Pat Michaels is Right

Of course, Pat Michaels is “right-wing”, but that’s not what I meant.

Some folk will be surprised that I agree with anything that Patrick Michaels says, as he is consistently inaccurate about the Science of Global Warming.

However, he is right that a Carbon Tax is the wrong way to proceed.

Carbon pricing, whether by direct taxation or by a trading scheme, effectively creates a double disincentive for change.

We have a large number of companies and organisations that are highly dependent on the use of Fossil Fuels. Carbon pricing will make these companies and organisations less financially efficient, and they will try anything they can to pass on the costs of Carbon to their consumers and clients, in order to remain profitable.

Carbon Taxation will therefore stimulate cost offsetting, but not Carbon reductions.

Moreover, if companies that make and sell energy are forced to pay for Carbon, they will have less funds available to deCarbonise their businesses; less capital to invest in new lower Carbon technologies.

Carbon Pricing will not alter the patterns of emissions significantly, if at all.

We have to face facts : the economists are largely wrong about environmental taxation. Record fines and levies demanded of Fossil Fuel companies in the last ten years have not stopped the spills, the leaks, the poisonings of waterways; nor have they helped the companies change course and start to develop Renewable Energies.

The pricing of large scale environmental pollution is a failed disincentive.

Continue reading Pat Michaels is Right

BBC Hedges

[ YouTube Credit : The link to the video above comes thanks to the endeavours of that most fair and balanced individual James “no net global warming since 1998” Delingpole. “No net global warming since 1998” ? James ! You’re quoting Pat Michaels, but did he perhaps make that up ? Or was it something that Christopher Monckton might have made up ? ]

The BBC puts the blame on Climate Change – almost – in a report on the Russian heatwave-wildfire disaster.

But they just can’t bring themselves to admit it as an organisation – and put the claims into the mouths of others – using quotation marks in the headline (‘partly to blame’) and ascribing the opinion to “researchers”, the “UK Met Office” and “experts” :-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10919460

“10 August 2010 : Climate change ‘partly to blame’ for sweltering Moscow : By Katia Moskvitch : Science reporter, BBC News : Global climate change is partly to blame for the abnormally hot and dry weather in Moscow, cloaked in a haze of smoke from wildfires, say researchers. The UK Met Office said there are likely to be more extreme high temperatures in the future. Experts from the environmental group WWF Russia have also linked climate change and hot weather to raging wildfires around the Russian capital. Meteorologists say severe conditions may linger for several more days…”

Well, I’ve got a bit of a question to pose – it might not be possible to ascribe the current weather conditions in Russia (and Pakistan and China and and and…) to Climate Change, statistically. I mean no one weather event can be said to have been caused 100% by Climate Change. But would these extreme weather events have happened without Climate Change ?

That is by far the most important question to ask, and Michael Tobis does just that :-

http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/08/moscow-doesnt-believe-in-this.html

“…Are the current events in Russia “because of” “global warming”? To put the question in slightly more formal terms, are we now looking at something that is no longer a “loading the dice” situation but is a “this would, practically certainly, not have happened without human interference” situation? Can we phrase it more formally? “Is the average time between persistent anomalies on this scale anywhere on earth in the undisturbed holocene climate much greater than a human lifetime?” In other words, is this so weird we would NEVER expect to see it at all?…”

Continue reading BBC Hedges

WBGU : Equity, Today : Agreement, Never

File under : “That’s never going to ever happen if the United States of America have anything at all to do with it”.

The illustrious German Advisory Council on Global Change, the WBGU, or “Wissenschaftliche Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveraenderungen” in longhand, have done some excellent work on proposals for a global Carbon framework.

As part of their 2009 paper entitled in English “Solving the climate dilemma: The budget approach” they came to some useful conclusions, but also some startlingly unworkable recommendations :-

http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_sn2009_en.pdf
http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_sn2009_en.html

Continue reading WBGU : Equity, Today : Agreement, Never

Cap and Trade is Going Down

Cap and Trade is….going….down. And that’s probably a good thing :-

http://www.examiner.com/x-12720-DC-Policy-Reform-Examiner~y2010m3d31-Capandtrade-dropped-from-Senates-energyclimate-change-bill

Continue reading Cap and Trade is Going Down

Sidetracked

Sidetracked
by Jo Abbess
19 February 2010

A number of prevalent ideological frameworks employed for constructing policy to address Global Warming appear to have faulty foundational analysis and are therefore ineffective in addressing Carbon Dioxide Emissions. Politically implementable options that could lead to effective action to combat Climate Change are being kicked into the long grass at every turn, in policy, in investment and in society.

Reasonable proposals are being made over-complex to implement, or delayed by every means possible. The dominant memes of economics hinder good decision-making; for example, not all natural capital can be valued as a commodity, and yet Carbon markets and Carbon tax regimes are the most ubiquitous proposals.

The cheapest options for efficiency are overlooked for subsidy-attracting large-scale projects; and wholescale sustainability approaches are being discarded in favour of focus on obsessional marginal issues such as recycling.

The imperative to deliberately orient investment towards Low Carbon energy is lost in the haze of planning based on non-solutions such as the renaissance of Nuclear Power and Carbon Capture and Storage in the pursuit of so-called “Clean” Coal.

Continue reading Sidetracked

Shocking News : I Agree With James Delingpole

Well, I agree with parts of a couple of paragraphs. Got you looking, though, didn’t it ?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100020288/climategate-we-won-the-battle-but-at-copenhagen-we-just-lost-the-war/

Delingpole writes : “Copenhagen never really had anything to do with “Climate Change”. Rather it was a trough-fest at which all the world’s greediest pigs gathered to gobble up as much of your money and my money as they possibly could, under the righteous-sounding pretence that they were saving the planet.”

I think that he’s partially on the right track : for many, many people, Climate Change is something they can make money from. Creating a commodity from a previously unvalued polluting gas, creating positive value from a negative waste product, is only going to lead to the massive-est market on Earth. And we all know who’s going to gain from that Carbon Trade, don’t we ? Not you and me, that’s for sure.

Continue reading Shocking News : I Agree With James Delingpole

Copenhagen : “Meaningful Agreement”

As the world leaders start to slip away back to the airport, some commentators are hailing a “meaningful agreement” has been reached at the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change talks. Others say that no deal of any significant kind has been struck.

Reaction from the Developing countries is general dismay. The Non-Governmental Organisations, “civil society”, feel they have been blocked from taking part. It’s been a complete shambles.

The time has come to start spelling out the future in graphic, technical detail – not just about the damages that Climate Change will bring – but about the only real solutions.

Real solutions do not include Carbon Trading, nor Carbon Taxation. They don’t include technofixes and technofudges like Carbon Capture and Storage and New Nuclear Power. They certainly don’t include partial commitment on Avoided Deforestation.

We have to say it and say it again : whether the leaders and corporations agree or not, the future is Carbon Emissions Reductions. The Consumer Economy is being eroded by the minute. Peak Oil, Coal, Natural Gas and Uranium are just around the corner.

Continue reading Copenhagen : “Meaningful Agreement”

It’s a Walkout (Almost)

Developing (poor) countries nearly walked out of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit today :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6955990.ece
“Developing nations stage walkout over Copenhagen stalemate” 14 December 2009

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8412483.stm
“Developing nations return to Copenhagen climate talks” 14 December 2009

Is it any wonder, when the Developed (rich) countries are aiming for a stitch-up, sealing the deal in their favour ? :-

http://johannhari.com//2009/12/10/our-leaders-are-staging-a-scam-in-copenhagen
“Our leaders are staging a scam in Copenhagen” 10 December 2009

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/984a0e00-e5e4-11de-b5d7-00144feab49a.html
“Carbon trading: Emissions cuts at the lowest price – in theory” 13 December 2009

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235629/Is-Blair-trying-cash-climate-change–Ex-PM-arrives-summit-urge-greenhouse-gas-deal.html
“Is Blair trying to cash in on climate change?: Ex-PM arrives at summit to urge greenhouse gas deal” 14 Decemer 2009

http://www.joabbess.com/2009/12/07/i-wont-wear-a-wristband-for-carbon-trading/

I Won’t Wear A Wristband For Carbon Trading

The Story of Cap & Trade from Story of Stuff Project on Vimeo

So, tens of thousands of people have made their way to the Copenhagen Climate Change negotiations. Now that they’re sealed in the conference, in all that holy, heady air of importance and relevance, they won’t be able to escape the dominant narrative of the agenda : the implementation of Carbon Trading.

This could be the largest appropriation of commonly owned resources the world has even known. By the banks :-

http://www.bluenext.fr/

Continue reading I Won’t Wear A Wristband For Carbon Trading

Carbon Hunters

“Where there’s muck, there’s brass”, as some people in England say. Waste and pollution can be big moneymakers for some, as local and national government bodies strive to ensure a safe, clean environment for their citizens.

Dealing with Carbon pollution is, however, in a different league of Big Dirt than the municipal waste stream, litter picks and recycling efforts. It’s even in a much larger landscape than Energy supply infrastructure and global fuel distribution systems.

Carbon emissions are in everything we do, practically, from texting to flying; from cooking to holidaying; from home comfort to laundry.

We can have school poster competitions that influence dog walkers to clean up after their pooches and hounds, but it’s not going to be so easy to cut the Carbon from our entire civilisation.

Continue reading Carbon Hunters

Cut To The Chase

So this big plan for international Carbon Trading, how long will it take to set up all the national and regional markets ? And how long will it take to get some kind of serious reduction in Carbon Emissions using the market ?

Well, judging by this week’s slalom race on the melting Climate piste, I’d say it will be a good few years yet before a functioning international Carbon market will be viable, and a good few years after that that it will start to deliver any real reductions in emissions.

That could easily take us past 2015, the year that Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre knows we have to peak our emissions or face Climageddon (unless we can produce negative emissions. Yeah. Right.) :-

http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/4degrees/programme.php
Presentation Slides : http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/4degrees/ppt/10-1anderson.pdf
Presentation Audio : http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/4degrees/audio/10-1anderson.mp3

Continue reading Cut To The Chase

Carbon Trading Isn’t Working (3)

Friends of the Earth have come out with another report on the poor state of Carbon Trading, just in time for the Copenhagen Climate talks where Carbon Trading could become one of the planks on which we will be made to walk :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/05/friends-of-the-earth-attacks-carbon-trading

“Friends of the Earth attacks carbon trading : An FoE reports says ‘cap and trade’ carbonn markets have done little to reduce emissions but have been plagued by corruption and inefficiency : Ashley Seager : The Guardian, Thursday 5 November 2009 : The world’s carbon trading markets growing complexity threatens another “sub-prime” style financial crisis that could again destabilise the global economy, campaigners warn today. In a new report, Friends of the Earth says that to date “cap and trade” carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions but have been plagued by inefficiency and corruption that render them unfit for purpose…”

Carbon Trading Is So Wrong

So, the theory of Cap-and-Trade goes like this.

You set an upper Cap on Carbon Dioxide Emissions.

You dole out Carbon Dioxide Emissions Permits or Allowances. Or you sell them. Or you auction them.

Each year the amount of Carbon Dioxide Emissions Permits gets less and less.

Then a Market in Carbon will operate.

Continue reading Carbon Trading Is So Wrong

Carbon Cannot Be Costed

After our Masters class on the last 600 million years of Earth Climate history, a number of the students all collected together in the student bar.

One of our number pulled out a block of A4 paper on which he had written a number of probing questions.

At the very top of the list : asking how one could justify the “social cost” of Carbon.

I pulled my “remember Montreal” cat out of the bag.

Continue reading Carbon Cannot Be Costed

Poor People Gonna Rise Up

Talking About a Revolution : Tracy Chapman

When are the intellectual and political ranks going to stop trying to apply universal guilt ? The real question to ask is not, “how are we going to get average emissions down ?” You can’t treat all the people in the United Kingdom as one blurred lump. Around 20% of consumers are conscious. Another 20% to 30% are going to be hit directly by any measure designed to put an environmental tax on Carbon, and will have no choice about responding.

Climate Change worldwide is affecting the poorest first and hardest – an expression used by everyone from Nicholas Stern through to Christian Aid. But it’s a stratification of impact that isn’t just global. The poorest in the industrialised countries are suffering hardship too : people who cannot get their homes renovated after floods, people who have to apply for Fuel Poverty assistance.

Continue reading Poor People Gonna Rise Up

Make Poverty Permanent

I strongly agree with one central theme from Nicholas Stern’s analysis of how to tackle Climate Change.

In his book “A Blueprint for a Safer Planet”, he argues in depth that Climate Change Adaptation strategies for countries in the Global South must be combined with those strategies to beat Poverty and encourage Development.
Continue reading Make Poverty Permanent

A Cabal of Campaigners

There’s news from the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) quarter.

A whole bunch of Aid and Development, charity, Third Sector and green groups got together today and were instilled with their responsibility to “hold politicians’ feet to the fire” by Ed Miliband, who just happens to be a politician.

Not just any old politician, no. Only the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the United Kingdom.
Continue reading A Cabal of Campaigners

Banking on China

The Circle Line can get a bit stifling in the evening. Not as much as the Central Line, which is often only a few tiers from the fires of Hell itself, but the Circle Line is often clammy in Summer, long after the Rush Hour home. Global Warming ? Global Steamy Clammy Heat !

So, I’m trying to maintain my personal cool and composure on the London Underground by not moving very much and reading a self-styled “pamphlet” I acquired at the 5th June 2009 conference “The politics of climate change : from economic crisis to business revolution”.
Continue reading Banking on China

Creating a Carbon Price Differential

Creating a genuine and effective Carbon price differential will be awkward, perhaps impossible. Carbon Taxes will stop working after a few years, and Carbon Caps are already strongly resisted.

As for Carbon Trading, the incentive to cheat, the “leakage”, will mean that most exchanges will be measured in “hot air” – virtual Carbon emissions.
Continue reading Creating a Carbon Price Differential

G20 Climate Camp – Expect the Best Crackdown Yet

STOP PRESS : Just received a text “Big Brother is turning off CCTV for the day. Don’t forget to bring your own. Please forward this text.” What can go on when nobody is watching ?

I’ve just been at one of several G20 Climate Camp convergence spaces this evening to get the full briefing.

I expected Police presence on the door, and yes, once again they were illegally photographing people coming and going from a public meeting.

Continue reading G20 Climate Camp – Expect the Best Crackdown Yet

Money Can’t Buy You Carbon Control

In all the flurry of debate about how to control Carbon Emissions, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the goal : Carbon Control.

If we are to “keep our eyes on the prize”, we really need to check how we’re doing and where we are from time to time.

It’s no good submitting to the Uncertainty Principle.

If controlling Carbon is absolutely essential, we can’t put our efforts into policies that have fuzzy outcomes.
Continue reading Money Can’t Buy You Carbon Control