All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front

July 20, 2001

Horner Dispatch from the Bonn Climate Negotiations

Horner Dispatch from the Bonn Climate Negotiations

 

Bonn -- Muzak’s “Rainy Day Feeling” pipes through the vents, matching the melan-cholera consuming the Hotel Maritim.  With each break I hope for Patsy Cline’s fitting ode “Crazy”, but in fact the flow of beer by 2 p.m. suggests another explanation for the insane compendium of wealth transfers and energy suppression that is the Kyoto Protocol.

Huddled murmurs and the racket of third world expectoration balance this ersatz love theme to COP6-bis.  The sole sound contending for dominance is the muted jingling from behind a closed door, where desperate European Union representatives dangle bags of money and trinkets in the shape of treaty exceptions before the suddenly omnipotent Japanese delgation.  Other bureaucrats nap on desks, enjoying cranial circuses of their own “climate fund” lucre.  Swiss bankers nervously smoke in the corner.

For the most part the Greenpeacers et al. have bathed and scraped off their uniforms in favor of garb suited to more conventional warfare:  suits.  This merely adds to the confusion.  The Ghost of Fellini sits in the planter, head in hands.

The news is there still is no news, as all in attendance await the color of smoke to emerge from the undignified EU begging at the feet of the Japanese.  Back in the day, some grumble, it was spot easy to just blame Americker for what-may-be without such distractions and muddying of the allegations.

At some point the “acceptance” stage will surely be reached.  All may then return home ritually if disconsolately declaring victory by accusing you and I, though likely without making eye contact this time.  Clandestine diplomatic calls will again then burn the lines, as they did after the President’s most recent European Vacation, thanking us for saving the batty, bossy world from themselves one more time.

The most clear thinking party, it appears, is Royal Air Moroc.  Ignoring arrogant EU posturing and presciently anticipating “no deal,” they litter the hall with brochures to capture some of the hoard traveling to Marrakech for the October meeting.  That is next up in a series of “do or die” negotiating sessions.  Should this year continue shaping up as the third consecutive of cooler temperatures, public consciousness may actually discern not just these alarmist claims but the larger cry of “wolf.”  Or, we may just return to worrying about “global cooling.”