SciBlogs

Posts Tagged CO2

Monday mirth: Ken Ring reinvents botany, geology, and the oil business Gareth Renowden Dec 16

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

Sometimes the best way to start the week is with a good laugh — an eruptive bellow, in my case. Do not read any further while handling or consuming hot drinks, because it’s that man again: NZ’s favourite astrologer, “moon man” Ken Ring, reinventing science (again) in service of his weird view of the world. As regular readers will recall, Ringworld is a place full of oddities, but even as a connoisseur of Ken’s creative interpretations of physical reality I was reduced to fits of giggles by a couple of his recent articles, as published at his Yahoo News blog. Here’s what set me off — the fourth paragraph of an extended rant about scaremongering:

Volcanoes throw CO2 into the air and it drifts slowly down. Rain brings most CO2 back into the sea, with the rest combining to form weak acid carbonates which embed in rocks. Earthquakes enable rocks to reach the sea and eventually underneath new volcanoes, the cycle taking millions of years. There are enough volcanoes every day beneath the sea and above to keep CO2 at a constant average of 350 parts per million of the atmosphere, across many centuries.

A constant average of 350 ppm? The planet has spent most of the last few million years in a series of ice ages, with CO2 levels around 180 ppm. During the short interglacial periods, CO2 peaked at about 280-300 ppm — until we came along and started liberating fossil sunshine and boosted that to 390+ ppm. Ken’s just making stuff up, again. There’s much more to amuse in the piece, as Ken reinvents developmental psychology, but for the real fun, you have to dig a few weeks further back in his blog archive…

Back in November, when the Oil Free Seas flotilla was protesting about Anadarko’s drilling off the west coast of the North Island, Ken felt it necessary to expound on oil production. But not in any ordinary way, not our Ken. Here are the opening paragraphs. If you can get through this without fits of giggles, you’re a better man than I am, even if you’re a woman (pauses to wipe tears from eyes):

Andarko’s deep sea drilling off the southeast of NZ has again brought out the debate about depletion of earth’s oil reserves. As ever, it is emotionally charged nonsense.

If you put a tiny seed the size of a grain of rice in the ground and wait, it will grow into a sizable plant, even a tree. Taking the products of ANY plant or tree and compressing them, yields oil. The miracle of gardening is that you can end up with a bucketful, all from that one tiny seed. The world is not running out of seeds, so we can ask where the oil in every plant came from.

It is impossible to get a bucketful from a seed, so the oil comes from hydrocarbons in the ground before the seed was planted. The cycle is germination, bloom, rot and decomposition: hydrocarbons create plants which create oil which breaks back down to hydrocarbons.

Where do the buckets come from? Which came first, the bucket or the oil? But wait! It gets better:

The fossil fuel argument says there are hydrocarbons in the earth due to the decomposition of plants and animals. But the argument omits explaining where the plants and animals came from.

There are two possibilities. Either hydrocarbons came with the formation of the earth 4.5 billion years ago and vegetation evolved later (geological science), or plants and animals were created at the same time as the earth (religion), and upon dying put hydrocarbons into the earth which eventually became oil fields.

If plants and animals came first, created by God, then by consumption and proliferation the end result is Doomsday. If hydrocarbons came first and created life then sustainability is assured. Geology says vegetation did not evolve until 4.5 million years ago, which is only within the last 0.1% of earth’s geological history. As for animals, the prokaryotes are the simplest form of cell-life, and appeared about a billion years after the earth was formed.

Vegetation only evolved 4.5 million years ago! Utter lunacy, of course, but Ken ploughs on. For him, the answer lies in the soil.

So how can oil be a fossil fuel? We should be discussing if we are running out of hydrocarbons in soil, and soil on the planet, for which of course there is no evidence.

Ring’s thesis appears to be that oil is made in the soil, and is entirely renewable. This is not what oil exploration geologists believe, but that is if of no matter in Ringworld:

There will always be oil where there is soil and even where there is not. [...] Crude oil is renewable and is being renewed naturally right now. Oil fields are commonly found around volcanism, because the explosive pressures of eruptions can and do fuse hydrocarbons together.

And there’s me thinking that oil and gas were normally found in sedimentary basins — geological structures not normally associated with volcanism. But what do I know? In Ringworld, all things are possible. It’s just a pity that only one man lives there…

Welcome to the Carbon COP cindy Nov 18

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

The Polish National Stadium

The first week here at the climate talks in Warsaw kicked off with the super typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines in a terrible tragedy, brought into the meeting by the country’s lead negotiator Seb Yano, whose fast has been joined by many from civil society. The plight of his people has been a rallying call around the world as we all look at the aftermath of this storm with horror.  Is it a direct result of climate change? What we do know is that the sea surface temps were 1.5degC above normal, and that we can expect more intense cyclones as the earth’s temperature warms.  But  as NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth wrote:

“The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be….”

As we’ve been all walking around in circles of the Polish National Stadium, trying to stay sane, looking at the images from the Philippines and the campaigning by their government to get a stronger outcome, it seems several governments have kept their eyes firmly OFF the ball, instead  taking the opportunity of the occasion to walk away from their commitments. Most notably, Japan.   After warning all year they’d do this, Japan announced their new target, sending it over a veritable climate cliff.  The change in target would increase the emissions gap outlined by UNEP just last week by 3-4%, according to calculations by the Climate Action Tracker (disclosure: I’m here in Warsaw working for Climate Analytics, who run this analysis with Ecofys and the Pik Potsdam Institute). Instead of reducing their emissions by 25% by 2020 on 1990 levels, Japan’s emissions will now increased by 3.1%. The general thinking is that Japan’s change in target is down to the fact that they’ve had to close all 54 of their nuclear power stations, so have had to switch to coal.  Not so.  The CAT calculated that if Japan’s nuclear industry didn’t re-open at all before 2020, they could still reach a target of 17-18%.

“The expected increase represents only 55% of the increase in emissions from the original Copenhagen pledge to the new 2020 target. The remaining 45% must therefore represent a change in Japan’s political will to reduce emissions.”

Not exactly an inspiration to other countries who have come here to negotiate a strong new 2015 climate agreement in good faith, and certainly not an inspiration to the people in the Philippines.  But perhaps this screenshot from Japan’s Ministry of Industry English website could explain it?

Screenshot of Japanese Industry Ministry's english website.

Screenshot of Japanese Industry Ministry’s english website.

Next up, Australia.  As we all settled into the second day of the talks, Australia’s new government was busily dismantling its climate legislation, an exercise that will cost them more than $7billion. This may take a while, not least because the current Labour/Greens dominated Senate won’t change until after July. But the CAT has calculated that this move, if successful, and combined with Tony Abbott’s so-called “Direct Action” policy to replace it,  they are very unlikely to meet their (already totally inadequate) pledge of 5% reduction on 2000 levels by 2020. It’ll begin a recarbonisation of Australia’s electricity sector, just at the time when the new legislation was beginning to make a difference. Australia’s not even sending a Minister here for the High Level segment of the talks, for the first time in 16 years.  One gets the impression that this government really doesn’t give a flying (Castlemaine) XXXX about climate change, an extraordinary move given the rolling 12-month heat record set in August, September and October.  I think it’s clear who Tony’s listening to.  Certainly not Yeb Sano. Meanwhile the Polish Government is going ahead with hosting the World Coal Summit over the next two days.   More on that in my next post.  

TDB today: Keeling curves and carbon millstones Gareth Renowden May 01

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

Any day now the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide measurement station is going to bump through 400 part per million, and stay there for a week or two. In my Daily Blog column this week I ruminate on what that means by taking a look at the last time CO2 stayed over 400 ppm for an extended period.

Pliocene climate is not something that crops up in many history lessons, but what it tells us needs to be much more widely appreciated. It shows where we are heading — where our apparently insatiable appetite for coal and oil is taking us: a drowned world. That simple fact needs to be shoved under the nose of anyone who argues that climate change isn’t happening, won’t be too bad, or will be something we can adapt to. It needs to be engraved on the hearts of the people negotiating international action on emissions, and the politicians legislating to do little or nothing.

My first post at The Daily Blog is also relevant. Comments over there, please.

Climate Show New Year podcast special: where it’s at and where it’s going Gareth Renowden Jan 05

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

Here’s the podcast you’ve all been waiting for — The Climate Show New Year special. Glenn and Gareth review the big climate stories of 2012, discuss at the big picture post Doha, and peek into their transcontinental Skype-powered crystal ball to prognosticate on the next 12 months. The three sections were recorded shortly before Christmas for Glenn’s New Year Things You Need To Know for 2013 summer series on Radio Live. The first two aired last week – the final section will be broadcast on Wednesday, so consider this an exclusive preview.

Climate Show Podcast special

PS: My reference to CO2 at 400 ppm in 2013 should have been qualified with where it will happen — which is northern hemisphere, high (Arctic) latitudes.

The Doha Gateway: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair cindy Dec 11

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

Where we are, where we should be and the consequences. Climate Action Tracker’s graphic on our future choices.

And so. Another set of climate talks done, this year dusted with Doha sand and labeled the “Doha Gateway”.  I’m not sure what they’re a gateway to,  certainly no immediate improvement to the climate. The final hours were bizarre, to say the least.  We began the day on Saturday with a text much improved from the day before, but with some major issues outstanding.  Ministers wrangled behind closed doors for most of the day, changing bits of text here and there.

We were preparing for Russia who, with Kazakhstan, Belarus and the Ukraine, were set to continue the talks way into Saturday night.   They were holding out in the informals, furious about the discussions on hot air.

Hot air

The “Russian factor” is one those of us who’ve been involved for a few years are all too familiar with. Just when you think there’s general agreement, in come the Russians who manage to drag the talks on for hours.

“Hot air” has been major problem with the Kyoto Protocol for years.  Somehow, the Russians managed to get the Kyoto negotiators to agree to a baseline of 1990, before the collapse of the former Soviet Union, which meant millions of tonnes of carbon credits ended up in the hands of Eastern European countries, bringing them a handy income, and other countries an easy and cheap option to do nothing at home and buy cheap hot air.  Russia has 6Gt of hot air – that’s how much it’s been cheating the atmosphere.

In Durban and Doha, New Zealand has sided with this team against the wish of the rest of the world to make sure that this “hot air” didn’t get carried over into Kyoto’s second commitment period (CP2).

A report released last week by Climate Analytics showed that if this hot air was allowed, governments could meet their pledges, buy hot air and continue emitting on a business as usual pathway to 2026.  The Ukraine argued that they needed their hot air credits as their economy was growing, but the report showed that they would have to have an amazing 11.6% annual growth in GDP to do so. I don’t think anyone expects Ukraine to have such a boom economy.

In practice there are few who can benefit from their hot air surplus carried over from CP1 to CP2 are not many: Australia, Norway and the Ukraine.  New Zealand would have had some too, from our Kyoto forests, but we’re not in CP2 so we can’t use them anyway. At the end of the day, while the carry-over from CP1 to CP2 was allowed, many governments signed a political declaration as part of the agreement that they wouldn’t buy this hot air anyway. Even Japan signed it – but of course NZ didn’t.

The killer for Russia and New Zealand were the “elegibility” rules, where it was decided that governments outside Kyoto would not be allowed access to the carbon markets it set up. The New Zealand delegation was at the heart of the earlier draft of the text seen on Friday morning that had every government and its dog allowed access to Kyoto’s Flexible Mechanisms.

But overnight on Friday night that the Ministers put a stop to that, so NZ was left out in the cold.  While we could, on the face of it, continue to trade hot air to meet our “target”, we run the risk that the credits may well not be eligible for emissions under the post 2020 global agreement as the rules for that haven’t yet been settled.

When the final plenary began, to everyone’s surprise, the somewhat flambouyant Qatari Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah gaveled it all through.  Watch the beginning of the webcast – it was quite something.  He ignored the Russian flag being pounded on their table and simply declared the Doha Gateway agreed.  It was the first bold move this former OPEC president had made throughout the entire talks – if he’d bashed heads together a bit earlier we could have achieved a lot more.

Russia was furious, and the US made reservations, but they were simply told that all of it would be noted in the report.  There are precedents for such action, such as with Bolivia in Cancun. In 1992 the chair ignored the Saudis and gaveled the UNFCCC itself through when the Saudi flag was still clearly up.

Ratching up emissions cuts

Another vaguely positive outcome for the Kyoto Protocol CP2 agreement was the review by April next year of the adequacy of commitments under the IPCC’s 25-40% recommendation.  This leaves open the option of Europe finally agreeing to go to 30%, something it can easily do.

Of course Kyoto, as Tim Groser argues, doesn’t cover many countries at all, and certainly a small chunk of global emissions.   The global deal is on track to be agreed by 2015, but won’t come into effect until 2020. All the hot air from Groser about working on a global deal essentially means we’re off the hook until 2020, apart from our meagre pledge that remains “conditional” on a global deal.  As I’ve said before, the best thing Groser could have done to help that global deal get through was to sign up to Kyoto’s CP2 to show good faith.

 Finance, loss and damage

The most disappointing part of the Doha was the decision to simply keep talking on the major issue of Finance.  Governments agreed in 2009 to, by 2020, contribute a total of $100bn a year to help the developing world develop clean energy and adapt to climate change, but the money is still not forthcoming.  Indeed at the beginning of Doha there wasn’t enough money to pay the secretariat for another year.

The trade-off here was the inclusion of the “loss and damage” terminology in the final text, where the US had been fighting to keep it off the table.  While again, like the finance section, the agreement is to simply keep talking about what to do on Loss and Damage, this was a blow to the US.

To sum up, nothing was done in Doha that will immediately stop the relentless rise of global emissions.  There were some agreements to agree sometime in the future.   The meeting was never going to achieve much, but to get Kyoto’s CP2 done, and blocking the “cheaters” like NZ and Russia out of carbon trading without an emissions target was the biggest win.

For us, no doubt John Key and his pals will be happy with the fact that there’s little to change our somewhat dubious status of having the sixth fastest growing emissions in the OECD.

Our government’s “drill it mine it frack it” policy can continue unabated, our foresters can continue to replace plantations with dairy and we don’t really face any pesky global rules that will make us increase our targets before 2020.  How our ETS will look after 2015 remains to be seen, as we won’t be able to trade our way through it.

As I left Doha, contemplating the 3-4degC world the next generations will face unless more action is taken, I was reminded of Percy Bysse Shelley’s famous “Ozymandius” which somehow seems apt:

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

Brother, can you spare $3.10 for a tonne of carbon dioxide? Mr February Oct 18

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

cup of coffee In which Mr February (aka Simon Johnson) looks at the uselessness of the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, people begging on Lambton Quay in Wellington, and the fact that the spot price for a tonne of carbon dioxide is the same as for a flat white.

Have you heard the old Tin Pan Alley song “Brother can you spare a dime?” The experience of poverty and the Depression in America summed up in a popular song. The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg, and the music by Jay Gorney in 1931. The version by Al Jolson is very well known, but I like this version by Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra.

I usually start most weekdays getting off a bus on Lambton Quay. From the bus stop I walk along to work looking forward to the first coffee of the day. I usually note how many people are begging. There are almost always a few people begging on Lambton Quay. Who says NZ is not in a depression? Not Paul Krugman. ‘Brother can you spare a dime’ is alive and well.

Except it’s sad cardboard signs saying ‘Homeless and need help’. Also it’s at least $3 to $4 for a coffee, not a dime. Not for a long time.

The other price that’s less than the cost of a flat white is the spot price of carbon dioxide in NZ. Carbon trader OMF reports spot prices each day at CommTrade Carbon. Guess what? The last trade of a New Zealand Unit (a tonne of carbon dioxide) was $3.10.

The declining price of the NZU

OMF also display a chart. It shows the collapse of the international carbon market reflected in our own plucky little battler NZ emissions trading scheme. Can any sane person look at this chart and reach any other conclusion than the NZ emissions trading scheme has completely failed?

OMF originally committed the chart sin of not starting the vertical (price) axis at $0. However, reality has intruded. As the New Zealand Unit (NZU) price has relentlessly approached $0, they keep having to move the bottom of their chart closer to zero. That would almost be a small bit of humour in a pretty sad story. If it wasn’t the empirical nail in the coffin of pricing greenhouse gas emissions via a NZ emissions trading scheme.

If the $3.10/tonne NZU price is the nail in the coffin, the death notice must be the report of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, released yesterday

This is the National Government’s bill to further weaken the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme. You know, indefinitely delay the entry of agriculture, make the half-price “two-for-one” transition discount permanent. If you can quickly recover your will to live after digesting 30 pages of bureaucratic and political policy denial and excuse-making, download and read the 117-page report.

Otherwise, just read Patrick Smellie’s analysis: “No restrictions on foreign-sourced carbon credits confirmed”

“The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Bill was reported back to parliament by the finance and expenditure select committee with only technical amendments, and a decision that capping the use of foreign credits would compromise the emissions trading scheme principle of “least cost of compliance”.

The policy has seen major emitters such as oil and electricity companies snap up some of the lowest cost carbon units available on global markets, where prices have slumped to as little as $2 a tonne.

New Zealand Units, issued by the government, continue to be worth slightly more, at around $3 a tonne, but well below the $25 a tonne maximum price put on carbon when the ETS was introduced in 2009.”

Or just read the press release from Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Programme Manager at WWF-New Zealand.

“This is another nail in the coffin for New Zealand’s credibility on climate change and suggests the government has no intention of trying to set this country’s emissions on a downward path. Other parties in the UN climate talks will rightly see New Zealand’s claims to be doing something to reduce emissions as all spin and no substance.”

What a complete shambles! Why didn’t we just have a no-exceptions carbon tax?

Brother can you spare a dime — Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra. Lyrics by Yip Harburg:

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

and so I followed the mob,

When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear,

I was always there right on the job.

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,

And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Brother, can you spare $3.10 for a tonne of carbon dioxide? Mr February Oct 18

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

cup of coffee In which Mr February (aka Simon Johnson) looks at the uselessness of the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, people begging on Lambton Quay in Wellington, and the fact that the spot price for a tonne of carbon dioxide is the same as for a flat white.

Have you heard the old Tin Pan Alley song “Brother can you spare a dime?” The experience of poverty and the Depression in America summed up in a popular song. The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg, and the music by Jay Gorney in 1931. The version by Al Jolson is very well known, but I like this version by Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra.

I usually start most weekdays getting off a bus on Lambton Quay. From the bus stop I walk along to work looking forward to the first coffee of the day. I usually note how many people are begging. There are almost always a few people begging on Lambton Quay. Who says NZ is not in a depression? Not Paul Krugman. ‘Brother can you spare a dime’ is alive and well.

Except it’s sad cardboard signs saying ‘Homeless and need help’. Also it’s at least $3 to $4 for a coffee, not a dime. Not for a long time.

The other price that’s less than the cost of a flat white is the spot price of carbon dioxide in NZ. Carbon trader OMF reports spot prices each day at CommTrade Carbon. Guess what? The last trade of a New Zealand Unit (a tonne of carbon dioxide) was $3.10.

The declining price of the NZU

OMF also display a chart. It shows the collapse of the international carbon market reflected in our own plucky little battler NZ emissions trading scheme. Can any sane person look at this chart and reach any other conclusion than the NZ emissions trading scheme has completely failed?

OMF originally committed the chart sin of not starting the vertical (price) axis at $0. However, reality has intruded. As the New Zealand Unit (NZU) price has relentlessly approached $0, they keep having to move the bottom of their chart closer to zero. That would almost be a small bit of humour in a pretty sad story. If it wasn’t the empirical nail in the coffin of pricing greenhouse gas emissions via a NZ emissions trading scheme.

If the $3.10/tonne NZU price is the nail in the coffin, the death notice must be the report of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, released yesterday

This is the National Government’s bill to further weaken the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme. You know, indefinitely delay the entry of agriculture, make the half-price “two-for-one” transition discount permanent. If you can quickly recover your will to live after digesting 30 pages of bureaucratic and political policy denial and excuse-making, download and read the 117-page report.

Otherwise, just read Patrick Smellie’s analysis: “No restrictions on foreign-sourced carbon credits confirmed”

“The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Bill was reported back to parliament by the finance and expenditure select committee with only technical amendments, and a decision that capping the use of foreign credits would compromise the emissions trading scheme principle of “least cost of compliance”.

The policy has seen major emitters such as oil and electricity companies snap up some of the lowest cost carbon units available on global markets, where prices have slumped to as little as $2 a tonne.

New Zealand Units, issued by the government, continue to be worth slightly more, at around $3 a tonne, but well below the $25 a tonne maximum price put on carbon when the ETS was introduced in 2009.”

Or just read the press release from Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Programme Manager at WWF-New Zealand.

“This is another nail in the coffin for New Zealand’s credibility on climate change and suggests the government has no intention of trying to set this country’s emissions on a downward path. Other parties in the UN climate talks will rightly see New Zealand’s claims to be doing something to reduce emissions as all spin and no substance.”

What a complete shambles! Why didn’t we just have a no-exceptions carbon tax?

Brother can you spare a dime — Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra. Lyrics by Yip Harburg:

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

and so I followed the mob,

When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear,

I was always there right on the job.

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,

And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Brother, can you spare $3.10 for a tonne of carbon dioxide? Mr February Oct 18

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

cup of coffee In which Mr February (aka Simon Johnson) looks at the uselessness of the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, people begging on Lambton Quay in Wellington, and the fact that the spot price for a tonne of carbon dioxide is the same as for a flat white.

Have you heard the old Tin Pan Alley song “Brother can you spare a dime?” The experience of poverty and the Depression in America summed up in a popular song. The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg, and the music by Jay Gorney in 1931. The version by Al Jolson is very well known, but I like this version by Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra.

I usually start most weekdays getting off a bus on Lambton Quay. From the bus stop I walk along to work looking forward to the first coffee of the day. I usually note how many people are begging. There are almost always a few people begging on Lambton Quay. Who says NZ is not in a depression? Not Paul Krugman. ‘Brother can you spare a dime’ is alive and well.

Except it’s sad cardboard signs saying ‘Homeless and need help’. Also it’s at least $3 to $4 for a coffee, not a dime. Not for a long time.

The other price that’s less than the cost of a flat white is the spot price of carbon dioxide in NZ. Carbon trader OMF reports spot prices each day at CommTrade Carbon. Guess what? The last trade of a New Zealand Unit (a tonne of carbon dioxide) was $3.10.

The declining price of the NZU

OMF also display a chart. It shows the collapse of the international carbon market reflected in our own plucky little battler NZ emissions trading scheme. Can any sane person look at this chart and reach any other conclusion than the NZ emissions trading scheme has completely failed?

OMF originally committed the chart sin of not starting the vertical (price) axis at $0. However, reality has intruded. As the New Zealand Unit (NZU) price has relentlessly approached $0, they keep having to move the bottom of their chart closer to zero. That would almost be a small bit of humour in a pretty sad story. If it wasn’t the empirical nail in the coffin of pricing greenhouse gas emissions via a NZ emissions trading scheme.

If the $3.10/tonne NZU price is the nail in the coffin, the death notice must be the report of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, released yesterday

This is the National Government’s bill to further weaken the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme. You know, indefinitely delay the entry of agriculture, make the half-price “two-for-one” transition discount permanent. If you can quickly recover your will to live after digesting 30 pages of bureaucratic and political policy denial and excuse-making, download and read the 117-page report.

Otherwise, just read Patrick Smellie’s analysis: “No restrictions on foreign-sourced carbon credits confirmed”

“The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Bill was reported back to parliament by the finance and expenditure select committee with only technical amendments, and a decision that capping the use of foreign credits would compromise the emissions trading scheme principle of “least cost of compliance”.

The policy has seen major emitters such as oil and electricity companies snap up some of the lowest cost carbon units available on global markets, where prices have slumped to as little as $2 a tonne.

New Zealand Units, issued by the government, continue to be worth slightly more, at around $3 a tonne, but well below the $25 a tonne maximum price put on carbon when the ETS was introduced in 2009.”

Or just read the press release from Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Programme Manager at WWF-New Zealand.

“This is another nail in the coffin for New Zealand’s credibility on climate change and suggests the government has no intention of trying to set this country’s emissions on a downward path. Other parties in the UN climate talks will rightly see New Zealand’s claims to be doing something to reduce emissions as all spin and no substance.”

What a complete shambles! Why didn’t we just have a no-exceptions carbon tax?

Brother can you spare a dime — Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra. Lyrics by Yip Harburg:

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

and so I followed the mob,

When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear,

I was always there right on the job.

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,

And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Brother, can you spare $3.10 for a tonne of carbon dioxide? Mr February Oct 18

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

cup of coffee In which Mr February (aka Simon Johnson) looks at the uselessness of the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, people begging on Lambton Quay in Wellington, and the fact that the spot price for a tonne of carbon dioxide is the same as for a flat white.

Have you heard the old Tin Pan Alley song “Brother can you spare a dime?” The experience of poverty and the Depression in America summed up in a popular song. The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg, and the music by Jay Gorney in 1931. The version by Al Jolson is very well known, but I like this version by Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra.

I usually start most weekdays getting off a bus on Lambton Quay. From the bus stop I walk along to work looking forward to the first coffee of the day. I usually note how many people are begging. There are almost always a few people begging on Lambton Quay. Who says NZ is not in a depression? Not Paul Krugman. ‘Brother can you spare a dime’ is alive and well.

Except it’s sad cardboard signs saying ‘Homeless and need help’. Also it’s at least $3 to $4 for a coffee, not a dime. Not for a long time.

The other price that’s less than the cost of a flat white is the spot price of carbon dioxide in NZ. Carbon trader OMF reports spot prices each day at CommTrade Carbon. Guess what? The last trade of a New Zealand Unit (a tonne of carbon dioxide) was $3.10.

The declining price of the NZU

OMF also display a chart. It shows the collapse of the international carbon market reflected in our own plucky little battler NZ emissions trading scheme. Can any sane person look at this chart and reach any other conclusion than the NZ emissions trading scheme has completely failed?

OMF originally committed the chart sin of not starting the vertical (price) axis at $0. However, reality has intruded. As the New Zealand Unit (NZU) price has relentlessly approached $0, they keep having to move the bottom of their chart closer to zero. That would almost be a small bit of humour in a pretty sad story. If it wasn’t the empirical nail in the coffin of pricing greenhouse gas emissions via a NZ emissions trading scheme.

If the $3.10/tonne NZU price is the nail in the coffin, the death notice must be the report of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, released yesterday

This is the National Government’s bill to further weaken the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme. You know, indefinitely delay the entry of agriculture, make the half-price “two-for-one” transition discount permanent. If you can quickly recover your will to live after digesting 30 pages of bureaucratic and political policy denial and excuse-making, download and read the 117-page report.

Otherwise, just read Patrick Smellie’s analysis: “No restrictions on foreign-sourced carbon credits confirmed”

“The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Bill was reported back to parliament by the finance and expenditure select committee with only technical amendments, and a decision that capping the use of foreign credits would compromise the emissions trading scheme principle of “least cost of compliance”.

The policy has seen major emitters such as oil and electricity companies snap up some of the lowest cost carbon units available on global markets, where prices have slumped to as little as $2 a tonne.

New Zealand Units, issued by the government, continue to be worth slightly more, at around $3 a tonne, but well below the $25 a tonne maximum price put on carbon when the ETS was introduced in 2009.”

Or just read the press release from Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Programme Manager at WWF-New Zealand.

“This is another nail in the coffin for New Zealand’s credibility on climate change and suggests the government has no intention of trying to set this country’s emissions on a downward path. Other parties in the UN climate talks will rightly see New Zealand’s claims to be doing something to reduce emissions as all spin and no substance.”

What a complete shambles! Why didn’t we just have a no-exceptions carbon tax?

Brother can you spare a dime — Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra. Lyrics by Yip Harburg:

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

and so I followed the mob,

When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear,

I was always there right on the job.

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,

And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Brother, can you spare $3.10 for a tonne of carbon dioxide? Mr February Oct 18

Join the conversation at Hot Topic

cup of coffee In which Mr February (aka Simon Johnson) looks at the uselessness of the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, people begging on Lambton Quay in Wellington, and the fact that the spot price for a tonne of carbon dioxide is the same as for a flat white.

Have you heard the old Tin Pan Alley song “Brother can you spare a dime?” The experience of poverty and the Depression in America summed up in a popular song. The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg, and the music by Jay Gorney in 1931. The version by Al Jolson is very well known, but I like this version by Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra.

I usually start most weekdays getting off a bus on Lambton Quay. From the bus stop I walk along to work looking forward to the first coffee of the day. I usually note how many people are begging. There are almost always a few people begging on Lambton Quay. Who says NZ is not in a depression? Not Paul Krugman. ‘Brother can you spare a dime’ is alive and well.

Except it’s sad cardboard signs saying ‘Homeless and need help’. Also it’s at least $3 to $4 for a coffee, not a dime. Not for a long time.

The other price that’s less than the cost of a flat white is the spot price of carbon dioxide in NZ. Carbon trader OMF reports spot prices each day at CommTrade Carbon. Guess what? The last trade of a New Zealand Unit (a tonne of carbon dioxide) was $3.10.

The declining price of the NZU

OMF also display a chart. It shows the collapse of the international carbon market reflected in our own plucky little battler NZ emissions trading scheme. Can any sane person look at this chart and reach any other conclusion than the NZ emissions trading scheme has completely failed?

OMF originally committed the chart sin of not starting the vertical (price) axis at $0. However, reality has intruded. As the New Zealand Unit (NZU) price has relentlessly approached $0, they keep having to move the bottom of their chart closer to zero. That would almost be a small bit of humour in a pretty sad story. If it wasn’t the empirical nail in the coffin of pricing greenhouse gas emissions via a NZ emissions trading scheme.

If the $3.10/tonne NZU price is the nail in the coffin, the death notice must be the report of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, released yesterday

This is the National Government’s bill to further weaken the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme. You know, indefinitely delay the entry of agriculture, make the half-price “two-for-one” transition discount permanent. If you can quickly recover your will to live after digesting 30 pages of bureaucratic and political policy denial and excuse-making, download and read the 117-page report.

Otherwise, just read Patrick Smellie’s analysis: “No restrictions on foreign-sourced carbon credits confirmed”

“The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Bill was reported back to parliament by the finance and expenditure select committee with only technical amendments, and a decision that capping the use of foreign credits would compromise the emissions trading scheme principle of “least cost of compliance”.

The policy has seen major emitters such as oil and electricity companies snap up some of the lowest cost carbon units available on global markets, where prices have slumped to as little as $2 a tonne.

New Zealand Units, issued by the government, continue to be worth slightly more, at around $3 a tonne, but well below the $25 a tonne maximum price put on carbon when the ETS was introduced in 2009.”

Or just read the press release from Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Programme Manager at WWF-New Zealand.

“This is another nail in the coffin for New Zealand’s credibility on climate change and suggests the government has no intention of trying to set this country’s emissions on a downward path. Other parties in the UN climate talks will rightly see New Zealand’s claims to be doing something to reduce emissions as all spin and no substance.”

What a complete shambles! Why didn’t we just have a no-exceptions carbon tax?

Brother can you spare a dime — Charlie Palloy and his Orchestra. Lyrics by Yip Harburg:

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

and so I followed the mob,

When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear,

I was always there right on the job.

They used to tell me I was building a dream,

with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,

And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer