Muzzling the Climate Debate

Whatever final assessment is made of Donald Trump’s culpability in provoking the Capitol melee – though it was at most, it seems to me, incidental - the speeches by some Democrat congressional representatives, in the lead up to impeachment number two, took hyperbole to a new level -- e.g., “a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection.” Little reverence was paid to the truth. In keeping with the times, none to giving the accused right of reply.

Part of the overwrought response to Covid is suppression. Suppression, that is, of questioning views. Big tech plays its part. It has become adept at closing down rather than opening up debate

Muzzling the climate debate is a practiced art. Australia’s taxpayer-funded academic blog site The Conversation sums it up: “That’s why the editorial team in Australia is implementing a zero-tolerance approach to moderating climate change deniers, and sceptics. Not only will we be removing their comments, we’ll be locking their accounts.” So much for two sides of a story.

Wherever you look, large sections of today’s society are losing their interest in the truth and, as part of that, in being challenged. Integrity is falling away. Though prosaically, when set against today’s times, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell spotted things going wrong in 1980:

Had this questionnaire [in the nineteen thirties] about what was the problem with teachin in the schools...the biggest problem they could name was things like talkin in class and runnin in the hallways. Chewin gum....sent em back out to the same schools. Forty years later. Well here come the answers back. Rape, arson, murder. Drugs. Suicide...when I say anything about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket people will just sort of smile and tell me I’m getting old...my feeling about that is that anyone that cant tell the difference between rapin and murderin people and chewin gum has a whole lot bigger of a problem than what I’ve got.

Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men is blessed with Sheriff Bell’s homespun commentaries on life and the state of his modern world. To me Bell (Tommy Lee Jones in the movie) was the highlight of the book. It’s a pity only a sprinkling of his wisdom made it to the screen.

The storyline in the book is set in Texas in 1980. I don’t know about you, but without dismissing Bell’s concerns, I look back fondly on the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II were simultaneously strutting their stuff. How much saner was the world then, I think.

Of course, to take a potted excursion back to the start of that decade, there were no flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, the internet and email. I would miss them if they were suddenly taken away. Many people, I understand, would also miss social media and electric cars. Me, not so much. What would Sheriff Bell have thought? Technological developments are part and parcel of human history and his response to them would depend on whether he was parachuted into 2021 from 1980 or had lived throughout the period.

It gets more interesting when social developments are considered. Take trigger warnings, micro-aggressions and safe spaces, cancel culture, transgender dysphoria, non-binary pronouns, unconscious racism, intersectional wokeness, and the like. To reach the point quickly. I don’t think Bell would have rightly understood them. I say that because I am younger than Bell, he was close to retirement in 1980, and I can’t get a good handle on them.

From chewing gum to drug-taking is a leap, but it’s not one of confounding inexplicability. In contrast, how do you put a 1980’s perspective, or any reasoned perspective at all, on things like trigger warnings and cancel culture? How do you explain their rise?

The short answer is that I don’t exactly know. Some people associate it all with Marxism. I am not sure about that. Of course, the popularity of Marxism, socialism more generally, is on another one of its periodic cyclical upswings among academic and political classes. Socialists are indefatigable in the face of the historical record of socialism’s disastrous failures, whenever and wherever it has been tried. They forever lurk in the shadows, awaiting propitious circumstances to again hawk their bill of goods.

I sometimes look to that old-time socialist George Orwell for answers. I reckon he’d have the same view of these modern social trends as would Sheriff Bell. Here he is in The Road to Wigan Pier: “One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.” Different times, different fruit loops.

And not just Goldstein.

Socialists having an irreducibly delusional mindset. This no doubt gives loopy ideas a happy home. But they don’t arise there. They are a broader cultural phenomenon. This time around they have arisen, I suggest, out of post-modernism and its rejection of the oneness of truth.

You might define a man and a woman by their chromosomes. That’s just your truth. Another truth is how they feel about themselves, gender-wise. You might define free speech as, simply, ‘free speech’. Sorry, but not if it offends someone in a minority group. Then it is hate speech. You might think it is discriminatory to favour someone on the basis of their appearance. No, not true, if it produces more ‘equity’ across society. Equality bad, equity good – to borrow a pattern of words again from Orwell.

Old generations always complain about the next one. At least -- so it is said -- since Socrates was supposed to have done so. This is a cautionary warning for any older generation. Nevertheless, Sheriff Bell ventured forth. To him there had been a sea change. Something untoward was happening. Untoward has morphed into strange indeed.

It’s best to remember, civilisations eventually fall apart. Seems likely this has something to do with the way in which succeeding generations live their lives and mould their culture. Robust pursuit of truth is surely the quiddity of a healthy culture. Once that goes who knows where things will end up.

Sheriff Bell thought the world was going to hell in a handbasket. He had no idea what lay in store.

Biden to Execute Keystone Pipeline via E.O.

The Biden campaign's strategy was to hide their candidate in the basement while letting a fawning press make the case for him as president. This case was short on substance and long on impression, particularly the impression that the former V.P. is a moderate, working-class guy and a statesman who would restore America's reputation in the world and restrain the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren/AOC wing of the party.

Well, with the election over Biden's priorities are starting to become clear. They are anything but moderate and, insofar as they unnecessarily antagonizing one of our closest allies, neither are they statesmanlike.

This past weekend a memo written by incoming chief of staff Ron Klain was released which outlines the executive orders Biden plans to implement immediately upon taking over the White House. Highlights on this list -- which the Associated Press calls "a 10-day blitz of executive actions... to redirect the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency without waiting for Congress" -- include immigration reform; a national face mask mandate (mandating that they be worn on all federal property and "during interstate travel," whatever that means in practice); and an extension of the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and the "pause" on student loan payments.

Among the memo's most consequential items is the bullet point which reads "Roll back Trump enviro actions via EO (including rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit)." That is, on his first day in office tomorrow Biden plans to employ the "pen and phone" tactic to kill a multimillion dollar international project that employs tens of thousands of people (in two countries!) in the midst of a pandemic-created recession. This is madness.

Canada vs. the Democrats.

Meanwhile, in Canada, the Trudeau government are scrambling to make the case that this move is unnecessary from an environmentalist perspective. Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Kiersten Hillman, released a statement on Sunday saying "The government of Canada continues to support the Keystone XL project and the benefits that it will bring to both Canada and the United States.” She went on to stress that the Keystone project was more environmentally friendly than the one the Obama administration rejected in 2015:

Not only has the project itself changed significantly since it was first proposed, but Canada’s oilsands production has also changed significantly. Per-barrel oilsands (greenhouse gas) emissions have dropped 31 per cent since 2000, and innovation will continue to drive progress... Keystone XL fits within Canada’s climate plan at a time when our economic recovery is a top priority... there is no better partner for the U.S. on climate action than Canada as we work together for green transition.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took a slightly more aggressive tone, saying: "Should the incoming U.S. administration abrogate the Keystone XL permit, Alberta will work with [pipeline owners] TC Energy to use all legal avenues available to protect its interest in the project."

These appeals are unlikely to sway Team Biden, who are riding a wave of anti-Republican sentiment in the wake of the recent disturbance at the Capitol. They believe they have a window of opportunity to make some big, cost-free moves which will garner them goodwill with activists but will be forgotten by voters still focused on the Trump show.

This could well be a miscalculation on their part. The issues which gave rise to Trump in 2016 won't go away when he does. And the most important of those, the alienation of America's working class since the end of the Cold War, will be aggravated by virtue signaling environmentalist moves like the cancelation of Keystone.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Shooting Stars

I love when life just works out as it should. I’m meeting Daddy in Copenhagen where he’s chairing a big (and important) meeting on best practices for oil exploration and extraction in the region.  It seems Denmark's issued a moratorium on new permits for fracking but is still honoring the ones they’ve already issued, and which I assume includes his company. 

This trip should be so much fun, it reminds me of when I was a little girl—Judith and I would tag along and I’d go to the lobby and drink cocoa on my own.  Mummy never joins these days, but the reason I got to join is Daddy’s aide is afraid to travel under “the dreaded Covid”. 

We (of course) had to arrive three days in advance and receive special dispensation which we were able to do as he’s conducting necessary business. And of course we flew private… Daddy from London City Centre and I caught a ride with my friend Anna, whom I know from dressage, when she represented the Danish national team and I from Britain of course.

All this and Covid-19 tests too!

Along with Anna… I got a CV test three days prior to leaving Lyford in the Bahamas, and one on the day we left, and just for fun (not!) we did them again on the plane as a courtesy to her purser or something, and then filled out forms upon forms. I felt as though I’d already completed a project when I arrived… prepared to impress even the sternest immigration official only to find no one had the least interest.

We simply stepped off the plane, cars pulled up, and in minutes... each of us going in different directions. Gosh. Anna was craving something called a shooting star sandwich—something “divine” she said, with fish and shrimp and caviar— kissed me on the cheek,  and away she went. I was the last to find my driver who held a sign “Mrs. Kennedy”. Somewhat flustered I answered, “Yes.” Did he think my father was in possession of a rather young new wife? Apparently. 

In a few minutes I arrived at the Hotel D’Angleterre, not because we're English but because it’s the place where Daddy's conference is, and well… where else would one stay in Copenhagen? I mean, for Copenhagen it’s basically Annabels and The Connaught and The Ledbury all in one. I found Daddy in the bar and not up in his room under quarantine at all. 

The testing did release us from quarantine, as did the special dispensation but that didn’t stop the hotel from reading us guidelines which apparently state… if we were to quarantine we were expected to stay within the hotel -- meaning in the heart of all the action.  I couldn’t believe I’d had my nose probed three times for nothing.  Daddy suggested I not look so shocked and order some lunch. 

Oui, oui, messieurs.

I overheard a conversation in French. Clearly they recognized my father and clearly didn’t imagine I could understand them. I motioned with my eyes and said,

“That table over there is talking about you.”

“Just when we think we can underestimate the French” he replied.

“I’m serious.” I insisted, “they seem to oppose all future drilling in Denmark.” 

“Ah well, they are in the majority. So very un-French of them.” Typical Daddy. 

“Should I try to listen?” I continued. 

“I don’t think so. We’ve already concluded they are French.” he said.

I started into my yellow lentil soup and asked if he was familiar with a shooting star sandwich. 

“Delicious, but a damned waste of good caviar” was all he had to say. 

I looked through his papers for the schedule, and so that I could figure out when to meet Anna.  “I have to ask…” I said. "Denmark seems to be on track to being free from using fossil fuels by 2050 and hopes to make Copenhagen a carbon-neutral city…why promote exploration here?” 

 “Well I hope I’m not in the business of promotion as you put it, but there is drilling and fracking and not everyone wishes to put all of their eggs in one basket. Even if the DEA does.” 

“Meaning?”

“Meaning…there is still money to be made, contracts to be honoured, and it’s a fantasy to believe they can eliminate fossil fuel consumption in such a short time. AND…you are meant to be here to help me!” 

Yes, of course, Daddy” I said, “I just want to understand if you are working against my beloved planet and if so…how much—it’s just for me to know.”

“Yes of course.” he said. "And how was your trip to the modest Cay in the Bahamas anyway?”

“Air-conditioned” I said knowing I’d been beaten and changed the subject. “So…on some future day… if I take my vitamins and live long enough… what must we overcome to achieve a carbon-neutral Copenhagen in my lifetime?”

“Well, for starters, offshore wind is lagging well behind the oil and gas industry in safety. They had several hundred high-potential incidents—only luck prevented a fatality and risks are growing as this ‘independence’ madness pushes the boundaries.”

“I see. That can’t be good. And what if they run out of wind?”

“NO. The danger is that too high winds can cause turbines to topple, and of course, hurricanes and cable failures are always a problem, but it’s really the fossil independence MADNESS, creating the danger, pushing them to go deeper into the ocean, cut corners, cut costs…” 

“And birds?” I asked.

“Twenty-two million a year. I just didn’t want to mention it since our eavesdropping friends are having… LE POULET!” Daddy did a quick turn of his head and it broke their gaze. So busted. “…but the independence we should be talking about is Greenland. They want independence from Denmark, Lord knows why, but it seems to be a trait of the Inuit wherever they go. When we find the sweet spot in Greenland, and find it we will...there are going to be some very independent Inuit for the first time in history. It's just a matter of how much resource we put into Greenland and how soon. It's easy to make them wait when other areas of the world are currently more profitable."

It's all for the Inuits.

“Aha!” I said, “So partially we are here for Greenland?” 

“Perhaps,” he said, smirking. 

“But, wait -- how much of Greenland is Inuit?” 

“Most.”

“And are these the same Inuit as in Canada?” 

“The very same.”

“So as I understand, the offshore industry has only thrived due to people like me… who want a green planet, not because renewables are more economically viable.”

“That is correct," he said.

“So if an initiative is sufficient grounds to pursue a form of energy...why couldn’t a different initiative...a humanitarian initiative, launched to help the Inuit thrive—be a reason to conduct even more drilling in Greenland?” 

“Well…that’s an excellent question,” he said after some consideration. "And one I’ll ask you not to bring up at my conference, but you may well have earned your lunch my dear.” 

Ha! Bravo me. But since I'm ahead, probably best not to tell him I'm on my way to the Great Reset later this month in Davos...

WHO Done It?

To say that the World Health Organization badly mishandled the Covid-19 outbreak right from the outset might be the understatement of the century. In the early months of the crisis, as the virus was spreading throughout Wuhan and then China, the WHO consistently downplayed what was happening, praised China for its effective response, declined (at Beijing's behest) to declare a health emergency, and generally repeated CCP talking points about what was actually going on.

This while their inspectors were being denied access to Wuhan itself, to the wet market where the virus apparently first infected humans, and then to patients who were suffering from the virus.

The global response to the virus has been hysterical, but had the WHO not bent over backwards to minimize what was happening in China -- the New York Times reports that every word of the WHO's initial report on the crisis had to be approved by the CCP -- perhaps Covid could have been contained.

The WHO doesn't want this to become the commonly accepted narrative. If it is, taxpayers around the world might begin asking their governments why they contribute to the organization's $4.4 billion annual budget when it clearly only has the interests of one particular country at heart. So, they obfuscate and misdirect.

For the latest example of this, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus -- who is not a doctor -- has released a video statement for this past weekend's International Day of Epidemic Preparedness saying that the present pandemic should remind us how important it is to get ahead of the next public health emergency. He was referring, of course, to climate change.

Here's what the Director-General said:

The pandemic has highlighted the intimate links between the health of humans, animals, and planet... Any efforts to improve human health are doomed unless they address the critical interface between humans and animals, and the existential threat of climate change, that is making our earth less habitable.... [T]his will not be the last pandemic... but with investments in public health, supported by an all-of-government, all-of-society, One Health approach, we can ensure that our children and their children inherit a safer, more resilient, and more sustainable world.

His point in favor of a collectivist approach to such problems is strange since it was his globalist organization working in concert with a communist country with imperial pretentions which caused the crisis in the first place. But the reference to climate change and a "more sustainable world" is meant to distract from the incoherence. This is an appeal to virtue signalers worldwide. How can they stay mad at a man who is so clearly on their side?

Not that the country for which the WHO consistently carries water is known for its environmentalist friendly policies, but liberals pride themselves on embodying F. Scott Fitzgerald's maxim that the mark of "a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time." By that measure, they're off the charts.

The Green Covid 'Relief' Bill

On Sunday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer announced that they had come to an agreement on the details of a second Covid-19 relief package. There had been a lot of public wrangling over what the bill should look like, with senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) calling for $1,200 payments to Americans to compensate them for the economic disruption of the government-imposed lockdowns, a provision which President Trump supported but which was ultimately thwarted by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.).

There was debate about whether businesses should be granted immunity from Covid-related lawsuits (to which the Democrats objected), and whether state and local governments adversely effected by the pandemic should be bailed out (to which the Republicans objected). In the end, after a number of compromises, senators were left with a neat, tidy bill which they could all be happy with.

Or at least, that was what leadership expected them to say. In fact, the text of the bill was more than 5,000 pages long, and wasn't released until two hours before it was to be voted on. For once, AOC is right:

Not reading it didn't stop Congress from passing the $2.3 trillion legislation by huge margins on Monday. To echo AOC's leader on another massive bill, I guess they had to pass it for us to find out what's in it.

That's exactly what we're finding out now, and there are quite a few howlers, from $10 million for Pakistani "gender programs" to the creation of a committee to combat performance enhancing drug use in horse racing. But the surprising provisions which feature the most prominently in the actual text of the bill are all climate related. This is from an AP report entitled "Congress takes aim at climate change in massive relief bill":

The huge pandemic relief and spending bill includes billions of dollars to promote clean energy such as wind and solar power while sharply reducing over time the use of potent coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators.... The energy and climate provisions, supported by lawmakers from both parties, were hailed as the most significant climate change law in at least a decade. “Republicans and Democrats are working together to protect the environment through innovation,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

The sprawling legislation also extends tax credits for solar and wind power that are a key part of President-elect Joe Biden’s ambitious plan to generate 100 percent “clean electricity” by 2035. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware... said the bill would cut pollution from school buses, air conditioners, refrigerators and more, while creating thousands of American jobs and helping “save our planet from the climate crisis.″ “Make no mistake,″ he said, the new legislation “will soon be some of the most significant climate solutions to pass out of Congress to date.″

For all of the hand wringing over this being the second largest bill in American history, as well as attempts by  Johnson and others to trim down benefits to individual Americans, Republicans and Democrats conspired to shower taxpayer dollars on questionable and controversial green priorities which have nothing to do with the virus, without saying a word about it in public.

It's almost as if the pandemic is just an excuse to do whatever they already wanted to do to begin with.

Meditating Upon the Black Stuff

Call me a cockeyed optimist. I’m not convinced that the end is nigh. True a giant asteroid might come hurtling our way. However, I still regard dire warnings of the imminent end of times as the stuff of outlandish cults. Or, more entertainingly, humourists.

I might be missing something. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, Prince Charles, and too many other notables to mention, think differently. They’re sure we are on our last legs; with only, what is it now, something like nine or ten years left to save the planet? Don’t hold me to this number. I get confused when threatened with extinction.

If those who do think the end is nigh were asked, I feel confident they would nominate coal as the biggest culprit. It spews out CO2 like nobody’s business. According to the U.S. Energy Department, per unit of energy produced, coal emits around twice as much CO2 as does natural gas. And, to boot, it has been the predominate source of power for industry and households for a very considerable time.

According to the Resources and Energy Quarterly published by the Australian government, thermal coal still accounted for 45 percent of global electricity production in 2018. Hence, coal is still doing its darndest to queer the planet and, shiver in trepidation, there’s 133 years of proven reserves of the black stuff still to dig up. But it’s not all bad.

To coal or not to coal? That is the question.

It’s good for Australia. Thermal coal is the fifth biggest exporter earner behind (in order) iron ore, metallurgical coal (there’s that coal again), natural gas and gold. The prime minister is torn. Electorates in coal country in Queensland gave him victory in May 2019. Careless of dire predictions of doom, they selfishly voted their wallets ahead of the planet. Yet, from royal progeny to billionaires to zealots to inner-city elites to banks to boardrooms to the media, the anti-coal clamour is deafening. Politicians wilt.

In 2017, to the chagrin of the great and good, Scott Morrison -- before he became prime minister -- theatrically brought a lump of coal into parliament to make a powerful case for coal. And now, only a few short years later, is contemplating zero net emissions “as quickly as possible.” Trying to mix coal and zero emissions is a species of double-think. He’s a politician, he won’t notice.

Coal is enigmatic. Cheap energy to some, demonic to others; and with a future which is hard to pin down. Here is a trick question. How many coal-power plants are under construction? Answer: it depends upon which newspapers or fact-check websites you read or TV channels you watch. Greens and their allies want to convince everyone that coal is uneconomic, and on the way out. Coal lobbies present a bullish outlook for coal. Different interests, different schticks, different facts.

That said, whatever source of information takes your fancy, a large number of new coal-power plants are on the way. This is simply because coal provides cheap and reliable power and the Chinese and Indians, e.g., aren’t stupid. No need to guess who is.

The Chinese know how to make electricity.

When I say new coal-power plants are on the way; not so much in Australia, where they are on the way out. An irony you might think in a country with rich coal reserves, which for so long underpinned the competitive advantage of Australian manufacturing. Not so to those who believe Australia has to do its bit by closing down all of its installed coal-power of around 23 GW capacity in order, wait for it, to offset the up to 250 GW or so (depending on what you read) of new capacity China is intent on building. Do the sum.

Here is something else: on December 2, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) claimed that coal dust blowing from coal-loading ports 100 to 1,000 kilometres away threatened, the perpetually threatened, Great Barrier Reef. Peter Ridd, cancelled by James Cook University In Queensland for daring to suggest that the Reef was not under threat, described the claim as “ridiculous.” Ridiculous? How about “crackpot.”

On much surer footing than the tendentious apparatchiks at the IUCN, Michael Shellenberger (Apocalypse Never) goes into bat for coal. Coal, he says, with twice the energy of timber, saved the forests, while fuelling the industrial revolution. But for coal there might have been few trees left. Excluding those conservationists who bizarrely favour making them into biomass, everyone likes trees. Ergo, coal’s role in preserving them must be good.

Then again coal must be bad. The Economist (3 December) told us that, “unlike natural gas and oil, it is concentrated carbon, and thus [in America and Europe] it accounts for a staggering 39% of annual emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.”

That might be true, who knows, but this isn’t: “Solar farms and onshore wind are now the cheapest source of new electricity for at least two-thirds of the world’s population.” Here the poor sods at the lower end of the prosperity scale in Asia and Africa are invited to “consign coal to museums and the history books.” “Much work lies ahead,” avers editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes.

I just wonder how much work has to be done to persuade developing regions of the world to use the cheapest source of electricity? They must all be dim-witted, if Ms Beddoes is to be taken at her word. Of course, Ms Beddoes is spouting agitprop. To be kind, she can do no other as a dedicated follower of the party line.

The case against coal is not based on economics. It is the cheapest source of 24x7 power. The case stands or falls on the danger CO2 presents to the planet.

If the alarmist predictions are wrong then the trillions of dollars spent on wind and solar farms has been the gravest waste of resources in the history of mankind. As the size of the effect of man-made CO2 on global warming is matter of conjecture, a contested hypothesis at best, it is inexplicable that is has taken such an iron grip on the minds of so many in positions of influence and power.

The overwrought reaction to Covid is similarly puzzling. Perhaps when religion wanes, collective belief is more susceptible to superstition and mass suggestion. If that is so; what, I wonder, will be the next hobgoblin to scare us into submission?

What's that Carbon Tax Gonna Cost?

Last week the Trudeau Government announced their brand new anti-climate change initiative, which included a significant hike in the carbon tax. As we discussed at the time, the plan is to increase the current tax of $30 per ton by $15 per year until settling (for now) at $170 per ton.

This is a big increase, but to most people those numbers seem entirely theoretical. A ton of carbon emitted sounds like a lot, and the average Canadian probably sees those numbers and figures that, since his car and furnace together don't emit that much, this doesn't affect him. Of course, this is exactly how Trudeau wants people to approach the issue.

But to set the record straight, Kris Sims of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has helpfully scaled those numbers down to the individual level. Here's what she came up with:

Right now, the federal carbon tax is at $30 per tonne, resulting in a tax of 6.6 cents per litre for gasoline and 8 cents per litre for diesel.... At those rates, filling up a minivan costs nearly $5 extra in the carbon tax, filling a light duty pickup truck costs $8 more and a super duty diesel pickup costs $14 more.... So, now that the feds are going to increase the carbon tax to $170 per tonne, what happens to these everyday costs?

This hike will put the carbon tax up to more than 37.5 cents per litre for gasoline, 45 cents per litre for diesel and 32.8 cents per cubic metre for natural gas. That means that very soon it will cost you $27 extra to fill up a minivan, $45 extra for a light duty pickup truck and $204 extra to fill just one diesel fuel cylinder on those big rig trucks that deliver everything from furniture to food across the country. Remember: this is just for the carbon tax. This doesn’t include the cost of the fuel, other taxes, the GST or the incoming second carbon tax that Trudeau’s government is creating. How many people have an easy extra $45 to fill up their trucks to go to work?

What, me worry?

And that's just for your vehicle. What about keeping your house warm? Sims lays that out as well:

When it comes to heating a home with natural gas, the carbon tax often costs more than the actual fuel being used. Homeowners in British Columbia sent the Canadian Taxpayers Federation their natural gas bills to show the costs. One of the bills showed an average-sized home in Gibsons using 466 cubic metres for one winter month last year, resulting in a carbon tax bill of $35. The homeowners had only used $27 worth of natural gas....

With a carbon tax of 32.8 cents per cubic metre of natural gas, it would cost that homeowner in Gibsons $150 extra in the carbon tax for just one winter month’s worth of natural gas. Based on the average annual use of natural gas in new Canadian homes, it would cost homeowners more than $885 extra in the carbon tax.

Canada is, of course, one of the most northerly nations in the world, but Gibsons, B. C., the town she uses as an example, is hardly one of the coldest areas in the country. In places like Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Arnprior, Ontario, those numbers are going to look at lot worse.

Trudeau Announces Massive Carbon-Tax Hike

Back in April we reported on the Trudeau government's odd decision to go ahead with their plan to double the federal tarbon Tax in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic that had wreaked havoc on the Canadian economy. Why, we wondered, would they push forward with a plan that would make the lives of regular Canadians more expensive at a time when so many people were losing their jobs? Why add a further layer of uncertainty to an already unstable market?

Unfortunately the prime minister's instincts haven't improved in the past nine months. While we have a much clearer picture of the virus than we had at the time, and improved treatments as well, the Canadian economy has been slowly strangled by government imposed lockdowns.

Justin Trudeau has attempted to counter this by increasing spending, which he's financed by massively increasing public debt. According to the Fraser Institute's Livio di Matteo, "federal net debt for 2019-20 was close to $800 billion and for 2020-21 will likely exceed $1.1 trillion." Provincial debt too has significantly increased, from $700 billion to over $800 billion, and the two combined are nearing 90 percent of GDP, a level not seen since the debt crisis of the early 1990s. Just as in that crisis, Canada has already seen its credit rating downgraded.

But even as things get increasingly desperate, the Trudeau government has refused to tap the breaks on his disastrous climate agenda even slightly.

Just the opposite, in fact. For the most recent example, today the government released its newest climate plan, entitled "A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy." Its goal is "to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030," and it proposes to do this by, first, increasing (debt-financed) spending by $15 billion, and second by dramatically increasing the carbon tax.

The tax had been projected to increase from its current level of $30 per ton to $50 by 2022. According to the new plan, however, that amount will jump by $15 every year until it reaches $170 per ton in 2030, with the object of "wean[ing] consumers off fossil fuels in favour of cleaner energy sources." Of course, those cleaner energy sources don't yet exist, at least not in forms that would allow them to replace fossil fuels. (Also they aren't really cleaner).

It is interesting to note that even the CBC, Trudeau's cheerleading news organization that it is, does mention the impact this will have on Canadian consumers:

The tax hike will result in higher costs for consumers when they buy gasoline. The price at the pump will increase by 37.57 cents a litre by 2030 as a result of this new plan, and the cost of light fuel oil for home heating, natural gas and propane will rise as well.

The current average gas price in Ontario is $1.19 per liter, so a 38-cent increase is massive. And of course the price for heating homes and businesses in one of the most northerly nations in the world will also increase significantly.

Right now Canada is being crushed under the weight of the pandemic and the lockdowns. The Trudeau government is insisting on increasing the load. Will Canadians ever say, enough?

Ho Jo To Ho

The Media: Foot Soldiers in the 'Climate Change' Wars

Lest there be any doubt about the complicity of the corrupt mainstream media in the Climate Change Hoax, a survey of recent articles in major publications confirms it.  Nothing but certified lunacy is on display in everything from the Washington Post to Politico and beyond.

One of the tactics used by Climate Change Hoaxers is one used by Leftists in general.  They attempt to change objective facts and then use the revised narrative to support their otherwise untenable argument.  In the case of climate change, there is no change unless one can refer to a baseline of some kind.   There must be something to compare the change to.

David Policansky, in an obtuse article in the  Post, tries to do exactly this by utilizing a concept known as  “Shifting Baseline Syndrome” (SBS).  SBS essentially argues that because baseline periods used as standards against which changes are measured change from time to time, a false impression is thus created regarding what the baseline actually is.

Left... left... left, left, left...

Policansky claims that because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updates its 30-year baseline every ten years, it allegedly masks increases in global warming.  Why?  Because warming has been going on for awhile, so shifting the timeline by ten years absorbs that increase and renders it as the new normal.

However, Policansky demonstrates his rank partisanship by failing to mention that NOAA accounts for this:

We also compute “normal” in two additional ways: the Optimal Climate Normal (OCN) approach and the Hinge Fit approach. We won’t get into the heavy statistical details here, but you can think of the OCN as a “smart” average where the data values tell you how many years to average over. The Hinge Fit is a different animal altogether—in fact, it’s not even an average but a statistical fit through the data values. Generally speaking, the Hinge Fit is relatively sensitive to recent shifts upward or downward versus the 30-year normal, while the OCN reflects the effects of recent shifts more moderately.

This isn’t good enough for Policansky because it doesn’t skew the alarmist narrative enough.  So he has proposed his own baseline of 1951-1980, which he claims, “covers some cold and warm periods but also is recent enough that many current weather stations existed in their present locations then. It also is mostly before the effects of human-caused climate warming were clear.”

Convenient, isn’t it?  What if we just looked at the entire data set that goes back as far back as possible?  Seems easier and more accurate, doesn’t it?

Next, we have Politico.  A “special report” by Zack Colman warns us that the next great mortgage crisis may occur because of climate change!  He strings together a series of postulations in order to support his argument that areas that are not currently regarded as floodplains may turn into floodplains as a result of global warming.

Buyers and lenders are now able to assess the risks of climate change damage by using simple apps — a technological revolution that is placing a warning label on millions of properties from seaside New England to low-lying areas vulnerable to hurricanes across the Southeast to the arid, fire-prone hills of California. And once buyers start refusing to pay top dollar for such homes — and insurers stop underwriting policies on them — the more than trillion-dollar Fannie-Freddie portfolio could take an enormous hit, big enough to knock the economy into recession or worse.

Colman doesn’t provide any evidence that climate change is creating floods anywhere right now, or where those floods might occur in the future as a direct result.  He just leaps to the conclusion that it will happen.  In fact, these floodplains are actually called “100-year floodplains” because there is a one percent chance that in any given year, those areas may flood.  The argument is that this risk is under-assessed without any basis in fact.

What's our angle, chief?

In any case, those homes don’t require flood insurance.  Should there be a climate-change driven mass flooding catastrophe (or series thereof), then federal agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be on the hook for homes that are destroyed by said flooding.   That will trigger a second mortgage crisis, right?

Yes and no (mostly no).  The mortgage crisis of 2008-9 was caused by a systemic failure in the entire mortgage system, which has since been completely reformed.  Colman happens to single out Hialeah, Fla., as an example in which  an above-average number of home mortgages are backed by the federal agencies.

The first mortgage crisis resulted from failing mortgages all over the country.  Any flooding that might occur is already accounted for in risk management, because the likelihood is one percent in any given year per floodplain.  It would be even more highly unlikely that flooding would occur in more than one plain at the same time.  Thus, some mortgages might fail in certain specific areas – hardly a crisis.

What Colman suggests is that global warming will cause lots and lots of these floodplains to become active and thereby wipe out all the homes in them in a very short period of time.

Officials at the FHFA, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, maintain that taxpayers are protected by flood insurance requirements. Parts of Hialeah, though, don’t fall into the floodplain, a result of outdated maps that do not consider future flood scenarios arising from climate change — a problem that, policymakers maintain, is replicated in communities across the country.

But pricing climate change into mortgage terms would wreak havoc in the real estate market — a hit that, while protective of taxpayers in the long run, runs counter to the missions of the relevant agencies. Turning off the mortgage spigot in communities affected by climate change would disproportionately affect people of color, whose neighborhoods are more likely to be plagued by violent weather.

It isn’t only America that has lost its mind regarding "climate change."  Time Magazine heads to Europe, specifically Portugal, to press the case that climate change is (ready for this?) a violation of children’s human rights.

Reporter Ciara Nugent details the case of two poor kids from Lisbon, Sofia and André, who watched wildfires and heat waves “tear through Portugal.”  So they and a few other kids filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), “arguing that governments in 33 European countries have not done enough to prevent the impacts of climate change from violating their citizens’ human rights."

The summer of 2017 was hugely stressful for Sofia and André Oliveira, then aged 12 and 9. From their home in Lisbon, they watched a season of record wildfires and severe heat waves tear through Portugal, killing 120 people. For the children, it was already clear that the extreme heat –which scientists linked to climate change –would not be an isolated chapter in their lives. “We’ve always talked about climate change at home,” Sofia, now 15, says over video chat, sitting next to her brother at the family’s dining room table. “And we wanted to do something—something big.”

Dear kids, we're so sorry, love, the media.

Apparently, the ECHR has decided that human rights issues, such as protecting Christians and gays from persecution in Muslim countries, isn’t quite as important as this issue, as it moved the case to its priority list.  I wonder if the ECHR saw my article demonstrating that wildfires have nothing to do with global warming.  I’m guessing it didn’t.

Why does this matter?  The media’s dishonesty and alignment with Leftism isn’t just bad for journalism or democracy.  The media has become the public relations arm of the Democrats and of leftists.  Journalism and investigation have been replaced by activism and coordinated messaging.

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In the height of irony, a published analysis in the journal Environmental Research Communications says that the New York Times wasn’t doing a good job on educating readers about the facts – the “facts” that support climate change.  In other words, they argue the Times wasn’t skewing the truth enough! Here's the bad news:

This study quantifies the presence or absence of basic climate facts within climate news articles of a major national newspaper. In an analysis of nearly six hundred news articles in The New York Times (NYT) that cover climate change, we find that, with one exception, basic climate facts appear in those articles today with vanishingly small frequencies. The one exception is the fact that global warming is happening now, which appears in 31% of current NYT news articles.

The good news is, hoaxes sell newspapers.