Not Healing Nature But Controlling It

Political environmentalism frequently warns about the dangers of meddling with nature,  warning against the encroachment of human settlements on wilderness areas, mining, fishing or drilling for oil. However it neglects the impact on nature by scientists and environmentalists themselves.

Nicholson Baker's article in a recent issue of New York Magazine soberly examines the pros and cons of the proposition: did the coronavirus escape from a lab? The answer of experts? Maybe.

For decades, scientists have been hot-wiring viruses in hopes of preventing a pandemic, not causing one. But what if … there were laboratory accidents. By 1960, hundreds of American scientists and technicians had been hospitalized, victims of the diseases they were trying to weaponize.

In the U.S., “more than 1,100 laboratory incidents involving bacteria, viruses and toxins that pose significant or bioterror risks to people and agriculture were reported to federal regulators during 2008 through 2012,” reported USA Today...

And then consider the cautious words of Alina Chan, a scientist who works at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “There is a reasonable chance that what we are dealing with is the result of a lab accident,” Chan told me in July of last year...

Not only that, but they’d figured out how to perform their assembly seamlessly, without any signs of human handiwork. Nobody would know if the virus had been fabricated in a laboratory or grown in nature. Baric called this the “no-see’m method...”

What began as a high-minded effort to heal humanity also became the deadliest endeavor on earth. Scientists wanted to anticipate nature by inventing the pathogens first enabling them to create a vaccine template that could deal with most if not all threats. That effort included American funding for bug hunting and amplification in Wuhan.

It wasn’t only AIDS that changed the way the NIH funded research. The War on Terror also influenced which diseases got the most attention.... Vaccine development had to progress much faster, Fauci believed; he wanted to set up “vaccine systems” and “vaccine platforms,” which could be quickly tailored to defend against a particular emergent strain some terrorist with an advanced biochemistry degree might have thrown together in a laboratory. “Our goal within the next 20 years is ‘bug to drug’ in 24 hours.”

In fact, WHO sent a fact-finding team into the origins of the virus to China is  because nobody knows for sure what the side effects of that effort have been. At least Fauci has his vaccine platform development. "You may be surprised to learn that of the trio of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines, the most promising, Moderna’s mRNA-1273, which reported a 94.5 percent efficacy rate... had been designed by January 13 [2020]."

The Moderna vaccine design took all of one weekend. It was completed before China had even acknowledged that the disease could be transmitted from human to human, more than a week before the first confirmed coronavirus case in the United States. By the time the first American death was announced a month later, the vaccine had already been manufactured and shipped to the National Institutes of Health for the beginning of its Phase I clinical trial.

The bad news: reliance on the vaccine platforms is likely to become permanent.  Edward Holmes, one of the two scientists to first publish the genome sequence of SARS-Cov-2 said in an interview that vaccination will become a fixture of future life:

My guess is that as immunity [to Covid] rises in the population, hopefully by vaccination, you will start to see immune escape gradually. That will happen. That's an inevitable consequence of natural selection. It's been played out for millennia, and it's going to happen again. We will very likely need to update these vaccines at some point. That may take 2 years or 5 years or 1 year; I don't know.

Round and round we go.

Perhaps the most candid admission that modern environmentalism is about controlling nature rather than leaving it alone comes from discussions around the Paris climate agreement. It is becoming the foundation stone of climate engineering.

Under article 3 of the Paris Agreement, states are required to identify a range of contributions (NDCs) to address climate change. So long as these contributions are consistent with the underlying articles, there is no express restriction on including climate engineering measures as part of an NDC in order to achieve net emissions neutrality (a balance of emissions and removals) by 2050. The definition of “mitigation” includes sinks, which appears to include CDR [carbon dioxide removal] technologies as they are defined broadly under the UNFCCC to include “any process, activity or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas.”

Two of the most prominent climate engineering proposals are now politically visible and therefore fundable. The Hill writes: "Climate change has been viewed as a national security threat multiplier. To offset its damage, scientists in the United States and other countries are working on technology to manipulate the climate. This is known as geoengineering that is divided into two types, which are carbon dioxide removal to take out carbon from the air and solar radiation management to reflect a small fraction of sunlight away from the earth."  These are gigantic engineering projects. The Oxford Geoengineering Programme has a more detailed description of what "healing nature" involves:

Solar Radiation Management (SRM)

  1. Albedo enhancement. Increasing the reflectiveness of clouds or the land surface so that more of the Sun’s heat is reflected back into space.
  2. Space reflectors. Blocking a small proportion of sunlight before it reaches the Earth.
  3. Stratospheric aerosols. Introducing small, reflective particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect some sunlight before it reaches the surface of the Earth.

Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR)

  1. Afforestation. Engaging in a global-scale tree planting effort.
  2. Biochar. 'Charring' biomass and burying it so that its carbon is locked up in the soil.
  3. Bio-energy with carbon capture and sequestration. Growing biomass, burning it to create energy and capturing and sequestering the carbon dioxide created in the process.
    Ambient Air Capture. Building large machines that can remove carbon dioxide directly from ambient air and store it elsewhere.
  4. Ocean Fertilization. Adding nutrients to the ocean in selected locations to increase primary production which draws down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  5. Enhanced Weathering. Exposing large quantities of minerals that will react with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and storing the resulting compound in the ocean or soil.
  6. Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement. Grinding up, dispersing, and dissolving rocks such as limestone, silicates, or calcium hydroxide in the ocean to increase its ability to store carbon and directly ameliorate ocean acidification.

These will potentially cost trillions. Twenty-first century environmentalism has already become the province of big pharma and gigantic engineering firms. Climate politics is not about leaving nature alone but subordinating it to the diktat of governments. The Hill glimpses the incipient danger.

If the moral and ethical frame of geoengineering should shift from one of global benevolence where all stakeholders have a voice and international law applies, to one of national security and international law is dismissed, a climate arms race becomes more likely.

At some point the idealists will be shoved aside and the power players will take over. Like the current biosecurity crisis the world is now living through,  a climate arms race is virtually certain.

God Save the Queen

When the Great 'Reset' is Really Overload

It was a humiliating debut for Hillary Clinton. The then-new Secretary of State met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and presented him with a button activated switch with a Russian caption which she thought meant “reset” but was actually “overload.”

The Western world was beset with the turmoil and economic loss due to globalization that had sent jobs to lower-cost-labor countries; meanwhile, in China, a weaponized new strain of the flu was brewing in a Wuhan laboratory. Released near the end of 2018, it has caused a global panic, its death toll overhyped by international experts and a scaremongering media.

Now we're being offered yet more of the same global nonsense in the form of something called The Great Reset. It’s overload, and I don’t think we will or should buy it.

How do you say "Oops" in Russian?

The World Economic Forum advances a witless new idea. What, you might ask, is this outfit? It describes itself as “the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation”. It annually hosts the global elite annual meeting in Davod, Switzerland to discuss global issues and put their soi-disant collective genius to the task of improving the world while residing and eating in the most luxurious way.

In my younger years I might have found this a good idea. with advanced age it reminds me of Benito Mussolini’s corporatism. "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." However egalitarian you phrase it, it ends up as a means of making your friends rich with public revenue and advantages and using the power of the state to smash their competitors while increasing your own powers..

This year’s meeting of 3,000 ran the gamut from heads of state to movie stars and  the Swedish adolescent Cassandra Greta Thunberg, the founder of the Chinese technology firm Huawei, and George Soros. Great numbers of those participating arrived there on private planes while yammering about sustainability and getting us to reduce our carbon emissions. The comparison to medieval sumptuary laws comes to my mind.

In the year just ended, its agenda was more grandiose, perhaps fueled by all that lobster and champagne: "The Great Reset" project, a five-point plan concerned with enhancing sustainable economic growth following the global recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. The Great Reset will be the theme of WEF's Annual Meeting in January 2021.

You have only to read the plans for the Great Reset set forth by Klaus Schwab, its executive Chairman, to see its flaws and dangers. (Of course, some knowledge of world history wouldn’t hurt either.) He begins with the economic and human cost of Covid-19, a loss to my mind occasioned more by government mismanagement and lockdowns than the virus itself.

And he leaps from that to a claim that “All of this will exacerbate the climate and social crises that were already underway.” That seems debatable. If the lockdowns reduced travel as they certainly did, CO2 emissions which to these same people are changing the climate should be way down. And every study I’ve seen says that is the case.

The Great Resetter.

So how does Schwab  find it otherwise? “Some countries have used the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to weaken environmental protections and enforcement, and frustrations over social ills like rising inequality -- US billionaires’ combined wealth has increased during the crisis--are intensifying”

But he neglects to note that in the U.S. the billionaires got richer, not by predation but by government fiats which forced the shutdown of small businesses and forced consumers to use big marketers like Amazon, Walmart and Costco. Left to their own best judgment consumers might well have preferred shopping at smaller stores with less possibility for transmission. Left to their own devices, restaurants, bars and smaller shops would have remained open and the owners not bankrupted or their workers unemployed. See the brain twist here? The various governments created the inequality and these are the same powers that Schwab thinks will better address inequality than we can.

But Herr Schwab is a Big Thinker with a plan:

First, steer the market toward fairer outcomes by improving “coordination, upgrade trade arrangements, and create the conditions for a ‘stakeholder economy.’  There’s a lot of flowery language in this but there are some specifics "changes to wealth taxes the withdrawal of fossil-fuel subsidies and new rules governing intellectual property trade and competition.”

In English this means the Western world -- particularly the U.S. -- would be subject to higher taxes, more expensive energy and labor costs for the western world. In refutation, I note it is the U.S. which has to date had enough surplus capital to beat Europe and China in environmental protection through technological improvements. The United States is a world leader in protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. From 2005 to 2018, total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 12 percent. In contrast, global energy-related emissions increased nearly 24 percent from 2005 to 2018. It's capital that makes the difference, not high-blown chatter.

Second, baffle them with word salad, e.g. “ensure that investments advance shared goals, such as equality and sustainability." He explains for the befuddled, "building green urban infrastructure and creating incentives for industries to improve their track record on environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics.” He has it backwards, I think.

Well run corporations producing goods and services consumers want  create jobs and capital surpluses available to clean the environment and lift all boats. Using such idiocies as requiring diverse management instead of the best, most competent management does not. I note, for example, the worst environmental depredations have been in socialist countries.  The least protection for the health of workers also occurs there.

But Schwab has more: he would “harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to support the public good, especially by addressing health and social challenges.”

I would remind Schwab that the vaccines to prevent Covid-19 were produced in the U.S. -- not in Europe or Russia or China -- and by private corporations which achieved this in record time by substantial infusions of tax revenues made possible by our free market system.

Some people think the Great Reset is but a cover for a conspiracy to bring about a New World Order.  I don’t know that it’s a conspiracy, just more of the same globalists’ dream, actually not far removed from a standard European mindset that experts should call the shots and that a complex society can be ruled top down by these geniuses instead of by millions of people making their own independent choices. With the experiences of  the Imperial College’s  phony, inaccurate projections on Covid-19, Dr. Fauci’s unscientific and conflicting proscriptions, the clear political agenda of the CDC , the economic devastation caused by governors like Whitmer and Newsom, I don’t think we’re in the mood to buy this Schwab brand of baloney.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Celebrating

Happy New Year from Lyford Cay! I can’t imagine being anywhere else but here—away from border closures and shuttered shops. We are proving that there is life during Covid. Common sense would tell us that commercial flights and large resorts are a recipe for shutdown. Here… we wisely have none of that.

After big fireworks last night we ended up dancing on the beach, but it was mostly the guests of residents who don’t know the way of things here and stayed out late. That’s the thing with the non-residents… even if they weren’t frightfully easy to spot, one can always sense them nervously tugging at their pockets for vibrating cell phones that are a big no-no in this club and so many others that they obviously haven’t frequented.

The residents are of course mostly all lovely people, who’ve made their mark and can now focus on the things that matter. Speaking of just that sort, I had so wanted to talk to philanthropist Louis Bacon about all things environment. We’ve a strong contact in that one of my clients -- well, my former client -- is a big to-do in the Audubon Society. And Louis has received the actual Audubon Medal.

There's life after Covid.

I haven’t had the chance to talk to him owing to the fact that my hosts are on the Nygard side -- that’s Peter Nygard, who shares a property border with Mr Bacon and for whom a once-peaceful adjacency eventually led to duelling feuds and some sort of federal racketeering suit in Manhattan. I had hoped to at least bump into his wife but she’s a second wife and… well you know how those things go.

I've heard whispers that he's not really as committed to the environment as he seems to be,  and he did sue Wikimedia for publishing some bits he considered libelous, and there was even some suggestion of foul play when his estate manager was found floating naked in a hot tub, but I refuse to believe that someone who gives millions of dollars and thousands of acres for easements and wildlife could be in it for the wrong reasons.

I have to assume such a beef was bound to happen as their houses (the Bacons and the Nygards) are on the beachfront where the homes get quite close to each other, and in that area, one man’s dining room is only 200 feet from the other’s revolving acrylic discotheque.

As for Mr Nygard, my hosts maintain there is mostly nothing to the FBI raid and arrest at his fashion empire on charges of sex trafficking and racketeering. Here in Lyford he’s mostly disliked for his efforts to dredge the sea floor around his estate that eventually caused his cay to be seized by the Bahamian government. And then something caused a puddle that caused a feud between neighbours and here we are. As I’ve heard daddy say, one man’s cocktail party is another man’s sleepless night. Whatever the ruckus—he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Happy New Year to you too, Ma'am.

Which got me to thinking… I should just go and chat up Her Majesty’s newly remarried (and newly gay) cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten. He and daddy are quite chummy, and I met him with his daughter Ella at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Surely he’ll make the introductions—landowners tend to be big environmentalists.

This year, rather than silly resolutions I’ll be making significant intentions that support, empower, and manifest a joy-filled existence. I think it’s so important.

I made my way down to the New Year’s brunch in the pink tented dining pavilion. I was seated with some Austrians and I got excited that they might know Mr Bacon. Yes I know he’s an American but he obtained Austrian citizenship due to a special treatment for celebrities who have provided notable achievements for Austria. No one seems to know what the notable achievement was, but I hoped they were his guests. Sadly they were not, and didn’t know the least thing about him despite his celeb-status. 

Once they heard I lived in Los Angeles they wanted to talk election stuffs and rant about Trump. I wasn’t sure what he’d done to them specifically but they seemed in favour of the Paris Climate Agreement. Well, so am I! Very much so, but I wasn’t stupid enough to think anyone could slip it past the Americans and hope they wouldn’t realise they had to comply more and pay more than anyone else.

I was quiet for a bit. Where were the Austrians who stood on principle so very many times? Not to mention they were the first to say there was “no path back” when one of their stupid teens ran off to be a brood mare for ISIS. This was a puzzlement. And so I began:

“Is it Americans you dislike? Or do you simply share an all-consuming love of our planet?” I asked in the queen’s English. What followed was such nonsense I wondered how they could claim to stand for anything. I changed the subject so deftly I’d have made even Judith (mummy) proud. I just don’t get the blanket hatred for America thing… all things considered-they really are good caretakers of our earth.

Top this, Europe.

I asked them where they stood on Austria’s drastic move away from coal? They had no informed opinion. On their very own MAGA (Make Austria Great Again) rockstar Sebastian Kurz? Didn’t know. Nygard vs Bacon? (OK that was totally unfair but these two were getting on my nerves). But they somehow knew they were right to hate America for pulling out of the Agreement and didn’t have to be the informed sort of haters.

I lied about how much I’d enjoyed talking to them and excused myself. These two were such boors and were hardly going to help me manifest my higher purpose to save the planet. And no sooner had I focused on my destiny than I found a handsome hedge fund billionaire to chat up. Happy New Year Everyone!

The Way We'll Live, Then

In the last week Europe’s political leaders in and out of the European Union have been engaged in the over-production of promises to transform the continent into a Net-Zero carbon-free green utopia. A few examples:

  1. Even before the week began, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, had pledged that the U.K would reduce its climate emissions by 68 per cent from their 1998 figure by 2030—the largest single Net Zero promise of any major economic power.
  2. Soon afterwards but still early in this week, Britain’s official Climate Change Commission produced its sixth report giving its statutory advice to the government on how to reach its Net Zero target beyond That advice was bold: “Our recommended pathway requires a 78% reduction in UK territorial emissions between 1990 and 2035. In effect, bringing forward the UK’s previous 80% target by nearly 15 years.”
  3. Not to be outdone, the heads of EU governments, meeting as the EU Council this weekend, announced that they were adopting the emissions reduction target of at least 55 per cent by the year 2030. It had originally been a 40 per cent target. But the European Parliament would prefer an even more ambitious target reduction of 60 per cent.

And in the current atmosphere of an auction on speed, who would bet against the Parliament getting its way?

For children and other living things...

Now, going carbon free will be extremely expensive both for governments (i.e., taxpayers like you) and for individuals and households. Just how expensive we’ll get to in a moment, though with some difficulty: governments have been very cagy about spelling out its costs clearly. But the financial costs may not give as accurate a picture of the scale of these promises—think how hard it is to grasp what a billion dollars is, let alone a trillion—than a look at what they would mean in visible and practical terms.

On that Climate Change Commission report is extremely illuminating because it breaks down the main effects of going Net Zero under four headings with examples of how we’ll be living under each one. Again, here are a few (with some editorializing in italics by me):

  1. Take up of low-carbon solutions. People and businesses will choose to adopt low-carbon solutions, as high carbon options are progressively phased out. By the early 2030s all new cars and vans and all boiler replacements in homes and other buildings are low-carbon – largely electric. By 2040 all new trucks are low-carbon. British industry shifts to using renewable electricity or hydrogen instead of fossil fuels, or captures its carbon emissions, storing them safely under the sea. [Choose? We’ll be choosing these changes because the government will prohibit the sale of the cars, vans, and boilers we use now. It’s what we used to call a Hobson’s Choice. And we won’t like all of it because—to take one example—the low-carbon heaters don’t keep people as warm as their current oil and gas-based ones. And what then?]
  2. Expansion of low-carbon energy supplies. U.K. electricity production is zero carbon by 2035. Offshore wind becomes the backbone of the whole U.K. energy system . . . New uses for this clean electricity are found in transport, heating and industry, pushing up electricity demand by a half over the next 15 years, and doubling or even trebling demand by 2050. Low-carbon hydrogen scales-up to be almost as large, in 2050, as electricity production is today. Hydrogen is used as a shipping and transport fuel and in industry, and potentially in some buildings, as a replacement for natural gas for heating. [Let me be sure I get this thing straight: we intend to electrify the entire country to heat people's homes, fuel their cars, provide power to industry, and do a hundred other things while at the same time making our electricity supply dependent on unreliable renewables, mainly wind (of which perhaps Boris Johnson himself will supply a large percentage.) But I’m being unfair—we’ll also rely on hydrogen (not yet available in sufficient quantities unless we make it from forbidden fossil fuels) and carbon capture (still to be developed.)]
  3. Reducing demand for carbon-intensive activities. The U.K .wastes fewer resources and reduces its reliance on high-carbon goods. Buildings lose less energy through a national programme to improve insulation across the country. Diets change, reducing our consumption of high-carbon meat and dairy products by 20 percent by 2030, with further reductions in later years. There are fewer car miles travelled and demand for flights grows more slowly. These changes bring striking positive benefits for health and well-being. [That all sounds very jolly? But what if our diets don’t change voluntarily? Or consumers don’t actually like the new low carbon foods predicted here? Or they want to use their cars and fly on vacation more often than the planners predict? Will the planners change the plan? Or ration the foods, car trips, and vacations that the consumers (who are also voters) want to enjoy?]
  4. Land and greenhouse gas removals. There is a transformation in agriculture and the use of farmland while maintaining the same levels of food per head produced today. By 2035, 460,000 hectares of new mixed woodland are planted to remove CO2 and deliver wider environmental benefits. Some 260,000 hectares of farmland shifts to producing energy crops. Woodland rises from 13 percentof U.K. land today to 15percent by 2035 and 18percent by 2050. Peatlands are widely restored and managed sustainably. [Producing energy crops? Ah, they mean like the U.S. cellulosic ethanol program that according to an article in the Scientific American  was supposed to produce energy from wood and plant wastes, reducing greenhouse gases substantially, but that by 2017, after development over three administrations, produced not the predicted 16 billion gallons but ten million gallons or, as one energy expert put it, “enough fuel to satisfy approximately forty minutes of U.S. fuel consumption last year.” You know, there are times when the damn plane just can’t take off from the drawing board.]

After looking at this list of the industrial,, economic and personal lifestyle changes needed to bring about Net Zero in Britain, it seems inevitable that together they must amount to a massive sum. But the report’s chairman sums up the costs in a single breezy paragraph:

Some of our most important work is on the costs of the transition. Low carbon investment must scale up to £50 billion each year to deliver Net Zero, supporting the UK’s economic recovery over the next decade. This investment generates substantial fuel savings, as cleaner, more-efficient technologies replace their fossil fuelled predecessors. In time, these savings cancel out the investment costs entirely – a vital new insight that means our central estimate for costs is now below 1% of GDP throughout the next 30 years.

How credible is that? Let me point out some warning signs in it. The first is that to think the argument that “in time these savings (from going from fossil fuels to cleaner technologies) cancel out the investment costs entirely” is a “vital new idea” is dotty on at least three counts: It’s the rationale for almost all investments. What’s vital about it is the qualification “in time” which for investments of this scale might be centuries. And the timescale might even be never if, as seems highly probable, the price of fossil fuels remains stubbornly lower than the price of technologies still to be invented.

And that risk is illustrated be the following comparison: the sum of 50 billion pounds cited as the annual cost of making Britain and the British virtuously Green is almost exactly the same figure as the 50 billion Euros given by the E.U. heads of government to Poland this week as compensation for killing its coal industry. The two programs are so different from each other in scale and risk that they could hardly cost anything like the same budgetary figure.

Forward into the glorious red, er, Green future, comrades.

Even if the figures added up, however, the Climate Change Commission’s program would still face the larger political problem that its proposals depend on the support or at least acquiescence of the great majority of their fellow citizens in massive potentially unwelcome changes in how they live, work, travel, eat, and enjoy themselves not for a short period but forever. When we see the growing discontent with the privations and regulations that governments have temporarily imposed for protection against a pandemic, it doesn’t seem likely that whole populations will agree to live out their dystopian fantasies.

I wondered how governments would respond to that? Then I remembered something:

“Communism is Soviet Power + Electrification of the Whole Country.” Vladimir Lenin, Report on the Work of the Council of People’s Commissars. December 22, 1920

Goodness gracious. That report was issued exactly one hundred years ago. Next week.

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.

The Blue Wave that Wasn't

There's a lot about this 2020 election which remains uncertain, but one thing that we know for sure is that the projected Blue Wave, which had the Democrats retaking the Senate and making double digit gains in the House, didn't happen. Thus far they've only picked up one senate seat, and even if they win the two run offs in Georgia -- an outcome that is not at all certain -- the best they can hope for is a 50-50 tie, with the vice president as tie-breaker.

And that's not even taking into account the possibility that West Virginia's Joe Manchin, the last of the Blue Dog Democrats, finally accepts that there's no longer a place for him in AOC's party and decides to cross the aisle.

In the House, Republicans have already picked up eight seats. If GOP candidates win all of the races where they're currently leading, they will have 213 seats (with 218 a majority), a far cry from the 196 GOP seats FiveThirtyEight projected just before the election. As Jim Geraghty pointed out, "[I]f ten Democratic members got stuck in traffic or on a delayed flight, Democrats would temporarily not have a majority in the chamber."

Party leadership is so anxious about this that Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are reportedly pressuring members not to accept positions in a Biden administration if they're offered, for fear that it would whittle away at their already razor thin majority.

This isn't the type of dominance which the Democrats had been banking on, and it goes a long way towards undermining their boldest electoral promises. Consequently, it wasn't surprising that stocks fell for so-called renewable energy firms in the days following the election, as the market reacted to the improbability that the left would be able to implement their environmental agenda in any permanent way.

First Solar, a manufacturer of solar panels, dropped 8.6%, while home solar provider SunPower fell 2.8%. SunRun, another provider of residential solar, closed flat after declining earlier, and fuel cell maker Plug Power slipped 2%. All have outperformed the broader market this year, with the solar power companies in particular gaining momentum in recent months as the polls swung in favor of Joe Biden in the presidential race and Democratic Senate candidates.

Which isn't to say that a President Biden couldn't do a lot of damage on his own to the economy overall, the oil and gas industry specifically, and to the environment ultimately. He is reportedly already planning to create a White House National Climate Council and embed climate specific offices in all (or most) executive departments.

But without the senate, with a precarious majority in the House, and without the backing of the Supreme Court, a Biden Administration would be prevented from sweeping changes. We shouldn't stop fighting, but we should also thank heaven for small favors.

Biden Threatens a 'Climate Administration,' PDQ

You knew this was coming:

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., eager to elevate climate change throughout his administration, is already drafting orders to reduce planet-warming pollution and seeking nominees who will embed climate policy not only in environmental agencies but in departments from Defense to Treasury to Transportation.

Top candidates for senior cabinet posts, such as Michèle Flournoy for defense secretary and Lael Brainard for Treasury, have long supported aggressive policies to curb climate change. Mr. Biden’s inner circle routinely asks “is the person climate-ambitious?” of candidates even for lower profile positions like the White House budget and regulatory offices, according to a person advising the transition.

Transition team members have been instructed to identify policies that can improve pollution levels in Black and Latino communities. And one of Mr. Biden’s early executive orders is expected to require that every federal agency, department and program prepare to address climate change.

Having convinced a gullible and fearful public of the "danger' of Covid-19 -- and if they get away with stealing the 2020 election -- the Democrats plan to move swiftly to apply the lessons of Covid to the equally phantom dangers of "climate change." These measures will be arbitrary, willful, and punitive and will be enforced by the full power of the federal government -- which means that at some point the IRS will get involved.

America's own version of Pravda continues:

Interviews with more than two dozen advisers and members of Mr. Biden’s transition team reveal an incoming administration acutely aware of the challenges ahead, with a narrowly divided Congress and the outsized expectations that some voters have for action on climate change after four years of regulatory rollbacks and presidential hostility.

“There’s no doubt that Covid is the issue of the moment which has to be addressed right out of the box,” Mr. Moniz said. “But we’re going to see climate addressed right out of the box as well.”

And there you have it. As we've been saying practically from this site's inception, the goal all along has been to gauge the public's receptivity to unconstitutional restrictions on their freedom. So far, the ovine public has passed the test with flying colors. If "safety" trumps liberty, we are in more trouble than we thought. As a potential Democrat administration is about to make perfectly clear.


Why Do the Greens Hate the Environment?

Let’s start with the axiomatic: the green lobby hates the environment. How do we know this?

Who are these “greenies?” They same people rallying for various and sundry lefty causes – abortion, womyn’s rights, the environment, whatever. And what do they leave behind these rallies? Tons of trash. Do rallies for GOP causes leave this much trash behind? No. Is this trash all over sidewalks, curbs, street, parks, a sign of loving the environment? Nope.

Maybe they were too busy putting on weird hats.

Were the BLM/Antifa riots, burning down cities, torching hundreds of cars, good for the environment? Well – no. If cows farting is bad for the environment, what do you suppose thousands of tons of ash, CO2, CO, methane, oil-smoke, burning tires and burning car batteries are going to do to the air and climate?

How about “environmental” “warriors” burning cars at car dealerships? Good for the environment? Umm. No.

But think of the planet!

In San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other large – Democrat – metros, people … uh… relieve … themselves on the street, on the sidewalk. Results? Feces washing into storm drains that run directly to the ocean. Filth and disease are not good for the environment. In fact, one could say that those supporting this filth are enemies of the environment – and one would be correct. Even the indigenous peoples in North America didn’t just drop and leave it – they cared more about the environment, disease, smell, sanitation – than today’s “modern” lefties.

These are the same people calling for socialism. What are the environmental results of socialism? After the USSR opened up (when socialism failed utterly), we saw what it had wrought: Environmental catastrophe. The book about it was called “Ecocide.” That’s not a journal of environmental care.

Where do people care about the environment? Where they can afford to. Where their normal needs for food, shelter, safety are met. If you’ve traveled to the third world (Or California’s Central Valley, or Skid Row in Los Angeles, or just about any street in San Francisco) you know that the environment is the last thing on their minds. Why? Lack of capitalism – rejection of capitalism at the behest of the same academic and NGO lefties that fill-up our streets and parks with trash after a rally celebrating their care for the environment.

Look at the results of Democrat polices in California. If you think miles of homeless living in tents at the side of the road, lacking access to sanitation are good for the environment, then you probably also think that socialism results in wealth used by first world countries to care about their environment. Problem? It doesn’t; it’s the opposite.

He left his shirt in San Francisco.

But the Green Lobby wants to get rid of all those polluting systems that create electricity, replacing them with wind farms, right? Better?

No – the metal needs to be mined, transported, smelted, formed, transported, erected. And, 10-15 years later, it needs to be removed, transported – and dumped into a landfill because it doesn’t degrade. Not good for the environment. In fact, absent the demand by the left for windmills, these millions of tons of ore wouldn’t be mined, smelted, transported and then thrown away. This is good for the environment… how?

But – solar! Ok. What does solar require? Rare earths. Where are those mined? China, Afghanistan, Africa. Raise your hand if you think these countries have solid environmental records. No hands? Shocker.

But – batteries! Cool – mine the world’s lithium to make batteries to store electricity.

How about we just make electricity as we use it? You know, in a “power plant?” No lithium, no millions of tons of iron ore, no 200-foot blades buried for thousands of years.

These – all – are pathologies of a left that pretends to care about the environment: Waste on the streets, burning down cities, strip-mining the planet, ensuring society goes broke.

The Green Agenda has just about zero positive, and innumerable negative consequences for the environment and society. Add the socialism demanded by this same cohort? Ecocide on steroids.

And all to reduce the global temperate in 100 years by less than one degree C. Maybe. For $100 TRILLION dollars. Actually. Either these people are dumb as bricks – or they hate the environment. There is no middle ground here.

If these people did not hate the environment and did believe in reducing the impact (if any) of greenhouse gases on the climate, what would they support, unflinchingly? Nuclear. You know, as does one of the founders of Greenpeace. Do you want baseload energy? A modern world? A clean environment? No more GHG released (well, at least other than the billions of tons from volcanoes – the left hasn’t yet figured out how to plug those menaces…)?

Saying no nukes at San Onofre.

There is one and only one answer, and the lefties hate it: Nuclear. Progress the left wants to give away. So they can leave tons of trash on the ground. So they can make the economy such that no excess wealth exists for cleaning-up the environment. So they can despoil thousands of acres of earth with strip-mining for rare earths – well, at least it won’t be in their backyards

If they did not hate the environment and wanted it cleaner than today, the left would support nuclear power and capitalism. That they don’t leaves only one response: They hate the environment – and all this “climate change” nonsense is just about control. But you knew that.

'You Will Be Hollow'

It is hard to resist pointing the finger at ostensibly centre-right politicians who betray their calling by failing to defend free speech, by supporting climate and Covid alarmism and the destructive policies which thereby ensue; by allowing young minds to be warped by fantasies of gender fluidity; by spending vast amounts of public money to cure economic ills; and so on. But aren't they exactly what we deserve?

After all, their basic instinct is to gather votes. They are essentially vote harvesters. They don’t like to stray too far from the prevailing zeitgeist.

Of course, sometimes a political leader of rare independence of mind springs up who is able to set the pace rather than follow the herd. Thatcher, Reagan and Trump in modern times. Maybe Hawke in Australia even though he was of the left (as it used to be). However, politicians are predominantly creatures of their time and place.

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever."

The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison is a creature of his time and place. For example, to him, free speech is an optional extra at best. He’s on the record as dismissing attempts to amend or ditch section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act which outlaws acts “reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people.” Bothering one’s head about this matter doesn’t create one job or open one business, he has said. Or gain one vote, he could have added.

Thus, the perpetually aggrieved have an open door to claim to have been insulted or offended. Obviously, they and their lawyers can make merry, and so they have. Poor sods are hauled before the various federal and state human rights commissions, populated by leftist do-gooders, to suffer humiliation and intimidation; which, ironically enough, is outlawed by the very Act, and companion state acts, wielded against them.

Free speech is just one of a number of casualties of the new order. It no longer exists in Australia and nothing will change that. There are no votes in it. And that is because the political environment, within which we live has been insidiously subverted, manipulated and changed over many years. And that, in turn, has changed us. We, the people, have been moulded anew and are not what we were. What, even you and me? Perhaps not, but we are an endangered species.

There is a particular to and fro in 1984 between Winston Smith and his inquisitor O’Brien. Winston has the quaint idea that the proles might rise up. “They are helpless like animals,” O’Brien retorts.

"Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves."

Let’s not go so far as O’Brien; nonetheless, we have seen how easily most people can be scared into believing that climate change threatens the planet and their children’s or grandchildren’s future. And into believing that the least-deadly plague ever to afflict mankind must be tackled by the most onerous measures ever to be inflicted on populations by their governments. Consider further.

Public service departments and corporates run training sessions on unconscious racial bias designed, I can only think in my antediluvian way, in order to instill and perpetuate racial animus. Biological men are now allowed to compete in women’s sports and share their bathrooms.

As reported by political maverick Mark Latham, former leader of the federal Labor Party, the New South Wales Teachers Federation runs courses instructing teachers in how to mess with the minds of schoolchildren by suggesting that their “gender” is a “social construct.” Hard to believe, but teachers are told not to tell the parents if a child expresses doubts about the rightness of his or her biological sex, in case they are unsympathetic. You have to weep.

Unfortunately, I am sure that this particular Australian teachers’ union isn’t alone in the world. And don’t think for a minute that the relatively recent replacement of the noun ‘sex’ with the amorphous noun ‘gender’ is a neutral, value-free, change in language. One’s sex is clearly either XX or XY. One’s gender is apparently limited in its variation only by the imagination of an LGBTQI activist.

It is true that some of the more bizarre woke theories of race and gender are not yet mainstream. Most parents, for example, I would think and hope, would not want their young son or daughter indoctrinated into the occult world of gender fluidity. But give it time. Those calling the tune have gained ubiquitous power and influence. The have completed their long march through institutions.

When and how did it start? There are theories. Who knows exactly? But it has the appearance of being an outgrowth of the dead carcass of Stalin-style communism. Something akin to speciation has occurred – “the formation of a new and distinct species in the course of evolution.” Incubated in universities, it has spread throughout the media, schools, trade unions, public services, governments and corporates. No effective counter force now exists. Some of those heading major mining companies in Australia would seem more woke than Greenpeace activists. Think you can reason with its standard bearers, forge compromises? Think again.

This not about those with the same laudable objective debating different ways to bring it about. The objective of this new left-woke species is the destruction of our way of life and its replacement. Let’s be clear. How do you reason with those who want to teach young tomboy girls that they might really be boys. And who, to that end, support life-changing medical procedures. How do you reason with those who support men, who fancy themselves as women, competing against women on the sporting field.

"I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth."

How do you reason with those who wants to replace our power sources with renewable energy when they know that this is unachievable and unworkable and will entrench poverty and despair among the world’s poor. A friend of mine makes much of wind droughts in explaining why wind energy won’t work. Another friend perceptibly says, do you think they don’t know that? Of course, they know it. Their aim is to tear down capitalist economies. Reducing CO2 emissions is simply a way to that end; if it were not, they would advocate for nuclear energy.

Conservative minds -- forget that limitation -- anyone of common sense on either end of the old-fashioned political spectrum can’t possibly comprehend the raison d'être of those who support marginalising Christianity or undermining the traditional family or opening national borders to allcomers or sowing racial divisions.

Be afraid, those who can’t comprehend what’s going on are the endangered species. Tomorrow seemingly belongs to the other. I am reminded of the old chap in the village-square café, in the movie Cabaret, looking bemused as the crowd joins with the Nazi-uniformed lad in singing “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.” He also couldn’t comprehend what was happening around him.

Neither can Tucker Carlson at Fox News. You can see him straining to comprehend the latest bizarro development. It’s not possible. We will go mad trying. We are in the land of delusional green new deals where two and two really do make five.

I recently read The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher. Dreher argues, on behalf of Christians, that the world is becoming so antagonistic towards Christian values that the way to survive will be, Benedict-like, to live in close-knit Christian communities. And also, to refocus on working outside of professional occupations to avoid being cancelled; or, otherwise, to be discreet in airing one's views. Dreher is convinced that the game is lost. It certainly looks that way.

Personally, I am keeping my fingers crossed for November 3. But whatever happens then, the omens ain’t good.