Thursday, October 31, 2019

How rising seas will sink COUNTRIES: Scientists calculate that current satellite-based predictions are wrong and three times as many people will be hit by rising shore lines by 2050

If the previous model was wrong, how do we know this one is right?

New estimates from scientists suggest that three times as many people could be affected by rising seas than previously thought.

According to a paper published in Nature Communications on Tuesday, new models show that 300 million are currently living on land that will flood at least once a year by 2050.

This eclipses a former estimate from NASA which projected 80 million people were currently at risk.

The new estimates eclipse projections from NASA which previously put the number of people at risk of floods at 80 million. New models say as many as 300 million people are at risk +4
The new estimates eclipse projections from NASA which previously put the number of people at risk of floods at 80 million. New models say as many as 300 million people are at risk

A revamped model, which more accurately takes into account land elevation using satellite readings and artificial intelligence, portends that swaths of countries like Vietnam and India will be under water by midcentury.

According to researchers, the new estimates came as a shock even for them, given their dramatic difference from previous tallies.

'These assessments show the potential of climate change to reshape cities, economies, coastlines and entire global regions within our lifetimes,' Scott Kulp, the lead author of the study and a senior scientist at Climate Central told The Guardian.

At-risk areas include large portions of heavily populated cities like Mumbai, which is home to more than 18 million people and could be almost entirely underwater in the next 30 years.

Models show the worst effects could be seen across Asia where countries like India saw a sevenfold increase in the number of people set to be affected by annual floods, and China which saw a threefold increase.

The threat isn't reduced to Asia, however. In the UK, 3.5 million people could be at risk of flooding by 2050 according to their estimates.

The US wasn't among the most affected areas according to the researchers, but previous estimates have shown that dozens of cities across the country's coastal regions could soon be submerged, especially in states like New Jersey and Florida.

While the projection is significantly worse than previous models, researchers note that the disconcerting results may still get worse.

According to them, models are dependent on an increasingly volatile Antarctic ice sheets which continues to hemorrhage ice into the sea.

Scientists say that if conditions there worsen, as many as 640 million people could be threatened by rising tides by 2100.

The estimates are also based on countries keeping stride with emission reductions outlined by the Paris Agreement - benchmarks  which have continually gone unmet.

Likewise, estimates of the financial impact could also be much greater than previously thought.

As noted by The Guardian, World Bank data that projected the cost of climate change globally to be about $1 trillion per year were based on former models.


California Can't Keep the Lights On
California is staying true to its reputation as the land of innovation — it is making blackouts, heretofore the signature of impoverished and war-torn lands, a routine feature of 21st-century American life.

More than 2 million people are going without power in Northern and Central California, in the latest and biggest of the intentional blackouts that are, astonishingly, California’s best answer to the risk of runaway wildfires.

Power — and all the goods it makes possible — is synonymous with modern civilization. It shouldn’t be a negotiable for anyone living in a well-functioning society, or even in California, which, despite its stupendous wealth and natural splendor, has blighted itself over the decades with misgovernance and misplaced priorities.

The same California that has been the seedbed of world-famous companies that make it possible for people to send widely viewed short missives of 280 characters or less, and share and like images of grumpy cats, isn’t doing so well at keeping the lights on.

The same California that has boldly committed to transitioning to 50 percent renewable energy by 2025 — and 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 — can’t manage its existing energy infrastructure.

The same California that has pushed its electricity rates to the highest in the contiguous United States through its mandates and regulations doesn’t provide continuous access to that overpriced electricity.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has to try to evade responsibility for this debacle while presiding over it, blames “dog-eat-dog capitalism” for the state’s current crisis. It sounds like he’s referring to robber barons who have descended on the state to suck it dry of profits while burning it to the ground. But Newsom is talking about one of the most regulated industries in the state — namely California’s energy utilities that answer to the state’s public utilities commission.

This is not exactly an Ayn Rand operation. The state could have, if it wanted, pushed the utilities to focus on the resilience and safety of its current infrastructure — implicated in some of the state’s most fearsome recent fires — as a top priority. Instead, the commission forced costly renewable energy initiatives on the utilities. Who cares about something as mundane as properly maintained power lines if something as supposedly epically important — and politically fashionable — as saving the planet is at stake?

Meanwhile, California has had a decadeslong aversion to properly clearing forests. The state’s leaders have long been in thrall to the belief that cutting down trees is somehow an offense against nature, even though thinning helps create healthier forests. Biomass has been allowed to build up, and it becomes the kindling for catastrophic fires.

As Chuck DeVore of the Texas Public Policy Foundation points out, a report of the Western Governors’ Association warned of this effect more than a decade ago, noting that “over time the fire-prone forests that were not thinned, burn in uncharacteristically destructive wildfires.”

In 2016, then-Gov. Jerry Brown actually vetoed a bill that unanimously passed the state Legislature to promote the clearing of trees dangerously close to power lines. Brown’s team says this legislation was no big deal, but one progressive watchdog called the bill “neither insignificant or small.”

On top of all this, more people live in remote areas susceptible to fires, in part because of the high cost of housing in more built-up areas.

There shouldn’t be any doubt that California, susceptible to drought through its history and whipped by fierce, dry winds this time of year, is always going to have a fire problem. But there also shouldn’t be any doubt that dealing with it this poorly is the result of a series of foolish, unrealistic policy choices.

California’s overriding goal should have been safe, cheap and reliable power, a public good so basic that it’s easy to take for granted. The state’s focus on ideological fantasies has instead ensured it has none of the above.


Eco-imperialists impose a biomess on Africa

Instead of cutting forests and burning dung and charcoal, shouldn’t Africa have cheap electricity?

Duggan Flanakin

China, India, Vietnam and other nations are using more and more oil, natural gas and coal every year to electrify and modernize their nations, create jobs, and improve their people’s health, living standards and life spans. Why in this day and age are the World Bank and other international institutions demanding widespread use of charcoal for heating and cooking in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)?

During the recent 2019 “climate week,” the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change touted increased reliance on biomass – which already comprises 60% of European “renewable” energy – as a tool in fighting climate change and stabilizing Earth’s never-stable climate.

(Europe’s “renewable” energy includes England’s Drax Power Plant, which is fueled by wood from millions of trees from thousands of acres of American and Canadian forest habitats. The trees are turned into wood pellets, which are hauled by truck to coastal ports and transported to North Yorkshire on oil-fueled cargo ships. From there the pellets are taken by train to the Drax Power Plant and burned in place of coal, to generate electricity – so that the UK can “meet its renewable fuel targets,” even though the overall process generates more carbon dioxide than coal or gas plants on a total life-cycle basis, and the trees are cut and burned much faster than new ones can grow. This is hardly sustainable.)

The Dogwood Alliance objected to the IPCC report, claiming that biomass (largely charcoal) contributes to deforestation.  Dogwood’s arguments reflect the views of Norimitsu Onishi, whose 2016 New York Times article pointed out that burning charcoal not only poses human health concerns, but also constitutes a massive threat to the environment and numerous plant and animal species whose habitats are being destroyed by people using their trees to make charcoal.

The UN Environment Programme predicts that Africa’s demand for charcoal – currently 23 million tons a year – is likely to double or triple by 2050. Africa’s charcoal production doubled in the past two decades and now accounts for more than 60% of the world’s total, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Rapid urbanization increased demand for charcoal, the preferred way to cook in SSA cities.

Onishi acknowledged that charcoal is cleaner and easier to use than firewood, and cheaper and more readily available in much of Africa than gas or electricity.  As a result, 80% of SSA families use charcoal as their primary energy source.

The World Health Organization reports that worldwide over 4.3 million people a year die prematurely from illnesses attributable to household air pollution resulting from burning charcoal and other solid fuels in open fires and leaky stoves. That’s more deaths than from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

The WHO also noted that the lack of access to electricity for at least 1.2 billion people around the world exposes families to very high levels of fine particulate matter and other toxic materials in smoke – and to many intestinal diseases from spoiled food and unsafe drinking water. Lack of electricity also results in other health risks, such as burns, injuries and poisonings.

The lack of plentiful, reliable, affordable electricity also restricts opportunities to read and study at night, enjoy access to computers and the internet, engage in small crafts and trades, develop larger businesses and industries, create jobs, build modern homes, hospitals, schools and infrastructure, and take other steps that greatly improve people’s living standards, health and nutrition.

Why, in heaven’s name, more than century after affordable electricity began to transform Western society, is over half of Africa still not connected to any electric grid? Can any American, European, Australian or Canadian imagine life without abundant, reliable, affordable, 24/7/365 electricity?

The World Bank points out that SSA’s household electrification rate averaged a mere 42% in 2016 – with Rwanda at 80% and Guinea-Bissau at an abysmal 30% – leaving hundreds of millions of Africans with no electricity or only very limited, totally unpredictable access to this vital energy source. says three factors hinder demand for electric power in much of Africa.  First, many firms and households that are already connected to the grid in SSA face regular blackouts, due to insufficient electricity and poor grid reliability. That means continued reliance on charcoal, forcing connected households and businesses to pay for two energy sources.

Next, where electricity bills take up a large share of household income, access to electricity is very low. Countries with poor grid penetration typically use high tariffs to finance infrastructure to improve their electric grids. But high tariffs translate into high energy bills that deter consumers and make it very hard for to launch and sustain businesses that create jobs and enable people to afford electricity. 

Third, the cost and complexity of the connection process further hampers electrification. Where generation capacity is insufficient, utilities may delay new connections until infrastructure investments catch up with consumer demand. The Catch-22 is that these administrative barriers, red tape and connection costs drive down demand, postponing electrification almost forever.

In most places, says Patrick Conners, The Energy Guy, wood competes dollar for dollar with natural gas but pollutes much more and requires far more work: hauling and stacking the wood, stoking and tending the fire, and cleaning out the ashes afterward. A modern furnace gives much more uniform heat without the smoke and draft issues, but even these are unavailable and unaffordable in Africa.

African electricity costs and reliability will only come with modernization and expansion of the electric grid. The late Steven Lyazi, who worked with the Congress of Racial Equality Uganda, acknowledged that the availability of solar energy is good news to millions of Africans who rely on firewood, dung and charcoal for cooking. However, he added, solar and wind are at best stopgap solutions on the way to energy security – which UN, World Bank and other policies all but ensure will never arrive.

“Many people,” said Lyazi, “don’t know that Africa has some big dreams.” Just one – the proposed 466-mile Trans East Africa electric railway – would require much more energy than wind and solar can provide. Much of Africa has great potential for nuclear energy, coal, oil and natural gas, he explained – but powerful (largely European) environmentalists (including the World Bank) have opposed funding such projects.

Lyazi, who died in a bus accident in 2017, urged Africans to use their abundant natural resources. He challenged Africans to defy European environmentalists, who have stymied fossil fuel, hydroelectric and nuclear power projects in Africa. He said Uganda and other SSA countries should build natural gas pipelines to power plants, to generate affordable electricity for millions. Today, African oilfields mostly burn and waste the gas, while exporting the oil is mostly exported, benefitting elites while leaving millions energy-deprived, impoverished and desperate.

Why not also build nuclear and coal power plants and hydroelectric projects? Why not indeed? Why should Africans continue to barely survive at the hands of eco-imperialist, neo-colonialist, environmentally destructive organizations policies that ignore the most basic human rights: the rights to energy, modern health and living standards, and decent lives?

As South African nuclear engineer, energy consultant and activist Kelvin Kemm has noted, no single energy source will work for all of Africa. All have shortcomings in various regions, for a wide variety of reasons – except that small pebble bed modular nuclear reactors could probably be employed anywhere.

But Africa, and individual African countries and regions, should be the ones making those decisions – not outsiders, and not based on disinformation, pressure and bullying from those outsiders. They should not be forced to accept biomess energy imposed on them by global eco-imperialists.

Via email

The crusade to curb ordinary life

The crusade to curb the lifestyles and ordinary choices of Americans continues its decent to new levels of absurdity. The latest examples that caught our attention: banning release of helium balloons and drive-thrus at fast food restaurants. While neither idea is new, they represent examples of the ongoing effort by extremist politicians and enviro groups to exert greater control over society, one step at a time.

Will this ever cease?

In New York State, which is competing with California to be the most environmentally extreme nirvana on Earth, legislation has been introduced to outlaw the release of more than 25 latex balloons within a 24-hour period.

At least five other states ban balloons for release, including—you guessed it—California.

Banning release of such balloons would be one more step to “protecting our planet,” according to one of the bill’s sponsors, primarily by protecting birds, which may get tangled in the strings or eat the latex.

Birds may deserve protection, but banning release of balloons, assuming it is enforceable, will hardly compensate for the environmental assault from wind turbines that already imperils them. As CFACT has reported numerous times in recent years, wind turbines are killing birds by as many as 39 million annually. This travesty also has been downplayed and covered up by the industry and interests trying to expand wind power as a renewable energy source.

Casualties of wind turbines are not limited to winged creatures. Offshore wind turbines are taking their toll on whales.

New York state government is in the midst of pushing wind power to generate electricity. The state’s Energy Authority just signed a mega-contract with Sunrise Wind to develop an offshore wind farm off the coast of Long Island.

If New York legislators succeed in protecting a handful of birds from eating spent latex balloons that were released from children’s birthday parties, it will merely prolong their lives until they get sliced and diced by the state’s proliferating wind turbines.

While New York seeks to join a small number of states trying to curb balloon use, several localities around the country are prohibiting new drive-thrus on fast-food restaurants, with the city of Minneapolis being the latest example. The effort here is two-fold: curbing automobile emissions and discouraging fast-food consumption and obesity.

Research from 2015 on the fast-food drive-thru ban in Los Angeles revealed the folly of such efforts, which had no positive health effect. With or without drive-thrus, people are going to eat fast food if they want to, especially those from lower-income households who eat less often at higher-priced restaurants. The absence of drive-thrus also would inconvenience more elderly individuals and people with disabilities who may be less inclined to get out of their cars.

Before adopting policies that pick on the elderly, disabled and lower-income patrons of fast food restaurants, the proponents of bans on drive-thru facilities should at least be made to quantify the benefits. Of course, they can’t. Rather, they typically spew feel-good sound bites about reduced emissions and curbing obesity while demonstrating neither.

Regardless of facts or evidence, the environmental and food extremists will continue to tell Americans the dos and don’ts for how they should live their lives. This, all in the interests of their doctrinaire need to supposedly stop man-made global warming to keep the earth from burning up years or decades or centuries from now.

States and localities have banned paper receipts, plastic straws, Styrofoam cups and containers, and plastic grocery bags. It will not stop there. The Green New Deal, sponsored by so many national and local politicians is about someday banning the internal combustion engine and the use of oil, gas and nuclear power.

This moral crusade to inconvenience and curb our consumer choices and lifestyles, if not opposed, will continue to greater levels of seriousness. The very purpose of these proposals is, like so much else in life, about power and control. The insatiable urge to control others, one silly proposal at a time, will never cease until people say “enough already” and it is stopped.


$102m to help keep the lights on in Australia

The usefulness of interconnetors consists in some suppliers having excess capacity. With all states shutting down traditional generators, that seems to be less and less likely.  It's a poor substitute for new coal or gas-fired generators

An upgrade of the Queensland-NSW Interconnector will be underwritten by Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in a move to increase competition between generators in the electricity market and drive down wholesale energy prices amid pressure from coal station closures.

The federal and NSW governments will underwrite the project up to $102m to help TransGrid fast-track early works ahead of final approvals by the Australian Energy Regulator.

Ahead of the Liddell coal-fired power station closing in the Hunter Valley in 2023, the Prime Minister said unlocking transmission infrastructure was crucial in ensuring the future of the NSW energy grid. "This is about putting downward pressure on wholesale prices so businesses and households have access to reliable and affordable power," he said.

"Industry needs certainty. They need to know their electricity won't cut out, and their power bill won't suddenly double. "You can't run a business like that, and you can't employ people. That's why we are underwriting this interconnector. It's a practical step to make sure it happens, and it happens quickly."

Support for the interconnector upgrade is separate to the Morrison government underwriting the new generation investments program, which has shortlisted 12 renewable pumped hydro, gas and coal upgrade projects in NSW, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria.

In mid-2018, the Australian Energy Market Operator released an integrated system plan outlining transmission investments required to preserve long-term affordability and reliability in the national electricity market.

The QNI project, which will provide an extra 190MW of transmission capacity from Queensland to NSW and an upgrade of the Victoria/NSW interconnector provide an extra 170M W. of transmission capacity, were identified as key priorities by the AEMO.

Upgraded interconnectors would increase wholesale market competition in NSW and push down prices. Upgrades would also provide a reliability buffer in NSW, delivering an extra 360MW of supply across the state during peak demand.

Ms Berejiklian said her government committed to the QNI up-grade to "ease cost of living pressures across NSW" and provide "reliable and affordable power to households and businesses".

"Last year, the NSW government announced its transmission infrastructure strategy, which outlined our commitment to accelerate the delivery of key interconnector projects, including the QNI," Ms Berejiklian said.  The joint federal-state agreement, of which the Commonwealth's liability is capped to a maximum of $51m, will see upgrades to the QNI brought forward to late-2021 and help cushion the impact of the Liddell closure.

Regulatory approvals for the QNI project were progressing under the NSW transmission infrastructure strategy but further action would be required to ensure the upgraded QNI was "fully operational by the summer of 2022-23".

Under the arrangement, the federal and state governments
would be liable only for early work costs not yet approved by the AER. TransGrid chief executive Paul Italiano said the underwriting commitment was essential to the "early delivery" of the transmission project: "TransGrid is building the interconnector to ensure a reliable supply of electricity to cus-tomers over the summers ahead and as older, coal-fired generators shut down."

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said the project would help "keep the lights on and keep power costs down as the energy market transitions", while federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor said NSW industries required lower energy prices and reliable transmission to protect jobs.

From "The Australian" of 28/10/2019


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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

AOC Gets Schooled on Realities of Climate Science By Expert After Prior Attempts to Silence the CO2 Coalition

Arlington, VA - The CO2 Coalition had the opportunity to correct the falsehoods lawmakers are using to push alarmist climate policies during Congressional hearing on October 23rd.

CO2 Coalition member Mandy Gunasekara, who served as the Trump administration's top air and climate adviser at the EPA, was questioned by alarmist climate change activists such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at a hearing entitled Examining the Oil Industry's Efforts to Suppress the Truth about Climate Change.

"It's important to understand that asking questions in the context of science is not denialism," said CO2 Coalition member and Former EPA official Mandy Gunasekara. "The very essence of better scientific understanding is by asking tough questions and challenging the status quo. What's different in the context of climate change science compared to different areas of science I've worked on is that anyone who speaks up and mentions some measure of uncertainty gets attacked and there's a massive backlash for any scientist willing to ask tough questions and have some measure of reason and balance in assessing these sophisticated issues."

"The problem with the Green New Deal is that it's completely unrealistic," she added. "It would force an unnatural shift to renewable energy sources, would lead to an exponential increase of the price of electricity, and there's significant economic consequences to that. The technology that would be required to maintain access to a reliable source of energy in a system that is overly reliant on wind and solar power simply doesn't exist."

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, clearly unable to address the concerns brought up by Ms. Gunaskara, proceeded to use her time to attack the CO2 Coalition's funding sources. This was the first time that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez actually talked with members of the CO2 Coalition.

In January of this year, she wrote to Facebook and Google, asking them to ban CO2 Coalition's scientists and economists from speak at tech-sponsored conferences. In April she refused to engage with CO2 Coalition climate statistician Caleb Rossiter during his testimony before the same committee, and instead joined a rally in the hallway trying to shout him down.

The full exchange can be found below -- at 2.12 mark

Via email

Bleak Outlook For UK Energy Usage

Andy Rowlands

A few days ago I was told about a website called Gridwatch. It was created to monitor the daily power requirements for the UK, and shows the contributions of all the current power generators around the country. It updates itself every 15 minutes.

This is the link to the gridwatch website. Below is a screenshot from the site.

The UK currently gets electricity from a variety of sources, depending on the time of year and the prevailing weather conditions each day. The breakdown of the different methods of electricity generation are, in roughly descending percentages of average daily requirements, gas turbines, coal, nuclear, biomass, wind farms, solar arrays, hydroelectric and pumped storage.

As of the time of writing this article, the actual breakdown was:-

Combined Cycle Gas Turbines – 58.8%
Nuclear – 17.2%
Wind – 6.3%
Solar – 5.5%
Biomass – 2.9%
Coal – 2.16%
Hydro – 1.56%
Pumped Storage – 0.37%

Add up the full list of contributors, and you get to around 95% of our daily electrical requirements, so most days we import around 5% through what is known as the French Interconnector, using their spare nuclear capacity.

There are two other Interconnectors through which we can import electricity; the Belgian and Dutch. If you click on the coloured ‘France’ symbol in the top left corner of the screen, you can see the French power requirements and see they get around 75% of their energy from nuclear power.

The Conservatives want to dispense with ‘fossil fuel’ and nuclear electricity generation by 2050, Labour by 2040 and Extinction Rebellion by 2025, and have us thereafter rely solely on wind & solar. The environmentalists also want to dispense with the hydroelectric & pumped storage installations.

Running flat out, our current wind farms can produce around 12.5gw & solar arrays around 10gw. On clear windy days this equates to just over half our daily energy requirements of around 38gw, the rest being made up by the other forms of generation listed above, but that assumes the wind is blowing every day not too little or too much, and every day is cloudless.

If the wind is too slight, the turbines don’t turn fast enough to generate the correct voltage. If the wind is blowing too strongly, the turbines have to be brought to a stop to prevent them over-speeding and damaging the electric motors and bearings.

If we acceded to Extinction Rebellion’s ‘demands’ by 2025 and discontinued every form of electricity generation in the UK apart from wind and solar, we would have permanent 50% power cuts, and that again assumes that every day from then on the wind will be blowing constantly at the right speed, and every day will be cloudless, which rarely happens.

In reality, we would be lucky to have electricity 20% of the time. The effect on homes, businesses and perhaps most importantly hospitals would be devastating.

There are two other major problems. Dispensing with natural gas, which the government wants to do by 2035, will mean that most people would no longer be able to heat their homes or cook, as most houses now have gas-fired central heating and ovens.

The government wants all heating and cooking to be electric, but the existing national grid cannot support such a large increase in demand, estimated to be around ten-fold, so a massive upgrade would be required of the entire electricity distribution system nationwide, which would involve replacing every pylon, every transmission line, every underground cable, all the associated switchgear and the wiring in most houses. Such a colossal project would take many years and cost hundreds of millions of pounds, costs that would be passed onto consumers.

The other major issue is if we stop using oil, we will not be able to maintain the wind turbines, as there will be no lubricants and greases, so once they fail or reach the end of their working lives, they will likely never work again. If we are to fully ‘de-carbonise’, it will require the virtual elimination of manufacturing and industry, so there will be no way to make any news ones, or replacement parts for existing ones.

Whichever way you look at it, the chances of us continuing to have 24-hour electricity on demand are receding with every passing year. The future for the UK is looking cold and dark.


British bird charity expected to announce opposition to game bird shooting

The RSPB is expected to voice its opposition to game bird shooting for the first time as it faces backlash from countryside organisations.

While the bird charity has spoken out about issues pertaining to wild birds on grouse moors, including hen harrier persecution, it has not taken a firm view on the shooting industry as a whole before.

At the organisation's Annual General Meeting on Saturday, Kevin Cox, the Chair of Council announced that the RSPB would be reviewing its policy on game bird shooting and associated land management. ​

He said that while it is an "emotive issue", policy makers would be developing "a set of conservation tests for management practices associated with game bird shooting."

Mr Cox added: "We will use these to guide the RSPB’s conservation policy, practice and communications, consistent with the ongoing climate and ecological emergency, respectful of our charitable objectives and maintaining the confidence and support of our members.

"We intend to do this, informed by the views of members and other stakeholders many of whom we have engaged with on these issues for decades."

The organisation has increasingly taken a firmer view on shooting, and earlier this year urged the government to more closely licence driven grouse shooting.

It is thought the RSPB has been wary in the past of criticising shooting because in the Royal Charter for the charity it says:  "The Society shall take no part in the question of the killing of game birds and legitimate sport of that character except when such practices have an impact on the Objects."

This means the charity can comment on shooting if it affects the wild birds that the RSPB was set up to support, but it cannot comment on shooting for fun as a practice.

However, it is now using environmental concerns as a reason to review its policy.

Mr Cox explained: "Environmental concerns include the ongoing and systematic illegal persecution of birds of prey such as hen harriers on some sporting estates; the ecological impact of high numbers of game birds released into the countryside increasing the density of generalist predators; the mass culling of mountain hares in some parts of our uplands; the use of lead ammunition; the impact of burning peatlands and medicating wild animals for sport shooting.

"In response to the evidence about the scale of the environmental impact and growing public concern, including from our membership, the RSPB’s Council has agreed to review our policy on game bird shooting and associated land management."

This has drawn ire from countryside organisations. Tim Bonner, the chair of the Countryside Alliance, said:  “Disappointingly this seems to be the final step in the RSPB’s long journey to becoming an anti-shooting organisation. It displays the organisation’s bizarrely warped priorities in the face of so many other pressing concerns that face the countryside we know and love. 

"The environmental, economic and social benefits of shooting have been repeatedly illustrated by research and reports. The Countryside Alliance will continue to robustly promote and defend properly conducted game shooting.”

Former RSPB chief Mark Avery has become a vocal anti-shooting activist since leaving the charity, and set up lobby group Wild Justice with BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham, which has launched successful legal challenges to curtail shooting.

He said of the RSPB's announcement: "This is welcome news.

"This review is about repositioning the RSPB in an important public debate because it is realised that the RSPB has been lagging not leading. Perhaps it has taken a new Chair of Council and a new Chief Executive to grasp this nettle rather belatedly.

"I understand that some membership pressure has helped to push this statement along. I’m pretty sure that the existence of Wild Justice, getting into some areas where the RSPB has been nervous to tread, has also been a factor."


Climate Stalinism: Today’s radical green movement demands submission to an elite governing class—and its views are entering the mainstream

The Left’s fixation on climate change is cloaked in scientism, deploying computer models to create the illusion of certainty. Ever more convinced of their role as planetary saviors, radical greens are increasingly intolerant of dissent or any questioning of their policy agenda. They embrace a sort of “soft Stalinism,” driven by a determination to remake society, whether people want it or not—and their draconian views are penetrating the mainstream. “Democracy,” a writer for Foreign Policy suggests, constitutes “the planet’s biggest enemy.”

Today’s working and middle classes are skeptical about policies that undermine their livelihoods in the promise of distant policy goals. Even now, after a decade-long barrage of fear-mongering, a majority of Americans, Australians, and even Europeans doubt that climate change will affect their lives substantially. A recent UN survey of 10 million people found that climate change ranked 16th in concerns; most people in the developing world, notes environmental economist Bjorn Lonborg, “care about their kids not dying from easily curable diseases, getting a decent education, not starving to death.”

Like other people in high-income countries, most Americans want to improve the environment and many, if not most, are concerned about the potential impact of climate change. But they still rank climate as only their 11th leading concern, behind not just health care and the economy but also immigration, guns, women’s rights, the Supreme Court, taxes, income, and trade. A recent Harris-Harvard poll found that three-fifths of Americans reject the portfolio of Green New Deal policies, including a third of Democrats and half of people under 25.

Simply put, once the current green agenda is understood in terms of its impact on jobs and energy prices, it does not play well. In recent Australian elections, voters soundly rejected a progressive agenda that targeted suburban residents and the country’s large fossil-fuel industry. Opposition was particularly strong in primarily blue-collar areas like Australia’s Queensland. The results in Australia led local celebrities and pundits to brand their fellow citizens as unremittingly “dumb.”

Areas dependent on energy and manufacturing—such as Appalachia, Ontario, Alberta, the U.S. Midwest, and the British midlands, have pushed back against the prospective green regime. Even Germany has seen mounting opposition to green policies, which have sent the country’s powerful industrial base reeling from the associated high energy costs. But it’s not just miners, oil-riggers, and factory hands resisting the greens. French residents trying to make a living outside central Paris, and their counterparts in normally placid places like Norway and the Netherlands, have taken to the streets, sometimes violently.

Imagine what will happen if a President Elizabeth Warren bans fracking in places like Texas, North Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania; in Texas alone, by some estimates, 1 million jobs would be lost. Overall, according to a Chamber of Commerce report, a full ban would cost 14 million jobs—far more than the 8 million lost in the Great Recession. And the environment itself would be somewhat of a loser in this game—natural gas has done more to reduce emissions than all the greens’ efforts.

Across the world, green-backed policies have hurt the working class far more than the affluent rich who most enthusiastically embrace them. The militant Extinction Rebellion—which the online magazine Spiked has described as “an upper-middle-class death cult”—has tried to disrupt commuters in Britain in their drive to “save the planet” but has earned more angry contempt than support from harried workers. Though cast by the media as heroic outsiders, greens have historically clustered in elite academic, nonprofit, media, and corporate sectors. The influential Limits to Growth, published in 1972 by the Club of Rome, was backed by major corporate interests, led by Fiat’s Aurelio Peccei. The authors’ long-term vision, based on the notion that the planet was running out of resources at a rapid rate, was to create “a carefully controlled balance” that would restrict growth, particularly in advanced countries.

Whatever its failings, twentieth-century socialism was growth-oriented and in principle devoted to expanding working-class wealth. In contrast, the green version of socialism consciously seeks to depress the average family’s prospects, since prosperity will generate more greenhouse gases. Some zealots, such as the Guardian’s George Monbiot, argue in favor of economic recession as a way to reduce carbon emissions, even if it causes people to lose their jobs and homes.

Draconian climate austerity does not threaten the jobs of the so-called “clean rich,” who may benefit as investors in solar and wind energy, the trading of carbon offsets, and other activities of the “climate industrial complex.” Some old-style leftists, like British Marxist historian James Heartfield, see the emergence of “green capitalism” as a new ruse for the upper classes to suppress the lower by creating artificial scarcity in everything from energy to housing and food. Greens seek to restrict air travel for the masses, but climate activists like Prince Charles, Richard Branson, Leonardo di Caprio, the rapper Drake, and Al Gore continue to fly in private jets, even to climate-crisis summits. They enjoy, and develop, luxury resorts far from population centers, and consume prodigiously while imploring the rest of us to curb our more modest habits.

For most families, the policies of climate radicals promise only a degraded quality of life, including calls for restrictions on having children due to their “carbon legacy,” a proposal endorsed by climate researchers at Lund University in Sweden and Oregon State University. Some scientists even suggest that we shift from eating hamburgers to low-resource-intensity “maggot sausages.” A Swedish economist recently suggested that we recycle ourselves and discover the refinements of cannibalism.

Not surprisingly, the advocates find democratic politics increasingly inconvenient. Climate scientist Roger Pielke’s 2010 notion of “the iron law of climate policy”—that support for reducing greenhouse emissions is limited by the amount of sacrifice demanded—determines people’s willingness to cut back on their carbon output. “People will pay some amount for climate goals,” he suggests “but only so much.” At a cost of $80 a year per household, he suggested, most people, polls found, would support climate measures—but raise it to $770 annually, and support drops below 10 percent.

Given this reality, it’s likely that a future president will not be able to get a majority of both houses to embrace extreme policies inimical to middle-class life. This will force the chief executive, following the model established by President Obama (and reversed by President Trump), to impose the climate agenda through executive orders and the administrative state. The idea of a top-down approach—handing over power to credentialed “experts” operating in Washington, Brussels, or the United Nations—has been advanced by influential progressives like former Obama budget advisor Peter Orszag and journalist Thomas Friedman.

Climate activists increasingly embrace these post-democratic notions. Some, including former California governor Jerry Brown, seem to prefer China’s authoritarian approach to addressing climate issues, despite that country’s largest-in-the-world and still-expanding carbon footprint. Brown has helped launch a “California-China Climate Institute” that embraces the Chinese model. He even embraces “brainwashing” the population to get support for draconian climate measures, along the lines of Chinese thought control.

Once respectable and mainstream, the climate movement now resembles something inspired by religious fervor. Instead of debate, there’s enforced ideological conformity. Climate skeptics of any kind—even those who agree that climate change poses a serious challenge—have been all but banned, with rare exceptions, from the mainstream media. Others, including those in the fossil fuel industry, face court challenges that portray them as so-called “climate criminals.”

Such movements don’t tolerate infidels and have little patience with constitutional limits and procedures. Social Democrat Wolfgang Thierse, former president of the German Bundestag, recently told Die Welt that green militants display an “anti-democratic affection.” A German television reporter covering climate protesters described a movement dismissive of “our understanding of freedom and responsibility” that “borders on a collective psychosis, paired with wild fear and demands. Ever shriller, ever louder, ever faster.”

Demands to “decarbonize” the planet at once draw inspiration from scaremongering as much as from science. Ever since the 1968 publication of Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb and the 1972 Club of Rome report, environmentalists have predicted massive shortages of natural resources, the end of economic growth, and widespread starvation, claims generally accepted without skepticism in media, academic, and even political circles. Yet energy and food are more plentiful than ever, as the world has experienced the largest growth in affluence in its history.

Being proved wrong has failed to get greens to rethink their doomsday assumptions. Instead, every decade sees predictions that planet has five or ten years left if extreme measures are not taken immediately. After the election of President Obama in 2009, NASA’s James Hansen, an icon of the climate-change movement, announced that the new chief executive had four years to save the earth. Many phenomena ascribed to climate change—hurricanes and droughts, for example—turn out to have multiple and more complex causes. In the case of California’s wildfires, some of the problem can be traced back to green policies that prevent the thinning of the state’s forests. Similarly, the now-ended drought was made much worse by environmentalist opposition to new water infrastructure. Activists even blame the recent power outages on climate, though the primary cause was lack of investment and maintenance by local electrical utilities.

Today’s aggressive green policies have little chance of making an impact on the climate. California, the hotbed of climate radicalism, has reduced its greenhouse gases between 2007 and 2016 at rate that places it 40th, per capita, among the states. Similar failures can be seen in Germany, where much-heralded energiewende have led to soaring costs but disappointing results in terms of emissions declines. Even if the U.S. adopted the Green New Deal, the impact on climate, note some recent studies, would be almost infinitesimal. What we do in the West is increasingly irrelevant when virtually all the growth in emissions comes from developing countries, led by China, where hundreds of millions still live in near poverty. Globally, over 1 billion people lack reliable electricity. Leaders in countries such as India tend to be more concerned with access to power than with avoiding greenhouse-gas emissions.

Long-time environmentalist and author Ted Nordhaus suggests that, to make headway with the public, the green movement should give up “utopian fantasies” and “make its peace with modernity and technology.” Green virtue-signaling needs to be replaced by a practical program that could win public support, including focusing on resiliency against expected change and expanding production of hydroelectric, nuclear, and increasingly abundant natural gas rather than ruinously expensive renewables. In contrast, the Green New Deal’s pledge to abandon fossil fuels by 2030, notes former Obama energy secretary Ernest Moritz, presents “impractical targets” that may “lose a lot of key constituencies who we need to bring along to have a real low-carbon solution.”

The fundamentalist green approach now being adopted represents a political dead-end that requires authoritarian means while saving the planet at the expense of upward mobility for the vast majority. Rejecting the middle ground that exists in properly functioning democracies, green extremists are doing a profound disservice, both to our constitutional order and to the sustainability of our society—and planet.


Australia: Climate abounds with deception

Chris Kenny

Blatant deception has become endemic in what is an extreme debate on global warming. The alarmists who sneer at so-called climate deniers are, all too often, fact deniers. The ABC and The Guardian Australia have shown when the assessments of climate scientists don't fit their catastrophist narrative, they are prepared to ignore or verbal scientists and attack other media for sharing the information.

Consider a forum at the University of Sydney on "The Business of Making Climate Change" in June that included the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes director Andrew Pitman. Asked about climate and drought, Professor Pitman said this:

"This may not be what you expect to hear but as far as the climate scientists know there is no link between climate change and drought. Now, that may not be what you read in the newspapers and sometimes hear commented but there is no reason a priori why climate change should make the landscape more arid. "And if you look at the Bureau of Meteorology data over the whole of the last 100 years there's no trend in data, there's no drying trend, there's been a drying trend in the last 20 years but there's been no drying trend in the last 100 years and that's an expression of how variable the Australian rainfall climate is."

You will not have heard that comment, in full, on the ABC, nor read it in The Guardian Australia; yet they have run many comments from Greens and Labor politicians saying the drought is linked to climate change. This self-censorship is extraordinary enough because there could hardly be a more relevant and factual contribution from such a reputable source that puts the lie to the political posturing over a crippling drought that is dominating political debate.

But it gets worse. What the ABC's MediaWatch did a fortnight ago, and The Guardian Australia replicated last week, is run cut-down versions of that quote and accuse me and others at Sky News of misrepresenting Professor Pitman. That's right, it is commentators sharing a reputable climate scientist's own words, uncut, that they criticise.

These journalists failed to run the pertinent information but slammed others for running it. Their tenuous justification is a statement from Professor Pitman's centre claiming he should have said "no direct link" rather than "no link". The insertion of the word "direct" into his assessment is mere semantics and changes nothing. Indeed the statement begs the question of how and why this ex post facto qualification came about, not directly from Professor Pitman, but from his centre.

In that June forum Professor Pitman also said the "fundamental" problem in this field of science is that "we don't understand what causes droughts" — again under-scoring the absence of a climate change/drought link. Last week he was reported on the topic again in The Guardian Australia "But the fact that I can't establish something does not make it true or false, it just means I can't establish it."

Astonishingly, the website argued this quote bolstered its claims of misrepresentation when clearly it reaffirms his critical point; there is no link established between our drought and global warming. The evidence is in, no matter how much it is buried, denied and spun away by the ABC and Guardian Australia.

All of Professor Pitman's comments demonstrate that politicians are making a link between global warming and drought that climate scientists have not established. In comparison, some of us at Sky News have run Professor Pitman's comments in full a number of times, drawn our conclusions, asked others to comment and allowed audiences to make their own judgments.

Additionally, I have repeatedly invited Professor Pitman to discuss the issues, live and uncut to air. He shrinks away. We can imagine it is difficult for scientists to have their work pushed and pulled for political point-scoring but they have a public duty to share the facts.

Professor Pitman's work is being grossly misrepresented by the ABC and The Guardian Australia, who argue the opposite to his declared reality. His centre should be clearing the air but is doing the opposite.

The dishonesty of the reporting by Paul Barry's Media Watch, at your expense, is stunning. They cut, trim and misrepresent what has been broadcast on Sky News, fail to ask pertinent questions of Professor Pitman and try to convince the public that his research shows the exact opposite of what he has said repeatedly.

There has seldom been a clearer demonstration of George Orwell's 1984 maxim: "War is Peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength."

The Guardian Australia should be left to its own devices, I suppose, but Ita Buttrose should not sit idly by and allow Media Watch to implement the antithesis ofthe ABC's charter mission.

From "The Australian of 28/10/2019


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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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Schumer Announces Plan To Nix Virtually Every Gas Powered Vehicle In The Country

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer is preparing to spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on a plan that would fast-track the elimination of nearly every gas-powered vehicle in the country.

The Senate’s top Democrat wants to spend a massive amount of money enticing Americans to exchange their gas-guzzling vehicles for an electric car. Schumer’s proposal, which he announced in a New York Times editorial Thursday, shows Democrats are lurching leftward on the issue.

“That’s why I am announcing a new proposal designed to rapidly phase out gas-powered vehicles and replace them with zero-emission, or ‘clean,’ vehicles like electric cars,” Schumer wrote after suggesting scientists agree that climate change represents an imminent threat to the U.S.

He added: “The goal of the plan, which also aims to spur a transformation in American manufacturing, is that by 2040 all vehicles on the road should be clean.” The plan would remove more than 63 million gas-powered cars from the road by 2030, Schumer estimates.

Schumer’s office expects the proposal to cost roughly $392 billion over a decade. The Washington Post referred to the idea on Friday as “essentially ‘Cash for Clunkers’ on steroids,” referring to a policy from the Obama-era encouraging Americans to trade their old vehicles for fuel-efficient cars.

Cash for Clunkers was the mechanism allowing the federal government to offer incentives of between $2,500 and $4,500 to citizens who traded in their older vehicles for newer ones. The policy received a lot of media play, but critics called the idea a failure even if it was designed with the best of intentions.

Under Schumer’s plan, car owners will get a rebate starting at $3,000 if they trade in their car for an electric vehicle, with the amount of rebate going up the longer the vehicle goes without recharging. The rebate could dramatically exceed the existing $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles.

Citizens are not the only ones who’d get a windfall. States and cities would also receive $45 billion in funding to install charging stations. The plan, which does not have legislative text, would also provide $17 billion to grant programs to build new factories for electric vehicles.

The senator’s idea comes as Democrats continue shifting leftward on environmental issues.

House Democrats introduced a Green New Deal in February calling for a “10-year national mobilization” toward a series of goals aimed at fighting global warming. The deal’s proponents called for the eradication of fossil fuels before lawmakers stripped the idea out of the final product.

Conservative analysts are already criticizing Schumer’s plan.

“The money would be wasted. Even if Americans stopped driving entirely today and forever, there would be no discernible impact on, much less improvement of the weather or climate,” Steve Milloy, a lobbyist on behalf of the energy industry, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.


Russia Rejects Climate Change Plan After Business Uproar

The Russian government has drastically watered-down its new package of climate change legislation after push-back from the country’s leading businesses, the Kommersant business daily reported.

Plans for quotas on carbon emissions at Russia’s largest companies, a new national carbon trading system and penalties for the biggest polluters have now been scrapped.

Instead, Russia will only go ahead with proposals to measure and collect data on emissions as part of a five-year green audit.

The campaign against a stricter package of measures was led by the influential Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) — one of the main lobbying groups for Russia’s largest businesses.

The new laws were set to be introduced as part of Russia’s ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Originally, the Russian government proposed introducing new climate legislation in two phases. The first would be a five-year stock-taking exercise to measure company-level emissions and set appropriate quotas for reducing emissions.

After that, Russia would then introduce a carbon cap on the country’s biggest polluters and penalties for those that exceed their quotas. Earlier plans also envisaged the creation of a national fund to support emissions reduction and a system of nationwide carbon trading.

However, the RSPP has successfully killed-off the entire second phase, including plans to set individual company quotas or targets, arguing that the government should await the results of the climate audit before introducing new laws and regulations to hold firms accountable for their emissions.

“The idea of putting a price on carbon dioxide in Russia has fallen victim to the industrial lobby,” analysts at VTB Capital said in a research note today.

This is despite the fact that “the Paris Climate Agreement envisages a greenhouse gas emission target which is higher than Russia’s current emissions. So introducing the quota system is unlikely to be punitive for businesses.”

The watered-down legislation would “essentially put any actively managed efforts by the government to reduce emissions on ice,” they added.


U.S. Smashes Another Oil Export Record

Growing U.S. crude oil production and exports have resulted in America selling oil to more destinations around the world than the number of countries from which it imports crude oil, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.

A decade ago, the United States was importing crude oil from as many as 37 foreign sources per month, and its exports were restricted almost exclusively to Canada. After the lifting of those restrictions at the end of 2015, U.S. crude oil exports have been on the rise and reaching more destinations.

Between January and July 2019, the largest number of sources of America’s oil imports fell to 27 in any of those months, the EIA has estimated.

On the other hand, the number of destinations for U.S. crude oil exports rose, with exports to as many as 31 destinations per month in the first seven months this year.

Thanks to its growing domestic production—which increased by 2.6 million bpd between January 2016 and July 2019—the U.S. has been importing crude from fewer sources. The domestic production increase has been mostly light sweet crude, which U.S. refiners have accommodated by displacing imports of light and medium crude from countries other than Canada and by raising refinery utilization rates, EIA says.
Related: Is Eating Meat Worse Than Burning Oil?

On the other hand, expanding export terminals in the U.S. and global demand for light sweet crude have allowed the U.S. to export oil to more destinations. 

U.S. crude oil exports jumped by nearly 1 million bpd in the first half of 2019 from the same period in 2018 to average 2.9 million bpd between January and June this year, the EIA said earlier this month.

Average U.S. exports of crude oil rose by 966,000 bpd in the first half of 2019, compared to the first half of 2018. In June this year, the U.S. set a monthly average record of 3.2 million bpd of crude oil exports, EIA data showed.


Alaska’s Tongass National Forest may be exempted from Clinton-era roadless rule

Responding to a 2018 petition submitted by the State of Alaska, the Trump administration is proposing to exempt Alaska’s giant Tongass National Forest from the Clinton-era Roadless Rule, a nationwide policy, which has been in effect since 2001.

The Roadless Rule banned all logging, commercial development, and road construction in Tongass, the largest national forest in the United States. Tongass, with its 16.9 million acres, is located in the Alaska Panhandle in the southeastern part of the state.

Under the proposal, the U.S. Forest Service would “remove all 9.2 million acres of inventoried roadless acres and convert 165,000 old-growth acres and 20,000 young-growth acres previously identified as unsuitable timber lands to suitable timber lands.”

But allowing logging in designated areas of the temperate rainforest, and opening up other economic opportunities to local residents, evoked howls of protest from environmentalists and their political allies in Washington.

“Once you have clear cut, the remaining trees or the edge of the forest becomes (sic) much more susceptible to what we think of as windthrow, or wind disturbance,” Northern Arizona ecologist Michelle Mack told Wired (Oct. 17).

Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D-Arizona), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, was also aghast.

“Weakening protections for one of the most important ecosystems our planet has left is a colossal mistake, and this Committee has questions about how this decision was made that this administration should prepare to answer,” he said.

For nearly two decades, however, serious questions have been raised about the last-minute inclusion of Tongass in the Roadless Rule. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 and the Tongass Timber Reform Act of 1990 collectively set aside 5.6 million acres in Tongass as wilderness. Eight days before President Bill Clinton left office in January 2001, his administration’s Roadless Rule designated another 9.4 million acres as roadless areas in Tongass.

“In combination, these laws and regulation have resulted in the loss of 4,200 jobs in the timber industry and substantial interference in mining and renewable energy development,” former Alaska Senator and Governor Frank Murkowski pointed out in the Anchorage Daily News (Oct. 21).

Alaska lost no time in challenging the Roadless Rule. In 2001, the state sued the Forest Service, arguing that including Tongass in the rule violated the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Following a June 2003 settlement with the Justice Department, Tongass received a temporary exemption from the Roadless Rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the Forest Service. The Secretary of Agriculture pointed out that the “socioeconomic costs to local communities of applying the roadless rule’s prohibitions to the Tongass, all warrant treating the Tongass differently from other national forests outside of Alaska.”

The Secretary added:

“Because most Southeast Alaska communities are nearly surrounded on land by inventoried areas of the Tongass, the roadless rule significantly limits the ability of communities to develop road and utility connections that almost all other communities in the United States take for granted.”

But in 2009, environmental groups challenged the process by which USDA had temporarily exempted Tongass from the Roadless Rule. The Obama administration did nothing to provide 21st century infrastructure to the 32 communities surrounded by Tongass. All told, six Alaska governors and the state’s entire congressional delegation have, over the years, sought relief for the people living in the area.

In proposing to scrap the roadless designation for Tongass, the Trump administration has determined that the plight of local residents cannot be allowed to continue.


Conservative alliance targets climate army

The new voice of Australia’s conservative movement has vowed to go after radical left-wing groups in a national campaign against “clim­ate alarmists”, after accusing members of activist group Extinction Rebel­lion of being criminals who pose a menace to society.

Liz Storer, a 36-year-old former Liberal councillor and ministerial adviser, will be announced on Wednesday as the new national director of ­centre-right campaign machine Advance Australia, which has positione­d itself as the political counter to GetUp.

Her appointment comes as GetUp’s national director, Paul Oosting, fronts the National Press Club on Wednesday amid internal inquiries into its failed campaign to unseat a list of targeted conservative MPs at the May election.

But Ms Storer said while GetUp was on her radar, her first campaign­ would be aimed at Extinctio­n Rebellion, which has risen from obscurity to promin­ence in the past week by closing down traffic in the CBDs of Brisbane and Melbourne.

“These people are seriously unhinged­,” Ms Storer said. “They are going to be one of our first campaigns­ … These guys are very strategic but the truth is they are not a climate change action group.

“They may market themselves that way. They are hell bent on deconstructing society as we know it … they operate on a manifesto of delusions based on a rejection of European colonisation and trad­itional values that most mainstream Australians hold dear.

“They are a menace to society … We saw last week the Victorian police saying they had to stop ­normal policing to deal with them. ER are proving to be the real crim­inals …. Gluing themselves to streets (and) hanging from ­bridges.”

Ms Storer, who has a masters degree in human rights and was elected to the suburban Perth council of Gosnells before becoming an adviser to conservative federal Coalition senator and assist­ant minister Zed Seselja, said the militant advance of climate activism had not been effectively ­challenged and that Advance Australia’s mission was to be the voice of “mainstream Australia”.

It would also run counter campaigns against MPs with “radical agendas” and run lobbying and public campaigns against state governments over activism in the education system.

“A mate of mine called me this morning to tell me his daughter had texted him from school to tell him that her teacher said a third of their class would be dead by 2050 because of climate change,” Ms Storer said. “Climate anxiety is becoming­ a real thing.”

While Advance Australia is heavily outgunned by established groups such as GetUp, it quickly raised $2.5m in donations with a 45,000-strong supporter base in its first 12 months of operation since being formed in November last year with the backing of prominent businessmen including Maurice Newman and James Power of the Queensland brewing dynasty.

“GetUp are a well-oiled mach­ine and we are in our infancy,” Ms Storer said. “But we intend to even the score. There is clout in the silent­ majority … we saw that at the May election.”

GetUp’s Mr Oosting, who ran the left-wing group’s failed election campaign strategy to unseat a rump of conservative MPs, will deliver a speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday titled Politics Belongs to Everyone.

GetUp, which launched internal and external reviews after the May 18 election, has been targeted by Scott Morrison and Coalition frontbenchers, who have accused the political activist group of being a front for Labor and the Greens.

A prominent Liberal Party ­figure said the group had struggled to gain traction but claimed the appointmen­t of Ms Storer signalled a significant gear shift in the conservative­ movement’s battle against the left-wing lobby. “I do love kicking doors,” Ms Storer said.



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


Monday, October 28, 2019

U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says

This is just grantmanship: a plea for more money. Will the army that won in two world wars be unable to cope with a couple of degrees of average temperature rise? Armies have to be adaptable and this lot of adaptations should not be too demanding

Starvation? Note that the big problem for farmers is glut, not shortage (of grains etc.)  Note also that global warming would increase rainfall, not lead to drought.  So crops would thrive

The report is imagination run riot, not a scientific study of the issues

The report says a combination of global starvation, war, disease, drought, and a fragile power grid could have cascading, devastating effects.

According to a new U.S. Army report, Americans could face a horrifically grim future from climate change involving blackouts, disease, thirst, starvation and war. The study found that the US military itself might also collapse. This could all happen over the next two decades, the report notes.

The senior US government officials who wrote the report are from several key agencies including the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, and NASA. The study called on the Pentagon to urgently prepare for the possibility that domestic power, water, and food systems might collapse due to the impacts of climate change as we near mid-century.

The report was commissioned by General Mark Milley, Trump's new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him the highest-ranking military officer in the country (the report also puts him at odds with Trump, who does not take climate change seriously.)

The report, titled Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Army, was launched by the U.S. Army War College in partnership with NASA in May at the Wilson Center in Washington DC. The report was commissioned by Gen. Milley during his previous role as the Army’s Chief of Staff. It was made publicly available in August via the Center for Climate and Security, but didn't get a lot of attention at the time.

The two most prominent scenarios in the report focus on the risk of a collapse of the power grid within “the next 20 years,” and the danger of disease epidemics. Both could be triggered by climate change in the near-term, it notes.

“Increased energy requirements” triggered by new weather patterns like extended periods of heat, drought, and cold could eventually overwhelm “an already fragile system.”

The report also warns that the US military should prepare for new foreign interventions in Syria-style conflicts, triggered due to climate-related impacts. Bangladesh in particular is highlighted as the most vulnerable country to climate collapse in the world.

“The permanent displacement of a large portion of the population of Bangladesh would be a regional catastrophe with the potential to increase global instability,” the report warns. “This is a potential result of climate change complications in just one country. Globally, over 600 million people live at sea level.”

Sea level rise, which could go higher than 2 meters by 2100 according to one recent study, “will displace tens (if not hundreds) of millions of people, creating massive, enduring instability,” the report adds.

The US should therefore be ready to act not only in Bangladesh, but in many other regions, like the rapidly melting Arctic—where the report recommends the US military should take advantage of its hydrocarbon resources and new transit routes to repel Russian encroachment.

But without urgent reforms, the report warns that the US military itself could end up effectively collapsing as it tries to respond to climate collapse. It could lose capacity to contain threats in the US and could wilt into “mission failure” abroad due to inadequate water supplies.


World’s largest ice sheet growing

The West Antarctic ice sheet, the biggest mass of ice in the world, has been growing since the end of the nineteenth century.

Marc Morano featured a post about a fascinating Chinese study from Dr. Patrick Michaels at the website of CFACT’s friend and ally the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The forthcoming study by six Chinese authors is scheduled to appear in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.  The study concludes that Antarctic ice exhibited a “significant negative trend” during the nineteenth century, then a “significant positive trend” throughout the 20th.

This doesn’t help the narrative for those seeking to spread climate alarm one bit.

Here’s the latest example:  Artist Thomas Starr of Northeastern University has been placing fake historical markers in New England towns.  “Gazebo relocated due to recurring flooding caused by sea level rise, March, 2058,” reads a plaque on a gazebo in Durham, New Hampshire. He calls it the Seacoast Remembrance Project.  Starr’s plaques have been garnering the laudatory media write-ups we’re sure you’d expect.

Hey Durham Town Council, want to sell us the land your lovely seaside gazebo’s on at a generous discount?  We’ll take the problem off your hands.  It is doomed after all.

That sea level has been slowly rising at only 1 to 3 mm per year since before the industrial revolution, with no sign of meaningful acceleration, does not make it into the articles.  Hysterical sea level claims are not based on reality.  Dangerously rising seas exist only in the virtual world of climate computer simulations.

Those ever-faulty computer models project extreme Antarctic ice melt.  That it has not actually occurred does not seem to matter.  They even stoop to attributing extra high tides caused by natural lunar cycles, combined with ground level subsidence, to sea level rise.

Pity the tide gauges don’t show it.  Sorry Miami, your occasionally wet streets were not caused by electrical generation, air travel, bovine flatulence, or even SUVs.

Dr. Michaels speculates that the media will have no appetite for a study showing Antarctic ice gaining.  What do you think?

We’ll do him one better.  If they do cover it, they’ll try and spin it as justifying global warming alarm!

We factored the situation into our own computer models.  They project shamelessly disseminated climate propaganda.

Let’s see whose projections pan out.


The Green New Deal’s solar absurdity/b>

Those who support the Green New Deal (GND) want what they claim to be the only real solution to the global warming problem which is solar power, and other so-called renewables to save our planet from the ravages of fossil fuel.

They insist our dependance on fossil fuels can be ended by having the world become fully dependent on green energy they wrongly claim to be environmentally friendly, producing no pollution. None of which is true or possible. But their real motivation for the climate change delusion is to shift control of all energy from oil and gas companies to the government. It is a move toward the socialist goal of the Green New Deal.

With the exception of hydropower all so-called “renewable” energy is expensive and inefficient. They are only thought to be economical and competitive through massive government subsides which are hidden in our tax burden. Let’s try and show the real costs of rooftop solar power.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Livermore Laboratory says that as of 2015 the total energy consumed in America was the energy equivalent to 17 billion barrels of oil, 38% is used for electricity , 29% for transportation and the remaining 33% as onsite power for business and industry. Only 11% is used domestically. Fossil fuels provide 82% of that power, nuclear 9% and hydropower 2.5% (IBID). Of the renewable energy sources preferred by the GND, biofuels such as ethanol in gasoline provides 5%, wind power 2%, and solar one half of one percent.

Yet in light of these government generated statistics the GND calls for all fossil fuel burning power plants to be shut down over the next 12 years, along with all Nuclear plants as anything radioactive is considered inherently evil. In addition it demands that as many hydroelectric power plants as possible be closed to protect fish spawning grounds. (No this is not a joke). Finally it eliminates gasoline powered vehicles switching to electric cars and public transportation.

According to the 2017 Solar Electric Handbook ( the maximum amount of sunlight hitting one square meter (roughly a square yard) of the Earth’s surface, delivers 1000 watts of power (that would light 10, 100 watt bulbs). But the shifting angles of the sun drops that number to 600 watts. Commercial photovoltaic cells can only harvest 15% of that energy dropping us to only 90 watts under ideal conditions or lighting about one 100 watt bulb.

But the sun does not shine at night so we are down to 45 watts. But solar collectors only take up a little over 50% of the land area of a solar farm bringing us to 25 watts, and then average clouds, smoke and dust could drop us all the way down to zero.

 The average output across the US of a typical solar power facility is in fact between 5 and 7.5 watts per square meter (Electric Power Monthly , U.S. Energy Information Administration , Dec.22,2017. Is the problem getting clearer, but wait there is more.

Photoelectric cells used to create electric energy consume more energy in their production than they collect. The complex steps required to create raw quartz used to eventually make the wafers that become the collectors surface, require 3370 kilowatt hours of energy per square meter of collector material produced (Williams,E.D.,Ayres.R.U., and Heller,M., “The 1.7 Kilogram Microchip: Energy and Material Use in the Production of Semiconductor Devices”, Environ.Sci. Technology., 36, 5504-5510 (2002). )

But wait there is still more. Solar energy can’t be turned on and off to meet shifts in energy. The sun shines during the day but power needs peak in the morning and evening. Less energy is collected in winter than summer due to shorter days and lower sun angles. One solution is to have backup fossil fuel power plants and now you are paying for two systems instead of one and the use of fossil fuel continues. The other solution is to store extra energy in batteries. A typical lead-acid car battery has a storage capacity of one kilowatt hour, according to McGraw-Hill’s Handbook of Batteries

(Linden,D.,Reddy, T.B..,Eds., Handbook ofBatteries, Third Edition,McGraw-Hill, New York , 2002, Chapter 23).

A total replacement of fossil fuels by solar energy and a battery storage component would require many trillions of such batteries. Lithium batteries would offer more storage but at twice the price.

While a solar farm can be built anywhere, sunny areas of the country are not evenly distributed requiring transmission lines from the sunniest areas to the less sunny areas. As the distance increase the cost of solar skyrockets.

Finally the land areas required for solar farms are extraordinary. Using the most generous capacity numbers for photovoltaic cells in the sunniest areas, a 1000 megawatt solar farm (the standard output of most fossil fuel plants) would require 51 square miles which is the approximate area of San Francisco (Land Requirements for Carbon-Free Technologies, Nuclear Energy Institute Policy Paper, July 9 2015,

Where is the land to be sacrificed in the name of the GND to come from? In fact there is not enough land in the United States to harvest the Solar energy to play a major role in the nations energy requirements .

Solar energy is too expensive for most countries or individuals to afford. The World Bank says that over 1.5 billion people live without electricity.

(World Bank Group, Access to Electricity (% of Population)Sustainable Energy for All Database, https://data World

Although coal is vilified while producing a third of the world’s energy, it’s use continues to increase as it costs only 7 cents a kilowatt hour (Coal International Energy Agency Natural gas costs are even less at 6 cents a kilowatt hour. The costs reported for solar operations have dropped to 16 cents a kilowatt hour, but government subsidies come to 24 cents a kilowatt hour giving it a real cost of 40 cents (Hansen,M.E., Simmons,R.T., Yonk,R.M., The Unseen Costs of Solar-Generated Electricity, The Institute of Political Economy, Utah State University,April 2016,

Few Americans could afford this to save the planet let alone people living in poor countries. Both widespread solar energy and the Green New Deal are but a fantasy of those who truly wish to destroy the nation as envisioned by our founding fathers.


A cardinal has drunk the Kool-aid

The archbishop of Luxembourg said this week that climate change is the most important issue faced by the Vatican synod on the Amazon, so its final document “should be very strong” on ecological issues.

“If our planet is destroyed, we can shout as much as we want about married priests or women priests, but there will be no priests needed anymore,” said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) and a vocal ecological activist.

“So, it’s the most important problem and it’s a problem with the greatest urgency,” the cardinal told Jesuit-run America magazine.

Hollerich stressed the need for “ecological conversion” on the part of everyone, declaring that he no longer uses plastic bottles, buys fair-trade coffee instead of Nespresso, and has changed his diesel car for a hybrid one.

“We bishops have to change our lifestyle, and if we older people succeed in doing it, then the younger ones can do it too,” he said. “But if I cannot change my own lifestyle, how can I say to young people to do so?”

In late 2018, the Luxembourg archbishop signed an appeal calling on government leaders to take immediate action to overcome the “devastating effects of the climate crisis.”

The appeal called for keeping global warming below 1.5ยบ C as well as a shift toward sustainable lifestyles, respect for indigenous communities, and the implementation of a “financial paradigm shift” in line with global climate accords.

This paradigm shift entails “putting an end to the fossil fuel era and transitioning to renewable energy” as well as rethinking the agriculture sector to ensure it provides healthy and accessible food for everyone, with a special emphasis on promoting agroecology, it said.

Following last May’s European elections, Hollerich said he was delighted with the successes of green parties while lamenting the rise of populist-nationalist groups.

“It is positive that in several places numerous young people voted for ecological parties, which means that the themes of environment and creation can become important in the future,” Hollerich said, noting that “as a Church” the victory of the green parties “makes us happy.”

Populist victories, on the other hand, would have been even “worse” if not for the pope’s constant call for a more welcoming attitude toward migrants, Hollerich said at the time.

The Italian vote does not mean that Italians are rebelling against the pope, the archbishop insisted, because “the Holy Father’s message and our message as a Church comes from the Gospel, and it is not a political or media message.”

“Then again, there are Catholics and Catholics,” he said.

Cardinal Hollerich told America he was most struck during the synod by “the violence the indigenous people have to experience. It’s violence against the rainforest and at the same time violence against the ethnic groups, violence against people.”

He said he also hopes the synod’s final document will include “something about the ordination of married men, and new ministries for women.”


Household recycling nightmare.  Italy is a warning

I have seen the future of household recycling; it wasn’t a dream — it’s a nightmare.

A five-coloured rainbow of daily rubbish duties for the householder; constant sorting in the basement; living under the threat of having your garbage left behind because you failed to follow the rules; being bossed about by a council worker in hi-vis rejecting your rubbish; rules that your garbage must be in transparent plastic to allow inspection, or costly biodegradable bags for organic waste; and colour coding that is an immutable law unto itself.

In addition to daily duties for household waste there are the supplementary collection days for old clothing and large items and garden waste that can take months to organise.

Last Monday’s report from Infrastructure Victoria that sees a future for Melburnians separating materials into organics, plastics, paper and cardboard, glass, metals and “regular” waste is part of a global shift to recycling and sorting by the householder to make the rubbish handlers’ job easier.

Scott Morrison has adopted a personal campaign to encourage recycling as an industry, to cut waste, reduce landfill and help the environment.

But the prime ministerial vision is at an industrial level. On his visit to the US he attended the opening of Anthony Pratt’s cardboard factory in Ohio, which is recycling waste paper, and the largest recycling plant in North America, also Australian-owned, where glass, rubber and plastic are turned into building materials.

This is a vastly different view of recycling than the idea that households have up to six bins to sort a family’s waste.

I have lived it in a mountain village in Italy — what evolved was a complicated, increasingly costly and endlessly time-consuming rubbish collection system.

Ten years ago there was a weekly garbage collection for everything. Then the commune — the council — introduced large communal bins to take bottles and paper for recycling as the system of waste management changed across Italy. (The irony being this is a country where corruption and inefficiency would regularly create mountains of garbage on the streets of Naples and the illegal dumping into the sea of everything from toxic waste to radioactive materials.)

Because the collection of our garbage was often delayed, the communal bins filled with all sorts of waste so the council moved to control garbage by increasing household sorting.

This summer in the little mountain village in the Abruzzi — and across Italy — there will be five separate rubbish bins; every household must put out or bring in a rubbish bin every day of the week and spend every evening sorting the rubbish to avoid contamination that would see collectors leave it behind.

There are five categories of rubbish, each with their own colour-coded bin, which must have its own designated bin-liner of a specified type.

The categories are organic (a five-litre brown bin and biodegradable bag); glass (a 10-litre bin and green transparent plastic bag); paper and cardboard (10-litre blue bin with transparent bag); plastic and metal (10-litre yellow bin with transparent bag) and; “secco”, loosely described as “hard” rubbish (a five-litre grey bin with a transparent bag).

Of course, all bins can’t be collected on the same day. Each is collected on a set day of the week.

But because organic waste has to be collected more often, the collection days shift and you must keep a daily calendar. No bin is collected on Sunday but you need to put one out Sunday night.

Typically there are three organic — food scraps from the kitchen — collections a week, with two as close to the weekend as possible but never guaranteed. There is also a sorting issue: plastic trays from the supermarket that have had meat in them can be placed in the organic bag, as can kitchen paper towels. But nonetheless, there’s a risk it will be deemed incorrect and left on your doorstep.

Likewise, glass and plastic collections are in transparent bags so they can be inspected to ensure there is no sheet glass or unwashed containers.

My neighbours this summer, up from Rome for their annual holiday, had their rubbish rejected three days in a row because they used black plastic bags. The garbage man told them that I was “from Australia” and even I knew the rules.

The real problem is “secco” such as CDs, DVDs and toothpaste tubes, but there is a limit to how many CDs you are throwing out and our village simply shrugs its shoulders and says “secco” is for “too hard” waste. It ends up the rubbish of the rubbish.

Apartment dwellers without a basement are cursed; they must store five bins or are given keys to small communal bins appropriately coloured and locked.

The cumulative result of rejected rubbish, a lack of public bins, confusion over categories and a reluctance to store putrid rubbish is that sneaky piles of trash appear around the place, and in the rural areas woodstoves and fires have the distinct smell of burning plastic.

My wife reckons I’m obsessed but I think it’s a modern recycling equivalent of fear of missing out — missing out on having our stinky rubbish removed.



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