When it comes to climate change, our leaders would do well to follow Buddhist advice: when struck by an arrow, first remove it before seeking out your assailant. Otherwise, you will die.
But most governments and charitable foundations today do exactly the opposite. They try so hard to appease climate activists — who seem more concerned about the possible plight of people yet to be born than those suffering today — that millions of people have been abandoned to misery and early death in the poorest parts of the world.
The Canadian government is providing what might appear to be a generous $142 million to help victims of drought and famine in East Africa. Australia has also committed over $103 million. That is certainly far more money than either China or Saudi Arabia — the latter situated just across the Red Sea from the disaster area — are contributing. But it pales in comparison with what Canada and Australia are paying to fulfill their entirely voluntary Copenhagen Accord climate change commitments. Australia committed $599 million and Canada $1.2 billion between 2010 and 2012.
Both nations have already donated the first third of this commitment, an amount that is almost exactly the current shortfall in the international Horn of Africa Drought fund, a deficit that may lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people if it is not rectified.
The Copenhagen Accord specified that contributions should be split 50-50 between helping people adapt to climate change and stopping (or “mitigating”) climate change. Australia is generally following this formula, but 90% of Canada’s first $400 million donation is dedicated entirely to mitigation.
This undue focus on mitigation of a hypothetical human-caused dangerous warming that has yet even to be measured comes at the expense of the urgent needs of the world’s most vulnerable peoples. For example, ClimateWorks Foundation — an American climate activist group that has donated millions to Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection — received over $500 million from charitable foundations when they launched in 2008. This was twice as much as foundations contributed to the World Health Organization, and over seven times as much as they donated to UNICEF in that year.
Over the last two decades ending in 2009, the U.S. government spent a total of $68 billion for climate science research and climate-related technology development. Worldwide, it is estimated that Western countries alone are pouring at least $10 billion annually (2009) into global warming related research and policy formulation.
There are untold amounts being spent by corporations around the world on greenhouse gas reduction schemes, the costs of which are passed almost entirely on to consumers.
On October 27, the Climate Policy Initiative issued a report showing that at least $97 billion per year is being provided to “climate finance.” Tragically, just $4.4 billion — about 5% — of the total is going to help countries and communities adapt to climate change.
All the while, aid agencies remain drastically underfunded, even in the midst of East Africa’s worst famine in decades. Developing countries are pressured by eco-activists, media, and the UN to enable impractical “climate-friendly” energy policies that even developed nations cannot afford. At the same time, millions of the world’s poor lack access to electricity, running water, and basic sanitation.
And what is the world getting in return for this sacrifice? If the science being relied upon by the governments and the UN were correct, and all the countries of the world that have emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol actually met their targets, then 0.05 degrees Celsius of warming might end up being prevented by 2050. In other words, trillions of dollars of expenditure will be wasted for an impact on climate that is not even measurable.
Clearly, the time has long since passed to take an entirely different approach to the climate hazard issue. We need to pull out the arrow, address the real wound, and leave learning more about the possible assailant to another day.
Despite the demonstrated failure of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming, a very real climate problem does exist. It is the ongoing risk associated with natural climatic variations. This includes short-term events such as floods and cyclones, intermediate scale events such as drought, and longer-term warming and cooling trends.