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  • New Climate Chief Won’t Change UN’s Problems with Addressing Climate Change

    Yvo de Boer, climate chief of the United Nations for four years, unexpectedly announced his resignation today. Although he officially won’t leave his post until July 1st, it marks another turn for the worse for those hoping to see action on climate policy. De Boer, who led the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali (2007) and more recently in Copenhagen (2009) said, “Copenhagen did not provide us with a clear agreement in legal terms, but the political commitment and sense of direction toward a low-emissions world are overwhelming. This calls for new partnerships with the business sector and I now have the chance to help make this happen.”

    Heritage Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman explains just how epic of a failure the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference really was: “To fully appreciate what a step backwards the final Copenhagen accord is, one has to recall the buildup to it. For the last two years, global warming activists and UN officials had circled December 2009 on their calendars as the watershed moment for creating a new carbon-constrained global economy for decades to come. And in the nick of time, they would argue, as the existing targets in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol are scheduled to expire in 2012. Furthermore, with the Bush administration gone in 2009, many in the international community felt that the path was clear for the Obama administration to finally include America in binding, verifiable, and enforceable restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.”

    It also goes to show just how ill-suited the United Nations is at handling a climate treaty. The vastly competing interests of UN member states make it extremely difficult to reach an agreement. For instance, the Copenhagen conference sought to get developed countries to accept massive economic costs to meet carbon dioxide cuts and provide billions of dollars in wealth transfers to help nations cope with the projected consequences of a changing climate, while simultaneously exempting developing countries (even the large developing country emitters like India and China).. The kicker is that this deal – as bad as it would be for developed countries like the U.S. – would not significantly arrest greenhouse gas emissions.

    More egregiously, the U.N. itself had become too invested in the agreement. As noted by Heritage fellow and UN expert Brett Schaefer:

    “The U.N. is supposed to be a neutral facilitator, not a decision-making body. The decisions over what commitments nations make should be left to their respective governments — they have to justify them to the citizens who will be affected. In this debate, the U.N. has moved inappropriately beyond serving as bureaucratic “butlers of the process” to full-blown advocates pushing for ever more stringent commitments in the face of countervailing evidence and lack of political support for its suggested actions.”

    With UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon selecting the de Boer’s successor, it’s unlikely we’ll see an effort to minimize the U.N.’s role in negotiating climate change treaties. But reversing that trend was unlikely anyway. The best option is to sideline the UN and shift negotiations on efforts to address climate change to a more effective forum of those states that would be expected to shoulder the burden of any proposed efforts and, therefore, would be sure to view those proposals in a proper cost-benefit framework.

    As for de Boer, working with businesses may be easier said than done. BP, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar recently left the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (US CAP), a coalition of business and environmentalists that support legislation to reduce greenhouse gases such as cap and trade. With trillions of dollars on the table and up for grabs, corporations worked hard for a seat at that table in search of corporate welfare at the expense of the consumer. But the recent revelations of flaws in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report as well as the ostensible data corruption and manipulation exposed by leaked emails and documents from East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) have companies jumping off the global warming bandwagon. It’s certainly not going be a cakewalk convincing them to jump back on and willingly cut emissions given the economic cost and faulty science.

    Some say de Boer’s resignation will add to the trouble. Agus Purnomo, Indonesia’s special presidential assistant on climate change admitted the resignation “comes at the worst time in the climate change negotiations. His decision will ultimately add to the difficulties we already have in reaching a successful outcome in Mexico.” Hopefully, participating governments take this opportunity to reassess the entire fiasco of UN led negotiations like Copenhagen.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to New Climate Chief Won’t Change UN’s Problems with Addressing Climate Change

    1. fredrik rusch says:

      Note: Just receved this article from a friend:::

      This may, or may not interest you. Read if interested.

      I sent this to some Physicist friends and it is a simple, but good model of how the greenhouse effect works. It looks like the basic mechanism is TOTALLY INCORRECT and we could

      have 10% CO2 with no effect at all.

      Now it is a story of a paper published by RW Wood, a very FAMOUS Physicist (Chairman of Physics Dept at Johns Hopkins, 1910 -1940??) My entire PH.D. thesis was based on

      work he did, 60 years before me (on the physics of mercury). He was about 80 years ahead of his time, in terms of things he researched. He is considered the father of experimental

      physics in US. He was no slouch of a man. He worked out the physics of mercury and sodium lights, and this was a fundamental contribution to knowledge. He did many other things

      also. He was my intellectual mentor in graduate school, (although long dead, I read all of his papers, mostly published in the Philosophical Magazine, the preeminent US physics journal

      of his day.) I have added some secondary comments in blue, below, to my original letter to them, for background material.


      Sent to friends (physicists) below.


      Now it turns out, my old friend, RW Wood did a paper on Global Warming (Greenhouse effect) in 1909, and published in Philosophical Magazine. WOW, just like the old days of

      mercury and sodium physics!!

      Please read section in blue describing Wood's original experiment, in the next link.

      (Important Fact—-NaCl = wide band transmission, far IR to UV. Window glass transmits just narrow band of visible light, absorbing all else)

      We are here interested in what happens to heat energy as it leaves the surface of the earth, and how effectively it returns to deep space. (or if it does at all).

      Please read RW Wood's paper, (short)


      A key point is his use of the salt window, which he changes in and out, and corresponds to the effects of atmospheric composition. This is the equivalent of the CO2 layer, plus H2O

      vapor in the troposphere (first 10 miles of atmosphere) So in one case we have a totally opaque window (glass), to the long wave, IR component (which is where all the radiative

      energy is located). In the NaCl case, we have a totally transparent window (crystal NaCl a wide band transmitter, from far IR to UV) , This is equivalent to having emissivity of the

      atmosphere vary between maximum and zero, and the planet surface emissiions constant. (Cleaver SIMPLE simulation of atmosphere here, by window material exchange)

      Above this NaCl window we have the equivalent of deep space. WELL ABOVE this window is a normalizing glass filter to allow in only visible components, and this was necessary as

      in round 2 of his experiment..

      The readers comments indicate they do not understand that the glass/NaCl is equivalent to the unknown effects of the atmosphere (from an IR emission, absorption point of view).

      Window change is EQUIVALENT to switching in and out, the effects of atmospheric column, ALL OF IT. It is a worst case analysis.

      In one case (NaCl) we have very broad band transmission of IR back into space from planet surface, that would maximize radiative cooling of planet surface. In the glass window case,

      we have a medium that absorbs almost everything except the visible spectrum, corresponding to a CO2 rich atmosphere, maybe 100% CO2.

      What we see is NO DIFFERENCE in the temperature of the greenhouses. So we see the radiative/absorptive properties of the atmosphere have little to do with the

      surface temp. This totally contradicts global warming by CO2.

      The conclusion from RW Wood is the Greenhouse temp does not change, irrespective of the atmospheric makeup. Since he did a worst case analysis, it follows from basic physics,

      that all this stuff on CO2 is TOTAL BS. It is simply a way to create a huge tax on US and other developed nations in the "cap and trade" tax that brilliant, Nobel lauret, Al Gore has

      come up with.(He gets a cut of every tax unit traded. Al is not stupid on this point!)

      A good explanation of the experiment follows

      Read section that says "Greenhouse Theory Disproved a Century Ago "


      I will not refute that the glaciers are melting. I just refute it is due to CO2. It is some natural cycle of the earth. Most likely it is caused by interaction of the solar wind emitted by

      the solar corona (1 million degrees C) with the upper atmosphere. It is not clear how this works. It is well known that we have sun spot cycles, and this is most probably the fundamental

      mechanism, to which the warming cycle is tied.

    2. Charles L.I. N.Y. says:

      Another bumbling bunch of morons. These knuckleheads who run our country amaze me. Can they get anything right? We would be better off having high school scholar students running the country. No matter which way you cut it it always,always comes down to money and corruption. I said it before and l'll say it again. Follow the money and you find the problem.

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      If these people are the example of college educated, including the president, no need for college. You can learn more facts, common sense and psychology through life experiences.

      The opportunities in the private sector no longer exist! Man-made global climate change NEVER EXISTED. What have colleges been teaching? An extension of grade school? Depend on everyone else for a handout? Nothing I want my children to learn.

    4. Bobbie Jay says:

      If these people are the example of college educated, including the president, no need for college. You can learn more facts, common sense and psychology through life experiences.

      The opportunities in the private sector no longer exist! Man-made global climate change NEVER EXISTED. What have colleges been teaching? An extension of grade school? Depend on everyone else for a handout? Nothing I want my children to learn. oops

    5. Bobbie Jay says:


      Homeless people have more scruples then these wasted, overeducated, idiots. Homeless people grasp REALITY!

      REDISTRIBUTE their homes, jobs and salaries to the homeless. This country would probably be better off!

    6. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      A friend once said that the colleges suck the brains right out of the heads of our smartest, sure appears that way. One thing for certain outside of video games we are raising the dumbest generation in a long time. wE NO LONGER TEACH BASIC MATH, spelling, history and geography in school. Grammer and penmanship is also a forgotten subject and high school students do not learnabout the Gov't and how it is suppose to work, it was called CIVICS. I have worked with Nurses from Univ. and they cannot do simple nursing procedures as inserting a catheter or feeding tube, and they refuse to do bedside nursing as cleaning up a patient, they "HAVE A DEGREE" let's get back to basics in all fields, and parents limit the amount of time your dear sons and daughters spend on games, on or off line, make sure they can read and understand, able to retell you, what they read, Yesterday my gr=granddaughter was surprised to hear me say Feb. was the shortest mon. what happened to thirty days has Sept. etc. I learned that in third grade.

    7. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      The responses to this article are again disappointing. Many people still cannot or will not reconize this entire "man made climate change" farce is 'SOCIALISM" at its very core. It's about the government (anyone's government) controling every aspect of our lives. We all had better get it through our heads that the real agenda of of the UN, the Dems, and Obama is to achieve their ideologaly of a

      socialist America.

    8. Judy, Mass says:

      Lloyd right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    9. Bobbie Jay says:

      Lloyd, you have to play the game the way it's being called. There continues to be many still convinced, that's why government isn't stopping the advertising or manufacturing under their (tax payers. our) funding.

      Everything the American government is doing will lead to various government "isms." communism, fascism, socialism, racism, marxism…

    10. Drew Page, IL says:

      The U.S. put men on the moon and brought them back safely more than 40 years ago. Why are we relying on information from Professor Nimrod of East Nowhere University to come up with accurate facts about climate change and its causes?

      When the facts didn't support Professor Nimrod's assumptions, it bacame time to bury the facts.

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