Agam's Gecko
Monday, December 17, 2007
Brand for Bush
Kurt Willy Oddekalv, the "Norwegian cowboy" wants to brand Mr. Bush with his "cattle iron." CNN's Dan Rivers dubs the idea "interesting."

he UN conference on climate change has wrapped up in Bali, with the US delegation making concessions in order to reach an agreement, and with China and India refusing to do their part in reducing greenhouse gases. As expected, the US was cast as the villain from beginning to end.

With contrary scientists kept firmly out of the Bali proceedings, the field was left clear for delegates and protesters from around the world to gather, and revel in Bush derangement and anti-Americanism. I find it fascinating that so many of the delegations from Kyoto treaty signatory countries were putting the Kyoto Accord forward as the way to save the world (and denigrating the US for staying outside the treaty), when none of the signatory countries are actually meeting their requirements. Could the incentives to promote technological innovation, and other free market measures actually work better than meaningless agreements that no one adheres to anyway?

Cue Dan Rivers, of CNN. I'd never heard of him before that night in September 2006, when he happened to be in Bangkok when a coup d'etat took place. His breathlessly hysterical reporting by telephone that night was so full of errors, I wasn't believing my ears. It was clear that whoever this fellow was, Thailand surely wasn't his usual beat. But the network kept him around to follow the story, and Dan was apparently tickled to be in the middle of a "crisis," and so he kept the excited reports coming.

Within days he reported on an audience the military leaders had with His Majesty the King, in such a way as to bring dishonour to the royal institution (and he was lucky to get off with a hand slap). Any reporter who had been here even just a few weeks would have known the meeting couldn't have taken place as he reported it, and would have understood why.

From that point on, I've taken anything I've seen by Mr. Rivers with a large dose of salt. His reporting of the Burmese uprising didn't fare much better, with his highly touted trip "inside Myanmar" to a tourist border town. He didn't get much of a story there, but when he returned to Bangkok a Burmese man who'd fled the killing streets of Rangoon found him, and here he at least got a story. The waste of time trip to Tachilek had only been to enable equally breathless CNN anchors to intone, "Our correspondent has actually been inside Myanmar, and sends this report."

Well, Dan has been inside Bali where he found the "Norwegian Cowboy" Mr. Kurt Willy Oddekalv, and his one-man display of Bush Derangement Syndrome. I'd seen Kurt Willy the previous night on MetroTV News (but wasn't quick enough for a screen capture), so thanks to Dan for making him part of his presentation on CNN. Dressed in his idea of a cowboy costume, Kurt Willy came prepared in case his nemesis showed up unannounced -- with a big honkin' branding iron, a length of rope, and a banner which read, "A Rope for Mr. Bush."

Rope for Bush
I wonder what Sharpton and the other "civil rights activists" would have said, had there been a noose tied on the end of that rope. Probably nothing.

Kurt Willy didn't get much coverage apart from the Indonesian media and CNN. I searched long and hard for an image from the wireservices, or any mention of his threatening protest, but to no avail. Rivers introduces him this way:
Dan Rivers: "Meet Kurt the Cowboy, from Norway."

Kurt the Cowboy: "This is a brand for Mr. Bush, to brand him in the butt."

Dan Rivers: "An interesting suggestion for solving climate change from Kurt, and his cattle iron."
I'll give you some of the flavour of the Indonesian newspaper reports in a moment, but this caught my eye in a Mark Steyn column. After noting Rev. Al Gore's denunciation of his own country as "principally responsible for obstructing progress here [Bali]," Steyn wrote:
The American Thinker’s Web site ran the numbers. In the seven years between the signing of Kyoto in 1997 and 2004, here’s what happened:
  • Emissions worldwide increased 18.0 percent;

  • Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1 percent;

  • Emissions from nonsigners increased 10.0 percent; and

  • Emissions from the United States increased 6.6 percent.
I'd heard that most Kyoto nations were doing very poorly at keeping their promises, but I hadn't dug up the statistics or paid much attention. I knew that the US (outside Kyoto) is doing better than Canada (inside Kyoto) at reducing the supposed causes of global warmening. So I found the article he refers to on American Thinker, which contains links to the supporting statistics.

The Kyoto Treaty was agreed upon in late 1997, and the signatories began ratifying it in 1998. Looking at the data from the last year of pre-Kyoto (1997) until the latest year for which data is available (2004), we can derive the emissions increases in the above list, which Steyn accurately quoted. We can also find the growth of CO2 emissions in a few of the Kyoto signatories, as follows:
  • Maldives, 252%.

  • Sudan, 142%.

  • China, 55%.

  • Luxembourg, 43%.

  • Iran, 39%.

  • Iceland, 29%.

  • Norway, 24%.

  • Russia, 16%.

  • Italy, 16%.

  • Finland, 15%.

  • Mexico, 11%.

  • Japan, 11%.

  • Canada, 8.8%.
Apparently Canada isn't doing so bad -- compared to the other Kyoto believers. Look at Norway, where Kurt Willy comes from. It's had almost four times the rate of growth in emissions the US has had. Maybe the "cowboy" should be branding his own butt rather than fantasizing about an American "cowboy," who does what he says he'll do while showing up the rest of the hypocrites for all talk and no action.

Like China for example, who was browbeating the conference chairman into tears for some slight or other, and maintaining that it had nothing to do with the problem and no responsibility to reduce its own rate of emissions growth -- which is up 55% to the US' 6.6%.

Now here's my translation of Kurt Willy's newfound stardom in the Jawa Pos Online , entitled "Cowboy Threatens to Tie Up Bush in Bali."
NUSADUA - The arrival of ministers and a number of heads of state for the UN Conference on Climate Change at Bali International Convention Center in Nusa Dua, was answered with an action by a cowboy, Kurt Willy Oddekalv from Norway.

He began his action beside Siligita corner, at the Tanjung Benoa intersection where the police and armed military were tightly on guard. Yet Kurt was left alone with his cowboy clothing, carrying a rope lasso and a UNFCCC logo of welded metal [his "cattle iron" - ed.]. There Kurt held up a banner with the words; A Rope for Bush.

Not satisfied at Siligita corner, Kurt moved his action to the front of BICC, the place where the ministers were meeting. Kurt said he represented the activists Green Warriors of Norway. He explicitly accused President George Walker Bush as the main cause of world climate change. This, he said, is because the US under the Bush administration uses more oil fuel (fossil) and produces the greatest emissions on this planet.

Because of this he shouted for Bush to come to Bali. "I want Bush to come to this conference, and if he arrives I will tie him up with this rope right here," threatened Kurt. He said that Bush must be forced to sign the Kyoto Protocol and take his responsibility for climate change on this earth.
The daily Republika noted that Kurt Willy had achieved worldwide fame in 1992 for a demo against George Bush Senior (no details). He told Republika that he represented the aspirations of all cowboys, whether in America or in Norway. The "hard-headed" behaviour of President Bush showed the "arrogant attitude" of the US government, he said. "This is our harsh protest against the climate policy of George W. Bush, who has become the most dangerous enemy of the world," said Kurt.

I wonder if anyone had the heart to tell Kurt that the US declined to sign on to the Kyoto treaty while under the Clinton, and uh, er, Gore administration. Or that under public enemy number one, President G.W. Bush, the US has reduced its rate of increase more successfully than the Kyoto signers have. Or indeed, that his own country of enviro-cowboys is surging ahead at nearly four times the American rate.

No, I don't imagine anyone had the heart, or the facts, to tell cowboy Kurt Willy. Not when his policy of tying up President Bush and "branding him on the butt" can gain plaudits from a CNN puppy like Dan Rivers.


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