Dispatch from Cancun

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.

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4 Responses to Dispatch from Cancun

  1. Mike Spilligan says:

    I’m looking forward to the poster campaign. At last someone is going to avoid the MSM filters. Is there anything that the man on the East Midlands street can do? – like pointing out the posters to the more lumpen of our MPs?
    I assume that your former European colleague Chris H-H is on your “side”.

  2. Jonathan Ward says:

    The cold weather story is a red-herring. Very briefly…firstly, last winter, the global average temperature was actually up – http://climateprogress.org/2010/05/16/nasa-easily-the-hottest-january-and-hottest-jan-april-in-temperature-record/. In fact a record high for Jan-April, but that’s across the whole planet and in particular the high latitudes like the Arctic. We also have to separate weather and climate, climate is generally the average over 30 years.

    But more importantly, the Sun’s output, waxes and wanes over time, and at the moment it’s rather low. What this seems to do is reduce in the winter the high jet stream winds which move around the weather systems that are bringing us the snow, and leaving them parked. For more information see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415080848.htm . This means we could have a few cold winters in a row here. All this does is show that whilst global temperatures are still showing trends consistent with the science of climate change, but that within an overall trend, and over long periods of time, there will be large variation in weather temporally and spatially, and that there will be impacts from non anthropogenic sources too.

    • No one is suggesting that a single cold snap is evidence one way or the other for climate change (although it is a wonderful irony alongside Cancun — that’s COP14/15/16 all taking place under exceptionally cold conditions). But how about Prof Phil Jones of UEA/CRU: “There’s been no statistically significant warming for the last 15 years”?

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