Rio Earth Summit "doomed to fail"


New Scientist analyses 20 years of climate inaction since the original Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, blaming “government systems” for the failure. Just the incentive we need to “suspend the democratic process” in order to save the planet, perhaps, as extremist Clive Hamilton has suggested.

Climate change has already been airbrushed out of the Rio 2012 summit, and adding this to the embarrassing failures in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban, it’s pretty clear that the appetite for tackling climate change has all but disappeared. Not surprising really when the economies of Europe and the US are on shaky ground.

And people are slowly waking up to the political machinations and interference which have corrupted the supposedly impartial and unbiased investigation and reporting of climate science. Combine all these factors and further failure is a foregone conclusion:

We can forget about fixing the planet’s ecosystems and climate until we have fixed government systems, a panel of leading international environmental scientists declared in London on Friday. The solution, they said, may not lie with governments at all.

“We are disillusioned. The current political system is broken,” said Bob Watson, the UK government’s chief environmental science advisor, who chaired the meeting.

The panel, all winners of the prestigious Blue Planet prize, often seen as the Nobel prize for environmental science, were meeting to prepare a statement for the Earth Summit 2012, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June – 20 years after the original Earth Summit in that city.

The world has wasted the intervening years, the group said. Ecosystems are disappearing ever faster, the world is still warming, and two 1992 treaties, on climate change and species loss, have failed to achieve their aims. Governments, the group said, were largely to blame.

“Last time in Rio we had an unreasonable faith in governments. Since then we’ve lost our innocence in believing government was wise and benevolent and far-sighted. That’s been blown completely out of the water,” said Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, a non-profit organisation based in London.

“Essentially nothing has changed in 20 years. We are not remotely on a course to be sustainable,” Watson said.

“What’s most discouraging is a loss of feeling that government would help us,” said Harold Mooney, a veteran biologist from Stanford University.

No one held out much hope that the forthcoming summit would usher in a new era. Politicians do not seem interested. The 1992 summit lasted two weeks, attracted most of the world’s leaders and garnered huge headlines. But this year’s event will last just three days, and so far China’s president Hu Jintao is the only head of state scheduled to attend. 

Never mind. I’m sure the delegates will have a wonderful time at someone else’s expense. And hints at “changing the system” sneak in:

We do believe that the political system can be reformed, and that there will be technical solutions. But time is not on our side,” Watson said. (source)

Wonder what that means…

UN: sustainability an "easier sell" than climate change

"I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it"

As Basil Fawlty said, “Don’t mention the war”, or in this case, climate change. Who’d have thought it? Climate change has been good to the UN over the past few decades, delivering the global organisation influence and power well beyond its wildest dreams, and far in excess of what it deserves.

It has also provided a healthy revenue stream to the UN, allowing its delegates to enjoy the high life, swanning around the globe to attend hundreds of climate talk-fests, almost invariably in exotic, luxury locations. And all paid for by someone else: you.

But the gravy train is coming off the rails at alarming speed. Watts Up With That reported yesterday that the US public rate “global warming” dead last in a list of priorities for 2012, after campaign finance, lobbyist influence, moral breakdown, and even general environmental issues! So much for the greatest challenge since the dawn of time.

Where the US goes, the rest of the world generally follows, so the UN is beginning, subtly, to hedge its bets. It has already flagged “biodiversity” as the next great cash cow (see here), but now it is almost embarrassed to mention climate change for fear of the world shrugging its collective shoulders:

Representatives from around the world gather in Rio in June to try to hammer out goals for sustainable development at a U.N. conference designed to avoid being tripped up by the intractable issue of climate change.

But there is concern in the lead-up to the conference, known as Rio+20 or the Earth Summit, that it risks ending up as all talk and little action.

In an attempt to avoid too much confrontation, the conference will focus not on climate change but on sustainable development – making sure economies can grow now without endangering resources and the environment for future generations.

U.N. conferences over the past decade have begun with high hopes for agreements to compel nations to cut climate-warming emissions and help adapt to a hotter world, but they often ended with disappointingly modest results. That was the case last year in the global climate change summit in Durban, South Africa. Participants at that meeting agreed to forge a new deal by 2015 that would go into force by 2020.

The “sustainable” branding for this year’s summit, rather than climate, is by design, said Ambassador Andre Correa do Lago, who headed Brazil’s delegation to the U.N. climate talks in Durban and will be a chief negotiator for Brazil in Rio.

Sustainable development is an easier sell globally than climate change, even though sustainable development is a way of tackling global warming and other environmental issues, he said. (source)

“An easier sell globally than climate change.” I think that tells us all we need to know.

Idiotic Comment of the Day: Ban Ki-moon


The UN Moonbat is on cracking form today in Durban, trying to scare world leaders (most of whom are preoccupied with keeping their economies solvent) into taking utterly futile and eye-wateringly expensive action on climate change. Fortunately, there is little chance of that:

“It would be difficult to overstate the gravity of this moment,” Mr Ban said overnight at the start of a four-day meeting of the world’s environment ministers.

But somehow, Moonbat succeeds:

Without exaggeration, we can say: the future of our planet is at stake – people’s lives, the health of the global economy, the very survival of some nations.

Without exaggeration, that’s bullish*t. I humbly suggest that Mr Ban take a cold shower and read the Climategate 2.0 emails. He might learn something.


Rich nations "give up" on climate deal as GHGs reach record levels

The ABC thinks particulates and toxins are GHGs…

Greenhouse gases are continuing their steady rise, and the climate is stubbornly refusing to play the game:

The amount of global warming-causing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose to a new high in 2010 and the rate of increase has accelerated, the UN weather agency said on Monday.

Levels of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas and major contributor to climate change – rose by 2.3 parts per million between 2009 and 2010, higher than the average for the past decade of 2.0 parts per million, a new report by the World Meteorological Organisation found.

“The atmospheric burden of greenhouse gases due to human activities has yet again reached record levels since pre-industrial time,” said WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud. (source)

No emotive language there. Despite the fact that emissions have risen significantly over the last decade or so, the increase in global temperature has slowed significantly. This alone is sufficient to demonstrate that the hypothesis of “dangerous global warming” is false. As Bob Carter explained in a recent email exchange:

The greenhouse hypothesis, which is almost never formulated correctly in the public discussion, but is “That human carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming”. 

Given that the mixing time of the atmosphere is ~1 yr, and that physical radiative effects are instantaneous, a 10 year period is plenty of time to test that hypothesis. And the data that I cited invalidate it.

Note that that DOESN’T mean that humans have no effect on global temperature, because we know they do. What is indicated is that that effect is small, and for the time being lost in the noise of natural variation of the climate system.

So it is fortunate, then, that there is no chance of any global agreement on reducing emissions in the near future, because it would be a complete and utter waste of time and money. Headline of the day, in The Guardian, is not exactly what their moonbattish environmental staff would like to be writing a few days before Durban:

“Rich nations give up on climate treaty until 2020”

Governments of the world’s richest countries have given up on forging a new treaty on climate change to take effect this decade, with potentially disastrous consequences for the environment through global warming.

Ahead of critical talks starting next week, most of the world’s leading economies now privately admit that no new global climate agreement will be reached before 2016 at the earliest, and that even if it were negotiated by then, they would stipulate it could not come into force until 2020.

The eight-year delay is the worst contemplated by world governments during 20 years of tortuous negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions, and comes despite intensifying warnings from scientists and economists about the rapidly increasing dangers of putting off prompt action.

After the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009 ended amid scenes of chaos, governments pledged to try to sign a new treaty in 2012. The date is critical, because next year marks the expiry of the current provisions of the Kyoto protocol, the only legally binding international agreement to limit emissions.

The UK, European Union, Japan, US and other rich nations are all now united in opting to put off an agreement and the United Nations also appears to accept this. (source)

Hang on a minute, didn’t Julia Gillard sell her carbon tax on the premise that Australia was lagging behind the rest of the world? Ah, that was a lie, wasn’t it? In fact, we are at the bleeding edge of climate madness, with our economy set to haemorrhage billions of dollars over the next forty years thanks to a pointless carbon tax which morphs into an ETS, neither of which will do anything for the climate. What it will do, however, is send thousands of jobs overseas, and funnel your hard-earned taxes to developing countries. Great move.

Barely a month after the carbon tax was passed into law, the chance of any global deal, on which all the highly favourable treasury modelling was based, has evaporated. What was that about the rest of the world following Australia’s lead? Greg? Hello?

The reality is that there is no chance of a “global deal” on anything. With 190-odd countries’ competing interests battling it out, the possibility of reaching an agreement about something as simple as what colour the sky is today is all but impossible.

At least this gives us all some breathing space. The Coalition will repeal the carbon tax in 2013, and a few cold winters in Europe and the US, combined with ever increasing fuel poverty, will finally force their governments to think twice about setting nonsensical renewable energy targets. Politicians will begin to realise that adaptation might be a better way of allocating valuable and scarce resources, rather than mitigation which simply won’t work.

By the way, if you would like to relive some of the dramas of Copenhagen, go here.

Global climate action a distant dream as Kyoto crumbles

No hope

What is the government’s carbon tax modelling based upon? Global trading of emissions by 2016 (see here). What is the chance of that? Zero.

Not only is Kyoto about to fall apart, but the divisions between developed and developing countries as to who should bear the greatest burden of emissions cuts are as wide and unbridgeable as ever:

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres lauded a climate change meeting in Panama as “good progress” this weekend, even as environmental activists warned that the world’s only structure for curbing greenhouse gas emissions appears about to crumble.

The next time diplomats meet, it will be in Durban, South Africa, in December for the year’s final climate change summit. There, countries must finally decide what they have put off for several years: the future of the Kyoto Protocol.

“South Africa is the tipping point in terms of the future of the climate regime,” said Tasneem Essop, international climate policy advocate for the World Wildlife Fund in South Africa. [Just like Copenhagen and Cancun were both the “last chance” for a deal – Ed]

The 1997 treaty requires carbon emission cuts from industrialized countries, and the first phase of the agreement ends in 2012. Developing countries are adamant that a second commitment period is non-negotiable. Moreover, they insist any follow-up should closely hew to the original agreement: Wealthy countries must agree unilaterally to cut steeper emissions, and poorer ones would cut carbon voluntarily after financial assistance from the rich. (source)

The fragility of the global negotiations on climate change only make Labor’s pointless carbon tax seem all the more ridiculous.

Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism "basically a farce"

The UN at work

Why does this not surprise me in the least? Virtually everything remotely connected with the UN is “basically a farce”, but this disaster has been exposed more comprehensively than most. As Nature reports:

Critics have long questioned the usefulness of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which was established under the Kyoto Protocol. It allows rich countries to offset some of their carbon emissions by investing in climate-friendly projects, such as hydroelectric power and wind farms, in developing countries. Verified projects earn certified emission reductions (CERs) — carbon credits that can be bought and sold, and count towards meeting rich nations’ carbon-reduction targets.

But a diplomatic cable published last month by the WikiLeaks website reveals that most of the CDM projects in India should not have been certified because they did not reduce emissions beyond those that would have been achieved without foreign investment. Indian officials have apparently known about the problem for at least two years.

“What has leaked just confirms our view that in its present form the CDM is basically a farce,” says Eva Filzmoser, programme director of CDM Watch, a Brussels-based watchdog organization. The revelations imply that millions of tonnes of claimed reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions are mere phantoms, she says, and potentially cast doubt over the principle of carbon trading. “In the face of these comments it is no wonder that the United States has backed away from emission trading,” Filzmoser says.

[Yet] on the evidence of discussions at the meeting, most of the carbon-offset projects in India fail to meet the CDM requirements set by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The cable also describes the UN’s validation and registration process as “arbitrary”. 

Once again, this kind of revelation demonstrates that climate mitigation policies are nothing more than pointless gimmicks, moving billions of dollars around the globe for minimal or no environmental benefit whatsoever.

Commenter on the article William Eschenbach sums it up:

I love the CDM. It takes money from people in Europe who wouldn’t dream of allowing a hydroelectric dam to be built in their country, and gives it to China to build … of course … hydroelectric dams.

Couldn’t be a better symbol for the whole climate madness.

Read it here.

(h/t Bryan H)

Ban Ki-moon: clueless on climate


Ban ki-Moon has been in Sydney – lucky old us. He gave a speech at Sydney University and was interviewed (worshipped) from various different positions by the ABC, naturally.

One of the key subjects was climate change, and as usual, there was spin and emotional blackmail from the UN chief, claiming on the one hand that “Australia could lead the way” in the fight against climate change [er, if reducing global emissions by 0.075% in a decade is “leading the way”, I’d hate to see the slackers at the back… – Ed] and on the other imploring us to “look into the eyes” of Pacific islanders forced out of their homes by climate change.

Of course, there is no evidence that sea levels are accelerating due to anthropogenic emissions (in fact they have plateaued and recently dropped), but that doesn’t stop the UN chief using it to push his organisation’s political agenda for a global governmental role.

You can’t blame him really, after all, he’s got the IPCC advising him, poor bloke. He had words of advice for “sceptics” (thanks in advance):

“I know, once again, there are the sceptics. Those who say climate change is not real,” he said. 

Wrong. We do not say climate change is not real, we say that climate change happens (duh) but man’s effect on it is small and taxing our economies out of existence won’t make any difference whatsoever. In fact, strong economies are needed to fund the costs of adaptation to climate change whether anthropogenic or natural, rather than pissing trillions of dollars up the wall trying, and failing, to mitigate.

“But the facts are clear: global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, millions of people are suffering today from climate impacts. Climate change is very real.”

It’s that correlation and causation thing again.

He suggested the doubters take a trip to Kiribati.

“Look into the eyes of the young boy who told me: ‘I am afraid to sleep at night’ because of the rising water,” he said.

“Talk with the parents who told me how they stood guard fearing that their children might drown in their own homes when the tide came in.” (source)

Nothing but mawkish emotional blackmail. Sea levels have not accelerated due to industrialisation. They have risen at virtually the same rate for thousands of years. And anyway, Kiribati is growing – the BBC told us so it must be true.

Then there was the usual bull on China, an example to us all whilst at the same time building a new coal fired power station every couple of weeks:

To those who said there was no point in taking action, because other nations were not, Mr Ban pointed to big polluters including China and India.

China had pledged to reduce its carbon pollution by up to 45 per cent in the next decade, he said. (source)

Well, my friends, that is an outright lie. Because they have pledged to do nothing of the kind. I think the Sydney Morning Herald in its agenda-driven editorial haze forgot the most important phrase “carbon intensity”. Which means China’s emissions will continue to rise, but at a slower rate than before. Big deal – their increases will still outstrip Australia’s reductions many, many times over – that is, if they actually manage to achieve that target, which is far from certain.

Smoke and mirrors once again from the UN’s chief alarmist. The airport’s that way…

Denmark's ETS scam

Licence to scam

Any ETS is ripe for fraud and corruption. In December 2009, ACM reported that fraudsters had pocketed an eye-popping €5bn from the European ETS, so it’s little surprise when stories like this come to light. Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for “Climate Action”, wrote in The Australian on Monday that the Cancun “deal” put climate action “back on track”. Apart from the usual warmists’ trick of blaming individual weather events, such as the Moscow fires and Pakistani floods, on climate change when it suits them (despite huge swathes of the planet currently experiencing extreme cold), the article claims that the deal would restore public faith in the UN climate process. Stop laughing. And today, it is revealed that the Danish ETS, the inception of which was presided over by Hedegaard herself as climate and energy minister, was so lax in its background checks that rogue traders scammed 2% of Denmark’s entire GDP in lost taxes:

The Denmark CO2 permit registry was set up with extremely lax rules and regulations, possibly intentionally. In 2007, Hedegaard removed the requirement for identification and in a very short period of time traders figured out the loopholes and started to back up the proverbial truck. How? To put it simply: you could round robin CO2 credits, booking the VAT as a bonus each time.

What is painfully obvious is that more than 1100 of the 1256 (about 88 per cent) of the registered traders listed in their system were illegally set up for fraudulent activity. The traders have since been delisted as the scope of the crime becomes obvious.

The fake but registered traders used made up, unique addresses for their business: in one famous case, a trader was listed as trading out of a parking lot in London. In another, the trader took the name of a dead Pakistani national.

The fraud centred on the use of VAT [value added tax, European equivalent of GST – Ed] as a mechanism to generate real non-taxed cash flow. An international trader would buy VAT free credits from one nation, and then resell them to a VAT added customer in a second nation, pocketing as much as 25 per cent of the cost of the trade as a personal commission. The trader then kept the VAT difference in lieu sending in the VAT to the necessary tax system, effectively arbitraging the VAT system (See, e.g., Cap and Trade; Leaving Las Vegas, “The Hole You’re In”). This trade was coined a “carousel” as the traders would re-export the credits, claiming the VAT only to re-import the credits and reselling them again with a new VAT assigned. They could wash, rinse and repeat booking up to a 25 per cent VAT in the process each time. (source)

But this is par for the course in climate action – emissions trading schemes, solar rebates, wind farm subsidies, you name it. The politicians simply turn a blind eye when the ends justify the means, since “saving the planet” trumps any trifling concerns about fraud. Just more of the same green waste with which we have become so familiar, and with which we will become even more acquainted if a carbon trading scheme is ever established here.

Cancun heading for a train wreck

Climate talks

Could it be worse than Copenhagen? Very possibly, says the UK Telegraph, under the headline ‘Global warming summit heads for failure amid snub by world leaders’:

World leaders have snubbed the next round of international climate change negotiations in Mexico next month amid fears the talks will collapse.

The last United Nations summit on global warming in Copenhagen, at the end of last year, ended in failure and recrimination. More than 100 heads of state turned up hoping to be part of a deal that would “save the world” [ha, ha, my aching sides], but failed to get any legal agreement to stop rising temperatures [or should we say, more accurately: “to redistribute global wealth by forcing developed countries to shut down their economies and pay climate debt to the developing world in order to cut emissions of carbon dioxide which might, but probably won’t, stop rising temperatures, which are in all likelihood part of the planet’s natural climate cycles…”].

This year, they are declining even to attend, instead sending environment ministers and playing down the talks as much as possible.

The process is dogged by a disagreement over the best way to limit the growth in greenhouse gases, which are blamed by scientists for rising temperatures. Environmentalists believe the best approach is a binding treaty that will force all countries to cut carbon emissions. But at the last major meeting before the Cancun summit, held in China last week, delegates were still in dispute.

So, Julia and Greg, just explain to me again why Australia is rushing headlong into a unilateral price on carbon when the rest of the world has no intention of following suit. I’d love to hear the answers.

Read it here.

UN hysteria: disasters "scream for action" on climate


More disgraceful hysteria and uncritical journalism. Just yesterday, James Lee was shot dead after taking hostages at the Discovery Channel, in an attempt to force them to comply with his eco-warrior agenda. Today on Watts Up With That, Thomas Fuller writes in an article entitled “Stop the Hysteria”:

The deluge of catastrophic predictions  regarding global warming and its consequences have reached almost everyone on  the planet, and perhaps unintentionally have replaced Cold War bomb scares as  the primary source of doomsaying.

The messages are well-thought out and prepared  by professional communicators, with disturbing and graphic images of a  post-apocalyptic scenario lifted from Mad Max, and with about as much connection  to reality.

In March of this year, a couple in Argentina shot their two children before  committing suicide over fears of global warming. On Wednesday, in Maryland, James Lee apparently committed ‘suicide by cop’  after taking three hostages in an attempt to force the Discovery Channel to  alter its programming to suit his fears over the environment.

At what point will we call to account those who have preached ‘the end of  the earth as we know it’ to countless people? How many people will be driven to  desperation by those who distort the science? (source)

Yet just hours later we have the ever-responsible Sydney Morning Herald regurgitating precisely the same hysteria from the UN, which doesn’t give a sh*t about people, only about securing its role as a world government by the climate change back door:

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres on Thursday warned that a string of weather calamities showed the deepening urgency to forge a breakthrough deal on global warming this year.

Speaking before some 40 countries were to address finance, an issue that has helped hamstring UN climate talks, Figueres said floods in Pakistan, fires in Russia and other weather disasters had been a shocking wakeup call.

“The news has been screaming that a future of intense, global climate disasters is not the future that we want,” Figueres, newly-appointed executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told reporters.

“Science will show whether and how those events are related to climate change caused by humanity’s greenhouse-gas emissions, but the point is clear: We cannot afford to face escalating disasters of that kind.” (source)

Just read that last sentence: “science will show whether and how those events are” … etc etc. Which correctly states that there is no evidence whatsoever to link them to AGW. But that doesn’t stop the idiotic Figueres from her hysterical pronouncements. And the Moonbat Herald is happy to broadcast them to its gullible readers.

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