Sustainability roars to the fore as new, improved, buzzword of climate change choice

The U.K. Guardian continues to churn out alarmism like there’s no tomorrow (which, come to think of it, in the minds of that newspaper’s activist-journalists, there may well not be) with such headlines as:

Worst ever carbon emissions leave climate on the brink

Exclusive: Record rise, despite recession, means 2C target almost out of reach” [h/t Jiminy Cricket via Bishop Hill]

and a companion piece:

Climate change demands we re-engineer the world economy now

To break the link between growth and carbon emissions, we must adopt a top-down approach of binding climate goals”.

Meanwhile … in keeping with Pachauri’s “vision” for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s fifth Assessment Report (AR5) that:

sustainable development […] should pervade the entire report across the three Working Groups

the traditional trendsetters in the European branch of the enviro-activist movement are proclaiming:

Germany ‘Sliding Head Over Heels Into Eco-Dictatorship
Germany’s green government advisors admit frankly that decarbonization can only be achieved by the limitation of democracy – both nationally and internationally.

[…]

All nations would have to relinquish their national interests and find a new form of collective responsibility for the sake of the climate: “The world citizenry agree to innovation policy that is tied to the normative postulate of sustainability and in return surrender spontaneous and persistence desires. […] [h/t Bishop Hill] (emphasis added -hro)

Alas, it seems according to an article by Peter Foster in the May 26 National Post, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) “whose members and affiliates” represent 80% of the world trade & investment has jumped onto the “sustainable” bandwagon:

Green alarmists such as Al Gore (who, astonishingly, also won the Peace Prize, in his case, in 2007, for stoking climate hysteria) often maintain that what is needed is a new Marshall Plan, only its objectives would be the reverse of those of George Marshall. The OECD seems more than happy to get with the new anti-Marshall program. It has now become a full-blown advocate of “sustainable development,” which is code for an anti-market ideology of less freedom and more bureaucratic control of the industries the Marshall Plan promoted.

Sustainable development was given its imprimatur by the United Nations-based, and socialist-packed, Brundtland Commission, which led to the mammoth 1992 UN environmental and development conference at Rio. Out of Rio emerged, among many other interventionist initiatives, the Kyoto Accord to control climate by restricting industrial output, and thus growth and jobs.

The OECD’s new sustainable orientation is confirmed by a report released this week on “Green Growth” (along with a “Better Life Index,” whose ideological slant was dissected in this space yesterday by William Watson). The report, and adjunct documents, propose ever-expanding bureaucratic co-ordination and monitoring of economic development at every level.[…]

The one bright spot in all this is that the G8 does not seem to have fallen into line. In fact, Canada, Russia, Japan and the US have announced that they will “not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol at United Nations talks this year.”

Although there is still cause for concern: The Guardian articles noted above appear to have been churned from a May 27 Press Release and May 30 “alarm bells” from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Unlike so many of these acronymic agencies, this one does not appear to be a “child” of the United Nations:

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries and beyond. Founded in response to the 1973/4 oil crisis, the IEA’s initial role was to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of emergency oil stocks to the markets. While this continues to be a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing reliable and unbiased research, statistics, analysis and recommendations.[emphasis added -hro]

However, notwithstanding the above claim to provide “reliable and unbiased research”, it also appears to be infected with the “climate change” and “sustainability” viruses:

Removing CO2 emissions from electricity generation is a key challenge that must be overcome if the rise in global temperatures is to be limited to 2 degrees Celsius. A new book from the International Energy Agency (IEA) addresses some of the major policy and technology steps needed to achieve such “decarbonisation” of the electricity sector, and provides an authoritative resource on progress to date.

The report, Climate & Electricity Annual 2011: Data and Analyses, is the first in a new series from the IEA that addresses the role of electricity in meeting climate-change goals. In addition to examining the massive task of curbing CO2 emissions from electricity and showing how electricity makes a difference in end-use efficiency, the new publication provides statistics related to CO2 and the electricity sector across ten regions of the world.

“Electricity is unique when it comes to meeting the climate change challenge: as the largest and fastest-growing source of carbon dioxide (CO2), it also holds many of the solutions to a more efficient, less carbon-intensive economy,” said Bo Diczfalusy, Director of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology at the IEA.

[…]

“The required transformation, whether it is measured in new low-carbon generation capacity, in electricity savings on the end-use side, in the number of electric vehicles deployed, or in the hundreds of billions of dollars that must be spent to transform power generation globally, is unprecedented,” Mr Diczfalusy notes.
[emphasis added-hro]

The IEA’s “alarmist in chief” whose words fuelled the Guardian’s frenzy would appear to be “Dr Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the IEA who oversees the annual World Energy Outlook, the Agency’s flagship publication.” Not surprisingly, his name also turned up as a “Contributing Author” and “Participant” at the IPCC’s “Expert Meeting Report” – a 166 page pdf that resulted from a three-day meeting in Sept. 2007, bearing the impressive title of “TOWARDS NEW SCENARIOS FOR ANALYSIS OF EMISSIONS, CLIMATE CHANGE, IMPACTS, AND RESPONSE STRATEGIES”. Amusingly, it contains the following disclaimer:

Supporting material prepared for consideration by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This material has not been subjected to formal IPCC review processes. This expert meeting was agreed in advance as part of the IPCC work plan, but this does not imply working group or panel endorsement or approval of this report or any recommendations or conclusions contained herein.

The report has been subjected to an expert peer review process and revised accordingly. […]

Too bad that the IEA founders didn’t decide to impose a sunset clause for this body. But then IPCC Chairman, Rajendra Pachauri believes that the IEA does valuable work. as he noted in this October 2009 interview – during which he suggested that “the world has changed” and that the IEA should expand its horizons.

This interview took place before Pachauri had his epiphany regarding the value of grey literature. Birol’s words certainly explain why Pachauri was extolling the virtues of the IEA’s non-peer-reviewed work a year ago:

Dr Pachauri said academic work being done by bodies including the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, national governments and charities “cannot be ignored”, but had to be closely examined to make sure it was robust..

And I’m sure that all IEA work will be examined very closely. Not.

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