The real doh! about Doha.
Well, here we are again. It’s November and that time of year for the annual international conference on figuring out ways of saving us all from global warming. Since the last one was called COP17, this one rather unsurprisingly is called COP18. Incidentally, COP stands for Conference of the Parties, which considering the great shindigs that are thrown at the things, is most appropriate. Anywhere between ten and thirty thousand people jet in to the lucky city, which gets to board, booze, feed and entertain the lot of them for a fortnight. They all natter earnestly through the day, party through the evening and best of all, most of it is on the taxpayer’s dime, so no expense is spared.
The slight downside for the locals is that in the aftermath of the conference, there’s usually not a drop of drink to be had in town, your trash has been tipped all over the street and your dog’s suddenly pregnant. Everyone has a hell of a time, except for the cleanup crews.
It has to be said though, the standard of partying has been dropping since the Copenhagen bash in 2009. It was there that the green movement lost its virginity, by which I’m not talking about an inebriated Eco Annie getting carried away and dropping her drawers for Gerhardt Greenie, but its political virginity. The tidal wave of populist hysteria smashed itself into bits against the unyielding seawall of the developing world’s determination to say no to pretty much all of their proposals, and the environmental movement has never since recovered from the sheer ungratefulness of them doing that.
In basic terms, the deal on the table at Copenhagen was that the developed nations would pay the rest of the world not to industrialise. How anyone in their right mind could possibly have thought a deal like that was affordable or would even be acceptable to the developing nations, passeth all understanding. That they were so surprised by its refusal, passeth even more.
The money was supposed to come from imposing emission taxation laws on most of the industrial world, but since that meant large-scale deindustrialisation with an attendant plunge in living standard for electorates, it was widely acknowledged in the saner circles of power, as being industrial and political suicide in any democracy. It was never going to happen, everyone knew it, and the developing nations, safely tucked behind the leadership of China, simply said no to the deal. They said no to everything, including the final token face-saving deal the western politicians so desperately needed to take home.
They wouldn’t even agree to signing the closing statement, though they did deign to acknowledge some months later that some sort of statement had been made. Cap and trade legislation in America died, the Chinese continued merrily on their way building two coal-fired electricity generation plants a week and the green movement shuffled home from the conference with its knickers around its ankles.
The next conference at Cancun in 2010, was a desultory attempt to sell precisely the same deal in even more deteriorating economic circumstances, and with exactly the same result. If anything showed the climate of denial the movement was in, that was it. Not a fresh approach in sight, just hammer away at the same old tired ideas. To pose the classic question, which part of “No” didn’t they understand?
Last year’s meeting at Durban, even though they’d finally dropped the emissions trading idea, was quite frankly an embarrassment. Nothing at all was yet again agreed, probably because there was nothing substantive left on the agenda courtesy of the Chinese, though there were some cringeworthy announcements at the end about strengthening resolves to possibly put in place frameworks about maybe beginning to think about how to start discussing ways an agreement might be approached at some unspecified future time. Daffy meets dead Ducksville.
The cherry on top was the complete absence of all the big party animals. Obama, Merkel and Cameron all conveniently had alternative gigs and Al was probably too busy fighting off the attentions of an over amorous hotel masseuse somewhere. The only ones who turned up were the politically desperate, chasing the young green swing voter, who were by that stage an endangered species, since being young and unemployed trumps any youthful anti-globalisation sentiments. Gissa job rather than down with the climate criminals, is what they’re chanting nowadays.
The propagandists at the NYT, WaPo and Guardian, really earned their crust by finding some sort of optimistic spin to put on that one. The curiously sad thing was the number of people wanting to believe it was something other than a complete disaster, but I suppose such clutching at straws is part of the denial trip.
And so we arrive at Doha. Notice how they always have these clam bakes in very nice places? Not for them the likes of Detroit, Dagenham, Kalgoorlie or Schweinfurt. No Siree baby, when you’re spending other people’s money, splash it out somewhere nice, not in places where real wealth is being produced by dint of something as unfashionable as sweat.
What is supposed to be the big aim at Doha, is agreeing some sort of continuation of the Kyoto agreement, which runs out this year. Things are not looking too good for that. At the meeting about having a meeting at Doha, or perhaps the meeting before that, the big industrial nations, like America and China, who incidentally never signed up to Kyoto anyway, indicated the best they might do was to possibly agree some very flexible emission targets.
Just in case you don’t know it, that’s international conference speak for no binding deal, or more realistically, the first stage of ye olde let-them-down-gently before saying a flat no to the whole thing. Even some of the original signatories to Kyoto won’t be renewing, a case in point being New Zealand, which it must be noted has also revoked Greenpeace’s charitable tax status. I’m getting to like those Kiwis, despite their accursed rugby team spearing BOD.
Again, it doesn’t look as if any of the big party animals will be attending, but perhaps Big Al might be attracted there by the charms of Annie, even though she’s looking more than a little shopworn of late. It’s very much a C list event these days, but all the talk on the corner is about not inviting randy Rajenda to this year’s thrash. Rumours abound about a tiff between him and the climate change secretariat, but nobody really knows. It has to be said though, that he and his IPCC posse have been caught getting up to some highly dubious things, and I don’t just mean writing the occasional soft porn novel. As I think on it, the porn is a lot more interesting than their reports. Again though, like the reports, I think it might be based more on fantasy rather than hard experience …
I have to say, disinviting Patchy, as he’s called informally, is a first and a slightly worrying development. Are they finally learning to drop discredited people who’ve become a perceived liability to the cause? If so, some of those people vying for the Climate Prat of the Year Award, should start worrying right now. A more prosaic explanation might be a long overdue attempt to separate the grownups, who think they know how the world should be run, from a discredited activist organisation, who at this stage only know what it’s like to be on the run. A bit like the constitutional separation of State and Church, but in a climatic sense.
Actually, I know a bit more than I’m letting on, but since the end of the year is in sight, and I’m one of the few people yet to be sued in it by Michael Mann, I’d like to keep it that way. I’m already broke and Christmas hasn’t even arrived yet. Ah, I remember with a certain fondness the good old days when I was only broke it January. While I can’t give you the URLs of those who might inform you further, I can give you some clues to locating a few of them.
Let’s see now. Look for a site run by a Californian who used to make a living as a moustache double for Magnum PI, a site run by a rather svelte blonde, inordinately partial to hunting down free-range Lewandowskies and the site of a man who’s been tilting at windmills this year, using nothing more than a telegraph pole. Any one of them can dish as much dirt as you can digest on the real climate criminals, with a more than acceptable crème brûlée to follow. None of them have a license, so bring along a bottle of your favourite Dago Red or a few tinnies of Kanga Brew. By the way, no prizes to any Wisenheimers for cracking the Da Pointi code, as I’m saving all my supermarket coupons for someone else.
There is one huge gigunda party animal, whose attendance some people were really hoping would sprinkle their usual brand of magic all over Doha, but unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll be making an appearance. That’s a great shame, since every time they do, scandalous but nevertheless deliciously salacious things happen and they absolutely become the talk of the whole party.
In the immediate aftermath of one of their visitations, the cover ups begin. Condemnatory editorials are suppressed and once respected journalists have to swallow their integrity and either stay silent or come out in embarrassed defense of the indefensible. Investigations are called for and commissions of enquiry are set up, every one of which is brutally mugged. Internet traffic spikes, pressure is put on Google to modify its search results, books are hurriedly written, grand speeches are not made, the police are called in, mobilisation of the grün Wehrmacht begins beneath Mount Trollenberg, the airforce is scrambled and whole countries move onto a DEFCON 4 footing, especially the Democratic Peoples Republic of East Anglia.
The doomsday clock ticks another minute closer to midnight, people stick their fingers in their ears, close their eyes, hold their breath, clench their sphincters and hoping for the best, wait crouching and suspended in agony for the searing inferno that’ll soon engulf the whole of the green world.
Relax, just kidding you.
I’m of course referring to that dreaded Banquo forever haunting the party, whose name nobody dares speak; the climategate whistleblower or FOIA, as they’re affectionately called by their host of appreciative fans. No CG3 to liven things up. A pity really. Never mind, perhaps next year.
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