It confirms what many have long suspected: recycling is an empty ritual, devised by green zealots, enforced by bureaucrats, but with no practical benefits whatsoever.
Obviously, being an official report, it doesn’t state the truth quite so bluntly. But it leaves the reader in no doubt that Britain’s recycling targets are just an empty, EU-driven exercise in green virtue-signalling and that the whole process positively invites fraud and corruption.
The report focuses on packaging recycling. Under a scheme introduced by the Blair Government in 1997 to comply with EU recycling directives, companies are obliged to take a certain percentage of their packaging from recycled material – or at least to do so symbolically by purchasing “recovery evidence notes” from specialist recycling companies. These are a bit like carbon credits or renewable obligation certificates: a way of maintaining the illusion that there is a free market, while simultaneously forcing companies to underwrite green tariffs imposed on them by the state.
Green recycling policy is killing the oceans with plastic pollution, says a shock report by a Finnish public health expert.
The report, written for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by Mikko Paunio, adjunct professor in general epidemiology at the University of Helsinki, is titled Save the Oceans – Stop Recycling Plastic.
The title may sound odd to ordinary people, but the sad fact is that the global “recycling” industry has significantly added to the marine plastic litter problem.
I have put recycling in quotes, because only a small fraction of plastic recovered from consumers is actually recycled: the material collected is dirty and so mixed up that it is impossible to produce the high-quality raw material required by, for example, the food-packaging industry. Most recovered plastic is simply burned or dumped: on land, in rivers, or even directly in the oceans.
Unable to recycle waste in line with the targets imposed on them, rich countries have chosen to dump it — plastic, paper and cardboard — on poor ones, especially China. Lower environmental standards in much of Asia has made it cheaper to manage waste there and low-quality recycled plastic can sometimes be profitably produced from these waste streams, albeit in highly polluted conditions.
In recent years, the stream of waste delivered to China expanded vastly. Annual imports reached 85 million tons, including 8 million of plastic. The quantity was so huge that inspection at ports became impossible, and the unscrupulous found that even mixed or hazardous waste could profitably be sent, disguised as “recycling” to avoid landfill tax or high management costs in rich countries. Unable to handle this tsunami of refuse, the Chinese were forced to either burn or dump vast quantities. An unknown amount found its way to the oceans.
The consequences for the environment and for public health of this “recycling” madness have therefore been horrendous, and have ultimately proved too high for the Chinese, who have now banned waste imports entirely. Recent figures suggest that recycling businesses in the UK have responded by simply shipping waste to Asian countries with even weaker environmental standards. So even more waste will end up in the oceans in future.
In recent months, plastic pollution has become the favoured cause of environmentalists, as it finally dawns that the public is heartily sick of being lectured about ‘climate change.’
Unexpectedly early, a new solar minimum has arrived.
The signs are that it could be one of the weakest in centuries, potentially ushering in the most serious bout of global cooling since the 17th century’s Maunder Minimum.
You might think the climate alarmists would be happy about this: after all, what better antidote to the horrors of “global warming” than a bracing dose of global cooling?
Instead, they are trying to divert attention by reviving one of their favorite old scare stories: the one about how ‘climate change’ is causing the Gulf Stream to alter its course, just like in The Day After Tomorrow.
This latest version of the scare story originated in the alarmist journal Nature and was then amplified by the Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact, ground zero for the most extreme form of pseudo-scientific climate alarmism.
Susan Crockford is a polar bear expert with a message that climate alarmists don’t want to hear: polar bear populations are thriving and are certainly in no danger from thinning summer sea ice supposedly caused by ‘man-made global warming.’
That’s why the alarmist establishment is currently trying destroy her.
First came a hatchet job in Bioscience, described by climate scientist Judith Curry as “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published.”
Crockford’s rebuttal is epic and can be read in full here.
Now, the New York Times has weighed in with a piece entitled ‘Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back’.
The headline has been poorly subbed. “Scientists” should be in danger quotation marks.
Its introductory paragraph will give you a taste of its quality:
Susan Crockford, arguably the world’s greatest polar bear expert, has some really bad news for environmentalists.
Their favorite ursine poster child of climate doom is doing great. Polar bear populations are stable, if not growing. That stuff you read in the liberal media about bears starving to death because thin summer sea ice is pure nonsense. The only evidence we have that polar bears are in any kind of trouble is the fake evidence of activists’ computer models.
Crockford’s full State of the Polar Bear Report 2017, produced for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, can be read here.
Here is a summary of its conclusions:
• Global polar bear numbers have been stable or risen slightly since 2005, despite the fact that summer sea ice since 2007 hit levels not expected until mid-century: the predicted 67% decline in polar bear numbers did not occur.
• Abundant prey and adequate sea ice in spring and early summer since 2007 appear to explain why global polar bear numbers have not declined, as might have been expected as a result of low summer sea ice levels.
• The greatest change in sea ice habitat since 1979 was experienced by Barents Sea polar bears and the least by those in Southern Hudson Bay, the most southerly region inhabited by bears.
• As far as is known, the record low extent of sea ice in March 2017 had no impact on polar bear health or survival.
• Some studies show bears are lighter in weight than they were in the 1980s, but none showed an increase in the number of individuals starving to death or too thin to reproduce.
• A just-released report of Southern Beaufort Sea bears having difficulty finding prey in 2014– 2016 suggests that the thick ice events that have impacted the region every ten years or so since the 1960s have continued despite reduced summer sea ice.
• Claims of widespread hybridization of polar bears with grizzlies were disproven by DNA studies.
• Overly pessimistic media responses to recent polar bear issues have made heartbreaking news out of scientifically insignificant events, suggesting an attempt is being made to restore the status of this failed global warming icon.
Or – short version – pretty much everything that Greenpeace, the WWF, the IPCC, the IUCN, the Guardian, CNN and the New York Times have ever told you about polar bears is a lie.
What particularly interests me about Crockford’s report are the extraordinary similarities it shows between global warming alarmism and polar bear alarmism.
In theory, there ought to be no connection whatsoever. Global warming studies, after all, involve scientific specialities like meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, palaeoclimatology. Polar bear studies, on the other hand, tend much more to lie in the realm of zoology.
Why do so many apparently informed, intelligent, educated people still believe in ManBearPig?
For the same reason that the U.S. underestimated the Japanese threat before Pearl Harbor; that General MacArthur stupidly advanced north of the 38th parallel in Korea; that JFK got embroiled in the Bay of Pigs disaster; that LBJ dragged the U.S. deeper and deeper into the Vietnam War.
A phenomenon known as ‘groupthink’.
Though the name dates back to a 1952 article in Fortune magazine by William H Whyte, it wasn’t popularized for another twenty years when a Yale research psychologist called Irving Janis used it in the title of his influential 1972 Victims of Groupthink.
Little did he know it – Janis was looking to past events like the ones mentioned above, not the future – but his book would anatomize with unerring accuracy the perverse mindset which would lead to the creation of the biggest, most expensive junk science scam the world has ever witnessed: the great global warming scare.
Though it’s quite a long read, I do recommend you have at least a dip because it contains so many pertinent answers to that question you so often hear from global warming true believers: “What kind of crazy conspiracy theorist would you have to be to think that so many experts from science, politics, business, the
media, even the oil industry would lie to us about the scale of the problem?”
Scientists in the Netherlands have found a new excuse as to why sea levels are stubbornly refusing to rise in line with Al Gore’s doomsday predictions: “ocean bottom deformation.”
Apparently, they claim in a study by Thomas Frederikse et al, the weight of the extra water caused by all those melting glaciers and icecaps is so great that it is causing the sea bed to sink.
Their paper – titled ‘Ocean Bottom Deformation Due To Present-Day Mass Redistribution and Its Impact on Sea Level Observations’ – is published in Geophysical Research Letters.Here is the abstract:
Present-day mass redistribution increases the total ocean mass and, on average, causes the ocean bottom to subside elastically. Therefore, barystatic sea level rise is larger than the resulting global mean geocentric sea level rise, observed by satellite altimetry and GPS-corrected tide gauges. We use realistic estimates of mass redistribution from ice mass loss and land water storage to quantify the resulting ocean bottom deformation and its effect on global and regional ocean volume change estimates. Over 1993–2014, the resulting globally averaged geocentric sea level change is 8% smaller than the barystatic contribution. Over the altimetry domain, the difference is about 5%, and due to this effect, barystatic sea level rise will be underestimated by more than 0.1 mm/yr over 1993–2014. Regional differences are often larger: up to 1 mm/yr over the Arctic Ocean and 0.4 mm/yr in the South Pacific. Ocean bottom deformation should be considered when regional sea level changes are observed in a geocentric reference frame.
What this means is that seas are expanding much faster than is shown either by satellite altimetry or tide gauges. We just can’t see it because it’s happening, unnoticed, on the deep sea beds.
Meet Dr Olivia Doll, the world’s smartest dog. Dr Doll is the formal professional name of Ollie, a Staffordshire terrier, who sits on the board of seven international medical journals and was recently asked to review a paper on the management of tumors.
Her impressive curriculum vitae lists her current role as senior lecturer at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science and past associate of the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies — which is code for her earlier life in the dog refuge.
Ollie’s owner, veteran public health expert Mike Daube, decided to test how carefully some journals scrutinised their editorial reviewers, by inventing Dr Doll and making up her credentials.
The five-year-old pooch has managed to dupe a range of publications specialising in drug abuse, psychiatry and respiratory medicine into appointing her to their editorial boards.
Dr Doll has even been fast-tracked to the position of associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Several journals have published on their websites a supplied photo of Dr Doll, which is actually of a bespectacled Kylie Minogue.
Professor Daube said none of them smelt a rat, despite Dr Doll’s listed research interests in “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines” and “the role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in ageing males”.
The Canadian investigative journalist Donna Laframboise concluded something similar in a report last year for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
“A journal’s decision to publish a paper provides no assurance that its conclusions are sound . . . Fraudulent research makes it past gatekeepers at even the most prestigious journals. While science is supposed to be self-correcting, the process by which this occurs is haphazard and byzantine.”
Laframboise was especially damning about the way “peer review” has been used to flatter dubious research in the field of climate ‘science’.
This has been a well-publicized problem with climate science ever since the Climategate emails leak showed the scientists at the heart of the global warming ‘consensus’ engaging in all manner of skullduggery in order to prop up their debased cod-scientific theory.
I’ve just watched the London liberal media’s heads exploding like ripe watermelons.
It was great – a bit like that No Pressure video that the enviro-loons made a few years ago, only better because this time the victims weren’t blameless schoolchildren but grisly, puffed-up, righteously eco, Trump-and-Brexit-hating TV and newspaper Environment Correspondents, all of whom hate my guts. (They hate yours too, so don’t get smug.)
The occasion was a press conference hosted by the Global Warming Policy Foundation for Myron Ebell, head of the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Satan’s Emissary, as liberals prefer to think of him.
Ebell had come to tell them about Trump’s plans for the environment and energy, which I won’t repeat here because you know them already. (It’s going to be beautiful, that’s all you need to remember.)
No, the reason I went wasn’t to hear what Ebell had to say but to watch how his audience reacted.
You know that scene in The Omen when Damien’s parents try to take him into a church? It was a bit like that. Or maybe the one in The Exorcist, where Regan’s head does a 360 degree spin.
They hated it. (Especially the bit where Ebell told them that Trump would definitely be pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate treaty) They couldn’t believe what they were hearing. They curled their lips. They laced their questions with the bitterest scorn. But they didn’t really tune into Ebell’s measured, silken, soft-spoken answers because, hell, they knew what he was saying just had to be wrong and they didn’t really understand what he meant anyway.
The reporter who set the tone – and if nothing else, you’ve got to admire his honesty – was the one from Channel 4 News who told Ebell: “It will occur to you that this room is full of people like myself who consider that nothing you say has any basis in fact. So what you’ve been telling us is essentially meaningless.”
Ebell replied with some painful home truths. “Elections are surprising things…” he began and went on to explain to the mystified audience why and how it was that Brexit happened and Trump happened.
Basically, he argued – perhaps channelling Michael Gove – people have had enough of the “Expertariat”. And with good reason: “The expert class is full of arrogance and hubris.”
I did debate with myself beforehand whether or not to subject myself to a five hour round trip just to attend this one hour conference. (There was another Breitbart piece I’d been planning, which might have been cleverer or more interesting or got more traffic, I don’t know.)
But, hell, it was worth it for a number of reasons.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation has produced yet another devastating report: this time on the economics of wind farms. Turns out they’re even worse than we thought.
Not only do the Bat Chomping Eco-Crucifixes (TM) ruin views, kill birds, cause bats to implode, destroy the British film industry, frighten horses, enrich rent-seeking toffs like David Cameron’s father-in-law Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt, drive up electricity bills, kill jobs, create fuel poverty, cause old people to die of hypothermia, wipe out property values, drive people mad with strobing and noise pollution and enable smug liberal idiots to spout rubbish like “Oh, I don’t mind them. Actually I think they’re rather beautiful”, but also by 2020 they’re set to drive up consumer bills in the UK alone by £120 billion.
This is about ten times more than it would cost if we stuck to gas. (Which we have in abundance, just waiting to be exploited, in places like the Bowland Shale).
To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero. Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine — despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a per cent worldwide.
If wind power was going to work, it would have done so by now. The people of Britain see this quite clearly, though politicians are often wilfully deaf. The good news though is that if you look closely, you can see David Cameron’s government coming to its senses about the whole fiasco. The biggest investors in offshore wind — Mitsubishi, Gamesa and Siemens — are starting to worry that the government’s heart is not in wind energy any more. Vestas, which has plans for a factory in Kent, wants reassurance from the Prime Minister that there is the political will to put up turbines before it builds its factory.
Some readers may occasionally detect in my coverage of wind farms a mild hint of contempt for those involved in the wind farm industry whether as lawyers (that means you Mrs Nick Clegg), paid propagandists/disrupters (see commenters, below), rent-seekers (yep, Sir Reginald) or corporatist blood-suckers feeding off the backs of innocent taxpayers.
One thing is certain: the arguments against wind farms are so abundant and well-known that ignorance is no longer a plausible excuse. If you’re involved in the wind farm industry, you’re a weapons-grade tosser, simple as that.