10 November 2010

We're Serious This Time

Gordon Brown said the following in the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate conference last year:
There are now fewer than 50 days to set the course of the next 50 years and more. If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late.
In advance of the Cancun climate conference in a few weeks, India's Jairam Ramesh says:
We are running out of time, Cancun is the last chance. The credibility of the climate-change mechanism is at stake.
What I think he must mean is that Cancun is the last chance . . . until South Africa 2012, which will be the last chance until . . . 


  1. It's the end of the world !!


    Maybe it's just a vast financial scam dreamed up by Enron.


    Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol established emissions trading by allowing countries that have emission units to spare (emissions permitted to them but unused) to sell this excess capacity to countries that are over their emissions limits. In effect, this created a new commodity in the form of emissions and created a carbon market. Since CO2 is the principal greenhouse gas, emissions trading effectively became carbon trading.



    Carbon trading could be worth twice that of oil in next decade

    The carbon market could become double the size of the vast oil market, according to the new breed of City players who trade greenhouse gas emissions through the EU's emissions trading scheme.

    The ETS market may see $3tn (£1.8tn) worth of transactions a year in the next decade or two, according to Andrew Ager, head of emissions trading at Bache Commodities in London, with it even being used as a hedge against falling equities or rising inflation. "It is still a relatively new industry with annual trades of around €300bn every year. But this could grow to around $3tn compared to the $1.5tn market there is for oil," says Ager, who used to be a foreign currencies trader.

    The speed of that growth will depend on whether the Copenhagen summit gives a go-ahead for a low-carbon economy, but Ager says whatever happens schemes such as the ETS will expand around the globe.


  2. What they don't seem to understand is the more they profess such hyperbolic doom, the less credible they sound.

    And of course India doesn't give a hoot about climate change, they just want free money from the West.

  3. What's kind of funny is that if you are into sales, you recognize this "last chance" statement as nothing more than a tool to close a deal. It may work the first time on an unsophisticated customer but the probability of getting someone to bite drops dramatically with each successive last chance pitch. The irony is that the repeated overselling of both causes, magnetude and solutions for climate change is what is nailing the lid on the coffin for the AGW movement.

  4. At least the stakes are diminishing: Gordon Brown apparently meant that the future of the world is at stake, now Ramesh says it is just the credibility of climate-change mechanism (will/ability to cut emissions?) is at stake. In South Africa 2012, perhaps the only thing at stake is the credibility of the participants?

  5. What I think he must mean is that Cancun is the last chance . . . until South Africa 2012, which will be the last chance until . . .

    Until the mighty prophesied tipping point, coming soon to a planet near you!

  6. It seems clear that the AGW community is seriously addicted to expensive conferences and that intervention is called for.

    The credibility of the participants has not been in doubt from the start of this moveable feast: they have none.

  7. Roger,

    Can I infer from you post that you reject the notion of climate tipping points and that we appear to moving towards rather than away from them?

  8. -7-Marlowe Johnson

    Huh? No, this post has nothing to do with tipping points.

  9. Oh.

    When I see this

    "once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late."

    it makes me think of tipping points. To each his own I guess :)

  10. Like Marlowe, I thought of tipping points, but only because they are the sole possible justification for the supposed urgency in 'doing something' about GHGs. And then I thought, that if one did exist, of the unlikeliness that anything done at a UN climate conference would do more than perhaps delay it by a few months.

    But I haven't seen a predicted tipping point plausible enough induce me to sell any coastal real estate.

  11. "Carbon trading could be worth twice that of oil in next decade"

    Yes and herds of pigs could fly, fly, fly away into a wonderful, beautiful rose colored sky.

    Or maybe the fate of the Chicago exchange is a strong foreshadowing of what will happen in Europe in 2012 when the time comes to re-negotiate the Euro Carbon Exchange.

    Every year the discrepancy between what the AGW proponents have forecast to happen and what is actually happening gets larger, clearer and louder. It is just a matter of time and how much more money will be wasted pursuing useless public policies until the Great Scam fall apart in the mind of the public.

    The end game will be very ugly for the careers and reputations for the major AGW proponents.

  12. From the WWF last week:

    'Climate change is the biggest threat to people and wildlife on our planet – and this weekend you can join the thousands of people across the UK lobbying their MPs to take action to stop it.'

    It's not the biggest threat to people and wildlife on our planet and MPs can't do anything to stop it. Apart from that, they're on the right track.

  13. Marlowe Johnson (Wed Nov 10, 09:19:00 AM MST),

    The “tipping point” hysteria is always inferred in any “last chance” rhetoric.

    But, just a glance at this chart demonstrates the abject absurdity of that utterly dishonest rhetoric.

    Click here for details and direct links to citations.

  14. Marlowe does not seem to have noticed that the statement about irretrievable opportunities etc was Gordon Brown's, not Roger's. Gordon Brown, as well as others, actually seemed to think that the tipping point would occur less than two months after he spoke; if he was right, then there is now (one year after his words) nothing to be done, just waiting for the inevitable end.

  15. According to the Hindustan Times, this may indeed be the last chance. http://www.hindustantimes.com/rssfeed/newdelhi/No-climate-talks-in-future-if-Cancun-fails/Article1-624546.aspx

  16. With this sort of rhetoric, is it any wonder that a Scientific American poll finds that 84% (and counting) consider the IPCC to be “a corrupt organization, prone to groupthink, with a political agenda”?

    Click here for the back story and to participate in the poll.

  17. SBVOR: I empathize with your graphic but it's not so straightforward. e.g. you could factor in a ~4% lower solar output in the early Phanerozoic... preferably on your blog.

  18. Zeroth (Wed Nov 10, 02:29:00 PM MST),

    For my thoughts on your solar energy issue see the comments section of this post.

    Click here to go directly to the first comment raising that issue and follow the discussion.

  19. Didn't Jim Hansen say that Obama's first administration - four years - was the last hope for the planet?

    I'm reminded of something anthropologist Marvin Harris wrote years ago. A family was recorded in their house. For twenty minutes, the mother told her young son not to touch the dog, and for twenty minutes, the boy swatted at the dog. Harris made the point that when the mother said "really this time" over and over, one thing you know is that she didn't mean "really this time." And when the scare-mongers say over and over "this is our last chance," the one thing you know is that they don't mean "this is our last chance."