The climate grift continues

United Nations
New, York, NY, USA – September 24, 2016 – United Nations Headquarters: United Nations Headquarters in New York City: The United Nations General Assembly opens. (iStock)

The climate grift continues

The U.N. Climate Conference has left behind a terrible stench. But it doesn’t come from the 400 jets that flew world leaders to that exercise in retributive multilateral egalitarianism last weekend. Carbon dioxide is an odorless gas, so even though do-gooding pols pumped thousands of tons of it into the atmosphere, the rank smell they left in their wake is not a physical one perceived by the olfactory senses.

The miasma rising into the sunny winter skies over Egypt’s luxe resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, and which is now spreading around the globe, is the noisome odor of willful unseriousness, humbug, and hypocrisy.


The conference decided that the world’s successful nations should pay hundreds of billions of dollars, maybe trillions, to unsuccessful ones to compensate for supposed harm done to them by industrialization. A portion of the outrage is that China, the world’s biggest polluter and second-largest economy, may be allowed to wriggle out of making payments because it is “developing” — aren’t we all? — and might even get some of the loot.

Even that is not the worst of it. What is most grating is the disingenuousness that made the deal possible and which is the lubricant of most such multilateral agreements, especially those purporting to deal with the nonemergency of climate change.

Prompted by their own pink ideology and thrilled by the lash of Greta Thunberg, our “leaders” adopt a posture of penitent readiness to be punished. They foster the sense of their own culpability because it nurtures the idea that industrial development is wrong and the enterprise of free people that is indispensable to it is deeply suspect. It is a deliberate if implicit repudiation of our proud and brilliant past allied to the broad leftist effort to denigrate Western, wealth, prowess, and unparalleled success.

The spectacle of rich nations negotiating with poorer ones over how much the former will give to the latter is like watching Washington politicians discussing white-collar union demands for better pay and conditions for civil servants. All the people involved in the talks are on the same side, the one that wants higher public spending. Taxpayers who provide the money are not, in truth, represented at the table at all.

Leaders of backward countries like the idea of big bucks being transferred around the globe for the same reason that looters smash store windows — it means they get free stuff. The money irrigates corruption, which is endemic in many nations that are set to benefit from the latest international largesse. Examples of wasted aid are big and small, and they are everywhere. The one that has stuck in my memory longest is the sight of tins of powdered milk stamped “Gift from the government of the Netherlands” on the shelves of a grocery store in Khartoum, Sudan. The food shipment had been pilfered by officials, diverted from its hungry intended recipients, and was being sold for a profit by retailers.

Rich nations’ altruism, which used to be called charity but now is called justice, harms those whom we pretend it benefits. It makes backward countries and their people dependent rather than capable. We would avert more disasters and save more lives if we just got out of the way. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, hundreds of thousands of people die each year because climate activists and their rich-government enablers block financing for fossil fuel power stations that would let poor countries electrify and develop.

Leaders of richer donor countries want massive wealth transfers as much as the recipients do. This is because they are wholly invested in the idea that fossil fuels are a destructive evil rather than a boon upon which almost all the world’s 8 billion people depend for heating, cooling, transport, housing, clothes, appliances, and most other necessities of daily life.

A massive framework agreement among 200 countries, with details notably still to be thrashed out, depends upon a sort of systemic foolishness. It entrenches the fatuous idea that we are willing and able to shift swiftly to an economy based on wind, solar power, and Thanksgiving pie in the sky.


© 2022 Washington Examiner

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