Secretary of State John Kerry told the Paris climate conference that ending all U.S. carbon emissions, or even those in all the industrialized world, would do nothing to impact the climate, leading one of the top critics of the climate change movement to call the speech additional proof that the effort is all about wealth redistribution.
In another major development, the latest draft of the climate agreement does include the creation of the International Climate Justice Tribunal, which would have been a UN agency that billed industrialized nations for the cleanup of natural disasters around the world.
In Kerry’s address to the conference, he made a push to get developing nations to make major commitments in reducing carbon emissions. However, his comments also gave considerable fuel to those who believe Kerry and others are on a fool’s errand.
“The fact is that even if every single American citizen biked to work, carpooled to school, used only solar panels to power their homes, if we each planted a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, guess what? That still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution from the rest of the world,” said Kerry.
He took a step further.
“If all the industrialized nations went down to zero emissions, remember what I said all the industrialized nations went down to zero emissions, it wouldn’t be enough, not when more than 65 percent of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world,” added Kerry.
Christopher C. Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the author of multiple books challenging the basis for the climate change movement. He is in Paris as an observer at the conference, where he has been branded a “Climate Criminal.”
Horner says Kerry accidentally lurched toward the truth in trying to implore global cooperation.
“What he’s doing is inadvertently pointing out that this is all pain, no gain. He won’t admit to the pain. They still say that if the state uses its coercive power and forces you into energy rationing and so on…it still wouldn’t impact the climate,” said Horner.
Kerry used the hypothetical of zero carbon emissions which is a far cry even from the hotly contested Obama environmental regulations calling for major carbon reductions by 2030. Horner says the real goals go much further and are plenty frightening.
“They’re talking 70-95 percent reductions in this document. They really do think that they can bring us back to the renewable age, which we left over 100 years ago because we could. Suddenly we liberated hydrocarbon energy. We didn’t have to live on hydro power or solar power,” said Horner.
While going back to renewables is the stated goal of climate change activists, Horner says there’s a good reason we moved away from it generations ago.
“We’re not going back to that. We left it. It was a time of much-shortened lifespans, disease, drudgery and mortality, crop failures leading to catastrophe and so on,” said Horner.
Meanwhile, the scrapping of the International Climate Justice Tribunal marks a win on one of Horner’s highest priorities since he envisioned the panel blaming the U.S. and other advanced nations for the severe weather events throughout the world. It’s a charge he believes would have stuck at the tribunal because signatories at the conference will be expected to confess their responsibility for climate change in any final agreement.
But while Horner is thrilled, he says many others in Paris are not.
“It’s clearly going to leave the greens upset and some countries upset because it’s kicking the can down the road on a few issues,” said Horner.
Persistent sticking points are leading some climate change activists to call for Pope Francis to come and demand unity in advancing a climate deal. Horner says the pontiff better be ready for a debate.
“He’s going to couch this in terms of social justice, and as I have mentioned to you, that is truly perverse. I’m not saying the pope knows this, but social justice, as they see it, is killing tens of thousands of the most vulnerable in every country,” said Horner.
Horner says the explanation for that charge is simple. Implementing emissions reductions places major costs on energy providers, which pass the costs on to consumers. Soaring utility rates will then impact the poor most negatively and European nations that already do this see people having to choose between buying food and paying to heat or cool their homes.
As for the logistics of the conference and any forthcoming agreement, Horner says officials are twisting themselves in legal knots to avoid this being a treaty since they know Congress won’t approve it.
“The buzz here in Paris is that the U.S. Congress is the greatest obstacle to them obtaining the treaty they refuse to call a treaty. That means the democratic process. There’s nothing democratic about this. If you allow Congress to get a crack at this, it’s over,” said Horner.
“Under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, this would never fly. No free society would ever do to itself what they’re demanding of us,” said Horner.
Horner is one of seven activists opposed to any deal to have their face plastered around Paris on posters branding them climate criminals. After, first joking that activists could have picked a better picture of him, Horner says there is a message of intimidation involved with the posters.
“It’s getting a little long in the tooth, putting up all the bad guys’ pictures so everybody knows what they look like. We can play the ‘What if Sarah Palin Did It’ game if you want, but they really want everybody here to now what we look like,” Horner.
In the end, Horner says the activists’ definition of climate criminal is really an indictment on those working to preserve freedom.
“We point out the policies, history, that it won’t effect the climate, that’s it’s about a wealth transfer, that it will kill the most vulnerable, that it’s a gesture about clearly what they’re openly acknowledging here – to redesign the global economic system. When you point those things out, because they aren’t popular in the United States, you are a criminal,” said Horner.