Whatever choice the American people make next week, common sense on global warming is not on the menu. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have made similar vague promises to radically reorder our economy in order to combat global warming. How did it come to this. Claudia Rosett explains:

Most Americans have never heard of Yvo de Boer, and certainly never voted for him. De Boer is a Dutchman, appointed by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006 to head the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

De Boer is not a scientist; his bio says he has a “technical degree in social work.” Before joining the UNFCCC in the 1990s, he worked in the Dutch ministry of housing. These days, de Boer jets around the world presiding over conferences–such as last year’s two-week climate summit at a Bali beach resort–aimed at creating a global “climate change regime.” This regime rests on schemes for massive international wealth transfers, with multilateral bureaucracies calculating who owes, who pays and who gets special breaks–while related arms of these proliferating outfits crank out reports in which “science” is invoked to justify the entire set-up.

But didn’t the Nobel Peace Prize go last year to Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for their eco-warnings? Yes. And the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of five Norwegian politicians, appointed by the Norwegian parliament. They may be nice people, but their judgment seems an odd basis for sweeping new controls on the U.S. economy.

As for the U.N.’s Nobel-winning IPCC–it is a joint enterprise of two other U.N. outfits, both shot through with back-scratching politics. One is the Nairobi-based U.N. Environment Program, whose director, Achim Steiner, a German, was appointed by Kofi Annan in 2006, just after serving on a panel that awarded a $500,000 environmental prize to Annan, for his personal use (which Annan surrendered only after that potential conflict of interest emerged in the press).