P.J. O'Rourke attended the World Environment Summit in Rio de Janiero in 1992, the confab that gave us the fir "global warming" treaty, a document which Kyoto amended and the ongoing Copenhagen meeting is also to amend to get Kyoto II. There, he wrote, in the scrum caused by typical UN ineptitude an earnest lass cried out something along the lines of "this is what life would be like in an overpopulated world!" To which O'Rourke replied, no, dear, this is what life would be like in a world run by the United Nations.
Well, similarly, you may by now have heard that Copenhagen is proceeding in even worse than normal fashion, thanks to 45,00 attendees -- either Party, Observer or Media -- having been accredited. The hall being used holds 15,000. The spillover is not so much from the welfare-seeking countries and their delegates but delegates from non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These include mostly green pressure groups but also groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Chamber of Commerce.
So thousands are forced to stand for as long as eight hours waiting to gain access to the convention hall in the freezing and now snowing weather more wintry than Copenhagen is used to (what did you expect, Gore showed up). And a world where some would be more equal than others, particularly our environmentalist betters, is on display, but in an utterly impermissible way.
I have received an email from someone attending the Conference of the Parties (having been to six such absurdities, I actually finally learned a few years ago not to bother). And he informs me that the greens were not having any of this system whereby they lose a lottery and don't get to be inside hectoring negotiators, or otherwise dealing with things the way everyone else has to.
The Obama administration agreed. My observer source writes:
"Lack of space has led to reduction in number of observers allowed access to Bella Center.
ENGOs complained to US Delegation that not enough of them were allowed in.
US Delegation rides to rescue and supplies 10 "PARTY" badges (not "observer" badges, but "Party" badges) with the understanding that they not abuse them, that is, pretend like they are observer badges (eg, don't go to delegate meetings or other meetings observers would not normally be allowed in to).
David Doniger [NB: of pressure group Natural Resources Defense Council, a group that used to work closely with Enron to get cap-and-trade, incidentally] is running around with his badge tucked beneath his sweater--a no-no. Badges are supposed to be worn in full view.
Business groups, also with people cooling their heels outside the Bella Center, caught wind of this. Someone approached [US "climate envoy"] Todd Stern. He seemed in the dark.
US delegation said it would provide 10 badges to business groups. (Not sure if they've been delivered yet)."
As indicated, in addition to granting the greens disproportionate access and more than had been decided through allocations and actually a recent lottery for Thursday and Friday passes, "Party" badges also allow access to rooms and negotiators that Observer badges do not.
Would it be ok for State Department employees to hand over their identification badges to green lobbyists to wander around the building as if they were employees? Why not? Do take note of the too-close-for-comfort relationship exposed by the impropriety.
Now, about how those cap-and-trade "allowances" are politically allocated...
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