Noth­ing was real . . .

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

The best sum­ma­tion of the U.N. cli­mate cir­cus in Den­mark comes from An­drew Bolt of Aus­tralia’s Her­ald Sun: “Noth­ing is real in Copen­hagen — not the tem­per­a­ture record, not the pre­dic­tions, not the agenda, not the ‘so­lu­tion.’ “

Just so. Reuters news agency, for ex­am­ple, car­ried a mov­ing ac­count of the speech by Ian Fry, lead ne­go­tia­tor for Tu­valu, the be­lea­guered Pa­cific is­land na­tion soon to be un­der­wa­ter be­cause of a planet-dev­as­tat­ing com­bi­na­tion of your SUV and un­sus­tain­able bovine flat­u­lence from Ver­mont farms. “The fate of my coun­try rests in your hands,” Mr. Fry told the meet­ing. “I make this as a strong and im­pas­sioned plea. [. . .] I woke this morn­ing, and I was cry­ing, and that was not easy for a grown man to ad­mit,” he con­tin­ued, “his voice chok­ing with emo­tion,” in the Reuters re­porter’s words. Who could fail to be moved?

Alas, nowhere in this emo­tion­ally har­row­ing dis­patch was there room to men­tion that Mr. Fry’s coun­try is not Tu­valu, but Aus­tralia, where he lives rel­a­tively safe from ris­ing sea lev­els, given that he’s 100 miles in­land. A ca­reer doom-monger, he has resided in Quean­beyan, New South Wales, for more than a decade while work­ing his way, in the re­veal­ing phrase of his neigh­bor Michelle Or­may, to be­ing “very high up in cli­mate change.”

As to whether the emo­tion­choked lachry­mose pleader has ever lived in “his” en­dan­gered coun­try of Tu­valu, his wife told Sa­man­tha Maiden of the Aus­tralian that she would “rather not com­ment.” Like his fel­low Copen­hagen del­e­gate Brad Pitt, Mr. Fry is an ac­tor: He‘s not a Tu­val­uan, but he plays one on the world stage.

Whether he’s an Aussie or a Tu­val­uan, Mr. Fry’s fu­ture king is Welsh, be­cause un­der the Bri­tish Com­mon­wealth’s en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble king­share pro­gram, the Prince of Wales is si­mul­ta­ne­ously heir to the thrones of Bri­tain, Aus­tralia, Tu­valu and a bunch of other coun­tries.

His Royal High­ness also was in Copen­hagen two weeks ago, telling del­e­gates there were just seven years left to save the planet. Prince Charles is so fa­mously con­cerned about the en­vi­ron­ment that he’s known as the Green Prince. Just for the record, his an­nual car­bon foot­print is 2,601 tons. The car­bon foot­print of an av­er­age Bri­ton (i.e., all those waste­ful, con­sumerist, en­vi­ron­men­tally un­sus­tain­able dead­beats) is 11 tons. To get him to Copen­hagen to de­liver his speech, he was flown in by one of the Royal Air Force’s fleet of VIP jets from the Royal Squadron. To­tal car­bon emis­sions: 6.4 tons. In other words, the Green Prince used up seven months’ of an av­er­age Brit’s an­nual car­bon foot­print on one short flight to give one medi­ocre speech of alarmist boil­er­plate.

But re­lax, it’s all cool, be­cause he off­sets. Ac­cord­ing to the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald, the prince will be in­vest­ing in ex­cit­ing new green ini­tia­tives. “In­vest­ing” as in “us­ing your own money,” you mean? Not ex­actly. Ap­par­ently, it will be tax­pay­ers’ money. So he‘ll “off­set” the cost of us­ing up seven months of an av­er­age peas­ant’s car­bon foot­print on one flight by tak­ing the peas­ant’s money and toss­ing it down some sink­hole.

No won­der he feels so vir­tu­ous. Oh, don’t worry, though. He does have to pay a per­sonal penalty for the sin of fly­ing by pri­vate jet: Seventy pounds, which is the cost of about six new trees, or rather less than the bill for park­ing at Heathrow would have been.

So just to re­cap: The Prince of Wales, a man who has never drawn his own cur­tains, ramps up a car­bon foot­print of 2,601 tons while telling us that West­ern cap­i­tal­ist ex­cess is de­stroy­ing the planet. Ra­jen­dra K. Pachauri, the rail­road en­gi­neer who heads the In­ter­na­tional Panel on Cli­mate Change (IPCC) and has de­manded that “hefty avi­a­tion taxes should be in­tro­duced to de­ter peo­ple from fly­ing,” flew 443,226 miles on “IPCC busi­ness” in the 1 1/2 years be­fore the Copen­hagen sum­mit. And for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore is a car­bon bil­lion­aire: He makes more money buy­ing off­sets from him­self than his dad did from in­vest­ing in Oc­ci­den­tal Petroleum.

All of the above are, as that er­satz Tu­val­uan del­e­gate’s neigh­bor would say, “very high up in cli­mate change.” But what about all the non-high-ups? Not just the low-level toad­ies like As­so­ci­ated Press “sci­ence” re­porter Seth Boren­stein, who du­ti­fully pooh- poohed the idea that the leaked Cli­mate­gate e-mails were of any sig­nif­i­cance and for his pains was re­warded by hav­ing to stand in line with thou­sands of other no-name warm-mon­gers for seven hours in the freez­ing streets of Copen­hagen. All be­cause the IPCC ac­cred­ited 45,000 del­e­gates to a space that ac­com­mo­dates 15,000 — but don’t worry, when it comes to re­cal­i­brat­ing the planet’s cli­mate, I’m sure they’ll run the num­bers more care­fully.

For­get Mr. Boren­stein and other hang­ers-on, though. Even mak­ing al­lowances for the stu­pid­ity of youth­ful ide­al­ism, the pro­test­ers in the streets of Copen­hagen seem es­pe­cially ob­tuse. Far from stick­ing it to the Man, they’re cheer­lead­ing for the big­gest Man of all: They’re sup­port­ing a new glob­al­ized feu­dal­ism in which Prince Charles, Prince Al, Prince Ra­jen­dra and oth­ers “very high up in cli­mate change” jet around the world at pub­lic ex­pense telling the rest of us we need to stay put. A Bri­tish par­lia­men­tar­ian re­cently pro­posed that every­one be is­sued an an­nual “car­bon al­lowance” that would be drawn down ev­ery time he or she booked a flight or filled up his car or bought a washer and dryer in­stead of beat­ing the laun­dry on the rocks down by the river with the vil­lage women ev­ery week. You think the Prince of Wales or any other mem­ber of the new global elite will be sub­ject to that “al­lowance”?

If you’re young and you fall for this, you’re a sap. In­deed, you’re ooz­ing so much sap that the set­tled sci­en­tists should be mea­sur­ing your tree rings. Re­mem­ber that story a cou­ple of weeks ago about how Dan­ish pros­ti­tutes were of­fer­ing free sex to Copen­hagen del­e­gates for the du­ra­tion of the con­fer­ence? I ini­tially as­sumed it was just an amus­ing mar­ket­ing cash-in by savvy Nordic strum­pets. But no, the lo­cal “sex work­ers union” Sexar­be­jdernes In­ter­esse­or­gan­i­sa­tion, was re­spond­ing to the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment’s cam­paign to dis­cour­age at­ten­dees from par­tak­ing of pros­ti­tutes. The City of Copen­hagen dis­trib­uted cards to ev­ery ho­tel room show­ing a lady of the evening at a seedy street cor­ner over the slo­gan “BE SUS­TAIN­ABLE: Don’t Buy Sex.”

“Be sus­tain­able”? Pros­ti­tu­tion hap­pens to be le­gal in Copen­hagen, and the “sex work­ers” un­der­stand­ably were peeved at be­ing lumped into the same cat­e­gory as such planet wreck­ers as Big Oil, car man­u­fac­tur­ers, travel agents and other no­to­ri­ous pari­ahs. So Big Sex de­cided not to take it ly­ing down. Yet in an odd way, that mu­nic­i­pal post­card gets to the heart of what’s go­ing on: Gov­ern­ment can — and will — use a “sus­tain­able” en­vi­ron­ment as a pre­text for any­thing that tick­les its fancy. All am­bi­tious projects — com­mu­nism, the new caliphate — have global am­bi­tions, but when the globe it­self is the cover for those am­bi­tions, free­born cit­i­zens should be­ware. Nico Lit­tle, a Cana­dian leftie at the Rab­ble Web site, dis­tilled the logic into a sin­gle head­line:

“Hook­ers Are Killing Po­lar Bears and Now You Can’t Wa­ter Your Lawn.”

Write that down. And next time the Prince of Wales, Mr. Gore, Mr. Pachauri or the del­e­ga­tion from Tu­valu give an “im­pas­sioned” speech, keep it handy as a use­ful pre­cis.

Mark Steyn is the au­thor of the New York Times best-seller “Amer­ica Alone” (Reg­n­ery, 2006).

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