked the linking of gender to any potential climate change. "Nature does not discriminate between the sexes. The issue is absurd on its face," Peyton Knight, the director of environmental and regulatory affairs at the Washington D.C., based conservative group, National Center for Public Policy Research, told Cybercast News Service . The National Center takes a skeptical view regarding the scientific basis behind the theory of catastrophic human caused climate change. "It's hardly surprising that in the same year liberals tried to inject race into natural disasters and hurricane issues that they are now trying to inject gender into global warming issues," Knight said, referring to the politically charged racial fallout surrounding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. "Feminists must be running out of arenas in which to stage their issues," he added.

But the United Nations has already begun to take the issue of "global warming" -- and the roles men and women play in it -- seriously, according to the "Gender and Climate Change" website. It is important for the U.N. "to integrate gender sensitivity into all mechanisms, policies and measures, and tools and guidelines within the climate debate," according to the website. "In general, the Climate Change policy process tends to be driven by a masculine view of the problem and its solutions," the website explained.

More here


The Kyoto Protocol on climate change was declared "dead" by several organizations attending the 11th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference this week in Montreal. "It's dead, but no one wants to pull the life support system," Bill O'Keefe of the Washington-based George Marshall Institute told Cybercast News Service on Monday while attending the conference. "Kyoto is flawed, it is not going anywhere. It simply is not going to happen. There is no available technology that is going to make [the size of greenhouse gas emissions required by the protocol,]" O'Keefe said of the protocol's 2012 goal of getting top industrialized nations to cut their industrial emissions by 5.2 percent from the level that was produced in 1990. The United States has not signed on to the treaty.

The Marshall Institute, which "encourages the use of sound science in making public policy," takes a skeptical view of alarmist global warming. "The developing countries that have signed up for it are going to miss their [greenhouse gas emission] targets," O'Keefe explained.

Several of the nations that ratified Kyoto, including the United Kingdom and Canada, either have expressed reservations about their ability to meet the emission goals set in the protocol or are struggling to meet emission reductions. More than 8,000 government leaders, environmentalists and scientists, are attending the U.N. conference to discuss what steps to take to further limit greenhouse gases beyond the Kyoto provisions.

U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair conceded in September that Kyoto would never succeed. Blair said, "No country is going to cut its growth or consumption" because of the fear of climate change and predicted that disputes regarding its execution will "never be resolved."

According to a report from the International Council for Capital Formation, a European-based think tank, adherence to the emission limits of the Kyoto protocol will severely restrict European economic growth. In addition, many of the industrialized nations that ratified the protocol are not only failing to reduce emissions, but also are instead facing increases in their emissions. For example, Canada's emissions are up 24 percent, according to a 2003 U.N. report.

In addition to the numerous problems with its implementation, the Kyoto Protocol is not expected to impact any potential climate change. At the 2004 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, environmentalists conceded to Cybercast News Service that the Kyoto Protocol would not affect climate change and would instead be a "symbolic" gesture.

Another U.S.-based group attending the U.N. conference echoed the sentiment that the Kyoto protocol was doomed. "Kyoto is absolutely dead," said David Ridenour, vice president of the D.C.-based conservative group, National Center for Public Policy Research. Ridenour, who questions the alarmist scientific basis behind Kyoto, accused the industrialized nations that ratified the protocol of hypocrisy, for only verbally supporting the emission reduction goals. "They're hypocrites, those countries who say 'we have to have the [Kyoto emission] targets, but we are not going to meet them.' You have 11 out of 15 of the E.U. (European Union) nations that had increases in CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. So whether they admit it or not, Kyoto is dead," Ridenour said.

More here

See here for an "Oldie but Goldie" post about government regulation of dam building.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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