Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

UN Climate Conference over – Fortunately nothing was achieved!

November 24, 2013

The UN Climate Conference in Warsaw is over.  We are told that agreement was reached on a compromise. The countries agreed not to make commitments but instead that they would all make “contributions”. To make sure that agreement was reached these contributions are not legally binding. Moreover each nation is only required to specify its “contribution” by the first quarter of 2015 –  if it feels able to. The method of measurement or monitoring the contribution is left to each nation!

The agreement is that each nation may do as it pleases.

Developing countries “believe” in global warming only because they think they can get money from the developed world if they seem to do so. There has been no global warming for 17 years. The supposed link between carbon dioxide and global temperature is well and truly broken. Nobody with any sense believes any longer that any measures taken by any or all countries to cut carbon dioxide emissions can have any impact on our climate. But the UN and political correctness continues with this fiction. Developed countries are no longer prepared to allow the political correctness of global warming and carbon dioxide emissions to lose even more jobs than have already been lost. The vested interests in this fiction and the carbon industry that has sprung up in the last 2 decades are well entrenched – from academia to “green” politicians to lobbyists to “green activists” and to the various industries tied to trying to get rid of fossil fuels. Yet, coal consumption globally has increased by over 80% in the last 10 years and global temperatures have actually declined.

But still some 10,000 bureaucrats and politicians and another 5,000 workers in academia and about twice as many lobbyists and environmentalists travel from one UN conference to the next and achieve nothing but merely plan for the next conference. It seems success is measured by making no commitments whatsoever except to have another conference.

THE UN COP19 conference in Warsaw has ended. Fortunately nothing was achieved. The conferences are now on life-support and being kept alive for nothing other than to keep the conference supporters in jobs. It is time to pull the plug and let these conferences die.

USA Today: 

Avoiding a last-minute breakdown, annual United Nations climate talks limped forward Saturday with a modest set of decisions meant to pave the way for a new pact to fight global warming.

More than 190 countries agreed in Warsaw to start preparing “contributions” for the new deal, which is supposed to be adopted in 2015. That term was adopted after China and India objected to the word “commitments” in a standoff with the U.S. and other developed countries.

The fast-growing economies say they are still developing countries and shouldn’t have to take on as strict commitments to cut carbon emissions as industrialized nations.

The conference also advanced a program to reduce deforestation and established a “loss and damage” mechanism to help island states and other vulnerable countries under threat from rising seas, extreme weather and other climate impacts.

The wording was vague enough to make developed countries feel comfortable that they weren’t going to be held liable for climate catastrophes in the developing world.

U.S. and other rich countries also resisted demands to put down firm commitments on how they plan to fulfill a pledge to scale up climate financing to developing countries to $100 billion by 2020.

It looks like everybody succeeded very well in making no commitments of any substance and they have all agreed to have another conference.

Execution rather than euthanasia is called for.

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Afghan opium harvest reaches record high and Western troops prepare to withdraw – after a job well done?

November 13, 2013

This Afghan war started on 7th October 2001. Ostensibly the US, NATO and Western allies invaded to dismantle the Al Qaida infrastructure, remove the Taliban from power and to eradicate their support base by winning hearts and minds.

Twelve years on, about 10,000 Afghan security forces and about 5,000 allied forces (including contractors) have been killed. The numbers of Taliban and other Islamic fighters killed is believed to be many more than the 15,000 allied losses – perhaps as many as 30,000. Around 18,000 civilians have also lost their lives. The Taliban are still around and apparently gaining strength. I am not sure whether the intention was to destroy the drug trade or whether it was secretly to secure drug supplies. In any event the opium harvest has never been as high before.

History will have to tell us if this was a job well done or something else.

Reuters: Afghan opium crop hits record high ahead of Western withdrawal

Afghan opium cultivation has hit a record high as international forces prepare to leave the country, the United Nations said on Wednesday, with concern that profits will go to warlords jockeying for power ahead of a presidential election next year. The expansion of poppy to 209,000 hectares (516,000 acres), will embarrass Afghanistan’s aid donors after more than 10 years of efforts to wean farmers off the crop, fight corruption and cut links between drugs and the Taliban insurgency. …..

The area under poppy is 36 percent higher than in 2012, and eclipses the previous record set in 2007, when 193,000 hectares (477,000 acres) were cultivated, the U.N. anti-drugs agency said in a report. Total output is estimated at 5,500 tonnes of opium, up 49 percent from 3,700 tonnes in 2012. Farm-gate profits are expected to approach $1 billion, or 4 percent of gross domestic product. Some of those profits will be funneled off by the Taliban to fuel their insurgency. …… 

A kg of opium costs some $200 at the farm-gate. This produces about 100 g of pure heroin. The street price of heroin is about $170 per gram (2012 prices) for typically 40% pure heroin (75% is considered high). The $200 dollars for the 1 kg of opium is thus marked-up to about $40,000 as street-heroin. If the profits at the farm-gates are $1 billion, it can be expected that the profits on the streets from the processed drugs must be of the order of 50 – 100 times greater.

A steady profit stream of $50 – 100 billion per year clearly will – and does –  cause many to salivate.

The Spoils of War:

Each kg. of opium produces 100 grams of pure heroin. The US retail prices for heroin (with a low level of purity) is, according to UNODC of the order of $172 a gram. The price per gram of pure heroin is substantially higher.

The profits are largely reaped at the level of the international wholesale and retail markets of heroin as well as in the process of money laundering in Western banking institutions. 

The revenues derived from the global trade in heroin constitute a multibillion dollar bonanza for financial institutions and organized crime.

By 2100, 8 million could be over 100 years old

November 13, 2013

The 2012 review of the UN’s World Population Prospects was released in August this year.

World Population Prospects 2012 (pdf – 3.53Mb)

Charts are still – presumably – being prepared since the interactive charts from the 2010 review are no longer available on the UN site and have not yet been replaced by new charts.

The basic picture is still of fertility rates decreasing steadily with the medium scenario giving a world population stabilising at about 10.8 billion around 2100. Chinese population is just about at its peak and will now be reducing till 2100. Indian population will reach its peak around 2060 and then start declining. African population will reach its peak only around 2100.

WPP12 Fertlity

WPP12 Fertlity

There is a massive amount of data and projections, and the interesting thing about demographic forecasts done on this scale is that the “inertia” is high. Consequently much of the “forecast” is inevitable and the key parameter is the fertility rate. In 1953, 99.9% of the world population exhibited a fertility rate greater than 2.1 children per woman (the static population replenishment rate). Now in 2013, 49% of the world’s population have a fertility rate lower than 2.1. Half the world’s population is already shrinking. By 2100 this will be 81% and the world population as a whole will be shrinking.

A significant proportion of those under ten years old today will still be around in 2100. Today about 20% of the world population is under 10 years old ( approximately 1,400 million). In 2100 around 8% of 10.8 billion will be over 80 years old. Assuming that say 3% are older than 87 years, it would mean that 320 million (or 23% of those under 10 or about 5% of everybody) living today will still be around in 2100. Today about 14% of the world’s population is over 60 and about 2% are over 80. By 2100, 35% will be over 60 and about 8% over 80 years old. The 950 million over 60 today will become 3,800 million by 2100.

More than 800 million people will be over 80 and I would estimate that around 1% of these  – or 8 million – could be over 100 years old!

Bloomberg (2012)Unicharm Corp.’s sales of adult diapers in Japan exceeded those for babies for the first time last year.

Just the demographics is changing the make up of the world and its genetic mix.

WPP12 population mix

WPP12 population mix

The human genetic pool in 2100 will be geographically placed 40% in Africa, 40% in Asia with the remaining 20% spread between The Americas, Oceania and Europe. And while there will be some migration and genetic mixing, this basic distribution will be maintained. Moreover, fertility rates will be stable and close to (even if just under) 2.1 in all regions. Median age is also on the way up world-wide.

WPP12 median age

WPP12 median age

Life expectancy is rising across the world:

The twentieth century witnessed the most rapid decline in mortality in human history. In 1950-1955, life expectancy at the world level was 47 years and it had reached 69 years by 2005-2010. Over the next 40 years, life expectancy at birth at the global level is expected to reach 76 years in 2045-2050 and 82 years in 2095-2100 (table III.1 and figure III.1). The more developed regions already had a high expectation of life in 1950-1955 (64.7 years) and have since experienced further gains in longevity. By 2005-2010 their life expectancy stood at 76.9 years, 10 years higher than in the less developed regions where the expectation of life at birth was 67.0 years. Although the gap between the two groups is expected to narrow between 2005 and mid-century, in 2045-2050 the more developed regions are still expected to have considerably higher life expectancy at birth than the less developed regions (82.8 years versus 74.8 years). Throughout 2010-2100, systematic progress against mortality is further expected to increase life expectancy at birth up to 88.9 years in the more developed regions and 80.8 years in the less developed regions thereby further reducing the gap in mortality between the two groups.

What occurs to me also is that famine, disease, war and the effects of natural catastrophes are becoming less and less relevant demographically. But I shall return to that subject in another post.

No compensation for woman raped by UN soldiers in Mali

September 25, 2013

UN troops have raped a woman in Mali. What sticks out is the UN spokesman specifically rejecting financial compensation while offering legal support to the victim. As if any legal action by a woman from Mali is likely to succeed against the UN rapists protected by UN immunity and anonymity. The rapists can only face disciplinary action from their own country – and I am quite sure there will be none.

Sexual misconduct by UN troops (Congo, Cambodia, Ivory Coast and Haiti for example) is nothing new. Of course the UN can only mirror its member countries but UN staff – whether bureaucrats or soldiers – are pampered, grossly overpaid and are just not accountable for their negligence or their incompetence or for deliberate misconduct. No UN staff ever received any strictures for bringing cholera to Haiti. At least the Dutch courts accepted their Government’s liability for the killings of those expelled from the UN compound by Dutch troops at the Srebrenica massacre. It was a little late for the victims though.

BBC: 

The United Nations says at least four of its peacekeepers were involved in the rape of a woman in Mali. The soldiers have been identified as being among 1,500 Chadian troops serving under the UN force, Minusma.

The UN says it wants Chad to investigate the incident and take disciplinary action against the men.

Minusma took over security duties in July after the withdrawal of French forces, which led an operation to oust Islamist militants from the north.

The assault is believed to have happened on Thursday in the northern city of Gao.

The woman is thought to have come forward seeking medical help from the UN immediately after the attack. This triggered the UN force to launch an investigation. ……

The BBC’s Alex Duval Smith in Bamako says it is not known exactly how many Chadians were involved, but the victim identified four soldiers as having assaulted her.

At the time, 165 Chadian soldiers were stationed in Gao, our correspondent adds. They had defied the orders of their superiors and left their base in Tessalit after a dispute over pay and conditions.

A Minusma spokesman in Bamako said it was for the Chadian army to decide on what disciplinary action they should take against the men.

He said the victim would be offered medical, psychological and legal support but not financial compensation.

Global warming has “gone missing” and the IPCC is aked to explain

August 30, 2013

Heat does not hide. It always flows towards lower temperatures.

Global warmists are now scrambling to explain why global temperatures have not been rising for the best part of two decades even though carbon dioxide concentrations keep increasing. That man-made carbon dioxide emissions may not be as important as they have fantasised is heretical and not an acceptable explanation. Instead they claim that the warming has been going on all along but the “heat is hiding” probably in the deep oceans!  How on earth it got there remains a mystery. Has it never “hidden” there before? Why just the deep oceans? Why not in the Earth’s mantle?

In any event, the hiatus in global warming can no longer be denied. So much so that the IPCC is now being asked to explain. Even Bloomberg – a well established proponent of the orthodox global warming doctrine which has been among the hiatus deniers – can no longer maintain that position. The IPCC will make a convenient scapegoat. Bloomberg  now writes (though with many caveats):

U.S. and European Union envoys are seeking more clarity from the United Nations on a slowdown in global warming that climate skeptics have cited as a reason not to “panic” about environmental changes, leaked documents show.

They’re requesting that more details on the so-called “hiatus” be included in a key document set to be debated at a UN conference next month that will summarize the latest scientific conclusions on climate change. … ..

A draft of the summary and the underlying 2,200-page report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were obtained by Bloomberg from a person with official access to the documents who declined to be further identified because it hasn’t been published.

Government envoys from around the world will debate the final wording of the summary at an IPCC meeting that starts in Stockholm on Sept. 23. That document, formally the Summary for Policymakers, is designed to be used by ministers working to devise by 2015 a global treaty to curb climate change. ….

… The current version of the summary needs more information about the hiatus, according to the EU and the U.S.

“The recent slowing of the temperature trend is currently a key issue, yet it has not been adequately addressed in the SPM,” the EU said, according to an official paper that includes all governmental comments on the draft report. The U.S. comment suggested “adding information on recent hiatus in global mean air temperature trend.”

Addressing the hiatus is important because skeptics of man’s influence on warming the planet have seized on the slowing pace temperature increase as evidence that scientists have exaggerated the impact of manmade greenhouse gases. That supports their assertion that there’s less need for expensive policies to curb carbon emissions from factories, vehicles and deforestation. …

The summary document notes that the rate of warming over the past 15 years “is smaller than the trend since 1951,” citing a rate of about 0.05 degrees Celsius per decade in the years 1998 through 2012. The rate was about 0.12 degrees per decade from 1951 through 2012. …

….. The slowdown came as emissions grew, with the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere this year exceeding 400 parts per million for the first time on record.

The draft report includes possible reasons for the slowing rate, including natural variability, volcanic eruptions and a drop in solar energy reaching the Earth.

“Much of the information is present but it requires a lot of effort on the part of the reader to piece it all together,” the 28-nation EU said in the comments document.

The U.S. requested clarity on the implications of the data, commenting “this is an example of providing a bunch of numbers, then leave them up in the air without a concrete conclusion.”

Norway, Denmark and China requested information on the role oceans have played in the slowdown.

“It should be warm but it’s cold so it must be global warming” – UN delegate

June 13, 2013

The perspicacity of our delegates to the UN  and their level of argumentation leaves more than a little to be desired.

This interview with the delegate of the Cook Islands to the UN Bonn climate conference (scuppered thankfully by the Russians)  comes courtesy of CFACT. 

Callous UN claims immunity to escape compensation for introducing cholera to Haiti

February 22, 2013

The UN has claimed immunity to avoid any compensation for introducing cholera to Haiti.

Sometime in October / November 2010, cholera was introduced into Haiti by Nepali UN troops. These troops were not sufficiently screened by the UN before being deployed and many were carriers of a Nepali strain of cholera. Even though they were being introduced into a region recovering from an earthquake the troops received no information or training regarding good practices regarding sewage handling or preventing the spread of infection.  The outbreak of cholera that was caused by broken sewage pipes from their camp developed into a virulent and catastrophic epidemic  in the infrastructural chaos that prevailed in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake.  There is little doubt that this was the cause of the outbreak though this has never been acknowledged by the UN. The subsequent efforts made by the UN and the WHO  to fight the epidemic were not also free of criticism. Cheap but untested vaccines were deployed to contain costs. Till UN cholera arrived, Haiti had been free of cholera for over 100 years. Some 600,000 were infected in currently the largest outbreak in the world and almost 8,000 people have died. This virulent South Asian strain of cholera is now established in the Americas.

UN Cholera: image Reuters - Allison Shelley

UN Cholera: image Reuters – Allison Shelley

And now the UN has claimed immunity to avoid having to pay any compensation. The immunity is claimed under its own “UN’s Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN”. Of course the moral compass of the UN is only as good as that of its worst member but considering the overwhelming poverty in Haiti, invoking this convention seems a particularly callous and cowardly path to follow. It would seem that the UN (read the “world community”) does not put a very high value on a Haitian life. Cheap troops, cheap vaccines, cheap practices and no compensation! Perhaps the “world community” represented by the UN believes that Haiti has already received more than its fair share of economic support?

BBC: 

The United Nations has formally rejected compensation claims by victims of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that has killed almost 8,000 people. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Haitian President Michel Martelly to inform him of the decision.

The UN says it is immune from such claims under the UN’s Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN. Evidence suggests cholera was introduced to Haiti through a UN base’s leaking sewage pipes. The UN has never acknowledged responsibility for the outbreak – which has infected more than 600,000 people – saying it is impossible to pinpoint the exact source of the disease, despite the mounting evidence the epidemic was caused by poor sanitation at a camp housing infected Nepalese peacekeepers. 

In a terse statement, Mr Ban’s spokesman said damages claims for millions of dollars filed by lawyers for cholera victims was “not receivable” under the 1947 convention that grants the UN immunity for its actions. …… 

……. The lawyer, Brian Concannon, said the victims’ legal team would challenge the UN’s right to immunity from Haitian courts, on the grounds that it had not established an alternative mechanism for dealing with accountability issues, as stipulated in its agreement with the government.

He also said lifting immunity would not challenge UN policy, which is protected by the convention, but its practice, such as how to test troops for disease and properly dispose of sewage.

COP18 in Doha: A convention of the cowardly in the “theatre of the absurd”

December 3, 2012

COP18 in Doha enters its second week and politicians are now arriving in droves. A small fortune has already been spent during the first week. But this is a gathering of an alarmist movement built on unprovable fears. Inevitably the greedy “groupies” gather (some 17,000 of them). A convention of the cowardly in the “theatre of the absurd”.

As The Economist puts it

NEVER let it be said that climate-change negotiators lack a sense of the absurd. Thousands of politicians, tree-huggers and journalists descended on Doha this week, adding their mite of hot air to the country that already has the world’s highest level of carbon emissions per head. The feeling of unreality is apt.  ……. The jamboree in Doha is the 18th UN climate-change summit, but the third since a landmark one at Copenhagen in 2009.

We shall see – and are seeing — new alarmist articles and press releases every day till the end of this week. But the fundamental problem is not so much the politics of alarmism connected with this one non-issue of climate change, but the fact that the once laudable environmental movement now resorts to the politics of fear. Courage is singularly lacking.

Courage is the subordination of fear to purpose. Today however with the politics of alarmism, fears dominate purpose. Inevitably these are fears which can never be disproved because they are forecasts of what lies a long way in the future. And the politics of fear generates its own greedy “groupies”

Once upon a time, the environmentalists were a courageous lot and were surely instrumental in the cleaning up of many areas from the effects of real pollution … But the simple virtues of keeping things clean and preventing disease and improving the standard of living for humans has given way to the more pompous and pretentious goals of preventing global warming (an unbridled arrogance), of maintaining bio-diversity (and why is this important?) and of preserving “scarce resources due to the “limits to growth”…  

… Inevitably the politics of alarmism are accompanied by the opportunists whose greed leads to all the scams surrounding environmental subsidies for renewable power or for carbon trading.

Pachauri miffed as IPCC is not invited to COP18

November 17, 2012

UPDATE: This email from IPCC at Revkin’s site seems to confirm that they are not officially invited but will be present anyway (at whose cost?) to provide a  “background briefing for media”! Just in case the media cannot get their stories right “when they come to write about AR5“!! 

Pachauri and the IPCC have apparently not been invited to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8) which is to be held in Doha from November 26th to December 7th. Pachauri has been talking to the press in Doha and seems very aggrieved. His press interview seems like he is almost begging for an invitation. He’s already in Doha so maybe he could just gatecrash the event!!

It could just be a secretarial oversight or it could be an intentional snub by the UN for a discredited organisation or it could be the UN expressing its displeasure for the manner in which the IPCC preens itself and usurps the UN’s own perceived role. Or it could be that some of the key countries attending  plan to question or reject the IPCC’s findings and just don’t want them around.

My guess is that some way will be found for Pachauri to save some face.

The Gulf Times (Bonnie James) reports:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will not be attending the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8) in Doha, chairman Dr Rajendra K Pachauri has said.
“For the first time in the 18 years of COP, the IPCC will not be attending, because we have not been invited,” he told Gulf Times in Doha. ……
……. Dr Pachauri first hinted about his ‘anticipated absence’ at COP18, while speaking at the opening session of the International Conference on Food Security in Dry Lands (FSDL) on Wednesday at Qatar University.
Later, he told Gulf Times he did not know why the IPCC has not been invited to COP18, something that has happened never before.
“I don’t know what it is. The executive secretary of the climate change secretariat has to decide. I have attended every COP and the chairman of the IPCC addresses the COP in the opening session,” he explained.

Carbon trading greed drives land grab and eviction of 20,000 in Uganda

October 4, 2011

I take man-made carbon dioxide (3 – 4% of an atmospheric concentration of 0.04%) as being quite insignificant and essentially irrelevant for climate change.

But global warming ideology has led to the opportunistic development of the carbon trading  obscenity which funnels vast amounts of tax money into the sticky hands of a few developers and their parasitic politicians and bureaucrats. The UN (Kyoto protocol) and the EU (carbon trading) programs are particularly to blame. The frauds and scams connected with carbon trading do nothing for our climate but they encourage the greed which leads to the most obscene and despicable behaviour. I posted recently about the excesses in Honduras which led to the murder of 23 farmers. But I had missed this story which came out in the New York Times two weeks ago. 20,000 Ugandans have been evicted, houses burned and people killed to allow a UK company to plant forests and earn millions in selling the resulting carbon credits:

In Scramble for Land, Group Says, Company Pushed Ugandans Out 

KICUCULA, Uganda — According to the company’s proposal to join a United Nations clean-air program, the settlers living in this area left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner. People here remember it quite differently. “I heard people being beaten, so I ran outside,” said Emmanuel Cyicyima, 33. “The houses were being burnt down.” Other villagers described gun-toting soldiers and an 8-year-old child burning to death when his home was set ablaze by security officers. “They said if we hesitated they would shoot us,” said William Bakeshisha, adding that he hid in his coffee plantation, watching his house burn down. “Smoke and fire.”

According to a report released by the aid group Oxfam on Wednesday, more than 20,000 people say they were evicted from their homes here in recent years to make way for a tree plantation run by a British forestry company, emblematic of a global scramble for arable land.

“Too many investments have resulted in dispossession, deception, violation of human rights and destruction of livelihoods,” Oxfam said in the report. “This interest in land is not something that will pass.” As population and urbanization soar, it added, “whatever land there is will surely be prized.”

Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.

But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.

The case twists around an emerging multibillion-dollar market trading carbon-credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains mechanisms for outsourcing environmental protection to developing nations. The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.

Read article 

That the New Forest Company is opportunistic and greedy is inevitable and understandable when the benefits of the carbon trading programs were flouted under their noses. That they were unaware of the methods used is not credible. The results of the carbon trading scams are becoming sick and despicable and the EU politicians and bureaucrats who administer such schemes cannot continue to hide behind their misplaced intentions to “save the globe” and their “rules”.


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