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Elephant in the greenhouse part II

By Michael Kile - posted Friday, 4 December 2015

The new open-sesame passwords to climate-wealth are cannily vague too. Just mention ‘climate-resilience’, and take a ‘climate-proof’ approach in your funding application. Right on cue, UN Member countries – such as Nigeria – are busy preparing and promoting alarmist narratives for Paris.

The GCF will act as banker for the developed world’s eagerly anticipated billions, with Australia as its inaugural co-chair. Once ‘appropriately capitalized’, it will make grants and loans ‘for projects and programmes that enable developing countries to boost sustainable development, whilst [allegedly] curbing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change’.

According to the Foreign Minister on 6 November, Australia ‘has been instrumental in delivering the first tranche of eight GCF projects, totalling US$168 million’. They include an adaptation project in Fiji to take a climate-proof approach to urban water supply and wastewater management (US$31 million); support for communities in the Maldives to manage climate change induced water shortages (US$23.6 million); and climate-resilient local infrastructure in Bangladesh (US$40 million). Australia also will provide $1 million to the new Mauritian-based Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub.


But don’t mention the P-word, despite the ‘troublesome’ increases – one billion additional people since 2003 and two billion since 1990. This would deflect public attention from the main game. Why mention a problem that may not have a solution, even an interventionist one? No agency wants to hand itself a stinking fish.

Climate-speak is reaching a crescendo too. Who could possibly deny that growing numbers of the ‘world’s poorest and most vulnerable’ are already facing nasty – allegedly human-induced - climate impacts? Or that they urgently need assistance to tackle this ‘problem that they did not cause’?

Translation: every typical, extreme, random, unusual or destructive weather/climate event in the developing world is and will be deemed to be driven - not by the unpredictable whims of Gaia - but solely by developed world carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas emissions. Climate scientists are already attempting to legitimise statements about anthropogenic 'attribution' after each extreme weather event.

So why all the fuss? To restore global atmospheric equity and deliver greater developing country ‘climate resilience’, all the developed world has to do is deposit its fair share of ‘climate reparations’ into the GCF.

There is no contradiction, surely, in seeking ‘climate justice for billions of poor’ in Paris while simultaneously increasing developing world coal production and urging the West – now hoist on its own petard and desperately needing a fig-leaf to justify domestic alternative energy polices – to arrange urgent repayment of its climate debt.

And while our Three Amigos are urging greater ‘ambition and commitment’ in Paris, folk at home ought to prepare for the first flotilla of climate-refugees from a dystopia of failed states to somewhere near you. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. But that is another story.

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About the Author

Michael Kile is author of No Room at Nature's Mighty Feast: Reflections on the Growth of Humankind. He has an MSc degree from Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London and a Diploma from the College. He also has a BSc (Hons) degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Tasmania and a BA from the University of Western Australia. He is co-author of a recent paper on ancient Mesoamerica, Re-interpreting Codex Cihuacoatl: New Evidence for Climate Change Mitigation by Human Sacrifice, and author of The Aztec solution to climate change.

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