Sunday, August 18, 2019

Trump Says He Wants to Buy Greenland. Here's Why

President Donald Trump has expressed an interest in buying Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, according to a report published yesterday (Aug. 15) by The Wall Street Journal.

Why does Trump want the United States to buy the world's biggest island? The reason, in large part, is likely that Greenland is rich in natural resources, including iron ore, lead, zinc, diamonds, gold, rare-earth elements, uranium and oil, according to the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public-policy organization in Washington, D.C.

Extracting Greenland's natural resources, however, isn't a straightforward enterprise. Much of the mining and drilling depends on global supply and demand, not to mention navigating Greenland's severe climate and terrain. For instance, oil production probably won't take place for at least another decade, according to the Brookings Institution's 2014 report, because "the conditions in Greenland are very harsh and technically demanding and the costs of extraction high."

Mining projects show more promise. The Greenland government has endeavored to create environmental and regulatory safeguards while, at the same time, attracting investors, according to the report. The Canadian company AEX Gold is already mining the precious metal in the Nanortalik Gold Belt in southern Greenland, according to Mining Global, a mining news outlet. And New York-based Greenland Ruby A/S opened its ruby and pink-sapphire mining operation in Aappaluttoq, in southwest Greenland, in 2017.

But buying Greenland itself would also come with a hefty cost. The territory, home to more than 57,000 people as of 2018, relies on Denmark for two-thirds of its budget revenue, and it also has high rates of suicide, alcoholism and unemployment, according to the BBC. Such problems would benefit from investments from social and government service programs.

What's more, politicians in Greenland and Denmark don't seem eager to sell. In a tweet posted this morning (Aug. 16), Greenland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "#Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. We're open for business, not for sale."

This isn't the first time the United States has expressed an interest in purchasing Greenland. The territory is located in a strategic spot, just below the Arctic Ocean, between Canada and Europe. President Andrew Jackson's administration (1829-1837) floated the idea of buying the island, as did an 1867 report by the U.S. State Department, the BBC said. President Harry Truman even offered Denmark $100 million for Greenland in 1946, though nothing came of the proposal.


‘Global Temperature’ — Why Should We Trust A Statistic That Might Not Even Exist?

The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is quite certain Earth will be in trouble if the global temperature exceeds pre-industrial levels by 1.5 degrees Celsius or more. But how can anyone know? According to university research, “global temperature” is a meaningless concept.

“Discussions on global warming often refer to ‘global temperature.’ Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility,” says Science Daily, paraphrasing Bjarne Andresen, a professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute, one of three authors of a paper questioning the “validity of a ‘global temperature.'”

Science Daily explains how the “global temperature” is determined.

“The temperature obtained by collecting measurements of air temperatures at a large number of measuring stations around the globe, weighing them according to the area they represent, and then calculating the yearly average according to the usual method of adding all values and dividing by the number of points.”

But a “temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system,” says Andresen. The climate is not regulated by a single temperature. Instead, “differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate”.

While it’s “possible to treat temperature statistically locally,” says Science Daily, “it is meaningless to talk about a global temperature for Earth. The globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless.”

There are two ways to measure temperature: geometrically and mathematically. They can produce a large enough difference to show a four-degree gap, which is sufficient to drive “all the thermodynamic processes which create storms, thunder, sea currents, etc.,” according to Science Daily.

So if global temperature is unknowable, how can the IPCC and the entire industry of alarmists and activists be so sure there exists a threshold we cannot pass? Of course the IPCC says it knows the unknowable. In its latest report, released this month, it yet again maintained that the global temperature must “kept to well below 2ÂșC, if not 1.5oC” above pre-industrial levels to avoid disaster.

A few years after the University of Copenhagen report was published, University of Guelph economist Ross McKitrick, one of the report’s authors, noted in another paper that “number of weather stations providing data . . . plunged in 1990 and again in 2005. The sample size has fallen by over 75% from its peak in the early 1970s, and is now smaller than at any time since 1919.”

“There are serious quality problems in the surface temperature data sets that call into question whether the global temperature history, especially over land, can be considered both continuous and precise. Users should be aware of these limitations, especially in policy-sensitive applications.”

The global warming alarmists, who have seized and now control the narrative — because, like a child who won’t stop crying for a toy he can’t have, they refuse give up — have a credibility problem. Actually, they have several. The public will eventually forget about them all, though, just as it has overlooked the mistakes by those who predicted other catastrophes that never arrived, such as Y2K, the new Ice Age, acid rain, mass human starvation, overpopulation, peak oil, and the Silent Spring.

After all, humans have been watching Doomsday prophets fail throughout history. They’ve been so common we hardly notice them.


My beef with Goldsmiths’ burger ban

Universities are turning from centres of free thought into factories of conformism.


There has been a lot of climate news this silly season. Amid the stories of Greta in a boat, Greta in a suit and, soon, Greta walking on water, this week we learned that Goldsmiths, University of London is banning the sale of beef from its campus. Goldsmiths’ other eco-initiatives include a 10p charge on single-use plastics, such as bottles and cups, a greater emphasis on climate change in the college’s teaching, and the campus will be entirely powered by green energy.

Professor Frances Corner, the college’s new warden, said ‘it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible’. But if it really were true that Goldsmiths staff and students ‘care passionately’ about the causes being espoused, there would be no need to ban beef or introduce a levy on plastics. Customers at the college’s cafes would not be buying them, and before long they would have been withdrawn from sale due to lack of demand. Defenders of Goldsmiths’ petty green authoritarianism argue that it will create no hardship. Perhaps not. Beef-eating students can simply buy food from somewhere else in the area.

What the beef ban and these other edicts really signify is the tendency of institutions of all kinds to use ‘the environment’ as the pivot around which their roles and their relationships to the rest of us are transformed. Universities were once premised on the idea of a free exchange of ideas and independent research. But Goldsmiths’ new policies signal an expectation of both ideological and lifestyle conformity. This will run through the college’s administrative policies, the syllabus and the habits of its staff and students.

It is a weak-minded student that needs a ban to enforce what he or she already ‘cares passionately’ about. And it is a weak-minded student or professor that fails to interrogate the claim that the zealous observance of green fatwas will make any difference to the world. Weak-minded academics will diligently search for a casus belli for the war on meat, starting with the battle against beef. But they will be steered away from ever interrogating green ideology at work at Goldsmiths and across almost all of Britain’s public institutions. Universities have effectively become vegan sausage factories.

Those that can’t teach, preach. Worse, those that fear independence of mind, police. Environmentalism of the kind epitomised by Goldsmiths is only superficially about the environment. At issue is not the future of the planet, but the obedience of both students and the broader population to ecological diktats.

Academia has a new function. Its role in society has regressed – degenerated – to that once occupied by the clergy, when places of learning were centres of religious orthodoxy. Eschewing the Enlightenment, the environment (and other woke causes) now preoccupy researchers’ passions, allowing them to pontificate on the petty regulation of lifestyle rather than understanding the world and finding solutions to its problems.

In the green worldview and in green institutions, there is no problem that cannot be solved by obedience. Freedom is off the menu.


The Nazi Roots Of The Global Warming Scare

Generally speaking, the first person in a debate who compares their opponent to Hitler or the Nazis at that moment loses the argument. When the Third Reich is invoked, it's usually clear evidence that that person's position is so weak that they have had to resort to a gross misrepresentation of the other's position.

There are exceptions, of course, because sometimes the Nazi label fittingly applies. Sometimes the lineage of a movement, institution or political figure can traced right back to the German fascist regime.

This is the case with today's environmentalism, according to a one-time British investment banker.

"If you look at what the Nazis were doing in the 1930s, in their environmental policies, virtually every theme you see in the modern environmental movement, the Nazis were doing," said Rupert Darwall, author of "Green Tyranny," in a recent interview with Encounter Books.

"I think actually the most extraordinary thing that I came across was this quote from Adolf Hitler where he told an aide once, 'I'm not interested in politics. I'm interested in changing people's lifestyles.' Well, that could be ... that's extraordinarily contemporary. That is what the modern environmental movement is all about. It's about changing people's lifestyles," said Darwall, who is no crackpot on the fringe and whose background includes duties as a special advisor to the United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Fuhrer's interest in "changing people's lifestyles" is, not at all shockingly, similar to the goals of today's climate fanatics who want to destroy capitalism and replace it with an economic system — run by them, naturally — that would certainly change lifestyles in the West.

Darwall further notes in the interview that "the Nazis were the first political party in the world to have a wind power program," and were also opposed to eating meat, a delightful and nutritious activity that the warming alarmists consider a sin.

When interviewer Ben Weingarten asks Darwall about the "link between Nazism and Communism, and the trajectory from that (initial) union to today's climate movement," the author provides a brief history lesson that is inconvenient for the alarmist community.

The union fits perfectly, of course, with the watermelon analogy that explains today's environmentalist excesses — green on the outside, red on the inside.

It also reminds us of the validated-many-times-over aphorism that when a socialist or communist is thrown out of the window of polite society, he returns through the front door as an environmentalist.

Darwall, who seems uninterested in sugarcoating his observations, also discusses "the 'shock troops' of the climate industrial complex," which he identifies as nongovernmental organizations such as "Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth," and other "large foundations," as well as "the Bill McKibbens of this world."

Other Nazi parallels with climate alarmists and radical environmentalists include their efforts "to delegitimize dissent" and bully "people into silence," and suppressing arguments "not by having an argument but just making sure you don't have an argument," Darwall says.

In other words, brand skeptics as "deniers" and "anti-science" rubes so they'll shut up.

Accusing its political opponents of being Nazis is an exhausted trick of the left. Think of how many times that President Trump has been called Hitler of late. It doesn't tax the imagination greatly, though, to presume that this could be done to cover the left's own kinship with fascism.


Australian PM firm on climate change, in shades of Donald Trump

Scott Morrison has mirrored Donald Trump’s tough stand with G20 leaders in his negotiations with the Pacific Island Forum over climate change and coal — and emerged stronger as a result.

Australia refused to accept a communique that might satisfy the emotional needs of some regional leaders but would jeopardise Australia’s economic and regional security interests.

The red lines set by Australia were met and the final communique did not overstep progress made by the UN conference regarding the IPCC’s report on 1.5C warming.

The communique pulled back from mentioning coal or what actions member countries should take. Instead, leaders reaffirmed climate change as the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Leaders acknowledged the challenge for the forum would be maintaining regional solidarity in the face of more intense political engagement, which may serve to divide the forum collective.

Along with other nations, Australia is being called upon to lift its ambition on climate change action before an already agreed timetable set for next year.

Mr Morrison’s challenge is not to allow Australia’s position to be misrepresented by vested interests. Australia has a story to tell on climate change action that is at stark odds with how it is often portrayed. Last year, Australia was among the world’s top investors in renewable energy in absolute terms and the biggest on a per capita basis.

Billions of dollars have been set aside for land-based programs, which are a big new focus for the IPCC.

A telling point before the backdown of demands at the Pacific Island Forum was that leaders asked for Australia to provide details on what it actually was doing.

The understanding of some leaders had to that point been informed by media reports.

The lack of support shown by New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern for Australia will no doubt be remembered, but is of little real consequence.

In terms of regional politics, the bigger concern is the disconnect between demands being made of Australia on fossil fuels and those of its strategic competitor, China. Australia is reducing coal use and providing cleaner alternatives for regional neighbours. But there is no meaningful demand that China cut its fossil fuel use or begin to reduce emissions until 2030.

Between January and June, China’s energy regulator has given the go-ahead to build 141 million tonnes of new annual coal production.

Chinese coal output rose 2.6 per cent in the first half of this year to 1.76 billion tonnes, and the China State Grid Corporation last month forecast that total coal-fired capacity was to grow by 25 per cent.

Given the rising stakes in the “Blue Pacific”, Mr Morrison would have been foolish to accept any invitation to accelerate Australia’s self-harm.



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