“Be Afraid”:15,000 gather for Cancun jamboree, down from Copenhagen’s 45,000

The cub scout salute

"Be Afraid" :Image by anyjazz65 via Flickr

After the cold shower at Copenhagen, the UN Climate groupies are gathering in 5 days at Cancun in Mexico for their next jamboree. Unlike Baden-Powell’s scouts whose motto was to “Be Prepared” the motto in Cancun is “Be Afraid” and their symbol is the Hockey Stick. But the number of attendees at 15,000 is expected to be just a third of the 45,000 at Copenhagen.

In the run-up to Cancun, the public relations exercises have started. The scare stories are proliferating. The objective is to strike fear into the hearts of the non-believers. They are couched in scientific terms but they all have one simple message:

“Be Afraid”

It is perhaps worth noting that in the history of mankind not one of the soothsayers’ prophecies of doom have yet come to pass. In the scientific age and since Malthus, prophecies of impending catastrophe have always been coated with the semblance of rationality and scientific rigour. Whether prognosticating catastrophe due to population growth or due to depletion of resources ( food, oil, coal, metals, animals, plants,……..), they have all been wrong. But in almost every case a few people have gained economic advantage by spreading fear. That climate change happens and will continue to happen is both inevitable and obvious. The idea that man can have more than a very minor part to play in climate – whether intentionally or unintentionally – is a more recent phenomenon of the last 100 years. Before that catastrophes were caused by angry or avenging Gods. Change was then effected by assuaging the angry Gods or by mobilising some other more beneficial God. Of course there were certain individuals – priests, shamans, witch-doctors and their favoured Kings, chieftains and merchants – who always claimed special understanding of the problems and exclusive access to the required God and took benefit from that. These days the angry Gods have been replaced by Divine Computer Models and the scientists and politicians who see a benefit in the forecasts (sometimes pre-determined) of the models.

But Cancun is not really about science. It is about money – for those expecting to make a windfall from carbon trading or for nations looking for funding or for “idealists” looking to redistribute wealth or politicians looking to win their next election.

As I write this I have a foot of snow outside my window which came last night. This is going to be a long and cold winter just as we had last year. But it is just weather not climate. I have no doubt the weather in Cancun will be much warmer and much more salubrious next week. But it is just weather not climate.

“Be Afraid”

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One Response to ““Be Afraid”:15,000 gather for Cancun jamboree, down from Copenhagen’s 45,000”

  1. Cancún – Follow the money « The k2p blog Says:

    […] Europe and China with heavy November snow and temperatures down to minus 37 Celcius in N. Sweden, 15,000 of the faithful travel to the balmy, holiday resort of Cancún (min 21 deg C, max 29 deg C) for the UN / IPCC conference on climate change and to try and blow […]

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