On the run-up to December’s Climate horror-fest in Copenhagen – billed as the last chance saloon in man’s Quixotic tilt at rising carbon levels – the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon has, it seems, displaced Planet Gore as the world’s self-appointed Climate Czar. In a bid to assume world leadership and turn Copenhagen’s coming Emission Impossible into a personal triumph, Ban’s ‘choice’ for the role is about as desperate as Obama’s of Van Jones for Green Car Czar.
If the Disney-like world of the UN were to be brought to the silver-screen, the part of the current UN Chief might best be portrayed by Tweedie-Pie, such is the level of Ban’s low-key, low-profile caricature of an effective diplomat. Dubbed the “invisible man” by parts of the media, the UN Chief’s speech in South Korea in mid-August was the opening salvo in a new campaign to boost his global leadership credentials on the run up to Copenhagen. But if that was the aim it fell short. The UK’s Daily Telegraph described the speech as a “PR stunt” redolent with the “sort of cataclysmic environmental statements doled out in scientifically dodgy disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow or the forthcoming 2012”.
“We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet,” Ban pronounced to the Global Environment Forum – what we in the UK call a ‘Quango’, a Quasi-automomous, non-governmental organization or ‘unelected bureaucracy’. We are facing “Droughts, floods, and other natural disasters” as well mass social unrest, violence and “incalculable” human suffering, warned Ban. All of which will result, Ban claimed, if the world fails to “seal a deal” on climate change in December.
With that the UN General Secretary – Greenpeace note – jetted off to Norway to draw attention to the melting polar ice cap where, unfortunately, severe weather conditions led to a trip to the North Pole being put on ice. Non-plussed, Ban informed his Norwegian audience: “We may have a virtually ice-free Arctic in 30 years”. Ban did not seem to know that the Arctic sea-ice is half a million kilometres greater in extent than it was this time last year. And his hosts were clearly too polite to inform him that their ancestors were growing crops in Greenland over a millennia ago. Nor did Ban explain why he picked the Arctic rather than the world’s far larger greatly expanded ice mass of the Antarctic.
But, having set the apocalyptic hyperbole bar so high, could Ban keep it up? No problem. “Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards the abyss,” Ban told the World Climate Conference in early September. Allegedly “shaken” by what he had seen in Norway, Ban warned that rising sea levels could threaten major cities and the lives of 130 million people. More significantly, many of the “more distant scenarios” predicted by some scientists were, he alleged “happening now”. For the more investigative-minded present however, Ban failed to identify where exactly.
Next up was a special one-day UN climate summit as a prelude to the opening of the general Assembly in late September in the United States – a personal initiative by Ban to break the increasing international climate impasse. To steal from Bill Shakespeare, the day turned out to be one “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”. Oh China’s wily leaders cannily made all the headlines claiming they would take “determined and practical steps” against climate change. Sadly, a commitment to binding CO2 targets – the only meaningful step if you are (as Ban is) a dyed in the wool climate alarmist – wasn’t one of them.
Unfortunately for Ban and his corrupt and incompetent United Nations organization, back in the Real World what is “happening now” is that North Korea’s Kim Il Jong and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad each present a very clear and present nuclear threat. In respect of these, Ban retains a diplomatic silence. Unless, that is, you count his response to the hijacking of the Iranian election. In response to the reinstatement of a serial miscreant president Ki-moon dispatched … a letter of congratulations. The UN quickly attempted to defuse the ensuing furore by claiming the letter wasn’t an endorsement, rather it represented an “expression of hope” that “Iran and the UN could continue to cooperate closely in addressing regional and global issues”. If the claim of UN-Iranian ‘co-operation’ came as a surprise, it was nothing to the revelation by Iran at a subsequent UN conference: the existence of a second nuclear enrichment plant about which the world knew nothing.
The fact is that Ban’s UN is rife with corruption and mismanagement and wholly unable to manage itself never mind world affairs. The UN Human Rights Council is an international scandal as the very global tyrants that democracy abhors remain in control giving a free pass to rising militant Islamism, militant Islam’s war on the free world and all manner of human rights abuses. It should be no surprise with such an appalling track record that the UN and Ban should attempt to vindicate its ‘world lead’ status in other ways – and headline-grabbing apocalyptic language comes cheap when dealing with nebulous future threats. But even UN staffers steeped in diplomatic enfeeblement struggle with Ban’s leadership.
In August a leaked UN confidential memo written by Norway’s No 2 at the UN, Mona Juul, bitterly criticized the absence of the UN and Ban from the world stage. Scathing about Ban Ki-moon’s “spineless and charmless” approach, the author bemoaned the UN’s failure to deliver “multilateral solutions to global crises” because “Ban and the UN are conspicuous by their absence”. We cynics may have thought this was simply normal UN policy. Not so, it seems. Highlighting the UN’s more recent policy failures over Burma, the war in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and the Congo, the memo zeros in on Ban’s “lack of engagement and interest in studying well enough the problems … he is supposed to handle”. In layman’s terms, Ban rarely knows what he’s talking about.
Stung by Memo-Gate and other headlines including “Whereabouts unknown” (The Times) and “Nowhere Man” (Foreign Policy) not to mention the Wall St Journal’s “invisible man”, Ban has decided to come out fighting, armed principally, it seems, with an Apocalyptic Thesaurus. The leader of the prospective New World Order and the new Global Climate Czar is a largely invisible career diplomat, an ineffective politician (why else appoint him UN Chief) and anything but an intellectual heavyweight belatedly seeking international credibility. Planet Gore-ists and climate jihadists everywhere must be so proud.