Monday 8 November 2021

COP a load of this ...

So that's Week 1 of COP26: can we sum up where things stand?  (BTW, since I'm about to take the whole Glasgow thing at face value, I invite several of our esteemed BTL crew to switch off now, if they've even got beyond clicking past the very headline itself ...)

Actually, summarising has proved very difficult for the meejah - particularly the Graun and their like.  I think we may safely skip "gender" day and "youth" day, if we're taking things seriously.  Obviously with the Big Shots (less HMQ & Xi & Putin) only in town Mon-Tues of last week, it was always going to be the showy announcements up front, followed by the long nights of grinding spade-work in arrears.  Thus, much of the commentary has been "the devil is in the detail" - pretty lame, but basically true.  However, at face value the announcements on coal, methane, deforestation, finance and the like represent genuine steers for business and capital alike.  We still have carbon trading to come.

(By the way, as I've been saying here for 2 years, for business purposes there is Absolutely No Point in saying it's all a waste of time.  As well say in 1941, we really shouldn't have declared war, it's all getting very costly.  Nope: it's quite simply the only game in town.  So, face value it is.) 

The poor old Graun is left floundering, wanting desperately to say both (a) this is really important Last Chance Saloon stuff & deserves our best efforts & goodwill;  but also (b) Boris is a big embarrassment and it's all going badly tits-up.  So easy to snipe; but they have to stay optimistic.

So what are we to make of all these declarations with differing lists of signatories each time?  Pragmatism, I'd say.  Naming and shaming.  Putting China on the spot - and India, and Australia - since they are the big absentees from most of the declarations.  (Nobody, I think, expects anything of Putin anyhow.)  We know that the CPC refuses to acknowledge any higher authority than itself, so they are never going to bind themselves anyway.  

OK, so the CPC will always put continued economic growth ahead of anything (expect Taiwan).   But they do have a range of foreign policy goals in play, which includes building a voting-bloc of developing nations that can reliably be leaned on to stay with China's line on, well, on anything they dictate.  (In return for hard cash, of course.)  The Graun's feeble if lengthy effort to write up Week 1 contains this interesting throwaway line: 

Joe Biden used his final words to take a swipe at China. The Chinese delegation seemed less perturbed, having its own issues with marshalling smaller developing countries, which are concerned that the 1.5C goal is slipping out of reach.

That's the most interesting thing I've seen written down** over the past 10 days.  There's the germ of something big in that.  More popcorn for Week 2, please.



**And it's by Fiona Harvey, for whom I have low regard   


Sackerson said...

Oh gosh, you mean there's more of this to come? I'd hoped they'd all buggered off home by now.

Don Cox said...

It will probably go on and on, until the panic about the CO2 level in the atmosphere being dangerously low and threatening an ice age begins.

Don Cox

dearieme said...

It's like an exercise at school: now, class, neglecting the fact that the whole schemozzle is bogus, you are to write an essay based on the proposition that it is real.

djm said...

Even the man who thought this was all this so tiresome finds he is more tired than previously thought possible

E-K said...

Greta Doom-Goblin gets uglier by the day.

Anonymous said...

What a load of Cop

DJK said...

Just about every government on Earth, bar the Chinese, has signed up to the jist of the COP26 agenda, so as ND says, it's happening come what may. I don't know if the science is right but the weather is clearly much milder than it was fifty years ago. Anyway...

AEP reports in the Telegraph that there is a tsunami of private money waiting to be invested in green technology. And that seems to be Goldman-alumnus Rishi Sunak's view. Our government hopes that private money will come and invest in all the new stuff that's going to be needed. Which is all well and good, except that that outsize wall of private money will expect an outsize return before any wallets get opened. That in turn means government imposed green levies on electricity, laws forcing homeowners to buy (or with Goldman Sachs involved, lease) air source heat pumps, etc. etc. So in other words, it comes down to yet another scheme to enrich the 0.01%, by extracting rents from the rest of us.

Nick Drew said...

@ it comes down to yet another scheme to enrich the 0.01%, by extracting rents from the rest of us

DJK has the essence of it. My thesis (since 2019, see this blog passim) has been this:

(1) It's the only game in town and everyone knows it: like being in WW2 1941+
(2) The amounts of money involved mean that everyone has to play & pay, and will play & pay, whether through business choice or via mandatory participation. [Greens would say, via it being real, of course]
(3) So: as always in capitalistic societies (where there is at least something of a choice), whom is it to be? Because all of the following intend to take the lion's share:

(a) business & banking: or
(b) the "world government" mob? (represented by a tangle of inter-dependent and deeply non-transparent NGOs: government by clique), which senses this as a glorious opportunity to take command of the world's pension funds and tax receipts for their elitist purposes: or
(c) the redistributive Left? - which sees this as a glorious opportunity to advance socialism, globally, via the wholly flexible "just transition" clauses: or
(d) charlatans, con-artists, kleptocrats, outright crooks and organised crime?

The answer is of course (a). Business etc can be made to compete openly for its slice of the action - the only effective 'efficiency' discipline known to man, (aside from jailing the occasional CEO) - & taxed etc. Yes, the current fashion is for rent-seeking - so it's nothing new - and there will be many such opportunities. But that's up to our politicians to regulate away from that. It can be done.

I was going to say, (a)-(d) in order of legitimacy, but there's a case to be made for (c) being more legitimate than (b). There is of course a great deal of collusion and overlap across all four categories.

The World Government / NGO crew (b) should be a fertile area for investigative journalism. It's really interesting and really murky. Lurking within are some fairly grandiose schemes.

(c) also provides endless entertainment but its working parts are easier to watch in action. "Just Transition" can mean, e.g. "build a big new steel works" (the Labour Party Green New Deal manifesto 2019), and "nationalise everything in sight". You can find Lefties quite openly saying "Joe Biden shows the way: you call it a Green New Deal / Infrastructure investment programme, budget $1 trillion, then you insert all your social policy". Well, Infrastructure can certainly mean a lot of different things... These people betray not a whit of interest in the Green aspect, beyond its trojan-horse potential.

dearieme said...

I think I'll buy some shares in Exxon.

Jan said...

Yes the 0.01% are laughing and that includes all the big pharma as well as the banks/big business/world government crew. They have been laughing since the start of the plandemic.

I know big pharma are part of big business but I think they need a special mention!

lilith said...

I have bought shares in oil and mining. Just because we can't actually function without these resources and they are inexpensive at the moment.

Dustybloke said...

I tire of this.. it’s like watching the witchfinder general in drag. In 2100 this will be the subject of hologram comedy shows about crazy stupid ancients.

APL said...

"Nobody, I think, expects anything of Putin anyhow."

The fact that he opposes this bullshit is enough for me. Go Putin!

dearieme: "I think I'll buy some shares in Exxon."

I read the absolute tosh that constitutes some of 'big oil' AGMs and, it is just drivel. BP is in the process of converting itself to a supposedly 'renewable' energy company, ffs!!

But they are all subscribers to and financiers of the program.

APL said...

Lilith: "I have bought shares in oil and mining. Just because we can't actually function without these resources and they are inexpensive at the moment."

Here is a question. I rather like Rio, but given the collapse of the Chinese 'realestate' sector, the demand for raw materials in China - I presume they will stop building empty cities, now - implies a big loss of market for them. Any thoughts ?

lilith said...

It's all a gamble isn't it APL? I'm a total novice and intensely naive when it comes to the stock market but raw materials held long term doesn't seem a bad bet. Besides, there's more cold winters coming. Others like property companies and land banks. I know nothing Jon Snow.