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Coming Soon? ‘Green’ Ammo Mandates



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Say goodbye to lead. Fox News:

When the last bullet-producing lead smelter closes its doors on Dec. 31, it will mark  a major victory for those who say lead-based ammunition pollutes the environment, but others warn ‘green’ bullets will cost more, drive up copper prices and do little to help conservation.

The bid to ban lead bullets, seen by some as harmful to the environment, started slowly more than a decade ago. But with two dozen states, including California, banning bullets made of the soft, heavy metal, the lead bullet’s epitaph was already being written when the federal government finished it off.

First, the military announced plans to phase out lead bullets by 2018.

Then the federal Environmental Protection Agency, citing emissions, ordered the shutdown of the Doe Run company’s lead smelter in Herculaneum, Mo., by year’s end.

Whether by state or federal regulation, or by market forces, lead bullets will be all but phased out within a few years in favor of so-called green bullets, experts say. While many believe that this will help the environment by keeping lead from contaminating groundwater, others say switching to copper-based bullets will cost hunters and sportsmen more and have little effect on the environment.

The rest here.

Latest ‘Green’ Jobs Scheme: Deconstructing Homes



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Not demolishing an old home — deconstructing it:

Clearing old buildings is a necessary part of redevelopment, but there is a better way. Now Minnesotans can recycle their old buildings instead of sending them to the dump. To create jobs, reduce project costs and reduce waste, homeowners and contractors can choose deconstruction, a greener kind of demolition. A deconstruction work crew safely removes reusable items like cabinets, countertops, appliances, windows, flooring, wood framing, and garage doors, which are then sold.

Then, as workers disassemble the rest of the structure into its component parts, the materials are sent off to be recycled into something new. Shingles become asphalt for new roads, wood scraps become composite board, and metal becomes new cans, or even cars. Most new construction and remodeling happens with old homes — which are especially valuable to recycle.

The revenue gained from materials sold, savings from landfill fees, the environmental tax benefit and the tax credit for the value of materials recycled combine to offset the additional cost of labor and then some. Deconstruction keeps a massive amount of garbage out of the landfills and supports living-wage green jobs for our community.

 

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Senate Secret Santa: Manchin Gives Rubio ‘Coal’



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For the last three years, Sen. Al Franken has hosted a “Secret Santa” for his fellow Senators. This year, Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia drew Marco Rubio. His gift:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was the only senator to receive coal in his Christmas stocking, but with a twist. He was gifted an elephant statue made of the product from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, W.Va., who wanted to proudly show off the wares from his coal-producing home state.

 

Watch OFA End Global Warming with a Single Tweet



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These are the latest two tweets from the 501(c)(4) Organizing for Action, using the president’s old Twitter account @BarackObama:

Amazing. November was the warmest on record, but December is so cold you need a lumberjack onesie and cocoa. 

How ‘Green’ Palm Oil Is Killing Orangutans



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horrible piece on how palm-oil plantations are killing orangutans from today’s Guardian.

It’s horrible for two reasons. First, who wants to hear about dead orangutans? And second, the Guardian leaves out how government’s market interference in transportation fuels, mandating the production of palm oil as a “green” biodiesel, gives plantation owners the incentive to refine as much palm oil as possible, rainforest and orangutans be damned.  

 

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Global Warming Creating a Wine Boom in England



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From Saturday’s New York Times:

DORKING, England — For more than a decade, Matthieu Elzinga ran his own vineyard in the western Loire Valley of France. But this year, just as he was gaining an international reputation for his dry and crisp Muscadets, Mr. Elzinga sold the vineyard and moved to an emerging wine region: the south of England.

A successful French winemaker’s leap to Britain may sound contrarian — traitorous even. But it may be no more striking than the fact that English sparkling wines have recently been beating Champagnes at international competitions. Or that the British wine industry has been growing at double-digit rates for a decade and doubling in size over the last 30 years.

More obvious, though, may be the meteorological motive that is at least partly behind Mr. Elzinga’s move. By the middle of this century, Britain could become one of the world’s big wine producers, as global warming moves the limits of viticulture ever farther north.

“The wine industry in Europe will certainly change to follow the climate changes,” said Mr. Elzinga, who is now chief winemaker at Denbies Wine Estate, one of Britain’s largest vineyards. “You can’t beat the climate, so you have to follow it.”

Any climate change that benefits the British wine industry is still highly speculative and would not compensate for the broader environmental hazards that many scientists say would accompany continued global warming. And more parochially, the country’s vintners still have many obstacles to overcome, including a cumbersome taxation system and the lingering stereotype that in the land of ales and stouts, English wine simply cannot be taken seriously.

But there is no question that in recent years, British winemaking has benefited from warmer, if more erratic, weather. Britain’s climate is warming faster than the global average, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international group. In Sussex, in southeast England, the average temperature in 2013 is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) warmer than it was for most of the second part of the last century.

According to scientific projections, Britain can expect wetter winters, drier summers and less snow and frost. In this way Britain is joining a list of prospective new wine countries that include China, Russia and even the Scandinavian states.

“Global warming is definitely benefiting the U.K. wine industry,” said Chris Foss, who oversees the wine department at Plumpton College. “My family is from Bordeaux, but I’ve been living in England for 45 years now. The change over time is just amazing. The industry has potential to expand at least five times, if not 10.”

The rest here.

Tesla Buyers in Norway get a $134,000 Tax Break



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Whoa. There’s a huge tax break in Norway for buying an electric car. Not surprisingly, Tesla is focusing its sales efforts in Norway, as this tax break — as shown in the graph below — makes the Tesla half the price of its competitors:

The Tesla Model S is exempt from Norway’s steep levies on purchases of fuel-burning vehicles that can double the base price of a car. Thai makes the Model S a relative bargain for the wealthy Norwegians than can afford a six-figure set of wheels. 

 

The rest from the IBTimes here.

Op-Ed: Climate Change Increases Slavery and Trafficking



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The Guardian’s Cameron Conaway writes:  

Climate change and slavery: the perfect storm?

Environmental damage exacerbates poverty, making it easier for poor people to be trafficked. What will campaigners do about it?

You know what else exacerbates poverty? Criminal enterprises posing as governments that are recognized by the U.N. and given all the privileges of U.N. membership. And if you’re really concerned about ending trafficking and slavery, fighting climate change by empowering the U.N.is quite possibly the most counterproductive way to do it.

The whole thing here.

Greenpeace Warns Global Warming Will Destroy Santa’s Home



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If Santa can fly all around the world in one night powered by flying reindeer, I’m pretty sure his magical workshop at the North Pole can survive a few degrees of warming.

Details from Greenpeace here.

Think-Tank Report: U.S. Made 768 Percent on Auto Bailout



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It’s like the best investment in America, ever! Via the Los Angeles Times on the report just issued by the “Center for Automotive Research”:

As the federal government gets ready to sell the last of its shares in General Motors Co., a research institute has calculated the final bill on the auto industry bailout and says that taxpayers were net winners. 

The Center for Automotive Research, a Michigan nonprofit organization that analyzes auto industry issues, said Monday that the U.S. government will lose about $13.7 billion on its bailout of GM and Chrysler Group.

But the think tank said those funds “saved or avoided the loss of $105.3 billion in transfer payments and the loss of personal and social insurance tax collections — or 768% of the net investment.”

Additionally, the center said the bailouts and financial restructurings saved about 2.6 million jobs in the U.S. economy in 2009 and $284.4 billion in personal income over 2009 and 2010.

In the report, “The Effect on the U.S. Economy of the Successful Restructuring of General Motors,” researchers Sean McAlinden and Debra Maranger Menk wrote that the value of the bailouts can’t be considered just by what the taxpayers will lose in the sale of GM’s stock.

“Any complete cost-benefit assessment of the federal assistance to GM in its restructuring must consider the total net returns to the public investment in GM in the U.S. economy,” they said. “In other words, the U.S. government is not a simple investor in companies but an active participant, when needed, in the overall U.S. economy on the behalf of all of the U.S. citizenry.”

Let’s hit the pause button for a second. Who is funding the Center for Automotive Research? Not surprisingly, it’s the auto-industry who benefited from the taxpayer funds. 

Maybe a little fact-checking is necessary before the media starts trumpeting this report. 

U.S. No Longer a Shareholder in G.M.



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Final damage? A $10 billion loss.

 

A High-Speed Fail Update from California



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California’s judicial branch coming through for California taxpayers. Via the Los Angeles Daily News:

A judge’s decision this week to block the state’s access to billions of dollars in bonds it needs to build a bullet train also threatens the only other pot of money California has to finance the project — $3.3 billion from Uncle Sam.

Just a few days ago, the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority believed it had $8.6 billion in state bond proceeds and $3.3 billion in federal money to begin construction this spring on the rail line’s first stretch of track in the Central Valley.

But now the authority’s ability to spend any of those crucial funds to push the controversial bullet train project forward is highly uncertain.

“The rulings raise so many questions about whether this project still makes financial sense,” said Joe Nation, a public finance professor at Stanford University who called it a “moment of truth” for California.

“This could turn into a real nightmare,” he added.

Even before Monday’s stunning rulings by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny, the project had been mocked as a “train to nowhere” because the state had only enough funding to build about 120 miles of track, from the Fresno-Madera area to the northern outskirts of Bakersfield.

The $8.6 billion in voter-approved state bonds and the $3.3 billion in federal funds represent less than one-fifth of the money needed for the $68.4 billion project. But because of Monday’s rulings and the possibility that federal funding could be pulled back, the money “in hand” could ultimately become pocket change.

The state has already spent more than $700 million on engineering and planning costs from bonds approved by California voters in 2008. But according to an agreement the state signed with the Federal Railroad Administration, the federal government can yank the $3.3 billion it has committed to the project and even force the state to repay $397 million in federal money spent on planning, engineering and administrative costs.

What exactly did they get for $700 million? At the very least, $700 million should buy you a a snazzy website that works 80 percent of the time. . .

AEI’s James Pethokoukis wrote on the above news, “Obama’s bullet train dream just derailed in California.” Let’s hope so. 

But even with funding in doubt, this hasn’t stopped California from shopping for new trains. The shopping trip is complicated, however, because there are certain buy-American and buy-Californian provisions attached to the funding and none of the manufacturers, as of yet, are in California, let alone America. Via the Fresno Bee:

California has yet to break ground on its controversial high-speed train system, and legal challenges remain in the path of construction.

But that’s not stopping the California High-Speed Rail Authority, in conjunction with Amtrak, from shopping around for the best deal on multimillion-dollar trains to roll on their proposed high-speed lines — in California between San Francisco and Los Angeles through the San Joaquin Valley, and Amtrak’s Acela service between Boston and Washington, D.C.

Together, the two agencies are preparing to ask for bids in coming weeks from manufacturers to build between 50 and 60 train sets capable of carrying passengers at speeds up to 220 mph.

From a 34-acre plant in southeast Sacramento, Siemens Industry is one of a handful of multinational companies with an eye on the prize — a contract for “rolling stock” potentially worth $2 billion or more.

Siemens, headquartered in Germany, is one of the key players in the worldwide high-speed rail market. Others include France’s Alstom, Canada’s Bombardier, Spain’s Talgo, Italy’s AnsaldoBreda, Japan’s Hitachi and Nippon Sharyo and Korea’s Hyundai Rotem.

But none of those companies — and no U.S. firms — are building that kind of train in America.

That’s because there are no “high-speed” rail systems, typically defined as 155 mph or faster, operating in the U.S. The closest thing to it, Amtrak’s Acela, runs at a maximum speed of 150 mph for short distances but has an average speed that is closer to 75 mph.

“There are no North American manufacturers of high-speed rail equipment,” said Frank Vacca, chief program manager for the California High-Speed Rail Authority and former chief engineer for Amtrak. “The market for these train sets is in the European and Asian markets” where high-speed trains have been running for decades. Consequently, that is where they are built.

[. . .]

“Buy America” rules on the project will require that whatever company wins the train contract to build them in the U.S., and mostly with American-made parts.

For California’s share of the order, “Buy California” guidelines are also expected to come into play, Vacca said. That could potentially give Siemens a big leg up on its competitors because it already has a manufacturing plant in the state.

Vacca said some companies have plants in the U.S. where they build commuter-rail cars, including sites in Nebraska, Indiana, Wisconsin and New York. “Others don’t have any plants.”

“Our Buy California rule is going to be strongly encouraged so these trains are, at a bare minimum, going to have to be assembled here in California,” Vacca said. “Those that don’t have plants here, we’re going to very strongly suggest that they build a manufacturing plant here in California.”

To sum things up: California has spent $700 million so far and doesn’t have the a) the money to move forward or b) anyone to buy trains from even if it did have the money to move forward. 

 

Wind not at the sails for UK wind-farm project



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Today’s WSJ takes a look at yet another example of the realities of renewables, as the plug has been pulled on what would’ve been the world’s largest offshore wind farm:

LONDON—A major European utility said Tuesday it would scrap a wind farm that was due to become the largest offshore wind project ever built, a sign of the struggles the industry is having in attracting investment.

The Atlantic Array, in the Bristol Channel off the west coast of England, could have generated up to 1,200 megawatts of electricity, almost twice as much as the largest farm operating in U.K. waters. But RWE said that continuing with the project faced problems that were “prohibitive in current market conditions.”

RWE’s decision highlights the central difficulty in achieving Europe’s wind targets. Huge projects are planned, but few investors are willing to stake the billions needed to build them in an environment where government subsidies are essential but uncertain and costs can skyrocket.

Catch that? Government handouts “are essential” to the viability of this project, as they are for the wind industry as a whole.

The U.K. has pioneered offshore wind power, maximizing its island status with more turbines than any other country, but some investors have balked at the relatively new technology and the cash outlay needed for the next phase of development.

“You worry at the moment, when [offshore] is very expensive, and relies on a long-term government contract at a very high price. And you also don’t know how it’s going to be to operate in very harsh conditions” out at sea, said Emma Tinker of private-equity firm HgCapital, a long-established investor in renewable energy.

Again, offshore wind depends on “a long-term government contract.” 

HgCapital, which has £5.6 billion under management, is putting its money into onshore wind and solar, technologies that could be competitive with fossil-fuel power and “shouldn’t need cash subsidies” within five years, according to Ms. Tinker. The high cost of building offshore wind generation, by contrast, means that government support is required to make the price competitive.

“You have to spend a huge amount of money before the first turbine starts to turn…You could have a couple of years where you have hundreds of millions of pounds out and no return,” said Richard Nourse, managing partner at Greencoat UK Wind, UKW.LN -0.24% an infrastructure fund that invests solely in British wind farms but won’t risk money on building offshore installations.

Unlike governments, businesses generally need to be mindful of whether they are spending money wisely.

To make matters worse, the bounty of cheap oil and gas from U.S. shale has made renewable energy even less competitive.

Advocates of green energy say sticking with fossil fuels is a short-term plan. But the market preference for cheaper alternatives means only government can force through plans for new, expensive technologies.

The market for conventional energies is so successful that “only government can force through plans for new, expensive technologies” like wind and solar.

Of these, offshore wind is arguably the priciest, and uncertainty over how subsidies will work is another reason for investors hanging back.New energy legislation, due to pass in the U.K. before year’s end, might provide some clarity. But utilities remain concerned.

None of this is a surprise. None of this is new. Markets get it. Pie-in-the-sky politicians and regulators don’t.

 

Al Gore Goes Vegan



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What a coward. If Al Gore really believes in cataclysmic climate-change, rather than simply investing in a vegan food company and going vegan, he should start eating insects. It’s the only way to save the planet, or so I hear. 

‘Sixth-Least-Active’ Hurricane Season Since 1950 Ends November 30



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NOAA has issued a release explaining this year’s quiet hurricane season. Note how they describe the conditions that prevented-life endangering hurricanes as “unfavorable”:

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Saturday, Nov. 30, had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, thanks in large part to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean. This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes.

“A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster atNOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns.”

Thirteen named storms formed in the Atlantic basin this year. Two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes, but neither became major hurricanes. Although the number of named storms was above the average of 12, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were well below their averages of six and three, respectively. Major hurricanes are categories 3 and above.

The whole thing here.

And, FWIW, the 2013 hurricane season was such a dud that the NWS started maintenance repairs on the Doppler radar site that covers Miami before the season even ended.

UN Talks in Warsaw End with a Whimper



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From the enviro-mag, Grist:

The latest round of U.N. climate talks extended the worldwide drought on climate-fighting leadership. Things were going so badly on Thursday that many of the world’s biggest environmental groups stormed out in frustration.

But late during the two weeks of negotiations in Warsaw, Poland, known as COP19, which ended Saturday, a few drops of refreshing news splashed down. Here’s a full rundown.

The big news

In 2015, each of the planet’s nations will offer a proposal for contributing to a reduction in worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. This agreement didn’t come until Saturday night, a day after the talks were supposed to have ended. The AP reported that the “modest deal” averted “a last-minute breakdown.”

The U.S. and other countries plan to publish their commitments to reduce emissions in early 2015 — ahead of what’s supposed to be a final round of negotiations for a new climate treaty in Paris in late 2015. But India, China, and other developing countries have argued that they shouldn’t be forced to spend their own money fighting climate change. As such, they refused to agree to make such commitments. (This despite the fact that nearly half the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were put there by the developing world, and that China and India are respectively the world’s worst and fourth-worst climate polluters.)

At the last minute, a compromise emerged: Instead of publishing “commitments” in early 2015, countries have agreed to announce their planned “intended … contributions” to fight climate change “well in advance” of the Paris meetings. India and China choreographed the semantic gymnastics because they don’t want to hear “legal” this and “contract” that if they fail to follow through.

The rest here.

The next one of these things — COP20 — will be held December 1-12, 2014, in Lima, Peru. Note that it will be the middle of summer in Peru and the perfect warm-weather holiday for all the European-based climate alarmists. Have fun and bring me back a T-shirt!

UN Global Warming Summit Reaches ‘Consensus’ as Obama Brings U.S. Aboard



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After a marathon after-hours session, the UN climate summit has reached consensus. Details are beginning to emerge.

“Consensus,” there’s that word again — one of the most abused terms in the global-warming lexicon.

Russia blocked the last UNFCCC subsidiary meeting in Bonn over the UN’s using consensus decision making in place of actual voting. Although Russia sent a strongly worded letter to the Secretariat in October, things have been moving along on uncounted voice votes and rulings of the chair as a matter of course. It will be interesting to see what Russia received this time around in exchange for not pressing its objections. Could it have been billions in carbon credits?

The public face of the climate talks in Warsaw was drama, conflict, and greed.

Yeb Sano of the Philippines kicked off the drama by announcing a hunger strike over the tragic Haiyan/Yolanda typhoon. Although the storm was a natural disaster, and not the result of global warming, the typhoon remained the rallying cry for global-warming redistribution for the remainder of the conference.

(In case you were wondering, yesterday Sano announced that he is eating again and will work his way up from vegetable soup to full meals within three days.)

China kicked off the conflict by leading a walkout of 132 poor nations, after developing nations balked at immediately adopting and funding a “loss and damage” mechanism which would essentially accept legal liability and compensate poor nations for natural disasters.

Warming-left pressure groups staged a walkout of their own. As many as 800 representatives of radical NGOs walked out, demanding immediate funding for global-warming redistribution and in protest of business representatives exercising the same rights of participation that they enjoy.

COP 19’s Polish hosts were the focus of considerable drama throughout the summit. CFACT rallied over 50,000 Poles against a global-warming treaty on Polish Independence Day. Poland ran a coal summit in parallel with the warming summit and fired the president of the COP with only two days left to go.

While all this was going on, however, the bureaucrats kept working behind the scenes to keep things moving towards the goal they’ve set — signing a full global warming treaty in Paris in 2015 — a treaty which for the first time includes the United States.

Just as the conference was collapsing, the Obama administration came to the rescue and committed the United States to the treaty timetable and agreed to have American emissions-reduction targets in place in time for Paris. This brought the parties back to the table and permitted the bureaucrats to cobble together a consensus. 

The details are just emerging, but it appears that developing nations and the warming pressure groups got their loss-and-damage mechanism. They are still complaining that they would have preferred immediate funding and less wiggle room in the language – but consider the concession they’ve been given. By acknowledging loss and damage as legitimate, the developed world has abandoned science, accepted a present-day link between global warming and natural disasters that no data shows, and exposed their taxpayers to potentially unlimited future liability.

The UN has also reached consensus on a framework and funding for its REDD program, a dream come true for would-be carbon profiteers seeking to make fortunes the way Al Gore did. The REDD program enables developers to rack up huge profits from the sale of carbon offsets for forestry programs in poor countries. Almost all the financial gain is exported to investors, while the pain remains with the poor. The age of eco-imperialism is upon us.

With all nations back at the table, the global-warming elite were able to announce progress on their main goal: advancing towards a Paris treaty in 2015 under which both the U.S. and developing nations agree to limit their CO2 emissions.  The U.S. did not join the first global-warming treaty which was signed in Kyoto, Japan in 1997. The “Kyoto Protocol” gave the developing world a pass.

This consensus was reached only after the word “contributions” was exchanged for “commitment” to provide the weasel word that would permit Brazil, India, China, and other developing nations to expect that the U.S. and other industrialized nations will suicidally contract their own economies while the BRICs continue to expand.

The outcome of the Warsaw climate summit is too tepid to satisfy the radical enviro-left. Their complaints will be shrill and many.

Realists who disagree with the UN’s take on global-warming science and policy will take comfort from the outcome’s lack of firm commitments, weasel words, and delays. If they let down their guard, they will demonstrate the true meaning of global-warming denial.

While the UN’s global-warming mandarins and profiteers may have liked more, they jet out of Warsaw still in control of the game. They leave Poland with the U.S. finally inside the global-warming tent, no nettlesome procedural reforms, and their road to a Paris global-warming treaty difficult but still in sight. They will immediately resume their endless series of backroom deals at quiet subsidiary meetings. Bureaucracy may be inefficient, but it is persistent. When UN global-warming bureaucrats are persistent, you pay.

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After a marathon after-hours session, the UN climate summit has reached consensus. Details are beginning to emerge.

“Consensus,” there’s that word again. Consensus has become one of the most abused terms in the global warming lexicon.

Russia blocked the last UNFCCC subsidiary meeting in Bonn over the UN using consensus decision marking in place of actual voting. Although Russia sent a strongly worded letter to the Secretariat in October, keeping things moving along on uncounted voice votes and rulings of the chair continues to be the order of the day. It will be interesting to see what Russia received in exchange for not pressing its objections. Could it have been billions in carbon credits?

The public face of the climate talks in Warsaw was drama, conflict and strife .

Yeb Sano of the Philippines kicked off the drama by announcing a hunger strike over tragic Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Although the typhoon was a natural disaster, and not the result of global warming, the typhoon remained the rallying cry for global warming redistribution for the remainder of the conference. In case you are concerned, yesterday Sano announced that he is eating again and will work his way up from vegetable soup to full meals within three days.

China kicked off the conflict by leading a walkout of 132 poor nations, after developing nations balked at immediately adopting and funding a “loss and damage” mechanism which would essentially accept legal liability and compensate poor nations for natural disasters.

Warming-left pressure groups added to the conflict and staged a walkout of their own. Up to 800 representatives of radical NGOs walked out, demanding immediate funding for global warming redistribution measures and in protest of business representatives exercising the same rights of participation that they enjoy.

COP 19′s Polish hosts were the focus of drama, conflict and strife throughout the summit. CFACT rallied over

CFACT President David Rothbard rallies over 50,000 Polies against the UN treaty

CFACT President David Rothbard rallies over 50,000 Polies against the UN treaty

50,000 Poles against the global warming treaty on Polish Independence Day. Poland ran a coal summit in parallel with the warming summit and fired the president of the COP with only two days left to go.

While all this was going on, however, the bureaucrats kept working behind the scenes to keep things moving towards the goal they’ve set – signing a full global warming treaty in Paris in 2015 – a treaty which for the first time includes the United States.

Just as the conference was collapsing, the Obama administration came to the rescue and committed the United States to the treaty timetable and agreed to have American emissions reduction targets in place in time for Paris. This brought the parties back to the table and permitted the bureaucrats to cobble up a consensus.

The details are just emerging, but it appears that developing nations and the warming pressure groups got their loss and damage mechanism. They are still complaining that they would have preferred immediate funding and less wiggle room in the language, but think about what they have achieved. By acknowledging loss and damage as legitimate, the developed world has abandoned science, accepted a present-day link between global warming and natural disasters that no data shows, and exposed their taxpayers to potentially unlimited future liability.

The UN has also reached consensus on a framework and funding for its REDD program, a dream come true for would-be carbon profiteers seeking to make their future the way Al Gore did. The REDD program enables developers to rack up huge profits from the sale of carbon offsets for forestry programs in poor countries. Almost all the financial gain is exported to investors, while the pain remains with the poor. The age of eco-imperialism is upon us.

With all nations back at the table, the global warming elite were able to announce progress on their main goal: advancing towards a Paris treaty in 2015 under which both the U.S. and developing nations agree for the first time to join the Kyoto Protocol annex one nations in limiting their CO2 emissions.

This consensus was reached only after the word “contributions” was exchanged for “commitment” to provide the weasel word which would permit China, India, Brazil and other developing nations to preserve their concept that the U.S. and other industrialized nations should contract their economies while theirs continue to expand.

The outcome to the Warsaw climate summit is too tepid to satisfy the radical enviro-left. Their complaints will be shrill and many.

Those who disagree with the UN’s take on global warming science and policy will take comfort from the outcome’s lack of firm commitments, weasel words and delays. If they let down their guard, they will demonstrate the true meaning of global warming denial.

While the UN’s global warming mandarins and profiteers may have liked more, they jet out of Warsaw still in control of the game. They leave Warsaw with the U.S. finally inside the global warming tent, no nettlesome procedural reforms, and their road to a Paris global warming treaty difficult, but still in sight. They will immediately resume their endless series of backroom deals at quiet subsidiary meetings. Bureaucracy may be inefficient, but it is persistent. When UN global warming bureaucrats are persistent, you pay.

- See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2013/11/24/cop-19-un-consensus-at-global-warming-su...
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After a marathon after-hours session, the UN climate summit has reached consensus. Details are beginning to emerge.

“Consensus,” there’s that word again. Consensus has become one of the most abused terms in the global warming lexicon.

Russia blocked the last UNFCCC subsidiary meeting in Bonn over the UN using consensus decision marking in place of actual voting. Although Russia sent a strongly worded letter to the Secretariat in October, keeping things moving along on uncounted voice votes and rulings of the chair continues to be the order of the day. It will be interesting to see what Russia received in exchange for not pressing its objections. Could it have been billions in carbon credits?

The public face of the climate talks in Warsaw was drama, conflict and strife .

Yeb Sano of the Philippines kicked off the drama by announcing a hunger strike over tragic Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Although the typhoon was a natural disaster, and not the result of global warming, the typhoon remained the rallying cry for global warming redistribution for the remainder of the conference. In case you are concerned, yesterday Sano announced that he is eating again and will work his way up from vegetable soup to full meals within three days.

China kicked off the conflict by leading a walkout of 132 poor nations, after developing nations balked at immediately adopting and funding a “loss and damage” mechanism which would essentially accept legal liability and compensate poor nations for natural disasters.

Warming-left pressure groups added to the conflict and staged a walkout of their own. Up to 800 representatives of radical NGOs walked out, demanding immediate funding for global warming redistribution measures and in protest of business representatives exercising the same rights of participation that they enjoy.

COP 19′s Polish hosts were the focus of drama, conflict and strife throughout the summit. CFACT rallied over

CFACT President David Rothbard rallies over 50,000 Polies against the UN treaty

CFACT President David Rothbard rallies over 50,000 Polies against the UN treaty

50,000 Poles against the global warming treaty on Polish Independence Day. Poland ran a coal summit in parallel with the warming summit and fired the president of the COP with only two days left to go.

While all this was going on, however, the bureaucrats kept working behind the scenes to keep things moving towards the goal they’ve set – signing a full global warming treaty in Paris in 2015 – a treaty which for the first time includes the United States.

Just as the conference was collapsing, the Obama administration came to the rescue and committed the United States to the treaty timetable and agreed to have American emissions reduction targets in place in time for Paris. This brought the parties back to the table and permitted the bureaucrats to cobble up a consensus.

The details are just emerging, but it appears that developing nations and the warming pressure groups got their loss and damage mechanism. They are still complaining that they would have preferred immediate funding and less wiggle room in the language, but think about what they have achieved. By acknowledging loss and damage as legitimate, the developed world has abandoned science, accepted a present-day link between global warming and natural disasters that no data shows, and exposed their taxpayers to potentially unlimited future liability.

The UN has also reached consensus on a framework and funding for its REDD program, a dream come true for would-be carbon profiteers seeking to make their future the way Al Gore did. The REDD program enables developers to rack up huge profits from the sale of carbon offsets for forestry programs in poor countries. Almost all the financial gain is exported to investors, while the pain remains with the poor. The age of eco-imperialism is upon us.

With all nations back at the table, the global warming elite were able to announce progress on their main goal: advancing towards a Paris treaty in 2015 under which both the U.S. and developing nations agree for the first time to join the Kyoto Protocol annex one nations in limiting their CO2 emissions.

This consensus was reached only after the word “contributions” was exchanged for “commitment” to provide the weasel word which would permit China, India, Brazil and other developing nations to preserve their concept that the U.S. and other industrialized nations should contract their economies while theirs continue to expand.

The outcome to the Warsaw climate summit is too tepid to satisfy the radical enviro-left. Their complaints will be shrill and many.

Those who disagree with the UN’s take on global warming science and policy will take comfort from the outcome’s lack of firm commitments, weasel words and delays. If they let down their guard, they will demonstrate the true meaning of global warming denial.

While the UN’s global warming mandarins and profiteers may have liked more, they jet out of Warsaw still in control of the game. They leave Warsaw with the U.S. finally inside the global warming tent, no nettlesome procedural reforms, and their road to a Paris global warming treaty difficult, but still in sight. They will immediately resume their endless series of backroom deals at quiet subsidiary meetings. Bureaucracy may be inefficient, but it is persistent. When UN global warming bureaucrats are persistent, you pay.

- See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2013/11/24/cop-19-un-consensus-at-global-warming-su...

Tags: COP 19 , CFACT , Global Warming , climate , UN , UNFCCC , Warsaw

UN Climate Summit Goes into Overtime as Obama Rides to the Rescue



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As has become the usual practice at the UN climate summits, COP 19 in Warsaw has gone past its Friday closing time and is now in overtime.

This year’s talks became bogged down by a series of challenges.

Russia raised fundamental issues of procedural fairness — little things like the UN not recognizing nations seeking to speak or permitting them to vote.

Then 132 poor nations walked out to pressure industrialized nations to accept legal liability for “loss and damage” they suffer as a result of natural disasters, though science cannot show a meaningful causal relationship between natural disasters and global warming. 

In a truly bizarre twist, hundreds of members of far-left enviro NGOs walked out of the talks to express their frustration when the UNFCCC did not immediately cave in to their demands to fund loss and damage and a host of other redistributive schemes.  They also found sponsorship of the COP by charitable gifts from industry and the presence of business representatives in the proceedings to be intolerable — that they themselves are tolerated in the proceedings under the same rules is quite conveniently beyond their ken.

All that Sturm und Drang left the climate talks way behind schedule.

Negotiators did emerge from behind closed doors to announce that they had an agreement in hand to finalize the UN’s REDD scheme.  If you’ve been dreaming of becoming a billionaire by selling carbon offsets from third world forests that will have no meaningful effect on world temperatures, your moment has come.

With most negotiating tracks way behind schedule, the Obama administration tried to ride to the rescue. U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern announced that for the first time the U.S. now supports all nations declaring their targets for reducing CO2 emissions before 2015. This would clear the path for the UN to adopt a full climate treaty and successor to the Kyoto Protocol in Paris in 2015, while Obama is still in office. 

E.U. climate chief Connie Hedegaard has been trying to get the U.S. on board for years. Stern’s announcement gave her something with which to encourage the delegates that their climate treaty of Paris remains in sight. However, major stumbling blocks remain. Developing nations remain simultaneously reluctant to reduce their own emissions and adamant that they want immediate funding for both the Green Climate Fund and Loss and Damage.  

As the talks enter their final hours, how big a bribe can Hedegaard and the industrial world come up with to get developing nations to agree to a COP 19 outcome? Alternatively, will developing nations defer their global warming distribution dreams to at last have the U.S. on board?

Whose money after all do you think it is that they are so eager to redistribute?

Tags: COP 19 , CFACT , Global Warming , Climate Change , Waraw , Poland , UN , UNFCCC

Bjørn Lomborg: ‘Typhoon Haiyan Not About Climate Change’



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Lomborg has a great column today on why poverty, not climate change, is to blame for the destruction caused by Haiyan:

The recent storm in Philippines was not a result of global warming, but about poverty.

The recent Typhoon Haiyan was terrible. Hitting the Philippines, it killed thousands, because of poverty: flimsy houses that were swept away, inadequate shelters and poor planning.

It is a pattern we know only too well. When a hurricane hits rich Florida, it makes significant damage, but kills few people. When a similar hurricane hits poor Nicaragua, it destroys the economy and kills tens of thousands.

Yet, many of the world’s top opinion leaders have not talked about poverty but rather linked Haiyan to global warming, focusing on cutting CO2. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called it a climate “wake-up call.” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and British Prime Minister David Cameron both speculated Haiyan was caused by climate change and emphasized the need to cut emissions.

At the ongoing Warsaw climate summit, the Philippine negotiator Naderev Saño stated “climate change will mean more intense tropical storms,” and that a climate treaty could fix this. To a thunderous, standing ovation he exclaimed: “We can fix this. We can stop this madness. Right now, right here.”

Yet, this connection is wrong and the focus on climate is possibly the worst way to help.

Global warming is real, and there are many good arguments for cutting CO2 effectively. But hurricanes are not one of them.

There is no indication of an increasing number of hurricanes around the Philippines or even globally. The longest comparable, global scientific study “does not support the presence of significant long-period global or individual basin linear trends for minor, major or total hurricanes.” Actually, the trend for strong hurricanes around the Philippines has declined since 1950.

The rest here.

Everybody Seems to Be Leaving the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw



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Some headlines this morning:

Green groups stage walk-out at UN climate talks

Environment and development groups are protesting at slow speed and lack of ambition of Warsaw negotiations

Environment and development groups together with young people, trade unions and social movements have walked out of the UN climate talks on Thursday in protest at what they say is the slow speed and lack of ambition of the negotiations in Warsaw.

Wearing T-shirts reading “Volverermos” ["We will return"] around 800 people from organisations including Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union conferation and ActionAid, handed back their registration badges to the UN and left Poland’s National Stadium where the talks are being held.

“Movements representing people from every corner of the Earth have decided that the best use of our time is to voluntarily withdraw from the Warsaw climate talks. This will be the first time ever that there has been a mass withdrawal from a COP,” said a WWF spokesman.

“Warsaw, which should have been an important step in the just transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing. We feel that governments have given up on the process,” he said.

And. . .

Poor countries walk out of UN climate talks as compensation row rumbles on

Bloc of 132 countries exit Warsaw conference after rich nations refuse to discuss climate change recompense until after 2015

Representatives of most of the world’s poor countries have walked out of increasingly fractious climate negotiations after the EU, Australia, the US and other developed countries insisted that the question of who should pay compensation for extreme climate events be discussed only after 2015.

The orchestrated move by the G77 and China bloc of 132 countries came during talks about “loss and damage” – how countries should respond to climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to, such as typhoon Haiyan.

Saleemul Huq, the scientist whose work on loss and damage helped put the issue of recompense on the conference agenda, said: “Discussions were going well in a spirit of co-operation, but at the end of the session on loss and damage Australia put everything agreed into brackets, so the whole debate went to waste.”

Australia was accused of not taking the negotiations seriously. “They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation. That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in,” said a spokeswoman for Climate Action Network.

I am eagerly searching for video of the T-shirted Australians gorging on snacks and will update this post if I find it.

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