Monday, May 04, 2020

Why I’ve had enough of eco-luvvies

Many celebrities are sanctimonious, so there’s no use complaining too much. But there is something particularly nauseating about eco-luvvies.

The lifestyles of the filthy rich and uber-famous are among the most carbon-intensive imaginable. But that has never stopped them from finger-wagging to the rest of us about how we are overusing our own meagre share of the planet’s resources.

Emma Thompson is perhaps the most extreme eco-luvvie. Last year, she infamously flew from LA to London to join in a roadblock with the doomsday cultists of Extinction Rebellion (XR). XR is truly the maddest green group among a mad bunch. Its central claim is that humans face a mass-extinction event unless we decide as a species to revert to a semi-feudal, carbon-free lifestyle by 2025.

Now, on behalf of XR, Thompson has starred in a new short film called Rebellion. Much has been made in the press about the film’s use of all-vegan costumes. But what’s really remarkable about it is how clearly it shows her and other activists’ delusions of radicalism.

The film opens with a quote from Naomi Klein about people feeling ‘threatened’ about the subject of climate change before cutting to one of XR’s days of ‘rebellion’. In the meantime, a posh XR activist is waiting to start a negotiation with a posh Tory politician and his posh adviser. The XR activist is waiting for another posh (albeit dressed-down) activist to arrive before putting the government in its place. When posh Emma Thompson finally arrives, it becomes clear that the only thing the film accurately represents is that eco-warriors are overwhelmingly posh.

Unsurprisingly, the characters trot out the unconvincing XR lines about humanity facing extinction and governments covering up ‘the truth’ about the climate crisis. When the nasty politician says he won’t overturn the global capitalist system at the behest of a few activists, everyone explodes into uncontrollable shouting. At one point, Emma Thompson screams that she has been ‘putting up for 40 years with this patriarchal BULLSHIT!’.

Rebellion, like so much eco-propaganda, positions the environmentalist as the rebellious antagonist to the established order. But of course nothing could be further from the truth.

The film was deliberately released on the anniversary of the UK parliament declaring a climate emergency. And yet a recurring complaint of the film’s characters is that the UK is doing nothing about climate change.

Far from doing nothing about climate change, unless the pandemic blows it off course, the Conservative government has committed the UK to a ‘Net Zero’ target for carbon emissions. This will be the most expensive and far-reaching policy in our history. The opposition parties wanted to go even further, pledging Net Zero targets by 2030 at the last election. Extinction Rebellion’s target of 2025 is certainly more stringent (and utterly mental) but its attachment to eco-austerity is shared by the whole of the political class.

Extinction Rebellion activists like Thompson delude themselves into thinking they are rebellious outsiders, raging against the system. But even the capitalist class share their anti-human tendencies. Environmentalism is well-represented every year at Davos, the exclusive gathering of the global elites. Greta Thunberg has given keynote addresses there on multiple occasions, and last year even spokespeople for Extinction Rebellion were invited on to panels.

The problem for those of us who want to live free and fulfilling lives is that Extinction Rebellion’s ideas are actually incredibly mainstream. It is only a matter of degree and flamboyancy that makes XR stand out from the rest. Emma Thompson and the other eco-zealots have much more in common with a drab Tory MP than they would care to admit. What we need is a rebellion against the posh eco-luvvies.


Eco-conscious wine lovers should buy corked instead of screw top because it has up to half the carbon footprint, scientists discover

Eco-conscious wine lovers should seek out bottles sealed with a cork rather than a screw top because it has up to half the carbon footprint, scientists have discovered.

In the past, the water used to grow cork trees, and the fact you are cutting trees to make the stoppers, made some believe it was better for the environment to buy wine sealed with a recyclable cap.

However, a new study by Ernst & Young has found that corks are carbon negative, meaning the production of them captures carbon from the atmosphere instead of adding to the industry's carbon footprint.

They found a natural cork captures 309g of CO2, and a natural cork for sparkling wine captures 562g of CO2.

The average wine bottle has a carbon footprint of 1200g, so the use of cork stoppers can reduce this by a quarter in a still wine


New Republic, Bill McKibben Caught Lying About Earth Day and Climate

The New Republic is touting its new weekly newsletter, Apocalypse Soon, claiming this week’s 50th Earth Day anniversary reveals a “tragic failure of the environmental movement to change our trajectory.” Moreover, according to the New Republic, “The dissonance has felt more unbearable each year, as the threats to the planet grow.” Objective data, however, show the trajectory of environmental stewardship has been improving for decades, regardless of the New Republic‘s tall tales.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chart below shows emissions of the six most important pollutants tracked by EPA have declined 68% since 1980. The decline is even larger if we track back 50 years to 1970 and the initial Earth Day.

The New Republic’s misrepresentation of the real facts is similar to its deceitful coverage of climate change issues across the board. For example, this week’s Apocalypse Soon newsletter favorably cites climate activist Bill McKibben. This is the same McKibben who shamefully exploited the devastating 2011 Japan tsunami to lie and call attention to his radical climate change agenda. In an article ostensibly on the Japan tsunami, McKibben wrote, “We’re seeing record temperatures that depress harvests – the amount of grain per capita on the planet has been falling for years.” Yet, as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports, the world has been benefiting from dramatic long-term growth in grain production. In fact, as shown in the FAO chart below, UN global grain production sets new records virtually every year as our planet modestly warms.

The New Republic and Bill McKibben make excellent bedfellows. Both simply make stuff up, spew false climate claims, and seek to ignore and eliminate evidentiary testing under The Scientific Method.


Svalbard Now At 6th Highest Sea Ice Extent With Very Thick Ice

Susan J Crockford PhD

For the second time this month, sea ice around Svalbard Norway was the 6th or 7th highest since records began in the late 1960s. Pack ice at the end of April still surrounds Bear Island (Bjørnøya) at the southern end of the archipelago, which is a rare occurrence at this date.

These conditions document a recurrent pattern of high ice extent and especially extreme ice thickness in the Barents Sea since last summer.

Graphs provided by the Norwegian Ice Service only goes back to 1981 (see the ‘Min/Max’ dotted line in the graph above) but their records go back to at least 1969. Extent at April 29th was sixth highest and on the 30th seventh highest – only slightly less than 1998. NIS archived ice charts availble online only go back to 1998 for April. Below are the charts for April 29th and 30th:

Thick sea ice in the Barents Sea north of Svalbard has been remarkable this year, as the chart below from Danish Arctic research shows:

The icebreaker Polarstern, intentionally trapped in the ice pack, may well have trouble making its rendezvous with two German icebreakers off Svalbard in mid-May to exchange staff and replenish supplies. The world’s most powerful nuclear-powered icebreakers can plow through ice up to 2.5m thick but most of the ice just north of Svalbard (see map above) is 3.0-3.5m thick.

A commenter on Twitter posted a link to a blog post (in Russian) that contains remarkable photos of Russian icebreakers working through consolidated sea ice north of Novaya Zemlya in the Barents Sea in early April. Google Translate offered this nugget: “On the northern shores of Novaya Zemlya there are glaciers that throw off such gifts to sailors in the sea.” These ‘gifts’ are icebergs breaking of the huge icefields of NW Novaya Zemlya

Similar conditions are what stopped explorer William Barents and his crew in their tracks back in 1596 in late August and forced them to spend the winter and following spring in the Arctic. See map below of the ice cap (white) on northwest Novaya Zemlya from this paper: icebergs form ‘ice fields’ off the west coast, generated by the many glaciers; these icebergs get consolidated into the pack ice north and northwest of the island. Cape Spory Navolok is where Barents’ ship was trapped – they made it through the ice fields on the west and north coasts only to get caught in the thick ice off the northeast coast:

SOURCE  (See the original for links and graphics)


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