COP­ING WITH COPEN­HAGEN

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

It’s a dis­as­ter. That’s the judg­ment call from William Yeat­man, en­ergy pol­icy an­a­lyst for the Com­pet­i­tive En­ter­prise In­sti­tute, who is ac­tu­ally in Den­mark bear­ing wit­ness to the United Na­tions’ cli­mate sum­mit and as­sorted fol­lies of global warm­ing.

“The take-home les­son here is the U.N.’s gross in­com­pe­tence. It in­vited 45,000 ‘ob­servers’ to COP-15” — the tech­ni­cal name for the sum­mit — “but the Bella Cen­ter event site only has space for 15,000. That means that thou­sands of peo­ple emit­ted huge amounts of car­bon to travel to Copen­hagen for noth­ing. If you be­lieve that green­house gases cause the planet to warm, then this con­fer­ence is an en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter,” Mr. Yeat­man tells In­side the Belt­way.

“What I have seen thus far is the same diplo­matic grid­lock that has de­fined cli­mate-changemit­i­ga­tion ne­go­ti­a­tions for al­most two decades. The In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency says that cur­ing the cli­mate of its sup­posed ills would cost $45 tril­lion, and there is sim­ply no prece­dent for in­ter­na­tional bur­den-shar­ing of this mag­ni­tude, short of war,” Mr. Yeat­man con­tin­ues.

The event was doomed from the start, he says.

“His­tory sug­gests that a cli­mate deal is im­pos­si­ble, and events are bear­ing this out. Re­mem­ber, Copen­hagen was sup­posed to be a dead­line for an in­ter­na­tional treaty, but world leaders con­ceded that an agree­ment would not re­sult from COP-15 — in Sin­ga­pore, a month be­fore the con­fer­ence be­gan. COP-15 was an ac­knowl­edged fail­ure be­fore it even started. That’s why we’ve seen this un­seemly diplo­matic pos­tur­ing — the boy­cotts, the walk­outs, the de­mands un­teth­ered from re­al­ity,” Mr. Yeat­man con­cludes. a sen­si­tiv­ity to­ward Afghan civil­ians and mil­i­tary units in terms of “tribal, eth­nic and cul­tural dif­fer­ences.”

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