From the N.Y.C. “climate summit” – a telling tale of three videos

UPDATE 10/6/2014 04:47 PM (PDT): The awesome Alex Cull has kindly taken it upon himself to provide transcriptions of the videos below, starting with (IMHO) the most telling thereof, i.e. that of former UNFCCC Secretary, Yvo de Boer.

I shall add them to this post as Alex makes them available.

UPDATE 10/9/2014 : My thanks to Alex who has now completed the transcripts of all three videos below. Link to each transcript is provided beneath each video. Each one is definitely worth a read in its own right!


Notwithstanding all the recent very disturbing developments in the Middle East (and the United Nations’ by now typical blame-shifting, sidelining and political grandstanding in lieu of meaningful dialogue and solutions), it’s been a very interesting month or so on the “climate change” front in the blogosphere.

First a little history on the UN’s ever-decreasingly credible “climate change” (aka “the greatest threat to the future of the planet”) front …

A little over a year ago, on the virtual heels of the publication of a considerably less than “it’s worse than we thought” 5th “Assessment” report (AR5) from the “gold standard” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Working Group I (WGI), the UN’s head honcho, Ban Ki-Moon quietly announced a one-day “historic” (of course!) Climate Change Summit to be held on Sept. 23 of this year.

Miracle of miracles, as I had noted a few months ago, came the equally quiet “announcement” of the birth of (what subsequently turned out to be) Stern Report 2.0. As economist and long-time IPCC-nik Richard Tol observed:

Stern2.0 takes climate policy analysis to a new level of exaggeration

There is a new Stern Review. Colloquially known as Stern2.0, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate released its report last Tuesday. Since his 2006 review, Nick Stern has been regularly in the news, claiming it is worse than we thought. The new report fits the mould.

The summary was released before the main report. Rejecting the Scottish Enlightenment, we are invited to believe its findings without inspecting the evidence. It seems, though, that Lord Brentford has produced another work of far-fetched fiction. Stern2.0 makes three claims, none of which stand up: Climate policy stimulates economic growth; climate change is a threat to economic growth; and an international treaty is the way forward.

One of the (IMHO amusing) precipitating factors of Stern 2.0, as I had noted when I had inadvertently discovered its impending “birth”, was:

The New Climate Economy’s starting point is the perspective of economic decision-makers: government ministers, particularly ministers of finance, economy, energy and agriculture; business leaders and financial investors; state governors and city mayors.

For such decision-makers, climate change is rarely a primary concern.[…] Yet their decisions powerfully influence the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.

If you happened to miss this “historic” climate summit last month, don’t worry, the UNEP has videos galore on offer – including, of course, a “grand opening video” letting participants know that they’re “all for climate action” (whatever that’s supposed to mean!)

One thing I noticed while watching this “grand opening” video, was that the accompanying music was quite a contrast to the “tick-tick, boom-boom, doom-doom” beat of UNEP produced videos of a mere year ago! Quite a switch in tone, IMHO ;-)

But that was then, so back to (the somewhat more recent) now of an “historic” pre-summit march. In the videos below, the preceding descriptive text is that of the RTCC who captured and produced all three.

Former Ireland president Mary Robinson and ex Norway prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland talk to RTCC ahead of the 2014 New York climate march:

Update: 10/8/2014 As Alex Cull noted in his comment below, a transcription of the above is now available at

United Nations climate chief talks to RTCC during the New York climate march, held on September 21 2014:

Update:10/9/2014 Although Alex Cull has not posted a comment below, his transcript of Christiana Figueres rallying the troops is now available at

New York climate summit: former UN climate chief Yvo de Boer speaks to RTCC on the sidelines of the UN meeting:

Update: 10/6/2014 04:53 PM As Alex Cull noted in his comment below a transcription of the above is now available at

The mileage of some may vary, but the view from here, so to speak, is that of all these interviewees – notwithstanding his totally non-climate related academic credentials – de Boer’s “assessment” is probably the closest to the current reality on the ground. And I say this notwithstanding his earlier faux pas prior to the release of WGI’s report.

His responses were far less riddled with jargon de jour (and jargon de yesterday!) than those of Robinson, Brundtland and (his immediate successor as UNFCCC head honcho) Christiana (aka Tinkerbell) Figueres.

Interesting times ahead, don’t you think?!

8 thoughts on “From the N.Y.C. “climate summit” – a telling tale of three videos

    • Thanks, so much, Alex! (And I’ll update my head post with your transcript links, as you make them available) What I found to be particularly telling were de Boer’s “last words”, so to speak (my bold):

      Yvo de Boer: Well, I’ll be very interested to see if Ban Ki-moon organises another of these events next September, just a couple of months ahead of Paris. I think that that would actually be a very good idea. In a sense, this is a good opportunity to take the climate process out of its coma, from a political point of view, and re-engage political leaders. But Paris is still quite far away. So if something like this were to happen again in September of 2015, just a couple of months before the Paris conference, I think that would be a perfect opportunity to really focus leaders, at that moment in time, on the key political issues that need to be resolved.

      But, “coma” aside, any bets on whether or not Ki-moon takes de Boer’s “very good idea” to heart?!

    • Thanks, Alex … Looks like Mary Robinson and her good friend Gro might still be in de Boer’s (post Copenhagen) “coma”. From your transcript:

      Mary Robinson: I think it’s extraordinarily important that we have this march, and I’m here with Gro Brundtland – with Gro Brundtland, my fellow Elder – and we’re marching together with the People’s March. Because it’s time that people mobilised all round the world – because we’re not on course for a safe world. We have to change course in order to stay below 2 degrees Celsius, and the summit will be extremely important, but we must keep up the momentum, right up to Paris.

      [EDIT] I can’t help wondering how Mary and her good buddy Gro might priorize their oh-so-alarming “concerns” in light of, for example, the state of religious freedom for Christians in the Islamic world. Far too many concrete examples of which have been documented by Raymond Ibrahim in a recent updated post at the Gatestone Institute.

  1. It’s perhaps ironic that Ms Robinson’s buddy, Ms Brundtland, chaired the the Brundtland Commission that, in its 1987 report, established the concept of sustainable development. And it was that concept that was the genesis of the UN’s distinction – in its 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – between Annex I (developed) and Non-Annex I (developing) economies, the latter being exempt from GHG reduction obligations. In 1992, they were responsible for less than 40% of global emissions – today it’s nearly 70%. It was their insistence on maintaining the distinction that caused the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference and of every conference, negotiation and ‘summit’ since then. And there’s no sign of any change of heart before next year’s ‘make or break’ conference in Paris.

    PS: the Brundtland Commission report (‘Our Common Future’) also provided momentum for Agenda 21.

    • Robin, in the almost five years (where does the time go!) that I’ve been blogging about climate and related matters, the one thing I’ve noticed (apart from various UN agencies’ remarkable ability to “recycle” and reinvent) is the “irony quotient”.

      Your comment above sent me off on a trip down memory lane (and I hope to have a post up tomorrow, well, later today!) But in the meantime, if you haven’t seen it already, you might be interested in yet another – albeit somewhat more recent – of Ms. Brundtland’s contributions to the annals of “sustainability” imperatives:

      Of hypocrites, high-level panels and … sherpas and silos

  2. Christiana Figueres: “This is an unprecedented mobilisation of public support for – not just for an agreement but for an ambitious agreement, …”

    Well, I suppose it is “unprecendented” mobilisation, but that is because previous “mobilisations” on this issue have been rather pathetic in the scheme of things.

    Does it not bother her that in a mega-city like New York a heavily advertised and well-organised march about what is apparently a world threatening issue gets a fairly moderate response? And that’s with various political and activist groups using it to coat-tail their own agendas.

    Even the vapid and unfocused “Occupy” movement puts the climate issue to shame in terms of numbers on the ground..

    The likes of Christina really don’t get that people don’t care. That in their hearts almost no-one actually believes the that CO2 is going to burn us up.

    The proof is the rareness of individuals who care about CO2 without any attachment to something that drives that — dislike of modernity, distrust of capitialism, concern about “chemicals” in the environment etc. Note that all those “climate awareness” campaigns are run by organisations with another focus — there is no pure greenhouse gas pressure group of note, because no-one would join it.

    • Isn’t that just so typical of Figueres, Mooloo?!

      And I came across another one today where she’s in “pretty in pink” tinkerbell mode. This was a video prepared for (yet another group I had certainly not heard of before) the “World Summit of Regions for Climate” being held in gay Paris (Oct. 10-11)

      The “context” is:

      The latest report from the IPCC has once again alerted the international community to the acceleration of global warming and its effects. Despite strong involvement of the European Union and France in post-Kyoto negotiations, as well as agreed-upon concrete commitments, it is evident that government efforts alone are not sufficient to prevent and fight against climate change.

      Kinda makes one wonder which particular IPCC report the writer of the above might have read, eh?!

      Evidently they are using a new, improved “bottom up approach” with the objective being to [word salad alert]:

      […] bring together and engage a broad community of actors in the “bottom-up” approach: regions, cities, businesses, and financial institutions in different areas of the green economy, as well as civil society. The event will also be an opportunity to announce the creation and funding of innovative projects enabling the sustainable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at the global level.

      Much to my surprise there was nary a “transformative” to be found on the website. But the latest and greatest buzzphrases include: “‘the positive agenda” of COP21″ and (courtesy of tinkerbell, see video below), “climate neutral future”

      Schwartzennager (who evidently had the brilliant idea of starting this group called R20) and Mrs. Robinson, wearing her recently acquired “UN Secretary General Special Envoy on Climate Change” hat were both there in person.

      But here’s Ms. Pretty in Pink Tinkerbell, giving the attendees their marching orders via video:

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