[permaculture] corporate climate coup

Nicholas Roberts nicholas at themediasociety.org
Mon Dec 15 10:42:47 EST 2008

If the corporate climate change campaign has fuelled a fevered popular
preoccupation with global warming, it has also accomplished much more.
Having arisen in the midst of the world-wide global justice movement, it has
restored confidence In those very faiths and forces which that movement had
worked so hard to expose and challenge: globe-straddling profit-maximizing
corporations and their myriad agencies and agendas; the unquestioned
authority of science and the corollary belief in deliverance through
technology, and the beneficence of the self-regulating market with its
panacea of prosperity through free trade, and its magical powers which
transforms into commodities all that it touches, even life. All the glaring
truths revealed by that movement about the injustices, injuries, and
inequalities sowed and sustained by these powers and beliefs have now been
buried, brushed aside in the apocalyptic rush to fight global warming.
Explicitly likened to a war, this epic challenge requires single-minded
attention and total commitment, without any such distractions. Now is not
the time, nor is there any need, to question a deformed society or
re-examine its underlying myths. The blame and the burden has been shifted
back again to the individual, awash in primordial guilt, the familiar sinner
facing punishment for his sins, his excesses, predisposed by his pious
culture and primed now for discipline and sacrifice. On opening day of the
2007 baseball season, the owner of the Toronto Blue Jays stood in front of
the giant jumbotron, an electronic extravaganza, encircled by a ring of
dancing corporate logos and advertising, and exhorted every person In the
crowd, preposterously, to go out and buy an energy-efficient light bulb.
They applauded.


Nicholas Roberts
[im] skype:niccolor

On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 4:23 PM, Nicholas Roberts <
nicholas at themediasociety.org> wrote:

> the real meaning of Apocalypse, is *revelation at the end of the world*...
> think about that for a moment
> now
> its not suprising that the actions *vs rhetoric* around the latest battle
> in the climate war i.e. Australia's Emissions Trading Scheme are basically
> as expected.. a giveway to the corporate carbon polluters and a PR angle for
> Rudd to sell to the average consumer addicted to the products of such
> pollution .i.e. plasma tvs, big houses, suburban lifestyles, cars, air cons,
> cheap stuff, foreign wars for oil, a global system of slavery and
> exploitation.. Australia does sell a lot of stuff like coal and nuclear
> material remember....
> appalling, despicable, disappointing... but in no way suprising is Rudd's
> actions
> I AM disappointed by the climate change movement... what did you expect ?
> did you really think emails and ad spends would do it ?
> Obama style change you can believe in ? cough, cough... think Tony Blair,
> Bill Clinton, Bob Hawke etc etc
> http://www.democracynow.org/2008/11/24/noam_chomsky_what_next_the_elections
> in my view, the cimate change movement has played itself... it had betrayed
> the working class by using the language and sided with of a totalitarian war
> against climate change... see Climate Code Red, FOE... when the reality of
> the war against terrorism, the war against poverty, drugs, climate change
> etc... has been actually a war on real, orginary *mostly poor* people... so,
> why should a war on climate change be welcomed by normal people, as Hansen
> says below, people arent stupid. Maybe because they didnt do Macroeconomics
> 101 at uni...
> if you really want to move past the current thinking, read the Corporate
> Climate Coup, fomer MIT historian
> http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=12771
> the climate change movement has reduced its popular base by haggling over
> details of a deeply flawed financial solution to a very basic problem. The
> Emissions Trading Scheme is being introduced at a time when bankers,
> financiers and multinational corporations have basically ruined the
> fialnancial system .i.e. the debt/financial crisis.. and its starting to
> effect everyone in the world
> it would of been really easy to have associated Emissions Trading with
> Financial Crime... intrdouced a nice simple tax on pollutors...but no, the
> green elites had to play a smart game... play the system... well boys and
> girls... I think its you that got played
> no-one dared say, *hang on, you guys should be going to jail, not finding
> solutions to the financial and ecological disasters*
> so its been real easy for Team KRUDD to indtroduce a scheme thats good for
> pollutors *the Australian corporate-states* real constiuency.. not the
> netroots or the greens...
> my guess is most working people, i.e. real Australians will be glad of the
> low rates, considering the official scheme pushes all costs on to the
> punters anyway... so a low emissions reduction means less cost passed on the
> ordinary Australians who are either really poor or basically addicted to
> debt so in real terms... very poor, but with cars, big houses, plasma tv's
> wake up green elites, the trading scheme is not popular, perhaps
> deliberately so
> basically, I am more disappointed by the responses of 'I am so shocked*...
> why? perhaps you should spend less time reading blogs, listening to the the
> ABC and the spin from Fairfax and read the business press *or better still
> the radicals who read the business press*
> the good cop bad cop Liberal/Conservative/Republican vs
> Labor/Labour/Democrat game is a dangerous, dangerous illusion
> its revolution time people, forget reslience, forget reform, its revolution
> or perhaps we can send them emails or do TV ads ? i.e. GetReal.org ? or get
> really busy on FaceBook... yeah, right !
> and the sooner you folks have a personal Apocalypse the better.. for me,
> anyway, as they said in the South American revolutions... *all of the of
> them out*
> *Obama Should Impose a Carbon Tax * *Junk Cap-and-Trade *
> http://www.counterpunch.org/nader12052008.html
> The most efficient way to apply a carbon tax is at a relatively small
> number of major carbon bottlenecks, which cover the lion's share of GHGs.
> The key points where flows of carbon are the most concentrated include:
> trunk pipelines for gas, refineries for oil, railroad heads for coal, liquid
> natural gas (LNG) terminals, cement, steel, aluminum and GHG-intensive
> chemical plants.
> some alternatives and some views from Crikey
> *Scientific reticence and sea level rise*
> J E Hansen
> NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY
> 10025, USA
> http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1748-9326/2/2/024002/erl7_2_024002.html
> *Abstract. *I suggest that a `scientific reticence' is inhibiting the
> communication of a threat of a potentially large sea level rise. Delay is
> dangerous because of system inertias that could create a situation with
> future sea level changes out of our control. I argue for calling together a
> panel of scientific leaders to hear evidence and issue a prompt
> plain-written report on current understanding of the sea level change issue.
> Climate Expert James Hansen Supports Cap-and-Dividend System<http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/06/hansen-cap-dividend.php>
> http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/06/hansen-cap-dividend.php
> Not only would Hansen's plan help slash emissions further than other
> alternatives, it would return the proceeds to taxpayers through the
> disbursement of regular dividend payments. Here are a few choice selections
> from an e-mail exchange Revkin had with Hansen (the rest of it can be found
> in Revkin's post):
> op Stories  * 1 . Polluter assistance and 5% target: Rudd's CO2 fail*
> *Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane writes:*
> The Government has restructured its emissions trading scheme
> <http://redirect.cmailer.com.au/LinkRedirector.aspx?clid=48d37b37-f7e8-4e26-81be-ae4464c9383d&rid=56aacd75-139e-4169-8912-7a7da4498ba8>to
> deliver even greater assistance to Australia's biggest polluters and to
> scale back its commitment to participate in any international agreement,
> well below that advocated in the Garnaut Review.
> The emissions trading scheme White Paper released this morning proposes
> that Australia commit to a unilateral 5% reduction in carbon emissions on
> 2000 levels by 2020, equivalent to a 27% per capita reduction given
> Australia's population growth.
> In the event of an international agreement, the Government has proposed
> committing to up to a 15% reduction by 2020, equivalent to a 34% per capita
> reduction.
> The unilateral target of 5% is in line with that recommended by Garnaut,
> and the 15% target would reflect an international agreement somewhere
> between the 550ppm realistic goal discussed by Garnaut -- which would
> require a 10% cut -- and the 450ppm ambition that would require a 25% cut by
> 2020.
> However, the Government has rejected Garnaut's recommendation that it
> commit to a 25% cut if an international agreement around 450ppm is reached
> (equivalent to a 40% per capita reduction). Australia will go no lower than
> a 15% cut, even though the White Paper specifically states that "the
> Government believes that it is in Australia's national interest to achieve a
> comprehensive global agreement to stabilise atmospheric concentrations of
> greenhouse gases at around 450ppm".
> In the event such an agreement is reached, the Government has only
> committed to reconsider its post 2020 targets.
> Advertisement
> [image: ad]<http://ad.au.doubleclick.net/jump/newsletter.crikey.com.au/daily;newsltr=daily;pos=1;date=15122008;sz=300x250;ord=633649445051636250?>
> The Government strongly argues that its 5-15% effort is comparable to that
> adopted by Europe on a per capita basis -- Europe's current goal of 20-30%
> below 1990 levels equates on a per capita basis to 24-34% below 1990 levels;
> Australia's 5-15% goal would be 34-41% below 1990 levels.
> The Government has also made significant concessions to Australia's biggest
> polluters in the design of the scheme. Under the White Paper scheme, the
> carbon price will be reduced by permitting unlimited importation of accepted
> international permits, and there will be a $40 price cap for the first five
> years of the scheme. The Government expects the initial permit price to be
> around $23 a tonne, and some borrowing of the following year's permits will
> be permitted in addition to unlimited banking.
> The compensation arrangements have been significantly broadened to include
> industries that previously missed out on compensation and to provide greater
> flexibility for companies in determining their eligibility for compensation,
> through providing a value-added option in addition to the tonnes per million
> dollars revenue, and extending the period on which the calculation is based.
> The threshold of 2000t per million dollars revenue/value added has been
> retained from the Green Paper, above which trade-exposed firms will be
> eligible for 90% free permits. But in a big victory for the LNG industry and
> other previously borderline industries, the lower threshold at which 60% of
> permits are provided free has been dropped to 1000t per million dollars
> revenue/value added.
> As a consequence the proportion of free permits under the scheme has
> increased from 20% to 25% -- with another 10% for agriculture, which will
> remain excluded until at least 2015.
> The Government has also clarified that such firms will receive increasing
> numbers of free permits if they increase production, meaning there will be
> no cap on emissions from our worst polluting sectors. There will be a 1.3%
> "dividend" deducted from caps each year but under normal economic growth
> conditions, it means that by 2020 45% of permits will be handed out free to
> polluters.
> The Government will also provided $3.9b over five years in handouts to the
> coal-fired power industry, as well as a $2.15b "climate change action fund"
> for handouts to businesses, community groups and the coal mining industry.
> The petrol excise offset from the Green Paper has been retained, and the
> Government has strengthened its household assistance measures, promising to
> overcompensate nearly all low-income households with 120% of their
> additional costs, and committing that most middle-income households will not
> be out of pocket.
> The Government expected to generate $11.5b in permit revenue in 2010-11,
> with all permit revenue recycled back into assistance, and a substantial
> risk that if big polluters grow faster than the rest of the economy, the
> Government will be forced to fund some assistance measures from the Budget.
> Now the Government's selling task begins, commencing with Kevin Rudd –
> having bumped Penny Wong -- at the Press Club today. Next stop, the Senate.
> ------------------------------
> *Join a Crikey liveblog to discuss the Government's ETS White Paper here<http://redirect.cmailer.com.au/LinkRedirector.aspx?clid=c8f51da9-d218-47d6-8fe6-5cd64afc2381&rid=56aacd75-139e-4169-8912-7a7da4498ba8>
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> ------------------------------
>  * 2 . Our biggest polluters have won*
> *Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane writes: *
> The surrender is virtually complete. Our biggest polluters have won, and
> the rest of us will be paying for it under a joke of an emissions trading
> scheme that encompasses a significant transfer of wealth to our largest
> polluters.
> The Government has rejected the two fundamental truths at the heart of the
> Garnaut Report -- that it costs less to act now rather than delay, and that
> acting within an international agreement significantly reduces the costs of
> curbing carbon emissions.
> By taking a 450ppm option off the table until after 2020, the Government is
> in effect saying that such an agreement in Copenhagen isn't merely
> improbable, but that we wouldn't cooperate with it for a decade even if it
> eventuated, despite modelling consistently showing that the costs of
> pursuing even ambitious emissions reductions targets are much lower when
> there's an international framework. The signal to the rest of the world is
> clear: Australia is still a climate change recalcitrant.
> Remember we're not talking here about unilateral action. The Government has
> said it will not take action until after 2020 to comply with a 450ppm target
> even in the event the rest of the world manages to agree to such a target
> next year.
> And on compensation, too, our biggest polluters have won a major victory.
> In addition to increasing the flexibility with which eligibility for
> compensation will be calculated, the Government has lowered the arbitrary
> threshold at which 60% of free permits are allocated, dropped from 1500t per
> million dollars revenue to 1000t per million dollars revenue or value added.
> That will bring in the LNG sector -- although presumably won't shut up Don
> Voelte, corporate Australia's biggest whinger. Doubtless there are firms
> around the 900t per million dollars mark who are already preparing to lobby
> for further relaxation.
> In the absence of an international emissions trading agreement, if eligible
> industries grow at about the same rate as the rest of the economy between
> now and 2020, at that point 45% of all permits will be handed out for free
> to polluters, even with a sort of carbon efficiency dividend each year.
> And each time more permits are handed out to polluters, the burden on the
> rest of the economy increases. Low and medium-emission firms ought to start
> lobbying now for the retention of the price cap through to 2020, otherwise
> it's going to be very expensive bidding for the remainder of the permits
> left over after they've been gifted to polluters.
> And if heavily-polluting industries grow any faster than the rest of the
> economy, the impact on scheme revenue will mean taxpayers will have to start
> funding some of the assistance measures, which are meant to be
> revenue-neutral.
> The coal-fired power industry will also do very well. Despite taking
> investment decisions for a decade or more knowing that action needed to be
> taken on climate change, they will still receive nearly $4b in assistance,
> described as "once and for all" in nature. Believe that when you see it.
> With such massive handouts and generous compensation arrangements, the ETS
> will be a half-baked, ineffective joke amounting to little more than a
> paper-shuffling exercise for our most polluting industries. The latter have
> worked hard and successfully to convince the Government to further weaken
> what was already an inefficient and anaemic scheme in its Green Paper form.
> The political consequence of that, however, is that the Coalition will be
> struggling to find grounds on which to block the ETS when it comes before
> the Senate next winter, and might lack an industry support base for its
> efforts, even in Western Australia. Today the Coalition was still saying a
> 2010 start date was too soon. That plays into the Government's hands
> perfectly, reinforcing Kevin Rudd's message that he occupies the moderate
> middle ground on climate change.
> It's politically astute, but a craven surrender to polluters and
> rentseekers. In the middle of the year, Kevin Rudd was talking up his
> capacity to take tough decisions. On climate change, we've yet to see any
> evidence of it. Worse, we've announced to the world that we're not prepared
> to play our part in reducing our emissions.
> *Join a Crikey liveblog to discuss the Government's ETS White Paper here<http://redirect.cmailer.com.au/LinkRedirector.aspx?clid=5996d611-587c-4905-87da-715fd6d99afd&rid=56aacd75-139e-4169-8912-7a7da4498ba8>
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> ------------------------------
>  * 3 . Hamilton: White paper runs up white flag*
> *Clive Hamilton writes:*
> In normal circumstances the Government's announcement to cut Australia's
> greenhouse gas emissions by 5-15 per cent over a decade would be a
> significant policy move. But circumstances are not normal.
> The climate emergency demands a political response that transcends the
> usual approach of balancing competing interests to minimise political pain.
> Yet the White Paper reflects the Prime Minister's repeated claim that his
> task is to weigh the demands of industry against those of environmentalists.
> When Kevin Rudd told Kerry O'Brien last week that he would not be caving in
> the "extreme environmentalists", he was not just defining a "moderate" space
> to occupy, but casting doubt on the climate science. He was saying that we
> should take the conclusions of the scientists -- that the industrialised
> world must cut its emissions by 25-40 per cent by 2020, with the developing
> world following soon after -- with a grain of salt.
> The scientists are not extremists and nor are the environmentalists. In
> fact, they are both restrained. Publicly, the scientists display the usual
> professional caution, although privately they are panicking. The mainstream
> environmental organizations, concerned to protect their access and maintain
> "relevance", are pushing a "moderate" position. A policy that reflected the
> science would be one that swept aside the pleading and bullying of the
> fossil-based industries and pursued nationally the emission cuts that will
> best advance the global response that is needed to protect us all from
> climate catastrophe.
> Yet it is precisely the pragmatism of political trade-offs that the White
> Paper pursues. It mirrors the fundamentally conservative "realism" of Ross
> Garnaut that plays into the hands of industry obstructionists.
> Rather than moulding the science to conform to the politics, the politics
> must conform to the science. And the science calls for emergency measures.
> The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, released in early 2007, is now widely
> recognised as being worryingly out of date. The scientific work on which it
> is based is now five years old and in that time there has been a rush of
> studies indicating that the situation is much more dire than the IPCC
> concluded.
> It is now expected that Arctic sea-ice in the summer will disappear
> entirely before 2015. The weakening of the albedo effect and warming of the
> Arctic Ocean will have a heating effect up to 1500 kilometres away thereby
> increasing the rate of melting of the permafrost with its vast stores of
> frozen carbon. That's a tipping point we really don't want to get to.
> The only bright spot in the politics is the continued commitment by the
> Government to begin the emissions trading system in 2010. Delay makes no
> sense for anyone. The economy will be coming out of recession at the
> beginning of 2010 and business will be looking for good investment
> opportunities, so why not direct it into clean energy?
> The certainty provided by the ETS will stimulate investment and economic
> growth. The Opposition's proposal to delay the scheme's start-up to 2012
> makes no sense economically or environmentally. It would only create
> uncertainty, undermine confidence and delay the recovery.
> *Join a Crikey liveblog to discuss the Government's ETS White Paper here<http://redirect.cmailer.com.au/LinkRedirector.aspx?clid=dc07f89b-496d-45ab-97f9-c0a8b1a4bc08&rid=56aacd75-139e-4169-8912-7a7da4498ba8>
> .*
> --
> Nicholas Roberts
> [im] skype:niccolor

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