By Gerard Baker
It was a smart move to hold the COP28 summit, the latest gathering of world leaders to ululate unmerited alarm about the climate and make unfulfillable promises on how to deal with it, in Dubai in December.
At least in the Gulf emirate it is guaranteed to be hot. The forecast for this week is for sunshine and temperatures in the high 80s, enough heat to provide a suitable backdrop for their insistence that we are all going to fry soon—although it has been hot on the Arabian Peninsula since long before man set about his evil carbon-spewing ways.
If they had chosen to hold it in, let’s say, Europe, they would have been in for a distinctly awkward convergence of message and visual. Meteorological winter in the Northern Hemisphere has barely started, and already more of the Continent is under snow cover as of the first week of December than in any year for more than a decade.
In the latest illustration that God has a wicked sense of humor, many members of the planetary emergency rescue elite on their way to the summit were stranded in Munich, where a snowstorm dumped 17 inches of the white stuff and canceled most outbound flights.
I haven’t checked in with the usual alarmist suspects on their explanation for this deep and crisp and even landscape, but I am sure they have a good story. The climate propaganda is so well-rooted now in the West’s media that we are given to understand that everything is the result of global warming: So doubtless historic snowfall, like drought, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, migration patterns, the scarcity of certain foodstuffs, racial discrimination, seasonal temperatures with partly cloudy skies—all, in the fanatic’s taxonomy, the work of climate change.
This isn’t to suggest that a cold winter is enough to prove the mendacity of the climate-change thesis and its proponents. I am well aware that global temperatures have on average risen, and that there’s a plausible case that man’s carbon dioxide emissions are a significant factor. But the awkward persistence of normal weather continues to remind us of how at odds with realities the extremism of the global climate lobby is.
They are at it again in Dubai. None more so than that scientist, theologian and philosopher King Charles III, who with his taste for public intervention is already retesting, barely a year after his sainted mother’s death, the wisdom of hereditary monarchy. The Earth faced “existential threats,” he said. “How dangerous are we actually prepared to make our world?”
To which the best answer probably is: We’ll elect governments to make those decisions, thank you, not submit to the half-baked scientific claims of a man whose heating bill for his half-dozen castles, palaces and mansions is probably larger than the budgets of several small nation-states.
But to his credit, the king also reminded us of another reason why Dubai was a good choice for the summit—it’s as good a place as any to witness the hypocrisies these high priests of hysteria shower on the world.
The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a member, is not only one of the most intensive producers of fossil fuel in the world. It is looking to increase its output. The state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said last year it planned to raise production capacity to five million barrels a day by 2027, a 25% increase from 2020. The host of the summit is the Emirates oil supremo, which is a bit like putting Donald Trump’s sons in charge of the World Wildlife Fund’s annual meeting.
The Emiratis are only doing on an industrial scale what all climate alarmists do—preaching one thing while doing another. When they were eventually able to take off from snowbound Europe, the various chief executives, nonprofit officials, green lobbyists, bureaucrats and others flew the several thousand miles in their private jets, churning more carbon into the air in a week than the average American, whom they like to lecture about his evil ways, does in a year.
They will thunder on like this for another week. John Kerry, the U.S. climate czar, will repeat the British monarch’s warnings, and talk up some grand new partnership with a China that is starting to resemble one giant coal-fired power station, and they’ll all doubtless commit to some “ambitious” goal that they will tell us still won’t be enough to save the planet.
Then they’ll go back to their homes and escalate the rhetoric another notch, demand new spending and taxes from their hard-pressed populations for some new great green public infrastructure project. Meanwhile the real work—developing technology that runs on more sustainable energy, continues to cut the carbon footprint of traditional energy production and mitigates the effects of climate change—will get done by the capitalists whose economic system many in this crowd like to denounce as incompatible with a sustainable environment.
Let’s just hope, when they get back home, that their pipes haven’t frozen.
Gerard Baker is a British writer and columnist. He was Dow Jones’ Managing Editor, and The Wall Street Journal’s Editor-in-Chief from March 2013 until June 2018. Baker stepped down as WSJ Editor-in-Chief and transitioned into the role of Editor-at-Large. Energiesnet.com does not necessarily share these views.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally on the WSJ in the December 4, 2023, print edition as ‘Trump vs. Biden: The Nightmare Can Only Get Worse’. All comments posted and published on EnergiesNet or Petroleumworld, do not reflect either for or against the opinion expressed in the comment as an endorsement of EnergiesNet or Petroleumworld.
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energiesnet.com 12 04 2023