Environment

Greta Thunberg on Spitting Image

British humour at its finest. Spitting Image takes a potshot at Greta Thunberg.

America’s cultural revolution and the long march back to equality

Within 48 hours of the confirmation of the electoral votes, unelected tech giants displayed once again how they can dictate terms to the democratically elected leader of the free world and his followers.

The First Amendment might as well have been written in invisible ink.

Now other platforms are following suit, laying the groundwork to ensure directly/indirectly there will be little effort to help unite the country by restricting/cancelling access to conservative sites.

Who is inciting who exactly?

Three quotes to reflect on before we begin:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again,”

and

History is written by victors.

The left is in raptures over Trump’s expulsion from Twitter. Of course they have no issues with cancelling those who don’t share their ideological views. Yet if you question their rights to free speech, hell hath no fury. After all everything that parses their fingertips is good, clean and wholesome. If you say otherwise you’ll be cancelled. Got it?

Yes, the argument will be made that privately run social media companies have the right to police those who may damage site integrity and promote the collective safety of subscribers. Have they been asleep at the wheel for the last 4 years? Even terrorists have been allowed to tweet without sanction.

The problem is that the unelected and unqualified overseers making those determinations to suspend others have shown time and time again they back the side not the principle. OJ Simpson on justice anyone?

A great example is Twitter’s Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth (@yoyoel), an avid anti-Trumper. Several days after the 2016 election he proudly tweeted, “I’m just saying, we fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason.” We should sleep soundly at night that he also referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as “a personality-free bag of farts.” Surely there is no risk of conservative bias with the integrity team at Twitter…sleep soundly!

Black conservative Candace Owens proved just how biased Twitter is when she was suspended for replacing the word ‘white’ with ‘black’ and ‘Jewish.’ She proved the point with respect to the incendiary tweets made by the NYT’s then latest recruit, Sarah Jeong. Never let racism get in the way of the decision making process!

Facebook recently threatened to de-platform conservative comedian JP Sears for satire.

Now, Google has decided to remove conservative forum, Parler, from its Android store presumably just because Trump has endorsed it. So will every single thing that he has supported be shutdown or targeted? Watch out Goya!

Will Apple join the cultural revolution? Are all Parler users foaming at the mouth Trump cultists? Or do some simply like to entertain a wider spectrum of opinions?

Is this merely targeted anti-competitive behaviour? A secondary boycott? Has Parler actually committed any crime? Has Google been unethically marshaling the content and traffic of another private company to form the determination that it needs to be publicly sacrificed? Would it help to appoint a Google overseer to sit on the board of Parler, like Chinese corporates are now forced to accommodate? Will Rumble be the next conservative site to be axed from Android?

Can’t the free market determine whether Parler has a right to exist rather than a select few politburo officials from Google?

We can be sure that if Parler wasn’t experiencing the explosive growth it has had to date, Google would not have seen a need to expunge the threat. Alas too many wanted to seek an alternative platform to exchange ideas. It’s day one, year zero. Black is white. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Got it?

One has to question the legal basis for allowing a hateful and venomous platform like Twitter to function on Google Android but an upstart alternative – which couldn’t hold a flame to the incumbent – needs to be taken out?

Is this the type of healing we’ve been promised by the incoming administration? Restore unity by sitting idly by and allowing the media to silence those that disagree with them?

What better way for Biden to stamp his leadership credentials on uniting a fractured nation than stating how important the 1st Amendment is for all Americans.

But why bother? The tech giants are firmly on his side. After the last 4 years, it is high time to make sure that a monster of their own creation never upsets the political apple cart ever again. We await the glowing support of the climate change agenda, Paris, WHO, discrimination-driven racial equity and the benefits of allowing a path to citizenship or 11 million illegal immigrants.

It does not matter that Trump recently tweeted a video to his followers to go home peacefully and respect law and order. That was deemed incendiary and subsequently blocked. Don’t believe your lying eyes because we will be told what we can and can’t consume. Obviously we aren’t capable of thinking for ourselves.

Clearly to Jack Dorsey’s mob, it was imperative to prevent any sensible commentary by Trump from seeing the light of day. We wouldn’t want anything to challenge the narrative. The tech giant had to ensure that he was portrayed in the worst possible light before cancellation. No right of reply. Voltaire would be rolling in his grave.

We don’t deny Trump has said many silly things over his term but compared to some of the bile that has never faced sanction, it is laughable.

We fear that such moves will only fan the flames of division.

It seems these platforms want to proactively create an atmosphere that allows for the incoming administration to clamp down even harder on supposed enemies of the state. What better way than to douse their opponents in high octane fuel while carelessly playing with matches?

We are always amazed that more haven’t seen the TED talk by a black musician, Daryl Davis, who befriended the KKK by simply ‘listening‘ to them. That was all it took to get so many to hand in their robes.

Note the word “listen.”

Sadly, social media platforms have long drowned out reasoned debate well before the commissars found the need to jail dissidents with sanctimonious edicts.

This is a dangerous precedent being set. By muzzling a country that is built on a constitution that enshrines free speech, it is playing with fire. We ain’t seen nothing yet. America will be decisively cut in two.

In closing we’ve long argued that Trump pulled the scab off the festering wound of deep seated division. He was the catalyst. Not the cause. With the incoming administration, failure to address the growing power of big tech will lead to more people taking the law into their own hands.

We don’t condone unlawful behaviour but will be the least bit surprised if those who feel the most marginalized think they’ve nothing to lose.

If we thought 2020 was a horrible year, 2021 could well destroy that myth but thanks to social media you’ll only be able to view the world through the rose tinted glasses of willfully dishonest propagandists.

The social media giants will do well to remember that “before setting out on revenge, first dig two graves.”

Making hay while the rain falls?

We were surprised to see Dymocks bookstore put former Australian Climate Change Commissioner Tim Flannery’s latest book in the science section.

Amazon’s review notes, “Tim Flannery takes aim at those responsible for the campaign of obfuscation and denial that has already cost so many Australian lives and held back action on climate change.” Really?

Exactly how many lives has climate change claimed in Australia? The Australian Bureau of Statistics record the accumulated deaths from ‘Environmental-pollution-related-condition (Y97)‘ over the last decade at ZERO!!!!  Strange that climate related deaths have plunged over 80% in the last 4 decades. 

Many of Flannery’s climate predictions have also failed to eventuate.

In 2007, Flannery said, “So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems…” Today, Sydney’s main water supply at Warragamba Dam is currently at 97.8% capacity.

In 2015, he claimed that “Sadly we’re more likely to see them [cyclones] more frequently in the future” when referring to a cyclone that hit Vanuatu. Global data shows no such trends. The UNIPCC’s extreme weather report updated in 2018 stated on page 8, “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.”

We thought the nonsense peddled on the bushfires by The Climate Council, which Flannery chairs, spoke volumes. Our data concluded that one of its authors, who led the former fire chiefs’ crusade to blame the devastating bushfires on climate change, didn’t mention the topic when he ran one of the fire services. That is to say it that the severity of climate change to bushfire activity in these Magnus opera were conspicuous by their absence.

We think the upcoming 2020 annual reports from fire services across Australia will be dripping in climate change related topics which will only end up highlighting how it has become nothing more than a CYA convenient excuse to mask years of poor fire management.  Take this example of the commitment to mitigating the inherent risks of busfires in the 2018/19 FRNSW Annual Report:

“Where practicable, FRNSW crews were encouraged to turn off all non-essential lights on 30 March 2019 from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, joining millions of people worldwide in showing their commitment to tackling climate change and inspiring all generations to support environmental initiatives and sustainable climate policy.”

A study of how fire service budgets were allocated in recent years further highlights the alarming problem behind the bureaucratic mismanagement. 

What has become even less surprising than the lack of science peddled before us surrounding COVID-19 in recent months, is the convenient segue of supposed conventional wisdom – The Great Reset – pointing back to the fantastic opportunity to push the climate change agenda to solve for poverty, racial inequity and all other economic ills. After all, US Treasury Secretary-elect Janet Yellen has assured us her department will take care of it. Who knew?

Apart from climate change having zero correlation to COVID-19, despite Prince Harry ‘s best efforts to conflate the link, Tim Flannery has seen a great opportunity to make a quid off the theme. No harm in making hay while the rain pours. 

Still we question why so many climate alarmists believe that replacing fossil fuels with renewables will solve for saving the planet and put an end to poverty?

We are not sure how that works?

When one of the leading renewables-driven developed nations, Germany, has such high levels of energy poverty, how can this be?  In 2019, 4.75 million households received warnings that their electricity would be shut off (289,000 actually got disconnected), according to the German Federal Networks Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). All this because of a doubling of energy prices (despite studies that predicted a fall at the time of policy conception) which are a direct result of disastrous green energy diktats which started two decades ago.

The flip side is India, a developing nation. Its electricity generation policies,  according to the World Bank, lifted 271 million people out of energy poverty between 2007 and 2017 largely thanks to low priced coal-fired power. So before all the ‘Stop Adani’ climate emergency extinction rebellion crowd start pontificating that we must go carbon neutral, perhaps they might go and survey the 271mn locals as to whether they demand change??

Michael Shellenberger’s latest book, ‘Apocalypse Never‘, takes a realistic view of how to achieve optimal outcomes for the climate, renewables not being part of the equation.

Still, the best way to truly evaluate the seriousness of climate change is by watching the consumption habits of those who peddle it.

We always found it strange that Obama moved to the shores of Martha’s Vineyard last year despite the risk of rising sea levels. Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd has also bought waterfront property recently despite climate change being the “moral challenge of our times.

Looking at 1,500 private jets clogging airports at a World Economic Forum summit takes some beating too, not to mention the 25,000 pilgrims that fly halfway across the world to attend COP summits and then tell mothers who drop their kids off at soccer practice in a 2nd-hand SUV that they are the problem. No excuses anymore. They can Zoom. 25,000 group thinkers on a screen…their individual relevance in direct proportion to the size of their microscopic avatar.

Identifying misinformation without facts

You have to hand it to government funded media networks. Just like Australia’s ABC, America’s NPR will peddle its belief system and tell you what is misinformation and what is not.

Here are some of the responses to an NPR poll listed under “incorrect statements”:

“Humans do not play a significant role in climate change

It scored a 69% false rating. Does NPR have facts to support that misinformation?

Have they read the amount of climb downs made by the UN IPCC with respect to have very low confidence that extreme climate events are in any way linked to global warming? Obviously not. The 2018 study compiled by the IPCC just reinforced the findings of the 2013 paper by an even greater degree.

Or the hilarious article in a climate alarmist newspaper that pointed to putting faith in the very investment bankers who they wanted burnt at the stake in 2008. As long as they sing the correct tune in their endeavors of crony capitalism.

Or perhaps the EU Parliament commitment to a climate emergency bill which voted on the following proposed amendment 95 (for), 563 (against), 9 (abstain) by MEPs:

Recalls that climate change is one of the many challenges facing humanity and that
all states and stakeholders worldwide must do their utmost to measure it
scientifically so that policy, and especially spending, is based on observable facts and not on apocalyptic fearmongering or unreliable models; emphasises that there is no scientific consensus on what percentage of climate change is anthropogenic and
what percentage is natural

Wouldn’t want pesky facts to get in the way of doubling commitments to the green climate fund. Openly vote to show evidence is irrelevant.

Of the 1,115 people polled to give a true/false answer on the statement “a group of Satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring are trying to control our politics and media” it returned a false rating of 47%.

Perhaps the 53% that returned a true/unsure vote merely thought elements of the statement were true. After all it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that elites are trying to control politics and media in a coronavirus lockdown world. Just look at the politicians breaking the very rules we must abide by. If we step out of our homes we risk instant infection from a disease with a 99.9% recovery rate.

With an ever complicit social and mainstream media peddling fear and checking their own facts by shutting down alternative viewpoints (aka free speech), what is so hard to fathom?

Can someone point to which department will head climate change policy?

We are getting confused. It seems that a growing number of government agencies are pushing a climate change agenda, an extension of a remit that is well outside its scope of expertise.

Never mind. The US Federal Reserve is the latest group to announce it is throwing its hat in the ring on climate policy. Perhaps the board of governors felt left out that former Fed chair Janet Yellen was promising to stem the climate emergency via the Treasury. Best keep up.

Never mind that 35% of all M1 money supply has been printed in the last 10 months. It would be one thing if the Fed had a track record to boast about. Sadly, it has such poor predictive powers that getting the core business right maybe a more prudent strategy. God help us if inflation ever hits us. Read Jonathan Rochford’s piece on too much cash here.

The problem with central banks is that they continue to use the only tool they possess – a hammer – which would be great if every problem they encountered was actually a nail.

We aren’t alone. The Reserve Bank of Australia has also joined this climate alarmist bandwagon. Even worse the speech based its assertions on the prophecies of the IPCC and BOM, two of many organizations which have been caught red handed manipulating climate data.

Instead of coordinating monetary policy which has fed a housing bubble of almost 1980s Japan levels in terms of price:income with banks 50% more levered to mortgages on average than Japan’s financial institutions were at the point of collapse.

APRA and ASIC have also told us they plan to get stricter on climate change reporting by corporates even though their own data over the last decade shows the opposite. In order to get the results they want, they plan to legislate to enforce it. That should tell us much.

Forgive us for being cynical, but we all know that government agencies must submit their budgets each year. What better way to get a healthy shot in the arm than add a climate change agenda to it in order to squeeze $10s or $100s of millions in extra funding. Forget if the agency has absolutely zero relation to climate change like the DOJ. Just tick that box and then hire a bunch of activists to write puff pieces warning us of the grave dangers of a future crime wave if we don’t stop rising sea levels as opposed to defunding the police.

What an absolute farce. What tends to happen is that extra funding often finds its way to line the pockets of those who work within these agencies, especially at the senior levels. Note what happened to our own fire services in Australia who rarely spoke about climate change but got masses of funding which didn’t go to replenishing equipment but salary increases.

We guess the 2020 annual reports will be ALL about the impacts of climate change when it was hardly ever mentioned over the previous decade when it should have mattered.

Just watch department and agency around the world line up one after another at the climate change teat. That tells all we need to know. A bunch of amateurs doing what they do best – behaving as professional politicians.

It’s for our own good, you know! Shut up already.

Swedish truant slaps the high priestess of woke

The beauty of being young is that any manner of words can come out of the mouth and be automatically assumed to be fact or truth. Anyone with teenagers knows this.

How sorry we feel for the high priestess of woke, NZ PM Jacinda Ardern, to be chastised by the infamous Swedish teenage truant for not doing enough on climate change. We should prepare ourselves in the future for Greta Thunberg as UN Secretary General because she is gifted in the ways of admonishing those that stray from the preordained orthodoxy.

Now that COVID19 is almost behind us and Joe Biden has officially been nominated president-elect by the electoral college we should expect to see the coronavirus restrictions/cases to disappear and climate change to regain its rightful place at the top of the liberal agenda.

We’ve always held the Paris Accord as an absolute joke. Self-declared developing nation, China, as the world’s biggest polluter by a minimum factor of two, is free to increase emissions out to 2030 while the rest of the developed world must self-flagellate. No matter what strides are made by nations on emissions abatement, it is never enough. Thank God we have all those elites who fly by private jet to global summits to tell mothers who drive their kids to soccer practice in second hand SUVs will burn in hell if they don’t quit their selfish behavior.

No doubt Greta will praise China’s net zero emissions commitment by 2060 as she’ll probably be one of the few that will be around to validate the promise.

Now that peons around the world have proved their obedience during lockdowns, ramming the global warming agenda should be a piece of cake. Maybe those who rationally want to see fair minded cost benefit analysis of going 100% renewable will risk being arrested by the apparatchiks and charged with hate crimes, as has previously been promote by the more radical climate alarmists.

Before they do that, we always have green pioneer Germany to guide us with the massive costs of decommissioning wind farms that have outlived subsidies. None of it factored into the modeling but you aren’t allowed to question this additional burden.

Rest assured global central banks have extended their expertise from monetary policy to saving the planet. We are in safe hands. Treasury Secretary-elect Janet Yellen has told us as much. After all, she claimed as Fed Chair that we’d never see another depression in our lifetime. Hmm.

Now that we are presented with negative sovereign yields for Portuguese, Italian or Greek debt despite the fact much of it will never be repaid, we know these geniuses have got Frankenstein under control. Just trust them, the media and ignore our thoughts. It’s above our pay grade and intelligence. So shhhhh. We’re in safe hands. School skipping teenagers know best.

Still getting woke and going broke

The North Face corporate virtue signal reminded us of the catastrophic destruction of value ($8bn) that befell Gillette.

What an opportunity for another similar brand to fill the void and capitalize on reality with sensible counter campaigns such as this watch company.

Once again, it is always embarrassing when corporates pontificate on subjects they know little or nothing about apart from what their woke PR teams tell them makes for good global citizens.

Surely customers don’t need sanctimonious lectures from corporates who invariably have chequered histories themselves.

Perhaps the regulators should clamp down on corporate hypocrisy instead of their empty commitment to usher climate change abatement reporting. Never forget that the stats show fewer companies are actually reporting on climate change for all the fluffy videos playing in corporate lobbies.

Watch the hips not the lips.

The Red Face

Adam Anderson, CEO of Innovex, an oil & gas company, wanted to get his staff The North Face (TNF) down jackets with the company logo emblazoned on it for Christmas.

Unfortunately, the apparel maker rejected the request on the basis that fossil fuel companies, like Innovex, didn’t reflect TNF’s core values – the same standard it applies to porn and tobacco companies.

So Anderson returned fire in a 4 page letter here:

“The recreational activities they encourage are all ones that require hydrocarbons to make the products, to provide the means to get to whatever activity folks want to perform…It’s just so intertwined with everything that we do…

…The irony in this statement is your jackets are made from the oil and gas products the hardworking men and women of our industry produce. I think this stance by your company is counterproductive virtue signaling, and I would appreciate you re-considering this stance. We should be celebrating the benefits of what oil and gas do to enable the outdoors lifestyle your brands embrace. Without Oil and Gas there would be no market for nor ability to create the products your company sells…

…“Low-cost, reliable energy is critical to enable humans to flourish. Oil and natural gas are the two primary resources humanity can use to create low-cost and reliable energy. The work of my company and our industry more broadly enables humans to have a quality of life and life expectancy that were unfathomable only a century ago.”

The ultimate irony with all this woke corporate virtue signaling is that these social justice warriors often get shown up for a complete lack of understanding about the very subject the publicly protest about.

We met a staffer from an Aussie bank the other week who proudly boasted it was stopping lending to companies that haven’t committed to reduce emissions by a certain amount. The argument was that shareholders are demanding it. We retorted that a small select number of activist industry funds who often don’t meet the very requirements they try to enforce on others, are trying to promote the sale of SRI/ESG funds because of the higher fees they can get by appealing to investors who think they’re making a difference when in reality they aren’t.

We did a more conclusive study during a business school lecture. Three funds with three different results were presented in a chart over 10 years. The students didn’t know which fund was what but all selected the one with the highest returns. Naturally.

Before the different funds were revealed we asked whether people would invest in a socially responsible investment fund to feel better about themselves? When it was revealed the SRI fund had the worst performance and the best performing fund rejected such virtue signaling, all still wanted the highest return in retirement. Who knew?

America’s new climate czar

John Kerry: Joe Biden’s pick for Climate Envoy. The hypocrisy of being lectured to by a man who is hardly setting the example.

If politicians were surgeons you’d never ask them to operate on you

And so the path to globalism marches on.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry will be the new climate envoy in a Biden administration, assuming the high probability he takes office in this still contested election.

Expect more blovating nonsense on climate change to satiate salivating crony capitalists. If COVID doesn’t kill you, climate change will! Got that, peasant?

Kerry is another career politician. He is the man who said peace in the Middle East was impossible. 3 peace deals later under a different administration and how stupid does he look? So should we believe his pontificating around climate change? Of course not.

Seriously, if politicians were surgeons there is no way you would ask them to operate on you given a glance at their win/loss ratio. Yet, Kerry will be afforded all of the media puff pieces on how he’ll be pivotal to saving us all despite reading geopolitics so poorly.

We await the grandiose statements about how close to doom we are. We await more nonsense around the Paris Accords – which grants China the ability to pollute as it pleases til 2030 – while the rest of us tip into the UN jar to misallocate resources for political favours.

You have to hand it to the political class. Await slower growth, higher electricity prices and more inefficiency which will end up in more debt fueled big government.

We’ll leave you with how the scientists believe in the science in a wonderful report compiled by the UN on its own processes. Donna Laframboise noted in her book, “The Delinquent Teenager” the following,

“In early 2010 the InterAcademy Council, an organization comprised of science bodies from around the world, took an historic step. It established a committee whose purpose was to investigate IPCC policies and procedures.

The committee posted a questionnaire on its website and invited interested parties to respond. Answers to those questionnaires were eventually made public after the names of the respondents had been removed. Those provided by IPCC insiders can be separated from the ones submitted by concerned citizens because the questionnaire begins by asking what role the respondent has played in the IPCC.

People with direct experience of this organization were remarkably frank in their feedback. According to them, scientific excellence isn’t the only reason individuals are invited to participate in the IPCC.

Remember, this is a UN body. It therefore cares about the same things other UN bodies care about. Things like diversity. Gender balance. Regional representation. The degree to which developing countries are represented compared to developed countries.

The collected answers to the questionnaire total 678 pages. As early as page 16, someone complains that: 

“some of the lead authors…are clearly not qualified to be lead authors.” 

Here are other direct quotes:

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter…we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)

“The whole process…[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific.” (p. 554)

“half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world.” (p. 296)

Lest anyone think that people from less affluent countries were being unjustly stereotyped, the person whose comments appear on page 330 agrees:

“The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.”

Remember we are told to believe the IPCC is the final word in climate change science. Look forward to shared misery.