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Bryan Leyland: Climate adaption a safer option March 17, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Bryan Leyland: Climate adaption a safer option

From the New Zealand Herald, March 17, 2009

The Emissions Trading Scheme Act 2008, was rushed through Parliament with many last-minute changes and skimped the requirement for a regulatory impact statement. A proper impact statement would have established whether there was a need for the legislation, ensured all possible options had been investigated and demonstrated that the benefits of the legislation were greater than the cost.

According to Cabinet rules, an impact statement must be undertaken diligently, impartially and from a national interest perspective. In the event, the Government obscured the need, evaded the options, and ignored the costs and benefits.

Fortunately, the new Government’s emission trading scheme review includes a rigorous regulatory impact statement.

The essence of the statement process is prudent risk management. Few would doubt that the current economic crisis would not have happened if governments, bankers, lenders and borrowers had exercised prudent risk management.

If they had, governments would not have pressured bankers into lending to people with little income and no equity. Bankers would not have parcelled up “sub-prime loans” and sold them off as good investments, investors would not have bought them, and so on.

What are the risks in the emissions trading scheme? The need for the legislation is driven by a belief that man-made global warming is real and dangerous and that if New Zealand – hopefully followed by others – takes action, the danger will be averted.
Is there unequivocal evidence that such global warming is real and dangerous? Well, actually, no. In the opinion of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is a roughly 90 per cent “risk” that climate change is man-made and a 10 per cent “risk” that it is natural.

If it is natural, there is no need for the emissions scheme. There is a large body of evidence – some of it very recent – telling us that climate change is natural.

This evidence needs to be weighed against the “projections” of IPCC climate models that failed to predict the steady decline in temperatures since 2002.

We also know that the panel ignored the close correlation between sunspot effects and temperature that has existed over many thousands of years. Hence the “risk” that climate change is natural is much greater than 10 per cent.

If man-made global warming is a myth, then many investments are at risk. Last year, $125 billion was “invested” worldwide in carbon trading and $160 billion in heavily subsidised renewable energy schemes such as wind farms. If climate change is natural, these investments will crash.

Under stock exchange rules, anyone who issues a prospectus is obliged to set out all the risks. I searched the internet and failed to find any evidence that anyone warned investors and others that the value of man-made global warming-driven investments would be at risk. If they crash, the promoters could be sued, many wind farms would lose their subsidies and wind turbines that break down could be abandoned.

Read the rest here

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