Friday, July 05, 2019

IN MEMORIAM: Christopher Booker

Campaigning British journalist Christopher Booker has died, aged 81. I always enjoyed his columns and felt that he may be the sanest man in Britain.  He never ceased to mock global warming, among his many other contributions.  He pulled no punches. I reproduce below the notice from GWPF.  There is a fuller account of his life in his own words here -- JR

Everyone at the GWPF was saddened to hear of the passing of our friend and colleague Christopher Booker, one of the doughtiest campaigners against global warming hysteria and vested interests in the climate debates.

Booker’s Sunday Telegraph columns never failed to question orthodoxies and to ask awkward questions about global warming dogmatism.

He wrote two highly successful reports for the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The first, in 2011, looked at the BBC’s biased coverage of climate change, while the more recent paper on groupthink has been one of GWPF’s most successful.

An archive of Booker’s enormous contribution to climate sceptical thought and critical analysis over the last ten years can be found on the GWPF website.

Christopher will be fondly remembered by all at the GWPF for his erudition, bravery, integrity and his endless good humour.


A Declaration of Mineral Independence

of and for the People of the United States of America from tyrannical environmentalist organizations, with a goal of full mineral independence by the 250th Anniversary of America’s first Declaration of Independence, July 4, 2026

Paul Driessen & Ann Bridges

WE still hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men and Women are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator and protected by our Constitution with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, which require access to the minerals that make modern societies, defense and other technologies, health and living standards possible.

To secure these rights, our Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, and whenever our Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter, abolish or institute new laws.

This declaration of the need for change is not due to light or transient causes. Unfortunately, many of our citizens and businesses are more disposed to avoid conflict or start over elsewhere, than to change the status quo, even while suffering under its ill effects.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations by non-elected agents of the Government and Environmentalist Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs) creates legal despotism under the guise of wildly inflated risks, distorted scientific analyses, willful ignorance, and dire predictions of catastrophic climate and environmental disasters, it is our right and duty to throw off such laws and regulations and provide new safeguards for personal, economic and national security.

The ENGOs’ enormous wealth, fundraising ability and political influence rightfully categorizes them as a major industry of similar stature as their named “enemies” – including the fossil fuel, mining and manufacturing industries that provide essential energy, basic building blocks and products for life, defense, security and pursuit of happiness.

Our Nation now unnecessarily imports numerous critical minerals, creating a dangerous dependence on foreign and sometimes unfriendly nations, some of which pay little attention to American laws and standards regarding environmental protection, child labor, and worker wages, safety and health.

The global environmentalist industry has a long history of imposing its narrow agendas with little regard for the overall well-being of our nation and its citizenry. It instead seeks to assert control over our mining and other businesses and those enterprises’ ability to raise and maintain the security and living standards of every American citizen through fair commerce between willing customers and providers.

The facts speak for themselves.

Environmentalist NGOs driving our policies, laws and regulations have accepted billions of dollars a year from U.S. and foreign individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies. They use those funds to advance their own global interests and those of their sponsors, to the detriment of American industries, businesses, communities and families.

They have forced American taxpayers to spend billions of dollars for little or no environmental benefit, without the consent of our legislatures or citizenry, thereby subjecting us to foreign and domestic powers that are unaccountable to the American people, our elected representatives, our laws or our Constitution.

They have taken advantage of legal protections designed for nonprofit charities, to ensure they are treated as being above laws crafted for the public good, including honesty in public statements.

They have made themselves the dominant and dominating interested parties in local, regional and national environmental reviews, permit issuances and enforcement actions. They demand endless meetings and reviews, often in places far from the locale of the affected businesses, in order to delay, bankrupt, shutter or destroy projects that would responsibly develop our nation’s mineral endowment.

They have repeatedly used their power and wealth to influence and obstruct legislative, regulatory and judicial processes against properly and ethically operated businesses and projects, interfered with property rights, and disrupted fair debate over these matters.

They have blocked access to vast acreage through land withdrawals and legal actions, preventing a determination of the highest and best use of areas likely to contain mineral resources vital to our nation’s defense, communication, transportation, medical, energy and other advanced technologies – including wind, solar and battery systems.

They have done so even though innovative modern processes and regulations can simultaneously protect the environment and human health, while reaping the wealth of our lands to further the well-being of our technologically advanced society.

They have demanded new laws, regulations and ever-more stringent standards that industries must meet, despite their proven ability and commitment to be responsible environmental stewards, even though existing laws require that environmental and mineral development interests be balanced.

They ignore the fundamental reality that it takes many years or decades to find and develop economically recoverable deposits of strategic minerals, leaving our nation severely vulnerable in the event of a crisis.

This has resulted in:         

·         Excessive permits, licenses, approvals and oversight that chill investment in our country’s own mineral resources, mining operations and manufacturing industries;

·         Higher costs for materials, goods and services, because of our unnecessarily importing minerals from foreign suppliers; and

·         Unelected regulators deciding legal interpretations and disputes, levying financial penalties, and creating approval processes that are too time-consuming and expensive for all but the wealthiest companies and citizens to bear.

Environmentalist NGOs have declared war on our nation’s businesses and citizens who seek to find, develop and utilize America’s bounteous mineral endowment to support our defense, living standards and national interests.

This single-minded pursuit of environmental preservation at all costs has harmed our communities and shackled the lives, livelihoods, ambitions and property rights of our people.

At every stage, businesses and individuals have petitioned for redress, but their petitions have been answered only by mockery and continued injury.

Any special-interest group whose character is thus marked as tyrannical is unfit to be the primary arbiter of choices of a free people.

We have warned our fellow citizens of the foolishness of ceding their future to this elitist minority. We have reminded them of laws intended to protect our access to vital raw materials. We have appealed to their sense of justice and endeavored to create workable solutions. Environmentalist NGOs have been deaf to anything that does not advance their overarching dominance over America’s future.

It is essential that we adopt a sense of urgency and declare our mineral independence, to become self-reliant again. It is crucial that we stop depending on other countries to provide mineral resources that we have in abundance, that are needed for our economic prosperity and national security, and that can be developed with proper attention to air, water, wildlife and other environmental values.

Therefore, we solemnly declare that these United States ought to be free and independent again; that we are absolved from the dictates and bullying of Environmentalist NGOs, their representatives and their funders; and that political obligations to them should be dissolved.

Our businesses and citizens must have full power to explore, develop and mine on federally managed lands, under responsible modern environmental, health and safety standards; establish secure commercial supply chains; and function as independent businesses and individuals under the laws of these United States of America.

We will work tirelessly to implement this Declaration of Mineral Independence, at the federal, state and local level, to ensure the continued freedom and prosperity of this Great Nation.

Via email. Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of many articles on the environment. Ann Bridges is the Silicon Valley-based author of “Rare Mettle” and co-author of “Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence.”

Another Greenie fraud attempt. Science Digest gets caught pushing a coral reef myth

Science Digest reports that scientists are calling for urgent action to restrict carbon dioxide emissions to protect coral reefs from global warming. The Science Digest article asserts that coral reefs, “which have functioned relatively unchanged for some 24 million years, are now going through profound changes in their make-up.”

A review of global temperatures during the past 24 million years, however, shows warming temperatures during the past 100 years since the end of the Little Ice Age are relatively insignificant compared to temperature swings during the past 24 million years.

Science Daily quoted Professor Nick Graham of Lancaster University saying, “Coral reefs have been with us in some form since the dinosaurs and today they are at the frontline in terms of responses to climate change and a range of other human pressures.”

Scientists, however, report that temperatures were warmer than today throughout most of the period since the last ice age glaciation ended 10,000 years ago. Moreover, scientists report that temperatures during each of the past several interglacial warm periods – lasting approximately 10,000 years apiece and separated by 100,000 years or more of advancing ice sheets – were warmer than our present interglacial warm period.  See, for example here

Science Daily observes that coral reefs have “functioned relatively unchanged for some 24 million years,” which is quite strong evidence that coral can and will survive our relatively minor recent warming.

Although the Science Daily article strikes an overall alarmist tone, the article does acknowledge that “as the world’s climate changes, tropical temperatures shift towards the poles, enabling corals to grow in new places.” A study in the peer-reviewed Geophysical Research Letters, for example, documents coral rapidly expanding their range poleward as ocean temperatures gradually warm.

So perhaps some alarmists are calling for restrictions on carbon dioxide, but objective evidence shows coral have thrived under much more warming and cooling than is presently occurring, and coral continue to thrive today.


Green New Deal's Centralized Government Approach Won't Ensure a Cleaner Environment

There’s no way around it: big government proposals require big public scrutiny.

Americans are skeptical of government, which is why those promoting far-reaching climate legislation have worked hard to sweeten the Green New Deal (GND). GND proponents sell this huge takeover of the American economy and the American way of life not only as a supposed antidote to climate change, but as the ultimate provider of economic security, regardless of the cost.

As national leaders in the public policy arena, we both want economic security and justice for the American people, too. But we realize that socialist policies and paternalistic, big government programs will produce exactly the opposite result.

One of us learned this lesson from personal experience — having grown up poor in the projects in Richmond, Va., during segregation — one of six children in a single-parent household. The other learned it as a federal lawmaker and student of history, witnessing socialism’s champions enrich themselves, and live by a different set of standards while failing to deliver on their promises to improve lives.

That’s why we’re so troubled when people who purport to want economic security propose policies that would actually do irreparable harm to the very communities they claim they’re trying to help. The GND would be economically catastrophic for American families while also failing in its supposedly primary mission: to significantly reduce the earth’s temperature.

Under the Green New Deal, manufacturing and energy production in the United States would be outsourced to countries like China and India. Many nations lack the environmental safeguards long since implemented in the United States, and this outsourcing would result in a drastic increase in global emissions.

As far as economic justice, the Green New Deal would increase the injustice it purports to eliminate. Affordable, reliable, abundant energy (currently oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy) has provided the economic opportunity to lift people out of poverty and improve their lives, health, and comfort. It has allowed them to buy cars, drive to jobs, heat their homes in the winter, and cool their homes in the summer. Low-cost energy has also made food, clothing, and furniture all more affordable, as energy is used at every stage of planting, harvesting, manufacturing, and transporting goods to consumers.

The GND would make all those things — from the electricity to heat our homes to the food on our tables — more expensive by taking away some of the cheapest energy sources America has. Research suggests switching to 100 percent renewable energy sources would cause electricity bills to skyrocket for working families.

We’ve already seen how states and regions with the most extreme environmental laws also have the highest energy costs. In New England, for example, moratoriums on natural gas pipelines used to transport gas from Pennsylvania and Ohio have caused electricity price increases double that of similar regions. And New Yorkers face natural gas shortages because radical state policies won’t allow the state to explore and harvest the abundant resources beneath its own soil.

Higher energy costs disproportionately affect low-income families. The poorest Americans spend 22 percent of their household budgets on energy. And many already make huge sacrifices to pay for the energy they currently use. According to the 2011 National Energy Assistance Survey, a poll of low-income families, 24 percent went without food for a day and 37 percent decided to forgo medical and dental care so they could pay their energy bills. Many kept their homes at temperatures that were unsafe. As a result, 19 percent had a family member who became sick because the home was too cold.

Instead of dangerous proposals like the Green New Deal, we should encourage the advancement of technologies that promote innovation and lower costs. Congress should eliminate high tax and high regulatory barriers to innovation and incentivize competition. For example, reducing regulatory burdens that prevent gas pipeline construction would make low-cost natural gas that reduces carbon emissions more available around the country and would provide relief to hard-working families who deserve affordable and reliable energy.

Congress should also pass measures to drive innovation in all forms of energy, including oil, natural gas, coal, hydropower, and nuclear, as well as renewables. The fracking revolution — both in oil and natural gas — for example, has created new economic opportunities across the country and produced cleaner energy in the process.

This is how we can ensure cheaper, more reliable, and cleaner energy for families. This is how we can help create new jobs in America. This is how we can reduce costs not only of energy, but of food and household goods, for everyone, especially lower-income families. And this is how we can ensure a cleaner environment: years of economic data have proven that economic freedom and a growing economy support a sustainable environment better than any centralized government control model that strips Americans of their freedom and their money. This is the true path to a healthier environment and a stronger economy.


The nuclear option for Australia has many attractions

Some excerpts from a very long-winded article below

A discussion paper prepared for the union-backed Industry Super Australia provides a blueprint for patient capital in the energy sector.

Superannuation is a natural fit for long-term infrastructure investment and has been a big supporter of renewable energy projects with mixed results.

The discussion paper seeks to strip away the ideological baggage to set out an over-the-horizon view of where Australia’s energy market may be heading.

While Australia has no plans to build nuclear plants, in 2016 the country joined the Generation IV International Forum, for which the Nuclear Energy Agency acts as technical secretariat.

Magwood’s talks with Australian authorities included the latest research and development on advanced nuclear systems.

Discussion thwarted

Nuclear energy is still controversial in Australia and has proved difficult for governments even to discuss.

Environment group Friends of the Earth continues to run an active anti-nuclear campaign team. It says Australia does not need nuclear power.

But after studying the evidence, Industry Super Australia chief economist Stephen Anthony has produced recommendations in his discussion paper that he says go against conventional wisdom and assumptions.

“No attempt is made to avoid this,” he says. “Our aim is to provide the best analysis possible. It is not to simply run with the herd.”

He says the inclusion of nuclear energy has caused some alarm but: “It does not mean we are pro-nuclear any more than not excluding solar means we are pro-solar.”

The conclusion, however, is that it is difficult to see Australia decarbonising its energy sector without the use of nuclear power.

Mainstream misleading

One of the themes of the discussion paper is that mainstream thinking on the energy market may be misleading in many areas.

It is often based on a partial analysis of the problem that ­ignores its economy-wide implication. The assessment of technologies is sometimes weak and based on time horizons that are too short.

Ultimately, there is the prospect that some wind and solar projects themselves may become stranded assets.

The problems of intermittency are at the heart of global concerns. Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor is trying to address the issue with a reliability obligation for generators.

Magwood says there is a need for strategies that more accurately reflect the costs and attributes of renewables. “As it becomes clear that the amount of baseload supply needed in the future is not zero, each country will need to decide how it will meet its future electricity supply needs,” he says.

Expensive option

One criticism of nuclear is that it is expensive, but costs vary widely depending on where projects are being built. They can be as high as $US7bn ($10bn) per gigawatt in Europe and as low as $US2bn a giga­watt in China. At its most expensive, nuclear is double the cost of onshore wind.

But nuclear has advantages that intermittent sources of energy cannot provide.

And a recent OECD report assesses the levelised cost using a 3 per cent interest rate at $US100 per megawatt hour for commercial solar, $US70 per megawatt hour for onshore wind and $US50 a megawatt for nuclear.

The OECD says “a cost-effective low carbon system would probably consist of a sizeable share of variable renewable energy, and at least an equally sizeable share of dispatchable zero carbon technologies such as nuclear energy and hydro-electricity and a residual amount of gas-fired capacity to provide some added flexibility alongside storage, demand-side management and the expansion of interconnections.

“What nuclear energy and ­hydro-electricity, as the primary dispatchable low-carbon generation options, bring to the equation is the ability to produce at will large amounts of low-carbon power predictably according to the requirements of households and industry.

“For the right decisions to be made, these factors must be understood and addressed.”

For Australia, Anthony says the likely energy mix will include renewable technologies such as solar, wind, hydro and battery storage, with some pumped hydro and combined-cycle gas generation as a back-up.

But this is unlikely to be good enough for the long term.



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.  

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