David Rothbard
This article was co-authored by Craig Rucker

As the UN wrapped up its recent climate conference in Bonn, Germany, talks organizer Christiana Figueres proclaimed that climate change is the “the most important negotiation the world has ever faced.” Faced with real problems – financial meltdowns, unemployment, war and genuine human suffering – the world no longer agrees.

It’s a good thing human productivity doesn’t threaten the global thermostat the way the UN would have us believe. If it were, we’d be cooked. Countries rich and poor are backing away from commitments they made years ago during rosier economic times, before the public became aware of Climategate, renewable energy costs and genuine debate.

The Kyoto Protocol, the only binding international agreement signed since the global warming scare began, expires after 2012. Canada, Russia and Japan have publicly declared they will not renew; China and the United States never signed it; and the US has made it plain it is not about to. And poor countries are becoming less enamored about signing on, as they realize hard economic times mean there will be little climate “mitigation” and “restitution” money coming their way from (formerly) rich countries.

Even die-hard warmists increasingly recognize that bureaucratic solutions hatched at these conferences are rife with waste, fraud and abuse. They may enrich a few, at the expense of everyone else, especially the poor. But they are powerless to control Earth’s climate.

In March, German investigators reported that 850 million Euros disappeared, when shady companies swarmed into carbon trading, emissions and energy businesses. Criminal enterprises raked in tens of millions, fended off regulators with delaying tactics, and then announced bankruptcy or vanished. An Italian sting operation resulted in arrests of wind farm developers who billed the country for subsidies, but never produced a kilowatt of electricity.

London’s liberal Guardian newspaper was aghast to learn that the World Bank’s Biocarbon Fund had arranged to pay European “entrepreneurs” $1 million to establish a system under which 60,000 Kenyans would restrict themselves to farming under rigidly controlled, inefficient, “sustainable” techniques. For that they will receive $1.4 million over 20 years.

That’s right, the beneficent World Bank will enrich more Europeans, so that 60,000 Kenyans can receive $23.83 apiece annually for 20 years of drudgery, poverty and misery: a princely $1.19 a year!


David Rothbard

David Rothbard is president of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, a Washington, DC-based policy group that works on issues of environment and development.