Tag Archives: climate change

Panel of Experts at COP27

Democracy is at risk from climate experts

Three weeks ago, President Joe Biden declared that “in our bones we know democracy is at risk.” He attributed the threat to Trump acolytes “running for every level of office in America.” Well, no mayhem ensued after November 8.

However, a bigger threat that probably few heard of did arise soon after. On November 6, 2022, the world’s elite once again gathered at the 27th annual United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27). This time, the conference’s focus was on methods by which the 197 participating countries, including the U.S., should implement the ambitious UN-prescribed climate action plan.

And therein lies the threat to U.S. democracy.

Delegates to the COP27 gathering implicitly agreed to accept the prescribed science behind the climate action plan, identify and remove barriers to implementation of the plan, require changes in corporate behavior to advance the plan, and compel changes in investment to finance the plan. Specific examples were given during the conference:

* Climate science is what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prescribes based on its research.

* Barriers to implementation of the climate action plan include oil and gas industry lobbying, dominant modes of transportation, and counties without sufficient capital.

* Corporate behavior in need of change include compensation based on production rather than climate action, lack of specific means of accountability for lack of climate action, resistance to a universal repository for listing specific corporate advances in climate action, and the mere existence of fossil fuel industries.

* Investment needs to move away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy. Developed nations need to pay into a fund designed to assist climate action by less developed nations. Financial institutions need to reduce barriers to financing climate action, such as interest rates or development plan characteristics.

Most of the action points above cannot be binding but are implicitly accepted by delegates. The more explicit point is the establishment of a fund to help poorer nations deal with the costs of climate-induced disasters. At COP27, there was agreement to establish the UN Loss and Damage Fund, details of which will be worked out next year.

Why is this seemingly intelligent climate action plan a threat to U.S. democracy?

The COP27, regardless of any sincere and worthy intentions of participants, is nevertheless a body not chosen by or even widely known to U.S. voters. The bedrock of democracy is the vote of the people. Through their vote on candidates and issues, voters express what they want their country to be.

Since the birth of the United Nations, concerned individuals have expressed uneasiness. We the people do not chose the delegates we send to UN conferences, we do not choose the issues the conferences discuss, we do not have any say on what our delegates commit us to do. We can vote on proposals on our ballots but may or may not readily associate them with UN pledges.

Concern in some circles extend even deeper.

A threat to our political structure – call it democracy or representative republic – for the sake of saving us from climate disaster is bad enough. However, a threat disguised as climate action for the sake of ideology is worse.

Here are a couple of interesting excerpts from recent publications:

* The Lew Rockwell blog on November 2, 2022, published a piece by Thomas DiLorenzo that well encapsulates some people’s concern about the relentless talk of climate action. DiLorenzo says,

Years ago my friend the late Murray Weidenbaum, the chairman of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisors, told a story of how he had a conversation with Barry Commoner, one of the founding fathers of the modern enviro-commie movement. (I believe they both taught at Washington University in St. Louis). Weidenbaum said to him (paraphrasing from memory): You guys are against oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power. Without energy, you cannot have a capitalist market economy.

Commoner’s response was to sit back and smile. Weidenbaum told me that he interpreted Commoner’s expression as saying “exactly right.

* Greta Thunberg, the high-profile teen climate activist, attended a Southbank Center event to promote her new collection of essays, The Climate Book. During her speech and subsequent interview with journalist Samira Ahmed, Ms. Thunberg stated that it is too late for individual action, and saving the planet now requires system-wide transformation.

We need to change everything because right now our current system is on a collision course with the future of humanity and the future of our civilization.

[the current system is] “defined by colonialism, imperialism, oppression and genocide by the so-called global North to accumulate wealth that still shapes our current world order.

As an aside it is useful to note that Greta Thunberg is aware that changes are unlikely without people’s (supposedly including voters’) demand for such changes. She made that point several times during her interview with Samira Ahmed. Whether COP27 participants were equally cognizant, is not clear.

Additional concerns regarding ideology include a perception of bias.

Bias is an unavoidable feature of the human mind. Sometimes it is unintentional and unperceived, and at times it is intentionally baked into ideologies.

Right-leaning ideologues tend to dismiss the negative impacts of carbon dioxide and/or ignore the association between the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the rise of industrialization. Left-leaning ideologues tend to blame climate change for events that could be ascribed to other causes (residential encroachment into fire zones during the last decade as contributors to forest fires, for example), and tend to limit themselves to prescribed remedies.

At present, left-leaning ideologies have the upper hand on matters of climate change.

Left-leaning bias focuses on elimination of fossil fuels. But the plan lacks sufficient focus on the thousands of products derived from fossil fuels. Lots of talk there is about wind turbines, solar panels, and electric vehicles; but not much talk about effectively replacing polyester clothing, PVC pipes, nylon ropes, plastic toys, or small appliance casings.

Also, left-leaning bias ignores the harm derived from disposal of the large energy-storage batteries required in renewable energies and electric vehicles. It is hard to tell percentage of components that are recycled, although some say 5%. The rest is buried and left to sip into soil and waterways.

Left-leaning bias against capitalism and its profit motive fails to acknowledge that government cannot produce capital. People (including those that work or invest in corporations) produce capital from the profits they make. Focusing on climate action instead of profits will reduce capital. That is fine, as long as we all agree that climate action is more important than the standard of living to which some of us have grown accustomed.

Faced with the conundrums listed above, do we simply do nothing?

Doing nothing about the documented acceleration in the level of global warming since the start of the industrial revolution is not a wise choice. However, neither is risking democracy – which we keep claiming is so important to us – for a promise of safety from anticipated climate disasters.

That is not to say that people who are willing to exchange democracy for a promise of safety should be prevented from seeking that option. They must be free to do so if democracy is to be upheld!

Those who prefer democracy need to be free to choose that preference as well, which is not something by which climate activists like Greta Thunberg abide, or which our “official” climate experts want to allow. And, by the way, who are these official experts?

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific risk assessment on climate change, formulate options for adaptation and mitigation, and determine the state of knowledge on climate change. In other words, the IPCC is the poo-bah of climate science. Suggest other scientific avenues, and risk accusation of spreading misinformation.

But there should be competition with the IPCC

Elon Musk, who seems to be rapidly catching up with former president Donald Trump as the Left’s most prominent thorn, on February of 2021 funded through his foundation a four-year global competition to award innovators that demonstrate ways to pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or oceans and sequester it durably and sustainably. The idea is not only to fund work on carbon sequestration, but also to incite other investors.

It took NASA only 10 years to figure how to put a man on the Moon and safely bring him back to Earth. It has been 57 years since the first climate conference in 1979 (Geneva, February 12-23, 1979), and according to COP27 participants, global warming is still taking place, disasters are increasing, and not much has been put in place to reverse the trend.

COP27 participants and experts are correct in their assertion it is time for structural changes. However, given the UN’s 57-year failure to bend the curve of global warming, perhaps such changes could include giving up on the UN and focusing more on hyping the work NASA has done on carbon conversion and sequestration, and the awards EPA has established for credible sustainable methods of reducing and sequestering carbon.

If U.S. voters wish to help poor regions with mitigation of disasters due to climate change, voters can choose candidates that promise to do so. Primary focus, however, should be on developing cost-effective technology that nations poorer or richer can use if they choose to do so to curb emissions and sequester carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere.

Pictured: YouTube excerpt of COP27 Recommendations of Expert Group on Net-Zero Commitments of Non-state Entities. Non-state entities include private businesses, agencies and financial institutions. The panel of experts recommended guidelines for explicit, required, equitable and just actions. It also recommended transparency via a central repository where progress could be viewed and evaluated.

SF Bay Area: Pitch Dark at Noon!

Here in California things are getting “curiouser and curiouser.” Like Alice falling through the rabbit hole and facing the challenges of Wonderland. On Wednesday, September 9, 2020, things in the San Francisco Bay Area got really curiouser.

“Oh my”, we all said when we woke up. “Where is the sun?” Still by noontime, the skies were darker than eventide – except for a fearsome reddish-orange glow. “The fires,” we all said.

“The fires,” we say in somber tones. Climate change, and it’s all our fault.

Maybe those dark skies might also be related to poor forest management, but who knows. All we know is maybe next come the locusts.

The San Francisco Chronicle carried great pictures of the event. Worth seeing. One of the pictures is featured here.

Jerry Brown Blames the Feds for Wildfires Too

 

Four days ago, former California governor Jerry Brown testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee panel on the environment. Here is what he said,

California’s burning while the deniers make a joke out of the standards that protect us all. The blood is on your soul here and I hope you wake up.

His point was that climate change is the primary cause of California’s devastating wildfires, and the Trump administration is not interested in either the state’s plight or in California’s leadership in fighting climate change.

The governor’s specific reason for visiting Washington DC was to testify against the Administration’s plan to suspend the federal waiver that allows California to impose vehicle emission standards more stringent than those mandated by the federal government. The state views strict emission standards as essential in lowering CO2, the focus of California’s climate fight.

Let’s Review California’s Wildfire Scenario

Indeed, climate changes, and with change comes the need for adaptation. But the governor’s words when stacked up against some obvious facts sound more like prescribed rhetoric than a call for solutions. Here are some variables that are absent from the governor’s rhetoric.

* California wildfires have always been a fact of nature. Forest fires naturally take care of overgrowth and help seeds explode and propagate. However, while in the old days early inhabitants suffered smoky air and heat from the conflagrations today’s inhabitants are faced with tragic destruction of life and property.

* Recent poorly-managed population growth force people seeking room to build to locate in fire zones next to tinder-dry forests.

* An exploding number of homeless individuals and their campfires have spread out into fire-prone zones, just like their housed neighbors.

* Overzealous environmentalists have succeeded in stopping the culling of trees and trimming of underbrush.

* Nature-loving homeowners understandably enjoy forests, rendered deadly by droughts, right by their backyards.

* California’s perennial distaste for investor-owned utility companies such a PG&E and Southern California Edison preclude peaceful and efficient transition to renewable sources of energy.

Blood in Whose Soul?

Jerry Brown made headlines with his “blood is on your soul” accusation. But his climate change blame game sounds unconvincing when other factors affecting the destruction caused by California’s wildfires are ignored.

The former governor’s words brings to mind an image of another unraveling society of long time past, where someone fiddled as the city burned. Whose soul was tainted with blood then? And now?

More on the Subject

*  For a more scathing opinion of California fires, the Just Vote No Blog recommends

California is Becoming Unlivable, Atlantic, October 2019 issue

*  Picture: Note the dry dead branches in the center of this tree grove in a northern California residential community.

Trees 2

UN Climate Action: Anybody Left Out?

The last few days have been significant for those who have been watching the development of the climate change movement.

The Children’s Marches

The September 20th children’s Climate Action marches throughout the world were a model of effective organizing. The chosen face of the children’s demand for action, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, performed admirably in event after event.

UN Climate Action Summit

In New York City, the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 on September 23rd was a wonder to behold.  World leaders meticulously selected for their commitment to fighting climate change reported on their country’s progress in implementing the mandates of the Paris Agreement.

Greta Thunberg’s presentation before the heads of state made headlines. The teen environmental activist strongly rebuked the grownups for thrashing the Planet and leaving a mess that will shorten or effectively end lives in her generation and that of her progeny.  Ms. Thunberg spoke of the abject fear the “existential crisis” of climate change has wrought upon today’s youth.

Mr. Antonio Guterres, current UN Secretary General and former Socialist Party Prime Minister of Portugal, echoed the children’s concern. His young granddaughters, he said, would not inherit a hospitable Planet unless we fixed our destruction through the collective action and distribution of resources prescribed in the Paris Agreement.

Some Reminders

Yes, our Planet has been warming. And yes, just as ice floating in the surface of your sangria melts faster in hot weather, so does Polar ice floating in the oceans. The meltdown might even eventually return the Poles to their ice-free condition during the time of the dinosaurs.  Ocean-front cities will be the first to go.

Chart showing Earth's cold and hot cycle
NOAA Climate Information – Extreme Events, Trends

However, if industrialization contributed to a current natural warming, perhaps we can delay the inevitable through some lifestyle changes.

We could use some lifestyle changes anyway to clean up our air and quit dumping non-biodegradable garbage everywhere.

The 74th Session of the U.N. General Assembly

Leaders of the United Nations member states met in New York City on September 24th for the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly and Debate.  All presentations are available for watching on YouTube or the UN WebTV.

In his opening presentation, UN Secretary General Guterres once again insisted on the end of talk and the start of evidence of prescribed action under the Paris Agreement. He views the Agreement as a social and moral contract that signatories need to honor if we are to avoid climate catastrophe. The Agreement principally calls for a drastic world-wide reduction in CO2 through phasing out of fossil fuels.

By contrast, recently elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro , clearly and forcefully indicated to the assembled dignitaries that Brazil is a sovereign nation that has demonstrated in words and actions that it is committed to environmental protection that is specifically adapted to the country’s own characteristics. President Bolsonaro took the opportunity to indicate his distaste for widespread media fallacies, political correctness that replaces reality, and socialist ideology that routinely leaves a “trail of misery.” Socialism is working in Venezuela, he said – everybody is now poor.

Compliant leaders like Emmanuel Macron of France, Angela Merkel of Germany, and Sebastian Pinera of Chile did report their progress in implementing climate fighting mandates contained in the Paris Agreement.

In a show of inclusiveness, organizers of the 2019 UN Session invited the input of entrepreneurs who could contribute to the climate fight through technology and customer reach. Entrepreneurs spoke of devises farmers in poor countries can use to predict the approach of threatening weather conditions. Representatives of Google, Microsoft, Ubisoft and other gaming companies reported on their success in reducing the energy consumption of their games and data storage, and including ideas on Planet protection in the theme of their games.

Who Did the UN Leave Out?

The United Nations mostly called for action from governments and corporations. They should have asked who they were leaving out! The Summit left out people – buyers, consumers, trend setters, and boycotters.

Consumer distaste wiped the Ford Company’s Edsel and the New Coke off the market within a short time of the products’ introduction. Conversely, The Blair Witch Project was a 1999 movie produced for $60,000 that grossed $140.5 million, because people thought the low-budged viral marketing and the shaky camera effect were really cool.

Maybe if all those children that demanded climate action from government refused to ride on gas guzzlers, gave up watching anything on energy-sucking plasma entertainment screens, and reduced their meat consumption they might set a trend. Their Climate Action Fridays could be spent reaching out to consumers and featuring companies that work on making their premises as carbon neutral as possible.

Fear As a Tool For Control

Fear is a good tool with which to implement control. California did a great job successfully passing hundreds of mandates removing voter control of housing by utilizing concerns about climate change. The point here is not to engage in unwinnable arguments whether climate change is man-made or not, but to observe a transformation, some say not for the good, driven by constant talk of climate change.

California Political News and Views is an on-line publication popular among conservatives.  “Conservative” includes ideas such as protection of private property and displeasure with government supported or controlled housing.

An article in the Political News and Views issue of September 16, observes the connection between California’s continuous talk of climate change and draconian housing legislation. Of special note is the morphing of climate change into climate justice, which led to massive taxation of the state’s residents to support subsidized housing.

Here is a link to the article: The Ascent of Big Government in the Guise of Climate Change

California-Capitol-Money

 

Oil foes do not like kids’ plastic toys

WatermelonGreen deals are popping up like dandelions.  Left-leaning folks are ready to downright ban oil.  No more fossil fuels!  No more fracking!  To be responsibly green, we will need to do a lot more than what is common sense like investing in clean, effective and useful transit systems.

Aside from the question whether we need to anticipate flying in solar-powered airplanes, we also need to reflect on how many things around the house we will need to replace when oil becomes prohibitively expensive or just plain unavailable.

Of course, our toddler’s toys, eating utensils, backyard kiddie pool, and playground slides will need to go away.  Disposable diapers will be a problem — outer shell is plastic.  Crayons — oil based.

Also to depart will be the cheap bag of fertilizer we use for our potted plants.  Inexpensive T-shirts will need to be replaced by cotton or maybe even Irish linen.  Regarding shoes, we will have to face a huge dilemma, since the alternative to synthetic might be leather from little innocent cows.

Vaseline, lipstick, nail polish — all petroleum based.

So, when a candidate for office says at a neighborhood town hall that she would suspend all fossil fuel drilling leases for offshore and public lands, start worrying about all those T-shits and sneakers.

Oh, but wait, the U.S. imports like 70% of all that stuff anyway, so we would not need domestic oil, right?  Other countries can increase their oil production to make up for the U.S. decrease, no?  Oh, that will fight global warming how, again?

 

Climate Change: View from the other side

The Just Vote No Blog View

“Climate change” and “Climate denial” are charged phrases that often elicit strong responses. The Just Vote No Blog has often noted that the subject of climate has grown beyond common sense efforts like installing scrubbers on smokestacks, investing in useful transit systems, or driving reasonably-sized gas-saving private automobiles. Today the subject serves to implement the cause of “social justice and equity.” The Just Vote No Blog has encouraged honest appraisal of the costs and benefits of such a cause.

The View From the Other Side

In all fairness to social justice warriors who truly believe that climate change constitutes an existential threat that requires globally-implemented mandates, the JVN Blog asked the permission of a fellow activist to post some heartfelt beautifully expressed responses he wrote during an email discussion on climate change.

Primarily, he visualizes need for transformation in our social institutions that will bring about renewal of collective action based on trust. He sees a culture of individualism that since the 1960s rose in tandem with mistrust of social institutions, thus spawning impediments to the kind of collective action that fighting climate change requires.

Here are Steve J.’s thoughts, posted without editing and with the respect that is due to honestly differing views.

In response to a question why research is limited to rise in CO2:

“The reason why ‘changes caused by other than CO2’ have not been studied is an excellent question. One explanation for alternative climate change theories not being funded is that they are opposed by a vast conspiracy that includes the government, the scientific community, and their funding sources. The other reason may be that in the last 30 years alternative theories to the greenhouse effect have been examined by scientists in multiple disciplines and dismissed as less plausible. What are we to believe?”

“There is considerable evidence that counter arguments to James Hansen’s 1988 theory and subsequent scientific research are funded by the fossil fuel industry. While I don’t dismiss the possibility that the scientific consensus is wrong and is the result of an extremely broad conspiracy, there is substantial evidence that there has been a profit-driven PR campaign to oppose the scientific consensus, leaving us with unanswered questions like yours. Here’s one example, Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America, by business reporter Christopher Leonard: ‘A new book reveals that Charles Koch, along with his brother David, played an earlier and more central role in climate-change denial than was previously understood.’ Reported in The New Yorker by Jane Mayer (the author of Dark Money), August 13, 2019.”

Continue reading Climate Change: View from the other side

Green Deals and Watermelons

WatermelonThere is a saying among “climate deniers” that “climate alarmists” are like watermelons – green on the outside and red in the inside. The watermelon people might not be entirely red, at least not yet. However, with all their talk of democratic socialism, social justice, income inequality, and 70% taxation, they are certainly getting there.

Whether the Earth is getting warmer or not is irrelevant for the purposes of discussing the watermelon people. They have been implementing their plans across the globe since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and have not decreased greenhouse gasses in any meaningful way. But their strategy is to keep ratcheting up what has not worked so far.

What has not worked so far is the reduction of greenhouse gasses in a meaningful way – the green part. What has worked quite beautifully is what critics call the real motives behind the actions of the watermelon people – the red part: raising revenue for social programs, redistributing wealth, and herding people into controllable zones.

The plans of the watermelon people are all handled pretty much in the same way; they are enabled by legislatures and implemented by regional planning agencies. For an example of a powerful regional planning agency, read about Priority Development Areas implemented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay Area.  MTC administers transportation and housing through “Plan Bay Area.”

Whether you are convinced that climate action and wealth redistribution in the name of social justice are essential for our survival, or you are still a bit dubious, you might enjoy the transcript of a 2010 interview with Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the United Nations working group Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015. This passage is especially interesting:

Edenhofer: First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.  The Daily Signal, Nov. 19, 2010

Laws, Policies and Consequences

The law of unintended consequences is as merciless as the law of gravity. This article lists three instances where the law of unintended consequences caused supposedly well-intentioned laws to turn into nightmares, especially for those of modest income.

Unintended consequences

The Fast Food Franchise Bright Idea

Chin Jou’s book Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food With Government Help, published in 2017, should become a classic on the subject of unintended consequences.

The book recounts the story about the federal Small Business Administration setting up a program to help residents of inner cities become entrepreneurs. The SBA would guarantee loans to start business franchises. Dunkin’ Donuts stepped right up to help promote the program, followed by McDonald’s and Burger King. Once fast food companies realized inner cities had become a gold mine, they leveraged their prospects with advertising, and inner cities residents became faithful consumers of fast foods.

The unfortunate unintended consequence is unhealthy obesity.

The War on Terror and the Rise of Terrorism

9/11 was a tragedy where we experienced in real time, in U.S. soil, the death of almost 3,000 civilians. Therefore, the hurt and anger that resulted in the war in Afghanistan, and later Iraq, could be understood. George Bush sent troops to Afghanistan to clean out terrorist camps, and to Iraq to eradicate supposed weapons of mass destruction.

The unfortunate unintended consequence is well described by this paragraph,

What the US tends to forget, or intentionally ignores, is that armed reactionary groups like ISIS are born out of the destabilization created by Western military intervention … [H]ostile anti-American resistance groups gain momentum, sympathy and legitimacy from the actions carried out by Western forces.  Foreign Policy Journal, 2015

Fighting Climate Change

Everybody wants clean air, clean water, and the absence of extreme climate. Therefore, to ensure these graces, legislators have done what legislators tend to do – pass laws. The laws of preference favor transit-oriented development (TOD) intended to reduce automobile miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

TOD policies set strict urban-growth boundaries, establish vast conservation areas where development is not allowed, and encourage development only along transit corridors. Under such plans, density is promoted as desirable not only as means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also as an engine of growth and, therefore, tax generation.

The unsurprising unintended consequence of transit-oriented policies is unaffordability of real estate. As places to build shrink and neighborhoods resist high density, supply of housing decreases and prices for renting or buying a roof over one’s head go up.

California, a state that boasts its leadership in controlling climate change and forcefully promotes transit-oriented policies has chased away its working poor and its middle class, who cannot afford astronomically housing costs.

The problem is that high-density housing–that is, mid-rise and high-rise housing–costs 50 to 68 percent more, per square foot, to build than low-density housing. If California really wants to build housing that is affordable to low-income people, it needs to build more low-density housing. To build that, it needs to open up land that has been off-limits to development because it is outside of urban-growth boundaries.  Will Density Make Housing Affordable? New Geography, March 2018.

Examples Abound

Government policies apparently implemented in good faith can easily turn sour and result in unanticipated harm. Who can forget the mass displacement of residents in the 1950s -1960s in the name of urban development? Who can ignore the cost of health insurance after the Affordable Care Act? How many families have been torn apart and how many children have been caught in the cross fire of the war on drugs?  But these are all subject for future articles on the Just Vote No Blog.

Therefore, regardless of your party affiliation or political leanings, proceed with caution in supporting sweeping legislation, regulation, or executive orders at all levels of government.

Rapidly “Decarbonize” or Perish!

City officials from around the U.S. and around the world on December 5, 2017, signed the Chicago Climate Charter at the Inaugural North American Climate Summit. The mainstream media puts the number of city mayors that signed the Charter at “dozens” and “more than 50.” A count of signatures on the Charter posted by the host Mayor Rahm Emanuel shows 64 signatures. The media says 36 of the signatories were U.S. mayors.

Sixty four out of 4,416 cities in the world is 1.45% (assuming “city” means jurisdictions housing 100,000 or more residents). That’s not much. However, 56% of U.S. signatories might be sufficient for what could be the Charter’s objective.

The Charter’s objective is for cities and regions to continue working on commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement, even though the U.S. withdrew from the Agreement. Just Vote No discussed why President Donald Trump did not renew U.S. participation.

Considering the fact that the U.S. is the only country at present not to be a participant in the Paris Climate Agreement, this Charter begs the question, why bother, if the other nations that do belong to the accord can carry on the work without the U.S. – or can they? Maybe it is not work that is needed but funding, otherwise called redistribution of resources from those according to their ability to those according to their need. Redistribution of wealth principally from the United States and the more affluent countries in the European Union to the poor countries was clearly spelled out in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Principals behind the Chicago Climate Charter are not U.S. city mayors simply wanting to ensure clean air and clean water for their jurisdictions, but global players, or in the case of California Governor Jerry Brown and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, global wannabes:

* Michael Bloomberg :  Former mayor of New York City and now United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

* The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy: An international alliance of cities and local governments with the objective of assisting jurisdictions to transition to low-emission societies.

* United States Conference of Mayors: Forum for city officials to discuss diverse challenges, but also founding member of the Global Parliament of Mayors.

* C40 Cities: Network of big cities committed to implementing measurable and sustainable action on climate change.

*Rahm Emanuel:  Mayor, City of Chicago, host of the 2017 North American Climate Summit, where the Chicago Climate Charter was signed.

* Jerry Brown: Governor of California and founder with Michael Bloomberg of America’s Pledge, an initiative to quantify actions of U.S. states, cities, and businesses to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

If these players are so determined to carry on the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and one prerequisite of the Paris Agreement is for more affluent countries to fund the climate change initiatives of the less affluent, they will surely find a way. For example, the Global Covenant of Mayors partnered with the European Investment Bank and the World Bank Group,

Paris, France, 12 December 2017 – Today, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and World Bank Group, the world’s largest multilateral development bank, announced a new partnership to provide technical and financial assistance to 150 cities across the world undertaking aggressive climate action programs. The World Bank’s investment [loan] of $4.5 billion USD will ensure cities battling the increasing threats of climate change have the funding necessary to implement sustainable initiatives and climate resilience programs.

The lending will occur over the next three years under the umbrella of the World Bank’s City Resilience Program (CRP), and will draw on resources from IFC [International Finance Corporation] and MIGA [Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency] to provide financial and technical assistance to 150 cities, including current and future Global Covenant cities, to drive climate ambitions forward and upwards and build greater resilience to climate and disaster risks.

Let’s focus for a moment on the phrase “climate and disaster risks.” Governor Jerry Brown’s website mentions the Governor’s keynote speech on December 12, at the Two-Year Anniversary of the Paris Agreement:

Pointing to the state’s nearly year-round fire season – and the blazes still raging in Southern California – the Governor also sounded the alarm on the costly and destructive global impacts ahead unless we rapidly decarbonize.

CA wildfire nbcnews 2More effective action would be for Californians either not to build homes right next to wild areas that have regularly gone up in flames for as long as history exists, or for conservation rules to allow for cutting down vegetation where Californians want to build houses. This NBC News image shows how close this beautiful home is to the dense vegetation in the background.

 

Houston-flood-mapThe same can be said for building in floodplains. Floodplains will not move or disappear when we all “decarbonize.” They will stay where they are and keep flooding. And folks will keep building homes in them.  This map shows the blue areas of flood risk, all populated.

 

Weather.com makes an interesting observation regarding the flood zones, “Politicians appear to be supportive of this new development despite the inherent risks of building on a floodplain.” Intriguing. Cui bono – who benefits?

We should always keep in mind that government’s only source of funds is the taxpayer. Any redistribution of funds is redistribution from a taxpayer’s pocket to someone else’s pocket. Therefore, if you feel “climate crisis” is the cause of lives and property tragically lost in California’s fires or Houston’s floods, we are certain you will gladly pay any additional taxes that result from efforts to “rapidly decarbonize.” Otherwise, you can Just Vote No on “decarbonization” funding.