U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres must be a student of Rahm Emanuel’s school of political advice – never let a crisis go to waste. In this case, it’s the Secretary-General’s address to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. He will try to make the case that climate change is more of a threat to the human race than the coronavirus pandemic.
What is interesting is the obvious far-left tone of the speech. It could have been written by a DNC staffer, or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) herself. Politico obtained a copy of the remarks and Guterres has decided to go after Trump’s policies this year. In past years he has been more cautious in singling out Trump, no doubt out of concern for continued funding from the United States to the W.H.O. among other groups, and in hopes of Trump signing on to any new agreements with other countries. Since President Trump said he’s going to cut off W.H.O. funding recently, and there is no indication that he is inclined to sign on to non-enforceable, meaningless global climate change agreements, Guterres probably figures he has nothing to lose. He also probably expects Joe Biden to win in November. He must think he has nothing to lose now.
Guterres isn’t pleased to hear that President Trump intends to offer financial subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, as he tweeted in support of as the oil industry crashed this week.
Trump tweeted his support for the industry after crude oil futures prices dove into negative territory on Monday for the first time ever, a signal that the drop in demand from the pandemic-shuttered economies around the globe had outstripped the production cuts from OPEC, Russia and the U.S. companies that have moved to rapidly idle oilfield operations.
“We will never let the great U.S. Oil & Gas Industry down,” Trump said on Twitter. “I have instructed the Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Treasury to formulate a plan which will make funds available so that these very important companies and jobs will be secured long into the future!”
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said the energy industry needs to come back through the coronavirus pandemic. There are some options that are on the table to help ease some of the pain.
“From working with our oil producing allies in North America, to filling up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and to ensuring that oil and gas producers have access to the Fed lending facilities created in the CARES Act, the Secretary reaffirmed that all options remain on the table and that President Trump is committed to solving this problem,” said a spokesperson for House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, who along with GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republican lawmakers spoke via phone with the DOE chief.
DOE earlier this month offered to store 30 million barrels of crude in the SPR for companies lacking storage space, and could offer space for another 45 million barrels.
Voters rarely like to hear about offering help to the fossil fuel industry, unless that voter is a part of the energy sector. For me, it’s personal. My husband has been a part of the oil and gas drilling industry for over thirty years. When subsidies and incentives are put on the table, it is important to remember that not everything is about helping out the big guys. The biggest oil companies, for example, will be ok in the long run. It’s those not in the very top tier that are just trying to hang on right now. It’s not only the medium and small-sized oil and gas companies that feel a collapse in the price of crude oil first and hardest, but it is also all the other businesses in that sector. The service industries don’t have a lot of financial reserves to fall back on. Then, when the lay-offs begin, lots of other businesses suffer. Grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, retail stores, and so on all feel the pinch. Now, with the pandemic causing business shutdowns while everyone shelters in place, that may not be so obvious but when businesses eventually do open back up, will they have customers? In towns and cities all along the Gulf Coast and in areas where fracking is a major economic factor, life will not go back to anywhere near normal until the energy sector is allowed to rebound.
When ideologues like Guterres or for that matter, AOC, spout off about the evil fossil fuel industry, they assume it is easily dissolved and energy alternatives are readily available. If the evil oil companies would just go away, right? It not anywhere near reality. And, the dirty little secret is that major oil companies have been funding and doing research into alternative energy for years. Guterres will say, “Fossil fuel subsidies must end, and polluters must start paying for their pollution.” There is no industry as heavily regulated as the oil and gas industry, Mr. Secretary-General.
Guterres is a climate change alarmist. He is a zealot. It’s one thing to hear this rhetoric from a precocious Swedish teenager, or an 80-year-old commie actress-activist, it is quite another to hear it from the leader of a global world organization.
Just like the Democrats on Capitol Hill, Guterres wants taxpayer money to be used to rescue businesses only if the agenda of the far left is attached. Green jobs and sustainable growth are a top priority, whatever that means. “Public funds should be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects.”
The Secretary-General conflates greenhouse gases with the coronavirus. This is a good example of why conservatives and others with an ounce of common sense no longer trust much of anything coming out of the United Nations.
Guterres will argue that “climate disruption is approaching a point of no return,” adding that “greenhouse gases, just like viruses, do not respect national boundaries.”
Guterres spoke Monday to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Ambition Forum in Placencia, Belize. Of the virus, he said, “We must work together to save lives, ease suffering, lessen the shattering economic and social consequences and bring the disease under control.” Then he launched into climate alarmism.
However, he emphasized that the struggle to rein in climate change – in particular, to keep global temperature rise below the 2015 Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius – has only become more acute amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, countries struggling with the most severe effects of the climate crisis now find themselves grappling with sharply contracting economies and unsustainable debt levels.
“The social and economic devastation caused by climate disruption will be many times greater than the current pandemic”, he stressed, adding: “Now is not the time for retreat.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic – which is resulting in major economic and political shifts around the globe – gave the international community a unique window of opportunity in which recovery plans can be instrumental in creating a more sustainable and resilient future.
Calling for ambitious climate mitigation, adaptation and financing aimed at “building back better”, he said the voices of small island States – traditional warriors at the forefront of climate advocacy – are needed now more than ever.
“By coming forward this year with enhanced nationally determined contributions and strategies to reach net zero emissions, you will once again lead the way for others to follow,” he said, noting that the UN will remain a strong ally. “It is essential that you are supported in your efforts.”
Never let a crisis go to waste when it comes to pushing a liberal agenda. That goes for the Democrats and the United Nations alike.