Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Scientists unravel history of climate change upheaval on the Great Barrier Reef

Natural fluctuations in reef health

FOR the first time ever, a group of Australian scientists have unravelled the history of climate change upheaval on the Great Barrier Reef over the past 8000 years.

A team led by University of Queensland graduate Dr Marcos Salas-Saavedra analysed rare earth elements in drilled reef cores, unveiling a deep history of wild weather.

“Eight thousand years ago, extreme run-off from an intense Indian-Australian summer monsoon affected water quality in the southern offshore Reef,” Dr Salas-Saavedra said.

“Water in the GBR was much dirtier, and poor water quality is known to be a major cause of reef decline around the world. “But 1,000 years later, monsoonal rains eased and the water quality greatly improved.

“We noticed water quality declined during times of dampened El Nino Southern Oscillation frequency, which may have led to more La Niña-dominated wet climates in Queensland at those times – just like the weather we have seen this year in Queensland.”

But as El Nino-dominated weather patterns became established, he said the southern Great Barrier Reef water quality improved to give us the beautiful Reef we know and love.

The new data allows researchers to understand for the first time what water quality was like on the Great Barrier Reef over an extended period.

UQ Professor Gregory Webb said the study provides a new and independent source of palaeoclimate data, not only for the Great Barrier Reef, but potentially for reefs around the globe.

“Knowing more about how the Great Barrier Reef responded to past environmental changes is essential to help inform us how reefs can be better managed in the future,” Professor Webb said.

“We have created a toolkit to understand subtle differences in water quality – even in offshore reefs – and it can be applied over much longer time frames where reef core material is available.

“Importantly, this type of analysis enables us to examine how ancient water quality may have impacted coral growth rates, overall reef growth rates, and any shifts in reef ecology at the same time.”

He said knowing more about how the Great Barrier Reef responded to past environmental changes was essential, helping to inform how it could be better managed in the future.

Reef cores were recovered from Heron and One Tree reefs by UQ’s Dorothy Hill Research Vessel, before Professor Jianxin Zhao dated and analysed the cores at UQ’s Radiogenic Isotope Facility.

The analysis focused on rare earth elements preserved in microbialites – rocks made by microbes – that have been growing throughout the Great Barrier Reef’s history.


To maximize renewable energy, we’ll need a new technology: renewable storage

The German word Dunkelflaute means “dark doldrums.” It chills the hearts of renewable-energy engineers, who use it to refer to the lulls when solar panels and wind turbines are thwarted by clouds, night, or still air. On a bright, cloudless day, a solar farm can generate prodigious amounts of electricity; when it’s gusty, wind turbines whoosh neighborhoods to life. But at night solar cells do little, and in calm air turbines sit useless. These renewable energy sources stop renewing until the weather, or the planet, turns.

The dark doldrums make it difficult for an electrical grid to rely totally on renewable energy. Power companies need to plan not just for individual storms or windless nights but for Dunkelflaute that stretch for days or longer. Last year, Europe experienced a weeks-long “wind drought,” and in 2006 Hawaii endured six weeks of consecutive rainy days. On a smaller scale, factories, data centers, and remote communities that want to go all-renewable need to fill the gaps. Germany is decommissioning its nuclear power plants and working hard to embrace renewables, but, because of the problem of “intermittency” in its renewable power supply, it remains dependent on fossil fuels—including imported Russian gas.

The obvious solution is batteries. The most widespread variety is called lithium-ion, or Li-ion, after the chemical process that makes it work. Such batteries power everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles; they are relatively inexpensive to make and getting cheaper. But typical models exhaust their stored energy after only three or four hours of maximum output, and—as every iphone owner knows— their capacity dwindles, little by little, with each recharge. It is expensive to collect enough batteries to cover longer discharges. And batteries can catch fire—sites in South Korea have ignited dozens of times in the past few years.

Venkat Srinivasan, a scientist who directs the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (AC- CESS), at the Argonne National Laboratory, in Illinois, told me that one of the biggest problems with Li-ion batteries is their supply chain. The batteries depend on lithium and cobalt. In 2020, some seventy per cent of the world’s cobalt came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Unless we have diversity, we’re going to be in trouble,” Srinivasan said. Any disruption to the supply chain can strongly affect prices and availability. Moreover, a lot of water and energy are required for mining the metals, which can cause environmental damage, and some co-balt-mining operations involve child labor. Experts doubt that Li-ion prices will drop more than thirty per cent below their current levels without significant technological advancements—a drop that is still too small, according to the Department of Energy. We need to expand our capacity; by one estimate, we’ll require at least a hundred times more storage by 2040 if we want to shift largely to renewables and avoid climate catastrophe. We may somehow find clean and reliable ways to mine, distribute, and recycle the ingredients for Li-ion batteries. And yet that seems unlikely. Although we usually think about renewable energy in terms of its sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels, that’s only half the picture. Ideally, we’d pair renewable energy with renewable storage.

We already have one kind of renewable energy storage: more than ninety per cent of the world’s energy-storage capacity is in reservoirs, as part of a remarkable but unsung technology called pumped-storage hydropower. Among other things, “pumped hydro” is used to smooth out spikes in electricity demand. Motors pump water uphill from a river or a reservoir to a higher reservoir; when the water is released downhill, it spins a turbine, generating power again. A pumped-hydro installation is like a giant, permanent battery, charged when water is pumped uphill and depleted as it flows down. The facilities can be awe-inspiring: the Bath County Pumped Storage Station, in Virginia, consists of two sprawling lakes, about a quarter of a mile apart in elevation, among tree-covered slopes; at times of high demand, thirteen million gallons of water can flow every minute through the system, which supplies power to hundreds of thousands of homes. Some countries are expanding their use of pumped hydro, but the construction of new facilities in the United States peaked decades ago. The right geography is hard to find, permits are difficult to obtain, and construction is slow and expensive. The hunt is on for new approaches to energy storage.


Bill Gates Predicts ‘Next Pandemic’ Will Be Caused by Climate Change, Proposes WHO Expansion

Billionaire Bill Gates has predicted a 50 percent chance that another pandemic will occur in the next 20 years due to “climate change.”

Gates made his predictions in an interview with Spanish publication elDiario.es, during a one-day trip he made to Spain on May 26.

“The human population is growing, and we are invading more and more ecosystems. That is why I calculate that there is a 50 percent chance that we will have a pandemic of natural origin in the next 20 years, as a consequence of climate change,” Gates said, noting that the pandemic could be a type of coronavirus, a type of flu, or “something else.”

“It could be a virus made by man, by a bioterrorist who designed it and intentionally circulated it. That is a very scary scenario because they could try to spread it in different places at once,” he said.

Gates suggested that “greater investment” was needed in international anti-virus efforts with an expansion of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“What I am proposing would require a 25 percent increase in the WHO budget, and with that, we would have a team of about 3,000 people with different profiles. I call it the Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization (GERM) Team,” Gates said.

The former richest person in the world heads the organization that puts the most amount of private funds into global health issues, The Gates Foundation. The foundation spent $1.79 billion on global health initiatives in 2020 and financed about 10 percent of WHO’s operating costs in 2020-21.

Gates’ comments echoed his proposal in his book, “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic,” published in April. He proposed annual funding of $1 billion to operate GERM as a global surveillance pact to monitor pandemic threats.


Energy crisis causing inflation problem for Americans, national security threat

Macro Trends Advisors LLC founding partner Mitch Roschelle weighed in on soaring gas prices on Monday, arguing that "we have to unlock our energy."

"Right now Saudi Arabia is exporting $1 billion a day of profit on their oil so it’s not just inflation, it’s the national security threat that this poses," he told Fox News.

Roschelle provided the insight on "Fox & Friends" on Monday as inflation sits near 40-year highs and gas prices hit a fresh record.

The national average for a gallon of gas on Sunday was $4.61, slightly higher than the week before and 44 cents higher compared to the month before, according to AAA.

"The reality is, they’re [the Biden administration is] doing very little, and Americans are getting fed up," Roschelle argued.

In a series of orders aimed at combating climate change, President Biden cancelled the Keystone XL oil pipeline project on his first day in office and temporarily suspended the issuance of oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters.

The administration resumed the new leasing last month following court challenges against the ban. The administration is appealing a ruling in which Judge James Cain, a Trump appointee, struck down the ban.

The White House has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the record-high gas prices in the U.S., even coining the surge as the "#PutinPriceHike" and vowing that President Biden will do everything he can to shield Americans from "pain at the pump."

Biden, last month, announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will allow the sale of E15 gasoline – gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol blend – across the country this summer. In addition, Biden has moved to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next 6 months. The president is also calling on Congress to make companies pay fees on idled oil wells and non-producing acres of federal lands, aiming to incentivize new production.

Critics, though, have claimed that Biden's actions on energy policy have created a "supply problem" in the market.

Gas prices hit fresh record over Memorial Day weekend Video
Speaking from Tokyo on Monday, President Biden said, "When it comes to the gas prices, we are going through an incredible transition that is taking place that God willing, when it is over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels."

"One thing I’ve observed studying 50 years of business and failures in different kinds of administrations, when you have long-term solutions to short-term problems, that never works – and that’s exactly what this administration is doing," Roschelle argued in response.

"Yes, everybody can drive an energy-efficient car and have energy-efficient appliances in the house, but if you can’t get that energy-efficient washer and dryer, what good is it? It does not keep your electric bills down."


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)


Monday, May 30, 2022

World Economic Forum Aims to Weaponize ESG Metrics

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting has returned to Davos, Switzerland. This year, the usual list of billionaires, world leaders, and global “elites” are gathering in the swanky ski town for a four-day bonanza of lavish festivities, five-course meals, exclusive cocktail parties, and discussion panels, all while they plan the future of the global economy and society in general.

So far, the annual meeting has included the typical talking points about the greatness of globalism, the existential threat of climate change, and the need for the WEF’s pet project known as the Great Reset.

However, for those of us assiduously watching the livestreamed discussion panels (of which there are dozens), one cannot help but notice the prevalence of conversations regarding the inherent virtues of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores. Or so they say.

In a nutshell, ESG investing is the latest scheme concocted by globalists, big banks, big business, and many other nefarious actors so they can wield near-total control over the worldwide economy and socially engineer society to their liking.

Although this may sound like a far-fetched plotline straight from the next James Bond film, it is here and it is even scarier than anything Hollywood could ever conjure up.

According to the WEF, ESG scores are the foundation for “stakeholder capitalism,” which the WEF assumes will replace “shareholder capitalism” in the near future.

As the WEF describes it, “Business has now to fully embrace stakeholder capitalism, which means not only maximizing profits, but use their capabilities and resources in cooperation with governments and civil society to address the key issues of this decade. They have to actively contribute to a more cohesive and sustainable world.”

To achieve this new world order, WEF proposes the universal enactment of ESG metrics, which it says, “will drive environmental and social change.”

To date, many of the world’s largest companies, especially investment firms and big banks, have jumped on the ESG bandwagon.

For instance, here is Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan’s startling endorsement of ESG: “Take our 200,000 people, $3 trillion balance sheet, $60 billion of expenses – you start aiming that gun and you take that across all these companies – it’s huge.”

Moynihan added that ESG scores are “statements of what capitalism can do to solve what the world needs – the Sustainable Development Goals.” To achieve these so-called goals, Moynihan said, “It takes $6 trillion to finance those a year and the only way you’re going to do it – charity can’t do it, they don’t have the money, governments don’t have the fiscal capacity, capitalism has to do it.”

Of course, one person’s definition of Sustainable Development Goals is another person’s definition of worldwide crony capitalism. No wonder big business and big finance are going gaga over ESG. If implemented on a worldwide level with a “harmonized standard,” ESG metrics would allow global corporations and investment behemoths like BlackRock to channel trillions of dollars to companies and industries that play nice with ESG.

In other words, ESG scoring empowers multinational corporations and big banks to reward those who are onboard the ESG bandwagon with access to capital while penalizing “bad” companies with poor ESG ratings by restricting access to capital.

As Moynihan describes the new scheme, “It’s actually the operating companies that will make the change happen … and the activities they force downstream are just unbelievable.”

The problem is that ESG scores are completely subjective, subject to change at a moment’s notice, and do not align with the fiduciary responsibility of every business, which is to maximize shareholder value by producing quality goods and services at competitive prices.

Shareholder capitalism, though far from perfect, is the best way to increase prosperity, improve living standards, and drive innovation. Stakeholder capitalism, predicated on universal ESG scores, on the other hand, is just the latest scheme by globalists in their never-ending quest to increase their wealth and power.


Carbon fear is the new normal

James Macpherson

The thing I find most frightening about the World Economic Forum is that they keep saying the quiet bits out loud.

How confident must they be in their ability to run the world that they don’t try to hide their ambition?

WEF boss Klaus Schwab told suits gathered in Davos last week:

‘The future is not just happening, The future is built by us. By a powerful community of you in this room. We have the means to improve the state of the world.’ Humility is clearly not a trait of the elites.

Oh, and that’s not me calling them elites, that’s how they refer to themselves. As Oxford professor of Global Economic Governance, Ngaire Woods, told a WEF gathering in November:

‘The good news is the elite across the world trust each other more and more. So we can come together and design and do beautiful things together. The bad news is that, in every single country, the majority of people trusted their elites less.’

In other words:

‘We are the elite. Ordinary people don’t like us and so ordinary people are a problem…’

It was delivered casually, calmly, and without a crumb of circumspection.

And why should the self-appointed elite be circumspect about their abilities, or about their grand designs?

They are smart. They wear thousand-dollar suits. They run major corporations. They run governments. They own jets. Oh, and did I mention how smart they were?

They are so smart they are developing technology to track every person’s individual carbon footprint.

And they are so chock full of confidence after the success of Covid that they don’t mind telling us about it.

From the same unelected, unrepresentative technocrats who – without you ever asking for it – brought you ‘The Great Reset’, ‘Build Back Better’, ‘The New Normal’, ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’, and ‘Just Eat Bugs’ comes this gem…

‘We’re developing, through technology, an ability for consumers to measure their own carbon footprint.’

‘Hurray!’ said nobody outside of Davos.

J. Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce company, went on to explain:

‘What does that mean? Where are they travelling? How are they travelling? What are they eating? What are they consuming? So, individual carbon footprint tracker. Stay tuned. We don’t have it operational yet, but this is something that we’re working on.’

How thoughtful of a Chinese company, where social credit scores are already a thing, to create an app by which we can all track our emissions.

The problem, of course, is that when globalists say ‘ability for consumers to measure their own carbon footprint’ what they really mean is ‘ability for us to measure your carbon footprint’.

Imagine an app that people with multiple waterfront mansions, yachts, cars and private jets can use to track what the average person living in a three-bedroom brick and tile in the suburbs is having on his pizza Friday night.

All of this is necessary, of course, because ‘climate’. And ‘health’.

The carbon tracker will be voluntary at first. But what the naïve climate botherers will regard as a helpful novelty for self-monitoring will really be the globalist camel putting its nose inside the tent.

Before long, use of the carbon tracker will be a condition of receiving certain government services.

This will create the illusion of choice. And we’ve all been here before. The Covid vaccination wasn’t mandatory, remember. You were free to reject the jab if you were happy to lose your job and be banned from Kmart.

Finally, the carbon tracker will be mandated and fully integrated into our digital identity. What will be sold to us as self-monitoring will become mass monitoring?

The elites know they can do this because they’ve already had a trial run. Covid wasn’t all doom and gloom, only for the proles, you see.

The wet dream of the elites is that one day soon he will be able to tell you your vacation has been cancelled because you already used your carbon allotment.

‘Please walk home and keep your energy use to under two hours a day for the next six weeks. Failure to comply will lead to funds in your digital wallet being frozen. Have a nice day.’

You think I’m exaggerating?

Pfizer president Albert Bourla told the WEF meeting in Davos they are working on tablets that contain biological chips.

‘And once you take the tablet and it dissolves into your stomach it sends a signal that you took the tablet. So imagine the implications of that, the compliance,’ he said.

If they say these things out in the open, imagine what they say behind closed doors! Don’t worry, it was immediately tagged as fake news by social media fact checkers for ‘lacking context’ and being filmed at Davos in 2018 instead of 2022… It is unclear how saying something earlier makes it any less true.

Of course, the people proposing a carbon emissions tracker have no intention of applying it to themselves.

For all their hand-wringing about the environment, the World Economic Forum delegates didn’t fly to Davos on magic carpets.

The carbon tracker will stop working the moment you can afford your own private jet. It will be a case of carbon tracking for thee, but not for me.


California To Begin Removing Hydro Dams On Klamath River

The State of California is about to begin removing the first of four dams on the Klamath River — despite an extreme drought and a looming electricity generation crisis — to improve habitat for migratory salmon and satisfy Native American groups.

As the Associated Press (via Breitbart News) noted earlier this year, President Biden’s administration reversed course after President Donald Trump’s administration blocked the dam removal on California’s second-largest river, which was planned in 2016 after California and Oregon signed an agreement to demolish the dams but still required federal approval.

Now, the demolition has been scheduled for 2023, awaiting only confirmation that dam removal itself would not harm fish.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday:

The first of four aging dams on the Klamath River, the 250-mile waterway that originates in southern Oregon’s towering Cascades and empties along the rugged Northern California coast, is on track to come down in fall 2023. Two others nearby and one across the state line will follow.

The nearly half-billion dollars needed for the joint state, tribal and corporate undertaking has been secured. The demolition plans are drafted. The contractor is in place. Final approval could come by December.

Now, among the last acts of preparation, scientists are trying to make sure the fish and wildlife that are intended to benefit from the emergence of a newly wild river will thrive. While the decision to remove the hydroelectric dams was financial, it was urged —and enabled — by those hoping to see a revival of plants and animals in the Klamath Basin.

The state has not built new reservoir capacity in four decades, while California’s population has continued to grow, making the ongoing three-year drought even more onerous.

Moreover, the state has suffered blackouts in heat waves due to the lack of sufficient energy, as fossil fuel power plants are phased out, along with nuclear power plants. Solar and wind power are not yet able to make up the missing power supply because they are unreliable in calm conditions and in overcast weather.

Earlier this month, the California Coastal Commission rejected a plan to build a desalination plant in Orange County that would alleviate water shortages, as desalination has successful done in San Diego County and in Santa Barbara.


Now steak and sausages are off the menu! Australians told to give up MEAT as part of woke academics' plan to save the world from climate change

This is an old song. It is never likely to get large-scale support

Australians will need to give up their weekly steaks and turn 'flexitarian' to meet climate change targets and hit net zero by 2050, according to academics.

Aussie meat-eaters are blamed for accelerating the crisis in a new book by Sydney University's Dr Diana Bogueva and Professor Dora Marinova of Curtin University.

They say one calorie of beef takes a staggering 38 calories to create, causing one-third of all greenhouse gases and wiping out wildlife through land clearing.

The claims have been dismissed by the cattle farmers as out-dated nonsense.

But the academics insist the meat industry needs to be overhauled if the world is to survive - and current farming methods are unsustainable.

'Rather than growing the grain or the food we need for human consumption we are growing the grain for the animals - and then eating them.' Prof Marinvoa told the ABC.

''That's a very inefficient and irrational way of feeding the population.'

She said Aussies were 'addicted to meat', but needed to slash their intake by 80-90 per cent and turn flexitarian by becoming mainly vegetarian with occasional meat.

The academics' book 'Food in a Planetary Emergency' says Aussies need to switch to a diet based on vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and fruits.

Prof Marinova admits older Aussies may find it hard to make the transition but she said the younger Gen Z population - born after 1995 - are more open to the idea.

But even they draw the line at switching to even more environmentally-conscious insect protein burgers and meat substitutes.

'They are quite keen to increase their consumption of traditional plant-based food such as fruit and vegetables, legumes, tubers,' she said.

'But they are more hesitant to go to alternative proteins despite this industry essentially booming.'

However the wider population has yet to get the message.

The book's authors carried out an earlier study which found meat consumption has gone up dramatically this century


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)


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Rising temperatures erode human sleep globally

So global warming will endanger your sleep? Given the ubiquity of temperature-control devices from fans to to air-conditioning, probably not. And the effect observed was tiny anyway. They found that greater warmth would lose you just 50 hours of sleep per YEAR


Ambient temperatures are rising worldwide, with the greatest increases recorded at night. Concurrently, the prevalence of insufficient sleep is rising in many populations. Yet it remains unclear whether warmer-than-average temperatures causally impact objective measures of sleep globally. Here, we link billions of repeated sleep measurements from sleep-tracking wristbands comprising over 7 million sleep records (n = 47,628) across 68 countries to local daily meteorological data. Controlling for individual, seasonal, and time-varying confounds, increased temperature shortens sleep primarily through delayed onset, increasing the probability of insufficient sleep. The temperature effect on sleep loss is substantially larger for residents from lower-income countries and older adults, and females are affected more than males. Those in hotter regions experience comparably more sleep loss per degree of warming, suggesting limited adaptation. By 2099, suboptimal temperatures may erode 50–58 h of sleep per person-year, with climate change producing geographic inequalities that scale with future emissions.


UK to relax law on gene-edited food in post-Brexit change from EU

The UK has begun the passage of a law that will allow the sale of food that has been gene-edited to improve human health and curb environmental impacts, in one of the country’s first big post-Brexit divergences with the European Union.

The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill introduced today will allow crops that have had their genome edited to be treated differently in England from genetically-modified organisms, which can involve foreign DNA from other species. There was a de facto ban on both under EU rules that the UK carried over when leaving the bloc, but GE crops could be developed, grown and sold in England if the law passes. They could also be sold in Wales and Scotland, but not in Northern Ireland as it is still subject to some EU rules as part of the Brexit agreement.

“These gene editing tools have the ability to mimic natural breeding, and generate changes within a species that we find desirable for one reason or another,” says Gideon Henderson, chief scientific adviser at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. “There’s potential for UK economic growth in this area, also potential for UK environmental benefit.”

This week, researchers revealed a tomato had been edited using CRISPR technology to make it a rich source of vitamin D. Other mooted uses for the technology include making more drought-resilient to cope with climate change, and creating crops resistant to diseases so farmers can use fewer pesticides, which have been linked to insect declines.

The vast majority of the UK public, 88 per cent, are opposed to the rule change allowing gene-edited food to be sold. However, to date there has been no major backlash akin to the one against GMO “Frankenfood” where campaigners ripped out crops in field trials more than two decades ago.

Accounts differ on when gene-edited food might be in shops. Environment minister George Eustice has claimed next year. Henderson says: “In the next four or five years, I would anticipate seeing a slew of potential new products arriving.” There are no plans to require retailers to label products that are gene-edited.

New Scientist asked the UK’s major supermarkets to confirm if they would be selling gene-edited food, but none of them were prepared to say yes.

Under the proposed law, only gene-edited crops with traits that could also be produced using traditional plant breeding will be allowed. An expert committee advising Eustice, ACRE, will decide if products meet that criteria or not, though exactly how is unclear at this stage.

The proposed rule changes, which the government is hoping become law later this year, initially apply only to crops. However, the law would mean secondary legislation, which does not require parliamentary scrutiny, could be given the green light for gene-editing in livestock later.


Republicans Can Stop ESG Political Bias

I’m old enough to remember when liberals accused big business of consistently being on the side of Republicans. But in 2022 the woke left is poised to conquer corporate America and has set in motion a strategy to enforce their radical environmental and social agenda on publicly traded corporations.

A sudden abundance of liberal shareholders isn’t what’s driving this new trend of woke capitalism, and it certainly isn’t a reflection of consumer demand. Rather, the shift is entirely manufactured by a handful of very large and powerful Wall Street financiers promoting left-wing environmental, social and governance goals (ESG), and ignoring the interests of businesses and their employees.

ESG is a pernicious strategy, because it allows the left to accomplish what it could never hope to achieve at the ballot box or through competition in the free market. ESG empowers an unelected cabal of bureaucrats, regulators and activist investors to rate companies based on their adherence to left-wing values. Like the social credit scores issued by the Chinese Communist Party, a low ESG score can be devastating, making it virtually impossible for a company to raise capital—and that is exactly the point.

Last week the S&P 500 ESG Index delisted Tesla because it claimed the electric automaker lacked a “low carbon strategy.” In reality, the left is likely targeting Tesla CEO Elon Musk because of his commitment to free speech and his criticism of the Biden administration.

ESG scores are not only inherently political, as evidenced by the attack on Tesla and Mr. Musk, but they are completely subjective, and often hypocritical. In one particularly egregious example, Exxon Mobil and Chevron received less favorable ESG scores than Russian energy companies Gazprom and Rosneft, in which Vladimir Putin’s government is a major shareholder. What exactly is the left’s criteria when companies largely controlled by Mr. Putin’s murderous regime are ranked higher than American companies? It is revealing to note that proponents of ESG, despite their altruistic pretenses, almost never refuse to do business with China or Russia—two of the world’s biggest polluters with well-documented histories of human rights abuses.

Finance was always meant to facilitate investment and spur economic growth benefiting the entire country. But President Biden’s regulators are weaponizing the financial system to shut down economic growth in the energy industry in the name of environmental extremism. The president’s climate envoy, John Kerry, is pressuring banks to refuse to make loans to U.S. oil and gas companies, leaving them unable to increase production.

Activist investors in the private sector are all too happy to play along. In one recent instance, an insurgent shareholder, backed by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, forced Exxon Mobil to put three environmentalists on its corporate board.

Without government intervention, the ESG craze will only get worse. Mastercard recently announced that it will begin “linking employee compensation to ESG goals.” In other words, paychecks will no longer be based on an employee’s performance but on how well they conform to the woke political opinions of their supervisors.

In April, a California court struck down state laws requiring corporations to select board members based on race and sex, delivering a victory for the right to equal treatment guaranteed by the Constitution. States, cities and Congress should follow suit by adopting measures to discourage the use of ESG principles.

States with large employee pension funds invested in the stock market would be well advised to rein in massive investment firms like BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard, which manage a combined $22 trillion in assets and are pushing a radical ESG agenda. State and local governments should entrust their money to managers that don’t work against their residents’ best interests. States should also pass model legislation developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council requiring government pension-fund managers to vote the state’s shares, rather than delegating that authority to huge Wall Street firms.

Most important, the next Republican president and GOP Congress should work to end the use of ESG principles nationwide. For the free market to thrive, it must be truly free.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/only-republicans-can-stop-the-esg-madness-woke-musk-consumer-demand-free-speech-corporate-america-11653574189 ?


A skeptical view of sustainable living

The Idiocy of Tiny Houses and Electric Vehicles

The only readily available statistics are from 2013, but they indicate tiny home owners are older, whiter, and have higher incomes than the national average, even without adjusting for the large percentage of retirees who are living off pensions.

Like everything else, sustainability has gone commercial. Tiny houses and electric cars are trendy, but if you’re abandoning a perfectly functional home to build a tiny one, or a dependable gas vehicle to go electric, you’re just wasting money on more crap.

To live more sustainably, if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

One could make the argument that over 10–15 years, what you’ll save on gas or utilities will make up for splurging on a tiny house or a Tesla, but this is more of a rationalization. When it comes to shiny objects, we decide to buy first, then figure out how to justify it later.

44% of the people who buy tiny homes regret it, 20% of electric car owners switch back to gas-powered cars, 43% report driving more once they go electric, and 78% keep at least one gas-powered vehicle.

The biggest complaint about tiny houses? They’re too tiny.

The biggest complaint about electric cars? Not enough range or charging stations, and home charging systems are too expensive.

This isn’t sustainability, it’s just buying more garbage, all of which has to be mined, manufactured, transported, and maintained.

Consider the amount of labor and materials wasted when needlessly replacing a two ton vehicle 78% of drivers keep anyway. All you have is another car that has to be serviced, registered, and insured. If everyone could afford a dependable, long-range electric vehicle — which was supposed to be the point — how many of the current owners of EVs would even want one?

The average cost of a tiny house is $30,000-$60,000, depending on size, location, plumbing, electricity, and your ability and willingness to build it on your own. This is still out of reach for most Americans, even if they’re willing to live out in the middle of nowhere without plumbing and solar power only, which requires several batteries, inverters, and large panels if you want to maintain any semblance of the life you’re accustomed to.

The most modest independent solar power systems can recharge a phone or a laptop, and maybe power an electric fan for a few hours assuming it’s sunny. No TV, air conditioning, microwave, or dependability, unless you’re willing to spend tens of thousands on additional panels, batteries, and industrial strength inverters, and even then, a cloudy week could leave you powerless.

Conceding you’re one of the few who can afford a cramped house and an extra field of panels to power your car, is this really the best use of your money if your goal is to live sustainably?

Instead of going small, you could rent out a few rooms in your house, if only for storage, or shutter and seal them to save on utilities. This would give you a taste of living tiny before you commit. Or you could put that money toward providing housing for people who actually need it.

You might squeeze another 100,000 miles out of a reliable old car with great gas mileage. Wait until you actually have to replace it, and you’ll have the option of purchasing a cheaper electric vehicle with better range than anything available today.

We like to buy stuff because it’s tangible and typically visible. One of the reasons I suspect people are dissatisfied with tiny houses is because they can’t drag enough people over to show them off, or don’t have enough power to keep posting pictures on social media.

Tiny houses and electric cars have been co-opted by lifestyle salesmen, so save your money or put it toward causes that can help instead, like libraries, homeless shelters, and expanding mass transit. If you want to live in a cramped overpriced dwelling where you don’t need a car, try NYC. Large cities are greener than smaller ones and the suburbs, and you’ll be cured of tiny houses for life.


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)


Friday, May 27, 2022

Real Threats to Biodiversity and Humanity

by Paul Driessen

References to climate change almost guarantee funding, even for research topics of little interest beyond academia and eco-activists. Polls reveal that most people worry most about energy and food prices, crime, living standards, Putin’s war on Ukraine, and increasing efforts to control their lives.

A recent study by Rutgers University scientists sought to determine how much diversity is required among bee species to sustain wild plant populations. They concluded that ecosystems rely on many bee species to flourish – and “biodiversity is key to sustaining life on Earth,” especially with many species “rapidly going extinct due to climate change and human development.”

US Geological Survey wildlife biologist Sam Droege says wild bees are generally “doing fine.” However, they definitely face challenges, primarily due to habitat loss, disease, and competition from managed honeybees and bumblebees – not to pesticides, since most wild bee species don’t pollinate crops.

That brings us to one of Wokedom’s favorite topics: intersectionality – in this case, actual connections among bees, climate change, habitat losses, and threats to our energy, living standards, and freedoms.

Simply put, the gravest threat to wildlife habitats and biodiversity (and to people’s rights, needs, and living standards) is not climate change. It is policies and programs created, implemented, and imposed in the name of preventing climate change.

Let’s examine habitat and biodiversity threats – without asking whether any climate changes today or in the future are still primarily natural, or are now driven by fossil fuels. Let’s just look at what purported solutions to the alleged “climate crisis” would likely do to the planet and creatures we love. In reality:

The most intensive land use – and thus greatest habitat destruction – is from programs most beloved, advocated, and demanded by rabid greens: wind, solar, biofuel and battery energy, and organic farming.

Team Biden is still intent on getting 100% hydrocarbon-free electricity by 2035. It wants to eliminate fossil fuels throughout the US economy by 2050: no coal or natural gas for electricity generation; no gasoline or diesel for vehicles; no natural gas for manufacturing, heating, cooking or other needs.

America’s electricity demand would soar from 2.7 billion megawatt-hours per year (the fossil fuel portion of total US electricity) to almost 7.5 billion MWh by 2050. Substantial additional generation would be required to constantly recharge backup batteries for windless, sunless periods. Corn-based ethanol demand would disappear, but biofuel crops would have to replace petrochemical feedstocks for paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, cell phones, wind turbine blades, and countless other products.

This is just for the USA. Extrapolate these demands to the rest of a fossil-fuel-free developed world … to China and India … and to poor countries determined to take their rightful places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people – and “clean, green” energy requirements become monumental, incomprehensible.

We’re certainly looking at tens of thousands of offshore wind turbines, millions of onshore turbines, billions of photovoltaic solar panels, billions of vehicle and backup battery modules, and tens of thousands of miles of new transmission lines. Hundreds of millions of acres of US farmland, scenic areas, and wildlife habitats would be affected – blanketed with enormous industrial facilities, biofuel operations, and power lines.

Add in the enormous and unprecedented mining, processing, and manufacturing required to make all these energy-inefficient technologies – mostly outside the United States – and the land use, habitat loss, and toxic pollution would gravely threaten people, wildlife, and the planet.

Let’s take a closer look, now just from a US perspective, but knowing these are global concerns.

Solar power. 72,000 high-tech sun-tracking solar panels at Nevada’s sunny Nellis Air Force Base cover 140 acres but generate only 32,000 MWh per year. That’s 33% of rated capacity; 0.0004% of 2050 US electricity needs. Low-tech stationary panels have far lower efficiency and generating capacity, especially in more northern latitudes. Meeting 2050 US electricity needs would require Nevada sunshine and nearly 235,000 Nellis systems on 33,000,000 acres (equal to Alabama).

Triple that acreage for low-tech stationary panels in less sunny areas. For reference, Dominion Energy alone is planning 490 square miles of panels (8 times Washington, DC) just in Virginia, just for Virginia. Then add all the transmission lines.

Wind power. 355 turbines at Indiana’s Fowler Ridge industrial wind facility cover 50,000 acres (120 acres/turbine) and generate electricity just over 25% of the time. Even at just 50 acres per turbine, meeting 2050 US power needs would require 2 million 1.8-MW wind turbines, on 99,000,000 acres (equal to California), if they generate electricity 25% of the year.

But the more turbines (or solar panels) we need, the more we have to put them in sub-optimal areas, where they might work 15% of the year. The more we install, the more they reduce wind flow for the others. And some of the best US wind zones are along the Canada-to-Texas flyway for migrating birds – which would mean the massive, unsustainable slaughter of cranes, raptors, other birds, and bats.

Go offshore, and even President Biden’s call for 30,000 MW of electricity (2,500 monster 12-MW turbines) wouldn’t meet New York State’s peak summertime electricity needs.

Biofuels and wood pellets. America already grows corn in an area larger than Iowa, to meet current ethanol quotas. Keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground lobbyists need to calculate how many acres of soybeans, canola, and other biofuel crops would be needed to replace today’s petrochemical feedstocks; how much water, fertilizer, labor, and fuel would be needed to grow harvest and process them; and how much acreage would have to be taken from food production or converted from bee and wildlife habitat.

Climate activists also approve of cutting down thousands of acres of North American hardwood forests – nearly 300,000,000 trees per year – and turning them into wood pellets, which are hauled by truck and cargo ship to England’s Drax Power Plant. There they are burned to generate electricity so that the UK can “meet its renewable fuel targets.” And that’s just one “carbon-neutral” power plant. That’s one year to slash and burn the fuel, and fifty years to regrow replacement trees. This is not green, sustainable energy.

Organic farming. Environmentalists dream of converting all US (and even all global) agriculture to 100% organic. That would further reduce wildlife habitats – dramatically – especially if we are to simultaneously eliminate world hunger … and replace petrochemicals organically.

Organic farms require up to 30% more land to achieve the same yields as conventional agriculture, and most of the land needed to make that happen is now forests, wildflower fields, and grasslands. Organic farmers (and consumers) also reject synthetic fertilizers, which means more land would have to be devoted to raising animals for their manure unless human wastes are used. More lost wildlife habitat.

They reject modern chemical pesticides that prevent billions of tons of food from being eaten or ruined but utilize toxic copper, sulfur, and nicotine-based pesticides. They even reject biotechnology (genetic engineering) that creates crops that are blight-resistant, require less water, permit no-till farming, need fewer pesticide treatments, and bring much higher yields per acre. Translation: even less wildlife habitat

There are alternatives, of course. Government mandates and overseers could require that “average” American families live in 640-square-foot apartments, slash their energy use, ride only bicycles or public transportation, and fly only once every few years. They could also switch us to “no-obesity” diets.

Indeed, “scientists” are again saying we “common folks” could “reduce our carbon footprints” by eating less beef and chicken, and more insect protein, ground-up bugs – or roasted bumblebees. Or we could just reduce the number of “cancerous, parasitic” humans. (Perhaps beginning with wannabe overseers?


Joy for environmentalists as California blocks bid for $1.4bn desalination plant

A California coastal panel on Thursday rejected a longstanding proposal to build a $1.4bn seawater desalination plant to turn Pacific Ocean water into drinking water as the state grapples with persistent drought that is expected to worsen in coming years with climate change.

The state’s Coastal Commission voted unanimously to deny a permit for Poseidon Water to build a plant to produce 50m gallons of water a day in Huntington Beach, south-east of Los Angeles.

Poseidon said it was disappointed in the decision.

“California continues to face a punishing drought, with no end in sight,” a company statement said. “Every day, we see new calls for conservation as reservoir levels drop to dangerous lows. We firmly believe that this desalination project would have created a sustainable, drought-tolerant source of water.”

The vote came after a heated meeting before the commission attended by dozens of supporters and critics of the plan. It was considered a crucial decision on the future of the plant after years of other hearings and delays.

Poseidon’s long-running proposal was supported by Governor Gavin Newsom but faced ardent opposition from environmentalists who said drawing in large amounts of ocean water and releasing salty discharge back into the ocean would kill billions of tiny marine organisms that make up the base of the food chain along a large swath of the coast.

“The ocean is under attack” from climate change already, Commissioner Dayna Bochco said. “I cannot say in good conscience that this amount of damage is OK.”

Other critics said the water would be too expensive and was not urgently needed in the area where it would be built, which is less dependent on state and federal water due to an ample aquifer and water recycling program.

Commissioners cited those issues in following a staff recommendation and rejecting the proposal. They also cited the energy cost of running the plant and the fact that it would sit in an earthquake fault zone.

Before voting, the 12-member commission heard hours of comments from scores of people packed into a hotel meeting room in the Orange county city of Costa Mesa in addition to those tuning in online.

At the meeting, supporters wore orange and yellow construction vests and toted signs saying “support desal!”

Opponents carried signs reading “No Poseidon” and “Do not $ell our coast.” One woman who wore a plankton costume and held a sign reading “I am a plankton – please do not kill me!”

California has spent most of the last 15 years in drought conditions. Its normal wet season that runs from late fall to the end of winter was especially dry this year and as a result 95% of the state is classified as in severe drought.

Newsom last summer urged residents to cut consumption by 15%, but since then water usage has dropped by only about 3%. Some areas have begun instituting generally mild restrictions such as limiting how many days lawns can be watered. More stringent restrictions are likely later in the year.

Much of California’s water comes from melting snow and with a far below normal snowpack, state officials have told water agencies they will receive only 5% of what they have requested from state water supplies beyond what’s needed for critical activities like drinking and bathing.

Desalination removes salt and other elements from ocean water to make it drinkable. Those elements are discharged back into the sea, while the water can be channeled directly to consumers or used to replenish a groundwater basin. The country’s largest seawater desalination plant is already operating in nearby San Diego county, and there are also coastal plants in Florida.

The idea of desalination has been debated for decades in Huntington Beach, a coastal community south-east of Los Angeles known as “Surf City USA” that relies on its sands and waves for tourism. Discussion of the project has recently focused on the impact of climate change on regional water supplies and on sea level rise in the low-lying coastal area where the plant would be built.

More than two decades ago, Poseidon proposed building two desalination plants – the one in San Diego county, and one in Huntington Beach. The San Diego county plant was approved and built, and desalinated water now accounts for 10% of San Diego county water district’s water supplies.

But the Huntington Beach project has faced numerous delays. In 2013, the Coastal Commission voiced concerns that the proposed use of intake structures to quickly draw in large volumes of water from the ocean would damage marine life. Poseidon, which is owned by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, conducted additional studies and resubmitted the plan with a proposal to mitigate marine damage through restoration of nearby wetlands.


The Modern World Can't Exist Without These Four Ingredients. They All Require Fossil Fuels

Four materials rank highest on the scale of necessity, forming what I have called the four pillars of modern civilization: cement, steel, plastics, and ammonia are needed in larger quantities than are other essential inputs. The world now produces annually about 4.5 billion tons of cement, 1.8 billion tons of steel, nearly 400 million tons of plastics, and 180 million tons of ammonia. But it is ammonia that deserves the top position as our most important material: its synthesis is the basis of all nitrogen fertilizers, and without their applications it would be impossible to feed, at current levels, nearly half of today’s nearly 8 billion people.

The dependence is even higher in the world’s most populous country: feeding three out of five Chinese depends on the synthesis of this compound. This dependence easily justifies calling ammonia synthesis the most momentous technical advance in history: other inventions provide our comforts, convenience or wealth or prolong our lives—but without the synthesis of ammonia, we could not ensure the very survival of billions of people alive today and yet to be born.

Plastics are a large group of synthetic organic materials whose common quality is that they can be molded into desired shapes—and they are now everywhere. As I type this, the keys of my Dell laptop and a wireless mouse under my right palm are made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, I sit on a swivel chair upholstered in a polyester fabric, and its nylon wheels rest on a polycarbonate carpet protection mat that covers a polyester carpet. But plastics are now most indispensable in health care in general and in hospitals in particular. Life now begins (in maternity wards) and ends (in intensive care units) surrounded by plastic items made above all from different kinds of PVC: flexible tubes (for feeding patients, delivering oxygen, and monitoring blood pressure), catheters, intravenous containers, blood bags, sterile packaging, trays and basins, bedpans and bed rails, thermal blankets.

Steel’s strength, durability, and versatility determines the look of modern civilization and enables its most fundamental functions. This is the most widely used metal and it forms countless visible and invisible critical components of modern civilization, from skyscrapers to scalpels. Moreover, nearly all other metallic and non-metallic products we use have been extracted, processed, shaped, finished, and distributed with tools and machines made of steel, and no mode of today’s mass transportation could function without steel. The average car contains about 900 kilograms of steel and before Covid-19 struck the world was making nearly 100 million vehicles a year.

Cement is, of course, the key component of concrete: combined with sand, gravel and water it makes the most massively deployed material. Modern cities are embodiments of concrete, as are bridges, tunnels, roads, dams, runways and ports. China now produces more than half of the world’s cement and in recent years it makes in just two years as much of it as did the United States during the entire 20th century. Yet another astounding statistic is that the world now consumes in one year more cement than it did during the entire first half of the 20th century.

And these four materials, so unlike in their properties and qualities, share three common traits: they are not readily replaceable by other materials (certainly not in the near future or on a global scale); we will need much more of them in the future; and their mass-scale production depends heavily on the combustion of fossil fuels, making them major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Organic fertilizers cannot replace synthetic ammonia: their low nitrogen content and their worldwide mass are not enough even if all manures and crop residues were recycled. No other materials offer such advantages for many lightweight yet durable uses as plastics. No other metal is as affordably strong as steel. No other mass-produced material is as suitable for building strong infrastructure as concrete (often reinforced with steel).

As for the future needs, high-income countries could reduce their fertilizer use (eating less meat, wasting less), and China and India, the two heavy users, could also reduce their excessive fertilizer applications, but Africa, the continent with the fastest-growing population, remains deprived of fertilizers even as it is already a substantial food importer. Any hope for its greater food self-sufficiency rests on the increased use of nitrogen: after all, the continent’s recent usage of ammonia has been less than a third of the European mean. More plastics will be needed for expanding medical (aging populations) and infrastructural (pipes) uses and in transportation (see the interior of airplanes and high-speed trains). As is the case with ammonia, steel consumption has to rise in all low-income countries with underdeveloped infrastructures and transportation. And much more cement will be needed to make concrete: affluent countries to fix decaying infrastructures (in the US all sectors where concrete dominates, including dams, roads, and aviation get a D grade in nationwide engineering assessments), in low-income countries to expand cities, sewers and transportation.

Moreover, the unfolding transition to renewable energies will demand huge amounts of steel, concrete and plastics. No structures are more obvious symbols of “green” electricity generation than large wind turbines—but their foundations are reinforced concrete, their towers, nacelles, and rotors are steel, and their massive blades are energy-intensive—and difficult to recycle—plastic resins, and all of these giant parts must be brought to the installation sites by outsized trucks (or ships) and erected by large steel cranes, and turbine gearboxes must be repeatedly lubricated with oil. These turbines would generate truly green electricity only if all of these materials were made without any fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels remain indispensable for producing all of these materials.

Ammonia synthesis uses natural gas both as the source of hydrogen and as the source of energy needed to provide high temperature and pressure. Some 85% of all plastics are based on simple molecules derived from natural gas and crude oil, and hydrocarbons also supply energy for syntheses. Production of primary steel starts with smelting iron ore in blast furnace in the presence of coke made from coal and with the addition of natural gas, and the resulting cast iron is made into steel in large basic oxygen furnaces. And cement is produced by heating ground limestone and clay, shale in large kilns, long inclined metal cylinders, heated with such low-quality fossil fuels as coal dust, petroleum coke and heavy fuel oil.

As a result, global production of these four indispensable materials claims about 17 percent of the world’s annual total energy supply, and it generates about 25 percent of all CO2 emissions originating in the combustion of fossil fuels. The pervasiveness of this dependence and its magnitude make the decarbonization of the four material pillars of modern civilization uncommonly challenging: replacing fossil fuels in their production will be far more difficult and costly than generating more electricity from renewable (mainly wind and solar) conversions. Eventually, new processes will take over— but currently there are no alternatives that could be deployed immediately to displace large shares of existing global capacities


Australia is already at Net Zero

Prof. Ian Plimer

Australia has a landmass of 7,692,024 square kilometres with a sparse inland population, greenhouse gas-emitting livestock, and heavy industry.

Combined with the transport of livestock, food, and mined products over long distances to cities and ports and the export of ores, coal, metals, and food for 80 million people, there is a high per capita emission of carbon dioxide. If for some perverse perceived moral reason we reduce our emissions of plant food, then we let millions in Asia starve. Our food exports contribute to increasing the standard of living, longevity, and health of billions of people in Asia.

The forestry, mining, and smelting industries have been under constant attack by green activists who are happy to put hundreds of thousands out of work and destroy the economy. They train their sights on the cheapest and most reliable form of electricity and want to replace it with unreliable subsidised wind and solar power simply because the burning of fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide which they fraudulently deem is a dangerous pollutant. The next target will be food-producing farmers. They, like the forestry and mining industries, have nowhere to go if destroyed by green activists. Australia cannot import food if there is no export revenue generated to pay for imports.

With inflation and debt on the rise, Australia has far greater economic priorities than to shift the whole economy into uncharted waters, increase energy costs, destroy a successful efficient primary industry, decrease employment, and decrease international competitiveness because its emission of the plant food carbon dioxide is deemed sinful. It is a very long bow to argue that Australia’s emission of one molecule of plant food in 6.6 million other atmospheric molecules has any measurable effect whatsoever on global climate.

Ice core shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide rises follow natural temperature rises and, in past times when atmospheric carbon dioxide was up to 100 times higher than now, there were ice ages and no runaway global warmings. Furthermore, it has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming. Why even bother about the minuscule Australian carbon dioxide emissions when the big emitters don’t?

Annual Australian per capita carbon dioxide emissions are in the order of 20 tonnes per person. There are 30 hectares of forest and 74 hectares of grassland for every Australian and each hectare annually sequesters about one tonne of carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. Australia has 4 per cent of the world’s global forest estate, the world’s sixth largest forested area, and the fourth largest area of forest in nature conservation reserves. On the continental landmass, grasslands and forests remove by natural sequestration more than three times the amount of Australia’s domestic and industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The expansion of woody weeds, crops, reduction in regular burning, and vegetation clearing restrictions further increases natural sequestration.

Australian forests adsorb 940 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum compared to our domestic and industrial emissions of 417 million tonnes. Add to that the absorption of carbon dioxide in continental Australia to the carbon dioxide adsorption of 2,500,000 square kilometres of continental shelf waters and Australia sequesters some five times as much carbon dioxide as it emits. Australia does more than its share of the heavy lifting for global sequestration of carbon dioxide.

Australia’s net contribution to global atmospheric carbon dioxide is negative. We are already at Net Zero. This is validated by the net carbon dioxide flux estimates from the IBUKI satellite carbon dioxide data set.

None of these calculations involve the fixing of biological carbon compounds and atmospheric carbon dioxide into soils. Soils contain two or three times as much carbon dioxide as the atmosphere, soil carbon increases fertility and water retention and reduces farming costs. Natural sequestration in Australia locks away carbon dioxide and to lock it away carbon dioxide by industrial sequestration in deep drill holes is a foolish fashionable way of wasting large amounts of taxpayer’s money.

Using the thinking of the IPCC, UN, and activist green groups, Australia should be very generously financially rewarded with money from poor, populous, desert, and landlocked countries for removing its own emissions from the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide emissions from many other nations. By this method, wealthy Australia can take money from poor countries.

Net Zero has nothing to the environment and climate change and is all about power and the transfer of hard-earned wealth.


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)


Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Warmist fanatic

I think that most Warmist belief is instrumental. It gives the believer something -- usually a claim to virtue. But by ditching her job and abusing her employer, the woman below would seem to have shot herself in the foot. She must have been totally convinced by the tales of doom that warmists regularly spout

image from https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/6fa5c93209dd6bbab5f83d279e3a700c

A woman who had worked for Shell for 11 years has quit spectacularly, dropping a bombshell video on social media that accused the oil and gas company of causing “extreme harm”.

Caroline Dennett, a senior safety consultant, claimed Shell had a “disregard for climate risks” and was “fully aware” it was causing “extreme harm” to the world’s climate, environment, nature and people.

She revealed she had sent an email to Shell’s executives and 1400 staff outlining her reasons, for quitting including “completely failing on their safety ambition to do no harm”.

“I can no longer work for a company that ignores all the alarms and dismisses the risks of climate change and ecological collapse,” she wrote on LinkedIn.

“Because, contrary to Shell’s public expressions around Net Zero, they are not winding down on oil and gas, but planning to explore and extract much more.

“I want Shell execs and management to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they really believe their vision for more oil and gas extraction secures a safe future for humanity.

“We must end all new extraction projects immediately and rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, and towards clean renewable energy sources.

“Shell should be using all its capital, technical and human power to lead this transition, but they have no plan to do this.”

The criminal justice graduate began working with Shell after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, with her company specialising in evaluating safety procedures for high risk industries.

Ms Dennett admitted it could damage her business and career but was inspired to make a stand after watching footage of protesters from climate action group Extinction Rebellion urging the company’s employees to leave.

“I don’t know what impact this action will have on my business and career, and it’s possible my reputation may be damaged in the eyes of people I have worked with,” she added. “However, I feel like there is no other choice I can make.”

In 2020, several Shell executives left its clean energy sector left after reports they were frustrated by the company’s slow transition into greener fuels.

A Shell spokesperson said: “Be in no doubt, we are determined to deliver on our global strategy to be a net zero company by 2050 and thousands of our people are working hard to achieve this. We have set targets for the short, medium and long term, and have every intention of hitting them.

“We’re already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, although the world will still need oil and gas for decades to come in sectors that can’t be easily decarbonised.”


Public opinion about nuclear power should be based on fact, not made-for-TV contrived drama

Following HBO’s award-winning miniseries on Chernobyl, Netflix creators have decided to take a shot at Three Mile Island. But they whiffed. Their documentary “Meltdown: Three Mile Island” misses completely the important lessons of TMI — and it comes at a time that we must give serious, well-informed consideration to building new nuclear plants.

We’ve been down this road before.

In March 1979, the blockbuster movie “The China Syndrome” debuted in theaters coast to coast. The provocative thriller, starring real-life activist Jane Fonda as a courageous TV reporter who saves the world from nuclear catastrophe, planted the obvious question in every viewer’s mind: “could that really happen?” The nuclear industry — of which I was a part — scoffed, calling it “fantasy.”

Bad answer. Three weeks later, the Three Mile Island accident shook us to our core. Timing is everything.

“The China Syndrome” was right in sync with the blossoming anti-nuclear movement of that time. Its underlying premises reinforced the perceptions of the anti-nukes: that nuclear power plants are inherently unsafe, operated by dummies (Homer Simpson was still in the wings), and managed by corporate “suits” more concerned with revenues than safety and determined to keep the public in the dark.

Four decades later, the new Netflix TMI series follows that same tired script.

At first, the real-life drama at TMI seemed to parallel the Hollywood narrative. There had never been an accident like TMI; it came upon us, out of the blue, at 4:00 a.m. on a quiet mid-week morning. In-plant, the first few hours were a perfect storm of confusion, misunderstanding, and increasingly frantic actions. Communications between the plant and the outside world were sporadic and unclear.

That day and in the days following, public uncertainty — fueled by contradictory reports and a rampant rumor mill — morphed into public panic, anger, and distrust. Media, largely in a vacuum, stoked the flames, and the activists had a field day.

I was there. It was ugly.

Over time, however, perspective and reality inevitably take root. The TMI accident, the intense scrutiny that followed, and the decade-long post-accident opened the book on nuclear power, for anyone willing to pay attention. In summary:

The accident revealed serious blind spots in nuclear plant operation and training practices.

At the same time, it validated the principle of defense-in-depth. In particular, the massive containment — a reinforced concrete, post-tensioned, steel-lined structure — proved to be worth its weight in gold, protecting public and environment from the dangerous materials inside the plant.

Extensive, independent epidemiological assessment of area residents confirmed that the accident had caused no significant health consequences.

The decade-long cleanup was completed safely, and the plant placed in a stable, monitored condition. It remains so today.

TMI, the first (and only) core melt accident in the U.S., proved to be an invaluable learning experience, leading to profound changes in nuclear plant training, operation, and oversight. The accident rendered a billion-dollar plant unusable — but with no injury to plant workers, the public, or the environment, it was nonetheless a remarkably inexpensive lesson.

While that positive outcome might have been a springboard for substantial expansion of nuclear power in the U.S., that has not happened, primarily for two reasons: shaken public and investor confidence in nuclear energy, and competition from cheap natural gas. Post TMI years have seen outstanding performance of the operating nuclear fleet, but essentially no growth.

Now, however, we are wakening to the reality that precipitous shift from fossil fuels to solar and wind — compounded by inflation and war — has led to shortages in energy supply and soaring costs. The importance of energy independence and the folly of our retreat from nuclear have never been more obvious. Clearly, it is time to think seriously about new nuclear. And just as we do, here comes Netflix, resurrecting anti-nuclear themes that were dispelled four decades ago.

While masquerading as a documentary, “Meltdown: Three Mile Island” follows the formulaic “China Syndrome” storyline — the courageous whistleblower who saves civilization (in this case, from a calamitous event that is scientifically impossible), against a background of depressing music and grainy black and white film clips interspersed with angry and anguished interviews. It’s contrived drama, not information.

Resurgence of nuclear power in the U.S. faces many more daunting challenges than a silly TV documentary that plays back old fears and ignores hard won reality. I’d never make it as a movie producer, but it seems to me that Netflix viewers would have been better served by the true story of TMI — a real life event with more than enough drama for any viewer, and an upbeat ending to boot.


Helping the Greenies Understand Fossil Fuels

Climate-change environmentalists worry that the Earth is too warm. They seem to think they know what the temperature of the planet should be. Those who do not share their certitude about what the correct temperature of the Earth is, call these folks “warmists” or “greenies.”

The big bane of the greenies, their bête noire (excuse my French), is fossil fuels. The greenies are especially vexed by ICE, the internal combustion engine. That’s because ICE vehicles run on fossil fuels, the petroleum products petrol (gasoline) and diesel. That such engines have been used in virtually all vehicles for a century is of no concern to the greenies; ICE vehicles have gotta go, lest the world end in twelve years.

Greenies disapprove of carbon and fret about carbon footprints, even though they themselves are carbon-based lifeforms, one assumes. Fossil fuels consist of hydrocarbons.

The problem with burning hydrocarbons in ICE vehicles, according to the greenies, is the release of carbon into the atmosphere. But ICE vehicles can get around the carbon problem by using the other element in hydrocarbons. Hydrogen is the fuel in a HICE, a hydrogen internal combustion engine. The only exhaust from HICE vehicles is water.

ICE vehicles designed to run on fossil fuel can be retrofitted or adapted to run on hydrogen. This writer first learned of this when a local newspaper reported on Roger E. Billings, who converted a Model A to work on hydrogen. Fuel cells can also use hydrogen to produce power for electric cars.

But although hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen production on Earth can entail fossil fuels. So, whether one burns it in an ICE or uses it to produce electricity for fuel cells, how green can hydrogen really be?

And how green are the Tesla and the other new electric cars? It has often been noted, at least on Fox News, that electric cars aren’t really green and eco-friendly when their batteries are recharged with electricity from power plants that burn fossil fuels. But even in areas where batteries are recharged from windmills or solar farms or nuclear power, they’re still not all that green. You see, the materials and energy used to manufacture windmills and solar panels involve fossil fuels.

The prospect of ending our reliance on fossil fuels is daunting for more reasons than replacing an energy source. Some of a barrel of crude oil is used for non-energy products, like plastics. Everywhere one looks in today’s world, one sees plastics. This keyboard I’m typing on sure looks like it’s plastic to me. How do the greenies propose to replace all the other products, even food, like cattle feed, that come out of a barrel of oil? Because of the war in Ukraine, American farmers are short on fertilizers, which are made from petroleum. Petrochemicals are used throughout today’s economy.

Personal transportation, that the greenies think so monstrous, may be the least technological problem in getting off of oil. It’s all the petrochemicals that aren’t destined for energy that seem to form more formidable problems. And if they can’t come up with replacements for petrochemicals, then they’ll need to keep drilling.

One wonders if your average greenie understands that one can’t use a barrel for just anything; we can’t turn an entire barrel just into plastics or whatever one likes. The distillates that go into petrol and diesel must be used for those products; they can’t be used to make plastic, fertilizer, cattle feed, asphalt, etc.

In “How to take the ‘petro’ out of the petrochemicals industry,” one reads of “electrosynthesis,” a replacement process which aims to get us the chemicals we need without having to drill for oil. However, in “Can the world make the chemicals it needs without oil?” one reads:

Harry Gray, a chemist at the California Institute of Technology… has analyzed what's needed to displace fossil fuels with electrosynthesis. Of making commodities [i.e. replacements for petrochemicals] by electrosynthesis, he says, “I think we'll be there within 10 years.”

So science is not yet able to replace the myriad petrochemicals the world needs. And we’ve only just begun to replace the world’s fleet of cars with electric versions. But folks are suffering now. They need relief ASAP. Inflation is raging.

Unfortunately, the greenies like inflation. They think high prices will get folks to go green, even though their green businesses are subsidized by the government and aren’t very green, as they depend on fossil fuels.

There’s a way to take the edge off the crisis we’re currently enduring, and that’s to consume less, to drive less, to conserve, to not be so damn wasteful. And if Americans were to do these things, the dreadful inflation they’re enduring should begin to abate. This should be the year that Americans don’t take a summer vacation. Take a “staycation” this summer.


An Alarmed Solar Industry Says a U.S. Trade Probe of China Will Totally Fry It. Then Why Is the Business Sunny Side Up?

Publicly, big solar developers and many climate change activists are sounding the alarm about an ongoing probe of trade abuses by Chinese manufacturers.

Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, last month described the U.S. Department of Commerce investigation as “the most serious crisis we have faced in our collective history.”

Heather Zichal, a former White House energy adviser under President Barack Obama, said the examination of China’s trade practices “drives a stake through the heart of planned solar projects.”

The New York Times reported last month that the “solar industry is 'frozen’ as Biden administration investigates China” over allegations solar producers there are offshoring work to avoid tariffs.

But CEOs of some of the biggest solar players in the U.S. tell a different story to investors and followers, according to a RealClearInvestigations review of earnings call transcripts and solar project plans.

Amazon last month announced 37 new solar projects around the world, including in the U.S., while power plant developer Seaboard Solar announced it is working on multiple projects in New York state. A $75 million project is moving ahead in Minnesota, while two plants by Dominion Energy are starting construction in Virginia this year.

Kirk Crews, CFO of NextEra Energy, which trumpets itself as the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy, told Bloomberg that if the investigation found that China circumvented tariffs by offshoring, “it would be unwinding a decade of trade practice.”

But Crews told analysts in an April investor call that despite the federal investigation, “we remain comfortable with our current development expectations for wind, solar and storage.”

Several other major solar producers also have announced they are moving ahead on projects this year, including Duke Energy and SOLV Energy.

“Even with trade cases, solar demand has continued to grow -- Solar jobs are still expanding,” said Tim Brightbill, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer for domestic solar producers whose complaint last year also alleged China was avoiding tariffs.

The disconnect between public and private words and deeds illustrates a solar industry that presents itself as on a progressive mission to save the planet actually behaving more like a traditional big business. It is managing expectations in the political and business arenas through messaging geared to those separate audiences. Behind the words is a highly competitive business focused on keeping costs low -- even if that means sourcing cheaper materials from Chinese companies, some of which are accused of relying on highly polluting coal power, using slave labor, or violating trade agreements.

The Commerce Department launched its probe in response to a petition filed in February by a U.S. competitor to Chinese producers, Auxin Solar, a small California-based solar parts maker, which alleged that China was avoiding tariffs by routing its production through four Southeast Asian countries.

Auxin alleges that manufacturers in those four countries – Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia – are Chinese enterprises that use the factories for panel assembly, the last step before shipment and installation. Plants in those countries “use affiliated Chinese input suppliers and a fully integrated Chinese supply chain to circumvent the existing [tariffs],” according to Auxin’s complaint.

The complaint maps the alleged movement of solar parts to the four countries from China, as direct imports of Chinese solar parts to the U.S. have dipped over the last three years while increasing from the four Southeast Asian countries.

It cites one Vietnamese company, Boviet Solar, a subsidiary of Chinese company Boway, which noted on its website in 2017 that its attractiveness to solar producers is that “Vietnam is not a U.S. listed anti-dumping and countervailing region. No tariffs influence Boviet’s U.S. business, and those cost-savings ultimately trickle down to the buyer.”

U.S. companies produced a record number of panels in 2020, up 24% over 2019, according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Roughly 80% of the components and equipment for those panels come from Chinese-linked operations.

“The discourse of cheapness dominates everything now in solar,” said Dustin Mulvaney, a professor in the Environmental Studies Department at San José State University, who studies solar power commodity supply chains. Mulvaney said there is no way to police the supply chain, as components needed to build panels are integrated into the system. The origin of the components, he said, is hard to trace.

The major area of concern is the Chinese region of Xinjiang, one of the world’s leading production and mining hubs for solar, where the gross domestic product has doubled since 2012, despite being accused by several countries of using forced labor. The Chinese government has denied the accusation.

A 2021 report by Horizon Advisory, a geopolitical consultancy, names Chinese solar firms Daqo New Energy, East Hope Group, GCL-Poly, and Jinko Solar among the companies in the Xinjiang region using forced labor, which the companies deny. An estimated 45% of polysilicon, a key component of solar panels, is produced in Xinjiang.

Products made with forced labor are banned in the U.S., and some U.S. solar companies have further signed a non-binding pledge to avoid factories known to use forced labor.

But sidestepping human rights concerns, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national nonprofit trade association of the solar energy industry in the United States, asked its members in April to sign a petition against Auxin’s complaint, warning “there is not sufficient capacity to meet U.S. demand anywhere else in the world except China.” The association claims that investigating the complaint “will also make it impossible to meet President Biden’s climate goals,” which include making 40% of the U.S. power supply solar powered by 2035.

The Biden administration is caught between the statutory duty of the Commerce Department to investigate possible tariff circumvention and its stated imperative of growing the solar industry, an urgency heightened by renewable energy mandates in 38 states, including 12 that require 100% clean energy by 2050.

If the industry has its way, China will play a large role in achieving such goals – however environmentally unfriendly the process may be. Last year, China announced plans to construct 43 new coal plants, in part to meet the demand for more panels.

“The amount of fossil fuel energy it takes to get materials from China is already high,” said Tom Beline, an attorney who is representing Auxin in its complaint. “These parts are produced using coal plants, using international freight that also uses fossil fuels. By the time the parts arrive here in the U.S., the carbon footprint is enormous.”


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)


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

UK: Windfall profits for offshore wind

It has been an interesting year for Ormonde, a small offshore windfarm in the Irish Sea, just off Barrow-in-Furness. The chief excitement was that during last summer, replacement blades being installed on one of its machines fell into the sea. It was lucky that there were no injuries as a result.

But 2021 was also interesting because of all the ups and downs in the wind sector: a wind drought lasting for much of the year, and the dramatic surge in market prices for electricity in the autumn. Ormonde is the first offshore unit to report financial results covering those events, so I was keen to see how it has performed.

The net effect is that the windfarm is sitting very pretty indeed. While its output was down around a third (!), its average selling price tripled, from £30 to £99/MWh(!), so its sales income doubled to £34 million. Of course, the surge in market prices only really applied to the final four months of the year, so those figures suggest that the windfarm is currently making over £200/MWh. Which is good going against the £30 they averaged in 2020.

And to make their year even better, on top of that, they have their Renewables Obligations subsidy. Of course, that is based on the number of megawatt hours they produce, so that revenue stream is down sharply, but overall they earned £75 million on their 350,000 MWh of output, so overall that’s £214/MWh. My estimate of Ormonde’s levelised cost is up slightly, at £154/MWh.

Moreover, you can see that they are going to make an obscene amount of money in 2022, assuming output returns to normal and market prices remain high. Of course, the latter assumption is questionable, given that UK wholesale gas prices have fallen away dramatically, as pipelines struggle to deliver all the LNG that is arriving in the UK to where it is needed (mostly in the EU). However, this is expected to be temporary relief only, after which market prices should return to their previous highs, other things being equal.

That being the case, it is not inconceivable that Ormonde’s sales will hit £100 million in 2022, with £50 million of subsidy on top. That would be around £287/MWh. And because a windfarm’s costs are virtually all fixed, all that extra revenue flows right through to the bottom line. That means operating profits rising from the £13 million that Ormonde has averaged each year in its ten-year life, to perhaps £85 million next year. Quite good for a small windfarm with net assets of £167 million. Yes, they could earn the build cost of the windfarm back in just 2-3 years!

A windfall indeed.


Low-Cost Gel Film Can Pluck Drinking Water From Desert Air

Another instance of humanity's great talent for adaptation

More than a third of the world’s population lives in drylands, areas that experience significant water shortages. Scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a solution that could help people in these areas access clean drinking water.

The team developed a low-cost gel film made of abundant materials that can pull water from the air in even the driest climates. The materials that facilitate this reaction cost a mere $2 per kilogram, and a single kilogram can produce more than 6 liters of water per day in areas with less than 15% relative humidity and 13 liters in areas with up to 30% relative humidity.

The research builds on previous breakthroughs from the team, including the ability to pull water out of the atmosphere and the application of that technology to create self-watering soil. However, these technologies were designed for relatively high-humidity environments.

“This new work is about practical solutions that people can use to get water in the hottest, driest places on Earth,” said Guihua Yu, professor of materials science and mechanical engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering. “This could allow millions of people without consistent access to drinking water to have simple, water generating devices at home that they can easily operate.”

The new paper appears in Nature Communications.

The researchers used renewable cellulose and a common kitchen ingredient, konjac gum, as a main hydrophilic (attracted to water) skeleton. The open-pore structure of gum speeds the moisture-capturing process. Another designed component, thermo-responsive cellulose with hydrophobic (resistant to water) interaction when heated, helps release the collected water immediately so that overall energy input to produce water is minimized.

Other attempts at pulling water from desert air are typically energy-intensive and do not produce much. And although 6 liters does not sound like much, the researchers say that creating thicker films or absorbent beds or arrays with optimization could drastically increase the amount of water they yield.
The reaction itself is a simple one, the researchers said, which reduces the challenges of scaling it up and achieving mass usage.

“This is not something you need an advanced degree to use,” said Youhong “Nancy” Guo, the lead author on the paper and a former doctoral student in Yu’s lab, now a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s straightforward enough that anyone can make it at home if they have the materials.”

The film is flexible and can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the need of the user. Making the film requires only the gel precursor, which includes all the relevant ingredients poured into a mold.

“The gel takes 2 minutes to set simply. Then, it just needs to be freeze-dried, and it can be peeled off the mold and used immediately after that,” said Weixin Guan, a doctoral student on Yu’s team and a lead researcher of the work.

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and drinking water for soldiers in arid climates is a big part of the project. However, the researchers also envision this as something that people could someday buy at a hardware store and use in their homes because of the simplicity.


EPA Spent $5.3M in Covid Aid on Environmental Justice Programming

Under the guise of Covid-19 relief in 2021, Congress gave the Environmental Protection Agency $5.3 million for its Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. With another $2.2 million in "baseline [Environmental Justice] appropriation,” the grants were awarded to 99 organizations to address “health outcome disparities from pollution and the COVID–19 pandemic.”

In practice, these grants had virtually nothing to do with addressing the pandemic, according to a report.

In one project, a nonprofit named Speak for the Trees, used its grant money for storytelling and tree walks to “increase awareness and dialogue surrounding inequitable tree canopy cover and its implications on the health of residents living in [environmental justice] communities,” according to Fox News.

Another nonprofit, Teaching Responsible Earth Education, received funding to “establish an empowering, school curriculum-integrated environmental education program for younger students propelling their awareness of problems like climate change and the injustices they create.”

Other grants went to projects like building electric vehicle charging stations. While this may seem like a reasonable EPA project, Congress designated the $5.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act for Covid relief and recovery.

The EPA defended these projects to Fox News by saying that the American Rescue Plan funding, “allows communities to implement solutions that can improve conditions related to COVID-19 such as air quality issues.”


Australia: Green True Believers now rule

It’s much worse than we thought. The ALP will govern in its own right, but will be forced into extreme positions by a Green-left Senate.

The first thing to recognise is that the result demonstrates a new consensus.

There are some differences between the ALP, the Coalition, the Teals, and the Greens. To placate its funders within the union movement the ALP will seek to abolish the ‘gig’ economy and promote a 5 per cent wage rise, something the Greens would also support. But that apart, the consensus represents a goal of abandoning the fossil fuel burning energy industry and coal and gas exports; differences are essentially confined to the pace at which this happens.

Replacing the socialist-free enterprise divide that conditioned political dualities during the 20th century, we now have the belief in global warming as the key delineator.

The vast majority of politically actives within society are undeterred by or unaware that there has been no significant warming over the past 30 years or that warmings and coolings were a feature of planet earth long before fossil fuels were burned. They are convinced that Armageddon is upon Australia with fires, floods, and rising sea levels resulting from human-induced global warming. These, the new True Believers, further believe that if Australia (with one per cent of greenhouse gas emissions) ceases to burn fossil fuels we will restore some imagined ecological nirvana. And, unchastened or unaware of this year’s five-fold increase in wholesale gas and electricity prices, they believe this will come at a trivial cost.

The Teal candidates, (described by Peta Credlin as, ‘Greens with nice clothes and designer handbags’) represent the left of the Coalition and have captured six Liberal blue-ribbon seats in major cities to add to their two incumbents.

Such success would not have been possible without the $12 million spent by Simon Holmes à Court and his affluent supporters (many of whom have vested interests in an outcome that promises more subsidies for renewables).

But Clive Palmer spent $70 million, which yielded very little.

The difference was that the Teals had the support of an army of devotees, many of them the result of the long march through the institutions that has indoctrinated a generation and a half of schoolchildren into accepting the green illusion.

Some National MPs representing coal districts and a handful of Coalition Senators like Gerrard Renwick, Matt Canavan, and Alex Antic depart from the delusionary climate consensus and recognise the importance of coal and gas for power generation as well as exports. There may be others, like Peter Dutton the presumed new leader, who were previously muted.

The Teals’ success may bring a split in the Coalition. Such an outcome was foreshadowed by Liberal leftist Senator, Simon Birmingham, though he saw this as a formal rupture between the Liberals and the Nationals, when the central Climate Change issue divides both parties (some more successful Nationals MPs, like Darren Chester in Gippsland, are pro-climate action). Simon Birmingham would take the federal Coalition along the path adopted in Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, a path that would leave it in permanent opposition to the ALP/Greens.

If the Coalition parties split, the conservative elements would develop policies covering a range of matters beyond energy and climate change to include freedom of speech, regulation reform, and spending cuts.

But forging such a new party would be a formidable challenge. The Freedom Friendly parties which include One Nation and Liberal Democrats and, incongruously, Palmer United, failed to exploit any presumed gap from the Coalition adopting green policies. Taking the Senate vote, compared to the Coalition (at 33 per cent) and the ALP (at 30 per cent), these parties (plus the shooters, fishers, farmers) got 11.3 per cent. The Greens and their close allies got 14.6 per cent.

The freedom parties’ vote has hardly grown. Senate, swings to the freedom parties, as illustrated below, were much lower than those to the greens and their allies – they were even lower than the 1.95 per cent swing achieved by Legalise Cannabis Australia!

The fact that fewer than 12 per cent of people unambiguously voted against green mysticism suggests that, in terms of political tactics, the Coalition could have done worse than prosecute the campaign on a me-too climate change platform. But this is, in part, because for six years they failed to explain the importance of reliable energy to the economy both for supplying domestic power and for its share of the export revenues (half and growing). Nor did they make a dent in unwinding the institutional forces feeding the climate change agenda.

The policies the electorate has endorsed are profoundly against the nation’s economic interests and must lead to an economic collapse. For a poor country, like Sri Lanka, going the Full Green Monty quickly unravelled the economy. Australia, though, has fabulous natural wealth and a desperate government may be able to avert disaster by cashing-in much of that, since, even after the excessive spending of the Turnbull/Morrison/Frydenberg era, debt remains at only 54 per cent of GDP, half that of many European countries, America, and Canada.

World recession and rising interest rates may however expedite an unravelling of the economy. In any event, we need political leadership which explains the operations of the economy with the hope that the people through a democratic process will recognise where their true interests lie.


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)