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7 Signs of the Times

If we are winning this war, we would expect to see signs of retreat, and many signs have crossed my desk recently.

1. The EU abandons the Unilateral Kyoto Agreement

Reuters 14th Sept. Read between the lines, and hidden amongst the rest:

Connie Hedegaard’s comments were delivered alongside a warning that Europe would not automatically sign up again to the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol, the main global deal to tackle climate change.

Hedegaard said progress looked “very difficult” in the run up to global climate talks in Cancun, Mexico in November, and that nobody should expect the EU to sign up to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol unless loopholes are closed and other big players commit.

(Thanks to Benny Pieser)

2. Russia and China have never been fooled by the Big Scare Campaign

The Russian bets that coal mining will be a good deal for 25 years to come. China agrees. I don’t think either of these countries is thinking seriously about paying a carbon price on top.


China to offer Russia US$6-billion loan for 25-year coal supply

The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation said in a statement posted on its website that China last month has agreed to offer Russia US$6 billion in loan in exchange for a 25-year long coal supply, sources reported.

According to the statement, China plans to increase its annual coal import from Russia to 15 million tons in the next five years, and then further to increase to at least 20 million tons in 20 years.

h/t Brian H

3. The lobbyists are going home:


Climate advocates stung by defeat in the Senate are folding one of their big umbrella lobbying groups.

Clean Energy Works, a coalition of 80 environmental, religious, veteran and labor groups, will phase out its operations this fall as Democratic congressional leaders abandon plans for a sweeping bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions.

At its peak, the coalition had 200 field organizers in key states and more than 45 staffers based out of a “war room” in downtown Washington. It is led by Paul Tewes, who ran President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign operations in Iowa and other battleground states.

4. Only half as many people use carbon offsets for their jet travel.

From Bolt: Going off their offsets

More than 90 per cent of passengers who book online through Qantas and Jetstar decline to offset their carbon emissions…

The percentage of people taking up offsets on Jetstar drops to between four per cent and five per cent on long flights and sits in the six per cent to 6.5 per cent range on trans-Tasman flights.

Overall figures at Jetstar have also fallen back from more than 10 per cent since it began its offset scheme in 2007.

4. Al Gore’s team of trained speakers are not so popular

His team will only do 6 talks in Sept 2010 compared to 100 in Sept 2009 (and 193 last October).

From  comments on Tom Nelsons site, one reader claimed that Gores group had “finished their job”.

Sean responded:

Al Gore’s presentations have done their job and the decline in his influence is disturbing a skeptic fantasy??  Gore had a $300 million plan to sell the climate consensus and during the campaign, the number of people skeptical about the climate consensus doubled. The man gets up to $100,000 an appearance but can’t take questions from the audience. Your hero Gore is running scared from free speech…

6. The Environmental Movement is in Retreat. Washington Post

The collapsing crusade for legislation to combat climate change raises a question: Has ever a political movement made so little of so many advantages? Its implosion has continued since “the Cluster of Copenhagen, when world leaders assembled for the single most unproductive and chaotic global gathering ever held.” So says Walter Russell Mead, who has an explanation: Bambi became Godzilla.

That is, a small band of skeptics became the dogmatic establishment. In his Via Meadia blog, Mead, a professor of politics at Bard College and Yale, notes that “the greenest president in American history had the largest congressional majority of any president since Lyndon Johnson,” but the environmentalists’ legislation foundered because they got “on the wrong side of doubt.”

7. Bookings for The Climate Cabaret at Cancun are down by … 80%

Organisers are only expected to attract around 8000 people this year, nothing like the 45,000 circus which was Copenhagen.

Plus Carbon credits are hardly selling for 10c each on the Chicago Climate Exchange. Did I say “short those carbon credits”, back in February 2009?

Don’t party yet

But having said all this, I’ll post the counter-post soon: The Wall of Money (send in your suggestions). There are educational programs, books, seminars, Expos, councils ruling on carbon action plans, and journalists who still call Nobel prize winning scientists dirty names. Here in Australia we have only 9 months before our “traffic light” coalition of  Green-Red-and-Yellow get the green light in the Senate. Once that happens, we are pretty much dependent on Tony Windsor – a man who doesn’t have a computer, unless we get lucky with a freak by-election, and the state of play changes. There is a long way to go.

We have nine months to convince the Australian government that bringing in a carbon trading scheme would be electoral death. That means convincing the voters.  Anyone want to give talks at rotary groups, schools, or scout halls? Maybe we can fill the hole Al’s tired fans have left.

UPDATE (from Comments below)

8 9 10 From Wes George:

8. Penny Wrong is gone. New climate propaganda minister Greg Combet adjusts the goal posts:

“…the coal industry “absolutely” has a future as he pursues his three key policy reform objectives: pursuing renewable energy; energy efficiency; and the development of a carbon price for Australia…

…Mr Combet said he was not in the business of applying the adjective “dirty” to coal. “People will use whatever language they want. But you won’t hear me using it,” he said. “You do not take the back of the axe to the fundamentals of the Australian economy. ”


9. “THE world’s biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, is urging the Gillard government to impose a tax on carbon before any international agreement.

It’s truly a sign of the times when Big Coal decides the political climate is ripe to game. BHP, by feigning reasonableness, can manipulate a weak, eager-to-show results government into a carbon tax lite. Something that helps raises the bar of entry to smaller players and through a complex web of subsidies, tax cuts in other areas, etc, will end up being revenue neutral for the big boys with the silent battlers picking up the tab at the end of the day.. Everyone’s pleased. The business climate is calmed. Planet saved.


10. “World Bank invests record sums in coal”

“…There are roughly 1.6 billion people in developing countries–700 million of whom are in Africa and 550 million in South Asia–who lack access to electricity. Because coal is often cheap and abundant, and the need for electricity is so great, coal plants are going to be built with or without our support.”


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