As was argued in 1997 by Tom Wigley, one of Al Gore's trusted allies and formerly head of the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, or CRU (recently at the centre of the Climategate scandal over rigged temperature data), even if the world had implemented Kyoto to the full, it would only have delayed global warming by six years. In fact, as was revealed last summer by the German renewable energy institute IWR, CO2 emissions are now 40 per cent above their level in 1990, the baseline Kyoto was meant to return them to.
This is the new global industry based on buying and selling the right to emit CO2, estimated soon to be worth trillions of dollars a year, which through schemes such as the UN's Clean Development Mechanism and the EU's Emissions Trading System is making a small minority of people, including Al Gore, extremely rich.
The only really concrete achievement of Copenhagen was to win agreement to the perpetuating of those Kyoto rules that have created this vast industry, which has two main beneficiaries. On one hand are that small number of people in China and India who have learnt how to work this system to their huge advantage. On the other are all those Western entrepreneurs who have piled into what has become the fastest‑growing commodity market in the world.
The part played at Copenhagen by all the tree-huggers, abetted by the BBC and their media allies, was to keep hysteria over warming at fever pitch while the politicians haggled over the real prize, to keep the Kyoto system in place.
The only tree they were concerned with hugging was the money tree and all the vast political apparatus that now supports it, allowing governments to tax and regulate us into handing over ever more of our money, largely without realising it, every time we drive a car, fly in a plane, pay our electricity bill or carry out any of a vast range of activities that involve the emission of CO2. Compared with these sums, even the billions we all unwittingly spend on subsidies to the developers of useless wind turbines are chicken feed.
It was timely that while the gabfest and the backstairs haggling were continuing in that dreary concrete shed, further shocking evidence should have been released to show how the Met Office's Hadley Centre and the CRU have been rigging the most important of all the four official global temperature records. HadCRUT, as it is called, constructed by Hadley and the CRU from raw data supplied from weather stations all over the globe, is relied on by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the most prestigious temperature record we have.
What was released last week from Russia was evidence that the stars of Climategate have been cherry-picking the temperature data they receive from Russia, to use only the 25 per cent of the data that makes for a warming trend. Put it together with all the data they have suppressed and what emerges is a trend over the past 80 years that remains flat, showing no net warming at all. Yet this is the most oft-cited of all the temperature records on which the whole global warming scare of recent decades has been built.
Naturally none of this was allowed to percolate the discussions in Copenhagen where, behind all the playacting and flim-flam of the stage army of activists (most of them subsidised by the world's taxpayers), the only real concern was to maintain the greatest financial scam the world has ever seen.
Christopher Booker's 'The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is the Obsession with "Climate Change" Turning Out to be the Most Costly Scientific Blunder in History?' (Continuum, £16.99) is available from Telegraph Books for £14.99 plus £1.25 p&p.