The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, lambasted her colleagues on the UN Security Council on Wednesday for failing to agree that climate change is a threat to international security and peace.
Due to objections from Russia, China, and India, the UNSC was unable to adopt even a non-binding Presidential Statement to this effect, settling instead for a much watered-down version. Rice was beside herself (emphasis added):
In this Council we have discussed many emerging security issues and addressed them, from the links between development and security to HIV-AIDS. Yet this week, we have been unable to reach consensus on even a simple Presidential Statement that climate change has the potential to impact peace and security in the face of the manifest evidence that it does.
We have dozens of countries in this body and in this very room whose very existence is threatened. They’ve asked this Council to demonstrate our understanding that their security is profoundly threatened. Instead, because of the refusal of a few to accept our responsibility, this Council is saying, by its silence, in effect, “Tough luck.” This is more than disappointing. It’s pathetic. It’s shortsighted, and frankly it’s a dereliction of duty.
They do seem to miss a lot of memos in the Obama administration.
With her hyperbolic reference, for example, to “dozens” of countries whose “very existence” is threatened, Rice was presumably alluding to the island nations of the tropics in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, where there has been a fear about rising sea levels and eroding coastline.
But the island nations’ sea levels have been leveling off or declining over the past half decade. Levels are falling elsewhere too. Indeed, the global average rise in sea levels has leveled off in this period (see here as well), and some analysts even postulate that it has reversed (i.e., absolute levels declining) overall. Assuming the rate has only leveled off, however, a major study published earlier this year indicated that the past century has seen no acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise. That finding is the opposite of what the anthropogenic global warming/climate change (AGW/CC) theory predicts.
OK, but if sea levels aren’t rising at an accelerated rate (and in some places are actually declining), at least temperatures are rising, right? Well, only in the sense that it’s hotter at noon than it is at 6:00 AM on the typical day. Average temperatures have declined in the last few years as well, to the extent that they have made the previous 15 years a wash in terms of the trend line. The warm year 1998 has been balanced out by the other years in the period; essentially, there has been no warming trend throughout this time. Yet CO2 levels in the atmosphere have continued to increase, due to the industrialization and increasing wealth of Asia.
We have known since 2007 that 1998 wasn’t even the hottest year on record. 1934 was. Everyone seems to know that except the Obama administration – along with phrases like “hide the decline” and “anecdote about Himalayan glaciers” and a list of other shorthand references to inconvenient revelations about AGW/CC beliefs and believers. The data – presented for full examination and unmanipulated – persist in contradicting the predictions of AGW/CC theory. Yet Obama’s functionaries remain in thrall to the theory, throwing fits at the UN like Third World demagogues while Russia, China, and India hold the line for common sense and judicious skepticism.
This is what we get when we elect a president steeped in the religion of 1960s-era radicalism (Joe the Plumber should have been the canary in the coal mine for millions of low-information voters). Most of the world – including the vast majority of Americans who never agreed with or admired the radicals – has moved on. The West’s collectivist ideologues may have gotten dug in in the EU, and may finally have a 4-year lease on the US federal executive, but the truth about their belief system is that it has been overtaken by events. It’s past its expiration date. Outdated, irrelevant, a th’owback. When Susan Rice invokes it to harangue the UNSC, she doesn’t look noble, or even quixotic. She just looks absurd.