In my previous post on the “transparent” behind closed doors gathering of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is now apparently running into overtime “deliberations”, one of the things I forgot to note was the rather conspicuous absence during each of the speeches of any mention of “members of civil society”.
Typically, at such UNEP sponsored gatherings each speaker’s address would begin with a recitation of all the names on the dias, as well as a tip of the hat to “members of civil society”! Civil society is UN-speak for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). So this was a rather curious omission, I thought. Almost as if these “observers” had become invisible. And indeed, IPCC Lead Author, Richard Betts was initially unaware that they’d even been invited!
Nonetheless – as I had noted in my post – Betts’ fellow Lead Author, Richard Klein was quite adamant that whatever “expertise” was expected of representatives of these NGOs with “approved” observer status, they do not speak. According to Klein:
Even though no less a personnage than Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC Chair, has declared that we have the right to question science, I guess we have no right to question the “experts”, such as Klein!
In fact, according to Klein, these “silent” observers do not even speak during informal “contact group” deliberations. Here’s Klein, again, at his “authoritative” best:
So I wonder how Klein would explain the difference between delegates’ microphones:
and those in front of these “silent” observers:
The above two photos are courtesy of the quasi-official rapporteurs, IISD whose report today included:
Throughout the day, in plenary, contact groups and informal meetings, delegates addressed sections of the Summary dealing with: observed changes in the climate system, drivers of climate change, understanding the climate system and its recent changes, and future global and regional climate change. Good progress was made with the discussion focusing primarily on clarifying the main messages and improving their accessibility to policy makers.
During lunchtime, delegates heard a scientific presentation on cumulative CO2 emissions. (emphasis added -hro)
But what a waste of microphone rentals, eh? Not to mention that if these “observers” are silent at all times, surely it would have been more cost-efficient to have them “observe” via closed-circuit video hook-up. Think of the all the dreaded CO2 emissions that would not have been needlessly spewed into the atmosphere of our oh-so-fragile planet! They’ve missed an opportunity to be positively “transformative” ;-)