Rearguard UN action will fail to prevent retreat of the new green order
by Peter Foster, National Post
Between the world wars, when the march of Communism suffered a local setback, a representative of the Comintern, the organization set up by Lenin to spread global revolution, would turn up to rally the non-uniformed troops. This week, Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Program, UNEP, turned up in Toronto to put some backbone into the cadres down at the editorial boards of The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.
Mr. Steiner’s visit was no doubt timed to provide stiffening in the wake of Stephen Harper’s victory, but he also seemed to be here on Monday to support Ontario’s Green Energy Act. His timing turned out to be a little off. On Tuesday, provincial Conservative leader Tim Hudak promised to deep-six both feed-in tariffs and the Liberal government’s sweetheart deal with Korean giant Samsung if he becomes premier after the provincial election on Oct. 6.
Mr. Steiner has become a prominent source of green alarmism and a leading shill for rent-seeking green energy companies, who were already in mourning at Mr. Harper’s victory.
According to the Globe, Mr. Steiner suggested that those who complained about green energy’s enormous costs were using a “simplistic argument” to undermine “a crucial policy in boosting Ontario’s economy.” The Globe did not report whether his nose started to lengthen when he claimed that the green shift was going smoothly “and in a less costly manner” in places such as Germany.
We are apparently to ignore that solar-powered electricity costs up to 20 times as much as the conventional type. Just concentrate on the fantasy that there is no trade-off between growth and greenery. Meanwhile, think of Canada’s reputation as an environmental “leader.” (For those not familiar with greenspeak, “leadership” means doling out subsidies. Mr. Harper’s culpable lack of green leadership has been much bemoaned in the wake of his victory.)
At the Star, Mr. Steiner reportedly expressed amazement that anybody might object to having their views blighted and their electricity bills padded by wind turbines. What about the oil sands? But then the oil sands are a bit difficult to spot from the Scarborough Bluffs.
Who is Achim Steiner anyway? You might think it’s a bit extreme to compare a UN agency to an organization set up to overthrow the “international bourgeoisie” and abolish the nation state. But not if you know anything about UNEP.
UNEP was set up by Canada’s own Maurice Strong — perhaps the leading figure in trying to save socialism from the dustbin of history by painting both socialism and the dustbin green. He created it after his first great UN environmental doomfest in Stockholm in 1972. Its importance was indicated by the man Mr. Strong selected to be its first head: himself.
In 1990, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Jan Tinbergen, who had been the first Nobel laureate in economics and was unashamed to admit that he had entered economics “to find a scientific base for a socialist order,” specifically cited UNEP as an organization that would keep the socialist dream alive.
In his 2004 book, The Role of Business in the Modern World, British author and former chief OECD economist David Henderson fingered the creation of UNEP as a “landmark” in the development of what he called “new millennium collectivism.”
UNEP has always reflected Mr. Strong’s genius for using global taxpayers’ money to further his political agenda. As Mr. Strong’s successor, Mr. Steiner controls not only UNEP but the United Nations Office in Nairobi, UNON, “which provides the administrative, conference, security and logisitics services to the UN family in Kenya, which hosts offices and projects of more than 60 UN agencies, funds and programs, and over 5,000 staff.” UNEP is also a co-parent of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, the main agency that pushes climate alarmism. We might note that one piece of “capacity” that the hefty UN presence in Kenya has failed to “build” is that of honest government.
It is astonishing that anybody, especially editorial boards, would take Mr. Steiner any more seriously than they might take a Libyan official bloviating about human rights. He has for years reflected His Master’s Voice, such as in promoting a World Environmental Organization, with “disciplinary powers.” Mr. Steiner persistently accuses his opponents of being “ideologically” motivated, as if he were without either ideas or personal interests. He has called for the outlawing of plastic bags and has rejected the notion that biofuel policy might have been responsible for food-price escalation — a consequence that even Fidel Castro spotted. He perpetually invokes the voiceless future as his true constituency, and castigates big carbon-footed tourism, even as he clocks up more air miles than George Clooney in Up in the Air. He talks of a “Third Industrial Revolution.” What he really means is a revolution to end human betterment by government fiat.
Mr. Steiner was quick to leap to his colleagues’ defence in the case of Climategate. Mere doubts about the scientific facts were no excuse to slow down the agenda, he said. Questions about IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri amounted to a “witch hunt.” Glaciergate was a “typographical error.” The notion that the IPCC was “sensationalist” was, he claimed, “risible… Indeed, caution rather than sensation has been the panel’s watchword throughout its existence.”
Mr. Steiner will no doubt be mortified to read of Mr. Hudak’s promise to disassemble those parts of the grand UN plan that Dalton McGuinty has been persuaded to introduce in Ontario. Despite the increasingly desperate rearguard action of Mr. Steiner and his ilk, the green global revolution seems to be going the same way as its red predecessor.