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U.S. and Canada are Global Warming Scapegoats

Politics / Climate Change Feb 14, 2010 - 10:00 AM GMT

By: Arnold_Bock

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleGiven universal awareness and belief that greenhouse gases are placing our world on the brink of imminent disaster, we should obligate ourselves to examine the origins of the climate change issue. For many people awareness and concern has emerged as if by stealth.  Our children arrive home from school all wide-eyed and anxious about the imminent extinction of polar bears, melting polar ice caps and glaciers.  Frequently, too, we see programs on television which portray what seems to be a world hell-bent on its own destruction and predicting an imminent environmental Armageddon.


Former politician Al Gore produced a much viewed movie predicting certain demise of most living things unless greenhouse gases were dramatically limited starting immediately.  He was given an Academy Award for his “Inconvenient Truth.”  It is clearly apparent that the vehicles of mass communication, especially the popular media, entertainment industry, the public school systems as well as society’s opinion leaders, have been working overtime to inform and alarm us to the calamities ahead if we fail to throttle back the creation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Where, When and How did the Global Warming Issue Begin to Take Shape?

Back in the late 1960’s the United Nations assigned Canadian Maurice Strong the responsibility of giving form to the nascent concept of global warming. Actually the climate change issue started with predictions of a coming Ice Age, but that theme was quickly abandoned in favour of the warming scenario.  The earth’s apparent rapid warming gained traction first at a UN conference held in Switzerland in 1971.

Funding for climate research was increasingly made available, papers written and findings shared culminating in the creation of the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (IPCC) in 1988.  It was this UN sponsored entity which drove the warming issue thereafter resulting in much greater public awareness - in part a consequence of another even larger conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.

It seems that the scale of the Rio conference and those which followed (which involved many thousands of attendees representing most of the world’s nations, international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and other technical and interested parties) were designed primarily as a publicity tour de force. Such was certainly the case with the most recent conference of 20,000 held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December of 2009 where delegates had only one task – to endorse what they had been prepped for in advance.

Kyoto, Japan was the venue for the 1997 conference at which specific greenhouse gas emissions targets were adopted.  National governments of the industrialized world were pressured to endorse and formally subscribe to those standards and most countries signed on either because they had become believers in the need to limit greenhouse gases or because political optics demanded it.  Canada, for example, cynically accepted its assigned carbon targets even though it had no intention or ability to meet them.

Interestingly, only first world developed nations were asked to commit.  Rapidly industrializing nations such as China, India, Brazil and many other smaller emerging economies of Asia were deliberately omitted from the obligations of the Kyoto Protocol. Given the fact that these countries are major polluters and their economies are growing at rates far greater than the economies of developed nations, one wonders why such a gap in coverage was so casually allowed?

Greenhouse gases, which ostensibly cause global warming as well as the consequent and imminent environmental degradation we have been repeatedly warned about, would surely be just as disaster-inducing whether they originate in China or Canada so why the “get out of jail free pass” for China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and others?

Another peculiar feature of the Kyoto Protocol was the base year selected and proclaimed against which greenhouse gas emissions reductions would be measured.  Cynics not only found the free pass given to developing nations odd, but the 1990 baseline proved even more puzzling.  The likely explanation is that the year 1990 marked the fall of communism in Europe.  Coincidentally it was also the high water mark in European pollution, including CO2 emissions. 

Since then dramatic carbon reductions have taken place throughout all of Europe, not just in the former communist bloc nations of Eastern Europe.  What is the significance?  Simply put, Europe has already come a long way to meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets simply because much heavy industry has for economic reasons been shut down or moved to the developing world since 1990.  Electrical production has also been converted into much cleaner burning natural gas and nuclear power and away from its previous reliance on coal.  Meeting their targets therefore became a relative “walk in the park."

Why are the United States and Canada being Singled Out as the Global Villains?

If developing and third world nations get a free pass and Europe can meet its targets readily because of the arbitrary1990 baseline, what is the point in adopting carbon emission caps which severely impact only the United States and Canada?  It seems that North America - the US and Canada - have been consciously and deliberately singled out as the global villains of greenhouse gas emissions.

Why would the phalanx of the third world nations, led by the UN and Western European nations, most of whom share social democratic values, attempt to force North America to pay such a steep price? Below are a number of reasons:

1. Socialist Dogma

Speculation leads to several possible answers which are all plausible.  When emissions targets were struck, the United States definitely had the dominant and most vibrant economy in the world. To outsiders the United States was obviously more able to shoulder the financial burden of carbon cuts than most other nations. Ditto for Canada.

Socialist dogma is rooted in the belief that income redistribution is and should be a core function for government.  In this instance the UN imposed its values and objectives on its constituent parts.  It is also frequently held that the wealth of rich nations comes at the expense of relatively less economically advantaged countries.  Hence “taxing” the industries of rich nations through Cap and Trade impositions on carbon emissions seems perfectly fair and reasonable to advocates of wealth redistribution.

2. Global Governance

Keep in mind that the climate change agenda has been shepherded throughout by the United Nations, assisted in no small measure by institutions and individuals which subscribe to the ideals and merits of supranational agencies and organizations.  Establishing world governing structures, institutions and processes is their ultimate longer term objective.  Advocates of global governance commonly hold the view that nation states are inherently self-serving and remain obstacles to attaining a higher level of civil and civic consciousness. 

Multinational organizations, measured against values like this, provide a superior form of government resulting in more desirable outcomes.  How does the world reach this nirvana of global governance?  The simple answer is by assembling it through a series of building blocks.

3. Need for Money

Think about it. The UN has existed since the end of WWII.  Its constituent parts include agencies such as the International Court of Justice, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization, International Labour Organization, governance of the world’s oceans, prosecution of criminal behaviour and actions from wars in such places as the Balkans and Rwanda, peace-keeping and peace-making missions in many of the world’s zones of conflict. Its ubiquitous humanitarian aid and third world development projects are universally known.  These initiatives and responsibilities come at the expense of nation states which have ceded authority and money to the UN with its transnational reach.

Until now many sovereign nations jockeyed to set their own foreign aid priorities, targets and funding levels. It is also a fact that citizens in many first world nations, especially the United States, are tiring of giving money to countries which have difficulty in using it efficiently and effectively.  Too often too much of it ends up in the pockets and Swiss bank accounts of government officials and other ‘kleptocrats’ in recipient nations.  Is it any wonder there is increasing reluctance by national governments, the source of most development funding, to contribute to costly, corrupt and questionable projects in failing and failed nations?  Would not the range of programs sponsored by the UN be much more effective if the UN no longer needed to beg, compromise or negotiate with sovereign nations for both mandates and funding?

4. Power and Influence

Referenced above is another emerging category of international institution called the Non Governmental Organization (NGO).  Because of their transnational origins, scope, structure and technical specialties, over the years these groups have been enlisted by national governments and the UN as their preferred operational arms to implement their aid and development projects around the world.  While many of their activities are project based, a continuing series of projects effectively necessitates large numbers of what amounts to permanent staff. 

Employment therefore is frequently institutionalized resulting in the full range of organizational imperatives.  Large organizations mean large budgets, layers of management and impressive staffing levels requiring many technical and professional skills. Job security and elevated pay grades assume greater importance.  Power and influence are sought over policy and program priorities of both national governments and the international governmental agencies.  In many ways NGO and UN interests converge in that they both end up being advocates of supranational governance and institutions at the expense of individual countries.

Summary

The answer to the question why the UN would attempt to force North America to adopt such stringent carbon emission caps? It is simply that the building blocks of international organizations depend on the exploitation of discrete needs and issues around and through which an organization can be established, grow and institutionalize itself on its route to permanent status. 

Clearly climate warming provides a case study through which a single issue, global in scope can be structured and managed to enlist the support of various constituencies. It becomes another multinational program initiated, managed and promoted by the United Nations which morphs into the placement of another permanent building block in the UN’s fledgling firmament.  Organizations are built and processes created which form a precedent for future initiatives coalescing around a different set of issues each time.  This is the building block process employed to create and institutionalize global governance. 

Conclusion

The issue of climate change has been enlisted to help construct global governing institutions.  President Obama’s chief of staff said some time ago that “it would be a shame to waste a good crisis.”  What he meant was that a crisis can be mobilized to enlist the support of individuals, interest groups and organizations which, under normal circumstances, would be impossible. 

Global warming is not a crisis created by man wantonly burning fossil fuels to the detriment of nature.  Rather, global warming is a methodically fabricated issue cleverly designed and exploited by proponents of global governance under the tutelage of the United Nations.

Editor's Note: The above article is Part 2 of a 4-part series including: "Global Warming: A Man-Made Crisis (Part 1)"; "Why Should WE Make Sacrifices to Offset Global Warming? (Part 3)"; "Global Warming: The 'Anthropocentric' Crisis (Part 4)".

By: Arnold Bock

www.MunKnee.com

© 2010 Copyright Arnold Bock- All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


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