The U.N.’s Global Warming War On Capitalism: An Important History Lesson
Larry Bell ContributorI write about aerospace, environment, energy, Second Amendment policy
The U.N.’s latest climate alarmist meeting in Doha, Qatar experienced somewhat of a different sort of man-made crisis in December in the form of a typhoon named Christopher Monckton, the third viscount of Benchley, advisor to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and climate realist. Temporarily purloining a vacant microphone assigned to a delegate from Burma, he gave the entire audience some very terrifying news…announcing that “in the 16 years we have been coming to these conferences, there has been no global warming at all.”
If that wasn’t scary enough, amid boos and heckles, Moncton blasted the congregation, uttering the utter blasphemy: “If we are to take action [the sort they always propose], the cost of that would be many times greater than the cost of taking adaptive measures later. So our recommendation, therefore, is that we should initiate very quickly a review of the science to make sure we are all on the right track.”
Yes, you read that right. He had the audacity to question the “science” behind the U.N.’s climate crisis-premised money grab demands. And actually, that’s truly not such a bad idea.
For starters, let’s flash back a few decades before there was any of that new science, and review a little history dating back to the 1970s and early 1980s when Third World countries, by force of numbers, and European socialist green parties, through powers of aggressiveness, seized control of the United Nations. They soon began calling for a New International Economic Order.
In the late 1980s, a scare based upon theoretical and primitive climate models that predicted man-made carbon emissions were causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming perfectly served these goals. In response, The U.N. rapidly established a Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) to organize conferences, along with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to conduct scientific reviews.
The central FCCC strategy to fight what was promoted as “anthropogenic” (man-made) climate change was brilliant…to put a value credit on cutbacks in the amounts of carbon dioxide emitted by fossil-burning industries, and then let other industries that produced amounts of CO2 emissions in excess of their allocations, purchase credits from them. In other words, they would create a trading market to buy and sell air.
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This carbon “cap-and-trade” program would be accomplished on a country-to-country international scale through the Kyoto Protocol treaty, penalizing developed countries that produce lots of CO2 emissions by forcing them to purchase credits from less developed countries (amounting to free money for them). China and India, which emit huge amounts of CO2 were given a pass because of their developing country status.
Kicking Off the U.N.’s Climate Crisis Clamor
Opening remarks offered by FCCC’s Environment Program Executive Director Maurice Strong who organized the first U.N. Earth Climate Summit (1992) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil expressed an underlying priority very candidly: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse. Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?”
Strong left no doubt about where to place blame for global problems, stating in the conference report: “It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class…involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, ownership of motor vehicles, golf courses, small electric appliances, home and work place air-conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable…A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns”.
Former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO), then representing the Clinton-Gore administration as U.S undersecretary of state for global issues, joined Maurice Strong in addressing the Climate Summit audience. He said: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” (Wirth now heads the U.N. Foundation which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.)
Also speaking at the Rio conference, Deputy Assistant of State Richard Benedick, who then headed the policy divisions of the U.S. State Department, agreed that the Kyoto Protocol should be approved whether it had anything to do with climate change or not: “A global warming treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the [enhanced] greenhouse effect.”
Al Gore’s Blistering Hot 1988 Senate Hearings
Incidentally, Timothy Wirth had previously been a close Senate colleague of then- Senator Al Gore and had been instrumental in helping him to set up his 1988 Senate Science, Technology and Space Committee hearings which got global warming frenzy off to a blazing start during an unusually hot East Coast summer that year. In an interview with PBS Frontline Worth recounted: “We called the Weather Bureau and found out what was historically the hottest day of the summer…so we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo, it was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it…we went in the night before and opened all the windows so that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room.”
Consider that while climate is generally defined in at least three decade-long periods, then-Senator Al Gore’s carefully staged steamy climate crisis spectacle occurred only slightly more than one decade after many scientists had predicted an opposite crisis. One of them was the late Stanford University Professor Stephen Schneider who authored The Genesis Strategy, a 1976 book warning that global cooling risks posed a threat to humanity. Schneider later changed that view 180 degrees, serving as a lead author for important parts of three sequential IPCC reports.
Enron’s Leading Kyoto Promotion Role
Between 1994 and 1996, after Senator Wirth became undersecretary of state for global affairs in the Clinton-Gore administration, he began working closely with Enron to lobby Congress to grant EPA the authority to control CO2. By the 1990s, Enron had come to own the largest natural gas pipeline that existed outside Russia, a colossal interstate network. But since that fuel that was facing difficult market competition with coal, the company sought some needed help in Washington to tip the playing field. Mounting national hype about a global warming crisis promulgated by then-Senator Al Gore’s highly publicized 1988 congressional hearings on the subject provided a dream opportunity.
Senator Wirth and John Heinz (R-PA) had recently cosponsored “Project 88” to provide a pathway for converting environmental issues into business opportunities. Media-fueled alarm about acid rain had provided a basis for legislation to create markets for buying and selling excess sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide emission credits, and Project 88 became the Clean Air Act of 1990.
Since Enron had become a big SO2 market cap-and-trade player, this led that company and others to wonder… why not do the same thing with CO2? Since natural gas is a lower CO2 emitter than coal, that development would certainly be a profitability game changer. But there was a problem. Unlike SO2, CO2 wasn’t a pollutant-at least not then- and the EPA had no authority to regulate it.
A September 1, 1998 letter from Enron’s CEO Kenneth Lay to President Clinton requested that he “moderate the political aspects” of the climate discussion by appointing a “Blue Ribbon Commission”. His intent was clear: to trash climate crisis disbelievers and cut off debate on the matter. Lay had direct contact with the White House earlier when he reportedly met with President Clinton and Vice President Gore on August 4, 1997, to prepare a U.S. strategy for an upcoming Kyoto climate summit that December. Kyoto presented the first step toward creating a carbon market that Enron desperately wanted Congress to support.
In late 1997 Enron Lobbyist John Palmaisano wrote excitedly from Kyoto: “If implemented, [the Kyoto Protocol] will do more to promote Enron’s business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside restructuring of the [electricity] and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States…The endorsement of emissions trading was another victory for us…This agreement will be good for Enron stock!!”
Sadly (for Enron), that was not to be. In a rare spirit of solidarity, the Senate unanimously passed (95-0) a bipartisan Byrd-Hagel U.S. Senate Resolution (S Res 98) that made it clear that the United States would not be signatory to any agreement that “would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States”. Then-President Clinton, no stranger to political pragmatism, got the message and never submitted a necessary U.S. approval request for congressional ratification.
Although the U.S. never signed up, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997, and has been in force since 2005. The signatories agreed to cut their greenhouse gas emissions relative to 1990 levels.
And how well has that worked out? Well, Japan, which promised a 6% reduction, instead saw a 7.4% increase despite 20 years of economic stagnation; Australia, which pledged to let carbon increase by no more than 8%, witnessed a 47.7% rise; the Netherlands, which promised a 6% cut, wound up with 20% higher emissions by the end of 2010; and Canada, which committed to a 6% cut, experienced a 24% increase. On the whole, the E.U. met its target thanks mainly to economic doldrums, closure of inefficient Soviet-era industries, and exportation of industrial production abroad to escape cap-and-trade cost penalties. Following Canada’s lead, New Zealand, Russia and Japan have now dropped out of the deal.
Al Gore’s Carbon Capping Cash-in Capers
It would be a colossal understatement to suggest that Al Gore has been disgruntled about the U.S. not joining Kyoto along with subsequent failures to get cap-and-tax legislation passed. In 2004 he cofounded Generation Investment Management LLP (GIM) with three partners; former chief of Goldman Sachs Asset Management David Blood and two others from that firm. GIM is a London-based firm that invests money from institutions and wealthy investors that are “going green”. Bloomberg reported in March 2008 that the investment fund had hit a hard cap of $5 billion, and had been turning away investors.
Political Science Lessons from the IPCC
In 2006, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a think tank that actually supports CO2 cuts, provided an analysis of circumstances surrounding global warming debates that were occurring in the U.K.: “[Climate change] is typified by an inflated or extreme lexicon, incorporating an urgent tone and cinematic codes. It employs [a] quasi-religious register of death and doom, and it uses language of acceleration and irreversibility.” The IPPR concluded that “alarmism might even become secretly thrilling”…effectively a form of what they referred to as “climate porn.”
Mike Hume, director of the U.K.’s Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research recognized that while climate change is real, and that humans may contribute to it, “We need to take a deep breath and pause. The language of catastrophe is not the language of science.”
Much of the scary climate stuff gleefully trumpeted by the global media comes from the U.N.’s IPCC, a highly politicized organization that doesn’t actually carry out any original climate research. Instead, it simply issues assessments based upon supposedly independent surveys of published research. However some of its most influential conclusions that are summarized in its reports have neither been based upon truly independent research, nor properly vetted through accepted peer- review processes.
One example is a 1996 IPCC report that used selective data, doctored graphs, and featured changes in text made after the reviewing scientists approved it and before it was printed. The many irregularities provoked Dr. Frederick Seitz, a world-famous physicist and former president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Physical Society, and Rockefeller University to write in the Wall Street Journal: “I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer review process than events that led to this IPCC report.”
Several tens of thousands of scientists have lodged formal protests regarding unscientific IPCC practices. Some critics include former climate change alarmists. One of them is renowned scientist James Lovelock who predicted that continued human CO2 emissions will bring about climate calamity. In 2006 he claimed: “Before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where climate remains tolerable.”
Recently, however, he has obviously cooled on global warming as a crisis, admitting to MSNBC that he overstated the case and now acknowledges that : “…we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books…mine included…because it looked clear cut…but it hasn’t happened.” Lovelock pointed to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” as other alarmist publications.
Another former global warming alarmist who is now a fierce IPCC critic is Dr. Fritz Vaherenholt, a socialist founder of Germany’s environmental movement who headed the renewable energy division of the country’s second largest utility company. His recent coauthored book titled “The Cold Sun: Why the Climate Disaster Won’t Happen”, charges the IPCC with gross incompetence and dishonesty, most particularly regarding fear-mongering exaggeration of known climate influence of human CO2 emissions.
Vahrenholt isn’t the only significant German scientist to find that IPCC’s global warming projections are exaggerated. Another is Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research who serves as the German government’s climate protection advisor. Schellnhuber coauthored a paper refuting reliability of Global Climate Models upon which their alarmist 2001 projections were based, concluding that the CO2 greenhouse gas trends were clearly overestimated.
Schellnhuber has also recently admitted in a speech to agricultural experts that: “warmer temperatures and high CO2 concentrations in the air could very well lead to higher agricultural yields.”
When appearing on Fox Business News with Stewart Varney in January 2011, Greenpeace co-founder Peter Moore agreed that benefits of any global warming, to the extent that this is occurring for any reason, are greatly underrated: “We do not have any scientific proof that we are the cause of the global warming that has occurred in the last 200 years…The alarmism is driving us through scare tactics to adopt energy policies that are going to create a huge amount of energy poverty among the poor people. It’s not good for people and it’s not good for the environment…In a warmer world we can produce more food.”
When Moore was asked who is responsible for promoting unwarranted fear and what their motives are, he said: “A powerful convergence of interests. Scientists seeking grant money, media seeking headlines, universities seeking huge grants from major institutions, foundations, environmental groups, politicians wanting to make it look like they are saving future generations. And all of these people have converged on this issue.”
The Global Wealth and Power Grab
While there can be no doubt that manufactured climate crisis drives multi-billion dollar science and EPA energy regulatory industries, the U.N. has far more ambitious goals. As Christine Stewart, then Canadian Minister of the Environment, speaking before editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald in 1998, said, “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
And as IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer admitted in November 2010, “…one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth…”
If you have any doubt about this, some highlight events that took place during the U.N’s 2010 Cancun, Mexico Climate conference should be illuminating. After developing countries demanded that rich ones provide many billions of dollars to them for damage to the climate, U.S. and European representatives expressed willingness to provide their “fair share”, pledging $10 billion per year from 2010 to 2012. This offer was rejected as an insufficient insult, representatives of several undeveloped countries walked out of the meetings and angry riots broke out in the streets.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton then came to the rescue, offering to up the ante with a $100 billion annual contribution from the United States and our more prosperous friends to the “poorest and most vulnerable [nations] among us” by 2020. Where it would actually come from no one knew, including Hillary and her boss. (Any guesses?)
Yet judging from the tumultuous standing ovation following a speech from Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, one might have imagined that he was going to provide all that money. But this was not so. Instead he had aroused general agreement in the audience regarding where to lay the blame for the world’s social, economic and climate problems: “Our revolution seeks to help all people…Socialism, is the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet; capitalism is the road to hell…Let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us”.
Viewed from an even larger perspective, the global warming rubric has provided an ideal platform to accomplish exactly what Chavez has in mind…to enable the U.N. to advance large transformational visions of socialism, wealth redistribution, and ultimately, global governance.
If this sounds a bit too conspiratorial, consider the words spoken by former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev recognizing the importance of using climate alarmism to advance socialist Marxist objectives, stating in 1996: “The threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key to unlock the New World Order.” This may well have seemed like the last hope for that agenda following the U.S.S.R.’s economic and political collapse in 1991.
Also think about words of a speech delivered by then-President Jacques Chirac of France supporting a key Western European Kyoto Protocol objective: “For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance, one that should find a place within the World Environmental Organization which France and the European Union would like to see established.”
IPCC Summary for Policymakers reports offer prescriptions for distribution of wealth and resource redistribution, including regionalized (smaller) economies to reduce transportation demand, reorienting lifestyles away from consumption, resource- sharing through co-ownership, and encouraging citizens to pursue free time over wealth.
So, are you ready? Welcome to the climate alarm-founded ant farm they have in mind!