By A I Adam
Conference Of the Parties (COP) 19 ended a day late without anything substantial but the customary acrimonies and blame game. Two weeks passed with usual blah blah - and junketing at tax-payers' expense - leaving everything for the last minutes, then time runs out. This is a new game but every nation, particularly the developing nations, should be concerned and seriously contemplate where they are indeed heading to, and to what end.
COP 17 at Durban prescribed for working out a universally agreeable and enforceable emission reduction scheme by 2015, but implementation would not be effected until 2020. It is indeed surprising that no one questioned the strangeness of this timetable and the intrigue of delaying implementation. But with a little hindsight, it is not hard to figure out the game plan. Two COPs ended achieving nothing, two more to go and the game planners know these would end in the same way. One does not have to be a prophet to foresee that no agreement would be reached by 2015, and that has been factored into the five years implementation delay to allow for continuing COPs for another five years. Will there be an agreement by 2020? No one knows, and it seems unlikely as ever. These COPs are like the softening-up shelling at a battle front to wear down the "enemy" slowly and to submission at the end, whenever that "victory" may arrive. Like the yearly last-minute sweep-up agreements, the final victory may be thrust in a hurry upon the wearied nations tired of haggling and waiting and delaying. Perseverance would pay at the end.
Let us cite an incident that reflects a similar picture. In 2004, Andrei Illarionov, Economic Adviser to the Russian President, held a press conference at the end of a 2-day Moscow Seminar on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol. Illarionov deliberated that the Kyoto Protocol was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, international adventure of all times and nations. Assertions made in the Kyoto Protocol and the scientific theory on which it is based are not borne out by actual data. The insignificant global warming was not anthropogenic but natural. There is no evidence of positive linkage between level of carbon dioxide and temperature changes. Solar activity causes temperature fluctuation and that in turn affects carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. The IPCC distorted and falsified the data as shown in the so-called hockey-stick graph.
He continued: Russia had to deal with National Socialism, Marxism, Eugenics, Lysenkoism and many more. All methods of distorting information have been committed to prove the alleged validity of these theories. Misinformation,falsification, fabrication, mythology, propaganda. Because what is offered cannot be qualified in any other way than myth, nonsense and absurdity. One of the biggest international adventure based on man-hating totalitarian ideology manifests itself in totalitarian actions and tries to defend itself using misinformation and falsified facts. There is no other word than "war" to describe it. Russia would be a colony as soon as it signs the Kyoto Protocol.
He went on: This is a war against the whole world, not against Russia alone. Signing Kyoto for Russia would mean only one thing, complete capitulation to the dangerous and harmful ideology and practice that are being imposed with the help of international diplomacy. Russia is not a banana republic or a colony, but she is about to become one as soon as she ratifies the document.
The veracity of the comments Illarionov made at that press conference is undeniable. The thrust of the truth therein should not be taken lightly either. But Russia capitulated within months and joined the Kyoto Protocol as a trade off for joining the WTO under favourable terms. She however, abstained from joining the Kyoto Mark II along with several other countries. If the COPs conclude in a similar way by 2020, it would indeed be an apocalyptic calamity, particularly for the developing nations. These nations have already been won over with the lure of mitigation fund that is yet to materialise, and no one can guarantee that it will. But the poorer nations are staying put with hopes alive. At the last few COPs, China and India have vocally stood by poorer weaker nations safeguarding their own national interests and theirs against what went on in closed-door meetings, and that turned out to be the main stumbling blocks that prevented any agreement to materialise. Allegedly, all COPs from and including Copenhagen 2009 failed due to alleged attempts of abusing and breaching WTO rules to use it as the instrument of coercive force in imposing mitigation measures upon nations. Russia has not been heard much as a protesting voice in these probably for safeguarding her favourable terms of joining the WTO. The "softening-up" gunning seems to be working already.
The above may not be an accurate account of what goes on in secrecy but the participants know or should know what goes on and why COPs are failing one after another. It particularly burdens the BASIC/BRIC nations with additional responsibility to stand together as a bulwark to assure fairness and protect weaker poorer nations from hegemonic subjugation by the powers-that-be. Better even that they should ask why this silly game must still be played and for how long? Why play at all?
Lot of waters have flowed down the Volga and the Danube during the years since, lot of secrets have come to light, falsehoods and fabrications have unravelled to open everyone's eyes. Illarionov's prognoses have only stood starkly truer - scientific evidence do not support the climate change claims. Therefore, the paradigm must change.
That greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), man-made or not, is the driver of global warming has never been proved. The IPCC cannot explain the pause/decline in global warming since 1998 despite steadily rising atmospheric CO2 that has now passed 400ppm. Proxy data from the Antarctica and Greenland ice cores have shown temperature's control over CO2, not the other way around. The atmospheric CO2 records at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, also show annual fluctuation rising during autumn and winter and falling during spring and summer. This issue should now be put to rest as unproven.
Global warming has occurred, and that is natural too. The IPCC ignored that we are in a post-glacial period and also recovering from the Little Ice Age, therefore, warming is the only natural trend we must expect. Total warming since industrialisation (1750), despite accelerating increase in fossil fuel burning, has been no more than 1oC. In the Summary of the 5th Assessment Report, the IPCC came up only with childish excuses to explain the pause/decline in warming but admitted "internal variability", after denying it for 15 years, and without saying how it relates to "natural variability". All the so-called "observed changes" the IPCC documented in its reports are nothing more than natural variability anomalies. It has happened all the time, and not something happening now, or since 1998. The British met Office too has admitted it lately that periodic cooling and warming is not unusual. So, the global warming issue is settled as a non-issue.
That brings the drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions to question. It is on this question that the COPs allegedly failed. Virtually no country that signed the Kyoto fulfilled her commitment to cut emissions, or cut a little only to put up a PR face. Kyoto Mark II is unlikely to end up any better. Developed nations seem to be more interested in emission trading than cutting. Trading would allow them to play all market tricks and most would try that to avoid cutting al all - like the US, the instigator of Kyoto, abstained from signing it. The big players would trade and prosper, the small would get smaller, developing nations would dwindle and gasp to survive on mitigation doles. The EU introduction of carbon tax has been a disaster, but still trying to save it at the expense of their national economies. Why cut emissions at all when it is proven before your eyes that greenhouse gases are not main drivers of global warming? The national leaderships are on an inertia momentum, the facts are yet to sink into their dulled psyche. Well, emission causes smog, such as in China and India; smog causes respiratory illnesses. Right. Nations should turn to technology. London, Liverpool, Chicago, Tokyo, Loy Yang have resolved smog problems by technology - by filtering out the particulate emissions. China and India can do the same, and they surely will do succeed one day. Respiratory problems are health issues, therefore, emissions should be treated as a public health problem, not a climate problem. With this shift of focus, the paradigm must change too. Carbon dioxide is an inert benevolent gas, it does not add to global warming but fertilize vegetative growth, it does not pollute, and it is a minuscule component of the atmosphere - one-twenty-fifth of one percent.
And finally, the mitigation. Mitigation of what, when the climate is not changing? IPCC has three working groups. Working Group I (WG I) deals with the science of climate change, WG II finds out the effects of climate change based on that science, and WG III prescribes the mitigation measures, based on the science and the effects. Well, that was the idea, but it never worked that way. The truth is, climate has not changed, and is not changing. That meant that there was no job for WG II and III. It has been well documented that WG II and III never waited for the WG I science, they invented the effects and prescribed mitigation pre-emptively to any findings by the WG I. WG I science has been nothing more than a PR show-piece as the mitigation measures are not based on their science, not on WG I report at all, but on a Special Report on emission scenarios prepared by WG III. Emission scenarios are admittedly speculative, and constitute a spectrum of scenarios. These are not projections of or extrapolation from any finding, measurement or observation, and are called storylines. First a storyline is chosen, and then the future climate is "estimated" from that storyline. It is a fairy tale woven from other fairy tales and has nothing to do with the climate or the reality, and is unlinked even to the IPCC science report. This is not a secret. Kevin Trenberth, one of the high priests and a lead author of IPCC reports confided in the Climate Feedback Blog of science magazine Nature that IPCC never predicts future climate; it only offers "what if" projections of future climate that correspond to certain emission scenarios. These emission scenarios are admittedly speculative, as we just said above. So, what bugbear are we cowering at?
Now, in view of the above, every nation and every person must ask what the COP businesses are for? The Parties, particularly the developing nations, should seriously question the meaning, necessity and justification of these annual rituals. Where is it going to lead them? Many scandals have rocked the IPCC, each one of them should have been an aye opener. It is high time to take the blinkers off and cast a hard look at the IPCC business as a whole. Here, the BASIC/BRIK nations' joint leadership is called for, for themselves as well as for the developing nations, to put a halt to the slow slide to economic apocalypse for the benefit of a clever few. This is not a hard task, what requires is mere non-participation, if withdrawal from the IPCC and UNFCCC is impossible, in the greater National Interest of each and all nations. No nation is in bondage to any other nations. BASIC/BRIC nations should consider putting their heads together on this crisis without delay. This is a question of economic survival of all nations other than the rich and very rich.
BASIC/BRIC nations should take heart and feel encouraged by the recent developments: Australia axed its carbon tax, Canada supported it, Australia and Japan significantly reduced their emission commitments, Poland held global coal summit concurrently with COP 19 in Warsaw and "endorsed" it, developing nations at COP 19 blamed developed nations for scaling down on their ambition on emission reduction and refusing to engage. These are signs that nations who are little more than pawns at these rhetoric-fests are beginning to realise the hollowness of it all - the absence of trust, transparency, equity and equality, good faith, and veracity.
Meanwhile the inability to explain the pause/decline in global warming for the last 15 years and its probable continuation for another 15 to 30 years shook the confidence of its financiers, the carbon finance money market in London. J P Morgan scaled down its carbon trading team, Morgan Stanley went trading part-time, Barclays sold theirs last year, Deutsche Bank closed their office, USB shut its climate change advisory panel, not to mention the small players such as EcoSecurities that barely survived by cutting back. Financiers around the globe are waking up from their Green and renewable energy dreams and counting the costs.
Every nations' time and money will be saved by the realisation that the use-by date of the IPCC has expired, and BASIC/BRIC nations should extend their helping hands to put it out of its misery as an act of mercy. Sooner the Piltdown Man of our time is put to eternal rest the better.
A I Adam
A I Adam is the author of New Emperors' Novel Clothes: Climate Change Analysed
published by The Publishers Apprentice, a Connor Court Publishing imprint.