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AN UNCONSTRAINED BUREAUCRACY

Posted on: February 25, 2019

 

 

Press Conference at the Launch of the IPCC Synthesis Report

Press Conference at the Launch of the IPCC Synthesis Report (Tivoli Conference Center, Lumbye Room) (REMARKS, Q&A) (with Mrs. Ban) (Nesirky)

 

Climate change deal struck at Paris Summit

ozoneskincancer

 

 

 

 

[LIST OF POSTS ON THIS SITE]

 

 

 HOW THE UNITED NATIONS USES GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTALISM

 

  1. THE UNITED NATIONS IS AN UNCONSTRAINED BUREAUCRACY. It is financed mostly by taxpayers from a few donor countries but the large and growing bureaucracy is too far removed from those taxpayers to be directly accountable to them. It is run by unelected, unaccountable, undisciplined, and incompetent bureaucrats. The organization’s size, budget, and scope are unconstrained. The budget funding process provides perverse incentives for these bureaucrats to increase the size and scope of their organization simply by creating multitudes of agencies and programs, and by inventing problems and environmental crises set on a global scale.
  2. In general, public sector enterprises without a sufficient degree of discipline, oversight, and accountability are characterized by corruption, fraud, mismanagement, incompetence, the abuse of power, and abuse of funds and resources in various degrees (Munshi, 2000) (Gorodnichenko, 2007). In the case of the United Nations these concerns are magnified manifold because this public sector is so far removed from the taxpayers that provide its funds that it operates in an oversight vacuum with no accountability (Wren, 1995) (Cheney, 1995) (Bolton, 1994) (Carlsson, 1995) (Mendez, 1995).
  3. The United Nations Convention against Corruption or UNCAC (UNODC, 2004) fights corruption in poor countries by promoting transparency, accountability and oversight. Yet, the UN is itself immune to these anti-corruption measures (Halper, 1996) (Meese, 2007) (Murray, 2002) (Sanjuan, 2005). The UN is not directly accountable to taxpayers. There is no independent oversight or audit of the UN (Halper, 1996). It is generally recognized that conventional public sector corruption is widespread in the United Nations (Dershowitz, 2013) (Rossett, 2006) (The Economist, 2005) (Mail Online, 2014) (Gordon, 2009) (Avni, 2015) (The American Interest, 2016) (Matthews, 2015) (Burnham, 2015) (Ball, 2015) (Zaruk, 2014). Conventional corruption is either a form of bribery in which funds are voluntarily paid to receive better than fair treatment; or a form of extortion in which funds must be paid to receive fair treatment under the threat of worse than fair treatment (Munshi, 2000). However, the greater problem at the UN goes well beyond this narrow definition.
  4. The greater problem at the UN that is the subject of this post involves a structural weakness that allows it to grow at will by creating new agencies and programs and thereby to amass and abuse ever increasing degrees of power and amounts of taxpayer funds without any constraints (Schaefer, 2012). Funding is approved by the UN General Assembly where the vast majority of members are not donor countries. The General Assembly does not represent the taxpayers whose taxes it has the power to spend. Such structural weaknesses in a public sector enterprise are easily exploited (Oates, 1985) (Alper) (Munshi, 2000). In this post we examine the abuse of taxpayer funding by UN agencies in a case study format (Eisenhardt, 1989) (Longenecker, 1996) (Munshi, 1990). The case study takes a close look at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) by tracing its history from its humble and noble beginnings to the phenomenal growth in size, wealth, reach, and power of this taxpayer funded public sector bureaucracy.
  5. The United Nations was conceived in 1941 by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill and after further meetings among the allies in the next four years it was formalized with a charter in 1945 at the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO) into a 51-nation organization in the context of a post-war world polarized both by World War II and by an emerging Cold War tension among the victors of the war just concluded. Initially, the UN consisted of just three components – the General Assembly, the Secretariat, and the Security Council. Within a few years the membership grew to 192 members. New agencies and special programs began to form, and independent international bodies were brought into the family of United Nations agencies. Also, all UN agencies were given the power to form their own specialized agencies and programs. This organizational structure gave rise to a large and complex hierarchy of UN entities (Fomerand, 2009). The rapid growth in the size, complexity, and reach of the UN was funded by a corresponding growth in the regular budget of the growing bureaucracy (Schaefer, 2012). The UN budget has consistently outstripped growth in the US budget. The UN budget for 2010-2011 was 12.6 times its budget for 1946-1947 in constant dollars corrected for inflation. The corresponding figure for the US budget is 8.8 times. The UN data were derived by Brett Schaefer from the US Budget (GPO, 2012) (Schaefer, 2012) and the US data are taken from the historical budget record published by the US government (BUDGET.GOV, 2015). The number of agencies and programs and their bureaucratic acronyms, mostly along the lines of national governmental structures, began to multiply almost immediately after the conclusion of the UNCIO.
  6. The rapid industrial and economic growth in the post-war era progressed mostly without adequate safeguards against environmental degradation. This situation became sensationalized through a series of high profile events that captured public attention. The wanton use of pesticides such as DDT was blamed for killing butterflies and birds (Carson, 1962). The explosive growth in automobile ownership shrouded large cities like Los Angeles and New York in smog (Gardner, 2014) (Haagen-Smit, 1952) (Hanst, 1967). The widespread dumping of industrial waste into lakes and rivers was highlighted by events such as the fire in the Cuyahoga River (Marris, 2011) (Goldberg, 1979). The hippie counter-culture movement of the 1960s rejected many conventional values and in particular, the assumed primacy of technological advancement and industrial growth. It opposed the unrestricted use of pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, food additives, fertilizers, and other synthetic chemicals. It fought against the release of industrial waste into the atmosphere and into waterways, the harvesting of old growth forests for the wood and paper industries, and the inadequacy of public transit that could limit the number of automobiles in big cities and the air pollution they cause (Rome, 2003) (Zelko, 2013). This environmental movement led to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the USA which was given the laws, the ways, the means, and the power to act quickly and decisively to clean up the air and water (Ruckelshaus, 1984). In Canada, a Ministry of Environment was created with the same mandate. It has since been renamed as the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
  7. The EPA cleaned up the air and the water in the USA with strictly enforced new laws and procedures that limited the concentration of harmful chemicals in all industrial effluents and also required all new enterprises to obtain the approval of the EPA of their environmental impact before they could proceed. The remarkable success of the EPA made it a model for environmental law and environmental protection in counties around the world (Ruckelshaus, 1984) (Andreen, 2004) (Dolin, 2008). It was in this context that renowned Canadian environmentalist and visionary Maurice Strong saw the need for a global version of the EPA that could work at a planetary level with a global reach unhindered by national boundaries (Ward, 1972). He convened the UN meeting on the environment in Stockholm in 1972. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was conceived in Stockholm and soon thereafter approved by the UN General Assembly with Maurice Strong as its first Executive Director (Bodansky, 2001) (Ball, 2015). The UNEP quickly became the nucleus of a large and growing cluster of United Nations agencies, secretariats, programs, frameworks, conventions, protocols, and conferences. As of this writing they include the Montreal Protocol, the Ozone Secretariat, the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Agenda 21, United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), UNEP Climate Action, and long sequence of Conference of Parties (COP) annual meetings starting with COP1 in 1995 to COP21 in 2015.
  8. Planetary Environmentalism: Ozone Depletion: For the UNEP to achieve its ambition of being the EPA for the world it needed a global catastrophic pollution problem which it could tackle and clean up just as the EPA had cleaned up the air and water in the USA. A series of events that began in the 1970s and culminated in 1985 provided them with just such an opportunity. In the 1970s, environmentalist James Lovelock, the man who had invented the idea of environmentalism on a planetary scale in terms of the Gaia hypothesis (Lovelock, 1972) was concerned about the atmospheric release of halogenated hydrocarbons (HHC) that were used as refrigerants, as propellants for household liquids such as hairspray, and as fumigants in agriculture. His concern was that these man-made chemicals did not otherwise occur in nature and that they were chemically inert. The latter property implied that their release into the atmosphere, even at modest rates, could cause dangerous accumulation. This idea was empirically verified when Lovelock found these chemicals in air samples taken in the middle of the North Atlantic (Lovelock, 1977). Nobel Laureates Frank Rowland and Mario Molina working at the University of California at Irvine were intrigued by Lovelock’s findings and described a mechanism in which the long life in the atmosphere of chemically inert HHC could transport them by way of atmospheric circulations to the stratosphere where the spectrum of solar irradiance can cause them to become catalytic agents of ozone destruction for up to 150 years after their release into the atmosphere (Molina, 1974). The catalytic mechanism involves an intermediate step in which chlorine released from HHC causes ozone to dissociate (Stolarski, 1974).
  9. Stratospheric ozone is formed and destroyed by solar irradiance above the tropics in what is known as the Chapman Cycle (Chapman, 1930) (Fisk, 1934) (Dütsch, 1979). High energy UVC radiation causes oxygen to dissociate into charged free radicals. Their chance collision with other oxygen molecules forms ozone but their chance collision with ozone causes ozone destruction; but the much higher probability of collisions with oxygen creates an equilibrium inventory of ozone in the stratosphere. The equilibrium inventory is lowered somewhat by UVB radiation which destroys ozone. In that process UVB becomes completely absorbed in the stratosphere thereby saving life on the surface of the earth from the harmful effects of UVB radiation (Beder, 1993) (Caldwell, 1986) (DeGruijl, 1999) (Armstrong, 2001) (Cullen, 1994) (Allen, 1998) (Tevini, 1989). It is in this context that we can understand the fear of ozone depletion by anthropogenic air pollution as described by Rowland and Molina in terms of the Lovelock data. If HHC emissions cause ozone depletion in the stratospheric ozone layer, the equilibrium inventory of ozone will decline and compromise the ability of the ozone layer to protect life on earth from UVB radiation. HHC emissions can thus be seen as a kind of air pollution on a planetary scale. This kind of planetary air pollution together with its adverse effects on the biosphere on a global scale was just the kind of thing that the UNEP needed not only to justify its existence but to grow in size, importance, and funding. In 1977 the UNEP initiated a new program called the World Plan of Action on the Ozone Layer. However, they would have to wait for empirical evidence that stratospheric ozone was indeed being depleted before they could get funded for carrying out such a plan. They did not have to wait long. In 1985, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) published a landmark paper that showed that total column ozone (TCO) measured near the South Pole during the southern spring months of October and November were dramatically lower in the period 1980-1984 than they were in the period 1957-1973 (Farman, 1985). The difference was ascribed to the Rowland-Molina mechanism of ozone depletion and thereby to global emissions of HHC. The UNEP seized this opportunity to assume the role of the environmental protection agency for the planet that could save the world from ozone depletion, dangerous UVB radiation, and skin cancer epidemics (Beder, 1993) (Litfin, 1994). This was the birth of the new UN as the planetary environmental mother and savior of all mankind and of all nations. When environmentalism is thus defined as global, it diminishes the role and importance of national boundaries and of national sovereignty and advances the role, power, reach, and budget of the United Nations.
  10. The UNEP responded to the Farman paper almost immediately by convening the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1985 which established the idea of an international cooperative effort against ozone destruction by anthropogenic air pollution. As expected, the Vienna Convention appointed the UNEP as the United Nations agency in charge of the program. The Montreal Protocol of 1987, the Helsinki Declaration of 1989, and the London Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol of 1990 followed in the heels of the Vienna meeting to coordinate and fund a UNEP program to ban the production, sale, and atmospheric release of man-made chemicals identified by the UNEP as ozone depleting substances (ODS) (Rowlands, 1993) (Morrisette, 1989). In 1991 a Multilateral Fund was set up for this effort and an Ozone Secretariat was established to carry out the plan. The fund greatly enhanced UNEP’s financial and political power and the size of its bureaucracy. In addition to the direct funding of more than $5 billion in constant 2005 dollars given to the UNEP to save the ozone layer from ODS, society bore many billions more in the socio-economic cost of the ban. The rush to action, justified by the UNEP using the precautionary action principle came at the expense of scientific rigor. The flaws in the conclusions drawn from the BAS data (Farman, 1985) are described in related posts on this site [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] . Briefly, the flaw in UNEP ozone chemistry is that the entirety of the Chapman ozone chemistry including the proposed Rowland-Molina theory of ozone destruction by chlorine takes place above the tropics and not at the greater latitudes. For evidence of changes in the kinetics and equilibria in these reactions one should look at the tropics or at global means and not rely exclusively on data from the South Pole. Yet, the ozone depletion crisis was sold purely on the basis of the size of the ozone hole above the South Pole possibly because the data for global means do not show any evidence of ozone depletion [LINK] . The ozone hole is a region above Antarctica where TCO is less than 200 DU. It should be mentioned that the ozone hole is not a “hole” but a region where ozone levels are considered to be low based on an arbitrary criterion. The size of the ozone hole contains both a seasonal cycle and apparent decadal or multi-decadal cycles without a clear long term trend that can be interpreted either in terms of ozone depletion or in terms of the success of the Montreal Protocol in arresting ozone depletion. Yet the UNEP along with NASA and the NOAA have used these data to declare that the Montreal Protocol was successful in solving the ozone depletion crisis many decades ahead of the time frame needed for such a success in terms of the “long life” of HHC that serves as the foundational concept in the Rowland-Molina theory of ozone depletion (Parry, 2011) (UNEP, 2007) (NOAA, 2010).
  11. Ozone is formed only above the tropics where solar irradiance is direct. The reason that we find ozone at mid and polar latitudes is that it is taken there from the tropics by the Brewer-Dobson Circulation (Brewer, 1949). Seasonal and inter-annual changes in this circulation are well known and well documented (Rabbe, 1992) (Kozubek, 2012) (Tegtmeier, 2008). Under these conditions it is not possible to interpret changes in TCO in Antarctica in terms of only the Rowland-Molina mechanism of ozone depletion. Changes in TCO due to the changes in the efficiency and extent of distribution of ozone from the tropics to these latitudes must also be considered particularly so in the polar latitudes. The evidence shows that the distributional efficiency of the Brewer-Dobson Circulation declines beyond the 60th parallel particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. In view of the dynamic nature of the global distribution of TCO and the spherical shape of the planet the appropriate metric for an empirical test of the Rowland-Molina theory of ozone depletion is the latitudinally weighted mean global ozone because only such a global metric serves as a measure of the total TCO inventory of the world (Gleisner, 2011). The Rowland-Molina theory implies a declining trend in this measure. In prior studies two attempts were made to detect this declining trend – one with satellite data and one with ground station data for TCO. No evidence of ozone depletion was found in either study [LINK] . In view of these findings, a possible explanation of the apparent early success of the Montreal Protocol is that it is a solution to a non-existent problem. In view of the data presented here and in the prior studies we would like to think that the theory of ozone depletion by HHC and the ban on HHC to save the ozone layer are derived from bad science by good people who felt that they had to act quickly in accordance with the precautionary principle. However, in view of the enormous gains made by the UNEP in implementing a program to solve a non-existent problem and in view of a history of corrupt practices at the UN (Zaruk, 2014) (Ball, 2015) (Lynch, 2006) (Schaefer, 2012) (Dewar, 1995) (Rossett, 2006) (Rossett, 2008), intentional fraud and corruption for financial and bureaucratic gains by the United Nations cannot be ruled out.
  12. Planetary Environmentalism: Ozone Depletion to Climate Change: Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons taken from deep under the ground where they had been sequestered from the surface-atmosphere carbon cycle for millions of years. Their combustion introduces new extraneous carbon into the delicately balanced surface-atmosphere carbon cycle and climate system. A perturbation of the surface-atmosphere system that can be ascribed to fossil fuel emissions is therefore an anthropogenic effect on climate that is unnatural, unprecedented, and possibly catastrophic. This observation has concerned scientists ever since the Industrial Revolution started a steep and exponential increase in fossil fuel emissions (Callendar, 1938) (Revelle, 1956) (NAS, 1977) (Hansen, 1981) (Hansen, 1988) (IPCC, 2007) (IPCC, 2014) (Hansen, 2016). The proposed mechanism of this perturbation is that fossil fuel emissions increase the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere and that the change in atmospheric composition increases its greenhouse effect. This mechanism implies that fossil fuel emissions should cause global warming, but faced with a 30-year cooling trend in the 1940s to the 1970s, NASA scientist Stephen Schneider suggested that the aerosol effect of fossil fuel combustion overcomes the greenhouse effect and predicted global cooling instead of global warming (Rasool, 1971). However, when the 30-year cooling trend ended and a warming trend began in 1976 (NAS, 1977) (Hansen, 1981) the warming theory regained the upper hand and emerged as the climate science orthodoxy or our time. In due course it became sensationalized in terms of melting polar ice caps, rising seas, extreme weather, social unrest, and mass extinctions in a New York Times article after the 1988 Congressional Testimony of James Hansen (Shabecoff, 1988) (Hansen, 1988). This event in 1988 marks the beginning of the modern era of the climate change narrative with the warming orthodoxy having survived the so called hiatus period since 1998 (Karl, 2015) (Nieves, 2015).
  13. For the UNEP the frightening new global warming and climate change narrative served as yet another planetary air pollution crisis in which it could seize global leadership and grow in terms of size, funding, and power at the expense of taxpayers in donor countries. In this case, the global “air pollutant” was identified as the unnatural and extraneous new carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels. The UNEP responded to the events of 1988 almost immediately. It saw its opportunity and seized it having tasted great success in this kind of situation in the case of HHC pollution and ozone depletion. In he ozone depletion event, it had set up the Montreal Protocol to ban the production, sale, and atmospheric release of HHC at great cost to taxpayers and to society at large and was given credit or having solved a problem that they had invented (Munshi, Latitudinally Weighted Mean Global Ozone, 2016). Emboldened by that success the UNEP would now attempt to apply the same strategy to ban fossil fuel emissions (VanDyke, 2010). The essential lesson learned by the UNEP in the ozone scare [LINK] is that taxpayers can be scared into funding new programs. The Montreal Protocol serves as a business model for the fear mongering business in which it is necessary only to convince taxpayers that (1) the planet needs to be saved from an imminent crisis and (2) the UNEP can do that job given sufficient funding, bureaucratic growth, and bureaucratic power. The credibility of this business model is underwritten by the success of the Montreal Protocol (VanDyke, 2010).
  14. The UNEP began by creating a new United Nations agency to be called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It was formed and approved by the General Assembly in 1988, the same year that the Hansen testimony and the New York Times story had raised public awareness and fear of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and climate change (CAGW). The UNEP cooperated with the WMO in this venture since climate was an important part of this global air pollution crisis. The IPCC was established with an initial cash outlay of 74.6 million CHF for the period 1988-2004 with additional annual funds of five to eight million CHF thereafter in nominal terms (IPCC, 2016). Millions more were made available as “in kind” contributions mostly in the form of facilities and personnel. Of note is the “in-kind” contribution of the WMO in providing office space to the IPCC at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
  15. The purpose of the IPCC is to provide a functional link between climate scientists and governments so that government policy around the world to tackle climate change will be coherent, cooperative, and consistent with the current state of climate science (IPCC, 2016). The IPCC carries out this function in two highly visible ways. First, they are required to publish a report every five or seven years to “synthesize” the current state of climate science into an “assessment report” (AR). About four thousand people (experts, contributing authors, and lead authors) are involved in writing these reports. They are divided into three parts prepared by three different groups of authors known as WG (Working Groups). WG1 synthesizes the current state of climate science from peer reviewed publications. WG2 develops scenarios and long term forecasts in terms of the possible consequences of climate change that are consistent with the synthesis by WG1. Lastly, WG3 develops the policy implications of the impact assessments by WG2 in terms of both mitigation and adaptation (IPCC, 2016). This information chain connects climate science to policy making at all levels of government around the world. The chain may be described as climate science –> WG1 –> WG2 –> WG3 –> governments. As of this writing (2015) five voluminous reports have been published by the IPCC. They are AR1 in 1990, AR2 in 1996, AR3 in 2001, AR4 in 2007, and AR5 2014 (IPCC, 2016). Each of these releases has been given a great deal of media coverage but the system has mostly failed to change the course of government policy (Manne, 2013) (The Scientific Alliance, 2010) (Jamieson, 2014) (Climate Science Policy, 2014). The second major visible activity of the IPCC has been a series of high profile annual meetings with intense media coverage. These meetings are called Conference of Parties (COP). They are held at different venues around world to enforce the WG3 policy recommendations upon national governments in the form of an international treaty as a way of replicating their success in the Montreal Protocol meetings (VanDyke, 2010). About 30,000 to 40,000 delegates from more than 190 countries attend these week-long meetings at taxpayer expense. Most of the delegates are from non-Annex countries that are irrelevant in terms of mitigation (McSweeny, 2015). The intensity of media coverage of these meetings also serves to heighten the fear factor in the fear based environmental activism used to push for an overhaul of the world’s energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels.
  16. The first such meeting was held in Geneva in 1990 immediately after the release of AR1 (UNFCCC, 1993). The meeting concluded that fossil fuel emissions are increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and called for worldwide restrictions on such emissions along the lines of the ban on ozone depleting substances in the Montreal Protocol. However, no mechanism existed for the IPCC to make such a demand. The primary outcome of this meeting was therefore the need for a United Nations “Framework Convention on Climate Change” (UNFCCC) to serve as a basis for a global treaty to reduce fossil fuel emissions. This framework convention was formulated by a committee of delegates from 150 nations immediately following the 1993 meeting. The emission reduction formula contained in the UNFCCC recognizes “common but differentiated” responsibilities (CBDR) for developed and developing countries, a bureaucratic complication that would later haunt them. Two years later in the 1992 “Rio Earth Summit” was held in the seaside resort city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where delegates from all UN member nations convened to sign the UNFCCC into force. Two additional “framework conventions were tagged on to the UNFCCC and these too came into force at the Rio Earth Summit23. The UNFCCC entered into force along the lines of an international treaty in 1994. The 196 United Nations member countries that signed the treaty, known as Parties agreed to meet annually at “Conferences of the Parties” or COP to implement a coordinated plan for cutting fossil fuel emissions.
  17. The stage now appeared to be set for an attack on fossil fuel emissions along the lines of the success of the Montreal Protocol in banning ozone depleting substances (VanDyke, 2010). This was probably the most optimistic and self-serving moment for the UNEP and the IPCC. The third of the COP meetings (COP3) under the framework of the UNFCCC was held at Kyoto, Japan in 1997. COP3 in Kyoto appeared to be a major breakthrough for the UNEP’s attempt to duplicate their ozone success in the new arena of climate change. The Kyoto Protocol signed by 192 countries harkened back to the Montreal Protocol signed ten years earlier. Like the Montreal Protocol, the Kyoto Protocol was a treaty that enforced concrete obligations on signatories. In the case of the Montreal Protocol the obligation involved phased elimination of the production, sale, and atmospheric release of chemicals identified as ozone depleting substances by all Parties. In the case of the Kyoto Protocol the obligation was a phased reduction in fossil fuel emissions but it did not apply equally to all PartiesIn accordance with the “common but differentiated responsibilities” principle of the UNFCCC, the Parties were segregated into three groups defined as Annex 1 (developed and industrialized countries including the transition economics of the former Soviet Union), Annex 2 (Annex 1 minus the transition economies), and Non-Annex-1 (developing countries) (UNFCCC, 2014). The Annex 1 and Annex 2 Parties committed to defined emissions reduction by 2012 as a percent of emissions in 1990. The Annex 2 Parties further committed to providing undefined financial and technological assistance to the Non-Annex-1 Parties to pursue undefined activities having to do with mitigation and adaptation.
  18. To complicate matters further, the Non-Annex-1 Parties were further divided into three sub-groups. They are (1) Non-Annex-1 but not vulnerable to the effects of climate change, (2) Non-Annex-1 and vulnerable, and (3) Least Developed Countries (LDC). The three sub-groups differed with respect to obligations towards the global effort to tackle climate change and with respect to claims for financial and technological assistance from the Annex-1 Parties (UNFCCC, 2014). Yet another classification exists for Small Island Developing States or SIDS (UNEP, 2004) which was created as a special program of the UNEP to address issues specific to SIDS (Zaruk, 2014). The complexity of the classification of Parties and their role in the Kyoto Protocol is a hindrance to reaching meaningful agreements that can be implemented but it may serve other needs of a bureaucracy with little accountability or oversight (Zaruk, 2010). The Montreal Protocol and the Kyoto Protocol are superficially similar and the intent of the UNEP was that the Kyoto Protocol would duplicate the much heralded success story of the Montreal Protocol and apply it to the job of tackling climate change in terms of both mitigation and adaptation. However, this expectation is unrealistic because of a fundamental difference between the two Protocols. While the Montreal Protocol imposed well defined and phased compliance targets by all Parties, the Kyoto Protocol does not. The complex and ill-defined segregation of parties and their obligations has turned into a giant bewildering bureaucratic puzzle. The Kyoto Protocol is a treaty that cannot be implemented because of complexities put into it by incompetent bureaucrats. The complexity worsened when rapid economic growth in certain Non-Annex-1 Parties particularly China, India, and Indonesia, made them together the largest single source of fossil fuel emissions in the world but without any emission reduction obligation (EPA, 2016). Since then dozens of annual UNFCCC COP meetings have been held in places like Buenos Aires, Bonn, The Hague, Marrakesh, New Delhi, Milan, Montreal, Bali, Poznan, Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban, Doha, Warsaw, Lima, and Paris at a huge cost to taxpayers particularly in the donor countries – but they failed to solve the bureaucratic Gordian Knot that they had themselves created. The very costly effort by the UNEP/UNFCCC/IPCC bureaucracy to address the climate change crisis attributed to fossil fuel emissions has failed (Manne, 2013) (The Scientific Alliance, 2010) (Jamieson, 2014) (Climate Science Policy, 2014).
    The failure implies that climate change is not an issue that can be addressed by United Nations agencies such as the UNEP and the IPCC. These agencies can safely be disbanded without any harm to the environment or to society at large (Zaruk, 2014) (Zaruk, 2010). The primary task of dealing with climate issues should reside with national governments. All national governments possess appropriate mechanisms to assist policymakers with the implications of climate science. International issues in climate change may be brought to the United Nations General Assembly or to existing and well-functioning international organizations such as the G7, G20, OECD, and the EU. Technical issues may be addressed at regional and global scientific conferences. Bilateral and multilateral agreements and treaties may be used to address specific issues (Baxter, 1965) (Zawahri, 2011) (Pauwelyn, 2003). That a UN agency can act as an international policeman to mitigate climate change has been tried. It failed.
  19. An equally troubling issue is the absence of oversight and accountability of the IPCC to the member states of the UN that finance its operation. Although the IPCC was set up as an independent and neutral scientific body to objectively synthesize the current state of climate science purely on its merits and to translate that information into possible impacts and their policy implications, no UN oversight mechanism exists to ensure its objectivity or to audit the scientific credibility of its work. Possibly due to outside influences, the organization quickly turned into an advocacy group for CAGW with their AR documents closely following the Hansen narrative describing the catastrophic consequences of fossil fuel emissions (Hansen, 1988) (Hansen, 2016) (IPCC, 2007) (IPCC, 2014). There is no mention of opposing views or of alternative interpretations of the data in these documents. Large uncertainties in natural flows and in the various estimates of the so called “climate sensitivity” parameter were downplayed. Errors in past forecasts were ignored and successive AR reports continued to increase the degree of climate catastrophe in their forecasts. The IPCC AR reports are biased and activism oriented. They are primarily concerned with selling the idea of climate change calamity and its mitigation by emission reduction. Their use of science is limited to its utility in supporting that primary purpose.
  20. The bias in IPCC AR documents is documented in a 2010 commentary by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency which took it upon itself to audit the IPCC AR4 WG2 forecasts and concluded that “The IPCC systematically favors adverse outcomes in a way that goes beyond serving the needs of policymakers.” (PBL, 2010). Some points from the PBL audit are as follows: 1. Exaggeration: The area in the Netherlands that the IPCC said was at risk of flooding by the sea was exaggerated. 2. A systemic tendency by the IPCC to stress negative effects of climate change and to ignore positive effects to the point of a built in misleading bias in the IPCC reports. 3. A systematic tendency to make generalized statements that actually refer to localized data: Example 1. The statement that “by 2020 in some countries yields from rain fed agriculture could be reduced to 50%” was based on a paper that was specific to Morocco. Also the paper said that the 50% reduction in yields would occur only in drought years and not in other years. This information was left out of the IPCC report and the yield reduction was generalized to all years. Example 2. A statement in a source document about lower yields of millet, groundnuts, and cowpeas in Niger was generalized by the IPCC to the entire Sahel region and to all crops. Example 3. A statement in the source document specific to cattle in Argentina was generalized by the IPCC to all livestock in all of South America.
  21. Statements are made without any supporting data or references: Example 1: The claim by the IPCC that fresh water availability in southern and eastern Asia will decline is not supported by data or by a citation. Example 2. The claim by the IPCC that in balance the net health effect of global warming in Europe will be negative is not supported by data or by a citation. IPCC assessments contain a bad news bias such that where an alarmist statement is supported by a citation, the IPCC interpretation is more alarmist than the text in the citation; the IPCC report tends to be unremittingly about the harmful impacts of climate change with a complete absence of beneficial impacts. Countries classified by the IPCC as vulnerable are asked to make a self-assessment of their vulnerability. These self-assessments are included in the AR without modification. It is known that vulnerability is directly proportional to adaptation funding. The opportunity and motivation for bias in these self-assessments are ignored by the IPCC. The alarming and negative impression of IPCC reports on their readers would not exist if the IPCC presented the source material without bias and with a more narrow and objective interpretation without injecting an IPCC bias. Such bias includes outright statistical fraud: A rise in heat related deaths in Australia is presented by the IPCC as due to rising temperatures. This rise disappears if we look at heat related deaths as a percent of population. This means that the IPCC misrepresented a population effect as a global warming effect.
  22. Yet another independent audit of the IPCC AR4 was carried out in 2011 by the Inter Academy Council (IAC), an international scientific body. The IAC audit found as follows (IAC, 2011): 1. The IPCC does not address genuine controversies, 2. Probabilities of events are reported without sufficient evidence and without providing a basis for how the probability was evaluated, 3. IPCC communication and selection procedures emphasize secrecy and not transparency, 4. A sufficiently wide range of scientific viewpoints is not considered and due consideration is not given to properly documented alternative views. Not mentioned in either of these audits is found in any subsequent IPCC report.
  23. A number of statistical errors in the IPCC assessments have been described in related posts at this site. They include the statistically flawed transient climate response to cumulative emissions (TCRE) [LINK] [LINK] , and its use in assessment of carbon budgets for a given rate of warming [LINK] . The IPCC’s carbon cycle flow accounting overcomes carbon cycle measurement problems with circular reasoning such that the assumption that observed changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration are driven by fossil fuel emissions leads to that very same conclusion [LINK]  [LINK] . The same is true of atmospheric methane [LINK] . Much of the IPCC’s case for the catastrophic impact of AGW deals with changes in Arctic sea ice extent with the assumption but not the evidence that these changes in sea ice extent are driven by AGW [LINK] and its repeated attempt to raise an alarm about changes in Antarctic sea ice extent are not supported by satellite data available since 1979 [LINK] .
  24. SUMMARY&CONCLUSIONS#1: The United Nations has made a brave and concerted effort to implement the vision of visionary Maurice Strong of using global environmentalism to redefine and extend the reach, size, budget, and power of the their organization that is not constrained by its charter. Their initial effort in the area of anthropogenic ozone depletion was a stunning and inexplicable success given the factual and scientific flaws in the ozone depletion science used in that achievement [LINK] . It is likely that the UN learned the power of debilitating fear from their ozone success and went on to use that methodology in anthropogenic global warming and climate change; but in this case, they were not just attacking refrigerants and hair spray but the energy infrastructure that is quite possibly the single most important factor in the dramatic advancement of our standard of living of living since the horse and buggy days of “pre-industrial times”. It turned out that the fear of overhauling the energy infrastructure was probably greater than the fear of climate change and that therefore the UN has failed to duplicate its ozone success in climate change. It is clear that neither is science and that both are fear based activism [LINK] but the important lesson of this experience is that the UN charter requires major surgery in terms of constraints, oversight, accountability, and discipline so that the function of the UN is well defined and that the sovereign nations that forms this organization are not adversely affected by its ambitions in terms of loss of sovereignty to un-elected and unaccountable bureaucrats.
  25. SUMMARY&CONCLUSIONS#2: It is well known that public sector bureaucracies without adequate constraint, oversight, audit, and accountability can devolve into self-serving organisms (Rose-Ackerman, 2008) (Gorodnichenko, 2007) (Romzek, 1987). The United Nations and its many agencies and programs are ultimately funded by taxpayers but they are too far removed from those taxpayers to be directly accountable to them. But who will discipline the UN? Agency theory ensures that no single country will venture to absorb the cost of disciplining the UN while gaining only pro-rata benefits (Jensen, 1976) (Eisenhardt, 1989). United Nations agencies and programs like the UNEP, IPCC, UNCFCCC, the Montreal Protocol, the Kyoto Protocol and their related frameworks, conventions and other bureaucratic artifacts are therefore allowed to operate under insufficient constraint, transparency, oversight, or discipline. Under these conditions they can morph into bureaucratic organisms that operate for their own needs and no longer serve the public interest (Bolton, 1994) (Halper, 1996) (Zaruk, 2014) (Zaruk, 2010). A case study of the UNEP and its related agencies, programs, framework conventions, and protocols exposes structural weaknesses that allowed the bureaucracy to extract rents and grow by selling environmental fear and assigning themselves the high office of saving the planet. This sequence was played out in two different episodes. In the first episode a fear of ozone depletion was sold and after successfully implementing a worldwide ban on alleged ozone depleting substances, the UN declared victory even though no evidence exists of long term trends in latitudinally averaged global mean total column ozone (Munshi, Latitudinally Weighted Mean Global Ozone, 2016) (Munshi, Mean Global Total Ozone from Ground Station Data, 2016). The absence of trends indicates that the problem that was solved never existed in the first place. In the second episode, they sold fear of catastrophic global warming and climate change allegedly caused by fossil fuel emissions but failed to duplicate their success in the first episode because of methodological flaws (IAC, 2011) (PBL, 2010) (McIntyre, 2007) (Zaruk, 2010) (Munshi, The Spuriousness of Correlations between Cumulative Values, 2016) (Laframboise, 2011) (Morano, 2013) (Ball, 2015) and also because their own bureaucratic incompetence created an emissions reduction plan that was too complicated to implement. The complication ensures an endless series of annual meetings of thousands of delegates at exotic locations with the only concrete achievement of each meeting being that of setting the date and place for the next meeting. These episodes serve as evidence that unconstrained and undisciplined public sector bureaucracies do not serve the interest of the public. We conclude that such UN bureaucracies can safely be dismantled without any harm to the public interest.

 

 

 

 

 

[LIST OF POSTS ON THIS SITE]

 

 

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2 Responses to "AN UNCONSTRAINED BUREAUCRACY"

[…] Having tasted the great success in the ozone depletion scare with the Montreal Protocol of 1987, and having seen the power of debilitating fear, the UNEP was now poised to take charge of the climate change issue as described by Hansen in his Congressional testimony of 1988 and related research papers.  describing it broadly as a global environmental crisis that can be addressed only at the global level and therefore only by the United Nations. The role of the United Nations in the extension of the AGW issue is described in a related post  [LINK] . […]

[…] Having tasted great success in the ozone depletion scare with the Montreal Protocol of 1987, and having seen the power of debilitating fear, the UNEP was now poised to take charge of the AGW issue as it had been described by Hansen in his Congressional testimony of 1988 and related research papers.  Describing it broadly as a global environmental crisis that can be addressed only at the global level and therefore only by the United Nations, the role of the United Nations in the extension of its ozone success of the AGW issue is thus established [LINK]. […]

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