Tuesday, July 23, 2019

UK: Extinction Rebellion founder in race storm: Vile anti-Semitic posts found on Facebook page run by Left-winger behind climate change movement

Two founders of Extinction Rebellion were caught up in a race storm yesterday after virulently anti-Semitic messages were posted on a Facebook page linked to the movement.

The posts were among several examples of extremist material and sinister conspiracy theories on the page run by Left-winger Gail Bradbrook, one of the people behind XR.

When a supporter asked why fake news accusing the British Government of trying to poison former KGB man Sergei Skripal and his daughter was on the page, Ms Bradbrook replied: 'People are free to post information in the general subject area.'

The offensive posts included:

A link to a blogpost quoting from an infamous fake 19th Century Russian anti-Semitic tract Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

A meme of Guy Fawkes carrying a barrel of gunpowder outside Parliament, captioned 'Plan B', adding: 'Waving banners and asking nicely for them to stop is not working.'

A post expressing solidarity for Chris Williamson just a day after the Labour MP was first suspended by his party for alleged anti-Semitism.

A vile meme comparing Iain Duncan Smith to Adolf Hitler over the former Work and Pensions Secretary's treatment of the disabled.

Mother of two and practising Pagan Ms Bradbrook, 47, is an administrator of the Facebook group Compassionate Revolutionaries.

She is also a director of Compassionate Revolution, a non-profit company which holds the XR bank account.

Her partner Simon Bramwell, a co-founder of XR, is an administrator of the Facebook group.

The news came as XR blocked roads in several major cities last week.

Activists were forced to apologise after blocking the M32 in Bristol and preventing a man from reaching his dying father in hospital.

Ms Bradbrook said: 'I'm horrified to have been alerted to anti-Semitism showing up in a Facebook group I'm associated with. As a busy mum I don't have time to monitor everything. As soon as I heard I immediately closed the page to further posts.'

In a report by the Policy Exchange think-tank, called Extremism Rebellion, anti-terror expert Richard Walton said the eco-friendly image of XR concealed an anarchic organisation whose leaders planned to overthrow capitalism – and even parliamentary democracy itself – by illegal means.

Ms Bradbrook said: 'We are absolutely non-violent in responding to profound existential threat.'


Berkeley Approves $273,341 Salary for New Czar to Enforce Nation’s 1st Natural Gas Ban

The Berkeley, California City Council has authorized paying a $273,341 annual salary to a new position dedicated to implementing the nation’s first ban on natural gas in new buildings.

On Tuesday, the council approved an ordinance proposed by Councilmember Kate Harrison, effective January 1, 2020, on any new buildings, requiring all new buildings built to have electric infrastructure and banning natural gas energy:


1. Adopt an ordinance adding a new Chapter 12.80 to the Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) prohibiting natural gas infrastructure in new buildings with an effective date of January 1, 2020.

2. Refer to the November 2019 budget process for consideration of allocating up to $273,341 per year from excess equity to fund a two-year position in the Building & Safety Division of the Department of Planning and Development. The staff person will assist with implementing the gas prohibition ordinance and reach codes, and perform other duties as specified in the Financial Implications section of this item.

The initial version of the proposal called for creation of a “career” (permanent) position, which was revised to a two-year job before passage. Under “Financial Implications,” the council explains the position’s duties:


Staff time will be necessary to implement the new permit regulations.

Staff estimates that the total annual staff cost for a two-year position to implement a gas prohibition ordinance and reach codes would be $273,341 per year, funded from excess equity. The position would be in the Building & Safety Division of the Department of Planning and Development.

The staff person would also:

Assist the City of Berkeley in advancing its leadership in electrifying buildings;

Assist in development of future code amendments would be the lead staff for managing implementation of new energy-related ordinances and codes, including the Deep Green Building Standards;

Provide training to staff and assistance and consultation to applicants; and,

Assist property owners with incentives (e.g., anything offered under the Pathways to Green Buildings plan, the electrification transfer tax subsidy ordinance).

Mayor Jesse Arreguín warned of the “cataclysmic impacts” of climate change in his endorsement of the ordinance at the council’s meeting, The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

“I’m really proud to be on this City Council to adopt this groundbreaking ordinance. ... We know that the climate crisis is deepening and is having cataclysmic impacts.”

One section of the proposal describes the “The Climate Emergency” the natural gas ban seeks to address:

F. The Climate Emergency

In June 2018, the Berkeley City Council declared a city-wide Climate Emergency, aimed at reviewing the City’s greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies, commitments and progress in light of recent political, scientific and climatic developments.16 In 2018, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested that to keep warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, governments must initiate a dramatic 45% cut in global carbon emissions from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach global ‘net zero’ around 2050. The time for incremental emissions reduction strategies is over—policymakers must begin implementing “far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”


Voters Reject Green Campaigners’ Extreme Climate Policies

Bjorn Lomborg

All over the world voters prefer parties whose energy policy focuses on driving down power prices instead of making energy ever more expensive.

The renowned naturalist and climate change campaigner Sir David Attenborough believes governments should face a reckoning for their failure to tackle global warming. Speaking recently about the US and Australia, he expressed a hope that the electorate would vote out governments who are not taking the climate seriously enough. The problem for Sir David and other campaigners is that, far from punishing politicians who pledge to scrap expensive climate policies, voters in Australia just backed them.

The Australian election was dubbed the “climate change election”. Pundits expected the climate-concerned Labor Party to cruise to an easy win, but didn’t count on a voter backlash against their drastic plans. One model estimated that the party’s planned 45 percent slash in carbon emissions would set the economy back by 264 billion Australian dollars (£149 billion) and claim some 167,000 jobs. Voters duly re-elected right-of-centre Coalition parties whose energy policy focused on driving down power prices and beefing up supply.

Australians are far from alone in saying no to expensive green schemes. Americans elected Donald Trump in part because of his promise to boost manufacturing and fossil fuel industries by repealing environmental regulations he blamed for hurting blue-collar jobs. But even in Democrat states, voters dislike the measures being pushed by climate campaigners.

Last September, Colorado voters rejected an effort to sharply limit oil drilling on non federal land, while Arizona citizens rejected an attempt to accelerate the shift to renewable energy. If voted through, the initiative would have amended the state’s constitution to require renewable energy for 50 per cent of power generation by 2035 – a massive jump from 6 per cent today.

Huge amounts of money were poured in, including more than $20 million from climate campaigner and billionaire Tom Steyer, but even that wasn’t enough. In Democrat-dominated Washington, voters rejected a measure to become the first state to tax carbon emissions.

In Brazil, the Philippines and several eastern European nations, voters have embraced populist leaders who reject expensive climate policies. In Paris, the gilets jaunes took to the streets to protest against moves to push up fuel prices.

None of this means that voters don’t want global warming solved. A recent poll shows that two-thirds of Americans, for example, support “aggressive action” on climate change. But if you ask them what they are willing to pay, two-thirds won’t even pay $100 in annual climate taxes.

People are saying that climate change is one of the many problems facing us today, and the solution needs to be appropriate. This sentiment lines up with scientific reality.  According to the UN Climate Panel, the impact of global warming by the 2070s will be the equivalent of a 0.2-2 per cent loss in average income.

To solve a problem worth about the same amount as a single recession, some politicians and campaigners have gone far overboard. The New Zealand government’s aim for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 would, according to a government-commissioned report, cost 16 per cent of GDP. The British Government’s own net-zero policy would, the Chancellor warned, cost more than £1 trillion.

What’s more, these policies – which will hit the poorest in society hardest – will have almost no impact on the planet’s climate even in a hundred years unless we can ensure that emerging giants China and India also cut emissions.


Government is a great servant but horrid master

Today bigger, supremely powerful global governments are justified by environmental claims

Jeffrey Foss

Through the ages, the suffering, destruction and murder perpetrated by governments like those of Caligula, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and their ilk reduces the evil of common criminals like Al Capone, Daniel Ortega, Bernie Madoff and El Chapo to the scale of breaking wind at Sunday dinner.

There is a historical lesson here for any of us who would entrust our sustenance, security and happiness to government. History teaches us that when governments go bad, they can really stink – enough to make us ashamed of our very species. But the more we entrust to government, the bigger it gets; and the bigger it gets, the more likely it is to become our ill-odored, malignant master, instead of our servant or helper. 

Governing is all about power, of course. Otherwise the governed would not obey, and anarchy would ensue, assuming it wasn’t there already. Thus the first power of government must be the appropriation of violence (such as imprisonment, torture and execution) unto itself for its sole use. All other forms of violence are outlawed.

If you or I kill someone, that is murder, which is illegal. But when government kills someone, it is execution or warfare, which is perfectly – and ever so conveniently – legal. If we take money from someone by force or stealth, that’s theft, But when government does likewise, it’s taxation, fees or fines. If I break into your house, I do not pass Go, I do not collect $200, I go straight to jail. If government breaks into my house, they get the police (or even a SWAT team) to do it.

All governments are born in sin: the appropriation of overwhelming power. Power doesn’t immediately or necessarily entail evil, of course. Power can be used for good. But misuse of power is as seductive as Delilah sitting at the side of the bed.

So government must be controlled, like the powerful beast it is, by putting a ring though its nose. The genius of democracy is that it ties that ring by millions of strings to the hands of ordinary people like you and me, by our votes. By pulling together we can control the beast – unless we let it get too dang big, or we get divided into one faction that wants small, controllable government and another that wants free stuff and payment for not working, courtesy of legalized government theft and violence against others.

So our first rule must be to vote for less government, not more. Note well that, by a cruel irony of fate, the so-called Democratic Party, which advertises itself as the champion of the powerless, is for ever-bigger government. Note also that the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln that freed the slaves, is for less.   

To be clear as blue skies, I am not arguing against government. Far from it. Government is necessary. Good government is a wonderful servant: it lubricates our cooperation while putting a lid on our violence as we procure food, clothing, shelter, safety and (if we engage in the proper pursuits) happiness.

If you take a look at what’s around you, you made or created little or nothing. Others made it for you, just as you make things for them, in a system of cooperation involving money, banks, sales, purchases, property, mutual benefit and so on. This system gives us virtually everything we have.

History and observation teach that democratic governments linked to economic freedom have excelled in helping us produce the plenty we now enjoy. Our form of democratic, republican government, relative to every other form that has ever existed, is best at serving the people.

But government can also be a horrible master. The reason people outside the developed democracies do not enjoy the health, wealth and happiness we have is that their governments suffer from the disease universally endemic to government: serving itself to achieve its own goals.

It is no accident that the government atrocities of Stalin, Mao and their ilk were inflicted on their own citizens. These leftist governments gained and sustained power by claiming they cared deeply about the people and pretending the vice of envy is really a virtue. They thereby instigated hatred of the rich by the poor, hatred of the successful by the unsuccessful, hatred of the happy by the discontented. Weakened by internal conflict, the people were readily conned into domestic and foreign wars both hot and cold, and into bizarre economic experiments. Over 100,000,000 were starved, murdered or worked to death.

By yet another cruel irony of fate, the poor were the main victims. Stalin, for instance, reorganized millions of previously successful farmers into communes, and then starved them to death when they were bold enough to protest that farming itself was being destroyed. Those citizens he permitted to live did so in despicable poverty and fear, while Stalin himself spent his days in the palaces of the Czars, the very people he reviled, strutting about like a toy soldier, grinning like the cat that ate the canary.

Today we are told even vastly bigger government is needed – at a global level – to protect planet and civilization from the ravages of fossil fuels, runaway climate change and big evil corporations.

We already see this eco-imperialism imposed on billions of people, who are told they develop as they wish, use fossil fuels or improve their health and living standards more than a trifling bit. As the globalist ruling elites gain ever more power, they are demanding that citizens of already developed countries reduce their living standards, stop driving cars and flying airplanes, and eat insects and organic vegetables instead of meat or conventional foods. Of course, like Stalin, the ruling classes would exempt themselves from the diktats and penalties they impose on the masses.

Let there be no doubt: history teaches there are two keys to the levels of health, wealth and happiness that we humans have so far achieved. The first is democracy: putting government under our control. The second is freedom to make our own economic choices, to work for whom we choose, to own property, and to start businesses if we like, without being smothered by endless regulations, paperwork and taxes.

But keeping government under control isn’t easy. Government power stealthily increases, even in democracies. As Figure 1 shows, the growth of US government has been relentless, creeping and sneaky since the halcyon days when the Original Colonies first cut off the chains of monarchy.

The graph shows that government’s share of all the money made in the country has steadily increased from about 3% in 1790 to over 40% today. Who can doubt that government had less power in 1790 than it does now? Or that the people rebelled over far less odious usurpations than they face today?

Those who lean left preach that there are good reasons for us to envy and revile the rich – indeed, anyone in the arbitrarily designated 1% of top earners. But by a stroke of unparalleled self-deception they refuse to see that this same logic applies with its ultimate force to big-spending, big-taxing, big-borrowing, big-leftist government itself.

So if you are tempted by some politician’s promise to play Robin Hood for you, you are being fooled. Politicians may pretend to be Robin, but under their disguise of forest green you will always find the evil Sherriff of Nottingham and his taxman. And what honor is there in getting someone to steal for you?

It is wrong for any of us to envy, revile or hate the rich simply because they are rich. We should instead rejoice in the success of law-abiding people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Stewart Butterfield (my former student, Canadian entrepreneur and midwife of Flickr and Slack). They are beacons of hope.

Those decent people among us who legally acquire a few millions or billions of dollars to pose against the many trillions of dollars taken from us by government are like those 1776 colonists, who rose up against King George III, wrote a Declaration of Independence and Constitution that set down their inspirations, aspirations, and belief in God, unalienable natural rights, and small government with limited powers, intentions and instruments of taxation and suppression.

They show us that we too can get ahead, be free and prosper with limited government that understands its proper role.

Via email. Dr. Jeffrey Foss is a philosopher of science, Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, Canada, and author of Beyond Environmentalism: A Philosophy of Nature


Bill to reinstate Obama pesticide ban ignores science

House legislation to ban neonicotinoids in wildlife refuges would hurt bees and wildlife

Paul Driessen

The battle over neonicotinoid pesticides rages on. In response to one of many collusive sue-and-settle lawsuits between environmentalist groups and Obama environmental officials, in 2014 the Department of the Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service banned neonic use in wildlife refuges.

Following a careful review of extensive scientific studies, the Trump Interior Department concluded that neonics are safe for humans, bees, other wildlife and the environment. In August 2018 it reversed the ban.

Last month, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) introduced HB2854, to reinstate the ban via legislation. She and 21 cosponsors (all Democrats) say neonics threaten biodiversity, bees and other wildlife in the nation’s refuges. Anti-pesticide groups have rallied behind the bill.

Their efforts are misguided and based on bad, outdated or even dishonest information.

Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticide class. As I have noted in previous articles (here, here and here, for example), these systemic, advanced-technology insecticides are sprayed on many fruits and vegetables. But some 90% of them are used as seed coatings for corn, wheat, canola, soybeans, cotton and similar crops. Either way, they are absorbed into plant tissues as crops grow.

Neonics protect plants against insect damage by effectively targeting only pests that actually feed on the crops, particularly during early growth stages. Since they don’t wash off, they reduce the need for multiple sprays with insecticides that truly can harm bees, birds, other animals and non-pest insects.

Moreover, because neonics from coated seeds have largely dissipated from plant tissues by the time mature plants flower, they are barely detectable in pollen and nectar. That explains why extensive studies have found that neonic residues are well below levels that actually can adversely affect bee development or reproduction under real-world (non-laboratory) conditions.

It also helps explain why annual surveys and studies continue to show steady beehive and honeybee population increases since the infamous “colony collapse disorder” and “bee-pocalypse crisis” of a few years ago.

While over-winter and summer losses are still troublesome in places, they now occur overwhelmingly in hobbyist hives. Professional beekeepers, who handle the vast majority of US bees and hives, have learned how to control what was really, or primarily, behind the worrisome honeybee losses: Varroa destructor mites that arrived in the USA in 1987.

Bee larvae hatch with Varroa mites already attached to them, and these tiny parasites suck the hemolymph blood-equivalent out of bees, attack bee fat body organs, compromise their immune systems, and provide pathways for other viruses, diseases and fungal pathogens into bees and colonies.

The destructive mites infected hive after hive. What were once nuisance infections became devastating epidemics, and sometimes efforts to control the mites and diseases further damaged hives. Maintaining healthy hives became much more complicated and difficult, especially when multiple pathogens invaded.

As disease control efforts improved, hive counts and honeybee populations climbed. They are now at or near 20-year highs in North America and every other continent.

As to claims that neonics should be banned from wildlife refuges, a 2015 international study of wild bees published in Entomology Today found that most wild bees never even come into contact with crops or the neonics that supposedly threaten them.

The same study also determined that only 2% of wild bees are much involved in crop pollination, and thus become exposed to these pesticides. Yet they are among the healthiest bee species.

Many US Wildlife Refuges were established along migratory bird flyways to provide food for waterfowl. But some can provide sufficient food only through cooperative agreements that let local farmers plant corn, wheat and certain other crops on refuge lands in exchange for leaving some of their crops unharvested, to supplement natural animal food on the refuge.

Some of those farmers do use neonic-coated seeds, preferring that to more traditional insecticides which must be sprayed several times during the growing season, potentially harming bees and other non-target insects or even birds and other wildlife.

Even organic farmers employ crop protecting insecticides that are highly toxic to bees, including rotenone, copper sulfate, spinosad, hydrogen peroxide, azidirachtin and citronella oil, Risk Monger Dr. David Zaruk points out.

Other organic farm chemicals are very toxic to humans. Boron fertilizer and copper sulfate fungicide can affect human brains, livers and hearts. Pyrethrins are powerful neurotoxins that can cause leukemia.

Lime sulfur mildew and insect killer causes irreversible eye damage, and can be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin. Rotenone is a highly toxic and can enhance the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Nicotine sulfate is an organic neurotoxin that interferes with nerve-muscle transmissions, causes abnormalities in lab animal offspring, and can lead to increased blood pressure levels, irregular heart-rates and even death in organic gardeners.

They may be “natural” or “organic,” but they’re still powerful and potentially harmful. And in sharp contrast to neonics and other synthetic pesticides, most Big Organic chemicals have not been tested for residue levels or toxicity, Zaruk notes.

Members of Congress should applaud neonic use – instead of condemning it or trying to ban it from refuges – or from all modern agriculture, as some seek to do.

They should focus greater attention on Varroa mites (and Nosema ceranae parasites), and on programs and technologies that really do pose a threat to endangered whooping cranes, other threatened birds, and bats: the proliferation of wind turbines along migratory flyways and close to many wildlife refuges.

They should investigate (and defund) the latest fad among allied radical environmentalist groups – and even some government agencies, like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Agro-ecology has become a hardcore political movement that rejects and seeks to ban biotech (GMO) and patented hybrid seeds, synthetic fertilizers, neonics and other pesticides, and even tractors and other mechanized equipment.

Agro-ecology thus perpetuates primitive backbreaking agriculture, poverty, malnutrition and needless death in poor countries – while hypocritically claiming to safeguard ecological values and “social justice.”

Before they introduce legislation, legislators should read reputable scientific studies, rely less on pressure group press releases, and avoid associating with organizations that stridently oppose all manner of modern technologies in the name of protecting bees and other wildlife, indigenous people and human rights.

Via email


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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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

The attack on common pesticides it the consequence of the Natural & Organic Cult that seeks to avoid 'chemicals', as if that were even possible.