The Rio+20 world environment conference has come and gone. The ‘+20’ comes from the fact that it took place 20 years after the first great world environment conference, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Between these two world environment conferences, one was held in Johannesburg in 2002. I was a delegate at that conference.
Ever since 1992, I have watched the evolution taking place. There is a good side and a bad side. The good side is that general world environmental awareness has been enhanced. That is definitely good. Here in South Africa, we see daily international poaching attacks on our elephants and rhinos. Disgraceful. For us in the south, on a midwinter’s day in June, the total number of rhinos shot this year stands at 251. Last year’s total was 448 – more than one a day. It is getting worse – poachers are using helicopters and machine guns, as well as chainsaws on live rhinos.
There is much to do to sustain and protect the world’s natural environment. That should be done. It should be done well and honestly.
The bad side of Rio+20 is the degree of scientific dishonesty and economic manipulation that has crept into the international debate.
In recent years, we have heard a great deal about ‘climate change’. I am on record as saying that I do not believe that any activities of mankind are producing any climate change related to industrial carbon dioxide (CO2).
Observed climate change appears totally linked to natural cosmic rays interacting with the magnetic fields of the earth and the sun’s interactive magnetic screening system.
But there are organisations in the world that want mankind to be at fault so that there is someone to attack – and someone to tax and control.
It was noticeable that Rio+20 moved away from the theme of ‘climate change’. It would appear that the disastrous climate change that green extremists predicted with great relish has not been occurring and has become a dying ‘marketable concept’. They cannot scare enough people anymore.
So, at Rio+20, the concepts of ‘biodiversity’ and ‘sustainable development’ were pushed as the main themes and, therefore, the main ‘worries’. If people are made to worry, they can be made to fear, and they can then be controlled.
Rio+20 was all about international control.
Certain green organisations clearly want to exert direct control over world governments, and want to force their brand of world government onto our planet. The concepts of biodiversity and sustainable development give them the leverage. They posture that these concepts are in such desperate trouble that the extreme greens must take control. They will then defend ‘biodiversity’ and, to do this, they will decide what ‘sustainable development’ actually means. They will decide how, when and where any community will be permitted to ‘develop’.
It is interesting to take a look at the Johannes- burg Declaration on Sustainable Development, which came out of the world environment conference in Johannesburg in 2002. It included wording asking for world attention to be given to “the worldwide conditions that pose severe threats to the sustainable development of our people, which include chronic hunger, malnutrition . . . and endemic, communicable and chronic diseases, in particular HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis”.
What happened to all these human issues at Rio+20? It seems the Rio version of ‘bio- diversity’ does not include humans.
In Rio, the head of the WWF stated that the organisation wanted “transparent annual reporting and review on subsidy reforms leading to the elimination by 2020 of all environmentally harmful subsidies, in particular fossil fuel subsidies”. Who do these people think they are? This is a statement giving authenticity to some ‘world government’ to tell some country how to take care of its own citizens.
In many African countries, building a coal-fired power station will reduce CO2 emissions. How come? Well, there are many thousands of families who have no electricity, and so cook on wood or dung fires. These fires burn inefficiently and also produce many airborne emissions that harm or even kill people. If thousands of these fires are replaced by a modern coal-fired power plant, the net affect would be improved air quality and less CO2 per unit of energy. This would be an advance, even if the CO2 were a problem. Much scientific evidence shows that CO2 is not a problem, but this evidence is shouted down. Such an approach is not honest, and it is not science.
Meanwhile, European countries introduce a carbon emissions tax on passenger aircraft flying over their airspace. The tax, for each passenger, is calculated on total miles flown, so passengers flying to Europe from faraway places like South Africa and Australia pay much more emissions tax to the Europeans to clean up their air than their own citizens who fly around Europe. Despite appeals from South Africa to spare us the tax, we were turned down. We are getting sick and tired of this high-handed First World attitude.
Now, from Rio+20, we are told that a goal for development is to move away from ‘outdated’ concepts like measuring national growth using gross domestic product, or GDP, and to rather use more modern equitable measures, such as the Happy Planet Index (HPI), in which some world authority is going to place a value on our environment. Those values will be built into the HPI. Meantime, we fight the elephant and rhino poachers all by ourselves.
In Rio, eight of the world’s largest develop- ment banks announced the largest mone- tary commitment to come out of Rio+20, a $175-billion initiative to shift investment away from roads to public transport. They want to use the money to promote the use of buses, trains and bicycles instead of cars and aeroplanes.
Many parts of Africa do not even have a road yet – neither electricity, a school or a clinic. Stop telling these people to get off the development path. It is time that all mankind had a real chance of genuine development. Stop using the ‘saving of biodiversity’ cover to pull economic and development tricks ‘in the dark’.