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A reason why international climate change conferences are doomed to fail.

July 26, 2012

We all are aware that international climate change conferences over the past decade despite the fiery rhetoric of some of the participants usually conclude with an insipid agreement by the attending countries that they will continue to work together on the problem. Of course, even that is probably a lie.  If they were not willing to work together at the conference, it is a pretty good indication that they have no intention of doing so after it ends.

Usually a number of consultant, advisors and commentators at the conferences who should know better, caution the conference participants against doing anything because it could cause economic stress. They often suggest that future technological advances could perhaps resolve the problem. This is a little like saying, when faced with a Tsunami, don’t try to seek safety, because perhaps a rescue is being organized and you can avoid all the effort and risks associated with scurrying about trying to escape.

Perhaps some interesting facts I came across a while ago, if they are believable, may explain what really lies behind this studied and persistent inaction in the face of clear evidence that we are rapidly approaching a climate disaster that places our very survival at risk.

Apparently, the current value of the oil reserves held by oil companies and producers totals more than the total GDP of all but the four or five largest economies in the world.

In understanding what this means politically we should never forget what to me is the fundamental basis of all politics as pointed out by Machiavelli centuries ago.  That is that a person will fight harder to preserve what he has than to gain something new.

What conceivable reason would cause them, those that control these vast reserves, to give up that wealth before it is sold and converted into profits? What entity, public or private, is large enough and powerful enough to resist being bought out or off or outright attacked if it places that treasure in jeopardy?

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