UN conference calls for economic "contraction" to combat climate change

Well, whaddya’ know: Yet again, overzealous environmentalists are calling for major countries to voluntarily roll back the layers of their prosperity because they believe doing so will be of great benefit to the planet’s general welfare (nevermind the planet’s pesky inhabitants, of course!). The munificent climate-change gurus at the United Nations conference this week apparently felt more dire measures than just subsidizing green energy or a global carbon tax deserved a spot on the docket:

United Nations officials refuse to allow observers to read the draft agenda for the Rio+20 conference on climate change, after an earlier draft called for the economic “contraction” in major countries.

“It seems the UN has taken the final pre-conference draft and classified it!” Lord Monckton, a climate skeptic with the Center for a Constructive Tomorrow reported in an email. “We were promised transparency. This is unacceptable.”

A proposal within an earlier draft agenda for the conference called for the “contraction and convergence for over- and under-consumers of natural resources,” CFACT noted.

Altogether now: “Wealthier societies are healthier societies!” We don’t need to go backward to achieve environmental quality — technology, efficiency, and innovation mean that we can move forward both economically and ecologically. I always find it singularly disturbing when self-important bureaucrats prescribe a reversal on economic growth when so many people in this world still live in poverty. Affordable energy and economic expansion are the recipe for lifting people out of poverty, and third-world countries without the wealth or means to worry about their environmental impact are oftentimes some of the worst environmental offenders.

I mean, sure, we could go back to the pre-industrial era: There was no manufactured air or water pollution, everyone’s food was organic and free range, the natural landscape was untouched, we weren’t harried by technology all the time, and we all got plenty of exercise… as we all toiled to meet our basic survival needs and lived beneath much more crushing rates of disease, poverty, and premature death. Yeah, that sounds like good times.

By the way, apparently the term “climate change” isn’t cool anymore. There’s so much science out there contradicting man-made climate change, too many people have come to think of the ostensible phenomenon as less-than-concrete. The greenies needed to update their terminology to stay hip: Global warming, to climate change, to…

In the face of this growing amount of new scientific evidence, environmentalists are not backing down, but changing their rhetoric.

One leader at a meeting related to the Rio +20 conference this week, noting that because conservatives reject the notion global warming, “We don’t use the term climate change anymore. It’s sustainable development.”