Tax Reform Economic Science 301.

Posted April 4, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“Nature is the art of God.”

– Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

cumberland 7Treason 3: The Temple of Doom is part 3 of a three-part documentary “Treason”. It covers various aspects of environmental issues surrounding climate change, including critical looks at “cap-and-trade” (CAT) measures meant to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Treason 3 begins by declaring that the Green Agenda has been hijacked; climate change has turned into a movement to make private corporations the land barons of the 21st century.

Bankers have found a way to get in on the act of carbon trading, gambling on the price of permits.

Scientist James Hansen believes that “the dirtiest trick governments play on their citizens is the pretense that they are working on clean coal“. The world’s largest coal-burners are the United Kingdom, United States, and Germany. CAT legislation was guided through the U.S. Congress by Senator Tim Wirth, legalizing a money-making scheme which became the model for European CAT – it basically takes the public air, water, and land and turns it into private property. Unfortunately it is the universal pattern. Mr. Hansen believes “CAT is a cop-out, driving the world to a dead-end, to a social and ecological disaster”.

A letter sent by the British Economic Association’s president to all member economists told them that the climate change issue is going to become very important, we have to understand it, and then we have to suggest policies that will enable us to capture this issue for our profession. Economists talked about CAT being a market-based approach, but it’s not a market at all – it’s created by legislation. CAT will create a gigantic bureaucracy. A real market approach would be a carbon tax which is very simple.

There is something worrisome coming down the highway, and that’s carbon trading. CAT is based on neoclassical economics and likely shaping up as the mainstream solution to the climate problem. Europe spent $50 billion on trading the pollution permits, the largest permit went to a German coal-burning facility, then their carbon dioxide emissions actually increased.

The global carbon market was worth US $126 billion in 2008

The second part of CAT is offsets, a supplement to CAT. Offsets allow corporations to use cleverly thought up equivalents to emissions like tree plantations in the global south, or iron filings in the ocean to absorb carbon, etc. to avoid and/or delay improvements to equipment and other measures to reduce emissions.

The global carbon trading market has become very large, the number of permits are expected to decrease, so the price of permits is expected to increase a lot. Permits now trading for 50 euros per ton of greenhouse gases are forecast to be selling for over 100 euros in 5-10 years. The income stream should be quite large – a trillion-dollar market by 2020. It will become the world’s largest commodity market and is looked upon by Wall Street and the City of London as the replacement for the giant derivatives market which resulted in the 2007-8 economic crash the world is still suffering with today.

Carbon trading is predicted to become worth $3 trillion by 2020

According to one man in the film, many people have concerns about the carbon market actually leading to a bubble similar to the property/housing bubble which had a huge effect on the crash. He finds that the problem is how people will value the assets – the commodities that are getting traded. Under the United Nations agreement known as the Kyoto Protocol, most of the offset credits, most of the carbon credits produced by offset projects under the clean development feature of Kyoto, are actually being bought every day. Not by polluters to offset their pollution, but by Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and others.

They are buying up the credits, not to deal with their own pollution problems, which aren’t nearly as serious as mining and manufacturers – they’re buying permits to gamble with them. To speculate. If they increase in value you can make money off that. If they crash or go down in value you can short them and make money from that. You can make money from volatility, when they go up and down in price, like hedge funds do.

Climate policy is being passed into the hands of Wall Street and the City of London. One of the dangers is that this will drive a bubble in carbon credits, and nobody knows about these new commodities. They have been packaged, sliced-and-diced; credits from a windmill project get combined with a plantation project with an efficiency project, securitized and so on…

It’s an extremely complex market of assets, nobody will know what they are, nobody will understand them, the price goes up and up and up until someone asks, “what are we trading in?” People lose trust and the bubble market crashes. A lot of money gets traded on Wall Street and City of London where they trade those carbon derivatives between each other, but very little carbon gets taken out of the air.

An alternative to massive bureaucracy, financially dangerous CAT/carbon trading is then illustrated. A carbon tax on gasoline of $1 per gallon would raise an estimated $670 billion per year. It would be inaccurate to call it a carbon “tax” because the $670 billion would be returned directly to citizens – around $3,000 per person. Scientist James Hansen agrees with such a “tax” to incentivize both reduction in gas usage and innovation in auto technology. Other benefits include people moving into higher miles-per-gallon vehicles, automakers’ understanding their products need higher mileage per gallon plus new hybrid/electric product development, and a more intense renewable energy consciousness, accelerating creativity for solar, wind, biomass and other green energy options.

Treason 3 then touches on Iceland and its fishing industry. International Monetary Fund established a conservation fund which apparently was a cover for speculating in the money markets. Corporations with factory-sized fishing vessels had the financial muscle to buy the fishing permits. Iceland didn’t charge enough for the full rental value of the fish. Fish quotas became a major instrument of funds for the banking industry speculators to make money. After Iceland’s banks collapsed, Icelanders realized they had to charge substantial rent to fish their coastal waters.

Narrator Fred Harrison then points out that many wars will be fought in the future over drinking water. Rivers are running dry, droughts are turning once fertile farmland into semi-deserts. Viewers learn that in California the super-rich are at the head of the pack for getting scarce water supplies.

Finally, the film asserts that those who have benefited from natural resource extraction had gotten off the hook with regard to damage done to the environment, including human beings, animals, and plants. Incentives are necessary to counteract the culture of greed and the harmful pollution that has happened, and is happening. John Perkins gives the example of Ecuador, whose new constitution just ratified gives land, forests, rivers, animals and plants inalienable rights. He sees this as a subtle, yet very important statement for Ecuadorans in their respect for the nation’s natural resources.

The woman closing the film goes one step further than Ecuador, calling for a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights. She believes such an agreement is necessary to deal with the crisis, and has the added benefit of creating a seismic shift in consciousness.

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(Thank you to theIUorg at YouTube)

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Innovative Solar Energy Technology.

Posted February 23, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

earthblog4An architect from Europe has designed a unique product for collecting solar energy: “Rawlemon Spherical Solar Energy Generator”. This video is from YouTube channel “Rawlemon Ltd.” and, seeing it is one of two videos uploaded, the product seems at present in its initial stage(s) of development. The website to get more information on this invention is Rawlemon.com. At this time, the website is under construction so there is nothing further that I can convey about the potential of this solar energy innovation.

The reason I find this so interesting is because a similar concept came into my imagination.. My concept consisted of the same glass ball as the Rawlemon, made of the same type of glass used to make magnifying glasses. Everyone remembers when they were kids and used magnifying glasses to burn pieces of paper etc. So, a ball of magnifying glass seems like a good way to produce heat, with the ball shape allowing for continuous magnification from the sun no matter what time of day, eliminating the constraint of flat, rectangular solar panels having to become programmed to “follow” the sun across the sky.

The limited amount of information available on the Rawlemon because of the website modifications now under way does not allow one to find out what qualities the glass ball has with regard to magnifying properties. This video mentions concentrating 10,000 times the sun’s rays entering the glass ball, so this may mean that a magnification inducing glass is in place.

At any rate, the Rawlemon Spherical Solar Energy Generator may or may not be a product that revolutionizes the field of solar energy generation. At this point, we can only hope that it is.

Fukushima Coverup?

Reactor control room at Fukushima 1 nuclear po...
Reactor control room at Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant in Japan This photo was taken on June 23, 1999 during a tour of the plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted December 14, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

I came across some information about the Fukushima nuclear disaster that made me think about whether the people of the world have been given the truth.  According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission‘s (NRC) communications obtained from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filings, of emails and phone conversations between high-level NRC officials after the disaster on 3/11/11, there may have been a coverup of massive radioactive emissions.

Research of the FOIA communications of NRC by Tony Muga, whose pen name is Hatrick Penry, has led him to assert that, in direct contradiction of the official story that the dangers from reactor #4 are being dealt with today, what occurred days after the March 2011 disaster was the release of a radioactive plume from Fukushima after spent fuel at reactor #4 lost cooling water, and the worst case scenario happened – an amount equal to ten Chernobyls worth of radioactivity was released into the atmosphere.

I will leave it to readers to examine the information that Tony Muga has compiled and make up their own minds about his assertions. Mr. Muga has suggested that he has not made up this story – that the NRC’s own records clearly make the case for a coverup of historic dimensions – and asks that men and women look at the NRC’s FOIA information directly.

This is the first I have heard of this claim of a Fukushima coverup. After visiting Mr. Muga’s website and looking at articles on this I have decided to share the information here. The following video is of a recent radio interview on “The Lifeboat Hour” by Michael Ruppert of Tony Muga (Hatrick Penry). My intuition tells me what Mr. Muga is asserting is the truth. My intuition may be wrong. Or it may be right.

If wrong, the biggest coverup in history did not occur in Fukushima. If Mr. Muga’s research has led him to make an accurate assertion, then many times more radiation than has been reported – which reports a very significant amount – was released from Fukushima and kept from the awareness of the people of the world.

It is up to you to decide about the accuracy of this story. To research Tony Muga’s Fukushima articles, his website is hatrickpenry.wordpress.com. For videos visit YouTube channel – Hatrick Penry.

Humanity Must Accelerate Transition To Renewable Energy.

English: Greenchoice is a renewable-energy sup...
English: Greenchoice is a renewable-energy supplier in the Netherlands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted December 8, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Amory Lovins and Arnie Gunderson are two fellows who have been greatly involved in energy issues for a very long time. Both have come to the point where they are advocates of renewable energy in very intense ways, speaking out at every opportunity to show others why the great, world energy transition has to be sped up. The main reasons I have become a renewable energy advocate is very simple. Most importantly, fossil fuels’ significant contribution to environmental pollution and climate change. Then, because the energy from the sun and wind, as well as other renewables, is free.

Secondary, yet important reasons for a worldwide great transition to renewables, include the health of human beings and all life forms, a large reduction in the amount of military resources – which result in devastating wars, destruction, and worsening human relations – devoted to protection of fossil fuels’ production and transport, and the harmful effects of competition in fossil fuels industries globally.

After researching renewables in a not too intense way for some months, it just seems that the world’s people would want to move very strongly in this positive direction. My vision is of the Earth where every land has been covered with solar panels and windmills and industrial hemp, etc. for energy production, where every person has free energy in abundant supply. Where gas, oil, coal, and nuclear plants are energy dinosaurs, gone from the world just as whale oil disappeared many years ago.

The transition to renewables is now occurring, but it is simply not fast enough for me – and there are many millions of men and women around the world who feel the same. A personal hero of many renewable energy fans is Hermann Scheer from Germany, a man who was the driving force behind his country’s renewable revolution before passing away in 2010, who said, “a fast solar energy revolution is possible”. Amory Lovins and Arnie Gunderson are two people who belong in the same league with Hermann Scheer when it comes to advocacy for renewable energy’s tremendous potential.

With my personal experience of seeing a plane performing some kind of geoengineering exercise a few weeks ago, my determination to push for renewable energy on Earth intensified. Seeing a plane with a persistent contrail behind it extending for miles, and seemingly raining down “something” from the entire length of the formation, has me in a state where I am upset – I demand answers for what is going on with this activity. It seems that such an activity would not be necessary if the kind of fossil fuels emission reductions needed to halt global climate change were accomplished.

Geoengineering with planes around the world, with the spraying of aluminum, barium, strontium, and who knows what else, is an activity which some describe as done to reflect the sun’s rays away from the Earth, thereby reducing the temperature – the effects of global climate change. As geoengineering is almost a covert operation to most people, there is no real way to know what is actually involved. No politicians, media (but for alternative news from the internet), military, or business leaders are speaking to what is going on.

At this point I would lean toward the geoengineering theory which says that it is a cheap alternative to large, global changes in energy policies which would include a great revolution in renewable energy. Vested interests in the status-quo, powerful oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy industries see geoengineering as a practice which keeps their positions of immense power, profits, and wealth intact. I suppose those who had been involved in the whale oil industry before it went extinct held on as tightly as possible before the end.

The obvious question for the human race is which direction to move in concerning energy production in this world. Is it the perpetuation of the energy status-quo, where greenhouse gas emissions stay at the same levels, geoengineering “experiments” getting conducted on the largest of scales – which a rapidly growing number of men and women warn is dangerously unhealthy to all life forms – to avoid dealing seriously with the Earth’s climate and environmental challenges?

Or is it the most powerful movement toward clean, green, renewable energy that the world has ever seen?

Watch this conversation between Amory Lovins and Arnie Gunderson, then let the world know where you stand. What energy direction do you think humanity – the world – should move toward?

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(Video source: Msmilkytheclown1 channel – YouTube)

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