Son of Kyoto: Copenhagen ll

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thanks

linked text of the draft Copenhagen 'Agreement' that an African leader on CBC Radio 8 am news stated 'Condemned 80% of the world's population to Suffering'.  He was a good speaker.  Each word sank in well because it was said slowly.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/08/copenhagen-climate-change

i'm going to go through this, bit by bit.

First concern in this document -the targets are insufficient, and not to be achieved until 2020 or 2050.  toast.

Second - [hm, can't cut and paste from the draft there, willhave to type out quotes]

"technical assistance including for risk reduction and provide financial risk transfer such as insurance."

!!! GREAT!!! Solve the Climate Crisis with an Insurance company !!! [email protected]%*)!@

[breathing deeply before next paragraph]

Next- the developed countries are to use the "purchase of international offset credits" - ie. They will use electronic financial 0's and 1's to mystify their way out of making any real change.

Next - the section 12 on forest cover "enhancing removals by increasing forest cover" is a greenwash way of saying "clearcut and replace with genetically engineered monoculture replants courtesy of global biotech", or make sure the cutting is done in some places and bought off with monoculture replants.

Next - the "broad and liquid carbon market" will be the rising seas.

Next-All Parties, including "those in need", are to "purchase essential energy services...adopting domestic policies aiming at payment for actual consumption of energy".   Gone is any sense that essential services are a public trust and human right.

[i have to get the fire going again, it's getting cold in this house with the blizzard.  maybe someone else can review too. i'm hoping to get back also]

All that "puchasing" of essential services in the context of WTO, EU, NAFTA, and Canadian interprovincial 'trade' deals means that procurement of essential services will be forcibly provided by profiteering global bankers/corporations over domestic suppliers and public employees.

Next- "transparency concerning consumption and cost of energy should be increased."  They should add to this, "and transparency and full public auditing of all public or private banking, insurance, or other financial transactions."

Skimming to the Appendices titles (full of text of which aren't available online at the guardian) the entire process - with charts for countries to fill in how much they're going to pledge to this process -is looking like another huge public giveaway to private banking/insurance/and other corporations.

The 'Response' measures call for "structured" response and link to Appendices reiterating the market mechanisms, and relating as well to technology, communications, and governance of the Climate Fund.

nb. Notice all the war terminology- the "Bunker" section, or to "develop, diffuse, deploy" technology.  So troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere will now have a mandate to protect the corporate public-private 'partnership'-owned/run water dams and electrical infrastructure. eg. of SNC Lavalin infrastructure and its 'proprietary rights' under free trade intellectual property rights and other provisions.  'Green' tech will be securitized.  The optics will look great for the big corporations- they'll be able to call any resident who tries to regain control over their own environmental assets a 'terrorist' and have legal grounds for more war. 

And not just in Afghanistan, but on this continent too.  Our so-called 'green' regulations - eg. the Ontario FIT program regs, are handing over the rights to source environmental attributes to the infrastructure profiteers.

[a few pages to go, i need a coffee.]

Well,there it is in the "Technology" section- public-private investments triggering the rigged 'trade' deals, "transfers"- I wonder if that includes water transfers..."protecting the legitimate interests of public and private innovators."  code for banker rights over human rights and Earth's rights, as spelled out in the rigged 'free trade' deals.

It would be nice to see the details of that "Technology Mechanism".

Under the financing section of the Draft," Developed country parties commit to deliver upfront public financing for 2010-201[2] corresponding on average to [10] billion USD annually for early action, capacity building, technology and strengthening adaptation and mitigation readiness in developing countries as set forth in Attachment C".  It is important to see who, exactly, in developed countries has the financial wherewithal to put up this money- A Fully Public and Independent Audit of all Financiers/Insurers/ and financial and speculative transactions is necessary to determine who can pay.  Those specifically who have profitted in the past from climate change owe the most debt.

Section 22: Governance: A "Climate Fund" is to be set up as an entity of a "Financial Mechanism of the Convention", under the COP (which means? Conference of Parties to the Convention?) who elect the Climate Fund board in a "balanced" way.  This sounds like the "balance"  clauses in WTO deals which give legal power to private players, regardless of who sits on the board.  The Parties are also to set up an "International Climate Financing Board", same deal.  Lots of nice new names for same-old transfer of funds to private profiteers.  Noticeably, the details on further financing mechanisms are yet-to-be-revealed.  Ditto for the proposed "Registry" pt.29, and its "professional secretariat...to prepare and propose the accounting standards for MRV of specific mitigation action and of financing. [further tasks]".

Section VI: sure there will be lots of measurement, reporting and verification of the public monies handed over, we just won't have a clue of what the private players who get all our money actually do with it, other than a few showcase projects likely.

Point 27: Ultimately the measurement, reporting and verification is to be translated into "emissions reductions" as calculated in the mystical O's and 1's of the carbon market.   I can see the leveraged numbers spinning off into the stratosphere.  A climate market bubble burst will coincide with meltdown, economically and ecologically.

It is beginning to be very clear that any linkage to markets and existing trade regimes is going to simply disappear not only public funds given, but also any actual physical reduction of emissions at source.  Mysteriously, though, the 'carbon market' 0's and 1's and greenwash projects will tell us, through the "communication mechanism" that 'we are achieving goals' (translate- a very few will make a hell of a lot of money while the planet burns.)

Section: Communications; lots of focus on the [future public] regs which will detail [consumer] "pricing", [public] "provision of finance" for  "potential" [Banker Profits].

"Financial flows from the international carbon market should be monitored and recognized separately." [NOT IN THIS DOC, LATER, NEVER].

Last Section: The Copenhagen Process; keep talking, drag this out, make it sound good, make sure all countries get the banker noose tied around their necks.

The African leader pretty much summed it up.  Maybe up it to 99% of the world's population will suffer from the Copenhagen Draft here.

thanks

The price has already been paid, many times over, by the majority of peoples in the 'developing' world, and the 'developed' world.

The only ones who haven't paid any price are the financiers who keep getting bailouts, last fall in the name of saving the economy, now in the name of saving the planet.  It's disgusting and should be stopped.

Enviralment Enviralment's picture

Ghislaine wrote:

George Victor wrote:

 

With the world teetering on the edge of accepting the scientific evidence for the need for changes in lifestyle to come to terms with climate change caused by their lifestyle, are we at the point of being able to demand a reatreat to the hermitage? You are on the leading edge of something, Ghislaine. Not sure what.

 

That is why I changed my lifestyle. Why do these so-called "champions of change" not believe the evidence enough to change their lifestyles?? Who is demanding a retreat? Certainly not me. As well, how are globetrotting rich-people who say one thing and do another supposed to convince the unenlightened to change their lifestyles?

[url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6736517...

Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges [/url]

Here's a visual of some of those factoids:

Copenhagen consumption

Noah_Scape

canuquetoo wrote:

Here's a new article on green power subsidies. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/solar-industry-lauds-ontario-incentives/article1393214/

 

Quote:
...At the Canadian Solar Industries Association annual conference in Toronto Tuesday, top executives of several Canadian solar energy firms praised Ontario's program which pays high prices for renewable power - more than 10 times the normal electricity price for certain solar projects....

 ...Essentially, feed-in tariffs "attract private capital to the business of creating solar energy, because you can make money doing this," said John MacDonald, chief executive officer of Day4 Energy Inc., a Vancouver-based solar cell maker....

(A feed-in tariff refers to a premium price paid by utilities to electricity producers who generate certain kinds of renewable power that is fed into the grid.)

 ...The province needs to "be bold about what it is they are trying to do, and then keep those rules in place so that we in industry can respond to it," he said. "If I can figure out a way to make money, I'll go after it with everything I've got."

 

My concern with this scheme is that pv cell solar panels cost ~$5 per watt when they can be profitably manufactured for $1 per watt. The thrust of this government subsidy is to provide profit for corporations by passing the cost on to consumers rather than enabling R+D to make solar systems affordable. No mention of any sort of altruistic climate change action by any of these profiteers, only greed.

That is probably a good concern, about the way they are doing it, ratcheting up the costs to provide profits for certain corporate entities.

However, I just want to point out that renewable energy is very close to "parity" now, where it costs the same as the usual coal-fired grid-based electricity.
AND, my often made point that the LIFETIME operation of solar and wind energy projects averages out to be actually CHEAPER than conventional electricity.
There is the matter of financing costs, where loans to build the renewable energy capacity are adding to the cost, and that could be avoided if we got government to loan the money with no interest charges added. If that happened, renewable electricity would end up giving us electricity cheaper than conventional electricity [over a 20 year period, for example].

George Victor

Sunshine beyond the summer months would be good, too, north of the 49th.

NorthReport

Copenhagen talks break down as developing nations split over 'Tuvalu' protocol

Developing countries have split between those who favour a new protocol proposed by Tuvalu and others who want to continue with the Kyoto agreement

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/09/copenhagen-tuvalu-prot...

Fidel

I think Canada should apply for developing country status. We don't make anything except for CO2.

NorthReport

So Alberts & Saskatchewan want to have special priviledges because the greedy people they are, they choose to not put in proper environmental controls, and now they want all the rest of us to pay. Screw them. They have been warned for years and they did nothing. They had a choice. Let the bastards pay, pay, and pay. We should have come down hard on them years ago.

 

National unity at stake in climate strategy, think tank says

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/climate-change/national-unity-...

 

thanks

am trying to find the actual text of what Tuvalu proposed, there are lots of second-hand reports, stating items eg. Tuvalu, an island being drowned in rising sea levels from global warming, wants the actual cap to focus on a temperature limit of 2.7 degrees rather than 2.0, and wants a new protocol in addition to Kyoto- which is insufficient. 

The only item i could find was this, which happily named 'Non Market Mechanisms".

http://landbunadur.is/landbunadur/wgrala.nsf/Attachment/LandUse_Ian_Fry/$file/LandUse_Ian_Fry.pdf

if anyone can find, or copy texts on what Tuvalu or others are specifically proposing, it would be more helpful than a zillion articles and blogs on the different opinions of a zillion pundits.

thanks.

NorthReport

Try the british paper the guardian

NorthReport

Good for Soros to give the finger to Canada the USA, the UK, Germany, etc for trying to rip off the poorer nations. Finally someone telling it like it is.

 

Soros: Finance gap could 'wreck' climate talks

 

Mr. Soros said the $10-billion-a-year short-term plan is "more than nothing, but not much, it's not sufficient."

He suggested climate financing be boosted with some $100-billion in Special Drawing Rights, the artificial "currency" of the International Monetary Fund, formulated as a basket of major currency values and held in reserve for lending in financial emergencies.

In response to the recent global financial crisis, the IMF created more than $200-billion in new Special Drawing Rights. But Mr. Soros noted that the Obama administration had difficulty getting U.S. approval for that through the U.S. Congress.

He had found "quite widespread support" from other governments, but "other countries are reluctant to do something that is uncomfortable for the United States," Mr. Soros said.

On Wednesday, the U.S. and China exchanged barbs at the Copenhagen climate talks, underscoring the abiding suspicion between the world's two largest carbon polluters about the sincerity of their pledges to control emissions.

U.S. chief negotiator Todd Stern urged China - now the world's biggest polluter - to "stand behind" its promise to slow the growth of the country's carbon output and make the declaration part of the Copenhagen agreement.

China rejected that demand, and renewed its criticism of the U.S. for failing to meet its 17-year-old commitment to provide financial aid to developing countries and to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases warming the Earth.

"What they should do is some deep soul-searching," said Yu Qingtai, China's chief climate negotiator.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/soros-finance-gap-could-wreck-...

NorthReport

GOOD, IT SHOULD FAIL IF JUST TO SHOW US WHAT A FARCE IT IS.

Copenhagen Summit: developing nations warn of failure without US reverse

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6951874.ece

NorthReport
NorthReport

Copenhagen flop best result for environment

 

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1157035.html

thanks

 http://medias.lemonde.fr//mmpub/edt/doc/20091210/1278666_2b8e_thebeijing...

apparently says, according to today's article "Duel of Drafts" http://en.cop15.dk/news/view+news?newsid=2926

'reductions should be made "mainly through domestic measures" and not through the purchase of so-called "offsets" outside their borders in developing countries.'

I haven't read this draft, prepared by China, Brazil, India, South Africa in November.

It sounds better than the leaked Danish draft, if it in fact does steer away from market-based offset purchases.

But it's difficult to compare this draft when there is still no sign online of the Tuvalu option in writing (and neither at guardian.)

---

I am now looking at the linked draft at the top of this post, written by South Africa, Brazil, India and China in November, and there are some very good words on page three. 

a) "Both the implementation of actions and the provision of technology, financing, and capacity building support shall be subject to measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with relevant rules and procedures established by the Conference of Parties."

note to self- those 'relevant rules and procedures' will be very important to see.

b) "The implementation of these actions will be subject to auditing, supervision and assessment respectively conducted by developing countries themselves in accordance with their national rules and procedures, taking into account any guidelines the COP may elaborate and the result shall be made publicly availably for full transparency."

note to self- only 'the result' made available for scrutiny? 

c) "Emission reductions generated from mitigation actions referred to in subparagraph five(a) above shall not be used to offset quantified emission reduction targets undertaken by Annex 1 Parties [ie. rich countries] to the Convention." 

There are other words in this draft, eg. on the need to eliminate barriers to goods and services from developing countries.

On financing, "The Global Climate Fund shall consist of specialized funds or funding windows for mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and capacity building."  "The Fund shall be governed by an Executive Board of equitable representation from the Parties and follow the principles of openess, transparency, easy access and effectiveness".  "The reformed Global Environment Facility shall be designated as the operating entity of the Fund allowing multilateral development banks a supplementary role to play."

The draft goes on to specify participation in the ongoing Working Group, to continue 'without delay', for june '10 reporting and that a non-Annex 1 rep rotate as chair/vice-chair along with an Annex 1 rep.

Then there are Amendments to Annex B including a chart quantifying emission limitations or reductions commitments of various countries.

nb. the four authoring countries of this draft are noticeably absent from this chart.

Definitely the Get-Rid-of-Offsets piece should be adopted from this draft, and the auditing-of-implementation piece, so any monies don't disappear into the electronic financial abyss.

A question remains though, if implementing countries use private sector financiers or infrastructure corporations or insurers in partnership in their projects, at present these corporations operate globally, will these private sector partners allow their financial books to be examined?  Currently under existing 'free trade' rules along with privacy provisions, the private sector can hide money.

This draft says it will "appropriately address issues of intellectual property right" in relation to removing barriers to technology transfer, top of page five.  It's not clear exactly what the draft means- if 'appropriately addressing' means going along with existing WTO and other provisions that allow global profiteers to play around with much of their money, then no thanks.

If on the other hand this draft is proposing substantial change and actual financial auditing of implementing financiers and infrastructure corporations, then it represents a good step.

Other elements need to be considered, and taken or fixed, eg, on who should be included in the chart, making sure the emission reduction targets reflect what is necessary, and, if int'l development banks are involved, even 'supplementally', are they going to enforce their bad old conditions- including more 'free trade' finance?

still wondering what the Tuvalu people said too, exactly.

 

 

 

NorthReport

Places to visit before they disappear

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16477]Is There Any Margin for Hypocrisy and Deceit?[/url]

 

Quote:
At a time when there is a unanimous demand on the part of scientific circles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by no less than 30 per cent of the levels attained in 1990, the United States is only offering to reduce 17 per cent of what it emitted in 2005, which hardly accounts for 5 per cent of the minimum that Science demands from all the inhabitants of this planet by the year 2020. The United States consumes twice as much per inhabitant than Europe, and its emissions exceed those of China, despite its 1.338 billion inhabitants. An inhabitant of the society that consumes the most, emits tens of times more CO2 per capita that a citizen from a poor country of the Third World.

In only thirty more years, the no less than 9 billion human beings that will inhabit the planet will require that the carbon dioxide volumes emitted into the atmosphere be reduced to no less than 80 per cent of the 1990 levels. Such figures are being bitterly understood by an increasing number of leaders of rich countries. But the hierarchy that leads the most powerful and rich country in the planet, the United States, comforts itself by asserting that such predictions are scientific inventions. 

Everybody knows that in Copenhagen, countries will, at best, agree on continuing discussions so that an agreement could be reached among the more than 200 States and institutions that should discuss about the commitments, among them, a very important one: which will be the rich countries that will contribute to the development and energy saving of the poorest countries and how much resources will they give?

Is there any margin for hypocrisy and deceit? Fidel Castro Ruz

Fidel

[url=http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canada+near+bottom+ranking+green+te... near bottom in ranking of green technologies, sale[/url]

Puerto Rico North trails even Kyrgyzstan and Slovakia.

thanks

I read the guardian today, and the linked newest Copenhagen draft.

An article at the guardian said Brown and Sarkozy proposed a Tobin Tax (on speculative finance) to pay for efforts of developing countries to move to clean energy.  That sounds nice, but the UK/French leaders linked their proposal to also 'auctioning off' developed countries emissions.  That's another word for carbon market, turning the climate crisis into a financial boondoggle.

The latest UN draft [http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/11/copenhagen-draft-text] was good in that on page three,  developed countries were to solve their emissions domestically. But then at point thirty they allow mitigation "including opportunities to use markets".  not good.

Rabble has an article from the Indigenous Environmental Network [http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/joshua-kahn-russell/2009/12/indigeno... on a call for a moratorium on new fossil fuel and nuke exploration and development, and no carbon market.  Bingo.

Another rabble article by the Youth delegation [http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/josee-madeia/2009/12/cop15-day-5-foc... noted Naomi Klein's comment that it was the Least Developed Nations who were being placed in the role at Copenhagen of being the ones responsible to mitigate the climate mess, through financing.

This perspective reminded me of negotiations a few years ago around water laws.  There was tremendous hype, papers being written, conferences held, and the core sticklers that could not be touched were clauses related to trade.  It seemed as though the entire process was manufactured to force NGOs to the negotiating table, so they could get trapped into signing compromise deals that, in the context of other trade legislation, in fact provided loopholes that allowed water to be diverted south.

Some NGOs get funding to 'work on' legislation, to 'improve' it.  But in the give and take which happens at tables, compromise is inevitable.  So all the profiteers have to do is hold out on their one or two key mechanism clauses, and they win.  Meanwhile everyone gets in a tizzy over all the other elements in a draft text.

The bottom line at Copenhagen is to make sure any clauses referring to 'market', 'auction', 'offsets', likely even 'financing' don't get in to the final text, because these elements will trigger existing trade deals.

The last item, on financing, represents a real problem because there are developing country and developed country delegates, and NGOs, who very much want a deal that deals with money.

Ideally of course everyone at Copenhagen would be fighting just as hard to get rid of the WTO and existing trade deals.  But since the first FTA and NAFTA that has not been the case.  Environmental groups split on whether to eg. support NAFTA and get an environmental side agreement, or fight NAFTA in its entirety.  Because of the split we got NAFTA and a side agreement, which in hindsight has been worse than useless for the environment.

So now we are at another similar point.  Do we go with a Copenhagen deal that includes trade language, or do we fight that kind of deal.

The Indigenous Environmental Network statement included a call for 'just transition' to clean energy and jobs, but I'm not sure if this means public financing.  If financing is from a public source and goes to a public recipient and public infrastructure implementor, without intervening private players, then we have a chance of avoiding the trade deals and of getting real transparency.  Meera's article at rabble on public water systems in Uruguay reminded me of this element.

It is heartening to see that Indigenous and Youth delegations in Copenhagen, and many others, are clear on what needs to happen.

 

NorthReport

 

elephant.jpg

 

Copenhagen is a total waste of time and will do nothing, absolutely nothing, to reduce global warming. 

The Elephants of Doom in Copenhagen

What people there should be talking about to save humanity, and why they won't.

 

Consider again Gus Speth. I mentioned his book The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability. Speth is an inveterate Washington insider, a former head of the Council of Environmental Quality (under Jimmy Carter) who participated in numerous international treaty negotiations. He is dean of Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

His book is good, and his array of graphs is unsettling. But his boldness lies in the first word of his subtitle: Capitalism. Now that's a no-no. Is he questioning our economy, our way of life? After all, have we not just spent the last year trying to save Wall Street and GM? Have we not just invested a thousand thousand more days and dollars into that task than we are ever likely to see coming out of Copenhagen?

The mother of all elephants: economic growth

Anyway, the topic is passé, isn't it? Our liberal democracy (and its capitalist economy) is really the only world worth having, the "end of history," what all development is about, what everyone aspires to. There is no conflict between the environment and the economy. Whatever problems we may have can be solved if we just get more efficient with our energy use. New technologies like carbon sequestration can do that. And markets will work their magic if we can get the incentives right. So let's price carbon to force that market innovation, and let's support "green" science to create these new technologies.

This is the brave new world of "ecological modernization": we can have our cake (economic growth) and eat it too (climate stability). Indeed, economic growth is how we can afford to do all this, and markets are how we will direct it.

This is the official ideology of Copenhagen. This is the agenda.

 

This is the brave new world of "ecological modernization": we can have our cake (economic growth) and eat it too (climate stability). Indeed, economic growth is how we can afford to do all this, and markets are how we will direct it.

This is the official ideology of Copenhagen. This is the agenda.

But there are some problems here. First, what about all those other hockey stick trajectories of ecological decline -- like biodiversity loss, overfishing, deforestation, and water scarcity? Economic growth isn't going to fix these trends but make them worse. Indeed, some of the "solutions" to climate change (like nuclear power and hydroelectric power) will directly exacerbate some of these problems.

Second, how can greater efficiency solve even climate change? Historically, economic growth has always depended on increasing energy use. Beyond pure speculation, where is the evidence that an economy can keep growing without also expanding its levels of energy consumption and all the negative consequences that these expansions entail?

The gains from technology may make us more efficient, for sure. But to resolve the problem, they actually need to detach economic growth from energy growth. This is the distinction between what the experts call "relative" decoupling (greater efficiency) from "absolute" decoupling (energy-free economic growth).

This is a critical distinction, because if we can only achieve relative, but not absolute, decoupling, then as the economy grows, it will eventually catch up and surpass the gains made by efficiency. As the years go by, it will become more and more difficult (and costly) to squeeze still more efficiency gains out of a limited supply.

Take cars, for example. We can increase fuel economy, and we can shift to hybrid electrics. And we can use our oil more wisely, stick up a million windmills, and dam another 100,000 rivers. And we can grow, slowly steadily, year by year. And then we will have more and more cars everywhere, and the oil is still going to run out, and there will be no more rivers left to dam, and no new places to take advantage of the wind. Then what?

Like Obama in Afghanistan, we should ask, "Where is the 'exit strategy'? And when?" And what will the world look like when we face up to that inevitable exit?

People rightly decry the Tar Sands proposals, for it is an egregious example. But is not Copenhagen premised on a Tar Sands strategy writ large? Growth needs energy, and energy has costs.

Copenhagen's most basic contradiction

Let me give you another example. The Mekong River system in SE Asia is one of the world's last great wild rivers. It is hugely biodiverse, and its abundant fisheries support millions of communal inhabitants. But to provide power for Bangkok, fuel industrial development and generate cash for the region's "emerging" economies, the Mekong is slated for 55 dams. This modernization is partly funded by, you guessed it, the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism! Driven by organizations like the World Bank and the IMF, no critical discussion is allowed in the region. It's just full steam ahead.

This is Copenhagen's most basic contradiction. Growth may keep the economic world stable, but in the now "full" world that we occupy (for the first time in human history), growth causes more problems than it solves. Growth has become self-defeating. As a recent British government report put it:

"[S]implistic assumptions that capitalism's propensity for efficiency will allow us to stabilize the climate and protect against resource scarcity are nothing short of delusional. Those who promote decoupling as an escape route for the dilemma of growth need to take a closer look at the historical evidence -- and at the basic arithmetic of growth."

This is the largest elephant in the room because the whole panoply of solutions on the table -- cap and trade, carbon taxes, clean development mechanisms, carbon offsets -- are all made to fit within capitalism and its growth imperative. But doing without growth is not something anyone is prepared to consider. Growth is the lifeblood of capitalism. We simply dare not, cannot, talk about it.

This fatal contradiction has been many centuries in the making. It's no wonder that the planet is at stake. And no wonder that no one is talking about it because we all depend on the systems constructed when the planet was not filled up. We may all be on board the proverbial Titanic, and the captain may be drunk. But if we ram the iceberg it's not going to be just his fault, or even P&Os. After all, it's a bloody good party in the dining room, and no one really wants their conversation interrupted to storm the bridge. Another glass of wine, please.

 

 

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2009/12/08/ElephantsOfDoom/index.html

thanks

what is going on today in financial markets isn't primarily growth of physical constructs, it's growth of electronic 0's and 1's.

there is a disconnect.

those 0's and 1's still have power to do all kinds of things, and in some ways are reducing the growth of physical industrialization, in this country anyway.  those who have control of the 0's and 1's could, if they wanted, spend it all on art, music, the problem is at the point of intersection, when the whimsical control of 0's and 1's pushes the growth of some sectors in a way that removes basic rights and resources for life, from others.

It's the control of the financial 0's and 1's that is the central problem.

 

Fidel

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/nov/30/canada-tar...'s image lies in tatters. It is now to climate what Japan is to whaling[/url]

Quote:
This country's government is now behaving with all the sophistication of a chimpanzee's tea party. So amazingly destructive has Canada become, and so insistent have my Canadian friends been that I weigh into this fight, that I've broken my self-imposed ban on flying and come to Toronto.

So here I am, watching the astonishing spectacle of a beautiful, cultured nation turning itself into a corrupt petro-state. Canada is slipping down the development ladder, retreating from a complex, diverse economy towards dependence on a single primary resource, which happens to be the dirtiest commodity known to man. The price of this transition is the brutalisation of the country, and a government campaign against multilateralism as savage as any waged by George Bush.

Monbiot is wrong here. Canada became a corrupt petro-state a long time ago starting with the St Laurent Liberals.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Another excellent article by Johann Hari: [URL=http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-har... of the rich world are enacting a giant fraud[/URL].

Noah_Scape

hsfreethinkers wrote:

Another excellent article by Johann Hari: [URL=http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-har... of the rich world are enacting a giant fraud[/URL].

An excellant article by Johann Hari. Reading the comments after it, I noticed a few were saying that "our leaders are not in control of big business we r fcked!" [an exact quote].

I just want to say that our leaders in Copenhagen are being ADVISED by the Canadian corporate sector CEOs, such as Minister Prentice having the TransCanada Pipelines CEO there in Copenhagen to give him advice.

This I know for sure because the one CEO that I know personally is there in Copenhagen, as he says, "to advise the Minister on technical matters". That could mean what it sounds like, or it could be to say things like "cutting emissions by 20% would ruin our profit potential for a few years".

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

It is appalling that these folks treat these negotiations like a typical trade talk, as if they are negotiating tariffs on bananas. What do the politicians and bureaucrats expect us to do? Throw stones? Smash windows?

Fidel

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/sciencetech/environment/copenhagensummit/art... Martin says blame the Americans[/url]

 

Apparently if it wasn't for the Liberals selling the environment to Exxon-Imperial and other transnationals, then the Liberals might have been able to honour Kyoto obligations to the rest of the world that the Liberals agreed to.

NorthReport

Bubbles of the Future?

 

Carbon sequestration is a promising potential way to reduce climate change, but many environmentalists aren't supporting it.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/224385

NorthReport

And so they should, as the whole exercise is a farce.

Poor nations threaten climate deal showdown at Copenhagen summit

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/13/copenhagen-climate-summit-poor-nations

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/sciencetech/environment/copenhagensummit/art... Martin says blame the Americans[/url]

 

Apparently if it wasn't for the Liberals selling the environment to Exxon-Imperial and other transnationals, then the Liberals might have been able to honour Kyoto obligations to the rest of the world that the Liberals agreed to.

I read this earlier today and it really caught my imagination. I mean, let's examine what Martin said:

Quote:
The United States should shoulder some of the "burden" for Canadian greenhouse gas emissions as the chief recipient of energy from Alberta's oilsands, former prime minister Paul Martin says.

I thought, holy shit! Between Martin and Naomi Klein we have a total solution. She argues for the concept of a climate debt: 

The case for climate debt begins like most discussions of climate change: with the science. Before the Industrial Revolution, the density of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere-the key cause of global warming-was about 280 parts per million. Today, it has reached 387 ppm-far above safe limits-and it's still rising. Developed countries, which represent less than 20 percent of the world's population, have emitted almost 75 percent of all greenhouse-gas pollution that is now destabilizing the climate. (The U.S. alone, which comprises barely five percent of the global population, contributes 25 percent of all carbon emissions.) And while developing countries like China and India have also begun to spew large amounts of carbon dioxide, the reasoning goes, they are not equally responsible for the cost of the cleanup, because they have contributed only a small fraction of the 200 years of cumulative pollution that has caused the crisis.

So Klein argues we, the West, are responsible for the carbon already in the atmosphere as we put it there. Now a person of no less import than former PM Paul Martin argues, indirectly, we, the West, are responsible for the lion's share of all new and existing carbon being generated as we, the West, are the chiel recipient of the minerals, processing, goods, and agriculture being extracted, produced, and grown in the global economy.

Dig deep. It's time to pay our fair share.

canuquetoo

NorthReport wrote:

So Alberts & Saskatchewan want to have special priviledges because the greedy people they are, they choose to not put in proper environmental controls, and now they want all the rest of us to pay. Screw them. They have been warned for years and they did nothing. They had a choice. Let the bastards pay, pay, and pay. We should have come down hard on them years ago.

 

National unity at stake in climate strategy, think tank says

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/climate-change/national-unity-...

 

We? Who is "we" and what exactly does 'come down hard' mean?  Do you mean a massive transfer of wealth from west to east via fiat proclamation or federal powers under the Constitution Act or are Mcguinty and Charest planning to resort to a stern lecture

Fidel

I imagine we'll pay with what's left of our social programs after Paul Martin and Shawinigan strangler gutted them. We always pay, and the banks and foreign creditors know that we'll pay. They know that Canadians and Americans aren't going anywhere. We're good for it. We'll pay to prop-up "capitalism" like we've paid to prop-up state-financial capitalism using socialist methods. Big time.

Fidel

canuquetoo wrote:
We? Who is "we" and what exactly does 'come down hard' mean?  Do you mean a massive transfer of wealth from west to east via fiat proclamation or federal powers under the Constitution Act or are Mcguinty and Charest planning to resort to a stern lecture

 

There's no need to work westerners into a lather. Afterall, the federal-provincial equalization payments scheme was originally devised to help out have-not western provinces. Alberta's conservatives will still be allowed to piss oil revs down the Mississippi while maintaining Heritage Fund to piddling amounts compared to other oil-rich regions of the world. Canada will continue to be viewed by the world as [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/sciencetech/environment/copenhagensummit/art..."a corrupt petro-state"[/url] as long as either of the two old line parties are running the show in this Northern Puerto Rico.

canuquetoo

Its interesting that the "tarsands" of western Canada are the left's premier erogenous zone while they babble about 'equality' for others.

No mention of global heavy oil standards that include other heavy oil extraction sites such as Venezuela or California, just an emotion-driven rant against western Canada.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

There's no excuse for the tar sands fiasco. The stuff should have been, and should be, left in the ground. Sorry that makes Alberta poorer. Tough [email protected]"%. Alberta better be paying to clean up the mess they are making. I bet the environmental cleanup costs are higher than the corporate profits. All in all, the tar sands are a big waste of time.

NorthReport

Love it!

Whoever did this should get the Order of Canada.

 

Environment Canada hit by 'damn clever'
climate stunt

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/bureau-blog/environment-canada-hit-...

jacki-mo

It  appears that the  Copenhagen summit  is having on-off problems:

Talks suspended:   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8411898.stm

Talks resume:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8412483.stm

 

Whats going on?

NorthReport

Who cares?

The whole thing is a charade anyways.

 

Maybe Copenhagen should fail

 

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/12/11/f-vp-jackson.html

NorthReport

Woo! Hoo!

These superb tactics are making fools of Harper & Co.

 

'More will be revealed tomorrow,'
climate prankster says

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/bureau-blog/more-will-be-revealed-t...

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

[url=http://www.socialistvoice.ca/?p=845#more-845]Copenhagen: People vs. Polluters[/url]

Quote:
Thus, the best that can be hoped for in Copenhagen is a partial, piecemeal plan that's implemented only when it's far too late to avoid climate catastrophe. Which is why James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University and one of the world's leading climate scientists, has said that the collapse of the talks as the best possible outcome.

It's impossible for even supposedly environmentally conscious governments to develop and implement a real plan. To do so would require acknowledgement of the deep systemic problems that go to the very root of the entire social system-and a reorientation of social priorities toward workers, peasants and farmers and the earth we depend on.

That's why it's not viable to win ecological or climate justice without social justice. The inequality and exploitation that lies at the heart of capitalism ravages humans and the planet in the interests of a tiny minority hell-bent on reshaping the planet in the service of profit. To be a climate justice activist therefore necessarily makes you a social justice activist in equal measure.

In any case, the negotiations in Copenhagen are already in danger of collapsing under the weight of their own contradictions. The hope is that protesters outside the meeting rooms can help drag the whole mess down-so we can start focusing on real solutions instead.

 

NorthReport

Don't worry, the script has already been written. There will be a miraculous last minute deal, and they will have their BS agreement. General Motors, Honda, Exxon, Visa, Bank of America, etc's profits will not be altered one cent because of global warming. It will continue to be pollute all you want, in other words, business as usual, and nothing whatsoever will change except that the planet will continue to heat up.  Too bad, eh!  
Copenhagen climate change talks stall

• Vital hours lost over claim Kyoto treaty being killed
• Brown flies in early as time to clinch deal runs out

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/14/copenhagen-climate-change-talks-stall

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
NorthReport

Ignatieff Suggests Oilsands Unfairly Targeted

 

http://www.cfra.com/?cat=3&nid=70016

NorthReport

It's about time we made the dirty dozen list.

 

The world's 12 largest GHG emitters

 

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/12/14/f-climate-dirty-dozen.html

NorthReport

Jobs will always have a higher priority than the environment.

 

Tories may be close to mood of populace on climate change

 

'Environment Canada' prank e-mail kept focus on Canada as a climate-change laggard, but country is recovering from recession and deficits

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Tories+close+mood+populace+climat...

NorthReport

Jobs will always have a higher priority than the environment.

 

Tories may be close to mood of populace on climate change

 

'Environment Canada' prank e-mail kept focus on Canada as a climate-change laggard, but country is recovering from recession and deficits

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Tories+close+mood+populace+climat...

NorthReport

The moment I heard that Nelson Scalbania was involved with this I knew it was doomed.

 

Emissions trading market at a standstill

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-a...

 

NorthReport
Noah_Scape

Can we start a new thread now that COP 15 is in it's final few days? This is getting cumbersome.

 

Meanwhile - DAY 8:

Canada has laid out it's position pretty clearly with Jim Prentice announcing yesterday that "Canada will not be ready to sign any agreement for at least one year" ,  and with the news today {Dec 14th, Day 8} that "Tar Sands emissions will INCREASE by 37% by 2020", and that other industrial sources will also increase"

No emissions reductions here, Canada has killed off COP 15 by itself.

Some conflicting news too: Canada insists on being tied to the USA on emissions reductions, but Obama is saying 4% below 1990 levels whereas Canada is going to only see increases in CO2.

By the way, Minister Prentice, Canada's chief climate negotiator, meets every morning with his team of 13 advisors, a team that includes such people as Trans Canada Pipelines Corp CEO [my brother]. I guess we know where Prentice is getting his opinion from!!

canuquetoo

hsfreethinkers wrote:
There's no excuse for the tar sands fiasco. The stuff should have been, and should be, left in the ground. Sorry that makes Alberta poorer. Tough [email protected]"%. Alberta better be paying to clean up the mess they are making. I bet the environmental cleanup costs are higher than the corporate profits. All in all, the tar sands are a big waste of time.

 

More rhetoric from an uninformed emotion-driven sheep. This sort of drivel is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Targeting one industrial site out of thousands is easily seen for the factless manipulation it is by the majority of Canadians.

'Activists' are much more concerned with using climate change for political and ideological grandstanding than they are with creating solution in a collaborative effort.

Several technological strategies are in the process of making bitumen extraction less energy intensive and less intrusive than open pit mining.

Irrational Alberta bashing ignores that east coast expatriate workers and Ontario manufacturing are major beneficiaries of oilsands extraction while the public weal is greatly enhanced by tax revenue streams.

Noah_Scape

Oh I dunno canu, on this:

Quote canu:  "Several technological strategies are in the process of making bitumen extraction less energy intensive and less intrusive than open pit mining."

The oil industry says they intend to expand the tar sands to 4 times the size they are now, and all that expansion is going to use the same technology they are using now, which is VERY energy and water intensive. They use as much energy to get a barrel of oil from the bitumen as there is in that barrel of oil.

I agree with hsfreethinkers that it IS stupid. What technologies are you referring to? Links?

 

And about the BENEFITS of the tar sands to eastern manufacturing industries, I believe they would be better off within just 10 years if they embraced renewable energy to run their factories, because renewables have a long life span of usefull operation and that makes the electricity from them CHEAPER than from fossil fuels. But Tar Sands are not used for electricity, most of it is exported to the USA, so how does tar sands help the eastern factories?

 

Finally, about the jobs - i.e. expat workers from the east coast: It is a fact that renewable energy employs TEN TIMES the number of workers per unit of energy produced as compared to fossil fuels. The renewable energy jobs are not as prone to sudden layoffs and calls to return to work "tomorrow" as in the oil industry. Generally, the economics of renewable energy is MUCH MORE STABLE than fossil fuels, and therefore so would the entire nation's economy where they use renewable energy - look at any nation that has lots of renewable energy, such as Sweden, Denmark, etc and you will see that their economies have GROWN since they made the switch away from fossil fuels.

 

It is BS that the oil industy keeps Canada afloat. Most of the profits go to oil corporations, not the people or the government.

PS: some quotes about oil and gas subsidies in Canada and worldwide:

* oil and gas is subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of $250-billion a year worldwide.

* Canadian taxpayers subsidize oil and gas interests by $1.4-billion a year. Export Development Canada supported $13.2-billion of overseas oil and gas projects. Public subsidies make up 5% of oil profits.

* The Canadian oil industry turned a profit of $26.4-billion in 2007 ;
Why are our provincial and federal governments subsidizing the most profitable companies in the world with taxpayers' money?

 

 

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