Former British prime minister Tony Blair is the quintessential Davos man. In the sixteen years since he left office, he has criss-crossed the globe, giving speeches and advising sometimes unsavory clients. And yet this week he has delivered a dissenting comment on the issue that his fellow conference-hoppers spend a lot of time worrying about.
Blair has caused a bit of ruckus in the UK this week thanks to an interview with center-left magazine the New Statesman in which the former Labour Party leader questions the wisdom of unilateral action on climate change. Blair called climate change “the single biggest global challenge” before saying of UK efforts to cut carbon emissions: “Don’t ask us to do a huge amount when, frankly, whatever we do in Britain is not really going to [affect] climate change.
“One year’s rise in China’s emissions would outscore the whole of Britain’s emissions for a year,” said Blair. The numbers prove the point: Britain emits 350 million tons of CO2 a year and in 2021 Chinese emissions increased by 510 million tons, to 11.5 billion.
Blair’s point is underscored by Biden climate envoy John Kerry’s recent trip to China. It was a diplomatic flop: heavy on obsequiousness to the CCP, light on concrete concessions from Xi’s regime. Since Kerry returned empty handed, China has been accused of deploying “wrecking tactics” in G20 climate talks.
Some, like Blair, are willing to acknowledge that action on carbon emissions is largely pointless without China’s cooperation. And others admit just how dim the chances are of a diplomatic breakthrough really are. “We simply are nowhere,” said EU environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius in an interview with the Financial Times.
But few are willing to acknowledge that global cooperation on mandates to lower carbon emissions is a pipe dream. Xi Jinping has said that carbon reduction goals “cannot be detached from reality” and that they will not come at the expense of “normal life” in China.
This week, reacting to high temperatures around the world, UN secretary general António Guterres said that the era of global warming was over and that the “era of global boiling has arrived.” Guterres’s comments are typical of the highly emotional, apocalyptic tone that dominates the conversation on climate. Western leaders, including Biden, have married this kind of thinking with a delusional hope of Chinese cooperation. In response to what many of them see as the biggest problem in the world, it is an approach that seems doomed to fail.
On our radar
WOULD DESANTIS PARDON TRUMP? Ron DeSantis was asked whether he would pardon Trump were he to become president. His reply: “I’m going to do what’s right for the country. I don’t think it would be good for the country to have an almost eighty-year-old former president go to prison.”
SPANBERGER HAS GUBERNATORIAL PLANS Politico reports that Virginia congresswoman is planning to run for governor. Spanberger, a moderate Democrat from a must-win, competitive district, has reportedly told multiple people she will launch a 2025 gubernatorial bid.
Trump faces fresh charges in documents case
Donald Trump has been charged with three more counts related to the classified documents indictment brought by special counsel Jack Smith in June. The new charges allege that Trump, along with both Waltine Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira tried “to cause or induce any person to alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal an object with the intent to impair the objects integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding.” The object in this case was security camera footage from Mar-a-Lago that was sought relating to the investigation, and the person was an employee of Trump’s who was the director of information technology. Trump was also charged with a new violation of the Espionage Act — bringing the total number of these charged to thirty-two.
The destruction of evidence charge states that after Trump was notified that the grand jury likely wanted the surveillance footage, he immediately contacted de Oliveira, and after it was confirmed that the footage was needed, he quickly called Nauta. Nauta allegedly changed his travel plans — and “provided inconsistent explanations to colleagues” as to why — making his way to Mar-a-Lago instead of Illinois with Trump. Apparently, Nauta “wanted the trip [to Florida] to remain secret.” Both Nauta and de Oliveira then contacted the director of IT, referred to as Trump employee four in the indictment.
De Oliveira, in a meeting with the employee, reportedly said “that ‘the boss’ wanted the server [with the footage] deleted,” to which the employee said “he did not believe that he would have the rights to do that.” De Oliveira is then alleged to have went back and forth “to meet with Nauta on the adjacent property” rather than Mar-a-Lago.
Mace’s hot summer
South Carolina congresswoman Nancy Mace has been floated as a potential vice presidential pick for Donald Trump. If her remarks at a prayer breakfast this week are anything to go by, she’d be a great fit, as she shares the Donald’s knack for scandalizing evangelicals.
“I woke up this morning at 7,” Mace told the group Thursday morning. “Patrick, my fiancé, tried to pull me by my waist over this morning in bed and I was like, ‘No baby, we don’t got time for that this morning. I gotta get to the prayer breakfast, and I gotta be on time.’”
An online furore followed, with some puritans pearl-clutching over the fact that Mace, a divorcée, was bragging about having premarital sex. “I go to church because I’m a sinner not because I’m a saint! Glad those in attendance, including @SenatorTimScott and our pastor, took this joke in stride,” she tweeted in her defense. “My fiancé is not upset but he did suggest I go to church twice this Sunday. See y’all at the 8:30 and the 11:30!”
Cockburn, however, is grateful to Mace for ushering in DC’s summer of love. Hopefully the reading on Sunday is from the Song of Songs…
From the site
PRESIDENT BIDEN JOB APPROVAL
Approve 42.6% | Disapprove 53.8% | Net Approval -11.2
REPUBLICANS’ CONFIDENCE IN BIG BUSINESS
A great deal/quite a lot 18% | Some 45% | Very little/none 35%
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