12/20/2015 Please note updates below
A few days ago, much ado was launched by the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s resolution on a so-called “peace process” for Syria.
This was endorsed and praised by probably the most ill-informed (or hypocritical, you may take your pick) US Secretary of State, John Kerry, aka US global-gallivanter per excellence, and spewer of the dreaded “greatest threat to the future of our planet”, CO2 emissions. As reported by the CBC (via an AP article with my bold added -hro):
UN adopts resolution endorsing peace process for Syria
No reference to status of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in resolution
UN Security Council members have unanimously adopted a resolution on a peace process for Syria involving talks by representatives of the Damascus government and the opposition, but the draft says nothing on the critical issue of what role President Bashar al-Assad might play.
Diplomats had rushed to overcome divisions on the draft resolution while world powers held the latest talks on how to bring an end to the conflict, which is deep into its fifth year with well over 300,000 killed.
The resolution has been described as a rare gesture of unity on the Syria peace process by a council often deeply divided on the crisis.
A draft of the resolution, obtained by The Associated Press earlier in the day, requests that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convene representatives of the Syrian government and opposition “to engage in formal negotiations on a political transition process on an urgent basis, with a target of early January 2016 for the initiation of talks.”
Within six months, the process should establish “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance,” with UN-supervised “free and fair elections” to be held within 18 months.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the two most important issues are launching political negotiations among Syrian parties and implementing a UN-monitored cease-fire. “Without peace talks, the cease-fire cannot be sustained. Without a cease-fire, peace talks cannot continue to produce results,” he said.
Wang noted the “severe threat posed by international terrorism,” a reference to ISIS, the jihadists who have exploited the chaos to seize large parts of Syria.
Considering the “ingredients” – not to mention Ban Ki-moon, the UN’s current Chief cook and bottle-washer – highlighted above …
YMMV, but this is not what I would describe as a ‘recipe’ for success. But then, when was the last time anything originating from the arms, elbows, hands, fingers etc of the multi-faceted, ever-expanding UN – whose motto should be “Send us more money, now” – actually resulted in what one might reasonably call “success”?!
Certainly not by anyone possessing a reasonable measure of critical thinking skills. A quality that appears to be increasingly absent from the inane, and often meaningless l’Obama mode, mutterings and utterings of Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau – and/or his “because it’s 2015” Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna.
For the record, so to speak, I recently started perusing the IISD’s 41,487 word summary of the much vaunted Paris proceedings, which mercifully ended on Dec. 12. The long-standing mantra of the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for the acronymically-challenged] leader of this particular UN COP-pack is that it is “informed by” the (so-called) science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
I’m not sure where it might fall in the actual “agreement”, but as I was skimming this 100 page IISD summary, I noticed that as an “Associated Decision”, the UNFCCC:
invites the IPCC to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global GHG emission pathways.
Translation from UN-speak: “1.5°C above pre-industrial levels” does not have a scintilla of “science” – even of the IPCC-kind – to support it! So much for the IPCC “informing” the work of the UNFCCC, eh?! But certainly an invitation that the IPCC is highly unlikely to refuse.
Yet Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the oh-so-knowledgeable (not!) McKenna was proudly proclaiming (according to the CBC on Dec. 8) that:
We support reference to striving for 1.5 as other countries have said
COP21: Catherine McKenna endorses goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C
And here’s a more recent view of McKenna in mantra-recycling – and 1.5°C cheerleader – mode. Courtesy of CBC TV’s December 14 edition of Power and Politics:
Whatever would Canada’s “views” be, eh, without the behind-closed-screens UN bureaucrats telling such not-so-bright-lights what to say?!
And isn’t it amazing that yet another cadre of behind-closed-screens UN bureaucrats have succeeded – via yet another array of arms, elbows, hands, fingers etc. – in hiding from public view the deafening sounds of UN silence regarding the real story behind Arab intransigence vis a vis the establishment of the State of Israel and its victory in the 1967 war initiated by … you guessed it … the Arab states.
Full text – and some context – available here, courtesy of Israel’s Women in Green.
Nor, btw, is this the first time that the UN has utterly failed on the diplomatic front vis a vis Syria. As I had noted almost a year ago, Ki-Moon’s immediate predecessor (the far from noble, albeit Nobel Peace Price winning), Kofi Annan had failed in his abysmal attempt – although not exactly described as such by the UN cheerleading New York Times in 2012 – to mastermind peace in Syria.
Notwithstanding his 2012 failure on the peace-in-Syria front, a few years later, Annan emerged as a member of The Elders – along with such other dutifully recycled luminaries as Ireland’s Mrs. (Mary) Robinson – as a fiery (but somewhat inarticulate over-the-top) advocate for … you guessed it, the “cause of climate change”:
Many communities … are showing the way to a carbon-neutral world. These efforts have to be scaled up [so that we’ll have a] carbon neutral world by 2050.
[…] If ever there were a cause which should unite us all, old or young, rich or poor, climate change must be it.
In short, whether it’s on the (unmandated) “climate front” or the oh-so-noble mandated front to prevent wars, one can always depend on the UN’s unique ability to perpetuate its own expansion … and urgent calls for more money – notwithstanding an ever-increasing budget of billions – to support its endeavours, such as they are!
And pardon my skepticism, but … I can’t help wondering if this much-belated and major gap-riddled “shift” to the problems in Syria, which seemed to begin surfacing in September, on the part of the UN Security Council may well turn out to be nothing more than a UN bureaucrat orchestrated media distraction from its failures in Paris on the “climate change” front.
Oh, well … time will tell, I suppose. Even if the UN – as is its longstanding wont – most likely won’t:-)
UPDATES 12/20/2015 11:00 AM PST: See also Christopher Booker’s assessment in the U.K. Telegraph on the climate change front:
The Paris climate fiasco leaves UK alone in the dark
Finally, ultra-greens and climate sceptics agree on something: that the climate conference was a sham
and – via the CBC of all unlikely places – the Munk Institute’s Stephen Toope’s assessment on the refugee front:
Why Canada’s refugee plan falls well short of a real solution
What does ‘duty to protect’ mean in a world awash in refugees?
But speaking of refugees … one further (long, thoughtful but very depressing) update on the Jewish refugee front, from Ron Rosenbaum, author of the must read if you haven’t already, Explaining Hitler, via Tablet. In this essay, Rosenbaum covers – in far more detail – many of the issues pertaining to Israel, on which I’ve barely touched above and/or elsewhere on my blog:
Thinking the Unthinkable: A Lamentation for the State of Israel
‘I believe the state of Israel may not survive. That its days are numbered. I can hardly bear to say it.’ [end UPDATES]
P.S. Happy belated Chanukah to those who celebrated … and a very Merry Christmas to those who will soon be celebrating! Hope the onion-laden latkes of the former and the sweet minced pies of the latter reflect the tastiness of days of yore!
13 thoughts on “UN and Syria: Recipe for action or recycled (“climate change” inaction) disaster distraction?”
You may find an answer at
Thanks, Ian … But I was there two days ago (pls. see p.2 and scroll down)! … Can’t believe you missed it! Furthermore, I have returned from time to time to silently enjoy the many contributions of others :-)
We’ve got some distractions here with being threatened with tree management being taken back to the deep dark green ages.
So the appropriate find seemed to be
Q. What do you call a bunch of Green activists?
A. A thicket
So I’ll, in the spirit of that very useful South African saying, “go and do it just now” and find your contribution(s)
Merry Xmas and keep keeping the bastards honest.
OK, in view of the circumstances, I’ll forgive you! Love that beefcentral site! Lot of work. And I’ll do my best to live up to your great expectations ;-)
I like the definition of trick!
“We support reference to striving for 1.5 as other countries have said
COP21: Catherine McKenna endorses goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C”
These mantras are gaily tossed about by eco-warriors and politicians alike, without any idea of what they mean. Take, for example, the “keep temperature rise within 2°C of pre-industrial”. How do they define pre-industrial? This is the EU version:
“The Information Reference Document Prepared and adopted by EU Climate Change Expert Group ‘EG Science’ 9th July 2008, 16:15 Final Version, Version 9.1, 9 ”
It says “Pre-industrial being defined as 1850-1899 average mean global surface temperatures”.
They also say, “The 2°C limit cannot be considered to be entirely ’safe’, as severe impacts are likely to occur increasingly as the global mean temperature rise approaches 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
The global mean temperature has risen by approximately 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels(3) (IPCC AR4 WGI SPM). Unless otherwise stated, all temperatures given in this paper refer to changes of global mean temperature relative to pre-industrial levels.”
(3) Here defined as temperature change since 1850-1899 (beginning of instrumental temperature records). At that time the anthropogenic influence was small compared to natural variation; temperatures in the late 19th century are in good agreement (order of 0.1°C) with conditions before the onset of industrialisation in 1750.”
I’m sure they can tell us what the relative percentages of anthropogenic and natural influences are.
So they then acknowledge that the Industrial Revolution started in the mid 1700’s, but that it was inconsequential and that temperatures in the late 1800’s were similar to those before “industrialisation in 1750.”
Having said that instrumental temperature records only began in 1850, (GISS says 1880), they then refer to temperatures before 1750, as being the bench mark, when they have already said any records were unreliable. What were temperatures really like around that time?
This is what historian Brian Fagan says:
Fagan, “Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations” (Basic Books, 1999).
“Only 150 years ago, Europe came to the end of a 500 year cold snap so severe that thousands of peasants starved. The Little Ice Age changed the course of European history. Dutch canals froze over for months, shipping could not leave port, and glaciers in the Swiss Alps overwhelmed mountain villages.
Five hundred years of much colder weather changed European agriculture, helped tip the balance of political power from the Mediterranean states to the north, and contributed to the social unrest that culminated in the French Revolution. The poor suffered most. They were least able to adjust to changing circumstances and most susceptible to disease and increased mortality. These five centuries of periodic economic and social crisis in a much less densely populated Europe are a haunting reminder of the drastic consequences of even a modest cooling of global temperatures.
The Little Ice Age was the most recent of three relatively long cold snaps during the past ten thousand years. The Younger Dryas that triggered agriculture in south-western Asia was the most severe, for it brought glacial conditions back to Europe. Another cold snap in about 6200 B.C. lasted four centuries and caused widespread drought. The Little Ice Age had more impact on history than its two predecessors, for it descended on the world after centuries of unusually warm temperatures. One can reasonably call it the mother of all history-changing events.”
So according to them, the LIA was normal and the recovery from it is something to be feared and blamed on industrialisation? In 1988 the UN Greenhouse Gas Advisory Group was promoting 1 degree C above “pre-industrial”, which then morphed into 1.5 degrees in 1992 and then the EU 2 degrees in 1996 via the Papal adviser John Schellnhuber, who claimed it for his own, in spite of Nordhaus’s proposition
Now they are harking back to the 1.5 degree figure, all of which is so nonsensical, to think that global temperature, (if there can be such a thing, see links below), can be turned up or down by twiddling a virtual CO2 dial, yet they cannot explain why temperatures have been stable for around 18 years plus, in spite of still increasing CO2.
BTW Hilary, still looking into Pachauri, The Invisible Man in Paris. I think he must have Returned to Almora.
Missed off Nordhaus’s proposition of 2 degrees in 1977…
Lukes and warmists have no proof from physics and no physical evidence for their underlying assumption (as Roy Spencer also wrote) that there would be isothermal conditions in a planet’s troposphere but for “greenhouse” gases. As Dr Hans Jelbring pointed out, even the large gas planets exhibit a temperature gradient close to -g/cp and yet have no water vapor or carbon dioxide. Nikolov and Zeller said likewise.
The temperature gradient is a direct result of the force field acting on molecules in flight between collisions, and the process of entropy maximization described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I have cited about half a dozen others who have agreed in writing about this, and there are hundreds, maybe thousands more who don’t speak up but have probably understood the explanation based on standard physics. There is also evidence of similar radial temperature gradients due to centrifugal force, such as in any vortex cooling tube.
It is surely a fundamental requirement of any hypothesis that it be proven from the laws of physics and supported by empirical evidence which never refutes it.
Every planetary troposphere and every vortex tube and the Second Law of Thermodynamics all refute the basic underlying assumption of the radiative forcing greenhouse conjecture.
The other assumption that solar and atmospheric radiation can be compounded is also false and easily refuted with simple experiments. The conclusion that water vapor warms by about 20 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere is easily shown with real-world data to be incorrect.
Hi Hilary, how are things? I just got an e-mail bounce back so thought I’d check if you are monitoring this.
Hi Dennis. Have been out of commission (and hospitalized – with no internet access, except that which I’m currently “borrowing”) since beginning of Jan. Long story, about which I could write several books!
I have borrowed access today only to find that I can’t access my emails to clear out junk and read what needs to be read – screw-up on TELUS’ part which I’m told could take up to 3 hours for them to fix. Not sure if at that point I’ll still have “borrowed” access. Very deep sigh.
Sorry to hear that, but glad you are back in circulation.
This is a great post. The pro-climate side, is becoming increasingly like with those opposed to Israel. They never recognize that their opponents have any legitimate point of view.
Hope you are recovering from your recent hospitalization.
Hilary, looks like you’re getting your wish about dear Justin and the Pratties – he’s zoomed into second place and is only 19 votes behind the leader Brian Cox!