Durbin Conference Kicks the Can — Again

Another international climate conference, this one in Durbin, South Africa, has come and gone. After the delegates burned giant amounts of carbon to get there, they kicked the can down the road. That, in my view, is a good thing.

Durbin, South Africa

Here are some comments from Investors Business Daily written Friday:

Climate: Nearly 200 countries sent representatives to the climate change talks in Durban, South Africa. But it was merely posturing. Few were willing to sign on to an agreement that will wreck their economies.
Talks were wrapping up Friday with no deal in place. The representatives simply could not agree on a climate pact even after what the Times of India called “grueling endless negotiations.” There will be no Durban Mandate that would put binding restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.
The developed nations typically make a lot of noise about cutting greenhouse gas emissions ahead of these United Nations climate conferences. It’s part of the script.
Even national leaders who harbor some doubt join the chorus. They’d rather play the game than be labeled as backward, anti-science deniers by the media, left-wing politicians and special interests.
President Bush refused to go along in 2001 and was summarily smeared by the London Guardian, which said he had performed a “Taliban-like act” in his “decision to trash the Kyoto global warming treaty.”
But reaching an actual agreement that will decrease carbon dioxide emissions? That’s where they draw the line.
Playing the game at its highest level is the European Union. It says it’s willing to sign onto a deal that requires five more years of greenhouse emissions cuts — but only if the U.S., China and India join the coalition.
The EU might be able to convince America to agree, but it will never get China, the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, and India on board. And it knows this.

And, after they tacked on an additional two days for more negotiations, here are highlights of the Associated Press’s coverage via The Miami Herald

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A U.N. climate conference reached a hard-fought agreement Sunday on a far-reaching program meant to set a new course for the global fight against climate change.
The 194-party conference agreed to start negotiations on a new accord that would ensure that countries will be legally bound to carry out any pledges they make. It would take effect by 2020 at the latest.

So, the “hard-fought” negotiations resulted in an agreement to start negotiating. I’d say Investors Business Daily got it just right. The politicians in the U.S. know they will be pilloried by the mainstream media if they express skepticism toward global warming. So, they — and others — just kick the can down the road hoping Mother Nature will bail them out. Based on current world temperature trends (see posting below), that is a pretty good bet.

So, if we taxpayers have to foot the bill for large delegations to go to world glamour spots for a couple of weeks every year and pretend to negotiate, that is a small price to pay compared to the real economic damage an actual agreement would create.

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