Monday, October 12, 2020

Facebook ads sharing climate misinformation have been viewed more than eight MILLION times, despite the firm saying it is committed to tackling the problem

The newspaper article below has presented uncritically a "report" from a Greenie outfit. So it is written from a Greenie viewpoint. It accepts global warming as known truth, not the poorly supported theory that it is.

It is a testimony to how infinite repetition can make such a claim into accepted wisdom. Dr Goebbels lives again: If you tell a big enough lie often enough people will believe it.

It is however sad proof of how the real scientists -- climate skeptics -- have lost the PR battle. The Leftist stranglehold on most of the media and the educational system is hard to beat

Mr Trump has spoken of arranging a public debate between Warmists and skeptics. That might be what we need to restore well-deserved doubt in people's minds

A new report finds that dozens of climate disinformation ads have run on Facebook in the first half of 2020.

Produced by a variety of conservative groups, ads have received a total of 8 million views.

The report, produced by the climate group InfluenceMap, accuses climate-denialist groups of using Facebook's advertising platform to spread disinformation, 'intentionally seeding doubt and confusion around the science of climate change.'

The ads were predominantly targeted at men, people in rural states and Americans over the age of 55.

Most raised doubts about the science of climate change, including denying there's consensus or certainty about it, and attacked the credibility of climate experts.

Launched by Dylan Tanner on the eve of the Paris climate accords in 2015, InfluenceMap analyzes how corporations influence climate change opinion and policy.

Its newest report, 'Climate Change and Digital Advertising: Climate Science Disinformation in Facebook Advertising' found 51 climate-denial ads running on Facebook between January and June 2020.

The spots cost a total of $42,000 to run and received a total of 8 million impressions, though it's not clear how many people saw them in total.

InfluenceMap says that while the ads were produced by a variety of right-wing groups - such as Prager University, Turning Point USA, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy - the ultimate source of funding 'is often opaque.'

To date, only one ad was removed by Facebook before it was scheduled to end.

Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer at PragerU, denied the company was running disinformation ads.

'Apparently 'disinformation' means anything Facebook or the left disagrees with,' he told The Guardian. 'The ad in question is an educational video on the truth about the Green New Deal.'


BlackRock not so Green

It sounds like they endorse only the less harmful proposals, which is responsible of them

BlackRock, the world's biggest money manager, made headlines early this year when it pledged to prioritize climate change in its investments and pare down its coal holdings.

But environmentalists say the company has failed to make good on this promise in a series of shareholder proposals at annual meetings this year.

Led by influential Wall Street player Larry Fink and overseeing some $7.3 trillion in assets, BlackRock in January vowed to take action to address climate change and sustainable development, raising the hopes of environmentalists.

"We applauded BlackRock for its statement at the beginning of this year.... and we acknowledge that they have taken some steps in that direction," said Ben Cushing, who leads the Sierra Club's financial advocacy campaign.

"But clearly it has not translated into fast-enough, or bold-enough action."

- Need for 'stewardship' -

Part of the skepticism comes from BlackRock's response to shareholder proposals to require companies to take action on the environment.

BlackRock supported only 13 percent of the green-oriented resolutions in 2020, down from 20 percent in 2019, according to Proxy Insight, which tracks global shareholder voting.

A September report from non-governmental organization Majority Action said the New York financial giant backed only three of 36 resolutions on climate change in proxy votes of S&P 500 companies.

And though BlackRock signed on to Climate Action 100+, a global investor engagement initiative, the company supported just two of 12 resolutions presented by the coalition.

BlackRock holds shares in numerous large companies, including Apple, Facebook and Exxon Mobil, as well as ConocoPhillips and Nike.

Cushing said BlackRock could make a big difference if its actions match its rhetoric.

"BlackRock is a huge contributor to the climate crisis through its financing of fossil fuels, deforestation and other climate damaging industries," he said.

"They are one of the world's largest shareholders in almost every publicly traded company," Cushing said. "That gives BlackRock tremendous power and leverage to steer the behavior of corporations in the US and around the world."

The company voted against proposals to require Chevron to develop a report on the risks from petrochemical plants and to make Delta Airlines evaluate how its lobbying strategy conforms with the Paris Climate Accord, saying the firms already had taken steps to address the issue.

But BlackRock has defended its record, saying it had taken other steps, like voting against board nominees who are not committed to environmental issues and prodding action in meetings with company management.

"It's worth noting that not all shareholder proposals are created equal," the company said. "Blindly supporting proposals is not a responsible approach to stewardship."

- 'Discouraging' voting record -

But Giulia Christianson, head of sustainable investment at the World Resources Institute, said other big investors are stepping up on the environment.

According to the report from Majority Action, investment heavyweight Pimco voted in favor of all the resolutions considered essential for the environment.

The same report credited French company Amundi with a 78 percent record and JPMorgan Chase with a 53 percent record. BlackRock backed only eight percent of the resolutions.

"The voting record that we've seen from BlackRock this year is discouraging," Christianson said, noting an apparent "disconnect" between BlackRock's actions and earlier statements that implied it viewed promoting sustainability as part of its fiduciary duty.

And Christianson notes that it makes good business sense: environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investments have gained more legitimacy in recent years and many green-oriented companies have outperformed amid the tumult of the coronavirus.

"We're seeing ESG funds make it through the current stress test of market volatility pretty well and in many cases better than their traditional index counterparts," she said


Google, Boston Review Promote Rolling Blackouts to Cut CO2 Emissions

Among the top Google News search results today for “climate change” is an article published by the Boston Review calling for Third World-style electricity blackouts in the United States to fight climate change. According to the article, American households are unnecessarily spoiled by experiencing an average of only six hours per year without electricity. Instead, government should impose frequent “planned interruptions” of power to force households to use less electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The Google-promoted article, titled “To Save the Climate, Give Up the Demand for Constant Electricity,” argues that “Each household demanding continuous electricity marginally exacerbates the climate crisis.”

“Waiting to ensure uninterrupted power for everyone as we transition away from fossil fuels will cost too much time – and too many lives,” the article adds.

A better model, according to the article, is the unreliable power grid in Zimbabwe. Wistfully recalling his days living in Zimbabwe under brutal former dictator Robert Mugabe, the author of the Boston Review article writes,

“ZESA [Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority] planned a rotation among the suburbs. Generally, that meant losing power for half a day per week. The power cut might have been shorter, had people not circumvented it by using their electric stoves immediately before or after. Still, rationing residences allowed hospitals and other essential services to keep running.”

The author follows up by saying the rest of the United States should deliberately subject itself to similarly unreliable electricity that has plagued Puerto Rico in the aftermath of 2017 Hurricane Maria.

“Zimbabwe and Puerto Rico thus provide models for what we might call pause-full electricity. Admittedly, neither Zimbabweans nor Puerto Ricans chose to accept this rationing. And in Zimbabwe, official incompetence has reduced electricity to a nearly unbearable degree. Still, Zimbabwe’s past and Puerto Rico’s potential indicate just and feasible ways of living amid intermittency. With a pause, life goes on. By abiding that interlude—by shedding their load—people can preserve life near and far.”

This isn’t merely fringe thought among the climate activist movement. It appears in the Boston Review and is promoted among the very top Google News search results under “climate change.” The Climate Left desires electricity rationing and frequent Third World-style electricity blackouts to subjugate the populace and fight global warming.

That is the choice between climate alarmism and climate realism.


Australia: Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner labels Greenie plan to replace shark nets as 'pure madness'

Conservationists have sent a report to Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner outlining a $33 million plan to replace shark nets and drumlines with non-lethal alternatives.

Biologist with the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), Dr Leo Guida, said their report offered non-lethal shark mitigation methods that "modernise and improve beach safety".

"The current methods are 60 years old, and there's nowhere else in our daily lives that we would accept safety standards that are 60 years old."

"The wildlife cost is too high and quite literally for no safety benefit whatsoever," he said.

But Mr Furner has described suggestions to remove drumlines and shark nets as "pure madness".

The renewed call for the replacement of shark nets comes as hundreds of images of marine life caught in nets and drumlines off Queensland's coast are released under a right to information request made by a documentary film crew that is associated with AMCS.

What are the alternatives?

There have been two fatal shark attacks at Queensland beaches with nets or drumlines in place since 1962, including at Greenmount Beach in September.

Alternative shark mitigation measures recommended by the report include the use of drones to monitor beaches and eco-shark barriers.

Eco shark barriers are made of plastic with 25 to 30-centimetre-wide gaps, aimed at deterring marine life from entering an area, without entangling them like nets do.

SMART (Shark Management Alert in Real Time) drumlines, which alert a Department of Fisheries contractor when a shark has been caught so it can be tagged and relocated, have not been recommended as a replacement to nets or traditional drumlines in the report.

The report, co-signed by AMCS, Humane Society International, Sea Shepherd, No Shark Cull QLD, Ocean Impact, and the documentary Envoy: Shark Cull, has called for both major parties to provide a timeframe for the removal of shark nets and drumlines.

The conservation groups have estimated that replacing nets and drumlines would cost $33.4 million, with ongoing costs of $4.1 million per year — based on a 2019 review of the shark control program and the market price of the suggested alternatives.

However, eco-barriers have had mixed success, with a trial in northern New South Wales showing they have a minimal impact on marine life but can be damaged in strong surf conditions, posing a moderate risk to surfers.

Call for more immediate action

The State Government removed drumlines from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park after a 2019 Federal Court ruling found that killing sharks did nothing to reduce the risk of unprovoked attacks.

The State Opposition has since committed $15 million to replace drumlines in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park with SMART drumlines.

Dr Guida said "it's great to see" both parties taking steps toward more modern methods, but more immediate, state-wide action is needed.

"We don't want to see our wildlife destroyed."

But Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said the State Government had allocated $1 million per year towards shark control innovation, including the use of drones along some Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches.

"Their proposal to remove shark drumlines and also nets from the waters is just pure madness," he said.

But Mr Furner said drones could not be used along beaches close to airports, making drumlines and nets necessary.

"You would leave swimmers, surfers, beachgoers, unsafe by not having that protection."

According to data from Queensland Fisheries, at least 3,400 turtle, mammal and other bycatch species have been caught in nets or drumlines since 2001.

But Mr Furner said the state's shark control program has "served Queenslanders well in both persuasions of government".

"I'm convinced that the officers of Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and contractors do their very best to make sure bycatch is released live."

State Government to re-visit potential trial

Mr Furner said the cost of replacing all nets and drumlines in Queensland had not been calculated by the State Government.

"We're looking at trialling different measures first and then coming up with a suitable alternative," he said.

In March, a Department of Fisheries Shark Control Program Scientific Working Group voiced its support for a trial that would see some nets replaced by traditional drumlines during the 2020 whale migration season.

"Shark drumlines aren't ones that you can go into Bunnings and purchase. It's something you need to manage and provide for." "We'll revisit that next year," he said.

The State Opposition's spokesperson for Fisheries, Tony Perrett has been contacted for comment.




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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RE - "...Greenie plan to replace shark nets..."

What's their slogan, "Kill People, Not Fish!"?