Holland

Dutch Supreme Court sets very dangerous precedent

No folks, this is not a joke. This is what happens when a judiciary drops impartiality and starts acting as an activist lawmaker instead of a law enforcer. The Dutch parliament is supposed to set legislation. Since when did the judiciary inherit such capabilities by a mandate from the people?

The Dutch Supreme Court has ruled the Dutch government must cut emissions by 25% by 2020 on 1990 levels on the grounds that not doing so is a violation of human rights.

To put that into context, on a per capita basis, Dutch GHG emissions have fallen 11.9% since 1990 to 9.5t per person. However, actual Dutch CO2 output in 1990 was 161,447kt CO2-e vs 162,290kt CO2e in 2017 based on. So a 25% cut vs. 1990 levels would mean the target would be 121,085kt CO2-e.

Let us not forget that the Dutch are responsible for 0.4% of global human-caused emissions. So to cut that by 25% on the latest numbers with growing emissions from China and India will mean the Dutch will be responsible for 0.3% of global emissions. Does the Dutch Supreme Court truly believe the lives of Dutch citizens will be remotely improved by knocking 0.1% off the global total?

Clearly, the Supreme Court didn’t need evidence. Which body did the Supreme Court base its verdict? On UN climate conventions. There is a problem in and of itself.

Never mind that the UN said this about the Netherlands in the past,

The WG2 IPCC climate bible noted, “The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level”.

This sentence was provided by a Dutch government agency – the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, which published a correction stating that the sentence should have read “55 per cent of the Netherlands is at risk of flooding; 26 per cent of the country is below sea level, and 29 per cent is susceptible to river flooding.”

Never mind that the UN didn’t issue a retraction. Who needs to know correct facts?

It gets worse,

An IPCC report which investigated models showed 98% have overestimated warming.

The Twelfth Session of Working Group I (WGI-12) was held from 23 to 26 September 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. At the Session, the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WGI AR5) was approved and the underlying scientific and technical assessment accepted.

Everything in the Working Group II report depends entirely on Working Group I and Working Group I depends solely on the climate data of which 98% have proven wrong.

Chapter Nine “Evaluation of Climate Models” in WGI-12 notes:

Most, though not all, models overestimate the observed warming trend in the tropical troposphere over the last 30 years and tend to underestimate the long-term lower stratospheric cooling trend. {9.4.1, Box 9.2, Figure 9.8}

“…In tropical regions, the models are too dry in the lower troposphere and too moist in the upper troposphere,” (p763)

Most climate model simulations show a larger warming in the tropical troposphere than is found in observational data sets(e.g., McKitrick et al., 2010; Santer et al., 2013).

Does the Dutch Supreme Court believe it knows better than the scientists the UN rely upon who openly admit the data is wrong? So climate change could affect food supply?

We all know the Dutch love chocolate.

Half of the world’s chocolate is currently sourced from just two African countries: Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. According to the IPCC, rising temperatures and a relative reduction in rainfall could make it less suitable for cocoa production in the future.

The research highlighted in the IPCC Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability report indicate that, under a “business as usual” scenario, those countries will experience a 3.8°F (2.1°C) increase in temperature by 2050 which could seriously impact cocoa production.

Claims that changes to the climate are also pushing cocoa-growing regions to higher altitudes in some parts of the world, which can make some crops unsustainable…production has more than doubled in the past 3 decades.

Dutch PM Mark Rutte was absolutely right to say this was a matter for politicians, not courts. What has been proven by this landmark decision is that the court is acting as a lawmaker which is NOT its role.

While some could argue that the Green Left took 9.1% of the vote in the 2017 Dutch election – its best-ever result – the latest polls for 2021 see the party ceding seats. It is hardly a mandate of the people to drastically cut emissions in such a ridiculous space of time.

Has the Dutch Supreme Court understood that c.20% of the economy is driven by industry – electronics, metal production, engineering – and agriculture? Should PM Rutte demand that it all be shut down? Will air traffic controllers at Schipol Airport be arrested and jailed if they let commercial aeroplanes circle for too long in low visibility conditions?

Dutch electricity generation is 75% powered by fossil fuels (natural gas and coal). Does the Supreme Court believe that cutting emissions 25% by 2020 is even remotely achievable without trashing the economy? Will cars be banned from the roads on weekends? Flights suspended on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays? How about Dutch citizens who don’t have a windmill bolted to their home get electricity rationed?

In conclusion, how on earth can the Dutch hit a 25% reduction target inside 12 months? Who will be charged and jailed for failing to meet these obligations in a country where no party has a mandate?

FNF Media sincerely hopes the Dutch government acquiesces the Supreme Court and watches the economy implode as it pushes energy austerity to hit targets that will reduce global emissions by 0.1%, or a 0.00000124% impact to all the CO2 in the atmosphere. All that pain for absolutely no gain.

We need a test case guinea pig to show the world just how ridiculously stupid climate alarmism is. At least the Dutch can self-medicate inside marijuana cafes in Amsterdam.

In all seriousness, the landmark decision of a Supreme Court dictating terms to the very body that sets laws is one that sets a dangerous precedent. Activism is now part and parcel of the Dutch judiciary.

Add the Dutch to the $15.8tn pension shortfall

Negligence. No other word for it. Unrealistic assumptions coupled with a race to the bottom on interest products has meant the top 20 nations have a $15.8 trillion unfunded liability in pensions. CM wrote of the crisis awaiting US public pensions a while back.

It seems the Dutch are the latest bunch of pensioners to reach for the pitchforks at the prospect of having their retirement severely cut back. Shaktie Rambaran Mishre, chair of the Dutch pension federation (representing 197 pension funds and their members), said contributions might have to rise by up to 30% over the next few years to ward off the prospect of having to cut the pensions of 2 million retirees. That will go down a treat.

Zerohedge noted the lower Dutch risk-free rate is not low enough, and as a result about 70 employer-run pension funds with 12.1m members had funding ratios below the statutory minimum at the end of September, according to the Dutch central bank. And here lies the rub: if funds have ratios below the legal minimum for five consecutive years or have no prospect of recovering to a more healthy level, they must cut their payouts.

Can you imagine all of the Dutch who were looking forward to taking a round the world cruise to celebrate 40 years of hard work to face the reality that they’ll only be able to take a cruise down the Amsterdam canals.

This is an utter disgrace. You’d have to be asleep at the wheel as a regulator not to recognize expected returns on funds were so unrealistic as to beggar belief. Actuarial accounting lets you get away with it.

Yet the evil pensions funds will be the villains even though the supervisor left these children alone with a box of matches. Just watch them come home and act surprised that the house has burnt down.

We’re getting a taste of the remedy from the State of Illinois. It is issuing bonds specifically to help plug the gap. Rhode Island has gone the other way – take a 40% haircut or risk having nothing. Way to go!

It is worth factoring the longer term risk of the fall in consumption that this will ultimately have if even a slither or $16tn is no longer recycled into the economy.

Equal pay! Equal pay!

No longer is pride in representing a nation the core of a major sporting event. It is all about activism and grievance. The oppression obsession. The crowd joined in shaming the FIFA boss and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) based off little or no true understanding of the facts at the women’s World Cup Final. The stadium would have made Kim Jong-un blush at the symbiotic coordination. It felt eerily similar to the crowd scene from 1984. It is unfortunately so telling of today’s society. Never have they had it so good, but act is if they’ve never had it so bad.

However isn’t the point of playing for one’s country about the “pride” in representing it? If Rapinoe hates Trump, that is one thing and her personal choice. She is not alone. Should her personal pet grievances outweigh the 330m other Americans she represents? Why not ask for the flag to be removed from her strip?

If she wants to kneel during the national anthem she is nothing more than a hypocrite who seeks to rub it in the face of those who have pride in their country. She is a conditional citizen. Much like those Hollywood celebrities who claimed they’d leave the country if Trump won. He did and they’re still all there.

If Rapinoe wants to truly protest, she should refuse to play. She should sit out and watch America flail and then witness the USSF panic as sponsors dry up and have them run to her. Yet the trappings are such that her principles take a back seat to the expediency of the luxuries afforded by her talent.

She can rant all she wants outside the field. Free speech. CM is all for that. She has a profile to do that. Yet when representing the country, why not respect her fellow citizens rather than throw the toys out of the pram using profanity against a democratically elected president? What she doesn’t realise is her wokeness is exactly the type of thing that will produce the same result in the 2020 election. People are sick and tired of the constant political correctness dragged into places it needn’t be. She is only going to retard the growth in the sport if she continues turning a beautiful game into a platform of white noise.

Rapinoe may tell the media that “we’re over it” with respect to equal pay. However has she considered that if she stopped being such a brat that even more sponsors might beat a path to her door? If she displayed the types of values that represent those of the sponsors and broader society rather than lower the level to the man she repudiates she might surprise herself? Set the standard, Megan! Don’t lower yourself to it. Is having a high number of LGBT players truly the secret sauce of the US team as you claim?

What if men identifying as women demand a place in the side? Physically they’ll dominate the women players as they are already doing in so many areas of sport. Don’t they deserve an equal opportunity? If they trial and outplay all the biological women, will you begrudge them? Or accept that “Science is science. Trans rule“? The Democratic Party has enshrined trans players in women’s sports as policy. Be careful what you wish for.

For the record, CM has always stated equal pay in sports is a farcical quest. It has never been equal. Nor should it be, because the talent pool would never be able to be developed in a way that is self sustaining for the audiences to watch it. Cristiano Ronaldo gets $100m per year because he is “that good”. He sells more strips each year than his fellow teammates. He scores lots of goals. He gets endorsements because he is so talented. Corporations see a return in the investment. Ronaldo has 78 million Twitter followers vs his Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos who has a pitiful 16m. Rapinoe has 725,000. Should she get paid the same as Ronaldo? US men’s soccer team player Landon Donovan has 1.3m followers. Does the USSF see that the box office is sadly still skewed to the men’s game?

If we truly want ‘equal pay‘, shouldn’t we demand that each player plays for exactly the same amount of time and limit the physical distance they run? After all it would be unfair for one player to do less or more work than another. If the goalie had to be included in the physical exercise equality argument then field players could only have a two minute stint at best. 10 players would need to be replaced every two minutes of the 90 played meaning a 450 player side. With GPS tracking, the rules of the game can be changed so that can be accommodated in theory.

We know that such a game would be boring to watch and cause audiences to abandon such spectacles because professionals sports require no participation medals. We cheer the player that has the extra stamina, skill and guile to win matches and pay to watch that privilege. Not watch a game where talent is castrated.

For starters, Rapinoe should address the inequality within women’s soccer, before targeting the broader gender pay gap. No doubt she gets paid a lot more than some of her lesser known teammates. No one discusses that factoid. Crowds consumed by propaganda based group think champion the causes of people who already earn probably way more than they’ll ever do. Were the crowd chants aimed at the Dutch women too? Or just the Americans who were the ones fighting this pay dispute.

CM is also on record for saying that female tennis players should be paid more than men for the higher audiences they attract. The reality is outside of the World Cup, women’s soccer does not attract the revenues of the men’s game (partly due to men’s game having decades more time to develop). That will take time. It is hard to find willing sponsors to even it up if the return on that endorsement is lower. Sponsors aren’t just rich benefactors.

In closing, shame on the crowds for dragging an international event into a twisted spectacle. What they don’t realise is that such actions will only work against them. Fans want to escape the stresses of daily life, not pay high ticket prices to have it directly served up. Maybe the #USWNT needs to look at what has happened to the NFL after political correctness engulfed it.

Megan, a bigger truism is that, “Economics is economics. The market rules!”

Sustainable air travel will require extra sick bags

Air France-KLM is looking to fund the Dutch Delft University of Technology to explore a flying wing design known as the Flying V, where passengers will sit.

Boeing dabbled with the idea in 2007 but scrapped it as it likely worked out passengers sitting out toward the wingtips would be thrown around like rag dolls in turbulent weather. Anyone who has tried to drink hot coffee during rough weather will know how even sitting toward the centre of the plane causes it to swish about, mostly in the saucer. A wing aisle seat would mean one would wear it.

Better to save shareholders’ funds Air France/KLM. Prototyping this “sustainable aircraft” might do wonders for its CSR signaling but has it considered that it must include the environmental footprint of extra sick bags and all those nasty chemicals required to clean up the mess of those who suffer motion sickness but didn’t make it in time?

Perhaps Mother Nature has given us all tips on air travel. There are many passenger jets shaped like birds. Yet no birds shaped like the Delft University of Technology design…

If Air France/KLM is so worried about the environment the best thing to do would be to close down operations.

The Virgin Group CEO Josh Bayliss said,

“It’s definitely true that right now every one of us should think hard about whether or not we need to take a flight.”

Close the airline if it means so much to save the planet.

Poverty, poverty on the wall, the French aren’t even the worst of all

PovEU

Why are we surprised at the yellow vest uprising across France? Poverty/risk of social exclusion across Europe has continued to spiral upwards since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). There were 78mn living below the poverty line in 2007. At last count, Eurostat notes that number was 118mn  (23.5% of the European population). In the Europe 2020 strategy, the plan is to reduce that by 20 million.  37.5mn (7.5%) are living in severe material deprivation (SMD) , up from 32mn in 2007.

The SMD rate represents the proportion of people who cannot afford at least four of the nine following items:

  • having arrears on mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase installments or other loan payments;
  • being able to afford one week’s annual holiday away from home;
  • being able to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day;
  • being able to face unexpected financial expenses;
  • being able to buy a telephone (including mobile phone);
  • being able to buy a colour television;
  • being able to buy a washing machine;
  • being able to buy a car;
  • being able to afford heating to keep the house warm.

The French are merely venting what is happening across the EU. The EU could argue that at 18% poverty, the French should be happy compared to other nation states. Europeans aren’t racist to want a halt to mass economic migration when they are the ones financially struggling as it is. Making economic or compassionate arguments aren’t resonating as they feel the problems first hand.

Is it a surprise that the UK, at 22.2% poverty, wanted out of the EU project to take back sovereign control? Project Fear might be forecasting Armageddon for a No Deal Brexit but being inside the EU has hardly helped lift Brits from under a rock. Why would anyone wish to push for a worse deal that turns the UK into a colony?

Why is anyone surprised that there has been a sustainable shift toward populist political parties across Europe? Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Germany…the list goes on. Even France should not forget that Front National’s Marine LePen got 35% of the vote, twice the level ever achieved. Is is a shock to see her polling above Macron?

The success and growth of EU-skeptic parties across Europe will only get bigger. The mob is unhappy. Macron may have won on a wave of euphoria as a fresh face but he has failed to deliver. He may have suspended the fuel tax hikes, but the people are still on the street in greater numbers. He has merely stirred the hornet’s nest. Perhaps UK PM Theresa May should take a look at the table above and realise that her deal will only cause the UK to rise up. At the moment sanity prevails, and when it comes in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn that is perhaps a sign in itself.

The power of last place at Invictus

8D6E39AB-1596-4CB1-AAE1-168311F689BF.jpeg

Here is a picture of Dutch Invictus athlete, Alina Zoet. She was in the Women’s Heavy Weightlifting today. She finished stone cold last. However she got the biggest cheers and dragged out what is so important at Invictus. She had to bench press 50kg.  She failed first go. When she failed the second time she burst into tears as a failure. Distraught wasn’t even close to capturing her emotions. The packed crowd applauded her none-the-less. She was giving her best

Third attempt. Bundle of nerves. Crowd going absolutely bonkers in support.  Then silence as she prepared her last attempt. The bar comes down.  Her left side was letting her down again. The crowd goes completely apeshit as she battled with the bar. Two whites and one red light. Alina has done it! While the Aussie lifters cleared the podium for medals everyone in that hall knew the biggest winner had been the last place. But a personal best and tears of being unconquered. An emotional moment.

We got to congratulate her afterwards and she was overwhelmed with tears of joy. It was powerful.

As a general observation just wandering around the games, the sheer number of prosthetic limbs boggles the mind. Yet those who have them aren’t moaning about all the garbage that clogs our social media feeds on how hard we think we have it. We’ve got it easy.

Deepest respect for those who serve.

Actions speak louder than laughs

F24219F2-39FD-4D90-A1AD-DB5A1C6F7E67.jpeg

While the mainstream media has blown much hot air about the UN GA audience laughing at POTUS during his speech, where was the very same audience backing the poster boy of virtue signaling and globalist politics? Here is a picture of Canadian PM Trudeau addressing the UN General Assembly during the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on Sep 24th. Worse, a whole section of them are on their mobile phones. As impolite as deleting/sending emails during the speech of any world leader (or anyone for that matter) is, at least being laughed at suggests the audience was paying attention to the content, as ridiculous as anyone may have made it out to be. As much as Trump’s boasting and glass jaw were on full display, it was standing room only, because love or hate him, his words have global ramifications.

While French President Macron might have sounded sensible castigating Trump’s America First view as fanning the flames of nationalism around the world, perhaps he might have reflected on the shift toward populist parties across Europe occurring well before either took office. Macron should remind himself that anti-EU leader of the far right Front National, Marine Le Pen, achieved twice the vote ever achieved by her party. 35%.

People may not have noticed but Sweden’s newly appointed PM Stefan Lofven has lost a no confidence motion yesterday. The right leaning Sweden Democrats achieved the fastest growth in the Sep 9 election, taking almost 18% of the vote from 12.9%, holding the balance of power despite the establishment is reluctant to wed . All the while,  3 weeks have passed and a no confidence motion has occurred.

Italy is now run by an anti-EU M5S & anti-immigrant League coalition. Austria voted in a EU-skeptic party led by a 32yo Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The Brits voted for Brexit. The Dutch awarded the fastest growing share to platinum haired Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party. The Hungarians and Polish have openly told Juncker where to stick his views on forced migration. Even Chancellor Merkel had the worst showing of her party in 70 years as the anti-immigrant Alternative for Deutschland took 13% of the vote, achieving 94 seats in the Bundestag mostly at the expense of Merkel’s CDU & former European Parliament President Schulz’s SPD.

Poor old Justin Trudeau had a member of his own party, Leona Alleslev, defect to the Conservatives stating she was ‘concerned about the government’s handling of the economy.’ It is one thing for the opposition to berate the government for poor stewardship but it is deeply embarrassing to lose people from one’s own party due to a lack of confidence.

So yes, we can collectively laugh at Trump for his bluster, chest beating and itchy Twitter fingers, but one would hope the mockers at the UNGA would glance in the mirror and realise that their constituents are becoming ever more disillusioned with the establishment they represent. These are the same people that bashed the president for calling out their lack of commitment to NATO, with 23 nations well behind promises made of their own volition 12 years prior. Could it be that for however abhorrent they might find the current leader of the US, he is calling many out on their failure to hold up their end of the bargain?

At the end of the day, no matter what one’s personal feelings for Trump may be, we have to live with his decisions. He is far from perfect. Yet instead of the predictable constant drone of noise following his speech, perhaps countries would be better off putting aside personal differences. Rather than crossing fingers in hope he maybe impeached so they can go back to the status quo and live the very lies he has exposed in his almost 2 years in office. Now that type of hypocrisy is truly laughable. Indeed the very fact that out of touch politicians can mock in such a manner shows just how badly they stink at relaying the very messages they think resonate with the public.