#Renewables

Japan-bashing at COP25

From the UN Climate Summit pages today.

Japanese Minister of Economy and Trade Hiroshi Kajiyama today (Dec 3) said his country wants to continue using coal, even though UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report recommends the opposite. Recent reports suggest Japan may not submit a new climate plan in 2020, as it should under the Paris Agreement.

JUST IN! Australia, Japan and Brazil are joint winners of COP25’s first Fossil of the Day award #FossiloftheDay (Dec 3).

Note the video for the COP25 Fossil of the Day award above.

When will these people get that shaming doesn’t do anything to sway skeptics of impending Armageddon? Skeptics will take it with the seriousness these alarmists dish their religious fervor out.

Note in SG Guterres’ opening speech for COP25 that he didn’t mention China or India once. Never mind. Just preach in the full knowledge that China has committed to grow an Australia in emissions every week by 2030 from the current 2 weeks.

Scorched house climate policy?

As 30cm of snow fell on Falls Creek yesterday (i.e. summer), Mother Nature proved yet again she is full of surprises. To think that giving loads of money to the UN can somehow change her stubborn ways is rather obtuse.

Less of a surprise was a protestor, Melinda Plesman, who brought parts of her burnt down house to attack the PM Scott Morrison for allowing the climate crisis to happen. Forget that the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) reports consistently that c.85% of fires are either deliberately, accidentally or suspiciously lit. Forget that multiple children have been found responsible for lighting these recent mega-fires. Just blame climate change, even though the Western Australian fire service notes on its own website that there is no evidence of such. CM wrote about that here.

Maybe Plesman could reflect on the internal politics within the upper echelons of the fire services? Not so much the rank and file (supposedly wife-beating) front line firefighters but the bureaucrats who make daft decisions such as buying a Boeing 737 fire-bomber which can only be used at 4 airports rendering it highly inflexible (as much as it’s a great political sales point) or a military helicopter which spends 5hrs in the maintenance shed for every hour it is in the field working. Or replacing 1-yo trucks with brand new ones because records are poorly kept? Or inadequate removal of fuel from the bush floor?

While it is completely understandable Plesman and 100s of others like her, are devastated that their houses have burnt to the ground, had Scott Morrison erected 1000s of wind turbines and solar parks since he took over the top job, it would not have made the slightest dent in the 1.3% of global emissions that makes up Australia’s share of the global total, nor have prevented these fires.

PM Morrison should arrange his RAAF jet to take Plesman to Beijing to tell President Xi that he is to blame for causing c.30% of global human-made GHG emissions and rising. She can then openly criticise Chinese policy that won’t approve new renewables projects unless they are cheaper than burning coal. What a surprise such investments are c.40% down on the previous year in China. What a shock that China has 100s of new coal-fired power plants on the drawing board?

It is easy to forget that Australia ranks #3 in the world for renewables spending per capita. We spent $9.5bn on clean energy last year, almost twice as much as France with its Paris Climate Accord loving Macron at the helm.

Unfortunately, it is too easy to capitulate to the cabal of climate change activism. Submit to the script of 11,000 signatories, despite the fact it included the likes of Mickey Mouse, Albus Dumbledore and Araminta Aardvark. Ignore that a recent major scientific paper, which claimed to have found rapid warming in the oceans as a result of manmade global warming, was withdrawn after an amateur climate scientist found major errors in its statistical methodology. Or the accident-prone Bureau of Meteorology and its 85% senior management structure which is in dire need of a thorough investigation.

Alarmists love to hate the coal industry. Plesman expressed her disdain too. It is a line often pushed by the climate change movement that Australia is responsible for the emissions caused by those who burn our black rocks overseas. By that measure, perhaps we should blame the Japanese, Koreans and Europeans for all of the emissions caused by the production and use of the 1,150,000+ cars we buy but are required to import each year? Or the Americans and Europeans for the commercial aircraft that belch all that nasty CO2? Or manufacturers of mobile devices and computer periphery? Maybe all the solar panels and wind towers, often built with raw materials from the fossil fuel industry?

CM honestly feels sorry for Plesman and others that have suffered such losses from these devastating bushfires but it doesn’t absolve them of getting to grips with the facts. She can be absolutely sure that even if Australia went 100% renewable and stopped exporting coal, that severe bushfires will continue to plague our future. As the WA Gov’t’s Bushfire Front states, “The only factor we can control is the large contiguous accumulations of fuel. Therefore, broadscale fuel reduction burning is the only defence we have against large wildfires. This will not prevent fires occurring, but it will ensure fires are less intense, are easier and safer to control and will do less damage...Experienced firefighters do not fear a 40-degree day per se. This is because even on a hot day, a fire in one or two-year old fuel can be controlled; on the same day a fire in 20-year old fuels with high winds would usually be unstoppable.

Fair Dinkum Virtue Signaling

Atlasssian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has been a huge advocate of renewables. So much so he has stated he wants to be a net exporter of wind and solar. Fair Dinkum Power (FDP), the company he helped set up, had a manifesto which stated the following,

We are a movement. We are a brand for Australia’s energy future. We are a rallying cry for all who believe in the power of the wind, the sun, the waves and – most importantly – the power of the people of Australia.

For energy to be fair dinkum, it must be honestly good for our wallets, good for our economy and good for our planet.

So to CM’s surprise today, the AFR noted,

“The Atlassian co-founder applied to deregister Australian Fair Dinkum Power Pty Ltd on November 27, almost exactly a year after he set it up in response to Prime Minister Scott Morrison referring to coal as “fair dinkum power” in comparison to solar or wind.

A spokesperson for the Rich Lister said the Fair Dinkum Power cause, which advocates for Australia to be 100 per cent powered by renewables and export as much again, would live on in the form of a website, an online petition (which has more than 90,000 signatories) and a Facebook page.

The company never undertook any business activity and the spokesperson said there had never been any intention to start any, despite rumours that Mr Cannon-Brookes would launch a retail energy supplier under the Fair Dinkum banner.

One can only imagine that the realities of the free market meant that it was never going to be good for wallets or the economy. CM awaits the media to conduct a full investigation into this sad outcome with all the gusto they did at FDP’s inception.

Fair Dinkum Virtue Signaling!

It was only several months ago that Mike Cannon-Brookes (MCB) was on a campaign to get the already left-leaning board of BHP to ditch ties with groups like the Minerals Council of Australia. But why?

CM believes that nothing shows the prosecution of a cause than leading from the front. MCB should use the might of Atlassian’s $32 bn market cap and seek to buy a controlling stake in BHP whereby it can behave like an activist shareholder and achieve those goals from within. A bit rich to demand a company like BHP fold to the whims of another listed corporate which has no direct business with it. That would be terrible governance for BHP to pay MCB any mind.

How would MCB react if BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie turned around and demanded that Atlassian cut ties with ANZ for being embroiled in the Hayne Banking Royal Commission? MCB would rightly tell him to take a hike.

One doubts that MCB has much of his superannuation buried in BHP shares but why pick on the Minerals Council of Australia? After all, if he had a good look at what Australia’s mineral industry enables, Atlassian should be a backer not a knocker. Why not influence the debate by being part of it?

Here is a list of 30 things Australian minerals companies provide, including vital materials used in wind farms and solar panels, the very forms of renewable energy MCB wants Atlassian to rely on 100% to power its future. MCB’s Tesla is reliant on Aussie minerals to make the batteries. So does his smartphone, tablets, laptops and desktops. And so do the white goods that chill his food and the copper pipes that deliver hot water in his lovely mansion in Sydney. His dentist uses those minerals to maximise his oral hygiene.  The list goes on.

No one can take away the success MCB has achieved in the corporate sphere. However, it would appear that being an expert in the software world doesn’t always translate to being a sage on the environment much less hold any authority to dictate the boardroom discussions of a company that is more crucial to its existence than the other way around.

This can only end in tears

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As Sweden’s economy slows to the worst economic growth rate in 5 years under a negative interest rate policy, one would think the Swedish Central Bank (Riksbank) would be seeking to prudently manage its asset book on the basis of appropriate risk/reward as opposed to lecturing Australia and Canada on their respective carbon footprints. What we are witnessing is yet another discrete move by authorities to manipulate markets based on fantasy rather than fact.  The hypocrisy is extreme as we shall discover.

While the Riksbank should have complete freedom in how it wishes to deploy capital, we should view this is a pathetic sop to the cabal at the European Central Bank (ECB). Since when did central bankers become experts on climate change? The RBA is no better. Deputy Governor, Guy Debelle, gave a speech in March 2019 on the risks posed by climate change which based prophecies on the data accident-prone IPCC and Bureau of Meteorology. Why not seek balance? Easier to fold to group think so as not to be outed as a pariah. Utterly gutless. Our own APRA is also pushing this ridiculous agenda on climate change reporting. It is willful negligence.

While it is true that on a per capita basis, Australia and Canada’s emissions are higher than the global average, why doesn’t the Riksbank give us credit for lowering that amount 11.4% since 2000? Even Canada has reduced its carbon emissions by 7.3% over the last 18 years. Admittedly Sweden’s emissions per capita have fallen 21.9% according to the IEA. Greta will be happy.

Why hasn’t the Riksbank taken China or India to task for their 169.9% or 94.7% growth in CO2 emissions respectively? There are plenty of oil-producing nations – Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman that have worse per capita outcomes than Australia or Canada. Do these countries get special dispensation from the wrath of the Riksbank? Clearly.

The US has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. If the US has marginally lower emissions per capita (15.74t/CO2-e) than Australia (16.45t/CO2-e), isn’t a double standard to write,

The conditions for active climate consideration are slightly better in our work with the foreign exchange reserves. To ensure that the foreign exchange reserves fulfil their purpose, they need to consist of assets that can be rapidly converted to money even when the markets are not functioning properly. Our assessment is that the foreign exchange reserves best correspond to this need if they consist of 75 per cent US government bonds, 20 per cent German and 5 per cent British, Danish and Norwegian government bonds.

Essentially Riksbank commitment to climate change is conditional. The US which is responsible for 13.8% of global emissions can be 75% of holdings. Australia at 1.3% can’t. No doubt sacrificing Queensland Treasury Corp, WA Treasury Corp and Albertan bonds from a Riksbank balance sheet perspective will have little impact on the total. In short, it looks to be pure tokenism. The Riksbank has invested around 8% of its foreign exchange reserves in Australian and Canadian central and federal government bonds. So perhaps at the moment, it is nothing but substitution from state to federal. Why not punish NSW TCorp for being part of a state that has 85%+ coal-fired power generation?

At the very least the Riksbank admits its own hypocrisy.

The Riksbank needs to develop its work on how to take climate change into consideration in asset management. For instance, we need a broader and deeper analysis of the issuers’ climate footprint. At the same time, one must remember that the foreign exchange reserves are unavoidably dominated by US and German government bonds. The Riksbank’s contribution to a better development of the climate will, therefore, remain small. This is entirely natural. The important decisions on how climate change should be counteracted in Sweden are political and should be taken by the government and the Riksdag (parliament).

Still, what hope have we got when Benoît Cœuré, member of the Executive Board of the ECB, lecturing those on “Scaling up Green Finance: The Role of Central Banks.” He noted,

2018 has seen one of the hottest summers in Europe since weather records began. Increasing weather extremes, rising sea levels and the Arctic melting are now clearly visible consequences of human-induced warming. Climate change is not a theory. It is a fact.

Reading more of this report only confirms the commitment of the ECB to follow the UN’s lead and deliberately look to misallocate capital based on unfounded claims of falling crop yields and rising prices (the opposite is occurring) and rising hurricane and drought activity (claims that even the IPCC has admitted there is little or no evidence by climate change). Sweden is merely being a well-behaved schoolboy.

Cœuré made the explicit claim, “The ECB, together with other national central banks of the Eurosystem, is actively supporting the European Commission’s sustainable finance agenda.

CM thinks the biggest problem with this “agenda” is that it risks even further misallocation of capital within global markets already drowning in poorly directed investment. It isn’t hard to see what is going on here. It is nothing short of deliberate market manipulation by trying to increase the cost of funding to conventional energy using farcical concocted “climate risks” to regulate them out of existence.

Cœuré made this clear in his speech,

once markets and credit risk agencies price climate risks properly, the amount of collateralised borrowing counterparties can obtain from the ECB will be adjusted accordingly.

What do you know? On cue, Seeking Alpha notes,

Cutting €2bn of yearly investments, the European Union will stop funding oil, natural gas and coal projects at the end of 2021 as it aims to become the first climate-neutral continent.

All CM will say is best of luck with this decision. Just watch how this kneeling at the altar of the pagan god of climate change will completely ruin the EU economy. The long term ramifications are already being felt. The EU can’t escape the fact that 118mn of its citizens (up from 78m in 2007) are below the poverty line. That is 22% of the population. So why then does Cœuré mention, in spite of such alarming poverty, that taking actions (that will likely increase unemployment) will be helped by “migration [which] has contributed to dampening wage growth…in recent years, thereby further complicating our efforts to bring inflation back to levels closer to 2%.

Closer to home, the National Australia Bank (NAB) has joined in the groupthink by looking to phase out lending to thermal coal companies by 2035. The $760 million exposure will be cut in half by 2028. If climate change is such a huge issue why not look to end it ASAP? This is terrible governance.

Why not assess thermal coal companies on the merits of the industry’s future rather than have the acting-CEO Philip Chronican make a limp-wristed excuse that it is merely getting in line with the government commitment to Paris? If lending to thermal coal is good for shareholders in 2036, who cares what our emissions targets are (which continue to fall per capita)? Maybe this is industry and regulator working hand-in-hand?

The market has always been the best weighing mechanism for risk. Unfortunately, for the last two decades, global central bank policy has gone out of its way to prevent the market from clearing. Now it seems that the authorities are taking actions that look like collusion to bully the ratings agencies into marking down legitimate businesses that are being punished for heresy.

This will ironically only make them even better investments down the track when reality dawns, just as CM pointed out with anti-ESG stocks. Just expect the entry points to these stocks to be exceedingly cheap. Buy what the market hates. It looks as though the bureaucrats are set to make fossil fuel companies penny stocks.

Can we defund SBS too?

This isn’t journalism. This is alarmist quackery for the sake of it. Venice has been subject to flooding for centuries. While the floods in Venice now are the highest for over 50 years, it still means that floods were higher in 1966. Let that sink in. Presumably it wasn’t climate change driven back then.

One can only imagine what a Venice Council could possibly do to combat climate change? Perhaps ruin the skyline with wind turbines and solar panels atop the roofs of the Rialto Bridge or San Marco Square?? To alarmists, no amount of tokenism is too little. Claim a climate emergency and show how worthy you really are.

No matter what the Venice Council does to “combat” climate change it will have no effect. Maybe the gondola union can indulge in some crony capitalism and demand that the €7.50 Vaporetto passenger ferries are banned so they can charge €150 to go from Santa Croce to Piazza San Marco instead. At least gondolas are zero emission vessels.

The SBS needs to grow up and deliver proper well reasoned content for the $400m in taxpayer funds it receives.

Zali wants to turn Warringah into a mini-California

No thanks. Before Zali Steggall OAM MP thinks too hastily about believing the residents of Warringah want to be a mini California, maybe she should consider how Californians view their state.

From ZeroHedge:

In the 1960s and 1970s, the possibility of moving to the west coast was “the California dream” for millions of young Americans, but now “the California dream” has turned into “the California nightmare”.  According to a brand new survey, 53 percent of those living in California are considering leaving the state, and there are certainly lots of reasons to hit the road and never look back.  The cities are massively overcrowded, California has the worst traffic in the western world, drug use and illegal immigration both fuel an astounding amount of crime, tax rates are horrendous and many of the state politicians appear to literally be insane.”

Other California issues

Rodents – According to a recent survey of California pest control companies, rat service requests are up “as much as 60% in the last 12 months”.

Homelessness – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, and San Jose are four of the five cities with the highest amount of homelessness.

Public defecation – San Francisco authorities have decided to do something after thousands of feces complaints (during only one week in July, over 16,000 were recorded).

Public pension deficit – CalPERS has over $1 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities at marked to market rates.

Illegal Immigrants – despite its status as a sanctuary city, the great irony is that a growing number of illegal immigrants are choosing to move OUT of sanctuary cities, including California. In 2007, 7.7mn (63.1%) lived in the 20 largest metros to 6.5mn (60.7%) in 2016 according to Pew. During that time 1.5m illegal immigrants were deported (12.2mn ->10.7mn).

While Zali might think that California is a great role model for Warringah to follow, a quick cruise down Military Road will soon convince her that it could take quite a while to coax the residents to switch from their Porsches, Astons, BMWs, Mercedes and Range Rovers to Nissan Leafs to help her head for a zero carbon target. Not forgetting wind farms on Balmoral and Manly Beach.

How ironic that she takes what kids say about climate change as a concern rather than focus on activist teachers filling their heads with this junk.

While Zali might have whacked some solar panels on her roof at home, she hasn’t bought an EV. How funny that she thinks that reducing the number of flights she takes to/from Canberra will have an impact. Doesn’t she realize the flight she would have boarded flew anyway meaning her actions had absolutely NO impact?

Can’t wait for the next election.

Greta and her mates look to sue carbon polluters, wait for it…

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…on the grounds they are violating their rights as children! No surprises that the UN is buying into this BS and seeking to twist climate change into a children’s rights issue.

It is quite difficult to imagine what crimes steel makers or coal miners have committed in actual law. Never mind realities.

Interestingly the suit is being filed against five countries – Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey. It seeks to compel those nations to forge binding emissions reductions targets. Why not an Australia or America? Or have the adults guiding these children just selected soft targets because even they know suing others will achieve nothing.

Sadly for these kids they need to recognize that lawsuits can drag on for years and years, hardly the sort of rebellion that will expedite the type of action they demand.

Never have adults in a room been more needed to invite rational debate. At the moment it’s a disruptive classroom and these petulant kids need time in school detention and forced to write “I must learn respect”

CM recommends they learn economics quick smart. No point suing Argentina. Its default risk is so high that there would be precious little to pay out. Best just sue Germany and France where most of Argentina’s sovereign debt owners come from.