Climate - June 26
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Will jellyfish rule the world?
Leo Hickman, Guardian
Well, in terms of a straight head count against humans, they already do. There are about six and a half billion of us on this planet, whereas a fluther of jellyfish (collective-noun aficionados also accept a "smack") measuring just 10 square miles to a depth of 11 metres that wiped out a Northern Ireland salmon farm last year was said by marine scientists to have contained "billions" of mauve stinger jellyfish.
Worse, this menacing mass of scyphozoans looks set to swell further: this is the eighth summer in a row that the Mediterranean coastline has been plagued by them. Traditionally, jellyfish plagues have only been a concern once every decade or so. Many are now blaming their increasing frequency on climate change.
They are also not the only species likely to thrive as our climate changes.
(25 June 2008)
Global Warming as Security Issue:
Intelligence Report Sees Threat
Siobhan Gorman, Wall Street Journal
One of the biggest conundrums facing lawmakers is that solutions to global warming often hurt another of their top priorities: ensuring the availability of affordable energy, for example.
But on Wednesday, as the U.S. intelligence agencies weighed in, they heard about the cost of doing nothing: It may incubate terrorism and civil conflict.
Concluding that climate change will have wide-ranging impacts on U.S. security in the coming decades, a classified report complicates an already tangled debate by providing urgent new reasons to address the problem of global warming at a time when American voters are anxious about $4-a-gallon gas. Do something to lower gas prices, and you might exacerbate warming and, potentially, terrorism. Assist in the fight against global warming and risk economic hardship.
(26 June 2008)
Carbon-Trading Expert Peter Fusaro: Six Wall Street Firms In Line For Profits Of Up To $1 Billion Or More Per Year
Energy Tech Stocks
With Wall Street in serous need of a major new source of income following huge losses in real estate ventures, several of the Street’s heavyweights are on the cusp of billions of dollars in fresh profits from carbon trading.
That’s according to Peter Fusaro, noted head of carbon-trading consultancy Global Change Associates in New York. Fusaro told EnergyTechStocks.com that he thinks six major Wall Street investment banking firms - Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays - could each turn a profit of anywhere from $250 million up to $1 billion or more per year trading carbon credits under a global market that would include the United States.
“Carbon is de facto becoming a new asset class for investors, as it is not correlated to any other market,” Fusaro recently wrote in an article for energy consultancy UtiliPoint International.
To be sure, it’s not certain that Wall Street’s new golden goose will be laying billion-dollar eggs anytime soon.
(26 June 2008)
Carbon tax shell game
Jerry West, Rabble (Canada)
The new [British Columbia] carbon tax takes effect July 1. The Liberals and Green Party are praising it, the NDP opposes it as a tax grab.
... The question to be asking here is why employ a tax to solve this problem in the first place? Cutting back on carbon emissions is a necessity if we are to preserve our civilization, though some are now arguing that it is too late and the best we can do is perhaps salvage part of it. Using taxes as a tool for social engineering, such as this, is a haphazard method that can not guarantee any specific result. The outcome of a tax attack depends upon the willingness of people to pay the tax, not on any obligation to change behaviour.
We know that according to many climate scientists we have to reduce our output of carbon gas by 80 to 90 per cent. The most precise way to do that is to regulate carbon gas emissions directly by setting caps on how much can be emitted. To be fair this would have to include an organized form of rationing to ensure that everyone received an equitable share of the permissible emissions, and at an affordable cost.
It may be that the word rationing throws up a red flag for some, but the fact is that no matter how we deal with the issue of reducing carbon emissions, if we actually reduce them it involves rationing. The B.C. Liberal tax approach and the Federal Liberal approach are forms of rationing. What they do is ration carbon to people based on their ability to pay rather than on their need. In effect rich people can waste carbon to their heart's content while average people may have to do without to the point that their ability to survive is challenged.
Another feature of the proposed taxes is so called revenue neutrality. As the tax on carbon increases, the amount of that tax is rebated, either directly or through breaks on other taxes, at least in theory. One problem with this is that if there is no increase in tax revenue how do we fund new programs to help mitigate our carbon problem and develop greener ways of doing things without cutting into other programs like education, security, and health care?
Another problem is, if we are paying a carbon tax with one hand and getting it back from somewhere else in the other hand, where is the incentive to change our carbon using habits?
Of course changing our habits is not what these taxes are about.
(25 June 2008)
Contributor Bill Henderson writes:
BC's puny $10 a tonne carbon tax is proving a huge distraction. Hansen's finally makes a MSM [mainstream media] breakout with the message that the Arctic is melting and we have to scramble back to 350 ppm immediately in emergency mode and the ENGO [Environmental Non-governmental organization] talking heads here in BC are duh messaging about how to spend your measly $100 rebate in green "smart choices". How to confuse Joe Public or what? What emergency - the DSF guy said the government was leading with this carbon tax. Surreal.
Jerry West cuts through all the bs: "shell games to make the public think something is being done while actually not doing much at all". It's continuing carbon emissions rising BAU in BC