Saturday, 19 December 2009

All Hot Air

Oh no! Whatever shall we do? The last chance to save the world has been and gone and those we laughingly call our leaders have failed even to concoct a Gordon Brown style cooking of the books to make it look better than it is. They're trying to spin it as a meaningful deal. It's a nothing deal- lots of meaningless talk about limiting temperatures to 2 degree rise. Then while they're at it they will declare world peace - starting in 2050.

This is a fantastic result. Better than expected. The various leaders including the sainted Obama and SuperGord got together, banged heads and failed to achieve anything. Perhaps they are finally realising just how spectacularly stupid what they are proposing will prove to be if they get their way. Okay, that would be a miracle too far. But the fact that they have been unable to cobble together even deals which promise results far into the future shows how pointless this process was and is. They were even proposing a plan B which would have been a deal excluding China. Excluding China? So they were actually going to announce a deal which would have curbed our emissions through tax presumably and allowed China to carry on regardless. You do not have to be an economics genius to work out what would have happened there. As it is China has resisted attempts to make it prove its cuts are real and so the deal is meaningless.

With any luck this will prove to be the last hurrah of this whole ridiculous episode in world history. The only historic thing about Copenhagen when we look back on it in years to come will be that they were on the brink of economic disaster but managed not to get full agreement for western economies to commit mass suicide.

Binding and legal promises have not been made. We have been spared meaningless and undeliverable limits on CO2 emissions and global temperatures. We'll get the rhetoric and the spin of course but frankly I can live with that. Much better to listen to Gordon Brown claim to have saved the world than watch him fritter away what is left of the British economy.

The whole AGW scare is on its last legs. It is unravelling. Nobody will ever formally admit it but all of those targets for emissions and temperatures will be quietly dropped in the years to come as governments realise that they have more important things to do, such as ensuring that the lights stay on for our growing population. This whole obsession will just become a historical curiosity.

And what was the point of the Great Hot Air Festival? Well perhaps it brought everyone to their senses at last. Perhaps it finally convinced politicians and bureaucrats that they were bent on self destruction. If and it is a big if the climate is warming in an unprecedented way then there are worse things that could happen. We can and will adapt. Taking that route is the more sensible one. It does not involve huge international conferences and coordinated action, it requires individual nations taking action for themselves on a case by case basis. Where poorer nations struggle to cope they should of course be given help.

And none of the above is to argue that we should continue to burn fossil fuels with abandon. We should be developing new technologies. We already are. But these things take time. Whatever the Green Meanies say, we have plenty of time to develop new energy technologies and wean ourselves off fossil fuels. That is the sensible and pragmatic way forward. The failure of chilly and snowy Copenhagen will in the not too distant future be seen as a victory from the jaws of an economic catastrophe. Now, let's see if we can stop them building all of those pointless and absurd wind turbines and stop the corrupt carbon trading market in its tracks while we're at it.

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