My money is on Viscount Monckton. The Russian revelations about data manipulation, like the rest of the Climategate story, will be resolutely ignored by negotiators. Some kind of real-money deal will emerge. There’s too much momentum and too much vanity on the line. The One himself will even appear on the icy slopes of Denmark. You simply cannot have so many celebrities and political will in one place, and expect them to concede defeat. It is just not in their nature.
But that’s an easy prediction. What about what comes after?
First, the greeny groups will smell blood in the water. They will use the Copenhagen deal, here in the U.S., to claim that cap and trade must be passed. They will say: “The world agrees something has to be done!” Weak-minded politicians — of which there is never a shortage — will find this argument convincing. Still, the best the greens will do this year will be a publicly stated “commitment” to “tackle the issue,” right after the new year, after the left secures its health care power grab. “You’re right, it’s devilishly important” will assuage some greenies, and will quiet them enough so that the Democrats can mount some sort of campaign counterattack in 2010.
Democrats know they’re going to lose a good chunk of seats by passing health care — they don’t want to start a riot by tacking on another tax so soon afterwards. They will wait to see if they lose their filibuster-proof majority. If so, they will be able to blame the failure of cap-and-trade legislation on “uncaring, denialist” Republicans.
Meanwhile, back at the UN, it will be broad smiles and CO2-emitting champagne toasts. “To humanity!” they will cry, but as they place their glasses on the salvers, not a few of them will twist their mustaches and think to themselves: “Money!”
Of which, it will be gradually revealed, some will have gone missing.
Shock! Horror! Who could possibly have known! It will, of course, have gone to brothers-in-law in various countries. Most organizations receiving our coerced largess will turn out to be “green consultancies,” of the kind that spend a ton of money (by hiring cousins and other familia) but produce nothing.
After a decade of global temperatures stubbornly refusing to play nice, and things turning out to be not nearly as bad as predicted, the Copenhagen-created program will not die.
No government created entity ever kicks off simply because it isn’t needed.
It will morph into an ossified, entrenched behemoth whose mission will, through time, quietly morph into “environmental justice.” Climate change, the original impetus, will have been long forgotten.
Place your bets now.