Copenhagen : A Layman’s View
So, after an avalanche of hype and hysteria, Copenhagen ended in the huge disappointment anticipated by many sceptic bystanders. During a whole fortnight, a lot of hot air (no pun intended) coming from Pundits, Presidents and Prime Ministers filled the Bella Centre. They all said they were there to salvage planet Earth from hurtling towards oblivion.
But, when it came to the small print, it all ended very much like the farcical fiasco of Kyoto
and its predecessors — with the developed countries wanting to preserve their advantage (why not?), the big developing nations saying they cannot stop their industrialisation process (again why not?) and the poorer small fries “threatening” to abstain from the salvation exercise altogether if someone does not stump up a lot of cash upfront.
At the end of the day, therefore, one wonders what Hope’n’haven’t was about. They say they were there to discuss climate change and save the planet. There could not be a better example of bare-faced, shameless humbug and hypocrisy. It does not take a science PhD to work out that the 15,000 delegates arriving by air and being driven about in limousines have left a gigantic carbon footprint behind them, as they argued about who will cut their carbon emission by how much. And, after their return home, it’s back to yet more polluting limousines and noisy outriders. One can also add to this their own private jets and gas-guzzling BMWs, Mercs and Aston Martins!
In an era of instant communication when man can communicate from outer space, the whole affair could have been carried out sitting in a conference hall back home. And, it cannot be possible that the pundits and their political allies have not heard about teleconferencing. No, the fact of the matter is that besides being unglamorous, distant communication does not involve first-class air travel, VIP treatment and a hefty per diem. Who cares that the money spent on each delegate could feed a poor, starving child in the Third World for several months!
The Sleight of Hand
But first, notice the sleight of hand. At Montreal and Kyoto, it was Global Warming, with frightening scenarios of melting glaciers and Antarctica flooding all low-lying regions. However, when some of the most reputable authorities on global temperature (including NASA, Hadley and University of Alabama) found that temperatures had not risen in the past 10 years, the talk changed to Climate Change. Of course, unlike temperature which can be measured accurately, climate change can mean anything from a slight rainfall variation to a frightful flood, a modest change in wind velocity to a more powerful and destructive hurricane. Much of it very subjective stuff!
But, don’t take my word for it. There are some very potent voices on the matter out there but, for reasons that are obvious, the media just do not report their views. Open any daily newspaper and you will read of floods, quakes and tsunamis; good news just does not make good copy. Consequently, the Climate change/Green lobby, with their message of impending doom, has found no difficulty in publicizing their agenda, silencing dissenters and imposing their credo on a confused public, sometimes dressing up propaganda with pseudo-science. Green is beautiful: only a heretic will argue with that. But, truth will out!
1. UK. Just before the Copenhagen meet, the University of East Anglia, one of the foremost proponents of Global Warming and campaigner for tough environmental action, admitted in (secret) leaked e-mails that they were embarrassed to acknowledge that there was no evidence that temperature is rising. “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t,” read one message
2. USA. The “Oregon Petition,” sponsored by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, was signed by 32,000 serious scientists, including 9000 PhDs. The petition, which was last circulated in 2007, is categorical that there is no conclusive evidence to show that (human) emission of CO2 and other gases will cause any catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere in the foreseeable future. Indeed, they point out that there is ample evidence that “increases in atmospheric CO2 produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environment of the Earth.”
3. Germany. 130 top scientists, some of whom are/have been members of the IPCC, sent a letter in July 2009 to Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, voicing opinion similar to Oregon. Indeed, they question the scientific credibility of the IPCC. In spite of the evidence that human emission of CO2 has a negligible effect on Global warming, the latter has chosen to ignore it, because it does not fit in with their agenda.
4. Similar reservations have been voiced in other countries like Denmark, France, Holland and Japan but were, once again, ignored by the media and politicos. There is neither money for the media nor political mileage for our leaders to be made from good news, you see.
The present obsession with Global Warming began in the 1980s when the United Nations set up the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In its first report published in 1990, it predicted a scenario in which droughts, floods and disease might occur around the globe if Global Warming continued unchecked.
Ignoring the conditional might, the politicians and media fell for it in a big way. But, then, what do we find? That, the majority of the 1500 IPCC members are not climate scientists and many others do not even have any scientific background whatsoever. But, it gets worse. Right from the outset, the IPCC “was set up not to test the theory (about Global warming), but to provide the most plausible case for promoting it.”*1 Of course, it had every incentive for doing so. The more catastrophic their predictions, the more the politicians went into a tizz and the stronger became the justification for their (the IPCC) existence.
Years ago, following a myocardial infarction I suffered, a friend gifted me a booklet on diet and exercise for cardiac patients. To my utter astonishment, this booklet advised against the consumption of olives and olive products. Of course, this piece of advice contradicted all received wisdom on the subject, yet there it was there in black and white. No doubt, the authors were given a mandate to discredit the beneficial effects of olives. This they did, demonstrating that if you set out to prove something, you will end up finding “ways and means” of succeeding in your project.
The IPCC was given the task of proving that global temperature was on the rise; that is what they concluded. When much of the evidence pointed in the opposite direction, rather than shout Hurrah! and proclaim the good news, they changed the remit and called it Climate Change, with nightmarish scenarios. Trade in carbon credit makes a travesty of all this palaver about impending doom because, if carbon emission is really that dangerous, then it makes nonsense to allow the polluter to continue polluting by simply buying the space left by the non-polluter.
For sure, as some sage has rightly observed, “the only constant in life is change.” And change in climate is an observable fact. What is debatable, however, is the IPCC’s assertion that this change is driven by human CO2 emission. I say assertion because, since it is lacking in scientific rigour, that is all it can aspire to be.
But, bureaucracy is well known for spawning yet more bureaucracy and multiplying itself. In the case of the IPCC, the money and privilege that goes with the position of an international bureaucrat is just too damn good to give up! Even if it has to be achieved by good old fashioned scare mongering.
Forget that 85 percent of CO2 is produced naturally. Forget the evidence against Global Warming. Forget the fact that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that human gas emission is responsible for Climate Change. If the evidence does not fit the original mandate, just move the goal post, give it another name and keep your multi-figure salary and world travel, leaving behind more than your fair share of carbon footprint in the process whilst advocating the converse to the rest of us.
Fortunately, the Mantra does not wash with everybody. As early as primary school, we were taught that planet Earth is known as the Living Planet. Now, even Neanderthal man can figure out that anything that is “living” must have had a birth (even by Big Bang!), will live a life which will be followed by an inevitable death.
Therefore, whatever we do or don’t do, the Earth is bound to die one day. That is, all life on it will become extinct, although the big Ball may continue spinning round to the eternal delight of McCartney’s fool. Notwithstanding, the pundits and politicians spend valuable time and money arguing over carbon emission in order to save it. Meanwhile, a massive 1.2bn people go hungry every day in this world of ours. That is the big tragedy of our time, not Climate Change
With advances in Science and Technology, we have succeeded in increasing our numbers exponentially, far beyond what the Earth can comfortably support. The end result is that there are just too many mouths eating their way into ever-decreasing finite resources. If we want the Planet to survive longer than programmed, we need to drastically reduce our numbers. Unwittingly perhaps, the First World seems to be saying just that when exhorting the developing nations to reduce their carbon emission, that is use up less resources and produce less consumables. For, producing less also implies that you are able to feed fewer people.
The message is, therefore, very clear. We must bring down population numbers to a reasonable level and allow Nature to regain its equilibrium. Ignoring it is to invite the visitation upon us of the worst scenario predicted by the Reverend Malthus all those years ago. Sporadic floods, droughts, AIDS, pandemics and heinous crimes are only the brief trailers of the cataclysmic feature to follow.
*1 C Booker, The Real Global Warming Disaster