On Trump withrawal from the Paris Agreement

Finally, US President Donald Trump has officially dumped the Paris Agreement of 2015. He declared yesterday,

“We will cease honoring all non-binding agreements”, and “will stop contributing to the green climate fund”.

“The bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair to the United States”.

“This agreement is less about climate and more about other countries getting a financial advantage over the United States”.

“The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.”

“Compliance with the terms of the Paris accord… could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025.”

“India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid.”

“We need all forms of available American energy or our country will be at grave risk of brown-outs and black-outs.”

“Withdrawing is in economic interest and won’t matter much to the climate.”

“We will be environmentally friendly, but we’re not going to put our businesses out of work… We’re going to grow rapidly.”

“Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia, & across the world should not have more to say w/ respect to the US economy than our own citizens.”

“It is time to exit the Paris Accord and time to pursue a new deal which protects the environment, our companies, our citizens.”
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The agreement funds a UN Climate Slush Fund underwritten by American taxpayers

  • President Obama committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund – which is about 30 percent of the initial funding – without authorization from Congress
  • With $20 trillion in debt, the U.S. taxpayers should not be paying to subsidize other countries’ energy

The deal also accomplishes LITTLE for the climate

  • According to researchers at MIT, if all member nations met their obligations, the impact on the climate would be The impacts have been estimated to be likely to reduce global temperature rise by less than .2 degrees Celsius in 2100.

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When I checked the US stockmarkets yesterday… Did the investors cheer Trump’s decision?

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I am actually an agnostic about President Trump’s policies in many sectors but when it comes to climate and energy policies, I support him. Planet Earth has experienced climate change many times since it was born some 4.6 billion years ago. How can the UN and governments fight something that naturally occurs?

The higher the climate alarmism, the higher the climate extortion becomes. $100 billion/year starting 2020 on top of promised foreign aid to developing. Many governments of developed countries are angry at Trump’s decision because they promised a lot, they raised expectations a lot, even if they do not have such big money or cannot squeeze more taxes from their people to give away. They only expected that US taxpayers will shoulder a big portion of such climate extortion.

Now the annual huge parties and junkets involving thousands of “planet saviours” aka annual UNFCCC meetings will be pared down. No more $ hundreds of millions a year of US taxpayers’ money to bankroll their huge parties and junkets.

As expected, lefties’ and alarmists’ heads blew and hysteria, angst and tantrums were flying anywhere. See a short compilation of such hysteria at WUWT,
The craziest reactions to Trump pulling out of the #ParisAgreement

When I posted this subject in my fb wall, one alarmist stranger Cesar Cifra unloaded a series of personal attacks.

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This Cifra is a friend of my friend and fellow UPSE alumni Romy Bernardo. I asked for data (like below, last 4,000 years global temp.) and this Cifra responded with ad hominems, what a lousy and low-life mind.

Anyway, this Trump decision is a big blow to the climate alarmism and global ecological socialism movement. A big blow to the UN and many governments whose revised purpose of existence is to tax-tax-tax their citizens as much as possible to “fight climate change” even if CC has been happening naturally, cyclically, for the past 4.6 B years.

Greenpeace, et al vs. “carbon majors” at the CHR

On September 2015, Greenpeace Southeast Asia + 13 PH-based NGOs, other individuals submitted to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) a “P E T I T I O N, Requesting for Investigation of the Responsibility of the Carbon Majors for Human Rights Violations or Threats of Violations Resulting from the Impacts of Climate Change.”

I read about it only in July 2016 and I wrote on July 30, 2016:
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There’s a new development, unprecedented so far — having the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) — to accuse and harass multinational firms engaged in oil, cement, coal and mining.

From The Guardian last July 27, 2016:
“In a potential landmark legal case, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR), a constitutional body with the power to investigate human rights violations, has sent 47 “carbon majors” including Shell, BP, Chevron, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, a 60-page document accusing them of breaching people’s fundamental rights to “life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and to self determination”.

I support the CHR and its Chairman Chito Gascon, a friend, in their fight against extra judicial killings (EJKs), hundreds of these cases so far nationwide since mid-May 2016 alone. Their time and resources can easily be depleted if they go person to person cases, dead or imprisoned. 

But I can not support the CHR in this new climate harassment. 

The first round of climate extortion is by governments of developing countries, demanding $100 B a year from governments of rich countries, under the various UN FCCC annual negotiations. So this is the 2nd round of extortion, NGOs and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) that prodded the CHR ultimately to result in demand for big money from big multinationals as “climate justice.” So whether we have bad El Nino (drought, less rain/no rain) those multinationals should be harassed and they should give money. Or if we have a bad La Nina (lots of rains, lots of flooding) those multinationals should still give money. 

A similar situation would be Mr. X having less money and more money and people say that it is proof that he’s poor, so government should send him more money and other subsidies.

I remember that last January, Chito posted about the CCC-CHR meeting. So it was the CCC that influenced the CHR to launch this HR investigation. The hypothesis “more CO2 emission = more global warming/anthropogenic climate change” is a global and UN-hyped movement. Then later via other schemes, these firms should pay huge amount of money to the “climate victims” like the thousands who died in Tacloban City in November 2013 during typhoon Haiyan (local name “Yolanda”).
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I checked the Greenpeace petition, these are the “carbon majors” that they are suing.

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Notice something? All are private firms, no government- or state-owned oil companies like Saudi Aramco, Rosneft (Russia), Petron/PNOC (Philippines), Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC), China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC), National Iranian Oil Co., Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Oil India, Petroleos de Venezuela, etc.? All of these are non-“carbon majors”, maybe “carbon minors”? 🙂

I will meet CHR Commissioner Totsie Cadiz this week and ask about this weird case. Totsie is a friend, he is a rational lawyer, I hope to learn more about this from him.

Climate alarmism and global energy central planning

Socialists and trying-hard anti-capitalism ideologues in facebook, youtube, etc. who also severely enjoy facebook capitalism, youtube capitalism, keep harping about “man-made” warming/climate change (CC) and thus, demand more government and UN ecological + energy central planning.

They like posting sketches, alarmist articles which very often:

  1. Have no charts of temperature anomaly, only sketches and drawings.
  2. Claim “Earth’s warming at unprecented levels”, no chart or table to show; unprecedented, no precedent? Scam statement.

I always ask them these two questions:

(1) Planet Earth is 4.6 B years old, when, what period that there was no CC?
(2) What was it before this “man-made” CC — less rain, no rain, more rains? less flood, no flood, more flood? less snow, no snow, more snow? Less dogs, no dog, more dogs?

Always they have no answer. Some paleo-climate data showing warming-cooling cycle in the past. The climate alarmists close their eyes if the data do not support their “man-made” CC religion. 140k years ago.

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http://3.bp.blogspot.com/…/KkU…/s1600-h/Vostok-140Kc.jpg

 

1 million years data.  These guys have faith, strong faith in the words of Al Gore and the UN.
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http://serc.carleton.edu/…/proxies/milankovich_cycles.png

 
700 million years data.

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Finally, here’s the 4.6 B years timescale. Warming-cooling, endless natural cycle.

geological_timescalehttp://www.biocab.org/Geological_Timescale.jpg

What the data and charts above show is that even if 100% of all power plants in the world are from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, global cooling will still happen. And even if 100% of all energy in the planet is from hydro, wind, other renewables, global warming will still happen. But then religionists and climate evangelists will always have zero appreciation for data. Only faith, strong faith in the words of Al Gore and UN bible.

Why? Money, money, money. Hypocrisy-robbery.

5http://funwithgovernment.blogspot.com/2015/01/climate-tricks-37-climate-money-and.html

Huge extortion racket, via governments, the UN and other multilaterals.

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Christmas lights, energy mix and electricity production in Asia

* This is my article in BusinessWorld last December 21, 2016.

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The holiday season, among others, is marked by the presence of so many lighted streets, buildings, malls, and houses. These sparkling and glittering Christmas lights and decors — besides adding smiles and happiness — also indicate continuing and rising material prosperity of the Philippines and its cities.

The change in the energy mix policy by the Department of Energy (DoE) is better appreciated in this context. Not only do people want cheaper electricity, they also want 24/7 energy with no brownout even for one minute.

Below is a summary of the policies under resigned Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla (November 2012-June 2015) then Acting Secretary Zenaida Monsada (July 2015-June 2016), and present Secretary Alfonso Cusi (see Table 1).

There are three important reasons why the Cusi formula of energy mix via system capacity makes more sense.

First and foremost is the price impact to electricity consumers. Forcing and mandating more natural gas, more solar-wind into the grid and the distribution utilities will mean even more expensive electricity and more unstable energy supply because of the intermittency, on-off nature of wind-solar.

Consider the feed in tariff allowance (FiT-All) for the variable REs: four centavos/kWh in 2015, 12.40 centavos/kWh in 2016, and 23 centavos/kWh in 2017 based on Transco petition for FiT-All hike at the Energy Regulatory Commission. The bulk of this rising FiT cost to consumers will go to wind and solar plants because they have the higher rates and higher installed capacity. The 23 centavos is on the assumption that it will be granted by the ERC by January 2017. Further delays for few months will mean more under-recoveries and hence, higher rate of 25 centavos-28 centavos by 2017.

Second, our current power capacity and actual electricity production remains small compared to our more economically significant neighbors in the region, and our coal consumption is also way small compared to their coal use. It is not wise to further restrict our baseload power capacity if we aim to sustain fast economic growth into the next decades to come.

Brunei, Myanmar, and Cambodia are excluded from this list because of their small electricity production (see Table 2).

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Third, the “more renewables to save the planet” argument does not hold water until now. Proof? Whenever I am engaged in a climate and energy debate with various groups and individuals who insist on the anthropogenic or “man-made” global warming/climate change (CC) hypothesis, I ask these two questions:

  1. Of planet Earth’s 4.6 billion years age, when was the time, what period, that there was NO climate change?
  1. What was it like before this “man-made” warming — less rain, no rain, more rains? Less flood, no flood, more floods? Less snow, no snow, more snow? Please cite scientific sources for your two answers above.

One hundred percent of the time, their answer is the sound of silence. Or they will put various links, various reasons, and alibis but none of which answer directly any of the two questions. Which shows that the anthropogenic climate change argument remains shaky and questionable. Even the UN IPCC literatures do not discuss paleo-climate data dating back to millions of years ago. This is because planet Earth’s climate history is characterized by natural climate cycle of warming-cooling, with or without humans and their malls, cars, airplanes and coal power plants.

Mandating “more renewables to save the planet” will only succeed in making the country less developed, since electricity will become costly and supply unstable. Big energy-intensive manufacturing plants and foreign investments would rather locate in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, countries with cheaper electricity and more stable, brownouts-proof energy supply, then export huge volume to the Philippines at zero tariff under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Of the many Cabinet Secretaries of the Duterte administration, DoE Secretary Cusi is among those standing tall. His energy realism (not alarmism) policies of “appropriate energy mix should be decided by the consumers, not by government” is a market- and growth-friendly philosophy.

Trump transition team questions for US DOE

This is not directly related to energy issues in Asia but US climate and energy policies can reverberate strongly in Asia and other continents/countries. Hence, I am reposting this article by Willis Eschenbach, The DOE vs. Ugly Reality last December 10, 2016, about the 74 questions sent by Mr. Trump’s transition team to the current DOE leadership.

I think those question are frank and highly sensible. But there are many news reports attacking the letter and questions, saying they infringe on DOE scientists’ independence, etc., and they cite only a few of those 74 questions. Good work there, Willis, thank you
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usdoe1Questions for DOE

This memo, as you might expect, is replete with acronyms. “DOE” is the Department of Energy. Here are the memo questions and my comments.

  1. Can you provide a list of all boards, councils, commissions, working groups, and FACAs [Federal Advisory Committees] currently active at the Department? For each, can you please provide members, meeting schedules, and authority (statutory or otherwise) under which they were created?

If I were at DOE, this first question would indeed set MY hair on fire. The easiest way to get rid of something is to show that it was not properly established … boom, it’s gone. As a businessman myself, this question shows me that the incoming people know their business, and that the first order of business is to jettison the useless lumber.

  1. Can you provide a complete list of ARPA-E’s projects?

Critical information for an incoming team.

3 Can you provide a list of the Loan Program Office’s outstanding loans, including the parties responsible for paying the loan back, term of the loan, and objective of the loan?

4 Can you provide a list of applications for loans the LPO has received and the status of those applications?

5 Can you provide a full accounting of DOE liabilities associated with any loan or loan guarantee programs?

6 The Department recently announced the issuance of $4.5 billion in loan guarantees for electric vehicles (and perhaps associated infrastructure). Can you provide a status on this effort?

Oh, man, they are going for the jugular. Loan Program Office? If there is any place that the flies would gather, it’s around the honey … it’s good to see that they are looking at loan guarantees for electric vehicles, a $4.5 billion dollar boondoggle that the government should NOT be in. I call that program the “Elon Musk Retirement Fund”.

Folks, for $4.5 billion dollars, we could provide clean water to almost half a million villages around the world … or we could put it into Elon Musk’s bank account or the account of some other electric vehicle manufacturer. I know which one I’d vote for … and I am equally sure which one the poor of the world would prefer.

7 What is the goal of the grid modernization effort? Is there some terminal point to this effort? Is its genesis statutory or something else?

Asking the right questions about vague programs …

8 Who “owns” the Mission Innovation and Clean Energy Ministerial efforts within the Department?
Continue reading

CCC’s anti-coal, anti-fossil fuel lobbying

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) was created mainly to echo the UN FCCC agreements and lobbying. They may deny this of course but from its activities and advocacies, they point to this fact. Look at its target — “Survive 1.5 C” — referring to the UN target of targeted allowable global warming by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels.

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Some of more ridiculous documents by the UN FCCC project up to 7.5 C global warming by 2100. Wow. The modern warm period (from mid-1800s to 2000s) after the little ice age (LIA) produced a warming of only 1.0 F or 0.7 C in the planet. Plateau in overall global temperature, we are moving to a global cooling phase, actually.

Anyway, the CCC organized a “Forum on National Policy Review and Framework Development on Energy” last week November 22 at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Pasay City. A friend told me about this and CCC invited some energy players in the country.

The CCC launched the “National Policy Review (NPR) and Framework Development on Energy” last June 16, 2016. The November 22 Forum was part of a series of multi-stakeholder consultations to review the country’s energy policy and develop a policy framework on energy related to CCC Resolution No. 2016-001.

Get that, CCC plans to somehow duplicate if not overrule the DOE in setting the country’s energy policy. The CCC is firm on anti-coal, anti-fossil fuel ideology while the DOE wants to increase the country’s energy capacity from as many power sources as possible, coal + oil plants + nat gas included.

The next day, November 23, there was a big business conference also at Sofitel on how to “low carbon economy”.

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The CCC, along with the UN, Al Gore, WWF, etc. of course refer to CO2 in their “low carbon” scenario. The gas that we humans exhale, the gas that our pets and farm animals exhale, the gas that our crops, flowers and trees use to produce their own food via photosynthesis, has been declared as a pollutant gas, an “evil” gas by these groups and hence, must be controlled, restricted via more government regulations, prohibitions and taxation.

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So reduce fossil fuel use in transportation, energy and industry. Really? The campaigners do not love their cars, frequent jet-setting to other countries that use fossil fuel 100%? They go to their offices and meetings on bicycles or skateboards or by walking, or hitching a ride with flying carpets or brooms? Enjoying the convenience of fossil fuel then lambasting it and still get lots of taxpayers money, cool.
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cc4Last October 21, Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) Reform Energy Project (REP) that also engages in implicit anti-coal campaign held a forum implicitly supporting natural gas.

REP’s Project Director is Tony la Vina, who was also the former Dean of ASoG and a perennial PH climate negotiator for the past two decades, since Kyoto Protocol negotiations, I think.

Look at the other speakers aside from government (CCC, DOE, ERC), from Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and Shell, both pushing for more nat gas.

I support more nat gas plants in the country. I also support more coal plants, more diesel power as peak-load plants, more hydro, more geothermal. Even more variable or intermittent renewables like wind-solar.

What I do not and cannot support are subsidies like FIT or guaranteed price for 20 years for intermittent renewables, priority dispatch in the grid, RPS, other forms of favoritism and cronyism at the expense of energy consumers like you and me.

I also do not support the government setting the “right” mandatory energy mix. Like 30-30-30-10 for coal-nat gas-renewables-oil, respectively. The ones who should set the appropriate and dynamic energy mix should be the consumers, not the government or greeny lobbyists.

Why? Because consumers would prefer cheaper, stable, available 24/7 (no blackout even for 1 minute) energy sources. If a firm goes bankrupt because of expensive monthly electricity bill, or its production is halted or damaged by on-off power supply and frequent blackouts, only they suffer the losses, not the government or the feel-good greeny lobbyists.

If people really believe that there is grid price parity of renewables now, then there is little or zero need for (a) subsidies ala FIT, RPS, priority dispatch to the grid, and (b) state-mandated and coerced energy mix nationwide.

Climate action and Asian energy realities

* This is my article in BusinessWorld last Friday.

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Planet Earth is estimated by geologists and other scientists to be 4.6 billion years old. In that period, the world has experienced a series of warming-cooling-warming-cooling cycles. So global warming and climate change (CC) have been there as natural (i.e., nature-made) and cyclical events. See dozens of paleo-climate data and charts that date back to thousands, millions and billions of years ago here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/paleoclimate/.

Yet for decades now, we have been bombarded by the United Nations and other institutions and individuals who deny nature-made climate change and climate cycle, deny that global cooling can take place after a global warming phase. Owing to such denials, anthropogenic or “man-made” climate change can only be fought via man-made and UN-directed solutions like large-scale and endless subsidies to intermittent renewable sources.

Such is the dominant global belief and being formalized during the annual UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), like the Conference of Parties (COP) 22 meeting in Marrakech, Morocco from Nov. 7 to 18 this year.

The goal of the 160+ intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) is to “hold the average global temperature rise below 2 ºC and 1.5 ºC above pre-industrial levels.” (source: UNFCCC, “Aggregate effect of the intended nationally determined contributions: an update Synthesis report by the secretariat,” May 2016)

It is another confused document from the UN.

For instance in Figure 14, p.64, the “Key climate hazards identified in the adaptation component of the communicated intended nationally determined contributions” are the following, in order of “hazards.”

Top 5: Floods, Droughts, Higher temperatures, Sea level rise, Storms.

Next 5: Decreased precipitation, Changes in precipitation timing, Vector/water-borne diseases, Increased precipitation intensity, Desertification/land degradation.

In short, the climate “hazards” for the planet according to the UN are more floods, less floods, and no flood; more rains, less rains and no rain; more storms, less storms and no storm. So regardless of the weather and climate, we should send more money to the UN and various government climate bureaucracies, give them more power, more global climate travels and meetings. And they will demonize fossil fuels like coal and oil to “save the planet.”

Such scenarios and proposals are very detached from the realities and needs of many countries, developed and developing alike.

Here are the data from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released only two weeks ago (see table).

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Almost all of the big and developed economies in the region have high reliance on coal and/or natural gas, among the most prominent fossil fuels in the planet. The Philippines in particular has low national electricity production compared to many of its neighbors in north and south east Asia, only 75 billion kWh in 2013. The country also has a very low per capita electricity production of only 690 kWh/person.

Over the past two weeks, I have attended several conferences and meetings and the subject of “expensive electricity” and “insufficient supply of power” would crop up naturally even if the events are not specifically focused on energy.

These events include the DTI’s pre-summit consultation on FTAs and manufacturing industries last Nov. 3, pre-summit consultation on innovation and competitive industries last Nov. 4. One participant said that while garments are labor-intensive, textiles are energy-intensive and they can feel the pinch of high electricity prices.

Meanwhile, during the Philippine Economic Society (PES) annual conference at Novotel Cubao last Nov. 8, the two sessions on energy economics and competition policy have also touched on these subjects including competition in power generation companies and monopolies in power transmission and distribution.

In the Agribusiness commercial legal and institutional reform (AgCLIR) roundtable at Makati Shangri-La last Nov. 11, many agri-business enterprises in the country brought up the matter of high electricity costs.

Last but not the least, during the Asian Legal Business (ALB) — Thomson Reuters’s Competition Forum at Dusit Thani in Makati City last Nov. 15, one of the speakers, Dr. Raul Fabella of UPSE mentioned pricing under monopoly and duopoly or oligopoly, like in power distribution and generation.

The over-riding concern for the Philippines and other developing economies in Asia and the rest of the planet is how to hasten and sustain economic growth so that job creation and poverty alleviation can also be sustained. Having cheap and stable electricity is a major part in realizing this goal.

Forcing expensive and unstable energy sources to “fight climate change” as pushed by the UN and participating governments is contradictory to the above goal. After all, climate change from warming to cooling in natural cycles did happen in the past and continues to happen today.

Governments therefore, should be more realistic and not alarmist in pursuing that over-riding goal. Less ecological central planning, less energy rationing, less climate bureaucratism would be consistent with poverty alleviation.

Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. is the president of Minimal Government Thinkers and a Fellow of SEANET and Stratbase-ADRI.