Sunday, December 20, 2009

despite the thermofascists, French farce at Copenhagen

Writing about the Treaty of Versailles in his 1994 masterwork Diplomacy, Henry Kissinger summed up why the 2009 Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference was flawed from the start:
Versailles: Lloyd George, Orlando, Clemenceau and Wilson - click to read moreit is almost always a mistake for heads of state to undertake the details of a negotiation. They are then obliged to master specifics normally handled bu their foreign offices and are deflected onto subjects more appropriate to their subordinates, while being kept from issues only heads of states can resolve. Since no one without a well-developed ego reaches the highest office, compromise is difficult and deadlocks are dangerous. With the domestic positions of the interlocutors so often dependent on at least the seDaryl Hannahmblance of success, negotiations more often concentrate on obscuring differences than they do on dealing with the essence of a problem.
Graced by the likes of Leonardo diCaprio, Daryl Hannah and Helena Christensen, Copenhagen 2009 has barely limped past the finishing tape despite the supporters of both Gordon Brown and Barack Obama claiming that their man struggled alone to achieve a comPolly Toynbee: click to go to her Guardian homepagepromise against the odds. Labour snob-for-hire Polly Toynbee captured the air of frustration with ordinary people whom the Establishment has gone out of its way to gag:
Most leaders in Copenhagen were out ahead of their people. Most understand the crisis better than those they represent, promising more sacrifice than their citizens are yet ready to accept – while no doubt praying for some miraculous technological escape.
Sudanese diplomat Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping spoke for the G77 group of the corrupt régimes of developing countries who had brought their begging-bowls to the Baltic when he asked what OLumumbia Di Aping - click to read about his remark at the Daily Mailbama would tell his daughters about his part in abandoning their Kenyan relatives, then developed the tired old theme comparing of climate-change "deniers" to scum who say that the Holocaust never happened by saying that Copenhagen spelled "incineration" for Africa and was comparable to the Nazis "sending six million Jews into the furnace". (Sweden's chief negotiator Anders Turesson called the reference "utterly despicable" - maybe the country's still ashamed of its politicians' initial apathy towards the Aftonbladet blood libel scandal.)

Shortly before the conference began, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown had a swipe at people who believe the hard sciLord Christopher Monckton: click to read more on Watt's Up With Thatence showing that changes in climate are not predominantly due to the actions of humankind, calling us "flat earthers", and the attacks have not let up. In Lord Christopher Monckton's case the attack was not metaphorical; as reported in the tap, the anthropogenic climate-change sceptic had the correct paperwork to enter the conference but was excluded, then was assaulted by a Danish policeman despite having followed St John's Ambulance recommendations to keep his hands in his pockets; he had turned his back and was walking away when he was knocked unconscious.

Coline Covington - click to go to her home pageOther attacks are more insidious. The First Post's resident psychoanalyst, Coline Covington, spoke of Sarah Palin, as a typical climate change "denier", as having the sort of narcissism seen in small children; displaying her membership of the Richard Dawkins school of rhetoric, she sets up her straw man at the start of the article by talking about Nick Griffin, leader of the neo-nazi BNP. She says, referring to Palin and by implication to many of us, "Climate change threatens our narcissistic omnipotence. Deniers do not want anyone else telling them they cSarah Palinan't drive large cars or run two refrigerators...This is a mentality resembling the narcissism of small children who want to hold onto their illusion of omnipotence and control over mother."

What Covington is referring to is more than the sexually-deviant scribblings of Sigmund Freud that imprisoned many children in their abusers' houses by interpreting their reports as libidinous fantasies; she's talking about narcissistic personality disorder, in a disappointing confirmation of the hostility of many psychiatric professionals towards people with personality disorders, and their over-readiness to inflict the diagnostic sentence upon people of whom they disapprove.

Copenhagen has failed, and that's disappointing because, for opposition against the thermofascists to turn to an effective resistance movement, we need to know exactly what we're resisting. The reason it's failed is precisely as Kissinger identified, that there were too many powerful egos with long memories at the conference.

Case in point: there will be consequences for Obama's humiliating China for not meeting Kyoto targets in the presence of that country's Prime Minister: had he watched Li Yu's 2007 Dam Street Dr henry Kissinger - click to go to his homepage(Hong Yan) he would have learned the lesson you can find in the most basic internet guide for doing business with Chinese people - "Never allow your protagonist to lose face, and try not to lose face yourself." Heads of state like Britain's Gordon Brown, the US's Barack Obama and India's Manmohan Singh would have done better to send their foreign ministers or, even better, senior diplomats. Is Henry Kissinger still working?


  1. Heads of delegations are best used to break deadlocks on specific issues - behind doors - and not for the overall negotiations. When they are forced to invest too much time and energy they then have too much face to lose (or get covered in egg). I have seen at first hand how the proper use of a delegation leader can bring results and also how bad ones get lost in the thickets.

  2. Brilliant post. I am saddened hearing about Lord Mockton; I had not known before. (though I am not suprised.) I'd like to link to this post.
    thermofascist? Very good term. I'll be using that one.

  3. Richard - thanks for that; I appreciate your experience in this.

    Linda - thank you! It would be an honour if you linked to a post of mine.

    I made up the term "thermofascist" after reading a similar term, "thermomaniac", coined by Telegraph journalist Simon Heffer.

  4. Poor Monckton. Luckily he won't have taken much knocking.

  5. Hi Zen, thanks for your comment - which I didn't undrstand!

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    To start you need to open an account on AdWorkMedia and embed their Content Locking plugin.


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