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What is covered by the “pictures of the Russian train”?

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 31.01.2023 

We recently wrote about the ways the United States’ allegations of North Korean munitions shipments to Russia had created a new standard of proof. However, it appears that the US side is not content with having hit rock bottom once again.

On January 20, 2023 National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby raised new allegations against the Wagner PMC and Russia, claiming that the US had presented its intelligence findings to the relevant expert group of the UN Security Council (Committee 1718, which is in charge of sanctions against the DPRK). Although this was the first time ever any “evidence” had been presented, it was unfortunately a very peculiar type of proof.

The world was shown “rare, declassified photographs of Russian rail cars traveling between Russia and North Korea in November” and what Kirby described as the original delivery of North Korean weapons to the Russian PMC. According to the US statement, the photos were of a five-car train that ran between the Khasan (Russian Federation) and Tumangan stations on November 18 and 19, 2022, and those cars contained ammunition for Wagner.

“We obviously condemn North Korea’s actions and call on North Korea to immediately stop these shipments to Wagner,” Kirby said at the start of the daily White House press briefing. He then stated that “while we estimate that the amount of material delivered to Wagner has not changed the dynamics of the fight in Ukraine, we anticipate that it will continue to receive North Korean weapons systems” and therefore “will not preclude imposing additional sanctions if deemed appropriate at the UN”. As an aside, it was noted that North Korea continues to circumvent sanctions with the help of Russia and China.

On January 23, State Department spokesman Ned Price also stated that the United States and South Korea regularly discuss how to counter threats from North Korea, including “the supply of weapons and other military equipment from North Korea to Wagner units for use in Ukraine”.

Not coincidentally, not only Russian but also Western experts who deal with North Korea professionally have noted this reference with some surprise. Even those who dislike the North reacted in the style of “maybe the US has other evidence that has not been shown to us, but this is just a hint.”

Asked by RIA Novosti if it could be said with certainty that the pictures show weapons being transported from the DPRK to Russia, NK News director Chad O’Carroll said the photos do not show what is called hard evidence that would confirm US claims. The photos DO NOT show weapons or grenades being loaded and only include an image of Russian rail cars in North Korea – which, he adds, Russian media have also written about. That White House officials, according to O’Carroll, “show some level of specificity by releasing satellite images of a certain date showing rail cars and cargo” only means that Washington is very confident in its intelligence, but “anyone would be happy to see more detailed evidence”.

Another US expert noted that the pictures provided by Kirby show covered rail cars in which containers of ammunition would not fit, especially since they are loaded on platforms and not in boxcars. He also pointed out that “the versions voiced by Washington keep changing. In September, they claimed that North Korea was supplying Russia with millions of artillery shells and missiles. They claimed Pyongyang was trying to make it appear that the supplies were going to the Middle East and Africa, but in fact they were going to Russia. Now that version is forgotten – there is a new one. Meanwhile, one million shells is 50,000 tons, which is several large ships.”

The claim that the data were sent to the committee that investigated the sanctions is also not identical to the fact that the experts who examined them agreed with the American version.

In this context, the author will try to explain to the audience what more reasonable evidence of this kind would look like, using pictures of the train: Here is a picture of what looks like a military factory, and of containers of ammunition being loaded into wagons; here is a traceable route (because it is not particularly difficult to trace their path through the consignor system) by which a train from North Korea went directly into the front line area where it was unloaded, whereupon the shell shortage ended in that section of the front line. Such things can still be used as evidence, although indeed some questions remain.

The second thing that came to the author’s mind was a quote from a Russian cartoon, “This picture is useful: it covers a hole in the wall,” and he draws attention to two events that paralleled Kirby’s statement.

The first event is that on January 19, 2023, the day before Kirby’s statement, the Pentagon asked United States Forces Korea (USFK) to provide some of its equipment in support of Ukraine, stressing that its security operations on the Korean Peninsula would not be “affected in any way” by this move. USFK spokesman Col. Isaac Taylor said, “The Department of Defense continues to provide military assistance from its reserves in support of Ukraine. US forces in Korea have been asked to support this effort by providing some of their equipment… This does not affect our operations or our ability to fulfill our ironclad commitment to protect our ally, the Republic of Korea. There should be no doubt that we are ready to fight tonight as well”.

Taylor did not specify, however, what equipment, or in what quantity, would be delivered for use in Ukraine. The ROK Department of Defense also declined to comment on the issue.

The New York Times had previously reported that the US Department of Defense had drawn on US artillery stockpiles in South Korea and Israel because of Ukraine’s urgent need for munitions assistance.

USDOD deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh clarified this information, pointing out that the withdrawal of munitions and military equipment from US depots in South Korea and other countries in support of Ukraine had no impact on US defense capabilities and had little to do with reducing domestic stockpiles. It has also come to light that the US is in talks with Korean military contractors to replenish empty depots.

To the author, this information indicates two important things.

First, despite the loud declarations about the danger of the North Korean threat and the need to give money to counter it, it appears that the US does not in fact particularly believe that the North will attack the South in the relatively near future. Otherwise, they would not have moved an arsenal to Ukraine from a place where these munitions could be urgently needed.

Second, the fact that ammunition is being sent from Korea means that the arsenal of democracy is not bottomless and is slowly running out. Weapons and ammunition even need to be withdrawn from long-term storage. As we noted in one of our articles, it appears that their talk of Moscow’s “ammunition shortage” is masking their own ammunition scarcity, which is not so much affecting Russia as it is Ukraine and its allies.

Combined with a number of other news items, this suggests that the Europeans are growing weary of the conflict and increasingly reluctant to hand over new arms tranches to Kiev. This is a rather important sign, suggesting that in a certain situation Kiev will come to understand that for all the need to “defend democracy,” it has to do it alone.

The second event is a statement by Russian Foreign Intelligence that Ukrainian authorities are placing munitions from the West in nuclear power plants because they know that Moscow will not dare to bomb them. Foreign Intelligence Director Sergei Naryshkin said, “The Foreign Intelligence Service receives reliable information that Ukrainian forces are storing weapons and ammunition supplied by the West on the premises of nuclear power plants. This applies to the most expensive and scarce missiles for Haymar’s multiple rocket launchers and foreign air defense systems, as well as large-caliber artillery ammunition the AFU lacks most. Just in the last week of December 2022, several railroad cars with lethal cargo were delivered from abroad to the Rovno NPP via the Rafalovka station.”

Naryshkin’s statement does not contain exhaustive evidence, but the reasoning is somewhat more detailed than Kirby’s and contains some specifics. Apparently, it is precise data on where and how Ukrainian ammunition stocks move.

Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, then stated on social networks that “Ukraine has never stored weapons on the territory of the nuclear power plant” and noted that Ukraine is “always open” to inspection bodies, especially the IAEA.

In this context, the author once again reminds us that it is not unusual in war to attribute to the enemy acts committed by one’s own side in order to divert attention from oneself. So if you want to make the next lofty claims of DPRK intrigue, look at the holes in the wall this picture covers.

Konstantin Asmolov, PhD in History, is a leading research fellow at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of China and Modern Asia, the Russian Academy of Sciences.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Johnson lied about Putin missile ‘threat’ – Kremlin

RT | January 30, 2023

Allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a missile strike are “a lie,” Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. Johnson’s accusations have emerged in a new BBC documentary about the crisis in Ukraine.

Recalling a telephone call with Putin on February 2, 2022, just over three weeks before tensions over Ukraine escalated into full military action, Johnson claimed the Russian leader “threatened me at one point.”

“He said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you but, with a missile, it would only take a minute’ or something like that… jolly,” the former PM told the British broadcaster.

“There were no missile threats,” Peskov told reporters on Monday. “When he explained challenges to the security of the Russian Federation, President Putin remarked that if Ukraine joins NATO, the potential deployment of NATO or American missiles at our borders would mean that any missile could reach Moscow in mere minutes.”

The Russian official wondered if Johnson had lied deliberately or “simply didn’t understand what President Putin was talking about.” If the latter is true, people should be concerned for Johnson, Peskov added.

Putin has publicly voiced Russian concerns over NATO infrastructure in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe for decades. Russia began military operations against Ukraine after failing to get security guarantees from Washington, which would have rolled back the deployment of NATO assets in Eastern Europe and suspended its expansion in the region. The US dismissed Moscow’s concerns and claimed that Ukraine was free to seek membership as a sovereign nation.

January 30, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Hamilton 68: Brief Addendum Comparing their response Friday to the site’s original mission statement

By Matt Taibbi | Racket | January 29, 2023

Hamilton 68 responded to a #TwitterFiles thread Friday with a series of claims, including that their site was always intended to be understood as “nuanced,” that they always maintained that “witting or unwitting” accounts could be on their list, and that “some accounts we track are automated bots, some are trolls, and some are real users.”

They could also have inserted the disclaimer added to the new Hamilton 2.0 page, which as a helpful reader noted this morning, includes in red font a blaring warning to all that it would INCORRECT to label anyone or anything that appears on their dashboard “as being connected to state-backed propaganda”:

Thank heaven for the Wayback Machine. Here’s what was written on the original Hamilton page:

These accounts were selected for their relationship to Russian-sponsored influence and disinformation campaigns, and not because of any domestic political content.

We have monitored these datasets for months in order to verify their relevance to Russian disinformation programs targeting the United States.

… this will provide a resource for journalists to appropriately identify Russian-sponsored information campaigns.

High on that original page, the Hamilton founders explained they monitored two types of accounts:

There are two components to the dashboard featured here.

The first section, “Overt Promotion of Content,” highlights trending content from Twitter accounts for media outlets known to be controlled by the Russian government.

The second section, “Content Tweeted by Bots and Trolls,” highlights themes being pushed by Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence campaigns.

The Hamilton list tracked overt Russian media on the one hand, and “bots and trolls” on the other. Note the difference between that language and the language Friday: “Some accounts we track are automated bots, some are trolls, and some are real users.” That Hamilton Friday was also trying to distance itself from headlines about “bots” is particularly grotesque, given that it was so overt in identifying the composition of its list this way at the start.

I encourage everyone to read language from the original site, then look at Friday’s ironically named “Fact sheet,” and compare for yourselves.

Finally I want to note a passage from the Friday “fact sheet” I somehow overlooked:

Individual accounts were algorithmically selected based on analytic techniques developed by J.M. Berger that were used to identify the most influential accounts within those networks. The Hamilton 68 team did not individually review or verify all accounts because the focus of the dashboard was to analyze behavior in aggregate networks, not specific accounts.

Translating: individual accounts were chosen through a method developed by J.M. Berger, a writer and think-tanker whose usual specialty is extremism (he’s written about ISIS and domestic white nationalism in the U.S.). Still, it wasn’t even Berger’s fault that ordinary Americans ended up in the list, since said people were chosen “algorithmically.” The Hamilton 68 team also “did not individually review or verify” all the names, because their “focus” was “aggregate networks,” not “specific accounts.”

So, nobody looked at the list.

The list that was “the fruit of more than three years of observation and monitoring.”’

Sounds solid.

Yes? No?

January 29, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

The 600 influential Russian Twitter bots narrative was pushed by mainstream media. Twitter executives knew it was false.

But kept quiet.

By Cindy Harper | Reclaim The Net | January 27, 2023

New  Files revelations show that the Twitter accounts on a list from the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) that were supposed to be of Russian bots were far from it. While Twitter had evidence to prove that the accounts weren’t Russian bots, employees kept quiet, afraid to go against mainstream media narrative.

The ASD describes itself as an organization that comes up with “strategies for government, private sector, and civil society to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on foreign state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions.” Its advisors are the likes of Michael Chertoff, who worked in the George W. Bush administration as Secretary of Homeland Security, Mike McFaul (who worked in the Obama administration as US Ambassador to ,) commentator Bill Kristol, and Hillary Clinton advisers Jake Sullivan and John Podesta.

ASD said that Hamilton 68, the name of a dashboard that’s supposed to monitor Russian bots on Twitter, was monitoring 600 Russian bots on the platform.

The idea of the 600 Russian bots listed on the dashboard was widespread throughout mainstream media.

“What makes this an important story is the sheer scale of the news footprint left by Hamilton 68’s digital McCarthyism. The quantity of headlines and TV segments dwarfs the impact of individual fabulists like Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass,” wrote journalist Matt Taibbi of Racket, who today released evidence about Twitter employees’ decision to keep quiet the fact that the information pushed by the mainstream media was false.

“Hamilton 68 was used as a source to assert Russian influence in an astonishing array of news stories: support for Brett Kavanaugh or the Devin Nunes memo, the Parkland shooting, manipulation of black voters, ‘attacks’ on the Mueller investigation…” Taibbi added.

“These stories raised fears in the population, and most insidious of all, were used to smear people like Tulsi Gabbard as foreign ‘assets,’ and drum up sympathy for political causes like ’s campaign by describing critics as Russian-aligned.”

Taibbi highlighted how even “fact-checkers” used the dubious source for their own reports: “It was a lie. The illusion of Russian support was created by tracking people like Joe Lauria, Sonia Monsour, and Dave Shestokas. Virtually every major American news organization cited these fake tales— even fact-checking sites like Snopes and Politifact.”

The reports, widely pushed by the mainstream media, were untrue and Twitter executives, who had access to more information about what was going on behind the scenes with the Twitter accounts, didn’t want to disrupt the narrative for fear they would receive negative reporting.

“In layman’s terms, the Hamilton 68 barely had any Russians. In fact, apart from a few RT accounts, it’s mostly full of ordinary Americans, Canadians, and British,” Taibbi wrote.

Taibbi published email evidence that shows Twitter’s controversial former Trust and Safety chief, Yoel Roth, realizing the list was incorrect.

The dashboard “falsely accuses a bunch of legitimate right-leaning accounts of being Russian bots,” he wrote. “I think we need to just call this out on the bullshit it is…

“I think it may make sense for us to revisit the idea of more actively refuting the dashboard. It’s a collection of right-leaning legitimate users that are being used to paint a polarizing and inaccurate picture of conversation on Twitter.”

But despite Roth’s clear realization about the inaccuracy about one of the biggest narratives of the last few years, he ultimately stayed quiet, Taibbi notes.

“We have to be careful in how much we push back on ASD publicly,” said one company official.

Taibbi noted how the false narrative made its way into the heart of US politics: “Perhaps most embarrassingly, elected officials promoted the site, and invited Hamilton ‘experts’ to testify. Dianne Feinstein, James Lankford, Richard Blumenthal, Adam Schiff, and Mark Warner were among the offenders.”

January 27, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Can We Trust Institutions that Lied?

By Abir Ballan | Brownstone Institute | January 11, 2023

Trust the Authorities, trust the Experts, and trust the Science, we were told. Public health messaging during the Covid-19 pandemic was only credible if it originated from government health authorities, the World Health Organization, and pharmaceutical companies, as well as scientists who parroted their lines with little critical thinking.

In the name of ‘protecting’ the public, the authorities have gone to great lengths, as described in the recently released Twitter Files (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) that document collusion between the FBI and social media platforms, to create an illusion of consensus about the appropriate response to Covid-19.

They suppressed ‘the truth,’ even when emanating from highly credible scientists, undermining scientific debate and preventing the correction of scientific errors. In fact, an entire bureaucracy of censorship has been created, ostensibly to deal with so-called MDM— misinformation (false information resulting from human error with no intention of harm); disinformation (information intended to mislead and manipulate); malinformation (accurate information intended to harm).

From fact-checkers like NewsGuard, to the European Commission’s Digital Services Act, the UK Online Safety Bill and the BBC Trusted News Initiative, as well as Big Tech and social media, all eyes are on the public to curtail their ‘mis-/dis-information.’

“Whether it’s a threat to our health or a threat to our democracy, there is a human cost to disinformation.” — Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC

But is it possible that ‘trusted’ institutions could pose a far bigger threat to society by disseminating false information?

Although the problem of spreading false information is usually conceived of as emanating from the public, during the Covid-19 pandemic, governments, corporations, supranational organisations and even scientific journals and  academic institutions have contributed to a false narrative.

Falsehoods such as ‘Lockdowns save lives’ and ‘No one is safe until everyone is safe’ have far-reaching costs in livelihoods and lives. Institutional false information during the pandemic was rampant. Below is just a sample by way of illustration.

The health authorities falsely convinced the public that the Covid-19 vaccines stop infection and transmission when the manufacturers never even tested these outcomes. The CDC changed its definition of vaccination to be more ‘inclusive’ of the novel mRNA technology vaccines. Instead of the vaccines being expected to produce immunity, now it was good enough to produce protection.

The authorities also repeated the mantra (at 16:55) of ‘safe and effective’ throughout the pandemic despite emerging evidence of vaccine harm. The FDA refused the full release of documents they had reviewed in 108 days when granting the vaccines emergency use authorisation. Then in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, it attempted to delay their release for up to 75 years. These documents presented evidence of vaccine adverse events. It’s important to note that between 50 and 96 percent of the funding of drug regulatory agencies around the world comes from Big Pharma in the form of grants or user fees. Can we disregard that it’s difficult to bite the hand that feeds you?

The vaccine manufacturers claimed high levels of vaccine efficacy in terms of relative risk reduction (between 67 and 95 percent). They failed, however, to share with the public the more reliable measure of absolute risk reduction that was only around 1 percent, thereby exaggerating the expected benefit of these vaccines.

They also claimed “no serious safety concerns observed” despite their own post-authorisation safety report revealing multiple serious adverse events, some lethal. The manufacturers also failed to publicly address the immune suppression during the two weeks post-vaccination and the rapidly waning vaccine effectiveness that turns negative at 6 months or the increased risk of infection with each additional booster. Lack of transparency about this vital information denied people their right to informed consent.

They also claimed that natural immunity is not protective enough and that hybrid immunity (a combination of natural immunity and vaccination) is required. This false information was necessary to sell remaining stocks of their products in the face of mounting breakthrough cases (infection despite vaccination).

In reality, although natural immunity may not completely prevent future infection with SARS-CoV-2, it is however effective in preventing severe symptoms and deaths. Thus vaccination post-natural infection is not needed.

The WHO also participated in falsely informing the public. It disregarded its own pre-pandemic plans, and denied that lockdowns and masks are ineffective at saving lives and have a net harm on public health. It also promoted mass vaccination in contradiction to the public health principle of ‘interventions based on individual needs.’

It also went as far as excluding natural immunity from its definition of herd immunity and claimed that only vaccines can help reach this end point. This was later reversed under pressure from the scientific community. Again, at least 20 percent of the WHO’s funding comes from Big Pharma and philanthropists invested in pharmaceuticals. Is this a case of he who pays the piper calls the tune?

The Lancet, a respectable medical journal, published a paper claiming that Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) — a repurposed drug used for the treatment of Covid-19 —  was associated with a slight increased risk of death. This led the FDA to ban the use of HCQ to treat Covid-19 patients and the NIH to halt the clinical trials on HCQ as a potential Covid-19 treatment. These were drastic measures taken on the basis of a study that was later retracted due to the emergence of evidence showing that the data used was false.

In another instance, the medical journal Current Problems in Cardiology retracted —without any justification— a paper showing an increased risk of myocarditis in young people following the Covid-19 vaccines, after it was peer-reviewed and published. The authors advocated for the precautionary principle in the vaccination of young people and called for more pharmacovigilance studies to assess the safety of the vaccines. Erasing such findings from the medical literature not only prevents science from taking its natural course, but it also gatekeeps important information from the public.

A similar story took place with Ivermectin, another drug used for the treatment of Covdi-19, this time potentially implicating academia. Andrew Hill stated (at 5:15) that the conclusion of his paper on Ivermectin was influenced by Unitaid which is, coincidentally, the main funder of a new research centre at Hill’s workplace —the University of Liverpool. His meta-analysis showed that Ivermectin reduced mortality with Covid-19 by 75 percent. Instead of supporting Ivermectin use as a Covid-19 treatment, he concluded that further studies were needed.

The suppression of potentially life-saving treatments was instrumental for the emergency use authorization of the Covid-19 vaccines as the absence of a treatment for the disease is a condition for EUA (p.3).

Many media outlets are also guilty of sharing false information. This was in the form of biased reporting, or by accepting to be a platform for public relations (PR) campaigns. PR is an innocuous word for propaganda or the art of sharing information to influence public opinion in the service of special interest groups.

The danger of PR is that it passes for independent journalistic opinion to the untrained eye. PR campaigns aim to sensationalise scientific findings, possibly to increase consumer uptake of a given therapeutic, increase funding for similar research, or to increase stock prices. The pharmaceutical companies spent $6.88 billion on TV advertisements in 2021 in the US alone. Is it possible that this funding influenced media reporting during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Lack of integrity and conflicts of interest have led to an unprecedented institutional false information pandemic. It is up to the public to determine whether the above are instances of mis- or dis-information.

Public trust in the Media has seen its biggest drop over the last five years. Many are also waking up to the widespread institutional false information. The public can no longer trust ‘authoritative’ institutions that were expected to look after their interests. This lesson was learned at great cost. Many lives were lost due to the suppression of early treatment and an unsound vaccination policy; businesses ruined; jobs destroyed; educational achievement regressed; poverty aggravated; and both physical and mental health outcomes worsened. A preventable mass disaster.

We have a choice: either we continue to passively accept institutional false information or we resist. What are the checks and balances that we must put in place to reduce conflicts of interest in public health and research institutions? How can we decentralise the media and academic journals in order to reduce the influence of pharmaceutical advertising on their editorial policy?

As individuals, how can we improve our media literacy to become more critical consumers of information? There is nothing that dispels false narratives better than personal inquiry and critical thinking. So the next time conflicted institutions cry woeful wolf or vicious variant or catastrophic climate, we need to think twice.

Abir Ballan is the co-founder of THiNKTWICE.GLOBAL — Rethink. Reconnect. Reimagine.. She has a Masters in Public Health, a graduate certificate in special needs education and a BA in psychology. She is a children’s author with 27 published books.

January 11, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Western media’s anti-Iran reporting waives journalistic integrity to manufacture hate

By Robert Inlakesh | RT | January 5, 2023

Since the eruption of civil unrest in the Islamic Republic back in September, Western media has not shied away from spreading uncorroborated or outright false stories about Iran’s government. The implications of the constant stream of disinformation is the justification of sanctions that kill Iranians.

Following the death in Iranian custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, back in mid-September, civil unrest in Iran spread far and wide, with protests sparked over foreign media reports that had indicated that the young woman was beaten to death by Iran’s morality police. Later, CCTV footage was released, which contradicted some reports on how the young woman had died, followed by a coroner report which indicated her death came due to cerebral hypoxia as a result of underlying issues. Despite this, the demonstrations that started on September 16 continued.

What started initially as a number of demonstrations, primarily in Kurdish-predominant areas of Iran, turned into a nationwide dis-united movement that took the form of violent riots, online social media campaigns, symbolic hijab burning protests and even deadly terrorist attacks against sites of worship. As Iran accused the United States and Israel of attempting to spark a Syria-style civil war, US President Joe Biden vowed to “free Iran” during a speech in California. Amongst the chaos and the media reporting that aimed to portray the Iranian government as a distinct kind of evil, the Biden administration began to tighten its ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions campaign. The current US sanctions campaign, first enacted under the former Trump administration, has been condemned by the International Court of Justice due to its impact on humanitarian goods, such as medicine, entering Iran.

Outright lies, anonymous sources and distortions

Perhaps the most prominent piece of disinformation that has been disseminated about Iran during the past few months was the assertion, by Newsweek, that 15,000 Iranian demonstrators were sentenced to death. According to the initial claims, the Iranian parliament had supposedly voted to approve this move, implying that the country’s judiciary took no part in such a massive decision. The story was spread by leading online personas and even Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, who later deleted his post on Twitter about the matter.

However, since then the outlandish claims have not stopped coming. Prior to the Iranian national team’s game against the US in the FIFA World Cup, CNN released a report that no other major news outlet, save for a few tabloid news sites in the UK, touched. CNN quoted an unnamed “security source” that according to the report had managed to find out that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had infiltrated Qatar in order to threaten the Iranian team’s players.

The CNN story states that the source somehow found out that the players were offered luxury gifts, such as vehicles, prior to the beginning of the World Cup, which would imply that the source had intel on the Iranian team when they were in Tehran before the tournament. The report goes on to say that IRGC officials threatened the Iranian players’ families with torture in the event that they may protest their government during the World Cup. CNN’s source also claims that the coach of the Iranian team, a Portuguese national, was also interviewed by the IRGC, although they weren’t able to hear what was discussed like they did with the players.

The same article makes the additional claim that the Iranian government was flying out pro-government supporters to watch the team play, in essence creating artificial fans. None of the claims have been corroborated, and it didn’t gain purchase with major news outlets, which is strange considering the severity of the allegations being made that the IRGC, an official branch of Iran’s armed forces, had violated Qatar’s sovereignty in order to threaten their own football team. The difference between the CNN and Newsweek piece is that with the “security source”, there is no way to determine with certainty whether the whole thing is made up or not.

In the advent of news that Iran had abolished its morality police unit, responsible for the arrest of Mahsa Amini, another false story emerged from a number of little-known crypto-currency outlets online, claiming that Iran was set to freeze the bank account of women who weren’t wearing the appropriate Islamic covering. The origins of the story came from an interview that was conducted with an ultra-conservative member of Iran’s parliament, Hossein Jalali, who allegedly proposed a three-warning system via SMS, with the end penalty being the freezing of bank accounts. This has never come close to being implemented or even been discussed in parliament. Despite this, tweets claiming that Iran was implementing this strategy went viral.

Posts on social media from influencers have claimed that the Iranian security forces “are raping children”, and that young women are being murdered for showing their hair in a “horrific” and “medieval” crackdown. These reactions naturally come as a result of the factual inaccuracies of the reporting about Iran and we continue to see more and more as the weeks go on.

The most recent misrepresentation of the facts has come in the coverage and reaction to a number of executions in Iran. Earlier this month, the second death sentence connected to the recent civil unrest was carried out. This led to headlines from the likes of the Associated Press (AP), that read ‘Iran execution: Man publicly hanged from crane amid protests‘, which is how we saw the sentencing of Majidreza Rahnavard to death, by the Iranian judiciary, framed throughout Western media. The AP piece opens with the following paragraph:

“Iran executed a second prisoner on Monday convicted over crimes committed during the nationwide protests challenging the country’s theocracy, publicly hanging him from a construction crane as a gruesome warning to others.”

Whilst the AP article did explain, further down in the piece, that the young Iranian man had stabbed to death two Iranian security officials, injuring 4 others, what is written works to present Tehran as a monstrous regime that is unjustly killing Iranian protesters as a warning to others. The reality is, Iran does have a death sentence and does carry it out, but since some States in the US do the same, the story has to be twisted so that Iran is singled out as a special kind of evil. Iran’s death sentence is handed out through a judicial process, during which Majidreza Rahnavard admitted to killing two security officials. The incident was even filmed. No country on earth would allow such a crime to go unpunished.

In total, roughly 400 Iranians have allegedly been sentenced to prison terms for their involvement in various criminal activities during the latest round of civil unrest. Two Iranians have been executed, after admitting to carrying out attacks against the nation’s security forces.

Whilst there are others who may receive the death penalty, the Western media took it upon themselves to whip up a frenzy about an execution that was not even ruled. Earlier this month, several outlets ran headlines with allegations that an Iranian football player from Isfahan was next in line for execution. Reports claimed that a small-time football player, Nasr Azadani, had been sentenced to death and despite the Iranian judiciary denying this, the claims took hold on social media. 26-year-old Nasr Azadani was arrested in connection with the murder of several members of Iran’s security services. It has been reported that an indictment carrying the charge of “accessory to moharebeh” had been communicated with Azadani. The charge of “moharebeh” (“war against God” in Islamic law) can carry with it a death sentence, however, it is not clear whether being an accessory would be ruled this way.

The problem here is that Western media outlets jump on unsubstantiated claims, and repeat half truths, in an attempt to extract a predetermined anti-Iran narrative. From trusted outlets like the AP, to CNN, all the way to the tabloids, there is little care for fact checking and journalistic integrity. The goal is to delegitimize the Iranian government, to encourage outrage. Factual information is only important for nit-picking in a way that supports this biased narrative. At the same time, it is somewhat ironic that none of these media outlets, or Western politicians that repeat their claims and feign concern over Iranian prisoners, care one bit for journalist Julian Assange, who the US is attempting to extradite from the United Kingdom.

The outcomes of this kind of reporting are the encouragement of prejudiced hate against Iranian culture, the justification of sanctions that kill Iranians and the peddling of new-Orientalism talking points, all whilst claiming to be in support of human rights and feminism. There are various ways to make good faith criticisms of the Iranian government, but this is not what we are seeing, this is the Western media machine piling in on a regime change agenda, and everything they say needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’.

January 5, 2023 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

‘Pre-bunking’ lies around biotech, the serial killer

By Guy Hatchard | TCW Defending Freedom | January 5, 2023

Jeremy Fleming, the head of GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), one of three leading spy agencies in the UK, has publicly discussed the agency’s wish to promote ‘pre-bunking’ – feeding the public with information designed to undermine narratives before they even appear on social media. In other words, spy agencies originally tasked with monitoring events are now engaged in spreading propaganda about things that haven’t actually happened, and probably have been doing so for a long time.

Fleming described pre-bunking as a process of issuing ‘public warnings’. This is, you will appreciate, a misuse of the term since the ‘public’ are not aware that they are hearing ‘warnings’. They are being fed information or denied access to information without being told who is ultimately controlling the narrative. This is happening all over the world, as revealed by Elon Musk’s revelations about the role of the FBI in closely censoring Twitter content.

The pandemic has multiplied information actors with shady sources of funding and likely ties to government and Big Pharma, who are tasked with spreading pre-bunking narratives. Among these are a host of ‘fact-checkers’. Full Fact UK presents itself as an independent fact-checker located not a million miles away from Westminster and GCHQ with a host of funding sources including Facebook, the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Fact Checking Network, and many others.

Part of Full Fact’s funding is specifically tied to vaccines. In an article entitled No evidence rise in deaths due to unknown causes in Canada is linked to Covid-19 vaccine, Full Fact reveals its pre-bunking role. It is concerned about the following sentence publicised on YouTube and shared on FB: ‘In Alberta, Canada, unknown causes of death are causing even more deaths than heart disease, strokes and diabetes combined.’

Full Fact doesn’t dispute that this is true, it merely wants you to feel assured that there is no evidence these deaths were caused by Covid-19 vaccines – something that the creators of the YouTube source video do not assert. In other words, Full Fact wants to pre-empt any suggestion that the undisputed huge rise in unexplained deaths in Alberta, Canada (and presumably the many other highly vaccinated nations suffering in the same way) is anything to worry about. That is a manipulation of which GCHQ would no doubt be very proud. These are deaths in need of explanation, not inconsequential data sets that can be swept under the carpet.

So should we be concerned about statistically significant rising excess all-cause deaths in highly vaccinated countries around the world and incidentally low birth rates in the same countries (see here and here)? Effects which are not being seen in nations with low vaccination rates, for example in Uganda as reported in this video. Yes, we should be concerned, because the trend could be catastrophic for Western civilisation (if such a thing exists).

Let us examine a hypothetical country with a stable population of 5million. Each year 35,000 people die and 35,000 babies are born. If annual deaths rise by 15 per cent, as they are in New Zealand, and births fall by 13 per cent, as they are in Sweden, what would happen? In one year, 5,250 extra people would die and 4,550 fewer babies would be born, a net loss of 9,800 persons in the population.

That is a net loss of 0.2 per cent of the population size. So not too much to worry about – or is it? Medsafe reports indicate serious health outcomes could be as much as 1,000 times the number of deaths proximate to mRNA vaccination. We could speculate maybe 100 times the number of excess deaths over a longer period. Scale that up to the whole world’s population and you would arrive at 8.4million deaths along with an incalculable impact on global health, possibly 20 per cent of the world’s mRNA-vaccinated population, many in the West, affected with a significant health deficit – more than one billion people.

Why are they falling ill and dying? As a result of a new technology – mRNA biotechnology – which governments, Big Pharma and the medical establishment are bidding to mandate widely for hundreds of conditions stretching into the future. A February 2022 article in Nature lists 90 mRNA lead developers in the global vaccine landscape with 137 mRNA vaccines in the pipeline and you can bet your bottom dollar that number has grown substantially since.

In 2023 we are about to be engulfed by a tsunami of biotechnology involving an army of biotechnologists, their investors and supporters who are hoping against hope, like Full Fact UK, that we don’t notice how many people are dying suddenly for no recorded reason. They are busy along with thousands of other funded ‘experts’ pushing out the message that there is nothing to see here. They are hoping that regulatory agencies are going to approve their products at lightning speed with a minimum of scrutiny and fuss, as happened during the pandemic. In fact, the FDA has already flagged a speeded-up process for mRNA lookalikes.

The alternatives for wannabe mRNA billionaires are unthinkable. If biotechnology is fingered as the cause of the current wholly unprecedented rise in deaths and injury, their finances, reputation, and future will fall apart. Therefore they, like GCHQ, are busy pre-bunking to save their pet biotech projects from cancellation due to the risk of death and injury. They don’t care if you die as long as no one works out what you died of. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the EU, USA, and the whole Western world are playing along by pretending, with the help of their spy agencies, that no one knows why so many people are falling down dead. They are busy hiding data, delaying investigation, and looking the other way.

If we don’t debunk and stop them very soon, they along with the police, the courts, and our employers will be breaking down our doors in 2023 and coming for us with deadly needles for every ill we don’t even have. Given the disastrous and deadly failure of Covid vaccines and lockdowns, this could only be described as a futuristic frenzy of psychopathic dysmorphia—a distortion of real appearances. It would make 2022 look like a cakewalk.

So our task in 2023 is to get this one message across: not just Covid mRNA vaccines, but biotechnology and gene editing in general is inherently dangerous. It bids to redesign, and therefore undermines, the stable basis of physiology, DNA, built up over millions of years of evolution.

This is a task that can be achieved only if our efforts are global, if MPs, business leaders, senior civil servants, medical decision makers, and people of influence and common sense all over the world are approached, challenged, and re-educated. For this reason, in 2022 we founded a dedicated website, GLOBE: Campaign for Global Legislation Outlawing Biotechnology Experimentation. 

You can visit now for more information and register for regular updates by email.

Biotechnology is a serial killer. A killer that has been identified by irrefutable evidence and now needs to be convicted and sentenced in the courts of ancient common law, public opinion, and fair leadership. We cannot leave this task to unnamed others or the vagaries of chance. It is up to us to get this done.

January 4, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Fake news about North Korea arming the Wagner PMC as an illustration of new “evidence” trends

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 04.01.2023

It would seem that not long ago we touched on the intricate situation regarding rumors of North Korean or South Korean arms being supplied to the region of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, noting that there was no real evidence of either. Unfortunately, the situation is not evolving for the better and even those in the US establishment, who previously had refrained from making direct and unsubstantiated accusations, have begun to do so.

On December 22, 2022, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the DPRK had completed its initial arms delivery to Russia back in November, including infantry rockets and missiles: “We can confirm that North Korea has completed an initial arms delivery to Wagner, which paid for that equipment”. And while Washington does believe “that the amount of material delivered to Wagner will not change battlefield dynamics in Ukraine,” it is still “certainly concerned that North Korea is planning to deliver more military equipment.”

Kirby’s further statements reflected that, for him, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is taking place on some other globe. It turned out that Russian military officials report to the command of this PMC, which has 50,000 fighters. “It’s pretty apparent to us that Wagner is emerging as a rival power center to the Russian military and other Russian ministries”.  The Russian reader can only raise a restrained smile, which also applies to the idea that the PMC has not only heavy equipment, but also missiles and heavy artillery in its arsenal.

Nevertheless, Kirby said the US, along with its allies and partners, would raise the issue in the UN Security Council, as the North’s arms deliveries were a clear violation of sanctions resolutions and he promised new sanctions against the Wagner group. US Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield also said that the US “intends to raise the DPRK’s and Russia’s violations of UN Security Council resolutions in future meetings of the Security Council and will share information of this violation with the Council’s 1718 Sanctions Committee.”

The ROK and Canadian foreign ministries joined in the condemnation. Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly stressed that the actions of Wagner and Pyongyang “clearly violate international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions.” South Korea’s foreign ministry also condemned the arms trade between North Korea and the PMC, saying it was detrimental to peace and stability in the international community in direct violation of the resolutions.

More interestingly, Stéphane Dujarric, the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, told a briefing that the UN had no information on possible arms deliveries from the DPRK to the Wagner PMC.  From the author’s point of view, this is a hint…

Equally interesting is that Kirby’s information was published almost exactly the same way a little earlier by the British media. Reuters quoted a senior US administration official as saying that the ammunition had been bought from the DPRK last month and delivered to Russia: allegedly the volume of shipments is not large enough to seriously affect military operations, but the US fears that this channel will continue to operate.

A little earlier, the Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shinbun had reported that similar missiles were being supplied via the Hasan-Rajin railway.

And all this could not but prompt a comment from the DPRK Foreign Ministry, which on December 22 dismissed the manipulative report by the Japanese media as a completely clumsy and groundless PR stunt. The rest of the statement should be quoted as fully as possible:

“The DPRK remains unchanged in its principled stand on the issue of “arms transaction” between the DPRK and Russia which has never happened.

The international community will have to focus on the US criminal acts of bringing bloodshed and destruction to Ukraine by providing it with various kinds of lethal weapons and equipment on a large scale, rather than lending an ear to the groundless theory of “arms transaction” between the DPRK and Russia cooked up by some dishonest forces for different purposes.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to say that the Russian people are the bravest people with the will and ability to defend the security and territorial integrity of their country without any others’ military support”.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner PMC, also dismissed the allegation of North Korean supplies as “gossip and speculation”, and the author partly agrees with him: there is still no regular railway connection between North Korea and Russia. All the more so since the movement of trains across the border is monitored by US military satellites, among others.

The author also draws attention to the fact that the PMC has far less capacity to procure this type of weapons than the state does, because it would require additional time. Finally, if the PMC had received these weapons back in November, they would have already been used on the battlefields, which would have left an information trail.

This looks like another fake about North Korean shells, but for the author it is an opportunity to talk about two additional things.

First, that accusations are very often based on the method of projection or, as the saying goes, the tongue ever turns to the aching tooth. And in this context, it is worth talking about a series of US pieces in the Western media which suggest that the “arsenal of democracy is depleting” and it is not Russia, but the “free world” which is having problems in supplying arms.

Second, although this version was first published by a British news agency and then voiced by Kirby himself, no evidence was produced. Meanwhile, the author reiterates a very important point: if you accuse your opponent and you have hard, irrefutable facts that incriminate them in some way, you can safely put them out there – without fear that some independent expert will discover that it was a poorly concocted fake. When someone says “we have secret evidence, but we won’t show it to you because it is a military secret”, this approach has been considered rotten since the Dreyfus affair.

The accusations concerning Moscow’s use of Iranian drones include at least debris that is structurally similar to Iranian designs. There is nothing in this case, and the Wagner PMC seems to be attacked because it is today the most demonized armed formation having anything to do with Russia. Moreover, it also operates in the Middle East and Africa, which might have added credibility to the US claims, if there had been any specifics.

The use of accusations, however, which are not backed up by any semblance of credible evidence, did not begin with North Korean shells. One may recall the high-profile doping case in which the Russian side somehow allegedly tampered with urine samples in containers that were not supposed to be opened as per design. One may recall the poisonings of the Skripals or Kim Jong-nam when, in response to a direct question as to how exactly on the technical side the special operation had been carried out, there was no sane answer.

Rather than going into detail and sorting out the extent to which certain actions are technically possible, the analysis is substituted by notions of how capable we think “They” are of doing It. And if They could do it, then They did it, no matter how.

That said, such unsubstantiated information becomes a pretext for imposing sanctions of any level of severity – and this is an important criterion of a post-globalization world in which there is no longer any room for normal investigations and evidence. And this is a worrying sign, because now it is possible to use a fantastic accusation as a pretext for sanctions and if it is said from a high rostrum, the status of the one who said it is confirmation in itself: “How can we doubt the existence of Marquis of Carabas if the talking cat claims it?”

Konstantin Asmolov, PhD in History, leading research fellow at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of China and Modern Asia, the Russian Academy of Sciences.

January 4, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 2 Comments

No rise in temps or rainfall in Bangladesh for 100 years, despite alarmists pointing to it as ‘canary in the coalmine’

BY CHRIS MORRISON | THE DAILY SCEPTIC | DECEMBER 28, 2022

The country of Bangladesh is mostly a floodplain. Over 80% of the territory is classified as such, while 75% of the land is less than 10 metres above sea level. Heavy monsoons and widespread flooding are common. In an average year, 18% of the landmass is inundated, a figure that rose to 75% in 1988. What better place for western guilt-trippers to highlight and claim that all the natural tribulations are down to humans changing the climate? And what better ‘poster child’ for grant-hungry activists and local politicians to highlight when demanding large amounts of ‘compensation’ from developed nations to assuage the sins of industrialisation?

Earlier this year, Bangladesh was hit by the regular monsoon rains and flooding. Sky News reported that “experts say that climate change is increasing the frequency, ferocity and unpredictability of floods in Bangladesh”. Needless to say, the BBC made the same point, adding that “experts say that climate change is increasing the likelihood of events like this happening around the world”.

Presumably, when they talk about climate change, Sky and the BBC are worried about flooding being caused by rising temperatures and increased rainfall. It might therefore be considered curious that these climate changes do not seem to have affected Bangladesh.

According to figures compiled for the World Bank, the average temperature in Bangladesh is the same today as it was 100 years ago. There are the usual cyclical changes, but global warming is not much in evidence around the Bay of Bengal.

Let’s try rainfall.

Again according to the World Bank, we see little change in the overall trend going back 100 years. If anything, rainfall has slightly decreased, and there‘s certainly nothing unusual in the recent past. The graph shows that rainfall can vary widely between years. Severe monsoons in the past have caused enormous damage and heavy loss of life. Six catastrophic floods were recorded in the 19th century and 18 in the 20th. These days, hundreds of people can die in the flooding; in the past the figures could run into hundreds of thousands.

In a recent article in Climate Home News, it was said that Bangladeshis were dealing with wave after wave of climate chaos. The article “sponsored” by the international ngo Helvetas told its Western audience that one of the impacts of these disasters is “forced migration”. Of course, this plays into another common climate scare, suggesting, without any discernible evidence, that huge numbers of people will become ‘climate refugees’ in the future, mostly from tropical areas, and inevitably seeking to move northwards to ‘safety’.

Making Bangladesh a poster country for Western Armageddonites spreading the pseudoscientific notion that humans are causing the climate to radically change, does the country few favours. It is sited in many geographically fragile areas, and is prone to tropical cyclones. But over 160 million people are sustained by good agriculture, increased manufacturing development, and economic growth of around 6% per annum.

As countries become more prosperous, they can become more resilient in the face of what nature has always thrown at them. This appears to have happened in the case of Bangladesh, where the number of fatalities from flooding has significantly declined over the last 50 years. Surely, this is the good news story that should be spread in mainstream media, and probably would be if the climate change narrative was not embedded in every part of the discourse.

As we have reported throughout the year, it has been a disastrous period for climate alarmists preaching their gospel of doom to inflict a controlling Net Zero political agenda across the world. Global warming ran out of steam years ago, and no amount of ‘adjusting’ of surface temperature databases can hide that fact. Weather events are cyclical, and attributing any one event to human activity is model-driven junk science. Summer Arctic sea ice stopped declining over a decade ago, but David Attenborough still says it could all be gone by 2035. Polar bears, penguins and coral – all doing nicely thank you. More prosperous and healthier societies are learning to protect themselves against the ravages of Mother Nature. Small increases in carbon dioxide, otherwise known as plant food, continue to green up the planet, leading to higher food yields, reduced famine and healthier eco systems.

December 28, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Daily Mail Promotes ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ Scare that Experts Call “Junk Science”

BY CHRIS MORRISON | THE DAILY SCEPTIC | DECEMBER 24, 2022

The Daily Mail recently published a story claiming the world could face a mass extinction of plants and animals within less than 80 years, with more than a quarter of species dying by 2100. It was an eye-catching headline, timed of course to appear at the same time as the UN’s biodiversity conference. But curiously missing from the article, based on a recent science paper, was a note that most of the data underpinning the eco-scare were created by the authors of the report, while assumptions were made that global temperatures would rise by up to 5°C. Given that global temperatures have risen only 1.1°C over the last two centuries, and over the last two decades probably no more than 0.1°C, this looks a tad on the high side.

The report authors give considerable weight to the view that food chains are fragile in nature, and one extinction leads to another. This may be true in some cases, although most animals in the wild are resilient in adapting their diets to changing conditions. But building a media ‘mass death’ headline surely needs a few actual facts. The authors admit: “Apart from the obvious modelling and computational challenges to incorporate interactions among species, the main reason why there are few studies accounting for interactions is that obtaining sufficient data in most communities is intractable.” They add that an important caveat is that “while our virtual species are functionally realistic, they do not have taxonomic or phylogenetic meaning.” According to the Mail, the scientists aimed to build an “ecologically plausible Earth”.

Modelled results were obtained via a supercomputer assuming temperatures suddenly leap by between 4-5°C in just 80 years. The so-called ‘pathways’ feeding in these huge temperature rises are themselves the product of computers. But reality has started to bite in climate model circles with the realisation that their mock-ups are running far too hot. Four decades of wrong forecasts and the knowledge that global warming went off the boil two decades ago has led to a slight lowering of the various projections. But claiming that a quarter of species could disappear within 80 years as temperatures rise five times more than they have done for the last 200 is just fanciful speculation.

The Mail reported that the scientists’ tool can map extinctions everywhere on earth. It is said to confirm “beyond doubt” that the world is in the throes of its sixth mass extinction.

The sixth mass extinction scare is becoming very popular in climate Armageddon circles. Heavily promoted by the World Wildlife Fund, it has a lot going for it on the propaganda front, although some may quibble that it is notably short on actual proof. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 823 animals and plant species (mostly animals) that have gone extinct since 1500. If we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, as the Mail reports, we might have expected to be able to name more than 823 extinct species in 522 years.

Five years ago, the eminent Smithsonian paleontologist Doug Erwin dismissed sixth mass extinction talk as “junk science“. He went on to state that “many of those making facile comparisons between the current situation and past mass extinctions don’t have a clue about the difference in the nature of the data, much less how truly awful the mass extinctions recorded in the marine fossil record actually were”.

The Australian science blogger Jo Nova had an interesting take on the latest mass extinction science paper. “So a supercomputer adds up 15,000 webs of low level data on sloths, bark and butterflies, with error bars larger than trends, in systems we don’t understand, and a million lines of code, and extrapolates data up the kazoo – what could possibly go wrong?”

She goes on to quote Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, who has noted that most of the species going extinct, “never existed in the first place”. Moore is another who is underwhelmed by extinction work produced by computers. He is unimpressed by estimates from the biologist Edward Wilson that 50,000 species go extinct every year. This estimate is based on computer models of the number of potential but as yet undiscovered species in the world.

“There’s no scientific basis for saying that 50,000 species are going extinct. The only place you can find them is in Edward O. Wilson’s computer at Harvard University. They’re actually electrons on a hard drive. I want a list of Latin names of actual species,” he wrote.

Finally, let us remember the Bramble Cay melomys, the first animal said to have become extinct due to human-caused climate change. Until recently, this little brown rat lived on a small sandy island off the coast of Australia. How it got there nobody knows, but rats are very resourceful and it probably hopped on a passing branch, said goodbye to a billion of its close relatives, and set sail. It liked its new home since there were plenty of blue turtle and birds eggs to eat. But, alas, its home was only three metres above sea level and the area prone to cyclones (your fault), so one day it got washed away. The Guardian was particularly taken with its sad end since it called for a “moment of silence”, and said it would “continue to fight for the things you believe in” – although presumably not eating blue turtle eggs.

December 25, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | 1 Comment

How Billionaires Fill the Media With Climate Fear and Panic

BY CHRIS MORRISON| THE DAILY SCEPTIC | DECEMBER 20, 2022

The popular prints are flooded with climate and weather misinformation. Net Zero, seen by increasing numbers of people as a looming disaster, is lauded to the skies. Few journalists investigate the ‘unsettled’ science behind unproven claims that humans cause most, if not all, changes in the climate. To point out that there are not enough minerals in the ground to make batteries to power humanity’s basic transportation needs, let alone store the energy required to keep us all alive in the cold when renewables go on strike, is simply not allowed. Needless to say, as we have seen in a number of recent Daily Sceptic articles, this absurd state of affairs is partly the product of a carefully-curated public discourse targeting cash-strapped news rooms and funded by a vast supply of dark, green money.

Recently I reported that the Mirror had run a nonsense story about much of London disappearing beneath the waves within 80 years. I noted that this was not the handiwork of a crack team of investigative reporters, but rather the placed work of a U.S. green activist group called Climate Central. This operation specialises in ready-to-publish climate change material highlighting local landmarks allegedly due to disappear beneath the waves. Similar tactics are used by another activist group spreading fear and alarm called Covering Climate Now (CC Now). This operation is run out of the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and is backed by the Nation and the U.K. Guardian. Both operations rely heavily on large gifts from Left-leaning U.S. foundations.

CC Now was started in 2019 and claims to feed over 500 media operations with written stories and climate narratives. Its “partners” include some of the biggest names in news publishing such as ReutersBloombergAgence France-Presse (AFP), CBS News, ABC News and MSNBC News. Leading journals are said to include Rolling StoneHuff Post and Teen Vogue. The founders seek a “reframing” of the way journalists cover climate change. What this means in practice is amplifying an invented ‘climate emergency’ by constant story catastrophisation, while denying any inconvenient science. The political aim is the promotion of the command-and-control Net Zero agenda.

There is plenty of advice for tame journalists aiming to ramp up climate hysteria. “The fastest way to catch up is to emulate outlets that are already covering climate change well. You can’t do better than the Guardian,” CC Now suggests. But what to do about the problem that paying readers tend to disappear when fed a diet of spun political messages? “Foundations like Knight, Ford, McCormick and Emerson Collective are rightly increasing their support for local news organisations,” it adds.

Relentless catastrophising of individual weather events is the favoured weapon to spread climate fear among the wider population. Using the recent experience of the Covid pandemic, activists have been emboldened to spread panic and alarm in controllable media to achieve their wider political aims. Despite oft-made claims, it is impossible to use models to ‘attribute’ single weather events to long term changes in the climate. CC Now skirts this obvious problem by providing a number of helpful explanations for gullible journalists to copy-and-paste. “Climate change isn’t solely to blame for extreme weather, but… it stacks the deck against us… it’s baked in with our weather and often a key ingredient in the outcome… it supercharges normal weather patterns, like steroids.” Journalists are told to emphasise the human impacts of extreme weather, noting that it affects “the poor, communities of colour, and indigenous groups first and foremost”.

All this sterling work, of course, deserves prizes. The 2022 CC Now Journalism Awards “honoured” writers producing the “strongest coverage of the onrushing climate emergency and its abundant solutions”. Winners are said to have come from the Guardian, AFP, Al JazeeraPBS NewsHour and the Los Angeles Times. Journalist of the Year was Time Senior Correspondent Justin Worland. The judges singled out for particular praise an article he wrote ahead of COP26 titled, “The Energy Transition in Full Swing. It’s Not Happening Fast Enough“.

Billionaire-run foundations are spending enormous sums promoting junk alarmist science, in addition to funding on-side academic institutions and other influential bodies. Both Climate Central and CC Now are funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, while Climate Central takes support from the Grantham fund. This latter foundation is connected with the green billionaire investor Jeremy Grantham, and also partly funds three U.K. university institutes. At the LSE, this operation provides material that supports the Net Zero initiatives.

Jeremy Grantham is a long-time promoter of Net Zero and a future based on renewables. But it is not only journalists he has in his sights. Speaking in 2019 to a group of business people in Copenhagen about the approaching apocalypse, he asked rhetorically, “What should I do, you say”? His suggestion: “You should lobby your Government officials – invest in an election and buy some politicians. I am happy to say we do quite a bit of that at the Grantham Foundation… any candidate as long as they are green.”

The science writer and climatologist Dr. Judith Curry has become increasingly concerned about the effect of all this propaganda on children. In a recent essay, she wrote that it was difficult to avoid the conclusion that children are being used as tools in adults’ political agenda surrounding climate change. This is having adverse impacts on the mental health of children, she warned. The apocalyptic rhetoric surrounding the climate ‘crisis’ has numerous victims, she added. “Children and young adults rank among the victims of greatest concern.”

Children and young adults are being used as tools in national and international political  campaigns, continued Dr. Curry. “Blaming this unfortunate situation of psychological stress on a changing climate is incorrect, and the use of the situation to achieve political goals is reprehensible behaviour that is acting to reinforce the children’s psychological injuries,” she charged.

Your correspondent’s advice: When you next see an identikit climate Armageddon story in the mainstream media, just laugh. You will be the sanest person in the room.

December 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Will nuclear fusion power save us?

By Dr David Whitehouse | Net Zero Watch | December 14, 2022

“Nuclear fusion breakthrough,” are the world’s headlines today. Eventually we will have free, pollution-free energy. No CO2 emissions, we will be saved. I have lived with the promise of nuclear fusion all my life and it has always been decades away. It’s become something of a bad joke amongst the science community that fusion is always decades away.

Nuclear fusion liberates energy by combining light atoms – isotopes of hydrogen – rather than by using the radioactive decay of large atoms such as uranium and plutonium – nuclear fission. It could have many advantages; the reaction can be switched off (not possible with fission), it uses water as a fuel and produces very little waste. The question is how do you fuse atoms?

Obviously it isn’t easy. Every star in the Universe generates its energy this way but stars are big and places of great pressure and temperature, unlike the Earth. One way is to generate a hot gas of hydrogen isotopes – 100 million degrees or so – and confine it so that the hydrogen nuclei (for it will be ionised) fuse. The heating is done by microwaves and the confinement by a magnetic field, for anything physical would melt. The problem is that the plasma is unstable and so far the reactions are fleeting.

This is the basis of the major multi-national project to develop fusion, the $22 billion International Thermal Experimental Reactor (ITER)project (China, India, Japan, Korea, Europe, US) which is under construction in France and hopes to start tests in 2035 as part of developing the expertise to build a commercial fusion reactor presumably in the unspecified following decades.

Flash and Burn

Yesterday’s announcement involves a different technique. The US National Ignition Facility focuses a burst from a multitude of high-powered lasers on a grain-sized target that compresses to initiate fusion. The announcement by US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was hailed by the world’s media as a great breakthrough in the developing technique of fusing atoms together, limitless, cheap, green were the adjectives used.

The announcement itself is a puzzle and had the feeling of being some much needed good news to announce. In reality although the experiments referred to took place a few months ago the “breakthrough” results were reported a year ago with the major advance being published in the Journal Nature in 2014. By one analysis 2.05 MJ of energy pumped into the pellet produced 3.15 MJ of energy. This does not include the 322 MJ needed to run the 192 lasers. So the story wasn’t a real breakthrough, just an advance. In any commercial development of this laser technique millions of fuel pellets would be needed for each reactor a year. At present they are tailor-made and cost almost $1 million each.

So why did the story lead some news bulletins? Given the announcement by Granholm it was clearly a story and in the main its coverage was good though some specialist correspondents clearly didn’t know the background and one science editor’s analysis of the event was puerile. I’ll leave it for an exercise for the reader to decide who I refer to.

Green Energy

But should nuclear fusion be part of the green energy debate? It is certainly not going to rescue us anytime soon. But I suppose linking fusion to green energy and the climate debate will help funds flowing.

Some would disagree with me and point to the many small, private companies that want to develop smaller-scale fusion reactors much sooner. They have acquired significant investment, some 30 firms have raised a total of $2.4 billion and General Fusion of Canada says it hopes for a viable reactor in the 2030s. CEOs of such companies see a payoff within a decade but to me it sounds like a sales pitch to attract further investment. Experts will privately say this is very wishful thinking.

In the mid-1990s I gave an after-dinner speech to a society of nuclear fusion scientists. I wondered out loud if the arrival of the first commercial fusion power would be as far in the future as the first hits of the Beatles were in the past. It took 50 years from the steam engine to trains and the same time between the internal combustion engine and cars. Nuclear fusion is a lot more difficult than such simple thermodynamic engines. Perhaps the desire for this energy coupled with advances in artificial intelligence analysis and control systems will speed up its development and the equations of history will be superseded.

A modern society needs high energy density power production systems. Without energy storage renewables are limited. We need fusion energy which has been promised for so long but I think humans will have walked on Mars long before we get commercial fusion power.


Commenter Rick Will says:

They spent $3.5 billion to produce the heating power of 10 grams of coal

They have spent USD3.5bn on the reactor to get a gain of 0.4MJ. Enough to vaporise 100 grams of water. Or equivalent to 10 grams of coal. Baby steps comes to mind. Power was impressive though. It appears the laser is rated at 1PW. Civilisation’s entire electrical generation averages 0.003PW. So the laser would not need to fire often to get a decent power output. But then it only produced a gain [of] 20%. So it would need 5 times the internal generation to that sent out.

I guess they say that these reactions can make big gains once the conditions are right but USD3.5bn to produce what you get out of half a cents worth of coal suggests it is still a big mountain to climb. Maybe within 30 years. Just as the last of the die-hard CO2 demonisers shuffle off.

December 19, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Fake News, Nuclear Power | | Leave a comment