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DAVID BLACKMON: Oil Producers Save UN Climate Confab From Al Gore And John Kerry’s Extreme Plan

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David Blackmon 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.
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The wails of frustration from the climate alarm political left were deafening as the UN-sponsored COP28 conference neared yet another ignominious close Tuesday faced with a draft final agreement that failed to satisfy the global climate religious movement’s dogma demanding a “phasing-out of fossil fuels.”

As always, the complaints were filled the apocalyptic language designed to frighten the masses into meek compliance, with luminaries like John Kerry leading the chorus. “This is a war for survival,” Kerry moaned.

In a tweet, professional climate scold Al Gore was, as usual, even more bombastic, lambasting the COP28 drafters for not including language demanding a phase-out of all fossil fuels, saying, “In order to prevent COP28 from being the most embarrassing and dismal failure in 28 years of international climate negotiations, the final text must include clear language on phasing out fossil fuels. Anything else is a massive step backwards from where the world needs to be to truly address the climate crisis and make sure the 1.5°C goal doesn’t die in Dubai.” (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: Saying The Quiet Part About This Utopian Green Energy Transition Out Loud)

Continuing on that theme, Kerry added, “We’re not where we’re meant to be in terms of the text … Many of us have called for the world to largely phase out fossil fuels, and that starts with a critical reduction this decade.”

That latter notion has become the alarmist’s left’s key talking point, one designed to encourage western nations at the front of this movement to print as much new money as possible to subsidize the preferred subsidy-seeking solutions – wind, solar and electric vehicles – before a public awakening to their deficiencies and massively higher costs revolts to force change. The evidence of those deficiencies is all around us now, with the growing failure of the Biden regime’s vaunted offshore wind fiasco, the collapsing demand for electric vehicles throughout the west, doubling and tripling utility bills and power grids on the verge of full failure. 

The conference’s final agreement reached a middle ground, landing on the phrase “transition away from” fossil fuels to replace the preferred “phase-out” language. Thus, Kerry stands to claim the big win of this year’s private jet-fueled boondoggle with his commitment of the U.S. to become part of an agreement to do away with “unabated” coal-fired power plants. But that one is also basically meaningless since pretty much no one is building unabated coal plants at this point anyway. Indeed, one reason why China continues to build more coal-fired plants than the rest of the world combined is in part to replace its own unabated plants with new technologies.

One of the biggest hurdles alarmists always face at the annual COP conferences is the institution’s requirement of unanimous consent among the 190+ participating countries to every word in the final text. This means that the alarmists expect oil exporting nations like Saudi Arabia and even the host country United Arab Emirates to essentially approve their economic death warrants by signing onto a phase-out of their major source of national income. 

Seeing that eventual reality being a centerpiece of this conference’s goals, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al-Ghais sent a letter December 6 urging OPEC members to refuse to sign off on any deal that puts “our people’s prosperity and future at risk.” Russia, a member of the expanded OPEC+ cartel, and China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil in addition to being by far the biggest user of coal, have also expressed objections to inclusion of the “phase-out” language desired by the alarmists. (RELATED: DEROY MURDOCK: Lavish Green Boondoggles Leave CO2, Temperatures Virtually Untouched)

After a previous draft statement containing a list of five options for language related to cutting the use of fossil fuels fell landed with a deafening thud, drafters tried to placate the widely disparate points of view on the matter by expanding their list of watered-down options to eight. That effort, as we have now seen, only generated more anger and disagreement. 

All of which gets us down to the real nub of this problem: Despite all the talking points about some broad consensus existing and the matter being settled, the truth is that no real consensus exists among the world’s nations on any of this. Until such a real consensus forms, we should expect nothing but a cornucopia of word salad statements at the end of future iterations of these annual confabs.

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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