Thursday, February 29, 2024

Green Billionaires Press Hollywood to Promote Armageddon Climate Messages in Movies

Green billionaires are pouring money into discreet campaigns to persuade Hollywood writers to catastrophise the climate in future film and television scripts. One of their main vehicles is Good Energy, which tells writers that showing anger, depression, grief or other emotion in relation to the climate crisis, “can only make characters more relatable”. Los Angeles-based Good Energy is funded by numerous billionaire foundations including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Sierra Club and the Climate Emergency Fund; the latter operation is part-funded by Aileen Getty and is one of the paymasters of the Just Stop Oil pests.

Good Energy aims to weave climate alarm into all types of film-making, “especially” if it is not about climate. With the support of Bloomberg, it recently published ‘Good Energy – A Playbook for Screenwriting in the Age of Climate Change’. It claims the Playbook is “now the industry’s go-to guide to incorporating climate into any storyline or genre”. As with almost all green campaigning groups, Good Energy would not exist without the support of billionaire funding. These operations seek a supra-national collectivist Net Zero solution to a claimed climate emergency. Good Energy acknowledges it would not exist without this funding, adding, “as collaborators and champions, each has provided a unique contribution for which we are endlessly grateful”.

Announcing the launch of the ‘Playbook’, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the tax-efficient ‘charity’ channel for distributing the wealth of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, noted that “accurate and relatable storytelling about climate impacts and solutions can grow public support and motivate decision makers”. As regular readers of the Daily Sceptic will recall, billionaire foundations are grooming populations around the world by funding a variety of press, political and academic operations. Most significant non-profit bodies seeking to stop the use of hydrocarbons are funded from these sources. Few green campaigns arise from ‘grass roots’ these days. Put to the vote, for instance, the Green Party in the U.K. loses most of its election seat deposits.

Since this is La La Land, Good Energy has some relevant advice for writers to normalise climate friendly actions. “Let’s reimagine what it looks like for a character to eat a plant-rich diet (Michelin Green Star restaurant, yes!), attend a protest or upcycle vintage clothes. And if your story requires a yacht, why not make it solar powered.” That last idea might appeal to super-yacht lover Leonardo DiCaprio, but private planes, the preferred method of transportation for many high-end Hollywood stars, might be a problem. Hypocrisy a problem with all this? Not according to the Playbook, which quotes climate activist Bill McKibben that “hypocrisy is the price of admission in this battle”. For plebs, gammons, fly-overs and deplorables, this of course translates as “you do what you are told and radically change your lives – we don’t give a flying flamingo”.

Needles so say, a mere climate crisis is not enough for über-woke luvvies. It is not separate from other critical social issues like racism, sexism, economic injustice and war. The Playbook notes that “indigenous people are the first climate scientists, and indigenous people are leading us through this climate crisis”. Climate can be a “generative lens with which to view any subject or character”, the Playbook helpfully notes. For scripted entertainment, observes Good Energy, “the emotional truth is as important as the literal truth”.

Good Energy was started in 2019 and its influence and services seem to be growing within the U.S. west coast film industry. Rolling Stone recently profiled the operation in an article titled ‘How Hollywood is Crafting A New Climate Change Narrative’. One of Good Energy’s “standout” projects last year was a collaboration with Scott Z Burns on the series Extrapolations for Apple TV+. This was said to be the first mainstream show centred entirely around climate. It starred Meryl Streep in eight interconnected stories over 33 years and was said to explore how the planet’s changing climate will affect family, work, faith and survival. Rolling Stone reports that the operation is “dedicated” to ensuring that within three years, 50% of contemporary TV and film acknowledges climate change.

It is unsurprising that the power of film and TV to influence large audiences is being captured to promote a political message. During the 2021 COP 26 meeting in Glasgow, seven soap opera programmes in the U.K. including Coronation Street and Eastenders joined forces to highlight climate change. Most of the plot lines were clumsily inserted into existing storylines and in an era of declining audiences, the experiment does not appear to have been repeated.

Nevertheless, elite billionaires are pulling out all the stops to insert climate Armageddon messaging into all forms of media. As I write, the BBC climate disinformation reporter Marco Silva is possibly learning how to improvise on the theme of a mango during his six-month sabbatical at the Oxford Climate Journalism Network. Past funders of the course include the European Climate Fund, which is supported by Extinction Rebellion funder Sir Christopher Hohn. Previous course attendees were told to pick a fruit such as a mango and discuss why it wasn’t as tasty as the year before due to the impact of climate change.

Truly, La La Land meeting the make-believe world of BBC Verify.


Apple kills its electric car after 10 years development

Apple has canceled its plans to release an electric car with self-driving abilities, a secretive product that had been in the works for nearly a decade.

The company told employees in an internal meeting on Tuesday that it had scrapped the project and that members of the group would be shifted to different roles, including in Apple’s artificial intelligence division, according to a person briefed on the discussion, who requested anonymity because the announcement was not public.

As part of the restructuring, Kevin Lynch, an executive who had been involved in the car project, will report to John Giannandrea, the company’s head of artificial intelligence strategy, the person said.


Nearly half of young US voters won't pay more than $10 per month to fight climate change

Nearly half of all young voters are not willing to pay more than $10 a month to fight climate change, despite Joe Biden claiming it's an 'existential threat' and making it the center of his re-election campaign.

Less than half (45%) of the youngest crop of voters aged 18-34 would be willing to spend $10 or less per month to combat climate change, according to a recent survey by CRC Research for 85 Fund obtained exclusively by

And one out of five (20%) in the same age bracket responded that they would not pay anything at all, according to the poll results.

The results were similar among voters aged 25-34, which may be a wake-up call for President Joe Biden who continues to call climate change the most pressing threat facing America today.

The findings are surprising considering younger voters site climate change as a top political issue and it is expected to be a key motivator heading into the 2024 elections.

President Biden is putting climate change at the center of his re-election campaign - calling it the 'last existential threat' to a small group of donors at a California fundraiser last week.

The Biden administration has worked to position itself as a champion of climate initiatives since day one - which generally appeals to younger voters.

But the CRC Research poll shows that although younger voters may be passionate about the topic, they don't want to spend their own money to fix it.

'Despite claims they are leading the charge on climate change, it turns out young people are actually just sheep in wolves clothing. They demand 'climate action', but demand someone else pay for it,' said Steve Milloy, a lawyer who briefly served at Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency.

'They disguise their rank hypocrisy by posturing as 'climate activists.' Their refusal to put their money where their mouths are just underscores how unserious they are as citizens and voters,' he told

The CRC Research survey also found that 26 percent of 25 to 35 year old voters would not be willing to pay anything to combat climate change.


Australia: Victorian blackout has lessons

When the lights went out last week for 500,000 Victorians, it wasn’t all bad. Most still had natural gas to turn to for cooking and some for hot water.

But gas connections to new homes are banned in Victoria from 2024. Clearly, the great fortune of being part of the Lucky Country, blessed with dual energy supplies, was too great a first-world burden for the socialist-left Allan state government to handle.

It means that for these new homes, the next time the lights go out, everything goes out.

However, Victoria’s diabolic blackout might be the best double-edged sword the state’s future could have ordered.

What happened last week may have been the first time many youngsters couldn’t charge their mobile phones, laptops, or other electronic gadgetry. Their lives and their lifelines also went flat.

Until then, they had been removed from reality. Until then, it was someone else’s problem…

Only now might they think about the importance of the essential service of electricity, and better still, the importance of cheap and reliable energy. One day they will have to pay the bills.

And so it is that there may be more power in a flat phone battery than we think.

Only now might the Net Zero zealots begin thinking about the real world, just as theirs shatters into texting and tweeting oblivion.

The blackouts, with the promise of more to come, might just be the real-life lesson in understanding the old saying that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Schooled in Net Zero nonsense, the younger generations and their educators have largely applauded the direction of phasing out coal and pursuing a renewables nirvana.

With eyes wide shut, they believe they are saving the world one poppycock plan at a time. They have skipped school and rallied for the cause. They have spent school hours making placards and writing letters to Ministers. Some have voted for the cause and more will follow.

Little might they think that their increasingly battery-led lifestyle, pumped up by power, is not the life that their childhood counterparts in the Congo are living.

Little might they think of the trees being pulled down in order to put up wind farms, or the interruption to whale migration at sea. Little might they think about what a romantic sunset could look like in years to come with industrial love on the horizon.

Little might they think of the increasing plethora of coal-driven power, mining, and industrial operations elsewhere in the world, while Australia’s decision-makers pull the plug on ours.

They are in the dark more than they might want to realise.

For first-time power blackout sufferers, it won’t be the temporary death of their fridge or freezer worrying them. These days, most order-in a solution to their food problems or go to a local supermarket – backed up by diesel generators – to get a tub of ice cream on demand.

No, it is only the absence of mobile phones, iPads, and the like that might make the younger generations understand what nobody else is telling them: reliable energy is really important.

When they can recharge their phones – and their lives – they should google the following: nuclear energy, reliable energy, low-cost energy, and underground powerlines.

Then they should google future job prospects in Australia.

But it’s a bit hard to find the buttons in the dark.




Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Study: Air Pollution Increases Chances Of Breast Cancer By 45%, Prostate Cancer By Up To 28%

GIGO: Garbage in garbage out. This is just a meta analysis and the conclusions of such are only as good as the research reports surveyed. And air pollution studies are notorious for poor design leading to unsafe conclusions. I have critiqued many of them. The claims below can safely be regarded as not proven

Long-term exposure to air pollution significantly increases the chances of developing various forms of cancer, a study has claimed.

The findings of the study, which are yet to be published, have been accessed by the Daily Mail. It claims that air pollution can enhance the risk of getting breast cancer by 45 per cent and prostate cancer by between 20 and 28 per cent.

The experts reviewed as many as 27 studies for their analysis, and found that the risk of dying from breast cancer also increases by 80 per cent among people who are exposed to air pollution as opposed to those who are not.

The study said that long-term exposure to PM 2.5 can cause damage to the DNA, thereby, increasing the risk of getting cancer.

PM 2.5 are tiny particles in the air that can enter the lungs and bloodstream. The PM 2.5 limit set by the World Health Organization is 5 μg/m3. However, most countries have failed to meet the WHO-prescribed limits.

"PM 2.5 also disrupts glands throughout the body that produce hormones. This is a particular concern for breast and prostate cancer which can be driven by hormones," per an excerpt from the study.

Air pollution was also found to be linked with a more aggressive disease and a poorer prognosis.

What do other studies claim?

The finding is mirrored by similar studies conducted over the years. A study published in the Lancet revealed that pollution caused approximately 9 million premature deaths worldwide in 2019. It included countries like China, the US, and many African and European countries.

While another study claimed that air pollution caused by fossil fuels is killing 5 million people every year across the world.

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is responsible for about 7 million premature deaths every year. It adds that the disease burden due to air pollution is now estimated to be on par with other major global health risks.

In some cases, extremely tiny air pollution particles can even cross the blood-brain barrier and damage the neurons directly. However, Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 has especially become a major cause of concern for authorities across the globe since it is so small that it can penetrate deep into the lungs.

Air pollution can even affect your sleep. In 2017, a study was conducted in the United States to assess if it is linked with bad sleep. It was measured at one year and five years into the study. The participants also wore a wrist monitor to measure their movements during sleep.

It looked at the effects of nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 on sleep and found that people who were exposed to the most nitrogen dioxide in the past five years had a 60% increased risk of sleeping poorly. People exposed to the most PM 2.5 had an almost 50% increased risk of sleeping poorly.

Various forms of cancer continue to claim millions of lives globally every year. It is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018.

Between 2016 and 2018 in the UK, more than half of new cases of cancer were breast, prostate, lung or bowel cancer. Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer, says the data provided by Cancer Research UK.

However, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer, with around 47,000 people being diagnosed with the disease each year in England alone. Every year, around 56,000 women are diagnosed with the disease in the UK—around 150 women a day. Some 400 men in the UK are also diagnosed with breast cancer each year.


The Next Big Climate Scare: Counting Climate Change Deaths

The next big climate scare is on the way. Advocates of measures to control the climate now propose that we begin counting deaths from climate change. They appear to believe that if people see a daily announcement of climate deaths, they will be more inclined to accept climate change policies. But it’s not even clear that the current gentle rise in global temperatures is causing more people to die.

In December, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at COP28, the 28th United Nations Climate Conference, and mentioned climate-related deaths.

“We are seeing and beginning to pay attention and to count and record the deaths that are related to climate,” she said. “And by far the biggest killer is extreme heat.”

According to Ms. Clinton, Europe recorded 61,000 deaths from extreme heat in 2023, and she estimated that about 500,000 people died from heat across the world last year.

Global temperatures have been gently rising for the last 300 years. Temperature metrics from NASA, NOAA, and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom estimate that Earth’s surface temperatures have risen a little more than one degree Celsius, or about two degrees Fahrenheit, over the last 140 years. But are these warmer temperatures harmful to people?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most cases of influenza occur during December to March, the cold months in the United States. Influenza season in the southern hemisphere takes place during the cold months there, April through September. The peak months for COVID-19 infections tended to be the cold periods of the year. More people usually get sick during cold months than in warm months.

More people also die during winter months than summer months, according to many peer-reviewed studies. For example, Dr. Matthew Falagas of the Alfa Institute of Medical Sciences and five other researchers studied seasonal mortality in 11 nations. The research showed that the average number of deaths peaked in the coldest months of the year in all of them.

The late Dr. William Keating studied temperature-related deaths in six European countries for people aged 65 to 74. He concluded that deaths related to cold temperatures were nine times greater than those related to hot temperatures. Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, has pointed out that moderate global warming will likely reduce human mortality.

Yet, on January 30, Dr. Colin J. Carlson of Georgetown University published a paper in Nature Medicine titled, “After millions of preventable deaths, climate change must be treated like a health emergency.” Carlson claims that climate change has caused about 166,000 deaths per year since the year 2000, or almost four million cumulative deaths.

Carlson admits that most of these deaths have been due to malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, or malnutrition and diarrheal diseases in south Asia. But he goes on to claim that deaths due to natural disasters and even cardiovascular disease should also be attributed to climate change. If death from cardiovascular disease can be counted as a climate death, almost any death can be counted.

The evidence doesn’t support these climate death claims. Malarial disease has plagued humanity throughout history, even when temperatures were colder than today. Dr. Paul Reiter, medical entomologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, points out that malaria was endemic to England 400 years ago during the colder climate of the Little Ice Age. The Soviet Union experienced an estimated 13 million cases of malaria during the 1920s, with 30,000 cases occurring in Archangel, a city located close to the frozen Arctic Circle.

Malnutrition has been declining during the gentle warming of the last century. During the early 1900s, as many as 10 million people would die from famine each decade globally. Today, world famine deaths have been reduced to under 500,000 people per decade. About 10% of the world’s people are malnourished today, but this is down from about 25% in 1970.

The number of deaths from natural disasters has also been falling during the warming over the last century. According to EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, the deaths from disasters, including storms, famines, earthquakes, droughts, and floods, are down more than 90 percent over the last 100 years.

With deaths from natural disasters and famine declining, and since fewer people die in warmer temperatures, the case for counting deaths from global warming is poor at best. But don’t underestimate the ability of climate alarmists to create fear by exaggerating the data.


No, BNN, Climate Change Will Not Leave 200 Million Africans Hungry by 2050

An article published in BNN Breaking News by author Aqsa Younas Rana, titled “Climate Change to Plunge 200 Million Africans into Severe Hunger by 2050” asserts that climate change will result in widespread hunger, starvation, and agricultural revenue decline in Africa by 2050. The claims are unsubstantiated and contrary to real world data and trends on food production and revenue.

The article opens describing a dystopian future in Africa:

Imagine waking up one day to find that the very ground under your feet, once fertile and life-giving, has turned barren. The streams that meandered through your village, brimming with life, now barely whisper. The crops that danced in the wind, promising a bountiful harvest, stand withered. This isn’t a scene from a dystopian novel; it’s a looming reality for millions in Africa, as recent studies project a grim future where 200 million Africans could face severe hunger by 2050 due to the impacts of climate change.

The story doesn’t reference any data or a single study as basis for its prediction of the future, rather it issues a one sentence warning, “[a]ccording to recent findings, agricultural productivity is expected to plummet, with crop revenue forecasted to decrease by 30%.

There is no reference or citation given for the predicted 30 percent decline that Rana warns of, and the evidence that does exist actually indicates that during the recent modest warming, African crops and agricultural revenue have been regularly setting records.

Climate Realism has pointed out across multiple articles that crop production and yields have improved dramatically in most places in Africa during the recent period of modest warming. One recent article by Linnea Lueken, Wrong, Washington Post, Warming Hasn’t Harmed African Crop Production, shows the extent to which climate change has benefitted African farmers:

Data clearly show that the IMF’s claims about warming causing a decline in African crop production is patently and obviously false. Crop production in Africa in general, and Ethiopia in particular increased dramatically over recent decades, even as the planet has experienced a warming of more than 1℃. To reiterate the point, as warming has occurred, crop production and yields have increased, not decreased. Also, real world data and peer reviewed agronomy research provides no reason for believing these trends will change in the future, absent political interference in to use of fossil fuels to plant, fertilize, harvest, and deliver crops.

This graph showing agricultural yields and production for primary cereal grains dramatically increased since 1990 at the same time that climate change was supposedly warming the continent of Africa:

Rana mentions Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi as specifically threatened by crop losses, yet since 1990 foundational cereal crops and roots and tubers have increased dramatically in each of those countries. Since 1990 (1993 Ethiopia), the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reports that:

In Ethiopia, despite civil strife, cereal crop production grew by approximately 496 percent, and root and tuber production increased by a little over 176 percent;
In Kenya, cereal crop production expanded by about 35 percent, and root and tuber production enlarged by almost 97 percent;
In Malawi, cereal crop production expanded by about nearly 185 percent, and root and tuber production grew by an astonishing 3,082 percent. (see the figure below)

Africa in general has seen dramatic increases in agriculture, as demonstrated in numerous other Climate Realism posts, like, here, here, here, and here. Clearly, climate change is not causing a decline in African crop production or harming African farmers.

Agriculture is the top source of income in most of the countries on the African continent with a few exceptions, and economic growth in Africa has been strong in recent decades. “Growth has been present throughout the continent, with over one-third of African countries posting 6% or higher growth rates, and another 40% growing between 4% and 6% per year, reports the World Bank.

With these facts in evidence, the obvious question is: where is the damage to agriculture from climate change claimed by BNN?

The BNN article misses the most obvious factor that has restrained crop production in recent years in some African countries, and caused dramatic fluctuations in others, namely political and civil unrest. According to the website African business, civil unrest is at a six-year high:

A surge in civil unrest in Africa, fueled by political tensions, food insecurity, and government inefficiencies threatens stability, disrupts businesses, and stirs up social and economic crises in the region, new report finds.

36 African countries experienced a surge in risk between 2022-Q2 and 2023-Q2, marking the continent’s largest annual increase since the dataset’s inception in 2017, Verisk Maplecroft’s Civil Unrest Index reveals.

The number of African countries now categorized as high or extreme risk for civil unrest has also risen to 37, a significant jump from 28 just six years ago.

Civil unrest threatens farmers’ livelihoods. Even when farms and farmers themselves aren’t in a war zone, such unrest and political fighting often limits farmers access fuel, fertilizer, seeds, and makes it hard, if not impossible, to transport their crops to market. War, rebellion, and civil unrest presents a far more immediate and disruptive danger to agricultural production in Africa, than the gradual warming of the climate over the past 100 years, or any potential warming one might realistically expect by 2050.

None of these facts stopped BNN from writing a poorly researched and unreferenced opinion piece claiming that climate change was the primary problem threatening agricultural production in Africa. Facts just get in the way when the media source wishes to push an alarming climate change narrative.


Australian ex-PM eyes pumped hydro opportunity in the Upper Hunter

Pumped hydro requires TWO dams. What does Mal think the dam-hating Greens will say about that? He's dreaming

Acompany owned by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy has won a tender to develop plans for two pumped hydro projects in the Upper Hunter.

WaterNSW has awarded a development agreement to Upper Hunter Hydro (UHH) to explore the feasibility of the projects using WaterNSW land and reservoirs in the Hunter Valley.

The company was registered in early 2022 under the ownership of Wilcrow Pty Ltd - a Turnbull family entity that has traditionally held its pastoral properties in the Upper Hunter.

The pumped hydro projects, which would deliver long duration storage totalling more than 1.4 gigawatts for eight to 12 hours, could power a million homes.

Upper Hunter Hydro has been granted access to the Glenbawn Dam and Glennies Creek Dam as part of its investigation.

WaterNSW said the company would seek to secure all necessary approvals and consent for their projects.

Elsewhere in the region, AGL and Idemitsu are exploring the feasibility of establishing a $450 million pumped hydro project at the former Muswellbrook Coal site at Bells Mountain.

Mr Turnbull said pumped hydro projects would provide important support for industry and employment in the Hunter.

"Australia has abundant wind and solar generation, some of the best in the world. But the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. Pumped hydro provides the long duration energy storage we need to make renewables available 24/7 and secure our clean energy future," he said.

"Renewables development is not for those wanting instant gratification .... but it is dawning on the market that we are going to need a lot more long duration storage than we thought."

Mr Turnbull said the Upper Hunter Pumped Hydro would proceed to a detailed design phase that incorporates "wide ranging community and stakeholder engagement" as well as "thorough environmental assessment," to secure planning approvals and backing from investors.




Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Antarctica's sea ice drops to an 'alarming low' for the third year in a row, scientists warn

Here we go again: The ice loss is almost entirely in Western Antarctica, which is known for subsurface vulcanism. And volcanic eruptions are unpredictable, which is what they found. Nothing to do with global warming

Antarctica's sea ice has dropped to an 'alarming' low during the southern hemisphere's summer, scientists have revealed.

Ice surrounding Earth's southernmost continent now measures less than 772,200 square miles (2 million sq km), or about the size of Mexico.

Worryingly, this is the third year in the row that this figure has fallen below this threshold, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

Less sea ice can threaten habitats for penguins, seals and other Antarctic animal life, and also contributes to a rise in global sea levels.

Unfortunately, it follows a record-breaking low for Antarctica's sea ice during the winter as well.

What is sea ice?

Sea ice is simply frozen ocean water. It forms, grows, and melts in the ocean. It floats on the surface of the sea because it is less dense than liquid water. In contrast, icebergs, glaciers, ice sheets, and ice shelves all originate on land.

Sea ice is estimated to cover around 7 per cent of Earth's surface and about 12 per cent of the world's oceans.

The lion's share of sea ice is contained within the polar ice packs in the Arctic and Southern oceans.

These ice packs undergo season variations and are also affected locally on smaller time scales by wind, current and temperature fluctuations.

Walt Meier, a senior research scientist at NSIDC, said experts 'don’t yet know the full reason' why sea ice is now at a record low, although 'global warming certainly could be a factor'.

'It appears that warm ocean temperatures are important, but other factors may be in play, including wind patterns,' he told MailOnline. 'We have only 45 years of high quality data, which still may not capture all of the variability in the Antarctic sea ice.


UK: Met Office concedes UK storms are not getting stronger ... but refuses to retract false climate claim

Press Release

London, 23 February - In response to a complaint by independent climate researcher Paul Homewood, the Met Office has acknowledged that “there is no evidence yet for an increase in wind gust strengths, although these are projected to increase with future climate change.”

Yet despite this confirmation, the Met Office still refuses to retract a false claim made by one of its senior meteorologists on BBC Radio 5 last month, that storms in the UK are getting "more intense" due to climate change.

The Met Office has already admitted, following an FOI request, that it has no evidence to support the claim. Indeed it provided its own recent reports which confirm no upward trend in wind speeds since 1969, and that several storms in the 1980s and 90s were very much more severe than anything seen since.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation is calling on the Met Office to stop prevaricating over evident misinformation by retracting the false claim and providing the public with the true facts.


WHO Demands Global Meat Consumption Ban by 2025


The World Health Organization (WEF) has just upped the ante with its globalist “Net Zero” agenda by demanding that the general public must be banned from consuming meat and dairy products by 2025 globally.

The head of the United Nations “health” agency, Tedros Adhanom, declared in a statement that citizens around the world must begin the shift to plant and insect-based “foods” in order to “save the planet” from “global warming.”

“Our food systems are harming the health of our people and planet,” he said.

“Food systems contribute to over 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and account for almost one-third of the global burden of disease.”

He estimates that eight million lives could be saved each year with this one change. Although shifting away from red meat has been recommended for many years for health reasons, his motivation here appears to be purely environmental, with a context note on a video of him declaring the war on meat noting that climate change “refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, mainly caused by human activities.”


Spending Hundreds of Millions to Make a 0.1 Percent Difference to the Great Barrier Reef

By Peter Ridd

Hard-working Aussie fishermen, and all the people who depend on them, are about to suffer severe restrictions on their production. And all based on dubious science.

The barramundi fishery mostly operates in the creeks and rivers, or very close to shore. Our out-of-touch government ministers have never explained how catching a barra in a creek somehow damages the Reef, which is far from shore—mostly 40 to 100 kilometers (25 to 62 miles).

But worse is to come as governments cast their net further afield.

As part of the UNESCO demands, the federal government has announced that it is now restricting fishing in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria to “save the Reef.”

That area of the Gulf is 700 kilometres from the Reef and on the wrong side (to the west) of Cape York Peninsula. How can catching a barra near Mornington Island affect the Reef? Was this really demanded by UNESCO or is it being used as a convenient tool by our government to further enforce extreme green environmental policies?

If killing the barra fishery seems like a scientific folly, the recent letter from Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to UNESCO asking that the Reef not be listed as endangered contains an even bigger indication that the government, and the science institutions upon which they base their dubious decisions, have lost the plot.

Ms. Plibersek’s letter proudly states that government schemes costing hundreds of millions of dollars have stopped 140,000 metric tonnes of sediment reaching the Reef from farms and cattle stations in the last decade.

That 140,000 figure sounds like a lot of mud. But in a decade, the rivers in question carry roughly 1,000 times more sediment than that out into the ocean.

So, they reduced the sediment to the Reef by a meagre 0.1 percent—and they made it a big deal!

Before I was fired by James Cook University after calling for better quality assurance of Reef science, my group worked extensively on the impact of sediment.

We invented some of the instrumentation for doing this work. We took more measurements than all the other groups combined. We showed that mud almost never reaches the Great Barrier Reef, which is far offshore. And even when it does, it is in minuscule quantities for only short periods of time. Even the inshore reefs, such as around Magnetic Island near Townsville, are barely influenced by mud coming directly from the rivers fed by tropical monsoon rains.

Government-funded scientists and managers have thus spent hundreds of millions to make 0.1 percent difference to a non-problem.

We must hope that they do not try to scale-up their effort and completely solve a problem that does not exist. At this rate, it would cost roughly 10 percent of Australia’s yearly GDP just to manage this one environmental factor.

Strangely, Ms. Plibersek conveniently forgot to mention that data from the Australian Institute of Marine Science show that, since records began, the reef has never had more coral than in the last two years. People might think that Ms. Plibersek was on UNESCO’s side and doing their bidding.

The time has come for a forensic audit of the science that is being used to smash the livelihood of hardworking Aussie farmers and fishers. The government is in effect picking off industries one at a time in a classic “salami” tactic.

The Australian Environment Foundation is organising a coalition of affected small industries to fight back, and top of the list is to audit the science.




Monday, February 26, 2024

Obama-Era Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing Axed by Appeals Court

A federal appeals panel has thrown out a moratorium on new coal mine leases on public lands.

The Feb. 21 ruling by a three-judge panel from U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit overturns an August 2022 decision from Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District of Montana, which reinstated a 2016 Obama administration moratorium.

Initially, the Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a first-of-its-kind moratorium on all new coal leases on federal land in 2016 under Secretary Sally Jewell. A year later, Secretary Ryan Zinke, who succeeded Ms. Jewell, rescinded the moratorium.

Current DOI Secretary Deb Haaland then revoked Mr. Zinke’s order shortly after taking office in 2021. But according to the appeals court ruling, when Secretary Haaland rescinded Mr. Zinke’s order, it didn’t reinstate the original 2016 moratorium on coal leasing.

Environmental groups continued litigating Mr. Zinke’s order ending the moratorium, which led to the 2022 ruling. At the time, the DOI said it wanted to complete a thorough environmental analysis of the effects of burning coal from public lands before making a decision to formally reinstate the moratorium.

“The district court reasoned that the Haaland Order’s failure to reinstate the coal leasing moratorium from the Jewell Order meant that the Zinke Order still remains in partial effect. That is incorrect,” the appeals court ruling said (pdf).

While appellees may be dissatisfied with the government’s position that the Haaland Order did not revive the Jewell Order’s moratorium, this does not provide a basis for concluding that a challenge to the defunct Zinke Order is live.”

The National Mining Association (NMA), along with the States of Montana and Wyoming, led the successful appeal, and all applauded the judge’s decision. In a media statement, NMA President and CEO Rich Nolan said it was a victory for American energy because energy projects can now move forward.

“This is a victory for American-mined energy and we are pleased with the court’s recognition of the need to dismiss this irreparably flawed ruling,” he said.
Sen. Hawley Touts Ban on Imports of Critical Minerals Mined by Slave and Child Labor

“With this ruling, important projects can once again advance and support the production of affordable, reliable power to the grid, while creating jobs and economic development across the country,” Mr. Nolan added.


Chicago’s Legal Battle Against Big Oil

The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against five major oil and gas companies, including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, alleging that these companies have engaged in climate deception by misleading consumers about the dangers of climate change associated with their products. The lawsuit claims that these companies have known about the harmful effects of their products on the climate for decades and have actively concealed this information from the public.

“The climate change impacts that Chicago has faced and will continue to face — including more frequent and intense storms, flooding, droughts, extreme heat events and shoreline erosion — are felt throughout every part of the city and disproportionately in low-income communities,” the city said in its lawsuit.

Supporters of the lawsuit argue that the oil and gas industry has a moral and legal responsibility to address the harm caused by their products and that the lawsuit is an important step in holding these companies accountable for their actions. They link climate change to the burning of fossil fuels and argue that the industry has to inform consumers about the risks associated with their products.

Critics of the lawsuit argue that it is misguided and that the responsibility for addressing climate change should not be placed solely on the shoulders of the oil and gas industry. They point out that these companies have taken steps to reduce their emissions and invest in renewable energy, and that the lawsuit could have unintended consequences, such as increasing the cost of energy for consumers.

The lawsuit claims Chicago faces “more frequent and intense storms, flooding, droughts, extreme heat events and shoreline erosion” due to the actions of these companies. However, available data contradicts this narrative. Weather records show no significant increase in extreme temperatures or precipitation, and flooding projections predict minimal impact for Chicago.

Let’s look at the facts. What does say about Official Extreme Weather Records for Chicago, IL?

The highest temperature was in 1934, the warmest month was July 1955, the wettest year was 2008, and the greatest 24-hour precipitation was in 1987.

Surely, there have been more days above 95°F in Chicago, IL recently. Below is a figure from the Fifth National Climate Assessment that shows a decrease of nearly 6 days annually above 95°F in Chicago, IL today relative to 1901-1960.

This figure shows the observed change in the number of (a) hot days (days at or above 95°F) over the period 2002–2021 relative to 1901–1960. Figure credit: Project Drawdown, Washington State University Vancouver, NOAA NCEI, and CISESS NC.

What are the outlooks for Chicago, IL in terms of flooding risk? Below is a figure from Nature Climate Change that suggests an increase of about 0-5% in average annual loss related to flooding by 2050.

In fact, the Fifth National Climate Assessment has predicted a change of only 0-10% in total precipitation on heaviest 1% of days.

In terms of coastal erosion, there has been little change in the water level of Lake Michigan in response to increasing concentrations of atmospheric GHGs.

The observational data is clear, Chicago is not facing any threats from climate change. Not in extreme temps, flooding or coastal erosion. So then why the lawsuit?

This is a clear attempt to recoup money from failed climate-related policies that are costing taxpayers billions. For example, the city of Chicago said it’s spending $188 million on climate projects in low-income communities.

In this audacious quest for climate dollars, it appears that adherence to scientific evidence is an optional extra. The city’s actions raise the question: Is the battle against climate change being co-opted as a convenient facade for financial mismanagement?

Chicago’s lawsuit, rather than being a noble fight for environmental justice, seems more like a high-stakes gamble with taxpayer money, betting against the oil giants in hopes of a lucrative payout. In the end, it’s the citizens who are left asking whether their city’s leadership is fighting for the planet, or merely fighting to cover up its fiscal blunders.


Saskatchewan Premier Says Dropping Carbon Tax on Home Heating Helped With Inflation

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says dropping the carbon tax on home heating helped Saskatchewan have the third-lowest inflation rate in the country last month.

In January’s inflation numbers, released Feb. 20, Statistics Canada said the inflation rate for Saskatchewan was 1.9 percent, well below the national average of 2.9 percent.

“In Saskatchewan, the collection of the carbon levy ceased in January 2024, contributing to the province’s year-over-year price decline of natural gas (-26.6%),” StatCan said.
Mr. Moe was quick to point that out on X.
“The Trudeau carbon tax was over a quarter of the cost of natural gas in SK,” Mr. Moe wrote. “If the feds are actually serious about fighting inflation, they would scrap the carbon tax on everyone and everything.”

In a news release, Saskatchewan Crown Investments Minister Dustin Duncan added: “Imagine the significant impact it would have on gas prices, grocery prices and everything else we produce and transport in Canada if the federal government scrapped the carbon tax. Instead, they are fully committed to another carbon tax increase on April 1.”

Saskatchewan stopped collecting carbon tax on home heating after the federal government paused carbon taxes on home heating oil, which is primarily used in the Atlantic provinces, but refused to extend the carve-out to other types of heating fuels. The federal government says that Saskatchewan’s pause is against the law.

According to StatCan, a variety of factors played a role in January’s numbers.

The January Consumer Price Index report points out there was an overall drop in natural gas prices of 16.4 percent across the country, along with an overall drop in gasoline prices of 4 percent.

One prominent economist said while dropping the carbon tax on home heating in Saskatchewan likely had some effect, there are other items that played a bigger role in inflation.

“It’s true, but the impact probably will be relatively small because home heating is only just part of the carbon tax impact. It also affects transportation costs and a whole bunch of other things,” Dr. Jack Mintz told the Epoch Times. Mr. Mintz is President’s Fellow at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy, and a distinguished fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

“It'll have some impact on reducing the cost of energy, but it’s not going to be huge,” added Mr. Mintz. “Food prices and shelter costs, and transportation are the three biggest items” in inflation.

Still, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre pointed out that Saskatchewan and Manitoba had among the lowest inflation numbers in the country—partly as a result of reducing taxes on energy.

“Notice yesterday, the lowest inflation: Manitoba, Saskatchewan,” Mr. Poilievre told a news conference in Kingston on Feb. 21. “What did they do in Manitoba and Saskatchewan? Got rid of carbon taxes. They took the carbon tax off gas in Manitoba, they took it off heat in Saskatchewan,” he said.

Manitoba had an inflation rate in January of 0.8 percent, the lowest in the country.

The Manitoba government gave credit to the provincial gas tax holiday that started on Jan. 1.

“We took action right away to give people relief at the pump,” Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew said in a Feb. 20 news release. “Now we see that relief helping to lower costs across the province.”
However, the news release said it was the provincial fuel tax, not the carbon tax, that was dropped.

“According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from Statistics Canada, the gas tax holiday, which began on Jan. 1 and removed the 14-cent provincial tax on the price of gasoline, ‘directly contributed to a 0.4 per cent decrease to inflation,’” said the release. “Statistics Canada also noted Manitoba’s gasoline prices fell 20.2 per cent in January 2024 compared to January 2023,” it added.

Still, Saskatchewan’s premier is not the only one saying the low inflation number for Saskatchewan may be significant.

On Feb. 20, Sylvain Charlebois with Dalhousie University posted on X that “Saskatchewan’s experiment with the carbon tax contradicts the @bankofcanada’s assessment.”

Mr. Charlebois, who is with the Agrifood Analytics Lab, added: “After the province eliminated the tax on only nat/gas, propane, and heating oil, its inflation rate fell by 0.8 percentage points in January. This is a larger decrease than the Bank’s prediction that the C-Tax would lead to a one-time drop of 0.6 percentage points in the inflation rate, over one year.”


Australia: Nuclear, gas fuel consevatives' tilt at green madness

In 2004, Australian electricity bills were the fourth-lowest in the OECD. The wind and solar caper had barely begun, and coal and gas supplied 91 per cent of the National Electricity Market.

Today, after 20 years of subsidy chasing by the renewable energy industry, Australia has slipped to 10th place in the OECD rankings of end-user power prices.

Of the nine countries where electricity is cheaper, six have nuclear power stations. They are Finland, Mexico, Switzerland, South Korea, Canada and the US. Of the remaining three, the wet and hilly ones, Norway and Iceland run mostly on hydropower because that’s the way God made them. Israel, somewhat unfashionably, has stuck with coal and gas but has other things to worry about.

So much for Energy Minister Chris Bowen’s claim that the opposition is using nuclear power as a culture-war distraction. His argument collapses at the first brush with reality.

Nuclear is the only baseload alternative to fossil fuel for the inhabitants of a wide and flat brown land unless we care to drill down 40km through the Earth’s crust to tap geothermal energy, which even Bowen must concede is impractical. The minister’s forlorn grab for supporting evidence in his article in The Weekend Australian suggests he knows he is losing the argument.

Until recently, conventional wisdom held that a pro-nuclear policy would be the kiss of death for the Coalition. Yet Bowen would know how quickly public opinion is changing, even within the green movement. When voters are asked if they favour nuclear power, the numbers are usually tight.

When the pollster asks if they would consider nuclear power, however, a clear majority say yes. The readiness to consider nuclear grows when they are asked about small modular reactors, notably among younger voters.

Bowen’s foolhardy use of statistics is unnerving, given his power to call upon the resources of a sizeable government department to stop him from embarrassing himself. He writes that “by early 2025, renewable energy will surpass coal as the planet’s largest source of energy”. As the Energy Minister should know, energy differs from electricity, which accounts for just 20 per cent of global energy use, according to the International Energy Market’s latest data.

Wind and solar accounted for 2.2 per cent of the world’s energy mix in 2019 if we assume it is what the IEA means by “other”. If we include hydropower in the renewables basket, it rises to 4.8 per cent.

Oil accounts for 31 per cent, down from 44 per cent in 1971, but the gap has been filled by gas (up from 16 to 23 per cent) and nuclear (0.5 per cent to 5 per cent). Coal has remained steady at 26 per cent.

The data does not exactly leap to Bowen’s defence, even if we assume he has conflated energy with electricity. In 2019, wind, solar and biofuels generated 10.8 per cent of the world’s electricity, and hydro 15.7 per cent. Fossil thermal fuel was by far the biggest contributor at 63 per cent.

Admittedly, the IEA’s reporting is somewhat tardy, but it would take a hockey stick curve of Michael Mann-ic proportions for renewables to overtake coal by this time next year, even if it were feasible.

Bowen’s suggestion that nuclear projects fall like skittles is equally hard to substantiate. The World Nuclear Association lists 62 nuclear plants under construction in 17 countries. They include 26 in China. Some 440 more are listed as either planned or proposed, of which 196 are in China, 25 in Russia and five in Iran.

Yet Peter Dutton would be foolish to assume the argument is as good as won, or that a nuclear policy is a substitute for a convincing energy policy.

Even on the most optimistic timetable, nuclear will not be part of our energy mix before the mid-2030s and investment won’t flow without a thorough reform of the energy market.

The short answer to almost every question is gas. The Opposition Leader will have little trouble persuading his own party room, where past battles have instilled a degree of energy literacy. He should prepare for considerable opposition from his own party at the state level, however, where many Coalition MPs have formed a unity ticket with Labor and the Greens in opposition to the imagined climate emergency.

Dutton should not underestimate the quantity of the venom in the hornet’s nest he has disturbed by challenging the orthodoxy that prevails in the media, universities and government departments. As Tony Abbott discovered, these people are not prepared to surrender their dogma in this policy debate without a fight.

An even more formidable opponent will be the energy industry, where a powerful combination of virtue signalling and naked self-interest has set in.

The energy industry with few exceptions is not campaigning for fossil fuel, as renewable advocates often claim. It is busy chasing subsidies and playing with the market. It has worked out easier ways to make money than supplying customers with affordable and reliable electricity. Renewable Energy Certificates have proved be a more dependable source of revenue than the energy itself.

Labor’s planned Capacity Investment Scheme, which is supposed to underwrite 32GW of renewal energy investment, has the added appeal of letting them make money without actually turning the generation plants on. It provides an even stronger incentive to stop nuclear before it eats their lunch.

Over the past 10 years, the renewable energy industrial complex has grown in strength and sophistication. It channels tens of millions of dollars into grassroots campaigns in Australia, creating an almost bottomless war chest to fund lawfare and buy influence in politics. Renewable energy interests almost entirely underwrote the teal campaign in 2022. Dutton shouldn’t expect any of these so-called independents to back nuclear anytime soon, despite their claim to be the heroes putting integrity back into politics.

Big renewables will fight almost as hard against gas, even though quick-start-up turbines are the quickest and cheapest way to firm the supply of the intermittent energy they fitfully supply. Gas threatens their investment in batteries for the same reason nuclear threatens renewables.

The cause of common sense is not just lost. Dutton has defeated the woke Goliath once and could do so again. Corporate support for the voice, however, was mainly motivated by virtue signalling rather than crude financial self-interest.

To use the words that turned boxing announcer Michael Buffer into a household name, “get ready to rumble”.




Sunday, February 25, 2024

Mercedes-Benz to update combustion engine cars amid EV demand slowdown

STUTTGART (Reuters) - Mercedes-Benz on Thursday toned down expectations on EV demand and said it will update its combustion engine lineup well into next decade, becoming the latest carmaker to flag a slower than expected appetite for electric cars.

The company, which has been preparing for all-electric sales by 2030, said it now expects electrified sales - including hybrids - to account for up to 50% of the total by that date.

CEO Ola Kaellenius cautioned towards the end of last year that even Europe would likely not be ready by 2030 for an all-electric lineup, with multiple studies showing customers were holding back for a range of reasons including a lack of charging infrastructure and appealing electric models.
Kaellenius said Mercedes-Benz wanted customers and investors to know it was well-positioned to carry on producing combustion engine cars and was ready to update the technology well into next decade.

Its current plans for updates mean "it is almost like we will have a new lineup in 2027 that will take us well into the 2030s," Kaellenius said.

While automakers and suppliers are betting big on future demand for electric vehicles, investment in capacity and technology development has outrun actual EV demand, boosting pressure on companies to cut costs.

Mercedes-Benz is working through supply chain challenges, CEO says

Slower economic growth, supply chain bottlenecks, and trade tensions between China and both the U.S. and European Union also weighed on Mercedes-Benz's outlook for 2024, the carmaker said, forecasting lower returns on sales across its car and van division.

First-quarter sales are likely to be below the previous year's level, it said.

Electrified vehicle sales, including of hybrids, were expected to remain at approximately 19-21% of the total, Mercedes-Benz said, in line with reports across the industry of slower growth in EV demand.

The luxury car maker reported an adjusted return on sales in its car division of 12.6% for 2023, in line with its forecast, as inflation and supply chain-related costs as well as component shortages ate into its profits.


Climate Change Isn’t Endangering Fish Stocks

The oceans are still very much a mystery to humankind, with a vast majority of it yet to be explored. Early in my career, I wanted to make an in-depth study of how climate affected marine life. After all, many media reports claimed that “oceans will become empty by 2048.”

So, as a graduate research assistant, I explored the adaptability of marine fish and invertebrates to fluctuations in ocean temperatures. I found that both are highly adaptable to changes in the water around them. That is the way they are made.

Now, evidence emerging from scientific studies shows that marine life may be benefiting from the relative warmth of modern temperatures.

Contrary to the hyperbole of climate reporters, there has been no alarming increase in global sea-surface temperatures. Even if temperatures increase substantially, fish are free to migrate to cooler waters and do, as documented by scientific studies.

Fish also have natural adaptive mechanisms. Since their initial emergence in Earth’s waters, fish have developed genetically in ways that allow them not only to survive but to thrive in a variety of environments. In addition to the generational genetic adaptability, fish also display short-term phenotypic plasticity which allows them to adapt to temperatures and other physical factors. When combined, these mechanisms act as significant protection against the ill-effects of the physical environment.

Despite this, it is not uncommon to see news of fisheries crashing under the weight of a climate crisis. However, real-world data contradict such negative reports, indicating instead that global fish catches will improve in the coming decades.

A 2016 scientific study “assembled the largest-of-its-kind database and coupled it to state-of-the-art bioeconomic models for more than 4,500 fisheries around the world.” The study found that global fisheries will profit from an increase in marine species. The degree of this commercial success will depend on a range of policy measures, including ones that enable increased catches for individuals and communities.

In 2020, there was a record 214 million tonnes of production from both wild catches and aquaculture. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 report says that this production is expected to grow 14 percent by 2030. Fish are expected to become more affordable and accessible, with prices decreasing between 2024-2029, according to two international bodies: the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that published the data in Agricultural Outlook.

As of 2017, around 65% of fish stocks were biologically sustainable. An index of population health is maximum sustainable yield (MSY), which is the point at which the stock can sustain itself without limits on fishing. The MSY calculation involves collaborative information gathering by marine biologists and fishers.

The 2022 report states that the number of catches from biologically sustainable stocks has been on the rise! This signals that catches can be increased without depleting the stock to levels that neither the species nor continued fishing is at risk. While some concerns remain for a few species, studies show that in regions where we have high-quality population data, the majority of fish stocks are either stable or improving.

In short, any threat to future catches is not “empty” seas but rather the effect of activities such as illegal fishing and overfishing. Fish as an important protein source is likely to remain available in large quantities. Reality contradicts the fallacious climate crisis that dominates popular media and politics.


A professor of renewable energy at work

image from

The Canadian tourist charged with abducting and sexually assaulting an 80-year-old grandmother with Alzheimer's at a luxurious Bahamas resort has been granted bail and will be allowed to return to his home country.

Gordon Wilkie, 61, of New Waterford, Nova Scotia, was granted bail of $30,000 this week after being charged with rape in the January 28 attack at the Warwick Hotel Paradise Island Bahamas.

'This is devastating,' the victim's son David Ahrens told, saying the family received 'no notice or details' about a bail hearing before the ruling.

Wilkie, a community college professor of renewable energy, is accused of separating the vulnerable victim from her daughter in an elevator and raping her in his hotel room.

Prosecutors had opposed bail for Wilkie, but Justice Franklyn Williams granted it on Monday after the suspect's attorney raised health concerns, saying his blood pressure was not being properly treated in jail.

Wilkie was eligible for release as early as Thursday, but as of Friday afternoon it did not appear that he had posted bail.

His attorney, Ryszard Humes, declined to comment when reached by

Wilkie will be allowed to return to Canada while free on bail pending trial, a person close to the case told

However, he must return to the Bahamas to appear in court for the presentation of a voluntary bill of indictment on May 29, and subsequent arraignment before the Supreme Court, the person said.

A source close to prosecutors said they had a difficult time proving that Wilkie was a flight risk, and that he had no prior convictions in the Bahamas, which weakened their argument that he should be denied bail.

Last week, was the first to report that Wilkie is a faculty member at Novia Scotia Community College, where he specializes in renewable energy and has been placed on leave following his arrest.

Wilkie runs a solar-power installation company and was an instructor in renewable energy at NSCC's Dartmouth campus, according to a 2021 CBC News interview.


Australia: Inquiry Ponders How Government Can Legislate Against Climate Change Health Risks

The government is hearing testimony on whether to require lawmakers to consider the ‘health and wellbeing of children in Australia’ when approving mines.

Questions remain over how exactly the federal Australian government can define, and legislate, a climate change risk to the “health and wellbeing” of children.

A Senate Committee is examining an amendment to the Albanese government’s Climate Change Act 2022 to require legislators to consider the health of children when making significant decisions.

The Climate Change Amendment (Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity) Bill 2023 would also restrict approvals for mining activities related to coal, oil, and natural resources if they pose a “material risk of harm” to children.

While medical bodies like the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), as well as several climate change activist groups, shared their views on the health risks caused by climate change, the issue of how exactly the government would legislate against this, was largely left unanswered.

“How would you expect decision-makers to correctly identify a project-specific impact on health, in a context where the cumulative impact of emissions over many years is causing climate change? How would you see that point of identification?” said Labor Senator Karen Grogan on the morning of Feb. 22.

In response, Dr. Catherine Pendrey, chair of the Climate and Environmental Medicine Specific Interest Group at RACGP, said her organisation would not “specifically comment on the functions of the court.”

“I believe it’s the young people in Australia that have been taking these issues to court, rather than members of the medical profession,” she told the Senate Environment, Communications Legislation Committee.

Senator Grogan said that she had no argument with climate change science, but was concerned about the impact of how the law would operate on the ground.

“Will it have the intended impact? Or will it ... have unintended consequences, and limit the ability of the structures—that the Labor government’s put in place over the last 18 months—to try and ramp up action on climate change?”

She further added, “I’m asking how you would believe an administrative decision maker would make that assessment [on the health impact of climate change?]”

Dr. Michael Bonning, chair of the Public Health Committee at the Australian Medical Association, said there was evidence of legislators coming to conclusions based on available evidence and “utilising that going forward.”

“As for internal administrative procedures, we obviously aren’t able to comment on that.”

When asked the same question, Anjali Sharma, a young climate change activist, conceded it was difficult to quantify the impact of a fossil fuel project, but added that the “cumulative impact of all these decisions is what we young people will face down the road.”

“I know that 50 years down the road—in a world that potentially has seen warming past 1.5 degrees Celsius—we will not be able to look back and point to that one specific decision that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she said.

‘Health Impact Assessments’ Mentioned

Dr. Kate Wylie, from Doctors for the Environment Australia, provided, what she termed “the beginning of an answer” to the senator’s question.

“We have Health Impact Assessments for various projects ... and they do not consider climate change impacts. We could broaden the scope of the Health Impact Assessments to include climate change, and how that impacts on children’s health.”

Heath Darrant, national coordinator of the Australian Medical Students’ Association, concurred, saying Australia could adopt the United Nation’s Child Rights Impact Assessment Model.

“And I know Wales used that in their [Wellbeing of Future Generation Act] that they implemented, which is a similar bill that’s being discussed here today. And New Zealand also uses the same model to come up with criteria on what constitutes an impact on health.”




Thursday, February 22, 2024

Industrial Wind Turbines demonstrate their Unreliable and Intermittent Nature Generating 1.8% of their Capacity than jumping to 80.4% only a few days later

Yesterday, February 9th, 2024, those IWT spread throughout Ontario were impressive generating 94,605 MWh or about what 3.1 million average households would consume in a day suggesting they are the panacea to stop climate change! Mere days before on February 3rd and the first seven hours on February 4th they generated only 2,673 MWh which was 1.8% of their capacity in those 31 hours.

As the expression goes; they continually demonstrate their “traditional yo yo” tendencies as the following screenshot from IESO February 5th to the 10th demonstrates. They are the “green” in the chart which basically shows their intermittent and unreliable nature whereas the dark blue is natural gas which has the ability to ramp up and down as demand changes and to keep our grid from failing and causing blackouts.

So, the question one should ask, was the power delivered by those IWT on the 9th of February needed here in the province?

As it turns out 65.8% of the IWT generation or 62,259 MW were not really needed as IESO’s intertie data (net-exports) shows it went to our neighbours in Quebec, New York and Michigan and the average sale price over the 24 hours was $19.42/MWh and well below what we Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers paid for it. If we assume it was all surplus IWT generation those net-exports, we paid those contracted parties $135/MWh for; suggests the total cost of what was sold to our neighbours came to $8,404,965 but the price we were paid by our neighbours was an average of only that $19.42/MWh. Using the latter average price received over the 24 hours means we earned only $1,227,774!

The net result is we Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers have to eat the loss of $7,177,218 for just that one day’s IWT generation. The foregoing is not the exception particularly when Ontario’s peak demand is relatively low as it was yesterday reaching only 17,057 MW at hour 19.

For the foregoing reasons, we should wonder why the Ontario Minister of Energy is instructing IESO to extend the IWT contracts when their 20-year terms are up as they do nothing but increase our electricity costs. Those costs will be exacerbated by the addition of BESS (battery energy storage systems) as the latter will simply add another costly layer in an attempt to keep our grid reliable!


Supreme Court will hear challenge to EPA's 'good neighbor' rule that limits pollution

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in an important environmental case that centers on the obligation to be a "good neighbor."

Lawyers representing three states, companies and industry groups will ask the justices to block a federal rule that's intended to limit ozone air pollution. Experts said it's only the third time in more than 50 years that the court has scheduled arguments on an emergency application like this one.

At the heart of the dispute is the part of the Clean Air Act known as the "good neighbor" provision. It's designed to help protect people from severe health problems they face because of pollution that floats downwind from neighboring states.

"Air pollution doesn't respect state borders," said Harvard Law School professor Richard Lazarus.

The facts of the case

States like Wisconsin, New York and Connecticut can struggle to meet federal standards and reduce harmful levels of ozone because of emissions from coal plant smokestacks, cement kilns and natural gas pipelines that drift across their borders.

"One of the primary reasons that Congress passed this law in 1970 was the one place you could not trust the states to do it on their own was when there was interstate air pollution," Lazarus said.

Vickie Patton, general counsel at the Environmental Defense Fund, said these bedrock protections can save lives.

"There are children, there are older adults, people who work outside in the summer and people who are afflicted by asthma who are at very, very serious risk, and this case is just about asking those upwind polluters to do their fair share," Patton said.

Three of those upwind states — Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia — alongside companies including Kinder Morgan Inc. and U.S. Steel Corp. want the Supreme Court to freeze the good neighbor rule while they pursue an appeal with a lower court in the D.C. Circuit.

The Supreme Court steps in early

Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas and author of a book putting these kinds of emergency actions by the Supreme Court into context, said the other two cases where the justices entertained arguments at this stage involved vaccine mandates during the coronavirus pandemic.

The good neighbor case, on the other hand, doesn't present those same kinds of issues, he said.

"If this is an emergency, what isn't?" Vladeck asked. "There are lots of federal polices that are going to have massive stakes and they're going to have massive stakeholders on both sides. It's not at all obvious why this case merits this kind of special treatment."

Traditionally, the Supreme Court goes last — after a case has made its way through the lower courts and a variety of facts and arguments have been aired.

"This case hasn't really gone very far at all," Vladeck said. "I mean, the only thing that's happened in the entire litigation to date is that the D.C. Circuit, the federal appeals court, refused to give the same thing that they're now asking the Supreme Court for, refused to basically pause the rule at the beginning of the litigation."

The rule in question

Lawyers for the states and companies challenging the good neighbor rule declined to talk before the arguments. In court papers, they call the EPA rule a "disaster" and "a shell of itself."

That's because the plan originally applied to 23 states. But lower courts have hit pause in about half of them for a bunch of different reasons, in separate litigation.

These lawyers said states shouldn't have to shoulder the costs for what they say is an unlawful federal mandate, criticizing the EPA for taking a "top-down" approach to the rule.

But environmental advocates say many of the obligations in the new rule won't kick in until 2026, giving big polluters a couple of years to prepare. The rule is already in force and protecting people in a number of states, they add.

Lazarus, at Harvard Law School, said to win a pause at the Supreme Court, the states challenging the rule will have to meet what's typically a high bar by showing they're likely to win on the merits and they're suffering irreparable harm.

A skeptical Supreme Court

Even so, Lazarus said, regulators and environmental advocacy groups have had a hard time at the Supreme Court over the past few years. First, the justices struck down the Clean Power Plan. Then, they slashed the EPA's jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act. And just last month, they seemed skeptical about another case involving regulations for the fishing industry.

"It certainly seems like a court is sort of on a juggernaut to cut back in an aggressive way on sort of federal environmental law," he added.

Patton, whose environmental group submitted a friend of the court brief in the case, said she'll be watching closely.

"Industry has a responsibility to be a good neighbor under our nation's clean air laws, and I hope the Supreme Court does not upend those protections," Patton said.

There's no clear timetable for a decision from the justices


'Sue and Settle' Looks to Some Like Crony Democracy. And Under Biden's Lawfaring Eco-Politics, It's Back

When the Biden administration announced in 2022 that it would remove some 4 million acres of federal land in Western states from oil and gas exploration, environmental groups hailed the decision as a milestone in their fight against global warming.

“With the oil and gas industry bent on despoiling American’s public lands and fueling the climate crisis, this is a critical opportunity for the Biden administration to chart a new path toward clean energy and independence from fossil fuels,” said Jeremy Nichols, a director with WildEarth Guardians.

But Nichols could just as easily have slapped himself on the back: The administration’s move was part of a private settlement of a lawsuit filed by WildEarth and others over the objections of energy consortiums, whose efforts to intervene in the matter were dismissed.

A similar thing happened last August, when the Biden administration announced it had agreed to exclude 6 million acres of the energy-rich Gulf of Mexico seabed from exploration to settle a lawsuit brought by environmental groups, including the Sierra Club - an announcement that triggered operational delays for the industry and expensive litigation to overturn.

Administration critics say these moves reflect the resurgence of a practice embraced by the Obama administration and rejected during Donald Trump’s presidency: “sue and settle.” The tactic is simple: An advocacy group sues a federal agency for failing to enforce laws or regulations. Agency officials and the plaintiffs then come to a private agreement and that deal is ratified by the courts via a binding consent decree.

The practice is common at every level of government. New York City, for example, is obligated to house and feed tens of thousands of migrants because of a consent decree it entered into to settle a 1979 lawsuit brought by advocates for the homeless. But it is most prevalent in the environmental field, where well-funded groups commonly sue the Environmental Protection Agency or the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of the Interior alleging failure to enforce provisions of the Clean Air Act or regulations regarding federal leases for energy production.

Although such consent decrees do not have the force of laws passed by Congress or regulations issued by the government that have gone through formal review and allow for public comment, they set the rules of the road. Critics say it has allowed government to advance policy goals that cannot be achieved through normal democratic channels.

American Energy Alliance

Thomas Pyle: "It’s a nefarious practice in which the agency and the environmental groups get what they want.”
American Energy Alliance
“It’s not really an adversarial lawsuit, and with a settlement agreement and consent decree the case is never really over,” said Dave Tryon, director of litigation at the free-market Buckeye Institute. “The EPA is anxious to increase its power and control; it’s always happy to expand that.”

The legal maneuver represents, according to this view, a return to the proverbial smoked-filled backrooms of politics. Huddled privately, without input from citizens or businesses that may be adversely affected by the decisions – let alone the public at large – lawsuits that often involve parties more simpatico than adversarial are settled. The plaintiffs and defendants are familiar to one another from years in the environmental lobbying and litigation world – and because of the “revolving door” between environmental groups and Democratic administrations. These like-minded players approach the issue seeking similar goals, a process that has only intensified with the Biden administration and leftist environmental groups sharing the belief that global warming is an existential threat.

“Overall, it’s harkening back to the bad old days – they do this in order to avoid scrutiny and bypass the regulatory process,” said Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, an advocacy arm of the Institute for Energy Research. “It’s a way to advance an agenda that may be rejected by voters. It’s a nefarious practice in which the agency and the environmental groups get what they want.”

Sue-and-settle is part of an even broader effort known as “lawfare,” in which political parties and advocacy groups seek to achieve their goals not through elections or legislation but in the courts. This encompasses everything from President Trump’s “stop the steal” efforts to overturn the 2020 election through the courts to myriad efforts by Democrats, whose lawfare campaigns have ranged from getting courts to confiscate Trump’s businesses and charge him criminally to removing him from the 2024 ballot.


Australia to pay coal generators nearly $1bn

Crazy. They take with one hand and give with the other. Greenies will be livid

Anthony Albanese will pay coal generators nearly $1bn in rebates under his market intervention which capped the price of coal used for electricity at $125 a tonne, according to the latest estimates from the Department of Climate Change and Energy.

Labor’s energy market intervention was triggered in December 2022 by the need to shield Australians from rising electricity prices, which were forecast in the October budget that year to increase by about 20 per cent over 2022-23 followed by a further 36 per cent rise in 2023-24.

Retail gas prices were also forecast to increase by up to 20 per cent in both 2022-23 and 2023-24. The government responded by working with NSW and Queensland to set a price cap on coal used for electricity generation at $125 a tonne, while imposing a price ceiling on new domestic wholesale gas contracts for east coast producers at $12 per gigajoule.

Under the intervention, additional financial support is supplied in cases where the costs of production exceed the cost of supply under the cap. Mr Albanese initially dismissed suggestions that compensation for generators under the arrangements could rise into the hundreds of millions.

But initial estimates provided to parliament’s cost of living committee in early 2023 by the Department of Climate Change and Energy suggested that the combined fiscal cost of the coal generator rebates to the Commonwealth, NSW and Queensland governments would be in the order of $1.5bn to $2bn, with the Commonwealth paying a 50 per cent share.

In a letter sent on Tuesday, Department Secretary David Fredericks provided an updated estimate based on the decline in the market price of thermal coal over the past year. The new estimate was in line with the department’s initial analysis, but slightly lower than the upper figure of $2bn.

“DCCEEW’s revised estimate of the maximum total fiscal cost of the rebates associated with the coal price caps is $1.85bn, with the Commonwealth government committed to paying half under the arrangement reached with the New South Wales and Queensland governments,” he said.

Responding to a request for the updated figure from Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, Mr Fredericks said the new estimate was “less than the previous estimate provided to the Senate Cost of Living Inquiry in February 2023.”

The update from Mr Fredericks suggests the Commonwealth will still need to fork out $925m for coal generators – half the estimated $1.85bn total fiscal cost of the rebates under the price cap.

The latest update from the Australian Energy Regulator revealed the cost of producing electricity in 2023 had fallen by as much as 64 per cent in a year and that wholesale electricity prices were running closer to longer-term averages.

The AER said milder weather, fewer coal supply issues and an increase in cheap wind and solar energy had helped drive the reduction. But it also noted another factor – lower fuel costs partly driven by the government’s intervention.

However, Senator Canavan argued that “massive government subsidies don’t lower electricity prices to our economy. Subsidies just transfer the cost of our inept energy policies from consumers to taxpayers.”

“To lift real wages we have to focus on lowering the costs of production. The government’s clumsy interventions have clearly chilled investment in new energy supplies in Australia. The US is doubling its LNG capacity while we remain at a standstill,” he said. “Our lack of investment in reliable energy supplies will continue to increase electricity prices for all over time.”

Leading energy economists have recently suggested there is no longer a strong rationale to extend Labor’s coal price cap beyond the middle of 2024, given the moderation in short-term coal prices.