Garbage In, Garbage Out

On Tuesdays the garbage is collected in my neighborhood. Local apartment buildings make sure to put out their trash early. So when I walk my dog, we often pass large masses of see-through plastic trash bags, with their neatly sorted plastic contents, washed and bundled to be recycled. My neighbors are quite fastidious, as are their building superintendents. The effort to recycle takes significant time and effort, and no one skimps on it.

Different trucks pick up different types of trash, and take it to different places, naturally. This is expensive. But New York City has mandated recycling, to be environmentally correct, and help save the planet by re-using juice containers, water bottles, and all the rest of the plastic that holds stuff we want. But what if it turned out that this effort is entirely in vain? That it is a charade? A religious ritual to expiate the sin of consuming things in a wealthy, modern society?

It's great to feel great!

As a matter of fact, it does turn out that all this effort and expense amounts to nothing, environmentally. In a widely circulated paper released on October 24th, no less an authority on environmentalism than radical Greenpeace announced that recycling plastic is a total sham, of tiny value. There is no such thing as recycling most of that plastic.

U.S. households generated an estimated 51 million tons of plastic waste in 2021, only 2.4 million tons of which was recycled. The report also finds that no type of plastic packaging in the U.S. meets the definition of recyclable used by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy (EMF NPE) Initiative. Plastic recycling was estimated to have declined to about 5–6% in 2021, down from a high of 9.5% in 2014 and 8.7% in 2018. At that time, the U.S. exported millions of tons of plastic waste to China and counted it as recycled even though much of it was burned or dumped.

The report finds that actual plastic recycling is down from a 2014 high of 9.5 percent to a 2021 low of 5-6 percent. Most of that plastic is “recycled” in China, and other poor Asian countries, to which we export it, at great cost. We pay them to recycle it, and we have no idea what they actually do with it. In fact, Greenpeace reports, most of it is dumped, though it is “counted” as recycled. For a lot less taxpayer money we could put it in landfills right here.

This long overdue, honest discussion of just what happens to this expensive garbage notes that the reason for these realities, is that most plastic is simply not recyclable. Lisa Ramsden, Greenpeace’s head of plastics, writes, “But the data is clear: practically speaking, most plastic is just not recyclable.” More specifically, the report tells us: “Mechanical and chemical recycling of plastic waste has largely failed and will always fail because plastic waste is: (1) extremely difficult to collect, (2) virtually impossible to sort for recycling, (3) environmentally harmful to reprocess, (4) often made of and contaminated by toxic materials, and (5) not economical to recycle.”

One wonders how long it will take the environmental consortium of do-gooders and politicians to fess up to this reality? When will school children cease being indoctrinated about the magic of plastic recycling? When will homeowners be absolved of having to separate their trash?

Get 'em while they're young.

Of course, Greenpeace wants us to switch to some other approach. But the point is, we have been lied to, and snookered into washing throwaway bottles that end up in third world dumps, for going on three decades now. This exercise has literally cost us hundreds of billions of dollars for pure virtue signaling. Knowing this, how seriously can you take the next demand?

The next demand, as it happens, is to give up using plastic. Ms. Ramsden exhorts us, “We are at a decision point on plastic pollution. It is time for corporations to turn off the plastic tap. Instead of continuing to greenwash and mislead the American public, industry should stand on the right side of history this November and support an ambitious Global Plastics Treaty that will finally end the age of plastic by significantly decreasing production and increasing refill and reuse.”

In the world that normal people inhabit, plastic containers and wrapping are valuable because they're so very useful. Being able to grab a plastic bottle of water—and to throw it out when you’ve finished with it—is a major convenience. Having grocery stores wrap vegetables and meat in cellophane allows consumers to see what they’re buying, and to transport and store them without leakage. These are not small benefits.

When New Yorkers were forced to give up plastic bags for paper or cloth at stores, the cost was steep. Both paper and cloth, it turns out, are more expensive to manufacture, and leave a larger “carbon footprint,” than the thin plastic formerly in use. Cloth bags, which are theoretically reusable, become vectors for bacteria because no one ever washes them. The plastic bottles that our drugstore items come in—what will replace that? Glass? For better or worse, we depend on plastic for many things.

Meanwhile, we await the next round of truth telling from enviros, about what else they’re making us do that is meaningless. Covid masks, anyone? 

America 2022: Threat Level, Critical

When threats reach a scale that cannot readily be processed, lethargy sets in. People begin to reject investigating calamities so big they cannot understand them, problems so large and so broad that even admitting their existence collapses the senses, and with them any idea, plan, or nascent strategy of dealing with the threat. It is far easier to just accept whatever it is the "experts" are saying and go along with the crowd.

People give up and accept whatever they are told by those holding the threat over their heads. They pretend it will all be over soon, and jump on the collectivist virtue bandwagon, the bandwagon that crushed 100,000,000 human beings last century. Because these issues are so big, and our reliance on experts so complete, we wind up in messes like the ones in which we find ourselves today. When individual status is based on getting along, critical thinking vanishes and society goes along, regardless of the consequences.

Hi! My name's Herbert.

We have at least three of these threats hanging over our heads across the West today as the Baby Boomer “Summer of Love” Marcusian cohort of 1967 ages off history’s stage. Having as their life’s goal the destruction of America, the evil half of the Boomers will not go gently into that good night. Their aging explains the acceleration of the attacks on our freedom and our families of the past several years, and why these attacks on what we and millennia of our common forebears see as fundamental rights will continue to accelerate.

The three principal threats we face now are: the hoax of "climate change"; the manmade bioweapon of Covid-19 and its accompanying, perhaps even more lethal "vaccine"; and virulent, Democrat racism being used to attack both private and public sectors of society, our education, and the military. All are existential threats to freedoms and liberties that only exist in the West, and against which these threats have been created to extinguish.

These made-up crises have one goal, a goal that is a threat so big most seem unable or unwilling to process it: the destruction of the Western middle class: our liberty, freedom, prosperity and the futures of our children, Covid was a bad flu to older people and a minor flu to younger, there is no “anthro” in "climate change," and America is the least-racist society in history. Marxism is the goal of Western elites; they have neither time nor interest in those of us making the world go. We are today's Kulaks. Our mere presence is anathema to them, mucking-up their plans and authoritarian demands.

Each of these crises is based on a lie. Take "climate change." Even the U.N. is honest about its goal:

We redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore.

The middle class wants freedom, liberty, law and to live our lives with the fruit of our own labor. The rulers cannot have this, just as they cannot have us point out that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix have no clothes and that their “vaccine” for a pathogen that escaped from their labs is increasing infection rates wherever it goes, or that not one single un-corrupted global temperature data set supports the fantasy of “Climate Change.”

We are not going to agree that 2+2=5. Ever. They cannot allow this. Getting us to say “five” is behind these crises, as it is behind the most-expensive-and-under-prosecuted riots in our history, behind the idiocy of the unnecessary war in Ukraine, and behind the coming Ukraine-war-driven destruction of global food supplies and of the dollar as the global reserve currency. Think inflation is bad now?

The Netherlands and Canada seem intent on replicating the Holodomor, and it's coming next to America. Predictably millions will die at the hands of collectivist leadership, just as the last time. Leftists never learn; more accurately, they learn to kill better next time. Stalin only murdered 34-49 million people in the 1930s; 30 years later, Mao murdered 80,000,000. What will be the Reaper’s toll from Davos Man?

Against the Great Reset

Read it and prepare for the worst.

As for Covid? Requiring a “vaccine” that, somehow, was patented ten days after the Covid genome was sequenced for the first time, a “vaccine” that prevents neither infection nor transmission, but that global data show reduces natural immunity across-the-board, that may be killing in huge numbers, and that destroys fertility, would seem to normal people to be counterproductive: 2+2=4, always and forever.

Those not starved to-death in the Third World by our rulers via ineffective and "more harm than good" Covid lockdowns and by the destruction of global food supplies for "climate change" amelioration will be far more docile than those of us in the West who, uniquely among global cultures, outlawed forced labor centuries ago. Which is why they are vaxxing us, and not them.

A fourth crisis, in fact, exists. Yet another threat so big that just conceptualizing it is problematic. And that is the fact of these elites, rulers and governments, themselves.

We will never give them their “5.” In America, we will not give them trucker strikes and manure sprays. Perhaps America’s destroyers will not give us our very own Holodomor because, we, alone among nations, have the ability, the means and the temperament to fight back.

In the face of the largest communist empire in history—so far—an empire dedicated to destroying family, religion, freedom, liberty, law, prosperity – sound familiar? – one man stood firm. He wrote:

I dare hope that all the peoples who have lived through communism will understand that communism is to blame for the bitter pages of their history.

And:

When one is already on the edge of the grave, why not resist?

That man was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who knew a thing or two or four about communism.

What does 2+2 equal in your calculations?

 

 

The Utter Folly of European 'Climate Policy'

Europeans will starve, go hungry and be jobless in large numbers unless the European Union and national politicians do an about-face on climate policy. The United States is not far behind, although has more tools to displace failed leaders than do people under the thumb of the European Union. This winter is but a taste of things to come.

An extensive analysis—50 points—of the folly of "climate policy" is found at wattsupwiththat.com; in sum it evinces there is no “climate emergency,” the goal of Net-Zero by 2050 is “delusional,” neither warranted, feasible, nor politically possible and would be so costly it would “drive a 33 percent average reduction in all government spending on health, housing, education, social welfare, police, climate adaptation, defense, social justice, etc.” As the measurable big decrease in global economic output during the pandemic lockdowns established, slashing living standards will not result in a “measurable decrease atmospheric CO2.” The only feasible means to phase out fossil fuels are technological advances, which means the shift cannot be mandated by government and of necessity the shift will be slow.

In any event, nothing the West can do changes the fact that during the next quarter century “over 80 percent of all increased global emissions” will occur in Asia. Moreover, for decades to come, “Asia, South America, and Africa “will represent over 90 percent of future increases in energy consumption.” Any effort must be global, not nation-by-nation. It’s simply not a first-world issue, and it’s irrational to pretend otherwise.

Women's work.

Also irrational is the pretense that we can limit energy use. We need it for everything and the demand is growing. It may be a surprise to learn that “Global smart phone production uses 15 percent more energy as the automotive industry.... the Cloud uses twice a much electricity worldwide as all of Japan.” This would surely set back on their heels the anti-fossil fuel crowd gathered everywhere in clothes manufactured from petroleum-based materials and coordinating their activities by iPhones, if only someone told them. 

In the meantime, this winter Europeans are getting to see first hand the folly of the "climate change" cult thinking of the European Union and its national leaders. They are already seeing food and energy shortages and the beginning of deindustrialization. In a series of tweets Alexander Stahel, CIO of a Swiss investment management firm, sets out a number of developments in various European countries, to flesh out what news summaries do not—the desperate near- and long-term consequences of Europe’s “gigantic structural” problem. Here are a few examples.

As prices increase, along with scarce food, limited transport options, and winter heating, it’s easy to see why unrest in Europe is growing. The Yellow Vests in France have been demonstrating against, inter alia, rising fuel costs and austerity measures for almost four years. (The most recent French complaint about the emissions mandates involve the E.U.’s ban on an insecticide needed to deal with a beetle that devastates mustard plants.)

In the Netherlands, farmers have been protesting and blocking roads with their tractors for almost three years because of proposals to limit industrial fodder and livestock production to lower emissions from the nitrogen cycle. More recently, protests have against energy shortages have cropped up in Belgium where thousands of people have been protesting against the huge rise in the cost of living, driving “rising food prices, startling energy bills and frustration with politicians and employers.”

And then there’s Italy, where conservative firebrand Giorgia Meloni is poised to occupy the prime minister’s office after the recent elections saw her Brothers of Italy party surge to power. Meloni is more concerned with battling Europe's coming energy crisis than she is with "climate change," and has called for the EU. member states to work together to solve the problem before the problem solves them: "We need a common solution at the European level to help firms and families," she said in a statement. "No member state can offer effective and long term solutions on its own." Meloni's position on "climate change" already has the Left terrified, and its slander machine going full blast:

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the neo-fascist, right-wing populist Brothers of Italy party, is poised to become Italy’s first woman prime minister. This is as much a victory for feminism as Margaret Thatcher’s premiership in the UK, which is to say that it is no victory at all. Meloni boasts the familiar spate of ultra-conservative views with a few terrifying twists: not only has she called Mussolini a “good politician,” she also aligns herself with the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory. While her fascist leanings and the threats her ascent poses to human rights have been widely discussed, Meloni’s stance on environmental issues has been left relatively uninterrogated... it seems that Italy’s next government will be pursuing the promise of nuclear power and leaning into domestic natural gas extraction. Renewable energy forms, like solar and wind, are decidedly absent from the agenda. Meloni’s party has also criticised the EU’s ban on combustion engine cars by 2035 as “a sensational own-goal” and is likely to support junior coalition partner Matteo Salvini’s call for an Italian referendum to overturn the decision.

Also women's work.

Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, threatened the Meloni coalition with "consequences" if it “veers from democracy,” which is rather ironic as there’s nothing particularly democratic about the Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, both of which are self-perpetuating sclerotic bureaucracies. Her threat reminds that the Commission has called upon the Union’s council to suspend 7.5 billion Euros from Hungary for “corruption.” Poland has said it will oppose such sanctions and criticized Von der Leyen’s not so veiled threats as did several Italian political leaders.

I don’t know if the present energy crisis will be enough to lead more countries to exit the European Union, which has, as we saw with Brexit, lots of tools to rein in unwilling members from so doing, but it just might if the winter is cold enough and the E.U. continues its suicidal foolishness and arrogance.

'Green' Belgium Nukes Itself

On Friday, September 23rd, at precisely 9:31 p.m., Belgium's Doel 3 nuclear reactor was disconnected from the nation's power grid, beginning the process of its complete decommissioning. It should be noted, there is nothing wrong with this reactor. It's just that the Belgian government, intoxicated by environmentalist platitudes, passed a law in 2003 which stipulated that all nuclear power plants must cease producing electricity 40 years after they went online.

This is madness.

As we've discussed before, Europe is in the midst of an energy crisis, with various countries throughout the continent preparing for oil and natural gas shortages this winter, and related blackouts. Meanwhile, according to The Brussels Times, "keeping the reactor open would safeguard over 50 percent of Belgium's yearly electricity needs."

That's a pretty big carrot, while the threat of energy shortages in freezing temperatures should serve as the stick. Consequently, the current government (whose prime minister, Alexander De Croo, has been sounding increasingly pessimistic about Europe's energy situation over the next decade) has belatedly seen the light on nuclear power -- on September 14th Interior minister Annelies Verlinden called for the plants closure to be delayed, only to be told by the company which operates Doel 3, Engie, that "[t]o change plans at such short notice is just not feasible."

Other than the logistical challenges that renewing the reactor would bring, there are also legal barriers that would need to be overcome: "It is legally prohibited for the reactor to produce any more electricity after 1 October 2022," [Engie spokesperson Nele] Scheerlinck stated. This is written into Engie's operating license. Furthermore, the power plant's director Peter Moens told Belga News Agency that delaying the shutdown was "neither wise nor advisable," not least given that most of the staff working on the reactor have already planned to work elsewhere.

Maybe they shouldn't have waited to ask until nine days prior to the shut-down. Or, even better, maybe they shouldn't have passed that inane regulation in 2003 in the first place. No doubt at the time Belgian Greens imagined that this was a risk-free move, because, surely, the world would have long-since developed a magical energy source which could satisfy their exacting (re: unrealistic and irrational) standards before it would matter. Yet here we are, twenty years later, and the energy sources they hate most -- nuclear, natural gas, etc. -- are still on top, and have even contributed more to worldwide carbon emission reductions than their animal-slaughtering windfarms and strip-mined rare earth mineral-requiring solar panels. Meanwhile, worldwide economies have been thrown for a loop by the WuFlu (and our absured governmental responses to it), and the energy markets have gone to hell thanks to Russia's invasion of Ukraine (and our absurd governmental responses to that).

Perhaps these things were unforeseeable in 2003, but it is any competent government's job to keep the country as ready as possible for such disasters. Semper paratus, as they say.

What Price Covid Conformity?

For most of us, the worst part of the current social environment created by the Covid-Climate-Party (CCP) government regarding the Covid vaccine regimen is what it is doing to families. Siblings no longer talk to one another. Parents and their children no longer are on speaking terms. Families are preventing themselves from getting together. Even though the government has been forced to back-off their mandates (due to lacking any authority to enact them) people still act as though these "vaccines" are necessary.

The CDC has stated, many times now, that the vaccine does not prevent transmission, infection, or reinfection. Hence, no medical reason for vaccine mandates, or even voluntary vaccine administration, exists, with the possible exception that a vaccine may reduce one’s own reaction to the virus, if infected. They’ve stated that masks are not useful in combatting a virus. They’ve let us know that no medical or scientific reason for the six-foot social distancing rule ever existed. The former White House coronavirus response coordinator even has let us in on her little secret that “[She] knew these vaccines were not going to protect against infection," while mandating them anyway, at the cost of jobs, careers, families, prosperity, education, futures, and lives.

For those who have been subscribing to every pronouncement of the CDC since “two weeks to flatten the curve,” this ought to be enough. But, somehow, it is not. Families, children, parents, siblings are still suffering from separation and lack of human interaction based on nothing more than what, realistically, only can be called “superstition.” As above and per the CDC, the science of this vaccine… is that it does not protect others.

The blessed Rochelle.

What is happening is that the higher the vaccination rate, the higher the infection rate. Insurance companies across the nation and in Europe are reporting huge, unprecedented numbers of “excess deaths,” a term and a category none of us knew existed two years ago. Per the FDA: “The clinical trials of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine found that the all-cause mortality rate of the vaccinated group was higher than that of the control group.” This is the opposite of what is expected due to the increased tendency of people concerned about their health to get vaccinated.

Why are people acting this way? If one wants to get the vaccine – get it. If not, don’t. But as no medical reason exists for it insofar as protecting others, mandates – even personal, family “mandates” have zero medical purpose for those around you.

We talk nowadays about “virtue signaling” as though these are just childish efforts to let others know how wonderful the signalers are, as if these bumper stickers, yard signs, masks, etc., do not affect the family, community, or country. In fact, these seemingly innocuous and, to thinking adults, childishly silly, efforts are splitting apart families, communities, nations. Which, of course, is the goal of the same left demanding public and forceful acceptance of all kinds of idiocy today.

But the vaccines are not just a “virtue signal.” Pfizer’s own documentation to the CDC showed that the first 89 days of their vaccine resulted in 42,000 adverse events, including 1,223 deaths. Current surveys by professional polling firms (and here) paint a picture of tens of thousands of deaths from these experimental,  medically unnecessary, and dangerous vaccines.  In September, 2022, a healthy woman who was injected after waiting in a pharmacy line dropped dead 15 minutes after her injection; “dead before she hit the floor” per a doctor; yet people remained in the line at the pharmacy to get THEIR injections. Daily we see reports of young men and women “unexpectedly” dropping dead – while making a speech, doing standup comedy, playing professional soccer, broadcasting the news, or just taking a nap.

Why submit to it? Knowing that the vaccines can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences and that they serve no medical purpose, people are nonetheless accepting these injections as the result of societal pressure to conform. The flip side of a yard sign is acting on its message yourself.

Most people desire status and seek it among their peers; status-seeking is what virtue-signaling is about. This is why the Overton Window continually moves left – as society drifts leftward due to pressure from media, academia and government bureaucracies, people concerned about their status take actions for no other reason than to increase their status amongst the elites. It is a collectivist response to a societal need or demand.

The argument of the pro-vaccine crowd is that all vaccines cause some deaths. True. When confronted with the fact that the swine flu vaccine was pulled from nine States after only three deaths, their response often is to look at the numbers, the percentages: so many more people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 it is logical that more people have died, that nothing is out of the ordinary. We should accept that medical progress happens in fits and starts and, yes, some will die.

But this looks only at one side of a many-sided equation. The swine flu killed healthy people, starting with a 19-yr-old private in Army basic training. Covid kills the old, the infirm, those with significant comorbidities. “Myocarditis” was a word with which nearly none of us were familiar in 2020; today we all know it. Many European nations have pulled the mRNA vaccines entirely for those below 30 years of age due to the post-injection instances of myocarditis.  Young, healthy people, aged 5-25, are so unlikely to have a serious reaction to a Covid-19 infection that their Infection-Fatality-Rate (IFR) is recorded in thousandths of a percent: 0.0051. The comparison to swine flu is inapt.

Our Lady of the Scarves.

If one has no children, for example, saying that healthy young males with a vanishingly low probability of serious infection or death ought to be vaccinated – when they may die or get a prion disease from it – is  one thing. If that child is yours, asking or demanding that they accept a vaccine that may destroy, or end, their lives, is an entirely different story: no thinking person would do so.

But it gets worse. Young adults just making their way in their careers still are prevented from joining their peers in the offices or conferences of some major companies. Working from home is great if you are mid-career, or past. When you are an energetic kid desiring interaction with peers and seniors in your business, climbing your way up the ladder, when you want to learn from, meet with, and present your work to others – and cannot because of an anti-science demand to take the risk of killing yourself or developing a palsy – you might just check out, depriving your company, yourself, your future all the positives that you, and they, had hoped your career would bring. It might end your career as you just decide to remove yourself from the corporate idiocy that may – literally – kill you while protecting no one.

What is the cost, then, to society of this loss of human capital, this deprivation to a young man or woman of their career and the dreams and hopes it once held for them? Answer: Inestimable. Yet this is what we are doing as a society to ourselves, to our families, to our future. To our nation. It is both inexcusable and inexplicable. Unless they want it that way...

'We Stand by the Modeling'

The Australian Labor Government, in office since May 23, is pinning its hopes and our very future on its plan: “Powering Australia.” Worried? Don’t be. It’s backed by modelling:

A Labor Government will close the yawning gap between our current Federal Government and our business community, agricultural sector and state governments when it comes to investing in the renewables that will power our future. Our plan will create 604,000 jobs, with 5 out of 6 new jobs to be created in the regions. It will spur $76 billion of investment. It will cut power bills for families and businesses by $275 a year for homes by 2025, compared to today.

Read all about it:

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Recently, Chris Bowen, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy; or, as I like to put it, the minister for a contradiction in terms, was asked about the predicted $275 reduction in power bills for families. What did “today” mean he was asked. Is it literally today, which successive tomorrows will soon enough become, or is it when the plan was published before the election. A good question. Since the election power bills have risen by about 15 to 20 percent; by, roughly speaking, $275.

Eventually, after much pressing, Bowen and the government stuck to the prediction. Apparently, the prediction fell out of modelling and there is no gainsaying modelling. Here’s Anthony Albanese (Albo), the Prime Minister, in Parliament on 6 September. Overlook the tortured syntax.

I've said absolutely consistently from this dispatch box… that we stand by the modelling that we did… And what the modelling showed was that with our plan, which includes Rewiring the Nation, making sure that you make the grid 21st-century ready, if you actually enable renewables to fit into the energy grid through the integrated systems plan that's been developed by the Australian Energy Market Operator then what you will do is promote investment in renewables, which are the cheapest form of energy.

Ah, “we stand by the modelling.” Statistical modelling of the future. Something for which failure is endemic. Psychics do better. Thus, no economics model predicted the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2008 and its aftermath. Hysterical morbidity modelling of the virus armed authoritarians. Kept people locked away, masked, forcibly injected with experimental substances. And, as everyone should know but doesn’t, climate models have performed abjectly; e.g., in falsely predicting increases in extreme weather events. (See, for confirmation, this recent study in The European Physical Journal Plus.)

Some Australians prefer other models.

Models and complex reality occupy different universes. So why Albo’s touching faith in modelling renewables? To be clear. It’s not informed faith. It’s blind faith.

Once you set out your stall to achieve net-zero and announce the steps along the way, including an untenable promise to deliver 82 percent of electricity by renewables by 2030, realism is defenestrated. The imperative becomes how to make the infeasible feasible. Saviour required. Namely, modelling which says it can be done. Better still modelling which says it can be done more cheaply. What a turnup! Show me the wanted outcome (cheap and abundant green energy) and I’ll show you the model.

Mind you, the modelling itself might be logically sound. Assume nine times the current number of wind and solar farms are built on time. Assume rooftop solar grows by five times. Assume 10,000 kilometres of new transmission lines are built. Assume, sufficient recharging points are installed and that electric vehicles wholly replace gasoline-powered vehicles. Assume adequate ‘firming’ can be achieved via batteries, pumped hydro and green hydrogen. Assume a specific growth in energy efficiency. Assume carbon dioxide abatement makes up for greenhouse gas emissions which can’t be eliminated.

Basically, you have the integrated systems plan issued in June by the Australian Energy Market Operator. I reckon if these assumptions were plugged into any purpose-built model, the right answer, net-zero by 2050, would pop out. Any problem; fiddle with the assumptions. Plug in more wind farms for example. Assume greater energy efficiency. Pump up the average wind speed a little. Reduce future demand for power. Remember, in the end result, unless net zero pops out, you ain’t got nothing politically sellable.

Okay, but how do you make power cheaper? I admit, that part has me completely flummoxed; though not the prime minister, as I note below. Battery costs are rising. Materials like lithium, cobalt and nickel are getting progressively more expensive to extract. The costs of building Snowy 2, the only major pumped hydro project afoot in Australia, have sky rocketed by five times and counting. The costs of building transmission lines, still at a preliminary stage, have soared. To boot, no one wants wind and solar farms and transmission lines in their backyards. Maybe they can be paid off? Then there’s the dream of green hydrogen. Desalination plants to produce sufficient pure water; multiple electrolysis plants driven by huge wind and solar farms; plants to convert volatile hydrogen into ammonia for safe transport, and to change it back. At a guess, might cost a dollar or two.

Just pump up the average windspeed a little.

However, Australia’s prime minister occupies an uncomplicated world. As he says: “if you have a shift in the energy mix towards cheaper energy [renewables], as opposed to more expensive energy, then you lower energy prices.” Compelling modelling logic. To reiterate, cheaper energy is cheaper than more expensive energy. No wonder he became PM.

Alas, Australia’s make-believe modelling world is not reflective of real life elsewhere. In Germany, for example, electricity prices trended upwards during the 2010s, notwithstanding Energiewende. A study out of the University of Chicago shows that U.S. states which adopted “renewable portfolio standards” had higher electricity prices than those states which did not. As the authors point out, the higher prices likely reflect costs that renewables impose on the generation system due to their “intermittency” and “higher transmission costs.” Quite so. But this is mere prelude to the brave much greener world ahead.

According to EIA figures, wind and solar accounted for just 12 percent of electricity generation in the U.S. in 2021. Australia is higher at 22 percent. But, vitally, in both countries fossil fuel power is strongly in the mix—61 percent in the U.S. (plus 19 percent nuclear) and 72 percent in Australia. It can still backup intermittent sources of power. Watch out when the balance tips a little further. Coming to your neighbourhood fairly soon: unaffordable electricity, blackouts and, inevitably, authoritarian diktats. Verboten, home heating above 61°F. VIPs excepted of course. To everyone according to their needs.

THE COLUMN: Virtue Über Alles

For first time since the end of the Second World War, continental Europe is facing shortages: of food and, crucially, of energy. During the war, as the tide inexorably turned against National Socialist Germany after the disastrous battle of Stalingrad in 1943, the Third Reich was ground to powder by the Stalinist U.S.S.R. and the Western allies, principally the United States, with some help from a reeling Great Britain. The brutal winter of 1944-45 saw the Germans reduced to salvaging firewood from the wreckage of their principal cities and eating the animals in the zoos in order to survive.

Germany and Britain now face another tough winter, but this time the crisis is of their own making. Deluded by their Leftist parties, including the so-called "Greens" (like watermelons, green on the outside, communist red on the inside), and frivolously stampeded by a cataclysmic earthquake/tsunami in a country 5,600 miles away, the panicked Europeans suddenly abandoned their nuclear facilities while simultaneous pivoting away from reliable sources of energy in order to pursue quixotic fantasies of "renewable" energy that will never come true. What did socialists use before candles? Electricity.

Atomische Narrheit.

Europe is in the middle of an energy crisis. Uncertainty over the flow of natural gas owing to Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused a spike in prices. The price of natural gas has soared to as much as $500 per barrel of oil equivalent, 10 times the normal average, fueling fears of winter shortages and cold homes.

Key commodities have already been affected. Fertilizer production, which requires large inputs of natural gas, is being shut down due to high prices. Manufacturers are hoarding glass in anticipation of future shortages. Climate change has made the situation worse, as a historic drought is drying up Europe’s rivers and cutting into hydroelectric capacity. The rising cost of energy has driven a spike in inflation in the United Kingdom, while Germany has suffered the worst inflation since the 1970s energy crisis.

What happened? The quote above from Foreign Policy partially explains how they got here (and, if things continue, the U.S. will not be far behind), but the real reason is: prosperity, combined with virtue-signaling neo-Luddism. The dreadful toll of death and destruction of the war, combined with the success of European reconstruction under the Marshall Plan, which saved the devastated economies of western Europe, left Europe with two debilitating by-products: the rise of pacifism as an anti-nationalist force and the abjuration of war as a means of foreign policy; and a false sense of economic security, under which they were free to chase their own chimeras of "soft power" and "progressive" living without any heed to reality.

The Europeans should have learned from their own history, but of course they never do. The Oxford Union's "King and Country" debate of 1933, a fateful year in European history, turned out to be one of the high points of British pacifism. Having been bled dry by the Somme and other horrific battles in World War I, and also having lost the cream of their manhood in the process, the Union passed the motion that "this House would not in any circumstances fight for King and Country." Winston Churchill who never saw a war he didn't want to fight, knew that war with Hitler was unavoidable, and was aghast at the surviving, whinging chaff of England's crop, the sons of the cowards, conscientious objectors, and those otherwise unfit to serve. Six years later, however, they were doing exactly that.

26th June 1945: perfidious Albion.

After the war, with Germany in ruins and Britain fully emasculated, the kinder, gentler, socialist side of the European character immediately came to the fore. Churchill was chucked out of office just a few months after VE Day. Pulverized and bifurcated, Germany abandoned militarism and undertook its Wirtschaftswunderor "Economic Miracle." (Now foolishly replaced by the Energiewende, or Energy Turning Point.) France, under de Gaulle, went its own idiosyncratic, Gallic way. Nobody wanted to fight any more: it was cheaper and easier to let Uncle Sam, in the form of NATO, to guarantee the defense of Europe against the emerging Soviet bear. 

As Europe rebuilt it found itself with serendipitous upgrades in its 19th-century infrastructure, including modern electrical grids, fossil-fuel home heating, widespread adoption of automobiles (called PKWs in German, for Personenkraftwagen). Within a span of less than three decades, Western Europe was probably the nicest place to live on the planet, with modern conveniences nestling side-by-side with ancient monuments, high culture available to all thanks to government subsidiaries, and food prepared by the great chefs of the old Continent. In such a lotus land, there were no consequences to living as if there were no consequences.

Meanwhile, the U.S. had become bogged down in Lyndon Johnson's War in Vietnam, race relations steadily worsened, crucial provisions of the American constitution were abrogated by an act of Congress, blacks rioted anyway, cities burned, whites fled, unprivileged boys died in rice paddies, prominent political figures were assassinated, the borders were thrown open, and the feminist movement—in its deleterious sociological and economic effects, the American equivalent of the Euro-pacifist movement—took firm hold both of the workplace and the ballot box. Thus were the consequences of living as if there were no consequences from fundamentally transforming the country from the victor in World War II into a pitiful, helpless giant.

As America foundered, Europe prospered. But now that the Rev. Wright's chickens have come home to roost, the great Republic is now just a shadow of its formerly muscular and confident self, brought low by the cultural sappers of the Frankfurt School and the winds of social change from the backsides of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Some may, and do, see this as a good thing (and indeed the Obama/Biden administrations have been predicated on it). Others, now being demonized by an increasingly demonic Robinette, do not. Those people, in case you haven't noticed, are now enemies of the state.

And as in Europe, those opposed, Iago-like, to safe, secure, ever-cleaner, cheap, and reliable energy are striving for the upper hand in the U.S.A. They know it's the death blow against the hated enemy: the land of their birth, the land that gave them shelter from Hitler, the land that opposed both national and international socialism. So watch your food prices soar, watch them outlaw your private gasoline-fueled cars and mandate electric vehicles with a limited cruising range that can be circumscribed by the flip of a switch at Government Central, and which can't be powered at all when the grid fails. Watch them herd you into high-rise ant-farm collectives, into which you can be confined at Washington's whim, and where ants are very much on the menu. Watch them laugh as you forage for roots and berries and bust up your pianos to burn in your fireplaces, should you be allowed to have a fireplace. Welcome to the Great Reset, comrade!

And watch yourself voting for them, again and again and again until they don't need you to vote anymore. Sure, it makes you feel good. But it makes them feel even better, and that's all you really need to know. Credo in un dio crudel. You've been warned. 

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Mourning

We’ve lost our beloved Queen and no amount of wishing is going to change that. And it’s what we all feared when her Platinum Jubilee was held at 70 years rather than 75. Judith (mummy) has been crying off and on since we got the news and I’ve done my best to keep from further upsetting her. I didn’t expect to find myself at my childhood home in St John’s Wood on this day but if I’m honest, I really did expect Elizabeth's reign to continue on forever. As Daddy said, we’ve known nothing else. She was queen when I was born in British Hong Kong and when my grandmother was said to have tucked a small framed photo of HRH into my pram.  

Daddy has taken Judith to tea nearly every day, which has stopped her from watching the telly nonstop, and bracing when she sees Camilla. In the end I’m sure she’ll come round but for now she won’t accept Charles as our sovereign. Given how many have rung to ask her to clarify the rule, I believe she’s not alone. Canada, which still has the queen on its currency, opposes Charles succeeding his mother by 67 percent. A rather inauspicious start for the prince who has so valiantly fought for our planet.

At your service, Ma'am.

Walking back from my first (and last) British Military Fitness Class I couldn’t help but notice a sea of brightly coloured cellophane. We were told it would not be the miles of flowers we saw at Diana’s death and that arrangements would be ‘sensitively moved’ to Green Park, but what they hadn’t addressed was the impact on our landfill. And in response I quickly organised tables with stewards to remove the plastic wrap so that the flowers could more easily be composted and replanted. I felt the queen would have wanted no less, and as we transition to a green-minded king, it was the thing to do. 

I would have volunteered myself but I’d promised to take over tea-duty with Judith for today. She was in black of course and immediately told me that her single brooch was in good taste— having been her mother’s. And again reminded me that, ‘Your grandmother and the Queen were of an age’. As if I could possibly be allowed to forget. She also warned me that she wouldn’t be able to eat a thing. A warning that became less credible after devouring two plates of sandwiches.

We didn’t see anyone she knew but then one rarely does. And I was sure everyone she knew was still ringing the house to discuss the title of Queen Consort and dashed hopes of a morganatic marriage. Yet somehow, this was not an appropriate topic for our tea. Or so she said. I wanted to keep her mind away from her sadness but not so far away as to have to hear what I knew was coming:

‘Now Jennifer’ she began.  UGH! I motioned for another glass of champagne. ‘You do understand that once King… Charles can no longer involve himself in all your pet green projects’.

‘I thought you were putting a stop to that’ I responded.

‘I just thought it right, that someone say something to you—to break the news’.

‘That the Queen has died?’ I asked.

Take my hand, Mum. It will be all right.

She found that remark uncalled for and perhaps she was right but she really could be a pain, and this outing was for her benefit. The last thing I wanted right now was to be sitting for tea when I’d learned mourners were now leaving Paddington bears and marmalade sandwiches WRAPPED IN PLASTIC for the queen.  

For a moment I wondered if Judith had read the note I penned to the new King Charles, urging him not to drop all of our good works, and to continue to be a defender of the planet, but in the end I think she was just trying to be a mother for a change.  In my letter to Charles I’d reminded him that he was possibly the most significant environmental figure of all time, and that he could not abandon Terra Carta… no matter anything! As prince he could act as a one-person NGO, but as king he would be constrained by the convention that the monarch should not interfere in the U.K.’s political decision-making, or take any overt political stance. I reminded him that the environment isn’t politics, it's life. 

Many people feel that as Prince, Charles overstepped the bounds of constitutional monarchy, including his blistering attack on corporate vested interests.  But it has always been understood that this freedom would end as soon as he took the crown. So I believe it is important that he re-brand his stance—not as one of advocacy, but one of responsibility. Less focus on agenda, and more on serving the best interests of the country.

God save the king.

I explained that we have evolved as a country, and in time I believe he will be able to continue his lobbying at the highest political level, as he has done rather effectively with his black spider letters. And as the Tories have always been the conservators of the land there should be no risk of his agenda being seen as partisan or political… simply important. During his confidential weekly meetings with the Prime Minister he will be able to air his concerns over the environment and world climate.

When I got home Daddy handed me the paper, the headline read: 'World leaders to travel to Funeral by bus, commercial plane'. Surely he could not be serious. This was a mistake. ‘NO!’ I shrieked. 

‘I thought you’d be happy to see this—it’s the green solution, smaller carbon footprint and all that’, Daddy said smirking.

Ugh! How does he not get this? Along with world leaders we are the ones saving the planet. We are the ones taking up this very important task. In the same way that failing corporations must pay more to attract top talent… we certainly should not be punished or dissuaded by making us fly commercial. 

Forget the Bible, Listen to the IPCC

The Anglican Church in Australia is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. As, among others, is the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Anglican Church in Canada, and the Church of England. Today’s establishment Anglicans have a well-earned reputation for being on the woke side of things and also on the side, it appears, of the Bible being a living document. À la liberal Justices and the U.S. Constitution. Hence the establishment of the breakaway Anglican Communion GAFCON (the Global Anglican Futures Conference) in 2008, triggered by the consecration of an openly-gay man as a bishop in the U.S. Episcopal Church.

GAFCON views the Bible as textualists-cum-originalists view the U.S. Constitution. They think that when Jesus said something he meant it and that the words he used accurately reflect that meaning. On the other side, the established Church thinks there’s indulgent wriggle room, shaped by ever-evolving fashion.

The Australian-wide Anglican Synod met in May earlier this year. To cut to the chase, the House of Bishops voted 12 to 10 against a motion to affirm that marriage was between a man and a woman. Others from the clergy and laity voted in favour; still a substantial number of them voted against. Strange business indeed, when the Bible as a whole and Jesus in particular are definitive on the matter. Unless, that is, Jesus and St Paul didn’t really mean what they said. C’mon love is love, ain’t it?

Who said anything about a man and a woman?

Subsequently, in August, a group of Australian clergies under the auspices of GAFCON established a new breakaway diocese. Passions run deep and those behind the new diocese have come in for vitriolic criticism from some of those who’d prefer to keep the Church intact, even at the cost of heresy. But, hold it there. There’s heresy and then there’s heresy. Offences against God and offences against the IPCC. Never let it be said that Anglicans fall victim to the latter.

While the Australian Anglican Synod found it possible to spurn the eternal Biblical truths uttered by Jesus Christ; they paid homage to the pronouncements of Hoesung Lee, the current chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Not that they acknowledged him personally, simply his gospel. From Southern Cross magazine:

The Synod lamented the suffering already being endured across the world by communities facing drought, water insufficiency, loss of arable lands, destructive fire events, cyclones, floods and rising sea levels, and the increasing challenges caused by rising global temperatures, air pollution, and loss of biodiversity, which will be borne disproportionately by the poorest of the world’s poor. [And] called on the Australian Government, the community and all people of faith to support Pacific and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in their call for urgent reductions in emissions of greenhouse gasses.

There is no record of anyone disagreeing with this motion, “calling for action on climate change.” You would be considered unsound, distinctly odd, if you did, I suspect. Yet, the motion is mostly based on lies. Biblical truths rejected; alarmist environmental lies accepted. That’s where Anglican Christians are at a leadership level In Australia. Swapping Biblical truths for climate-cult idolatry. Idolatry is not a new phenomenon. It’s happened before. Moses had to deal with it.

Golden Calf 1, Ten Commandments, 0.

If churchmen would only look, there is no compelling evidence that the unproven hypothesis of man-made climate change has had any influence at all on extreme weather events or, in fact, that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent or intense. Yes, there are plenty of tendentious predictions. Matched by previous predictions falling embarrassingly wide of the mark. Michael Schellenberger (Apocalypse Never) quotes Roger Pielke Jr.

There is scant evidence that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or droughts have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally… In fact, we are in an era of good weather when it comes to extreme weather.

On fires, Schellenberger cites a discussion with Jon Keeley.

We’ve looked at the history of climate and fire throughout the whole state [California]… we don’t see any relationship between past climates and the amount of area burned in any given year.

Australian bushfires in 2019-2020 made the news worldwide. Got Hollywood stars agitated. Yet, as Bjorn Lomborg says in an interview dispelling climate-related myths, the land area burnt at 4 percent was in the lower range when compared with other major bushfires since 1900. Incidentally, he also covers the well-known facts that Pacific atoll islands are on the whole increasing in size not sinking and, confounding Al Gore, that the number of polar bears has trended upwards. Well-known facts, that is, among those interested in facts rather than in giving currency to myths; like, to its shame, the Anglican Church.

As a churchgoer, I find difficult to accept the mindless unanimity on a keenly contested issue. Have Christian church leaders read anything from Schellenberger, from Lomborg (False Alarm), Steven Koonin (Unsettled), John Christie, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, William Happer, Patrick Moore, Joanne Nova (The Skeptic’s Handbook) and many others outside of the IPCC group-think fraternity? I think not. Galling too is the reference by the Australian Synod to the poorest of the world’s poor suffering. Too true they’ll suffer. Not because of climate change but because of the reckless and cruel abandonment of affordable power in the name of climate change.

Are burning bushes caused by "climate change"?

Christian churches across all denominations have become strident on climate change. My generous take on the Pope’s climate encyclical Laudato Si’ issued in May 2015 springs readily to (my) mind. Good intentioned? Maybe. But, whatever the motivation, they’re stooges for the mercenary rent-seeking climate lobby. What of pensioners freezing, children in the Congo and in China digging for cobalt and lithium to power fancy EVs. Collateral damage for the greater good?

Truth is central to Christianity. Sometimes it’s hard to find. But there’s definitely a Christian duty to search for it and avoid gullibly falling into line with fashion, whether that takes the form of subversively redefining marriage or of swallowing the codswallop of catastrophic climate change. And I’d add that some things are within the bailiwick of the Church, such as marriage, and some like "climate change" are not core business. Best to leave declarations on the latter things alone. As I once said to a former Anglican minister of mine when leaving church, after he’d part sermonised on climate matters. “I can’t find anything that Moses or Jesus said about global warming.”

Hoax of the Century

What more do you need to know? And who are you going to believe: real scientists or a Swedish teenager?

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