National Post editorial board: Copenhagen fizzles out
This week’s Copenhagen summit was billed as the best, last chance for world leaders to finally rally their citizens to fight man-made global warming. They have failed: The main policy instrument being debated in the Denmark capital — a US$100-billion fund that the developed world will use to bribe the developing world to build windmills and solar panels — is a farce: Poor nations will simply take the money and turn up their air conditioners. After all, if rich nations such as Canada, China and the United States can’t be bothered to reduce their own carbon output, why would we expect the issue to become a priority in Sudan, Costa Rica or India, where per capita incomes are an order of magnitude lower than ours?
But the absurd policy being debated was only part of the problem in Copenhagen. Thanks to speechifying by a who’s who of dubious gurus, self-promoters and self-declared ‘activists” — a staple of international confabs these days — the event progressively took on the hypocrisy and surrealism of a UN Human Rights Council meeting, where the developed world meets to endure sermonizing from the likes of Cuba and Sudan.
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who has revoked the licences of 34 radio stations this year and says he may give them to new owners who share his “socialist vision,” lectured the assembled leaders on the evils of capitalism — this, at the same time the developing countries are asking the capitalist West for a 12-digit “climate fund” on top of the usual aid.
Not to be outdone, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, an old-style African despot accused in a report last week of using “a brutal orchestrated campaign of rape and torture” to silence opponents, criticized richer countries for not following “the global rule of law.” Mr. Mugabe has no need to worry about Zimbabwe’s rate of emissions, because 30 years of his disastrous rule has devastated the economy and left it incapable of producing even enough food to feed itself.