COP27: 27 Flops and Counting…

After intense wrangling that prolonged the proceedings for 48 hours, delegates at the climate change shebang in Sharm el-Sheikh finally managed to come up with a statement, with the developed countries pledging (at least on paper) financial aid to the poorest countries. But no one was really satisfied with the results – least of all the Malthusian, anti-development lobby working for the international financial oligarchy. Especially since, given the acute energy crises worldwide, developing countries were more assertive of their right to consume energy to ensure development than at previous such events. And that, in itself, is a reflection of the strategic shift underway.

We choose to highlight just a few notable aspects of the fraudulent nature of the debate:

* The viewpoint of the “Global South”. This was expressed by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, in an op-ed on Nov. 9 in the Washington Post titled “How Not To Talk with Africa about Climate Change”. He warns the West not to tell Africans not to use their own resources. “If Africa were to use all its known reserves of natural gas—the cleanest transitional fossil fuel — its share of global emissions would rise from a mere 3% to 3.5%. We are not the problem. Yet the continent needs a reliable source of power if it is to pull millions out of poverty and create jobs for its burgeoning youth population…. Don’t tell Africa that the world cannot afford the climate costs of its hydrocarbons—and then fire up coal stations whenever Europe feels the pinch. Don’t tell the poorest in the world that their marginal energy use will break the carbon budget…. It gives the impression your citizens have more of a right to energy than Africans.”

* The West and the Rest. Patrick Pouyanné , the CEO of TotalEnergies, France’s enormous energy company, informed the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly on Nov. 9, that the world is very different from the way Western propaganda presents it, in what he called the “split between the West and the rest”. Whatever one may think of the strategy of TotalEnergies, its CEO has a certain insight into the problems: “We have a Western bloc — we’re roughly 1 billion people –and we have the Global South, which is about 6 billion people”, he said. That phenomenon is most visible, in his view, in the debate at the COP27, where “the Global South, especially African countries say ‘we, too, have a right to development.’”

Pouyanné also brought up the reactions to the war in Ukraine that he found in his travels to India and Southwest Asia. “I realized then that the vision we — in the West –have of this conflict wasn’t shared at all by the immense majority of the rest of the world. They look at us as if we’re co-responsible for it and didn’t do things right….”

* Protection from catastrophes. The thesis of man-made climate change was amply refuted by several speakers at the Schiller Institute online conference of Nov. 12, dedicated to reviving the heritage of Vladimir Vernadsky (cf. SAS 45, 46/22). At one point in the discussion, Jason Ross, a science advisor to the Institute, addressed the issue of so-called “natural calamities”.

He pointed out that “the actual impact of extreme weather on human beings has been decreasing dramatically, and has been reduced by over an order of magnitude in the last 100 years. That is, the number of people whose lives are ruined or lost due to storms, flooding, things like this, is 10% of what it was in the 1920s. That’s not because the biosphere became more benevolent, although in part, it is. It’s certainly not because the weather became more mild. What it is, is that we transformed our relationship to nature. We developed ways of increasing our independence from the sort of built-in state of nature around us, and interact not with that environment but with a synthetic environment of our creation.”

This is done in many ways, Ross continued, such as with “irrigation, flood control, having electricity and buildings with air-conditioning and heating, and communications systems” to allow us to get out of harm’s way, as well as by refrigeration, synthetic fertilizers, etc.

“In doing all of this, we do what the biosphere was doing before our emergence; and that is, developing a higher flow of energy and developing an increasing self-reliance by making internal environments that are productive…. one of the most important things to keep in mind with all of this: We’re not simply at the mercy of the biosphere, although keeping it in good shape is of course important. The most important determinant of our susceptibility to disasters or catastrophes of this kind is our level of development. If we shut down development out of concern that we have to prevent a climate catastrophe, then we are generating a human catastrophe by continuing poverty, which is the greatest threat to life.” the videos of the proceedings of the SI conference are available here.

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