The year of the Global Social License – 2015 Carbon Economy

The ‘social license’ is behind the shift to a carbon economy and the shift from the petro-chemical industries. The discussion moved from the automotive industry and how consumers willingly take up the new products that promote better environmental outcomes. It was further discussed that a similar change is influencing the other industries. The shift in the valuer attitudes is remarkable in that whatever economic theory you are predisposed to, or learnt in school, you will in all likelihood find value by participating in the carbon economy.

History has a way of repeating itself, and Adam Smith as the ‘father of capitalism’ described the ‘guiding hand’, which can be interpreted as a ‘social license’ that is part of 2015 regulatory thinking. Even those that follow Karl Marx writings will find a ‘social license’ forms a valuable and insightful regard to the specific mechanisms of an economic system.

We find that Marx and Smith diverged drastically in their political ideologies (not unlike the Labor and Liberal parties in Australia). However, their economic theories were similar in that both hold the labour theory of value as a core belief. Each believed that the number of labour hours put into an object created the value and thus the worth of the object. This is where the carbon economy differs in that the value is clearly in the hands of the valuer and not the politic as our government would like. It could explain why the traditional control mechanisms are not working, there is a disquiet in the community, and effectively communicating the political message ‘of value’ is seemingly on an uncomfortable setting.

The Austrian school of economics espoused its theory of subjectivity. From this theory, it follows that a product possesses value only if there exists a valuer. They say the object must be useful to a consumer in some way; if it is not, it is not valuable. The consumer’s feelings or subjective analysis give the object its value. Because of the laws of supply and demand, if the subject warrants a high value it will be commensurable with a high value.

The carbon economy can already show subjectivity of the price sets its value without regard to your politics. We say this as the carbon economy is already seen that the more desirable or valuable object on our connection to the trinity of human existence, with heaven and earth. The trinity concept is as much eastern as it is western in its connection. How high a price we are prepared to pay is to be proven. But, there is a universal willingness to try and it indicates this is the most logical reason for its value.

The carbon economy also indicates that the labour theory of value is incorrect because even though hours of labour might have gone into building an object, if no one wishes to purchase it, it has no worth and cannot be made commensurable with anything else. That not us saying that it is the indications of commercial reality that includes the need for sustainable outcomes to be demonstrated through the money practices of today and it strongly appears the social license is driving this trend.

For the success of the carbon economy lessons, from history you cannot ignore Marx and Smith. They still influence our current economy and we will still be affected by their ideas. Albeit these times do indicate a leaning to Smith is more fashionable. That said, Marx had brilliant insights into the workings of an economy and thought extensively about the mathematical side of economics. Political theory aside, Marx’s writings are valuable and insightful in regard to the specific mechanisms of an economic system. Smith is not called the “father of modern economics” for naught. The idea of the laws of supply and demand and the invisible hand can be found in high school and college economics teachings around the globe. Aside from the mistaken labor theory of value, Smith’s economic and moral theories are respected and employed in modern free trade economic systems today.

There is much debate about whether or not the so-called “moral Adam Smith” is compatible with the “economic Adam Smith.” Some believe there is a discrepancy between his discussion of morality and virtue and his thoughts on capitalism fueled by self-interest; Others brush off this claim as mere misunderstanding and say Smith’s “virtue” consisted of at least three major elements: prudence, justice, and benevolence. Prudence – a characteristic of self-interested conduct and economic pursuits. Justice (described as a ‘negative virtue’) – conduct in accord with public laws meant to restrain excessive self-interest. Benevolence (the highest form of virtue) – featured through private relationships.

Where carbon economics will not agree with Smith is that one may choose to relish only their commercial virtues; the person may become successful in business, but not be a completely moral being and have a place in our society. Carbon Economics would say they have no social license.

Adam Smith began writing on the importance of a free-trade economic system while he lived in mercantilist England. Smith had the foresight to realize that the mercantilist system was flawed. Mercantilism stressed the need for “large reserves of bullion” to reap economic benefits. Smith disagreed with mercantilist theories and expounded on the importance of free trade. The Wealth of Nations sought to discuss just that, the wealth of the nation as a whole. Rather than focusing on how much land the rich had or what the king acquired, Smith discussed how each individual person could successfully reap his or her own economic benefits and thus add to the nation’s wealth. He cited that in a free trade economy, a person has the ability to earn money and should then use it to purchase other goods (or capital to create their own business) which will then lead to growth in the economy. Smith believed that by earning and spending money, the economy would be stimulated and thus grow.

Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations during the late 1700s, during which a mercantilist society still existed. He realized the need for a better and more efficient economy that would benefit each citizen and the entire nation at the same time. What you may not know is that Smith merely envisioned the free society, he did not actually live it.

Marx wrote in the late 1800s, when the industrial revolution was in full swing. He personally saw and studied the filthy and dehumanizing conditions in which British factory workers labored. That experience led him to think capitalism was the source of every ill in society. He was only exposed to the exploitation of workers who labored long hours for meager wages while rich factory owners’ reaped benefits. In addition to his geographical and historical background, there are two key reasons as to why Marx indicted capitalism for all the problems in the world, these also exemplify his error: He believed that the class in which a person is born is the one in which he or she will remain. He blames capitalism for entrapping human beings

The beauty of a capitalist system is that it is free—we can own property, start a business, and live our lives as we so desire, provided we are not harming anyone.

There is the issue: providing we are not harming anyone. This where the social license is best measured. It is the measure of the carbon economy. What we can hope is that we will live to see the carbon economy proven – those actions are not harming anyone!

Advertisements

Our goal – to inspire and learn, a new year resolution for 2015.

Resolutions are always good to start a new year with: Committing to Gamification sounds like a good one. The goal is to maximize enjoyment and engagement through capturing the interest of learners and inspiring them to continue learning. Then it occurs one element you need is narrative and at least one other is immediate feedback. Then it occurs what we are being conditioned, or thought we are being conditioned by our leaders, corporate and political. Other evidence of this is the narrative we increasingly hear is playing down the unpleasant rather than getting to the point – an example of spinmeisters at work deploying euphemism(s) expecting we let the words wash over us without scrutinising the underlying reality.

So now our good intention is turning out to be a communication strategy and not so much a goal to inspire – We are openly massaging our message to our stakeholders to transition our moving forward. But what if, if the intention was only pro-business and pro-market? By this we mean to benefit the rent-seekers only.

It then occurs that while we have good intention in our resolution, others might not share our values that climate change is real and urgent. That merely adapting for ‘climate variability’ is a loser view. It would seem, according to Dr Neil James: Workers, corporate and politicians alike are digging in for a long fight between the ideology of each for 2015. Reported is you just have ask around and you read and hear; “Minister’s who can’t or won’t compromise, Union’s lack the strength to force their issues, and a workforce wondering what is going on here? “

Co2land org does guess it is about the game after all, and we are still in hope for a happy new year. As was said in Monty Python’s Life of Brian – always look on the bright side of life.

Also introduced are the further extensions of language to confuse and obfuscate, and from Dr Neil James, executive director of the Plain English Foundation and the author of Writing at Work was said:

“In Australia, the nation’s finances dominated the political “narrative”. The Treasurer divided the nation between “lifters” and “leaners”. The finance minister huffed that our public broadcasters were merely being subjected to an “efficiency dividend”. The government later admitted that, yes, this meant their funding was being cut after all.

Then Amanda Vanstone weighed in as a member of the National Commission of Audit with what must be the mixed metaphor of the year: Let’s fix our roof while the sun is shining because we’re on a course to hit the rocks and we have to fix it.

In the era of the mobile device, we are subjected to more information in more places at more times than ever before. It has never been more important to deconstruct this kind of doublespeak and uncouple the corporate spin. 2014 provided plenty of examples of what to watch for in the year ahead.”

Then there are the ‘we are here to help you’ matters – Like the National Disability (NDIS) scheme where parents of young children are being helped. But there is a catch; your special school can now bill you for the government contribution equivalents and other fees that leave them out of pocket in a way not done before.

Then there are those innovation help schemes. One example from a LinkedIn group member involves the ‘improved’ Commercialization Australia Scheme, called ‘Accelerating Commercialisation Australia’.

Under the heading: Accelerating Commercialisation Australia – up close and personal, Mark Dunn wrote – “Having read all the paperwork, FAQs and consumer guides, I lodged an application with Accelerating Commercialisation, and found out what they are really targeting.

Basically, this is product development funds. You have to have your prototype product or service, and are seeking assistance to convert it into something that a customer wants, e.g. making samples to distribute, or working with customers to determine detailed specifications, or working to develop markets.

The rules say the grant scheme is potentially good for $1 million, for 1:1 matching funds, but to quote their advisor, ‘there is not actually very much money’ in the fund.”

Being we cannot help ourselves we set about looking at common reference tools and found:

Accelerating = Slow down (dictionary form antonym)

Commercialisation = making it easy for companies to engage and successfully exploit

Australia = a sing-along medley of mountains, deserts, reefs, forests, beaches and …

I guess with a sense of humour you could say come a waltzing Matildas with me!

But do we need it, to suffer anymore in 2015 with the ‘necessity’ of euphemism, obfuscation and metaphors aided by corporate and political spin?

Then we read something that is food for thought in showing we are all full of it, and that ideology has little to do with success. It starts with the headline: Government running costs to reach record high as disability expenses mount, by Markus Mannheim, 3 January 2015: The Goulburn Post – “Former public service commissioner Andrew Podger, now a public policy professor at the Australian National University, said the expenses were a better indicator of efficiency than the size of the workforce because they included costs racked up by private contractors as well as public servants.

There have been a lot of experiments in efficiency over the years – outsourcing was one, another is shared services to try to take advantage of economies of scale …” he said.

“We had a period of decentralising government bodies and now we appear to be moving back to centralising a lot of work back into departments.

But you can’t say one method is more efficient or cheaper than another: it should be decided on a case-by-case basis for each program.

Real running costs grew rapidly under the Howard government. Labor, meanwhile, managed to restrain its operating expenses despite its massive spending projects to counter the global financial crisis.

Last month, as part of the Coalition’s “smaller and more rational government” agenda, Senator Cormann detailed plans to abolish or amalgamate about 250 government bodies, though most were small committees.

He also released a paper outlining the Coalition’s philosophy on the role of the public sector.

As a principle, government bodies should not be given preference as service delivery agents, where others are more capable of providing the same service …the minister wrote.”

We must finish with tying all this back to our advocating for a sustainable world, and the headline:

Heat is on Abbott government over climate change as world turns, 3 January 2015. “This could be the year of extinction for the climate-change denier” writes Peter Hannam. He goes on to say about the stance of the NSW Coalition Government: “When the Baird government unveiled the first high-resolution mapping of how global warming is expected to shift the climate for NSW, Victoria and the ACT by 2070, officials were quizzed why they weren’t using “climate variability”, a term favoured by federal Coalition counterparts, to describe the outlook.

This is the NSW government, we believe in climate change!” came the immediate response at the last month’s media briefing”.

Co2land org now asks is Gamification to be accessed in a similar way to narcissism. Classified as good and bad! We say we are good!

The leap of faith to a low-carbon future – Engineers Australia

The platitudes no longer cut it, the cries that the scientists are wrong is being proved wrong. Since the carbon pricing signals were removed from our (Australia’s) trade all the numbers are going backwards. Our energy intensive industries are increasing emissions (Hugh Saddler wrote, 2 December 2014) “the recent emissions trend ‐ since the last CEDEX® report with data to June 2014 – is an increase in total emissions of 2.2 million tonnes CO2‐e, with a large increase in electricity generation emissions and a smaller increase in petroleum emissions. Then on 3 December 2014 the national newspapers reported from the accounts data released that day – we are officially in an income recession. It follows our manufacturers are in decline, our commodities crisis is real and our trading partners have been stockpiling to ride out the storm – the financial storm that affects jobs, the economy and the deniers ability to hype hysterical nonsense about contributing to environmental fraud.

Outside of science, is anyone of note is taking this whole business of a low carbon future seriously? Yes, the banks are, and so are our engineers. The engineers’ story is:

Engineers Australia commits to designing the quantum leap to a low-carbon future. Willow Allento on 27 November 2014 published,

The interview write up and policy highlights are here: http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/innovation/engineering/engineers-australia-commits-to-a-low-carbon-future/70016

“Around 100,000 of Australia’s brightest innovators and designers and operational experts committing to a climate change policy and sustainability policy that is binding within the professional code of ethics, that’s a game-changer. Interviewing Dr Cruikshanks-Boyd this morning and reading the policies again and again [pithy, pointed and absolutely game-changing] I keep thinking – “This is the quantum leap we needed to escape the turmoil of the policy lens and have concrete action that really changes everything substantially.”

Can engineers save the planet? I reckon it’s tremendous they’ve set themselves loose on the opportunity to do so!

Engineers Australia has put sustainability and climate change mitigation at the core of the profession, with the formal adoption of two new policies and a series of events on opportunities.”

We read the policies were also peer-reviewed by 25 external bodies. So it is not insular it is outward looking to establish the practice and engage. They are actually committed to put sustainability up front engage with clients to promote the business case. We further quote:

“As engineers we have a role to play not just in innovating, but in selling the business case.

Regarding the property sector, he said engineers must make clear to clients there is a market for sustainable buildings, and use lifecycle cost analysis to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of taking a more sustainable approach and gaining “market edge”.

While the policies were passed unanimously, there was robust debate, he said, particularly around the climate change policy, with a significant minority of members opposing the climate change policy on principle initially. He said given the organisation has about 100,000 members, all of whom were consulted on numerous drafts, a percentage of sceptics was to be expected.

On an organisational level, the policies mean Engineers Australia is throwing its combined weight and expertise behind efforts to transition to a low-carbon energy future, reduce fossil fuel dependence, design within a lifecycle costing framework, look for industrial ecology opportunities in managing waste, and prioritise renewable resources wherever possible.

There are a lot of engineers associated with the fossil fuel industries, and I thought we would strike problems with them during the debate [on the climate change policy]. But the more balanced members in that industry recognise it must be dealt with, so we resolved that through the simple addition of a statement that there would need to be a transition from fossil fuels,” Dr Cruikshanks-Boyd said.

At this point CO2Land org notes a fundamental point for getting anything done, as it is possible to get polices of government changed through professional lobbying and advocacy, the real impact happens at the individual level. We also learnt, and we admit we too are learning, sustainability has been one of the four pillars of the Engineers Australia organisation binding code of ethics since 2010; to continue the quotes:

“While Dr Cruikshanks-Boyd is disappointed in the current “entrenched situation” regarding government policies on climate change and sustainability, he said Engineers Australia would ensure the new policies and the views they represent were well known to government.

He also said that the profession was in a position to leverage enormous positive change regardless of government policy through placing its focus on achieving sustainable outcomes in all they do. Just as there are negative tipping points that lead to collapse, there are positive tipping points that lead to exponential progress”.

A fundamental point of our mortality is also made in that professions live longer than politicians. We assume what was meant is that politicians are most concerned for themselves and professionals for their legacy. Without too much more waffle below now is more direct quoting from the article:

Some of the key statements in the Climate Change policy include:

Building upon a long history of Engineers Australia policy development, and as the largest technically informed professional body in Australia, Engineers Australia advocates that Engineers must act proactively to address climate change as an ecological, social and economic risk.

Engineers Australia is committed to natural resources policy reform to adopt full life-cycle analysis, including the pricing of resource use externalities, to ensure responsible resource allocation decisions.

Engineers Australia will work to facilitate statutory, regulatory and policy reform such as progressive Renewable Energy Targets, incentives to promote renewable and sustainable energy technologies, energy efficiency standards, transport emission limits, and incentives/disincentives to reduce dependence on fossil fuel sources. It is recognised this is part of a transitional process.

Engineers have an ethical responsibility for, and play a key role in, limiting atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, through transformative change and innovation in engineering education, and practice.

Reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere associated with engineering activities should be accorded urgent priority in engineering endeavours.”

Some of the core statements in the sustainability policy include:

Our Code of Ethics requires us to develop engineering solutions that repair and regenerate both natural and social capital, while maintaining economic health.

Engineers Australia acknowledges that to achieve sustainability outcomes requires transformative change in business practices, lifestyles, and in the way resource allocation decisions are made.

Fundamental to this change is the recognition that a healthy economy is underpinned by a healthy environment and respect for all life on earth.

Engineers Australia and its members commit to ensuring all relevant stakeholders are consulted, and that open and regular reporting of progress towards delivering sustainability outcomes forms a fundamental component of engineering practice.

This Sustainability Policy is supported by an Implementation Plan, which articulates specific changes to engineering practice that arise from adoption of this Policy.

Specific sustainability considerations to be applied to engineering practice (policy and projects) include (not in priority order):

  1. The use of resources should not exceed the limits of regeneration.
  2. The use of non-renewable resources should create enduring asset value (everlasting and/or fully recyclable), and be limited to applications where substitution with renewable resources is not practical.
  3. Engineering design, including product design, should be whole system based, with consideration of all impacts from product inception to reuse/repurposing.
  4. Product and project design should consider longevity, component re-use, repair and recyclability.

Eliminating waste should be a primary design consideration. Unavoidable waste from any one process should be examined for recycling potential as input to another productive process.

The rate of release of any substances to the environment should do no net harm, and be limited to the capacity of the environment to absorb or assimilate the substances, and maintain continuity of ecosystem services. In all instances, such releases should be lifecycle-costed and attributed.

Proactive and integrated solutions are preferable to reactive, linear, “end of pipe” solutions, such that there is a net sustainability benefit.

In circumstances where scientific information is inconclusive, or incomplete, the precautionary principle and risk management practices should be applied to ensure irreversible negative consequences are avoided and not passed as a liability to future generations.”

Co2land , as you would expect is pleased to see Engineers Australia is throwing its combined weight and expertise behind efforts to transition to a low-carbon energy future. Our only point that could improve that position were they say ‘reduce fossil fuel dependence, design within a lifecycle costing framework, look for industrial ecology opportunities in managing waste, and prioritise renewable resources wherever possible’, we would prefer the words ‘eliminate fossil fuel dependence’. Sometimes the simple wording is more meaningful!

ChAFTA – ‘real’ big deal – but!

On balance is a fair term when describing trade. However, when you say Free Trade there has been some disquiet across a number of industries. Clearly there are some clear winners and some areas of concern apparent from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) signed, 17 November 2014, between the two countries. As with all good stories comes a more interesting one. How to make it work will come in time. It is time that is most important. If you think culturally, something becomes obvious – Western world thinks 5 years is a good plan, Eastern World sees no sense in less than 10 years and prefers 100 years. So is it about plans or planning?

If you did not already know – NZ released a press announcement on 7 April 2008 that it signed a Free Trade Agreement with China. For reference go to chinafta.govt.nz – as far as we can tell the last press release was 12 April 2013 on progress on that sight – maybe someone else knows why?

One topic on the official NZ site is the comment: Are you ready for China, and that forms the discussion from this point.

Starting with two words that seem popular – collaboration and cooperative. We find a world of difference yet seemingly very similar words. It is how they operate that matters. One is a verb and the other an intransient verb – inner or outer if you prefer.

To collaborate suggests to work with others and is an intransitive at an intellectual level whereas the Australian version of ChAFTA is missing encouragement of cooperatives to take advantage. Why is this important? Because it is yet to be fully explained what is the level of risk. Risk of the franchise is the more important thing to work through when considering the deal.

The talk from the positives claim it will build on the indications from China that it values a further deepening of our trading relationship. For instance, the setting up of a ‘settlement hub’ in Sydney, based on Chinese Renminbi exchange. This hub is designed to make doing business with and in China easier. While restrictions to trade and tariffs ranging from dairy products, wine, processed foods and pharmaceuticals, to processed metals, plastics, medical devices, cosmetics are lifted. A very strong point is also being made that a new mechanism for resolving non-tariff barriers to trade which have caused so many issues with the implementation of previous FTAs is part of the positive. That said, not all are happy and it is not necessary the raw material suppliers it is also those that realize there is a lack of the detail and effectiveness of this mechanism and all is yet to be tested.

Another concern is anti-dumping may be not be possible as the ChAFTA only uses the wording ” full access for Australian producers to trade remedies available under the WTO, including anti-dumping and countervailing measures.” Which like Australian Intellectual Property is often seen as an unnecessary barrier by Chinese firms. That said it is claimed China is moving towards more rigorous protection of IP as a natural progression. Some experienced people in this area may be saying – waiting – waiting – time will tell!

The positive also argue that while the service industry will no doubt benefit the Chinese market is good news for manufacturers as they will often be able to incorporate Australian manufactured products in their offerings.

Architects, for example can partner with local Australian suppliers to offer broader solutions to Chinese needs. Healthcare providers can similarly partner to tackle the China market. Other restrictions being relaxed on services will clear the way for Australian equipment and technology suppliers. The later point is claimed as a win for innovative technology and product suppliers.

One area of both opportunity and concern is the easing of restrictions on the use of imported Chinese labour. That labour source can undermine workers’ conditions and the competitiveness of firms operating under Australian law, so who wins? Comparative advantage is what the economists would argue would determine the winner.

While the positive argue it is all good. They also acknowledge there is no doubt China benefits greatly from this agreement and with that will come greater competition and threat to Australian business. It then means the Australian government must be more active in follow up on industry concerns as the details of the agreement are revealed and issues emerge. The difficulty in this is it is actually counter to the current government’s intention ‘of open for business’. It is even more difficult if you consider the need to collaborate outside of the cooperative of Australian Values.

So from all this comes the ‘real’ issue of not knowing about the mechanism proposed for addressing non-tariff barriers. Kindly provided is the following summaries to assist highlight what might be of concern. Not in any particular order:

  • Customs-related issues: – import tariffs, onerous customs procedures, including customs valuations, other import taxes and charges, rules of origin/certificates of origin, market access quotas
  • Technical issues – standards and certification: conformance testing and certification requirements
  • Other internal regulations issues – internal taxes, restrictive import licensing agreements, visa requirements and work permits, ownership and investment restrictions, banking and foreign exchange issues, governance and competition-related issues, differing processes for obtaining government approvals, transparency and fairness in tendering procedures for government contract and in the – award of tenders, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights
  • Social or market-related issues: staff recruitment, local business culture.

It is suspected that these barriers in China are extensive and complex.

In addition, it needs to be appreciated that arguably Australia’s largest barrier to trade, particularly in the services sector, is the very low level of mandarin speaking skills and understanding of Chinese Confucius-based business culture by Australians. Add to that the comparatively low level of ‘in country’ trade development support offered by the Australian Government and the need for Australians to invest considerable time and resources necessary to build up relationships before any deals can be concluded are also important factors.

We also seem to forget the high level of competition which Australians will face not only from European countries that have been far more active in Chinese markets in recent years, but also the very strong presence of mandarin speaking Taiwanese business interests who will be actively chasing service market opportunities.

Despite the current level of political rhetoric being generated about opening up ‘services-based’ markets in China, the reality is likely to be quite different. Only time will tell!

So was it so clever to have financial services hold the key to trade that is controlled by exchange. What is different for building trade over services is the key advantages of building trade around ‘hard products’ (commodities and manufactures) is that they are ‘language and culture’ neutral; if the price is right and the technical and other barriers can be addressed, market opportunities can be realised. Simply put the agenda is obvious and transparent.

As we see it the hurdle that many Australian companies within an exchange will be the need to learn and understand the soft diplomacy required in bedding down arrangements as the cultural context of business is different to that of the West.

A mixed blessing is probably the best description. A number of major concerns with this agreement:

  1. Firstly there is no mention of China needing to float it’s currency to achieve a more honest and realistic exchange rate.
  2. The agreement favours large-scale innovative makers and mining.
  3. Maintaining small to medium business input will be difficult.
  4. China is not required to place a carbon footprint on it’s export products, an economic advantage. In addition Australia does not require imports to place a carbon footprint on products. Should such a footprint be costed in real terms local manufacturing competes.
  5. China’s agreement with the USA may result in pollution issues being costed.
  6. We have heard no analysis of any imbedded uncompetitive clauses that may have a detrimental effect on Australian export business and local business alike.

Meanwhile back in NZ. After signing the NZ/China FTA Plinius Audio based in Christchurch NZ spent almost 5 years getting the CCC approval process to work for its products to enter China having been tested and proved compliant here.

Back to the now in Australia we are having our own ‘realities’ where according to our agribusiness contacts China is always going to control raw materials into China, it is a balancing act between feeding the people with Grain, clothing the people and exporting, and manipulating the price of commodities into China. Why? Because if they lose too much control, they cannot keep the rate of growth in the range where they have it. It follows that if China’s economy slows down it has huge implications not just for China, but for its main trading partners, of which Australia is a major one for Raw Materials.

Whether it is perceived or ‘real’ most feel the so-called free-trade agreements and other international contracts zap control from sovereign nations and hand it to rootless instrumentalities, undermining the role of governments.

It all culminates with: Planning, the timeframes that each culture believes plans should be projected forward and whether your side is proactive or reactive and when to be so inclined.

Digitally enhanced – ‘friends of’

Are you a moderniser or values driven? It is suggested it is a logical postulation that evades resolution, and is a true conundrum for the politic.

To illustrate, Douglas Carswell is authentically a modernizer and has quipped, in his book The End of Politics published in 2012, where he argued that “The digital revolution will do to grand planners in the West what the collapse of Communism did to socialist planners in the old Soviet bloc”. “Reform” in the 19th century meant increasing the franchise until it eventually included the entire adult population. In the 21st, it means “iDemocracy”, the crowd-sourcing of politics. We were asked where did you read this stuff? The Telegraph.co.uk, 29 Aug 2014, was the reply.

Thinking about this in a local setting – it occurred; The Independent senators have a handle on these problems and in particular how to save our country from being a dependant service industry – the advent of the exit of manufacture. In other words they are thinking on how to rally ‘Friends of Manufacturing’. The simple question is why is Australian politics having so much difficulty understanding the dependency issue and what then occur is causal of other uncalculated change too! History is full of such things that happen, and in particular that they were results of as opposed to outcomes of the change.

Change is always a difficult path and it is not as easy as engaging in old style reform. In a visit to the UK the tour guides constantly delivered the message that to save England from descending into moral decline they built churches that also served as an economic reform.

The difference today is renewal requires a different form of discipline – discipline to resist pandering your own ego. Why because eidetic recollections are called for, and you don’t have time to perform lengthy research for your answers, or just call on a higher ‘authority’ – how do you do that? Google or DuckDuckGo it of course, for the instant answers for the crowd.

It follows that the danger is you will selectively pick what suits ‘you’ and ‘your’ ideals and therefore cannot be empathetic and understanding of what is ‘the going concerns of real life’ – think of it as viewing life as a theme park. This simply means the view is an invitation to join the like minded and is sufficient to set change in the right direction. What examples let us think that this is a problem? The political scene in the UK illustrates the point very well, as reported by the Telegraph – being it “showed a weakness for the political equivalent of botox”. As a sense of humour must prevail – does that explain the goofy grin that seems printed on our PM’s face!

So is being a ‘friend of manufacturing’ the illustration of a present-day confrontation of social systems and civilizations and implies a confrontation exists between various systems of values. This implies the belief that as the creations are part of given social forces, each type of civilization embodies the values of the respective social forces.

Therefore what is needed for such a move to be successful is we distinguish between the sociological-politological and the axiological approach to values. You could argue the former disregards the intrinsic substance of value. The axiological approach is based on historical experience, on the social situation, on the interests and ideology determining the way in which a social group, a human community, a society ascertains values, non-values and anti-values. You could also argue, there is a correlation between these two approaches. We could say if you define political values as political relationships, institutions, organizations, views and ideas resulting from the transforming, creative sociopolitical practice of the social forces that meet the requirements of social progress and of the development of human personality on a social scale.

What this does emphasize is the special role of political values. Of course you then might say if you believe this you accept there is no place for the intrinsic character of political values.

That is not the case here, we believe to identify the issue, you need a group that can intrinsically recognize and then know where their mediating role in the creation-and, respectively, assimilation-of these values is needed. Therefore the ‘friends of’ person of today ‘experiences’ the values centered on political values. For all the differences between civilizations and their values, the common fundamental interests of mankind—the necessity of setting up a new economic and political order, of creating a new climate of peace and cooperation among states and peoples—require the assertion and promotion of common, general, and acknowledged political values. So ‘friends’ become political no matter what.

So what is the conundrum? It is the political values that interfere with real life experiences and that interferes with modernising. The question then becomes how do you prevent the hollowing out of your attempts to modernise? Then you develop your ‘friends’ and then along come the ‘rent seekers’ wanting to influence their interests.

If you then argue it is a matter of ‘friends’ being pro-market and not pro-business you will come across the issue of old fashion values and entrenched responses of we need more regulation. Then we have another issue – the policing of the regulator? How do you do that? By reverting to your values system you then effectively hollow out modernising.

What is the answer? Maybe we just postulate – change will occur, but what we must do is accept that where non-conforming activities are evident it is that anticipated remediation contingencies also need to be in place. What is this meaning? It is the place where conforming bodies are confronted by non-conforming bodies with pro-business friends. It is happenings and is akin to corrupting practices. You might say they will plan to achieve a competition to fail event. To be concluded over time as to whether the issue evades resolution!

‘good faith’ – a legislative event or an earned value!

” Australia now has some of the highest electricity costs in the developed world” – the claim was part of a upcoming conference promotion. Why is this so? We can easily say the reason is a range of federal and state government policies. With some bemusement we could even say the amateurs must have been in charge when all this happened, and they could not help themselves but to make changes without understanding the consequences. Another way of saying it is they thought ‘good faith’ was a legislative event and not an earned value!

If you carry over the ‘good faith’ argument as a legislative event, you can easily see how the intention could be manipulated according to the stronger lobbying power of the day. There does not need to be a business case for the policy, it just needs to be a positioning matter for what is ideal. In terms of positioning you might see how the carbon price became known as the carbon tax in the repeal legislation (the definition of ‘price’ was changed to reflect emotive wording ‘tax’), that the renewable energy target became a plaything for posturing the adverse effects and without evidence is said to have contributed to cause energy prices to rise.

It still happens, again and again. The driver – we need change to show we are positive about business. Business according to amateurs is ‘doing something’, and that so important! Think of these examples: Gas market reform needed, it will increase gas production and ease the pricing situation. Maybe it would – if you had a direct one on one relationship between the supply and demand. It is not that simple and business professional understand this, but a graduate and an evaluation team for a policy might not. With interest we note that the EUAA has an upcoming program based on New Energy Paradigm – Better Energy, Better Business. The word ‘better’ we assume means the amateurs will be kept away and only the business astute will be debating the program! The logic being a new paradigm forms the basis of something. But what if the carbon tax or RET can no longer be blamed for some of the highest electricity costs in the developed world. What do you blame then? What then would be the outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype of the cause? Again it would not be hard to consider the amateur was being too ready to expose a popular view without sufficient knowledge of the facts.

Pondering this issue along came a story about the Sydney Second airport and a mad bit of posturing by the small business Minister to an audience on how they will fix who ever gets in their way. The story:

Airport chief slams minister’s delay statement, 06 Sep 2014, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney: Badgerys Creek Talk of ‘another partner’ –

“A key federal government minister has warned Sydney Airport that if it delays the process of building an airport at Badgerys Creek, the government will find another partner to help build the project.

But that warning immediately produced a backlash from the chairman of Sydney Airport Corporation, Max Moore-Wilton, who stressed that Sydney Airport retained the first right to build another airport in Sydney. He also questioned the seniority of the minister delivering the warning.

“This is not a game for talented amateurs,” Mr Moore-Wilton said. “This is business.””

The illustration here is a very important one. It is business that works to contain costs and it is opportunists that are the costs.

Possibly the more damming is when “Asked about Mr Briggs’ comments, Mr Moore-Wilton said: “We are following in good faith the provision of the legislation governing the process for considering a second Sydney Airport.

I imagine since it’s a legal obligation, Mr Briggs ought to consider his statements very carefully … we paid for the right to negotiate.”

It is all about the ‘right’ is it not?

For those that did not know Max Moore-Wilton, in the days before being Chair of Sydney Airport was secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. We guess he can see an amateur from a long way off and knows business very well.

No place for flat earth society – Climate change priority one.

The nightmare popped up during sleep time: They dropped the A off UStralia – what happened Anthony? Don’t you know there am no ‘I’ in team! What brought this about? Having just read Peter Costello’s comment before bedtime and having an uneasy feeling from it – in his words:

“Mr Costello believes the Prime Minister has missed the point.

“I don’t know about this Team Australia stuff…..I have heard it used in tourist and trade promotions. But as far as I am concerned, when it comes to stopping terrorism, it is not a matter of getting on the team.”

The rest of the story is found in – Peter Costello criticises PM Tony Abbott’s call to join ‘Team Australia’ By political reporter Karen Barlow, staff – “Former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello has hit out again at the Coalition Government’s agenda, following up on a swipe over unpopular budget measures with criticism over the Prime Minister’s call to join “Team Australia”.

The story actually sprung from Peter Costello taking a swipe over another agenda through, “his regular News Corp column to attack Tony Abbott’s decision last week to drop changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Citing the need to engage Australia’s Muslim community on new anti-terror laws, Mr Abbott declared everyone needed to join “Team Australia” and support the Government’s proposed new counterterrorism laws….I want the communities of the country to be our friend, not our critic,” he said. 

Fair enough we say –the fact, we need friends.

But there is a twist – We need a meeting of minds for that to happen. So why would we think two faced or two minds and the characteristics of flux plus spring to mind. Why is he trying to solder the joints and soldier on with falsehoods? Ironically it is climate change that may be the catalyst to foster relationships after all. Yes, Climate Change! Yes, despite Ab bott saying in 2009 that Climate Change is ‘crap’. It seems that to be part of the universal club he now needs to embrace Climate Change.

Actually, CO2Land org predicted this a few months back in a previous blog.

Why do we know it now? From the story: US administration and Tony Abbott have ‘meeting of minds’ on climate change By Peter Hartcher and John Garnaut Aug. 14, 2014:

“The Abbott government has discussed with the Obama administration the subject that was supposed to be unmentionable between them – climate change”.

A senior US official said ”there was a meeting of the minds on the significance of the challenge” when the two countries held their annual Ausmin consultations in Sydney this week.

The subject was not mentioned at the Ausmin news conference on Tuesday.

But Daniel Russel, the senior official for the Asia-Pacific region in the US State Department, was involved in the talks and said the two governments had ”a good discussion of non-traditional security threats, among which is climate change”.

”The conversation was predicated on the reality of global warming,” he said, dismissing any hint that the Abbott government might be in denial on the subject.

”It was not a theological debate. It was an information exchange.”

He described it as ”a very practical, forward-looking conversation” on the matter………. The Barack Obama administration has made climate change a priority.”

“Mr Kerry is especially fervent. In February he said that it was ”the world’s most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction.

He has described sceptics of the science of man-made climate change as members of the ”Flat Earth Society” and said he and Mr Obama had no time for them.”

“Mr Abbott said in 2009 that the science of climate change was ”absolute crap”…… They exchanged views on the upcoming global conferences regarding climate change and they also touched on the relevance to the force posture agreement in the sense that the Asia-Pacific region is home to lot of wonderful things but, unfortunately, it’s also home to the lion’s share of natural disasters, and a significant component of the rationale and the mission for the rotational [US Marine] presence in Darwin … is to increase the region’s ability to respond to natural disasters.”

The head of Australia’s Climate Institute, John Connor, said: ”This government may be waking up to the fact that the heavy hitters in the US and China see climate change as a security issue and an economic issue, not just an environment issue.

The chief of US Pacific Command, Admiral Sam Locklear, has said that climate change could lead to the displacement of millions of people, ”and then security will start to crumble pretty quickly”.

Our turn, we told you so, and if you really want to be on TEAM UStralia you better remember there is no ‘I’ in team. Despite how hubris one may be!

Waltz with your innovation – 1,2,3 step

What really goes wrong with the next step from innovation is a common question. The most probable answer is scientific reputation. Followed by you. Followed by your assistance choice. Think this: You have a really good solution for a problem you have identified. You put your energies into making it possible. So you go from inventor to innovation. Chances are it goes wrong at the next point – what is known as the valley of death in the leap to commercialisation. You spend vast amounts of money in relative terms and still no significant progress. There is plenty of talk and countless possibilities. However, there is very little progress.

Chances are you challenged conventional wisdom – first mistake. Someone else has something to lose. Chances are you have improved a widget – next mistake. It was someone else’s cash cow. Chances are you did not realise you have set a new standard, or at least the potential to change is recognised. This means you are causal to change. Have any of you ever thought that what you cause to change might not like to change?

Once you have spawned you idea and it is in front of your eyes, and you dream of the introduction to the market. We all think for the good mankind here it is, wonderful!

To have your idea move to being accredited it must be measured in some way. By what measure soon becomes a dilemma. Does it produce an electric current, does it produce noise, and does it produce gases and so on? This is where scientific reputation becomes important. Chances are you need some sort of national accreditation body give it a number of some sort. The most common delay to the introduction of your idea is proving it is a benefit. A couple of examples are the CSIRO writes of the promise of a particular technology, financiers have promised funds, buyers are prepared to place orders. But, you only now go to the EPA or some enforcement equivalent body asking for the merits to be rewarded with an exemption or sanction of some sort. Your mistake – market acceptance is not enforcement acceptance. Now considerable effort is needed to save your initiative. You may even need to change your design because of scientific reputation.

Will you accept the notion you must change? In an article, http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235608 , JULY 15, 2014, Steve Tobak wrote: “As a veteran of Silicon Valley, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with more than my fair share of talented and innovative entrepreneurs. Sadly, some of their behavior was just dysfunctional enough to royally screw things up for themselves and their companies…… That’s not meant to be as irreverent as it sounds. I have always felt empathy for founders and their stakeholders. After all, it’s not as if I were some paragon of virtuous behavior when I was an executive, either. Nobody’s perfect……… Nevertheless, you can’t fix a problem until you face the truth. So whenever I have an opportunity to help a promising startup that can’t find its way or a mature company in need of a turnaround, it is difficult to watch them fail simply because those in charge aren’t willing to deal with their limitations…….. Any decent psychiatrist will tell you that on some level smart people do understand what’s really going on. They do have common sense. They hear what others are telling them. They know what they’re doing. So when they suppress it, bury it in their subconscious, hear what they want to hear – call it what you want — that, my friends, is a choice……….    I bet I know what you’re thinking. There are lots of reasons why startups fail. Yes, there are. I’m sure I’ve seen them all. But if you dig down a bit, the root cause of most of them is that their leaders choose not to see what’s staring them right in the face. Think about it. You find a reason and I’ll show you an entrepreneur in denial………. Lots of companies run out of cash. But while some can’t raise capital, you would not believe how many can and simply don’t. Oftentimes, their founders aren’t willing to give up a piece of the pie. They try to bootstrap a promising venture and end up starving it to death. Or they have too high a burn rate, aren’t willing to invest the time it takes to raise a round of funding, wait too long and run out of time……… It’s hard to imagine how many beneficial ideas, inventions and innovations never see the light of day because they offer solutions that don’t actually solve any real problems. Or they’ve come up with concepts, not products……… Lots of entrepreneurs are not in it for the long haul or for the right reasons; they think they can make a quick million or feed their egos. Some don’t think they need a unique value proposition or competitive differentiation. Others have holes in their strategy so big it would take a miracle to fill them.”

Co2Land org say there is another problem we should also mention. Be very careful with who you ‘are allocated’ to help with commercialisation – their motive may not match your own expectations. Example: You see a long-term relationship with your enterprise; they may see the need for you to make a company exit. Who is right – the right of the company or your association right!

So it is a three step, a waltz no doubt: reputation, you and your partnership choice.

Project Homeless awards ceremony

Awareness projects are not all about protest, or colours, or training. Highlighting is crucial to understanding and this story deserves it place – Project Homeless awards ceremony

A partner of Co2Land org, Ecoprofit Management (EPM) is also a major partner with Screen My Shorts Inc.  Screen My Shorts are the festival organizers of project Homeless. To quote EPM: “This filmmaking initiative was purposely designed as a global event for filmmakers to participate, contribute and raise awareness whilst giving them opportunities to develop their craft. Their creative works then become a community resource for education, entertainment and inspiration. The principle sponsor of the initiative is Parramatta City Council.

The Project’s awards ceremony was held at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta on Friday, 11 July. With entries coming in from all around the world vying for $11,000 cash prizes, the films were of a very high standard.

Many of the films shown were emotive and thought provoking.

‘Being homeless seems not a pleasant experience, however, it is the purest expression of sustainability. In 21st century, sustainability is not solely about the environment, it’s also about human lives. A harmonic environment where nature and human co-exist is a Utopian dream. For environmental sustainability, of course we can apply all the kinds of R-methods (reuse, recycle, reduce, etc.) in construction; while for the human sustainability, we have to come up with solution which tackle both the physical and psychological needs so that they can live long in a healthy way.’ Reference: http://www.cloudscap.es/project/homelessness-new-expression-sustainability

The take away message for EPM is clear: people don’t choose to be homeless!

To view all the short film finalists, visit http://www.screenmyshorts.com “.

Co2Land org would like to add – people do not choose to victims, it is the feeling of being helpless that makes us victims.

The business opportunity of the century

“Building the energy system of the second half of the 21st century is the business opportunity of the century. Recently, the countries that have most successfully capitalized on this have been the rapidly developing economies, particularly in Asia.” Source Christopher Field, co-chair, IPCC Working Group II.

Danger, danger! We are told we are open for business and Asia will follow? Are they having the last laugh, so what does economic participation agreements mean? We guess, nothing unless we are in sync with our neigbours because they are not denying climate change they are fearful of it and taking appropriate action. Also most interesting is, they address a ‘resilience framework’ – something that meaningfully reduces the probability of system failure. You might also note that squarely ties ecosystem, and economic systems as being inseparable. So why do we hear so much other nonsense as climate responses cost jobs – utter rubbish! Now consider:

“Singapore is taking steps to better adapt to the vagaries of uncertain climate patterns in Southeast Asia by embarking on a national study to understand the impacts of climate change on the country’s roads, drainage systems, power stations, and other infrastructure.

Officials from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and the Ministry of National Development shared on Monday that all ministries and statutory boards will participate in this study, which will examine how rising sea levels, higher temperatures and more intense rainfall and flooding could affect the city state’s physical infrastructure.

The initial findings are expected to be released by 2016, and will feed into Singapore’s ‘Resilience Framework’, a blueprint developed by the Singapore Government in 2012 to safeguard against climate change over the next 50 to 100 years.

The study was announced on Monday at the sidelines of an event organised by Singapore’s National Climate Change Secretariat and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to share findings from the IPCC’s recently released Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and its implications for Southeast Asia. About 260 guests from the public sector, as well as businesses, NGOs and academia attended the event held at the Furama Riverfront Hotel.

The findings of AR5 conclusively state that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and that it is “extremely likely” that human influence has been the main cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century.

The report stated that in most projected scenarios, global surface temperature is also likely to exceed the 2°C limit. Most scientists at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 agreed that exceeding this limit of global surface temperature rise would result in dangerous climate change.

Scientists from the report’s working groups on adaptation, mitigation, and physical science also added that key risks for Asia included urban and coastal flooding, and water and food security.

No-regret policies for emission reduction

Singapore’s Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan highlighted Singapore’s vulnerability to these extreme weather events and the importance of adapting to them as early as possible.

“We cannot take a positive outcome for granted. Even though we will do our part as a responsible member of the global community, we also have to adapt to climate change and make sure we are resilient in order to look after our own citizens in a warmer and more uncertain world”, he said.

However, there were uncertainties inherent in climate science, in the economics of climate change and in the political framework surrounding a global climate agreement that hampered global adaptation and mitigation efforts, added Balakrishnan.

For example, he said that it was “misaligned economics” that blocked the adoption of low-carbon technologies in a global economy that is overwhelmingly reliant on fossil fuels.

“This is what keeps us trapped in a high carbon trajectory”, he said.

To address this, Balakrishnan proposed three “no-regret policies” to achieve substantial emissions reductions; namely investing into research and development of low carbon and clean energy systems, mandating energy efficiency standards, and removing subsidies for fossil fuels.

Scientists from the IPCC speaking at the Monday event seconded the minister’s view that scaling up the low-carbon energy sector was necessary to limit global temperature rise. They added that the pursuit of clean energy also represented significant business opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.

Christopher Field, co-chair of the IPCC working group on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, said: “Building the energy system of the second half of the 21st century is the business opportunity of the century. Recently, the countries that have most successfully capitalised on this have been the rapidly developing economies, particularly in Asia”.

Jim Skea, vice-chair of the IPCC working group on climate change mitigation, shared that “there will be major changes in investment patterns in the energy sector if we are going to pursue climate change mitigation, and this provides enormous market opportunities”.

The panel of scientists identified three strands of scientific innovations in the energy sector as particularly promising. In the field of chemistry, developing better fuel cells, photovoltaic technologies and more efficient materials were raised as key areas that could drive clean energy forward.

Innovations in information technology such as smart grids and emerging biological research in increasing crop yields of biofuel crops were also identified as areas with high opportunity for investment.

While the potential for profit by developing new energy technologies prevailed in conversations about climate change mitigation, Katharine Mach, co-director of science of the IPCC Technical Support Unit, noted that there were business opportunities in adapting to climate change too.

“Adapting to climate change is largely about risk management, and risk is also one of the metrics that businesses are the most comfortable with. This focus on risk management is widely used in government and also in insurance and business”, she said.

“There are huge opportunities for businesses that adapt to changes in water resources and the weather extremes that will be playing out across the region”, she noted.

The scientists also expressed unanimous optimism that the world would collectively be able to meet the global challenge of climate change.

To illustrate that climate issues tended to pass through a cycle of initial denial and concerns about the high cost, followed by the gradual acceptance of evidence and political action, Skea cited the United Kingdom’s 1956 Clean Air Act, which was passed as a response to years of debilitating air pollution in London that took more than 12,000 lives. While the government was initially keen to downplay the severity of the smog due to economic pressures, it eventually introduced measures such as shifting to cleaner energy sources than coal and relocating power stations away from cities.

“Climate change is the biggest challenge of all because it is global. But I feel optimistic that the same pattern will be followed and that we will eventually deal with it”, he said.

Singaporean professor Wong Poh Poh, the coordinating lead author on AR5’s chapter on coastal systems and low-lying areas noted, however, that while new developments in science and technology were encouraging, the slow rate of political change did temper the his optimism somewhat.

The IPCC representatives shared that the process of putting together the next assessment report (AR6) would focus on addressing gaps in knowledge about Asia’s changing weather patterns and putting a number on the value of preventing catastrophic climate change.

This would be done by involving more environmental economists in the scientific process and ensuring that developing countries in Asia were more equally represented on the panel, said the scientists.” http://www.eco-business.com/news/singapore-steps-efforts-weather-future-climate-change/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=July+9+newsletter&utm_content=July+9+newsletter+Version+A+CID_a456bb2e4e5b7a34701ac945eeb190e2&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=READ%20FULL%20STORY

So please will the real Greg Hunt stand up and say what he needs to say – I believe!