There is only one thing you need to know about the proxy energy war and climate change: You will never know anything because all the reports that exist on energy and climate change are bought and paid for by people with agendas.
Whatever side you fall on is not your own; whatever passion you have one way or the other is not the result of independent thinking; it has been dictated by politics, not climate.
This is what should have the public up in arms. But the masses generally like one to do their thinking for them.
So, with that in mind, let’s skip right to the Doha climate circus.
Developing countries are up in arms because the West isn’t keen to increase carbon emission reduction targets or foot the bill for any more climate change spending. So there they all sit in Doha, acting surprised, as the fossil fuel boys put the brakes on any climate progress.
It is unclear what Doha was expected to accomplish. The talks never stood a chance, facing off as they are against the $80 billion-boys who call themselves the Koch Brothers.
Before they all sat down in Doha, they knew that the Koch Brothers have a liberal stance when it comes to opening their wallets to kill climate legislation. The Koch Brothers make big oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. look cheap indeed when it comes to fossil fuel lobbying efforts. And as long as the Koch Brothers are swimming in money, the US will not move on climate legislation.
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There is no solution for this—and everyone could do with a transfusion of reality. Opining that “there is too much power in too few hands [and] we need to get the money out of politics”—in the words of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG)—are true but naïve.
Similar sentiments from a Doha delegation of US youth would have President Barack Obama ignore politics and act on climate change. Quaint, but again, out of touch with reality.
Only a major catastrophe will shift this balance of power—and not likely in anyone’s favor.
The only surprise here is that anyone is surprised.
Here’s what we’ve got so far: Industrialized countries have pledged $100 billion annually for a Green Climate Fund by 2020. In the meantime, developing nations want an additional $60 billion by 2015. They’re not likely to get it. If they do, it will only be at the expense of climate legislation—meaning, it would only be an appeasement buyout.
Everyone is tainted in the climate change debate, but let’s look at the Koch Brothers because they have the deepest pockets and wield the most influence.
Right now, 29 US states have renewable energy standards to reduce carbon pollution. All of these states are turning to the Koch Brothers to lobbying for these standards to be overturned.
The key institutes doing this dirty work are the Heartland Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—both privy to the Koch Brothers’ deep pockets.
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The Heartland Institute is “libertarian”—a wishy-washy political ideology that has in recent years become fossil fuels’ BFF and gives an occasional nod to socially liberal things like gay marriages for a splash of color. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a straight-up conservative outlet.
And let’s not forget the Sierra Club, on the other side of the divide. This is the climate change boys’ club, but its pockets aren’t quite as deep.
One will never know why Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist and die-hard climate change skeptic suddenly betrayed the Koch Brothers last year—after taking three year’s funding from them—and told the world that climate change is real and worse than anyone thought.
We are swimming in a sea of disinformation on all sides; and despite the fleeting optimism that Hurricane Sandy might lend some objectivity to the climate change debate Doha makes it clear that this will not happen.
What has never entered this debate is pragmatism, which in the end is simply a sort of cynical objectivity that some might think is rather inhuman. If one were to put the politics aside—which requires ignoring the dueling reports and their manipulative mathematics—one would likely conclude that fossil fuels are not our enemy, and that renewable energy is our friend. They must be developed in tandem. As always, it is about balance.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com