The older readers here will remember Paul Harvey. Most probably remember him well. For many years he hosted a daily radio program that addressed the issues of the day, and he also had a daily segment called, “The Rest of the Story.”
Mr. Harvey would tell a story in those sessions and, at the end, provide more information to make clear to listeners the rest of the story. It was clear, surprising, entertaining, and usually enlightening.
The United Nations recently concluded its annual Climate Change Conference in Egypt. There have been so many climate conferences that they’ve adopted a persona and language of their own – this one being called COP27. The past 26 COPs have focused on enticing, bullying, begging, shaming, and threatening countries of the world and their leaders to implement fossil fuel and carbon emission plans and limitations. Thus far, the results have been mostly unproductive. Very few countries have made any progress on meeting their goals. Most emerging countries, like China, have only agreed to limitations that will not begin for more than a decade. Additionally, global political actions like the Russian-Ukrainian War frequently change any actions taken to reduce emissions.
Reality must have finally set in on the U.N. and its climate crusaders. While the climate movement tag line will never change from “fossil fuels will ruin the world” and “action must be taken now to save the planet,” and the effort to eliminate fossil fuels will continue for years, the focus of COP27 has shifted from unmet carbon emission goals to a new program calling for economically-developed countries to provide aid or climate reparations to developing countries.
It should be clear to anyone paying attention that implementing energy policies focused on reducing fossil fuel usage and wearing hair shirts to atone for the sins of carbon emissions (in exchange for a more modern and comfortable lifestyle) has lost much of its momentum. Spreaders of climate dogma, like the mainstream media, have subtly shifted their message from a direct correlation between fossil fuel reductions and the world’s survival to a message that wealthy countries must compensate emerging countries for climate change damage.
With inside information, or reading the tea leaves better than he normally does, John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for the Climate, provided a preface to the COP27 conference, saying, “…I refuse to feel guilty toward the developing world.”
However, with the change in direction of the conference, developing countries made their pitch for trillions of dollars in climate reparations from the developed world. Even Nicolas Madura, Venezuela’s president, despite his horrendous civil rights and environmental record, requested billions of dollars in climate reparations for damage caused to his country.
There was no mention of technological advances made possible by the abundant, cheap energy fossil fuels provide. Also, there was no mention of the efficiencies and conveniences of life these technological advances provide. There were no thanks for the miracles of cheap energy in providing cleaner and cheaper water, air conditioning, modern communications, and better transportation for employment opportunities that give emerging countries opportunities to finally develop their economies. And, of course, there was no offer of compensation to developed countries for those conveniences.
There was also no credit offered for the faster growth of global wealth in comparison to the expected costs of climate change. There was no recognition that the lives of almost everyone in the world have improved immensely through the use of fossil fuels. Finally, there was not a single commitment from any emerging country to use climate reparations to reduce carbon emissions or their reliance on fossil fuels – gasp.
Despite Mr. Kerry’s pre-meeting denial of guilt, the European Union and U.S. Administration apparently did feel guilty, and they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the conference’s closing moments by agreeing to establish a framework to provide climate reparations to emerging countries. China did not agree to participate in the reparations. They most likely will not. The details of the agreement will be fleshed out in the near future, which will result in a heated debate in Congress about how climate reparations will be paid.
It is increasingly clear that reduction in worldwide fossil fuel use is immune to political action. Technology and the growth of the world’s economies, not politicians and diplomats, will dictate fossil fuel use and resulting carbon emissions. These groups will be left to redistribute wealth among their friends and financial dependents caused by climate reparations. The people that may be injured and burdened by climate change will receive little help for their problems. Hardworking Americans will again pay the price for our leaders’ guilt.
And that, my friends, is the Rest of the Story.
I hope you have a good month.