UN creating more problems than it solves in attack on fossil fuels

Pakistan flooding caused by under-investment in infrastructure and corruption and attempts to meet ‘green’ goals, not ‘climate change’

By Terence Corcoran, National Post, Sept. 23, 2022

No United Nations campaign has done more to exacerbate global economic and energy problems than the UN’S Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Since its first report in 1990, the IPCC has led the global drive to eliminate carbon-emitting fossil fuels from the global economy — even though numerous critics have attacked the IPCC’S alarmist claims.

In a paper this month from the Fraser Institute, Jason S. Johnston, professor of environmental law at the University of Virginia, summarizes the IPCC’S long record of exaggerating claims that the world is on the brink of disaster.

As an example, Johnston recalls a statement by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres following the release of the IPCC’S 2021 report. Guterres called the report a “code red for humanity,” with “greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning and deforestation … putting billions of people at immediate risk.” Johnston points out that “nowhere” does the IPCC report make such assertions.

In his Fraser Institute paper, Johnston provides a brief update to his 2021 book, Climate Rationality: From Bias to Balance. The book argues for “rational policy choices” based on real assessments and the real costs of attempting a massive transformation of global economic activity.

Johnston argues in his paper (see IPCC a political, not scientific, organization on this website) that climate policy in the United States, Canada and around the world is based on reports from the IPCC, which “assembles the evidence and argumentation that serves the interests of its sponsoring entities, who are openly committed to an ambitious climate policy agenda.”

Johnston describes the 1988 political origins of the IPCC and concludes that its purpose was “not to foster scientific inquiry into climate change, but to marshal evidence supporting international policy action on climate change.”

summary’s Claim of more extreme precipitation events is not supported by body of report

Johnston cites examples from the 2021 IPCC report summary. One small indicator was a claim that the “frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events have increased since the 1950s.” The actual data show that there was no evidence of human contribution in 45 of 47 regions surveyed, according to Johnston.

A group of Italian scientists reached similar conclusions in a paper earlier this year titled, “A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming.”

The scientists reviewed evidence on extreme weather events, hurricanes, tornadoes and precipitation and found little to suggest a massive climate emergency. In the case of hurricanes, for example, they note that 60 per cent of global economic damages is attributed to hurricanes in the United States. That fact generates a lot of attention, but ignores the lack of naval observation in historical data.

“After adjusting the time series to take into account the smaller observational capacities of the past,” the scientists conclude, “there remains only a small nominally positive upward trend of the tropical storms from 1878 to 2006. Statistical tests indicate that this trend is not significantly distinguishable from zero.”

Backed by overheated IPCC reports, the UN and most of the world’s political power sources are pushing for accelerated climate-control policies. Guterres fanned the flames in his speech this week, referring to “our suicidal war against nature.” The world has a “rendezvous with climate disaster,” he said. “I recently saw it with my own eyes in Pakistan — where one-third of the country is submerged by a monsoon on steroids. We see it everywhere. Planet earth is a victim of scorched earth policies.”

Pakistan flooding due to under-investment in infrastructure and corruption, not climate change

The Pakistan flood story today looms large in the rhetoric of climate crusaders, but climate change may not be the primary culprit.

A recent Bloomberg analysis by David Fickling describes Pakistan’s “chronic” under-investment in infrastructure needed to protect rising populations from natural disasters. Floods in the region are not new and the country may have averted the current catastrophe had the region not been starved of capital due to “years of under-investment in maintenance; corruption; and disputes between Pakistan’s four provinces about the allocation of water and funds.

Pakistan, moreover, has long been a flash point in UN disaster relief planning as it relates to climate change, but little has been accomplished. Instead, the country has adopted classic UN green new deal policy blather unrelated to the country’s real economic, political — and environmental — problems.

As a party to the UN Paris Agreement, Pakistan last year produced a 76-page net-zero participation document, which says that Pakistan “intends to set a cumulative ambitious conditional target of overall 50 per cent reduction of its projected emissions by 2030, with 15 per cent from the country’s own resources and 35 per cent subject to provision of international grant finance that would require US$101 billion just for energy transition. To reach the target, Pakistan aims to shift to 60 per cent renewable energy, and 30 per cent electric vehicles by 2030 and completely ban imported coal.”

Gripped by green renewable thinking, Germany replaced decommissioned nuclear power with natural gas from Russia. The result has been an energy crisis in Germany and Europe — all for the sake of adhering to UN climate goals

Electric vehicles (EVS) will not relieve Pakistan’s millions of flood victims. Nor will 30 per cent EVS do much in a country with less than 30 vehicles per 1,000 population (compared with over 700 per 1,000 in Canada), a target that seems guaranteed to keep Pakistanis navigating floods on foot and boat for decades.

These are the absurd consequences of following the UN climate panic agenda. Another current example of UN-fostered disaster is Germany, which shut down nuclear power operations to speed up the country’s adoption of renewable solar and wind power. Gripped by green renewable thinking, Germany replaced that lost nuclear power with natural gas from Russia. The result has been an energy crisis in Germany and Europe — all for the sake of adhering to UN climate goals.

At the UN General Assembly, there has been little evidence the UN sees itself as the cause of numerous global crises. But maybe it is time to dismantle the UN and tear down the tower on the edge of Manhattan.

Terence Corcoran is comment editor for the Financial Post section of the National Post. This posting has been condensed from the original.

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