Friday, May 17, 2019

Carbon Dioxide Soars to Record-Breaking Levels Not Seen in at Least 800,000 Years

So what?  There is no correlation between CO2 levels and global temperature. Temperatures are down a bit at the moment, actually.  Good news for gardeners and farmers, though

There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been for 800,000 years — since before our species evolved.

On Saturday (May 11), the levels of the greenhouse gas reached 415 parts per million (ppm), as measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Scientists at the observatory have been measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels since 1958. But because of other kinds of analysis, such as those done on ancient air bubbles trapped in ice cores, they have data on levels reaching back 800,000 years. [8 Ways Global Warming Is Already Changing the World]

During the ice ages, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were around 200 ppm. And during the interglacial periods — the planet is currently in an interglacial period — levels were around 280 ppm, according to NASA.

But every story has its villains: Humans are burning fossil fuels, causing the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which are adding an extra blanket on an already feverish planet. So far, global temperatures have risen by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) since the 19th century or pre-industrial times, according to a special report released last year by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Every year, the Earth sees about 3 ppm more carbon dioxide in the air, said Michael Mann, a distinguished professor of meteorology at Penn State University. "If you do the math, well, it's pretty sobering," he said. "We'll cross 450 ppm in just over a decade."

The subsequent warming is already causing changes to the planet — shrinking glaciers, bleaching coral reefs and intensifying heat waves and storms, among other impacts. And carbon dioxide levels higher than 450 ppm "are likely to lock in dangerous and irreversible changes in our climate," Mann told Live Science.

"CO2 levels will continue to increase for at least the next decade and likely much longer, because not enough is being done worldwide," said Donald Wuebbles, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "The long-term increase is due to human-related emissions, especially the emissions of our burning of fossil fuels."

However, he noted that the annual peak in carbon dioxide, which fluctuates throughout the year as plants change their breathing rhythms, occurs right now. The annual average value will be more like 410 to 412 ppm, he said. Which … is still very high.

"We keep breaking records, but what makes the current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere most troubling is that we are now well into the 'danger zone' where large tipping points in the Earth’s climate could be crossed," said Jonathan Overpeck, the dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. "This is particularly true when you factor in the additional warming potential of the other greenhouse gases, including methane, that are now in the atmosphere."

The last time atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were this high, way before Homo sapiens walked the planet, the Antarctic Ice Sheet was much smaller and sea levels were up to 65 feet (20 meters) higher than they are today, Overpeck told Live Science.

"Thus, we could soon be at the point where comparable reductions in ice sheet size, and corresponding increases in sea level, are both inevitable and irreversible over the next few centuries," he said. Smaller ice sheets, in turn, might reduce the reflectivity of the planet and potentially accelerate the warming even more, he added.

"It's like we're playing with a loaded gun and don't know how it works."


Federal Bureaucrats Keep Placing Green Energy Bets on the Wrong Horses

Many people lost a lot of money betting on Maximum Security to win the 2019 Kentucky Derby last weekend. The horse had been the favorite to win the 145th running of the Derby before the race, but was disqualified by track officials following its first-place finish, which vaulted the long shot Country Home into the winner’s circle in its place.

True, nobody could have predicted this particular outcome for the race and the circumstances under which it happened with any degree of confidence before it started, but for those who gambled on the horses running in the race, there was one certainty: the most they could lose by betting on the wrong horse to win was the amount of money they chose to bet. With that kind of certainty, most of the people who bet on the race gambled only money they could afford to lose if the outcome didn’t go their way.

Just ahead of the 2019 Derby weekend, news broke about the outcome of a very different kind of horse race, one where the people who did the gambling were not betting their own money, whose lawyers are now opening an investigation into why they lost millions. Megan Geuss of Ars Technica reports on a new investigation announced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) into green energy bets placed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and how it lost the money it bet:

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) notified Southern Company that it is opening an investigation “related to the Kemper County energy facility,” according to Southern’s most recent financial statement (PDF).

The Mississippi-based facility had received $387 million in federal grants to build a state-of-the-art coal gasification and carbon-capture power plant (otherwise known as an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle, or IGCC, plant). But in 2017, Southern’s subsidiary, Mississippi Power, decided to scrap the cutting-edge tech and only use the power plant to burn cheaper natural gas, in a major blow to the proponents of carbon capture.

Kemper was a complicated project. It was located near a lignite coal mine, which was intended to serve Kemper exclusively. Lignite is a low-grade coal compared to the anthracite and bituminous coal that’s found in Wyoming and Montana, so Kemper planned to synthetically transform the plentiful local coal to gas. The plant would then burn the syngas in a turbine, strip the carbon dioxide (CO2) from the power plant’s flue, and send that CO2 through a pipeline to an oilfield where it would be used for enhanced oil recovery. (That is, CO2 is forced down into an oil well to increase the pressure of the well so more oil can be recovered.)

In theory, Kemper’s complicated process was supposed to help it compete with other nearby coal plants because it could use lower-grade local coal, and the captured carbon would be used to increase oil field returns.

But in practice, Kemper proved to be an expensive boondoggle. It came online just as natural gas prices were falling to a point when burning natural gas was simply cheaper than relying on any type of coal, local or not. The plant ran more than $4 billion over budget before the Mississippi Public Service Commission made clear to the company that Kemper would need to pursue a more affordable solution for Mississippi customers.

Gavin Bade of Utility Dive explains what that “more affordable solution” was back when it happened in 2017:

In response, Mississippi regulators last week directed Southern to work up a plan that would allow Kemper to run solely on natural gas. An analysis of the project’s economics by the Mississippi PSC indicated the project would only be economic if natural gas prices rose considerably.

That regulatory directive prompted Southern to throw in the towel, company officials said in a statement.

In effect, the DOE bet $387 million from 2010 through 2016 on what proved to be the wrong green energy horse. Had Mississippi state regulators not disqualified the subsidized carbon capture and sequestration technology, it is unlikely that the DOJ would now be involved trying to recover a portion of the millions of taxpayer dollars the DOE’s bureaucrats had gambled on it. An effort that itself will almost certainly cost millions of taxpayer dollars.

The DOE has a long history of making disastrously bad bets, particularly in recent years as so-called “green energy” initiatives have become popular among political leaders.

These costly failures keep happening because the bureaucrats are not betting their own money, and thus, they do not feel the pain of losing. I wonder if the cost to taxpayers of losing from their gambling would be as large if they were required to put their government pensions on the line when placing their bets in the first place.


UN Biodiversity Report Confirms the Sky Is Not Falling

There’s no better way to start a week than perusing through the pages of a massive, alarmist report that predicts the demise of everything held dear. But, the United Nations’ (UN) gargantuan new report on biodiversity around the globe (see summary here) is actually a hidden reality check. The authors warn that nearly 10 percent of all terrestrial species are facing habitat loss, and as a result, around 1 million species face extinction in the coming decade.

That sounds alarming, especially after reading tidbits like, “The global rate of species extinction is already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than the average rate over the past 10 million years and is accelerating.” But as crazy as it seems, the UN report is actually a rebuke to the most alarmist extinction predictions, and details progress by developed, capitalist countries to protect the environment. The sky is not falling.

Most environmental researchers will profess to something truly mind-boggling: we don’t know about most of the species that go extinct. Global extinction figures are the result of scientific modeling, instead of meticulously counting species that we already know about which have gone extinct. Less than one thousand species have actually been documented as lost over the past four hundred years, and scientists must attempt to extrapolate to come up with realistic planet-wide estimates.

In 2011, however, scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles and Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China found that, using available methods, scientists were way overestimating extinction rates. Scientists typically use something called the “species area relationship” to estimate extinctions. This is where they study an area of land and measure the area they have had to comb through before encountering the first member of the species in question. They then assume in their calculations that, if this area was destroyed, the entire species would be wiped out. This of course makes little sense, and the researchers demonstrated via computer simulations that scientists’ preferred type of modeling made extinction rates look 83 to 165 percent higher than reality.

These wildly off-the-mark estimates lead to crazy claims about ecosystem destruction. One commonly-quoted stat estimates that we’re losing “one species per minute” because mankind is a pesky, destructive lot. That implies that, over the next ten years, 5 million species will go the way of the dodo instead of the 1 million species figure used by the UN (over multiple decades). Fortunately, the UN uses a better methodology that takes some of these flaws into account. Even if the UN’s method of species counting isn’t the worst out there, their more conservative figures could still use some context.

As science writer and journalist Fred Pearce notes, “the majority of documented extinctions have been on small islands, where species with small gene pools have usually succumbed to human hunters.” Not only are those species unrepresentative of more tenacious species on larger land-masses, but isolated species also have fewer chain-effects on the wider world. In other words, more extinct and endangered species are like the dodo than the allegedly imperiled honey bee (which is doing just fine).

But inevitably, media outlets seize upon a large, scary-looking figure without any sort of context, and suggest that the need for radical “green” change is now. Never mind that large-scale extinctions are also happening in Western Europe, where countries such as Germany and Switzerland implement costly, far-reaching policies that set aside vast tracts of land for preservation if there is even a small risk of a species going extinct. But there does seem to be good news outlined in the UN report: more economic development appears to increase ecological conservation.

Developed countries lead the way in protection of biodiversity, pollution reduction, and minimizing needless biomass extraction.  This trend dovetails more closely with economic growth than government regulation, and in fact, air pollution reduction preceded expansive federal action. Additionally, researchers at the University of Illinois and the Nature Conservancy found that funding and manpower for conservation organizations are strongly tied to stock market performance. A richer society is able to set aside more funds for preservation and conservation.

The UN report (subtly) admits what many in the press won’t: indicators aren’t so bad, and capitalism can help save the environment. People may pluck whatever predetermined conclusion they have out of this massive report, but there’s no denying that things aren’t as dire as the headlines suggest.


The climate-fearing, capitalism-loathing Left cannot abide questions or differing opinions

Paul Driessen

Throughout history despots had effective ways of reducing dissension in the ranks. Inquisitors burned heretics. Nazi’s burned books – before taking far more extreme measures. Soviets employed famines, gulags, salt mines and executions. ChiComs and other tyrants starved, jailed and murdered millions.

Today’s Green New Dealers and their allies have mapped out their own totalitarian strategies.

They proclaim themselves socialists, but their economic policies and tolerance for other viewpoints reflect a different form of government – fascism: A political system in which authoritarian government does not own businesses and industries, but strictly regulates and controls their actions, output and rights – while constraining and suppressing citizens and their thought, speech and access to information.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has “no problem” with the fact that implementing her Green New Deal would require “massive government intervention,” wealth redistribution on an unprecedented scale, and many trillions of dollars in new debt. GNDealers want to totally eliminate fossil fuel production and use, and control how much we can drive and fly, heat and cool our homes, eat meat, and live our lives.

If retrofitting 29 million British homes to make them climate-friendly would cost $5.6 trillion – remaking America’s 125 million generally larger private homes would easily cost $25 trillion! Putting just five million electric cars on California roads would require 5 billion pounds of lithium-ion batteries.

Replacing fossil fuels that provide 82% of our energy and 100% of countless plastic and other products would require biofuels grown on tens of millions of acres. Replacing coal and gas-generated electricity with wind and solar would require millions of turbines and panels, on tens of millions more acres, billions of tons of rare earth and other metals, and hundreds of billions of pounds of lithium-ion batteries.

China controls all those rare earth metals and most of the lithium, cadmium and cobalt needed for all that pseudo-renewable, pretend-sustainable energy. They are produced in China and Africa, often with child labor and near-slave labor, and with virtually no health, safety or environmental safeguards.

Meanwhile, Asian, African and EU nations are building or planning over 2,000 coal and gas-fired power plants. So even US elimination of fossil fuels would do absolutely nothing to reduce global CO2 levels. Moreover, citizens are likely to rise up in loud opposition to having millions of wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and biofuel plantations in their backyards and across scenic vistas and wildlife habitats.

GNDealers don’t want to talk about any of those ethical, social justice or environmental issues – or about the GIGO computer models and bald assertions of Climate Armageddon that have no basis in real-world evidence. They don’t want anyone else talking about it, either. They want to control what we say and think, even what ideas and information we can find online and in print, television, radio and social media.

They loath and fear ideas, facts and questions that challenge their views and political power. Free speech and access to other people’s free speech is a clear and present danger to their perceived and asserted wisdom on fossil fuels, capitalism, manmade climate chaos, Western culture, and who should make policy decisions on energy, economics, jobs, living standards, religion, civil rights and other matters.

Their version of “free speech” thus includes – and demands – that their critics have no free speech. On college campuses, in “mainstream” and social media, on search engines, in online information libraries, even in the arts, bakeries and K-12 education, thought control and electronic book burning are essential. Despite having a 12 to 1 ratio of liberal to conservative professors, leftist college faculty, administrators and students still ban, disinvite, disrupt and physically attack conservative speakers and their hosts.

They harass Trump administration officials in restaurants – and “dox” political opponents, revealing their names and home addresses, so that other radicals can harass, intimidate and attack them … thereby “persuading” others to stay silent. They assaulted North Korean escapees for wearing MAGA hats.

The Big Tech monopoly routinely implements electronic book-burning tactics. Google and other internet search engines systematically employ liberal biases and secret algorithms to send climate realism articles to intellectual Siberia and censor conservative thinking and discussion. Google YouTube blocks access to Prager University ( videos that its censors decree offer “objectionable content” on current events, history, constitutional principles, environmental policies and other topics.

Google helps the Chinese government deny its citizens access to “dangerous ideas” – and says nothing when China sends a million Uighur Muslims to “reeducation camps.” Its hard-left employees ostracize any conservatives they still find in their ranks … and claim helping the US Defense Department with Cloud computing or artificial intelligence surveillance would “violate their principles.”

Facebook “shadow banned” an ad promoting a Heartland Institute video that called on millennials to reject socialism and embrace capitalism. Facebook censors told Heartland they “don’t support ads for your business model” (capitalism) and would not reveal “red flags” and trade-secret algorithms they use to “identify violations” of their policies and “help preserve the integrity of our internal processes.” Google suppressed Claremont Institute ads for a talk on multiculturalism and political speech restrictions.

Twitter routinely engages in similar cold, calculated censorship of views it opposes.

Wikipedia posts distorted or false bios for climate realist experts and organizations – labeling me an anti-environment lobbyist – and then pops up ads soliciting money for its biased “educational” material. Securing corrections is a long, often fruitless process. Even more totalitarian, the Southern Poverty Law Center uses phony “hate speech” claims to defund and “deplatform” conservative groups like David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, by pressuring credit card companies to close off donations to them.

State attorneys general and members of Congress want to prosecute and jail people for “denying the reality” of “manmade climate cataclysms.” Worst of all, the callous organizations and policies that Big Tech supports cause millions of deaths every year, by denying impoverished nations and families access to the modern energy, insect control and agricultural technologies that its vocal, racist elements loathe.

Creating conservative competitors or finding ways around these social media and fake info behemoths is vital, but would be stymied by their sheer size, wealth and dominance. Trust busting by the FTC, other federal agencies, Congress and the courts, á la Standard Oil Company, should certainly be considered.

These cyber-giant social media and information platforms may be private companies, but they wield massive power, especially with younger generations that get almost all their information online. They are entirely dependent on the internet – which was created by US government agencies and taxpayers. (“You didn’t build that,” President Obama might tell Google.) They have become essential, dominant public forums for discussing and evaluating public policies that increasingly affect our lives.

A federal judge has ruled that President Trump may not block hate-filled criticism from his Twitter account. Because it is a public forum, akin to a park or town square, for discussing important policy and personnel matters, it is protected by the First Amendment. Blocking unwanted tweets is therefore viewpoint discrimination, and Twitter is not beyond the reach of First Amendment public forum rules, she held. Her reasoning should not apply only to the President and his most obnoxious critics.

The right of free speech and free assembly – to participate fully in debates over important political and public policy matters – is the foundation for the other rights and freedoms that enable our vibrant nation to function. Banning, censoring and deliberately falsifying certain viewpoints deprive major segments of our population and electorate of the right to speak, be heard, become informed, examine all sides of an issue, and live in harmony, peace and prosperity.

Viewpoint censorship, bullying and silencing violates the basic rights of speakers, students, professors, voters and all people whose views an elite, intolerant, power-hungry few have deemed “inappropriate” or “hurtful” to the sensitivities of climate alarmist, pro-abortion, atheist and other liberal factions.

It’s time to take action, demand investigations, and rein in the monopolistic cyber censors.

Via email


Three current articles below

Australian Greens hate Israel

With all the excitement about Australia being in the Eurovision grand final, it’s worth recalling that last May Lee Rhiannon, a Greens senator at the time, pressured then SBS managing director Michael Ebeid to drop its broadcast because it would be held in Tel Aviv and therefore “could impact on Palestinians”.

Rhiannon, who was sitting on the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications, melodramatically told the committee it “could actually impact on who lives and who dies”.

The Greens’ candidate for the eastern Sydney seat of Kingsford Smith, James Cruz, has tweeted his own call to boycott Eurovision in Israel.

Rhiannon’s replacement in the Senate, Mehreen Faruqi, has spent her first few months in federal parliament appearing at events hosted by Palestine Action Group Sydney, an organiser of the Eurovision boycott.

Ebeid dismissed Rhiannon’s calls for a boycott: “The whole point of Eurovision is to forget politics, forget all of that and unite communities and countries together in the spirit of song.” But for so many Greens, when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, nothing is beyond politics.

Moreover, with recent reports of Greens candidates outed as supporters of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel — despite it not being official Greens policy — we are entitled to ask whether the Greens are a party that cynically says one thing but does another.

Many Greens politicians and activists openly support BDS. This disingenuous shell game has allowed the Greens to portray themselves as environmentalists and social justice crusaders while providing a safe space for obsessive Israel-haters.

In the eyes of your local Greens candidate, support for Israel could lead to your complete political disenfranchisement. In the previous election, Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports Steph Hodgins-May buckled to political pressure from far-left sources and withdrew from a candidates’ debate for the Jewish community because Zionism Victoria co-sponsored the event. Yet she had no such qualms attending an election forum by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network. Can such a candidate claim to be prepared to represent an entire electorate?

In 2015 Greens leader Richard Di Natale recognised Israel as a Jewish state, only to walk back that recognition shortly afterwards, and tactlessly used a condolence motion in the Senate to bash former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres.

In 2017, Di Natale called for a debate in Australia about “appropriate” economic sanctions against Israel, adding that all military trade between Australia and Israel “has to stop”.

Also that year, the federal Greens refused to condemn the NSW Young Greens after they announced their official policy to boycott Jewish students.

Last year, the acting deputy leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt, removed from his social media a caricature of a banker that mirrored Nazi caricatures of hook-nosed Jews. His spokesman meekly apologised for “any offence caused”.

The record has shown that virulent animus towards Israel — venturing far beyond the confines of official party policy — is not something limited to a single politician, candidate or state branch. It is pervasive among Greens because activists know the party will not censure them.

We all lose from such political game-playing. BDS undermines Australian interests, not only in seeking peace for the region but also in our trade with Israel, our democratic ally and among the world’s foremost hubs for technological innovation.

The Greens party propagates on its website the views of Hiba El-Farra, whose articles speak not of an occupation that began in 1967 but in 1948. Indeed, Israel’s entire existence since its establishment is portrayed as continuous “occupation”.

El-Farra’s vision of peace unequivocally demands a Palestinian “right of return” to Israel and not a separate Palestinian state, and does not allow for the existence of Israel as the Jewish national home.

Such are the views marketed on the Greens’ website, and it matters little that the post is tagged as “opinion” that is “not official policy of Greens WA”. The fact is the website does not publish views that deviate far from the maximalist Palestinian narrative that is antithetical to peace.

Yet not only is the Greens’ one-sided policy against Israel out of step with Australian interests, it contradicts the party’s platform when it comes to the environment, LGBTQ and gender equality issues, anti-Islamophobia, religious tolerance, democratic freedom and indigenous rights.

On these and other progressive issues, especially compared with its regional neighbours, Israel stands alone as a beacon of liberal values the Greens claim to hold so dear.

A political party that aspires to compete on centre stage with the Coalition and ALP, the Greens must avoid reducing this complex issue to black and white absolutes, and ensure it practises what it preaches regarding two states for two peoples.


Basic facts taught at school undermine the Warmist gospel

Bill Shorten and his allies, the Greens economic vandals, believe climate change is a moral issue. So is telling the truth.

With his elite private school education, the Oppo­s­i­tion Leader would have learned about the Roman Warming, the Dark Ages, the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age. These took place before industrialisation and were all driven by changes in the sun. He would have learned that ­natural warm times, like now, bring great prosperity, increased longevity and less disease, whereas Jack Frost brings death, depopulation and economic stresses.

In biology, the Labor leader would have learned of Darwinism and environmental adapta­tion of species. Humans live on ice and in the hills, valleys, tropics and des­erts, at altitude and on coastal plains. Like countless other organ­isms, we move and adapt when the environment changes. Species thrive when it is warm.

From his education at a relig­ious school, he would have learned about the apostle Thomas. One of the strengths of our Western civilisation is doubt and scepticism. Surely Shorten does not believe the catastrophism promoted by green activists and self-interested alleged experts at the expense of the nation. If he does, he is unelectable.

If he is knowingly promoting a falsehood, he is unelectable. Critical thinking was fundamental to our culture and should be embraced in policy formulation. In school science, Shorten would have learned carbon dioxide is the food of life and without this natural gas, which occurs in space and all planets, there would be no life.

He also would understand from his maths lessons that when 3 per cent of total annual global emissions of carbon dioxide are from humans and Australia prod­uces 1.3 per cent of this 3 per cent, then no amount of emissions reductio­n here will have any effect on global climate.

A quick search would show him that whenever in the past there was an explosion of plant life, the carbon dioxide content was far higher than at present. If we halve the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, all life dies.

Shorten should know that for thousands of millions of years the Earth has been changing, with cycles­ and one-off events such as an asteroid impact, super-volcano or a supernova explosion.

He should know that climate always changes and that the planet would be in serious trouble if it did not. There are cycles of air, water, rocks and continents. There are measurable cycles with the sun, Earth’s orbit, oceans and moon that drive climate change, especially if cycles coincide. It has yet to be demonstrated that the climate change today is any different from those of the past.

Despite hundreds of billions of dollars of expenditure during the past few decades, it still has not been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive ­global warming. Yet wind and solar industrial complexes pepper the landscape allegedly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

They run on subsidies, not the wind or the sun. Wind and solar are transfering money from the poor to the rich, not saving the environment. These subsidies, paid by the long-suffering consumer and employer, add to emissions because coal-fired elec­tricity needs to be on standby for when there is no wind or sunshine.

The amount of energy used to construct solar and wind facilities is greater than they produce in their working lives. The amount of carbon dioxide released during construction and maintenance is far more than is saved. Renew­ables such as wind turbines are environmentally disastrous because they pollute a huge land area, slice and dice birds and bats, kill insects that are bird food, create health problems for humans who live within kilometres of them, leave toxins around the turbine site and despoil the landscape.

Union superannuation funds have invested massively in renewable energy. Labor’s promise of 50 per cent renewables will cost electricity consumers hundreds of billions but will benefit the unions.

As soon as renewables were introduced into the grid, electric­ity prices increased and delivery became unreliable. Increased elec­tric­ity costs have created unemployment, and many pensioners and the poor cannot afford electricity. An increase in renewables will make matters worse.

Does Shorten’s energy policy consider those who lose jobs and have the power cut off in his race to achieve 50 per cent renewables to fill the pockets of Labor union mates? And what about the scams siphoning off tens of billions that slosh around the world as carbon credits, carbon trading and renewable energy certificates? Rather than take this money from the poor via higher electricity prices, it would be better spent at home.

To smugly claim that valid questions about energy costs are dumb or deceitful is a loud warning bell. Shorten refuses to tell us how he will spend our money or to give any detail on energy ­systems that are proven failures. It is our money and, if he will not give us the financial details, we should be very scared of his shiftiness. I have never written a blank cheque for a used car. Why should I now?

Emeritus professor Ian Plimer’s latest book, The Climate Change Delusion and the Great Electricity Ripoff, is published by Connor Court.


Greens plan is an arrow to the heart of free speech and the welfare of the poor

If you have lots of money stashed away, go your hardest. Vote 1 Greens. But don’t expect to get richer under Green policies. Your kids won’t enjoy the same cashed-up lifestyle as you either. And as for the poor, they simply cannot afford to vote Green.

Who votes for the Greens matters because Green votes in the Senate will determine policies in a Shorten government. The Greens are beholden to a voting base that is, historically, far more demographically and ideologically ­defined than the earlier balance-of-power party, the Australian Democrats, or today’s minor parties, be it Pauline Hanson’s One Nation or Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

Roy Morgan’s latest State of the Nation report for Saturday’s election details the depth of self-indulgence behind the Greens’ voting base.

The Greens attract voters from the highest socio-economic quintiles: 31 per cent of people in the AB quintile and 24 per cent in the C quintile, meaning people with the fattest incomes, the best jobs and the highest level of education.

Forget the baloney about the Liberals representing the top end of town.

Fully one-third of Australians in the cushiest socio-economic groups vote Greens. These smartypants voters with univer­sity educations imagine they are helping the poor by voting Greens. But their paternalism is not simply empty virtue-signalling. Worse than parading their faux morality, those who vote Greens are wrecking the chances of the poor to get rich. So, strike out every mention of “aspirational”, “a decent life,” “economic injustice”, “being a good economic manager”, “a fairer society” from the Greens’ campaign statements. These claims are monumental frauds.

The poor, those who do not vote for the Greens, know something many rich people do not. Those with less education understand that the Greens’ plan to ban thermal coal by 2030 and phase out coking coal too is economic suicide. In 2018, coal was our highest export earner, $66 billion last financial year, and $35.7bn coming from Queensland. Where will the Greens find an additional $66bn each year to provide education, health and support to the neediest Australians? Their policy of a “super profits” tax on mining companies won’t raise money when exports are shut down and company profits dry up. You don’t need an arts degree or even a PhD to work out that equation.

With pretensions to government, the Greens have not come up with an alternative to the coking coal needed to make steel, along with iron ore. And yet apparently highly educated Australians will vote for the economic nonsense of a green ban on coal on Saturday. The Adani coalmine, a creator of jobs in far north Queensland but bitterly opposed by inner-city Greens voters with nice jobs, is the defining parable about the fraud of voting Greens.

Poorer Australians understand that higher taxes, even on the rich, will not help the poor get rich. That’s why a fraction of the bottom quintile of Australian voters vote Greens, their group the only one not to rise on 2010 numbers.

And, in a sign perhaps those well-heeled doctors’ wives are on the march, women are more easily duped by promises of nirvana than men; the Greens attract 59 per cent of their support from women, up from 54 per cent since the 2010 election.

Support from men has dropped off, according to Roy Morgan polling, down to 41 per cent from 46 per cent when the Greens joined with Julia Gillard’s Labor minority government.

The disconnect of Greens voters has grown worse in the past eight years. Seventy-two per cent of Greens supporters, up from 65 per cent in 2010, live in capital cities where they will rarely face the reality of sprawling immigration, unemployment in the regions or missing infrastructure links. The Greens are not just reckless economy wreckers. They have their sights on killing our culture too. In video of a speech delivered in Melbourne in March, Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he wants new laws that make it a crime to engage in hate speech, taking specific aim at those who analyse Greens policies the most.

“We’re going to make sure that we’ve got laws that regulate our media so that people like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and Chris Kenny … if they want to use hate speech to divide the community then they’re going to be held to account,” Di Natale said.

Di Natale’s plan will kill a free and independent media in Australia. Hate speech will become the new thoughtcrimes of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a highly subjective, legal weapon to be aimed at those who say things you hate.

And don’t imagine he won’t find support from the party that comes to power with Greens preferences. The Gillard Labor government tried to regulate the free press in Australia in 2013, bolstered by then Greens leader Christine Milne who wanted a “fit and proper” test giving government more power to control the media. Stephen Conroy wanted the package pushed through before the 2013 election.

While the policy was ditched that year, the entrenchment of “hate speech” as an acceptable limit on freedom means the task of fighting for freedom of expression will be harder today than it was six years ago.

Don’t take my word for it. Last week, Di Natale was interviewed on the ABC on two occasions, first by Sabra Lane on AM, the ABC’s premier radio analysis program. Di Natale repeated his radical plan to regulate the media in his quest to “hold to account” journalists at News Corp. Lane’s uninterested response was: “You’ve made the point. We need to move on.”

Move on? What, nothing to see here? Leigh Sales had interviewed Di Natale the previous night on 7.30 and failed to question Di Natale about his radical policy to alter our liberal freedoms.

When the ABC’s premier political analysts don’t bother to analyse a policy that would control media output, it’s worth asking why. Critiquing Di Natale’s plan is not about defending News Corp. It is about defending freedom of the press, a core value in a liberal democracy.

The ABC does that a lot when unloading on US President Donald Trump for his attacks on the media. Why is the public broadcaster silent about a far more radical policy on the home front to shut down voices in the Australian media? Could it be that the ABC hosts are more likely to vote Greens? They certainly fit the demographic pattern of Greens voters, namely rich and well-educated city slickers.



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


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