Thou Shalt Not Question UN Experts

By Kelvin Kemm

Dec 18, 2011

British Lord Christopher Monckton parachuting into Durban, South Africa, to challenge UN climate crisis claims, brought numerous journalists and onlookers to the beaches where he landed. A 20-foot banner across our press conference table gave the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow further opportunities to present realistic perspectives on the science and economics of climate change.

CFACT played by the rules, obtained the necessary permits beforehand, and ensured that its message was heard throughout the seventeenth annual climate conference (COP-17). Greenpeace, on the other hand, got no permits before staging an Occupy Durban protest in the hallway outside the plenary session – and got kicked out of the conference.
Shortly thereafter, however, Lord Monckton and another CFACT representative were summarily (though temporarily) ejected from Durban, for preposterous reasons that dramatize how thin-skinned and arrogant the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has become.
As a South African and delegate at the COP-17 conference, I witnessed more amazing and absurd exhibitions than one would find at a Believe It Or Not circus sideshow. Along with thousands of government delegates, scientists and journalists, we witnessed music and dance groups, Women for Climate Justice, the Alliance for Climate Protection, APEs (Artists Protect the Earth) and others pleading for “planetary salvation.”
It took a truly nimble mind, and abiding sense of humor, to appreciate their often competing messages. One large official poster proclaimed “More climate change means less water,” while the one next to it said “More climate change means more floods.” 
A socialist group sloganeered “One planet living is the new aspiration.” I could only conclude that they were neo-Malthusians worried about speculative climate chaos and resource depletion – and promoting a roll-back of energy use and living standards, so that people can share “more equitably” in sustained poverty and misery, enforced by UN edicts.
Yet another group insisted that the world should “Stop talking and start planting.” However, this group and countless others oppose profits and private enterprises. They apparently haven’t yet realized that large paper and timber companies plant the most trees and create the largest new-growth forests, which breathe in the most carbon dioxide and breathe out the most oxygen.
These and similar organizations also demanded that profit-making companies give more money to environmentalist NGOs – which might temporarily make the companies less reprehensible and more eco-friendly. Of course, if the activists succeed in further obstructing the companies, they will plant fewer trees, remove less CO2, create fewer jobs and have less money to give to NGOs.
This parallel universe aspect of the Durban extravaganza was troublesome enough. Another aspect of the conference was much more sinister and worrisome. Which brings us back to Lord Monckton, a renowned debater and expert in IPCC and climate science, economics and politics.
One day he and I were meandering through the halls, as advisors to CFACT and its official delegation to the conference. We were accompanied by CFACT project organiser Josh Nadal, who was using his video camera to film anything he liked, to make a video of “what we did at COP-17.”
As we rounded a corner, we saw someone we didn’t know being interviewed for the in-house television information system that transmitted programs throughout the official venue. We were astounded by how biased and inaccurate his comments were. When atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose, temperature also rose, he insisted – very simple. Of course, that is simply not true.
His interview over, he stepped off the dais and headed our way. I asked him whether he would agree that global temperatures had actually gone down during the early 1970s, even as CO2 levels continued to rise. He refused to acknowledge this universally accepted fact. I then mentioned the Medieval Warm Period of a thousand years ago. In response, he asserted that the MWP was merely a localized event of no consequence. Also simply not true.
At that point Monckton asked him to acknowledge that the science was nowhere nearly as clear cut as he had proclaimed. The official refused to do so, asserted “I have work to do,” and walked off.
Josh had been filming the entire exchange, but now an aide put a hand over the camera lens.  When I remarked that just walking off was bad manners, the aide said “You are not worth debating.” I replied, “All he had to do was answer two simple questions.” I was amazed when the aide responded, “He is the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation. He does not have to answer your questions.” The aide then walked off just as rudely as his boss had.
These unelected technocrats and bureaucrats want to decide the science and ordain the energy and economic policies that will determine our future livelihoods and living standards. And yet they are of the opinion that they can talk scientific nonsense and ignore anyone’s inconvenient questions. We had not known that he was Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the WMO. But that is irrelevant. We were polite, and he should have been, as well. But it gets worse.
Two hours later, Lord Monckton and Josh were informed that they had violated ad hoc rules and were banned from further participation in the conference: Josh for filming without permission, Monckton for “unprofessional” conduct. Somehow I was spared. The next day, following negotiations between CFACT and UN officials, the two were reinstated.
A couple of days later, a TV interviewer asked IPCC Vice Chair Jean-Pascal van Ypersele whether there was now enough information to decide the next steps COP-17 should take. van Ypersele answered, “The body of knowledge was there already in the first [IPCC] report twenty years ago and was actually good enough to start the action which inspired the convention on climate change.”
The interviewer then asked if the science was well enough understood. “Not only is there enough science” the Vice Chair replied, “but that science has been there, available and explained by the IPCC, already from the first report.”
In other words, in the view of the IPCC, climate change science was settled even before the term “climate change” was coined – and all “research” and “findings,” reports and conferences since then have been window dressing – inconsequential. Even new evidence about cosmic ray effects on cloud cover, and thus on the amount of the sun’s heat reaching the earth, is irrelevant in the view of the IPCC and other UN agencies, and thus may be intentionally ignored.
The imperious attitudes and intolerance of dissenting opinions displayed by these officials further underscores the wholly unscientific and politicized nature of the IPCC process. Even in the face of Climategate 2009 and 2010, The Delinquent Teenager, Marc Morano’s A-Z Climate Reality Check and other revelations, the UN and IPCC fully intend to impose their views and agendas.
At this point, in the view of the IPCC, the only thing left is for first world countries to pay up and shut up – and poor countries to develop in the way and to the extent allowed by the United Nations.
Kelvin Kemm:
Dr. Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist who runs his own business strategy consultancy, Stratek, based in Pretoria, South Africa. For many years he has also been involved in improving public understanding of technology issues. He regularly writes articles, gives public presentations and appears on radio and television, presenting science topics to lay audiences in an inspirational manner. He is active in energy policy matters and believes Africa must chart its own future, independent of developed country perceptions and pressures. Dr. Kemm has been awarded a Lifetime Achievers Award by the South African National Science and Technology Forum.


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