This story probably became an inevitability the moment the UN decided to name Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of the UAE national oil company, as President for this year’s COP28 Conference currently ongoing in Dubai. Activists opposed to continued use of fossil fuels, who make up the vast preponderance of the record attendance at this year’s conference, were bound to seize on any excuse to demonize both Al Jaber and conference organizers for picking an oil executive to serve as the face and voice of the event.
During a question and answer session held with COP28’s Elders Committee in advance of the conference, Al Jaber got into a tussle with former UN special envoy Mary Robinson over whether he supports eliminating all use of fossil fuels to address the all-knowing, all-consuming, all-powerful beast we call “climate change.”
“We’re in an absolute crisis that is hurting women and children more than anyone,” Robinson began in somewhat inflammatory fashion, “ … and it’s because we have not yet committed to phasing out fossil fuel. That is the one decision that Cop28 can take and in many ways, because you’re head of ADNOC, you could actually take it with more credibility.” (RELATED: DEROY MURDOCK: Lavish Green Boondoggles Leave CO2, Temperatures Virtually Unchanged)
Perhaps naively, Al Jaber chose to discard any carefully prepared talking points he may have had available to him, deciding instead to answer the question truthfully. It’s a decision he probably regrets now.
Here’s what Al Jaber said: “I accepted to come to this meeting to have a sober and mature conversation. I’m not in any way signing up to any discussion that is alarmist. There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C.”
This is absolutely true, of course. Not even the reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) itself suggest a complete elimination of fossil fuels to address a problem that even it admits may or may not even exist in the way its computer models suggest. But what Al Jaber forgets here is that objective truth is a troublesome thing for the attendees at COP 28. Because if the problem really isn’t real, then the wealth-redistributing schemes that have always been the central focus of these COP conferences would necessarily have to end.
Undeterred by Al Jaber’s initial reply, Robinson plowed ahead. “I read that your company is investing in a lot more fossil fuel in the future,” she said, again failing to pose an actual question.
Again, Al Jaber didscarded the talking points: “You’re reading your own media, which is biased and wrong. I am telling you I am the man in charge,” he testily replied, adding, “Please help me, show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves.
“I don’t think [you] will be able to help solve the climate problem by pointing fingers or contributing to the polarization and the divide that is already happening in the world. Show me the solutions. Stop the pointing of fingers. Stop it,” Al Jaber concluded. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: Biden Is Following Germany’s Failed Energy Policy Into The Dark)
So much truth in so few words. But of course, this sort of plain talk is completely intolerable in a meeting committed to sustaining half-truths, sophistries, fantasies, and lies designed to sustain the array of money grabbing schemes using climate alarmism as their foundations. And of course, the global media establishment has responded with a firestorm attacking Al Jaber for having the temerity to speak the unabashed truth.
Serving as president of an annual COP conference with hundreds of events and many thousands of attendees is a tough job. Being the CEO of a national oil company that intends to remain an oil company into the future makes the job tougher still. But having a habit of speaking unabashed truths that stand in contradiction to the event’s prevailing narrative makes this job about as tough as it could possibly be.
Perhaps Mr. Al Jaber will want to stick to the talking points for the remainder of this conference.
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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