The Ideal Climate Citizen? North Korea

I’m having a hard time telling whether The Guardian is trying to turn itself into The Onion, because they have a climate change piece up today that looks like a deadpan satire: “North Korea: An Unlikely Champion in the Fight Against Climate Change.”  Seriously?

Apparently.  Well, there’s North Korea’s enviable carbon footprint to point to I suppose.  When you use no energy, the UN bureaucrats will love you.  When I have pointed out that the energy use targets of the Climatistas for the year 2050 would involve the U.S. reducing its per capita hydrocarbon use to the level of Somalia, Haiti, and North Korea, the Climatistas usually change the subject as fast as they can, or start yelling the “denier” chant—a neat trick coming from the energy math deniers.

What this piece really reveals is that the Climatistas are not so secretly envious of North Korea, for the obvious reason.  Take in a few samples:

Like many poor countries, North Korea, where [climate change] problems are endemic, is least able to cope with climate change impacts. These weaknesses include food insecurity, energy shortages, economic fragility and a rigid political system. So North Korea is using the UNFCCC as a vehicle for projects designed to increase agricultural output and build the resilience of the agricultural system to disasters. . .

The answer? Wait for it—you knew this was coming:

Renewable energy may be the most appropriate vehicle for increasing generation capacity because unlike large centralised fossil-fuels, renewables can be scaled locally which reduces their up-front cost. . .

Most significantly, renewables offer North Korea considerable scope for technology transfer, infrastructure upgrades and income through the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol. . .

That would be the “Kyoto Protocol” that is essentially defunct?  These guys never let go.

While there is revenue potential in the generation and sale of carbon credits, the magnitude of the potential revenue is comparatively small. Together, the projects already online in North Korea account for 193,475 carbon credits. At the EU spot price for carbon credits of $5.66/ton (£3.36/ton) as of July 2013, North Korea’s current portfolio of carbon credits are worth a mere $1m per year.

That’s it!  Starve your people and generate carbon credits!  Should pay for the new iPhones the Nork ruling class covets.  But the author inadvertently (?) gives away the main reason why North Korea is supposedly joining the climate bandwagon: self-preservation of their tyrannical regime:

North Korea has strong incentives to fight climate change and its potential to erode government control. The fact that the nation has become more compliant over time suggests that the objectives of the international climate change regime coalesce with the survival imperatives of Kim Jong-un’s government.

There you have it: a frank recognition of climate change policy as a tool for perpetuating tyranny.  And the Climatistas wonder why conservatives don’t like them.

JOHN adds: You likely have already seen it, but in case you haven’t, this is a photo from space, taken at night, in which you can see South Korea, brightly lit, and to the north, China. That dark area in between? It’s North Korea:

figure8.3

All we have to do to satisfy the climate fanatics is ban electricity.

Responses