Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

43 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Shock horror: COP-26 will fail!

    Of course it will. There is zero chance of the assembled leaders suddenly announcing policies that can keep global heating to 1.5 degrees C. Hoping for this, other than as a rhetorical tactic as with Ms. Espinosa, is to misunderstand the process set in motion by the Paris Accord. COP sessions are confessionals or public self-criticism sessions. The point is to admit failure and go home with a mind to do a little better.

    The Accord can’t and won’t be renegotiated. It already states clear and ambitious goals that remain sound. The main thing where the science has shifted is that 2 degrees looks significantly worse than it did in 2015, and 1.5 degrees a more reasonable upper limit of the just tolerable. At the same time the economics have shifted too, and the lower target has become affordable, just as 2 degrees had become in 2015. The obstacle of vested fossil fuel interests remains the same: but they are markedly weaker and more isolated than they were, and many have been forced into hypocritical greenwashing, most recently Saudi Arabia´’s commitment to net zero by 2060.

    The Accord was always a Zen one, without any numerical targets for individual countries other than those they set themselves. Fay e que vouldras, as in Rabelais’ motto for his imaginary Abbaye de Thélème. No wonder the godless and transactional Donald Trump simply could not understand it. Where was the deal? Paris relies on the extra-legal forces it has emboldened: peer pressure among political élites, assertive and united doomsaying from the scientific community, street pressure from citizens and, increasingly, lobbying from parts of the business and finance world, not to mention good old capitalist greed. Greta Thunberg was conjured up in Paris.

    We may still be doomed, by failures of will and imagination in too many countries and by too many corporations, pundits and consumers. But not by poor Glasgow.

  2. The rise of stagflation in the USA and China is being met with different policy responses. The USA Federal Reserve is attempting to wind back liquidity. But in China the response is to introduce a property tax. Stagflation is very difficult to eliminate. It supply chain costs rise dramatically then it may be impossible to control in the short term. Once a wage-price spiral begins then a social contract may be needed to halt inflation and stop further unemployment. If the USA and China do not contain stagflation domestically then it may cause contagion among trading partners.

  3. Typo recovery. Rabelais wrote “Fay çe que vouldras”. In modern French it would be “Fais ce que tu voudrais”.The cedilla in “ce” has disappeared and you have to supply the pronoun. That’s assuming Rabelais’ spelling was orthodox at the time. It may well not have been: his oeuvre has a staggering 26,000 unique words, more than many of us ever use.

  4. Slow clap for George Megalogenis on the weekend, for this pearl in the Nine newspapers:

    “But this [i.e. bipartisan reform] is not the Morrison way. He is pursuing reform on behalf of his tribe, on behalf of one side of politics only in the spirit of Julia Gillard’s carbon tax and John Howard’s WorkChoices.”

    Sure, it wasn’t a tax, it wasn’t a “tribal” reform, and you could debate whether it was truly “Gillard’s”. But other than those minor points…

  5. I tried reading Rabelais back when I could read French fluently (20+ years ago — sheesh, that makes me feel old) but promptly gave up. The fact about 26,000 words makes me feel better! At the time I assumed it was just too different from modern French, but, come to think of it, I had no problem reading Moliere or Descartes so that explanation didn’t really work even back then.

    The only bits I remember from reading it in English are the gags about “breviary stuff” and the character (Garguanta or Pantagruel?) who is born from the backside…also characters discussing the curious phenomenon of babies born with an apparent gestation period of longer than 9 months, although maybe that’s in Sterne instead?

    The cartoonist Dave Sim had an interesting personal policy to not read great works of literature until he thought he’d be mature enough to appreciate them. In hindsight, that doesn’t seem like a totally crazy idea.

  6. The ABC reported last week that Boris Johnson is sitting on a report ‘greenlighting’ a new large ‘green’ coalmine in Cumbria until after Glasgow. The ABC reported that proponents of the mine say emissions from burning the thermal coal extracted from the undersea mine are to be offset by tree planting &etc.
    By comparing the closure of a coal mine in Australia with one in Germany, Harrahill showed that governments can wind down polluting sectors of the economy without leaving people jobless, so long as they provide “a seat at the table for workers and… a clear plan for… what the new jobs will be”.

    In related news:

    Nature > NEWS FEATURE
    20 October 2021
    Why fossil fuel subsidies are so hard to kill

    Behind the struggle to stop governments propping up the coal, oil and gas industries.
    Jocelyn Timperley

    …Why are they so hard to get rid of?
    One problem is definitions. The G7 and G20 countries have vowed to eliminate “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”, although they haven’t clearly defined what this phrase means. “It’s a very vague commitment,” says Ludovic Subran, chief economist at the multinational insurance firm Allianz, which published a report on eliminating subsidies in May4.

    …Some countries don’t agree that they have any subsidies to remove. The UK government, for example, says it has none, although the IISD rates it as among the worst of the OECD-member nations, calculating that it gave $16 billion a year to support fossil fuels in 2017–19, on average2. In large part, this is because the United Kingdom forgoes some tax revenue from the use of fossil fuels and directly funds its oil and gas industry. (Other analysts agree with the IISD; a 2019 European Commission report5 came to similar conclusions.)

    At the fringes of G20 and G7 summits, groups of small countries have long been working together to try to build a consensus on subsidy reform. An initiative on trade and climate change launched by Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland, New Zealand and Norway in 2019 aims to set up a member-based agreement in which countries would phase out fossil-fuel subsidies and remove barriers to trade in environmental goods and services. These countries are not the biggest subsidy providers, but this could set a “precedent on developing binding rules on limiting fossil-fuel subsidies, which otherwise do not exist”, says van Asselt.

  7. Economics/economists again are blamed for the rapidly worsening climate predicament. This time by a historian with a trove of newspaper reports:

    How economists helped Big Oil obstruct climate action for decades

    Science historian Benjamin Franta on the role economists played in the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long disinformation campaign.
    María Paula Rubiano A. ,Environmental Justice Fellow – Oct 08, 2021

    …Q. We’ve been talking for years about science denial, and how companies like Exxon publicly denied the problem even when their own scientists were warning them of the changes underway. Why do you think the contributions of economists to this disinformation campaign have been able to fly under the radar for so long?

    A. These economists weren’t completely alone in their approach. Charles River Associates was simply the preferred source for the industry. We might laugh at some proclamations in these economic reports, like that climate change is not going to hurt us until the year 2100. But what surprised me the most is that I found even more outlandish things said by prestigious professors at universities like Stanford, heads of departments, who themselves were getting a lot of funding from the oil and gas industry. They used their academic credentials to kind of launder their bad science.

  8. So where are and were all the “economists in general” apart from CRA hires, and Nordhaus, and all the damned silenced/obsequious/cowed “won’t bite the hand that feeds them” sheep in general?

    Franta states in his introduction that,

    …By the early 1980s, at least some economists were already counteracting calls for policies that would help prevent and minimize global warming…

    [they] counseled against policy action, suggesting that global warming might not be that bad. Thomas Schelling of Harvard University argued that migration and adaptation would be preferable to reducing fossil fuel emissions. ‘It would be wrong to commit ourselves to the principle,’ he wrote, ‘that if fossil fuels and carbon dioxide are where the problem arises, that must also be where the solution lies’ (p. 449). William Nordhaus of Yale University agreed, writing that although a fossil fuel tax would reduce emissions, ‘[t]he strategies suggested … by Schelling … climate modification or simply adaptation to a high CO2 and high temperature world – are likely to be more economical ways of adjusting’ (p. 151). Yet neither economist provided a detailed analysis to support his conclusions.

    … Their [CRA] work was paid for by the fossil fuel industry, a fact often concealed from the public, and their methodologies were incomplete in favor of the industry. Yet their results were only occasionally challenged and eventually formed a significant part of conventional economic thinking.

    Franta goes on to state,

    …Bernstein, who deserves credit for shedding light on this issue, notes that Charles River Associates’ work was not entirely outside the mainstream. Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates, another consulting firm hired by the petroleum industry, also predicted high costs for climate policies (WEFA 1997, 1998). Perhaps most significantly, Bernstein observes that Charles River Associates’ work was similar to work done by other modeling groups such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, which is also funded by fossil fuel companies, and that both Charles River Associates and the Joint Program participated in Stanford University’s Energy Modeling Forum, which again is funded by fossil fuel companies.

    Surely such a significant yet utterly flawed part of conventional economic thinking could hardly be overlooked by economists in general over so many years? Yet apparently it was. Surely someone from economics departments at Stanford, or from MIT, or Harvard, or Yale published and voiced some sort of critique of their colleagues’ lousy work? Why’d they not do like, as Franta shows, some non-economists from elsewhere in the academy did?

    … Again, Mobil didn’t mention that the study had been funded by the API (of which Mobil was a member), nor that the study entirely ignored the benefits of preventing global warming. Florentin Krause [energy and environmental scientist, famous for early work in Germany], director of the International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths, noticed Charles River Associates’ methodological gaps. ‘The feedback between imposing an emissions cap in some sort of international agreement and what firms and people will do to innovate in the way they produce goods and services is missing,’ he said , concluding, ‘the studies cited by the GCC [Global Climate Coalition] were structured to come up with the results that they did’ (Platt’s Oilgram News 1997).

    If there were any economists critiquing the work, was that done in private? Why are they not also cited and widely known from the Congressional or Senate record alone?

    … Eventually, the economists’ results assumed the status of conventional wisdom. ‘Charles River Associates is a credible group that to my knowledge no one has challenged,’ Senator Inhofe told Congress in 2013 (Congressional Record 2013a) (…) A week later, he continued, ‘The cost [of climate policy] has never been debated much, because Charles River Associates … came out and said it would be between 300 USD billion and 400 USD billion a year and MIT [Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, also funded by the petroleum industry]6 said about the same. So we know that cost is there’ (Congressional Record 2013b).

    Franta concludes that,

    … The work of these economists was often portrayed to the public as independent, when in fact it was funded by the fossil fuel industry, and their models were incomplete and biased in favor of continued fossil fuel use. Yet their conclusions often passed without challenge and eventually came to represent a significant part of conventional economic wisdom.

    … Further attention is needed on the role of economists and particular economic paradigms, doctrines, and models within climate politics and the perpetuation of fossil fuels.

    It’s a similar conclusion to that drawn by Prof Fabio Masini (2021), and to that of Prof Steve Keen who in his seminal paper “The appallingly bad neoclassical economics of climate change” (2020) gave historical passes to only JQ and but a handful of other economists.

    Steve Keen makes some of those points again here:

    “Steve Keen Says Economists Get Everything Wrong (Especially About Climate Change)The whole profession needs to start over, he says”
    By Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway July 8, 2021.
    Bloomberg | Quint (India), Spotify/Apple listen links –
    LISTEN NOTES (India), Odd Lots Podcast – 1h:08m:31s

    38min Climate change !!! Nordhaus et al ! 6 degrees warming ok, and 4 degrees is Norhausian ideal !! Don’t just junk Nordhaus and all, throw out the so called Nobel Prize for economics entirely!
    50min Limits to growth – but people won’t!
    54min Serious crises are required. NOT 2 or 3 centuries in the future per William Nordhaus bs! An existential threat – command economy needed to rebuild anthropocene climate – rationing – catastrophe catch up mode – a need for sufficiently severre crises soon to force a reverse in direction before it gets even worse.
    58min Humanity needs to practise restraint, BUT never has!
    59min How to change attitudes? How to shake up economics? Keen thinks economists are a lost cause! Unlike science, regurgitated economics is trapped in repeated failure. Contrast Plank (energy as discrete units, quanta) vs Maxwell (energy is smooth). Max Plank later said “Science advances one funeral at a time”. Economics does not – out with the old, in with the old!
    60min Neoclassical vision is a beautiful seductive vision that nerds continue to fall for, to perpetuate, and can’t be gotten rid of!
    101min Neoclassical economists will be the last people to realise the world has changed!

  9. Yes, important to note that J.Q. is an honorable exception. Whether the list of honorable exceptions is as short as Steve Keen makes out, I am not so sure. I wouldn’t mind betting it is pretty short though.

    “Nordhaus’s (work) can be characterized as ‘making up numbers to support a pre-existing belief’: specifically, that climate change could have only a trivial impact upon the economy. This practice was replicated, rather than challenged, by subsequent Neoclassical economists – with some honourable exceptions, notably Pindyck (2017), Weitzman (2011a, 2011b), DeCanio (2003), Cline (1996), Darwin (1999), Kaufmann (1997, 1998), and Quiggin and Horowitz (1999).” – Steve Keen.

  10. People may be interested in the podcast series COVID & Climate Change Correlations. YouTube video titled Episode 15 – COVID & Climate Change Correlations with Steve Keen and Special Guest Ian Dunlop, was published on 16 Sep 2021, duration 1:00:29. An interesting discussion – recommended viewing.

    From the YouTube notes for the Episode 15 podcast:

    Ian Dunlop is an Australian engineer, writer, and energy expert with a particular interest in the interaction of corporate governance, corporate responsibility and climate change. Previously, Ian worked in oil, gas and coal exploration and production, and scenario and long-term energy planning.

    Steve Keen is an Australian economist and author. He considers himself a post-Keynesian, criticizing neoclassical economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported.

  11. Fateful title considering JQ’s wrtings.

    I would not have thought Germany would let “the Bundesverfassungsgericht now has to carry on its shoulders the crushing responsibility to absolve or condemn the Merkel government’s entire pandemic policy” …
    because “One of the most problematic aspects about the law is that it was self-executing: The law itself put those measures into effect.”!? 

    Tricky – the law put itself into effect????

    It seems the Civid Federal Emergency Brake (shades of trolley problem) ceased court lower challenges due to it auto-enacting, so now it is the Constitutional court who must decide. 

    Time for a change to Germany’s Constitution? 

    “Decision-Making under Uncertainty

    “Federal emergency brakes, debt brakes and other methods of constitutional speed control.

    “Fear of bias
    “The nut the Bundesverfassungsgericht currently has to crack is the so called “federal emergency brake” (Bundesnotbremse): In April 2021, the German Parliament enacted a law, set to expire by June 30 at the latest, which installed a mechanism to set a number of restrictions in force when- and wherever the COVID incidence number exceeded 100 for three days in a row. The list of measures which would then automatically take effect included personal contact restrictions and a nighttime curfew. This was constitutionally problematic, to put it mildly, under a whole range of aspects, as many constitutional law professors pointed out at the time. But after months of legal whingeing against pretty much everything the government came up with so far, lawmakers had turned somewhat wary of that sort of protest and decided to pretty much ignore it altogether. One of the most problematic aspects about the law is that it was self-executing: The law itself put those measures into effect. The executive, as it is called, had no business in its execution. No government official made the decision where and for how long people had to stay indoors, and could be taken to court for it. Against a decision made by the law itself, there is no remedy in administrative law courts. To file a motion against being locked up in one’s own apartment at night, one had to go directly to the Federal Constitutional Court, which alone has the power to declare federal laws null and void.

    “At first glance, it may seem plausible to centralize constitutional control of the measures to combat the pandemic in the hands of the Federal Constitutional Court, instead of letting all sorts of different administrative courts add their two cents. In fact, however, (as Christoph Möllers had already pointed out during the legislative process) this puts the Bundesverfassungsgericht in an extremely awkward position. Instead of having the administrative courts work through the question of what is suitable, necessary and proportionate in the fight against the virus on a case by case basis – which might yield different answers from one region to another – and the Karlsruhe Court watching over their correct handling of the constitutional yardsticks they use in it, the Bundesverfassungsgericht now has to carry on its shoulders the crushing responsibility to absolve or condemn the Merkel government’s entire pandemic policy.”

  12. Rich countries keep Climate Refugees at Net Zero, Global Heating at Net 3 degrees.

    To keep refugees out “Australia [spent] 13 times more ($2.7 billion compared to $200 million)” on climate action. 

    Needs a fact check and $2.7bn worth of empathy. Know a good empathy emporium?

    “Global Climate Wall

    “How the world’s wealthiest nations prioritise borders over climate action

    Key findings:
    “Climate-induced migration is now a reality

    “Rich countries spend more on militarising their borders than on providing climate finance to enable the poorest countries to help migrants

    > Seven of the biggest emitters of GHGs – the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia – collectively spent at least twice as much on border and immigration enforcement (more than $33.1 billion) as on climate finance ($14.4 billion) between 2013 and 2018.1

    > Canada spent 15 times more ($1.5 billion compared to around $100 million); Australia 13 times more ($2.7 billion compared to $200 million); the US almost 11 times more ($19.6 billion compared to $1.8 billion); and the UK nearly two times more ($2.7 billion compared to $1.4 billion).

    > Border spending by the seven biggest GHG emitters rose by 29% between 2013 and 2018. In the US, spending on border and immigration enforcement tripled between 2003 and 2021. 

    > In Europe, the budget for the European Union (EU) border agency, Frontex, has increased by a whopping 2763% since its founding in 2006 up to 2021.This militarisation of borders is partly rooted in national climate security strategies that since the early 2000s have overwhelmingly painted migrants as ‘threats’ rather than victims of injustice. The border security industry has helped promote this process through well-oiled political lobbying, leading to ever more contracts for the border industry and increasingly hostile environments for refugees and migrants.

    > Climate finance could help mitigate the impacts of climate change and help countries adapt to this reality, including supporting people who need to relocate or to migrate abroad. Yet the richest countries have failed even to keep their pledges of meagre $100 billion a year in climate finance. The latest figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported $79.6 billion in total climate finance in 2019, but according to research published by Oxfam International, once over-reporting, and loans rather than grants are taken into account, the true volume of climate finance may be less than half of what is reported by developed countries.

    > Countries with the highest historic emissions are fortifying their borders, while those with lowest are the hardest hit by population displacement. Somalia, for example, is responsible for 0.00027% of total emissions since 1850 but had more than one million people (6% of the population) displaced by a climate-related disaster in 2020.

    “The border security industry is profiteering from climate change

    “The border security industry also provides security to the oil industry that is one of main contributors to the climate crisis and even sit on each other’s executive boards”

    “Global Climate Wall: How the world’s wealthiest nations prioritise borders over climate action

    Click to access global-climate-wall-report-tni-web-resolution.pdf

  13. China is now the world’s biggest absolute emitter of CO2, by a long way, with almost double the emissions of the USA. India is 3rd and Russia is 4th. On the other hand, the USA’s per capita emissions are the highest in the world and just a little over double those of China. Then there is the total historical emissions tally which the USA still leads. I’ve tried to find projected data on when China’s per capita emissions and China’s total historical emissions tally will exceed the USA. Those dates cannot be far away. I am guessing about 2030. Of course, then China will claim by right that it should be permitted to reach the total historical emissions per capita of the USA.

    The laws of physics and the systems of the biome and biosphere pay no attention to any of these human claims to emissions rights, by any nation or group. Each tonne of CO2 has the same additive effect on climate forcing no matter the self-determined rights and self-righteousness of the emitter. The new kids on the block, China and India, are barrelling towards climate destroying total emissions no matter what the West does. Nevertheless, we should persist in cutting emissions. Our only hope is that China and India will realize that asserting historically judged rights to catch up in emissions (and unnecessary consumer consumption) will be as disastrous for them as it will be for everyone else. Consumption in the West will collapse as the West itself is collapsing. So the West is falling back to them anyway. The West will soon be in no position to take immigrants. It will soon be as poor as everywhere else. “Soon” here means about 20 years, which is a long time to a person but a short time historically speaking.

  14. “The West will soon be in no position to take immigrants.”

    In operation over many years and ongoing, in similar manner to that which has led to their complicity in and culpability for causing the climate horrors soon to be faced by all, we see that economics and “economists in general” with regurgitated, biased, flawed work, or silence, serve the lucrative vested interests of rich and powerful plutocrats whose intention is to profit as greatly and as fast as they possibly can from destructive unsustainably sky-high rates of migration and population growth.

    Yet there may be hope for some sense and sensibility to come soon from economists in general. In Australia a few economists who up to now have been notably among the loudest spruikers in the public square for the ponzi Big Australia plutocrat lobby just recently have done an about face it seems due to the revelatory and undeniable observations they’ve noted during the covid-19 imposed ultra-low migration experiment.

  15. Carbon Brief published a video on YouTube on Oct 5 titled Which countries are historically responsible for climate change?. It shows an animation of shifting rankings of the top 10 countries emitting cumulative CO2 emissions since 1750, from fossil fuels, land use and forestry, from years 1850 through to 2021 in million tonnes.

    In 2021:
    #01 USA is at: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 509,143 Mt
    #02 China is at: _ _ _ _ _ _ 284,476 Mt
    #03 Russia is at: _ _ _ 172,234 Mt
    #04 Brazil is at: _ _ _ 112,902 Mt
    #05 Indonesia is at: _ 102,562 Mt
    #06 Germany: _ _ _ 88,486 Mt
    #07 India: _ _ _ _ _ 85,675 Mt
    #08 UK: _ _ _ _ _ 74,295 Mt
    #09 Japan: _ _ _ 68,002 Mt
    #10 Canada: _ _65,504 Mt

    The video shows at 2021 there’s a 14% carbon budget remaining for 1.5 °C warming (at 50% chance). As I’ve indicated before in previous comments, the compelling evidence I see indicates there’s no carbon budget remaining for +1.5 °C warming, and we will be lucky to avoid the Earth System overshooting the +2 °C global mean warming threshold.

  16. Zali Steggall pressed ahead with her Climate Change Bill this morning in presenting a motion to suspend standing orders and bring on debate.
    Tim “freedom boy” Wilson in speaking against the motion provided another barrel of laughs.

    Watch it:

    Show advanced controls and download options
    Jump to timecode 10:12:59
    Mark in 10:12:59 , Mark out: 10:39:01

    Tabled by: Zali Steggall OAM, Member for Warringah, NSW
    Seconded by: Dr Helen Haines, Member for Indi, VIC
    Against: Tim Wilson, Member for Goldstein, VIC. Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction
    For: Chris Bowen, Member for Mcmahon, NSW

    The resultant vote on the question that Steggall’s motion be disagreed to:
    Affirmative. 55 to 50
    Jump to timecode 10:42:59
    Mark in 10:42:59 , Mark out: 10:46:03

  17. Zali Steggall pressed ahead with her Climate Change Bill this morning in presenting a motion to suspend standing orders and bring on debate.
    Tim “freedom boy” Wilson in speaking against the motion provided another barrel of laughs.

    Watch it:

    Show advanced controls and download options
    Jump to timecode 10:12:59
    Mark in 10:12:59 , Mark out: 10:39:01

    Tabled by: Zali Steggall OAM, Member for Warringah, NSW
    Seconded by: Dr Helen Haines, Member for Indi, VIC
    Against: Tim Wilson, Member for Goldstein, VIC. Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction
    For: Chris Bowen, Member for Mcmahon, NSW

    The resultant vote on the question that Steggall’s motion be disagreed to:
    Affirmative. 55 to 50
    Jump to timecode 10:42:59
    Mark in 10:42:59 , Mark out: 10:46:03

  18. Some select early number crunching of the crap in Scummo’s latest Ludicrous Notional Plan.

    Apparently it is even meant to hide from some of his fossil believers just how fast Scummo knows gas and coal are gonna decline… talk about “fool some of the people all of the time…”

    “Ketan Joshi …
    But from 2020 to 2021, there was really obviously no longer any room for Angus Taylor’s personal indulgences about tech he specifically loves and loathes.

    Such a deep cut to elec emissions **surely** meant a huge cut to both coal and gas, and more solar and wind.
    Ketan Joshi
    Well…..guess what?

    We’ll never really know. This year, they just ***deleted*** their elec gen projections from the underlying data.

    So: we can’t say exactly how many coal and gas plants they had to shut down to get their 30% by 2030!

    Ketan Joshi
    With some more time I can back-calculate generation, using emissions, these capacities and renewable proportions, and some educated guesses.

    I bet it’d show exactly why the gov’t removed the data: coal and gas are on the way out much faster than they want widely known.

    Ketan Joshi
    So. Extrapolating out this projection, if Australia continues at the same pace, it’ll reach ‘net zero’ emissions by the year ~2093 ish.

    Ketan Joshi
    Anyway. I haven’t even opened their “net zero by 2050″ plan yet. But their projections and plans out to 2030 are mind-blowingly bad. And that’s what counts.

    End…for now”

  19. Cornel West tells it like it is for America on the COVID-19 issue. He almost starts rapping at one point. It’s a very eloquent and very insightful extempore reply.

  20. Svante I can only watch “Tim “freedom boy” Wilson in speaking against the motion provided another barrel of laughs” – by accident or techno-bugs – eg the remote is lost.

    Your post needs to be said 2x. Not the usual suspects, just the ones who’s sheepskin over wolf reflects ‘Liberal’, hiding neolib conservative.

    How many motions of importance have they snuffed – enough to get us a claytons carbon plan, Aukus, and reugees awaiting covid. With Freedom Boy as executioner 2nd only to Dutton.

    Oh, and Tim Smith’s chortley delivered excuse for refferal yesterday – just a normal thing. Half an excuse delivered by a person in a protected position. “Speakers grovelly one sided Excuses, in Two Lessons please.

    Is there a Transparency Party? The single issue I think I’d vote for after this government.

  21. Ikon, yes it was worth the price of admission “It’s a very eloquent and very insightful extempore reply.” and I hope some world famous rapper raps it.

    Song will be titled “Freedom is not Licentiousness”. Fox will brand it as elite, due to a >7 letter word.

  22. Geoff Miell @11:05 AM informs us that cumulative Co2 from 1750.
    “In 2021:
    #01 USA: _ 509,143 Mt
    #02 China: _ 284,476 Mt …

    So $5.09Tn from US for compensation and $2.84Tn from China, and so on.

    Easy fix. A trilllion $’s per 100Mt ☺

    But we can’t even raise the $100Bn we all agreed to.

    What will Australia pay at that price? $180Bn. All of about 13% of one year of our gdp.

    Geoff, anyone – what is the multiplier of these numbers for inaction?

    A rate of growth of unfinished decarbonation business. Which needs to be the question and answer every time someone says “you tell me how much it will cost”.

    But we do know I’ll get a $2,000 saving in 2050! Beyond bravado.

  23. Ikon, it has already been said;
    “”Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed.”
    Kurt Vonnegut

  24. KT2 I note that whilst Chris Bowen spoke this morning in support of the motion to suspend standing orders and so debate Steggall’s Climate Change Bill he did say up front that he had disagreements with parts of the Bill. it would have been helpful and no doubt revealing to hear all speakers in a debate.

    Sadly for the country the defeat of Steggall’s motion has meant that today the ALP has not had to reveal what they disagree with, why they disagree with anything, what amendment they would propose and what others they could agree to, nor how they would finally vote on the Bill! They have been able to conceal themselves behind the LNP again. My money would be on them voting it down if somehow it came about that they had the numbers..

    “There are currently 151 members of the House of Representatives…” but only 105 cast a vote on Zali Steggall’s motion to debate her Climate Change Bill. It could look like the ALP provided up to some 22 absent pairs.

    It says a lot about our impending climate doom and risible system of duopoly governance.

  26. KT2: – “Geoff, anyone – what is the multiplier of these numbers for inaction?

    Posted today at The Conversation was a piece by Andrew King & Malte Meinshausen headlined If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7℃ this century. That’s not OK. It begins with:

    If nations make good on their latest promises to reduce emissions by 2030, the planet will warm by at least 2.7℃ this century, a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found. This overshoots the crucial internationally agreed temperature rise of 1.5℃.

    “Inaction”, I’ll redefine as continued high GHG emissions trajectory, means the Earth System will likely reach +3 to +5 ℃ global mean warming by 2100.

    +2 ℃ is likely to be the threshold for a “Hothouse Earth”, and likely before 2050.

    +3 ℃ means major areas of equatorial and mid-latitude regions of planet Earth likely begin to become unlivable for humans. Major areas of China and USA could see significantly higher mean annual temperatures (MATs) by 2070.
    Descriptors I’ve seen include “Outright chaos.”
    How do you put a price on that?

    +4 ℃ means a likely end of human civilisation.
    The World Bank says: “There is no certainty that adaptation to a 4 ℃ world is possible.
    Professor Kevin Anderson says: “Incompatible with an organised global community … likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’ … high probability of not being stable.
    How do you put a price on that?

    I’d suggest the numbers likely approach infinity.
    Surely we/humanity need to be avoiding the unmanageable and managing the unavoidable?

  27. KT2, cross bench Katter was absent – so was it purely performative, really just a done deal then? Who else? Who from the LNP is away ill today and so perhaps warrants the ALP providing a pair? Or who like Mr Wilkie by video link could engage in debate on the prior agenda item but apparently is prevented from voting on Steggall’s motion? Surely not 22 from the LNP taking a sickie and the same number from the ALP!

    No. 151
    Wednesday, 27 October 2021


    Ms Steggall moved—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the private Members’ business orders of the day relating to the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2021 and the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2021 standing in the name of the Member for Warringah being called on immediately, debated together and given priority over all other business for final determination of the House.

    – 10:21:37 AM
    Debate ensued.

    Dr Haines, 10:21:44 AM. Mr T. R. Wilson, 10:26:48 AM. Point of order, Ms Steggall. 10:35:32 AM. Mr T. R. Wilson, 10:35:42 AM. Mr Bowen, 10:36:56 AM.

    – 10:38:44 AM
    Question—That the motion for the suspension of standing orders be disagreed to—put.

    – 10:38:58 AM
    Division 771

    The House divided (the Speaker, Mr A. D. H. Smith, in the Chair)—

    AYES, 55
    Mr Alexander Mr Falinski Ms Ley Mr Stevens Dr Allen Mr Fletcher Mr Littleproud Mr Sukkar Mrs K. L. Andrews Mr Frydenberg Mr McCormack Mr Taylor Mr K. J. Andrews Mr Gee Mrs McIntosh Mr Tudge Ms Bell Dr Gillespie Dr Martin Mr van Manen Mr Buchholz Mr Hamilton Mr Morrison Mr Vasta Mr D. J. Chester Ms Hammond Mr L. S. O’Brien Mr Wallace Mr Coleman Mr Hawke Mr O’Dowd Dr Webster Mr Conaghan Mr Hogan Mr Pasin Mrs Wicks Mr Connelly Mr Howarth Mr Pitt Mr R. J. Wilson Mr Coulton Mr Hunt Ms Price Mr T. R. Wilson Mr Drum* Mr Joyce Mr Ramsey* Mr Wyatt Mr Dutton Mr C. Kelly Mr Robert Mr Zimmerman Mr Entsch Mr Leeser Mr Sharma

    NOES, 50
    Mr Albanese Dr Freelander Ms McBain Mr Shorten Mr Bandt Mr Giles Ms McBride Mr D. P. B. Smith Ms Bird Mr Gorman Mr Marles Mr Snowdon Mr Bowen Dr Haines Mr R. G. Mitchell Ms Stanley* Mr Burke Mr Hayes Dr Mulino Ms Steggall Ms Burney Mr Hill Ms Murphy Ms Swanson Mr Burns Mr Husic Mr O’Connor Ms Templeman Ms L. M. Chesters Mr Jones Ms Owens Mr Thistlethwaite Ms Claydon Ms Kearney Ms Payne Ms Thwaites Ms Coker Mr Khalil Ms Rowland Mr Watts Mr Dick Ms C. F. King Ms Ryan* Ms Wells Mrs Elliot Ms M. M. H. King Ms Sharkie Mr J. H. Wilson Mr Fitzgibbon Dr Leigh

    * Tellers

    And so it was resolved in the affirmative.

  28. “the battle for Antarctica” began a while ago. But also seriously, what language other than English should the young be learning to fit in best where they best run to in a generation or so? Spanish, Russian, Norwegian…? My guess is Spanish.

  29. Ikonoclast: – “Cue the battle for Antarctica.

    I’d suggest Antarctica will probably still have a thick ice sheet on it for centuries, and perhaps doesn’t have much in the way of topsoil for growing food.

    More like a battle for the south island of New Zealand, Tasmania, Patagonia region, Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Siberia region and Scandinavian countries.

  30. Something that’s simply nice:

    These “dragon scale” solar tiles, from a European manufacturer, are on the roof of a building on the Google campus in Silicon Valley. Can you afford them? Probably not, but other billionaires can, and prices of the kit will come down. The bespoke curved mounts and skilled installation will always be expensive. But then, so was the roof of the Hospices de Beaune.

  31. “The Second interim report: insecurity in publicly-funded jobs…
    … from the …
    “Select Committee on Job Security blamed the Coalition Government’s average level staffing cap for the over-use of temporary workers, whose hire came at a considerable mark-up to agencies.

    “The increased use of outsourcing and short-term, temporary staff has eroded the capability of the Australian Public Service and allowed labour-hire companies to “pillage the public purse”, a Senate committee has found.”

    The report notes contractors add 20% or more to comparable public servant services yet …

    “Coalition members of the committee produced a dissenting report saying that hiring outside staff was crucial to managing surges in demand and delivering the necessary services to the Australian public at the standard expected.”

    “Outsourcing corrosive and costly to APS, says Senate committee report

    Report at:
    “Second interim report: insecurity in publicly-funded jobs

    There ARE NO submissions listed as yet to the “Upcoming Public Hearings
    03 Nov 2021: Canberra
    04 Nov 2021: Canberra”

    “Inquiry Status
    Accepting Submissions 
    “Upload Submission
    How to make a submission

  32. Liberal Queensland Senator Gerard Rennick, at Senate Estimates during questions to CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall, has curiously suggested that he was concerned that achieving zero net emissions globally could deprive plant life of sufficient carbon dioxide. 🙄🤣

    Rennick reportedly said:

    We’ll end up with a situation if we go net zero on land, and, and the phytoplankton is still taking more carbon out of the atmosphere, that we’ll actually run the carbon levels down to an extent where we destroy our plant life. That’s what my concern is.

    Perhaps Senator Rennick is not familiar with the phase diagram of habitability for residents of the Earth? The limits of habitability for atmospheric CO2 levels and global average surface temperature presented by Dr Ye Tao can be viewed here:

    I’d suggest the current Earth surface temperature trajectory is humanity’s biggest threat, induced by ongoing human-induced GHG emissions.
    There is no threat that “zero net emissions globally could deprive plant life of sufficient carbon dioxide.

  33. ARM takeover

    The EU Commission has opened a formal investigation into NVidia’s proposed takeover of chip design shop ARM, . Decision to proceed to the next step by March 2022.
    Reminder: the takeover needs clearance from four regulators in the USA, GB, the U, and China.It only takes one to kill the deal. Good.

  34. My PC has an NVidia graphics card. I’ve never been happy with it. Performance is poor. Support is worse. A computer world where NVidia takes over more stuff will not be an improvement in any way. Quite the reverse, IMHO.

  35. Some links to watch through next week and on to the next election, per Zali Steggall / Climate Act Now:

    * COP26 official website

    * COP26 overview schedule –

    * Watch live (and highlights) –

    * COP26 Facebook –

    * COP26 Twitter –

    #climateactnow #passthebillnotthebuck #cop26.

    The biggest shock for IPA freedumb boys spreads south:

  36. Following the Voices of Goldstein tweet posted above here’s a partial quote of Savva below with my emphasis:

    PM’s net zero plan driven by slogans and seats, not conversion or conviction
    Niki Savva October 28, 2021 — 5.00am

    “…Polling undertaken less than two weeks ago for the Climate 200 Group headed by Simon Holmes à Court in key Victorian electorates, provided exclusively to this column, mirrors that done in inner-urban Sydney seats. It helps explain why Morrison pressed for the target and why a scare campaign would be a gamble. It also confirms the Resolve poll in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald showing the government has paid a price for infighting over climate.

    It surveyed Kooyong, held by the Treasurer and potential future leader Josh Frydenberg, Flinders held by the Health Minister, Greg Hunt and Goldstein, held by newly minted frontbencher and longer-term leadership aspirant Tim Wilson.

    It did not survey Higgins – once the domain of John Gorton, Peter Costello and Kelly O’Dwyer –which Katie Allen holds with a margin of 3.7 per cent, figuring it would go Labor or Greens.

    In fact, a poll conducted by Labor in Higgins last week showed it was within reach. It showed the Liberal vote had dropped 6 per cent to 41, Labor’s went up one to 26, the Greens went down four to 19, Clive Palmer’s party was at five and independents around four. After preference distribution it was 50-50.

    More people were dissatisfied with the Morrison government’s handling of the pandemic (56 per cent) than satisfied (30 per cent). And the Joyce factor is huge with 63 per cent of voters in Higgins holding an unfavourable opinion of him. His net negative rating among women is at a staggering minus 53 per cent.

    The result poses a dilemma for Labor in Victoria. Should it swing resources there, concentrate on winning Chisholm (which Liberals agree is vulnerable) or on holding Dunkley and Corangamite (which Labor concedes are vulnerable), or aim for Casey, following Speaker Tony Smith’s announcement he is retiring?

    In each seat polled by Climate 200, climate change was listed as the number one issue of concern to voters, well ahead of management of the pandemic and of the economy. Without a name attached, an independent candidate could expect to garner from 7.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent of the vote.

    Voters were then asked how they would vote if there was an independent candidate of the calibre of Warringah’s Zali Steggall or Indi’s Helen Haines. In Flinders, where doubt remains that Hunt will recontest, the expected vote jumped to 24.3 per cent, in Goldstein 28.5 per cent and in Kooyong 26.3 per cent.

    Liberal voting intention dropped markedly once respondents were asked about voting for an independent like Steggall/Haines. In Flinders it fell by 8.7 per cent to 28 per cent, in Goldstein by 9.6 per cent to 28.5 and in Kooyong, by 8.5 per cent to 25.9 per cent.

    So an “independent like Steggall/Haines” is behind, but competitive in Flinders, level pegging in Goldstein and ahead in Kooyong.

    The trick is to find suitable candidates. In North Sydney in mid-September when businesswoman Kylea Tink declared she would run as an independent, she had a list of 300 supporters. She now has more than 1000, more than enough to man booths on election day.

    It’s enough to make the major parties go green. Literally. One Labor frontbencher reckons if that happened in his seat, he would be accused of branch stacking.

    A candidate will be announced soon to run against energy minister Angus Taylor in Hume and Holmes à Court has been asked to consider running in Kooyong. He remains reluctant. While there are a couple of other possibilities, the Kooyong Independents Group will cast the net wider this weekend by advertising for candidates. That is how Steggall was found for Warringah.

    The money keeps rolling in. In 10 weeks the group has raised $3.2 million from 4000 donors. At the last election they raised $500,000.

    Holmes à Court says it’s driven by dissatisfaction with the government over the issues the independents will campaign on – climate change, integrity and the treatment and safety of women – and confidently predicts Morrison’s “plan” is so bad it will make things worse for the government, not better.

  37. JQ, an example for your next presentation please. Rice & M&M’s!

    COP26 could do with Rep. Katie Porter and her fantastic, almost worthy of ICAC slow grill and gotcha presentation. “Rep. Katie Porter whipped out 217 kg (212 kilograms) of uncooked rice to illustrate how many vacant acres of public land are currently being leased by fossil fuel companies.” Gizmodo.

    A Consequence. This presentation location is due to a silver lining of covid, as she is in her driveway, unable to attend House Oversight Committee in person (ala Senate Estimates). 

    Probably the best I have seen for a presentation  / gotcha. I highly recommend watching Big Oil ceo’s get ‘Her Point’! She waited about 15 seconds before cutting off and answering for the execs, as they bumbled and mumbled. Classic truth to power. She would make mince out of Scomo.

    “Rep. Katie Porter Grills Big Oil Execs

    “Rep. Katie Porter will always put the American people before special interests like Big Oil. At a House Oversight Committee Hearing, she called out fossil fuel executives for their hypocrisy on climate action and how they use our federal land.

    Article & Partial transcript; 
    “Rep. Katie Porter Used Her Costco Haul to Embarrass Big Oil

    “Whenever a smart, powerful woman starts using literal grains of rice to illustrate her point, you know you done goofed. Big Oil companies found that out the hard way when, during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Thursday, Rep. Katie Porter whipped out 217 kg (212 kilograms) of uncooked rice to illustrate how many vacant acres of public land are currently being leased by fossil fuel companies.

    “During Thursday’s hearing, top executives from Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and BP were grilled by Democratic representatives about whether they had “ever approved a disinformation campaign” around climate science (they have) and corporate greenwashing (they do). After each executive filibustered and Republicans apologised for this whole misunderstanding, Porter appeared in her garage via Zoom to illustrate the executives’ hypocrisy by way of food props.

    “First, Porter called out Shell’s head in the U.S. Gretchen Watkins, who has in the past publicly referred to the existential threat of climate change as a “defining challenge for our generation.”

    ““Shell’s 2020 annual report called for between $US19 ($25) and $US22 ($29) billion in near-term spending. I’m representing that with this container of M&Ms,” Porter said. “Each M&M represents about $US50 ($67) million.”

    “Of that whopping sum, how much of the money would go towards oil, gas, and petrochemical operations? Porter asked Watkins before dumping most of the jar out to illustrate the fact that only a scant few M&Ms remained to devote to clean energy initiatives.

    ““To me, this does not look like an adequate response to one of the defining challenges of our time,” Porter added.

    “Next, Porter addressed American Petroleum Institute President Mike Sommers, stepping aside to tactfully reveal a minivan with “OVRSITE” vanity plates. Sommers is the head of the oil and gas industry’s main trade group, which has lobbied extensively against regulations that would constrain the industry in any way. 

    “Pressing Sommers on the number of unused acres of public land fossil fuel companies are currently squatting on, Porter ignored his repeated dismissals by casually raising her key fob to open the van’s trunk, revealing a dozen or so massive bags of rice.

    ““The answer is 13.9 million acres,” she said. “To visualise how much land that is, if each grain of rice was one acre, that would be 217 kg of rice.”

    “The Biden administration put a pause on federal oil and gas leasing earlier this year, and is grappling with how to balance its climate goalsgoing forward. Having the oil and gas industry support a pause and actively engaging in talks on winding down production would be an act of good faith by Big Oil to show it takes the science seriously. After asking each executive in turn if they supported that pause — spoiler alert, none of them did — Porter grabbed an open bag of rice and began dumping it on the ground.

    ““You already have 13.9 million acres! This is equivalent to Maryland and New Jersey combined. How much more do you need?” she asked. “You have two of our 50 states at a price that makes the Louisiana Purchase look like a rip-off and you’re not even using it. What more do you need? Iowa? Colorado? Virginia?”

    “The American public deserves tireless crusaders who fight to protect public lands and hold Big Oil executives accountable. To that end, Porter is an invaluable resource. Not least of her sacrifices is the fact that she will likely be eating white rice and M&Ms with every meal for the next five or so years — a brave contribution to the quest for climate justice. We thank her for her service.”

    “Katherine Moore Porter …is an American politician, law professor, and lawyer who is the U.S. Representative from  California’s 45th congressional district since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the first Democrat to be elected to represent the district, covering much of south-central Orange County, …’

  38. A rider to Katherine Porter above.
    And – groan.

    “Supreme Court To Consider Limiting EPA’s Power To Regulate Climate-Changing Gases

    “The ruling could challenge the Biden administration’s plan to curb carbon emissions right after a key White House proposal died in Congress.

    …” stacked with judges Trump appointed. In June, Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, a Trump appointee, issued a ruling lifting the White House’s pause on leasing federal land to oil and gas companies. Biden’s Department of the Interior is now set to auction off about 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico to drillers on Nov. 17, just five days after the U.N. climate summit comes to a close.

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