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Category — United Nations Conferences (Climate)

Global Climate Planning: Down But Not Out (Doha’s ‘bitter defeat’ does not mean it’s over)

“More than 7,000 environmental NGO activists attended the Doha confab … won’t forget who sent them…. They and the official delegates will be there [next time] for specific objectives: more money, more power, more control.”

The eighteenth Conference of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP-18) has ended. It was the latest chapter in the interminable negotiations over wealth redistribution and control of energy use and economic growth – in the name of preventing “dangerous manmade global warming.” Next year in Warsaw!

For people who believe humans can prevent “catastrophic climate change” by adjusting atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by a few parts per million – or are determined to crave control of “destructive” fossil fuels and “unsustainable” economic systems – Doha was a failure.

Only 37 of 194 nations signed the treaty that replaces the Kyoto Protocol, which expires December 31 – and several countries may withdraw their consent. That means the new agreement is legally non-binding and covers only at best 15% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

While the European Union joined in and remains committed to “carbon trading” (making former UNFCC chair Yvo DeBoer happy in his new role as a carbon trader, á la Al Gore), the United States, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Canada, Japan and other major emitters refused to sign, and the new treaty sets no binding emission limits. Atmospheric CO2 levels will thus continue to climb – and climate campaigners will remain distraught over allegedly disastrous weather events, imminent habitat devastation, species extinctions, injustice for the world’s poor, and the disappearance of island nations beneath the waves.

For those who say computer models are meaningless, climate change and weather extremes are natural, and economic growth should be sustained to lift more billions out of poverty – Doha represents a partial success. Few nations signed the treaty, even the Obama Administration did not commit to it, the document is not binding, and countless billions of dollars will be available for continued economic development and disaster relief – instead of being squandered on fruitless attempts to control Earth’s infinitely complex climate and weather. [Read more →]

December 31, 2012   3 Comments