Over 15,000 bureaucrats, politicians, officials, and assorted do-gooders from 187 nations descended on the tropical island of Bali last week for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Their goal? To make a last ditch effort to save the world from the ravages of global warming. The aim is to require industrial nations to limit their emission of C02 to 25–40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. This is necessary, they proclaim, in order to head off rising oceans, drought, famine, dying species, and, well, just plain catastrophe.
These noble shepherds of the earth are willing to have others make any sacrifice necessary to achieve their laudable goal. They are even willing to make some sacrifices themselves. Starting with the 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions caused by all the private jets used to ferry them to the conference. Not to worry …
Indonesia plans to plant seventy-nine million trees to ‘offset’ the entire conference’s emissions. The European Union has assured us that they will be buying carbon credits on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. And the UK? Well, their forty-person team will have their emissions neutralized through a central government fund. Whew …
It looks like this conference is being held just in the nick of time. Reports on the damage man is doing to the environment have been making headlines all week. AP environmental writer Michael Casey describes the havoc global warming is wreaking on nature: “More than 3,000 flying foxes dropped dead, falling from trees in Australia. Butterflies have gone extinct in the Alps, and giant squid …” You get the drift.
Global warming is truly a crisis. By consensus. Peoples across the world are actively promoting their own solutions, hoping against hope that rational people will see the error of their ways and join this selfless crusade:
Australian scientists are doing their part by trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut their “emissions.”
A group of Israeli environmentalists is encouraging Jews around the world to light one less candle for Hanukkah.
Toni Vernelli of Somerset, England, had herself sterilized to reduce her carbon footprint. (There is no truth to the rumor that her aborted fetus would have been the one who invented technology which allowed SUV’s to be powered by saltwater.)
Father Earth, Al Gore, in Norway to receive his Nobel Peace Prize, displayed his willingness to sacrifice by taking an airport shuttle instead of a limousine to travel to Oslo’s city centre.
Even America’s imperialist armed forces are marching in step with environmentalists, with green becoming the “in” color throughout the military.
Morally righteous people around the world are holding demonstrations to highlight the dangers of global warming—from costume parades in the Philippines, to fire-eaters blowing clouds of flames at a rally in Athens, to marches in Taiwan, to a Climate Rescue Carnival in New Zealand. Even Helsinki, Finland has joined in, with fifty skiers dragging their skis along asphalt, calling for decision makers to give them their snowy winters back. A good time was had by all.
So many dedicated eco-warriors, so little time.
Meanwhile, in the world outside the air-conditioned conference rooms, where our unchosen representatives dedicate themselves to imposing their version of the world on the rest of us, reality reared its ugly head.
Record breaking snowfall hit portions of the United States. Portland, Maine had 8.5 inches of snow on Monday, tying the record set way back in 1890. Grand Forks airport had 8.1 inches of snow on Tuesday, setting a new record for the date. Fargo, North Dakota also set a record, with 5.9 inches of snow. And up north in Canada, “It’s freezing. It’s snowing. And winter is officially still two weeks away!” Canada’s king of climatology, David Phillips, forecasts global warming will be “taking a vacation in this winter.”
As the conference in Bali struggled on, courageously undeterred by reality, several proposals were bandied about. Developing nations demanded rapid transfers of technology to help them combat climate change. (Can you spell ‘free lunch’?) A majority of countries, a consensus, demanded the U.S. take the lead in imposing mandatory cutbacks on emissions. That way, China and Asia might learn from the U.S.’s good example and decide, maybe, to follow. And the beat goes on, and on, and on …
The only unpleasantness that marred this amiable gathering was when a group of reporters from the conservative newspaper Environment & Climate News had the audacity to request press credentials. Denied. Oh, and the Heartland Institute, armed with scientific papers that offered a dissenting view, was denied credentials also. The consensus being, let’s not allow global-warming deniers the chance to snow on our conference. Besides, haven’t they heard? The case for man-made global warming is settled.
So far, the U.S. is standing firm. The chief U.S. negotiator said Saturday, “The United States won’t commit to mandatory caps. We’re not ready to do that.” This stand will likely cost the U.S. delegation invitations to the best cocktail parties in the coming final week of the conference. But, hey, sometimes you just gotta take a stand.
I want to applaud all the attendees of this conference. Their dedication, their persistence, their sheer willpower is commendable. If they aren’t successful in forcing a massive redistribution of wealth from rich countries to poor, it won’t be for lack of trying. If, along the way, they manage to highlight the evils of capitalism while accruing power to the unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats at the UN, well, that’s just a price we all have to pay to keep the planet from melting. Thank-you, all of you. For saving the world, one useful idiot at a time.