Monday, June 10, 2013
Coronation Meadows: A "green" idea I thoroughly agree with
Prince Charles’s Coronation Meadows campaign aims to reclaim our once glorious grasslands. It is a fitting memorial for future generations
When humanity was young our first imprints on the land were clearings in the forests that covered it. We wanted the timber for fires, weapons and shelter, but we found that the clearings drew animals, which we hunted. The more space we made, the richer the pasture, the better the numbers of game. Later we used these clearings for everything from pastoralism to settled agriculture to war. It seems very pleasing that these ancient spaces are the latest battle cry of the Prince of Wales; in a long career of green thinking, his best idea yet may be Coronation Meadows.
A meadow in every county is to be identified for special protection and nurturing. Sixty, one for each year since the Queen’s accession, are already designated, with more to come. Further needy meadows will be given seed or green hay from the Coronation fields to invigorate them. The key idea is the protection and propagation of native plants that have suffered decades of defeats. Prince Charles would also like our assistance in mapping his mother’s kingdom’s grasslands, as no record exists.
William the Conqueror would certainly have approved of the mapping, and the idea of royally favoured meadows spreading their beneficence throughout the country is a metaphor for a relationship between monarch and subjects of which Elizabeth I would have been proud, but the Prince is motivated by a serious problem.
Changes in land use and agricultural methods have led to a dire decline in meadows and grasslands, and a plunge in the range of flower species, and numbers of individual plants. Since the 1930s we have lost 97 per cent of our wild flower meadows. As with birds and mammals, so with flowers: the damage of the last century means that Britain’s native flora and fauna needs rescuing. The alternative is a denuded Britain, where there is little to see, hear, smell or discover in the countryside.
The meadows of my Welsh childhood still survive. They are an enchanted world. The First, the Middle and Far Meadow were always known by their proper names. The rest of our acres were fields, but these three were special.
In the First Meadow was a stream, alive with the wriggles of tiny shrimps and jewelled with the mosaic chrysalises of the caddis fly. The stream smelled of cold stones, red silt, worts and asphodels, and there were mollyblobs, gold kingcup flowers. The border with the Middle Meadow took in loops of the stream: the Far Meadow was demarcated by a hedge line of mature thorns but no fencing, so all three fields were watered.
The word ''meadow’’ comes from maedw in Old English, and a Germanic root, mead or matte, and means a tract of grassland seasonally grazed by animals or used for taking hay. Ours served both purposes. The ewes lived, lambed and occasionally died on them in the winter and early spring, richly fertilising the ground in the process. The flock were then moved to other fields, allowing the hay to grow through the spring and early summer, for harvesting in July.
This is the ancient Lamas method of meadow husbandry, which also works for cattle as long as they are not left on the ground all winter. It is the abandonment of this mode of farming which has led to the near destruction of these habitats.
Although man’s interaction with the environment rarely receives much praise from environmentalists, this was the system that made the British countryside the wonderful, rich landscape our grandparents and great grandparents grew up with, its bounty hymned and proved by the songs of pipits, larks and corncrakes that have now been silenced.
Naturally, such treasure as our hay meadows was forbidden territory – woe betide walkers caught tramping ignorantly through the sward.
Jack Meredith, a distinguished farmer of our valley, born in 1903, famously held aloft one handful of spilt hay and said: “A lovely mouthful for a sheep on a winter morning.” He felt profligacy and damage to good grassland as near-physical pain.
There was no stopping the dogs, however. A grinning sheepdog, its white paws dyed gold by buttercup pollen, is one of life’s more disarming prospects. Lying down at the edges of the fields you saw worlds within the worlds of the meadows. Early on a fine day the oblique angle of the sun illumined a fairyland of a million slung spiders’ webs, glittering in the dew. The business of cardinal beetles was traced in the small flights of little vermilion insects; there were tinselled scatterings of butterflies and the buzz of hundreds of bees, whose decline is directly linked to the destruction of such fields.
The colours of a wild flower meadow are faithfully recorded in one of the National Gallery’s treasures, Van Gogh’s Long Grass With Butterflies. The artist seems to have worked every pigment of his palette into the painting. It sings and bustles with greens, golds, umbers, blues and creams.
The clover of our meadows was head-heavy, the white and the red varieties smelled sweet; there were the small gold bell-towers of cowslips and the starbursts of my mother’s favourite flower, oxeye daisies.
Meadow saffron, green-winged orchids, whorled caraway and lesser butterfly orchids are among the species that the charity Plantlife has identified as being critically endangered. They are all native to this country, and it was reading a copy of Plantlife’s report that inspired Prince Charles to take up cudgels for a Coronation memorial that this country needs more than any pomp, parade or public sculpture.
The next meadows in my life were a series of rich grasslands on the side of the Malvern Hills, near where I went to school. They were so classically beautiful and verdant that they reminded us, 16-year-olds, of a gilded advertising campaign featuring a girl with bright gold hair promoting a brand of shampoo by sitting in a meadow.
If you invited a peer from Malvern Girl’s College for a walk in what we were pleased to call “The Timotei Fields”, and she accepted, the chances were that you were on for some sort of kiss. We were a lucky generation, able to sit down in meadows and hold hands with beauty, and let the clouds and the westering light fill in for half our conversation.
Such moments tend to make you forget your English classes, but we were experiencing and benefiting from an effect long documented by the poets and playwrights of Britain. Arden, the green world, is not simply a forest or wood; it is also the clearings in the woods, where light and space and drifting thistledown make time as nothing and where inhibitions shrink to ant size.
Our folk songs and our poetry owe much to this world, and it needs to be a living, existing world, not merely a folk memory. Vaughan Williams’s Folk Songs for Four Seasons includes a cantata ''The Green Meadow’’. A joyous piece, it would make a rousing battle hymn in the cause of grace and goodness.
If, with our help, the Prince is able to make Coronation Meadows the source of such pleasure as we have known for generations to come then he, and we, will deserve their deepest thanks.
Revisiting Climategate as Climatism Falters
Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying Earth’s climate, is on the wane. Once riding high, the ideology of man-made climate change is losing its influence in governments across the world. Climategate, the release of e-mails from the University of East Anglia, called the science of dangerous warming into question and turned the tide of global opinion.
On November 19, 2009, and unidentified hacker or internal whistle-blower downloaded more than 1,000 documents and e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University in the United Kingdom and posted them on a server in Russia. Within hours, these documents were accessed by websites around the world.
These e-mails were a subset of confidential communications between top climate scientists in the United Kingdom, the United States, and other nations over the last fifteen years. These were the very same scientists that developed the surface temperature data sets, promoted the Mann Hockey Stick Curve, and wrote and edited the core of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports.
The incident was branded “Climategate” by British columnist James Delingpole, a label soon adopted by the world. These e-mails provide an insight into practices by researchers that are poor science at best and fraudulent at worst. Bias, manipulation of data, avoidance of freedom of information requests, and efforts to subvert the peer-review process are apparent, all to further the “cause” of man-made global warming. The e-mails were released on the eve of the 2009 United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen.
Just two years earlier, Climatism had swept almost all in its path. The IPCC 2007 Fourth Assessment Report declared that mankind was very likely the cause of global temperature increase. That same year, former Vice President Al Gore and the IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
In December of 2007, The RENIXX index of the world’s largest renewable energy companies soared to over 1,900. Barack Obama was elected President of the United States in 2008, heralding the rebirth of a more environmentally conscious nation. After securing the majority of primary delegates in June, 2008, candidate Obama declared, “…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…”
The year 2009 was set to be a year of triumph for Climatism. The US House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill in June and sent it to the US Senate. The Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009 was to be the major next step to control global emissions. But the release of the Climategate e-mails just one week prior to the start of the conference shook the science of man-made warming.
Climatism’s Downward Spiral
Today, the man-made global warming movement is headed for a crash. United Nations climate conferences at Cancun (2010), Durban (2011), and Doha (2012) failed to produce an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Kyoto Protocol climate treaty expired at the end of 2012 without a successor agreement. The Waxman-Markey bill was ignored by the US Senate and climate legislation is now a non-starter in the US Congress.
Contrary to climate model predictions, global temperatures have failed to increase for the last fifteen years, confounding the sirens for dangerous climate change. In January of this year, the UK Met Office revised their global temperature forecast downward for the next decade. The early release of a chart from the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC showed that temperatures are running far below IPCC projections. Scientists and leading publications, such as The Economist, now question whether the climate models are too sensitive to greenhouse gas levels.
Renewable energy subsidies have been cut in Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the US. Governments across the world are rethinking their commitment to green energy. The RENIXX index has fallen to 250, down almost 90 percent from the 2007 peak. In April, the European Parliament rejected an effort to prop up the Emissions Trading System. The price of a carbon allowances dropped to under €3 per tonne, down from €20 per tonne in 2011. Climatism has become shaky business.
The Climategate e-mail release has played an important role in shifting global opinions about the theory of man-made warming. Below are some of the most important quotes from Climategate emails. More quotes on climate change, energy, and the environment can be found here.
‘Hot air’ at the UN climate conference
By Craig Rucker
Ronald Reagan used to say the closest thing to eternal life on earth is a government program. If true, the UN climate change bureaucracy presently gathered this week in Bonn is definitely a case in point.
The UNFCCC was created to carry out the climate change agreement first forged in Rio back in 1992. Since that time it has carried out its mission through regularly scheduled “conferences of the parties” every year — usually held in glamorous cities like Copenhagen, Cancun, Marrakech, and The Hague, among others. In its heyday, the UNFCCC produced a binding treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (the U.S. never joined), which, although poorly designed and scientifically meaningless, at least provided the climate bureaucracy some raison d’etre.
But the Kyoto Protocol expired in 2012 shortly after the best attempt to create a successor to it crashed and burned in Copenhagen a few years before. Since that time, Kyoto’s only been extended for those interested in continuing it (which aren’t many), and there’s been no meaningful replacement everyone can agree on. Of course, this hasn’t kept this climate bureaucracy from continuing to try.
It’s becoming apparent that so long as there’s taxpayer money and nice venues to hold conferences, there’s probably going to be no end to these regularly scheduled gatherings of international bureaucrats attempting to clamp down on our economy and regulate the weather. The confab here in Bonn has dreams of a new climate change treaty by 2015. They don’t have all the particulars down yet, but they have found a suitable city in keeping with their refined tastes when it’s ready to be signed — Paris.
To get them there, they’re relying on two different ad hoc groups working on different aspects of the new treaty. One is called the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), which looks at the proposed action plans nations are making to deal with alleged global warming. The second is called the Subsidiary Body for Science and Technological Advice (SBSTA) which reviews emissions inventories, compliance and other scientific methodologies the climate bureaucrats say is necessary for carrying out their new proposed treaty. Needless to say, the subject matter for both of these ad hoc groups can be rather tedious and technical — exacerbating the impact of any jet lag one might have experienced getting to Bonn. But they are both important to follow.
Yesterday, those involved with SBI took a day off, as the Russian delegation threw a bit of a temper tantrum and held up releasing the agenda. Since there was no agenda, there was no discussion, so delegates were free to go enjoy a German beer if they chose. A Greenpeace spokesman surmised the Russian action was probably a result of their protest over what has become known as the “hot air” controversy stemming back to the negotiations last December in Doha.
It was in Doha that the UNFCCC pulled the plug on all the emissions credits Russia had acquired under the first Kyoto agreement and told them they couldn’t carry them forward into the a treaty. Russia, which said it wasn’t going along with a second Kyoto and probably a new treaty, still wanted to keep its credits anyway — presumably to sell them to whomever decides to sign aboard. The dispute was supposedly resolved when chairman Christiana Figueres informed the Russians any new document would include language they would like — but it’s unclear if the Russians were still completely happy. Yesterday it may have signaled otherwise.
The second ad hoc group spent time going over matters such as market vs. non-market mechanisms for compliance, forest issues, mitigation and a host of other similar, technical matters. Particularly vocal were small island states like Saint Lucia and Tuvalu, which repeatedly spoke up and voiced concerns that parroted green calls for greater oversight of developed nations.
A spokesman for the Philippines also commented that “climate change needs to be seen in the broader goals of sustainable development,” jargon that is increasingly common for those pushing the radical green agenda. The actions of the chair, however, was to simply pass down to various subcommittees all these items for “further discussion.” Perhaps as the conference goes on it’ll become clear how these various items pan out.
Of course, missing in the whole discussion here in Bonn is any mention of the evolving science that casts doubt on the need for a new treaty. Many of the climate models that were first used to create panic in the early ’90′s have proven to be abysmally wrong. As CFACT’s Marc Morano has shown in his Extreme Weather Report 2012, there have not been the increases in catastrophic weather events (hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and the like) global warming alarmists feared would happen, and in fact the Hadley center has not recorded any increase in global temperatures in 16 years — nearly as long as the global warming bureaucracy has been in existence!
Sadly, such data is likely to fall on bureaucratic deaf ears here in Bonn. They have a vested interest, as Ronald Reagan noted above, in seeing their climate program go to “infinity and beyond.” We remain optimistic though that the public and policy leaders will eventually catch onto the game being played. Clearly government spending priorities and the public interest are better served by not footing the bill for bureaucrats to attend expensive conferences, like this one in Bonn.
For now their intention is clear — a fully binding climate treaty signed in Paris in 2015 with the U.S. on board.
New Microwave Regs Likened to ‘Taking 12 Million New Cars Off the Road’
Microwave ovens are the newest federal target – after the government already weighed in on light bulbs, toilets, washing machines and other everyday items for Americans – in a crusade against carbon emissions.
“That’s why we are proud to announce today that the Department of Energy has finalized new energy efficiency standards for microwaves, which will save consumers billions on their energy bills over the coming decades and prevent 38 million metric tons of carbon emissions – the equivalent of taking 12 million new cars off the road for one year,” said Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change, on the White House blog.
The administration asserts that the higher energy efficiency standards for microwaves will reduce costs and pollution.
Zichal praised the importance of regulating household appliances.
“Household appliances – like refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions – are commonplace in our everyday lives, yet we rarely stop to think: how much energy are they using and at what cost,” she said in the White House blog post. “Consider this: the average household in the United States spends more than $2,000 each year on energy bills, with appliances accounting for a significant percentage of that total.”
The White House and Energy Department announced that beginning in 2016, new energy efficiency standards for microwaves will be imposed and promised it would lead to consumer savings, but federal regulations have a poor track record of producing consumer deals, said Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
“If this goes the same way as government efficiency standards for washing machines, consumers can expect more expensive microwaves,” Kazman told CNSNews.com. “The basic question we should be asking about these mandates is if they are as great and cost effective as the government tells us, why do we have to have laws imposed on us?”
The new standards are supposed to save consumers $3 billion on their energy bills through 2030, according to the Energy Department. The department doesn’t address the regulatory impact specifically on manufacturing and retail but says the standards will have a “net benefit” of $4.6 billion on the economy over the next three decades.
“Appliance efficiency standards represent a huge opportunity to help families save money by saving energy, while still delivering high quality appliances for consumers,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement. “In fact, the commonsense appliance standards adopted over the last four years will save Americans about $400 billion on their utility bills through 2030.”
The Energy Department press release further said, “The standards for microwave ovens will reduce energy consumption in standby mode by 75 percent in countertop microwave ovens and over-the-range microwave ovens without convection features, and by 51 percent for over-the-range microwave ovens with convection, preventing 38 million metric tons of carbon pollution over the next three decades.”
The Sierra Club Exposed
In a news cycle where the lack of transparency is revealed daily, it is refreshing when something previously opaque exposes its true motives. Such is the case for the Sierra Club and its desire to block oil and gas drilling.
I’ve written many times on environmental groups’ influence over use of public lands and how they often use claims of some endangered flora or fauna as cover for their efforts to block any beneficial economic development, such as mineral extraction or agricultural activity. They cry about some critter when in fact it is really about control—control of public lands. It is this very tactic that was the impetus for my “Smash the Watermelons” initiative. Everywhere I speak, I give out bumper stickers with the slogan and pens with a green barrel, but that write with red ink. Imprinted on the pen is: “Green on the outside, red on the inside. SmashTheWatermelons.org” When people ask about the bumper sticker’s meaning, I explain: “When you spend every day, as I do, on energy issues, you quickly realize that the environmental zealots are really about blocking development in America. While they appear green on the outside, they are red on the inside.”
But now, in a season of cover-ups, the Sierra Club has come clean.
This month they’ve launched a new campaign: Our Wild America—which will call for new national monument designations.
The Hill’s E2 Wire heralds the news: “Green groups to Obama: Designate public lands to stop oil and gas drilling.” No longer hiding behind the protection of a critter, the environmental groups have come out of the shadows and boldly proclaimed their intentions. The article starts with: “Environmental lobbyists are pressing President Obama to turn more western lands into national monuments to prevent oil-and-gas companies from drilling there. The Sierra Club is leading the charge…”
Apparently the gang green is frustrated with the lack of Congressional action in locking up lands and is now resorting to pressuring the president to take executive action. Bentley Johnson, legislative representative for the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands campaign, said his group prefers to work at the local level to build momentum with congressional delegations. But that has proven relatively fruitless in recent years. “The standstill on getting lands protected through the legislative route might have pushed the White House to go it alone in recent months.”
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is mandated to manage the public lands for “multiple use.” The BLM Terminology & Actions document defines it this way: “‘multiple uses’ include recreation, range/grazing, timber, minerals/oil & gas, watershed, fish & wildlife, wilderness, and natural, scenic, scientific and historical values.” But, the “century-old” Antiquities Act gives President Obama the authority to designate national monument status even if there’s no actual monument erected. A national monument designation makes the locale off limits to development. President Obama has used this “emergency” designation nine times—six times in the past year.
The Sierra Club wants it used more.
Dan Chu, the director of the Sierra Club’s Wild America campaign, explained: “Recreation, wildlife and scenic values would have much more priority in management planning if it was designated as a national monument.”
As a part of the Wild America campaign, Michael Brune, executive director for the Sierra Club, is currently on a “road trip” to “educate the public and excite Sierra Club members about getting some of these proposed areas as national monuments.”
One of Brune’s stops is Moab, Utah. Marc Thomas, a member of the executive committee of the Sierra Club’s Utah Chapter’s Glen Canyon Group, is in support of the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument—1.4 million acres near Moab—that he describes as “a whole swath of land that is not protected from impacts like mineral extraction or privatization.” Thomas exclaims: “That's what I'm concerned about.”
Chu agrees. Addressing the campaign he says: “We, along with our partners, are concerned about imminent threats from tar sand development, oil and gas leasing and the increase in illegal trails from off-road vehicle use.”
The Wild America campaign is described as “a grassroots movement to secure permanent protection for significant landscapes and advocating for responsible wildlife and lands management”—which is spearheaded by “the largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the country.” But how grassroots is the Sierra Club really? It is not the hiking and nature club that it used to be—or that the leadership wants you to think it is. The Sierra Club is now a true political organization flexing its muscle to move its agenda with nearly a hundred million dollars in annual revenues.
In its announcement about the Wild America campaign, the United Press International said the following: “The Sierra Club, a leading environmental lobbying group in Washington…” The Sierra Club endorses candidates and policies—recently voting to support comprehensive immigration reform. In an interesting post on the website Progressives for Immigration Reform, life-long Sierra Club member and environmental activist, Philip Carfaro, bemoans the club’s reversal in its position on immigration that had been held for four decades, saying the shift “looks to have been driven by short-term politics.” Carfaro posits that Brune ignored “both the grave environmental costs of immigration-driven US population growth and the organization’s own organizational history” in exchange for La Raza’s support at the big DC rally against the Keystone pipeline and calls the leadership “short-sighted, politically correct pygmies.”
Carfaro’s point rings true. Immigration reform, specifically amnesty, is a Democratic dream come true and a presidential promise. I suspect back room deals were made for the Sierra Club’s support in exchange for executive-order national monument status to prevent oil and gas drilling. In the call for Obama to “designate public lands to stop oil and gas drilling,” Chu adds a political sweetener, suggesting Obama could help Democrats win House and Senate seats in the midterm election year: “We think there’s real opportunities for them to do additional monument designations by the midterm elections and that it’s a positive political thing for the administration and for senators and congressmen.”
There’s a La Raza connection. E2 Wire reports: “Chu argues the West is becoming ‘less purple and more blue’ because of an influx of Latino and younger voters. The Sierra Club aims to marshal those voting blocs to get new national monuments in New Mexico and Colorado. Chu said Latino and young voters care more about conservation than about energy drilling, citing a poll for the Sierra Club and National Council of La Raza that said 69 percent of Latino voters support increasing the number of national monuments.”
Yet, polling done by the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) shows otherwise. Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government affairs reports: “Our polling (conducted by the Tarrance group) shows that Latinos favor increased oil and natural gas in the US by 74%. I think they, along with a majority of Americans, realize that development creates jobs and economic opportunity throughout the US.”
Jessica Kershaw, a spokeswoman for the Department of Interior (DOI), said the administration wants to see grassroots support for monument designations before acting: “DOI, as part of the Obama administration, is certainly committed to the conservation of these designations. But it’s rooted in the partnership of these local communities,” she said. So, Brune is out trying to get Sierra Club members excited about the proposed national monuments. I believe, as the WEA poll confirms, the average American understands that more drilling means more jobs, lower-priced fuels, energy security, and a balancing of the trade deficit—which is why, as Johnson said, working “with congressional delegations” to lock up lands has been “fruitless.”
Why has the Sierra Club—a 501(c)4 public charity with the same designation as the beleaguered Tea Party groups that were “blamed” for the excessive scrutiny due to political activities—suddenly gotten transparent about their politically aggressive actions? Perhaps now that Sally Jewell, former Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) CEO, is Secretary of the Interior, the Sierra Club feels emboldened. It has a friend in the Administration. REI is a Sierra Club “benefactor.”
Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, doesn’t want decisions on monuments imposed by Obama. In an email, Mallory Micetich, a committee spokeswoman, told me: “Chairman Hastings firmly believes that additions to the National Park System and major land-use decisions that impact local communities and economies should be the result of careful public review and a vote by Congress. It should not be a unilateral decision imposed by the President under a century-old, outdated law.”
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), Chairman of the Western Caucus, agrees. “Monument designations, like any other laws, should come up from the people, not down by executive decree. Conservation is at its best when it is carried out by the people: through elected representatives in a transparent, public process. When designations are instead handed down through executive order, valid concerns are silenced, the minority cannot express its concerns, and both conservation and democracy suffer.”
Remember “the administration wants to see grassroots support for monument designations before acting”—which implies grassroots opposition could prevent the designations. Call the DOI (202-208-6416) and ask Jessica Kershaw to tell Secretary Jewell that you are “grassroots” and that you oppose the designation of national monuments by executive order. Public land-use decisions that block public access to recreation and other job-creating economic activities should not be made unilaterally, behind closed-doors, and without local input.
Climate Aid: The $39 bn industry, mostly used to slow developing countries
Climate Analytics say that developed nations have paid $35.9 billion dollars into the UN Aid program called FastStart. This was the project rescued from the aftermath of the 2009 Copenhagen climate convention. Somehow $3 billion of private finance has been tossed in as well, making it nearly $39 billion since late 2009.
As usual, when other-people’s-money is spent on the poorest of the poor, the poor seem to get no say, and not much use out of it either.
[Bloomberg] “Seventy-one percent of the total finance went to emission-reduction ventures rather than adaptation projects such as water conservation or flood defense, today’s report shows.”
Sooner or later, the aid-recipients are going to suffer through a flood or a drought (thanks to climate-sameness). But two thirds of this aid money won’t add up to a dime’s worth of protection. Seventy percent of the funds were used to stop emissions of a fertilizing trace gas instead of preparing people against the ravages of the weather. Indeed most of the money was spent reducing something that would be considered an asset if not for the decree of climate models that we already know are wrong.
Hey, but it’s only $27 billion or so wasted.
A billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon we’ll be talking real money.
There are a lot of things we don’t know about climate but we do know CO2 emissions are strongly linked to GDP. Countries which don’t emit much CO2, don’t have much purchasing power (or health, wealth or electricity either). So Joy! There’s a stronger link between CO2 and wealth, than CO2 and the weather.
There is more evidence that reducing CO2 emissions will keep poor people poor than there is that it will change the climate.
Strangely for a multibillion dollar project there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about FastStart. A quick search turns up atwo year old page by The Australian Government. I wrote about that in 2011. Back then there were lots of mysteries about the funding, and things haven’t got much better.
The Climate Analytics group realize it didn’t work out that well:
"One key feature was that the vast majority of the finance (more than 71%) was given for climate mitigation projects, leaving the world’s most vulnerable countries lacking the money badly needed to cope with the impacts of climate change they are already experiencing. “The world’s smallest and most vulnerable countries are not the cause of climate change, but they will be the hardest hit by the impacts. Yet the vast majority of Fast Start Finance public money has gone into mitigation projects, with little spent on adaptation. There needs to be a balanced approach for a long–‐term regime,” said de Marez."
Could it be that governments just rebadged other funds and grants and repackaged them so they could be called “climate aid”, and their government would pass the UN “good citizen” test? What if money that might have been used for foreign aid in health, microfinance or education was used to reduce the wealth of some of the poorest people in the world instead?
And all in the vain hope of warding off bad weather.
More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
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Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here
Posted by JR at 9:37 AM