What is it about human nature that makes us more willing to believe the worst news rather than the best news? During the second week of the latest international climate change conference being held in Katowice, Poland COP24, two groups showed up with news – one group predicting a catastrophic disaster and the other with a message of hope and encouragement.
Monday the U. S. held an event featuring U.S. government and industry officials showcasing the newest innovations in fossil fuels. These innovations will reduce emissions, create jobs and still provide reliable and affordable energy. The event was disrupted, with the sanction of the U.N., by youth standing and chanting “keep it in the ground” and then exiting yelling “shame on you, shame on you.” These young people had no desire to hear the good news about this cheap abundant energy.
In contrast, Al Gore held an event on Wednesday walking out on stage like a rockstar. His presentation began with a slideshow of a satellite picture of planet Earth. He said we are using our “atmosphere like an open sewer” and in that sewer we are dumping “man-made global warming pollution…equivalent to exploding 500,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day 365 days per year”. He spent the first hour of his 1 1/2 hour speech showing slides of the devastation and destruction caused by natural disasters from all over
the world. And of course, he blamed this on global warming. He claimed the civil war in Syria was caused by global warming not Hamas and the caravans headed toward the U.S. are migrants escaping a draught caused by global warming, not the crime and corrupt governments of their countries. When he made derogatory comments about fossil fuel companies and President Trump, the crowd laughed accordingly. When he concluded, the crowd gave him a standing ovation as he walked off the stage. In the real world he might have been called on his lies, but the reality of COP24 is built on his lies.
COP24 is working on a rulebook on how to implement the Paris Agreement. The rulebook will include a section called a “Just Transition.” It refers to societies transitioning from fossil fuels to a carbon free society. This section is to soften the hard fact that there will be no “just” transition, there will only be a “forced” transition by governments.
Most of the world is completely unaware that the United Nations is planning a complete “transformational change” in their lives. To reach a carbon free atmosphere, which is impossible, but just trying to get there, will begin this transformational change with governments telling it’s citizens what to eat, where to live, and what to drive. Al Gore said in a few years there will no longer be a combustible engine. A carbon free environment will require governments to take over farm and grazing land telling this sector what to grow and what animals to raise. One event on “Food Systems and Climate Change” claimed that to keep the temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees, western countries will have to eat 50% less meat and more food will have to be grown on less land. Citizens of western countries will have to convert from a diet of meat and potatoes to a diet of vegetables, fruit, nuts and some grains. Government regulations will be required to change this behavior.
Al Gore and the United Nations have been telling the world since the United Nations’ Framework on Climate Change UNFCCC treaty was ratified by the U. S. Senate and signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, that we are experiencing global warming. And if the planet gets hotter than 1.5 degrees Celsius, oceans will rise, glaciers will melt and there will be no more planet Earth. But Earth’s temperature has increased less than one degree Celsius. So to speed this process along, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC issued a new report right before COP24 predicting that mankind has 11 years to drastically change its behavior or the temperature is “likely” to rise above 1.5 degrees C.
This report is driving everything at COP24 and the words “transformational change” are used in every conversation and event. The good news is COP24 was unable to include the IPCC report into its language because four countries refused to recognize it – the U. S, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia. The four largest oil producing countries. The good news is fossil fuels are not our enemy. This abundant, easily accessed energy lifts societies out of poverty. The bad news is societies will never be able to reach a carbon free atmosphere even with heavy government interventions and alternative energy is so expensive poverty will only increase.
The bad news is the climate change train has left the station and it seems, it will not be stopped. The good news is the U.S. has president Trump.