Friday, November 23, 2007

How Green is Their Hypocrisy

An inconvenient truth: airport officials in Bali are concerned that an influx of private jets--for a UN conference on climate change--will crowd parking ramps, and force some attendees to park their aircraft at other airfields (Gulfstream photo).

Scores of world leaders and environmentalists will gather in Bali next month, for the much-hyped UN Climate Change Conference (3-13 December). This will be the thirteenth such meeting, which brings together nations and organizations that generated the fatally-flawed Kyoto Protocols back in 1994. And, in the "spirit" of Kyoto, the gloom-and-doom template for next month's Bali meeting has already been established. In the words of Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC):

"The Bali conference will be the culmination of a momentous twelve months in the climate debate and needs a breakthrough in the form of a roadmap for a future climate change deal. Early in the year, scientific evidence of global warming, as set out in the fourth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), put the reality of human-induced global warming beyond any doubt. What we are facing is not only an environmental problem, but has much wider implications: For economic growth, water and food security, and for people's survival - especially those living in the poorest communities in developing countries."


"...we urgently need to take increased action, given climate change projections and the corresponding global adaptation needs. Prompt and aggressive mitigation will drive down the costs involved in adaptation. In the context of climate change, projections of economic growth and increases in energy demand over the next 20 years, especially in developing countries, point to the urgent need to green these trends.

Mr. de Boer's concerns about climate change, energy demands and the need to "green these trends" ought to start with his own little gathering. Not only is the conference being held in an exotic (but remote) location, it turns out that many of the swells--you guessed it--will be traveling on private jets. Dennis Collins at Daily Aviator found this press release from Bali Discovery Tours, warning that ramp space at Ngurah Rai International Airport will be severely constrained, due to the expected influx of private jets for the U.N. Conference.

"...the management of Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport are concerned that the large number of additional private charter flights expected in Bali during the UN Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) December 3-15, 2007, will exceed the carrying capacity of apron areas. To meet the added demand for aircraft storage officials are allocating "parking space" at other airports in Indonesia.

The operational manager for Bali's Airport, Azjar Effendi, says his 3 parking areas can only accommodate 15 planes, which means that some of the jets used by VIP delegations will only be allowed to disembark and embark their planes in Bali with parking provided at airports in Surabaya, Lombok, Jakarta and Makassar.

Let's much fuel does a Gulfstream V burn on a flight from Europe or North America to Bali. Then, you've got the "parking hop" from Ngurah Rai to another airport, the flight back to Bali and the journey home. Quite a carbon footprint, eh?

Not that we'd expect U.N. swells and their environmentalist friends to use commercial flights for that trip to Bali. Why, it's a 24-hour flight from LAX, and depending on their routing/airlines, they'd probably have to change planes in Seoul or Taipei. No need to fly with the tourist riff-raff when you can arrive in style on your own private jet.

Never mind that a single hour of operating expenses for a Gulfstream V or G550 is comparable to a round-trip airline ticket between Los Angeles and Bali. And, in fairness, we should point out that various Gulfstream models are the most efficient in their class; the costs of flying other private jets to Bali and back would be even more expensive.

Not that it really matters. This is merely another example of the environmental movement--formally institutionalized by the UN--asking the rest of us to emulate their rhetoric, rather than their deeds. For all their concern about "greenhouse gases" and "global warming," they have no problem discussing those issues in Bali (one of the most distant, albeit beautiful locations on earth), and flying to the conference in a fleet of inefficient, private jets.


ADDENDUM: From what we understand, Al Gore will not be at the Bali meeting. Instead, he'll be in Oslo, to pick-up his recently-awarded Nobel Peace Prize for "disseminating greater knowledge about man-made climate change." There's still no word on how Mr. Gore plans to travel to Norway. We know that he has a preference for private jets, but for his Next Big Moment on the World Stage, will the former Vice-President actually practice what he preaches? In his science blog at The New York Times, Jon Tierney posted this rather timely reminder from Al Gore's Oscar-winning "documentary."

Flying is another form of transportation that produces large amounts of carbon dioxide. Reducing air travel even by one or two flights per year can significantly reduce emissions. . . . If your airplane travel is for business, consider whether you can telecommute instead.

Call us skeptics, but we don't see Mr. Gore accepting his Nobel via a webcast from Nashville and Oslo. Just as we'll confidently predict that the parking ramp at Ngurah Rai airport will be crowded with private jets next month, in support of that UN conference on climate change.


davod said...


Please, enough of the sarcasm. They will by all the offsets needed to cover the GW effect.

SwampWoman said...

Why Bali? Why not Duluth?

Otter said...

I just finished 3 months working in a winery for the Harvest in S. Ontario.

Our winery is the second largest in Canada. It has a carbon footprint the size of Toronto. Fresh water goes down the drain by the thousands of gallons every week. Electricity use is on the order of a fair-sized town.

Sip on that, algore! Your wine is killing the planet :P

Mick Kraut said...

Like Glenn Reynolds has said before..."I will believe it is a crisis when the people who are telling me it is a crisis begin to behave like it is a crisis"

F said...

Swampwoman: I love the idea of having the conference in Duluth. Better yet, do it entirely by videoconference so no planes are used in the making of the conference. And even better yet, don't hold the conference at all. Take the money that would be used on the conference and send it to Wangaari Mathai to plant millions of trees in Kenya. F

Augurwell said...

North Africa has been changing to desert for more then 30,000 years.
This climate change cycle was happening before all the human over-population that we have today.

Millions of years ago there was a condition on earth where plant life
flurished all over the planet, it was very thick and lush and this cycle brought about the oil deposits that we have today. The temperature of the planet was hot and steamy, much more so then it is today. This was not caused by burning coal etc. Cause and effect science plays a role in a closed system such as our earth eco-system - heat doesn't transfer through a vacum unless it is radiated, sun light for example.

Many people today are up in arms about this human made change to the eco-system but most of the main high ground that may be effected by sea level increases is found on areas of the planet that are very cold. I am thinking - is global warming a bad thing? The areas that are very cold would start to be warmer and more of the land masses that are now frigid would be nicer places to live on. More food etc could be grown further north or south. Aside from the deserts of North Africa the planet is mostly ocean near the equater - some of the top of South America might get the blast of heat... So if this global warmining is indeed upon us is the change really that bad?

It may just be nature's way of weeding off the over-population of
people. I am very wary of some of these ecological out cries because, for example, during the 1960's the Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA) halted the generation of electricity in North America by closing down nuclear power plants. The result of these closings was that we burned coal and oil for heating and power generation etc. for more then 30 years, this seems to be very contradictious to the ecologists' intentions.

France, Norway, Europe etc. are something like 70% nuclear power driven today, a method of power production that does not throw off smog. It seems to me that if we in North America had been generating electricity with clean burning nuclear power plants all those 30 years the air would be less poluted. Ecologists seem to be a half-baked bunch...

While we as humans are contained to this planet I do not think that we can sustain unlimited outward growth economies but that we could sustain an internal growth economy where less people have a greater standard of living eg. instead of say more housing we have better housing etc.

When I speak of reducing the over population, I think it will be done
with the spread of education. The advanced places of the world that have more education have negative population growth and a better standard of living. It is not right that the less educated populations live in misery and over breed and then expect to be fed by populatons that have figured out how to prevent the encrease of this suffering and that those suffering will not apply the working method that is used successfully in areas that have far less suffering. Equal distribution of wealth is not a fair distribution of wealth. I think equality is for human rights and individual wealth is determined by the amount of effort one puts into the gaining of wealth.

I think we must be careful about and think fully through these ecologically driven laws that may be applied; there seems to be a hidden agenda to redistribute other peoples wealth hidden in the mix here.

After-burner Thoughts

Some people are opposed to materialism, this is ok, no one is forcing them to have any material... but when they try to force their nonmaterial lifestyles on others this is where I draw the line.

The Thanksgiving story found else where on this blog really does sum up the situation. I am willing to bet that Karl Marx and others bent thusly never have been aware of this aspect of the human condition. I am happy for others who have been successful in their endeavors and as long as they do not hold others back from succeeding, well more power to them. It is wrong to covet thy neighbours ass, it causes all kinds of trouble. (Cheap miserly skinflints are self condemned to their own hell.)

... and another thing I have heard about a fair tax program that is begining to stir up interest and as much as I have learned about it it seems like a winning platform to run on. Well, I've used up enough space here for the time being, I'll save it for another day.