Global climate investment flatlines …The world invested almost a billion dollars a day in limiting global warming last year, but the total figure – $359 billion – was slightly down on last year, and barely half the $700 billion per year that the World Economic Forum has said is needed to tackle climate change. These are the findings spelled out in the latest Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) report. – EurActiv.com
Dominant Social Theme: The spending on climate is not enough.
Free-Market Analysis: This article was posted at the Drudge Report and elsewhere with a headline referring to its claim of US$1 billion dollars a day in expenditures. The real news, therefore, was not that the world's spending was "flatlining" but that a billion was being spent every 24 hours.
Most of the commentary regarding this news was either mildly perplexed or rabidly indignant. We didn't read much that suggested more ought to be spent – which was presumably the point of the article. Ironically, an article that was focused on a dearth of spending became the target of commentary about overspending:
For the first time, it estimated global North-South cash flows at between $39 and $62 billion. But the total funding pot fell $5 billion from 2012, and remains just a tiny fraction of the $5 trillion that the International Energy Agency estimates is required by 2020 for clean energy projects alone, if rising temperatures are to be pegged at 2 degrees Celsius.
"Investment to combat and adapt to climate change is happening around the world, but it's short of where it needs to be and efforts to grow it have not been successful enough," said Thomas Heller, the executive director of Climate Policy Initiative, the group which compiled the report. "Leveling the playing field can help unlock significant additional finance," he added.
The report, Landscape 2013, says that amounts invested in clean energy were dwarfed by the $523 billion a year that the world shells out in fossil fuels subsidies, according to the OECD. The EU's energy commissioner, Günther Oettinger was last week accused of suppressing data which shows that the bloc's €30 billion of subsidies to renewable energy sources is outweighed by a de facto €66 billion of handouts to the fossil fuels sector, and €35 billion to nuclear power.
Some 38% of this year's climate investment – $135 billion – came from the public sector, according to the CPI study. It was used to leverage the other 62% of funds from project developers ($102 billion), manufacturers and corporations ($66 billion) and households ($33 billion).
… "Currently, climate finance is mostly a domestic game," said Barbara Buchner, a senior director at Climate Policy Initiative. "This implies that effective national policy is critical to increasing climate finance globally.
Really, it's not a game at all. These funds are being wasted because even if there is global warming, and it seems increasingly doubtful, the various remedies that have been suggested would not have a significant impact. And in any case, the world has not warmed significantly for some 16 years now.
Global warming is a prime example of what we call a dominant social theme, a faux alarmist meme disseminated throughout the world to manipulate middle classes into giving up wealth and power to globalist facilities.
Having observed this meme in action for a decade now, we can draw some lessons from its continued purveyance and also from its continued failure to gain traction.
From an investment standpoint, global warming provides a significant cautionary note for those who are apt to blindly follow elite themes in the hopes of gaining a profit. That strategy worked much better in the 20th century than in the 21st when the Internet itself is making available countervailing views to a number of such manipulations.
We have quantified them before: Peak Oil, drug wars, even central banking have all come for significant pushback in the past decade and continue to suffer from considerable public skepticism.
We've also regularly pointed out polls regarding trust in government – certainly in the US – are showing staggering declines. When it comes to guns, nutrition and now healthcare, people are increasingly skeptical of big government programs.
We've predicted all this, of course, along with others. Our paradigm has been that the Internet itself will expose many falsehoods that were marketed as truthful in the 20th century.
Most of these falsehoods promoted government competency as an antidote to various sorts of scarcities and natural disasters. The idea was to frighten middle classes into giving up wealth and power to globalist facilities that would further centralize the clout of a handful of elite players.
This remains the generic manipulation today, but it is under tremendous attack. The power elite has not been able to figure out a way to combat what we call the Internet Reformation and at this point we doubt they have a strategy to offer other than to whittle away at the information available using copyright infringement and pornography as justifications for further restrictions.
The current situation presents dangers on a number of levels. As elite themes lose credibility the fabric of the current financial structure becomes increasingly at risk. As more people perceive the system itself as not worth salvaging, the social consensus to allow action diminishes.
From an investment standpoint, this diminution of credibility will likely be registered as increased volatility and uncertainty. Increasingly, markets will not act in expected ways and show more reaction to, say, computer trading strategies than underlying, fundamental valuations … whatever they may be.
Additionally, as trust becomes frayed, smaller incidents may suddenly loom larger and market "incidents" may multiply. We expect markets to continue to climb over time because top elitists seem to have aligned regulatory and monetary policy to make it so. But that doesn´t mean any ascent will be without detours, maybe significant ones.
What is most notable is that those floating memes like climate change seem continually bereft of additional strategies to compensate for what the Internet has removed in terms of credibility and trust. The ultimate insanity is doing the same thing over and over when it's not working.
Regarded this way, the power elite seems increasingly deranged. Not a conclusion that inspires confidence on a variety of levels.