We are supposed to be encouraged by the announcement that the Paris COP21 meeting ended with an historic agreement. But what is not being mentioned is that the agreement does not include the cost of greenhouse gas reductions, nor how they will be paid for. This is tantamount to buying a house without agreeing on a price or method of payment. You wouldn’t be able to buy a house under those terms, and you shouldn’t be buying this alleged climate change strategy, either.
This agreement is historic only in the sense that it was even more bullshit that we are usually subjected to. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon declared the Paris meeting a “monumental success for the planet and its people,” praising rich countries for having “listened to the voices of the most vulnerable people.” Yeah, right. When has that ever happened? Since the financial crash of 2008, global wealth has been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. Developed nations including the U.S. have seen their middle class eviscerated. 85 people on the planet have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion. Who, exactly, are we supposed to believe is listening to the voices of the vulnerable? And why should we believe they care?
The problem with anthropogenic global warming isn’t just the fact that we have been in a cooling trend since the late 1990s. Which, by the way, is the reason the warning cry was changed from “global warming” to “climate change.” This calls into question the dubious assertion that CO2 causes temperatures to rise. The bigger problem is the presupposition that the climate is supposed to be in a steady state, therefore any change must be caused by human activity. Clearly, the Earth’s climate is constantly in flux, with the Sun, not human activity, as the main driver of change. I challenge any scientist or climate change believer to quantify how much of global warming is caused by human activity. Is it 70%? 92%? 12%? And what exactly is the optimal temperature for the planet? The assertions that the “science is settled” flies in the face of what the scientific method is fundamentally all about. Statements like this, which require us to accept a premise without possibility of dissent or debate, are red flags indicating deceit.
The idiocy and hubris underpinning the claim that we can control temperature rises to within 1.5-2.0 degrees is risible. The “by mid-century” time-frame is sufficiently distant such that nearly every leader who attended this conference, including most of us reading this sentence right now, will be dead before we ever find out if the goal was actually achieved. Notice that the means of achieving this goal were not specified. Why? Maybe the idea was simply to push the goal so far ahead that a year or two from now, no one will remember or care. But that was not the only objective of this meeting.
This planet is covered mostly ocean and uninhabited by humans. Even the bits of land where humans live are not inundated with teeming masses pumping out CO2. And who says CO2 is bad? Life on this planet requires CO2. It is the food of the plants that give us oxygen to breathe. Compared to the size of the planet, human activity is surely not significant enough to be the main driver of climate change. Evidence of human activity is not even visible from space at kilometer resolution.
That being said, there is no doubt human activity is having a disastrous effect on the planet. We are poisoning the streams, rivers and oceans. We are killing off entire ecosystems and habitats. We are polluting the air. We are sterilizing fertile soil. We are destroying innumerable species of flora and fauna. Human breast milk is full of toxins. Geoengineering is causing drought—who knows what in the world they are spraying on us? Clearly, human activity is destructive, but is it substantial enough to change the climate of the entire planet? I am extremely skeptical about this claim.
Here’s what you will never hear after one of these climate summits: The leaders of the world plan to give up their private jets, motorcades and their multiple palatial dwellings. The multinational conglomerates, who account for the largest emissions of greenhouse gases, will completely change the way they do business. The military forces of the world, including the U.S. armed forces, perhaps the biggest single polluter on the planet, will switch to renewable energy and significantly reduce hydrocarbon usage. Advanced countries will assist developing countries by giving up resources and curtailing consumption so that all nations can enjoy the same standard of living, with no exploitation or inequality. Wealthy hypocrites like Al Gore will move into apartments, use public transportation and grow tomatoes in community gardens.
If that’s what you were expecting from the bread and circuses of COP21, don’t hold your breath.
Instead, you will see that the problem is us. We drive too much. We fly too much. We consume and waste and discard too much. We will have to pay for every inch of our “carbon footprint.” We will have to give up certain comforts and conveniences. We will have to pay more taxes. We will have to endure price hikes and energy shortages and lower standards of living. Africa, South America and other regions will not be allowed to develop—you know, for the good of the planet. Meanwhile, the pope will still live in a gold and marble ensconced palace. The U.S. president will still fly Air Force One, taking his personal gas-guzzling vehicle with him everywhere he goes. Al Gore will still own nearly a dozen homes and the investment bankers and corporate entities will make a killing in cap and trade schemes. And not a damn thing will be done to save the environment.
But that’s OK. Because the whole climate change scam is bullshit. If you were paying attention to COP21, it should have been obvious. If you look at what heads of state, corporate tycoons and the banking elite do and how they live, you can plainly see they have no sense of urgency regarding the environment. They do not live like they are the least bit concerned about the imminent catastrophe they constantly warn us about. COP21 isn’t about controlling greenhouse gas emissions, it is about controlling the human population.
This doesn’t mean that decent people like us get a free pass to wantonly consume, waste and pollute. We have a responsibility to do our part as stewards of the Earth. We have to care for our local ecosystems, maintain them and pass them on to future generations in the same or better condition than we found them. This is more than the “elite,” who insist that we do what they say and not what they do, can ever be bothered to do.