Today, when the General Secretary of the United Nations, António Guterres, was telling the world that we were on the road to “climate hell,” the most-read story on the BBC News website was about someone I’ve never heard of leaving an ITV programme that I don’t watch. Guterres’ BS (not tiptoeing around the tulips) did not feature anywhere in the top ten. The only story with a climate link was about Just Stup Id activists blocking the M25.

Quoth the BBC:

UN Secretary General António Guterres is next on the stage. “The clock is ticking,” he tells the audience. “We are in the fight of our lives and we are losing. Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our planet is fast approaching the tipping point that will make climate chaos irreversible. We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”

Seeing that the visitors to the BBC News website preferred to read about how someone called Olivia Attwood had left I’m a Celebrity… rather than their imminent doom, I was reminded of the now-infamous Stuart Kirk and his wise words at the FT’s Moral Money Summit, or whatever it was called:

…Sharon [from Deloitte, in a previous talk] said we are not going to survive, and indeed no-one ran from the room. In fact most of you barely looked up from your mobile phones at the prospect of non-survival.

At about 1:53, but listen to the whole thing.

Then several other people – you don’t really need to know who – got up to say how terrible everything is. Eventually our own Rishi “Considerably Richer Than You” Sunak came on to say that the UK was going to deliver on its £11.6 billion climate finance – whatever that is. He also praised Egyptian President Fattah Al-Sisi, which was an interesting move. I’m not sure what Sunak said about Al-Sisi; Wiki says:

According to Human Rights Watch, Sisi’s government used torture and enforced disappearances against his political opponents and criminal suspects.

Wiki

It has to be said that Sunak’s speech – at least as reported by the BBC – was sufficiently vanilla to allow him to avoid saying Ed Milliband-level stupid things. Speaking of Ed, the Beeb’s live reporting said this:

Labour’s shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband is not impressed – describing Sunak as a “fossil fuel PM in a renewable age”. “This is the man who had to be dragged even to go to COP27,” he says on Twitter, calling his speech “vacuous and empty”. “As Sunak preaches about clean energy abroad, he blocks onshore wind at home while giving massive tax breaks to the fossil fuel companies making billions in windfall profits at the expense of working people,” Miliband says.

On Sunday, on the Kuenssberg programme, Ed said several untrue things. He repeated the line that renewables are 9 times cheaper than fossil fuels (inexcusable). 30% of Pakistan was recently underwater thanks to climate change. (Neither assertion was questioned by Kuenssberg, despite this sceptic shouting at the TV.) If memory serves he also fretted about the Maldives (I’m not going to put myself through the trauma of watching it back).

In fact just as alarmist claptrap is firehosed upon the public, the public in turn close their ears and concentrate, not even on watching a pointless programme, but on reading about a pointless programme.

Wait – I’ve just realised what Guterres was on about:

20 Comments

  1. Beat me to it with the AC/DC link – Guterres has lost the plot IMHO, “we are doomed”, what next to scare the kiddies to UN preferred action.

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  2. I agree with dfhunter. If AC/DC aren’t on it, I’m not interested.
    Though maybe it is a sly reference and the Highway to Hell is one where it is very long and twisty, and you never actually reach the destination.

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  3. Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising…

    Yes indeed, after 26 COPs, it’s all (in the UN’s terms) so much worse. COPs, in other words, have achieved nothing. What’s that saying about a definition of insanity being to keep on doing the same thing while expecting a different result this time?

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  4. Never knowingly outdone in outrage and frothing at the mouth (especially regarding anything to do with climate), the Guardian is unimpressed with Sunak (for the opposite reason as to why I’m unimpressed with him regarding the same issue):

    “The Guardian view on Rishi Sunak’s Cop27 trip: placing the planet on a road to hell
    Editorial
    Britain had said its aim was to ‘keep 1.5C alive’. The prime minister seems to want it dead”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/nov/07/the-guardian-view-on-rishi-sunaks-cop27-trip-placing-the-planet-on-a-road-to-hell

    Worth a read to see the full extent of the Guardian’s climate derangement. It ends, appropriately (given Jit’s article):

    The British government is playing a confidence trick that risks trapping the world in fossil fuel dependence. Mr Sunak is paying lip service to environmental issues while peddling greenwash policies and economic bloodletting. This kind of politics paves, in the words of the UN secretary general, António Guterres, the climate highway to hell.

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  5. At the moment of viewing, only one vaguely climate-related story make the top 10 most-viewed articles at the Guardian (and that’s at number 9). And none of the top 10 are about COP27. The most commented-upon is “I’m 25 and won’t have sex until I’m married. Why can’t I get a man?”.

    Guardian readers clearly aren’t what they used to be.

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  6. Look for COP27 to leverage the Pakistan flooding arguing for climate “reparations” from developed nations. It is called climate loss and damage compensation. No doubt Pakistan suffers from extreme weather, both droughts and floods when the Monsoons are either too weak or too strong. 2010 flooding was bad, and now 2022 is worse, though claims of glaciers melting are wrong: it was due to excessive rainfall, exacerbated by La Nina putting the warm water in Western Pacific. The topic will be on the table, but the complexities are daunting.

    Climate Loss and Damage, Legal House of Cards

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  7. Thanks for yawning/shouting your way through this so I didn’t have to.

    It has to be said that Sunak’s speech – at least as reported by the BBC – was sufficiently vanilla to allow him to avoid saying Ed Milliband-level stupid things.

    The phrase ‘low bar’ is inadequate. Cue Tory advantage due to opposition addiction to own goals.

    Neither assertion was questioned by Kuenssberg, despite this sceptic shouting at the TV.

    One day she’ll hear. What the economy will have become by then who knows.

    Mark:

    At the moment of viewing, only one vaguely climate-related story make the top 10 most-viewed articles at the Guardian (and that’s at number 9). And none of the top 10 are about COP27.

    Never have own goals been more boring. Hopefully my last comment on FLOP27.

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  8. “‘Climate reparations’ won’t help the developing world
    What poorer nations need is industrial revolutions all of their own.”

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/11/08/climate-reparations-wont-help-the-developing-world/

    No you are not imagining it. As absurd as it may seem, it is really happening. The world’s great and the good have descended on COP27 in Egypt – in their private jets, natch – to denounce the evils of the Industrial Revolution. The process that birthed the modern world. That has lifted billions out of poverty, expanded life expectancy and delivered every modern comfort we now take for granted. According to the leading lights at COP, that process has proven to be so evil and destructive that its instigators should pay ‘reparations’. Reparations for the Industrial Revolution – as if the most liberating moment in history were the equivalent of a disastrous war or the enslavement of an entire people….

    …Economic expansion, greater access to electricity – these are the gains of the industrial development we in the Western world take for granted. When electricity and gas prices soar, as they have in the past year, we rightly call this an ‘energy crisis’. But there are almost 800million people in the world who have no access to electricity at all – a figure that is tragically set to rise this year. Added to that, there are some 2.5 billion people who have some access to energy, but not enough to be able to cook with electrical appliances or with gas. Or think of those forced into subsistence farming, or who perform back-breaking labour, because they lack the energy supplies needed to power machinery. This lack of energy is a humanitarian catastrophe. Yet the grandees at COP intend to only make things worse.

    Even for many emerging economies, energy supplies are incredibly insecure. South Africa, which is receiving Western finance to move away from coal power, has a daily energy shortfall of around 10 per cent, meaning that planned blackouts have to take place. Much of the world has to live with a permanent energy crisis – a crisis that blights lives and blocks development. This is why China and India’s leaders have snubbed this year’s talks, and are pressing ahead with a massive expansion of coal power.

    What the developing world needs is a lot fewer COP meetings and a hell of a lot more growth and industrialisation. This is the only proven way to raise living standards and to build resilience to the climate. And yes, that will mean exploiting oil, gas and coal.

    It’s time we took some pride in the Industrial Revolution, and encouraged other countries to have their own. We in the wealthy West should either bring theirs about, or get the hell out of the way. The wealth, health and living standards of billions of humans depend on it.

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  9. Seeing is believing (take 2) . Over the decades a lot of the support given to “developing countries” has disappeared into the hatred of colonialism . Independence from the hated masters did not work out as immediate freedom and wealth, even countries with huge oil reserves, huge agricultural potential , gold ,diamonds , rare earth etc etc are now bankrupt and need “support”. During the 60’s and on into the 80’s most European countries were sending aid to help develop needed industries to bring these countries into the ” industrial revolution ” capable future. Italy – huge road building projects , France – cars, agric machinery, Germany – cars and lorries, UK – Hydro dams, mining and the list went on and on. Then, instepped the Russians and Chinese to thunderous applause ! Looking at some of the videos on YouTube the roads are barely drivable, housing is reverting to shanty towns, wrecked cars and lorries litter the roadsides, I daren’t imagine what state most of the big industry is in. But we are going to do it all over again, and the gaily dressed woman with a child on her back and a load on her head will still be trudging her way to market !

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  10. “COP27: Sharp rise in fossil fuel industry delegates at climate summit”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-63571610

    The number of delegates with links to fossil fuels at the UN climate summit has jumped 25% from the last meeting, analysis shared with the BBC shows.

    Campaign group Global Witness found more than 600 people at the talks in Egypt are linked to fossil fuels.

    That’s more than the combined delegations from the 10 most climate-impacted countries.

    Around 35,000 people are expected to attend the COP27 summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

    These conferences have always attracted significant numbers from the coal, oil and gas industries, who are keen to influence the shape of the debate.

    At last year’s summit in Glasgow, a similar analysis of official attendance lists found 503 delegates connected to fossil fuels.

    This year that figure has gone up to 636.

    “COP27 looks like a fossil fuel industry trade show,” said Rachel Rose Jackson, from Corporate Accountability, one of a group of campaigners who released the data…

    …African lobbyists push to exploit reserves
    “If you are not at the table, you’ll be on the menu”. That’s the view of Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, the head of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation, speaking to the BBC at COP27.

    He said he was here to try and influence negotiators to support the development of oil and gas in Africa. He said there were 600m people across the continent who don’t have access to electricity.

    He rejects the idea that Africa should forgo it’s large reserves of oil and gas in exchange for renewable technology and funding from the richer nations.

    “We’ve been failed in the past. And there is no guarantee that they wouldn’t fail us again,” he told BBC News.

    But rather than being a powerful influence, Dr Ibrahim says his group and others struggle to make an impact at the highest levels.

    “I guarantee you, even if we are to pay to come here, they will not allow us to come because they don’t want the other voice heard.”

    2px presentational grey line
    There is some evidence that the arguments being made by those in favour of oil and gas are having an impact.

    There has been a “dash for gas” recently among some African nations, keen to exploit their resources at a time of increased demand in Europe and elsewhere.

    Senegal is one of the African countries that wants to exploit its recently discovered reserves of gas.

    “What is important for us is how can we use these resources to develop our country and reinforce our economy and to export it to emerging and developed countries,” said Idy Niang, from the Senegal delegation….

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  11. “COP27: BP chief listed as delegate for Mauritania”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-63584993

    The BBC has learned that BP chief executive Bernard Looney was registered as a poor country delegate for COP27.

    Mr Looney is on the official UN lists as a delegate from Mauritania, a west African nation where BP has major investments.

    Four other BP employees are also included as part of the Mauritania team here.

    BP says Mr Looney was invited to COP27 by the Mauritanians for a signing ceremony and is no longer here.

    I think it’s fair to say that COPs are now definitely a farce.

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  12. Mark – liked the above quote –
    “…African lobbyists push to exploit reserves
    “If you are not at the table, you’ll be on the menu”.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “COP27: Key climate goal of 1.5C rise faces new challenge”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-63591796

    Emissions of CO2 are rising so quickly there is now a 50% chance the world will cross a crucial climate change threshold soon, a new report suggests.

    Emissions for 2022 are expected to remain at record levels, lifted by people flying again after Covid.

    The report said that if emissions stay so high, the world faces a 50% risk of breaching a key 1.5C temperature rise threshold in nine years.

    This would have sweeping consequences for poorer and developing countries….

    …India is expected to be the largest contributor to the growth in emissions in 2022 as it continues to increase its use of coal – the most polluting of fossil fuels.

    But Dr Kamya Choudhary, India policy fellow at London School of Economics, thinks this is a short-term measure to cope with the ongoing energy crisis.

    One of the report’s authors, Robbie Andrew, a senior researcher at CICERO, pointed out that even though developing countries like India are increasing their emissions quickly, they are still significantly lower per person than in Europe….

    Which is very interesting. First of all it sidesteps the fact that not only are China’s cumulative emissions now the second highest of any nation in the world (China’s emissions over the last 8 years being as great as Britain’s since 1750), its per capita emissions are 50% higher than those of the UK; so let’s talk about India instead. Secondly, however, is it about per capita emissions or absolute emissions? Are we facing a climate crisis or not? If we are, than per capita emissions are irrelevant, and total emissions are what matter. Clearly, however, for a lot of the climate hysterics, it isn’t actually about the climate, but instead is about wealth redistribution from developed to developing countries; see the African countries, who claim to be most at risk from climate change, demanding to be allowed to exploit their fossil fuel reserves and pointing out that they are responsible for only 3% of cumulative emissions (to date). Well, what’s it to be? We need to reduce the emissions because climate change is a threat? Or is it a case of climate change is your fault, not ours, and now it’s our turn to industrialise because actually we don’t really feel all that threatened by climate change, and the biggest threat to our people is poverty and under-development?

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  14. Mark – thanks for the above link. see “Carbon Brief” is goto for this BBC piece.

    “An analysis on the state of the negotiations by the Carbon Brief website shows widespread disagreement between parties.”
    https://t.co/sEYWJQHnJI

    ps – the comments below the BBC are predicable. doom all the way.

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  15. An interesting comparison from industrial revolution times and the ultimate benefit , to present day ” benefits ” . BBC news had a report last night on world population growth stating the main growth is in 9 countries, India and 8 in Africa. If population growth is an indicator of technical and social development or something like an industrial revolution the process is starting already. I believe the countries that can refrain from civil war are the most successful at the moment.

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  16. Guterres is at it again:

    “Climate goal of 1.5C is ‘gasping for breath’, says UN head
    António Guterres announces a climate ambition summit to confront ‘existential threat’ facing the planet”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/19/climate-goal-15c-gasping-breath-un-head-antonio-guterres

    The goal of limiting global heating to 1.5C is “gasping for breath”, the UN secretary general has said as he announced a “climate ambition summit” for September.

    António Guterres said the summit would challenge leaders of governments and businesses to come up with “new, tangible and credible climate action to accelerate the pace of change” and confront the “existential threat” of the climate crisis.

    “We are still moving in the wrong direction,” he said on Monday. “The 1.5C goal is gasping for breath. National climate plans are falling woefully short. And yet we are not retreating, we are fighting back.”

    He added: “The invitation [to the summit] is open. But the price of entry is non-negotiable – serious new climate action that will move the needle forward. It will be a no-nonsense summit. No exceptions. There will be no room for backsliders, greenwashers, blame-shifters or repackaging of announcements of previous years.”

    Guterres has become increasingly outspoken about the climate emergency, and the summit will put further pressure on countries to act.

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  17. from wiki –

    “António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres – A member of the Portuguese Socialist Party”

    “He served as president of the Socialist International from 1999 to 2005”

    “The Socialist International (SI) is a political international or worldwide organisation of political parties which seek to establish democratic socialism.[1] It consists mostly of socialist and labour-oriented political parties and organisations.”

    “Democratic socialists argue that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality, and solidarity and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realisation of a socialist society.[5] Although most democratic socialists seek a gradual transition to socialism,[6] democratic socialism can support revolutionary or reformist politics to establish socialism.[7] Democratic socialism was popularised by socialists who opposed the backsliding towards a one-party state in the Soviet Union and other nations during the 20th century.[8]”

    not sure how true all above partial quotes are, but IMHO it gives a good insight into the man & his statements/thinking.

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