The United Nations is putting a happy, capitalist face on its global warming treaty talks this fall in Paris, the COP21 climate convention. But not since the days of Josef Stalin’s Potemkin villages, designed to dupe gullible westerners, like John Dewey, into believing the Soviet Union was creating a better life for its comrades than the U.S., with millions of dispossessed workers in the Depression-era, has the planet seen such a cultural charade.
The headline sponsor at the “Sustainable Innovation Forum” at COP21 in suburban Paris is luxury car maker BMW, certainly not a name one associates with austerity and dysfunctional, or barely functional, alternative fuel vehicles that we’re all used to, by now, seeing on Fox News or reading about online.
Other brand name sponsors at the conference will include the European Investment Bank, Bloomberg Energy News, and Avery Dennison, a Fortune 500 company that makes labels and packages.
Since sales are barely visible for these eco-chic projects, when it comes to comparisons with conventional products the UN has enlisted BMW and other credible companies to market the next best thing — you guessed it — hope.
Leading companies from around the globe met in Paris from May 18 to 24 for “Climate Week” with the UN to discuss the contribution they could make to the global green team effort.
“We and our partners are bringing the world’s leading companies and policymakers together to show low carbon makes good business sense — and a strong global deal means a smart economy,” according to a statement by the UN.
On the UN’s Internet site, the sales copy for the “partnership” with BMW sounds like something straight out of the Environmental Defense Fund’s direct marketing literature, with an exegesis on how the German automaker is incorporating “conservation” and “responsible action,” and “sustainability,” whatever that is, into the international automotive supply chain.
Then comes the clincher: “With the BMW i3 and BMW i8 (models) the company is taking the next logical step with the entry into the field of emission-free electro mobility.”
President Obama tried to transform General Motors into Obama Motors, and has propped up failing American electric car maker Tesla and other, even more audacious flops in the solar power industry, but on the industrial policy front, with BMW, the United Nations has outperformed even green czar Van Jones’s wildest dreams.
The world’s first “progressive sports car” is how BMW describes the i8, “a plug-in hybrid that offers an extraordinarily dynamic driving experience — with extremely low consumption and CO2 emissions.”
The car boasts the first series-produced passenger cells made of carbon, components from lightweight construction technology. “Carbon is around 50% lighter than steel and around 30% lighter than aluminum, allowing BMW i to set new standards in lightweight construction while also completely offsetting the additional weight resulting from the high-voltage lithium-ion battery,” the company claims. “At the same time, carbon is a high-tensile material that can be used in a versatile manner for construction purposes and increases the safety of all vehicle occupants.”
All this sounds fantastic, in theory, but sales figures simply don’t support the hype. And when it comes to electric car companies, sales figures aren’t always what they purport to be anyway. When Wards Automotive, a leading industry source on all things related to the car industry, reported that sales for Tesla dropped last fall by 26 percent, Tesla CEO Elon Musk went online to denounce the report. What is more, Musk’s tirade was a bit cheeky, for, as, Wards notes, every car company, save for Tesla, provides month-to-month sales figures for its car models. Wards reported an estimate, at that time, based on new Tesla car registrations in states across the U.S., which they indicated lagged sales by six to eight weeks.
Tesla’s audacious CEO also attacked the New York Times — which is very green friendly — for running a review critical of its electric car and electric refueling stations. For all the hype, one would think this car is already a substantial player in the automotive market, and driver of economic growth. But that is just not so. “Tesla’s share of the U.S. market is less than one-tenth of one percent,” notes Wards Automotive.
Sales figures for the BMW electric car in the U.S. were a mere 16,000 units in North America for the 2014 calendar year, i.e. about half of those of Tesla’s, but with a charming, German accent, and great brand name cachet.
“The private sector is increasingly seeing the value of investing in supply chain efficiency, with average market returns on energy efficiency investment having the potential to reach up to 17%,” said the UN’s COP21 office in a statement for the media, released this week.
The UN also this week anxiously announced that the UK’s government ministry of Energy and Climate Change — yes, they really do call it that — was making great strides by allocating £6 million to kick start energy efficiency investments, making funding available to new projects that will save electricity during peak times. Clearly, that small amount of money, about $12 million, isn’t going to make much of an impact on the global economy, which this week has been watching the Greeks, who have an economy of $283 billion, default on their debt obligations.
But the UN lives in a liberal world of imagination, where 18 consecutive years of cooling global surface temperatures demonstrate, at least to them, that global “warming” is absolutely happening.
The bureaucrats working for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon happily fantasize that tiny investments in green technologies that it coerces out of compliant states, combined with a PR front effort, using several leading global brands, will be persuasive for the delegates to the UN climate change talks this fall in Paris. They hope that these delegates, seeing the BMW exhibit, and other Potemkin, government-funded eco-economy creations, will be duped into voting to rein in the global economy, with harsh emissions regulations, and to replace it with a green economy, whatever that is.