See Comments down arrow

Down to two

17 Apr 2024 | OP ED Watch

Last December we noted the existence of a post called “UN climate director” and expressed doubt that anyone outside the echo chamber had heard of its well-paid incumbent or should have. No, it’s not Jim Skea, the chair of the IPCC (who at least said people should stop saying we’re all going to die), nor is it the president of the various COPs (Conferences of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), which is currently Mukhtar Babayev of Azerbaijan. It’s the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, one Simon Emmanuel Kervin Stiell. And he’s not the sort to yell that we only have ten years to fix the problem. Heavens no. Instead Reuters tells us: “U.N. climate chief says two years to save the planet”. And it is characteristic of climate journalism, or what now passes for it, that in reporting these remarks it did not occur to Reuters to ask even a sympathetic fellow alarmist whether this plan seemed practical.

They insist that “The Reuters Daily Briefing newsletter provides all the news you need to start your day.” As long as you don’t expect critical thought. Instead the journalists regurgitate undigested pap like:

“Governments, business leaders and development banks have two years to take action to avert far worse climate change, the U.N.’s climate chief said on Wednesday, in a speech that warned global warming is slipping down politicians’ agendas.”

What does it even mean? What is “action”, how worse is “far worse”, and what exactly would it be like? Note also the usual confusion of insisting that climate change is already disastrously here and is also about to hit disastrously.

Then it does the imaginary consensus thing:

“Scientists say halving climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is crucial to stop a rise in temperatures of more than 1.5 Celsius that would unleash more extreme weather and heat.”

Which scientists? Unleash what exactly? You don’t need that to start your day, evidently. And if you do you won’t get it from these authors, brandishing an “MA, Journalism“ from “University of the Arts London” and we know not what from Cambridge though as her initial beat was fashion it’s presumably particle physics or something.

They are not gulling you. They do not know.

They actually do know that:

“last year, the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions increased to a record high. Current commitments to fight climate change would barely cut global emissions at all by 2030.”

And they know from their point of view it’s bad. But they have no idea how bad, being innocent of economic wisdom as well.

Nor does Stiell, of course. In fact, his idea of how to fix it would be dismissed as too snide if presented as satire:

“‘Every day finance ministers, CEOs, investors, and climate bankers and development bankers, direct trillions of dollars. It’s time to shift those dollars,’ Stiell said.”

No. No they do not. The entire world GDP is around 96 trillion and much of it is not “directed” on any given day. Nor do these people individually own much of the world economy, not even the gnomes of Davos, and they can’t just say hey, today everyone makes batteries. Nor if they do manage to direct, say, billions, as Canada’s Prime Minister periodically does toward EV battery factories, can they guarantee that the batteries will get made, that they will work if they do get made, that they will work efficiently if they work at all, or that people will buy the cars they’re meant to go into in sufficient numbers to justify their production.

Reality is tricky. But they don’t know it. Indeed they seem determined not to. Climate Home News also pounced on his pronouncements as if they were novel, badly needed and clear:

“UN climate boss Simon Stiell used the distinguished platform of London’s Chatham House think-tank this week to call for a ‘quantum leap’ in climate finance – something many experts agree is sorely needed but is proving stubbornly elusive in practice.”

Many experts. Cool. Must be true. Unless of course you and the “experts” you invariably turn to are in the grip of the same delusions, including that the things proving to be “stubbornly elusive in practice” are secretly easy if only the people in charge were listening to these experts which in fact they are. Remember, from Washington to Ottawa to Berlin politicians all have aggressive climate plans and rubbish anyone who questions man-made warming. It’s just that their plans never work, which would suggest to lesser mortals that their expertise is in some wise defective.

Instead we get language like a quantum leap in finance. Which sounds like you’re a Master of the Universe in both physics and economics. Or talking word salad.

Thus the CHN piece continues:

“Will 2024 be the year in which the needle shifts from the tens of billions to the trillions of dollars required for countries to conceive of, and implement, the bold new climate action plans they’re being asked to put on the table by early 2025?”

Nope. How many countries in the world even have a GDP of over a trillion? Not that they could spend it all on climate if they did, even if they had a plan for how to do so. (Apparently the answer is 17, largely Western and already pledged to dramatic climate action for decades to no avail.)

How many will in fact have the “needle shift” to trillions? Not a single one, of course. How many will have very different and more recklessly aggressive plans in early 2025? Not one, even among the delusional.

You might think it’s time for some cold water, some contrary views, some real investigative journalism on whether it’s time for a reality check. But no.

Instead Stiell said, and these Reuters journalists parroted, that:

“We still have a chance to make greenhouse gas emissions tumble, with a new generation of national climate plans. But we need these stronger plans, now.”

So he has a plan for someone else to make a plan. Wow. Talk about visionary. Except he’s looking to the same politicians who won’t shut up about climate change and keep imposing EV mandates, carbon taxes, piles of regulations, driving industry from their realms and leaving citizens shivering in winter because, he claimed, their fabled political will was withering, or was until he spoke at “an event at Chatham House” and now they will evidently be galvanized.

Well, it’s not entirely true that he has no plan. He has a plan to talk about talking about talking about planning:

“Stiell said he would like to see future COP meetings reduced in size, while prioritising strong negotiation outcomes. He said he was in talks with Azerbaijan and Brazil – host of the next two U.N. climate summits – about this.”

Egad. Prioritizing strong negotiation outcomes. Why didn’t anyone think of that in the previous 28 COPs. Good thing he came along, right?

This article is not information. It’s not misinformation either, at least not in the sense of some kind of malicious and deliberate misrepresentation of reality, from the urgency of climate “action” to the ease of it. It’s a bunch of cliches in cliched order from people who think abstractions are real and individual details imaginary.

As for CHN, well, they think talking will do the trick especially if there’s also gesticulation:

“There will be a series of key moments leading up to COP29 in Baku, at which indebted developing countries will expect to see progress on freeing up bigger flows of finance to help them adopt clean energy, adapt to climate change impacts, deal with loss and damage, and protect nature. The first is the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington next week. Climate justice activists will be out in force, pushing for political leaders and bank executives to help #FixTheFinance, through colourful actions and demonstrations in more than a dozen countries, largely in the Global South.”

Countries that, with rare exceptions, don’t have GDPs of even $100 billion, we might add if we were them. Which we’re obviously not and there’s a reason. Like that we don’t believe there will be a “series of key moments” leading up to COP29 in Baku. At least not ones where the key turns in the direction these people really think it easily could if only, at long last, some politician somewhere actually wanted it to.

7 comments on “Down to two”

  1. One quick way to get more money available to the poor directly would be to fire all of these experts, climate ministers and COP meetings.

  2. Constantly amazes me that they say no one is serious, no one is taking action. Trudeau can only destroy the economy so fast, he is working on it, too much at once and even the most brain dead progressive will catch on to the scam.

  3. News Flash!China emits about as much carbon each year as North America and Europe combined!And China's emissions are rising.There is zero chance
    of cutting emissions by 2030 or any date you care to pick.These UN alarmists and pols are completely delusional.

  4. The chattering classes chatter on, but reality is like a Megalodon swimming up to take a bite out of a whale's butt, reality will eat regardless of opinions or intentions!

  5. Whenever a nation increases its 'climate action' funds, you can be sure of one thing - large amounts of the increase will evaporate without achieving anything while the bank accounts of those described generically as consultants will undergo rapid expansions.

  6. I have friend who traveled to Egypt, particularly to Cairo, from Australia. We chatted about his trip ,(no he did not feel guilty about carbon he and 4 other people generated. However Cairo, apparently has 23 million people. He said streets were full of cars, 4 lanes one way, most were old an polluting. We in Australia have 25 million people, yes the whole country. Australian government tells me that it is my ranger that is killing the planet??? Ok , lets say government is right (lol) Ours Rangers in Australia are no doing Jack Shit

  7. We need to somehow get the (factual) message out that oil/gas are actually the CLEAN option, while wind and solar are DIRTY. This might wake some people up from the reality-inversion propaganda.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *