Point-of-View-SA Blog

In the Wake of Copenhagen and Tribal Thugs

Posted on: January 4, 2010


Once again the “rich countries” have managed to take prosperity away from the Third World. And at Christmas too. We’d promised them billions in guilt payments for something called “global warming.” They don’t pay that much attention to thermometers, and weather is something they mostly live with rather than forecast.

But we ourselves had warned them their islands were about to sink beneath the waves. It hasn’t happened yet, but the computer models say it will be so. We warned them their food crops would begin to fail—though crop yields around the earth have so far continued to increase. We told them that wild species like the polar bear would go extinct—if not yet then sometime soon.

“The heaviest burden of global warming will fall on the poorest countries,” said the best and brightest of our thinkers and climate modelers. “We must pay billions to the third world to finance greener energy systems so they won’t chop down the trees or burn coal or kerosene.”

Then, at Copenhagen—as the “last chance” for humans to save the world—we decided not to save it. Can we blame the Third World for being angry and mystified? Villagers on the South Pacific island of Tanna still worship a ghostly American named John Frum who was stationed there during World War II. Every February 15th , the islanders stage a ceremony, complete with GI “uniforms,” bamboo rifles, and an American flag. “John promised he’ll bring planeloads and shiploads of cargo to us from America if we pray to him,” a village elder told writer Paul Raffaele. Published in Smithsonian Magazine in 2008.
Such “cargo cults” were common when primitive peoples were visited by sailors who had compasses and chronometers, and later radios and TVs. The Johnson outboard motor on the Sepik was a “cargo” gift from President Johnson. Third World peoples and in the highlands of PNG, still haven’t seen a shipyard, railroads, and nitrogen fertilizer, so they don’t understand what supports our abundance.

The Chinese, of course, are different. They’ve got 4,000 years of court records, detailing how Chinese crops and wild animals shifted north with the repeated global wamings during the Bronze Age, the Roman Empire and the Medieval period—and then shifted back south during the intervening cold periods. Chinese researchers have studied their own ice cores and fossil pollen. They can’t have much respect for the Western computer models, which repeatedly forecast the runaway warming that hasn’t appeared. Their own thermometers have detailed the non-warming since 1998—but they would take our carbon subsidies.

In the wake of Copenhagen’s collapse,and in a local discussion about it, I was asked, “but with so many poor people in the world, shouldn’t we share our abundance—global warming or not?” Maybe, if it is for the people but has “spreading the wealth” been the hidden agenda of the hard-left through the whole global warming campaign? Spreading the wealth has been a social ritual among many tribal nations apart from our own aborigines. But why would anyone vote to give money to Africa’s tribal thugs or to any despot regime?. It would simply disappear, as have so many billions in government handouts, enriching Swiss bank accounts, not creating sustainable prosperity for the people.

They aren’t poor because we’re rich,nor are we rich because they’re poor. In the Pacific Northwest too, early Indian tribes had a culture based on “potlatch.” Like our aborigines, whenever anyone had good fortune from the hunt or the gathering of food, they threw a party for the tribe. The wealth was spread, but no one was better off after the party than before.

Sections of this are with permission and appreciation to Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute.

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