Archive for November 22nd, 2022

Whether they call it global warming or climate change, activists on the left act as if the issue is just an excuse to extort money and expand the power of government.

  • In Part I, I wrote about kleptocrats exploiting the issue to shake down western governments for enormous amounts of aid money.
  • In Part II, I noted how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, using tens of billions of dollars from American taxpayers, wanted to bribe third-world governments into adopting anti-energy measures
  • In Part III, I explained how the Kyoto Protocol encourages the destruction of jobs in western nations.
  • In Part IV, I warned that environmental extremists were using government coercion to line their pockets and stifle dissent.

Now we have a fifth installment in the series.

Here are the details, based on a report in the New York Times by Brad Plumer, Max Bearak, Lisa Friedman and 

Diplomats from nearly 200 countries concluded two weeks of climate talks on Sunday by agreeing to establish a fund that would help poor, vulnerable countries… The decision on payments for loss and damage caused by global warming represented a breakthrough… the United States and other wealthy countries had long blocked the idea… Developing nations — largely from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and South Pacific — fought first to place the debate over a loss and damage fund on the formal agenda of the two-week summit. And then they were relentless in their pressure campaign.

The agreement is the bad news.

The good news is that having some bureaucrats sign an agreement does not automatically mean American tax dollars will wind up in the pockets of corrupt government officials overseas.

…major hurdles remain. There is no guarantee that wealthy countries will deposit money into the fund. …And while American diplomats agreed to a fund, money must be appropriated by Congress. …With Republicans set to take over the House in January, the prospects of Congress approving an entirely new pot of money for loss and damage appear dim. “Sending U.S. taxpayer dollars to a U.N. sponsored green slush fund is completely misguided,” said Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming. “The Biden administration should focus on lowering spending at home, not shipping money to the U.N.

At the risk of understatement, I agree with Sen. Barrasso.

The Wall Street Journal opined against the proposed wealth transfer.

The use of climate policy to soak Americans keeps getting worse, and the United Nation’s climate conference in Egypt ended this weekend with agreement on a new fund to pay reparations to poor countries. Welcome to the latest climate shakedown. …Details about the reparations fund—such as which countries will pay, how much, and which countries will benefit—will be fleshed out over the next year. Biden officials claim the agreement doesn’t create new liabilities for Americans. But the U.S. and Europe are conceding the principle… American taxpayers are being asked to pay because the U.S. industrialized first and then lifted billions of people out of poverty via investment and trade. …Countries might also shake down U.S. fossil-fuel producers in their own courts. Climate reparations will merely serve as another form of global income redistribution.

There’s one other issue worth mentioning.

As Andrew Follett explains for National Review, China’s getting a sweet deal.

…it is a total shakedown. A major beneficiary of the deal is China, despite the fact that it has much higher emissions than the United States. …That’s because “the United Nations currently classifies China as a developing country. Even though it is now the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gasses as well as the second-largest economy,” according to the New York Times. “China has fiercely resisted being treated as a developed nation in global climate talks,” and it makes sense why. …American taxpayers will be forced to directly or indirectly fund Communist China. …Despite emitting far less than our international rival.

For what it’s worth, it seems that major western nations want to make sure the new fund does not provide direct handouts to China.

But so long as China gets to self-classify as a developing nation, any expansion of climate schemes will enhance its competitive advantage over the United States and other western nations.

This does not seem to be a smart approach.

P.S. I’m a great fan of nature, but our friends on the left seem a bit extreme.

Maybe now you understand why I don’t trust these people to set economic policy.

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