Money, Politics, and Power in Global Warming

UPDATE

It looks like WUWT is digging into the details of this now:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/04/more-on-the-wikileaks-cimate-cables/

In an article authored by Ecotretas. Way to go Ecotretas!

I Try To Pretend It Isn’t So

I try to believe that the Global Warming debate is based in rational argument. That claims of someone being “bought off” or of things being a “political agenda” are just folks having paranoid fantasies.

But it’s very hard to ignore that when we have in their own words that folks were using money, blackmail, spying, and God Only Knows what else to leverage folks into doing what they did not want to do on their own.

While I was thinking Wikileaks had done horrible harm with releasing our “State Secrets”, I’m beginning to think that the very existence of State Secrets is a Very Bad Thing. Why? Because what’s come to the light of day shows that in the darkness of secrets you find cockroaches and corruption.

From:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-us-manipulated-climate-accord

WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord

Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord

When I find myself in agreement with The Guardian, something serious is going on…

Hidden behind the save-the-world rhetoric of the global climate change negotiations lies the mucky realpolitik: money and threats buy political support; spying and cyberwarfare are used to seek out leverage.

The US diplomatic cables reveal how the US seeks dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming; how financial and other aid is used by countries to gain political backing; how distrust, broken promises and creative accounting dog negotiations; and how the US mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the controversial “Copenhagen accord”, the unofficial document that emerged from the ruins of the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009.

Negotiating a climate treaty is a high-stakes game, not just because of the danger warming poses to civilisation but also because re-engineering the global economy to a low-carbon model will see the flow of billions of dollars redirected.

Seeking negotiating chips, the US state department sent a secret cable on 31 July 2009 seeking human intelligence from UN diplomats across a range of issues, including climate change. The request originated with the CIA. As well as countries’ negotiating positions for Copenhagen, diplomats were asked to provide evidence of UN environmental “treaty circumvention” and deals between nations.

With that kind of browbeating, buying off, blackmailing, etc. it becomes almost laughably silly to worry about such petty things as a coordinated effort by the opposition to influence the media… or even the suborning of Peer Review, that we saw in Climategate, becomes a minor issue in comparison.

There is a whole lot more in the article, and a whole lot more articles will undoubtedly raise their own additional points. All I can say is that this makes a very good case for giving the State Department a budget of zero. Bribery ought not to be a ‘tool of diplomacy’ …

Perhaps the most audacious appeal for funds revealed in the cables is from Saudi Arabia, the world’s second biggest oil producer and one of the 25 richest countries in the world. A secret cable sent on 12 February records a meeting between US embassy officials and lead climate change negotiator Mohammad al-Sabban. “The kingdom will need time to diversify its economy away from petroleum, [Sabban] said, noting a US commitment to help Saudi Arabia with its economic diversification efforts would ‘take the pressure off climate change negotiations’.”

The Saudis did not like the accord, but were worried they had missed a trick. The assistant petroleum minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told US officials that he had told his minister Ali al-Naimi that Saudi Arabia had “missed a real opportunity to submit ‘something clever’, like India or China, that was not legally binding but indicated some goodwill towards the process without compromising key economic interests”.

So these clowns are using our tax dollars to buy favors around the world so that their friends and pals can make a bundle of money off of shady deals. And they say so in their own communications. And I thought I was being paranoid for thinking that the temperature data was being skewed in the computer codes that manipulate it. Little did I know…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Money, Politics, and Power in Global Warming

  1. Ecotretas says:

    Made some more analysis here:
    http://ecotretas.blogspot.com/2010/12/wikileaks-first-climate-cables.html

    Some particular interesting observations:
    -The Danes said they are “fed up”
    -Senior Ministry of Petroleum officials have reassured us after each of Al-Sabban’s public outbursts over the last six months that he has been “tamed” and brought back onto the reservation.
    -that Pope Benedict had firmly established his “green” reputation

    Ecotretas

  2. pyromancer76 says:

    So glad you are writing about the seriousness of what has been one of the greatest frauds in history, IMHO — no, I guess never very humble — IMO. Excellent framing. I think you began to get a pretty good idea as you followed what was happening to thermometers and “taking the global temperature” on every continent and island in the world. You are so right; so far few government secrets — or academic or private secrecy — has ended up in any citizen’s favor.

    And now we know that officials of both political parties have been in on the scam and the take. That is why I am a “teapartier” although neither a “conservative” nor a “libertarian”. I hope all individuals and groups who see through this attempt at “global control” (financial control) by a global elite will band together on first principles — limited government, financial solvency, resources development by private companies (we’ve got lots and lots you have shown us and we can look after real pollution with reason and technology), drastic limits on politicians, a secure border, and the opportunity for rigorous learning and diligent work by every American.

    This unorganized “we” need your fine mind and your expertise(s), especially financial. The banking-financial “system” seems to be in the hands of these same fraudster-global elites. This seems to be the most humungous attempt to “transfer assets” in human history — unless it is total destruction of one society so another can use all its assets.

  3. Pascvaks says:

    If a housewife gets some reliable and true information that says XYZ Brand is just as good, and not as dangerous to her family or furniture or face, or clothes, teeth, etc. ad nausium) as her old ABC Brand, she’s likely to switch, and the world maybe a little better off, IF the production of the new brand is as safe, inexpensive, good for the local, state, national, world economy, environment, sewage, water, biological-chemical system, and it doesn’t do more damage than the old ABC Brand did to anything involved in the raw materials procurement, production, distribution systems, and -of course-the political orientation of the XYZ Board of Directors AND Employees’ Union compared to the old ABC Board of Directors AND Employees’ Union, AND a million and one other little factors that go into a “complete” comparison of XYZ vs ABC. AND, remember, all this is contingent on NOT having an international attempt to regulate something that ABC and XYZ directly or indirectly produce, impact, change, relate to (to about the 25th degree of known and likely relationship). Anyway, the more monkies with wrenches you have in the mix the more complicated everything gets and the more likely that the “original issue” that started the concern will be forgotten and many other issues will take the place of, and become more important than, the “original issue”. And BINGO!!!, today we have “AGW” being debated by the whole world. What started it all?

    Money, Politics, and Power are the bone and bane of anything and everything!

    PS: I forgot to mention the Media and many worthy others but you get the idea. The more people that get involved in anything the bigger the problem gets and the less likely it is that anything good will come from any of it.

  4. Jeff Alberts says:

    As distasteful as it is, this sort of thing has always gone on, and will continue to go on, they’ll just be a little more careful, for a while.

  5. a jones says:

    Ah well the nice thing about paranoia is when you find out that they really are out to get you after all.

    Kindest Regards

  6. BlueIce2HotSea says:

    @Ecotretas

    Capitalists are willing to commit economic suicide to save the world. But without a hefty up front fee, Marxists won’t allow the transfer of trillions.

    So the Copenhagen process broke up because the bribes were not large enough? Are Marxists are greedier than capitalists?

    More likely, the poorer nations suspect that the commissions on the transfer will absorb the lions share and leave them with a pittance.

    Is there no honor among thieves?

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pyromancer76: Well, it looks like several of us here are in The Ambiguously Not Conservative Zone and supporting the Tea Party Movement or related.

    ( I’m not sure what to call me, or my Democrat friend in Florida. We call ourselves “fiscal conservatives, social liberals” in private discussions. Don’t care what you do with your body, what “stuff” you use, etc. Just don’t want to pay for it, nor pay for a lot of the other crap “our” government is doing. )

    I tend to rail against Socialism, not because I find the GOALS of socialism all that evil, but it’s the results after filtered through the kind of government processes seen in the cables that cause it to do bad things. Better to have private parties who can be prosecuted trying to bribe folks and crush opposition than have the Government doing it… with diplomatic immunity). Were we in an economy dominated by monopolies, I’d be ranting against the evils of monopoly power…

    At any rate: I’m fully available to “the movement”.

    I suspect I need to do a re-visit to the “Banking Collapse” with a slightly more “paranoid friendly” filter on ;-)

  8. boballab says:

    EM

    The evidence that “Global Warming”, “Climate Change” or the whatever they are calling it this week was nothing more then groups of people trying to use a scientific excuse to grab money and political power has ALWAYS been available for anyone to look at.

    From an academic paper that was prepare by a sociologist at the United Nations University:

    Recasting Global Governance
    Samuel M. Makinda

    The concept of global governance, as distinct from ‘good governance’, refers to formal and informal sets of arrangements in global politics.3 It implies that states alone cannot manage global affairs, and therefore it accords roles to international governmental organisations (IGOs), non- governmental organisations (NGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs). Global governance refers to transnational networks, institution building, norm entrepreneurship, regime creation and the management of global change. It covers many issues, such as women’s rights, human rights, development, democratisation, the environment, security and investments. Its recent achievements include the treaty banning landmines, the Kyoto climate convention, the international criminal court, the World Trade Organisation, and the ‘new generation’ UN peacekeeping operations. In a nutshell, global governance
    describes regimes or systems of rule, embracing both formal and informal regulatory mechanisms.4

    SNIP

    The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that global governance can be understood from several perspectives. I will do so by focusing on three themes: state sovereignty, globalisation and Western hegemony. In the next section, I will explain briefly the theoretical approaches that are used in this essay. I will then describe how the global ‘interpretive community’ has sought to influence perceptions of global governance. This will be followed by an analysis of how sovereignty has evolved. In the penultimate section I will discuss the impact of globalisation. I will conclude that the UN can help to shape global governance.

    SNIP

    The Interpretive Community and Global Governance

    The dominance of Western institutions is partly due to the function of an ‘interpretive community’ that constantly explains, promotes, advocates and justifies global governance. The ‘interpretative community’ has been extremely successful in portraying Western ideas, values and preferences as global. The term ‘interpretive community’ is used in this essay to refer to any group of people who are committed to providing justification and legitimating principles for particular institutions, values or practices. Members of an ‘interpretive community’ may come from different professional backgrounds, such as scholars, journalists, international civil servants and NGO workers. They may also be recruited from different countries and might not even be aware that they operate as a part of a global ‘interpretive community’. What they have in common is a conviction that they are interpreting reality, when in fact they may be only expressing aspirations. Sometimes the ideas of an ‘interpretive community’ may influence practice.

    You can read the rest fresh off the UN’s own servers: http://unu.edu/millennium/makinda.pdf

    Another academic paper here:

    Empirical or analytical work on the possibilitie s of global civil society and the possibilitie s of global citizenship has yet to be fully developed (Castles, 1998; Charlesworth, 1994; Falk, 1995, 1998; Florini and Simmons, 2000; Held, 1991; Lipschutz, 1992; Moran and Vogel, 1991; Turner, 1993, 1998). Yet these possibilities have a direct bearing on prospects for incorporating social and environmental concerns into global policy agendas. Increasingly, human rights, labour rights, migration,
    environmental and other issues arise and are played out in global policy arenas. Thus the capacity of national and global non-government organisations (NGOs), networks and social movements to join governments and international agencies as global policy protagonists may be crucial in defining and deciding issues in the emerging institutions of global governance, and the interests that are served as a result.

    http://web.centre.edu/lorihm/muetzelfeldt.pdf

    Another academic paper:

    Actors and International Environmental Governance: Best and Worst Practices for Improving International Climate Change Governance

    By

    Peter M. Haas, Steinar Andresen and Norichika Kanie

    1. Introduction
    The study of international environmental governance is now a well established field of study, in political science and across other disciplines. Recent findings in International Environmental Governance (IEG) have emphasized the emergent equivalent of a division of labor amongst actors involved in environmental governance. Elsewhere in IR attention has focused on the prevalence of transnational public-private partnerships.(Keohane and Nye 1971: ; Keohane and Nye 1974: ; Hall and Biersteker 2002: ; Schaferhoff, Campe et al. 2009) In this essay we aim to move beyond a concern with partnerships of non-state actors, and of state and non-state actors, to develop a framework research program that will look at the effects of different configurations of political actors on environmental
    governance. As a consequence we seek to develop hypotheses about best and worst governance practices, as well as raising some suggestive puzzles that may advance our understanding of the interplay of political actors in environmental governance, and their ability to exercise agency. That is, what kinds of partnerships are most conducive to effective environmental governance, and what kinds are likely to inhibit effective environmental governance? These lessons will then be applied to climate change, currently known for its low effectiveness (Andresen and Skodvin, forthcoming 2010).

    http://www.earthsystemgovernance.org/ac2009/papers/AC2009-Haas-et-al.pdf

    It isn’t hard to find this stuff, just Google Global Governance. Hell Fox News busted the UNEP right after Climategate broke. They showed a document UNEP had made that basically states that UNEP is going to ride “Climate Change” for all its worth politically.

    It is clear that UNEP must take advantage of windows of opportunity to make its case. Like a surfer, it must spot the waves it can ride. The biggest, most magnificent political wave at present and in the immediate future is climate change, and UNEP should not fail to ride it. But it must find and occupy its niche.

    http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/113009_IISDreport.pdf

    And here is the Fox article:
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2009/11/30/document-reveals-uns-goal-rule-maker-global-environmental-talks/

  9. Malaga View says:

    And I thought I was being paranoid for thinking that the temperature data was being skewed in the computer codes that manipulate it.

    I have always suspected it was deliberate policy…
    So I guess I have been paranoid for a long time…
    That is why I can’t even take satellite data at face value….

    The leaks help… but without digging into the detail and the data we don’t know how far the corruption has spread… so keep up the good work

  10. Tim Clark says:

    E.M.
    I’m so conservative I make my father’s membership in the John Birch Society look like a free pass at Walt Disney World.
    Yes, the US government has made monumental mistakes in the past.
    They will make similar or greater mistakes in the future.

    Consider though, they do not operate in a vacuum. If the world was rosy, all government would conduct business in the open.
    Yeah right.
    So we are gunfighting with Rus, China, N.Korea, etc. Do we blunder? of course. Do I trust any government? No.
    In fact, in this instance I abhor our actions because I am against them.
    Would I rather that N. Korea have the power to dictate world policy?
    …………………..

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like JoNova has a nice write up on this too:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/12/wikileaks-sordid-details-reveals-climate-science-is-irrelevant/

    @boballab:

    One of my more or less mandatory rules of thumb is that I must assume there is NOT a grand conspiracy to defraud. It’s my “paranoid conspiracy theory” filter. So I dismiss such things until there is very massive and very well vetted proof.

    What I’ve learned in the events of the last couple of years, highlighted with the Wikileaks event, is that when it comes to international politics (and probably local politics as well) I’ve got that filter set Waaaayy too tight.

    It will take me a while to find a new, looser, and more comfortable level…

    For example, I’ve been sent down the Mercury Road by Ferguson and what I’m finding is the same crap. Now, with the looser conspiracy filter, I’m in a slow stew trying to decide exactly how much I want to be in a second front on this crap.

    (The ‘short form’ is some digging will show ocean mercury levels not rising with our increased coal use, or anything else, and a pretty strong bit of evidence for ocean mercury coming from the mineral soup that makes ‘black smokers’ at the bottom of the ocean. Fish from 1971 and from now have the same mercury level. That just doesn’t jibe with the “We Did It with Coal” mantra. So now I’m thinking, “Who gains by shutting down coal use?” and “Is the whole don’t eat Tuna thing a fraud? By whom, for what gain?” And that is where the evidence leads…)

    My usual response, in that kind of case, is to “clamp down” for a while. Pull back, gather more information, ponder. Double check before you run with the excitable case. That’s the stage I’m at. The “That can’t be right… better check it again… and again…” stage.

    The ‘end game’ of that path is “not pretty”.

  12. boballab says:

    EM

    That’s why in this type of thing I just don’t go by blog posts, I went to academic papers that were in Peer reviewed sociology journals and books written by the same academics. When you basically have one part of the UN commissioning a paper that tells you that Environmentalism should rank with Religion and that they need to ride the “climate change” political wave to power. At the same time you got the UN University stating that groups that want a global governance are using scientists and journalists as dupes.

    When you have that you are no longer in the realm of the tin foil hat wearing, middle aged geek, living in his mothers basement looking for the black helicopters anymore. They basically have stated for anyone to see that they plan to grab power and they are going to use unsuspecting dupes to get that power. Hell how much more blatant can the UN be than that they established the UN commission on GLOBAL GOVERNANCE years ago and still lots of people think it’s all some wacky conspiracy thing. They even put out a book on it:

    Our Global Neighborhood
    The Report of the Commission on Global Governance
    The Commission on Global Governance

    ISBN13: 9780198279976
    ISBN10: 0198279973
    Paperback, 432 pages
    Jan 1995, In Stock
    Price: $74.99 (01)

    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Economics/International/?view=usa&ci=9780198279976#

    Maybe if they made it into a movie people would pay attention.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Somehow I have this vision wandering around my brain…

    Saudi Minor Official to US Minor Official:

    “How about you bribe me to sign on to Copenhagen and I’ll bribe you to raise coal flue gas standards?”

    US Official:

    “OK, but we better make them BIG bribes, I’ve got a department head or two to cover”…

    Saudi Official:

    “No Problem, we can get the UK Ministry to kick in at Cancun. See you there?”

  14. tckev says:

    boballab and anyone else…

    Just one simple question –
    What, in these modern times, is the UN for?
    It is something I’ve asked myself and many (very many) people, and have never found any good answer.

  15. PhilJourdan says:

    I’m beginning to think that the very existence of State Secrets is a Very Bad Thing.

    No, do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Clearly there is a problem today. But was there 8 years ago?

    We have a 4th estate. It is called the Press. Unfortunately they have abrograted their responsibilities in order to advance their own myopic agenda. But for 8 years, they did hold Bush’s feet to the fire (and you will note there are very few “revelations” coming out about that period that have not already been aired).

    Government’s need secrecy. Less so with their constituents, and more so in dealing with other governments. The problem is not with the government, but with the failure of the press to do its job and make sure that the ones being spied upon are not the constituents.

  16. pyromancer76 says:

    If you are interested in looking into some of the shenanigans of the financial industry, does the recent post by Karl Denninger at market-ticker.org provide any helpful data?

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @pyromancer76:

    I assume you mean the top article at:

    http://market-ticker.org/

    about the “empty box” problem with mortgage assignments and foreclosures?

    Yes, very interesting….

    I’d had an early tip to some of this in that the Florida Friend had told me of a guy in Florida with a $Million scale mortgage that he’d not paid in a few years. Every so often someone (who’s typically just bought it in a box of mortgage sausage) shows up and threatens to foreclose on him if he doesn’t pay up. He just says “Prove to me that you are in fact the person who holds my mortgage.” then waits.

    They all sputter about lost paperwork or some such, send a load of threatening letters, then go quiet. Time passes, and a New Guy shows up demanding payment…

    He’s become a bit of a celebrity locally as I understand it.

    He’s gone to court once or twice (or more?) and just says “Your Honor, I’m ready to pay the holder of my mortgage. I just want someone to prove they are that person.” Hands over his box of records and waits. Case Dismissed…. For a while…

    Just didn’t know how widespread the effect was, though.

    So some time back I said to exit US Financials, and I’ve not gone back into them. Just don’t see any reason to. Nor into foreign financial either, really. It’s just too much a nest of vipers.

    Right now it’s back to gold, silver, and oil. Which reminds me, I need to do another WSW posting… ;-)

    @PhilJourdan: Yeah, countries need secrets. But a guy can vent from time to time can’t he? ;-)

    @tckev: I have no idea what the UN is for, other than a place for Globalists and Socialists to gather and redistribute US money; while bashing us. Never saw that it was much good for anything in the beginning either. It was mostly rigged so the ex-Colonialists could outvote the ex-colonies while having Russia be outvoted on the Security Council (while feeling important).

    If it were up to me, I’d abolish the whole thing. No, I’ve no real malice towards it (though they deserve some I think). It’s just the ROI is negative. MUCH better uses for the money elsewhere.

  18. BlueIce2HotSea says:

    Some years ago I read that the Japanese consumed 1/2 the world’s annual tuna harvest. And I read elsewhere that the Japanese had both the highest IQ and the longest lifespan.

    But that didn’t square with news reports at the time, which strongly associated mercury in tuna with brain damage and early death.

    Why no timely reporting of that interesting paradox? The reporters at news services presumably researched their stories and also read what I read. Years later, it has been explained that high levels of selenium in tuna are binding with the mercury, allowing it be water-soluble. However, the puzzle of news reporting remains unsolved.

  19. Chuckles says:

    Apropo of nothing, this has some relevance and some interesting visualisation. I think inflation might be an elephant in the room, but worth a look. Apologies if it has been posted before, but it’s new to me (like most things) :)

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @Chuckles: “Pretty neat, huh?” kind of sums it up. Though I would have called it “way cool”, then again, I am in California and we talk funny here, yanow…

    BTW, it’s about wealth and growth, so that puts it in the range of money and politics ;-)

    Just love the impact of the visualization. It would be interesting to have the same thing without $$ on the bottom but with an overall exchange rate adjusted prosperity on that axis. The $ has become a ‘rubber ruler’ after about 1970 (went off the gold standard… and it’s lost about 95% of it’s value).

    @BlueIce2HotSea: Yeah, it’s those pesky details like all the omega-3 fatty acids and selenium fixing all the theoretical modeled ills… Like, I suspect, we’re about to find that convection and evapotranspiration fixes all the theoretical CO2 IR ills…

    But that’s OK, we’ll get our dose of Mercury from our light bulbs, but without the selenium.

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/gay-bulbs/

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