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Climate Crazies Meet The New Normal

Politics / Climate Change Oct 14, 2013 - 12:03 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


The climate crazies with paint on their faces yipping on the runway to greet hero Al Gore landing his Gulfstream 5 private jet – for yet another 45-minute Climate Crisis tirade billed at $100 000 – are all gone now. Like Darwin's theory says, primitive life forms die out sooner or later.

The crazies wanted Low Growth, which they called the Sustainable Economy. But when low growth happened and became New Normal they went real quiet. Just like Al Gore, Jim Lovelock or James Hansen – the big guns of climate hysteria's good times who either retired, denied everything they previously ranted about Global Warming burning the planet, or found other ways to make cash out of easily-fooled persons believing their rants.

A new policy paper from the Post Carbon Institute, a so-called transition think tank founded in the good times for warming hysteria, argues that environmentalists must accept "the new normal" of declining economic growth, instead of constantly preaching it must be reduced.  Basically, the new normal cuts the ground away from under the feet of the climate crazies, the old growth economy they said we had to give up went away all by itself – with a lot of help from the banksters and brokers, and none at all from the crazies.

The paper, "Climate After Growth," was co-written by Post Carbon Institute’s executive director, Asher Miller and Rob Hopkins, founder of the Climate Transition Network. Their basic argument is we now need “community-led responses to climate change”, which will supposedly build strong local economies. The word “sustainable” is now purposely sidelined.

The paper says it hopes to put to rest the false dichotomy between the imperative of economic growth over environmental protection once and for all. Now that economic growth is a dying species they feel able to say that the “over-arching paradigm of economic growth” is coming to an end - regardless of the ongoing climate crisis. What climate crisis?

The “sustainable economy” has almost gone off the Doomsters' menu. The new-new economy is no longer sustainable. The new buzzword is “resilience”. Miller says: "There’s an opportunity for environmental groups and others to offer an alternative, and that alternative should be emphasizing community resilience,"  Since “resilience” is just as impossible to define as “sustainable” there is plenty of slide room for new normal snakeoil – if the public are stupid enough to gob it.

Nobody asks how come “we” don't need to be sustainable anymore, but we have to be resilient? In any case, why was the sustainable economy dumped by the crazies?

"If we can address climate issues while improving quality of life, we can build resilience, which we need to do; we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels; and we can offer up a different way of creating goods and well-being that aren’t relying upon globalized economic growth", Miller said.

He only has to take a look at almost any developed country, and a rising number of emerging economies since 2008. They are all reducing their dependence on fossil fuels. Sure, they do it mostly through recession and mass unemployment, thanks to the banksters and their crony politician friends.

By community resilience, Miller and Hopkins say this means the ability of a community to "bounce back from disruption to a normal state of being". Likely this was a Freudian slip of the tongue. The previous normal state, before New Normal, was the growth economy with the crazies whining that “we” must end it forthwith. They go on to define how much resilience there is in a community by the amount of change the community can undergo and still retain its basic structure, the degree to which the community can self-organize and the ability of the community to build the capacity for learning and adaption.

This in fact is the “revolutionary agenda”, when the state breaks down, or is broken apart and communities learn to fend for themselves. Apparently, the guardians of Climate Correct are a lot less worried about “carbon sludge” harmfully affecting their private and personal atmosphere, these days.

They argue community resilience can be promoted to the point where it fully replaces the old economy. They say that “resilience” will become more popular as environmental shocks to economic systems and local communities become more commonplace – what they hope and pray will be an era of frequent extreme weather events, which they can blame on climate change. And keep their party going.

The authors play radical, as you might guess. They say they don’t believe any meaningful climate policy can be enacted while elected officials continue to prioritize economic growth above all else, despite economic growth collapsing. They seem not to notice their elected officials, these days, have a much more basic survival agenda – fending off the imminent collapse of their debt mountains.

Miller and Hopkins argue that without programs like the US Federal Reserve’s QE or quantitative easing, and its exact lookalikes in Europe, Japan, China, Brazil, India and other places the economy would be in a "tailspin". Talk about austerity, on one hand and stimulus-to-growth on the other, is now beside the point but the climate crazies took a long time to discover this.

They bandy around a few numbers on why the growth economy tanked and then died. Their favorite is supplied by the World Economic Forum which projects that global credit will have to double by 2020 - from $109 trillion in 2009 to $213 trillion in 2020 - just to maintain the present and current, low level of world GDP growth. And that isn't going to happen. They could have put things simpler. Back in the 1950s and 1960s a dollar of new debt or credit could generate $4 of new economic activity in the US economy. Now its 12 cents.

When the other shoe drops - massive defaults, lending stops, when bank deposit "haircuts" become mandatory, when savings accounts are pillaged by the crony politicians on order by the banksters – the climate crazies will get what they dreamed of. The problem is nobody will be interested in them.

In September 2013 William White, the former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - famous for being the only head of a major global institution who foresaw the 2007/2008 global banking crisis - warned that exuberance in the credit markets "looks to me like 2007 all over again, but even worse." According to the BIS, the share of "leveraged loans" (those used by the most frenetic borrowers) has jumped to 45 percent of all loans - 10 percent higher than at the peak of the bubble in 2008.

So true to their credo, the climate crazies backtrack to their good old days. Miller and Hopkins claim, black on white that the US economy can never get back to an era of sustained GDP growth because the world has come up against the end of the era of cheap energy. Pull the other leg!

The authors cite Peak Oil data from the good old days on what are called “conventional oil reserves', where oil fields are declining at an average yearly rate of 4 million barrels per day of production capacity, which must be replaced each year just to stand still. But that was old normal. Using IEA data on the real world of today, world oil demand growth in 2013-2014 is unlikely to even reach 1 million barrels per day. Also, the part of total output coming from non-conventional oil – everything from condensed natural gas and mixed oil and gas output, to shale oil, tar sands, deep offshore oil and even the biofuels – is rising fast. The reason is because energy is so expensive – thanks to the bankster-and-politician mafia, and because energy is so expensive people use less of it but in no way can anybody explain the death of the growth economy as due to expensive energy.

In the US today, natural gas is the cheapest its been for20 years. The banksters and their crony politician friends are making sure they don't make that mistake again with either oil or electricity.

Miller and Hopkins waste a lot of time on the oil “crisis” before they get on to their wishlist for the New Economy – which they don't ever define, but we can guess its “resilient”. They call on environmental NGOs to change strategy on their communication. They have to internalize the new realities and accept that the growth economy really did go down the tube.

They talk about a hectic future coming, with their hoped-for Bad Weather Disasters and then preach for NGOs to keep lobbying in shareholder annual general meetings for divestment by universities, churches, city councils and business leaders from their present stock holdings in the world's top 200 fossil fuel companies. To give everybody a laugh, they say that Al Gore in person is behind this call, with his 350. org. And why not also Warren Buffett we might ask?

The argument is that all concerned persons should divest from fossil fuels and hand their cash over to un-nice persons like Al Gore and his multiple hedge funds, who will then play it (or “invest” it) in “community-owned renewable energy projects”. This is a classically stupid call – current equity market prices are at insane all-time highs, thanks to the banksters and QE. When they slip on the banana skins which are all over the dance floor, right now, share prices will crash taking the Gore investment plays in “community owned energy” with them. Al Gore will however walk away smiling to his Gulfstream 5 because – you can bet – he also bet the other way. Short selling is the name of that “strategy”.

Much better to set up a Peoples Army and take over the local energy infrastructure. Maybe defectors from the National Guard would join in? We can hope.

Whatever we might expect from their Green Dream offering, Miller and Hopkins never tell us what the New Economy is. Obviously its different from the old one – and therefore the New Boss isn't going to be the same as the Old Boss. How we get rid of the old boss is the real question – but don't expect to find answers from Miller and Hopkins.

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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