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January 03rd 2016 print

Michael Kile

Banking on the Climate Hustle

So you think carbonphobics fall into only two categories: useful idiots who fret loudly about a non-existent threat and careerists happy to whip up the scare stories that keep their grants coming. Well, there is a third set of snouts in the trough -- bankers and 'green fund' managers. Hold on to your wallet

scamIIAn international pension-fund coalition — co-founded by a UN agency last September — showed great enthusiasm for decarbonisation in Paris last month. It wants to shift at least USD600 billion of other people’s money into renewable energy projects. But only if governments establish ‘legal frameworks to protect long-term investors’ and to ensure ‘capital reallocation’ is risk-free – that is, underwritten by taxpayers – in perpetuity. Nice work if you can get it.

Climate-caliphate: 1. Entity led by a climate-caliph, generally an eco-zealot, ex-politician or career bureaucrat turned climate propagandist; elected by a shadowy process. 2. Global climate-caliphate: theocratic one-world government or de facto government; an ideology or aspiration of this kind promoted by a militant fossil-free sect, or radical group intending to behead, disembowel, or otherwise degrade Western economies with the two-edged sword of wealth redistribution and ‘decarbonisation’, while reciting mantras about ‘saving the planet’. Also known as Agenda 21.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was not the only agency excited by the 21st annual Conference of the Parties (COP). Another group ecstatic about the prospect of a ‘low-carbon’ world was the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the 43-year-old brainchild of the late Maurice Strong.

Strong, who passed away at 86, just two days before COP21 began in Paris, was a UNEP founding Executive Director. Achim Steiner, UNEP’s current Under-Secretary General and Executive Director – and a past Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature – described him as one of the world’s greats, ‘a visionary and a pioneer of global sustainable development’. Warming to his eulogist’s task, he continued, “Strong will forever be remembered for placing the environment on the international agenda and at the heart of development. He shepherded global environmental governance processes – from the original Rio Earth Summit, Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration to the launch of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.”

His influence was great. On the eve of COP21, Mr Steiner reiterated Strong’s message to the 2014 UN General Assembly, where he called on world leaders to ‘rise to their historic responsibility as custodians of the planet [and climate], to take decisions that will unite rich and poor, North, South, East and West, in a new global partnership to ensure our common future’. Others have been less flattering. For them, Strong was a ‘consummate sleazebag, thief and all-round corruptocrat who launched and shaped the UN effort to rid the world of CO2’, who left the eco-stage just ‘as his heirs gathered in Paris to rob the world blind.’

Wherever he stands in the hierarchy of the light-fingered, there is no doubt Strong would have been pleased with UNEP’s Finance Initiative. UNEP FI was launched in 1991, when a small group of commercial banks – including Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, Natwest, Royal Bank of Canada, and Westpac – joined with it to drive the ‘banking industry’s awareness of the environmental agenda’. UNEP FI describes itself as a ‘global partnership with the financial sector’. Its mission: to persuade banks, insurers and fund managers to recognise the ‘impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance.’ Over 200 members, have signed an FI Statement of Commitment. Its recent activities, however, arguably go beyond this broad objective into new and more intriguing territory.

In the weird world of  environmental politics, the UN sees no conflict of interest in one powerful entity and its agencies being responsible for collecting data, concocting ‘projections’ and ‘storylines’, developing policy while (as we shall see) simultaneously funding and encouraging advocacy groups to pressure governments; in this instance to design or modify renewable energy (RE) and carbon-pricing regulations in its favour. Why not? Well, the ultimate beneficiaries are humankind and the planet – not just huge ticket-clipping pension funds (some with significant RE sector exposure) and career climate-bureaucrats.

Conflict of interest: 1. A situation in which the concerns or aims of two different parties are incompatible, or where a party’s responsibility to a second-party limits its ability to discharge its responsibility to a third-party. 2. A situation that has the potential to undermine an agency’s or person’s impartiality because there is the possibility of a clash between self-interest, professional interest or public interest.

An entity that has procured (allegedly) the ‘best available science’ and claims the power to induce a global Goldilocks climate – one protected by legal immunity under the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations – surely should be allowed to get on with it?

But consider another context — say, an intelligence agency – where no genuine separation exists between intelligence assessment and policy formulation, or between intelligence collection and assessment. Imagine the kerfuffle if, hypothetically, this agency engaged – or ‘co-partnered’ with – advocacy groups to promote the agency’s worldview. Imagine if such an agency felt exporting coal was no longer in Australia’s national interest and was keen to persuade the nation to oppose mining it in the interests of planetary ‘security’.

Consider now the Portfolio Decarbonisation Initiative. Launched at UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit in September 2014, it was co-founded by UNEP FI, the fourth National pension fund of Sweden, AP4, Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi, and CDP, an international not-for-profit organization reportedly holding the ‘largest global collection of corporate environmental data.’

At the beginning of COP21 week-two, the Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition – also co-founded by UNEP FI with a mission to mobilise ‘financial markets to drive economic decarbonisation’ – issued a media release designed to ‘send a strong signal to world governments gathered in Paris to negotiate a new global treaty on climate change.’ Two of the world’s largest institutional investors, Allianz and ABP, would be joining PDC. If governments were prepared to play their part, the Coalition could decarbonise at least USD600bn of assets-under-management (AUM), six times an earlier target.  (Decarbonisation strategies of its 25 members – which include the University of Sydney and Church of Sweden – are in PDC’s first annual report.)

According to Oliver Bäte, Allianz’s CEO, the group’s climate and decarbonisation actions would:

include the phasing out of coal investments, the use of environmental, social and governance scoring in investment decisions across its portfolio of own investments, and scaling up its investments in renewable energy. Allianz is one of the leading private investors in renewable energy, with more than EUR 2.5 billion committed and plans to at least double these investments.

He stressed that PDC needs “an ambitious and reliable regulatory environment now to live up to our commitment to scaling back our financing of carbon-intensive businesses, and investing in renewables and low-carbon infrastructure. If this is fulfilled, then climate protection will not fail because of a lack of funding.” (my emphasis)

There was a ‘cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements’ at the end of the PDC media release.

“The statements contained herein may include prospects, statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Etc. (my emphasis)

But there was no of mention that changes in outlook could arise due, say, to a decline in scientific ‘consensus’ about climate theory; the continuing lack of empirical validation for climate-model ‘predictions’; doubts about public statements claiming quantifiable links between atmospheric carbon dioxide, anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and future global temperatures; more revelations about the accuracy of agency data collection over time, and so on.

PDC also indicated it had no intention or ‘obligation to update any information or forward-looking statement contained herein, save for any information required to be disclosed by law.’

Whether by accident or design, only a handful attended the PDC’s 25-minute press conference. But Fred Pearce, a freelance journalist reporting for Yale Environment 360, Joel Penrick of Green TV – producer of this 56-second classic, What is climate change denial?, and Miranda Johnson of The Economist were there.

Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC’s Head of Communications, was the moderator. Mr Steiner’s principal speechwriter for over a decade, Nuttall apparently transformed its media profile and inspired ‘several landmark reports including the 2009 Climate Change Science Compendium’. Not bad for a Lancashire lad who was once sung with a US pop group and worked as a stockbroker and commodity trader.

Fiduciary duties: the duties of loyalty and care. Pet owners have FDs. So do managers of other people’s money. For them, there is an eleventh and twelfth commandment: “Thou shalt not be casual about due diligence of an investment opportunity. Thou shalt consider all the actual or potential risks involved in it.”

Miranda Johnson asked this question: “How do you balance fiduciary duties against a low-carbon portfolio, and in transitioning to an increasing low-carbon portfolio?” (14.4min.)

Oliver Bäte: “FD is not the real issue (24min.) The real issue in Allianz’s mind is often the legal frameworks for investing in RE infrastructure that are spanning decades – so you need to commit money for several decades – are not properly protecting long-term investors.”

“We are very often at the mercy of the public mainstream [voters] and courts that in hindsight declare some of these contracts invalid and therefore make it very difficult for long-term investors to justify committing money for decades.”

“So let me summarise. It is not a problem of financiers not wanting to put the money in, or a lack of liquidity. It is the wrong incentives from the public [voters] – and the wrong legal frameworks for funding infrastructure – that make it very difficult in practice.” (25min.)

Mr Bäte was right to be anxious. Governments are elected and elected governments change their policies. The UK government is one of them. A week after the COP21 ‘landmark deal in Paris’, Britain  cut more RE subsidies.

Folk still sceptical about the UN’s climate-caliphate ambitions should reflect on these closing remarks by Mr Steiner:

“Financial assets of the global banking sector alone amount to USD135 trillion. Institutional investors represent somewhere in excess of another USD100 trillion – just to give you a sense of the magnitude here. This is why what Allianz and the other PDC members are trying to get others to recognise that you can invest public finance in an alternative pathway.

But if the mainstream financial system – which is 1,000 times more significant in terms of volume and scale is investing in the other direction, you are not going to see the kind of shifts [that UNEP and the UN want]. This is why what we are now seeing in the financial and insurance world is so significant – because it reinforces what Paris COP21 is trying to do with public policy and international co-operative instruments”.  (23.50min.)

According to the panel, annual global investment of USD1 trillion in RE infrastructure was ‘doable’.  In calendar 2014 it was USD270 billion. China claims it alone will be investing USD300 billion annually from 2016.

Mr Steiner was just warming up. Later on the December 7 he gave a stirring speech to the Sustainable Innovation Forum, Why not? He was especially grateful to one sponsor – BMW – “for getting the UNEP delegation around Paris with clean consciences and clean energy in the BMW i3s. Apparently I can’t call them cars: the BMW website says they are in fact ‘sustainable, emission-free mobility’.”

Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to see what sustainable innovation has to offer, take a look at the new Clean Voyage 2, which spells out the need to shift from a linear economy that extracts, consumes and discards to low-carbon and resource-efficient growth and from subsidizing [fossil] fuels to accelerating clean renewable energy and improving efficiency. If we can use such innovation to deliver a healthy planet, with a healthy population that leaves nobody behind – why not?

Why not? As The Australian’s Graham Lloyd noted (December 11), COP21 was “a seductive echo-chamber where the political lessons of high electricity prices, failed government subsidy programs, major renewable energy company bankruptcies don’t seem to cut through the groundswell of good feelings for change.”

In Paris, not only eco-love was in the air, but also money – and a belief that, “like a Magic Pudding, the climate change response will release economic forces to rival the Industrial Revolution, liberate continents from poverty, boost food security and right historical wrongs.”

On December 10, the Geneva-based UNEP FI, Washington-based World Resources Institute and 2Degrees Investing Initiative released a new report outlining ‘options for portfolio decarbonization across asset classes, investor strategies, and metric families’: Climate Strategies and Metrics: Exploring Options for Institutional Investors. Investors wanting to ‘help facilitate low-carbon change’ would find it a ‘useful guide’. The report was funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme; the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME); the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy; and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ‘core concept’ here – according to the 2DegreesII website – is that institutional investors, banks, and financial service providers play “a key role in capital reallocation in line with 2°C climate goals. We call this mobilization and the related changes in investment frameworks ‘2° investing’.”

The financial sector’s role is to ‘supply investment capital to make the 2° transition happen’; and to anticipate changes in demand for capital, such as “introduction of more stringent carbon policies, new technologies, and the potential development of climate litigationwhich will change the risk-adjusted returns of different financial assets, creating financial risk and opportunity.”

So this 81-page document – compiled by 106 ‘technical working group members’ (page 80) – is designed to persuade institutional investors and money managers to restructure portfolios, embrace ‘climate friendliness’ and commit to lowering ‘carbon risk’.  Yet nowhere in it is there a critique of the current state of climate science – or even a footnote on the persistent areas of controversy, such as model predictive claims, ex post facto EWE attribution studies and so on.

Climate friendliness: the intent of an investor to contribute to GHG emissions reductions and the transition to a low-carbon economy through investment activities.

There are three lessons here. If you hear a banker or fund manager claiming to be a global ‘climate-protector’ and pleading for an ‘ambitious and reliable regulatory environment’ – especially one with big bucks already invested in RE - hold on to your wallet.

If you are a financial-type – especially one employed by a PDC signatory – get the company’s corporate lawyers to review your fiduciary duties. Be serious about due diligence going forward. Better to be safe than sorry.

The planet’s future climate may – or may not – turn out be an insoluble mystery, but one thing is certain. Sooner or later, the wheels will come off Clean Voyage 2 (or 1.5).  For climate-$$-change is shaping up as the greatest boondoggle in history.

Comments [11]

  1. en passant says:

    The Climate Con is simply organised crime on the largest scale ever. There have been tyrants, emperors and pillagers before, but never on this scale. The curious thing is that many of these Leftard totalitarian eco-Nazis (like committed Nazis) have become convinced that this is the right thing to do. Propaganda is in because it works, education is out, because the educated are uncontrollable.
    In the 1930′s the free world cowered before, and appeased Communism, Fascist Germany, Spain and Italy, while the militarism of Japan threatened the Far East. It was hard to see what could be done in 1937 to stop the juggernaut of totalitarianism, until they went too far.
    History repeats and this is 1937 for the climate cult, the high point of their power. At the next election in Oz, the unelected usurper must be brought down and consigned to the dustbin of history. Let’s replace the cabal and coven that infests our Parliament with people who believe in Oz sovereignty. Let Oz lead the fight back against this Dark Age of Unreason by forming the “Organisation of Pariah States’ (OoPS) with the aim of ignoring the greenfools and becoming richer than ever before We would face opposition from the People Opposing our Pariah States (POoPS), but it will be temporary as they will soon be swept away in the economic bankruptcies engulfing their sinking islands.

  2. Roy Edmunds says:

    Pretty much sums it up. What is essentially evil about it all is that third world countries and now
    developed countries will continue to sink deeper into debt to the point where basic human services will
    be unaffordable by govts. Yet the same people pushing for all this are those who support a population
    reduction by about 6 billion people….along with those who are again pushing eugenics…no wonder we think of them as Fascist (The Montpellerin Society 1947…Think Tanks promoting the return of Fascism) and Neo Nazis
    “…The “Climate expert” who presented to the world the Catholic Pope’s capitulation to the global warming swindle, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), has been directly deployed by the British Crown since at least 2004 on missions to bring governments into line on “climate and environmental protection”. He is also a member of the Club of Rome, which burst upon the world 45 years ago with a systems-analysis computer model of the future of the human species ..Limits to Growth…which was proven to be, and later admitted to be, a fraud based on deliberate “deletion” of human technological progress…” (from a CEC report) John Perkins calls it “corporatocracy”….Perkins says there are three pillars, 1. Central Banking.
    2.Multi National Corporations. 3. Government which serves the first two pillars. No pillar for people and the Christian principle of personal sovereignty..which goes hand in had with personal responsibility…does not count. What a mess the new world order is….”more like disorder” said President Clinton many years ago. And was immediately attacked in the British press the next day for daring to utter such blasphemy.

  3. Bill Martin says:

    It is to be hoped that sheer necessity, bolstered by plain old common sense will see a mad scramble before too long to build coal fired power stations as the current stock reaches the end of its useful life. Will it take the phenomenon of power cuts due to dwindling supply for that to happen? Quite possibly, because renewable sources will never be able to meet demand and coal fired plants are not being built as per the “save the planet” dictate.

  4. Ian MacDougall says:

    en passant:

    The Climate Con is simply organised crime on the largest scale ever.

    It seems that ‘sceptics’ are driven by sheer philosophical necessity to an invocation of confidence trickery and conspiracy theory. (Google *the great climate conspiracy* as I just did, and see what you come up with. I got “about 12,800,000 results (0.59 seconds)”.)
    I am not against the concept of conspiracy, but as with any con, it works best when the conspiracy is a reasonable possibility. The crucial condition is that ALL the insiders have to remain buttoned up. Only one of them needs to break solidarity, for whatever reason, and the whole thing is over. So the bigger the conspiracy, the less intrinsically watertight. Only ONE climatologist needs to turn and spill the beans, and the ship sinks. Moreover, that maverick scientist can dine out on his or her revelation for the rest of his or her days, and collect untold gold in book royalties, interview fees, film rights… etc, etc.
    Consequently, a conspiracy in order to work, cannot be a mass-production. The fewer in the know, the better. That is why, in my view, one of the few credible possibilities relates to the 1963 Kennedy assassination.
    The climate ‘sceptics’ thought Christmas had come when they got hold of those stolen Hadley Climate Centre emails that supposedly caught the climate conspirators red-handed mid-conspiracy. Unfortunately for them, that overblown ‘Climategate’ rapidly fizzled out. The mainstream scientific viewpoint on the other hand, is daily gaining support and momentum. Witness the history of UN climate conferences. Witness the crisis and division in the Liberal Party brought on by the issue: the main difference between Turnbull and Abbott (so far) being on climate.

    (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/)
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/11/the-hacked-hadley-documents/

    • Alice Thermopolis says:

      “The crucial condition is that ALL the insiders have to remain buttoned up. Only one of them needs to break solidarity, for whatever reason, and the whole thing is over. So the bigger the conspiracy, the less intrinsically watertight. Only ONE climatologist needs to turn and spill the beans, and the ship sinks.” (Ian MacDougall, above)

      Sigh. If only it were true. Many have broken ‘solidarity’, but here’s two for the record.

      Richard Lindzen, MIT Professor of Atmospheric Physics for three decades:

      “When it comes to unusual climate (which always occurs some place), most claims of evidence for global warming are guilty of the ‘prosecutor’s fallacy.’ For example this confuses the near certainty that if A shoots B, there will be evidence of gunpowder on A’s hand – with the assertion that if C has evidence of gunpowder on his hands then C shot B.”

      “With global warming the line of argument is even sillier. It generally amounts to something like if A kicked up some dirt, leaving an indentation in the ground into which a rock fell and B tripped on this rock and bumped into C who was carrying a carton of eggs which fell and broke, then if some broken eggs were found it showed that A had kicked up some dirt.” (2009 PP, slide 31)https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/cooler_heads_lindzen-talk-pdf.pdf

      Judith Curry: http://judithcurry.com/2016/01/05/climate-models-and-precautionary-measures/#more-20842

      “Simply put, the current focus on CO2 emissions reductions risks having a massively expensive global solution that is more damaging to societies than the problem of climate change.”

      Yet such issues have not discouraged modellers, governments and eco-activists eager to re-engineer the global economy and redistribute wealth.

      Even when climate scientists – like Zurich-based Reno Knutti below – publicly admit model flaws and uncertainties (aka ‘challenges’) it makes no difference to disciples of the alarmist paradigm.

      “It is common that more research uncovers a picture that is more complicated; thus, uncertainty can grow with time…..Judging the potential success of such a project is speculative, and it may simply take a long time to succeed. However, if the past is a guide to the future then uncertainties in climate change are unlikely to decrease quickly, and may even grow temporarily….It is likely that impact-relevant predictions, for example of extreme weather events, may be even harder to improve.” (Knutti, 2012, page 5)http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti12natcc.pdf

  5. gardner.peter.d says:

    The point of trade treaties such as TTIP is to bypass parliamentary scrutiny of zealot led policies in order to underwrite their boondogles with tax-payers’ money. The Green energy scam is written into TTIP and ties in nicely with the ability to sue governments if they or their uppity parliaments can’t be controlled and start asking too many questions or, heaven forefend, actually act in the interests of their nations.

    • Richard H says:

      Fortunately not in Australia (the US is another matter, but that’s their problem). Treaties can only take effect in domestic law if the Parliament enacts the provisions.

      Sadly though, plenty of diabolical policy ideas from treaties have been so enacted by our Parliament: our various ‘anti-discrimination’ Acts just for starters.

  6. Ian MacDougall says:

    But there was no of mention that changes in outlook could arise due, say, to a decline in scientific ‘consensus’ about climate theory; the continuing lack of empirical validation for climate-model ‘predictions’; doubts about public statements claiming quantifiable links between atmospheric carbon dioxide, anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and future global temperatures; more revelations about the accuracy of agency data collection over time, and so on.

    As against that:

    National and international science academies and scientific societies have assessed current scientific opinion on global warming. These assessments are generally consistent with the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report summarized:

    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as evidenced by increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, the widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.
    Most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to human activities.
    Benefits and costs of climate change for [human] society will vary widely by location and scale. Some of the effects in temperate and polar regions will be positive and others elsewhere will be negative. Overall, net effects are more likely to be strongly negative with larger or more rapid warming.
    The range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.
    The resilience of many ecosystems is likely to be exceeded this century by an unprecedented combination of climate change, associated disturbances (e.g. flooding, drought, wildfire, insects, ocean acidification) and other global change drivers (e.g. land-use change, pollution, fragmentation of natural systems, over-exploitation of resources).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    A list of the 197 scientific organisations worldwide that endorse AGW is available at https://www.opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php

    Australian organisations include:

    Australian Academy of Science
    Australian Bureau of Meteorology
    Australian Coral Reef Society
    Australian Institute of Marine Science
    Australian Institute of Physics
    Australian Marine Sciences Association
    Australian Medical Association
    Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

    NB: This does not mean that Michael Kile and his fellow ‘sceptics’ at Quadrant are wrong; just that they are not likely to be right.

    And so on.

  7. Jody says:

    I note that the latest “worst ever” El Nino “event” seems to be virtually over, with flooding rains in the Hunter area, Central Coast and mid North coast, South coast and Sydney. The dams are overflowing in the Hunter area and flooding is widespread. Suddenly, El Nino is “over”, even though we’ve had higher than average east coast rain this year throughout the so-called El Nino – predicted to be the ‘worst ever’. Every time you hear weather statistics it’s narrative gathers apace, “the worst since”, “the heaviest since..”, “the longest since…”, “the driest since…”. It might be the size of hailstones, the rain-gauge readings in a particular area, the combination of wind and rain, or the combination of rain and thunder, or thunder and lightening, or thunder and no lightning, or no thunder or lightening. You get the picture.

    And when the Sydney-Hobart was ready to start weather forecasters stood in front of TV cameras, completely straight-faced, saying they didn’t know what would happen with the fleet because “our models all changed and didn’t give us the answers expected”.

    While this farce continues climate skepticism will gather pace.

  8. Alice Thermopolis says:

    Jody

    Expect the rage against climate skepticism – aka denialism – to gather pace too.

    Here is Trygve Lavik, Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen, arguing that “there are moral reasons for making climate denialism illegal” in his paper Climate Change Denial, Freedom of Speech and Global Justice”.

    Etikk i praksis. Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics (2015), (Early view), 1–16
    http://dx.doi.org/10.5324/eip.v10i2.1923

    “Future generations and people in poor countries are bystanders to the climate debate. If the debate postpones necessary actions, it is the bystanders who must pay the price. I argue that bystanders’ costs outweigh participants’ and audiences’ interests, and that this is an argument for a statutory ban on climate denialism.”

    Reading Lavik makes one feel almost Churchillian about CC:

    “Never since the Age of Astrology have the speculations of a well-funded few been embraced by so many.”

    Academic ‘thought-experiments’ a great way for social scientists to strut their CC credentials.

    But when the Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics presumably endorses this kind of eerily totalitarian stuff surely food for thought.

    We are witnessing the emergence of a new Zeitgeist – a milieu in which ‘climate change’ is becoming the alleged cause of every nasty phenomenon, whether atmospheric, terrestrial, medical or biological.

    Soon, if not already, CC will be the default cliché of the age. Whatever the question, you know the answer.

    The phrase, “an act of Climate Change”, will replace “an act of God” in all manner of legal documents.

    For is it not striking how the CC obsession/red herring– and how to make $$$ from it – merrily rolls along in the West/UN, despite the very real challenges/conflicts facing humankind at the moment – demographic, political, societal, economic, etc?

    One could argue “climate change” now resembles Flaubert’s characterisation of “God”. For in the public mind it has become “present everywhere, but visible nowhere.”

    What of Ian Macdougall’s argument from authority? Einstein’s response to a pamphlet ‘One hundred scientists against Einstein”, received in 1933, his last year as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute in Berlin before fleeing to the UK and USA, comes to mind.

    “Why one hundred?” he apparently asked. “If I am wrong, one would have been sufficient.”

    But, alas, there are no equivalent verifiable, falsifiable or testable equations of “climate change”, at least to my knowledge.