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Last time I was there, the UN HQ was still based on New York’s east-side. As of July 5 when it published its innocuous sounding World Economic and Social Survey 2011, there is increasing evidence it may have floated away on the East River, took a left at Spielberg’s Dreamworks studios and is now circling Florida Disneyworld.

According to the UN’s report and press release (these are actually published by their Geneva Office), “humankind” needs to stump up around $76 trillion – that’s trillion – over the next 40 years. That is, if the world is to achieve the Global Bureaucracy-led “great green technological transformation”. This is perhaps the most arrogant, “we know what’s good for the world,” drivel that has ever come out of the UN. And they have done plenty. It is also the most expensive.

Just two years ago the “going green” global cost could be achieved for around $600 billion a year over the next decade. That cost appears to have more than tripled. According to the report, what the world urgently needs is a “scaling up of clean energy technologies” among other things to achieve a “technological overhaul … on the scale of the first industrial revolution”. Not one led by individual capitalistic innovation and brilliance, this one is to be led by strategic UN planning. Now I bet that’s the first time you’ve ever seen “strategic” and “UN planning” in the same sentence? There’s a good reasons for that – as a closer look at assertions in the survey clarify.

When you get to the nitty-gritty of the report, the full panoply UN-speak comes into its own. What the authors mean by “going green” is not just more investment in “clean energy”. The move will, it claims, help put an “end to poverty” (what, all of it?), world hunger, the “catastrophic impacts of climate change” (which are?) and “environmental degradation” (whatever that is). Eradicating world hunger and poverty have been rolled into the fight against climate change. We learn that “about 40 percent of humanity, or 2.7 billion people, rely on traditional biomass, such as wood, dung and charcoal, for their energy needs. And 20 percent have no electricity, mainly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.” The report authors demand, “much greater economic progress” in the war on climate change which, it is asserted, will cure these historic ills.

But, just as you can’t keep a good man down, neither can you keep a bad bureaucracy of social engineers from trying to spend a whole lotta someone else’s money. What the UN report does is set the agenda for the UN’s 2012 ‘jet-fest’ Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. With the conference in mind, Rob Vos, lead author of the report, states, “Business as usual is not an option.” Vos isn’t referring to a wealth of UN and political dignitaries flying down to Rio for a spot of R ‘n R at the five star hotels, you understand. Vos means that the rest of the world – conference attendees and UN frequent mile accumulators exempt, it appears – just can’t go on jetting around emitting tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere and taking vacations, especially to long haul destinations such as…er, Rio, for instance.

Though the report demands a push towards the “green economy” it acknowledges there is no actual agreed definition as to what it is. Even so, the “green economy” is billed grandiosely as “the new paradigm” being “based on the conviction that the benefits of investing in environmental sustainability outweigh the cost of not doing so.” De-coded: there ought to be no ‘debt ceiling’ consideration here, just hand over the greenbacks and we’ll get the job done. Who’s going to pick up the tab? “One half,” says the report “would have to be realized in developing countries.” In case you forgot, that’s a mere $38 trillion in donations to go to the developing world. Even for UN bureaucrats all this is over the top. It seems that they have not heard of the Greek and now the Italian spending above the means crises let alone the debates in the United States, bound to leave a historic impact.

And, just for good measure, if emissions targets cannot be met, then “caps on energy consumption … may be necessary” which, the report admits, “may not be very appealing”. True. Especially to the millions condemned to fuel poverty and likely to die of cold as a direct result.

There is a major irony here. If eradicating world hunger and poverty were genuine UN goals, then the same coal-fired, cheap electricity generating first industrial revolution would do for “South Asia” and “sub-Saharan Africa” what it did for the rest of the world. But that would simply require a combination of cheap electricity and the free market to do for the people of Asia and Africa precisely what it did for us in the West. And it would require the UN’s unelected oligarchy to butt out, bureaucratic plans and all.

But we all know, that’s not gonna happen.

Not when the UN perceives a unique opportunity to ride the populist “clean energy” wave and collect a cool $76 trillion+ to fund its enhanced status as a one world ‘wind-assisted’ government. Something the UN’s Agenda 21 – its other less well known environment-led “strategic plan” – makes only too clear. Founded at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also in Rio, the UN Agenda 21 aims are rooted, as the 2011 report confirms, entirely in the “precautionary principle”. Decoded: it doesn’t matter what the real science on climate change is, we should spend the cash to fight it ‘just in case’.

How arrogant and how insidious from people purporting to work for the public good.

Energy Tribune, 15 July 2011