Tuesday, October 19, 2021

UN Climate Change Funding to Feed Corruption Gravy Train of Developing World

The U.N. climate change conference in Glasgow (COP26) is great news for corrupt governments in the developing world because it looks set to transfer huge sums of money into their hands.

Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian-born economist, has long warned the West against sending aid to Africa because of the corruption it creates.

Moyo’s book “Dead Aid” explained how foreign aid produces terrible outcomes in the developing world, such as economic laziness, cultures of dependence, and rampant corruption. She argued aid was killing Africa.

Warnings by Moyo, and others, have helped reduce the flows of foreign aid to third world governments know to be kleptocracies. But that has simply meant corrupt governments have had to work harder to get the West to send them money.

How have they done this? The method that has been widely used is playing the guilt card or the victim card.

The guilt card tells Westerners they should feel guilty because European empires and colonialism allegedly exploited the third world. But, unfortunately, the Left has so widely propagated this anticolonial mythology that it is becoming almost impossible to have a sensible discussion about the age of imperialism.

The victim card tells Westerners that the developing world is full of poor and starving people because villainous Western capitalists exploit them. Unfortunately, this socialist myth has been sold to many well-meaning but naïve, liberals through journalists and celebrities, or by screening heart-wrenching and sensationalist television images.

Since well-meaning liberals lack personal experience of the third world, they have no reality against which to measure the myths fed to them by left-leaning media and educators.

Playing the guilt and victims cards have also been routinely used by leaders of multilateral organizations like the U.N. and WHO.

More recently, we have also witnessed third world leaders increasingly using China’s Belt and Road initiative to turn the foreign aid tap back on. Today’s version of great power competition has seen Western countries handing out aid to try and stop developing countries from aligning with China.

Sadly, this sort of aid is especially likely to lead to corruption—just as it did during the Cold War.

But now we are facing a new explosion of third world corruption, caused this time by the way Greens have successfully mobilized the politics of climate change. If governments in Africa and Asia get their way, the Glasgow conference on climate change will transfer huge amounts of money into their hands.

With the Glasgow summit in mind, the South African government (known for its corruption) has promised to go beyond its Paris greenhouse gas targets.

But there is a catch—along with other third world elites, South Africa expects taxpayers in the West to pay them to implement their targets.

So we see the South African government, a well-known kleptocrat regime, brazenly asking the developed world to hand over to them $269 billion to pay for proposed decarbonization projects. The South African document lodged with the U.N. said “substantial multilateral support” would be required for measures such as “a very ambitious power sector investment plan.”

So Glasgow funds will be used to fix South Africa’s broken Eskom electricity supply system, plus fix the country’s catastrophic debt-repayment problem created by Eskom’s corruption and maladministration. Eskom has been unable to supply the country with enough electricity since 2007.

Further, ending the country’s energy crisis by building giant new power plants at Medupi and Kusile failed because of corruption, looting, and planning incompetence. Glasgow funds could fix all these problems, but it would also provide new corruption opportunities.

Effectively, the developing world is putting forward yet another neo-socialist wealth transfer scheme, but this one is dressed up in the language of saving the planet from climate change.

But the developing world says they will only help save the planet on condition that Western governments help them meet their Glasgow promises by transferring billions (if not trillions) of dollars from Western taxpayers to developing world elites so they can meet over-blown targets.

There are two problems with this. Firstly, the developing world has a record of poor governance, meaning these governments can seldom deliver on promises or targets. Even worse, developing world elites generally spend the foreign aid monies they receive to enrich themselves rather than to actually build the intended projects.

So the reality is, the U.N. climate change conference in Glasgow looks set to become just another mechanism to feed the corrupt gravy train that third world elites have been running for decades. Far from paying for green decarbonization projects, any wealth transfers flowing from Glasgow are more likely to end up buying four-wheel drives for the children of the third world elites.

To understand what is likely to happen to the $269 billion for climate change projects asked for by the South Africans, one only needs to look at what happened to their $4.3 billion COVID-19 relief funding from the IMF. One corrupt government Minister alone was involved in COVID-19 fraud valued at $10 million, while other politicians and African National Congress-aligned cronies looted another $700 million out of PPE funds.

If South Africa’s elite were even prepared to steal from funds geared to saving lives by fixing a health system shattered by COVID-19, imagine what they would do with climate change aid (where no lives are at stake).

By bringing together third world elites carrying begging bowls with Western greens which are willing to be taken advantage of, the U.N. climate change summit seems almost certain to deliver a bonanza for all those corrupt elites with a legacy of running gravy trains.

But this still begs the question; will Western governments ever learn?


California environmental regulations behind shipping backlog

The trucking issue with California LA ports, ie the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB), is that all semi tractors have to be current with new California emissions standards. As a consequence, that mean trucks cannot be older than 3 years if they are to pick up or deliver containers at those ports. This issue wipes out approximately half of the fleet trucks used to move containers in/out of the port. Operating the port 24/7 will not cure the issue, because all it does is pile up more containers that sit idle as they await a limited number of trucks to pick them up. THIS is the central issue.

On October 16, 2020, the EPA reached a settlement agreement [DATA HERE] with California Air Resource Board (CARB) to shut down semi tractor rigs that were non-compliant with new California emission standards:

2020 SAN FRANCISCO – “Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with three interstate trucking companies imposing $417,000 in penalties for violating the California Air Resources Board’s federally enforceable Truck and Bus Regulation, Drayage Truck Regulation and Transport Refrigeration Unit Regulation.

“As trucks are one of the largest sources of air pollution in California, EPA will continue to ensure these heavy-duty vehicles have the needed pollution-control equipment and operate in compliance with the rules,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “These companies have agreed to bring their trucks into compliance and operate more cleanly in all communities they serve.”

Transportation is a primary contributor to the high levels of air pollutants in Southern California and the Central Valley. Diesel emissions from trucks are one of the state’s largest sources of fine particle pollution, or soot, which is linked to health issues including asthma, impaired lung development in children, and cardiovascular effects in adults. Many of these trucks are older models and emit high amounts of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

[…] California Truck and Bus Regulation and Drayage Truck Regulation have been essential parts of the state’s federally enforceable plan to attain cleaner air. California requires trucking companies to upgrade vehicles they own to meet specific NOx and PM performance standards and to verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions standards or use diesel particulate filters to reduce the diesel particulates emissions into the atmosphere by 85% or more. (read more)

In effect, what this 2020 determination and settlement created was an inability of half the nation’s truckers from picking up anything from the Port of LA or Port of Long Beach. Virtually all private owner operator trucks and half of the fleet trucks that are used for moving containers across the nation were shut out.


Are reusable cotton tote bags really good for the environment?

Long hailed by brands as the eco-friendly solution to single-use plastic bags, cotton totes have ironically become part of the problem.

According to a 2020 study by Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, reusing a cotton bag 50 times had over 10 times the global warming potential compared to reusable plastic bags that were reused the same number of times.

That means a single cotton tote has to be used hundreds of times before they are considered a more eco-friendly alternative over single-use or reusable plastic bags.

Bigger environmental footprint
The study also showed that cotton totes have relatively bigger environmental footprints compared to their plastic counterparts because of the eco-toxicity potential in their production.

According to a 2018 study by Danish authorities, a single organic cotton tote needs to be used 20,000 times – or used daily for 54 years — to offset its overall impact of production.

Cotton production is resource-intensive – staggeringly large amounts of water is needed to grow the fibres. Some 10,000 to 20,000 litres are required to produce just 1kg of cotton, which is the rough equivalent of one T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

It is also associated with allegations of forced labour in Xinjiang, China, which produces 20 per cent of the global cotton supply and supplies most Western fashion brands.

Even recycling a cotton tote is not as environmentally friendly as perceived.

Experts have said that even if these bags are sent for recycling, logos or messages have to be cut out of the cloth, wasting an estimated 10 to 15 per cent of cotton received by a single recycling firm. Most dyes used to print designs on the cotton totes are PVC-based, therefore not biodegradable and unrecyclable.

What can you do?
Think twice the next time you accept the offer of a free tote by brands – not every product needs to be bagged.

By all means, accept a free tote if you need it, but make sure you use it as often as possible.


From green euphoria to global energy crisis

“The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil.” So declared Sheikh Zaki Yamani, a Saudi Arabian oil minister who shot to global prominence during the oil shocks of the 1970s. In his view, the age of fossil fuels would draw to a close as superior technologies and cleaner fuels prevailed in the marketplace. The inevitable corollary of this argument was that vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas would remain untapped as stranded assets in the ground.

For a time, it seemed as though his vision was coming to pass. A confluence of clean-energy innovation and concern about climate change created a euphoric green moment in energy markets. Solar and wind generation costs plunged dramatically, to the point that new renewable power plants became cheaper than new coal or gas plants in most parts of the world. With help from Californian investment and innovation and Chinese subsidies and scaling, electric cars started to give petrol-fired ones their first real run for the money since Thomas Edison and Henry Ford championed them over a century ago.

And global concern about global warming produced a rising tide of government action to cope with the rising tides of the oceans. Next month world leaders will assemble in Glasgow for the UN’s COP26 climate summit. They are expected to unveil national plans ahead of the summit that put teeth into pledges to rein in extreme climate change made at a similar shindig in Paris six years ago. Excitement about the forthcoming summit gave a dramatic boost to clean energy and climate innovation. Some even imagined that the talks would sound the death knell for fossil fuels and the greenhouse gases produced by them.

Alas, there is now a rather large and dirty spanner in the works. Far from fading quietly into the night, fossil-fuel use is rising on the back of strong economic demand. But because investment in fossil energy production has plunged of late—in part because investors concerned about future regulatory action against carbon-spewers have been dumping shares of oil and gas firms—there is short-term scarcity. Europe has very low stocks of natural gas, for example, and if this winter proves especially bitter it will run out of the stuff. The demand for fossil fuels is partly the result of shortfalls in renewable sources such as hydroelectric power and wind in various parts of the world.

This looks to be the first great shock of the global energy transition. Policymakers are likely to respond either by slamming on the brakes, seeing greenery as a threat to energy security and reliability, or by stepping on the accelerator, seeing today’s disruptions as short-term distractions in the urgent fight against climate change. But what they really need to do is rethink the policies and reform the markets of the energy transition. That could prove as difficult as fixing a flat tyre while going full speed ahead.

The Economist: noreply@e.economist.com


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


No comments: