Saturday 31st of July 2021

scomo has no clothes...


















Joe Biden has called upon the world to confront the climate crisis and “overcome the existential crisis of our time”, as he unveiled an ambitious new pledge to slash US planet-heating emissions in half by the end of the decade.

Addressing a virtual gathering of more than 40 world leaders in an Earth Day climate summit on Thursday, Biden warned that “time is short” to address dangerous global heating and urged other countries to do more.


Shortly before the start of the summit, the White House said the US will aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 50% and 52% by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Biden said the new US goal will set it on the path to net zero emissions by 2050 and that other countries now needed to also raise their ambition.


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Australia is without a fig leaf

Despite community concern about the issue, until recently the government, post Turnbull, judged it could slough off criticisms of Australia's inadequate climate policy. After all, wasn't Labor the side with the problem?

Now that's changed. There are multiple reasons but most immediately the election of Biden, who has put climate change at the heart of his international agenda, has left Australia without a fig leaf and with nowhere to hide.

It has to account for itself at high-profile international occasions. After the Biden summit comes the June G7 meeting in the United Kingdom, to which Australia has been invited. Then there's the November United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow.

Scott Morrison understands he must pivot the government's climate policy — specifically, that sometime this year he needs to formally embrace the widely accepted target of net-zero emissions by 2050. In his Thursday night speech to the summit, he said Australia would update its strategy for Glasgow.


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Free Julian Assange as well as cut emissions, Mr Biden...


the greening of CO2...

Fossil fuel companies could face legal challenges over their misleading advertising, after a DeSmog investigation uncovered the extent of their “greenwashing”.

Environmental lawyers ClientEarth have put companies on notice with the publication of the Greenwashing Files. The analyses, which use DeSmog’s research, show how adverts of major fossil fuel companies and energy producers continue to over-emphasise their green credentials, giving the public a misleading impression of their businesses.

DeSmog analysed the advertising output of Aramco, Chevron, Drax, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Ineos, RWE, Shell and Total, and compared this with the reality of the companies’ current and future business activities.

ClientEarth submitted a complaint against BP’s advertising in 2019, before the company decided to withdraw its “Possibilities Everywhere” campaign. The lawyers say other fossil fuel companies could face similar challenges if they mislead the public through their advertising. The group is calling for tobacco-style advertising bans and health warnings to counter fossil fuel companies’ “deceptive” marketing.

DeSmog’s investigation found messaging that touts companies’ climate pledges without being transparent about their large emissions contributions is widespread across advertising campaigns and social media promotions.

The adverts regularly highlight the companies’ preferred solutions to climate change — from carbon capture and storage, to experimental algae biofuels, and investment in renewable energy sources — without being open about the small percentage of overall investment allocated to these technologies, nor their various limitations.

The Greenwashing Files lay bare the contrast between the public image these adverts create, and the reality of the fossil fuel companies’ activities.

All companies featured in this article were contacted for comment.


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it’s not an easy task...


WASHINGTON — President Biden’s new pledge to slash America’s greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decade is long on ambition and short on specifics, but experts say that success would require rapid and sweeping changes to virtually every corner of the nation’s economy, transforming the way Americans drive to work, heat their homes and operate their factories.

In several recent studies, researchers have explored what a future America might look like if it wants to achieve Mr. Biden’s new climate goal: Cutting the nation’s planet-warming emissions at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

By the end of the decade, those studies suggest, more than half of the new cars and S.U.V.s sold at dealerships would need to be powered by electricity, not gasoline. Nearly all coal-fired power plants would need to be shut down. Forests would need to expand. The number of wind turbines and solar panels dotting the nation’s landscape could quadruple.

It’s achievable in theory, researchers say, but it’s an enormous challenge. To get there, the Biden administration would likely need to put in place a vast array of new federal policies, many of which could face obstacles in Congress or the courts. And policymakers will have to take care in crafting measures that do not cause serious economic harm, such as widespread job losses or spikes in energy prices, that could trigger blowback.


“It’s not an easy task,” said Nathan Hultman, the director of the University of Maryland’s Center on Global Sustainability. “We won’t be able to sit back and hope that market forces alone will do the job.”

For now, the United States has a head start. The nation’s greenhouse gas emissions have already fallen roughly 21 percent since 2005, according to estimates by the Rhodium Group, an energy research and consulting firm. Much of that decline came as electric utilities retired hundreds of their dirtiest coal plants and shifted to cheaper and cleaner natural gas, wind and solar power.

But roughly one-third of the reductions to date have come as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as business activity slumped and Americans drove less. That drop is likely to prove fleeting. “We expect emissions to rebound this year as the economy recovers, so we’re already backtracking a bit,” said Kate Larsen, a director at the Rhodium Group.


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dodgy scomo...


From Richie Merzian


I have sat through countless speeches on climate change from world leaders, both working for the government and outside it, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s rant at President Joe Biden’s climate summit last night was one of the worst performances I have ever seen.

Technical glitches and the dreaded mute button were the least of Morrison’s worries, as he mounted the (virtual) stage, armed with three-word slogans, self-congratulations, and downright dodgy greenhouse gas emission numbers.

Most major nations before him (and there were many) had pledged stronger climate targets or concrete policies to curb carbon pollution.  Japan and Canada vowed significant increases on their 2030 targets. India and the Republic of Korea announced new partnerships with the United States. Even Brazil, a highly problematic country in the climate space, announced it would advance its carbon neutrality target by a decade.


In contrast, Morrison’s speech was heavy on bluster, light on policy. No new commitments were brought to the table, further cementing Australia’s inadequate Paris target of a 26-28 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Then like the dinner guest that turns up to a pot-luck empty-handed and complains about what others have brought, Morrison dismissed the serious efforts of other nations whilst offering nothing himself.

When it came time to talk numbers, Morrison’s claim that we have reduced emissions by 19 per cent broadly and 36 per cent excluding exports, had me and many others dumfounded. Where did these numbers come from? What dodgy accounting tricks were at play? Turns out 19 per cent is cherry-picked from the middle of the pandemic and the 36 per cent number is just off the reservation. The PM is reinventing UN accounting rules, asking the world to forget about the rising emissions from the production of gas and coal we export!

If there is one thing we can establish, Morrison can always be relied upon for accounting tricks. Until recently, the Morrison government tried to cash in on leftover carbon credits from the last climate agreement, to avoid reducing emissions required under the current Paris Agreement. This is akin to attempting to use an old Starbucks loyalty card to pay for a Big Mac. Only after he was named and shamed by his international peers did Morrison back away from this dodgy loophole.

Much like a guest knows there are topics you do not talk about at a dinner party, every world leader knows the formalities and conventions of a climate summit. Every world leader it seems, bar Morrison. After undermining the speakers before him by belittling ‘targets’ and ‘promises’ with a tone-deaf arrogance, Morrison went on to awkwardly name-check his big-polluting industry mates, and claim Australia would somehow replicate the US’ success in Silicon Valley through our own ‘hydrogen valleys’.

Morrison rattled off ‘pioneering Australian companies’ from BHP to RioTinto, seemingly forgetting he was speaking on the international stage not addressing the Business Council of Australia at some inner-city wine bar. Perhaps most bizarre, was the name-dropping of Allan Finkel. While most Australian’s probably don’t know who Allan Finkel is, let alone the rest of the world – those who do, likely know him as the former Chief Scientist whose controversial views on gas sparked an open letter from leading Australian scientists.

In December 2019, when I watched Angus Taylor address the United Nations climate talks in Madrid without acknowledging the catastrophic bushfires that were devastating the nation, I thought I’d seen Aussie climate diplomacy at its worst. Then came Morrison’s performance at this summit.

Fortunately, the US had placed Morrison so far down the speaking list that President Biden had already left the room.

The United States – the world’s largest economy and second-largest polluter after China kicked off the event by announcing it would at least halve emissions by 2030, a target that Australia Institute research shows Australia should replicate. If it did, then we would have something to brag about.



Richie Merzian is Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute. You can follow him on Twitter at @richiemerzian


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chinese carbon neutrality...



President Xi Jinping's speech on Thursday at the Leaders Summit on Climate, where he set out China's ambitious pledges, has won praise from world leaders and experts.

In the speech, Xi talked about how man and nature should build a community of life together and vowed the country will take aggressive measures to reach carbon neutrality by 2060, including to begin phasing out coal.

"I think what President Xi had to say about the harmony with nature was absolutely vital," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a speech shortly after Xi's.

"If we're going to tackle climate change sustainably, we have to deal with the disaster of habitat loss and species loss across our planet and we want to see even more examples of government and private industry working hand in hand as with the newly launched LEAF Coalition to reduce deforestation and the multitrillion dollar Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero," said Johnson, referring to global initiatives to protect tropical forests and speed up net zero transition.

The United Kingdom will host COP26 in Glasgow in November while China will host the UN Biodiversity Conference in October.

In his speech, Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, praised China and the US for their pledges at the virtual meeting, which was hosted by the US and drew 40 world leaders.

"We are grateful that the United States and China have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and we look forward to swift action in their transitioning into carbon neutral economies," Browne said.

Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said that Xi repeated China's commitment to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, but also added for the first time that China will strictly limit the increase in coal consumption during the period of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and will phase down coal during the 15th Five-Year Plan (2026-30).

"This suggests that China could reach its peak emissions by 2025, or soon after, which would be a significant advance in ambition," said Stern, a British economist.

Hege Fjellheim, head of Norway-based Carbon Research at Refinitiv, said that Xi's speech "adds to the positive momentum for global climate change mitigation in the year of COP26".

"The reference to some regions and sectors to peak emissions earlier could hint towards an aim of China achieving carbon peak ahead of 2030," Fjellheim said.

Anri Sharapov, a professor at the Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies in Uzbekistan, said that Xi's speech demonstrated that China is always an active participant in facing global climate change.

"As a major power with responsibility, Xi's remarks showed the world the determination by China to protect the environment and solve climate change problems, which will definitely increase the confidence of the international community to jointly face the challenges of climate change," Sharapov said.

Hiroshi Onishi, an economics professor at Keio University in Tokyo, said it is of crucial significance to see that China and the US work together to tackle climate change.

"By doing so, it sends a clear signal to the world that we do need to worry about climate change and sometimes take harsh measures to fix it," Onishi said.

Serik Korzhumbayev, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Delovoy Kazakhstan, said that it was remarkable that in the recent years China was following the new development philosophy and adhering to the path of green and low-carbon development.

Kelly Gallagher, professor of energy and environment at The Fletcher School of Tufts University based in Massachusetts, US, said Xi "essentially confirms that China will stay the course, continuing to reduce coal as a percentage of primary energy through 2030".

She noted that China's newly added capacity in renewables dwarfs its newly added coal capacity.

"China's added capacity in renewables in 2020 was almost twice as large as US added capacity," she said on social media on Thursday.

Xi's vision of a community with a shared future for mankind has climate action at its core. But the building of this common future must also be a shared responsibility, by all countries and all sectors, to keep the global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees, said Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities.



Wang Xu in Tokyo and Prime Sarmiento in Hong Kong contributed to this story.



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FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

carbon capture con-trick......


By Jason Cohen posted on April 28, 2021


While on the campaign trail, Joe Biden reiterated that under his presidency, the U.S. would once again become a leader within the global community. During his few months as president, he announced the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Accord and also rejoined the World Health Organization — two acts lauded by the media but, in reality, symbolic in nature. 

Many Biden supporters and liberal media commentators hope that his policy changes mean the U.S. will effectively fight to ameliorate the effects of ongoing apocalyptic climate shifts and that rejoining the WHO will enable the U.S. to work more effectively to combat the worldwide spread of COVID-19. Reality has so far shown otherwise. 

Biden announced his plan to curb CO2 emissions on Earth Day and set a new target that, if followed, would “achieve a 50% to 52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse-gas pollution in 2030.” At face value, this seems like a bold plan. 

Extreme weather and sea level rises have already devastated communities around the world and sparked an increase in the growing number of climate refugees mostly being dislocated from their homelands in the Global South. With this in mind, how effective will this plan be in combating rapidly worsening climate change?

The plan relies on carbon-capture technologies and energy sources including nuclear power to enhance the power grid. It should be remembered that the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran supposedly because it wanted to develop nuclear energy to create a sustainable energy source in the face of economic blockades, sanctions and military threats imposed primarily by Washington. 

The plan emphasizes the need to update building codes and limit excess energy output from apartment buildings, yet study after study has shown that the true threat to the climate comes not from the family unit but from major transnational corporations. 

Biden’s plan calls for building “sustainable public housing,” which may help working-class families. Meanwhile, across the country, public housing projects have been privatized by real estate barons. If affordable housing units are built, they must remain subsidized by the government and be built in communities that need them the most.

Limits of carbon capture

Biden’s plan to deal with transnational corporations that profit from extractive and industrial processes states: “The United States can address carbon pollution from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture as well as new sources of hydrogen — produced from renewable energy, nuclear energy or waste — to power industrial facilities. The government can use its procurement power to support early markets for these very low- and zero-carbon industrial goods.” (

Relying on carbon-capturing technology ignores the fact that transnational corporations profit from destroying the environment by extracting oil and natural gas. How are carbon-capture technologies going to deal with this intrinsic contradiction? 

In reality, it will allow corporations to call themselves “green” by utilizing “green technology.” This may sound good on paper, but these changes are occurring in a world in which the United States is the hegemonic power of the world capitalist-imperialist order. 

As demand for green technology grows in the U.S. and worldwide, there will be a greater need for elements such as lithium. We have already seen the U.S. and the European Union support a coup against the Evo Morales government in Bolivia to steal lithium to build electric vehicles, because Indigenous-led Bolivia nationalized its lithium resources and contracted with China to develop them sustainably. Will the U.S. lead “green” imperialist military interventions to ensure cheap access to elements needed for new technologies?

The last facet of the plan has to do with ensuring environmental justice for marginalized communities. This call for environmental justice is interconnected with Biden’s infrastructure plan that focuses on water supply and transportation. 

At the same time Biden was announcing this plan to ensure a safer and more equal water supply, his administration was making motions to reinstate the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline – which illegally violates tribal sovereignty and federal water rights under the Constitution. DAPL passes under the Missouri River next to the Standing Rock reservation and threatens their clean waters and those of 18 million people downstream on the Mississippi River watershed.  

A second part of the infrastructure plan that sounds good is upgrading the public transportation system. But will the government use the creation of a national high-speed rail network to further dispossess Indigenous peoples, small farmers and rural people from their lands? 

And the U.S. is an apartheid state. We must ensure that public bus systems are expanded into Black and Brown communities, both in the cities and rural areas. To this day, whether in east Austin, Texas, or New York City, a disparity exists in the efficiency and funding of public transportation systems, which do not exist outside certain cities. Would the incoming infrastructure plan overcome this?

This settler-colonialist state operates to make the world safe for transnational capital. It will never support policies that will dramatically hurt the profit margin of the capitalist class; fossil fuel barons would rather burn the Earth than combat climate change. 

It is time to break away from the blood-soaked system of capitalism and fight to build a socialist society in which the natural world, the environment is not viewed as a commodity for profiteering — a world in which the working people are in power and the health and welfare of humanity and all life in the biosphere are placed above profit margins.

S. Hedgecoke contributed to this article.


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hold your breath...


In my first week as the BBC's new Australia correspondent in 2019, a state of emergency was declared in New South Wales. Bushfires blazed and came very close to Sydney.

The orange haze and the smell of smoke will forever be etched in my memory.

As the country woke to pictures of red skies, destroyed homes and burned koalas in smouldering bushland, the climate change debate came to the fore.

But this wasn't a scientific debate. It was political and it was partisan.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not answer questions about the issue, while then Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack dismissed climate concerns as those of "raving inner-city lefties". 

That was my other big memory of my first week in Australia. The leadership - after years of drought and as blazes raged across the east coast - openly throwing doubt on the effects of climate change.


This was a tussle at the heart of Australian politics.

Climate change is a hotly charged issue here. It draws in the powerful fossil fuel industry and regional voters fearful for their livelihoods.

It's a subject that has ended political careers. 

'Vacuum of leadership'

Throughout those months of the Black Summer fire season, Mr Morrison would face fierce criticism about how his government handled the situation - and how it continued to avoid the climate crisis.

The science around climate change is complex but it's clear. Yes, it was not the cause of any individual fire but experts agree it played a big role in creating catastrophic fire conditions; a hotter, drier climate contributed to the bushfires becoming more frequent and more intense.

An inquiry following the Black Summer fires said further global warming is inevitable over the next 20 years - and Australians should prepare for more extreme weather.


Still, Australia's government refuses to pledge net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This refers to balancing out any emissions produced by industry, transport or other sources by removing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.

In his address to US President Joe Biden's climate conference in April, the prime minister said Australia will "get there as soon as we possibly can".


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