Tag Archives: carbon trading

TIME: Carbon Markets May Be Finished

24 Apr

White Flag: Last Lap

The banksters and their hordes of related societal parasites will fight on to the bitter end. Even so, the conclusion to this article in TIME magazine suggests the possibility of a white flag being rolled out by some of their influential media supporters:

…the hope that we may be able to reduce carbon emissions the same way we cut pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide—through a well-run cap-and-trade —seems to be dimming, a victim of its own complexity and a sluggish global economy. That might leave the door open for other policies, including a straight carbon tax, more support for renewables or increases R&D funding for carbon-free power. We could use all three, but carbon markets may be finished. If carbon trading can’t make it in Europe, it can’t make it anywhere.

Advertisements

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.

Infographic: Visualising The Size Of Australia’s Carbon Derivatives Time Bomb

24 Apr

On July 1, 2012, the government’s Clean Energy Future scheme will officially begin.

You know it as the carbon “tax”. It has been called a “tax” over and over and over again, by politicians, economists, bankers, and other vested interests, for a simple reason.

There are many who want you to think that the scheme to “put a price on carbon” is safe; that the government’s implementation of a “carbon price” is careful, methodical, and prudent.  A “fixed price” on carbon dioxide for 3 years. And only after 3 years, a transition from a fixed price to a “floating price” emissions trading scheme.

But there is something very important that they are not telling you.

There is a Ticking Time Bomb Hidden In The Carbon Tax.

It is called “derivatives”.

Carefully buried in 1,000+ pages of legislation, just 2 tiny, opaque clauses (109A and 110) have been included that allow the banks to immediately begin creating and trading unlimited quantities of unmonitored, unregulated carbon “securities” (another term for “derivatives”).

What are “derivatives”?

SHORT STORY: Pick something of value, make bets on the future value of “something”, add contract & you have a derivative. Banks make massive profits on derivatives, and when the bubble bursts chances are the tax payer will end up with the bill. This [graphic below] visualizes the total coverage for derivatives (notional). Similar to insurance company’s total coverage for all cars.

LONG STORY: A derivative is a legal bet (contract) that derives its value from another asset, such as the future or current value of oil, government bonds or anything else. [Example] A derivative buys you the option (but not obligation) to buy oil in 6 months for today’s price/any agreed price, hoping that oil will cost more in future. (I’ll bet you it’ll cost more in 6 months). Derivative can also be used as insurance, betting that a loan will or won’t default before a given date. So its a big betting system, like a Casino, but instead of betting on cards and roulette, you bet on future values and performance of practically anything that holds value. The system is not regulated what-so-ever, and you can buy a derivative on an existing derivative.

Most large banks try to prevent smaller investors from gaining access to the derivative market on the basis of there being too much risk. Deriv. market has blown a galactic bubble, just like the real estate bubble or stock market bubble (that’s going on right now). Since there is literally no economist in the world that knows exactly how the derivative money flows or how the system works, while derivatives are traded in microseconds by computers, we really don’t know what will trigger the crash, or when it will happen, but considering the global financial crisis this system is in for tough times, that will be catastrophic for the world financial system…

Australia’s banks already trade in derivatives. Most of their derivatives bets are on movements in Interest Rates and Foreign Exchange Rates. And they have a total exposure to just these forms of derivatives, that is truly mind-boggling.

The numbers are so big, that no one can comprehend them.

You have to see it for yourself.

First, via the superb demonocracy.info website, here is an infographic to help you visualise what $1 Trillion looks like (click image to enlarge):

Click to enlarge | Graphic source: demonocracy.info

Got that?

$1 Trillion is a lot of money*.

The value of all Australians’ superannuation savings combined, is about $1.3 Trillion. As is the claimed annual “GDP” of the Australian economy.

Now, here is an infographic showing the Australian banks’ recent record high total “Off-Balance Sheet” derivatives exposure.  Remember, this is before the official start of a “price on carbon” allows the banks to start creating and trading carbon derivatives too (click image to enlarge):

Click to enlarge | Graphic source: demonocracy.info | Data source: RBA statistics

I want to emphasise the point made earlier.

Almost everyone incorrectly believes that no trading will happen until 2015. But the truth is, the banks can begin creating and trading in carbon derivatives from Day 1. Even though the scheme is supposed to be a “fixed price” scheme for the 3 years up to 2015.

Those 2 little clauses I mentioned earlier (109A and 110), are the reason why trading will begin from Day 1. Trading in carbon derivatives, that is.

They are opaque, easy-to-overlook clauses stating that the Clean Energy Future legislation does not prevent the creation of and trade in carbon “securities”.

The designers of the legislation (no, not the politicians), know full well that the banking industry can and does create and trade derivatives on everything.

Including the date of your death. That’s right. We have previously documented how banks are trading in Death Derivatives.

All that is needed, is for there to be a “price” put on some thing, effectively making that thing a “commodity”.

Once there is an underlying price, then banks can create a derivative.

Provided there is no law specifically preventing them from doing so.

It is that simple.

And that is why the Clean Energy Future scheme has those two little clauses buried inside. As Explanatory Memorandum 3.36 confirms, they are “included for the avoidance of doubt” that the government does NOT wish to prevent the banks creating carbon derivatives.

That is also why, just 3 days after the government released its draft legislation for “putting a price on carbon”, it was reported that:

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….

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.

You have now seen just how mind-bogglingly enormous is our banks’ exposure to (mostly) Interest Rate and Foreign Exchange Rate derivatives.

$17.93 Trillion is equivalent to nine (9) skyscrapers made of pallets of $100 bills, each towering more than twice the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The $10 billion that the government will raise from forcing companies to buy carbon permits – the basic mechanism for “putting a price on carbon” – is almost nothing compared to the value of derivatives that banks will create and trade.

Unmonitored.

Unregulated.

Off-Balance Sheet.

The government’s claimed $10 billion in expected revenue from the Clean Energy Future scheme, is equivalent to just one (1) of the 10 x 10 squares of pallets forming the base of one (1) of those derivatives skyscrapers pictured above.

That’s one (1) storey in two hundred (200).

I hope that you now have a better idea – a clear picture in your mind’s eye – of what the ANZ Bank’s head of energy trading meant, when he gleefully said that the value of the carbon derivatives market would dwarf the $10 billion initially raised by the government.

A government that has followed the lemming-like lead of Ireland, by explicitly and implicitly putting taxpayers on the hook for the deeds (and misdeeds) of the banks, by placing the nation as guarantor for the solvency of the Australian banking system.

Meaning, just like the rest of the West, our banks are Too Big To Fail.

And from July 1, thanks to the Clean Energy Future scheme and those two little clauses, the government has handed the banks a licence to print.

It is really a licence to kill.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

* If you wonder how it is possible that banks can have so much money just in derivatives bets, you might like to learn the truth. The “money” does not really exist. Almost all of the “money” in the world, is just electronic code in computers. And banks truly rule the world, by creating “money” (digits in computers) out of thin air, and lending it to you, at interest. Even the biggest central bank in the world, the Federal Reserve Bank, has admitted that this is how banking works. Learn more here.

A Lonely Suicide

29 Feb

A 30% over-valued, speculator-driven Aussie Dollar white-anting whole swathes of the non-mining economy, with the RBA’s blessing.

A government and opposition united in not wishing to do anything about it.

A World’s Biggest (and highest price) CO2 Derivatives Scam set to hollow out what’s left.

A minority government defying the will of the people in implementing it, and an opposition powerless to stop it.

Sounds great, right?

After all, we are going to “lead the world” in the “greatest moral challenge of our time” … despite no global warming in a decade … right?

And all the other lemmings are going to follow us off the cliff, as enthusiastic human sacrifices to the Green cargo cult … right?

Uh … no:

Japan has become the latest major world polluter to rule out introducing a carbon price or carbon tax in the near future, as it struggles with power shortages and a rising yen caused by the euro crisis.

Senior Japanese diplomatic officials in Tokyo have told The Australian there is “no chance” of the country adopting a scheme similar to Australia’s carbon tax or emissions trading scheme in the foreseeable future.

Japan, the world’s fifth-largest carbon emitter, joins the US and Canada in backtracking on the introduction of a carbon price.

Our impending national economic suicide is becoming lonelier by the day.

Europe?

They went over the cliff years ago.

Now we’re just watching the entrails gush out, and the blood spatter.

At least we can feel all noble and holy though … right?

UPDATE:

The AFR reports that electricity generators are warning of price blowouts in excess of that predicted by the Green-Labor-Wind-Shott gubbermint –

The head of Australia’s largest power generator has warned that electricity prices will rise more than the federal government predicts under an option to ration output in order to stay ­profitable under the carbon tax.

The comments by Macquarie Generation chief executive Russell Skelton highlight warnings by the power industry that distressed generators will start to manipulate the price of power in the National Electricity Market in order to stay afloat.

The price threat also casts doubt on the government’s tax cuts and ­welfare payment rises for consumers.

The compensation package is based only on the Treasury estimate of a 0.7 per cent rise in prices due directly to the carbon tax in 2012-13.

Figures released by the government yesterday show some generators will need to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to buy permits in advance to cover emissions when the scheme starts on July 1.

“We expect to go from a profitable business to an unprofitable business partly as a result of the carbon price,” Mr Skelton told The Australian Financial Review.

“Most of the analysis and modelling done indicates we will not be able to pass through somewhere between 20 to 40 per cent of the cost [of the carbon price],” he said. “If you have a $500 million bill you have to absorb 20 per cent, so there is $100 million right there and our projected profits this year are $100 million.”

As a result, Macquarie is considering options to stay profitable which include reducing output to increase the price of power on the National Electricity Market. “We have done it in the past to respond to varying market circumstances,” Mr Skelton said. “To the extent wholesale prices increase, you would expect it would increase the price to consumers.”

When First They Practice To Deceive And Be Very, Very Stupid

14 Dec

Terry McCrann (Herald-Sun, Daily Telegraph) is the only mainstream economics commentator in Australia that I’m aware of, who has consistently called out the Great Global Warming Swindle for what it is.

Seems the pathetically transparent spin from Combet et al following Durban, has inspired Mr McCrann to new heights of excellence … in calling a spade a spade.

Following is a brief excerpt from his brilliant column in yesterday’s Herald-Sun.  Be sure to follow the link to read the whole thing.

I think Mr McCrann is a little bit McCranky about all the BS:

The great climate change gravy train rolls on

The great climate gravy train rolls on and Julia Gillard and Bob Brown’s great big carbon tax just got bigger. Much bigger.

Phew. The dedicated delegates had to sacrifice a weekend, stay up all night and pump out even more carbon dioxide, but they were able to pull victory right out of the jaws of disaster, figuratively at five minutes after midnight.

There they were facing the end of their world, their cosy world of riding the climate gravy train from one annual two-week conference in a resort city, to the next, and all the points through the year in-between.

Always, always, being prepared to make the tough choices: which resort city, and indeed, north or south?

Faced with going down in history as the free-lunchers that betrayed not just this generation of climate change main-chancers, but the next free-lunching generation and indeed the generation after that, they resolutely put their snouts – sorry, their shoulders – to the wheel and ground out a deal.

Success! Simply put, they ensured that the great climate gravy train would NOT come to a shuddering stop in Durban. It was given a new head of steam to roll on to Qatar next year and who knows where else right through to at least 2015.

They’ve done themselves and their peer group proud. It’s perhaps not well understood just how many billions of dollars and how many probably hundreds of thousands of main-chancers ride that gravy train.

It’s not just the billions of dollars that have been rescued for the ten thousand-plus people that most prominently ride the climate gravy train from one conference to the next.

But in the finest example of real trickle-down in action, all the people who feed off the climate hysteria and inanity beneath them.

From people building useless solar panels and wind turbines (sic), to feeding off the exorbitant power subsidies, to all the climate institutes (sic), to those doing research, all the NGOs, etc, etc, etc.

All their dollars were at risk if the gravy train had ground to a stop in Durban…

Combet and Gillard can’t have it both ways. Either we have signed on in Durban to a massive increase in our carbon tax and the virtual and very quick elimination of our cheap coal-fired power stations.

Or the whole thing is a disgraceful and very expensive charade. There won’t be any real deal in 2015 and we will be left with a useless but punitive tax.

What’s that saying? Oh yes. Oh what a tangled web, a prime minister and climate change minister weave, when first they practice to deceive and be very, very, stupid.

The truth need not hurt.

Sometimes, hearing the cold truth can be downright enjoyable.

Thank you Mr McCrann.

An epic column

World Banks’ $707.5 Trillion Derivatives Time Bomb

12 Dec

No, dear reader. That headline is not hyperbole.

It’s based on official Bank Of International Settlements data.

For what that’s worth.

Money Trends Research has the story (emphasis in original):

$707,568,901,000,000: How (And Why) Banks Increased Total Outstanding Derivatives By A Record $107 Trillion In 6 Months

While everyone was focused on the impending European collapse, the latest soon to be refuted rumors of a quick fix from the Welt am Sonntag notwithstanding, the Bank of International Settlements reported a number that quietly slipped through the cracks of the broader media. Which is paradoxical because it is the biggest ever reported in the financial world: the number in question is $707,568,901,000,000 and represents the latest total amount of all notional Over The Counter (read unregulated) outstanding derivatives reported by the world’s financial institutions to the BIS for its semi-annual OTC derivatives report titled “OTC derivatives market activity in the first half of 2011.” Indicatively, global GDP is about $63 trillion if one can trust any numbers released by modern governments. Said otherwise, for the six month period ended June 30, 2011, the total number of outstanding derivatives surged past the previous all time high of $673 trillion from June 2008, and is now firmly in 7-handle territory: the synthetic credit bubble has now been blown to a new all time high. Another way of looking at the data is that one of the key contributors to global growth and prosperity in the past 10 years was an increase in total derivatives from just under $100 trillion to $708 trillion in exactly one decade. And soon we have to pay the mean reversion price.

What is probably just as disturbing is that in the first 6 months of 2011, the total outstanding notional of all derivatives rose from $601 trillion at December 31, 2010 to $708 trillion at June 30, 2011. A $107 trillion increase in notional in half a year. Needless to say this is the biggest increase in history…

Which brings us to the chart showing total outstanding notional derivatives by 6 month period below. The shaded area is what that the BIS, the bank regulators, and the OCC urgently hope that the general public promptly forgets about and brushes under the carpet.

Try not to laugh. Or cry. Or gloss over, because when it comes to visualizing $708 trillion most really are incapable of doing so.

Click to enlarge

(click here for the full article)

What is the Aussie bank(ster)ing system’s share of that total?

According to the RBA, at June 30 2011 our banks held … wait for it … $16.97 Trillion in “Consolidated Off-Balance Sheet Business”.

An all-time record total. And a record increase of $2.14 Trillion in just 6 months.

Including almost $9 Trillion in OTC derivatives bets on Interest rates. And $2.2 Trillion in OTC bets on Foreign Exchange rates.

Can you say “galactic-scale casino”?

Seems our little Milky Way galaxy just isn’t big enough for our bank(st)er ‘masters of the universe’.

Because the dream of global carbon dioxide derivatives trading has always promised an intergalactic expansion of Big Bang proportions.

As your humble blogger has argued for so long, our Green-Labor government is playing their part in the banksters’ dream.  Despite being presented as a “tax” for the first three years, the truth is that derivatives trading is the real goal of a scheme purportedly designed, and certainly fronted, by Trilateralist “economist” Ross Garnaut. A new form of wholly unregulated derivatives trading that will begin from Day 1 … before the so-called “fixed price” period ends, and the “ETS” begins.

Here’s a Bloomberg news article I missed back in November, reporting on an ASX announcement that adds further proof to that already presented in previous posts.

That the Clean Energy Future scheme, is the bankers’ carbon derivatives scam from Day 1 (emphasis added):

ASX Group, operator of Australia’s main stock exchange, plans to offer secondary and futures markets for carbon allowances before the country’s emission trading system begins in 2015, the exchange said.

Key to the success of the ETS will be the introduction of second and futures markets for carbon permits and any fungible carbon-related products,” the Sydney-based company said today in a statement. “The markets will generate the short and long- term price signals and risk mitigation required to underpin investment certainty.”

UPDATE:

For any readers wondering whether the ASX’s reference to “secondary and futures” markets does mean “derivatives”, take a look at the European Energy Exchange’s website, under “Market Data” – “Emissions Rights”:

Click to enlarge

And consider the words of our own bankers:

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…

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.

For more, see my earlier article “Ticking Time Bomb Hidden In The Carbon Tax”.

More Proof That Support For Carbon Price Means Support For Killing Black People

9 Dec

Your humble blogger copped some flack via that paragon of intelligent public discourse (Twitter) for publishing a very similar headline in October.

Then, we saw how an Oxfam report shed light on the violent forced eviction and genocide of Ugandans by the UN-supported carbon credit ‘farming’ corporation, New Forests Company.

Today … in recognition of the final day of the UN IPCC’s warmageddonist conference in Durban, Africa … we look at a similar story from Honduras, as reported by Jeremy Kryt in the online In These Times.

Jeremy is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has been reporting from Honduras since August 2009, and his coverage of the crisis there has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Earth Island Journal, Huffington Post, Alternet and The Narco News Bulletin, among other publications.

Following is his report reproduced in full:

A boy stands next to a hut on a palm plantation in the Aguan Valley in August. The slogan reads "Area recovered by the MUCA," which stands for "United Peasant Movement of Aguan." (Photo by Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)

Carbon Credits in the ‘Valley of Death’

Uncovering the ugly effects of U.N.-backed ‘clean development’ in Honduras.

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.”

Killings and forced evictions

Both the CDMs in Aguan use the bacteria-rich wastewater left over from palm-oil extraction to produce methane for biogas. But the methane capture process is only cost-effective on a large scale–and observers say that gives local companies a direct incentive to expand operations.

David Calix, spokesman for the Campesino Movement of Aguan (MCA), says, “Within the last two years more than 1,500 peasant families have lost their homes, schools and communities due to forceful evictions,” all of which have been linked to African Palm expansion efforts in the Aguan valley.

In July, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) released a report on Aguan alleging evictions and armed attacks against local communities by “plantation security guards and private militia groups” allowed to act with impunity. The FIDH paper forced a couple of powerful European investors to back out of the Aguan CDM project and caused the European Parliament to order a fact-finding mission. So far, however, these measures don’t seem to have had any impact on the escalating violence.

Over just two days in August, skirmishes between guards and peasants left 11 people dead. A few days later, two more campesino leaders were assassinated–one of them, Pedro Salgado, was shot down in his home along with his wife. An entire peasant village was burned to the ground. The international outcry became so severe that in early September, the Honduran government dispatched a force of about 1,000 special police officers and soldiers to occupy the valley.

But Bird says that instead of protecting peasants’ human rights, the occupation forces have aided in their persecution. Reports have emerged of police and soldiers cracking down on peasant communities, and even taking part in evictions. “Death squad” attacks on peasants have continued at about the same pace during the occupation, with four assassinations in the same week in early October. No arrests have been made in any of the killings, and no suspects have been named.

Hazardous occupation

“The troops say they have come to bring us security, but that is a lie,” says MCA President Rodolfo Cruz. “They are here to serve the interests of the rich land owners, the same ones who control the politicians back in [the Honduran capital of] Tegucigalpa.” Cruz is also acting mayor of a small peasant community called Rigores, which he claims has been threatened several times with eviction by both security guards and law enforcement.

Cruz also reports that citizens are being searched at random, and that there have been mass round-ups and arrests as the authorities hunt down leaders of the movement.

“They are accusing us of having weapons, of forming an insurgency,” says Cruz, whose 16-year-old son, Santos, was allegedly tortured for information while in police custody on September 19. Cruz maintains that the MCA and other organizations are pacifist movements dedicated to nonviolent resistance.

Bird, who has researched the case, believes there is no doubt that Cruz’ son was targeted by authorities because his father is a prominent spokesman for land reform. “It’s all part of their pattern of intimidation,” she says. “There is no functional justice system in Honduras.” As further evidence of legal dysfunction, Bird points out that the businessman with the most holdings in Aguan, Miguel Facusse Barjum, was recently revealed by WikiLeaks to have strong ties to Colombian cocaine traffickers. “The police are evicting peasants from the property of a known drug lord,” she says. “That just shows you how rotten the system is.”

Although in September there were hints in the Honduran press that the police have captured cell phones that prove the existence of a rebel army some 300 strong, Honduran Police Chief Julio Benitez is much more circumspect. “We really don’t know what is going on in Aguan,” Avila says. “We know there are armed groups. We know people are being shot up under mysterious circumstances. But it is very complicated.”

When asked about the charges of police brutality, Avila declined to respond, saying only, “[The Honduran police] are a professional organization. We behave in a professional manner. We are working hard to safeguard the peasants of Aguan and to protect them from violent criminals.”

Push for reform

“The situation in Honduras is, of course, of great concern to us,” CDM board Chair Martin Hession says. “We don’t want to be associated with this type of thing in any way.” Hession says that as a result of the violence in Aguan, the CDM Board has “increased surveillance” in regard to approving new projects.

But Eva Filzmoser, program director of the Brussels-based CDM Watch, believes that’s too little, too late. “We are deeply disappointed … that the [Aguan] project was registered despite the serious concerns about alleged human rights abuses,” Filzmoser wrote in an e-mail.

Filzmoser charges that Hession and the rest of the board chose to ignore early reports of violence coming out of Honduras when they approved the project in July of 2011. Part of the problem is systemic, she writes, stemming from a lack of stakeholder oversight by the CDM board itself. “The [Aguan] project would never have been registered if the proper rules were in place,” Filzmoser wrote.

Bird also sees an inherent flaw in the CDM program. “If you’re taking away land from poor people to generate biofuels, you’re effectively condemning them to death by starvation,” she says.

Hession says such things are beyond the purview of the CDM board. “We can’t be the arbiter of human rights across the world.” To which Bird responds: “That’s the single, fundamental mandate of the U.N. Human rights are what the U.N. was created to promote. And the CDM board is still part of the U.N.”

For Cruz, who is also a farmer, the issue at stake is less philosophical than practical: “All we want is a place to grow our corn, to grow our beans,” he says. “All we want is a right to work the land.”

I can think of no more apropos concluding comment, than to repeat that of my October 14th Ugandan genocide post:

This is just one [more] example of the unintended (?) consequences of the universally-ignorant support by multitudes of morally self-righteous, urban rich white people, for “pricing carbon” in the name of “saving the planet”…

As has been demonstrated countless times on this blog – including from the government’s legislation – the “carbon tax” has never had anything whatsoever to do with climate change.

It is, and always has been, all about money. Derivatives, to be precise.

“Putting a price on carbon” is all about legally enabling the predatory financial sector to rape the world all over again, with a new derivatives-based ponzi scheme, after their Western world real estate derivatives bubble exploded (GFC1).

It is a very simple scam.

Carbon “pricing” creates in law a new artificial ‘commodity’ called “carbon ‘units’, having an artificially-created (by proclamation) monetary value.

Who benefits?

On the lower level, governments. The basic carbon “price” for selling (on threat of gaol) their “permits” to “pollute”, represents a new cashcow for politicians. For handing out to their mates, favouring special interests, and bribing the ever-more welfare-dependent electorate to vote for them (ie, keep them in power).

On the higher (unseen) level, the international shadow banking sector. “Pricing carbon” means they can (a) cream off billions in fees and commissions on the trade in those permits, but far more importantly (b) instantly create unlimited quantities of wholly unregulated carbon derivatives, to gamble on unregulated international trading markets.

Exactly like the Western real estate bubble.

If you support “putting a price on carbon”, then what you are really supporting is two outcomes.

Impoverishing the West.

And genocide of black people.

All for the benefit of … not the environment … but bankers.

UPDATE:

And the push to use prime agricultural land for carbon credit “farming” includes our own backyard (h/t @HiggsBoson4):

Bio Lands Pty Ltd (Bio Lands) has compiled a substantial portfolio of grazing/biodiversity offset lands. The portfolio can provide the development industry with rapid access to strategically acquired, fully documented biodiversity offsets

Click to enlarge

And from ABC News yesterday:

Carbon farming starts today – in a limited way

Farmers can earn money from reducing carbon emissions from today.

The Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative has opened for business, but there’s a catch.

Only two methods that farmers and landholders can use to cut emissions have been approved, one of which is capturing methane from piggeries.

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Mark Dreyfus says more methods will be approved in coming months.

“We think it’s important to take time to make sure the methodologies have integrity, because the methodologies lead to the ability to sell carbon credits and companies that are purchasing carbon credits want to know that the credits represent real emissions reductions.”

I suggest that the “integrity” of carbon credit “farming” “methodologies” is already very evident indeed. One only need cast one’s eyes around the world, at the precedents that have been set elsewhere.

%d bloggers like this: