Cancun, Dec 7th. There seems to be a fine tradition of cold weather developing around the successive UN climate conferences. In Poznan in 2008 we were shuffling through the snow to get to the event. I didn’t go to Copenhagen in 2009, but I understand that exceptional cold caused serious problems. Of course we have no snow in Cancun, but delegates who expected 30 deg C and packed their tropical kit are looking distinctly chilly in the low twenties. Meantime in Mexico City overnight lows have reached an exceptional three degrees, and there have been reported deaths from hypothermia.
I have been predicting for quite a long time that Cancun would be about as successful as Copenhagen — in other words, it would fail. The sense here in Mexico is that everyone expects it to fail, so failure will be a non-event. Even EU President Rumpy Pumpy has said that the event is “heading for disaster”, and for once I agree with him.
That said, of course any nugget of “good” news will be hyped and spun as a triumph. And they may get a few nuggets — especially in the areas of technology transfer and international carbon trading.
We already have the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows Western emitters to buy permits from less developed countries. This has been hugely counterproductive, with many of the permits bought from coutries that would have reduced emissions anyway (like Russia, with the collapse of much of its old heavy industry); or outright fraud from countries that claim to have reduced emissions, and in extreme cases have created polluting plants so that we would pay to close them
The third world is trading on the naivety of Western politicians and policy-makers. We’ve opened our wallets, and they’re happy to take the money.
I am reminded of the mediaeval priests and monks who would flagellate themselves with whips to cleanse their sins, or the lay folk who bought Papal Indulgences to buy off years in Purgatory. Our transfers of millions of euros to third world countries (and Russia & China), and our “carbon offsetting”, serve the same purpose — they give us a warm glow of self-righteousness while achieving nothing at all. But Hey, who cares, if the chattering classes feel vindicated?
Well I care, for one. We don’t have billions of pounds/euros/dollars to blow on this nonsense, or on the hugely expensive and inefficient “renewables” we’re promoting in Europe.
That’s why I’ve launched my ad campaign “GREEN CLIMATE POLICIES: PROBABLY UNNECESSARY; CERTAINLY INEFFECTUAL; RUINOUSLY EXPENSIVE”. Ironically, the poster campaign in the East Midlands has been delayed because it’s too cold for the paste to stick on the billboards.