One learns a new language upon first wading into the world of ,what’s favorably called by the Al Gores and Jacques Chiracs of the world, “global governance”. That term, used in all seriousness and intended as a compliment, means the web of international agreements (typically in the name of the environment), committing the prosperous world to agree to do things it would never enact via its own democratic processes. New words such as “subsidiarity” and “additionality” are forged and tossed around like Mardi Gras beads at earnest negotiating sessions and in deathless texts. It’s Esperanto for the bossy jet-setters racked with guilt over your lifestyle.
Another of my favorites is “capacity building”, which means wealth transfers to prepare a poor society to receive a larger wealth transfer in the future. You see, certain among those societies our green superiors are trying to hector into behaving in a certain way – which is all of them – are not yet able to deal with the financial windfall due them from the Kyoto Protocols of the world. These international agreements frankly are more about redistribution than anything else. For example, Kyoto is in no way about actually reducing “greenhouse gas emissions”, but instead it creates a Ponzi-like scheme of paying other countries to sell you pieces of paper saying that you reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
And a good thing, too, because those few countries who are covered by Kyoto have all – like the rest of the world – increased their actual emissions since agreeing to this “historic emissions reduction pact.” Still, as we approach the December deadline for agreeing to a successor, Kyoto will be nonetheless be hailed for its accomplishment. Maybe by this they mean the recent cooling.
So it was with great interest that I perused a document sent my way, drafted by a very important-sounding entity called The Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests. Sadly, upon scrutiny, the group is much like the self-styled National Commission on Energy Policy, a band of activists attaching an august-sounding moniker to an advocacy campaign. Something has to be done about this proliferation. I hereby declare myself chairman of the International Commission on Self-Appointed Commissions and vow to put an end to the scourge.
Turns out, “The Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests, co-chaired by John Podesta and Senator Lincoln Chaffee [sic], is a bipartisan group of leaders from business, government, advocacy, conservation, global development, science and national security developing recommendations on the best means to address tropical forest conservation as a part of broader U.S. climate change policies. …The Commission is supported in part by grants from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to Climate Advisers, the Glover Park Group, and Meridian Institute.”
As I noted in “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism“, then-Sen. Chafee enlivened a Senate hearing by insisting that carbon dioxide is a problem because look at all of those people asphyxiating themselves in their garages each year. The witness to whom he directed this misunderstanding of Chem 101, Prof. Richard Lindzen of MIT, patiently explained that this just reveals that the issue is more about education than anything else (prompting Sen. Harry Reid to condemn Lindzen for somehow “belittling” Sen. Chafee). So, here’s to hoping the education has progressed. Possibly a good start is to spell their co-chairman’s name right.
The Commission did get Mr. Podesta’s name right, and again that’s probably a good thing. We have proven that our peripatetic activist of all that’s center-left, if sometimes more latter than former, Mr. Podesta can never be too readily separated from George Soros and their project of mutual interest that Mr. Podesta heads, the Center for American Progress (tell Mr. V. Jones hi for me when you pass him in the hall!). Podesta gave a great speech earlier this year in Essen Germany, titled “The Great Transformation: Climate Change as Cultural Change”. I write about it in my next book.
Glover Park is what we euphemistically call in Washington a public affairs firm, meaning lobbyists and PR. Specifically for whom Glover Park lobbies and provides public relations is a mixed bag, though one entity stands out: Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. You may recall Mr. Gore boasting on “60 Minutes” of having hauled in $300 million to re-brand “global warming” as the “climate crisis”. Where the man who insists that one’s contributors dictate one’s opinions and actions bagged such loot, well, he’s been less than forthcoming about.
Anyway, what made this group interesting to me is its new report boasting that the Waxman-Markey legislation cramming down “cap-and-trade” and other global warming schemes on us, “if enacted into law, would reduce U.S. emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 (including U.S. contributions to international reductions).”
Waxman-Markey makes no such boasts, but only vows a 17% reduction by then, so I looked further. It turns out that the meaning of that parenthetical is buried in the 1,300 pages, a scheme to “channel an estimated $11-$18 billion in new funding for tropical forests annually by 2050 – a more than one hundred-fold increase in U.S. funding levels.”
Of course, that’s a lot of money to send to governments of poor countries who, let’s face the sad truth, are typically poor because of corrupt governance scaring away real, private investment. They likely wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of money right away. So the solution is to add a few billion more on top to help them deal with the windfall. Seriously. “Reaching these high levels of funding requires substantial private investment in offsets, which is unlikely to occur at this scale without greater additional short-term financing for capacity building and market-readiness activities. These funding flows would greatly exceed any existing efforts by developed nations…”
There’s a lot in the report, much of it we should be thankful to Their Commissionness for bringing to our attention. Like how they plan to spend the billions taken from Americans forced to purchase “energy use allowances”:
“The regulation and distribution of this funding would be under the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, in consultation with other government agencies including the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Importantly, the EPA Administrator would be required to manage these funds in such a manner as to purchase at least 720 million tons of verified emissions reductions from tropical forest conservation each year from 2020-2025, and a total of at least 6.0 billion tons from 2012-2025. The objective of this specific requirement is to ensure that the set-aside mechanism finances international emission reductions equivalent to reducing U.S. emissions an additional 10 percent below 2005 levels in 2020. These reductions would be above and beyond the reductions achieved through the cap-and-trade program.”
So, now that the Senate is pondering taking up a companion bill, let’s consider things. It does sound as if – assuming these “reductions” we are claiming result from sending (more) enormous bags of money overseas are actual reductions, and a cut somewhere in the teens, as Waxman-Markey openly brags of, is meaningful – we should start with just sending the bags of money overseas, and skip the part about sending jobs there, too, which is what cap-and-trade is proven to do (thanks, Europe!).
Don’t bury the plan in 1,300 pages. Try to pass it. Freestanding. This is as unprecedented as its cheerleaders make it out to be. Let’s talk about it. As our green friends are fond of saying, “who can be against the public ‘right to know’?”