Institutions and Competition

Financing climate change... an air-conditioned nightmare

June 5, 2017

Once they move beyond the “rage phase” of demonizing the Trump administration, leaders of the world's top economies, media assets and civil society groups would be wise to reexamine the benefits and the costs of the Paris climate deal.

Climate change is real

According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) in the United States, the Earth's globally averaged surface temperature has been rising for over a century.

But in the period starting in 2000 through today, NOAA says that the globally averaged surface temperature of our planet has increased dramatically.

Cheating is real too

This did not stop German and Japanese manufacturers from using alleged “secret” technologies to rig their diesel powered models during testing so as to qualify them as “low emission” vehicles while these same models were found to emit much higher levels of pollutants into the atmosphere when performing over the road, levels that would have caused them to fail the “low emission” test.

Will the rhetoric of morality and ethics mask endemic corruption?

Now, as she runs for reelection, German chancellor Angela Merkel has taken the moral high ground, excoriating NATO ally the United States, and buzzing up the messianic meme that equates the government of president Donald Trump with Nicaragua and Syria, who are outliers to the Paris accord.

Chancellor Merkel is on the record saying she now views China as Germany's strategic ally in the climate change conundrum.

The Beijing regime, which has committed $1 trillion to its “silk road initiative,” is also dealing with a major corruption scandal involving the testing of concrete on a bridge linking Macau and mainland China with Hong Kong.

Globalist welfare for polluters?

Here is a list of the world’s “Top 20 Most Polluted Cities” courtesy of the World Economic Forum and the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO). Delhi, India tops the list as the world’s most polluted city. It has twice as much pollution as Beijing, the capital of China, which is not even on the list.India has the distinction of having 13 cities among the Top 20 list developed by the WHO. Pakistan has three. Turkey, Qatar, Bangladesh and Iran each have one on the list.

In voluntary goals we trust

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2015 estimated that nation-states representing the world's major economies need to provide $16.5 trillion by 2030 to help parties who ratify the treaty meet their voluntary goals of reducing carbon emissions the result of which, some experts say will, ostensibly, save the planet for future generations.

But we no longer live in the economic and geopolitical reality that existed two years ago, when then-president Barack Obama said his administration's support for the voluntary accord makes the United States “the world leader in fighting climate change.”

The annualized price for a barrel of OPEC crude had just lost nearly half its value, tumbling from $96.29 in 2014 to $49.49 in 2015. Earning less revenue from its own oil exports Moscow attempted to calibrate its economic strategy based on a price of around $60 a barrel for Russian crude and continued to support the climate change deal. Today's spot price is about $10 a barrel less than thennualized 2015 price .

Circumspection in Moscow

Recently, the Kremlin, as it examines strategies to stimulate economic growth, announced that it plans to hold off on ratifying the Paris deal, possibly until 2019, in order to reevaluate the situation. This should come as no surprise considering that even while the deal was being negotiated in 2015 “Russia Behind The Headlines” suggested that the financing for the Paris deal was “shaky.”

Surge pricing could make climate change more costly

As Ueber-style surge pricing gets gains favor with markets and speculators the cost of lowering the temperature of the planet 1.5 degrees celsius, the cost of financing the money to do that, the “green” technologies and jobs created by it as well as insuring and re-insuring the endeavor are likely to creep upward in spite of UN rhetoric about robust transparency and accounting standards that are fair to all the parties who have ratified the voluntary deal.

Lacks a framework for decisive action

Writing in the MIT Technology Review, James Hansen, the “father of climate change” and a member of the United States Academy of Science, argues that the technologies to reduce global warming are based on “shaky” scientific grounds and called the Paris climate change deal a “fraud” because it lacks a framework for decisive action.

This considered, extremist threats, hacktivists, and climate change scammers all have the potential to increase the costs of this voluntary agreement. Funding to mediate the low intensity wars, terrorist actions, and genocides that are killing innocent people and displacing millions of others means competing for support from the UN, and/or nation states who are major economic powers.

Considering that the United States under former president Bill Clinton did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol the bluster of president Trump raises the question of whether there is some game theory (beyond Trump's “Art of The Deal” tactics) running in the background.

Time will tell. Possibly one reason the Kremlin has become circumspect on the ratification issue. But two things are likely.

First, a small group of people will reap or scam huge profits from the climate change deal.

Second, when a power outage cuts off the air conditioning at the UN on a sweltering summer day in Manhattan nobody is going to walk out if the backup generators operate on diesel fuel instead of solar energy.

Blogger's note: portions of this article are cross posted from "The Smog of War" on HuffPo-WorldPost

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