Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
The United Nations is a hype machine. In the midst of pandemic anxiety, its adds more fear to the fire.
Last week, the head of the United Nations described its latest climate report as a “Code Red for Humanity.” Antonio Guterres told us billions of people are “at immediate risk.”
But that isn’t the case. In the words of natural disaster expert Roger Pielke Jr: “Not only is this wrong, it is irresponsible. Nowhere does the IPCC report say that billions of people are at immediate risk.”
Pielke is the truth teller. Guterres is the spin doctor. Please, check for yourself. Download last week’s 42-page Summary for Policymakers issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) here. Now conduct your own search.
Does the term ‘code red’ appear in that document? No, it does not.
Does the word billion? Nope.
Is there any mention of any ‘immediate risk’? Immediate doesn’t appear in those 42 pages, either.
The UN is a hype machine. Since the early 1970s, its officials have repeatedly threatened us with environmental holocaust. Remember UN climate guru Christiana Figueres advising the BBC eleven years ago that if 2010’s climate talks failed “it will be tragic, it will be a holocaust“?
Every time a climate report is released, the UN recycles the same message. Crisis. Catastrophe. Disaster. Emergency. No time to lose. Fear, fire, alarm. Followed by a long list of demands.
Guterres’ press release uses the word must eight times. As in: we “must act decisively.” Countries “must phase out” coal plants. “COVID-19 recovery spending must be aligned” with climate goals.
Pardon me, but the UN has no right to tell any of us what we must do. UN officials aren’t elected by the public. They’re bureaucrats. Careerists who hop from one UN post to another. Even more to the point: they are a special, protected class. Their diplomatic immunity renders them untouchable – wholly unaccountable for their actions.
UN personnel have no skin in the game. They pay no price when they mess up. The UN was supposed to help rebuild Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. It failed miserably. Then it made matters worse. UN peacekeepers introduced cholera to that already-traumatized nation. As 10,000 cholera deaths followed, the UN spent years denying responsibility.
We the people have no mechanism by which to unseat UN officials – even when their incompetence kills. We have no way of turfing them from office – even when they promote harmful public policy. One day humans may achieve fulfilling lives without the aid of fossil fuels. But that day is not yet here. Much of the world is still struggling to feed itself, to access clean drinking water and medical services. Those basics depend on affordable, reliable energy – the kind that fossil fuels provide.
Yet the head of the UN insists this latest climate report “must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels…There must be no new coal plants built after 2021…end all new fossil fuel exploration and production…”
It’s important to understand who this man is. When Guterres served as prime minister of Portugal between 1995-2002, he led that country’s Socialist Party. For more than ten years, he also served as president and vice-president of the Socialist International.
It’s time we ended our absurd naivety about the UN. This is a hotbed of undemocratic, unaccountable far-left activism. Its reports are best ignored.
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