Monday, June 22, 2009

Big embarrassment: Ozone saver is global warmer

THE green movement’s greatest triumph – the abolition of ozone-destroying CFC gases in the 1980s – may become its biggest embarrassment because of research showing that their replacements are sharply accelerating global warming. CFC, or chlorofluorocarbon, gases were widely deployed in air-conditioning and refrigeration units before they were found to destroy the ozone layer and banned under the 1987 Montreal protocol.

They were replaced by HFCs – hydrofluorocarbons – gases that have far less effect on ozone but have since been revealed as extremely powerful greenhouse gases. A ton of HFC23 used in refrigeration has the same global warming potential as 14,800 tons of CO2. A ton of HFC-134a, widely used in vehicle air-conditioning units, is equivalent to 1,430 tons of CO2. The problem has been increased by the rising demand for refrigeration and air-conditioning because of economic expansion and population growth in Asia.

A study out this week will warn that, by 2050, HFCs could account for up to 19% of global warming. “By 2050, the contribution of HFCs to global warming will be more than that of current global CO2 emissions from houses and office buildings,” said Guus Velders of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, who did the research. “The contribution of HFCs to global warming is currently small, but can increase to between 9% and 19% of the total contribution by 2050.” CO2 He found that by 2050 the demand for HFCs was likely to have increased by 800% compared with today’s figures.

A separate study by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a campaign group, found that the biggest source of HFC emissions entering the atmosphere was air-conditioning in vehicles. Large amounts are also released in the manufacture of insulating foam used to make buildings more energy efficient. Commercial refrigeration, including shop, restaurant and hotel chiller cabinets, are another big source.

The problem with air-conditioning and refrigeration units is that they leak the HFC coolants into the air, with about 30% lost each year. This means that HFC production has to rise to keep pace with new units and losses from existing ones.

The EIA said: “Atmospheric concentrations of hydrofluorocarbons are rising at about 15% per year, faster than any of the other [main] greenhouse gases, even though there are viable alternatives available that do much less damage.”

In 2005, global production of HFCs was estimated at 280,000 tons, roughly equivalent to half a billion tons of CO2 governmental Panel on Climate Change predicts this will rise to the equivalent of 1.2 bil by 2015. lion tons of CO2 Tony Juniper, the former director of Friends of the Earth, who was involved in campaigning against CFCs in the 1980s and 1990s, said industry had long known about the global warming threat from HFCs.

“We did not know so much about HFCs back in the 1980s,” he said. “But the evidence about them has been around since the 1990s and that should have given policy makers and business time to replace them too. “The Montreal treaty was still a triumph in avoiding an ecological catastrophe that would have followed the loss of the ozone layer. [Rubbish! There is NO sign that the Antarctic ozone hole is shrinking. It is just oscillating from year to year as it always did. Bring back CFCs!] Now we need to use that experience to avoid the threat of destruction from global warming.”


Beware the Greenies who think people are parasites

Eco-terrorism is a manifestation of the human-baiting in modern culture, contends Brendan O'Neill

IN earlier eras, from biblical times to the dawn of the Enlightenment, Earth was seen as the property of man, something we should conquer and tame and use to our advantage. Mankind should have "dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and every other living thing that moves on the Earth", said God in the book of Genesis. Even more forthrightly, a follower of the great scientific thinker Francis Bacon (1561-1626) said man should "put nature on the rack" and extract its secrets.

Today, by contrast, man is seen not as the owner of Earth but as a pox on it. We're an alien presence, an infestation, a malady that has made the planet terminally ill. Indeed, some now argue that Earth needs to be "liberated" from human beings, set free from our toxic presence so that it can revert to being a wild, unspoiled ball of water and gas hurtling happily through space.

That is the implication behind the name of a campaign group that popped up in Melbourne recently. The Earth Liberation Front secretly visited the home of Graeme York, boss of the Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria, and hand-delivered what has been described as a menacing letter. It threatened to harm York's property if he didn't stop polluting the planet by producing all that pesky electricity.

The ELF is an eccentric, misanthropic gang. It was founded in Brighton, England, in the early 1990s, as a sister organisation to the Animal Liberation Front, and has since gone global, carrying out an estimated 17 guerilla attacks across the world. In 2001 the FBI classified it as the main domestic terror threat in the US. Where the ALF only wanted to liberate rabbits and rats from humanity's evil grip, ELF ominously thinks the planet itself should be freed from our reign of terror, and perhaps emptied of humans altogether.

It is tempting to write off the ELF as a small, crazed group of dreadlock-sporting crusties that spout the kind of eco-nonsense most of us find offensive. Tempting, but wrong. In truth, the idea that humans are a fundamentally destructive presence on Earth, a carbuncle or itchy sore, is now widespread, even respectable and fashionable. The ELF can be seen as a crude physical manifestation of the humanity-baiting that informs much of mainstream environmentalism and contemporary thought.

John Gray, one of Britain's most respected intellectuals and until recently the professor of European thought at the London School of Economics, says humanity is a "plague on the planet". He echoes James Lovelock, the Gaia-inventing granddaddy of modern environmentalism, who thinks we have become a disease: "Humans on Earth behave in some ways like a pathogenic organism, or like the cells of a tumour or neoplasm. The human species is now so numerous as to constitute a serious planetary malady." From this warped point of view, it makes perfect sense to "liberate" Earth from humanity, in the same way a surgeon "liberates" a person's body from a cancerous growth.

Many now believe that natural disasters or the emergence of new diseases are attempts by Gaia to rid "herself" of the human virus.

The American novelist Kurt Vonnegut, hero to disaffected youth, said shortly before his death in 2007: "I think the Earth's immune system is trying to get rid of us. And it's high time it did."

In the 80s, Earth First! -- then a rather trendy environmentalist outfit, which later spawned the ELF -- said "the possible benefits of (AIDS) to the environment are staggering: just as the plague contributed to the demise of feudalism, AIDS has the potential to end industrialism." This view of humans as a pox has trickled down into popular culture. In the hugely popular Matrix films, one of the sinister agents sent to infiltrate humanity says: "Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague and we are the cure." Now the ELF fancies itself as the cure.

Even today's less hysterical and officially endorsed environmentalist campaigns treat the human presence on Earth as something shameful and dirty. Terms like "human footprint" and "human impact", used everywhere from school classrooms to newspaper reports, suggest that humans have an ultimately corrosive relationship with the poor beleaguered Earth.

Indeed, it is striking that the ELF chose to focus on the problem of electricity generation in its threatening letter to York, just months after this year's UN-endorsed Earth Hour, when 1 billion people across the world were encouraged to turn out their lights for one hour. The Sydney Opera House turned its lights down; cities around the world fell into a voluntary darkness. This sent the powerful message that humans have interfered too much with the planet and that buzzing cities, lit-up buildings and light itself are things we should be ashamed of.

The ELF took this mainstream message to its logical guerilla conclusion when it threatened one of the men responsible for generating electricity.

The threat of the ELF should be taken seriously by law enforcement agencies, but in order to really challenge such groups we will have to take up the misanthropy of modern society. Humans have not destroyed the planet; we have humanised it, turning what without us would be another pointless planet orbiting the sun into a place of abundance, community, exploration. We don't need to rein in the "human footprint" but rather stamp it even more indelibly on our planet, and in the future, on other planets too.


Greens told no alternative to fossil fuels

Saudi oil boss says that despite the world push towards greener energy, there is no choice but to rely on fossil fuels

LISTEN to ministers and green campaigners and you would think that we are on a happy path to greener energy, with renewable sources of power freeing us from reliance on fossil fuels.

It is a pipe dream, according to a leader of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry. Abdallah Jum’ah, who stepped down last year as chief executive of Saudi Aram-co, the state-owned oil company, said objective assessment of the world’s energy needs showed renewable resources would provide only a minute share of what was required. Oil, gas and coal would remain the fuels of choice - and there was plenty of oil left, he told the Royal Academy of Engineering last week.

Jum’ah’s words will anger environmentalists, economists and former oil-industry executives who have argued we are near peak oil production, and that it will run out sooner rather than later. Renewable energy will grow at a faster rate than oil, but the supply will remain small, said Jum’ah.

“The volume of new energy supplied by renewables will still be only half of the additional energy provided by oil or by gas and only a fourth of the new energy expected to come from coal,” he said.

Much “renewable” energy was generated by burning wood and other biomass for heating and cooking in the poorest countries – energy use that is “neither environmentally friendly nor efficient”.

“Geothermal, wind and similar renewables account for less than 1% of today’s energy supply, meaning breakthroughs in efficiency and economic performance, and sizeable investments in infrastructure, will be required before they have a large impact. An objective assessment shows they face considerable obstacles.”

While renewables were struggling to get off the ground, the world’s demand for energy would grow quickly. The International Energy Agency forecasts that it will go up 45% by 2030 largely because of demand from emerging economies (see graphic above). Oil and other fossil fuels would have to fill the gap, he said. Reserves were available.

“The world’s endowment (including unconventional sources such as tar sands) is estimated at 15 trillion barrels. Even after more than a century of widespread use, we have consumed only 1 trillion barrels.”

He said oil consumption would rise because there were few alternatives. “Political rhetoric has made people believe there is a solution around the corner but there is not, he said.”

Jeremy Leggett, boss of renewables company Solar-century and chairman of a UK industry taskforce on peak oil, said Jum’ah’s comments were to be expected. “We believe this at our peril. Western economies allowed themselves to be duped by the investment-bank-ing industry, which massively overstated assets, and we cannot make the same mistake with the oil industry.”



Germany's environment minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) has warned that Germany risks losing out to China on environmentally friendly technologies in the international markets of the future. Beijing was not only developing renewable energy "super-fast," said Gabriel during his visit to Beijing. He is especially worried that Chinese developments of new green technologies could soon overtake leading industrial nations such as Germany.

[...] With regards to the preparations for a new global agreement on climate change, Sigmar Gabriel, the German environment minister, called for more efforts by the United States. "The climate talks won't fail due to Beijing," said the minister in the Chinese capital. Washington's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol would not be acceptable. During the preliminary negotiations, China has been taking a more "progressive" stance than other states, environment minister Gabriel said.

More HERE. [In German. transl. BJP]

Former Finnish Greens Spokesman Admits Greens are Socialists.......

I'm sure everyone has heard the line that Greens are "watermelon socialists, green on the outside, and red on the inside." Well Finnish commentor and Tundra Tabloids friend, Kumitonttu, informs me that Former Greens Spokesman, Osmo Soininvaara, the same guy who said that: "If one gets an exceptional permission to marry an 11-year-old girl in Finland, then having sex with her is OK according to the Finnish legislation, too."

...has now come to admit that the recent results from the Euro elections in Finland, show that the Greens are in fact a party of the Left.

Osmo Soinivaara: "Eurovaalien merkittävin tulos oli perinteisen vasemmiston alamäki ja vihreiden nousu monin paikoin konservatiivien vastavoimaksi."

(The main result of the last elections for the European Parliament is the misery of the traditional leftist parties and respectively, the rise of the Greens as a counterpart for the conservatives).

But that's not all, he goes on further to describe what is traditonally known as (but isn't) the far-Right wing, as being a product of the Left. This is the first time that the Tundra Tabloids has seen a socialist politician admitting the obvious, who have been up until now, all to pleased in villifying the Right-Wing for Nazism and Fascism, when all along it was the Left that gave birth to those movements.

Soininvaara continues: "Populisteja on kutsuttu äärioikeistoksi, mutta retoriikaltaan he ovat vasemmistolaisia".

(The populist speech is usually defined as right-wing extremism, but it is actually leftist rhetoric.)

"Populistiset liikkeet vetävät työttömyyden uhkaamia duunareita ja kurjistuvaa maaseutua kuten 1930-luvullakin. Myös maahanmuuton ja erityisesti islamilaisuuden vastaisuus vetää äänestäjiä. Maahanmuuttoon myönteisesti suhtautuvien on lähdettävä keskusteluun mukaan myöntäen ongelmat, sillä moni kokee aidosti maahanmuuton uhkasi."

("Populist movements attract the workers living under the uncertainty of their jobs as well as the people in the country side whose economical situation gets worse all the time - the case is identical to the 1930's. Opposing immigration and especially Islamization attracts the voters. Those who stand for immigration must join the debate and admit the problems there really are, because many feel the immigration as a threat.")

"Vihreillä ei ole syytä vahingoniloon demareiden ahdingon vuoksi. Demarit ovat olleet vihreiden tärkeimpiä liittolaisia."

("The Greens must not rejoice over the defeat of the social-democrats. They have historically been the main allies for the Greens.")

"Moni on blogillani sanonut, että nuorille kaupunkilaisille on vain kaksi puoluetta, kokoomus ja vihreät. Jos demarit yhä kuihtuvat ja vihreät kasvavat, meidän on otettava aivan uudenlainen rooli politiikassa ja valmistauduttava aivan uudenlaiseen vastuuseen. Vastuu oikeudenmukaisuudesta on silloin meillä."

("Many have wrote in the comments section of my blog that for young urban people there are just two parties; the conservatives and the Greens. If the social-democrats keep shrinking and the Greens keep growing, we have to take a whole new role in the politics and be prepared to a completely new kind of political responsibility. The responsibility of justice is the for us."

In other words, with the demise of the Social Democrats and other hard Left parties, the Greens will enjoy a swelling of their ranks with these other socialists. I can't think of any better anlaysis to explain the Greens' philosophical roots, as well as their relationship between the fellow red Socialist and Fascist comrades.


RAKING IN THE CASH: Fury over Australian "Green" Senator’s fundraising scam

Last week Senator Brown, in a soap opera type performance, publicly appealed for donations supposedly to stave off imminent bankruptcy and consequent expulsion from the Senate—a claim backed up dramatically by no less an authority than the Clerk of the Senate, although it is there in black and white in the Constitution, section 44, (iii). Even the hapless lawyer of The Castle could have told Senator Brown that.

Senator Brown’s alleged financial plight was due to having to pay $239,000 in legal costs incurred because of his own personal ill-considered legal challenge to selective logging in the Wielangta forest. This $239,000 comes on top of Senator Brown’s personal costs. According to the Age, Senator Brown said “he had $10,000 cash to his name, and little chance of selling remaining property by the due date. He has already raised more than $600,000 in costs for the case that was lost in the High Court. “I don’t have the money,” he said.


You probably missed it, but Senator Brown slipped into his YouTube broadcast that he actually meant ‘technical bankruptcy’—by which I assume he means not actual or real bankruptcy—but there was no such disclosure in his media release which was faithfully regurgitated by many of the fawning members of the media.

Nor was there any challenge, by the way, to Senator Brown’s vehement condemnation of people who take legal action against him. Legal action against Senator Brown by its very definition, it seems, must be bad. And, of course, legal action, no matter how ill-advised, taken by Senator Brown is also by very definition good. The double standard is easy to ignore if consistency and intellectual rigour and integrity are not part of the framework under which you operate.


We are told Senator Brown’s public appeal resulted in a deluge of support. But what would-be donors were not told last week was that, as at October 2008, Senator Brown’s so-called Wielangta forest fund—but actually the RJ Brown forest account—had already raised $739,000 at a bare minimum. How do we know this? Because, after being shamed into disclosing this fund’s receipts to the register of senators’ interests, Senator Brown had disclosed at least $739,000 in donations by October 2008. Even then he did not detail donations for May to July 2008, nor has he disclosed donations received in the seven months since October 2008. In other words, there are up to 10 months missing.

Clearly the senator does not abide by the same accountability rules he so self-righteously insists be imposed on everybody else. For example, Senator Brown has not disclosed the proceeds of his allegedly successful Wild Photos exhibition held earlier this year. So it follows that prior to his public appeal Senator Brown’s account had undoubtedly received more than the $739,000 he has to date disclosed, and probably significantly more.


Which brings me to the question of Senator Brown’s personal legal costs. So far as the register of senators’ interests is concerned, Senator Brown has only disclosed legal costs of $35,000 for the six months from 1 July 2005 to January 2006. A press release issued by Senator Brown said:

The High Court awarded no costs against Senator Brown because of the public interest of the case … However, the Federal Court’s decision to award costs against Senator Brown may leave him with a bill, including his own representation, of $200,000 to $300,000. However, numerous recent briefings by Senator Brown put his personal legal costs at $600,000.

When pressed on exactly this point last Wednesday evening by Gerard McManus from the Herald Sun, Senator Brown’s office confirmed his personal legal costs were $600,000. Even on this basis, when making his recent appeal he needed less than $100,000 to pay legal costs and maybe nothing at all.


It is extraordinary that, immediately the Herald Sun probed and questioned the apparent healthy state of his fund and the veracity of his claims to be on the verge of bankruptcy, Senator Brown closed down his appeal, saying there had been a huge public response and that any extra money would be put into the campaign to save Australia’s forests.

This includes, the so-called Triabunna 13, individuals facing the Supreme Court for blockading and chaining themselves to machinery, costing struggling contractors tens of thousands of dollars. I wonder how many well-meaning people who gave to save Senator Brown from phantom bankruptcy knew their donations could be used to defend these irresponsible antics.


I understand that Senator Brown is now explaining the discrepancy between what he raised and what he owes by claiming to journalists that his personal legal costs are not $600,000 but $1 million.

Like many of Senator Brown’s claims, this latest claim to be on the verge of personal bankruptcy just does not add up. His approach to fundraising and accountability is reminiscent of Max Bialystok of The Producers.


Senator Brown must now come clean, become accountable, cease flouting his obligations to the Senate and disclose all amounts he has received, when he received them and the amounts paid out and to whom.

The fact is Senator Brown’s legal challenge to selective logging in Wielangta was always ill-advised and dubious.

Sadly, some so-called environmental activists have in the past put cuddly animals on their websites to solicit donations for what are essentially scams, preying upon people’s good nature and gullibility. This latest stunt by Senator Brown, crying poor over legal costs, will be seen in the same light or worse.


For all his talk about Wielangta’s wedge-tailed eagle, the marvellous swift parrot and the ancient stag beetle, the policies advocated by the senator actually contributed to the destruction of their habitat. By this I mean Senator Brown’s calls against selective logging and hyperbole about the mushroom clouds of fuel reduction burns.

Such measures, if allowed, would have mitigated the almost total destruction of Wielangta and the wildlife contained therein in the devastating 2006 bushfire, which killed more stag beetles and destroyed more swift parrot habitat than 100 years of selective harvesting ever did.

The fact is Senator Brown’s legal challenge lost not on a technicality but on the law. Remember the law? It is what everyone else has to abide by unless, it seems, they are a Green crusader. Regrettably, to Senator Brown and his gullible followers, science, the rule of law, accountability and, above all, truth are often relative concepts.

Sadly it seems that, if you bang on enough about how much you really care about forests, some misguided people will give you money—even if you may not need it and even if your policies and legal challenges would see those same forest habitats destroyed.


My challenge to Senator Brown is this: be accountable. Immediately disclose to the Senate, as is required, exactly how much your fund raised prior to last week’s appeal, and disclose and substantiate your progressive personal legal costs. Anything less, Mr President, will be a wholesale abrogation of his duties as a senator and ethically bankrupt.



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.


1 comment:

John A said...


What halluginogen is this guy using?

Perhaps China will develop new energy technology, and do so quickly, but it will do so by ignoring the likes of Kyoto and other only-appies-to-most-democracies-in-the-Northern-hemisphere junk and using the electricity from the many new coal-fired plants it is going to build.

I am for developing and implementing new tech - when it is ready - but this is just scare-mongering. As I suspect of perhaps ninety percent of the energy and climate "news" reported in the mainstream press.