AT about this time last year (November 29 to be precise) I wrote a post querying the need for charities such as Oxfam to be ‘involved’ in the Cancun climate change gabfest.
“Why,” I asked, “does a charity that claims to be “fighting global poverty” need a “policy and lobby team”? Why does it need to be “meeting with governments and their advisors”? What business is it of Oxfam’s to involve itself in matters which are rightfully the province of elected representatives of the people and where, please, is the slightest smidgeon of empirical evidence that climate change will have the “devastating effects” on the poor that Tim is so concerned about?”
The ‘Tim’ referred to was Tim Gore who apparently was Oxfam’s senior climate change policy advisor and he told us the week before Cancun,
Starting next week, I’ll be in amongst the thick of negotiations. I’ll be meeting with governments and their advisors, working toward an international treaty that supports poor people in their fight against the devastating effects of climate change.
Wow! I bet that made you feel big and important, Tim. How did it go, by the way?
This year in Durban, Oxfam’s concern for the poor has taken an interesting and potentially dangerous (though not necessarily surprising) twist, as Antonio Hill who, according to his CV is now Oxfam’s “senior climate change policy advisor” (or do they have more than one, I wonder? All have won and all must have prizes in the Alice in Wonderland world of the NGOs), is apparently actively involved in putting forward a proposal that appears to represent a significant threat to international commerce.
According to an anonymous poster on WUWT’s ‘Tips & Notes’ page who claims to be a COP17 insider, Hill is listed as a member of the Bolivian delegation and is speaking on behalf of Bolivia in the negotiating sessions. He is, again according to the poster, proposing a “massive” tax on shipping (Bolivia is landlocked!) which will obviously have a negative impact on the international shipping industry and hence the transport of goods and their cost.
Anthony Watts has picked up the tip and posted here.
Not surprisingly, digging deeper shows us that Oxfam has clambered into bed with (guess who!) WWF in this latest attempt to undermine civilisation as we know it and ensure that the poor (about whom they continue to bleat from their comfy chairs at whatever sunlit seaside resort they can find an excuse to spend a fortnight in) remain every bit as poor as they are now.
Because taxes of this sort (and just how “massive” is the proposed figure I couldn’t say) inevitably hit the poor hardest — something which even the kiddies that run Oxfam should be able to work out for themselves — and since both Oxfam and WWF have form in this area one is forced to the conclusion either that they are irredeemably stupid or irredeemably corrupt.
As I said last year, Oxfam would do well to remember that its prime purpose is the alleviation of poverty in the developing world. It will not achieve this end by making the poor poorer which is what its current behaviour appears to be aimed at achieving. It really is taking an awfully long time to get the message to those who continue to fund it that the cure that it prescribes is worse than the disease by an order of magnitude.
As for WWF they are beyond redemption on all counts. They have no interest in the poor and indeed would rather they just went away. They feel much the same about the rich actually only the rich have money which they would rather like to relieve them of.
As a sop, Oxfam want 40% of the money raised to go “back” to poor countries to “compensate” them for the extra costs while the remaining 60% is destined for the Green Climate Fund.
The trouble with this is twofold. For a start there is, as yet, no Green Climate Fund. There is talk of it being ‘operationalized’ (who thinks up these words?) this week at Durban but so far no-one is talking about putting any money into it.
To be going on with the idea that the GCF will help developing countries “cope with climate change” is itself a fairly farcical concept since it assumes — on precious little hard evidence — that there is going to be anything that seriously needs coping with and that the inhabitants are incapable of coping by themselves.
And all the time there is the arrogant assumption that the developing world continues to require handouts in order to survive or improve its collective lot. And not one of the NGOs has ever entertained the thought that it might just be the continuing handouts that are the problem rather than the solution.
Or, there again, perhaps they have.
PS On the subject of NGOs and climate conferences have a look at this post by Willis Eschenbach at WUWT. It’s a close race between government representatives and NGOs. Willis’ description of Durban as the Conference of Partygoers hits the nail firmly on the head.