Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 21, 2011

Russia, China, India: Doing the jobs Americans won’t do

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.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.


Responses

  1. Although the UNSC is not normally known for broadly representing what is politically feasible, this time it is. Stipulating that global climate change is as threatening a problem as Ambassador Rice says it is — or for that matter, 10 times worse — it is impossible for the UN to organize a program that is transparent, free of major corruption, enforceable, or effective. The science is actually irrelevant. Costs and benefits of climate change or its mitigation are distributed highly unevenly.

    In the movies, the world allows one man (usually a photogenic liberal US president) to “do what must be done” to save the world from whatever planetary horror awaits on the next reel. But only in the movies.

  2. Here we go again. The OC finds an obscure source she believes validates her prejudices and then cites that source as an authority.

    Nils-Axel Morner is a sad case. A significant scientist in his working life, he has been utterly discredited and exposed as a fraud on the question of rising sea-levels (He is now in his dotage). Morner has refused to provide his claimed original measurement data for scrutiny by peers. He has been invited to demonstrate how he arrived at his conclusions, and has refused. He has refused to submit his papers on the subject to peer review. Singh and others have actually done these measurements and subjected their methodology and studies to peer review. He and others have measured the annual rise in sea-levels at approx 3mm year on year (a small amount – but significant over the medium term). Satelite data agrees with Singh and Woods Hole and all the other learned institutions here and abroad that are monitoring sea-levels. This information, showing everyone is out of step except Morner, is available online for those who wish to check.

    Incidentally, tectonic activity means that land masses where plates meet are variously rising or falling because of processes which have nothing to do with the environmental/physical processes which are causing all reliable and scrutinized measurement to show that global sea-levels are rising.

    On a practical note, harbour authorities and those responsible for coastal defences in geologically stable areas universally acccept (from observance) that average sea-levels are rising, and that high-tide datum shows that tides are higher than they were. The hard-headed engineers who design and construct coastal and harbour works are factoring in these observed and measured facts. They are not the sort of people to succumb to hysteria. Their lodestone is hard fact rather than the ideological agenda which motivates the OC and her fringe-rightwing climate-change deniers. Thankfully, those in charge of US coastle defences are practical, evidence-grounded people rather than fatuous gas-bags on an ideological mission.

    Incidentally, measured average global sea-temperatures are increasing. The fact that liquid water expands and aquires a greater volume when heated is one of the reasons for rising sea levels. That’s physics.

  3. Maybe it is Sweden, Norway and Finland who are threatened by barbarian hordes seeking more temperate climes. The Siberian Gulag is the hottest real estate in the world right now. Oh, wait — Al Gore bought an expensive home on the coast. Maybe he knows something different than what he is preaching.

    If Ms. Rice is beside herself, she’s next to an idiot.

  4. Paulite:

    It’s sad to see you getting bitter and clinging to your environmental religion. So anti-evolutionary! Don’t you realize that, even if the anthropromorphic climate change (formerly global cooling, a la 1970’s; then global warming; more recently, the agnostic global climate “change” — the more things change, etc.) doxology you sing were true, it’s just an expression of natural selection. The rising of the seas, the sinking of the islands — whatever. It will all eventually increase our ability to compete, survive, and reproduce — and that’s what really counts. They say.

  5. The “hard-headed engineers” that design the coastal defenses must have names so they can cash their paychecks and put titles on the studies, books and plans they author. I wonder who they are.

  6. P-lite, estimates I’ve seen are that the noted increase in temps of the oceans has been approx 1/5 of one degree F and only to the depth of 1/2 mile.
    Given that warmer ocean water will result in gas being given off and acting to decrease the level, you might need to figure in other factors for sea level increase. Ice-melt or people whizzing off the side and dumping, maybe.


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