The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/16/2018.
It is tempting to dismiss the just ended environmental circus at Katowice as just another demonstration of Charles Mackay’s ‘madness of crowds,’ symptom but this would mean missing its intensely political nature as a frontal assault on capitalism and the last great hope of the Left to do away with the hated free market. COP-24, as the Katowice cabal is known, was but the 24th iteration of the United Nations Climate Change Conference that was originally dedicated to fighting global warming until the name became inconvenient when temperatures refused to cooperate with the mantra. It is already clear that COP-24, like most of the previous confabs, will do nothing more than punt fighting the promised doom of us all to a future date.
Nonetheless, there is a qualitative difference to the latest green failure from previous times which give us reason to hope that it won’t be long before this latest exercise in environmental mimicry bites the dust for good. It was expressed in the refusal of the US under Trump to admit that America is evil incarnate and the refusal of developed nations to increase its emission targets. It is, therefore, worthwhile to recapitulate how we came to this point.
It all started back in 1995 and received its present shape when a ‘protocol’ was concocted by the environmental extremists running the UN at Kyoto in 1997. Then in 2015 in Paris, concrete steps in fighting global warming in the future were agreed upon. To come to an agreement, however putative, the organizers had to reconcile three types of countries with very different, if not irreconcilable, interests. Rich countries, countries that have a chance of becoming rich and countries that were poor and likely to remain so. And they did it brilliantly!
From the rich, who felt guilty for being rich, they extracted penance in the shape of promised payments for “adaptation, mitigation and compensation.” To those rapidly developing countries like China and India, who are also the biggest polluters, they gave carte blanche to continue polluting to their heart’s content and to the poor they offered ‘money for nothing,’ as the song goes, and lots of it. The Green Climate Fund to be funded for by the rich was supposed to distribute $100 billion per annum alone. Instead, it is now in a free fall.
As an additional hook for eager ‘environmentalists’ from the 3rd World and elsewhere they also offered an all-expenses-paid vacation to hardship locales like Paris, Cancun and Buenos Aires. No wonder prime venues for environmental activism like Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Ivory Coast have responded generously by sending 406, 237 and 191 delegates to Katowice respectively.
All of this virtue-signaling – some naysayers call it hypocrisy – was going along splendidly until reality interfered as it often does. No sooner did President Obama, who actually believes that the US is rich because others are poor, finish his tenure and President Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement, which probably dooms it. Germany, this paragon of ecological virtue, lavishly subsidized renewable energy until it managed to achieve the highest cost of electricity in Europe ($0.33 vs $0.13 in the US) threatening its standards of living and industry both, while simultaneously failing to reach loudly-proclaimed emissions goals. Then President Macron of France, yet another great green wannabe, vowed to raise sharply the price of fuel only to beat an ignominious retreat when the unwashed known as the people inexplicably rebelled.
How could that be when we’re swamped virtually on a daily basis with IPCC scary reports and scenarios of doom dreamed up by computer models? The answer is actually simple. It is green energy that is inefficient, unreliable and unsustainable and more and more people know that despite all the propaganda the UN and governments worldwide can dish out. Facts are stubborn things it is said and so they are. In 1971 13% of primary energy was renewable, in 2016, nearly 50 years later, it is 14%.
By Alex Alexiev