Japan from the inside out


Posted by ampontan on Saturday, December 5, 2009

IN THE ANGLOSPHERE, a barbed complaint is often heard from people who think they’ve been kept out of the information loop and dealt with as if they’re insignificant ciphers by their governments, employers, or social groups. “They treat me like a mushroom,” the lament goes. “They keep me in the dark and feed me a load of sh*t.”

That expression came to mind after reading this account in the Japanese language press that Environment Minister Ozawa Sakihito wanted to levy a “global warming tax”:

The Environment Minister said he would like to see an amendment to the Environmental Ministry’s tax code for FY 2010. He wants to create a “global warming tax” that levies charges on gasoline, coal, and other fossil fuels to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Mr. Ozawa said he was thinking in terms of JPY 2 trillion in tax revenue. This amount would account for about 80% of the revenue loss stemming from the elimination of the ‘temporary’ gasoline tax. The minister insisted, however, that his idea ‘was not to increase revenue to offset the lost revenue from the gasoline tax.’

The Environmental Ministry envisions a tax of JPY 2,400 per ton of carbon, which would result in JPY 360 billion yen (about $US 4.01 billion) in revenue. The liability for each household would be about JPY 2,000 annually. Based on revenue alone, the minister’s new tax proposal is five times higher than the ministry’s plan.

The funds would be used to promote such measures as building energy-saving homes, expanding the use of solar power generation, and cutting taxes on eco-cars. It would be one of the funding sources for the Hatoyama Cabinet’s proposal to reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. Steps would also be taken to ensure the liability would not increase for industries exposed to international competition and those with lower incomes.

As this article points out, what the minister now calls a “green tax” would also double the tax on electricity and more than double the tax on kerosene, still in common use by those in Japan without central heating as fuel for space heaters.

Mr. Ozawa has even greater ambitions. He wants to “exercise leadership” at the international conference on climate change starting on 7 December in Copenhagen to ensure that all parties reach an agreement. Here’s what he said about the Hatoyama Cabinet pledge:

“This reduction target has heightened international momentum to make COP15 a success. I think this is probably one of the greatest contributions Japan has ever made in the field of international issues,” said Ozawa, pointing out that several countries, including South Korea, Brazil, the U.S. and China, announced their reduction targets following Hatoyama’s announcement.

For his part, Mr. Hatoyama is downplaying the immediate adoption of a green tax. He says “more discussion is required”. He has also set the condition that the green tax cannot entirely offset the revenue loss from the gasoline tax. His is a political reason: he wants the voters to feel as if they’ve gotten a tax break under his government.

if Mr. Ozawa, Mr. Hatoyama, and those in the Environmental Ministry who proposed the Environment Tax are serious, it demonstrates that they are ignorant, ill-informed, or have an agenda they don’t want to reveal to the Japanese public. Or any combination of those three, for that matter.

In any event, it means they are unqualified to serve in government.

The cat’s out of the bag forever

Why? Remember that they’re calling it a “global warming tax”. Levying a “global warming tax” on the Japanese for their carbon consumption is akin to taxing non-smokers for cigarette consumption.

There’s no longer any excuse for anyone anywhere to be saying anything like this, much less in the Japanese government, unless they’re unaware that they’re exposing themselves as fools.

The theory that excessive CO2 production is the basis for anthropogenic global warming has been listing badly for some time. Word got out long ago that global warming stopped circa 1998 and hadn’t started again. Even the BBC finally reported it in this article in early October, followed shortly thereafter by this article in Der Spiegel.

In other words, for Japanese third-year high school students, there hasn’t been any global warming since they were pikapika ichinensei. For young adults of about 31 years of age, there hasn’t been any warming since their coming-of-age ceremony.

Since CO2 output rose during those years, how could CO2 cause global warming? Those scientists who thought immediate action was necessary were stumped because they couldn’t account for the decline—using their computer models, anyway.

As those who follow world news on the Internet in English know, however, the whole sorry charade fell apart two weeks ago when someone—probably an insider—leaked 10 years worth of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain. That institution is the primary source of data for the U.N. effort to create a global agreement on reducing greenhouse gases.

Detachment from science rather than scientific detachment

It turns out that the scientists—whose careers and grant money depended on the continuation of the global warming story—knew there was no warming and had purposely looked for “tricks” to use in their calculations to “hide the decline” in global temperature reconstructions to concoct the now infamous–and discredited–“hockey stick” graph. They ignored every rule of scientific method to cook the books and manufacture data that would satisfy the needs of the IPCC by creating an artificial warming trend. They hectored scientific journals to ignore dissenters. They refused to provide the raw data to outside scientists for independent verification. In fact, they’ve now admitted they destroyed all the raw data, even though it had been requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

That means the most important raw temperature data records for the past several decades no longer exist. It is impossible to create a new temperature index from scratch. Had these researchers been employed by a corporation rather than an educational institution, they’d be facing jail time.

As Clive Crook wrote in The Atlantic, “The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.”

In an excellent summary of all the thuggish behavior of this cabal, Christopher Booker of the Telegraph calls it “the scientific scandal of a generation”. Considering the plans the environmentalist doomsayers have for the Copenhagen talks, that’s an understatement. Shikha Dalmia, in another excellent summary in Forbes, calls it “perfidy” that is shattering the global warming consensus. Still others are comparing the scientists to those who stage and rig the results of professional wrestling matches.

Up in arms

The effect of the scandal’s exposure has been astonishing, and the repercussions are spreading beyond the scandal itself at warp speed. Two weeks ago, this was not a story at all. The affair has since been dubbed Climategate, and as I write that word now gets 29,600,000 hits on Google—even though Google doesn’t recognize the term in its automatic hint box after it’s been typed in. Odd, is it not?

Heads are beginning to roll. Phil Jones is temporarily no longer the director of CRU. The leader of the Australian opposition Liberal Party, Malcolm Trumbull, lost his position because he insisted on backing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s cap-and-trade bill for carbon consumption. The party sacked him, the Australian Senate rejected the bill twice, and now Mr. Rudd may be forced to call an election, perhaps as soon as next March.

Media blackout

The reputation of the mass media has been damaged as irretrievably as that of the scientists. The information on the scandal was disseminated almost entirely through the Internet. Newspapers initially tried to ignore it. Some tried to cover it as a story of e-mail theft, which is comparable to blaming the boy who called out the emperor for having no clothes (and for being overweight, undermuscled, and deficient of masculinity). The comment sections of those website articles were flooded by people writing in demanding to know why the newspapers weren’t doing their job.

The New York Times had a story about it, but refused to discuss the content of the e-mails because they said it was private information. What they didn’t say was that their Environmental Editor had been exchanging e-mails with the scientists of the CRU and knew what they were up to.

This has changed somewhat, but the story is still being covered only grudgingly in the print media. In the United States, the three major television networks had not, as of Wednesday, broadcast any reports on the story at all. In Canada, one enterprising man had to resort to this to get on CBC TV.

Yet a poll has discovered that 49% of Americans are following the story either very closely or somewhat closely—all without the help of the mass media.

To be sure, the lack of coverage is understandable. Just as one could not expect politicized university professors after the collapse of Communism in Europe to walk from the Che Guevara Memorial Faculty Lounge into their classrooms and apologize to their students because everything they’d been telling them for the past several decades was full of crap, one cannot expect journalists who wouldn’t know a computer model for climate change from a video game to admit their faces are covered in a barnyard of eggs because they colluded in the deceit.

On the other hand, we all know that if it were a story about a multinational corporation covering up scientific evidence of harmful global warming, they’d be all over it like flies on stink.

Follow the money

The world also now knows what else is really going on, because it isn’t just the lack of global warming. The Der Spiegel article above puts it succinctly—billions of Euros are at stake.

The people who cobbled together the Copenhagen treaty envision massive monetary transfers from the developed countries to the lesser developed countries. According to the Guardian:

Industrialists, financiers, bankers, business groups and carbon traders know there is much more in play at the Danish capital than a concern for the health of the planet. They all have a stake in the decisions made and see climate change as the driver of a global energy revolution and the chance to trade in technologies that could shift the world economy.

But developing countries on the frontline of global warming say it is not just money at stake in Copenhagen – it is the survival of their people. Their negotiators are holding out for at least $400bn a year by 2020, and more later. They have already won the argument that they should be compensated for damage caused by the carbon emitted as developed nations grew rich.

It remains to be seen whether they have actually won that argument.

In fact, page 122 of the treaty has this clause:

“[[Developed [and developing] countries] [Developed and developing country Parties] [All Parties] [shall] [should]:]
(a) Compensate for damage to the LDCs’ (least developed countries) economy and also compensate for lost opportunities, resources, lives, land and dignity, as many will become environmental refugees…”

Are the nations who built the modern world supposed to fork over money to those who did nothing to buy off their dignity?

There’ll be some changes made

Another objective of Copenhagen is to drastically alter the conduct of modern life in the developed world:

“…a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.”

Here’s what Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wants to do:

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that western society must undergo a radical value shift if the worst effects of climate change were to be avoided. A new value system of “sustainable consumption” was now urgently required, he said.

Hotel guests should have their electricity monitored; hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying; and iced water in restaurants should be curtailed, the world’s leading climate scientist has told the Observer.

That is the same Dr. Rajendra Pachauri who:

…flew at least 443,243 miles on IPCC business in this 19 month period. This business included honorary degree ceremonies, a book launch and a Brookings Institute dinner, the latter involving a flight of 3500 miles…So strong is his love for cricket that his colleagues recall the time the Nobel winner took a break during a seminar in New York and flew in to Delhi over the weekend to attend a practice session for a match before flying back. Again, he flew in for a day, just to play that match.

Global governance

Also at issue is what some people are calling “global governance”. One of them is the new President of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy. In this video, he calls 2009 “the first year of global governance”, and goes on to say that the Copenhagen meeting will help bring that about. He is echoed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has also decided he is one of the wise men of the world. He claims in this platform provided for him by the New York Times that, “All agree that climate change is an existential threat to humankind,” and then notifies us that, “A deal must include an equitable global governance structure. All countries must have a voice in how resources are deployed and managed.”

As the folksinger Woodie Guthrie once observed, some men rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.

In fact, the draft of the Copenhagen Treaty contains this section:

“The scheme for the new institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic pillars: government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism, and the basic organization of which will include the following:
(a) The government will be ruled by the COP with the support of a new subsidiary body on adaptation, and of an Executive Board responsible for the management of the new funds and the related facilitative processes and bodies. The current Convention secretariat will operate as such, as appropriate.”

By government they mean an administrative body rather than world government, but who can doubt that is the eventual goal. For example, the treaty also contains this phrase:

“Establishing the rule of law through means and processes for enforcement.”

And how do they expect to justify this to the regular folks while Dr. Pachauri is jetting off to play cricket for a day and the rest of the elitist swells reach into your wallet to pay for someone else’s dignity with your cash? They’re going to turn environmentalism into a religion. As Mark Halle wrote in this paper from the International Institute of Sustainable Development:

The environment should compete with religion as the only compelling, value-based narrative available to humanity.

Whatever that means…

Meanwhile, back in Japan

What do Japanese think about these issues while a popular revolution is being waged on the other side of the world that its own government is willfully ignoring?

Based on the assumption that the Anglia of East Anglia would be in any news reports, I plugged in the katakana version of the name into the Japanese Google News search. A total of three hits came up: One from Bloomberg Japan, one from Nikkei Pasokon (a computer magazine!), and one from AFPBB News, just a half-hour ago—two weeks after the story broke.

Plugging the katakana version of Climategate according to the Nikkei spelling into Google News picks up one more hit, this one from Slashdot News. Putting the same Climategate into Google Japan picks up about 10,000 hits, far below the nearly 30 million hits in English. The only news outlet hit on the first three pages was for Newsweek Japan.

Nothing from the Yomiuri.
Nothing from the Asahi.
Nothing from the Nikkei.
Nothing from the Mainichi.
Nothing from the Sankei.
In fact, nothing from any daily newspaper at all.

I did read a Japanese-language Mainichi story about the defeat of the carbon tax legislation in the Australian Senate. It didn’t mention the scandal, despite that being a critical element in the story.

My wife said she heard about it on TV once, but very little detail was included.

In the West, the soi-disant elites of Big Government have colluded with Big Science and Big Media to whip up hysteria about a bogus global warming crisis to allow them to establish a system of global governance under their green thumbs, undertake a massive scheme to redistribute the planet’s wealth from the producers to the non-productive, and to make environmentalism the opiate of the masses. When called on it, some responded as if those who objected were either morally or intellectually defective. Others behaved as if they couldn’t detect the rancid smell of flatulence in the room.

What else can one expect from people who think so much of themselves and so little of the hoi polloi?

But, thanks to the Internet, their cover has been blown and a full-scale revolt is underway. It is indeed a revolution every bit as much as the one in the United States in 1776 or Russia in 1917. One of the most important events of our lifetime is happening right now.

How can the Japanese media not cover it?

For that matter, how can the Hatoyama Administration pretend they need to tax something that’s not happening?

In the pre-war days, Japanese used to worry about missing the geopolitical bus. Now they’re missing another bus—the bus of worldwide popular revolt because some people with a misplaced superiority complex as unpleasant as they are ignorant decided they were smart enough to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes in the service of global governance and the religion of environmentalism.

Instead, the haribote prime minister and his Cabinet are going to make everyone pay through the nose to board a different bus without telling anyone that it’s coming.

And the Japanese media ain’t printing any schedules.

But the Japanese will find out, sooner rather than later.

When they do, how will they feel when they realize that their government and mass media consider them to be mushrooms?


* This previous post on Japanese eco-skepticism has the following quote from Dr. Akasofu Shun’ichi, Professor Emeritus of the University of Alaska and Founding Director of the International Arctic Research Center:

“When people come to know the truth, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”

His prediction has come true in the West, but not quite yet in Japan. He’s written a Japanese-language article for the December issue of Voice that’s on newsstands now. (The headline reads that global warming stopped in 2000.) Considering publication schedules, it had to have been written at least a month before the scandal broke. If you don’t want to buy the magazine, you can always do a tachiyomi.

* A haribote is a papier-mache stage property.

* Yes, I know that the heat island effect may contribute to a general warming, whenever it last occurred.

* Take a good look at EU President Herman Van Rompuy in that video. I mean, LOOK at the man.

These are the sort of people who think they know how we should best live our lives?

Good God Almighty!


Christopher Essex, Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario, wrote a letter to a Wall Street Journal columnist that is essential reading. I quote:

Many of we scientists have been ringing the alarm bells from the beginning on this. We have been telling everyone who would listen about who we were dealing with. We have known all along.

Climategate is no surprise at all to us….

A milestone in this mess can be said to be when John Houghton of the IPCC said it was the IPCC’s job to “orchestrate” the views of science. Everything that has happened flows as an inevitable consequence of that.

Some important research fields have been “orchestrated” out of existence. Even before Climategate, I have been saying that we have set ourselves back a generation by taking the money from governments with so many strings attached.

Governments leaders wanted something where they could absolve themselves of the responsibility for making informed decisions. They would have to read science stuff otherwise. They ordered up a kind of unnatural scientist that would tell them precisely what they wanted to hear.

But they gave the puppeteers clubs to deal with those of us who remained true. And the perps of Climategate are what they got. All of my colleagues have had to endure these bullies and criminals for a very long time.

You should understand that (real) scientists have had to pay the heaviest price for the creation of these monsters for decades. And they were not created by us.

Here’s the link to the full letter.

And, as Shakespeare said, the daintiest last, to make the end most sweet: The Japan Times published on 7 December some filler by staff writer Kamiya Setsuko that starts:

Industrialization in the 19th century brought many of the benefits we enjoy in the modern world, changing the structure of society, industry and economy. But nearly two centuries later, one of the downsides of the Industrial Revolution is gaining more attention: global warming.

Not a day goes by without headlines on the threat posed by greenhouse gas emissions — a new report on the consequences of global warning, updates on the prospects for the United Nations COP15 conference on climate change from Dec. 7 to 18.

A closer look at the history of the biggest-ever international conference on climate change shows just how difficult a task it will be for U.N. member states to sign a binding agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions, despite universal agreement on the need to fight global warming.

Surely they jest, your response might be.

Well, why shouldn’t they? The newspaper is a joke to begin with.

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11 Responses to “Mushrooms”

  1. mac said

    Let us start with the only two indisputable truths in the above.

    a) governments see it as their role to create new and imaginative taxation,
    b) Ampontan dislikes “big governments” and any excuse to do so.

    So what are you saying … “let everyone pollute as much as they want”?

    Or what?

  2. bender said

    Either global warming is a conspiracy or there’s a conspiracy to deny global warming. Which seems likely to be backed up by some corporate greed?
    And which seems likely to be backed up by academic greed?

    The CRU got more than 20 million dollars from the US government over the years, not to mention the money from NGOs such as Greenpeace.

    And what is this either/or? Did you even read the BBC and Der Spiegel articles?

    – A.

  3. […] Is a “Green Tax” on its way in Japan? […]

  4. craigosaka said

    This news has been whispered in environmental science labs for a few years, like priests passing on news of some non-canon text found on some scrolls near the Dead Sea.
    Though my environmental science lab in Japan, and people at energy-efficiency conferences are still repeating the necessary buzzwords of CO2 and chikyuu ondanka, and as a low-ranking man (and tenure-seeking gaijin) on the totem pole, I am not going to be the one to raise my head, at least not yet.

    Just look at the data yourself. Even the cooked numbers show the Earth’s temperature has stopped going up for the past 9 years. But you wouldn’t know that from the way they calculate the trend lines. Basically, by doing just a single trend line for 30 years, you get one straight line that’s still going up today. Trend lines are helpful to see the big picture, but you can often hide undesired results by adjusting the time span of the trend line.
    Global warming alarmists used to use a very-legitimate 5 year running average to make graphs in order to smooth out the semi-randomness of the temps, then they moved to 10-year running averages to try to hide any of the semi-random periods of cooling. Now they don’t even use that so much, because the running averages have stopped going up. So they fall back to long term trend lines to prove to themselves that global wamring is still happening, yet still admitting in internal discussion that if the cooling trend keeps up for another 10-20 years (beyond their employment) only THEN will they maybe think there might be something to this end of global warming.

    A trend line of dollar/yen exchange done for the past 20 years might come out flat at 100. but a trend for the past year or two would show a strong downward trend. Which is relevant? Both. But in different ways. And the ability to make different lines means anyone can spin things the way they want. Crooks and swindlers will even cherry pick old data and trace the trend line up to present day and could “prove” to you that the yen/dollar exchange rate today is 130.
    The prudent move is to LOOK AT ALL THE DATA yourself.

    If you do a global temperature trend line going back 10 years, it still goes up, but not much. If you do a trend line for the last 9 years. The trend actually goes down. Do a series of 9-year trend lines over the whole range of the latest 30 years of data to check if it’s just random noise and you see that only the most recent 9 years yield significant cooling.
    Fully expect that any graphs “proving” continuing warming that demand immediate action you see in the news for the next 5 years will all chose a period of data ending around 2004 or so, since nobody will notice and it’s easier to avoid showing the current downward trend.
    Meanwhile CO2 levels have been steadily going up.

    How is is possible for CO2 to be the main factor if there has been cooling for 9 or 10 years while CO2 levels just keep rising?

    Just play with the data yourself in Excel with the trend line making function.
    Take any graph of global warming data that still includes the actual (though cooked) annual figures (probably won’t be around much longer) along with the trend lines, enter the annual data manually and then put in your own trend lines. Seriously. Do it.

    PS Yes, urban heat island is a real thing. The adjustments for heat island effects on global temperature readings are questionable. But the solutions to the heat island effect (and thus a big chunk of the measured warming) are completely different, actually EFFECTIVE, and much cheaper. Painting office building roofs (rooves?) white. Planting more trees. Thermal storage systems. etc.

  5. ampontan said

    I’ve added an important update to the original post.

  6. mac said

    So are you saying … “let everyone pollute as much as they want” … or what?

    You do yourself no favors by quoting a professional polemicist and joke writer, literally, such as the Private Eye’s Christopher Booker and one man ‘Square Peg’ science foundations. Personally, I don’t give too hoots about the debate either way.

    It is missing the point entirely.

    • Why should I, or anyone, have to pay for any polluters?
    • Why should I, or anyone, have to suffer their shit in our air and water?

    No one should be allowed to pump any pollution at all into the environment at all. There should be an absolute zero balance between the ‘ins’ and the ‘outs’.

    Technically it is feasible, so why is it not done?

    Because, financially, it would break the current economic system which is based on theft … an economic system whose tiny minority of financial beneficiaries can only profit reneging on their responsibilities to clean up after themselves by dumping their shit on the rest of us.

    It is not so much a question of whether “all property is theft” or not these days … but a clear statement that “all pollution is theft” whether it heats up the atmosphere or not.

    What this debate this whole thing reminds me the most of is the anti-nuclear war movement … a huge ground swell of public opinion, decades of debate, eventual political pressure based on all sorts of everything, great rumblings from the United Nations … and then at the what did it all achieve? Nothing. ALL that happened was that already obsolete ‘means of delivery’ were obsoleted.

    So this time round it is CO2 and nothing is going to happened again … so what? It is missing the point.

    Zero ALL emissions now … accountability and responsibility from start to end of the consumer chain.

    If I do not want to breath your gas, eat your DDT or PCBs, drink your mercury … nothing on earth should make me have to.

  7. ampontan said

    Global warming science implodes overseas: American media silent

    And the Japanese media, too…

    “Dozens – yes dozens – of claims made in the IPCC 2007 report on climate change that was supposed to represent the “consensus” of 2500 of the world’s climate scientists have been shown to be bogus, or faulty, or not properly vetted, or simply pulled out of thin air.

    We know this because newspapers in Great Britain are doing their job; vetting the 2007 report item by item, coming up with shocking news about global warming claims that formed the basis of argument by climate change advocates who were pressuring the US and western industrialized democracies to transfer trillions of dollars in wealth to the third world and cede sovereignty to the UN.

    Glaciergate, tempgate, icegate, and now, disappearing Amazon forests not the result of warming, but of logging. And the report the IPCC based their bogus “science” on was written by a food safety advocate…”

    Not to mention that it’s been revealed that Phil Jones, head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, said, “I can’t very well admit there’s been no warming since 1998, now can I”, or words to that effect.

  8. The world is now cooling, possibly to end summer for some, for a few years, if history is repeating itself, as often happens.

    The conspiracy is revealed and Bilderbergers are now talking about cooling. Their science is clearly suspect and their credibility damaged perhaps fatally, as they do not accord electric/magnetic phenomena their proper place. The reason for that is that we “need” oil. They have it and if we had free electricity, they would lose control and some wealth.

    Their plans are in disarray and yet the Nippon allies hasten to edge out onto the weakened limb?

    A cull is coming?

  9. ampontan said

    Forget global warming — now we’ve found out the real problem is galactic warming!

  10. ampontan said

    You can almost smell the desperation — or the lunacy, paricularly in the last three paragraphs.

  11. ampontan said

    Yet another demonstration of the Mencken dictum: “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.”

    The term “Eco-Nazis” is used. That works, as well as any other manifestation of the statist/leftist political mafia.

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