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Germany has no alternatives to Russian gas – MP

RT | November 29, 2022

Germany still has no way of completely replacing Russian natural gas, even after reaching a supply agreement with Qatar, the chairman of the Bundestag committee on energy, Klaus Ernst, warned on Tuesday.

A long-term energy agreement was announced earlier in the day, under which the Gulf state will ship up to two million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year to Germany, starting from 2026. The deal will reportedly last at least 15 years.

“The federal government celebrates its LNG deal with Qatar and boasts big numbers. The fact is, these two million tons of LNG correspond to three percent of German gas consumption. There are still no real alternatives to Russian gas!” the politician from The Left party wrote on Twitter.

According to Bloomberg, the deal with Qatar equates to about 6% of the volume of Russian gas Germany imported in 2021. The fuel will come from ConocoPhillips’ joint ventures in Qatar, and will be delivered to the Brunsbuttel floating import terminal, which is under construction.

The news agency specified that the five import facilities chartered by the German government will cost a total of €6.5 billion ($6.7 billion) over the next 10 to 15 years. There is also one privately chartered terminal planned. Once operational, they will be able to cover around one third of Germany’s current gas demand, according to a government estimate, cited by Bloomberg.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, relies mainly on natural gas to power its industry, and has pledged to replace all Russian energy imports by as soon as mid-2024.

November 29, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment

Creepy “Blue Whale” Suicide Symbol is Openly Glorified In Canada

Canadian Retailer Lambasted for Ad Promoting Assisted Suicide

Samizdat – November 29, 2022

A clip promoting the “beauty” of euthanasia sparked outrage online, as Canada plans to expand the application of medical assistance in dying (MAID) next year.

Retailer Simons has shocked Canada by releasing a commercial dubbed “All Is Beauty” supporting assisted suicide. The clip features a woman named Jennyfer Hatch who opted to end her life in October – reports suggest she suffered from Ehlers Danlos syndrome.

Many users called the ad “dystopian”, with some warning that Canadian authorities would force it onto people who are too poor to pay their medical bills.

The controversy regarding euthanasia regulations escalated in 2021 when Canada adopted bill c-7, making several crucial changes to the procedure’s requirements: the new law erased a safeguard that stipulated that people seeking assisted suicide need have a terminal illness, making their death reasonably foreseeable.

Starting next year, Canada will allow individuals suffering from mental illness to ask for euthanasia too.

Orchestrated Campaign to make Vulnerable “Useless Eaters” Kill Themselves

By Igor Chudov – November 28, 2022

What is this blue whale? Why is it important? … Read on

November 29, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 7 Comments

Gazprom to mothball Nord Stream pipelines – Kommersant

RT | November 28, 2022

Russian energy major Gazprom is planning to shutter the Nord Stream gas pipelines and compressor stations, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday citing company sources. In September, both strings of Nord Stream 1 and one string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline were damaged by explosions and are currently inoperable.

According to the report, gas-pumping equipment will not be moved from the Portovaya and Slavyanskaya compressor stations and will remain on site. This will help re-launch flows at short notice once the pipelines are restored.

Analyst Sergey Kondratyev of the Institute of Energy and Finance told the news outlet that the decision has merit, as it is now difficult to assess the timing of the repairs. Also, the transfer of equipment to other compressor stations is not viable, since Portovaya uses unique equipment. According to the expert, the work may take from three to five months and cost up to three billion rubles (around $50 million).

It is also unclear whether Gazprom will restore the pipelines at all. Machinery at the Portovaya compressor station was out of service long before the explosions due to a lack of proper maintenance amid Western sanctions on Russia.

“There is no answer to the question of how and why to restore the strings of Nord Stream if the pumps at Portovaya station are out of service,” Gazprom head Alexei Miller said last month.

Russia condemned the explosions that damaged the pipelines as an “act of international terrorism.” The Russian Defense Ministry said last month it suspects the British Navy to be involved, but London has denied the accusation. After their own probes, Sweden and Denmark both reported that the fractures in the pipelines were caused by explosions, but have not made suggestions as to who might be responsible.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Economics, False Flag Terrorism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

How Blackrock Investment Fund Triggered the Global Energy Crisis

“Adherence to UN 2030 Sustainability Agenda”. Colossal disinvestment in the trillion-dollar global oil and gas sector.

By F. William Engdahl | Global Research | November 16, 2022

Most people are bewildered by what is a global energy crisis, with prices for oil, gas and coal simultaneously soaring and even forcing closure of major industrial plants such as chemicals or aluminum or steel. The Biden Administration and EU have insisted that all is because of Putin and Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. This is not the case. The energy crisis is a long-planned strategy of western corporate and political circles to dismantle industrial economies in the name of a dystopian Green Agenda that has its roots in the period years well before February 2022, when Russia launched its military action in Ukraine.

Blackrock pushes ESG

In January, 2020  on the eve of the economically and socially devastating covid lockdowns, the CEO of the world’s largest investment fund, Larry Fink of Blackrock, issued a letter to Wall Street colleagues and corporate CEOs on the future of investment flows. In the document, modestly titled “A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance”, Fink, who manages the world’s largest investment fund with some $7 trillion then under management, announced a radical departure for corporate investment. Money would “go green.” In his closely-followed 2020 letter Fink declared,

“In the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant re-allocation of capital…Climate risk is investment risk.” Further he stated, “Every government, company, and shareholder must confront climate change.” [i]

In a separate letter to Blackrock investor clients, Fink delivered the new agenda for capital investing. He declared that Blackrock will exit certain high-carbon investments such as coal, the largest source of electricity for the USA and many other countries. He added that Blackrock would screen new investment in oil, gas and coal to determine their adherence to the UN Agenda 2030 “sustainability.”

Fink made clear the world’s largest fund would begin to disinvest in oil, gas and coal.  “Over time,” Fink wrote, “companies and governments that do not respond to stakeholders and address sustainability risks will encounter growing skepticism from the markets, and in turn, a higher cost of capital.” He added that, “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects… we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.” [ii]

From that point on the so-called ESG investing, penalizing CO2 emitting companies like ExxonMobil, has become all the fashion among hedge funds and Wall Street banks and investment funds including State Street and Vanguard. Such is the power of Blackrock. Fink was also able to get four new board members in ExxonMobil committed to end the company’s oil and gas business.

The January 2020 Fink letter was a declaration of war by big finance against the conventional energy industry. BlackRock was a founding member of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (the TCFD) and is a signatory of the UN PRI— Principles for Responsible Investing, a UN-supported network of investors pushing zero carbon investing using the highly-corrupt ESG criteria—Environmental, Social and Governance factors into investment decisions. There is no objective control over fake data for a company’s ESG. As well Blackrock signed the Vatican’s 2019 statement advocating carbon pricing regimes. BlackRock in 2020 also joined  Climate Action 100, a coalition of almost 400 investment managers  managing US$40 trillion.

With that fateful January 2020 CEO letter, Larry Fink set in motion a colossal disinvestment in the trillion-dollar global oil and gas sector. Notably, that same year BlackRock’s Fink was named to the Board of Trustees of Klaus Schwab’s dystopian World Economic Forum, the corporate and political nexus of the Zero Carbon UN Agenda 2030. In June 2019, the World Economic Forum and the United Nations signed a strategic partnership framework to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.  WEF has a Strategic Intelligence platform which includes Agenda 2030’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

In his 2021 CEO letter, Fink doubled down on the attack on oil, gas and coal. “Given how central the energy transition will be to every company’s growth prospects, we are asking companies to disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net zero economy,” Fink wrote. Another BlackRock officer told a recent energy conference, “where BlackRock goes, others will follow.” [iii]

In just two years, by 2022 an estimated $1 trillion has exited investment in oil and gas exploration and development globally. Oil extraction is an expensive business and cut-off of external investment by BlackRock and other Wall Street investors spells the slow death of the industry.

Biden—A BlackRock President?

Early in his then-lackluster Presidential bid, Biden had a closed door meeting in late 2019 with Fink who reportedly told the candidate that, “I’m here to help.” After his fateful meeting with BlackRock’s Fink, candidate Biden announced, “We are going to get rid of fossil fuels…” In December 2020, even before Biden was inaugurated in January 2021, he named BlackRock Global Head of Sustainable Investing, Brian Deese, to be Assistant to the President and Director of the National Economic Council. Here, Deese, who played a key role for Obama in drafting the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, has quietly shaped the Biden war on energy.

This has been catastrophic for the oil and gas industry. Fink’s man Deese was active in giving the new President Biden a list of anti-oil measures to sign by Executive Order beginning day one in January 2021. That included closing the huge Keystone XL oil pipeline that would bring 830,000 barrels per day from Canada as far as Texas refineries, and halting any new leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Accord that Deese had negotiated for Obama in 2015 and Trump cancelled.

The same day, Biden set in motion a change of the so-called “Social Cost of Carbon” that imposes a punitive $51 a ton of CO2 on the oil and gas industry. That one move, established under purely executive-branch authority without the consent of Congress, is dealing a devastating cost to investment in oil and gas in the US, a country only two years before that was the world’s largest oil producer.[iv]

Killing refinery capacity

Even worse, Biden’s  aggressive environmental rules and BlackRock ESG investing mandates are killing the US refinery capacity. Without refineries it doesn’t matter how many barrels of oil you take from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In the first two years of Biden’s Presidency the US has shut down some 1 million barrels a day of gasoline and diesel refining capacity, some due to covid demand collapse, the fastest decline in US history. The shutdowns are permanent. In 2023 an added 1.7 million bpd of capacity is set to close as a result of BlackRock and Wall Street ESG disinvesting and Biden regulations. [v]

Citing the heavy Wall Street disinvestment in oil and the Biden anti-oil policies, the CEO of Chevron in June 2022 declared that he doesn’t believe the US will ever build another new refinery.[vi]

Larry Fink, Board member of Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, is joined by the EU whose President of the EU Commission, the notoriously corrupt Ursula von der Leyen left the WEF Board in 2019 to become EU Commission head. Her first major act in Brussels was to push through the EU Zero Carbon Fit for 55 agenda. That has imposed major carbon taxes and other constraints on oil, gas and coal in the EU well before the February 2022 Russian actions in Ukraine. The combined impact of the Fink fraudulent ESG agenda in the Biden administration and the EU Zero Carbon madness is creating the worst energy and inflation crisis in history.

*

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics.

He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Notes

[i] Larry Fink, A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance, Letter to CEOs, January, 2020, https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/investor-relations/2020-blackrock-client-letter

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Tsvetana Paraskova,  Why Are Investors Turning Their Backs On Fossil Fuel Projects?, OilPrice.com,

March 11, 2021, https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Are-Investors-Turning-Their-Backs-On-Fossil-Fuel-Projects.html

[iv] Joseph Toomey, Energy Inflation Was by Design, September, 2022, https://assets.realclear.com/files/2022/10/2058_energyinflationwasbydesign.pdf

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Fox Business, Chevron CEO says there may never be another oil refinery built in the US, June 3. 2022, https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/chevron-ceo-oil-refinery-built-u-s

Copyright © F. William Engdahl, Global Research, 2022

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 2 Comments

OVERPOPULATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE

OffGuardian | November 21, 2022

The big population news, reported late last month, is that we just crossed 8 billion humans on the planet.

This week, to coincide with the COP27 and G20 meetings, this news was parlayed into a climate change narrative.

DW asks “How can 8 billion people sustainably share a planet?” while Reuters reports that a population of 8 billion makes “climate justice harder”.

As usual, the most brazenly anti-human nonsense comes from the Guardian, whose environmental editor has a long piece headlined“It should not be controversial to say a population of 8 billion will have a grave impact on the climate”

Which includes this paragraph:

So of course the rich must change their behaviour. But making climate breakdown all about consumption has become an excuse for countries to do nowhere near enough to reduce their populations.

How exactly countries should go about “reducing their population” is left delightfully vague.

What’s brilliant about all this is the sheer lack of reality behind every single aspect of the story.

  • The world is not over-populated, that is a myth.
  • Climate change “science” is a scam.
  • They don’t even know how many people there really are, the global population figure is a guess based on modelling and old census data.

But the most fun article on this story is from Reuterswho actually fact-checked a viral social media post claiming overpopulation is a myth, and every human on earth could fit in a square 50 miles across.

They don’t fact-check the guys math, they even admit he’s completely correct, but then they say the figures “lack context”, and ask the opinion of an “expert” who reassures everyone “nowhere on earth could support that population density”.

No kidding guys.


More This Week In The New Normal.

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | 3 Comments

As Green Policies Cause Energy Prices To Explode, Deforestation In Europe Accelerates

Skyrocketing fossil fuel energy prices are are driving the deforestation of Europe as citizens try to keep warm

By P Gosselin | No Tricks Zone | November 18, 2022

It’s easy to argue that the “green” movement is causing much more environmental harm than good. High energy costs are leading to poverty, which in turn leads to less investment in environmental protection and nature conservation.

Biodiversity-rich forests are being cleared away to make room for wind parks and people are increasingly burning wood to stay warm as an alternative to natural gas and heating oil.

Blackout News reports on how forests in Romania have been falling victim to illegal logging as the energy crisis has propelled the demand for firewood and pellets to rocket speed. “In Romania, entire nature reserves are disappearing as a result.”

“The sharp increase in demand for firewood, wood chips and pellets has also caused prices for these fuels to rise sharply, making them extremely lucrative for the illegal trade,” writes Blackout News. A lack of transparency and traceability are making the problem impossible to manage.

Blackout News cites a 2021 European Commission study showing Europe’s wood industry lacks transparency and that the demand for wood for heating has more than doubled in the past twenty years. Austria alone is reported to have imported approximately 120,000 tons of pellets from Romania last year. Europe’s CO2 reductions through the burning of biomass are costing its biotope dearly. Few are talking about this. What good will reaching zero CO2 emissions be if Europe’s forests end up being sacrificed and barren?

Greenpeace Romania says illegal logging is particularly bad in Romania and that more than half of the wood processed into pellets there comes from illegal logging in Natura 2000 areas. While authorities record an annual logging volume of 18 million cubic meters, “experts assume that another 20 million cubic meters of wood are illegally felled there each year and disappear without any evidence.”

One problem hindering the crackdown on illegal logging in Romania is rampant corruption in control bodies and government agencies. Penalties for the import of illegally logged timber “are also shockingly low”.

As long as Europe continues its efforts to eliminate fossil fuels and create energy shortages, prices will skyrocket and keep boosting the demand for wood as a source of energy.

November 19, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | 2 Comments

German producers warn of meat shortages

RT | November 19, 2022

Germany may face a meat shortage and a subsequent surge in prices within the next four to six months, Die Welt reported this week, citing the German Meat Industry Association (VDF).

“In four, five, six months we will have gaps on the shelves,” Hubert Kelliger, the head of group sales at meat marketer Westfleisch and a VDF board member, told the news outlet.

According to Kelliger, the worst shortages are expected in the supply of pork. He says Berlin insists on reducing the number of livestock by half in order to protect the climate. However, experts say this would lead to mass shutdowns of meat-producing companies, which in turn would result in a 40% increase in the price of meat.

Cutting livestock numbers could also lead to a decrease in the supply of natural fertilizer, resulting in a drop in vegetable yields or a surge in the cost of production due to the high prices of artificial fertilizers. Either situation would worsen the food crisis in Germany.

While meat industry representatives note that vegetarianism and veganism have become increasingly popular in the country over the last few years, they say that over 90% of the people still buy and eat meat.

Germany has been relying more and more on meat imports rather than domestic production. The share of beef and pork products from abroad has risen in recent months, and the country is currently the biggest meat importer in Europe, according to VDF.

VDF experts say Berlin is making the same mistake in turning to meat imports as it did with energy – increasing dependence on imports could lead to the risk of a food crisis along with the energy crisis. Kelliger says the only way to avoid this is to be self-sufficient in meat production.

November 19, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | Leave a comment

Lab-grown meat & nuclear yeast vats: COP27 reignites the war on food

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | November 13, 2022

We’re a week into this year’s UN climate summit, COP27, and the various agenda planned to roll out on the back of it are coming into focus.

None more so than the autumn offensive in the establishment’s war on food. There’s a big push on that front.

Today was “Adaptation and Agriculture” day at COP27, and you probably don’t need me to tell you what was on the agenda – a lot of talk of “sustainability”, “innovation”, “climate-friendly production” and so on.

As usual with these global meetings, the closed-door discussions and po-faced newspeak presentations are accompanied by a wave of synchronized propaganda.

One angle this propaganda is taking is that COP27 “refused to discuss” meat or farming in general, and therefore those people insisting we should kill all the cows in the world and eat lab-grown paste instead are somehow rebels speaking truth to power.

That’s how George Monbiot is arranging the narrative for his piece in the Guardian.

It’s nonsense, of course. COP27 literally had an entire day dedicated to discussing farming, “food security” and “innovations” to “reduce methane” (that’s code for “getting rid of cows” by the way).

Further, COP27 is being used to launch the UN’s new Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST) initiative. Which, according to Forbes, will promote:

[A] shift towards sustainable, climate-resilient, healthy diets would help reduce health and climate change costs by up to US$ 1.3 trillion while supporting food security in the face of climate change.

As well as the AIM initiative, which intends to channel 8 BILLION dollars into “farming innovations”.

But, in another example of the fake binary, while COP27 members were inside discussing “adapting agriculture”, “protestors” were outside demanding they discuss adapting agriculture.

The protesters even used the platform to announce the launch of a new campaign “Reboot Food” which assures us that all we need to feed the world is giant nuclear-powered fermenting vats:

The cornerstone idea is swapping animal agriculture, where possible, for a technology called precision fermentation, which would involve brewing yeasts and bacteria to make protein. It could create biologically identical animal proteins using genetically engineered micro-organisms fermented in tanks. These factories would be powered by solar, wind and nuclear.

That’s just the broadest most ambitious “food reform” propaganda coming out in the last few days though, there’s a lot more where that came from.

Earlier this week it was announced that synthetic meat company GoodMeat would be unveiling their new lab-grown meat products at the COP27 summit.

On a similar theme, EuroNews asks:

Companies are making slaughter-free meat – so why isn’t it for sale in shops?

It’s not just lab-grown meat or nuclear-powered yeast paste hitting the headlines either, edible insect stories are suddenly all over the news again.

The I has a piece from a “journalist” who didn’t like the idea of eating insects, but then tried it for a week and found out it was actually great.

The academic journal PNAS published an article unsubtly titled “How to convince people to eat insects”, which suggests we need to “create a new norm”.

Healthline News has an article “What Science Says About Eating Insects”. Spoiler alert – “science” says that eating insects is great and everybody should do it as much as possible. Who knew, right?

At the same time, the UK’s Food Standards Agency published a startingly well-timed report on the safety of edible insects (turns out they’re safe, shocking isn’t it?)

But the prize of the clumsiest propaganda of the week goes to the Independent, which boasts an article with the headline:

Eww world order: How the right-wing became obsessed with eating bugs

This opens with a screed about how lunatic right-wing conspiracy theorists think we’re all being programmed to eat insects… and then seamlessly blends into half-a-dozen paragraphs about how eating insects is actually really good for you though, and good for the planet too:

The reality is that there are a multitude of good reasons to eat insect protein, not least the environmental impact. Breeding insects such as crickets and grasshoppers requires less feed, land and water than farming traditional livestock like pigs and cows, and results in the production of much less greenhouse gas.

Great job guys, real smooth.

UN summits – especially climate summits – always provide a little sneak preview of the upcoming narratives. And while “food reform” may not be the only, or even the biggest, item on the agenda… it’s definitely a major part of the plan. And it’s probably coming soon.

November 13, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 3 Comments

Britain’s Liberal Technocratic Recession

BY NOAH CARL | THE DAILY SCEPTIC | NOVEMBER 13, 2022

On November 3rd, the Bank of England announced that Britain is facing its “longest recession since records began”, with unemployment forecast to nearly double by 2025.

How did we get here?

In most developed economies, recessions happen once or twice a decade (although Australia went without one for 30 years). So in some sense, they’re unavoidable. Yet the scale of the one we’re facing – the longest since records began – suggests some fundamental errors have been made.

The first was lockdown. For more than a year, we spent untold sums of money on daft furlough schemes and boondoggles like ‘Test and Trace’. Meanwhile, we allowed supply chains to break down through trade restrictions and lack of maintenance. We were spending more while producing less – which set us on course for inflation.

The second was letting dozens of oil refineries shut down without building any new ones. Such refineries became unprofitable during the pandemic, and firms didn’t bother to upgrade or replace them due to costly environmental regulations and the uncertainty surrounding ‘Net Zero’.

The third were the reckless sanctions against Russia. Rather than using the threat of sanctions as a bargaining chip, we immediately went pedal to the metal and tried to crush Russia’s economy. This backfired: while we have inflicted some long-term damage, we hamstrung our own economies in the process.

All three of these blunders stem from hubris on the part of liberal technocratic policymakers, who believe there are straightforward ‘solutions’ to problems like pandemics, climate change and interstate conflict. In reality, we’re always faced with trade-offs and unintended consequences.

The British economy is now grappling with general inflation (caused by lockdowns) and rising energy costs (caused by lack of refining capacity and sanctions against Russia).

The severity of these problems is laid bare in the ONS’s Business Insights and Conditions Survey – a fortnightly survey of around 10,000 businesses. Respondents were asked, “Which of the following, if any, will be the main concern for your business in November 2022?” Results are shown below.

Results from the ONS’s Business Insights and Conditions Survey

As you can see, by far the most frequently mentioned concerns were “inflation” and “energy prices”. Only around 7% of businesses mentioned “taxation” as their main concern, demonstrating how ill-conceived was Liz Truss’s economic program. (She thought we could tax-cut our way out of an energy crisis).

Policymakers need to get grips with the fact that not every problem has a liberal technocratic ‘solution’. Paying people not to work, shutting down refineries, and sanctioning other countries may feel good. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

November 13, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Cargo of Russian fertilizers to leave EU port

RT | November 12, 2022

Russian fertilizers which have been blocked at an EU port, due to Ukraine-related sanctions, will be shipped next week, the UN announced on Friday.

The world’s largest country is a key producer of the materials and the uncertainty around supply has heightened fears about food insecurity, particuarly in poorer nations.

The 20,000 ton cargo has been held in the Dutch port, Rotterdam, and is destined for Malawi, under the UN World Food Program.

Following a meeting between senior UN officials and a Russian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin on Friday a UN statement confirmed it has been “… briefed on recently issued General Licenses and shipments of fertilizer to developing countries’ destinations and its ongoing engagement with private sector and member states. It is anticipated that the first shipment of donated fertilizers will depart for Malawi in the coming week.”

The meeting centered on Russia’s continued dissatisfaction with UN efforts to lift Western sanctions that pose problems for Russia’s agricultural exports. The organization pledged to assist Russia back in July as part of a UN-brokered grain deal, which unblocked the export of food and fertilizers from several Black Sea ports. Russia said it may choose not to extend its participation in the deal, which is set to expire on November 19, if the UN does not follow through on its promises regarding Russian exports.

On Friday, the Dutch government confirmed that the Russian fertilizer cargo has been given permission to leave the port at the UN’s request.

“The decision to release the fertilizer was made on the understanding that the UN would ensure that it is delivered to the agreed location, Malawi, and that the Russian company and sanctioned individual will earn nothing from the transaction,” the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

It did not disclose the name of the Russian company that owns the shipment. Earlier this month, however, TASS news agency reported that Russian fertilizer producer Uralchem-Uralkali was ready to donate 240,000 tons of its fertilizers stuck in EU warehouses for humanitarian purposes, with the first shipment destined for Malawi.

Prior to this, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that a total of 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizers were stuck at EU ports due to Western sanctions. In September, he said that Russia was prepared to give these fertilizers to developing nations free of charge.

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Up to 280,000 Tonnes of Russian Fertilizers Arrested in Europe, Deputy Foreign Minister Says

Samizdat – 12.11.2022

As many as 280,000 tonnes of Russian mineral fertilizers remain arrested in European ports, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on Saturday.

“Up to 280,000 tonnes of Russian mineral fertilizers have been under arrest in a number of European countries over recent months,” Vershinin said adding that Russia supported gratuitous exports of these arrested fertilizers to countries in need, especially in Africa.

The deputy minister added that Moscow was not satisfied with the implementation of the Black Sea grain deal, as Russian food products and fertilizers should have a “real access” to international markets.

Russia, Ukraine and Turkey signed on July 22 the United Nations-brokered agreement to secure a humanitarian corridor via the Black Sea for grain and fertilizer exports. The parties agreed for the agreement to last 120 days and expire on November 19.

On October 29, Russia suspended its participation in the agreement after its military and civilian ships were attacked by Ukraine in the bay of Sevastopol. On November 2, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Moscow was returning to the agreement after receiving written guarantees from Ukraine that Kiev will refrain from using the humanitarian corridor for military purposes. Kiev has denied providing any additional guarantees.

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Why Did the Left Fail So Utterly to Resist the Global Biosecurity State?

BY SIMON ELMER | THE DAILY SCEPTIC | NOVEMBER 11, 2022

The question that continues to confuse socialists almost to the same degree that it delights their political opponents is why the Left today – not only in the U.K. but across the West – continues to collaborate so willingly and unquestioningly with the authoritarian programmes and regulations of the emerging Global Biosecurity State. As the imminent implementation of Digital ID, Central Bank Digital Currency, Universal Basic Income, Environmental and Social Corporate Governance criteria (ESG), Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response, Social Credit, Smart Cities, and all the other programmes of Agenda 2030 are demonstrating, the New World Order being forced upon us outside of any democratic process is capitalist in its economic infrastructure, fascist in its governmental, juridical and ideological superstructure and totalitarian in its aims. So why do those who, however mistakenly, self-identify as of the political Left continue to be its noisiest and blindest cheerleaders?

If, by the Left, we mean in the U.K. the Labour Party and those trades unions, political organisations and pressure groups that advocate voting Labour every time there’s an election, then the U.K. Left has little or nothing socialist in its principles, politics or practices. For those of us who read its policies and oppose its actions in town halls and local authorities, Labour is irrefutably and even openly a party whose political philosophy is founded in the principles of neoliberalism. This is, perhaps, most demonstrably evident in its collusion in the marketisation of human needs such as housing and the financialisation of those markets by global capital. Moreover, anyone who has knocked around the Left as I have also knows that, whatever its so-called ‘Left-wing’ elements and organisations argue between elections, when it comes to supporting or opposing the policies and practices of Labour in government at municipal or local authority level, they all toe the party line, keep silent and vote Labour.

It has come as no surprise to me, therefore, that the U.K. Left, including not only Labourites but the wide diaspora of people who call themselves ‘Leftists’ and even ‘socialists’, have become fervent ideologues of the biosecurity state. But it’s not, as the followers of Friedrich Hayek argue, because of the inherent authoritarianism of socialism that leads it to impose a totalitarian social model at the first opportunity. There is (it can’t be repeated too often) little or nothing socialist – in the Labour Party nothing, in its affiliates and fellow travellers little – about the policies or practices of the U.K. Left. Even those small groups and independent organisations that are openly critical of Labour have adopted the U.K. Left’s almost universal support for biosecurity restrictions, remain indifferent to the immiseration and suffering of the U.K. working class they are causing, and steadfastly refused to join the millions of U.K. workers who protested against their imposition in the spring and summer of 2021. They instead uncritically accepted and adopted the Government and corporate media’s dismissal of those workers as ‘far-Right conspiracy theorists’.

Undoubtedly, the political naivety of the Left disposed it to welcome the imposition of the regulations and programmes of the biosecurity state in March 2020 as the triumph of the common good over government incompetence and ‘Right-wing’ greed. But that was nearly three years ago, and naivety has become bad-faith and denial in the face of the vast apparatus of global biosecurity that’s been constructed around, between and within us. That doesn’t mean, however, that the Left now regrets its collaboration, which of course continues today, or that it hasn’t obstinately confined its protests to the erasure of our rights and freedoms being enacted by the wave of new legislation introduced in 2022 on the back of 582 coronavirus-justified Statutory Instruments, without admitting any relationship between them. The betrayals and duplicities of the Left are legion, but many socialists are still asking how it came to this.

What all the Left shares – and the origin of its otherwise inexplicable collusion with the implementation of the U.K. biosecurity state – is a decades-long infiltration by the neoliberal ideologies of multiculturalism, political correctness, identity politics and, most recently, the orthodoxies of woke. In some organisations, the infiltration is marginal and exists, under the umbrella of ‘intersectionality’, in an uneasy and usually unexamined co-existence with the slogans – if not the practices – of socialism. In others, such as the Labour Party and its affiliates, what socialist principles they may once have had have been entirely replaced by the values and orthodoxies of these relatively new ideologies, which have manifested themselves in such youthful, energetic and well-funded movements as Momentum, Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and now the masked-up, jacked-up advocates of the Global Biosecurity State. These are all (whatever they may say themselves) pro-capitalist movements, hostile to the working class – which they consistently and casually denounce as ‘racist’ – and directly if not openly opposed to socialism. It’s by their principles that the Left has operated for some time in the U.K. as in all the former neoliberal democracies of the West.

It can’t be long before we see a similar movement, funded by the same or even more powerful billionaires, formed to support the next stage in the U.K. biosecurity state. This includes the adoption of a Universal Basic Income for those impoverished by lockdown, spiralling inflation, rising energy prices and the mass digitalisation of white-collar jobs by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And like its predecessors, this movement of the Covid-faithful will claim a position on the U.K. Left by criticising the Conservative Government’s response to this or the next ‘crisis’. In doing so, it will help create an even greater consensus among U.K. youth and ‘liberals’ in the middle-classes for increased online surveillance, stricter laws, harsher sentences, more intrusive technologies of public control and greater police powers to enforce them. As we saw most publicly in the counter demonstrations organised across Canada during the blockade against vaccine mandates in February 2022, the Left didn’t hesitate to align itself with the Government of Justin Trudeau and the riot police he deployed, denounced truckers as ‘white supremacists’ and every other insult in the woke handbook, while waving placards telling working men and women facing unemployment and destitution at the hands of the biosecurity state to ‘check their privilege’.

This largely middle-class, neoliberal Left, which today constitutes a homogeneous force of compliance across the biosecurity states of the West, did not suddenly become devotees of the restrictions and programmes imposed due to a justification of a major threat to public health that never existed. On the contrary, the Left is the Church in which these Covid-faithful have been raised, their guiding religion and cultic practices formed by the same radically conservative beliefs. To state again what should be obvious to all: no-platforming, cancel culture, misogyny disguised as trans-rights, policing of speech and opinion, and all the other symptoms of this woke ideology did not emerge from a politics of emancipation, class struggle or wealth distribution. They emerged from, and are advocates for, authoritarian practices of censorship, suppression of debate and punishment of non-compliance that are culturally inseparable from the technologies of surveillance and control developed by finance capitalism to police and protect its borders. These are not the borders between the nation states that finance capitalism straddles like a colossus and across which the Global Biosecurity State now controls our movements to a degree hitherto unimaginable to the children of multiculturalism. They are rather the borders between, on the one hand, the international corporations and offshore jurisdictions through which global capital flows, and on the other, scrutiny by and accountability to what remains of the public sector in those nation states.

Far from the Left being, as some have claimed, under some form of collective hypnosis or programming – presumably from the propaganda of the Right – it is from the Left that we hear the most Puritanical demands for displays of public virtue, for the harshest punishments to be imposed on unbelievers in the new faith of biosecurity. There is a direct line of ideological influence between the Black Lives Matter slogan that ‘silence is violence’, the ‘rebels’ groomed by Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil offering themselves for arrest, and the ideologues of ‘Zero-Covid’ denying human rights to those who refuse to comply with the dictates of the Global Biosecurity State.

Just as, for the past century and more, trades unions under Labour’s duplicitous leadership have repeatedly sacrificed U.K. workers to the interests of U.K. capital, so the Left has handed over U.K. youth to the U.K. biosecurity state. To claim that this corporate, technocratic, authoritarian, repressive, violent and totalitarian ideology has anything in common with the emancipatory aims of socialism shows just how little the ideologues of the Left know or care about socialist politics, socialist principles or socialist practices, except insofar as it exists to suppress any organisation that attempts to enact them.

Indeed, with such willing compliance from the Left, is there any need anymore for the ideologues of capitalism to extol its supposedly unique ability to defend our freedoms? The declarations of a New World Order made at the concurrent meetings of the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organisation this May strongly suggest not. As an ideological principle, ‘freedom’ is well and truly off the political agenda today. Fascism – although, as Orwell predicted, imposed under another name (‘biosecurity’, ‘Net Zero’, ‘stakeholder capitalism’ etc.), no longer under the authority of a sovereign leader but of new international technocracies like the World Economic Forum and World Health Organisation, and in this country appearing in a slimy Anglicised form — is the new common good to which all of us are being compelled to sacrifice our human rights, our privacy, our bodily autonomy, our freedoms. And the truth the Left continues to refuse to face up to is that none of this could have been achieved with such speed and ease without its collaboration.

But is that all? Can so momentous a historical failure, which may one day equal that of the failure of the Left to defeat the rise of fascism a century ago, be attributed entirely to the ideological erasure of socialism not only from the parliamentary parties and political organisations of the Left but also from the ideology of its membership and fellow travellers? If the psychological structure of fascism is the pull between an almost childlike obedience to the imperious forms of authority that operate above the law, and a visceral hatred of the impoverished, the diseased, the ostracised and the criminalised, what can we say about the psychological structure of the Left in the West in 2022? Is the Left now, in effect, fascist? And if it is, was Hayek right, after all, about socialism being a stepping stone to fascism?

The answer to both these questions must be ‘no’: not only because the past 40 years of neoliberalism in the West have witnessed the outsourcing of public services to the private sector and deferral of economic policy to central banks and international financial institutions; but also because the division of the political spectrum on which Hayek’s argument rested into Left and Right – with social democrats and socialists, respectively, one and two steps to the Left, and liberals and conservatives one and two steps to the Right – no longer has any descriptive purchase on the political paradigm of the Global Biosecurity State.

The orthodoxies of woke ideology have been employed by self-styled ‘liberal democracies’ under some of the most authoritarian and anti-working-class governments in recent history – including those of Boris Johnson in the U.K., Emmanuel Macron in France, Mario Draghi in Italy and Karl Nehammer in Austria – in order to subordinate the Left to the Global Biosecurity State. ‘Subordinate’ is perhaps the wrong word, because, at the same time, notionally Left-wing governments – including those of Pedro Sánchez in Spain, António Costa in Portugal and Magdalena Andersson in Sweden – as well as Left political parties in opposition such as U.K. Labour, have been just as ready to embrace the Global Biosecurity State on the woke principles of safety, censorship and a paternal state. And, of course, liberal and conservative governments – including those of Olaf Scholz in Germany, Mateusz Morawiecki in Poland, Alexander de Croo in Belgium, Mark Rutte in the Netherlands, Sanna Marin in Finland and Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Greece – have long since made woke orthodoxies the foundation of their political platforms, and rapidly deployed them in their opportunist response to the coronavirus ‘crisis’.

This unity of response by the notionally politically differentiated governments of European nation states, together with their willing subordination to the new technocracies of global governance, has demonstrated – hopefully once and for all – that Left and Right no longer exist as positions within the new biopolitical paradigm of the West.

One could argue that they haven’t for some time. Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of the U.K. and one of the West’s most influential ideologues of neoliberalism, whose New Labour party did so much to close the Overton Window, replaced Left and Right with what he called ‘Open and Closed’, with the former in favour of neoliberalism, multiculturalism and globalisation, and the latter with protectionism, cultural conservatism and anti-immigration. In this new political spectrum, in which so-called ‘openness’ more accurately describes the ideology of the Left, the socialist values of political emancipation, economic equality and wealth redistribution have been removed altogether, with the middle-classes enjoined to openness and the working class dismissed as closed. Of course, with the current revolution of Western capitalism into the Global Biosecurity State, ‘open and closed’ have taken on very different meanings, with the ‘open’ advocates of neoliberalism now demanding lockdown, the imposition of ‘vaccine’ passports as a condition of travel and mandatory medical intervention as a condition of employment, and the ‘closed’ workers defending their rights and freedoms.

Indeed, insofar as the residual polarity between Left and Right has served to divide opposition to the biosecurity state, with compliance depoliticised as obedience to medical ‘measures’ issued by supposedly non-political technocratic advisory boards (whether SAGE or the WHO), the collaboration of Left and Right has facilitated the imposition of the biopolitical paradigm of the state. Just as Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom allowed neoliberals to reduce politics to economics – most famously expressed in Thatcher’s slogan that “There Is No Alternative” (TINA) – the sanctimoniously repeated mantra of the Covid-faithful that the coronavirus crisis is ‘above politics’ is the dream of a post-political totalitarian world in which, whatever party is elected to administer its dictates, the state and its powers remain at the disposal of the same international organisations of global governance.

The Left of today, therefore, is not fascist, but neither is it socialist in any recognisable sense of the term. As the more than two-and-a-half years since March 2020 have demonstrated more clearly than any other recent event in the history of the West, the Left is a residual but still functioning political form of the power of the nation state to assimilate, through the spectacles of parliamentary democracy and street protest, the potentially subversive elements of society into the homogeneous political order, in order to protect the productive forces of the economy from the increasingly frequent crises of finance capitalism. The coronavirus ‘crisis’, and the collaboration of the Left in constructing the Global Biosecurity State, is the demonstration of this function.

Simon Elmer is the author of The Road to Fascism: For a Critique of the Global Biosecurity State, from which this article is an excerpt.

November 11, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment