China Vindicates Trump, Mocks Paris Accord, with Record CO2 Emissions

China
The Associated Press

China’s CO2 emissions are shooting to the moon.

Several studies released by the Global Carbon Project say worldwide carbon emissions are projected to jump about 2 percent this year after staying flat for three years, according to preliminary estimates.

The culprit, the data show, is China, which has kept its emissions in check in recent years but now shows a massive rise in pollution. Under the Paris pact, China agreed to cap its emissions by 2030, meaning it is still free to increase pollution.

China’s uptick this year, after a 1 percent drop in 2015 and flat emissions last year, is largely a result of the country’s increased use of fossil fuels.

This is very bad news if you believe in the man-made global warming fairy.

But it’s great news if you’re Donald Trump. It means that his decision to pull out of the UN Paris Accord is vindicated – and for all the reasons he gave.

Here is the key section from the President’s Rose Garden speech in June this year when he announced the U.S. withdrawal.

For example, under the agreement, China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years — 13.  They can do whatever they want for 13 years.  Not us.  India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries.  There are many other examples.  But the bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.

Further, while the current agreement effectively blocks the development of clean coal in America — which it does, and the mines are starting to open up.  We’re having a big opening in two weeks.  Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, so many places.  A big opening of a brand-new mine.  It’s unheard of.  For many, many years, that hasn’t happened.  They asked me if I’d go.  I’m going to try.

China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants.  So we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement.  India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.  Think of it:  India can double their coal production.  We’re supposed to get rid of ours.  Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants.

Exactly. The Paris Accord was a bad deal for the U.S.  It would have needlessly handled a huge competitive advantage to economies like India and China, while doing next to nothing – actually, let’s be honest, nothing – to combat climate change.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

The István Markó Interview: Possibly the Best Thing You Will Ever Read on Global Warming. Pt 2 – Politics, Economics, Arnie…

celebrities
AP/Eric Risberg

Here, as promised, is Part II of the István Markó interview. It was conducted by French journalist Grégoire Canlorbe. (Full interview here).

Dr Markó, who died earlier this year, was professor and researcher in organic chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium’s largest French-speaking university, as well as a Breitbart contributor and a brilliant and outspoken climate skeptic.

In Part I, Markó covered the science of global warming. It proved a massive hit with readers and, just as importantly, it sent the leftist trolls absolutely mental.

Part II deals with the politics and economics of global warming.

The ‘science’ on global warming has been hijacked by left-wing politics

To begin, I believe in science: I mean that I believe in the possibility of objectively knowing reality through science. I believe that there are truth and falsehood, that science allows us to distinguish between the two, and that truth must be known; that scientific knowledge must be placed in the hands of the population. I also believe in freedom. I believe that every man is entitled to lead his life and to manage his goods as he sees fit, that he is the only possessor of himself, and that statist socio-economic control is as morally reprehensible as it is harmful in its social, economic, and environmental consequences.

The people are being taken for a ride

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Hello Flammable Ice; Bye Bye Renewables – Enter the Greenies’ Worst Nightmare

Albatross via Getty

China is on the verge of unleashing an energy revolution which will destroy pretty much forever the green argument that “we are running out of fossil fuel.”

At the heart of this revolution is a miracle substance, sometimes known as “flammable ice”, made up of deposits of frozen gas concentrate in the ocean bed. The substance – methane hydrate – is incredibly energy intensive: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration one cubic foot of flammable ice holds 164 cubic feet of regular natural gas.

It is by far the world’s most abundant reservoir of fossil fuel, as the Global Warming Policy Forum has reported.

According to one conservative academic calculation, Earth’s conventional reserves of natural gas hold 96 billion tonnes of carbon. Earth’s reserves of oil contain 160 billion tonnes. Earth’s reserves of coal contain 675 billion tonnes: Taken together, 931 billion tonnes of fossil fuel. But Earth’s methane hydrates contain 3,000 billion tons of carbon.

Or more. Methane hydrates are found at larger and larger volumes the deeper you drill. ConocoPhillips drilled 830 metres for its field test at Prudhoe Bay. At this level, you calculate the reservoir of methane gas in the hundreds (100s) of trillions of cubic feet (tcf). Drill deeper and you calculate reserves in the thousands (1,000s) of trillion cubic feet. Drill deeper still and you calculate reserves in the hundred-thousands (100,000s) of trillion cubic feet. Earth’s reserves of this resource could theoretically reach millions (1,000,000s) of trillion cubic feet.

Though methane hydrate is not a newly discovered phenomenon – various countries are researching its potential including the U.S. and Japan – China’s announcement via its state media agency that it has made a “major breakthrough” in successfully collecting the frozen fuel means that it is one step closer to being used commercially.

This won’t be good news, long term, for the U.S. shale gas industry.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

COP21: The Only Six Things You Need to Know About the Paris Climate Debacle

Here is what you need to know.

1. All that stuff you’ve read and heard about “time running out”, “deadlock” , “last minute deals” — it’s all a charade; everything was pre-ordained.

Every COP conference there has ever been has run on exactly the same lines. Whatever comes out of this one, it will be a fudge and a compromise whose only certain achievement will be to ensure that there are more such conferences next year (in sunny Marrakech, Morocco) and the one after and the one after that…

In truth, COP is not really about saving the planet. Rather, it’s a massive jobs fair for activists, shyster politicians, bureaucrats, corporate scamsters, and people with otherwise worthless degrees in “sustainability”, “conservation biology”, “ecology”, etc.

2. No serious person in the world believes in man-made climate change any more. They just don’t.

When did the edifice finally collapse? Well there are lots of competing candidates. But if you haven’t seen the testimony presented by John Christy, Judith Curry, or William Happer at the Ted Cruz hearings in Congress earlier this week, that’s a good place to start. Then, in a league of his own, is Mark Steyn — who doesn’t mince his words…

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Paris Climate Talks Are Doomed Because China Knows ‘Climate Change’ Is a Hoax

Like a lot of the president’s statements on climate change this isn’t actually true. In fact there are lots and lots of people in the world who know it’s a hoax. And among them, unfortunately, happen to be the ruling elite of the most significant carbon emitting nation of them all: China.

We know this because of a devastating report, released today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, written by one of the West’s leading experts on the Chinese environmental economy, Patricia Adams.

Adams, an economist, executive director of Toronto-based Probe International, who has been working with the Chinese environmental movement since the mid-Eighties, is under absolutely no illusions about China’s real position on “climate change.”

China sees it as a brilliant opportunity to fleece the gullible gwailo for as much money as it can, to burnish its international image by making all the right green noises, and to blackmail the West into providing it with free technology.

But it has no intention whatsoever of sacrificing economic growth by reducing its carbon dioxide emissions.

China knows this. The West either knows this or strongly suspects this. So any agreement reached next week which pretends otherwise will either be a fudge, a lie, or an outright capitulation by Western negotiators – because China knows what it wants and it isn’t budging, no sirree.

Here’s how Adams puts it:

China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, is under intense international pressure to reduce its use of fossil fuels. Although China’s leaders aim to reduce the country’s fossil-fuel consumption to 80% of its energy mix by 2030, they will not forsake national economic growth for the supposed global good. This is because China’s Communist Party knows that to stay in power – its highest priority – it must maintain the economic growth rates that have raised the incomes of much of its population and kept opposition at bay. China’s leaders know that GDP growth is tied to fossil- fuel use.

So far so disastrous for the COP21 negotiations. But worse is to come, far worse.

Obama and other Western leaders like to pretend that China’s appalling air pollution – the “airpocalypse” afflicting major cities which kills at least half a million a year – gives it a strong incentive to reduce its CO2 levels. But in fact the opposite is true.

That’s because China understands – as the West pretends not to – that CO2 and “pollution” are very different things.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

China Shows How Much It Cares about Climate Change: With a Single, Upraised Finger

According to shock data  released, without fanfare, by China’s statistical agency, its coal use has been about 17 per cent higher per year than earlier official figures admitted. This may have pumped an extra billion tons per year of CO2 into the atmosphere – more than the total greenhouse gas output of the entire German economy.

In 2012, China burned through an extra 600 million tons of coal: about 70 per cent of the amount used annually by the US.

The new figures make a nonsense of China’s publicly-expressed commitment to wage war on climate change.

Only two days ago, Chinese president Xi Jinping emerged from a summit with French president Francois Hollande, calling for “an ambitious and legally binding deal” at the forthcoming COP21 climate talks being staged by the UN in Paris later this month.

This moved Greenpeace China’s Li Shuo to declare it “encouraging to see the ball rolling and diplomacy nudging us a small step forward”. He added:

“Moreover, with the recent decline in coal consumption and robust renewable energy development, China is positioning itself at the front of climate leadership. This is drastically different from six years ago in Copenhagen.”

We now know that this was wishful thinking.

Not that we couldn’t have guessed this anyway. China’s policy on CO2 emissions is – and always has been – a case of “tell the gullible Gwailo whatever they want to hear – then carry on building coal-fired power stations regardless.”

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Lilley Sticks It to ‘Trougher’ Yeo

Yeo ho ho

Tim Yeo’s carbon-free future (Alamy)

Not everything in the Tory party is rotten and irredeemable. There was good old Owen Paterson in the papers yesterday with his squirrel traps. There’s Gove, sticking it to the eco-loons by removing global warming junk science teaching from the curriculum. And then there’s this utterly magnificent performance by Peter Lilley in a climate change debate at Westminster Hall last week, up against two of his more bubonic colleagues Tim “Trougher” Yeo and Greg “so utterly crap he doesn’t even merit a nickname” Barker. Lilley was participating in his new role as a member of the Climate Change Committee, which he was able to infiltrate by means of a secret ballot. I recommend you read the full Hansard transcript. It is, as they say, *popcorn*.

Here is Lilley on the various COP (Conference of the Parties) meetings staged around the world at venues like Copenhagen, Durban, Cancun, Doha etc. (But never Eastbourne, I notice):

Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad. One of the early signs of madness is an indulgence in compulsive displacement activity, which could not be a better description of the whole COP process. Tens of thousands of people are displaced across the globe to an environment where they are cut off from reality and the rest of the world, where they can indulge themselves in demonstrating their lack of realism and reality, and where the original objective of obtaining a legally binding agreement between nations to reduce worldwide emissions has itself been displaced by the alternative objective of reaching an agreement to meet again—and to agree to reach an agreement at some distant future time. That is displacement activity on a massive scale, and it involves a massive degree of hypocrisy, given the huge emissions incurred by these eco-warriors as they swan across the globe in jets and hire fleets of limousines, so emitting more CO2 than a small African country.

On fossil fuel:

I do not like seeing hundreds of millions of my fellow human beings wallowing in misery and living lives that are stunted relative to what their material living standards might be if they achieved economic growth. But growth requires energy—it is almost synonymous with the rise in the use of energy—and the growth in energy use needed to raise their living standards will absorb much of their capacity to invest and much of the capital available for them to invest in future decades.

Fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy. Renewables cost two or more times as much as fossil fuels to produce a given amount of energy. If developing countries are forced to use renewables, they could only afford less than half as much energy as they would otherwise be able to bring on stream. That means they will not use renewables; they will continue to develop by exploiting the use of fossil fuels.

As the debate progresses, Lilley’s contempt for his colleagues on the Climate Change Committee becomes palpable. (“I am overwhelmed by my Right Hon. friend’s eloquence and verbosity” he tells Barker at one point) He describes them as “united in lunacy” – and not unreasonably so. Whether it’s Labour’s Luciana Berger boasting about a wind farm she once saw in Tanzania or an extinct frog she just looked up on the internet, or Greg Barker having the gall to invoke the late Baroness Thatcher in order to justify taking “unpopular” measures to deal with climate change, or Tim Yeo praising emissions trading schemes in California, it’s like being privy to a debate in a parallel universe where the main goal is to make the most stupid, wrongheaded, irrelevant argument you can in order to win. This is the bubble our politicians inhabit – and Lilley has just given it an almighty gregbarker with his pin.

I’ll leave you with Lilley’s demolition of Tim Yeo’s patronising arguments Britain can somehow team up with China to combat Climate Change. It’s long. But it’s good. Well done Peter! You’re a bloody hero. And when Cameron is defenestrated there’s definitely going to be a place for you – as Energy Minister at the very least I hope – in the UKIP/RealConservative Coalition government.

Criminologists have observed that the victims of confidence tricksters are often willing—indeed, eager—to believe the story to which they fall victim, and the more absurd, fantastic or fabulous the story, the more willing they are to believe it. The report is an example of a confidence trick that has been willingly absorbed by the Government and members of the Committee. It contains all the characteristics necessary for the sort of fairy tale in which one wants to believe: it has a faraway country, mysterious powers that we attribute to ourselves, and pots of gold—green gold—at the end of the rainbow.

The first delusion affirmed by the report is the delusion of power. It is a strange hangover from liberal imperialism that the British intellectual classes believe that they can still dominate the world—that the world is anxious to hear from them, and will jump to attention at their every word and follow their every command. Take the opening words of the report:

“China is central to global efforts to tackle climate change”—

true, but it continues, and I ask Members to savour these words—

“and should be at the heart of HMG’s climate change mitigation strategy.”

What imperialist arrogance and what delusions of grandeur that the United Kingdom, a nation of 65 million people off the coast of Europe, could somehow direct, guide or in any substantive way influence the policies of the largest nation in the world, with 1.3 billion people, on the other side of the globe.

How are we to achieve that remarkable feat? The summary refers to

“our leadership role in China”.

Members should also savour those words. I read about the change of leadership in China last year, but I did not realise that that involved the replacement of Xi Jin Ping by “Greg Bar Ker” and “Ed Da Vey”—they apparently now have a leadership role in China to which the Chinese are now anxious to respond. The report states that, sadly, our

“leadership role in China is being undermined by our ‘image’…The UK’s image is also tarnished by the reputation of being ‘all talk and no action’.”

I wish it were all talk and no action in this country. When people who do not like windmills—I quite like them—look across our countryside and find that they blight the horizon, they wish there was more talk and less action. When people pay their household bills, they wish there was more talk and less action. Abroad, however, the word has apparently got out that we do not really mean what we say. I do not know how that has happened, but it will apparently be made worse if we do not inflict more problems on ourselves, because the report states:

“Slowing the pace of decarbonisation at home could undermine…the credibility of UK leadership on climate change.”

The second delusion is about China’s decarbonisation policy. The British intelligentsia has always been capable of convincing itself that China is a paragon of whatever is the current fashionable virtue. When I was at Cambridge, Professor Joan Robinson used to dress in a Mao suit and teach us that China had shown us a new economic model that we could all follow. Now it is doing the same on climate change. The report states:

18 Apr 2013 : Column 177WH

“China has set out some of the most ambitious decarbonisation plans in the world.”

Yet, it also states that,

“half the growth in energy-related emissions from now until 2030 will come from China.”

Half of that growth will come from the country that is pursuing the most ambitious decarbonisation policy in the world, and by 2030

“China could account for half of the world’s emissions.”

I submit that those two views are incompatible. Either China is pursuing the most ambitious decarbonisation policy in the world, in which case one assumes that it will decarbonise—or at least match our skills in reducing, or preventing the growth in, carbon emissions—or it will not.

Why is that rosy view of China’s emissions policies peddled? The British public have to be convinced that China’s emissions are under control. The report admits:

“The UK’s emissions reduction efforts are negligible compared with emissions increases elsewhere.”

In 2011, the increase in emissions from China exceeded the UK’s total emissions by 200 million tonnes. The device used in the report to convince us all that the Chinese are pursuing an ambitious decarbonisation policy is, first, to glide from talking about reducing emissions to talking about reducing emissions growth, which is not quite the same thing, and secondly, to equate reduction in carbon intensity with cutting carbon emissions, which is not the same thing at all.

Like any sensible country, China of course wants more economic output from every tonne of fuel or joule of energy used. It enjoyed steady reductions in carbon intensity until the beginning of this century—not that it had any particular plan for CO2 reductions; it just used energy more efficiently each year—but for some reason that stopped early in this century, and it now has plans to return to the same path of increasing energy efficiency each year. Despite such increasing energy efficiency, however, it will experience major rises in energy use and carbon emissions.

The third delusion is the prospect of green jobs in the UK resulting from exports to China. That prospect depends on the UK inflicting on itself severe and ambitious measures to decarbonise the UK economy. The report states:

“Slowing the pace of decarbonisation at home could undermine our low-carbon businesses and the export opportunities for this sector”.

What are the opportunities? The report states that the

“inquiry identified three sectors where…the UK has an established lead”.

What are they? The first is the oil and gas sector. It is true that we have expertise in oil and gas, but I would not have thought of it as a typical green sector. Indeed, the report states that,

“British expertise could help to ensure that”

Chinese resources are used

“in the most sustainable way possible. The UK’s own emissions profile has been improved by the ‘switch to gas’ and…a similar switch could be achieved in China, reducing emissions between 50% and 70%. Significant potential for gas development lies in the exploitation of unconventional resources.”

The report mentions shale gas in China, but not much encouragement has been given to that in this country, where we have had an 18-month moratorium and no drilling so far. None the less, the Committee’s report, which the Government have endorsed, believes:

18 Apr 2013 : Column 178WH

“UK skills in the emerging market for unconventional ‘shale’ gas could help China to diversify its energy mix away from coal.”

Anything further from reality than the suggestion that we, who have held back shale gas development in this country and who—as we are told by the Committee, which has carried out an investigation—lack the expertise and will take a long time to develop our own resources, if they are there, can nevertheless help the Chinese to do so and then count that as a green export, would seem to me to be pretty bizarre.

The second sector is low-carbon buildings, primarily their design. That is fair enough. Let us send a few designers and architects over there and get the Chinese to pay their fees, but it will not revolutionise the British economy.

Interestingly, the third sector is carbon capture and storage. We are actually paying the Chinese to help them to develop the technology, and the report says that they already have a plant up and running. The idea that somehow the result is going to be us exporting carbon capture and storage technology to them when we are helping them develop a technology in which they are already further ahead than we are is bizarre.

Related posts:

  1. ‘Trougher’ Yeo: we mustn’t laugh…
  2. This government simply hasn’t a clue about ‘Climate Change’
  3. ‘Trougher’ Yeo recants on global warming
  4. Boris sticks his thumb in the wind

 

Exploding Watermelons: ‘Oh No, Not Another Ruddy Energy Revolution?’

Methane hydrate

"Well I suppose there's always ocean acidification..."

“Well I suppose there’s always ocean acidification…”

There’s so much good news coming out on the energy front at the moment that it’s hard to keep up. (Thanks for the first few to the Global Warming Policy Foundation which is really on fire at the moment)

Here’s a story from Forbes about attempts by scientists to tap into methane hydrate, perhaps the most powerful and abundant energy source on the planet:

They’ve done it in a laboratory: Scientists have injected carbon dioxide into the kind of  methane ice that underlies vast tracts of permafrost in the Arctic and lurks beneath the deep seafloor throughout the world.

In that experiment, the carbon dioxide exchanged with the methane molecules. While the CO2 was sequestered inside the ice, the scientists extracted an energy source that may exist in nature in greater volume than all other fossil fuels combined.

Here’s a report on China’s attempts to do likewise, by building an undersea base.

Located in east China’s coastal city of Qingdao, the base will cost 495 million yuan (76.2 million U.S. dollars) and will be a multi-functional institution that will aid China in its study and exploration of the ocean, according to Liu.

Scientists believe that the area’s seabeds hold abundant deposits of rare metals and methane hydrate, a solidified form of natural gas that may serve as a new source of energy.

Here’s a sensible, measured piece at Reason from my friend John Stossel on the currently more realisable dream energy solution, shale gas:

Frankly, I’m skeptical of all of them: lefty moviemakers who smear companies, companies with economic interests at stake, and the regulators, who are often cozy with industry and lack essential knowledge. The surest environmental protectors are property rights—and courts that assign liability to polluters.

But hydraulic fracturing is a wonderful thing. It’s not new. Companies have done it for 60 years, but now they’ve found ways to get even more gas out of the ground. That’s the reason gas is getting cheaper and panicky politicians no longer rant about America “running out of fuel.”

Natural gas is not risk-free, but no energy source is. Perfect is not one of the choices.

Here’s some good news for the Poles, who have massive shale gas deposits which they’re dying to exploit (not least so that they no longer need be exposed to economic blackmail from Russia) but which the EU is doing its damnedest to prevent because of its ideologically-driven campaign to impose  “renewables” at all costs on its various vassal states.

WARSAW — US President Barack Obama will focus on energy cooperation, including shale gas development, when he visits NATO partner Poland for the first time next week, a US diplomat said Wednesday in Warsaw.

“Energy is a pillar of Polish-American relations and it is sure to be the subject of discussions when President Obama visits Warsaw next week,” US ambassador Lee Feinstein told delegates to a shale gas conference here.

Global fuel giants are exploring Poland’s shale gas deposits, which a recent US study pegged as having a potential 5.3 trillion cubic metres of natural gas which could last Poland some 300 years.

The US has become a global leader in the production of natural gas extracted from shale, boosting its energy security, driving down prices and making it an exporter.

Poland hopes it could reap similar benefits. However, experts insist that with exploration in the very early stages, it is too soon to gauge commercial viability.

Ex-communist Poland covers 30 percent of its gas needs from domestic resources.

“The issue of shale gas has become an important element of Polish-American relations, strengthening the extra-military importance of the United States for Poland’s security,” Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told the conference.

Here’s some fantastic news from Canada: (H/T WUWT)

OTTAWA — Conservatives have kiboshed a carbon tax, Environment Minister Peter Kent confirmed Thursday.

“It’s off the table,” he told reporters Thursday after accepting an award from World Wildlife Fund International on behalf of Parks Canada.

“There’s no expectation of cap-and-trade continentally in the near or medium future.”

In 2008, the Conservatives floated a North America-wide cap-and-trade system trial balloon soon after U.S. President Barack Obama was elected.

But during the election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned the carbon-tax scheme proposed in the New Democrat platform would spike gas prices.

Nixing cap-and-trade will likely be a sore point for the NDP caucus, but Kent said he’d ignore any sabre-rattling from opposition benches.

“It’s off the table,” he told reporters Thursday after accepting an award from World Wildlife Fund International on behalf of Parks Canada.

“There’s no expectation of cap-and-trade continentally in the near or medium future.”

In 2008, the Conservatives floated a North America-wide cap-and-trade system trial balloon soon after U.S. President Barack Obama was elected.

And here’s a piece of news so glorious it almost makes me want to cry: at least one tiny corner of the planet has seen sense and begun dismantling one of the most loathsome blights on the landscape human folly has yet devised.

Mark Duchamp writes in with this news from the Lerida, Autonomous Community (state) of Catalonia, Spain:

A judge ordered the removal of 45 wind turbines on the grounds that planning laws were violated. There was no “general municipal plan” establishing a “reserva del suelo” – i.e. the land was not legally declared appropriate for the erection of wind turbines.

But let me put all this in context. Why is it exciting? Why should we care? Because it confounds one of the key tenets of the Green Religion which, unfortunately, has so come to dominate global political thinking in the last three decades: that there is such a thing as “Peak Energy” and that we owe it to future generations to preserve “scarce resources” by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and migrating to renewables.

This, in essence, is the subject of my new book Watermelons. If you want to understand the real reason why Anthropogenic Global Warming theory prompted the biggest and most expensive outbreak of mass hysteria in history you must look beyond the science and examine the psychopathology of the environmental movement’s key thinkers. Whether it’s Rachel Carson or Paul Ehrlich or Aurelio Peccei (of the Club of Rome) or John Holdren or Zac Goldsmith’s uncle Ted or Jonathan Porritt or George Monbiot or even Al Gore and the Prince of Wales, each one of them cleaves to the same neo-Malthusian philosophy: that there simply aren’t enough resources to fuel and feed Mother Gaia’s burgeoning population and that therefore the only solution is to reduce population while simultaneously killing off the hateful economic growth which uses up all those “scarce resources.”

To the doom-mongers who hold this view, news first of the shale gas revolution and now of the methane hydrate revolution is like a slap in the face with a wet kipper. They hate it because it denies them the excuse they so badly need if they are to succeed in imposing on an unconvinced world their glorious New World Order in which an enlightened elite of experts (ie people like them) taxes, regulates and generally bosses around the rest of us in the name of “planetary responsibility.”

First Shale Gas; now Methane Hydrate. Sounds very much to me like there IS a God. And that He really doesn’t think much of those who engage in Gaia Worship.

Related posts:

  1. Don’t let the Watermelons kill the Shale Gas Revolution
  2. Copenhagen: the sweet sound of exploding watermelons
  3. Watermelons v the Shale Gas Miracle
  4. What Dave and his chum Barack don’t want you to know about green jobs and green energy

 

Earth Does Not Have a Cancer; the Cancer Is Not Man

Some deeply unpleasant remark

Chris Packham, 'wildlife expert' (Photo: Paul Grover)

Chris Packham, ‘wildlife expert’ (Photo: Paul Grover)

Any minute now I’m going to lay off blogging for a while, for health reasons. But I can’t pretend I’m going to find going cold turkey easy, especially not when there are stories like this around.

It concerns “wildlife expert” Chris Packham – presenter of some of the BBC’s most popular nature programmes including Springwatch and a new series called The Animal’s Guide To British Wildlife – and some deeply unpleasant remarks he made in the course of an interview with the Radio Times.

“There’s no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and tigers when we’re not addressing the one single factor that’s putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other – namely the ever-increasing size of the world’s population. I read the other day that, by 2020, there are going to be 70 million people in Britain. Let’s face it, that’s too many.”

So what does he suggest we do about it? Get people to stop having children?

“Yes. Absolutely. I wouldn’t actually penalise people for having too many children, as I think the carrot always works better than the stick. But what I would offer them tax breaks for having small families: say, 10 per cent off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child. And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.”

What frightens me almost more than these remarks – whose loathsomeness I shall gloss in a moment – is the response of the Daily Mail’s readership. All right, perhaps the Mail’s online audience is not representative of the entire country, but I do think they’re probably close to embodying what the reasonable other person from Middle England thinks, and in this case what they seem to think is frankly bloody terrifying.

All right, so I don’t imagine many of us here would quibble with the most popular comment so far, with 1300 plus positive votes:

How about offering people nothing for not having children as well as not giving them anything when they have ten children? Let them pay for their offspring with their own money for a change. That might make a few people consider the population even if it’s the one in their own home.

This is in line with the very sensible remarks that once got Howard Flight into such trouble. And of course the Tory peer was quite right: it’s absurd to have a situation where the most feckless, unproductive sector of the economy is subsidised by the state to have children they would otherwise be unable to afford.

But here are the second and third most popular comments, with well over 1000 positive votes each:

He is quite right you know, the most eco friendly thing you can do is not breed.

Well done Chris I couldn’t have said it better myself. That is the main problem with this planet — too many people. We require a massive birth control programme, never mind growing more food and building more houses — cut back on breeding is the only answer.

There are so many things wrong with this attitude I don’t know where to begin. But why not let’s start with the plight of only children? Almost everyone I know who was brought up without a brother or sister wishes it could have been otherwise. I myself grew up in a family of seven, and while it’s true that I have never quite forgiven one of them for voting for Caroline Lucas in the last election I count the friendship and kinship of my wonderful brothers and sisters one of the greatest joys of my existence. I know there are many in China who feel much the same way: the tyrannical one-child policy, it is now being recognised, has not only led to much unnecessary unhappiness but is also leading to potentially disastrous economic consequences (especially in its battle for economic supremacy with India, where no such restrictions have applied).

Yet such is the misery that Chris Packham wishes to import to Britain. And to be fair, he is far from the only high profile figure who thinks this way. Very much of the same view is that famously nice, caring natural history TV presenter David Attenborough, concerned environmentalist the Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt, actress Susan Hampshire, Gaia theory inventor James Lovelock, ex UN apparatchik Sir Crispin Tickell (the man who – briefly – persuaded Margaret Thatcher of the imminent perils of Man Made Global Warming) and chimp expert Jane Goodall. All of these luminaries are – with Packham – patrons of the Optimum Population Trust, an organisation which believes that the world’s growing population is “unsustainable” and which is dedicated to finding ways of reducing it.

The problem with the Optimum Population Trust – one of them anyway – is that its very existence is predicated on a vilely misanthropic view of the human species: that there are too many of us, that we do more harm than good.

And yes, superficially, this view of the world makes a kind of sense. It’s what I call an “I reckon” argument: the sort of argument you’d make in a pub, after a few beers, based on information you’ve established from a gut feeling so strong it doesn’t need any awkward details like facts getting in the way of your opinion. I mean obviously more people means less space, and more demand on “scarce resources”, so the more people there are the more trouble we’re in. Stands to reason dunnit?

This is exactly the kind of wrong thinking I address in my new book Watermelons. You’ll forgive me if I don’t come up with all the counterarguments here. (Read the bloody book!). But in a nutshell, it’s that this Neo-Malthusian pessimism – as warped and wrongheaded today as it was in the era of doom-monger Thomas Malthus (1766 to 1834) – is based on fundamental misconceptions about the ingenuity of the human species and about the nature of economic growth.

Sure if all populations did as they grew and grew was use up more finite “stuff”, then we would indeed have cause to worry. But they don’t: as populations increase in size, so they learn to specialise and adapt and find ever more ingenious ways of making more with less. That’s why, for example, the mass starvation predicted by Paul Ehrlich in his Sixties bestseller The Population Bomb never happened: because thanks to Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution, crop yields dramatically increased while the area of land under cultivation remained unchanged. If you want to read more about this, I recommend not just my book, but also Matt Ridley’s superb The Rational Optimist or anything by Julian Simon (known as the Doomslayer because of the way he constantly confounded Neo Malthusian pessimism and  junk science).

The reason I have become so obsessed with “global warming” in the last few years is not because I’m particularly interested in the “how many drowning polar bears can dance on the head of a pin” non-argument which hysterical sites like RealClimate and bloggers like Joe Romm are striving so desperately to keep on a life support machine. It’s because unlike some I’ve read widely enough to see the bigger picture.

One thing I’ve learned in this wide reading is how obsessed so many of the key thinkers in the green movement are with the notion of “overpopulation.” As one of their favourite think tanks, the Club of Rome, puts it: “Earth has a cancer and the cancer is man.” This belief explains, inter alia, why the “science” behind AGW is so dodgy: because the science didn’t come first. What came first was the notion that mankind was a problem and was doing harm to the planet. The “science” was then simply tortured until it fitted in with this notion.

I do not share this view. Indeed, though I believe that while people like Chris Packham (and Prince Charles; George Monbiot; Al Gore; David Attenborough; Robert Redford; Mikhail Gorbachev; Ted Turner; et al) may believe what they do for the noblest of reasons, their ecological philosophy is fundamentally evil. And I do mean evil. Any philosophy which has, as its core tenet, the belief that mankind is the problem not the solution cannot possibly be one that pertains to good, can it?

This is why I have been fighting this Climate War so hard for so long. And why I have no compunction whatsoever in calling the people who promote that repellant philosophy by the names they deserve. The ideological struggle that is being fought now over the issue of “Climate Change” (and related, quasi-Marxist weasel concepts such as Sustainability) may not yet involve the bloodshed caused in the wars against Nazism and Stalinism, but the threat it poses to individual freedom and economic security is every bit as great. But there aren’t enough of us fighting this war on the right side – and I’m knackered.

I want to leave the last words here to one of my favourite commenters, Tayles, who brilliantly explained the other day why there is moral equivalence between the green/liberal fascist side of the argument, and the one libertarian, empirical one for which I’m so frequently vilified by some of the posters below this blog. It really should be a separate post but that might confuse commenters as to where to go.

UPDATE

Just one more thing before I pass you over to Tayles. While of course I value the rich panoply of varied opinions I’m seeing appear below this blogged, I’m disturbed by the number which seem to determined to conflate “immigration” with “overpopulation”. These are entirely separate issues. It’s quite possible to believe, as I do, that unchecked immigration (encouraged as a deliberate policy under Blair) has been a disaster for Britain, especially when allied with the pernicious philosophy of multiculturalism which encourages division and separatism, while yet disagreeing violently with the loathsome Neo-Malthusianism of Chris Packham and his ilk. Do not confuse the two issues. Many – indeed the majority – of Britons are rightly concerned about how the character of their country has been changed and the infrastructure swamped by deliberately poor border controls. But this is a separate topic for discussion.

So, here he is: Tayles on why James Delingpole is right:

Such an approach is the one Delingpole adopts. Why do you never have a go at him for “cherry picking internet sources”? – Endeavour

That’s a fair question. There is a straightforward answer, which is that the Left’s evidence is normally one-eyed, misleading or downright dishonest. That extends to the AGW sham, which is propped up by a bunch of cobblers, peddled by scientists and politicians with much to gain from the spread of their dogma.

There’s a more philosophical answer too, which I’ll indulge you with if you’ve got a minute. The fundamental condition of mankind is one of liberty – which is to say, freedom from the constraints imposed by higher authorities. The only real ‘rights’ are those that exist in the absence of other people’s intervention, such as freedom of speech and property rights. Taxes, laws and so-called positive rights are man-made constructs that require the enforcement of a higher power, such as a government. Clearly they are no more naturally-occurring than iPods or Ford Fiestas.

When some new constraint is scrawled onto the blank page of freedom, it must be justified. The onus is on the person who wants to enforce that constraint to justify the need for it, rather than on those who must suffer its effects to explain why they should be spared. Just as a person is innocent until proved guilty, and the burden of proof is always on the True Believer, so the defenders of freedom should not really have to defend their position.

For this reason, the benefit of the doubt must be always be given to those looking to protect our freedoms, while those who wish to take them away should be required to be especially thorough and honest, and deserve to be treated with suspicion. The consequences and trade-offs of what they intend to impose should be weighed and analysed. We should be especially concerned if they try to brush aside the concerns of their opponents or ignore contrary evidence.

I think that the arguments put forward by AGW zealots should be a lot more convincing than they are. And I think that the defence of our freedoms advanced by James Delingpole are perfectly good enough. There is more at stake here than our climate.

Related posts:

  1. Pandas: do we need ’em?
  2. Pope Catholic; night follows day; IPCC found telling pack of lies about sea level rises
  3. What on earth is Bob Ward?
  4. ‘We must live more sustainably’ says Jeremy ‘Seven Homes’ Irons

5 thoughts on “Earth does not have a cancer; the cancer is not man”

  1. Max Eastern says:6th April 2011 at 9:16 pmWatermelons: is it really a book or is it just a joke? You inisit in your last blog that we read the bloody book, but where? At first I thought there really was a book, then, when I couldn’t find any evidence of it even on your own website, I thought it was a joke, then you mentioned the book again in a blog and I wasn’t sure. I might even be tempted to read the bloody thing if I thought it existed.
  2. Nige Cook says:8th April 2011 at 5:06 pmJames, can I just say well done for today’s Daily Express article, “What Exactly has the World ever Done for Britain?”, http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/239388/What-exactly-has-the-world-ever-done-for-Britain-

    “The fact is that we in Britain have done far, far more for the world than ever it did for us.

    “And it’s about ruddy time that pitifully ungrateful world gave us something back.”

    It’s spot on. We’d at least expect some respect, but the rest of the world is too full of bigotry against Britain’s history of colonialism to remember that, for example, slavery continued in America for 32 years longer than in Britain. If we had no immense deficit, we could afford to play God and sort out the world’s problems, if others were genuinely deserving and genuinely grateful for the help. But borrowing money to throw down the drain “helping others” while we cut jobs and social spending here is not generosity, but stupidity.

    Because we’re virtually throwing money at the recipients in a stupid manner, it comes across in the wrong way; we even don’t get respect in return. It’s perceived that we’re stupid and frivolous with our money, that we have “more money than sense”, that the giving of money is some kind of reparation for our colonial past, or that the leaders who agreed to give the money are corrupt and must be doing it to get a secret private brown envelope of cash back from the recipient, etc. Nobody is grateful to Britain under these circumstances. The fastest way to make false “friends” is to start giving money for nothing. You don’t get genuine respect, instead you’re looked on as a loaded fool. If Cameron wants to help the world, let him write his cheques on his own private bank account, not increase Britain’s debt burden by giving unwanted help to selfish anti-British regimes, while making cut backs here.

  3. Velocity says:9th April 2011 at 9:16 pmConsider Prince Phillip said if he was re-born (God help us!) he’d like to come back as a virus as there’s too many of us. He’s on the WWF and ‘surprise surprise’ has born 3 children himself!!!

    The problem i see with eugenicists is that they’re still alive and having children adding to the population ‘problem’. A ‘problem’ that would disappear overnight if they were all eradicated

  4. Deadpeoplestuff says:21st April 2011 at 12:40 pmWell JD, down targets, patch-out. That’s to say, don’t stay away too long, recharge the batteries or should that read ‘stoke the coal fired boilers’ and come back fighting! (although I entirely understand the need to take a break….the trolls wear everyone down eventually)

    Please try to remember, you are one of the few writers prepared to represent the ‘other side’ of the great global warming racket. These ‘deep greens’ can not be given free run or those who respect and care for all life would lose an important voice.

    Anyone concerned about the ozone layer may wish to consider the nuclear tests and the continued deployment of so called ‘low yield’ depleted uranium (er..nukes) around the globes war zones (there are a few to choose from..) and may care to look deeper into the whole CFC story

  5. Nige Cook says:21st April 2011 at 10:00 pm“Anyone concerned about the ozone layer may wish to consider the nuclear tests and the continued deployment of so called ‘low yield’ depleted uranium (er..nukes) around the globes war zones (there are a few to choose from..) and may care to look deeper into the whole CFC story” – Deadpeoplestuff

    But 438 megatons of atmospheric nuclear tests, including high altitude tests in the ozone layer, had no measurable effect on ozone: see Nature (vol. 244, pp. 545-551), http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/79bias/Goldsmith.pdf

    Nuclear explosions in sea level air produce a strong blast wave which heats and compresses air to produce nitrogen dioxides. Simplistically, a tiny amount of nitrogen dioxide can set off a chain reaction that destroys the entire ozone layer – ignoring reactions with water vapour to form nitric acid, which is of course what happens to most nitric acids formed in shock wave “thunder” around lightning bolts (it was proved that this happens in nuclear detonations too, when America flew sampling aircraft through a Chinese megaton yield mushroom cloud in 1976). Water vapour is entrained by afterwinds and is sucked into the cloud, where it mixed with nitric oxides, forming nitric acid.

    High altitude nuclear explosions which don’t produce a significant blast wave, don’t produce significant amounts of nitric oxides, but the gamma rays released from such bursts do produce a massive amount of ozone, which gives a good boost for the ozone layer. This is still deliberately covered up by the American military, who are still classifying as secret early-time thermal radiation emission which shows the absorption of ultraviolet by the ozone created by the action of gamma radiation on the air around the fireball.

    People think this kind of data either (1) doesn’t exist, (2) isn’t precisely measured, or (3) is “controversial” (ignorable), when it’s merely still being classified as restricted data under the US Atomic Energy Act of 1954!

    This shows the danger of believing early scare-mongering “scientific” claims from armchair theorists. There’s also a media “selection principle” where only nuclear disaster claims are deemed newsworthy at all. Facts debunking widely-held dogmas don’t sell the Guardian and aren’t objectively reported. Scientists always pick up on this and ensure their reports are scary stuff that attracts more funding and research, like the self-perpetuating AGW scam. Lefties rely on lies (using dogmatic “science”) to camouflage their ecofascist eugenics policies: they censor out science criticisms as if they’re the same as religious heresies.

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Triumph of the West

If at the beginning of the 15th century you’d had to predict who was going to dominate the world for the next 500 years, the answer would surely have been China. From the sophistication of its sanitation system to the size of its fleet, China — under the Emperor Zhu Di and his eunuch naval commander Cheng Ho — was a country going places. Its mighty, 400-foot-long ships sailed as far as Malindi on the East African coast and probably Australia. It had invented the clock and, of course, gunpowder.

Europe, during the same period, was — relatively speaking — a stagnant, backward mess. Architecturally, it had nothing modern that could match the glories of the Forbidden City in Peking or imperial Nanjing. It was decidedly lacking in Confucian harmony and cohesion: a mishmash of violent, squabbling, plague-ravaged city states and warring kingdoms. Between 1330 and 1479, one quarter of deaths among the English aristocracy was violent.

By the end of the century, though, something had changed. Columbus, in a ship one tenth the size of Cheng Ho’s, had discovered the New World, while Vasco da Gama had opened a new trade route to India. And by 1842, the power imbalance had grown so great that to punish China for confiscating some of its opium Britain was able to demand reparations, including $21 million, the opening of five trade treaty ports and the establishment of a crown colony on Hong Kong.

Where did Europe get it so right and the Chinese so badly wrong? This was the question asked by Niall Ferguson in the first episode of his six-part series Civilisation: Is the West History? (Channel 4, Sunday). I can’t say I’ve been a particular fan of his earlier stuff, which has always struck me as a bit abstruse and pleased with itself. But this new one looks set to be an absolute cracker: cogent, urgent, persuasive and compelling.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

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  4. Margaret Thatcher dies; Dave basks in the limelight

5 thoughts on “Triumph of the West”

  1. Nige Cook says:14th March 2011 at 9:28 amYes, it wasn’t too bad. I saw it and Niall Ferguson half won me over with his discussion of the role of science in the military, showing off Benjamin Robins’ book which attempted to mathematically predict air resistance effects on cannon shell in his 1742 New principles of gunnery were enthusiastically taken up and extended three years later by the German language translator, the ubiquous mathematician Leonard Euler, in his improved Neue Grundsätze der Artillerie, 1745. Robins argued that the effect of air resistance increases with the initial velocity of the projective, which was revolutionary because the previous half-baked analysis by Tartaglia in 1537 and made parabolic by Galileo in 1638, claimed that air resistance was only important near the end of the trajectory.

    In fact air resistance is highest when the velocity is highest (in the early stages), because the drag is due to dynamic pressure, which as Euler found is clearly proportional to the square of the velocity of the shell. So as it slows down, air resistance becomes smaller, not bigger (as previously believed from intuitive guesswork). The key problem was determining the shell’s range as a function of gun elevation angle and the initial velocity of the shell. Napoleon studied the French version of Euler’s revision, and was able to get his gunnery more efficient than his rivals, whose military relied on an excessive amount of preliminary “test shots” to empirically determine the best elevation angle (wasting time, wasting cannon, and forewarning the enemy!). So the basis of Napoleon’s success was the brainpower of an English physicist!

  2. Nige Cook says:14th March 2011 at 9:41 am(Sorry, I was interrupted while writing the comment above; the second sentence is a dog’s breakfast.)
  3. JimmyGiro says:14th March 2011 at 6:04 pmI totally agree with your assessment of the Headmaster, in Jamie’s Dream School, as being the weakest link. And therein lies the value of the show; not so much for Jamie’s hopes, but for the way this show promises to expose some of the excuses that professional teachers (and their unions) come up with, such as blaming parents.

    Whether these ‘dream teachers’ succeed or fail becomes dwarfed by the incite we will all get by watching the reactions of real kids in real lessons. And I’ll bet a pound to a penny that the Headmaster will inadvertently expose his political training, along with the culpability of the teaching profession as it currently stands.

  4. Velocity says:15th March 2011 at 2:30 amNial Ferguson nailed only 1 major force for Europes, and latterly Americas, economic success: competition. It’s the most powerful force in capitalism.
    The other key he missed was freedom. Freedom of the individual to push boundaries, wether that be technology, industry or science (ie. knowledge).
    He touched on Chinas regression from being the most advanced nation but he didn’t nail the reason: authority or centralising of power.
    Centralising power of economic progress is fatal. Ity proved fatal to China.
    Whereas in Europe entrepeneurs, primarily agricultural and industrial, had room to breath. However Americas freedom surpassed Europes increasingly stifling Govts which is why America overtook authoritarian Europe so rapidly.

    Incidentally James ‘The Abyss’ is about to kick off i believe. The Euro and US stock markets have just taken what looks like the beginning of an accelerating wave down.
    This is important because it’s a lead indicator for the economy. And it also leads all political events (markets = horse… politics = cart).
    This last stock rally is being nicely ‘peeked’ by Merkals Emperor like orders for the minnows of Europe and agreeing to increase the Eurozone bailout fund. But this stock collapse is marking the beginning of the end for these last ‘chummy’ and ‘friendly’ Euro Clubbers. The declining stock market will now bring on devision, fall out and the inevitable split of the Eurozone in the next year.
    Tell Hannan… he’ll like the news… in fact if he knew how events unfold he could make the news and mark his place in history! He was very brave to use my line that business does not need the EU/Govts to trade across Europe in his speech at the EU. He gulped a bit delivering such a powerful message but deliver it he did (kudos for that)

  5. herkinderkin says:15th March 2011 at 2:37 pmJames – Nailed, pretty much. I cannot disagree about the key advantages:
    competition, science, property rights, medicine, the consumer society and the work ethic.

    Neither can I disagree about that these are negatives:
    bunny-hugging, diversity awareness training, renewable energy and the EU. The last is taxation (and regulation) without representation.

    The way that successive UK politicians of both left and right have ceded sovereignty to the EU.is treason in my book. NZ politicians have similarly ceded sovereignty to foreign interests and the UN. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the same leaders have abolished the death sentence for treason. Playing it safe, no doubt.

    Two comments are necessary.

    It is ironic that China, which is growing very fast, has central control, but does it in such a way that it now at last has all of the key advantages you identified. (Actually, they always did have the last, the work ethic.) I am uncomfortable with the excesses of the control the Chinese exercise, but it seems to be working overall. The Chinese are out-performing the West.

    Part of their success – a big part, arises from the headlong rush of western businesses to source their manufactured goods from the cheapest sources. As a result, manufacturing in the West has severely diminished. The short-term profits have been made, but the overall wealth of western nations has declined sharply.

    And the Chinese, and latterly the Indians, are beginning to laugh all the way to the bank.

    Competition, science, property rights, medicine, the consumer society and the work ethic. greed may not be such a crash-hot idea. It might be a good thing if western governments exercised some controls designed to promote growth. And abandoned the cloying, unecessary growth-limiting controls of carbon taxes.

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