Wednesday, December 17, 2008



Participants at last week's United Nations climate conference in Poznan, Poland, were taken aback by a world seemingly turned upside-down. The traditional villains and heroes of the international climate narrative, the wicked U.S. and the noble European Union, had unexpectedly swapped roles. For once, it was the EU that was criticized for backpedalling on its CO2 targets while Europe's climate nemesis, the U.S., found itself commended for electing an environmental champion as president.

The wrangle over the EU's controversial climate package at a separate summit in Brussels wrong-footed the world's green bureaucracy. The EU climate deal was diluted beyond recognition. Instead of standing by plans to cut CO2 emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, the actual reductions might be as trivial as 4% if all exemptions are factored in.

The Brussels summit symbolizes a turning point. The watered-down climate deal epitomizes the onset of a cooling period in Europe's hitherto overheated climate debate. It may lead eventually to the complete abandonment of the unilateral climate agenda that has shaped Europe's green philosophy for nearly 20 years.

The reasons for the changing political atmosphere in Europe are manifold. First, the global economic crisis has demoted green policies nearer to the bottom of the political agenda. Saving the economy and creating jobs take priority now.

Second, disillusionment with the failed Kyoto Protocol has turned utopian thinking into sobriety. After all, most of the Kyoto signatories failed to reduce their CO2 emissions during the last 10 years. There are also growing doubts about the long-term viability of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme. The price of carbon credits has collapsed as a result of the financial crisis. The drop in demand and the recession are likely to depress carbon prices for years to come. As a result, the effectiveness of the extremely volatile scheme is increasingly questioned.

Third, a number of countries have experienced a political backlash over their renewable energy schemes. Tens of billions of euros of taxpayers' money have been pumped into projects that depend on endless government handouts. Each of the 35,000 solar jobs in Germany, for instance, is subsidized to the tune of _130,000. According to estimates by the Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research, green subsidies will cost German electricity consumers nearly _27 billion in the next two years.

Perhaps even more important is the growing realization that the warming trend of the late 20th century has, for the last 10 years or so, essentially come to a temporary halt. The data collected by international meteorological offices confirm this. This most peculiar fact is rarely mentioned in policy debates, but it certainly provides decision makers with a vital respite to reconsider their climate policy options.

Above all, Europe's politicians have recognized that green taxes have turned into liabilities that may undermine economic stability and their chances of re-election. As German radio Deutsche Welle put it last week: "With the recession tightening its grip on the German economy, [Chancellor Angela] Merkel is betting that job reassurance is more important to the average worker than being a pioneer in tackling climate change."

Nowhere has the fundamental change of the political landscape been more pronounced and less expected than in Germany. For more than 20 years, Europe's economic powerhouse has been the major bastion of green politics.

In the 1990s, Angela Merkel steered and implemented Europe's Kyoto policy as Germany's first environment minister. Now serving as chancellor, she was hailed as Europe's climate savior after playing host to last year's G-8 summit in Heiligendamm. Only 18 months later, however, she no longer wears a halo. As a result of a concerted campaign by Germany's heavy industry, as well as growing opposition from within her Christian Democratic party, Mrs. Merkel has been forced to abandon her green principles and image.

The deepening economic crisis seems to transform the mood of the German public. Next year's general election looms large, and voters right now are worried about the economy and jobs, and not green issues. In early December, more than 10,000 angry metal workers and trade unionists -- most of them from Germany -- protested outside the European Parliament in Brussels against the EU's climate policy, which they fear will increase unemployment.

For many international observers, the ease with which Mrs. Merkel overturned her celebrated climate policy has come as a shock. But she was almost the last member of her Christian Democratic party willing to accept that a change in strategy was necessary given the immense costs of the EU's original climate plans. In fact, her party demanded that Mrs. Merkel veto the climate package if German industry did not receive an exemption from the Emissions Trading Scheme's auctioning of carbon credits. The exemption was duly granted.

Perhaps the most critical factor for Mrs. Merkel's almost unchallenged about-face is the vanishing strength of the Social Democratic Party, whose members were once among the most forceful climate alarmists. Mrs. Merkel's junior coalition partner has lost much of its support in recent years. And amid growing fears of a deepening recession, there are also signs of a split within the party on climate and energy issues.

At the forefront of the left-wing opposition to the EU's climate policy has been EU Industry Commissioner Gnter Verheugen. The German Social Democrat has been arguing throughout the year that the climate targets should only be accepted if "truly cost-effective solutions" could be found. Other prominent dissenters in his party include Hubertus Schmoldt, the head of the mining, chemical and energy industrial union, who has recently called for a two-year postponement of the climate package.

In part as a result of German -- as well as Italian and Polish -- objections, Europe's climate package did not survive in its original form. The inclusion of a revision clause, pushed by Italy, is particularly significant as it makes the EU's climate targets conditional on the outcome of international climate talks. If the U.N.'s Copenhagen conference in 2009 fails to seal a post-Kyoto deal, it is as good as certain that some of the EU's targets will be further cut. By linking its decisions to those of the rest of the world, Europe has begun to act as a more rational player on the stage of international climate diplomacy.

Instead of yielding to the siren calls of climate alarmists, European governments would be well advised to focus their attention on developing pragmatic policies capable of safeguarding their industries, labor forces and environment at the same time.


Global Warming's Last Gasp

You folks in Fargo, N.D., who think you are shivering because it's 11 degrees below zero are badly mistaken - according to the precious computer models global warming alarmists use, it can't be that bitterly cold.

Their models show conclusively that the world is heating up. How can it be minus 11 degrees in Fargo? The models never showed it would get cooler.

Well it is, but they prefer to ignore such facts that might poke a large hole in their pet global warming theory that keeps their bank accounts fat and healthy with the grants that fund their researching of a scientific scam.

In the midst of an early winter vicious cold front that has plunged large areas of the northern United States into sub-zero temperatures, an Associated Press journalist has penned an absurd report warning that the world is in the process of being spit roasted by the alleged warming of the planet.

In a hysterical report, "Obama left with little time to curb global warming," AP writer Seth Borenstein warned that global warming "is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid."

He went on to repeat a series of discredited claims that allegedly prove that the earth is rapidly heating dangerously, claiming such nonsense that "Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California, and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it." NewsBusters' associate editor, Noel Sheppard, rounded up comments by top climate experts disproving Borenstein's claims.

"How can this guy call himself a `science reporter?'" asked David Deming of the University of Oklahoma. "He is perhaps the worst propagandist in all the media, and that's stating s omething. In his latest screed, he screams: 'global warming is accelerating.'

"How then does he explain the fact that the mean global temperature [as measured by satellite] is the same as it was in 1980? How can global warming be 'accelerating' when the last two years have seen dramatic cooling? Is this guy totally removed from all reality? He completely ignores any evidence contrary to his personal beliefs, and twists everything to meet his preconceived notions."

Richard S. Courtney, a U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expert reviewer and a U.K.-based climate and atmospheric science consultant snorted, "Rubbish! Global warming is not 'accelerating.' Global warming has stopped. There has been no statistically significant rise in [mean global temperature or MGT] since 1995 and MGT has fallen since 1998 . . .

"Arctic ice advances and recedes over decades. 2007 saw a minimum in Arctic ice cover in the short period that it has been monitored using satellites. But 2008 saw the most rapid growth in Arctic ice cover in that same period and Arctic ice cover is now back to the average it has had in the period.

"Also, 95 percent of polar ice is in the Antarctic, and Antarctic ice is increasing. Nobody can know if the recent halt to global warming is temporary, permanent, or the start of a new warming or cooling phase. But it is certain that anybody who proclaims that20'Global warming is accelerating' is a liar, a fool, or both."

James A. Peden, atmospheric physicist formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh, wrote, "The Great Global Warming Hoax appears to be a collaborative effort between the world's incompetent scientists and the world's scientifically illiterate journalists.

"Science Illiterates like Borenstein are the Chicken Littles of the 21st Century, spreading climate change poppycock like bread crumbs in the forest. The crumbs, hopefully, will lead them to a paycheck at the end of the week from their similarly science-illiterate employers. Well, the lower-I.Q. portion of the population has to eat, too."

Added Chemical Scientist Dr. Brian G. Valentine of the U.S. Department of Energy who has studied computational fluid dynamics and modeling of complex systems, "The world hasn't 'warmed' in a dozen years, and over the past year not even [NASA's] Jim Hansen and his magic bag of tricks can make it appear we're all getting 'warmer.'"

Hans Schreuder, analytical chemist and webmaster of in Ipswich, England, explained, "One further critical aspect of global warming alarmists that is so fiercely debated by all is the "climate forcing" property of carbon dioxide . . . The climate forcing ability of carbon dioxide equals exactly zero - not 4 degrees C, not 1 degree C, not even 0.0001 degr ee C. Just plain zero. Even the much heralded graphic indicating that the first 20ppmv of carbon dioxide makes a difference to the air temperature that is much greater than any subsequent increase in concentration is a useless bit of info based on laboratory tests that have absolutely no relation to the open atmosphere.

"There exists not one single laboratory test on climate that can be extrapolated to mimic the open atmosphere, and that includes the most advanced computers that in any case treat the earth as a flat disc with a 24 hour haze of solar radiation - about as far removed from reality as is possible."

And Don J. Easterbrook, Ph.D., emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, asked, "What does it take to ignore 10 years of global cooling, sharply declining temperatures the last couple of years, record setting lack of sun spots . . . failure of computer models to predict real climate, predictable warming and cooling climates for the past 500 years. The answer is really quite simple - just follow the money!"


'The end' as a weapon

Some environmentalists have their own fixation with the apocalypse - just not the biblical one. This involves the wrath of nature and the ecological end times. But fear is an ineffective tool for any cause.

There is, in progressive circles, a certain fascination with those apocalyptic prophecies that seem to hold so many religious conservatives in thrall. From the sensation over the megaselling Left Behind book series to more recent media flare-ups around figures such as John Hagee (the television pastor of countdown-to-Armageddon fame), the end times seem to be looming at all times.

Turn your attention to a strain of thought ascendant in secular, environmentalist America and you might be surprised to find a similar apocalypse fixation, minus the Book of Revelation and anti-Christ parts. Call it the secular theology of environmental collapse - the fearful conviction that the hopelessly corrupt world as we know it has entered its death throes, with massive destruction stalking ever nearer.

Given the huge challenges facing this country and the constant barrage of "be afraid!" messages from politics and pulpits, it's understandable that many of us have a close relationship with dread. Yet we should remain wary of doomsday fantasizing, in either its religious or secular form. For history shows that such thinking, whether it revolves around the wrath of God or the rage of nature, has a way of embarrassing the doomsayers - and, more important, hampering much needed progress along the way.

Like many Americans, I've always been fascinated by the scary prophecies. (I do mean "many"; according to a 2004 Newsweek poll, 55%of Americans believe in the rapture, in which true Christian believers are swept up by God, with everyone else "left behind" to endure civilization's trial, tribulation and destruction before Jesus returns to usher in a new and godly age.) I read Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth in my teens, Nostradamus' spooky visions in college and ecological meltdown scenarios in adulthood. "Let's wipe it all out and start again!" holds a certain appeal when the present state of affairs is looking irredeemably bad. Especially to the beholders who believe they'll be among the "saved," whether through divine intervention or, at least, by being on the right side of the argument.

More and more, I'm seeing the error of these ways, thanks mainly to my exposure to some of the new-wave thinkers in environmentalism and the related sustainability movement. Two such people are Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, whose widely circulated "death of environmentalism"arguments have shaken up the green establishment. They call for an end to the old disaster-is-coming talk in favor of a positive, solutions-oriented approach to the climate challenge.

Another is Jim Proctor, head of environmental studies at Lewis & Clark (the college where I work in Portland, Ore.). Proctor is also a teacher and researcher with academic training in religion as well as environmental studies. Through many intense conversations with Proctor, I've begun to suspect that secular liberals who joke about right-wing Christians' doomsday scenarios fall for some of the same unproductive thinking and believing.

The ecopocalypse

Waiting for the rapture has its secular analog in a phenomenon you might term "dystopian dread": a growing sense of imminent ecological collapse - the ecopocalypse, if you will. Particularly ascendant here in the lush green and relatively unchurched Pacific Northwest, the narrative offers a form of secular theology that resembles aspects of the Left Behind scenarios. Instead of God, nature unleashes its wrath on "sinful" humanity; instead of the savior's second coming, ecotheology awaits a green utopia in which electric cars, locally grown organic food and post-consumer-culture sustainability rise in the ashes of disaster.

Proctor and a research team are exploring the phenomenon through interviews with members of utopian communities in Oregon and surveys of the general population. The preliminary polling results point in an intriguing direction. Secular Americans who regard nature as inherently sacred (a cohort that could include 20% of the population or more) identify strongly with concepts of an environmentalist utopia. And those who yearn for green perfection often struggle with expectations of its dark-side twin: "dystopian" doom. "You find that people working for a utopian future have tremendous fear about things turning out differently," Proctor explains. "Utopias are often framed against a dystopian nightmare," he adds, producing a kind of all-or-nothing fixation on perfection and its perfect opposite.

Reality, in truth, is usually grayer and messier. Wind turbines, for instance, can certainly mar pristine views and wildlife habitat, and concerns of precisely that sort have been raised against wind-power farms in the Mojave Desert and elsewhere. Is the regrettable blemish a worthwhile price to pay to advance green energy? As the dilemma suggests, maybe we should spend less time and angst on utopias and doomsdays and focus on the less dramatic question: Short of perfect, how do we make things simply better?

In certain conservative Christian circles, the rapture is viewed with something approaching gleeful excitement. As one devotee told CBS in a 2004 report on evangelical America, "I think (the rapture) would be really cool." I suppose - if you find something "cool" about untold millions stranded on a doomed earth and left to endure hellish suffering and death on an unprecedented scale.

Those sounding the alarm about ecological end times might not share the happy anticipation of the above-mentioned rapture diviner, but they might have more in common with his lot than they realize: the conviction, in particular, that civilization is hopelessly fallen and deserves whatever doom might be coming our way.

What this moment requires, instead, is acknowledgment of the inevitable uncertainty about where all this is heading, and clear thinking about what's going to be effective in dealing with it.

Damaging the cause

If history has taught us anything, Jim Proctor notes, it's the prevalence, and folly, of end-of-the-world predictions. "How many times," Proctor asks, "have religious figures and others prophesized the end - and then had to revise their predictions when it didn't happen? And how much less did people listen to them and believe them after that?"

Though fear might seem a good rally-the-masses motivator, it can actually operate in the opposite way, by making the general public cynical and disengaged on one hand, or overwhelmed by fear and fatalism on the other. Yes, there is plenty to fear these days, and stoking that fear in the quest for supporters, donations and votes is the popular politics of our time.

As he assumes the presidency, Barack Obama would do well to reprise the line of a transformative president from the past century who urged calm and confidence through tough times. As Franklin D. Roosevelt wisely declared, fear itself is what we ought to fear the most. As Roosevelt evidently knew, fear has an uncanny ability to stymie progress. And, worse yet, to turn its dark visions into self-fulfilling prophecies.



Three current articles below

Rudd throws off the idealist mask to reveal a pragmatist underneath

A harbinger of how Obama will end up? There are already signs that Obama is moving in a similar direction

EVERY now and then you have to be grateful when you discover our political leaders have told a deliberate, calculated lie. Monday was such a day. Kevin Rudd's announcement of a carbon emissions reduction target of 5 per cent by 2020 demonstrated that his pre-election claim that climate change was the great moral issue of our time, and demanding that Australia lead the way, was what Winston Churchill would call a terminological inexactitude: a whopper, a piece of bare-faced duplicity of epic proportions. But thank goodness Rudd and his colleagues deceived us.

And deceive us they did. At the election last year, Rudd said Australian wanted real action on climate change. And Rudd acted, in a real symbolic kind of way. He ratified the Kyoto Protocol. More symbolism when he promised to cut emissions by 60 per cent on 2000 levels by 2050, 41 years away.

While most of the media has failed to take Rudd to task, the truth is that if the Rudd Government genuinely believed climate change to be the greatest moral threat facing humanity, and if it fully accepted the findings of the UN panel that laid down a minimum target cut of 25 per cent to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 to prevent catastrophic climate change, then we now would have bigger cuts. A true believer in those claims could do no less.

To a true believer, policy responses to a temporary global financial crisis could not compete with the sort of policies required to stem permanent, irrevocable damage caused by climate change. But, thank God, Rudd and his ministers are not in fact true believers. Rudd's higher carbon reduction target of 15 per cent is predicated on other key economies committing to target reductions comparable to Australia. In other words, Australia follows, rather than leads. Rudd's caution on targets is unquestionably driven by, dare one use the word, scepticism about the world's ability to reach consensus on tackling climate change. In other words, Rudd sounds more and more like John Howard every day.

The alternative - that Australia lead the climate change parade rather than sitting comfortably in middle of the pack - is the kind of moral narcissism only the Greens and like-minded eco-fundamentalists can afford. Bob Brown, who has the luxury of a public platform without the attendant responsibility, will always take the most extreme position, as he did on the weekend. He claimed that a target of 5 per cent to 15 per cent reductions by 2020 was "effectively running up the white flag on climate change". Without any of the embarrassment deception would cause a real political leader, Brown implied that setting a low target for Australia limiting global greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to 550 parts per million would lead to the loss of the Great Barrier Reef, and the devastation of Kakadu and our alpine snowfields. Similarly, only the politically naive Clive Hamilton could defend mainstream environmental organisations for pushing a moderate position, without flinching with equal embarrassment.

What Brown and his overzealous supporters don't tell us is that whatever target Australia chooses is irrelevant to global greenhouse gas concentrations. Australia's emissions are such a tiny percentage of total global greenhouse gas emissions that we could adopt a target 10, 20 or 100 times more stringent than what Brown advocates but have zero effect on saving the reef, Kakadu or the snowfields if China, India, the US and other big emitters don't join in.

Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong have no such luxury. They lead a Government and know that putting Australia at the leading edge of climate change targets will put Australia at the bleeding edge of policy mistakes, where real people lose their jobs. Brown's pseudo-religious rhetoric may appeal to some ALP voters but Rudd knows it would be the kiss of death to the Australian economy without securing any corresponding benefit to global carbon levels. Indeed, adopting 25 per cent to 40per cent targets if big emitters such as China don't do the same could do great damage to the Australian economy and the world's greenhouse gas levels.

If Australia adopts draconian targets but China does not, Australia's emission-intensive industries will become uncompetitive with Chinese competitors, shifting production from less dirty Australian industry to dirtier Chinese competitors. It is a double whammy, at a stroke wiping out Australian jobs and damaging the environment.

Rudd and Wong have done the right thing in adopting the minimum targets they could get away with. They did the right thing by not taking ambitious targets to Poznan last week despite the hysterical claims by Greenpeace International that Australia, and the other usual suspects, were not doing enough to set up a framework for a new climate change deal. Governments, weighed down by the responsibility of governing, know and have always known that the rhetoric of climate change as the great moral issue of our time was bunkum.

Climate change is an economic issue and a policy challenge that demands the kind of careful, pragmatic balancing act that the Rudd Government embraces as its touchstone. Rudd, of course, has form when it comes to discovering that what was a great moral issue on the campaign stump has become, in office, a policy issue requiring nuance and responsible pragmatism. In Opposition, Rudd described the day the GST came into effect as "fundamental injustice" day. In office, the Prime Minister has discovered it is a fundamental injustice delivering streams of money he cannot do without. Similarly, campaigning Rudd slyly hinted that he had policies that would lower food and fuel prices. In office, he produced the demonstrably toothless FuelWatch and GroceryChoice. These deceptions pale into insignificance beside the spectacularly dishonest claims about moral leadership on climate change. Yet, paradoxically, all the pieces of cynical manipulation have one thing in common. They are good policy and we should be grateful to have been deceived.

The dishonesty underlying the position of Brown and activists such as Hamilton is of an altogether more sinister kind. They want Australia to adopt targets they know will decimate Australian industry without producing any noticeable benefit for total global greenhouse concentrations. Underlying their policies is an undisclosed secret agenda. Brown and many of his followers don't like industry, think Australians are too materialistic and should be forced back to a simpler but poorer life: a compulsory downshift, if you will, imposed by stealth. The choice between Brown and Rudd may be completely unappealing. However, offered the choice between two political shysters, go for the pragmatic one. The worst combination by far is deception married with moral delusion.


Industry revolt on green plan as miners sacked

Can ANY government last long as a destroyer of jobs?

Heavy industry is demanding further concessions in the Rudd Government's modest emissions trading scheme, saying it will still cost jobs, stymie investment and exacerbate the effects of the economic downturn.

Environmentalists are outraged at the Prime Minister's commitment to cut carbon emissions by just five per cent. 16/12/2008. Conservationists have panned the scheme for pandering to "dirty" industry, saying it will not help the environment and offers overly generous compensation that transfers $2.24 billion from taxpayers to major polluters in 2010, potentially rising to $12.25billion in 2020.

But industries such as cement, aluminium and coalmining say that although the Government increased compensation and announced modest emission reduction targets in the scheme unveiled on Monday, they would lobby for further concessions, either in draft legislation to be released early next year or through Coalition-supported amendments in the Senate. Cement manufacturers are being offered an initial 90 per cent of their carbon permits for free, but Cement Australia chief executive Chris Leon said the fact that the permits covered only some of his operational processes and declined by 1.3 per cent each year meant the scheme still put a proposed $700 million expansion to his Gladstone plant in jeopardy. "The Government has offered improvements, but I am very concerned this will tip our Gladstone project over the edge. It is now much less likely we will build this investment here and more likely we will invest in Indonesia or Thailand," he said. The Cement Industry Federation has already begun its Senate lobbying, taking Coalition senators to cement plants to explain the industry's economics.

As conservationists staged nationwide protests yesterday against the Government's ETS - which promises a 2020 emissions reduction target of between 5 per cent and 15 per cent depending on the ambition of an international climate change deal - Kevin Rudd insisted it was appropriate for the economic times. "The Australian Government, given the global financial crisis, makes no apologies whatsoever for introducing responsible medium-term targets to bring down our greenhouse gas emissions, capable of being built on in the future more ambitiously," the Prime Minister said. Mr Rudd has also been hitting the phones explaining his scheme to other world leaders, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

But Malcolm Turnbull, whose support Mr Rudd is seeking for the Senate passage of his scheme, was immediately confronted with deep splits within his own party. The Opposition Leader and his spokesman, Andrew Robb, have said they have an "open mind" on the scheme and have sought to buy time to formulate a united response by commissioning a study that will not report until February. But in an emailed newsletter sent yesterday, Liberal senator Cory Bernardi said he remained "unconvinced about the need for an ETS given that carbon dioxide is vital for life on earth and the earth hasn't warmed since 1998". Nationals senators have also come out against the scheme.

The Greens have said they will hold a Senate inquiry next year into the "inadequacy" of the Government's proposed targets.

The union movement has split in its response to the ETS. Australian Workers Union head and ACTU vice-president Paul Howes slammed ACTU president Sharan Burrow for calling on the Government to commit to tougher 2020 targets, and urged the Opposition to support the proposal in the Senate. "The ACTU proposition is something I cannot support at this stage. I believe this ETS strikes the right balance between doing what's right for the environment and protecting Australian jobs," Mr Howes said.

Meanwhile, the coal industry, where declining commodity prices have led to two coalmines announcing more than 400 job losses yesterday, said it would continue to lobby to be included in the more generous compensation formula announced by the Government. Methane emissions from different coalmines vary according to geology, and the Government has offered $500 million over five years to help the gassiest mines buy some of their permits and a further $250 million to help mines install abatement technologies. The Australian Coal Association says the industry should qualify for the far more generous assistance offered under the broader compensation scheme.

The aluminium industry - which does qualify for 90 per cent free permits in the initial years - is also lobbying for the Government to lower the annual rate at which it withdraws the free permits. "In its first year of operation, the current proposal is likely to add costs of over $150 million per year to the Australian alumina and aluminium industry," said the president of the Australian Aluminium Council, Steve Hodgson. "This cost will then increase as emissions-intensive assistance is eroded and the price of carbon increases. "We argue the assistance should not be reduced in the absence of a global climate change agreement."


Big-boy's toy with Greenie spin

Greenpeace are big on this too. They like playing around in boats

The record-breaking, biodiesel-powered Earthrace vessel is visiting Queensland promoting the use of environmentally sound fuels. The unique craft - like something out of Mad Max on water - this year set a new record for a powerboat to circle the globe. Using renewable biodiesel fuel for a net zero carbon footprint, the 24,000 nautical mile voyage took 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes, smashing the record by over two weeks. Earthrace skipper Pete Bethune said the vessel's tour aimed to connect with people and encourage debate on environmental issues.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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