Monday, November 23, 2009

Shell Pushes for "Unfettered" Cap and Trade

Cap & Trade or Carbon Tax?

Silicon Valley – It's the Derivatives Beast, Stupid! Get over yourselves and embrace the politics of eco-guilt and its elitist fraternal twin, cap and trade.

Climateer Investing reports that Shell Oil is pushing for an “unfettered” carbon trading market, along with BP Plc. Both support cap-and-trade, while Exxon Mobile Corp. prefers a more environmentally and consumer friendly carbon tax scheme. LWOH readers will recall that even the world's flattest and not-so-hottest NYT opinionator trashed cap-and-trade BEFORE he was for it. As yours truly has suggested, when former billionaire Tom Friedman is following the money, it's time to take a closer look at who's behind the next bubble. After all, if the U.S. can't keep its intellectual property safe from the Chinese or make stuff here anymore, what do Americans do for jobs? Time to tap George Soros and trot out the Goldman Sachs investment bankers. So...

Bend Over, Here it Comes Again! This from Climateer:

Remember, just as economists using the tools of science (mathematics) doesn't make economics a science, artificial constructs like cap-and-trade using the tools of markets doesn't make the racket "market based".”

For more LWOH cap-and-trade market analysis, there are also voluntary cap-and-trade programs such as the one operated by the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), whose inbred and humble roots began with the current POTUS along with an all-too familiar, all-star caste.

As yours truly has also noted here, even Al Gore expressed the downside of cap and trade, preferring the more sensible carbon-based tax system which would create direct incentives to develop and use less carbon-intensive fuels and more energy-efficient technologies. Avast, me hearties! The Derivatives Beast waits for no one.

In other exciting news, Al Gore's Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers VC funded 25 or so person start-up Hara Software, which came out of stealth mode a few months ago, has been described as a “hot commodity.” Their product is meant to track the carbon footprints of large corporations and to identify or police “a business' entire environmental impact from laptop to long-haul truck.” Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers invested $6 million in venture capital with recent follow on investments from JAFCO Ventures and Nth Power. Fast Company explains Hara's noble rot or “low-hanging fruit” identification scheme:

Hara CEO Amit Chatterjee says the software, "is focused on understanding organizational metabolism, the input and output of natural resources and energy."  Hara--"Fresh green" in Sanskrit--tracks use of electricity, water, chemicals, and gas, and compares it to outputs of waste water, greenhouse gas, and solid waste. The software identifies the "low-hanging fruit", or the simplest ways to cut energy use and waste, along with longer-term goals.”

Hara has also managed to attract Rupert Murdoch to help his media company, News Corp clean up their emissions, or whatever it is that they drag around in their canvas bags for lunch. News Corp go carbon neutral by 2010. It's one thing to ask the local steel mill to go all carbon neutral, but an office full of self-satisfied, upwardly-urban, literate neophytes? Aren't these people already heeding the climate change memo by wearing more sweaters in the winter, turning the lights off, recycling  their empty ale bottles and cooling it on the A/C during hot summer days like the rest of the world's eco-serfs?

News Corp’s manager of Energy Initiatives, Vijay Sudan, said in the company's report that News Corp had looked “at numerous solutions” and chose Hara “due to the intuitive nature as well as the breadth and depth of the Hara solution.” Given the sheer size of News Corp, Hara has bagged a very large win for such a small, newbie firm. Back in 2007 Murdoch described the impact of News Corp going carbon neutral as similar to “turning off the electricity in the city of London for five full days.”

There we have it. In a million, climate change wracked years, London would not ever stand for the electricity being turned off for a five full days. And with Hara's low-hanging fruit detection technology, let's hope that Murdoch's noble soldiers on the front lines will not end up losing the war on climate change, and that a good time will be had by all. After that, at least a few investors will collect their checks and go back to their country houses or Westminster flats.

Elaine Meinel Supkis at Culture of Life News offers signs of intelligent life in the blogosphere on the subject of cap and trade, as she reports how hackers released private global warming emails:

The obvious hysteria of the people pushing us into the fatal carbon trading market scheme has alerted many people who already are not prone to trust bankers, into digging in heels over global warming.  And thus, we are set on the path to another mega-confrontation that will not be based on science by EITHER side of the issue but will be mostly emotional.

About those emails, while one can reasonably conclude that although the science of global warming is real, a current cooling trend is here. One of the emails indicated that one scientist had to hide and bury the current cooling trend in the data INSTEAD of explaining or clarifying it with regards to “global warming.” Supkis correctly points out that the emails do not disprove global warming, but rather show that “scientists can be stupid or difficult like other people.” She truly understands the science behind global warming and the political and economic motivations prompting the urgency going into Copenhagen:

Global warming was NOT embraced by the ruling elites until it was connected to the Derivatives Beast. Then and only then, did it take off like a rocket. Only, the sun didn’t cooperate, did it?”



Devereaux said...

It states: The software then forecasts future emissions and helps a company choose ways to reduce them, like new lights or a different type of refrigerator. It tracks its progress and creates an audit trail.

Too truthy, you don't expect companies to actually hire smart people smart enough to know where to buy dingy lightbulbs and energy efficient refrigerators, do you?

The order of magnitude that such a souped up spreadsheet program can deliver is phenomenal. Not only that, but the fact that money is being sucked out of the real economy into speculative markets like this are necessary to keep the international financial markets flowing and to snare even more *real* money into it. Who cares if this creates a shortage of buying power for ordinary people or causes economic deflation in some countries? It inflates national currencies all around the world where disconnected, big players are divorced from economic reality and any contribution to the public good.

2Truthy said...

I do expect companies to behave as good community stewards of local business hiring practices that promote prosperity for our citizens and local economies.
My concern is that U.S. subsidized dollars for companies that develop gussied up tracking solutions under the banner of "climate change" (and IT electronic health records) are not instead being spent on first rate R&D development to invent actual pollution control technologies, cure cancer and provide universal health care for all.

Jarrolds said...

I doubt Obama would even get this great post.