ESG is Fully Endorsed by Public Sector Pension Plans

The Beatles song “Revolution” lyrics should be required reading for all the “woke” generation pushing the “net-zero” concept. When discovering something recently it brought to mind the words of that classic!  Pre-chorus 3 even had the following words: “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow“!  

The ESG Revolution

We often discover, after it happens and behind the scenes; bureaucrats (federal, provincial and municipal) support politicians advocating for what they perceive as beneficial to them and do so, without regard for taxpayers obligated to pay the price for their indulgence.

Such was the case when unbeknown to most of us taxpayers those bureaucrats got together via eight publicly supported pension plans  (PPP) and in a press release dated November 25, 2020 united for a cause advocated by the Federal Liberal Party. The cause was their undated agreement to push for ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors when investing our taxpayer dollars (federal and provincial) in any future investments for the benefit of their member’s pensions.

What the foregoing meant was; those “PPP” agreed to impose ESG standards on publicly traded and private companies.  The impact would be on those companies ability to attract PPP as either shareholders or lenders for debt raising via bond issues, etc.  Those public sector pension plans at the time of the signing of the agreement held $1.6 trillion in assets which was close to what Canada’s GDP (gross domestic product) was in 2020 at US $1.57 trillion. A reflection on the power they hold over us lowly taxpayers!  The agreement is not only undated and mind boggling but also not in tune with most taxpayers as to how they should allocate our tax dollars that created their $1.6 trillion value.

The full text of the short but “undated” and compelling agreement follows:

Companies and investors must put sustainability and inclusive growth at the centre of economic recovery

COVID-19 continues to impose a huge toll on our daily lives, impacting families, businesses, public institutions and civil society worldwide. The pandemic and other tragic events of 2020 have revealed pre-existing business strengths and shortcomings with respect to social inequity, including systemic racism and environmental threats.

It is imperative we rebuild our economies in ways that create greater systemic resiliency and inclusive growth. The time to act is now, and each of us has a role to play. We call on companies and investment partners to help drive lasting change by placing sustainability at the centre of their planning, operations and reporting.

As CEOs of Canada’s eight largest pension plan investment managers, representing $1.6 trillion in assets under management, we are committed to creating more sustainable and inclusive growth by integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into our strategies and investment decisions. It is not only the right thing to do, it is an integral part of our duty to contributors and beneficiaries. Doing this will unlock opportunities and mitigate risks, supporting our mandates to deliver long-term risk-adjusted returns.

To deliver on our mandates, we require increased transparency from companies. How companies identify and address issues such as diversity and inclusion, human capital, board effectiveness and climate change can significantly contribute to value creation or erosion. Companies have an obligation to disclose their material business risks and opportunities to financial markets and should provide financially relevant, comparable and decision-useful information. While we recognize companies face a myriad of disclosure frameworks and requests, it is vital that they report relevant ESG data in a standardized way.

We ask that companies measure and disclose their performance on material, industry-relevant ESG factors by leveraging the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework to further standardize ESG-related reporting. While the SASB standards focus broadly on industry-relevant sustainability reporting, the TCFD framework calls for climate-specific disclosures across several reporting pillars (governance, strategy, risk, and metrics and targets). Both are useful to investors and informative to companies working to frame their ESG reporting.

We are confident the ability to successfully address and adapt to these 21st-century business risks and opportunities is a distinguishing feature of great companies. While for many this will require greater ambition than in the past, we believe companies demonstrating ESG-astute practices and disclosure will outperform over the long-term.

For our part, we continue to strengthen our own ESG disclosure and integration practices, and allocate capital to investments best placed to deliver long-term sustainable value creation.

Inspired by this historic opportunity to help confront the most urgent challenges facing our global community, we ask others committed to our vision to join us on this journey towards a more sustainable future.“   

The eight CEOs who signed the agreement represented the following public pension plans:

Alberta Investment Management Corporation, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board!

The reference to SASB and TCFD in the agreement suggests these two UN inspired creations from a 2004 letter sent by Secretary General Koffi Annan to 50 CEOs of major financial institutions have completely revised the way we have been measuring financial performance over the centuries. It suggests 2 + 2 no longer equals 4!  To pretend companies will become “great” by adopting ESG factors flies in the face of all logic. The “E” (environmental) in ESG is what the Mark Carney, Michael Bloomberg political fans and eco-warriors have focused on and if the punishment of the middle and lower classes continues under their direction and the politicians they have influenced, we should expect:

As the Beatles opined “You say you want a revolution”!

NB: The Washington based “Institute for Pension Fund Integrity” in a report concluded: “Although there are over $20 trillion in ESG assets under management, it lacks a standardized definition under which all firms can unite and under which regulators can address legitimate concerns.“  

Who Pretends to Save us From Climate Change and the Pandemic?

An article in the Financial Post on December 30, 2021 signaled the bloom may be off the rose in respect to the market price of renewable energy firms. While the article points to the drop in value of stocks in the European travel and tourism sector in 2021, they note green renewable energy stocks fared much worse with values dropping despite the Stoxx market hovering at record highs.

Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial wind turbines saw their stock price fall by a third and for Siemens Gamesa Renewable their stock price fell by 37 per cent. The world’s largest offshore wind farm company Orsted A/S saw their market price fall 33 per cent. Despite the drop in the price of their shares however, they still trade at a high P/E (price/earnings) ratio.

Price Earnings Ratio The P/E ratio is calculated by dividing the market value price per share by the company’s earnings per share. Earnings per share (EPS) is the amount of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of a company’s common stock“                                                                                     

To put the foregoing in context Vestas P/E ratio is currently 32.9 meaning it would take that number of years before they generated the total EPS at their current market price. For Orsted A/S the P/E ratio is 44.2 and in Siemens case it doesn’t apply as they lost money in their latest reporting period.

Another “green” associated company whose stock market price has reached astronomical levels is Tesla the electric vehicle manufacturer. An article in the NY Times in late October stated the following:

Tesla is worth more than virtually every other major carmaker in the world combined. Analysts are squarely of two minds about its current level. In the bull camp: Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities, who tweeted yesterday, “Tesla hitting $1 trillion is just for starters.” In the bear camp: Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners, who wrote in a client note last week that Tesla’s stock — which then traded at 173 times next year’s earnings — was “egregiously overvalued.“  Based on the foregoing “bear camp” prophecy it is easy to understand why Elon Musk reportedlyoffloaded US$16.4 billion worth of shares since early November.“ What is also surprising is that Tesla’s bond rating is still in the junk category at BB+!

With politicians from all of the developed world countries pushing to eliminate ICE (internal combustion engines) sales and endorsing EV (electric vehicle) sales however, they have directly impacted the price of Tesla’s shares. Their efforts to free the world of emissions from the transportation sector has made Musk the richest man in the world. Pretty sure he appreciates the work of the UNIPCC bureaucrats, eco-warriors and the “woke” politicians who helped him get to that pedestal!

What about the Covid-19 pandemic?

 The other issue that surfaced just two years ago in the form of a “pandemic” has also presumably made rich people richer.  As one example it’s worth noting Moderna’s stock price on March 1, 2020 was US$29.95 and now is US$234.70 for a gain of almost 700%.  Pfizer Inc’s stock was trading at US$30.97 per share back on March 1, 2020 as the pandemic lockdowns hit and its current price is US$56.74 share so has almost doubled in less than 2 years.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines obviously played a hand in their increasing stock market value particularly as they are fully endorsed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) whose spokesperson seems to be Dr. Anthony Fauci. Fauci presses the need to be vaccinated and get booster shots.  He is the Chief Medical Advisor to the President so since the pandemic arrived, he has reached a position of power that is no doubt, the envy of every other bureaucrat in the USA and elsewhere.

Who owns Moderna, Pfizer and Tesla?

It is an interesting exercise to quickly look at some of the major shareholders of both Moderna, Pfizer and Tesla and it is fascinating to discover the names amongst the “top ten” shareholders. Those in the top 10 list of shareholders for Tesla, Moderna and Pfizer include BlackRock, SSgA (State Street Global Advisors) and Vanguard.  Fidelity Management are among the 10 largest shareholders of both Moderna and Tesla.

 At this point it is worth noting all four of the above “asset managers” are co-incidentally also members of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative which happens to be an outgrowth of GFANZ (Global Financial Alliance for Net Zero).  GFANZ is where Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England is the Chair and Mark Bloomberg is Co-chair. Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock is also listed as a Principal of GFANZ!   

Surely the foregoing connections are all co-incidental and those entities, the rich and famous guiding them and represented under the GFANZ umbrella are simply out to save the world from “climate change” while protecting us “commoners” from the perils of both that happening and the pandemic that arrived two years ago!

Someone is making money from both of the concepts of “climate change” (formerly referred to as “global warming”) and the Covid-19 pandemic and based on the above cursory review it would appear to be many of those amongst the elites and super rich.

Perhaps some of the less naïve politicians around the world are also benefitting too but that would require some serious investigation into the possible “conflict of interest” issues they are supposed to abstain from once they are elected!

ESG appears to be the acronym for Economic Spurious Gibberish

The term “environmental social and governance” (ESG) appears to be a concept developed by Ivo Knoepfel of the University of Zurich via his paper “Who Cares Wins”. The paper led those who claim mankind is responsible for “climate change” to advocate the use of ESG terminology to further their “net-zero” by 2050 target! Interestingly, a recent referendum held in Switzerland related to the plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 was rejected by Swiss voters so their politicians will have to back away from their signature to the “Paris Agreement”.

The hypocrisy of those recognized as the “super rich” or the “elites” of the world pushing the “net-zero” emissions by 2050 and the need to audit ESG commitment(s) by all corporations is mind-blowing!

The foregoing was recently highlighted by the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock and one of Canada’s largest, namely Brookfield

An article in the FP highlighted their hypocrisy, with the headline: “Brookfield, BlackRock bids for Saudi Aramco pipeline underscore an ESG dilemma”. Both of these institutions have pushed the “climate change” agenda and the focus to reach net-zero, so one wonders; why are they competitively bidding to acquire a gas pipeline and how would it allow them to achieve their purported end goal?

To reiterate the latter point it is noteworthy to be aware that Larry Fink, founder of BlackRock in his annual letter to CEO’s in 2021 stated:  “we believe all companies – including BlackRock – must begin to address the transition to net zero today. We are taking a number of steps to help investors prepare their portfolios for a net zero world, including capturing opportunities created by the net zero transition.

Likewise if one looks at the claim made by Mark Carney (Vice Chair of Brookfield), after his appointment, he went on to say publicly: “The reason we’re net zero is that we have this enormous renewables business,” he said, and thus “all the avoided emissions that come with that offset existing investments in entities that emit carbon.“  The media pushback on his remark forced him to admit it was a false claim.

Both Larry Fink and Mark Carney are members of the Board of Trustees of the WEF (World Economic Forum) and Klaus Schaub, WEF’s founder, states you won’t be allowed to join the WEF unless the company or organization you represent have committed to achieve net-zero by 2050 or sooner!

Past and Present Brookfield Actions

Brookfield’s history goes back to 1899 but we will look at only a few of their activities in the past decade. Let’s start with their purchase in October 2012 of Enwave Energy for C$480 million owned jointly by the City of Toronto and OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) at that time.  Enwave was, and still is, a district energy system provider, meaning they don’t generate greenhouse gases as the energy is geothermal (includes lake water) to heat and cool buildings.

Fast forward by almost 9 years to February 2021 and Brookfield announced they sold Enwave for US$4.1 billion (C$5.1 billion) to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Australian firm IFM Investors (each owning 50%) and presumably celebrated a very nice return on their original investment.  What is sadly amusing about this buying and selling occurrence is that one Government of Ontario pension plan (OMERS) sold their position back in 2012 for a fraction of what another Government of Ontario pension plan (OTPP) purchased it for in 2021. 

To make taxpayers more upset, back in 2019 former Minister of the Environment, Catherine McKenna handed Enwave $10 million of our tax dollars saying this partnership will help create jobs and help tackle climate change in asmarter way.“   

Just days ago, the (CIB) Canada Infrastructure Bank, (created in June 2017 to provide up to $35 billion to support infrastructure projects) issued a press release stating:  “The CIB is committing $600 million to the project which allows Enwave to accelerate and scale the build-out of its district energy systems.” The press release is vague in that it doesn’t indicate if it is an investment or a loan agreement. Either event will simply see tax dollars flying out the door while the Government increases our deficit and borrows the money they claim is for the good of the planet. The CIB now falls under the purview of Minister Dominic LeBlanc who in the past was singled out by Canada’s ethics commissioner when he “broke conflict of interest rules when he awarded a lucrative Arctic surf clam license to a company linked to his wife’s cousin.“

So, one should wonder, what did Brookfield do with that US$4.1 billion to assist them in their push to get to net-zero their Vice Chair Mark Carney, surely emphasized?  We don’t really know, but:

Brookfield wound up competing with Pembina Pipeline Co. for the purchase of Inter Pipeline and they won with a hostile takeover offer by outbidding Pembina with an accepted offer of C$8.6 billion.  One should surely wonder how that will assist Brookfield in getting to the “net-zero” target and how it fits with their 63 page ESG report for 2020?

The CEO’s letter within Brookfield’s ESG report contained the following:

Within our ESG initiatives, we are directing our efforts to the transition to a net zero carbon economy. This transition will affect virtually every business in every country, and we are fully committed to doing our part to decarbonize. In March 2021, we took an important step as part of our commitment to achieving net zero throughout our business: becoming a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative.”

One should wonder with the foregoing ESG initiative why would Brookfield purchase a pipeline and pursue another one in the middle east in competition with BlackRock (another NZAM member)?

From all appearances ESG, ie: “Economic Spurious Gibberish“ is the acronym for the heading in this article and has nothing to do with “environmental social and governance” they pretend it does!

Catching my Eye—Tragedies related to Climate Change

It is becoming evident the “climate change” push to achieve “net-zero” is causing lots of problems around the world but they appear to have nothing to do with an increase in floods, heat deaths, hurricanes, wildfires, harm to reefs, melting Antarctic or Arctic ice! 

The “sky is falling” referenced by politicians, bureaucrats and eco-warriors at COP 26 claiming it’s caused by emissions, instead, appears to be caused by their push to reach that “net-zero” emissions target!

Some recent examples:

Because electric buses catch fire easily, many German cities are taking the expensive electric buses out of service.

A recent article stated: “Lower Saxony is right at the forefront when it comes to electric bus transport. In June, however, a major fire broke out in a bus depot in Hanover in the Mittelfeld district, in which the fire destroyed nine vehicles belonging to the Üstra transport company. Cause: The battery of an electric bus had caught fire.“  In Stuttgart another electric bus fire noted 25 vehicles were destroyed by fire.

One should assume those transit* bus fires would result in major insurance claims but those insurance companies, if members of Mark Carney’s GFANZ (Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero) creation, with their $130 trillion in assets, will blame the event on “climate change”!

Maine voters reject $10 billion Hydro-Quebec deal; Legault says project will go ahead                                       

Hydro-Quebec got hit with a shock when a referendum in Maine rejected completion of a major transmission line passing through the state to reach Massachusetts. Hydro-Quebec signed a long-term supply agreement with Massachusetts to supply “clean hydro electric power” to replace some coal fired generation.  Those eco-warriors in Maine pushing to stop the transmission line argued; “environmentalists say that hydropower isn’t as low-carbon as it seems, between the building of dams and the decomposition of vegetation underwater in flooded areas, which creates some greenhouse gases. They’d prefer a turn to other clean energy sources, like wind.“  Premier Legault who was attending COP 26 said “Nothing is certain in life, but I am confident it will happen“. 

Sometimes it’s comforting to see politicians who have firmly committed to “net-zero” as Premier Legault has, get beaten up by those same eco-warriors they were intent on winning over for their votes!

Volvo says emissions from making EVs can be 70% higher than petrol models – and claims it can take up to 9 YEARS of driving before they become greener

It is interesting to note Volvo, back in March 2021, committed to being fully electric by 2030 recently stated: “greenhouse gas emissions during production of the electric vehicle are nearly 70 per cent higher than a petrol model, which is mainly due to the carbon intensity of battery and steel production, as well as from the increased share of aluminium in the plug-in car.“  This article went on to say; “at current global electricity mix, it needs to be driven almost 70k miles – 9 years based on average UK mileage – to offset its higher production emissions“  Volvo goes on to suggest if the batteries are charged** with “green energy” the emission offset will occur at 30k miles. Most EV manufacturers are now required to warranty battery life for 5 to 8 years meaning at some point shortly after, those batteries will reach their “end of life”, with a replacement cost of USD $5K to $15K each. 

What Volvo don’t say is about recycling those batteries. Dr. Paul Anderson of the University of Birmingham when queried about the percentage of recycled lithium-ion batteries stated: “the value everyone quotes is about 5%,” says Dr Anderson. “In some parts of the world it’s considerably less.“ Lots of taxpayer dollars are being expended to try and find a way to increasing that miserly 5% but because of the toxic nature of many of the hazardous materials they “have an inconvenient tendency to explode if disassembled incorrectly.”

From all appearances it seems the move to “green” the economies of the world through “electrification” of everything is not what the eco-warriors and the politicians they have converted to their beliefs, will find to be an easy task.

Perhaps those politicians know but don’t care as they will not be in power when the proverbial s##t hits the fan! 

*Those fires should alert some Ontario municipalities like Ottawa and Toronto, as well as the Province of Quebec to future problems should they electrify their transit and school bus fleets as planned; but don’t count on it!

**Cold climates affect EV batteries negatively causing them to be recharged more frequently.

The Canadian Institute of Climate Choices want us to Sink not Swim

Surely it was purely coincidental the CICC (Canadian Institute of Climate Choices) released their report titled: “Global climate policy acceleration means sink-or-swim decade for Canada’s economy” on the same, pre-announced day, Commissioner Steve Allan’s Alberta Inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns was released!  Or was it?

Both of the foregoing reports were released on October 21, 2021 and while the Allan report was about 700 pages the CICC report was a meagre 122 pages.  The latter however, was full of disaster warnings about “climate change” and suggested “fossil fuels” were being replaced with wind and solar.  The CICC report went so far as to compliment China (the world’s largest emitter of CO 2) for being “an early leader in electric vehicles and solar technology”. The Allan Report (657 pages) was oblique in accusing Canadian environmental groups of using foreign funding to curtail and end fossil fuel generation. The foregoing  was concluded despite an independent report from Deloitte’s noting; “Total foreign funding, therefore, of “Canadian-based environmental initiatives” was $1.28 billion for the period 2003-2019.”  Apparently “climate change” activism is not a sin or a crime despite its probable outcome to create energy poverty.

Looking specifically at the CICC, “sink or swim” report one should note it is truly meant to scare the reader by suggesting if Canada doesn’t move to “net-zero” emissions we are in big trouble.  Specifically, their report states: “Around 2,000 workers have been affected by coal power closures, whereas over 880,000 people work in the transition-vulnerable sectors identified in Figure 18.” Figure 18 (page 59), discloses those workers who are reputedly at risk of losing their employment are in a variety of jobs including those in many of the areas at which Canada excels such as: oil and gas extraction, emissions intensive manufacturing, mining and quarrying, transportation equipment manufacturing and support for mining and oil and gas extraction! Needless to say, the forecast of those 880,000 job losses caught the media’s attention.

The CICC report in “picture terms” lays out the potential impacts in a chart (Figure 1) on page 6 by using a forecast from Central Bankslabelled as,“NGFS” (Network for Greening the Financial System).  The NGFS was launched by 8 founding central banks, under the leadership of Banque de France‘s governor François Villeroy de Galhau, the Dutch Central Bank‘s Frank Elderson and the Bank of England‘s former governor Mark Carney.” It should come as no surprise Mark Carney was actively involved in its formation. Their membership now contains 95 central banks The data, needless to say, is scary as without adoption of “net-zero” by 2050, in non-adapting countries, GDP is projected to fall by over 10% from current levels. CICC commissioned Planetrics (a Mckinsey & Company subsidiary), an international climate-risk analytics company, to stress test Canadian publicly traded companies and companies with Canadian operations. Apparently CICC with close to 100 reputed taxpayer supported “experts” was unable to perform that exercise.

At this point it is important to note the CICC was a creation of the now retired Catherine McKenna, former Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. The CICC was created with $20 million taxpayer dollars and loaded its staff, Board of Directors, expert panels and advisory council with a myriad of eco-warriors mainly dependent on government largesse. Those eco-warriors seem intent on decimating Canada’s economic wellbeing via their actions in support of our current government and ending our dependence on fossil fuels.

Needless to say, we should believe the release of the CICC report to coincide with the Allan report was meant to offset its release.  The damning information in the Allan report only confirmed how Canadian environmental groups accepted foreign contributions to push the narrative—Canadian production of coal, oil and gas must cease!  One need look no further, then note, the current President of CICC is Rick Smith who spent 9 years at Environmental Defence pushing the “climate change” agenda. Failing that belief, perhaps the word came down from Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change or his Chief of Staff, Marlo Raynolds whose past relationship with Rick Smith demonstrates serious collaboration between Pembina and Environmental Defence via the Strathmere Group.  

Both Raynolds and Smith signed the Strathmere Goup’s “Declarations” jointly and one of those clearly was:

Declare a moratorium on expansion of tar sands development and halt further approval of infrastructure that would lock us into using dirty liquid fuels from sources such as tar sands, oil shale and liquid coal.”

We should be confident the release of the CICC’s “sink or swim” report on the same day as the Steven Allan Inquiry was planned to ensure the main stream media focused on the forecasted loss of those 880,000 jobs that will occur should Canada not commit to “net-zero”!

Collaboration between CICC and those in political power clearly reflects their intentions to harm Canada’s economy!

Interesting Observations here at Home and Elsewhere Before COP 26

The past few days have again shown the world the negative effects of trying to control “climate change” associated with stemming the oft cited UNIPCC scary forecast of a 1.5 degree of warming.

Ontario Comes First in Subsidizing Energy Costs

On October 19,2021, Ontario’s FAO (Financial Accountability Office) released a report titled “Home Energy Spending in Ontario: Income and Regional Distribution”. It is an interesting report and tells us how the Provincial government; ie: taxpayers, subsidized residential electricity and heating costs over the 2019 year. The report breaks down the cost of residential electricity and heating costs in five sectors by both geography and income and tells us the costs of those subsidies.  We should suspect the taxpayer cost has increased significantly since the end of 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and on and off again lock-downs. We should also recognize those costs were brought to us by the well-over 100% increase in electricity costs ratepayers experienced as the McGuinty/Wynne government brought us the GEA (Green Energy Act).  The FAO’s estimate for the subsidies in 2019 for the electricity sector was a cost to taxpayers of $3.5 billion. The report as noted highlights spending on those necessities of life in five regions and one of them is “Eastern Ontario”.  One sentence in the report stood out as it was about the Eastern Ontario region where they experience the highest “income per household” and the highest “average home energy spending”!  The sentence referencing a portion of that region stated: “High household incomes and large dwelling sizes, particularly in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, drive high energy use in the Eastern region.” That should come as no surprise as the area is loaded with highly paid bureaucrats and politicians.  It is also the region where local politicians want to spend $57.4 billion to achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050 for Ottawa only.  Hopefully they are not looking for any contributions to their plans from the rest of Ontario’s ratepayers or taxpayers.

How will UK PM Boris Johnson Dance for the Eco-Warriors at COP 26

A short article from “Oil Price” titled “UK Grid Relies For 62 Percent On Fossil Fuels For Its Energy” should be a shocker to PM Johnson with COP 26 mere days away and energy prices skyrocketing in the UK and Europe. Natural gas prices, in particular, have reportedly risen by over 400%. The captioned article noted electricity generated by natural gas represented the bulk (60%) of the 62% with coal generation representing the other 2%!  Another recent article in CNBC stated; “Rising gas prices aren’t a problem unique to Britain. In recent weeks, governments in Spain, Italy, Greece, and France have taken drastic actions to minimize its impact on consumers.” One should wonder how those representing the various governments will react to the thousands of Eco-warriors attending COP 26 in Glasgow who will insist on firm commitments to achieve the “net-zero” target to reputedly save the world from the dreaded “climate change” event. The developing world countries attending COP 26 will also be looking for handouts to help them get to net-zero.  The developed world countries, from whom they seek the trillions of dollars will be hamstrung as any funds they may have been prepared to commit are disappearing into the abyss to support their own citizens due to the climb in fossil fuel energy.

Just more bad news that Johnson will have to deal with!

Pledges by Banks to Cut Funding for Drilling of Oil and Gas in the Arctic and elsewhere Contain Loopholes

Less than a week ago Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England convinced the “Big Six” Canadian banks to join his NZBA (Net-Zero Banking Alliance) mere days before the launch of COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland.  The six Canadian banks brought the total number in the “alliance” to 81 representing 36 countries and US$58 trillion in assets. This would suggest many banks in many countries have not kowtowed to Carney or the UN despite the forecasted climate catastrophe. The signatory banks of the “alliance” reputedly agree to align their lending and investment activities to achieve net-zero targets by 2050 as well as set intermediate target reductions by 2030.

Needless to say, the eco-warriors such as Greenpeace weren’t satisfied!  Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said Canadian banks have to do more than join the alliance. “The world is accelerating toward a zero-carbon economy and Canadian banks are still playing catch up. Until they commit to a near-term phasing out of all financial support for fossil fuels and to fully respect Indigenous rights, they will still be part of the problem.”

The foregoing pitch by Greenpeace was also the subject of another article about “alliance” member banks lending to corporations involved in Artic oil and gas drilling as environmentalists and some asset managers (115 investment firms with assets under management of US$4.2 trillion) noted they want more action.  Apparently, banks are not specifically lending to Artic projects but do lend directly to corporations who then may use some or all of the funds for Artic related oil and gas exploration and extraction.

Somehow, I doubt the politicians in those two Artic countries of Russia (12.4 million b/d) and Norway (2 million b/d) who produce oil and gas have any intention of instructing their banks to stop providing the cash required to either fund new developments or provide the working capital needed to continue their generation.

We should believe the Mark Carney(val) and its push to get more members of NZBA will become harder as his support of UN efforts to reach net-zero by 2050 will cripple their economies much as it has in many of the European countries along with Canada.

LMDC Pushback and China’s Power Crises Impacts Global Economy

Well, as the expression goes; “the shxt has hit the fan” as India’s environment minister “said the delayed climate action and lack of leadership from developed countries have increased the cost of mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and jointly flagged how “calling all countries to adopt ‘net-zero’ target by 2050 is inequitable.” What he was emitting (writer’s interpretation) at a meeting of the LMDC (like-minded developing countries) including China, Pakistan, etc. in Bolivia was: they won’t be bullied into any commitments at COP 26 to reduce emissions without the developed world handing them billions or trillions of dollars more.  With many of the developed economies suffering from declines in their GDP and climbing inflation it also seems unlikely they will commit to increase the promised $100 billion for developing countries.

As if to make matters worse in both developing and developed countries the global spikes in the cost of fossil fuel energy and its current limited supply has caused blackouts.  Interestingly those blackout events have affected developed countries who outsourced much of their manufacturing base and now are faced with shortages in obtaining supplies they are dependent on.  That has resulted in higher inflation, unemployment, reduced GDP, economic support for their workers and increased taxpayer debt.

The foregoing spells more bad news for the upcoming COP 26 conference in Glasgow, and reinvigorates additional screaming from the eco-warriors. 

One has to wonder will this cause the demise of the premise that CO 2 emissions will cause the world to collapse and force the eco-warriors to find a real job?   Only time will tell!

Mark Carney Got One Thing Right But Seems Wrong About His Other Preaching’s

Recently I received Steven E. Koonin’s book “Unsettled” in which he eloquently analysis the 2018 UNIPCC report that served the eco-warriors with some scary scenarios they amplified in their push to stop the world from consuming fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels have served the world in a meaningful way by reducing poverty and climate induced deaths and those issues are highlighted in Koonin’s book with facts.  He is not overly critical of the actual results reported by the scientists who produced the report but castigates the media and politicians for their apparent overzealous approach inferring mankind will perish should we continue to emit CO 2.

Amusingly he does cast aspersions on Mark Carney highlighting him as “the single most influential figure in driving investors and financial institutions around the world to focus on changes in climate and human influences on it.”  Koonin first paints Carney as an outstanding central banker but than clearly highlights one of his faulty claims about the future as it applies to climate change with the verbiage; “it’s surprising that someone with a PhD in economics and experience with the unpredictability of financial markets and economies as a whole doesn’t show a greater respect for the perils of prediction-and more caution in depending upon models.”  

The take from yours truly in respect to Carney was much more critical in a recent article I penned but, having no concerns about offending fellow humans pushing to destroy our economy allows yours truly to point out their fallacies in a less gentle way!

Below is the full text of Koonin’s criticism of Mark Carney as it appeared in my hard copy.  I recommend you take a couple of minutes to read what he had to say and note; it is a reflection on all the other “climate change” issues he opines on.  He calls everyone out with facts, and I would encourage all to acquire and read this excellent book to dispel any false beliefs you may have.                                    

Unsettled by Steven E. Koonin

The following was selected from pages 145 to 147

Mark Carney, former head of Canada’s central bank and later head of the Bank of England, is probably the single most influential figure in driving investors and financial institutions around the world to focus on changes in climate and human influences on it. A learned man, with a PhD in economics from Oxford University, he has been an outstanding central banker. Carney is now the United Nations’ Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. He is also a UK advisor for the 26th annual UN Conference of Parties (COP26), a follow-on to the 2015 Paris climate conference that’s due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, during November 2021.  So it’s important to pay close attention to what he says.

                In a 2015 speech just before the Paris conference, speaking as governor of the Bank of England, Carney laid out many aspects of “the insurance response to climate change.” Extreme weather costs insurance companies a lot of money, so perhaps it is no wonder that his appeal included a warning about flooding:

Despite winter 2014 being England’s wettest since the time of King George; III; forecasts suggest we can expect at least a further 10% increase in rainfall during future winters.

To support that assertion, he cited Britain’s Met Office “research into climate observations, projections, and impacts,” These were model forecasts for the next five years, so you might expect they’d be more accurate than those attempting to project climate fifty years out. Let’s turn to the data and see.

                Figure 7.13 shows the observed winter precipitation (December through February) in England and Wales up through 2020; it’s one of the longest instrumental weather series available, beginning in 1766.  The average rainfall looks pretty constant over decades from 1780 to 1870 and again from 1920 to the present.  A shift occurred somewhere over the fifty years in between, when human influences on the global climate were quite negligible.

                Carney was correct that 2014 was a record wet winter (455.5 mm or 17.9 inches), and it was indeed the “wettest since the time of King George,” since George III’s reign lasted until 1820. But the Met Office models Carney cited back in 2014 all turned out to be dead wrong. Rainfall during the six winters after 2014 was well in context with the previous century, and it averaged 278 mm, 39 percent less than the 2014 record and nowhere near the “at least” 500 mm implied by the predicted increase. And a Met Office analysis published in 2018 found that the largest source of variability in UK extreme rainfalls during the winter months was the North Atlantic Oscillation mode of natural variability not a changing climate.

                Of course Carney could take refuge in his speech’s subjunctive “forecasts suggest” and the indeterminate hedging of “future winters.” Nevertheless, it’s surprising that someone with a PhD in economics and experience with the unpredictability of financial markets and economies as a whole doesn’t show a greater respect for the perils of prediction-and more caution in depending upon models.”

Climate Change Armageddon Has Arrived or so it Seems

Quite the week with some interesting things going on globally related to the electricity sector and how havoc has struck in some parts of the world! The following are just a few that caught my eye!

South Australia big Tesla battery sued for not helping during Queensland coal power station failure

South Australia has gone bigtime into renewable energy and back in 2016 they experienced a major blackout and in March 2017 the blame was squarely laid on renewable energy (wind and solar) by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator).  The blackout had triggered Elon Musk to step into the fray via a winning bid to build a battery storage unit which they did successfully in the 100 days promised. Since then other (TESLA) battery storage units have been added and one of them failed to deliver the power stored when called on back in 2019 and now are being sued by the AER (Australian Energy Regulator).  As it to top things off in Australia; a fire broke out at another big TESLA battery storage unit (300/450MW) under construction.  One article about the fire stated; “More than 150 people from Fire Rescue Victoria and the Country Fire Authority responded to the blaze, and it is expected to burn throughout the night for 8 to up to 24 hours.”  The foregoing lawsuit and the recent fire suggests battery storage may not be what will supply us with reliable power to back up intermittent wind and solar.

As one would expect California has also gone full bore into battery storage and they too recently experienced an event which forced the shutdown of Moss Landing reputed to be “the largest battery storage facility in the world“. The owners, Vistra Corp. claimed; “a limited number of battery modules” at the storage facility overheated on Saturday night, resulting in the facility going offline.“ Another more current article on September 16, 2021 had the following: “Now, only nine months into operation and less than three weeks after Vistra cut the ribbon on an expansion, most of the largest battery storage facility in the world has gone dormant with no timeline for a return.“  It certainly appears, based on these recent events that unreliable power generation storage should not be the back-up for unreliable and intermittent power generation.

Close to home and a recent Hydro One Bill

Receipt of a recent Hydro One bill and the information contained in it led the writer to do a quick calculation to determine the “total cost” per kWh (kilowatt hour) on what I was required to pay. Simply dividing my total bill by kWh consumed showed the all-in cost was 14.3 cents/kWh. Flipping the bill over however one notes, a little box titled “What do I need to know?”  That box had a fairly large amount listed as “Total Ontario support:” followed by a dollar amount. When the latter amount is added to what I have to pay and divided by our consumption the cost per kWh comes to 23 cents/kWh.  The difference of 8.7 cents/kWh multiplied by the kWh delivered to “residential customers” (13.448 billion kWh) by Hydro One (according to the 2020 Yearbook of Distributors recently released by the OEB (Ontario Energy Board), indicates tax dollars paid to them to keep residential rates at 14.3 cents/kWh amounts to $1.170 billion but their pretax net income was only $414 million.  Now they are applying to the OEB for approval to spend $13.5 billion over the next five years which will undoubtedly further increase rates and tax subsidies. 

China’s sudden hate for cryptocurrency mines

An article in the Financial Post about theft of electricity to create a bitcoin mining operation by a public employee of a NY State County suggested he will face a myriad of criminal charges.  The FP article referenced a NY Times estimate that bitcoin mining uses 91 TWh globally which is about what 8 million average Canadian households consume annually. Another article noted a Cambridge University study suggests; “Globally, Bitcoin mining consumes around 121 TWh a year

The bulk of bitcoin mining has been in China which was once said to contain about 75% of all cryptocurrency mines but China has been forcing out the miners who were using their low-priced electricity meaning many of them have either moved or are looking elsewhere. We should suspect China’s move is associated with the upcoming COP 26 Conference in Glasgow.  China will not be stepping up to agree to reduce their emissions at COP 26 but by booting out the bitcoin miners (63% reputedly used coal generated electricity) they will reduce the need to add more coal fired electricity.  One should also understand that the current price for coal per ton has soared over the past 12 months which presumably is driving up energy costs in China. Where those cryptocurrency miners relocate to however, will directly impact emissions from the countries they move to.

The Circular Economy

The WEF (World Economic Forum) in one of their posts stated: “The circular economy, which promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.“ Is the following picture (sent to me by a contact who asked me to spot the bulldozer) what the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schaub and one of his advisors; Mark Carney, had in mind?

Unrecyclable wind turbine blades being buried in a landfill seem to form part of the “Circular Economy”!

One should wonder why the WEF and others push renewable energy from wind and solar and believe the world’s population will not recognize the lies they are advancing to simply increase their wealth?

If the UK’s PM Boris Johnson was smart, he would cancel COP 26 as the world struggles to cope with the faulty unreliability of the “green energy” adopted by so many politicians and caused a cessation in investment for reliable fossil fuels and a significant spike in their costs due to green energy’s failures.

The results around the world of the “green” push continue to illustrate the fallacy of exiting fossil fuels without having anything resembling reasonably priced reliable power at the ready!  

COP-26 Out Could be a Cop-Out                                                                                                                               

These past few days Boris Johnson, the UK’s PM and host of the upcoming COP-26 Climate Conference must be wringing his hands as the COP-26 Climate Conference being held in Glasgow from October 31st until November 12, 2021 is showing signs of major problems. 

On his home turf, the UK recently had to fire up a coal plant to avoid a blackout as their 24,100 MW capacity of onshore and offshore IWT (industrial wind turbines) went on holidays while natural gas prices soared.  The BBC article noted: “Over the coming months, those sky-high gas prices are expected to remain volatile. So, as well as forcing National Grid to make some tough choices about where we get our electricity from, it could also have a big knock-on on what we pay.”

As if to top things off for Johnson, new regulations associated with the electricity system and coming into force next year were recently announced and they state; “Electric car charging points in people’s homes will be preset to switch off for nine hours each weekday at times of peak demand because ministers fear blackouts on the National Grid. Under regulations that will come into force in May, new chargers in the home and workplace will be automatically set not to function from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm.”

To put the foregoing in context the number of EV registered in the UK are approximately 300,000 out of 38 million vehicles which equates to less than 1%!  Prime Minister Johnson must surely have his fingers crossed that some of those recent events will not impact COP-26 and bring to mind, the realization reliable electricity cannot be supplied by those intermittent sources such as wind and solar usually referenced as “renewable” rather than “unreliable”!

The foregoing may be a strong signal to Prime Minister Johnson that his plan to end sales of all non-electric cars by 2035 is a non-starter unless they will forego being charged except perhaps once a year!

On top of the UK’s problems, the Spanish government has stepped into the fray as they recently moved to halt the record rise in power prices by; both reducing their taxes on energy and by curtailing what they referenced as “exceptional benefits”.  The article outlining the Spanish Government’s actions went on to state; “The government says the hikes in electricity bills are driven by spiraling prices of so-called carbon certificates, which give companies the right to release carbon dioxide; gas imports that Spain needs to complete its energy mix; and surging power demand in recent months.”

The amusing feature about the Spanish government’s actions is that back in December of 2020 “Renewables Now” were bragging Spain generated 43.6% of its power from renewables and had closed 3,486 MW of polluting power plants which were mainly coal-burning units during the year.

As is to make the COP-26 Conference outcome even more worrisome for PM Johnson, China advised Britain “it will not yield to international pressure for bigger improvements to its climate change commitments at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow.”  They will not be bullied into going green despite the visit from Alok Sharma, the UK senior climate change representative, who visited Beijing for pre-summit talks hoping to persuade China to “enhance” its carbon emissions reduction targets. It is worth noting China’s emissions stand at 28% of all global emissions and continue to climb. Without an “enhanced” commitment from them one should suspect COP-26 will fail to provide Johnson with the ability to claim it was a success!

Canada’s commitments at the Conference are presently unknown until the results of our election come to light.  What is known however, is one Canadian is playing a prominent role at COP-26 and that individual is Mark Carney whom I expounded on in prior articles.

PM Johnson back in January 2020 appointed Mark Carney (former Governor of the Bank of Canada and former Bank of England Governor) as his “advisor” for the conference. In addition, Carney is the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. I personally suspect Carney is not at all concerned about the outcome of the COP-26 Conference despite his lofty positions for the UN and PM Johnson.

Should COP-26 turn out to be a failure and Canadian voters couple that with the boot for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party we should expect Carney’s fallback position will be to run for leadership of the Federal Liberal Party. 

Stay tuned!

The Circular Economy will Take “Peoplekind”* Down the Drain

Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) on July 26, 2021 posted an article on their website titled “Taking Charge” and one of the early claims made in the article was:

A growing number of corporations are prioritizing the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions within their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies and taking steps to ensure the electricity they use is generated by non-emitting sources, like wind and solar energy.”

The article doesn’t explain the reasons why those corporations are taking those steps but anyone following politics is aware; numerous “developed world” governments are passing acts or regulating emissions that put a price on them.  Those actions raise the cost of what corporations produce and suddenly the products they manufacture are no longer competitive with products produced in countries not imposing costs. Those countries like, Brazil, Russia China, India, South Africa, (BRICS country members) etc. will either produce similar products with lower prices or will attract those corporations. That means corporations will move to those locations and shut their manufacturing plants in countries like Canada who have imposed both a “carbon tax” rising to $170/ton by 2030 and another tax referenced as the “clean fuel standard”.  We should be confident those imposed costs will mean less jobs in Canada and other developed countries.

The CanREA article pushing wind, solar and battery storage, appeared before Ontario experienced a number of hot days in August which could have resulted in rolling blackouts or brownouts had we not had sufficient gas plants at the ready. The 5,500 MW (approximately) of wind capacity in Ontario went for a holiday.  Likewise the UK also recently experienced the failure of their 24.1 GW capacity of industrial wind turbines and were even forced to fire up one of their coal plants to avoid blackouts joining up with gas plants that provided 46.5% of their energy needs.

 Looking at the World Bank’s “Carbon Price Dashboard” Canada stands out as a country that has implemented emissions pricing well beyond other countries around the world. One should wonder “why” when our emissions are a miniscule 1.6% of global emissions and less than our percentage of global GDP (gross domestic product) of 1.9%.

Also worth mentioning is that China, a BRICS member, has basically stated they “won’t be bullied into going green” at the upcoming COP 26 conference in Glasgow. In 2018 the five BRICS countries accounted for 42% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with China the number one emitter globally at 28% but they produced only 17.4% of global GDP in 2020.  Based on the foregoing Canada is almost twice as emissions efficient as China but apparently the eco-warriors, politicians and those multi-billionaires like Bloomberg, Fink, Gates and the former Governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, in conjunction with the WEF (World Economic Forum) want more! The latter fully support the concept of mankind causing global warming and the reputed upcoming “climate pandemic” in the hopes of becoming wealthier!  The rest of us, based on what the WEF tell us will succumb to their forecast of; “by 2030 You’ll own nothing And you’ll be happy”! One should assume the Board of Trustees of the WEF including luminaries like Al Gore, Mark Carney, Laurence Fink and our current Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland and others including Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, etc. will be the ones owning everything.

The WEF supports the “circular economy” which they claim; “promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.”

Hmm, one should surmise, based on their short video telling us all how we will own nothing but be happy, whose pockets will be lined with the $4.5 trillion they claim will come from the forecasted “economic benefits.”

The other question is where will that $4,5 trillion come from?  We should suspect much of it will be created by the cost of purported “low-carbon energy”.

The International Energy Agency estimates that global investment in low-carbon energy will have to increase 2½ times by 2030 from its current level of about $620 billion a year to meet targets in the Paris climate agreement.”  If one does the quick math on the IEA’s estimate it amounts to about $13 trillion for the next 9 years. One should suspect the $13 trillion will come from the pockets of those who “will own nothing”!

Those investments In low-carbon energy are happening and gaining speed as large pension funds like the CPPI, asset management firms such as  BlackRock, Brookfield, etc. etc. invest our money in renewable energy in increasing ways as the Washington Post reported earlier this year.  

What the foregoing seems to magnify is the elites of the world coupled with the eco-warriors are sold on the “circular economy” and are intent on seeing the rest of us “peoplekind” head “down the drain”!

*A word created by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau