Live blogging the Democrat first debate

On reflection: The interesting part was how the non-debate was centred on mini-responses to non-issues. Not just dull, but no substance. Superficial. None of them seemed to have any serious grip on any issue. None of them could beat PDT. Trump tweeted “boring” in the middle of the debate. Quite agree.

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Watching from New York in real time.

Healh care. Watching the sequence of one minute replies to questions. Slick, polished and madness end to end. Fascinating and fascile. Wild cheering for each of the most extreme statements. The more extreme the statement, the wilder the applause. Each answer seems to push each subsequent candidate farther along.

And now an ad break!

Now undocumented children held in detention. Booker begins in Spanish. Open borders – “not to criminalise desperation”. More Spanish. The more open borders types are criticising the less open borders. “should no longer be a crime to illegally cross the border.” “A path to citizenship”. “There are terrorists at Guantanamo who have better health care” than those illegal immigrants. “We cannot sacrifice our values.” “We welcome refugees into our state.”

Iran. “Need to renegotiate to get back to an Obama-type deal.” “It was a good deal for that moment.” “No war with Iran.” All seem to agree that Obama’s agreement was imperfect but “Trump needs to get back into the deal.”

Another ad.

Guns. Gun activism. Is there a role for the federal government? But first there is a technical problem from the control room so we are off to another set of ads. A very long break.

Now back to guns. Sen Warren leads off. 100s of millions of guns out there, she’s asked. “How you gonna keep us safe, ask so many children, “a national health emergency. We need to find out what will really work. We need to treat it as a serious research problem. A public health emergency.” Sen Booker: “I hear gunshots in my neighbourhood…. This is an emergency…. This is not policy; this is personal.” Julian Castro: “Worst day is worrying about your child in school…. We are getting closer to common sense gun reform.” De Blasio: “Need trauma-based care in our schools.”

Taking our guns away. Beto O’Rourke: Waffle. Klobuchar: Waffle. No one states they will ban guns. Booker: “Licence should be needed to buy a gun.” Brings in the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Nomination v Mitch McConnell. De Blasio: “I have been raising a black son and therefore understands how to have a conversation with their children. Supreme Court nomination is part of this. Sen Warren: I have a plan to deal with Mitch McConnell. Waffle, waffle, waffle. Congressman Delaney: “We ned real solutions etc etc. Sen Booker: Waffle waffle.

Climate change. Jay Inslee: Last chance for an admin to do anything about it…. I will make it the top priority. Lead the world. Beto: “Must bring everyone in.” Mobilise trillions! Julian Castro: I am the only candidate with executive experience. First act, recommit to Paris. Australia mentioned in the question – one party was rejected over climate. Tim Ryan: “We are not connecting to the working people…. None responsive to the question. ?? said: Put a price on carbon and give the money back to the people.s-Am

Gay marriage. Tulsi Gabbard: “There are still people facing discrimination etc. Booker: “We don’t talk enough about trans-Americans.”

Minorities. Klubochar. Waffle. Castro: Wants equality.

Protecting citizens of other countries – genocide. Beto – yes act. Must deal with others overseas. De Blasio: “I know the cost of war.” We must have Congressional approval. Tim Ryan: The lesson I have learned is “you must stay engaged.” “These flare ups are distracting us.” Tulsi Gabbard: “We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.” Ryan: If the US is not engaged, the Taliban will grow. Gabbard disagrees. Ryan: We cannot withdraw from the world.

Biggest threat. Biggest applause line: “Donald Trump”. Others: China, climate change, Russia (more applause).

Mueller: Beto: If we allow Trump to get away with the involvement of a foreign country in our country, then we are lost. Impeachment now.

Prosecution Trump for crimes after leaving office. This president who is lawless should be prosecuted. But this is not the issue Americans care about. Klobuchar: need to do something.

More ads.

Closing statements – 45 seconds each.

John Delaney. Need real solutions – not impossible promises.

De Blasio. I’ve seen poverty and wants to do something about it. Wants to do to the country what he has done to New York111

???: A unified national mission.

Cong. Ryan. Heal a divided community. Homelessness, coming together. You will not be forgotten.

Tulsi Gabbard. For the people not for the rich and powerful. Clean air, water.

Julian Castro. Starts with Spanish.

Amy Klobuchar. I listen. I can beat Donald Trump (no applause). Will govern for you.

Cory Booker. I take on tough fights and have won. Need to show who we are.

Beto: For the children. Need a new approach.

Elizabeth Warren. We can make our country work for everyone.

Posted in American politics | 36 Comments

This is not schadenfreude

A couple of months ago, TAFKAS wrote a post about an Australia student (at ANU) running a tourism business into North Korea.

The student, Alek Sigley:

 founded a business called Tongil Tours; a business to facilitate “educational” travel to North Korea.

Writing for the Guardian, Sigley suggested:

Despite heavy sanctions, Pyongyang has a small but growing consumer class, due in part to government policies to liberalise sections of the economy.

Well it appears not so liberal because Sigley has reportedly been arrested at a university in North Korea.

Alek Sigley, 29, who has been studying at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, was named in South Korean media overnight as having been taken into custody by North Korean officials.

It is not known why he was arrested but just three months ago, Sigley wrote an article for The Guardian about life in the notoriously secretive country, saying he was able to travel freely in the capital without a chaperone.

This on the back of American student Otto Warmbier being beaten into a permanent vegetative state by North Korean security officials and dying in 2017.

Socialism in action.

TAFKAS wishes Sigley a safe and speedy return to Australia, but honestly, even useful idiots have a finite value to totalitarian dictators.

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Windwatch for the week 26 June to July 2

To reduce the load on the server Windwatch will not be posted daily. It will be updated regularly with a comment in the open thread to signal when it is done.

At dinnertime this evening Wind recovered from 13% of its capacity in the late afternoon to approach 20% and deliver 1.3 of the 30 GW required to keep you warm and snug after work and cook your dinner. That is 4% of the total, twice the amount provided in the early evening on most days for the last week.

Around the states. What is happening in Tasmania?

Where is all this going? Does it mean that we are just one coal-fired power station away from blackouts across parts of SE Australia, starting with South Australia and Victoria? Not that SA matters, who noticed when it went black for three days in 2016? But Victoria?

Liddell is supposed to close in 2022 and that takes out about 2GW. By that time there might be another 15GW of plated capacity in the wind system for a total of (say) 22 compared with about 7.5 at present (it changes almost monthly).

22GW running at 3% of capacity (like some of the time last week) is less than 1GW, that is about half of Liddell!

Worse than that, as the wind and solar capacity builds, quite likely some other plant in addition to Liddell will close because it will be losing too much money to keep running. Take out another GW or two of reliable baseload out of the system and see what happens when the wind dies in the evening.

This is back of the envelop stuff, what are the more precise figures that people in AEMO should be reporting?

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 16 Comments

More Madness from The University of Melbourne

Funny how things just come together sometimes.

There was my earlier post on the climate change ideology infecting APRA.

Then there was the post by Rafe on the Madness of The University of Melbourne.

Then knock me over with a feather I got emailed from The Mandarin a link to a University of  Melbourne issues paper, from the Melbourne Sustainability Society Institute, titled “Australia’s Clean Economy Future: Costs and Benefits“.

The Mandarin for the uninitiated is a news site “made for public sector leaders and executives  . . . deliver[ing] the news and analysis that the public sector reads every day.

The Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) “strives to inform and stimulate public conversation about key sustainability questions facing our society.”

And low and behold six pages in I read:

“The global business community is addressing climate-related risks to transition to a low-carbon economy. Clearly, to create a sustainable investment climate is to disclose and manage climate-related financial risks.” 

“Climate change threatens the assets and operations of businesses, communities and governments. Most countries have signed the Paris Agreement and are transitioning to low-carbon economies.”

“The global business community is making significant strides to address strategic risks. The wave generated by the Taskforce of Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is an exemplar.”

“Since then, key bodies such as the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), Australian Securi- ties and Investments Commission (ASIC), Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and now the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have confirmed the strategic need and the legal liabilities that require businesses to consider and report their climate-related risks.”

The good old APRA TCFD proposal!

Is it any wonder we are stuffed. Universities, bureaucrats and regulators copying and pasting one another in a Green-Left echo-chamber of mutual adoration and climate fantasy.

As to the paper itself I don’t have the time to go through all the nonsense and perhaps someone with an economics degree would have more fun tearing it to shreds. Needless to say it proposes we be carbon neutral by 2030 because mitigation is cheap $35.5b while business as usual will result in $584.5b in damages.

Naturally all electricity generation will be renewable by 2030 (largely state-owned), prices will be magically $7 per MWH lower (despite being $40+ higher right now), 50% of new car sales will be electric (gee, I wonder who they thought was going to win the election!), EVs will result in health benefits from  . . . .  drum roll please . . . . . a decrease in petrol pollution saving up to $735m per annum in Victoria alone (who knew we were all so ill from petrol poisoning?), and we will save hundreds of millions in interest payments on government debt because of APRA’s TCFD regulatory excellence. Total BS.

Of course if you want to know how dumb this paper is you just need to consider that the $584.5b is predicated on global temperatures being 4 degrees Celsius higher in 2100 than pre-industrial levels which barely a credible scientist believes is remotely possible.

The damage is mostly losses in agricultural productivity and infrastructure losses from rising seas, fires, floods, wind storms and soil subsidence I kid you not. Apparently, in the next decade a lot of homes are going to be washed out to sea, disappear into sink holes and be blown away.

However, because the $584.5b figure assumes a rise in global average temperature of 4 degrees Celsius by 2100 it also means that global action on climate change has not simply stalled but died and emissions have steadfastly risen.

This actually makes the case that in the absence of aggressive, global, transparent, enforceable mitigation by all nations of the world, Australia should do nothing. However, this papers reasoning is that we should blow another $35.5b in futile mitigation to add to the $584.5b in damages it has forecast because the rest of world isn’t doing anything.

In other words, this paper doesn’t compare apples with apples. That it’s cost benefit analysis compares the benefits of unilateral action to the cost of global inaction says it all.

But hey, The Mandarin love it, The University of Melbourne loves it, APRA loves it.

Madness!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 25 Comments

Midweek Roundup

Our server has has a volume of posts problem so I am aggregating the last three to reduce the pressure and make room for other people who might have something to say. Sorry about the comments that will be lost.

STEVE KATES IN NEW YORK

Last week Steven Kates went off to a conference in New York run by the Heterodox Academy founded by Johathan Haidt. This organization started a few years ago and it has always been on the list of important sites that I circulate from time to time.

Steve has been very slack about telling as about it, I suppose there is so much to do in New York. Just don’t forget to have Jonathan sign my copy of his book that I lent you. There was a witness!

The good news is that Jonathan Haidt himself is coming to town next month.

If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Haidt yet, you’re about to start seeing his name everywhere. After recently engaging in some enlightening conversations across the podcast circuit with the likes of Sam Harris, Joe Rogan, Ezra Klein and Jordan Peterson, it’s clear Jonathan has perspectives worth hearing. Jonathan thinks that we should be able to disagree in a more constructive way (and if you think he’s wrong then you’re an idiot, you have no idea what you’re talking about, get the **** out of here!!). But seriously, true civil discourse is slowly becoming a thing of the past & at Think Inc., we want that to change.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there were these wonderful places that were designed for young people to come together, gain knowledge and exchange ideas. These were mysterious structures where you could voice your thoughts and opinions; you could even challenge and argue with others, all in the name of learning.

People were offensive.
People were offended.
Everyone was allowed their time of day and the best ideas came out on top.

Those places still exist today, if only by name: University.

MADNESS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

Could you make this up? Back to feudal life in the inner city, but well equipped with electric vehicles!

On the topic of universities, something for nerds, a long piece just published by a NZ academic looking back on Karl Popper and the great book that he wrote while he was there from 1937 to 1945.

According to Michael King, Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies may be “the most influential book ever to come out of New Zealand.” Written in Christchurch in the last years of the Second World War by a Jewish intellectual in exile from Vienna, the book’s forthright attack on Plato created a storm of controversy worldwide, and continues to be influential today. In this piece, I want to reintroduce Popper to the current generation of New Zealanders. I look at how the book came to be written in New Zealand, and what Popper thought of the country. I also examine the controversy surrounding the book, and see what we might say about it today, especially in light of subsequent scholarship.

MARK LATHAM TALKS TO ALAN JONES ON FALAU ETC

Good listening. Not just the Folau case but the lockout laws in Sydney and lazy planning for the new international airport out of Sydney.

DONATE HERE

A note to Iampeter on my amen to the warning be careful, very careful about legislation to protect religious freedom. When the moral framework of society is crumbling the last people you would ask to help are social engineers in politics and big government bureaucracies. Contemplate the Human Rights Commission!

On that, full marks to Gillian Triggs for her comments yesterday. Is that the same person who shamelessly played party politics and enforcer for political correctness when she ran the HRC? Does that show how power corrupts?

PS Interesting Liberty Quote [Wayne] Swan is a hard worker and spends a lot of time poring over briefs — Judith Sloan

Maybe he should have got out more. Or got different people to write the briefs.

Posted in Rafe, Rafe's Roundups | 19 Comments

Third in Blockchain Research

It’s nice to be recognised.

While dozens of universities around the world have dedicated time and resources to the study of cryptoeconomics and blockchain technology, there are a few which dominate the research landscape. These select institutions stand out because they have published influential research or dedicated entire departments and organizations to the study of digital assets. Here at Kaiko, we have selected 10 universities that we believe have produced the most meaningful advancements in this burgeoning research field.

3. RMIT — Australia

RMIT, or Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, is known for cutting edge innovation when it comes to combining economic and technological research. As a result, a team of finance and economics professors at RMIT have joined forces to create a Blockchain Innovation Hub, conducting research on cryptoeconomics and the quickly expanding blockchain economy. Publications from this team range from cryptoeconomic business strategy, to mapping the current and future layout of the blockchain economy. Below are a few examples of this team’s cryptoeconomic research and publications regarding the economic and socio-political impact of blockchain technology.

I’d thank to thank the academy, and  …

 

Posted in Cryptoeconomics | 17 Comments

Weaponising APRA for Climate Crusade

Geoff Summerhayes is an Executive Board Member of APRA. Over the weekend he gave a speech in Singapore to an international conference of financial regulators outlining a case for an increase in APRA scope and powers to regulate the Australian financial sector in relation to climate change. Some notable comments were as follows:

“Liability risk refers to the potential for companies, boards and individual directors to be held legally accountable for their actions – or lack of them – with regards to addressing climate risk.” 

“APRA is embedding the assessment of climate risk into our ongoing supervisory activities. We intend to probe the entities we regulate on their risk identification, measurement and mitigation strategies. We expect to see continuous improvement in how entities are preparing for the transition to the low-carbon economy.” 

“This is not something we are mandating, and nor do we intend to introduce a specific climate-related prudential standard at this time [my emphasis]. However, I have previously noted that the global regulatory community is steadily moving in this direction, which is yet another reason why prescient business leaders should be taking steps now to get ahead of the curve.”

That the stability of our financial system is in hands of Geoff Sumerhayes, who despite having zero expertise whatsoever in climate science is nonetheless convinced that climate catastrophe is a certainty, and hence we need to regulate our companies to “transition to a low carbon economy” is truly frightening.

To flag that company directors should be liable for future weather is as absurd as it is impractical. Australia as a nation cannot influence climate action or change the weather. What can individual companies hope to achieve? 

More to the point, it is completely disingenuous. It is a draconian measure to enforce political ideology that has nothing to do with prudential standards designed to foster “a stable, efficient and competitive financial system as per APRAs mandate.

You kind of have to hope it is disingenuous because the alternative is to accept that the regulator entrusted with ensuring financial system stability is so bad that it deliberately disregards from its elevated thinking any notion of rational, objective and empirical considerations of risk, reward, cost and benefit, which of necessity would include assessments about the levels of scientific, technological, economic and political uncertainties that are endemic in climate change.

This is the inescapable conclusion reading Summerhayes speech, who despite being expert in insurance matters, ironically doesn’t believe in weighing up the probability that his inexpert view of climate alarmism might be wrong and the rest of the world might not be moving in quite the same direction or speed that he assumes they are.

For a regulator that preaches prudence for a living, Sumerhayes unquestioning acceptance of climate hyperbole, activist falsehoods, regurgitation of unsubstantiated platitudes, and resort to false equivalence, to advance a straw man argument demanding climate regulation of the finance sector is concerning to say the least.

Summerhayes accepts without question the science is settled, the need to limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, the potential it could go as high as 4 degrees Celsius, more extreme weather events are happening now and will get worse in future, the global transition to the low-carbon economy is underway and accelerating, the technology to transition to a low carbon future exists, and the future cost of climate catastrophe is greater than the current cost of mitigation. 

Yet every one of these claims is highly contested, uncertain or arguably false. The science is not settled but the subject of on-going research and debate. The best evidence shows that the climate is not particularly sensitive to CO2 and that a doubling of CO2 will hence most likely lead to a 1 degree Celsius rise in the global temperature anomaly, not the 2-4 degree rise predicted off climate models that Summerhayes claims. These models have failed the test of prediction, a necessary pre-condition of science. They are too sensitive to CO2 and run too hot.

Extreme weather events are neither more extreme nor more frequent despite CO2 in the atmosphere increasing by roughly 30% and temperatures being almost 1 degree Celcius warmer than pre-industrial levels. This is a well established fact shown in the instrumental record and it is precisely because there is nothing to see in the instrumental record (i.e. nothing distinguishable from natural variability) not even the IPCC attribute a climate signal to present day weather events as Summerhayes does. He is plain wrong.

The transition to a low carbon global economy is stalling not accelerating contrary to Summerhayes claims. Developing countries have steadfastly refused international calls to cut emissions for over 20 years and the Paris Agreement enables developing countries to continue increasing their emissions over the life of the Agreement.

The larger developing countries (e.g. China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam) being exempt from cutting emissions account for almost 40% of total emissions and represent the bulk of the projected rise in emissions. The developing world as a whole constitutes almost two thirds of global emissions and is similarly exempt.

Contrary to Summerhayes assertion that we are seeing an acceleration to a low carbon global economy, emissions rose by 2% in 2018 which according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy report was the fastest growth in 7 years, in spite of the Paris “commitments”.

This was mostly related to growth in energy consumption that was met by natural gas and coal. Coal production and consumption increased by their fastest rates in five years mostly off the back of high demand in China and India.

The Paris Agreement which Summerhayes believes constitutes “aggressive mitigation action” has been widely condemned by climate scientists and activists for failing to result in targets consistent with the stated goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (much less the more ambitious 1.5 degree subsequent target) that he believes is necessary to stave off catastrophe.

The Copenhagen Consensus Centre estimates the Paris commitments will reduce global temperature by less than 0.2 degrees Celsius which is the equivalent of doing nothing. Even that assumes that all countries will honour their commitments which is wishful thinking at best.

Renewable energy, which is implied by Summerhayes as being the “low carbon economy” future, remains plagued by problems of intermittency and correspondingly low capacity factors, and hence cannot guarantee supply on demand, much less at peak periods nor at an affordable price.

The issue of backup remains costly, complicated and vexed. However, like the economist that assumes a can opener, Summerhayes simply assumes these limitations don’t exist as he calls for mitigation as the more cost effective solution.

Consequently, Summerhayes sets up a straw man argument in much the same manner as Bill Shorten did during the election, reducing the climate change issue to a false choice of:

controlled but aggressive change with a major short-term impact but lower long-term economic cost? Or uncontrolled change, limited short-term impact and much greater long-term economic damage?”

Which is to say he conveniently sidesteps the cost issue by deliberately avoiding any analysis, be it scientific, technological, economic or political, that might cast doubt on his underlying assumptions and disprove his conclusion that the cost of action is lower than the cost of inaction.

The dichotomy he sets up is patently false. Any prudent analysis (and I use this word deliberately as we are talking about a regulator) of the climate change issue results in fundamentally different scenarios leading to totally different rational choices that we as a nation and companies in particular should be aware of.

The first scenario, based on the weight of actual climate evidence to date, is that the climate system is not highly sensitive to CO2 and there is no pending climate catastrophe. Hence, anything we do to mitigate CO2 today constitutes a deadweight loss on the economy that will be adversely felt by Australians for generations to come.

This scenario assumes a rise of just 1 degree Celsius consistent with a doubling of CO2 with low sensitivity which nobody believes will be harmful to the planet. Given the fact that we are already about 80% there, without any signs of catastrophe, and over this period we have witnessed the greatest advancement in human welfare in history, the most logical conclusion is that a slightly warmer, CO2 enriched planet will be overall a net benefit. Summerhayes does not even entertain this possibility.

The second scenario, is that the climate system might be sensitive to CO2 in the manner the IPCC and hence Summerhayes suggest (albeit with a high degree of scientific uncertainty) but the fact remains that international agreement to meaningfully and transparently cut CO2 emissions has remained elusive for well over 20 years and there is no evidence that this is about to change.

The developing world – constituting roughly 60% of global emissions and responsible for most of the growth in global emissions, and comprising as it does, some of the most powerful nations in the international system – simply refuses to acquiesce to Western pressure to reduce their emissions and there is nothing the developed world can do about it. If Summerhayes’ view of climate science proves correct then climate catastrophe is inevitable.

The real choice is therefore not about the cost of mitigation versus the cost of climate catastrophe, it is about the futility and waste of mitigation versus the potentially necessary cost of future adaptation, against the backdrop that climate change predictions have thus far largely failed and may not be as damaging as APRA make out, and international agreement does not exist. Under either scenario the prudent course of action is a wait and see approach.

Summerhayes speech is accordingly an indictment of APRA that is willing to abandon financial prudence at the altar of climate change ideology. He jumps to solution mode without any serious analysis or understanding of the problem he is seeking to solve. He pushes a business case for climate regulation without having done any of the due diligence one would expect of a prudent and compliant regulated company.

He bemoans a lack of data and information that he claims would underpin more informed discussion and analysis of the cost of climate change, which in turn would better inform shareholders and customers of investment risks, but his entire starting point is that he already knows which way the science and cost arguments will play out and hence any information contrary to mitigation would presumably be APRA non-compliant.

He jumps between mitigation action taken by government and action taken by companies as though the two are interchangeable. They are not. In fact, a single company can be exposed to multiple climate policies depending on its areas of operations and the location of its customers, including the non-climate policies of the developing world.

His warning of a Kodak moment is a false equivalence. Kodak failed to keep up with pace of technological change and was replaced by a superior and lower cost product. Whereas the major problem in transitioning to a low carbon economy is that we do not have the technology to be able to do it and the renewable energy approach represents an inferior product at higher cost.

That is why international action on climate change has gone nowhere for over 20 years and why developing countries balk at the idea of constraining their economic development through the use of inferior renewable energy.

China and India are not stupid nations. They are not investing massive sums in energy infrastructure and deliberately choosing the most uneconomic and risky form of supply. They are investing heavily in fossil fuels to meet their growing energy needs because they know it represents the better investment. It is scalable, cheaper, reliable and can be dispatched 24/7 on demand. Japan has said the same thing in relation to its recently built 4,000 MW plant in Kobe.

If renewable energy was the better technology and better investment China and India would not be building coal-fired plants in the hundreds. But they are. Unconstrained by Western climate propaganda China and India are just getting on with the job of building the energy infrastructure they need. Do we really believe that China and India are so stupid that they are deliberately forgoing the cheapest form of energy (i.e. wind and solar) and are ignoring the climate investment risks (i.e. stranded assets) that APRA says we should prioritise? A good way to think about this is to consider whether Australia is prepared to deny the supply of coal in future because of climate concerns and potential liability.

The fact is renewable energy cannot compete against coal and gas and that is what developing world investment patterns prove. Without subsidies and government intervention most renewable energy companies in the developed world would be non-viable enterprises. Yet this is the sort of highly speculative (i.e. government policy-rent seeking dependent) uneconomic investment APRA presumably believes we should prioritise .

This goes to the argument that Bjorn Lomborg has made and why in his view the economic case is opposite to that of Summerhayes. The Copenhagen Consensus Center, using the IPCC’s own data and assumptions (being generous) has stated that a back-ended technology solution wins on cost-benefit terms by a wide margin because the current technology has no hope of replacing fossil fuels.

The Copenhagen Consensus Center dismisses Summerhayes’ commitment to the Paris Agreement as a waste of money, highlighting a global annual cost of $1 trillion USD to achieve abatement of just 1% of what is required to meet the IPCC’s stated goal of limiting global warming to 2 degree Celsius. In other words, nothing.

Summerhayes speech draws heavily (i.e. substantially lifted) from the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure. This somewhat obscure taskforce is seemingly dedicated to market manipulation dressed up as risk mitigation and investor transparency. It has little to do with genuine policy debate and a genuine assessment about climate related risks, including technology and political risks.

If it did it would have sections in its final report dedicated to the biggest climate investment risks: that alarmist climate predictions will amount to nought; that the developing world will not decarbonise but continue to increase its carbon footprint; and hence ad hoc, unilateral government policy oblivious to these risks will impose futile deadweight costs on its companies and its economy. It doesn’t.

Instead it starts with a Green-Left definition of climate risk and proposes through regulation to manipulate company decision-making and market value through a combination of peer pressure, Green shareholder activism, adverse public relations and ultimately climate legal action (hence Summerhayes comment at the top of this post).

This is a prescription to turbo-boost the type of Green law-fare that has bogged the Adani project down for 8 plus years and invites activist judges to rule against new coal mines citing our international commitments to reduce emissions. It also encourages our banks to turn their backs on resource projects that generate jobs, exports, and royalties that fund our schools, hospitals, roads, the mendicant states of South Australia and Tasmania, and sadly our government debt.

Worse still, this stupidity will only further encourage China to step in and fill the investment void, funding coal plant projects throughout the developing world (as it does now) as part of its Belt and Road initiative designed to expand its geo-political and geo-economic power, as we commit to economic self-harm.

Summerhayes call for greater information and transparency by regulation is dangerous. On the surface it seemingly has nothing to do with providing greater information leading to a more balanced assessment of climate change risk to investment, but is instead a call for greater APRA powers that will effectively weaponise the regulator to aggressively pursue Green-Left climate ideology.

In doing so it is just one more step in the long march through the institutions that seeks to by-pass democracy, getting around the inconvenience of voters and government by exploiting its statutory independence with calls to globalist moral authority.

Far from saving us from a Kodak moment Summerhayes recipe for more Green-Left climate regulation will expose shareholders and taxpayers to Solyndra bankruptcies on an unprecedented scale, undermining the integrity and stability of the finance sector, and by extension the economy APRA is mandated to protect.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments

Windwatch 25 June. Business as usual. 2% from Wind & Other at dinnertime

This looks like a seven days in a row when Wind and Other contributed about 2% to the dinnertime peak of demand. Wind is running about 9% of plated capacity across the country but in the blessed domain of Daniel Andrews it is just nudging 1.5%.

This is why every cent put into unreliable energy thus far is wasted, apart from self-funded roof panels and some standalone sites off grid. The whole lot would be stranded assets without the subsidies and preferential access to the grid. Some of them probably will be anyway due to the shortfall of transmission infrastructure from remote areas.

Is this getting attention somewhere in the MSM? And the Coalition party room.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 11 Comments

The Currency Lad: RC Threatens To Prosecute Furnished Room

Theatre of accountability at its finest today with Lawyer X Royal Commissioner Margaret McMurdo warning Victoria Police it could be charged with a criminal offence for refusing to produce evidence. The whole point of a royal commission, of course, is that its extraordinary powers make all relevant witnesses quake in fear at what may befall them if they persist in any kind of recalcitrancy or legerdemain. If, in other words, they get cute. But some people aren’t so easily frightened; some people truly are above the law.

Victoria Police could be charged with a criminal offence after admitting on Tuesday it had not given the Lawyer X royal commission more than 1000 documents about a former drug squad detective once charged over a double murder.

The documents relate to notorious ex-detective Paul Dale, who was about to questioned for the fourth day by the inquiry into the police’s use of informers, and should have been tendered to a commission supposed to shed light on one of the Victoria Police’s darkest chapters.

For VicPol, Justin Hannebery QC told the Commission that material relating to Dale was voluminous and his client had decided that much of it was – for all intents and purposes – none of Justice McMurdo’s business. Not surprisingly, this didn’t please the commissioner:

“Can I suggest to you and those instructing you, remind your clients [Victoria Police] that this notice to produce, and their obligations under it, which are ongoing, that it is an offence not to comply with it and an agency of the crown, under the inquiries act, can be charged,” Ms McMurdo said.

But just when you think police officers might be held to the same strict standards as you and me or that they might be perp-walked in cuffs for criminal contempt or perverting the course of justice …

Under the state’s Inquiries Act, failing to produce documents without a reasonable excuse or refusal to comply can carry a maximum two years in jail.

The royal commission said if a charge was laid, it would go to Victoria Police as the “state agency” and would be served on the Chief Commissioner’s office, but Commissioner Graham Ashton would not be personally charged.

Imagine how much more cooperative VicPol would be if the notice to produce was a buck that stopped at the commissioner’s own desk.

As things stand, however, at law it seems that regardless of what happens on his watch, Archbishop Ashton is untouchable.

UPDATE: D’oh. Did I write “Archbishop Ashton”? I meant Commissioner Ashton.

Posted in Guest Post | 11 Comments

I’m about to be arrested

I just received a phone call from the ATO advising me that I needed to make an immediate payment to avoid arrest.

This is a scam – the ATO would never call in advance. They would just come and arrest you.

Okay – that’s meant to be funny.

More seriously – beware of a scams like this.

While these scam calls may appear to be from the ATO with a spoofed caller ID, it is important to remember that a legitimate caller from the ATO will never:

  • threaten you with arrest
  • demand immediate payment, particularly through unusual means such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards
  • refuse to allow you to speak with a trusted advisor or your regular tax agent
  • or present a phone number on caller ID.

Never call a scammer back on the number they provide.

If you are in any doubt about an ATO call hang up and phone us on 1800 008 540 to check if the call was legitimate or report a scam.

 

Posted in Gratuitous Advertising, Rule of law, Taking out the trash, Taxation | 42 Comments