The Week That Was
June 28, 2003

1. New on the Web: It looks increasingly likely that CANADA MAY REJECT ITS RATIFICATION OF KYOTO after the Chretien government departs in Feb 2004. It will be a great political boost for George Bush -- in an election year.


3. THE "OTHER" TOM DELAY FROM THE UK is nothing like our Tom DeLay from Texas. More like Al Gore in his anti-nuclear zeal and his faith in "renewables" and global warming.

4. And now: A SKEPTICAL BRITISH VIEW OF BRITAIN'S CARBON TRUST from our John Brignell (publisher of Numberwatch)






2. UNEP Launches Enforcement Initiative on CFCs:

Global customs officials will get help in combating environmental crime through a new "Green Customs" Web site ( developed by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The web site will provide information-sharing and training tools to help officials detect trade in ozone-depleting substances, hazardous wastes and endangered species. Initial partners in the project include UNEP, the World Customs Organization, Interpol and the secretariats of the Basel Convention and Montreal Protocol. According to the UNEP, estimates of the size of the annual black market for ozone-depleting substances range from 20,000 metric tons to 30,000 metric tons.

SEPP Comment: CFC smuggling worldwide is second only to the traffic in drugs in dollar value.

3. A burning issue for Britain

(Telegraph: 15/06/2003)

Carbon emissions are being cut for environmental reasons. But there would be positive benefits for industry, says Tom Delay, the head of the Carbon Trust, the government-sponsored body charged with helping Britain to achieve its Kyoto targets. Doug Morrison reports:

Climate change evokes images of catastrophic floods and storms, major population shifts and economic upheaval decades into the future. For the inappropriately named Tom Delay, the chief executive of the Carbon Trust
[], it is not so much a problem for tomorrow as a critical issue for British companies today.

Carbon-free: alternative energy sources like wind are vital to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. What's more, Delay thinks that Britain's more progressive companies regard climate change as a business opportunity rather than a threat. "The better the business, the more aware they are of this issue," he says.

It is widely accepted that to stop climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases must be reduced. To do that, Britain has to shift towards what is known as a "low carbon economy", involving more efficient use of fossil fuels and greater reliance on renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and tidal power.

Delay says it is business that will be "the engine of the transition" to a low-carbon economy. The Carbon Trust, established two years ago, is spreading the message of energy efficiency across all sectors of business while at the same time fostering the development of radical, new technology within the energy sector itself.

Given the Government's aggressive targets, it is a daunting task. The recent energy White Paper commits the UK to cutting emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 but gave no comfort that there would be any new nuclear power stations (which currently supply more than 20 per cent of the UK's electricity and are carbon-free). Nevertheless, the Carbon Trust believes the goal can be accomplished without increasing the reliance on nuclear power.

"When all the critics say it can't be done without new-build nuclear, they're wrong. It's as simple as that," says Delay. He adds: "It may not happen, but it is doable."

Even so, six years on from the Kyoto Protocol that shaped these obligations, the anti-carbon lobby appears to be winning some important arguments. The link between carbon dioxide and global warming is regarded by most experts - though not quite all - as beyond doubt.

For its part, the Carbon Trust has steered clear of areas such as nuclear and so-called carbon sequestration, where carbon waste is effectively stored underground in old oil and gas fields. Instead, the trust is concentrating its efforts on energy efficiency and research and development focused on renewable energy. This is simply, Delay says, because they are more potentially productive areas for its £50m a year budget.

The drive to improve energy efficiency is led by Action Energy, which is a Carbon Trust initiative and which provides interest-free loans and allowances to the public and private sectors. Action Energy aims to save organisations up to 20 per cent of their fuel bills, which the Carbon Trust says equates to total UK savings of £800m a year.

The R&D activity takes up half of the Carbon Trust's budget and it does not lack proposals from businesses, universities and individuals. But a one-in-six hit rate shows that not many are robust. Even good ideas can fail between the R&D stage and the market, described by Delay as falling into "the valley of death".

So what for the future? Later this year the trust will raise its profile further with its Innovation Awards for low carbon technology. "The nice thing about this is that you're rewarding the idea, you're not too worried about whether it's bankable," Delay says.

The Carbon Trust also aims to do more to help attract private sector investment. That, with its own funding for R&D, could provide huge impetus for the development of "green" technologies right through to commercial viability. "Basically," says Delay, "we offer a watering hole in the valley of death."

SEPP Comment: We told you, didn't we, that this Tom is different from our Tom. Don't you just love that last bit about the valley of death. How long before the British public realizes that the "watering hole" is really a giant rat hole soaking up public funds better spent on reducing investment-killing taxes.


4. Mad in Britain (by Prof John Brignell)

Oh dear! The insanity is spreading. The Sunday Telegraph, probably the sanest of British newspapers, devotes a whole page to the climate change myth. Worse than that, it is combining with the Carbon Trust to offer the Innovation Awards 2003 for companies with new ideas to exploit the carbon racket. Thousands of businesses struggling to survive in the real economy are suffering from escalating taxes to fund these essays into the imaginary economy.

When you read this stuff, you have to keep reminding yourself of the facts of the matter, which are:

1. Global warming is a pseudo-scientific myth.

2. Even if you believe it, the Kyoto agreement is a scam.

3. Even if you swallow the whole shebang, Kyoto will make a negligible difference (apart, of course, from an economic disaster).

4. Renewable energy schemes are based on a numerical fraud.


5. Kyoto boondoggles
Letter from Roger Phillips, Financial Post 16 June 2003

Re: Letters from Ministers Anderson and Dhaliwal (June 9)
These gentlemen suffer from a disease not uncommon among politicians -- the inability to see past the end of their noses.

In this particular case, the Ministers conveniently ignore the fact that Kyoto sets an absolute limit for Canada's greenhouse gas emissions that must not only be met by 2010 but never exceeded in future years. They suggest "a new, ultra-high-efficiency natural gas furnace could save "up to (my emphasis) 38% ... and up to three tonnes of CO2 for the environment." Given that population estimates suggest Canada will have more than twice the number of people in 2100 that it had in 1990 (the base year for calculating emission reductions under Kyoto), per capita emissions will have to drop by more than 50% just to stay even, and then to meet Kyoto total emissions will have to drop a further 6%. Worse, the Kyoto agreement foresees further negotiations aimed at greater reductions once the initial target has been achieved.

The Ministers' subtle subliminal message that people can meet Kyoto targets painlessly and save money to boot is far from the truth. Once such easy solutions as the Ministers refer to are in place, Canadians are in for severe hardships if the country is going to maintain its Kyoto commitment in the face of a growing population. Are they contemplating a ban on immigration, forced downsizing of our housing or maintaining our houses at 10C in the winter?

Isn't it strange that the big boosters of Kyoto, the Europeans, are expecting a slight drop, not an increase, in population between now and 2100? Let's face it, our negotiators at Kyoto were duped and Messrs. Anderson and Dhaliwal weren't smart enough to take a long-term view.

Kyoto boondoggles
Letter from Ross McKitrick, Financial Post 16 June 2003

Diane Francis' column (June 3) pointed out the building retrofit policies (among others) in the federal climate-change plan would be horrendously expensive if actually implemented. She is right.

In their dismissal of her concerns, Ministers Anderson and Dhaliwal (June 9) deny such measures will have to be forced on people since homeowners would financially gain from enacting them. This was contradicted by their announcement the next day of new $1,000 subsidies to get people to do home retrofits. If the retrofits are really such a money-saver, why are the subsidies needed?

Most tellingly, the government has dug up an obscure program in Toronto as a template, hoping everyone will forget the long list of federal building retrofit subsidy programs since the 1970s (CHIP, R2000, Advanced Houses Program, Federal Buildings Initiative, Energy Innovators Plus, Commercial Building Incentives, etc). They have cost hundreds of millions of dollars and have been repeatedly criticized by the Auditor-General for lacking clear objectives and measurable benefits. Yet here we go again.

If, after 25 years of these policies, Canadian buildings are still not insulated, we can scarcely expect the new plan to accomplish anything. And if our buildings are insulated (which of course they are), the new program is even more pointless. Fact is, despite all the money spent so far on Kyoto, the best the feds have come up with is to recycle stale, failed energy efficiency boondoggles. The Ministers get one thing correct, however. They say, "the right choices do make sense, economically and environmentally." Now they just need to realize that rejecting Kyoto would have been the right choice.

Dr. Ross McKitrick, associate professor, Department of Economics, University of Guelph.


6. Radiation exposures not harmful to aircrews

M. Blettner (who retired, not long ago, under protest as chair of the German Radiation Protection Commission) published an interesting report about epidemiological studies with air crews, involving 6,061 "cock- pit staff" with 105,000 person-years (average of 17.5 y). Their life dose is 100-150 mSv. (from the summary): "The risk for cancers is slightly below that of a reference population. There are no indications of increased mortality risk by cosmic radiation".

(from the 2/2003 issue of "Strahlenschutzpraxis" (ISSN 0947-434X),

SEPP Comments: A 6-hour flight from Frankfurt to New York: leads to an exposure of 0.03 mSv. In Kerala, India, where the natural radiation level (up to about 400 milliSievert per year) is much higher than the average global one (2.4 mSv), black rats for 800 to 1000 generations have shown no adverse biological effects.

7. Iraqi oil production forecasts

Iraq has proven reserves of 112 billion barrels -- 11 percent of total proven reserves in the world and second only to Saudi Arabia's reserves, which account for more than 20 percent. There have been no oil explorations in Iraq for more than a decade and the possibility remains of finding even greater reserves when explorations are renewed.

Present Production Capabilities rest on the belief that Iraqi technicians -- despite years of poor maintenance because of sanctions, looting, the breakdown of the communications system inside the country, and the interruptions in electric supplies -- will be able to invigorate the oil industry faster than was expected.

According to newspaper reports, Iraq announced that it would start exporting oil at the rate of 750,000 barrels per day (b/d) by the second half of June. The American appointed head of the Petroleum Ministry was talking about 1.4 million b/d by the end of June. This may have looked optimistic but it is certainly achievable by the end of the calendar year. Fadhel Al-Chalabi, director of Global Energy Center in London, who called for the privatization of the oil sector in Iraq, talks about exports of 8 million b/d in 6-8 years and perhaps even 10 million b/d if new discoveries are made.

Saudi Arabia's weight as a Middle Eastern power is measured by its oil reserves and its overwhelming influence in OPEC. If OPEC's role is to diminish as a result of independent Iraqi oil policies, or perhaps even to disintegrate, the consequences for Saudi Arabia's political influence are enormous. Beyond the economics of pricing, oil contributes 85 percent of Saudi government revenues. As an exporter of approximately 7.5 million b/d, a decline of $1 dollar per barrel would translate into a loss of $2.7 billion annually. A decline of $10 per barrel translates into a nightmare for the regime struggling to meet the needs of a rising population and correspondingly rising unemployment.

By Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli, Senior Analyst of MEMRI's Middle East Economic Studies Program.

8. Nuclear Energy advances in Europe

Swedish citizens support nuclear power. A survey in April 2003 shows 50% accept continued operation with acceptable safety standards, an additional 19% vote for replacing expired reactors, and a further 12% support construction of new reactors when needed. (NucNet News, 167/03, 15 May)

The Dutch government permits life extension to 2013 of pressurized-water reactor Borssele (built in 1973) (atw, June 2003 p.426). Thanks to [German environment minister] Trittin, German reactors get only 32 years.


9. Columnist Mark Steyn comments on the EU
"The European Union is run by an unelected Commission and a secretive Council," writes Mark Steyn, "and given a fig leaf of respectability by a parliament of EUnuchs with no real power."




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