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RIP 8.5

10 Jan 2024 | News Roundup

Many climate alarmists love to portray the monstrosity known as the RCP8.5 scenario, much-criticized not just by the usual suspects but even by some alarmists, as “business as usual” even though it’s not just wildly improbable, it’s impossible, as it portrays the world economy collapsing as hydrocarbon energy use continues to soar. And true to form, government experts are blissfully unaware of its flaws, and its critics, and have joined the herd of alarmists promoting it. Thus Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, which you might not expect to find stumbling through this field, recently released a “Standardized Climate Scenario Exercise” which the state proposes to make compulsory for all major financial institutions in Canada to incorporate in their calculations. And guess what? It treats RCP8.5 as business as usual: According to Section 5.2 “the Current policies scenario for transition risk, defined in Section 3.2.1, broadly aligns with the RCP 8.5 scenario from a narrative perspective, since both scenarios involve limited or no climate policy action”. So Big Superintendent will protect your retirement savings by making your bank wildly miscalculate risks and adopt a distorted view of future investment opportunities.

One of the less attractive qualities of politicians is their tendency to play Poohsticks with the lives of citizens. What is it to them if electric busses don’t work in winter? They don’t take transit. And what do they care if groceries are expensive? They have lavish salaries and, in many cases, expense accounts. Canada’s Prime Minister, for instance, gets $55,000 a year in public subsidies for his food budget, including having meals cooked at his official residence then couriered to where he actually lives; what does he know, or care about the cost of butter? For that matter how do you spend $55,000 a year on meals? It’s over a grand a week. It’s a hundred and fifty bucks each and every day.

Presumably he has people to help spend all that money and eat all that food. As politicians also have PR departments good at pretending they have the common touch, open minds and only our best interests at heart. Thus the OSFI’s request for feedback on the SCSE featured this quote from Peter Routledge, Superintendent of Financial Institutions:

“The adoption of sound climate risk management practices at financial institutions will give OSFI confidence that those institutions have the necessary policies and procedures in place to manage financial risks. We welcome feedback from all stakeholders on the Standardized Climate Scenario Exercise.”

Unsurprisingly the reverse is true. What they actually propose to do is force unsound climate risk management on all financial institutions to ensure that their policies to manage risk are, in this respect at least, wildly inaccurate. And they only welcome feedback from “stakeholders” who agree with them, a classic instance of the state being careful to appear responsive while charging ahead with some wacky enthusiasm. Thus they provided just two months for comments, since after all they already knew the answer they wanted and why encourage cranks, some of whom responded anyway.

Which brings us to another highly unattractive feature of public policy. Whereas in theory government policy reflects the general preferences of the public, the fact that the state and the state alone can initiate coercive action makes it of intense interest precisely to those zealots whose preferred policies do not appeal to the average person. It’s why government is so meddlesome and maniacal, with endless weird frenzies that just puzzle most people sweeping through it and resulting in things like gender-based policy analysis, massive affirmative action and bans on gasoline cars, and almost no tendency at all either to leave us to our own devices or make policy that reflects our desires.

The Canadian government’s own assessment, for instance, shows that the regulatory order to buy only zero-emission light-duty vehicles by 2035 will cost consumers $17.4 billion between this year and 2050. But they don’t care, not even enough to do it via legislation for which Members of Parliament might be answerable to voters. The calculation is of $54.1 billion in costs but $36.7 billion in energy savings and if they’re wrong well ha ha too bad nothing you can do.

It also says it will produce a spuriously exact $96.1 billion in “avoided global damages” so we’ll all be better off even though we don’t live in most of the places that will benefit, an eccentric approach to seeking the truth. But useful in bolstering an agenda.

P.S. In the category of regulatory capture not by vested interests but by zealots, we have to include the Ontario Energy Board, which instead of making sure the citizens of Ontario have reliable affordable energy is totally kooky on coercive and counterproductive measures to force them to live in the Green New Deal fantasy world at least on paper. And again members of the Board are insulated, so to speak, from the painful impact of their decisions not least by lavish salaries; in 2022 it had no fewer than 144 people on the provincial “Sunshine list” of those earning over $100k. Although its latest leap, meant to make natural gas connections prohibitively expensive for new homes, has actually prompted the elected government to object and promise to do something.

2 comments on “RIP 8.5”

  1. Well Premee Ford,do something!About Jack McGibbon,head of OEB that is.Fire him!Like yesterday!And find efficiencies at the OEB,I'm sure we don't need 144+ employees(Fat Cats!) making $100K+ a year.And how can a now single guy(Trudeau) spend $55,000 a year on food?Boogles the mind!

  2. Given that eating out in an upscale restaurant can cost hundreds of dollars, it probably wouldn't be too difficult to spend that kind of money daily if that's your lifestyle. Just the chef's wages alone would burn that up.
    On gas and the insane desire to kill it off, why don't I ever hear yabber from the doomsday crowd that making cement is a way bigger burner of gas and or oil than any number of gas stoves? And then again there's the problem of dying, all those cremations are generally done with gas these days, again nothing, zero, where's the sensible push to bury instead? Oh, that's right, land sales are the biggest boondoggle since whenever, can't get in the way of that milk cow. Compost?
    I see UK pulled it's EV buses after 2 caught fire within 48 hours. Progress it seems, is a reverse upward spiral.

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