Fed says some officials may participate by videoconference
By Greg Robb | Published: Jan 25, 2016 10:44 a.m. ET
The Great Blizzard of 2016 couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Federal Reserve.
The blockbuster snowstorm that dumped 18 inches of snow on the nation’s capital will certainly make life difficult for the dozen far-flung presidents of the Fed’s regional banks, who are set to trek to Washington and hole up across the city for their two-day policy meeting in the two-story chandeliered board room.
A Fed spokesman on Monday said the Fed’s policy-setting committee would meet as scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday.
But not everyone may make it.
“Participants unable to attend in person will be able to participate by videoconference,” the Fed said.
Virtually all schools and the Federal government are closed Monday in the nation’s capital.
There’s more at the original.
If the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee can meet with some participants attending, and voting, by videoconference, the obvious question is: why can’t a lot of other government business be done by videoconference? President Obama attended the signing ceremony of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Le Bourget, a suburb of Paris, telling us all how we must change our infrastructure and our lifestyles to save the planet from climate change, but in traveling to France he set in motion a transportation beast which involves two Boeing 747s, a C-17 Globemaster III, a chartered White House press corps plane, back-up vehicles, and a huge military and security staff. It cost millions of dollars for the President to attend the final meeting in person, and spewed tons and tons of the very greenhouse gasses COP21 proposed to limit. The conference itself was one which had thousands of delegates and staffers, transported to Paris from all over the world, every last one of them by some carbon dioxide belching conveyance.
Shouldn’t the people who are meeting to try to find ways that the countries of the world can agree on reducing carbon emissions be the first ones to try to limit their own carbon emissions?
The technology exists: businesses have been using videoconferencing since the last century,¹ so the concept is both well-established and well-known. Were the nations involved actually serious about climate change, they could have suggested that COP21 be organized by videoconference; were the political leaders, including our President, who celebrated the Paris Agreement truly serious about climate change, they could have made their speeches remotely.
But, of course, doing things that way would mean no government-paid working vacations in Paris, wouldn’t it? Perhaps if the UN scheduled the next COP meeting in Port au Prince or Ulaanbaatar, maybe the warmists would be a bit more attracted to videoconferencing!
¹ – Admittedly, very late in the last century, but still . . . .
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.