Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Extinction Rebellion Activists Break Down After Failing To Close Heathrow

Young climate change activists broke down in tears on television today as they protested at Heathrow Airport on the fifth day of Extinction Rebellion demonstrations in London.

Around 15 youths, all aged under 17, arrived at the UK’s busiest airport on Good Friday for the planned demonstration, where they unfurled a banner with the words “Are we the last generation”.

Footage showed the youngsters becoming emotional, with one protester saying he was “afraid for the future of this planet”.

The protest is part of wider demonstrations around the capital organized by the campaign group Extinction Rebellion (XR), which has blocked routes around Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square, and Waterloo Bridge since Monday.

Protesters stood by the tunnel that leads to Terminals 2 and 3 at the airport, but all roads around the roundabout remained open.

Extinction Rebellion said police had warned the youngsters at Heathrow that they could be arrested.

Dozens of police officers surrounded the group, who were stopped from blocking the road.

The airport had said it was braced for disruption after protesters announced plans to target the transport hub.

A spokesman for Heathrow Airport had said it was “working with authorities to address any threat of protests which could disrupt the airport”.

Pictures showed the youngsters becoming emotional and embracing during the demonstration.

The activists said they were motivated by a “constant fear” for their future, according to a statement from Extinction Rebellion.

In an interview with LBC, one boy said: “This is more of a symbolic protest to show the fear… the love that we have for this planet. “I’m not afraid of arrest, I’m afraid of the future of this planet.

Organizers said the action would be escalated to include Heathrow on Good Friday, with around 500,000 people expected to fly out for Easter breaks over the bank holiday weekend.

The airport said it was “working with the authorities”, while Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: “Protesters can expect a robust police response. We are determined to keep the airport operating.”

Scotland Yard has warned protesters the force had “strong plans” in place with a significant number of officers ready to respond.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, told BBC Breakfast on Friday that protests had been “very, very difficult” for the force because it was an “alien” situation for most of them.

But he said that with more than 1,000 officers being deployed the streets will begin to be cleared.

He added: “This is very, very difficult for us because my colleagues have never come across the situation that they are faced with at the moment.

“They are dealing with very, very passive people, probably quite nice people, who don’t want confrontation whatsoever with the police or anyone else but are breaking the law.

“We are having to adjust to that, we are having to deal with the circumstances that are put in front of my colleagues, but be very robust so we can start clearing the streets and you will see that starting to happen today.”


What Gives? UN Climate Report (Due 2022) Excludes Geologists

As usual, the Green/Left need to shield themselves from the facts

Geology is a key science to help our understanding of earth’s past climate. Yet, once again, the corrupt UN IPCC will deliver another biased report in 2022 that excludes ANY geologists.

Geologist, Dr Roger Higgs exposes the reasons for this shameful omission in his paper ‘IPCC Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change next report (AR6, due 2022) − 784 authors, yes 784, but again NO geologists!‘

Published at researchgate.net Dr Higgs writes:

“My Technical Note 2018-2 exposed the astonishing lack of geologists (the very scientists most qualified to speak on climate change) among the 838 (sic) authors of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5, 2013-14) of the United Nations’ IPCC.”

The IPCC’s next report, AR6, is just as much a betrayal of open and honest assessment of our planet’s climate system.

Dr Higgs explains:

“The author listings (below) show the “necessary expertise” is lacking: geologists are again excluded, rendering the collective authorship  incompetent  for  their  stated  mission  of  reviewing  the  scientific  literature  to  assess  climate  change.  By  this omission, IPCC ignores Earth’s history  (!)  and  the  copious  geological  evidence,  latterly  backed  by  archaeology, that sea level (barometer of global temperature, via ocean-water expansion and polar ice melt) undergoes a rapid (100-500 year) and large (1-3 metres)  oscillation every 500-2,000 years, caused by  volcanism and solar fluctuations, certainly not  by industrial CO2! See my other 2019 technical notes here on ResearchGate, giving some of the evidence for such sea-level oscillations.”

Anyone examining the list of authors posted for the new UN climate (AR6) report can see that Dr Higgs has a point: in Working Group  I  (WGI),  ‘The  Physical  Science  Basis’ there are 232  authors,  including  meteorologists, oceanographers, climate scientists, glaciologists, physicists, geographers and computer modellers.

But nowhere will you see ANY geologists.

Meanwhile, WGII, titled ‘Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’ shows 323 authors and again among them are no geologists. Then there is WGIII, Mitigation of Climate Change. This lists 229 authors and, surprise, surprise – no geologists.

So, that is a grand total 784 expert authors and not a single geologist among them. Why is this?

Dr Higgs thinks the problem is political, not scientific. He identifies that there is an unabashed political quota of authors to represent designated (politically correct) groups.

These include:

*   44% from developing countries and countries with economies in transition

*  53% new to the IPCC process

*  33% women

This ‘diversity’ is politically and ideologically concocted; not determined by excellence but rather whether the authors meet pre-approval not for what they know, but simply by being a particular identity (i.e. identity politics replacing scientific competence).

Dr Higgs laments:

”How lovely: no geologists, but at least we have politically correct quotas of  women,  third  worlders  and  youngsters!  Worse: the 53%  “new”  people  are  doubtless nearly all younger than 50, i.e. biased, indoctrinated through school and university with the ‘CO2 = pollutant’ fallacy.”

If the oh-so-noble UN can craft a body of authors that neatly fulfils its identity politics agenda, why then cannot it serve the interests of science and rightfully include in that group at least a small number of geologists to ensure this important field of research is adequately considered in the mix?

Higgs puts it bluntly to readers:

“Are you content that this biased, under-skilled, politically-driven organization, having judged the greatest issue of  modern time, global warming, to be manmade, has unleashed multi-trillion-dollar expenditure (relentlessly raising  your family’s taxes & energy bills) to cripple the global economy and downgrade human living standards worldwide?”

Higgs, R., IPCC Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change next report (AR6, due 2022) − 784 authors, yes 784, but again NO geologists!  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331974185


Apologists for poverty: There is nothing progressive in green calls to overthrow capitalism

Climate protesters Extinction Rebellion have spent the week blocking London’s roads, staging die-ins, glueing themselves to trains, climbing on top of buses, and even chaining themselves to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s house. The activists’ aim is to cause maximum disruption and get themselves arrested to draw attention to climate change. Protest leaders claim that humanity faces extinction unless carbon emissions are cut to net zero by 2025.

They have compared themselves to Gandhi and Martin Luther King. A BBC podcast asks if Extinction Rebellion are ‘the new Suffragettes’. They have been endorsed by many on the radical left who have persuaded themselves that a serious rebellion is afoot.

Last week, left-wing new media outlet Novara Media posted on social media a video of veteran eco-warrior George Monbiot. In it, Monbiot calls for an end to green tinkering and the ‘micro-consumerist bollocks’ of sustainable cotton buds, etc. Instead, he says, ‘we need to get to the heart of capitalism and overthrow it’. The audience cheered and the clip went viral, with over one million views. James Corden from Gavin and Stacey retweeted it. Leftists tweeted excitedly about a decisive and radical shift in the ‘Overton Window’ in favour of abolishing capitalism.

Traditionally, the left would campaign in favour of human progress, more wealth, with a greater share of that wealth going to ordinary working-class people. Novara Media’s organising principle of ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’ nods to this aspiration. In Marxist terms, capitalism would come to be replaced with a communist society of abundance for all.

But strip away the pseudo-radical talk of rebellion and revolt and it becomes clear that neither Extinction Rebellion nor Monbiot’s eccentric ramblings should be talked about as a serious left challenge to capitalism. It is not a call to ditch capitalism in favour of a new system that could provide abundance for all. On the contrary, the environmental critique of capitalism is that we have too much stuff, too much wealth, and we should now return to a pre-industrial feudalistic state.

For instance, in that viral clip, two of the things Monbiot told us to give up are meat and air travel. Flight, the ability to traverse continents in ever shorter periods of time, is surely one of the greatest gains of modern times. For several hundred pounds, you can travel to the other side of the world. For less than £100, you can travel to practically any nation in Europe. Similarly, the abundance of food that the developed world is able to enjoy is a triumph of modernity. Developments in modern farming, packaging and transport mean that meat no longer has to be rationed. Even the poorest people in the West can enjoy a meat-based diet in a way that would have only been possible for aristocrats less than a century ago. According to environmentalists, this progress is a very bad thing.

The environmental attack on increased living standards for the poor is often explicit. Back in 2007, annoyed that teenagers ‘in one of the poorest parts of Britain’ could afford ‘expensive haircuts, fashionable clothes and mobile phones’, Monbiot concluded in a Guardian column that rich nations have reached the logical place to stop growing. Not only that, but they should start shrinking and become poorer. ‘Bring on the recession’ was the headline he chose when he republished the article on his website.

In his 2007 book Heat, Monbiot described environmentalism as ‘a campaign not for abundance but austerity, not for more freedom but less… It is a campaign not just against other people, but against ourselves.’

Many observers have noted the overwhelmingly white and middle-class composition of the Extinction Rebellion protests. Unsurprisingly, few working-class people are likely to share the environmentalists’ belief that we are all too wealthy and should embrace restraint, rationing and recession.

Where calls to overthrow capitalism were once made in the name of abolishing human misery, today’s anti-capitalists make clear that their goal is to promote human misery. Capitalism may be exploitative and unequal, but the new anti-capitalism is downright anti-human.


Dealbreaker? Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows

Electric vehicles in Germany account for more CO2 emissions than diesel ones, according to a study by German scientists.
When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix - in which coal still plays an important role - are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.

Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.

The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.

When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.

The German researchers therefore take issue with the fact that European officials view electric vehicles as zero-emission ones. They note further that the EU target of 59 grams of CO2 per km by 2030 corresponds to a “technically unrealistic” consumption of 2.2 litres of diesel or 2.6 litres of gas per 100 kms.

These new limits pressure German and other European car manufacturers into switching massively to electric vehicles whereas, the researchers feel, it would have been preferable to opt for methane engines, “whose emissions are one-third less than those of diesel motors.”


‘We are in a crisis’: Australia’s recycling nightmare

For some reason, plastic is a great Greenie demon and there is a big imperative to recycle it.  Dropping it down a hole is apparently not good enough any more. A lot of Australia's playing fields and parks were once dumps but that is no longer wise, apparently.

But most plastic cannot economically be recycled so the little we do recycle requires government subsidies and support of various kinds. It costs money to recyle.  Making something useful out of rubbish is difficult. The fantasy that recycled rubbish can pay for itself is long gone. And the great bulk that we do not recycle we send overseas where they mostly burn it. But now other countries don't want it either, even if we pay them

If the Greenies had a brain they would be pushing for a total ban on plastic food and drink containers.  Many drink containers are already made of glass, steel or aluminium, which are fully and easily recylable. One's shopping would get slightly heavier as plastic bottles are lighter than steel or glass ones and aluminium containers do not work well in the larger sizes.  But I guess that glass, steel and aluminium are just boring old stuff that you cannot get a virtue claim out of

As our plastic waste piles up at overstretched facilities or is dumped in Malaysia and Indonesia, the crisis is getting too big to ignore.

Australia has catapulted headfirst into a crisis that’s been building for a long time.

The nation is trapped under a mountain of its own waste, lacking the resources to even begin to deal with it — and plastic is our biggest demon.

While Aussie households have gradually become accustomed to sorting rubbish for recycling, the illusion of success was shattered when China abruptly stopped accepting our refuse in 2017.

The country had been processing 60-70 per cent of the world’s recycling, but when it realised the negative impact on its environment, it suddenly shut the door. India has cut us off, too.

Australia has only a few dozen processing plants compared with China’s thousands. So our bottles, containers and coffee cups have been piling up at overstretched facilities, or shipped off to be illegally burned or buried in Southeast Asia.

“Nobody’s built any infrastructure,” Plastic Forests founder and owner David Hodge told news.com.au. “The Federal Government is a basket case.

“Just imagine there’s no garbage trucks coming down the street any more to pick up rubbish. That’s the situation we’re in. “We are in a crisis.”

After 20 years of relying on China, Australia is suddenly facing a visceral nightmare, as we start to drown in our own materialism.

While we have made some steps towards reducing single-use plastic, we still use around 3.3 billion plastic bags, 2.6 billion coffee cups, 2.4 billion plastic straws and 1.3 billion plastic bottles each year.

Soft plastics cannot be recycled, and when households dump plastic bags in the recycling bin, it acts “like chewing gum going through the machine”, which may have to be stopped and decontaminated.

“When we put it in our recycling bin, where does it go?” asks Mr Hodge. “It’s taken almost a generation to train Australians to recycle.

“It needs this — almost emergency powers to step in and address it.”

NSW is the only state or territory without at least a commitment to ban single-use bags. Major retailers have already cut them out, with Coles and Woolworths driving an 80 per cent drop in the consumption of plastic bags nationwide by December last year.

Many want to see federal action, with Labor promising to ban single-use bags and microbeads by 2021 if it wins the election as part of a $290 million plan to cut waste and clean up the oceans. But the solution to our self-made hell will not be easy.

Australians are becoming aware of their impact, with the ABC’s War on Waste having a huge impact in 2017 after it exposed that we were ranked fifth in the world for generating the most municipal waste. A video of supermarkets dumping edible bananas helped it become the broadcaster’s most successful social media campaign.

Nine’s 60 Minutes this week tackled how recyclable rubbish is being dumped in Indonesia, Vietnam and, in particular, Malaysia, which received more than 71,000 tonnes of our plastic in the last year alone.

But the wake-up call has come late in the day, and answers are desperately needed.

Suggested solutions include replacing our plastics with biodegradable versions, taxing non-recyclable or “virgin” plastics, stockpiling the rubbish while we improve our recycling capabilities or burning plastic to create energy.

All of these ideas come with their own costs and challenges. Mr Hodge says he’s concerned the Government will rush headlong into burning plastic for electricity — a hugely expensive energy source — when it could focus on investing in the “circular economy” and creating jobs in the process.

We are living in what he calls a “DUD economy” — Dig it up, Use it, Dispose of it. Most things don’t work like that: more often, water, food and materials are part of a cycle.

“Everybody’s trying to do everything as cheaply as possible, it’s not long-term sustainability,” warns Mr Hodge. “It’s just an enormously expensive fuel.

“We want to keep plastic as plastic.”

Companies are now manufacturing garden furniture, bollards, park benches and cable insulation from recycled plastic. Plastic Forests has found a way to create a mini wheel stop from plastic film using a grant from NSW Environmental Protection Agency’s “Waste Less Recycle More” $802 million initiative.

Australia needs smart investment, clear thinking and innovative ideas to deal with the monumental challenge. This catastrophe may be the wake-up call we need.



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