Thursday, May 04, 2017

Greenie hatred of garbage costs Britain heaps

Everything must be recyled according to Greenies.  And in their typically authoritarian way, they have tried to FORCE people to comply -- by limiting the amount of household garbage that the local authority will collect.  So what are people supposed to do with the uncollected garbage?  Their only legal option is to pay extra to have some private operator to collect it. And what he does with it nobody asks. And what do the poor do?  They take it to some rural spot and dump it by the side of the road -- "fly tipping".  So instead of orderly waste disposal you have garbage littered around the landscape -- that has to be picked up eventually anyway, at considerable cost

Fly-tipping and other waste crimes have risen to record levels, costing the country £600 million a year, because of a loophole that allows criminals to set up as licensed rubbish collectors.

The number of people and organisations registered to carry waste has more than doubled in the past decade to 185,000 and few checks are carried out on those involved, research shows. The loophole was exposed when the study’s authors registered a dead dog as a waste carrier and the Environment Agency issued a licence immediately without any identity checks.

Anyone can obtain a licence to transport waste and then advertise a collection service by spending a few minutes filling in an online form and paying £234 to the Environment Agency.


Ecofascist March Is Really About Bullying & Rebellion  

Once again, Washington, DC, was filled with a bunch of yahoos on Saturday — a day that corresponded with Donald Trump’s media-sensationalized 100th day in office. And no, we’re not talking about the lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Though it supposedly wasn’t a direct encore to last weekend’s March for Science Fiction, Saturday’s confab — called the Peoples Climate March — attracted thousands of likeminded activists who view the Trump administration and its vast EPA downsizing as environmental hazards. Temperatures soared into the 90s, which of course many pundits interpreted as an omen. Of course, it could simply have been all that hot air ecofascists spew.

Hillary Clinton called the march an achievement toward “economic justice.” Which is ironic when accounting for the fact thousands and thousands of jobs have been lost because of onerous EPA regulations. According to The Washington Post, some of the march participants' chants included: “Shame, shame, shame!”; “Hey hey, ho ho, Scott Pruitt has got to go!”; “Resistance is here to stay, welcome to your 100th day”; and “The oceans are rising and so are we!” Cute. But as Frank Fleming wryly tweeted, “If there was a march to stop useless marches, I wouldn’t march at it because it wouldn’t accomplish anything.”

Saturday’s gathering of disgruntled individuals is not purely about righteous indignation, either, despite what they claim. It’s about rebelling against limited government and Republican doctrine. Case in point: “Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are expected to take to the streets Monday in massive May Day events across the USA mostly protesting the policies of President Trump,” USA Today reports. As if they needed yet another march. All these events have another thing in common as well: Most have George Soros' fingerprints all over them. The Peoples Climate March was no exception. All leftist marches are really about centralized government control.

Another irony of these marches: Extreme weather — and we’re talking about a wide range of issues here (droughts, tornadoes hurricanes, etc.) — is basically doing the opposite of what alarmists forewarned. True believers of science and the environment would recognize and celebrate this.


Government help for wind energy in TX?

The very famous Ronald Reagan line is: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”  He wasn’t even a little incorrect.

The lather-rinse-repeat cycle is always the same.  Government champions itself as the answer to a private sector “problem.”  But wait, before we go any further: Nigh always the “problem” government “identifies” – isn’t actually a problem.  Government identifies problems – the way Bernie Madoff’s victims identified good investment guidance.

Now that government has made the determination that it is going to “help” – it bull-in-a-china-shop’s its way into the middle of the private sector.  Creating massive disruption – and crowding out private participants.  The entire market warps and distorts – as it is forced to accommodate this massive interloper.

The results are as awful – as they are predictable.  The examples are limitless.  See: Obamacare.  Or Dodd-Frank.  Or Sarbanes-Oxley.  Or….

Then government – the entity that just demonstrably worsened the situation – declares itself the “solution” to the problems it itself just caused.  And further involves itself in the private sector.  Which further warps the private sector.  Which leads the government to declare itself the “solution”….  Lather, rinse, repeat…ad nauseam.

A prime example of this government inanity – is the energy sector.  Private energy providers have done a magnificent job over the last century-plus maximizing fabulous, low-cost…you know, actual energy – oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, etc.

Then the government decided to “help.”  They started regulating the daylight out of these actual energy sources.  And taxing the daylight out of them (and the rest of us) to fund fake energy sources – the non-energy-producing, uber-expensive likes of wind, solar, ethanol, etc.

This isn’t government picking winners and losers – it’s government picking losers at the expense of winners.  And again reminds us of one of life’s empirical truths: If it’s a good idea – no government money is necessary.  No one needs to subsidize ice cream.

And this is federal government inanity – so it screws up things all across the country.  And individual states have to deal with the fallout from the federal foolishness.  Texas is currently in the midst of this expensive, utterly unnecessary nonsense.

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) provides power in the Lone Star State.  In 2009, it in San Patricio County cut a 20-year deal with Papalote Creek II (a subsidiary of E.ON and Sumitomo Matsui Banking Corporation) – to purchase 200 megawatts of wind-generated power.

Enter the original sin: Again, the federal government subsidizes wind “energy” out the wazoo.  Which gets people who would otherwise never try to provide wind power – because it makes zero free market economic sense – trying to provide wind power.   The sector – has begun its government-induced warping.

LCRA understood all this – and built into the contract an out should wind energy prices drop below a certain level.  So they could renegotiate at the new, lower rate.  (Conversely, Papalote Creek II had a similar out should the price rise – and they could renegotiate at the higher rate.)

Thanks to fracking and other private sector innovations in the actual energy sector, all energy prices fell – wind included.  So low, it reached the magic number in the contract – and LCRA exercised their option.

Papalote Creek II refused to enter into resolution arbitration – as the contract they signed required.  A federal judge mandated arbitration – which LCRA won.

Then comes further ridiculousness.  When you’re a hammer – everything looks like a nail.  When you count on government for your very survival – you always run to government when things go awry.  Government-funded Papalone Creek II – looks at the entire world and everything in it through a government-only prism.

Having failed in the Real World private energy sector, government-centric Papalone Creek II went running to government – the courts – to bail them out.  And in an example of the belt-and-suspenders approach – they also went to the Texas legislature looking for another bailout.

Another empirical truth: The answer to too much government – isn’t even more government.

But sadly, bizarrely, a Texas REPUBLICAN state representative is ignoring this empirical truth – and attempting to throw Papalone Creek II that government lifeline.  Behold J.M. Lozano – and his House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 117.

Actually, it isn’t totally bizarre (though it remains inordinately sad) – Papalone Creek II is in Lozano’s district.  That said, nothing justifies what his bill is attempting to do.

First, it is a terrible idea for any legislature to parachute into the middle of courts – in the middle of cases – and disrupt and distort them.  We have separate government branches for a reason.  Let the judicial branch do – what the judicial branch does.  Unfettered by legislative branch manipulation.

Second, this is legislation attempting an after-the-fact rewrite of the LCRA-Papalone Creek II contract – all to the one-sided benefit of Lozano-district-residing Papalone Creek II.  Which just isn’t cricket – in fact, it’s dirty pool.

HCR 117 isn’t a bill – so much as it is a really bad joke.  Representative Lozano isn’t at all amusing here. Lozano’s legislative colleagues should give his bill no thought, no time – and no quarter.


Bret Stephens Gives Climate-Change Alarmists Advice, and the Left Erupts

Ordinarily when war breaks out between the activist Left and the New York Times, the conservative impulse is not to delve too deeply into the substance of the dispute but rather to inquire about the availability of refreshments: When the Ayatollah and Saddam go to war, what is there to do but rather to inquire about the availability of refreshments: When the Ayatollah and Saddam go to war, what is there to do but put one’s feet up and enjoy the carnage?

I invoke Islamism advisedly. After Bret Stephens, the Times’ new conservative op-ed columnist, made the mild-mannered and more or less inarguable point that there are details unsettled within the topic of climate change, his many ideological opponents reacted with a mindless fury characteristic of religious zealotry. Someone tweeted at Stephens that he should share the fate of Daniel Pearl, like Stephens a longtime Wall Street Journal writer, who was denounced for being Jewish and beheaded by men acting in Allah’s name. The web of ties between ordinary global-minded progressives and jihadists grows ever more dense: For both groups, American conservatives pose the principal threat to their goals.

Let’s give credit, though, to the Times’ op-ed editor James Bennet, both for hiring Stephens in the first place — the Times now boasts three right-of-center op-ed columnists, which is more than tokenism — and for standing by his new hire while abuse rained down and some progressives claimed to have canceled their subscriptions. Non-partisan institutions (are you listening, university presidents?) and even the Right should learn this lesson from Bennet’s bracing example: Ignore hecklers. They enjoy veto power only if a cowardly decision-maker grants them that power. After a few days, Stephens’s attackers will move on and find something else to be outraged about.

Stephens’s column arrives at a moment when, culturally speaking, the fulminating Left is feeling pretty upbeat. Its core stratagem of demanding that conservatives either shut up or be shut down is working frighteningly well. Universities from coast to coast are either allowing leftist groups to cancel conservative speech before it occurs or providing such weak and ambivalent protections for speakers that right-wing ideas are effectively squelched. Using Bill O’Reilly’s alleged sexual misconduct as a pretext, Media Matters managed to get him booted off the air. If Bill Clinton had a political talk show, I think we all know the answer to whether leftist pressure groups would publicly denounce any advertisers that sponsored it.

Stephens’s perfectly reasonable column amounted to friendly strategic advice for the climate alarmists: “Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts,” he noted, and he was immediately treated as a deplorable imbecile. Think Progress compared him to a Holocaust denier and a KKK official. Nate Silver, whose reputation for being a dispassionate data nerd increasingly seems endangered, denounced the column with a barnyard epithet and posted a tweet in which a Times billboard advertising “Truth” was (sarcastically) juxtaposed with a quotation of Stephens’s unassailable point that “claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science.” “Classic climate change denialism,” thundered Slate. “Climate denial wouldn’t get past my desk,” a New Yorker fact-checker tweeted, as if Stephens denied there is a climate. (Stephens also said human influence on global warming was “indisputable.”) The Guardian, as ever the most grievously wounded of them all, called Stephens a “hippie puncher.”

The near-lunatic disapproval of Stephens’s first Times column indicates more than just fierce disagreement with the tenor of his remarks, or surprise that an institution that barely bothers to disguise its political inclinations would allow someone like Stephens to make his case. The degree of shrieking, world-coming-to-an-end hysteria Stephens unleashed (from the moment he was hired, even before he had published a word with the Times, social-media users were trying to shame Bennet into reversing the decision) reveals a deep-seated worry within the Left. What if “Shut up” isn’t such a persuasive argument to everyone? If it doesn’t work on fellow liberals today, there is significant danger that it might not work, in future, on university presidents or Fox News Channel. If someone with as much clout as Bennet thinks conservative viewpoints are within “the bounds of reasonable discussion,” the idea could catch on. When two parties are welcome at the debate, winning becomes more challenging.

To the Left (as to the Islamists), there is little substantive difference between a moral failing and a simple difference of opinion on matters of regnant orthodoxy. Disgusting actions indicating gross moral turpitude on the part of a news anchor are indistinguishable from impure thoughts from a Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist. Liberals don’t see the distinction because they genuinely think holding conservative views makes you a bad person. They think Bennet has invited a blasphemer into their ranks.

As the media columnist Jack Shafer points out, progressives have a history of going berserk when the Times brings aboard a conservative. Longtime Timesman David Halberstam, apoplectic about the 1973 hiring of former Nixon speechwriter William Safire as a columnist, insisted that Safire’s arguments were out of bounds because he was “a paid manipulator . . . not a man of ideas or politics but rather a man of tricks.” The word “tricks” tells us much; for Halberstam, as with today’s liberals, conservative arguments are so self-evidently lacking in merit that some kind of dark magic must explain their persistence. In Bret Stephens they see a bogeyman. They can’t hear what he’s saying over the sound of their own shrieks.

Leftist State government approves new iron mine in South Australia

No uproar from the Greenies so far.  Maybe they are unaware that magnetite (Fe3O4) is a common iron ore

A $4.5 billion mining project that will create nearly 2,000 jobs during construction has been approved in South Australia.

Iron Road has received a mining lease and development approval for the project on the Eyre Peninsula, which will result in 700 jobs over the 25-year life of the mine.

The South Australian Government said if the company meets the conditions of the approval, the Central Eyre Iron Project would be Australia's largest magnetite mine, estimated to produce 21.5 million tonnes each year.

The project will include the construction of a new 145-kilometre rail link and deep-water port at Cape Hardy, near Tumby Bay.

The port will also be able to be used to export other goods from the region, such as grain.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the rigorous development assessment process considered a wide range of environmental, social and economic impacts on local residents and businesses.

The assessment resulted in 127 conditions that Iron Road will have to meet to proceed with the project.

Conditions include the resolution of land access issues, continuous monitoring and public reporting of dust emissions and noise, and taking measures to prevent any loss of agricultural productivity from surrounding properties.

"If Iron Road meet the conditions of their approval this project will create thousands of jobs and have a significant, lasting impact on our economy," Mr Weatherill said.

"Connecting the Eyre Peninsula to the world's markets through a modern rail link and deep-water port that can be used by other businesses will also enable this important region of our state to grow."

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the project was one of several magnetite projects under development in South Australia.

"There are 14 billion tonnes of magnetite underground in South Australia and the State Government is committed to developing this resource in order to boost exports, create jobs and drive economic activity in regional areas," he said.

"This is an extremely important milestone in the Centre Eyre Iron Project, which is the latest in a pipeline of magnetite projects under development in South Australia.

"If this project proceeds to production, it won't be a sugar hit to our economy, it will deliver 700 jobs over a 25-year mine life."



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   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  


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