Monday, July 11, 2022

An uprising fuelled by green madness... let the West beware

The anarchic scenes in Sri Lanka are enough to make the blood of any world leader run cold. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s residence overrun by furious protesters. Crowds cavorting on his four-poster bed and in his swimming pool and gym. Sections of the Prime Minister’s home in flames.

This burning building not only serves as a symbolic funeral pyre for Rajapaksa’s government. It is a smouldering lesson for all governments in pursuing an economically illiterate green agenda at the expense of common sense.

Make no mistake: The roots of this chaos can be traced to Rajapaksa’s wrong-headed thinking on farming. In his 2019 manifesto, he pledged to transform Sri Lanka into an ‘organic’ nation within a decade – reducing and eventually banning chemical fertilisers, herbicides and insecticides.

It’s a pledge that would probably win votes here, too. Who wouldn’t, in principle, want a greener future, free of nasty chemicals? But the trade-off, as Sri Lanka learnt the hard way, is food production tumbling over a cliff. For them, going green meant going hungry.

In 2020, Covid struck, hollowing out Sri Lanka’s finances and causing its vital tourism industry to grind to a halt.

Any rational government would have abandoned the pledge to hobble agriculture with eco-strictures. But Rajapaksa doubled down, announcing in April last year a total and immediate ban on fertiliser, to the outrage of Sri Lanka’s two million farmers. He was lauded by the world’s pampered eco-dignitaries at Glasgow’s Cop26 conference that November, feted as a green torch-bearer for developing nations, receiving warm praise and Covid-friendly elbow bumps in every corridor.

But what was spun as Rajapaksa’s green revolution was, in fact, cynical cost-cutting. With fewer tourists, Sri Lanka’s foreign cash reserves dried up. The government wasn’t prepared to use what little it had importing fertiliser. So it must have looked to Rajapaksa as a win-win: eco-credentials burnished and the treasury saving money.

There was only one problem: farmers couldn’t produce the yields they needed.

Sri Lanka feeds itself with rice. In the six months following the fertiliser ban, domestic production collapsed by 20 per cent, while prices rose 50 per cent. The tea crop was also devastated: the country’s most important export, and from which the lost revenue outweighed any savings made by not importing fertilisers.

What started as a dream that Prince Charles, with his organic Duchy estate, would surely approve of turned into a sorry mess of over-tilled soils, empty supermarket shelves and the hungry bellies of Sri Lanka’s poorest.

Selling your country as ‘organic’ appeals to visitors jetting in from Islington and Hollywood to enjoy lush scenery in five-star retreats – and assuage their guilt about flying thousands of miles. But today, the misery it inflicted on Sri Lanka’s people can be read in the smoke signals billowing from the presidential palace.

And let me be clear: this is not some abstract crisis taking place far away. Similar chaos looms in the West. In many countries, the rock of the ‘green agenda’ is meeting the hard place of economic reality. Farmers in Italy, Germany and Poland have been objecting with increasing anger to the destructive green pressure inflicted by their governments.

The biggest tinderbox is the Netherlands, one of the biggest meat exporters in the EU. This should be a point of pride for PM Mark Rutte at a time of world food shortage and rocketing prices. Instead, because meat production typically uses fertiliser, Rutte sees Holland’s success in this field as a stain on his green ambition.

Amsterdam has pledged to halve the use of nitrogen compounds in animal manure and ammonia fertilisers by 2030, requiring a 30 per cent reduction in livestock. Dutch farmers are understandably apoplectic and have sprayed manure over government buildings in protest. A confrontation last week in Friesland saw police firing warning shots and several arrested.

You still think green-inspired anarchy is confined to the developing world? If you push the people to the point of hunger, they revolt. Politicians the world over, captivated by the dream of a glorious green future, will do well to heed these dire warnings.


Auto Expert Uncovers Huge Lie About Electric Vehicle Range Claims

President Joe Biden’s administration wants the United States to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 — and a big part of that plan involves a switchover to electric vehicles.

EVs, we’re told, are the way of the future. Gone are worries about “range anxiety,” we’re told. These vehicles can put in some serious miles on a single charge — and the government’s building more charging infrastructure along the highways every day.

Neil Winton, however, says that’s a load of hooey. Winton is an auto industry analyst and senior contributor to Forbes. He says that while EVs may look ideal if you’re just going by the manufacturer’s spec sheet, the real-world performance of these cars is very different than what’s promised when it comes to range.

“A brand-new electric car is gleaming on your driveway and your first reaction is going to be excitement, followed perhaps by a smidgen of smugness,” Winton wrote in a Forbes piece last month.

“Make sure you enjoy that moment because the next one will be fury after you plug it into your house and the range attained after a full charge has no relation to the number suggested by the dealer, or the one written down in the car’s specification details.”

The problem, Winton says, is that range numbers are derived from driving conditions divorced from real-world driving. Instead, they’re based on the computerized Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, or WLTP — a laboratory test that aims to measure and standardize EV range numbers.

This means that the range you get could be, in real-world scenarios, up to 32 percent less than what’s promised. That’s the biggest deviation Winton found when he looked at 20 different EV models in a test published Tuesday. (The big loser was the Mini Electric, which had a WLTP range claim of 145 miles but could only muster 98.5 given real-world battery capacity.)

However, when you get on the highway, things get worse. In one case — the Polestar 2, manufactured by Volvo’s performance brand — Winton’s test results found drivers would only get about 40 percent of the advertised range.

Why? Well, if “you drive at normal cruising speeds with the air conditioning on, the media system doing its stuff and the heater making you snug,” it’s a drain on the battery that the manufacturer didn’t figure in when it calculated the vehicle’s range numbers.

EVs do worse than advertised on the highway for a number of reasons. For starters, electric motors are far more efficient in stop-and-go driving conditions than during highway driving, partially because of regenerative braking; EVs use the friction caused when you slow your car down to recharge the battery. Braking doesn’t happen much during highway driving, however, which is why the advertised range drops precipitously.

Then there’s the matter of cruising speed on the highway — and the fact it’s almost always higher than the legal limit, no matter where in the world you are.

“‘Normal’ cruising speed in Britain is about 75 mph. The actual legal limit is 70 mph, but the accepted speed which most drivers seem to think will avoid prosecution is about 80 mph,” Winton wrote.

“In mainland Europe, the actual speed limit on highways is 82 mph, so 90 mph should be possible. At these higher speeds the impact on range is even more devastating. In Germany, there are still some unlimited speed sections of motorway.”

The biggest problem here, Winton says, is that both the automotive media and car buyers are starting to look seriously at EVs. It’s not just early adopters anymore; one British survey found over 50 percent “are more inclined” to buy an electric vehicle, and a study by Boston Consulting found that by 2028, all-electric cars will be the “most popular” vehicles globally.

“The trouble with all these warm feelings is they have no connection to the real world. The undeniably powerful start to electric car sales has been driven by well-heeled early adopters who aren’t too concerned that their EV doesn’t really do what it says on the tin,” Winton wrote. “To own it is to revere it.”

“The value-seeking electric car buyer will demand that if the manufacturer says the battery, fully charged, will offer say 300 miles, it will offer 300 miles,” he continued. “No finagling and bamboozling with concepts like WLTP will be acceptable.”

Some automotive journalists are slowly discovering this dark secret, as well.

Last month, a Wall Street Journal writer described a hellish road trip she took in a brand-new Kia EV, which ended with her spending more time charging the car than sleeping; not only did the vehicle’s battery deplete more quickly than advertised, charging times were much slower than expected.

This, Winton said, is part of why automakers need to come clean about what EVs can and can’t do before they become the default option for the average car-buyer.

“Only real-world data should be used. The manufacturers must come clean about extended motorway fast-lane cruising,” he wrote.


Billionaire climate elites have their own rules

Progressives have long wanted to tax unrealized gains from billionaires’ stocks, bonds, land holdings, homes, artwork, cars, yachts and other property. As appealing as this sounds, the scheme would be vastly complicated and unworkable. In the absence of sales, who would evaluate current values – and how?

But the frustrations we “commoners” have with the ultra-rich are understandable – especially when they lecture us about eating less “climate-altering” beef, avoiding $5.00 gasoline by buying $60,000 electric vehicles, and bankrolling “experts” who say we should live in 650-square-foot apartments.

So it’s entertaining when some of those billionaires start arguing about who is more saintly (and sanctimonious) when it comes to preventing the alleged Climate Crisis.

Elon Musk and Bill Gates have been quibbling about which of them cares more about climate change. Musk recently refused a “philanthropic opportunity” with Gates because the Microsoft co-founder still has a half-billion-dollar “short position against Tesla,” which Musk says is “the company doing the most to solve climate change.” Gates says he gives more to climate causes than anyone else, including Musk.

However, as happens too often with elites who promote climate activist agendas, when it comes to ensuring human and planetary health, they both ignore evidence, the big picture – and their own lifestyles, including private jets and multiple mansions. They’re not alone.

After spending eight years attacking fossil fuels, former-President Obama installed a 2,500-gallon propane system at his 6,900-square-foot Martha’s Vineyard home, which is apparently safe from rising seas that endanger other coastal properties (resulting from propane, oil and natural gas emissions).

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos led an entourage of 400 luminaries, dignitaries and “green” CEOs flying private jets to the 2021 COP-26 climate confab in Glasgow. Two years earlier, currency manipulator George Soros and 1,500 other “global leaders” hopped their private jets to the World Economic Forum in Davos, once again to focus attention on “sustainability” and “dangerous global warming.” As climate czar John Kerry explained, private jets are “the only choice” for someone as important as he is.

Not to be outdone, Leonardo DiCaprio flew a private jet to New York City in 2016 to accept an environmental award, then flew it back to France a day later. “Climate change is real!” he intoned.

Of course it’s real. It’s been “real” throughout Earth’s history, and there is no Real World evidence to support assertions that manmade greenhouse gases have replaced the powerful natural forces that drove past climate fluctuations, or that fossil fuel emissions are now causing dangerous warming and weather.

Computer models are not evidence, and their predictions generally conflict with actual world events. Why should we disrupt our energy, economy and living standards because models claim there’s a crisis? Yet models are always the last refuge for the false prophets of climate Armageddon.

In reality, far more people die in cold weather than in hot spells, and a slightly warmer planet would be quite beneficial for both humanity and the plant and animal kingdoms.

There is simply no credible evidence that today’s climate fluctuations and weather events are due to fossil fuels, instead of the same natural forces that have operated throughout Earth history. Tornado records show fewer violent twisters 1950-1985 than during the 36 years since. Not a single Category 3-5 hurricane made U.S. landfall for a record 12 years (2005-2012).

Three especially “brutal” droughts during a 200-year dry spell caused the Mayan civilization to collapse by 930 AD. Multiple droughts struck the Chaco Canyon (Four Corners) region 1130-1450, helping to end the Anasazi civilization. Extreme dry conditions contributed to the decline of the ancient South Arabian kingdom of Himyar, causing political unrest and war, and fostering the spread of Islam. The Pleistocene glacial epochs and Little Ice Age brought “frozen droughts” to Europe, Asia and North America.

Even worse than the fake science and endless fear-mongering, their proposed remedies to the Climate Crisis would be far more harmful to people and planet than the warming and weather they worry about.

Replacing fossil-fuel (and nuclear) electricity generation would mean blanketing the planet with millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, billions of backup battery modules, thousands of mines to produce the raw materials for these technologies (mostly Chinese-operated), and hundreds of landfills for worn-out, 300-foot-long wind turbine blades and other dilapidated “green energy” equipment. (Thankfully the United States has a huge, thus far unused landfill: Arizona’s Grand Canyon.)

The ease with which billionaire climate club members do business with China also conflicts with generally accepted standards of environmental and human rights ethics.

Musk is quite cozy with the Chinese Communist regime. From taking billions in regime-funded loans, to speaking at their embassy, to building a factory in Xinjiang amid the Uyghur genocide, he is surprisingly comfortable working with a state founded on ideologies of totalitarian hatred and abuse.

Gates stretched the limits of U.S. security laws to help China build nuclear reactors suitable for powering naval vessels, even as China continues making strategic long-term moves to control ever-larger swaths of the Pacific and surpass U.S. naval power in this critical region.

Incredibly, but understandably, these billionaires almost never) criticize Xi Jinping’s regime. In fact, Musk has met with communist officials on multiple occasions and frequently says China “rocks” – even though it is by far the world’s biggest emitter of plant fertilizing carbon dioxide (CO2) and toxic pollutants.

In fact, in 2019 China’s greenhouse gas emissions were nearly 2.5 times those of the United States – and more than all the world’s developed nations combined. In CO2 equivalent, China emitted 14.1 billion metric tons that year – more than a quarter of the entire world’s emissions.

Musk even stopped serving on President Trump’s advisory panels, to protest Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the meaningless Paris climate agreement that’s actually a treaty.

So why are Musk and Gates so quick to criticize America – but never reprimand the People’s Republic? They clearly don’t live by the environmental principles they preach and won’t even criticize the world’s worst greenhouse gas emitter, toxic chemicals polluter, and child and slave labor practitioner.

Still worse, the policies they promote would harm global public health. As Congressman John Curtis (R-Utah), founder of the Conservative Climate Caucus, recently noted, “killing American fossil fuels just causes them to be replaced by dirtier foreign sources, in particular Chinese and Russian.” Perhaps, Mr. Curtis suggested, we should instead start “attacking carbon emissions, not energy sources, through carbon capture, American innovation, natural solutions, and other paths that boost the American economy while reducing global emissions.”

Over the last decade, the U.S. has reduced CO2 emissions more than any other country in the world. Yet, Musk, Gates and fellow jet-setters continue to support policies like the Paris accord, which would impose major restrictions on the U.S. while allowing China to continue increasing emissions through 2030.

Perhaps, instead, we should just stop trying to reduce CO2 emissions, since that monumental and costly global effort is driven by demands that we prevent a “manmade climate crisis” that doesn’t actually exist.

If these climate activists wish to make a difference in human and environmental health around the world, they need to change their perspective and their relationship with Communist China. They need to begin looking at Real World climate and weather evidence, and practicing what they preach.

Unfortunately, they’re unwilling to do so. They’d rather make noise (and more billions) than safeguard us commoners’ economy and living standards, or support true productive change in America and abroad.


Survey: The surging cost of living is the most important issue for a majority of Australians. Climate a low priority

Climate action and the transition to renewables was rated the 14th-most important national priority in June out of a list of 36 issues, coming in behind healthcare, the economy, reducing domestic violence, affordable rental housing, aged care, increased welfare payments and lifting wages.

The SEC Newgate “Mood of the Nation” report for June 2022, which surveyed 1201 Australians across the country, showed the number of people nominating the cost of living as a “top three issue” was running at 40 per cent while 68 per cent rated it as “extremely important”.

This was a 10-percentage-point increase on the number of people rating it as “extremely important” in March (58 per cent) when the former Coalition government handed down its $8.6bn cost-of-living budget package.

The survey noted there was a “sizeable gap” in June between the priority accorded by respondents to the cost of living and the second-most significant priority area, affordable healthcare. “Cost-of-living issues continue to surge,” it said. “Unprompted mention of cost-of-living has risen for the fourth consecutive month with 60 per cent nominating it as an issue that is most important to them right now (up from 50 per cent last month).”

“Grocery prices and petrol prices remain the main specific cost-of-living issues, with energy prices also concerning as new retail price hikes are announced.”

Asked specifically about support for the industrial umpire’s recent 5.2 per cent minimum wage increase, 61 per cent said it was appropriate, 29 per cent felt it was too low and only 10 per cent believed it was too high.

“Similarly, around half (47 per cent) feel the RBA’s recent 0.5 per cent interest rate rise was appropriate, with 31 per cent considering it too high and 9 per cent … too low,” the survey said.

The survey also showed very few Australians rated increasing migration to fill workplace shortages as a national priority despite the business community pushing for immediate action to help address the labour shortfall.

Increasing migration was deemed the least important priority area, coming in last at position 36 – just behind improving the treatment of asylum-seekers.

However, nearly half of those surveyed (45 per cent) supported the call from business groups to increase the migration intake to fill labour shortages, compared to just 29 per cent opposed.

One of the main findings from the survey showed that since Labor took office in May and Jim Chalmers promised there would be no “mincing words” on the economic outlook, Australians have been far more pessimistic about the future.

The survey results indicated that in June 57 per cent of Australians felt the economy would get worse in the next three months – up from just 36 per cent in May. When asked about the outlook for the next 12 months, 45 per cent of respondents said the economy would deteriorate compared to 38 per cent the previous month.

“This month has seen a sharp increase in pessimism about the economy,” it said, “(but) overall, 52 per cent still feel Australia is heading in the right direction.”

Reflecting on the state-by-state outlook, the survey suggested sentiment in Victoria was turning negative and could prove an issue for Daniel Andrews’s Labor government at the November election.

“The mood in Victoria has dipped, with 52 per cent feeling it is heading in the right direction. This is down from 65 per cent last month and, in an election year, may reflect growing concern around post-Covid health services and ambulance availability.”

Despite the growing concern, Labor was still rated federally by respondents as the party best able to manage the cost-of-living crisis, with 42 per cent nominating it as their preferred choice compared to just 23 per cent who nominated the Coalition.

Support for Labor as a cost-of-living manager was greatest among younger Australians 18-34 at 52 per cent and dropped to 37 per cent for those aged over 50.

More broadly, the survey found that nearly four out of every 10 Australians thought the government was doing a “good to ­excellent” job so far, with another 31 per cent rating its performance as “fair” and 26 per cent feeling it was doing poorly.

Other national issues ranked in the survey of 36 priority areas included strengthening borders against illegal immigration (15th place); keeping interest rates low (17th place); preserving freedom of speech and rejecting excessive political correctness (18th place); reducing personal taxes (26th place); investment in affordable childcare (28th place); reducing government debt (29th place), and; promoting diversity, inclusion and respect for minorities (30th place).

Addressing Aboriginal disadvantage and promoting reconciliation was rated by respondents as the 32nd-most important priority for the country to address.

SEC Newgate research partner David Stolper said the ­national mood had “soured this month with surging concern about rising costs and growing pessimism about the future of the economy”.

“By and large, the public continues to back the federal government’s handling of cost-of-living and energy issues, although any missteps will likely by harshly judged by an increasingly anxious electorate,” he said.




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