Copenhagen brinkmanship

The latest news from Denmark has the conference deadlocked with each of the major groups entrenched in their own position. The US is talking about a reduction in greenhouse gases that the EU, environmental groups and the developing world is saying is not enough. China and India are trying to get everyone else to agree to cuts, but won’t be party to any sort of verification themselves and the Third World is simply complaining that the money isn’t enough.

It is time to consign this conference to the scrap heap. It is broken and any sort of agreement that comes out of it will be  fatally flawed.  My main fear is that in order to reach an agreement, any agreement will do. The pressure to “save the planet” has reached a fever pitch and rather than going “time out” it will be like a union negotiation taken to the very last minute with one party folding.

I predict that there will be some form of document produced like a rabbit out of a hat at the last minute, and that a variety of politicians will be lining up to take credit for saving the day, elbowing each other to stand  centre stage. In his speech, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged the summit to “summon up the greatest level of ambition”.

“The success of our endeavours depends on us forging a new alliance,” he told delegates.

He added: “In these few days in Copenhagen which will be blessed or blamed for generations to come, we cannot permit the politics of narrow self-interest to prevent a policy for human survival.”

That sort of rhetoric is aimed at a domestic audience that are about to kick him to the curb, and he is hoping the new religion of AGW will save his skin, irrespective of the cost. If you find that comforting, then I have land in Florida that you can purchase. Hey, if you believe all of this AGW propaganda, then sometime in the next 6 months it will have dried out, and you will have prime real estate. Personally I think that it will remain swamp and that the gators will still consider you a tasty morsel.

Oh yes – I’m also sick of hearing Canada demonized as the villain of the piece. In the larger scheme of things Canada is a very small contributor to AGW, despite the BS being spouted by Gore et al. Our economy is tied very closely to the US, and we must be harmonized with their position. As a citizen, I do not want to see my countries economy flushed down the drain by junk science, and neither should any country that relies upon us buying their exports such as China and India. The reason that these countries are becoming economic powerhouses is because people buy their products. Well that only continues while your customers are in a position to purchase.

This conference is a three ring circus at best and economic lunacy at worst, and its time to ship all of the attendees back off into their limos and jets.

Great Wall of Oz

The Australian government has announced controversial plans for Chinese-style compulsory filtering of the internet, rejecting criticism the measures will strangle free speech. Stephen Conroy, the communications minister, was accused of plotting a “great firewall of Australia” when he said on Tuesday that the legislation, to be introduced early next year, would require all internet service providers to block objectionable material hosted on overseas servers.

Simple solution to a simple problem? Who can object to filtering out nasties when the subject of these nasties are the vulnerable, especially children?

Well I can. It isn’t that I have any sympathy for the many and varied deviants that populate the internet. The type of filth that can be found is profoundly disturbing and sick. That being said, I have very little faith in the Nanny State, especially where censorship is concerned. The people that are championing this are saying that a line must be drawn, to which I say, ok, but where and who determines the line.

Anything like this gets politicized, and then the group with the loudest voices or the most political clout get to move the line for their own benefit. First it is elimination of Kiddy Porn, and who can object to that. Then it is something else such as enciting violence and hate, that equally most people find objectionable. Then after that it starts getting used to tailor public perception, and that is where it goes wrong. Free thinking by it’s very nature is dangerous to the establishment, but it is the basis of a free and democratic society.

I may not agree with you, but I do support your right to say things, irrespective of whether I agree or not, and I do not need a Nanny filter to aid me in deciding whether you are an idiot or not.

I’m surprised that it is Australia that is considering this. My perception of Oz is not one of Nanny State, but rather individual rights and freedoms. I hope they reconsider.

Copenhagen Wealth Redistribution

Copenhagen is turning into exactly what I expected, which is a scramble for cash.

There are three distinct categories, the Evil West, the Developing World and the Valiant Third World.

The Evil West is being painted as polluters extraodinaire who are completely responsible, both morally and financially for AGW. The Third World is being painted as the innocent virginal victim of the rapacious West, and the developing world is being painted as valiantly pulling its people out of the dark ages and into the light. Interesting caricatures and as usual, wrong.

The West, to some degree or other has over the last 30 years been making significant strides in controlling the pollution that it has and continues to produce. Are they the devils, no, but neither are they innocent. One thing the West has done, mostly for economic reasons is offshore a significant amount of its nastier industries to the developing world, and closed a blind eye to lax environmental standards in place in those countries.

The developing world is no innocent either as they have been willing co-conspiritors in this process. Yes, they are creating a middle class, but at what cost? China and India are now two of the most polluted countries on the planet. I’m not talking CO2 here, I’m talking about other toxins that have a direct and measurable effect on human and other life.

The Third World is turning into a Global Welfare class, and just like Welfare, there are countries that are working dilligently to improve themselves, but there are a significant number that spend any funding they receive ill advisedly and are content to survive on the benificence of others. The countries that are working dilligently are doing so by proving to the world that they are stable politically, obey the rule of law and are safe places for investment. The others are crooked, neither safe politically or in actuality and the rule of law is a joke.

What is happening in Copenhagen is that each group is trying to paint themselves into the best position. The Third World is applying varying degrees of moral blackmail, the developing world is trying to have their cake and eat it too, by asking for funding from the West and also trying to avoid the fact  that they ARE the major polluters under the guise of the need for economic development. The West is trying not to  cut it’s own throat economically on one hand and on the other waving around a razor. The Western Governments are caught in a bind, as on one hand they can see potentially huge new sources of tax revenue from so called green taxes, and on the other balancing off killing off their own tottering industries.

It is a circus, and like most circuses, there is a vast amount of loud trumpetting going on, and the need for very large buckets to cart away all of the “droppings”.

Expel

The Gaurdian, that bastion of free press in the UK is calling Canada to task for its record on climate change, and is calling for its expulsion from the Commonwealth.

To quote

When you think of Canada, which qualities come to mind? The world’s peacekeeper, the friendly nation, a liberal counterweight to the harsher pieties of its southern neighbour, decent, civilised, fair, well-governed? Think again. This country’s government is now behaving with all the sophistication of a chimpanzee’s tea party.

Gee – thats pretty nasty, and goes on to say that Canada is the biggest threat to the world’s survival.

Oh come on…….

Canada’s record on Climate Change isn’t great – that is for sure, but considering the latest evidence and possibility that this is all smoke and mirrors, I say RIGHT ON. The AGW debate is far from proven, as Climategate highlights, and while I’m not very happy about Tar Sands projects, there are some political pluses to these developments.

1. Latest figures show that the earths oil supplies are being used up faster than we originally thought. No doubt the industrialization of China and India are having some effects upon these numbers, but the bottom line on this is if we run out of oil without an alternate, then there will be worldwide chaos with wars being started to gain oil supplies.

2. A significant percentage of the worlds oil supplies are in unstable places. These places are either politically unstable or hostile to Western culture, so having a supply that isn’t is a huge benefit.

The green rhetoric  that just concentrated on AGW is reaching a very high and annoying pitch. While I think that Tar Sands projects are ugly, not particularily cost effective and are a huge contributor to greenhouse gases, there are other factors to consider, especially if AGW is a fraud.

As far as being kicked out of the Commonwealth, well considering the shape of the organization, is that such a hardship?

Obama defends US wars as he accepts peace prize

Now isn’t that just so ironic.

Obama is receiving a Nobel Peace Prize just as he announces a troop surge in Afghanistan.

There seems to be a temporary blind spot for some US presidents.  It is like looking into the sun. For a while you cannot see clearly and everything is surrounded by a halo.

Kennedy had this working for him, and if you look at his record, he certainly wasn’t one of the greats. Obama has the same going for him at the moment, although plunging domestic approval ratings are indicating that the halo effect is wearing off.

On one hand I feel very sorry for President Obama, in that the expectations were so high at his Inauguration that no mere mortal would stand a chance at achieving them. On the other hand however I see that he is proceeding to throw away all of the high sounding words that got him elected and proceed with business as usual on the Hill. That is such a shame. The words are still there, but now they are starting to sound cliched.

I suspect that the report card on Mr Obama will read “Barak has limitless potential and is a very bright boy, but talks too much in class and doesn’t keep his promises”. That is such a shame, as the US really did need a fresh start and it isn’t happening.

Gimme Money – that’s what I want

Copenhagen, Denmark….the climate conference.

Besides the simple fact that the carbon footprint of this conference is immense, the sheer hypocracy of the whole process is becoming clear.

First, we have Climategate, where , admittedly by  illegal means, there are enough questions raised to put the whole issue of AGW in question.

Then we have all of the talking heads talking about the expose as  “it’s simply the usual discourse around scientific research” which is patent garbage. This isn’t scientific discourse, this is deliberate fudging, blackmailing and misdirection on an immense scale. I don’t know about you – but I’m very cynical about any of the so called scientific evidence, especially once it has been passed by the spin doctors.

Now we have the news coming out of Copenhagen that there is a split in the developing world position, where we have some toeing the old party line which roughly plays out as “It is all the West’s fault and they should pay us lots of money” and now  China and India trying to get the best of both worlds with a position where a) the West is guilt tripped into giving financial aid as well as a competitive advantage by paying lip service to the green agenda as long as there are different and less rigorous rules that apply to them.

This is patent and absolute rubbish. The West should not be subsidizing India or China in any way, in fact should be taking the position that it is an even playing field or no playing field at all. These are huge economies that we are talking about. China will soon be the largest economy on the planet and they are looking for further advantage? Come on, get real and smell the con. The West have already moved most of their  manufacturing to these countries through the delights of Global capitalism. Now they are expected to kill what little remains?

The position that the West has caused all of these problems (if indeed they are problems, and not some wealth redistribution scheme) and must put itself back into the dark ages to fix them is sophistry and a global guilt trip that I for one don’t buy.

Quote of the day: 

Angelika Navarro, Bolivian Ambassador to the UN, called for “planetary rights” as part of any agreement that protect all living beings as well as humans.

“We think that 20 per cent of the population have created a crisis for humanity. They have a historic responsibility for more than two thirds of emissions and more than 90 per cent of the increase in temperature. We think there is a climate debt they owe to all humanity and to Mother Earth.”

Oh come on!

Toronto – the bus city

Local  is quite often the most ignored, but most important level of government. They set your local taxes, hopefully make sure that your garbage is picked up and provide a host of local services that should make your life more pleasant and deal with hugely important items such as schooling. They are the the level of government that have the most direct effect on your life but in many cases are largely ignored unless things grind to a halt.

So it with interest that I did a bit of reading about what MY local government intends to spend money on in the next few years and it came as a bit of a surprise. No, not a bit of a surprise, a complete shock.

Over 50% of the capital buget for the City of Toronto for the next 10 years is being spent on one thing. And that one thing is……wait for it……TRANSIT. Yup, buses and streetcars.

Now I like to think that I’m fair minded and will give most things second thought but sometimes it just ain’t worth it. This is INSANE. Toronto is a large city and its needs are many and varied and having half its budget spent like this just boggles my mind. I didn’t know that I had elected the Toronto Transit Commission to run my city – how did that slip by me?

Motives

Having had a few comments about the latest post, I’m going to break my normal approach and comment about them. Most of them seem to be fairly predictable – such as neanderthal and how can you ignore the obvious.

My response is how can you not. In every political discussion, there is spin. With Anthropogenic Global Warming, there is more spin than any other subject that I know of for two reasons, the science is complex and because there is so much vested. On one hand, there are huge commercial interests and on the other huge commercial interests. Yes, there are the old whipping dogs of power companies and the oil companies on one side, but on the other there is the multi-billion dollar “eco empire”. The eco empire tries it’s very best to present itself as a small group of concerned environmentalists and scientists, but it isn’t. It is a huge conglomerate of governments, corporations and the like that have a tremendous amount to gain. Gain through additional taxes, either direct or stealth (what do you think carbon credits are?). Gain through increased pricing for “Green Products” whether they are beneficial or not. Gain through “Green Technologies” whether they are feasible or not. Gain through grants for scientists, but only if they are green. Gain for the public lobbyists and speakers such as Gore and the like. Gain for funding of many and varied eco groups. The list is endless and unlike good old fashioned corporate greed, which is naked and out in the open, this is covered by the green flag.

No one is innocent here.  There are many motives in play, some altruistic, most not.

Unfortunately, the true “save the planet” argument has gotten lost in the smoke.

If you look back, the environmental lobby has always struggled to gain traction with the public. Yes – there have been brief blips where clean water or toxic spills have made the news, but those are soon replaced in the public conciousness by economic woes or other “hot news”. The lobby has always struggled to keep its agenda in the public eye, but Anthropogenic Global Warming is so big and so all encompassing that it finally has an issue that is a winner.

The truth – who cares about the truth – it is all about the money. Lots of money. Ok I’m being cynical, as there are believers on both sides but are they the sheep or the shepherds?

Let’s clear away the smoke and have a true scientific debate. Not Al Gore’s pretty graphs that simply defy logic. No more faked photographs of polar bears, no more “it doesn’t fit into my theory therefore I’m going to ignore it”. The future of our planet may well hang in the balance here, but not for the reasons of Anthropogenic Global Warming. It is because the true damage to our planet through unclean water, toxins in the environment, poor and unhealthy food and disease is being ignored or marginalized because of Anthropogenic Global Warming. We should be aware and concerned about our environment, but are we concentrating on the right thing?

The spin has started

A little earlier this week, I published an excerpt from the “climategate” new story. Now for a follow up.

I’m not surprised the way the “pro green movement” is treating this expose. Rather than getting off their high horses and putting some science on the table, the response seems to be, to paraphrase, “its obvious to everyone that we are right – the planet is warming”.

Duh….. no one is arguing that. What the argument is about is anthropogenic warming, in other words…..MAN MADE. If it isn’t man made then all of these cap and trade and carbon credit schemes are simply nothing more than a money making scam, because they are not going to have a measurable effect.

Also, the high horses are not countering the arguments. Their responses are mostly in the vein of:

A spokeswoman for the European Commission said that with or without the CRU hack, evidence for man-made climate change was “irrefutable”.

“The world’s leading scientists overwhelmingly agree that what we’re experiencing is not down to natural variation in the climate over time, but due to human activities,” she said.

 If we do not act, climate change will continue apace and lead to major damaging impacts to the natural world and society.”

Let’s be clear here – nothing is irrefutable and the world’s leading scientists don’t all agree. Leading scientific minds at one point thought the world was flat and that the earth was the centre of the solar system, and they pilloried those that disagreed.

Sounds similar?

The more the pro green movement squeals that this is irrefutable or the discussion is over, the more uncomfortable I feel about this, and Gordon Brown claiming we have limited time to save the planet is certainly not going to sway me. He’s the guy that claimed that “no more boom and bust” in the UK just before the Economic Crisis hit.

The squealing is reaching a fever pitch. Al Gore is claiming that the Alberta Tar Sands projects are going to bring about the end of the world.

All I can do, as the cynic I am, is examine potential motive. It is pretty clear to me that those squealing the loudest have the most to lose here. Gore will lose his multi-million dollar eco-empire. Brown is a dead duck prime-minister that is grasping for any straw to save his political life. The majority of the “leading scientists” that are not willing to take another look have invested so much of their professional reputations behind Anthropogenic Global Warming that they can’t recant without being ridiculed and I think we all know how scientists and their tender egos feel about being ridiculed.

Oh yes – finally, let’s look at the developing world. They finally have a club to use on the developed world. You caused all of this, and you need to pay is the mantra of the day especially from the UN. Well, if it isn’t anthropogenic, then that club goes away.

More later…….