I have my differences with Reason’s science writer, Ron Bailey. But he sure has a great gig. He is now in Durbin, South Africa, reporting on the latest
global warming hysteria climate change conference, and finds rampant delusionalism. From “Delusional in Durbin:”
Consider some of the proposed cuts in emissions that are being demanded of developed countries. One of the more moderate proposal demands—with proposed phrases in brackets—that “developed countries as a group should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions…[by][at least] per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.”
To make it simple, let’s take a look at just how a 50 percent cut in U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide might be achieved. Carbon dioxide is the chief greenhouse gas released by burning fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. burned enough fossil fuels in 2009 to emit 5.2 billion tons [PDF] of carbon dioxide, up from 4.7 billion tons 1990. A 50 percent cut in fossil fuels below 1990 levels would mean cutting annual emissions by roughly 2.8 billion tons in nine years. One way to achieve this would be to shut down completely the 70 percent of America’s electric power generation that is fueled by coal and natural gas, plus removing from the roads nearly half of America’s 250 million vehicle fleet.
Of course, that would euthanize the economy and make the Great Depression look like the good old days. But many of the most hysterical of the hysterics wouldn’t care. At its most radical heart, GWH is not about the climate or the weather. It seeks to destroy capitalism and impose an international authoritarian technocracy to govern us all toward the end of imposing equal results through mass redistribution of wealth.
But wait, there’s more:
One more proposal simply requires that rich countries commit to cutting their “greenhouse gas emissions more than 100 per cent by 2040.” One way to achieve cuts of “more than 100 percent” might be to shut down all American industry, transport, fossil fuel power generation, and cover the landscape with carbon dioxide absorbing trees. T.S. Eliot wrote that “humankind cannot stand very much reality.” This apothegm apparently applies to some climate change negotiators here in Durban who, when reality becomes too much, retreat to fantasies conjured by their rhetoric. The likelihood of draft proposals that require deep greenhouse gas emissions cuts by rich countries being adopted here in Durban is exactly nil.
No kidding. Most countries couldn’t even meet the far more modest goals of Kyoto I.
It must be fun to fly carbon spewing jets to exotic locales, eat bounteously, party, and pat yourself on the collective backs as the essential saviors of the planet. In reality, the movement is imploding of its own inconsistencies, hypocrisy, lack of credibility, grandiosity, and delusionalism about human nature.
Oh well, on to the international fight against obesity! Maybe that will work out better for the would-be lifestyle tyrants.