Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

There Is No Climate Crisis

By Tony Heller | November 12, 2019

There is no climate crisis. There is no ocean acidification crisis. The Extinction Rebellion is based on superstition, not science.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 1 Comment

Takeover of Venezuela’s embassy in Brazil timed to coincide with launch of BRICS summit – Russia

RT | November 13, 2019

The seizure of Venezuela’s embassy in Brasilia was not only an attack on the legitimate government of Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, but also an attempt to sow discord between the BRICS member states, Russia’s Deputy FM told RT.

The Wednesday storming on the diplomatic mission by the supporters of US-backed Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido was “planned before and timed that it coincided with the first day of BRICS summit,” Sergey Ryabkov said.

It took place on the same day as the leaders of Russia, China, India and South Africa arrived to the Brazilian capital for the high-profile BRICS summit. Members of the block, which unites the world’s largest emerging economics, have quite different views on the crisis in Venezuela. Moscow and Beijing are backing Maduro as the democratically-elected president, while Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro said he recognized Guaido as Venezuelan leader.

The incident at the embassy shows that those who push for regime change in Caracas will “use and abuse every opportunity to pursue their goals,” the deputy foreign minister said, vowing that Moscow will “disclose the actual intentions of those people.”

The fact that some “unknown persons” were able to make their way into a diplomatic mission “creates questions on how effective the law enforcers in Brazil were,” Ryabkov pointed out.

The Venezuelan opposition supporters remain inside the embassy in Brasilia, with Bolsonaro saying he was looking for ways to restore order without provoking violence.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | | 2 Comments

Federal Court Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers’ Phones and Laptops Unconstitutional

Activist Post | November 12, 2019

In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled today that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional.

The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

“This ruling significantly advances Fourth Amendment protections for millions of international travelers who enter the United States every year,” said Esha Bhandari, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place and that we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel.”

“This is a great day for travelers who now can cross the international border without fear that the government will, in the absence of any suspicion, ransack the extraordinarily sensitive information we all carry in our electronic devices,” said Sophia Cope, EFF Senior Staff Attorney.

The district court order puts an end to Customs and Border Control (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) asserted authority to search and seize travelers’ devices for purposes far afield from the enforcement of immigration and customs laws. Border officers must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler’s device.

The number of electronic device searches at U.S. ports of entry has increased significantly. Last year, CBP conducted more than 33,000 searches, almost four times the number from just three years prior.

International travelers returning to the United States have reported numerous cases of abusive searches in recent months. While searching through the phone of Zainab Merchant, a plaintiff in the Alasaad case, a border agent knowingly rifled through privileged attorney-client communications. An immigration officer at Boston Logan Airport reportedly searched an incoming Harvard freshman’s cell phone and laptop, reprimanded the student for friends’ social media postings expressing views critical of the U.S. government, and denied the student entry into the country following the search.

For the order:
https://www.eff.org/document/alasaad-v-nielsen-summary-judgment-order

For more on this case:
https://www.eff.org/cases/alasaad-v-duke

For more about border searches:
https://www.eff.org/issues/border-searches

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

The “Officer Friendly” Police Fantasy

By James Bovard | FFF | November 11, 2019

Police in Tempe, Arizona, announced plans in July for a “positive ticketing” campaign to pull over drivers who had violated no traffic laws. A Phoenix TV station reported that the police would give the people they targeted free soft-drink coupons for Circle K as a reward for their “good driving behavior.” Police in other areas have run similar programs in recent years but the TV news report on Tempe’s plan spurred a torrent of testy Tweets:

“Keep your hands on the wheel and don’t make any sudden moves while you are being rewarded, it could cost you your life.”

“We gunned him down…. well, he refused to stop for his coupon. Self defense. Case dismissed.”

“Um, WHAT?!? They better not stop me for driving legally cause that’s illegal! #harassment”

“What if you don’t stop?”

“Cops to profile for illegal immigrants under the guise of campaign to promote good driving.”

“There goes probable cause right out the window. Police state 101.”

“I would get a panic attack. My reward for driving well is not dying. That’s all I want.”

“Unless it’s a ruse to illegally search your vehicles. And if they notice anything out of line during the mock pullover you’ll be arrested.”

“What’s next? Are they going to start walking into people’s houses to congratulate them for not breaking the law?”

One commenter suggested he could be fined for “resisting a coupon” for free drinks.

A few months before its “positive ticketing campaign” announcement, Tempe police were harshly criticized after one of their officers shot a 14-year-old boy in the back, killing him as he was running away while holding a replica airsoft pistol. An Arizona ACLU employee summarized the situation on Twitter:

“Tempe cops: the community doesn’t trust us after we shot and killed an unarmed teen (sic) what do we do

Community: stop killing us

Tempe cops: FREE THIRSTBUSTERS AND UNREASONABLE STOPS”

The Tempe Police Department responded to the uproar by issuing a statement stating that they never intended to pull over motorists without good cause. Instead, the free-coupon program would be targeted to pedestrians, bicyclists, and skateboarders. But the furious reaction of people across the nation signaled the profound distrust of police.

This is presidential campaign season, and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg claims that he will be able to end the pervasive distrust of the police. In one of the first candidate debates, he said he is “determined to bring about a day when” any driver, white or black, has “a feeling not of fear but of safety” when he sees a police officer approaching.

And how would Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, achieve this profound change? He has not yet detailed his panacea. Perhaps he believes that sensitivity training or racial consciousness-raising classes could do the trick. But Buttigieg has ignored the real source of the problem: politicians have given police so much power that citizens naturally fear them.

Arresting anyone

In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that police can justifiably arrest anyone believed to have “committed even a very minor criminal offense.” That case involved Gail Atwater, a Texas mother who was driving slowly near her home but, because her children were not wearing seatbelts, she was taken away by an abusive cop whose shouting left her children “terrified and hysterical.” A majority of Supreme Court justices recognized that “Atwater’s claim to live free of pointless indignity and confinement clearly outweighs anything the City can raise against it specific to her case” — but upheld the arrest anyhow.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor warned that “such unbounded discretion carries with it grave potential for abuse.” Unfortunately, there are endless pretexts for people to be arrested nowadays because federal, state, and local politicians and officials have criminalized daily life with hundreds of thousands of edicts. Capt. Steve Powell of the Colorado State Patrol commented, “Ninety percent of the cars out there are doing something that you can pull them over for. There are a jillion reasons people can be stopped — taillights, windshields cracked, any number of things.” Gerard Arenberg, executive director of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me in the 1990s, “We have so damn many laws, you can’t drive the streets without breaking the law. I could write you a hundred tickets depending on what you said to me when I stopped you.”

Justice O’Connor noted in her dissent that the Fourth Amendment “guarantees the right to be free from ‘unreasonable searches and seizures.’” But when politicians have enacted endless laws that make almost everyone a criminal, then the Fourth Amendment is practically null and void.

Asset-forfeiture laws give police sweeping arbitrary power over Americans’ wallets, cars, and homes. Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher told the Supreme Court in 2018 that the government is entitled to confiscate cars that exceed speed limits by 5 miles per hour — a standard that would justify seizing most vehicles. Between 2001 and 2014, lawmen seized more than $2.5 billion in cash from 60,000 travelers on the nation’s highways — with no criminal charges in the vast majority of cases, the Washington Post reported.

Police have been trained to confiscate private property of drivers by absurdly claiming that “trash on the floor of a vehicle, abundant energy drinks, or air fresheners hanging from rearview mirrors” are signs of criminal activity. Blacks and Hispanics have been victimized far more often by such laws. Tenaha, Texas, police ran an operation that stopped and plundered almost anyone passing through their East Texas locale. The names of the court filings capture Tenaha’s voraciousness, such as State of Texas v. One Gold Crucifix. “The police had confiscated a simple gold cross that a woman wore around her neck after pulling her over for a minor traffic violation. No contraband was reported, no criminal charges were filed, and no traffic ticket was issued,” the New Yorker noted. If drivers “refused to part with their money, officers threatened to arrest them on false money laundering charges and other serious felonies,” an ACLU lawsuit charged. Tenaha police stopped a 27-year-old black man who worked as a chicken slicer in a Tysons plant in Arkansas and fleeced him of $3,900 after detecting him “driving too close to the white line.”

Subverting the Fourth Amendment

Police have gutted the Fourth Amendment with dogs that will give them a positive alert almost any time they seek a pretext to forcibly search someone’s vehicle. The fact that canines are sometimes trained to give false alerts is irrelevant as long as the government always wins. Canine alerts to currency are routinely used to justify seizures even though most U.S. currency has trace amounts of drug contamination. For 30 years, the courts have condemned the abuses based on currency seizures due to dog alerts. But the official robberies continue.

There is a long history of federal, state, and local officials partnering to fabricate pretexts to stop drivers. From 1992 through 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration illegally commandeered the phone records of all Americans who called most of the foreign nations in the world, as USA Today revealed in 2015. To keep its phone-record seizures secret, the DEA partnered with local police to concoct phony reasons for traffic stops that sometimes included staging fake auto accidents and even car thefts. Why should citizens trust law-enforcement agencies that engaged in decades of systemic fraud? If bureaucrats and cops gave themselves an unlimited right to lie regarding the source of their evidence, what other lies have they permitted themselves in the war against any American who possesses substances of which politicians disapprove?

Uncle Sam has brought the surveillance state to the nearest police car dashboard. Federal grants have enabled many states and localities to equip police cars with license-plate scanners that provide plenty of bogus pretexts to harass hapless drivers.

License-plate readers often misread plates. Brian Hofer was pulled off Interstate 80 in California and handcuffed and held at gunpoint after his rental vehicle was misreported as stolen. Hofer commented in 2019, “I’m sitting ice-cold and saying nothing because I do not want any itchy trigger fingers.” With an error rate approaching 10 percent, license-plate readers effectively generate potentially thousands of false accusations each day.

Subverting the Second Amendment

Local officials exploit surveillance data to subvert the Second Amendment. John Filippidis was driving with his family through Maryland when he was pulled over by a Maryland transportation policeman outside a Baltimore tunnel. The policeman ordered Filippidis out of his car and angrily demanded to know where his gun was. Filippidis has a Right to Carry (RTC) permit from Florida — where he had left his firearm. Police spent hours questioning him and searching his minivan before permitting him to move on, leaving his wife and daughters utterly distraught. Maryland police have targeted and rigorously searched other out-of-state drivers with RTC permits (which Maryland does not recognize). Federal grants enabled Maryland to equip hundreds of police cars with license-plate scanners that create almost 100 million records per year detailing exactly where and when each vehicle travels.

The war on drugs and its endless crackdowns and intrusions spurred far more distrust of police but politicians learned nothing from its debacles. Sixteen states have raised the smoking age to 21, and there is a push (supported by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) to dictate a federal smoking age of 21. Why not simply issue a federal mandate for an annual additional 10 million unnecessary confrontations between police and youth? Criminalizing private vices is the surest way to make law enforcement a public menace.

Citizens are wary of police cars in their rear-view mirrors because politicians and judges made average Americans legally inferior to anyone with a badge and a gun. Police almost always receive legal immunity when they unjustifiably shoot people — it is practically a perk of their job. The existence of video footage from dashboard cams and police cameras is helping to ravage the final remnants of police credibility in many areas. The pervasive cover-ups and lies that follow dubious killings by police do more to spur wariness than a million “Officer Friendly” public-service announcements can counteract.

The best way to encourage citizens to have “a feeling not of fear but of safety” when they see a cop is to repeal legions of laws empowering police to unjustifiably accost and wrongfully subjugate peaceful citizens. But that is unlikely to happen as long as most politicians are more interested in power than in domestic tranquility.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 3 Comments

Whilst 18 Israelis are treated for anxiety, 22 Palestinians are taken to the mortuary

Smoke rises following an Israeli attack in Gaza city on November 12, 2019. Photo by Ashraf Amra

Smoke rises following an Israeli attack in Gaza city on 12 November 2019 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Dr Brendan Ciarán Browne | MEMO | November 13, 2019

The extrajudicial killing of Bahaa Abu Al-Ata of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, the second largest faction in the Gaza Strip, has triggered a predictable spike in “conflict related incidents”. As always, it is the Palestinian civilian population residing in the much maligned Gaza Strip who are affected disproportionately.

On Wednesday morning, Israel’s supposedly “left wing” newspaper Haaretz reported that 18 Israeli civilians had been taken overnight to Ashkelon Hospital to be treated for “anxiety” following a spate of rocket fire emanating from Gaza. At the same time, a spokesperson for Gaza’s Health Ministry, Ashraf Al-Qudra, reported that the remains of 22 Palestinians were being transferred to the mortuary. A stark reminder, if ever one was needed, of the gross asymmetry of the “conflict” in Palestine/Israel.

For some, the “legitimacy” of Abu Al-Ata’s killing is a point of contention under international law. There is the usual binary rhetoric of “execution” versus “legitimate act of war” considered alongside debate over the appropriate designation of “combatant/non-combatant” status and the supposed protections therein. Regardless, and often set aside when debating the extrajudicial killing of “enemy (non)combatants”, it is worth remembering that Abu Al-Ata and his wife were killed in their bed in an Israeli rocket attack that destroyed his house in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Shuja’iyah, leaving his two children orphaned and undergoing emergency treatment at the local Al Shifa Hospital.

Similarly, there will be polarising views on the (il)legitimacy of the simultaneous attack on an Islamic Jihad political bureau member in Damascus, Akram Al-Ajouri, which resulted in the death of his son and a neighbour, and which also involved a flagrant breach of Syrian territorial sovereignty. Thus, what has been clear for some time, when it comes to the rules governing armed conflict and the application of principles of international law, it appears that “might is right” when Israel is involved.

Those with a strong commitment to realising the goals of a fair and, more importantly, a just resolution to the enduring conflict in Palestine/Israel will hardly be surprised by the bias and hypocrisy of Western politicians and the media taking to the airwaves to absolve Israel of any blame. Take, for example, the response of the spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Maja Kocijančič, who tweeted in the aftermath of Abu Al-Ata’s killing that, “The firing of rockets on civilian populations is totally unacceptable and must immediately stop.” Or Joe Biden, in the running to be the next President of the United States, who tweeted, “It is intolerable that Israeli civilians live their lives under the constant fear of rocket attacks.” Not enough twitter characters, it seems, for either to make mention of the fact that it was the Israelis who kicked off this latest round of violence.

Arguably the greatest example of linguistic gymnastics is reserved for the headline writer in the Times of Israel, who led with, “Israel kills powerful Islamic Jihad commander”. Quite a stretch considering the modest arsenal at the disposal of Palestinian factions compared to a nuclear armed Middle East superpower with friends in high places. As leading Palestinian writer and activist Mariam Barghouti has noted, Palestinians, “aren’t leading a war. They have no official army, no official borders; they have no control over their resources and lands; and even their politicians are sometimes assassinated or incarcerated.”

The much-maligned Gaza Strip, considered to be unliveable by 2020 according to a UN report, continues to be the front line of resistance when it comes to Israel’s ongoing colonisation of Palestine. Weekly protests that call for an end to the illegal Israeli (and Egyptian) blockade imposed on the civilian population are often subject to extreme levels of Israeli violence, tantamount to “alleged war crimes” according to the UN and leading regional human rights organisations. Approximately 200 Palestinian civilians, including some 50 children, have been killed since the beginning of the protests in 2018, with many thousands left with life-changing injuries. Yet despite the tough talk from the UN Human Rights Council, when it comes to breaches of international law in Palestine, accountability and justice remain elusive.

It is hard to avoid the sense of déjà vu that surrounds this latest incident. As has been noted in other media outlets, the killing of Abu Al-Ata comes almost 7 years to the day that Israel assassinated Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari, the pretext to the 2012 ground invasion and eventual deadly military offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza. Back then, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was struggling to hold together his hotchpotch coalition government. In 2019, having gone through two General Election cycles this year without a clear winner, and with pressure mounting on political rivals to form a coalition, Israeli politics is in a similar state of flux. There is nothing better, apparently, than to carry out a choreographed, high profile assassination of a Palestinian to galvanise the nation.

With former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz — chief architect of Israel’s 2014 destruction of Gaza — waiting in the wings, the prospect of an Israeli coalition government comprising Netanyahu, Gantz and Israeli hawk Naftali Bennett as “Defence” Minister seems more likely than ever. It remains to be seen how the latest, cyclical round of violence will evolve, but no amount of false equivalency can mask the fact that this is a dangerously one-sided affair centred on Israeli political posturing.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Exiled Bolivian president Morales blasts coup & hints at US role in it

RT | November 13, 2019

Ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales has accused the US-headquartered Organization of American States of making a political decision in backing the right-wing opposition, saying the coup continues to wreak havoc after his exile.

Speaking from Mexico a day after he fled Bolivia, Morales said: “The OAS is in the service of the North American empire.”

Morales said he “could not understand” how his military commanders could show such “disloyalty.”

“That confirms that my great crime is to be indigenous. It’s a class problem,” he said.

The exiled president said that after freeing itself from the International Monetary Fund, the Bolivian economy was doing better.

“We had big plans in the field of exports.”

Yet, the coup plotters “do not accept the nationalization of natural resources,” Morales said.

He also said the appointment of Jeanine Añez as “interim president” confirms the coup and called for a national dialogue to end violence in his country.

Morales also claimed that a mechanical failure on a helicopter he was traveling on in early November was “not accidental” and said he wants the incident to be investigated. The helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing just after takeoff due to a “mechanical fault in the tail rotor.”

The socialist leader said he would return to Bolivia if the people asked. He also pleaded with the Bolivian opposition to stop the violence continuing after his exile. “Why do they continue?” he asked.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , | 7 Comments

The mouse that roared

Climate Discussion Nexus | November 13, 2019

From the “this time for sure” department 11,000 scientists just signed a petition saying we must act now or we’re all doomed. Awkwardly, the signatories included what organizers dismiss as “a small number of invalid names”. Well, who could be expected to detect a cunning fake like “Mouse, Micky”, Professor at Namibia’s “Micky Mouse Institute for the Blind” (yes, too blind to spot the missing “e” in Mickey)? And anyone can be fooled by the wizarding prowess of Albus Dumbledore, even if he wrongly placed Hogwarts in the United States. The real problem is all the invalid statements the real signatories just yelled at us.

Leaving aside the fake names, we have 11,000 scientists going “Aaaaaaaaah!” in unison because something terrible has happened, or is about to happen. And that something is…economic growth and prosperity. They decry, in particular,  “sustained increases in both human and ruminant livestock populations, per capita meat production, world gross domestic product”, airline travel (yours, not theirs) and the expansion of population. All of which they count as worse than nothing because alongside these indicators of progress, global carbon dioxide levels went up.

The signatories are at least happy that we’ve also seen “decreases in global fertility” and significant “institutional fossil fuel divestment” so the hideous spectacle of more people living better can still be stopped. The sooner the better, they say, since with increases in “CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide” we’ve also seen increases in “global surface temperature” while “ice has been rapidly disappearing, evidenced by declining trends in minimum summer Arctic sea ice, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and glacier thickness worldwide” while “Ocean heat content, ocean acidity, sea level, area burned in the United States, and extreme weather and associated damage costs have all been trending upward”.

These statements, alas, belong in the Mickey Mouse school of climate panic. As we’ve observed previously, sea level has been rising since 12,000 BC, and at a pretty steady pace since before writing was invented. Also forest fires are not trending upward in North America, the world as a whole or indeed the Amazon in particular, except in places where poor forest management has piled up tinder. As for extreme weather, like the IPCC we detect no increase, while “associated damage costs” from storms have been trending upward because in a richer society with bigger cities, those hurricanes or floods that do occur damage more and more expensive buildings.

If the worst you’ve got is that there might be a bit less ice on our planet, in exchange for a century and a half of spectacular prosperity, that’s a price we don’t mind paying. Though the jury’s still out on how much ice the Arctic and Greenland are actually losing.

As you might expect, the signatories say “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected”. Which is apparently meant to mean we should listen to scientists instead of thinking their predictions are unreliable.

They went on to say “These climate chain reactions could cause significant disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies, potentially making large areas of Earth uninhabitable.” Which sounds anything but definitive, with the magic words “could” and “potentially” giving the scientists an escape hatch when Armageddon fails to arrive on time yet again. Which is a pretty safe bet since the last time the planet was hotter and had more CO2 in the Mesozoic or Eocene, dinosaurs and large mammals flourished as did plants.

The signatories then let the cat out of the bag by saying “Economic and population growth are among the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion” and “therefore, we need bold and drastic transformations regarding economic and population policies.” So don’t listen to people like Justin Trudeau who tell you the economy and the environment can prosper together so we never have to make choices. You can save the planet or have an economy, one or the other. (So toss aside the New York Times with its fiddly suggestions like buying local organic because it’s “probably better for the planet, even if the emissions picture is complex”.)

In case you’re not sure where the scientists come down, they spell out six key recommendations at which a hardened Bolshevik would blanch: get rid of fossil fuels (including not subsidizing them, one point on which CDN is in agreement); get rid of methane and soot; stop eating meat; stop growing the economy and instead prioritize “basic needs and reducing inequality” (which are so much easier when there’s not enough to go around, or perhaps the idea is that these policies will just naturally stop growth); and stop having all those wretched babies: “the world population must be stabilized—and, ideally, gradually reduced” through “proven and effective policies that strengthen human rights while lowering fertility rates and lessening the impacts of population growth on GHG emissions and biodiversity loss.” (These prescriptions met with the enthusiastic approval of Green New Deal sponsors Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey and, indeed, of NBC.)

Funny how the idea of population control and making people give up stuff they like has been front and centre among environmental radicals since before global cooling was the big threat. It’s like a pitcher with six windups and only one pitch. A beanball.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

The Strange Death of White Helmets Founder Leaves Many Questions to Be Answered

By Paul Antonopoulos | November 13, 2019

James Le Mesurier, the founder of the Al-Qaeda affiliated White Helmets, known as an “aid organization” in the West but known everywhere else for fabricating chemical weapon provocations in Syria, was found dead in Istanbul on Monday under dubious and confusing circumstances, and many question marks are being raised about his death. Journalist Ramazan Bursa claims that the suspicious death clearly demonstrates the White Helmet’s connection with intelligence organizations, particularly the British MI6.

The connection between the M16 and the White Helmets is often overlooked by the Western media, but on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry made a startling revelation. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova revealed that “The White Helmets co-founder, James Le Mesurier, is a former agent of Britain’s MI6, who has been spotted all around the world, including in the Balkans and the Middle East. His connections to terrorist groups were reported back during his mission in Kosovo.” A few days later he was found dead…

Of course, Karen Pierce, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, denied the Russian allegation, claiming that they were “categorically untrue. He was a British soldier,” before describing the mercenary as a “true hero.” The claim he is a “true hero” is a curious choice of words considering he has a long history of working alongside terrorists, as Zakharova correctly highlighted.

He served in the NATO war against Serbia to defend the ethnic-Albanian terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 2000, who have now turned Kosovo into a heroin ‘smugglers paradise,’ and a hub for human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms trafficking in the attempt to create an anti-Russian “Greater Albania.” However, it was not in Kosovo where he achieved his fame, but rather his dubious work in Syria.

Not only did he establish and develop the White Helmets, but he secured significant funding from the UK, U.S., Turkish, German, Qatari, Dutch, Danish and Japanese governments, and helped raise money on Indiegogo. His deep connections to the British military and his expansive experience as a mercenary serving Gulf dictatorships made him the perfect figure to establish a “rescue group” aimed at legitimizing terrorists operating in Syria and to push for regime-change intervention.

Along with the White Helmet’s ties to terrorist organizations and faking chemical weapon incidents, the group also has a role in the execution of civilians and using children in their propaganda campaigns. Mesurier was without a doubt a man with deep connections and deep pockets, with every resource available to him from international intelligence agencies and significant experience in supporting terrorists in conflict zones.

The argument that the White Helmets are not a civil defense team, especially as they never operated in government-held areas despite claiming to be neutral in the war, can easily be made. Despite the constant colonial media claims that the White Helmets are a true civilian rescue organization without terrorist links, Syrian film producer Kareem Abeed was not allowed to attend the Academy Awards to support his movie about the White Helmets, “Last Men in Aleppo,” as his visa application was officially denied by the U.S. government as he was “found ineligible for a visa under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.” The very fact that the U.S. found White Helmets members nominated for the Academy Awards to be a risk in the country shows that the White Helmets are just another classic example of Washington weaponizing terrorists to advance their own agendas, just as the KLA were used against Serbia or the mujahideen that morphed into Al-Qaeda were used against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.

Although the White Helmets played a pivotal role in the propaganda campaign against Syria from 2013 onward, they now have nothing to defend or any purpose to serve as they only operate in areas that are undeniably controlled by Al-Qaeda affiliated groups and other radical elements, in a very, very small area of Syria. They can no longer portray themselves as an innocent organization that only helps civilians, as there is now endless evidence of their ties to terrorism, foreign intelligence agencies and doctoring of footage.

If we consider that the founder of the White Helmets and the deceased in Istanbul is a former British Intelligence officer, we can clearly see that it is a network of civil defense organizations, in which British Intelligence is involved, and supported by other intelligence agencies. The dubious death of a former British intelligence member living in Istanbul with his family is thought provoking and must raise serious questions.

It is also thought-provoking that this person is based in Istanbul. The death of Mesurier could have been reported as the death of a British citizen or the death of a former member of the British intelligence, however, Turkish media reported it as the death of the founder of the White Helmets. In other words, the Turkish media seems to have tacitly admitted that White Helmets are not an innocent non-governmental organization. Of course, after Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, there were some changes in the Damascus-Ankara relationship. The West’s approach to the Turkish invasion of northern Syria may have also played a role in changing the attitude towards the White Helmets.

A security source claimed that Mesurier had fallen from the balcony of his home office with his death being treated as a suspected suicide, with a third person – a diplomat – claiming the circumstances around his death were unclear, according to The Sun. This also comes as BBC journalist Mark Urban said in a series of now-deleted tweets that it would not “have been possible” to fall from Le Mesurier’s balcony, with him also Tweeting that “there’s a good deal of suspicion it may be murder by a state actor, but others suggest he may have taken his own life.”

Essentially, no one knows just yet whether it was murder, suicide or an accident. This has not stopped the British media from alluding that there may be a connection between the “Russian smear campaign” made on Friday and his death on Monday. However, when we look at the way the incident took place, there is every suggestion that this incident was murder, given that there were cuts on his face, fractures on his feet and that he was found dead on the street, according to Turkish media. The probability of murder becomes stronger.

The question then shifts to who might have done? It is too early to say who did it, and anything forth said can only be considered speculation, but the West does have a rich history of making their assets disappear when they are no longer needed.

The White Helmets no longer have a purpose to serve in Syria with the inevitable victory of government forces over the Western-backed terrorists. Rather, the danger the White Helmets pose is a full-scale revelation on how deep their ties with Western and Gulf intelligence agencies and terrorist organizations go. Although revelations are slowly beginning to emerge, Mesurier no doubt had a wealth of knowledge on many dirty secrets related to Syria and the imperialist war against it.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments

Legacy of Climategate – 10 years later

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | November 12, 2019

My reflections on Climategate 10 years later, and also reflections on my reflections of 5 years ago.

Last week, an email from Rob Bradley reminded me of my previous blog post The legacy of Climategate: 5 years later. That post was the last in a sequence of posts at Climate Etc. since 2010 on Climategate; for the entire group of posts, see  [link]  Rereading these was quite a blast from the past.

While I still mention Climategate in interviews, the general reaction I get is ‘yawn . . . old hat . . . so 2010 . . . nothingburger . . . the scientists were all exonerated . . . the science has proven to be robust.’ I hadn’t even thought of a ’10 years later’ post until Rob Bradley’s email.

Now I see that, at least in the UK, the 10 year anniversary looks to be rather a big deal. Already we are seeing some analyses published in the mainstream media:

Two starkly different perspectives. While I personally think Delingpole’s article is a superb analysis, it would not surprise me if the ‘establishment’ media in the UK is looking to rewrite history and cement the ‘exoneration,’ especially with this forthcoming one hour BBC special Climategate: Science of a Scandal, set to air November 14.

According to Cliscep  (not sure what the source of this information is), McKitrick and McIntyre were both interviewed for the BBC special, but apparently McKitrick was cut completely. Lets see how they edit McIntyre.

Exoneration?

The mainstream media and the Climategater scientists themselves claim complete exoneration by the various ‘inquiries’. Were they exonerated?

There was no exoneration by any objective analysis of the various inquiries. Ross McKitrick lays all this out in his article Understanding the Climategate Inquiries 

“The evidence points to some clear conclusions.

  1. The scientists involved in the email exchanges manipulated evidence in IPCC and WMO reports with the effect of misleading readers, including policymakers. The divergence problem was concealed by deleting data to “hide the decline.” The panels that examined the issue in detail, namely Muir Russell’s panel, concurred that the graph was “misleading.” The ridiculous attempt by the Penn State Inquiry to defend an instance of deleting data and splicing in other data to conceal a divergence problem only discredits their claims to have investigated the issue.
  2. Phil Jones admitted deleting emails, and it appears to have been directed towards preventing disclosure of information subject to Freedom of Information laws, and he asked his colleagues to do the same. The inquiries largely fumbled this question, or averted their eyes.
  3. The scientists privately expressed greater doubts or uncertainties about the science in their own professional writings and in their interactions with one another than they allowed to be stated in reports of the IPCC or WMO that were intended for policymakers. Rather than criticise the scientists for this, the inquiries (particularly the House of Commons and Oxburgh inquiries) took the astonishing view that as long as scientists expressed doubts and uncertainties in their academic papers and among themselves, it was acceptable for them to conceal those uncertainties in documents prepared for policy makers.
  4. The scientists took steps individually or in collusion to block access to data or methodologies in order to prevent external examination of their work. This point was accepted by the Commons Inquiry and Muir Russell, and the authors were admonished and encouraged to improve their conduct in the future.
  5. The inquiries were largely unable to deal with the issue of blocking publication of papers, or intimidating journals. But academics reading the emails could see quite clearly the tribalism at work, and in comparison to other fields, climatology comes off looking juvenile, corrupt and in the grip of a handful of self-appointed gatekeepers and bullies.

Is the science concerning the current concerns about climate change sound? Many people, starting with the members of the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, had hoped this question would be answered during the inquiry process, and there is a frequent refrain in the media that the investigations affirmed the science. But the reality is that none of the inquiries actually investigated the science. The one inquiry supposedly set up to address this, namely Lord Oxburgh’s, actually operated under a different remit altogether, despite multiple claims by the UEA that it was a science reappraisal panel.

Over the course of the five reviews, a few complaints were investigated and upheld, such as the problem of data secrecy at the CRU and the misleading nature of the “hide the decline” graph. And the IAC leveled enough serious criticisms about the IPCC process to substantiate concerns that the organization is unsound for the purpose of providing balanced, rigorous science assessments. But many other concerns were left unaddressed, or slipped through the cracks between the inquiries, or were set aside after taking CRU responses at face value.

Steve McIntyre’s Brief submitted for the defendants in one Mann’s lawsuits addresses the key scientific aspects related to Michael Mann’s conduct and hockey stick research:

“Even before the release of the Climategate emails, numerous public concerns were raised about Mann’s conduct. Concerns about Mann’s research included:

  • Mann’s undisclosed use in a 1998 paper (“MBH98”) of an algorithm which mined data for hockey-stick shaped series. The algorithm was so powerful that it could produce hockey-stick shaped “reconstructions” from auto-correlated red noise. Mann’s failure to disclose the algorithm continued even in a 2004 corrigendum.
  • Mann’s failure to disclose adverse verification statistics in MBH98. Mann also did not archive results that would permit calculation of the adverse statistics. Climategate emails later revealed that Mann regarded this information as his “dirty laundry” and required an associate at the Climatic Research Unit (“CRU”) to withhold the information from potential critics.
  • Mann’s misleading claims about the “robustness” of his reconstruction to the presence/absence of tree ring chronologies, including failing to fully disclose calculations excluding questionable data from strip bark bristlecone pine trees.
  • Mann’s deletion of the late 20th century portion of the Briffa temperature reconstruction in Figure 2.21 in the IPCC Third Assessment Report (2001) to conceal its sharp decline, in apparent response to concerns that showing the data would “dilute the message” and give “fodder to the skeptics.” Mann’s insistence in 2004 that “no researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, ‘grafted the thermometer record onto’ any reconstruction. But it was later revealed that in one figure for the cover of the 1999 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) annual report, the temperature record had not only been grafted onto the various reconstructions—and in the case of the Briffa reconstruction, had been substituted for the actual proxy
  • Mann’s undisclosed grafting of temperature data for “Mike’s Nature trick,” a manipulation of data which involved: (1) grafting the temperature record after 1980 onto the proxy reconstruction up to 1980; (2) “smoothing” the data; and (3) truncating the smooth back to 1980. ”

Exoneration? Not even close. However, is all this even relevant anymore? “the science has moved on . . . independently verified . . . 97% consensus . . . 8 warmest years occurred since Climategate’ . . . etc. etc.

So did all this ‘matter’, in the larger scheme of things? During the period 2001 to ~2012, the public debate on climate change rose and fell with the fortunes of the hockey stick: the IPCC TAR (2001) prominently featured the hockey stick, which made the public realize that something unusual was going on; the famous elevator version of the hockey stick in Al Gore’s 2006 documentary; in late 2009, Climategate contributed to derailing the UNFCCC COP15 outcome; and in 2010 was the clincher for the failure of the Waxman-Markey Bill (carbon cap and trade) in the U.S. Senate.

Since about 2014 or so, the public debate on climate change has become less ‘scientized’, with economics, social justice and raw politics taking center stage.

Did climate scientists learn anything from Climategate?

Looking forward, should Climategate matter? Only if scientists failed to learn the appropriate lessons.

At the time of Climategate, I wrote an essay entitled On the credibility of climate research. I raised four key issues: Lack of transparency, climate tribalism, the need for improved analysis and communication of uncertainty, and engagement with ‘skeptics’ and critics of our work.

At the time, I was rather astonished by the failure of climate science ‘leaders’ (apart from the climagaters defending themselves) to make public statements about this and show some leadership.

Interesting insights into the ‘leadership’ void at the time of Climategate are revealed by a tranche of emails obtained by the CEI [link] dated the first half of 2010, involving scientists involved in Climategate emails as well as others who are regarded as the keepers of the IPCC ‘flame’ – e.g. Michael Oppenheimer, Steve Schneider, Gabi Hegerl, Eric Steig, Kevin Trenberth.

It is very interesting to see what they were concerned about in the aftermath of Climategate. They were trying to understand why Climategate was newsworthy, and they were mostly concerned about protecting themselves from the same things that Climategate emails revealed: attacks on scientists’ reputation, ‘skeptics’ getting mentions in the mainstream media, public perceptions of scientists’ credibility, how to convince the public that AGW is ‘real’ with 3 slides in 10 minutes, top 10 list of denialist mistakes.

Steve Schneider perceptively states: “A mega heat wave this summer is worth 3 orders of magnitude more in the PR wars–too bad we have to wait for random events since evidence doesn’t seem to cut it anymore with the MSM.”

In my post Climategate essays, I pointed the way for climate science out of this morass. How was this received by climate scientists? Michael Lemonick’s follow up essay Why I Wrote About Judith Curry to his article Climate Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on her Colleagues,  provides the following insights:

“Simply by giving Judith Curry’s views a respectful airing, I’ve already drawn accusations of being irresponsible — and it’s valid to raise the question of whether giving her any sort of platform is a bad idea.

I also argue, as you’ll see in Scientific American, that the vehement reaction of climate scientists, while perfectly understandable, might be akin to the violent reaction of the human immune system to some bacteria and viruses — a reaction that’s sometimes more damaging than the original microbe.”

Given the huge stakes and the serious structural issues surrounding the assessment of climate science and policy that had emerged from Climategate, these concerns of the climate scientists seem small-minded and naïve, not to mention counter-productive –  ‘circling the wagons’ even tighter made the situation even worse.

Clearly any leadership that might lead climate science out of this morass would have to come from outside the community of climate scientists and probity would need to come from outside of the field of climate science. Climate science subsequently became an important topic in the fields of science and technology studies, philosophy of science, social psychology, law, statistics, computer science and communications.

The broader institutions that support climate science have implemented some improvements post Climategate:

  • The UN IAC review of the IPCC has resulted in some improvements to the IPCC practices of reviewing, conflicts of interest, uncertainty assessment
  • Elite journals now require data to be made publicly available and also conflict of interest statements.

On the downside:

  • Politically correct and ‘woke’ universities have become hostile places for climate scientists that are not sufficiently ‘politically correct’
  • Professional societies have damaged their integrity by publishing policy statements advocating emissions reductions and marginalizing research that is not consistent with the ‘party line’
  • The gate-keeping by elite journals has gotten worse IMO, although the profusion of new journals makes it possible for anyone to get pretty much anything published somewhere.

The main long-term impact of Climategate on climate scientists seems to have been to put a halo around Michael Mann’s head over his ‘victim’ status, giving him full reign to attack in a Trumpian manner anyone who disagrees with him.

Cultural shifts

The social culture surrounding climate change has changed substantially in the past 10 years and even the past 5 years.

10 years ago, the climate blogs were highly influential – the big four were WUWT, Climate Progress, Real Climate and Climate Audit. Climate Progress (subsequently Think Progress ) is now defunct – what the heck happened to Joe Romm? Climate Audit has a very low level of activity. Real Climate publishes posts at a leisurely pace (about the same pace as Climate Etc.). Only WUWT has maintained its pace of publishing and its influence.

At this point, twitter has almost totally eclipsed the climate blogs; this has accelerated in the past 5 years. Also, there are now some not-for-profit organizations that have hired writers on the climate topic, notably Carbon Brief.

Further, a number of climate scientists and scientists in related fields now either have regular columns in the mainstream media (Roger Pielk Jr and Michael Schellenberger at Forbes are notable examples) or write frequent op-eds (e.g. Michael Mann).

Communication of climate science has become a big priority in climate science, although what is judged as desirable and worthy of professional recognition is more often propaganda than ‘science to inform.’

At the time of Climategate, public advocacy by climate scientists of climate policy was generally frowned upon, and only a few senior, well-established scientists dared to do this (e.g. Jim Hansen). At this point, climate scientist/activists are very large in number, and such activism seems to be a ticket to professional success.

With regards to the advocacy groups and think tanks on both sides, the conflicts a decade ago between the environmental advocacy groups (e.g. Greenpeace) and the libertarian groups (e.g. CEI, CATO) seems almost quaint at this point. With the exception of Heartland, GWPF and the newly formed CO2 Coalition, the libertarian groups no longer bother with climate science (even the long standing program at CATO with Pat Michaels no longer exists).

Instead, we have Extinction Rebellion and the Sunrise Movement on one hand, and the Yellow Vests and related movements on the other hand. These are populist movements (although apparently with some big $$ backing, esp for Extinction Rebellion). The zombie stuff of the Extinction Rebellion makes me nostalgic for the relative rationality of Greenpeace versus CEI.

‘Skeptics’ these days are generally defined by ‘lukewarmerism’ (e.g. climate sensitivity on the low end of the IPCC range), a focus on historical and paleo data records, and a focus on natural climate variability. Skeptics frequently cite the IPCC reports. Skeptics generally support nuclear energy and natural gas, but are dubious of rapid expansion of wind and solar and biofuels.

Scientists on the ‘warm’ side of the spectrum think that IPCC is old hat and too conservative/cautious (see esp Naomi Oreskes’ new book); in short, insufficiently alarming. The ‘alarmed’ scientists are focused on attributing extreme weather to AGW (heeding Steve Schneider’s ‘wisdom’), and also in generating implausible scenarios of huge amounts of sea level rise. As a result, consensus of the 97% is less frequently invoked.

Such alarmism by the climate scientists has spawned doomsterism, to the dismay of these same climate scientists – things are so bad that we are all doomed, so why should we bother.

There is also a growing dichotomy on both sides of this between the Boomers and the Millennials/GenZ. On the ‘skeptics’ side, there is a general paucity of younger scientists, with the center of mass being scientists in their 60’s and 70’s (and even older).

On the ‘alarmed’ side, there is a steady stream of younger scientists fueled by propaganda in K-12 and hiring practices and professional rewards in the universities. Some of the younger scientists think that the likes of Michael Mann are too conservative and insufficiently ‘woke’ and unconcerned about social justice objectives. This recent exchange on twitter was particularly illuminating:

Mann: “I share her (Klein’s) concern over each of these societal afflictions, but I wonder at the assertion that it’s not possible to address climate change without solving all that plagues us. My worry is this. Saddling a climate movement with a laundry list of other worthy social programmes risks alienating needed supporters (say, independents and moderate conservatives) who are apprehensive about a broader agenda of progressive social change. The pessimist in me also doubts that we’ll eliminate greed and intolerance within the next decade.”

This elicited the following responses:

Apparently this elicited a 15 hour tweet storm from Mann. P.S. I side with Mann in this particular dispute.

‘Cancel culture’ is also booming, but this is nothing new in the climate arena; the Climategaters plus Naomi Oreskes were pioneers in cancel culture as related to climate scientists or anyone else who doesn’t toe the party line (although the party line is now splitting between boomer alarmists and the Millennials). At the time of Climategate, the cancel efforts were conducted via the ‘back channels’ (e.g. emails); these days they are conducted in the open on twitter. From Hayhoe to Mann on twitter in response to a recently published paper:

“I’m also concerned as I’ve been getting some dismissives citing this. Have you had a chat with Tom about it?”

Social justice has become a major driver in climate policy (e.g. the Green New Deal), increasingly overtaking climate policy in its objectives.

‘Boomer’ Mann has the more defensible position this one. Yes, any policies should avoid making the situation of disadvantaged individuals worse. But seeking to solve the myriad problems of social justice through climate/energy policy is a recipe for accomplishing nothing for either. So Mann and I are in agreement on this one (see spat above with Holthaus).

With all these changes, you’ll be relieved to hear that Climategate lives on in numerous lawsuits that Michael Mann has filed related to criticisms of his behavior related to the hockeystick. Most of these lawsuits continue to languish since they were filed about 8 years ago (although Mann did lose his lawsuit against Tim Ball). With these lawsuits, there is no denying that the impacts of Climategate are still playing out.

Whither the debate on climate change?

I’ll lead off this section with a quote from Delingpole’s recent article:

“Right now, the struggle against this nonsense seems pretty hopeless. But we sceptics do have at least two things on our side – time and economics. Time is doing us a favour by showing that none of the alarmists’ doomsday predictions are coming to pass. Economics – from the blackouts in South Australia caused by excessive reliance on renewables (aka unreliables) to the current riots and demonstrations taking place from France and the Netherlands to Chile over their governments’ green policies – suggest that common sense will prevail in the end. Bloody hell, though – taking its time, isn’t it?”

I’ll extend Delingpole’s sentiments a bit further, to include these additional things that are on the side of an eventual rational outcome to this:

  • Energy engineering realities: for a superb overview, see Michael Kelly’s recent essay Energy Utopias and Engineering Realities
  • Growing concerns about energy reliability and security, e.g. the recent experience of California with massive power shutdowns and blackouts in Australia
  • The climate itself; even with huge 2016 (see this recent overview by Ross McKitrick), the temperatures are not keeping pace with the CMIP5 predictions
  • At some point, a spate of La Nina events, a shift to the cold phase of the AMO, increased volcanic activity, impacts of a solar minimum and another ‘hiatus’ are inevitable; sort of the reverse of what Steve Schneider was waiting for.
  • Most of the CMIP6 climate models have gone somewhat bonkers, with a majority having values of ECS that exceed 4.5C and do a poor job of simulating the temperatures since 1950; makes it difficult to take seriously their 21st century projections

Ideas that are genuinely irrational eventually burn themselves out as reality bites, but we have certainly seen such ideas, policies and politics persist for decades in the past 100 years. Perhaps the information age, the internet and social media will speed this one along.

What’s wrong with current climate/energy policy? This 2013 quote by Hans von Storch sums up it up:

“Unfortunately, some scientists behave like preachers, delivering sermons to people. What this approach ignores is the fact that there are many threats in our world that must be weighed against one another. If I’m driving my car and find myself speeding toward an obstacle, I can’t simple yank the wheel to the side without first checking to see if I’ll instead be driving straight into a crowd of people. Climate researchers cannot and should not take this process of weighing different factors out of the hands of politics and society.”

Common sense approaches to reducing vulnerability to extreme weather events, improving environmental quality, developing better energy technologies, improving agricultural and land use practices, better water management polices and engineering can lead the way to a more prosperous and secure future. Each of these solutions is ‘no regrets’ – make sense however the 21st century climate plays out.

For those that are concerned about social justice: the biggest social justice issue that I see for the 21st century is to provide reliable grid electricity to Africa.

In terms of climate scientists and their influence. The relative sensibility of Boomer scientists (even Michael Mann; although this recent article is slightly nuts) are being eclipsed by the zombie-dom of the Extinction Rebellion and ‘wokeness’.

Regarding Boomer wisdom, I was particularly struck by this recent interview of Barack Obama  about the ‘call-out’ and ‘cancel’ culture. This was greeted by numerous criticisms typified by this article in the New York Times Obama’s Very Boomer View of ‘Cancel Culture’  and the epithet ‘Yo Boomer.’ Michael Schermer of Skeptical Inquirer nails it with this tweet:

“I’m trying to understand Millennial/GenZ cancel culture & not just be an old Baby Boomer, but it seems to me that if you think @BarackObama is not woke enough to understand what injustice means I think you’ve gone off the rails of moral progress.”

“Gone off the rails of moral progress” – a perfect description of where this seems to be headed, at least in the short term.

Personal impact

My personal saga in the five years following Climategate was summarized in my essay ‘5 years later.’ Upon rereading, I was struck by these excerpts:

“In 2014, I no longer feel the major ostracism by my peers in the climate establishment; after all, many of the issues I’ve been raising that seemed so controversial have now become mainstream. And the hiatus has helped open some minds.

The net effect of all this is that my ‘academic career advancement’ in terms of professional recognition, climbing the administrative ladder, etc. has been pretty much halted. I’ve exchanged academic advancement that now seems to be of dubious advantage to me for a much more interesting and influential existence that feels right in terms of my personal and scientific integrity.

Climategate was career changing for me; I’ll let history decide if this was for better or worse (if history even cares).”

In the end, Climategate ended my academic career prematurely (JC in transition). I realized how shallow the ‘academic game’ has become, and the games one needs to play to succeed. Throwing all that off has been personally and intellectually liberating for me.

I now have more time to read and think. Unfortunately I have less time to write blog posts since I am focusing my efforts on projects of relevance to the clients of my company Climate Forecast Applications Network. These projects are pretty wide ranging and pushing me in interesting new directions.

As for my ‘influence’ in the public debate on climate change, I never cared too much about this and probably care even less at this point. I have a unique perspective, and I appreciate any substantive opportunities that come my way to share this with the public and decision makers.

As Roger Pielke Jr tweeted:

“It wasn’t all fun, I’ll tell ya, but I’d do it all over again if it meant I get to now”

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Opposition senator declares herself ‘interim president’ of Bolivia without quorum or vote

RT | November 13, 2019

Opposition politician Jeanine Añez has declared herself “interim president” of Bolivia without a vote, but the party of ousted President Evo Morales said that the Senate had no quorum and the legislature’s session was not legal.

Añez’s actions echo those of Juan Guaido in Venezuela, who declared himself “interim president” in January with the backing of Washington and the Organization of American States (OAS). While Guaido has repeatedly failed to oust President Nicolas Maduro, however, the opposition in Bolivia – also backed by the US and OAS – has been able to force the resignation of Morales after the military defected to their side.

While opposition activists claimed that Añez’s declaration was in line with the Bolivian constitution, lawmakers from the ousted president’s Movement for Socialism called the assembly session illegal. They have refused to attend the proceedings, saying that armed groups loyal to the opposition controlled the roads and could not guarantee their safety.

Morales’s party has had the majority in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, and its boycott leaves both bodies without a quorum. Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera also “resigned” along with Morales on November 10, leaving the country in legal limbo. Their supporters have called the forced resignations a “coup” and vowed to resist by force if necessary.

Washington hastened to hail Morales’s ouster as a “significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere” and accused the socialist president of seeking to subvert the will of the people by running for a fourth term, even though the Bolivian courts had allowed it.

Morales was one of the few Latin American leaders bucking the US line on Venezuela and supporting Maduro. Landing in Mexico, where he was granted asylum, on Tuesday he vowed to continue to fight “as long as I live.”

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 2 Comments