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What Will It Take To End Anti-Greenhouse Gas Insanity?

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | April 15, 2019

It was nearly six years ago, in one of the very early posts on this blog, that I wrote as to the global warming scam, “[E]ven as the cause becomes more and more ridiculous, the advocates just double down again and again.” At the time, world temperatures had failed to rise in accordance with alarmist predictions for about 15 years running, and I still had the naive idea that the politics of this issue ultimately would follow the scientific method; in other words, that the hypothesis of catastrophic human-caused warming would inevitably be forced to face the test of empirical evidence. Over time, empirical evidence would accumulate. As it became more and more clear that the evidence failed to support the hypothesis, the whole thing would gradually fade away. But up to that point, as I reported in that April 2013 post, what was happening was closer to the opposite. Extremely weak or completely negative empirical evidence for the hypothesis only made the advocates more and more extreme in their demands for immediate transformation of the world economy to “save the planet.”

The intervening six years have seen the ongoing accumulation of considerably more evidence, essentially all of it negative to the catastrophic global warming hypothesis, but my faith that actual evidence could resolve the issue has been almost completely shattered. Massive alterations have been made to the world thermometer temperature records by US and UK bureaucrats — almost entirely to reduce early-year temperatures and thereby create an apparent warming trend far greater than exists in the raw data. I have covered this issue extensively in a now-twenty-two part series “The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time.” Meanwhile, every hurricane, tornado, drought, flood, or other damaging act of nature is presented by the progressive press as evidence of human-caused “climate change” — even as the actual occurrences of such events have been definitively shown to have no increasing trend over time. Actual evidence gets massively altered, buried and/or ignored.

And now here we are in 2019, and the demands of the anti-greenhouse gas activists have only become more shrill and strident. Exhibit A is the so-called Green New Deal, a call to end most or all GHG emissions by 2030 at a cost of maybe 100 trillion dollars or so. And we are treated to claims by seemingly serious elected officials that the world will end in 12 years if we do not follow these prescriptions. If mere adverse empirical evidence cannot end this insanity, what can?

Here’s what I think will put this to an end: the actual implementation by some jurisdictions of the activists’ preferred policies, all of which would impose massive costs on the people with no measurable impacts on world temperatures or the climate. The problem with expecting the scientific method to resolve this issue is that very few people have the time or inclination to follow empirical evidence of world temperatures to see if they are rising in accordance with predictions. Even fewer people are willing to get into the nitty gritty to evaluate alterations to the temperature data to see if they are legitimate. But almost everybody will notice immediately when their electricity bill gets tripled.

The process of imposing massive costs on the voting public in the name of saving the planet has been proceeding slowly in many places, and only very recently has this process started to face the beginnings of political blowback. For example, in Germany, the so-called Energiewende began in 2010, and over the ensuing near-decade has gradually brought consumer electricity prices in that country to about triple the US average, with minimal reductions in actual greenhouse gas emissions. Seven plus years into this, in the late-2017 elections, two climate skeptic parties (Free Democrats and Alliance for Germany) went from almost nothing to winning some 24.6% of the seats in the Bundestag. South Australia is an even more complex political situation, but they have also seen fanatic imposition of a “green” energy agenda, with vast increases in “renewable” electricity generation, the closing of coal plants, leading to several massive blackouts, and electricity prices also rising to about triple the US average. This has definitely become a major political issue. And just yesterday in Finland, a climate skeptic party called the Finns Party got 17.5% of the votes and 39 seats in parliamentary elections where the biggest establishment party (Social Democrats) got only 17.7% and 40 seats. Many sources report that the election was dominated by the Finns Party’s rallying cry of “climate hysteria.”

Here in my home city of New York, so far it has been all talk and not much action on the front of “fighting climate change” by forcibly suppressing greenhouse gas emissions. But that may all be about to change. A new omnibus package of “climate” bills has just been introduced in the City Council, seeking to go all in on every ridiculously expensive and completely ineffective policy you can think of, supposedly to “save the planet.” The Huffington Post has a big write-up here. Allegedly this monstrosity is going to come up for a vote as early as a week from today, April 22, aka “Earth Day.”

From the lead sponsor:

“This is about saving New York City,” Councilman Costa Constantinides, the Queens Democrat leading the effort. . . . “This is saving the city as we know it.”

This guy actually has the idea that he can stop bad weather or sea level rise or something by ordering the people of New York City (about 0.1% of the world’s population) to change their energy sources or use less energy or otherwise stop their sinning. How about some specifics?

The heart of the legislation is a measure requiring buildings of over 25,000 square feet ― the biggest source of carbon pollution in the city ― to install new windows, insulation and other retrofits to become more energy efficient. Starting in 2024, the legislation orders landlords to slash emissions 40% by 2030, and double the cuts by 2050.

Well, I have some experience as a building owner, and I can tell you that you can replace all the windows and insulate to your heart’s content, and you are not going to reduce your building’s energy usage by anything close to 40%, let alone 80%. In addition to which, most large buildings have long since made these upgrades. But hey, these are evil landlords, so we can just order them to do it, and it will happen.

And how about some other things we can order evil companies to do:

The full Climate Mobilization Act package goes further. One bill orders the city to complete a study over the next two years on the feasibility of closing all 24 oil- and gas-burning power plants in city limits and replacing them with renewables and batteries.  Another establishes a renewable energy loan program. Two more require certain buildings to cover roofs with plants, solar panels, small wind turbines or a mix of the three.  The last in this initial bunch tweaks the city’s building code to make it easier to build wind turbines.

These are some things with the real possibility of increasing our costs of electricity by big multiples. You might think I would strenuously oppose the bills, given that I am a designated guinea pig and victim for an experiment that can’t possibly end in anything other than abject failure. But you would be wrong. I say, let them try this nonsense, and the sooner and faster the better. That’s the only way that the inattentive multitudes will finally wake up. And, when electricity bills or gasoline prices or rents multiply by factors of three, or maybe five, then wake up they will. The insane politics of New York City might seem completely impervious to change, but that’s because the limits have not yet been tested. Going down this road could finally lead to a 180 degree reversal. I say, go for it!

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 6 Comments

Baseline of a Desecrated Land VII: Poisoned Streams

Toxic Streams and disappearing groundwater

By Dick Callahan | September 30, 2018

“… and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” Kings 18.

Kishon: If Elijah was around today he might just tell the Israelites to kill the 450 Ba’al prophets by tossing them into the Kishon. Visualize a waterway where whatever swims or flies into it dies. The Kishon got so bad that not even bacteria could survive. Who knew that was even possible? But, Dr. Yishayahu Bar-Or, a Deputy Director with Israel Environmental Protection Ministry, says that the river reached a point where it was, “absolutely dead–even bacteria were not able to live there because it was more acidic than coca cola.”

Seventy Israeli navy divers (or their widows) who contracted cancers, filed suit against multiple polluters who they maintain dumped the carcinogens into the Kishon and Haifa Bay where the men were forced to dive in training. The divers said the water burned their skin, smelled and tasted terrible, and sometimes a sadistic officer would make a sailor drink some of the water as a punishment. After thirteen years in court an Israeli judge rejected the lawsuits. Likewise, a group of fifty Israeli fishermen filed a lawsuit against the Haifa Chemicals and Fertilizers company, for illnesses they say were brought on by exposure to carcinogens released by the companies. Again, Israeli courts threw out the lawsuit.
Eventually Israel came to an agreement that it would help 92 former military divers who were compromised by training in the Kishon. A Canadian firm, EnGlobe, won the contract to dredge contaminated bottom muck. It’s no longer the most contaminated stream in Israel. Vegetation is returning to the banks and some vertebrates can be found in the water now. But it still flows past Israel’s noxious military industrial complex at Haifa which has serial toxic spills and parts of the stream bottom are still contaminated with heavy metals, petrochemicals from Israeli’s largest oil refinery, and effluent from military installations.

Yarkon: In 1997, at the opening ceremonies of the Maccabiah Games, a substandard foot bridge over the Yarkon stream in Tel Aviv collapsed sending sixty-seven Australian athletes into the water. One died from trauma, three of them died and thirty-five others became critically ill from being dunked in the river’s pollution. Israel had been diverting the springs feeding the Yarkon for agriculture which reduced flow to a point where it was impossible for the stream to flush out sewage, farm runoff, and chemical pollutants. Resulting anoxic bottom sludge, stirred up when the Australians fell in, was fatal. Instead of going after the problem aggressively, Israel increased diversions and by 2000, a whopping 99 percent of the Yarkon was being diverted.

It’s not a recent phenomenon. As early as 1956 Israel tapped into the Rosh haAyin springs to send water south for irrigation. Alon Tal wrote, “It took little time for Israelis to grow used to the new stench-filled and stagnant reality. It was just another annoyance of daily life.”

Good people are doing what they can to clean up Israel’s waterways but, as in our own country, they’re working against a combined government/corporate/military triumvirate that talks about a healthy environment but in practice is apathetic, hostile, shortsighted, and flat stupid. In 2016 thousands of endangered Yarkon fish were killed by runoff from a light rail construction company contaminating several kilometers of the river because it was convenient, or cheaper, or they were reckless. In 2017 there was the massive, deliberate sewage treatment plant spill mentioned in section 6 above.

Yarmouk: Yarmouk water is better quality than the Kishon or Yarkon but is still compromised by farm runoff, heavy metals, petroleum and sewage. As noted above, in 2009 the Jordanians confirmed that Israel was polluting the Yarmouk with oil and sewage. Israel agreed to compensate Jordan with water from Lake Kinneret.

Nahal Kidron: In 2015 Israeli news service Haaretz’s excellent environmental journalist Zafrir Rinat called the Kidron the most polluted river in today’s Israel and West Bank. This is the sewage stream from East Jerusalem where Israelis impound some of the liquid, treat it, then use the water for Israeli farm produce. This illustrates a problematic aspect of Israel’s water technology. Israel is so strapped for water that when they pull sewage from streams and clean it up, they tend to use it on crops which means the depleted stream the water came from has even less water. Plus the concentrated waste often ends up back in the stream.

Other streams
Ariel Cohen of Nature and Parks Authority Environmental unit says all nine major West Bank streams are badly polluted. 2007 analysis revealed sewage, salts and heavy metals leaching into the mountain aquifer below the West Bank. Streams are Kishon, Shechem, Kana, Shilo, Soreq, Mod’in, Michmash, Kidron and Hebron. Palestinians produce estimated 56 million cubic meters of sewage per year, Israeli occupiers produce and estimated 17.5 mcm/year of which 31.5% isn’t treated. 43 km. of Hebron stream is untreated sewage water. There are 178 kilometers of sewage stream flows overall.

Estuaries
As rivers flow into the sea suspended sediments they carry settle out creating nutrient rich alluvial fans.  Estuaries that form around river mouths efficiently trap and hold nutrients which is why estuaries are among the richest ecosystems on earth. They provide spawning and rearing habitat for marine life and a healthy estuary indicates a healthy watershed flowing into it.
When polluted rivers settle out into an estuary, suspended toxins, heavy metals, agricultural fertilizer, and whatever else doesn’t belong in water, also settles out. Haaretz reports that the Israeli Health Ministry recommends a ban on fishing at all ports and marinas and on some beaches and estuaries. The February, 2018 article also notes that a quarter of the fish sampled in Haifa Bay tested over the accepted  limit for mercury.

Pumping it down: Withering nature reserves
Savvy countries play the environmental card to tourists by designating “Nature Reserves.” Israel is the lone country on earth expanding its territory by designating indigenous private lands as nature reserves, seizing them, then giving them to colonists. Whether the land belonged to indigenous people or occupiers, Israeli nature reserves are being devastated by toxic spills and by Israeli wells drawing down the water table to the point that springs and streams have no water left. What can flee does so. What can’t dies.

Some examples of falling water tables on springs
An Israeli Water Authority survey of northern spring flows between 1970 and 2011 found that output volume had dropped in 67 of 87 of the springs studied over that fifty years.

Nahal Betzet reserve is a small reserve in northern Israel about a mile from the Lebanese border. Hillel Glassman, a spokesperson for the Nature and Parks Authority, said, “There’s no more wildlife in the stream’s water at all…Plane trees hundreds of years old are dying amid a water shortage that began in 2000.’ The plane trees (sycamores are a type of plane tree) might all die because Nahal Betzet stream is fed by a spring which is dried up from Israelis pumping down the ground water.

Nahal Naaman is a spring fed stream where a Jewish National Fund website promoting the place claims springs produce 5,000 cubic meters of water per hour. The 2011 spring survey found the spring output “in steep decline” due to “increased pumping for irrigation and drinking water.”

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is beside a Dead Sea kibbutz named for Ein Gedi spring. The kibbutz has built a 153 room hotel/guest house complex (gardens, lawns, spa with six pools, restaurant, freshwater pool, air conditioned rooms, cable TV, etc.). Bad reviews on Trip Advisor aside, you’ve got to wonder which small oasis has been parched for such a water extravagant operation to exist there, especially since they’ve built a water bottling factory to sell mineral water from the spring while the country is in extreme drought. This company has an estimated 17 % of the bottled water market in Israel. Some years ago the kibbutz made a deal with the reserve that they would take spring water and supply the reserve with water from another stream but that is falling through. The kibbutz still takes the water, and the reserve is compromised.

(*Graphic at top by artist Kari Dunn http://kdunnart.weebly.com)

Recognition 7: Poisoned Streams: Selected Sources

07.31.2012 The Yarkon disaster 17 years later. Aytzim, Ecological Judaism by Sarah Friedman.
07.08.2000 Lawsuit reveals depth of pollution in Israeli river Los Angeles Times by Tracy Wilkinson. Israeli divers suing the government and military for debilitating illnesses contracted by diving in the Kishon.
09.11.2012 Kishon River cleanup to begin 12 years after navy divers contracted cancer HaaretzI by Revital Hoval.
11.04.2013 Court rejects suit of 50 Kishon river Fishermen who blame their illnesses on Pollution Haaretz by Eli Ashkenazi.
02.09.2018 Despite some improvement, Israel’s estuaries remain seriously polluted Haaetz by Zafrir Rinat.
10.11.2017 Pollution kills thousands of fish in Lachish River. Ynet news. by Ilana Curiel. A local diver reports that this, “happens almost every year.” Authorities diverted river to Mel Ami beach supposedly to make an escape route to the sea for fish that were still alive. Unsure exactly what is killing the fish, authorities warned people to stay away from that beach.
07.16.2016 Thousands of endangered Yarkon river fish killed by construction.
Ynet news.
02.28.2011 Sewage without borders Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
11.13.2017 Sewage pours into northern Betzet stream, kills fish and turtles. Jerusalem Post by Max Schindler. Thousands of cubic meters of sewage into Betzet stream.
08.07.2017 Reign of sewage in biblical valley may be coming to an end Reuters. Ari Rabinovich. 12 million cubic meters of sewage per year, [33,000 cubic meters per day], flow down from Jerusalem and West Bank. Some is collected in a large pool that is used to water sewage resistant date trees. [yuk]
05.19.2017 Israel launches criminal investigation into water treatment execs over sewage spill Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. “ongoing illegal pumping of raw sewage into the Yarkon River Basin.”
12.09.2014 Two-headed mutant salamander found in Haifa Israel 21c by Viva Sarah Press. Scientists not sure if it’s mutated because of radiation, pollution, or in-breeding from a depleted population.
06.05.2012 Sewer runs through river at heart of Israel’s most important Nature reserve. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
09.22.2008 ‘Polluted West Bank streams pose threat to a third of Israel’s drinking water’ Jerusalem Post by Ehud Zion Waldoks.
09.02.2015 Most polluted river in Israel and West Bank to stay filthy because of government vacillation Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. ‘Nahal Kidron the most polluted water way in either Israel of the West Bank…’ The river is an open sewer for untreated sewage from illegal Israeli Jewish settlements and Palestinian villages in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The sewage flows into a reservoir where part of it is treated and piped to illegal Israeli settlements to water date groves in the occupied Jordan valley.
06.05.2012 Sewer runs through river at heart of Israel’s most important Nature reserve. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. Nahal Sorek is a Wadi that Israel made flow year round with the technological advancement of running Jerusalem’s sewage through it. The Israeli Water Authority came up with a scheme to build reservoirs that would hold treated sewage which would be later be pumped to irrigate Israeli crops.
09.22.2008 ‘Polluted West Bank streams pose threat to a third of Israel’s drinking water’ Jerusalem Post by Ehud Zion Waldoks. Most West Bank sewage from Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages is untreated.
08.28.2017 Report: a million Israelis take Ritalin-t type drugs Hamodia by Dror Halavy. 904.453 people give Ritalin prescriptions (or equivalents) in 2016. With half of those written in the Tel Aviv and Sharon areas.
07.16.2016 Thousands of endangered Yarkon river fish killed by construction. Ynet news.
05.19.2017 Israel launches criminal investigation into water treatment execs over sewage spill Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat
11.04.2013 Court rejects suit of 50 Kishon river Fishermen who blame their illnesses on Pollution Haaretz by Eli Ashkenazi.
02.28.2011 Sewage without borders Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
07.17.2013 Springs in Northern Israel Producing less water, some all dried up Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

North Korea pitched state-of-the-art submarine system to Taiwan military: report

By Sophia Yang -Taiwan News – 2019/04/05

TAIPEI — As Taiwan’s first indigenous submarine project is underway, media reported the North Korean government years ago reached out to Taiwan’s military in an attempt to sell its advanced marine propulsion technology – Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) – for the project.

People familiar with the matter told UPmedia that a number of submarine builders and software providers from the United States, Europe among 16 other countries showed their interest in participating in the country’s indigenous submarine project. To the military department’s surprise, the North Korean military was among the bidders, reportedly pitching their products through a Taiwanese trading company.

The name of the trading company was not disclosed in the news story.

The report indicated that the company was pitching on behalf of the isolated nation, which has been enduring severe financial stress under the sanctions imposed by international bodies and a number of countries. The products on the list included North Korea’s miniature Yono-class submarine, Yugo-class submarine, Sang-O-class submarine, as well as the North Korean self-made AIP system.

The system is believed to enable the submarine to remain submerged for up to four weeks to better extend its underwater endurance, compared to an underwater endurance of only a few days in traditional diesel-electric submarines.

A submarine expert working for Taiwan’s military reportedly made a fact-checking trip years ago to the China-DPRK border city of Dandong to meet the North Korean military officials, from whom the expert verified the authenticity of the bid and its capability to carry out the task. However, Taiwan’s military eventually didn’t consider the technologies out of concern that it would violate UN sanctions against North Korea.

Also, recently at a press event, a military official told media that Taiwan’s first indigenous submarine would not be equipped with the advanced and expensive AIP system, but will consider it for the other indigenous submarines in the future.

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

Trump, Erdogan seek reset of US-Turkey ties

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | April 21, 2019

Even as the countdown has begun before the first batch of Russian-made S-400 missiles will arrive in Turkey — expected in coming ten weeks from now — a crisis situation envelops the Turkish-American relationship. No doubt, this crisis, unless resolved in the coming days or weeks, could have profound consequences for the future of the western alliance system as a whole and the geopolitics of Eurasia and the Middle East.

What distinguishes the crisis from the run-of-the-mill spats that keep frequenting the Turkey-US relationship every now and then is that at issue here is Turkey’s vulnerability, if it proceeds with the S-400 deal, to US retribution under the 2017 law known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which is directed against Russian arms industry but becomes applicable to third parties that enter into arms deals with Moscow.

If CAATSA sanctions click in, Turkey, which is mired in recession due to the US pressure tactic on its economy, may descend into a free fall of its currency. Incipient signs are already available. Even minor US sanctions could trigger another sharp sell-off in the Turkish lira that deepens the recession. Last year, Turkish lira shed 30 percent of its value, and the currency is down another 10 percent recently, and markets remain on edge.

Simply put, Turkey is so much integrated into the western economies and banking system that any US sanctions would inevitably have a crippling effect. And if there is one message out of Turkey’s recent local elections, it is that the state of the domestic economy could directly impact President Recep Erdogan’s political standing. The point is, despite all the brave chatter about dethroning the dollar, the hard reality is that the US is in a position to “weaponise” the dollar for the foreseeable future and all the King’s men and all the King’s horses — in Moscow and Beijing or Tehran and Caracas or wherever — have to live with that reality.

Besides, in Turkey’s case, a life outside the Western system is simply unthinkable. The Turkish elite are acutely conscious of Ataturk’s legacy that the modernisation of the country demands integration with the West. True, Turkey under President Recep Erdogan is redefining its identity but reclaiming Ottoman legacies in the Muslim Middle East does not and will not mean turning the back on Europe. Paradoxically, Turkey’s strategic autonomy is best preserved by being part of the western alliance system, considering the country’s tough neighbourhood.

No doubt, the stakes are high for Turkey. Unsurprisingly, soon after the visit to Moscow on April 8, Erdogan decided to depute a high-powered team of officials to Washington. The indications are that Erdogan came away from Moscow not quite convinced of the Kremlin’s assiduous wooing of him with an alternative non-western road map for Turkey’s future. At any rate, a team of senior Turkish ministers visited Washington last week for talks aimed at easing the crisis, which included the powerful Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of Erdogan.

The hugely consequential mission of Turkish ministers (which also included Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Erdogan’s key advisor Ibrahim Kalin) culminated in an unexpected Oval Office meeting for Albayrak with President Donald Trump, with only son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin present.

Turkish officials have since exuded optimism that Trump has a “more positive attitude” to Turkey’s pleas than the US Congress where Turkey has almost no cheerleaders.

The catch, however, is that CAATSA, which was legislated in the backdrop of Trump’s alleged “Russia collusion”,  has been written precisely with the idea that Trump will have no loopholes to bypass it or dilute the sanctions legislation against Russian arms industry. In fact, for granting a waiver to Turkey in the present case, Trump by law would have to show that the S-400 purchase was not a “significant transaction”, and that it would not endanger the integrity of NATO or adversely affect US military operations.

Again, Trump would also need to show in a letter to congressional committees that the S-400 missile deal would not lead to a “significant negative impact” on US-Turkish cooperation, and that Turkey is taking, or will take, steps over a specific period to reduce its Russian-made defence equipment and weapons. It is a difficult proposition, but doable — provided there is political will.

Trump’s decision to receive Albayrak — it is absolutely unprecedented for POTUS to hold talks with a visiting finance minister — signals that the great dealmaker is on the prowl and would have some formula under his sleeve. Significantly, Trump has not weighed in on Turkey in recent weeks. A senior Turkish official told Reuters that the talks in Washington were “more positive than expected” and the Americans expressed “a softer tone” than they take in public. Another Turkish official added, “There might certainly be some steps to be taken but the search for common ground will continue.”

The Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters on Thursday: “We’re closer” to a final decision on the S-400s after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart. “It’s like: ‘OK, where are we stuck? How do we get unstuck?” he said of the talks, adding he was optimistic and hopeful of visiting Turkey for the formal transfer of F-35 stealth aircraft, which Turkey plans to buy and Washington is threatening to block if Turkey pressed ahead with the S-400 deal with Russia.

Of course, the Turkish-American relationship is littered with several other disputes too — military strategy in the Syrian conflict, Iran sanctions, Turkey’s extradition request to Washington in regard of the Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen (whom Ankara blames for a failed 2016 military coup) and so on. But the crisis over the S-400 missile deal is the mother of all disputes, since it is directly linked to the viability of the 7-decades old Turkish-American alliance, the Russian strategies in the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean, US-Russia tensions and the US’ capacity to influence the Middle East politics as a whole.

What is happening is that after a brinkmanship played out through months at different levels, the crisis over the S-400 affair is reaching a nail-biting finish, with Turkey and the US having reached the edge of the precipice, peering into the abyss and not liking what they see in the darkness and groping for a way to pull back somehow. If they succeed, it will have to be on a “win-win” basis. Read a commentary in the pro-government Turkish daily Sabah entitled This picture gives us hope

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

David Attenborough’s BBC show would better have been called “Climate: Change The Facts”

Reviewing “Climate Change: the Facts” | April 21, 2019

… If you are going to present a film called Climate Change: the Facts the very least you should be doing is, well, presenting the facts. Well here they are, in two of the areas which made up such a hefty part of the film: wildfires and hurricanes. Are wildfires increasing? They are according to Attenborough. One of the scientists who takes part in the programme, Professor Michael Mann of Penn State University, goes as far as to say there has been a “tripling in the extent of wildfires in the Western US”. He is not specific about his evidence for this claim, nor said over what timeframe wildfires are supposed to have trebled, but it is not a fair assessment of the data collected by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA). This shows no upwards trend in the number of wildfires in the US over the past 30 years.

But then again, go back further, to the 1920s, and you see that both the number of US wildfires and acreage burned in them has plummeted.

That is nothing to do with the climate – more down to firefighters getting better at tackling fires. But that reduction in wildfires – which, after all, were occurring naturally long before Europeans arrived in the US – has brought with it a problem: deadwood is not being cleared out at the rate which it used to be. As a result, when a wildfire does take hold, it tends to be a more powerful fire, which is one reason large acreages tend to get burned when fires do take hold. That was a large part of the debate which followed the wildfires in California last November.

But I know what will have entered the heads of many of Attenborough’s viewers: that wildfires are being caused by climate change and that is that. […]

The same will be true for hurricanes. If you are a child, for whom hurricanes are a novel phenomenon, watching the film will have given you the impression that hurricanes are pretty much a function of man-made climate change. A voiceover, indeed, makes the claim that climate change is causing ‘greater storms’. But again, the data on cyclone activity in the Atlantic, Gulf and Mexico and Caribbean does not support that idea. Figure one shows a very slight upwards trend in the number of hurricanes occurring in these waters but a flat or perhaps slightly downwards trend in the number of hurricanes making landfall in the US. There are two other methods of measuring hurricane activity which are used by the EPA. The first, the accumulated cyclone index (figure two) shows no obvious trend over the past 70 years. The second, the ‘power dissipation index’ shows an upwards spike in the early years of this century, followed by a reversion to mean since then.

Not that this seems to prevent documentary-makers like Attenborough resorting to footage of houses being demolished by winds and lorries being blown off bridges to show the supposed climate change we are already experiencing.

It is little wonder that terrified kids are skipping school to protest against climate change. Never mind climate change denial, a worse problem is the constant exaggeration of the subject. I had thought David Attenborough would be above resorting to the subtle propaganda which others have been propagating, linking every adverse weather event to climate change. But apparently not. — Ross Clark, The Spectator, 20 April 2019


… [W]e have already seen what can happen when ‘panic’ determines policy: the introduction of measures conceived by a need to be seen to be doing something under pressure from groups such as Extinction Rebellion.

Without making this clear, the film revealed one of the worst examples of this unfortunate effect. A powerful sequence showed an orangutan, fleeing loggers who have been eradicating Borneo’s rainforest.

This is disastrous for both wildlife and the climate because, as the film pointed out, a third of global emissions are down to deforestation, because giant trees lock up a lot of carbon.

But why are Borneo’s forests being cut down? The reason, as Attenborough said, is palm oil, a lucrative crop used in products ranging from soap to biscuits. Unfortunately, he left out the final stage of the argument.

Half of all the millions of tons of palm oil sent to Europe is used to make ‘biofuel’, thanks to an EU directive stating that, by 2020, ten per cent of forecourt fuel must come from ‘renewable’ biological sources. Malaysia says this has ‘created an unprecedented demand’.

To put it another way: misguided ‘action’ designed to save the planet is actually helping to damage it – although the EU has pledged to phase out palm oil biofuel by 2030.

Another example of a misconceived effort to save the planet is Drax power plant in Yorkshire which is fed, thanks to £700 million of annual subsidy, by ‘renewable’ wood pellets made from chopped-down American trees – while pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere than when it burnt only coal.

In theory, the trees it burns will be replaced – but a large part of its supply comes from hardwood forests that take 100 years to mature.

There are times when climate propaganda – for this is what this was – calls to mind the apocalyptic prophets of the Middle Ages, who led popular movements by preaching that the sins of human beings were so great that they could only be redeemed by suffering, in order to create a paradise on earth. Perhaps this is how Attenborough, nature journalism’s Methuselah, sees himself. But climate change is too important to be handled in this manner. It needs rational, well-informed debate. Too often, cheered on by the eco-zealots of Extinction Rebellion, the BBC is intent on encouraging quite the opposite. —David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 21 April 2019


… A former top executive at the BBC has warned that it is “at risk of being eaten” as new figures reveal that more than 880,000 television licences were cancelled last year. Cancellations among the under-75s rose from 860,192 in 2017-18 to 882,198 in the period from March 2018 to the end of February, new data shows. Mosey, 61, criticised the dumbing-down of news and “the nonsense put on social media by BBC” staff.  —The Sunday Times, 21 April 2019

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Film Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 2 Comments