Monday, May 06, 2019

Humans risk wiping out ONE MILLION natural species as the Earth's life-support system reaches breaking point, say UN scientists urging action

This is just "think of a number" talk.  There is no way they could have tracked one million species.  Extinction of species goes on all the time -- with or without human intervention.  And "extinct" species keep re-emerging

And where is their "breaking point"?  What is about to break?  They do not say.  Life seems to go on getting better and better all the time. Food has never before been as abundant or as cheap. China and India now feed their own people without having to import food.  This nonsense below is just childish alarmism.  It wouldn't even pass muster as a freshman essay

Mankind is on the verge of wiping out up to one million natural species which will put the Earth's vital life-support systems at breaking point, UN scientists will reportedly warn.

They say that food and water resources will run dry for future generations and put humanity in jeopardy unless immediate steps are taken to reverse climate destruction.

Stark warnings about the ecological crisis are to be made in a 1,800-page UN report which reveals that the annihilation of natural landscapes, forests and wetlands is leading to an 'unsustainable' loss of plants of animals which risk extinction.

Robert Watson, chairman of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), told the paper: 'There is no question we are losing biodiversity at a truly unsustainable rate that will affect human wellbeing both for current and future generations.

'We are in trouble if we don't act, but there are a range of actions that can be taken to protect nature and meet human goals for health and development.'

The global assessment on the state of nature - the product of 400 experts over three years - will construct several scenarios for the future based on likely decisions taken by governments and policymakers over the coming years.

Food, pollination, clean water and a stable climate all depend on a thriving plant and animal population. 


Big Oil goes Big Green

Oil companies give billions to climate alarmists, but hardly a dime to climate realists

David Wojick

Climate alarmists often accuse skeptics, like myself and independent groups like the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Heartland Institute, of being in the pay of Big Oil. This is completely false – the Big Lie repeated so often that people eventually believe it. We do not receive even a dime from Big Oil. It’s part of the green fairy tale that skepticism exists only because the oil companies are funding it.

For the record, none of us skeptics – climate realists – doubt or deny climate change. We all recognize that Earth’s climate is in nearly constant turmoil and fluctuation, locally, regionally or globally.

What we question is assertions that emissions from fossil fuel use have somehow replaced the sun and other powerful natural forces that have driven beneficial, benign, harmful or even hugely destructive climate changes throughout Earth and human history:

Changes such as at least five glacial periods that buried much of North America, Europe and Asia under mile-high rivers of ice, warm periods in between that melted those massive glaciers, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, a Little Ice Age, the century-long Anasazi and Mayan droughts, the Dust Bowl, and countless other major and minor climate and weather changes.

The standard refrain is that ExxonMobil gave a cumulative few million dollars to various skeptical groups prior to 2007. But that was many years ago. They got scared off by alarmist pressure groups and haven’t given climate realists a dime since then. In fact, the situation today is completely the opposite.

Big Oil companies now give at least a billion dollars a year to climate alarmists, projects and lobbying, to drive the Manmade Climate Chaos narrative. Why would they do that? Two reasons come to mind.

First, typical commercial reasons – what some would call corporate greed, or eliminating competition through the laws of the jungle. Feeding climate alarmism helps oil companies kill off “dirty” coal and position natural gas as being more “climate friendly.” After all, Big Oil is also Big Gas.

Second, public relations and “greenwashing” – portraying themselves as being more “green,” more socially and environmentally “responsible,” for supporting environmentalist groups and providing “clean” (or at least “less dirty”) alternatives to “climate destroying” coal.

The central vehicle for moving these green billions of dollars goes by a perfectly descriptive name: the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI). If the false accusers were correct, “oil and gas” would never be connected logically or ethically to “climate initiative.” But there it is, and it is very big. OGCI members include these well-known Big Oil names:

British Petroleum * Chevron * China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) *

Eni * Equinor * Exxon Mobil Corporation * Occidental Petroleum *

PEMEX (PetrĂ³leos Mexicanos) * PETROBRAS (Petroleo Brasileiro) * Repsol *

Royal Dutch Shell * Saudi Aramco * Total

Collectively, they claim to produce 30% of the world’s oil and gas. Their OGCI website also features a lineup of Big Oil corporate CEOs, just to show how seriously and responsibly “green” they are. Their latest annual report has a letter from the CEOs, including this little gem:

“As our ambition grows with the scale of the challenge, we look forward to working closely with policy-makers, regulators and all stakeholders to help develop the levers that can economically and sustainably accelerate the pace of the low carbon transition.”

You have to wonder whether their list of “stakeholders” includes families, companies and communities that understand how completely dependent they and all of modern industrialized society are on fossil fuels, especially oil and gas. Just read this list and watch the little embedded video.

More to the point, consider its origins. OGCI was launched in 2014, shortly after the infamous Chesapeake Energy scandal, when its CEO got caught giving the Sierra Club millions of dollars to support the environmentalist and Obama Administration war on coal. Ironically, even Club members opposed taking the money, since they consider all fossil fuels to be their enemy – and after it had bashed coal into submission, the Club took aim at natural gas, Chesapeake’s primary revenue source.

What seems to have happened is that the ever-wily Big Oil companies created their own “green” organization. With its billion bucks in annual funding, Big Oil is now one of the biggest financiers of Big Green, not counting Big Government funding sources.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is also actively engaged with Big Oil, through its EDF+Business arm. In particular, EDF has a huge methane reduction program – the Methane Challenge – which not surprisingly involves OGCI. The program features prominently in “Sustainability Reports” of several major oil companies. EDF is even building and launching its own satellite, cleverly called MethaneSAT.

EDF is clearly getting a lot of money for this. It claims it gets no money “directly” from the companies. Instead, the cash comes from unspecified “philanthropies.” Of course, where these philanthropies get their cash may be a different story; they could easily be laundering Big Oil money. It may be telling that OGCI does not issue a financial report – or provide any transparent online information about its financials.

Space News actually asked EDF about this funding – but got stonewalled. Here’s its report:

“However, EDF has provided few details about how much MethaneSAT will cost or how it will be funded. The project received last year a grant from a new initiative called The Audacious Project, although the size of the award was not disclosed. An EDF spokesman did not respond to an inquiry about the financial status of the project.”

Having EDF on its side is certainly a big plus for Big Oil. But talk about hypocrisy – for both of them.

In any case it is clear that Big Oil is spending at least a billion dollars on green stuff, which is a lot of green. (Cold cash, in the form of American greenbacks, is clearly the new Big Green.) There is no evidence that climate skeptics are getting any of this. But if some are getting any, it is trivial in comparison. Meanwhile OGCI and Big Green get billions, and EDF maybe many millions.

Another big irony is that the supposed alternative to abundant, reliable, affordable, civilization-enabling fossil fuels is supposedly “clean, green, renewable, sustainable, responsible” wind, solar and biofuel energy. (Hardcore environmentalists do not approve of nuclear or hydroelectric power, either.)

Those alleged “alternatives” require inconceivably vast amounts of land – not just for the wind turbines, solar panels, backup batteries and biofuel farms, but to mine and process the billions of tons of iron, copper, rare earth metals, lithium, cadmium, limestone and other materials needed to make the turbines, panels, batteries, transmission lines, tractors, trucks and other “sustainable” infrastructure.

All that mining, processing, manufacturing and transportation requires fossil fuels. And biofuels emit just as much (plant-fertilizing) carbon dioxide when they are burned as do coal, oil and natural gas.

Even more disturbing, many of those raw materials are produced with widespread slave and child labor, under health, safety and environmental rules and conditions that would make Upton Sinclair and other early Twentieth Century reformers think their oppressed workers were living in paradise.

When it comes to skepticism, the simple fact is that roughly half of Americans do not accept climate alarmism, right up to the President. Yet no one is paying for this widespread skepticism. As for Big Oil, it is pouring big bucks into Big Green and green climate initiatives. Conservative and climate realist groups have think tanks that do manage to find some funding, but it doesn’t come from Big Oil .

That Big Oil is responsible for skepticism is just another part of the alarmist fantasy world.

Via email

New York Times Blames Wine Consumers for Climate Change, Issues Instructions for Researching Vineyards

Wine drinkers contribute to climate change when they don’t do proper research and make the right purchase decisions, The New York Times warns in a how-to guide published Tuesday.

In its “How Does Your Love of Wine Contribute to Climate Change?” The Times says the wine industry is “a microcosm of larger society” when it comes to climate change, so wine lovers must do their part to save the planet:

“That industry is simply a microcosm of larger society. Just as politicians have little incentive to address climate change unless voters require it, many wine producers are less inclined to reduce their own carbon footprints unless consumers demonstrate that such steps are important to them.”

The Times advises wine buyers to research winemakers to find answers to questions like:

Do they plow or till, or do they have a crop cover?
Do they mow their crop cover, instead of rolling it?
Do they make and use their own organic compost?
Do they still use combustion engines, or have they switched to electric or hybrid vehicles?
Do they use chemical sprays?
Do they “promote biodiversity and soil life?”
Do they use renewable fuels?
Do they catch and store the carbon they produce?
What energy source do they use?
What are their water management practices?

“These are the many questions that consumers would need to address in judging a producer’s carbon output,” The New York Times says.

Additionally, the article recommends that, when shopping for wines in stores, consumers should:

Buy wine in lightweight bottles,
Complain about heavier wine bottles,
Buy wine at bars and restaurants that store wine in kegs,
Favor boxed wines.


GOP Rep Pulls a McConnell With Plan to See if House Dems Have the ‘Guts’ to Back Their Green New Deal

A Republican representative from Georgia took a page out of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s (R-Ky.) book, announcing that he will be introducing a resolution to the House of Representatives to force a vote on the controversial Green New Deal.

On Monday, Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) told The Hill that he was planning on introducing a discharge petition to the House on Wednesday in an attempt to force a vote on freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s (D-N.Y.) nonbinding resolution, the Green New Deal.

“I’m looking forward to it — the American people need to know where their representatives stand by the Green New Deal, and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to gather 218 votes and give that choice to the people of America,” Hill told The Hill.

“Ninety-two of them are signed onto it now as far as cosponsoring, so hopefully at least 20 of them will have the guts to say, yeah let’s vote on it,” he added.

A discharge petition is a type of resolution used in the House of Representatives to “discharge” a bill from the committee it is being considered in and bring it to the full House floor for a vote. For a bill to be eligible for discharge, it has to have been introduced to the House and referred to a committee for at least 30 days.

After 20 minutes of debate, the House votes on the legislation.

However, discharge petitions are incredibly hard to pull off, as they require an absolute majority of the House — 218 members — to sign on as co-sponsors of the petition. The main challenge standing before Hice is convincing 20 Democratic representatives to sign onto the petition.

Hice’s upcoming move is incredibly reminiscent of McConnell’s forcing of the Senate vote on the resolution last month. Fifty-seven senators voted against the nonbinding resolution, while the 43 others — all of them Democrats, sans Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — voted “present.”

IJR Red previously reported that McConnell continued to blast the Democrats after the vote, posting a video montage of the Democrats who advocated for the nonbinding resolution but voted “present” on the legislation, including 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates such as Sanders and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

As IJR Red also noted, the queen of the Green New Deal was not too keen regarding the Senate vote on her own legislation, calling it a “disgrace” in a tweet last month.


Biomass fuel: The Great Carbon Con

I’d be very surprised — and very impressed if contradicted — if one in 100 readers of this newspaper, even intelligent and informed as they are by definition, would be able to name the biggest generator of so-called renewable energy in Europe, which is climate central for the cult of carbon dioxide fear and loathing.

I’d be even more surprised if one in 1000 of our Down Under adherents of that anti-CO2 cult, unintelligent and uninformed as they are by definition, could do so.

Even fewer, I suggest, in both groups would be able to specifically name the single biggest so-called renewable energy power station in Europe.

Surely, it’s one of all those so-called “wind farms”, sprouting like metallic weeds all over the European landscape, and increasingly offshore as well, and which collectively must be the biggest source?

Or maybe even the only real — as in reliable and functional — renewable energy we’ve ever had and still only have: hydro power? But surely not solar in, apart from the Mediterranean countries, sun-challenged Europe?

Well, there are some clues in the words I have used very advisedly: “generator” of energy and “power station”. For you see, the answer is plain and simple: burning wood.

Yes, it is dressed up — and intended to quite deliberately deceive as that’s the European Union way — with the fancy all-green sounding name “biomass”. And yes, it includes burning municipal waste and charcoal. But it is mostly burning wood and, in part, shipped across the Atlantic from the US.

Exactly just like we used to do, from the prehistoric discovery of fire to well into the 20th century, until we switched to mostly coal-fired power stations. And still do in large parts of the developing world, including in India, killing tens of thousands of people every year. And which the opponents of the Adani coal mine want to keep doing.

Sure, in “clean, green Europe” they don’t burn the wood — sorry, biomass — in the open air so it doesn’t pump out the people-killing dirty bits of grit and other unpleasantries. But it still pumps out that gas — what’s it called? — oh yes, CO2.

Except, that the EU and especially EU central in Brussels, the European Commission, has decreed that the CO2 being pumped out by the burning of wood and other materials, in “biomass power stations” is non-existent.

That is to say, it’s “carbon neutral”. The CO2 pumped into the air — just like a coal-fired station, except a biomass station pumps out about 50-100 per cent more CO2 for the same amount of electricity — is deemed by the EC as cancelled by the CO2 which will become embedded in the new growth of plants as a consequence of the increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

We used to think that was a good thing: who wouldn’t want to green the planet and dramatically increase the production of wheat, corn and all other food crops. Some real scientists such as the great Freeman Dyson — as opposed to the charlatans and poseurs that now infest the academy — still do.

The more specific point, of course, about this utter so typically EU “renewable” absurdity is that the CO2 coming out of a wood-burning plant is coming out now; the removal of that CO2 in new plant growth might take up to 100 years.

This also goes to the ludicrous suggestion that we could “square the circle” of our proposed CO2 cuts by buying so-called “emission permits’’ from overseas and most particularly from — where else? — Europe.

It has, of course, utterly escaped what passes for the public policy elite in this country that the only point in Australia reducing its CO2 emissions is if the entire world similarly embarks on that task.

We’ll put outside the absolutely fundamental point that the world is not.

At best, China — the biggest emitter by the length of the Flemington straight — and third-placed India have crossed their hearts and promised to start cutting after 2030. Until then, they’ll keep increasing.

Put that aside and fantasise of a world where everyone was trying to cut their emissions. What do you think would happen to the price and, even more, the availability of such emission permits — which would only be created by a country cutting its emissions by more than the world required and having the surplus to sell?

This also, by the bye, is why Bill Shorten was actually — if utterly unintentionally and even more unknowingly — telling the truth when he said the cost of Labor’s 45 per cent reduction policy was impossible to determine. It is impossible to cost infinity.

Let me finish with some detail about Europe and so-called biomass.

According to Eurostat — that’s the official EU statistical body — 65 per cent of EU renewable generation in 2016 came from biomass: wood and charcoal, biogas and biofuels, and municipal waste.

Burning wood was easily the biggest, at nearly half all so-called renewable generation in Europe.

The biggest biomass station is Drax, in the north of England. It switched from burning coal to burning wood. The CO2 it emitted as a coal station was causing climate change; the increased CO2 it now emits from burning wood is defined by the EC bureaucrats as not existing.

Under the EC rules, Drax — and all other biomass plants — only have to count the CO2 generated by the processing of the wood into pellets and its transportation; they do not count the overwhelmingly much larger CO2 emissions from the actual burning.

Even some Greens in Europe, who have not lost all touch with reality, realise this is a classic and simply insane EC con. A case was launched in March seeking to have the EU General Court rule that biomass could not be counted as a renewable.

But let’s hope they lose. Then we can convert Liddell to burning wood and all but instantly reach Labor’s renewable generation target.



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.  

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