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Oh dear. It’s only Day 3 of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and already I’m pleading with Amazon to deliver “Out of Africa” for escapist relief. Others may be like-minded, it appears, given a surprising protest march and rally by scores of farmers from African and other lesser developed countries (LDCs). Over two-dozen groups of agricultural workers—actual non-bureaucrats, non-whiny-privileged-youths—trying to make a living, these “Sustainable Development Network” speakers admonished the caviar-slurping UN bureaucrats in attendance to get out of their way. And they seem sincere: one speaker passed a promising litmus test, shouting “We don’t need your money!” To cheers.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Talk about creating internal conflict among the press and other members of the establishment Left in the audience. Confused by the truth, dreadlocked whites (bearing press passes) stared blankly, masticating the painful choice this rally presented them: support poor women and minorities seeking a sustainable living, or continue opposing the dreaded requirements this entails—reducing bureaucracy and increasing trade.
The die was cast as to which way the press sympathies would fall when Barun Mitra from India presented the group’s “[Fertilizer] Award” to Greenpeace International and a few similarly situated parties. Bestowing this plaqued representation of three disturbingly realistic patties on such an icon tipped the scales, as most of the audience came to Johannesburg expecting all downtrodden peoples to mindlessly accept empty slogans under which lie a mendacious anti-people agenda of restricting economic opportunity.
Earlier, one woman here raged against “the pernicious introduction of the flush toilet” as a byproduct of wealth creation. This at a taped panel discussion for a BBC/PBS production hosted by, you guessed it, Bill Moyers. Presumably the preferred solution to human waste problems is abstinence, judging by the agenda’s clear bias toward impeding agricultural production by poor peoples, advocating privation to discourage procreation and otherwise sustaining poverty.
The next slap-shoed performers piling out of the Volkswagon in this most circus-like of atmospheres plainly took the cake - for today. U.S. lawmakers arrived to predictably posture in condemnation of other politicians who won’t buy into the agenda of “show leadership by doing what the EU wants”. This afternoon’s now-ritual exercise was scheduled to entail Representatives Chris Shays (R-CT) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), plus (it goes without saying) Moonbeam-for-Life Jerry Brown. The press release blared “US Elected Officials Call for Massive Financial Commitment to Solar Energy, Funded by Cutting Fossil Fuel Subsidies”. “Subsidy” apparently means funding something that works. “Commitment” means feeling good while wasting money.
Possibly fearing inconvenient questions about when construction begins on wind farms just off tony Greenwich Beach, Shays was a no-show.
There hasn’t been this much adoration at a political press event since JFK’s appearances, with half of the media-tagged audience breaking into humorously aggressive applause at the utterance of the slightest green palliative. Kucinich, however, was ridiculous to core, cutely hinting at possible national aspirations with a smirking response to a question about lack of a green political agenda in the U.S. “It’s on its way”. Run, Dennis, Run. Such an effort would in all likelihood make Brown’s presidential campaign look wildly successful.
The former Boy Mayor blathered on about the key to creating a stable world, massively increasing wind and solar subsidies. He seemed blissfully unaware of, or unconcerned by, the lesson offered by actual figures. “Renewables” have received over $20 billion in subsidies the past 20 years, outpacing fossil’s $15 billion and nukes’ $12 billion, yet wind and solar provide 2% of the U.S portfolio. It might take a little more than burning through bales of money to make these things feasible.
The Cleveland Congressman then also hinted that he may not travel well, warning about “having our foot on the accelerator and the gas at the same time!”, and revealing that “global warming has impacted world temperature.” Now we now why there are directions on shampoo bottles. Note to Democrats, ease off on the cracks that President Bush is stupid.
Brown saved Kucinich from persistent follow up questions from an educated reporter, Ron Bailey from Reason Magazine. In doing so, Moonbeam worsened Kucinich’s anti-Americanism with heated bloviation about “regime change” in Washington. Speaking of which, Presidential candidates John Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-Mars) are expected to arrive soon. There seemed to be no point in their speechifying until the real heavy anti-Bush reportage picks up with the arrival of the more senior administration contingent.