Thursday, September 19, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims climate change is behind illegal immigration crisis on the southern border

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has claimed climate change is behind the immigration crisis on the southern border and that 'walling ourselves off' isn't a long term answer.

The New York Democrat, 29, said it was time to recognize 'climate refugees in our immigration policies'.

On Monday the freshman lawmaker tweeted: 'Remember when we said climate change would cause mass migration, & the right called us crazy?

'Well, it's happening. And walling ourselves off from the world isn't a plan for our future. It's time to recognize climate refugees in our immigration policies.'

Ocasio-Cortez shared a link to an article in her tweet, which was retweeted almost 12,000 times, which claimed millions of people had been displaced this year.

The report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) revealed that in the first six months of 2019 more than seven million people had to leave their homes because of natural disasters including floods and tornadoes, reports the Mic.

Ocasio-Cortez also spoke out about climate change and urged people to consider it as a 'major factor fueling global migration' in April.

She tweeted: 'The far-right loves to drum up fear & resistance to immigrants. 'But have you ever noticed they never talk about what's causing people to flee their homes in the first place? Perhaps that's bc they'd be forced to confront 1 major factor fueling global migration: Climate change.'

Last week the New York representative predicted that Miami would not exist 'in a few years' if the Green New Deal is not passed.

Speaking at the NAACP forum she said: 'What is not realistic is not responding with a solution on the scale of the crisis — because what's not realistic is Miami not existing in a few years.'

Ocasio-Cortez reiterated that we need to be 'realistic' about the problem and make changes immediately.

She revealed the Green New Deal proposal in February, which focused on changing the economy, renewable energy alternatives and resource efficiency.

At the time she was critiqued over the draft legislation, which included an FAQ section that encouraged ending air travel and meat production.

The politicians comments yesterday follow her endorsing Democratic Sen. Ed Markey for re-election in Massachusetts.

In a video released by Markey's campaign she said she is backing the Democratic incumbent as one of the Senate's 'strongest progressives' and her partner on the Green New Deal climate change proposal. 

'When I first got to Congress and we started to discuss big, bold plans - a solution on the scale of the crisis - many members shied away,' said Ocasio-Cortez. 'Ed Markey was one of the few people that had the courage to stand up and take a chance.'

Markey said: 'Climate change is the existential threat of our time, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the kind of generational leader we need to make the bold goals of the Green New Deal a reality'.   

Known by her initials AOC, the liberal newcomer toppled a House Democratic leader with a remarkable 2018 primary challenge that stunned Washington.

A group aligned with Ocasio-Cortez, Justice Democrats, has already announced its support for primary challenges to other congressional Democrats in 2020.

However Ocasio-Cortez has become a top villain for Republicans, who are running campaign ads featuring her as the face of the Democratic party and its leftward lean.

They call her 'socialist' for her health care and climate change proposals. In a controversial ad that aired during the Democratic presidential primary debate this week depicted Ocasio-Cortez, alongside imagery of genocide, as the 'face of socialism.'

Ocasio-Cortez is heading to Colorado next week to headline a fundraising dinner for Democrats and participate in activities around the climate strike protests.

These are a series of worldwide walkout of young people from schools, homes, jobs to demand action on climate change.


AOC’s Miami hype

The latest from AOC is her warning to the residents of Miami and the state of Florida writ large who are on the front lines of the imminent climate change catastrophe, as she describes.

At an NAACP event on September 11th, of all dates, she said: “When it comes to climate change, what is not realistic is not responding …with a solution on the scale of the crisis. Because what is not realistic is Miami not existing in a few years.”

Assume for a moment that AOC’s prediction was real, that Miami will be flooded from rising oceans due to melted arctic glaciers from global warming from carbon emissions in “a few years.” Would her proposed Green New Deal prevent it? Could anything we do prevent it?

For the sake of their stated profession, has a single soft-ball “journalist” who agrees with AOC ever asked her to defend her claims about the imminent climate catastrophe for the planet?

Has anyone asked AOC if carbon emissions alone affect the planet’s temperature, or are there other factors, such as sunspot activity and ocean currents? I doubt even AOC would pretend we could impact sunspots and El Niño, but would curbing carbon emissions alone be enough?

If polar ice caps in Greenland and elsewhere are literally melting in such catastrophic amounts enough to soon flood Miami, as she claims, how would a change in temperature of two or three degrees alter that?

AOC and nearly every Democratic presidential candidate are demanding we change our lifestyles and conveniences by changing our diets and automobiles. They demand that we eliminate jobs in the energy sector, and pay more in taxes and energy costs. Yet rarely are any of them asked to provide scientific detail why any of this is warranted.

Not one of these public figures proposing to alter our lives and society is leading by example. They are driving large SUVs, flying in private jets, owning multiple homes, and dining in fancy restaurants. This was on flagrant display at the recent climate summit in Sicily, hosted by Google, and is true of every major politician demanding societal changes in the name of fighting the climate.

One of my favorite ongoing examples is presidential candidate Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who has been polling steadily near zero. He obsesses about climate change and demands policies ranging from banning red meat to retrofitting commercial buildings. But he won’t use the exercise equipment at Gracie Mansion in Manhattan which is the free home provided for the mayor. Instead, he is driven round-trip in his gas-guzzling platoon of SUVs over the East River to his favorite Brooklyn gym for his daily workout. He remains impervious to the hypocrisy of such a routine.

Fortunately, for now, most Americans are onto the act, and are not buying what climate alarmists are selling. Lots of people in the abstract believe in some man-made effect on the climate, but not enough to care in terms of changing their own habits and lifestyles, including the climate alarmists.

Last month a Gallup survey found just 3 percent of Americans believed “environment/pollution/climate change” was the most important problem facing the country; and this collective category came in 9th on the list of non-economic issues. With all three issues lumped together, “climate change” alone would rank further down the list of concerns.

If the existence of Miami were really in jeopardy in “a few years,” would not more Americans rank climate change the most important problem?

The 1 or 2 percent of Americans who view the climate as the most important issue facing the country were no doubt represented in the audience for the CNN “town hall” on climate change held recently. Several of the questioners were young and animated (rude, actually) about the issue. How many of them used mass transit, eschewed their high-energy computers or cell phones in the previous 24 hours, or spurned plastic bottled water and drank from the faucet?

Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute recently said it well:

"The cardinal rule when it comes to environmental virtue-signaling is that people give up what they’re willing to give up. Young people are no different. If being environmentally sound required sacrificing anything that a self-described environmental warrior actually valued, the conversation would quickly change to a different topic. One’s own habits are necessary; it’s everyone else’s that need to change."

Which brings us back to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This human news magnet will no doubt continue her Chicken Little act on climate; whether it’s speaking at events, or sharing her thoughts of the moment on Instagram from her kitchen stove. Fortunately, it appears most Americans are more entertained rather than agreeing, much less acting on her vacuous admonitions.


GMO's Are Not the Problem. They're the Answer!

By Rich Kozlovich

On September 13, 2019 Cameron English posted the article, GMO, CRISPR-edited crops can cut pesticide use—if environmental activists do not block them saying:

In 2017, University of Florida plant geneticists Zhonglin Mou and Kevin Folta, along with their team of graduate students, announced a new method to fight common diseases in fruit plants. Their discovery could drastically reduce the use of fungicides if widely implemented by growers.

Unfortunately, their methods may never be put to use thanks to the controversy surrounding crop biotechnology.

The research confirms a point that cannot be stressed enough: scientists continue to make agriculture safer and more sustainable with the tools of modern genetics, but activists have waged such an effective scare campaign against crop biotechnology that it often remains unused by industry.

Luddite urban dwellers only consume, they don't produce, so they not only don't realize just how important this is, they don't want to know since environmentalism has become the neo-pagan religion of the urban atheist. 

In their worship of the planet they self-righteously believe they're morally superior to the rest of us in their "all natural" views.  It would be nice if they had to take responsibility for the consequences in human suffering they're "all natural" views produced in preventing these major crop engineering advances.

Genetic engineering advances that would have brought Golden Rice to the dinner tables of those in Southeast Asia, whose diet lacks sufficient Vitamin A because rice is the primary carbohydrate source in this area of the world, and as The Golden Rice Project notes:

Rice does not contain any β-carotene (provitamin A), which their body could then convert into vitamin A. Dependence on rice as the predominant food source, therefore, necessarily leads to VAD, most severely affecting small children and pregnant women. In 2012 the World Health Organization reported that about 250 million preschool children are affected by VAD, and that providing those children with vitamin A could prevent about a third of all under-five deaths, which amounts to up to 2.7 million children that could be saved from dying unnecessarily. "

Marc Brazeau in his March 5, 2019 article Golden Rice is coming. Finally! Will it be the game-changer hinted at for almost 20 years? saying:

Comes the news that the government of Bangladesh is about to approve Golden Rice for commercial release some time in the next three months.

First and foremost this is fantastic news for Southeast Asia for humanitarian and economic development reasons. On a less consequential level this is great news for the overall debate surrounding the use of biotech in agriculture. Golden Rice occupied a space in the debate as the Great Golden Hope of Biotech Crops, a wholly virtuous crop devoid of the grubby commercial concerns of intellectual property or profit motive.

In this case, the IP had been donated, the rice was being developed by a non-profit NGO and the rice will be given freely to farmers and local breeding programs—a trait of value directly to consumers, among them some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Because of this history, it is a crop not linked to so-called ‘industrial agriculture’ and its key trait is not tied to pesticide use.

Let's try to get this once and for all. Activists are constantly touting the idea what they do "is for the children".   That's a logical fallacy known as the appeal to emotion fallacy, and when someone uses it you need to start looking very closely at what they're really promoting.  Because what these activists have done isn't "for" the children, what they've done has been "to" the children.  From DDT to GMO's the green movement is now, and has always been, foundationally misanthropic.

For twenty years this has been going on.  That means if we take the number 2.7 million at face value that comes to 54 million children whose lives would have been saved.  And untold millions more would have been saved from other afflictions as a result of Vitamin A deficiency.

I would like for everyone to think about this.  If GMO techniques become common place here's what would happen. Agriculture would be able to produce food in an abundance that was never dreamt of.  It would be done with less land use, allowing for animal protection, less pesticides, less labor, less cost and in some cases less water would be needed, all of which makes agriculture amazingly "sustainable".  Isn't what they claim they want?   Isn't "sustainability" their ultimate goal?  Yet, these "all natural", "anti-pesticide", "sustainability" advocate Luddites are against it.  Why?

Because they're not really against pesticides, land use, water use or GMO's, and they don't really care about "sustainability".  What they're against is humanity.

The radicals among these activists think humanity is a plague on the planet that needs to be eradicated.  The "moderates" only want to eliminate between four and six billion people.


How do you throw away a dead wind turbine?

Contrary to popular opinion, the life cycle of a modern wind turbine is no more than 20 to 25 years. Since turbine blades cannot be burned and are not recyclable, the recommended option is landfill disposal. But not every landfill can even accept these massive structures, even after they are broken into their parts.

According to Pu Liu and Claire Barlow (Waste Management, April 2017), there will be 43 million metric tons of blade waste worldwide by 2050, with China possessing 40% of the waste, Europe 25%, the United States 16%, and the rest of the world 19%. The problem of blade disposal, they conclude, is just beginning to emerge as a significant factor for the future.

A 2017 report from researchers Katerin Ramirez-Tejeda, David A. Turcotte, and Sarah Pike (New Solutions) asserts that “the environmental consequences and health risks are so adverse that the authors warn that if the public learns of this rapidly burgeoning problem, they may be less inclined to favor wind power expansion.”

Ramirez-Tejeda, et al., added that landfilling turbine waste is especially problematic “because its high resistance to heat, sunlight, and moisture means that it will take hundreds of years to degrade in a landfill environment. The wood and other organic material present in the blades would also end up in landfills, potentially releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and other volatile organic compounds to the environment.”

At current U.S. landfilling costs of about $60 per ton, the 40-ton monsters may provide short-term revenues for landfill operators. The long-term cost (including for pretreatment and transportation), together with community opposition to landfill expansion) is making turbine blade disposal a major emerging problem in the U.S. and worldwide.

Evidence of these difficulties is already emerging in the American heartland. The City of Casper, Wyoming, in July finally released a statement confirming the disposal of wind turbine blades in the Casper Regional Solid Waste Facility. The city says the facility has been accepting fiberglass wind turbine blades, that are being replaced, for disposal.

City officials justified their actions, stating that, “Destroying the blades requires compacting equipment more powerful and larger than the Casper Regional Solid Waste Facility has. Disposal in a landfill is a viable option as fiberglass is a material that does not leach components into the soil or groundwater and thus can be buried in an unlined landfill.”

City Manager Carter Napier commented, “The citizens of Casper can be satisfied in knowing that years of planning and proactive development pays off with projects of this nature.” Napier assured citizens that, “the revenue that is received from this project will ultimately benefit our entire community.”

City officials further explained that the Casper Regional Solid Waste Facility is the only landfill in the region that has both the national certifications required by the federal government to dispose of materials in an environmentally friendly manner and an unlined landfill large enough to handle the project.

Meanwhile, in Sioux Falls, Iowa, city officials have announced that Iowa wind farm operators brought 101 old turbine blades to the city dump this summer. However, City Hall promised it would not take any more turbine blades unless their owners take more steps to make the massive fiberglass pieces less space consuming.

The reason, according to Public Works Director Mark Cotter: “We can’t take any more unless they process them before bringing them to us. We’re using too many resources unloading them, driving over them a couple times, and working them into the ground.” Landfill crews, upon receiving each of the 120-foot-long blades (broken into three sections), crush the hollowed-out structures beneath the weight of 60-ton trucks.

In the future, city officials have determined, wind energy companies must break blades into pieces no larger than 3 feet long – through a grinding or shearing process. Sioux Falls is also planning a pilot study to determine the feasibility of sheering blades on site, the impact on air space at the landfill, and if pricing for accepting them [currently $64 per ton] should be changed.

Ultimately, according to Sarah Lozanova (Earth911, August 2017), decommissioning wind farms might be more costly than the construction phase. Indeed, she added, decommissioning and recycling wind turbines is a blind spot when considering the total environmental impact of wind energy.

Casper and Sioux Falls landfill operators are on the front lines of this massive emerging problem. Casper claims positive revenues, but Sioux Falls says they are losing money. One thing is certain: The costs and hassle (and waste of limited landfill space) of disposing of millions of tons of turbine blades must be factored into the cost-benefit for any wind project.


Australia: Facts on fires forgotten in rush to blame climate change

Bushfires in Queensland and New South Wales dominated the news last week — and much of the media was quick to amplify claims climate change was at play.

Here’s retired NSW fire commissioner and former NSW climate change councillor Greg Mullins on ABC regional radio: “There are fires breaking out in places where they just shouldn’t burn. The west coast of Tasmania, the world heritage areas, subtropical rainforests, it’s all burning. And this is driven by climate change, there’s no other explanation.”

Well, he’s an expert, he’s worth reporting. But shouldn’t such claims be tested? He cited places burning that shouldn’t burn, such as Siberia where other sources confirm bushfires happen there every summer.

And Mullins mentioned the west coast of Tasmania. We saw fires there earlier this year and on this program we exposed emotive reporting suggesting this was unprecedented. It wasn’t, of course.

This report, for instance, in the South Australian Chronicle of February 1915 reported lives lost and the “most devastating bushfires ever known in Tasmania sweeping over the northwest coast and other districts. The extent of the devastation cannot be over-estimated.”

And as for Mullins’ claims on rainforests of the west coast, there was this report in 1982 from The Canberra Times, detailing a “huge forest fire” burning out 75,000 hectares of dense rainforest.

Nine newspapers’ Jane Caro tweeted her surprise at the fires: “So there are bushfires all the way up the NSW & Queensland coasts and no rain forecast for 6 to 8 weeks — in September!” she exclaimed, saying this was with one degree of warming and spruiking the climate action strike this Friday.

Yep, that’ll do it.

Back in the 1940s there were September days in Brisbane of 90 degrees fahrenheit, or over 32 degrees Celsius. Now sure, last week’s conditions were horrid, and not the norm. But they are not unprecedented. Drought, dry winters, hot springs, we get them. They might fit into a global warming narrative and they might not.

The best thing to do last week, surely, was to fight the fires. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott did — but I don’t know about the social media alarmists.

Channel 10 news reporter Alex Bruce-Smith wrote the fires were “unprecedented.” “There’s no beating around the bush,” she said, “climate change is helping drive the catastrophe we are currently seeing … it’s the worst start to a Queensland bushfire season on record.”

But is it?

To be fair to the journalists, this stuff was being put out there by people in authority. Andrew Sturgess of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said: “It is a historic event. We have never seen fire danger indices, fire danger ratings at this time of the year, as we are seeing now. We have never seen this before in recorded history.”

Never before in recorded history? The Chronicle in the late winter of 1946, August 22, noted: “From Bundaberg to the New South Wales border”, “hundreds of square miles of drought stricken southeastern Queensland were aflame …”

Two years later on September 30, 1948, the Central Queensland Herald reported: “An 800-mile chain of bushfires fed by dry grass stretched tonight along the Queensland coast from Cairns to Maryborough.”

Both these easily-retrievable examples put the claims of “worst ever” and “unprecedented” into perspective, if not in the shade.

Perhaps the media ought to be more careful about such descriptors, or check them, or try for some perspective rather than just going with the zeitgeist.

Last week, The Guardian linked bushfires in Queensland rainforests to global warming. “I never thought I’d see the Australian rainforest burning. What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis?” That was written by Dr Joëlle Gergis of the ANU’s Climate Change Institute and member of the Climate Council.

“Despite being ridiculously busy, I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to share my thoughts on the current bushfires,” she tweeted. “As a scientist, what I find particularly disturbing about the current conditions is that world heritage rainforest areas such as the Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland are now burning,” she wrote.

Well, we were busy too but were able to dig this out. It’s the Cairns Post from October 25, 1951. “A bushfire in Lamington National Park today swept through a grove of 3000-year-old Macrozamia palms. These trees were one of the features of the park. The fire has burnt out about 2000 acres of thick rainforest country.”

That’s right, nearly 70 years ago, rainforest burning in Lamington National Park, before global warming.

Journalists were quick to share the alarmist views. Hey, it’s easier than checking them.

Seemingly forgotten in the rush to fit up climate change as the cause of these fires was one highly relevant fact. Arsonists were responsible for many, if not most of the blazes.

As reported last Wednesday” “Detectives have already established that ten fires — in Brisbane, Stanthorpe, the southeast and central Queensland regions — were deliberately lit. Eight of those were set by juveniles.”

Unless climate change is changing juvenile behaviour, it is hard to overlook crucial facts, such as how the fires actually started.



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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