29 December, 2017

Extract from Professor Richard Lindzen Open Letter to President Trump

We note that:
  • The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) no longer claims a greater likelihood of significant as opposed to negligible future warming,
  • It has long been acknowledged by the IPCC that climate change prior to the 1960’s could not have been due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases.   Yet, pre-1960 instrumentally observed temperatures show many warming episodes, similar to the one since 1960, for example, from 1915 to 1950, and from 1850 to 1890. None of these could have been caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2,
  • Model projections of warming during recent decades have greatly exceeded what has been observed,
  • The modelling community has openly acknowledged that the ability of existing models to simulate past climates is due to numerous arbitrary tuning adjustments,
  • Observations show no statistically valid trends in flooding or drought, and no meaningful acceleration whatsoever of pre-existing long term sea level rise (about 6 inches per century) worldwide,
  • Current carbon dioxide levels, around 400 parts per million are still very small compared to the averages over geological history, when thousands of parts per million prevailed, and when life flourished on land and in the oceans.

27 December, 2017


Dr. Tim Ball: The Disastrous Economic Impact of CO2 Reduction Policies

Written By: Dr. Tim Ball December 19, 2017
Ontario, a Province in Canada, a country with almost unlimited energy resources and the same population as California, has exorbitantly high electricity bills. So high, that people march in protest. How did this happen? It is hard to believe, but it is primarily the result of deliberate energy policies recommended by the UN to world leaders.

A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It is true of socialism. It fails every time, but socialists never stop trying. Global warming uses pseudoscience to achieve a socialist political agenda. It was chosen because it was a global threat that required global governance.  It was created through the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), sponsored and organized by Maurice Strong. It is the originator of what is broadly called the Green Agenda, an economy based on eliminating CO2 and shifting to alternate energies through Agenda 21. It failed everywhere it was tried, with Germany being the largest and latest to scramble for their energy and economic lives.

The sad part is we need environmentalism; it is foolish to soil your own nest. What we don’t need are people using environmental issues for political agendas.

Many countries and regions have experimented with green agendas, especially energy policies, but there is one that is more instructive than all the others. In the Province of Ontario, the energy policy was put in place and controlled by Maurice Strong who created the deception that human CO2 was causing global warming. He practiced what he preached, and it is an unmitigated disaster from which all should learn. He found welcome political ground in Ontario exemplified by Former Canadian Environment Minister Christine Stewart who said, “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral benefits…Climate change (provides) the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.” 

As a member of the Club of Rome (COR) Strong took their neo-Malthusian view set out in their report Limits to Growth that Wikipedia defines as, “a 1972 report on the computer simulation of exponential economic and population growth with a finite supply of resources,” and translated it into organization and bureaucracy. Elaine Dewar, a former investigative reporter for the Hamilton Spectator, wrote in Cloak of Green that Maurice Strong’s objective, based on Limits to Growth, was to get rid of the industrialized nations because they were using resources at an unsustainable rate. He told her he would achieve his goal through the UN where, “He could raise his own money from whomever he liked, appoint anyone he wanted, control the agenda.”After five days with him, Dewar concluded, “Strong was using the U.N. as a platform to sell a global environment crisis and the Global Governance Agenda.”

How do you cause industries to collapse? Simple, fossil fuels drive the industrial economies, and CO2 is a byproduct. Show that it’s causing irreparable life-threatening global warming and you can demand alternative energy replacements that don’t provide adequate replacement and close industries producing excessive amounts of CO2. Strong did it through the IPCC using the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The IPCC produced the science by deliberately restricting the definition of climate change in Article 1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to only human causes. Of course, it is impossible to know that, if you don’t know how much it changes naturally. Strong controlled who participated in the IPCC through the bureaucracy of the WMO. As MIT atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen explained, “IPCC’s emphasis, however, isn’t on getting qualified scientists, but on getting representatives from over 100 countries”. Using national Weather Departments gave bureaucrats ascendancy over politicians. Witness the activities of the US Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) under Obama that fulfills Mary McCarthy’s warning that “Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.”

Strong formalized all these actions, agencies, and agendas at the UNEP 1992 Rio Conference. In the keynote speech at the Conference he organized, he said: “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, the use of fossil fuels, electrical appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” There is no evidence that any of these are causing any problem and there is no empirical evidence that human CO2 is causing any temperature change. In fact, atmospheric CO2 levels at 400 ppm are approximately one-third the optimum required for plant growth as commercial greenhouses demonstrate by raising levels to 1200 ppm for increased yields.

In the same year, 1992, that he chaired the Rio Conference, Strong was appointed Chairman of Ontario Hydro. This is what Canadians call a Crown Corporation to pretend it is not government controlled, but regardless, it acts like a socialist government because it controls all power in the Province.

Strong began Ontario Hydro’s problems when appointed Chairman by NDP Premier Bob Rae’s socialist government. A 1997 article titled “Maurice Strong: The new guy in your future” says, “Maurice Strong has demonstrated an uncanny ability to manipulate people, institutions, governments, and events to achieve the outcome he desires.” It concludes, “The fox has been given the assignment, and all the tools necessary, to repair the henhouse to his liking.” This applied to his UN role, but also applied to his Ontario Hydro job.

One report says, with biased optimism, that “Within no time of his arrival, he firmly redirected and re-structured Ontario Hydro. At the time, Ontario Hydro was hell-bent on building many more nuclear reactors, despite dropping demand and rising prices. Maurice Strong grabbed the Corporation by the scruff of the neck, reduced the workforce by one third, stopped the nuclear expansion plans, cut capital expenditures, froze the price of electricity, pushed for sustainable development, made business units more accountable.” Sounded good, but it was a path to inadequate supply, soaring costs and economic disaster.

Strong created the mechanisms and false science to eliminate fossil fuels and bring about reduction and destruction of western economies, at the UN. Now he applied them in total to the Province of Ontario. Thomas Jefferson said,

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

CO2 is not causing warming or climate change. There is no scientific need to replace fossil fuels. Replacing them with alternative energies compounds the problems. A major problem is no proper comprehensive cost/benefit analysis of alternate power. It is undoubtedly avoided because they would not do very well. For example,  A US Senate report notes,

“Comparisons of wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas and coal sources of power coming on line by 2015 show that solar power will be 173% more expensive per unit of energy delivered than traditional coal power, 140% more than nuclear power and natural gas and 92% more expensive than wind power. Wind power is 42% more expensive than nuclear and natural gas power… Wind and solar’s’“capacity factor’ or availability to supply power is around 33%, which means 67% of the time wind and solar cannot supply power and must be supplemented by a traditional energy source such as nuclear, natural gas or coal.”

In Ontario, Strong canceled nuclear projects and installed wind power. Wind turbulence restricts the number of turbines to 5 to 8 turbines per 2.6 square kilometers. With average wind speeds of 24 kph, it needs 8,500 turbines covering 2,590 square kilometers to produce the power of a 1000 MW conventional station. To put this in perspective Ontario closed two 1000MW plants in 2011 – the Lambton and the Nanticoke coal-fired plants. Besides the land, you still need coal-fired plants running at almost 100 percent for what is called “spinning generation,” in case the wind stops blowing.

The full impact of what Strong did in Ontario is currently being masked by another Canadian socialist strategy. Canada has a federal process called “equalization payments.” Formalized in 1957, it initially planned to give residents of each province the same per capita revenue as those in the two wealthiest provinces, British Columbia and Ontario, using personal, corporate, and inheritance taxes. Provinces are designated, ”have” or “have not,” based on their ability to generate tax revenue.

It changed significantly in 2009-2010 because Ontario, the only “have” province, from the start, became a “have not” province as Strong’s policies took hold. In contrast, Newfoundland and Labrador, a “have not” province from the start, became a “have” province because of the oil discoveries on the Grand Banks (Hibernia). The Federal government takes money from the “haves” and gives it to the “have nots.” Some claim that Canada now has the most expansive and generous, redistribution of wealth system, in the world. It does what all such equalizations schemes do; it masks the real problem thus precluding any demand to fix it.

This occurs despite people in Ontario are paying unnecessarily high prices for energy. And they will be paying for the bad policies for decades. Policies that took one of the most dynamic, powerful, and wealthy economies in Canada to one of the weakest. The Province is providing one benefit to the world, namely, what happens if you adopt the energy and environment policies based on the ‘science’ of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Promoting energy policies based on falsified science and alternative energies fail. No better example is  Ontario, Canada that saw the architect of the entire global warming deception. It is incredible anyone would continue to promote them.

If you think the green agenda policies evolved from the UN Climate program will work just look at Ontario where the architect of the plan has already proved they don’t.

03 November, 2017

Political Perspective


Workers can unite but not with same urgency as in Marx’s time
Gerard Henderson
The Australian, 28 October 2017
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern believes that capitalism has failed the nation. So does her deputy, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. A similar complaint is made in Britain by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who heads the opposition. The capitalism-has-failed refrain is stated increasingly by socialists in Western societies. Meanwhile, millions of non-Westerners want to live in OECD countries to experience a higher standard of living.
The term capitalism, popularised by the German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-83), was used initially in a pejorative sense. In his massive book Das Kapital and elsewhere, Marx saw capitalism as having emerged out of the exploitation of the peasantry and small artisans in the later Middle Ages.
As Allen Wood explains the phenomenon in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Marx argued that this exploitation led to “a separation between the bourgeoisie or capitalist class, who privately own the means of production, and the proletariat or working class”. The latter was also called the lumpenproletariat.
According to Marx, devoid of owning the means of production, the proletariat can sell only labour to the capitalists. But this leads to inequality since the owners of the means of production have an unfair advantage when negotiating the wages and conditions of the proletariat.
Marx and his Marxist followers, including members of communist parties in the democracies or leaders of communist dictatorships where they existed, invariably evoked capitalism as a term of abuse. So, today, Ardern and Corbyn.
There are some political conservatives who are prepared to embrace the term, including Daniel Hannan, the former Conservative member of the European Parliament and Institute for Free Trade president. But it is a mistake for the likes of Hannan to embrace the terminology of their opponents.
Both Corbyn and Ardern have backgrounds in socialist movements. So it is understandable why they rail against capitalism. Yet neither Britain nor New Zealand present as capitalist societies in the sense that Marx used the term.
At the end of World War II, both nations embraced “cradle-to-grave” socialism. This led to stagnating economies. So in the early 1980s Britain undertook economic reforms to wind back the welfare state. New Zealand followed soon after. The politicians most identified with the reform process were the Conservative Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Labour’s Roger Douglas in New Zealand.
If Ben Chifley’s Labor government had survived into the 1950s, Australia would have gone down the welfare state road. But Robert Menzies’ Coalition won the December 1949 election. One of Menzies’ great contributions to Australia’s economic development is that he did not implement the nationalisation of industry or cradle-to-grave welfare. He took a middle road between Britain and the US with respect to the extent of the social safety net and regulation.
This meant that when economic reform was needed in Australia in the 80s and 90s, the impact was not as severe as in Britain or New Zealand. Consequently, Labor’s Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, along with the Coalition’s John Howard and Peter Costello, were able to bring about reform without the reaction that occurred in response to the implementation of the policies of Thatcher and Douglas.
In the original sense of the term, neither Britain nor New Zealand is a capitalist nation. Likewise Australia. All three nations provide free health services and free school education along with a welfare safety net for the unemployed and the aged, plus a minimum wage and reasonable conditions of work. Also, a large number of lower-income earners own property. This is not the enslavement of the working class (the sellers of labour) to a dominant bourgeoisie (the owners of the means of production) that Marx envisaged.
After the election, in an interview on TV3’s The Nation, Ardern was asked whether capitalism has failed low-income New Zealanders. The new Prime Minister replied: “If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive, that’s a blatant failure. What else could you describe it as?”
Well, such a situation could be a total failure of the state. But this is unlikely in a nation that has a social safety net.
Ardern’s approach suggests that she regards the state as totally responsible for all the ills of society, as if parents and guardians do not also have responsibilities to care for the very young.
In Britain, Corbyn is adopting a similar stance. He told a wildly enthusiastic audience at Labour’s annual conference in Brighton last month that a “modern socialism” entailing nationalisation of industries, dramatically increased government regulation and growing trade union influence was the future of Britain. According to Corbyn, Labour is “the mainstream now”.
And so it may be, for a while at least, in both Britain and New Zealand — and, perhaps, Australia.
There is the born-again socialism of Corbyn and Ardern and their supporters. There is also the right-wing regulatory nationalism of Peters’s New Zealand First and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party.
The economies of Australia, Britain and New Zealand are among the strongest in the OECD and have relatively high economic growth and relatively low unemployment. However, flat wages growth and rising property values have put pressure on middle and low-income groups — especially among young voters. Even so, the Conservatives in Britain and the National Party in New Zealand won more votes than their left-of-centre opponents at recent elections.
And then there is social media, which gives an insight into the lives of the rich and famous that was not known to earlier generations. The rich have always been with us — and they are not confined to democratic societies. However, the increasing tendency of the well-off to laud their wealth is leading to an understandable resentment among the less well-off.
Generally, in the West, the poor are not getting poorer. But this could become the case — as occurred in postwar Britain as increased taxation and rising spending and borrowing gradually suppressed living standards across nearly all areas of society. In the West we’ve seen socialism — and it does not work.

14 October, 2017

The New Deniers

There is now wide spread acceptance that the climate change models are way ahead of observations in the measurement of the rate of global temperature increases. In fact it is impossible to refute such a statement. Yet the alarmist, mostly Government funded, climate bodies are remarkably reluctant to acknowledge this fact. Who are the deniers now?

13 October, 2017

Extreme Greens and Poverty

I have long argued that if humans wish to contain population growth we need to do everything possible to lift standards of living in the world's poorest (and fastest growing) countries. Extreme green ideology has been a massive barrier. Here is the latest example.

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Press Release 
Embargoed until 00:01 BST Friday, 13 October


New Report:


World Bank "Abandons The Poor"



 
London, 13 October: A new report: The Anti-Development Bank: The World Bank's Regressive Energy Policies by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) finds that the World Bank has abdicated its primary mission of tackling poverty in the developing world.

The report, written by author and former Treasury adviser Rupert Darwall, with a foreword by the distinguished economist and former World Bank research administrator, Professor Deepak Lal, comes as ministers travel to Washington, DC to attend the annual World Bank meeting.

The report finds that the bank’s energy policies are hurting development and making poor countries poorer.

By embracing high-cost, low-reliability renewables and restricting clean coal financing, the World Bank is guilty of “an inhumane and senseless attempt to try and save the planet on the backs of the world’s poor,” Darwall says.

In line with the demands made by developing countries, he argues that the World Bank should lift its 2013 ban on financing coal-fired power stations and help the world’s poorest by supporting the next generation of low-emission power stations.

He calls on the World Bank to abandon what he says is "its damaging advocacy of renewable energy for countries that can ill afford the costs and risk of flawed technologies that rich countries have yet to solve".

 

The Anti-Development Bank:

The World Bank's Regressive Energy Policies (PDF)



 

 

Foreword by Professor Deepak Lal

The best way for me to introduce this paper is by outlining how the World Bank (WB) turned into the Anti-Development Bank, as suggested by its title.

In the mid-to-late 1980s, I was the research administrator at the World Bank. Towards the end of my tenure, during the annual meetings between the bank and the International Monetary Fund, green activists were abseiling down the bank’s Washington headquarters protesting against its purportedly anti-green activities. This pressure seemed an emergent threat to the bank’s mission to alleviate poverty through efficient growth and so, with the support of the Vice President for Economics and Research, Anne Krueger, I responded by proposing a World Development Report on the environment, now the WB’s flagship publication.

The report was published in 1993, well after I had left the bank. The authors included two of my former colleagues at University College London, Wilfrid Beckerman and David Pearce. It was a balanced report which, as the WB’s president Lewis Preston said in his foreword, argued for

". . .a careful assessment of the costs and benefits of alternative policies, taking account of uncertainties and irreversibilities that maybe associated with ecological processes. Some would prefer a more absolute approach to protection, but for policy-makers with scarce resources seeking to raise the well-being of their citizens in an environmentally responsible manner, it is essential that tradeoffs be clarified in a rational manner and cost-effective policies designed."

This paper shows in detail how this injunction is no longer adhered to by the current WB President Dr Jim Young Kim. He has overruled the cost–benefit estimates of the superiority of coal-based over solar- and wind-based power generation produced by his own economic staff, justifying this by reference to a wish to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2013 the bank adopted anti-coal funding policies, which, as the paper shows, prioritises the green environmental agenda over its core developmental mission of poverty reduction.

How has this come to pass? The turning point came when, in the mid 1990s, with the opening up of world capital markets to most developing countries outside Africa, the bank had three choices, as noted by Anne Krueger:

• to downsize and concentrate only on the countries that are truly poor, and phase out activities in middle income countries

• continue to operate in all countries, focusing on the ‘soft issues’ of development, such as the environment, women’s rights, labour rights and the encouragement of NGOs

• to shut down.

The new President James Wolfensohn chose the second option. I argued in my Reviving the Invisible Hand for the third. The arguments of this paper provide further support for my position.

I commend this paper to all those who are sincerely concerned with alleviating poverty – particularly in Africa, since China and India no longer need World Bank money or advice – and who are not seduced by the siren voices of the eco-fundamentalists.

Deepak Lal is a British development economist of Indian origin who has held academic posts at Oxford, University College London and the University of California. He was a member of the Indian Foreign Service and a former Research Administrator at the World Bank. He is currently James S. Coleman Professor of International Development Studies at UCLA. He is a member of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.

22 August, 2017

A Key Topical Issue

A rigorous study of the impact of robots in manufacturing, agriculture, and utilities across 17 countries, has found that robots did reduce the hours of lower-skilled workers—but they didn’t decrease the total hours worked by humans, and they actually boosted wages.

In other words, automation may affect the kind of work humans do, but at the moment, it’s hard to see that it’s leading to a world without work. Researcher Andrew McAfee says the central phenomenon is not net job loss. It’s the shift in the kinds of jobs that are available.”

McAfee points to both retail and transportation as areas where automation is likely to have a major impact. Yet even in those industries, the job-loss numbers are less scary than many headlines suggest.

Goldman Sachs just released a report predicting that autonomous cars could ultimately eat away 300,000 driving jobs a year. But that won’t happen, the firm argues, for another 25 years, which is more than enough time for the economy to adapt.

A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, meanwhile, predicts that 9 percent of jobs across 21 different countries are under serious threat from automation. That’s a significant number, but not an apocalyptic one.

Of the 271 occupations listed on the US 1950 census only one—elevator operator—had been rendered obsolete by automation by 2010.

Corporate America, for its part, certainly doesn’t seem to believe in the jobless future. If the rewards of automation were as immense as predicted, companies would be pouring money into new technology. 

But they’re not. Investments in software and IT grew more slowly over the past decade than the previous one. Total spending on all robotics in the US was just $11.3 billion last year. That’s about a sixth of what Americans spend every year on their pets.

So if the data doesn’t show any evidence that robots are taking over, why are so many people even outside Silicon Valley convinced it’s happening? In the US, at least, it’s partly due to the coincidence of two widely observed trends.

Between 2000 and 2009, 6 million US manufacturing jobs disappeared, and wage growth across the economy stagnated. In that same period, industrial robots were becoming more widespread, the internet seemed to be transforming everything, and AI became really useful for the first time. So it seemed logical to connect these phenomena.

But something else happened in the global economy right around 2000 as well: China entered the World Trade Organization and massively ramped up production. And it was this, not automation, that really devastated American manufacturing.

A recent paper—titled, fittingly, “Robots and Jobs”—got a lot of attention for its claim that industrial automation has been responsible for the loss of up to 670,000 jobs since 1990. But just in the period between 1999 and 2011, trade with China was responsible for the loss of 2.4 million jobs: almost four times as many.

“If you want to know what happened to manufacturing after 2000, the answer is very clearly not automation, it’s China,” says Dean Baker, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. (In other words, Donald Trump isn’t entirely wrong about what’s happened to American factory jobs.)