About the same as what happened at COP27.

The 70,000+ fabulists, opportunists, and assorted acolytes comprising the congregation of the Church of Our Holy Mother of the Suffering Planet celebrated another high mass in, of all places, Dubai UAE (producer of 4 million barrels of oil per day).The worshipers heard righteous condemnation of the sin of carbon. Its been said that abandoning fossil fuels without delay, with no realistic present-day alternatives, is a moral imperative.

This piece is not to argue about global warming or the eventual energy transition; it’s to decry how and when and for what motivations the true believers address the questions.

Read the UNPCC’s summary of the report. Among other highlights,

  • It’s aspirational toothless, as any document would be whose every word must be approved by a committee of 130.
  • It’s a bureaucrat’s dream, a gumbo of Actions, Initiatives, Councils, and Committees, spiced up with platitudes and bad syntax.
  • China agreed, with fingers crossed (see below).

Climate czar John Kerry and Bill Gates each arrived on his private jet; VP Harris arrived aboard Air Force 2; other world leaders arrived in theirs. Why not hitch a ride, if for no other reason than to show what honest climate-saving action might look like?

Imagine Gandhi promising nonviolence to the British Parliament while pistol-whipping a tied-up Winston Churchill under the table.

Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, head of UAE’s national oil company, host and president of the whole shebang, mortified the holiest of the congregation by claiming there is no science that says phasing out fossil fuels is necessary to keep global warming under a critical threshold. He was not bothered by claims that he has an Upper Zakum-sized conflict of interest.

COP 28 ended by calling for a “transition from” rather than a “phase out of” fossil fuels, perhaps in humbling recognition that oil, gas and coal aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Vaclav Smil in How the World Really Works, The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We’re Going explains why in seven edifying chapters.

Al Gore objected to the conventiclers of the oil and gas industry who were there, ignoring the possibility that they might have contributed scientific and economic facts to the debate.

What are we doing in the US?

The US wants to hang with the cool kids in the class. VP Harris committed $3 Billion to the Green Climate Fund. And here are but a few examples of the heavy load being imposed on the American economy:

This is at a time when domestic producers are doing their part. US methane emissions from oil and gas production declined from 2005 to 2019 while production increased, says Energy in Depth.

… while China, with its 1142 coal fired power plants, is building two a week in its quest for world economic domination, while emitting more CO2 by far than any other country.    According to Prof. Smil, the single most significant factor in increased anthropogenic CO2 emissions since 1980 is, by far, China.

  • The EPA iintends to ban a class of furnaces in a way that exceeds its authority under the 1975 legislation on which it is based and that will result in higher costs and fewer choices for Americans, in particular the poor, says Jack Spencer of the Heritage Foundation.
  • California’s Advanced Green Fleet Act regulations , beginning in 2024, will require that truck operators buy only Zero Emissions Vehicle trucks for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucking operations. This will raise costs to truckers to unaffordable levels and threaten access by consumers in many states to imports from three of the busiest ports in the US, says Steve Goreham of the Heartland Institute. Nineteen states are suing to prevent the Act from going into effect.

The question is whether the costs and other burdens outweigh the benefits. We should not let this administration make that decision for us.

To celebrate the season, we have two musical interludes: Christmas and Advent.