Thursday, January 12, 2017
Forget suing VW. We should all be claiming millions for other 'green' lunacies that literally cost the Earth
Oh, how I wish I’d kept hold of my Skoda Yeti. If only I hadn’t just sold it, I might have stood to make a cool £3,000 in compensation from the class action being brought by motorists against Volkswagen and its sister brands (Audi, Skoda, Seat) as a result of the Dieselgate emissions scandal.
Like many duped motorists, I acquired my diesel car in the naive belief that it would not only be more efficient and cost-effective than a petrol one, but also that it was better for the environment. We now know that this green myth is a nonsense.
The particulate matter produced by diesel engines is toxic, polluting and may be responsible for tens of thousands of deaths annually across Europe.
Some manufacturers such as Volkswagen have known this for ages, but rather than lose business it rigged emissions tests to make its cars seem more eco-friendly than they actually were.
Clearly, VW deserves to be punished for its duplicity. But in my view, it is not nearly the culprit most deserving of a punitive law suit. What about the successive governments — in Britain and across the EU —which massively increased the growth of diesel through tax breaks and subsidies?
What about the scientists who came up with the dodgy theory that diesel was somehow cleaner and healthier because it supposedly helps combat climate change? What about all the green pressure groups and campaigning eco journalists who pushed for this dangerous and wrongheaded legislation?
The truth is that when it comes to damage, expense and misery caused by woolly-headed green ‘thinking’, the VW emissions scandal is but the tiniest tip of a vast iceberg.
In the name of saving the planet, lives and livelihoods have been destroyed, landscapes blighted, jobs killed, wildlife eradicated, prosperity reduced, science corrupted, kids brainwashed: in fact, forget the class suit against VW, it’s about time we all had some compensation for the deceptions of the green lobby.
Let’s start with the size of the global climate change industry, which on the back of government subsidies and policy-making has grown into a behemoth worth $1.5 trillion (£1.24 trillion) a year, according to the Climate Change Business Journal — similar to what we spend annually on online shopping.
But while we willingly choose to part with our money on Amazon and eBay for stuff we want and need, much environmental spending is forced on us by government diktat and squandered on often pointless, wasteful projects we have no control over.
Consider the latest UK scandal, where in Northern Ireland the Belfast government will cost the taxpayer more than £1 billion because of a mismanaged renewable heat incentive scheme.
For every £100 they spent on eco-friendly energy, businesses were bribed with a £160 rebate.
Because no cap was placed on the incentive, businesses piled in to take advantage — one enterprising farmer even heated a vast, empty warehouse to claim the subsidy — with costs to the taxpayer wildly out of control.
Perhaps we should be grateful that it has now led to the resignation of Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister and former IRA terrorist Martin McGuinness — but it seems a ruinously expensive way to have got rid of him.
Almost anything with the word ‘renewable’ in it means eye-watering expense and intolerable waste. In Wales last week, an experimental tidal energy project, much of its £18 million cost funded by the EU and the Welsh government, went into administration within months after a sonar to protect seals, porpoises and dolphins had failed.
This hardly bodes well for the highly questionable £1 billion tidal lagoon project being mooted for Swansea Bay.
As for solar and wind energy, which produce about 14 per cent of Britain’s power, their costs to consumers are vastly increased thanks to subsidies.
Last October, the National Audit Office stated that Britain’s renewable electricity subsidies would be £8.7 billion a year by 2020-21. ‘This is equivalent to £110 on the typical household dual fuel energy bill,’ the NAO added.
On top of this, we have nuclear — in particular, Hinkley Point C, the white elephant nuclear energy project planned for the Somerset coast that Theresa May inherited from David Cameron and was once described as the ‘worst deal in history’.
The technology is untested. Similar projects in Normandy and Finland have encountered such serious design and construction problems they are running years over schedule and billions of euros over budget.
Yet Britain is committed to spending £24 billion on Hinkley — mostly in subsidies, through increased electricity bills, to the French and Chinese — for the world’s most costly energy.
This makes no commercial sense, but that was never the point: the UK government needed nuclear, at whatever cost, so as to help meet the swingeing carbon dioxide reduction targets to which it is legally bound by Ed Miliband’s disastrous 2008 Climate Change Act.
The Act, dreamed up at the height of the global warming scare, was designed to ‘decarbonise’ Britain’s economy.
Like foreign aid, the measures were more extreme than in other countries. The Act will cost the taxpayer £18 billion every year till 2050 and has since been used to justify all manner of crazy government schemes such as the anaerobic digester scam where developers are paid to convert agricultural waste into gas.
Several major pollution incidents and at least one explosion later, that scheme has cost taxpayers £216 million a year in subsidies.
And you really don’t need to be a climate sceptic to realise it’s all money down the drain.
Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg has done the calculations: even if, from now on, all the countries in the world stick to the very modest carbon reduction targets they agreed in Paris last year, the effect on the world’s temperatures will be to reduce ‘global warming by the end of this century by a total of 0.17c: less than one-fifth of a degree’.
So, according to Lomborg, the benefit of all this expensive renewable energy is minimal compared with the cost. Added to all of this are the damaging side-effects, which are many and varied: vulnerable and elderly people driven into fuel poverty because of energy prices made artificially high by renewables subsidies; plus children brainwashed in schools by being fed scaremongering propaganda such as Al Gore’s discredited movie on global warming An Inconvenient Truth.
Then there’s the corruption and distortion of science by the flood of government research grants for projects that can show a connection, however tenuous, with the magical words ‘climate change’; and the misallocation of resources, whereby money is squandered on state-subsidised industries such as offshore wind turbines.
But maybe the worst thing of all about the bloated creature they call the Green Blob is the huge amount of damage it does to the environment in the name of saving it.
This was what first drew me to the subject: my growing disgust, as someone who loves wildlife and adores the British countryside, that misguided green policies are destroying our planet.
Instead of just burning coal as it was designed to, for example, our biggest power station Drax has been converted at vast cost to run partly on wood chips shipped over from the U.S.
These chips are cut from hardwood forests in North Carolina, and subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of £500 million a year, in a process that actually increases carbon emissions.
It’s madness — and it’s happening across Europe, too, with protected forests felled to meet EU renewable energy targets.
Meanwhile, in Asia, Africa and South America, primary rain forest is being felled to grow palm oil plantations to create eco-friendly biofuels.
And what about wind turbines which kill millions of birds and bats every year, including protected species such as eagles and rare migratory birds?
The tide is turning, thank heaven. Whatever you think of President-elect Donald Trump, one thing’s certain: he’s determined to rein in an awful lot of the green lunacy that’s cost the planet so dear for decades now.
And those ‘future generations’ the greens are always banging on about? I don’t think they’ll thank us for the damage we did in their name. They’ll look back on this era of eco-lunacy with astonishment and ask: how could our great-grandparents be so dumb? Why didn’t they sue?
Greenie wisdom about diesel crumbles
Modern diesel cars produce more than twice as much toxic gas as a lorry or bus of the same age, analysis has found.
There is less risk of inhaling dangerous levels of nitrogen oxides from standing beside a new lorry or bus with its engine running than standing beside a car, according to the research. The results strengthen the case for tougher pollution tests for cars, which will be debated this month by EU states.
About 25,000 deaths a year in England can be linked to vehicle emissions, and nitrogen oxides from diesel engines are one of the main pollutants. They inflame the lungs, cause respiratory diseases such as asthma and have been linked to a raised risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
That global warming sure is versatile: For years it was causing drought in CA. Now it is causing flooding
Bill Nye took to Twitter to blame man-made global warming for flooding across Northern California that claimed at least three lives over the weekend.
Nye, who rarely misses a chance to link extreme weather to human activities, suggested California’s flooding meant we’d be better off not pulling out of the United Nations Paris agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
President-elect Donald Trump promised to “cancel” the Paris agreement the Obama administration signed in 2016. The Senate never voted on the agreement.
Two storms hit California over the weekend due to an “atmospheric river” phenomenon that brought torrential rain and snow to the northern reaches of the Golden State. The atmospheric river plays a bigger role on the U.S. West Coast where it brings huge amounts of rain — sometimes half the rain these states get in a year.
The events are nothing new. California was hit by a string of storms in 1986 that caused massive flooding. The floods killed 13 people, displaced another 50,000 and did $400 million in property damage.
Similar events happened in the 1990s and 2000s. The current flooding has killed at least three people and shut down parts of major highways.
Floods can be devastating, and scientists predict they could become more frequent and intense due to man-made global warming. The data doesn’t seem to suggest flooding is on the rise.
About 60 percent of the locations the EPA measures show a decrease in “magnitude and intensity since 1965,” according to University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke Jr.
Pielke also found that flood damage has been declining as a proportion of the U.S. economy since 1940 — that way you control for population growth and development.
On a global scale, there’s little to no evidence flooding events have been on the rise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found in 2013 that “there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”
German Green Party pledges to pay for free sex with prostitutes for anyone who needs 'sexual assistance' and can't afford it
Sex with prostitutes will be paid for by the Government for anyone too poor for a hooker and deemed to need sexual assistance under German Green Party plans.
The party's care spokeswoman Elisabeth Scharfenberg says doctors should have the right to issue the free prescriptions to their patients for ladies of the night.
Prostitution is legal in Germany and carries little of the taboos associated with it in many other countries.
There are brothels in virtually every town and a trend recently began with working girls offering 'sexual assistance' to dementia sufferers, the handicapped and people living in care homes.
Depending on the brothel, the services range from 'affectionate touching' to bondage, fetishism and full sex.
But no law exists for the client to claim for the costs of his or her visit as a medical expense.
The Greens want to change that, based on a law that has been in place in the neighbouring Netherlands for some time.
'I can imagine a public financing of sexual assistance,' Scharfenberg said in an article in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
The Greens' plans consists of patients obtaining a medical certificate confirming that 'they are unable to achieve sexual satisfaction in other ways, as well as to prove they are not able to pay sex workers on their own'.
Scharfenberg said: 'Municipalities could discuss appropriate offers on site and grants they would need.'
Sex coach and author Vanessa del Rae worked for many years as a nurse and later took over the management of a nursing home and holds lectures on sexuality and sensuality in many facilities.
'In Holland, prostitutes are paid by the health insurance fund', she said.
'In Germany in recent years we have seen the advent sexual companion, especially trained in relation to the sexual needs of elderly men and women. 'She knows the handicaps, the shyness and shame which come with old people.'
She said that nursing home staff often react with horror and anger when they catch older residents canoodling - or pleasuring themselves.
But Professor Wilhelm Frieling-Sonnenberg, a medical care specialist, said the idea is 'contemptuous towards human dignity, a way to placate troublesome patients'.
Trotskyite members (Far Leftists) are causing ructions in the Australian Green party
Internal tensions in the Greens have escalated further with the party's former leader Christine Milne challenging two NSW MPs to condemn members of the party calling for a split in the movement.
Fairfax Media last month reported on the formation of a new factional grouping within the Greens calling itself "Left Renewal" and advocating a radical platform rejecting the legitimacy of the state and calling for the end of capitalism.
That development has been followed by some Greens members calling for the development of a left-wing alternative to the party. Deputy membership officer, Tomas Hamilton, last week called the Greens a "hollow shell" and advocated forming "a proper anti-establishment left populist party".
Ms Milne, who resigned as the Greens' federal leader in 2015, called on two prominent left-wing Greens MPs from NSW to condemn those remarks and for Mr Hamilton to resign.
"These individuals identify with [federal senator] Lee Rhiannon and [state MP] David Shoebridge," Ms Milne said. "They must be confident they have their support. That really puts the onus on those MPs to call them out.
"Seeing an elected office bearer say that they're intending to develop a base for a new party is completely destructive. They should leave now."
Ms Rhiannon and Mr Shoebridge have said they are not Left Renewal members but have defended its members' rights to express their views.
Expelling members not the answer, says Lee Rhiannon. "I don't think the expulsion of Greens members from Left Renewal or the right-wing grouping is a sensible way forward," Ms Rhiannon said. "We need to remain an inclusive party that considers a diversity of views consistent with our four Greens principles."
Ms Rhiannon said the party should use democratic forums to discuss policy proposals.
But Mr Hamilton, a critic of some conservative members of the NSW party, denied he was of the Left Renewal faction and said he should not resign for expressing dissenting views.
Young Greens members of Left Renewal have publicly expressed similar sentiments about developing an alternative to the Greens.
Mr Shoebridge said he was unable to respond because he was on holiday and had not seen Mr Hamilton's remarks.
Ms Milne also partly backed calls from her predecessor, Bob Brown, who called on Ms Rhiannon to move on from politics.
"Lee was democratically elected a year ago but I do think she should think about not running [for another term]," Ms Milne said. "If you're going to call for renewal then you have to lead."
Ms Rhiannon rejected calls by Mr Brown to stand down after last year's election, saying she intended to continue in her job.
The recent divisions represents the escalation of an old battle between the party's left wing, known to detractors as the "Eastern bloc" and more centrist MPs, a group dismissed by opponents as "tree Tories".
Candidates backed by the left have lost out in the two most recent state preselections in NSW.
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Posted by JR at 1:29 AM