Issues & Insights

U.N. Climate Summit: A Meaningless Meeting Of Useless People

Later this month, private- and public-sector “leaders” will meet in Glasgow, Scotland. Nearly all will fly to the conference, many in private jets. And what will they talk about? Saving the climate from greenhouse gas emissions, of course.

The United Nations Conference of Parties on ​​climate change, the 26th version of this long-running clown show, starts Oct. 31 and will run through Nov. 12. Media coverage will be both intense and obsequious; attendees, especially the ever-smug John Kerry, “special” climate envoy to the president, will speak in somber tones due to the seriousness at hand; warnings of impending doom will be issued; and absolutely nothing will be accomplished.

This is because there’s nothing to accomplish.

Despite the incessant screeching demands that we must save our planet by severely cutting our greenhouse gas emissions, it’s obvious that man’s impact on the climate is not creating an existential crisis. Every harsh weather event is blamed by activists, politicians, reporters, editors, and celebrities as evidence that anthropogenic global warming is going to destroy Earth.

Of course these are often the same people who tell us we cannot take a single weather event, such as a cold snap or an unusually heavy snow, and extrapolate from that there is no man-made warming. They want man’s greenhouse gas emissions to be an existential crisis.

But they can’t have it no matter how much they want it.

“An existential threat is one that threatens the very existence of mankind. Something that is simply a challenge or an inconvenience is not an existential threat,” explains University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor Cliff Mass. “An existential threat must have the potential to undermine the very viability of human civilization.”

Mass believes “global warming is a serious problem” that will have “substantial impacts,” but he says “in no way does it seriously threaten our species or human civilization.”

“With reasonable mitigation and adaptation, mankind will continue to move forward – reducing poverty, living healthier lives, and stabilizing our population.”

For those who haven’t noticed, humanity has been enormously successful at adapting to, and in many cases, overcoming an environment that is hostile to its existence.

There’s every reason to believe that the warming that Mass believes to be a “serious problem” is not driven by man’s greenhouse gas emissions but is merely part of the natural cycle on a planet where the climate is always changing, with human activity playing only a minimal role. This isn’t a denial of science – it’s a view held by climate scientists such as Harvard-educated Richard Lindzen, the retired Massachusetts Institute of Technology astrophysicist and U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report contributor, as well as Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

Of course this will never be mentioned in Glasgow. Instead, attendees will clap each other on the back, tell the world that there’s no hope without them, and celebrate progress in their glorious fight against a nonexistent threat in front of a fawning media. It will be a “sophisticated, vaccinated crowd” we should all be in awe of.

It will also be a gathering of hypocrites. Attendees of the 2008 climate meeting in Copenhagen needed 140 private jets and 1,200 limousines to get the “job” done. Travel to and from the 2015 climate talks in Paris emitted about 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Nearly 1,500 private jets were flown to Davos, Switzerland, in 2019 for the World Economic Forum, where climate was one of the chief topics.

That’s a lot of fossil fuel burned in the name of cutting fossil fuel emissions.

Every day we have less confidence in world elected leaders than we did the day before. There’s no greater evidence of the elite’s capacity to make poor decisions, nor a more compelling indication of the depth of their ignorance, than their panicked response to the coronavirus pandemic. It is the greatest public policy mistake of all time.

Now many of these same officials will descend on Scotland to discuss policies that will not affect them, but will cause hardships for the poorest while hooking an anchor to the world economy. It’s possible that calling them useless is actually an understatement.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • How did Co2 become evil?
    The IPCC’s attribution methodology is fundamentally flawed
    by Ross McKitrick
    In a nut:
    For 20 years AT99 has held CO2 as the evil gas that must be removed before we all parish from Global Warming. Professor Ross McKitrick in 2019 found a problem with the math used and asked the authors Myles Allen and Simon Tett (AT99) to respond. “One day after the IPCC released the AR6 I published a paper in Climate Dynamics showing that their (AT99) “Optimal Fingerprinting” methodology on which they have long relied for attributing climate change to greenhouse gases is seriously flawed and its results are unreliable and largely meaningless.”
    The results are the CO2 myth is dead, it does not cause warming therefore we can say AWG is dead.
    The question now is why it took 20 years for find this mathematical error.
    Every time someone comes up with an evil Co2 story we need to force them to answer Professor Ross McKitrick questions, they can’t.

  • Speaking of greenie schemes to forestall climate change radical Leftist Alexander Cockburn in The Nation made the observation, “…vast sums of money will be uselessly spent on programs that won’t work against an enemy that doesn’t exist.”

    He was prescient.

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