News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

World Bank has created 10 'carbon' funds worth $2.5 billion, will add yet another carbon fund in spring 2013

1/31/13, "World Bank eyes spring launch for new carbon fund," pointcarbon.com
 
LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters Point Carbon) – "The World Bank aims to launch a new carbon fund this spring after it was delayed almost a year because falling carbon prices made it harder to raise cash, a senior official at the bank told Reuters Point Carbon."... 
 
------------------------------------------
  
"World Bank Carbon Funds and Facilities"
  
"2.5 billion under management through 10 carbon funds and facilities."
 
------------------------------------------
 
"WORLD BANK CARBON FINANCE UNIT
CARBON PARTNERSHIP FACILITY
"
 
---------------------------------------------
 
 
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Norway study says future warming likely only 1.9C, within CO2 alarmists' target. Good news also on Greenland from Nature study, melting fears put to rest. Greens job now over, congrats. No need for Sierra Club and 350 to waste CO2 marching on Washington in Feb.!

1/28/13, "Climatologists Retrench As Climate Refuses To Warm," The Resilient Earth, Doug L. Hoffman

"A newly released study from the Research Council of Norway has climate change alarmists abuzz. One of the things the alarmists have been pushing for is to halt warming at a 2°C increase at any cost (and they mean that literally). In the Norwegian study, much to the alarmists' dismay, researchers have arrived at an estimate of 1.9°C as the most likely level of future warming. 

The report also recognizes that temperatures have stabilized at 2000 levels for the past decade even though CO2 levels have continued to rise. Meanwhile, a reconstruction of the Eemian interglacial from the new NEEM ice core, published in the journal Nature, shows that in spite of a climate 8°C warmer than that of the past millennium, the ice in Northern Greenland was only a few hundred meters lower than its present level. 

This finding casts doubt on the projected melting of ice sheets and resulting sea-level rise.

After rising sharply through the 1990s, Earth’s mean surface temperature has leveled off nearly completely at its 2000 level. Ocean warming also appears to have stabilized, despite the fact that CO2 emissions and other anthropogenic factors claimed to contribute to global warming are still on the rise. Clearly, a number of factors affect climate development, not just the usual suspects cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)....
 
Those who point to Greenland's melting ice and predict massive sea-level rise are in for some disappointment. And need I point out that those higher Eemian temperatures occurred when what few humans existed had only campfires to contribute to their carbon footprints....

These results are truly sensational,” says Dr Caroline Leck, an internationally renowned climate researcher at Stockholm University. “If confirmed by other studies, this could have far-reaching impacts on efforts to achieve the political targets for climate.”

As heartening as the Norwegian study is, there was more good news on the climate catastrophe front. Previous efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the Eemian interglacial have been unsuccessful. Now, in an article published in Nature, “Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core,” by researchers known collectively as the NEEM community, new information has come to light regarding Greenland ice melt during the previous interglacial....

The bottom line on this report is that Greenland's ice sheet, even when subjected to significantly warmer temperatures than today, did not melt rapidly and disappear as some alarmists would have us believe....

From all indications, the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) was significantly warmer than our own Holocene. A new North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (‘NEEM’) ice core shows just how warm, and surprisingly indicates only modest ice-sheet melting in response to the strong warming. On the basis of water stable isotopes, NEEM surface temperatures after the onset of the Eemian (126,000 years ago) peaked at 8 ± 4 degrees Celsius above the present-day annual average of roughly −25 °C. This early peak was followed by a gradual cooling that was probably driven by decreasing summer insolation. These findings are summarized in the figure below, which is followed by a description from the article."...via Climate Depot




Coal use and production booming around the world with exception of the US, big banks financing the growth

11/29/12, "Countries Worldwide Propose to Build 1,200 New Coal Plants," Institute for Energy Research

 










 


"Source: Energy Information Administration, International Data Base, http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=1&pid=7&aid=1 and http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=1&pid=1&aid=2"
 
"According to the World Coal Association, coal’s global share of primary energy consumption rose to 30.3 percent in 2011 from about 25 percent, where it had been for years, and generated about 42 percent of the world’s electricity. Coal’s global resurgence is due in part to the shale gas boom that lowered natural gas prices, making gas more competitive with coal, and pushing coal prices down on world markets.

Coal’s recent global renaissance, with the world’s highest consumption for the fuel since 1969, is not just due to Asian countries. In the United Kingdom, for example, coal consumption increased by nearly a quarter between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012. Germany is encouraging the construction of 10 gigawatts of coal-fired generation to replace its nuclear plants and provide back-up power for its wind and solar units, which require backup when the wind isn’t blowing or when the sun does not shine.

Europe overall burned more coal in the past year than any time since it pledged cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. Besides coal’s low cost, the price of carbon permits in Europe is also very low due to their large supply and low demand, making coal an economic choice for electricity generation.[iii] Natural gas prices in Europe are high because of politically expedient deals that coupled the price of Russian gas imports to the price of oil.  In contrast, the shale gas boom in the United States decoupled oil and gas prices, driving natural gas down to near record levels.[iv]

Coal’s Future in the United States

Coal generation’s share in the United States has declined from around 50 percent to an estimated 37 percent for 2012. The reasons for its decline are twofold: low-cost natural gas is edging out coal for generation and the Environmental Protection Agency is producing onerous regulations that will retire many old coal-fired power plants and/or add substantial costs for their compliance (Utility MACT), and make it impossible to build new coal-fired power plants with existing technology (Carbon Pollution Standard). To build a new coal-fired plant, carbon capture and sequestration technology will be required, but that technology does not exist on a commercial scale today.

The Energy Information Administration estimates that 175 coal-fired units are scheduled to be shut down between 2012 and 2016—a total of 27 gigawatts of electrical capacity that powers 27 million homes.[v]  The Brattle Group in a recent study estimates that between 59 gigawatts and 77 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity is likely to retire rather than be retrofitted with additional environmental equipment.[vi] The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finds 81 gigawatts of shuttered coal-fired capacity to be “likely”.[vii] These units will be replaced with more expensive forms of energy, since any new plant will have to absorb its capital as well as operational costs. Electricity rates will likely  skyrocket due to the need to replace the retiring coal-fired capacity with new approved technology.

The closing of these coal-fired power plants threatens thousands of the 555,270 direct and indirect coal-related jobs that pay $36 billion in wages. Coal employees are already entering the ranks of the unemployed in the United States. Alpha Natural Resources is scaling back its coal production and eliminating 1,200 jobs, including 400 jobs that were terminated as a result of immediate mine closures in Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The company indicated that the action was due to “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.” Over 100 coal miners in Boone County, West Virginia, were laid off in November. Ohio American Energy, Inc., announced it would close its coal mining operations in Brilliant, Ohio, citing regulatory actions for the mine’s closure and warning that more layoffs would come. GenOn announced it would shutter 13 percent of its generating capacity by 2015 due to new environmental regulations. First Energy announced the early retirement of six plants located in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland due to the high cost and uncertainty associated with new EPA regulations.[viii]

Conclusion

According to Milton Catelin, chief executive of the World Coal Association, global coal use is likely to continue to increase, and could help to lift people out of poverty. China and India are planning to use coal to do just that. According to the International Energy Agency, coal consumption has increased by 8.4 percent in the developing countries. Other countries see coal as an economic choice with both Germany and the United Kingdom increasing its use. Unfortunately, for Americans – with the largest supplies of coal in the world — new and onerous regulations are forcing the coal industry to lose share in the U.S. electric generation sector, reduce its consumption, and force many Americans into unemployment.  

Other countries are using coal to lift their citizens out of poverty, 

while the United States is impoverishing its people by criminalizing the use of coal."

======================================

Big banks such as JP Morgan, Citi, Barclays, World Bank, finance worldwide coal expansion:

1/19/12, "More than 1,000 New Coal Plants Planned Worldwide," Damian Carrington, UK Guardian


The huge planned expansion comes despite warnings from politicians, scientists and campaigners that the planet's fast-rising carbon emissions must peak within a few years if runaway climate change is to be avoided and that fossil fuel assets risk becoming worthless if international action on global warming moves forward....

The capacity of the new plants add up to 1,400GW to global greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of adding another China – the world's biggest emitter.

India is planning 455 new plants compared to 363 in China, which is seeing a slowdown in its coal investments after a vast building programme in the past decade....
The WRI report also found that, after a slight dip during the economic troubles of 2008, the global coal trade has rebounded and rose by 13% in 2010. A structural shift has moved the bulk of the international coal trade from the Atlantic, serving Europe and the US, to the Pacific. China became a net importer of coal in 2009 but the biggest changes are fast-rising imports by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, which all have large numbers of coal-fired plants but produce virtually no coal of their own.

However, Germany, the UK and France remain in the top 10 importers, and coal use rose 4% in 2011 in Europe as prices fell and plants due to close under clean air rules use up their allotted running hours. Indonesia and Australia are the largest coal exporters, with the latter planning to triple its mine and port capacity to almost 1bn tonnes a year....

Most new coal-fired plants will be built by Chinese or Indian companies. But new plants have largely been financed by both commercial banks and development banks.
JP Morgan Chase has provided more than $16.5bn (£10.3bn) for new coal plants over the past six years, followed by

Citi ($13.8bn).

Barclays ($11.5bn) comes in as the fifth biggest coal backer and

the Royal Bank of Scotland ($10.9bn) as the seventh.

The Japan Bank for International Co-operation was the biggest development bank ($8.1bn), with

the World Bank ($5.3bn) second. 
 
Guy Shrubsole, at Friends of the Earth, said of the WRI report: 

"This is a scary number of coal-fired plants being planned. It is clear that the vested interests of coal companies are driving this forward and that  

they will have to be reined in by governments."
In January, the Bank of England was warned that fossil fuel sub-prime assets posed a systemic risk to economic stability, because only 20% of the reserves of the top 100 coal and top 100 oil and gas companies could be burned while keeping the global temperature rise under the internationally agreed limit of 2C."




 .

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Communist Chinese hackers accessed NY Times computers over 4 months, installed malware enabling it to access any computer in NY Times network, steal password of every employee, access 53 personal computers-BBC

1/31/13, "New York Times 'hit by hackers from China'," BBC

""Hackers from China have "persistently" infiltrated the New York Times for the last four months, the US paper says.

It said the attacks coincided with its report into claims that the family of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had amassed a multi-billion dollar fortune....

The hackers had installed malware which enabled them to access any computer using the New York Times network

steal the password of every employee, and 

access 53 personal computers, 

mostly outside the Times offices.

The security firm found that in an attempt to hide the origin of the attack, it had been routed through computers in US universities which, the paper said, "matches the subterfuge used in many other attacks that Mandiant has tracked to China".

The Times said experts had found that the attacks "started from the same university computers used by the Chinese military to attack United States military contractors in the past".

They found the hackers began working for the most part at 08:00 Beijing time."...




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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

China produced 46% of world supply of coal in 2011, US only 13%. Much China pollution ends up on US west coast. Sierra Club and Bloomberg give cover to China polluters by instead threatening US gov. and demanding US climate 'action' when the problem is China

1/29/13, "China Uses Nearly as Much Coal as Rest of World Combined, EIA Says," Wall St. Journal, Cassandra Sweet

"China's use of coal has grown quickly over the last decade and now rivals the amount of coal consumed by the rest of the world combined, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

China consumed 3.8 billion short tons, or 3.45 billion metric tons, of coal in 2011, nearly half the world's total consumption, the EIA said, citing international data.

A short ton, a measurement used in the U.S., is equal to 0.9 metric ton, a measurement used in most other countries. Electricity generation in China has grown more than threefold since 2000, driving ever greater demand for coal, the EIA said.

China was also the world's largest coal producer in 2011, producing more than 3.5 billion metric tons, or nearly 46% of global coal production that year, according to data published by the International Energy Agency. China was also the world's largest net importer of coal in 2011, importing about 177 million metric tons of coal, according to the IEA.

The U.S. produced a little more than one billion metric tons of coal in 2011, or nearly 13% of the world supply, according to the IEA.

Global demand for coal has grown by about 2.9 billion short tons, or 2.6 billion metric tons, since 2000, with 82% of that demand growth in China, the EIA said.

It was unclear how much coal in China is used for electricity generation and how much is used for making steel. About 13% of global coal produced, or about 717 million metric tons, is used by the steel industry, according to the World Coal Association, an industry group. 


China has relied on coal to fuel nearly 80% of its power plants, the coal association said, citing data from 2009.

In the U.S., coal-fired power plants generate about 40% of the nation's electricity, according to the EIA. 


Coal use has declined in the U.S. since 2007, as the electricity sector has increasingly used natural gas, which is cheaper and more abundant, due thanks to a shale-gas production boom."
via Climate Depot

====================================

1/29/13, "Cleaner air will require tougher diplomacy," Washington Times, opinion, Gray

"The U.S. has in the last year reduced greenhouse gases by a much wider margin than any other developed country. It has also essentially met the target set at Copenhagen — the site of the last major international climate change meeting — for CO2 reductions by developed countries....

Unfortunately, the massive traditional pollution problems faced by China — witness the horrific recent PM inversion in Beijing — don’t hurt just China’s people. Pollutants such as PM travel long distances across the Pacific; 25 percent of the West Coast’s PM comes from China, according to some accounts. 


PM is hugely expensive to clean up, and thus poses unacceptably high costs on California which has no way to distinguish in clean programs between tons that come from Californians and those that come from China.

If the White House wants to make any real contribution to the environment, it would not impose more unilateral CO2 controls in the U.S., forcing even more jobs abroad. It would instead negotiate a treaty with China over traditional pollutants that currently cost American lives and treasure. This would, of course, bring enormous immediate relief to both Chinese and Californians. But it would also produce in China massive CO2 reduction co-benefits for the future, as traditional pollution reduction is already demonstrating in the US."

--------------------------------------

Big banks financing coal:
"Most new coal-fired plants will be built by Chinese or Indian companies. But new plants have largely been financed by both commercial banks and development banks.
 

JP Morgan Chase has provided more than $16.5bn (£10.3bn) for new coal plants over the past six years, followed by 
  • Citi ($13.8bn). 
  • Barclays ($11.5bn) comes in as the fifth biggest coal backer and 
  • the Royal Bank of Scotland ($10.9bn) as the seventh.
  • The Japan Bank for International Co-operation was the biggest development bank ($8.1bn), with
  • the World Bank ($5.3bn) second....   

India is planning 455 new plants compared to 363 in China"...

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7/21/11, "Why did Bloomberg Tap the Sierra Club for his $50 Million Donation?" WNYC.org

"Why the Sierra Club? They were the lucky environmental group to get $50 million pledged from Bloomberg Philanthropies Thursday. Turns out that Mayor  Bloomberg, who was the nation's second largest donor in 2010, has been chummy with the senior leadership of the Sierra Club since 2007. Carl Pope, former executive director of the Sierra Cub, was present at the launch of the city's Greener Greater Buildings Plan in 2009, one of the mayor's signature environmental achievements."...

=============================

2/10/11, "How Bloomberg Does Business," The Nation, Aram Roston

"Though Bloomberg doesn’t run the day-to-day affairs of Bloomberg LP, he still owns almost all the shares, handpicks the firm’s managers, talks with them as much as he feels he needs to, and therefore imposes his own will on the firm when he likes. (New York’s ineffectual Conflicts of Interest Board limited but never fully defined the mayor’s role at the company he founded: the board allows him to “maintain the type of involvement that he believes is consistent with his being the majority shareholder.”)...

Given Bloomberg’s push for a national platform, any intersections between his corporation’s interests and the government warrant scrutiny. And Bloomberg LP runs an effective and sophisticated lobbying shop to promote the firm’s interests with federal agencies and Congress.

It’s striking how, in a fully synergistic Bloomberg style,

a news organization,
a financial information company and
a team of lobbyists 


often seem to be working in smooth concert."...

============================= 

With "reputation insurance" purchased from the Sierra Club, Mayor Bloomberg is seen as a planetary savior rather than the single biggest polluter in New York City:  

2/14/11,Flight records uncover elusive Mayor’s tracks,”
WSJ, Maremont, McGinty, Saul


"The records also show that the Bloomberg fleet has been the single largest user of scarce slots allocated to private aircraft at La Guardia airport. The flights continued apace even after the mayor two years ago called for curbs on small commercial planes at La Guardia and other area airports to reduce congestion. ...
 
A billionaire, Mr. Bloomberg also owns vacation homes in London and Vail, Colo., and enjoys playing golf in various locales....

Bloomberg planes departed or landed 853 times between August 2008 and the end of 2010. That is 8% of all general aviation movements at La Guardia during that period....

Mr. Loeser declined to comment on any conflict between Mr. Bloomberg’s public stance on airport congestion and the number of Bloomberg Services flights at La Guardia.“   


----------------------------------------

6/4/12, “Climate change stunner: USA leads world in CO2 cuts since 2006,” Vancouver Observer, Saxifrage





“Not only that, but as my top chart shows, US CO2 emissions are falling even faster than what President Obama pledged in the global Copenhagen Accord.  


Here is the biggest shocker of all: the average American’s CO2 emissions are down to levels not seen since 1964 --over half a century ago. …Coal is the number two source of CO2 for Americans. Today the average American burns an amount similar 

to what they did in 1955, and even less than they did in the 1940s. 

It is exactly America’s historical role of biggest and dirtiest that makes their sharp decline in CO2 pollution so noteworthy and potentially

 game changing at the global level.”... 








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Arctic Ice sees record growth from Sept. 2012-Jan. 2013, UIUC

1/30/13, "Record Arctic Ice Growth In 2012-2013," Real Science, Steven Goddard

"Arctic ice area growth since mid-September has shattered the previous record, growing 175,000 Manhattans of new ice over the last four months.


















arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.anom.1979-2008

[data at link is through 2013]

Andy Revkin reports on this today, describing the record growth as “record melt.”
Arctic ice continues to melt at a record-breaking pace
 Obama and the Environment: What He Can Do – Expert Advice – MensJournal.com

It only makes sense that ice would melt when the temperature is -30C."






via Climate Depot

National Wildlife Federation pioneered environmental groups selling out to the rich giving rich donors 'reputation insurance.' Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg gives to Sierra Club so isn't condemned for his fleet of private planes making him single biggest polluter in New York

5/21/10, "Polluted by profit: Johann Hari on the real Climategate," Johann Hari, UK Independent, The Nation

"US environmental groups used to be funded largely by their members and wealthy individual supporters. They had only one goal: to prevent environmental destruction. Their funds were small, but they played a crucial role in saving vast tracts of wilderness and in pushing into law strict rules forbidding air and water pollution. But Jay Hair – the president of the National Wildlife Federation from 1981 to 1995 – was dissatisfied. He identified a huge new source of revenue: the worst polluters.

Hair found that the big oil and gas companies were happy to give money to conservation groups. Yes, they were destroying many of the world's pristine places. Yes, by the late 1980s, it had become clear that they were dramatically destabilising the climate – the very basis of life itself. But for Hair, that didn't make them the enemy; he said they sincerely wanted to right their wrongs and pay to preserve the environment. 

He began to suck millions from them, and his organisation and others gave them awards for

"environmental stewardship".  

Companies such as Shell and BP were delighted. They saw it as valuable 

"reputation insurance": 

every time they are criticised for their massive emissions of warming gases, or for events such as the massive oil spill that has just turned the Gulf of Mexico into the "Gulf of Texaco", they wheel out their shiny green awards to ward off the prospect of government regulation and to reassure the public that 

they Really Care.

At first, this behaviour scandalised the environmental community. 

Hair was vehemently condemned as a sell-out and a charlatan. But slowly, the other groups saw themselves shrink while the corporate-fattened groups swelled – so they, too, started to take the cheques. Christine MacDonald, an idealistic young environmentalist, discovered 

how deeply this cash had transformed these institutions when she started to work for CI in 2006. She told me: "About a week or two after I started, I went to the big planning meeting of all the organisation's media teams, and they started talking about this supposedly great new project they were running with BP. But I had read in the newspaper the day before that the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] had condemned BP for running the most polluting plant in the whole country... But nobody in that meeting, or anywhere else in the organisation, wanted to talk about it. It was a taboo.  

You weren't supposed to ask if BP was really green

They were 'helping' us, and that was it."

She soon began to see how this behaviour had pervaded almost all of the mainstream green organisations. They take money, and they offer praise, even when the money comes from the companies causing environmental devastation. To take just one example, when it was revealed that many of Ikea's dining room sets were made from trees ripped from endangered forests, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) leapt to the company's defence, saying that Ikea "can never guarantee" this won't happen; many environmental groups strongly disagree. Is it a coincidence that the  
WWF is a "marketing partner" with Ikea, and takes cash from the company?

Likewise, the Sierra Club – the biggest green group in the US – was approached in 2008 by the makers of Clorox bleach, who said that if the club endorsed their new range of "green" household cleaners, they would give it a percentage of the sales. The club's Corporate Accountability Committee said the deal created a blatant conflict of interest – but took it anyway. But Jessica Frohman, the club's Toxics Committee co-chair, said, "We clearly corrected the record. We never approved the product line." Beyond asking a few questions, she has said, the committee had done nothing to confirm that the product line was greener than its competitors', or good for the environment in any way. The club's chairman, Carl Pope, says he made sure the products met the EPA's most stringent standards and spent four months reviewing them.

The green groups defend their behaviour by saying they are improving the behaviour of the corporations. 

But as these stories show, the pressure flows the other way: the addiction to corporate cash has changed the green groups at their core. As MacDonald says, "Not only do the largest conservation groups take money from companies deeply implicated in environmental crimes, they have become something like satellite PR offices for the corporations that support them."

It has taken two decades for this relationship to become the norm among the big green organisations. Imagine this happening in any other sphere, and it becomes clear how surreal it is. 

It is as though Amnesty International's human rights reports came sponsored by a coalition of the Burmese junta, Dick Cheney and Robert Mugabe.

For environmental groups to take funding from the very people who are destroying the environment is preposterous – yet in the US it is now taken for granted....

It seems the US "green" groups have come to see the world solely through the funnel of the US Senate and what legislation it can be immediately coaxed to pass. They say there is no point advocating a strategy that senators will reject flat out and urge environmentalists to be "politically realistic"....

The atmosphere doesn't care where the fall in emissions comes from, as long as it happens in time to stop runaway warming. A ton of carbon in Brazil enters the atmosphere just as surely as a ton in Texas. But if this argument sounds deceptively simple, that's because it is deceptive. In practice, the Redd programme is filled with holes large enough to toss a planet through.

To understand the trouble with Redd, you have to look at the place touted as a model of how the system is supposed to work. Fourteen years ago in Bolivia, a coalition of the Nature Conservancy and three big-time corporate polluters – BP, PacifiCorp and American Electric Power (AEP) – set up a protected forest in Bolivia called the Noel Kempff Climate Action Project. They took 3.9 million acres of tropical forest and said they would clear out the logging companies and ensure that the forest remained standing. They claimed this plan would keep 55 million tons of CO2 locked out of the air – which would, in time, justify their pumping an extra 55 million tons into the air from their coal and oil operations. AEP's internal documents boasted: "The Bolivian project... could save AEP billions of dollars in pollution controls."

Greenpeace sent an investigative team to see how it had turned out. They found that some of the logging companies had simply picked up their machinery and moved to the next rainforest over. An employee for one of the biggest logging companies in the area bragged to them that nobody had ever asked if they had stopped. This is known as "leakage": one area is protected from logging, but the logging leaks a few miles away and continues just the same. In fact, one major logging organisation took the money it was paid by the project to quit and used it to cut down another part of the forest. The project had to admit it had saved 5.8 million tons or less – a tenth of the amount it had originally claimed. Greenpeace says even this is a huge overestimate. 

It's a Potemkin forest for the polluters.

When you claim an offset and it doesn't work, the climate is screwed twice over – first because the same amount of forest has been cut down after all, and second because a huge amount of additional warming gases has been pumped into the atmosphere on the assumption that the gases will be locked away by the now-dead trees. So the offset hasn't prevented emissions – it's doubled them....
 
If their primary concern was the environment, the major conservation groups would be railing against this absurd system and demanding a serious alternative. But on Capitol Hill and at Copenhagen, these groups have been some of the most passionate defenders of carbon offsetting

They say that, in "political reality", this is the only way to raise the cash for the rainforests, so we will have to work with it. But 

this is a strange kind of compromise – 

since it doesn't actually work.

In fact, some of the big groups lobbied to make the protections weaker, in a way that will cause the rainforests to die faster. To understand why, you have to grasp a distinction that may sound technical at first but is crucial. 

When you are paying to stop deforestation, there are different ways of measuring whether you are succeeding. You can take one small "subnational" area – such as the Noel Kempff Climate Action Project – and save that. 

Or you can look at an entire country, and try to save a reasonable proportion of its forests. National targets are much better, because the leakage is much lower. With national targets, it's much harder for a logging company simply to move a few miles up the road and carry on: the move from Brazil to Congo or Indonesia is much heftier, and fewer loggers will make it. Simon Lewis, a forestry expert at Leeds University, says: "There is no question that national targets are much more effective at preventing leakage and saving forest."

Yet several groups – such as TNC and CI – have lobbied for the weaker, lamer, worthless subnational targets to be at the core of Redd and the US climate bills. Thanks in part to their efforts, 

this has become official US government policy. 

The groups issued a joint statement with some of the worst polluters – AEP, Duke Energy, the El Paso Corporation – calling for them.

An insider who is employed by a leading green group and has seen firsthand how this works told me: 

"They will generate a lot of revenue this way. If there are national targets, the money runs through national governments. If there are subnational targets, the money runs through the people who control those forests – and that means TNC, Conservation International and the rest. 

Suddenly, these forests they run become assets, 

and they are worth billions in a carbon market as offsets.

So they have a vested financial interest in offsetting and in subnational targets – even though they are much more environmentally damaging than the alternatives. It's shocking."...

There is a broad rumble of anger across the grass-roots environmental movement at this position. "At Copenhagen, I couldn't believe what I was seeing," says Kevin Koenig of Amazon Watch, an organisation that sides with indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin to preserve their land. "These groups are positioning themselves to be the middlemen in a carbon market. They are helping to set up, in effect, 

a global system of carbon laundering... 

that will give the impression of action, but no substance. 

You have to ask – are these conservation groups at all? They look much more like industry front groups to me."

So it has come to this. After decades of slowly creeping corporate entanglement, some of the biggest environmental groups have remade themselves in the image of their corporate backers: they are putting profit before planet. ...

Some of the failing green groups can be reformed from within. The Sierra Club is a democratic organisation, with the leadership appointed by its members: they can put it right. But other organisations – such as CI and TNC – seem incapable of internal reform and simply need to be shunned. They are not part of the environmental movement."...

============================

7/21/11, "Why did Bloomberg Tap the Sierra Club for his $50 Million Donation?" WNYC.org

"Why the Sierra Club? They were the lucky environmental group to get $50 million pledged from Bloomberg Philanthropies Thursday. Turns out that Mayor  Bloomberg, who was the nation's second largest donor in 2010, has been chummy with the senior leadership of the Sierra Club since 2007. Carl Pope, former executive director of the Sierra Cub, was present at the launch of the city's Greener Greater Buildings Plan in 2009, one of the mayor's signature environmental achievements."...

-----------------------------------------------

2/10/11, "How Bloomberg Does Business," The Nation, Aram Roston

"Though Bloomberg doesn’t run the day-to-day affairs of Bloomberg LP, he still owns almost all the shares, handpicks the firm’s managers, talks with them as much as he feels he needs to, and therefore imposes his own will on the firm when he likes. (New York’s ineffectual Conflicts of Interest Board limited but never fully defined the mayor’s role at the company he founded: the board allows him to “maintain the type of involvement that he believes is consistent with his being the majority shareholder.”)...

Given Bloomberg’s push for a national platform, any intersections between his corporation’s interests and the government warrant scrutiny. And Bloomberg LP runs an effective and sophisticated lobbying shop to promote the firm’s interests with federal agencies and Congress

It’s striking how, in a fully synergistic Bloomberg style,

a news organization, 
a financial information company and 
a team of lobbyists 

often seem to be working in smooth concert."...

=====================================

With "reputation insurance" purchased from the Sierra Club, Mayor Bloomberg is seen as a planetary savior rather than the single biggest polluter in New York City:  

2/14/11, Flight records uncover elusive Mayor’s tracks,” WSJ, Maremont, McGinty, Saul

"The records also show that the Bloomberg fleet has been the single largest user of scarce slots allocated to private aircraft at La Guardia airport. The flights continued apace even after the mayor two years ago called for curbs on small commercial planes at La Guardia and other area airports to reduce congestion. ...
 
A billionaire, Mr. Bloomberg also owns vacation homes in London and Vail, Colo., and enjoys playing golf in various locales....

Bloomberg planes departed or landed 853 times between August 2008 and the end of 2010. That is 8% of all general aviation movements at La Guardia during that period....

Mr. Loeser declined to comment on any conflict between Mr. Bloomberg’s public stance on airport congestion and the number of Bloomberg Services flights at La Guardia.“ 








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Ten rare pygmy elephants poisoned in Malaysia, 3 month old calf tried to wake its mother

1/29/13, "Rare pygmy elephants 'poisoned' in Borneo," BBC

"Ten endangered pygmy elephants have been found dead in a reserve in Malaysia, with officials saying they may have been poisoned.

The animals, which had all suffered internal bleeding, were found near each other over the space of three weeks.

In one instance, a three-month-old calf was found alongside the body of its mother, apparently trying to wake her."...



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Bloomberg NYC Dept. of Ed. delayed FOIA request on cheating scandals for 18 months. Nearly 100 NYC educators implicated in cheating probes since 2006 incl. 17 principals, some cases never made public, one school raised 255 scores

1/29/13,Ex-NYCiSchool principal in Regents test cheat,NY Post, Yoav Gonen

The former principal of the high-performing NYCiSchool improperly allowed one of her teachers to re-grade and raise scores on high school Regents exams, school investigators found.

She was among nearly 100 educators — including 17 principals, 61 teachers, seven assistant principals and nine other staffers — who have been implicated in cheating probes by the city Department of Education since 2006, according to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act filing.

It took the Department of Education nearly 18 months to comply with The Post’s request for cheating cases confirmed by its internal investigative arm, the Office of Special Investigations —
in violation of the rules governing public access to documents.


Among the recent cases, NYCiSchool principal Alisa Berger let teacher Susan Herzog re-grade the June 2010 Living Environment Regents exam by herself
 
 
Herzog said she raised the scores given to students for certain questions after clarifying proper procedures with the State Education Department. Berger told The Post that student scores were both raised and lowered, but that no students’ grade was changed from failing to passing.

“Did I make a procedural mistake? I did. Was it cheating? Absolutely not,” said Berger, who unrelatedly left the downtown school last year.

Among the biggest cases of cheating, teachers at Hillcrest HS in Queens were found to have bumped up the scores of

255 students on the English Regents exams back in 2006.

The case was never made public and

no teachers were punished because the re-scoring 


practice, known as “scrubbing,” wasn’t technically prohibited.

In another case, Manhattan teacher Iris Ventura helped several classrooms of 8th graders with the state’s high-stakes math exams at the request of MS 322 principal Erica Zigelman, investigators found.


Despite the DOE’s stated no tolerance policy for cheating,
they were both let off with letters of reprimand.

In 2011, Ventura was caught cheating again — this time telling four 7th graders to check their answers on the state math exams, probers found.

She was again let off with a letter in her file, and has since resigned, according to the DOE.”


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Mayor Bloomberg and school test scores scandals:

March 2011, "The Bloomberg Bubble Bursts," Commentary, Siegel and Stern  


"From 2005 to 2009, Bloomberg called press conferences to celebrate the ever-more-spectacular test-score increases. At those events, the union president, Randi Weingarten, stood next to the mayor nodding in approval, even though she would confide to associates that the scores were likely inflated. Bloomberg and Weingarten each had their own reasons to hype the test scores: Bloomberg to boost his national profile and Weingarten to lay down a marker for yet another series of teacher pay increases....

"But nothing illuminates the vacancy of Bloomberg’s mayoralty more than the false narrative that depicted him as America’s “education mayor.”...

Indeed, the purpose of the extra spending could not have been to improve student performance, since he said very plainly that he didn’t believe there was any connection between the two


Rather it was to shore up his political prospects and help make his reputation as the nation’s “education mayor.” Instead of insisting on changes in teacher-compensation packages that might have reduced the city’s long-term pension and health-care costs, Bloomberg cashed in his chips in the coin of either direct political support from the United Federation of Teachers or its calculated neutrality....

But soon it became clear that, in this area as in others, it was necessary to pay attention to what this mayor did rather than what he said. Almost immediately, on the issue of classroom instruction, Bloomberg and Klein chose to defer to the progressive old guard within the school system. Lucy Calkins of Columbia Teachers College, one of the country’s leading progressive educators and a fierce opponent of the phonics approach to reading, was given a leading role in designing reading and writing instruction for most schools (to a tune of more than $10 million in consultant contracts).

Bloomberg also began dipping deeper into the city treasury for more and more tax dollars for the schools. From fiscal 2003 to 2011, the education budget grew from $12.7 billion to $23 billion annually—almost a 70 percent increase in
inflation-adjusted dollars. Most of the money was paid out in 43 percent across-the-board teacher-salary increases in just the first six years of Bloomberg’s tenure. He also added more than 4,000 teachers to the payroll, reaching 80,000—one teacher for every 13 students in the system. But the mayor who prided himself on his business acumen in managing the city’s workforce obtained almost nothing in return from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) for this unprecedented bonanza."...






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Monday, January 28, 2013

Best and most concise description of the 'climate' movement

1/28/13, "Carbon Use and GDP," National Review, by Robert Zubrin  Original Article
-------------------------------------------------------

Commenter to this article at Lucianne.com gives concise description of the "climate" movement:
================================= 
Reply 1 - Posted by: johngalt1, 1/28/2013 6:54:44 PM   
 
"The “progressive” position on restricting the use of carbon is very simple to understand.

The “threat of climate change” is being used by anthrophobic environmentalists to punish consumption and curtail human activity.

It is being used by grant-seeking academics for job security.

It is being used by politicians to extract campaign contributions from “green” industries that require subsidies to operate, bribes from businesses that would be adversely affected by a tangled web of costly regulations, and kickbacks from operators of carbon credit exchanges that were created out of thin air.

It is being used by the U.N. to extract wealth from rich nations to bribe the leaders of poor nations 


to remain underdeveloped.

And it is being used by China, Russia, and India to gain advantage over the West.

There is no consensus describing an ideal global climate, no ceiling on what climate change alarmists are willing to spend in an attempt to preserve today’s climate, and no serious consideration of whether it makes more moral and economic sense to simply adapt to warmer or cooler global climates.


Climate change alarmism is simply the greatest scientific, political and economic scam 

ever perpetrated in history."

==========================

Obama-Biden climate adviser Nigel Purvis freely admitted essentially the same thing, ie, that it's not about climate:

1/13/12, "US Republicans stir transatlantic tensions over climate change," EurActiv

"Ironically, the ‘cap and trade’ idea that underwrites the global carbon market was originally the brainchild of US Republicans [via George Bush #1]. But this changed because of what one senior US climate negotiator at Kyoto described as a collection of “toxic” ingredients.


“There are three issues
  • constraining industry,
  • sending money abroad, and
  • strengthening the UN
that are inflammatory on their own right,”

Nigel Purvis, a State Department official under the Clinton and Bush administrations, said on the phone from Washington....Nigel Purvis, now the president of the Climate Advisers consultancy in Washington."...

---------------------------------------

"In 2008, Mr. Purvis served as a senior adviser on climate diplomacy to the Obama-Biden campaign." He is founder and president of Climate Advisers.


 
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