The United Nations: “a shadow of its intended nature”

There’s a movie I’ve been meaning to watch ever since I read Jonathan Tobin’s review in Commentary. It’s called U.N. Me, directed by Ami Horowitz. In his review, Tobin had noted (inter alia):

The direct failure of the U.N. to do anything to stop the genocide in Rwanda though it had the forces on the spot and the intelligence to do so is a heartbreaking story, and here, Horowitz goes easy on the humor. But he makes up for that with his exploration of the U.N.’s failures to deal with genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan during which a Sudanese diplomat asserts that “climate change” is the reason so many were massacred by his government, prompting Horowitz to suggest that more Priuses is the answer to the problem.

[Tobin concludes:]

Horowitz and Groff have produced a documentary that may at times be a little too jocose for its serious subject matter, but is nevertheless always watchable and infused with genuine wit. It remains to be seen whether their praiseworthy effort to tell this important story will get the exposure it deserves, but anyone who takes the time to watch “U.N. Me” cannot help but walk away sharing the filmmaker’s frustration and disgust with the U.N.

Interestingly, the Cinematographer, Bob Richman was also responsible for Al Gore’s abominable scare-flick, An Inconvenient Truth. I still haven’t actually seen either of these two films – although I’ve moved U.N. Me much further up on my list of must-watch movies (while Gore’s flick has yet to make it onto this list). And I can’t quite retrace my mouse-clicks at the moment, but somehow or other today we landed on a C-SPAN interview with Ami Horowitz, the Director of U.N. Me.

First, here’s a blurb about the movie:

In a film that exposes the incompetence and corruption at the heart of the United Nations, filmmaker Ami Horowitz takes us on a harrowing, yet often hilarious, trip through the farcical world of the United Nations.

Horowitz exposes how an organization created to ennoble mankind actually enables chaos and global discord. As disturbing as the picture painted by U.N. Me may be, Horowitz manages to keep us laughing throughout the film. And just when you’re left shaking your head at one outrage or another exposed in U.N. Me, Horowitz reliably enters with comic relief.

Speaking of the “global discord” spread by the UN … I don’t know if Horowitz’s movie covers the UN’s indisputable role in the birth and promulgation of all the myths and memes of “climate change” aka “global warming”. In particular, the role of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the many offspring it has spawned in the 40+ years of its ever-expanding existence.

The two most prominent offspring of the UNEP, of course – at least to those of us who have been following the “climate wars” – are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its “master”, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); the former is led by the increasingly lame Rajendra Pachauri, while the latter is currently led by the hyper-dramatic and rarely unappalling, Christiana Figueres.

The incomparable Josh, of CartoonsbyJosh has amusingly captured Figueres in action with other members of the “climate change” faith:

Josh captures Christiana in action (see original at http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/5/12/carbon-sinking-josh-275.html)

Josh captures Christiana in action (see original at http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/5/12/carbon-sinking-josh-275.html)

The sheer unprincipled mediocrity that seems to have infested so many of the UN’s tentacles also appears to have found its way into the heart of the US bureaucracy which, most disconcertingly – as Judith Curry noted in a recent post – has resulted in the resignation of distinguished scientist, Lennart Bengtsson from the GWPF. Curry had remarked:

We have also seen a disgraceful display of Climate McCarthyism by climate scientists, which has the potential to do as much harm to climate science as did the Climategate emails. And we have seen the GWPF handle this situation with maturity and dignity.

But I digress …

Watching the C-SPAN interview with Horowitz, in which he disclosed many of his reminiscences during the making of this movie, reminded me of the many hours I’ve spent reading through the utter inanities that constitute “debate” at one committee, panel, sub-committee or other of the UN, where neither intelligence nor eloquence are often in evidence. But if Horowitz is to be believed (and everything I’ve seen strongly suggests that he should be) this is “standard” operating procedure at the U.N.

And so … without further ado …Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “The United Nations: “a shadow of its intended nature”

  1. C.Figueres deserves more attention.
    A woman from a developing, non-Anglo state: two tickets punched
    Daughter and sister of two CR presidents
    Swarthmore, LSE, and Gore-trained
    active in her family financial adviser endeavor
    Carbon Credit trader and analyst

    Thank you, Hilary, for wading through the swamp.
    I wait for the film.

  2. “An Inconvenient Truth” is worth watching, IMO for its curiosity value and its importance as a piece of social history.

    I’ve seen it a few times now, and am always struck by the first couple of minutes, which are extremely restful and soporific, with nature scenes, some rather New Age-y music and Al Gore’s voice, as he describes the river, the trees, the sounds of birds, etc. If you ever have trouble getting to sleep, watching and listening to this might be of help (if he ever needed a bit of extra cash, Mr Gore could, I think, make a pretty decent guided meditation CD, by the way).

    It might also serve to put viewers instantly into a hypnotic state and make them more receptive to the messages that follow, although I’m sure that can’t have been the purpose of the moviemakers. ;-)

    • I think Mizz Merkel,might have a few other more pressing things on her mind at the moment,like not getting “Thrown”out of her own country.These “Stupid Left Wing Loonies”never learn.

  3. Christiana Figueres seems quite chirpy and excited about the Bonn conference starting next week:
    https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20140530_cf

    “The June session is exciting because it is a step closer to turning these aspirations into achievements. The June session opens the door for bold announcements by heads of state and leaders of industry at the Secretary-General’s climate summit in New York, and it prepares the ground for a strong draft agreement in Lima.”

    RTCC (always good for some interesting between-the-lines reading) has a rather less upbeat assessment:
    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/05/20/bonn-climate-talks-low-ministerial-turnout-expected/

    “A poor show at the meeting will raise questions over how engaged many countries are in the UN process, which aims to deliver a draft text for the global deal by November.

    So far only a few heads of state have confirmed they will attend Ban Ki-moon’s ‘leader’s summit’ on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, although it would be a shock if many shun the event.”

    • Alex, it seems to me that “chirpy and excited” is Figueres’ preferred mode – particularly when she’s dressed for the part. Your transcript is (as always) absolutely awesome; but as I was reading, I kept thinking “tinkerbell”, “tinkerbell”. And then I made the mistake of following the link from your transcript to the video. And I can’t believe I watched the whole thing! Actually, I think that in this video, she was tinkerbell-cubed:

      Now compare the above with her preferred mode when she addressed GLOBE International at the “1st GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit in London” in January of this year. Here’s what Figueres had to say to the assembled dignitaries:

      “Domestic legislation on climate is the absolutely critical, essential, linchpin between action at the national level and international agreements. It is absolutely at the centre.”

      “…nothing is going to be agreed internationally, until enough is legislated domestically.”

      Far from “chirpy”, n’est-ce pas?! But perhaps excited in a different way:

      As for GLOBE International … well, I think I’ve heard of them before, but perhaps not. From mousing around their site, “sustainability” seems to be their main focus (quelle surprise, eh?!) and they’ve only glommed onto “climate change” fairly recently! See, for example, GLOBE U.K. where one finds:

      GLOBE UK works with members from all parties to promote policy, legislation and understanding on the green economy and sustainable development with specific reference to climate change and energy, natural capital accounting, forests and the marine environment. The All Party Parliamentary Group for GLOBE UK is chaired Graham Stuart MP.
      […]
      GLOBE UK’s current priorities are: natural capital accounting, climate change and energy, the green economy and global sustainable development. You can find out more about GLOBE UK’s work in these areas here.

      GLOBE UK also provides the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Biodiversity

      As far as I can determine GLOBE International hasn’t managed to bring Canada into their loop. At least not yet!

      P.S. I agree that the RTCC site is far more informative! Here’s the latest and greatest from Michel <There. Is. No. Pause> Jarraud:

      WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said the findings had “symbolic and scientific” significance, adding it should serve as a “wake-up call” over the causes of climate change.

      “If we are to preserve our planet for future generations, we need urgent action to curb new emissions of these heat trapping gases,” he said.

    • GLOBE International definitely bears some looking into, Hilary, I think; it doesn’t have the media presence of the IPCC or UNFCCC but as per Ms Figueres’ point about domestic legislation, its somewhat lower-key activities might be no less important.

      In parallel with this month’s Bonn session of the UNFCCC, there will be a World Summit of Legislators taking place in Mexico, organised by GLOBE, in effect a sort of parallel process. According to RTCC, the Mexico summit will be well-attended, compared to the poor turnout predicted in Bonn. One to watch, maybe?

      BTW, love the “tinkerbell-cubed” description! From Wikipedia (about the Disney incarnation of Tinker Bell): “She is trailed by small amounts of pixie dust when she moves, and this dust can help humans fly if they think happy thoughts.” Rather apt? ;-)

    • Well, here’s the latest and greatest from GLOBE International, Alex.

      They seem to have held their meeting in Mexico and have also come up with (of course!) a “Legislators’ Resolution” (pdf) that does have some rather, well, alarming elements. Not the least of which (IMHO) are:

      Committing also to use nationally appropriate parliamentary channels to:

      [Re Climate -hro]
      Structure an effective process to hold our governments to account on the implementation of the post-2020 climate agreement
      […]
      [Re 2015 Sustainable Development Goals:]

      Recognizing reversing current unsustainable trends poses a serious challenge but also a significant opportunity to restructure our economies and review our regulatory frameworks in support of sustainable development […]

      Calling upon Governments and the United Nations to:
      1. Recognise that we need a new generation of international agreements on sustainable development that reinforce existing national legislation and requires countries to put into national laws the commitments and contributions they make in the international negotiations
      […]
      5. Fully capacitate UNEP (as if it isn’t “capacitated” enough! -hro) and consolidate all environmental issues and projects to be undertaken under the UN Environment Programme, with the support of all partners
      […]
      7. Support the GLOBE Partnership for Legislation and the UNOPS Legislation Fund

      They’ve also produced their “2nd GLOBE NATURAL CAPITAL LEGISLATION STUDY

      The natural environment provides goods and services that are essential for our well-being and development. Every part of the natural environment that is capable of contributing to human well-being is a capital asset – part of our ‘natural capital’.

      Human activity has substantially degraded the natural environment. The global stock of natural capital and valuable goods and services that it provides are being rapidly depleted, in some cases irreversibly. However the status of natural capital is not captured comprehensively by conventional wealth accounting frameworks such as the UN System of National Accounts, or by economic activity measures such as GDP. Therefore there is an urgent need to implement effective methods and measures for natural capital accounting and to embed these within relevant legal and policy frameworks.

      This Study is designed to inform efforts by legislators to address these needs. [emphasis added -hro]

      For more gory details, links to this “study” (and, of course, videos!) See: http://www.globeinternational.org/studies/legislation/natural-capital-new

      P.S. I was mistaken about Canada not being part of this! When I was at the site, I noticed that a Canadian is one of their VP’s – and in fact is the primary “voice” in one of their videos. That he happens to be a Federal Liberal MP who is the brother of the (now disgraced) former Premier of Ontario has nothing to do with anything, I’m sure ;-)

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