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 79 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 40-person team will have their
emissions neutralised 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 sterilised to reduce her carbon
footprint. (There is no truth to the rumour that her aborted fetus would have been
the one who invented technology which allowed SUV's to be powered by saltwater)
Father Earth, AlGore, 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
50 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, (the new 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
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.
She lives in South Carolina
Article may be reprinted, with attribution