The Melting Of American Sovereignty At ‘Hopenhagen’

Posted on Sat 02/27/2010 by


By Adam Raezler

Delegates and heads of state from 193 free and sovereign nations gathered in Copenhagen this past December with the hopes of agreeing on a binding international agreement to combat global climate change. Before Copenhagen, two similar international conferences were held with the purpose of addressing global climate change. Both, with the most recent held in Kyoto, Japan, have failed. However, many internationalists believed that the “hope and change” that swept through America in 2008 would also come to Copenhagen. President Obama’s attendance was thought to be the best chance the United States had to agree to an international accord on climate change. Mr. Obama’s presence at the conference transformed the Danish capital from Copenhagen to Hopenhagen.

While many of us agree that it is our responsibility to be diligent caretakers of our environment, we must be cautious to avoid being swept up in the new global fad of environmentalism. Americans must be vigilant and quick to defend our sovereign right to determine our own national environmental policies, free from the tentacles of the international community. Americans have always believed in the concept of self-governance and   …    self-determination and if we do not work to preserve these rights, they will quickly be diminished. Internationalists, and even several American policy makers, have used the issue of global climate change in an effort to create a panic, which they believe is the only way to persuade Americans to surrender their sovereignty to a new global environmental treaty and regulatory commission. Global climate change has become the Trojan horse for those seeking to destroy the philosophy of sovereignty and self-determination. Close examination reveals it to be an effort to construct a massive international structure that wishes to determine the environmental policies for our nation.

The question of who can best determine environmental policies on issues such as cutting CO2 emissions – countries for themselves or an unelected international body – lay at the heart of this conference. These decisions would have an immense impact on local and national economies, both in the United States and around the world. Many Americans would think that the environmental policies of the United States are best determined by our democratically-elected government, the administration and the current leaders of Congress believe that we should surrender our sovereign right to legislate our own environmental polices into the hands of unelected and undemocratic international institutions.

The goal of this United Nations-sponsored conference was to draft a binding treaty that would impose a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions by all nations that UN scientists say are necessary to avert a climate change catastrophe. This article is not intended to debate the science of climate change, but it is worth noting UN scientists reversed several of their positions after Climategate exposed flaws in their findings. Just this past week, head UN scientist Yvo de Boer announced his resignation effective July 2010. The conference also aimed to construct an international regulatory body that would be charged with inspecting American energy consumers such as schools, farms, hospitals, community centers, churches, small business, and private residences to ensure their compliance with all terms of the newly created treaty, especially with regard to their carbon emissions. This compliance commission would then transfer its findings to a group of unelected, non-American, and non-transparent international bureaucrats based in Europe.

These international bureaucrats would be given the power to render judgment and issue penalties on the United States for any perceived shortcomings in complying with the terms of the treaty. These provisions of the desired treaty clearly violate the principles of independence and self-governance that are enshrined in our Constitution. The Founding Fathers displayed their true political genius when they incorporated the Tenth Amendment into the constitution. The Founders knew, based on their relationships with Great Britain and Europe, that American sovereignty would once again come under siege from Europe. Therefore they declared, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The Founders made it clear that the powers not delegated to the federal government would pass to the states and the people, not to a foreign treaty or group of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.

When President Obama addressed the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in 2009, he spoke in depth about his deep commitment to multilateralism and that he views an international system in which there is no single dominant power but rather a community of power. While at Hopenhagen, Mr. Obama’s eyes were opened to the harsh reality of an international system that is led through his “community of power,” and not by the United States. At Copenhagen, the bloc of 135 developing nations, which includes China, flexed its muscle to show the world that it is the dominant leader of this new community of power, and with the absence of American exceptionalism, the United States and our sovereignty suffered a brutal beating. In addition to demanding that the United States agree to an international climate treaty and its compliance commission, the bloc of 135 nations also had two other enormous demands.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, who was tasked with representing all the African nations, unveiled these demands. He proposed that wealthy, developed nations, such as the United States, Japan and the western states of Europe, provide financial resources to the developing nations so that it can work to combat climate change. The financial resources, also referred to as mitigation and adaptation funds, would be paid by these wealthy, developed nations because global climate change is primarily their fault. The developing world not only had the audacity to place the blame for climate change on the United States, but also demanded that American tax dollars be sent to them as reparations for the damage that we have done to its planet. Prime Minister Zenawi stated that he would accept $30 billion in the short term with an increase to $100 billion by 2020.

The bloc of 135 nations also demanded that the developed world transfer its green technologies to the developing world free of charge so that it can begin the process of installing green technologies and establishing industries in its nations. The United States was not only expected to pay billions of dollars in reparations, but we were also required to freely hand over our science and technology that we are using to help us become more energy efficient and become the global leader in green technology. In return for the transfer of our knowledge and resources, we receive nothing.

While the Copenhagen conference failed to produce the treaty the developing world, including China, desired, it did get the administration to pledge to begin paying the demanded reparations. The administration pledged a promise of support for $30 billion over the next three years with the goal these payments growing to $100 billion by 2020. While the American economy is still struggling to regain its footing, the administration felt that the best use of $30 billion, borrowed from the Chinese, would be to give it away to the nations that became the leaders in this “community of power.” The administration also forged a deal with China, India, Brazil and South Africa for each of the five nations to reduce CO2 emissions and created a system of checks and balances that would require each nation to report its progress to the other four nations.

The failed conference in Copenhagen is a classic example of history repeating itself. I was always taught that if we fail to know our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Americans must remember the failed Bretton Woods conference of 1944 and its results. Copenhagen was not the last attempt by internationalists to erode our sovereignty and force their will upon us. While Bretton Woods failed to establish an international economic institution, the conference did produce the blueprint for the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The Copenhagen conference has drawn the road map to creating an international environmental regime in Mexico City, that will do all it can to destroy American sovereignty.

We live in a time in which we no longer need to fear the coming of the Redcoats. If Paul Revere were to do his famous midnight ride tonight he would cry out “the international bureaucrats are coming!” The bureaucrats are not just coming to New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles, but are marching into our local communities to monitor our carbon footprint. They are coming with their international orders and authority to monitor our churches, schools, hospitals, small business, and homes. Heaven help us if they find us guilty of failing to comply with their desired levels of carbon emissions.

During the run up to the conference and even afterward, there was little said as to why the average American family should be concerned with the negotiations and back room deals taking place at Copenhagen. At its core, American sovereignty boils down a simple question: who decides? Do we want our energy policies, which have an immense impact on our daily lives and our local economies, decided by our elected officials or do we allow non-American internationalists to decide what the best and most appropriate energy policy is for our local communities and our nation? Additionally, American families must be concerned with the fact that during the conference the President committed $30 billion dollars over the next three years to the developing world instead of investing those funds into American jobs and our local communities. While families teach their children the importance of taking care of our environment, we are witnessing our ability to determine our own energy policies transfer to the United Nations.

Look for the next issue to confront the Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and why women in the United States do not need this treaty to ensure their equal status in our society. Contributing Editor Adam Raezler holds a Masters from Norwich University in Diplomacy and International Terrorism.

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