Andrew Bolt: “China has zero intention” of setting up carbon tax? Sorry Andrew, they are

How’s that looking Tony?

Quick update, I’m still working on other materials.

One of the more frequent arguments against limiting carbon emissions via emission trading schemes is the perceived damage this will do to national economies.

Now that Australian example has proved this is not the case, the other “go to” argument for deniers has been “China” is not acting.

If the Chinese are happy to emit and not have an ETS, why should we?

Indeed, earlier this year Herald Sun journalist and climate “sceptic” Andrew Bolt made this very point;

Just follow the money. China is buying access to our coal deposits because it plans to use more coal, not less.

Now consider our stupidity. While China plans to use more Australian coal, Labor and its Greens allies want to force us to ultimately use none, by hitting us with a carbon dioxide tax that China has zero intention of imposing itself.

If it all works out to plan, China will use the cheap Australian coal that Australia will forbid itself.

Sorry Andrew.

Looks like the Chinese will have a national scheme up and running in three years.

China’s move to set up a carbon trading scheme undercuts the most common argument against the Australian ETS and similar schemes: that we’re “doing it alone” and it will hurt the economy:

China’s first steps to build what is destined to be the world’s second-biggest emissions market are boosting the prospects for fledgling programs from Australia to California. 

Four cement makers in China, the world’s biggest emitter, bought 1.3 million pollution permits for 60 yuan ($9) a metric ton last month in Guangdong. The province plans the largest of seven pilot programs for a proposed national market within three years. Exchanges will trade permits to emit an estimated 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases a year by 2015, close to half the volume in the European Union system. 

By setting its own emission limits and allowing polluters to buy and sell permits, China’s domestic market is set to dwarf its own participation in the UN market, Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts. 

The country’s commitment may also help break a logjam in global-treaty negotiations and support trade in Australia and the US, where opposition to carbon pricing is unwavering, according to Climate Bridge, which has developed projects in China since 2006. 

“What China is doing with its pilot scheme and ultimately with a national scheme sets a terrific example for the rest of the world,” said Alex Wyatt, the Melbourne-based chief executive officer of Climate Bridge and author of a report released yesterday with the Sydney-based Climate Institute. “Any suggestions by people in the West that China is not acting on climate change aren’t true.”

With each passing month arguments against action are looking increasingly silly:

Governments in California and Australia said they are working together to promote global carbon trading. Australia is also in talks with China, according to Mark Dreyfus, the country’s parliamentary secretary for climate change. Dreyfus said he met in New York last month with China’s National Development and Reform Commission Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua. 

“We have been working closely with China over the last year on a range of policy and technical issues to support the development of credible, robust and effective carbon markets,” Dreyfus said in Sept. 28 statement. 

Disagreement on whether developing nations should be forced to reduce emissions has been the “sticking point” in global climate talks, according to Sjardin at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. While a new climate treaty by 2015 remains an “ambitious goal,” negotiators at this year’s summit in Doha may start on “a more hopeful note” than last year, he said. 

China’s steps to limit emissions are also undermining arguments against cap and trade in the US and Australia, according to Sjardin. 

“China has long been perceived as a laggard on climate action and used as scapegoat by other countries like Australia to delay action,” Connor said. “But this argument is increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to make given China’s recent policies.”

See also Climate Spectator:

China’s emerging schemes can dovetail with other global schemes as a stepping stone towards a global climate change agreement by 2015.

It is important to understand that China’s actions are driven by self interest, not only regarding concern for climate impacts, but for strengthening energy security, developing a low carbon economy with export opportunities and showing international leadership.

This story is mirrored worldwide. Countries have chosen different paths, targeting different industries, depending on their economic makeup and what they perceive as an opportunity for gaining a competitive edge in an increasingly global low carbon economy.

Action at national levels is significant if yet still insufficient to deal with the rising climate challenge.  Tony Windsor also launched The Climate Institute’s new interactive map of global climate action which will be continually updated. Just to prove the point of ongoing changes, Norway yesterday doubled its carbon tax on oil and gas.  

The action in China and globally belies the myth that Australia is acting alone. If we are fair dinkum about doing our fair share, then Australia must ready itself for stronger emissions reductions than the 5 per cent 2020 target that is based on a world of inaction and is not enough to help avoid the risks of the growing climate challenge.

With each passing month, the claims of the deniers look increasingly silly.

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308 thoughts on “Andrew Bolt: “China has zero intention” of setting up carbon tax? Sorry Andrew, they are

    • Eric Worrall says:

      According to your article China plans a substantial expansion of nuclear and hydro capacity.

      Given that the output of a single nuclear reactor, on most days dwarfs the energy output of all of the UK’s investment in alternative energy, I suspect the windmills are window dressing.

      And the hydro development plans should be a concern to someone who cares about the environment. China’s hydro schemes to date have been an unmitigated environmental and social disaster.

      You should be celebrating China’s plans to expand nuclear power though – nuclear is the only high intensity low carbon energy source which has the potential to reduce human CO2 emissions in the near term.

      • john byatt says:

        100 million Kw’s of window dressing
        you inhabit a weird world eric

        Effectively developing wind power. As a non-water renewable energy, wind power is currently the most appropriate energy source for large-scale development and market-driven utilization. China’s wind power industry is the fastest-growing in the world. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China will stress both intensive and distributed exploitation, and optimize the development layout of wind power. It will push forward wind power construction in an orderly way in the northwestern, northern and northeastern regions, which boast abundant wind energy, and speed up the development and utilization of distributed resources. It will steadily develop offshore wind farms, and improve the standards for wind-power equipment and the supervision system of this industry. China will encourage wind-power equipment manufacturers to expedite R&D of key technologies, so as to accelerate the technological upgrading of this industry. By means of speeding up grid construction, increasing the grid’s dispatch level, improving the performance of wind-power equipment, and strengthening wind-power prediction and forecast, China aims to improve its power grids’ wind-power integration ability. The installed generating capacity of wind power is expected to reach 100 million kw by the end of 2015, with 500 kw of generating capacity coming from offshore wind farms.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          We shall see.

          European plans for replacing their energy sources with renewables have fallen rather flat.

          The missing piece of the puzzle is energy storage. Renewables (other than hydro) produce their power at unpredictable times, which is not useful for an economy based on reliable delivery of power.

          I do find some proposed solutions for energy storage amusing though.

          One of my favourites is supercapacitor storage (or ultracapacitor). Sounds like a good idea in principle right? Since batteries wear out, use capacitors instead.

          But lets do a little math.

          Say you wanted to provide backup for 1Gw of power consumption, for 1 day.

          This means you would have to store:-

          1Gw x 1day
          = 10^9 joules / second x 86400 seconds / day
          = 8.6 x 10^13 joules of energy.

          By an interesting coincidence, the amount of energy released by Little Boy (the nuclear bomb which destroyed Hiroshima) was around 6.3 x 10^13 joules

          So if the supercapacitor storage facility was to suffer sudden catastrophic dielectric failure, as highly stressed capacitors sometimes do, the energy release would be indistinguishable from a 10 kiloton nuclear explosion.

  1. john byatt says:


    “The answer is no, I don’t unreservedly accept it.

    I accept it is possible, but as I said, I would like to know more about Judith Curry’s reservations.

    How many ways can I answer this question?

    No is the correct answer eric, Lindzens claim is absolute crap but i am not surprised that like curry you do not have a clue what is even being discussed.

    It follows that if Lindzens claim that we are already at 2X CO2e then his prediction for doubling of CO2 temperature must also be wrong.

    So you have agreed in effect that Lindzen is wrong about the temperature rise from doubling of CO2

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I haven’t agreed anything of the sort.

      Neither Lindzen nor Curry believe that the 0.8c rise since pre-industrial is entirely due to greenhouse warming. They believe it contributed, not that it is wholly responsible.

      • john byatt says:

        Humans have been responsible for 104% of the warming eric,
        the solar contribution has been negative since the 1970’s
        where is your paper that warming over the past four decades is party due to solar variation,

        You are all claiming that we are heading into an extended cool period due solar minimum

        You did agree that Lindzen is wrong about doubling of CO2 temp eric.

        he said that we are already there.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          No, I said Lindzen’s suggestion we are already there is possible, but I want to know more about why Curry disagrees.

          The fact solar has declined since the 70s does not invalidate the solar theory. If you turn up the gas under a cooker, the heat in the pot does not decline if you stop turning up the gas.

  2. john byatt says:

    Eric Worrall says:
    October 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm
    Not so. Lindzen postulates negative feedback which damps the raw CO2 forcing, reducing it form 1c / doubling to 0.5c / doubling.

    Alarmists think additional water vapour evaporated due to CO2 warming amplifies the CO2 signal – the IPCC estimate of 3c / doubling is based on the assumption that the 1c / doubling CO2 warming is amplified by water vapour.

    Lindzen thinks additional water vapour is more likely to form clouds, reducing the warming which otherwise would have occurred, by reflecting more sunlight back into space.

    And the only way that Lindzen can maintain that line is by claiming that we have already reached 2 X CO2

    which you reject eric.

    So therefore Lindzen’s 2 X CO2 = .5DegC must be wrong because, again he claims that we are already there



    • Eric Worrall says:

      Math was never your strongest skill John.

      Both Lindzen and Curry claim that only part of the 0.8c warming was caused by CO2.

      So Lindzen’s 0.5c / doubling fits well with 0.8c of warming.

      If as Lindzen suggests, we are already seeing the effect of a CO2e doubling, then this means he is suggesting that around 0.3c of the warming was due to natural causes (solar variation, etc.).

      • john byatt says:

        We are not even at 50% of the doubling for CO2e Eric,

        So Lindzen must be wrong again

        Claiming something and proving it are not the same eric

        It gets worse, Lindzen claims that we are at equilibrium

        The man is a nut job

        • Eric Worrall says:

          You are forgetting CO2 forcing is logarithmic.

          To work out what proportion of a doubling we are currently experiencing (just from CO2):-

          %warming due to a doubling = (ln(390) – ln(260)) / (ln(520) – ln(260)) = 0.58 * 100% = 58%.

          So just from CO2 we are already experiencing 58% of the warming we would expect from a doubling of CO2 since pre-industrial times.

          I’ll leave it to Curry and Lindzen to figure out whether other forcings due to industrial methane release etc. is sufficient to make up the missing 42%.

      • john byatt says:

        FFS eric the RF for doubling of CO2 is 3.7wm2, we are at 1.7wm2, that is less than 50%

        Now you claim that the extra 2wm2 will vanish because of your misunderstanding that the globe is in equilibrium already, this is so wrong it is not even wrong

        radiative forcing does not reduce because of the logarythmic effect

        the first doubling produces 3.7wm2, adding more CO2 increases the forcing, it does not sit around awaiting the next doubling

      • john byatt says:

        Not even close Eric

        Forcing from 2 X CO2 3.7wm2

        current forcing about 1.7wm2

        less than 50% eric

        not looking good

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Given CO2 forcing is logarithmic, and current CO2 levels are around 50% higher than pre-industrial, we must already be experiencing more than half of the expected effect of a doubling of CO2 – unless you add whacky latency periods, or some other statistical trick to your calculation.

          Logarithms give you most of your effect up front – the amount of additional effect diminishes with an increased level of forcing.

  3. john byatt says:

    Have a go at Erics maths

    basically Eric states that 110ppm is 58% of 280ppm

    • Eric Worrall says:

      If you stop counting on your fingers, and pick up a calculator, you can try the math for yourself.

      I know its a violation of climate science protocol, but I provided details of my calculation.

      • john byatt says:

        I think your calculator needs a new battery eric,

        try again

        start ppm 1880 = 280

        doubling = 560

        so far we have added 110ppm

        still another 170ppm to go to double

        if you calculate 110 as 58% of 280, the banks will love you as a customer

        • Eric Worrall says:

          No wonder you’re an alarmist – you think CO2 forcing is linear.

          Try to understand. Some curves are nice and straight. Others have pretty curvy shapes.

          The pretty curvy shape which corresponds to CO2 forcing is called a logarithmic curve. Unlike straight lines, logarithmic curves start with a steep slope, and gradually ease off as you move further to the right – like the left hand side of a rounded hill. Note moving to the right in this case corresponds to adding CO2, while the shape of the hill is the amount of temperature forcing the CO2 adds to climate.

          This means if you double CO2, you get more than half of the expected CO2 forcing for a doubling, before you reach the halfway point in terms of how much CO2 you have added to the atmosphere – the steep part of the hill takes you over the halfway point in terms of forcing, before you reach the halfway point in terms of how much CO2 you have added.

          This incidentally is why alarmism is in trouble if CO2 climate sensitivity is much below 2c / doubling – much below 2c / doubling, and CO2 simply wont have a significant enough impact to care about.

  4. john byatt says:

    Wondered where you got that crap eric

    should have known

    david archibald at wuwt “co2 is all tuckered out after a 20ppm increase”

    here is an actual climatologist eric

    .Temperatures will respond to net forcing – not just CO2, or CO2-eq, and net forcing is around 1.7 W/m2 from the pre-industrial – that is under 50% of the forcing from 2xCO2, not 76%, nor 80% nor ‘almost’ a doubling. Claims that we should have reached equilibrium with that forcing are equally risible. Lindzen is effectively assuming zero heat capacity in the oceans and that aerosol forcing is 0 W/m2 with no uncertainty. The statements he makes on this have only rhetorical content – no science. – gavin

  5. john byatt says:

    we have been here before

    eric the logarythmic effect is to doubling what it was previously not to pick a ppm such as 20ppm

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Actually John, with a logarithmic effect you can do just that. Its not a perfect description of CO2, Judith Curry thinks that climate sensitivity is different for different doublings, and you can quibble over the slope of the curve (at what point the effect will “peter out”), but you can infer some basics simply from the fact it is a logarithmic curve.

      For example, with logarithmic curves, you see more bang for buck up front – the first few increments add more effect than any subsequent increments. That is simply the nature of a logarithm. If it behaves any differently, then it is not a logarithmic curve, it is something else.

      • john byatt says:

        Eric if your claim was true ,that we are near 3.7wm2 at less than 50% increase then we are fucked

        doubling or 100% increase in CO2 equals 3.7wm2 ,

        you are claiming that a 50% increase leads to 3.7wm2

        read archibald post again, he makes up his own values and gets it horrible wrong as usual

      • john byatt says:

        of course it will be different for different doublings,

        this first doubling will have primed the climate for even more massive positive feedbacks
        the next doubling may not even take half as long to achieve as the first doubling, the ocean by then will also be outgassing and it will also totally annihilate the natural variation signal. La nina and solar minimums will be a small blip by then

  6. john byatt says:

    Radiative forcings for 39 greenhouse gases


    The clouds have asmaller effect on the radiative forcing of CO; than on othergreenhouse gases, because the total optical depth is already large due to higher CO2 concentrations and strong absorption in the 15 um band.

    .stick to the science eric not the weatherman


  7. john byatt says:

    Eric Worrall says:
    October 29, 2012 at 9:24 am
    Yawn. Let me know when Hansen’s oceans start to boil

    all humanity will be long dead due to the temperature increase well before that was to happen

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