Week 1: Summary of UNFCCC’s climate carol annotations

A few days ago, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I had posted for readers’ amusement a parody of a popular Christmas melody and lyrics. And I promised to provide annotations for each day of the current annual confab of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which this year is being held in Warsaw.

Now that we have more or less reached the half-way mark of this 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19), I thought it might be helpful to summarize my annotations and updates thereto – just ICYMI (twitter-speak for “In Case You Missed It”)


[Day 1]

1 [Deck the press with doom a-looming] See UN climate talks in Warsaw darkened by Typhoon Haiyan, the CBC’s “contribution” (churned from an AP piece):

The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan cast a gloom over U.N. climate talks Monday as the envoy from the Philippines broke down in tears and announced he would fast until a “meaningful outcome is in sight.”

Naderev “Yeb” Sano’s emotional appeal was met with a standing ovation [and a bouquet of flowers -hro] at the start of two-week talks in Warsaw where more than 190 countries will try to lay the groundwork for a new pact to fight global warming.

UPDATE 11/17/2013 To the surprise of few (if any, I suspect) UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has now weighed in with his highly unscientific and hyper-emotional recycling of this particular meme of the month:

UN head Ban Ki-moon says Typhoon Haiyan due to climate change

UN LEADER Ban Ki-moon said a super typhoon that killed thousands in the Philippines was an example of climate change and should serve as a warning to mankind.
The UN chief said the world was facing a tipping point, as countries thrash out a deal to be signed in 2015 to cut Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

“There are a lot of people on Earth who seem to believe we have two Earths,” Ban said.

“We have seen now what has happened in the Philippines. It is an urgent warning,” he said, “an example of changed weather and how climate change is affecting all of us on Earth.” [emphasis added -hro]

[Day 2]

2 [‘Tis the season to be fuming] Because I am somewhat bilingual, this is a play on words: The French verb “fumer” means “to smoke”, so I was left wondering what Stephan Lewandowsky and Michael Mann were smoking when they co-wrote:

Subterranean War: Some Reasonable Questions and Answers
This week’s typhoon that is now estimated to have killed 10,000 people in the Philippines might have occurred in the absence of climate change, although global warming likely put it on steroids. [emphasis added -hro]

Isn’t it good to know that these “experts” (who need no data) are “reticent … [and] … overly conservative” in their pronouncements, eh?!

[Day 3]

3 [Don we now our green apparel] Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is less frequently heard from these days; but when he is tossing his scripted word-salads (as he did on Day 1), he invariably dons a green tie and matching pocket handkerchief:


[Day 4]

4 [As we launch our pre-Yule quarrel] During these COPs, there are several other committees, groups, and what-have-you’s that also hold sessions. One such group is the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). For some strange reason, “Finance” invariably enters the picture of far too many of these groups; and such discussions are not always … well, truth be told, rarely if ever harmonious.

By way of example, here’s an excerpt from the IISD’s summary of the Nov. 14th proceedings:

FINANCE: During the ADP’s morning open-ended consultations on finance, Co-Chair Runge-Metzger invited delegates to consider climate finance in the 2015 agreement for the implementation of post-2020 commitments and post-2020 institutional arrangements.

BOLIVIA, CHINA, CUBA, ECUADOR, KUWAIT, IRAN, NICARAGUA, SAUDI ARABIA, SIERRA LEONE and VENEZUELA questioned the proposed focus, stressing that developing countries are uncomfortable with concentrating on post-2020 issues without first discussing pre-2020 finance. SWITZERLAND supported the Co-Chairs’ proposed approach, saying that focused discussions will enable real progress. Underlining the need to move forward, COLOMBIA urged immediate engagement on substance.

Most parties agreed that the 2015 agreement should build on existing institutions, noting the need for enhancing them. Many developing countries called for: new, additional and scaled up finance; public finance to be the main source of climate finance; MRV of support; a finance chapter in the 2015 agreement with the same legal force as the agreement’s other elements; aggregate and individual targets for developed countries’ financial commitments; and a finance roadmap, with the US$100 billion annual target as a starting point. Some also emphasized that South-South cooperation is a voluntary effort. [emphasis added -hro]

[Day 5]

5 [See the polar bears are sinking] Or if you prefer See the polar bears are shrinking.

Both work equally well, I’m sure, from an alarmist’s doom and gloom perspective! Funny, but in all the “high level” scary stories that I’ve seen emanating from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)’s maze – particularly its “flagship” UNFCCC – I don’t recall seeing much in the way of “polar bear porn”.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of some “polar bear experts”. One such “expert”, Steven Amstrup, has moved into the hyperbolic realm of the likes of Michael Mann (please see 2 above) and Andrew <barrage of intergalactic ballistic missiles> Weaver (in his pre-“passion for politics” days).

But as zoologist, Dr. Susan Crockford recently noted on her Polar Bear Science blog:

Amstrup compares climate change to a Titanic for polar bears
He said he likes to compare climate change’s effect on polar bears to the infamous Titanic ocean liner.

“[It] didn’t matter how many people were on the Titanic or how well they were doing,” he said. “When the Titanic slipped beneath the waves and they lost their habitat, that was it. So polar bears will also go away because of their dependence on sea ice.”

Amstrup really wants people to believe that all the polar bears in the world will die some day, all at once, in some mega ice-loss catastrophe!

This is absolutely ridiculous, fear-mongering hyperbole. […] (emphasis and colour added by Crockford)

None of this hype is having much (if any) effect. One wonders if these hypsters have deluded themselves into thinking that they’ve reached “peak” diminishing returns! Certainly they’ve had no impact on the government of Japan, which confirmed earlier today [h/t Benny Peiser via GWPF]:

Japan Stuns UN Climate Summit By Ditching CO2 Target

[Japan’s] new target effectively reverses course from the goal set four years ago by allowing a 3.1 per cent increase in emissions from 1990 levels rather than seeking a 25 per cent cut. […]

[and from Reuters:]

Japan’s decision added to gloom at the Warsaw talks, where no major countries have announced more ambitious goals to cut emissions, […] (emphasis added -hro)

[Day 6]

6 [No more water left for drinking] As Canada’s Dr. Tim Ball recently reminded us:

In [the] UN’s Agenda 21 [water is] a separate category in Chapter 18 – The Water Page.

18.3. The widespread scarcity, gradual destruction and aggravated pollution of freshwater resources in many world regions, along with the progressive encroachment of incompatible activities, demand integrated water resources planning and management. [emphasis added -hro]

Agenda 21 could probably be best described as the so-called “outcome document” of the original (1992) Rio convention, officially known as the “United Nations Conference on Environment and Development” (UNCED in UN-speak). At 350 pages [see link in sidebar], I find it extremely unlikely that many (if any) of the delegates – who may well have thought this was a good idea at the time, so to speak – had actually read this sleep-inducing compilation of bureaucratic word-salads prior to accepting, endorsing or whatever “the process” might have been at the time. (For additional background on Agenda 21, please see this post)

Needless to say the UN’s water-stream of must-act-now alarmism has flowed as incessantly as that of the dreaded CO2, albeit somewhat more quietly, to date.

My guess is that this doom and gloom induced water-scare is more likely to be subsumed under the gradually increasingly higher-profile umbrella of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which has an interesting tagline under their logo: “Science and Policy for People and Nature“.

I suppose there is something to be said for the somewhat more “transparent” agenda of this IPCC younger sibling (which I first wrote about over three years ago!) While it is “modelled” on the IPCC, unlike the latter, the IPBES does not appear to pretend that it is not advocating “policy”.

Also on the waterfront, during a “side event” on Nov. 16, in a session entitled “Carbon Management in GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council -hro] Countries”, presented by the GCC and Saudi Arabia:

Hussain Bishri, Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY), Saudi Arabia, focused on the environmental benefits of reusing claimed water in Jubail Industrial City (JIC), Saudi Arabia. He concluded that water has precious values and each drop must be accounted for, and that the Royal Commission’s recycling and landscape program gave a new look to JIC, saving energy and reducing GHG emissions at the same time.

Considering Bishri’s “concerns”, it would be interesting to know the carbon footprint of the bottled water on Bishri’s desk:


2 thoughts on “Week 1: Summary of UNFCCC’s climate carol annotations

  1. Yes, it would be interesting to get that number: what is the carbon footprint of one little 1L bottled water bottle? (Not that “carbon footprint” has the slightest significance, other than political.)

  2. We have decided to use no apparel rather than take a position on what type of apparel — now that “gay apparel” is an issue.

    Happy Hannuka and Merry Christmas — all in one!

    Carry On! I shall light a candle for you.

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