Tuesday, April 16, 2019

UK: Thousands of eco-activists start to descend on London to 'shut down' the capital and cause misery for millions of commuters

Environmental protesters will converge at five locations in London tomorrow to cause disruption, block roads and 'shut down the city'.

Activists, known as earth marchers, have been making their way in to central London for weeks for the 'International Rebellion'.

And many have been encouraged to illegally camp in Hyde Park overnight in to tomorrow so they can 'come together, form relationships, consolidate plans, and gear up for the days ahead,' according to campaign group Extinction Rebellion.

From Monday, thousands of people are expected to gather at Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Piccadilly Circus and Parliament Square to block traffic during a three-day protest.

The 'festival' of action will include people's assemblies, performances, talks, workshops and food.

Campaigners will be able to attend training sessions 'to make sure everyone is prepared for the mass civil disobedience to follow,' Extinction Rebellion say.

And although the movement is a peaceful one, participants are being warned there is always the possibility of arrest. 

Those considering camping in Hyde Park have been warned they could be breaking the law, as doing so without permission is an offence under Royal Parks legislation.

A spokeswoman for The Royal Parks says Extinction Rebellion have not asked for permission to begin the protest in the park and that camping is not allowed.

She said: 'We never allow camping in the parks for reasons of safety, security, lack of welfare facilities and the impact it has on the park. It also removes public space from other park visitors.

'Those camping in the parks are breaking the law. Enforcement of the park regulations is a matter for the Metropolitan Police.'

Police said their operational response 'would be dependent on what if any other issues might be ongoing at the time'.

Scotland Yard said they have 'appropriate policing plans' in place and that officers will be used from across the force 'to support the public order operation during the coming weeks'.

They added: 'We will always provide a proportionate policing plan to balance the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring that disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.

April Stewart, who travelled from Carmarthenshire in Wales for the demonstration, said the prospect of being arrested 'doesn't phase me'. The 52-year-old artist said: 'I am not someone who is normally drawn to civil disobedience. I am moved by this cause, by this moment in time that we have to make a difference.'

Asked if she thought the Government will take notice, she said: 'I guess that depends how effective we can be in shutting down the city.

'It has to inconvenience them enough, it has to inconvenience the financial system, it has to inconvenience the tourist industry, it has to inconvenience the Government enough to recognise that they need to engage with this.'

She said the disruption would mimic disruption they expect will be caused in the future by the effects of climate change and the destruction of the ecosystem.

Police advised people travelling around London in the coming days to allow extra time for their journey in the event of road closures and general disruption.


Behind the Green New Deal: An elite war on the working class

At the heart of the GND is a plan to outlaw hydrocarbon energy and produce all electricity from wind, solar and other ­renewables. This isn’t just wildly impractical. It would deliver a crippling blow to the economy. Coal, oil and gas left in the ground are jobs and income buried forever, causing a permanent contraction in the productive capacity of the economy. The GND would thus be a declaration of war on blue-collar America, imperiling the Trump recovery and its half a million new manufacturing jobs.

Republicans have decried the GND as “socialist.” But whatever its real-world outcomes, and they were horrendous, at least the old socialism in theory sought to advance the economic interests of the working class. The GND does the opposite.

Subsidizing wind and solar while rooting out carbon is very expensive. That’s why industrial electricity prices in Europe are nearly 50 percent higher than they are in the rest of the Group of 20 advanced nations — and why energy firms are loath to invest in Europe.

Transplanting such European-style policies across the Atlantic, as the GND essentially aims to do, would kill energy jobs and drive up the price of energy in America. For American workers, the unspoken message from GND environmentalists is: Go and learn computer programming, or at best you will end up wiping snow and sand off solar panels.

The GND, in other words, is ­redistributionist, yes, but the redistribution goes from the bottom to the top — from the poor and from workers to wind and solar investors. Again, Europe’s example is ­instructive. The drive to subsidize renewable energy led Britain to drop its pledge to abolish fuel poverty. The official measure of fuel poverty, defined as households spending 10 percent or more of their income on energy, kept rising. So it was ­replaced with a new government definition less sensitive to rising ­energy costs, instantly halving the number of households officially deemed fuel poor.

Meanwhile in Germany, Europe’s wealthiest country, at one stage more than 300,000 households a year were being disconnected ­because of ­unpaid bills.

“It is only gradually becoming apparent how the ­renewable energy subsidies redistribute money from the poor to the more affluent,” the left-of-center Der Spiegel newspaper editorialized. Energy companies know that the best way to avoid accusations of price gouging is to claim that it’s to fight climate change. For this reason, ­renewable energy acts as a conspiracy against the less well-off.

In the US, a capitalist aristocracy is pushing wind and solar. Its members include blue-blooded capital from the likes of the Rockefeller, MacArthur and Ford foundations, and Silicon Valley billionaires touting phony claims of 100 percent ­renewable energy. Climate change is ethics for the super-rich. The self-righteous rhetoric of this aristocracy legitimizes the vast accumulations of wealth by the green robber barons of the 21st century.

The big question Republicans should ask is: Why?

Successful prosecutors show the motive behind the crime. So it is in politics. The supposed motive ­behind the GND — fighting climate change — doesn’t wash. If the scheme were genuinely about climate change, green activists would be campaigning to expand nuclear power rather than trying to shut it down. The truth is the climate war isn’t about climate. It is and always has been deeply ideological.

Control energy to reverse the ­Industrial Revolution and abolish industrial capitalism — these are the real targets of green ideology.

The progressives’ climate war is a war that will be lost before the first shot is fired. America doesn’t exist in a climate bubble. China, India and other developing economies are going to keep growing and keep emitting. The good news is that the GND could well fracture the Democratic coalition, pitting billionaire funders and upper-middle-class green ­activists against blue-collar workers and ethnic minorities for whom well-paying jobs and cost of living come first.

Both for reasons of principle and political advantage, Republicans are right to put GND front and center. But the message they need to ­develop shouldn’t just focus on the plan’s impracticality. Instead, the right should hammer at the left’s class war against workers. Hone and repeat that message through 2020, and they will win.


Climate Alarmists Follow Acid Rain Scare-Book

There is nothing coincidental about common déjà vu features of a CO2 climate crisis-premised war on fossil fuels and a hysterically-hyped sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission acid rain environmental calamity a half-century ago.

Both scams have claimed to be based upon dire computer model-based predictions calling for costly interventions.

Both also involved the same sorts of crony constituencies: alarmist “scientific authorities,” deep-pocket NGO promoters, and headline-hungry politicians eagerly rewarded by swarms of credulous media reporters.

The acid rain scare began in 1967 when Svant Odén, a soil scientist at the Agricultural College of Uppsala, wrote a broadly circulated sensationalist article about forestry damage he attributed to a “chemical war” between nations of Europe in the leading Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

Growing public concern regarding environmental impacts of industrial-sourced acid rain prompted the Swedish government to convene a group of experts to investigate the matter that was chaired by Bert Bolin, the head of Stockholm’s International Meteorological Institute.

The Bolin panel’s 1971 report was a flimsy political document clothed in scanty science which authoritatively concluded that: “The [human] emission of sulfur into the atmosphere . . . has proved to be a major environmental problem.”

The assessment only sheepishly mentioned that European forests had actually seen considerable increases.

One also had to read 50 pages further into the report to discover that the “has proved to be” reference wasn’t really assured at all.

It went on to say, “It is very difficult to prove that damage, such as reduced growth rates due to the acidification of the soil and related changes in the plant nutrient situation, has in fact occurred.”

This disclaimer regarding the existence of scientific certainty is reminiscent of another one buried 774 pages into IPCC’s Third Assessment Report summary exactly three decades later.

It stated, “In research and modeling of the climate, we should be aware that we are dealing with a chaotic, nonlinear coupled system, and that long-term predictions of future climate states are not possible.”

In 1980, under President Carter’s prompting, the U.S. Congress passed legislation for a ten-year National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP).

Nevertheless, neither the U.S. nor the U.K. signed a 1985 Helsinki Protocol that committed Western parties to cut their emissions to 30 percent below 1980 levels.

The Reagan administration established a nine-member panel under NAPAP to conduct peer reviews of more than 3,000 scientific studies that had previously been conducted by research groups convened under a Carter Memorandum of Intent with Canada.

NAPAP’s 1987 review harshly criticized the poor scientific quality of the model-based studies. It also concluded, “The vast majority of forests of the United States and Canada are not affected by decline (emphasis in the original).”

Although the more than half-billion-dollar 10-year- long acid rain study yielded no “smoking gun,” the EPA had begun establishing the groundwork to regulate sulfur dioxide even before those NAPAP results were in.

A media-fueled environmental alarm had provided a welcome pretense for SO2 “allowance trading” under the Clean Air Act of 1990, the precursor for UN-Kyoto Protocol climate-alarm- premised carbon-capping proposals which followed.

The media frenzy surrounding Senator Al Gore’s 1988 Congressional hearings on global warming provided a dream opportunity for Enron, one of the biggest SO2 trading market players, to also cash in on climate alarm.

Enron then owned the largest natural gas pipeline outside of Russia.

They reasoned that since their natural gas market was competing with coal — a larger CO2 emitter — a carbon cap-and-trade market modeled upon SO2 credit exchanges would be a huge boon to their business.

Enron’s CEO Kenneth Lay had met with President Clinton and Vice President Gore in the White House on Aug. 4, 1997, to prepare a strategy for the upcoming UN Kyoto conference that following December.

This was the first step toward creating a global carbon-trading market that Gore and Enron both coveted.

An internal Enron memorandum stated that Kyoto would “do more to promote Enron’s business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside the restructuring [of] the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States.”

Al Gore and his partner David Blood, the former chief of Goldman Sachs Asset Management were poised to make windfall profits selling CO2 offsets as stakeholders in the Chicago Climate Exchange.

Lobbying before a 2007 Joint House Hearing of the Energy Science Committee, Gore told members, “As soon as carbon has a price, you’re going to see a wave [of investment] in it . . . There will be unchained investment.”

Fortunately, Congress didn’t bite, and it was Enron that ultimately got capped.

Ironically, SO2 blamed for forest damage and CO2 attributed to a looming climate disaster are both natural plant fertilizers that make the world greener.

And once again, costly emission-credit trading scams premised upon unsupportable crisis hyperbole benefit no one.

No — not even Bambi.


Sanity and humanity return to the World Bank

Paul Driessen

President Obama infamously told Africans they should focus on their “bountiful” wind, solar and biofuel. If they use “dirty” fossil fuels to raise living standards “to the point where everybody has got a car, and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over.”

So when South Africa applied for a World Bank loan to finish its low-pollution coal-fired Medupi power plant, his administration voted “present,” and the loan was approved by a bare majority of other bank member nations. The Obama Overseas Private Investment Corporation refused to support construction of a power plant designed to burn natural gas that was being “flared” and wasted in Ghana’s oil fields.

As David Wojick and I have documented, eco-imperialist, carbon colonialist policies by the World Bank and other anti-development banks have perpetuated needless energy deprivation, poverty, disease and early death in Africa, Asia and beyond for much too long.

But now the World Bank’s executive board has unanimously approved President Trump’s nominee as its new president. Former Treasury Department Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass has long criticized the bank for its lack of transparency, multiple low-interest loans to China (even as China became an economic behemoth), and insufficient focus on private-sector development and a stronger, more stable global economy for all nations and families. He just began serving a five-year term.

A few critics predictably claimed Malpass had “committed economic malpractice” and would be “a disastrous, toxic choice.” However, others praised his experience, skills, free-market principles, and commitment to accountability and poor country development.

“Malpass is the ideal candidate to cleanse and modernize an institution charged with helping developing nations climb the economic ladder,” said Deroy Murdock, whose travels have given him a firsthand  look at rampant poverty and malnutrition all across the globe.

A healthy dose of sanity and humanity is clearly in order. In recent years, the World Bank strayed far from its original 1944 mission of reducing global poverty, providing financial aid and guidance to needy countries, and giving “life-saving global health and humanitarian assistance” to “the world’s most vulnerable populations.” Instead, it increasingly focused on “fighting the effects of climate change,” supporting wind and solar energy projects, and combating emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide.

In 2018 alone, the World Bank provided $20 billion for such projects. Its cumulative loans to China now total more than $60 billion – even as the Middle Kingdom increasingly engaged in predatory loan practices. “Sri Lanka, for example, was forced to cede control of the strategic port of Hambantota to China Merchants Port Holdings Company, after falling into the ‘Chinese debt trap,’” Murdock wrote.

Other supposed multilateral “development” banks followed the World Bank’s callous lead. Most stopped financing coal-fired power plants, slashed or ceased funding for oil and gas exploration by poor countries, and emphasized “total de-carbonization” in their lending practices.

In their warped worldview, manmade climate change dangers that exist only in computer models are a far more pressing concern than horrific real-world, present-day deprivation, disease and death.

Right now, around the world, over a billion people still do not have electricity; another 2 billion have electrical power only sporadically and unpredictably. In Sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 700 million people (the population of all Europe) rarely or never have electricity, and still cook and heat with wood, charcoal, and animal dung. In India, over 200 million people still do not have access to safe drinking water.

Every year, hundreds of millions become ill and 5 million die of lung and intestinal diseases from inhaling pollutants from open fires, and from lack of clean water, refrigeration, bacteria-free food and decent clinics. Largely because they lack electricity to power modern economies, nearly 3 billion survive on a few dollars per day, and more millions die every year from preventable or curable diseases.

But the anti-development banks still focus on “climate change mitigation” and financing “the shift in energy production to renewable energy technologies, and the shift to low-carbon modes of transport.”

Such as horses, oxen and walking, one supposes. People in those countries have been there, done that. They will no longer tolerate being told these banks will help them improve their lives only a little, only to the extent that doing so would conform to climate and sustainability guidelines, only as much as could be supported by wind, solar biofuel and geothermal energy.

Carbon colonialism is on its way out. It’s about time. Will the Malpass World Bank help lead the way?

In what can only be seen as a massive show of defiance and common sense, developing, emerging and modern economies have well over 215,000 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity under construction: China 128,650 MW; India 36,158; Indonesia 11,466; Japan: 8,724; Pakistan 3,300; Philippines 2,890; Poland 4,170; South Africa 5,429; South Korea 5,429; Vietnam 9,705.

The Africa Development Bank also knows fossil fuels still represent the way forward to a healthier and more prosperous future – and will for decades to come. The AfDB is again financing coal and natural gas power generation projects, because it understands that abundant, reliable, affordable electricity is essential for real progress – and cannot possibly be achieved with expensive, inadequate, intermittent, unpredictable wind and solar power. The continent’s geothermal energy is also woefully inadequate.

Africa has the lowest electrification rate in the world. Its per capital power consumption is a miserly 615 kWh per year, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina emphasized. Compare that to 6,500 kWh per person per year in Europe, and 13,000 in the United States.

The average African’s access to electricity is equivalent to the average American having this miraculous, all-purpose power available 1 hour a day, 8 hours a week, 411 hours per year – at totally unpredictable times. Try running your home, hospital, school, factory, film industry or World Bank office on that.

In reality, most of Africa’s electricity is generated in one country, South Africa, and the vast majority of the continent’s people still have zero, zip, nada electricity – except maybe enough photovoltaic power to charge their cell phones and power a single light bulb in their primitive huts.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her coterie of petroleum-denigrating socialists have no inkling of what life would be like without oil and natural gas. This short video gives a graphic clue of life under their Green New Deal. But in reality, even the metal, wood and cotton items the video leaves behind when petroleum is yanked away would disappear without oil and gas to get raw materials out of the ground and turn them into everyday products – and to grow, harvest and weave cotton into T-shirts and undies.

Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and many other sub-Sahara African countries have vast coal deposits that would last at least a century at rates necessary to electrify those countries. Many also have enormous oil and natural gas resources. Those fuels must no longer be ignored under the “keep it in the ground” mantra.

Of course, all this anti-fossil-fuel fervor is justified by cries of “[r]climate change.” But the issue isn’t whether the climate or weather is changing. It’s whether humans and fossil fuels are truly causing any observed changes … whether any changes will be dangerous or catastrophic – and whether alarmist scientists have any actual, credible evidence that could survive scrutiny by a Presidential Commission on Climate Change that they are scared to death President Trump might create.

Hopefully, David Malpass will set a more realistic, more human-rights-focused tone at the World Bank – and for the various multilateral development banks. Billions of lives hang in the balance.

Via email

Recycling:  Another failed Greenie idea

It costs money to make something useful out of rubbish -- so most of it is just burnt.  But they are not allowed to burn it at home -- so it is shipped overseas for that.  We pay them to burn it

We all think we’re doing something decent for the environment when we recycle — but the truth about where it ends up might shock you.

Most of Australia’s plastic rubbish ends up being stockpiled in warehouses or shipped to South-East Asia to be illegally burned.

This means that, instead of being recycled, mountains of it is being dumped, buried or burned in illegal processing facilities and junkyards in Southeast Asia.

Sunday’s night’s episode of 60 Minutes explores the contentious practice and it argues it began when China closed its doors to Australia’s plastic waste just over a year ago.

It argues that, for more than two decades, our plastic recycling industry was reliant on China — who we sold our mixed and often contaminated plastic waste, and they melted it down into new plastic goods to sell back to us and the rest of the world.

However, much of it is now just stacking up in the yards and warehouses of Australian recycling companies — as we don’t have the facilities to reprocess it ourselves.

“I think most people in Australia feel lied to, I think they feel disappointed,” Plastic Forests founder and owner David Hodge told 60 Minutes. “Ninety per cent of people do want to recycle, and they need to be enabled to be able to do that.”

Since China stopped buying our rubbish, India — which was the fourth biggest import for Australia’s waste — followed suit last December.

As a result, Australia’s recyclable rubbish is now being dumped in Indonesia, Vietnam and, in particular, Malaysia, which received more than 71,000 tonnes of our plastic in the last year alone.

Mr Hodge told the program the worrying trend has come about as a result of a lack of planning in Australia. “We haven’t built the infrastructure. We haven’t thought ahead,” he tells Bartlett. “Now we’re here and we’re drowning in plastic.”

Analysis of our waste exports commissioned by the Department of the Environment and Energy stated that several Asian countries, including Malaysia have proposed crackdowns on waste imports.

“If Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand enacted waste import bans similar to China’s, Australia would need to find substitute domestic or export markets for approximately 1.29 million tonnes (or $530 million) of waste a year, based on 2017-18 export amounts,” the analysis warned.

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) chief executive officer, Gayle Sloan, has taken aim at the Federal Government — saying it has done “done nothing” since China shut us off.

She told ABC, the 1.2 million tonnes of recyclable materials households are producing could be turned into jobs and investment if the circular economy can only take off. “We’ve had meetings, we had more meetings, and then we’ve had more talk, and we had no action,” she said. [In other words it costs money to recycle]

Now, Mr Hodge’s company is hoping the exposure of mainstream media coverage will make the government and the public take notice.  “Recycling only works when people, corporates and government buy products made with recycled content,” the company wrote on its Facebook page this week.

“As we know, the options to send our waste or a misallocated resource overseas will come to an end.”



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.  

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


1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Recycling makes sense for many metals, most glass, and some (#1 for the most part) plastic. There was a time when the National Geographic had the honesty to say so but that was decades ago.