Thursday, December 24, 2009

Making Lemonade from Lemons [and Cupcakes from Cat Poo]

According to Rene Montagne on Christmas Eve morning, "One thing that is clear is that the U.S. and China are no longer observers in the international climate debate, but leaders." How's that for objective reporting?

I had to hear NPR's spin on the essentially antidemocratic Copenhagen "deal" orchestrated by Obama behind closed doors with China, India, Brazil, and South Africa. The report by Christopher Joyce essentially tries to lay the blame for the Copenhagen Summit's failure to reach a meaningful agreement at the feet of Venezuela and Sudan (seriously!). Here are highlights from NPR's creative take on the imperial arrogance of the US and the irresponsible behavior of rich countries at Copenhagen.
Joyce: "Many delegations did not view the five-nation accord as a step forward....Nonetheless, many in the climate business say it's lemonade from what was a very sour lemon. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, is in the lemonade camp. She says people had pushed the myth that the world was ready to agree on a new binding treaty, and it wasn't...." (Claussen's lemony position is less than unbiased - given that she worked for the US Department of State).
Joyce: "....delegations from countries like Sudan and Venezuela burned up conference time with procedural tactics and, Claussen says, unrealistic demands."
Claussen: "It wasn't clear that anything could get done because some group of countries or some country was trying to hold up everything, which is why I think the approach of just trying to do an accord with a small number of countries was probably the only way to have anything come out of this at all."
Joyce briefly lets Ray Kopp from Resources for the Future [and Member, U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, 1999 - present] note that China is like the US and doesn't want to be pushed around.

Finally Joyce, in typical NPR fashion - after consulting former State Department affiliated opinion - takes a hard right turn so as to use a bit of American Enterprise Institute quackery for concluding remarks. He trots out "climate expert" Dr. Kenneth Green who make these fair and balanced comments:
"Kyoto has been an albatross around the necks of those - of people who are genuinely concerned about climate change. The first thing they have to do is let go of the failed model, because they're pushing for basically two things countries cannot - democracies, especially - cannot do. It's economic suicide and the exporting of massive amounts of their people's wealth to their enemies or competitors." [No mention of planetary ecocide or of just where some of that people's wealth came from...]


Xelcho said...

Great piece, from what I have read elsewhere, it is another party crasher endo by the US. They succeeded in luring the Chinese and others to back door deals as Obama promised he would do when he was campaigning for the most transparent US government in history. Please tell me you provided something to the ombudsman for fodder.

geoff said...

Yes, when it comes to the ad hominem tu quoque fallacy (appeal to authority) NPR knows where to turn: the American Expert Institute!

These are very complicated arguments and Green is clearly just a hired hack who is paid not to understand the issues or explain them but just to muddy the waters.

His recent testimony to congress was clearly biased. He sets up a straw man (Kerry said there are no scientists refuting the warming hypothesis) and then produces an easily obtained contradiction. This leaves the casual listener either clinging to their existing belief or just more confused about what to think. It would help if the reporters were able to follow the money and see who is paying who to talk.