The global warming prophets and propagandists, who enjoy living in style on other people's money, gathered last month in the plush resort of Cancun, Mexico, where January temperatures usually hover around 80 degrees. God must have a sense of humor because Cancun was hit by its coldest temperature in a hundred years.
The first day of the conference featured an address from Mexico's President Felipe Calderon, who spoke with much concern about global warming and the damage that humans are perpetrating on the planet. He cited the deaths of 60 people in Mexico because of weather extremes, but didn't mention Mexico's 22,000 deaths caused by the illegal drug trade.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that "we need to fundamentally transform the global economy, based on low-carbon, clean-energy resources." Barack Obama's announced goal of fundamentally transforming the United States has morphed into transforming the world.
This 16th annual conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), called COP 16 (Conference of the Parties 16), attracted some 20,000 delegates from 194 countries. It had little to do with any science about climate change and everything to do with trying to get the United States and other industrialized nations to redistribute their wealth to the poorer nations under the supervision of eager United Nations bureaucrats.
Like previous climate change conferences, COP 16 deliberately pitted the poor countries against the rich countries, encouraging the poor countries to demand what the rich countries have without earning or paying for it. This is the internationalist version of the basic Marxist tactic called the class war.
COP 16 propagandists blame every human tragedy on the high standard of living enjoyed (and earned) by the rich countries. Our over-consumption is alleged to cause global warming. We are guilty because we are prosperous, so we supposedly owe reparations to the poor nations.
At COP 15 in Copenhagen a year ago, the poor countries ganged up on us and agreed that the United States should create a $30 billion "Fast Start" global climate fund by 2012 and reduce U.S. greenhouse gases by 17 percent below the 2005 levels. This Fast Start climate fund would be committed to grow to $100 billion by 2020.
Fortunately, the Copenhagen proposals were never formally adopted. President Obama came and left empty-handed, Communist China refused to limit its emissions, and the Third World dictators didn't get the $100 billion handouts they expected.
The poor countries now say they want cash handouts, not loans, because they don't want to take on any debt. They also floated a scheme to force 37 industrialized nations to transfer their technologies along with huge financial bonuses to the poorer 155 nations.
Donations to the Fast Start Fund are not coming in as rapidly as the avaricious countries want, so COP 16 participants decided it's time to call for a global tax. They want it to be unlimited in scope and unlinked to national treasuries so that tax receipts can flow without the nuisance of having to be approved by the rich countries' legislatures.
The U.N. Secretary General's High Level Advisory Group confirmed that the goal is to impose taxes on international shipping, aviation and financial transactions involving stocks, bonds and foreign exchanges, as well as a carbon tax. Those taxes could raise at least $100 billion annually, and the International Maritime Organization is ready to be the assessor-collector.
COP 16 agitators consider all these payments compensatory for damages caused by the rich nations. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates that the amounts needed to protect against climate change will run to $160 billion to $200 billion yearly by 2020.
COP 16's bag of tricks also includes plans for global governance. The new UNFCCC executive secretary, Christiana Figueres, said that COP 16 "is a litmus test for global governance capacity" and that "Cancun will be successful if governments compromise" by launching "a new era."
The poor nations at COP 16 presented a document called "Declaration From the South-South Summit on Climate Justice and Finance." It claimed that climate change is "an economic and social crisis, a political crisis, a food and energy crisis, and an ecological crisis."
This diatribe called for "climate justice, ecological justice, economic justice, gender justice and historical justice." Its presenters concluded by chanting, "Let's globalize the struggle!"
The main cause of poverty in other countries is the lack of enough energy. We should be increasing the use of energy rather than expanding government powers to restrict energy.
Tell your newly elected members of Congress that we reject all COP 16 demands as well as the insulting proposition that our successful economic system caused the world's poverty. If poor countries want to be rich, the way to go is to follow our American model for success, freedom and prosperity.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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