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Peter Ridd vs The Dishonourables

A powerful bureaucracy bullies, berates, isolates, and intimidates a lone critic.

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | April 24, 2019

The Peter Ridd court ruling, released last week, is a re-telling of David and Goliath. This is a story about a bureaucratic in-group persecuting a dissenting voice. It’s also a story about widespread dishonourable conduct.

Ridd formerly ran the physics department, and managed James Cook University’s marine geophysical laboratory for 15 years. He was fired in May 2018, after alleging that Great Barrier Reef research affiliated with his university was misleading politicians and the public.

When Ridd first reached out to journalist Peter Michael at the Courier-Mail about his concerns, Michael didn’t protect his source by shielding Ridd’s identity. Instead, he betrayed Ridd by forwarding the full e-mail, accompanied by a few questions of his own, to one of the organizations being criticized – the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

Biologist Terry Hughes was at that time, and continues to be, the person in charge at the ARC Centre. That entity’s website tells us “He has published so far 20 papers in Science and Nature. In scientific circles, therefore, he’s a golden boy. Getting published once in these prominent venues is an academic career boost.

This same biographical sketch begins by telling us:

In December 2016, Professor Terry Hughes was recognized by Nature as one of the “10 people who mattered this year” for his leadership in responding to the global coral bleaching event caused by climate change…Nature’s 10 dubbed him “Reef Sentinel”, for the global role he plays in applying multi-disciplinary science to securing reef sustainability.

Apparently reveling in the role of a brave sentinel sounding the alarm over climate change, Hughes presents this characterization of himself up front, at the top of the page.

Elsewhere, we learn that his current and recent research funding amounts to a staggering $31 million, with the vast bulk provided by Australian taxpayers. At many universities, professors share their research grants 50/50 with the administration. Hughes, therefore, is a source not only of international prestige for James Cook, but of significant funding.

According to the written judgment of Judge Salvatore Vasta, after receiving a forwarded copy of the detailed e-mail Ridd had sent to the journalist, Hughes declined to respond to the journalist’s questions. He made no attempt to address Ridd’s concerns, to explain why they were unfounded.

Like a child in a sandbox, he instead went running to the teacher. Before two hours had expired, he’d sent an e-mail to Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Chris Cocklin (to whom both he and Ridd ultimately reported), saying he wished to file a complaint against Ridd.

From that point forward, it was unlikely Ridd would receive a fair hearing, despite the lofty language about impartiality and natural justice in that institution’s Code of Conduct.

University officials were in a clear conflict-of-interest. Their own fortunes were aligned with one side.

They didn’t dare investigate whether their star professor was misusing photographs or exaggerating his scientific conclusions. Such a finding could be humiliating for the university, whose reputation they themselves were supposed to be safeguarding.

Then there was the money angle. Anything that reflected negatively on Hughes could call into question his research grants past, present, and future. When a professor is bringing tens of millions of dollars onto campus, no administrator in their right mind wants to capsize that boat.

Last but not least, the powers-that-be at James Cook needed to worry about offending Hughes. The well-connected biologist might take his toys and go elsewhere.

Judge Vasta twice points to a double standard on the part of the administration. When Ridd did something, it was wrong. When others behaved similarly, it wasn’t even noticed. (See paragraphs 68-70 and 220-222 of the court judgment). In the judge’s words, the “hypocrisy is breathtaking,” and the “irony is even more spectacular.”

As a result of Hughes’ complaint, the university formally censured Ridd. He was found guilty of misconduct, including a failure to “uphold the integrity and good reputation of the University.”

The final sentence in his formal letter of censure urges him, in so many words, to get counseling – providing the telephone number of the university’s “free and confidential” service. The message couldn’t have been plainer. Ridd was the problem.

Three months later, Ridd made a guest appearance on Australian television. A book had just been published to which he’d contributed a chapter about the “extraordinary resilience of Great Barrier Reef corals.” In his view, corals are highly adaptable. They do well in water of various temperatures, and are therefore unlikely to be seriously harmed by climate change.

Ridd talked about the fact that most scientific research isn’t

properly checked, tested or replicated and this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions. And the fact is, I do not think we can anymore.

When an interviewer suggested some coral reef scientists were shamelessly “telling the government what they want to hear,” Ridd protested:

that’s possibly a bit harsh. I think that most of the scientists who are pushing out this stuff, they genuinely believe that there are problems with the reef. I just don’t think that they are very objective about the science they do. I think they’re emotionally attached to their subject, and you know you can’t blame them, the reef is a beautiful thing.

He did, however, point out that scientists with whom he differs

will never debate. I’ve often tried, you know. Let’s have a debate of a couple of hours and thrash this out. But they never will.

Once again, Terry ‘crybaby’ Hughes complained to James Cook administrators, and once again the university declared that Ridd had violated the Code of Conduct. Its longstanding position that how Ridd was saying things was the problem would seem to be contradicted by many of its statements, including this one:

The University does not accept that academic freedom justifies your criticism of key stakeholders of the University…

Hughes had specifically complained that Ridd was threatening the institution’s relationships with other entities. Ergo, Ridd needed to be crushed.

Following that television appearance, James Cook initiated a relentless campaign of enforced secrecy. Ridd was repeatedly told he had “confidentiality obligations to the University,” that he was expected “to maintain the confidentiality of this matter,” and that certain actions of his were considered “a direct breach of confidentiality.”

“It is very important,” he was told, “that you comply.” Ridd was forbidden from discussing “these matters with the media or in any other public forum, including social media.” Moreover, during a three-week period in September 2017, the university insisted he wasn’t allowed to tell even his wife what was going on.

Administrators kept pointing to a clause in the employment contract to justify this secrecy. But Judge Vasta says that clause “is written for the benefit and protection of the employee.” It imposes an obligation on the university to keep personal information private. Employees, on the other hand, are at perfect liberty to discuss their own situation with whomever they choose.

In the judge’s words, the confidentiality obligations Ridd was repeatedly told to respect “do not exist.”

The overall picture, therefore, is of widespread dishonourable conduct. A powerful bureaucracy bullies and berates. It isolates and intimidates a lone critic who, in another universe, would have been receiving whistleblower protections.

The pettiness here is shocking. Ridd was forbidden from saying anything that “directly or indirectly trivializes…or parodies the University taking disciplinary action against you.” Administrators claim he disobeyed that order when he sent an email to a student with the subject line: “for your amusement.”

Worried that Ridd’s troubles might adversely affect a joint project, Fernando Pinheiro Andutta, an academic colleague who worked elsewhere, sent Ridd an e-mail wondering “if maybe you could avoid stirring the pot for a little bit.”

Ridd’s response included this sentence: “In any case I am not sure I have any influence on the outcome.” According to James Cook administrators, those words were proof he’d denigrated the university to a third party.

The judge characterizes further administrative allegations against Ridd as “totally bereft of logic,” “extremely peculiar,” having “no substance whatsoever,” and lacking “the slightest scintilla of evidence.”

While officials at James Cook University excelled at making Ridd’s life miserable, they collectively appear to have lost sight of the reason society spends enormous amounts of money on higher education.

A university is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas. It’s supposed to be an arena where conflicting perspectives are examined and challenged. That process won’t always be pleasant for those involved, but the last thing administrators are supposed to do is prevent this from taking place. In the words of Judge Vasta:

Incredibly, the University has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom. In the search for truth, it is an unfortunate consequence that some people may feel denigrated, offended, hurt or upset.

April 24, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Earth Day, 2019: Fifty Years of Apocalyptic Global Warming Predictions and Why People Believe Them, Part 1

By Peter Baggins, Ph.D. | Occidental Observer | April 19, 2019

Two of the most important problems that the so-called Green New Deal will attempt to solve at the cost of incalculable trillions are global warming and its consequences, including drought, famine, floods and massive starvation. You may recall that Obama in his 2015 State of the Union speech declared that the greatest threat facing us was neither terrorism nor ISIS. It wasn’t nuclear weapons in rogue states either. “No challenge  poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” said Obama.

His entire administration including Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State John Kerry, frequently repeated the claim that climate change was the greatest threat facing the world. It was a sentiment Obama stressed again during an Earth Day trip to the Florida Everglades where he said, “This is not a problem for another generation. It has serious implications for the way we live right now”.

More recently, presidential hopefuls like Beto O’Rourke, along with most Democrat candidates, declared their zealous support for the Green New Deal in forecasting that the world will end in 12 years if nothing is done. “This is the final chance, the scientists are absolutely unanimous on this — that we have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis. Not to be melodramatic, but the future of the world depends on us right now here where we are.”

This leads to the question I pose in this brief, data-driven, essay: What kind of track record do the politicians and their experts have in their climate predictions? After all, some of these predictions were made 10, 20 or even 50 years ago. Can’t we now look back at their predictions and begin to hold them accountable?

As others have done, I have chosen to begin with the first Earth Day “Celebration” in 1970. Now who can be against Earth Day? It’s a charming idea, and I have been an enthusiastic supporter since my college days in Ann Arbor, when we celebrated the event on the campus of the University of Michigan.

Here’s what the experts were saying almost a half century ago on Earth Day, 1970:

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
    Harvard biologist George Wald
  1. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,”
    Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
  1. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
    Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
  1. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100–200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years. … Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born. … [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.
    Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
  1. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions …. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.
    North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
  1. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”
    — Life magazine
  2. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable. … By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate … that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any. … The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
    — Kenneth Watt

Global Warming and Massive Starvation

I will focus my attention on the two most important predictions: Global Warming and Massive Starvation. If we return to the failed prediction of global cooling noted above, we can put the temperature data in a wider perspective. NASA data show that a period of warming in the 1920’s and 30’s was followed by two or three decades of cooling temperatures, from the 1940s to 1970. At that time many experts, including Carl Sagan, warned us of a possible ice age—only to have the climate change on them. From the 1970s to the late 1990s, scientists began to record slightly warmer temperatures. Curiously, as we look back at this period NASA sounded the alarm for global warming while a short time later the New York Times cited NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] data showing no warming over the past 100 years in the US.

Since then, group think and political correctness, plus rewards in government grants and university promotions, have created incentives for nearly everyone to jump onto the current bandwagon of projecting an escalating warming trend. Once again we came back to the doomsday scenario that characterized 1970’s.

Then, out of the blue, the darned climate changed again. Global temperature data has been roughly flat since about 1998, even cooling by .056 degrees C from February 2016 to February 2018, according to official NASA global temperature data. Of course, this is just a two-year trend.

You may have noticed that nearly all of the doomsday theories seem to begin with the phrase, “if current trends continue.” But, as I have just reviewed, current trends don’t continue. Global temperatures go down, then up, then stay flat. Population growth tapers off, new oil reserves are discovered, agricultural yields increase at even higher rates. Doomsday forecasters always overestimate gloomy trends and underestimate human ingenuity in problem solving.

This raises the question: How would an informed citizen make sense of our current predicament?

Without question there has been an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. A majority of scientists believe this to be the primary source of the global warming that has occurred.

Just how much warming has occurred?

The scientific consensus is that the average temperature of the Earth has risen about 0.4 °C over the past 100 years. This is far less than experts predicted. And therein lies the problem: scientists are better at observation than prediction.

A case in point: experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate carrying out global warming research have now predicted that average global temperatures could increase between 1.4 and 5.8 °C by the year 2100. Notice the nearly 5-fold difference between the conservative and more liberal (one is tempted to say “progressive”) estimates. This strikes me as akin to meteorologists predicting tomorrow’s high as somewhere between 40 and 80 degrees. Not much of a forecast if you are trying to decide whether to head to the beach or not. The confidence interval seems pretty safe, but the precision leaves much to be desired. Just how much faith should one put in such projections, given the flawed models and track record of failed predictions?

Regarding the other staggering Earth Day forecast of widespread starvation into hundreds of millions, recent satellite data from NASA and NOAA offer a compelling explanation for the spectacular failure of these predictions.

Almost half of Earth’s vegetated lands have shown significant greening over the past 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions.

This greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States, or more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000’s. That increase represents an enormous amount of food to feed a hungry planet, which is one reason the Earth Day predictions of mass starvation never materialized.

Because the mainstream media refuses to report such important data as this is from NASA and NOAA that do not support their doomsday narrative, I have never actually met anyone who knew anything about this when I mention it. I only learned about this myself a few years ago because of Matt Ridley, whose excellent blog I recommend without reserve:

You may remember from high school biology that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth. Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide with nitrogen drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. The good news is that the impact that this greening has had in reducing hunger and starvation around the globe is undiminished, despite going unreported. When is the last time you heard a report of massive human starvation of hundreds of millions, or even tens of milions. How about 1 million … do I hear a hundred thousand, anyone? Anyone?

Fact Check: Fewer and fewer people die from climate-related naturaldisasters.

This is clearly the opposite of what you hear from the mainstream media, which loves to provide as much coverage as possible of one disaster after another. A more rational analysis would examine the average number of deaths per decade from 1920-1917. But this would show a “huuuge” decline in deaths caused by climate change, and we can’t have that now can we? The data below are from the most respected global database, the International Disaster Database.

In contrast to the dire Earth Day predictions of 1970, climate-related deaths have been declining strongly for 70 years. Notice that this decline in the absolute number deaths occurred while the global population increased four-fold. Thus, the individual risk of dying from climate-related disasters has declined almost 99% from the 1920s to the present day. Our increased wealth and technological capacity to respond to natural disasters has greatly reduced our collective human climate vulnerability – Good news for rational beings, bad news for Democrat candidates.

April 23, 2019 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

The Splendid Peter Ridd Court Judgment

James Cook University took 28 separate actions against Professor Ridd. Each of them, including his termination, has been declared unlawful.

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | April 22, 2019

Few victories are as complete as the one achieved last week by Peter Ridd in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

A former head of the physics department at James Cook University, Ridd was fired after questioning the reliability of Great Barrier Reef research produced by some of his colleagues.

To quote the editor-in-chief of The Lancet, “much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” Whenever third parties attempt to replicate published research, they often get different answers altogether. Since government decisions can throw people out of work, disrupt families, and destroy communities, Ridd thinks it’s a bad idea to base government policy on research that hasn’t been double-checked.

This saga began in December 2015, after Ridd sent an e-mail to journalist Peter Michael of the Courier-Mail outlining his concerns about the misleading use of Great Barrier Reef photographs and other matters. His e-mail offered to condense his thoughts for publication, but also urged the newspaper to ask pointed questions of those in charge of two publicly funded organizations affiliated with his own university.

Some journalists go to jail to protect their sources. Peter Michael instead forwarded Ridd’s e-mail whole cloth to Terry Hughes, the director of one of those entities. Less than two hours after receiving it, Hughes informed a James Cook administrator that he wanted to “make a formal complaint” against Ridd for attacking his integrity.

There’s no indication that Hughes or anyone else at James Cook has ever addressed Ridd’s concerns. When the powers-that-be swung into action, silencing him was apparently the only thing on their mind.

Universities are supposed to be places of rigorous inquiry and vigorous debate. Academic tenure is supposed to prevent exactly this situation: a professor being hounded from campus for expressing unfashionable views.

Ridd’s superiors insist his criticism of his colleagues wasn’t the problem. The way he criticized them was. In other words, their position is that bad manners is a firing offence.

Between April 2016 and May 2018, James Cook University took 28 separate actions against Ridd. Each of them, including his termination, was declared unlawful by Judge Salvatore Vasta last week (see the full list, three pages long, here).

Vasta determined that the university’s relationship with its staff is governed first and foremost by an employment contract ratified by Australia’s Fair Work Commission. That contract can’t be altered without the federal agency’s say-so, and was described by the judge as “the basis from which other [university] documents gain their power.”

Clause 14 of the contract is devoted to Intellectual Freedom, a concept Judge Vasta calls “the cornerstone upon which the University exists. If the cornerstone is removed, the building tumbles.”

Clause 14 clearly proclaims James Cook to be an institution of independent thought where professors have the right to participate in public debate. It says “ideas may be put forward and opinion expressed freely,” including  “unpopular or controversial views,” so long as the professors doing so don’t “harass, vilify, bully or intimidate those who disagree…”

Since Ridd hasn’t harassed, vilified, bullied, or intimidated anyone, the university has never claimed that Clause 14’s built-in limits apply.

Instead, those in charge have argued that a right recognized and affirmed by the Fair Work Commission isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. They say professors are only entitled to that right if they also abide by the university’s homegrown Code of Conduct, a rambling document that talks vaguely about “the collegial and academic spirit,” and instructs employees to “celebrate diversity.”

Ridd’s first Formal Censure said he’d violated the Code by failing to behave in a collegial manner and failing to respect the reputations of his colleagues (the only reputation actually mentioned in the Code is that of the university). It also claimed he’d gone to the media in a manner that “did not respect the rights of others.”

Judge Vasta observed that the university neglected to explain “exactly how this was not collegial or how the rights of others were not respected.” It just declared Ridd guilty of misconduct.

Using words such as “extraordinary” and “simply absurd,” the judge ruled that the Code of Conduct cannot be used as a mechanism to rob professors of something that has been guaranteed to them via the Fair Work Commission. In his words:

Clause 14 means that it is the right of Professor Ridd to say what he has said in any manner that he likes so long as he does not contravene the sanctions embedded in cl. 14. (my italics)

A few pages later, matters become crystal clear:

The termination of Professor Ridd’s employment was unlawful because it punished Professor Ridd for conduct that was protected by cl.14…

Case closed.

April 22, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Piers Corbyn on religion of climate change

1000frolly | March 9, 2018

Astrophysicist / Weather Forecaster Piers Corbyn explains the differences between his ideas and those of the CO2 crowd.

Corbyn says; “There is No Such Thing as Man-Made Climate Change”.

He also mentions auto-compression and the work of Nikolov & Zeller.

Related works in the literature;

Principles, T., Nikolov, N., & Zeller, K. (2011). Unified Theory of Climate, poster session at the World Climate Research Program; http://www.wcrp-climate.org/conference
2011/

Nikolov, N., & Zeller, K. (2017). New insights on the physical nature of the atmospheric greenhouse effect deduced from an empirical planetary temperature model. Environment Pollution and Climate Change, 1(2), 112.

Holmes, R. I. (2017). Molar Mass Version of the Ideal Gas Law Points to a Very Low Climate Sensitivity. Earth Sciences, 6(6), 157.

Robinson, T. D., & Catling, D. C. (2014). Common 0.1 [thinsp] bar tropopause in thick atmospheres set by pressure-dependent infrared transparency. Nature Geoscience, 7(1), 12-15.

A brilliant student, at 18 Piers Corbyn went to Imperial College of London, where he earned a first class BSc degree in physics in 1968. He commenced postgraduate research there into superconductivity, but then went into student representation and politics for some years. Then in 1979 he returned to postgraduate study at Queen Mary College, University of London, where he earned a MSc in Astrophysics in 1981.

April 22, 2019 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

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

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | April 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the lead sponsor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 4 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Film Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Bernie Sanders’ Foreign Policy Vision is Incoherent and Dangerous

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., steps off a Black Hawk helicopter at the Afghan National Police Academy Feb. 20, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ernesto Hernandez Fonte | DVIDS
By Alex Rubinstein | MintPress News | April 16, 2019

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is now leading the pack of Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination. In the previous election cycle, Sanders served as an anti-establishment underdog, bucking Democratic orthodoxy with a strong progressive economic message. But this time the field is more crowded with like-minded candidates –“progressives” like Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris. It follows then that in order to distinguish himself, Sanders needs visionary solutions to problems outside of the economic realm. In the foreign policy arena, however, he is looking for inspiration on Israel-Palestine from tried-and-failed Democratic presidents of the past — namely, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton — all while echoing Trump and Bush Jr. administration talking points.

Sanders has also brought one Robert Malley onto his foreign policy team. Malley served on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council as “Special Assistant to President Obama & Senior Adviser to the President for the Counter-ISIL Campaign” from February 2014 to January 2017. Under his watch, the U.S led operations which saw the near-total destruction of the historic cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

Despite this, the New York Times opinion section has said Sanders “stands as one of the few candidates with a fully formed vision for American foreign policy,” while The Atlantic claims “It’s Foreign Policy That Distinguishes Bernie This Time.”

As journalist Mathew Yglesias — who is not necessarily known for his moral clarity but is indisputably one of the more knowledgeable wonks on Washington’s most boring inner workings — noted, “There are two main things the president actually does — executive branch appointments, which nobody is really talking about, and then foreign policy.”

Sanders has worked hard to lay out his 2020 foreign policy vision in April. It was the subject of an in-depth article in The New Yorker, and he also touched briefly on it in a Fox News town hall on Monday.

In the New Yorker piece, journalist Benjamin Wallace-Wells recounts his interview with Sanders and his foreign policy advisor, Matt Duss, a former “Policy Analyst” at the notoriously anti-Sanders Center for American Progress, which receives funding from the United Arab Emirates.

Right away, Wallace-Wells notes that “Sanders had scarcely talked about foreign affairs in his 2016 campaign.” This time seems different, however.

Still, Sanders hasn’t done all of his homework, and openly admits it. After getting into some of the nitty-gritty of international affairs and the historic role of U.S. foreign policy, Sanders concedes to Wallace-Wells:

Let me — I should have prefaced everything that I said by saying I most certainly do not believe that I have all the answers, or that this is easy stuff. I mean, you’re dealing with so much — my God.”

A bit later in the story, Sanders seems to blame the ignorance he just owned up to for much of the world’s woes: “You know, a lot of attitudes about foreign policy are based on lack of knowledge.”

A decent staff, except . . .

Earnestly, Wallace-Wells notes that Sanders’ full foreign policy team left him “surprised” by “how mainstream they seemed.”

Among them:

Joe Cirincione, the antinuclear advocate; … Robert Malley, who coördinated Middle East policy in Obama’s National Security Council and is now the president of the International Crisis Group; Suzanne DiMaggio, a specialist in negotiations with adversaries at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Vali Nasr, the dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced Studies at Johns Hopkins and a specialist in the Shia-Sunni divide.”

Joe Cirincione is a well-known and well-respected progressive figure devoted to denuclearization. Suzanne DiMaggio, for her part, has received praise from Timothy Shorrock — a leading progressive journalist focused on the defense industry and the Korean Peninsula. Her words have also been featured by 38 North, which is arguably the fairest outlet focusing on North Korea and is distinguished by its facts-first approach. She is, however, indisputably part of the establishment, and is respected enough by members of the U.S. Senate that her advice was sought after Trump agreed to an initial meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Like DiMaggio, Vali Nasr appears to be cut from the cloth of dovish foreign policy “experts.” He once wrote: “Without Iran’s military reach and the strength of its network of allies and clients in Iraq and Syria, ISIS would have quickly swept through Damascus, Baghdad, and Erbil.”

Malley is, in truth, the most objectionable of Sanders’ foreign policy team. As Wallace-Wells noted, Malley served as Obama’s Middle East coordinator.

He also worked as an advisor to Obama on the U.S. counter-ISIS campaign up until January 2017. That campaign, notably, included the destruction of Raqqa (80 percent destroyed) and Mosul (eight million tons of debris and 90 percent of the Western portion of the city destroyed.) Malley also spent six months as a Senior Fellow at the ultra-hawkish Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

And Malley also worked for about two and a half years under Clinton as his “Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs.” He has previously caught the attention of the venerable Palestinian journalist Ali Abunimah, who has tweeted:

Malley isn’t ‘pro-Palestinian.’ He’s a liberal Zionist who believes in and wants to bring about ‘two state’ segregation by soft means.

Peace process industrialists like Robert Malley can never recognize role of BDS or speak openly about [a] one-state solution.”

On Israel-Palestine, Sanders invoked former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as a source of inspiration for him.

As MintPress News has previously covered the policies of those presidents (in contrast with the positioning of President Donald Trump):

Unlike previous U.S. presidents, who have meddled in Israeli elections in order to support peace processes, Trump is doing the opposite by appeasing the settler movement… While Washington orthodoxy dictates strict adherence to a two-state solution, the idea has long stalled a real resolution to Israeli apartheid, as Israeli settlers continue to make bold land grabs. The far-right president, in bucking the trend of supporting peace processes so doomed, coupled with the far-right prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu], now emboldened by his fifth premiership, are on a path to see the total disappearance of historical Palestine from the map.”

There is no doubt that Sanders’ presidency would make a real solution to Israeli apartheid less improbable than a second Trump term would. Nor is their any doubt that his foreign policy is markedly less hawkish than that of many in the Democratic field. But he is also flanked from the left by candidates like Tulsi Gabbard and Mike Gravel, and so it is worth examining his milquetoast antidotes with this context in mind.

Sanders’ “solutions”

Sanders — despite being almost 80 years old — is getting hip to the desires of young progressives in the foreign policy realm. As DiMaggio correctly points out: “The case for restraint seems to be gaining ground, particularly in its rejection of preventive wars and efforts to change the regimes of countries that do not directly threaten the United States.”

In other words, the “humanitarian intervention” canard is losing its selling power. Moreover, Sanders rightfully puts more blame on the U.S. for various foreign policy failures over the years. He says:

“How many people in the United States understand that we overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran to put in the Shah? Which then led to the Revolution. How many people in this country do you think know that? So we’re going to have to do a little bit of educating on that.”

But Iran’s revolution was 40 years ago — about half of Sanders’ lifetime. When it comes to Iran today, Sanders differs drastically from the aforementioned views of Nasr, which painted Iran as a force for anti-terrorism in the Middle East. Sanders explicitly rejected this conception of Iran, saying Tehran is “involved in terrorism, doing a lot of bad things.”

In the case of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as the Israel-Palestine conflict, Sanders makes “both sides” arguments. On Saudi Arabia, he says “I don’t see why we’d be following the lead or seen as a very, very close ally of a despotic, un-democratic regime.”

Of course, Saudi Arabia is a theocratic petro-monarchy. Denouncing it as “un-democratic” is about the least imaginative criticism conceivable. To Sanders’ credit, however, he has been a leader in efforts to put an end to U.S. support for the Saudi war on Yemen.

Sanders went even further on Fox News, arguing that “Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

For a moment, imagine that Sanders had used that same phrasing regarding Israel, whose lobbyists hold far more sway over elected officials in the U.S.: he would be relentlessly condemned as anti-Semitic or a “self-loathing Jew” — at least, presumably, as he has never made criticism so harsh of the apartheid state and its America lobby. He did, however, say that Representative Ilhan Omar can do a “better job in speaking to the Jewish community,” but rejected the idea that she is an anti-Semite.

Regarding the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which Sanders seems to mischaracterize as religious instead of geopolitical, he said the U.S., under his watch, would not be “going to be spending trillions of dollars and losing American lives because of [their] long-standing hostilities.”

On Israel-Palestine, Sanders said the following:

While I am very critical of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s right-wing government, I am not impressed by what I am seeing from Palestinian leadership, as well.

It’s corrupt in many cases, and certainly not effective.”

It is true that Hamas has had problems with corruption, and the Palestinian Authority is far from effective. But Hamas was democratically elected to lead Gaza. In contrast, Netanyahu won his fifth premiership with help from his Likud Party, which hired a PR firm to place 1,200 hidden cameras in Arab polling places. The firm even boasted that, in those areas, the cameras and the uproar they caused “managed to lower the voter turnout to under 50 percent, the lowest in years!”

Sanders’ prescription for the Israel-Palestine conflict is to cut U.S. aid to Israel. But asked whether the aid would be “contingent” on “fuller political rights for Palestinians,” Sanders said he’s “not going to get into the specifics.”

Sanders has previously rejected the prospect of equal rights for Palestinians, saying in 2017 that “if that happens,” in the context of a one-state solution, “that would be the end of Israel.” In the same interview, Sanders said “I don’t support [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement],” which seeks to economically pressure Israel and Israeli companies into ending apartheid and respecting Palestinian human rights.

In other words, the proper way to reproach Israeli apartheid is to stop giving Israel free handouts. Sanders himself noted that “$3.8 billion is a lot of money!” But sanctioning Israel for its human rights abuses is out of the question.

Let us use a quick metaphor to describe this approach: your child is throwing a fit in the supermarket, knocking over racks of goods and shoveling cereal boxes onto the ground. Instead of grounding them, you say “that’s it! We’re not going to the toy store.”

This approach is in line with his hardline economic angles on almost every issue. In the New Yorker article, Sanders said that the $6 trillion spent on the War on Terror since 2001 is “an unbelievable amount of money.” But the human cost of the War on Terror goes unmentioned.

“I’m not proposing anything particularly radical,” Sanders admitted. “And that is that the United States should have an even-handed approach both to Israel and the Palestinians.”

Perhaps even more troubling than Sanders’ views on Israel are his positions on Venezuela. He expressed worry at what he calls the “rise of a new authoritarian axis” — echoing the “Axis of evil” talking point elevated by George W. Bush.

Asked whether Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, was part of that axis, Sanders said:

Yeah. …

It is a failed regime. From all of the recent evidence, it appears that the election was fraudulent. And, despite his ideology, what we need to see is democracy established in Venezuela. That does not mean deciding that some politician is the new President, who never won any election.

The world community has got to be mindful of the humanitarian suffering and the hunger that’s going on in Venezuela right now. But, at the end of the day, I think what you want in one of the largest countries in Latin America is free and fair elections, and we want to do everything we can to establish democracy there.”

There is no evidence of electoral fraud in Venezuela. It is also worth noting that, while Sanders rejected the U.S.-backed coup leader Juan Guaidó, his inclusion of Venezuela in the “authoritarian axis” follows in the footsteps of the Trump administration’s own rebrand of the “axis of evil” — the “troika of tyranny.” While Sanders undoubtedly has ruled out the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela should he become president, he says nothing of rolling back sanctions against Venezuela — or Iran, for that matter.

“I have reviewed sanctions across the world. Very few of them have really been a positive, helpful factor,” the UN special rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures recently told The Grayzone. “It’s like going into microsurgery using a kitchen knife. It’s a very blunt tool to achieve [regime change].”

While Sanders positions himself as an anti-war candidate, so too did Trump. And he echoes the Trump talking points: China and Russia are our enemies; Maduro won his presidency through election fraud; and Iran is a sponsor of terror.

In a rare mainstream media broadcasting of an anti-interventionist Syrian-American, a real estate agent named Tony asked Sanders in his town hall on Fox News on Monday whether he would “partake in any foreign affairs that don’t directly affect our national security,” adding, “I believe we need to stay out of Syria, Venezuela, and other countries.”

Sanders’ immediately touted his anti-Iraq war credentials before doing the same regarding his record on Yemen. But before long, he said, “clearly we are concerned about China and concerned about Russia.”

“Clearly we need a strong defense,” Sanders added.

Sanders has previously, and repeatedly, called for countries that have funded and armed the jihadist proxy war in Syria — Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, et al. — to “get their hands dirty, their boots on the ground” in Syria.

Imagine all the farmers

One anecdote from the New Yorker article lays bare the candidate’s half baked solutions to foreign policy as a chief executive:

He remembered, in a gauzy way, a program he had overseen as the mayor of Burlington, in which kids from his city traveled to the Soviet city of Yaroslavl, and Russian children traveled to Vermont.”

Sanders has sought to implement similar solutions even more recently, having proposed a failed amendment to dedicate 0.1 percent of the military budget “to support exchange programs to bring foreign teenagers to the U.S. and send American kids abroad.”

“To bring farmers from Turkey to farmers in Iowa. You know, just to get people to see each other as human beings. I think it could go a distance,” Sanders said.

Turkey? More like bologna. While a Soviet-U.S. exchange program, during the Cold War, is a solid program that could have, if nationally implemented, perhaps even altered the course of world history, the prospect of Turkish farmers going to Iowa or vice-versa seems purposefully meaningless. Turkey is, after all, a nuke-holding NATO ally.

Wallce-Wells, the New Yorker reporter, smartly noted that Sanders’ list of enemies — the “authoritarian axis” — was a lot better defined than his list of allies. And so, he “asked about where he thought his allies might come from.” The candidate deflected from offering a real strategy, however, arguing that climate change will help usher in a new era of global solidarity and peacebuilding.

Maybe I’m wrong on this, or maybe I’m seeing something that other people don’t see, but I look at climate change as a very, very serious threat — to the entire planet, to every country on earth.”

Sanders made the exact same deflection in his Fox News town hall. After bloviating about “concerns” with Russia and China, he placed climate change front and center of the “national security” debate.

This vision for a new era of international cooperation is lofty and utopian enough to make even John Lennon’s eyes roll in his grave.

April 18, 2019 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Climate Change and the Ten Warning Signs for Cults

By Will | Medium | February 23, 2019

Have you thought to yourself that the Climate Change movement seems more and more like a religious movement?

I have, so I researched how to identify a religious cult. Rick Ross, an expert on cults and intervention specialist, developed a list of ten warning signs for unsafe groups, which is published by the Cult Education Institute. So let’s take a look at all ten signs and compare:

1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

The leading advocates of the Climate Change movement are politicians, entertainers, and even children. Climate preachers such as Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio lack any formal scientific training whatsoever, and live personal lives of unparalleled luxury while prescribing carbon austerity for the masses. Yet no one is permitted to point out their scientific ignorance or call attention to their hypocritical lifestyles.

Child advocates such as Greta Thuneberg and the crudely indoctrinated children of the “Sunrise movement” are essentially sock puppets for their shameless activist handlers. Refuse to bend the knee to these tiny fascists, as Diane Feinstein most recently did, and the mainstream left will relentlessly attack you as an accessory to mass murder.

The authority of Climate Change leaders is entirely unmerited and absolute, yet no one is permitted to hold them accountable for their ignorance, inexperience, or brazen lies. Thus, the Climate Change movement clearly meets the first warning sign for unsafe groups.

2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

The conclusions of the Climate Change movement may not be challenged or questioned under any circumstances. Those who dare scrutinize the conclusions, methodology, or prescriptions of “climate scientists” are categorically dismissed as a “Climate Denier”, an excommunicated untouchable whose opinion is no longer valid on any subject.

Questions and critical inquiry aren’t merely dismissed or refuted. The unfortunate heretic immediately experiences a relentless ad hominem onslaught of scorn and hatred from the political and media left, and is often subjected to accusations of outright murder. Simply question the effectiveness of a “carbon tax” and you may find yourself tied to a stake.

There is no tolerance for questioning the Climate Change movement, and thus it clearly meets the second warning sign for unsafe groups.

3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

Hardly anyone knows just how much money is spent on “Climate research” every year. The cost is spread out among laughably useless study grants, wind and solar farm subsidies, carbon offset credits, “green” building code evaluation and enforcement, salaries for bureaucrats solely dedicated to “climate concerns”……you get the idea, it’s a lot of hazy money.

The abhorrent practice of “sue and settle” was a flat out money laundering scheme that allowed sympathetic government officials to transfer millions of tax dollars to radical leftist environmental groups. The practice only ended when the Trump administration used executive power to clamp down on it.

The total amount of yearly financial expenditure on the Climate Change movement is vague, difficult to track, and often carried out in unethical manners. Thus, the Climate Change movement exhibits the third warning sign for unsafe groups.

4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

This one is pretty obvious. The Climate Change movement always shouts out revised and updated apocalypse predictions, eerily reminiscent of the stereotypical bum on the sidewalk with that “The End Is Near” sign. “The world will end in X years if we don’t do X” is the constant refrain. The years always pass, and the apocalypse never happens. Interestingly, this is a characteristic of multiple religious cults (such as the Seekers of Chicago, and the Order of the Solar Temple). At the moment, we apparently have 12 years to nationalize the entire economy and phase out fossil fuels before we all die a fiery death.

There’s also no shortage of conspiracy theories about who they consider to be Earth’s greatest saboteurs. They have an enemies list. The fossil fuel industry is at the top of it, with widespread tinfoil hat theories about oil companies burying patents for efficient renewable fuel recipes to keep us all guzzling gasoline.

The “repent or burn” doomsday preaching is the most well-known staple of the Climate Change movement, and quite clearly exemplifies the fourth warning sign for unsafe groups.

5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

Climate alarmists who leave, step back from, or even lightly criticize the movement are immediately subjected to vicious smear campaigns. Dutch professor Richard Tol experienced this phenomenon firsthand when he removed his name from an IPCC climate report and criticized the reports excessively apocalyptic predictions.

The smear campaign was led by Bob Ward, director of policy at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change ‘This has all the characteristics of a smear campaign”, Tol said. “It’s all about taking away my credibility as an expert.”

The treatment of Professor Tol is not uncommon, and clearly demonstrates that the Climate Change movement exhibits the fifth warning sign for unsafe groups.

6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

Professor Tol is not an anomaly. Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT, Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, and countless other former IPCC in-crowd climate experts were subjected to smear campaigns from their colleagues and the news media for the crime of throwing cold water on the outlandish predictions of the Climate Change movement.

This pattern is all too familiar to anyone who has studied what happens to individuals who leave the Church of Scientology, and clearly meets the sixth warning sign for unsafe groups.

7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

The abuses of the Climate Change movement are loud and proud. They vociferously attack their perceived enemies for public consumption, and are cheered on by fellow travelers in the journalism class. Most recently they brainwashed a bunch of kids and marched them into an octogenarian Democrat Senator’s office to beg not to be murdered by a ‘No’ vote on impossible legislation. Have you seen those kids in Diane Feinstein’s office? You should, it’s creepy, here they are:

These tantrums and protests aren’t only meant to rally supporters of the Climate Change movement. They are a form of intimidation, a tactic used to silence those who question the gospel. There is ample evidence that the Climate Change movement meets the seventh warning sign of an unsafe group.

8. Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.

The atonement process for Climate warriors always demands more. It started with using a recycling bin and grocery bags. Now, in 2019, being a good follower means imposing veganism on the masses and issuing fatwahs against innocuous objects such as plastic straws and grocery bags. Despite all the efforts of the faithful, Climate minions maintain a constant state of dread and despair, knowing they can never truly do enough to stop the coming doom.

Clearly, the eighth warning sign for unsafe groups applies to the Climate Change movement.

9. The group/leader is always right.

When have the climate leaders been called wrong for their failed predictions? Regardless of the weather, they are always intrinsically correct.

Flood? Climate Change. Drought? Climate Change.

No Snow? Climate Change. Too much snow? Climate Change.

Tornado? Climate Change. Hurricane? Climate Change. Lack of hurricanes? Climate Change.

See how this works?

One of the best aspects of the movement is “weather is climate until it isn’t”. The acolytes of Climate Change will point out the window in a heat wave and say, “See? We’re right!”

If a skeptic points out the window during a blizzard, the same acolytes will simply cry “Weather isn’t climate!” It’s a game they can never lose, one in which they are never wrong and always right.

Thus, the ninth warning sign for unsafe groups clearly applies.

10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

The path to discovery for the Climate Change movement is an intentionally vague discipline referred to as “climate science”.

Did you carry out a study on gender and glaciers? Climate Science.

Did you think up the worst possible scenarios that have no actual chance of happening (actual portion of latest National Climate Assessment)? Climate Science.

https://twitter.com/Oil_Guns_Merica/status/1066697180428279809

Any “science” that confirms the tenets of the Climate Change movement is deemed “climate science”, while actual scientific research that disputes their conclusions is derided as “denialism”.

The tenth warning sign for unsafe groups is clearly met.

The Verdict: It’s a cult

According to the established, scientific guidelines developed by cult experts, the Climate Change movement fits the bill for a potentially unsafe group. … Full article

April 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

The noble corruption of climate science

By Larry Kummer | Fabius Maximus | April 11, 2019

The climate change campaign hits a dead end

On 24 June 1988, James Hansen’s testimony to the Senate began the campaign to fight anthropogenic global warming. During the following 31 years we have heard increasingly dire forecasts of doom. Some describe the distant future, beyond any reasonable forecasting horizon (due to both technical and social uncertainties). Some describe the near future. Many attribute almost all current extreme weather to our emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) – using impossible to validate methods.

Karl Popper said that successful predictions, especially of the unexpected, were the gold standard of science (see here). That is a problem for climate activists. The Earth has been warming since the mid-19th century, when the Little Ice Age ended. The rate of warming in the past four decades (since 1977) is roughly the same as that during the four decades up to 1945. Anthropogenic GHG became a major factor only after WWII. So warming has occurred as predicted, but a naive forecast (without considering GHG) would have also predicted warming. There are explanations for this, but it makes model validation difficult (perhaps why it is seldom attempted: see links in section f in the For More Info section of this post).

Worse, the weather has not cooperated. Major hurricanes avoided America for 11 years, ending in 2017. Warming slowed during what climate scientists called the “pause” or “hiatus” (see links about its causes). And most forms of extreme weather have no obvious increasing trend. So surveys show little public support in America for expensive measures to fight climate change.

Activists grow desperate

The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells in New York Magazine
“Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: what climate change could wreak
– sooner than you think.”
Expanded into a book: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.

The five ways the human race could be WIPED OUT because of global warming.”
By Rod Ardehali at the Daily Mail. H/t to the daily links at Naked Capitalism.
Promo for Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, a book by Bill McKibben.

Activists responded to the uncooperative weather by making ever-more dire predictions (many of which have passed their due date and been proven false).  All extreme weather was “climate change.” They made more vivid propaganda (e.g., the 10:10 video, showing a teacher exploding the heads of students who do not accept her propaganda). They increased the volume of their claims, with more 2-minute hate sessions for dissenters (with lies about even eminent climate scientists). The long-term effects of this are (hopefully) small, since these fear barrages have been the Left’s go-to tactic since the 1960s (see some classics of the genre).

But one tactic might have awful long-term consequences. Many activists are climate scientists (see the many stories about depression among them, overcome by fears about their worst-case scenarios, such as this and this). Some have reacted with noble lie corruption (from Plato’s The Republic). However well-intended, it might weaken the public’s trust in science (as might the replication crisis, of which this is an example, if they learn about it).

The Noble Lie in action

Obvious evidence of this is climate scientists’ relentless focus on RCP8.5, the worst-case scenario in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. As a good worst-case should be, it is almost impossible to happen without unlikely assumptions (details here; also see Dr. Curry’s articles). Yet it receives the majority of mentions in the climate science literature – usually with no mention of its improbable nature (see this history). Activists exaggerate these papers, whose stories are uncritically reported by journalists. A decade of this bombardment has a fraction of the Left terrified, certain that we are doomed.

For a recent example, see “A glacier the size of Florida is on track to change the course of human civilization” by “Pakalolo” at the Daily Kos. Widely reposted, quite bonkers. See the details here.

Worse, climate scientists remain silent when activists exaggerate their work, even when they materially misrepresenting it. The most extreme doomster predictions are greeted by silence. Even over-top climate doomster claims receive only mild push-back. For example, see the reactions to “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells. WaPo: “Scientists challenge magazine story about ‘uninhabitable Earth’.” Climate Feedback: “Scientists explain what New York Magazine article on “The Uninhabitable Earth” gets wrong.” It was too much even for Michael Mann.

Yet leading climate scientists are quick to loudly condemn skeptics – even fellow climate scientists – for questioning aggressive claims about climate change. Allowing activists to call scientists “deniers” for challenging the current paradigm is imo among the most irresponsible actions by leaders of science, ever. By ancient law, silence means assent to activists’ behavior. They are guilty of “aiding and abetting.” For more about this, see About the corruption of climate science.

But in the past few years, activist scientists’ desperation appears to have pushed them to take another step away from science.

Papers to generate alarmist news!

As Marc Morano of Climate Depot says, recent studies often appear designed to produce media stories for alarmists. I see several of these every week. The most recent is “Key indicators of Arctic climate change: 1971–2017” in Environmental Research Letters (April 2019), by scientists at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in Copenhagen. Abstract:

“Key observational indicators of climate change in the Arctic, most spanning a 47 year period (1971–2017) demonstrate fundamental changes among nine key elements of the Arctic system. …Downward trends continue in sea ice thickness (and extent) and spring snow cover extent and duration, while near-surface permafrost continues to warm. Several of the climate indicators exhibit a significant statistical correlation with air temperature or precipitation, reinforcing the notion that increasing air temperatures and precipitation are drivers of major changes in various components of the Arctic system. …

“The Arctic biophysical system is now clearly trending away from its 20th Century state and into an unprecedented state, with implications not only within but beyond the Arctic. The indicator time series of this study are freely downloadable at AMAP.no.”

Ecowatch describes it in their usual apocalyptic fashion: “Researchers Warn Arctic Has Entered ‘Unprecedented State’ That Threatens Global Climate Stability.

The paper is odd in several ways. It is evidence showing the broken peer-review process. Five times they describe conditions in the arctic as “unprecedented.” But they start their analysis with data from the 1970’s. Given the various kinds of long-term natural fluctuations, five decades of data is too brief a period to draw such a bold conclusion.

The authors neglect to mention that the Arctic was also warm in the 1930’s. Which is strange since one of the authors, Uma S. Bhatt, was also a co-author of a major paper on the subject: “Variability and Trends of Air Temperature and Pressure in the Maritime Arctic, 1875–2000” in the Journal of Climate, June 2003. She did not even cite it in their new paper. Abstract …

“Arctic atmospheric variability during the industrial era (1875–2000) is assessed using spatially averaged surface air temperature (SAT) and sea level pressure (SLP) records. Air temperature and pressure display strong multidecadal variability on timescales of 50–80 yr [termed low-frequency oscillation (LFO)]. Associated with this variability, the Arctic SAT record shows two maxima: in the 1930s–40s and in recent decades, with two colder periods in between.

“In contrast to the global and hemispheric temperature, the maritime Arctic temperature was higher in the late 1930s through the early 1940s than in the 1990s. … Thus, the large-amplitude multidecadal climate variability impacting the maritime Arctic may confound the detection of the true underlying climate trend over the past century. LFO-modulated trends for short records are not indicative of the long-term behavior of the Arctic climate system.

“The accelerated warming and a shift of the atmospheric pressure pattern from anticyclonic to cyclonic in recent decades can be attributed to a positive LFO phase. It is speculated that this LFO-driven shift was crucial to the recent reduction in Arctic ice cover. Joint examination of air temperature and pressure records suggests that peaks in temperature associated with the LFO follow pressure minima after 5–15 yr. Elucidating the mechanisms behind this relationship will be critical to understanding the complex nature of low-frequency variability.”

Starting their analysis in the 1970s is misleading without disclosing that was a cold spell. There was concern then about global cooling (but not a consensus). See here and here for details. Starting in the 1970’s makes current conditions look extraordinary. Since we are in the warming period following the Little Ice Age, robust comparisons should include previous warm periods, such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Holocene climatic optimum.

A later paper provides more detail, showing the temperature anomaly in 2008 was aprox. 1°C warmer than the ~1940 peak: “Role of Polar Amplification in Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Variations and Modern Arctic Warming” by Roman V. Bekryaev et al. in Journal of Climate, 15 July 2010. Is that a one standard deviation from the long-term mean? Three? Are temperatures a normal distribution? They do not say. Climate science papers often use arcane statistics, but usually ignore the basics. (Here is an as yet unpublished estimate of arctic sea ice back to the 1880s. Here is a 2017 paper with arctic temperatures and sea ice extent back to 1900)

Two comments from climate scientists on this paper.

“It is normalization of data cherry picking.”
— Dr. Judith Curry (bio). She her analysis of arctic sea ice trends here and here. She writes at Climate Etc.

“Of course, if these changes are predominantly due to the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and/or the LFO, we should see a reversal. If not, the trend would continue. Time will eventually sort this out. But a proper literature summary should still be provided with papers that might disagree with the theme of a newer paper. All peer-reviewed perspectives on this subject should be given.”
— Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. (bio).

See other examples in the comments. These kind of stories are coming along like trolleys.

This is a follow-up to About the corruption of climate science.

Conclusions

Science has been politicized, distorting its results, before. It will be again. But climate science provides essential insights on several major public policy issues. Losing reliable guidance from it could have disastrous consequences. Worse, the high public profile of climate science means that a loss of public confidence in it might affect science as a whole.

Let’s hope that the leaders of climate science come to their senses soon, despite their personal, institutional, and ideological reasons to continue on this dark path.

For More Information

Hat tip on the ERL 2019 paper to Naked Capitalism’s daily links, who uncritically run climate alarmist articles, a one-side flow of information without context – terrifying their Leftist readers (other than that, their daily links are a valuable resource – which read every morning).

April 15, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

Why Attenborough’s Walrus Claims Are Fake

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | April 14, 2019

 Our Planet has showcased hundreds of walruses falling off a 260ft cliff to a slow, agonising death in heartbreaking scenes

Our Planet has showcased hundreds of walruses falling off a 260ft cliff to a slow, agonising death in heartbreaking scenes
https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/8800576/netflix-david-attenborough-our-planet-walrus-heartbreaking/

Last week, the new Netflix series, Our Planet, was launched with great fanfare. Narrated by David Attenborough, however, one segment made headlines around the world, showcasing hundreds of walruses falling off a 260ft cliff to a slow, agonising death in heartbreaking scenes.

Narrating the disturbing scene in the second episode, Attenborough began:

“They do so out of desperation not choice.

“Their natural home is out on the sea ice, but the ice has retreated away to the north and this is the closest place to their feeding grounds.

“Every square inch is occupied, climbing over the tightly packed bodies is the only way across the crowd – those beneath can get crushed to death.

“In a desperate bid to avoid the crush they try to head towards the cliffs.

“But walruses’ eyesight out of the water is poor, but they can sense the others down below, as they get hungry they need to return to the sea.

“In their desperation to do so, hundreds fall from heights they should never have scaled.”

But the story quickly began to unravel.

Zoologist, Dr Susan Crockford, suspected that the event was actually a well publicised incident in October 2017, at Ryrkaypiy in NE Russia, when a group of polar bears drove several hundred walruses over the cliffs to their deaths, before feasting on the corpses.

Then a couple of days later, Andrew Montford was able to positively identify Ryrkaypiy as the location in the Our Planet film. The Netflix producers denied seeing any polar bears, but this does not alter the fact that many bears were in the area at that time.

There is however another rather more sinister possible explanation for the stampede. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS):

Walruses often flee haulouts en masse in response to the sight, sound, and especially odours from humans and machines.

 So it is perfectly possible that it was the filmmakers themselves who caused the stampede up the cliffs.

Indeed, as this aerial shot showed, there must have been some sort of helicopter or drone flying immediately above the walrus, which seems to me to be an utterly irresponsible thing to do.

 

As the US Fish and Wildlife Service also note, events like this one are not uncommon:

Some haulout sites include shorelines that grade from little topographical relief to steep slopes and cliffs.  As large numbers of walruses gather at these sites, the first to arrive move further inland and may eventually settle at the tops of the steeper slopes and cliffs.  As most animals head back to sea to feed, those on the steeper slopes and cliffs are also rested and ready to feed and sometimes take the most direct route down the slope or off the cliff.  This behavior has resulted in serious injuries and deaths.  As with most animals whose eyes are oriented to the side of their head, rather than forward, walrus’s depth perception is likely poor and they are nearsighted.

Sea Ice and Haulouts

Regardless of the exact cause of the stampede, why were the walrus at Ryrkaypiy in the first place? Is it the case that they were forced to go ashore, because their sea ice had melted?

The US Fish and Wildlife Service explain the Pacific walrus’ migratory habits:

The distribution of Pacific walruses varies markedly with the seasons. Almost the entire population occupies the pack ice in the Bering Sea in the winter months. Through the winter they generally congregate in three areas, immediately southwest of St. Lawrence Island, south of Nunivak Island, and in the Gulf of Anadyr in Russia. As the Bering Sea pack ice begins to break up and melt in spring walruses begin to move northward and their distribution becomes less clumped. By late April walruses can be found from Bristol Bay northward to the Bering Strait. During the summer months, as the pack ice continues to recede northward, most of the population migrates into the Chukchi Sea. The largest concentrations are found near the coasts between 70 N latitude and Pt. Barrow in the east, and between the Bering Strait and Wrangel Island in the west. Concentrations, mainly of males, are also found on and near terrestrial haulouts in the Bering Sea in Bristol Bay and the northern Gulf of Anadyr throughout the summer. In October the pack ice begins to develop in the Chukchi Sea, and large herds begin to move southward. Many come ashore on haulouts on the Russian side of the Bering Strait region. Depending on ice conditions, those haulout sites continue to be occupied through November and into December, but with the continuing development of ice, most walruses move south of St. Lawrence Island and the Chukchi Peninsula by early to mid-December.

https://www.fws.gov/alaska/fisheries/mmm/walrus/wmain.htm

In short, adult males migrate south in summer, and haulout in Bristol Bay and the Gulf of Anadyr. (Per the red dots).

There is a very good reason for these haulouts, as the FWS go on to explain:

Walruses depend on hauling out to complete their moult and grow new hair, to whelp, to nurse young, and just to rest.

Hauling out is what they do naturally, not what they are forced to do because there is no sea ice around.

Whereas the males head south, the females and juveniles follow the sea ice north, as it recedes in Spring, eventually going as far as Wrangel Island and Point Barrow. Crucially, as the ice begins to grow back in October, these large herds follow it back south, often coming ashore at places like Ryrkaypiy on the Russian coast (No 51 on the map above). As the map indicates, such hauling out is commonplace and widespread along that stretch of coastline. (Green dots).

Remember that the Ryrkaypiy incident occurred in October 2017.

The earlier the sea ice reforms, the earlier the walrus arrive on Ryrkaypiy. This is the total opposite of Attenborough’s version, that they are there because of a lack of sea ice.

How he can get such a basic fact as this wrong is beyond my comprehension.

Walrus are thriving

Given all of this mayhem and loss of sea ice, you might think that walrus were an endangered species. But you would be wrong.

According to the FWS:

The size of the Pacific walrus population is uncertain. The size of the pre-exploitation population (1700’s) may have been between 200,000-250,000 animals. Cooperative aerial surveys by the U.S. and the former Soviet Union (now Russia) occurred in 1975, then at five-year intervals until 1990. The 1975 survey estimated the population size at 221,360. The joint census conducted in 1980 estimated population size at 246,360. Surveys conducted in 1985 and 1990 produced estimates of 234,020 and 201,039, respectively. Cooperative aerial surveys ceased in 1995 due to budget limitations and unresolved methodological problems.  After much deliberation and testing, another aerial survey occurred in 2006 incorporating advanced thermal imaging and telemetry technologies, resulting in an estimate of 129,000 animals with a confidence interval of 55,000-550,000. The estimates generated from these aerial surveys are conservative minimum population estimates that are not useful for detecting population trends.

In 2012, a new approach to population estimation using the genetic fingerprint of individual walruses within a mark-recapture framework began testing.  Two aspects of the approach were successfully assessed in 2013, the genetic identification of individuals and the ability to collect an adequate sample. The surveys then continued through 2017.  A preliminary estimate for the year 2014 was about 283,000 individuals and a confidence interval of 93,000-479,000. The data for subsequent years is currently under analysis.

The decline in population in the 1980s and 90s was largely due to an increase in hunting, which followed a relaxation of harvest restrictions.

https://www.fws.gov/alaska/fisheries/mmm/walrus/pdf/final-pacific-walrus-species-status-assessment.pdf

The FWS also state that:

Pacific walrus population size has varied substantially in the last 150 years, it increased between 1960 and 1980 and may have reached the carrying capacity of the marine environment

In other words, the current population, which is believed to be similar to those earlier ones, may also be at maximum levels of sustainability.

Certainly, if Our Planet is correct about there being 100,000 walrus at Ryrkaypiy, the global population must be much greater than estimated, and would explain why the beach there was so crowded.

What we do know is that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found after a comprehensive review in 2017 that the Pacific walrus does not require protection as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Breathtaking dishonesty

The migratory habits of walrus are pretty basic knowledge, which a natural historian such as David Attenborough should be familiar with.

Why then has he chosen to ignore the truth, and instead present a fictionalised account?

Is it to further his own political agenda? Is it simply incompetence? Or has he merely followed the script given to him by the WWF?

We don’t expect to hear the truth from the WWF. But if Netflix doesn’t quickly correct and retract this particular segment of the series, it will be highly damaging for their own credibility at a time when they are just embarking on producing serious documentaries.

As for Attenborough’s upcoming programme for the BBC on climate change, this little episode offers a clue about how inaccurate and biased it will be.

April 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

(The only) Four things science tells us about fossil-fueled carbon dioxide (CO2)

By Dr. Caleb Rossiter | Climate Depot | April 9, 2019
  1. Carbon dioxide is plant food. That’s why it’s pumped into commercial green houses! The increase since 1900 of CO2’s share of the atmosphere from three percent of one percent to four percent of one percent has boosted global crop productivity by 15 to 30 percent. In addition, the crops need less water and less fertilizer. Field experiments show that all these benefits will be even greater as CO2 rises to five percent of one percent by about 2050. Minor reductions in a few nutrients for a few crops will be more than offset by new methods and increased income from fossil-fueled economic growth. Industrial CO2 is the Real Green Deal!
  2. Carbon dioxide is a warming gas. CO2 molecules vibrate at the same frequency as heat waves leaving the earth, so they briefly trap some energy. Because CO2 is one of the minor warming gasses (water vapor and upper level cirrus clouds are much more important), it accounts for no more than half of the one degree Celsius rise in global average temperature since 1900. The Earth has been warming since the 19th century, from natural causes, rebounding from the “little ice age.”
  3. The UN’s own data show NO catastrophic climate effects from global warming, whatever its cause. In 1989 the UN and the US EPA predicted that within 10 years rising seas would destroy island nations and coastal regions, and that crop failures would create “eco-refugees.” None of these and other predictions of doom have come true. In fact, UN data show no statistically-significant changes since 1900 in: droughts, hurricanes, tornados, cyclones, rainfall, heatwaves, floods, and the rate of sea-level rise (less than an inch per decade).
  4. The UN’s climate models have badly over-predicted the warming from industrial carbon dioxide, “running hot” over the past 30 years by two to three times the actual increase in global average temperatures. Today’s models produce “scenarios,” not science, when they predict dangerous warming from increased CO2.

Dr. Caleb Rossiter is a climate statistician and is Executive director of the CO2 Coalition, a science education organization comprised of 45 physicists, climatologists, agronomists, geologists, and energy economists.

April 10, 2019 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

Word to the Wise: Beware the Green New Deal!

By Geraldine Perry | Dissident Voice | April 4, 2019

Seemingly overnight, the Green New Deal has arrived. Given the sorry state of our environment, what possible objections could there be? In this case, plenty – and they all trace back to the Green New Deal’s deeply complex and surreptitious ties to UN Agenda 21.

Those who claim that Agenda 21 amounts to little more than a right-wing rant or is somehow anti-Semitic are at best seriously misinformed. Those who buy into the carefully crafted jargon of Sustainable Development, Smart Growth, Redevelopment and the Green New Deal are similarly misinformed and need to know that the environmental movement has in fact been highjacked by the Agenda 21 plan.

First, Some Background

Journalist Thomas L. Friedman is sometimes credited with being the original source for the term “Green New Deal” because in two 2007 articles, in the New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, Friedman connected FDR’s “New Deal” to a new “green” economy, suggesting that this might provide an economic stimulus program that could address economic inequality and climate change at the same time. Almost prophetically, Friedman also argued in earlier writings that an “iron fist inside a velvet glove” would be needed to maintain the coming new world order.

The same year the Friedman articles came out the Green New Deal Group was formed. By July of 2008 this group came out with its Green New Deal Report which was originally published by the New Economics Foundation. A few months later, in October of 2008, Adam Steiner, who was Executive Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNEP), unveiled the Global Green New Deal Initiative, the objective of which was to rescue the failing global economy by creating jobs in “green” industries, “funded” of course by the big banks.

Then, following the example set by the European Greens in 2006, the United States Green Party adopted a Green New Deal platform in 2010. To its everlasting credit, the U.S. Green Party has also placed monetary reform as one of its core planks, ending the banking system’s privilege of creating the nation’s money (as credit or debt) and returning the monetary privilege to the government where it belongs, without which reform no other reforms are possible. Other political parties would do well to adopt this most important objective, since this is the true heart of “populism” historically. However, the vast bulk of the Green Party’s Green New Deal platform bears a marked (and troubling) resemblance to the Green New Deal as set out through the United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development program.

Most recently, a twenty-nine-year-old freshman Congresswoman from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has overnight managed to not only make national headlines but garner the full attention of Congress, a feat never before accomplished by one so young and so soon in office. It was her promotion of the Green New Deal that seems to have garnered her such sudden fame. But the so-called legislation she has been promoting is in reality a “draft text” that calls for a proposed addendum for House Rules: it changes the rules and creates a new process for the allocation of power, all while echoing almost verbatim United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As a recent article in Technocracy News says, with a complete version of AOC’s “bill” included: “Its scope and mandate for legislative authority amounts to a radical grant of power to Washington over Americans’ lives, homes, businesses, travel, banking, and more.” Dr. Naomi Wolf confirms by going over the document point by point.

The Green New Deal is in fact a part of a global sustainable development program that was officially rolled out at the “Earth Summit” held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Out of that summit came Agenda 21 Earth Summit: The United Nations Program of Action from Rio, a 354-page document that can be purchased at online book retailers or downloaded in pdf format from the UN website.

Agenda 21 has been updated to include Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its offshoot the Global Green New Deal which is a program that was commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program or UNEP for short, mentioned above. A map and outline of “partners” reveals just how deeply embedded in global thinking this program has become. Effectively, Agenda 21 provides the template while Agenda 2030 gives the goals for achieving “sustainable development”.

Inasmuch as Sustainable Goal 13 is about Climate Action, it is worth noting that in 2009 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set up an unelected international climate regime with authority to dictate land use, relocate “human settlements” and directly intervene in the financial, economic, health care, education, tax and environmental affairs of all nations signing the treaty. One must wonder why upwards of $100 billion has been spent on promotion of the current global warming model yet next to no discussion is devoted to natural forcing agents such as solar and cosmic radiation, volcanoes, clouds, water vapor, and grand solar minimums – even though these have been well documented in the scientific literature to have significant impact on climate. Nor have funds been committed to disseminating information about military weather warfare or other long standing geoengineering projects and their effect on climate. Yet at least five geoengineering Solar Radiation advocates co-authored the section covering contrails in the 2007 IPCC report.

As uncovered by prominent activist Rosa Koire, Sustainable Development was originally created and defined by the United Nations in 1987. President George Herbert Walker Bush, along with leaders from 178 other nations, signed the “Action Plan” unveiled at Rio in 1992.

This plan is anchored by the political philosophy of Communitarianism which effectively establishes a new legal system used by regional and local governments affiliated with the emerging global government, circumventing national law via a program of “balancing.” Implemented by a relatively small self-appointed group of decision-makers and influencers who achieve “consensus” among themselves rather than through the public voting process, this philosophy holds that the individual’s rights are a threat to the global community. In practice, the consistent rallying cry “for the greater good” is defined any way that suits those in power.

Within six months of his election in 1992, former President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order #12852 thus creating the President’s Council on Sustainable Development or PCSD. This Council ran for six years, 1993-1999. Its members included Cabinet Secretaries for Transportation, Agriculture, Education, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, Energy, Interior, and Defense. CEO’s of various businesses, such as Enron, Pacific Gas & Electric, BP Amoco, Dow Chemical and others also were included, as were environmental organizations, including the National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, World Resources Institute, the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund among others.

To further facilitate the transition, Clinton awarded the American Planning Association a multi-million dollar grant to write a land use legislative blueprint for every municipality in the U.S. Completed in 2002, this blueprint is entitled Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook with Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change. As Koire tells us, this guidebook is being used in every university, college and government planning office in the nation. And as part of the Common Core program for the younger set, former Vice President Al Gore helped write Rescue Mission Planet Earth: A Children’s Edition of Agenda 21.

In 2012 “H Concurrent Resolution 353” was discussed by the U.S. Congress. A short, 8 minute video clip shows various members, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rising in support of H CON Res 353, which “expressed the sense of the Congress that the U.S. should take a strong leadership role in implementing the decisions made at the Rio Earth Summit by developing a national strategy to install Agenda 21 and other Earth Summit agreements through domestic and foreign policy.”

As Koire relates, the clear goal of these initiatives was, and is, to change public policy to bring it into alignment with the Agenda 21 plan.

Implementation and Implications

Agenda 21 is a global plan that is to be implemented locally via “soft law”. Despite the fact that this agenda would have far reaching material impact on each and every one of us, the U.S. citizenry has not been given the opportunity to study or vote on any of the various facets of Agenda 21. Moreover, the vast majority, out of deep concern for the planet, are effectively neutralized by the jargon, buzz words and slogans with purposely obscure definitions, all of which are dreamt up by the best PR firms money can buy. Perhaps even worse, as Rosa Koire, who has experienced negative ramifications in her Santa Rosa community, writes in Behind the Green Mask :

The irony is that UN Agenda 21 mandates ‘more’ citizen involvement but does it by creating so many boards, commissions, regional agencies, non-profits, meetings and programs that it is impossible to stay on top of what is happening. We’re too burned out to fight more than one issue at a time. So we become, necessarily, more fragmented, less of a neighborhood, exhausted and isolated because we can’t keep up. The so-called citizen involvement is dictated by phony neighborhood groups with paid lobbyists and facilitators running them. The boards and commissions are chosen based on ‘team players’ or shills selected to push through an end game by running over the few actual unconnected citizens. These groups are the ‘prescreening groups’ for candidates for public office. THEY are the ones who get donations at election time. It’s doubtful that anyone will get on the ballot who doesn’t play ball.

There were 17 official sustainable development goals (or SDGs) for the new 2030 Agenda that was universally adopted by nations around the world at the United Nations plenary meeting in New York on September 25, 2015. These SDGs do not replace Agenda 21. The 2030 Agenda clearly states, “We reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.”

A short article, titled “Agenda 2030 Translator: How to Read the UN’s New Sustainable Development Goals,” unveils some of the actual consequences of the Agenda. To start you off, Goal 1 as stated: End Poverty in all its forms everywhere. Goal 1 as translated: Centralized banks, IMF, World Bank, Fed to control all finances. Goal 2 as stated: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Goal 2 as translated: GMO. And so on.

Another article titled simply Agenda 21 shows how big “S” Sustainable Development will affect the farmer:

If you own livestock and they can drink from a creek, then they want you to permanently fence off your own land to prevent any upset of potential fish habitat… Agenda 21 focuses on the goal of eliminating meat consumption and using pastures to grow wheat, corn and soy for human consumption. To get us to comply, we’re told in endless propaganda campaigns that meat is dangerous and the vegan lifestyle is the only healthy alternative… “Grazing livestock” is listed as “unsustainable” in the UN’s Global Biodiversity Assessment Report. In the same document, agriculture and private property are listed as “unsustainable.” All the private property and water rights infringements we have been seeing come directly out of the Sustainable Development programs. They come in a wide variety of names to throw people off, such as Comprehensive Planning, Growth Management, Smart Growth, and so forth.

The local government implementation of Agenda 21 was prepared by ICLEI (which stands for International Council for Local Environment Initiatives) for the Earth Council’s Rio+5 Forum held April 13–19, 1997 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; for the 5th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development; and for the UN General Assembly’s “Earth Summit+5” Special Session. Out of this came The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide put out by ICLEI and the United Nations.

Resilient Cities are part of ICLEI. According to its website the organization was founded in 2010 by ICLEI (now known as Local Governments for Sustainability), the affiliated World Mayors Council on Climate Change and the similarly affiliated City of Bonn, Germany. Resilient Cities is billed as the first forum on cities and adaptation to climate change. In 2012 Resilient Cities was renamed as Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation.

Smart Growth, Smart Cities and 5G

Smart Growth and Smart Cities are also part of the “sustainability” plan as evidenced by their lofty sounding goals which somehow fail to look at “new” energy or even non-industrial hemp as a soil-rebuilding, environment-friendly way to provide a sizable portion of the nation’s energy needs; which fail to understand the crucial importance of restoring carbon-rich humus to the soil via holistic livestock management and other forms of regenerative agriculture; which somehow rely on the big banks and a flotilla of “investors” rather than doing the obvious by reforming the nation’s monetary system; and which, as Koire and others correctly assert, can only lead to totalitarianism in the end.

The explosive, worldwide rollout of 5G networks “makes Smart Cities a reality” despite recognized and significant associated health risks. By September of 2018, thanks to an FCC ruling and carrier lobbying, twenty states, seemingly under cover of night, had already passed legislation to strip their cities of the power to regulate 5G rollouts. The FCC ruling in particular has sparked considerable push back, because not only will the FCC’s move force taxpayers to subsidize industry access to publicly owned infrastructure but, as chief information officer for New York City Samir Saini declared: “the FCC is threatening the public’s right to control public property, and dozens of cities, states, and towns from New York City to Lincoln, Nebraska to Anchorage, Alaska are ready to defend that right on behalf of our residents and taxpayers.”

On top of all this we now find that the “tsunami” of data collection enabled by 5G could consume one fifth of global electricity by 2025. As most know, wind and solar (both of which also have significant environmental and land use problems) just won’t cut it, and especially so with 5G.

An Endless Web of Carefully Branded Commissions, Boards, Agencies and Programs

Other groups and organizations tied to Agenda 21 continue to proliferate. These organizations include those that formulate “Climate Action Plans” now being adopted by local communities worldwide. The Center for Climate Solutions is one such organization and the California based Institute for local Government is another. You can google your state, city or county plus “Climate Action Plan and Resilient Plan” to learn more about how this is taking place in your own community. You can bet that none of them include alternative forms of “new” energy (including soil building non-industrial hemp) or regenerative (carbon-sequestering) agriculture which can only be properly practiced by small producers.

An offshoot of the Regional Planning Association is America 2050 whose focus is on planning for the emergence of mega-regions, or high density urban areas, along with infrastructure development, with the aim of “shaping the infrastructure investment plan” and “providing leadership on a broad range of transportation, sustainability, and economic-development issues impacting America’s growth in the 21st century.” FEMA feeds into the development of megaregions through its Hazard Mitigation Program through which it, as well as HUD, provide grants to assist, at taxpayer expense, state and local communities with the purchase of properties located in high fire risk, high flood risk, high erosion risk, high mudslide risk areas.

“Redevelopment” is another important and mis-leading buzzword, as it in truth represents an unknown government which among other things uses eminent domain for private gain, not the “greater good” despite claims to the contrary. As Koire writes in her book Behind the Green Mask :

A little 40 page book titled Redevelopment: The Unknown Government put out by the California Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform lays out the ugly truth with charts, cartoons and hard data … Supported by powerful lobbyist groups fronting bond brokers, lawyers, and debt consultants, the trend of designating more and more redevelopment areas is also supported by government agency staff members and private businesses that profit from redevelopment. Diverting property taxes to these bloodsuckers is big business: by 2006 redevelopment agencies statewide (in California) had amassed $81 billion in bonded indebtedness, a figure that is doubling every 10 years. And don’t think that this is only in California – it’s in nearly every city and county in the United States. Because the agencies can sell bonded debt without voter approval (unlike school boards) and the city’s general fund is responsible for any over-extended debt, these are cash cows for bond brokerage firms.

Other organizations tasked with promoting “sustainable development” and its corollary the “Green New Deal” include the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development or OECD, and the World Resources Institute.

Food Production and Food Choice

The World Resource Institute recently published Creating a Sustainable Food Future which was produced “in partnership with the World Bank, UN Environment (UNEP), UN Development Programme and the French agricultural research agencies CIRAD and INRA.” On its publication announcement page, it asks whether we will be able to produce enough food sustainably to feed the estimated 10 billion people that will exist on the planet by 2015.

As explained in fair detail in my book Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy the answer is a resounding yes! Contrary to Agenda 21 fears, we will be able to sustainably feed, conservatively, 20 to 30 billion people worldwide if we change the way we do agriculture, which MUST include holistically managed livestock. In so doing we will dramatically reduce the amount of land now devoted to industrial agricultural systems and the amount of pollution generated by such systems – all while putting carbon back in the soil where it is needed to sustain life on this planet.

At first glance the above-mentioned World Resource report also seems to agree, as indicated by this 2018 headline in a San Francisco Chronicle article titled “New Report Urges Drastic Changes in Food Production and Consumption”. The article goes on to summarize the report’s version of “sustainability”:

The core recommendations of the 96-page report line up with many of the innovations that are already happening, sometimes at a small scale, at many Bay Area farms, food companies and tech startups. That includes the development of plant-based meat substitutes, companies and local governments that focus on reducing food waste, and farms that are making changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions… The report calls on governments to fund research and development and to provide “flexible regulations” for new technology such as plant-based meat substitutes and innovations in plant breeding like genetic editing… Individuals should make changes to their diets, too, the authors say, especially in wealthy countries like the United States where the majority of animal-based foods are eaten … A lot of the technological advances the report urges are happening in the Bay Area. The region has become a global hub for the creation of plant-based meat substitutions, including those made by Impossible Foods of Redwood City… A new batch of companies is developing lab-grown or “cultured” meat that will be made of chicken, beef or fish tissue from cells but won’t require raising or killing animals.

Green Grabbing, The Best Way to Save Nature Is to Sell It

The 1992 Rio Earth Summit spawned a series of world summits on sustainable development sponsored by the UN. In 2012 the 20th anniversary of the Rio summit was dubbed Rio + 20. Its focus was the Green Economy with the specific purpose of ushering in global economic growth by putting market values on environmental services and environmentally-friendly production and consumption. This plan led to the term “green grabbing” which refers to the appropriation of land and resources – purportedly for environmental ends. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that, as this article in Bloomberg Online suggests, Wall Street Is More Than Willing to Fund the Green New Deal.

Some illustrative excerpts which were taken from a 2012 article titled Green Grabbing Our Future at Rio + 20, appeared in my book Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy. The article was originally posted on the Food First website, and was written by Eric Holt-Gimenez, Executive Director of Food First. Some excerpts:

The Rio process itself has been steadily privatized under the weight of 20 years of neoliberal globalization. As the global contradictions between economy and environment have intensified, nature itself is becoming a source of profit… What was once a state-oriented, regulatory framework has morphed into a market-based, corporate initiative.

The corporate trend to privatize and commercialize ecosystem services and resources in the name of environmental protection is known as “green grabbing” as these schemes can result in local communities losing resource rights… It is the favored approach of the big conservation organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation International (CI) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), who have thus guaranteed their place at the Rio+20 negotiating table alongside neoliberal governments and powerful multinational business interests.

The Green Economy concept that determines the content of all submissions [for the Zero draft report] was itself created by a group led by Pavan Sukhdev a former senior banker from Deutsche Bank and head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative. This is a reflection of a long trend in partnering between the CBD, big environmental organizations and corporate representatives i.e. the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the International Chamber of Commerce, CI, WWF, IUCN etc.

The dubious justification for bringing nature to Wall Street—where credits and shares of ecosystem services, biodiversity derivatives, avoided emissions and even wildlife species banking can be chopped up, repackaged and resold along with debt, mortgages, hedge funds and the like—is that the best way to save nature is to sell it. In doing so, we are told, we will grow the economy and this in turn will benefit the poor, thus ending poverty and hunger.”

Summing It Up

In practical terms, Agenda 21 is a global plan implemented locally through ICLEI (and other bodies and organs) using “soft law”. The following excerpts from an article titled “UN’s Agenda 21Targets Your Mayor” provide a useful example of how local implementation occurs:

From June 1 through 5, 2005, the city of San Francisco was the site of an international conference called “World Environment Day.” But the agenda of this conference was much bigger than just another hippy dance in the park. This meeting of the global elite had a specific target and an agenda with teeth. The goal was the full implementation of the UN’s Agenda 21 policy called Sustainable Development, a ruling principle for top-down control of every aspect of our lives – from food, to health care, to community development, and beyond. This time, the target audience is our nation’s mayors. The UN’s new tactic, on full display at this conference, is to ignore federal and state governments and go straight to the roots of American society. Think globally – act locally.

Here’s a quick look at a few of the 21 agenda actions called for. Under the topic of energy, action item number one calls for mayors to implement a policy to increase the use of “renewable” energy by 10% within seven years. Renewable energy includes solar and wind power.

Not stated in the UN documents is the fact that in order to meet the goal, a community would have to reserve thousands of acres of land to set up expensive solar panels or even more land for wind mills. Consider that it takes a current 50-megawatt gas-fired generating plant about 2-5 acres of land to produce its power. Yet to create that same amount of power through the use of solar panels would require at least 1,000 acres. Using wind mills to generate 50 megawatts would require over 4,000 acres of land, while chopping up birds and creating a deafening roar. The cost of such “alternative” energy to the community would be vastly prohibitive. Yet, such unworkable ideas are the environmentally-correct orders of the day that the mayors are being urged to follow.”

Rosa Koire, mentioned earlier, sums up the end game on her website Democrats Against Agenda 21:

The problem that almost no one sees is that UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is the action plan to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all information, all energy, and all human beings in the world. Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is about Inventory and Control!

Beware Agenda 21 and its Green New Deal!

Geraldine Perry is the co-author of The Two Faces of Money and author of Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy: The New Trifecta.

April 6, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment