Saturday, August 17, 2002

Another Cheesy United Nations Ripoff
It's those wacky United Nations wingnuts again, who are bringing us the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, Aug. 26 - Sept. 4. Apparently it occurred to some genius among them that bringing 65,000 delegates to South Africa for the clambake might cause a bit of environmental damage, and not just to the local prostitutes. But not to worry, according to a UN press release; UNDP, GEF and World Bank Agree to Offset Environmental Impact On Johannesburg During Summit:
New York, 16 August - In an effort to make the World Summit on Sustainable Development more sustainable itself, the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank have announced that they would offset the environmental impact caused by the travel by their delegations.
Hmm, one wonders what technology they are going to use?
The three international organizations will pay to 'neutralize' the amount of carbon dioxide based on the emissions released by travel to and from the summit as part of the Johannesburg Climate Legacy initiative. All funds generated by this initiative, which is part of the wider "Greening of the WSSD" programme, will be channeled to a Trust Fund set up through the Development Bank of South Africa.
Ah, the world's oldest technology, CASH! And deposited locally, where the local politicos can "handle" it.
South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Valli Moosa said, "It is ironic that the very staging of conferences related to sustainability actually has a negative impact on the environment through the carbon emissions from energy use and delegate travel.
It may be Christmas for Mr. Moosa, but he's clearly not the brightest bulb on the tree.
The Johannesburg Climate Legacy 2002 will change the blueprint and leave a legacy of learning and investment."

As a result, Valli Moosa invited governments to their delegations to the Summit "carbon neutral by "offset" to make through the implementation of carbon-reducing, sustainable development projects across South Africa including the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy technology. He said these interventions will be implemented in all economic environments, including domestic, commercial, industrial, education and health sectors.
Translation: He's inviting the government delegations to also pony up some cash to the South African political hack slush fund. But these are seasoned diplomats! Who would fall for this wheeze?
Two government delegations, Norway and the United Kingdom, have announced that they would go to Johannesburg "carbon neutral."
The Norwegian and British taxpayers must be flush. But wait, there's more!
It is estimated that carbon emissions generated as a result of the WSSD will total 289,619 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The aim of the Climate Legacy is to raise US$5 million by September 2002 in order to mitigate the effects of the carbon emissions of the Summit. Businesses are invited to purchase Climate Legacy Certificates representing values from $1,000 to $100,000 while individuals can take part by buying $10 certificates online at
Ah, a little corporate extortion plus a mechanism for separating naive and gullible individuals from their cash. What a nice way to round out a tidy little racket!

I must confess that I am really tempted to sign up for the $10 certificate (delivered via email)

so I can leave a little screed on the dedication page. But I rather think they would edit me.