Monday, July 20, 2015
Take a bow for the new revolution
Americans are less inclined to be fooled again, or to “smile and grin at the change all around”
From the outset, President Obama directed his powerful government agencies and congressional allies to help him “fundamentally transform” the United States. Too many of them were eager to nationalize the nation’s healthcare system, ignore or rewrite inconvenient laws, control the internet and political speech, implement new regulations that imposed enormous costs for few or illusory benefits, and shut down oil, gas and coal in favor of expensive, unreliable, heavily subsidized wind, solar and biofuel energy.
We voters and citizens were supposed to “tip our hats to the new Constitution” and “take a bow for the new revolution,” as The Who put it in their classic song, “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
But now people seem less inclined to “smile and grin at the change all around.” They increasingly grasp the enormous costs of this ruling class totalitarian anarchy, refuse to get fooled again, and are telling Mr. Obama, “Your states and your citizens are beyond your command,” as Bob Dylan might say. Perhaps “the times are a-changing” once again, and “the losers now will be later to win” – in 2016 and beyond.
Pervasive signs certainly portend a newer revolution. Indeed, the reactions of some previous cheerleaders respond to the disdain the president often seems to show for their jobs and well-being. The energy and environment arena is only part of the total picture, but it’s a vitally important one.
Ozone. EPA is determined to implement stringent new ozone regulations – even though US ozone levels and overall air quality have improved steadily for decades, and the already tough 2008 ozone standards have not yet been fully implemented. This action would turn hundreds of cities and counties into nonattainment areas, impair manufacturing and transportation, cost up to $140 billion per year, and increase unemployment – for health benefits that are inflated or even fabricated.
A Small Business Entrepreneurship Council study found that EPA’s proposed rules would put numerous jobs at risk in a six-county Chicago area that is home to 65% of Illinois’ population, over 60% of its Latinos and 80% of its blacks, 73% of its GDP and 70% of its employment. With the unemployment rate already at 12% for Latinos and 25% for blacks, elected officials and business owners are alarmed.
The US Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, National Association of Regional Councils – Democrats and Republicans representing 19,000 cities, 3,000 counties and 500 councils – have all expressed deep concern and asked EPA to retain the 2008 ozone standards. So have the National and Illinois Black Chambers of Commerce, US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers.
They worry that the new rules would stifle economic growth and investment, and cause major job losses across the country. The rules set ozone standards lower than naturally occurring in many national parks. Thus far, EPA is ignoring the pleas, though Inside EPA says the agency may grant a one-year extension for some areas to comply with the 2008 standards, before slapping them with the newer diktats.
Coal-fueled electricity generation. The Obama EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) will force still more coal mines and power plants to close, imposing higher electricity costs on businesses and families, and causing lost jobs, lower incomes, higher poverty rates, reduced living standards, and diminished health and welfare. It will hit blacks and Hispanics especially hard and require families to pay $1,225 more per year for electricity, heating and air conditioning in 2030 than in 2012.
A dozen states have already sued EPA to prevent it from implementing the plan. They and other experts note that the CPP will bring no climate benefits, even if carbon dioxide actually is a major factor in global warming. In fact, even EPA admits it would prevent merely 0.03 degrees F of warming – because China, India, Germany and other countries are planning or building nearly 2,200 coal-fired power plants. That and increasing natural gas and gasoline use worldwide will raise atmospheric CO2 levels still higher.
Impacts on people. EPA’s rules are devastating coal-reliant communities. By 2020, they will cost 75,000 direct jobs in coal mines, power plants and railroads, a union study estimates; by 2035, job losses will reach 152,000. When secondary employment is included, the total impact will be some 485,000 lost jobs. This will also affect state tax revenues and funding for company pensions and retirement health care benefits, putting hundreds of thousands of current and future retirees in harm’s way.
EPA ignores the huge toll that job losses have on people’s health and welfare. Unemployed families find it harder to buy food, pay for doctor visits and medicine, give to churches and charities, save for college and retirement, and make mortgage, rent and car payments. They face less sleep, worse nutrition and more stress, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse, strokes and heart attacks.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) says “a lot of people on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum are going to die,” because of the CPP. Liberal constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe (who once hired Barack Obama as a legal research assistant) says the EPA plan is unconstitutional. National Black Chamber of Commerce President Harry Alford calls it “a slap in the face to poor and minority families.”
Trade unions. Once strong supporters of President Obama, the United Mine Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and other unions have come out in strong opposition to the Administration’s job-killing actions on the Keystone XL Pipeline and other initiatives.
Wind power. States are reducing or terminating Renewable Portfolio Standards and programs. Kansas, West Virginia and Indiana repealed their mandate, Ohio froze its standard at 2.5% renewable electricity, and North Carolina may freeze its RPS. Wildlife groups are finally recognizing and objecting to the serious habitat destruction and bird and bat slaughter that is a hallmark of wind and solar facilities.
Collusion. There is growing concern about the cozy ties and private meetings between EPA officials and eco-activists, their sue-and-settle deals, and EPA payments to advisory committees and environmental pressure groups that propagandize for agency actions. Far too many regulations have their origins in collusion, collaboration, and secretive input and “reports” from radical anti-hydrocarbon groups.
The Secret Science Reform Act would compel EPA to develop regulations and scientific studies in the open, and allow truly independent experts to examine and challenge data, evidence and studies that supposedly support EPA dictates that could cost billions of dollars and millions of jobs. It is long overdue.
The Supremes. Even if it must ignore the clear intent or language of laws like ObamaCare, the US Supreme Court has often been another reliable Obama rubberstamp. Yet it recently ruled in Michigan v. EPA that EPA violated the law by failing to consider monetary costs in deciding to regulate air pollution from power plants. The agency’s refusal to recognize the damage its regulations inflict on human health and welfare is a far more serious offense, and the agency must not be allowed to continue doing that.
Dwindling overseas support. Countries once enamored with “renewable” energy are now reexamining those policies, as they realize wind and solar energy kills four to six jobs for every “green” job created via unsustainable subsidies – and the electricity costs families and businesses up to 36-40 cents per kilowatt-hour (without counting taxpayer subsidies), compared to 8-9 cents per kWh in coal-reliant US states.
The African Development Bank says it will no longer tolerate policies that prevent construction of coal-fired power plants needed to bring electricity to 730 million Africans who do not yet enjoy the countless blessings that this miracle energy brings. About the only reason poor countries support a new climate treaty is that they (or at least their ruling elites) expect to share in the $100 billion per year that they claim developed nations must pay them for supposed global warming “reparation, mitigation and prevention.”
Far too many EPA and other environmental regulations are wrong for workers, families, states and the overall “quality of the human environment.” That’s why “there’s a battle outside raging.” Free, responsible citizens do not want or need to be “fundamentally transformed” by deceit, collusion and decree.
Big Media Ignores Nobel Physicist, Promotes Hollywood Climate Activists
By William F. Jasper
So, a world-famous scientist, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, delivers a scathing speech at an annual gathering of Nobel Laureates, during which he skewers President Obama (whom he previously endorsed and advised) for the president’s “ridiculous” claims that global warming is an existential threat. Did Dr. Ivar Giaever’s speech rate even a blip on the radar screen of the corporate Big Media?
Of course not. The “mainstream” media were completely occupied, falsely reporting for the umpteen time, for instance, on the supposed demise of polar bears — due, allegedly, to human-caused global warming. Or warning how anthropogenic global warming (AGW) may be causing sex changes in Australian lizards. Or broadcasting the never-ending cascade of environmental tirades from the pampered Hollywood jet set scolding us middleclass folks for our “wasteful” lifestyles that, they say, are killing the planet.
What did Dr. Giaever say to the assembled Nobel Laureates? “I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong,” the celebrated scientist told his distinguished audience. Moreover, he said, climate alarmism is based on “pseudoscience” that has become a “religion” with many people, including scientists. Global warming, he said, during his 30-minute address to the 65th Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany, on July 1, is a “non-problem” on which untold billions of dollars are being wasted.
Dr. Giaever, a professor for many years at the School of Engineering and School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (as well as other universities), received the 1973 physics Nobel for his work on quantum tunneling. Among the comments he made to the Nobel audience, Giaever accused NASA and federal scientists of “fiddling” with temperature data. “They can fiddle with the data. That is what NASA does,” he charged.
One might think that these and the many other comments on global warming he made might be deserving of a headline or two, yes? A reporter or editor in a newsroom somewhere in the world should find that interesting, wouldn’t you think? Especially since 2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the year for passing a global climate compact, and repetitious disaster stories on the supposedly imminent global warming apocalypse continue, relentlessly, to churn out of every Big Media outlet.
But, no, the globalist media choir are not interested in stories that run counter to the scripted alarmist narrative that supports the agenda for global “governance.” Instead of hearing from distinguished scientists — including renowned converts from global warming alarmism — news consumers who rely on the major corporate media are fed a monotonous diet of AGW disaster hoaxes and “expert” rants from Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Brangelina, et al.
Here is a sampling of the menu that was served to Big Media consumers in the two-week period since Professor Giaever spoke to the assembled Nobel Laureates:
* Washington Post (July 1) — Headline: “Global warming may cause sex changes in lizards.” Seriously, we are supposed to fret that driving an SUV may be causing wild populations of Pogona vitticeps to undergo sex reversal. (Well, looking at the bright side, at least the taxpayers won’t get stuck with sex-change operations for every confused reptile with a Bruce/Caitlyn identity complex.)
* Reuters, Salon.com, Tech Times and others (June 30-July 5) — Headline: “Robert Redford calls for global action on climate change.”
* Associated Press (July 5) — Headline: “Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming.” Yes, yet another polar bear false alarm, one of the favorite go-to myths of the AGW alarmists. However, as we have reported here, here, and here, the scientists who are genuine experts on polar bear populations have repeatedly refuted these alarmist claims.
* Huffington Post, Toronto Star and others (July 5) — Headline “Jane Fonda sounds climate change alarm in Toronto.” Yes, its certainly earth-shaking “big news” when aging former star (and Vietnam War traitor) Jane Fonda jets in from Los Angeles to Toronto’s “Climate Summit of the Americas” and “March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate” to deliver a wearisome jeremiad on the evils of fossil fuels.
* NBC, UPI, Guardian, and others (July 14) — Headline: “Leonardo DiCaprio's Foundation Pledges $15M to Protect Wildlife, Combat Global Warming.” "The destruction of our planet continues at a pace we can no longer afford to ignore," DiCaprio said in a statement. "We have a responsibility to innovate a future where the habitability of our planet does not come at the expense of those who inhabit it. I am proud to support these organizations who are working to solve humankind’s greatest challenge."
The organizations he supports are some of the most fanatically zealous AGW alarmists that demand global resource controls and drastic energy consumption reductions for humanity (except, naturally, for the privileged royals, such as DiCaprio). Yes, this is the same Leonardo DiCaprio who owns several luxurious, multi-million-dollar residences and lives a globe-hopping lifestyle on private jets, helicopters, yachts, and limousines.
* The Sunday Times, Hello.com, theguardian.com, inquisitor.com, and others (July 11-14) — Headline: “Kate Moss, George Clooney and Sienna Miller join forces for Vivienne Westwood.” The story features photos of actors George Clooney, John Hurt, Pamela Anderson, Sienna Miller, and Judy Dench, actress/songstress Kylie Minogue, super models Kate Moss and Naomie Campbell — and dozens of other celebrities who donned “Save the Arctic” T-shirts created by fashion designer/activist Vivienne Westwood.
Clooney is one of the A-list stars that has gone full-tilt into the AGW alarmist camp. His "Tomorrowland" sci-fi/enviro-agitprop film that opened in May was a mega-flop, barely recouping $90 million of the $190 million Disney spent on it. Clooney has used every opportunity to push the climate zombie apocalypse theme and to denounce as “stupid” and “ridiculous” all skeptics/realists that dare to question the absurd claims of the warmists.
Naturally, he supports the UN agenda for global controls to restrict consumption — except for his own. Variety magazine reported on July 16 the celebrity scuttlebutt that Clooney is planning to downsize his real estate portfolio, putting his opulent villa on Italy’s famously scenic Lake Como (asking price, reportedly, $100 million) and his beachfront mansion at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (asking price undisclosed). But don’t worry, Clooney and his bride will not be homeless; they still own several residences, including their recently purchased mansion on a private island estate on the Thames River near London (reportedly, for $12 million plus).
The examples cited above could be multiplied many times over, as the UN and its Big Media allies have launched a concerted propaganda blitz to supersaturate the public with doomsday stories that they hope will win support for the UN’s draconian climate, to be unveiled in Paris in December.
However, considering Big Media’s massive wall-to-wall, 24/7 hyperventilation over global warming for the past two decades, there is always the risk that dialing up the propaganda noise a few more clicks will actually alienate many in the targeted audience that are tiring of the Chicken Little routine.
There are indicators that is already happening. A recent story on Google search trends notes that searches for climate related topics have taken a noticeable dive. Eric Worral, writing for the popular climate realist site, Wattsupwiththat.com, reports: “According to Google search trends, interest in climate change continues to bump along rock bottom, despite strenuous efforts by alarmists to hype climate issues, in the lead up to the upcoming Paris COP21 conference. Even Google’s information engineering efforts have failed to stir general interest in climate change.”
According to Visual News, despite Google’s efforts to stir interest, searches related to climate change “are going down.” Visual News reported:
"Google recently released a beautiful interactive visualization that explores search volumes for phrases related to climate change. Curious to see how “global warming,” “energy” or “oceans” are trending around the world? Google put those and other popular searches on the map, highlighting recent searches and data from 20 cities around the globe.... The troubling takeaway from these trends? While climate change grows more and more imminent, search volumes for many terms related to it are going down."
Perhaps the downturn in AGW interest is due to the fact that many more people are becoming aware that, contrary to the hype from politicians, activists and partisan media organizations, there has been no global temperature increase for nearly two decades. This is now admitted even by many of the top AGW alarmists.
Or perhaps they are becoming more aware of the numerous hoaxes, fraudulent computer models, flawed science, censorship, financial corruption, and Climategate scandals associated with the massive AGW alarmism industry. Or, maybe it’d simply climate alarmism fatigue.
At any rate, it is clear that the Big Media purveyors of global warming apocalypse are committed to that narrative, and are not going to allow any real debate of issue, even if contrarians happen to be prominent scientists. We’ll still be force-fed doomsday disinformation by vacuous, self-righteous, overindulgent celebrities.
However, Dr. Giaever is not a lone maverick, as the alarmist choir would have us believe. As The New American has reported many times, there are literally thousands of renowned scientists, including many prominent climatologists, paleo-climatologists, meteorologists, astrophysicists, atmospheric scientists, etc., that have also spoken out to challenge the false “consensus” of science on global warming alarmism.
Maryland Bans Fracking Despite Governor’s Opposition
Maryland has placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking,” for energy extraction in the state until October 2016. The bill became law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) signature and contrasts strongly with Oklahoma’s embrace of fracking.
Hogan was elected in 2014 after campaigning as a strong supporter of fracking. During the campaign, he cited a 2014 study from Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute that found hydraulic fracturing in western Maryland could generate more than 3,000 jobs and upwards of $5 million in new tax revenue each year during peak drilling. Hogan said the state was “sitting on an economic gold mine.”
The law, approved by veto-proof margins in both houses of the Democrat-controlled legislature, went into effect May 29.
Lack of Knowledge Cited
Gary Stone, vice president of engineering for Five States Energy, says Maryland’s limited experience with the process and benefits of fracking may have contributed to support for the ban. “Maryland joined New York and succumbed to a coalition of environmental activists and others under the ‘Don’t Frack Maryland’ campaign to pass a veto-proof two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing,” Stone said.
“Oklahoma has tens of thousands of producing wells, while Maryland has 11 total historical gas wells, [and] none are horizontal wells that would have been hydraulically fractured,” Stone said.
“Oklahomans obviously know more about the advantages and disadvantages of modern oil and gas production and have produced legislation accordingly.”
Time to question IPCC authority on climate change science
IPCC garners public distrust as the scientific authority on global warming. Why? In the words of Alan Carlin, former EPA analyst: "IPCC is basically a political/propaganda organization rather than a scientific one."
In his book entitled “Environmentalism Gone Mad,” Carlin points to the IPCC as acting with that eco-political malady. Scientists selected to draft IPCC reports qualify with more ideological mentality than they do with scientific merit. IPCC science is all too often penned by academic eco-activists or graduate-student activists in training. IPCC cherry-picks its science through the filter of its catastrophic perspective.
Carlin claims that IPCC reports are designed to present the case for man made global warming. That humans induce the world to warm up is their one-sided focus. IPCC neglects any natural contributions such as solar variation or multidecadal ocean cycles. Carlin points to facts left out when IPCC points its accusatory finger at people causing catastrophe by simply living on earth.
With every IPCC report that is issued comes an Executive Summary, as it is called in business, except for the IPCC it’s a Summary for Policymakers, not for business executives. This means that IPCC summaries are nothing more than a reader’s digest of politically correct "science" for supportive governments. Rather than full reports, the Summaries are what are read widely through the world’s media markets, reading with the alarmist rhetoric that governments, like the U.S., like to hear.
One problem: The 19-year hiatus in global warming belies the catastrophic caca of climate model predictions. Scientific evidence against runaway temperature rise grows stronger, making IPCC reports look more political statements than they are scientific ones they should be. What, we should worry about global warming when there isn't any?
IPCC aggressively pushes the invalid hypothesis of a warming earth while the U.S. government wastes more than $39 billion for politically correct climate research. Add $43 million more wasted for IPCC assessments. That’s a lot of U.S. taxpayer money to toss down the rising-temperature toilets. Your money and mine fund a power-grabbing fantasy.
Oh, and, speaking of grabbing, fantasies, and bathroom behavior, Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC for 13 years, resigned his post this year on the ignobility of a sex scandal involving a junior colleague.
And now that actual temperature data bely the gaffe of global warming, another myth in the making spews from IPCC “certainty.” Extreme weather events now come as consequence to rising CO2 emissions, never mind that their frequency and severity remain unchanged or lower compared to past historical records. IPCC demands that action must be taken now. And it is, by TV and radio reporting any non-idyllic weather as caused by global warming.
It’s time to question international authority the IPCC holds on the science of climate change and set scientists of individual nations free to research the issue unencumbered by world politics.
When Will Climate Scientists Say They Were Wrong?
By Patrick J. Michaels
Day after day, year after year, the hole that climate scientists have buried themselves in gets deeper and deeper. The longer that they wait to admit their overheated forecasts were wrong, the more they are going to harm all of science.
The story is told in a simple graph, the same one that University of Alabama’s John Christy presented to the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 15.
The picture shows the remarkable disconnect between predicted global warming and the real world.
The red line is the 5-year running average temperature change forecast, beginning in 1979, predicted by the UN’s latest family of climate models, many of which are the handiwork of our own federal science establishment. The forecasts are for the average temperature change in the lower atmosphere, away from the confounding effects of cities, forestry, and agriculture.
The blue circles are the average lower-atmospheric temperature changes from four different analyses of global weather balloon data, and the green squares are the average of the two widely accepted analyses of satellite-sensed temperature. Both of these are thought to be pretty solid because they come from calibrated instruments.
If you look at data through 1995 the forecast appears to be doing quite well. That’s because the computer models appear to have, at least in essence, captured two periods of slight cooling.
The key word is “appear.” The computer models are tuned to account for big volcanoes that are known to induce temporary cooling in the lower atmosphere. These would be the 1982 eruption of El Chichon in Mexico, and 1992’s spectacular Mt. Pinatubo, the biggest natural explosion on earth since Alaska’s Katmai in 1912.
Since Pinatubo, the earth has been pretty quiescent, so that warming from increasing carbon dioxide should proceed unimpeded. Obviously, the spread between forecast and observed temperatures grows pretty much every year, and is now a yawning chasm.
It’s impossible, as a scientist, to look at this graph and not rage at the destruction of science that is being wreaked by the inability of climatologists to look us in the eye and say perhaps the three most important words in life: we were wrong.
Three current articles below
Australia tops the world for climate change skepticism
Nearly one in five Australians do not believe in climate change, making the country the worst in the world for climate sceptics, a study of almost 20,000 people has found.
The research by the University of Tasmania found 17 per cent of Australians thought climate change was not real, compared with 15 per cent of people in Norway, 13 per cent of New Zealanders and 12 per cent of Americans.
The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, was based on data collected as part of the International Social Survey Programme in 2010 and 2011.
Researchers focused on 14 industrialised countries, including Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, New Zealand and the United States. In total, 19,991 people were surveyed.
It found the reasons for being a climate sceptic varied according to the political context of each country.
However, people across the board were more likely to be sceptics in countries that had high carbon emissions, and also more likely to be sceptics if their countries were vulnerable because of climate change.
In nine of the 14 countries, men were more likely than women to be sceptical about the danger of climate change.
Being politically conservative, male, and having a low level of concern for the environment were some indicators shared internationally that predicted whether people were more likely to be climate sceptics.
But the study also challenged some notions of climate scepticism, finding a modest number of people who reject climate science around the world were well-informed.
"Despite the findings of climate scientists, the proportions of climate sceptics appear to be increasing in many countries," the study said.
The reasons for this were varied and complex and warranted further investigation.
"Fruitful explanations of scepticism must ... account for the way in which partisans are influenced by their political leaders.
"Integrating such accounts may provide a way to both understand and address the social problem of climate scepticism."
The study surveyed 1946 respondents from Australia and was designed to be nationally representative.
In Australia, where views on climate change were described as "entrenched", or socially embedded, those who identified with left-leaning political parties were more likely than supporters of right-leaning parties to believe climate change is dangerous for the environment.
Highly educated people and those who lived in a large city were also less likely to be climate sceptics.
The journal abstract:
Despite the findings of climate scientists, the proportions of climate sceptics appear to be increasing in many countries. We model social and political background, value orientations and the influence of CO2 emissions per capita and vulnerability to climate change upon climate scepticism, drawing upon data from the International Social Survey Programme. Substantial differences in the levels of climate scepticism are apparent between nations.
Yet cross national data show that climate sceptics are not merely the mirror image of environmentalists. Typical predictors of environmental issue concern, such as education level, postmaterial value orientations and age are poor predictors of climate scepticism.
Affiliation with conservative political parties, gender, being unconcerned about ‘the environment’ or having little trust in government are consistent predictors of scepticism. Climate change scepticism is also correlated positively with CO2 emissions and vulnerability to climate change.
While high levels of scepticism have been documented among citizens of the United States, scepticism is as high or higher in countries such as Australia, Norway and New Zealand.
Australian Federal minister Takes To Twitter To Threaten Green Groups Will Lose Their Charity Status
Federal Queensland Liberal-National Party politician George Christensen has issued what appears to be a veiled threat to non-government organisations to “get the donations in” before a committee he sits on strips environmental charities of their tax-exempt status.
Yesterday, the National Party Deputy Whip grilled environmental groups in the first of a series of public hearings which the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment will stage as it considers whether to strip environmental organisations from receiving tax-free donations.
The Queensland Minerals Council - which has allied itself to Christensen in the debate over how huge new coal mines in the Galilee Basin will affect the Great Barrier Reef - appeared first, yesterday morning.
Then Christensen turned his attention to environmental groups, who he described as “morons” during a technical exchange over whether land should be considered to be part of the Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystem.
Felicity Wishart from the Australian Marine Conservation Society was interrogated by the Queensland MP, whose electorate takes in a swathe of coastline adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef.
“He was questioning me about our commitment to accurate information that wasn’t misleading and then trying to grasp at straws and find something that we had done that was misleading,” Wishart told New Matilda.
The Marine Conservation Society had used an image in its campaign material which superimposed a ‘grab dredger’ over the Calley Valley Wetlands and an image of Abbot Point Port, 25km north of Bowen.
Reportedly, Christensen’s main gripes were that the wetlands are ‘not part of the reef’, and the type of dredge to be used for the Abbot Point Port expansion was ‘suction dredger’, not a ‘grab dredger’.
While maintaining the wetlands are an important part of the reef’s ecosystem, Wishart said that the image of a grab dredger was a metaphor for the “one million cubic metres of dredge spoil… that was to be dumped on the wetlands” under previous plans.
After grilling Wishart about the integrity of her organisation’s campaigning, Christensen took to Twitter insisting “they were caught out fibbing, and the committee will sort these sort of lies out”.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society denounced Christensen for “unparliamentary” behaviour, accusing him of “announcing the outcome of the inquiry before it has concluded”, but Christensen said he was “just reading the tea leaves”.
Christensen has previously attacked “gutless green grubs” and “eco-terrorists” for campaigning to win more stringent protections for the reef and battling against an increase in Queensland’s coal exports, which would pump out emissions roughly equal to those created by the United Kingdom, South Africa, or Italy.
The Member for Dawson, who has questioned widely accepted understandings of climate science, has a history of Tweet-controversy. Last month he was forced into an apology over comments linking the American right to bear arms with a recent court decision which legalised marriage equality across the US.
Yesterday, at the inquiry, groups like the AMCS got the distinct impression Christensen was pressing the gun harder to their temples.
“This sounds very much like a government member of the Inquiry threatening environment groups who have been vocal about issues like dredging, dumping and increased shipping in the Reef’s waters,” said Wishart, who acts as a Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director.
In late March, Wishart’s work was singled out as part of a pack of “extreme greens” working for organisations like “Greenpeace, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Friends of the Earth, Get Up, and the Environmental Defenders Office” who Christensen said “act like Wormtongue from The Lord of the Rings”.
“That is treason,” Christensen told Parliament, “flying overseas and whispering in the ears of the decision-makers and diplomats who have anything to do with UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee, poisoning their minds on the state of the reef”.
“What treachery,” Christensen said, “to go against the interests of your own nation and your own people for no sound reason at all!”
Rare praise for conservative environment policy from the Australian Left
In a major break from convention, New Matilda brings you a positive story about an Abbott Government initiative.
The Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt will unveil “Australia’s first national strategy for threatened species” at a summit in Melbourne later today, along with new funding and a shortlist of the most at-risk bird species.
The plans have been cautiously welcomed by environmental groups, but they agree with Hunt that “we have to work harder” to turn back the nation’s shocking extinction rate.
As part of the announcement Hunt has unveiled a list of 12 Australian birds singled out for “priority action”. “I want to bring these birds back far enough from the brink to survive in the wild long-term,” Hunt said ahead of the summit yesterday.
The 12 birds, which are the frontrunners of a list of 20 birds to be decided after one year’s consultation with the community, include the Helmeted Honeyeater, Hooded Plover, Eastern Bristlebird, Regent Honeyeater, Mallee Emu-Wren, Plains-Wanderer, Night Parrot, Alligator Rivers Yellow Chat, Norfolk Island's Green Parrot and Boobook owl.
“Two more – the Orange-Bellied Parrot and Western Ground Parrot – will benefit from emergency interventions,” Hunt said.
In 2010, research indicated that the critically endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot had dwindled to a wild population of just 50 birds, and Hunt said the new strategy for threatened species would include an “emergency intervention” to help secure its future.
The parrot, which at around 200mm long is slightly larger than a budgerigar, breeds in Tasmania but wings its way to the mainland in Winter to forage in coastal salt marshes.
The critically endangered Western Ground Parrot is even smaller, at around 135-145mm, and the green, black-flecked, Western Australian native has been pushed to less than 140 individuals.
Hunt said the government is “committed to improving their fortunes within five years,” and that he “wants future generations to enjoy the colour, movement and song [the threatened birds] bring to our lives”.
He said the threatened species plan “will clearly set out what will happen by when, turning good intentions into clear and measurable targets”.
“The recovery of 20 bird species by 2020 is one such target.”
New South Wales government projects to protect two of the 12 species will also get a boost of federal funds, with Hunt promising a cumulative $140,000 to help conserve the plains-wanderers of the Riverina and the south coast’s Hooded-Plover.
Hunt said “it is possible to recover birds at risk of extinction because we have access to high quality science and can act in partnership with the community and other governments,” but a number of environmental groups have used the Threatened Species Summit in Melbourne to sound the alarm over a proposed government reform.
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
Posted by JR at 12:37 AM