#carbonprice

Paying someone to quit smoking on your behalf

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Jo Nova has put together an excellent piece on the Labor government’s plan to buy carbon credits overseas to atone for our CO2 sins. Buying air we can’t breathe is essentially like paying someone else to quit smoking on our behalf. How do we benefit?!?

Labor leader Bill Shorten may argue that the cost of doing nothing on climate change is a “charlatan’s argument” but CM costed it yesterday. Our CO2 emissions are equivalent to 0.000016% of the global total. No matter what we do our impact is nothing. What does tokenism get us? Zero. Zip. Nada.

Jo Nova wrote,

The 35 billion dollars we will spend on these useless, fraud-prone certificates is $35 billion we are taking out of the Australian labor market, or not spending on medicine, books or holidays in Bali. Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy, has noticed that this means $10b less tax will be paid too, which means less money for hospitals and schools.

There’s nothing wrong with payments to foreigners for real goods and services. But carbon credits buy us 0.0001C of theoretical cooling we don’t need and won’t be able to measure 100 years from now. It’s the dumbest deal Australia has ever made. Fraudsters and bankers will love it.”

Carbon credit markets have had a sketchy past. Hackers broke into poorly protected government and corporate carbon registries and swindled €3.7mn. So the credits we might buy to virtue signal may end up being fraudulent.

Carbon trading is a complete scam. As Jo Nova added,

“Independent modelling suggests the 45% emissions target of the Labor party will cost at least $264bn and as high as $542bn by 2030. The Liberal Party will “only” waste  $50 – $80b.”

All for absolutely nothing. When the economy tanks our politicians can brag about achieving lower emissions targets quicker because our climate policies will have accelerated the death of industry.

Credit card with a carbon limit

Here is a credit card business model bound to fail. Johan Pihl, one of the founders of Doconomy, is launching a new credit card in collaboration with the UN Climate Change Secretariat and Mastercard. It cuts your ability to spend when you’ve hit your “carbon” limit, not your financial one.

To CM, the pricing is wrong. It should allow one to spend beyond their carbon limit and pay penalties on exceeding it straight into the UNIPCC’s coffers. Or perhaps we should ask all UN staffers to use it as a corporate credit card. If it lived up to its promises, most would have their carbon limit triggered when paying for flights to the next COP summit halfway around the globe. That would be a plus!

Pihl said, “we realized that putting a limit that blocks your ability to complete the transaction is radical…but it’s the clearest way to illustrate the severity of the situation we’re in

It is such a dopey idea. Presumably, if you wish to purchase something that you want and your Doconomy cuts you off, you’ll use another card to complete the transaction. The carbon footprint limit will initially be based off a random calculation tied to the industry aggregate. So it is wildly inaccurate from the get go.

Imagine if the consumer would pick up our app and actually look at their footprint and that’s the basis for whether they buy something or not,”

If history is a guide we can look to carbon offset schemes have failed. Aircraft carbon offsets may provide some idea as to how hard this card might be to sell.

In its 2017 Annual Report, Qantas boasts,

We have the world’s largest airline offset program and have now been carbon offsetting for over 10 years. In 2016/17, we reached three million tonnes offset.”

Carbon calculators tend to work on the assumption of 0.158kg CO2/passenger kilometre.

In the last 10 years Qantas has flown around 1 trillion revenue passenger kilometres. While the literature in the annual report denotes one passenger offsets every 53 seconds, the mathematical reality is simple – 2% of miles are carbon offset. So that means that 98% of people couldn’t care less.

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Another example was a cryptocurrency named LivingOffset, which tried to conduct an initial coin offering (ICO) 12 months ago.

LivingOffset notes on its web page,

Let’s say you buy a cup of coffee. You know that producing the coffee has created carbon emissions.  Now, you can offset that damage with a contribution that matches the value of the carbon cost, 5c for a cup of coffee…Your 5c contribution is matched with an equal corporate contribution.  Turning your 5c offset into 10c. Just think, if everyone having coffee did the same… how quickly we could start to make a real difference…All the contributions go to projects that have proven to have a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions. And, you can track and verify that your money is going exactly where it is meant to go.

To the best of CM’s knowledge, the ICO didn’t succeed and is currently priced at $0. That despite its lofty goals of 128% returns. Perhaps using Wikipedia as a source in the prospectus did not help matters.

CM is not sure about his readers, but to have the card reject a payment based on spurious mathematics would undoubtedly frustrate after a while.

Probably says much about MasterCard to sign up for this virtue signalling rubbish given it is lagging behind Visa. If they looked at Gillette, Colgate-Palmolive and other “woke” corporations, they would learn the value of sticking to their lane and allowing consumers to have the freedom to spend how they choose.

MasterCard 1Q 2019 report showed

Transaction Volume: 19.2 billion

Gross Dollar Value: $1.484 trillion

Cards in Circulation: 2.537 billion

Quarterly Revenue: $3.889 billion

Market Cap: $251 billion

Visa 2Q 2019 report revealed

Transaction Volume: 47.4 billion

Gross Dollar Value: $2.197 trillion

Cards in Circulation: 3.358 billion

Quarterly Revenue: $6.972 billion

Market Cap: $355 billion

Extinction Rebellion only accelerates lunacy

WIN!!! BREAKING: Environment and climate emergency unanimously declared in UK Parliament.

This is the first step in the government telling the truth about the climate and ecological emergency. Pressure on our politicians will now increase as nothing but decisive action will suffice.

This issue isn’t going away and neither will we. The International Rebellion will continue until all our demands are met.

This is the post put forward by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) today. There is some irony as to how a parliament that can’t vote the will of the people over three years, can unanimously find an immediate position on a “climate emergency” after being visited by a 16yo. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the motion.

What exactly is a climate emergency? Wales, Scotland and cities like Bristol have declared it but not defined it. If we need any further evidence of how dysfunctional UK politics is, this confirms it. Not one dissenting voice? Virtue signaling to fix a problem that constantly gets debunked and worse no well thought out positions. Or will the government just ask Greta Thunberg for her manifesto?

If XR plan to have every demand met, will UK Parliament acquiesce them? Here are their demands

1. The Government must tell the truth about how deadly our situation is, it must reverse all policies not in alignment with that position and must work alongside the media to communicate the urgency for change including what individuals and communities need to do.

Tell the truth? Wow. If only we could legislate that. Shall we have a Ministry of Truth and Room 101 for heretics?

2. The Government must enact legally-binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025 and take further action to remove the excess from the atmosphere. It must cooperate internationally so that the global economy runs on no more than half a planets worth of resources.

Is zero carbon emissions by 2025 even feasible? Will we just ban petrol and diesel outright? Ban air travel?

Are governments comfortable turning the second most expensive household asset to effectively zero? Because phasing our fossil fuels and being zero carbon by 2025 means junking the economy.

Let’s look at the latest UK energy mix published by OFGEM.

Coal: 4.8%

Gas: 32.8%

Nuclear: 13.2%

Hydro: 1.95%

Wind/Solar: 15.16%

Biomass: 7.68%

How do the intelligent brains of XR plan to power homes in Britain when fossil fuels make up 38% and nuke (which doesn’t produce CO2) another 13% of the mix? Good luck getting agreement of all this mammoth investment to replace it all with renewables. Where will all these new plants go? New power plants are years, often decades in the planning, safety and construction.

Shall we regulate during this scrap and build program that odd numbers on your street can use power on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and alternate Sundays? And the even numbers the other days? Have they realized that Merkel’s green madness has made German power prices some of the highest in the world leaving 330,000 people with their electricity cut off for inability to pay? Maybe celebrate it being down on the previous year’s 331,000. Does XR see such things as an acceptable price to pay?

3. By necessity these demands mean an initiative similar to those enacted at times of war. We do not however, hand further power to our Government, we demand a Citizens Assembly to oversee the changes, as we rise from the wreckage, creating a democracy fit for purpose.

The Citizens Assembly will likely be chosen by apparatchiks. Not to worry, the education system is already in place.

The University is Bristol’s Dr Dann Mitchell, Lecturer in Climate Change said,

Climate science is now mature enough that we do not just count climate change in terms of degrees of additional warming, we count it in terms of human lives lost, biodiversity reduced, and land claimed by the oceans...The youth, championed by Greta Thunberg, and taken up by school children around the world, recognise this is an emergency, so it is of the upmost important that our leading institutes on climate change such as the University of Bristol recognise it too.

Lives lost? Land claimed by oceans? Huh? Well it’s ok because we only need to listen to a spoon-fed 16yo. No wonder she is depressed when she’s had her head filled with 5 years of indoctrination about how her life is doomed.

We should be worried how our elected leaders are so willing to roll over without standing for anything. It reminds CM of that scene in Monty Python’s ‘Holy Grail’ where townsfolk are trying to burn a witch. When Sir Bedivere debunks their witch hunt they come to their senses. But they burn her anyway.