Holy Mother Market !

Video Credit : Democracy Now

Of all the macroeconomic proposals put forward over the last two decades for consideration by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the most ridiculous has to be Carbon Trading.

To imagine that a market can be created for something that the industrialised country economies are highly dependent on is an hallucination.

Carbon Dioxide emissions are in lock-step with economic growth, the creation of liquidity, if not wealth. To try to price Carbon Dioxide emissions would be to attempt to give a negative value to a positive commodity. It just won’t work. Nobody will want to buy it. And if they’re forced to buy it, they won’t want to pay much for it. And nobody can think of a way to force the developed countries to pay for their Carbon Dioxide emissions.

Even before the “serious” negotiating week of Cancun begins, the Kyoto Protocol has been pronounced dead on arrival :-

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/6/climate_talks_in_jeopardy_as_industrialized

Nobody ever said the “KP” was perfect – it only committed countries to a very small level of emissions cuts. Some commitment ! Few of the countries in the KP have taken their responsibilities to cut emissions seriously. And if they have, they’ve just outsourced them to China.

But the Son-of-Kyoto Post-Kyoto Protocol Protocol could have been something, you know, if the industrialised countries admitted they needed to back down significantly from rising and large emissions profiles – if developed nations had not tried to lean on the “flexible mechanisms” that effectively legalised offsetting their emissions with emissions reductions in other peoples’ countries.

But, no.

It appears from Wikileaks that the United States of America have been scuppering the United Nations’s best efforts :-

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/6/bolivian_un_ambassador_pablo_solon_reacts

“Secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed new details about how the United States manipulated last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen. The cables show how the United States sought dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming, how financial and other aid was used by countries to gain political backing, and how the United States mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the “Copenhagen Accord.””

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-us-manipulated-climate-accord
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/us-basics-copenhagen-accord-tactics

It wasn’t China’s fault, (or only China’s fault) as Mark Lynas and many other commentators have asserted :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/22/copenhagen-climate-change-mark-lynas

If, as reports state, the United States are continuing to use any leverage they can to push countries to accept the doomed Copenhagen Accord, there can be no progress on Climate Change.

We may have just found the real Climategate.

You cannot buy or sell the atmosphere.

There is only one solution – that is to displace High Carbon Energy with Low Carbon Energy and that means goodbye to Tar Sands, Shale Oil, Tight Gas, deepwater Petroleum, dirty Petroleum, Coal, Coal-to-Liquids, anything that you can dig out of the ground and burn.

We have to stop mining for energy.

And that has serious implications for a number of international energy corporations and state energy enterprises.

Unless this basic issue is addressed, we are all heading for hell and high water.

The Climate Change talks have been window dressing for unworkable hypothetical macroeconomic policies, and continue to reduce chair people to tears :-

Chin Up, George Monbiot !

George Monbiot looks back in regret at Copenhagen :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/20/climate-change-negotiations-failure

“…The closer it comes, the worse it looks. The best outcome anyone now expects from December’s climate summit in Mexico is that some delegates might stay awake during the meetings. When talks fail once, as they did in Copenhagen, governments lose interest. They don’t want to be associated with failure, they don’t want to pour time and energy into a broken process. Nine years after the world trade negotiations moved to Mexico after failing in Qatar, they remain in diplomatic limbo. Nothing in the preparations for the climate talks suggests any other outcome…”

Copenhagen was never seriously going to deliver, and I don’t think most of the protesters on the streets in Copenhagen thought so. Activist demands, including from activist nations, were always going to be ignored, The solutions really didn’t come to the conference, and the problems really lay elsewhere.

But there’s no need to utterly despair, George !

Continue reading Chin Up, George Monbiot !

The Major Hitters Forum

Much as, in principle, progress could be made in having an 80% majority push through commitments on Global Warming, as part of the United Nations Climate Change negotiations process, some commentators feel highly uneasy that important voices from the international community, based around the emerging Science, could be drowned out by these “big hitters” :-

http://cleanenergyministerial.org/

“July 19-20 2010 : The first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial will bring together ministers and stakeholders from more than 20 countries to collaborate on policies and programs that accelerate the world’s transition to clean energy technologies.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/22/un-bid-international-deal-climate-change

“UN in fresh bid to salvage international deal on climate change : Campaigners welcome plans to amend the way Kyoto protocol resolutions are passed : The Guardian, Thursday 22 July 2010…If the UN’s [United Nations] suggestions are adopted, decisions will be forced through if four-fifths of the protocol vote in favour, after all efforts to reach agreement by consensus have been exhausted. The amendments would come into force after six months…”It is surprising and a big, big deal that the UN is suggesting such considerable reforms as a change in the consensus rules,” said [Mark] Lynas…In a further attempt to galvanise the climate change body into motion, the UN also suggested that countries could be forced to opt out of any amendments, as opposed to the current arrangement whereby they must explicitly agree to any decisions tabled…The amendment, which will be presented in Bonn in August, reads: “An amendment would enter into force after a certain period has elapsed following its adoption, except for those parties that have notified the depositary that they cannot accept the amendment.”…But Lynas warned that any changes to the current consensus situation would cause “fury, angst and consternation”. It could, he said, exacerbate the deep mistrust between rich and poor countries that has already bedevilled the global climate talks.”… Continue reading The Major Hitters Forum

Unpicking Kyoto (1)

Unpicking Kyoto
Jo Abbess
20 June 2010

PART 1

Introduction

The governments of the world are, by and large, well-informed about Climate Change by their trusted scientific advisers and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). However, there is a disconnect between this knowledge and concrete policy action. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has not been successful in achieving control of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. Plus, annual negotiations have not reached a form of an agreement to succeed Kyoto, as evidenced by the inconclusive round of talks in December 2009 in Copenhagen. Suggestions of a way forward include a radical re-think about the formulation of the Kyoto Protocol, and the connection of Climate Change to other global concerns.

Kyoto Isn’t Working

For a period during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the world economy appeared to reach a stable point, whereby Carbon Dioxide emissions per person (per capita) levelled off. Many of the world’s major economies were switching fuels – from coal to Natural Gas. And some heavily industrialised countries were going through revolutionary change, and reducing their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as a result of the ensuing loss of industrial output.

Continue reading Unpicking Kyoto (1)

Sceptic Backlash : Questions Answered

Last Wednesday’s “Sceptic Backlash” meeting ended with a lively Question and Answer session. Here it is as I recorded it :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/scepticsmeeting


Q. (from Christian Hunt, a plant in the audience from Greenpeace)

– You say it’s just the journalists who are the sceptics. What happens if another Government comes in and scepticism gets political footholds ? [ reference to Conservative Party Climate Change sceptics ]

A. (Phil Thornhill, Campaign against Climate Change)

– People shy away from the problem if they can’t find solutions. We propose a million Climate jobs – there are lots of ways of dealing with the crisis. That’s the kind of thing we should be emphasising.

Q. Andrew Neill interviewed Caroline Lucas and asked her about the Phil Jones interview with the BBC where he said there had been no “statistically significant” warming in the last 15 years. Has there been no statistically significant warming or not ? Why wouldn’t Caroline Lucas, head of the Green Party, say “you’re wrong” ?

A. (Phil)

– I wrote her a rather long e-mail. You can’t really debate Science in the popular Media. Most people don’t understand.

– The tip for answering this kind of question is – in 15 years, it’s hard to spot a trend against the background noise. It’s a difficult thing to explain.

– It’ a clear case of how once you start debating the Science it gets twisted. She should have said “this is a typical case of the misrepresentation of Science”.

A. (Ben Stewart, Greenpeace Media)

– She was fine to say “I’ll take a pass on that”.

Continue reading Sceptic Backlash : Questions Answered

Copenhagen Discord (2)

“I don’t think you should be so critical”, the young NGO drone chided me in a public meeting.

And I thought I had the right to express my opinions – I think the Kyoto Protocol was a deeply flawed global compromise with deliberately low ambitions and compromised policy and framework proposals.

Enforce a market in a negative commodity ? How ridiculous !

Continue reading Copenhagen Discord (2)

Copenhagen Discord

The Copenhagen “Accord”, dated 18 December 2009, reasserted a target of a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius of Global Warming. It didn’t say whether that means 2 degrees C above today’s temperatures or 2 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures, but the Science for a safe Climate means 2 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures :-

Continue reading Copenhagen Discord

Wishful Thinktanking

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After the accusations and counter-accusations of the attribution of blame, can we at least start moving on from who was responsible for the failure to obtain a global treaty at the United Nations Climate Change UNFCCC conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 ?

None of us have a complete awareness of the ideas and thoughts of others. International negotiations are bound to be limited by lack of knowledge and understanding, clashes of personality and conflicts of national, social and corporate interests.

It is important, however, to try to comprehend the starting points, the foundational ideology, of those we are attempting to negotiate with.

Here it is very important to keep our feet on the floor and our ears to the walls. Why exactly, did the AOSIS, the Small Island States bloc reject the Copenhagen Accord ? Why did the elite group of nations that signed the Copenhagen Accord dismiss the AOSIS and their demands for 350 ppm atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Why was China so resistant to the Copenhagen Accord ? Could it have anything do to with their fears of economic loss ?

Continue reading Wishful Thinktanking

Copenhagen in Retrospectacular

Talk to almost anybody who went to the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change, or waited outside the Bella Center for hours in sub-zero temperatures with no hope of admittance, or who cycled to Denmark from Middle England wanting to take part in the most important meeting the world has ever held, and they’ll tell you how despondent they are.

The United Nations Climate Change talks in Denmark in December 2009 were an “abject failure”, a “washout”, “pointless”, “undermined by corporate interests”, “derailed by China”, “overruled by the United States”, and so the list of complaints rolls on.

Continue reading Copenhagen in Retrospectacular

We’re Not Done Yet

Copenhagen was a complete and utter shambles. No doubt about it. Various commentators and participants have been fishing around since it dribbled away to its weak conclusion, looking for someone or some organisation to blame.

The British blamed the Chinese, the Africans blamed the North Americans, the socialists blamed the elitist imperialists, and the NGOs blamed the international companies who had a corporate interest in swaying the whole deal their way, protecting business interests.

One story, much repeated by Climate Change Denier sources, blames the United Nations in effect, or at least the whole of Denmark, for allowing 30,000 Non-Governmental-Organisation (NGO) people to be registered, when the Copenhagen Bella Conference Center could only accommodate 15,000 people.

Continue reading We’re Not Done Yet

Pershing Missile Strikes United Nations

The United States of America have launched their secret bearded missile at the United Nations – Jonathan Pershing – in a direct strike on the international Climate Change negotiations.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/14/climate-talks-un-sidelined

“America sees a diminished role for the United Nations in trying to stop global warming after the “chaotic” Copenhagen climate change summit, an Obama administration official said today. Jonathan Pershing, who helped lead talks at Copenhagen, instead sketched out a future path for negotiations dominated by the world’s largest polluters such as China, the US, India, Brazil and South Africa, who signed up to a deal in the final hours of the summit. That would represent a realignment of the way the international community has dealt with climate change over the last two decades…Pershing said… “But it is also impossible to imagine a negotiation of enormous complexity where you have a table of 192 countries involved in all the detail.”…The lack of confidence in the UN extends to the $30bn (£18.5bn) global fund, which will be mobilised over the next three years to help poor countries adapt to climate change. “The UN didn’t manage the conference that well,” Pershing said. “I am not sure that any of us are particularly confident that the UN managing the near-term financing is the right way to go.”…”

Continue reading Pershing Missile Strikes United Nations

Undue Influence at Copenhagen

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a United Nations body set up under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to research and advise the global Climate Change negotiations.

Climate Change deniers and sceptics accuse the IPCC of being under government control. That is not the case. All parties and sectors are involved in the IPCC, and the research is adopted by governments, not dictated by them.

There is however a significant Trojan Horse effect from allowing the large Energy, Engineering and Mining corporations to be involved.

Continue reading Undue Influence at Copenhagen

The BBC’s Richard Black : Tired & Inaccurate ?

Why does the BBC always feel it has to give a definitive view on every single little thing that happens, even if they appear to need to resort to making stuff up ?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8426835.stm
“Why did Copenhagen fail to deliver a climate deal?”

This article by Richard Black strings together what I think are some of the most ridiculous things I’ve read about the United Nations Climate Change talks at Copenhagen in December 2009. I think it’s quite a sorry, sordid recounting, with elements of dismissiveness. Hardly the kind of tone we need if we want to enthuse positive change, surely.

Continue reading The BBC’s Richard Black : Tired & Inaccurate ?

The Hamburger King Gets A Vision And A Mission

People have had Christmas to digest the awful reality that the Copenhagen Accord is nowhere near what it needs to be to start a meaningful transition to a Low Carbon World.

Up steps John Gummer, Member of the United Kingdom Parliament, to say that he’s stepping down from parliament, in order to take up Climate Change issues :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/dec/30/john-gummer-to-stand-down

“…Gummer said: “Climate change is not only a crisis without historic parallel, it is an urgent political threat. We will never win this battle if we diminish people’s lives or preach at them. The threat must not be used as an excuse for unnecessary state direction and control. Instead, it is all of us, as citizens, entrepreneurs, and consumers, who will make change happen. Politicians and campaigners have to enable that change: they must unleash the power of the free market; they must harness the skills and innovation that drive it; and they must create the opportunities for competition to deliver new answers to this entirely new challenge. Those of us who have any chance to influence the course of events, even in a small way, have simply to make that our first priority, however difficult the choice.”…”

He’ll be advocating vegeburgers in his new role, no doubt.

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

George Monbiot : Saying Goodbye

George Monbiot starts to bid a fond, outraged farewell to various parts of the Biosphere and Humanity in his despairing and critical review of the Copenhagen Climate Change conference :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/18/copenhagen-negotiators-bicker-filibuster-biosphere

“Copenhagen negotiators bicker and filibuster while the biosphere burns : George Monbiot despairs at the chaotic, disastrous denouement of a chaotic and disastrous climate summit : Friday 18 December 2009 : …We have now lost 17 precious years, possibly the only years in which climate breakdown could have been prevented. This has not happened by accident: it is the result of a systematic campaign of sabotage by certain states, driven and promoted by the energy industries. This idiocy has been aided and abetted by the nations characterised, until now, as the good guys: those that have made firm commitments, only to invalidate them with loopholes, false accounting and outsourcing. In all cases immediate self-interest has trumped the long-term welfare of humankind. Corporate profits and political expediency have proved more urgent considerations than either the natural world or human civilisation. Our political systems are incapable of discharging the main function of government: to protect us from each other. Goodbye Africa, goodbye south Asia; goodbye glaciers and sea ice, coral reefs and rainforest. It was nice knowing you. Not that we really cared. The governments which moved so swiftly to save the banks have bickered and filibustered while the biosphere burns.”

Continue reading George Monbiot : Saying Goodbye

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”

Gore Was Mostly Right

Al Gore speak at the December 2009 Climate Talks in Copenhagen this week, and you would not believe how he got mauled by the Media and the Denier-Sceptics. Watch and listen to the links below and consider if you can detect the part that stuck in the throat of those who resist putting a halt to Global Warming.

Continue reading Gore Was Mostly Right

Copenhagen Punk’d

It appears that the Yes Men have staged a huge coup at the Copenhagen Climate Change talks. First they issued a Press Release saying that Canada was going to offer 40% Carbon Emissions reductions. And then they held a Press Conference with a delegate from Uganda to herald the news – see the video here :-

http://en.cop-15.org/news/view+news_newsid=12888.html
“Canada: We Accept Concept of Climate Debt : Canada gives details of new “Climate Debt Mechanism,” announces details of pilot program in Africa. Ugandan delegation lauds proposal.
Peter Jensen 14/12/2009 13:20″

Continue reading Copenhagen Punk’d

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/

Copenhagen Diagnosis : We’re In The Doo-Doos

Some days are sunny, funny, bright days, with laughter, humour and merry whistling and chortling. But always I come back to humming and mumbling this little tune : “we’re in the doo-doos”, sung of course, to the Gold Diggers film song of 1933, substituting the word “money”.

We are in deep, steaming, reeking piles of muck with Climate Change. There’s no two ways about it. It’s pure, unadulterated, fetid crappola :-

http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org

Well, at least the Sixth and possibly final Great Extinction of Life on Earth will make some great compost, just in case anything survives that needs feeding.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/copenhagen/

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/copenhagen_diagnosis.php

http://www.desmogblog.com/state-climate-much-worse-predicted

Doing Business at Copenhagen

The Daily Telegraph seems most keen that the business sector should be at the Copenhagen Climate Change negotiations :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/kamal-ahmed/6605608/Copenhagen-Climate-Change-summit-do-businesses-need-to-be-there.html

“Copenhagen Climate Change summit: do businesses need to be there? : The Copenhagen Climate Change summit is fast approaching. There’s going to be an army of negotiators in the Danish capital but do businesses need to be there? By Kamal Amed : Published: 19 Nov 2009 : …while there’s been an awful lot on the politics of Copenhagen…there has been relatively little on what the business sector is supposed to be saying or doing. Many big players are privately indicating that they need to be there for political reasons rather than business reasons and that the whole thing is, ahem, a load of hot air. Looking more broadly, […] there is a danger that the whole event becomes little more than a photo-opportunity…that might give us all time to consider exactly the business and finance sector is supposed to be doing to tackle climate change…”

Continue reading Doing Business at Copenhagen