Global Warming or Global Misuse of Funds?
It seems that in the history books of the future the last decades of the 20th century are going to be described as the time of the “environmental/politically correct craze”. Indeed, during this historical period, the forces of the lefty – wing agenda have thrown billion dollars in the air towards a number of purely imaginary technological, environmental and health care – related scares. For example, one may easily recollect the public “paranoia” connected with Y2K. Some of especially “progressive” activists used to refer to the anticipated effects of Y2K as such that would result in the end of the world. Andrea Tapia states, “Predicted scenarios (on account of Y2K) ranged from a few days of inconvenience, similar to a bad snowstorm, to that of complete global shut down and resulting chaos” (2003, 483). Yet, on January 1, 2000, it became clear to the society that Y2K has turned out to be nothing but a sham. As for today, public still remains unaware of what has happened to billion dollars spent by the Western governments to mitigate the expected effects of Y2K.
A decade earlier, the anticipated catastrophe was discussed within the context of thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica that results in creation of ozone holes. In its turn, deterioration of the ozone layer was believed to be caused by aerosol sprays that contain a chemical ingredient called freon. Within very short time, after the beginning of the “ozone scare”, freon-containing sprays were banned worldwide. This resulted in allowing the DuPont Corporation to double its enormous profits, as the company remained the only patent-holder on producing substitutes of freon. Dunn marks that the issue of ozone layer depletion served to drawing the society’s attention towards the activity of the Green movement while the core of the problem remained somewhat obscure for a non-specialist (2007). By the beginning of the 1990s, the ozone holes simply patched themselves up naturally, and today passionate environmentalists try to omit this issue in their discussions. Thus, there is a clearly defined pattern about how urban myths of modernity come into being. The so – called global warming is nothing else than
one of those myths, and this paper aims at exploring this issue.
FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF “ENVIRONMENTAL SCARES”
In 2003, the world’s prominent medias came up with the new “terrifying” news about the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which was supposed to reduce the population of Earth by two within five years. Landis MacKellar refers to the “danger” of SARS as to something evident: he says that during a single airline flight, 16 individuals were affected by the disease, which is interpreted as an extensive epidemic (2007). By 2005, the funds spent by the World Health Organization to fight SARS amounted to $600000000. And yet, the actual number of occurrences of SARS from 2003 to 2009 accounts for only 20 individuals worldwide while tuberculosis kills 3 million people annually. Just like in case of the DuPont corporation during the epoch of the “ozone scare”, the pharmaceutical lobby in the Western countries quickly used the opportunity to utilize the “SARS scare” to generate huge profits.
Nevertheless, the so-called global warming represents the biggest neo-Liberal sham up to these days. Just like in the case of the ozone holes, the increase of the world climate’s average temperature by 0.7 degree Celsius which took during the last century is solely attributed to the humankind’s industrial activities. The theoretical background of the concept of the global warming has been intentionally simplified; as a result, even curious housewives would be able to consider themselves to be experts in saving the planet. They are able to explain that emission of CO2 into the atmosphere by industries results in creation of the greenhouse effect, which is defined as the situation when the energy of the Sun is not reflected back into the space but becomes “trapped” underneath the layer of greenhouse gases. In turn, this leads to the Earth’s atmosphere being excessively heated, which negatively affects the population of the planet. Hans Baer states:
Global warming appears to be the primary impetus behind the spread of infectious-borne diseases to environments north and south of the equator and heat waves that threaten the lives and health of vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and the sick. (2008, 60)
For those who are aware of history of the previous “scares”, there seems to be nothing unique in the developmental pattern of the “scare of the global warming”: sensational revelations in medias supported by the references to some obscure (and often not existing) scientists followed by the “public outcry” in regards to these revelations… Followed by governmental spending of billons of dollars to deal with the situation, followed by promoters of the “global warming” justifying their misuse of funds and revealing new “shocking details” about an “impending danger”… Followed by governments spending the new amount of money to combat the purely imaginary evil – and so it goes on. Yet, for those who were still able to retain their ability to independently assess the surrounding reality, the link between the global warming and the humankind’s industrial activities appears utterly superficial. For example, the eruption of one large volcano emits as much CO2 into the atmosphere as all coal-operated power plants in the world together do within the period of hundred years.
Therefore, the introduction of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and its signing by most of the world’s nations actually had nothing to do with the protection of the environment: the financial matters traditionally remained in the focus. According to the Protocol (1997 Kyoto Protocol), by 2012, countries – signatories are supposed to reduce their industries’ emission of carbon monoxide by 5 – 10%. Thus, under the executive framework of the Protocol, every country has its own quota to the emission of CO2; in case the amount of the emitted CO2 is less then quotas allow, countries can sell the remains of their “legal CO2 emission” to the other over-emitting countries for many million dollars. In 1997-2005, Russia alone was able to generate about one billion dollars out of the thin air, which was smartly used by Russian oligarchs. Thus, the Kyoto Protocol appears to be nothing but another initiative of the UN’s bureaucracy conspired with the world’s financial plutocracy to legitimization of the global misuse of finances.
This was exactly the reason why after having signed the Protocol initially, the USA and Australia decided to pull out of it. As it has been rightly pointed out in Baden and O’Brien (1994), the issue of the global warming is not only scientific, but also very emotional, and there is enough space for political manipulations. Apparently, as time goes by, an increasing number of former supporters of the Kyoto Protocol understand its real hidden motive. Hoff Stauffer argues, “The debate on global warming is burdened with unfortunate misconceptions that inhibit progress in moving forward. One misconception is that ‘draconian measures’ would be required to mitigate global warming” (1998, 14). Nevertheless, the main problem with the global warming is not that the promoters of environmentalism proceed with their agenda too enthusiastically, but that the whole concept of the global warming is nothing but another scientifically unsubstantiated myth.
The editorial There Is No Global Warming by the American Policy Center provides the information that is able to make one revise his/her attitude towards the danger of the global warming:
Scientific research through U.S. Government satellite and balloon measurements shows that the temperature is actually cooling – very slightly – .037 degrees Celsius. In 1936, the Midwest of the United States experienced 49 consecutive days of temperatures over 90 degrees. There were another 49 consecutive days in 1955. But in 1992 there was only one day over 90 degrees and in 1997 only 5 days. (American Policy Center 2008)
The fact that during the course of the 1990s the world climate’s average temperature has slightly risen is nothing but a part of what meteorologists refer to as the global climatic fluctuations; in fact, the planet’s climate never ceased being a subject of these fluctuations. For example, in the 13th century A.D., due to the “global warming”, winery-based agriculture could be found even as far up to the North as in Scotland. Then, in the early 14th century, the “global cooling” came; it is now referred to by historians as the “Little Ice Age”. Both the medieval global warming and global cooling were the reflection of the specifics of solar activity during this particular period of history. The fact that the years 2008-2010 were marked by especially cold winters in the Northern hemisphere points out to the fact that environmentalism followers may soon switch from being concerned about the global warming thinking about the global cooling.
Even if the global warming, in the media-sponsored context of this expression, was to continue, it would have to be welcomed rather than opposed, as the postindustrial Western countries will be able to benefit from it. O’Brien and Leichenko state that most countries located in the Northern hemisphere would be winners in the global warming while Africa and countries situated in the low coastal zones would be losers in this situation (2003, 97). However, unfortunately, there is nothing new about the Third World countries being “losers” in the geopolitical sense of this word. In fact, cynical as it may sound, if a number of people in the Third World countries is reduced due to the global warming, it will effectively eliminate the problem of these countries’ overpopulation thus contributing greatly to the UN’s officially proclaimed agenda of “eliminating the world’s hunger”.
It is possible to summarize the discussed issues as follows: if people want to understand the true motive of the global warming-related paranoia, they just need to ask themselves a question, “Quo bono?” (“Who benefits?”). Given the fact that the representatives of the world’s plutocracy were able to benefit enormously from previous artificially induced “scares”, there can be very little doubt that the global warming is an analogical case. Thus, the very concept of the global warming, in the form that it is has been currently presented to the public, is nothing but one more baseless but utterly profitable urban myth of the modern time.