Monday, March 12, 2007

Kneel Before the Tree God


Brisbane Does 68 Tonnes of Carbon emmissions just for a Laugh...but its ok ...



First there was the Stern report and then the International panel on Climate Change. To the surprise of the greenists , instead of the orthodoxy gathering support, it has been the resistance that has mounted . The main points were dealt with by Martin Livermore ,a week or two ago. The bone of contention is to what extent “Positive Feedback” ,can be posited in framing predictive models . As any positive feedback is necessarily explosive ,its assumption will have a dramatic effect on predictions .The magic spell to enchant the Libertarian marketers into the tepee with the flat earth Liberals, is Carbon Trading. As I have often dealt with some of the problems of the Green faux-apocalypse . I am looking at carbon trading .
At Brisbanes River Festival last September half a million people were celebrating and many of them were a bit right-on about the earth . You might feel then, that the sight of an F1-11 hoving into view, dumping its fuel and setting light to it was not exactly what the planet needed. The dump and burn was the highlight of the evening ,but the good news was that 300 trees had been planted. Theoretically they would soak up the estimated 68 tonnes of Green house gases . What relief ,you can have your carbon cake and eat it .One sacrifice to the Tree god and they can go back to their peculiar hippy swaying motions before the Molochs come out and eat them! I will ring the gong… or can they ?

There are two kinds of carbon trading . The Kyoto protocol kind ,governed by the usual gazillions of highly paid bureau- rats ,and the nifty private sector . These deal with smaller bodies and even private individuals but work with a wide variety of theory and practice.
There are about 30 such organisations responsible for £50 million tonnes . This is not inconsiderable amaaount. London produces about £67,000,000 tonnes including aviation. The companies involved are not deliberately misleading . If Marks and Spencer’s , commit £200,000,000 to go green they damn well want a good image , so the market enforces probity . After all lets not forget , Spain, Portugal and Ireland ,are emitting as if Kyoto does not exist ,and the EU emissions scheme has not effect on the total emissions at all. So much for governments then

Problems with the calculation are fiedish . An air journey’s pollutants are converted into carbon and no-one is agreed on how . In 1999 the IPCC agreed a multiplier of 2.7 but its looks fairly random .Interestingly some of the offset organisations , like Atmosfair , put the figure higher at 3 . Assumptions about the aircrafts occupancy also vary from 100% ,to a more realistic 80% so deciding how much you owe mother earth is tricky. Still surely if you plant a tree that must be somehow a good thing . Well……

Cold play paid to offset the carbon emissions associated with their album “ A rush of blood to the head “,by paying for 10,000 mango tress to be planted in India . Sadly 4000 of the trees died and even if they had lived , in about 100 years they will die , rot ,and yield up the carbon sucked in over a thirty year growing spree . What exactly do we gain then . We feel better, and we impress Gwyneth but otherwise you are relying on there being a lot less pollution in 100 years . Well thats sounds likely doesn’t it ….

Go the alternative ways and you are still in trouble . Wind Turbines, cooking stoves and the like may well not be additional to what was already required . As we are well aware in London, and Islington ,glory grabbing local Politicians are likely to wipe out the additionality by inventing high profile vote grabbing schemes of their own . If the project is so unfeasibly expensive that no-one else would ever take it on Gold Standard, a body trying to apply an industry homogeneity ,will aprove it .How sensible …....


Developing countries see these projects as CO2 -lonialism . By the time they wish to set their own limits ,all the best CO2 offset goodies will have bee taken by the West . This will add much piquancy to the fact we are not letting them develop at all , so as to keep the world nice a lemony fresh for us.

Is the only way forward ,barring the terrifying world government , to cut back on emissions? I`m not so cynical . I`m impressed that these fast moving companies are coming under instant scrutiny from each other and their clients. They generate research , disagreement, and constant assumption testing We are at an early stage in environmental profiling certainly , but this must be the best hope . Governments have already shown themselves to be liars and opportunists , customers are unlikely to put up with this . Clearly a great deal more research needs to be done but I feel confident the planets highest creation will be up to it .

That’s why the Environment is a Conservative Issue not because we like old churches but because we believe in free people trade and markets .The Greens just hate people and that cannot be an answer. Will someone please mention this to David Cameron

29 comments:

Steven_L said...

Don't get me started on the lunatic idea of personal carbon trading. I end up ranting for five paragraphs and ending up sounding like an apocolypic doom-sayer myself.

I'll save you the five paragraphs of rant, but here's my vision of how personal carbon trading will cause the apocolyse:

'He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no-one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is a mans number. His number is 666.' (Revelation 13:16-18)

The number of carbon? Well if you describe a carbon atom in sub-atomic terms it has 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons. It's number is 666.

'And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants mesquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.' (2 Corinthians 11: 14-15)

You see? The greens are all in league with the Devil!

newmania said...

Bloody hell Steven ... you have a diffrent outlook on this don`t you. I wish I`d thought of that its quite wity but I don`t agree I think personal Carbon trading is possibly a good thing
I `m scpetical but there are powerful forces with vested interest in playing down the porblem as well

Yasamin said...

aww isnt that pretty? ;p

Steven_L said...

They'll just keep on reducing the amount of carbon you're allowed every year.

In the end little old ladies will be flogging off their carbon when it arrives to pay the council tax, then freezing to death come winter when they have to buy it back at exhorbitant rates from the gas company.

Next thing you know they'll want to start making you pay for the 'carbon footprint' on the food you buy. Aussie wine producers will go under and third world farmers will starve.

Buying and selling it will be like buying and selling currencies for the consumer - the banks will be taking an even bigger slice of the pie.

As with corporate carbon trading - it's the consumer that will foot the bill.

Eventually farmers will have to have methane allowances because their cattle pass wind.

Before you know it you'll be watching a reality TV documentry where some bankrupt ex-dairy herder, who went under when the methane market collapsed, has to swap places with the smarmy piece of shit who's just made a cool £10million short-selling cow farts by borrowing allowances from Argentine ranchers and dumping them.

And all the time Satan's godless little minions will be patting themselves on the back about what wonderful caring folk they are.

Newmania said...

Steven that is aticulately wrong ,carbon trading does not give the government any money and therfore there is no reason why it should keep going up forever.

I don`t see the logic although I like the way you put it ...reminds me a bit of me...

frobisher said...

I will do my bit - I shall not buy any Coldplay albums and will light my fags from the gas cooker when the chip pan is on.

The trouble with all this carbon footprint wank is that China and India will take absolutely no notice whatsoever of any green measures. We are pissing in the wind.

Ellee said...

Times are changing, and it's the panic around this that perhaps causes disbelief when the issue has been ignored by our politicians for so long in the past. When I was interviewed to be the Eastern Region press officer during the last general election, I was asked what I thought about their campaign on immigration. I told them that we should be looking at two other areas - the environment as people did care and there were real concerns which were not being addressed, and that we could get some Lib Dem votes too. I was told it was not public policy, they were not interested, and of course, the Australian guy had come over at vast expense and put their campaign together. My other suggestion was that there should be a stronger focus on affordable housing, that today's salaries mean it is impossible for a considerable number of young people to buy their own home, which is important to people. We should work on projects that make a real difference to people's lives and it would engage the 20-age group.

Busy day now, meeting some movers and shakers in Cambridge soon.

Newmania said...

Busy day now, meeting some movers and shakers in Cambridge soon.


Pretty busy myself today ...I suppose you enjoy it but I hate work. this workm ethic thing is for other people.

I see housing as the core Issue I`m not convinced about the enviroment and as green things are not really amenable to Party Politics I can`t really see the votes in it

Steven_L said...

'there is no reason why it should keep going up forever' (NM)

If the government, in their bid to reduce carbon, reduce the total amount on the market every year the price will go up, albeit fluctuate seasonally and with trading activity.

Newmania said...

Or technologies wioll improve and the price will come down like most things left to the market

Philipa said...

Personal carbon trading? Barmy! The adminsistration will cost about 6 times the carbon emissions it controls. And anyway, I read in PH's column that Channel 4 say that global warming is rubbish, we're just all going to die anyway so no biggy.

I agree with Cameron's idea of hiking up taxes on air travel though. We single mums could do with a holiday :-)

Newmania said...

We single mums could do with a holiday :-)
Its all going to be given back to married people P..or so they say

Great to see you !!

electro-kevin said...

Instead of waiting why don't we just plant loads and loads of trees. Let's be pre-emptive about it rather than waiting to do it in response to eco-sins. Hell, if we plant enough trees we can put the whole global warming thing into reverse.

Sorry - this is all just an accountants' charter.

electro-kevin said...

Housing:

Interesting report today about over valuation. That 8% interest would be needed to curtail house inflation. That people are no longer investing in pensions or saving.

This has much to do with easier lending again. Very destructive. Especially as people consume far more than they earn.

No need to destroy green belt land or use up resources in a way which seems diametric to the CO2 reductionist argument.

Newmania said...

I saw that kevin , but I `m not so sure that housing is really overvalued . If it is then it is only marginally

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Nice post, Mr N. And I love your last paragraph [not because it's the last, I assure you!] The trouble with all this "personal carbon allowance" is that we all know who will get away with abusing it, don't we? You know, I'm reaching the stage where I don't care much - won't be around to see the consequences, anyway!

Newmania said...

Good for you Welsh cakes I `m, such a bad prson i `m, alreadywondering if its worth wheeling out Lenny Henry just to save Africa...red nose day ..I bet you miss the "laughs"

electro-kevin said...

Your 6.51 N,

My big issue is house prices - the root of much that is wrong, not least the inactiveness of the middle-classes in the face of outright treachery.

Not so sure that housing is overvalued ?

Can we at least agree that, through financial necessity, accommodation is much more 'cosy' than it was in our parents' day ?

David Allen said...

N! The backlash has started in Haringey! The 'local' LibDems have 'shopped' Justin Hinchcliffe of \hunter & Shooter as a 'global warming denier' to the Ham & High who are publishing a piece in this Thursday's edition. Hilariously, they rang him up to ask for a photo of him to illustrate the piece but said no quote would be necessary! Presumably the lazy journo couldn't be bothered to actually visit the site to pic up a pic for themsleves.... Other Conservative office-holders be they never so low (!) can expect to be in the firing line too for daring to utter such heresy.

Newmania said...

Thanks for that David I will be sure to offer support. I don`t think Justin is a denier exactly. He may have been caught in possession of scepticism in a built up area between the hours of seven and eleven though.

I think the Lib Dems are getting this badly wrong what is the point of the local Council adopting asny position of Global warming .I mean , are they there to take the rubbish out , or waste everyones money on a middle class hobby.


I can imagine no beter way to point out the unreasoning dogmatism of the Liberal than this sort of thing and it is excatly what I would expect.They are generally the very worst people.

Shocked ;and I hope Justins will give a good account of himself . If he needs any background information I have everything that has come out on Green in the last six months ( and most other subjects actually).

Newmania said...

the inactiveness of the middle-classes in the face of outright treachery.


There is great deal to that Kev and I have felt for a long time that we have all become mortgage slaves where out parents were free to make choices...ssome of them anyway,.
In fact I read a very interesting article about this showing how the reaction to taxes had not been as it should be and this was a factor of fear and gearing whithin the household.

WE are Lab rats ...It certainly feels that way to me

CityUnslicker said...

GW is happening. We just need some better ideas for how to cope with it and focus on international agreement before deciding on our own wrecking strategy.

SC has 'lost' it on this issue and needs some more experineced advice to stop him running away with it.

David Allen said...

Indeed _ the LibDems really are horribly illiberal. They'd probably be into book-burning if it wasn't for how it would send all that nasty carbon up into the atmosphere! AS you pointed out in an earlier post:
"Chris Huhne Lib Dem Enviroment Spokesman, without having seen the programme, wrote to Channel 4 executives, advising them in the gravest terms to reconsider their decision to broadcast the C4 Documentary.It has blown their cover (DT)." What are they afraid of?

Newmania said...

It has blown their cover (DT).

Dale reported that a few days ago and I actually used the phrase " Blown their cover" myself at the time. I wonder how many Councils are going to have to explain why they have been spending a fortune on Windmills. islignotn s have burnt £3,000,000 on their hobby.

My letter writing pen is sharpened . I agree with CU though I think there is something to it but it has been hi-jackedby neo-soclialists and religious dogmatists. It is the insuffreable smugness and "rightness" of the argument that is galling to me rather than the facts ,which are enough to cause concern , if not panic .

Calvin Jones said...

Perhaps you need to be educated. You ceryainly need to aquire some humility

---I never claimed to be a nice person but I will try yo be humble. I wonder if that will effect the logic of the argument.

---It is all very high spirited, much of what you say I would disagree with but your position seems to answer itself. Switching between attacking me, diving into ideology, then cynicism, never looking to closely at the science.

--Sorry i should be cooler than that. You have some concerns that I understand and make some points that seem valid to me.

--Concerns: Climate complexity, how can we know. We can knoe because the basic science is very simple, it is the refinement that is dificult. Global warming is caused by a 'thickening blanket' of greenhouse gases such as co2. Co2 is a heat traping gas, this was first discovored by Svante Arrhenius in 1896.

That much we know.

What the scientists have been doing for quite a while now--so that the 1800 IPCC scientists can say that there is >90% chance that climate change is largely human caused--is looking at what is a very complex problem using th3 worlds most poweful computers and a good deal of climate records. From this they have been able to atribute the largest part of the warming to mankind. It was always a matter of degree...just how much are we contributing.


You are a conservative right? SO you have read Machivelli ;-) He said that the most difficult challenge was to change the status quo...those with vested intersts know exactly what they face to loose, those who might gain dont have a clear picture of what that this gain will be. In terms of people wanting to believe things, climate change does not fit the picture well.

Your point about skepticism being reasonable is well taken. I would be more skeptical of messages that argue against curbing one of the worlds largest industries than arguments that dont have nearly as much money behind them. At the end of the day that is personal judgement. I studied science and from my experiance it is impossible that 1800 top scientists from 100 countries would conspire. You can believe that or not; it is my honest opinion.

Your point about vat being looped off virtuous goods is well taken.

The fact that you shift arguemnts so much and even make the productive comment about a useful policy suggest to me that your hear isnt into the denial of established science.

The debate should be over climate protection policies...as an evil left winger i have my own thoughts, i`m sure you have yours (cap and trade sysstem reasonable?). That would be a very productive debate. Leave the facts alone they should not be politicised.

Newmania said...

Igf anyone is intersted my original comments on Calvin Jones` BlEducation is what we need is it. I have had a look at the sneering and supercilious threads you mentioned and there is nothing definitive in them except that weakest of points , "some clever people have said"...everything you might go on to finish.
For example you refer t the old problem of the medieval warm period but I don1t think you understand where it fits into the discussion. The Green argument presented itself as if the climate was unchanging and by act of godless vandalism we have messed it up . Such angst in the pants has an obvious appeal to much the same people who are running around bombing scientists on behalf of furry things . I see nothing that actually explain why that might be without admitting the truth The truth is that any prediction must be founded on an overwhelming mass of ignorance about such an infinitely complex system with patterns we almost certainly have not even identified.

Scientists like it because it makes them feel important and gets there grant out of the government.

Governments like it because it allows them to tax and control and appear virtuous whilst being active

Large companies like it because a mass of regulation outs market entrants out of business and leaves them a quasi monopoly

Socialists like it for the same reasons as governments in that it bulwarks the odious idea of a societal relationship that can only be expressed through bureaucracies

A lot of people just like being trendy and having a cause

Public Sector employees like it because it justifies further tax which allows larger empires, promotions, and increases to their already overly large slice of a dwindling pie.They contribute little and need all the justification they can get

It is entirely reasonable therefore that everything coming from these interested groups should be viewed with the greatest scepticism. Their evidence of a medieval warm period is not one that requires wine if you have read Chaucer.It is obvious from the activities of all the characters at times of the year, that it must have been a good deal warmer . It has been argued that the writers were drawing on a French Traditions and characters re enact pastimes of the Loire valley in a quite unsuitable climate, but the simple explanation id surely worth considering .
Grapes by the way were not the only unsuitable fruit to have been grown .Peaches and other unlikely visitors are mentioned in Marvell.
In fact the very determination of the Greenists to remove the medieval warm period is itself highly suspicious .

You need to wake up to the fact that we cannot be dictated to by the claims of state hirelings whose near relations the BMA and the Hand S have been so useful to those wishing to reduce the citizen to a state of a serfdom.

You never listen and until I see VAT lopped off virtuous products I will assume it is all Guano.. How hard do you imagine it would be for me to find the sonorous pronouncements of scientists on behalf of this or that dictatorship or indeed the US tobacco industry. Right or wrong you have become the lackeys of the state doing their dirty work for them with your drip feed propaganda.

Perhaps you need to be educated. You ceryainly need to aquire some humility

og were as follows:

Newmania said...

My comments upon your own demeanour were expressed personally but really referred to the a priori assumption of the Green religion that they uniquely have access to a revealed truth about, the planet ,and the lives we should live on it. Your “terrifying” threat to judge any ensuing discussion contains this implicit assumption.
." Switching between attacking me, diving into ideology, then cynicism, never looking to closely at the science."
I have explained that the “ Science “ is politically loaded . There are plenty of facts to be selectively quoted and as Don Quixote said “ facts are the enemy of truth”. Often he would be right. The science is not established and the fact it isn`t ………is !
--Sorry I should be cooler than that-
Why ? I am only as sceptic whereas you are a believer. The believer is always hotter under the collar and only maintains saing froid whilst the possibility of conversion exists.


--"Concerns: Climate complexity, how can we know. We can knoe because the basic science is very simple, it is the refinement that is dificult. Global warming is caused by a 'thickening blanket' of greenhouse gases such as co2. Co2 is a heat traping gas, this was first discovored by Svante Arrhenius in 1896."

That much we know.- We know that conceivable at unknown levels carbon cause by unknown sources/causes in a changing and dynamic system could have such an effect . In other words we know nothing. Without a scale a map is not just useless it is worse because it pretends to an authority it does not have. This is , in fact the way the Greemn movement have undermined their own position by lying

What the scientists have been doing for quite a while now… poweful computers and a good deal of climate records. From this they have been able to attribute the largest part of the warming to mankind

I am hardly likely to believe what the IPCC have to say . Their pronouncements were so implausibly self serving that the extreme positive feed back element of the report had to be removed by the politicians who actually benefit from it. It is obvious that a dubious element of positive feedback will warp any results on a geometric scale

"You are a conservative right? SO you have read Machivelli ;-) He said that the most difficult challenge was to change the status quo...those with vested interests know exactly what they face to loose, those who might gain don’t have a clear picture of what that this gain will be. In terms of people wanting to believe things, climate change does not fit the picture well.- "
You are not following the debate, are you ?The staus quo could not be happier and people are desperate to believe in it for a number of cultural and emotional reasons I won’t go into now .They are desperate also to believe that their Oxfam donations help Sub Saharan Africa and in endless ways try to apply a moral order to a world which will not conform to the requirements of the new religionsists

"Your point about scepticism being reasonable is well taken. I would be more skeptical of messages that argue against curbing one of the worlds largest industries than arguments that don’t have nearly as much money behind them. At the end of the day that is personal judgement. I studied science and from my experience it is impossible that 1800 top scientists from 100 countries would conspire. You can believe that or not; it is my honest opinion."

Your point about vat being looped off virtuous goods is well taken.-

Good. In equating the power of industry politcally with that of governemnt your scale is childish . Governments have armies...hint hint

What you say is established science is not what I say is established science and during similarly dogmatic period of intolerance science has always done as it is told . Environmental studies is nopt really a science anyway it is mish-mash of other disciplines in which conclusions are un-testable like all lucrative frontiers of inter disciplinary studies it attracts snake oil salesmen. Remember all of this goes on in a supra state context where nothing lkke the sortvof scrutiny we are used to in a democracy applies and odious parasite organisations like the UN are entirely politically not to say financially motivated

The debate should be over climate protection policies...as an evil left winger i have my own thoughts, i`m sure you have yours (cap and trade sysstem reasonable?).


. Leave the facts alone they should not be politicised.

The facts are the politics . From the problem flows the solution you are naive beyond belief if you imagine otherwise .

I am not a denier I think given the observable changes of the last century it would be surprising if there was no effect . That effect has been exaggerated and as time catches up with early “ scientific “ predictions their gross inaccuracy naturally impinges on the credibility of any new doom mongering . Perhaps you recall the very expert opinion that lead the globe to waste billions on a mythic Y2K catastrophe ?

You have admitted that you are a socialist and I have explained why this green cause is so very useful to socialists whose previous beliefs have imploded leaving no reputable repository for left wing opinion.


In fact I take a balanced view. I am against any suggestion of increased government control super state despotism and taxation . If they think they are going to micro manage our lives through personal carbon counting then they are profoundly wrong. I would approve of incentives to research environmentally friendly products and encourage proper costing and responsibility.
You have not grasped a distinction I have tried to make which is that the fact that a " Scientists" says something and "science" are not the same thing .In fact the nature of science itself has been systematically misrepresented to the detriment of what may , in fact , be a cause for concern. Put the politics back into your thoughts and you will gain a more balanced perspective.

Paradoxically Green single issue acticvists are doing great damage to their own cause

electro-kevin said...

Calvin Jones

The only certainty in the world has been the certainty that things will change. But for argument's sake:

Have you down-shifted all of your domestic arrangements yet ? Taken a lower paid job nearer to home and given up the car perhaps ? Moved an elderly relative into the spare room ? Eschewed credit and stopped foreign holidays ?

bgprior said...

steven_l (and anyone else interested in the impact of increasing scarcity on price), have a look at this paper on Energy Prices and Resource Depletion: Lessons from the Case of Whaling in 19th Century.

We haven't tried living within tightening constraints, resource-wise, very often yet, so the question of what will happen to prices when we have to limit our consumption of one thing or another (including the waste-disposal capacity of the atmosphere) is largely untested. Whale-oil makes an interesting case-study that both demonstrates that this can happen (contrary to Saudi princes and stones), and what may happen when it does. The useful thing to note is that the price increases steadily as we move towards the peak, spikes just after it, but that it doesn't carry on going up for ever.

Faced with an inevitability, people find other ways of doing things that don't require the resource, however important it once seemed. So, although I share your scepticism about personal carbon allowances, it is for other reasons, not because I believe the price would carry on going up forever (although I do agree that it would probably spike quite dramatically at first). I don't like it because it is (a) fantastically bureaucratic, and (b) rationing by state-allocation rather than price. Moreover, it assumes targets should be set according to what some scientists say they should be, ignoring people's perceptions of benefits and risks, and makes sweeping assumptions about what share individuals as opposed to businesses should bear, and what one country's share should be compared to another. There has to be a smarter model (and certainly less socialist model) than simply rationing our carbon-usage into oblivion.

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