Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Ten Practices Linking Environmentalism with Fascism

Recent news that the German Green Party is willing to work with the extreme right “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) in order to secure a vote to ban glyphosate has shocked many political actors seeking a cordon sanitaire around the German fascist party. The Risk-Monger though is not surprised. He has often used words like “undemocratic”, “Machiavellian” and “fascist” to describe the self-righteous environmental activist campaign strategies.

Contradictions for the Cause

The Greens are a party of inherent contradictions. They talk of democracy and the voice of the common person yet the consequences of their food and energy policies favour the elite and the privileged (at the expense of the poor). Greens will lead transparency campaigns and moves to expose corporate lobbying, and yet they themselves, as transparocrites, often do not disclose from whom and how they use their (public) funds.

They seek development and increased aid for emerging economies and yet they legislate to harm African agricultural and technological development. Environmentalists are quick to be righteous but unlike industry and government, do not adhere to ethical codes of conduct and even condone lying and breaking the law.

These contradictions are tolerated by the passion of the environmentalist ideology. Driven to change the world, the Greens have shown their Machiavellian stripes. The ends not only justify the means, it also allows these princes of purity to justify a whole heap of deception, intolerance and injustice (as the recent Portier Papers demonstrated).

So if activists like Corporate Europe Observatory’s Martin Pigeon will knowingly get in bed with slime-ball American predatory lawyers; USRTK’s Carey Gillam will happily take money from anti-vaccine nut-jobs; NGOs like Greenpeace openly justify lying; should we be surprised that the German Green Party has stripped themselves naked for the puerile pleasure a rag-tag band of neo-Nazis (I hope they used a condom!)?

I can understand how some nature-loving kittens may be offended with my comparing them to a political ideology responsible for millions of deaths, so perhaps some qualifications are in order. Fascism arises when someone is willing to do anything to achieve a set of goals – principles of decency, tolerance and propriety are secondary and expendable. Motivated by higher goals (nationalism, racial supremacy, purity), fascists execute this strategy with righteous, Machiavellian precision.

For environmentalists, if there is a means to succeed in saving the planet, that strategy is elevated above and beyond widely shared codes of conduct (sometimes crudely and condescendingly referred to as the values of the “sheeple”).

I have referred to this as zealot ethics but it is also a core fascist mindset: obsessive, blind righteousness! Green activists are essentially fascists who tolerate minorities! So for the German Green Party to work directly with a band of neo-Nazis is a no-brainer – they have so much in common. To achieve their goal, the German Greens merely will hold their nose and look the other way when their sister party, the AfD, starts attacking immigrants.

Ten Practices linking Environmentalism with Fascism

Not only do environmental activists, Green Party politicians and organic industry lobbyists engage in fascist practices, they also agree with many of the fascist ideologies. Here are ten practices that link environmentalism with fascism.
green fascists

1. Denying Dialogue

I have often criticised how environmental activists in Brussels have worked to block dialogue. Not just how they have organised events in the European Parliament or the Hague where they deny others the right to participate and engage, but how they actively work to exclude others, like industry representatives, from participating in public debates. Denying the process of open dialogue is something only fascist-minded individuals would support. Pro-organic activists have even shut down Facebook pages and blog-sites.

2. Argumentum ad hominem

Whenever people who do not know me accuse me of being all sorts of evil (because they disagree with me), I get an image in my head of an angry, clean-cut Hitler’s Youth child chanting verbiage at me. Environmentalists do not argue on the basis of facts, science or evidence; rather they attack individuals personally, often quite viciously, via ad hominem attacks. These bully tactics are aimed to intimidate individuals in a ruthless ostracism resembling how opponents were treated in 1930s Germany.

3. Green Goebbelesque Gurus

Rhetorical jingoism repeatedly communicated works well when ubiquitous. In the 1930s, Joseph Goebbels utilised an emerging communications technology, cinema, to manipulate perception and enhance public fears and prejudices against certain races and ideologies. As the technology was new, few were able to discern reality from propaganda.

Today we have the emerging social media communications technology, and there are dozens of Green Goebbelesque Gurus running around weaving green lies, repeated millions of times until their credibility is uncontested. I know it is a misquote, but “the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed” works perfectly on social media. If you share the views of Stephanie Seneff or Vandana Shiva five million times, they might just start to sound less ridiculous.

Just imagine if Goebbels had opened a Facebook page for Herr Hitler …

4. Victim Opportunism

Never waste a good crisis. When Herschel Grynszpan allegedly assassinated German diplomat, Ernst vom Rath, the Nazi pogrom strategy went into motion. If you can use a victim for your own gain, and exploit the reality to hype up fear, chances are, you would make a very good fascist! The greens have taken this victim abuse strategy to the next level – we are all victims of the evil chemical industry. When Carey Gillam scares you about trace levels of glyphosate in your blood, in your daughter’s blood, in everyone’s blood, she is strategically creating mobs of walking wounded to exploit. That twinkle in Carey’s eye is historically haunting.

5. Greenshirt Mob Mentality

It is no surprise to the Risk-Monger that discussions with activists usually turn quickly into verbally aggressive mob attacks that can become quite threatening. Scientists like Kevin Folta have received death threats by this band of organic storm-troopers. Now the German Agricultural Minister, Christian Schmidt, who voted in favour of glyphosate, is facing death threats, is under protection and has had to take down his social media pages. The mob wants his blood and it is likely Angela will comply.

Vulnerable, frightened people can easily be made to act irrationally when their passions have been stoked by merciless opportunists. We are now in Donation December – there is no telling how far the NGOs will go to whip up some outrage.

6. A Relentless Desire to Win at any Cost

In their relentless drive to change the world, activists don’t lose campaigns, but merely suffer temporary setbacks from which they regroup and fight even more ruthlessly. The loss of the glyphosate vote is the equivalent of a Beer Hall Putsch. Seeing the rhetoric and venom coming out of Green Party corridors, the desire to drive forward and ban glyphosate has grown stronger with their saucy outrage. Only a fascist would not accept the decision of a legal, regulatory process. Will they set fire to the Berlaymont?

7. The Charade of Democracy

Branding themselves as representatives of the people, greens are very good at pretending to be democratic. Whenever an activist presents a policy statement, it is always cleverly voiced in the “we”, pretending their 5-7% of the electorate is actually representing the interests of the 99%. A small part of the population actually eats organic food, but they want all of us to (even if it means creating global food insecurity and environmental destruction).

Or is it: Fascists vs Science?

When the glyphosate reauthorisation was passed, the activists screamed that it was undemocratic. First of all, facts and evidence don’t need to be democratic! If 95% of the population denies evolution, it does not mean creationism is correct. In any case, the 1.3 million signatories of the activists’ silly citizen’s initiative suggests they think their narrow-minded views take priority over the livelihoods of 12 million European farmers or hundreds of millions of European consumers. Why? Because they are the Übermensch. The Greens will fight on to ban glyphosate through other, non-democratic measures, accepting no compromise – this is “total war”.

8. Blut und Boden

The most frightening illustration of Green fascism has been this “blood and soil” approach to mobilise a form of puritan, organic Aryanism. Our food has been contaminated by the modern technologies of an externalised industrial exploiter and manipulator – the pesticides industry. The German Food and Agriculture minister from 1933, Walter Darré, proposed a back to basics, back to the land ideology, with a more traditionalist and conservationist (green) approach.

This “new nobility” conserving soil has been seamlessly adopted by today’s agroecologists. When organic industry spokespeople start salivating about peasant farmers and smallholders in Cuba or Africa feeding hungry western elitist consumers, my mind wanders to Darré’s colonisation for his new nobility.

9. Heimat.org: Back to Green Righteous Roots

There have been many academics who have linked today’s Greens to 1930s Nazi Party ideology: Anna Bramwell’s autobiography on Darré or Rupert Darwall’s recent book, Green Tyranny, come to mind, showing how green Nazi policies have endured until today. Not only were Darré’s dabbling in organic food and free-range livestock rearing celebrated in 1930s Germany, but Nazi’s also were known to promote homeopathy and other alternative medicines. As today, being righteous and being fascist were synonymous. Hitler wanted to ban smoking but apparently relented, needing his soldiers to be “battle ready”.

There is even research linking the founding of the German Green Party directly to former Nazis. I have to admit I felt uncomfortable reading an NGO’s criticism of the Risk-Monger suggesting there was something prima facie wrong with my being involved as a speaker at an event partly organised by an Israeli group. It suggests that the Green’s attitudes here are more than simply pro-Palestinian sentiments.

10. Monsanto: The Final Solution?

To mobilise the masses and keep the mob enraged, any good fascist knows the value of a scapegoat. Years of propaganda and lies, repeated with Goebbelian precision, has built up an irrational rage against Monsanto: the “New Jew” – that filthy, vilified parasite that must be exterminated. When I tried to attend the Monsanto Tribunal show trial last year, I was alarmed at the blood-thirstiness of the angry strategists (definitely not the warm tree-huggers from the hippie commune I had expected). The green final solution entails destroying all industry so that the masses may prosper.

An Extreme on all your Houses

The last year has seen the disconcerting rise of the extreme right in election battles across Europe from France to the Netherlands, from Germany to Austria. After almost a decade of economic austerity and recessions, it should not be a surprise that the European electorate has radicalised to the extremes.

But it is not just the far right that should concern us. As in the 1930s, the far left has also gained important ground, including being involved in governments in Austria, the Netherlands and perhaps Germany. With the ideological failure of Communism, the values of the extreme left today is more and more occupied by the Greens.

The distance on the political spectrum between the extreme left and the extreme right is not that far. Both sides are not very good democrats, deny open dialogue, are quite righteous and passionate in their ideologies, are Machiavellian in their political strategies and know how to mobilise their mobs via emerging communications tools. So it should surprise no one that the German Green Party is ready to get in bed with the neo-Nazis if it means allowing them to ban an efficient herbicide.

What surprises me is how so few people are outraged by the antics of these fascist environmentalists.


Climate Scientists Harassing Women

Consensus climate scientists have long been personal and damning in their criticism of those who don’t agree with them. They’ve threatened physical violence (Ben Santer: “Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.”). They of course use the epithet ‘denier’ specifically to associate opponents with those who deny the Holocaust occurred.

But when they talk about male scientists they are somewhat restrained. Here’s Michael Mann on Richard Lindzen, former Alfred P. Sloan professor at MIT, and one of the most famous skeptics: “So Richard Lindzen is a scientist from MIT who has expressed contrarian views about climate change.” When astrophysicist Ken Rice, a consensus defender writes of Roger Pielke Jr., who disputes some elements of the consenssus, he writes “Okay, I do think that trying to improve the climate debate is commendable, so kudos to Roger for at least trying. ”

But when Mann speaks of Judith Curry, another climate scientist who disagrees with some consensus positions, he says ‘she is a carnival barker in the circus of climate denial.’ This is somewhat odd, as Judith Curry has 224 scientific publications credited to her–Mann is calling her a denier of a science she is helping create. She is also dismissively referred to on blogs published by climate scientists as ‘Aunt Judy’ and much worse.

The same is true for scientists like Sally Baliunas, Jennifer Marohasy, even consensus female scientists like Tamsin Edwards (called a ‘careerist’ by Josh Halpern for not being critical enough of lukewarmers). While male scientists definitely get their share of criticism–even abuse–with females, the invective seems more personal.

Now it is the turn of Dr. Susan Crockford, who has been a zoologist for 35 years. Despite that, despite her PhD from the University of Victoria in Canada, despite over 30 scientific publications, she is now classed as a ‘denier.’

A paper published Nov. 29 in the American Institute of Biological Sciences journal ‘Bioscience’ bears the title ‘Internet Blogs, Polar Bears and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy’ calls Susan Crockford a denier. Their evidence is that other unidentified blogs that the paper’s authors call ‘denier’ blogs (without citing them, without showing what it is about those blogs that render them anathema) link to Dr. Crockford’s weblog.

Let’s be clear about this. Dr. Crockford does not deny climate change. She writes about polar bears and clears up some misconceptions being published about them. But because weblogs this paper’s authors don’t like link to Crockford, she is now labeled a ‘denialist.’ But again, the casual dismissal of her life’s work is more personal than professional. She is derided as someone who focused on dogs,with an inferred snigger.

This is actually a common Consensus tactic–when they cannot criticize the science, they go after the scientist. Or even the scientists’s fans… The truth about polar bears is that they have survived warmer periods than those predicted for us by the IPCC. Their numbers are increasing, not decreasing. And the biggest threat to polar bears are hunters–as many as 1,000 per year (out of a total population of about 30,000) are shot.

The paper flat out lies about Crockford’s publication record, saying “Notably, as of this writing, Crockford has neither conducted any original research nor published any articles in the peer-reviewed literature on polar bears.” Crockford’s publications are listed here and include papers published in Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, Canadian Journal of Zoology and International Journal of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, among many others.

It is another attempt to delegitimize a respected and credentialed scientist, based not on what she writes, but on what others write about her.

The Consensus team is not shy about labeling, defaming and insulting those in opposition. But here we see once again that it is easier for them to do this with female opponents.

The paper’s authors are Jeffrey A. Harvey, Daphne van den Berg, Jacintha Ellers, Remko Kampen, Thomas W. Crowther, Peter Roessingh, Bart Verheggen, Rascha J. M. Nuijten, Eric Post, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ian Stirling, Meena Balgopal, Steven C. Amstrup, Michael E. Mann.

Michael Mann is famous–or infamous–as author of the Hockey Stick chart. But Jeffrey Harvey is not. Harvey is willing to defend Paul Ehrlich, who to my knowledge has never been right about anything, but is willing to throw fellow scientist Susan Crockford under the bus. Here’s Harvey defending Paul Ehrlich:

“Effectively, these scientists – experts with many hundreds of peer-reviewed articles amongst them and with many awards (e.g. Paul Ehrlich has been a past winner of the Crafoord Prize, an equivalent to the Nobel Prize in fields outside of that award) – have drawn conclusions that an ‘expert’ like Fuller disagrees with.”

Stefan Lewandowsky, famed for having retracted his flagship paper and moving out of the country to live down the shame of it, deserves little mention.

The central point emerging from their paper is unintentional on their part. Their opponents are eager to cite scientists in their arguments. Rather than denying science, they are eager consumers of it.

The central point of this post–that climate scientists are dismissive, personal and insulting, and more so when the subject of their disdain are female, is clear just from their quoted remarks.

On Judith Curry:

Bart Verheggen: “Her unfounded allegations are insulting for the whole profession. It increases the polarisation and doesn’t add to the building of bridges (perhaps a one-way bridge).”

Michael Tobis: “Anyone who thinks all is roses in the garden of science has to account for the rise of Dr Curry to a position of responsibility in academia. (Here I am on the sidelines and there sits Judith Curry on top of the heap.”

Michael Mann: “Pathetic #RichardHarris @NPR puffpiece glorifies #JudyCurry for purveying #climatechange distraction & confusion ”

Michael Tobis: “So has she lost touch, or has she never had much scientific insight to begin with? That’s the only question any of this burbling raises. … On the other hand, to be honest no paper of hers has ever come across my radar in anything I’ve investigated.”

“It’s as if she had heard of science but never seen it done.”

On Susan Crockford:

Richard Littlemore: “Has beens, also-rans, deniers-for-hire on retainer at “think tank”. The scientists, ranging from …a sessional lecturer on the evolution and history of the domestic dog (Susan Crockford), include no top climate scientists currently publishing in the peer-reviewed literature.”

At the end of the day, members of the Consensus will dismiss this blog post in the same way they dismiss Susan Crockford–not because of the accuracy of the quotes listed here, not because of the truth or falsity of its central point, but because of provenance. It is posted on a blog called Climate Scepticism and hence is beyond the Pale.


Cobalt, the heart of darkness in the shiny electric car story

The electric car story continues to gather momentum, with even major oil companies scrambling to join the coming green energy revolution.

Royal Dutch Shell has just announced a partnership with leading automotive companies to install super-fast chargers on European highways.

But as ever more companies sign up to the bright, shiny electric vehicle (EV) future, there is rising concern about the heart of darkness in this new technology: You can't power an EV without a lithium-ion battery and, for now at least, you can't make a battery without using cobalt.

And most of the world's cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country racked by political instability, legal opacity and, at its darkest, child labour in its mines.

This concentration of supply risk, both in terms of physical units and ethical sourcing, isn't going away any time soon and could even worsen.

The dark side

The DRC accounted for 66,000 tonnes of global mined cobalt production of 123,000 tonnes last year, according to the US Geological Survey.

That's the official sector. There is also an artisanal stream of production, some of it using child labour and some of it controlled by insurgent militias.

Quite how much cobalt this grey sector generates is the main "known unknown" in any analysis of world production.

But it is an undisputed fact that it has been seeping into the official supply chain for years.

Speaking at a London Metal Exchange (LME) seminar in October, Tony Southgate, head of cobalt marketing at Eurasian Resources Group, warned that "it's almost inevitable (...) there are mobile phones in this room" containing cobalt from child labour in the DRC.

The issue has moved to the top of the LME's own agenda after complaints that one of its registered brands, produced by China's Yantai Cash Industrial, could include metal sourced from the dark side of the DRC cobalt sector.

The LME has written to producers asking for assurances on ethical and socially responsible minerals sourcing, while Yantai told the Financial Times that it is conducting its own due diligence exercise.

Legal opacity

Child labour is only one of multiple problems posed by the DRC to the emergence of an efficient raw materials chain for commodities used in batteries.

The legal and financial framework around the country's mining sector is both opaque and tinged with political interference.

A recent study by US advocacy group The Carter Center described state mining company Gecamines as operating a "parallel state" and concluded that $US750 million ($943 million) from DRC's copper mine privatisation process cannot be tracked reliably.

Such allegations are vehemently denied by the DRC government, but legal controversy is never too far away in the DRC mining sector.

Glencore, one of the leading operators in the country, has been sucked into a controversy surrounding the role of Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler in the acquisition of assets now operated by its Katanga Mining subsidiary.

Another operator, Groupe Forrest, is in legal dispute with Gecamines after the latter blocked access to its production site this year and awarded mining rights to another entity, Bloomberg reported.

This particular three-way court tussle is having a direct market impact because production at the site has been halted, taking about 5,000 tonnes of cobalt out of the supply equation this year.

Frankly, if the rest of the world could, it would happily not source any cobalt from the DRC.

And the likes of Tesla and Apple are trying to do just that, working with potential future producers in Canada and the United States to create their own cobalt supply chains.

There is no shortage of junior miner contestants in this ethical cobalt beauty contest, but right now the DRC is the dominant producer. And it's going to remain so for the foreseeable future.

Six of the top 10 cobalt-producing assets last year were located in the DRC, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In 2022 the number will rise to nine out of the top 10, it forecasts. ("Cobalt - Supercharged as supply chain risk increases")

Quite simply, unless someone works out how to engineer cobalt out of the lithium-ion battery, the world is going to need a lot more cobalt and it's still going to get most of it from the DRC.

Dangerous dependency

This is a dangerously concentrated dependency, leaving a whole supply chain beholden to the political, legal and ethical uncertainties surrounding the DRC's mining sector.

The only comparison, S&P Global suggests, is a similar concentration of platinum production in South Africa.

When that country was roiled by a wave of industrial action in 2014, it translated into a 20 per cent dent in global supply that year. At least there were above-ground platinum stocks to fill the supply gap.

Whether there would be sufficient inventory of cobalt to buffer the market against serious disruption in the DRC is a very moot point.

The arrival of automotive companies to this dysfunctional market could in theory be a game-changer if they stimulate more supply and force a collective industry move to responsible sourcing.

A template already exists in a programme aimed at improving transparency in the tin-tantalum-tungsten mining sector of central Africa, including particularly challenging operating environments such as Kivu Province in the DRC.

Right now, however, a company such as Volkswagen is still at the early stage of simply trying to secure enough units to deliver on its electrification promise.

Attempts to lock in future supply at prices below current levels have not yet yielded any tangible results.

VW and other automakers are learning, to quote Rebecca Gordon, head of technology metals at CRU, "the value of cobalt in the ground".

Investing at the mine site would be one way of simultaneously ensuring supply in outright tonnage terms and in socially acceptable terms.

Most car companies are still understandably wary of getting involved at such an upstream part of a supply chain.

But if they don't, they will remain exposed to whatever happens in the heart of darkness that is the DRC.


Twilight of the Climate Change Movement

Don’t be fooled by the post-Paris fanfare: The climate change movement faces big trouble ahead.

The UN’s climate summit in Paris at the end of 2015 concluded with a bang. The world’s governments promised sweeping cuts in carbon emissions. Rich countries promised to help poor ones with $100 billion per year in climate assistance. President Obama quickly declared the agreement “the best chance we have to save the one planet we’ve got.” The consensus quickly jelled that this was a major, historic achievement.

Then came the fizzle: The agreement is non-binding. Secretary of State John Kerry asserted on NBC’s Meet the Press that compliance would be enforced through the “powerful weapon” of public shaming, apparently implying a policy of verbal confrontation toward states that fall short. The Danish scientist Bjørn Lomborg, a prominent critic of the top-down international conference approach to climate change, called the Paris agreement the “costliest in history” if implemented. According to Lomborg, the agreement would “reduce temperatures by 2100 by just 0.05 degrees Celsius (0.09 degrees Fahrenheit)…. This is simply cynical political theater, meant to convince us that our leaders are taking serious action…a phenomenally expensive but almost empty gesture.” NASA scientist Jim Hansen, one of the earliest proponents of the idea that global warming is manmade, slammed the deal as “half-assed and half-baked,” a “fake,” and a “fraud.”

Hansen’s assessment is probably close to the mark—and he and his fellow alarmists have only themselves to blame. While those who flatly deny the possibility of any global warming can be readily brushed aside, the alarmists have been much too quick to dismiss legitimate questions about precisely what the evidence shows. Indeed, they have frequently treated such questions as heresies to be persecuted, adopting an even more virulently anti-scientific mindset than the one they accuse others of.

Meanwhile, on the policy side, the alarmists’ call for worldwide economic controls, including caps on fossil fuels, are largely recycled from previous scientific doomsday fads, such as the oil scarcity scare of the late 1970s. Despite the enormous costs these policies would impose, especially on poor countries, they would do virtually nothing to stop anthropogenic climate change, let alone protect anyone from relentless natural climate change that is one of our planet’s most prominent and inescapable features. They are also distracting attention both from investments that would make society less vulnerable to climate change, and from a more pressing crisis, namely the extinction of a large fraction of the world’s plant and animal species due to widespread modification of natural habitat.

Don’t be fooled by the fanfare in Paris: The climate change movement faces big trouble ahead. Its principal propositions contain two major fallacies that can only become more glaring with time. First, in stark contrast to popular belief and to the public statements of government officials and many scientists, the science on which the dire predictions of manmade climate change is based is nowhere near the level of understanding or certainty that popular discourse commonly ascribes to it. Second, and relatedly, the movement’s embrace of an absolute form of the precautionary principle distorts rational cost-benefit analysis, or throws it out the window altogether.

As the costs of decarbonization start to hit home, and the public demands greater certainty about the benefits to be gained, the public—and particularly those industries that are hardest hit—will invest in scientific research, in the hopes of achieving a more granular cost-benefit analysis. Something similar is happening to proposed listings under the Endangered Species Act—where major economic interests are threatened, they have responded with enormous investments in scientific research in order to show either that the species in question is not in danger, or that it can be protected by measures far short of the often draconian prohibitions imposed pursuant to the Act.

These factors will almost certainly produce a more nuanced and less messianic view of the climate problem, with solutions aimed to maximize “bang for the buck” at the margins, where climate threats are most grave, rather than reordering human society in order to “save” a planet that, in the grand scheme of things, is quite indifferent to the state of the climate at any given time.

All sides of the climate change debate have a huge incentive to generate more and better climate science: the alarmists and their more skeptical colleagues all want to prove their points. As our scientific understanding improves, many of the propositions we hear today will have to be modified, and many will be refuted, as has always happened in the history of science. The scientific community may at times be powerfully resistant to revision of its received wisdoms; it took an entire generation for medical professionals to accept the germ theory of disease, despite the fact that the evidence in its favor generated by Pasteur and Koch was clear from the start. But better science wins out in the end.

The greater clarity that better science will bring will open up new opportunities to solve environmental problems both known and unknown, and not a moment too soon. The human race faces challenges that cannot effectively be met at a local or even a national level. These challenges will not be met by a wholesale reordering of human society from the top down, as many of the more authoritarian-minded environmentalists wish. Any attempt to impose command-economy solutions on a global scale will fall far short or outright fail, as the Paris agreement and its precursors show. The right strategy for confronting environmental challenges will have to be based on rational market incentives, rational cost-benefit analysis, and a broad-based consensus about the vital importance of efficient markets. Strategies that distort rational cost-benefit analysis (or the science on which it is based) to suit an anti-market agenda will not work and can only maintain the illusion of legitimacy for so long before they are discredited.


West Australian rivers losing climate change battle

This is utter rubbish.  Rainfall in WA is notoriously variable, with many long dryish periods and some periods of flooding.  Rainfall has in fact been quite good in recent years, thus raising the average for recent years.  To compare that recent average with current falls tells us nothing.  Note below no comparison with the long term average

Rivers in the southwest region of WA are struggling to cope with the impact of climate change despite average winter rainfalls returning to the area.

A good dose of winter rainfall has failed to save rivers in WA's South West region from the impact of climate change, the state's water minister says.

Despite improvements in overall rainfall, most rivers recorded below average flows compared to the period from 1975 to 2016, according to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

It comes as winter this year was WA's hottest on record, with average winter rainfall the 11th-lowest since 1900 when records began.

Gingin Brook in Perth's north continues to be one of the areas most affected by climate change, Water Minister Dave Kelly said on Monday.

Unusually heavy rainfall in February, combined with last year's winter rains, has given a short-term boost to Perth's main groundwater supply, which is currently at levels not seen since 2009.

Known as the Gnangara groundwater system, it supplies around 40 per cent of Perth's drinking water each year.

Mr Kelly said the February rainfall was another example of climate change where more extreme and unusual weather is predicted.

"River flows are one of the best indicators for measuring the effects of reduced rainfall," he said.

"What this year shows is there is no escaping the impact of climate change, which is not only reducing flow to our water supply dams but to our rivers as well."




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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