CRISIS IN PARADISE
Once upon a time any New Age journalist could make an easy living spouting global warming crisis themes and memes: it was only necessary to pick and mix the one-liners from Al Gore, James 'Gaia' Lovelock, James Hansen and other hopefuls supping at the brimful trough of "hard edged scientific facts" on climate change which show we are on the path to the Apocalypse, and-or the Olduvai Gorge. Today however, even the UK Met Office has been forced to heavily tone down, we should say cool down its gripping hockey stick forecasts of ever-leaping-upward temperatures, which for years it so confidently communicated (with a straight face) as a somber warning of Very Bad Things to Come.
In the good times for junk science and global warming hysteria, everybody felt a twinge of guilt seeing polar bears stranded on shrinking ice floes - even if the FAO estimate of 925 million persons in the world who do not get enough to eat, or starve, was at most a "so what?" shrug it off factoid. Polar bears are critical to our future - who cares how many millions of humans starve?
Kicking off January and new times for the New York Times, this stout and seemingly permanent defender of climate change and global warming hysteria, which it called "climate science" announced the closure of its Environment Desk. All over the Arctic baby polar bears, whose numbers are at record highs according to Canada's Environment ministry, are weeping bitter tears of regret for this disavowal of a now almost traditional, seemingly permanent whine: global average temperatures "could rise by 6 degrees celsius by 2050". How many times did you read that?
MAN'S SELFISHNESS AND GREED
Usually tucked away as a background theme by the greed boys led by Al Gore, when they were belting out their mix and mingle of half-truths, semi-facts and downright lies - and getting paid for it - the AGW or "anthropogenic global warming" package heavily drew on religious themes. Man's greed and refusal to change his lifestyle is the basic cause of global warming, we were encouraged to believe, by clever prompts and hints. Curiously enough, chief greed boy Al Gore, rushing from one packed conference hall full of couched potatoes to another in his Gulfstream, and scooping up $100 000 for each 45-minute show, not including the hotel expenses and ground transport fees, gave us every impression that his greed was yet more proof of his entirely selfless devotion to money.
Strange things are happening to the previously almost traditional AGW Talkshow, as I reported in a recent article. Darwinian-type evolution is clearly underway: the Talkshow started with global warming in the heydays of Gore, Lovelock, Hansen and similar charlatans; their cause - we mean their meal ticket - then mutated into climate change fear; today's final stage mutant is an almost totally new whine: Bad Weather. We can expect or fear that Bad Weather Blues singers, croakers and charmers will now proliferate like cockroaches in New York or djihadists in the African desert and pop up almost daily on TV and the Internet. To be sure and certain, they will fill future UN climate conference halls with its high-priced speakers and delegates.
The backwash and collateral damage from sinking public interest in the whole subject - clearly shown by the UK Met Office's climbdown - will certainly percolate into the fertile soil which nourished the AGW circus or freakshow, spawning new, more eccentric, Newer Age reasons to fear Bad Weather. In a significant early signal of this new trend, other previously rock-solid liars and shameless manipulators of science data like the UK Met Office - the US NASA and NOAA agencies - have recently started to crank out "new or previously unappreciated causes" of global warming, or climate change, or plain old bad weather.
Without in any honest credible way admitting there are "problems" with their dodgy models predicting ever-rising temperatures, more storms, colder winters, more rain in some places and more drought in others, more horses frightened and cows which abort because of freak lightning, more tropical diseases in Stockholm - and other wonderthings from the go anywhere Global Weirding meme - NASA and NOAA are now prepared to reach into the grab bag of "other theories". NASA kicked this off, recently, with some of its Web pages saying that "solar variation has a much more significant impact on terrestrial climate" than it had previously been prepared to admit. In other words, this is the Milankovitch astronomical theory of climate change, dating from the 1920s, which is known to anybody not stupid enough to swallow Gore talk and regurgitate it when the talk button is pushed, with a lovely pop-eyed "Clever boy" look on their faces: Milankovitch is worth a look at.
TAXING THE GREED
The most recent UN climate change conference circus, COP18 in Doha, was itself a mutant event: its host country's chairman, a member of the billionaire Al-Attiyah family which owns and runs Qatar said with a chuckle that pretty soon nobody would use fossil fuels anymore, so AGW would be finished. This was seen as billionaire playfulness from the country-owning family which not only buys and runs football teams, luxury hotels and airlines but also finances Al Qaeda fighters in Mali and Syria. COP18 was all about guilt, atonement and the agonizing question: Who pays for climate damage?
First of course, it had to be established there was guilt to hand out, and before that, that global warming or climate change or (at least) bad weather is due to centuries of greed and selfishness by shameless consumers of coal who refused to change their lifestyle - until they discovered shale gas and windmills. Perhaps surprisingly, not so many of the OECD Greed Country delegates balked at this expiation theme in public, although the US delegation's leader, Todd Stern, did so, and the delegations of Russia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand all announced they were either totally abandoning the farce of the Kyoto Treaty, or abandoning all further playacting with "carbon finance and emissions trading".
The politically correct term for who pays what for "climate damage" is which countries "should do most of the heavy-lifting" when it comes to tackling climate change, or at least bad weather.
Very predictably, both former UN Undersecretary general Maurice Strong, and Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general, have gone on record saying: "The climate change phenomenon has been caused by the industrialisation of the developed world. [It is] only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility". Does developed mean "coal burning"? If so, China and India are two of the most developed countries in the world.
China's COP18 delegation chief Xie Zhenhua responded: "Climate change is due to unrestricted emissions by developed countries in their process of industrialisation. Developing countries are the victims of climate change...If we want to devise a long-term goal on emissions reduction by 2015, it is inevitable that we will have to find a way to allocate emissions. But these allocations must be equitable. It's very important therefore to talk about equity."
SHARING THE BOOTY
To be sure, a growing pie is always easier to share than a shrinking one - especially when the number of diners goes on growing. The institutional and governmental business of AGW-climate change-bad weather has now itself mutated to a vague idea of "the principle of equity" facing what the somewhat outdistanced, or desperate for sensation UN organization still calls "a potential catastrophe". Given plenty of prominence by the UN organization, Lord Nicholas Stern, the former World Bank chief economist, has put out new "research" going further than the riotous claims he made in his 2006 blockbuster report on the costs of bad weather. Today, Stern says that even if developed countries cut their emissions to zero, this would not be enough to halt runaway climate change – because emissions from rapidly industrialising economies headed by China and India are now so high.
Stern says: "It's brutal arithmetic – the changing structure of the world's economy has been dramatic. That is something developing countries will have to face up to...I am not pointing the finger at the developing world, just looking at what is necessary. I am not accusing or proposing, just calculating what is needed [to avoid dangerous climate change]...It would be completely unacceptable to say you cannot grow, you cannot lift people out of poverty. But there are ways of doing that."
Once upon a time, you could more than lift yourself out of poverty by tanking up your Gulfstream jet to rush from conference hall to hall, stuffing your pockets with $100 000 at each stop - just to whine about polar bears! Unfortunately however, the guilt train has moved on, and anxious free riders like Nicholas Stern are scrambling to catch the moving train. They now have to magic up a new pile of booty, to share out among "discerning members of the Bad Weather community".
Sharing the booty now need the pricing of China (and India) into the dosh brewing equation. In posh MBA climate business talk this is: thinking about climate pricing, not emissions quantities. To be sure, a miracle event is furstly needed: all countries must attach a price to greenhouse gas emissions with a climate change tax, formerly known as Carbon Tax. The price scale according to remaining, nicely paid "experts" snuggled close in to the UN World Governance team, should start at some extreme high like $100 per tonne of CO2. This is exactly equivalent, using UN climate money and carbon scales of climate justice and expiation, to a new and additional tax of $43.87 per barrel of oil or barrel equivalent of fossil energy burned without full carbon capture and sequestration.
Raise oil prices by $44 a barrel in one jump, and do the same to all other fossil energy sources!
That kind of tax (which to show full metal justice would run a sister tax of $10 a tonne in non-OECD countries) would of course crank up a glistening pile of booty to smother any remaining guilt or shame about being responsible for bad weather, we can confidently assume. Polar bears could only be happy about this creative taxation or "New Age climate fiscality". Things will be fine.
By Andrew McKillop
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.
© 2013 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.
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