Month: June 2020

Nancy Pelosi honours George Kirby instead

When the Democrats have so many social justice issues to get on top of, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi can be forgiven for getting George Floyd’s name wrong.

Chuck Schumer managed to get it wrong too.

It’s the thought that counts.

Forbes deletes climate alarmism apology

forbes

Below is the article Forbes published then deleted. One imagines it must be hold a certain amount of truth.

Perhaps the climate alarmists – so annoyed at having their platform hijacked by COVID19 and systemic racism – used their collective idle resources to mobilize and gang up on Forbes with all manner of threats. Cancel Climate Culture?

Here is what was deleted

——–

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”

Climate change is not making natural disasters worse

Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003

The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska

The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California

Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s

Adapting to life below sea level made the Netherlands rich not poor

We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change

Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels

Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

I know that the above facts will sound like “climate denialism” to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism.

In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other leading scientific bodies.

Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia.

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions

But until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilization, and called it a “crisis.”

But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.

I even stood by as people in the White House and many in the news media tried to destroy the reputation and career of an outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke, Jr., a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist who testified in favor of carbon regulations. Why did they do that? Because his research proves natural disasters aren’t getting worse.

But then, last year, things spiraled out of control.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.”

The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilizations.”

Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.

As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.

Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened.

I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence.

And so my formal apology for our fear-mongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

It is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialization, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.

Some highlights from the book:

Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress

The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land

The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium

100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50%

We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities

Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%

Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did

“Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions

Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon

The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants

Why were we all so misled?

In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never I expose the financial, political, and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable.” And status anxiety, depression, and hostility to modern civilization are behind much of the alarmism

Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped.

Will Apocalypse Never make any difference? There are certainly reasons to doubt it.

The news media have been making apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change since the late 1980s, and do not seem disposed to stop.

The ideology behind environmental alarmsim — Malthusianism — has been repeatedly debunked for 200 years and yet is more powerful than ever.

But there are also reasons to believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power.

The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, Covid-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people and shattered economies around the globe.

Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicization of science. Their future existence and relevance depends on new leadership and serious reform.

Facts still matter, and social media is allowing for a wider range of new and independent voices to outcompete alarmist environmental journalists at legacy publications.

Nations are reverting openly to self-interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.

The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.

The invitations from IPCC and Congress are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment. Another one has been to the response to my book from climate scientists, conservationists, and environmental scholars. “Apocalypse Never is an extremely important book,” writes Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “This may be the most important book on the environment ever written,” says one of the fathers of modern climate science Tom Wigley.

“We environmentalists condemn those with antithetical views of being ignorant of science and susceptible to confirmation bias,” wrote the former head of The Nature Conservancy, Steve McCormick. “But too often we are guilty of the same. Shellenberger offers ‘tough love:’ a challenge to entrenched orthodoxies and rigid, self-defeating mindsets. Apocalypse Never serves up occasionally stinging, but always well-crafted, evidence-based points of view that will help develop the ‘mental muscle’ we need to envision and design not only a hopeful, but an attainable, future.”

That is all I hoped for in writing it. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll agree that it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems that a lifelong environmentalist, progressive, and climate activist felt the need to speak out against the alarmism.

I further hope that you’ll accept my apology.

Education could change forever

College

This piece isn’t so much about Trump’s plan to do the above, but a precursor to where education is probably likely to head. Going forward, skills will be more prized than some kid with a liberal arts degree in Marxist philosophy.

The education sector needs to take a long hard look at the changes heading for it.

The declining standards in education are one thing. They are morphing into ever more political campuses, encouraged by the universities themselves. Here are 10 examples.

  1. A Cambridge professor tweeted “whites they don’t matter.
  2. A Stanford law professor testified during the impeachment hearings that she crosses the road when she sees a Trump building.
  3. The University of Texas ran a MasculinUT program built around “restrictive masculinity” and tries to encourage men to drop traditional gender roles.
  4. Yale University’s Chaplain’s Office believes a $70,000pa education requires a bouncy castle and/or cookies & colouring to reduce anxiety for students.
  5. University of Manchester’s student union voted to say “applause” is not inclusive and can distress people.
  6. Cambridge University union students deemed Remembrance Day as something that glorifies war, not about respecting the dead and those who served.
  7. UTS thinks that lowering the ATAR requirements to get more girls into STEM fields makes sense.  
  8. Academia signed this open letter supporting the Extinction Rebellion which highlighted how poor the vetting processes were in trying to appear woke. The stats spoke volumes.
  9. Prof Peter Ridd won his court case for unfair dismissal against James Cook University for his challenging of the orthodoxy about the deterioration of the Great Barrier Reef.
  10. Sydney University students were being marked down by certain lecturers if students used language such as ‘mankind’, ‘workmanship’ or similar words in assignment work.

We could go on.

These much-prized institutions are hardly making a strong case for the fees they charge. We whole-heartedly agree with Bernie Sanders that education should be free. In our view if and only if this is the standard of the faculty staff. It is increasingly looking worthless against the exorbitant fees charged.

Australia makes a great case in point. It bet the farm on the surging ranks of foreign (especially Chinese) students paying exorbitant fees to get degrees from our tertiary institutions. So many thought the gravy train would never end that they expanded facilities and never made contingency plans for an exogenous shock – like coronavirus.

Downsizing of universities is inevitable. Good professors will be bid away to schools that can afford them. Many surplus-to-requirements faculty staff will be axed. With that morale will sink and internal finger-pointing will exacerbate the problem and standards will slip further.

The future of education may end up ditching $100,000s in student loans to an education business model which allows students to pick the academics they want in the fields they are interested in. We recall the MBA course taken 17 years ago. We were forced to pay $1,000s of dollars to take a course in basic economics, a subject we took 4 years to complete with distinction to attain a B Ec.

We are reminded post-GFC at the number of financial industry professionals who took up a CFA degree with the hopes of attaining a $200,000+ annual salary. Sadly, 85% of the job offers for people with that qualification were for $90,000 or less. Makes sense. Software sophistication is such that a lot of degrees have less value because AI can replace it.

Interesting that Aussie universities are planning to charge double for less useful degrees in liberal arts and less for traditional fields in economics, medicine or law. i.e. discouraging degrees that add little value in the real world.

The new model may end up looking like an educational supermarket. Someone who wants to get into marketing might want to take a course run by Prof. Michael Porter from Harvard University or someone in marine ecology could look to learn a course conducted by Prof Peter Ridd.

All we can say is that education in twenty years won’t look anything like today. Skills matter. Old systems run by faculties that push ideology over education will end up shooting themselves in the foot. The finance market has already moved to a new model where clients pay for “value” of the analyst, not the “firm”. Bring it on.

83 tons of counterfeit gold bars discovered in…Wuhan, China

A dozen Chinese financial institutions, mainly shadow banks loaned 20 billion yuan (US$2.8 billion) over the past five years to a company named Wuhan Kingold Jewelry which used pure gold as collateral. The “gold” turned out to be gold-plated copper. Lenders are now left with 16 billion yuan vacuum in collateral because of the fake bars.

Dongguan Trust set out to sell the fake bars to cover defaulted Kingold debts but soon discovered that it had been hoodwinked.

Turns out the scam went even deeper – all the way to real estate…the full story here.

Another WaPo fact check blows up in its face

Image

You have to hand it to the left. The Washington Post decided to challenge the claim made by President Trump that the cities where all of the violent crime was happening were Democrat-controlled.

True to form the left-leaning newspaper wrote, “It’s not clear how Trump is defining “most dangerous” in this context. So let’s look at two related sets of data compiled by the FBI: most violent crime and most violent crime per capita…The most recent data to that effect is from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report covering the first half of 2019. The cities with the most violent crimes are many of the most populous cities in the country, as you might expect. Those with the highest rates of violent crime are from a range of different states.”

The stats came out as in the chart. In overall terms, 17 of the top 20 cities with violent crime were Democrat-controlled, 2 were independent and 1 Republican.

In terms of per 10,000 inhabitants, 19 out of 20 were Democrat-controlled with one independent run.

Technically a lie, but the correlation is striking.

Zali Steggall MP back to Roadmap to Zero failure

The great thing to know about our local MP Zali Steggall OAM is that she clearly equates success with pitifully low numbers, presumably a carry over from her skiing days where the law of cutting time was paramount.

Yes, 895 households in Warringah have signed up to the Roadmap to Zero initiative which she believes is “so many“. It equates to a little over 1% of all households. That means the other c.99% of households clearly don’t give a damn.

She should take a leaf out of the cancel culture playbook and start publicly shaming Warringah households for their lack of compliance as they drop their kids off to school in top of the range Range Rover SUVs.

The wonderful feedback she provided includes cafes that have found innovative ways to allow people to use keep-cups during COVID19, endorsed by the equally woke Northern Beaches Council (NBC) which falls in her electorate. Most people would prefer a limit to the spread of coronavirus by putting up with disposables for the meantime until it is all gone.

We noted the pointless efforts made by the NBC here. It declared a climate emergency where its commitments…wait for it…hammered home a mammoth 0.000000000699857% CO2 saving! Yes 9 zeroes.

The largest irony for us was the cover of the NBC 2017/18 annual report which featured a Yamaha VX Waverunner. It has a gas guzzling 3-cylinder 1049cc engine. It gets 9mpg which would be at the absolute bottom on economy per unit of engine capacity across all NBC fleet vehicles.

Way to go with the virtue signaling! With floundering successes like that, who needs failure?

1/6 BLM protestors are black

Pew Research notes in a recent survey that only 1/6 BLM protestors are black. Over 2/5 are white and 1/5 Hispanic. 79% self identify as Democrats. 17% as Republicans.

BET founder Robert Johnson claimed that,

white people have the mistaken assumption that black people are sitting around cheering for them saying ‘Oh, my God, look at these white people [tearing down statues]. They’re doing something so important for us…You know, black people, in my opinion, black people laugh at white people who do this the same way we laugh at white people who say we got to take off the TV shows….these actions are simply being done by white people to assuage their guilt. Why not ask us what we think first’?…It’s not going to give a kid whose parents can’t afford college money to go to college…”

Hence the Babylon Bee parody on whites speaking on behalf of blacks was so spot on earlier last week.

L’Oreal whitewashes 1,300 years of Japanese culture

L’Oreal is the latest company to fold to the cancel culture by removing removing the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products. The cosmetics brand will still sell the creams which is basically as hypocritical as it gets.

If L’Oreal truly wanted to take a stand and put an end to systemic racism, it would dictate to its core customers that they need to check their bigotry and ban the creams as the tool to enforce correct behaviours.

The irony of skin whitening creams is that whites make up a tiny slice of users. Indeed Asian women make up the bulk of the buyers.

Did L’Oreal realize that during the Nara Period (710–94), Japanese women painted their face with a white powder called oshiroi? This was also documented in texts during the Heian Period (794–1185). White facial colour stood as a symbol of beauty then as it does today.

So that is to say the Japanese self-determined their own views on beauty over 1,300 years ago, before the country ever encountered “gaijin”, a name that came 500 years later when Kublai Khan tried to invade in the 13th Century.

You can learn more about the skin whitening cream market here. Note it also includes the wonderful success story of a black woman, Rachel Roff, who filled a gap in the market by targeting people of colour with products the racist (?) product developers at J&J never bothered to cater to because they deemed it uncommercial.

Never mind, you’ve been told by L’Oreal.

“Master bedroom” cancelled

The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) has announced it will stop using the word “master bedroom” when referring to features of a house because it could be perceived a harking back to slavery. It will be replaced by “primary bedroom.”

What’s next?

Will university Masters degrees be changed?

MasterChef?

Master Builders Association?

Oprah’s Master Class?

The Masters golf tournament?

Master Locks?

Master Specs?

Master Projects?

Master Cleaning Services?

Master Shipwrights?

Rainbow Master Painters?

When will this cancel culture stop?