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Can't imagine why

21 Aug 2019 | OP ED Watch

Climate Home News is all sad that the latest extreme UN call to shut down everything to save the planet has not been warmly embraced at a practical level. See, Secretary General António Guterres “took a gamble” when he asked participants at the upcoming September yakfest in New York to stop building coal plants by 2020 and commit to carbon neutrality by 2050. To which developing countries responded with a “casual dismissal of Guterres’ agenda” followed by the usual whining for more cash. (They don’t phrase it that way, of course.) The possibility that Brazil, South Africa, India and China didn’t see a way to stop using energy without starving their people apparently escaped these commentators.

It’s great to be so virtuous you can hardly bear the brilliant light from your own reflection in the mirror. Though apparently it’s not as rare as one might suppose. But one curious aspect of the climate debate, on which we have commented before, is that the alarmists really do already dominate the commanding heights of academia, politics and the media. (Hence the increasingly determined calls to shut out the skeptics altogether.) And they don’t seem to notice it.

As a result of this odd myopia, or a congenital inability to focus on humdrum implementation rather than virtue-signaling rhetoric, there is a powerful push for yet more affirmations that all good people really really care about climate (even VSCO girls, apparently) and continually to raise the bar we consistently hurtle under in practice. And correspondingly very little appetite for investigating why even those committed to reducing emissions are having so much trouble doing it.

The accompanying CHN piece noted various disappointing responses to Guterres’ call to tongues rather than arms. But instead of exploring what genuine obstacles might exist to going further, faster, and what could be done to overcome them, it instead lamented the lack “of peer pressure within the group to bring more ambition to the table.”

Ambition. That’s what we need. More ambition. And more certitude. And more smugness. And more attitude.

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