German Study: TTIP Trade Agreement Will Cost Australia and Canada More Than $100 Billion Each Year Within a Decade

climate-change happens quickly

Des Pensable copyright 2016

There has been little discussion anywhere about how the massive USA- European TTIP trade agreement, (the sister agreement to the TPP) will affect Australia and Canada. That is perhaps because it will affect them adversely and the pro-trade politicians and US aligned media are keeping quiet about it.

One German Study was quite candid about the TTIP. There will be winners and losers. The biggest winners will be the USA and the UK and the biggest losers will be Australia and Canada. I’ll bet that’s a surprise!

Australia will lose the equivalent of 7.41% of its GDP growth which roughly equates to about $106 billion per year. Canada will lose about 9.48% of its GDP or about $153 billion per year in 2012 US dollars. I’ll bet most Australians and Canadians don’t know that!

The German study suggested countries outside the TTIP would lose 250,000 jobs. Presumably Australia and Canada will be hard hit losing tens of thousands of jobs. In addition to these losses Australia will lose about 39,000 jobs and Canada 58,000 jobs from the TPP.

In another study looking at different scenarios by the Petersen Institute in the USA, Australia, Canada and the USA would do the best if they all join the  ASEAN economies in an Asian Free Trade deal.

Everyone gains from this except it might mean the USA has to share world hegemonic economic power with China as a duopoly. As one analyst states It’s highly unlikely that the defence neoconservatives in the US government would wish to share power with China.

They see the TTIP and TPP as strategic parts of their geopolitical struggle to maintain US world transnational corporate hegemony. This could lead to an economic cold war between a US corporate aligned TTIP/TPP trade block and the China/Russia BRICS trading block. That would have negative consequences for everyone in the world.

Both the TTIP and TPP have only a few chapters that are specifically about trade, the rest are about restructuring all the counties internal structures to make it more amenable to control by the US /European transnational corporations.

We know that TTIP and TPP will affect every aspect of people’s lives through privatisation of government assets and changes in local health and environmental laws. Countries will not be allowed to make any laws that override the TPP laws.

It takes away the power of your elected political representatives in the future.  This takes away every country’s independence and sovereignty. All will truly become dependant vassal states of a massive USA/ European transnational corporate hegemony.

The people of the USA are also losers in these trade deals. The US people will lose jobs like when they signed the NAFTA agreement. It’s believed they lost 700, 000 jobs offshore in that deal. They will undoubtedly suffer greater inequality, more poverty and more corporate owned debt chaining them to ever worsening economic slavery, and of course less personal freedom.

There is another IMPORTANT factor that will substantially change all economic scenarios including the TTIP and TPP. Neither of these trade agreements mentions Global Warming.

This is said to be the biggest threat to our civilisation the world has ever known yet it is not mentioned in these treaties. The Paris Climate Change agreement was all about mitigating the potentially catastrophic effects of Global Warming.

The TPP has raised warning flags that it could have disastrous effects on efforts to mitigate Global Warming around the world. EVERYTHING our industrial world produces uses fossil fuels in its manufacture and fossil fuels in its transport.

International trade is mainly by sea trade which uses bunker fuel. This is environmentally the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel which already accounts 3-4% carbon pollution (more than the whole of Australia) and a large proportion of the world’s sulphur and nitrogen pollution. These gases are the prime cause of Global warming and ocean acidification.

World trade is expected to double in the next 20 years. More TPP/TTIP trade logically means the use of more fossil fuels, more environmental pollution and faster and more serious Global Warming threatening the world and YOUR family’s future. This has been CONFIRMED by a recent US sustainable development study.

In addition to the increased Global Warming from increased trade, the ISDS clauses within both the TTIP and TPP agreements create a private corporate legal system that can kill Global Warming mitigation. Both Australia and Canada are seriously at risk for hundreds of billions in costs here. Canada already knows the serious risks of the ISDS from the large number of ISDS claims from the NAFTA agreement.

The world is currently at a turning point. Global Warming threatens everyone’s future and the TTIP and TPP will add extra threats.

We have to VERY seriously consider whether the TPP and TTIP, which will cost us jobs, increase Global Warming, hamper our efforts to mitigate it and create new corporate controlled trade blocks that have the potential to create a new cold war with China / Russia aligned states is in the world’s best interest or not. Is it in YOUR best interest?

If we decide that it’s not in OUR world’s best interest then we must mobilise EVERY EFFORT to make sure these dangerous TTIP and TPP agreement are not ratified but instead placed in the dust bin of history where they belong.  Decide soon or forever rest in peace!

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Other similar stories by the author that relate to this story.

The Dangerous Relationship between TPP/TTIP/TISA, US Dollar and Global Warming

Will Malcolm Turnbull Use the ISDS in the TPP to Sell Our Souls to the DEVIL ?

The TPP/TTIP Agreements Mean More Global Warming and a World Trade War

Scientists Watch the Clock Second Hand Tick Towards Global Warming Doom

EARTH2

Des Pensable (c) 2015

If you’ve lived on Earth for a while and watched the news you periodically hear of a religious group prophesising the end of the world. Those ends come and go and life goes on. So we have become used to these false prophesies and ignore them often with a laugh. When we hear of large asteroids or comets approaching the Earth we are a bit more concerned as we rely on the scientists to carefully calculate the orbits and advise us that we are in no danger. What then is our response when many climate scientists predict doom in the near future unless we act to stop it?

In the case of the religious prophesy we can argue that it based upon a supernatural belief which cannot be backed up with empirical scientific evidence so it is easy to disbelieve. In the case of the asteroid we trust that the mathematical calculations are correct and every year as a big asteroid passes nearby we are thankful that it missed. Since we can’t do anything about it we don’t worry and life goes on.

The scientific prediction of global warming doom is a little different; it’s like being diagnosed with cancer. You trust that the doctor’s diagnosis is correct because it’s based upon scientific measurements. At first there is denial, you ask whether it can be cured and if it can then you seek treatment and that treatment becomes the most important thing in your life.  If there is no treatment you must accept it and you ask how long you have got left. That’s human nature.

Spaceship Earth’s life support system has been diagnosed by the scientists to have a life threatening problem. Many have accepted the diagnosis and have asked whether it is fixable and the scientists have said yes it is fixable but you will need to make some changes that will affect your lifestyle.

This has scared many people as they don’t like the thought of change. It will cost money, resources and take time and effort. It will inconvenience them, they might lose money so they deny the problem. They argue that it won’t affect them in their lifetime so why do anything. Even worse in some cases they try to hinder or stop others from trying to fix the problem.

Last year I wrote a doomsday scenario blog where the ocean became warm enough to release MASSIVE amounts of the greenhouse gas methane from under the shallow waters in the Arctic. (see here and here and here). We’re talking about enough carbon to cause the Earth’s temperature to increase by more than 10 degrees Celsius quickly, this century, in your life time. Scientists agree that this scenario will destroy most life on space ship Earth.

What if new scientific evidence showed that the breakdown of the Earth’s life support was happening much faster than anyone had guessed even a few years ago? What would you do if you found out humanity had only a decade to fix the doomsday methane release scenario before an irreversible tipping point was passed which would doom us all. What would you do?

After I wrote that article I decided to chase up more information for a future article like this one you are reading now. I am a scientist and I WAS SHOCKED at what I found. Last Arctic summer the water temperature was the highest ever measured at up the 16C in the Arctic where there are massive amounts of trapped methane hydrate waiting to be released. Massive plumes of methane over a 150 km wide have been reported and projections of further releases are expected in the Arctic summer this year.

A group of over 20 scientists have been watching the problem and are now scared witless themselves. This is what Dr Malcolm Light, one of the earth scientists that are studying the Arctic methane release wrote a couple of weeks ago on my Facebook page.

“I am writing to you about the new mean atmospheric methane content for 2014. Unfortunately it is dramatically higher than in 2013 and indicates that the rate of methane expulsion from the subsea Arctic methane hydrates has increased from 2.5 to 5 times. This has greatly speeded up the rate of global warming and we can expect planetary wide global extinction to occur between 8 and 16 years in the future (2023 – 2031). The poster (see below) summarises all the available information. The problem is the “All of the Above Energy Policy” put in place by President Obama and the United States administration is now producing giant pollution clouds that move north – east into the Atlantic, heating up the Gulf Stream, which had already increased its flow rate by three times since the 1940’s. This hot Gulf Stream makes its way to the Arctic where it is destabilizing the subsea methane hydrates at exponentially increasing rates. Five Nations (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United States, Australia and Canada) hold the position of the most extreme carbon footprints per person on Earth, but the US also has a giant carbon dioxide emission rate making them the greatest waster of fossil fuels on Earth and the greatest threat to humanity’s future existence. I would be grateful if you would pass this information on to all scientists and administration officials dealing with climate prediction and to the government. The imminent and precipitous nature of this global warming catastrophe requires instant reaction at all levels of society or we will all be dead.”

Please look at these internet pages.

Updated version of the poster is at .
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155125196440161&set=p.10155125196440161&type=1

Also added at
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/…/warning-planetary…

A new version of the poster has been added at the post at:
http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/…/warning-planetary…

Enlarged image is at:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/…/4neyrsQ…/s1600/EUROTES3-2.jpg

Also posted at facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155249950105161&l=4bf6fc8d12

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm. P.R. Light (Dr)
Earth Scientist

Read MORE

Full interview with Dr Malcolm Light

This Guardian article gives another viewpoint

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Link to the Des Pensable Internet site for more stories.

The Hidden Agenda of the TPP- to Block Global Warming Mitigation

The TPP a Template for World Corporate Rule – Part 3.

Corporate Mining monster1

story and photo copyright Des Pensable, 2015.

Imagine you are a group of fossil fuel barons and you are faced with keeping 80-90% of your fossil fuel assets in the ground owing to the fact that they are likely to cause destruction of our civilisation. It would reduce the value of your $30 Trillion assets by 80-90%. How could you save your wealth?

You could try to slow the adoption of regulations designed to force you to keep it in the ground by denial, creating confusion and bribing government officials or you could find a sucker to buy it off you.  The masterstroke of ingenuity would be to have a punitive trade treaty that would force fossil fuel producing countries to pay you to keep their fossil fuels in the ground. This is the hidden agenda of the punitive Investor State Dispute Settlement,  (ISDS) clause in the TPP and its sister agreement the TTIP.

Australia with its coal and CSG gas and Canada with its tar sands are both endowed with a large proportion of the world’s unused fossil fuels. Both have Global Warming denier get rich quick governments that wish to sell as much of their carbon wealth as quickly as possible. In a world where 90% of this carbon MUST be kept in the ground to prevent the existential threat of runaway Global Warming, this is not foolish, it’s reckless. It threatens the lives of billions of people.

Australia and Canada have both sold off licences to huge areas of their countries to large multinational companies owned by fossil fuel fools with black gold fever that live to lust for MORE wealth. They are relishing the thought of the foolish denier governments of Australia and Canada signing onto the TPP with its nasty hidden ISDS sting.

The reason for this fiendish delight is that the ISDS clause will enable them to take the countries to an independent international court and FORCE them to pay for all of the lost profits on their fossil fuel extraction licences should those countries either decide to be responsible world citizens or be forced by international pressure to leave their precious black gold in the ground.

In Australia the state and federal governments have sold off licences (PELs) to mine for Coal Seam Gas (CSG) for over 90% of the whole of Australia. There are 91 proposed new coal mines in NSW and Queensland to be opened up. The coal from the Galilea basin Queensland alone is enough to use up about 10% of the world’s remaining carbon budget to keep below the internationally agreed 2C limit.

The simple fact is that if Australia signs the TPP with the ISDS clause allowing the fossil fuel barons to sue it in a court outside the country with no appeal then Australia will likely be forced to possibly pay in excess of a $1000 billion in lost profits to the fossil fuel barons. That will be paid through taxes on every citizen of the country. The same is likely to happen in Canada who are already fighting 35 punitive ISDS claims for billions of dollars at the current time though the ISDS clause in the NAFTA agreement. In the USA they also warn of danger.

The multinational champions of the TPP, including US President Obama, will argue that the treaty has an environmental section which allows the countries to set laws to protect their environment. The secret environmental chapter of the TPP was leaked by Wikileaks who stated.

”the Environment Chapter does not include enforcement mechanisms serving the defence of the environment; it is vague and weak, and adheres to the lowest common denominator of environmental interests.” and

“The Environment Chapter clearly shows the intention to first and foremost protect trade, not the environment. The principle is spelled out in this draft that local environmental laws are not to obstruct trade or investment between the countries.”

Their assessment of the section was that it has no binding clauses that will allow any country to create any laws that will protect their environment and there is NO MENTION of Global Warming or Climate Change.

How can the world’s biggest trade treaty NOT mention Global Warming which is the world’s biggest threat?  The TPP is specifically designed to stimulate world trade causing the massive release of more carbon dioxide which will increase the Global Warming problem. Where are the clauses that OFFSET the carbon to be released by the extra trade?

The simple facts are that the TPP must NOT be used as an excuse to do less about mitigating Global Warming. It must NOT be used as a punitive measure to force countries to pay the fossil fuel barons to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

If the denier governments of Australia and Canada decide in their collective wisdom to sign the TPP, for everyone’s peace of mind and to protect their own future economies, they should not include the ISDS clause. They should also ensure they set stringent protections for their environments which will override any weak TPP environmental rules so as ensure their children a healthy and safe environmental future in which to live.

Australia and Canada still call themselves democracies rather than oligarchies. It’s time for the people of those two great countries to demand that their conservative governments fight against the very real threat of Global Warming. It’s time to demand that they don’t make foolish decisions to sign trade agreements which have hidden stings that could cripple their future economies.

It’s time to embrace the change that is being forced upon the world by our use of fossil fuels. There is NOWHERE TO HIDE. It’s time to help mitigate global warming problem, to adapt to it, to learn how to adjust our life styles, our aspirations and society to the new reality.

The TPP could be a great benefit to the world or it could be a straight jacket severely limiting our ability to survive the challenges ahead. IT’S YOUR DECISION. So what are you going to do about it?

Further reading.

Similar story from the USA

Surprise –US senators worry about effect of ISDS on environment laws.

TPP Part 1 – The Control of the World’s Intellectual Property.

TPP Part 2- Will Tony Abbot Use the ISDS in the TPP to Sell Our Souls to the DEVIL?

Update 2016 – a year later

United Nations agreement should include provision protecting climate measures from ISDS challenges

OIL CORPORATIONS VS CLIMATE TH E KEYSTON E XL CASE | Briefing Paper 2016   How investors use trade agreements to undermine climate action

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The 2014 Australian Climate Action Summit- Success or Failure?

protect teh reef

by Des Pensable, (c) 2014

I went along with about 230 others to the Australian Climate Action Summit held in Brisbane over the weekend of September 20-21st with mixed expectations. As a Global Warming activist in a country considered globally as a part of the “Axis of Carbon (Evil)” I didn’t expect a great deal.

After all what can we do when our Federal government and many of our states are controlled by right wing conservatives who, in the face of the overwhelming evidence of the world scientific community, say Global Warming is “absolute crap” and market coal as if it’s the saviour of the third world. It’s akin to selling opium to the poor and telling them they’ll be better off while the drug peddlers get rich out of the death and misery.

The theme of the conference was on “Opportunities and Solutions” which sounds like sales pitch targeted at companies, while in fact there were very few delegates present from commercial companies interested in either searching for or selling solutions to Global Warming. The vast majority of the delegates were from activist organisations with a smattering of scientists among them to confirm the disastrous situation the world is in.

The conference opened with an address by Professor Will Stephen of the Climate Council who detailed the scientific side of the problem. Climate change is real and manmade. Climate change is affecting Australia right now.  The world is approaching a catastrophe of biblical proportions and we need to act urgently. Unfortunately, he carefully steered clear of criticising our government’s shameful ‘do nothing to help the world mitigate Global Warming’ attitude which is being widely criticised by even our closest allies in the USA and United Kingdom.

The session continued with an interesting talk on consumer activism. Basically it was advertising a new superannuation company set up to help mitigate Global Warming by helping people to transfer their savings to superannuation companies that don’t invest in fossil fuel projects. Later sessions discussed the pros and cons of fossil fuel divestment programs which seem to be ideal ways for the average person regardless of political persuasion to personally do something worthwhile to help mitigate Global Warming. At least in theory, the less money available to finance fossil fuel exploitation the less the problem.

The key Global Warming problem in Australia is of course the government. This was tacitly hinted at by the next speaker in the talk ‘Voices for Indi’. It was an uplifting story of how the electorate of Indi got their preferred independent pro Global Warming action candidate elected against huge odds by grass roots community action. It made a strong case that communities can force change in electorates by united action.

Later in the morning I was really moved by the two key speakers, Phillip Sutton co-author of Climate Code Red and Adrian Whitehead in the session entitled, “Why we need to radically change the way we campaign.” Their argument was that we are all failing to convey the urgency of the Global Warming problem. We are too nice, too restrained, too conservative. The problem is one of whether our world civilisation will exist in the near future or not.

They pointed out that while it is being argued that we have to keep 80% of the fossil fuels in the ground for a 50% chance to keep the Global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius (2C), in actual fact we should be aiming for a 90% chance as current data suggests that even 2C is too high. At 2C we are likely to see the arctic ice cap melt which will add 2-3 m of sea level and possibly the release of massive amounts of methane from the permafrost. Our current mitigation progress will deliver a world 6 degrees C hotter which ALL the modelling studies show will lead to world ecocide, a massive extinction of species and a collapse of civilisation. In short, most of humanity WILL die.

They suggest that we MUST keep all fossil fuels in the ground and move to zero carbon emissions as urgently as possible by converting to 100% renewables. They both suggested we can’t keep telling people there is plenty of time to change when there isn’t.  On the positive side there is a feasible plan for Australia to go to zero emissions in less than 10 years if only it has the political will.

Later sessions explored what would be needed for zero emissions – the elephant in the room was exposed at last… agriculture is our biggest carbon emitter. We would need a total cessation of land clearing and a massive tree replanting program, a massive reduction of our sheep and cattle populations. Quite possible … but it’s hard to see any Australian government buying that! The cattle and sheep farmers would revolt and a large proportion of the people in the cities addicted to BBQs and beefburgers would need to become vegetarians. I’m looking forward to seeing that!

While there were a lot of talks, there were two that deserve special mention. The first was a live video presentation by British lawyer, Polly Higgins, who is a part of a group actively trying to get the crime of ecocide to be a part of international law. Humans depend on natural ecosystems for our life on Earth. It makes real sense that if sociopathic fossil fuel plutocrats are destroying the environment on which we rely to live, they can be treated as criminals and dealt with by the International Criminal Court. Of course there is a problem with this. The USA and China the biggest carbon polluter countries don’t recognise the International Criminal Court.

The second was a talk entitled “How do we get out of this mess? Introducing the European Union’s Third Industrial Revolution.” by Amelia Hicks and Chris Sanderson. It seems that while Australia has been kept in continual confusion about whether Global Warming is real or not by the Murdoch media, the fossil fuel industry and stone age politicians, the EU accepted the science years ago and has made workable plans to migrate its part of the world to a sustainable renewable clean energy future and has directed its members to act on it. Germany is seen as the flagship in how to convert to renewables and grow the economy.

The problem of course is the European plan depends on reducing the power of the companies, becoming more socialist and less capitalist, more sustainable and less materialistic, more sharing and less greedy, more humanist and less sociopathic. If I was a cynic, I would suspect that the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and its European cousin the TTIP are the plans by the USA and big multinationals to emasculate the European plan.

On the second day of the conference there was a worldwide Peoples Climate March to support action to mitigate Global Warming. The Summit was suspended for 2 hours so that the delegates could march with the Brisbane group. The turnout for the Brisbane march was 3-5000 people which was considered by the locals to be a very good response. In Sydney they managed about 10,000 and Melbourne about 30,000 while in New York there were about 400,000.  So few trying to defend the world against ecocide.

In summary, the Climate Summit gave a lot of Global Warming activists and enthusiasts a chance to catch up; chat about their groups and pet projects; meet new activists and network. In short, it was about preaching to the converted. The problem totally neglected by the summit was what to do about our denier government.

While we have a government hell bent on proactively marketing coal and gas on behalf of foreign looters and polluters; a government that is against the use of renewable energy technology; a government that prefers profit over its people; we are slaves to an outdated failing neoliberal ideology and deserve to be ostracized by the world as greedy, selfish, sociopathic bastards.

I for one don’t like that image and strongly suggest we use all non-violent avenues open to us to protest and force a change in our government and its attitudes. If it means closing coal mines, planting trees and eating less meat – let’s do it and hope that it’s enough to help save our planet as it’s the only one we have.

see also

Seniors Action Guide to Global Warming

Quick Guide to Global Warming Reading List

More environmental articles by Des Pensable are on this web site.