Hidden Influences Are Shaping Costly Climate Change Restrictions and Penalties

Dec 18, 2009 No Comments

COMMENTARY, DECEMBER 18, 2009

Hidden Influences Are Shaping Costly Climate Change Restrictions and Penalties

By Teresa Platt, Executive Director, Fur Commission USA. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not represent a position taken by FCUSA.

Agenda-laden non-profit groups and hard-nosed private individuals are guiding domestic and international campaigns to their benefit. Such campaigns impose harsh controls and costs on our governmental bodies, businesses and personal activities and are based more on taboos and myths than economic realities or science.

The climate is changing for the climate change campaign

While businesses provide necessary and desirable products, public education campaigns sell ideas. Such campaigns are designed to shift attitudes and generate policy. In recent years, the largest such policy-generating campaign, by far, has been the international climate change campaign, which burst onto the global scene at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the “Rio Earth Summit” in Brazil. In Rio, UNCED generated its own international treaties: the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention for Bio Diversity (UNCBD). The UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) runs its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(UNIPCC).

Carbon Trading: Taxation and Regulation Without Representation – at $38,000 a Page!

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an amendment to the international treaty on climate change, assigns mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits to signatory nations and requires each country to file an annual report with the UN on its GHG inventory. How much do we taxpayers pay for the developing countries’ paperwork? How about more than $38,000 a page!

Each signatory country must participate in a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) dictating that projects under the treaty’s control are registered. Registration is based on submission of a Project Design Document, third party “verification” from an independent reviewer plus a period allowing for public comment. This is in addition to all local and national requirements. In every country that signed on to Kyoto, any project emitting GHG requires registration. These include buildings; livestock; manufacturing; utilities; mining, oil and gas extraction; aviation; land use and land use changes and foresty (LULUCF); and anything else generating GHG emissions into the atmosphere.

After review, mitigation via carbon credit trading is arranged to offset whatever negatives the CDM determines the project will generate in tons of carbon. This is where the “cap and trade” and “carbon trading” marketplace comes in. It is a socialist’s dream of how “free” people engage in “free” markets. The Europeans have already forced 10,000 facilities to participate in this trading scheme.

But this is just Phase I. Yes, they’ve come up with a UNFCCC Phase II which goes even further starting in 2012. The UNFCCC is counting down the days, literally – they have a counter on their web page breathlessly ticking off the seconds – until December when the countries meet in Copenhagen to give the UN more power. All to “save” the Earth.

It’s taxation and regulation by a governing body you never elected and can’t boot out of office. New Zealand farmers dubbed it all the “fart tax” and used the power of the vote to boot out politicians buying into this farce.

The UN leadership and their NGOs have orchestrated a global campaign that has instituted a taxing and regulatory mechanism via treaty, litigation, legislation and pure unchecked political power, forcing our governmental entities, and thereby the people, to do their bidding.(4)

A couple of billion tons of fat wait to be trimmed within the UN, USAID and hundreds of other federal programs.

No taxation and no regulation without representation!

The US Senate ratified the UNFCCC in October 1992 andmade commitments including one to “Promote and cooperate in education, training and public awareness related to climate change and encourage the widest participation in this process, including that of non-governmental organizations …”.

The UNFCCC grew teeth in 1997 with its Kyoto Protocol, an amendment assigning mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits to signatory nations with a requirement for annual reports on national GHG inventories. The history of the Kyoto Protocol and the United States saw President Bill Clinton sign it in November 1998 but never submit it to the Senate for ratification, while the administration of George Bush rejected it outright as an economic sinkhole. Almost all other UN members have ratified the protocol, while a handful remain undecided.

The UNFCCC has something for everyone: meetings in exotic locales, lots of data accumulation, its own “cap and trade” marketplace in carbon credits where traders get rich, technology transfers, financial support for projects in developing countries, and lots and lots of paperwork. But not to worry, the UNFCCC will help with the paperwork, at tens of thousands of dollars per page.

Following direction for the UNFCCC treaty dictates, the US has committed to a massive shift from a fossil fuel-dependent economy built on imports from the Middle East and abundant US coal. The new economy embraces “clean” energy dependent on minerals imported from mines in China, Russia and Africa and opportunity exported since most of the key sources are closed to access in the US.

The UN is a galaxy unto itself. And it’s becoming more and more obvious to waitresses and truck drivers working double shifts just to pay their taxes that the UN is another layer of government, unaccountable and global, and designed to benefit those seeking to rule the world via a computer and desk job.

US allegiance to UN

Our Executive branch has committed to reducing GHG emissions a bit less over a slightly longer timeframe than established in the Kyoto amendment to the UNFCCC. Many point out that such goals are economic straightjackets to the developed countries, delivering to developing countries such as India and China a competitive advantage while doing nothing for a climate that changes due to natural factors far beyond human control.(3)

The administration has committed to supporting the “clean” energy lobby with massive taxpayer subsidies per kilowatt ($80 billion in loans and grants plus a ten-year $150 billion infusion for R&D) and to heavily regulating and taxing fossil fuel energy sources.

The EU is ahead of the US and their findings tell a cautionary tale of 50,000 “green” energy jobs costing Spain US$38 billion (an astounding US$760,000 per job), a drain on resources, rising energy prices and opportunities exported. Each “green” job created in Spain destroyed 2.2 other real jobsOther countries are revolting against the outrageous costs of thesepie-in-the-sky programs.

With all these expensive options on the table, many recognize that the politics are careening forward, pushed by anorchestrated climate change campaign built on “scientific” reports issued by the UNIPCCC. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists are politely questioning the UNIPCCC data while others are outraged.

“[A]nthropogenic global warming is the most colossal forgery of the century … the biggest sham of the last 15 years,”said Italy’s Franco Battaglia, Ph.D.. Another called it “the worst scientific scandal in history.”

The sky is falling

Our Executive branch has committed to meeting UN-mandated goals while in the Legislative branch, the House narrowly passed and sent the Senate a whopping 1,427-page climate change/energy bill capping air pollution andsetting up carbon trading markets, cap and trade. The debate was heated since there is a growing awareness that this is politics in search of business returns, not science.

In the Judiciary branch, a greenhouse gas (GHG)-as-pollutant court case is directing the EPA to regulate under the Clean Air Act or explain why not. Mass vs EPA (2007) was remanded back to the lower courts and EPA because the Supreme Court declared:

“… the EPA must ground its reasons for action or inaction in the statute.” … “If the scientific uncertainty is so profound that it precludes EPA from making a reasoned judgment as to whether greenhouse gases contribute to global warming, EPA must say so. That EPA would prefer not to regulate greenhouse gases because of some residual uncertainty … is irrelevant. The statutory question is whether sufficient information exists to make an endangerment finding.” {pages 31 and 32}

“Under the Act’s clear terms, EPA can avoid promulgating regulations only if it determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change or if it provides some reasonable explanation as to why it cannot or will not exercise its discretion to determine whether they do. It has refused to do so, instead offering only a laundry list of reasons not to regulate ……These policy judgments have nothing to do with whether greenhouse gases contribute to climate change and do not amount to a reasoned justification for declining to form a scientific judgment. … If the scientific uncertainty is so profound that it precludes EPA from making areasoned judgment, it must say so. The statutory question is whether sufficient information exists for it to make an endangerment finding. Instead, EPA rejected the rule-making petition based upon impermissible considerations.” {holding 4. of the summarizing syllabus}

Pushed by the courts, the EPA issued a proposed “endangerment” finding, then issued its final finding in December 2009 just before various states met in Copenhagen to hammer out an agreement to reduce GHG emissions. Now the EPA can spend 2010 regulating. Under discussion are six GHGs: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The EPA is drafting standards for F, R and L-based carbon sources. Fossil fuel-based F-carbon industries such as coal-fired power plants and the auto industry and rock-based R-carbon industries such as mining, which release the carbon sequestered in rocks, are under review. Flooding the EPA office are petitions to force regulation further down the chain to the smallest entity and to L-carbon (living) entities such as crop production, forestry and animal agriculture.

Pony up, cowboy!

Everyone, from builders to cowboys, is trying to figure out what this will mean for their industry. A 64,000 square foot building emits over 100 tons of GHG and will quickly come under the long arm of the EPA. So, it is said, will ranchers with 25 dairy cows, 50 head of beef cattle, 200 hogs or a 500-acre corn farmer, both in L-carbon businesses. EPA’s 2008-2009 CAA/Title V permit fee/tax is $43.75 per ton of emitted GHG. This calculates to $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $21.87 per hog in fees/taxes per year.

Randy Parker, CEO of the Utah Farm Bureau, crunched the numbers for the Utah herd based on the 2007 Census of Agriculture Statistics:

That’s a GHG/climate change tax of $98 million, almost half of the beef, dairy and hog farmers’ net income in Utah alone! Imagine such taxes extrapolated to the entire country, to all L-carbon based businesses. Factor in similar taxes on F and R-carbon industries such as transport, our national utility grid, mining and manufacturing - industries that will attempt to pass these costs to you the consumer or simply export opportunity offshore to avoid such onerous carbon taxation.

Coal, a favorite target of the climate change campaign, has several hundred years’ worth of reserves and efficiently produces 40% of the world’s electricity. Coal will be heavily hit by US carbon taxes. The EU aviation sector estimates this GHG taxation scheme will cost US$19.6 billion to US$91.8 billion annually and estimated they could only pass a third of such costs to the consumer.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) has overstated animal agriculture’s contribution but no calculations are available for wildlife’s contribution to GHG emissions. Yet.

Ted Turner, who donated $1 billion to the UN, has not yet weighedin on the debate. Ted is the U.S.’s largest landowner and biggest bison rancher with over 50,000 head on 2 million acres. Ted’s herd farts out about 100,000 tons of GHG emissions per year. Ted’s annual GHG tax will be $4.375 million. Ouch. When he gets that bill, he might rethink the wisdom of his grand donation.

Unless the US resorts to illegal “green” trade barriers on imports, this GHG tax on products can’t be passed along to consumers so we can kiss our cowboys and farmers goodbye!

Green groups promote regulation

Eco and animal rights groups, predictably, are enthusiastic. Most have already incorporated climate change messages into their propaganda. There are pleas to “save” expanding polar bear populations from extinction, ironically with offers of plush toy and fake fleece giveaways crafted from fossil fuel-based synthetics.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals preaches veganism will save the Earth from global warming and its co-founder Alex Pacheco established Clean Air Investments, LLC in 2005.

Jan Hartke, founder and director of the Humane Society of the United States’s (HSUS) “global environmental arm” and subsidiary Earth Voice International (EVI), morphed into a climate change expert in recent years. As vice-chairperson of the Clinton Climate Initiative, Hartke is advising city mayors on the issue and co-chaired the 2009 Environmental and Clean Energy Inaugural Ball welcoming in the Obama administration.

Hartke also chairs the U.N. Alliance for Sustainable Development, and served as president and board member of the Earth Council Foundation (ECF). Former UNCED’s Secretary General Maurice Strong has served as ECF’s chairman.Other ECF board members included Strong’s stepdaughter Kristina Mayo (who served as his assistant at the UN) and other HSUS board members including Marilyn Wilhelm and David Jhirad.

Hartke committed $10.5 million and secretariat services to Bill Clinton’s Climate Change and Environment Coalition (CCEC) on behalf of ECF and HSUS subsidiaries EVI and Humane Society International (HSI).(1)

Professional-Natura

HSUS’s largest single donation in 2004, $250,000, went to Pro-Natura USA that hired John van D. Lewis as its executive director (2004-2006).

In 2005, Earth Council Foundation (c/o Jan Hartke at the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) DC address) donated $85,000 to Pro-Natura International in Paris for a feasibility study for a “Global Institute for Sustainable Development.”

By 2007, Hartke was chairing something called the “UN Alliance for Sustainable Development”, and HSUS’s 2007 990s listed a new affiliate they controlled, the “Global Alliance for Humane Sustainable Development”.

Lewis served 22 years with USAID and as Supervisory Rural Development Officer for USAID/Haiti in Port-au-Prince (1983-1987), overseeing an agricultural development portfolio of over $50 million annually. He served as director of USAID’s central (Global Bureau) Office of Agriculture and Food Security (1994-2000). He was also a member of the US delegation to the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and developed carbon market mechanisms for Carbon Credit Capital, which published aprimer on carbon markets that you’ll want to study.

As COO of the Climate Investment Network, Lewis developed a presentation on Carbon Sequestration for the UN’s Development Program. He is now an equity partner with Terra Global Capital LLC Landscape Carbon Fund.

Hartke and Lewis’s views on how the world should work are already law via treaty, government commitment and litigative caveat.

NOTES:

2009 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report: INVENTORY OF U.S. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND SINKS: 1990-2007 (April 2009).

http://www.climatedepot.com

http://sovereignty.net/library/library-4.htm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124424567009790525.html

The special influence of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

HSUS and its affiliates transferred over $230,000 to ECF between 2002 through 2004. ECF’s assets are less than $100,000 so it does not have the assets to meet this $10.5 million obligation. But neither do the HSUS subsidiaries, HSI and EVI. HSI closed 2005 with a negative fund balance of $9.7 million which ballooned to $11.2 million in 2006, then fell slightly to a negative $10.6 million at the close of 2007.

From 1998 through 2004, EVI spent $2.6 million to raise $217,000 in donations from the public. From 1999 through 2004, HSUS provided EVI with $8.7 million, or 98.7%, of EVI’s total income of $8.8 million. EVI still closed 2005 with a negative $10.7 million fund balance. That’s a whopping $19.4 million run through HSUS’s EVI as it created a climate change expert, Hartke, suitable for global center stage, acted as the secretariat for Clinton’s Climate Initiative, and launched programs promoting climate change and carbon trading.

Since ECF has virtually no assets and EVI and HSI are financially dependent on HSUS, the $10.5 million commitment made by ECF/EVI/HSI to generate climate-focused policy change was actually underwritten by HSUS, and EVI’s $10.6 million deficit when it stopped filing tax returns was most likely absorbed by HSUS.

One man’s vast influence

UN maestro Maurice Strong served as Secretary-General of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the “Rio Earth Summit” andhas been called the “godfather” of the UNFCC.(3)

Earth Council Foundation (ECF), we are told, is a subsidiary of The Earth Council, “an autonomous Swiss non-governmental organization affiliated with the Earth Council Foundation Canada with offices in San Jose, Costa Rica(2) and the Earth Council Foundation – USA”. The Earth Council was founded at the UN’s Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (where the concept of climate change moved to the world stage) “at the initiative of the Summit’s Secretary-General, Maurice Strong …”. Beside the entities in the US, Canada and Costa Rica, the Earth Council conglomerate includes an Earth Council Alliance in San Diego, the Oriental Environmental Institute in China and the Earth Charter Initiative.

The Earth Charter Initiative sprang from another document introduced at the 1992 Earth Summit. “An Earth Charter USA Network advances the Charter in cooperation with the Secretariat which is based at The Center for Respect of Life and Environment, an affiliate of The Humane Society of the U.S., in Washington, DC” and “All contributions will go towards supporting the Earth Charter Initiative at the University of Peace in Costa Rica.”

HSUS and its affiliates issued grants totaling over $450,000 between 1998 and 2004 to its Center and the University for Peace. Bringing us full circle again, Maurice Strong served as the University for Peace’s “President and Rector” as early as 1999.(2)

The UN initially funded Strong’s Earth Council in 1999 with a grant of $1,244,300 from tax dollars. The Earth Council is a climate change policy catalyst that “carries out the climate change and market mechanism program in partnership with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)”. The UNCTAD/Earth Council “Carbon Market Programme (CMP) started in 1991 as the UNCTAD Emissions Trading Project and has been a pioneer in working with governments and the private sector in the development of a global carbon market.”

Strong resigned from the UN and moved to China while under scrutiny for a suspect $1 million payment that appeared tied to the UN’s corrupt “oil for food” program.

Strong now serves as Chairman of the China Carbon Corporation and Vice-Chairman of the Chicago Climate Exchange. He states his colleague, president of China Carbon Corporation, “pioneered the development of emissions trading by the United Nations.”

All the scientific data for the climate change campaign runs through yet another UN entity, the International Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) which regularly issues apocalyptic reports further fueling the campaign.

US taxpayers fund a galaxy of UN programs

Unelected, unaccountable, UN players and their NGOs have been engineering an energy tax and the global power structure to pull it off for a very long time. All paid for by your tax dollars.

Taxpayers from around the world underwrite the UN with the US paying the largest share, over a quarter of the total. The UN runs dozens of agencies and programs such as its corrupt “oil for food” project, the scientifically bankrupt IPCC and generates NGO catalysts pushing for policy changes, “carbon trading” schemes and regulatory nightmares.

There are layers and layers and layers of unelected, unaccountable players in the climate change campaign. Take out dozens and hundreds remain. And they have access to UN and USAID funding so it’s impossible to stop them unless, during these tough economic times, Americans say they’ve had enough and simply deny access to our hard-earned tax dollars, shutting down this galaxy of agencies, committee and NGOS.

But consider this, you might be going to war. It is estimated that the nation of NGOs is now the 13th largest economy on the planet. And it’s not going to go down without a fight.

NOTES:

Congressional Briefing Service documents at http://ncseonline.org/NLE/crsreports/briefingbooks/climate/ebgcc6.cfm

(1) As of June 2008, all reference to EVI and HSI was removed from this page but can now be found here. See alsopage 8.

(2) The “University for Peace”, based in Costa Rica, is another UN-generated module. Maurice Strong served as President as early as 1999 and his 2007 bio lists him as “President and Rector”. December 5, 1980, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 35/55 setting out in its annex the “International Agreement for the Establishment of the University for Peace.” December 14, 2005, the UN passed another resolution in support.

(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kyoto_Protocol_signatories notes that “With Russia’s ratification the ‘55 percent of 1990 carbon dioxide emissions of the Parties included in Annex I’ clause was satisfied and the treaty brought into force, effective 16 February 2005.”

(4) This is not the first time that treaty doctrine has been incorporated into federal law without the U.S. ratifying the treaty. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) was, along with the UNFCCC, the second of the two treaties opened for signature at the UNCED in 1992 in Rio and has not been ratified by the Senate but is impacting US policy.

Further reading:

Tyranny by treaty. While government mandates have us all tied up in knots and going broke, few have examined how international agreements, treaties, contribute to this problem. By Teresa Platt, June 11, 2010.

Climate heats up prior to climate change meeting in December. By Teresa Platt, Oct. 21, 2009.

Obama Admin: Cap and trade could cost families $1,761 a year. Declan McCullagh blog, CBS News, Sept. 15, 2009.

Electricity costs, the Red Map.

No cap and trade.