Sunday, August 03, 2014

Kidney Stoned and Global Warming‏

You can correlate an increasing trend of one phenomenon to an increasing trend for any other thing and ... Eureka! ... someone stupid enough will attribute causation.

First of all, observations are affected by observation tools.  A year ago, my wife went to the ER in terrible abdominal pain.  They gave her two shots of morphine and antibiotics for a urinary tract infection.  When she continued to have pains in the following days, she saw a specialist who did an ultrasound scan and found a bulging in her kidney tract cause by a large stone that had recently passed.  The point being that there is a strong likelihood that better analysis reveals more incidents.

That said, there are many dietary factors that can increase the possibility of kidney stones, including higher protein consumption.  Strangely, my wife went on a low-carb, high protein, high fat diet several years ago.  But, no, it was global warming.

Anything to get published.

Above comment received from a reader

Senate Committee Report Details Environmentalists' Inner Workings

None dare call it a conspiracy

Over the past fifty years, America’s environmental movement has grown from college kids adorning flowers to a billion dollar industry. With huge budgets to employ lobbyists, lawyers, and public relations professionals, many of America’s leading environmental non-profits are unrecognizable from their modest beginnings. What may seem like an organic, disparate movement is actually a well oiled machine that receives its funding from a handful of super rich liberal donors operating behind the anonymity of foundations and charities, according to a new report out today by the Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW).

The EPW report titled The Chain of Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA meticulously details how the “Billionaires’ Club” funds nearly all of the major environmental non-government organizations (NGO), many media outlets, and supposed grassroots activists. The Billionaire Report continues by describing the cozy relationship many environmental groups have with the executive branch and the revolving door that makes this possible.

The most striking aspect of the Billionaire Report is the sheer amount of money that is in play. In 2011 alone, ten foundations donated upwards of half a billion dollars to environmental causes. Many of these foundations, whose assets are valued in the billions, meet and coordinate under the framework provided by the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA). Described as the “funding epicenter of the environmental movement,” EGA members doled out $1.13 billion to environmental causes in 2011. EGA’s membership is not public but its clout is self-evident given the amount of money its members direct to recognizable environmental NGOs.

Often times, EGA members will elect to indirectly fund organizations that are the face of the environmental movement. For example, instead of directly cutting a check to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) or the Sierra Club, the Hewlett Foundation or the Packard Foundation will contribute to the Energy Foundation. The Billionaire Report describes the Energy Foundation as “a pass through charity utilized by the most powerful EGA members to create the appearance of a more diversified base of support, to shield them from accountability, and to leverage limited resources by hiring dedicated energy/environment staff to handle strategic giving.”

Not all of this money is being used to write white papers about how wind is going to power our country or how the EPA should implement this or that regulation. In fact, millions of dollars from the Energy Foundation find their way into political spending. The Billionaire Report illuminates this process by showing how the Green Tech Action Fund is financed:

Between 2010 and 2012, both foundations [Hewlett Foundation and Packard Foundation] donated hundreds of millions of dollars to ClimateWorks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) foundation. ClimateWorks then gave nearly $170 million to the Energy Foundation. Hewlett and Packard gave directly to the Energy Foundation. The Energy Foundation then gave $5,676,000 to Green Tech, and ClimateWorks gave it $1,520,000. The Energy Foundation was incredibly brief, broad and vague in describing the purpose of its 2011 and 2012 grants of $1 million, respectively, to Green Tech. The 2011 description states: “To support clean energy policies,” while in 2012 the purpose is listed as: “To advance clean technology markets, especially energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.”

Green Tech, in turn, donated heavily to at least three 501(c)(4) far-left environmental activist organizations during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.

In addition to playing in national politics through the Energy Foundation, New York and California based foundations use a handful of other charities to prop-up local activist groups. The Billionaire Report looks at the efforts in New York and Colorado to prohibit and hamstring hydraulic fracturing:

A pseudo-grassroots effort to attack hydraulic fracturing has germinated from massive amounts of funding by three foundations: Schmidt Family Foundation, Tides Foundation and Park Foundation…In typical secretive billionaire donor fashion, the foundations’ funding was funneled through fiscal sponsors. Funding through these intermediary organizations, such as the Sustainable Markets Foundation (SMF) and Food & Water Watch, create distance between the wealthy foundations and alleged community-based outfits….

One scheme, led by the New York-based Park Foundation and California-based Schmidt Family Foundation, provides numerous grants to the New York-based SMF, which serves as the fiscal sponsor for multiple New York groups engaged in this effort, including Water Defense, Frack Action and Artists Against Fracking. During 2011, SMF gave $147,750 to Water Defense. The following year, SMF funneled a $150,000 grant “to support Water Defense” from Schmidt. Notably, Water Defense was founded in 2010 by actor Mark Ruffalo, who has an estimated net worth of $20 million and was listed on Time Magazines’ 2011 “People Who Mattered” for his anti-fracking efforts. In 2011, SMF gave Frack Action $324,198, with $150,000 stemming from Schmidt grants to SMF. Ironically, one of the Schmidt grants specified that $100,000 go “to support Frack Action’s grassroots campaign fighting for a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing” (emphasis added).

However, the mere funding from the California-based Schmidt demonstrates Frack Action’s campaign is anything but grassroots. In 2012, SMF received $185,000 for Frack Action through grants from Park and Schmidt. While the amount of money funneled to Yoko Ono’s Artists Against Fracking cannot be identified, as SMF’s 2012 IRS Form-990 is unavailable, Artists Against Fracking’s now-removed website directs donations to SMF.

While even passive political observers are aware of environmentalists’ political activities – who could forget American Lung Association’s coughing baby? – few people fully appreciate how interconnected the environmental movement is with the current White House and its regulatory agencies. For evidence of the environmental movement’s influence, look no further than the EPA’s recent GHG regulation for existing plants. This regulation, hailed by its supporters as the crowning achievement of the Obama Administration, drew heavily from a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) model regulation. The New York Times wrote that the EPA used NRDC’s regulation as its “blueprint.” NRDC’s clout within Democrat circles is well known and inspired the 2009 Greenwire article “NRDC Mafia Finding Homes on Hill, in EPA .”

But NRDC is by no means the only activist group with alumni in key executive branch positions. The Billionaire’s Report calls attention to Deputy Administrator for the EPA Bob Perciasepe was the former Chief Operating Officer of the National Audubon Society. The EPA’s Region 9 Administrator used to work for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund as well as the NRDC. Acting Administrator/Deputy Administrator for the Office of Water Nancy Stoner was Co-Director and Senior Attorney for NRDC’s Water Program. EPA’s Region 2 Administrator was previously the Executive Director of the Environmental Advocates of New York.

While former hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer may be grabbing headlines over his pledge to spend $100 million dollars this election cycle, it is clear that the modern environmental movement is already well funded and organized. Totaling more than 90 pages and containing over 400 citations, the Billionaire Report will begin an important conversation about who really funds the environmental left and what they really represent.


Updated list of 29 excuses for the 18 year 'pause' in global warming

"If you can't explain the 'pause', you can't explain the cause"

RSS satellite data showing the 18 year 'pause' of global warming

An updated list of at least 29 excuses for the 18 year 'pause' in global warming, including recent scientific papers, media quotes, blogs, and related debunkings:

1) Low solar activity

2) Oceans ate the global warming [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

3) Chinese coal use [debunked]

4) Montreal Protocol

5) What ‘pause’? [debunked] [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

6) Volcanic aerosols [debunked]

7) Stratospheric Water Vapor

8) Faster Pacific trade winds [debunked]

9) Stadium Waves

10) ‘Coincidence!’

11) Pine aerosols

12) It's "not so unusual" and "no more than natural variability"

 13) "Scientists looking at the wrong 'lousy' data"

 14) Cold nights getting colder in Northern Hemisphere

15) We forgot to cherry-pick models in tune with natural variability [debunked]

16) Negative phase of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation

17) AMOC ocean oscillation

18) "Global brightening" has stopped

19) "Ahistorical media"

20) "It's the hottest decade ever" Decadal averages used to hide the 'pause' [debunked]

21) Few El Ninos since 1999

22) Temperature variations fall "roughly in the middle of the AR4 model results"

23) "Not scientifically relevant"

24) The wrong type of El Ninos

25) Slower trade winds [debunked]

26) The climate is less sensitive to CO2 than previously thought [see also]

27) PDO and AMO natural cycles and here

28) ENSO

29) Solar cycle driven ocean temperature variations

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

The Environmental Corruption Agency

By Michelle Malkin

The lofty motto of the Environmental Protection Agency is "protecting people and the environment." In practice, however, EPA bureaucrats faithfully protect their own people and preserve the government's cesspool of manipulation, cover-ups and cronyism.

Just last week, Mark Levin and his vigilant Landmark Legal Foundation went to court to ask federal district judge Royce Lamberth to sanction the EPA "for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages that may have helped document suspected agency efforts to influence the 2012 presidential election." The motion is part of a larger Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to force EPA to release emails and related records from former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and others "who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election."

Thanks to Levin and Landmark, Jackson and other EPA officials admitted in depositions that they used personal, nongovernmental email accounts to hide communications about official EPA business sent and received on their government-issued BlackBerries and smart phones. The agency has continued to drag its feet for two years in response to Landmark's FOIA requests.

Levin minced no words: "The EPA is a toxic waste dump for lawlessness and disdain for the Constitution." Not to mention disdain for the public's right to know. As Levin added: "When any federal agency receives a FOIA request, the statute says it must preserve every significant repository of records, both paper and electronic, that may contain materials that could be responsive to that request."

The agency is legally obliged to notify all involved in the suit to preserve everything in their possession that could be discoverable in the litigation. But the feds have bent over backward to delay and deny. "(T)he people at the EPA, from the administrator on down, think they're above the law, that no one has the right to question what or how they do their jobs," Levin blasted. "Well, they're wrong. The laws apply to everyone, even federal bureaucrats."

That's a bedrock principle the EPA has defied over and over again. As I first reported 13 corruption-stained years ago in 2001, former EPA head Carol Browner oversaw the destruction of her computer files on her last day in office under the Clinton administration — in clear violation of a judge's order requiring the agency to preserve its records. Browner ordered a computer technician: "I would like my files deleted. I want you to delete my files." In 2003, the agency was held in contempt and fined more than $300,000 in connection with another email destruction incident under Browner's watch.

It was Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation — upheld by Judge Lamberth — that held the corruptocrats accountable then, as they are now.

As President Obama's energy czar, Browner went on to bully auto execs "to put nothing in writing, ever" regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated on a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. She was also singled out by Obama's own independent oil-spill commission for repeatedly misrepresenting scientists' findings and doctoring data to justify the administration's draconian drilling moratorium.

Browner previously had been caught by a congressional subcommittee using taxpayer funds to create and send out illegal lobbying material to more than 100 left-wing environmental organizations. She abused her office to orchestrate a political campaign by liberal groups, who turned around and attacked Republican lawmakers for supporting regulatory reform.

The names may change, but the politicized rot stays the same. The GOP staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issued a detailed report this week on the secretive "Billionaire's Club" behind EPA. The analysis exposed how a massive network of left-wing foundations, activists and wealthy donors exploits IRS-approved "charitable" status and tax-deductible donations to lobby illegally on behalf of the EPA and operate a "green revolving door" between government and far-left groups.

Among the key players: the Environmental Grantmakers Association, which coordinates green grants and refuses to divulge its membership list to Congress, and Democracy Alliance, the dark-money outfit led by Philip Gara LaMarche that does not disclose its members or donor-recipients.

"These entities propagate the false notion that they are independent citizen-funded groups working altruistically," according to the report. "In reality, they work in tandem with wealthy donors to maximize the value of the donors' tax-deductible donations and leverage their combined resources to influence elections and policy outcomes, with a focus on the EPA."

Saving the planet? Ha. The leftist-controlled Environmental Corruption Agency is only in business to serve its pals and subvert its political enemies, while endangering resource security and sabotaging the deliberative process. Real environmental protection starts with draining this fetid swamp.


British anti-fracking 'expert' and question marks over his credentials: Ex punk rocker 'lied and peddled pseudo science'

Anti-fracking campaigners describe him as ‘a world-class star of geological research’, but David Smythe was accused today of being less than totally honest about his credentials as a shale gas expert.

The retired geologist and former punk rock guitarist has been prominent in highlighting the dangers of fracking and last week helped to persuade a county council to reject an application to drill an exploratory shale well.

But a professor at his old university now accuses him of ‘pseudo-scientific scaremongering’.

The Geological Society has also written to Mr Smythe – who has the title ‘Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow’ – demanding that he stops claiming to be a chartered geologist.

Glasgow University, where he last worked in 1998, has told him he must not suggest that its academics share his views.

And Prof Paul Younger, Glasgow’s professor of energy engineering, said Mr Smythe – who played bass guitar in the 70s punk band The Rezillos – was unqualified to give expert evidence on fracking, having retired 16 years ago.

’He has published nothing on (shale gas) in any proper scientific forum – no doubt because he knows he would never get past peer review with his pseudo-scientific scaremongering.’

But Mr Smythe, 67, who now lives in the South of France, hit back saying he could find no publications on fracking by Professor Younger, adding: ‘So you could say he is no more an expert than me.’

In recent months Mr Smythe – who was head of Geophysics at Glasgow from 1988 until the department was closed in 1998 – has warned of the potentially serious environmental damage that fracking poses, including a huge risk of water contamination.

Last week he helped to persuade West Sussex County Council to reject an application by Celtique Energie to explore for shale oil, describing its application as ‘incomplete, incompetent and disingenuous.

He has also given evidence on behalf of campaigners against a subterranean methane project involving drilling 22 bore holes 800 metres deep into the Falkirk countryside.

Mr Smythe suggested the process of removing the gas could result in earthquakes becoming more likely in the area and potential contamination of streams and rivers, posing a threat to human health.

In a recent newspaper interview Professor Younger said: ’He falsely claims to be a chartered geologist. That’s fraudulent. It’s wilful untruth.

‘I am concerned about the damage to the reputation of the university by someone who never fails to use his university affiliation.’

Professor David Manning, president of the Geological Society, wrote last month to Mr Smythe telling him not to use the title ‘chartered geologist.’

David Smythe has given evidence on behalf of anti-fracking campaigns and claims to have done extensive research into unconventional energy extraction

Mr Smythe, who believes he may be an illegitimate descendant of Prince Albert, admitted that he should not have claimed to be a chartered geologist but said that it was a ‘completely trivial matter’ because he had been one once but had stopped paying his subscription in 1996.

But a spokeswoman for the Geological Society said that the title required proof of ‘continuous professional development’, not just payment of a subscription.

Mr Smythe, who lives in the Languedoc and rents out a self-catering apartment in his mansion overlooking the Canal du Midi, insists he had done extensive research into unconventional energy extraction.

He said Professor Younger sent him a ‘very abusive email’ after he appeared on a recent radio programme in Scotland ‘ accusing me of arm-waving and talking nonsense.’

Mr Smythe, whose 1970s punk band had its biggest success with a cover version of the Fleetwood Mac song ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight’ added: ’You could say it is sour grapes.’

The University of Glasgow confirmed Mr Smythe has right to use the title ‘emeritus professor’ and the retired scientist said he had never suggested that his views were shared by the university.

‘A lot of British academics have in effect been bought off by the oil industry. They depend on grants from that industry so they dare not speak out critically,’ he said.

‘I write reports [on fracking] for public inquiries to a very high standard because my aim is that I’m providing all the evidence if any such inquiry decision were to go to judicial review.’

Mr Smythe is advising Frack Free Fernhurst, a group opposing fracking in the South Downs national park.


Lunacy on sea: As Ministers agree to the world's biggest wind farm off Brighton, has Britain ever succumbed to a more catastrophic folly?

By Christopher Booker

What should be our reaction to daft stories like the one recently reported in the Daily Mail about the 60ft wind turbine put up by the Welsh government outside its offices in Aberystwyth to proclaim to the world just how ‘green’ it is?

Erected at a cost of £50,000 to the taxpayer, it turned out that this turbine was so absurdly inefficient it was providing only £5 worth of electricity a month. It would take more than 750 years to make the money back.

In recent years, we have seen plenty of little tales like this, showing how often those who build these mini-turbines just to promote the wonders of wind power seem to get horribly caught out.

There was, for instance, the windmill put up next to a school in Portland, Dorset, which had to be switched off because it was killing so many seagulls that the headmaster had to come in early every morning to remove their corpses, so the children wouldn’t be upset.

There were the turbines built next to the playgrounds of 16 schools in the north of Scotland, which had be shut down for ‘health and safety’ reasons after the blades of one flew off in a mere 40 mph wind - when, fortunately, no children were in range.

Then, of course, there was that babyish little windmill David Cameron wanted to put on the roof of his £2.7million Notting Hill home in West London. It would have provided enough current to power four low-energy light bulbs - but, fortunately, it provoked such protests from his neighbours that it was never heard of again.

On one level, we may find stories like this darkly comical. But it is time we stood back to take a more grown-up look at the very much larger and more serious picture of just where we are being taken by this infatuation with wind turbines, which lie at the very centre of our national energy policy.

Today, we already have more than 5,000 giant turbines, with 25,000 smaller versions.

They are proliferating so fast that from Cornwall to Caithness, East Anglia to Cumbria, hundreds of local protest groups have sprung up to say ‘enough is enough’.

But the crucial objection to this obsession with wind farms is not just that they disfigure our beautiful countryside or kill shocking numbers of bird and bats.

In purely practical terms, the real issue must surely be that they are so astonishingly useless at achieving what they are supposed to do. Put all those 5,000 giant turbines together and their combined output still averages less than that of our single largest coal-fired power station.

The obvious reason for this - though our politicians will never admit it - is that the wind is the most inefficient means of producing electricity ever devised, because it blows so variably and unpredictably.

In fact, the whole case for wind farms is based on a central, endlessly repeated lie.

This is the way in which its propagandists invariably talk about them only in terms of their ‘capacity’, by which they mean the amount of electricity they could produce if the wind was blowing at optimal speed 24 hours a day.

We are told about ‘capacity’ all the time - by the wind industry, politicians such as Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, the BBC and even the pages of Wikipedia.

But the truth is that, thanks to the wind’s unreliability, they will produce on average only between a quarter and a third of their ‘capacity’.

Often, indeed, when we need electricity the most, on freezing, windless days in mid-winter, they produce virtually no electricity at all.

Furthermore, far from providing us, as we’re told, with unlimited clean, green, free, planet-saving energy, wind farms are not just inefficient. They are also so ludicrously impractical that if we weren’t all forced to subsidise them to the tune of billions of pounds through our electricity bills, no one would ever dream of building them.

A cursory glance at the economics of the ‘smaller’ 100 ft-plus windmills and the giant turbines in massive wind farms illustrates my point.

When I looked at one of these smaller ones the other day, near where I live in Somerset, I was astonished to discover that, though it is 120 ft and would have cost at least £250,000 to install, it only has the ‘capacity’ to generate a maximum of 50 kilowatts at any given moment.

But allowing for the vagaries of the wind, its actual output will average a mere 13 kilowatts - barely enough to boil four kettles - at any one time.

Yet, for this, the owners can expect to receive £24,000 a year, of which a staggering £17,500 will be subsidy, paid for by all of us through our electricity bills.

The sums for giant turbines are just as shocking. Earlier this month, Mr Davey gave the go-ahead to his latest monster project, to build the largest wind farm in the world just off the Sussex coast, right opposite Brighton.

Davey gave the German energy firm E.on the green light to spend £2 billion on building 100 or more colossal turbines up to 700 ft tall, nearly 200 ft higher than the Blackpool Tower.

The ‘Rampion’ wind farm (so named, in yet another propaganda exercise, by the children of a Sussex primary school) will cover more than 60 square miles of the English Channel.

As even its developers say on their website, it will be visible all the way from Beachy Head to the Isle of Wight.

This mighty forest of turbines, we are told, will supply to the national grid ‘700 megawatts’ of power, enough to heat and light ‘450,000 homes’.

Yet, in truth, thanks to the vagaries of the wind, their actual output - as E.on’s own website admits in very small print - will be lucky to reach 240 megawatts, a third of that figure.

Even for this, E.on can hope to earn £325 million a year. Yet, shockingly, more than two-thirds of that sum, £220 million a year, will be paid by all of us in subsidies.

To see just how crazy this is in money terms, we can compare E.on’s wind farm with our latest large gas-fired power station, opened two years ago by another German firm, RWE, at Pembroke in south Wales.

Its capital cost was £1billion, half that of the wind farm. But, in return for that, the gas-fired plant can be relied on to generate nearly ten times as much electricity, 2000 megawatts, 24 hours of every day.

For that constantly available supply of power, even taking into account the price of gas compared with wind power which is free, the cost is £50 per megawatt hour. While for the wildly unreliable supply we shall get from Mr Davey’s monster wind farm, it is £155 per megawatt hour, more than three times as much.

This is the kind of mad mathematics I come across all the time when taking a hard look at the price we are increasingly having to pay for what I have called the great wind scam.

It’s this weird delusion that we can base more and more of our national electricity supply on subsidising ever more grotesquely expensive wind farms.

It is a course we first seriously embarked on in 2003 under Tony Blair. In 2008, Gordon Brown boasted that he wanted us to spend £100billion on wind farms.

It was a claim echoed by Chris Huhne, Davey’s Coalition predecessor as Energy secretary, who talked of how we would need to build as many as 30,000 turbines to achieve a government target, six times as many as we have now.

The reason why all our politicians feel they must aim for such recklessly ambitious targets is that, in 2007, Tony Blair agreed with his EU colleagues that Britain would, by 2020, be producing 15 per cent of our energy from ‘renewables’, such as wind power.

But Blair was so technically illiterate in making this pledge that he did not realise what he was letting us in for.

Because much of our energy, such as the gas we use to cook and heat our buildings, cannot be sourced from renewables, he was committing us to produce nearly a third of our electricity - 32 per cent - from renewables. And most of it had to come from wind power.

This was a far greater jump than that required from other EU members, which were already producing much more of their power from renewables such as hydro-electric schemes.

In practice, there is no conceivable way we could hope to achieve Huhne’s plan for 30,000 turbines. It would mean building 11 giant ones every day for the next six years, which is completely out of the question.

But that has not prevented Mr Davey and his colleagues from trying. And, in doing so, they are offering the mainly foreign-owned firms that build those wind farms subsidies which are higher than those available anywhere else in the world.

For onshore turbines, Davey is prepared to give wind farm owners a subsidy of nearly 100 per cent on top of the market rate for electricity.

However, subsidies for electricity provided by offshore wind farms is now more than twice as much - which is why firms from Germany, France, Sweden and other countries have been rushing to cash in on Britain’s unique subsidy bonanza.

But all this creates yet another huge practical problem that Mr Davey does his best to keep from public view. This is the fact that the more wind farms those subsidies call into being, the more we must look to conventional power stations to provide back-up for whenever the wind speed varies.

At the moment, by far the cheapest source of electricity is coal, still providing more than a third of our power and costing six times less than what we get from Mr Davey’s subsidised offshore wind farms.

But Mr Davey and his predecessors have been steadily closing down what they see as those dreadful, polluting, CO2-emitting coal-fired power stations - and the ones that remain are not flexible enough to provide the instant back-up needed to keep our lights on whenever the wind drops.

The more wind farms we build, the more we will need gas-fired power stations to provide that instantly available back-up, not just to keep our lights on but to keep our computer-dependent economy running at all.

And guess who is going to have to pay to keep those gas-fired plants permanently and expensively running on stand-by for when they are needed, chucking out more of Mr Davey’s hated CO2 than is saved by all his wind farms? We are, of course, through our electricity bills.

We are looking here at the makings of a national catastrophe: one that will not just push our electricity bills through the roof, but could well lead to major power cuts and blackouts.

This will be the price we pay for a bout of collective insanity over renewable energy, for which it is hard to think of any historical parallel. It truly is time we woke up to the reality of where this crazed obsession with wind turbines is leading us.

Rather like the mammoth new Rampion offshore wind farm, when it comes to our policy on wind farms, Britain really is all at sea.


Australia: Green Army ready to march (but it's not work for the dole)

Australia's alternative to the carbon tax is to plant trees etc.

The government's $525 million Green Army conservation initiative was rolled out on Saturday.

Launching the project at Carss Bush Park in Sydney's south, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt said it would be the largest environmental workforce the country had mobilised. About 2500 young people were expected to join up this year to work on 250 projects around Australia.

"It's six months of good work and good comradeship that you can come back and look at in the years ahead and say, 'I did that for my country'," Mr Abbott said.

"This is not a work for the dole project, I want to stress this. It's an environmental traineeship."

The workers would be paid between $10 to $16 an hour while engaged in the project, less than minimum wage but higher than the Newstart or Youth Allowance rate.

Mr Hunt said he didn't anticipate the hourly rate would discourage young Australians from signing up.

"They not only earn the funds, but most significantly the work skills, and hopefully they'll come out of it with certificates and occupational health and safety training and first aid training," he said.

The number of participants was expected to rise to 15,000 by 2018.

The Green Army, one of a range of proposals put forward by the federal government as an alternative to the repealed carbon tax, will recruit young Australians to engage in restoration and heritage protection projects.

The project will include pest animal management and the monitoring of threatened local animal species.

Workers will be able to obtain certificate I and II qualifications in various environmental fields for their efforts.



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


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