Saturday, October 31, 2009

Man Bites Dog and Climate Change

The European Union made clear last week that there is a need to create a climate change fund to transfer directed funds to developing nations to help them mitigate the impacts of climate change. The EU leaders suggested that an annual sum of $100 billion is needed, yet they made no firm commitments to transfer any sum from EU sources. Just as the G8 leaders reached an agreement that average global temperature should not be allowed to rise more than two degrees this century, the vagueness of these commitments and the absence of detail permit the politicians to claim victory when it is plain for all to see that nothing has actually happened.

Green campaigners are, as might be expected, not at all happy. They were looking for a firm commitment by the EU on actual funds and a timetable for the transfer of these funds. They were also looking for agreements on the easy transfer of green technologies between developed and emerging economies. They regard the announcement, championed by Gordon Brown as a breakthrough, as a “greenwash” and a hollow rhetorical announcement in the lead up to Copenhagen’s world summit on climate change, now just five weeks away.

Within the EU there are strong disagreements. The Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, is a confirmed climate change skeptic and sees the taxing of carbon as a major economic challenge for the development of nations. Most of the former eastern bloc countries, led by Poland, are also finding the cap and trade and mitigation strategies being adopted by the EU as very problematic. The East-West split within the EU is making real decision making difficult. We can expect more symbolic and empty announcements, especially between now and Copenhagen.

Meantime, a new report makes clear that the economic impact on Canada of achieving the modest CO2 reduction targets set by the Canadian government – a twenty per cent reduction on 2006 emissions – would be considerable, with Alberta taking the brunt of the impacts. Written by the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation and commissioned by the TD Bank, the report claims that Canada could meet these targets and reduce CO2 emissions. What it doesn’t say is that doing so will have no discernible impact on the climate.

There are other developments. Al Gore, Nobel prizewinner and champion warmist, now claims that sea levels will rise two hundred and twenty feet within ten years – ocean levels rose right inches over the last century and the IPCC predict rises of 1.26 inches per decade for the remainder of the century. Some have seen this claim as an example of the desperation warmist campaigners feel as they see the potential of a treaty being agreed at Copenhagen fading fast.

Some key campaigners are showing their desperation too. David Suzuki has repeated his suggestion that Premier Ed Stelmach of Alberta and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper should be jailed for their policies on climate change. George Monboit, the British journalist and writer, also repeated his suggestion that, every time a flood occurs in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be jailed on the grounds that airline emissions are a major cause of warming. Gordon Brown has said that if Copenhagen fails to produce an agreement then it will be too late for mankind to act o “stop” climate change. Expect more high volume and bizarre rhetoric between now and December 7th, when the Copenhagen meeting begins.

Meantime, the planet continues to cool, oceans are not rising any faster this century than they did in the last and ice extent in both the Arctic and Antarctic continue to expand and Polar bears continue to thrive in all but two of the bear communities. Nature is sending its own message. It is unfortunate that most reporting ignore nature and prefers the Al Gore, proving that dog bites man is not as interesting as man bites dog in the news business.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you haven't neglected your blogging duties on your birthday! Many happy returns for the day! A well wisher. :)