9 thoughts on “My latest piece in The Conversation

  1. JQ,  great article and I really appreciate your glass half full. Helos me sleep at night.

    Yet..
    ● Rupert & Lachlan now own “OPIS, the Oil Price Information Service”. –
    ● And China – “Murdoch empire borrows US$100m from state-owned Bank of China”.

    What are you going to write about the actual attacker because they have this covered “… our leaders would talk openly and clearly about the huge threat climate change poses to all of us here, and the benefits we stand to gain by quitting fossil fuels”.

    We go from article to article with 70% faux news yet we have continued awareness amnesia. We have had 20+ years to deal with the chief misinformation dragon, yet as seen below, it just gets stronger. Smaug has a son, cashed up with China in his pocket, to carry on business as usual of hording gold via media manipulation. How long to recoup investment? 
    About  >4 degrees C time. 

    JQ said “But the opposition’s main concern has been to avoid any policy that leaves it open to attack from the Coalition and the Murdoch press.”.

    They all are, have and will be attacked, stronger, and with another 1.4bn faux news tribe. And a choke hold on oil price info.

    2 Questions – JQ et all: 
    1) If OPIS costs $1.5bn, how long to recoup investment – (proxy for continued control of energy price reporting & news)

    2) as “markets may fail to generate prices that reflect the social opportunity cost” – and reveal “opportunity costs of various topologies of market failure” (Quiggin pg 172, Ein2L),
    as per Bator’s 
    – ownership externalities
    – technical externalities and
    – public good externalities 
    [ fn1 – Chpt 9 – pg 172 – Book: Economics in Two Lessons by Quiggin 2019 ]

    What are, in relation to News Corp and financial and market power, now extending to China, and News Corp information and coordination and network effects, the;-
    a) social opportunity costs?
    b) ownership externalities?
    c) technical externalities and?
    d) public good externalities?

    Please. 

    Any answer anyone? I doubt it. Say about in >4 degrees time. To effect the answer as rapidly as we want Co2 levels to reduce, we would need a billionaire or three, G20 on side, and 2bn humans on side. Can’t see it happening until after 2050.

    Rupert & Lachlan now own “OPIS, the Oil Price Information Service”. And China – “Murdoch empire borrows US$100m from state-owned Bank of China”.

    Making more green-backs from black oil price publishing. The planet and Co2e don’t enter into faux news’ calculations. 

    China News (Russia news – cheap) has been brewing for 13yrs  From the Mayne Report in 2010, at end “”Rupert Murdoch: we made an investment in a company called STAR which is now showing a very good return.”.
    *

    “Murdoch empire borrows US$100m from state-owned Bank of China

    “Despite his media operations slamming Xi Jinping’s regime, the Murdochs accepted a megamillion-dollar loan from the government-run bank.

    “It seems ESG lending in Australia is increasingly blackballing coalminers but hasn’t yet reached key propagandists such as News Corp.

    “So why does News Corp need this money. Well, according to the filing it’s forunstated “general corporate purposes” — a big takeover in the offing?

    “As Crikey reported this time last year, News Corp first went into a net debt position 12 months ago when it committed $1.07 billion to three separate bolt-on acquisitions in one week. However, last August it then announced amuch bigger US$1.15 billion cash acquisition of OPIS, the Oil Price Information Service that S&P was forced to sell by US anti-trust regulators. This was partially funded by a US$500 million notes issue in February 2022 — an issue of debt securities to institutional investors rather than borrowing directly from banks.

    “This 180-page News Corp filing –
    (https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20220331/pdf/457j6jn142wxwm.pdf )
    … with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the ASX in Australia contains details of who will be funding the surprisingly large new loan for News Corp. If only ASX-listed companies were required to be this transparent in disclosing who their financiers are.

    “All Australia’s big four banks are in the News Corp syndicate”
    https://www.crikey.com.au/2022/04/01/murdoch-borrows-us100m-state-owned-bank-of-china/
    *

    China:
    > Star TV Channels (Satellite TeleVision Asian Region), an Asian satellite TV service having 300 million viewers in 53 countries, mainly in India, China & other Asian countries
    > Phoenix Television (17.6%), satellite TV network with landing rights in Hong Kong, and select provinces on Mainland China.Cable
    Wikipedia
    *

    “The most potent weapon wielded by the empires of Murdoch and China”
    George Monbiot

    “A riveting account of two of the world’s most powerful forces has been ignored – blame anticipatory compliance”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/apr/22/chinathemedia.rupertmurdoch
    *

    “2010 News Corp AGM transcript

    ” Stephen Mayne: I would also like to ask you, have you read Bruce Dover’s book Rupert’s adventures in China?

    “Rupert Murdoch: no.

    “Stephen Mayne: could any director who has read Rupert’s adventures in China please raise their hand? (No director raises their hand) Now I think that is a slightly disturbing development. I mean this was your senior executive in Hong Kong, doing a tell-all book about how, apparently, billions of dollars were lost by shareholders in China, and you’re saying that not one of the directors has bothered to read the book. Is that actually true? (Again, none of the 15 directors present raises their hand)

    “Rupert Murdoch: I don’t think the book is true…

    “Stephen Mayne: how would you know if you haven’t read it? The other one that has just been launched was Tears of a Clown…

    “Rupert Murdoch: we made an investment in a company called STAR which is now showing a very good return.

    https://www.maynereport.com/articles/2010/10/16-0311-8905.html
    *

  2. A timely article, JQ, given the proximity of the federal election.

    How much additional CO2 will be emitted by the war of aggression by Russia against the Ukraine? From the global warming perspective, ‘additional CO2 emission’ could be measured net of unavailable heating for the remaining people in heavily bombarded cities in the Ukraine. From an economic perspective, such a measure would be unacceptable, assuming the institutional environment – whatever its political name – of ‘the economy’ places the preservation of human life as a central responsibility of government. This ‘economic perspective’ is, unfortunately, not the only conceivable.

  3. Coal consumption is the major source of electrical energy in China and India and these countries, while being significant importers of coal, are major coal producers. Australia and the US produce 14% of the world’s coal while China and India produce 60%.

    To achieve the 1.5 degree target China and India need to be persuaded (economics of renewables, environmental pollution costs as well as global warming costs) to switch from coal earlier than they plan to do. Banning Australian exports alone won’t do the trick although it will marginally help. A hefty border tax on imports from these countries that reflects the social cost of untaxed carbon emissions would be more effective than an export ban alone since the latter would leave untouched the bulk of carbon-based production which does not rely on imported coal and the inevitable emergence of substitute production from third countries with an narrow export ban.

    Generally I think the 1.5 degree target needs to focus specifically on encouraging India and China to switch away from coal. How to convince them should be the focus.

    https://thediplomat.com/2021/12/india-and-china-can-quit-coal-earlier-but-the-world-must-work-alongside-them/

  4. I am in favor of leaving all Australian coal, oil and gas in the ground. We need to make a rapid transition to renewables. There will be transition issues and we may need some gas for fertilizer and some oil for lubricants.

    I am in favor of a border tax on “embodied” CO2 emissions in imports with untaxed emissions in the country of origin, How that could be assessed I am not sure.

    The bottom line is that I have zero confidence in India and China containing CO2 emissions or even ameliorating them in the slightest until major global heatwaves and sea level rise impact directly and heavily on them. In this they are no better and no worse than other nations.

    Notwithstanding the above, we need to rapidly transition anyway. The example that it is possible might help somehow.

  5. As I read your article JQ, I see a focus on Australia. I don’t see a focus on substituting demand -> services vs the supply conversation globally.  

    “… the first global Decent Living Energy model, (fn^DLEm) which delivered another head-exploding result that made its way into [IPCC] Summary for Policymakers: It’s possible to have decent living conditions for everybody at half the current energy use.”

    Chapter 5, a first it seems in an IPCC report, does just that. Perhaps a follow up focusing on Chapter 5 & demand.

    Chapter 5 opens a discussion and … “also obliterates one of the fossil fuel industry’s favorite narratives: that people living in poverty need fossil fuels to get out of poverty.

         “Energy poverty is the largest limiting factor to economic growth: some 3 billion humans rely on [biomass] for cooking and heating… the idea of “only wind, only solar” meeting these immense and growing energy needs is as unserious and unfair as it sounds.”
    — American Petroleum Institute (@APIenergy) June 15, 2020″
    *

    As can be seen by your esteemed commenters below, they want non economic answers and solutions:

    Ernestine – “This ‘economic perspective’ is, unfortunately, not the only conceivable.”. Demand for example Ernestine. 

    Harry Clarke – “to convince them should be the focus.” – nobble news corp & lobbyists – (^fn-fauxnnews)

    Ikon – “example that it is possible” – see Chapter 5.
    *

    Chapter 5 seems to satisfy many questions – focus on demand.

    …”Demand-side strategies, categorised under Avoid, Shift, Improve, can reduce 50-80% of emissions across all sectors (high confidence).” That’s a direct quote from the chapter.”

    “…no surprise that for-profit papers that generate revenue making ad campaigns for oil companies (cough cough The Washington Post AND The New York Times) are not shouting this from the rooftops.” (^fn-fauxnnews)
    *

    From article:-
    “Debunking Demand, an Ode to Chapter Five.”

         “This is the first time we’ve ever had a chapter on demand because this idea about economic growth and demand being linked was just untouchable,” environmental economist Julia Steinberger, a contributing author to chapter 5, says.

         “Everybody wants economic growth, so everybody wants demand to increase and that’s it. But as soon as you start questioning it, you realize that it’s a God with clay feet. That you can actually do a lot better with a lot less. There’s nothing preventing us from doing a lot better and using a lot less, including resolving poverty and deprivation around the world.”

    “That’s huge because not only does it up-end a rigid belief about how economies work, it also obliterates one of the fossil fuel industry’s favorite narratives: that people living in poverty need fossil fuels to get out of poverty.

    ” It upends a deeply held belief (yeah I said it, belief) in economics that demand will increase with economic growth.”

    “IPCC Mitigation Report 2022 Analysis—Part One:
    https://www.drilledpodcast.com/debunking-demand-ipcc-mitigation-report-part-1/
    *

    ^DLEm – Decent Living Energy model
    https://www.decentlivingenergy.org/

    https://www.decentlivingenergy.org/publications.html
    *

    fn-fauxnews
    As I said above, here is the demand booster;
    ● Rupert & Lachlan now own “OPIS, the Oil Price Information Service”. –
    ● And China – “Murdoch empire borrows US$100m from state-owned Bank of China”.
    https://johnquiggin.com/2022/04/08/my-latest-piece-in-the-conversation/#comment-251911 

    And I’ll ask again for comments or answers, as, Ernestine, Harry Clarke, Ikon’s comments above seem to allude to, my questions, relating to:

    Questions: 
    1) If OPIS costs $1.5bn, how long to recoup investment – (proxy for continued control of energy price reporting & news & demand side boosting)

    2) as “markets may fail to generate prices that reflect the social opportunity cost” – and reveal “opportunity costs of various topologies of market failure” (Quiggin pg 172, Ein2L),
    “as per Bator’s 
    – ownership externalities
    – technical externalities and
    – public good externalities 
    [ fn1 – Chpt 9 – pg 172 – Book: Economics in Two Lessons by Quiggin 2019 ]
    Q2: What are, in relation to News Corp and financial and market power, now extending to China, and News Corp information and coordination and network effects, the;-
    a) social opportunity costs?
    b) ownership externalities?
    c) technical externalities and?
    d) public good externalities?

    Yes, I understand I linguistically, economics jargon & gramatically look like a soon to fail 1st year student, but these questions need answers and dissemination imo.
    Please. 
    *

    IPCC 2022 “Downloads
    “On this page you will find the approved Summary for Policymakers and the Final Draft files for Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change report.”
    https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/

    “Chapter 5: Demand, services and social aspects of mitigation”

    Click to access IPCC_AR6_WGIII_FinalDraft_Chapter05.pdf

    “Chapter 5 Supplementary Materials

    Click to access IPCC_AR6_WGIII_FinalDraft_Chapter05_SupplementaryMaterial.pdf

  6. Harry Clarke: – “To achieve the 1.5 degree target…

    Now impossible (barring major meteor impact, super volcanic eruption or nuclear war events).

    • Current global atmospheric CO₂ concentration: ~ 417 ppm (Jan 2022 monthly mean)
    https://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends/global.html#global

    • Current global atmospheric CO₂-equivalent concentration: 504 ppm (latest figure for 2020 – see NOAA AGGI)

    • Paleoclimate record indicates the current global atmospheric CO₂ concentration is now likely the highest since millions of years ago. Mid Miocene Climate Optimum period may have seen CO₂ rise to around 500ppm.
    https://skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=2845

    • Humanity’s current GHG emissions trajectory is heading towards a climate state perhaps like the Mid Miocene Climate Optimum, where global mean temperatures could be around +4 to +5 °C warmer than pre-industrial age, and sea levels 10–60 metres higher than today.

    James Hansen, Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy wrote in their monthly temperature update on 13 Jan 2022, beginning with (bold text my emphasis):

    Global surface temperature in 2021 (Fig. 1) was +1.12°C (~2°F) relative to the 1880-1920 average in the GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) analysis.[1,2,3] 2021 and 2018 are tied for 6th warmest year in the instrumental record. The eight warmest years in the record occurred in the past eight years. The warming rate over land is about 2.5 times faster than over the ocean (Fig. 2). The irregular El Nino/La Nina cycle dominates interannual temperature variability, which suggests that 2022 will not be much warmer than 2021, but 2023 could set a new record. Moreover, three factors: (1) accelerating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, (2) decreasing aerosols, (3) the solar irradiance cycle will add to an already record-high planetary energy imbalance and drive global temperature beyond the 1.5°C limit – likely during the 2020s. Because of inertia and response lags in the climate and energy systems, the 2°C limit also will likely be exceeded by midcentury, barring intervention to reduce anthropogenic interference with the planet’s energy balance.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/

    Even if we/humanity stopped producing more GHG emissions from today, the Earth System will inevitably overshoot the +1.5 °C global mean warming threshold (relative to Holocene Epoch pre-industrial age). Why do people still persist with the fantasy/wishful thinking that keeping at or below the +1.5 °C threshold is still possible? The battle now is avoiding overshoot of the +2 °C warming threshold.

    Three things need to happen if human civilisation is to have any chance of continuing beyond this century:
    1. Rapidly reduce human-induced GHG emissions ASAP;
    2. Atmospheric carbon drawdown at large-scale to reduce CO₂-equivalent concentration below 350 ppm;
    3. Prevent arctic sea ice cover from reducing further – a recent study estimates that the loss of arctic sea ice cover is equivalent to adding another 25 percent to current global greenhouse emissions.

  7. Harry Clarke: while China and india do continue to mine and burn coal by the gigatonne, they do have large-scale policies for the switch to renewables and electric mobility. Australia has no credibility to lecture.

  8. I have been wondering how much Australian productivity would increase if the price of energy dropped by 50%. This would be possible if the government invested in huge amounts of wind and solar power at the long term bond rate. Perhaps investment in renewables alone would be enough to get the productivity improvement the Business council has been asking for.
    Has anyone done the calculations as to what the productivity improvement would be?

  9. JQ states in The Conversation piece:

    In Australia, our failures on transport are palpable. To reach net zero by 2050, we have to move to an all-electric vehicle fleet. Given cars last 20 years on average, almost all new vehicles must be electric by 2030.

    By contrast to almost all developed countries, Australia doesn’t have a fuel efficiency target, or plans to end new sales of petrol vehicles. The government has no proposal to address this, while Labor offers a minor tax concession on electric vehicles and a fuel efficiency information website.

    I’d suggest fuel efficiency targets are now too little and too late. I’d suggest no more sales of new ICEVs by 2025.

    Global post- ‘peak oil’ decline rate scenarios:
    1% decline rate per annum compounded over 10 years: 90.4% of current supply in tenth year;
    2% decline rate per annum compounded over 10 years: 81.7% of current supply in tenth year;
    3% decline rate per annum compounded over 10 years: 73.7% of current supply in tenth year;
    4% decline rate per annum compounded over 10 years: 66.5% of current supply in tenth year;
    5% decline rate per annum compounded over 10 years: 59.9% of current supply in tenth year;
    6% decline rate per annum compounded over 10 years: 53.9% of current supply in tenth year.

    The EIA says no more fossil fuel projects to avoid worst effects of climate change.

    The natural decline rate for giant oil field production (if no further developments occur) ranges typically between 4 to 6% per annum.

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