A recent interview by Drieu Godefridi was translated and full text provided by Friends of Science under the title Outcome of the Paris Accord: a re-founding act of American democracy?
This post shares Dr. Godefridi’s views of the geopolitical frame built upon the climate change issue shifting due to US withdrawal from the Paris accord. Later on are excerpts from an article by Jon Huntsman sketching a future world shaped by global trade rather than global government.
Modern Condition of Globalization
We live in a reality that we know that has become strongly globalized economically. There has been much less attention to the other globalization that has taken place before our eyes, that of an extremely dense network of international organizations and institutions that has increasingly been given the power to create standards by right.
The difficulty is that these global organizations are not subject to the same democratic requirements – election and accountability – as well as separation of powers, as are our democratic national institutions. We have denounced so much the “democratic deficit” of the European institutions! Indeed, it is wrong that the faceless and very ideological judges – here I point at the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU – decide on the future of Europe in such major areas as immigration or terrorism. They do so, completely apart from the wishes of European citizenry.
But this deficit is nothing compared to that of the other international organizations, which generally have only a vague idea of democracy (and often appoint despots to human rights commissions, for instance)! One notes here, above all, the United Nations, whose umbrella organization in the field of climate, the UNFCCC, is just one manifestation.
What we have been seeing for the past two decades, in the areas of climate, gender theory, immigration and terrorism, and so on, is that activist minority ideologues have confiscated democratic debate. By acting at the international level, they have an enormous advantage. As soon as such an unaccountable international body has seized a cause, its standards prevail over national parliaments!
When gender theory was enshrined in its most radical version in 2011 by a Council of Europe Convention, it became virtually impossible to dislodge it. When, in cases such as HIRSI (2012), the European Courts devoted the “no border” ideology, it became almost impossible for the national ministers who wished to defend their own borders to do so. Examples that come to mind are Francken in Belgium, his British and Austrian counterpart, or the countries of the Visegrád group – a handful able to oppose it effectively.
But it is in the domain of climate that this confiscation of democratic debate is the most masterful, reaching a kind of virtuosity. Why? By the effect of science! The theory of gender is meant to be scientific, but it does not deceive anyone: it is an ideology, assumed as such by authors like Judith Butler. The ideology of the “no border” is moral, it does not claim to be scientific.
Climate is something else! Every time since its birth in the fold of the IPCC, the ideology of the climate has claimed science as its foundational authority – and science in its most precise version! Physics! The politicized IPCC has never stopped claiming it is presenting science since. So, it is this second globalization, a prelude to a world government that is openly called for by the elites of internationalist socialism, which is threatened today by the American exit of the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Accord
The Paris Accord marks the apotheosis, not of “globalism,” but of a particular version of globalism, which one should rather qualify as socialist. Indeed, let us recall the actual content of the Paris Agreement! What does it foresee? Essentially, two things: the drastic reduction of CO2 emissions in the West, right away, with the possibility for states such as China – the world’s largest CO2 emitter – to continue to increase emissions to 2030, with no requirement whatsoever to reduce emissions. The second essential component of “Paris” is the Green Fund, which provides for the transfer of $ 100 billion a year from the West to the rest of the world. “Paris” is therefore, first and foremost, the triumph of what was called “support for the Third World” in the 70s and 80s, that is to say, a massive and permanent transfer of wealth from the West to the rest of the world.
“Paris” is doubly globalist: first, because the transfer of wealth will be done through a clever network of international institutions, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Green Fund — an institution, with a secretariat, directors, exotic meeting places, etc. —and all the intermediate institutions created by the Paris Agreement.
Secondly, “Paris” is driven by “morality” with the IPCC itself employing the services of moral philosophers to help them make their political case. The founding moral intuition which presides over the Paris Agreement is internationalist socialism. International socialism has always considered that the differential of wealth that benefits the West results from the pillage of the rest of the planet. This is described in terms of imperialism, colonization, exploitation of weaker partners. In that world view, the only “just” solution (aka “climate justice”) to this is the immediate and unconditional transfer of a substantial portion of these wealth to the rest of the world. Thus, the Paris Accord discloses itself clearly as a matter of globalism, but of a very particular vision of it – internationalist socialism.
The founding thesis of universalist socialism is that the wealth of the West is born of the plunder of the rest of the world. This is obviously false, and this has been demonstrated time and time again. The West owes its surplus of wealth to the preference given over five centuries to a particular economic system, capitalism!  The West has rejected the alternatives, socialism or subsistence. Moreover, the falsehood about the capitalist West as simple global robber barons is so well entrenched in leftist/socialist/globalists that even the concessions and foreign aid made to date by the West on are never enough to satisfy the transfer of wealth desired by the Third Worldists.
With the Paris Accord, which is not born from nothing, we enter a completely different dimension. This time, it is no longer morality, generosity or compassion (i.e. disaster relief) that requires the transfer of the wealth of the West. It’s science! It is the idea that because the Western industrial world has polluted the world for so many years should mean that the West must transfer its wealth to the rest of the world, which can continue to pollute. Further, this guilt money must be paid into the Green Fund which puts unaccountable, unelected green groups and green rent-seekers an opportunity to exploit this ultimate global subsidy for renewable-intermittent energies! Admire the finesse of the process: it employs the very strength of the West — capitalism — to show that the West has sinned. How naive and amateur are the Third Worldists of the past, with their moral arguments, faced with the omnipotence of the scientific argument!
However, you likely will have noticed, like me, that the climate debate does not deserve to be described as scientific in any way, anymore. What is the matrix of climate science? That is the IPCC, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As early as 2010, I demonstrated in the book “Le GIEC est mort, vive la science”/ “The IPCC: A Scientific Body?” that by its composition, competences and functioning, the IPCC is a totally political organization, and not a scientific one as it claims. I do not have the competence to pronounce on the science of climate as such, nor do I need it: for it is easy to understand that a political organization can only produce political reports. The current “science” of climate is that of a scholar steeped in science… and politics – with a dominant political gene.
The Future of Paris Accord
In my humble opinion, two things will happen: first, “Paris” is dead. We are going to witness a form of hysterical “debate” in Europe. It is clear that France, Belgium and Germany will compete as to who is more virtuous, climate-wise, and that they are supported by the gigantic economic sector of the $1.5 trillion/year sector of “Big Climate” – that of industries and investors in Renewable-intermittent energies, and by high finance helped by ‘green’ groups, which would have had control over the massive transfers of the Green Fund. Of course, economically, the European position is not tenable. The Paris Accord would have been the bank heist of the millennium had Americans complied, is not possible with only the funds of European states such as France, Belgium or the countries of the Southern Europe. These are completely drained financially. These countries are over-indebted, have historically unprecedented levels of taxation, they owe a large amount of money to NATO, how could they finance the Green Fund? Through the EU climate policies, they are increasing the price of their energy every day while the rest of the world – beginning with the Americans – will now lower the price of theirs? Simply stating it this way exposes the lack of serious intent.
As for the science of climate, we are going to experience interesting developments. For example, the head of the American environmental agency, Scott Pruitt, announced the setting up of working groups to disentangle the Science from the Ideology in climate science.
What Future for the Global Economy
Thirty years from now, world trade will be in the midst of another radical transformation—one no less critical to America’s 21st century leadership or to the expansion of global growth prospects.
For millennia, international commerce has focused on the exchange of physical goods (including people when there was slavery). More recently, services have become an ever-increasing component of advanced economies and world trade. This trend will continue and bring with it greater complexity for those setting the rules and negotiating the deals.
In general, manufacturing will be more localized; services, especially health and retail, more personalized; today’s ubiquitous shipping containers will be replaced by 3-D and 4-D printers, and the designs for making physical goods locally will move at the speed of light over airwaves just as financial flows do today. As urban farming gets going, food will be produced closer to the market, cutting transportation costs and reducing trade in agriculture.
Urbanization will produce a shift in populations and create more global centers of excellence for innovation. Whereas today we have a handful, 30 years from now there will be dozens of cities that serve as hubs of global trade in ideas. This proliferation of empowered megacities and centers of creative innovation will challenge geographic borders, making it hard for capitals to call the shots.
Trade flows will reflect the realities of global power as well as demographics. The Pacific will no longer be the dominant trade hub. Instead, the focus will shift to the Indian Ocean region, which upward of eight billion people—mainly in China, India and Africa—will call home. The U.S. may not be in a position to influence trade the way it did. For the past 200 years, Britain, after the Industrial Revolution, and the U.S. after the two world wars, fought for an open trading system to promote growth. None of the emerging countries have thus far shown that same commitment, even though they—particularly China—are increasingly setting the pace in world trade. China eclipsed the U.S. as the biggest trading country in 2013.
While mostly positive, the transformation of global trade will also create challenges. For one, how will a country attract and retain the world’s best and brightest talent? There will be no guarantee that people will stay if your country isn’t moving toward competitive best practices.
Combined with other future trends, our prospects are bright. There is good news for the environment. . . People will also live longer. There will be less disease. Consumers will benefit enormously from the changes in world trade that will deliver, among other things, personalized medicine and greater access to life-changing science and pharmaceuticals. Choices will be expanded, distances shortened, and manufacturing will be cheaper and tailored to specific needs.
What a contrast between the doomsayers lamenting the collapse of global climatism and the visionaries seeing the world developing through free and mutually beneficial trade.
Drieu Godefridi born in 1972 is a liberal Belgian writer, founder of the Hayek Institute in Brussels. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from Paris Sorbonne.
Jon Huntsman, chairman of the Atlantic Council, has served as governor of Utah, U.S. ambassador to China and Singapore, and deputy U.S. trade representative.