Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Election Forecast 2015 - Opinion Polls Trending Towards Conservative Outright Win - Nadeem_Walayat
2.UK Solar Eclipse - End Time Sign, Judgement Day, Doomsday! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Gold And Silver - When Will Precious Metals Rally? Not In 2015 - Michael_Noonan
4.Preparing for the Next Stocks Bear Market - Forecast 2015-2016 - Gary_Savage
5.Is a Stock Market Crash Imminent? - David Eifrig
6.Gold Price Slumps as US Dollar Soars, What's Next? - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Dollar Forex Pairs and Gold Chartology - Rambus_Chartology
8.Election Forecast 2015: The Day Labour Lost the General Election - Nadeem_Walayat
9.The ECB Should End QE Next Month - EconMatters
10.Silver Price Poised to Surge - Zeal_LLC
Last 5 days
Reflections in a Golden Eye - Gold Market Rejection, Repatriation and Redemption - 28th Mar 15
Stock Market Inflection Point - 28th Mar 15
Gold And Silver - What Moved Price? Bab el-Mandeb And Uranus Square Pluto. What?! - 28th Mar 15
Stock Market Investment Parachutes; Do You Have Yours? - 28th Mar 15
Peak Gold Misunderstanding, is Gold About to Run Out? - 28th Mar 15
Deflation Watch: Key U.S. Economic Measures Turn South - 27th Mar 15
The Hard-Earned Truth About Recreational Real Estate - 27th Mar 15
Bitcoin Price Still in Important Territory - 27th Mar 15
Stocks Bear Market Conditions - Index Market Range Warning - 27th Mar 15
BEA Leaves Q4 2014 U.S. GDP Growth Essentially Unchanged at 2.22% - 27th Mar 15
Brazil Economy Victim of Vulgar Keynesianism - 27th Mar 15
Gold to Fuel Silver Price Upleg - 27th Mar 15
Gold and Silver Stocks Will Rise Again! - 27th Mar 15
Risk of ‘World War’ between NATO and Russia on Ukraine as Yemen Bombed - 27th Mar 15
FOMC Minutes Turned The Gold Tide - 27th Mar 15
Sheffield Hallam Election Battle 2015 - Lib Dems Go to War Whilst Labour Sleeps - 27th Mar 15
Gold Effect On Mining & Shale Wasteland - 27th Mar 15
How Stock Investors Should Play the 2016 Presidential Race - 26th Mar 15
MidEast Energy Alert: Why the Crisis in Yemen Could Get Ugly Very Fast - 26th Mar 15
Stock Market Downward Spiral of Dumbness - 26th Mar 15
The Monetary Approach Reigns Supreme - 26th Mar 15
Stock Market Large Gap Down, Despite the Algos' Push Back - 26th Mar 15
Crude Oil Surges, Gold price Spikes as Middle East Tensions Escalate - 26th Mar 15
The U.S. Housing Market Recovery Is Fabricated Optimism - 26th Mar 15
Why Yemen Is The Next Saudi-Iranian Battleground - 26th Mar 15
The Crude Oil Price Crash and China Economic Slow Down - 26th Mar 15
Global Financial Markets Are More Distorted Than Ever Before - 26th Mar 15
One More Stock Market Rally and Then a Huge Drop Expected - 26th Mar 15
Danger Will Robinson - Stock Market Crash Warning - 25th Mar 15
Learn the Basics of Corrective Elliott Waves - 25th Mar 15
Why CNBC Is Hazardous to Your Financial Health! - 25th Mar 15
Will Your Retirement Accounts Survive The Coming Tax Code "Revolution"? - 25th Mar 15
US Dollar - Americas Phoenix - 25th Mar 15
California’s Epic Drought: Only One Year of Water Left! - 25th Mar 15
What’s Wrong With Silver? - 25th Mar 15
SPX Futures Appear Weak. WTIC and Gold May Be at Max Retracement - 25th Mar 15
We’re at the Dawn of a “New Energy Age” - 25th Mar 15
A Very Weak U.S. Economic Recovery - 25th Mar 15
Zero UK CPI Inflation Rate Prompts Deflation Danger Propaganda For Fresh Money Printing - 25th Mar 15
Stock Market NYSE Hi-Lo Index Aggressive Sell Signal - 24th Mar 15
Palladium Commodity Price Forecast - 24th Mar 15
Bitcoin Price Gearing Up for a Fall - 24th Mar 15
Safety Deposit Boxes In UK Being Closed By ‏HSBC – Not Closing Gold Vaults - 24th Mar 15
Japan Short Term Gains And Long Term Disaster - 24th Mar 15
China's Fragile Evolution - 24th Mar 15
David Cameron Announces Resignation Even Before Being Re-elected, Handing Labour 6 Seats - 24th Mar 15
City of London's Ownership of American Colonies - 24th Mar 15
Stock Market Reversal May Have Begun - 24th Mar 15
Casey Gathers Top Gold Experts to Share Secrets for Making Money in Any Market - 24th Mar 15
Thoughts on The Current Crude Oil Market - 24th Mar 15
U.S. Economy Still on Life Support - What Your Governments Hiding From You... - 24th Mar 15
UK Election Forecast 2015 - Budget Bribes Fail, SNP Insurgency Catastrophe - Video - 24th Mar 15
Is Stock Market Minor Top Taking Hold? - 23rd Mar 15
Greece and EU Running Out of Time as Bank Runs Intensify - 23rd Mar 15
Stock Market Slightly Negative Expectations Following Last Week's Rally - 23rd Mar 15
This Rising Interest Rates Play Could Make You a Quick 55% - 23rd Mar 15
Platinum Commodity Price False Break Low - 23rd Mar 15
The Real Reason The American Dream is Unraveling - 23rd Mar 15
Election Forecast 2015 - Budget Bribes Fail to Impress Voters, Tory's Lose Seats in Opinion Polls - 23rd Mar 15
Silver Price Reliance During U.S. Dollar Rally - 23rd Mar 15
Gold Price Outlook Dramatic Improvement Following US Dollar Topping Action - 23rd Mar 15
Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Do This - 22nd Mar 15
The "Natural Interest Rate" Is Always Positive and Cannot Be Negative - 22nd Mar 15
Exploring The Gold Market: The Fed, The Charts. The COTS and GLD - 22nd Mar 15
Stocks Bull Market Continues - 22nd Mar 15
Gold And Silver - China's AIIB Spells U.s. Dollar Demise, Not Clear For Precious Metals - 22nd Mar 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

US Economy Still on Life Support

Doha Climate Talks: End Of An Expensive Sideshow

Politics / Climate Change Dec 09, 2012 - 12:48 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

SETTING THE TONE
Playing the impatient master of ceremonies tired with the behaviour of delegates late in the night of 7 December, the Doha climate conference's director, Qatar's vice-PM and member of the al-Attiya "family firm" which runs the mini-emirate with maxi-gas resources, Abdullah al-Attiya, thumped his fists on the table. He then ran a video clip to the music track of the World War II Italian left-wing and communist resistance song "Bella Ciao". Some musicologists say this song is in fact only the Yiddish swing music number "Koilen", first written and played in 1919 by Mishka Ziganoff.


The song says goodbye to all beautiful hopes, of life itself, for the heroic but failing partisans. Al-Attiya went on to say the world is watching and waiting for an agreement "to save the planet", which was a clear exaggeration, made even clearer by the way Al-Attiya ran the conference in its week-long tractations. His family-owned emirate, as it says itself, is the world's highest emitter of CO2 per capita, but along with neighboring Saudi Arabia and the UAE also claims that it can and perhaps will use "zero oil and gas" by or before 2045. By then, Qatar will have no need for any kind or type of fossil energy.

Climate problem? No problem.

Al-Attiya's diffident and playful stance, which irrittated European and US delegates, climate activists and NGO observers from many countries, is that climate is "no problem" because soon we will have no need at all for fossil energy. Qatar can export dates or coral from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia can export camel dung patties. The heroic but failing partisans of global warming Apocalypse can find something else to moan about!

HISTORIC SHIFT
Politically correct media description of the Doha climate conference farce is that it marked a historic shift. The UN climate talks in Qatar supposedly made the "prospect" of rich nations compensating poor ones for damage due to climate change less unreal than it is, at the end of this failed conference. The conference essentially agreed to think about this subject again, by or before 2020, and especially at the 2015 Paris "climate summit".

For the US, Canada, Japan, Asia's newly industrialized countries such as South Korea, the European Union with massive nuances and variations of individual country positions, but with less for the World Bank and IMF, the main problem with this climate damage concept is simple and stark. The cost could be unlimited and probably would be unlimited. How do we tot up claimed and supposed climate damage over the last 200 years, apportion blame, and then compensate victims?

More concretely, the presently defined and identified "victim states", a relatively short list of small island states and low income countries, mostly African, are still waiting for previously and verbally committed but not disbursed "emergency aid for climate adjustment" of $30 billion in 2010-2012, which supposedly will be followed by an annual $100 billion from 2020. At Qatar, the "victim states" demanded $60 billion by 2015.

Despite his previous well-rehearsed positive stance on an international binding agreement to apply carbon taxes or tariffs, especially on Chinese export goods, the USA's chief delegate Todd Stern struck a theatrical note. As of 7 December (but not 8 December), Stern was on record as threatening a US veto on any kind of agreement that would mean paying out to "victim states". A US veto would of course have been ruinous for Barack Obama's renewed personal conviction in the dangers of CO2 and global warming, following a hot summer, his re-election and Hurrican Sandy.

LOSS AND DAMAGE
Called the principle of Loss and Damage and its financial mechanisms, possibly applying (at least in theory) to all nonOECD countries or about 85% of the world's population, the present target amount of $100 billion-a-year by 2020, only for the presently identified "climate victim states", is a mere drop in the ocean, as Todd Stern and other "climate aggressor" national delegates recognize. This form of international development aid has heroic goals. These are a complete and total makeover of national energy systems, their total transition to "clean energy", across five-sixths of the planet. Cost of this can be calculated, as I have esimated for Australia's financial services institute (FINSIA). Amounts needed would be at least $1.25 trillion-a-year, over and above ongoing and present economic investment in all sectors, and sustained for several decades.

Pernicious effects of this "waiting for the jackpot" are already strong, in many low income countries.  Action in the energy sector, in many poor nations, is now on hold or progressing even more slowly than previous. This is because of the new belief that the US, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia (and the Gulf petro-states), in fact any and all high income countries, are dragging their feet over promises they have already made, or seemed to have made. These promises started with the failed Copenhagen climate summit of 2009, and now start with the promise of $100bn per year by 2020.

One very simple reason for the massive and rising estimates of "how much is needed" is that nonOECD countries observe ongoing events such as Mr Obama's request to Congress for Sandy damages of $60bn, the costs of Germany's Energiewende variously estimated as up to 600bn euros by 2020, the UK's bid to raise $320bn for clean energy by 2020, and the airy assertion by Qatari and Saudi princes that their countries will have "totally clean energy" by or before 2045. On these bases, a transfer from high income countries to low income countries of $1250bn per year would be "modest and reasonable".

Relative to these demands and expectation, the actual formal results of the Doha conference were a lot less than "modest". All that was agreed was a face-saving "Kyoto-2" agreement, starting January 1st 2013, which will now only concern the EU27, Australia and New Zealand. Formally out of this prolongation of the Kyoto Treaty, and heavily implying they reject the Loss and Damages concept, Japan, Russia and Canada are no longer obliged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Kyoto-2 therefore only concerns countries emitting 15% of human-source CO2 and other GHG.

ALARUMS AND DIVERSIONS
While the billionaire al-Attiya family amused delegates with a Yiddish swing song of the 1920s and talk about Qatar "soon" needing no fossil energy at all, but probably not reducing export prices on its soon-useless LNG until forced to by rising shale gas supplies, the UK hereditary peer Lord Monkton also did what he could. Until escorted out of the conference hall by UN guards, he took the chair of Myanmar and denounced all UN climate change protocols. He was of course catcalled and booed, but was able to say: "In the 16 years we have been coming to these events there has been no global warming at all."  He added: "Even if we were to take action to prevent global warming the cost would be many times greater than the cost of making adaptive measures later. Our recommendation is that we should initiate very quickly a review of the science to make sure that we are all on the right track."

UN sources said that Lord Monckton was escorted out for “violating UN codes of conduct" and "impersonating a party” by taking the offered badge of a Myanmar delegate. The UN action ‘de-badged’ the peer, and Qatari action followed by immediately canceling his visa to stay in Qatar, giving him 24 hours to leave the country.

Even 18 months ago it was possible for Monkton, who says that global warming does not really exist, and his exact opposites such as Britain's James 'Jim' Lovelock or the USA's Al Gore and James Hansen, who proclaim the Apocalypse, to command large speaking fees at packed meetings and conferences. Since 2011, despite Sandy and Bophar and hundreds of deaths, and tens of billions of dollars of weather damage, public interest in the subject has shrunk and faded. Two of the 'fathers' of Germany's Energiewende, Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning, have symbolized this shift and write about it in their best-seller 'Die Kalte Sonne'.

Neither of them call global warming a hoax, and much more ironically, Lord Monkton has a similar position to Vahrenholt and Luning - that global warming does in fact exist but is a minor problem. For Vahrenholt and Luning, man-caused climate change is real and is a crisis, but global warming in only a tiny part of the climate problem. The situation in Germany for global warming activists and alarmists is getting ever more hopeless, shown by sales of the book first published by Vahrenholt and Lüning in February 2012 continuing at a high level, and by the massive industrial and technological success of Germany's energy transition plan. To be sure, their book has been castigated and excoriated by Climate Crazies with paint on their faces, and no time (or maybe no ability) to read even a page of the book, but fewer members of the public believe than climate change = global warming, and that easy ways out of the problem really exist.

END OF THE KYOTO DREAM
The 1997 signing of the Treaty in the Japanese city Kyoto was a long time ago. The Kyoto dream - now rejected by its home country Japan - has itself morphed throught the years, towards a failed international development pact for energy transition and the sustainable economy. Relative to climate change, more than 15 years of studies, research, debate and calls for action have only shown human capabilities of "restoring climate stability" are a pipedream. One reason is there is no answer to the basic question: Restoring what?

Answers to that are of course provided by the IPCC and other revenue-earners from CO2 and global warming. We might assume their main goal would be reducing global average temperatures by around 1 degree C from present averages, and avoiding the claimed "inevitable" rise of global temperatures by anywhere up to 6 degrees C by 2050.
 
Living with climate change has however progressively replaced the shrill calls for "urgent action", which in the field of energy transition now faces the problem of immense resources of unconventional oil, gas and coal that are now known to exist, if they are needed.

As the former global warming apocalypst or predicator, 'Jim' Lovelock has said, in 2012, there is possibly no relation at all between rising CO2 levels, and rising, falling or stagnant temperature levels in different regions and countries of the planet. This in no way removes any and all alarm about climate change, but does move the goalposts. For Vahrenholt and Luning urgent action is needed, but concerns "unsexy" difficult action such as reforesting huge areas of the planet, both in the tropics and higher latitudes. Doing this would take much longer than what they consider is the much less urgent goal of moving away from fossil fuels - but at present we still have the cart before the horse and do not like its drive performance.

By Andrew McKillop

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2012 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

Andrew McKillop Archive

© 2005-2015 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014