Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Fascism from a Warmist

A bacteria expert, Helen Camakaris, explains neurology to us, writing on a site called "shaping tomorrow's world", an aspiration very reminiscent of Pol Pot's.  He knew it all too

We haven’t evolved to be successful in the modern world. Civilisation arose only 12,000 years ago; in evolutionary terms that’s just the blink of an eye. Ninety-nine per cent of human evolution occurred during the Stone Age, so our evolved instincts, personality traits, and even some of our cognitive “short-cuts” are much better suited to this Pleistocene world.

We might expect that intelligence and language would have been game-changers; they were, but not necessarily for the better. We learnt to tame nature and harvest its bounty, to build great cities, and to harness the laws of physics and chemistry. We may celebrate the Industrial Revolution as the beginning of modern civilisation, but it also ushered in burgeoning overpopulation, resource exploitation, pollution and climate change.

So if we evolved to exploit nature, and to be blind to the consequences, what now? Our only chance is to wrest control away from our emotional brain, and construct a new reality where our rational brain can take control.

We need to design a new kind of democracy Mussolini did it so why not? where many government decisions are made cooperatively, with multi-party representation and the input of experts. Such think tanks must have strategies in place to promote critical self-analysis and to “frame” policy to reflect the long-term reality. The cost of climate change mitigation can then be shown to be minute compared to the cost of inaction.

If we value a sustainable world, the GDP must be replaced by a measure of a country’s wealth, including resources, social capital and the cost of pollution. Costs should reflect the inclusive cradle-to-grave value of products and services, so that choices reflect out true long-term interests. Conspicuous consumption might be curbed further by offering workers the choice of more leisure rather than a salary increase, and by rewarding excellence with honours and privileges, rather than fat pay packets and obscene bonuses.

Education must produce adults who can think critically and understand what’s at stake and why our judgement is flawed. To counter self-interest, the government should use incentives and disincentives to guide public behaviour. We need to encourage altruism by instituting reciprocal, incremental improvements, and by showing leadership.

We are at the crossroads. Unless we recognise the less-adaptive aspects of human nature and devise ways of keeping them in check, the world we bequeath to our children will be a diminished one. We have the means to do this, but do we have the will? Evolution may have made us the most intelligent animal on Earth, but it makes no promise that we will be survivors.



A Warmist who gets some things right

He says that skeptics see Warmists as "borderline communists".  I couldn't put it better myself

MANY climate sceptics do not trust environmentalists because they consider them "borderline communists" who want to curtail people's freedom, a leading US social scientist says.

Speaking on Wednesday night, the University of Michigan's Andy Hoffman said US global warming sceptics had "a serious distrust of the political ideology behind its proponents".

"The fear is that environmentalists are left-leaning, they are socialist, borderline communists, and they are using the government to try to control your freedom," Prof Hoffman said in the Sydney Ideas lecture at the University of Sydney.

"The expression for environmentalists is watermelons, they're green on the outside, but they're red on the inside. That really represents their feeling."

Mr Hoffman said a scientific consensus that humans contribute to climate change had failed to lead to action on the issue because it was really a "debate over values".

He said despite compelling science, just 40 per cent of Australians believed humans contributed to a hotter planet.

"It's not about CO2, it's not about climate models, it's about values, it's about world views," the business and environment academic said.

"It's because deeply held beliefs that they hold dear are under threat."

Climate change was such a "thorny issue" because it represented "an existential challenge to our world views", he said.

In that context, he said giving climate deniers more scientific evidence was like "finding yourself talking to a wall, they're not going to hear it".  [Please give me that evidence.  I'm listening]

Professor Hoffman said a "social consensus" to fight climate change needed to be built, similar to that created in the past to combat smoking and slavery.

"One of the most important first steps in engaging the debate is not to blame or mock or ridicule," he said.  [He's pissing into the wind there  -- as he shows himself, by comparing skeptics to slavers]

SOURCE.  Jo Nova heaps the ridicule onto him.

Chilling news for Britain: March could be the coldest for 50 years and winter is expected to stay for yet another week

Britain is on track to suffer its coldest March in more than 50 years as conservationists warned that the prolonged winter weather was damaging wildlife.

Forecasters said the latest cold spell was keeping average temperatures several degrees below the norm, with the next seven days to be chillier than usual.

The Central England Temperature – covering an area bounded by Lancashire, Bristol and London – shows temperatures have been 2.8C lower than normal.

The last time March was so cold was in 1962, when the average temperature was 2.4C (36F) – or 4.1C below the norm.

That astonishing difference - which is 36.5C when considering Aboyne's even colder overnight low last week of -12.9C - in just one year comes as another snowfall covered northern Britain overnight.

A Met Office spokesman said: ‘This time last year the UK was under the influence of high pressure. This gave us clear skies, plenty of sunshine and with a light southerly breeze, temperatures that were well above average.

‘This year, with a strong easterly wind bringing cold air from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, we have quite the opposite with eastern parts of the UK in particular seeing snow, ice and temperatures around 20C lower.

‘The direction of the wind therefore plays a major part in what type of weather you and I will see, especially as we have the Atlantic Ocean to our west and continental Europe to our south and east.’

'This time last year the UK was under the influence of high pressure. This gave us clear skies, plenty of sunshine and with a light southerly breeze, temperatures that were well above average'

Up to four inches of snow was predicted to settle in parts of Scotland and north England by this morning, with more expected to fall during the day as temperatures hover around a bitter 3C.

The Met Office has issued a number of amber weather warnings across north-east England and central and eastern Scotland urging people to be prepared for disruption.

But regions south of Cumbria and Yorkshire escaped the snowy weather, instead set to enjoy a dry day with relatively warmer temperatures, of up to 9C in London, with a risk of scattered showers.

MeteoGroup forecaster Matt Dobson said: ‘It's a real north-south split today. Over high ground up to 10cms (3.9in) could have fallen over night, with the potential for the same amount again today.

‘Even down to sea level there could be a covering of between 1cm (0.4in) and 4cm (1.6in), very likely in Edinburgh.

‘In the north of England there will be up to 6cm (2.4in) overnight and a few more falling throughout the day, along with higher parts of north Wales.

‘But south of the country there will be few showers but a lot of dry weather and some sunshine breaking through.’

'Whether you think that Spring officially starts on March 1 or March 21, this is certainly unusually cold for this time of year. It's very cold for mid-March when we should expect much higher temperatures'

More snow is expected on Friday. He added that the cold weather and snow storms across the north were likely to linger throughout the week and could even lead to blizzard conditions in Scotland.

It continues a cold month across the UK which has brought an unwelcome delay to spring weather. Mr Dobson said that while snow is not uncommon for March, the continued cold weather is.

He said: ‘Whether you think that Spring officially starts on March 1 or March 21, this is certainly unusually cold for this time of year. It's very cold for mid-March when we should expect much higher temperatures.

‘It's not unusual for it to snow in March, in fact we are far more likely to see snow at Easter than at Christmas. What is unusual for March is how persistent the cold weather and snow is.’

He added that it is too early to predict a white Easter. The cold weather is likely to bring more travel misery today.

Yesterday a number of key commuter routes were disrupted, including some south-east England journeys which were hit by a build-up of ice on the ‘third rail’ from which trains get their power.

'It's not unusual for it to snow in March, in fact we are far more likely to see snow at Easter than at Christmas. What is unusual for March is how persistent the cold weather and snow is'


First new British nuclear power station in two decades is given the go ahead at Hinkley Point, capable of powering 5million homes

And Greenies are fuming

The first in a new generation of nuclear power stations was given the go ahead today.

The new £14billion plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset could generate enough electricity to power 5million homes.

It is a major breakthrough for the government after several global firms pulled out of plans to build new reactors in the UK.

Mr Davey told MPs that he was granting planning consent for French energy giant EDF to construct a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C.

The plant, which will be operated by EDF subsidiary NNB Generation, will be the first new nuclear power plant in the UK since Sizewell B, which started generating electricity in 1995.

It is estimated the project will create between 20,000 and 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 permanent jobs once in operation.

Mr Davey said that affordable new nuclear would play a ‘crucial role’ in ensuring secure, diverse supplies of energy in the UK and decarbonising the electricity sector and the economy.

The plant's two nuclear reactors would be capable of producing 7 per cent of the UK's electricity, enough to power five million homes, EDF has said. It is thought the costs of the new power station would run to around £14 billion.

A final investment decision by EDF to go ahead with construction still depends on the deal being negotiated with the Government on the ‘strike’ price paid for electricity generated by the plant.

Mr Davey said: ‘It's vital to get investment in new infrastructure to get the economy moving. Low-carbon energy projects will bring major investment, supporting jobs and driving growth.

‘This planned project adds to a number of new energy projects consented since May 2010, including wind farms and biomass and gas-fired power stations.

‘This planned new nuclear power station in Somerset will generate vast amounts of clean energy and enhance our energy security.

‘It will benefit the local economy, through direct employment, the supply chain and the use of local services.’

Under electricity market reforms, low-carbon power such as nuclear reactors and offshore wind farms will have long-term contracts with a guaranteed price for their electricity, to give investors certainty to invest in projects with high capital costs.

EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said receiving planning permission for the project was ‘a huge achievement’ representing years of hard work.

But he urged that to make the opportunity a reality there was a need to reach agreement swiftly on the ‘contract for difference’ that will set out the guaranteed price paid for the electricity generated.

But environmental groups reacted angrily to the news that the new reactors were given the go-ahead.

Keith Allott, chief adviser on climate change at WWF-UK, said: ‘Backing nuclear means shifting a huge liability to British taxpayers for the cost of building, electricity and crucially, dealing with the waste.

‘Unlike renewable energy, the costs of nuclear keep on rising - as witnessed by the fact that the only reactors currently being built in Europe are massively over-budget and far behind schedule.

‘Focusing on renewables and energy efficiency, on the other hand, where the UK has huge potential to be an industrial leader, could deliver both huge cost reductions and a substantial boost to UK economic growth and manufacturing.’

Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said Hinkley Point C failed the test on economic, consumer, environmental and arguably even legal grounds.

‘It will lock a generation of consumers into higher energy bills, via a strike price that's expected to be double the current price of electricity, and it will distort energy policy by displacing newer, cleaner, cheaper technologies.

‘With companies now saying the price of offshore wind will drop so much it will be on par with nuclear by 2020, there is no rationale for allowing Hinkley C to proceed.

‘Giving it the green light when there is no credible plan for dealing with the waste could also be in breach of the law,’ he warned.


Donors Trust

Greenpeace published a hit piece headlined, “Donors Trust laundering climate denial funding: The shadow operation has laundered $146 million in climate-denial funding.” A few days after that, New York-based media producer Democracy Now! broadcast a story called “The ATM for climate denial: Secretive Donors Trust funds vast network of global warming skeptics.”

This flank of the attack surge began with a PBS Frontline broadcast last October, followed by inquires by The Nation (November), the Center for Public Integrity (December), and Mother Jones (January), all resulting in February articles. The appearance of pre-arrangement, of course, is merely the old journalism fact of life, that the liberal media feed each other, and not necessarily collusion.

What did Donors Trust do to deserve this four-pronged (so far) attack? Nothing. That is, nothing beyond disagreeing with climate jihadists (or whatever the appropriate counterpart to “climate deniers” may be). I spoke with Donors president and CEO Whitney Ball, who told me that all the “shadow” and “secrecy” and “black box” and “dark money” accusations in these attacks could apply to every 501(c)(3) public charity, not just Donors Trust.

By Internal Revenue Code rules, the identity of these donors is not available for public inspection, no matter which group is involved. But the general reader doesn’t know that – so it sounds nefarious. If you’re dubious, contact Greenpeace or any of those other groups, and ask for their individual donor list. You won’t get it.

Donors Trust, is a “donor-advised fund,” established to promote liberty and help like-minded donors preserve their charitable intent. When donors make a gift to a donor-advised fund, they surrender all legal control over the gift to a steward 501(c)(3), but they may recommend recipients. Thus, “donor advised.”

In return, donors receive an immediate tax deduction and guaranteed anonymity. The anonymity protects donors from recipients eager for more grants. Being a secret donor is a good way to stay off junk mail lists and not have to worry about fundraiser phone calls during dinner time. And when it comes to donors who give to any 501(c)(3)s, all of them are secret, liberal and conservative alike.

Donors Trust also has its own rules. If a donor requests a liberty-oriented recipient with no more than 25% of its revenue from government sources, Donors Trust generally approves, though it is not legally obliged to do so.

Greenpeace engages in the same practices it labels as “laundering” when its critics are involved: receiving grant money from donors such as the Packard Foundation ($1.5 million in 2011; total from all foundations, $18.1 million), and then granting it to other non-profits. In 2011, for example, Greenpeace gave $4 million to US groups and $5.6 million to European groups, according to their IRS Form 990.

The attacks against Donors Trust try to make donor-advised funds sound alien, unusual, and dangerous. However, they are so common that Fidelity, Vanguard and Schwab all run one.  IRS Form 990 even devotes a page to reporting on DAFs and asks every non-profit if it maintains DAFs. (It’s in Schedule D, Part 1, for the curious.) Tides Foundation, for example, houses hundreds of them.

Tides has also given over $1 billion to leftist causes, says its website (versus $2 million to “climate deniers,” aka groups that challenge claims that humans are causing catastrophic climate change.)

One of the most egregious insults to seep out of this insult-laden barrage came from UK Guardian correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, during a recent Democracy Now! broadcast.

Ms. Ball asked, “How is it that the Tides Foundation, which funds environmental causes and does not publish donor lists, is never characterized in the same way by reporters?” Goldenberg replied: “There’s something really different here.” Donors Trust grantees “spread information that is factually incorrect, that is untrue…. You can’t draw this equivalence here.” In contrast, DT’s organizations, Goldenberg insisted, “were funded for the express purpose of spreading disinformation.”

Based on the Tides output I’ve seen, it’s the other way around: the climate alarmists are spreading deceit, disinformation, climate horror stories and junk science that have no basis in fact and made Climategate 1 and 2 such fascinating reading.

Anyway, just for your information, a massive database of IRS Form 990s shows that total US foundation support for environmental causes over the past decade or so is 331,256 grants totaling $19.3 billion, with a “b.” The portion specifically devoted to global warming or climate change is $797 million.

And the Greedy Lying Bastards producers are complaining about a couple million to manmade climate cataclysm skeptics. The film’s pathetic efforts underscore how desperate climate alarmists have become. There goes 30,000 feet of good (hydrocarbon-based) film stock, all shot to hell.



Three current articles below

Australian carbon tax contributes to record number of businesses insolvencies

As U.S. lawmakers debate imposing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, evidence is emerging that Australia’s carbon tax has hit businesses hard.

News Limited Network reported the country’s carbon tax was contributing to a record number of firms facing insolvency. Data from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission showed that a record 10,632 businesses faced insolvency for the 12 months to December 31 2012 — up from 10,481 for 2011.

Australia’s largest manufacturing firms asked the central government to scrap the nation’s carbon tax as it disadvantages local companies that are attempting to compete on a global market.

Critics argue that the carbon tax is putting Australian businesses at a disadvantage and will lead to job losses.

“In the absence of similar schemes by major trading partners, Australia’s carbon tax places tremendous pressure on Australian manufacturers and inevitably leads to job losses and business closures,” said the group Manufacturing Australia.

Origin Energy managing director Grant King said that the carbon tax as well as other green programs made up as much as 30 percent of small and medium sized businesses’ electric bills.

“No wonder (companies) are saying it is hurting us,” said King.

Australia has been taxing carbon emissions since July 1 of last year at a rate of $23AUD per ton. The system will become a full-blown cap-and-trade scheme in three years and will be integrated with the European cap-and-trade system.

Australia’s tourism industry has also been impacted by carbon pricing. A study commissioned by Tourism Accommodation Australia says the carbon tax will add $115 million in costs to hotels and motels.

“The additional costs imposed on hotels from the carbon tax are coming straight off the bottom line,” said Rodger Powell, TAA managing director.

However, the Australian government defended the carbon tax, saying that the effects on businesses and consumers would be modest.

“The Federal Government has always been up front that there would be a modest impact on the accommodation industry, such as small electricity price increases flowing through the economy under carbon pricing,” said a spokesman for Australian Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.

Minister Combet also said that the government was “acutely conscious of the pressures on parts of Australian manufacturing which are due to the high value of the dollar and intense competition on world markets.”


Qld moves to resume uranium mining

The Queensland Government is moving ahead with plans to restart uranium mining in the state, with a committee handing Cabinet a report that makes 40 recommendations on the matter.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps says an inter-departmental committee will be set up to consider the findings.

"This group will submit a draft report to the Resources Cabinet Committee outlining an implementation strategy for the recommendations, including identification of any budget implications and necessary legislative changes," he said.

"We will also establish a Uranium Mining Stakeholder Committee comprising representatives from local governments, Indigenous groups, industry, environment and natural resource management groups in accordance with the report's recommendations."

Mr Cripps would not specify a timeline for implementing the findings.

Uranium was last mined in Queensland in 1982 near Mount Isa in the state's north-west.  It was banned by a Labor state government seven years later.

Committee chair Paul Bell says they have also recommended the development of environmental conditions specifically for uranium mining.

"There is a basic framework there in place now to provide a very safe and a very good place for people to not only work but certainly for communities to be ensured that safety in transport is now being able to be maintained in this industry," he said.

Mr Cripps says jobs will be a flow-on from the resumption of uranium mining.

"Particularly for regional and rural communities in Queensland, job opportunities and in particular to Indigenous communities in rural and remote areas of this state," he said.

The Queensland Resources Council says the community is on board with uranium mining because of the new investment and work it will create.


Green light for farmers to clear land under vegetation management laws

QUEENSLAND farmers will again be able to clear their own land as they see fit under changes to vegetation management laws being introduced to State Parliament today.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps travelled to Hughenden in the state's north-west to announce the changes designed to boost food production and deliver jobs.

They visited sheep and cattle farm Dunluce where owners Ninian and Anne Stewart-Moore have been unable to expand their dam under existing laws.

Mr Cripps said landholders would have to present a business case to support their application for land clearing.

"I stress that these reforms are not a signal that the Newman Government is relaxing environmental standards and do not give the green light for landholders to carry out indiscriminate clearing," said Mr Cripps.

A group of local farmers and councillors immediately welcomed the changes as a much needed easing of "unnecessary restrictions".

"It's an injection into agriculture that's definitely needed," said Mr Stewart-Moore.

"We hope to see a balance between some sensible clearing of trees to make way for some development."

"We're not talking about broad scale clearing of massive amounts of hectares, we're just talking about being able to use the best landforms to do the development that is potentially available to us."

Irrigator Corbett Tritton said the changes would "lift the cloud" under which farmers had been living for the past 10 years.

"We're not living with a cloud over us, feeling like criminals any more," said Mr Tritton.

"What the Minister's told us today is really going to stimulate the bush. "Everybody's so frightened to do anything in the bush you can't move without having to fill out forms and people coming to tell you what you can and can't do."

Mr Seeney said the government would also make changes to the over-policing of the vegetation management act that had occurred under Labor.

"The infringement provisions within the Vegetation Management Act have gone way out of kilter with everything else that it could be reasonably compared with," he said.

"We will be using this opportunity to amend the act and normalise those happenings and bring them in line with infringements in other acts."




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


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