I suppose there really is a first time for everything: my first ever link to Mother Jones. Gaia forgive me, I feel so dirty.
This is how ‘global governance’ will work once we surrender – ‘pool’ if you prefer – our sovereignty. Corrupt. Unaccountable. Surreal. A few hundred bureaucrats from around the globe who believe their political decisions are so precise as to have an impact down to the half degree. Or… more likely they’re cynically manipulating the half-degree debate for national advantage.
Even if the science were settled, who can trust this type of implementation?
UPDATE: VDH @ The Corner
A Perfect Climate Storm [Victor Davis Hanson]
A satirist could not dream up Copenhagen. Icy-cold temperatures and snow descend on both Copenhagen and Washington at the time of the conference. It is preceded by one of the great scandals in recent academic history with Climategate and the fabrication of climate-change evidence. Al Gore has to cancel his pay-for-photo meet-and-greet session and then wildly misquotes one of his alleged experts. The world’s creepiest thugs like Mugabe and Chavez are given air time — and even applause for their anti-Western communist rants. Obama flies in to do an Olympic-lobbying-type quickie, and even his sudden fire-in-the-belly sermons are of no avail. More and more details leak about global warming’s international advocates and their green capitalist, conflict-of-interest profit-making. Carbon-spewing private jets dot the tarmac, while gas-guzzling limos line up outside the hotels. Who in their right-mind would give up any shred of autonomy to this bunch?
UPDATE II: Jonah Goldberg at the Corner
Friedman Tackles Climategate [Jonah Goldberg]
… everyone keeps sending me Tom Friedman’s column. This is not an omnibus response, merely a few thoughts.
…it’s a bit hard to take Friedman seriously on the subject since he’s already made it clear he doesn’t care if it’s a hoax.
…I don’t mind the “precautionary principle” argument he’s making as much as some readers do. But he steals quite a few bases in the course of making his case. That we are in a general warming trend isn’t hotly disputed by the so-called “deniers” (still a terrible bad-faith word which tells a lot about the people who use it). The question is whether it’s outside normal climate variation. We’ve only had moderately reliable measuring devices for a little while and they might have come on line right at the beginning of a mostly natural warming uptick. We don’t know. When we hear that this is the warmest decade “on record” people leave out the reliable record is very short (they also leave out other things).
…we do know that the carbon molecule has certain properties and it is a plausible hypothesis that it is contributing to global warming and (more troubling to me) the acidification of the oceans. But it is still just a hypothesis. The effect is much better understood than the cause.
Fourth, Friedman is still making the even-if-it’s-a-hoax-it’s-great argument. He writes:
If we prepare for climate change by building a clean-power economy, but climate change turns out to be a hoax, what would be the result? Well, during a transition period, we would have higher energy prices. But gradually we would be driving battery-powered electric cars and powering more and more of our homes and factories with wind, solar, nuclear and second-generation biofuels. We would be much less dependent on oil dictators who have drawn a bull’s-eye on our backs; our trade deficit would improve; the dollar would strengthen; and the air we breathe would be cleaner. In short, as a country, we would be stronger, more innovative and more energy independent.
Again, this is a signal that Friedman — like so many others — really doesn’t much care if the science is right or wrong. Because he thinks global warming is a useful Sorellian myth to drive the organization of our society and political economy in directions he favors. That doesn’t mean he’s wrong, it just means his judgment is not very trustworthy. For Friedman, it’s worth doing these things no matter what. For reasonable skeptics, if global warming is either untrue or not a big deal, then these things might be worth doing either gradually through normal market forces and/or careful reform, or not at all. But in a near-blind panic, spending trillions and exporting much of our economy wholesale to China and India for the sake of a benign hoax is absurd. It’s doubly absurd when we would be doing it for naught, since the developing world will never, ever, follow our lead if it means sacrificing development, and even if all this stuff comes online without much trouble, it will still only reduce temperatures by a teeny-weeny amount.
UPDATE III: Mark Steyn at The Corner:
Copenwaitin’ [Mark Steyn]
With U.N. security letting in only those cleared last week, hundreds of accredited delegates, journalists and NGO representatives were left to stand for hours in near-freezing temperatures before being let through. “It was crazy,” AP’s Seth Borenstein said. “You couldn’t leave the line. You couldn’t go to the bathroom, you couldn’t eat. Then snowflakes started falling. One woman even said, ‘if lightning strikes me, would they take me out of line?'”
People started handing out food — one gave out tangerines, another croissants. A man screamed “I don’t need food. I need socks! I’m freezing my ass off out here.” At one point, a U.N. official announced the wait would be longer, prompting the crowd to boo and chant “Let Us In!” […]
Seth himself stepped into the line at 7:55 a.m. and was through at 3:15 p.m., but only after another AP reporter, John Heilprin, “saved my bacon” by persuading a U.N. security guard to go out and fetch him. “John was afraid to go out himself in case they wouldn’t let him back in … the first thing I did when I saw him was give him a big hug. I have never been so grateful to be indoors.” Seth’s neighbors in line? “Oh they’re still out there.”
One has to admire the heartless indifference of the climate-change jet-set in the VIP enclosure to a lifelong toady like Borenstein. The rest of us, though, might draw the conclusion that, even if you think it a good idea to transfer trillions of dollars from the functioning part of the world to a transnational bureaucracy in an attempt to recalibrate the very heavens, these chaps might not be the ones you’d want running it.