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Tony Blair: A Sudden Turn Of Conscience? No.

Keith Farnish | 14.07.2008 11:50 | Analysis | Climate Chaos | Globalisation | London | World

My inbox has been overflowing with love and best wishes to the planet from all sorts of people recently — one of them is no less than Tony Blair, that great peacekeeper (1), climate saviour (2) and lover of human rights (3) is pushing his big plan (yes, another one) to return the planet to its former health. It’s called “Breaking The Climate Deadlock” and you can read the latest report here [] (4).

The e-mail from Tony (well, there were three kisses at the bottom, so it must be personal) said:

TOKYO - Tony Blair today (Friday) published the first report from the ‘Breaking the Climate Deadlock’ initiative which will set out the framework for a new global deal for a low carbon future.

Mr Blair presented Prime Minister Fukuda with a copy of the report in his role as host of the G8 summit this year. The report has been drawn together with a group of recognised climate change experts, under the direction of the former British Prime Minister. It answers a series of practical questions about how the world can move to a low carbon economy.

It identifies the actions and questions that need to be resolved by political and business leaders over the next 18 months to achieve a successful outcome to the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009. The report contains a warning for the world to get on this path now or face irreversible damage and much more cost later. But the report also contains a message of optimism that success is possible and the technologies, the capabilities, the resources, and the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of people around the world exists to create a new low-carbon future.

Tony Blair said this report is all about trying to unite the scientists and experts with the political leaders and decision-makers.

Interesting. Uniting who with who? Didn’t mention “businesses” did he?

So who is running Mr Blair’s show at the moment?

Tony Blair came under heavy fire today for accepting a lucrative job with a Wall Street bank.

Mr Blair, who quit as prime minister in July, is to become a part-time adviser to JPMorgan on a salary rumoured to be at least £500,000 a year. It puts him on course to become the richest former premier in recent history.

He also revealed he expected to take a “small handful” of similar jobs with other companies in the near future.


So, between his various jobs providing expert advice about how to dodge and weave your way around the political system and negotiate great deals with foreign nations, former Prime Minister Blair is intent on saving the world. So long as it’s on his terms: like ensuring he goes everywhere by private jet…

“those wishing to book him on the international lecture circuit are routinely told that providing Mr Blair with his own airliner is a non-negotiable requirement.”

Clearly a man not prepared to budge his principles, nor one who is prepared to see others budge on theirs, considering he famously stated that he didn’t think it “realistic” that people should stop flying on holiday. A dose of realism — like perhaps the Arctic ice caps being free of ice this year; or increasing regional food shortages caused by extreme weather; or the sudden drop in the ability of tropical soils to absorb carbon dioxide — seems to be in order here. But we are talking about a man that fervantly refused to ever place the UK business lobby into an uncomfortable position, preferring instead to demonstrate the power of the free market in regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

And what a dismal failure that has been. It was bound to be — he did it because Blair is a corporate man, through-and-through. Read the report I mentioned earlier, and for which the e-mail was so lovingly sent to me, and you will see the truth:

"Just as there is a large body of evidence on the risks of climate change, there is also a large body of evidence on what we can do about it. There is a growing consensus that emissions can be reduced without damaging prosperity in either the developed or developing world. Reducing emissions will require a transformation of our economies, but not giving up on growth."

And there’s the rub: protecting the planet, but not at the expense of economic growth. Continued growth, which keeps the corporations happy, so they keep offering Tony his lucrative jobs; increased “prosperity” which makes people believe they are going to get a better life, despite the definition of “prosperity” having little to do with the Declaration of Human Rights, and everything to do with the acquisition of material goods. Let’s make it clear — economic growth is NOT SUSTAINABLE. It never has been, and never will be. In order to grow an economy, you need to use resources at an increasing rate.

But let’s just duck that small issue, while there is still money to be made. Just remember, Mr Blair, your cash will be of no use to you at all when you have to scrape a living from the remnants of the planet you pretended to care about. Fancy changing your mind about economic growth?

No, thought not. Moron.


1) Need I mention Iraq? Thought not.
2) Oversaw the UK actually increasing its carbon emissions despite the rhetoric of global leadership.
3) Opposed the setting up of Collective Tribal Rights under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
4) From The Climate Group; more about their sponsors later.

Keith Farnish
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