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Saudi Arabia endorses anti-science: “There is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change”

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"Saudi Arabia endorses anti-science: “There is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change”"

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CAP roving correspondent Brad Johnson has his first dispatch from Copenhagen.  Brad arrived after a red-eye through Reykjavik, to cover the United Nations Climate Change Conference in person. Follow the Center for American Progress Copenhagen Twitter feed here.

Mohammad Al-SabbanCopenhagen “” the Venice of Scandinavia “” is overrun with attendees of the conference and related activities, and festooned with climate-related advertisements. Oceana’s ads argues that shellfish and coral reefs will be gone by 2050 unless a target of 350 ppm is set for carbon dioxide concentrations “” less than today’s 387 ppm. The global activist campaign Tcktcktck portrays the world’s leaders of today, in 2020, their aged faces next to expressions of regret that they failed to halt catastrophic climate change. Meanwhile, other ads portray various energy companies as green superstars “” a theme familiar to any rider of the Washington D.C. metro. At the Bella Center, southeast of the center city, the conference has begun.

Taking an extremist stance even before the plenary opening, petroleum giant Saudi Arabia has latched onto the fake “scandal” of the Climategate swift-hacking to deny the existence of global warming. Mohammad Al-Sabban (pictured above), Saudi Arabia’s lead climate negotiator, told BBC News that the hacked emails will have a “huge impact” on the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Al-Sabban “said that he expected it to derail the single biggest objective of the summit – to agree to limitations on greenhouse gas emissions”:

It appears from the details of the scandal that there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change.

Saudi Arabia has joined the ranks of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sarah Palin, and other global warming deniers for transparently political reasons. The nation has a “long history of playing an obstructionist role at climate conferences.” In 2004 their negotiator argued, “By the year 2010, Saudi Arabia will lose at least $19 billion a year as a result of the policies the industrialised nations will adopt to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”

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16 Responses to Saudi Arabia endorses anti-science: “There is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change”

  1. For details of Saudi Arabia’s (and, more generally, OPEC’s) obstruction of climate change talks, and their success at getting the G77 group of developing countries to back them in this stance, see these two articles from the academic journal Global Environmental Politics: The Worst of Friends: OPEC and G77 in the Climate Regime and Striving for No: Saudi Arabia in the Climate Change Regime.

  2. PeterW says:

    Hi Joe, When you list obstructionists please include Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

  3. Tom Street says:

    Inhofe and Saudi Arabia are tyrannical tools of the terrorists. The news to Saudi Arabia and their henchman, Inhofe, should be that we are cutting oil consumption regardless as we are tired of spending billions propping up privileged autocrats of foreign regimes who have zero respect for human rights or the future of all planetary citizens, including the non human ones.

  4. pumper no 1 says:

    The real story on climategate is the revelation of the moral turpitude and non scientific criminal behavior of the leading proponents of climate change. real scientists do not obstruct enquiry,destroy data and demonise those with opposing views

    At last the lid has been blown off this putrid can of worms.

  5. Sable says:

    Concerned Farmer peering into the hen house: “what’s going on here?”

    Fox: “…er, nothing, yeah, that’s it, nothing to see here, move on!”

  6. Sable says:

    pumper no 1, I’m sure you have proof of “criminal behavior” and the rest of your inane misrepresentations. You can spin a lie as much as you want, it’s still a lie.

  7. David B. Benson says:

    Sorry, but somehow I view the Saudi rulers as bad guys…

  8. Raleigh Latham says:

    Saudi Arabia and Senator Inhofe, teaming up at long last to jeopardize America’s future.

  9. Progressive says:

    Did the Saudi spokesman offer any reasoning behind his conclusion?

  10. BobSmith says:

    …to jeopardize the ‘worlds’ future.

  11. Will says:

    The more scared Saudi Arabia is, the happier I am about the negotiations. Imagine actually having to invest in their people rather than depending on oil revenues!

  12. logie says:

    James Imhofe – the senator who supports Saudi Arabia! Hope you like your new pals James!

  13. John Pearson says:

    The evidence is clear, the science is open and free for all to see. The media are unfortunatly doing a great job of ‘fair’ reporting giving 50% airtime to each ‘camp’, giving unfair credibility to a very small minority of seriousl misguided people. Anyone who does not accept the findings of the vast majority of the worlds scientists should not and will not be taken seriously.
    There is a growing awareness throuought the world that urgent action is needed, and people are prepared to pay the price for this in order to avoid the disasterous effects which are predicted. I am hopeful for a positive outcome.

  14. Funny, Saudi Arabia endorsed the IPCC AR4 reports and the information since then makes even a stronger case for AGW. I wonder why SA would make this statement? Do they have something to lose if the world reduces its emissions? Hmm….

  15. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi All-

    Gee, this would be a shame, wouldn’t it?

    Saudi Arabia has joined the ranks of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sarah Palin, and other global warming deniers for transparently political reasons. The nation has a “long history of playing an obstructionist role at climate conferences.” In 2004 their negotiator argued, “By the year 2010, Saudi Arabia will lose at least $19 billion a year as a result of the policies the industrialised nations will adopt to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Naw, no profit motive there.

    This may be an understatement of the financial impact on the Saudis:

    Saudi Aramco (Arabic: أرامكو السعودية ) is the state-owned national oil company of Saudi Arabia. It is the largest oil corporation in the world with the largest proven crude oil reserves and production.[2] Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia,[3] Saudi Aramco also operates the world’s largest single hydrocarbon network, the Master Gas System. It was known as just Aramco between the years of 1933-1988, an acronym for Arabian American Oil Company.

    As of the end of 2006, its yearly production of only crude oil neared 3.4 billion barrels (540,000,000 m3) and it managed over 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia totaling at least 264 billion barrels (4.20×1010 m3) of oil reserves and 253 quadrillion scf of gas reserves.[4][5]

    Among those fields fully owned by the company is the Ghawar Field, the world’s largest oil field; the Safaniya Field, the world’s largest offshore field; and the Shaybah Field, one of the world’s largest of its kind.[6] It is thought to be by far the world’s most profitable company.

    The “FT’s Non-Public 150″ by the Financial Times and McKinsey – the study of the world’s largest unlisted companies — found that Saudi Aramco is worth an estimated $781 billion USD, dwarfing the $454 billion USD market capitalisation of its rival ExxonMobil (published: December 2006).[9][10]

    Financial data (2007):[11]

    * Fiscal Year End: December*Revenue: $194 billion USD
    * Revenue Growth (1 yr): 15.50%
    * Employees: 52,093
    * Employee Growth (1 yr): 1.40%
    * Oil reserves: 259.9 billion barrels (4.132×1010 m3)
    * Production: 8.5 million barrels per day (1,350,000 m3/d)

    Mind boggling financial numbers. And now, they appear to have bought into the ExxonMobil strategy of aggressive denialism, using propaganda aimed at the scientifically illiterate.

    In doing so, though, they are taking Saudi Arabia even further from ecological stability, IMO. Global warming will impact Saudi Arabia’s water supplies, for one thing.

    The Saudis have immense wealth, sufficient oil to build recyclable plastic houses for everyone in the world, and abundant sunshine for concentrating solar plants, which they could finance.

    With their financial and solar energy resources, they could start building superconducting or high voltage DC power lines to the rest of Middle East, and supply solar electricity to the rest of the Middle East.

    But, taking ExxonMobil’s lead, they now seem to want to go down the path of denial and propaganda.

    This is a dead end path, IMO, for them and for the rest of the world.

  16. hvs says:

    When discussing enviorment we all have to take responsiblity – consumers and corporations. My understanding according to the Quaran we are the vicegerent on earth therefore we all are responsible.