Friday, April 04, 2014

The Noah film is afloat with Greenie extremism

AMAZING. Hollywood just killed God, and almost no critic noticed how it quietly slipped a green human-hater in his place.

I never thought you could make a two-hour film about Noah and his ark without mentioning “God” even once, but director Darren Aronofsky has managed it in his $142 million epic, which opened last week.

His Noah, played by a muttering Russell Crowe, prays to a different deity, a much nastier one called “the creator” who seems to brood on global warming.

Hey, what a coincidence! So does Aronofsky, who last year declared, “climate change as an enemy of the people”. So does Crowe, tweeting in most unbiblical language: “F--- denial of climate change.”

And in their film, Noah, they give us their creator, a vegetarian who really does want to “f--- denial of climate change” and put filthy humans in their place so, as Crowe’s Noah rasps, “creation will be left alone — safe. Beautiful”.

As an agnostic, I should barely care which invisible being Crowe talks to, but this switcheroo is freaky.

I’m not pretending the God first described in the Old Testament 3500 years ago and worshipped since by Jews and then Christians was a softie.

He once got so fed up with man — those “corrupt” sinners “filled with violence” and not following “his way upon the Earth” — that he vowed to “bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh”.

But at least he still liked people enough to want some more after drowning the first lot.

So God didn’t just tell Noah to build an ark big enough to carry breeding pairs of every animal, but let him bring three wives for his three sons so they could “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth”.

They could even eat animals for strength: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you.”

Humans first, nature second.

But Aronofsky’s “creator” puts humans last. In Noah, we see a pre-flood planet which humans in coarse furs, carrying spears and living in huts, have improbably managed to utterly destroy with what we’re told is their “great industrial civilisation”.

Some of these polluters kill Noah’s saintly father for trying to stop them mining what he protests is “the creator’s land”, but Noah keeps the family tradition alive. “Noah was the first environmentalist,” Aronofsky has said.

Noah rebukes a son for plucking a flower and even kills men he finds hunting an animal.

So killing animal, bad. Killing men, not so. This is a deity with radically different priorities, and they don’t include man — not according to Noah.

In fact, one of God’s most famous lines in the Old Testament, telling us to “subdue” nature and “have dominion over ... every living thing”, is in Aronofsky’s film said by the chief villain, who even munches on one of Noah’s animals as he declares nature is “something you take dominion over, you subdue it”.

So what the Jewish and Christian God gives — Earth’s riches — Aronofsky’s “creator” takes away, telling Crowe-Noah he’ll send a flood to have “all life blotted out because of what man has done” — not to each other or him, but to nature. Meat-eaters must die.

As Crowe-Noah tells his family: “We have been chosen to save the innocent. The animals.” When the flood passes, there will be no men to “destroy the garden”.

Boy, this Noah and his creator hate humans. Crowe’s Noah, unlike the Bible’s, will take not one fertile female on the ark. His own wife is past child-bearing, and the only other woman on board, his eldest son’s wife, is thought barren. Noah even refuses to help his second son’s healthy girlfriend join them.

No breeders wanted.

This green hatred of humans is not in the Bible, but is in the gospels of the green religion’s most radical preachers, such as Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson, who once called man “the AIDS of the earth”.

Take another real-life Crowe-Noah, Earth First! spokesman Dave Forman, who argued: “Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”

Sarah Irving, from the Ethical Consumer magazine, even set an example, having herself sterilised because it was “the most environmentally friendly thing I could do in a warming world”.

What a poster child for Crowe-Noah’s ark of self-extincters!

Of course, there is one problem with an ark without one healthy human womb. Who, now, would be around to buy a ticket to Aronofsky’s movie?


FDA versus recycling

Beer brewers are objecting to a proposed federal rule that would make it harder for breweries to sell leftover grains as animal feed instead of throwing them away.

The Food and Drug Administration rule change would mean brewers would have to meet the same standards as livestock and pet-food manufacturers, imposing new sanitary handling procedures, record keeping and other food safety processes on brewers.

Beer makers complain that the new rules, if adopted, would force them to dump millions of tons of "spent grains," which are left over after barley, wheat and other grains are steeped in hot water.

Bear Republic brewmaster Rich Norgrove says the rules would be costly and force brewers to dump the grains, instead of the more sustainable practice of feeding them to livestock.

The Northern California brewery sells its spent grain to local ranches, which use it as an affordable food source for about 300 head of cattle, according to The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

"Now the government wants to get involved," Cheryl LaFranchi, a Knight's Valley rancher, said. "What are they going to do with it? Put it in a landfill?"

The FDA says the rules stem from a new, broad modernization of the food safety system.

"This proposed regulation would help prevent foodborne illness in both animals and people," the agency said in the statement.

The FDA is collecting comment through Monday, and two of the beer industry's major trade groups have mobilized against the idea.

Chris Thorne of the Beer Institute said he believes once the FDA has all of the information, it will see the benefits of the current system of recycling the old grain.

“This regulation is onerous and expensive, but really it’s just unnecessary. There has never been a single reported negative incidence with spent grain," Thorne said in a statement.

The Colorado-based Brewers Association issued a statement last week calling proposal an "unwarranted burden for all brewers."

"Many of the more than 2,700 small and independent craft breweries that operate throughout the United States provide spent grain to local farms for use as animal feed," the group said. "The proposed FDA rules on animal feed could lead to significantly increased costs and disruption in the handling of spent grain."

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., on Monday urged the FDA to complete a risk assessment of the reuse of brewers' spent grains. He warned the proposal could force brewers to dispose of spent grains at landfills, forcing small breweries to incur an average cost of nearly $43 million per year.

"Colorado's craft brewers are leading the way forward for their industry, creating some of the world's most innovative beers and sustainability practices," Udall said in a statement. "The FDA needs to ensure our food supply remains safe, but its new proposed rule may unjustifiably hurt Colorado's brewers and farmers."

Santa Rosa rancher Jim Cunningham gets about 10 tons of used grain from the Lagunitas Brewery every day at about $100 per ton.

With drought and other factors pushing commercial feed prices more than three times higher than the brewery grain, he says the new rules would affect his bottom line.

"It might put us out of business if we couldn't get cheaper feed," Cunningham said.


EPA's "Killer" Ideology

A new inspector general's report covering the EPA is profoundly dismaying.

It states that the EPA has conducted tests on humans -- in many cases without fully disclosing all risks, even deathly ones -- in order to justify more onerous air regulations.

In some cases, consent forms for tests of pollutants (1) did not contain the information about the upper range of the pollutant exposure to which humans would be subjected; (2) nor did it offer information about the known increased of death even from short-term exposure for those already suffering from cardiovascular disease (p.21). Another group of studies failed to include language about the long-term cancer risk resulting from exposure to diesel exhaust, the substance being examined.

Perhaps this was simple negligence. But it raises an ugly specter: That someone at the EPA was so eager to get results that would justify more stringent air regulations that officials simply failed to warn subjects adequately -- including those most prone to the dramatic, adverse health consequences that could be used to advance the administration's agenda. After all, to make an environmentally-friendly omelet, perhaps you just have to break a few human eggs, right?


IPCC cries wolf on global warming, again

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released the summary of its fifth report. Unsurprisingly, it still blames humans as the main driver of global warming — or, climate change, climate disruption, extreme weather; whichever term you prefer. It’s unsurprising that the IPCC, an organization founded to find a way to limit human influence on climate, would sound such an alarm. After all, if it was discovered that nature is the main driver of the changes in climate, the IPCC would be out of a job.

Of course, that won’t happen. After all, the science surrounding global warming is settled and there is a vast consensus. Since we are running out of time, we therefore need to act promptly, right?

Wrong. First of all, science can never be settled for it to be called so. It took 250 years until Einstein found faults in Newton’s theory of gravity. It took more than 150 years to find how humans evolved from apes through a DNA discovery. Even today, scientists can’t decide what caused the Black Death in Europe.

The same goes for the climate hysteria. Scientists can’t decide if it will cause more snow or less snow, record snowfalls or their total absence, if biodiversity will increase or decrease, if there will be fewer tornadoes or more, or even when the world will end if we don’t act.

In addition, human influence on climate is unlikely considering that several peer-reviewed temperature reconstructions from Turkey, Poland, Eastern Australia, Northern Scandinavia, the Central Mediterranean Sea, Tibet, the Pearl River Basin in China, Bolivia, Arctic and Eastern Siberia, Southern England, the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, Peru, Chile, Iceland, Antarctica, the Central Eastern Alps, British Columbia, Quebec, and the Southwestern US all confirm the IPCC findings from 1990 that the Medieval Warm Period between 1000 and 1350 AD was much warmer than today. In other words, Michael Mann’s hockey stick, which supposedly shows a dramatic increase in temperatures since the Industrial Revolution, is probably false.

Also, hurricanes have not increased in strength or number in the past 40 years. A closer look at data shows the same neutral trend since 1851; it may even go back 228 years. Furthermore, no hurricane of category three or above has made landfall in the U.S. since Wilma (October 24, 2005) — the longest stretch since 1900. The same thing goes for tornadoes since the 1950s; F3+ tornadoes are actually decreasing. Similarly, droughts are not on the rise in the U.S., despite exponential increase in CO2. California’s recent drought, for example, is not uncommon.

Polar bears are nowhere near extinction, as assessed by the Nunavut government and Inuit hunters in Northern Canada. Speaking of debunked myths, dozens of papers show that the sun drives climate, not CO2, and that petrochemical influence on climate has been blown out of proportion. Finally, the Arctic, while it may be melting more during summer time, refreezes so quickly that its May 1st extent hasn’t changed much since 1979. Also, the Antarctic ice has been expending since that same year.

Despite overwhelming evidence that the science is not settled, climate change fanatics keep hammering about that supposed 97 percent consensus among scientists. In reality, the supposed consensus is likely overblown. It’s either based on 2008 survey of only 79 climatologists or is actually closer to 0.3 percent when one analyzes a sample of scientific papers.

Climate fanatics’ insistence on a consensus to silence debate has some eerie traits of fascism. Indeed, only in fascist societies can authorities make sure dissenters are silenced by whatever way they see fit. And this is exactly what climate fanatics want; they systematically refuse to debate climate sceptics by snobbishly claiming they are not worthy of recognition. People like David Suzuki, Canada’s green pope, call for Inquisition-like censorship of skeptics. Professors like Lawrence Torcello want skeptics jailed for “criminal negligence.” Finally, Al Gore has no problem resorting to ad hominem attacks by calling skeptics “deniers” and by linking them to homophobes, racists, alcoholics, baby-eaters, etc.

Reasonable citizens should not lose any sleep over the IPCC’s latest report or scaremongering from climate fanatics. Their catastrophic predictions are simply a continuation of doomsday predictions Malthus started in the 19th century. And like Malthus, they have been utterly wrong, be it about agriculture, violence or the rising sea level. Climate hysteria is crumbling little by little, and like any fake science, it will collapse sooner or later.


Climate Activists Uncaged

Jonah Goldberg

Finally, someone has come up with a way to settle the debate over climate change: Put the people on the wrong side of the argument in cages.

A writer for the website Gawker recently penned a self-described "rant" on the pressing need to arrest, charge and imprison people who "deny" global warming. In fairness, Adam Weinstein doesn't want mass arrests. (Besides, in a country where only 44 percent of Americans say there is "solid evidence" of global warming and it's mostly due to human activity, you can't round up every dissenter.) Fact-checking scientists are spared. So is "the man on the street who thinks Rush Limbaugh is right. ... You all know that man. That man is an idiot. He is too stupid to do anything other than choke the earth's atmosphere a little more with his Mr. Pibb burps and his F-150's gassy exhaust."

But Weinstein's magnanimity ends there. Someone must pay. Weinstein suggests the government simply try the troublemakers and spokespeople. You know, the usual suspects. People like Limbaugh himself as well as ringleaders of political organizations and businesses that refuse to toe the line. "Those malcontents must be punished and stopped."

Weinstein says that this "is an argument that's just being discussed seriously in some circles." He credits Rochester Institute of Technology philosophy professor Lawrence Torcello for getting the ball rolling. Last month, Torcello argued that America should follow Italy's lead. In 2009, six seismologists were convicted of poorly communicating the risks of a major earthquake. When one struck, the scientists were sentenced to six years in jail for downplaying the risks. Torcello and Weinstein want a similar approach for climate change.

This is a great standard for free speech in America. Let's just agree that the First Amendment reads, "Nothing in this clause shall be considered binding if it contradicts legal practices in the Abruzzo region of Italy."

The truth is this isn't as new an outlook as Weinstein suggests. For instance, in 2009, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman insisted that "deniers" in Congress who opposed the Waxman-Markey climate change bill were committing "treason" while explaining their opposition on the House floor. (That same year, Krugman's fellow Timesman Thomas Friedman wrote that China's authoritarian system was preferable to ours, in part, because it lets "enlightened" leaders deal with climate change.)

"The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected," Krugman insisted. How fast the earth is changing is open to all kinds of debate, but short of an asteroid strike it won't change as fast as the global warming pessimists have claimed. For example, in 2008, Al Gore predicted that the North Pole ice cap would be ice-free by 2013. Arctic ice, which never came close to disappearing, has actually been making a bit of comeback lately.

Gore's prediction -- echoed by then-Sen. John Kerry and countless others -- was always ridiculous hyperbole. But even most serious, non-hyperbolic, computer-modeled predictions have overestimated the amount of warming we've experienced. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has had to retract several histrionic predictions, such as its erroneous prophecy that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035.

Its new report, out on Monday, contains a new raft of dire prophecies requiring trillions in new spending. If I greet it with skepticism, shall I pack a toothbrush for my trip to jail?

Climate-change activists insist that in science, revisions are routine, and that such corrections prove the good faith of scientists. Even if that's true, one might still note that incentives are unhealthily arranged so that even well-intentioned researchers are encouraged to exaggerate the dangers of climate change and discouraged to criticize hyperbole. Moreover, were it not for the skeptics and deniers, many such corrections would never have been brought to light. (My own view is that man plays some role in warming, but the threat is overblown and the popular remedies range from trivial to unaffordable to ridiculous.)

The real problem is that political activists and many leading institutions, particularly in the news media and academia, are determined to demonize any kind of skepticism -- about the extent of the threat or the efficacy of proposed solutions -- as illegitimate idiocy.

That attitude is unscientific and undemocratic enough. But it sure beats calling for your opponents to be thrown in the gulag for disagreeing with you.


British wind farms were paid £8.7million to switch OFF their turbines last month because they generated too much electricity

Every day we're urged to be more and more energy conscious.

But it has been revealed that wind farms were paid £8.7 million to switch off last month because there wasn't enough demand for the energy they generated.

And the National Grid has been making the 'constraint payments' for years, with £32 million paid in the last year to keep the turbines powered down.

According to the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), the 'largest monthly amount paid for wind farms not to generate (£8.7 million)' was in March of this year.

The turbines were shut down because, during periods of increased electricity generation and low-peak usage, there is not enough demand for energy.

There is currently no adequate method to store the large amounts of energy they produce when it's not being used, so the turbines must be turned off.

The 'constraint payments' are made to operators of various wind farms to stop them generating the surplus electricity.

'Wind farm constraints are essentially caused by difficulties in exporting excess wind electricity generated in Scotland,' the REF states on their website.

'In March 2014 approximately 12 per cent of the potential wind power output of large Scottish grid connected wind farms had to be constrained off the system, thus incurring costs to the consumer in the form of constraint payments.'

But the REF suggests that the wind industry is 'attempting to conceal the scale of this market abuse, by claiming that wind power receives less in constraint payments than conventional generation.

'This is untrue, and fails to convey the significant distinction between payments to conventional generators to start generating, and additional payments to wind power to stop generating.'

According to the National Grid, however, these payments are required to cope with periods of increased demand.

'Constraint payments are made when there is congestion on the network,' a spokesperson for the National Grid tells MailOnline.

'It's a bit like with motorways, you get jams but you wouldn't necessarily build new motorways to eliminate the jams.

'So using wind constraint payments we're expecting that to work out as more cost-effective than building lots of new pylons and wires.

'Our job is to manage the electricity system minute by minute.

'We choose whatever generation is the cheapest to constrain at a given time to keep costs as low as possible.

'Constraint payments can be made for any number of reasons, including high winds or parts of the grid being out for maintenance or improvement work.'

The amount of constraint payments has increased considerably since March 2013 when they amounted to just £10,000.

The National Grid says this due to a number of factors including windier weather over the past year and more wind turbines coming online.

But they hope to reduce constraint payments by increasing the capabilities of the network in the next two years.

By 2016 they plan to complete the £1 billion Western Link project 'that will have more than double the capacity from Scotland to England from 2.2GW in 2010 to 5.8GW in 2016.'



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


No comments: