Walking Tour of San Francisco Protests: Political tourism in the Age of Obama
1. Rally Against Carbon Trading -- 12:00pm, Marriott Marquis Hotel, 55 Fourth Street
Today's Rally Against Carbon Trading is an interesting demonstration organized by Mobilization for Climate Justice to protest a "carbon trading" conference called "Navigating the American Carbon World" being held in the Marriott. Wait a minute, you might be saying, I'm confused. One global warming alarmist group is protesting against a different global warming alarmist group? That's right. And in this case, I actually agree with the protesters -- though not exactly for the same reasons they imagine.
The protest Web site linked above explains Mobilization for Climate Justice's position:
"We'll be outside the 'Navigating the American Carbon World' conference in San Francisco -- one of the nation's largest carbon market conferences -- to expose the injustice and ineffectiveness of schemes that reward polluters and allow rich countries to evade the real responsibility of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. This conference will be attended by bankers, oil executives, financial speculators and big enviro groups. Join us to say NO TO FALSE CLIMATE SOLUTIONS! NO TO RIP-OFFSETS! NO THE CARBON TRADING SCAM! WE NEED REAL CARBON REDUCTIONS & CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW!"
Hmmmmm...OK. So what we have here are radical "green" activists legitimately denouncing the insane corporate pollution dance and money-shuffling shell game that is the patently absurd notion called "carbon trading," championed famously by Al Gore and Barack Obama.
Quoting the rally Web site again:
"Corporations and rich developed nations are pushing for policies that would allow them to "reduce" emissions by purchasing carbon "credits." Unfortunately, carbon credits can be created through offset projects which supposedly reduce emissions in developing countries so that the companies or people purchasing the offsets don't have to do anything to reduce emissions themselves. The problem is that these projects are frequently hard to monitor and fail to deliver the emissions reductions that they promise. Offsets essentially allow rich countries and corporations to purchase indulgences to keep polluting."
Exactly! So why do so many half-baked environmentalists support Obama, who advocates "trading" carbon "credits," even though it has become nothing but a way for pseudo-green middlemen to act as monetary parasites?
When I say "radical green activists," I'm not exaggerating -- Earth First! members were among those in the crowd.
And although I might agree with the protesters' critiques of "carbon trading," I differ strongly with their stated rationale. I'm all for reducing pollution, but we don't need a trumped-up excuse like "climate change" in order to achieve a cleaner environment. Minimizing pollution is a legitimate goal which stands on its own merits; concocting hysterical disaster scenarios (such as those shown in An Inconvenient Truth) only serves to undermine any credibility the environmental and conservation movements once had.
Don't promote a worthy cause with ridiculous exaggerations! The "climate justice" movement and its laughable global warming hysterics have set back honest environmentalism decades.
But alas. The speakers were shrill and, sadly, for the most part divorced from reality.
My favorite sign was this one which read, "Pay me $10,000 and I'll stop smoking," which succinctly sums up the economics behind "carbon trading."
Because we don't look like the radicals out in the rally, our tour could do something the radicals couldn't do: Enter the hotel and infiltrate the conference itself! Shhhhh! Everybody act cool.
The day's schedule was displayed at the entrance to the conference. In a stroke of bad timing, we showed up right in the middle of the "Mix and Mingle Lunch," and missed all the actual presentations.
Sure enough, as we descended the escalator to the main conference area, everyone was mixing and mingling and trading carbon like there was no tomorrow. Notice how everyone at the conference was wearing expensive business suits -- it seems that Mobilization for Climate Justice pegged the conference attendees perfectly: bankers, oil executives, and financial speculators. Do these people look like they care for the environment?
Oh, the irony -- the conference speakers prepared their presentations in the "green room." Green as in money, that is.
(Click on "next page" button below for the next stop on the tour.)