Unlike Copenhagen, which was deluged with Presidents, Prime Ministers, and high-level Cabinet officials, heads of state and top officials mostly stayed away from Cancun. UN bigwigs even downplayed the significance of the talks, dampening hopes of any major deal being reached. In comparison to the 2009 confab, where more than 5,000 journalists instantly reported every little detail to the world as it happened, large swaths of the world press basically ignored, or even ridiculed, the Cancun conference. The UNFCCC did not even fill the smaller quota of 2,000 slots it had allotted for the world press corps at COP16.
Apropos for UN events, COP16 began with a lavish climate “Fiesta” on the beach, paid for by taxpayers around the world. While preaching austerity for the rest of humanity, the self-anointed Earth saviors lived it up: gourmet food; fancy drinks; excellent service; expensive entertainment, including a live mariachi band; and, of course, carbon emissions aplenty. Americans for Prosperity got in the party and filmed the giant gala; their video, entitled “Bureaucrats Gone Wild,” is posted online for your edification. But it wasn’t all party time; eventually the global “civil servants” had to get down to business.
The serious work of the summit began with a particularly bizarre start. The UN’s new climate boss, Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica, kicked off the climate festivities with a prayer to the ancient Mayan jaguar goddess known as Ixchel. Describing the mythic entity as a goddess associated with the moon, reason, creativity, and weaving — while carefully omitting Ixchel’s association with war, human sacrifice, and cannibalism — Figueres called on Ixchel to “inspire” the climate delegates.
“May she inspire you, because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools,” Figueres said in the opening speech, conveniently glossing over the massive sums of taxpayer money also being used as tools. “Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skillful interlacing of many threads.... I am convinced that 20 years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel.”
Fear Mongering & “Solutions”
The doom and gloom started right away. Another introductory speech, this one by host-country President Felipe Calderon, painted an approaching dire apocalypse. “If we don’t act to prevent climate change, the cost will be much higher to reverse its effects,” claimed “His Excellency” Calderon (the UN really refers to distinguished delegates like that). “Approximately five to 10 percent of world GDP would have to be dedicated to alleviate the devastating changes.” Even worse: “The disasters caused by climate change are threatening the survival of human beings,” Calderon opined. He cited a hurricane, a fire, and a drought — phenomena that have plagued mankind for thousands of years prior to the invention of SUVs — as evidence of his claims and the need for massive wealth redistribution and a global carbon regime. It’s for “the children,” of course, he concluded.
Meanwhile, a coalition of more than 40 island nations was claiming that, without big money and drastic regulations, it would soon be “the end” for them. “We are facing at this moment the end of history for some of us,” claimed Antonio Lima, vice-chair of the Alliance of Small Island States. “All these countries are struggling to survive. They are going to drown.” The solution, according to another alliance representative: “dramatically increase funds for the smallest and poorest of us.”
Socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales said delegates needed to fight a “battle between capitalism and life.” Without a strong agreement, global warming “will keep getting worse,” he warned. Some of his proposed solutions: a “Climate Tribunal” for “climate criminals,” implementation of his “Declaration of Rights” for “Mother Earth,” and, of course, lots of capitalist money transfers. His sentiments were echoed by representatives of tin-pot dictators around the world — most of whom love to blame the problems they have created in their own countries on global warming and “evil capitalist” countries. Morales’ counterpart in Venezuela, socialist strongman Hugo Chavez, blamed a downpour that washed away some shanty towns in his utopia on “capitalism,” too. Their supposed solution: world socialism.
This, naturally, was music to the ears of the Socialist International (SI), the worldwide organization of socialist and communist parties, which plays an important role at all UN conferences. The Socialist International — which counted Obama’s “Climate Czar” Carol Browner among its leaders until she left SI to join the new U.S. administration — joined the call for committing at least $100 billion per year into a United Nations “Green Fund,” ostensibly to save the poor.
A proposal by Professor Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the U.K., made a splash at Cancun. Anderson authored a paper for the Royal Society urging the adoption of a draconian World War II-style rationing system — for carbon emissions. “The Second World War and the concept of rationing is something we need to seriously consider if we are to address the scale of the problem we face,” he explained in the article, urging world rulers to limit electricity and prohibit food imports, among other things. His suggestion would involve a total freeze on economic growth in developed countries and “carbon rations” for every person on the planet. Unbelievably, at least one of his “Royal Society” colleagues said even that would not be enough.
Another remarkable proposal came from media baron Ted Turner. Like the climate delegation from China, Turner urged planetary overlords at a luncheon in Cancun to adopt a global one-child policy modeled after the brutal communist Chinese system. “If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people,” claimed Turner, who has five children of his own.
Skeptics Enlighten With Reason — and Pranks
Despite the avalanche of alarmism coming out of the summit, a few cooler heads did show up to offer their opinion. The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a market-oriented non-profit organization that deals with development and environmental issues, put on several events. They appeared to be the only well-represented group at the whole conference that could be classified in the “skeptic” category, which is to say they don’t buy into the false “consensus” that human activities are significantly causing a heating of the planet and therefore must be curtailed. Not surprisingly, their message was generally not very well received by conference participants.
Among the CFACT activities was a press conference promoted as “an opportunity for journalists to balance their coverage of COP16 by listening to all points of view.” Very few reporters, however, bothered to show up — let alone balance their coverage. The event included talks from several “skeptical” experts including Lord Christopher Monckton, the chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute and science-policy advisor for Margaret Thatcher when she was British Prime Minister. “I think the world is in danger of throwing away its democracy, prosperity and freedom if it carelessly accepts what seems to me unresolved science and economics,” he told the press conference. “To try to stop this problem by cutting carbon is like King Canute [a King of England] trying to stop the tide [by commanding it to stop].”
University of Alabama research scientist, best-selling author, and former senior scientist in climate studies with NASA, Dr. Roy Spencer, was easily among the most qualified experts at the entire COP16 summit. He also spoke at the CFACT press conference. Among other things, Spencer told the assembled journalists that it would be irresponsible to force poor people to stop burning fossil fuels in favor of expensive and inefficient alternatives. He also attacked a paper published in the journal Science about clouds and their effect on climate change, calling the paper “a step backward for climate research.”
Some youth CFACT activists — their group is called Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow — also showed up. And they exhibited a sense of humor in battling the alarmism, getting delegates, activists, and other conference “experts” to sign a petition for banning “Di-Hydrogen Monoxide,” otherwise known as water. Nearly every delegate they asked readily signed on to banning the evil substance, often while drinking water from a nearby watercooler. “There’s kind of this aura about the conference that these are experts meeting,” CFACT executive director Craig Rucker told The New American from Cancun. “But they are not people endowed with some sort of special scientific understanding of the natural world. They’re very ordinary folks who, in our opinion, have much more of a political agenda than they do a scientific one. That’s what the video on di-hydrogen monoxide revealed.” CFACT also obtained the signatures of climate delegates on a bogus petition to reduce the U.S. GDP by six percent via trade restrictions if the U.S. does not cooperate with the international community on carbon reduction.
The CFACT video of the Cancun attendees signing these farcical petitions has been posted all over the Internet, powerfully demonstrating the mindset of the green true believers who are demanding to control the planet.
Process, Protests, Progress
In the press, the hottest topic throughout the summit was the Kyoto Protocol. The 1997 agreement expires in 2012. Currently, it is the main mechanism used by the warmists internationally to limit emissions and raise money. It basically forces developed countries, accounting for less than one-fourth of total global emissions, to cut back on releasing carbon dioxide through the Clean Development Mechanism. The money raised by selling “carbon credits” is used to finance “green” projects in poorer countries.
But in Cancun, there was a problem. Japan’s climate delegation steadfastly refused to renew its commitments, complaining that China, India, and the United States — some of the world’s largest “emitters” — were not participating. “It does not make sense to set a second commitment period,” Japanese Environment Vice-Minister Hideki Minamikawa told reporters. “[Signatories] to Kyoto only represent 15 per cent of global emissions, but the countries who have signed up to the Copenhagen accord cause 80 per cent of emissions. We want a single binding treaty.... We should jump ship to a more effective framework.” Canada, Russia, and some other governments were also opposed to renewal. But Third World governments on the climate dole, including the communist Chinese regime and other, smaller ones, demanded the renewal of Kyoto as a precondition for “progress.” Climate delegations had reached an impasse — or so it seemed.
The summit in Cancun failed to produce a binding deal or even a concrete renewal of the Kyoto Protocol. However, the UN climate dignitaries did finally reach an “agreement” of sorts, citing the accord as evidence of progress and vowing to expand the climate regime later. Almost every government in the world signed on to what the global body is calling the “Cancun Agreements.” And similar to the process used to create the COP15 Copenhagen Accord last year, wealthier regimes simply bribed rulers of poor nations with continued promises of free technology and at least $100 billion per year by 2020 to fight “climate change.” Exactly where the money will come from has still not been determined, however.
“Cancun has done its job,” claimed UN climate boss Christiana Figueres in a statement at the summit’s conclusion. “The beacon of hope has been reignited and faith in the multilateral climate change process to deliver results has been restored.” She said the Cancun Agreements represented a “new beginning,” not the end. “It is not what is ultimately required, but it is the essential foundation on which to build greater, collective ambition,” she said.
Predictably, the agreements were attacked by far-Left greens for not going far enough fast enough, many of whom were out in force at Cancun, serving as a foil to make the delegates appear as “capitalist” stooges by comparison. However, critics on the Right noted that even though the summit did not accomplish what the protestors and even the summit’s most ambitious advocates had hoped, the agreements are far from being the harmless documents described in most media accounts.
“Notwithstanding the carefully orchestrated propaganda to the effect that nothing much will be decided at the UN climate conference here in Cancun, the decisions to be made here this week signal nothing less than the abdication of the West,” declared science-policy expert Lord Monckton after reading one of the draft documents. “The governing class in what was once proudly known as the Free World is silently, casually letting go of liberty, prosperity, and even democracy itself,” he added. “No one in the mainstream media will tell you this, not so much because they do not see as because they do not bloody care.”
Cathie Adams, Sovereignty & Security chair for Eagle Forum and a correspondent at COP16 for IRN/USA Radio Network, has been attending UN summits since 1995. “The United Nations knows what they want and they put facilitators in place to accomplish their end goal,” she told The New American. “It really has never been a process of nations joining together. It’s a process of nations submitting to an international authority.” She said the finalized Cancun Agreements were “huge” for the UN. “What they came up with in the final draft was a process to begin the scheme where they’re going to be able to have a global tax,” she said, referring to a plan to have a UN body collect taxes on shipping and aviation to supposedly fund “climate” action. “It is incredulous for the UN to demand that a sovereign nation pass laws to fit the UN’s political agenda, but that is essentially what they did,” Adams noted. She also said 2012 — the 20-year anniversary of the climate hysteria — will probably be the big date for a final, binding treaty.
The next COP climate summit is scheduled for early December 2011 in Durban, South Africa. And while some observers are already predicting the imminent collapse of the alarmist movement and ridiculing the scam in the world press, other analysts claim that the UN climate “monster” is still far from dead — especially with the tens of billions of dollars already invested in it.
Photo of Socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales at Cancun: AP Images