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.)

20 August, 2017

Another Rational Optimist-Craig Rucker-19th August,2017

"Two hundred years ago the vast majority of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. Thanks to free markets, industry and, yes, important energy sources like fossil fuels and nuclear power, today only around 10% live in extreme poverty … and the situation is getting better every day."

07 August, 2017

Government Failure

My open letter to Tony Burke (below) has made me think more about what I perceive as Australia's downward spiral as a consequence of being let down by politicians of all hues, particularly Greens. I mentioned policies relating to Energy,Water, and Internet (NBN). I now think we should add NDIS (Disability).

Oh for some strong pro-active leadership.

01 August, 2017

Extract from Matt Ridley Speech-12th July,2017

"Ricardo proves that if you specialise, then it makes sense to exchange, and vice versa. Working for each other is the grand theme of human history, one that has waxed and waned, but mostly waxed, over tens of thousands of years, with an incredible acceleration in the last 50 years thanks to free trade.

In that half century we have gone from 75 per cent of the world living in extreme poverty, to just 9 per cent. We have increased human productivity by some 3,000 per cent."

Link to the complete speech- https://capx.co/the-case-for-free-market-anticapitalism/

29 July, 2017

Open Letter to Tony Burke, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water

Tony,
What a load of nonsense! The health of the basin did not collapse! The natural impact of the worst drought in recorded history was invalidly labeled  as "mismanagement" and "over allocation". The flooding rains and big flows that followed the breaking of the drought took the basin back to robust health. Our ecology is geared to the massive variability of our climate. Don't be conned by the extreme dark greens like WWF, the Wentworth Group, ACF and anti-irrigation advocate Prof. Richard Kingsford. 

If irrigators have been cheating they should feel the full weight of the law.  But keep it in proportion-the water quantities involved would have no impact on the Coorong and Lower Lakes as claimed by the  bleating South Australians. What about their gross mismanagement of the Lower Lakes and refusal to let salt water play its part?

Between the Electricity policy, the NBN and the MDB Plan, Australia has been very badly let down by our politicians of all colours and I fear we are condemned to a serious decline in living standards as a direct consequence.

Regards,
David Boyd

15 July, 2017

Trumps Warsaw Speech


Read President Trump's Remarks on 'Defending Civilization' in Poland

Ryan Teague Beckwith

Jul 06, 2017

President Trump praised Poland as an example for others who wish to "defend our civilization."


Speaking in Warsaw Thursday, Trump said that Poland's fights against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany showed "the story of a people who have never lost hope, who have never been broken and who have never, ever forgotten who they are." He then connected it to the fight to "preserve our civilization" in the age of terrorism.

"The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive," he said. "Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?"

Read a complete transcript of Trump's remarks.

Thank you very much. That's so nice.

The United States has many great diplomats, but there is truly no better ambassador for our country than our beautiful first lady, Melania.

Thank you, Melania. That was very nice.

TRUMP: We've come to your nation to deliver a very important message: America loves Poland and America loves the Polish people. Thank you.

The Poles have not only greatly enriched this region, but Polish- Americans have also greatly enriched the United States. And I was truly proud to have their support in the 2016 election.

TRUMP: It is a profound honor to stand in this city by this monument to the Warsaw uprising, and to address the Polish nation that so many generations have dreamed of, a Poland that is safe, strong and free.
President Duda and your wonderful first lady, Agata, have welcomed us with the tremendous warmth and kindness for which Poland is known around the world.
Thank you.

I sincere -- I mean sincerely -- thank both of them, and to Prime Minister Szydlo a very special thanks, also.

We are pleased that former President Lech Walesa, so famous for leading the Solidarity movement, has joined us today, also.

Thank you. Thank you.

On behalf of all Americans, let me also thank the entire Polish people for the generosity you have shown in welcoming our soldiers to your country. These soldiers are not only brave defenders of freedom, but also symbols of America's commitment to your security and your place in a strong and democratic Europe.

We are proudly joined on stage by American, Polish, British and Romanian soldiers. Thank you. Thank you. Great job.

President Duda and I have just come from an incredibly successful meeting with the leaders participating in the Three Seas Initiative.

To the citizens of this great region, America is eager to expand our partnership with you. We welcome stronger ties of trade and commerce as you grow your economies. And we are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy.

Mr. President, I congratulate you, along with the president of Croatia, on your leadership of this historic Three Seas Initiative. Thank you.

This is my first visit to Central Europe as president, and I am thrilled that it could be right here, at this magnificent, beautiful piece of land. It is beautiful.

Poland is the geographic heart of Europe. But more importantly, in the Polish people, we see the soul of Europe.

Your nation is great because your spirit is great and your spirit is strong.

For two centuries, Poland suffered constant and brutal attacks. But while Poland could be invaded and occupied and its borders even erased from the map, it could never be erased from history or from your hearts. In those dark days, you have lost your land, but you never lost your pride.

So it is with true admiration I can say today, that from the farms and villages of your countryside, to the cathedrals and squares of your great cities, Poland lives, Poland prospers and Poland prevails.

TRUMP: Despite every effort to transform you, oppress you or destroy you, you endured and overcame.
You are the proud nation of Copernicus -- think of that...
... Chopin, St. John Paul II. Poland is a land of great heroes.

And you are a people who know the true value of what you defend.

The triumph of the Polish spirit over centuries of hardship gives us all hope for a future in which good conquers evil and peace achieves victory over war.


For Americans, Poland has been a symbol of hope since the beginning of our nation. Polish heroes and American patriots fought side by side in our War of Independence and in many wars that followed. Our soldiers still serve together today in Afghanistan and Iraq, combating the enemies of all civilization.

For America's part, we have never given up on freedom and independence as the right and destiny of the Polish people. And we never, ever will.

Our two countries share a special bond forged by unique histories and national characters. It's a fellowship that exists only among people who have fought and bled and died for freedom.

The signs of this friendship stand in our nation's capital. Just steps from the White House, we've raised statues of men with names like Pulaski and Kosciuszko.

The same is true in Warsaw, where street signs carry the name of George Washington and a monument stands to one of the world's greatest heroes, Ronald Reagan.

And so, I am here today not just to visit an old ally, but to hold it up as an example for others who seek freedom and who wish to summon the courage and the will to defend our civilization.


The story of Poland is the story of a people who have never lost hope, who have never been broken and who have never, ever forgotten who they are.

AUDIENCE: Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!

TRUMP: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you so much. Such a great honor.

This is a nation more than 1,000 years old. Your borders were erased for more than a century and only restored just one century ago.

In 1920, in the Miracle of Vistula, Poland stopped the Soviet Army bent on European conquest.

Then 19 years later, in 1938, you were invaded yet again; this time by Nazi Germany from the west and the Soviet Union from the east. That's trouble. That's tough.

Under a double occupation, the Polish people endured evils beyond description: the Katyn Forest Massacre, the occupation, the Holocaust, the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the destruction of this beautiful capital city, and the deaths of nearly one in five Polish people.

TRUMP: A vibrant Jewish population, the largest in Europe, was reduced to almost nothing after the Nazis systematically murdered millions of Poland's Jewish citizens, along with countless others during that brutal occupation.

In the summer of 1944, the Nazi and Soviet armies were preparing for a terrible and bloody battle right here in Warsaw. Amid that Hell on Earth, the citizens of Poland rose up to defend their homeland.

I am deeply honored to be joined on stage today by veterans and heroes of the Warsaw uprising.

What great spirit.


We salute your noble sacrifice and we pledge to always remember your fight for Poland and for freedom. Thank you. Thank you.

This monument reminds us that more than 150,000 Poles died during that desperate struggle to overthrow oppression.


From the other side of the river, the Soviet armed forces stopped and waited. They watched as the Nazis ruthlessly destroyed the city, viciously murdering men, women and children.


They tried to destroy this nation forever by shattering its will to survive. But there's a courage and a strength deep in the Polish character that no one could destroy.


The Polish martyr Bishop Michal Kozal said it well: "More horrifying of a defeat of arms is a collapse of the human spirit."


Through four decades of Communist rule, Poland and the other captive nations of Europe endured a brutal campaign to demolish freedom, your faith, your laws, your history, your identity; indeed, the very essence of your culture and your humanity.


Yet through it all, you never lost that spirit.

Your oppressors tried to break you, but Poland could not be broken. (APPLAUSE)


And when the day came on June 2nd, 1979, and 1 million Poles gathered around Victory Square for their very first mass with their Polish pope, that day every Communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down.

They must have known it at the exact moment during Pope John Paul II's sermon when a million Polish men, women and children suddenly raised their voices in a single prayer.


A million Polish people did not ask for wealth. They did not ask for privilege. Instead, 1 million Poles saying three simple words: "We want God."

In those words, the Polish people recalled the promise of a better future. They found new courage to face down their oppressors. And they found the words to declare that Poland would be Poland once again.


As I stand here today before this incredible crowd, this faithful nation, we can still hear those voices that echo through history. Their message is as true today as ever. The people of Poland, the people of America and the people of Europe still cry out, "We want God."


TRUMP: Together with Pope John Paul II, the Poles reasserted their identity as a nation devoted to God. And with that powerful declaration of who you are, you came to understand what to do and how to live.


You stood in solidarity against oppression, against a lawless secret police, against a cruel and wicked system that impoverished your cities and your souls, and you won. Poland prevailed. Poland will always prevail.


Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!

TRUMP: Thank you.


You were supported in that victory over communism by a strong alliance of free nations in the West that defied tyranny. Now among the most committed members of the NATO alliance, Poland has resumed its place as a leading nation of a Europe that is strong, whole and free. A strong Poland is a blessing to the nations of Europe and they know that. A strong Europe is a blessing to the West, and to the world.


One hundred years after the entry of American forces into World War I, the transatlantic bond between the United States and Europe is as strong as ever and maybe, in many ways, even stronger.


This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism. But today, we're in the West, and we have to say, there are dire threats to our security and to our way of life.


You see what's happening out there. They are threats. We will confront them. We will win. But they are threats.


AUDIENCE: Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!


TRUMP: We are confronted by another oppressive ideology, one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe.


America and others have suffered one terror attack after another. We're going to get it to stop.


 During a historic gathering in Saudi Arabia, I called on the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations to join together to drive out this menace which threatens all of humanity. We must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory and their funding and their networks and any form of ideological support that they may have.


While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind.


AUDIENCE: Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!


TRUMP: We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism. And we will prevail.


We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.

Today, the West is also confronted by the powers that seek to test our will, undermine our confidence and challenge our interests.


TRUMP: To meet new forms of aggression, including propaganda, financial crimes and cyber warfare, we must adapt our alliance to compete effectively in new ways and on all new battlefields.


We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran, and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself.


Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger, one firmly within our control. This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles: the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.


The West became great, not because of paperwork and regulations, but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies.


Americans, Poles and nations of Europe value freedom and sovereignty. We must work together to confront forces, whether they come inside or out, from the south or the east, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.


If left unchecked, these forces will undermine our courage, sap our spirit and weaken our will to defend ourselves and our societies.


But just as our adversaries and enemies of the past learned here in Poland, we know that these forces, too, are doomed to fail if we want them to fail. And we do indeed want them to fail.


They are doomed not only because our alliance is strong, our countries are resilient and our power is unmatched. To all of that, you have to say, everything is true.


Our adversaries, however, are doomed because we will never forget who we are. And if we don't forget who we are, we just can't be beaten. Americans will never forget. The nations of Europe will never forget. We are the fastest and the greatest community. There is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.


We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.


We reward brilliance, we strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.


We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives.


And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything, so that we can better know ourselves.

And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom.


That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies and as a civilization.


What we have, what we inherited from our -- and -- and you know this better than anybody and you see it today, with this incredible group of people -- what we've inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again. So we cannot fail.


This great community of nations has something else in common. In every one of them, it is the people, not the powerful, who have always formed the foundation of freedom and the cornerstone of our defense.


TRUMP: The people have been that foundation here in Poland, as they were right here in Warsaw. And they were the foundation from the very, very beginning in America.


Our citizens did not win freedom together, did not survive horrors together, did not face down evil together only to lose our freedom to a lack of pride and confidence in our values. We did not and we will not. We will never back down.

AUDIENCE: Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!


TRUMP: As long as we know our history, we will know how to build our future.


Americans know that a strong alliance of free, sovereign and independent nations is the best defense for our freedoms and for our interests. That is why my administration has demanded that all members of NATO finally meet their full and fair financial obligation. As a result of this insistence, billions of dollars more have begun to pour into NATO. In fact, people are shocked. But billions and billions of dollars more coming in from countries that, in my opinion, would not have been paying so quickly.


To those who would criticize our tough stance, I would point out that the United States has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind Article V, the mutual defense commitment.

Words are easy but actions are what matters. And for its own protection -- and you know this, everybody knows this, everybody has to know this -- Europe must do more. Europe must demonstrate that it believes in its future by investing its money to secure that future.


That is why we applaud Poland for its decision to move forward this week on acquiring from the United States the battle-tested Patriot air and missile defense system, the best anywhere in the world.


That is also why we salute the Polish people for being one of the NATO countries that has actually achieved the benchmark for investment in our common defense.


Thank you. Thank you, Poland. I must tell you the example you set is truly magnificent and we applaud Poland. Thank you.

We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will. Because as the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means, but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have.


The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?


We can have...
... the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive.

If anyone forgets the critical importance of these things, let them come to one country that never has, let them come to Poland...

.. and let them come here to Warsaw and learn the story of the Warsaw Uprising.


TRUMP: When they do, they should learn about Jerusalem Avenue.


In August of 1944, Jerusalem Avenue was one of the main roads running east and west through this city, just as it is today. Control of that road was crucially important to both sides in the battle for Warsaw. The German military wanted it as their most direct route to move troops and to form a very strong front. And for the Polish home army, the ability to pass north and south across that street was critical to keep the center of the city and the uprising itself from being split apart and destroyed.


Every night the Poles put up sandbags amid machine-gun fire -- and it was horrendous fire -- to protect a narrow passage across Jerusalem Avenue. Every day, the enemy forces knocked them down, again and again and again.


Then the Poles dug a trench. Finally, they built a barricade. And the brave Polish fighters began to flow across Jerusalem Avenue.


That narrow passageway, just a few feet wide, was the fragile link that kept the uprising alive. Between its walls, a constant stream of citizens and freedom fighters made their perilous -- just perilous -- sprints. They ran across that street, they ran through that street, they ran under that street, all to defend the city.


The far side was several yards away, recalled one young Polish woman named Greta (ph). That mortality and that life was so important to her. In fact, she said the mortally dangerous sector of the street was soaked in blood.


It was the blood of messengers, liaison girls and couriers. Nazi snipers shot at anybody who crossed; anybody who crossed, they were being shot at. Their soldiers burned every building on the street and they used the Poles as human shields for their tanks in their effort to capture Jerusalem Avenue.


The enemy never ceased its relentless assault on that small outpost of civilization. And the Poles never ceased its defense. The Jerusalem Avenue passage required constant protection, repair and reinforcement. But the will of its defenders did not waver even in the face of death.


And to the last days of the uprising, the fragile crossing never, ever failed. It was never, ever forgotten. It was kept open by the Polish people. The memories of those who perished in the Warsaw Uprising cry out across the decades. And few are clearer than the memories of those who died to build and defend the Jerusalem Avenue crossing.


Those heroes remind us that the West was saved with the blood of patriots, that each generation must rise up and play their part in its defense...

... and that every foot of ground and every last inch of civilization is worth defending with your life.


Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield. It begins with our minds, our wills and our souls. Today, the ties that unite our civilization are no less vital and demand no less defense than that bare shred of land on which the hope of Poland once totally rested.


Our freedom, our civilization and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture and memory. And today, as ever, Poland is in our heart, and its people are in that fight.

Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail, our people will thrive, and our civilization will triumph.


AUDIENCE: Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!


TRUMP: Thank you.


So together let us all fight like the Poles, for family, for freedom, for country and for God.


Thank you. God bless you, God bless the Polish people, God bless our allies, and God bless the United States of America.


Thank you. God bless you. Thank you very much.

23 June, 2017

Energy and Climate Change/Global Warming

As the former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre, William Kininmonth states:
‘The real challenge for society is to manage within a naturally varying climate. A total of 70 per cent of natural disasters involve weather and climate extremes. Regulating carbon dioxide concentration (indeed, if this is even possible) will not ameliorate these.’
‘Less than 20,000 years ago Earth was in the grip of the last glacial maximum. Deep ice sheets then covered much of North America and northwestern Europe; sea level was 130 metres lower than today. Our present relative warmth is a blessing.
‘It is unfortunate that the Chief Scientist did not conduct an independent review of the science underpinning the contentious hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic climate change before embarking on a blueprint for the national electricity market. A misplaced objective of emissions reduction at the expense of affordable and reliable electricity services will unnecessarily impoverish Australians.’

20 June, 2017

Counterpoint


New Science Assessment on Climate
It is timely that a group of scientists has published in the US an assessment of a large number of deficiencies in analyses which support the dangerous warming thesis. 

They draw on criticisms made by Professor Rafael Reif, president of MIT,  of President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Accords.  

Their conclusion is that  “By withdrawing from the Paris agreement, President Trump did a wonderful thing for America and the world. He showed that advocacy masquerading as science should not be the basis for political decisions. He showed that to put America first is to put the planet first. And, by rejecting the non-problem of man-made global warming, he began the long and necessary process of waking up the likes of Professor Reif to the fact that the diversion of time, effort, and trillions of dollars away from real environmental problems and towards the bogus but (to MIT) profitable non-problem of supposedly catastrophic global warming is as bad for the planet as it is for true science”.

06 June, 2017

King Cotton

Cotton’s environmental footprint is much less noticeable today than was the case in the early 1960s, thanks largely to science and technology, says Ryan Kurtz, director of agricultural research at Cotton Incorporated.

 

He said the highly successful Boll Weevil Eradication Program, genetic engineering, innovations in tillage, and changes in farm size and efficiency combined to reduce cotton’s impact on the environment over the past 35 years.

 

Addressing a group of textile manufacturers, retailers and trade journalists during a recent Cotton Incorporated conference—“Everything You’ve Heard About Cotton is Wrong”—in New York City, he said cotton farming has evolved from “horses to robots and drones. We’ve seen great strides in reduced soil loss, water use, and pesticide use.”

 

Those environmental improvements have not been at the expense of production. “From the ‘60s until now, cotton farmers have almost doubled the amount of cotton they grow with no more acreage. Science and technology make that possible.”

 

He said commercial cotton breeding has created new varieties that produce more lint. Integrated pest management (IPM) programs allow producers to be more precise in targeting insect pests, he added. And those pesticides are more selective, targeting specific insects, diseases or weeds.

 

Kurtz said reduced tillage systems conserve moisture, increase organic matter in the soil and limit water and wind erosion. “We’re doing a better job of protecting our soil,” he said.

 

“Biotechnology now protects plants from insect damage,” Kurtz said. Herbicide tolerant varieties also allow a more efficient weed management system. “Cotton farmers also reduce energy consumption because of biotech,” he added.

 

“Genetic engineering has improved varieties in other ways. We have more water efficient varieties,” which improves on a plant already known for drought tolerance. 

 

“Cotton requires significantly less water than corn, wheat and rice.” Only a small portion of U.S. cotton production receives full irrigation, he adds, and most gets by well on supplemental water.

 

“We have improved water efficiency in the past 35 years,” Kurtz said. Better varieties play a crucial role, “but sensors improve efficiency and application timing that works better than just ‘eyeballing.’” Measuring evapo-transpiration offers real-time information to help schedule irrigation. 

 

Kurtz, an entomologist by training, said cotton farmers once followed a calendar approach to insect pest management, sacrificing beneficial insects in an effort to head off damaging populations of pests. Pesticides were non-selective, he said, and took out lady bugs and other beneficials as well as bollworms and boll weevils.

 

“Now, we use more selective pesticides to preserve beneficial insects, and we spray when populations reach economic thresholds. That’s the value of IPM.”

 

“We also have newer, more efficient ways to apply insecticides. Seed treatments, for instance, reduce the need for early (over the top) pesticide applications.” 

These products are applied to the seed before planting and are systemic, so the roots take them in. Amount of product necessary also dropped. “Instead of pounds per acre, we can now apply milligrams per acre,” Kurtz said.

 

He said ongoing research considers the possibility of developing cotton plants that repel insect pests.

21 April, 2017

Australian Cotton Industry

 I have long contended that in all respects the Australian Cotton Industry is a model that all agricultural industries in Australia, if not the world, should follow.

The following extract from a Cotton Australia submission to Government is just one example of the the quality of the science and attitude that pervades the industry.

"Improvement in Water Use Efficiency (WUE) is one of the most important drivers for the Australian cotton industry. It is not unusual for the water to account for 60% to 80% of a cotton producer’s combined land/water assets.

The submission says it is essential to understand that there are no “Silver Bullets” for WUE. There is no “One Size Fits All Solutions”, as irrigators utilise a suite of technologies and services to maximise
their water use efficiency.

These can range from simply estimating crop water requirements by digging a hole in a field with a
shovel, and assessing the water capacity of the soil by look and feel, to employing highly
sophisticated soil moisture readers, linked to satellite derived weather and plant water use data.

It can be an optimised furrow, gravity irrigation system, or pressurised drip or lateral move type
systems, or by improvement in yield from new varieties and better management techniques
deriving from world class research.

It can result from minimising evaporation by maximising storage depth and minimising surface
area, or by upskilling of labour from the most humble irrigators tasked with manually starting,
managing and stopping thousands of syphons, to university trained irrigation managers analysing
data from a whole range of sources, and making timely decisions that optimise plant growth.

Or most likely a combination of all of the above."

17 April, 2017

Intermittency

A new word has entered the fashionable lexicon. The global warming alarmists and the "dark green" advocates of the Murray Darling Basin Plan had better get used to it and learn how it impacts their advocacy arguments.

I have long contended that the massive variability of our river flows makes the use of statistical averages quite meaningless, when the spreads around the average are so enormous. Asking CSIRO to come up with Average Volumetric Limits (AVL's) for each of the major rivers in the MDB is a stupid question from people who clearly don't understand the the key characteristic of our inland rivers-massive variability.

Likewise the promoters of renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, talk about single figure targets without acknowledging the dependence on the wind blowing and the sun shining to achieve them. If energy sources are to be dependable then the "intermittent" sources need to have back-up or significant storage capacity, to achieve the reliability requirement. Without subsidies this makes them quite uneconomic! 

Hydro is a notable exception, because you can store the water and achieve immediate generation with the turn 'of a tap', making hydro ideal for peak electricity generation. A fact that Snowy Hydro has exploited brilliantly. I remain to be convinced that "pumped hydro" will prove economic, where water has first to be pumped to higher altitudes and then run back down to drive the generators.

But, take my word for it, we are going to hear a lot about "intermittency".

30 January, 2017

Coal and Renewables

The case against coal is coming apart at the seams

  • The Australian
Consider truly irrational government policy, and I don’t mean Don­ald Trump. We are a nation blessed with abundant energy sources — coal in all guises, gas in enormous quantities, a major portion of the world’s uranium.
We export these and other raw materials in huge amounts all over the world. Our national wealth, everything we take for granted in our living standards — Medicare, schools and hospitals, the police, even the ABC — rests on those exports. Yet, as part of our muddle-headed, erratic, irrational, episodic and excessive efforts to combat climate change, we have not cheap electricity, as you would expect, but hugely expensive electricity, which is now, a la South Australia, increasingly unreliable. We also burden ourselves with one of the most cumbersome industrial relations systems in the world.
As a result, an operation like Alcoa’s Portland smelter might well have shut down. To forestall that we will now give that smelter $230 million of taxpayer money. Massively increasing costs, then massively subsidising to compensate those costs, is surely a world- class template for irrational policy.
One reason our policy is so irrational is that our debate is so ill-informed. Almost all of our climate change policy has a deep inheritance of irrationality about it. The Rudd and Gillard governments created a vast phalanx of climate bodies that had essentially propaganda roles, like church mission societies, to spruik the danger of climate change and urge the most radical and costly actions possible to address them.
They half-convinced Australians — they certainly convinced the ABC — that emissions trading schemes, and carbon taxes of the kind we so dolefully had for a few years — were sweeping the world. Those Australians whose foreign travel consists mainly of Tuscany, Paris, London and New York could half believe this as Eur­ope did impose a costly ETS and some American states had similar schemes. But as someone who spends a lot of time in Asia I knew it was absolute baloney. The propaganda Australians were being fed was just completely misleading.
This week in an interview with The Australian, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg gave the government’s definitive view of ETS schemes. “Internationally, economy-wide carbon trading schemes have been bedevilled by collapsing prices, criminal behaviour and industry opposition,” he said.
Although he has elsewhere said the government was not planning to change the renewable energy target, Frydenberg levelled the same broad criticism at artificial schemes generally.
The solution to reducing carbon emissions, he persuasively ­argued, lies in technological development. Renewables will be some part of this, but cleaner coal and gas, and in many countries other than Australia, nuclear power, will be the backbone of reliable energy with reduced carbon emissions. No one knows precisely how much climate change is occurring or how much of it is caused by human activity. It is the most basic common sense on a risk-management basis to reduce emissions and it is also good to clean up the air for environmental purposes beyond climate change.
It is true that nothing Australia does will have a measurable effect on the global climate. It is also true that whatever happens with climate change we will be much ­better able to deal with it if we are still a rich country rather than a country that has impoverished itself with excessive climate change actions.
Most of the ETS schemes around the world are either duds or yet to be implemented. Many of them are Potemkin village style arrangements that allow their governments to talk the talk without imposing big costs on their economies.
The many levels of deception and slipperiness in all this is evident in a million examples. Germany is hailed as a hero for abandoning nuclear energy. So it imports electricity from France, which is generated by French nuc­lear power plants, and from Pol­and, which comes from coal-fired stations. In the five years to 2015 Germany constructed coal-fired power stations with a capacity equivalent to seven times that of the Hazelwood station closed so spectacularly in Victoria.
You hear constantly on the ABC that coal is coming to an end. This is a perfect post-truth mantra. It is spectacularly the inverse of ­reality. Japan, for example, is planning 45 new coal-fired power stations with 20,000MW of capacity. Any line in any official report anywhere, and indeed in countless NGO propaganda pamphlets, which seems to be critical of coal, or indicates a limitation on its use, is instantly beaten up by our climate change propaganda industry into a further death-of-coal story.
Yet the International Energy Agency shows that coal makes up more than 40 per cent of world electricity generation. That will decline as a proportion of global energy, in no small measure because of gas, to somewhere between 28 per cent and 36 per cent by 2040. But even that proportionate decline includes a very big absolute increase in the use of coal.
The new coal-fired power stations will be mostly clean coal, that is, much lower emissions per unit of energy than traditional power stations.
That’s good. But no one should doubt that coal use will grow. China, which has sold its rhetorical flourishes on climate change as though they were real action, plans to increase coal use by 14 per cent between 2015 and 2020. In 2015 China added 52,000MW of coal power.
The IEA says that India’s coal-fired power capacity will increase by almost 140 per cent by 2040, or 162 times the capacity of the closed Hazelwood station.
China has not even committed to a peak emissions target, merely a year, 2030, when it will get there, and many estimates are that it will double its emissions in the process. Most of China’s real action involves modernising its energy system, building new coal stations that emit far less carbon per unit of power than the ones they replace. The chief benefit and motivation for this is not concern about global climate change but the desperate need to improve air quality.
You’ll hardly ever hear any of this because it doesn’t conform to the dogma of the massively publicly subsidised climate change religion. The obvious best way forward for Australia is cleaner coal, more gas and — God help us — one day, nuclear. But that would require rational policy that may be beyond us at the moment.

16 January, 2017

Trump Will Fix It !!!

I have no idea who Alistair is. But I like his turn of phrase.



From: Alistair
Sent: 16 January, 2017 3:59 PM
To: 'Joshua Frydenberg'; greg.hunt.mp@aph.gov.au
Cc: c.pyne.mp@aph.gov.au; 'Richard Di Natale'; 'Sarah Hanson-Young'; malcolm.turnbull.mp@aph.gov.au
Subject: 170116-QoL: Climate Wars Hot Goblins & Hobgoblins


“Peter,
The fake pseudo-'climate science' has about as much validity to be called a science as alchemy, horoscopes (yet millions read them) and gambling systems at roulette.

Models are not science, but are a useful tool even in the hard science disciplines where the parameters can be set with some reliability.  This cannot apply in statistical 'sciences' based only on models or probabilities.  It has rained on 7% of Melbourne Cup races, so tell me, will it rain in 2017?  I won a bet on the MC weather when I took the odds that it would NOT rain, basing my risk on the biased fact that we were in a drought.  It could have been the year the drought broke, so if I had bet every year for 10 years, then on the year it rained I would have lost all my 'winnings' - and more.

There is nothing unusual about what is happening to the weather or the climate, except that the increase in CO2 is immensely beneficial, as would be an extra couple of degrees Centigrade. 
The extra CO2 is feeding additional plant growth, so the Earth is a self-regulating system as the greening determined by satellite measurements show. Unfortunately at the current rate of CO2 improvement it will take about 800 – 1,000 years to reach the optimum level of CO2 as plants will increase their offtake.
Life & speciation flourishes in warm climates as the Carboniferous Age demonstrated. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to see that happy day of a 2C increase as global cooling is a more likely probability.

Climate Disruption? Extreme Weather events?  Nothing to see here - and I take no [statistical] comfort in their current decrease of extreme weather as this is just another random statistical blip.  Can you imagine the delight of the numpties if there was an equally random increase?

You could have noted that this cult of the simple folk has actually nothing to do with reality, or facts, or weather, or climate, but everything to do with totalitarian power that will allow the deliberate de-industrialisation and depopulation of the majority of people as from the ashes a new society will arise? Where have you heard that false vision before?
I would cut the electricity connector to SA so we can use them as we would a Petri dish culture of the consequences of this (ig)Noble Corruption.  Build a wall first or the SA refugees will swamp us.

Let me prove to you that the CAGW crowd have no idea what they [scientifically] want, but will destroy civilisation to achieve their 'aims' through their fake climate tool. I will also pre-empt the inevitable entry of the 'MacDougall' by asking ANY true believer to answer two simple questions:
1. What is the IDEAL average global temperature that will be of greatest benefit to the world? and
2. What is the IDEAL average concentration of CO2 in ppm, and why?

If the minions cannot tell us the answer to those questions, then forget facts as the climate con is a political question, not a scientific one.  ”

Alistair

Sceptical Scientific Contrarian
Climate Change Denier, 7th Dan Black Belt

Seek the Truth,
No matter what you would prefer to believe.
Leave beliefs and cults to the simple folk.

02 January, 2017

Western Values


I like this clarity of expression. One often hears comments on the history of Western Civilisation not being taught to our youth. This spells out clearly what one person sees as western values.

Of course, some who believe in those values take them for granted and one wonders whether they realise how extensive they are and how important each is as a part of the whole. One way of realising that is to look at how a non-believer was converted and how he then expressed those values.  Such an expression by a Muslim Apostate is attached (see Western Values) and the following captures the essence of his view:



The Superiority of Western Values in Eight Minutes

   By: Ibn Warraq
   In a public debate in London against Tariq Ramadan, Ibn Warraq was given eight minutes to argue the superiority of Western values. Here is his defense of the West, which forms the basis for his new book, Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy.
The great ideas of the West—rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of conscience and expression, human rights, liberal democracy—together constitute quite an achievement, surely, for any civilization. This set of principles remains the best and perhaps the only means for all people, no matter what race or creed, to live in freedom and reach their full potential.[1] Western values—the basis of the West’s self-evident economic, social, political, scientific and cultural success—are clearly superior to any other set of values devised by mankind. When Western values have been adopted by other societies, such as Japan or South Korea, their citizens have reaped benefits.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: this triptych succinctly defines the attractiveness and superiority of Western civilization. In the West we are free to think what we want, to read what we want, to practice our religion, to live as we choose.  Liberty is codified in human rights, a magnificent Western creation but also, I believe, a universal good.  Human Rights transcend local or ethnocentric values, conferring equal dignity and value on all humanity, regardless of sex, ethnicity, sexual preference, or religion. At the same time, it is in the West that human rights are most respected.
It is the West that has liberated women, racial minorities, religious minorities, and gays and lesbians, recognizing their rights. The notions of freedom and human rights were present at the dawn of Western civilization, as ideals at least, but have gradually come to fruition through supreme acts of self-criticism.  Because of its exceptional capacity for self-criticism, the West took the initiative in abolishing slavery; the calls for abolition did not resonate even in black Africa, where rival African tribes took black prisoners to be sold as slaves in the West.
Today, many non-Western cultures follow customs and practices that are clear violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).  In many countries, especially Islamic ones, you are not free to read what you want.  Under sharia, or Islamic law, women are not free to marry whom they wish, and their rights of inheritance are circumscribed.  Sharia, derived from the Koran and the practice and sayings of Muhammad, prescribes barbaric punishments such as stoning to death for adultery.  It calls for homosexuals and apostates to be executed.  In Saudi Arabia, among other countries, Muslims are not free to convert to Christianity, and Christians are not free to practice their faith.  The Koran is not a rights-respecting document.
Under Islam, life is a closed book. Everything has been decided for you, the dictates of sharia and the whims of Allah set strict limits on the possible agenda of your life.  In the West, we have the choice to pursue our desires and ambitions. We are free as individuals to set the goals and determine the contents of our own lives, and to decide what meaning to give to our lives.  As Roger Scruton remarks, “The glory of the West is that life is an open book.”[2] The West has given us the liberal miracle of individual rights and responsibility and merit. Rather than the chains of inherited status, Western societies offer unparalleled social mobility.  The West, Alan Kors writes, “is a society of ever richer, more varied, more productive, more self-defined, and more satisfying lives.”[3]
Instead of the mind-numbing certainties and dictates of Islam, Western civilization offers what Bertrand Russell called liberating doubt.[4]  Even the process of politics in the West involves trial and error, open discussion, criticism, and self-correction.[5] This quest for knowledge, no matter where it leads, a desire inherited from the Greeks, has produced an institution that is rarely equaled outside the West:  the university. And the outside world recognizes this superiority of Western universities. Easterners come to the West to learn not only about the sciences developed in the last five hundred years, but also about their own cultures, about Eastern civilizations and languages. They come to Oxford and Cambridge, to Harvard and Yale, to Heidelberg and the Sorbonne to acquire their doctorates because these degrees confer prestige unrivalled by similar credentials from Third World countries.
Western universities, research institutes, and libraries are created to be independent institutions where the pursuit of truth is conducted in a spirit of disinterested inquiry, free from political pressures.  The basic difference between the West and the Rest might be summed up as a difference in epistemological principles. Behind the success of modern Western societies, with their science and technology, and their open institutions, lies a distinct way of looking at the world, interpreting it, and rectifying problems: by lifting them out of the religious sphere and treating them empirically, finding solutions in rational procedures. The whole edifice of modern science is one of Western man’s greatest gifts to the world.[6]   The West is responsible for almost every major scientific discovery of the last 500 hundred years, from heliocentrism and the telescope, to electricity, to computers.
The West has given the world the symphony and the novel.  A culture that engendered the spiritual creations of Mozart and Beethoven, Wagner and Schubert, of Raphael and Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt does not need lessons in spirituality from societies whose vision of heaven resembles a cosmic brothel stocked with virgins for men’s pleasure.
The West gave us the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and many other manifestations of the humanitarian impulse. It is the West that provides the bulk of the aid to beleaguered Darfur, while Islamic countries are conspicuous by their absence.
The West does not need lectures on the superior virtue of societies where women are kept in subjection, endure genital mutilation, are married off against their will at the age of nine, have acid thrown on their faces or are stoned to death for alleged adultery, or where human rights are denied to those regarded as belonging to lower castes.[7] The West does not need sanctimonious homilies from societies that cannot provide clean drinking water or sewage systems for their populations, that cannot educate their citizens, but leave 40-50 percent of them illiterate, that make no provisions for the handicapped, that have no sense of the common good or civic responsibility, that are riddled with corruption.
No Western politician would be able to get away with the kind of racist remarks that are tolerated in the Third World, such as the anti-Semitic diatribes of the Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad.  Instead, there would be calls for resignation, both from Third World leaders and from Western media and intellectuals. Double standards?  Yes, but also a tacit acknowledgement that we expect higher ethical standards from the West.
The Ayatollah Khomeini once famously said there are no jokes in Islam. The West is able to look at its own foibles and laugh, even make fun of its own fundamental principles. There is no Islamic equivalent to Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Can we look forward to seeing The Life of Mo anytime in the future?
The rest of the world recognizes the virtues of the West in concrete ways.  As Arthur Schlesinger remarked, “When Chinese students cried and died for democracy in Tiananmen Square, they brought with them not representations of Confucius or Buddha but a model of the Statue of Liberty.”[8] Millions of people risk their lives trying to get to the West—not to Saudi Arabia or Iran or Pakistan.  They flee from theocratic or other totalitarian regimes to find tolerance and freedom in the West, where life is an open book.



[1]Bruce Thornton. “Golden Threads: Former Muslim Ibn Warraq Stands Up for the West,” City Journal, August 17, 2007.

[2]     Roger Scruton. “The Glory of the West is that Life is an Open Book,” Sunday Times, May 27, 2007.
[3]     Alan Charles Kors, Can There be an ‘After Socialism’? in Social Philosophy and Policy, 2003; 20 (1)  pp.1-17 .
[4]     Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy, London: Williams & Norgate, [Ist edn.1912] Chapter XV.
[5]     Roger Scruton, “The Defense of the West,”  A Lecture given at the Columbia Political Union, New York, Thursday, April 14th, 2005.
[6]     Caroline Cox & John Marks, The ‘West’, Islam and Islamism: Is Ideological Islam Compatible with Liberal Democracy? (London: Civitas, 2003) pp.12-13.
[7]     A.M.Schlesinger, Jr. The Disuniting of America. Reflections on a Multicultural Society ( New York: Norton, 1992) p.128.
[8]     Ibid., p.129.