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COP, PLOP, Flop: After traveling thousands of miles, UN tells climate attendees to stay in hotel rooms & watch summit online due to strict COVID protocols

By Tony Thomas

At least some of the media are making hay over the hypocrisy of the global elite arriving at Glasgow via 400 private jets to lecture us about CO2 emissions. The jets created such a shortage of parking slots that some were obliged to fly the extra 50-70km to Prestwick and Edinburgh just to park.

Jeff BezosAmazon’s $US180 billion man, flew in with his $US65 million Gulfstream to rendezvous with Prince Charles, who also arrived by private jet. Bezos had been partying in Turkey with Bill Gates on a rented super yacht, the Lana ($A3 million a week hire), with a few 150km side trips by helicopter. 

Within several hours last Sunday week leaders from Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Mauritania and Kenya came in by private jets. World leaders do need secure transport, but as one blogger commented, “The fools could just stay home and shut up.”

The best one-liner about Glasgow to date is from an ex-No 10 Downing special adviser Steve Hilton writing in the Daily Mail: “A gigantic flatulent mess of incoherence and sanctimony”. One such specimen: ex-President Obama jetting in to tell teen demonstrators, “You need to help educate your parents and grandparents, your uncles and aunts, your teachers, your employers.” Sure, Barack, that makes sense.

But my tale today is not about the presidents and billionaires but the 40,000 bureaucrats, activists, grifters and useful idiots now jamming Glasgow accommodation and gabfests. They’re being told by the ridiculous Prince Charles that this is the “last chance saloon” to save the planet and humanity, as they were told at the first Conference of Parties at Berlin in 1995 and every other one of the annual gabfests since.

Meanwhile, human-caused CO2 emissions have continued to rise and emissions from China and India swamp any cuts the virtuous West chooses to make. Despite trillions wasted on renewables, the growth in their share of global electricity generation from 1998-2018 was a big fat zero, as the International Energy Agency conceded.[i]

A list of named official delegates to Glasgow has just surfaced. It’s called the Provisional List of Participants. The UN itself calls them “PLOPs”. The list always generates mirth. For example, at the COP22 in Marrakech five years ago, there was an all-time record of 1600 named attendees from one single country, Morocco.

Someone asked the BBC last week why Glasgow’s shenanigans can’t be run online. The BBC oracle replied that organisers did try to run the three-week preparatory conference in June online. The BBC explained,

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well – time-zone and technology challenges made it almost impossible for countries with limited resources, progress was limited and decisions were put off.

As a result, many developing nations have insisted on having an in-person COP. They feel that it is far easier for their voices to be ignored on a dodgy Zoom connection.

They also bring a lived experience of climate change that it is critical for rich countries to hear first-hand.

sceptic colleague Geoff Chambers paraphrased the BBC: ­­You can hardly expect the leader of some small island state in some obscure time zone to get up at some unearthly hour to plead for his share of those hundred billion dollars on Zoom, can you?”

Not that these islands are actually threatened by rising oceans. Study after study finds these coral islands are expanding. Their erosion and salt damage stems from bad governance and wome­­n having far too many kids. Moreover, there are no hundred billion US dollars available. This was the amount the West pledged to be raised ­per annum from 2020 for the Third World, to atone for the West’s centuries’ of alleged climate crimes. China and India are currently demanding $US1 trillion for a compensation fund for struggling states like themselves.

The “Green Climate Fund” has to date approved $US8 billion of projects and disbursed a mere $US2 billion, including a paltry (relatively speaking)  $US600 million last year. The internal jockeying within the Green Climate Fund is so intense that some board meetings have collapsed even before an agenda could be agreed. Mr trillion-spending Joe Biden can’t be bothered delivering half the US’s outstanding $US2 billion pledge to the Fund. (Australia put in $200 million, thanks to PM ­­­Malcolm Turnbull, and that’s it from us unless potential Prime Minister Albanese has a change of heart).

The latest PLOP doesn’t list the 14,000 non-government hangers-on at Glasgow. But googling for a few Ocker delegates, the loopy anti-capitalist Melbourne University Sustainable Society Institute has headlined, “MSSI on the road to COP26 Glasgow.” (Others go by air). MSSI delegate Dr Don Henry is an International Board Member of Gore’s Climate Reality Project. Gore has piled up a $US330 million fortune from his zero-CO2 hypocrisy.[ii]

The other MSSI delegate is Hon Dr Janine Felson. Her “Hon” had me stumped until I learned she was awarded the title of Ambassador by the Government of Belize in 2007. She also runs around within the bureaucratic mazes of the dismal Green Climate Fund, and represents cynical little States like Maldives and Tuvalu demanding millions for (not) getting drowned by ‘rising seas’ that aren’t rising.[iii]

Belize, known until 1981 as British Honduras,  since you ask, is a central American basket-case (pop 400,000) a quarter the size of Tasmania with a useful sideline transhipping drug lords’ cocaine and cash. The CIA describes it thus:

Current concerns include the country’s heavy foreign debt burden, high crime rates, high unemployment combined with a majority youth population, growing involvement in the Mexican and South American drug trade, and one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Central America.

The CIA adds that “corruption and official complicity in trafficking [of children and people] remained concerns, but no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees were reported (2020).”

Obviously, Belize slum-dwellers would view the 1degC of warming since 1900 as their top priority.

Hon Dr Felson’s diplomatic travails for Belize include helping to sort out the World Trade Organisation Banana Dispute of the 1990s (to do with EU banana-tariff bastardry), and Peter Sellers-style sabre rattling with Guatemala over borders.[iv]

This year Belize sent 33 delegates to Glasgow, about as many as Pakistan, New Zealand and Belarus combined.

Melbourne’s sister-cloister, ANU, has sent a CO2-spewing team of four to Glasgow, representing local indigenes and of course those non-drowning Pacific islanders. Delegate Dr Ian Fry, from ANU, is working out carbon rules sought by the islands to make the West deliver “real emissions reductions with rigour that stopped countries buying their way out of meeting goals.” Thanks, Ian. But since the Copenhagen COP debacle of 2009, I’ve had trouble taking Dr Fry seriously. Speaking as Tuvalu’s lead negotiator, Dr Fry told Copenhagen:

I am a humble and insignificant employee of the Environment Department of Tuvalu. This is not an ego trip. I have refused to undertake media interviews … I woke up this morning (stifled sob) crying (struggles to regain composure), and that’s not easy for a grown man to admit. (Emotional distress). The fate of my country rests in your hands. Thank you.

With difficulty, Dr Fry regained his composure and stricken delegates applauded. Among those deeply moved were an IPCC chair candidate, Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, who confessed to being emotionally overcome. Later, some nark noticed that Fry was not from Tuvalu at all, in fact he was a lawyer from Queanbeyan, Canberra’s next-door neighbour and 150km from the ocean across rolling NSW hills. He’d also been a Greenpeace liaison officer. Enjoy Dr Fry’s speech here from 3 minutes.

Another ANU delegate will make the case for Fiji getting lots of climate funds for suffering CO2 damage. That’s odd because tropical cyclones/hurricanes have shown no rising trend (contrary to warmist propaganda) and there is no good evidence of sea level rise around Fiji,[v].

Another Ocker at Glasgow is Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute and a former Greens Party staffer. A man of many talents, Oquist can switch seamlessly from bagging the AUKUS submarines deal to healing the planet’s alleged fever.

A useful rule concerning Glasgow official delegations is, “The poorer the country, the bigger the delegation”. A quick scan reveals the Congo with 373 delegates, Ghana with 337, Sudan 236, Uganda 219, another entity called Congo 170 (that’s 543 all-up), Ivory Coast 169 (the same number as from the US), Malawi 138, Togo 128 and Gabon 125.

Burkina Faso suffers serious famine but not among the 109 delegates to Glasgow who are living it up there in good hotels. It knows the ropes, as it sent 100+ troughers to 2019’s COP25 at Madrid, including at least eight from a charity called Les Tresseurs de Cordes, or “String Braiders”. I wonder how much money was left for string braiding after deducting the Madrid travel costs. One of the world’s poorest states, Burkino Faso is afflicted with 3 million starving (total population, 22 million), Muslim terrorism, and a million internal refugees. Population pressures (not climate change) are causing over-grazing, desertification, and deforestation. Because 80 per cent of the population doesn’t have electricity, and what there is comes from fossil fuels, Burkino Faso is unlikely to sign up for Net Zero by 2050. The bright spot in Burkina Faso is its national anthem Le Ditanye (Victory), also known as Une Seule Nuit (One Single Night, not ‘one night stand’), and written by the country’s former president, an avid guitar player.

Equatorial Guinea (pop 1.4m, half the area of Tasmania) sent 28 to Glasgow. The latest CIA Factbook has this to say about the country:

Between 1968 and 1979, autocratic President Francisco MACIAS NGUEMA virtually destroyed all of the country’s political, economic, and social institutions before being deposed by his nephew, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in a coup. President Obiang has ruled since October 1979.

If my arithmetic is right, Mr Obiang has been running his country for 42 years. He scored a 94 per cent vote (for what that’s worth) in the latest election in 2016. Another family member is his vice-president, Teo Nguema, described by an African blogger as “[ferrying] his glamorous blonde girlfriends around Paris in his fleet of Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Bentley and Porsches. And did I mention he bought the original gloves Michael Jackson used to wear? Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, popularly known as Teo Nguema, is the most extravagant Vice President in Africa.” Another COP delegate in 2019 was Agriculture Minister Obiang, whom I assume is also family.

KnowledgeBank says: “Equatorial Guinea has become the richest country, per capita, in sub-Saharan Africa since the discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the 1990s, yet the majority of its people remain extremely poor.”

Notwithstanding the country’s lavish per capita GDP, it remains best described in Donald Trump’s earthy way as a ‘sh-t hole’. The CIA describes the risk there from a plethora of horrid tropical diseases as “very high”, not to mention the world’s tenth-highest rate of HIV-AIDS. It has the world’s ninth-worst infant mortality rate of 63 deaths per 1000 (Australia: 3) and spends only 3 per cent of GDP on health (Australia: 10%). On the positive side, Equatorial Guinea has been little troubled by COVID, recording a mere 168 deaths so far — an achievement possibly due to the widespread distribution of ivermectin as a prophylactic and treatment for parasitic infections. The bad news is that Equatorial Guinea’s trafficking of children and women domestically and for export is world-class. But its green credentials are minimal as its prosperity (at least for the ruling class) is based on petroleum extraction and logging.

The Marshall islands (pop 60,000) sent 35 delegates to Glasgow (even more than 28 to Madrid). Palau (pop 18,000) sent 27 which probably sets the record for highest per capita junketeering. Palau’s president had told the UN about climate change being “a ticking time-bomb – no one knows when or where the next disaster will strike – but we are keenly aware that it can wipe out years of progress in a span of hours.” He seems to be talking about cyclones, which have always blown around the Pacific and are no worse globally today than they ever were. At the same forum, Tuvalu’s president worked his metaphors even harder:

We are but on one canoe for humanity, no one country must jump ship! We either must paddle together to keep us afloat and safe. Or allow the canoe to sink, and we all drown.

Since Tuvalu is expanding in area, the canoe is not really at risk.

It’s a pity we don’t know the green groups’ members at Glasgow yet. Among the odd groups last year was Chant du Guépard dans le Désert with two delegates – it translates as “Song of the Leopard in the Desert”. A leopard wandered through our tourist tents one night when we were on safari in South Luanga, Zambia, a while back, and I’d have to say its “song” was not melodious – more a rasping, like sawing a log. I can’t find out just what this leopard-song group does climate-wise.

Continuing with Madrid COP’s lot, quite a large delegation of ten turned up from the Mom Loves Taiwan Association. Burundi sent 32, including a Church of England Climatologist (who said climate wasn’t a religion?). The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation sent 20 delegates, and Workers of the World sent a team to finish off capitalism.

Nearly half of Cape Verde’s Madrid delegation of 27 were eco-feminists. One of the largest covens of feminists must have been The Women’s Environment and Development Organisation, with 51 delegates. Guessing at $10,000 unit travel costs, that’s half a million dollars. Purported environmental specialists like Friends of the Earth, WWF and Greenpeace blackened the sky with contrails to Madrid from their 50-100 delegates apiece.

At Glasgow this month, the only good news is that heaps of private climate hysterics couldn’t make it because of all the new red tape and COVID protocols. The Guardian lugubriously reported that two-thirds of Indigenes, trade unionists and youth strikers from the Cop26 Coalition gave up on their Glasgow plans.

The Climate Action Network and the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice were allocated between them just four tickets to negotiating rooms, and none for their polar bear puppets.

As one participant lamented, “It’s like trying to get into a late-night club – ‘Sorry mate, it’s full, one in, one out.’ The UK Government should reimburse all the thousands of people who paid to go to Glasgow and sit in hotel rooms.”

The UN organisers , apologising, encouraged attendees to do just that: stay in their hotels and watch stuff on-line. It all makes sense, doesn’t it.

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at [email protected] or publisher Connor Court

[i] “Despite the impressive growth of solar and wind power, the overall share of clean energy sources in total electricity supply in 2018, at 36%, was the same as it was 20 years earlier because of the decline in nuclear. Halting that slide will be vital to stepping up the pace of the decarbonisation of electricity supply.”

[ii] An analysis by the National Center for Public Policy Research found that Gore’s Tennessee home “guzzles more electricity in one year than the average American family uses in 21 years.” The electricity used just to heat Gore’s swimming pool would power six homes for a year.

[iii] The Maldives cabinet in 2009 donned scubas and met underwater in 2009 as propaganda for the Copenhagen COP. It’s since built villas and airports apace and the PR/journalist guy Mark Lynas who organised the underwater stunt has now become a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University, where he’s published a new paper claiming a 99.9% consensus for warming catastrophism.

[iv] In a masterpiece of euphemism Hon Dr Felson’s biography calls it “the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum.”

[v] Suva tide gauges are unreliable but detailed work on the nearby Yasawa Island “provided a clear picture of the sea level changes during the last 500 years: a +70 cm higher sea level, a -50 cm lower sea level and a stable sea level (with some possible ups and downs) for the last 150-200 years. Most important; there is a clear absence of a present sea level rise.”