Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carbon credit sales crashing!

According to today's Vancouver Sun, the Pacific Carbon Trust, a Crown Corporation set up by the B.C. government to peddle carbon credits to the public, has seen its sales plummet:

Private companies bought fewer carbon credits to offset their greenhouse gas emissions in 2011-12 than in the previous year from the Pacific Carbon Trust, showing the province’s carbon corporation is a failure, according to a taxpayers’ group.

In 2010-11, the carbon trust sold 7,385 tonnes to private clients such as Helijet International, Coast Hotels and the Vancouver Aquarium. But that figure dropped to 2,167 tonnes in 2011-12 after the trust lost West Coast Air as a client.

At $25 per tonne of carbon, the sales to private clients netted the Crown corporation only a little more than $54,000.

That's not a lot of dough.  In fact, if the Pacific Carbon Trust has more than one low-level employee, it's operating at a deficit.

Or is it?  The article goes on to note that:

The cash from private clients is dwarfed by money the Pacific Carbon Trust collects from the B.C. public sector of $18.2 million for nearly 730,000 tonnes of carbon credits.

Whoa!  That's a hell of a disparity!  Where do you suppose that comes from?

Well, it comes from this:

Private companies are not obligated to buy carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, provincial public institutions — including hospitals, universities and schools — have to pay the trust for carbon credits under B.C. law in order to hypothetically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

Ah, okay.  So in other words, the entire carbon racket is based on taxpayer dollars.  The B.C. government has set up a taxpayer funded organization whose sole purpose is to collect taxpayer dollars from other taxpayer-funded organizations, to do...what, precisely?  Stop the rise of the oceans?  Re-freeze the Arctic?  Save the polar bears? This of course increases the costs of the paying organizations, who have to either acquire a budgetary increase from the government, or cut services.  Remember, we're talking about hospitals, universities and schools here!  That's $18,200,000 worth of doctors, nurses, teachers, lab facilities, books, medicine, MRI time...actually, since the money has to go through dozens of different bureaucratic hands that only exist to peddle these air-stamps and collect the ill-gotten benefits thereof, the total cost to the B.C. public is no doubt vastly more than that.

Is there a reason for this?  Well, the global warming alarmists are always going on about how the oceans are going to rise and drown the coasts.  So let's take a look at the Port of Vancouver and see how the drowning's coming along, shall we?

The following data are obtainable from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to anybody with a little patience and a passing familiarity with MS Excel.  Let's look at daily average sea level for the past century. Because Excel can't handle more than 32,000 entries in a single chart, I've broken them up (note there is a large discontinuity between 1923 and 1940; I don't know why).

First, the "daily mean water level" at the Port of Vancouver from 1912-1923 (in metres):

Hmm.  So, a century ago, the "daily mean water level" at the Port of Vancouver was about 3.1 metres, give or take a few centimetres.  Not much in the way of fluctuation year to year.

Okay, how about 1940-1961?

Whoa!  Looks like the daily mean water level in Vancouver for that 20-year period was...about 3.1 metres, give or take a couple of centimetres.  And there's still not much fluctuation year to year.

Well, haven't we undergone catastrophic anthropogenic global warming in the past few decades?  Isn't climate change unprecedented?  Doth not the apocalypse loom over us, threatening to swamp low-lying lotus-land?

Nope.  For the past 50 years, the daily mean water level at the Port of Vancouver has been about 3.1 metres, give or take a few centimetres.  Just as with the preceding half-century, annual variation has gone from an absolute low of about 2.55 metres (in 2007 - remember, during the period of "unprecedented warming") to an absolute high of about 3.8 metres (in 1982, before the "unprecedented warming" was realling getting under way).

Just to make the point more obvious, here's the 50-year chart with a trendline added.

WHOA, lookit that trend!  Really skyrocketing off the chart, isn't it?  At this rate, Vancouver will be underwater...well, never.

For the record, see if you can detect any correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration, which has been rising steadily for the past century, and the daily mean water level at the Port of Vancouver, which hasn't changed at all. Then ask yourself how credible are the arguments of the pro-AGW theorists when they tell you that human CO2 emissions are making the oceans rise.

Of course, if anyone were to actually publish empirical data like this, it would rather undercut the B.C. government's arguments about the urgency of addressing anthropogenic climate change, and make people start to question the need for an $18.2 million dollar taxpayer-funded shell-game.  Or maybe not; bureaucratic mandarins have been sweeping empirical evidence under the carpet in order to not upset the global warming apple-cart for so long now that it's probably instinctive.

I mentioned the subject of carbon credits in the context of a discussion of the historical parallels to global warming alarmism here; it's no accident that I framed part of that discussion with quotes from Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale:

I stand up like a scholar in pulpit,
And when the uneducated people all do sit,
I preach, as you have heard me say before,
And tell a hundred false jokes, less or more.
Of avarice and of all such wickedness
Is all my preaching, thus to make them free
With offered pence, the which pence come to me.
For my intent is only pence to win,
And not at all for punishment of sin.

Future generations are going to look back on our obsession with carbon credits the same way we look back on the tulip mania and the South Sea scandal, and on things like radium pills, phrenology, galvanism, phlogiston, Lamarckian and Lysenkoist genetics, psychoanalysis, and mesmerism.

Meanwhile, let's not forget what Martin Luther had to say on the logic and wisdom of paying money in order to receive an intangible guarantee of remission of sin, at Wittenberg in 1517:

27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory;


31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.

32. Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.

I don't know about "damned", but they'll certainly be broke, along with any state that gets involved in this ridiculous traffic - especially since it's the government that's buying the indulgences with taxpayer money.

The irony, of course, is that while you can still get a plenary indulgence via the Roman Catholic Church on special occasions, the Church at least has the good grace not to charge for them anymore.


P.S.  The collapse of the carbon credit is exactly what I predicted more than three years ago:

If the AGW thesis is wrong – and it is – and human-produced carbon dioxide has no significant impact on climate – and it doesn’t – then carbon credits are worthless. Once investors realize this, the carbon market will swiftly go the way of tulip bulbs, dot-com stocks, imaginary gold mines in Mississippi, jackasses from Spain, and other “undertakings of great advantage, but nobody to know what they are.” As noted above, whenever an economic bubble pops, the first investor to bail out loses the least money. But his flight may also accidentally spark a sell-off, creating a collapse where there was none before. Anyone holding a large portfolio of a carbon credits would be ill-advised to attempt to sell, as other investors would take the large portfolio-holder’s actions as a vote of non-confidence in the stock, potentially precipitating the very collapse that he or she hopes to avoid. Moreover, the act of selling requires a buyer. A collapse of the carbon market sparked by the implosion of the AGW thesis would by definition preclude a rebound in prices. In such circumstances, who would be so foolish as to buy carbon credits on the down-tick?

The caliphs of carbon are caught in a cleft stick of their own cutting, deeply enmeshed in a market whose existence is predicated upon a scientific theory that has demonstrably failed. The carbon bubble is over-ripe and ready to burst; the only question is who will be the first to jump. What is perhaps most distasteful in this whole enterprise is the fact that “carbon credits” have been sold to a credulous public as a moral obligation; a means of offsetting the damage allegedly caused to the environment by the mundane, day-to-day activities of the citizens of the advanced, industrialized countries. The panjandrums of climate panic tell us, day in and day out, that emitting carbon is sinful. How convenient, then, that the well-meaning but scientifically na├»ve citizens should be able to assuage their guilty environmental consciences by funnelling a few dollars here and there to foreign governments via a helpful middleman, who merely siphons a pittance off the top.

Saw it coming, people. The only thing keeping this toxic farce alive is governments that refuse to look at the evidence.  The Vatican looked at Martin Luther the same way for a long time, and the results, from 1517-1648, were unpleasant (see Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly for an in-depth discussion of how the Renaissance popes, by denying legitimate grievances for so long, ended up provoking the Protestant Secession).  - DN