A new climategate: how the Left can't see the wood for the trees

The FAO-EC report fails to see the wood for the trees as the climate change argument unravels a little more

The FAO-EC report notes that forest cover is increasing in Asia
The Commentator
On 21 December 2011 15:01

Another grand bargain not only failed to materialise but in Durban’s aftermath, Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Treaty claiming that the moribund agreement had failed to “represent a way forward.”

Canada’s (and Japan’s) actions have rightly bundled the Kyoto Protocol into the morgue, the coroner probing and dissecting to find the cause of death: Kyoto choked on hyperbole and a lack of direction.

Not only was the agreement detrimental to economic growth (read: Miss me Yet?), but also recent – and largely unreported – information highlighted just how fatuous this entire ‘green scare’ is.

Much of the discussion surrounding climate change mitigation is focused on reducing deforestation as a means of reducing emissions. Thanks to satellite technology, a report issued by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Commission was set to uncover just how urgent the situation was just days before Durban Summit, creating yet more alarmist rhetoric in order to compel global leaders to sign a binding deal. 

The facts, however, revealed otherwise. The report served to show that both organisations have been using such fatally flawed data that they overestimated global deforestation by a whopping 32 percent. 

The overriding assumption, supported most notably by Lord Stern (we don't link to the Grauniad), has always been that large scale deforestation has been the primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The fact that the FAO and EC have been hoist with their own petard is a delicious irony not lost on us.

Global deforestation is occurring, but at an annual rate of 0.07 percent—a level surely tolerable for countries currently on the path towards industrialization. One of the most damning aspects of the FAO-EC report is that all the green initiatives put in place to help prevent deforestation in the developing world have been shown to be nothing but a sham. 

What’s more, Britain is donating vast sums for conservation efforts to address a problem that actually doesn’t exist

The developing world has repeatedly been cajoled into supporting schemes such as the United Nations’ Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD). In short, REDD is an egregious con perpetuated by global institutions, hampering growth in the developing world and sucking Western taxpayers dry.

Although a lot is being done by this government to encourage economic development, their complicity in REDD represents the true ugly – almost colonial face of international aid. 

As one of the key players in REDD, the British government pays out taxpayers’ money to developing nations so they can conserve natural resources that would otherwise be used to bring economic growth. 

It’s almost analogous to the Thatcher government taking a fat cheque to turn the taps off instead of fully realising the vast economic potential of North Sea oil.  But it’s about the trees, right? 

Just when you start to cite Greenpeace’s Soviet-style tractor statistics on deforestation in Asia, the FAO-EC report notes that forest cover there is actually increasing. Yes—increasing.   

Debunking this entire narrative is not just an ideological threat to groups like Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, but a financial one. WWF actually hopes to do a roaring trade from scaremongering.  

Durban’s and Kyoto’s long-awaited deaths continue to confound and enrage environmental groups convinced that that the world is on the cusp of a point of no return. Couple this with their fitful grieving and you have quite a sight indeed.

Like the entire ‘climate-gate’ scandal, the public is continuing to see the lengths these alarmists go to in order to obfuscate the truth. 

In failing to fully acknowledge their misgivings, the FAO and EC have provided the hammer, the nails and the coffin for the burial of their debunked agenda. The United Kingdom must not buy into this dead duck, especially not ‘in the current climate’.

Concerned? Tell your Member of Parliament:


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