The Risk-Monger

Cancel Rio+20

An opeRio+20 is in the toiletn letter to Ban Ki-moon

Dear Mr Secretary-General,

If you love the environment, please pay attention to the chorus of voices and cancel the UN’s Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference. It is promising to be an entirely politicised, misguided event already hijacked by the eco-activists, certain to achieve nothing and cause great environmental destruction in the process. I cannot understand how a group of national delegates who know nothing about sustainability can possible produce anything other than a rather nice holiday and personal amusement (yes, the Risk-Monger is also annoyed that you did not respond to his request to attend as a sceptical delegate). Failure of Rio+20 has been widely forecast (or shall I say: success has been downgraded) so I must ask how the 50,000 expected delegates, activists and environmentally conscientious business leaders flying into a fragile biosphere to express their regrets about another UN failure can possibly be sustainable? Couldn’t they just tweet their chagrin?

Even your lap-dogs are not cosying up to you anymore. The European Commission has downgraded their expectations and the European Parliament has just cancelled their delegation – yes, correct – the ENVI Committee has cancelled its 11 MEPs participating in Rio+20 (and these are people used to wasting time!). I rarely hear myself saying this, but I salute their logic: at a time of austerity, such a frivolous activity would be hypocritical. I should add that at a time of austerity, such expectations made in the Rio+20 “outcome document” conclusions will never be adhered to as we are, simply put, too broke to bother! I suppose you don’t get it Mr Ban because you are not part of the squeezed former middle class in the West who can no longer afford to pay their inflated green energy bills. But a lot of us have got it for the last couple of years and have had to make compromises. When idealism hits the cold wall of reality, the eco-activists should learn that compromise is a sensible approach, but somehow these environmentalists continue to choose intransigence (… and inevitable failure).

So don’t count on the “rich” Western nations to add any value to your CO2 sucking extravaganza on the beach. Could we assume though that the developing countries will benefit from attending this great event? Well … No!

According to your own news service, the G77 group of developing countries has basically flipped you the bird. It seems that “… some developing countries (are) asserting that a green economy approach should not lead to green protectionism or limit growth and poverty eradication”. I suspect that the G77 members have been reading the Risk-Monger because they have now realised that they will be poorer and suffer more deaths from the rich world’s attempt to “save the planet”. Ever since the eco-activists hijacked the concept of sustainability, it has no longer been about development or reducing poverty. Five extra days of negotiations will not be enough – the G77 have read your “outcome document” and they get it now. Trying to make the rich world feel better about themselves does not help those in developing countries to feel better – it only worsens the situation.

Mr Ban, I realise that you like expensive photo ops. Since Rio+20 will provide only forced grins for the staff photographers (don’t expect much media presence), could I suggest perhaps a visit with Bono to Lesotho instead, maybe focus on being photographed in front of a new well or irrigation system that will help people that matter. Try to avoid being photographed grimacing amidst the sour invectives of uncompromising eco-activists in a Rio in flames – they won’t help your legacy much. Facing reality might be a better legacy. Show us that you get it and just cancel the disaster in the making and help make the planet more sustainable in the process.

Yours faithfully,

The Risk-Monger

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  1. I agree, but finally how contraddicting can this be?

    – EU threatens China, India over airline emissions (EURACTIV)

    – EU to spare some industries from full carbon trading obligations (EURACTIV)

    It reminds me of a phrase from Phil Collins’ song “Do as I say don’t do as I do”.

    1. Contradictions are completely acceptable in an environmentalist logic Patrick. It is about feeling good about what you can do, ignoring actual consequences or things you cannot do. Sweden salivates about a world without chemicals, but don’t dare legislate against the automotive industry (which must make their cars from wild flowers); Germany proudly struts its nuclear free energy industry (and extends the life of some of the worst coal factories); we push organic food and pretend there are no consequences on food supply in Africa or child labour on subsistent organic farms. Contradictions are the most delightful part of the environmental agenda so we can expect Rio+20 to be declared a great success, but thankfully nothing will come out of it (ie, no decisions that may lead to greater suffering and deaths in developing countries). The Risk-Monger just enjoys poking people’s noses into their own inutility.

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