Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Boris Johnson plans seven new nuclear reactors as he drops wind plans

Boris Johnson has shelved plans to double or even treble the number of wind turbines in the countryside and approve plans for up to seven new nuclear reactors instead.

The Prime Minister is said to have rejected ambitious targets presented by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to double the UK's onshore output to 30GW by 2030.

Instead, Tory opposition in the party's shire England heartlands and within the Cabinet means that new atomic power sites in rural areas are likely to get Government backing.

The decommissioned power station at Wylfa, on Anglesey, has been suggested as a possible location for the first of a series of small reactor plants.

Mr Johnson is expected to finally unveil his much-delayed new energy strategy on Thursday without any hard targets for onshore wind. But it is expected to lift a moratorium in place since 2015 to allow them to be built were there is local support.

It came after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps publicly opposed new wind farms yesterday in favour of new nuclear sites.

Asked if planning laws should be relaxed to allow for more onshore wind, he told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: 'I don't favour a vast increase in onshore wind farms, for pretty obvious reasons - they sit on the hills there and can create something of an eyesore for communities as well as actual problems of noise as well.

'So I think for reasons of environmental protection, the way to go with this is largely, not entirely, but largely off-sea.'


Debunking the media's lies about ESG social credit scores and the Great Reset

We’re used to legacy media misleading, concealing, and even downright lying about the important issues facing America — especially when it comes to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores and the Great Reset movement. And on many occasions, we don’t respond with a detailed response. After all, most Americans don’t read or watch legacy media outlets anymore.

However, sometimes, we come across something so dishonest that we simply can’t stay quiet, because if we were to, our heads would probably explode. (And we happen to be very fond of our heads, thank you.) On March 18, the Idaho Statesman — the largest newspaper in Idaho — published one of those truly blood-boiling articles we just can’t ignore.

In the piece, which was written by the paper’s opinion editor Scott McIntosh, the author promotes one false claim after another about ESG scores, their use, and the Great Reset movement — all in an attempt to discredit us and the countless other people in Idaho working to protect the rights of American families and businesses.

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(It’s worth noting that we submitted this article to the Idaho Statesman for publication last week, but McIntosh declined to publish it. McIntosh didn’t give us a reason for the decision, but we suspect it’s because he doesn’t like it when others reveal how dishonest the Statesman has become. Shocking, right?)

By the way, if you think this article doesn’t apply to you because you don’t live in Idaho, think again. ESG is an international phenomenon that affects every single American, regardless of the state you live in.

ESG metrics are a kind of social credit scoring system, similar to the model now being used in China. Their purpose is to create a new framework for evaluating businesses, banks, investors, and governments, so that instead of just looking at profits, losses, debt, employee satisfaction, and other traditional economic metrics, an organization is evaluated for its commitment to battling climate change and devotion to social justice causes, including, for example, the racial composition of a company’s workforce.

ESG systems already have awards and punishments tied to them. Companies with “good” ESG scores are often rewarded with lower lending rates, better bond ratings, and other advantages. Some companies with “bad” ESG scores are forced to pay more for loans or denied access to banking services altogether.

And you don’t need to take our word for it, either; there are plenty of industry and academic reports showing the impacts of ESG, including a recent detailed report by Morningstar’s Sustainalytics, which regularly promotes ESG metrics.

According to McIntosh, who claims to have been “honored” for his “watchdog reporting” by the Idaho Press Club and the National Newspaper Association, worries about ESG social credit scores are “dubious” and have become the “latest boogeyman for ... far-right conspiracy theorists like Beck.”

Among the many supposedly “dubious claims” cited by McIntosh as proof of why you can’t trust people like us is a line from a resolution recently proposed by Idaho lawmakers that reads, “ESG standards are designed to create a ‘great reset’ of capitalism and to revamp all aspects of our society and economy, from education to social contracts and working conditions.”

If passed, the resolution McIntosh cites would require Idaho legislators to develop and propose a bill in 2023 to stop banks and other financial institutions from using ESG scores to discriminate against businesses and individuals.

According to McIntosh, that line in the resolution is an example of the many “conspiracies” surrounding ESG. Ironically, McIntosh is right — but not in the way he thinks. There are many conspiracy theories about ESG scores and the Great Reset. Some come from uninformed people on the right, but even more come from dishonest “journalists” like McIntosh.

You see, what “watchdog” McIntosh didn’t tell his readers is that the text he used as one of his proofs of the “right-wing” conspiracy theory of the Great Reset is actually a quote from one of the world’s most influential advocates of ESG, Klaus Schwab, the head of the World Economic Forum (the people who host that lavish conference in Davos every year).

In June 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Schwab and long list of leaders from corporations, activist groups, government agencies, banks, and Wall Street firms launched a campaign to transform the global economy called the “Great Reset” — their words, not ours.

In an article highlighting the campaign, Schwab wrote, “The world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.”

Boy, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

I wonder why McIntosh didn’t explain to his readers that the resolution clearly identifies Schwab as the source of the quote, or why he didn’t cite the entire statement by Schwab, which ends with, “Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”

McIntosh goes on in his article to say that ESG is just a “product of the exercise of individual and economic rights, giving investors an option of where to put their dollars” (a talking point used by countless banking lobbyists to defend ESG).

You see, there’s nothing to worry about, Watchdog McIntosh promises. ESG is just the “free market”!

This popular myth from people trying to obscure the truth about ESG is not only a lie, it’s the epitome of hypocrisy, because the very same politicians and activists defending ESG are also the ones who often advocate for bigger government, more regulations, and more taxes — the opposite of free-market economics.

ESG systems are designed to force businesses and consumers to adopt the values, ideas, products, and services the wealthy elites imposing social credit scores are calling for, and those elites regularly work hand in hand with government and central banks to advance ESG goals.

For example, the World Economic Forum and U.S. State Department entered into a special partnership in November at a COP26 climate change event.

In 2020, the Federal Reserve hired BlackRock, the world’s wealthiest asset manager and a leading proponent of ESG, to help the Fed purchase corporate bonds — purchases that directly benefited BlackRock.

The SEC proposed mandated ESG disclosure rules this month, and the European Union is now on the verge of mandating ESG metrics for many companies in the EU.

Of course, many corporations are happy to go along with the ESG movement. They, like everyone else on Wall Street, are benefiting from trillions and trillions of dollars promised by banks and investors to support “sustainable” causes. And investors like BlackRock are happy to spend the money, since they’ve become rich in the wake of the recent spending sprees by governments around the world and their affiliated central banks.

ESG systems aren’t merely focused on big businesses, either. Companies like Bank of America have already developed individual ESG scores for investors, and FICO analysts admit that ESG will likely be used in the future by financial institutions to determine credit risk for individuals and small businesses.

ESG systems are the greatest threat to freedom since the fall of the Soviet Union. Anyone who tells you otherwise is ignorant or lying — and we're not sure which is worse.


Climate policies cripple the West

Notwithstanding all of the advances in renewable energy we are told about, when Ukraine’s brave President Zelensky looked to Australia for help, he asked us to send coal, not solar panels.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown that insane climate change policies will create conflict even if climate change itself does not. European climate policies have left it hopelessly dependent on Russian oil, gas and coal. Each day Europe pays Russia more than $1 billion (or perhaps now the equivalent in roubles) for the fossil fuels it says it has consigned to history. For all the righteous condemnation of Putin’s actions, Europe is funding this war.

Europe has more gas reserves than Australia, yet has become energy-dependent because of their climate policies. And their naivety and vulnerability has only encouraged Vladimir Putin to break all international norms and invade another country.

Before we feel too superior, Australia is headed down this European, primrose path. We have subsidised renewables so much that our power prices at times turn negative, forcing our coal-fired power stations into an early retirement. We have banned fracking over vast swathes of the continent such that we have gone from being self sufficient in petroleum 20 years ago, to producing less than half of our needs today.

It is not climate change that has weakened our national security. Climate change policies have weakened our national security. Anyone with the malice to invade Australia today, would not need so much as a map but a weather forecast. Pick a cloudy and windless day. We would be ripe for the taking.

Russia’s aggressive acts, and China’s aggressive intent, should wake us all up from this climate change slumber. Less than six months ago the Western world turned up at Glasgow and parked more private planes there than you would see at a Russian oligarch conference. The self-proclaimed, righteous leaders of the woke, Western world debated how they would change the temperature of the globe.

Boris Johnson claimed that ‘what we want to do is move beyond hydrocarbons completely in the UK and do it as fast as possible’. Just months later Boris said that he wants to ‘remove barriers’ to increased North Sea oil and gas production to help end reliance on Russian gas. His government is fast tracking final permits for six North Sea drilling sites.

Even for Boris, this backflip is quite the acrobatic feat.

While the green fools of the West were distracted at Glasgow, Russia and China banned the export of fertilisers. They probably knew something of what was to come. Now we are unprepared.

As President Biden said after attending Nato meetings in Europe this week, ‘With regard to food shortages, yes we did talk about food shortages. And it’s going to be real’. Unfortunately the President offered no solutions. Perhaps we should start by better understanding where food comes from.

If you have ever attended a climate change rally you may have noticed young people holding signs saying, ‘You can’t eat fossil fuels’. If you spot these signs, you have also identified those in the crowd who have not studied agricultural science.

Nearly half the world’s food comes from natural gas. Natural gas makes almost all of the world’s ammonia, after hydrogen is first extracted. Ammonia is what makes most of the world’s fertilisers. On some estimates, 45 per cent of the world’s food comes from ammonia-based fertilisers.

The Ukraine conflict, and Western restrictions on gas developments, has forced the price of gas up. So the price of fertilisers has gone up too and food prices are following. Fertiliser and wheat prices are three times higher than in 2020.

Relief may not come soon because China produces 30 per cent of the world’s ammonia and Russia 10 per cent. They are the world’s two largest producers and they are no longer selling their product to others.

Pat Conroy is such a fool that before the last election he claimed that the global hydrogen market would be worth $215 billion by this year. He seemed oblivious to the fact that almost all of this hydrogen is made from natural gas – the very substance he wants to eradicate. That is not going to change anytime soon as new ways of making hydrogen remain too expensive, not to mention water intensive.

It is now clear that the best description of the net zero charade comes from the words of Admiral Ackbar, of Star Wars fame: ‘It’s a trap!’ China and Russia have been encouraging us all down the net zero path so that we can’t make much anymore or even feed ourselves. We may close their McDonald’s stores, they can respond by making it prohibitive for us to grow cattle.

To defend ourselves against Russo-Chinese aggression, we do not need anymore naive climate change policies from people who do not know how their food is grown. Instead we need the opposite of woke. Let’s task our engineers to find more coal, more gas and more oil so the democratic world can be sovereign again and collectively defend our freedoms.


There Is No Evidence Bleaching Threatens Great Barrier Reef

The Washington Post (WaPo) published an article today discussing the fact that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) recently suffered its “sixth massive bleaching event,” blaming it on climate change. The evidence that long-term climate change, as opposed to a short-term fluctuation in ocean temperatures, is to blame for the present bleaching event is limited. Also, the WaPo presents no evidence of a tipping point. Indeed, based on past bleaching events, reports of the extent of the current bleaching are likely overstated. What is clear from the history of the GBR is that most of the coral that suffered bleaching are likely to recover.

In a WaPo article titled, “Climate warming has dealt yet another blow to the Great Barrier Reef,” Darryl Fears writes:

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its sixth massive bleaching event as climate change has warmed the ocean, raising concerns over whether one of the world’s natural wonders is nearing a tipping point.

Reef managers confirmed Friday that aerial surveys detected catastrophic bleaching on 60 percent of the reef’s corals....

Unusually high ocean temperatures, up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, probably triggered the event. It is the sixth massive bleaching the reef has suffered in two decades, and the fourth since 2016. Back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 affected two-thirds of the world’s largest reef.

Data does not support WaPo’s claims about the extent of previous bleaching events in the GBR. Although some scientists widely quoted in corporate media reports on the 2016 bleaching event claimed 93 percent of the GBR suffered bleaching in 2016, subsequent research from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) showed just 22 percent of the reef had bleached with AIMS estimating more than 75 percent the bleached coral would recover. As discussed in Climate Realism, AIMS’ survey determined there was “minimal impact” from the 2016 bleaching with hard coral across 85 percent of the reefs expanding year over year.

Indeed, rather than recent bleaching events indicating corals might be approaching a tipping point for the collapse of the reef, AIMS’ survey showed, as late as August 2021 corals were at a historic high for numbers. AIMS reported “Hard coral cover increased across all three regions (Northern, Central, and Southern) and most reefs surveyed had moderate or high coral cover. Overall, 59 out of 127 reefs had moderate (>10% – 30%) hard coral cover and 36 reefs had high (>30% – 50%) hard coral cover.”

Citing AIMS’ data, in late-July the United Nations World Heritage Committee (WHR) rejected calls to list the GBR as “in danger.” The WHR’s decision came despite last minute pleas by climate alarmists to ignore AIMS’ report and list the GBR as being threatened with extinction due to climate change.

The present bleaching may be due to unusual temperature conditions in the oceans surrounding Australia. However, climate change can’t have been responsible for the six bleaching events that occurred over the past 20 years because there has been no long-term temperature increase in the seas around Australia.

As discussed by meteorologist Anthony Watts, reporting on recent research, Bill Johnston, Ph.D., a former New South Wales Department of Natural Resources research scientist, Johnston compared temperature data from 1871 to recent data derived from 27 Australian Institute of Marine Science data loggers in a reef area where recent bleaching events occurred.

Johnson concludes:

No difference was found between temperatures measured at Port Stephens and Cape Sidmouth by astronomers from Melbourne and Sydney using bucket samples in November and December 1871 and data sampled at those times from 27 AIMS datasets spanning from Thursday Island, in the north to Boult Reef in the south. Alarming claims that the East Australian Current has warmed due to global warming are therefore without foundation.

If there has been no long-term average warming of the seas containing the GBR, warming can’t be threatening the GBR’s survival.

Indeed it would be surprising if warmer waters did pose a threat to the GBR or other coral reefs around the world. Coral have existed continuously for the past 40 million years, adapting to often abrupt and significant temperature shifts repeatedly. Historically, coral have thrived during periods when ocean temperatures were significantly warmer than they are today.

Most coral require warm water, not cold water, to thrive and survive. They are unable to live and colonize outside of tropical or subtropical waters. As a result, as the Earth has modestly warmed, coral are extending their range toward the poles while still thriving at and near the equator.

Coral reefs are natural marvels, providing unique habitat for abundant sea life and contributing the health of the oceans. No coral reef is more justifiably famous than the GBR. Fortunately, as recoveries from previous bleaching events show, contrary to the demise of the GBR implied by WaPo as a result of the recent bleaching which it blames, without providing a scintilla of evidence, on human caused global warming, the majority of the corals bleached this year is likely to recover.

Fears should stop promoting climate fear and put the present bleaching in the wider context of history and science. Corals have proved adaptable and resilient across the millions of years of their existence. There is no reason for believing they can’t adapt to modest warming, should it continue.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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