Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Copenhagen boondogle

So, on Monday the G-77 (the Third World) walk out of the talks for a few hours because the shakedown wasn't really going in the direction they wanted. Because, let's be honest, this is all about money. The Third World showed up for the cash.

In theory, the money is supposed to help poor countries pay for their transition to a carbon-neutral future. But the developed world has been pouring trillions of dollars into development aid in various forms for decades, with little to show for it. The reasons are well-known: Corruption, political oppression, government control of the economy and the absence of rule of law combine to keep poor countries poor. And those factors also ensure that most aid is squandered or skimmed off the top.Recasting foreign aid as "climate mitigation" won't change any of that.

Still, Copenhagen's fixation on who pays for these huge wealth transfers is instructive because it lays bare the myth that greening the global economy is a cost-free exercise. The G-77 scoffed at a European offer of €7.2 billion ($10 billion) over three years. Instead, the Sudanese chairman of the group, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, suggested in an interview with Mother Jones magazine that something on the order of a trillion dollars, or more, would be appropriate.

Gee ... how about a CAJILLION dollars?!

But, I'm not telling you folks (except Bob) anything you didn't know.