It may be a fluke, but it seems too coincidental. What it may be is a leading indicator that the establishment press and international advocates of global wealth redistribution have figured out that "global warming" and "climate change," its deceptive substitute term, have lost their luster thanks to a lack of scientific rigor, scandals, and deception.
What I'm referring to is the fact that in reviewing three Associated Press items which would appear to have been opportunities to bring up the topic of "warming" and "climate" in connection with the U.N.'s latest "earth summit," none of them contained either word. It seems that "sustainable development," a term which has been around for a while and which basically means "stopping most development regardless of merit," is now the go-to term when one wishes to avoid the aforementioned W-word or C-word.
The earliest of the three is from Monday, and concerns the amount of money invested worldwide in "renewable" energy. Note how this week's upcoming UN summit, which is all about using climate change and global warming as excuses for arresting development in the Third World, is described:
The U.N. is hoping that countries will use an environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next week to commit to further investments in renewable energy, which covered just 16.7 percent of global energy consumption in 2010. Of this share, modern technologies such as solar and wind accounted for just 8.2 percent, less than the 8.5 percent contributed by biomass.
By comparison, more than 80 percent of electricity consumed worldwide still comes from fossil fuels that are blamed for a rise in carbon in the atmosphere.
AP reporter Frank Jordans never tells us why should we care about a rise in carbon, or even how he knows that fossil fuels really are to blame for the rise.
The next report was on June 15 and directly concerned the Rio summmit, and didn't even contain the word "environment":
A top United Nations official says the final statement for the organization's largest-ever conference is far from ready.
The outcome document for the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development was supposed to be 90 percent completed ahead of the conference, but bickering between rich and poor nations has plagued negotiations.
... Top U.N. officials say a successful Rio+20 is crucial for the earth's future.
The item never tells us why the summit is supposedly such a big deal.
The final item ("Accounting for natural wealth gains world traction") appeared on Sunday, and at least eventually gets into the neighborhood of the real point of the conference:
What is a sip of clean water worth? Is there economic value in the shade of a tree? And how much would you pay for a breath of fresh air?
Putting a price on a natural bounty long taken for granted as free may sound impossible, even ridiculous. But after three decades on the fringes of serious policymaking, the idea is gaining traction, from the vividly clear waters of the Maldives to the sober, suited reaches of the World Bank.
As traditional measures of economic progress like GDP are criticized for ignoring downsides including pollution or diminishment of resources such as fresh water or fossil fuels, there has been an increased urgency to arguments for a more balanced and accurate reckoning of costs. That is particularly so as fast-developing nations such as India and China jostle with rich nations for access to those resources and insist on their own right to pollute on a path toward growth.
Proponents of so-called "green accounting" - gathered in Rio de Janeiro this week for the Rio Earth Summit - hope that putting dollar values on resources will slam the brakes on unfettered development.
Pull the word "unfettered" from the final sentence, and you almost know what the conference is about. "Putting dollar values" on undeveloped resources is already done by those who buy and sell lands which contain them. But free-market aren't satisfactory for insatiable statists, who at least want in on the action but would prefer to dictate it for their own wealth redistribution-driven purposes.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.