Sunday, September 11, 2022

‘Doomsday Glacier’ hanging on ‘by its fingernails’ in Antarctica, scientists say

Warmists have been prophecying ice-sheet collapse for years but nothing significant ever happens.

And if the Thwaites glacier did detach it is unlikely to be due to global warming. It is located in West Antarctica, where there is a lot of subsurface vulcanism. The collapse is said to be coming from below not from the top down. And that suggests vulcanism

A glacier three times the size of Tasmania is hanging on “by its fingernails”, scientists have warned.

Thwaites Glacier — otherwise known as the “Doomsday glacier,” due to the fact it could raise the sea level by several metres — is allegedly hanging on “by its fingernails”.

Scientists discovered that the glacier’s underwater base has been eroding due to the increase in the Earth’s temperature, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience.

“Thwaites is really holding on today by its fingernails,” said Robert Larter, a marine geophysicist who co-authored the study.

“And we should expect to see big changes over small timescales in the future — even from one year to the next — once the glacier retreats beyond a shallow ridge in its bed.”

West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier is roughly three times the size of Tasmania and could potentially raise the sea level should it fall into the ocean, which scientists predicted could happen within the next three years.

NASA said the Amundsen Sea region, which is “only a fraction of the whole West Antarctic Ice Sheet,” would “raise global sea level by about 5m”.

Researchers have monitored the glacier’s recession since “as recently as the mid-20th century,” according to lead author Alastair Graham, and have recorded a disintegration rate of nearly double since the last decade.

Earlier this year, an international group of scientists attempted to study the glacier in an effort to help stop the erosion, however, the group was thwarted by a chunk of ice from the doomed glacier.

Graham stated that it “was truly a once-in-a-lifetime mission” and he hopes that the team will be able to return to the glacier soon — since scientists believed the erosion was working at a slower pace before the study was published.

“Just a small kick to the Thwaites could lead to a big response,” said Graham


California’s electricity woes offer a taste of a possible future green-energy nightmare

California has become an example of what a state looks like when it is controlled by a single party — in this case Democrats, who are trying to impose a green-energy secular religion on their people.

State officials have banned the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035, but a preview of the nightmare that could occur in the near future is happening now.

Facing a heat wave this week and the high chances of rolling blackouts, Californians are being told to turn up the temperature on air conditioners to at least 78 degrees and not charge their electric cars on Sunday afternoons and evenings. If there isn’t enough electricity to charge the current number of electric cars in California (estimated by the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom to be “1 million plug-in electric cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and motorcycles), how much confidence should Californians place in the availability of electricity in 2035 and beyond?

There are approximately 29 million cars, light trucks and motorcycles in the state. By some estimates it will take 15 years to fully transition to all electric vehicles. Currently, reports the Associated Press, California has about 80,000 re-charging stations in public places, “far short of the 250,000 it wants by 2025.”

CalMatters columnist Dan Walters gets to the heart of the problem for electric-car enthusiasts: “Let’s say someone living in San Francisco wanted to drive to Lake Tahoe for skiing. A 150-mile range would not even cover a one-way trip. The solution might be lots of recharging stations along interregional highways, but whereas a fill-up of gasoline might take 10 minutes, recharging electric cars now takes much longer. Is California willing to build the hundreds of thousands of recharging stations a complete conversion to battery-powered cars would require? Could Californians drive their mandated [zero-emission vehicles] into other states without running out of juice?”

There are other concerns, such as the cost of EVs, the life of batteries and the high cost of replacing them, the source of lithium from countries that are poor practitioners of human rights, as well as where all the required new electricity will come from (mainly fossil fuels now, though greenies think costly and ugly windmills, wind and solar sources can produce sufficient power, which is unlikely). There is little consideration for increasing the availability of nuclear power, again because of the left’s antipathy toward that clean energy source.

Then there is the premise on which “climate change” is based. It is more political than logical. With China and India still producing the most CO2, will electric cars in America address the perceived problem? Not according to David Kelly, academic director of the Master of Science in Sustainable Business Program at the University of Miami: “You have to think about what is the lowest cost way to get where we want to go. So, if the goal is to reduce carbon emissions or other pollutants, then electric vehicles are unlikely to be that.” Kelly drives a Tesla.

California is ordering its people to abandon choice when it comes to transportation in favor of expensive electric vehicles that are unlikely to provide the freedom they now enjoy with their gasoline-powered cars, all because of a secular faith that claims to know best what is good for us.


UK: Fracking shares rocket after Truss lifts drill ban unlocking what are thought to be huge reserves of shale gas under the UK

Shares in fracking companies soared after the Prime Minister lifted the ban on drilling for shale gas onshore.

In her second day in office, Liz Truss lifted a moratorium which came into force in November 2019 amid fears fracking caused minor earthquakes or tremors.

Companies can now apply for planning permission to frack what are thought to be huge reserves of shale gas under the UK.

Investors have anticipated the move as shares in AIM-listed Egdon have more than doubled since the start of August.

Managing director Mark Abbott praised the Prime Minister’s decision as the ‘logical and pragmatic response to the new geopolitical reality’.

‘With Egdon’s material shale-gas position, we look forward to working positively with government and local communities to deliver this nationally important resource in a timely fashion,’ he said

IGas Energy, meanwhile, which was founded in 2003, said the UK’s ‘world-class shale gas resource’ is now a ‘strategic national asset’ given the ongoing energy crisis.

Boss Stephen Bowler said the decision would improve the UK’s energy security, to increase tax take and provide a means to level up the economy.


Conservatives Are Mastering the Art of the Proxy Ballot to Fight ESG

For decades, getting a proposal on a company’s proxy ballot, the mainstay of shareholder democracy, had been used by corporate gadflies to try to pressure boards into taking controversial positions. More recently, fund management giants have pushed companies into adopting environmental and social changes through the proxy ballot—the document that publicly traded companies mail to shareholders to cast votes ahead of annual meetings. This year, 272 such measures made it onto company proxies, up from 158 in 2021.

Now conservative groups are getting into the game, led by two little-known strategists who have mastered the art of the proxy ballot. Coincidentally, the US Securities and Exchange Commission is helping to pave their way with important rule changes. “As corporations are making more and more decisions that conservatives feel cater to the left, then [conservatives are] going to not just make more noise about this but be more organized,” says Doug Heye, a Republican strategist and former communications director of the Republican National Committee.

One of the two activists, Scott Shepard, could be seen in February delivering a jeremiad against what he called “Woke Inc.” at a Florida Conservative Political Action Conference convention. Shepard, who leads the Free Enterprise Project at the Washington-based National Center for Public Policy Research, exhorted attendees to put corporate America on the defensive for championing ideas on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Shepard says he hopes to rein in companies that promote LGBTQ rights and racial justice without also letting conservatives air their views in the workplace. He estimates his group filed some 275 proposals in the past decade. Over at the National Legal and Policy Center, another right-leaning group in the Washington area, Paul Chesser is doing much the same. Hired in 2021 to direct the group’s Corporate Integrity Project, Chesser is almost single-handedly responsible for the doubling of conservative proposals this year.

Chesser, 58, and Shepard, 49, both conservative writers and researchers, communicate enough to avoid bringing similar measures at the same company, Chesser says. Both groups raise funds mostly from individual donors, according to their spokespeople. During this year’s proxy season—the late winter through spring months when most companies issue annual reports, schedule annual meetings, and mail ballots to shareholders—the two groups say they sponsored 55 proposals, up from 27 in 2021.

Of the 25 from Chesser’s group, all but two appeared on corporate ballots—no small feat given that companies work hard to keep proposals from being voted on. Four of Chesser’s proposals notched support from 34% to 40% of proxy voters, remarkably high for first-time filings. “We’re of the opinion corporations shouldn’t be involved in politics,” he says, and should be managed simply to maximize profits, a position some view as political itself.

Chesser’s group opposes the transition away from fossil fuels because investing in costly alternatives could reduce earnings. It also criticizes corporate boards that include women and minorities yet lack individuals from “non-elite” economic or political backgrounds, saying they lack diversity of thought. Such a measure at JPMorgan Chase & Co. got only 4% support. His proposals calling for disclosure of company political or charitable giving at ConocoPhillips, McDonald’s, and Twitter won support from 19% to 40% of voters, well above the 5% the SEC requires for first-time proposals to be resubmitted.

Shepard’s group filed 30 proxy measures, of which 17 went to a vote, he says. Most got 3% support or less. Many of his measures asked companies, including AT&T, CVS Health, and Walt Disney, to conduct a racial equity audit to investigate discrimination against, essentially, White men. Emphasizing race in hiring creates “massive reputational, legal and financial risk” if others are discriminated against, a supporting statement notes.

SEC rules require a shareholder to own at least $2,000 of a target company’s stock for at least three years to file a proposal. Companies have found numerous ways to keep them off their ballots, including by petitioning the SEC to let them boot a proposal by claiming it’s “substantively similar” to another already on the ballot or arguing it’s irrelevant to the company’s purpose. In the past, the SEC leaned toward the view of many company managers who find proxy ballot battles a distraction or waste of time. No longer: The agency in November said companies would face greater skepticism when asking to keep significant social issues off their proxies. The SEC followed that in July by proposing to make it harder to claim measures are similar to those already filed.

Most ballot proposals fail to garner strong support from fellow investors, much less a majority. Those that do win more than 50% aren’t binding on a board, but can pressure it to adopt changes or risk becoming the target of activist investors, who often point to such votes while campaigning to unseat directors.

Other shareholder proponents view the groups’ work with skepticism. “No one’s taking them seriously,” says Andrew Behar, chief executive officer of the nonprofit As You Sow, which promotes socially responsible investing. But Heye, the Republican strategist, says it’s too soon to count the groups out. “This is new territory for conservatives.”




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