Steven Chu, Energy Secy, was on CNBC this morning adroitly handling some ‘tough’ questions. Most interesting to me was how his remarks might affect CleanTech investing. When pressed on why the EPA would issue carbon regulations in the light of ClimateGate, he reframed the issue as one of innovation and green jobs by touting his many CleanTech innovation programs.
In the ’80s the crusade against fossil fuels was all about “Energy Independence.” In the ’90s the ClimateGate Cabal began to gain more control over the core data and climate models, and the rationale shifted to “Global Warming.” This got to alarmist levels in the ‘Oughts under Al Gore and drew out the skeptics to fight back despite huge derision and mocking. Their main point is that the data show that warming has stalled, and may have started dropping.
Two years ago I suggested that the top was in on global warming. Around that time the rationale changed to the androgynous phrase “Climate Change”, a concession to the skeptics case that warming has essentially plateaued for the past ten years. Well, with “Climate Change”, even a drop is Global Warming! Since that post, it has become clear that some sort of top was in, as support for GW has steadily eroded. A new rationale is needed, now more than ever with the revelations of ClimateGate.
If the “Green Jobs” approach were based on economic reality, it would be a good direction. I have written how we will eventually really come out the Great Recession with innovation that includes a greening of American industry. Given the history of the Warmists trying to impose onerous regulations and taxes on industry, it may instead be that “Green Jobs” is used as a rationale for even more impositions and constraints. Rather than foster innovation, “sustainability” could become an assault on economic progress.
If you think this is over the top, consider the economic suicide mission that Kevin Rudd, prime minister of Australia, is on at the Copenhagen conference. As the ever-colorful Andrew Bolt puts it in his column in a major Australian newspaper:
Is Rudd really going to approve a draft treaty that could force Australia to hand over an astonishing $7 billion a year to a new and unelected global authority?
Yes, that’s $7 billion, or about $330 from every man, woman and child. Every year. To be passed on to countries such as China and Bangladesh, and the sticky-fingered in-between.
What makes this worse is, in the details of various climate treaties, the West have been trying to impose burdens on the Rest, especially the BRIC countries, including border tariffs on imports with excessive carbon footprints. Energy Secy Chu has been boldly pushing border tariffs to ‘level the playing field’ since early in the Obama administration.
Now, Kevin Rudd’s Australia has become very dependent on China sucking out natural resources. A climate scheme which sucks wealth out of Australia into uncontrolled waste by third world countries, plus puts a huge damper on China’s imports of Australian resources, is economic suicide.
Rudd must be affected with a form of madness. Jared Diamond in his recent book Collapse supplies a clue to how a peculiar form of madness can grip a people and lead to economic demise. He looks at the wasteland that used to be Easter Island, with those forlorn heads staring into the abyss, and asks: what idiot chopped down the last tree, in order to move those heads to their resting places?
Yes indeed, what idiot will pull down the pillars of prosperity to chase a fraudulent crisis called Global Warming Climate Change Sustainability? It seems to Take a Village to pull this off! A global village of idiots, a ship (of state) of fools blithely sailing off the edge, for … what, exactly? Even the West’s own calculations show that the drop in carbon emissions will have almost no impact on global climate, since the Rest will happily burn those fossil fuels faster to catch up.
The implication for investors is not just to rotate out of investments reliant on government subsidies and carbon taxes based on Global Warming, but be prepared to rotate out of the AUD if Rudd persists in getting his treaty passed. The good news is it looks hopeless. The BRIC countries will take the A$7B handout, thank you very much, without lifting a finger to fall into the Easter Island madness economic suicide of border tariffs and *forced* reductions in carbon emissions.