Friday, October 28, 2022

Sweden scraps its climate change department

It was a bit of a shock, but the citizens of Sweden have finally tired of the left’s green and pro-crime agenda and for the first time in decades tossed them out of office.

The first thing that the newly elected Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, did was scrap the country’s climate change department that promoted the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) agenda of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Armstrong Economics provides more details:

“New Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is not heeding to the Green agenda. He promptly eliminated the entire Ministry of Climate and Environment, marking the first time in 35 years that Sweden does not have a specific climate ministry. People are crying that the world will crumble without funding bureaucrats who pretend they have the ability to alter the weather cycle with enough funding.“

The Swedish government will also be restarting two nuclear reactors that were also shut down by the previous government’s green agenda and is also budgeting additional money for new nuclear power plants.

It is the WEF’s net-carbon emission schedule, Agenda 2030, which has resulted in several western countries facing severe energy shortages this winter after embracing the WEF’s radical climate change agenda.

This included not only cutting back on the use and development of carbon-based power plants but nuclear as well and in turn embracing unreliable and expensive green energy.


Europe's energy crisis heaps pain on heavy industry

Makers of metals, chemicals and gases said on Tuesday that the outlook for the final months of the year had worsened as concerns intensify that a surge in energy and raw material costs will shrink Europe's heavy industry.

French industrial gases company Air Liquide (AIRP.PA) flagged slowing demand from some customers in Europe while Swedish steel maker SSAB said it will cut capacity in the fourth quarter as demand in Europe slows. It already cut construction-related volumes in the quarter to end-September.

German chemicals maker Covestro (1COV.DE) lowered its 2022 earnings guidance for the third time this year, blaming gas and raw material prices.

The company, whose main products include foam chemicals used in mattresses, car seats and insulation for buildings, said it was only able to offset part of the rise in costs through higher prices.

Gas prices in Europe have eased in response to an unusually warm October and projections of a mild winter.

Latest Updates

OPEC expected to stick to view of long-term oil demand rise

Oil falls as China widens COVID curbs; still set for weekly gain

China coal trade disrupted by COVID outbreaks as winter looms

Norway's Equinor profit hits record on gas price gains

European Union hopeful of striking energy deal with Argentina soon

But the continent is paying five time more for its gas than the United States, stirring concerns the region will struggle to compete on the global market in the long term.

"A mild winter alone can’t save the day in Europe. Growth is slowing, the European Central Bank (ECB) is tightening, while the single currency remains weak," Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said.

BASF (BASFn.DE), the world's largest chemicals company, has reduced production of ammonia, a nitrogen fertiliser and input for engineering plastics and diesel exhaust fluid. The group, which relies heavily on natural gas, is buying from outside Europe, where prices are lower.

Data has also highlighted the impact. Euro zone manufacturing activity this month hit its weakest level since May 2020.

The downbeat manufacturing outlook is in contrast to food and consumer products companies, including Nestle (NESN.S) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N), which have passed on higher prices for goods ranging from Nescafe coffee to Gillette razors.


Companies across Europe are racing to reduce their energy use ahead of the winter when demand increases as households turn up the heat.

For example, Covestro said on Tuesday it is using digital sensors to monitor its steam traps, which means it is using steam as efficiently as possible in production.

Chemical companies are among the hardest hit by the energy crisis because they use gas as a raw material for production and as an energy source.

Swedish engineering group Alfa Laval (ALFA.ST) on Tuesday launched a cost-cutting drive that could affect around a tenth of its workforce after a weak tanker market and soaring costs hit its marine business.

Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) has laid out measures to reduce gas consumption by up to 50% but has yet to manage a cut of more than 10%, while Volkswagen has explored short-term measures such as stocking parts on ships and trains and, in the medium term, switching to suppliers abroad.


Renewable energy is a failed path, scientist tells Utah legislators

A Utah legislative committee this week gave 45 minutes to a scientist who argued that policy makers across the globe are committing a grave mistake by turning to renewable energy.

William Hayden Smith, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, wrote a research paper with colleagues in Switzerland and South Africa that claims to calculate a full cost of producing electricity from various sources. The paper was published this year in the Journal of Sustainable Development, a Canadian scientific journal.

“Now everyone will say that wind turbines and photovoltaics are cheaper than fossil fuels,” he told legislators. “That’s a stretch.”

He said the standard for comparing costs of electricity sources is called “Levelized Cost of Electricity,” which is calculated by adding up the total costs of a source over its lifetime and dividing it by the total energy expected from that source over the lifetime.

But Smith and his co-authors created an alternative metric they are calling the “full cost of electricity,” which he says factors in renewable energy costs not considered in LCOE, including the cost of storing power when renewables are not producing and the cost of replacing solar panels and windmills when they wear out.

He pointed to recent problems in Germany, where energy prices have shot up after Russia invaded Ukraine. He said Germany’s rush to renewables and decision to shut down nuclear plants is costing them now.

Beyond cost, wind and solar simply can’t meet the capacity, he said. “Every day the grid will collapse because you can’t meet the peak power.”

He also dismissed the idea that there is enough land available for the wind and solar farms to produce what fossil fuels do now. Thousands of square miles of wind and solar farms would be required. He added that windmills strike millions of insects, and no one is considering the biological effects.

Smith is a scientific and technical adviser to the CO2 Coalition, a nonprofit organization established “for the purpose of educating thought leaders, policy makers and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy.” He is not compensated for his work, according to the coalition’s website.

Smith presented to the Public Utilities, Energy and Technology Interim Committee at the invitation of Rep. Ken Ivory, but Ivory had a conflict and could not attend. No other viewpoints were presented.


Environmental extremists: iconoclasts without a cause

I wrote in June of a climate activist’s attempt to attack the Mona Lisa, smearing cake over its protective glass façade after failing to break it. In the short few intervening months there has been an epidemic of such recalcitrant acts of barbarity accompanied by unlettered lectures of vague Last Judgment prophesies.

In July, two students damaged Constable’s The Hay Wain by gluing large pieces of paper over the painting. Within days of each other in October, ‘protesters’ threw tomato soup at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London and mashed potato at Monet’s Les Meules in Potsdam. Earlier in the month, black-clad Extinction Rebellion acolytes glued themselves to Picasso’s Massacre in Korea in Melbourne.

It is lucky that none of the artworks were seriously damaged, but at this rate, soon an irreplaceable treasure will be.

The fanaticism fuelling the climate extremists are akin to the worst of religious zealotry, reminding one of the bonfire of the vanities (when supporters of Savonarola burned countless artworks and books that they saw as sinful, including paintings by the likes of Botticelli).

It is also reminiscent of the ideological radicalism of the Nazis, who stole an estimated one-fifth of all European art. Furthermore, ‘degenerate’ art, including many Cezannes, Picassos, Matisses, Gauguins, Braques, and Van Goghs, were simply destroyed. In the ignoble final throes of the Third Reich, many famous works were burned out of spite. One such lost work is Raphael’s Portrait of a Young Man, often seen as the most important piece of art lost since the second world war.

In the hellfire of an existentialist war, the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program of the Allied Armies came into being, with the express purpose to preserve cultural treasures. Compared to men and women who would risk their lives in war zones to protect art, those who live affluent lives in the first-world today – who self-righteously attempt to destroy art – seem rather paltry and contemptible.

While smaller in scale and (thankfully) lacking in competence, the new wave of eco-extremists share the same barbaric instincts to the puritans of yore, where anything is allowed given the conceit they have bestowed upon themselves, and the arrogance never to pause and consider that they might be wrong.

It is a new and fanatical religion with its own end-of-days prophesy (climate apocalypse), its original sin (petroleum), its priesthood (Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg etc.), and its sale of indulgences where celebrities and the elites like saint Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore, and all the VIP COP26 attendees are able to endlessly private-jet across the world to talk down to the proles about needing to cut back on indulgences such as heating their homes and driving to work.

Even minor acolytes, such as one of the students who damaged the Constable masterpiece, has admitted that she ‘impulse flew to the Canaries to escape chilly British weather’. Her Instagram shows her holidaying in places like Bali, Australia, and Greece. But redemption is possible, so she would seem to think, by taking out her guilt on old paintings in an act of petulant depravity.

Eco-activists obviously forget, in their delusion of an antediluvian world of prelapsarian purity, that their lives are ensconced by the comforts of fossil fuels and the thousands of other products derived from petroleum. They are ignorant of the consequences of their ideology, which is coming into sharp relieve as the Russians restrict gas to a Europe ready to shiver through a hard winter.

Preserving the environment is a worthy venture. It is also a complex and multifaceted issue, the science of which is not remotely ‘settled’. While every voice should have a place at the table, those who simply shout are not conversing, while those who engage in petulant destruction should simply be punished.

I warmly welcome Douglas Murray’s proposed cash prize for anyone who stops an attack on a painting. Up with this, we should not put.


No comments: