I haven’t been paying much attention to the whole Copenhagen climate summit debacle because my doctor told me that I should watch my blood pressure. Good advice, as even the few details that have leaked through my self-erected Wall of Silence threatens to blow the top of my head off.
A few weeks ago, back on Dec. 11, it was announced that the European Union was going to pony up $10.5 billion for aid to developing countries so they would be able to fix power-wasting infrastructure, and invest in cleaner technology.
But that cash wasn’t going to be passed out all at once. It was going to be doled out over three years. If my grade school math skills haven’t degraded away to nothing, then it seems to me that the EU will spend $3.5 billion per year.
It may be simple enough in concept, but it certainly isn’t enough in reality. The figure needed to actually make a dent in the increasing amount of pollution produced by the developing world will start at around $100 billion a year. And that money will have to be raised and passed around every year for pretty much forever!
Where is that kind of scratch going to come from?
Sec. of State Clinton was asked that very question, and she hemmed and hawed and did everything she could to keep from giving a straight answer.
“She said the funds would come from “a wide variety of sources” — public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of financing.”
What the hell does that mean? “…including alternative sources of financing.” The cops I know use the phrase “alternative sources” to mean organized crime. Is the mafia going to fund climate change treaties?
One thing is for sure, the money isn’t going to come from Europe. The guys in charge over there were practically licking each other as they preened in front of the cameras, going on and on about how donating a bit more than 3% of the total makes them such a big deal.
HA! “Ambitious!” Sure thing, pal! And note how they think they are actually contributing MORE than their fair share!
I don’t think it is all that difficult to see that just about everyone is expecting the United States to step up and provide the lion’s share of the funds. This is in spite of the fact that the EU has a slightly larger GDP than the US. Seems to me that they should pay more than we do. After all, that would only be fair.
But my definition of “fair” is a fair sight off from the way the Europeans do business. Case in point is this rather odd debate that recently took place in the United Kingdom. One of the participants responds to the question “Are Copenhagen’s failures the fault of America?”
I don’t think it’s at all fair to pin the blame on America, Rebecca, not even those Republican Congressmen. You should remember that the American congressman or woman is a lot more democratically accountable than most of the people pontificating in Copenhagen. If everyone else had to answer for their jobs in a year’s time to their voters, I wonder if those republicans would be so isolated…
It is true that our politicians are more accountable than those in other parts of the world (thank goodness!), but he misses the main point entirely. Why are the voters here in the US so reluctant to get involved in these global climate treaties? How come no one is pointing out that the members of the EU are a bunch of whiny, self aggrandizing, freeloading parasites?
The United States military currently controls more than 50% of the combat power in the world. The vast majority of the free world relies on that benign watchdog to keep the peace, and protect them from aggression. And we pay through the nose for it! It isn’t just the money we spend, but the fact that our best and brightest dedicate a portion of their lives to the service of their country, when they could more easily and lucratively devote themselves to building their fortunes in the private sector. We pay a very real social cost to protect the world.
Don’t agree? So think about who would step in to fill the power vacuum if the US decided to go the isolationism route once more. After all, it isn’t as if the Europeans have the stones to actually make the sacrifices needed to become world leaders. So who would try to fill our shoes? An ever more aggressive and oppressive Russia? Maybe China, which never did give up the whole Communism thing? There doesn’t seem to be any other candidates.
Does anyone besides the Russians or Chinese think this would be an improvement?
So you would think that we would get that figured in to what else we owe the world, what we should pay to help out on these little schemes of theirs. Need $100 billion a year to help make the 3rd World go green, but the moochers in the EU only want to pony up $3 billion? Sorry, fellow, go try to panhandle on a different corner. The US already shells out a lot more than $100 billion every year to keep the world at least nominally peaceful. When you get around to making a similar contribution to civilization, then we will think about maybe listening to what you have to say.
Wouldn’t that be fair?