Copenhagen Was Global Success?
By Staff News & Analysis - December 22, 2009

Many hoped the COP15 would lead to legally mandated co-ordinated international action, but it appears that the outcome will be intergovernmental policy co-ordination with a focus on the implementation of national strategies. The move to green growth is no longer in doubt, but the details, actions and time frame remain unclear at best. Will a new world order result from the chaos? The jury is out. The Copenhagen conference was a unique moment in history. – BBC

Dominant Social Theme: Some good things happened at Copenhagen – globalization for one.

Free-Market Analysis: Yesterday we advanced the theory that Copenhagen must be seen for what it really was – a metaphor for globalization. Today we bring to your attention, dear reader, an article by the BBC (the British government mouthpiece) that in our estimation virtually confirms what we wrote.

To be more specific, we suggested that global warming, being a typical power elite promotion, must work on three levels. The first reason for the promotion was to frighten people into thinking that they needed government solutions to prevent the catastrophe that comes from the generation of carbon, a life-cycle gas. The second reason (one a bit more buried) was to create a lucrative worldwide market in carbon trading (one which we believe is intended to replace currency trading as currencies gradually condense). The third reason, the one that the power elite believes is entirely hidden (in plain sight), is the reinforcing of "globalization" itself.

What do we mean "hidden in plain sight?" The best promotions – like the best movies and novels – are seamless metaphors. Copenhagen is a SEAMLESS metaphor for globalization in that it doesn't need any explaining. (It just IS.) Of course, eventually, it could be trumpeted as a victory for such an approach – and indeed the BBC has done just that. Here's some more from the article above:

What Copenhagen changed:

With 110 world leaders present and a single issue on the agenda, there has never been a meeting like this. The countries that brokered the text, the US, China, India, South Africa, Brazil and the EU, also reflects a world in which the balance of power has significantly changed in the last 20 years.

At a fundamental level, the conference redefined the debate between countries in terms of awareness of climate science and support for action. There is no longer any question that climate change is central to the political thinking of every country on the planet.

Public awareness has also massively increased. The vast campaigns run around the world in the run-up to Copenhagen by governments, NGOs and business and the media coverage of the issue and the summit have made addressing climate change widely understood and discussed from the pubs of rural England to the bars of Beijing.

The other very important change is that green growth is now the prevailing economic model of our time. The idea that addressing climate change is bad for business was buried at Copenhagen. Countries from both developed and developing worlds have announced low-carbon economic plans and are moving forward. – UK Telegraph

All this is quite clever, we think. Copenhagen was a promotion not just of global warming but, at bottom, an exhibition of how global problems demand global solutions. So clever and seamless is this promotion that the BBC can hold Copenhagen up as an example of a global success story and it will still not be clear they are supporting a promotion. To most readers it will simply seem as if they are making a point.

This is why we offer the perspective that most of these promotions work on three levels. There is the obvious first level that people can agree or disagree with. There is the second level (usually monetary) that smart people can point to in order to show THEY are not being manipulated. And then there is the third and cleverest METAPHORICAL level. This is the level that is the hardest to rebut since, as we pointed out above, it is seamless. From swine flu, to peak oil, to global warming, the solution is inexorable if one accepts the initial promotion of the problem.

And here is the VERY cleverest thing. Whether one wants to debate the underlying solution or not – one is still forced to debate the validity of something that has ALREADY taken place (a global conference.) As we pointed out yesterday, win or lose, the memes themselves develop the global solution. Reality, then has little to do with the issue. It is the PROCESS that counts and the result – globalization.

After Thoughts

To argue against such solutions, one must inevitably unpack the entire meme. That's hard to do unless the others involved in the conversation have some acquaintance with how such vast promotions are articulated and implemented. It is indeed a complex effort to debrief someone who has only a passing acquaintance with these concepts. And that is of course the beauty of them – from the standpoint of their promoters, anyway.