It’s all I can think of calling it. The MSM aren’t touching it; you even have to search WUWT carefully to find much mention of it.
Perhaps it’s because of the sadly damp weather in Durban at the moment (in keeping with the record low temperatures experienced during the Cancún Global Warming summit, and the snowblocked Copenhagen Global Warming summit—truly, man proposes, God disposes; it even seems to be snowing a bit on this blog at the moment). Still, there is a chance of a bit of fun in the sun, in the early South African summer.
If this was a privately financed affair, then we really couldn’t care less how many warmists jet in from around the world in order to decry everybody else’s greenhouse gas emissions. But, of course, it isn’t. And when you’re spending other people’s money on yourself, there really is no limit to your generosity towards yourself and your friends. Why, just look at the cavalcade of functionaries and activists who simply had to be there—over fourteen thousand participants, according to the UNFCCC’s own list. Forty-six delegates from the Australian government alone, plus a conga line of government-funded or government-subsidized hangers-on from such disparate groups as the Australian Conservation Foundation, Climate Action Australia, Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, Australian National University, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, among others. One of Andrew Bolt’s readers has distilled a list of some of the more inexplicable attendees; inexplicable, that is, for any reason other than the chance at a free overseas trip at someone else’s expense. One does wonder if all this talk of climate “tipping points” might need to be taken seriously after all: this shindig might just be what pushes the planet over the edge.
Pity then, that the conference is doomed to achieve precisely nothing, before it even started. Brazil, China, South Africa, India, Russia and the United States—collectively responsible for the majority of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions—have all forewarned they will not be party to any binding agreements until at least 2015 (by which time, no doubt, they will have pushed that date back to 2020 or so, i.e., comfortably one or two election cycles into the future). You don’t have to be sceptical of AGW science in order to be sceptical of the pompous, self-serving diplomacy surrounding it.
And before you start getting all cynical, and asking whether the participants would have done the environment and the public purse a favour by conducting this jamboree by video-conference—shame on you for even thinking it!—remember that junkets like these are truly an imposition on these poor folks, and we should not only be grateful for their service, but understand if the evening conference sessions are somewhat more, erm, convivial, than your average business trip.
No doubt all the hard work achieved at such a horrendous cost, both to taxpayers and the environment, will all be worth it. In particular, I am in no doubt whatsoever that at the very least, they will preserve what former Australian parliamentarian Neil Brown nominated as the Golden Rule of international conferences: namely, to fix the date and location of the next get-together.