A big week coming: meanwhile Anglicans divest

by Gareth on September 23, 2013

It’s shaping up to be a big week. On Friday in Stockholm (Saturday in NZ) the IPCC will release the final version (not the one that’s been leaked to and seen by all and sundry) of the Summary for Policy Makers of the Working Group One report of their Fifth Report (AR5 — official web site here). As you might expect, the usual suspects have been lining up to try and dominate the news media — to provide a carbon friendly “frame” through which to view the IPCC’s findings. Most of it has been singularly ineffective, as Graham Readfearn noted in the Guardian, but I’ll hold my fire until the final SPM is released. Watch this space…

Meanwhile, the Anglican Diocese of Wellington voted this weekend to join their colleagues in Auckland by divesting itself of any fossil fuel investments in its portfolio. The Auckland synod at the beginning of the month took the opportunity to listen to two presentations that I think it worth drawing attention to here. First, Jim Renwick from VUW (an IPCC lead author) lays out the basic science that underlies the case for action to reduce emissions:

…then economic commentator Rod Oram explains the “carbon bubble” in market valuations of fossil fuel energy stocks, and why it would make sense to avoid that risk:

Two compelling presentations, with an obvious conclusion that the members of the Anglican church were happy to accept. We should not be investing in companies whose value depends on the burning of excessive amounts of carbon.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Flatearth2013 September 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

So a few churches cutting back on their oil investments passes for a good news story these days? I am quite happy to sit back and watch government after government pull out of their climate commitments because millions of people will benefit. Stronger economies mean more money for health, education and the poor. The science is proving bogus and most world leaders know it. Sadly there are still votes to be got from talking the talk but that’s generally where it stops. Think about it, if governments actually believed in our impending climate induced doom they would act. Best we all just relax and enjoy the slightly milder weather.

Doug September 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

Two questions
How do you know that current investment patterns which focus on fossil fuels will result in stronger economies in the future?

How do know that climate change will only result in slightly milder weather?

You have made these statements with no qualifications so you must have some really robust analysis/evidence that underpins them.

Flatearth2013 September 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I am going off the fact that every billion spent on green energy subsidies could be diverted to other more benificial causes. What does Europe have to show for their billions spent? They have exported industry and jobs to China and are paying inflated power prices. And for what? They are now uncompetitive and still haven’t reduced their co2 emissions. The US is experiencing a boom (comparatively) by utilising their natural gas reserves. Give me one example of green policies improving an economy. Spain did you say? There is a long list of fossil fuels proving economies, follow the growth in the US and you will find oil and gas. Ask Taranaki they know.

And who knows what the future climate will be like, I don’t know, you don’t know and the climate scientists don’t know. Otherwise their models world be correct.

Doug September 26, 2013 at 9:19 am

So all opinion and anecdote. Where is the analysis? Point me to some studies.

noelfuller September 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Actually you apparently know nothing about climate science but are certainly working the current denialist playbook. There is no reply to be made to willful ignorance which is why your statements do not merit any serious attention.

noelfuller September 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm

To be on topic:
I have watched with interest these two videos. Jim Renwick’s climate science presentation has the merit of simplicity, clarity and deals with major elements of what is known about climate change. I have been asking for some time now what is it that enables me to see a great deal of evidence to support these observations when some people seemingly cannot? I leave out the wilfully blind, and the professional denialists whom I regard as criminals,

I think that the closer one comes to a holistic understanding of climate, the more one perceives evidence coming in from all directions, from every part, whereas the person who grabs one thing and tries to treat it as the whole simply does not have a sufficient understanding to recognise evidence. I just heard this lesson on mythbusters, about walking a straight line:. “With limited visibility [and without appropriate discipline] you will walk in circles.”

By clearly presenting the “big picture” Jim Renwick made decision easier to come to.

Flatearth2013 September 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Every thing I said was factually correct. If not please point out specifically which point you disagree with. I actually get most of my information from the economist, not climate blogs. Are you saying that drilling for oil and gas has been bad for Taranaki?

Flatearth2013 September 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm

What’s up with this denialist play book anyway? Does it hold all the questions you find too difficult to answer? Why not just explain why I’m wrong instead of making every excuse under the sun for not answering the question. Have EU green policies been good for their economy then? How so?

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm

North Dakota 2012 GDP 13.4% . They don’t make windmills. The evidence is littered through the financial pages, I’m not sure I need someone else to analyse it for me. Have a look. Am I wrong?

Doug September 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Sounds like a mining boom soon to be followed by a bust based on passed experience. Compare to Denmark and the Vesta experience.

Flatearth2013 September 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Yeah how is Vesta going these days? I heard 3700 job loses there last year, that does not sound too good. They can hardly stay profitable even with all the massive green energy subsidies pumping into the industry. Wind power cant compete without government handouts, which are getting less and less these days. I think I would prefer shares in a shale gas company myself. You invest in Vesta though.

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