Category Archive 'United Nations'
30 Mar 2009
The potential costs of dealing with an imaginary problem can be tremendous. Fox News reports on the UN’s about to be released climate change wish list. Santa Claus could never afford all this.
A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes â€” all under the supervision of the world body. …
The paper makes no effort to calculate the magnitude of the costs and disruption involved, but despite the discreet presentation, makes clear that they will reverberate across the entire global economic system.
Among the tools that are considered are the cap-and-trade system for controlling carbon emissions that has been espoused by the Obama administration; “carbon taxes” on imported fuels and energy-intensive goods and industries, including airline transportation; and lower subsidies for those same goods, as well as new or higher subsidies for goods that are considered “environmentally sound.”
Other tools are referred to only vaguely, including “energy policy reform,” which the report indicates could affect “large-scale transportation infrastructure such as roads, rail and airports.” When it comes to the results of such reform, the note says only that it could have “positive consequences for alternative transportation providers and producers of alternative fuels.”
In the same bland manner, the note informs negotiators without going into details that cap-and-trade schemes “may induce some industrial relocation” to “less regulated host countries.” Cap-and-trade functions by creating decreasing numbers of pollution-emission permits to be traded by industrial users, and thus pay more for each unit of carbon-based pollution, a market-driven system that aims to drive manufacturers toward less polluting technologies.
The note adds only that industrial relocation “would involve negative consequences for the implementing country, which loses employment and investment.” But at the same time it “would involve indeterminate consequences for the countries that would host the relocated industries.”
There are also entirely new kinds of tariffs and trade protectionist barriers such as those termed in the note as “border carbon adjustment”â€” which, the note says, can impose “a levy on imported goods equal to that which would have been imposed had they been produced domestically” under more strict environmental regimes.
Another form of “adjustment” would require exporters to “buy [carbon] offsets at the border equal to that which the producer would have been forced to purchase had the good been produced domestically.”
The impact of both schemes, the note says, “would be functionally equivalent to an increased tariff: decreased market share for covered foreign producers.” (There is no definition in the report of who, exactly, is “foreign.”) The note adds that “If they were implemented fairly, such schemes would leave trade and investment patterns unchanged.” Nothing is said about the consequences if such fairness was not achieved.
UN Information Note
03 Jan 2008
Damian Thompson reports another victory for human rights at the United Nations.
the General Assembly of the United Nations ended the year by passing a disgusting resolution protecting Islam from criticism of its human rights violations.
Lots of non-Muslims voted for it â€“ a sign that more and more corrupt Third World governments are identifying with the ideology of Islam, even if they don’t accept its doctrines.
The resolution goes under the innocuous title “Combating defamation of religions” â€“ but the text singles out “Islam and Muslims in particular”. It expresses “deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism”.
Wrongly associated? As of today, terrorists have carried out 10,277 separate attacks since September 11, 2001. They all belong to the same religion, and it ainâ€™t Methodism.
The resolution (which of course makes no mention of the vicious persecution of Christians) was pushed through by the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which has been agitating for it for years. Naturally every Muslim country was among the 108 supporters, but itâ€™s interesting to note how other countries lined up.
Cuba, China, North Korea and Zimbabwe all voted the same way. Iâ€™ll give you one guess.
14 Dec 2007
Marc Morano reports on Senator James Inhofe’s blog from the UN conference in Bali.
How do you save the Earth from catastrophic climate change? Create a new International tax to be used to redistribute monies from countries like to US to the Third World.
A global tax on carbon dioxide emissions was urged to help save the Earth from catastrophic man-made global warming at the United Nations climate conference. A panel of UN participants on Thursday urged the adoption of a tax that would represent â€œa global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations.â€
â€œFinally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs,â€ Othmar Schwank, a global tax advocate, told Inhofe EPW Press Blog…
Schwank said at least â€œ$10-$40 billion dollars per yearâ€ could be generated by the tax, and wealthy nations like the U.S. would bear the biggest burden based on the â€œpolluters pay principle.â€
The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to â€œcontribute significantly more to this global fund,â€ Schwank explained. He also added, â€œIt is very essential to tax coal.â€
The UN was presented with a new report from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment titled â€œGlobal Solidarity in Financing Adaptation.â€ The report stated there was an â€œurgent needâ€ for a global tax in order for â€œdamages [from climate change] to be kept from growing to truly catastrophic levels, especially in vulnerable countries of the developing world.â€
The tens of billions of dollars per year generated by a global tax would â€œflow into a global Multilateral Adaptation Fundâ€ to help nations cope with global warming, according to the report.
Schwank said a global carbon dioxide tax is an idea long overdue that is urgently needed to establish â€œa funding scheme which generates the resources required to address the dimension of challenge with regard to climate change costs.â€ …
The environmental group Friends of the Earth, in attendance in Bali, also advocated the transfer of money from rich to poor nations on Wednesday.
â€œA climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources,â€ said Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth. …
MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen warned about these types of carbon regulations earlier this year. “Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat’s dream. If you control carbon, you control life,” Lindzen said in March 2007.
06 Dec 2007
The United Arab Emirates has impounded the cargo of a vessel bound for Iran after discovering that “hazardous materials” aboard contravened UN sanctions placed on the Islamic republic to curtail its nuclear development programme.
In a further ratcheting up of the UAE’s determination to curb misuse of its ports, an official there confirmed that the cargo, detained for testing last month, contained materials banned by UN Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747, while the purchaser of the materials had also been barred by the same resolutions.
But he declined to identify the contents of the cargo or the Iranian company that had ordered the materials.
27 Sep 2007
The Spanish newspaper El Pais yesterday published a leaked transcript of a conversation between George W. Bush and Spanish President JosÃ© MarÃa Aznar in February of 2003 which the left blogosphere gleefully reported as having revealed that Bush intended to go to war whether or not Saddam complied with UN Resolutions.
So, the war didn’t happen because Saddam wouldn’t comply. It happened because Bush and the Republicans wanted it to happen no matter what, whether or not it was necessary.
My ability to bring you the full details on this are, to put it charitably, limited by my inability to accurately translate Spanish. But it seems someone in the Spanish government has leaked to El Pais transcripts of conversations between President Bush and then Spanish Prime Minister Aznar just before the outbreak of the Iraq War. The gist seems to be that Bush was rather candid about the fact that the efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis were a sham and that the war was a done deal.
Not a surprise certainly, but interesting to see it revealed as it was discussed by the actors at the time.
As I’ve said before, the war in Iraq was a done deal in the neocon playbook since 1999. They just had to find the right excuse. (And the right idiot in the Oval Office.)
My Spanish translation skills are also too rusty to come up with an accurate translation but surely it’s only a matter of time before someone of greater skill can tell us exactly what transpired in that conversation. As the White House once again tries to sell a case for another disastrous confrontation in the Middle East, it would be good to review the historical record on how this mess started before we allow our government to compound it.
But, whoops, here comes JosÃ© Guardia today, demolishing the whole story.
But what the transcript doesn’t say, no matter the headlines, is that Bush was going to invade even if Saddam complied. What it says is that the US would be in Iraq in mid-March whether there was a second UN resolution or not, one that Bush said he would try to get by all means, which is an entirely different matter. As everybody knows, there’s certainly a debate on whether the first resolution was enough or not -many reputable experts think it was, though there’s not unanimity on this, certainly. But the issue is different. …
Clearly this is not an equivalent to the Downing Street memo, but a leak from a Zapatero administration official to an anti-Bush, anti-Aznar newspaper in the hope of embarrassing the two, and atrociously translated to make it all look worse. But I’m sorry to say they only embarrassed themselves. No matter how much you spin it, the memorandum shows exactly the opposite to what they say it shows. In layman terms, they got hoist by their own petard.
01 Apr 2007
On this 25th anniversary of the Falklands War, Tony Blair is looking less like Margaret Thatcher and alarmingly like Jimmy Carter, the embodiment of the soi-disant “superpower” as a smiling eunuch.
But this is a season of anniversaries. A few days ago, the European Union was celebrating its 50th birthday with the usual lame-o Euro-boosterism. I said up above that the 15 hostages are “British subjects.” But, as a point of law, they are also “citizens of the European Union.” Even Oxford and Hoover’s Timothy Garton Ash, one of the most indefatigable of those Euro-boosters, seemed to recognize the Iranian action was a challenge to Europe’s pretensions. “Fifteen Europeans were kidnapped from Iraqi territorial waters by Iranian Revolutionary Guards,” he wrote. “Those 14 European men and one European woman have been held at an undisclosed location for nearly a week, interrogated, denied consular access, but shown on Iranian television, with one of them making a staged ‘confession,’ clearly under duress. So if Europe is as it claims to be, what’s it going to do about it?”
Short answer: Nothing.
Slightly longer answer: The 15 “European” hostages aren’t making that much news in “Europe.” And, insofar as they have, other “Europeans” — i.e., Belgians, Germans and whatnot — don’t look on the 15 hostages as “Europeans” but as Brits. Europe has more economic leverage on Iran than America has. The European Union is the Islamic Republic’s biggest trading partner, accounting for 40 percent of Iranian exports. They are in a position to inflict serious pain on Tehran. But not for 15 British servicemen. There may be “European citizens,” but there is no European polity.
OK, well, how about the United Nations? Those student demonstrators want the execution of “British aggressors.” In fact, they’re U.N. aggressors. HMS Cornwall is the base for multinational marine security patrols in the Gulf: a mission authorized by the United Nations. So what’s the U.N. doing about this affront to its authority and (in the public humiliation of the captives) of the Geneva Conventions?
Short answer: Nothing.
Read the whole thing.
According to the Russians, the balloon goes up next weekend.
05 Nov 2006
Christopher Moncton starts a series of two articles discussing the fallacies of the UN’s Stern Report on Climate Change.
First, the UN implies that carbon dioxide ended the last four ice ages. It displays two 450,000-year graphs: a sawtooth curve of temperature and a sawtooth of airborne CO2 that’s scaled to look similar. Usually, similar curves are superimposed for comparison. The UN didn’t do that. If it had, the truth would have shown: the changes in temperature preceded the changes in CO2 levels.
Next, the UN abolished the medieval warm period (the global warming at the end of the First Millennium AD). In 1995, David Deming, a geoscientist at the University of Oklahoma, had written an article reconstructing 150 years of North American temperatures from borehole data. He later wrote: “With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. One of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said: ‘We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.’ “…
Scores of scientific papers show that the medieval warm period was real, global and up to 3C warmer than now. Then, there were no glaciers in the tropical Andes: today they’re there. There were Viking farms in Greenland: now they’re under permafrost. There was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.
The Antarctic, which holds 90 per cent of the world’s ice and nearly all its 160,000 glaciers, has cooled and gained ice-mass in the past 30 years, reversing a 6,000-year melting trend. Data from 6,000 boreholes worldwide show global temperatures were higher in the Middle Ages than now. And the snows of Kilimanjaro are vanishing not because summit temperature is rising (it isn’t) but because post-colonial deforestation has dried the air. Al Gore please note.
In some places it was also warmer than now in the Bronze Age and in Roman times. It wasn’t CO2 that caused those warm periods. It was the sun. So the UN adjusted the maths and all but extinguished the sun’s role in today’s warming. Here’s how:
• The UN dated its list of “forcings” (influences on temperature) from 1750, when the sun, and consequently air temperature, was almost as warm as now. But its start-date for the increase in world temperature was 1900, when the sun, and temperature, were much cooler.
• Every “forcing” produces “climate feedbacks” making temperature rise faster. For instance, as temperature rises in response to a forcing, the air carries more water vapour, the most important greenhouse gas; and polar ice melts, increasing heat absorption. Up goes the temperature again. The UN more than doubled the base forcings from greenhouse gases to allow for climate feedbacks. It didn’t do the same for the base solar forcing.
Two centuries ago, the astronomer William Herschel was reading Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations when he noticed that quoted grain prices fell when the number of sunspots rose. Gales of laughter ensued, but he was right. At solar maxima, when the sun was at its hottest and sunspots showed, temperature was warmer, grain grew faster and prices fell. Such observations show that even small solar changes affect climate detectably. But recent solar changes have been big.
Read the whole thing.
14 Sep 2006
John Bolton is nowhere nearly as conservative as I am, poor guy!
But, he’s done the best job of any UN ambassador I can remember, the liberals don’t like him, and he is a classmate of mine, so the least the Blogosphere can do, it seems to me, is to help secure his confirmation.
Blogging for Bolton web-site. Sign up today. If I can support a guy that moderate and good-natured, you can too.
01 Sep 2006
According to Special Rapporteur Barbara A. Frey (an ultra-liberal law professor at the University of Minnesota with a conspicuous feminist grievances bee in her bonnet), there is a human rights obligation requiring Gun Control, but no individual right to self defense.
Frey was given the assignment by the UN of preparing a comprehensive study on the “Human Rights Issue” of the “prevention of human rights violations committed with small arms and light weapons.”
The key portions of Frey’s Final Report state:
Article 2, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights imposes positive obligations upon States parties to prevent acts by private persons that impair fundamental rights, including the right to life.
Minimum effective measures that States must adopt to comply with their due diligence obligations to prevent small arms violence must go beyond mere criminalization of acts of armed violence. States must also enforce a minimum licensing requirement designed to keep small arms out of the hands of persons who are most likely to misuse them. Other effective measures should also be enforced to protect the right to life, as suggested by the draft principles on the prevention of human rights violations committed with small arms that have been proposed by the Special Rapporteur.
Self-defence as an exemption to criminal responsibility, not a human right.
The measures which “core human rights obligations” require include:
a) The prohibition of civilian possession of weapons designed for military use (automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles, machine guns and light weapons);
(b) Organization and promotion of amnesties to encourage the retiring of weapons from active use;
(c) Requirement of marking and tracing information by manufacturers;
(d) Incorporation of a gender perspective in public awareness efforts to ensure that the special needs and human rights of women and children are met, especially in post-conflict situations.
Frey’s claim that “No international human right of self-defence is expressly set forth in the primary sources of international law: treaties, customary law, or general principles” fails to treat the entire history of Western philosophy and legal theory as a “primary source of international law.”
No man is supposed, at the making of a commonwealth, to have abandoned the defense of his life and his limbs, where the law cannot arrive time enough to his assistance.
–Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, XXVII, 1651.
Self-defense is nature’s oldest law.
–John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel, I, 1682.
No man was ever yet so void of sense
As to debate the right of self-defense.
–Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman, II, 1701.
But female law professors, well….
Hat tips to David Hardy, Glenn Reynolds, Richard Samuelson.
24 Jul 2006
David Kopel, at the Volokh Conspiracy, in response to demands for UN peacekeeping, notes the case a few years back in which Indian members of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were successfully bribed by Hezbollah to assist in an act of terrorism.
UNIFIL’s most notorious collaboration with terrorists involved the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli soldiers, and the subsequent cover-up.
On October 7, 2000, Hezbollah terrorists entered Israel, attacked three Israeli soldiers on Mount Dov, and abducted them Lebanon. The kidnapping was witnessed by several dozen UNIFIL soldiers who stood idle. One of the soldier witnesses described the kidnapping: the terrorists set of an explosive which stunned the Israeli soldiers. Clad in UN uniforms, the terrorists called out, “Come, come, we’ll help you.”
The Israeli soldiers approached the men in UN uniforms. Then, a Hezbollah bomb detonated—-apparently prematurely. It wounded the disguised Hezbollah commander, and three Israeli soldiers.
Two other terrorists in U.N. uniforms dragged their Hezbollah commander and the three wounded soldiers into a getaway car.
According an Indian solider in UNIFIL who witnessed the kidnapping, “By this stage, there was a big commotion and dozens of UN soldiers from the Indian brigade came around.” The witness stated that the brigade knew that the kidnappers in UN uniform were Hezbollah. One soldiers said that the brigade should arrest the Hezbollah, but the brigade did nothing.
According to the Indian soldier, the UNFIL brigade in the area “could have prevented the kidnapping.”
“I’m very sorry about what happened, because we saw what happened,” he said. Hezbollah “were wearing our uniforms and it was too bad we didn’t stop them.”
It appears that at least four of the UNIFIL “peacekeepers,” all from India, has received bribes from Hezbollah in order to assist the kidnapping by helping them get to the kidnapping spot and find the Israeli soldiers. Some of the bribery involved alcohol and Lebanese women.
The Indian brigade later had a bitter internal argument, as some members complained that the brigade had betrayed its peacekeeping mandate. An Indian government investigation sternly criticized the brigade’s conduct.
There is evidence of far greater payments by Hezbollah to the UNIFIL Indian brigade, including hundreds of thousands of dollars for assistance in the kidnapping and cover-up.
The UN cover-up began almost immediately.
20 Jun 2006
The corrupt United Nations, run by tinpot Third World dictatorships, is actively working (along with a number of prominent liberal international do-gooding organizations) to impose gun control on every country in the world, including the United States. Civilian disarmament resulting in governmental monopoly of force is a fundamental goal of leftwing statism.
A push for global gun control gets under way next week in New York City, when the United Nations opens a conference intended to curb the international arms trade.
Amnesty International, Oxfam International and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) are pushing for a treaty to “protect civilians from armed violence.”
Those three groups — which have formed a coalition called the Control Arms Campaign — say their goal is to reduce arms proliferation and misuse — “and to convince governments to introduce global principles to regulate the transfers of weapons.” They are urging the United Nations to impose a “binding arms trade treaty.”
According to Amnesty International, nearly 2 billion people live in deep poverty, a problem made worse by the “uncontrolled proliferation of guns and other weapons that also fuels human rights abuses and escalates conflicts.” Amnesty International claims that weapons kill more 1,000 men, women, and children every day.
“It doesn’t have to be like this,” Amnesty International says on its website. The Control Arms Campaign believes a global Arms Trade Treaty is the solution.
But in the United States, defenders of the Second Amendment are insulted by what they see as a carefully timed assault on the U.S. Constitution.
They note that the U.N. Conference on Global Gun Control will run from July 26-July 7 — a time span that includes the Fourth of July, Independence Day.
The U.N. conference poses a direct threat to America’s constitutionally protected individual right to keep and bear arms, said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).
Gottlieb, who plans to attend the U.N. conference, is urging the U.S. government to reconsider its financial support for the United Nations, given its effort to undermine the Second Amendment.
“Had it not been for our tradition of private firearms ownership, our citizens might still be subjects of the queen,” Gottlieb said in a press release.
“Had it not been for America, all of Europe might be speaking German. Were America not the ‘great arsenal of democracy’ that President Franklin D. Roosevelt described in 1940, the world would be a far different place, and the sanctimonious bureaucrats at the U.N. might instead be working in labor camps.”
Gottlieb finds it troubling that as the United States celebrates its 230th birthday, global anti-gunners “want to create a binding international agreement that could supersede our laws and Constitution.
“We have done much for the U.N., and in return, the organization has hosted despots, tyrants and dictators whose record of human rights abuses, aggression and genocide speaks for itself. And now comes an attack on our Constitution, on our national holiday.
“America has always answered the call to help our international friends and neighbors,” Gottlieb observed, “but when our very way of life is attacked, maybe it is time to find more worthy endeavors for our material and financial support.”
At the United Nations’ first small arms conference in 2001, the United States rejected the idea of global gun control.
John Bolton – the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations – in 2001 was serving as U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control. He told the U.N. conference in 2001, “The United States believes that the responsible use of firearms is a legitimate aspect of national life.”
04 Jun 2006
Agence France-Presse via Yahoo tells us that the UN is now warning us about “endangered deserts.”
The world’s deserts are being threatened “as never before”, particularly by climate change, but can still be used as a key resource if action is taken to protect them, according to a report released on Monday.
The study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) highlights the problems facing desert areas but also their potential uses in vital sectors such as energy, food and medicine.
Shafqat Kakakhel, from UNEP, said: “Far from being barren wastelands, (deserts) emerge as biologically, economically and culturally dynamic while being increasingly subject to the impacts and pressures of the modern world.
“They also emerge as places of new economic and livelihood possibilities, underlining yet again that the environment is not a luxury but a key element in the fight against poverty and the delivery of internationally-agreed development goals.”
At least 25 percent of the Earth’s surface — 33.7 million square kilometres (13 million square miles) — has been defined as desert and is home to more than 500 million people, according to the report, “Global Deserts Outlook”.
But one of its authors, University College London geography professor Andrew Warren, said the unique landscapes, ancient cultures, flora and fauna in deserts were at risk of disappearing….
Kaveh Zahedi, deputy director of UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre based in Cambridge, eastern England, added that action was needed.
“These deserts are unique and dynamic eco-systems and, if sensitively treated, can provide the answers to many of the challenges that we face today, whether it’s for energy, for food or for medicine,” he said…
“The pharmaceutical potential of desert plants has yet to be tapped,” the report notes.
This, plus sustainable eco-tourism and conservation schemes, could benefit not just the local desert communities but the wider population, it added.
Isn’t it amazing how all the world’s most worthless real estate is unique and precious, and always (whatever the climate, no matter how barren) a treasure house of marvels just waiting to be found?
There seems be no hierarchy of desirability to any of this marvellous uniqueness.
Suppose we could convert some miserable arid, baking, rocky desert into a nice wet, fever-ridden swamp. Or, alternatively, we decided to change it into a hot, steaming and impenetrable jungle. Or we changed our minds again and froze the whole thing into the precise equivalent of Alaska’s North Slope (solid ice 10 months of the years; open water, soggy ground and a mind-boggling number of mosquitoes for two months — but fewer snakes). Or we waved our magic wand, and produced… New Jersey!
Exactly which of all these unique and marvellous alternatives would offer the most intellectually and aesthetically intriguing diversity of life? Which would offer the richest gifts to Science? I hate to admit it (since I loathe New Jersey and kind of enjoy a good snake), but, if you think about it, you know exactly what would win.
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