Tag Archives: AGW

IPCC Forecasts Of Climate Doom Drastically Wrong

16 Sep

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More on the unravelling of the Great Global Warming Swindle.

From the Mail on Sunday (UK):

A leaked copy of the world’s most authoritative climate study reveals scientific forecasts of imminent doom were drastically wrong.

The Mail on Sunday has obtained the final draft of a report to be published later this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ultimate watchdog whose massive, six-yearly ‘assessments’ are accepted by environmentalists, politicians and experts as the gospel of climate science.

They are cited worldwide to justify swingeing fossil fuel taxes and subsidies for ‘renewable’ energy.

Yet the leaked report makes the extraordinary concession that the world has been warming at only just over half the rate claimed by the IPCC in its last assessment, published in 2007.

Back then, it said that the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade – a figure it claimed was in line with the forecasts made by computer climate models.

But the new report says the true figure since 1951 has been only 0.12C per decade – a rate far below even the lowest computer prediction.

The 31-page ‘summary for policymakers’ is based on a more technical 2,000-page analysis which will be issued at the same time. It also surprisingly reveals: IPCC scientists accept their forecast computers may have exaggerated the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures – and not taken enough notice of natural variability.

They recognise the global warming ‘pause’ first reported by The Mail on Sunday last year is real – and concede that their computer models did not predict it. But they cannot explain why world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase since 1997.

They admit large parts of the world were as warm as they are now for decades at a time between 950 and 1250 AD – centuries before the Industrial Revolution, and when the population and CO2 levels were both much lower.

The IPCC admits that while computer models forecast a decline in Antarctic sea ice, it has actually grown to a new record high. Again, the IPCC cannot say why…

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One of the report’s own authors, Professor Myles Allen, the director of Oxford University’s Climate Research Network, last night said this should be the last IPCC assessment – accusing its cumbersome production process of ‘misrepresenting how science works’.

Despite the many scientific uncertainties disclosed by the leaked report, it nonetheless draws familiar, apocalyptic conclusions – insisting that the IPCC is more confident than ever that global warming is mainly humans’ fault…

Last night Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, said the leaked summary showed that ‘the science is clearly not settled, and is in a state of flux’.

She said it therefore made no sense that the IPCC was claiming that its confidence in its forecasts and conclusions has increased.

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We Got It Wrong On Global Warming: IPCC

16 Sep

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From the Environment Editor at The Australian:

THE Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessment reportedly admits its computer drastically overestimated rising temperatures, and over the past 60 years the world has in fact been warming at half the rate claimed in the previous IPCC report in 2007.

More importantly, according to reports in British and US media, the draft report appears to suggest global temperatures were less sensitive to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide than was previously thought.

The 2007 assessment report said the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade, but according to Britain’s The Daily Mail the draft update report says the true figure since 1951 has been 0.12C.

Last week, the IPCC was forced to deny it was locked in crisis talks as reports intensified that scientists were preparing to revise down the speed at which climate change is happening and its likely impact.

Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, told The Daily Mail the leaked summary showed “the science is clearly not settled, and is in a state of flux”.

The Wall Street Journal said the updated report, due out on September 27, would show “the temperature rise we can expect as a result of manmade emissions of carbon dioxide is lower than the IPCC thought in 2007”.

The WSJ report said the change was small but “it is significant because it points to the very real possibility that, over the next several generations, the overall effect of climate change will be positive for humankind and the planet”.

After several leaks and reports on how climate scientists would deal with a slowdown in the rate of average global surface temperatures over the past decade, the IPCC was last week forced to deny it had called for crisis talks.

“Contrary to the articles the IPCC is not holding any crisis meeting,” it said in a statement.

The IPCC said more than 1800 comments had been received on the final draft of the “summary for policymakers” to be considered at a meeting in Stockholm before the release of the final report. It did not comment on the latest report, which said scientists accepted their forecast computers may have exaggerated the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures and not taken enough notice of natural variability.

According to The Daily Mail, the draft report recognised the global warming “pause”, with average temperatures not showing any statistically significant increase since 1997.

Scientists admitted large parts of the world had been as warm as they were now for decades at a time between 950 and 1250, centuries before the Industrial Revolution.

And, The Daily Mail said, a forecast in the 2007 report that hurricanes would become more intense had been dropped.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Matt Ridley said the draft report had revised downwards the “equilibrium climate sensitivity”, a measure of eventual warming induced by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It had also revised down the Transient Climate Response, the actual climate change expected from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide about 70 years from now.

Ridley said most experts believed that warming of less than 2C from pre-industrial levels would result in no net economic and ecological damage. “Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083 the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm,” he said.

Global Cooling: Arctic Ice Cap Grows 60%

8 Sep

Nice timing.

Just as Australia gets a new government. One that has made a “blood pledge” to “scrap the carbon tax”, and the $10 billion “green bank”.

From the UK’s The Mail on Sunday:

Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year with top scientists warning of global COOLING

  • Almost a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than in 2012
  • BBC reported in 2007 global warming would leave Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013
  • Publication of UN climate change report suggesting global warming caused by humans pushed back to later this month

A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent.

The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.

Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.

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The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound and a cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back.

Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading.

The disclosure comes 11 months after The Mail on Sunday triggered intense political and scientific debate by revealing that global warming has ‘paused’ since the beginning of 1997 – an event that the computer models used by climate experts failed to predict.

In March, this newspaper further revealed that temperatures are about to drop below the level that the models forecast with ‘90 per cent certainty’.

The pause – which has now been accepted as real by every major climate research centre – is important, because the models’ predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world’s economies divert billions of pounds into ‘green’ measures to counter  climate change.

Those predictions now appear gravely flawed.

The continuing furore caused by The Mail on Sunday’s revelations – which will now be amplified by the return of the Arctic ice sheet – has forced the UN’s climate change body to hold a crisis meeting.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was due in October to start publishing its Fifth Assessment Report – a huge three-volume study issued every six or seven years. It will now hold a pre-summit in Stockholm later this month.

Leaked documents show that governments which support and finance the IPCC are demanding more than 1,500 changes to the report’s ‘summary for policymakers’. They say its current draft does not properly explain the pause.

At the heart of the row lie two questions: the extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels, as well as how much of the warming over the past 150 years – so far, just 0.8C – is down to human greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural variability.

In its draft report, the IPCC says it is ‘95 per cent confident’ that global warming has been caused by humans – up from 90 per cent in 2007.

This claim is already hotly disputed. US climate expert Professor Judith Curry said last night: ‘In fact, the uncertainty is getting bigger. It’s now clear the models are way too sensitive to carbon dioxide. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence level.’

She pointed to long-term cycles  in ocean temperature, which have a huge influence on climate and  suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend. This led some scientists at the time to forecast an imminent ice age.

Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, was one of the first to investigate the ocean cycles. He said: ‘We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.

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‘The IPCC claims its models show a pause of 15 years can be expected. But that means that after only a very few years more, they will have to admit they are wrong.’

Others are more cautious. Dr Ed Hawkins, of Reading University, drew the graph published by The Mail on Sunday in March showing how far world temperatures have diverged from computer predictions. He admitted the cycles may have caused some of the recorded warming, but insisted that natural variability alone could not explain all of the temperature rise over the past 150 years.

Nonetheless, the belief that summer Arctic ice is about to disappear remains an IPCC tenet, frequently flung in the face of critics who point to the pause.

Yet there is mounting evidence that Arctic ice levels are cyclical. Data uncovered by climate historians show that there was a massive melt in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by intense re-freezes that ended only in 1979 – the year the IPCC says that shrinking began.

Professor Curry said the ice’s behaviour over the next five years would be crucial, both for understanding the climate and for future policy. ‘Arctic sea ice is the indicator to watch,’ she said.

Climate Deception Exposed: The North Pole Ice Melt Video Scare

28 Jul

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A so-called time-lapse video of still photos, first published by The Atlantic, then feverishly republished by the Huffington Post, has been making waves around the world.

With the gullible, and the intellectually lax — I can be no more polite than that.

It purports to prove that man-made global warming is real, and getting worse, because “North Pole Melting Leaves Small Lake At The Top Of The World.”

It is a blatant deception.

By the (international banker-owned) media.

How so?

The webcams from which the images were taken are actually located some 350 miles south of the north pole. As exposed by AccuWeather.com:

Did the media just prove North Pole is NOT melting?

UPDATE: I received a reply via email from Roger Anderson, who is one of the webcam scientists at the University of Washington. I had asked him if the media was using the webcams that were NOT at the North Pole, but rather drifting southward. He replied: “Yes, they are. The approximate position of the webcams today (obtained from PAWS Buoy 819920) is 07/25/1500Z 84.773°N 5.415°W.” This is even further south than I had placed the buoy, because the data I had was one week old. This puts the webcam at approximately 350 miles south of the North Pole, closer to Greenland than Santa Claus! So no worries, folks, the North Pole is not melting.

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UPDATE: I just found another Atlantic article that quotes one of the webcam scientists, who doesn’t address the location issue but says this is “not the first time scientists have observed a melt pond at the North Pole, nor is it the largest.”

Then there’s the inconvenient truth that the ice sheet in the Arctic is not solid, it is packed ice floes, and that “lakes” and at times, open ocean, have often appeared at the actual North Pole. Indeed, they have been one of the hazards of over-the-ice travel to the North Pole from the beginning of European and American polar exploration. There is lots of photographic proof of this, as far back as the 1960’s (from navsource):

"Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962. Note the men on the ice beyond the submarines"

“Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962. Note the men on the ice beyond the submarines”

Of course, you can be certain that all those Chicken Littles shrieking and panicking and sharing that oh so scary video, have not once paused to question whether it is truth or fiction.

These people vote.

These people are the international usurers’ best friends.

“Useful idiots”, I believe is the phrase they use.

The Financialisation Of Nature

12 Mar

From Carbon Trade Watch:

The banks have successfully infiltrated the international institutions. The creation, and official recognition, of an UNEP Finance branch allows them to promote their private interests as public interests. Central in this strategy is the launch, at Rio+20, of a “Natural Capital Declaration”. What is this? The vision of the financiers, based on the conception of environment and of life as a simple capital resource, and their support for mechanisms that push the financialization of nature.

Scrap The ETS: Growing Global Movement Calls On EU To Abolish “Major Obstacle” To Emissions Reduction

11 Mar

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I despair for this country.

Contrary to what politicians, lobbyists, and media cheerleaders for popular causes often tell us, as usual, we are behind the times.

Remember the great public argument between these hubristic folks we had to endure that preceded the introduction of our “carbon tax”, as to whether or not we were acting ahead of the rest of the world, or behind the rest of the world, with our Green-Labor government’s post-election “broken promise” decision to “put a price on carbon”?

In the last few days, we have heard a major business lobby group petition our government to cancel the carbon “tax” – it’s only been running for 8 months – and immediately make the transition to a full Emissions Trading Scheme:

Mar 7, 2013 – Ai Group has called on all sides of politics to support the immediate removal of the fixed price carbon tax and move directly to an internationally linked emissions trading scheme.

The same environmental benefit can be achieved at a lower cost and it can be achieved simply by bringing forward by two years the date of Australia’s already-legislated move to emissions trading,” said Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox.

Meanwhile, 3 weeks earlier, over in Europe a growing global movement of (now) over 100 civil society organisations began petitioning the EU member states to abandon attempts to try and fix their much-vaunted – and much-rorted – Emissions Trading Scheme, and just scrap it altogether.

From Carbon Trade Watch:

18 Feb, 2013 – A growing group of civil society organisations is calling on the EU to abolish its Emission Trading System (ETS) to open space for truly effective climate policies. Today they release a joint declaration that highlights the many structural loopholes the ETS is facing, that the proposed reform proposals put forward by EU policy makers will not be able to fix.

Tomorrow (19 Feb.) the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament will vote on the Commission’s backloading proposal. “Although advertised as a way to fix the failing ETS, it is nothing but a drop in the ocean. The EU’s flagship policy to address climate change has diverted attention from the need to transform the system’s dependency on fossil fuels and growing consumption, resulting in increased emissions. After seven lost years, it’s time to make space for effective and fair climate policies,” says Joanna Cabello, from Carbon Trade Watch.

More than 90 organisations, networks and movements from all over the world launch today the joint declaration ‘It is Time to Scrap the ETS’. It lists the structural flaws of the ETS and the risks of trying to fix it.

One of the flaws is the use of offset projects which allows companies or governments from the North to buy credits from a project in the South instead of reducing emissions at source. “The offset projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the biggest offset scheme, has actually increased emissions while causing land grabs and human rights violations, community displacements, conflicts and increased local environmental destruction,” says Isaac Rojas, from Friends of the Earth Latin America and Caribbean (ATALC). “Other new market mechanisms and related financial products (such as forest carbon offsets and biodiversity offsets) follow the same logic which allows, and offsets, deforestation, forest degradation, biodiversity loss and water pollution,” he adds. In spite of the growing evidence of the problems, offset use in the ETS grew by 85% in 2011.

Furthermore, the EU ETS is costing the public a lot of money without serving a public purpose. Belen Balanyá, from Corporate Europe Observatory says: “At a time when EU citizens are shouldering the cost of the economic crisis, they are also being forced to bear the cost of the legislation, regulation and much of the quantification of emissions that carbon markets require, as well as the costs of measures against fraud, theft, corruption, and tax evasion. Meanwhile big polluters such as Arcellor Mittal and Lafarge make millions of windfall profits with over allocated permits.”

The EU ETS created the biggest carbon market in the world and now serves as a model for other countries. China is setting up a system with EU support and is planning to link it to the EU ETS. Other countries and regions such as Brazil, Korea, Australia, California in the US and Quebec in Canada have similar plans. The failures of the ETS will also be exported to other areas, as it will be used as a model for trading other ‘ecosystem services’ such as forests, biodiversity, water, soils and landscapes. In the meantime, civil society groups from around the world are demanding to scrap the ETS so that market mechanisms stop being used as a model for environmental protection.

The organisations supporting this declaration conclude: “It is time to stop fixating on ‘price’ as a driver for change. We need to scrap the ETS and implement effective and fair climate policies by making the necessary transition away from fossil fuel dependency.”

Here is a press release from the ‘Scrap The EU-ETS’ movement, whose logo is the image depicted above:

Brussels, February 26 – As Member States representatives continue discussing their positions regarding the ‘backloading’ of 900 million permits which attempts a ‘quick fix’ to the carbon price in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), a declaration endorsed now by more than 100 civil society organizations, movements and networks from around the world, with support growing every day, believe that this is the wrong debate.

Larry Lohmann from The Corner House, a UK based organisation, says “We need to get our priorities straight. Only by scrapping the EU ETS can we make way for real and effective climate and energy policy that reduces emissions in Europe. The debate should be focused on how to implement strong and just policies that will work for the climate.”

The EU needs to start discussing how to put Europe on a low-carbon pathway, instead of how to save a failed market, explain the campaigners. Markets are a means to an end, not the ultimate goal of climate change policies. If carbon markets fail to address climate change -and the ETS has a track record of failure– they need to be replaced with other means, they argue.

“For seven years we have heard that trading carbon is the ‘only option’. Yet, on closer inspection, the ETS has itself turned out to be a major obstacle to transformative action on climate change in the EU and an instrument to deepen the ecological debt with countries in the South”, says Lyda Fernanda from the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute, who adds “The EU ETS has actively weakened policies such as the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Large Combustion Plant Directive and held back expanding implementation of e.g. feed-in tariff initiatives.”

The ‘Time to scrap the ETS’ declaration takes a fundamentally different stance than that of Business Europe, Eurofer and other big energy intensive industries. Elena Gerebizza from the Italy-based Re:Common says, “Despite all its rhetoric, corporate lobby aims to keep windfall profits while avoiding meaningful emissions cuts at source and necessary structural changes in the European production and economic system. We want a transition from fossil fuels: they don’t. The ETS is an obstacle for this transition and has to be removed.”

In yesterday’s blog I highlighted a simple, brilliant solution for addressing the problem of “man-made” carbon dioxide emissions (and many other important things besides), and expressed my anger and sorrow over the many “otherwise intelligent, educated, thoughtful, well-meaning people [who] have been fooled into supporting” the idea that “putting a price on carbon” or “carbon trading” is the best way to “save the planet”.

I describe such people as “bankers’ stooges”.

Such people typically appear to be completely unaware – or, choose to willfully ignore – the undeniable and well-evidenced fact that carbon dioxide trading schemes all over the world are simply awash with rorts, scams, frauds, and worse … quite literally in some cases, these schemes are responsible for genocide of the world’s poorest people.

Here are just a few examples of the many carbon “credit” trading rorts, frauds, scams, and gross exploitation and human rights violations – by individuals, small companies, huge corporations, major global banks, the World Bank’s private investing arm, and even national governments – that one can easily find, simply by spending 5-10 min with Google Search:

Dec 20, 2012 – Last year, Clean Green Fuels in Maryland was accused of selling 32 million fake biodiesel RIN credits to oil companies and brokers. In June 2012, CEO Rodney Hailey was convicted of wire fraud, money laundering, and of violating the Clean Air Act.

Absolute Fuels in Texas, was sent an EPA Notice of Violation in February this year. On July 19, owner Jeffrey David Gunselman was arrested for having allegedly created on his computer more than $50 million in RIN credits that he then sold. He didn’t even have the facilities to produce biodiesel. Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to a laundry list of charges and is contemplating a maximum sentence of $20 million in fines and 1,268 years in the hoosegow.

Another Texas company, Green Diesel, received a Notice of Violation on April 30. The issue: 60 million fake RINs. By then, CEO Philip Rivkin had apparently skedaddled to Europe, out of harm’s way.

But a small outfit in Toronto, Bioversel Trading Inc., was particularly resourceful in milking the RIN system—and may not have done anything illegal, according to an excellent investigative series by CBC News. Bioversel hired Canadian National Railways (CN) to shuttle the same trainload of biodiesel twelve times across the US-Canadian border without unloading the cargo. All in the second half of June, 2010. For $2.6 million.

To generate RINs from importing biodiesel into the US, ownership of each trainload was transferred to Bioversel’s US partner, Verdeo, which then, rather than selling the biodiesel in the US, exported it back to Canada. But by exporting the biodiesel, Verdeo would have been required to “retire” the associated RINs, instead of being able to sell them. So Verdeo retired ethanol RINs instead, which cost only a fraction. The difference, less the cost of transportation back and forth, was profit.

CBC News contacted the EPA to get some clarity, but the agency refused to comment. And the railroad? Didn’t they have a clue? Nope. “As required by law, [Canada National Railways] CN discharged its common carrier obligation regarding these biodiesel shipments,” spokesman Mark Hallman wrote to CBC News. “CN is not aware of any pending investigation of an alleged fraud. CN has and will continue to co-operate fully with….” etc. etc.

Alas, CBC News had obtained a copy of an internal CN email, dated June 14, 2010, sent by Teresa Edwards, CN’s Sarnia transportation manager. In addition to some technical details, it included these priceless words: “It will be the same cars flipping back and forth and the product will stay on the car. Target is to get at least 25 flips across the border and back by June 30.” And a word of corporate encouragement: “This move has the potential to make a lot of money for CN so need everyone’s assistance to maximize the number of trips we make and ensure that it all moves smooth.”

In a follow-up email, dated June 28, 2010, of which CBC News also obtained a copy, Edwards wrote: “The Bioversal move back and forth across the border at Sarnia has now completed. Records show that we moved 1984 cars total…. This equates to approximately 2.6 million dollars of revenue….”

Though the Canada Border Services Agency and the EPA are investigating, CBC News emphasized that it “has found no evidence Bioversel or its partners broke any laws.” Apparently, regulations at the time permitted importing biofuels to generate RIN credits, re-export the fuel, retire cheaper ethanol credits instead of biodiesel credits, and laugh all the way to the bank…

***

Dec 14, 2012 – Five hundred German police and tax inspectors raided offices and residences connected with Deutsche Bank in Berlin, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, Wednesday over allegations of conspiracy involving over €300 million in carbon trading tax fraud.

***

May 1, 2011 – Europe’s biggest polluters have made billions out of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS). But a new briefing by Carbon Trade Watch (CTW) says the scheme will ensure industry will not have to cut its emissions until at least 2017.

The first phase of the ETS ran from 2005 to 2007. It made no dent in emissions. But power companies made about 19 billion euros by charging customers for the “cost” of permits they were given for free.

Manufacturers made about 14 billion euros in windfall profits with the same trick.

…The polluters stand to make more money for doing nothing in the ETS’s second phase. By 2012, power companies will make between 23 billion and 71 billion euros from passing on the cost of their free permits.

The third phase of the ETS, which will run from 2013 to 2020, won’t solve the problems.

***

Mar 6, 2011 – The environmental performance of the EU ETS is so bad that one wonders if emissions would be lower if the EU had followed the US example and did nothing.

But there are winners from this disaster. Along with traders, investment bankers and financial services providers that profit from a financial market created by government regulation, polluting industries have earned windfall profits.

…But the list of people who profit from carbon trading wouldn’t be complete without mentioning fraudsters.

Rogue traders have managed to buy permits from countries that don’t charge value-added tax (VAT). The traders then sell the permits in countries that charge the tax, pocketing the VAT and disappearing with the money.

Known as “carousel fraud”, it has cost European taxpayers an estimated €5 billion, a December 28 Europol report said.

***

Feb 25, 2011 – Another more recent tactic for swindling money from the market involves “phishing” scams. In a phishing scam, the criminal attempts to obtain an account holder’s user name, password and any other necessary information to steal their identity. Account holders on the German registry were the first to be hit by a major phishing scam in January 2010. BBC News reported that the criminals involved with the scam obtained access codes for registry accounts through emails that led targeted account holders to forged websites asking them to input security codes. The criminals then accessed the registry accounts and sold the permits held in the accounts on Danish and British registries for $4 million.

In Australia, the Auditor-General’s report into the government’s “OSCAR” computer system used by “polluters” to self-report their emissions, warned that it contained ”significant security vulnerabilities” that could allow an outside person to fiddle the data, and showed that three-quarters of major polluters’ self-assessments – on which the government will depend for calculating how much carbon tax they owe – had errors and 17 per cent had ‘significant errors’. Buried in the footnotes we found the definition of a “significant error” – apparently, a “biggest polluter” has only made a “significant error” in their self-reporting if it is “greater than 40%” of the total annual emissions that qualified them as being a “biggest polluter” in the first place.

The Auditor-General’s report also stated that, “The department [of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency] does not verify the data reported by corporations. It is expected that audits undertaken as part of the compliance and audit program will examine energy and greenhouse data”. It further stated that, “Compliance is defined by DCCEE as: ‘providing the ability for the regulator to encourage affected parties to comply… This definition recognises that the onus for compliance rests primarily with registered corporations.”

And the government’s own Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) tacitly conceded that the auditing process to check whether “polluters” are accurately and honestly reporting their CO2 emissions and energy use, is little more than an exercise in ‘perceptions management’ (ie, propaganda); a Public Relations exercise to maintain public confidence in the scheme. The RIS stated that, “If there was a perception of widespread non-compliance, community support for the scheme would be much harder to maintain (in the absence of community acceptance and support, the long term future of the scheme could be called into question)” … “In closing, it is important to note that, in considering impacts on the credibility of the scheme, perceptions of non-compliance can be more important than the actual level of non-compliance.”

But let us briefly return to the EU-ETS, which clearly doesn’t work, and is a veritable festival of rorts. Including by national governments:

Feb 2, 2011 – This marks the second time in the past year that carbon trading has been shut down. Last year, the U.N.’s carbon market halted for several days when authorities discovered that the Hungarian government had—legally—been reselling allowances that had already been used. In 2009 Europol reported that in certain countries, 90% of the ETS’s trading volume was taken up by value-added-tax scams. Europe’s system has also been plagued by smaller thefts since its founding in 2005, and some companies in the Third World have spewed pollutants simply to eliminate them and sell the carbon allowances to European companies.

And then there are the violations of human rights, including acts of genocide, being imposed on the world’s poorest people by some of the world’s biggest, wealthiest corporations (including the World Bank’s private investment arm); all in the pursuit of profit from carbon dioxide trading schemes:

Sep 21, 2011 KICUCULA, Uganda — According to the company’s proposal to join a United Nations clean-air program, the settlers living in this area left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner.

People here remember it quite differently.

“I heard people being beaten, so I ran outside,” said Emmanuel Cyicyima, 33. “The houses were being burnt down.”

Other villagers described gun-toting soldiers and an 8-year-old child burning to death when his home was set ablaze by security officers.

“They said if we hesitated they would shoot us,” said William Bakeshisha, adding that he hid in his coffee plantation, watching his house burn down. “Smoke and fire.”

According to a report released by the aid group Oxfam on Wednesday, more than 20,000 people say they were evicted from their homes here in recent years to make way for a tree plantation run by a British forestry company…

“Too many investments have resulted in dispossession, deception, violation of human rights and destruction of livelihoods,” Oxfam said in the report.

… Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.

But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.

The case twists around an emerging multibillion-dollar market trading carbon-credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains mechanisms for outsourcing environmental protection to developing nations.

The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.

And this:

Nov 30, 2011 AGUAN VALLEY, HONDURAS – At 3,000 square miles, the Aguan River Valley in northeastern Honduras is about the same size as California’s Death Valley. But despite being green and fertile, the Aguan basin is becoming famous as a “valley of death.” Since January 2010, at least 45 displaced peasants have been killed in clashes over land rights in Aguan, and “the actual number of killings is probably much higher,” according to Annie Bird, co-director of the human rights advocacy group Rights Action (RA), who visited Honduras in September.

Bird and other critics say that the violence in Aguan is driven by competition over resources between local farmers and large-scale, biofuel production facilities. The valley is home to more than a dozen African palm plantations that supply “green” energy to Europe and Asia, as well as a pair of biogas plants that operate as part of a United Nations carbon-credit initiative.

“The agribusinesses are after all the prime farmland in Aguan,” Bird says. “That’s what’s driving the conflict here.”

African palm plantations have also been linked to land-based violence in Indonesia, Africa, and elsewhere in Latin America, as worldwide demand for biofuels has soared in recent years. But using arable land for fuels, as opposed to food production, has caused a spike in global food prices. In October 2011, the U.N. Committee on Food Security issued a report citing biofuel production as one of the leading causes of food shortages worldwide.

Ignoring its own committee’s report, the U.N. continues to endorse the two biogas plants attached to African palm plantations in the Aguan Valley as part of its controversial Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program. A product of the Kyoto Protocol, CDMs allow governments and companies from Western countries to trade carbon credits with businesses in developing nations that utilize renewable energy and other carbon-saving techniques. Critics of the CDM program point to the food-vs-fuel dilemma, as well as the issue of “additionality” – that is, whether or not a given CDM would exist without U.N.-sanctioned investments. But Bird says there is a moral component as well.

“By approving investment in these projects, the U.N. has made itself an accomplice to a human rights crisis,” Bird says. “It’s just shameful.”

Is it any wonder that there is a growing global movement calling for the abolishing of Emissions Trading Schemes?!?

And yet, here in behind-the-times Australia, our leaders (and cheerleaders) still want to press on with “moving forward” to an internationally-linked ETS.

Weep, laugh, and gnash your teeth along with me, dear reader.

What a risible tragi-comedy our leaders and “experts” are staging here in behind-the-times Australia.

For bankers’ benefit.

At our expense.

Hey You, Bankers’ Stooge! THIS Is How To Save The Planet

10 Mar

This morning I am really angry.

And deeply sorrowful.

Why?

Because I watched this inspiring, brilliant, contrarian-thinking, must-watch TED talk, by someone I had never heard of before:

Did you weep a little watching that?

I did.

Seriously. I did.

But why the mixed emotions, you may well ask. Whence cometh your humble blogger’s anger, and sorrow? Surely this is good news, hopeful news, inspiring and joyful news?

Well…

I am angry because so many otherwise intelligent, educated, thoughtful, well-meaning people have been fooled into supporting the idea that population control – fewer human beings (notable exception: themselves) – is critical to the future of life on the planet. Hence, all manner of genocidal ideas wearing the mask of “environmentalism” gain support – such as reducing the world’s numbers of cattle, a major protein source in human food consumption in developed nations, and an aspirational one in developing nations.

I am angry because so many otherwise intelligent, educated, thoughtful, well-meaning people have been fooled into supporting the idea that allowing central bankers to create literally trillions of dollars out of thin air to bail out the private bankstering system from 2007-08 onwards, was and is “necessary” … but creating just $175 billion a year to end “extreme” poverty in the world, is not.

I am angry because so many otherwise intelligent, educated, thoughtful, well-meaning people have been fooled into supporting the idea that global CO2 trading schemes – “putting a price on carbon” – will save the planet from global warming; that the politically-legalised financialisation (by bankers) of carbon dioxide “units” – created as electronic digits in a computer, just like money – in order to make carbon dioxide a tradeable “commodity”, is mankind’s best hope for avoiding “catastrophic”, “runaway” climate change, because – so they claim – globalised trading in electronic carbon dioxide “units” (not to mention, their derivatives) will reduce global emissions.

It isn’t –

The world emits 48% more carbon dioxide from the consumption of energy now than it did in 1992 when the first Rio summit took place.

And it won’t –

…the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits … The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that’s been kind to Goldman [Sachs], except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won’t even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.

… Well, you might say, who cares? If cap-and-trade succeeds, won’t we all be saved from the catastrophe of global warming? Maybe — but cap-and-trade, as envisioned by Goldman, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax collection scheme.

I am angry because so many otherwise intelligent, educated, thoughtful, well-meaning people think it is a good thing that powerful lobby groups are now pressuring the government to bring forward the date when our own carbon dioxide “tax” scheme transitions to a full cap-and-trade scheme…

“The Australian Industry Group today called on all sides of politics to support the immediate removal of the fixed price carbon tax and move directly to an internationally linked emissions trading scheme,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

…which is exactly what the bankers have wanted from the very beginning:

Australian banks are eyeing opportunities to cash in on the proposed carbon tax by developing new financial products and services that capitalise on a market seen to be worth billions of dollars annually, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

Australian financial firms that have experience in European carbon markets, such as Macquarie Group Ltd, Westpac Banking Corp Ltd and ANZ Banking Group Ltd are particularly keen to establish their presence in the Australian market.

The initial three-year fixed carbon tax period from 2012 will serve as time to prepare for the release of ETS permits by 2015, when opportunities will really open up for banks to capitalise on the carbon market.

ANZ’s head of energy trading said the value of the derivatives carbon market would dwarf the $10 billion initially raised by the government, according to the AFR.

I am angry because so many otherwise intelligent, educated, thoughtful, well-meaning people have fooled themselves into believing that the recent history of unlimited, unregulated, unmonitored, off-balance sheet, “shadow” market derivatives creation and trading by the world’s bankers that led directly to the GFC will not repeat itself – think Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS), Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDO), and Credit Default Swaps (CDS); that allowing the bankers freedom to set up a new unlimited, unregulated, unmonitored, off-balance sheet “shadow” market in CO2 derivatives creation and trading is not a recipe for an even greater global financial Armageddon; that the massive “moral hazard” caused by declaring the world’s biggest banks to be “Too Big To Fail” – and now, “Too Big To Prosecute” – is a chance worth taking, in order to “save the planet” from rising CO2 emissions.

I am deeply saddened because simple, commonsense, natural, human-life enabling and enhancing ideas – practical, cheap, non-predatory solutions to the popularly-alleged imminent planetary threat of runaway global warming – from virtually unknown people such as Allan Savory – and one of my favourites, Austrian forester/forest warden, naturalist, philosopher, inventor and Biomimicry experimenter Viktor Schauberger* – continue to be ignored or belittled. And most often by … yes, those very same otherwise intelligent, educated, thoughtful, well-meaning people who, despite their intelligence and learning (and often, because of it, and the pride that follows), on this subject, are simply too dumb to see that they are really just stooges for the bankers:

1. Stooge

Someone who is used by others to get what they want, a clown, a follower.

I_see_dumb_people_800x600

Whether you are labelled a “denialist” or an “alarmist”, matters little.

Ideas such as those of Savory and Schauberger are worth placing at the top of our priority tree.

Because, unlike the legalisation of carbon dioxide “units” for bankers to trade – or even worse, their off-balance sheet creation and “shadow market” trading of unlimited, unmonitored, unregulated derivatives on top of those carbon dioxide “units” – Savory’s and Schauberger’s ideas can make life better.

For every one of us.

And for more of us. Not less.

So if you really, truly believe that we need to “save the planet” .. and even if you don’t … THIS is how to do it.

Electronic carbon dioxide “unit” trading, as the basis for a secondary, “shadow” banking pyramid scheme of unlimited, unmonitored, unregulated derivatives trading, is not.

The bankers are the problem.

Not the solution.

It is their monstrous, worldwide, daily creation and lending-for-interest/profit of electronic digits that we call “money”, that drives all economic “activity” (ie, “growth”).

When there is less “money”, the economy slows, right?

And with less “growth”, less “activity”, there are less carbon dioxide emissions:

US emissions are up for the first time since recession hit in 2008, in a sign of how closely pollution is linked to economic success.

Instead of blaming a morally nebulous, comfortable, dehumanising label titled “population growth” – that’s real live struggling and loving and caring fellow human beings you’re talking about! – for carbon dioxide emissions driving “catastrophic” “man-made” climate change, take a closer look at the real culprits.

Or as some wisely advise, Follow The Money.

Because “money makes the world go ’round”.

It is the bankers who financed the Industrial Revolution.

It is the bankers who have driven national and social (economic) inequality.

It is the bankers who finance all wars – the most unnecessary, wasteful, inefficient, selfish, and costly “activity” of all (can you believe that economic experts unblinkingly “credit” World War 2 for ending the Great Depression? All that lovely new economic “activity”, you see).

It is the bankers who finance – for profit – all the wasteful, inefficient, selfish, unnecessary consumption of ever more and more and more material “goods” (of ever declining quality/longevity) and “services”.

It is the bankers who have, over many generations, grown immensely powerful and unimaginably wealthy by taking advantage of our foolishly granting them the exclusive power to finance – at interest – all “economic activity”, period.

Activity – so much of which is of dubious real necessity, or value – that needs fossil fuel energy to operate.

Oh yes… it is the bankers who financed – for profit – the growth and power of the fossil fuel energy corporations too.

If you actually believe that a solution to the “climate emergency” that bankers unanimously support, lobby for, and stand ready to massively profit from, is a good idea that will achieve the stated purpose – saving the planet – then you really are, beyond any possibility of dispute, a willfully ignorant fool.

A bankers’ stooge.

* P.S. I found Allan Savory’s brief mention of temperature differentials for desertified soils vs non-desertified soils (at 8:10) very interesting, in light of my reading the works of the little known genius, Viktor Schauberger. Central to his observations, insights, theories, and experiments, was the critical importance of temperature differentials within every body of water.

P.P.S. If (like me) you are interested to know more about Allan Savory’s work, then visit the Savory Institute website.

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