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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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 [...]

Australia’s Invisible Energy Trade: better than most and getting even better

Australia  (orange line second from the bottom) has a lower energy intensity of use than many countries (see below for more information). On this graph. Japan is the lowest. The world average is the dark purple line. China is so high it is off the scale.

It’s part of the spin game  that almost every statistic is spun-into-oblivion, and here, thanks to Mike Wilson, is the analysis of why “per capita” statistics are meaningless.

Ross Garnaut (and dozens of others) claim Australia has a high emissions intensity of energy use. Yet Mike Wilson shows below that  Australia’s energy intensity is not just declining, it’s below the world average, and below Canada, South Africa, China and the US.

The Garnaut Review:

“Relative to other OECD countries, Australia’s high emissions are mainly the result of the high emissions intensity of energy use, rather than the high energy intensity of the economy or exceptionally high per capita income. Transport emissions are not dissimilar to those of other developed countries. Australia’s per capita agricultural emissions are among the highest in the world, especially because of the large numbers of sheep and cattle.

The high emissions intensity of energy [...]

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]

[...]