JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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The Skeptics Handbook II

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The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Are dead fish worth more than live person? Could be… Let’s ban fishing too.

Did you know you can change the weather by not eating deep sea fish? Me neither. But apparently fish and other marine life in the high seas contain $148 billion dollars worth of carbon dioxide. (The carbon price used, which includes mitigation costs, is apparently almost $100/tonne — a tad higher than the current EU carbon price of 5 Euro. The “price” was derived from a US govt agency, wouldn’t you know, not the free market.)

The high seas catch is worth a mere $16 billion and is only 1% of all fish caught. But it follows that either hungry people will have to pay a bit more for their fish, or fishermen will switch to take more fish from the low seas. Either that, or hungry people can just eat more rice, right? And it’s not like anyone cares about the protein content of poor people’s diets is it? (Look who made a hyperbolic fuss about a potential 5% reduction in the mineral content of rice by 2050.)

Lets think for a minute about how anyone would make a global oceanic ban work?  Since people only catch deep sea fish for fun, I suppose we  just ask them to [...]

Japan slashes: Forget a 25% cut in CO2 emissions, now the target is a 3% rise!

The UN will not be happy about this. The global movement is falling apart.

Japan, third largest economy in the world, and the land of Kyoto itself, has dumped their ambitious plan to reduce emissions by 25% by 2020. Now they warn that their emissions may rise instead.

Cabinet members said on Friday they had agreed a new target with an updated time frame, under which Japan would seek to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 3.8 per cent by 2020 compared with their level in 2005. Nobuteru Ishihara, the environment minister, is to defend the goal next week when he joins international climate talks in Warsaw.

Japan’s previous target used an earlier and more challenging baseline: 1990, the benchmark year for the Kyoto agreement and a time when Japanese emissions were lower. Compared with that year, Japan said in 2009, it would cut its emissions by one-quarter by 2020.

The new target announced on Friday represents a 3 per cent rise over the same 30-year period – a difference from the previous goal that is about equal to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of Spain.

Read more at the Financial Times

It is being painted as being due to the [...]

The day the Global Warming death spiral began

Let the historic dissection begin. Man-made global warming is a dying market and a zombie science.

The Carbon Capture Report, based in Illinois, tallies up the media stories from the English speaking media on “climate change” daily. Thanks to the tip from Peter Lang, we can see the terminal trend below. The big peak in late 2009 was the double-whammy of Climategate and Copenhagen (aka Hopenhagen). It’s all been downhill since then.

Mentions of “climate change” in news, blogs and tweets dropped suddenly from July 29, 2011

Source: Carbon Capture Report

But something that caught my eye was the drop in mid 2011 (or precisely — July 29, 2011) when media stories fell by half, a step-change fall from which they never recovered.

Media Matters, and Joe Romm make much of of the fact that after Paul Ingrassia (a skeptic) was appointed as Reuters deputy-editor-in-chief news coverage of climate change fell by half.

Media Matters found a 48% decline in climate-change coverage over a six-month period, after Ingrassia joined the agency in 2011.

But Ingrassia started in April 2011 not July. Media Matters compares 6 months before the global fall Oct 2010 – April 2011 — to [...]

Jo Nova in The Australian: Carbon credits market is neither free nor worth anything

Credit to The Australian for printing both points of view. Published as an Op-Ed today.

Carbon credits market is neither free nor worth anything by: Joanne Nova From: The Australian July 31, 2013 12:00AM

THE paradox du jour: people who like free markets don’t want a carbon market, and the people who don’t trust capitalism want emissions trading. So why are socialists fighting for a carbon market? Because this “market” is a bureaucrat’s wet dream.

A free market is the voluntary exchange of goods and services. “Free” means being free to choose to buy or to not buy the product. At the end of a free trade, both parties have something they prefer.

[Those who know what real free markets are know that an emissions trading scheme is not and never can be a free market. The "Carbon-Market" is a market with no commodity, no demand, and no supply. Who needs a "carbon credit"? The government entirely determines both supply and demand.]

A carbon market is a forced market. There is little intrinsic incentive to buy a certificate for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. It says a lot about the voluntary value of a [...]

Banks and trading houses bought two-thirds of carbon permits

During the northern winter, there were more speculators in the carbon market than genuine players.

Those bankers must be very concerned about the environment.

Speculators main buyers in EU carbon auctions -report 17 May 2013

LONDON, May 17 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Banks and trading houses bought more than two thirds of the 138 million carbon permits sold by 25 European governments between Nov. 2012 and Feb. 2013 to help power plants and factories comply with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, an EU Commission report published Friday showed.

Six “credit institutions” and six “investment firms” dominated the 35 auctions held over that period, picking up as much as 80 percent of the allowances sold in January alone, the report said, adding that only one of those companies was eligible to bid on behalf of clients.

http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2378205 paywalled.

Things have changed in the carbon market. From 2005-2012 most allowances were given away free, but now they are being sold at auction. So the period starting Nov 2012 was probably the first sales under the new system. It is expected that the bankers and traders will sell the permits to the power companies in the futures [...]

Amazon River produces monster levels of “pollution”. The dilemma. Should we stop the river?

The mouth of the Amazon is the worst source of “pollution”.

Bad news for fans of The Amazon River. A new study shows that while the Amazon rain forest is the Lungs of The Planet, pulling down gigatonnes of CO2, the river undoes all the good the trees do, and pours all the CO2 back into the sky. Damn that river eh? Lucky it only discharges one fifth of the worlds freshwater.

Apparently most researchers thought bacteria couldn’t digest the tough woody lignin of tree debris fast enough to prevent it getting to the ocean*. Underestimating microbial life seems a common affliction, and we hear was a big surprise that only 5% of the lignin actually ends up reaching the ocean where it might sink to the floor and be sequestered. The rest is broken down by bacteria and released into the air. The clues were there for years that the Amazon was giving off lots more CO2 than people expected, but the consensus was that it “didn’t add up”. So much for that consensus.

Yet another victory for observations over opinions.

Until recently, people believed much of the rain forest’s carbon floated down the Amazon River and ended [...]

Global Carbon Market Hits $176 Billion in 2011

Global Carbon Market trading climbed to $176 billion in 2011 according to the The World Bank, which has just released it’s annual State and Trends of The Carbon Market in 2012. That makes it about the same value as total global wheat production — which supplies about 20% of the calories consumed by the 7 billion people on planet Earth.

The global carbon market disguises itself as an angel against the greedy corporates. Yet it is, itself, a giant corporate playing field. The mainstream media remains largely silent on the “vested interests” represented by this major industry that did not even exist 10 years ago.

Global Carbon Markets are worth billions

Was 2011 the peak of global carbon trading? Looks all downhill from here.

A record number of emissions products were traded in 2011, even though prices of EU carbon permits and international offsets fells well below $10 a tonne late in the year. The prices have fallen, but the volumes have increased. Look out, the average price in 2011 was $18.80US, but the prices in 2012 are  less than half that. It will take a monster increase in volumes in 2012 to keep raising the total market [...]

EU Carbon trading crashes: German bourse closes and Irish end carbon rort

More signs Australia is leaping onto a burning ship as it starts carbon taxing, just as the largest carbon markets are winding up:

(Reuters) – Bavaria’s stock exchange will abandon its carbon emissions certificate trading operations in the EU-traded CO2 market on June 30 after volumes in Europe “plunged to practically zero” in recent months, it said on Tuesday.

The EU’s emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) limits the carbon dioxide emissions of the 27-nation bloc’s factories and power plants and covers nearly half of EU emissions.

EU prices are down 60% over the last 12 months

“Emissions trading will never find its feet again without radical political action,” said Christine Bortenlaenger, the head of the exchange…

[Source: Reuters]

The Borse management claim they were closing because of the fraud and hacking as well as the market downturn:

Skeptics are winning: “the carbon market is dead”

The collapse of the Man-Made Myth continues apace. You may not read headlines as such (at least not in major dailies) but all the signs are there.

People who we never would have imagined speaking against the Big Scare Campaign are now doing so. Key glaciers are not melting and corals are happy. Governments won’t tell you it’s over, but they are behaving that way (the Australian one excepted, due to an election fluke that gave the Greens the balance of power). The Catholic Herald headlined it:  Is the ‘anthropogenic global warming’ consensus on the point of collapse? 

Source Barchart.

The last year of carbon trading in EUR's continues to fall. (Click to enlarge).

Mini update: The carbon market is being referred to as “dead”. Johannes Teyssen, chief executive of Germany’s EON, urged policymakers to make fixes. “Let’s talk real: the ETS is bust, it’s dead,” Mr Teyssen said in Brussels this week, adding: “I don’t know a single person in the world that would invest a dime based on ETS signals.” [full story: Financial Times]. Point Carbon analysts have downgraded the forecast price of carbon credits for the second time in two months as the carbon market [...]

Carbon Price just jumped 30% — It’s not a free market, it’s a fixed charade

A small group of selected rulers just raised a hand, changed the rules, and sent billions of dollars from some people to some others.

This type of arbitrary control over the  carbon market shows why it is a misnomer to call it a “free” market, and why a “market” is the wrong tool to try to use to reduce emissions. CO2 is a universal molecule, found in every walk of life and many inanimate processes. We can’t include them all, and someone somewhere gets to decide which ones count and which ones don’t, and how many of them we are allowed to emit in the first place.

Supply and demand of CO2 emissions are not set by a free market (you know, voluntary and willing participants exchanging things for mutual benefit). The bureaucrats just mandated an illusion of market forces, within a range set by said ‘crats. The price of carbon credits had gotten too painfully low for the rulers and their patrons and fans, so something had to be “done”. They made the carbon caps more stringent. If the price was too high, they would have loosened them (and they admit as much below). This has nothing to do [...]

Carbon Credits reach their true value!

I can hardly let the demise of the Chicago Climate Exchange go by without a note.

Didn’t I point out that if carbon trading was a free market, nobody would pay a cent?

Well, hail the triumph of the free market.

(Yes, a couple of weeks back, when the news came out that the CCX was closing, it did make my day.)

But as Steven Milloy points out the death of the US national carbon market has barely made a mention in the news.

How did the Green press react? Denial:

“[There are] no implications for the EU and UK,” Emilie Mazzacurati, head of carbon research for North America at Point Carbon, told BusinessGreen in an email.

No implications? None? And would they have said that if new markets had blossomed in, say, Japan or Brazil?

The market opened in Nov 2000, and as Milloy notes, with a red carpet future:

The CCX was the brainchild of Northwestern University business professor Richard Sandor, who used $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based left-wing Joyce Foundation to launch the CCX. For his efforts, Time named [...]

Deutsche Bank — A Wunch of Bankers

Carbon credits: Just another excuse to "print money"

… If this was Exxon pushing a PDF promoting skeptical views, it would be on the front page tomorrow. Where are the front page headlines?

“Bankers feed scare-mongering report”

Instead it’s just Deutsche Bank try to save the world their profit line.

Just in case you are missing your daily dose of being spoon fed propaganda by Bankers who want your money, see Climate Spectator Balancing reason and risk, where Deutsche Bank is helping the skeptics by giving us yet another example of just how desperate they are to get carbon trading running.

Q: When will the bankers worry about whales?

(Ans: When they can trade Humpback Credits.)

The good news is we are getting to them, and we are marking the lines they need to jump over. They now admit it looks bad when they denigrate scientists (they finally “get” that they shouldn’t call scientists deniers):

Although the scientific community has already addressed the sceptic arguments in some detail, there is still a public perception that scientists have been dismissive of the sceptic viewpoint,

Watch how they pretend to care about the science (science-schmaltz), [...]

Carbon market chaos strikes again

What a surprise: The free-market-that-is-not-free leaps from one scandal to the next. In a real free market where salesmen sell something real, and buyers buy something they want, people can’t get away with cheating, or not for long.

If someone sold you a bulk carrier of coal, and it turned up empty, you’d notice.

[...]

The carbon market blinks — $130b trainwreck slows

For the last five years the carbon market has been doubling year after year. But in 2009, the exponential growth trajectory paused. Point Carbon issued a report this week estimating that the world wide market in carbon trading in 2009 totalled around $136 billion dollars, which is not much higher than the 2008 figure. After years of living in a rapacious bubble, prices are about 60% below the peaks of 2008, carbon traders are starting to peel out into other commodities, and the sails are looking decidedly flat on the Maxi Yacht known as Carbon-Credits Inc.

The size of the market in gigatons of carbon grew nearly 70% over 2008, but the falling prices meant the same amount of money churned through the system and the total dollars were very similar year on year.

How times have  changed. Back in May 2009, emissions traders were feeling confident that a US market for emissions would be approved. Not surprisingly, the low carbon prices and the non-event of Copenhagen mean that carbon traders are becoming frustrated. Some are even expanding into… markets that are based on real commodities like oil, gas, gold and steel. [Reuters]

[...]

The CommonFascism of Australia

NEWS: PROTEST IN CANBERRA Mon 4th (see below)

It’s Day 43 without food, and Peter Spencer grows weaker. For those who don’t know, Peter Spencer’s farm has been stolen from him by our government through Native Vegetation Legislation — which locked up 80 – 90%  of his entire farm but paid him no compensation. The regrowth on his farm holds “carbon credits” of supposed value to the Commonwealth, yet Peter has been obliged by law to pay the rates on that land-that-holds-these-carbon-credits, and the mortgage for the right to do nothing with this land that really belongs to the Commonwealth. Is this not an extortionate tax?

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has declined all requests to meet Peter.

In a grand failure of journalism, our largest dailies apparently think angry tweeting travelers is more important than that a $10 billion dollars crime, and a life in the balance.

Peter Spencer tried ingenious means to work within the rules. But he has been driven into bankruptcy. The 200 days he spent in court, with all costs associated with just trying to have his case heard, added to the burden. (200 days!) After there was no other route left open to [...]

Subprime carbon is coming

There are people out there who manufacture money from nothing. Literally. The rest of the world has to earn it, but some are in it from the start–where money is created from the ether.

Banking is not a secret but no one tells you how it works… it’s hard to get your head around it, but if everyone understood, some aspects would be outlawed tomorrow (just like they used to be).

Greens and bankers make strange bedfellows. The bankers know where the Greens are coming from, but the Greens need to find out why bankers, “the paper aristocracy”, are so keen to save the planet. It’s an unholy alliance.

[...]

The carbon casino caught with its pants down (again)

Another major carbon auditor goes down.

Norways’ DNV (Det Norse Veritas, “The Norwegian Truth”) was the largest auditor of the infamous CDMs (Clean Development Mechanisms) until it was suspended last December when it was caught selling carbon credits for projects it hadn’t checked. At the time it was so large it had approved fully half of all CDM credits on the market. Its excess workload was transferred to number two auditor, SGS, and shock, this week, SGS has been caught and suspended because it couldn’t prove it’s staff had properly vetted projects either. Indeed it couldn’t show that they were even trained to do that vetting. (Did SGS not see this coming?)

When the West offered money to buy the rights to air-with-slightly-less-carbon-dioxide-than-it-could-have-had, China and India put up their hands and said “Yes please” 900 times. And why wouldn’t they? CDMs are worth about 20% of all emissions trades, which amounted to $126 billion in 2008. Up until the global financial crisis it was doubling annually, like all good ponzi schemes do.

[...]

Climate money: Bigger money moves in

Climate Money is poised to rocket—creating even larger pools of vested interests. Once it starts, how could we unwind trillions of trading rights?

Say hello to the real new force in climate science—banks.

The Shadow of Stratospheric Climate Money. Far north South Australia, Aug 2009.

First Up. Governments Up the Ante.

In the 2008-2009 financial year, Bush threw billions on the table with financial rescues and tax credits, only to be wildly outdone by Obama.

The new funding provisions made since the financial emergency of Sept 2008 are not included in the previous table of climate funds that amounted to $79 billion (so far). It’s difficult to assign the rescue package figures into strict financial years—yet the new numbers are titanic, and step right out of the scales drawn on the past funding graphs.

[...]

Carbon credits: another corrupt currency?

Carbon credits are a form of fiat currency, yet as calls for carbon trading grow, ironically, another fiat currency collapses—destroying life savings, wiping out jobs, and taking down historic institutions overnight. [...]