ETS Nick Smith Pita Sharples timescales and deckchairs

So the Maori Party and National have stitched together an ETS. Nick Smith – to his credit, came out and said it; that ultimately, real reductions have to be made, because there is not the carbon-sink on the planet to actually absorb our emissions.

We can expect an interim phase – where carbon is worth something, under a fiscal system still staggering on like a fatally-shot soldier. In that picture, third-world countries and people get forced to plant trees on their cropland, to assuage our greed. Whether they get to own the land, or whether we force it’s sale via World Bank, IMF, or fiscal or political pressure, won’t matter much. They will subsidise us, as indeed they do now – vis Nigeria/Shell.

That paradigm will be overtaken by real events (including trigger=points) , by panic, and by other resource stresses.

Included will be energy-depletion (and competition for same) and shortages of anything ending in ‘ium’. Rare earths are another, and gold has already passed it’s Hubbert Peak. At that point, as readers know, I don’t think a fiscal regime based on exponential growth will survive.

If the global network of governance holds together (if it doesn’t, all bets are off) then we will be looking at a wartime-footing type of regulation and control. It will make the ‘Nanny State’ bleatings look pretty petulently pointless, believe me.

That change has to happen before 2015, so agriculture’s current emission omission will be overtaken by events, and those events might be more than just fiscal – it might have to include no-ruminants-by-decree.

Pita Sharples represents a short-term (it’s all there is time for) commercialising of Maori, and a temporary moving-away from a  culturally custodial approach to nature. He has perhaps one electoral cycle, before it all reverts. Just time to look stupid, really, a pity as he probably wanted to be remembered as a statesman. He has to realise that when energy supply peaked (I do harp on, I know) the chances of raising his people fiscally, both in real and relative terms, just went up the exhaust pipe.

In that light, his insulation deal is a good – but quantitively ineffectual – move. He should be looking at communal ownership agreements on Maori land, with a view to food production in an anticipated low-carbon manner, to offset and/or replace conventional oil-based food – which must become relatively more expensive.

My crystal ball?

Copenhagen will be a not-I-said -the-little-red-hen fudge-fest, and two years will be wasted. 2010 will see real oil constraints, and another economic dive. Obama will be removed by an increasingly-disgruntled populace. By 2013, climate events will induce panic, and global demand for action. Relative fiscal advantage will go out the window. There will be a final, and very nasty, rear-guard action by the dying fiscal warlords. By 2015, oil/energy is in such obvious short-supply, and things are so stressed, that agriculture is becoming dislocated. Billions rather than millions, starve, and the conditions for pandemic look good. Beyond 2015, there is serious war over declining resources. China won’t start it – she’s going round the planet buying up resources on a legitimate-ownership basis. America is the importer, and the Export Land Model, coupled with depletion, inflation/stagflation and unrequited angst, mean she is the one who will go to war. Oh dear, she already has…..

And the optimistic version?   Add 10 years to the above time-scale, tops.

Have a good day………

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