“There has never been a global movement to put a price on carbon at this level and with this degree of unison,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim declared in an October 19, 2015 press release announcing the establishment of a global Carbon Pricing Panel — a group convened by Kim and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “It marks a turning point,” the World Bank chief said, “from the debate on the economic systems needed for low carbon growth to the implementation of policies and pricing mechanisms to deliver jobs, clean growth and prosperity. The science is clear, the economics compelling and we now see political leadership emerging to take green investment to scale at a speed commensurate with the climate challenge.”
The panel includes Governor Jerry Brown of California, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, French President François Hollande, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Philippines President Benigno Aquino III, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Mayor Eduardo Paes of Rio de Janeiro.
Carbon pricing. Carbon trading. Carbon budget. Carbon audit. Carbon tax. Carbon regime. Carbon sequestration. Decarbonization. Those terms, largely unknown by the general public until very recently, suddenly became commonplace in the run-up to the UN’s 2015 Climate Change Summit in Paris. And if the “decarbonization” radicals have their way, those terms will be embedded into the common lexicon and global consciousness — and just as importantly, into global policy and global law — as the watchwords that will guide all human activity toward those nebulous and protean targets known as “sustainability goals.”
What would that mean for humanity as a whole, and what would that mean for our families and for us as individuals? Those are very important questions that demand answers, and soon, since the powerful “change agents” (that’s what they call themselves) promoting the global decarbonization agenda admit that it is an “historically unprecedented” reorientation of all society on our entire planet; a grandiose, centrally planned, dystopic future they proudly call “the Great Transformation.” From all of the information currently available, as well as from what we know about the ideological driving forces behind the key architects of the decarbonization movement, we can see that they have a very dark future planned for us, both literally and figuratively speaking. They are big on government-mandated “radical lifestyle changes” — for the masses, but not for themselves, of course. It will mean a downward economic spiral: less available energy, less secure energy, more costly energy, more frequent energy grid failures, more blackouts and brownouts, reduced opportunity, fewer jobs, more poverty.
At the root of the decarbonization scheme is the claim that human-produced CO2 is causing an overheating of the planet, and in order to avert the alleged calamitous consequences of this supposed crisis, we must rapidly reduce our use of fossil fuels, and then phase them out entirely. Coal, oil, natural gas, and diesel must go — to be replaced by nice, happy, “green,” “clean” alternative energy technologies. In order to win over the common man, who suspects (with good reason) that much of this “green” talk camouflages an impractical and oppressive statist system of control, the green political and chattering classes have recruited an impressive lineup of corporate allies. Endorsements from execs of Microsoft, Google, Citibank, GE, etc., powerfully convey — to many people, at least — the notion that the decarbonization campaign may rest on reasonable and economically sound theory. After all, these are hardheaded businessmen — capitalists — not woolly-headed academics and street agitators. That is, obviously, the intended message. That notion, however, is built on the misguided assumption that Big Business is synonymous with “free market” economics. This misperception is aided by the common ploy of referring to “carbon pricing,” “carbon trading,” and other similar terms as “market mechanisms,” when they are, in fact, responses to government mandates and interventions in the market. But the Big Business leaders who have jumped on this green bandwagon are doing so because they see the green they can make by partnering with government, by using political connections to get taxpayer-provided grants, loans, subsidies, and bailouts, instead of competing for consumers’ dollars in the “brutal” marketplace.
In order to speed the transition to the new “decarbonized” future, the Carbon Pricing Panel and its crony corporatist sponsors will be advocating various carbon taxes, a system of carbon trading permits, and public “investment” (read taxpayer subsidies) in more “green” energy projects.
Central to all of this is a carbon “cap and trade” system. This is an emissions trading system in which a cap, or limit, is set on the total amount of CO2 and certain other greenhouse gases (GHGs) that can be emitted by factories, transportation, power plants, and other emission sources. The cap is reduced over time so that total emissions fall. Companies — and, eventually, individuals — must be monitored and audited for emissions to determine if they have exceeded their permitted allowances. They may buy credits from other companies or entities that have extra credits. Or they may get credits through “carbon sequestration” projects that reduce global CO2, such as, for instance, planting trees in Africa. Since virtually every human action results in CO2 production, the intervention potential is mind-boggling. And once a price is put on CO2, governments will be able, literally, to create money out of thin air — just like the Federal Reserve, but with even less restriction and accountability.
The World Bank’s Jim Yong Kim and IMF’s Christine Lagarde partially fleshed out the plan in an October op-ed they co-authored for Project Syndicate (founded and funded by George Soros). Entitled “The Path to Carbon Pricing,” the column lays the groundwork promoting a carbon market in which trillions of dollars will be available for avaricious politicians and their crony corporatist pals.
“In just six weeks, world leaders will meet in Paris to negotiate a new global climate-change agreement,” Lagarde and Kim wrote. “To date, 150 countries have submitted plans detailing how they will move their economies along a more resilient low-carbon trajectory. These plans represent the first generation of investments to be made in order to build a competitive future without the dangerous levels of carbon-dioxide emissions that are now driving global warming.”
“The transition to a cleaner future will require both government action and the right incentives for the private sector,” say the duo. “At the center should be a strong public policy that puts a price on carbon pollution. Placing a higher price on carbon-based fuels, electricity, and industrial activities will create incentives for the use of cleaner fuels, save energy, and promote a shift to greener investments.” The means they advocate for accomplishing this are “measures such as carbon taxes and fees, emissions-trading programs and other pricing mechanisms.”
“Carbon taxes should be applied comprehensively to emissions from fossil fuels,” say Lagarde and Kim, adding, “The price must be high enough to achieve ambitious environmental goals.” Which is another way of saying they intend to fix carbon taxes high enough to make use of hydrocarbon fuels (oil, natural gas, coal, even firewood) prohibitively expensive, while subsidizing the inefficient, non-viable, “clean” wind and solar industries.
UN Official Admits: “Wealth Redistribution” Is the Goal
But the carbon cat is out of the bag: Some of Kim and Lagarde’s confreres have publicly admitted that their real goal has nothing to do with saving the environment and is totally aimed at redistributing the wealth of the planet — from the middle classes to the ruling classes. One of the most important confessions in this regard comes from Ottmar Edenhofer, who, from 2008 to 2015, was a co-chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III on “Mitigation of Climate Change.” He is also deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, one of the major tax-supported climate think tanks providing the World Bank with pseudo-scientific studies to justify confiscating the wealth of the planet in the name of saving nature.
During an interview in 2010 with Germany’s NZZ Online Sunday, Dr. Edenhofer candidly declared, “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.” Here, in context, is what Edenhofer said:
Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization.... But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole. [Emphasis added.]
What is the condensed takeaway of this confession? “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore.” Which is another way of saying that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming, or AGW, is all about politics masquerading under a false label of science. As The New American has reported many times, thousands of top scientists have debunked the IPCC’s bogus claims that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is a pollutant (it is an essential “gas of life”) or that it is causing global warming. We have also repeatedly cited the overwhelming evidence that, contrary to the claims of the IPCC, World Bank, IMF, et al., there has been no measurable increase in average global temperatures now for more than 18 years.
There are many other admissions from Edenhofer’s EU and UN colleagues. Such as, for instance, German physicist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founding director of the Potsdam Institute, a lead author for the UN’s IPCC and a top science advisor to the European Union, the German government, and the World Bank. It was Schellnhuber who came up with the two-degree limit myth that has now become dogma among AGW alarmists. The World Bank has become one of the biggest promoters of this AGW falsehood. In an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel, Schellnhuber admitted it is politics, not science, that is driving his agenda. “Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,” he told Der Spiegel. “The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated.”
Schellnhuber is a key architect of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), which is held up as the model for the planet despite the fact that it has been rife with scandal and corruption, with billions of euros being milked from it by organized crime and even by financiers of al-Qaeda. And that does not include the much larger sums that have been skimmed off by the “legal” corporatist criminals who have special privileges to broker these non-palpable carbon credit commodities.
A 400-page report that Schellnhuber co-authored entitled World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability sheds important light on where these elitists intend to direct their decarbonization effort. Published in 2011 as a “Flagship Report” of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WGBU), of which Schellnhuber is the chair, the report refers to itself as a “master plan” for “The Great Transformation.”
According to World in Transition, “If the radical change into a low carbon society is to succeed,” the world “must leave the epoch of nation states behind” and move toward more and more “global governance.” The new world state envisioned, according to the WBGU, will be a more “proactive state” and a more “enabling state,” unencumbered by old-fashioned notions of constitutional limitations and natural law.
Politically, says the WBGU, this transformation “requires a historically unprecedented transcending of established sovereignty concepts.”
Or, as Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate czarina, puts it, “a complete transformation of the economic structure of the world.” And, Figueres emphasizes, it is “centralized transformation,” leaving no doubt that the central planners intend to be in charge of directing every minutia in the move to the “Great Transformation.”
This article originally appeared in The New American's special report on climate. To order the report in either PDF or print format, click here.