TheRealNews on Dec 18, 2011
Patrick Bond: Carbon markets failing and Durban Green Climate Fund doomed – up to activists now
Dec. 9, 2010
Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa on WikiLeaks, the September Coup, U.S. Denial of Climate Funding, and Controversial Forest Scheme REDD
Secret U.S. diplomatic cables recently published by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks revealed new details about how the U.S. manipulated last year’s U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen. Ecuador was one of the nations that lost funding after it refused to sign on to the U.S.-led Copenhagen Accord. Democracy Now! asks Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa about the latest WikiLeaks revelations on how the United States denied his country aid, the failed coup against him earlier this year, and his support for the controversial carbon market-based forest protection scheme known as REDD.
“You all are the house, you’re the bookie. [Your clients] are booking their bets with you. I don’t know why we need to dress it up. It’s a bet.”
– Senator Claire McCaskill, Senate Subcommittee investigating Goldman Sachs (Washington Post, April 27, 2010)
Ever since December 2008, the Federal Reserve has held short-term interest rates near zero. This was not only to try to stimulate the housing and credit markets but also to allow the federal government to increase its debt levels without increasing the interest tab picked up by the taxpayers. The total public U.S. debt increased by nearly 50% from 2006 to the end of 2009 (from about $8.5 trillion to $12.3 trillion), but the interest bill on the debt actually dropped (from $406 billion to $383 billion), because of this reduction in interest rates.
[tweetmeme source= “DandelionSalads” only_single=false]
March 31, 2010
This week Max Keiser and co-host Stacy Herbert look at the scandals of Brown’s Bottom, the worst economic judgment of all time and Bono’s private equity, “the worst investor in America.” Max chats to Brits in Trafalgar Square and also talks to Mark Schapiro, author of the Harper’s article, “Conning the Climate: Inside the Carbon Trading Shell Game”.
The article on carbon offsets trading only touches on one of many stupidities that these plans all have. To me, the worst problem with all of them is the gross misallocation of economic resources that these plans will all cause with their artificial price boosts of forest land values. All of a sudden, if you own forests, your assets will become several times more valuable than previously, because your forests’ carbon offsets (a completely intangible commodity) suddenly become hugely valuable. Capital will flow to the forest industry where it will serve no economic purpose, and the forest industry–an industry with a long history of backwardness and greed and short-sightedness–will no doubt squander it, as they simply have no productive use for this windfall. They’ve always squandered their forests and they’ll squander this undeserved cash windfall as well.
Updated: added Parts 2-5
James Boyce: Different models of carbon cap legislation serve different interests
James K. Boyce is a Professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the Director of the Program on Development, Peacebuilding, and the Environment at PERI – The Political Economy Research Institute.
Dec. 22, 2009
We speak with the nation’s leading climate scientist, James Hansen. He wasn’t at the Copenhagen climate summit and explains why he thinks it’s ultimately better for the planet that the talks collapsed. We also speak with with Dr. Hansen about his new book, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity, and much more. [includes rush transcript]
It seems the ruling classes of the most powerful capitalist states just don’t learn any lessons from the past. It’s as if they wipe the slate clean every time they get us all in a jam and we have to relearn everything all over again! Why do we tolerate such bullshit from the gangster class that controls us?
And as sure as the Sun rises, the USUK has put all the blame on those ‘inscrutable’ Chinese for the ever-so predictable failure of COP15, “Energy Secretary Ed Miliband called it a “chaotic process”, singling out China for vetoing an agreement on emissions.” (‘Climate Summit held to Ransom’, BBC News, 21 December, 2009)
Fact: One-third of China’s industrial output is for export to the US (this is the one-third that used to be manufactured in the US).
The BBC however is very clear about the way forward, it’s called ‘green capitalism’:
Dec. 15, 2009
Cap & Trade: A Critical Look at Carbon Trading
Will the expansion of carbon emissions trading help stop global warming or just create a new market for Wall Street to make billions? We air excerpts of Annie Leonard’s The Story of Cap and Trade and speak with Larry Lohmann and Frank Ackerman. Continue reading
Crossposted with permission from www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/
by Patrick Bond
Socialist Project | The Bullet
December 4, 2009
Preparations for the December 7-18 Copenhagen climate summit are going as expected, including a rare sighting of the African elites’ stiffened spines. That’s a great development (maybe decisive), more about that below.
While activists help raise the temperature on the streets outside the Bella Centre on December 12, 13 and 16, inside we will see global North elites defensively armed with pathetic non-binding carbon emissions cuts (U.S. President Barack Obama’s promise is a mere 4% below 1990 levels) and carbon trading, but without offering the money to repay the North’s ecological debt to the global South.
The first and third of these are lamentable enough, the second is the most serious diversion from the crucial work of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. A nine-minute film launched on the internet on December 1, The Story of Cap and Trade [watch the film at the end of this article], gives all the ammunition climate activists need to understand and critique emissions trading, and to seek genuine solutions.
The leaked emails from the University of East Anglia seem to have put the proverbial cat in with the climatic pigeons. So what to make of it? Firstly, there’s an awful lot of information to wade through, some of which I find extremely confusing eg, Climate Change: This is the Worst Scientific Scandal of our Generation by Prof. Christopher Booker. What is he saying? That the data has been fixed to prove that the planet is heating up? And if so, does the ‘fix’ mean that the planet isn’t heating up after all? And what of the agenda of the individuals who hacked the emails, are they only concerned with the truth? And what is the ‘truth’?
As far as I can ascertain the debate comes down to the finding that the planet’s temperature appears to have dropped by an average of 1C over the past ten years. What isn’t clear is whether this is a ‘blip’ in the graph of steadily rising temperatures or as some analysts claim, a natural process connected to changes in the Sun’s activity?
Free Range Studios on Dec 23, 2009
The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the “devils in the details” in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you’ve heard about Cap & Trade, but aren’t sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.
New York Times columnist and Nobel economist Paul Krugman comes to the Hudson Union Society to talk about the aftermath of the global economic crisis.
He discusses what it will take to make a full recovery, and explores how issues ranging from cap and trade legislation to healthcare reform will affect America’s economy. Continue reading
[revised and replaced Nov. 21, 2009]
I understand that those who care deeply about the earth are expressing very good intentions with congressional climate change legislation. But there is already evidence that this legislation is rewarding the very corporations that are responsible for worldwide ecological damage and facilitating another reckless Wall Street casino – with devastating consequences for the financial underclass – while doing little to repair the damage to our planet.
The cap and trade market operating through the Chicago Climate Exchange was set up by Goldman Sachs and Al Gore’s company, Generation Investment Management, which is also staffed by Goldman Sachs executives. GIM and Goldman Sachs each have a 10% stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange which in turn has a 50% stake in the European Climate Exchange. Trading carbon credits is projected to become the new multi-trillion dollar commodity bubble.