Cyprus Mail
CM Regular Columnist

A cancer for all seasons

EU Commissioner Canete

By Hermes Solomon

THE party is over. It was time to call it a day. Partygoers were seen to work through the night to get platitudes just right then go on their way.

So what have we got after the booze, banter and broad smiles – not much?

There were 40,000 participants from nearly 200 countries at these COP21 climate talks discussing who pays what and who receives what (if ever it’s paid).

I repeat 40,000, and add, two weeks all expenses paid travel, hotels, food troughs and entertainment, healthcare, shopping (wouldn’t you have shopped in Paris for Christmas given a buckshee chance?) which altogether made the carbon footprint of this COP21 amorally incalculable.

The plebs just adore a great floorshow. It will never occur to them that the final outcome of COP21 will be no different from COP20/19/18, etc. And Laurent (now superstar) Fabius (French foreign minister and COP21 show-time host) certainly did that, ably abetted by UN Chief, Ban Ki, whose incomprehensible diction keeps him at the top, and timid US Secretary of State, John Kerry, whose platitudes sound even more banal than those of his president.

Add to the rostrum François Hollande’s outstretched arms aside a lady from equatorial Africa and we are back to the days when the media hailed and swooned over my hero, Nelson Mandela.

Given that the world is now indebted to the tune of $200 trillion – that’s collectively all world economies – what’s another $100 billion a year paid/thrown at undeveloped nations after 2020, while developed nations continue gross over-exploitation of undeveloped nations’ mineral and natural resources?

During the six-month media build-up to Cop21, oil has fallen from $70 to $35 dollars a barrel, it’s price cut in half by a series of factors, not least US self-sufficiency through fracking (a filthy affair!) causing a general worldwide glut of oil as economies noticeably slow rather than grow.

No matter what politicians say, the markets predict! And the markets are predicting worldwide depression.

Not unnaturally, the price of natural gas as an energy source has followed in the wake of oil – downward.

Therefore, what is the viability of extracting gas from our Aphrodite block 12 if break-even was announced by our 2012 energy minister as $4 mm/BTU and its market price today stands around $2?  And not to mention Noble Energy’s share price, which has considerably foundered since discovering the Leviathan field deposits for Israel followed by the much smaller find of Aphrodite.

It is blindingly obvious that at present fossil fuel prices, renewables and environmentally friendly sources of energy production are no longer viable – anywhere near viable when $60 a barrel of oil was break-even for renewables only a year ago.

Yes, we all know that but surely the introduction of non-polluting renewable energy was intended to save the planet and not necessarily be competitive with fossils.

So then tell me, which governments are going to swap from fossil to renewable/eco-friendly energy? And at the present cost of fossil fuel produced energy we are certain to burn more of it than less – it’s human nature, surely – cheap and plentiful?

Then did the oil giants ditch prices intentionally to ‘kill’ competition from renewables stone dead? Or were prices ditched to maintain growth?

It is blindingly obvious that Cyprus could be self-sufficient in energy if 80 percent of its supply/demand was produced by solar panels. So why don’t we fit solar panels – question of cost is it? No, it’s got nothing to do with cost, but more to do with protecting the status quo. Energy is a huge earner not only for oil giants but govt. treasuries. The ‘tiger in your tank’ costs a third of what it did a year ago but it’s price per litre at the ‘jungle’ pumps has only fallen by a sixth.

It seems that COP21 was a floorshow to satisfy the insatiable appetite of ‘hippy’ ecologists rather than a serious attempt at reducing fossil fuel emissions poisoning the planet and all and everything upon it.

Strangely, it has only recently been discovered that diesel engines are far more dangerous to one’s health than petrol.

Why only now, after the VW scam came to light, dare we not breathe pm10 (billions of infinitely small particles of diesel exhaust fumes that float at ground level on busy main streets) which damage our lungs and are a cause of breathing difficulties in Beijing, etc. and cancer at all ages everywhere, more particularly for children and the less young?

Oh why, oh why are we fed the truth so long after the lie?

Just stand behind a diesel bus exhaust fumes and tell me if you can breathe.

And then tell me if COP21 was little more than COP20…hogwash! Oil rules the waves and will eternally if oil giants have their say – and they do of course, ever since el Lawrence went mufti…



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