Fraser Forum

And the Pope completes the great Parisian climate show

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With the announcement that the Pope may “intervene” in the Paris climate negotiations, the last act of the Great Paris Climate Conference is set.

As I wrote in 2010, these giant climate conferences follow an entirely predictable story arc that goes like this:

1) The media will downplay expectations, and diplomats and environmentalists will bemoan how far behind the process is in producing an agreement.

2) There will be a week in which we’re told that diplomatic delegations are working “feverishly” on an agreement, but that the evil and greedy developed countries are still holding out on the massive wealth transfers that have always been the real goal of the process.

3) China and India will proclaim that the process is somehow intended to stifle their development, which they will not allow. (That’s partly true, the Kyoto agenda really is a de-development/anti-development agenda.)

4) Late in the process, it will be announced that negotiations are at a standstill and that the process may fail, dooming the Earth to certain catastrophic warming.

5) At the last minute, the Charismatic Megafauna of the Show will swoop in and dramatically call everyone into a conference room for a marathon, no-breaks, closed-door negotiating session to resolve things. Usually, this is an American president or vice-president. This time, it appears that the Pope may be the star of the show.

6) At the last moment of the last day at 4:00 a.m., the bleary-eyed participants will announce they have reached agreement on a broad range of goals (mostly aspirational) and that they have agreed to resolve outstanding issues at additional conferences.

Of course, there’s minor variance in these conferences, but with the announcement of the Pope’s potential intervention, Paris looks to be headed to a similar story arc. And in a few years, who will upstage the Pope in the contest for Grand Charismatic Megafauna?


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