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Another view that must not be heard

The BBC's Matt McGrath has been looking at a new report by a green think tank called the Stockholm Environment Institute. No surprise there - there is a general acceptance among BBC environment journalists that green think tanks are the ones that publish interesting stuff.

The report looks quite good, describing how many of the carbon credits awarded to Russia and Ukraine are actually fraudulent. This is, in itself, not surprising either - I made a similar point in the report I wrote for GWPF on the unintended consequences of climate policy.

I was intrigued by McGrath's choice of talking heads in his article. The report's authors aside, there was a Russian chap involved in the carbon trading industry who said that everything was within the rules and someone from the Carbon Trust, a body that pushes carbon trading in the UK, who said that the rules needed tightening up.

There was not a squeak from anyone who took the view, as I do, that carbon trading is a stupid idea and inherently linked to corruption and graft. Mine is just another of the political, economic and philosophical views that the BBC manages to ignore.

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Reader Comments (41)

Actually saying in pixel that a scam is involved is at least a step in the right direction for McGrath and the Beeb

Aug 25, 2015 at 9:35 AM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

It should come as a surprise to no-one that the law of unintended consequences applies and that corrupt organisations and corrupt countries would take advantage of unaccountable schemes set up by unaccountable organisations and bureaucracies. I exclude the BBC from the list of those to whom it would come as no surprise, since they have no investigative journalists or people with real world experience and accept unquestioningly anything labelled remotely as green.

Aug 25, 2015 at 9:35 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Douglas Adams

"This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy."

Sometimes you wonder if Mr Adams wasn't the Nostradamus of the late 20th Century. Let's hope the Vogon thing wasn't literal.

Aug 25, 2015 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Selling shares in air.
Future generations will look back at this stupidity and split their sides laughing

Aug 25, 2015 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

In Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy They had a perfect solution; they conned all the useless members of society on a spaceship to nowhere.

Aug 25, 2015 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

From 13.0min on. Enjoy !

Aug 25, 2015 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

david smith

But the most absurd and preposterous of all, and which shewed, more completely than any other, the utter madness of the people, was one started by an unknown adventurer, entitled "A company for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is."
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay, (1814-1889)
Chapter 2, The South-Sea Bubble
Says it all, really.

Aug 25, 2015 at 10:30 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Shame they couldn't get a voice from the FCA.

I'd suggest that if there is no secondary market, the primary market is probably broken as well.

When you have that much worthless scrip in circulation the South Sea Bubble effect can't be far off.

Aug 25, 2015 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterClovis Marcus

Which of the several forms of carbon do they want to trade? The diamond form is already being traded as is the amorphous form which doesn't leave much of value to trade. In fact it has all the attributes of a scam looking for suckers to fleece. Those that advocate it are just snake oil salesmen and should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

Aug 25, 2015 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterivan

'Carbon trading' was, is and always will be a complete scam. It's had precisely ZERO impact on global warming, climate change or even atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which kind of renders it the very definition of pointless.

Aug 25, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Carbon markets are unique in that there is no natural tension between buyer and seller. Both can benefit from fraudulent transactions.

Aug 25, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterSean

The Stockholm Environment Institute is no innocuous "green think tank" it is part of the AGW political network. It also has a centre in York:

Check out Carl Folke of the Stockholm Resilience Centre

Professor Carl Folke is Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, one of the collaborating partners of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

"He is currently on the Board of the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Scientific Advisory Board of the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies (SARAS), Scientific Advisory Board of the STEPS Centre, UK, the Steering Committee of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, Leeds University/London School of Economics, the Scientific Committee of the Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), ICSU and of the Volvo Environment Prize.

He serves as Associate Faculty of the Earth System Governance Project, and on the Advisory Board to the research group Innovation in Governance, Centre for Technology & Society (ZTG), Technische Universität Berlin, and to the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS-Net)."

The Beijer Institute and the Stockholm Environment Institute:

In 1977 Welshman Gordon Goodman became the founding Director of the Beijer Institute in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Institute, set up to study energy and human ecology, began work on problems of energy use, environmental impacts and economic growth and development. In 1989, the Swedish Government set up a new environment/development agency, the Stockholm Environment Institute. Gordon Goodman was invited to become its first director.

Richard Lindzen spoke of Goodman in his 2008 paper, "Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?"

"The founding of the Climate Action Network can be traced back to the early involvement of scientists from the research ENGO community. These individuals, including Michael Oppenheimer from Environmental Defense, Gordon Goodman of the Stockholm Environmental Institute (formerly the Beijer Institute), and George Woodwell of the Woods Hole Research Center were instrumental in organizing the scientific workshops in Villach and Bellagio on ‘Developing Policy Responses to Climate Change’ in 1987 as well as the Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere in June 1988"

Check out Johann Rockstrom, Executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre:

He is also a colleague of John (By appointment to the Pope) Schellnhuber, as vice-chair of the science advisory board of the Potsdam Institute. He also happens to be on the Editorial Advisory Board of Environmental Research Letters, where Myles Allen, Peter Gleick and Stefan Rahmstorf are on the Executive Board.

He is also a member of the Earth League with Schellnhuber, Lord Stern, former WWF and E3G Jennifer Morgan, now WRI and PIK co-director Otto Edenhofer

They were described by PIK like this 04/22/2015 - "The Earth League, an international alliance of prominent climate scientists, outlined the elements of a global climate agreement in a stark statement published today, coinciding with Earth Day."

Economists and Political scientists have now become "Climate Scientists".

Wheels within wheels, within wheels and never any shortage of funding.

Aug 25, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

..Mine is just another of the political, economic and philosophical views that the BBC manages to ignore....

To a point, Lord Copper...

You are not ignored. It's just that you can't turn a huge ship into reverse when it's steaming full speed ahead. Stories like this are part of the process for stopping the ship - which will take decades to manage completely. Say, 2040?

These stories will become more frequent, and will enable supporters of the AGW scam to claim later that it was actually all true and correct, but that 'criminal elements' and other 'greedy capitalists' had ruined their attempts to save the world, and so they had to give it up.

They will further justify this in 2040 by saying "You know that we have a decent life at the moment? Well, think how much better it would have been if we had managed to improve the environment in the 2000s...". And if they are still pressed on the topic, to explain just how it would be better, they will do what Eric Hobsbawm did when Communism fell, and keep insisting that they were right, in spite of all the evidence...

Aug 25, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Kyoto protocol's carbon credit scheme ‘increased emissions by 600m tonnes’

Major UNFCCC carbon trading scheme hit by serious corruption allegations involving organised crime in Russia and Ukraine

Aug 25, 2015 at 11:50 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Mr Geezer:
They will further justify this in 2040 by saying, "Isn't it a bit too cold?"

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:01 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

Aug 25, 2015 at 10:44 AM Clovis Marcus

I'd suggest that if there is no secondary market, the primary market is probably broken as well.

Really? If you are a crook, the market is working perfectly - "This was like printing money" - quote, Vladyslav Zhezherin, a co-author of the study.

h/t for the concept, Mark Steyn:

"If you're a liberal crook, Washington the market isn't in the least bit "broken": It's given you crooks Obamacare, same-sex marriage, massive expansion of welfare loads of money... It's an effective vehicle for delivering to liberals crooks the world they want to live in."

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

There is a great deal of value in carbon+O, +H, +etc. There is very little value in C itself, except in crystalline form. Trading that form has been around for quite sometime. Likewise added value forms of carbon, like oil, or cattle, or timber have been traded for quite sometime. But trading carbon? They are obviously after CO2.
Trading the right to produce CO2 is something that those creative Germans could have utilized in the 1930's and possibly found a more final final solution.
The idea of trading CO2 production rights when we have not a decent handle on the world CO2 budget, are not the largest producer of CO2 on the planet, and can link no direct impact to the production of CO2 leaves the marketers little different from flimflam con artists, at best.

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Yesterday's Guardian. LOL !

Kyoto protocol's carbon credit scheme ‘increased emissions by 600m tonnes’

This is my website,scrap the trade. Global carbon trading collapsed partly because the system was so corrupt. The EU system continues because corruption is its natural habitat. It has had to be bailed out

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

My view is that the reason global warming became a major political issue was the potential huge profits for banking and big business, particularly big oil projected from carbon trading. Trillions of dollars free carbon credits were corruptly handed out. The science became irrelevant. They just kept lying .

What's happened is that the jiggery pokery tweaking of the 1990s has come home to roost and temperatures are unlikely to rise more than a small, background natural increase from now on. Hansen was essentially a environmental nutter and he was lying

Essentially. Game over.

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

People got paid to create legislation about taxing carbon emissions.

People learned how to maximise their profits legally out of carbon emissions trading.

People learned how to really maximise their profits out of dodgy emissions trading.

Everyone who pays for the scam, is worse off, without any benefit at all.

If Douglas Adams had written a book about this absurdity, it would have been dismissed as tragicomical climate science fiction. Forget Malthus, is this about the human race evolving to create its own destruction? Ehrlichistic self destruction?

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie

Hansen is just another Ehrlich. he endorsed this extreme eco fascist book by Keith Farnish.

Farnish writes

"The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the
survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization"


Unloading essentially means the removal of an existing burden: for
instance, removing grazing domesticated animals, razing cities to
the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas
emissions machine. The process of ecological unloading is an
accumulation of many of the things I have already explained in
this chapter, along with an (almost certainly necessary) element
of sabotage.

Hansen wrote


Keith Farnish has it right: time has practically run out, and the 'system' is the
problem. Governments are under the thumb of fossil fuel special
interests - they will not look after our and the planet's
well-being until we force them to do so, and that is going to
require enormous effort. -

-Professor James Hansen, GISS, NASA

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

The UK debt is increasing by around £2billion each week (£33/person).

According to the independent, the "BBC could be worth pounds 7bn in a sell-off".

So only 3.5 weeks of the debt, largely created by the BBC itself through its public-service debt-is-good-for-us-earning-money-through-industry-is-bad culture.

But at least the BBC is good for something!
That's something like 70 hospitals!
(And we'd get rid of the anti-industry culture that infests Britain stemming from the BBC).

Aug 25, 2015 at 12:59 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

First they came for the Uranium, and I did not speak out - because I was scared of the bomb;
Then they came for the CH2, and I did not speak out - because I Cycle;
Then they came for the Carbon, and I did not speak out - because I don't like smog;
Then they came for the CH4, and I did not speak out - because of the tremors;
Then they came for me - and I was alone, freezing in the dark

Aug 25, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Esmiff, of course Hansen et al, would be very quick to DENY their crimes against humanity, including condemning millions to die prematurely, having lived in abject poverty.

The Green Blob have a Malthusian genetic defect, obliging them to destroy more lives than the Third Reich. But only for their own good.

Aug 25, 2015 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie
As in "we had to destroy all the people to save them"?
Or the more likely version, "we had to eliminate all the poor, weak, 'different' people in order to save our own luxurious lifestyle."
It would be fun to be a fly on the wall when they wake up and discover that it is the efforts of the poor, weak, and different people that make their luxurious lifestyle possible.

Aug 25, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson

What these idiots fail to appreciate as their policies lead to mass death, is there will not be anyone left to grow a coffee bean, let alone make any of the exotic machinery designed to produce the perfect tripple latte frappacino mocha with piped double salto, that they have become accustomed to. How will any of them be able to read a Guardian article ever again, let alone write one?

Aug 25, 2015 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A very sick and terminally corrupted society behoves the certainty of natural and implacable justice and this way like the seasons and the tides - it cometh.

Western society, economies are in full hubris mode. The Goddess Nemesis nears and she will be terrible as she is irresistible, we are caught between the horns of such an enormous calamity - the mere thought of which is too awful to contemplate.

Fiat currency, South Sea Bubble, Bernie Madoff "investment schemes", housing bubble Osbornonomics, Prudence MacMental "end to boom and bust" onomics, carbon credits, Corbynonomics - if it is too good to be f**kin' true - then you're being well and truly scammed and all the way up your own fundament.

It must be said, though most were innocents in the wider scheme of things and small cogs [taxpayers] in the bigger plays........................ Actually? To some extent, whether it be from the pen of Sophocles or, of Biblical extract - ie Sodom and Gomorrah, by looking the other way and enjoying the moment, we kinda brought this down on our own heads.

Aug 25, 2015 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Robin Hood and his Merrymen are famous in folklore for robbing from the rich to give to the poor, whilst dressed in green costumes, including tights.

The Robbing Hoodies of the 21st century, mug everyone, mostly the poor, to enrich themselves, under a cloak of Green. (Tights are now optional, under equality and personal hygiene legislation.)

Aug 25, 2015 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie 2.08pm
My point precisely.
We could do a further working of Niemoller's "First they came ..." along the lines of "First we went for the ..." and ending up "Then we went for our dinner but ..."
It'll need some work. Contributions gratefully received!

Aug 25, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson, The Green Bewilderment

First they came for the rich, but I did not care, as I was not rich
Then they came for the poor, but I did not care, as I was not poor.
Then they came for the workers, but I did not care, as I did not work.
Then no one came to empty the bins, and I did care, because everyone I blamed, was not there.

Aug 25, 2015 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mike Jackson,

Then we went for dinner, and were shown to a beautiful wild meadow, with grass and wild flowers of many colours, with rabbits, and sheep, and cows. It was so beautiful. They gave us a knife and fork and said we could help ourselves, as nobody else would. So we went home, hungry, as we realised we did not know what to do.

Aug 25, 2015 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Something along those lines would fill the bill!
Back to James Burke and Connections, one episode of which asked the question in relation to the big black-out in New England: what would you do if the lights didn't come back on? Where would you go to survive? Would you know where that was and would you have the means to get there? And would you know what to do when you got there? And even if you did could you do it, given that even then (80s) electric power was essential for running a modern farm? And so on.
The eco-activists are relying on race memory to teach themselves how to survive in a land with nothing that used coal or oil in its production and with virtually no artificial aids of any description and they don't realise that that is the logical conclusion to their machinations.

Aug 25, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson 4:21

But Greens believe that the Government, with unlimited funds, is obliged to pay for the problems they have created, without any workers doing any work, all powered by organic baked beans and a wind generator.

And if you tell that to the politicians of today, they won't believe a word of it.( courtesy of Monty Python, Yorkshire accent optional)

Aug 25, 2015 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The eco-activists are relying on race memory to teach themselves how to survive in a land with nothing that used coal or oil in its production and with virtually no artificial aids of any description and they don't realise that that is the logical conclusion to their machinations.

Agreed - "realise" and "logical conclusion" don't chime in malformed minds.

Historians can draw on parallels, when and only - anarchic lawlessness was the undoing of vast empires and civilization*.

The green loonies and halfwit politicians, care not, don't know what they're tinkering with - blackouts can beget much more than tenebrous urban landscapes, it manifests at first misbehaviour and eventually shapes to evil and man's most basic instincts can run amok We know well that, here in Britain, the veneer of 'civilization' is measured not in fractions of inches but is a caul and a patina of single atoms. It wouldn't take much.

The time was when Roman Britain was part of a pretty much functioning empire, then the legions departed and the Brits were left to fend for themselves. Today, presently in Britain which only has a standing army of some 80 thousand souls, the police are so ineffectual and anyway infiltrated so as to be 100% useless and what with the remainder of civil authorities would melt away in days - as they doubtless did in Romano Britain................ Despite what many think of the Romans, even those majority of Brits who despised Rome and all that it entailed, probably they rued the day the legions left British shores, and Pax Britannica was lamented and yearned by good and bad men.

To run a country you need the rule of law, when the law disappears - evil dances abroad.

I dunno about you Mike but I think the parallel is too bloody real.

*civilization - a subjective and individual evaluation..

Aug 25, 2015 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Believe it or not, a few years ago, one of the UNEP's very own "children" - in this instance the Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS) - had sounded a few alarm bells pertaining to the "carbon trading" game.

As I had noted and quoted in a post:

Thematic focus: Environmental governance, Climate change

The impact of corruption on climate change: threatening emissions trading mechanisms?
Emissions trading systems are often hailed as a powerful and cost-efficient approach to dealing with the multi-faceted challenges posed by climate change (Kossoy and Guignon, 2012). The UNFCCC estimates that these systems will contribute a significant portion of the funds necessary for climate change mitigation (UNFCCC, 2007).

[followed by the flies in this ointment. Original is a single para which I have broken up here for ease of reading, and added my own bold -hro:]

Corruption impacts the success of emissions trading schemes by reducing the overall reliability and effectiveness of GHG markets. The implementation of cap-and-trade systems in both developed and developing countries has been recurrently tainted by cases of fraud and bribery, abuses of power, and other conventional forms of corruption.

Corruption in this sector has also taken more original forms, such as the strategic exploitation of ‘bad science’ and scientific uncertainties for profit, the manipulation of GHG market prices, and anti-systemic speculation (Lohmann, 2007; TI, 2012a; Wara, 2007).

The challenge that corruption poses to climate finance also contributes to broader debates about the impact of corruption in environmental governance.

Over the past two decades, domestic and international anti-corruption initiatives have proliferated, with the process being largely driven by the increasing recognition of the impact of corruption on the quality of environmental governance.

To the best of my knowledge, the UNEP has not succeeded in fixing these problems - nor perhaps even tried! Well, except to the extent that there's a greater emphasis in UNEP honcho generated word salads on "sustainable development" - and a concomitant growing need (of course!) to put "nature on the balance sheet" - and less on the purported perils of "climate change".

Aug 25, 2015 at 5:48 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

...all powered by organic baked beans and a wind generator.
No comment!

Aug 25, 2015 at 5:57 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

My read is that carbon trading has been slowly moved from "good" to "bad" in the eyes of the green hive.

Here are things that were "good," but are now "bad"
Very old - Bio Fuel
Old - Natural gas bridge fuel
Recent - Carbon trading

I believe Instead of carbon trading, the green hive now prefers a straight carbon tax (more cash for boondoogles, less ways for evil fossil fuels to avoid bankruptcy).


Aug 25, 2015 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames

Hilary Ostrov, the United Nations Environment Programme has fabricated problems that only their anointed experts are capable of solving , and over inflated problems always require over inflated salaries.

"No one would have believed in the last years of the twentieth century, that this world was being watched, by an intelligence more greedy and dangerous than the average man, ...." and thus the War of the World began.

Aug 25, 2015 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

One shouldn't forget that one of the (presumably unintended) side effects of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was the deliberate production of HFC-23 in order to get carbon credits for destroying it. The Environmental Investigation Agency* wrote:

Refrigerant manufacturers were transformed overnight by the CDM into ventures that generated large volumes of CERs [Certified Emission Reduction credits], with a sideline in the manufacture of industrial gases.

*Not to be confused with the more well-known EIA = [U.S.] Energy Information Administration.

Aug 25, 2015 at 6:55 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Green fish tanks need thorough clearing, cleaning and flushing out. Green think tanks respond well, to similar treatment.

Aug 25, 2015 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

TinyCO2 says

'Let's hope the Vogon thing wasn't literal'

I have news for you all. I think you can guess what it is.....

Aug 26, 2015 at 6:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterProstetnic Vogon Jeltz

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