Saturday, November 13, 2021

Net Zero Watch: COP26 faces deadlock as India demands $1 trillion


In this newsletter:

1) COP26: Rich and poor nations face deep divide & deadlock
Associated Press, 10 November 2021

2) India holds back on climate pledge until rich nations pay $1 trillion
Bloomberg, 10 November 2021

3) Benny Peiser: Why developing nations won't sign up to Net Zero
GB News, 9 November 2021
4) Welcome to Net Zero Britain: Infants school tells children to wear extra layers so it can save money on its £30,000 heating bill
Daily Mail, 9 November 2021

5) Investors pushed mining giants to quit coal. Now it’s backfiring
Bloomberg, 9 November 2021
6) Four of world’s five largest vehicle makers fail to back COP26 emissions agreement
Financial Times, 10 November 2021
7) Couple suffering from ‘wind farm syndrome’ win £100,000 in damages
The Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2021

8) David Seedhouse: Attenborough and his climate cohorts are scaring the young into mental illness
The Conservative Woman, 10 November 2021

9) Gérard Bökenkamp: Corona, Climate, Religion: The Desire for Sacrifice
Telos, 12 October 2021

10) Jeremy Warner: The protectionist carbon tax threatening to rewrite the rules of global trade
The Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2021
11) And finally: British Army U-Turns on Extinction Rebellion Leadership lecture
Guido Fawkes, 9 November 2021

Full details:

1) COP26: Rich and poor nations face deep divide & deadlock
Associated Press, 10 November 2021

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Large rifts remain as United Nations climate talks tick down to a Friday deadline. A lot of the divide comes down to money, which nations have it and which do not. So it’s time for the diplomatic cavalry to ride in.

The two-week climate conference in Glasgow first saw heads of government talking about how curbing global warming is a fight for survival. The leaders focused on big pictures, not the intricate wording crucial to negotiations. Then, for about a week, the technocratic negotiations focused on those key details, getting some things done but not resolving the really sticky situations.

Now, it’s time for the “high level” negotiations, when government ministers or other senior diplomats swoop in to make the political decisions that are supposed to break the technical logjams. The United Nations has three goals out of Glasgow, which so far are all out of reach: cutting carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030; rich nations giving poor countries $100 billion a year for combating climate change; and ensuring that half of that money goes to adapting to climate change’s increasing harms.

To forge compromise, they have a big gap to bridge. Or more accurately, multiple gaps: there’s a trust gap and a wealth gap. A north-south gap. It’s about money, history and the future.

On one side of the gap are nations that developed and became rich from the Industrial Revolution fueled by coal, oil and gas that started in the U.K. On the other side are the nations that haven’t developed yet and haven’t gotten rich and are now being told those fuels are too dangerous for the planet.

The key financial issue is the $100 billion a year pledge first made in 2009. The developed nations still haven’t reached the $100 billion a year mark. This year the rich nations increased their aid to $80 billion a year, still short of what’s promised.

As the head of the conference briefed countries Monday on the progress – and the lack of it, in some ways – in the talks, developing country after developing country responded by noting how unfulfilled rich nations’ financial pledges were.

It’s not as if that $100 billion alone would make a big difference because trillions of dollars worldwide in payments, not pledges, would be needed to combat climate change, not $100 billion, Huq said. Providing the money is important to bridge the gap in trust between rich nations and poor nations, he argued.
Full story
2) India holds back on climate pledge until rich nations pay $1 trillion
Bloomberg, 10 November 2021

India has declined to update its official climate goal at the United Nations climate negotiations, holding out for rich countries to first offer $1 trillion in climate finance by the end of the decade.

The resistance from India stands in contrast to its surprise announcement on Nov. 1, just as COP26 negotiations got underway, that it would set an ambitious new goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2070.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the talks in Glasgow, Scotland, with a decision to increase his nation’s share of renewable electricity generation capacity alongside the long-term target to zero out carbon. At the same time, Modi demanded rich countries provide as much as $1 trillion in climate finance just for India—far more than the $100 billion a year for all poor countries sought under previous deals.

Until now, however, it wasn’t clear whether India’s demand came with a fixed timeline. Officials on Wednesday confirmed that India is seeking that sum by 2030 to fund the build out of renewables, energy storage, decarbonization of the industrial sector and defending infrastructure to a warming planet.

Even as 121 countries have submitted their official climate pledges to the UN in documents know as nationally determined contributions, India has held back. “Let’s be clear,” an unnamed delegate told the Hindustan Times, “India will not update its NDC till there is clarity on climate finance.” The Indians want a clear promise on making the funds available “as soon as possible,” an official told Bloomberg News.
3) Benny Peiser: Why the developing nations won't sign up to Net Zero
GB News, 9 November 2021

Click on image to watch interview
4) Welcome to Net Zero Britain: Infants school tells children to wear extra layers so it can save money on its £30,000 heating bill
Daily Mail, 9 November 2021

An infant school has faced a backlash after asking children to wear extra layers - so it can save money on rising heating costs.

Summerhill Infants has told parents it faces bills of more than £30,000 for heating and therefore would be forced to make some changes.

In an email sent to parents, staff at the school in Bristol said it will limit the time the heating is on in the day, turn down thermostats for hot water and turn off lights when not in use.

And it also asked parents to send their children into school wearing warmer clothes so it could limit bills as fuel costs skyrocket.

In response, one anonymous parent told the BBC she was concerned the decision could affect her child's asthma.

She said: 'Being in the cold can really affect her, so I think that she can potentially get ill.'
Full story
5) Investors pushed mining giants to quit coal. Now it’s backfiring
Bloomberg, 9 November 2021
There’s growing unease that the divestment campaign could lead to more coal being produced for longer.
It was supposed to be a big win for climate activists: another of the world’s most powerful mining companies had caved to investor demands that it stop digging up coal.
Instead, Anglo American Plc’s exit from coal has become a case study for unintended consequences, transforming mines that were scheduled for eventual closure into the engine room for a growth-hungry coal business.And while it’s a particularly stark example, it’s not the only one.
When rival BHP Group was struggling to sell an Australian colliery this year, the company surprised investors by applying to extend mining at the site by another two decades — an apparent attempt to sweeten its appeal to potential buyers.Now, after years of lobbying blue-chip companies to stop mining the most-polluting fuel, there’s a growing unease among climate activists and some investors that the policy many of them championed could lead to more coal being produced for longer. Senior mining executives say the message from their shareholders is evolving to acknowledge that risk, and they’re no longer pushing as hard for blanket withdrawals.
BHP may end up holding on to the Australian mine it was battling to sell, Bloomberg reported last week. Earlier this year, Glencore Plc sounded out a major climate investor group before announcing it would increase its ownership of a big Colombian coal mine, according to people familiar with the matter.
“Everyone in the industry is starting to be more sophisticated, more nuanced and more careful on the way they think these issues through,” said Nick Stansbury, head of climate solutions at Legal & General Group Plc.Who should own the world’s coal mines is a question that resources giants and their investors may be grappling with for years to come.
At the global climate talks in Glasgow, world leaders have fallen short on the U.K. host’s ambition to “consign coal to history.” It continues to dominate the world’s electricity mix and energy shortages in Europe and China this year have only reinforced the message that the world remains deeply dependent on coal.
Full story
6) Four of world’s five largest vehicle makers fail to back COP26 emissions agreement
Financial Times, 10 November 2021
China, US and Germany absent from 2040 commitment despite hundreds of local and regional authorities signing up.

Hundreds of city and regional authorities have signed a deal to push for the elimination of new car emissions by 2040 but the agreement lacks the support of some of the largest auto players and biggest markets in the world.

The pledge to be announced at COP26 on Wednesday covers a quarter of the world’s cars and is backed by manufacturers including Daimler, Ford, General Motors and China’s BYD, as well as governments including Canada and Chile.

Yet despite months of pressure by the UK, four of the world’s five largest carmakers — Volkswagen, Toyota, the Renault-Nissan alliance, and Hyundai-Kia — have not signed up.

China, the world’s largest car market, did not sign. The US, the second largest, was also absent from the agreement by Tuesday evening, although individual states including California, New York and Washington backed the deal, as well as cities such as Dallas, Charleston, Atlanta and Seattle. São Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina also joined the pledge.
Full story
7) Couple suffering from ‘wind farm syndrome’ win £100,000 in damages
The Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2021

Turbines harmed the health of French couple and caused ‘abnormal neighbourly disturbances’, court finds in 'unprecedented’ ruling

A French couple have been awarded more than £100,000 in damages after a court ruled that six wind turbines placed close to their home had caused them physical and mental suffering.

Their lawyers said the ruling was “unprecedented in France”.

After a six-year legal battle, an appeals court in Toulouse ruled that the wind farms had caused “abnormal neighbourly disturbances” to Christel and Luc Fockaerts.

The couple had complained that the six turbines - some placed less than a mile from their home in the southwestern village of Margnès - had caused headaches and dizziness, as well as disturbing their sleep patterns and even heartbeat.

The plaintiffs bought the property, an 18th-century farmhouse situated inside a national park, in 2004 and turned it into a gite. The turbines were installed in 2008 and 2009.
Full story
8) David Seedhouse: Attenborough and his climate cohorts are scaring the young into mental illness
The Conservative Woman, 10 November 2021

THE BBC last week re-published yet another video article – Climate Change: The Facts – featuring David Attenborough. It shows scenes of calamity and collapse and has a single main message: ‘Act now or we are all doomed.’ 

Despite its title, there is no attempt whatsoever at a balanced analysis of ‘the facts’. The video includes a comment from the discredited Michael Mann, whose faulty algorithm created the famous ‘hockey stick‘ chart of supposed global warming that so exercised Al Gore and Greta Thunberg – who has no scientific credentials, or arguably any right at all to be included in a ‘fact-based’ video.Towards the end of his presentation, Attenborough declares: ‘We now stand at a unique point in our planet’s history, one where we must all share responsibility both for our present wellbeing and for the future of life.’

Hyperbole, hubris, hysteria … but no humility. We have apparently become the gods of ancient Greece, able to control all aspects of life, including the planet.

It is unclear how we all have responsibility for ‘the future of life’, which managed very well before humans existed and, according to experts of Attenborough’s ilk, will inevitably change according to the laws of evolution in any case.  

However, we surely do have responsibility towards each other, especially not to cause unwarranted alarm, and to support the mental health of our young people, which according to many reports is at a nadir. One large survey found that nearly 60 per cent of young people approached said they felt very worried or extremely worried about the climate issue

More than 45 per cent said such feelings affected their daily lives. Some 75 per cent thought the future was frightening, while 56 per cent think humanity is doomed. 

Take a minute to digest this. The survey, led by Bath University in collaboration with five other universities, spanned ten countries. It amassed responses from 10,000 people aged between 16 and 25 and found that a staggering majority are so scared and depressed that they feel they have no future. 

This devastating situation has not happened spontaneously. Nor is it a rational response to the actual evidence. Rather it is the result of years of uninhibited scaremongering by older people who prefer to be part of a lucrative alarmist club than set a decent example of balanced reasoning.Most traditional societies revere and respect their elders, for their life experience and wisdom. And in return the elders quietly and calmly protect the young, beneficently pointing to the good things in life that may come.

This seemingly timeless human – and indeed animal – circle of life has come close to breaking with astonishing speed. Many of our prominent elders, who should be sage, measured and knowing, are behaving like reckless toddlers in a sandpit they think is all theirs.

They spent 2020 and much of 2021 locking young people away from their schools, their friends, and their elderly relatives, terrifying them with useless masks and distancing to ‘protect’ them from a virus that poses hardly any risk to them. 

These thoughtless adults constantly say how much they care for the future of humanity but show, with every poorly-researched exaggeration, that they don’t give two hoots for the psychological wellbeing of the young who actually are the future.Whether through guilt, ignorance, psychological bias or just the misplaced desire to show how powerful they are, such infantile elders display little awareness of the damage they are causing. And if they have even an inkling of how they are harming the young, they show no restraint.

Their imagined certainties do not exist. We do not know everything there is to know about viruses and we certainly do not know everything about the climate of a vast and complex planet. We cannot possibly say with any confidence what will happen to us, and we cannot control Nature. Nor should we try.

Young people do not need to be saved by anyone, not least these false prophets of doom. They need the wherewithal to live fulfilled lives – with knowledge, curiosity, social support, friendships, honesty and, above all, the modesty to accept human limitations, without self-righteous hectoring from older adults who have lived most of their own lives in circumstances where the future held promise rather than terror.

Those such as David Attenborough and the rest of the climate establishment presumably have the best of intentions. But their obsession with controlling the uncontrollable has completely blinded them to the awful damage their blinkered obsessiveness has caused our young. 

They have abjectly failed to provide sensible information and an inquisitive, questioning environment. They should be setting an example of gentle wisdom, where problems are solved by open minds. Instead, they have caused a huge avoidable mental health crisis, and have barely noticed what they have done. 
9) Gérard Bökenkamp: Corona, Climate, Religion: The Desire for Sacrifice
Telos, 12 October 2021

The following essay first appeared in on September 18, 2021, and appears here with the permission of the author. Translated by Russell A. Berman, with comments here.
From the very start of the pandemic, corona and climate change have always been mentioned in the same breath. Indeed, the parallels are unmistakable. In both cases it is a matter of invisible threats from natural phenomena. In both cases, the discussion is shaped by scientists with data and modelings that are difficult to follow, as they demonstrate the need to limit personal freedoms. In both cases, large parts of the population submit to these prohibitions and limitations on freedom. In both cases, we have seen radical movements emerge, like Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, and Zero-Covid, that demand even more extreme measures, reminiscent of charismatic conversion cults and chiliastic sects.
In both cases, “deniers” and “skeptics” are denounced as dangers who stand in the way of preventing a catastrophe. After the COVID lockdown, a climate lockdown will take place, with the one transitioning into the other seamlessly.

Niklas Luhmann distinguished between system and environment. The social system “society” only includes what is communicated inside the social system. “Climate” and “corona” are in themselves not part of society, but the communication about them certainly is. The manner in which they are discussed tells us as much about the society that addresses them as do the communications concerning natural phenomena. The communication about climate and corona displays religious elements. In the climate and corona politics we find four classical figures from the history of religion:

- moral guilt
- religious sacrifice
- the distinction between pure and impure
- divine revelation
Corona and Climate Change in the Service of Morality
Corona and climate have found such a strong resonance because they fill the vacuum that classical religions have left behind. The Bible already named catastrophes and plagues as punishments for moral failings, most prominently the ten plagues that God imposed on the Egyptians to punish them for enslaving the Israelites. This ancient narrative has lost none of its epic strength. When the rivers in the Rhineland overflow their banks or the pandemic infection numbers rise, the explanation is sought in moral failings.

Inattention to the wearing of the obligatory mask or not maintaining social distancing, as well as unnecessary long-distance air travel for recreation and leisure or excessive electricity consumption, or in general our “false living” in the West—it is all wrong because of the inherent enjoyment of life, the “materialism” and the consumption that characterize it. In addition, there is heresy, the falling off from the “true belief” by “skeptics and “deniers,” who undermine the grand moral purification through their doubts. For this we are punished by God, i.e., in the pantheistic understanding of our time, by “nature,” that sends us viruses and diseases, floods and droughts.

Because corona and climate are treated as divine punishments for sin, these problems cannot be approached pragmatically or practically. It is pointless to try to avoid corona fatalities or to avert the climate catastrophe without simultaneously extirpating the “sin.”
Morality is not at the service of the fight against corona and climate change, but on the contrary, corona and climate change serve morality. Pragmatic initiatives, such as protecting at-risk groups with tests in nursing homes or the expansion of a carbon credit system or the development of nuclear energy might reduce the fatalities and carbon dioxide emissions; but they do not contribute to reaching the real goal: the moral purification of society—and for this reason, such practical steps are largely ignored in Germany.

Simple Solutions are Immoral
Obligatory masks outdoors, the speed limit on the Autobahn, and the surfeit of prohibitions and climate regulations are, in comparison, relatively ineffective, but they serve the genuine purpose: forcing the individual to repent. To put it bluntly: simple solutions are immoral solutions. For a solution to be regarded as a moral one, every individual must bear a burden and participate in the suffering. The only possible rescue from certain destruction—so that we do not face divine punishment, as did Sodom and Gomorrah, and that we are not forced into the long march through the wilderness of the desert, as were the people of Israel after the dance around golden calf—the only path is submission to the societal injunction, the subordination of individual desires and needs to the interest of the community, the path of renunciation and repentance.

The politicians’ call for willing sacrifice, exertion, denial, and subordination falls on psychologically fertile ground in the face of the catastrophe. For there is a universal phenomenon of humans who, in the face of a threat, respond by imposing limitations on themselves and inflicting themselves with pain. This ritualized masochism can take various forms: the flagellation processions of the Middle Ages in response to the Black Plague or the so-called finger sacrifices, in which people underwent amputations to ward off catastrophe. To use a mask to deny oneself fresh air outside, to avoid human contact, and to put oneself under house arrest, cut off from social life—these all meet the criteria of a religious sacrifice.

The Same Behavioural Patterns as Our Ancestors

The positive response to the lockdown in large parts of the populations is indicative of the fact that in our secular, post-heroic society there is an unfulfilled desire to offer sacrifices because sacrifice is simultaneously a form of self-exaltation and revaluation. This primitive religious-psychological mechanism is operating in Western societies. No matter how we try to convince ourselves that our civilization rests on the rational foundation of the Enlightenment, the political practice and social behavior of broad sectors of our society prove otherwise. We are caught up in the same atavistic behavioral patterns as our ancestors; we have just given them a somewhat different form.

The scholar of religions Walter Burkert even claims that the widespread character of these rituals of penitence plausibly points to a sociobiological basis. Humans have an inner need for renunciation, limitation, and self-punishment, all the way to physical and psychic mutilation, that becomes active when we face danger, be it real or invented. The corona restrictions and climate politics are not supported by such a majority of the population despite their limitations on normal life but rather precisely because they do limit it. They thereby satisfy the deep-seated spiritual need for “sacrifice,” “repentance” and “submission.”

Absolute, No Longer Questionable Truths
These genuine causes of the catastrophes, the moral failings and the transgressions against divine commandments, are, as Burkert puts it, apprehended by the “knowing” mediators with a transcendent diagnosis. They in turn provide the rationale for the religious rituals. These “knowing mediators” are, for example, saints, prophets, and priests. We find these archetypical figures again today. There is the “pure virgin” in the form of the saintly Greta Thunberg; the world-renouncing ascetic Karl Lauterbach; and the priesthood represented by Christian Drosten and Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber. [1
Instead of appealing to divine revelation, they invoke science, which however practically fulfills the same function. Franz Werfel’s novel about the prophet Jeremiah bears the title Hearken Unto the Voice. [2] For Greta Thunberg this turns into “listen to the science.” The religious echoes are evident.

That science today is viewed as the source for the justification of existing morality and not as a tool for the pursuit of disinterested knowledge is shown by the fact that its results are only widely accepted when they legitimate existing political and moral convictions, not however when they call them into question. When Thilo Sarrazin, for example, based his theses on the hereditability of intelligence on current scientific research—even submitting it for review by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which in turn confirmed that he had described the science correctly—he could not have his claims accepted; on the contrary, the science was called into question. [3]
“Science” will always be invoked as an authority when its results support the hegemonic discourse, not however when it challenges it.
Politics and the public do not expect “science” to provide new knowledge nor to examine existing assumptions—and certainly not to overturn them—but rather to confirm existing views and norms. The “scientist” in the corona and climate crises is not playing the role of a researcher, reporting results in a value-free manner, following Hume’s dictum that the ought should not be derived from the is, i.e., that ethical norms should not be derived from scientific knowledge.
Instead the “scientist” has become the herald, the warner, and the voice of conscience, that is, those functions that in another age were carried out by priests. “Science” in the Western world has become a substitute religion. Climate and corona models, as the ultimate justification for the rules of social order, lay claim to the role of divine revelation, the source of absolute, unquestionable truths.

Dividing the World into Pure and Impure
In addition to the search for “moral guilt” and religious sacrifice, climate and corona politics include a third universal psychological mechanism, the separation between “pure” and “impure.” In 1966, the British anthroplogist Mary Douglas (1921–2007) published her famous book Purity and Danger. Douglas believes that the “imaginations of separation, cleaning, limiting and punishing transgressions had the function above all of systematizing an un-ordered experience.” The separation of the world into pure and impure produces order in a disordered world. It is typical that this separation of pure and impure refers to invisible dangers. The threat comes from an imperceptible world that reaches into the world of visible phenomena.

The parallels to the predominant corona and climate angst are clear. Both COVID-19 and CO2 are invisible phenomena, associated with the ideas of pollution and contamination. In place of spirits and demons, we now have viruses and greenhouse gases. As in archaic societies, the answer involves purification rituals for the whole society. The separation of the vaccinated from the unvaccinated is a matter of separating the pure from the impure. The same holds for the differentiation between the “clean energy” of the wind and the sun and, on the other hand, fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Similarly vegan diets, separating types of trash, disinfections, and masks all belong to today’s omnipresent purification rituals.

The corona crisis and climate change are enabling new forms of social disciplining and the imposition of the priorities of the collective over and against the individual, including ostracism, exclusion, punishment, and the marginalization of all those who resist this social disciplining. Western societies are no longer held together through kinship relationships as in traditional tribal societies, nor are they based on coherence via the identification with an ethnic-national collective.
The legitimacy of social rules no longer involves reference to a classic religion. Corona and climate policy together represent the ambitious effort to provide the de-nationalized and increasingly atomistic global society with a new goal, direction, and order on the basis of an expectation of salvation and apocalyptic versions of the end of times, all with a pseudoscientific grounding.
10) Jeremy Warner: The protectionist carbon tax threatening to rewrite the rules of global trade
The Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2021
If a carbon border tax becomes another protectionist measure, then it will become a highly toxic and negative force, and we'll move by default into a bifurcated world in which rich countries and poorer nations trade only among themselves.

A powerful incentive for the developing world to get serious about climate change, or just protectionism dressed up in green clothing? Whatever it is, the concept of carbon border taxes, once a faintly whacky fringe idea, is fast going mainstream, threatening to rewrite the rules of global trade.

The UK Government seems determined to tax just about everything else, but you may be relieved to know it has no plans to tax meat. So said George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at the weekend, even though livestock farming is a big emitter of greenhouse gases and environmentalists would much rather we didn't practice it at all. 

Yet the Government very much does have plans for a "carbon border tax", Mr Eustice said, or "carbon border adjustment mechanism" as it is otherwise known. Designing one that works is another matter; even Mr Eustice admitted that it was some years off. 

Carbon border taxes are one of those ideas that seem entirely logical, justified, even necessary, on paper, but would be highly problematic in practice.

"If you do not want to export pollution, then you do at some point have to consider a carbon border tax", said Mr Eustice. "If you're going to have carbon taxes …. and emissions trading, you can only really make sense of that with a carbon border tax."

As Britain raises its own climate ambition, but less stringent policies prevail elsewhere, there is a strong risk of so-called “carbon leakage”, or merely shifting emissions offshore and thereby seriously undermining British and global climate efforts. That was Mr Eustice's point.

Leakage is already a serious problem for high income countries such as the UK, where we've closed down our polluting industries, but carried on consuming the product from less scrupulous jurisdictions instead.
Carbon border taxes can suppress this effect by effectively equalising carbon prices for domestic and foreign producers in the home market. 

Yet it seems that not everyone agrees. In the UK, Mr Eustice's kite flying was rapidly shot down by both the Treasury and the Department for Business, who, according to reports, said no such plans were under consideration. 

It would nonetheless be odd if the possibility was not even being discussed. Both the European Union and the United States have relatively well advanced plans for a carbon border tax. Quite a stink they are causing in the developing world too.

The European Commission even has a published proposal on the table, scheduled to come into operation by the end of next year and initially targeted at a number of industries thought to be at high risk of carbon leakage - iron, steel, cement, fertiliser, aluminium and electricity generation. 

With the detail and policing mechanisms yet to be defined, I'd be amazed if it was as early as that. In any case, normally bullish Commission officials are not hopeful.

But if it did, it could potentially create big problems for the UK; British exports to the Continent might be penalised if Britain fails to keep up with Europe's timeline. 

Research by the London School of Economics found that around one-third of the total value of all UK goods exported to the EU could be affected, entailing large financial transfers from the UK to the EU, potentially amounting to €1bn a year or more, with steel exports particularly badly hit.

Similar proposals have been put forward by Democrat lawmakers in the US, though it is hard to know exactly where they stand, as they were attached to the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion budget plan, large elements of which are struggling to gain Congressional approval.

To illustrate the practical difficulties, the Washington-based Brookings Institution cites the following example: “When a Ford is made in the United States, only 40pc of its parts are produced in the USA or Canada. 

“The rest come from different countries around the world. Identifying the country of origin for millions of parts, and then verifying the true carbon content in each stage of processing, is a massive undertaking.”

Of course part of the point of a carbon border tax is that, like a nuclear deterrent, it's not meant to be used. The purpose is to incentivise the developing world to comply with the climate change agenda, rather than penalise it for failing to. 

But if it becomes merely another protectionist measure, then it will become a highly toxic and negative force, and we'll move by default into a bifurcated world in which rich countries and poorer nations trade only among themselves. The climate change purpose will have got lost in the decoupling wash.

In other words, jurisdictions - including the EU, which looks the most hot to trot - need to tread very carefully in implementing such a regime, and it has to be done as part of wider, multilateral negotiation that has net zero goals very much at its heart. 
11) And finally: British Army U-Turns on Extinction Rebellion Leadership lecture
Guido Fawkes, 9 November 2021
The Centre for Army Leadership  has announced they’re to host Extinction Rebellion’s Chris Taylor at their Culture and Leadership Conference on 1st December.


According to the announcement Taylor will talk on “Leadership in a time of social collapse”. Guido imagines Her Majesty’s forces will be only too happy to be lectured by a spokesman for a group that last year hijacked Remembrance Day to daub the Cenotaph in extremist protest garb reading “Climate change means war”.

Surely the army should be busy dealing with loons like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain – not taking lectures from them…

UPDATE: In just under two hours his invite has been rescinded....

The London-based Net Zero Watch is a campaign group set up to highlight and discuss the serious implications of expensive and poorly considered climate change policies. The Net Zero Watch newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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