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Corruption for dinner anyone? The Carbon Market Scandal

Thanks to Down To Earth Magazine. Author: DIVYA

All round the world thousands of greenonomists recommend a “free market solution” to our so called pollution problem. But as I keep saying: this “free market” isn’t free. It’s a pale pathetic imitation: a “managed market”.

In Europe, if a factory produces CO2 (what factory doesn’t?) it can pay people in China and India to not produce an-equivalent-amount-of-CO2. Sounds sort of fine in intent except that paying people to not do something they were-going-to-do depends on knowing the future (and reminds us of a process known as extortion). That’s loophole number one. Officially it’s called “additionality”, which is a fancy way of saying people wouldn’t do something-in-particular to reduce emissions unless they got paid in carbon credits.

The Chinese and Indians, not being stupid, immediately gamed the system. Why wouldn’t they?

The irony of unintended consequences. Here’s how it goes:

  1. HFC-23 is the godfather of greenhouse gases: it’s 11,700 times as powerful at warming as CO2 is.
  2. The chemical makers are paid as much as $100,000 in carbon credits  for every ton they destroy…
  3. Suddenly making-and-then-destroying HFC-23 is very valuable business, so people rush to fill this “demand”.
  4. HFC-23 is a byproduct of the process of making HCFC-22 (a refrigerant that’s made, as it happens, to satisfy UN treaty about reducing ozone.) Because HFC-23 is now far more valuable, the HCFC-22 becomes the byproduct, and it’s being overproduced).
  5. Here’s the catch: HCFC-22 is itself a greenhouse gas… “the global warming impact of the HCFC-22 production… is five times higher than that of the HFC-23 itself, due to the high volume of HCFC-22 produced”. [Source link]

To put it in perspective: In 2009 European installations surrendered 46 million HFC-23 CERs, worth an estimated €550 million. These CERs constitute the majority of offsets used by European companies (59% in 2009). [Source]

Based  on current prices in the European market (around €12), the HFC-23 CERs produced by 2012 will be worth almost €6 billion.

So when the ruling class “invents” a market from scratch, it’s possible for honest hard working Europeans to pay extra money for the advantage of supporting an industry of bankers-lawyers-auditors-&-accountants to make the problem they were supposed to solve, even worse.

One group of NGO’s called CDM Watch announced the flaws on July 2nd. Their report sums up the details:

The analysis reveals that CDM  HCFC-22 plants are intentionally operated in a manner to maximize the production of offset credits, resulting in more HCFC-22 and far more HFC-23 production than would occur without the CDM.

The data show that two plants reduced HFC-23 generation when they were ineligible for  credits and increased HFC-23 generation once they could again claim credits for destruction. One plant even stopped HCFC-22 production when it was not allowed to generate further offset credits and resumed operation when it became again eligible to generate credits.

Finally there is some action.

UNITED NATIONS – An obscure U.N. board that oversees a $2.7 billion market intended to cut heat-trapping gases has agreed to take steps that could lead to it eventually reining in what European and U.S. environmentalists are calling a huge scam.

At a meeting this week that ended Friday, the executive board of the U.N.’s Clean Development Mechanism said that five chemical plants in China would no longer qualify for funding as so-called carbon offset credits until the environmentalists’ claims can be further investigated.

The CDM executive board, based in Bonn, Germany, has asked for a decades’ worth of data on the gases from those five plants in China to study whether the system was manipulated.

“The evidence is overwhelming that manufacturers are creating excess HFC-23 simply to destroy it and earn carbon credits,” said Mark Roberts of the Environmental Investigation Agency, a research and advocacy group. “This is the biggest environmental scandal in history and makes an absolute mockery of international efforts to combat climate change.   Full news story here.

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72 comments to Corruption for dinner anyone? The Carbon Market Scandal

  • #

    Hmmm, maybe I can get these eco-tards to pay me for not building a still to make moonshine I wasn’t going to make anyway, or for not chopping down all the trees on the neighboring farm that isn’t mine.
    This game sounds fun.

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  • #

    Says Law: Supply creates its own demand.

    See: http://www.economyprofessor.com/economictheories/says-law.php

    A supply of printed money (aka promissory notes that don’t have to be paid back) given to a market creates its own demand for more of the same. In the process, actual wealth is destroyed, the market “goes out of control” of the “well meaning” regulators, and the ordinary productive individual is screwed. Its simply the way “managed” markets work.

    There is nothing that government or its guns can do about it but more of the same or stop the doing altogether. Unfortunately stopping would not grow the power of government – which was the original goal in the first place.

    It isn’t that the elite ruling class is ignorant of economic law. They know EXACTLY what will happen as they do what they do. History is replete with examples.

    There is no such thing as a “well meaning regulation or regulator”. They INTEND to cause the results that follow their actions: aggrandizement of their power and control up to and including the collapse of the economy.

    00

  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Did anybody not see this coming? It’s hard to even call this an unintended consequence as the purpose of such silly regulations seems to be to encourage this kind of abuse.

    00

  • #

    Wow! The perfect scam. We rob the biosphere by attempting to limit a trace gas necessary for life from being dispersed in the atmosphere. We then sell hot air credits that negatively impact GDP and cause the poor to suffer. Meanwhile, con artists abuse the system and make a fortune in ill gotten gains. Politicians will squander the governments cut of the money from the sale of the carbon credits, pat themselves on the back for “fighting climate change” and tell the voters they have been saved from an apocalypse that, if it does occur, will be so far in the future that all who are alive today will be on their way to becoming fossil fuels themselves. Even if man could influence the climate by reducing our CO2 contribution to stone age levels it will have virtually no impact on rising temperatures. All pain and no gain unless you are part of the green elite seeking to dominate the planet and place humanity under the green yoke. Are we so dumbed down that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom to satisfy the green fringe?

    I say if we go down lets go down swinging!

    00

  • #
    PhilJourdan

    I am not surprised. The market is really and truly just a man made hoax. But like all, as long as you have a government to enforce the market, it will survive. After all, look at the waste of the old East Germany when they produced many more junk cars than the market wanted – because the government made sure the price covered the cost. Once the wall fell, the market for the junk cars died since there was no government to support it.

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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    I would have thought this was obvious …

    If you pay somebody to not do something, they will keep on not doing it.

    And if the amount you pay them is directly relative to how much they desist from doing it, they will obviously be much more focused on desisting harder.

    This is known as the “Duh Effect”.

    00

  • #
    MadJak

    Jo,

    I think it gets even more macarb than this. With these systems in place, they act as a distraction to other forms of pollution – in waterways in the soil etc. So the other polluters effectively get a free ride whilst all the attention is put towards the green enviro-tard markets.

    Of course, even just suggesting a trading market for this sort of thing has given real polluters a free ride for more than a decade now. I think this is the real reason the big end of town has been backing Carbon trading and all this rubbish – it’s the ultimate smoke screen for the other forms of pollution.

    Of course, the Watermelons are too ignorant to realise that they have actually been assisting and abetting the polluters with their persistence on AGW and GH gasses. Just look at how the environmental groups in the US went so quiet with the Horizon spill as a good example of that one.

    00

  • #
    pattoh

    I understand there was a spate of people recycling grid (thermally generated) power back through the grid feed meters in Germany to make a profit from the eco-power tariff in Germany.

    With the reported tariffs on offer lately in Aus, I don’t think it will be long before this sort of activity appears here.

    Further, in a similar vein to the 600+ degree MSU temps finding their way into NOAA’s data sets to prove the “warming”, We may even see “massive profits” being quoted to spruik the installation of Eco-Bling.

    Thank God for caring, sharing, socially responsible governments.

    00

  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Another case of the distortions in the market when government interferes. It’s the idea that there is a greenhouse gas in the first place that needs to checked.

    00

  • #

    @ Rereke Whaakaro #6

    ROTFLMFAO! The “duh effect”? I love it! Is that anything like Homer Simpson syndrome? ;)

    00

  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    co2isnotevil: #3

    It’s hard to even call this an unintended consequence

    You are right.

    The book, “Are Your Lights On?”, by Donald Gause and Gerald Weinberg, demonstrates the principle of unintended consequences very well.

    Strictly speaking, what we observe here, is a “Perverse Outcome”.

    Perverse outcomes are where you make a rule that creates a desired outcome in a number of cases, but creates the opposite outcome for a different set of equally valid cases.

    They are a significant feature of most Liberal-Socialist governments, because such governments try to be all things to all people.

    For example, if you pay people enough money to “survive with dignity”, when they are unemployed, you remove some of the incentive for them to find another job.

    If you add “hardship” and “location” allowances to those payments, you increase the incentive for them to find other reasons why they should receive additional allowances – even to the point of self-mutilation.

    This, of course, eventually creates an underclass of people who are unemployable – a perverse outcome of trying to give them a “helping hand” back into employment in the first place.

    00

  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Rereke Waakaroo,

    Kind of like what happened when Freddie and Fanny were compelled to make loans they knew could not be repaid, all in the name of ‘fair housing’.

    00

  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    This reminds me of the scheme by our late-lamented nulabour socialist government about “not rearing pigs”. See http://www.fmft.net/archives/004255.html

    00

  • #
    Ross

    Doesn’t take the clever boys long to exploit the system. No need for computer programs , just a whole lot of “street smarts”.

    This comes on top of Tata Industries buying the UK steel company , closes it down
    ( hundreds of jobs lost), ships it to India and starts up again and because it reduced C02 emissions in the UK the stupid EU pays Tata hundreds of millions of Euros for being good boys. That was one cheap steel mill and guess where there is the growing market for the products.

    Then there are the cases of the fake certificates in eastern Europe.

    How long has this circus being going on ? Only a few years, isn’t it.

    00

  • #
    john of sunbury

    This makes me so angry (and sad) and I can only imagine how I would react if it was actually my money being wasted to make things worse in this bizarre imaginary market. If Labor and the Greens have their way it soon will be.

    But I am wondering about the mood in Europe. Are they still largely duped by this con; or is there a backlash brewing? Unfortunately this scam is designed to support big government so what government is going to shut it down unless they are given no choice.

    00

  • #
    Binny

    Where are the international banner headlines on this?
    Sorry there’s not enough room, some evil woman through a poor little kitty cat in the bin.

    00

  • #
    wes george

    Whenever governments intervene in the marketplace they cause damaging distortions and unintended consequences. History is littered with examples, from the destruction of black families in the US (welfare rewarded unwed mothers) to the $900,000 school toilet block recently built in New South Wales during Rudd’s rush to stimulate his construction union mates.

    The best possible government today is one that can pass no new laws – no big redistributions schemes, no great big new taxes, no new ministries for the latest fad, no pink bats free for all, no 50,000 km fiber supertrench, nada…parliament should pass a budget and then all take a two year study leave. Australia wouldn’t miss a beat.

    If a hung parliament can’t invent grand new Orwellian delusions to execute – such as the chicanery to legislate fine weather for our grand children – then they’ll be forced to get back to mundane good governance. You know, like fixing the potholes, building a few roads, mending bridges, water & electric supplies, securing our borders, creating a path to opportunity for our indigenous peoples and making sure our hospitals, schools, harbours and airports work.

    We got to get past this delusional era of messianic zeal to expand big government as the final solution to everything. The most disconcerting aspect of the climate debate is the unquestioned acceptance that the Earth’s climate can be controlled by parliamentary legislation. Government can’t install pink bats without burning houses down or fix our hospitals or maintain the transportation infrastructure, but we believe they can bloody well manage the most complex nonlinear system known in the solar system?

    Hello? Have we gone mad as a nation?

    The historian Arnold Toynbee studied how civilizations decline and fall. His counter intuitive conclusion was that never in history has a major civilization been conquered by outside force, such as invasion, without first defeating itself from the inside through societal decay – the suicidal loss of a civilization’s will to do what it takes to secure its place in the world – the morbid substitution of the courage to confront real existential challenges with delusions that history is at an end and the future can be decreed by fantasies.

    This is what zero-growth economics represents. It’s what taxing the air we exhale as “pollution” means. It’s the delusion that we are immune to the tides of history, demography and economics. It’s the incurious mistaking of reality for our intelligentsia’s orthodox bag of unexamined assumptions rather than the chaotic, fluid, unfathomable mystery that it is, that we must constantly learn from, adapt to and flow with, always in awe and gratitude before.

    We think we’re rich and always will be thus. We think can afford monumental follies glorifying our inflated sense of moral certainty. The tautology of “Climate Change” is the new White Man’s Burden, a post-modern superiority complex couched in terms of condescending guilt. As Obama said. “We are the one’s we have been waiting for.”

    That’s the most chilling thought I have ever heard articulated by western politician. Yet, it perfectly sums up the delusion our era.

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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    co2isnotevil: #12

    Absolutely!

    00

  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Ross: # 14

    How long has this circus being going on?

    At least a decades now – I should never have taken the Red Pill.

    00

  • #
    Joe Veragio

    Rereke Whaakaro:
    August 25th, 2010 at 7:14 am

    ………..
    This, of course, eventually creates an underclass of people who are unemployable – a perverse outcome of trying to give them a “helping hand” back into employment in the first place.

    When the Thatcher Govt. threw the miners out of work in the 80′s , closing loads of uneconomical UK pits, as the story goes they consulted on the social consequences of this and resolved to give them benefits instead – so creating Rere’s underclass.

    A commentator on a recent BBC show likened this to Marie Antoinette’s infamous “let them eat cake”, which while not being entirely comparable, perhaps demonstrates a similar detachment from the realities of social engineering, at least in character if not in degree.

    I think there point was it would have been better to fund uneconomic mines, rather than ‘waste’ it on benefits, which is easy to say with hindsight, but still probly a load of cobblers anyway.

    00

  • #
    john of sunbury

    Wes @17 ….

    I wish I’d said that! Wes you are a very clear thinker. Cheers!

    00

  • #
    pat

    we are paying for it right now. here’s one way:

    15 Aug: Courier Mail: Kelmeny Fraser: High water bills in Queensland without a drop
    DAMS are full and millions of dollars worth of water infrastructure is sitting idle, but residents are still being forced to pay for the white elephant projects with rising water bills.
    Homeowners have lashed out at waste involved in delivering the $9 billion water grid and blamed it for blowing out their household water bills…
    It means there is only a slim chance of recycled water being added to the region’s drinking supply before the next state election, due in 2012.
    The Gold Coast desalination plant – the “showpiece” of the water grid – has been closed for repairs after ongoing problems, including rusting pipes.
    Taxpayers are also facing millions of dollars to pay off the scrapped Traveston Crossing Dam proposal, with $265 million already written-off…
    Three new council-owned water entities – Queensland Urban Utilities, Unitywater and Allconnex – took control of water last month under the Government’s reforms.
    Water bills in Brisbane will this year rise 12 per cent, or by $100, to $947 a year.
    Meanwhile, bills on the Gold Coast and in Logan will jump 20 per cent.
    Residents in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area, north of Brisbane, face some of the biggest rises, with bills soaring 66 per cent in Redcliffe, or $552.
    Residents there will be saved from the full impact for the next two years after council stepped in to pay half the rise….
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/high-water-bills-in-queensland-without-a-drop/story-e6freon6-1225905278267

    so Council will use ratespayers’ money to halve the cost of the rise for Redcliffe, and that is called saving the public from the impact of the rise!

    all three entities created at some cost no doubt are owned by the Councils. another funny thing is Allconnex still hasn’t sent out any water bills even tho Rates notices, minus water, were sent out more than a month ago. everyone i’ve spoken to believes the Councils who own Allconnex didn’t want the water bills sent out prior to the election.

    yet here is the Brisbane’s Liberal Mayor promising to spend more ratepayers’ money in the name of “sustainability”:

    ABC: Emma Pollard: Brisbane council wants green power plant
    The Brisbane City Council is seeking a private company or group to build a renewable energy power plant in Queensland.
    The council wants to commit to a 20-year contract for green energy…
    “We want to show leadership to other local governments, to state governments and indeed the federal government that if we’re really sincere about becoming more sustainable, that we need to put in our purchasing policies these things on the table,” he said.”We need to help the industry get going.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/24/2992287.htm?section=business

    ABC Nightlife with Tony Delroy last nite: the 11pm news included the Mayor’s public-funded solar energy plant story, followed by Tim Thwaites on “renewable energy” being the next really big thing, and Jen Rosenberg during “what the papers say” on SMH/Ben Cubby article about “dubious” Uni of Montana CO2 uptake “story”:

    25 Aug: SMH: Ben Cubby: Declining trees spell gloom for planet
    A global study, published in the journal Science, shows that the amount of carbon dioxide being soaked up by the world’s forests in the past decade has declined, reversing a 20-year trend.
    It diminishes hopes that global warming can be seriously slowed down by the mass planting of trees in carbon sinks…
    The study found that in some areas of the world, higher temperatures had driven more plant growth. But these gains have been cancelled out by drier conditions in rainforests, leading to the overall decline in total amount of CO2 the forests are soaking up.
    The findings reinforce work being done at the Australian Bureau of Rural Sciences, which is researching how much carbon can be stored on a long-term basis in the landscape…
    ”There is no single silver bullet answer to this, but one of the partial solutions is the protection of old-growth forests, which store a lot of CO2, and the replanting of those that have been removed,” said Professor Andy Pitman, the co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW.
    ”This doesn’t actually get to the heart of the problem though, which is rising CO2 emissions from human activity.”..
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/declining-trees-spell-gloom-for-planet-20100824-13qfn.html

    maurice newman, u r a joke.

    00

  • #
    pat

    finally, here’s the absurd ‘green’ analysis of the election by ross gittins/SMH and how a carbon dioxide tax will save the Australian economy!!!!

    25 Aug: SMH: Ross Gittins: Revolution of the thinking voter turns politics green
    Those figures make it seem as though all the Greens’ additional votes came from Labor. In truth, they show only the Coalition’s net gain in votes, concealing those votes it too lost to the Greens…
    So unattractive was the choice the main parties offered that I’m sure people voted Greens for various reasons. But no doubt concern about lack of ”real action” on climate change was the most prominent. Consider the way people concerned about global warming – still a majority of voters – were dudded by the two main parties. Both went to the last election promising to introduce (similar) emissions trading schemes; both went to this election promising not to introduce such schemes…
    There’s no substitute for a government with a logically consistent set of policies (and no reason only one major party should have a monopoly on the desire to save the economy from the ravages of climate change)….
    Second, introduce a price on greenhouse gas emissions. Given the rejection and abandonment of Labor’s carbon pollution reduction scheme, a simple carbon tax – as already proposed by the Greens – may be the best starting place.
    Third, remove existing subsidies to renewable energy that don’t deliver low cost of abatement or help develop a domestic industry. For instance, the present subsidy for photovoltaic solar panels on rooftops has been found to cost $447 per tonne of emissions avoided. As for developing a local industry, the panels are imported…
    Two-party government has reached a sad state when neither side is offering such a sensible – dare I say, rational – approach to our greatest and most pressing economic threat.
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/revolution-of-the-thinking-voter-turns-politics-green-20100824-13qa3.html?autostart=1

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  • #
    Richard S Courtney

    All:

    International ‘carbon trading’ schemes are certain to become corrupt because both the buyer and the seller are payed to lie while there is little if any possibility of monitoring and/or policeing any such scheme. Therefore, corruption is built-in.

    The Mafia would find it difficult to devise a more inherently corrupt operation than carbon trading schemes.

    Richard

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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Richard @ 24

    Richard,

    The carbon trading scheme – is the UN in the loop somewhere? If it is I suspect the trading scheme is another means by which the UN gets its income to pay its people – rather than going to sovereign nations with its begging cup.

    00

  • #
    Richard S Courtney

    Joe Veragio:

    At #20 you refer to the BBC recently reporting on the UK closing its coal mining industry in the 1980s and 1990s and you say:

    I think there point was it would have been better to fund uneconomic mines, rather than ‘waste’ it on benefits, which is easy to say with hindsight, but still probly a load of cobblers anyway.

    Ah, the old “uneconomic tail” ploy used by the Thatcher government to close the mines. Oh yes, I remember it well (I was the Vice President of the British Association of Colliery Management during part of that).

    The mines were each successively made “uneconomic” by isolating them as individual profit sources. And a very successful trick that was.

    The modern deep mining methods were batch processes. A mine would develop a region (called a ‘panel’) of the coal seam by digging all the tunnels and installing all the equipment then, after that, it would extract the panel of coal, for example, by retreat mining. When the panel was removed another panel would be developed so it could be extracted. There were good technical and economic reasons for this.

    Importantly, the mine
    (a) produced no coal and had high costs during the development phase so then operated at a loss,
    and
    (b) produced much coal and had low operating costs over the extraction phase so then made large profits,
    so
    (c) was profitable (i.e. its net profits were greater than its total costs) over the complete cycle of the procedure.

    And an Area of the National Coal Board (NCB) had many mines which were operated such that some were in the development phase while others were in the extraction phase.
    Hence, each Area was profitable.

    But the Thatcher government adopted the ‘Ridley Plan’ to close the mines. And the clever part of this was that each deep mine was declared to be an independent profit center that had to make a profit each year.

    A mine that made a loss over a year was said to be “uneconomic” so was shut. This was asserted to be a method to improve the profitability of the coal mining industry by removing “the uneconomic tail” of the coal mining industry.

    But, in reality it was a method to progressively close every deep mine because each mine became “uneconomic” when it was in a development phase. The only way to overcome this would be to double the size of the mine (i.e. all its equipment and staff) so it could be developing one panel while extracting another. Only five mines were capable of such large investment over a year or so while still making an annual profit in each of those years. And those five mines had short futures because they were scheduled to exhaust their seams.

    So, although it is surprising that a report on the BBC is correct, it appears the one you mentioned is. But it is a pity that the BBC failed to accurately report what was happening at the time the “Ridley Plan’ was being imposed.

    Richard

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  • #
    crakar24

    Ed in 4

    The better phrase is “its better to die on your feet than live on your knees”.

    In regards to the scam this is just the tip of the ice berg, the whole eco terrorist cabal is full of scams thats the whole point of course. These (snip) holes create a situation that they know themselves has a finite life so they scam as much money as they can in as many scams as they can (re Al Gore and carbon tax)by the time the rest of us realise the whole thing was just a scam they and the money are long gone only to re emerge when the time is right with the next great moral challenge of our generation along with the fix.

    You can tell who the scammers are, they are the ones making all the money, the simpletons are the true believers that dont make a crackar out of it……and to think we voted a large amount of these into parliament recently. What have we done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • #
    Richard S Courtney

    Louis Hissink:

    At #25 you ask me:

    The carbon trading scheme – is the UN in the loop somewhere?

    The UN is not party to the scheme implemented by the European Union (EU).

    But the EU is not ‘whiter than white’: most years it fails to get the auditors to agree its accounts so its finances are not audited.

    Richard

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  • #
    AC

    Well said Wes @17 We have become a nation of Neville Chamberlains, where ideologically-driven fantasists take control from hard-nosed realists.

    00

  • #
    pat

    no MSM on the above scam, but UK Telegraph has an update on anoher:

    24 Aug: UK Telegraph: Emma Rowley: Crackdown on carbon credit scam
    Carbon credit trading is to be subject to reverse value-added tax (VAT) charges in a bid to prevent fraud
    Last year, Europol, the cross-border police force, said that carbon trading fraudsters may have accounted for up to 90pc of all market activity in some European countries, with criminals mainly from Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland pocketing an estimated €5bn (£4.1bn).
    Figures from New Energy Finance showed the value of the global market fell from $38bn in the second quarter of last year to $30bn in the three months to the end of September after several countries cracked down…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/7960622/Crackdown-on-carbon-credit-scam.html

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  • #
    John Brookes

    Yes, the most depressing thing about Labor’s CPRS was that we didn’t have to reduce our emissions, we could buy permits from elsewhere. I think that at least for the first 10 years of an ETS the permits should not be traded internationally – it will certainly lead to corruption.

    No solution which does not involve the developed nations reducing their emissions (and the developing ones too….) will be of any use.

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  • #
    Ross

    John @ 31. Offsetting is at the base of all these schemes. Where I live we have a taxi company going around saying they are the only carbon neutral taxi company in the country. How stupid is that ?

    00

  • #
    Mark D.

    Wes George @ 17:

    The best possible government today is one that can pass no new laws – no big redistributions schemes, no great big new taxes, no new ministries for the latest fad,

    ……. Australia the world wouldn’t miss a beat.

    Frigging brilliant! (I hope you don’t mind the paraphrase)

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  • #
    pat

    who the hell is david Fogarty?

    first link is strictly a reuters-generated piece with no “experts” blah blah:

    24 Aug: Reuters Africa: Energy & Oil section: DAVID FOGARTY: Q+A-Why Australia needs a price on carbon
    SINGAPORE, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Australia is the world’s top
    exporter of coal which generates more than 80 percent of its
    power, transports most goods by road and cars clog its cities…
    That could change. Analysts say a minority Labor government
    will face increased pressure from independents and the Greens, who won significant voter support in Aug 21 polls, to push through tougher climate policies. Here are some questions and answers on tackling Australia’s
    greenhouse gas emissions:…
    The projected impact of climate change on Australia also
    worries many. Rising sea levels, greater extremes of droughts and floods, higher temperatures, more intense bushfires, water shortages, and warmer and more acidic oceans in coming decades all point to a tougher future. WHAT HAS THE GOVERNMENT DONE SO FAR? Not much…
    IS A CARBON PRICE BEST? Yes.
    http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFSGE6640C020100824

    here we have BUSINESSES & INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS DEMANDING A PRICE ON CO2, and the old lie about the public punishing Labor cos they didn’t pass the ETS:

    24 Aug: Reuters: Analysis: Australia’s “green” poll may accelerate climate action
    By Michael Perry and DAVID FOGARTY
    SYDNEY/SINGAPORE
    Businesses like power retailer AGL and leading electricity provider Origin Energy have repeatedly said they need regulatory clarity on carbon pricing as they look to invest billions of dollars in energy infrastructure…
    “The election provides the Greens with a clear legitimacy… and we would expect the Greens to immediately push for stronger action on climate change,” said Martijn Wilder, global head of Baker & McKenzie’s climate change practice…
    The delay (on ETS) angered voters who had elected Labor in 2007 on a platform of climate change action, and Gillard has since said she believes a markets-based carbon price is inevitable..
    “We think there are grounds to fast track the CPRS discussion and in fact that is what we want to see,” said Nathan Fabian, Chief Executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change, which represents institutional investors with total funds under management of approximately $600 billion.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67N1PH20100824

    and here comes BIG OIL, and BIG BILL getting further into the CO2 market:

    24 Aug: Indonesia project boosts global forest CO2 market
    By DAVID FOGARTY and Sunanda Creagh
    The project has earned the first-ever approval of an accounting method for measuring the reduction in carbon emissions under REDD and is being developed by InfiniteEARTH, with funding from Shell, Gazprom Market and Trading and the Clinton Foundation…
    http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFSGE67N0D920100824?sp=true

    thought BIG EVERYTHING was on the side of the sceptics!!!

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    Jaymez

    This is exactly why none of the promoters of an ETS actually explain how it will work to the public. If they did, the public would realise how easily an ETS is rorted. All the ETS supporters have done is to imply an ETS will lead to reduced emissions without explaining the mechanisms.

    If we must have a carbon price without evidence that CO2 emissions cause catastrophic warming, then at least make it a carbon tax. This would effectively become a production tax. At the same time we would need to add an import tax so that imported goods arriving from countries which do not have a carbon tax do not get an artificial competitive advantage. Without an import tax we would destroy our economy and increase foreign debt. (China, India, Russia, most of Asia would love that).

    Of course to apply an import tax we would have to rewrite just about every trade agreement we have with trade organisations and trading partners. Of course this hasn’t been mentioned in the debate either.

    All of this makes Rudd’s haste to rush into a CPRS before Copenhagen look even more stupid and off course he was strongly supported by the current ALP leadership.

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    Macha

    Jo, you have put the focus succinctly where it needs to be! To often the talk from CAGW is the line ‘better to be safe than sorry” or “it can’t hurt to try” or “lets at least something”, etc.

    This is EXACTLY why we should proceed carefully. We are learning the 6C rise per double is now maybe 1C. Of that, it may be masked by feedbacks to the tune of 2-6C. The latest Roy Spencer ocean temps show a 4.5C rise from 2008-2010, then a 2C fall since Jan2010, and pretty damn falt since 2002 overall.

    You get back what you create. This geoengineering is too scary for me (seeding, aerosols, etc). The likes of Bill Gates and Richard branson may not know whaat their big money may potentially do to us or the planet. Eg Nice idea from CSIRO went wrong with the cane toads didn;t it? remember why they were deemed to be needed in the first place? recall arguments against doing nothing now versus waiting a bit?

    The concept of trading on others INTENTIONS is bad policy. Corruption at tits best.It sets up the exact scenarios that INCREASE production of an item was intended to be eliminated or reduced?!

    No trades please!. If its best to reduce whatever, then simply put a rpice and pay for its use – either directly or by sliding scale ie. extreme users pay more per unit price. W edo it for fuel now. The saudies pay ~40c per litre, we pay $1.20. Why not pick on cigarettes or alcohol? Hey – pay me to NOT smoke or NOT take drugs! I’ll be in the queue lickety-split!

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    Bulldust

    Mark D. & Wes George:

    This is why I can’t understand peoples’ resistance to proportional representation in Government. The Netherlands has had this since, like, forever (at least since I was a kid) and you always have to form a coalition of at least two parties to get a majority in the lower house.

    As a consequence policies have to be watered down to the point where dramatic change is highly unlikely. This provides for a very stable Government IMO. Politicians don’t like this, of course, because it wrests power away from them.

    This graph shows the parliament representation for the last few decades:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dutchparlseats2.png

    Read more on Dutch politics here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_the_Netherlands

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    allen mcmahon

    Michael Wara’s presents an interesting summation of the carbon trading market

    “…the CDM has primarily proffered an exchange of CO2 reductions in the developed
    world for reductions of various non-CO2 gases in the developing world. Furthermore,
    because the price paid for reductions has become tied to the major developed world
    cap and trade market, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (“ETS”), a
    CO2 only market, the price paid is between 10 and 100 times greater than the cost of
    most of these reductions…The CDM is neither functioning well as a market for
    emissions reductions nor is it a successful subsidy. As a result, it is creating skewed
    but powerful political institutions and interest groups whose interests are not aligned
    with the ultimate goals of either the UNFCCC or the Kyoto Protocol…The CDM fails
    as a market because it has animated accounting tricks that allow participants to
    manufacture CERs at little or no cost. It fails as a subsidy because the developed
    world has had to purchase these emissions reductions at an extremely high premium
    that bears no relation to their cost. The CDM, even as it is supplying CERs to
    developed world parties to the Kyoto Protocol at prices that are less than they would
    otherwise have to pay, is an excessive subsidy that represents a massive waste of
    developed world resources.”

    Wara,M “Is the global carbon market working” Nature, vol 445,2007

    With regard to HFC-23 he notes that double the profit is made from CERs than from the sale of HFC-22.

    UNITED NATIONS – An obscure U.N. board that oversees a $2.7 billion market intended to cut heat-trapping gases has agreed to take steps that could lead to it eventually reining in what European and U.S. environmentalists are calling a huge scam.

    At a meeting this week that ended Friday, the executive board of the U.N.’s Clean Development Mechanism said that five chemical plants in China would no longer qualify for funding as so-called carbon offset credits until the environmentalists’ claims can be further investigated.

    However an investigation by the FT has shown that the investors have simply shifted their
    focus to nitrogen oxides (NOx), another potent greenhouse gas, 310 times more
    powerful than C02.

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    cementafriend

    Richard Courtney 26. I respect your point of view but I have a different perspective on the NCB in England. Coal could have been landed at Northfleet in Kent for one third the cost of NCB coal brought in by rail. Maybe some mines would be viable but in the long run progress of industry and the country depends on economic efficiency. The High costs,politics and bad management has ruined the cement industry in UK. I believe most is now foreign owned. Northfleet has closed.
    High cost power from windmills that do not work most of the time and need standby thermal power is not going to save the country. Singapore has no natural resources but has one of the highest GDP/capita. They do not waste money on “green” energy. If you want money for the environment or leisure you have to first earn it by being efficient and ensuring that capital investment gets the best return over its life time.
    You (Richard) may ask Jo for my email address. I would be happy to correspond directly.

    Keep Strong

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    Nickle

    Yeah, that’s a pretty bad scheme.

    AGW is still real and the pollution needs to be reduced, but not with this kind of method.

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    Baa Humbug

    Bulldust MarkD and Wes

    Do you find it funny how we here in Oz have been tauting the great stable democracy of ours for ever since I can remember, but all of a sudden we’re told our syatem needs fixing.
    And why does it need fixing? Supposedly because we’ve had a govt. that butchered it’s mandate, and the alternative (T Abbott) is really not well know thus far.

    As far as I’m concerned, the Oz system has served us very very well for generations, and I wouldn’t stuff around with it without some very very careful thought.
    There are lots of examples of “bad” democracy out there (Italy, Japan, Russia etc) I wouldn’t hurtle Australia down the same path in a hurry.

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    Baa Humbug

    Nickle: #40
    August 25th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Just wanted to correct your spelling mistake…your sentence should read…

    AGW is still real bullchit and the but real pollution needs to be reduced, but not with this kind of method.

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    John Trigge

    Having recently installed a solar power system, purely for the economic benefits of the feed-in tariff, I could now run a DC power supply overnight to feed into my inverter and then to the grid; the cost of doing so would be more than offset by the feed-in tariff.

    As there is no timestamp on the power I am sending back to the grid, how would the powers-that-be know that I was doing this. And, if I can think of rorting the system like this, many others will as well. I am NOT doing it, but others may.

    How large an organisation needs to be set up and paid for from our taxes to ensure that small rorts like this do not succeed?

    Spain has already seen people using diesel generators overnight and receiving the feed-in tariff.

    I wonder if I could get a green loan to impliment this in every solar=powered home?

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    MadJak

    Bulldust:
    August 25th, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    why I can’t understand peoples’ resistance to proportional representation in Government

    Uhmm, I think the short answer to that would be because our politicians are too self centered and immature to negotiate in the interests of the common good, IMHO.

    Whilst technically speaking proportional representation does more adequately reflect the views of the people, there are some views that really shouldn’t be sponsored by the taxpayer, like well, maybe the public services union for example.

    Probably a bad example, but here goes…

    New Zealand has had minority Governments since MMP was introduced(?). Now with MMP, if a party got 5% of the vote, they got a seat in parliament from their list (as well as any seats they won at the local level). In theory this is a good thing as it allows parties to get people into cabinet who know their stuff but aren’t former used car salesmmen. But in reality new zealand ended up with the following sorts of examples:
    1) A Green MP who needed a tresspass order lifted on parliament buildings to allow her to be sworn into parliament
    2) Another green example- two MPs flew over to Melbourne to get involved in the S11 protests.

    This was even though no-one voted for the candidates. And yes they got re-elected a couple of times -again even though no-one voted for them.

    Rereke – remember the quote from when NZ got it’s first hung parliament under MMP – with Winston First, I mean New Zealand first which took 6 weeks for the negotiations to take place? Something along the lines of while some people are fighting over who was on top and something else about where the country was sleeping? It’s starting to look like that over here today.

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    J.Hansford

    CO2 is not pollution…. Just thought I’d state the obvious, in case it is ever lost in the babble….;-)

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    Tel

    This is why I can’t understand peoples’ resistance to proportional representation in Government. The Netherlands has had this since, like, forever (at least since I was a kid) and you always have to form a coalition of at least two parties to get a majority in the lower house.

    As a consequence policies have to be watered down to the point where dramatic change is highly unlikely. This provides for a very stable Government IMO. Politicians don’t like this, of course, because it wrests power away from them.

    We already have proportional representation in Australia, it just happens to be in the Senate with power of review rather than in the lower house with executive power. Rest assured that no party will achieve majority control of the Senate for quite some time. Executive power is for the purpose of making simple decisions quickly, power of legislative review is for the purpose of making complex decisions slowly. Proportional representation always slows things down, which is a good idea with new legislation, but a bad idea with day-to-day operations.

    If parliament is constantly arguing, never makes a decision, then power silently slides across to the civil “service”, to various committee leaders and to the heads of regulatory departments. These unelected power brokers get to do whatever they like while the main parliament is in such a tangle that no one is available to kick the civil “servants” into line. The actual executive quorum for an operational Australian Federal Government is quite small (as Whitlam demonstrated in his early days of office) — four people if I remember rightly, maybe five.

    It’s a balance between giving politicians enough power that they have no excuses to dodge the blame when they screw something up, vs giving them too much power so the inevitable screw-ups become unrecoverable.

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    Richard S Courtney

    Cemetafriend:

    At #39 you assert to me:

    Richard Courtney 26. I respect your point of view but I have a different perspective on the NCB in England. Coal could have been landed at Northfleet in Kent for one third the cost of NCB coal brought in by rail.

    Sorry, but it was imported. Indeed, not only at Northfleet.

    There are two issues that you ignore.

    Firstly, the spot price of coal is almost always cheap but a constant and reliable supply requires contracts that are more expensive. A small industrial plant (e.g. a cement works) may be able to operate by spot buying and stockpiling to prevent problems from price volatility, but a large power station could not.

    Indeed, Alcan had an aluminium near to a coal import port but had to shut the smelter when its supply of reliably cheap UK coal was stopped because the UK mines were shut.

    Secondly, the major coal-fired power stations were built near the UK coal fields. Transport of fuel from the mines was cheap. But trasport of imported coal had additional transport and handling costs so UK coal was cheaper for them than imported coal. They now mostly operate using imported coal at higher cost.

    If you want to email me about this history then please do at
    RichardSCourtney@aol.com
    but my replies will be intermittent because I leave tomorrow and will be travelling overseas probably until the end of September.

    Richard

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    Sounds sort of fine in intent except that paying people to not do something they were-going-to-do depends on knowing the future (and reminds us of a process known as extortion).

    Cap and Trade takes it one step further: it pays people to not do something they weren’t doing in the first place and had no real intention of ever doing.

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    3x2

    john of sunbury:
    August 25th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    …I can only imagine how I would react if it was actually my money being wasted to make things worse in this bizarre imaginary market…

    Now John, are you sitting down? I have some really bad news for you….

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    george

    Apologies if it`s been posted on this site previously, but here`s another take on the GHG “virtual commodity” trading method;

    http://citizensclimatelobby.org/files/Conning-the-Climate.pdf

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    pattoh

    Perhaps if the government will pay me for the grid returned power from a small domestic solar array they might be generous enough to pay me to put the Glyphosate away & sequester some carbon out in my 1/4 acre weed patch. I know I’d sleep better at night in the knowlege that my milk thisle is not only feeding the ringnecks, nourishing the bees but also offsetting a few politician’s air travel.

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    Louis Hissink

    Tel:

    “it’s a balance between giving politicians enough power that they have no excuses to dodge the blame when they screw something up, vs giving them too much power so the inevitable screw-ups become unrecoverable.”

    And I am Dutch. :-)

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    Len

    If you want to know more about the Challenge of Climate Change the Social Justice Department of the Uniting Church are running a programme called Sustainable September 2010 in WA. The Rev Marion Millin and Elaine Ledgerwood have produced four orders of service for September. Other misguided prsenters include Rev Evan Pedrick, (Anglican), Rosemary Hudson Miller and the Rev Neville Watson. The kids don’t miss out, The Rev Chris Bedding (Anglican) has prepared a specifically designed program for the primary school kids. My pastor thankfully put the papers in the bin. So all you Methodists, Congregationalists and Presbyterians get along to the Uniting Churches and challenge the hoax.They base their premises on 2006 data.

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    hide the decline

    Len@53

    Sorry mate I can’t make it to WA for that event. I have a morally higher event to attend; it’s an arse kicking competition where only one-legged people can enter as contestants. If betting is allowed it could be a bonanza !!!!!!

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    elsie

    I love the brochure given to New Zealand people from Hon Dr Nick Smith – Minister for Climate Change Issues about their ETS. It says, “Emitters will have to pay a price,” but goes on to say, “Some may pass on costs to customers.”

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    Ross

    If you twist and wriggle enough with your words a warmist can make a positive out of any situation

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7310/full/4661023b.html

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    Ross

    A bit off topic but Jo prompted a discussion about peer review and science publications recently. This article about the BP oil spill and the actions of bacteria is a good illustration of how the publication “industry” is changing. Look at the bottom of the article and it can be seen that 3 articles on the topic have come out in recent days ( with different answers). This shows that the process is obviously alot faster in some Journals and at least one ( Science , believe it or not ) is not afraid of publishing conflicting views.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/new-bacteria-degrades-oil-faster-in-deep-cold-water-study-2061909.html

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    Royfomr

    It must be really galling for our political masters that their best efforts to save us from Thermageddon are being sullied by dishonest and opportunistic parties.
    Crooks fiddle while Gaia burns!
    Not even the Saints could have predicted the depths to which Sinners would be capable of plunging to.
    Balmy Spanish nights brought to day by generator and grid fed floodlights that interrupted the silicon slumbers
    of plantations of Photo-voltaic transducers.
    The purchase that turned to closure, morphed into vibrant relocation and resulted in a robust and profitable bottom line for the UK steel industry. Who could have forseen that it may have had unwelcome results on the state of the UK while having the opposite effect on the Indian economy?
    Luckily the EU came to its senses, just in time, to salvage the situation so that only one of the countries affected was penalised!
    Phew, a lucky escape there then.
    But let us not over-despair. Thanks, albeit unwittingly, to recent fiscal-shaping policies we now have a plan B.
    If, as is fully allowable by the somewhat generous error bands of climapseudophrenology we, sadly, find ourselves entering a cooling off period, for the odd year or millenia, we have created the industrial infrastructure to geo-engineer the solution.
    Come in number 23!

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    Roy Hogue

    In the biological sciences it’s axiomatic that if there’s something there that can be eaten there will be something there eating it.

    Hmmmm! Could that apply in other domains?

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    elsie

    The latest edition of “Australasian Science” has an article (p.38) titled “Climate Change Or Natural Variability?
    By Robert E. White
    Meteorological records since the 1950s reveal a decrease in rainfall that is consistent with anthropogenic climate change, but a different picture emerges when looking at records since 1900.

    You have to buy the mag’ to see the full article.
    But it shows that if you go from 1950 to now the rainfall seems to fall over eatern states. The long drought accentuated this trend. But the 1950s and 1970s decades were very wet so the comparable decrease ‘appears’ to be very strong.
    However, if the rainfall is taken from 1900 to now an increase is actually observed.
    In fact, from 1900 to now the upward rate of rainfall was 6.33mm/decade.
    The Muray-Darling basin shows from 1900 (and this includes the Federation drought and the last one) increasing as much as 15-20mm/decade.
    “Starting at the 1950s or 1970s it is…disingenuous then to infer that these changes are caused by human activities.”
    White goes on to say what I have said here about the complexity of trying to model data from different spatial points and using assumptions.
    He quotes Niels Bohr, “Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future.”

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    JaniePo

    THE REAL AGENDA OF “THE GREENS”…….

    http://www.rightjab.observationdeck.org/?p=3945

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Richard S Courtney: #28

    The UN is not party to the scheme implemented by the European Union (EU).

    The UN, as the sponsor of the Kyoto Protocol, defines the frameworks to be used for the various mechanisms, including the Clean Development Mechanism – one of the worst thought-out global schemes in history (not the worst though – that accolade goes to REDD, but that is another story).

    Countries can then implement these frameworks, flavoured to suit their own individual political philosophy and situation. For this purpose, the EU has decided to treat itself as a “country” and to provide systems to which all of the member countries interface in their own way. The national carbon registers thus form a hierarchy, Country level – EU – UN.

    Because of country differences, and because of differences in status on UN membership; and the adoption of the Euro, or not; and the admittance of non-EU countries to the scheme (Iceland for example); the whole package is rife for fraud.

    I am currently working on several examples, and following multiple threads. And each of them stems ultimately from ineptitude in the UN.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    MadJak: #44

    Rereke – remember the quote from when NZ got it’s first hung parliament under MMP – with Winston First, I mean New Zealand first which took 6 weeks for the negotiations to take place?

    Yes, I remember the time, but not the quote you mention – there were so many witty quotes going the rounds.

    The real problem with those coalition negotiations, was that Winston was being Winston-the-politician, and not Winston-the-statesman, and he also had a lot of paying back to do – he has a prodigious memory, and never forgets a slight or slur.

    Once in power, he did a very good job as Minister of Racing.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    elsie: #60

    You have misunderstood the message here:

    Meteorological records since the 1950s reveal a decrease in rainfall that is consistent with anthropogenic climate change

    Is actually quite unequivocal, and since most of the population were born around or following 1950, this is the most relevant message.

    However, if the rainfall is taken from 1900 to now an increase is actually observed.

    This is because anybody born before 1950 is old and cold, and it was their presence that masked the warming trend in the first half of the century.

    See, it is easy when you look at things in the “right” way. ……. It has been a long day, and the world gets a new one in an hour and a half. ;-)

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    Tel

    He quotes Niels Bohr, “Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future.”

    Climate science tends to run then anti-Bohr, “Prediction is very easy, especially of the past”.

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    DougS

    john of sunbury:
    August 25th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    “…But I am wondering about the mood in Europe. Are they still largely duped by this con;…”

    I would say that 99.99% aren’t even aware that cons like this are happening – I certainly didn’t and I’m keenly interested in all things relating to the great AGW scam!

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    [...] saisi de l’affaire, WattsUpWithThat bien sûr, mais à mon avis, le plus percutant est celui de Joanne Nova dont je vais traduire ici une grande partie [...]

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    kae

    pat:
    August 25th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Pat, I live in the Lockyer Valley Regional Council area.
    I received my first now quarterly water account last week. $80 – I have trickle feed into a tank and it also collects rainwater. My usual annual water account was under $300, with $250 being infrastructure and the rest for the actual water I use.
    There has been a bit of rain this quarter, quite a bit, and this account is low compared to previous ones, but about the same price if spread over a year. I am bracing myself for shocks if my water use increases due to low rainfall.
    At $70 per quarter the price of supply has increased by $50 or 20%.

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    kae

    Richard S Courtney:
    August 25th, 2010 at 10:52 am @ 26

    Sounds like how the Qld State Government shut down the branch railways – deeming them unprofitable.

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    [...] saisi de l’affaire, WattsUpWithThat bien sûr, mais à mon avis, le plus percutant est celui de Joanne Nova dont je vais traduire ici une grande partie [...]

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    Brian H

    #67, Doug S;
    The ‘con’ to which he refers is carbon trading as a concept, I think. There is no regime or system that could make it work without an all-knowing analyst of both current and planned emissions.

    For an interesting analysis of the cost-benefit breakdown of trading and all other options, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21494 and http://withouthotair.com/download.html (PDF of the book reviewed in the first linked site).

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