The APEC summit, you see, didn't go well: Asian countries no longer expect anything realistic to come of the Copenhagen conference due to start in a few days. While this is, in and of itself, eminently realistic, it has led to despair.
You see, the draft of the treaty calls for nothing less than the suborning of all human activity to counteract what the climate alarmists believe to be the approaching cataclysm.
Despite plenty of scientific evidence to the contrary?
What? You say that the scientific evidence is overwhelming and that the consensus must be true?
How do you explain, then, this?
That's right: 450 scientific, peer-reviewed articles questioning the consensus and taking a critical view of the evidence of the alarmists.
In a recent post, I said you need to follow the money: someone here has already called it the Climate-Industrial Complex. It has become a multi-billion dollar industry, living parasitically off government money, intolerant of challenges to its supremacy and, above all, all but a religion in name, a secular religion dedicated to a forced collectivism that puts the Soviets and Maoists to shame in its sheer scale and ambition.
You can see the basic philosophy here, at the deliciously ironically named web site "Common Dreams", authored by Naomi Klein, that incoherent spokesperson of the economically illiterate left:
Among the smartest and most promising - not to mention controversial - proposals is "climate debt," the idea that rich countries should pay reparations to poor countries for the climate crisis. In the world of climate-change activism, this marks a dramatic shift in both tone and content. American environmentalism tends to treat global warming as a force that transcends difference: We all share this fragile blue planet, so we all need to work together to save it. But the coalition of Latin American and African governments making the case for climate debt actually stresses difference, zeroing in on the cruel contrast between those who caused the climate crisis (the developed world) and those who are suffering its worst effects (the developing world). Justin Lin, chief economist at the World Bank, puts the equation bluntly: "About 75 to 80 percent" of the damages caused by global warming "will be suffered by developing countries, although they only contribute about one-third of greenhouse gases."
Climate debt is about who will pick up the bill. The grass-roots movement behind the proposal argues that all the costs associated with adapting to a more hostile ecology - everything from building stronger sea walls to switching to cleaner, more expensive technologies - are the responsibility of the countries that created the crisis. "What we need is not something we should be begging for but something that is owed to us, because we are dealing with a crisis not of our making," says Lidy Nacpil, one of the coordinators of Jubilee South, an international organization that has staged demonstrations to promote climate reparations. "Climate debt is not a matter of charity."This isn't about any sort of climate change: this is nothing less than the attempt to bully the industrialized nations into transferring trillions of dollars to the environmental movement. This has nothing to do with climate change: this is nothing less than the attempt to prey upon those in the west who have permanently guilty consciences, who fervently believe that they are the ones to blame, regardless of why and what is being claimed.
Equally important, the idea is supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - ratified by 192 countries, including the United States. The framework not only asserts that "the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries," it clearly states that actions taken to fix the problem should be made "on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities."
The reparations movement has brought together a diverse coalition of big international organizations, from Friends of the Earth to the World Council of Churches, that have joined up with climate scientists and political economists, many of them linked to the influential Third World Network, which has been leading the call. Until recently, however, there was no government pushing for climate debt to be included in the Copenhagen agreement. That changed in June, when Angelica Navarro, the chief climate negotiator for Bolivia, took the podium at a U.N. climate negotiation in Bonn, Germany. Only 36 and dressed casually in a black sweater, Navarro looked more like the hippies outside than the bureaucrats and civil servants inside the session. Mixing the latest emissions science with accounts of how melting glaciers were threatening the water supply in two major Bolivian cities, Navarro made the case for why developing countries are owed massive compensation for the climate crisis.This has nothing to do with climate change: this is the fury of the left, the fury of the NGOs, the fury of those who want everything but are not willing to actually do anything, the fury of the chattering class demanding their due, indeed demanding it all. It is the fury of the non-governmental technocracy, committed to subduing all and everything that stands in their way of achieving the brave new world of climate justice.
And I chose that word carefully.
And unless we pay our climate debt, and quickly, we may well find ourselves living in a world of climate rage. "Privately, we already hear the simmering resentment of diplomats whose countries bear the costs of our emissions," Sen. John Kerry observed recently. "I can tell you from my own experience: It is real, and it is prevalent. It's not hard to see how this could crystallize into a virulent, dangerous, public anti-Americanism. That's a threat too. Remember: The very places least responsible for climate change - and least equipped to deal with its impacts - will be among the very worst affected."
That, in a nutshell, is the argument for climate debt. The developing world has always had plenty of reasons to be pissed off with their northern neighbors, with our tendency to overthrow their governments, invade their countries and pillage their natural resources. But never before has there been an issue so politically inflammatory as the refusal of people living in the rich world to make even small sacrifices to avert a potential climate catastrophe. In Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bolivia, the Arctic, our climate pollution is directly responsible for destroying entire ways of life - yet we keep doing it.
From outside our borders, the climate crisis doesn't look anything like the meteors or space invaders that Todd Stern imagined hurtling toward Earth. It looks, instead, like a long and silent war waged by the rich against the poor. And for that, regardless of what happens in Copenhagen, the poor will continue to demand their rightful reparations. "This is about the rich world taking responsibility for the damage done," says Ilana Solomon, policy analyst for ActionAid USA, one of the groups recently converted to the cause. "This money belongs to poor communities affected by climate change. It is their compensation."If you go and read the whole thing, you see that Naomi Klein really isn't interested in actually doing anything about climate change: she talks the talk about decentralized biomass in India, but really: this isn't about climate change.
This has everything to do with empowering the dictators and petty thugs of those Third World countries that want nothing else than billions to play with to create their own versions of paradise on earth (of course, their citizens tend to view these paradises as prisons of social experimentation, but that should be obvious to anyone not of the left). The key meme here is that the industrialized west - note how the environmental horrors of socialism in all its forms are ... conveniently ignored - owes the poor of this world everything and it is a matter of social justice that reparations get made.
The despair of the watermelon people can be seen here. Humanity, for them, is the problem, and the obvious stupidity of anyone not agreeing with them.
That's a great way to persuade folks to give up their lifestyles and put on the hair shirt that the climate activists want us all to wear (excepting, of course, themselves).
The reaction of the climate activists to those who remain critical is to criminalize their critics, as can be seen here. Anyone not belonging to the true believers should be executed. Literally: there are calls for Nuremberg-style ecological crimes tribunals and for the "denialists" to be strangled in their beds.
Talk about denial. It is the climate activists who are in denial and despair. See here for the denial and see here for the despair.
You see, climate activism has long since descended into belief and religion: this is not my argumentation, but rather the argument brought by an activist who was let go because, he claimed, of his belief: see this for the ... rest of the story. The key quote:
Sustainable Development, which sprung fully-armed from the fretful socialist head of the UN's Brundtland Commission, is indeed a religion, and it has a devil: capitalism. It thus seems suicidal for any company to accommodate it, let alone embrace it. It has no workable definition except for the feel good notion of "looking after the future." It explicitly rejects free markets as leading to resource exhaustion and environmental destruction. As such it is not based on science, much less economics, but on primitive pre-market assumptions, which just happen to be very useful to prospective "global governors." Bingo.
Climatism is not just a belief system, it is an activist belief system. It demands not merely repentance of carbon sin, but jihad against the emitting infidels.
The rage of the Watermelons - green outside, red inside - knows no bounds: daring to criticize them must mean you are mentally ill.
Haven't we seen that sort of thinking before? Ah, yes: the Soviets were experts at declaring their opponents to be mentally ill and hence needing such therapy as heavy sedation, psychiatric torture and electo-shock to persuade those with false consciousness to join with the party to ensure the inevitability of historical progress.
How little things have changed. The sycophants and supporters of that horribly failed social experiment are back: as Watermelons, wrapping their Soviet-era beliefs in the mantle of saving the world.
It was Marx himself who said that history repeats itself, largely as farce. The irony of that is delicious.
Copenhagen will fail because ... it should. It has nothing more to do with the environment and everything to do with a power grab of unprecedented dimension.