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Forget talk of clouds and cuckoos, Australia is in strife

Forget talk of clouds and cuckoos, Australia is in strife  By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 25 April 2017

 There’s a clever American cartoon doing the rounds depicting two pop-up stalls. One is selling “comforting lies”, the other, “unpleasant truths”.

One has a long line of customers. The other, not one. No prize for guessing which stall that is.

This is the state of politics today. It’s a game played by voters and politicians alike, especially at budget time. Better to deal in falsehoods than face reality. Tony Abbott is the last prime minister to sell unpleasant truths, and look where that got him.

Yet, after decades of Robin Hood-style social democratic policies, Australia is confronting its greatest wealth inequality ever. Though 40 per cent of all working households receive more in ­government benefits than they pay in taxes, one-third have less than one month’s mortgage payments in reserve.

Even in a pretend world, where unaffordable promises of equality are regularly made, politicians still pay lip service to balanced budgets. The problem is with 84 per cent of personal income taxes coming from a shrinking 20 per cent of constantly-redefined-lower “wealthy” taxpayers, they’re getting harder to achieve.

Raiding superannuation savings shows nothing is sacred. What’s next, means testing the family home, estate duties, higher capital gains taxes, removal of dividend imputation, repeal of negative gearing, and GST increases? When all else fails, there’s still the printing press.

Scott Morrison believes “we actually have an earnings problem in this country”. What the Treasurer should have said is “we actually have a spending problem in this country”. But revenue is politically the softer option.

Forget that raising taxes and increasing debt ultimately become brakes on activity and that declining growth adds to state dependency. In a post-truth world, there will be no day of reckoning. Like cheap renewable energy, balanced budgets become an ever receding mirage that continues to fade from view.

The Treasurer concedes there is more work to be done on the budget and says he won’t repeat Labor’s mistakes of promising surpluses and not achieving them. Best not to nail your flag to the mast. All he will say is that “on the best information we have available to us, the government’s plan to return the budget to balance is projected to be in 2021”.

But what is “the best information available to us”? Does it factor in the possibility of a recession or another global financial crisis? If so, what weighting is given? Economic downturns have obvious budget implications. With such orders of magnitude, even small changes in assumptions can have a huge impact on outcomes. In a downturn, automatic stabilisers, designed to dampen fluctuations in real GDP, add substantially to debt and deficits.

No doubt the government will cite the International Monetary Fund’s latest forecast of a sharply increased annual growth rate of 3.4 per cent, compared with the 2 per cent forecast by Treasury and the Reserve Bank. However, before we get too excited, we should be aware that according to The Economist, the IMF “never once foresaw a contraction looming in the next year”. Worse, a senior economist who resigned from the IMF, blaming bias and suppression of staff warnings, lamented: “The failure of the fund to issue (warnings) is a failing of the first order. After 20 years of service, I am ashamed to have had any association with the fund at all.” We can only hope IMF forecasts are not taken too seriously in Canberra.

Regrettably, there are too many Keynesians at the IMF and treasuries around the world who are quick to recommend fiscal stimulus, including infrastructure spending, as “temporary” when the empirical evidence shows it hardly ever is.

Since the 2008 “great recession”, global debt has increased by $73 trillion. Yet, other than the central banks’ watchdog, the Bank for International Settlements, few audible alarm bells are sounding, even at this late stage of an extremely extended business cycle.

The BIS warns of a probable “full-blown” Chinese banking crisis, saying this is in a different league from the 1997 East Asia speculative boom or the US subprime bubble before the Lehman Brothers crisis. It further cautions “the latest turbulence has hammered home the message that central banks have been overburdened for far too long post-crisis, even as fiscal space has been dwindling and structural measures lacking”.

Australia’s Reserve Bank may well echo these sentiments and certainly will be closely watching budget measures intended to improve housing affordability. Government interference in markets usually marks the end of the cycle and, with Moody’s calling Australian housing a bubble and with one-third of households having less than a month’s mortgage payment as a buffer, any intervention that adds to supply at this time could exaggerate what already has the potential to be a severe market correction. Mortgages represent 60 per cent of Australian banks’ loan portfolios (Norway is next with 40 per cent) and, with 80 per cent loan-value ratios and increased global uncertainties, budget interventionists should be careful what they wish for.

It’s not only Australian households running on empty. More than 29 per cent of Europeans have no savings at all, while 47 per cent of Americans say they cannot afford an emergency expense of $400. With a global savings deficit and an enormous debt overhang, it is time for urgent budget repair, but so far Malcolm Turnbull has demonstrated little appetite. Even Abbott’s “repeal days”, designed to remove unnecessary and costly legislation, seem to have been abandoned.

It’s too easy to dismiss calls to rein in the $250 billion we spend annually on health, education and welfare as yesterday’s, hard-right, ideology. But from Europe to Venezuela, impoverished victims of the welfare state can attest that sooner or later comforting lies lead to unpleasant truths. Even in a post-truth world, the laws of economics catch up with you.

Let’s hope this reality finally dawns in the upcoming budget.

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Is It Time to Break Up Google?

Is It Time to Break Up Google  By Jonathan Taplin, 23 April, 2017

In just 10 years, the world’s five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place.

They’re all tech companies, and each dominates its corner of the industry: Google has an 88 percent market share in search advertising, Facebook (and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) owns 77 percent of mobile social traffic and Amazon has a 74 percent share in the e-book market. In classic economic terms, all three are monopolies.

We have been transported back to the early 20th century, when arguments about “the curse of bigness” were advanced by President Woodrow Wilson’s counselor, Louis Brandeis, before Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court. Brandeis wanted to eliminate monopolies, because (in the words of his biographer Melvin Urofsky) “in a democratic society the existence of large centers of private power is dangerous to the continuing vitality of a free people.” We need look no further than the conduct of the largest banks in the 2008 financial crisis or the role that Facebook and Google play in the “fake news” business to know that Brandeis was right.

While Brandeis generally opposed regulation — which, he worried, inevitably led to the corruption of the regulator — and instead advocated breaking up “bigness,” he made an exception for “natural” monopolies, like telephone, water and power companies and railroads, where it made sense to have one or a few companies in control of an industry.

Could it be that these companies — and Google in particular — have become natural monopolies by supplying an entire market’s demand for a service, at a price lower than what would be offered by two competing firms? And if so, is it time to regulate them like public utilities?

Consider a historical analogy: the early days of telecommunications.

In 1895 a photograph of the business district of a large city might have shown 20 phone wires attached to most buildings. Each wire was owned by a different phone company, and none of them worked with the others. Without network effects, the networks themselves were almost useless.

The solution was for a single company, American Telephone and Telegraph, to consolidate the industry by buying up all the small operators and creating a single network — a natural monopoly. The government permitted it, but then regulated this monopoly through the Federal Communications Commission.

AT&T (also known as the Bell System) had its rates regulated, and was required to spend a fixed percentage of its profits on research and development. In 1925 AT&T set up Bell Labs as a separate subsidiary with the mandate to develop the next generation of communications technology, but also to do basic research in physics and other sciences. Over the next 50 years, the basics of the digital age — the transistor, the microchip, the solar cell, the microwave, the laser, cellular telephony — all came out of Bell Labs, along with eight Nobel Prizes.

In a 1956 consent decree in which the Justice Department allowed AT&T to maintain its phone monopoly, the government extracted a huge concession: All past patents were licensed (to any American company) royalty-free, and all future patents were to be licensed for a small fee. These licenses led to the creation of Texas Instruments, Motorola, Fairchild Semiconductor and many other start-ups.

Changes at the Top

 

The five largest companies in 2006, Billion market cap.

Exxon Mobil  $540

General Electric $463

Microsoft $355

Citigroup $331

Bank of America $290

……….. and  now, 2017:

Apple $794

Alphabet (Google) $593

Microsoft $506

Amazon $420

Facebook $414

 

True, the internet never had the same problems of interoperability. And Google’s route to dominance is different from the Bell System’s. Nevertheless it still has all of the characteristics of a public utility.

We are going to have to decide fairly soon whether Google, Facebook and Amazon are the kinds of natural monopolies that need to be regulated, or whether we allow the status quo to continue, pretending that unfettered monoliths don’t inflict damage on our privacy and democracy.

It is impossible to deny that Facebook, Google and Amazon have stymied innovation on a broad scale. To begin with, the platforms of Google and Facebook are the point of access to all media for the majority of Americans. While profits at Google, Facebook and Amazon have soared, revenues in media businesses like newspaper publishing or the music business have, since 2001, fallen by 70 percent.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, newspaper publishers lost over half their employees between 2001 and 2016. Billions of dollars have been reallocated from creators of content to owners of monopoly platforms. All content creators dependent on advertising must negotiate with Google or Facebook as aggregator, the sole lifeline between themselves and the vast internet cloud.

It’s not just newspapers that are hurting. In 2015 two Obama economic advisers, Peter Orszag and Jason Furman, published a paper arguing that the rise in “supernormal returns on capital” at firms with limited competition is leading to a rise in economic inequality. The M.I.T. economists Scott Stern and Jorge Guzman explained that in the presence of these giant firms, “it has become increasingly advantageous to be an incumbent, and less advantageous to be a new entrant.”

There are a few obvious regulations to start with. Monopoly is made by acquisition — Google buying AdMob and DoubleClick, Facebook buying Instagram and WhatsApp, Amazon buying, to name just a few, Audible, Twitch, Zappos and Alexa. At a minimum, these companies should not be allowed to acquire other major firms, like Spotify or Snapchat.

The second alternative is to regulate a company like Google as a public utility, requiring it to license out patents, for a nominal fee, for its search algorithms, advertising exchanges and other key innovations.

The third alternative is to remove the “safe harbor” clause in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows companies like Facebook and Google’s YouTube to free ride on the content produced by others. The reason there are 40,000 Islamic State videos on YouTube, many with ads that yield revenue for those who posted them, is that YouTube does not have to take responsibility for the content on its network. Facebook, Google and Twitter claim that policing their networks would be too onerous. But that’s preposterous: They already police their networks for pornography, and quite well.

Removing the safe harbor provision would also force social networks to pay for the content posted on their sites. A simple example: One million downloads of a song on iTunes would yield the performer and his record label about $900,000. One million streams of that same song on YouTube would earn them about $900.

I’m under no delusion that, with libertarian tech moguls like Peter Thiel in President Trump’s inner circle, antitrust regulation of the internet monopolies will be a priority. Ultimately we may have to wait four years, at which time the monopolies will be so dominant that the only remedy will be to break them up. Force Google to sell DoubleClick. Force Facebook to sell WhatsApp and Instagram.

Woodrow Wilson was right when he said in 1913, “If monopoly persists, monopoly will always sit at the helm of the government.” We ignore his words at our peril.

Jonathan Taplin is the director emeritus of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab and the author of “Move Fast and Break Things: How Google, Facebook and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.”

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When Government Evil Triumphs, Freedom Falls

When Government Evil Triumphs, Freedom Falls  By John Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute, 5 April 2017

“Government is said to be a necessary evil. The saying appears to be without merit. For can anything be at once necessary and evil? True, all governments have had a history of evil-doing, more or less. However, it does not follow from this experience that their good is indistinguishable from their evil. Governments—assuming a proper limitation of their activities—are necessary and not evil. Their evil begins when they step out of bounds.—Economist Leonard Read

 

It is often said that if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.

Unfortunately, the American government has been the opposite of good for too long now.

In fact, the American government has been very, very, very bad: so bad, in fact, as to be almost indistinguishable at times from the evil it claims to be fighting, whether that evil takes the form of terrorism, torture, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, murder, violence, theft, pornography, scientific experimentations or some other diabolical means of inflicting pain, suffering and servitude on humanity.

 

Philosopher Susan Neiman suggests that referring to something as “evil is a way of marking the fact that it shatters our trust in the world.”

 

It’s an apt description for a government that keeps violating the sacred trust of its citizenry.

“We the people” should have learned early on that a government that repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn can’t be trusted.

We haven’t learned.

We didn’t learn this lesson under George W. Bush. We didn’t learn it under Barack Obama. Although it has become fashionable among the media elite to blame the Trump Administration for all that is wrong with the country, where Americans go wrong is in becoming so fixated on a particular politician that they fail to understand that the fault rests with the Government: the permanent, entrenched Deep State that continues to call the shots in the halls of power.

Indeed, the evils perpetrated by the U.S. government have been going on for some time now.

Consider just a few of the ways in which the government—in a misguided, ill-conceived, flawed, bureaucratic and downright Orwellian attempt to fight evil with evil—continues to inflict evil on the citizenry.

Peddling child pornography to catch child porn consumers: As part of an effort to crack down on child porn consumers and traffickers, for two weeks in 2015, the FBI secretly hijacked a child porn website, improved the technical functionality of the site, and uploaded tens of thousands of images of child pornography to the site. In doing so, the government not only became the largest distributor of child pornography, but it also became the largest exploiter of children. All told, the FBI was accused of hosting an estimated 22,000 images, videos and links of child pornography that more than 100,000 people accessed.

This is what Douglas Anderson, chair of the University of North Texas’ philosophy and religion department, refers to as a cost-benefit analysis. In this instance, the government weighed the cost of inflicting damage on innocent children who were being victimized and preyed upon against the benefits of catching people who download child porn. “It’s a moral conundrum for anyone who takes the view that we are committed to protecting them in all ways,” Anderson said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. “They’re weighing it against these kids’ lives. World opinion says we have a basic duty to protect children. You’d have to have something pretty overwhelming to offset damaging more people. It would have to be awfully extreme to allow even one child to be harmed.”

Incredibly, after going to such morally questionable depths to catch child porn consumers, the government chose to drop its case rather than be forced to reveal the surveillance and hacking tools it used to set its trap.

Trafficking weapons to catch drug traffickers. They referred to it as Operation Fast and Furious: a 15-month sting operation carried out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives aimed at dismantling Mexican drug cartels and disrupting drug trafficking routes within the United States. Only it didn’t quite work out that way. As the National Review reports, “Under ‘Operation Fast & Furious,’ the U.S. government became a de facto arms dealer to Mexican drug cartels and Islamist criminals.”

The concept was straight-forward enough: the U.S. government allowed gun sellers and informants to sell approximately 2,000 weapons to gun traffickers in the hopes that the weapons would be tracked to the drug cartels, which would then be targeted and disrupted. Although it appears that the weapons did make it into the hands of the drug cartels, government agents lost track of an estimated 1,400 weapons, many of which were linked to crimes, including the fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent in 2010.

Dealing drugs to catch drug dealers. Taking advantage of federal and state asset forfeiture laws that allow police to seize and keep money if they suspect it may be related to criminal activities, law enforcement agencies have been raking in millions of dollars in entrapment schemes in which they sell cocaine to drug users and then bust them for buying it, or lure big-city drug dealers to suburban towns with promises of big sales and then bust them in the act.

As the Sun Sentinel reports:

Police in this suburban town best known for its sprawling outlet mall have hit upon a surefire way to make millions. They sell cocaine. Undercover detectives and their army of informants lure big-money drug buyers into the city from across the United States, and from as far north as Canada and as far south as Peru. They negotiate the sale of kilos of cocaine in popular family restaurants, then bust the buyers and seize their cash and cars. Police confiscate millions from these deals, money that fuels huge overtime payments for the undercover officers who conduct the drug stings and cash rewards for the confidential informants who help detectives entice faraway buyers… Undercover officers tempt these distant buyers with special discounts, even offering cocaine on consignment and the keys to cars with hidden compartments for easy transport. In some deals, they’ve provided rides and directions to these strangers… Many of the drug negotiations and busts have taken place at restaurants around the city’s main attraction, Sawgrass Mills mall, including such everyday dining spots as TGI Fridays, Panera Bread and the Don Pan International Bakery.

Fighting wars abroad by fueling wars abroad. The United States, the world’s largest exporter of arms, has been selling violence to the world for too long now. Controlling more than 50 percent of the global weaponry market, the U.S. has sold or donated weapons to at least 96 countries in the past five years, including the Middle East.

Some of these weapons inevitably end up in our enemies’ hands, as well as those of terrorists. For instance, the Pentagon’s efforts to train Syrian fighters ended with most of the infantrymen voluntarily surrendering their U.S.-provided equipment to extremist groups. These weapons—precision guided weapons or smart bombs, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium shells, among others—are also responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere.

As Mother Jones reports:

Arms deals are a way of life in Washington. From the president on down, significant parts of the government are intent on ensuring that American arms will flood the global market and companies like Lockheed and Boeing will live the good life. From the president on his trips abroad to visit allied world leaders to the secretaries of state and defense to the staffs of US embassies, American officials regularly act as salespeople for the arms firms. And the Pentagon is their enabler. From brokering, facilitating, and literally banking the money from arms deals to transferring weapons to favored allies on the taxpayers’ dime, it is in essence the world’s largest arms dealer.

Creating terrorists in order to snare terrorists. The FBI has a long, sordid history of inventing crimes, breeding criminals and helping to hatch and then foil terrorist plots in order to advance its own sordid agenda: namely, amassing greater powers under the guise of fighting the war on terrorism.

Investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson argues convincingly that “the FBI is much better at creating terrorists than it is at catching terrorists.” According to Aaronson’s calculations, the FBI is responsible for more terrorism plots in the United States than al Qaeda, al Shabaab and the Islamic State combined.

One of the government’s tactics involves radicalizing impressionable young men in order to create and then “catch” terrorists. Under the guise of rooting out terrorists before they strike, the FBI targets mentally ill or impressionable individuals (many of whom are young and have no prior connection to terrorism), indoctrinates them with anti-American propaganda, pays criminals $100,000 per case to act as informants and help these would-be terrorists formulate terror plots against American targets, provides them with weapons and training, and then arrests them for being would-be terrorists. This is entrapment, plain and simple, or what former FBI director Robert Mueller referred to as a policy of “forward leaning – preventative – prosecutions.”

Spreading disease in order to cure disease. For years, the American government conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins. The government reasoned that it was legitimate to experiment on people who did not have full rights in society such as prisoners, mental patients, and poor blacks.

The mindset driving these programs has, appropriately, been likened to the unethical experiments carried out by Nazi doctors. In Alabama, for example, 600 black men with syphilis were allowed to suffer without proper medical treatment in order to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis. In Connecticut, mental patients were injected with hepatitis. In Maryland, sleeping prisoners had a pandemic flu virus sprayed up their noses. In Georgia, two dozen “volunteering” prison inmates had gonorrhea bacteria pumped directly into their urinary tracts through the penis. In Michigan, male patients at an insane asylum were exposed to the flu after first being injected with an experimental flu vaccine. In Minnesota, 11 public service employee “volunteers” were injected with malaria, then starved for five days. In New York, dying patients had cancer cells introduced into their systems. And in Staten Island, children with mental retardation were given hepatitis orally and by injection to see if they could then be cured.

These incidents are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the atrocities the government has inflicted on an unsuspecting populace in the name of secret experimentation. For instance, there was the U.S. military’s secret race-based testing of mustard gas on more than 60,000 enlisted men. And then there was the CIA’s MKULTRA program in which hundreds of unsuspecting American civilians and military personnel were dosed with LSD, some having the hallucinogenic drug slipped into their drinks at the beach, in city bars, at restaurants.

Are you starting to notice a pattern here?

For too long now, the American people have been persuaded to barter their freedoms for phantom promises of security and, in the process, have rationalized turning a blind eye to all manner of government wrongdoing—asset forfeiture schemes, corruption, surveillance, endless wars, SWAT team raids, militarized police, profit-driven private prisons, and so on—because they were the so-called lesser of two evils.

No matter how you rationalize it, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

There’s a scene in The Third Man, Carol Reed’s influential 1949 film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles in which a rogue war profiteer (Harry Lime) views human carnage with a callous indifference, unconcerned that the diluted penicillin he’s been trafficking underground has resulted in the tortured deaths of young children.

Challenged by his old friend Holly Martins to consider the consequences of his actions, Lime responds, “In these days, old man, nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t, so why should we?”

“Have you ever seen any of your victims?” asks Martins.

“Victims?” responds Lime, as he looks down from the top of a Ferris wheel onto a populace reduced to mere dots on the ground. “Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare?”

Lime’s callous indifference is no different from the U.S. government’s calculating cost-benefit analyses. After all, to the government, “we the people” are little more than faceless numbers, statistics and economic units to be bought, sold, bartered, traded, tracked, tortured, spied upon, caged like animals, treated like slaves, experimented upon, and then discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.

As John Lennon summed it up, “We’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends.”

Is the government evil? You tell me.

The same government that laced the fog over San Francisco with bioweapons, sprayed bacteria from Navy ships off the coast of Norfolk and San Francisco, exposing all of the city’s 800,000 residents, and staged “mock” anthrax attacks covering territory as wide-ranging as Ohio to Texas and Michigan to Kansas has also taken every bit of technology sold to us as being in our best interests—GPS devices, surveillance, nonlethal weapons, behavioral methods, etc.—and used it against us, to track, control and trap us.

The same government that propelled us into endless oil-fueled wars and military occupations in the Middle East that wreaked havoc on our economy, stretched thin our military resources and subjected us to horrific blowback has also turned America into a battlefield, transforming law enforcement agencies into extensions of the military, conducting military drills on domestic soil, distributing “free” military equipment and weaponry to local police, and desensitizing Americans to the menace of the police state with active shooter drills, color-coded terror alerts, and randomly conducted security checkpoints at “soft” targets such as shopping malls and sports arenas.

Likewise, the same government that—as part of its so-called “war on terror”—passed laws subjecting us to all manner of invasive searches and surveillance, censoring our speech and stifling our expression, rendering us anti-government extremists for daring to disagree with its dictates, locking us up for criticizing government policies on social media, encouraging Americans to spy and snitch on their fellow citizens, and allowing government agents to grope, strip, search, taser, shoot and kill us has also—in a so-called effort to keep the schools safe— locked down the schools by installing metal detectors and surveillance cameras, adopting zero tolerance policies that punish childish behavior as harshly as criminal actions, and teaching our young people that they have no rights, that being force-fed facts is education rather than indoctrination, that they are not to question governmental authority, that they must meekly accept a life of censorship, round-the-clock surveillance, roadside blood draws, SWAT team raids and other indignities.

How can you ever trust the government again?

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, you shouldn’t have trusted the government in the first place. It was Thomas Jefferson who warned, “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

Unfortunately, as Carl Sagan recognized, “If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

How do you fight evil? Start by recognizing it. Talk about it. Refuse to play politics with your principles. Don’t settle for the lesser of two evils. Stop being apathetic.

As British statesman Edmund Burke warned, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”

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The US Empire: rise, fall, and now what?

The US is the dominant world power.  But it has been failing, for similar reasons the Roman Empire failed, compounded by long-term plans for hegemony.  Will Donald Trump’s government result in beating back the elite establishment, ‘deep state’, financial masters, military/industrial empires and oligarchs? Current results are disappointing…..

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9/11 Destroyed America

911 Destroyed America  By Paul Craig Roberts, 25 April 2017

The events on September 11, 2001, changed the world. It was the excuse for the US government to launch military attacks on seven Middle Eastern countries, causing civilian casualties in the millions and sending waves of Muslim refugees into the Western world. The US government wasted trillions of dollars destroying countries and murdering women and children, while public infrastructure in the US deteriorated, Americans’ homes were foreclosed, and American health needs went unattended. 9/11 was also the excuse for the destruction of the protection that the US Constitution provided to ensure the liberty of the American citizen. Today no American has the protection of the civil liberty that the Constitution guarantees. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/20/freedom-democracy-tyranny/

On September 11, 2001, when a neighbor called and told me to turn on the TV, I stopped what I was doing and turned on the TV. What I saw was the two World Trade Center Towers blowing up. I had often enjoyed lunch in the rooftop restaurant in one of the towers across the street from my Wall Street Journal office.

A miniscule by comparison frail aluminum airliner hit one massive steel tower and then another aluminum airliner hit the other. There were some plumes of orange outside the buildings. Then approximately after one hour, less in one case, more in the other, the two towers exploded floor by floor as they fell into their own footprint.

This was precisely the way the news anchors described what I was seeing. “It looks exactly like a controlled demolition,” the news anchors reported. And indeed it did. As a Georgia Tech student I had witnessed a controlled demolition, and that is what I saw on television, just as that was what the news anchors saw.

Later that day Larry Silverstein who owned, or held the lease on, the World Trade Center, explained on TV that the free fall collapse in the late afternoon of the third WTC skyscraper, Building 7, into its own footprint was a conscious decision to “pull” the building. Pull is the term used by controlled demolition to describe a building wired with explosives to be destroyed. Building 7 had not been hit by an airliner, and suffered only minor and very limited office fires. Silverstein’s statement was afterwards corrected by authorities to mean that the firemen were pulled from the building. However, many videos show the firemen already out of the building with the fireman stating that the building was going to be brought down.

As there is no doubt whatsoever that Building 7 was wired for demolition, the question is why?

Because Americans are an insouciant and trusting people and confident of the inherent goodness of their country, years passed before even experts noticed that the official story stood in total contraction to known laws of physics, was in total contraction to how buildings collapse from asymmetrical damage, and could not have collapsed due to being hit by airliners as the buildings met all code requirements for withstanding airliner collusions. Many did not even know that the third skyscraper, Building 7, had collapsed.

Professor Steven E. Jones, a professor of physics at BYU, was among the first to see that the official story was pure fantasy. His reward for speaking out was to have his tenure contract bought out by BYU, many believe under orders from the federal government backed up with the threat that all federal support of science at BYU would be terminated unless Stephen Jones was.

Cynthia McKinney, a black woman who represented a Georgia congressional district in the US House of Representatives was either much brighter or much braver than her white colleagues. She raised obvious questions about 9/11, questions begging to be asked, and lost her seat.

Approximately five years after 9/11, San Francisco architect Richard Gage noticed that the three WTC buildings did not fall down in any way consistent with the official explanation. He formed Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, currently about 3,000 members. This group includes high rise architects and structural engineers who actually are experienced in the construction of skyscrapers. In other words, they are people who know what they are talking about.

These 3,000 experts have said that the official explanation of the collapse of three skyscrapers stands in contradiction to known laws of physics, architecture, and structural engineering

In other words, the official explanation is totally impossible. Only an uneducated and ignorant public can believe the official 9/11 story. The US population fits this description.

A&E for 9/11 Truth is gradually gaining assent from architects and engineers. It is very difficult for an architect or engineer to support the truth, because the American population, which includes patriotic construction companies, whose employees fly American flags on their trucks, don’t want to hire architects and engineers who are “enemies of America aligned with Arab terrorists.” In America, if you tell the truth, you are in great danger of losing your customers and even your life.

Think now about physicists. How many physics faculties do you know that are not dependent on federal grants, usually for military-related work? The same for chemistry. Any physics professor who challenged the official story of 9/11 with the obvious fact that the story contravenes known laws of physics would endanger not only his own career but the careers of his entire department.

Truth in America is extremely costly to express. It comes at a high cost that hardly any can afford.

Our masters know this, and thus they can dispense with truth at will. Moreover, any expert courageous enough to speak the truth is easily branded a “conspiracy theorist.”

Who comes to his defense? Not his colleagues. They want rid of him as quickly as possible. Truth is a threat to their careers. They can’t afford to be associated with truth. In America, truth is a career-killing word.

In America, truth is becoming a synonym for “Russian agent.” Only Russian Agents tell the truth, which must mean that truth is an enemy of America. Lists are being prepared of websites that speak truth to power and thus are seditious. In the United States today people can lie at will without consequence, but it is deadly to tell the truth.

Support A&E for 9/11 Truth. These are heroic people. 9/11 was the manufactured excuse for the neoconservatives’ 16 years of war crimes against millions of Muslims peoples, remnants of which now seek refuge in Europe.

Neoconservatives are a tiny number of people. No more than a dozen are of any consequence. Yet they have used America to murder millions. And now they are fomenting war with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. The world would never survive such a war.

Are Americans so insouciant that they will stand aside while a dozen neoconservatives destroy the world?

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The 25 rules of disinformation at a time of universal deceit

The 25 rules of disinformation at a time of universal deceit  By H Michael Sweeney, 23 April 2017

We are in the post-constitutional era in the United States, a time when the government does whatever it wants to whomever it wants, and there is not a thing anyone can do about it.

How it is possible that the president can bomb a foreign country or threaten a full-scale international war without so much as even mentioning the need for Congress to chime in, let alone actually vote on a declaration of war?

The short answer is, disinformation and propaganda, which is the domain of mainstream media.

When people are confused, when truth is hidden, when agendas are presented as life or death options, and when the public has no clue about which laws government is bound to, then anything goes.

The following list of 25 rules of disinformation is from Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation (Includes The 8 Traits of A Disinformationalist) by H. Michael Sweeney, and offers a comprehensive way of processing information in a time of universal deceit.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well.

This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad.

Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/ opponent arguments/ situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges.

Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach.

Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth.

This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer.

This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with.

Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans.

Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.”

Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic.

This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent.

Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule.

Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon).

In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution.

This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled.

For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators.

Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably.

In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely.

This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
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If This Is Freedom and Democracy, What Is Tyranny?

If This Is Freedom and Democracy, What Is Tyranny?  By Paul Craig Roberts and John Whitehead, 21 April 2017

“Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience… Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem… people are obedient, all these herdlike people.” — Howard Zinn

 

If truth be known, Americans are no more free than were Germans under Gestapo Germany. “Freedom and Democracy America” is the greatest lie in the world.

Countries sink into tyranny easily. Those born today don’t know the freedom of the past and are unaware of what has been taken away. Some American blacks might think that finally after a long civil rights struggle they have gained freedom. But the civil rights that they gained have been taken away from all of us by the “war on terror.” Today black Americans are gratuitously shot down in the streets by police in ways that are worse than in Jim Crow days.

American women might think that finally they have gained equality, and they have—the equality to be abused by police just like men. As John Whitehead reports, women are forced by police to strip naked, often in public, and have their viginas explored as part of a “drug search.” When I was a young man, society would not have tolerated any such intrusion on a woman. The officer and police chief would have been fired and if not prosecuted for rape, would have been beat into bloody pulps by the enraged men.

Tryanny was brought to Americans intentionally by their government. Perhaps it began in 1992 with the unaccountable use of police power against an American family at Ruby Ridge. Randy Weaver’s 12 or 13 year old son was shot in the back and murdered by federal marshalls. Then his wife was murdered with a shot through her throat while she stood at the door of her home holding a baby in her arms. There was no justification for this gratuitous violence against a peaceful American family, and the federal marshalls who murdered were not held accountable. The Congress, “the people’s representatives” held a hearing, and those responsible for murdering a family told the representatives that they had “to trust the police”.

A year later, 1993, the Clinton regime murdered, using poison gas as well as gun fire, more than 100 members of the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas.

Women and children comprised most of the victims of “freedom and democracy America.” The Branch Davidians had done nothing except be different. They were a threat to no one. But the Clinton criminal government knew that it could portray the Branch Davidians, as they were different, in unfavorable lights. They were said to be in possession of, and perhaps manufacturing, illegal machine guns. They were said to be having sex with underage girls in their collective.

When the Branch Davidian compound was attacked by a tank spewing chemical warfare and then burnt to the ground, insouciant Americans were told that justice had been done to child abusers. No one objected that the same “justice” had also been done to the allegedly abused children.

Again the “representatives of the people” held a hearing. The result was that the Clinton criminal regime and Janet Reno got approval for dealing effectively with those who violate gun laws.

Ruby Ridge and Waco established the precedents that the US government could murder large numbers of Americans, and at Waco some foreigners, without consequence. The “representatives of the people” accepted the executive branch’s lies in order to avoid having to hold the executive branch accountable for what were clearly without any doubt capital crimes against American citizens for which the federal perpetrators of these crimes should have been tried and executed.

These two instances established the precedent that the US government could murder US citizens at will.

The next step was to take away the constitutional and legal protections of citizens that are in the Bill of Rights, the amendments to the US Constitution, and are, or were, institutionalized in legal practices.

The false flag attack of September 11, 2001, was the instrument for deep-sixing the bill of rights. The George W. Bush regime made us “safe” by taking away our civil liberties. Habeas corpus, the foundation of liberty, was destroyed by the executive branch’s assertion that the President on his sole authority, the US Constitution notwithstanding, can detain US citizens indefinitely without evidence, without going before a court, without any accountability to law whatsoever.

The Obama regime not only endorsed this murder of the US Constitution, “American’s First Black President” even went further. Obama declared that he had the power to sit in his office and write down names of US citizens whom he could murder at his will without acountability.

Congress did not object. The Supreme Court did not object. The American media did not object. The law schools and bar associations did not object. The Republican Party did not object. The Democratic Party did not object. The American people did not object. Washington’s allies in Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada did not object. The Christian churches did not object.

I objected, and a few others like me, such as John Whitehead.

9/11 clearly, without any doubt, destroyed American liberty. Even if you are so brainwashed as to believe an obviously false story of the event, even if you believe that a few Saudi Arabians without government or intelligence service support outwitted all 16 US intelligence agencies, the National Security Council, all intelligence agencies of Washington’s vassals abroad, outwitted Israel’s Mossad, US Air Traffic Control, caused US Airport Security to fail four times in one hour on the same day, and prevented for the first time in history the US Air Force from sending fighters to intercept off course airliners, the fact remains the same: the US government used 9/11 to destroy the constitutional protections of US liberty.

The raw, ugly, but true fact that “our” government has destroyed American liberty is the reason that everyone of us is subject to experiencing the abuses that John Whitehead describes below.

Who will be next? You? Me? Your Wife? Your Son? Your daughter? Your aged and infirm parents?

When it happens, it was the American people who permitted it.

Run for Your Life: The American Police State Is Coming to Get You

By John W. Whitehead

“We’ve reached the point where state actors can penetrate rectums and vaginas, where judges can order forced catheterizations, and where police and medical personnel can perform scans, enemas and colonoscopies without the suspect’s consent. And these procedures aren’t to nab kingpins or cartels, but people who at worst are hiding an amount of drugs that can fit into a body cavity. In most of these cases, they were suspected only of possession or ingestion. Many of them were innocent… But these tactics aren’t about getting drugs off the street… These tactics are instead about degrading and humiliating a class of people that politicians and law enforcement have deemed the enemy.” – Radley Balko

April 19, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  Daily, all across America, individuals who dare to resist—or even question—a police order are being subjected to all sorts of government-sanctioned abuse ranging from forced catheterization, forced blood draws, roadside strip searches and cavity searches, and other foul and debasing acts that degrade their bodily integrity and leave them bloodied and bruised.

Americans as young as 4 years old are being leg shackled, handcuffed, tasered and held at gun point for not being quiet, not being orderly and just being childlike—i.e., not being compliant enough.

Government social workers actually subjected a 3-year-old boy to a forced catheterization after he was unable to provide them with a urine sample on demand (the boy still wasn’t potty trained). The boy was held down, screaming in pain, while nurses forcibly inserted a tube into his penis to drain his bladder—all of this done because the boy’s mother’s boyfriend had failed a urine analysis for drugs.
Americans as old as 95 are being beaten, shot and killed for questioning an order, hesitating in the face of a directive, and mistaking a policeman crashing through their door for a criminal breaking into their home—i.e., not being submissive enough.

Consider what happened to David Dao, the United Airlines passenger who was accosted by three police, forcibly wrenched from his seat across the armrest, bloodying his face in the process, and dragged down the aisle by the arms merely for refusing to relinquish his paid seat after the airline chose him randomly to be bumped from the flight—after being checked in and allowed to board—so that airline workers could make a connecting flight.

Those with ADHD, autism, hearing impairments, dementia or some other disability that can hinder communication in the slightest way are in even greater danger of having their actions misconstrued by police. Police shot a 73-year-old-man with dementia seven times after he allegedly failed to respond to orders to stop approaching and remove his hands from his jacket. The man was unarmed and had been holding a crucifix.

Clearly, it no longer matters where you live.

Big city or small town: it’s the same scenario being played out over and over again in which government agents, hyped up on their own authority and the power of their uniform, ride roughshod over the citizenry who—in the eyes of the government—are viewed as having no rights.

Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—continue to be torn asunder by the prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases—these are just a few ways in which Americans continue to be reminded that we have no control over what happens to our bodies during an encounter with government officials.

For instance, during a “routine” traffic stop for allegedly “rolling” through a stop sign, Charnesia Corley was thrown to the ground, stripped of her clothes, and forced to spread her legs while Texas police officers subjected her to a roadside cavity probe, all because they claimed to have smelled marijuana in her car.

Angel Dobbs and her 24-year-old niece, Ashley, were pulled over by a Texas state trooper for allegedly flicking cigarette butts out of the car window. Insisting that he smelled marijuana, the trooper proceeded to interrogate them and search the car. Despite the fact that both women denied smoking or possessing any marijuana, the police officer then called in a female trooper, who carried out a roadside cavity search, sticking her fingers into the older woman’s anus and vagina, then performing the same procedure on the younger woman, wearing the same pair of gloves. No marijuana was found.

Leila Tarantino was subjected to two roadside strip searches in plain view of passing traffic during a routine traffic stop, while her two children—ages 1 and 4—waited inside her car. During the second strip search, presumably in an effort to ferret out drugs, a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from Tarantino. Nothing illegal was found.

David Eckert was forced to undergo an anal cavity search, three enemas, and a colonoscopy after allegedly failing to yield to a stop sign at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Cops justified the searches on the grounds that they suspected Eckert was carrying drugs because his “posture [was] erect” and “he kept his legs together.” No drugs were found.

Meanwhile, four Milwaukee police officers were charged with carrying out rectal searches of suspects on the street and in police district stations over the course of several years. One of the officers was accused of conducting searches of men’s anal and scrotal areas, often inserting his fingers into their rectums and leaving some of his victims with bleeding rectums.

Incidents like these—sanctioned by the courts and conveniently overlooked by the legislatures—teach Americans of every age and skin color the painful lesson that there are no limits to what the government can do in its so-called “pursuit” of law and order.

If this is a war, then “we the people” are the enemy.

As Radley Balko notes in The Washington Post, “When you’re at war, it’s important to dehumanize your enemy. And there’s nothing more dehumanizing than forcibly and painfully invading someone’s body — all the better if you can involve the sex organs.”

The message being beaten, shot, tasered, probed and slammed into our collective consciousness is simply this: it doesn’t matter if you’re in the right, it doesn’t matter if a cop is in the wrong, it doesn’t matter if you’re being treated with less than the respect you deserve or the law demands.

The only thing that matters to the American police state is that you comply, submit, respect authority and generally obey without question whatever a government official (anyone who wears a government uniform, be it a police officer, social worker, petty bureaucrat or zoning official) tells you to do.

This is what happens when you allow the government to call the shots: it becomes a bully.

As history shows, this recipe for disaster works every time: take police officers hyped up on their own authority and the power of the badge, throw in a few court rulings suggesting that security takes precedence over individual rights, set it against a backdrop of endless wars and militarized law enforcement, and then add to the mix a populace distracted by entertainment, out of touch with the workings of their government, and more inclined to let a few sorry souls suffer injustice than to challenge the status quo.

“It is not only under Nazi rule that police excesses are inimical to freedom,” warned former Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter in a 1946 ruling in Davis v. United States: “It is easy to make light of insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties when invoked on behalf of the unworthy. It is too easy. History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end.”

In other words, if it could happen in Nazi Germany, it can just as easily happen here.

It is happening here.

Unfortunately, we’ve been marching in lockstep with the police state for so long that we’ve forgotten how to march to the tune of our own revolutionary drummer. In fact, we’ve even forgotten the words to the tune.

We’ve learned the lessons of compliance too well.

For too long, “we the people” have allowed the government to ride roughshod over the Constitution, equating patriotism with blind obedience to the government’s dictates, no matter how unconstitutional or immoral those actions might be.
As historian Howard Zinn recognized:

Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience… Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem… people are obedient, all these herdlike people.

What can you do?

It’s simple but as I detail in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the consequences may be deadly.

Stop being so obedient. Stop being so compliant and herdlike. Stop kowtowing to anyone and everyone in uniform. Stop perpetuating the false notion that those who work for the government—the president, Congress, the courts, the military, the police—are in any way superior to the rest of the citizenry. Stop playing politics with your principles. Stop making excuses for the government’s growing list of human rights abuses and crimes. Stop turning a blind eye to the government’s corruption and wrongdoing and theft and murder. Stop tolerating ineptitude and incompetence by government workers. Stop allowing the government to treat you like a second-class citizen. Stop censoring what you say and do for fear that you might be labeled an extremist or worse, unpatriotic. Stop sitting silently on the sidelines while the police state kills, plunders and maims your fellow citizens.

Stop being a slave.

As anti-war activist Rosa Luxemburg concluded, “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”

You may not realize it yet, but you are not free.

If you believe otherwise, it is only because you have made no real attempt to exercise your freedoms.

Had you attempted to exercise your freedoms before now by questioning a police officer’s authority, challenging an unjust tax or fine, protesting the government’s endless wars, defending your right to privacy against the intrusion of surveillance cameras, or any other effort that challenges the government’s power grabs and the generally lopsided status quo, you would have already learned the hard way that the police state has no appetite for freedom and it does not tolerate resistance.
This is called authoritarianism, a.k.a. totalitarianism, a.k.a. oppression.

As Glenn Greenwald notes for the Guardian:
Oppression is designed to compel obedience and submission to authority. Those who voluntarily put themselves in that state – by believing that their institutions of authority are just and good and should be followed rather than subverted – render oppression redundant, unnecessary. Of course people who think and behave this way encounter no oppression. That’s their reward for good, submissive behavior. They are left alone by institutions of power because they comport with the desired behavior of complacency and obedience without further compulsion. But the fact that good, obedient citizens do not themselves perceive oppression does not mean that oppression does not exist.

Get ready to stand your ground or run for your life, because the American police state is coming to get you.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46895.htm

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Posted in The Rise and Fall of the US Empire | Comments Off on The US Empire: rise, fall, and now what?

Banksters, other financial criminals and the greedies

Key parts of the world’s financial affairs have been hi-jacked by self-serving financial organisations, bureaucracies, country leaders and individuals.   The outlook is dire.

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Creating another ‘crash of 1929’

Creating another ‘crash of 1929’  By Jeff Thomas, Editor, International Man, 20 April 2017

 

Regarding the Great Depression… we did it. We’re very sorry… We won’t do it again.

– Ben Bernanke

Waiting too long to begin moving toward the neutral rate could risk a nasty surprise down the road—either too much inflation, financial instability, or both.

– Janet Yellen

In his speech above, future Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged that, by raising interest rates, the Fed triggered the stock market crash of 1929, which heralded in the Great Depression.

Yet, in her speech above, Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced that “it makes sense” for the Fed to raise interest rates “a few times a year.” This is a concern, as economic conditions are similar to those in 1929, and a rise in interest rates may have the same effect as it did then.

So let’s back up a bit and have a look at what happened in 1929. In the run-up to the 1929 crash, the Federal Reserve raised rates to 6%, ostensibly to “limit speculation in securities markets.” As history shows, this sent economic activity south rather quickly. Countless investors, large and small, who had bought stocks on margin, would be unable to pay increased interest rates and would be forced to default. (It’s important to understand that the actual default was not necessary to crash markets. The knowledge that investors would be in trouble was sufficient to send the markets into a tailspin.)

Mister Bernanke was quite clear in 2002 when he stated that the Fed would not make the same mistake again that it made in 1929, yet, then, as now, there’s been a surprise victory by a Republican candidate for president. Then, as now, a wealthy man who had never held elective office was unexpectedly in the catbird seat and had the potential to endanger the control of the political class, at a time when that political class had been complicit in damaging the system by creating massive debt.

Then, as now, conditions were ideal for the Deep State to create a solution to all problems: An economic crash was inevitable; therefore, create a trigger for it to occur and blame the collapse on the conservative political outsider. Demonstrate to all that the collapse was due to the greed of the outsider and those who were of like mind. Use that leverage to demonstrate to the hard-hit populace that what was needed was the opposite of what the outsider had proclaimed. Recommend far greater control by a new government that was staunchly liberal—a government that would change the political landscape in such a way that all those who suffered would be saved by a benevolent collectivist government.

And, of course, when it’s stated that way, it’s an easy sell. In 2017, it will be an even easier sell than it was in 1929, as the new president has already set himself up for a fall. In his inauguration speech, he focused on a single topic—the return of power to the people and away from Washington’s bureaucracy.

Beginning by decrying Washington for what it truly is, he stated that “for too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished—but the people did not share in its wealth.”

He then went on to describe that his presidency would bring about a metamorphosis:

I will never, ever let you down. America will start winning again, winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams. We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work—rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor… We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones—and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth… We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

Of course, new presidents are prone to making big promises when they first take office. However, Mister Trump has, in his brief speech, effectively declared himself the enemy of the Washington bureaucracy. In so doing, he’s left himself wide open to be the fall guy if the economy does not rebound, if the average American’s lot does not improve, and if the US does not dominate the world through an expanded military.

In short, the Deep State and their cronies, who were instrumental in creating the economic, social, and political house of cards that now exists, have the perfect opportunity to bring on the collapse and blame the new president for it.

Were Mister Trump to have honestly stated that the US is effectively a house of cards and that he’ll begin the laborious job of trying to salvage what’s left of it and begin to rebuild it, he would have provided himself with a justifiable excuse when the house of cards does collapse. However, by making such lofty claims to “Make America Great Again,” he’s lost this opportunity.

In the last year, whenever I was asked who I hoped the Americans would elect as their president, I replied, “Bernie Sanders.” To those that were shocked by this answer, I would add, “An economic collapse is inevitable. No one, no matter how capable, can prevent it. The best that can happen is that the collapse occurs under a president who’s an avowed socialist. That would ensure an eventual return to smaller government and more conservative economics.”

As unfair as it may be, a nation’s people almost always blame whoever is on watch when a collapse occurs. It matters little who or what is actually at fault. People need a “face” to vilify for the disaster and the sitting leader is almost always spontaneously chosen by a nation as that face.

And, of course, the opposing party invariably makes the most of the situation. Just as in 1929 and for years thereafter Herbert Hoover received the lion’s share of the blame for a Wall Street crash and the subsequent Great Depression, even though he was not at fault, so too will the US come to blame the new president who made promises that were far beyond what he could deliver.

The die is cast. The patsy-in-chief is now installed. The media will do all they can to discredit Mister Trump and civil unrest will be funded by his opponents. The US economy is more debt-laden than any country in the history of the world and, historically, this has always resulted in economic collapse. At present, there are scores of triggers that could bring about collapse. Any one of these black swans could do the job, but it’s entirely possible that the Federal Reserve will serve once again as the trigger, as it did in 1929.

This is unquestionably the smart way to play the game. Rather than wait for a random occurrence, if a date is set for a controlled collapse, those connected to the Deep State will have a brief time to disconnect their wealth from the system, as was done in 1929.

The trigger would be pulled by the Fed and the US economy would go down in as controlled a fashion as Building Seven in the World Trade Center.

When is this likely to occur? Herbert Hoover was given just under eight months. The date for the next collapse could be earlier or later. But the question is not when that date might be, but whether we’ve prepared ourselves for the eventuality.

Crux note: The Fed could start its controlled demolition of the US economy any day now.

This collapse will be much worse and last much longer than the Great Depression or the 2008 financial crisis.

Doug Casey and his team have critical, time-sensitive information about preparing for this economic meltdown. They’re sharing need-to-know details in this urgent video. Click here to watch it now.

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Why Investors Deserve to Get Mauled

Why Investors Deserve to Get Mauled  By Vern Gowdie, Daily Reckoning, 21 March 2017

On my desk is a book titled Fed Up.

The book is an insider’s take on why the Federal Reserve is bad for the US.

The title also describes my current mood…I’m fed up with our failure to learn from history.

What compels us to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again?

If it was a child continuously falling into trouble, our frustrated response would be: When will you ever learn? Or, as some teachers in a bygone era used to say, ‘What does it take to get it through that thick skull of yours?’

Yet, as investors, the lessons of markets — booms and busts — are ignored each and every time a market is in hot pursuit of record levels.

The laws of mathematics are temporarily suspended while we indulge in these flights of fancy…hoping, wishing, praying and, in some cases, believing this time is truly different from the past.

It never is.

And the really cruel twist is that the longer a market avoids its fate with destiny, the greater the number of people who start to entertain the tantalising prospect of it being a ‘new paradigm’.

Unless human nature changes, we are perpetually doomed to learn the hard way.

Over the centuries, we’ve made huge advancements by learning from the mistakes of our predecessors. The rapid progress in technology, medical science, space travel and healthcare is all thanks to our willingness to learn and evolve.

Ironically, though, when it comes to markets and the economy, we are still as naïve and stupid as the tulip-buyers of 400 years ago.

We think we are smarter, but our actions prove otherwise.

History tells us emphatically that debt crises always — without exception — end badly.

Debts are defaulted on. Businesses go bankrupt. Creditors lose money.

That’s how debt is expunged from the system…very, very painfully.

Based on the laws of ‘yin and yang’, the more debt that’s in the system, the more painful the process of expunging it becomes. It’s not rocket science to comprehend the process which says that, the higher you climb, the harder you fall.

Here we are sitting atop THE greatest debt pile in history — US$60 trillion more than we had in 2008 — and such is our misplaced mindset that we expect to add even more debt to this pile, without the slightest risk of triggering an avalanche.

Seriously, how stupid are we?

In response to NAB raising its home loan rates last week by 0.25%, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with a mix of ire and indignation, said: ‘If they don’t explain it then NAB customers will go somewhere else and I’d encourage them to do so.

Give me a break. It was only 0.25%.

Where was this anger when savers had to endure the RBA slashing rates from 7% in September 2008 to 1.5% today? This was effectively a pay cut of nearly 80% over an eight-year period.

There was no ire and indignation emanating from Canberra over the fate suffered by savers.

In Aussie colloquialism, they didn’t care ‘two knobs of billy goat poop’ about savers…it was all about borrowers.

Why?

Because the entire economic growth model is completely and utterly dependent upon more and more debt being shoved into the system.

A miniscule 0.25% rise — the equivalent of a matchstick splinter in the finger — is treated as if the patient is in need of trauma counselling.

This is all part of the namby-pamby world we’ve created, where every kid gets a prize.

The central banks (the RBA, the Fed, the BoJ, the ECB, et al), together with their political masters, have, since 2008, engineered an economic ‘recovery’ based solely on the creation of more debt.

Since 2009, global GDP has risen from US$60 trillion to US$75 trillion. Over the past seven years, it’s taken US$60 trillion of debt to generate US$15 trillion in economic activity…$4 of debt to $1 of economic output.

What we’ve seen since 2009 is the illusion of growth.

The question I have for all those cheerleaders who see US growth picking up is: What if we could magically stop all further borrowing today; what do you think the ‘growth’ number would be?

The response would be: ‘You can’t do that; the system needs debt to function.’

The body also needs food to function, but we know too much food creates obesity, resulting in major health issues and organ failure.

So, my second question is: How much debt is too much debt before you think the system is at risk of major organ failure?

Obviously, they do not think you can have too much debt. But, as data shows, the more debt the system has around its girth, the more sluggish it becomes. Currently, it takes around $4–5 to generate $1 of economic output. If the expanding debt girth continues, it’s going to take $8–10 to move the GDP needle. Clearly, we have a situation that is not sustainable.

The very toxin that created the 2008/09 crisis is supposedly meant to cure us this time…apparently, this time must be different.

If people are naïve, gullible, or just plain ignorant to the fact that you cannot solve a problem using the same solution, then, in the years ahead, they are going to learn that lesson the hard way.

Siding with history

On the theme of illusion and delusion — and blindsiding investors — in last Friday’s Daily Reckoning, I wrote about the divergence in opinion between those that accurately identified previous bubbles and those that failed to see the disaster ahead of time.

Here’s a short extract:

…never let the truth get in the way of a good story. And, for the investment industry, there’s no better story to tell than a market that’s been on the up and up for an extended period. This gives them past performance to sell and extrapolate…

[Robert Shiller and John Hussman] missed a 250 per cent rise in the S&P 500 since the global financial crisis…

‘…that’s true. But those gains are only lasting if you take Professor Shiller’s advice and reduce exposure to the market. Otherwise those gains are only on paper.

What happens if, once again, Shiller and Hussman are correct and we have another bubble that’s about to burst?

The two previous bubbles have wiped out 50% in market value. This bubble appears to be even bigger than its predecessors; therefore, a 60% fall is not out of the question, or without precedent.

A fall of that magnitude would take the Dow back to 8000 points…wiping out all gains made since April 2009. The paper gains are shredded.

Investment industry experts, in the main, are perennial optimists…markets are never going to experience a major downturn. We know from recent history that this is most definitely not the case.

Once again, the industry ‘go-to’ experts are out there pacifying the passengers, soothingly reassuring them that ‘there might be a slight swell ahead, but there’s nothing to worry about.’

Yet those who have accurately read the market weather-charts in the past are warning investors that we are sailing directly into the perfect storm…abandon ship.

A cruise liner without any passengers is not a profitable business; the same goes for a funds management industry without any funds to manage. The message is: Keep the passengers on board…

In addition to Shiller and Hussman sounding the market storm warning, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently ran with this headline: ‘Magic Eludes Bubble-Caller Jeremy Grantham, as Assets at GMO Drop by More Than $40 Billion’.

Jeremy Grantham, of GMO (Grantham, Mayo, & van Otterloo), is one of the sharpest investment minds in the business.

I remember Grantham and Warren Buffett both shaking their heads in disbelief at the dotcom bubble. They were ridiculed for being out of touch with the new world. Not investing in tech stocks cost GMO dearly in short-term performance, and there was an exodus of money out of the firm’s funds.

Grantham’s reading of the market, and his discipline, was proved correct.

This is from the same WSJ article:

In November [2016], Mr. Inker [co-head of GMO’s asset allocation team] wrote to clients that “almost all asset classes are priced at valuations that seem to guarantee returns lower than history.” Mr. Inker added that “from today’s valuation levels, there are no good outcomes for investors.”

Grantham “has been out of step with the market several times during the firm’s four decades. GMO has usually rebounded, with the 78-year-old investor earning acclaim with asset-bubble calls ahead of Wall Street busts in 2000 and 2008.”

‘[GMO is] “Bearish about what it sees as high valuations of U.S. stocks, GMO’s flagship mutual fund, the GMO Benchmark Free Allocation fund, has largely missed out on the latest rally in U.S. stock indexes.”

Jeremy Grantham is 78 years old…he knows history. He’s ‘been there’ and ‘done that’ since the 1970s. I’ve followed his newsletters for years. He’s seriously smart and thoughtful.

GMO analyses risk versus reward across various asset classes based on the simple principle of ‘reversion to the mean’ — where nothing stays high or low forever.

However, the investment industry would like us to believe markets can remain in a state of suspended animation indefinitely.

When I read that investors had withdrawn US$40 billion from GMO, it was a case of déjà vu. I’ve seen this pattern before.

Investors are their own worst enemy… Chasing returns, they want all the gains on the way to the top, with none of the losses.

The rare breed of fund manager that takes defensive action before a market crash is usually out the market well ahead of time. Performance suffers, and investors looking for a short-term buck rush to the latest star performer…the one that is ‘all in’ and which only ever sees a ripple on the horizon.

This is a familiar pattern.

Reading about Grantham, Shiller and Hussman’s judgement being questioned again provides me with a lot of reassurance.

If history is a guide, we must be getting awfully close — possibly within months — to the US market collapsing in spectacular fashion.

Investors continually make the same errors of judgement…they deserve to get mauled for being so damn greedy and not heeding the signs.

Regards,

Vern Gowdie,
Editor, The Daily Reckoning

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Bubbles always burst, eventually

Bubbles always burst, eventually  By Vern Gowdie, The Daily Reckoning, 16 March 2017

The Dow Jones is up. The Aussie dollar is stronger. Gold has recovered.

Why?

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Consumers should feel pretty good about the Fed raising rates, Ms. Yellen said. “The simple message is, the economy is doing well,” she said. The Fed feels confident about the economy and its ability to withstand shocks.

With those reassuring words from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, the Fed gave the nod to increase official US interest rates by a 0.25%, taking the cash rate to a range of 0.75–1.0%.

Forgive me if I take Janet’s outlook with a grain of salt. Here’s what she said on 22 January 2017:

While the decline in housing activity has been significant and will probably continue for a while longer, I think concerns we used to hear about the possibility of a devastating collapse — one that might be big enough to cause a recession in the U.S. economy — have been largely allayed.

The Fed is using the same tried and failed formula it’s relied on previously to stimulate the economy…and, this time, it’s miraculously predicting a different outcome.

Yellen probably believes what she says. After all, she lives in a little bubble of Keynesian PhD groupthink that uses flawed models to make their predictions. What could possibly go wrong?

Housing bubble? What housing bubble?

So, what is the truth?

Will the Dow Jones continue rising to 30,000 points and beyond, OR will it come crashing down?

Are interest rates going higher OR lower?

Is the property market — mainly in Sydney and Melbourne — still good long-term value, or does it represent a bubble in search of a pin?

On that last point, Treasurer Scott Morrison, in an interview with Bloomberg on 13 March 2017, was adamant that there’s no housing bubble:

Overall, the household debt position is predominantly, about 80 per cent of it, is around mortgage debt, and in Australia our prices may be high, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, but they’re real. The issue in housing affordability and housing prices in Australia is the mismatch between supply and demand.

It’s not the function of any sort of investor credit bubble or anything like this. They’re real prices, they’re real values, and what we’re working as a Government to do is put downward pressure on those rising prices by addressing the supply challenges that are out there and working with state governments to achieve that.

Scott, here’s a very quick lesson in how markets function: They’re real prices; they’re real values…until they’re not.

In 1637, people bought tulips in the belief that the prices were real and that tulips had real value.

The same goes for those who bought shares in the Mississippi Company and the South Sea Company in 1720…and stocks in 1929…and Japan’s miracle economy…and the dotcom mania…and the lossmaking tech companies in 2017 (sorry, that last one hasn’t happened yet).

In every single case, people thought they were real prices and real values…until the market decided to reprice and revalue the [insert the asset here].

That’s how markets work. They inhale and exhale. Real prices and real values are not set in stone. They are a fluid concept…influenced primarily by interest rates and economic activity.

History tends to rhyme

If we woke up tomorrow and interest rates were 10% — and Australians decided to save more, spend less and pay down debts — what do you think would happen? Do you think house prices would rise or fall? Would share prices rise or fall?

My money would be on a downward revaluation and repricing of these assets.

Defining the ‘truth’ is not easy when there are so many vested interests — like a Treasurer not wanting to spook a market or, even more worryingly, who does not have a clue as to how markets function — and no two situations being an exact replica of the past.

Which is why history tends to rhyme, rather than repeat.

Historically, asset prices are determined by comparisons to 10-year government bond rates.

Interest rates are the benchmark from which all other asset classes are valued. Why else do you think central banks want to have absolute power over interest rates? They know the monopoly on interest-rate pricing gives them control to create the ‘wealth effect’.

By suppressing interest rates to historically low levels, central banks have forced yield-hungry investors to place un-real prices and un-real values on property and stocks.

These prices and values will only stay at these levels on the proviso that there’s not a significant increase in interest rates and/or economic activity is maintained.

Any nasty disruption to either component (or both) of this pricing equation, and we’ll see how the real markets operate.

As Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, a 19th-century Danish philosopher elegantly noted: ‘There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

What Morrison said is simply not true. Addressing the supply challenges is nothing but a diversion.

Don’t be fooled.

If you want to stop rising property prices in their tracks, increase interest rates.

But no one in authority, or who is profiting from the boom, dares to mention the elephant in the room.

The RBA created this bubble by lowering rates to ‘accommodate’ growth (which is code for higher levels of borrowing). The government needed the ‘debt binge growth’ to generate tax revenues. The banks welcomed the lending frenzy with open loan books, boosting earnings and, not inconsequentially, triggering executive share-bonus plans. Developers and real estate agents are definitely not going to sink their pearly whites into the hand that’s been feeding them so generously.

If you’re looking to the people holding the smoking guns over the bullet-ridden corpse to offer up any truth or admit guilt, take it from me, you’re wasting your time.

An admission of failure to see the obvious only ever comes with hindsight.

That’s just human nature. Greed, fear and ‘it wasn’t me’.

In the midst of a bubble, all sorts of reasons are given to validate why ‘it’s different this time’. It never is.

The Australian property market is only one of the bubbles that’s been created by the officially-sanctioned ‘wealth-effect’ policy.

Ultra-low interest rates and excessive levels of liquidity have driven shares, bonds and property values to levels that are off the historical grid.

In the past, what went up had to come down.

Perhaps the laws of gravity and reversion to the mean have been repealed by central banks’ wizardry with interest rates and money creation.

But these laws have stood the test of time for centuries. Whereas central bankers holding sway over market pricing is a recent phenomenon.

How has that worked out in the past?

The dotcom bubble — a mere pimple — ended up busting. The housing bubble — a boil by comparison — went bust with ugly consequences.

Is the current market a bubble OR will that line on the right-hand side keep soaring higher and higher?

In keeping with the unsightly skin condition analogies, my diagnosis is that we have a market tumour on our hands. When this one blows, you do not want to be in close vicinity.

While history may not repeat itself identically, human nature is fairly predictable.

The following chart tracks the New York Stock Exchange margin debt (red line) with the performance of the S&P 500 index, adjusted for inflation. An apples to apples comparison.

As sure as night follows day, when the market is building to a climax, investors take on debt to participate in the booming market — greed. When the market suffers a downturn, debt levels also plummet — fear.

The pattern is a ‘rinse and repeat’ cycle.

This time, however, in real terms, the market and debt levels are higher than they were during the two previous bubbles. One would think that, based on history, this is an ominous sign.
Perhaps Einstein was wrong; maybe you can do the same thing over and over again and get a different result.

Perhaps they’re real values and real prices backed by real fundamentals and not supported by greedy investors using borrowed dollars.

Perhaps adding US$60 trillion more debt to the system that nearly collapsed from too much debt in 2008 has made the world a more stable place.

Or perhaps it is not different this time at all and the era of central bankers playing God is coming to an earthshattering end.

The truth I’ve chosen to believe is backed by history.

Booms always bust.

Credit crises end badly.

Debt accumulation does not continue indefinitely.

Asset values do not expand continuously.

The longer the deception continues, the greater the number of people that will be fooled into believing these false prophets.

In the end, the real truth always wins out.

Regards,

Vern Gowdie,
Editor, The Daily Reckoning

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Previous articles

Posted in World finance: when will the bubble burst? | Comments Off on Banksters, other financial criminals and the greedies

The Rise and Fall of the EU

European countries ruled the world for centuries.  Since WWII the fall from grace has accelerated.  Now it remains to be seen how Britain’s EU exit pans out.

France’s moral bankruptcy

France’s moral bankruptcy  By Adam Creighton, The Australian, 17 April 2017

If I were French I would vote for Marine Le Pen in next week’s presidential election. Not to do so would be to endorse the political and economic elites that have sapped the life out of ­industry, put the Fifth Republic on track for bankruptcy, forced taxpayers to bail out parasitic banks, and left the country exposed to Islamist terrorism.

More of the same? No thanks. France’s global rank on Cato ­Institute’s annual Human Freedom Index, for instance, has dropped from 20th to 31st since 2008 (Australia is sixth).

Le Pen’s popularity has surged since the global financial crisis. Thomas Piketty, France’s most ­famous economist, blames ­inequality and unemployment. “If we do not manage to fight these via effective progressive policies then you will always find politicians who will successfully try to divide the workers ­between ­nationals and foreigners, or some other ethnic or religious division,” he told me last week.

Details of the National Front’s policies — a populist cocktail of protectionism and nationalism — matter far less than the damage her victory would do to France’s cosy status quo, which has hooked France’s fortunes to an increasingly stagnant and unpopular ­EU. Indeed, it would be a victory far more consequential than Donald Trump’s Novem­ber win in the US, where congressional gridlock and a recent bout of bomb-dropping on the Middle East sadly point to a continuation of the past.

Le Pen’s promise to give the French a say on staying in the ­EU is reasonable, given that the last time they were asked their view, in 2005, their answer (no) was largely ignored. Her suggestion France should withdraw from the euro and redenominate its debts in French francs would cause a ­financial crisis that would make 2008 seem mild, but it would be the price to pay for longer-term prosperity.

The French government has debts equal to more than €2 trillion ($2.8 trillion), 120 per cent of its national income — more than three times Australia’s share. The collapse in value of those debts from “Frexit” would wipe out many highly leveraged banks, prompting the rethink of how banking is structured that the world ­deserved, but never got, after the financial crisis.

France’s 62-year project of tying Germany down in the EU has left France with too high an exchange rate (while Germany’s is too low), permanently throttling its competitiveness.

France’s bloated governments spend almost 60 per cent of the national income every year (Australia’s spend about 33 per cent), and tax a little bit less of it, a recipe for eventual bankruptcy. The jobless rate has risen steadily to more than 10 per cent since the financial crisis, despite repeated promises by French presidents to curb it. And that is the official figure, where working more than one hour a week counts as employed. Youth unemployment is now entrenched above 20 per cent, more than double Germany’s rate.

Australia has been a beneficiary, actually — Sydney’s eastern suburbs, for instance, are teeming with young French people. The number of French-born residents in Australia has grown more than 6 per cent a year since 2006, to more than 42,000, many multiples faster than immigration from Greece, Spain or Germany.

It’s depressing to see France, the first modern state, one of the great scientific and cultural fountainheads of Western civilisation, which under Charles de Gaulle wrenched itself back to pre-eminence after a couple of near-death experiences, in such a funk.

Economic decline and Islamic terrorism have fuelled a domestic industry of gloom: Eric Zemmour’s 2014 book The French Suicide has been a bestseller. Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission shows how a Muslim could win the French presidential election in 2022 — not especially gratifying in a country whose development hinged on the repelling of the Arabs in 732 by King Charles Martel. Almost 10 per cent of France’s population of 65 million is Muslim, more than any other sizeable Western country. France is losing its large Jewish population, among its historic strengths, at a rapid rate.

Whatever the verdict in the final-round ballot next month, the National Front and parties like it in Europe will continue to benefit from the moral bankruptcy of ­Europe’s economy, starkly ­revealed in the continuing “bailout of Greece”. More than 80 per cent of the (€227 billion) public funds that have gone to Greece since 2010 have been used to repay loans to foreign and Greek banks. The bailouts were about “protecting German banks, but especially the French banks, from debt write-offs”, noted former German central bank chief Karl Pohl at the time. That is, highly paid bankers who enjoyed the short-term profits from lending to Greece managed to shove the long-term costs on to ordinary French and Germany taxpayers, an act of extreme socialism. How can anyone respect this economic system? Sensing danger from Le Pen, the big French banks have ­refused to lend to her party (they have lent to other campaigns).

The brilliant conservative and Spectator columnist Charles Moore conceded in December he was “cheering” for the populist right. “It may sound Marxist to say this, but I do think the elites have constructed a world order which serves their interests, not those of their subject populations,” he wrote, pointing to the “banking crisis resolved in the interests of bankers”. More and more commentators of right and left — an increasingly meaningless distinction, anyway — are concluding the same.

The polls suggesting Le Pen commands only 25 per cent of the vote would seem an underestimate. Just as Hillary Clinton’s winning of the Democratic candidacy proved a gift for Trump’s campaign, Le Pen’s rivals are ­almost stereotypical reflections of the past. Francois Fillon, the “centre right” candidate, was former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s prime minister. He is embroiled in a scandal over whe­ther he embezzled public funds in office. The supposed favourite to win, former investment banker Emmanuel Macron, was economy minister under the loathed incum­bent, President Francois Hollande.

Even if Le Pen loses, it is only a matter of time until she wins. Polls show her strongest support comes from people under 40 and its highly unlikely Macron or Fillon will do anything to disrupt the ­status quo.

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Speech by Geert Wilders at the “Europe of Nations and Freedom” Conference

Speech by Geert Wilders at the Europe of Nations and Freedom Conference  By Geert Wilders, 22 January 2017

It’s really a great honor for me to be here today in the beautiful city of Koblenz, at a meeting of the ENF Group, in the presence of so many German patriots.

And what you stand for is extremely important. Not only for Germany, but for all of Europe.

Europe needs a strong Germany, a self-confident Germany, a proud Germany, a Germany that stands for its culture, identity and civilization.

Europe needs Frauke, instead of Angela [Merkel]!

My friends, that is why Germany is so great. Why you are great. Because you do your duty. And the Alternative for Germany (AfD), and my friend Frauke Petry, and all of you here, stand against the new totalitarianism that threatens us today.

We are at the beginning of a Patriotic Spring across Europe, and also here in Germany. And I thank you for that. You are the new Germany.

And all our European countries are faced with the question of their existence. My friends, the United Nations expects that the population of Africa will quadruple by the end of the century — from 1.1 billion today, to 4.4 billion. Studies show that in Southern Africa, one in three adults wants to emigrate. And in North Africa and the Middle East, one in five wants to emigrate. Many of them want to come to Europe in the future.

The question that none of our ruling politicians now ask is: How do we protect our country and our identity against mass immigration? How do we protect our values?
How do we protect our civilization? Our culture? The future of our children? These are the fundamental questions we have to answer.

In recent years, our governments have allowed millions of people to flow uncontrollably into our countries. Our governments have conducted a dangerous open-borders policy.

And I know, as do you, that when the citizens of Eastern Europe defeated communism in 1989, they were inspired by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Vaclav Havel, Vladimir Bukovski and others, who told them that people have the right, but also a commitment, to “live in the truth.”

Friends, liberty requires eternal vigilance. And this applies also to the truth. And Solzhenitsyn added that — I quote — “truth seldom is sweet; it is almost invariably bitter.”

And let us hear the bitter truth: Our leaders have lost their ability to recognize danger and understand the truth, because they no longer value freedom.

Politicians from almost all of the established parties are promoting our Islamization. Almost the entire Establishment, the elite universities, the churches, the media, politicians, put our hard-earned liberties at risk.

They talk about equality, but, incredibly, are incapable of seeing that in Islam, women have fewer rights than men, and infidels have fewer rights than the followers of Islam.

They are blind to the truth — but we are not! And we do not accept that they are blind to the truth. We no longer accept that the elites have abandoned the people.

It breaks my heart when I see that people have become strangers in their own land — almost everywhere in Europe.

But it is our country; it’s not their country — it’s our country. And it is unacceptable that you fear for the future of your children, that women are afraid, that Jews, ex-Muslims, Christians fear for their safety.

Day after day, for years, we are experiencing the decay of our cherished values. The equality of men and women, freedom of opinion and speech, tolerance of homosexuality — all this is in retreat.

And I say to you, my friends: We do not want this. We do not want Germany or any other country in Europe to abolish itself! We don’t want that!
We want our homeland to remain our homeland.
We want to stay who we are!
We are secure, free, democratic, proud of our culture!

My friends, what we see today is that fear reigns. Many people are desperate. Our rulers are cowardly. Our security is disappearing; our freedom is in danger.

And many normal people are afraid to say what they think. Women are afraid to show their blonde hair.
And this charade must be stopped! More and more people demand this! We demand this!
And I tell you: Enough is enough!

And then there is also the great danger of Islamic terrorism.
A German undercover journalist recently revealed that some refugee housing centers have become breeding-grounds for terrorists. The consequences are visible to everyone.

Recall the massacre at the Berlin Christmas market. Remember also the black summer of terror last year, here in Germany. We also remember Cologne and the mass assaults of hundreds of innocent women.

And yet our governments fail to do anything. But if we do nothing, we cease to exist.

Some immigrants have come here with entirely different values.
This is a fact — not a political fact, but a fact confirmed by scientists such as the Dutch Professor Ruud Koopmans, from Humboldt University in Berlin. His investigations showed that about half of all Muslims in Germany aspire to the roots of Islam.

Professor Koopmans also says that — I quote — “of a billion Muslims worldwide, between ten and twenty percent are willing to accept violence, even against civilians, to defend Islam.” End of quotation.

But despite all these terrible warnings, our rulers refuse to see the elephant in the room.

The people are fed up with the political correctness of the elites! Are you fed up, or are you not fed up?
We are fed up with the elites, who offer you a beautiful ideal world, in which all cultures are morally equivalent.
The people demand — we demand — the truth!
And we must tell them the truth, because people have a right to the truth!
Because the people should not be abandoned.
We, here, are the hope of the people! And we will never disappoint them! Never!

You may have heard that the Dutch government is trying to silence me.
But I say to you, I will never shut up!
I am on many death-lists just because they hate me, because I criticize Islam, and because I am a friend of Israel.
But I will never be silent, despite all the threats from politicians and terrorists.
For the free expression of opinions is, my friends, the basis of democracy.

There is, however, much positive news. There is reason for hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Better times will come. The wind started to shift last year. It brought us the victory of — and from here, congratulations to — Donald Trump, the President of the United States.

But not only in America. We also see it here in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, throughout Europe: The patriots are winning. The time for a change has come. And that is why, my friends, it gives me tremendous courage to see you all here today.

This room full of German patriots shows me something very important. It shows me that Germany is not lost!
It shows me that Germany will survive!

You are a good force. The force that brings this beautiful country back on the right path. On the path to a patriotic future. A secure future. A free future. Our future!

History calls on you to save Germany. History calls on us all to save Europe. To save our own humanistic Judeo-Christian culture and civilization, our liberties, our nations, the future of our children.

And we have no choice. We will do it.
My party, the PVV in the Netherlands; Frauke Petry and Marcus Pretzell and the AfD here in Germany; Marine Le Pen and Front National in France — and yes, Marine Le Pen will be the next president of France!
But, naturally, also Hans-Christian Strache and Harald Vilimsky and the FPÖ, our friends in Austria.
Tom van Grieken and Gerolf Annemans and our friends from the Vlaams Belang in Flanders.
And all the other politicians.

But I tell you, we politicians are not important here. It’s not about us. It’s about you; it’s about the voters.
It’s about the people here in this room, and also the millions throughout the country — not we, but you are important.

You are the true heroes and the saviors of Europe. And I thank you for that.
Our parties give the people an opportunity to vote for good patriots. Patriots who want to make our borders safe again! Patriots who want to stop mass immigration! Patriots who want to restore the sovereignty of our countries, our money, our laws and our future.

We are fed up with the Europhiles in Brussels, who want to abolish our countries and impose an undemocratic super-state, in which we become a single multicultural society.

To this Europe we say no!
We stand for a Europe of national states and freedom!
We will take our countries back. We will make sure that our countries will stay ours.

My friends, this year will be the year of the people!
The year when the voice of the people finally will be heard!
The year of a democratic and nonviolent political revolution in Europe.
The year of liberation!
The year of the Patriotic Spring!

In two months, next March, we will give the Dutch people the chance to free the Netherlands! And next April, Marine, as I already said, will be the next president of France!
And next autumn it’s your turn, my dear German friends. I am absolutely convinced that with Frauke Petry, the future of Germany is guaranteed.
Long live the German Spring!

And I tell you: We will liberate ourselves. We will make our countries great again! We can do it!

Everywhere in Europe, we are electing new and courageous politicians who serve the interests of the people. And together we will win!

My friends, we live in historic times.
The people of the West are awakening. They are casting off the yoke of political correctness.
They want their freedom back.
They want their sovereign nations back.
And we, the patriots of Europe, will be their instrument of liberation!

Long live freedom!
Long live The Netherlands!
Long live Germany!
Long live the Alternative for Germany!

Thank you.

Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).

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The EU Vs. The Nation State

The EU Vs. The Nation State  By George Igler, The Gatestone Institute, 30 December 2016

  • The question remains, however, why any nation would want to throw out its sovereignty to institutions that are fundamentally unaccountable, that provide no mechanism for reversing direction, and whose only “solution” to problems involves arrogating to itself ever more authoritarian, rather than democratically legitimate, power.
  • Previous worries over unemployment and the economy have been side-lined: the issues now vexing European voters the most, according to the EU’s own figures, are mass immigration (45%) and terrorism (32%).
  • The Netherlands’ Partij Voor de Vrijheid, France’s Front Nationaland Germany’s Alternativ für Deutschland are each pushing for a referendum on EU membership in their respective nations.
  • Given that the EU’s institutions have been so instrumental as a causal factor in the mass migration and terrorism that are now dominating the minds of national electorates, some might argue that the sooner Europeans get rid of the EU, which is now doing more harm than good, the better.

Attention is beginning to focus on elections due to take place in three separate European countries in 2017. The outcomes in the Netherlands, France and Germany will determine the likely future of the European Union (EU).

In the Netherlands, on March 15, all 150 members of the country’s House of Representatives will face the ballot box. The nation is currently led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose VVD party holds 40 seats in the legislative chamber, ruling in a coalition with the Dutch Labour party, which holds 35 seats.

In contrast, the Party for Freedom – Partij Voor de Vrijheid (PVV) – led by Geert Wilders, currently holds 12 seats.

According to an opinion poll, issued on December 21, Wilders’s party has leapt to 24% in the polls, while Rutte’s party has slid to 15%. Were an election to happen now, this would translate to 23 MPs for Rutte’s VVD, and 36 MPs for Wilders’s PVV.

Given the strict formula of proportional representation in the Netherlands, however, coalition governments are the norm. Should Wilders’s PVV come first in March, he will likely need to negotiate with one of his staunchest critics to form a government.

In France, two rounds of voting in the presidential elections are set to take place on April 23 and May 7 – with the two leading candidates from the first round facing each other in a runoff in the second round.

The most likely candidates to make it through to the second round, François Fillon, of the centre-right Les Républicains, and Marine Le Pen, of the populist Front National, remain tied in first-round polling.

A survey, published on December 7, gave each candidate 24%. Le Pen’s party, however, has previously fallen afoul of France’s dual-round voting system, in which voters for other parties have used the second round to swing behind the more moderate candidate.

A separate BVA poll, which solely simulated a run off between Fillon and Le Pen, showed the former the potential victor by 67%.

For all the discussion of a populist revolt in European politics, the parties agitating for change against the continent’s open borders, and its centralized, unaccountable and un-transparent law-making – originating from the institutions of the EU – continue to face an uphill climb.

In Germany, despite the calamities associated with the decision of its Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to accept 1.5 million Muslim migrants into her nation in 2015, she is seeking re-election.

On a date yet to be determined, between August 27 and October 22, German federal elections will take place to decide the members of the Bundestag, the country’s federal parliament.

Despite having been founded only in April 2013, the populist Alternative for Germany party – Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) – has recently risen to an unprecedented 16% in the polls, in the wake of the attack on Berlin Christmas shoppers on December 19. Terrorism is proving a driver of voters’ intentions.

The increasing levels of support being enjoyed by Europe’s populist Eurosceptic parties are clearly associated with issues which are coming to dominate popular concern. Previous worries over unemployment and the economy have been side-lined: the issues now vexing European voters the most, according to the EU’s own figures (pp.4-5), are mass immigration (45%) and terrorism (32%).

Breaking these Eurobarometer numbers down further, country by country (p.7), Dutch voters picked immigration as their greatest concern by a startling 56%, with terrorism following at 33%.

French voters, despite being subjected to more recent terrorist atrocities than any other European nation, picked immigration and terrorism by a margin of 36% and 35%, respectively, according to the latest EU report. The parlous state of the French economy continues to be a major concern to French voters.

The elections scheduled next year in the Netherlands, France, and Germany, are doubly significant in that they make up three of the six original signatory nations of the founding treaty which eventually gave rise to the EU.

The Netherlands’ Partij Voor de Vrijheid, France’s Front National and Germany’s Alternativ für Deutschland are each pushing for a referendum on EU membership in their respective nations.

Signed in March 1957, by Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the Treaty of Rome established both the European Economic Community – proposing a single market for goods, labour, services and capital within the bloc – and also, crucially, brought the European Commission into existence.

The executive body of the EU, which also has the sole remit for initiating legislation at the European level, is led by the controversial Jean-Claude Juncker, whose own grim opinion of the nation state’s role in the likely future of the European continent was made clear in a speech on December 9.

On the 25th anniversary of the drafting of the Maastricht Treaty, which paved the way for the Euro – the single currency shared by 19 countries within the 28 member EU – Mr. Juncker delivered a stark message:

Europe is the smallest continent. … We are a relevant part of the global economy: 25% of the global GPD. In 10 years from now, it will be 15%. In 20 years from now, not one single Member State of the European Union will be a member of the G7. … And from a demographic point of view, we are not really disappearing, but we are losing demographic weight.

 

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Europeans represented 20% of the human kind. Now, at the beginning of this century: 7%. At the end of this century: 4% out of 10 billion people. So those who do think that time has come to deconstruct, to put Europe in pieces, to subdivide us in national divisions, are totally wrong. We will not exist as single nations without the European Union.

In short, according to Juncker, the European nation state simply no longer has a future. Many, including voters this year in Britain and Italy, and potential supporters of the PVV, the AfD and the Front National, would emphatically disagree.

Critics of the EU, whose philosophical foundations were laid between the two World Wars, have often claimed that its purpose was to tie together the economic fortunes of each member state so that exiting the bloc would become practicably impossible.

As one of the founding fathers of the EU, the French diplomat Jean Monnet, argued in 1943:

“There will be no peace in Europe if states are reconstituted on a basis of national sovereignty … Prosperity and vital social progress will remain elusive until the nations of Europe form a federation or a ‘European entity’ which will forge them into a single economic unit.”

This “fusion of (economic functions),” Monnet explained in 1952, “would compel nations to fuse their sovereignty into that of a single European State.”

Despite the historic vote by the United Kingdom to exit the EU on June 23, the procedural mechanism for Britain’s departure has yet to be implemented, and has been the subject of extended legal and parliamentary debate.

Those who had hoped that Britain would have already demonstrated a clear economic future for a nation outside the EU bloc, to embolden populist parties in other European countries seeking independence, before next year’s pivotal elections, have had their wishes caught up, temporarily at least, in the cogs of procedure.

The question remains, however, why any nation would want to throw out its sovereignty to institutions that are fundamentally unaccountable, that provide no mechanism for reversing direction, and whose only “solution” to problems involves arrogating to itself ever more authoritarian, rather than democratically legitimate, power.

However, the EU claims that support for the euro within the currency bloc is at an all-time high (70%), and a majority in countries like Hungary, Romania and Croatia would, in fact, like to join the EU’s currency union.

Given that concerns about mass migration, and the increase in crime and terrorism that have accompanied it, are only likely to grow, and that cross-national security cooperation is necessarily undermined by the EU’s open internal borders – Anis Amri, the Berlin truck assassin, was shot dead in Milan – Europe’s populist parties nevertheless face a sizeable challenge.

Despite voters’ concerns about mass migration, in the absence of presenting their electorates with a compelling economic vision outside of the EU, polling numbers still favour the political mainstream.

Given that the EU’s institutions have been so instrumental as a causal factor in the mass migration and terrorism that are now dominating the minds of national electorates, some might argue that the sooner Europeans get rid of the EU, which is now doing more harm than good, the better.

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The Left, Globalists, PC elitists and progressives endanger democracy

Many politicians and bureaucrats systematically cause delays and unnecessary expenditure, and ignore reality.  ‘Yes Minister’ really was a documentary, not fiction! Perhaps even worse, many from the ‘Left’, progressives and activists keep trying to stymie democracy with their shrill, often illogical views.

More previous articles are linked below the most recent three.

My Agenda: destroy Australia, and how well I’m doing

My Agenda, destroy Australia, and how well I’m doing  By Frank Pledge, Quadrant Online, 13 April 2017

 As an Australian politician I know what is best for you little people, be it blackouts, green tape and red tape, or schools that teach what to think, not how to think. I’ve been working hard to make all that and worse the norm and now, sooner than I ever dared hope, victory is at hand.

 

I am an Australian politician.  It does not matter to which party I belong because I am a ‘nowhere man’, like all the other members of my bipartisan swarm.  We do not need to communicate with each other because we know what needs to be done.  We are globalists, open-border internationalists, eager totalitarians, politically correct scolds and activists, propagandists posing as journalists and educators who pointedly do not educate.  We are those who believe in doing the right thing for the planet, rather than selfishly for Australia, and we do very niceely out of it, too, because a superior sort of person always deserves the reward of other people’s money in large amounts.

 

We instinctively know that destroying the old Australia is something we need to do as our contribution to saving the planet from the human vermin destroying it.  Fortunately, we also know there is no organised political front that can oppose us.  Collectivism always beats the individual, as we can spontaneously organise the gang numbers to crush individual dissent – and, of course, we have the support of the media, the ABC, the AHRC and thuggish trolls of all shades. Yes, we recognise Australians will suffer and that the nation will be impoverished, but we accept that as collateral damage. We know the survival of the planet is at stake.  Sacrificing you is necessary.

It has been a long battle, but we have almost won the war to de-industrialise, to undermine the society that built this country.  We have an agenda and we have taken it too far for anyone to stop it, so embrace the new nation we have re-shaped for you, whether you like it or not.  As a globalist ‘Australian’ I am proud of what we have done, so let me do a little boasting. Hear me out and you will understand not only the internationalist future we have planned but also that further resistance is futile.

In 1992, Maurice Strong openly announced our plans when he called for the destruction of capitalism and announced that it was our duty to bring about its collapse. We heard his call and set about assembling the means to achieve this aim.  We knew that it had to be done secretly, but in plain sight, so we infiltrated the UN, the universities, the NGOs, mainstream communications and the right-of-centre political parties.  The weapons we created were the demonization of energy (hydrocarbon fuels), nuclear power, hydro (by amusingly claiming they stopped the rivers from ‘running free’) and the promotion of alternative, expensive fake power sources in the form of some seriously outrageous ideas that we marketed as ‘clean energy’.

With overwhelming support from many sources we frightened governments into complying with our agenda. Those who didn’t, we targeted for marginalisation and destruction with our lies and distortions.  Even I am surprised how easy it was to convince people to part with their money to build unreliable wind farms, solar powered shadow grids (that are so useless their output is reduced by up to 80% by just a layer of dust – and we build them in dusty deserts!).

Of course, producing electricity was not their purpose — the ‘clean green’ palaver obscures the way we go about extracting subsidies, which is the main game.  To test the limits of insanity we suggest non-starters like ‘hot rocks’ and tidal energy as “renewable” sources of electricity.  We knew they would not work (any first year engineering student could have told you that), but these scams achieved their real aim of burning money and reducing the wealth available to provide roads, hospitals and schools, all the while making electricity expensive and unreliable. Manufacturing and smelting operations could not tolerate this situation so they began to close.  Our objective of de-industrialisation was now an inevitable, soon-to-be reality.

We falsely linked reliable energy to global cooling, then seamlessly changed our story to make it the weapon against global warming. When the global climate became neither much hotter nor much cooler, we adroitly switched the bogeyman’s label to ‘climate change’.  Our propaganda machine is now so polished and effective we could suggest that black is white and then, when everyone was in agreement, we could prove our point by changing white to black again.  That’s how confident we are. With the media, academics and my fellow politicians in fearful agreement, we cannot not lose. And if we encounter a serious opponent — a particularly witty cartoonist, say — we can use the courts or Australian Human Rights Commission to persecute any dissenters. And believe me, did we ever do that!

We squared the circle by ensuring energy rationing became a possibility, something that seemed an impossibility in the vibrant, realist ‘can do’ society Australia once was.  Why was rationing an objective, you ask?  Because when commodities are in short supply the people will appeal to us, the political elite, to save them.  All we need are one or two more turns of the screw to break the will of those who still believe in Australian sovereignty. And that day is close, believe me, very close indeed..

Despite a million gas-fracking drill holes in other parts of the world failing to have contaminated any known groundwater, state governments wouldn’t have a bar of the evidence. Exploratory gas drilling was outlawed in Victoria and the Northern Territory. In South Australia (the jewel in our crown), we crippled it with litigation. In Queensland we rounded up. and hyped-up, the usual gullible flock and had them ‘lock the gates’. You see, even when governments work against our objectives, we find ways to humble them. There’s nothing like a hippy in a koala costume to scare your more querulous politician into voting against the common good. Have you noticed how impotent governments are against our NGO agents, who have effortlessly tied up the Adani Carmichael Basin project for years in a Byzantine legal maze?  Is there any doubt that we will soon see Adani leave Australia altogether for Indonesia or the Philippines.

Last month’s closure of the Hazelwood power station in Victoria makes me particularly proud.  What a win we had over reality and truth! Here I would be remiss not to thank our schools and educators, who have done so much to make sure children know what to to think, not how to think. Have you seen the way our kids keep dropping down the international rankings for educational achievement, even as we make sure we spend more of other people’s money than ever before on schools and teacher salaries. Well done, chalkies!

A few months ago a talking head on the radio was interviewing an excited Victorian Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio, who was on her way to announce to loyal Hazelwood CFMEU members and the breathless press that Hazelwood would be closing.  She explained that the station was more than 50 years old, expensive to operate and the ‘dirtiest’ — we get to define the word — coal-fired power station in Australia.  Even for a Labor minister three errors in three ‘factual’ statements is right up there with the best we could hope for. Oh, and by the way, have you seen Ms D’Ambrosio with her advisers (below). Fresh-faced, eager and usefully ardent, their lack of acumen and experience is more than compensated by a self-righteous zealotry. Once again, well done, chalkies!

Dismissing the collateral damage beyond the loss of a reliable and what should be a cheap source of electricity, Ms D’Ambrosio shrugged off the lost jobs of the skilled people who worked at Hazelwood, nor did she spare more than a bland word or two for the economic devastation of local towns dependent on those fired workers’ spending. Instead she  assured all and sundry that green jobs would make up the shortfall and, in the meantime, there would be subsidies and counselling and lots of public servants and NGO contractors with clipboards and kind words for the hungry and unemployed. The LaTrobe Valley from now will have a social-worker led economy!

If you have ever visited a ghost town like Burra Burra, Coolgardie or Cossack, you’ll know the romantic appeal of down-at-heel decay cannot be denied.  Adding Morwell, Yallourn and Traralgon to the list will produce the same sort of tourist attractions in Gippsland. Ms D’Ambrosio did very well parroting all those empty green nostrums while keeping a straight face, but she did slip a bit in not noting the tourist potential of towns where residents will have fled as their property values sank to zero.

Mind you, there could have been trouble if any reporter had pointed out that neither wind farms nor solar plants in Queensland produced a jot of electricity for days after Cyclone Debbie swept through. Fortunately, as noted above, your typical environmental reporter is none to bright, so we dodged that bullet. Well done, journalism school professors!

 

JUST a couple of decades ago I would have thought that our other goal of food-rationing was an impossibility.  Australia was a massive exporter of primary produce.  Today my dream of permanent shortages is approaching reality.  Thanks to the almost comical alarms and emotional scares we broadcast, we now have so many marine parks we must import 80% of our seafood.  Ours is an island continent surrounded by water, yet we must now import fish. If anyone wonders why that should be the case, one of our tame, grant-lavished academics starts yelling that the Great Barrier Reef is almost dead. This helps kill the overseas tourist trade as well.

Using the recent 11-year drought as our foundation we built the myth that ‘the new norm is a thousand year drought’.  This should have been an easily exposed fiction in Dorothea MacKellar’s ‘land of droughts and flooding rains’, but the fiction that the dams would never fill again served our purpose well. State governments squandered billions of dollars on useless, unnecessary and now-mothballed desalination plants. Our union mates loved that one. Well done, bruvvers, for all that feather-bedding and all those eight-figure cost-overruns.

Our dream of impoverishing Australia was already working well enough when, in a stroke of genius, we took it up a notch by  stopping farmers from farming, producing food, even clearing their own land.  We depleted the Treasury by buying back ‘water rights’ so irrigation became impossible, making farms uneconomic and destroying the rural economy.  To hasten the process we had our agents at the ABC whip up a shock! horror! expose and suspended live cattle exports the very next morning. Indonesia now imports cattle from as far away as Argentina. This was a market Australia once had pretty much all to itself, so we ruined it.  We order the planting of noxious native weeds near farms and along road verges, all the better for promoting bushfires.  We allow feral animals to infest our National Parks, banned hunters from killing them and told graziers who complain about ravaging wild dogs that those same parks, with all their foxes, rabbits, deer, pigs and goats were actually untouched “wilderness”. How dare you complain about a few hundred dead sheep, we sneered, when all you want to do is make money and ours is the protection of Gaia.

Naturally, we banned high-yield, genetically modified crops, such as ‘Golden Rice’, and painted it as ‘frankenfood’.  As a bonus, the lack of the vitamins that are genetically spliced into genetically modified crops kills around 50,000 children a year, removing more human parasites from the planet. I could go on, but you get the point.  Australia can now barely feed and sustain itself thanks to our efforts. Where does your breakfast orange juice come thse days? Brazil or California, most likely.

The aim of my swarm has always been to break the back of Australia by simultaneously using multiple strategies to attack the basis of culture, national pride and unity.  These strategies are well advanced.  I would love to show you how clever we elites are compared to you, but I won’t give away too many secrets.

Know, however, that we set out to erode and overwhelm the relaxed Australian culture of old — we see it as a lack of lack of culture — by bringing in legions of people who will never assimilate. More than that, we made sure they did not assimilate by stressing the importance of group identity and dividing the country into multicultural tribes. Parliament must now misdirect more billions of dollars to security services in the name of keeping us safe.  Yet we are no longer safe and can never be again, no matter how many times elderly ladies’ handbags are searched at the Sydney and Melbourne cricket grounds. On cue, one of our favoured mouthpieces pooh-hooed terrorism as nothing more than an inconvenience, a mere minor “irritation”. Dare to disagree and, well, our media auxiliary will denounce you as a bigot and a racist.

Education is a gem that took us decades to achieve, but we are now there.  Schools teach blather and tosh to children who can neither read nor write effectively, yet they know with absolute certainty that humans are destroying the planet, and that we “stole” Australia from the Aborigines, who presided over what they confidently believe to have been a Stone Age paradise. We’ve also made sure our Anzacs were re-cast not as heroes but as racist, raping war criminals, and it has all come together better than we might ever have hoped. A national self-loathing was our ultimate aim and that goal is at hand.  My grandson can repeat a faux-Aboriginal ‘welcome to country’ mantra, having heard it scores of times, but not the National Anthem or the Lord’s Prayer. I am proud that my swarm has won again.

I loathe Australia, always have, and can hardly wait for the reward of a superbly paid position at the United Nations in New York. So don’t forget to vote for me, though it matters little if you do not.

We are so close to winning it’s all over bar the tears. We took Australia away from you and you didn’t even notice.

How smart are we! How complacent are you!

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The Australian public broadcasters, ABC and SBS, no longer have public purpose

The Australian public broadcasters, ABC and SBS, no longer have public purpose  By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 10 April 2017

With the quality and variety of media so cheap and accessible these days, why do we need two public broadcasters costing almost $1.5 billion annually?

Why do we need even one?

Take SBS. Its establishment in 1975 is closely linked to the birth of multiculturalism in Australia. Today, it is the world’s most linguistically diverse media entity, with running costs of almost $400 million a year.

In their book, Racism, Ethnicity and the Media, Andrew Jakubowicz et al, write that, “the new broadcaster had ambitious goals — to reach an audience of huge cultural diversity. The development of ‘ethnic’ radio and ‘multicultural’ television was a byproduct of the shift away from the assimilation and integration models of Australian society.”

While immigrants were still encouraged to learn English quickly, in the 1970s it became obvious that broadcasting in community languages would assist communities to gain access to government ­services, and provide a “cultural bridge to their new homeland”.

This preference for “diversity” has contributed to the abridgement of free speech, identity ­politics, a divided society, growing intolerance and, diminished ­national pride.

After 40 years and the best ­efforts of SBS, we can conclude that shifting to multiculturalism from assimilation and integration was a mistake.

In any event, today’s technology has rendered the original SBS charter obsolete — a victim of digital disruption. Migrants can now stream content from their former homeland on demand and, in real time. Clearly $400m a year is not ­required to assist “communities” to gain access to government ­services.

Looking for relevance and ­audiences, SBS has gained a reputation for voyeuristic TV and, ­recently entered into partnership with Viceland, a “global youth brand”, “to bring some of the best available content from across the world, never before seen in ­Australia”. Programs such as Hate Thy Neighbour, Gay Conversion Therapy, Teen Exorcist, Gaycation, State of Undress and, Life After Food, are featured.

While SBS employs more than 1200 people in attractive working conditions replete with dog creche, it is not for taxpayers to support these jobs by paying for content that is accessible online and has little to do with the ­charter.

SBS resembles a government agency that, having outlived its ­intended purpose, is charting a course of its own, even advocating against government policy.

SBS has a disproportionately high 13 per cent of staff identifying as LGBTI. It is a partner in the ­Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Its openly gay chief executive promotes marriage equality, permitting the company logo to be used in support. He refused to air an advertisement critical of same-sex-marriage.

The government watches this abuse of taxpayer privilege as it quietly considers merging SBS and National Indigenous TV with the ABC.

A merger could deliver significant operational efficiencies, cost reductions and capital returns. It should also mean that SBS advertising revenue, circa $65m, would become available to the struggling commercial networks.

Yet even this consolidated ­entity will struggle to find a public purpose. Management and government may redefine the charter, but a billion-dollar-plus annual budget will be hard to justify.

Britain has already conducted this exercise and developed a new charter for the BBC. It calls for something “distinctively different” from commercial alternatives. If the market can provide, then public service media is not required. But how to measure “distinctiveness” when free-to-air, subscription and, online broadcasters, are so ubiquitous?

A declining share of TV and radio audiences suggests that any distinctiveness the ABC may have had is losing its appeal. Younger demographics are mostly getting their news and entertainment from established social media feeds. Any public broadcasting behemoth seeking to be distinctive now, or in the future, will probably struggle in this increasingly fickle, demanding and, crowded cyberspace.

Working to the ABC’s advantage is the undue political attention it receives from Canberra. It is understood that Malcolm Turnbull personally intervened in the appointment of chief executive Michelle Guthrie, normally the prerogative of the board. This has led to complaints about the selection process. The Prime Minister also pushed for his friend Justin Milne to become the new chairman. This interference is unhealthy and reinforces the impression that the political class views the ABC as a state, rather than an independent, broadcaster.

Despite the protestations of Milne, who says there is no bias to fix, the group-think that pervades the ABC leans distinctly left. A university survey records 41 per cent of its journalists vote Green. There’s a lack of editorial curiosity or disposition to surprise. Routinely, it supports fashionable “progressive” causes, like Islam, refugees, climate change and indigenous issues. It predictably condemns Israel, the Catholic Church, Tony Abbott, Pauline Hanson and Donald Trump. Free speech, free markets and rational economics get short shrift. Management is ­focused on gender and ethnic ­diversity, but not thought. When the chairman says “roughly speaking 50 per cent of the audience will think (the ABC) is biased to the left …”, you know there is no appetite for change.

The media, particularly the ABC and SBS, have played a ­significant role in easing the way for the left’s control of the economy’s commanding heights, those critical sectors that dominate economic activity — electricity generation, heavy manufacturing, mining, and transportation. Climate science has been shamelessly exploited to this end.

To the totalitarians, public broadcasters are valuable allies and they religiously court them through direct contact with producers, presenters and management and, via organisations like Friends of the ABC. They want government-sanctioned journalism, something the Gillard government tried to introduce through an Australian Human Rights Commission-type enforcer. Better luck next time there’s a Labor government.

The stark reality is that today’s case for taxpayer-funded media is thin and getting thinner. We can no longer dismiss the improvements to our freedoms, budgets and national debate, the break-up and sale of our public broadcasters would deliver us.

Maurice Newman was chairman of the ABC between 2007 and 2011.

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Totalitarian-minded citizens challenge our freedom of speech

Totalitarian-minded citizens challenge our freedom of speech  By Stephen Chavura, The Australian, 6 April 2017

 What’s the difference between a repressive totalitarian state and a state with liberal democratic laws whose citizens do not respect the freedoms that such laws guarantee? Nothing.

A country can have the most liberal freedom of speech and association laws in the world, but if its citizens are not animated by the spirit of the laws, if they do not believe in them, then these laws are a dead letter.

This is nicely shown in the attempt by Syed Murtaza Hussain, of the Council for the Prevention of Islamophobia Inc, to intimidate Festival Hall in Melbourne into cancelling its booking to host anti-Islamist speaker and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali this week. Hussain threatened Festival Hall that he would disrupt the evening with 5000 protesters.

Hirsi Ali has not engaged in any incitement to violence. She has not engaged in obscene abuse. She has not tried to incite anyone to hatred. Yet there are citizens in Australia — 5000 in Melbourne, according to Hussain — who would thumb their noses at our liberal democracy and try to prevent her from enjoying her right to speak freely.

And that’s the distinction on which we need to be clear: between the right to freedom and the ability to enjoy that right. Only politicians can curtail our rights to freedom as embodied in our laws. Yet our fellow citizens can make sure that those rights are more costly to enjoy — so costly that we cannot afford to enjoy them.

That’s precisely what is happening in Australia with Hirsi Ali’s aborted speaking tour, not to mention pro-traditional marriage conferences across the past 18 months where citizens have tried to intimidate venues into cancelling contracts to host events.

Yes, the right to freedom of speech still exists, but the cost has become too high for speech that falls foul of Muslim and LGBTI identity politics.

This is one of the dangers facing freedom of speech and association in Australia.

Sure, we have section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and its vague threats against “offensive”, “insulting” and “humiliating” speech.

But 18C is merely a symbol of civic decay — a decay brought on by the repressive tolerance of human rights discourse in liberal democracies and thoughtless immigration laws creating commun­ities with a strongly illiberal dynamic.

Human rights discourse is fine within the context of countries with flagrant disregard for human rights. It is sorely needed in African countries, most of the Middle East and much of Asia. But human rights advocates in Australia clearly have found themselves with next to nothing to do. Scrambling for some justification for their existence (and ridiculously high wages) they start human rights ambulance chasing.

Take, for example, Tim Soutphommasane, the Race Discrimination Commissioner, who drummed up business by tacitly encouraging Australians to lodge complaints against the late Bill Leak for his cartoon on troubled indigenous communities.

Now we have Labor MP Anne Aly seeking to widen 18C’s net to include anti-­Islamic speech.

Similar things can be said against some LGBTI-rights activists who seek to increase the cost of their opponents’ freedom of speech and association through trying to imperil their livelihoods by haranguing their employers regarding their extra-vocational associations.

What good are freedom of speech and association laws when our own citizens seek to make them too costly, or inconvenient, or too unsafe to enjoy?

Hirsi Ali’s cancelled tour also raises the spectre of an Islamist threat to freedom of speech in Australia. Why would Hussain, an Islamic activist, tell a venue he would mobilise 5000 people on the night of her presentation? To intimidate.

Hussain’s actions were not against the law, but they were against the spirit of our laws.

Clearly the spirit of freedom that historically animates Australia’s laws — indeed, the West’s laws — is increasingly at odds with the spirit of forced conformity that animates the hearts of many human rights activists and Islamic spokespeople.

As the cancellation of Hirsi Ali’s tour shows, the most anti-totalitarian laws in the world are helpless against citizens with totalitarian hearts.

Stephen Chavura teaches politics and history at Macquarie University and is a lecturer for the Lachlan Macquarie Internship.

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Inside every Progressive there is a totalitarian screaming to get out, Quote by David Horowitz

I think there is a need to continually point out to the so-called Progressives that they are actually debasing democracy.

They want us to become like the other despot nations of the world like Russia, China and North Korea together with nearly every nation in Africa.

If the so-called Progressives want that type of society I suggest they go and live there for a while.

It would cure them pretty quickly and then they would appreciate what we have in Australia

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The dogma of sustainability and renewables is ruining the power system

‘Sustainability’ is a modern buzz-word, a fashion, a vital tool for preservation and all-to-often a cover for dangerous covert agendas, not the least being the danger of related policies returning electrical power delivery to third-world status

Check at the end for links to previous articles

A Dead Man Warns of a Dying Grid

A Dead Man Warns of a Dying Grid  By Alan Moran, Quadrant Online, 5 April 2017

 Not long before his sudden and premature death, Australian Energy Market Operator chief Matt Zema spoke candidly at a private conference of power-industry executives. The enormous subsidies heaped on renewables, he said, mean one thing and only one thing: “The system must collapse”

 

Matt Zema, inaugural head of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), attended a meeting a year ago of the Regulation Economics Energy Forum at which a number of prominent electricity industry executives were present.  Proceedings at the meeting were private, but the need for confidentiality was removed with Matt’s sad death three months later. The following were among his remarks:

 

“The renewable developments and increased political interference are pushing the system towards a crisis.  South Australia is most vulnerable with its potential for wind to supply 60% of demand and then to cut back rapidly.  Each new windfarm constrains existing ones and brings demand for more transmission. The system is only manageable with robust interconnectors, but these operate effectively only because there is abundant coal-based generation in Victoria…

… wind, being subsidised and having low marginal costs, depresses the spot price and once a major coal plant has a severe problem it will be closed…

… wind does not provide the system security.  But the politicians will not allow the appropriate price changes to permit profitable supply developments from other sources.  And the original intent of having the generator or other beneficiary pay for transmission and services over and above energy itself has now been lost so there are no market signals, just a series of patch-ups that obscure the instability and shift the problem to include Victoria. In the end the system must collapse…”

A month later South Australia’s coal-fuelled Northern Power Station was disconnected from the network because it was unable to operate profitably against subsidised intermittent renewable energy that has priority over other supplies.

In September, 2016, as a result of this capacity reduction, South Australia lost all its power when storms triggered outages and several wind generators were unable to “ride through”,  causing the main interconnector with Victoria to shut down.  A more limited loss of power took place in February, 2017, when wind supply dropped from 800MW to under 100MW in four hours.

The September, 2016, blackout is estimated to have cost the state $367 million. BHP, whose senior executives have long engaged in virtue-signalling in favour of carbon taxes and exotic “clean” renewables, reported a loss of $US105 million with their Olympic Dam project — a loss magnified by the company being forced to suspend its proposed doubling of the mine’s capacity as a result of power uncertainties.

Alan Moran’s new book, Climate Change: Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era
can be ordered by clicking here

Engie, the owners of Hazelwood announced in November, 2016, that the 1600 megawatt facility (supplying between 20% and 25% of the state’s power) will be the fourth big coal-fired power station to close. Hazelwood had been allowed to deteriorate as a result of subsidised wind making the plant unprofitable, which did not stop Engie  being ordered to complete major repairs to at least five of the eight boilers in order to meet occupational health and safety regulations.

The bottom line is that the loss of the coal-powered stations has resulted in at least a doubling of the wholesale electricity price in the southern states and the concomitant loss of reliability.

Blame shifting between politicians has characterised the various events. Reliable coal plants are being forced to close due to competition from renewables which currently enjoy a subsidy of $84 per MWH, double the actual price received by coal plants.  The forced closure of these plants has compounded the cost impost by forcing up pool prices. The subsidies favouring renewable energy include several put in place by state governments, but the most important regulations are at the Commonwealth level — especially those requiring increasing shares of wind and solar within the supply mix.  These regulations give rise to the current subsidy for wind and solar, currently at $84 per MWh and capped at $92.5 per MWh.

The roll-out of new subsidised power is on-going.  And various schemes are being floated for buffering and overcoming wind’s intrinsic lack of reliability. Among these is the mooted South Australian battery investment using the technology developed by Elon Musk and the proposal floated by the Prime Minister to augment the Snowy hydro system with “pumped storage”.  These measures, should they go ahead, allow the transfer of power over time and, in doing so, reduce the gross power available.

New “solutions” using subsidised wind and solar abound.

Last week, for example, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill announced a new solar-battery combination, Lyon Solar in the Riverland, which promises 300 Megawatts of capacity.  This is the equivalent of perhaps 80 megawatts of coal fuelled electricity and comes at a cost of one billion dollars.

The now-shuttered Northern Power Station had 540 megawatts, yet Weatherill declined to take up an offer that would, for a mere $25 million, have kept it open. Instead, he plumped to spend $500 million-plus on a gas generator of half that capacity and, plus Elon Musk’s much bally-hooed batteries!

On paper, the new Lyon Solar facility is profitable only because of the penalties imposed on coal. These include the subsidy under the Renewable Energy Target of $84 per MWh.  In addition, the facility benefits from the forced closure of the coal-fired stations. This has resulted in the wholesale price of electricity rising to a new norm of $130 per MWh, compared with the average price in the four years to 2015 of $50 per MWh. The bottom line is that the consumer will pay $214 per MWh for $50-per-MWh worth of electricity from the new facility.

With that sort of money being littered around the industry for gee-whizz exotic projects it is little wonder that moochers are circling the state like moths round a candle. In the end, renewables require at least three times the price of the supposed dinosaur facilities they are displacing; consumers and industry will need to pay this and, in addition, fork out for grid additions to offset some of the inevitable deterioration of reliability the brave new energy world entails.  Obviously many outfits, especially those in the energy intensive mining and smelting and agricultural processing sectors will not find it profitable to remain in an Australian market where wholesale electricity prices have more than doubles and the system’s reliability has deteriorated.

We are seeing the future with these renewable energy facilities and it is not working. The contagion that is undermining the South Australian economy and impoverishing the state’s households is spreading to Victoria.

Ominously, on the very day that Hazelwood closed, Victoria evidenced what will be the new norm.

Incredibly, with no heatwave or any other factor to inspire a spike in electricity demand, it had to import electricity from New South Wales and Tasmania.

 

Alan Moran’s latest book,  Climate Change: Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era, is now published and, if not in your local bookshop, available on Amazon and direct from publisher Connor Court.

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Is politicians deliberately ruining the power system a ‘crime’?

Is politicians deliberately ruining the power system a ‘crime’ By Robert Gottliebsen, The Australian, 30 March 2017

 The federal government may need to declare a state of emergency and restore the Hazelwood power station.

Former trade minister Andrew Robb has taken an unprecedented and important step towards bringing the politicians who vandalised our power and gas systems before the courts.

I emphasise that Robb did not describe as “criminals” the politicians who put NSW, Victoria and South Australia at risk of blackouts and forced hundreds of thousands of Australians to consider installing their own generators or batteries.

But at this week’s Food Forum Robb did describe what happened as a “crime”. I believe it is the first time a former Coalition minister has used the word “crime” to describe the destruction of low-cost energy.

He did not discuss blackout danger but, if anything, that is a greater “crime”.

I emphasise that Robb did not say politicians should be prosecuted, but now the “crime” word has been used, if we have power blackouts in NSW, Victoria, or South Australia over the next two summers an enraged community is going to demand that the perpetrators of the “crime” — the politicians — be hauled before the courts.

As I have described previously there is a 75 per cent risk of blackouts in NSW and Victoria. But it might not happen. The politicians could be lucky.

We are fortunate in Australia to have a section of the criminal code that covers politicians and public servants who make false statements or mislead the public. It sets out that if they are guilty of an offence they can be punished with 12 months jail. Every word uttered by ministers as they vandalised the network and created higher prices needs to be examined to determine whether an offence has been committed. It’s not my job to say they have committed an offence and, as is their right, the politicians will fight any prosecutions with great vigour.

The question for the courts to decide will be whether the community was told by the politicians that, to guarantee supply security, solar and wind installations required backup facilities and a reconfiguration of the power network, which the politicians did not undertake.

In addition, was the community told that blocking gas developments in NSW and Victoria would create supply dangers given Gladstone required southern gas. Prices of energy would have to rise.

Quite rightly, Senate crossbencher Nick Xenophon is refusing to allow tax cuts until the power and gas mess is sorted out. And he is right. Few local or overseas groups are going to make substantial new investments in Australia while power and gas prices are out of control, plus substantial gas shortages and blackouts are on the menu.

The federal government may need to declare a state of emergency and restore Hazelwood, given that a “crime” has been committed, as well as accelerating the Snowy plan and quickly taking other emergency measures.

Like Andrew Robb and my readers, I can’t help thinking about why our politicians made such fundamental and catastrophic errors. I have written about the need for advice outside the public service and the “yes” people among the ministerial advisers. But watch question time in state and federal parliaments and you will see politicians using too much of their time thinking up ways to abuse each other.

That time could be used to make sure we avoid blackouts.

Vast amounts of state and federal government resources are used to duplicate what the other is doing, and usually one bags the other so no decisions can be made. We need to synchronise power structures so states control some areas and Canberra others. When duplication is ended, not only do we save countless billions but real policy can be determined, rather than developing new weapons for the state/Commonwealth fights.

Paradoxically, it was Andrew Robb who in the lead-up to the 2013 Abbott election victory was shadow finance minister and set out detailed plans to save those billions by ending state-federal duplication.

But Tony Abbott made him trade minister, and since then the Coalition in government has set about increasing duplication and infighting, which takes state and federal politicians’ eyes off the ball and leads them to poor decision-making.

Maybe long blackouts and gas shortages are what the community needs to rewrite federation and change the way we make decisions. It is the most important issue in the nation.

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The ever-receding mirage of cheap renewables just faded from view

The ever-receding mirage of cheap renewables just faded from view  By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 28 March 2017

On June 30, after 12 years of “advancing climate change solutions”, the Climate Institute is closing its doors, a victim of the “I’ll ride with you but won’t pay” industry. You would think that Cate Blanchett, so happy to appear in the institute’s ads, could have taken the hat around her Hollywood A-list mates, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Bono, Emma Watson and Brad Pitt, to tip in a few hundred thousand a year for the cause.

But alas, the caravan has moved on and the greatest moral challenge of our time is now the Trump White House. For celebrities who fly eyebrow groomers to the Oscars, climate change is kinda yesterday. Still, to humour the faithful and to keep the dream alive, the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour was celebrated last Saturday night. You didn’t notice?

The ABC did not suspend broadcasting. Nor did it bring audiences joyous messages of hope that, with rising CO2, the planet was able to feed more people than ever. That despite global population growth, fewer people now lived below the international poverty line. Perhaps it will run stories of selfless South Australians, whose government financially supported the Climate Institute, stoically accepting unplanned power outages as a noble sacrifice and sure-fire way of reducing CO2 emissions. South Australians can surely take a bow as the nation’s most virtuous citizens.

But for how much longer?

On March 31, the Hazelwood coal-fired power station, which generates 25 per cent of Victoria’s electricity, is scheduled to close, leaving Victorians precariously dependent on unreliable renewable energy and unpredictable surpluses from neighbouring states.

This should be enough to seal the fate of the energy-intensive Portland aluminium smelter, already facing closure from power interruptions and rising power ­prices. Along with Point Henry and Kurri Kurri and, probably the struggling Boyne Island smelter, (also a victim of increasing power costs), Australia’s six smelters are likely to become two, with 14,000 direct jobs lost in the process.

The Climate Institute had a hand in the destruction of these CO2 emitters and consequent job losses. It “helped expand the renewable energy target in 2008, save the Climate Change Authority after the (Abbott) election and, build bipartisan support for Australia to ratify the Paris climate agreement in 2016”.

Not mentioned was Australia’s transformation from one of the world’s cheap-energy economies into one of the most expensive. Household bills have doubled in a decade. Yet the institute claims that “three-quarters (of those it polled) see economic benefits owing (sic) from leadership on climate change and energy policy, including new jobs and investment in clean energy”.

Really? Who did it poll? Evidently South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill was one.

Smiling through the tears and, with an eye on elections next March, he announced a $550 million “dramatic intervention” to include a twice-the-cost-of-coal gas generator and battery store, all powered by long-suffering SA taxpayers. It seems US rent-seeker Elon Musk may provide the battery technology that MIT Technology Review claims “depends on technology that doesn’t yet exist”. An associated grid upgrade is not mentioned.

Unlike Weatherill, the European Commission is waking up to the unhappy macro-economic effects of renewable energy, particularly on manufacturing and job creation. Accordingly, ageing European coal generators are receiving increased taxpayer subsidies, disguised as “capacity payments”. Germany is building 12 new plants. And, according to The Guardian, there is a likelihood that priority dispatch for clean energy will be scrapped from the EU’s 2020 renewable energy directive.

Add to this the likely withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement, China playing to the crowd but with no commitment until 2030, India’s caveat that signing was “in the context” of its development agenda, and you quickly realise that Paris was always a “good faith”, not a legally binding, exercise.

Scientists fret about this. They know in today’s realpolitik the will to tackle climate change is weakening. It’s not only celebrities who see it as “kinda yesterday”.

They also worry that global temperatures have recorded no measurable increase since 1998, despite human emissions increasing by a third. In desperation, some manufacture fresh warming scares to keep pressure on the political class. For example, NASA named 2014 the hottest year ever, but under pressure admitted it was “only 38 per cent sure”.

The National Oceanic and ­Atmospheric Administration deemed 2016 the hottest on record, even though it lacked data for half the world’s land surface. Finally, a whistleblower fessed up that the temperature records were “adjusted” with the Paris climate meeting in mind.

Sadly, deception has been a feature of climate science. We’ve had Climategate 1 and 2, Himalayagate, Amazongate and “homogenised” temperature records where key algorithms are withheld. We’ve had false claims of scientific consensus. It seems this duplicitous culture is deeply embedded.

The political class, attracted by the authoritarian potential of climate change and, with rent-seeker encouragement, has long ignored this evidence.

But lately the world’s largest emitters are finding that the laws of the market are more reliable than climate science and renewable energy. As energy economist Alan Moran cuttingly observes, “the imminent arrival of cheap renewables — three decades of an ever receding mirage”. Now, with economic reality knocking on their domestic doors, governments have little choice but to act local while spinning global. Karel Beckmann, editor of European Energy Review, estimates, worldwide, 1500 coal-fired generating plants are under construction or are in the planning stage. Japan has 45.

In Australia it’s a pipe dream. Rather than embrace cheap coal, better we resort to nostalgic, uncosted, inadequate Snowy Hydro solutions. See South Australia and you glimpse our future. The Climate Institute’s job is largely done.

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Which ‘New World Order’?

What are the plans for a ‘New World Order’ (NWO),  who  is doing the planning, and what progress is apparent?

Scan down to read the latest articles.  Links to more articles are at the end of this post.

“The End Of Truth” – Hayek Saw It All Coming Over 70 Years Ago

The End Of Truth – Hayek Saw It All Coming Over 70 Years Ago  From Zerohedge, 30 March 2017

The Road To Serfdom (authored by F.A. Hayek, first publ;ished in 1944)

Excerpts from Chapter 11 – The End of Truth

Annotated via Crossroad.to/heaven,

“The most effective way of making everybody serve the single system of ends toward which the social plan is directed is to make everybody believe in those ends. To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential that the people should come to regard them as their own ends.”[p.171]

Berit’s comment: Ponder that statement. It helps explain the significance of universal service-learning. Like socialist youth in Nazi (National Socialism) and Communist countries, all must embrace the new ideology. Those who don’t — the intolerable dissenters — must be silenced.

The next section elaborates:

“Although the beliefs must be chosen for the people and imposed upon them, they must become their beliefs, a generally accepted creed which makes the individuals as far as possible act spontaneously in the way the planner wants. If the feeling of oppression in totalitarian countries is in general much less acute than most people in liberal countries imagine, this is because the totalitarian governments succeed to a high degree in making people think as they want them to.”[p.171]

The strategies that accomplish this mental change include numerous subtle and obvious forms of propaganda. Schools, the media, children- and youth-service teams, corporations, etc…. every source of propaganda must share the same vision. Though totalitarian, it will be designed to sound noble, compassionate and fair to all. Yet the result with be the exact opposite.

Ponder this warning from Dr. Thomas Sowell’s review of Road to Serfdom:

“At the heart of the socialist vision is the notion that a compassionate society can create more humane living conditions for all through government ‘planning’ and control of the economy…

 

“The rule of law, on which freedom itself ultimately depends, is inherently incompatible with socialism. People who are free to do as they wish will not do as the economic planners wish. Differences in values and priories are enough to ensure that. These differences must be ironed out by propaganda or power, if socialism is to be socialism. Indoctrination must be part of the program, not because socialist want to be brainwashers, but because socialism requires brainwashing.

 

Idealist socialist create systems in which idealist are almost certain to lose and be superseded by those whose drive for power, and ruthlessness in achieving it, make them the “fittest” to survive under a system where government power is the ultimate prize…. The issue is not what anyone intends but what consequences are in fact likely to follow.”

In his article, aptly titled “A Road to Hell Paved with Good Intentions,” Sowell points out that “Marxism as an ideal continues to flourish on American college campuses, as perhaps nowhere else in the world.” Collectivist visions appeal to academic idealists and others who ignore the lessons of history.

“….all propaganda serves the same goal—that all the instruments of propaganda are coordinated to influence the individuals in the same direction…. The skillful propagandist then has power to mold their minds in any direction he chooses, and even the most intelligent and independent people cannot entirely escape that influence if they are long isolated from all other sources of information. [p.171-172]

President Obama took control of this change process by transferring workers from the private sector (corporations, private enterprise…) to the government service sector. With the controlled media on his side, the masses are not exposed to contrary facts.

“…even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality—an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order—and that most of the humanitarian elements of our morals, the respect for human life, for the weak, and for the individual generally, will disappear….

 

“The moral consequences of totalitarian propaganda which we must now consider are, however, of an even more profound kind. They are destructive of all morals because they undermine one of the foundations of all morals: the sense of and the respect for truth.

 

“…in order to induce people to accept the official values, these must be justified, or shown to be connected with the values already held by the people, which usually will involve assertions about causal connections between means and ends.  …people must be brought to agree not only with the ultimate aims but also with the views about the facts and possibilities on which the particular measures are based.[p.172]

Al Gore’s battle against a mythical man-made global warming crisis illustrates this point. Globalist change agents agree that a worldwide crisis is needed to persuade humanity to embrace all the costly restrictions and regulations of government controlled “sustainable development.” So they are willing to ignore facts and embrace myths and pseudo-science in order to reach their goal.

“We have seen that agreement on that complete ethical code, that all-comprehensive system of values which is implicit in an economic plan, does not exist in a free society but would have to be created….

 

“And while the planning authority will constantly have to decide issues on merits about which there exist no definite moral rules [apart from the Bible], it will have to justify its decisions to the people—or, at least, have somehow to make the people believe that they are the right decisions….

 

“This process of creating a ‘myth’ to justify his action need not be conscious. …  So [the totalitarian leader] will readily embrace theories which seem to provide a rational justification for the prejudices which he shares with many of his fellows. Thus a pseudoscientific theory becomes part of the official creed which to a greater or lesser degree directs everybody’s action. [p.173]

 

“The need for such official doctrines… has been clearly foreseen by the various theoreticians of the totalitarian system…. They are all necessarily based on particular views about facts which are then elaborated into scientific theories in order to justify a preconceived opinion.

 

“The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they… have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognized…. The people are made to transfer their allegiance from the old gods to the new under the pretense that the new gods really are what their sound instinct had always told them but what before they had only dimly seen. And the most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are … so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language….

 

“The worst sufferer in this respect is, of course, the word ‘liberty.’ It is a word used as freely in totalitarian states as elsewhere…. Dr. Karl Mannheim… warns us that ‘a conception of freedom modeled on the preceding age is an obstacle to any real understanding of the problem. But his use of the word freedom is as misleading it is in the mouth of totalitarian politicians. Like their freedom, the ‘collective freedom’ he offers us is not the freedom of the members of society but the unlimited freedom of the planner to do with society what he pleases….[pps.174-175]

 

“In this particular case the perversion of the meaning of the word has, of course, been well prepared …. by many of the theoreticians of socialism. But ‘freedom’ or ‘liberty’ are by no means the only words whose meaning has been changed into their opposites to make them serve as instruments of totalitarian propaganda. We have already seen how the same happens to ‘justice’ and “law,’ ‘right’ and ‘equality.’ The list could be extended until it includes almost all moral and political terms in general use.

 

“… the confusion becomes worse because this change of meaning of the words describing political ideals is not a single event but a continuous process, a technique employed consciously or unconsciously to direct the people….

 

“It is not difficult to deprive the great majority of independent thought. But the minority who will retain an inclination to criticize must also be silenced. … Since many parts of this code will never be explicitly stated… every act of the government, must become sacrosanct and exempt from criticism. If the people are to support the common effort without hesitation, they must be convinced that not only the end aimed at but also the means chosen are the right ones.”[p.175]

 

“Facts and theories must thus become no less the object of an official doctrine than views about values. And the whole apparatus for spreading knowledge—the schools and the press, radio and motion picture—will be used exclusively of to spread those views which, whether true or false, will strengthen the belief in the rightness of the decisions taken by the authority; and all information that might cause doubt or hesitation will be withheld.”[p.176]

Stanford University Professor Steven Schneider illustrates it well. He said,

On the one hand, as scientists, we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but–which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people, we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change.

 

“To do that, we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we might have… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

This applies even to fields apparently most remote from any political interests and particularly to all the sciences, even the most abstract.

That in the disciplines dealing directly with human affairs and therefore most immediately affecting political views, such as history, law or economics, the disinterested search for truth cannot be allowed…. These disciplines have, indeed, in all totalitarian countries become the most fertile factories of the official myths which the rulers use to guide the minds and wills of their subjects….” [p.176]

In “Government religion in the United States,” Erica Carle wrote:

“The separation of church and state argument for removing all traces of Biblical teaching from public life and public land is a gigantic fraud. Why? Because there is no separation of church and state. Government religion is a fact in the United States. What is wanted by the government religion adherents is not separation of church and state, but exclusive rights for their religion.

 

“What is the government religion? Auguste Comte (1798-1857), its French founder, called it the Religion of Humanity. The doctrines of the Positive Religion are now taught in the schools as a science which Comte called sociology. Sociology was to be the ruler science over all the other sciences and also the science of managing the world…. In a country that is supposed to be free,

  • its citizens are being subjected to sociological management,
  • its scientists and elected officials to sociological control, and
  • its youth to sociological education.

Hayek went on…

“…we must yet be on our a guard not to dismiss .[these aberrations] as mere accidental by-products which have nothing to do with the essential character of a planned or totalitarian system….They are a direct result of that same desire to see everything directed by a ‘unitary conception of the whole.’…

 

“Once science has to serve, not truth, but the interests of a class, a community or a state…. As the Nazi minister of justice has explained, the question which every new scientific theory must ask itself is: ‘Do I serve National Socialism for the greatest benefit of all?’

 

The word ‘truth’ itself ceases to have its old meaning.  …it becomes something to be laid down by authority, something which has to be believed in the interest of the unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it.

 

“The general intellectual climate which this produces, the spirit of complete cynicism as regards truth which it engenders, the loss of the sense of even the meaning of truth, the disappearance of the spirit of independent inquiry…. Perhaps the most alarming fact is that contempt for intellectual liberty is not a thing which arises only once the totalitarian system is established but one which can be found everywhere among intellectuals who have embraced a collectivist faith and who are acclaimed as intellectual leaders even in countries still under a liberal regime.

 

“Not only is even the worst oppression condoned if it is committed in the name of socialism, and the creation of a totalitarian system openly advocated by people who pretend to speak for the scientists of liberal countries; intolerance, too, is openly extolled….” [p.178]

 

“This view is, of course, practically indistinguishable from the views which led the Nazis to the persecution of men of science, the burning of scientific books, and the systematic eradication of the intelligentsia of the subjected people.

 

“The desire to force upon the people a creed which is regarded as salutary for them is, of course, not a thing that is new or peculiar to our time. New, however, is the argument by which many of our intellectuals try to justify such attempts.” [p.179]

 

The tragedy of collectivist thought is that, while it starts out to make reason supreme, it ends by destroying reason….”[p.180]

And as a reminder, this was writen in 1944!

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A New Phase in the Evolution of the “Deep State”

A New Phase in the Evolution of the “Deep State”  Bill Bonner interviews Mike Lofgren, Inner Circle, 3 February 2017

The “Deep State” is metastasizing… In the face of insurgencies from the left (Bernie Sanders) and the right (Donald Trump), it is evolving… adapting… and gaining ever more power over America’s body politic. If you think President Trump will easily win his war with the Deep State – or as he puts it, “drain the swamp” – you may wind up being disappointed. And if you think you – and your wallet – won’t get caught in the crossfire… think again.

We had a stellar lineup at our recent closed-door Inner Circle roundtable meeting in Baltimore. Agora founder Bill Bonner headed up the session. He was joined by our chief strategists from Britain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, India, and China. Also there were three-term congressman and President Reagan’s budget chief David Stockman… author and fiat money specialist Richard Duncan… Asianomics founder and Inner Circle regular Jim Walker… and Alan Greenspan, who was Fed chairman from 1987 to 2006. You’ll be hearing more about what these folks had to say about the big trends to watch for in 2017 over the coming weeks. This week… we’re focusing on what we learned from another special guest at our roundtable meeting, Washington insider turned Deep State “whistleblower” Mike Lofgren.

Because Mike dropped the biggest bombshell of our two-day meeting… one that could have huge implications for the direction the U.S. takes during President Trump’s next four years in office. Story of Our Time Of all the “big picture” themes we track for you at Inner Circle, the rise of the Deep State is the most important.

As Bill has been warning, the Deep State has corrupted not just politics, but also the entire economy. From his opening address to the group in Baltimore: Markets never stop working. But as political force enters into them – especially the unelected kind – they work differently because they take that into account. They price in all of the manipulation, the meddling, the intervention, the activism, and you end up with something different. Not that markets aren’t working… they’re just working with the world as it is.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, the Deep State describes the shadowy network of powerful people that really runs the country no matter who sits in the Oval Office or which party controls Congress.

Bill again: When people think of the Deep State, they are generally referring to the permanent government run as a collusion between the elite of Corporate America and the national security industry. They think of the “military-industrial complex” President Eisenhower warned we “must guard against” in his farewell address of 1961. The Deep State doesn’t care what you want or who you voted for. It doesn’t care how absurd its economic program turns out to be. It doesn’t give a damn about the Bill of Rights or the Rights of Man, blue states, red states, or red caps. It is a law unto itself… an unbalanced power, an unbridled force… out of order and out of control. It is no stranger to conspiracies… secrets… assassinations… manipulating public opinion… blackmail… or double dealing. It is bolder and more powerful every year. And it has the will and the way to control public policy… and the public purse.

The Deep State is the story of our time. It connects the dots between the War on Terror… the War on Cash… the phony-money system President Nixon ushered in back in 1971… and the global credit bubble that now threatens your wealth. It’s why we invited Mike – the ultimate Deep State “whistleblower” – up from his home in Virginia to our roundtable strategy session in Baltimore. And it’s why we’re kicking off our 2017 Inner Circle Roundtable series with what we learned from him about how the Deep State operates… the new phase it’s entered as it evolves to deal with Team Trump… and what it all means for your money. Insider’s Perspective If anyone knows about the inner workings of the Deep State, it’s Mike

As a national security specialist on Capitol Hill with top secret security clearance, he worked on the fringes of the Deep State for almost three decades. Mike spent a total of 28 years working in Congress… the last 16 as a senior analyst on the House and Senate budget committees. This gave him an insider’s perspective of the Deep State’s War on Terror, its Wall Street bailouts and boondoggles following the 2008 crash, and how it’s kept funds flowing to America’s ballooning military-industrial complex. Then, after he retired in 2011, he literally wrote the book on the Deep State – a powerful exposé of America’s “anti-democracy” that inspired Bill to begin his own investigations into this little-understood nexus of power and money.

As you’ll learn from my Q&A with Mike below, we must be ever watchful of the Deep State because it does not stand still. It’s always moving… always adapting… and always assimilating potential centers of opposition. And right now, its biggest challenge is how to deal with Donald J. Trump. Q&A With Mike Lofgren Chris Lowe (CL): What drove you to finally “blow the whistle” on the Deep State? Mike Lofgren (ML): For my entire career I was a congressional budget analyst for national security in Washington. I hadn’t written a word for publication. Writing about your opinions is not a good way to succeed as a staffer on Capitol Hill. But after I retired, I gained perspective on the deeper nature of our culture in a way that was impossible when I was caught up in a career. And I wrote a book about Congress, The Party’s Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. I claim a modest amount of credit for launching the now thriving cottage industry of political commentators noticing the new strangeness of the party of Lincoln. That said, I was hardly ready to launch myself into the arms of Hillary Clinton’s party – or Hillary Clinton, for that matter. That crowd had big problems, too. Like the Bourbon kings, the Democrats had forgotten everything and learned nothing.

But after finishing the book, I had this nagging feeling that I had described the symptoms, rather than the underlying cause, of our crisis in governance. This led me to write my next book, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government.

CL: You spent a long time in the belly of the Washington beast. What did you learn about Beltway politics over that time?

ML: I began as a mainstream Republican during President Reagan’s first term. By the end of my time in Washington, I was resolutely non-partisan. I now view ALL political ideologies as mental and emotional crutches. They’re helpful only to politicians who use them to manipulate our attitudes and behaviors.

CL: You and Bill believe that the rise of this “shadow government” is the big story of our time. Why?

ML: The Deep State is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism and our militarized foreign policy. It also runs through the financialization and deindustrialization of the U.S. economy… and the most unequal society, in terms of income distribution, in almost a century.

CL: For folks who may have a hard time picturing what exactly the Deep State is, and who it’s made up of, how would you describe it?

ML: The Deep State is an informal association of key elements of the government, along with top-level players in finance and industry, that rules the country with only limited heed to the consent of the governed and the formal political process. It is the other government behind the one visible on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is linked to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we think we choose through elections. The Deep State is not the entire government. And it is not just the military-industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us about. It is a hybrid of national security, law enforcement, corporate America… plus key parts of other government branches. CL: Can you be even more specific?

ML: The agencies involved in national security are all core components of the Deep State. So is the Department of the Treasury because of its power over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions, and its symbiosis with Wall Street. The Federal Reserve is also part of this structure – it provides the necessary funding for the Deep State’s activities. So are parts of the judiciary. For example, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – or FISA – Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most congressmen. And key trial courts, such as the Eastern District Court of Virginia and the Southern District Court of Manhattan, where sensitive national security cases are tried. The final government component of the Deep State is a rump of Congress made up of the leadership and some, but not all, of the members of the defense and intelligence committees. The rest of Congress, normally fractious and partisan, is only intermittently aware of the Deep State. But when required, it usually submits to a few well-chosen words from its emissaries. Then you have the three key nodes of corporate America: the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley. I’ve already touched on the military-industrial complex. Wall Street is crucial because it supplies the cash to keep the political machine operating. And should our politicians forget their lines, it’s Wall Street that floods Washington with cash and lawyers to help them remember their own best interests. In fact, Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State – for no other reason than it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career well beyond the dreams of a government salary man.

CL: You also mentioned Silicon Valley. What role does it play?

ML: As one former NSA insider told me, the Deep State’s spy agencies are utterly dependent on Silicon Valley’s technology – data from social networks, email accounts, cellphones, and so on – and cooperation to perform their missions. I want to stress that this is the furthest thing from a conspiracy theory. What’s important to understand about the Deep State is its sheer everyday-ness. It is the vector sum of all the petty bureaucratic agendas of agencies, major corporations, and think tanks – all marching like a colony of driver ants to maximize their advantage.

CL: Can you give me some concrete examples of the Deep State at work?

ML: Conventional wisdom says “partisan gridlock” is the new normal. Despite this, President Obama, like his immediate predecessor, was able to kill American citizens without due process, detain prisoners without charge, and conduct dragnet surveillance on Americans without a warrant. At home, the Deep State’s power is expressed through massive displays of force by militarized police – federal, state, and local. These are not isolated contradictions. They are so pervasive, they tend to be disregarded as background noise. But the Deep State is most visible in its conduct of foreign policy – specifically America’s state of constant war, executive branch overreach, and congressional inaction in the face of this overreach. The vast majority of voters do not care about foreign policy. So it is left to the foreign policy elites. Also, when domestic tensions become too severe, or polarization between groups too intractable, the temptation exists to resolve these tensions through bogus national unity to be achieved on some foreign field of conflict. A foreign scapegoat transforms the population’s domestic frustrations into fear and hatred of terrorists… or of the Hitler du jour.

CL: As Bill has been writing about, the Deep State is also an economic actor. Can you tell me a bit more about that?

ML: The economic policies the Deep State pursues masquerade as a kind of neo-liberalism. But they are nothing more than crony capitalism. They include the outsourcing and downsizing of labor, a de-emphasis of manufacturing in favor of financialization, and the privatization of government through lucrative contracts. The objectives are to transform human labor into a commodity subject to global arbitrage and to facilitate the capture of the state by corporate interests. This kind of crony capitalism is often called “globalization” – which helps explain why globalization is so unpopular right now. It’s important to remember that the Deep State is not just a U.S. phenomenon. The European Union bureaucracy, based in Brussels, runs on a formula the Beltway mandarins would instantly recognize – opaque decision making, little accountability, bailouts for banks, austerity for the people.

CL: What insights can you share with Inner Circle members about the Deep State in 2017… particularly given Donald Trump’s recent surprise win over its preferred candidate Hillary Clinton?

ML: First, the Deep State is remarkably well entrenched. Its ability to co-opt centers of opposition with endless streams of cash – through campaign donations and the revolving door between government and the private sector – have proven effective time and again. For instance, despite the 2008 global financial crisis – the greatest global economic meltdown since the 1929 crash – bank CEOs are still in their corner offices. And most of the same Wall Street players are still in the saddle. In fact, Wall Street has grown more powerful in the wake of the 2008 meltdown. The five largest banks had assets equal to 43% of U.S. GDP before the crash. By 2012, it was up to 56%. Second, there is a discontent with the Deep State today that was not visible before the 2008 crisis. Ordinary Americans, who typically have little accurate information about how their government really works, have started to intuitively sense something is wrong. Slogans about the “one percent” have entered the vernacular. And Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of domestic NSA spying genuinely shocked many people. And although the Tea Party movement that rose in the wake of President Obama’s election win in 2008 was often incoherent, it began to throw sand in the gears of the Deep State apparatus. For example, in 2013, a right-left coalition in the House nearly passed an amendment to defund the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance programs. This was a major challenge for the Deep State, which thrives on the appearance of normality. As long as appropriation bills get passed, secret intelligence budgets get rubber stamped, tax subsidies for corporations are approved – and as long as too many awkward questions are not asked – the gears of the hybrid state mesh noiselessly. But when insurgencies arise, it works to sideline the insurgents… or assimilate them and render them harmless.

CL: If people are finally becoming aware of the Deep State and the extent of its control over their daily lives, what does that mean for its survival?

ML: Just as the failed attempt to reconstruct the pre-World War I political order in Europe after 1918 led to the far worse phenomenon of totalitarianism, the Deep State’s economic order – its need to be involved in endless small wars and its discouragement of real citizen participation – has led to a strong, but directionless, popular yearning for change and a profound distrust of elites. This populist insurgency is a new phase in the evolution of the Deep State. On the left, Bernie Sanders – like him or not – offered an alternative to the reigning orthodoxy. He promised to sharply reduce income inequality and curtail corporate welfare and to shift priorities away from the military-industrial complex. This was a mortal challenge to the status quo. And Hillary Clinton, the status quo candidate par excellence, overcame the Sanders insurgency with a large organization and oceans of big-donor money. In the Republican primaries, Donald Trump succeeded where Sanders fell short. Facing a divided set of opponents and a weak party establishment, Trump won what seemed like a surprisingly easy victory. The Republican Party was fractured between its wealthy donors – most notably the Koch brothers – and its increasingly working-class voter base. This opened up a path for a brazen populist to conquer the party of Lincoln.

CL: Now, the $64,000 question: How does the Deep State handle President Trump?

ML: Clearly, Trump does not appeal to the senior operatives of the Deep State. Their posse has always been made up of cool, unemotional technocrats offering rational, well-considered advice. Trump’s emotional, histrionic – even vulgar – style embarrasses them. Although the operatives of the Deep State have lied repeatedly, they camouflage these lies with technocratic jargon and careful hedging. Trump’s brazen, repeated, unapologetic lying, on the other hand, flusters the elites. At the same time, it comes across as so bold that many voters believe he is engaged in truth telling. For example, the foreign policy elites have frightened the population for decades about shadowy terrorist cells in the Middle East. At the same time, they piously mouth platitudes that we are not at war with Islam. This ambiguity is not easily digestible at the popular level. Trump sliced through this complexity by saying he would “bomb the hell” out of ISIS, take its oil, ban Muslims from entering the U.S., and kill families of terrorists. To Americans conditioned by threat-mongering into a state of constant fear, this sounded like refreshing wisdom. Second, Trump not only took the Deep State’s technique of displacing domestic tensions onto foreign scapegoats and intensified it. He went a step further. He reimported this technique and applied it at home. Minorities, immigrants – even liberated women – were scapegoated as the causes of voters’ problems.

CL: Will Trump go to war with the Deep State or, as he puts it, “drain the swamp”? Or will he end up playing nice?

ML: Trump’s brand of populism is not a meaningful alternative to the Deep State, as was clearly demonstrated by the first weeks after his election win. Defense stocks rose in the belief that Trump would rebuild America’s so-called depleted defenses – a myth, as we’re spending more on the Pentagon in constant dollars than we did during the Cold War. I would also note that Trump nominated two generals to cabinet positions and a third to be national security adviser. And bank stocks rallied in the belief that Trump would repeal Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations. How could they not with so many Goldman Sachs alumni in top posts in the new administration? You have Steve Mnuchin of Goldman Sachs at Treasury… and Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs as Trump’s chief economic adviser. Even the great populist Stephen K. Bannon is a Goldman Sachs alum. It’s definitely curious. And Trump’s cabinet has enough billionaires to make George W. Bush’s cabinet look like a Bolshevik workers’ council. It certainly seems to me as though the Deep State assimilated Donald Trump on the core issues of military funding, using the tax code to entrench wealth, and cutting the Social Security net. But of course, it’s always possible that they always agreed. Who knows? Trump’s often-vulgar populism, which at first seemed like a defect, may have been a brilliant tactic to save the Deep State’s agenda by masking it as something else.

CL: If the Deep State is so entrenched and so powerful… and if Hillary Clinton was its spiritual queen… how did she lose the presidential election?

ML: You can’t say that everything in the world is preordained. Sometimes, people make bad decisions. The Deep State made a bad decision invading Iraq in 2003 – anyone with an IQ above room temperature is perfectly willing to admit that now. They screwed up. And they screwed up putting their money on Clinton. She had been in the national spotlight for a quarter century. Her shelf life had expired. Regardless of how much enthusiasm Democratic Party operatives tried to whip up, there was none. But if my suspicion is correct, Trump was the Deep State’s “hedge.” If all these Goldman Sachs personnel are descending on the Beltway, it didn’t lose either way.

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The perils of globalisation

The perils of globalisation  By Greg Ip, The Wall Street Journal, 8 January 2017

Late on a Sunday evening a little more than a year ago, Marine Le Pen took the stage in a depressed working-class town in northern France. She had just lost an election for the region’s top office, but the leader of France’s anti-immigrant, anti-euro National Front did not deliver a concession speech.

Instead, Le Pen proclaimed a new ideological struggle.

“Now, the dividing line is not between Left and Right but globalists and patriots,” she declared, with a gigantic French flag draped behind her.

Globalists, she charged, want France to be subsumed in a vast, world-encircling “magma”. She and other patriots, by contrast, were determined to retain the nation-state as the “protective space” for French citizens.

Le Pen’s remarks foreshadowed the tectonic forces that would shake the world in 2016. The British vote to leave the European Union in June and the election of Donald Trump as US president in November were not about whether government should be smaller but whether the nation-state still mattered. Le Pen now has a shot at winning France’s presidential elections this spring, which could imperil the already reeling EU and its common currency.

Supporters of these disparate movements are protesting not just globalisation — the process whereby goods, capital and people move ever more freely across borders — but globalism, the mindset that globalisation is natural and good, that global governance should expand as national sovereignty contracts.

The new nationalist surge has startled establishment parties in part because they don’t see globalism as an ideology. How could it be, when it is shared across the traditional Left-Right spectrum by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush and David Cameron?

But globalism is an ideology, and its struggle with nationalism will shape the coming era much as the struggle between conservatives and liberals has shaped the last. That, at least, is how the new nationalists see it.

In the US, after successfully pressuring Carrier Corp to keep in Indiana about half of the 2100 jobs that the firm had planned to move to Mexico, Trump told a rally last month, “There is no global anthem, no global currency, no certificate of global citizenship. From now on, it’s going to be ‘America First’.”

In the 1930s, nationalists were also expansionists who coveted other countries’ territory. Today, Trump and his ideological allies mostly want to reassert control over their own countries. Their targets are such global structures as the EU, the World Trade Organisation, NATO, the UN and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Little unites the new nationalists other than their shared antipathy toward globalism. Trump’s economic program is as far to the right as Le Pen’s is to the left. Nor do they have credible plans for replacing the institutions of globalisation that they want to tear down, as Britain’s confused exit from the EU demonstrates.

But globalists would be wise to face their own shortcomings. They have underestimated the collateral damage that breakneck globalisation has inflicted on ordinary workers, placed too much weight on the strategic advantages of trade and dismissed too readily the value that many ordinary citizens still attach to national borders and cultural cohesion.

Globalism’s early roots are found in basic economics: Just as two people are better off specialising and then trading with each other, so are two cities and two countries. “All trade, whether foreign or domestic, is beneficial,” the British economist David Ricardo wrote in 1817.

Britain presided over the first great age of globalisation, from the mid-1800s to 1914. Its leaders were not self-consciously globalist. They adopted free trade and the gold standard purely for domestic benefit.

After World War II, the logic of globalism shifted beyond trade to grand strategy. By ceding modest amounts of sovereignty to international institutions, a country could make the world, and itself, far stronger than by pursuing its own narrowly defined interests. “If the nations can agree to observe a code of good conduct in international trade, they will co-operate more readily in other international affairs,” US president Harry Truman said in 1947.

Truman and the other founders of the post-war order saw economic and geopolitical self-interest as inseparable: the US opened its wallet and its markets to its allies to hold back Soviet communism. In 1957, six European countries signed the Treaty of Rome, creating what would become the EU, hoping that economic and political integration would make war unthinkable.

For decades, trade, industrialisation and demographics produced a virtuous circle of rising prosperity. By the 1990s, trade barriers had already dropped so much that the gains from trade were now smaller and more concentrated. Between 1987 and 2008, total U.S. wages adjusted for inflation rose by 53 per cent, while the profits that U.S. companies earned abroad soared by 347 per cent. Still, the strategic benefits of trade remained alluring: president Bill Clinton signed Nafta in 1993 in part to embed a pro-American government in Mexico, and the EU moved after the Cold War to admit former Soviet satellites to solidify their democracies and draw them out of Russia’s orbit.

By the 2000s, globalism was triumphant. The World Economic Forum had evolved from a cozy management-oriented workshop in the Swiss town of Davos to an extravagant summit for elites. The late political scientist Samuel Huntington applied the caustic label “Davos man” to those who see “national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing”. For globalists, this was a badge of honour, symbolising not just an outlook but a lifestyle of first-class departure lounges, smartphones and stock options.

This is also when globalists overreached. In 2000, Clinton blessed China’s entry into the WTO. Echoing Truman, he predicted China’s membership was “likely to have a profound impact on human rights and political liberty”.

It didn’t. China adhered to the letter of its WTO obligations while systematically violating their spirit with discrimination against foreign investors and products and an artificially cheap currency. A wave of Chinese imports wiped out 2 million American jobs, according to one widely cited 2016 study, with no equivalent boom in US jobs linked to exports to China. Meanwhile, China became more repressive at home and antagonistic abroad. By behaving quite differently from other members of the global trading club, China has undermined support for it.

Globalists in Europe also overreached. In 1999, 11 EU members joined the euro, the crowning achievement of European unity. Economists warned that Italy, Spain and Greece couldn’t compete with Germany without the safety valve of letting national currencies periodically devalue to offset their faster-rising costs.

Sure enough, their trade deficits ballooned, but low-cost euro loans at first made them easy to finance. The loans proved unsustainable, and the resulting crisis has still not run its course. One result: In Italy, the populist 5 Star Movement, which is jostling for first place in the polls, has promised a nonbinding referendum on membership in the euro.

Chinese and German trade surpluses could wreak havoc thanks to expanding cross-border finance. To globalists, its growth was as inexorable as that of trade. In early 2008, President George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, put out a report arguing that globalisation had made much of US financial regulation obsolete. The priority was to maintain “American pre-eminence in the global capital markets”. Those same capital markets soon tipped the world into its worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

That crisis has woken up globalists to the flaws of globalisation. Yet their faith in open borders remains unshaken. President Barack Obama entered office as a free-trade sceptic, but he soon threw his energy into negotiating the 12-nation trans-Pacific Partnership. The pact’s anticipated economic benefits for the US were modest, but its strategic aims were sweeping: the US would forge a pro-America, pro-trade order in Asia rather than let a rising China dominate the region. With Trump’s win, the accord is now presumed to be dead.

Globalists were blind to the nationalist backlash in part because their world — entrepreneurial, university-educated, ethnically diverse, urban and coastal — has thrived as whiter, less-educated hinterlands have stagnated. Similar splits separate London from the rest of England and the EU’s capital cities from the countryside of continental Europe.

Many globalists now assume that the discontent is largely driven by stagnant wages and inequality. If people are upset about immigration, they reason, it is largely because they fear competition with low-wage workers.

In fact, much of the backlash against immigration (and globalism) is not economic but cultural: many people still care about their own versions of national identity and mistrust global institutions such as the EU.

A 2016 study by Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan and Pippa Norris of Harvard University analysed party manifestos in 13 Western democracies and found that in the 1980s, economic issues such as taxes and welfare became less important than noneconomic issues such as immigration, terrorism, abortion and gay rights.

In July 2016, two scholars at the London School of Economics found that rising unemployment didn’t make British regions more likely to vote to leave the EU, but a growing migrant population did. These voters were bothered less by competition from immigrants than by their perceived effect on the country’s linguistic, religious and cultural norms.

One of the first to exploit such cultural resentments was Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the National Front, who frequently decried mondialisme in xenophobic terms. After his daughter Marine took over the party in 2011, she threw him out because his anti-Semitic outbursts were repelling mainstream French voters.

In 2014, Steve Bannon — Trump’s top strategist and the former leader of Breitbart News, a fiery conservative site that is fiercely opposed to immigration and multiculturalism — acknowledged that Le Pen’s National Front and its British counterpart, the UK Independence Party, “bring a lot of baggage, both ethnically and racially”. Nonetheless, Bannon saw them as fellow travellers. He said, “The working men and women in the world … are just tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos.”

Indeed, one 2012 study found that Europeans’ opposition to immigration was driven less by pocketbook concerns than by worries about how changes to “the composition of the local population” would affect “their neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces”. The last big US backlash against immigration came during the Roaring Twenties, the last time that the foreign-born share of the population stood as high as it is today, at 13 per cent.

Which raises the most troubling question of the emerging globalist-nationalist divide: is the new nationalism a cloak for ethnic and religious exclusion? Nationalist leaders insist that it isn’t. Le Pen, for example, says that she is merely defending France’s secular character when she criticises overt displays of Islamic observance, distancing herself from her plainly xenophobic father. Trump says that struggling Latino and African-American workers are victims of cheap foreign labour just as much as Rust Belt whites.

Yet the new nationalism often thrives on xenophobia. Trump has been criticising free trade since the 1980s, but his candidacy took off when he started attacking Mexican immigrants and Muslims. American Jewish groups heard unsettling echoes of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories when Trump accused Hillary Clinton of meeting “in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty”. Germany’s Alternative for Germany started as an anti-euro party, but as an influx of Middle Eastern refugees and migrants has stoked worries about crime and terrorism, the party’s focus on Islam (which its manifesto declared “not a part of Germany”) and its popular support have both jumped.

In short, there is ample reason for scepticism about whether the new nationalists can prove themselves a genuinely secular, democratic alternative to globalism.

If globalists are to regain the public’s trust, they will need to re-examine their own policies. The dislocation caused by past globalisation casts doubt on the wisdom of prescribing more.

That globalisation’s winners can compensate its losers makes impeccable economic logic, but it rings hollow among those too old to retrain or move. Political capital might be better invested in preserving existing trade pacts, not passing new ones. And trade pacts may be a less effective bulwark against China than military co-operation with those worried about Chinese aggression.

Many European globalists blame the euro’s crisis on too little integration, not too much. But pressing for a more federal Europe could further alienate voters who “do not share our Euro-enthusiasm”, warned Donald Tusk, the former prime minister of Poland who is now president of the European Council, last May. “Disillusioned with the great visions of the future, they demand that we cope with the present reality.”

Above all, globalists should not equate concern for cultural norms and national borders with xenophobia. Large majorities of Americans, for example, welcome immigrants so long as they adopt American values, learn English, bring useful skills and wait their turn. Australia’s low tolerance for illegal immigration helps to maintain public support for high levels of legal entrants.

“We’ve created this false dichotomy that if you’re not for open borders, you’re racist,” says Avik Roy, president of the conservative Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity and a former adviser to Republican Party presidential candidates. “There is some sort of middle ground between a nationalist and globalist approach,” Roy argues.

Even as committed a globalist as Obama has come to acknowledge this. Democrats, he told Rolling Stone the day after the election, must recognise that “for the majority of the American people, borders mean something”.

The Wall Street Journal

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Environmentalism: too many gravy trains and dangerous hidden agendas

The modern environmental, or ‘green’, movement has shifted from overt care for the environment towards activist and economic damage, self-serving agendas and covert promotion of more sinister agendas.  But their opposition grows by the day as evidence and  common sense starts to prevail.   

Scroll down to read the most recent articles; links to previous articles follow.

Green lunacies that literally cost the Earth 

Green lunacies that literally cost the Earth  By James Delingpole, The Daily Mail, 20 February 2017

Oh, how I wish I’d kept hold of my Skoda Yeti. If only I hadn’t just sold it, I might have stood to make a cool £3,000 in compensation from the class action being brought by motorists against Volkswagen and its sister brands (Audi, Skoda, Seat) as a result of the Dieselgate emissions scandal.

Like many duped motorists, I acquired my diesel car in the naive belief that it would not only be more efficient and cost-effective than a petrol one, but also that it was better for the environment. We now know that this green myth is a nonsense.

The particulate matter produced by diesel engines is toxic, polluting and may be responsible for tens of thousands of deaths annually across Europe.

Some manufacturers such as Volkswagen have known this for ages, but rather than lose business it rigged emissions tests to make its cars seem more eco-friendly than they actually were.

Oh, how I wish I’d kept hold of my Skoda Yeti. If only I hadn’t just sold it, I might have stood to make a cool £3,000 in compensation.

Misery

Clearly, VW deserves to be punished for its duplicity. But in my view, it is not nearly the culprit most deserving of a punitive law suit. What about the successive governments — in Britain and across the EU —which massively increased the growth of diesel through tax breaks and subsidies?

What about the scientists who came up with the dodgy theory that diesel was somehow cleaner and healthier because it supposedly helps combat climate change? What about all the green pressure groups and campaigning eco journalists who pushed for this dangerous and wrongheaded legislation?

The truth is that when it comes to damage, expense and misery caused by woolly-headed green ‘thinking’, the VW emissions scandal is but the tiniest tip of a vast iceberg.

In the name of saving the planet, lives and livelihoods have been destroyed, landscapes blighted, jobs killed, wildlife eradicated, prosperity reduced, science corrupted, kids brainwashed: in fact, forget the class suit against VW, it’s about time we all had some compensation for the deceptions of the green lobby.

VW: Like many duped motorists, I acquired my diesel car in the naive belief that it would not only be more efficient and cost-effective than a petrol one

Let’s start with the size of the global climate change industry, which on the back of government subsidies and policy-making has grown into a behemoth worth $1.5 trillion (£1.24 trillion) a year, according to the Climate Change Business Journal — similar to what we spend annually on online shopping.

But while we willingly choose to part with our money on Amazon and eBay for stuff we want and need, much environmental spending is forced on us by government diktat and squandered on often pointless, wasteful projects we have no control over.

Consider the latest UK scandal, where in Northern Ireland the Belfast government will cost the taxpayer more than £1 billion because of a mismanaged renewable heat incentive scheme.

For every £100 they spent on eco-friendly energy, businesses were bribed with a £160 rebate.

Because no cap was placed on the incentive, businesses piled in to take advantage — one enterprising farmer even heated a vast, empty warehouse to claim the subsidy — with costs to the taxpayer wildly out of control.

Perhaps we should be grateful that it has now led to the resignation of Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister and former IRA terrorist Martin McGuinness — but it seems a ruinously expensive way to have got rid of him.

Almost anything with the word ‘renewable’ in it means eye-watering expense and intolerable waste. In Wales last week, an experimental tidal energy project, much of its £18 million cost funded by the EU and the Welsh government, went into administration within months after a sonar to protect seals, porpoises and dolphins had failed.

This hardly bodes well for the highly questionable £1 billion tidal lagoon project being mooted for Swansea Bay.

As for solar and wind energy, which produce about 14 per cent of Britain’s power, their costs to consumers are vastly increased thanks to subsidies.

Last October, the National Audit Office stated that Britain’s renewable electricity subsidies would be £8.7 billion a year by 2020-21. ‘This is equivalent to £110 on the typical household dual fuel energy bill,’ the NAO added.

On top of this, we have nuclear — in particular, Hinkley Point C, the white elephant nuclear energy project planned for the Somerset coast that Theresa May inherited from David Cameron and was once described as the ‘worst deal in history’.

The technology is untested. Similar projects in Normandy and Finland have encountered such serious design and construction problems they are running years over schedule and billions of euros over budget.

Yet Britain is committed to spending £24 billion on Hinkley — mostly in subsidies, through increased electricity bills, to the French and Chinese — for the world’s most costly energy.

This makes no commercial sense, but that was never the point: the UK government needed nuclear, at whatever cost, so as to help meet the swingeing carbon dioxide reduction targets to which it is legally bound by Ed Miliband’s disastrous 2008 Climate Change Act.

The Act, dreamed up at the height of the global warming scare, was designed to ‘decarbonise’ Britain’s economy.

Like foreign aid, the measures were more extreme than in other countries. The Act will cost the taxpayer £18 billion every year till 2050 and has since been used to justify all manner of crazy government schemes such as the anaerobic digester scam where developers are paid to convert agricultural waste into gas.

Several major pollution incidents and at least one explosion later, that scheme has cost taxpayers £216 million a year in subsidies.

Hinkley Point C: The white elephant nuclear energy project planned for the Somerset coast that Theresa May inherited from David Cameron

Sceptic

And you really don’t need to be a climate sceptic to realise it’s all money down the drain.

Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg has done the calculations: even if, from now on, all the countries in the world stick to the very modest carbon reduction targets they agreed in Paris last year, the effect on the world’s temperatures will be to reduce ‘global warming by the end of this century by a total of 0.17c: less than one-fifth of a degree’.

So, according to Lomborg, the benefit of all this expensive renewable energy is minimal compared with the cost. Added to all of this are the damaging side-effects, which are many and varied: vulnerable and elderly people driven into fuel poverty because of energy prices made artificially high by renewables subsidies; plus children brainwashed in schools by being fed scaremongering propaganda such as Al Gore’s discredited movie on global warming An Inconvenient Truth.

Then there’s the corruption and distortion of science by the flood of government research grants for projects that can show a connection, however tenuous, with the magical words ‘climate change’; and the misallocation of resources, whereby money is squandered on state-subsidised industries such as offshore wind turbines.

But maybe the worst thing of all about the bloated creature they call the Green Blob is the huge amount of damage it does to the environment in the name of saving it.

Disgust

This was what first drew me to the subject: my growing disgust, as someone who loves wildlife and adores the British countryside, that misguided green policies are destroying our planet.

Instead of just burning coal as it was designed to, for example, our biggest power station Drax has been converted at vast cost to run partly on wood chips shipped over from the U.S.

These chips are cut from hardwood forests in North Carolina, and subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of £500 million a year, in a process that actually increases carbon emissions.

It’s madness — and it’s happening across Europe, too, with protected forests felled to meet EU renewable energy targets.

Meanwhile, in Asia, Africa and South America, primary rain forest is being felled to grow palm oil plantations to create eco-friendly biofuels.

And what about wind turbines which kill millions of birds and bats every year, including protected species such as eagles and rare migratory birds?

The tide is turning, thank heaven. Whatever you think of President-elect Donald Trump, one thing’s certain: he’s determined to rein in an awful lot of the green lunacy that’s cost the planet so dear for decades now.

And those ‘future generations’ the greens are always banging on about? I don’t think they’ll thank us for the damage we did in their name. They’ll look back on this era of eco-lunacy with astonishment and ask: how could our great-grandparents be so dumb? Why didn’t they sue?

==================

Is Climate Alarmism Governance at War with the USA?

Is Climate Alarmism Governance at War with the USA  By Leo Goldstein, from Watts Up With That website, 11 January 2017

My essay The Command & Control Center of Climate Alarmism discussed the centralized structure of climate alarmism, and introduced the term Climate Alarmism Governance (CAG) to define its command & control center. The fact that most alarmist groups and their multiple activities are centrally coordinated or even directed raises a natural question about their central motives and goals. The impression that these groups believe in the IPCC theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is contradicted by their widespread opposition to the use of nuclear power and to building new hydro power plants. Hydropower is obviously a renewable energy source.

The same groups oppose natural gas power, which emits 3-4 times less carbon dioxide per kWh compared with coal power. There are many more contradictions in the CAG’s statements and actions. It seems to be aware that its “scientific base” is fake, and purposefully makes illogical and impossible demands to thwart any serious consideration of technological or economic solutions for the alleged problem. Each time such economic or technological actions are seriously contemplated, somebody takes another look at the so-called “climate science” and finds a striking lack of actual science. Then it takes 5-8 years to explain the fraud away, and to raise alarm to new heights.

After considering and discarding other theories as insufficient to explain all the facts, only one conclusion remains: the Climate Alarmism Governance is waging a war on the United States.

The CAG leads a tight coalition of mostly foreign based NGOs, certain United Nations agencies and politicians, and a few individuals possessed by ideas of world domination (euphemistically described as “world governance” or “global civil society”) and aided by domestic collaborators. Here, this coalition will be called Climatist International, or Climintern, to underscore its analogy with the Communist International (Comintern) organization that existed from 1919 until 1956. Climintern also seems to be a partial successor to the Soviet-controlled espionage, influence, and propaganda network that collapsed in 1988-91, many of whose individual members and sympathizers fled to environmentalism. The climate alarmism network rose around the same time.

The word war is not used metaphorically here. It is not a Cold War, not a “trade war,” and not a war of ideas. And it is not a war in some remote location. The theater of this war comprises at least the entire US. It may look inconspicuous, but only because it is 4thGeneration Warfare, as defined by Colonel John Boyd (1927-1997). Col. Boyd’s theories are usually invoked in the context of asymmetrical conflicts in remote parts of the world, but are by no means limited to such conflicts.

  1. Colonel Boyd’s Theory & 4thGeneration Warfare

Colonel Boyd’s insight is that there are three levels of warfare: moral, mental, and physical:

  • Moral Warfare: the destruction of the enemy’s will to win, disruption of alliances (or potential allies) and induction of internal fragmentation. Ideally resulting in the “dissolution of the moral bonds that permit an organic whole to exist.” (i.e., breaking down the mutual trust and common outlook mentioned in the paragraph above.)
  • Mental Warfare: the distortion of the enemy’s perception of reality through disinformation, ambiguous posturing, and/or severing of the communication/information infrastructure.
  • Physical Warfare: the abilities of physical resources such as weapons, people, and logistical assets.

Thus, destroying things and killing people are not the essence of warfare, but only its lowest, physical level. This observation applies to wars in general and is not limited to 4thgeneration warfare. Colonel Boyd advises that a successful strategy should

“Penetrate [the] adversary’s moral-mental-physical being to dissolve his moral fiber, disorient his mental images, disrupt his operations, and overload his system, as well as subvert, shatter, seize or otherwise subdue those moral-mental-physical bastions, connections, or activities that he depends upon …” (Osinga, Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd.)

A military strategy is subordinated to a Grand Strategy, which was conceptualized by Colonel Boyd for 4th generation warfare as

the art of connecting yourself to as many other independent power centers as possible, while at the same time isolating your enemies from as many other power centers as possible. A Fourth Generation conflict will usually have many independent power centers, not only at the grand strategic level but down all the way to the tactical level. The game of connection and isolation will therefore be central to tactics and operational art as well as to strategy and grand strategy.” (Lind, Thiele, 4th Generation Warfare Handbook)

  1. On the Edge of Defeat

The events of the last fifteen years, considered in the light of these ideas, suggest that the CAG and Climintern have been waging a textbook 4th generation war against America!

Unfortunately, their war went extremely successfully on the moral and mental levels. On the moral level, it polarized America to an extent not seen in the last 150 years. Climate alarmism confused many smart and influential persons, pushing them to the extreme left and convincing them that Republicans and conservatives are ignorant and evil. On the mental level, Climintern severely undermined the American scientific enterprise and other intellectual infrastructure, and damaged universities and other academic institutions, most of them beyond repair. Other factors contributed more heavily to the downfall of academia.

Considering Col. Boyd’s wisdom, we cannot avoid thinking that the CAG was exceptionally successful in its Grand Strategy as well. It has isolated America from other centers of power, including Western Europe and Latin America. It also isolated America from its own academia, the media-entertainment industry, and even the government (as of 1/1/2017). Even worse, it created internal political divisions showing some attributes of a religious conflict.

But a hostile activity can be properly called a war only when something is done on the physical level: when large-scale violence or damage to physical objects is employed, attempted, or threatened by the enemy. Well, CAG agents in the EPA and some other federal agencies have been damaging the national energy infrastructure by regulations, orders, and threats for many years. For example, the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed eleven men happened when the crew performed an unnecessary procedure, demanded by the EPA. Federal sabotage of the attempts to stop the oil leakage and to clean it up is a separate subject. Fortunately, the fracking revolution and off-shore drilling, happening despite the active resistance of the Obama administration, have offset some of the worst effects of its energy policies. But severe damage to the energy infrastructure can take an enormous toll in human lives, especially when the enemy action caused “dissolution of the moral bonds”.

Industrial systems are usually designed with multiple layers of safety measures and procedures. Enforcing such multi-layer safety is one of the main reasons for regulations and regulators. If a hostile governance penetrates or acquires influence over a regulatory authority, it might remove some safety measures or order dangerous procedures under a suitable pretext, such as protection of the environment. The accidents would not start to happen immediately, because some safety measures would remain. Rather, disasters would happen in the future, and would be usually attributed to failures of the remaining safety measures. Climintern has publicly announced its goal to shut down fossil fuel production and utilization, and words like “penetration” and “influence” severely understate its control over the EPA.

Moreover, the CAG certainly encourages its units to act like they are fighting a war. Its warlike thinking is reflected in the warlike terminology used by its units. They perform mobilization; they demand wartime limits on freedoms; they blockade and disrupt; and they fight battles in an endless war against the enemy, which seems to be us (**).

III. The CAG and Climintern

The existence of the CAG as the center of climate alarmism needs some explanation. Of course, CAG leaders do not conduct their affairs from a secret office or bunker, but the Internet allows them to collaborate almost as if they were in the same office. The majority of individuals who occasionally support climate alarmism are not controlled, but they do believe media propaganda, follow their friends, or trust institutions that used to be trustworthy.

Nevertheless, most alarmist organizations are under the central control. Ordinary members and even some leaders of these organizations might not know that, but this situation is not unusual. For example, front groups of the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) were created and operated in exactly the same way. A typical member of a front group did not know he was joining a CPUSA front. Even if the member found out, he did not know that the CPUSA was fully controlled by the Soviet regime, headed by Stalin and his henchmen. And US Communists and fellow travelers did not want to hear about mass murders and other crimes committed by the Soviet regime against its people. In accordance with the Marxist dogma, they considered such information forgery, funded by the bourgeoisie.

Climintern is hundreds of times bigger than Comintern or the CPUSA ever were. Climintern controls annual budgets of tens or hundreds of billions of dollars – compared with the tens of millions that were at the disposal of the CPUSA. Climintern also has a more complex structure, with many command levels and multiple communication channels. Further, some groups within Climintern serve as communication channels in addition to their operational functions, such as propaganda or mobilization. The Guardian’s article Climate change: we must look to international agencies to save the world is an example of such dual functionality. It both weakens resistance to the CAG among ordinary readers and signals to low-level front groups that the party line openly pushes national submission to the international agencies.

To be effective, a Climintern group does not need to know that it is a part of a centrally controlled structure. It only needs to know who gives its instructions, or through what channels it receives those instructions. The Climintern groups and their employees and agents must obey the instructions, or risk loss of their jobs and/or funding. I need not repeat here the well-known cases, such as the expulsion of whole chapters from Sierra Club. The CAG also controls large parts of the federal government (as of 1/1/2017), state governments, many European governments, most research funding, and enormous amounts of public money. The Internet allows continuous and efficient communication and coordination between the CAG and its forces worldwide. Just thirty years ago, global or even regional scale plots were almost impossible because of the lack of efficient communication and coordination. Today, that distance is not an obstacle.

Of course, the CAG itself is not as cohesive as the Soviet regime under Stalin. But the leaders of big transnational NGOs, UN officials, European Green parties, and hell-knows-who-else maintain a unified command, probably aided by huge amounts of money coming their way. And they are adept at issuing instructions in the form of “commander’s intent,” allowing leaders of subordinated outfits broad discretion on how to execute the instructions to achieve their intended goals.

The legacy of two of America’s most powerful defeated enemies – Communism and Nazism – are evident in the CAG. Nazism became a powerful influence in the UN organization in the 1970’s, as evident from the appointment of Kurt Waldheim, an unindicted Nazi war criminal, as the UN Secretary-General from 1972 to 1981. Apparently, this ideology made its way into the UN through certain third-world governments, sometimes in the disguise of anti-colonialism. America had almost no colonies, exerted pressure on European countries to let go of their colonies, and provided aid to many newly independent countries, but still became an object of hatred. Hatred has a logic of its own. America was also perceived by the aspiring “global governors” (including characters as diverse as Maurice Strong and George Soros) as the main obstacle to their tyrannical ambitions, and for good reasons. Finally, the anti-humanist ideology of the “deep ecology” recently moved from the fringes into the mainstream of climate alarmism. Evil attracts evil.

Climintern’s factions have different ultimate goals. The only thing that unites them is their hostility to this nation. Their shared immediate goal is to weaken America and either to subject it to foreign rule or to tear it down entirely. Powerful domestic groups, such as Sierra Club(*), EDF(*), NRDC(*), UCS(*), Center for American Progress (CAP) and, as horrible as it sounds, the Democratic National Committee seem to be affiliated with Climintern.

Transnational environmentalism has been corrupting science through the EPA since the early 1980’s. When Al Gore was Vice President in 1993-2001, the environmentalists started dismantling the American scientific enterprise. George W. Bush did nothing to stop this process. America has been constantly targeted by the Climate Action Network, and the whole UNFCCC process was consciously steered in that direction. For example, this is how the methodology of accounting for emitted gases was established (from a CAN booklet):

Sinks issues began to come up well before Kyoto. … It was the NGO position that we didn’t want land use or gases other than carbon dioxide going into Kyoto because we didn’t think you could estimate them really well. (COP 6, Bonn 2001)

—John Lanchbery

The explanation is not truthful. The relative impact of the land use and gases other than carbon dioxide could be estimated, and certainly better than the impact of carbon dioxide had been estimated. The real reason for this emphasis was that US emissions of infrared-active gases other than carbon dioxide and the net emissions of carbon dioxide (emissions less sinks) are very small, both absolutely and per capita. So the CAG decided to use another accounting methodology, which would show a big US “footprint.” In other words, it designated America as the enemy, and “parameterized” science and economics through the UNFCCC/IPCC to justify this hostility. The booklet also repeatedly mentions CAN’s strategy to isolate the US from its allies and gloats about its successes, like this:

CAN of course played a critical role in working with the EU, South Africa, and other developing countries to craft a strategy on the floor to isolate the US and get them to reverse their position on opposing the Bali Action Plan. John Coequyt was then at Greenpeace USA, and had a friendship with Dave Banks, who was a deputy at the Bush White House’s Council on Environmental Quality. (COP 13, Bali 2007)

—Alden Meyer, UCS

The essay Who unleashed Climatism? has more examples from the early period of climate alarmism. Today these attitudes are obvious. The CAG assault started escalating in 2005 (when CAP founded the International Climate Change Taskforce, together with its British and Australian counterparts), skyrocketed in 2006 (with the release of Al Gore’s The Inconvenient Truth with outsized participation of Laurie David of the NRDC), and went through the roof in 2007-2008, when innovations in the fracking technology made huge American shale oil reserves economically accessible (in the article Excluding oil, the US trade deficit has never been worse, see the chart Bakken shale: well production & number of wells; notice 10x increase in the oil output per well.) The WWF(*) and OPEC, constantly monitoring oil and gas resources worldwide, should have known about this oil production breakthrough immediately, but most of the American public remained unaware until this election campaign.

2009 brought Climategate 2.0 and the scandalous Copenhagen Conference of Parties (COP15). This prompted even left-leaning scientists to take a closer look at the “UN Physik” and to abandon or even publicly denounce it. COP15 saw an influx of even more radical groups acting under the umbrella names “Climate Justice Action” and “Climate Justice Now!” Even if those groups acted without authorization from the CAG when they were disrupting public order in Copenhagen, the CAG probably accommodated their demands and attitudes later, as shown by the absence of similar disruptions at later COPs.

Thus, in 2010-2011 the CAG became desperate to shut down US shale oil production before its success became widely known, was annoyed by the loss of its scientific entourage, and piqued by its “climate justice” trailer. Probably at some point in this timeframe it crossed the threshold between hostile activity and an undeclared war.

  1. Status of our Allies

This article is not an appeal to nationalism, but the US situation is sharply different from that of Britain, Canada, Australia, and other Western countries. Most of them have surrendered to climate alarmism, at the cost of their freedoms and big economic damage, and were forced to furnish support to CAG. Western Europe seems to be occupied by CAG, but treated relatively well. America faces a total war almost alone. Energy industry is the most visible target, but education, science, political institutions, and even the social fabric itself are under attack by the CAG and Climintern. Commentators say that climate alarmism is used as a wrecking ball against America.

The habit of European politicians to scapegoat America for their own problems has certainly contributed to the overall mess. On the other hand, it is hard to overestimate the unique role played by Al Gore in climate alarmism since 1988. When I stress that climate alarmism is a foreign enemy, aided by domestic collaborators, I mean foreign to America. Nevertheless, readers from other countries would be justified in seeing climatism as a foreign threat to them. This is because the CAG operates in a virtual extraterritorial space – UN agencies with diplomatic immunities, small countries that are either too weak to stand up to the pack of environmental NGOs (like Netherlands), or countries like Switzerland that customarily provide neutral ground for international activities. Also, the CAG is territorially dispersed most of the time, although it can gather forces in almost any place on the globe.

This observation leads to a philosophical detour. The forces of chaos and totalitarianism (commonly known as the Left) can collaborate across state boundaries much easier than the “good guys.” We respect the national sovereignty of each country, just as we respect individual rights and state rights. This respect is an inherent obstacle faced by the “good guys” in the transboundary political cooperation. But chaos is chaos everywhere; it knows no national borders. The adherents of the global governance and compatible totalitarian systems violate national sovereignties on purpose. They easily collaborate on the global scale. The modern mass media allows Climintern and similar powers to instantly mobilize supporters and innocent bystanders across the globe and throw them against any country, political party, or even individuals standing in their path. Their unprecedented interference against Donald Trump and the Republican candidates to Congress in the 2016 elections is a recent example.

  1. Conclusions

I want to contribute to greater understanding of the climate alarmism threat. I do not suggest bombing, shooting, or taking any kind of military action. But the enemy is real, determined, and sophisticated, and some of its accomplices have very little to lose. Scientific errors and the desire to help poor countries played a role in attracting good people to this bad cause, nothing more. The enemy is motivated by its lust for power, greed, and hatred. The election results provide us a fighting chance, but do not ensure a victory.

 

(*) The author is a plaintiff in a civil RICO lawsuit against this organization.

(**) A set of Google searches on the main Greenpeace website, limited to a military term in conjunction with the words climate or warming (example: war site:greenpeace.org climate OR warming) garnered these results on 1/1/2017:

Revolution: 13,100 results

Fight: 6,450

Strategy: 4,470

Blockade: 4,200

War: 3,700

Battle: 2,640

Combat: 1,510

Mobilization: 1,310

Action: 34,500 (the most generic one)

“Denial” is a separate subject:

Denial: 4,580

Deniers: 2,910

Denier: 2,220

========================

Derailing the Marrakech Express

 derailing-the-marrakech-express  By Michael Kile, Quadrant Online, 20 November 2016

Last week’s collision between the Trump Train and Marrakech Express should slow down – maybe even derail – the UN’s relentless two-decade climate scare campaign. 

Another positive in the ascension of Donald Trump is the gloom his impending presidency has cast over the jet-setting catastropharians gathered to promote dire visions of the planet’s future and, of course, their careers, budgets and computer-modelled fabulism.

All aboard the United Nations “last chance” gravy train, COP22. Hurry, you hippies, hucksters and hallucinogenic fellow travellers, hurry. Be quick, if you want a free ride on the Marrakech Express.

Hallucinogen: A drug that causes profound distortions in a person’s perceptions of reality. People often see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. Some hallucinogens produce rapid and intense emotional swings, as seen last week in certain cohorts in North America, especially after passage (56 to 44 percent) of California Proposition 64 legalising adult use of recreational marijuana in that state.

Could there be a more appropriate location than this exotic Moroccan city — immortalised by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the 1960s — to celebrate the global ambitions of the UN’s Climate Caliphate? The intention is surely noble: two weeks getting high on self-congratulation, other people’s money, junk science and the eco-worrier’s favourite over-the-counter drug, DAGW (dangerous anthropogenic global warming), now rebranded as DACC (dangerous anthropogenic climate change) to entrench public credulity.

Climate-caliphate: 1. Entity led by a climate-caliph, generally an eco-zealot, ex-politician or career bureaucrat turned climate-control propagandist. 2. Global climate-caliphate: theocratic one-world government or de facto government. 3. Any ideology or aspiration promoted by a militant fossil fuel free sect, or ‘champion of the Earth’, such as UNEP. 4. Any radical group intending to behead, disembowel, or otherwise degrade Western economies with the two-edged sword of wealth redistribution (aka ‘climate reparations’) and ‘decarbonisation’, while reciting mantras about sustainability, slow-onset events and saving the planet. Also known as Agenda 21.

Last week’s unscheduled arrival of the US Great Again train has, however, upset the Programme. It was arguably a black swan event–  “the biggest FU in human history”, according to Michael Moore (video here).

As the news reverberated around the world, the climate establishment was shocked to discover that not all swans are white and female. So perhaps it also could be the case that not all “extreme weather events”, or global temperature fluctuations, have much to do with a few hundred parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, if anything.

For many COP22 delegates, the clock of catastrophe suddenly shifted much closer to midnight. “A third of the people here are walking around like zombies, like the walking dead, not sure what to do,” said UC Berkeley Professor Daniel Kammen, speaking from Morocco. Many believe the honeymoon is over.

Shock and disbelief marked Bab Ighli, the venue of the UN-sponsored climate meet. Even as delegates sought to retain an air of normalcy virtually every conversation turned to Trump, and what the elevation of a climate denier to the White House meant for the global efforts to tackle climate change. (GWPF)

That sound you can hear is not only the gnashing of teeth and blowing of pot-smoke. It is also the scurrying hither and thither of thousands of bureaucrats in a race against time. They are on an earnest mission to capture the chaos and complexity of the planet’s climate in a net of jargon so opaque it will bamboozle even the most erudite disciple of truth and transparency.

UNFCCC’s language is designed to give an appearance of solidity to nebulous “climate change”. But in a way that is bound to ensure the West is liable for all “loss and damage” – yet undefined – from any meteorological event that disrupts life in the developing world.

A recent addition to the UN’s Orwellian climate lexicon is the “slow-onset event”. It is bound to be useful to those involved with COP19’s Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts; “the main vehicle under the Convention to promote the implementation of approaches to address loss and damage in a comprehensive, integrated and coherent manner.”

Meanwhile, spare a thought for Senator John Kerry, one of the architects of last year’s Paris Agreement, as he tries to salvage something from the wreckage. With the political ground shifting under him, Kerry appeared – not in Marrakech but – tweeting from Antarctica, presumably a welcome change from the heat in Washington.

Here in #Antarctica w/ some of the world’s top researchers. The science is clear: #climatechange is real, and we ignore it at our own peril. (November 13, 2016)

Climate change directly impacts everyone across all seven continents. We all must do our part to #ActOnClimate.” (November 11, 2016)

Headed to #Antarctica to see firsthand some of the drastic effects of #climatechange. Many thanks to @NSF for making this trip possible. (November 10, 2016)

Today the #ParisAgreement goes into effect. Proud of this step taken by the int’l community & energized to keep up work on #climatechange. (November 4, 2016)

For those who came in late, the UN is chasing climate-dollars through two channels, the Korean-based UNFCCC Green Climate Fund and Nairobi-based UNEP. With regard to the former, as Tony Thomas explained last week here:

Trump has pledged not only to rip up the Paris deal, but to withdraw all US climate funding to the UN. The UN climate fund is supposed to build to $100b a year for Third World mendicants. Obama has given $500m so far and pledged $3 billion to the UN Green Climate Fund, but Trump will divert those billions to domestic environmental projects such as the Florida Everglades.

The sheer scale of UNEP’s ambition and activities are even more significant, as I explained here. In the weird world of  environmental politics, the UN sees no conflict of interest in one powerful body and its agencies being responsible for collecting data, concocting ‘projections’ and ‘storylines’ and developing policy; while simultaneously funding and encouraging advocacy groups to pressure governments to design or modify renewable energy (RE) and carbon-pricing regulations in its favour. Why not? Well, the ultimate beneficiaries, surely, are humankind and the planet – not huge ticket-clipping pension funds (some with significant RE sector exposure) and career climate-bureaucrats.

Perhaps it is just as well an entity that claims to have the power to induce a global Goldilocks climate and manipulate the planet’s thermostat is protected by legal immunity under the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations; especially if its ‘best available science’ cannot make genuine predictions.

The UN’s latest initiatives are instructive in this context. On October 7 this year, Bank of Mexico Governor, Agustín Carstens, and UNFCCC Chief, Patricia Espinosa, posted an editorial in the agency’s Climate Change Newsroom: “Paris will soon enter into force, now we need to move the money.” Some of the US$90 trillion they want to move by 2030 could be from your pension fund.

The cost of making the transition to a low-carbon future is measured in trillions. This quickly takes us far beyond the realm of public funds since no government – no matter how rich – can finance climate action through taxation and borrowing alone. One estimate suggests that around US $90 trillion will need to be invested by 2030 in infrastructure, agriculture and energy systems, to accomplish the Paris Agreement.

This won’t happen without private capital and underlines why aligning the world’s financial system with the needs of climate action and sustainable development is every bit as important as emission reduction pathways and removing fossil fuel subsidies. Moreover, set against the US$300 trillion of assets – held by banks, the capital markets and institutional investors – we’re faced with a problem of allocation rather than outright scarcity.

As for UNEP, it just released its annual “emissions gap” report at COP22. Comparing the goals of Paris 2015 to signatory pledges, it uses all the alarmist rhetoric one would expect from an agency that is the 43-year-old brainchild of the late Maurice Strong. Unless reductions in “carbon pollution from the energy sector are reduced swiftly and steeply”, UNEP claims that it will be nearly impossible to keep warming below 2 degrees, let alone to the 1.5 degree aspiration.

According to UNEP the need for urgent, immediate action to confront the “climate crisis” is “indisputable.” And yes, you guessed it. We are all drinking in the Last Chance Saloon.

It is likely the last chance to keep the option of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C in 2100 open, as all available scenarios consistent with the 1.5 degree C goal imply that global greenhouse gases peak before 2020.

As to the source of UNEP’s 2-degree threshold, it remains a mystery, at least to me. Is it a best-guess algorithm from a flawed computer model, or the emphatic conclusion of a new law of nature? Perhaps that is why more and more climate scientists seem to be emoting like tearful Cassandras. Alternatively, they may be merely desperate to be acknowledged as champions of the earth too. Expressing one’s feelings about the future in public, however, does not in any way validate DAGW or DACC. Anyway, folk in northern Russia would welcome some extra warmth right now.

Last week’s collision between the Trump Train and Marrakech Express should slow down – maybe even derail – the UN’s relentless two-decade climate scare campaign. If it does the latter, there may not be enough hens on the planet to lay all the eggs required to go on the faces of all the folk who promulgated this narrative with such sanctimonious certainty.

Perhaps there is a god or goddess after all. If so, one of His or Her ninety-nine names just might be – if not Veritas, then – Serpens Oleum. Let us pray.

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Links to previous articles

 

Posted in Environmental battles | 1 Comment

Cairns Port Development

Cairns Port development can be expedited

This post presents a chronology of issues and events relating to Cairns Port development. Scroll down for more background and sections 1 – 7.

Cairns Post, 16 February 2017

Dredge delays veiled in secrecy

Note: click on the thumb print if article does not show.

A letter published in the Cairns Post, 17 February, from this website’s editor summed up the reaction from all but the more extreme green/left community: ‘The continuing delays to deepening Trinity Inlet are a disgrace (‘Dredge delays veiled in secrecy’, 16/2) – what you would expect in a third-world dictatorship.   I recall a meeting with Mayor Bob Manning nearly two years ago to discuss the port deepening and major associated benefits.   I was dismayed at Bob’s explanations, and said so.  Having led or advised on many far larger projects overseas, I know how projects can be completed rapidly, particularly when the benefit-cost calculations are very positive, as is the case with the port deepening.  Now I realise that the main driver of FNQ infrastructure projects is politics, and offer my apologies to you, Bob, for my naivety.   The latest explanation from Ports North for not completing a comprehensive project plan after some five years, and spending over $8 million dollars of our money, is pathetic and appears to assume we locals are idiots.’

22 June 2016. Excellent news that Cairns Port development seems to be back on track.  The Cairns Post, 22 June, reported ‘PORTS North will zero in on two possible locations to dump one million cubic metres of dredge spoil from Trinity Inlet.  The Cairns Post yesterday revealed dredging of the Cairns shipping channel would be fast-tracked to allow cruise ships up to 300-metres long to dock at the city’s port.  City leaders welcomed the revival of the project, which would have a total cost of about $120 million.  Ports North chairman Russell Beer said the organisation would work hard over the next 12 months to complete a rigorous environmental impact statement and “turn that into an approval”.’ Some background:  After Ports North presented a practical plan in 2012, something happened causing their plans to veer off course.  Was this applying fashionable ‘green’ ideology?  Over $5 million dollars spent on consultants produced a draft EIS, checked by the Coordinator General and passed to Treasurer Pitt who pronounced the port development far too expensive at $365 million.  This draft EIS was shown to have major flaws.  Now different consultants indicate dredging only 1 million cubic metres of spoil – 23% of the previous 4.4 million – will enable larger cruise ships up to 90,000 tonnes and full fuel and sugar cargo ships to navigate the harbour.  The proposal includes innovative ideas such as pumping the spoil to an underwater location in a sand pit, so no expensive treatment will be needed.  Also, an East Trinity site is favoured – presumably to cover the small highly polluted area, as recommended by CSIRO in 1999.  Hopefully the new plan, costed at $120 million, will now be expedited.  It seems fair for the cost of this essential infrastructure be shared equally by the Federal and Queensland State governments.

8 June, the Cairns Post included an impressive 20-page supplement that presented a wide range of articles explaining the issues and benefits available from widening and deepening the Trinity Inlet.  The lead-article was an open letter to the Prime Minister, leader of the opposition and the Queensland Premier asking for their support to expedite the port development project.  The supplement is complimentary to the March 1 report to the Premier Cairns Port Development Report to Ministers.

1 June 2016: Advance Cairns, the peak independent non-government Advocacy and Economic Development Organisation for Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), advised on its new website: RECOMMENDATION – Prioritise Cairns port infrastructure as a strategic investment in the regional economy enabling long-term sustained growth for tourism, Navy, port and service industries.  Commit to this $1B industry by supporting the EIS process and implementing the CSDP’ (Cairns Shipping Development Project). The announcement continued: Project Timelines – The final cost will be assessed as part of the revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with expenditure in 2017-20. EIS commenced and extended until June 2017′.   This very welcome announcement appears to override Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce previous submission to the Coordinator General which concluded ‘We believe that the Cairns Port will need to continue to incrementally develop the inlet and associated port infrastructure’.  http://www.advancecairns.com/project/shipping-development/ and Cairns Chamber, Advance Cairns submission.

The Cairns Post editorial, 17 May, noted the state government’s record of blatantly ignoring the results of it’s own consultation.  ‘First there was the public hearing regarding dredging the Trinity Inlet…Business people presented a great case to have Cairns included as a “port of significance” that would allow large-scale dredging…They were so successful that the people  hearing the arguments recommended the Government include Cairns on that list. ‘  The result?  The Labor State Government kowtowed to the Greens and ignored the recommendation of it’s own committee.  So much for democracy!  (Click on editorial graphic to expand).

CP Editorial, 170516

The following article in the Cairns Post, 6 May, written by Queensland State Treasurer’s about Cairns Port deepening, comprised a mix of facts and misleading information (click on graphic to expand).  A letter published on 7 May explains some of the more egregious points: State Treasurer Curtis Pitt writes ‘Still room to move in the inlet’ (6/05).    The most worrying aspect is that readers may think this is a reasonable assessment.  Just a few of the shortfalls are noted below.  Pitt states the Ports North proposal included ‘land-based options around $365m’.  He formed this view based on the DRAFT EIS, ignoring the correct process to await public submissions, one of which explained the costs were grossly exaggerated, ignored optimum technology solutions, and should cost less than $250m.  Pitt explains simulations have enabled a few of the large cruise ships to berth at the CBD cruise terminal. He does not mention that the majority will still have to anchor off Yorkeys Knob.  Pitt wrote ‘we’ve seen a good environmental and economic outcome..’, but does not mention the many cargo ships that arrive and depart half full because the channel is too shallow, resulting in far higher costs.  Pitt notes Ports North ‘will also be allowed to remove … up to 150,000 cubic metres in any four-year period.’ That rate would take 120 years to deepen and widen the channel as proposed.’

Cairns Post Curtis Pitt opinion piece 8 May

Cairns Post’s InvestCairns magazine, April 2016, Loss of Cruise Control, include several quotes from ‘renowned economist Bill Cummings’ such as “While small to medium-sized cruise ships can be home-ported in Cairns, the city will only fully realise its potential to become a cruise shipping h um if deepening and channel widening takes place – something that will also result in efficiencies for Cairns as a cargo and naval port.”

Invest Cairns magazine 200416

A letter from Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s Chief of Staff, John Humphreys (Qld Treasurer reply 120416), 12 April included: ‘Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Limited (Ports North) requested an extension to the EIS deadline to allow it further time to review target vessel sizes and channel improvements options, include the latest survey and field information on revised channel designs, undertake simulations to verify the size of cruise ships and access of reduced  upgrade channel and a tidal window analysis. This request was approved by the Coordinator-General in December 2015 and the project lapse date has been extended to 30 June 2017.’ 

A letter published in the Cairns Post, 5 April, summed up the current impasse: ‘I refer to the Cairns Post story “Make Aquis Happen – Stop mucking around’ (26/03). A Cairns business leader is warning Queensland Government to stop playing politics with … Aquis”.  Then on page 23 “Cairns a jobless hotspot – Cairns was still 2.1% above the state average.” (7/3)  I also recall the article “HMAS Cairns major expansion to make it key northern defence base.  The confidential documents, obtained by The Cairns Post, reveal a new role for the city that includes dredging the inlet and expanding the base to accommodate 3000 personnel in an estimated $2 billion boon to the local economy.”  Since then, it has been a deafening silence.  Also, a recent report sent to the Premier and ministers explained how the reasons given for delaying Cairns Port development have been overcome.  The report (see www.better-management.org) recommended the State government should expedite completion of a “shovel-ready” project plan.  The total inaction suggests the rumours after the State election that the Greens did a deal with Labor to prevent large-scale projects in Cairns were true.   Sorry Cairns, you’ve been dudded by your Governments.’  Note: The report can be downloaded from Cairns Port Development Report to Ministers.  The report includes: ‘An independent group of specialists should be contracted as soon as possible to deliver a ‘shovel-ready’ plan to complete the port development, including a full benefit-cost analysis. Suggested terms of reference for this assignment are at Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115.

 An article in the Cairns Post, 7 March, noted: ‘TOP-level documents reveal plans to triple the size of HMAS Cairns as northern Australia’s key strategic naval base. The confidential documents, obtained by The Cairns Post, reveal a new role for the city that includes dredging the inlet and expanding the base to accommodate 3000 personnel in an estimated $2 billion boon to the local economy.’  See http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/hmas-cairns-major-expansion-to-make-it-key-northern-defence-base/news-story/975d9b137efb74d8479f7588ef4f2a27 . Also John MacKenzie discussed the issue with former head of the Australian Army Lieutenant General John Grey: http://www.4ca.com.au/mornings/50986-will-the-feds-force-the-dredging-project-to-happen.

CPDI presentation to Coordinator General – Cairns Port Development Inc. made a presentation to the  Queensland State Coordinator General from a high-level suite near the Trinity Inlet on 8 December 2015.  The venue allowed the presenters to point out the CoG the major developments in Cairns that had been achieved over half a century using spoil dredged from the inlet.  The presentation described the many issues relating to the proposed port development proposal, including several errors in the Ports North draft EIS such as the exaggerated costs.  The major benefits the Cairns Region would gain following the proposed development were explained, together with tables showing the calculations.  The Power Point presentation can be downloaded from: CPD Inc. Presentation to the Coordinator General, update.

The Cairns Post Editorial, 22 January, heading Public input just ignored, compared the  Labor State Government’s parliamentary hearing concerning the reduced nightclub opening hours with the previous hearings regarding the Cairns port “priority port” status.  In both instances, it is clear the supposed ‘consultation’ was a sham.  Even when the government’s own priority port committee recommended, without dissent, that Cairns should have priority port status, the Labor masters in Brisbane ignored their committee’s recommendation; an expensive con more worthy of a communist state.    The Editorial concludes: ‘To invite guidance from the public is fair and right, to then ignore it is the height of hubris and conceit – something the Queensland electorate has shown contempt for.’  The complete editorial below makes compelling reading:

1-CP Editorial 220116,2

A letter from Peter Campion, Tolga, in The Cairns Post, 2 January, summarises the current deplorable status: ‘Doctor Fanny Douvere, the marine program coordinator at UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, does not expect the Abbot Point port expansion to hurt the Great Barrier Reef.  Yet here in Cairns, the State Labor Government, using dodgy legislation and its fully-owned company Ports North, is continuing to delay the much-needed improvement of our port.  Our local “environmental experts” at CAFNEC help the ALP’s anti-Cairns cause by spreading blatant falsehoods about our port, including that dredging it will kill the Reef.  Science has proven our anti-port minority wrong at every step and now even UNESCO agrees dredging is not a problem.  For Far North Queensland to be truly sustainable, we need our port to be fully functional.  It’s now clear that to return our port to full efficiency we need to expose CAFNEC’s propaganda and to dump the ALP at the next election.’  Note: responding to a letter criticising this letter (09/01), Campion replied (CP letter 07/01): ‘(The writer) has  been conned by CAFNEC and the anti-Cairns ALP and seems unaware of local history’, followed by supporting evidence. 

The Cairns Post Editorial, 1 January 2016: Tourism the way ahead…..With such a bright outlook for a tourism-related economic boost, it is timely for our city leaders to consider adopting a stronger stance on dredging Trinity inlet to allow larger cruise ships to dock. As the Australian dollar stays relatively low, more and more foreigners will add Australia to their travel lists, and the Far North and Great Barrier Reef are highly likely to be on the itinerary. In light of UNESCO’s tacit approval of recently announced wholesale dredging of the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, surely that opens the door for the same in Cairns.  Dredging opponents and federal and state government have used UNESCO’s threat to downgrade the Reef’s status as a reason to ban large-scale dredging in the inlet.  But the world environmental watch dog barely gave a whimper after the Abbot Point dredging plan was revealed.  As the inlet’s Environmental Impact process drags on, Abbot Point has now made itself a compelling precedent….

An ABC Rural article noted Dr Fanny Douvere, marine program coordinator at the World Heritage Centre and involved in the recent UNESCO decision not to list the reef as ‘in danger’, said: ‘Port expansion is not an issue if it is managed well’.  http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-24/unesco-not-worried-by-reef-ports/7052924?WT.mc_id=newsmail. This article gives the lie to many related statements from Federal and State Governments and other ‘green’ organisations.

An article was published in  the Cairns Post business section, 23 November:  ‘Benefits of dredging impossible to ignore’:

Cairns Post article, 23,12,15,

The article above followed the Cairns Post article by Nick Dalton, 19/12/15: Call to get big ships into port, reproduced below with additional comments in Italics:

Treasurer and acting State Development Minister Curtis Pitt has instructed Ports North to focus on ways to increase the size of ships entering the city’s port.

  The Government has granted the authority an 18-month extension to an environmental impact statement. The final Terms of Reference for the Cairns Shipping Development Project were released by the Coordinator General in September 2012. Ports North announced they had commissioned consultants ARUP to complete the EIS in April 2013. Ports North stated the draft EIS report would be provided in May 2014, then a delay to September 2014. Ports North said changed conditions required further work and had delayed the report. In fact, the Terms of Reference had not changed, and the ‘changed conditions’, ie government ruling against dumping dredge spoil at sea, required far less work rather than more as the TOR always required assessment of options to place dredging spoil on land. The draft EIS was finally released in April 2015.   Rather than waiting for submissions and a final EIS (a key requirement of the CoG’s assessment process), Mr Pitt announced ‘on the basis of the draft EIS, the government had decided against the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging’ – he later explained the $365m cost calculated in the draft EIS was unacceptably high. A submission to the CoG demonstrated the draft EIS had grossly exaggerated the project costs (Submission to Coordinator General.)

  While full-scale dredging has been ruled out, Mr Pitt said dredging the mouth or approach channel to the Trinity Inlet shipping waterway and the swing basin was expected to be included in the EIS.   Rather than ‘expected’, the EIS TOR required this inclusion.

  Wholesale dredging has been ruled out on the grounds of cost (estimated at $100m) and a ban on dumping dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Marine Park. The terms ‘full-scale’ and ‘wholesale’ dredging have not been defined, so are meaningless. Again, the draft EIS described options for on-land placement of spoil, albeit at a grossly exaggerated cost.

  The dredging was to allow larger ships, particularly cruise liners, to navigate the channel.

  The Government wants the port to look at dredging parts of the channel and the swing basin so bigger ships can enter and turn around. This is precisely what the draft EIS was directed to do.

  The Cairns Shipping Development Project is able to proceed under the transitional arrangements as part of the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 passed in the November 12 Parliament sitting. So the Sustainably Port Development Act 2015 was a complete red herring as far as Cairns Port is concerned – a massive distraction from the main event.

  “The scope of the project includes capital dredging of the swing basins and Trinity Inlet and deepening of the approach channel to the port”, Mr Pitt said. Mr Pitt said previously the Reef 2050 report, on which the agreement signed by Federal Minister Greg Hunt with UNESCO is based, precludes ‘capital dredging’ in Cairns Port, which Mr Pitt said the Cairns Shipping Development Project would require. In fact, the Reef 2050 report states ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.(Reef 2050 plan excerpts.) The Cairns Shipping Development project requires ‘maintenance dredging, defined as ‘to maintain the safe and effective ongoing operation of a port facility’.

  Mr Pitt said the Coordinator-General had allowed Ports North until June 30 2017 to re-submit an EIS for the project. Ports North contracted their consultants in April 2013 to produce a draft EIS report that covers everything Mr Pitt says he wants. The draft EIS did not adequately cover two key requirements of the TOR: ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project’. AndThe indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.’ Competent specialists could complete these two requirements in a few months if they were directed to do so. An extension of 18 months, when there has already been a delay of more than 12 months, is completely unnecessary, and can only be deliberate procrastination.

  “Granting this extension gives Ports North more time to develop a project that is economically and environmentally sustainable for the expansion of Cairns Port”, he said. Nothing additional to the requirements of the original EIS TOR has been requested. It must therefore be concluded that Mr Pitt’s announcements can only be a deliberate means of delaying the port deepening and subsequent benefits to the Cairns Region even longer.

   “We can strike a balance that protects the environment and supports economic development, jobs and future trade growth.” This is exactly what the CoG’s TOR for the EIS required.

   Perhaps, as The Cairns Post Editorial, 3 September, noted: ‘The decision by State Development Minister Anthony Lynham to consign Cairns’ port to second-tier status should [has] cause[d] outrage throughout the Far North.’

   The editorial Cairns Post editorial, EIS backflip a big query, 220815 explains the main problem: ‘If the revised EIS suddenly comes back with a favourable opinion of increased dredging, surely this raises suggestions the government is advising its consultants what outcome they should find rather than merely letting the science do the talking.’  Not only the ‘science’, but assessing and describing in more detail the major benefits the Cairns Region will gain after the port deepening has been completed (See Cummings Economics submission Cummings Economics submission).

 It is highly unlikely that the Government will direct Ports North to produce a full plan for deepening the port that would be necessary for logical related decisions to be made, and so most unlikely Ports North will direct their consultants to produce such a plan. This plan should be produced by a new group of independent consultants as soon as possible, including a full benefit-cost analysis based on best-practice methods. Terms of Reference for such an assignment have been drafted: Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115

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A summary of the Cairns Port deepening saga

  • Cairns Region will gain major benefits from port deepening, estimated at $5 billion over 25 years, including business growth and many job opportunities.  See Cummings Economics submission.
  • Australia’s long-established defence programs need Cairns Port naval base as a fully-operational strategic port for regional and coastal operations.
  • Spoil from major dredging programs will not be discharged offshore in future, irrespective of scientific reports.  Why? Because government agreements and public perceptions and reactions preclude this.

…… HERE’S HOW

  • Dredging spoil has been put on land to develop Cairns city and its economy for many decades, and can be again – e.g. Portsmith.
  • But Ports North’s draft EIS exaggerated the cost of putting spoil on land. See Submission to Coordinator General.
  • So a new report is needed ASAP to present the most cost-effective plan and quantify the resulting benefits.
  • Government dredging decisions, including those following negotiations with UNESCO, have been based on the Reef 2050 report, which states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.Reef 2050 plan excerpts.
  • Port deepening: is NOT for a ‘new channel’; it IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed.

…… AND IF PORT DEEPENING IS NOT EXPEDITED?

  • The whole Cairns Region will suffer major economic, business and job losses, and Australia will not have a strategic port’ in the far north.
  • The miniscule coven of green/Labor extremists will have won their covert battle to impose their anti-growth ideology on the Cairns Region.
  • The State Labor Government can expect to lose the four local seats at the next election if the LNP demonstrate credible support for expediting port deepening.
  • Cairns Region Councillors that don’t support expediting port deepening can expect to be replaced at the election next year by Councillors that do.

SO WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN NOW? ‘PLAN B’?

  • Qld State Treasurer Curtis Pitt was reported in the Cairns Post on 15 May saying.  “What we’ve said is that Ports North, as the proponent, can go back, recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal.’
  • Dr Anthony Lynham, Qld Minister for State Development said on 11 November  ‘The (Ports North draft) EIS proposal is respected by the government as being in place before this (the Port Sustainability Bill)….The Bill has nothing to do with the EIS….The Coordinator General (who controls the EIS process) is independent but has to abide by the government policy but on decisions such as extending EISs, he is independent…..I can’t tell him what to do….Maintenance dredging is for maintaining the existing channel.  It is not for widening channels….Unfortunately the strategic designation (instead of the Bill’s category of Priority Port) doesn’t come under UNESCO or the Bill.  That would be quite difficult to throw in another category now after all the negotiation with UNESCO.’ 
  • BUT…recall the Reef 2050 report, which formed the basis for Federal Minister Greg Hunt’s negotiations with UNESCO states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.’  The Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015, Schedule 1 subsequently modified the Reef 2050 definition to: ‘Capital dredging – (a)  means dredging or enlarging a channel, basin, port, berth or other similar thing; or’……. (b) does not include dredging to maintain the safe and effective ongoing operation of a port facility.
  • Surely ‘effective ongoing operation of a port facility’ includes the ability for large cruise, cargo and naval ships to use the port?
  • The Ports North proposal was submitted well before the Bill, and the EIS deadline has been extended to the end of March 2016.  Minister Lynham said it is up to the CoG as to whether this deadline is extended, noting the only time an extension was not granted after a reasonable request was when the EIS was not completed after 7 years and the company had ‘folded’.
  • The State Government has given Ports North another $350,000 (on top of the previous $5.1m) for its consultants to review the draft EIS – presumably expecting different conclusions.
  • The latest technologies and methodologies should underpin the modified draft EIS, and result in different conclusions, including far lower costs (see Submission to Coordinator General).
  • The modified draft EIS could satisfy all requirements: lower cost dredging of the existing channel and all spoil put on land rather than at sea (thus complying with the Reef 2050 report, although possibly a problem with the Bill’s modified definition); meeting environmental requirements; complying with Federal Minister Greg Hunt’s agreement with UNESCO to not de-list the reef; meeting Australia’s naval strategic requirements; and last but not least, enabling the Cairns Region to benefit from the major economic benefits when the next stage of port deepening is completed.

How to ensure Ports North’s modified draft EIS results in expediting the requisite port deepening ASAP?

  • In a nutshell, the Coordinator General needs to ensure Ports North interpret the EIS Terms of Reference (TOR) correctly so the modified draft EIS provide:  ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project’; and ‘The indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.’  (See Cairns Shipping Development EIS TOR Nov 2012.)
  • The CoG may also decide to revise the TOR if he decides ‘there are significant changes to the project concept or design, or significant new issues emerge during the preparation of the EIS,’ which arguably is the case with this proposal (See http://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/terms-of-reference.html.) 
  • These points were not covered adequately in the current draft EIS.  The approach suggested in the following document would  ensure the modified draft EIS provides all the information necessary for the relevant authorities to decide to expedite the port deepening: Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115

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Recent progress and events

The Cairns Post, 18 November article noted: SUPPORTERS of dredging Trinity Inlet will meet the state’s Co-ordinator General and lobby Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure deepening and widening activities suffer no further setbacks.  Dredging restrictions are in place after the state’s Sustainable Ports Development Bill passed with bipartisan support on Friday…. The State Opposition has defended its stance in voting against exempting Cairns and Mourilyan from restrictions.  “The two major parties’ collusion has put the Port of Cairns back 50 years.” …. Cairns Port Development Inc. spokeswoman, Emma Thirkell, said members would lobby federal politicians to place greater weight on scientific evidence supporting dredging, its lack of impact on the Reef and the positives for business that dredging offered.  “Agreement is in place for us to meet the Co-ordinator General and we hope to update Cairns Regional Councillors on the present situation and the possible repercussions of this bill,” she said.   See full article at: http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/cairns-port-development-inc-takes-trinity-inlet-dredging-proposal-to-federal-politicians/story-fnjpusyw-1227612935494

Cairns Post articles, 4 and 5 November, spell out the State Government’s latest restriction on dredging limits for Cairns Port.  At 150,000 cubic metres in 4 years, this would mean completing the 4.5 million cubic metres proposed to deepen the channel in 120 years.  Weirdly, Advance Cairns CEO is quoted saying this: “provides for the ability for the port to grow as our city grows”.  This is in line with the Advance Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce submission to the Coordinator General regarding the Ports North draft EIS, which states: ‘We believe that the Cairns Port will need to continue to incrementally develop the inlet and associated port infrastructure to support the growth of the regional economy.’  Over 120 years?  Listen to John MacKenzie discussing this conundrum with Peter Senior on 4CA radio talkback.  Several other callers raised similar points with John, including a member of Cairns Chamber complaining that members had not been consulted, and she totally disagreed with the stance, as presented in today’s update ‘A workable solution for Cairns.  We have some very exciting news to share with you…’:

 28 October, 4CA Talkback: Federal Senator Warren Entsch discussed with Peter Senior the overall port deepening issue; in particular the point noted above that the proposed port deepening is defined as ‘maintenance dredging’ in the authoritative Reef 2050 report, as such is allowed and should go ahead – if only the local State Members would support what is clearly in the best interests of the Cairns Region.  This is essential listening:

22 October.  Senators Ian Macdonald and Bob Katter talked with John Mackenzie on 4CA Talkback about deepening Cairns Port to enable large naval, cruise and cargo ships to use the port and facilities.  Both Senators noted deepening is essential, should be expedited, and will bring major benefits to FNQ.  Naval access is also an essential Australian defence requirement.  Senator Macdonald said: “The Qld Government really has to ignore the minority greens groups who will make up any story to stop any sort of development in Cairns or anywhere else and get some sensible advice…”. Everyone should listen carefully to these comments:

A letter from Dr Anthony Lynham MP, Queensland Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, 16 October 2015 stated: ‘The government will not divert from elements of the Bill which form part of our Reef 2050 plan… However, any future development must be consistent with the government’s commitment to protect the GBRWHA and its ban on sea based disposal of port related capital dredge material.’  See Minister Lynham letter 161015.   As noted above, the Reef 2050 report states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas(see Reef 2050 plan excerpts.) Given that the proposed port deepening: is NOT for a ‘new channel’; and IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed, it seems the Minister is approving port deepening as further maintenance dredging, particularly if the dredging spoil is disposed of on land.

6 October, the second cruise ship anchored at Yorkeys Knob in so many weeks is unable to get passengers ashore for trips – passengers express great disappointment; Cairns reputation sullied; tour companies lose big $$$$$.

1 October, new Chairman of Ports North announced by State Labor Government Minister.  Cairns Post article heading ‘Chairman confident of port progress’ only aligns with recent State actions if ‘progress’ means towards boutique port status. Noted on Facebook: Yes, another Labor stooge. If Labor wasn’t sure he’d follow their directives, he wouldn’t have been appointed. The sorry fact is, Government funds many activities in Cairns, and directs these operations through their well-paid bureaucrats that also mostly lean to the green/Left. What an unholy alliance! Labor’s recent decisions prove they intend financing Townsville expansion and downgrading Cairns Port to boutique status, irrespective of contrary evidence. If Cairns Port deepening supporters continue to play by the Brisbane-controlled Labor rules, we’ll lose – for sure. Go figure…

18 September: the Ports Sustainability Bill has been postponed.

The Cairns Port Development Inc. petition signature sheets were handed to the Queensland Parliament at 7.28 AM on 15 September.  The 4,099 written signatures plus the 2,017 online signatures totalled  6,116 – one of the largest petitions ever from the Cairns region.

As a reminder, the petition reads:  TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.    Queensland citizens draw to the attention of the House the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 does not include the ports of Cairns and Mourilyan as priority ports. If capital dredging is discontinued, new larger passenger, naval and cargo ships will not be able to enter the ports. The estimated earnings foregone may be more than $5Bn over the next 25 years, compounding the record high youth unemployment rates.  Your petitioners request the House to amend the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 to include the ports of Cairns and Mourilyan as ‘priority ports’ allowing the ports to carry out vital capital works dredging NOW and always. We also request that an independent project be commissioned to assess and recommend the lowest cost environmentally acceptable dredging solution. Revitalize our economy, restore confidence and save many businesses from the brink of bankruptcy.

Six months out from the local government election, Cairns lawyer Jim Brooks on Friday announced the arrival of his Connect Cairns team in front of supporters, including Cairns MP Rob Pyne.  Brooks, Pyne and CAFNEC are joining forces to oppose deepening the Port and stymie the huge economic benefits the Cairns region would gain.

The Cairns Post 3  Sept. noted: ‘Minister shuns committee report into developing Port of Cairns’ and ‘A WIDE-reaching inquiry by a Queensland parliamentary committee has found that excluding the Port of Cairns as a priority port would have a “detrimental impact” on the growth of the region and have negative impacts on employment and tourism, and on business.  ‘However ‘Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, who dismissed the committee’s findings just hours after they were released.  “I appreciate the committee’s consideration of the Bill and their report will be considered in full and in detail,” he said in a statement.  “However, the Government will not divert from elements of the Bill which form part of our Reef 2050 plan.’              http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/minister-shuns-committee-report-into-developing-port-of-cairns/story-fnjpusdv-1227509909212

The Cairns Post Editorial, 3 September, noted: ‘The decision by State Development Minister Anthony Lynham to consign Cairns’ port to second-tier status should cause outrage throughout the Far North….The good doctor rejected this (Committee Report unanimous) recommendation and bowed to the threats of a foreign environmental body (UNESCO) over the pleas of Cairns’ top business groups’ (http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/opinion/second-tier-status-for-cairns-port-is-a-disgrace/story-fnjpuwl3-1227509793053).

An allied issue is flagged in the Cairns Post editorial, 27 August, ‘THE State Government must act immediately or we can all watch the Aquis ship and its bounty sail out of the (undredged) Trinity Inlet….the stench of bureaucracy-induced failure… If the Fungs walk away from Cairns, heads should roll in the halls of state parliament.’ CP Editorial re Aquis 270815.

The Cairns Port Development Inc. advertisement appeared in the Cairns Post again on Thursday 27 August  DON’T SINK OUR PORT petition advertisement.

The Cairns Post article, 22 August, ‘New look at dredging – Ports North told to come up with revised proposal’ can be read at: http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/cairns-port-dredging-plan-back-on-the-cards-in-state-government-rethink/story-fnjpusyw-1227493667126.  The editorial Cairns Post editorial, EIS backflip a big query, 220815 explains the main problem: ‘If the revised EIS suddenly comes back with a favourable opinion of increased dredging, surely this raises suggestions the government is advising its consultants what outcome they should find rather than merely letting the science do the talking.’  Until a new independent assignment is completed (see below) the project will be stalled, along with realising the $25 billion of benefits forecast over 25 years.

Terms of reference for a new assignment to produce a Cairns Port Deepening Plan respond to Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s requests to:  ‘recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal’; and put another option ‘on the table.’   This plan would provide essential information to enable State and local governments, Cairns business leaders and the Cairns community to understand fully and make informed decisions on deepening and widening the Trinity Inlet and basin.  Terms of reference for this assignment have been prepared: Cairns Port Deepening Plan, TOR 081115.  Any related decisions made before this or a similar project is completed, including public disclosure, are likely based on conjecture and/or ideology.

Cairns Post 4 August, article by State Treasurer Curtis Pitt: ‘Where we differ from the previous government is that its proposal for capital dredging in Trinity Inlet never stacked up on any measure and couldn’t proceed – the volume of dredge spoil and costs over $360 million were uneconomic….The EIS is a live process and will be used as a vehicle to put in an overarching plan for expansion works.’  The $360M has been shown to be very and deliberately exaggerated, and surely ‘expansion works’ does not suggest the proposed vital major port deepening project?

Cairns Post, 1 August: ‘Independent Member for Cook Billy Gordon and Katter’s Australian Party MPs Shane Knuth and Rob Katter have revealed to The Cairns Post they would move an amendment to the Government’s Bill that would designate Cairns and Mourilyan ports as “priority ports”.‘  The newspaper’s very supportive editorial includes: ‘The fact that the government even wants to limit coastal development in Queensland at all should be fought tooth and nail’. (Click on article to enlarge). http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/queensland-mps-unite-against-bill-which-could-sink-cairns-port/story-fnjpusyw-1227465438442

Cairns Post Editorial 010815

The  Ports Bill Committee public hearing at Cairns, 29 July, was a great success for supporters of dredging the Trinity Inlet and basin as far as conveying our message to the Committee and emphasising the width and depth of Cairns’ public support.  But will it be effective?  The Cairns Post front page heading DON’T SINK OUR PORT, editorial, cartoon and double-page spread describe overwhelming support, demanding major changes to the Ports Bill, and action from Federal and State Governments to expedite the dredging.  Failure will lead to Cairns’ economy slowly sinking.  http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/state-government-urged-to-rethink-ports-bill-for-far-north/story-fnjpusdv-1227462332057 .  The numerous calls to John MacKenzie’s 4CA Talkback were equally supportive.

Cairns Post poll, 24 July: ‘Do you support increased dredging of Trinity Inlet’.  Result in Monday 27th edition: YES 73%.

Friends of the Port of Cairns is now Cairns Port Development Inc. (Incorporation #IA55117).  A media release CPD media release 280715 includes a summary of Cummings Economics’ presentation, on behalf of CPD, to the public hearing of the Ports Bill Committee in Cairns 29 JulyThe presentation is at CPD Presentation to Ports Bill Committee, 290715.

Friends of the Port of Cairns submission to the Qld Coordinator General responded to the Ports North draft Environment Impact Report (EIS): Submission to Coordinator General The submission summary concludes:We request the Coordinator General recommend to the Government that a more comprehensive study be undertaken of placement options in consultation with the Cairns community with a view to developing a lower cost and environmentally acceptable solution to enable the project to proceed as soon as possible.’

Cummings Economics submission to the Sustainable Ports Development Bill 2015 on behalf of the Friends of the Port of Cairns supports the continuing development of the Port of Cairns. Details of the many major benefits that will result from dredging the Trinity Inlet are presented.  http://www.cummings.net.au/pdf/reports/J2865_IPNRC_SustainablePortsDevelopmentBill2015.pdf 

Cummings Economics submission to the Qld Coordinator General, Cummings Economics submission, presents a compelling case for the dredging.  Conservative calculations of the benefits to Cairns total $1.35 billion NPV – $5 bn in cash terms over 25 years, or at least $200 million each year.  Who is stalling these benefits?

Adam Gowlett, Branch President of the Urban Development Institute of Australia talked with John MacKenzie on 4CA radio talkback, 21st August, explaining how the Qld State Labor Government is short-changing Cairns in favour of the South East, and Townsville in particular where $65m has just been allocated to dredge and expand their port plus more major expenditure: .

Friends of the Port of Cairns Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/PortofCairns

Local developer Ken Frost’s submission presents an exciting approach for Cairns long-term needs –  EIS submission KF

A brief submission from Advance Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce equivocates, noting Ports North will need to be able to continue to undertake incremental development projects…’ : Cairns Chamber, Advance Cairns submission.

The current status of the East Trinity property is described in an article in The Cairns Post, 20 June: East Trinity, not a wetland, just a mess, CP article 200615

East Trinity for future urban growth and more vital benefits for Cairns were described in an article in the Cairns Post, 6 June (click on picture below to expand). 

Dredging Tinity to build a new city

Radio 4CA July 23, 2015. John MacKenzie speaks with Peter Senior from Cairns Port Development Inc. and Tim Nicholls MP for Clayfield and shadow minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Small Business and Trade 23rd July 2015 about progressing the dredging of Cairns Harbour.

Talkback host John MacKenzie discussed Friends of the Port of Cairns’ submission with Peter Senior on 3 June:

Ports North $5 million draft EIS can be downloaded in sections from: .  Click here to see the draft EIS Executive Summary.

East Trinity’s history is described in this article, from page 25:   A Sustainable East Trinity

================================

More post contents

  1. Update
  2. Another option: a phased approach
  3. Articles and letters in the Cairns Post
  4. John MacKenzie’s radio talkback show
  5. TV News
  6. Background and history
  7. Other related documents

Introduction

An aerial photograph of East Trinity, Trinity Inlet and the Cairns CBD in 1942 is shown below, with points of interest flagged (click on graphic to expand).  Note the area some ‘greens’ insist should be ‘restored’ to wetlands never was wetlands – it was saltpan, grassland and woodland.

1942 aerial photo of Cairns

…. and this is a recent photo of the Southern end of the East Trinity property.  Note the dead Melaleuca trees as a result of flooding by sea water – which CSIRO strongly recommended against.

East Trinity now, dead maleleucas

The next 7 sections explain the convoluted steps that resulted in the current dismaying situation.

1. Update

For the latest in the long-running saga concerning dredging the Trinity Inlet at Cairns and reclamation at East Trinity, check the Facebook site, Friends of the Port of Cairns – https://www.facebook.com/PortofCairns. 

The Facebook site includes a petition you may want to send to the Coordinator General:  http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-the-port-of-cairns.html – it only takes a couple of minutes to read, then send if you agree.  As at 4 June, 1,298 have ‘liked’ the site, and 170 almost-all local people have sent the petition.

Check this Post for more background information and proposals.

———————————————-.

The Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Environmental Impact Statement report was released on Saturday 18 April.  State Government  Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that, on the basis of the DRAFT EIS, the government had decided against the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging.   Listening to callers on radio talkback shows, the overwhelming overall reaction is extreme dismay. 

Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne added to the dismay, as described in the Cairns Post Editorial, 25 April (see full text in Section 3):  Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician…  Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, cargo vessels and navy ships to Cairns and provided a $1.3 billion boost to the economy… He really starts off badly by describing business as the “big end of town” and then his Facebook rant continues with “your unsustainable, unfunded and illogical ‘capital dredge proposal’ will not fly…”.

Cairns Post article, 27 April (full text is in section 3) included: Industry group Cruise Down Under is urging the Government to consider the economic benefits of dredging of about $1.3 billion.  CDU general manager Jill Abel said a study showed cruise ships injected $12.6 million into the city’s economy in 2013-14.  Ms Abel said.  “… Cairns is a must-see destination from a passenger perspective, and integral to the eastern seaboard itineraries.” 

Cairns Post, 30 April, article (see details in section 3): BARRON River MP Craig Crawford has broken political ranks to back the dredging of Trinity Inlet.

This post suggests a practical and cost-effective way to avoid dumping the dredging spoil at sea as well as reclaiming the degraded State-owned area at East Trinity.  Many related issues are discussed, media coverage is presented and relevant background is explained.

The report, Dredging and East Trinity opportunities 081214, presents a proposal to dredge Cairns Trinity Inlet channel; and reclaim the State-owned degraded East Trinity property; and gain major short and long-term benefits for Cairns community and businesses……AT NO NET COST to taxpayers.  Imagine a residential suburb at East Trinity:

 ET with suburb, small

2. Another option: a phased approach

Note: This section has not been updated since the draft EIS was released.  Some of the assumptions and figures used in the draft EIS are in serious doubt, as are some of the conclusions.  It is expected that further checking by different specialist engineers will identify substantially different conclusions that may be more in line with the proposal outlined in the Phase 1 proposal described below. 

Another variation on Phase 1 (call it Phase 1b) could be, if both the State and Federal Governments are persuaded to allow capital dredge to be placed offshore (currently very unlikely), then the State could sell their 944 ha property at East Trinity to pay all dredging costs, with the proviso that the developer must resolve the current pollution problems on parts of this property.

Responding to comments by the previous State Member for Parliament, Gavin King, that East Trinity could not be developed for many years until the dredged spoil has settled, an alternative option is now presented.

Pending release of the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) report, it was stated that ‘500 hectares’ of East Trinity land will be required to place the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil.  Given the fact that the State-owned property at East Trinity is 943.6 ha, the residual 443.6 ha of property could be available for development immediately, noting 168 ha of this part is raised, affording grand views across the inlet to the CBD and hills beyond.

The original report has been updated to include a Phase 1 where half of the residual 443.6 ha is sold to one or more developers for a nominal sum, on the condition that the developer(s) pay all the costs of dredging, spoil treatment and associated costs, which the original report estimated at $125m.  However, as it is understood the Ports North EIS estimates these costs as between $200m and $250m, a midway figure of $225m is assumed.   The changes to the original report are shown in red.  An alternative with the same effect would be for the state to sell the land outright and use the proceeds to pay for the dredging and spoil treatment.  Phase 1 is estimated to produce a profit of $7m, although more land could be available which could enable the level of profit to be increased.  The updated report can be downloaded from Dredging and East Trinity opportunities, phased, 230115.

Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan

The Federal Government’s Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, released on 21 March 2015, includes the intention to: ‘mandate the beneficial reuse of port-related capital dredge spoil, such as land reclamation in port development areas, or disposal on land where it is environmentally safe to do so; [and] to establish a maintenance dredging framework which identifies future dredging requirements, ascertains appropriate environmental windows to avoid coral spawning and protect seagrass, and examines opportunities for beneficial reuse of dredge material or on-land disposal where it is environmentally safe to do so.’  Unfortunately the report becomes suspect when it introduces climate change alarmist ‘PC’ phrases such as ‘ocean acidification’, which are not included in the ‘glossary of commonly used terms’ and is an oxymoron anyway – all oceans are alkaline (PH about 8.1); it is physical impossibility for oceans to become acid, i.e. less than neutrality, about PH 7.  Recent government dredging decisions have been based on the Reef 2050 report, which states: ‘Dredging can either be capital dredging, for new channels and berths, or maintenance dredging, necessary to maintain existing and approved dredging areas.’  Port deepening: is NOT a ‘new channel’; it IS necessary ‘to maintain (an) existing and approved dredging area’; and maintenance dredging IS allowed.  See Reef 2050 plan excerpts.

During an interview by John MacKenzie with Federal MP Warren Entsch on John’s Talkback show, 18 March 2015, Warren described his proposals for the dredging and East Trinity which are identical to the proposal in the Phase 1 report.    Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has applauded the government’s move to ban the dumping of any capital dredge spoil in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park waters, but says it shouldn’t be news to Ports North in regards to their Port of Cairns dredge proposal.

Warren Entsch: “dredging critical for growth”

An article in Dredging News Online, 20 March, noted: ‘Entsch says land-based disposal  “dredging critical for growth”.  “I congratulate Environment Minister Greg Hunt for this decision, it’s something that I’ve been arguing for forever – even in regards to maintenance dredging going into the waters,” Mr Entsch said.  “I’ve always said that we have an obvious opportunity on East Trinity, it’s the perfect site for disposing of the dredge spoil.  “It provides us with an opportunity to bring the next stage of the development of Cairns closer to the CBD by developing a site that is only five minutes across the water.”  Mr Entsch said he couldn’t see why the option hasn’t already been factored in by Ports North.  “Greg Hunt has indicated for a long time that his preferred option for disposal is on land, and I have certainly conveyed this message to Ports North with every meeting I have had with them. So I don’t see any reasons why there would be delays as they have already considered a number of land-based options.”  Mr Entsch said it was critical that the dredging of Trinity Inlet take place. “Just look at the expansion of the cruise ship industry, which has been phenomenal. One of the large cruise companies is looking at Cairns as a home base, but that may never happen without dredging.  “While undoubtedly a land-based option will be more expensive, what needs to be factored in is the environmental benefits of taking the pressure off hill slopes as our city grows, and the economic benefits of reducing ribbon development as we head south past Gordonvale.  “Originally the plan was for 25,000 people at East Trinity, this can be expanded further to the adjoining land west of the Yarrabah road, allowing a significant increase in our population base. It also gives us a genuine second access to Cairns and would significantly improve connectivity between the Yarrabah community and the city.”  Mr Entsch said he understood that it would be several years before any dredge spoil at the site would have settled enough to be developed. “However there’s an opportunity to develop the adjoining areas in the meantime, and encourage private investment,” he said. “The end result is that it would significantly expand capacity close to our CBD and contain the city to a much smaller footprint.  “There’s been more than enough time for EIS to be assessed. I’d urge the new Queensland government to release it as soon as possible, so that the Cairns community can talk about the options.”

Achieving a failed promise at no cost to the taxpayer

One would imagine that achieving a failed promise made by the previous LNP Government at no cost to the taxpayer would be viewed very favourably by the new State Treasurer, Curtis Pitt (who has inherited a very serious budget deficit) as well as the new MP for Cairns, Rob Pyne.  Regrettably, complications arising from current charges relating to the State Government member for Cook, Billy Gordon, may delay the long-awaited release of the EIS report for public viewing.

Why the delay?

Consider the statement by The Honourable David Crisafulli MP, Ex Queensland State Member for Mundingburra and Minister for Local Government  on John MacKenzie’s talkback radio 23rd January, a week before the State election:

…We do need to find a way to get that dredging done.  Now, there has been every roadblock put up that could possibly happen….. (details and context below).

Note: the Liberal National Party (LNP) was swept from power in a rout at the Queensland State election on 31 January 2015, to be replaced by Labor (ALP)  in a coalition with an  independent member and Katter party members.  To date, in addressing the dredging EIS, the four local Cairns region Labor candidates said only that they will await the EIS release before making any related decisions.   It may be relevant that the Labor Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, is the local Mulgrave  member and won his seat comfortably.  So, back to all in limbo, but with different people in charge!  It may also be relevant that the previous Cairns Member, Gavin King, who consistently spoke in almost sycophantic support of Ports North’s plans, lost his seat in a landslide.

Surely the general public has a right to know exactly what these ‘roadblocks’ noted by David Crisafulli are; not just hinting at dark secrets that sound more like a conspiracy.   Hopefully all will be revealed shortly by the new Labor Government and its four local members.

Who gains by delaying the EIS?

  • It would probably be quicker and easier for Ports North to dump the dredged spoil in the proposed extended area at the end of the Trinity Inlet Channel (if some-one else pays).  However, this is at odds with the Labor State Government’s view as well as Federal Government and the previous LNP State Government views and directives.
  • Both the Cairns Regional Council and all those involved in the sudden recent announcement of the  major residential development at Mount Peter would likely be very averse to competition from another residential development a few kilometres away at East Trinity.
  • Last year (2014) the CRC Mayor, Bob Manning, expressed his belief that the spoil should be placed at sea, and that the State-owned land at East Trinity should not be involved in the dredging project at this time.

There is a general rule that invariably assists resolution that first came to prominence in All the President’s Men (1976), Deep Throat: ‘Just follow the money trail.’  The three points above give rise to further questions:

  • Who are the ‘road-blockers’ that David Crisafulli (see above) refers to?
  • Exactly what ‘roadblocks’ would detractors be likely to put up?
  • Are there significant connections between the un-named ‘road-blockers’?
  • How much would genuine competition from an additional residential development  improve related outcomes for future residents?
  • What will a Labor Queensland State Government do, given that three local members are now Labor (the fourth, Billy Gordon is now independent but likely to align with Labor), including the likely Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, who has the residual of the previous Labor Government’s massive budget deficit to tackle?  Note: It is the Coordinator General’s role to assess the EIS, but it seems likely that the outcome will now be influenced by Labor’s plans and may be less influenced by current ‘road-blocks’ (see John MacKenzie’s talkback radio 23 January, below). 
  • Will new Cairns State Member, Rob Pyne, be able to fulfil his intention to expedite release of the EIS (see article in Cairns Post, 3 January, below)?

 “It’s just unaffordable …”

Gavin King, previous Member of Parliament for the Queensland state seat of Cairns, commented on the TV7 news on 15 August: “It’s just unaffordable, certainly in the short-term.  Unless either the private sector or the Feds come across with some dollars.” 

Both proposals (see links above  to download the reports)  respond to Gavin King’s comment:  The private sector could  ‘come across’ with all the costs for the dredging by buying the dredging spoil, a valuable resource, as part of the overall development of East Trinity.  Unless there are material errors in the reports assessments, they both demonstrate the dredging:

  • Could be ‘affordable’;
  • Could be achieved at no net cost to taxpayers;
  • Could avoiding widespread concerns about dumping huge amounts of spoil near the Great  Barrier Reef; and
  • Would make a major contribution to Cairn’s economy including allowing large cruise and other ships to enter Cairns port.

3. Articles and letters in the Cairns Post

15 May

TWO senior State Government ministers are not ruling out developing the Port of Cairns, including dredging.  Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt and State Development Minister Anthony Lynham are calling on Ports North to re-examine their Environmental Impact Statement on dredging Trinity Inlet shipping channel.  Dredging has been ruled out on economic and environmental grounds by the government, with sea dredge spoil dumping estimated to cost $100 million and land based $365 million.  “What we’ve said is that this EIS doesn’t rule out future port development, what it does is say the options that are on the table … are not viable options,” Mr Pitt said.  “What we’ve said is that Ports North, as the proponent can go back, recast that EIS and make another proposal which has an emphasis on onshore disposal.  CONDITIONS: State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said any dredging of Trinity Inlet would have to include land-based spoil disposal at Ports North’s cost.  “It could mean that they need to change focus from being on large cruise shipping to ensure they can look at a suite of works that may need to happen in terms of future port expansion.”  He said that might include expanding the Reef Fleet terminal, a barge ramp or a wharf expansion.  Dr Lyneham said any dredging would have to include land-based spoil disposal at Ports North’s cost.  The Cairns Regional Council has called on the government to defer a final decision on channel dredging and to re-examine the proposal.  Ports North declined to comment.  Royal Caribbean International commercial director Sean Treacy, who was in Cairns yesterday preparing for the visit of the giant Legend of the Seas cruise ship next month, would not be drawn on the dredging issue.  He said the company would continue to work with governments and ports on the best way for their ships to visit.  Mr Treacy said the practise of using tender boats to transport passengers to shore at Yorkeys Knob was common for the company throughout the world.

14 May

A letter to the Cairns Post Editor: Mr Hitchcock’s letter, 9-5, stated ‘Peter Senior’s opinion piece (2-5) is very misleading’.  This letter responds to some points in his letter.  Far from being misleading, I have provided credible evidence for every point I made in my opinion piece.  Warren Entsch, in his article also on 9-5, congratulated me for my ‘very considered contribution’.

Mr Hitchcock is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.  For instance, a 1942 photo on Warren Entsch’s office wall shows the East Trinity site, far from being ‘largely rehabilitated wetlands’, was mainly salt-pans and grasslands, similar to Portsmith. 

Mr Hitchcock had attended last December’s meeting of the local Volunteer Fire Brigade, he would have heard the overwhelming support for the dredging and East Trinity reclamation – except, of course, from the CAFNEC attendee.

If Mr Hitchcock and his colleagues had not strong-armed Peter Beattie’s government into cancelling the approval for the proposed world-class Royal Reef Resort at East Trinity, which included resolving all pollution problems, then Beattie’s Government would not have had to pay $10m of tax-payers money to NatWest Bank, plus the continuing maintenance costs.

6 May

A letter to the Cairns Post Editor: ‘For the Queensland Government and Ports North not to reconsider immediately their policy decision not to dredge Trinity Inlet and allow continuing expansion of the Port and the economic development of our City defies all logic.  Overwhelming evidence in the draft EIS giving scientific advice that an alternative off shore dump site is suitable and would not be damaging to the Great Barrier Reef and the environment.  Alternatively the EIS preferred site for on shore disposal area, a section of the 10 sq km East Trinity freehold property owned by the State Government, must be given greater consideration.  This is more important following the reported statements from the highly qualified Engineer and Consultant, Peter Senior published on Saturday last where he detailed the potential revenue to the State from development of that property could cover the entire cost of the dredging operation and secure a future suburban growth area for the City only one km from the CBD.’

2 May

An article in the Cairns Post was heavily edited from the submitted copy.   The article below shows words as-published in black, with the words edited out in red:

The Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Environmental Impact Statement draft report (EIS) was released on Saturday 18 April.

  State Government Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that, on the basis of the draft EIS, the state government had decided against approving the proposed Trinity Inlet dredging.

  The overwhelming reaction of numerous callers on Cairns’ radio talkback was extreme dismay and disillusionment.

  Most Cairns people are now thoroughly confused.   Little wonder as there are so many conflicting views and reports.

  This article presents a summary of the main factors relating to the proposed dredging and draft EIS, then proposes a way forward.

  The economic analysis presented in the draft EIS report indicates the dredging project has a very strong benefit-cost ratio, with additional income benefits to Cairns over 25 years estimated in present values, with future benefits discounted at 7% per annum, totalling $1.3 Billion.

  The $4.2m draft EIS is just that: a ‘draft’.  Proper process requires a draft EIS to be published, inviting submissions to the Coordinator General’s office for consideration, then a final EIS.  The Coordinator General then required by law to send[s] a recommendation to the government.  No final EIS exists, so presumably the Government has not received the recommendation.  What then is the government’s decision based on?  Many articles in main stream media focus on alarmist reports and views.  For example, TV7 local news often shows a video with brown water around a dredge.

  This video, provided and paid for by ‘green’ organisations, clearly suggests pollution.

  The major objectors to the proposed dredging comprise four broad groupings:

  • People who believe the scaremongering, many of whom genuinely care about the environment, some with almost religious fervour;
  • A few shrill extreme environmentalists who are anti-development (recall their attempts to prevent Skyrail);
  • Unelected organisations with other agendas such as the UN, WWF and Greenpeace (UNFCCC’s Christiana Figueres said: “We are setting ourselves the task.. to change the [world’s] economic development model”);
  • Several government departments such as GBRMPA (GBRMPA’s alarmist GBR 2014 report largely blamed climate change for their dire forecasts concerning the Great Barrier Reef,  mentioning ‘climate change’ 365 times).

  The draft EIS estimates off-shore sea disposal would cost about $100m.  [Some] Reports based on scientific evidence conclude disposal near shore would not be harmful or environmentally damaging.

  The EIS Terms of Reference includes: ‘Provide descriptions of all feasible alternative land-based spoil disposal.’  And ‘Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project.’

  The report selects the 964.3 ha state-owned East Trinity site as the preferred option for land-based spoil disposal.  Most of that area was in continual agricultural production since the first survey in 1894.

  CSR purchased the property in 1971 and expanded it by constructing a bund wall, then re-contouring the area into productive cane fields. [But when] Cane production [became] was uneconomical, so the land was sold to developers.

  The report notes ‘In the early 1990s a proposal to develop a satellite city on the site attracted community attention, but failed to gain approval. In 2000, the Queensland Government purchased the site.’  More accurately, the Royal Reef Resort proposal for this site was approved in 1995.

  But the Labor State government succumbed to persuasion from green pressure-groups and overrode the approval.

  The developer went into receivership.  National Westminster Bank commenced legal action against the State, resulting in a $10m out-of-court settlement.

  The draft EIS assesses placing spoil on 518 ha of low land at East Trinity.

  This area is highly degraded, costing about $500,000 for annual maintenance that has failed to fix the degradation.

  CSIRO advice to cover this area with spoil was ignored.  The report’s benefit-cost of developing this 518 ha concludes development would be uneconomical.

  The whole site comprises 518 ha plus partly-raised 428 ha.  The latter could be developed immediately, but the report ignores this option.

  Applying figures from the report to developing the 428 ha area indicates sufficient profit to pay for all the dredging and treatment costs, leaving the 518 ha to be developed later.  The report also ignores related benefits such as providing work for Yarrabah people, and funding potential tourist trails on adjacent wetlands.

  It seems the State and Federal governments is unlikely to be convinced that evidence-based science concludes responsible near-shore dumping of spoil would not be detrimental to the reef – political factors appear to outweigh evidence.

  Cairns now urgently needs a credible and visionary leader to assemble a well-respected team to develop as soon as possible a new proposal to achieve the many benefits to Cairns that will accrue when the dredging is completed.

  Optimising port operations and tourist potential is critical to Cairns’ future.  Surely an option that meets environmental standards and is self-funding, or requires minor taxpayer funding, would be acclaimed by our state government?

30 April

Crawford backs dredging on Trinity Inlet. BARRON River MP Craig Crawford has broken political ranks to back the dredging of Trinity Inlet. He says the widening and deepening of the channel to accommodate larger cruise ships may not happen in the short term, but needs to happen eventually – as long as the Queensland Government has the money to fund it. “I would like to see it happen. What’s restricting us at the moment is certainly the finances for it,’’ he said. The Palaszczuk Government dumped the Cairns Shipping Development Project about two weeks ago, saying there was no economic or environmental case for it. The draft environmental impact statement for the project stated the minimum cost would be $100 million, but only if the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil was dumped offshore. It would cost an estimated $365 million for land-based disposal options. The LNP had committed $40 million for the project. Mr Crawford believed the dredging of the port could still go ahead, if more research was done on the income generation associated with the cruise industry. “The projection for cruising in Cairns is certainly good, pushing out into 2025, that sort of thing,’’ he said. “We don’t have to do this thing this year, and we certainly don’t have to do this sort of thing next year. “This is not a situation right now where if we don’t dredge the inlet right now, we’re going to miss the boat totally on these sorts of things. “We’ve got a window, so in time, hopefully we can get what we need. At the moment, the restriction is money.” He said he had faith the Labor Cabinet had made the right decision to knock back the proposal. “Coming into the campaign with this government, there was a lot of election commitments given by all sides and a lot of discussion with all groups about financial management and debt reduction and all things like that,’’ he said. “Now we’ve got a Treasurer who’s working on that and obviously trying to make sound financial decisions. “Throwing $365 million at dredging the inlet tomorrow probably wouldn’t be one of his best financial decisions. So I trust him in that, but I do want to see this done at some point in the future, when it’s right.” Treasurer and Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt said since the EIS was announced, he’d made it clear alternative proposals for port expansion and other initiatives to support the cruise ship industry in Cairns may be considered. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates invited Mr Crawford to contact the centre to be told about the potential environmental impact of the dredging.

 27  April

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning responds to Rob Pyne’s dredging Facebook rant. Share.  FIGHTING WORDS: Cairns mayor Bob Manning has hit back at a dredging social media spray by Cairns MP Rob Pyne, urging residents to respond to the released EIS in the hopes people power will put it back on the agenda.  CAIRNS mayor Bob Manning has hit back at a dredging social media spray by Cairns MP Rob Pyne, urging residents to respond to the released draft EIS in the hopes people power will put it back on the agenda.  Last week Mr Pyne took to Facebook to slam the “big end of town” and vow the project “will not happen”.  He later stood by the comments and said health and education services should take priority.  But Mr Manning took a swipe back, warning such statements could be unpopular with the electorate.  “When you get involved in any form of political life people will judge you,” he said.  “The saying is the public always gets it right and in three years they will make their decision.”  Mr Manning has already called for the $40 million slated for the project to remain in Cairns.  But Mr Pyne said yesterday he was unaware the money was even available.  “Is there $40 million? If there is of course I want it spent in Cairns,” he said.  “But if there is $40 million I want it spent on a special school, I want it spent on a unit for brain injuries.”  Last week Mr Pyne took to Facebook to slam the “big end of town” and vow the project “will not happen”. The public have been given until June 1 to respond to the EIS and Mr Manning said it was vital people were aware of its conclusions.  He said he would never support anything that put the Great Barrier Reef or rainforest in jeopardy and believed the study affirmed neither were in trouble.  Industry group Cruise Down Under is urging the Government to consider the economic benefits of dredging of about $1.3 billion.  CDU general manager Jill Abel said a study showed cruise ships injected $12.6 million into the city’s economy in 2013-14.  “Here is an industry that wants to bring tourists and their spending to Far North Queensland in large numbers,” Ms Abel said.  “Having recently returned from our key international trade event, Cruise Shipping Miami, the message is very clear that Cairns is a must-see destination from a passenger perspective, and integral to the eastern seaboard itineraries.”

25 April

Rob Pyne’s rant against business is unfounded.  Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician.  CAIRNS MP Rob Pyne’s outburst against the business sector is about as undiplomatic as you’ll ever see from a politician.  The ALP member has been elected to represent everyone in the community – to single out a sector that employs tens of thousands of workers is foolish, if not naive and inflammatory. Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, cargo vessels and navy ships to Cairns and provided a $1.3 billion boost to the economy as well as lucrative taxes and other government fees this administration desperately needs. The Cairns Chamber of Commerce and Advance Cairns have called for the original $40 million promised for the work to be quarantined and even be used for a smaller dredging project.  But Mr Pyne wants none of that.  He prefers the money to be spent on health, something that is needed, but an area that does not create as many new jobs or generate money.  He really starts off badly by describing business as the “big end of town” and then his Facebook rant continues with “your unsustainable, unfunded and illogical ‘capital dredge proposal’ will not fly. It does not stack up and it will not happen”.  He then goes on to say that he is only interested in improved health, education, training, disability, community and sporting opportunities for the “ordinary people” of Cairns.  Industry and commerce quite rightly supports the dredging of Trinity Inlet because it would have brought bigger cruise liners, but Cairns MP Rob Pyne believes it will only suit “the big end of town”. Mr Pyne singles out “Tories” (conservatives) and says he will only deal with health board chairman and conservative Bob Norman.  The post also contains a photo of a man lighting a cigar with an American banknote.  Mr Pyne’s criticism is sure to alienate a large section of the community and appears to show he is not concerned about business, the sector which employs the most people in his electorate and produces the billions of dollars needed to keep the economy humming.  It’s no secret that the city’s economy continues to struggle and still needs a major project such as Aquis or the Aspial towers to start as soon as possible.  Fortunately his colleague, Mulgrave MP and State Treasurer Curtis Pitt, has a far better grasp of what makes this city tick and will achieve a lot more than Mr Pyne’s list of priorities.  At least our business leaders have shown the sense not to react to his surge of illogical rage.

20 April

LNP spent $4.2 million on failed Cairns Trinity Inlet dredge study. DREDGE DIFFICULTY: A huge amount of money was spent on finding out dredging Trinity Inlet is not feasible. TAXPAYERS forked out $4.2 million for a study which strongly found against the dredging of Trinity Inlet. [Editor’s note: these first two paragraphs are totally incorrect.] The State Opposition’s infrastructure spokesman Tim Nicholls yesterday revealed how much the Newman government contributed to the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which was knocked back by Labor on Friday. The long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the widening and deepening of the city’s shipping channel was released on Friday, showing there was no environmental nor economic case for the project. The 3000-page report stated the minimum cost of the project would be $100 million – but only if the 4.4 million cubic metres of spoil was dumped offshore. Both parties have committed to preventing dredge spoil from being dumping within Great Barrier Reef waters. The LNP promised $40 million towards the project in 2012 as an election commitment. In a statement yesterday, Mr Nicholls said it was disappointing the Palaszczuk Government was “pandering to the Greens” with no thought or plan on how it would open up tourism or boost the economy and jobs in the Far North. “The money spent on this project is an investment in the future of Cairns and unfortunately the Treasurer has dismissed this project too quickly without looking at all the options or considering funding partnerships with the private sector,’’ he said. The former Queensland treasurer said with the ever-increasing size of new cruise ships, it was essential the port was positioned to respond. “Dredging Trinity Inlet would have provided access for larger cruise ships, boosting economic and tourism benefits for the region,’’ he said. “It is now on Labor to detail what their plan is to bolster and support industry, tourism and create jobs in Cairns.” He said the report was not released before the election as the Co-ordinator-General had to take into account the changing Federal Government position on dredge spoil dumping. His spokeswoman did not respond when asked if the LNP would still push for the dredging of Trinity Inlet. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates said the project was never necessary, never environmentally responsible, and did not represent a good use of taxpayers’ money. “The fact is that there is no need to expand the port for larger cruise ships, which continue to visit Cairns transporting passengers to shore at Yorkeys Knob,’’ he said. “We have welcomed the State and Federal governments’ commitment to put a stop to new dredge spoil dumping offshore in the Great Barrier Reef marine park. “This ban should be extended to all World Heritage areas to address dumping elsewhere in Queensland.” He said while the Government had ruled out funding the project and released the EIS for legal reasons, it was still important for people to have their say on the project.

JCU Trinity Inlet dredge report tells of damage. RULED OUT: Increased dredging of Trinity Inlet to allow larger cruise ships to dock in Cairns has been quashed by a number of sources. An independent study into the economic benefits of cruise shipping has revealed the industry would be of little-to-no benefit in Cairns. The findings have been released after an unrelated State Government review rejected a plan to grant extra dredging permits for Trinity Inlet to allow “mega” cruise liners to dock in Cairns. James Cook University’s report into the economic opportunities and risk of cruise tourism in Cairns, which will be released today, concludes that even if every person onboard a major cruise liner made a day trip to the reef or Kuranda, the net benefit for local companies would be negligible. The $10,000 study was commissioned by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS). “The price of a shore excursion purchased onboard is typically marked up between 70 per cent to 200 per cent, with less than half that amount paid to excursion operators,” the report states. “The swift arrival and departure of high volumes of cruise passengers can put pressure on local tourism capacities, degrade the natural resources upon which they depend, and lower the overall level of tourist satisfaction.” The report states the average spend of an international cruise passenger in Cairns is about $200 a day, 66 per cent higher than domestic tourists. It comes just days after the Palaszczuk government released a 3000-page scientific report showing that dredging the inlet would do untold environmental damage. AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director Felicity Wishart said the report showed dredging was not necessary for the Cairns tourism economy to access the benefits of the cruise industry. “Dredging … could result in serious damage to the environment – which is the reason people want to come here in the first place,’’ she said. Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews, who read the government’s EIS yesterday, said there was no consideration of the impact of ships not being able to offload passengers at the current facilities at Yorkeys Knob due to bad weather. “The researcher has not spoken to any of the cruise lines,’’ he said. “Their information is taken from annual reports, they acknowledge that some of their data cannot be verified.” Ports North chairman Brett Moller said dredging could only proceed if it was fully funded by government and “the Queensland Government has indicated that it will not be funding the project.” Cairns Chamber of Commerce CEO Deb Hancock still backed expansion of Trinity Inlet to attract larger vessels. “While the Government’s decision is not to proceed with the port expansion project, the allocated funds should be used to develop portside or other infrastructure for our future economic development.”

18  April

Trinity Inlet dredging canned after Environmental Impact Statement raises issues.  CAIRNS’ potential as a mega-cruise ship and navy hub is sunk after the State Government used environmental and financial factors to stop the required dredging of Trinity Inlet.  The move is sure to anger business leaders hoping for more cruise passengers in Cairns. Treasurer Curtis Pitt yesterday released the long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement which he said showed there was no case in favour of dredging. “The $40 million the Newman Government committed to the project in 2012 was politically cynical and misleading because it was never enough to make the project viable,” he said. “The proposal, which includes dumping dredge spoil at sea, would cost more than $100 million and the land-based dumping options about $365 million.” Releasing the document is a legislative requirement but the Newman administration refused to make it public prior to the January election. LACKING BENEFIT: Treasurer Curtis Pitt yesterday released the long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement into dredging Trinity Inlet, which he said showed there was no case in favour of dredging. Mr Pitt said he wanted Queenslanders to have an accurate understanding of the economic costs and environmental impacts of dredging. “This EIS highlights the Newman government’s reckless disregard for the one of Queensland’s most valuable assets, the Great Barrier Reef,” he said. “It was never fully funded and anyone who looks at the proposal and its environmental and economic impacts can see why the government is not proceeding with it. “The Palaszczuk Government opposes the recommended option in the draft EIS to dump dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.” Ports North had proposed to widen and deepen the Port of Cairns channel in Trinity Inlet to allow the future expansion of the HMAS Cairns naval base and accommodate mega-class cruise ships. Great Barrier Reef Minister Steven Miles accused the LNP of having “complete disdain for Queensland’s environment” and putting election pledges ahead of sound economic policy. “We’re not going to waste $40 million subsidising a dredging project which has now been exposed as environmentally and economically unsustainable,” he said. “The money the LNP wanted to waste on this unviable project would be far better spent on frontline services or job-generating projects, including initiatives in Far North Queensland.” HOPES DASHED: Ports North had proposed to widen and deepen the Port of Cairns channel in Trinity Inlet to allow the future expansion of the HMAS Cairns naval base and accommodate mega-class cruise ships. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE Source: News Corp Australia. The Great Barrier Reef supports about 70,000 full time jobs and contributes $5.7 billion a year to the Australian economy. State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said on that basis alone the dredging proposal had no merit. “When people look at the EIS they will see why the only option is to discontinue the project,” he said. “That’s why the government, in line with its election commitment, has decided to withdraw the money allocated by the Newman government. “The Great Barrier Reef needs to be protected not only as a unique natural wonder, but also because of its economic importance.” Copies of the EIS will be available at the Cairns City Library from April 20 to June 1. Electronic copies can be ordered by phoning 4052 3888. To lodge a submission on the draft plan, click here.

23 March

A Letter to the Editor in the Cairns Post 20 March: The article ‘Port EIS release delayed – Labor tardiness questioned’ (18-03) is very worrying.    The Cairns Post is to be congratulated for requesting a copy of the draft EIS under the Right to Information laws, subsequently denied by the Coordinator General.  The department says there is an “intrinsic responsibility” to not disclose this multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded EIS.    Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne notes this denial is “undemocratic”.  The delay and denial are also disgraceful and completely unacceptable.    It appears that a tiff between Ports North and the Coordinator General has somehow managed to delay progressing this project and the major economic benefits it will bring to Cairns.    The question must be asked: who is running our government?  A few unelected bureaucrats, or our elected representatives?  Hopefully this denial will be a catalyst to force immediate progress of this vital project.

 20 March

An article in the Cairns Post 20 March: Cairns Post article 200315

19 March

An article in the Cairns Post 19 March: A REPORT into the potential dredging of Cairns Port is expected to be publicly released “within weeks”. Cairns MP Rob Pyne has spoken with Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham about the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which has been locked away by the government since late last year. The Minister’s department blocked the release of the taxpayer-funded document after it was requested under Right To Information laws by the Cairns Post. Mr Pyne said Dr Lynham gave him an undertaking the 3000-page report would be released publicly after an upcoming Cabinet meeting. He could not say, however, how soon that would be, instead saying he would be “disappointed” if it was any longer than the next two months. “All I can say is it’ll be tabled over coming weeks and discussed by Cabinet, and then made public,’’ he said. Mr Pyne had previously questioned the department’s transparency but said the latest development had restored his faith in the Labor ­Government. He said the Far Northern community needed the report to inform the debate about whether Trinity Inlet should be widened and deepened to attract larger cruise ships to the region. “We need to look at the report and look at whether it actually stacks up,’’ he said. “I think the report will tell us if such expenditure would be supported or such an investment would stack up, in terms of benefits to the Cairns ­community. “It will, very importantly, look at any environmental costs as well.” Ports North submitted the EIS to the Queensland Coordinator-General and the Federal Government’s Department of Environment late last year. The Newman administration didn’t allow the document’s release before the January election. Cairns and Far North Environment Centre director Angelika Ziehrl welcomed the EIS finally being made public. “CAFNEC is looking forward to this finally being released so the public and CAFNEC can comb through it,’’ she said. Green groups have raised concerns the large quantity of sediment generated by dredging could impact the marine environment.

18 March

Two Cairns Post articles, 18 March: Cairns MP Rob Pyne questions government decision to block port study from public release.  THE transparency of the Queensland Government has been questioned by one of its own Labor MPs after it blocked the release of the ­report into the proposed dredging of Cairns Port. The Department of State Development has denied The Cairns Post’s request under Right to Information laws for a copy of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cairns Shipping Development Project.  The long-awaited report was due to be released for public comment late last year but is still under consideration by the Co-ordinator General.  The department says there is an “intrinsic responsibility” to not disclose the taxpayer-funded EIS, which the Co-ordinator General needs to be satisfied adequately covers the terms of reference.  “The information was ­received in circumstances which would make it unacceptable conduct for the ­receiver to disclose the information in a way the giver has not authorised,’’ a departmental officer wrote.  Once the Co-ordinator ­approves the EIS, it will be ­released for public and state government advisory agency consultation for six weeks.  The Newman Government committed to fully funding the EIS as part of its $40 million investment in the project.  Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne said for the department to deny the document’s release under RTI was “undemocratic.”  “These things need to be transparent and the document should be released for people to talk about,’’ he said.  Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews said it was in the ­region’s best interests to see the report, to have a way forward for the dredging project.  The Office of the Co-ordinator General did not respond to questions about when the report would be released.

Future in the balance.  Far Northern leaders are adamant the region’s economic future hinges on a plan to develop the Cairns Port.  The Cairns shipping Development Project promises to inject $634  million of 25 years into the local economy and create more jobs by dredging the Trinity Inlet to accommodate large cruise ships.  But complete bans on sea dumping proposed by the state and federal government could jeopardize the project.  Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said a land site must be found for dredge spoil, no matter what the cost.  Cairns Mayor Bob Manning was confident port development and a healthy reef could co-exist. “It’s inevitable that our region is going to grow and it’s inevitable the port will need to grow”, he said.

11 March

Cairns Post article, 11 March: ‘New bid to release Inlet EIS.  The time for talking about releasing the Trinity Inlet Environmental Impact Study into dredging is over, according to Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews.  And Cairns MP Rob Pyne agrees.  Both have been in discussions for release of the document which is stuck in the Coordinator General’s office.  “As an organisation we have been calling on government to release the EIS and get on with it,” Mr Matthews said.  “We asked for that in our early engagement with government and in my first meeting with Rob, so we expect that will be forthcoming.”  Mr Pyne has been applying what political pressure he can and insists he won’t be stone-walled.  “I wrote, emailed and phoned requesting its release last month and I’ll do that again today,” Mr Pyne said.  “Some people have foregone conclusions about what they want to see happen in the inlet, but I want the EIS released so those people who are thoughtful can read it and base their opinions on something that has rigorous content.”  Ports North submitted the EIS to the Queensland Coordinator General and the Federal Government’s Department of environment in November last year.  The Newman administration didn’t allow the document’s release before the January election.  The new Labour Government is yet to make a move on the document.’

9 March

A letter in the Cairns Post on 9 March noted: ‘Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has stated that strategic assets will be retained, but ‘assets such as unused land and vacant buildings will go under the hammer.’  Perhaps Ms Trad includes the 946.3 ha (that’s nearly 10 square kilometres) State-owned unused land at East Trinity?  The proceeds from this sale could well pay all the costs of dredging the Trinity Inlet Channel as well as providing land to place the dredging spoil.  It appears that only about 500 ha will be required for the spoil, so there is ample land left to sell to developers to pay for the dredging.  Perhaps this is what Jackie Trad is flagging?’

 27 February

Cairns Post article, 27 February:  Still no word on Cairns port Environmental Impact Statement. The release of a long-awaited study into the dredging of Cairns’ port has been further stalled by the new Queensland Government. It’s now been five months since the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Cairns Shipping Development Project was last expected to be made public. The state’s Co-ordinator General has now delayed the report’s release, citing the Palaszczuk Government’s policy on dredging within the Great Barrier Reef marine park needs to be taken into account. Prior to the state election, the ALP committed to preventing dredge spoil associated with the project being dumped within the marine park. A Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning spokesman said the 3000-page document would not be released at this stage. “The implications of the new State Government’s policy statements and position on the project need to be taken into account,’’ he said. “In particular, the Co-ordinator General is seeking the advice of the proponent on how it intends to meet the government’s commitment of no sea-disposal.” Cairns MP Rob Pyne, who previously vowed to make the report public, said he would continue to push for the study’s release. “As we speak I’ve emailed the minister requesting its release and awaiting reply,’’ he said. “How can you have an intelligent public discussion if this information isn’t made public?” Widening and deepening of Trinity Inlet will allow the city to accommodate larger cruise vessels in its main channel. Ports North has proposed to remove 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge material from the inlet and deposit it either at sea or on land. One of the sites under consideration for dumping the sediment is inside the Great Barrier Reef marine park. Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for the Great Barrier Reef, Steven Miles, said the Co-ordinator General was assessing if the EIS was “adequate and suitable” for public release. “The Government was elected on a platform of protecting the Great Barrier Reef, which I know is important to many Cairns residents and the Cairns economy,’’ he said. “Consequently, the Government will not support any proposal that involves the dumping of dredge spoil offshore. “I would expect that the Ports North EIS has included a land-based disposal option (Editor’s note: assessment of land-based options is a requirement of the EIS Terms of Reference – see below). “When the EIS is released for public comment my department will assess the project and provide advice to the Co-ordinator-General.” Cairns and Far North Environment Centre marine programs co-ordinator Josh Coates said the project should be shelved.

3 February

An article in the Cairns Post, 3 February:  CAIRNS MP Rob Pyne has vowed to publicly release a study into the dredging of Trinity Inlet – as long as he has the power to.  The former Cairns Regional councillor has cemented Labor’s commitment to preventing 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil associated with the Cairns Shipping Development project from being disposed within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.  Mr Pyne also said if his party formed government he would endeavour to publicly release the long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement – which despite being completed late last year, has yet to see the light of day.  “If I have the power to make it public, I will make it public,’’ he said.  “The public paid for (the report).”  He said his opinion of the project, to widen and deepen the city’s main shipping channel, was that it still “needed to stack up”.  Ports North has proposed to remove dredge material from the inlet and deposit it either at sea or on land.  Sites under consideration for dumping of the material include East Trinity, Admiralty Island, on cane land in southern Cairns near the inlet, along the Esplanade and near the Cairns Airport.  Five offshore sites were also under consideration, including areas within the marine park.  Queensland’s former Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney late last week blamed Ports North for the delay in releasing the project’s EIS, which was initially expected to happen in September.  In a brief statement yesterday, Ports North chairman Brett Moller said the authority had submitted the draft EIS to the Queensland Co-ordinator General last year.

30 January 2015

An article in the Cairns Post, 28 January:  ‘DEPUTY Premier Jeff Seeney has blamed Ports North for the delay in releasing a study into the potential dredging of Trinity Inlet.  The Environmental Impact Statement, which will determine whether the deepening and widening of Cairns’ port should proceed, has still not been made public by the government.  The draft EIS for the project, which involves the removal and disposal of 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the channel, was initially expected to be released in September after being submitted to the Co-ordinator General.  Mr Seeney, who visited the Tableland yesterday on the election trail, told The Cairns Post he did not know when the EIS would be released.  The Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning said Ports North had not yet addressed Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s new regulations to ban dredge spoil dumping in the Great Barrier Reef marine park.  “The Federal Minister took a decision in relation to offshore disposal,’’ he said.  “So we had to go back to the proponents and say, well the Federal Minister has said this is the situation and you have to address that situation in your application.”  He said the EIS did not need to be rewritten, only one particular section of the report.  “That section of the EIS that deals with the disposal of the material now needs to look at other disposal options, be it further out to sea or on land or whatever,’’ he said.  He could not say when the report would be completed or released.  Ports North refused to answer questions yesterday about whether it had resubmitted its EIS, and what – if anything – it needed to change in the report to address the Federal Government’s new regulations.’

28 January 2015

A letter to the Cairns Post Editor, 28 January, noted: ‘Dear Editor, ‘Resort project promised all help Newman can give’ (24-01).  Good one, Premier!  Most Cairns people are very frustrated about yet another delay of the dredging EIS.  The LNP will lose many votes if they tell us nothing before the election except that we’ll just have keep waiting.  Most Cairns people support ruling out dumping spoil at sea.  In any case there is a much better alternative: pump the spoil on to the lower 500 ha of the State-owned property at East Trinity, and sell some of the residual 446 ha to pay for the dredging and treatment costs.   This will also enable fixing the pollution there, as recommended by the CSIRO.’ 

‘How about two more promises, Premier?  Commit to supporting pumping the dredging spoil on to the State-owned property at East Trinity if the final EIS recommends this, and repeat your previous promise to fund up to $90 million dollars if necessary.’

12 January 2015

An article in the Cairns Post, 12 January, noted: Business leaders blast delay in vital dredging report.  A DECISION to delay the release of the long awaited Environmental Impact Statement for the dredging of Trinity Inlet to widen and deepen the shipping channel has been savaged by two leading business groups in Cairns. Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce have blasted the State ­Government for holding back its release until after the ­January 31 election. Originally it was earmarked for a September release last year but has been dogged by hold-ups. Dredging of the channel was an LNP election promise in 2012 with $40 million pledged towards the cost. At issue is whether to dump the spoil at sea, which is cheaper, or on land. Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the Co-ordinator General was currently considering the Trinity Inlet EIS. “As the Co-ordinator General adheres to caretaker conventions, the EIS will not be released during the election campaign,” he said. Advance Cairns chief executive Mark Matthews said the delay was frustrating. “While we appreciate the assessment process and the conventions of a caretaker government, it is disappointing to see that the only key election promise for Cairns made by the government prior to the previous election has yet to be fulfilled,” he said. “We have no entertainment precinct, no shipping development. Is the government serious about growth and prosperity in the north? “And if so, then let’s see a clear commitment and action to deliver major infrastructure projects for our region.” Chamber chief executive Deb Hancock said the decision was “very disappointing”. “It’s very convenient to hide behind the conventions of a caretaker government,” she said. Ms Hancock said the ­government would have known when the election was to be called and “made a conscious decision not to release the information”. “It was an election promise (in 2012) and they have failed the community,” she said. “We would like to hear how the LNP government will continue economic growth, particularly in the shipping area.” She said the LNP had three years to honour the promise, which included a $40 million funding commitment. “They have taken no action with regard to implementation and even to make a decision,” Ms Hancock said. Tourism Tropical North Queensland declined to ­comment.’

6 January 2015

Another article in the Cairns Post, 6 January, noted: ‘THE Queensland Government has been urged to release a study into the potential dredging of Cairns Port before the State election is called (Editor’s note: the election was called for 31st January later that same morning), or shelve the project completely.  The draft EIS for the project, which involves the removal and disposal of 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the channel, was initially expected to be released in September (Editor’s note: the first release date promised was May 2014, then September, then ‘the end of the 2014’ – after missing all 3 promises, no date has been announced since). In a statement yesterday, however, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the report was still being assessed by the Co-ordinator General. “The EIS process is rigorous, thorough and undertaken without political interference,’’ he said. Before the 2012 election, the Newman Government committed to dredging Trinity Inlet so larger cruise liners could enter and dock at the Port of Cairns. Advance Cairns CEO Mark Matthews said the LNP had yet to honour its commitment. “I think it’s beyond the time,” he said. “If it can’t go, it can’t happen, then let’s say it can’t happen and let’s get on with it. “The dragging on of this whole process causes a lot of confusion.” ‘

6 November 2014

Another article in the Cairns Post (6-11-14) was very supportive of expediting dredging the Trinity Inlet.  The article covering the visiting National Geographic MV Orion, with about 100 passengers disembarking, noted: ‘One of the world’s leading adventure travel companies is willing to bring more of its fleet to Cairns if the city’s shipping channel development goes ahead. ….. Australian business development director, Jeremy Lindblad, said if Trinity Inlet could be widened and deepened the company would look at bringing more of its vessels to Cairns.’

11 November 2014

Another article in the Cairns Post (11-11-14) reported: ‘Labor environment spokesman Mark Butler vows to stop dredge spoil dumping on Great Barrier Reef off Cairns.  FEDERAL Labor has committed to preventing dredge spoil from entering Great Barrier Reef waters if the Cairns ­Shipping Development project goes ahead.  The ALP announced yesterday, if re-elected, it would impose a ban on capital dredge spoil being dumped in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.  The Federal Opposition’s environment spokesman Mark Butler, in Cairns yesterday with his Queensland counterpart Jackie Trad, said 4.4 million cubic metres of dredge spoil associated with the widening and deepening of Trinity Inlet could only be dumped onshore.’

15  November 2014

More from the Cairns Post, 15  November: Secrecy shrouds Cairns Inlet dredge report  release.  …. Despite the office of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt being uncertain about whether dredge material from the channel expansion was included in a proposed ban, Mr Entsch said there was clarity on the policy. “We can be absolutely definitive that there is a new position on dredge spoil disposal,” Mr Entsch said. “Any new proposals will be subject to this and the Federal Government is currently setting out the legal frameworks and legislative instruments to accompany it. “We can be crystal clear on this….In addition, I’ve spoken to Minister Hunt about it many times and he is well aware that I am vehemently opposed to water-based disposal – it will happen over my dead body.” ’

 23 April 2014

Another Cairns Post article, 23 April, spelt out The Federal Government’s thinking, preceding Labor environment spokesman, Mark Butler’s, similar announcement above:  ‘Five million cubic metres of dredging spoil is unlikely to be dumped at sea if a port development in Cairns goes ahead.    Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday met with Ports North to discuss the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which proposed to widen and deepen the shipping channel at Trinity Inlet for so-called mega-class ships.    “The overwhelming preference if anything were to happen in Cairns is for land-based disposal.” Mr Hunt said.  He backed Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who continues to advocate for spoil to be dumped at East Trinity near Yarrabah.  Mr Entsch said: “I absolutely think it’s critical that we go ahead and do this,  I believe the most appropriate site is …the degraded NatWest (land at East Trinity) and it can be done in an appropriate way, which actually will strengthen Cairns in many ways.” 

Cairns Post G20 magazine, September 2014

The Cairns Post G20 magazine, WORLD OF INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES, reproduced the double-page photo with the superimposed new residential area at East Trinity, as above, on pages 52-53 in an article describing a future vision of Cairns:

Cairns Post G20 magazine     Cairns Post, Cairns G20 magazine

An inside source revealed that the authors of this article were ‘strongly ticked off’ for including this photograph, and were directed to remove this and associated photos from the newspaper’s library.  The source did not know who made the initial complaint, or why Cairns Post reacted this way, but it is interesting to speculate when considering the ‘road-blocks’ noted above.

4. John MacKenzie’s radio talkback show

4 May

A 22-minute interview with Peter Senior can be listened to at Note: if necessary, copy the address and paste into your internet link box.

20 April

John MacKenzie kicked off over two hours of non-stop discussion on the State Government’s decision to turn down the dredging proposal with an interview with Cairns Regional Council Mayer Bob Manning.  Bob explained at length how this was a shocking and altogether wrong decision for many reasons.  Bob noted that all ‘the science’ showed there would be no problems if the proposed dredging spoil was placed in the proposed area at the North East end of the Trinity Inlet.  A later caller added that internationally-recognised reef experts, Dr Walter Starck and Professor Bob Carter, endorsed this view, noting all the inner areas between the land and reef already have some one metre of spoil at the bottom of the shallow sea from centuries of sediment drained for the land.   Other callers noted: the $365m cost stated in the draft EIS was excessively high, and ignored the potential for selling some or all of the excess State-owned land at East Trinity to pay for the dredging and treatment costs.  Several references were made to the two proposals linked at the start of this post.  Every caller presented additional information in dismay, and in some instances, disgust, that the State Government had made this decision before even waiting for submissions on the DRAFT EIS report.  The overall view was that Cairns leaders and the general public must make their views known to the State Representatives to dissuade them from this fundamentally wrong decision.  The following day’s show continued the theme for nearly two hours as well.

20 March

During an interview by John MacKenzie with Federal MP Warren Entsch on John’s Talkback show, 18 March 2015, Warren described his proposals for the dredging and East Trinity which are identical to the proposal in the Phase 1 report.

23 January 2015

The Honourable David Crisafulli MP, Queensland State Member for Mundingburra and Minister for Local Government said:  ‘…We do need to find a way to get that dredging done.  Now, there has been every roadblock put up that could possibly happen…..  My role in the next Government will be work with blokes like Trout, like King, like Kempton to strike a balance for our part of the world.’

Would David, had he still been Minister, have succeeded in changing Gavin King’s views,  as quoted below?  And how will the new Cairns Member, Rob Pyne address these points now Gavin King is no longer in a position to ‘road-block’?

  • ‘It would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed’ – thousands of other reclamations started development within a few years, including Portsmith and Trinity Park.
  • ‘It’s just unaffordable, certainly in the short-term…’ – Gavin continues to ignore the potential for revenue gains from development.
  • ‘A bridge would be required’ – not necessary, noting it is faster to drive from East Trinity to the CBD in rush-hour than from Palm Cover.
  • ‘The change by Federal Government regarding dumping spoil at sea caused Ports North to carry out considerably more assessments which had caused the delay’ – Not so; the final Terms of Reference were released in November 2013 requiring all land-based options to be fully assessed.  This was 4 months before Ports North let the EIS contract to ARUP.
  • Portsmith reclamation: ‘That was a century ago’ Portsmith reclamation was completed in the late 70s; many of the current buildings were completed in the 80s.

20 January 2015

A conversation between Queensland State Minister for the Environment,  Andrew Powell, and Michael Trout, Member for Barron River and Peter Senior covered the following points:

  1. Peter asked why Gavin King had said it would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed, then noting there was ample land currently available for development that would not be required for spoil placement, further noting such development could pay for all the costs of dredging and spoil treatment.  Andrew said they were aware of such options but it was necessary to wait for the EIS report.
  2. Peter asked why the EIS report was delayed so much past it’s original promise of May 2014, given the Terms of Reference had not changed since the original TOR published in November 2013, requiring full evaluation of all land-based options.  Responses from Andrew and Michael did not really address the question, noting again the need to await the Coordinator General’s completion of the EIS assessment.

15 January 2015

A conversation between Gavin King and Peter Senior covered the following points:

  1. Gavin said it would be 20 – 30 years before the land at East Trinity could be developed.  Peter noted that ‘only’ about 500 ha of the 946.3 ha of State-owned land at East Trinity was apparently required to place the spoil.  So the other 446.3 ha could potentially be available for development immediately, including the 168 ha of raised land at the North East end.
  2. Gavin said a bridge would be required.  Peter noted this was costed by GHD in the late 90s at $400m, so about $800m could be realistic now.  But a bridge is not needed, noting it takes longer to drive from Palm Cove to the CBD in the rush hour now than it takes to drive in from East Trinity.  A small, regular fast passenger ferry from East Trinity across the 1 Km of water to the Pier marina would probably attract considerable numbers of residents for work and pleasure.
  3. Gavin twice said that the change by Federal Government regarding dumping spoil at sea had caused Ports North to carry out considerable more assessments which had caused the delay.  Peter pointed out that the project Terms of Reference had not changed after the November 2013 update that was the basis for the ARUP contract.  Full assessment of all potential land options were a requirement of the original terms of reference, so nothing has changed.
  4. Gavin said Peter should talk with Ports North, as he had previously offered to arrange.  At that point, John MacKenzie terminated the discussion due to shortage of time.  Peter had been about to tell Gavin that Norm Whitney and he had three long meetings: first on 18/o4/13 with the Mayor and executives from Ports North; then 3/9/13 with Ports North executives plus ARUP consultants; then a month later with the ARUP environmental consultant at East Trinity; then 3/6/14 Peter met with the Mayor to discuss progress – we agreed, politely, to disagree on most points.   Ports North clearly indicated at the three meetings they considered on-land disposal would be a far more costly option with no benefit.
  5. An earlier conversation on this talkback show between Gavin and ‘Bill’ concerned the issue of Portsmith having been successfully reclaimed.  Gavin said this was ‘a century ago’.  In fact filling at Portsmith was mainly carried out during 1960’s and completed in late 1970’s.  Buildings at Portsmith, especially around Aumuller street and Redden Street, were constructed mainly during 1980’s.

5. TV7 News

During an interview on the TV7 Bold Report on 16  November, the Hon Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party stated: ‘I have been involved in some detailed discussions about the Great Barrier Reef and Australia is committing to world best practise in the conservation and preservation of the Great Barrier Reef, and last week we ann0unced there would be no dumping of capital dredge waste in the marine park’.  How much clearer can the Federal Government be?

6. Background and history

The report at  Dredging and East Trinity opportunities 081214 presents details and several photographs that tell the story of East  Trinity.  Then you will be able to compare this proposal with the Ports North EIS report when it is released by the Coordinator General. 

Ports North originally stated the EIS report would be presented to the Coordinator General last May, some 8 months ago.  Release to the general public would be authorised by the Coordinator General at a later date, expected to be announced in the Cairns Post.  Further information is noted below in.

Terms of Reference for the EIS

The Coordinator General’s Terms of Reference for the EIS report include the requirement for Ports North to present:

  •  An outline of the alternative options considered and reasons for selecting the proposed development option.
  • Detail the criteria used to determine the alternatives and provide sufficient detail to convey why certain options or courses of action are preferred and why others are rejected.
  • Provide descriptions of all feasible alternative land-based spoil disposal.
  • Sufficient baseline economic data to underpin a comprehensive assessment of the direct, indirect, cumulative, costs and impacts of the project.
  • The indirect impacts likely to flow to other industries and economies from developing the project, and the implications of the project for future development.

The EIS should therefore include full responses to the five points above with regard to the East Trinity option without the need for further extensive investigation. 

Ports North initially stated the report would be delivered in May 2014.  Later the delivery date was stated as September 2014.  In an article in the Cairns Post, 9 August 2014, Brett Moller, chairman of Ports North, wrote: ‘After 18 months of studies, the project EIS is due for submission to government later this year’.  A later statement from Ports North noted an ‘October’ completion.  On  6 November Chairman Moller told John MacKenzie on his radio show the report would completed ‘by the end of this year’.  The report will be available for public release when the Coordinator-General’s office authorise this.

Options East Trinity

Other approaches could be suited to the East Trinity property such as a large marina, residential and commercial properties, and a large resort with a golf course, as was proposed then approved by Queensland State Premier Peter Beattie’s government in 1995 (this proposal is described at the end of this post).  Imagine the now-familar depiction of the amazing Aquis resort superimposed on the graphic below:

East Trinity with marina 290714, cropped

The issues were captured brilliantly in a cartoon in the Cairns Post, 16 August 2014:

Cairns Post cartoon, 160814

Cruise ships

Cairns is a small idyllic city on the North-East coast of tropical Queensland.  The Great Barrier Reef, rain forest and glorious tropical weather are just three features that attract visitors from across Australia and the rest of the world.

Many cruise ships visit Cairns, docking at the cruise terminal adjacent to the central area with its many restaurants, entertainment facilities and the lagoon by the marina.  Larger cruise ships have to anchor a few kilometres North of Cairns off Yorkeys Knob.  Passengers come ashore in tenders.  A Channel 7 TV News item on 28 November 2012 interviewed several passengers who were dismayed at the long boat trip to get ashore, then the lack of welcome, unlike other ports they visited that have music, gifts of flowers and shelter.  Queensland State MP, Gavin King, suggested putting up a welcome sign. It was dismaying to hear a cruise director from the Celebrity Solstice, visiting Yorkeys Knob on 4 December 2012, tell me: ‘It’s like a dead city; no welcome, no taxis for my passengers…’. 

Almost 2 years later, on 19 November 2014, the Cairns Post announced the ‘Yorkeys Knob’s newly upgraded $2.2m cruise liner facilities will host its first cruise this morning.  Passengers from luxury P&O vessel Pacific Dawn are expected to arrive ashore at Half Moon Bay Marina from 9.30 this morning.  A two-year joint venture between Ports North, Yorkeys Knob Boating Club and the State Government, the upgraded facilities include a reconfigured car park with a large covered area, an improved jetty, resurfacing and lengthening of the boat ramp and a new floating walkway.’  A temporary shade tent was again erected on the nearly-sealed area for waiting passengers.

Proposal to dredge the channel

Ports North propose to dredge the Trinity Inlet channel to provide sufficient depth of water for all except the largest mega-cruise ships to navigate the channel and dock at the central cruise terminal – clearly a major advantage for cruise passengers, and certain to attract more cruise ships.  This dredging project has many implications and potential major benefits in addition to attracting more cruise ships.  The downside is that Ports North plan to dump the massive amount of spoil – 5+ million cubic metres initially plus ongoing maintenance – from the dredging in an extended area near the Great Barrier Reef (click on diagram of Cazalys Stadium for clearer definition). 

It is important to note that, whilst most local public opinion is against dumping this spoil at sea, and State and Federal legislation currently prevents ‘capital’ dredging spoil being dumped at sea, many credible technical explanations and assessments have demonstrated that such dumping at sea would not harm the reef providing it is done in a controlled manner.  Much of the negativity about dumping dredging spoil at sea has been stirred up by both extreme environmentalists and organisations, including some government departments, that have been seduced by bodies such a the UN that promote very dubious and ideological aims.  The key factors are explained well in an article by Professor Bob Carter, The Australian, 29-12-14: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/great-barrier-reef-a-shore-thing-muddied-by-misconceptions/story-e6frg6zo-1227168703706

What 5+ million cubic metres looks like

5m M3

Submissions

The Queensland Coordinator-General issued draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the dredging project assessment; submissions were invited so anyone could comment on the draft TOR.  The deadline was 29 October 2012. One submission presented can be viewed at Submission for Cairns Shipping Development Project draft Terms of Reference, Peter Senior, 291012. This submission canvasses the key issues and presents several suggestions, in particular noting that dredging spoil could be used as a valuable resource for several land-based projects such as bulk-fill to assist fixing the environmental disaster at East Trinity.

Revised Terms of Reference

It was very gratifying that the Coordinator-General’s  considerably revised Terms of Reference document included a well-balanced approach that requires rigorous assessment of a range of land-based solutions for the use of Trinity Inlet dredging spoil.

On 25 September 2012, the Queensland Government declared the project as a “significant project for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required”, following the submission of an Initial Advice Statement.  The Queensland Coordinator-General is managing the State’s assessment process and Terms of Reference (TOR) for the project are available at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/cairns-shipping-development-project.

Ports North provided a submission to the Federal Government to determine if the project is a controlled action, which means it has to be assessed for environmental impacts under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).  The project was declared a “controlled action” on 5 October 2012 and will therefore require the preparation of an EIS that addresses Federal Government guidelines.  Information on the Federal EIS process and guidelines can be found on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website www.environment.gov.au

The Cairns Regional Council’s 12th December 2012 meeting considered the Great Barrier Reef Ports Strategy, a succinct and relevant paper which includes requests for submissions by 14th December:

http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/66639/12dec12_ordinary_cl1.pdf

‘Deputation’ to the Cairns Regional Council

A ‘Deputation’ to the Cairns Regional Council was planned to be presented to the full Council on 27 February 2013.  This was cancelled hours before the scheduled start time because several people felt strongly that the presentation would be counter-productive at that time.  Here is the Power Point presentation that was planned for the deputation: Trinity Inlet dredging proposal (2.8 MB).

Ports North announced on 22 April 2013: The Cairns Shipping Development Project took another step forward today announcing Arup in partnership with BMT WBM as the Lead Consultants who will work with Ports North to deliver a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet the requirements of both the State and Commonwealth Governments.’  As at 3 September 2013 the consultants were making good progress towards completion of the draft EIS report.

Many Cairns local business people and community members look forward with great interest to reading what the report has to say, and what the Queensland Co-ordinator General’s departmental response is, regarding the EIS terms of reference points (as listed above).

Meeting the consultants

A meeting with Ports North and their consultants on 3 September 2013 demonstrated  the consultants were on track to prepare a draft EIS report for Ports North to make available for public consultation starting in May 2014.  At this meeting, the following points were re-iterated:

It is likely the lowest direct cost of the total dredging project will be to dump the spoil in an extended area by the current dumping area.  This solution also appears to fulfil the Ports North objectives.  A primary concern remains that there may be major benefits for the Cairns community, economy and environment through managing this massive amount of dredging spoil as a valuable resource that could contribute towards several important on-land projects – ‘may be’ because no significant investigation or cost-benefit studies have ever been undertaken in the past to address this issue.  

Also the EIS appears to extend well outside the formal role and objectives of Ports North, and moves towards a much wider mandate.  To this extent Ports North is in a difficult position in determining just how far they are required to go outside the Port’s mandate to fulfil the EIS. Recalling that the most obvious location to place the dredging spoils is over the environmentally-devastated East Trinity area, two close neighbours of that area, Brigadier Mansford and Norm Whitney, noted that, under the management of QASSIT (Queensland Acid Sulphate Soil Investigation Team) and other government bodies, this area has become a major health and environmental hazard. For instance, destruction of an entire new forest of melaleucas – a 2013 photo:

 East Trinity ruined, 2013 

Yet landowners face stiff penalties for such vandalism. A range of signs, community concern, media articles and reports such as the SKM’s ‘Improved Dredge Material Management for the Great Barrier Reef Region’ suggest dumping dredging spoil at sea off the Queensland coast has a very limited life. 

The 1988 aerial photo

The 1988 aerial photo below shows a light-brown area, lower-left where the developers purchased dredging spoil from the harbour board to test the effect of placing spoil on the land.  It is recorded that the trial was successful.  It is instructive to compare this area now with satellite photos on Google Earth

East Tinity property 1988 prior to purchase by State

LNP’s quarterly magazine, Dialogue

The Liberal National Party’s quarterly magazine, Dialogue, has an article (pages 24 – 27) in Issue 6 describing the history of the East Trinity property: LNP Dialogue magazine, A Sustainable East Trinity, that concludes: ‘Wise decision-makers, unafraid of disinformation from a very small but vocal minority, need to act now. The environmental catastrophe at East Trinity can be resolved and the property made available for the City’s future growth. The land, and potentially another four square kilometres, could become an urban residential development area very close to the CBD, as advocated by town planners. A bonus would be that valuable agricultural land presently earmarked for residential development would remain productive, extending the viability of the sugar industry and the associated jobs.  Surely that is a win-win for the environment as well as most Cairns stakeholders.’

The fundamental issue is this: is it better for the Cairns community to place this massive amount of spoil in an extended area close to the Great Barrier Reef, with possible attendant dangers, or to manage  this spoil as a potentially valuable resource that may enable the large East Trinity area – only 2 kilometres from Cairns’ CBD – to be reclaimed and become part of Cairns future development.  The EIS report is required to address this issue.

Earlier letters to the Cairns Post

A letter published in the Cairns Post on 17 February 2014 posed the question: ‘The dredged material need not be an off-shore disposal problem.  Instead this valuable resource could enable creation of  more land of a similar size to Portsmith only 2 kilometres from the CBD.  Our city’s forefathers chose to create Portsmith using dredging spoil from Trinity Inlet. Will our current city leaders be as wise?’

Another letter in the Cairns Post on March 11 2014, written by Brigadier Mansford addressed the issue of short-term expediency over long-term planning and benefits: ‘If the impending report on dredging Cairns Port advises that dumping at sea is safe, then do it as an interim measure.  However, given the long-term needs for continued expansion of port facilities it would be stupid to consider it a permanant solution.  The region’s future should not be determined by controversial and questionable treatment costs.  Government must pursue and determine innovative and economical methods to use the spoil on degraded land and convert it into assets that will contain future infrastructure, abundant green open space and environmental corridors on the very perimeter of the CBD that any city would envy.  The past history of reclaiming many areas of degraded land in Cairns should be part of the research to determine fact from fiction.  We need to be more positive.  It’s time to roll up our sleeves and find ways to do what we can and must do, as opposed to assuming it’s all too difficult.’

Meeting the consultants, 31 October 2013

Stepping back a few months, a meeting on 31 October 2013 with one of the consultants at a property adjacent to the Queensland State-owned East Trinity area in question demonstrated at that stage the consultants had minimal knowledge of the current and past status and events that lead up to the state of this ‘disaster area’.  Several previous reports about the area were passed on to the consultant, together with detailed explanations of related past events.

CAFNEC public meeting

The Cairns Post published an article on 5 April 2014 noting the draft EIS report is now expected in September rather than May.   (Click on graphic below to enlarge).  Much of the article describes the  views of the local miniscule extreme environmental group, CAFNEC, who organised an event on Sunday 6 April protesting dumping dredging spoil ‘near out reef’ (as several banners read)  Other banners and  T-Shirts had messages including:

    • Don’t stop our fishing
    • Our reef is already sick
    • i-care about our environment – www/acfonline/org.au
    • Save the Turtles
    • Save the Great Barrier Reef
    • Dump on Abbott, not our reef
    • Big Coal is killing Nemo
    • Sea Shepherd Australia
    • Fish are my friends

CAFNEC’s views for many years have been consistently against any development (recall they were strongly against the superb and world-acclaimed Skyrail project).  Their argument against dumping spoil at sea is quite widely supported by Cairns’ locals.  Their other argument concerns the dredging spoil ‘…so the obvious solution of using it as fill for building really isn’t an option in this case because of the nature of the sediment’.  They fail to point out that the real issue is the cost of treating and compaction, which of course CAFNEC do not address, nor how this spoil from the same area was successfully used over many decades to cover then develop much of Portsmith.  Note too there have been major advances in spoil management technology and equipment for preloading and compacting since Portsmith was created, including for the forthcoming Abbotts Point project. Perhaps CAFNEC’s ‘obvious solution’ is indeed both practical, economic and would provide a range of  major benefits for most Cairns residents and businesses.  Ports North chairman Brett Moller sensibly noted: ‘Ports North are not prejudging the outcome of the EIS in relation to the relocation of dredge material ….‘. That was, of course, before the 11 month delay – and counting…..

  More research CP 050414

4,000 ha is available…

A potentially overriding aspect of the issue of where to place the dredging spoil was summarized in a letter published in the Cairns Post on 12 April 2014: ‘Several recent letters and articles raise concerns about future housing and rental affordability if the huge Aquis development goes ahead.  For instance ‘Affordability key to fate of Aquis’ (10-04).  Perhaps it’s time to dust off proposals from the 1990s to develop housing on land at East Trinity?  There are over 4,000 hectares of land largely wasted at East Trinity that could become available for residential development.  This land could provide housing for at least 60,000 people, would avoid using other valuable agricultural land further South and fulfils modern town planners’ recommendations for urban development to be close to the CBD.  This option to accommodate Cairn’s certain population growth appears to have much merit.  Perhaps Cairns Regional Council have this on their drawing boards as one of several options for assessment?’

Ruling on land-based disposal

A further update of the Federal Government’s thinking was spelt out in a Cairns Post article, 23 April 2014:  ‘Five million cubic metres of dredging spoil is unlikely to be dumped at sea if a port development in Cairns goes ahead.    Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday met with Ports North to discuss the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which proposed to widen and deepen the shipping channel at Trinity Inlet for so-called mega-class ships.    “The overwhelming preference if anything were to happen in Cairns is for land-based disposal.” Mr Hunt said.  He backed Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who continues to advocate for spoil to be dumped at East Trinity near Yarrabah.  Mr Entsch said: “I absolutely think it’s critical that we go ahead and do this,  I believe the most appropriate site is …the degraded NatWest (land at East Trinity) and it can be done in an appropriate way, which actually will strengthen Cairns in many ways.” 

The deadline for the project’s environmental impact statement was extended to September to allow for further water-quality studies.  Earlier this month, hundreds of residents rallied in Cairns to protest port developments near the Great Barrier Roof, including the Trinity Inlet proposal. 

Legal personality for the reef

The Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland is campaigning to grant the reef a legal personality so it can be defended in court.  It was prompted by a Great Barrier Roof Marine Park Authority decision to allow three million cubic metres of dredging spoil to be dumped in the marine park as part of the Abbot Point coal port expansion, north of Bowen.  An online petition for a referendum to award the reef legal rights has attracted more than 600 signatures.  Mr Hunt yesterday dismissed the campaign: “The reef already has a legal personality, the GBRMPA is there to represent the reef, it defines the area of the reef, it does a tremendous job.  “The GBRMPA is an independent executive agency, it is one of the world’s leading marine park agencies, if not the world’s leading marine park agency,” he said.’

These views were reinforced in a Cairns Post article, Committee fears for Reef, 24 July 2014: ‘Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, however, said both he and Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s preferred disposal site was on-land. “Greg Hunt had already made it publicly clear that he wants the dredging on land,” he said. “I have made is very publicly clear that I want it on land, at East Trinity. It won’t be a blow-in from Tasmania who will influence a decision to have it there.” He said depositing the dredge spoil at East Trinity would also provide land for the city’s future population growth.’

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7. Other related documents

Plan for the Royal Reef resort

The plan that was prevented when Peter Beattie’s Labor government withdrew its approval to appease environmental activists, resulting in Cairns losing what would have been a fine development, and paying the National Westminster bank what is rumoured to have been many millions of dollars to avoid being sued.  The Royal Reef AIS and EIS reports (respectively 1992 and 1995), two exceptionally comprehensive 40 mm thick reports produced by a team of specialists led by Brannock Humphreys, Town Planning Consultants, describe the proposal in detail.  Section 10.0 CONCLUSIONS notes: ‘There will be no  major detrimental impacts to the environment as a result of the  proposed development which has been modified to be generally in accordance with the Trinity Inlet Management Plan.’  A selection of diagrams from the report are below: a hotel and beach, a plan of the whole resort and a location plan.

Royal Reef hotel and beach

Royal Reef layout

Royal Reef site boundary 2

Government documents relating to the project are available at: http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/cairns-shipping-development-project.html

A vision for Cairns

It seems The Cairns Post is the only ‘leader’ pushing a vision for Cairns on a range of issues including many articles describing the manifest benefits that would result from dredging the Trinity Inlet.  One example was published in the Cairns Post in May 2012:  Cairns Post front page 08-05-12  Cairns Post follow-on 08-05-12.  Hopefully Cairns’ civic leaders will take up the challenge soon.

Labor Premier Beattie turns a blind eye

It also seems no-one showed former Labor Premier Peter Beattie all the evidence that had been provided to his departments, or informed the Cairns City/Regional Council on related matters.  A letter from Peter Beattie dated 4 February 1999 included: “In relation to the acid sulphate and sewerage issues you raise, this Government has seen no evidence which would indicate there is an acid sulphate problem at East Trinity, while matters pertaining to solid waste disposal are primarily the responsibility of the Cairns City Council and, as such, should be raised directly with this authority.”

 

A history of East Trinity:  History of East Trinity, letter, 180607

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‘Must-read’ book reviews

This post comprises reviews books that add substantially to the understanding of our world, economics, politics, history and geopolitics, and what may happen in the future.

  • The Cosmic War, by Dr Joseph P Farrell
  • Phantom Self, by David Icke
  • 1984 – Nineteen Eighty Four. George Orwell’s 1950 classic
  • Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • The Death of Money, James Rickards  
  • American Betrayal, Diana West
  • From Third World to First, Lee Kuan Yew
  • Lee Kuan Yew by Graham Allison

The Cosmic War, by Dr Joseph P Farrell

A review from Amazon of this extraordinary and compelling  ‘must read’ book, The Cosmic War: Interplanetary Warfare, Modern Physics, and Ancient Texts: A Study in Non-Catastrophist Interpretations of Ancient Legends, Author Dr Joseph P Farrell.

Farrell’s foray into ancient antiquity is scholarly in it’s precision and thought-provoking in its ramifications.  Oxford educated researcher Dr. Joseph P. Farrell unleashes a reverberating hypothesis regarding ancient history whose echoes will be forever heard.

Cosmic War is an extremely intriguing incursion into the possibility of a very ancient war in high antiquity. Dr. Farrell’s hypotheses of an Ancient Interplanetary War is argued in an in-depth, precise and reasonable approach. The extensive evidence Farrell collates and synthesizes will leave the reader aghast with the possibilities.

Intriguingly, many ancient cultures stated that the ‘Wars of the Gods’ were quite real. Predictably, even though there’s extensive evidence for advanced physics, advanced weapons, ancient [millions and BILLIONS of year old artifacts found by reputable sources], the establishment has painted all over ancient history with myth.

Regarding this very issue, Jim Marrs in his book Our Occulted History, sets his cross hairs on this very issue: “The term mythology stems from the Greek word mythos, simply meaning words or stories reflecting the basic values and attitudes of people. In past ages, when the vast majority of humans were illiterate, easily understood parables were used to educate people about history, science, and technology. During the Dark Ages, when most of people were taught that the Earth was flat, the word mythology was changed by the Roman Church to mean imaginative and fanciful tales veering far from truthfulness. This small change in semantics has caused untold damage in current perceptions.”

Ironically enough, there is starting to be more and more evidence of ‘myths’ now turning out to be fact. As Chris Hardy Ph.D remarks in her poignant book DNA Of The Gods: “…let’s remember that, before the discoveries of loads of ancient tablets written in the pictographic Sumerian language (Late Uruk period, fourth millennium BCE), the kingdom of Sumer was believed to be a myth. We had already discovered Akkad and deciphered Akkadian, and still archaeologists wouldn’t give credence to the numerous carved references, within historical dated records, to a line of kings whose title was “King of Sumer and Akkad”.

Or how about the “myth” of Troy: “This myth collapsed in 1865 with archeologist Frank Calvet’s discovery of the historic ruins of not only one city of Troy but nine layers of it! The city, whose siege is recounted in Homer’s Iliad, is only Troy VII, the seventh level underground, dating to the thirteenth century BCE.”

The gatekeepers, for many reasons, want to keep established history in a nice little box. Fortunately, as anyone who has extensively research these topics know, there’s more than ample evidence that shows that at minimum history isn’t what we have been told.

In any case, Cosmic War covers wide ranging but pertinent topics such as Van Flandern’s exploded planet hypothesis, an analysis of plasma in relation to weapons that employ scalar physics, petroglyphs which show plasma instability glyphs that were recorded by ancient cultures, remnants of giants in ancient history, optical phase conjugation, the story of the ‘gods’ as related through ancient texts, pulsars, generational charts of the ‘gods’, the scarring of The Valles Mariners being possibly from a weapon, Iapetus and its hexagonal craters, and a LOT more.

The ramifications of this book abound, and filter in all aspects of our lives. Dr. Farrell gives compelling reasons [coupled with countless others in his other trenchant books] as to why we need to give history, particularly ancient history, a very long and thorough look.

In its totality, this book is a veritable fountain of information that is scholarly in precision, and thought-provoking in its ramifications. This book is a must read for anyone interested in ancient history, ancient civilizations, and any of the topics there-in. There is more than enough information to make the reader curious about our past in more ways than they can really imagine.

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David Icke’s “Phantom Self”: A Book Review from Freedom Articles

david-ickes-phantom-self-a-book-review-from-freedom-articles

Phantom Self, the latest book of researcher David Icke, takes conspiracy research to a new depth with the idea of a primal virus that has hacked Life itself.

(Editor’s note: this book is amongst the most fascinating, timely and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read.  I strongly recommend setting aside all prejudice and past learning – what we were taught, and so believed – then reading it with an open mind. And then thinking deeply.)

Phantom Self is the latest book of famous researcher and free-thinker David Icke. Just as in his previous book The Perception Deception, David takes his research to a new level of depth with a comprehensive display of dot-connecting that will leave many in awe of his knowledge – but more importantly awaken people to the real dire straits humanity is in. Like many of his books, it ends with a positive message and the ultimate solution to all of humanity’s problems; however, most of the book is devoted to exposing the current reality of planet Earth, often in horrifying detail. This is an essential part of David’s message, for without the true knowledge of what is really going on – and the capacity to feel the horror of it – we will not muster the courage and motivation to change it. Part of the reason humanity is so stuck deep in the conspiracy is that it is engaged in massive collective denial, which it prevents it from acting decisively to quash and transform the evil (or unconsciousness as I prefer to call it). A hallmark of Phantom Self is that it takes a step further down the rabbit hole – past the reptilians and Archons – and looks at the controlling force behind them, which David says resembles some kind of computer virus that has hacked life itself.

The full review can be seen at david-ickes-phantom-self-a-book-review-from-freedom-articles

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1984 – Nineteen Eighty Four

George Orwell’s classic 1950 novel is very worthwhile reading (again for most people).  It is frightening to review how much of what Orwell wrote is happening today, albeit is somewhat different guise.  Recall Orwell was a member of the Fabian Society, where he learnt of their plans before resigning.  He used novels as a practical was to publicise the plans he learn about from other Fabian members.  The Amazon website – https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=1984 – explains much about the book, and presents several perceptive reviews – this is one of the 4,613:

George Orwell’s classic was incredibly visionary. It is hardly fathomable that this book was written in 1948. Things that we take for granted today – cameras everywhere we go, phones being tapped, bodies being scanned for weapons remotely – all of these things were described in graphic detail in Orwell’s book.
Now that we have the Internet and people spying on other people w/ webcams and people purposely setting up their own webcams to let others “anonymously” watch them, you can see how this culture can develop into the Orwellian future described in “1984.”
If you’ve heard such phrases as “Big Brother,” “Newspeak,” and “thought crime” and wondered where these phrases came from, they came from this incredible, vivid and disturbing book.
Winston Smith, the main character of the book is a vibrant, thinking man hiding within the plain mindless behavior he has to go through each day to not be considered a thought criminal. Everything is politically correct, children defy their parents (and are encouraged by the government to do so) and everyone pays constant allegiance to “Big Brother” – the government that watches everyone and knows what everyone is doing at all times – watching you shower, watching you having sex, watching you eat, watching you go to the bathroom and ultimately watching you die.
This is a must-read for everyone.

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Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

Author: Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was raised Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands as a refugee. She earned her college degree in political science and worked for the Dutch Labor party. She denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks and now serves as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West.

Editor’s note: this book should be considered essential reading by anyone who has an interest in Islam as well as everyone who is or may be effected by Muslims (that means just about everyone!).  The book is very comprehensive and, unlike most other books on the subject, provides not only a wide-ranging background and analyses based on her own experience, but some thought-provoking solutions.  After scanning numerous reviews of this excellent book, the following written by ‘Helpful Advice’ on Amazon is more or less  what I would have written.

After ‘Infidel’ and ‘Nomad’ worldwide known, equally hated and adored Ayaan Hirsi Ali is back on literary (and considering the topic inevitably political) scene with her new and probably the most controversial book so far she wrote – ‘Heretic’.

A book that will certainly be subject of numerous texts, quoted or despised, she raised the question of some key Islam teachings incompatibility with the values of modern or free society for which the majority (or at least we think so maybe) people in the world stands for.

It seemed that comparing to some other major religions, Islam somehow proved immune to changes in the new world we are living, characterized by enormous speed of information exchange and the development of human rights. There were some attempts such as Arab Spring that tried to challenge traditional thinking, ingrained prejudices or facts about the Muslim world. But with the simultaneous proliferation of Islamic fundamentalism and even its acceptance in certain circles of the population in the West, according to the author it seems that it is time for some radical actions that must be implemented by the very Muslims, not someone else from outside.

So, what Ali proposes needs to happen for Muslims to defeat the extremists for good? Economic, political, judicial and military tools have already been proposed, some of them deployed, though it seems that all these will have little effect unless Islam itself is reformed.

Therefore she calls for a Muslim Reformation—a revision of Islamic teachings, alignment of modern society with traditional religion doctrine, that seems difficult, but not unfeasible due to the rejection of extremist behavior among the majority of Muslims around the world.

She reminds that such reformation has been called for since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent abolition of the caliphate, but instead of general phrases and generalized objectives she precisely pointed out five key precepts that have made Islam resistant to historical change and adaptation. And only when the harmfulness of these ideas will be recognized and as result they will be rejected, a true Muslim Reformation would be possible.

Although to comment each of them would require writing essays, I’ll just list all five of them:
• Removing of Muhammad’s semi-divine status, putting him into the history context as important figure that united the Arabs in a pre-modern time that cannot be copied in the 21st century. And consequently also recognizing the fact that Quran is the book made by human hands.
• Emphasizing that life is more important than something that comes after it will reduce the appeal of martyrdom.
• Appreciation of modern laws that need to be put in front of Shariah legislation that is violent, intolerant or anachronistic.
• The abolition of the individual’s right and so called religious police to enforce the law, something for Muslim community is unfortunately particularly known
• And most important, Islam must become a religion of peace removing the imperative to wage holy wars against infidels

Once again this author must be admitted undeniable courage to tackle the dangerous subjects in a world where because of the drawn cartoons you can easily lose a life. Her theses are clear, her objectives are fully explained, her mission to change the Islamic world from the inside continues, causing the happiness and satisfaction of all civilized Muslims worldwide.

Therefore high recommendations for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, this brave author who after fighting for the rights of women engages into even greater battle with the hope that one day we will be able to say that books like these changed the world. For the better.

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The Death of Money

The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System.  8 April 2014.  By James Rickards.

James Rickards, author of the other best seller, Currency Wars, has gone even further in The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System, in telling it like it is (and will be, so prepare yourself!). Jim’s all-facts, straightforward approach is peppered with just enough analogy and anecdotal wit to make sophisticated economic/mathematical/political concepts understandable to the (educated) layperson. His clarification techniques serve the book well by making sure the content never gets watered down or condescending. For anyone interested in knowing what is going on behind the scenes, how the dollar is being systematically devalued by The Fed (and why), what a rigged sham our banking system is, and how things are likely to play out in the very near future, read The Death of Money!

American Betrayal

The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character by Diana West (May 28, 2013).  Diana West’s newest book “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on our Nations Character” is a highly researched, blockbuster of a story taking 356 pages to tell with 29 pages of notes.  Whilst not directly about ‘management’, this book is packed with information that any successful manager should understand, in particular regarding communications (propaganda?)  and planning.  It’s the most thought-provoking, worrying, disillusioning book I’ve ever read.  I’ve attached a couple of reviews of the book from Amazon.com. American Betrayal, Diana West, May 2013. Reviews  that give you a glimpse of what it’s about.  John, of John’s Newsletter fame, noted: ‘American Betrayal explains what many already know about the creation of the soviet monster by the FDR administration, stacked with communist spies and the author of the cold war from as early as 1942.  How FDR’s lackeys could give the USSR the atomic bomb via Lend Lease is fascinating and unfortunately true.  It is clear that powerhouse though she may be, America has been ungovernable since the outset…Just too big, too complex and too full of leaks and confused ideologies.  America is now, as a reaction, on the road to becoming a police state.  Folk who have read the book  called “The Open Society and Its Enemies” by Karl Popper will understand how the USA came to this pretty pickle and the realities behind this scandalous state of affairs.  Horrific though her anecdotes are, I have seen independent corroboration elsewhere of Diana’s central themes and accept them as factual – when asserted as such.  This book is too disturbing for general consumption.’

From Third World to First

The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 by Lee Kuan Yew  (Oct 3, 2000).  Note:  although older, it is useful to read this book before the Grand Master’s Insights book, below. Some comments on the Amazon website: Lee Kwan Yew had a clear vision, set himself clear goals…. Above all, what led to his success is his execution skills…. Although Singapore is a free market economy, its philosophy concerning workers and employees are caring and genuine, unlike in the United States….His views regarding leadership and a wide range of management issues are profound….. Read this book to be inspired.

Lee Kuan Yew

The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World by Graham Allison et al., 1 Feb. 2013.  Some comments on the Amazon website: Lee excels in pithy evaluations of regional and national strengths and weaknesses. At his best, the man is a cross between Confucius and Machiavelli. (Washington Times)……..”I found myself engrossed this week by the calm, incisive wisdom of one of the few living statesmen in the world who can actually be called visionary. The wisdom is in a book, “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World,” a gathering of Mr. Lee’s interviews, speeches and writings…He is now 89, a great friend of America, and his comments on the U.S. are pertinent to many of the debates in which we’re enmeshed.” — Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal.

 

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Government betrayals and false flags

This new post describes government betrayals, ‘false flags’ and ‘conspiracy theories’ that, on close examination, are most likely conspiracy realities.

USS Liberty, Government Betrayal and Cover-up

USS Liberty, Government Betrayal and Cover-up  By Paul Craig Roberts, 23 January 2017

This article is based entirely on documented sources and on interviews with the survivors. Throughout the decades since this war crime was committed it has been covered up by all succeeding US administrations.

June 8, 1967, the fourth day of the  Six Day War between Israel and EgyptSyria and Jordan, was a beautiful day in the Mediterranean. The USS Liberty was in international waters off the coast of Egypt. Israeli aircraft had flown over the USS Liberty in the morning and had reported that the ship was American. The crew, in close proximity to the war zone, was reassured by the presence of Israeli aircraft. But at 2:00 p.m. sailors sunbathing on the deck saw fighter jets coming at them in attack formation. Red flashes from the wings of the fighters were followed by explosions, blood and death. A beautiful afternoon suddenly became a nightmare. Who was attacking the USS Liberty and why? The attack on the Liberty was an attack on America.

The Liberty was an intelligence ship. Its purpose was to monitor Soviet and Arab communications in order to warn both Israel and Washington should the Soviets enter the war on behalf of its Arab allies. The Liberty was armed only with four machine guns to repel boarders. Its request for a destroyer escort had been denied.

The assault on the Liberty is well documented. With no warning, the Liberty was attacked by successive waves of unmarked jets using cannon, rockets and napalm. The attacking jets jammed all of the US communications frequencies, an indication they knew the Liberty was an American ship.

The air attack failed to sink the Liberty. About 30 minutes into the attack three torpedo boats appeared flying the Star of David. The Israeli boats were not on a rescue mission. They attacked the Liberty with cannon, machine guns and torpedoes. One torpedo struck the Liberty mid-ship, instantly killing 25 Americans while flooding the lower decks. The Israeli torpedo boats destroyed the life rafts the Liberty launched when the crew prepared to abandon ship, sending the message there’d be no survivors.

At approximately 3:15 two French-built Israeli helicopters carrying armed Israeli troops appeared over the Liberty. Phil Tourney could see their faces only 50/60 feet away. He gave them the finger. Surviving crew members are convinced the Israelis were sent to board and kill all survivors.

The Israeli jets destroyed the Liberty’s communication antennas. While under attack from the jets, crew members strung lines that permitted the ship to send a call for help. The USS Saratoga and the USS America launched fighters to drive off the attacking aircraft, but the rescue mission was aborted by direct orders from Washington.

When the Liberty notified the Sixth Fleet it was again under attack, this time from surface ships, the Fleet commander ordered the carriers America and Saratoga to launch fighters to destroy or drive off the attackers. The order was unencrypted and picked up by Israel, which immediately called off its attack. The torpedo boats and the hovering helicopters sped away. Israel quickly notified Washington that it had mistakenly attacked an American ship, and the US fighters were recalled a second time.

The USS Liberty suffered 70% casualties, with 34 killed and 174 wounded. Although the expensive state of the art ship was kept afloat by the heroic crew, it later proved unsalvageable and was sold as scrap.

Why didn’t help come?

No explanation has ever been given by the US government for Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s orders for the Sixth Fleet to abort the rescue mission. Lt. Commander David Lewis of the Liberty told colleagues that Admiral L. R. Geis, commander of the Sixth Fleet carrier force, told him that when he challenged McNamara’s order to recall the rescue mission, LBJ came on the line and said he didn’t care if the ship sank, he wasn’t going to embarrass an ally. The communications officer handling the transmission has given the same account.

BBC documentary on the Israeli raid reports confusion about the attacker’s identity almost resulted in a US assault on Egypt. Richard Parker, US political counsel in Cairo, confirms in the BBC documentary he received official communication an American retaliatory attack on Egypt was on its way.

The US government’s official position on the USS Liberty corresponds with Israel’s: The attack was unintentional and a result of Israeli blunders. This is the official position despite the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State Lucius Battle, and a long list of US Navy officers, government officials and Liberty survivors are on record saying the Israeli attack was intentional.

According to Helms, Battle and the minutes of a White House meeting, President Johnson believed the attack was intentional. Helms says LBJ was furious and complained when The New York Times buried the story on page 29, but that Johnson decided he had to publicly accept Israel’s explanation. “The political pressure was too much,” Helms said.

US communications personnel, intelligence analysts and ambassadors report having read US intercepts of Israeli orders to attack the Liberty. In one intercept an Israeli pilot reports that the Liberty is an American ship and asks for a repeat and clarification of his orders to attack an American ship. One Israeli who identified himself as one of the pilots later came to America and met with US Representative Pete McCloskey and Liberty survivors. The pilot said he had refused to participate in the attack when he saw it was an American ship. He was arrested upon returning to base.

The Liberty flew the US flag. The ship’s markings, GTR-5, measured several feet in height on both sides of the bow. On the stern the ship was clearly marked USS LIBERTY. Mistaking the Liberty for an Egyptian ship, as Israel claims to have done, was impossible.

Tattered flags show ferocity of the attacks

The Israelis claim the Liberty flew no flag, but two US flags full of holes from the attack exist. When the first flag was shot down, crewmen replaced it with a flag 7-feet by 13-feet. This flag, with its battle scars, is on display at NSA headquarters at Ft. Mead, Maryland.

Admiral John S. McCain Jr., the father of the current US senator, ordered Admiral Isaac C. Kidd and Captain Ward Boston to hold a court of inquiry and to complete the investigation in only one week. In a signed affidavit Captain Boston said President Johnson ordered a cover-up and that he and Admiral Kidd were prevented from doing a real investigation. Liberty survivors were ordered never to speak to anyone about the event. Their silence was finally broken when Lt. Commander Jim Ennes published his book, Assault on the Liberty .

It is now established fact that the attack on the Liberty was intentional and was covered up by President Johnson and every administration since. There has never been a congressional investigation, nor has the testimony of the majority of survivors ever been officially taken. Moreover, testimony that conflicted with the cover-up was deleted from the official record.

Disgusted by the US government’s official stance discounting the survivors’ reports, Admiral Tom Moorer, retired Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, organized the Moorer Commission to make public the known facts about the attack and cover-up. The Commission consisted of Admiral Moorer, former Judge Advocate General of the US Navy Admiral Merlin Staring, Marine Corps General Raymond G. Davis and former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Akins.

The Commission’s Report concluded:

  • “That there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew.
  • “That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the US Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack.
  • “That surviving crew members were threatened with “court-martial, imprisonment or worse’ if they exposed the truth; and [the survivors] were abandoned by their own government.
  • “That there has been an official cover-up without precedent in American naval history.
  • “That a danger to our national security exists whenever our elected officials are willing to subordinate American interests to those of any foreign nation.”

Why did Israel attack the Liberty? Was something super secret going on that is so damaging it must be protected at all cost?

Some experts believe Tel Aviv decided to sink the Liberty because the ship’s surveillance capability would discover Israel’s impending invasion and capture of Syria’s Golan Heights, an action opposed by Washington. Others believe Israel was concerned the Liberty would discover Israel’s massacre of hundreds of Egyptian POWs, a war crime contemporaneous with the attack on the US ship. Still others believe that Israel intended to blame the attack on Egypt in order to bring America into the war. It is known the US was providing Israel with reconnaissance and that there were joint US-Israeli covert operations against the Arabs that Washington was desperate to keep secret.

Survivors with whom I spoke said the attack was the easy part of the experience. The hard part has been living with 40 years of official cover-up and betrayal by the US government. One survivor said that he was asked to leave his Baptist church when he spoke about the Liberty, because the minister and fellow church-goers felt more loyalty to Israel than to a member of the congregation who had served his country. His church’s position was that if our government believed Israel, the survivors should also.

Survivor Phil Tourney said that “being forced to live with a cover-up is like being raped and no one will believe you.”

Survivor Gary Brummett said he “feels like someone who has been locked up for 40 years on a wrongful conviction.” Until the US government acknowledges the truth of the attack, Brummett says the survivors are forced to live with the anger and dismay of being betrayed by the country they served.

Survivor Bryce Lockwood has been angry for 40 years. The torpedo that killed his shipmates, wrecked his ship and damaged his health was made in the USA.

Survivor Ernie Gallo told me he “has been haunted for four decades” by the knowledge that his commander-in-chief recalled the US fighters that could have prevented most of the Liberty’s casualties.

Every American should be troubled by the fact that the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense prevented the US Sixth Fleet from protecting a US Navy ship and its 294-man crew from foreign attack. They should also be troubled that the President ordered the Navy to determine the attack was unintentional.

For more information, visit the USS Liberty site.

================

Previous articles (to come)

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Better-Management Newsletter

Better-Management Newsletters keep you up to date with vital world issues. 

Scroll down to read the latest editions.  Scroll to the end for links to previous editions.

Better-Management Newsletter 22 January

 The EU is dying , long live the EU

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/01/19/europes-ideological-civil-war-laid-bare-davos/

Then there is the issue of NATO that the new POTUS has raised (Editor’s note: clearly NATO is a dangerous army under the control of warmongering leaders who are desperate to protects their patch).

http://www.mauldineconomics.com/outsidethebox

There are a few excerpts in this email – but unfortunately the bulk of the one above is behind a pay wall.

The Chinese judiciary has been raided by the thought police of the CCP and have had their independence removed to ensure there are no breaches of the party line and there is due deference to the Mao era and the cultural objectives of the CCP.  In the meantime Xi Jinping has been in Davos eulogising globalisation.  Fro Sinocism…

 

. In Era of Trump, China’s President Champions Economic Globalization – The New York Times In myriad ways, Mr. Xi is a strikingly ill-fitting steward of openness and connectivity. Under his direction, China’s Communist Party has clamped down severely on civil society, tightening restrictions on the internet and jailing scores of lawyers focused on using the country’s own laws to defend the rights of aggrieved people. He has projected China’s navy into contested waters in the South China and East China Seas. Throughout his speech, Mr. Xi carefully used the phrase “economic globalization,” while avoiding unqualified “globalization,” reflecting China’s spurning of an open internet, universal human rights and free elections.

Related: President Xi’s speech to Davos in full | World Economic Forum Here is the full transcript of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech to Davos”

Within days the Middle East will have a new dictator…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/19/recep-tayyip-ergodan-make-virtual-dictator-turkey/

Will the petrodollar endure Trump’s time as president?

http://www.internationalman.com/articles/trump-and-a-new-gold-backed-dollar

Israel is determined to survive the current meltdown in the Middle East…from Seeking Alpha…

The uppermost layer of Israel’s three-tier missile shield has become operational, with the first advanced rockets delivered to the Israeli Air Force. The Arrow 3 system, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing (NYSE:BA), is designed to strike targets outside Earth’s atmosphere. Such high-altitude shoot-downs are meant to safely destroy incoming nuclear, biological or chemical ballistic missiles. “

As the war of words between USA and China continues over supplying South Korea with a missile defence shield (THAAD) the North Koreans provide a challenge to the Trump administration…from Seeking Alpha…

The United States has seen indications that North Korea may be preparing a long-range missile test in the coming days or weeks, with an upgraded prototype of an ICBM. A launch could gauge what kind of reaction Pyongyang would receive from the new Trump administration and South Korea, as the latter tries to contain its political crisis. “

Then there is the artificial paranoia in the Baltic states against the NATO and Washington ‘swamp’ induced ‘enemy’…

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-19/finland-prepares-for-manifold-warfare-as-russia-feeds-paranoia

The Economy

For more than a month, the DOW Jones Index has been threatening to break through 20,000 and yet hasn’t, overnight slipping more than 200 below its peak.  Does this signal a crash?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/overview/

The folks who have suffered lower real wages under Mr Obama will likely be in the same boat under Mr Trump…

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4037679-foreboding-development-u-s-economy?source=email_macro_view_eco_0_23&ifp=0

Donald Trump will introduce a new level of activity but will it be enough?  Harry S Dent (I have followed Harry for about 10 years) believes the crash is coming.  I suppose this reflects my 75% probability rating for a crash by end 2017.  But he uses my 2020 date.  His is something of a rant…but IMHO he isn’t far off the mark.  Don’t take any notice of his views on gold.  Gold always crashes at the beginning of a depression and it will doubtless do so again as an investment.  But small denomination gold and silver coins are a hedge against bank failures.

https://pro.dentresearch.com/DOW2016GOLD2/LBNBT188?h=true

For Mr Trump to do half of the things he wants to, it means a surge in deficit spending…

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4037879-trump-deficits-will-huge?source=email_macro_view_eco_0_22&ifp=0

Trump’s rhetoric against China suggests that China may be “tipped over the edge” due to their continued reliance on debt formation and sales into the EU and USA…Rickards suggests there may be currency issues in play too…

http://thecrux.com/rickards-is-china-about-to-drop-a-bombshell/

Self-deception about our finances is something we all practice.  We think our assets are getting more valuable and yet they are probably less so, in real terms.  Take housing for example.  Is our housing stock worth that much more?  Or is it the dollar that simply buys less?

http://www.interest.co.nz/property/85584/value-all-our-houses-has-been-growing-27-billion-week-surpass-1-trillion-september

 

Energy

 The main reason that wind and solar are not shaping up as planned, is their intermittent supply that causes issues for power grids that will take several years to solve – if then.  As a result while the quantity of renewable energy is still increasing the investment in absolute terms is down by 18 percent….

https://phys.org/news/2017-01-renewable-energy-investment-fell.html

BP is at last waking up to the reality of peak oil…they have been in denial for some time, but producing something from a finite resource cannot go on forever regardless of how much you want it to do so.

https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/129260/bp-predicts-peak-oil-will-hit-2025-2040/

The impacts of peak oil will not march to BP’s timetable.  Soon it will burst onto the scene via EROEI problems or prices will hit the roof once again, spiking both up and down.  But when? Who knows?  Meantime, just in case you didn’t know the volume of oil in storage above the five year average at end November was only the equivalent of 3.2 days of usage.  That ain’t much, folks.  From Seeking Alpha…

 

The International Energy Agency believes that global oil markets were tightening even before cuts promised by OPEC and non-OPEC producers kicked in. While it is “far too soon” to gauge OPEC members’ levels of compliance with promised cuts, the IEA said oil stocks in the developed world fell for a fourth consecutive month in November, although they remained more than 300M barrels above the five-year average.”

Over the next couple of years there will be major winners and major losers in the oil space.  There are several super giant oil fields within OPEC that have been supplying the world for the last 50+ years.  The most concerning of these is Ghawar in Saudi Arabia.  When Ghawar production really starts failing, peak oil production will be in the rear view mirror and globalisation will be dead and buried.   My concern has always been that the Saudis will use an OPEC cut agreement as cover for their reduced output…

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4037980-opec-oil-production-just-plummeted?source=email_macro_view_com_0_17&ifp=0

The Saudis are worried about their ability to pump oil at the same levels as presently after 2020 and that is why they are hastening their transition to “other things”  (improbable as the success of such a transition will be) and trying to get others to invest in Saudi Aramco….

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/18/investing/saudi-aramco-ipo-2018/

If these turkeys think Aramco is worth USD2 trillion, then I reckon (if their EESU gets 700whrs/kg at a suitable TC) then EEStor is worth USD4+ trillion.  Having a viable electrical energy storage system is the future for land transport …same as it is essential for renewable energy to be integrated into the main grids.  So far we know of no other alternative electrical energy storage system.

The Saudis will need to provide access to audits of their reserves and resources and that poses a problem.  Who wants to buy a “pig in a poke”?  A very expensive pig at that.

Another group of losers will be in the Asia/Pacific

http://peakoil.com/production/oil-production-here-is-declining-faster-than-anywhere-on-earth

But the USA oil industry should get major support from Mr Trump.  Particularly Continental Resources (Harold Hamm’s business) and Exxon Mobil (Rex Tillerson’s business).  Both are positioned in sweet spots.  In Exxon’s case they have good acreage in the Permian Basin where there are a number of oil bearing layers, one on top of the other.  Permian acreage responds well to both fracking and horizontal drilling…

http://peakoil.com/business/exxon-bets-big-on-american-oil

The Eagle Ford and Bakken shales are not so prospective.

Lithium mining in the USA is getting a big growth spurt from the new Panasonic/Tesla Giga factory in Nevada state…

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4037702-teslas-lithium-supply-update?source=email_investing_ideas_top_articles_0_0&ifp=0

Lithium is all the rage nowadays but I cannot see it having the right cost, energy density and length of life to compete with fossil fuels.   But we will see.

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Better-Management Newsletter 17 January

 Much of the world waits with a mixture of great expectations as well as fears of what the ‘elite establishment’ will do to counter the US people’s choice for President, Donald Trump.

 I expect it won’t be long before Ban Ki Moon is back from his time as head of the UN and running South Korea – given their present impeachment issues…from Seeking Alpha…

Ban Ki-moon is due to return to South Korea on Thursday, where political parties will lock horns to recruit him. Having stepped down last month as the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban is leaving New York and moving back to Seoul to presumably seek the presidency as his home country grapples with its worst-ever political crisis. “

I am with Trump on whether Russia interfered in the US presidential elections.  I think it is rubbish and I also think the Obama administration has gone too far with the vilification of Putin.  Is this for reasons of domestic politics?  I don’t know.  But here is one school of thought we could possibly consider?

http://www.newstarget.com/2017-01-12-the-coming-famine.html

2016 was a year when the global population continued to grow by a net approx. 90 million.  So we enter another year with more people who are individually consuming more of the world’s renewable and finite resources, driving about 50 million more cars and spewing out more pollutants, cutting and burning off more rainforest, building more houses and enjoying ever greater prosperity.  So we should question how this process will one day end? (Editor’s note: many of  Malthus ideas in his publications in 1799 to 1803 have been well superseded. As well, the rate of increase of population is now reducing   – which isn’t to say it’s not far too high.  Perhaps the tide is turning?)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/01/economic-ideas-thomas-malthus-on-population-passions-property-and-politics/

Donald Trump’s tenure may be determined by what the military industrial complex allows him to do as well as by the two checks put in place by the US Constitution…the Congress and the Judiciary.  Reality may also cause him problems, and while most folks are focused on his plan to make the USA energy self sufficient, he has been thrown a curved ball by the US oil, gas and coal lobbies, apart from the horrors of the US’ economy and finances.

http://www.eclectications.com/#post2

 The Economy

 The retail sector is now being hit badly by on line purchasing of goods…

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4035460-retail-apocalypse-sears-macys-limited-closing-stores?source=email_macro_view_eco_4_27&ifp=0

I cannot see this helping US retailers as Jack Ma will eat their lunch.  From Seeking Alpha…

Donald Trump had a “great meeting” with Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA) Jack Ma on Monday, when they discussed creating 1M new American jobs in five years. Some are calling the assertion a stretch, however, based on the company’s definition of the goal. “Alibaba will create 1M U.S. jobs by enabling 1M American small businesses and farmers to sell American goods to China and Asian consumers on the Alibaba platform.”

The CCP is in a dream world of their own as corporate and banks borrow money to pay interest on previous borrowings…from Seeking Alpha…

China is vowing to contain high corporate debt levels and further cut excess coal and steel capacity, as investors scrutinized inlation data for signs of improved demand in the world’s second-largest economy. The consumer price index for December climbed about 2.1%, on higher pork and fuel prices, while the producer price index jumped 5.5%, the fastest pace since September 2011. “

Nothing is ever made without using energy.  So how is the energy scene likely to affect the global economy in 2017?…Gail’s perspective…

http://peakoil.com/consumption/gail-tverberg-2017-the-year-when-the-world-economy-starts-coming-apart

Meanwhile the gold price has been steadily rising and starts the week at USD1,200 per oz with silver at USD16.90/oz.  These are the best volatility indicators available.  My opinion on gold is that the only time anyone will want to hold the metal is when really bad stuff happens – then it will be too late.  Avi Gilbert sums up the reasons why market indicators of what is likely to happen to gold prices cannot be relied upon.  Sentiment is fickle and rational reasons for price moves often turn out to be head fakes…

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4036904-sentiment-speaks-yet-another-leading-indicator-gold-bites-dust?source=email_macro_view_top_articles_0_0&ifp=0

 I don’t regard our “investment” in gold or silver and even EEStor as true investments.  They are merely hedges against bad things happening.

But I do expect bad things to happen.  How and when it all plays out just remains to be seen.

Remember that a world with zero or negative interest rates is a world different to the world it has been any time in the history of humanity.  The world where banks print money to avoid going bust is also unique in human history.  So if you don’t think that bad things are going to happen as a result…perhaps it is time to take stock.

If you think we can get to 2030 with 9 billion people on the planet and not have resource allocation issues, then that too should be thought through.  If you didn’t read Chris Martenson’s commentary on this, here it is again….

https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/105291/we-enter-2017-keep-big-picture-mind

Energy

 I think that people who are waiting for atomic fusion as an viable energy source are in for a long wait.  Low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) also referred to as “cold fusion” are still being played with and I know of no experiments promising anything in the immediate future.  Meantime a company called Industrial Heat is presently taking one of the key proponents of LENR (Andrea Rossi) to court in the USA…and it is unclear to me whether any prototypes have really ever proven to provide more energy than they consume.

 

The attempts to replicate the sun’s nuclear reactions are also in wait and see mode while gobbling up billions of dollars.  The biggest experiment of all is the ITER Tokamak fusion reactor, yet they have trouble releasing the truth about their claimed successes…so I doubt we will see any fusion reactors contributing to the power grid in my lifetime…

http://news.newenergytimes.net/2017/01/12/the-selling-of-iter/

There is a lot of buzz about uranium and yet prices haven’t yet begun to move much higher.  It could be because producers like Kazakhstan are trying to suppress supply or because India and China are bringing more nukes on line – and of course Japan restarting some of theirs.

http://www.mining.com/worlds-top-uranium-producer-kazakhstan-to-cut-output-by-10/

and

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4036076-uranium-pops-rally-real-time?auth_param=1d3f59:1c7cvh2:4e34bf03e33d6d5e333d3e0fd30b5542&dr=1

and

http://thecrux.com/uranium-is-soaring/

The lowest risk (and uranium producers are all relatively high risk) is of course Cameco but then there are low cost quartile, very high risk  explorers like Fission and Plateau.  My latest acquisition is some more Azincourt which is up in the stratosphere, risk wise…but it is only part of my balancing act to get out of the industry….all too risky for me.  Even so, the availability of enough uranium in the soil in significant enough quantities to meet power generation demand is also rather suspect.  Uranium prices are at rock bottom still due to Japan’s fleet of reactors being off line.  But the situation is expected to change…

http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.co.nz/2017/01/peak-uranium-future-of-nuclear-energy.html

and

http://www.kitco.com/commentaries/2017-01-13/The-Uranium-Miner-Sector-Has-Bottomed.html?sitetype=fullsite#.WHqxutS8shY.linkedin

Hence the slow recent rise in the price for yellowcake.

Peak oil is rearing its ugly head…

http://www.alternet.org/environment/economic-oil-crash-around-corner

In the meantime the lies about the sustainability of variable energy producing solar and wind farms needs to be debunked…everything relies on fossil fuels and always will do, until there is a suitable energy storage system that allows continuity of supply into the grid…

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2017/01/10/will-dishonesty-kill-cleantech/2/#6ef6c5949122

With more intermittent power generators, storage is the issue…

http://energypost.eu/despite-hype-batteries-arent-cheapest-way-store-energy-grid/

Peak oil never went away, but a 1-2% oversupply was enough to crash global oil prices as everyone competed to sell their output.  More from the latest HSBC report…

http://peakenergy.blogspot.co.nz/2017/01/hsbc-global-oil-supply-report-september.html

Given that the oil used each year comes to about 32billion barrels, the news that only 3.7 billion bbls of new resources was found is a bit of a let-down isn’t it?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-10/oil-discoveries-seen-recovering-after-crashing-to-65-year-low

New finds are small and rare and finds like these below that are now considered newsworthy would never have been thought of as worthy of comment before…

http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/148091/exxonmobil_strikes_more_oil_offshore_guyana

and

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4036887-conocophillips-big-new-oil-discovery-alaska-produce-100000-barrels-per-day?source=email_alternative_energy_investing_top_articles_0_0&ifp=0

Today’s oil price is not good enough for the Saudis or the Russians….

http://seekingalpha.com/article/4036894-weekly-oil-markets-recap-saudi-wants-higher-oil-prices?source=email_macro_view_com_1_12&ifp=0

Climate ‘science’

 I am intrigued by the publication of a study of the Great Barrier Reef that showed the coral die-off being witnessed in recent years was previously replicated some 126 thousand years ago during a similar warming episode and yet the findings showed the reef recovered afterwards (Editor’s note: as the GBR has from many short-term cycles such as the recent El Nina).

I understand the opinion of the researchers on the Barrier Reef study was that the warming last time around had nothing to do with humanity and yet this time, the situation is more severe because we humans are causing it with our greenhouse gas emissions.  At least, that was the way it seemed to be portrayed.  Sure there are 7.35 billion more of us humans now.  Sure we do burn fossil fuels, but this is a leap of faith on the part of the researchers who may simply be confirming an existing bias.

Just as I am so reluctant to accept explanations that could mean we humans are going to destroy our world  (well we do not have the power to do that – just the power to cause some human die-off), I see the IPCC brigade refusing to accept the possibility that they could be seeking explanations that confirm their own pre-set world beliefs.  The culling of university faculties to eliminate “climate deniers” hasn’t worked for that IPCC “97%” consensus (Editor’s note: the ‘97%’ has been proven totally invalid, based on fraudulent maths by an Australian academic, but taken up and lorded by many other extremists that deny the evidence against their views).  The debate continues on.  Even America’s new president seems to harbour the same doubts as I.  This exchange between a sceptical senator and the Sierra Club is a case in point….

I ask, after 12 years of watching the debate, can someone please convince me with real facts during 2017, one way or the other?  I am not sure that would be important because humanity certainly does not have the capability to do what the IPCC mob want world governments to do anyway.

So the point is moot …. and that is the only part of this debate I am certain on.  But I would like to know so I can at least cut down on my reading. (Editor’s note:  the point is ‘moot’ mainly because so many entrenched interests, including most main stream media, keep publicising the extremist AGW agendas and publicising reports mostly paid for by governments and organisations such as the UN that support the AGW agenda. For those who wish to have a balanced view, there are many relevant articles at .

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Previous Better-Management Newsletters

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

  • Better-Management Newsletter – 27 Feb 2015 – The new cold war heats up / Putin “…smacks of genocide” / “Cover their eyes, kick-the-can and hope..” / Historic alliances subordinate to US Presidential politics / Superannuation in the Antipodes
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 26 Feb 2015 – Greece: temporary reprieve / Ukraine stand-off / The implausible Fed / Cutback in drilling rigs / Obama stymies Keystone again / Restraints on militant Islam / When solar energy fails / How good are batteries? / Will new batteries succeed? / Zenn/EESU looks promising
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 23 Feb 2015 – All this money printing / Gold and silver / Threat from Russia / Winners had access to oil / Resource sustainability / Misleading resource estimates
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 22 Feb 2015 – Ukraine deteriorates / Remember past starvation of millions of Ukrainians / Russia breaches British air space / Greece: keep the party going / Democracy no longer exists in Europe / Potential to collapse the global financial system
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 19 Feb 2015 – Greek “Trojan Horse” / Ukraine rebels ‘disobey’ ceasefire / Has Putin miscalculated??
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 18 Feb 2015 – Dynamic equilibrium – Population growth/drop?  A new paradigm?  “Shale is not even remotely economically viable” – Extreme fluctuations stimulate extreme over-corrections
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 17 Feb 2015 – Business 101 for Germany.  The world hasn’t learnt either.  Middle East holy war.  The angst is peoples against peoples.  Hold the culpable people to account.  Has China hit the skids?  Peakists v. Cornucopians.  Low-hanging fruit/oil.  
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 16 February 2015 – $26 Trillion ‘game of chicken’.  Ukraine ceasefire??  There are signs of growth about.  A slowdown in demand.  Baltic Dry shipping index plummets.  “Money for nothing and chicks for free”. Our master resource…oil.  EIA have never got any forecast right.  Debt works very badly if the economy is contracting.
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 3 February 2015 – The Twin Tower trigger…. and the horrors it triggered.  The error of America’s ways.  BRICS and the SCO grow stronger.  A financial meltdown??  Natural Gas in the USA. Oil trend – up or down?  Bitcoin currency – what next? Zenn – a turning point?  What is happening in Russia?
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 1 February 2015  Oil price bottoming?  Culture of opting out.  Be nice to nerds.  Economists lost the plot.  Greece was bullied for aeons.  Substitute credit for real growth.  ‘Business as Usual’ RIP.  Where to from here?

January 2015

  • Better-Management Newsletter – 27 January 2015 – Greece mandate – for what?  Germany prepares.  Ex KGB Putin playing Good Cop?  Will Russia crash? Oil to stay below USD45/bbl?  Shale industry will be suspect.  How is Bitcoin travelling? An escape to the Antipodes?
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 25 January 2015 – Nothing useful has emerged from Davos.  Another liquidity crisis?  “Economists are stupid”.  Few scientists focus on energy storage.   Negative returns on new oil wells. Economists and bankers’ solutions: print money to goose GDP.  Politicians are pawns to big business?
  • Better-Management Newsletter – 23 January 2015 – Nanotechnology.  King Abdullah dead.  Super Mario’s QE.  Last throw of the EU dice?  Russia’s WW3 Game-plan -oil.  China’s Mr Li at Davos.  China’s central bank injects $8Bn
  • John’s Newsletter – 21 January 2015 – Swissie repercussions.  America’s own Berlin Wall collapsing.  Europe in trouble – the EU could soon be toast.  Gold still glisters. Oil – future in peril. Obama lying about oil. We need a new vision of the economy. After the big crash.  The realities of history.
  • John’s Newsletter – 18 January 2015 – Swiss Franc drama. Oil price to fall further? Shale oil Ponzi. Population growth – and green illogic.
  • John’s Newsletter – 17 January 2015 – Swiss Franc drama.  Oil price to fall further?  Shale oil Ponzi.  Population growth – and green illogic.
  • John’s Newsletter – 16 January 2015 – Oil (as usual).  China – a mixed bag.  Can technology save us?
  • John’s Newsletter – 15 January 2015 – Oil (as usual).  China – a mixed bag.  Can technology save us?
  • John’s Newsletter – 12 January 2015 – New GM EV.  Terrorism – not new. Turkey – formerly sectarian.  Oil prices and the financial markets.  Gold – limits to growth.  US stock markets – manipulated highs.
  • John’s Newsletter – 10 January 2015 – Electric car uptake accelerates. Je suis Hebden. EU’s unpayable debt – ditto China? Sri Lanka – new President. The Keystone fiasco.
  • John’s Newsletter – 8 January 2015 – Investment in 2015 – tricky.  EU: German deflation, Greek exit?  All stock markets peaked – except US.  China, Russia – odd bed-fellows.  Middle East powder keg.  Love Tesla.  Oil chaos, commodities slide.
  • John’s Newsletter – 6 January 2015 – 2014: growth tanking, falling currencies, irrational exuberance, ISIS and Ikhwani, the maths of oil, covert plans of the Saudis and US.
  • John’s Newsletter – 3 January 2015 – The climate change con. Justice, US-style. War criminals who led the US. Mario Draghi gets desperate. Government services shrink in line with income.
  • John’s Newsletter – 1 January 2015 – More ‘must-read’ books.  Escalation of the US/EU/OECD v BRICS/SEO differences.  Ominous oil prices defy rationale.
Posted in Better-Management Newsletter | Comments Off on Better-Management Newsletter

Brexit: democracy in action

What will Brexit mean, both short and long-term?  Could it lead to more countries’ rank and file voters deciding to take back control from the elitists who denigrate the hoi polloi?  Or will the elite continue to try to trample on democracy?

Scroll down to see previous articles

Article 50: down with this legal coup against the masses

article-50-down-with-this-legal-coup-against-the-masses By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked Online, 5 November 2016

The use of the law to stymie Brexit is a naked, elitist assault on democracy.

Today’s High Court ruling that Article 50 should not be triggered by the government but rather must be mulled over and decided on by MPs is being presented as a mere technical decision. It’s just about ins and outs. It’s about practicalities, not politics. It’s about the ‘procedure and policy’ of how we leave the EU, says one of the filthy-rich claimants who took this Brexitphobic court action. They really must believe their own propaganda about us Brexit-backing plebs being ‘low information’ (Forbes) and ‘ignoramuses’ (Richard Dawkins) if they think we’re going to buy this. We aren’t. This court action, and the glee it’s being greeted with by media and political haters of Brexit, is 100 per cent political, to its core. It’s motivated far less by a love for legally clean procedure than by a naked disdain for ordinary people and our democratic authority. It’s not a blow for box-ticking; it’s a blow against what we the people said in the ballot box on 23 June.

The that this case was a school-prefect-style stab for a clean, constitutional Brexit is shot down by the fact that it was brought by devoted Remainers. The super-wealthy spearhead of the case, Gina Miller, says she was made ‘physically sick’ by Brexit. She says the dim-witted decision to leave the EU, taken by 17.4million people, is a result of our having been ‘lied to’ (ie, we were brainwashed) and then choosing to do some ‘venting of anger’ (ie, we behaved emotionally). Miller has been hailed ‘woman of the century’ by influential Remainers who are dedicated to diluting or even thwarting Brexit. And the court’s decision is being celebrated by Remainers who want to hold up (rather than uphold) the people’s will. This is a ‘great moment for parliament’, says philosopher turned hater of democracy AC Grayling, since it means ‘MPs acting from courage and conviction [can] stop Brexit’. And they say with a straight face that it’s ‘about process, not politics’. They really do think we’re idiots. They really think we cannot see through their low, cynical marshalling of the law to prevent democracy, to stop politics, to undermine us.

The most laughable argument being pushed by these pleaders with white-haired judges to block the passions of the mob is that they’re standing up for parliamentary sovereignty. They pose as democrats who simply want to preserve the authority of parliament over the say-so of a single PM. With fantastic Orwellianism, one of the campaign groups that begged the High Court judge to hold up the political desires of the moronic masses calls itself ‘The People’s Challenge’.

Pro-parliamentary sovereignty? Come off it. These are the very same pro-EU types who watched and clapped for years as parliamentary sovereignty was watered down through the EU and who branded as xenophobic or a Little Englander anyone who said, ‘Wait, shouldn’t our parliament be properly sovereign?’. They have no attachment whatsoever to the fundamentals of parliamentary sovereignty. They’re only interested in it now because they hope, desperately, that MPs, a majority of whom are Remainers, will vote down what they view as the calamity of Brexit. That is, they’re drawn to parliamentary sovereignty as a potential tool for undermining the demos, for opposing the people, for acting against democracy.

They seem not to realise that if parliamentarians were to override or even slow down the will of the majority this would call into question the entire moral legitimacy of parliament. It would devastate its democratic and moral remit, the very thing we fought wars and beheaded a king to preserve, which is derived precisely from the throng that these elitists view with such unconcealed disgust. Parliamentary sovereignty isn’t some academic, legalistic idea that judges defend and allow: it is us made political flesh, the institutional expression of the spirit of the people. For MPs to act against Brexit would violently intensify cynicism of institutions and bring about a crisis of democracy of the kind Britain hasn’t experienced for a very long time. Yet this is the price some Remainers are willing to pay to stop Brexit: the hollowing-out of the historic spirit of parliament. The truth is that parliamentary sovereignty was exercised when parliament agreed to hold a referendum and to distribute pamphlets which openly stated: ‘The government will implement what you decide.’ This act of parliamentary sovereignty entrusted the fate of the EU to the people, and now this must be acted on — fully and swiftly, because the people want it, not because a judge thinks it might be feasible at a certain point.

Let’s stop talking in euphemisms. Let’s park the blather about ‘procedure’ and ‘process’. What is happening here is that well-connected, well-off people are using the courts to stymie the democratic will. It is a straight-up assault on democracy, of the sort that when it happens in Latin America or Asia the very Remainers currently cheering our wise judges would shake their heads and say: ‘Why are those foreigners so uncivilised?’ The court case is a disgrace. It’s anti-democratic, anti-politics, fuelled by a dread of the demos and by feelings of ‘physical sickness’ for what the majority of people think and want. We make them puke.

The majority calmly discussed the EU, made a decision, and voted against it. And yet they’ve been ceaselessly defamed as ‘low information’ and ‘racist’ and have watched as their decision has been undermined and held up and relentlessly delegitimised by academics, lawmen and politicians. What must we do to make ourselves heard? To be taken seriously? If the ballot box doesn’t work, maybe it’s time for the streets?

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked

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It’s time to shoot down the post-Brexit hate-crime hysteria

its-time-to-shoot-down-the-post-brexit-hate-crime-hysteria Brendan O’Neill, editor of spiked.  15 October 2016

This is the most cynical, politically motivated crime panic in memory.

Has there ever been a crime panic as flimsy, as see-through, as explicitly designed to make political mileage as the post-Brexit hate-crime hysteria? Too many people are nodding along to this nonsense, accepting as hard fact every doom-tinged utterance from the police and evidence-lite statement from the Home Office. They repeat and tweet every claim from officialdom about ‘soaring hatred’ since the 23 June referendum, and hold it up as proof that the vote to leave the EU unleashed the latent xenophobia and even homophobia of Them: those sections of society that are Eurosceptical and therefore evil. Enough. This is a moral panic, plain and simple: a naked example of the kind of ‘crime construction’ by the powers-that-be that liberals and leftists might once have critiqued, back when they were more questioning.

The hate-crime hysteria doesn’t stand up to even the mildest scrutiny. This week, the gay-rights group Galop caused global waves when it claimed homophobic hate crime rose by 147 per cent in the three months after the referendum, due to the ‘toxicity fostered by the EU referendum debate’. How does that work, then? There was no anti-gay sentiment in the Leave campaign. None of the arguments for leaving the EU was related to homosexuality. Yet we’re expected to believe that, somehow, a discussion about the future of a Brussels-based institution led to people thinking: ‘Bloody gays. Let’s get them.’ Who’s buying this?

If you’re buying it, hopefully a glance at Galop’s laughably unsubstantiated report will make you think again. The report claims 2.1million gay people in the UK have experienced hate crime, and many such crimes happened in the three months after Brexit. But these ‘facts’ are based, not on court cases or police investigations or images of bruised bodies, but on one online survey of 467 LGBT people. This survey was distributed through ‘community networks’ of ‘LGBT activists, individuals and professionals’. It asked the 467 self-selected LGBT people if they had ever experienced any kind of hatred relating to their identity. Around 80 per cent said yes. Working from the assumption that there are 2.7million LGBT people in the UK – and, as Galop admits, this is a big assumption, since ‘there are no census figures about LGBT communities’ – Galop extrapolated from the responses of these 467 individuals to say that 800,000 gay men, 500,000 bisexual people, 400,000 trans people and 400,000 lesbians have been the victim of hate crime, with a spike in such crimes after Brexit. I’m going to put my neck on the line and say this is not good science. What we have here are unproven claims, made in surveys distributed by ‘community networks’ that might, just might, have a vested interest in bigging-up the victim status of the gay community; and these unproven claims are then projected on to a gay population at large whose numbers are unknown in order to tell a story about mass hatred for homosexuals that simply isn’t visible in daily life. This isn’t science; it’s hocus pocus.

Yet much of the Remainer lobby bought into this mystical Brexit spike in homophobic crimes, just as they have uncritically accepted every claim of a post-Brexit hate-crime rampage. For months now, politicians and the media have been telling us that Brexit unleashed an ‘epidemic’ of violent spite. Media Remainers latch on to every police statement about spiralling hate crimes as proof that leaving the EU is a disaster, and Britain has overnight turned into a cesspit of backward thinking. Their cloying, uncritical faith in the cops and their figures is touching, but it’s misplaced.

Yesterday, the Home Office issued its annual report on hate crimes. It says there was a ‘sharp increase’ in hate crime after the referendum. In July there were 5,468 hate crimes – 41 per cent higher than the number of hate crimes in July last year. But again, we need scepticism – a lot of it. These 5,468 alleged incidents – I know it’s evil to use the word ‘alleged’ these days, but some of us still believe in due process – have not been investigated, far less tried in a court of law, and therefore there is no hard proof of what happened or whether it happened. This is because these ‘crimes’ (the police and Home Office have given up on the word ‘allegations’) are simply things that have been told to the police, often through their phone or email hotlines. And then the police instantly – instantly – record them as hate crimes, with no need for questioning or investigation of any kind. Every single person who phones a hate-crime hotline is believed. Again, this isn’t science.

For a flavour of how flabby the definition and recording of ‘hate crimes’ has become, consider this stipulation from the Operational Guidance for police forces dealing with such crimes: ‘For recording purposes, the perception of the victim, or any other person, is the defining factor in determining whether an incident is a hate incident… The victim does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception. Evidence of hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incident.’ Got that? In order for an alleged incident to be recorded as a hate crime – that is, for a phoned-in claim to become a hard fact – the victim or any other person simply has to say it was a hate crime and the cops will not challenge them for evidence. Remainers constantly decry the Leave lobby’s ‘post-truth politics’, yet they embrace an explicitly anti-evidence method for crime recording, buying into the hate-crime hysteria despite the fact that hate-crime recording, unlike any other crime, is based entirely on subjective feeling.

There’s something almost pre-modern in this instant belief in alleged victims, in this magical transformation of story into fact. Indeed, it brings to mind the cry of John Proctor in The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s play about the Salem witch trials: ‘Is the accuser holy now?’ In the world of hate crime, yes, the accuser is holy. His claim, his word, is sacrosanct; no one may question it. Politics doesn’t get much more post-reality than this.

The alleged post-Brexit spike in hate crime is likely to be down to both this highly relativistic recording of such crimes and also to officialdom’s active trawling for such crimes. Various wings of the authorities went looking for hate after the referendum. From the widespread Twitter-sharing of the police’s hate-crime hotline to the Mayor of London’s special webpage imploring people to phone or email about ‘hate crimes following the referendum result’ (my italics), the authorities were desperate to get more people phoning, because every single phone call is instantly a hate crime and this bolsters their general belief that Brexit has caused instability. They didn’t neutrally, scientifically observe a hate-crime epidemic; they were convinced one was taking place and they set out to prove that. They proved their own theory. They found what they wanted to find.

The true story here is not that Britain became more hateful post-referendum, but that officialdom, aided by spectacularly uncritical commentators, has developed new ways of cynically constructing crime epidemics. And to what end? To the explicitly political end of demonising the choice made by voters in the referendum and depicting Britain outside of the EU as a dangerous place in which old and ugly views have been emboldened. Rarely has the political motivation behind spreading a crime panic been so obvious, so shrill, as this.

And yet no one on the left or in liberal academia is criticising this madness. This is an extraordinary turnaround. In the 1970s and 1980s, left-leaning sociologists and criminologists devoted much intellectual energy to exposing crime and moral panics. The titles of their books and papers say it all: ‘Panic: The Social Construction of the Street Gang Problem’, ‘Juvenile Crime and the Construction of a Moral Panic’, ‘Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance’. They recognised that the authorities’ handwringing over certain kinds of crime – football hooligans, black muggers, glue sniffers – was often fuelled more by fear than facts. And they argued that such panics were often deployed for explicitly political purposes, to demonise a ‘deviant’ section of society and make the case for the introduction of more authoritarian measures. That so many nominal leftists and liberals are not only buying into the Brexit hate-crime hysteria but are actively promoting it confirms the extent to which this political group has abandoned its scepticism of authority, and is now little more than an unofficial arm of the status quo.

There’s a grim irony. Media Remainers accuse Leavers of being authoritarian populists, longing for more social control, driven by a fear of the Other. Yet the hate-crime hysteria suggests this is more true of Remainers. Indeed, the term ‘authoritarian populism’, coined by left-wing theorist Stuart Hall in the 1980s, was originally used to describe those who pushed crime panics as a means of allowing officialdom to problematise sections of society and police society at large. ‘Authoritarian populism’ was never a very useful phrase, speaking as it did to the 1980s left’s wrongheaded, anti-democratic conviction that the authoritarian impulse emanated from below, from the populace, rather than from the political elite. But today it is better applied to influential Remainers than ordinary Leavers, since it is they who spread crime panic; who ‘Other’ whole swathes of society (dumb, hateful anti-EU whites); and who implicitly invite more authoritarian policing and censorship to deal with their utterly invented tsunami of hate. Post-truth, fact-lite, fearful authoritarian – know thyself.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked.

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90 Days Later: Still No Signs Of Brexit ‘Doom & Gloom’

90-days-later-still-no-signs-of-brexit-doom-gloom  From Zerohedge, 3 October

For the first half of the year, we were warned early and often by authorities that the Brexit vote could be a calamity for the ages.

For example, the IMF claimed that a “Leave” result would threaten to “cause severe damage”, while Standard and Poor’s said that it would “paralyze” investment in the UK.

But, as Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notesit turns out that the real Brexit casualty isn’t the UK economy – instead it is the reputation of the many professional economists who wrongly predicted doom and gloom as the likely aftermath.

The two charts tracked are the GBP/EUR and the FTSE 100. The former is the price of the British pound in terms of euros, and the latter is a major stock index that includes the largest companies listed in London, such as Barclays, Glencore, HSBC, Royal Dutch Shell, or Sainsbury’s.

As expected, both markets have seen some action in the aftermath of the vote to leave. The pound has depreciated in terms of euros, but it is still higher now than it was from 2009-2011 in the post-crisis period. Against the ultra-strong USD, the pound is at decade-lows – but many other currencies are in similar territory as well.

The FTSE 100 is another story. It’s relatively close to all-time highs – and even despite the fears of a potential collapse of Deutsche Bank, it’s climbed over 12% since the initial Brexit slump.

In both cases, the action was partly underscored by the Bank of England, which announced a new stimulus program (QE) after its August meeting, while cutting rates from 0.5% to 0.25%.

OTHER INDICATORS

While there’s been movement in the currency and equity markets, other economic indicators have been status quo or better for the UK so far.

Retail sales beat in July and August, and unemployment remains at 11-year lows. Purchasing manager indices dropped temporarily, but jumped back up.

The economists that predicted that the sky was falling? They’ve been forced to revise growth expectations back up, at least on a short-term basis. It’s been dubbed the “Brexit Bounce” by The Spectator, a conservative magazine based in London.

While there is likely still going to be some long-term fallout from the Brexit decision, many “experts” blew it on this one.

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More articles concerning Brexit and implications

Posted in Brexit: a world-changing event? | Comments Off on Brexit: democracy in action

Some alternative versions of science and history

This new post provides scientific and historic information that you mostly will not read in official sources.  You may wonder why ‘they’ are keeping it a secret? Better to evaluate it objectively yourself – but you’ll need to keep an open mind and ignore a life-time of indoctrination.

Does Mankind’s Forbidden History Holds the Answer for the Missing Link?

mankinds-forbidden-history-holds-the-answer-for-the-missing-link  By Jeff Roberts, 30 September 2016

Note: the original article can be viewed at http://humansarefree.com/2014/04/mankinds-forbidden-history-holds-answer.html

It is perhaps the most convoluted puzzle to ever exist, a timeline which pits some of today’s most dominant dogmas, whether scientific or theological, in an unrelenting war against one another.

The history of human civilization and evolution. Today most would refute the Christian story of Genesis, dubbing it a fictional parable clouded by fantasy and nonsense.

Infamous proponents of Evolution Theory or natural selection, such as Richard Dawkins, are keen on discrediting the creationist theory, yet even with the powerful backing of the science community evolutionists fall short to provide us with the proper narrative that explains our leap from Homo-erectus (our ape-like ancestors) to Homo-sapiens (modern man). The missing link – our biggest conundrum.

Today there exists many alternative theories that aim to explain mankind’s speedy evolution. The Ancient Astronaut Theory is perhaps one of the most controversial of the bunch.

This theory takes researchers back in time to the cradle of civilization in the Middle-East, the ancient land of Mesopotamia. The Sumerian Cuneiform tablets, uncovered in the 17th century, provide modern man with a new understanding of our history.

This lost knowledge has been slow to make its way into mainstream thought and is just now beginning to air on television on both the History and Discovery Channels.

Accurately decoding the complicated language of the past has taken archaeologists many decades, but fortunately today these ancient scriptures have come to light for all the public to view.

Was there an extra-terrestrial presence in ancient times which seeded modern man?

Access to scripts such as the Book of Enoch, the Nag Hamadi Gospels, the Book of Jubilees, among other historical texts help to broaden our knowledge base relative to the writings in the Canonical Bible; many of these documents predate the Canonical Bible by thousands of years, shedding light on the origins and influences of the familiar stories told therein having an immense influence on Western thought.

Many would be shocked to discover the great Deluge hero Noah was actually a Sumerian King. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the longest known stories involving the King of a Sumerian city called Uruk, Noah is visited by a King and told of the coming cataclysm, the great flood.

Sadly, the funding for early archaeological inquiries was closely controlled and channeled by early church authorities, in particular the Roman Catholic Church.

A mandate was issued to fund only the archaeological explorations that perpetuated the story told in the canonical Bible, established by the same institution at the Council of Nicea, 343 CE.

Due to the majority who were uneducated in the past, the task of knowing the truth was often delegated to authorities.

Fortunately, today, knowledge and information distribution is rampant among the internet, and the power is now left in our hands as the efforts of past decoders is finally being disseminated to the world.

Mankind’s forbidden history: Clay tablets, dating 2000 years before the Canonical Bible, from Ancient Mesopotamia, tell the story of the Anunnaki — an ET species of humanoids who arrived on Earth in flying ships and genetically modified the human species

When one realizes that the God from the Old Testament Yahweh, was none other than the local deity of the Sumerian city of Ur, Enlil, the truth is revealed. Enlil and his various relatives were venerated as gods in various temples from Nineveh to Assur to the Sumerian city of Ur to name just a few.

Similarly, his brother Enki and his children Nannar and Innana also had temples in prominent cultural and trade portals within the region. More importantly, Enlil was not acting alone, but rather in consort with others referred to as the Anunnaki.

Enlil and his brother, Enki, are mentioned in the Genesis and the more historical Clay Tablets as participating in genetic trials to produce a primitive worker, Homo sapiens.

The Sumerian records reveal that “Adam” and “Eve” were not created by “God”,
but rather they were genetically engineered by an advanced race
of extra-terrestrials, called the Anunnaki.

A very detailed account is provided of a clinical trial that results in the archetype for the human race, “Adam,” being birthed. The trial was conducted by Enlil’s half-sister, Ninmah, and his half-brother Enki, in an African laboratory.

The historical records appeal to even the most scrutinizing scientist who readily recognized the threshold of knowledge required to discuss a topic such as genetic engineering in a document almost 5000 years old which provides a more detailed account of the creation of man, one that makes sense technically and historically versus the précis version provide by the Bible, although in many cases complementary.

This would perhaps explain the age of Noah, who was said to be 600 years old at the time of the great flood. Noah was the son of a “deity” according to the Bible. Could this father “deity” really be an extra-terrestrial being which gave rise to Noah’s lengthy lifespan?

Various deities in Sumerian and Egyptian records had also known as (AKA) names which seemed to span long periods of time and were found throughout various ancient texts. For example, the Akkadian god Sin was also known as the moon god Nannar, son of Enlil.

His sister, Inanna also sported the symbol of the crescent moon and had temples throughout Mesopotamia. She was known as Ishtar to the Akkadians.

Interestingly, many deities from other cultures such as the Greeks and Egyptians
were alternate versions of original Sumerian “gods”.
The Egyptian goddess Ishtar was really the Sumerian deity Inanna,
who according to Sumerian text was a high ranking member of the Anunnaki.

The Greek historian Herodotus lived in the 5th century BCE and hailed from Ionia; he delineated the Egyptian civilization into three dynasties and the model is still used by Egyptologists today.

Mantheo, the Egyptian priest-historian agrees with the three dynasties, except adds one more dynasty which was ruled by the “gods” alone.

He states the first dynastic rulers of Egyptian gods ruled for 12 300 years [1]. It is interesting to note that in the Sumerian texts, Enki was assigned the regions of Egypt and Africa by his father Anu, on or before 3760 BCE.

It just so happens that the Jewish calendar, whose origins are from the Sumerian city of Nippur, begins its count in 3760 BCE as well.

The two royal Anunnaki brothers held animosity for one another,
causing ancient wars often referred to as the “great wars in heaven”
in the Christian dogma.

The Sumerians claimed that all aspects of civilization were taught to them by the deities that were worshiped in the temples of Mesopotamia.

Detailed knowledge about the Earth’s orbital plane, tilt axis, spherical shape, and precession behavior of its equinox were known by the Sumerian deities, who were also credited for the construction of the Zodiac.

6,000 years old Sumerian cylindrical seal shows an accurate depiction of our solar system.
Modern science didn’t knew this until very recently. Other texts describe the colors of
Uranus and Neptune, which modern science has only very recently discovered.

Contrast this detailed level of knowledge in Sumer with that possessed in Europe during the Middle-Ages.

Scientists and church authorities in Europe were at odds whether the Earth was round or flat while the people of Sumeria and the surrounding region had advance mathematics, metallurgy, law codes, and produced many civilization first inventions and advanced achievements. [2]

The correlation between the God of the Old Testament and the Sumerian god are apparent; the Sumerian storm God, Enlil, can be considered the God of wrath and vengeance in the Old Testament.

When discussing religious truth, there is what the ruling party or superpower believes and what the subordinated cultures believe which is given a derogatory label as pagan or occult.

An example of this is taking place and manifesting presently in the Middle East where religious factions representing Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are waging war in the ancient land of Canaan, near Mount Megiddo located south of Israel. Warring factions whose genealogy originates from Sumer are still in conflict today.

The devotees of Enlil, AKA Yahweh the God of the Old Testament, stand toe to toe with the followers of Enki, still at odds with each other of the domination of the Earth.

Could the conflicts involving the countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Israel be a result of the past wars that took place between the “gods” Enlil and Enki and their offspring as written about in “War of Gods and Men” by Zecharia Sitchin?

According to Sumerologists, the term AN.UNNA.KI literally is interpreted as those who from “heaven to Earth came.” The key point to note early on is the affiliation of the term “heaven” with the claimed planet of Anunnaki origin, namely Nibiru as detailed in “The 12th Planet” by Sitchin.

Additionally, from the list of characters detailed as “deities” in Mesopotamian literature we know that the head of the Anunnaki council of 12 was chaired by Anu, the father of the two key players and half-brothers Enlil and Enki.

NI.BI.RU is composed from the now digitized cuneiform script, listed in Unicode as 1224C, 12249, and 12292. Thus, a more accurate interpretation of the word Anunnaki is those who from Anu to the Earth came or were sent.

Equating the planet Nibiru with the word Heaven, as used in the Bible, is an important detail when re-examining prayers like “Our father who art in Heaven…,” shining a whole new light on who the Father in Heaven actually was, namely Anu (ruler of the Anunnaki and father of Enlil and Enki). Thus, the prayers must have originated from Anu’s extra-terrestrial children on Earth.

What was the reason the Anunnaki left Nibiru to come to Earth? According to Sitchin and other authors on the subject, Nibiru, located beyond Pluto, is trapped in a 3600 year retrograde elliptical orbit around our Sun.

According to Sumerian maps and reports from 1983 IRAS Naval Observatory by Dr. Harrington, discovery of a large planet in the region Nibiru was reported to reside near where the Sumerians indicated, beyond Pluto.[8] In short, the Anunnaki home planet is real and inbound to perihelion circa 1400 years from now.

Brown dwarf planets, as we know, do not receive significant solar radiation to keep the surface temperature habitable. The atmosphere on Nibiru was generated either artificially or from gases and released steam from the geothermal heated planet.

According to Sitchin’s published history timeline [6] approximately 450,000 years ago, life on Nibiru was facing extinction due to a deteriorating atmosphere and the subsequent exposure to radiation, especially at close Perihelion with the Sun.

One of the leaders of Nibiru traveled inwards and landed on Earth, discovering Earth’s surplus of gold. Because of their advancements in technology, the Anunnaki could use gold to save the failing atmosphere of Nibiru by dispersing the ionized particles into the planet’s atmosphere.

“Tree of Life”, depicted an object which closely
resembles the Egyptian sun-disk. This ancient symbol has many theorized meanings,
including the Sun and enlightened knowledge held and passed down
by the royal lineage for millennia.

Anu and his two sons Enlil and Enki eventually came to excavate Earth for the gold as well, however, Enlil and Enki kept their distance due to a rivalry. According to Niburian inheritance rules, Enlil was the rightful heir due to his position as son of Anu and Anu’s Sister.

Enki was only son of Anu, his mother wasn’t of royal blood. The female contribution to genetic material includes mitochondrial DNA which the male does not. Enki was assigned mining operation in Africa, Enlil in Mesopotamia, and a granddaughter named Inanna was given the Indus Valley region. The division took place and was finalized in 3760 BCE.

To increase efficiency, the higher ranking members of the Anunnaki brought several subservient workers to help with gold mining labor (known as Watchers or Igigi). The Igigi worked hard for some time, but inevitably grew tiresome of their slave conditions and revolted against the Anunnaki.

This forced the Anunnaki to establish a new plan, one that developed a hybrid being, a primitive worker, to replace the Igigi gold diggers. The Homo-sapiens.

The Formation of Our Solar System According to Sumerian Text

The following is a summary of the formation of our solar system according to the Sumerian epoch, Enuma Elish. According to the text, told in an allegory of celestial warriors, ten planets composed our solar system.

Earth was not yet formed, as it was then part of a larger planet called Tiamut, which eventually crashed into Nibiru during the initial formation of the planet’s orbits, leaving behind an immense trail of debris from which the Earth formed, along with the asteroid belt.

During this cataclysm the mass of the forming Earth also captured Nibiru’s moon. It is theorized that this initial disaster transferred the original seeds of life to Earth, a form of accidental Panspermia.

The significance of the Sumerian’s Epic of Creation specifies one additional planet in our solar system, the Anunnaki’s home planet Nibiru, who’s aphelion is positioned  beyond Pluto in a 3600 year retrograde orbit around the Sun.

Dr. Robert S. Harrington, chief of the U.S. Naval Observatory used an infra-red satellite, IRAS, to locate a large planetary body which was causing wobbles in the orbital paths of Uranus and Neptune.

The IRAS produced results indicating a large brown dwarf, four times larger than the size of Earth, had been located without question. Harrington and Van Flandern of the Naval Observatory, published  their findings and opinion that a tenth planet had been located in our solar system, even calling it an intruder planet. [3]

Harrington met with Sitchin to correlate the IRAS findings with the Babylonian Epic of Creation, the Enuma Elish. Given the evidence reported by IRAS, other space probes like Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager, and the corroborating orbital path, planet size, and retrograde characteristics of the tenth planet, Harrington agreed with Sitchin that it was Nibiru. [3]

As so, the passage of a tenth planet the magnitude of Nibiru between Mars and Jupiter would certainly have a noticeable impact every 3600 years.

With this in mind, it is highly probable that Nibiru’s passage may be responsible for pole shifts and reversals, changes in the Earth’s precession about its axis, and potentially dangerous meteors and space debris drug along from the asteroid belt inbound to Perihelion.

Could Nibiru’s Perihelion 3,600 year orbit be the cause of the great cataclysms discussed in ancient texts?

Unusual artifacts found around the world, those that seem to contradict the know abilities of the civilization under analysis, are not hard to find. Examples include hieroglyphs from the Egyptian temple of Abydos, depicting rockets, airplanes, submarines, and even an advanced helicopter.

There is also an Iraqi battery find, precision stone masonry and architecture using megalithic stones. Of all the material accessible to a culture, why use the most difficult material as possible? Massive 1000 ton blocks.

Findings from around the world to include model airplanes, incredibly sophisticated solar and lunar temples aligned to solstice and equinox alike, along with tens of thousands of advanced beings teaching civilizing technologies to indigenous peoples points overwhelmingly to the fact that the Anunnaki were here on Earth.

Sitchin was instrumental in getting the Sumerian details about the Anunnaki records for the world to see. It has taken over 100 years for the information to be accepted thus far. Tablets are now digitized for translation speed and accuracy. [4]

An important point to mention is that the Sumerian flood account was clearly copied and modified to create the Genesis account, written by Hebrew priests being held captive in Babylon, where they had access to the true story of the great flood but chose to placate Enlil as their chosen monotheistic ancient astronaut god.

After all, they were scared to death of Enlil’s wrath. Genesis 6 describes the background scene to the great flood, leaving out all references to the other members of the Anunnaki council in the Torah narrative.

According to Sumerian records, the wrathful “God” in the Christian Epic “Genesis”
was in fact an Anunnaki king named Enlil, who was weary of the his brother Enki’s
genetic creation of mankind. Enlil worried that humanity would grow and eventually
revolt against him, and so, Enlil ordered the destruction of
mankind by disease and natural disasters.

Genesis 6:1-8 (NIV)

‘When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.’

Enlil (God in the Hebrew Genesis) did not create man, but rather, his half-brother Enki and their sister Ninmah were more so involved in the genetic manipulation, as evidenced in the Atrahasis, predating the Genesis account by 1700 years.

Enlil apparently wiped out man because of their incessant noise, although this motive seems bleak, and considering the animosity between Enlil and Enki, one must only consider that Enlil’s motive behind wiping out mankind had something to do with the fact that Homo sapiens were seeds of Enki and thus had the potential to rise up against Enlil.

Enlil was a ghost writer of the Bible, and consequently the truth was distorted to benefit the latter.

Furthermore, the “plant of knowledge of good and evil”, the “forbidden fruit”, was present in Enki’s first outpost city of Eridu.

Enlil (AKA Jehovah/God) tells Adapa (Adam) in Eridu’s Garden of Eden that if he eats the fruit he will die. Enki counteracts this lie and tells Adapa he will surely not die but instead become “like one of us, the gods”.

Thus, there seems to be a transformational effect produced by this plant that changes human consciousness. In any event, Enki tells the truth and is demonized and symbolized as a snake, while Enlil lies, and promotes himself as God.

This lie, the fact that Adam did not die but rather became aware of his nakedness, attests to not want the plant of the knowledge of good and evil consumed. It was about controlling the access to higher consciousness, frowned upon by Enlil.

Mankind was Enki’s proud creation with the help of his relative Ninharsag, which successfully alleviated the Anunnaki’s toils of gold mines just as he promised. Enlil said he was tired of man’s noise, and wanted Enki to release some form of disease to wipe them out.

Of course, Enki defied his brother and offered guidance and protection of man. Enlil continued to order the death of the Homo sapiens, and afflicted man with sickness, headaches, and other disease. [7]

To finalize the death of man, Enlil orders Enki to conjure up a great flood. Enki refuses, and the tension continues to build between the two brothers.

Although the Anunnaki had the technological means to manipulate the weather, it is unclear whether the great flood to come was caused by the Anunnaki themselves or by the gravitational forces wrought by Nibiru’s passing of Earth, enroute to a 3600 year solar perihelion.

Regardless of the cause, Enlil took credit to establish his perceived power to punish. Hence the correlation to the Old Testament’s God of Wrath and Enlil’s genocidal attributes.

Before the pole shift, Enki warned one of his sons, Ziusudra, about the coming disaster,
helping him create a boat atop a mountain.
The Biblical tale of Noah was taken from the Sumerian record.

Enki decided to modify an oath made to withhold knowledge of the impending watery disaster from the people, and instructs his son Atrahasis to build a boat. Enki helps Atrahasis relocate the boat to Mr. Ararat.

Also important to note, the idea that Noah housed a number of animal species on the boat is a misconception. It was animal DNA that was collected and saved. [7]

Thus, Atrahasis is the biblical Noah. Also noted, Ninharsag is later to be called “Isis” in ancient Egypt.

Engineering Humans

According to Sumerian records, one of Enki’s sons, Thoth, was the creator of and key proponent of mankind becoming the “Sons of God” through the awakening of the energy bodies (chakras) and subsequent consciousness, which he designed to be sensitive to the various frequencies affiliated with the radial distance and frequencies caused by a spherical resonator, i.e., the Earth.

One can read the Emerald Tablets to get a sense of the advanced energy knowledge Thoth possessed. Also, as evidenced by his staff the Caduceus, he was an adept geneticist.

Lawrence Gardner in his pre-eminent book Genesis of the Grail Kings, discusses the meaning of the ancient symbol associated with Thoth. Knowledge of energy, matter, and the human pineal glandwere at play as a function of human consciousness connected to DNA.

Enki designed primitive workers with highly scientific abilities: genetic functional mappings with a human energy body composed of 7 chakras. The chakras provide access to an evolutionary means that allow mankind to continue on its path of conscious expansion.

These seven quantized energy states were intentionally designed by Enki providing mankind an interface for future evolution of consciousness.

Enki did not seem comfortable accepting the concept of slavery versus creating a primitive worker that just got a genetic jumpstart with the potential of becoming one of the gods. To the Anunnaki, the mechanism of evolution of consciousness was highly classified.

Could the Sumerian Narrative be the Answer?

Extensive, detailed, and controversial, the Sumerian Creation Epic stands as both an opponent and an adversary to theories of modern science as well as today’s most prominent religious doctrines, a subject of volatile discourse.

These ancient writings help to broaden our knowledge of the origin of mankind while challenging the well-established account told from the Bible.

The Ancient Astronaut Theory may test the beliefs of the majority, as depictions and dramatizations of extra-terrestrial beings in mainstream culture have stifled people’s understanding of the latter, yet one cannot deny the enigma that surrounds the innovations and knowledge that the Sumerians possessed.

Moreover, evolution’s biggest puzzle has yet to be completed – the miraculous leap from Homo-erectus to Homo-sapien. However, the Sumerians offer detailed scientific clarification on this matter.

The fact that numerous indigenous cultures world-wide built monuments which looked to worship the sky, and shared similar stories of “gods” ascending from the “heavens” should beg the question of an extra-terrestrial presence during those times.

There is an uncanny correlation between the stories and knowledge-base of the ancient cultures and the timeline in which they acquired a deeper understanding of astrology, technology, biology, and spirituality, subjects which only gained proper comprehension in the last few centuries.

The Sumerian records stand as one of mankind’s most important collections of history to date. With proper analysis, these writings not only offer insight into our humble beginnings, but they also offer answers about our ultimate fate as human beings.

By Jeff Roberts | References:

1. Clark, Gerald. The Anunnaki of Nibiru: Mankind’s Forgotten Creators, Enslavers, Destroyers, and Hidden Architects of the New World Order (Book).
2. Sitchin, Zecharia. The Earth Chronicles (Book).
3. Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia. Jeremy Black and Anthony Green, University of Texas, 2003.
4. Freer, Neil. The Anunnaki and the Myth of a 12th Planet. 2006,http://www.redicecreations.com/specialreports/2006/01jan/annunaki.html
5. Roug, Louise, Digitizing Cuneiform, LA Times,
6. Chew, Feeland. Zecharia Sitchin and a New Synthesis.
7. http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab11.htm
8. http://yowusa.com/planetx/2007/planetx-2007-08b/1.shtml

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Lockheed Executive talks about Black Budgets and the Secret Space Travel Program

lockheed-executive-about-black-budgets-and-the-secret-space-travel-program from humansarefree.com 16 September 2016

It’s called quantum entanglement, it’s extremely fascinating and counter to what we believe to be the known scientific laws of the universe, so much so that Einstein himself could not wrap his head around it. 

Although it’s called “quantum entanglement,” though Einstein referred to it as “spooky action at a distance.”

Recent research has taken quantum entanglement out of the theoretical realm of physics, and placed into the one of verified phenomena.

An experiment devised by the Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, led by Professor Howard Wiseman and his team of researchers at the university of Tokyo, recently published a paper in the journal Nature Communications confirming what Einstein did not believe to be real: the non-local collapse of a particle’s wave function. (source), (source), and this is just one example of many.

They did this by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, and testing whether measurement of it in one laboratory would actually cause a change in the local quantum state in the other laboratory.

In doing so, researchers were able to verify the entanglement of the split single photon. Researchers have since replicated this experiment over and over again, with results of entanglement seen at kilometres of distance.

Below is a great visual depiction of what quantum entanglement from the film, “What The Bleep Do We Know.”

“Space is just the construct that gives the illusion that there are separate objects” – Dr. Quantum

Sure, there are a lot of philosophies regarding what all of this stuff actually means, but, as Dr. Elizabeth Rauscher puts it, it’s a pre-curser to realizing that everything is connected, and that everything in the universe is one. What happens in what we call reality, is effecting something else in that same reality, it’s all “touching.”  (source)

What’s happening here is that, either we are witnessing the transfer of ‘information’ at a speed far greater than the speed of light, or even better, something completely instantaneous.

If all points in space are connected, that means vast distances between places are simply an illusion. Furthermore, quantum entanglement challenges Einsteins theory of relativity, but theories are developed to be tweaked and changed. Unfortunately, our world is plagued with secrecy, and you can learn more about that in an article about the black budget linked at the bottom of this article.

The Lockheed Executives Comments On Space Travel

Rich was the second director of Lockheed Skunkwork’s from 1975-1991. He’s been called the Father of Stealth, having overseen the development of the stealth fighter, the F-117A nighthawk. Before his death, Rich made several shocking open statements about the reality of UFOs and extraterrestrials.

“We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects, and it would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity. Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do it.” (1)

“We now have technology to take ET home. No it won’t take someone’s lifetime to do it. There is an error in the equations. We know what it is. We now have the capability to travel to the stars.” (1)

“There are two types of UFOs — the ones we build and the ones ‘they’ build.” (1)

Where Quantum Entanglement Comes In

When Rich was asked how UFO propulsion worked, he said, “Let me ask you. How does ESP work?” The questioner responded with, “All points in time and space are connected?” Rich then said, “That’s how it works!”

Interesting to think about, isn’t it? Perhaps the vast distances that exist between planets, solar systems and more isn’t really as much of a barrier as we thought it was.

What Are The Sources For These Quotes?

One of the sources is aerospace journalist, James Goodall, who wrote for publications such as Jane’s Defense Weekly, Aviation Week and Space Technology, and Interavia.

He is an accomplished speaker specializing in the history, development, and operations of the world’s only Mach 3 capable, manned air breathing aircraft, the SR-71 family of aircraft. (1) (source), (source), (source)

He is also an author, as well as the Associate Curator at the Pacific Aviation Meseum, HI. He was also the restoration manager at the Museum of Flight in Paine Field, Everett, WA.

Goodall interviewed many from the classified black budget world (read more about that world here.) He claimed that some of his contacts told him that “we have things out there that are literally out of this world, better than Star Trek or what you see in the movies.” (1)

From his work alone, James Goodall knew Ben Rich well. In a video interview, Goodall stated that he spoke to Rich approximately 10 days before he died:

“About ten days before he died, I was speaking to Ben on the telephone at the USC Medical Center in LA. And he said, ‘Jim, we have things out in the desert that are fifty years beyond what you can comprehend.

“They have about forty five hundred people at the Lockheed Skunk works. What have they been doing for the last eighteen or twenty years? They’re building something.’” (1)

Another source comes from John Andrews, who was a legendary Lockheed engineer. He had written to Rich, stating his own belief in UFOs, both manmade and extraterrestrial.

Andrews has asked Rich if his own beliefs covered extraterrestrial as well as manmade UFOs. Rich’s reply was as follows:

“Yes, I’m a believer in both categories. I feel everything is possible. Many of our man-made UFOs are Un-Funded Opportunities. There are two types of UFOs, the ones we build, and the ones they build.” (1)

In Rich’s reply, he underlined the U, F, and O in “unfunded opportunities.”

Thirdly, Jan Harzan, a senior executive with IBM, along with Tom Keller, an aerospace engineer who has worked as a computer systems analyst for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, discusses a talk Ben gave some time ago.

On March 23rd, 1993 at a UCLA School of Engineering talk where he was presenting a general history of Sunk Works, he said this:

“We now know how to travel to the stars. There is an error in the equations, and we have figured it out, and now know how to travel to the stars and it won’t take a lifetime to do it.

“It is time to end all the secrecy on this, as it no longer poses a national security threat, and make the technology available for use in the private sector.

“There are many in the intelligence community who would like to see this stay in the black and not see the light of day. We now have the technology to take ET home.” (1)

Here is a video of Jan telling the story: https://youtu.be/u9ZZekWMiUQ

What’s Remarkable About the ET/UFO Phenomenon

It’s quite remarkable how many verified statements we have regarding UFOs (unidentified flying objects) and extraterrestrials from people who have held the highest positions possible within the government, military, academia, politics and more.

To be honest, it’s overwhelming, and when you put all of those statements together with all of the previously classified documentation that has been released over the past few years, it paints a startling picture.

Anybody who has done even a fair amount of research, and adheres to the philosophy of “condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance,” would not be able to deny this, and I have yet to come across someone who has done the research that still subjects this topic to the “conspiracy theory” realm.

If you’d like to learn more about UFOs, a great place to start is by checking out what happens when they are tracked on military radar.

Here is an example: There really is an “abundant amount of evidence.”

Want to Learn More About The Secret Space Program? This is a great lecture given by researcher Richard Dolan. A great place to start – https://youtu.be/buNCOlB-HeM

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Posted in The science you're not told about | Comments Off on Some alternative versions of science and history

Could energy be free?

Modern society growth is proportional to available energy, so the availability of cost-effective energy for everyone is clearly critical.  This post presents a range of issues with regard to the science, views and potential for free energy and so-called renewable energy.

Scroll down to see additional articles at the end of the post.

Could energy be free?

Could energy be free A selection of several articles and videos on the subject, 10 May 2016

This article presents a range of issues with regard to the potential for free energy.

Introduction

Modern society growth is proportional to available energy, so the availability of cost-effective energy for everyone is clearly critical.  This post presents a range of issues with regard to the science, views and potential for free energy and so-called renewable energy.

Of the seven largest markets in the world, namely, energy, agriculture, telecom, auto, chemicals, packaged foods, and pharma, the energy market surpasses all others by a minimum margin of $3.3 trillion dollars per year. The growing demand for energy drives market size projections to $10.4 trillion per year by 2020, helping energy maintain its dominant position in the world markets.   The 2013 world GDP was USD75.59, so energy comprised about 15%.

Several organisations are working hard to develop low-cost devices that could provide almost-free energy that potentially could destroy or replace most of the current energy industry.  Question: how do you think energy industry leaders are reacting?  Read banker J P Morgan’s reaction to Nicola Tesla’s inventions below, and view Thomas Bearden’s videos, also below.

However, the most of the official scientific views of ‘free energy’, Tesla’s demonstrations, zero point energy and the like are dismissive.   But then, recall everyone ‘knew’ the sun went around the earth, and peptic ulcers were caused by stress and acidity – until 2 doctors, who had been scoffed at for 20 years – proved these ulcers were caused by bacteria, and won Nobel prizes.  Scientific has an alarming history of ‘getting it wrong’. As Einstein said, it only takes one person to prove I’m wrong’.

Caveat

The reader is advised that most of what is presented in this section is very different from what he/she is likely to have been taught, read and viewed. Rather than scoffing, which is a natural reaction, it would be better to maintain an open mind and consider the degree that past information on this and allied subjects may have been manipulated for entirely different ends.

The subject of ‘free energy’ is best introduced and put into context by the Sirius project. Dr Carol Rosin interviews Dr Steve Greer to discuss an update on Sirius Disclosure (34 mins intro, implementation at 77 mins, ends 94 mins) – audio interview http://americanfreedomradio.com/listen_live.html

Interview with Dr Carol Rosin: Von Braun’s legacy – 34 min 2013 YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?=gP8ftWzFYI4&list=PLnrEt2fIdZ0aBgPuVF0C_T559Y

Tom Bearden

 Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Bearden, US Army, PhD explains how energy can be extracted from the ‘zero points field’, the ‘dipole’ effect and how and why this form of free energy has been buried by various black government, financial and industrial operations as well as the scientific community and non-availability of patents for ‘perpetual motion machines’. Recorded around 2002, but similarly valid in 2016. The main difference is that ‘money-printing’ has extended his forecasted deadline – 47 minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wleifp3Fbe0

Thomas article:  Clean Electrical Energy from the Active Vacuum 2002   http://www.cheniere.org/articles/clean%20electrical.htm

A 6-minutes video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKFEmMotPNo, and a longer 50 min video that explains the article including many associated factors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJY8XqFnAyg&ebc=ANyPxKoiO2_L3WFfQZyyXFBfL8GqxZ_cFZPrZTreDPlVY5OmjBo2cSRCdlSWUGDYCAqgVu8dBTQJ5uNoF6tJPFEI-PTeWJ4Vow

History of free energy, suppression, economic cartels in energy preventing free energy, assassination etc.  and how it works – over-unity power systems, Lt Colonel Thomas Bearden (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsJybtR9YlM 47 minutes) – his website: http://www.cheniere.org/ – note quotes.  This is an old video ~2003 – predicts world will be into mass war in 2007/08 or sooner if new energy generation is prevented – his logic remains, but the various institutions, cartels etc. have managed to delay free energy for another decade since. Dr. Eugene Mallove RIP

Description of zero point energy by Dr Hal Puthoff – (watch Dr Mallove 3 videos at the end of first video, linked after the first video)

  • Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blojNMW-Ias
  • Part 2
  • Part 3 (shortly before he was murdered, a still-unresolved mystery) –

Perpetual motion machine?

Science skeptic and writer, Martin Gardner has called claims of such zero-point-energy-based systems, “as hopeless as past efforts to build perpetual motion machines.”  Perpetual motion machine refers to technical designs of machines that can operate indefinitely, optionally with additional output of excessive energy, without any cited input source of energy, which is in violation of the laws of thermodynamics. Formally, technical designs that claim to harness zero-point energy would not fall into this category because zero-point energy is claimed as the input source of energy’.  The issue is, then, what the are boundaries that comprise the overall system in which the energy resides.

A full explanation of progress in the zero energy science: ‘As to whether zero-point energy may become a source of usable energy, this is considered extremely unlikely by most physicists, and none of the claimed devices are taken seriously by the mainstream science community. Nevertheless, SED interpretation of the Bohr orbit (above) does suggest a way whereby energy might be extracted. Based upon this a patent has been issued and experiments have been underway at the University of Colorado (U.S. Patent 7,379,286).’  NB mainstream science ‘knew’ the sun goes around the earth, and stomach ulcers were caused by excess acid. http://www.calphysics.org/zpe.html

Nikola Tesla

 A Device to Harness Free Cosmic Energy Claimed by Nikola Tesla: “This new power for the driving of the world’s machinery will be derived from the energy which operates the universe, the cosmic energy, whose central source for the earth is the sun and which is everywhere present in unlimited quantities.” It is not clear how or whether this related directly to zero-point energy.  It is fully documented that banker J P Morgan believed it would work and preclude his profiting from selling energy; he sabotaged Tesla’s progress and stole Tesla’s patents.  Acknowledged as the greatest inventor ever, as a result, Tesla died a pauper.  http://www.nuenergy.org/nikola-tesla-radiant-energy-system/

Dr Steven Greer

 Steven Greer, re new/free energy/ET etc.

The potential for ‘free energy’ is discussed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy – Utilization Controversy section.  Zero-point energy, also called quantum vacuum zero-point energy, is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical physical system may have; it is the energy of its ground state Despite the scientific stance to typically discount the claims, numerous articles and books have been published addressing and discussing the potential of tapping zero-point-energy from the quantum vacuum or elsewhere. See 44 references with links.

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Inherit the Wind (and not much else)

Inherit the Wind (and not much else)  By David Archibald, Quadrant Online, 8 Feb 2015

 The RET Scheme, a monstrous mis-allocation of resources, continues to make Australia poorer for no good reason.  Those who concocted and voted for it seem determined to hobble the nation’s prospects while slipping some $5 billion every year into the pockets of rent-seeking saboteurs

One Senate inquiry is addressing Australia’s drift towards a fuel crisis, a sin of omission on the part of the Rudd/Gillard government and the current Liberal one.  Another Senate inquiry is investigating a sin of commission that started under John Howard’s watch and continues to this day, namely the proliferation of wind turbines under the RET Scheme.

Submissions to the latter inquiry are online here.  I commend submission Number Five by your humble correspondent. It is reproduced below:

No electric power producer would take power from a wind turbine operation if they had the choice.  All the wind turbines in Australia have been forced upon the power companies that take their output.

Why do we have wind turbines?

So the question has to be asked, why do we have wind turbines in the first place?

Wind turbines are commonly considered to produce renewable energy.  This is distinct from energy sources that are once-through and thus finite. The rationale for renewable energy is that its use reduces the consumption of fossil fuels by substitution.  The rationale for that, in turn, is that fossil fuels contribute to the warming of the atmosphere through the greenhouse effect.  This last rationale goes to the source of the wind turbine problem.  So it is apposite to examine that claim.

While climate change is real in that the climate is always changing, and the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide is real, the effect at the current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is minuscule.

The greenhouse gasses keep the planet 30°C warmer than it would otherwise be if they weren’t in the atmosphere.  So the average temperature of the planet’s surface is 15°C instead of -15°C. Of that effect, 80% is provided by water vapour, 10% by carbon dioxide and methane, ozone and so on make up the remaining 10%.  So the warming provided by carbon dioxide is three degrees.

The pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 286 parts per million. Let’s round that up to 300 parts per million to make the maths easier. You could be forgiven for thinking that if 300 parts per million produces three degrees of warming, the relationship is that every one hundred parts per million produces a degree of warming. We are adding two parts per million to the atmosphere each year, which is 100 parts per million every 50 years and, at that rate, the world would heat up at a fair clip.

The relationship is logarithmic

But the relationship isn’t arithmetic, it is logarithmic. The  University of Chicago has an online program called Modtran which allows you to put in an assumed atmospheric  carbon dioxide  content and it will  tell you how  much  atmospheric  heating that produces. It turns out that the first 20 parts per million produces half of the heating effect to date. The effect rapidly drops away as the carbon dioxide concentration increases.

By the time we get to the current level in the atmosphere of 400 parts per million, the heating effect is only 0.1°C per one hundred parts per million. At that rate, the temperature of the atmosphere might rise by 0.2°C every one hundred years.

The total atmospheric heating from carbon dioxide to date is of the order of 0.1°C.  By the time humanity has dug up all the rocks we can economically burn, and burnt them, the total heating effect from carbon dioxide might be of the order of 0.4°C. This would take a couple of centuries.  A rise of this magnitude would be lost in the noise of the climate system.  This agrees with observations which have not found any signature from carbon dioxide-related heating in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide level is dangerously low

The carbon dioxide level of the atmosphere is  actually  dangerously  low,  not  dangerously  high.   During the glacial periods of our current ice age, the level got as low as 180 parts per million.  Plant growth shuts down at 150 parts per million. Several times in the last three million years, life above sea level came within 30 parts per million of extinction due to a lack of carbon dioxide. The more humanity can increase the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the safer life on Earth will be.

Further to all that, belief in global warming from carbon dioxide requires a number of underlying assumptions.  One of these is that the feedback loop of increased heating from carbon dioxide causes more water vapour to be held in the atmosphere which in turns causes more heating, a runaway effect.  And that this feedback effect only starts from the pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – not a higher level or a lower level, but exactly at the pre-industrial level.

Some estimates of the heating effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide are as high as 6.0°C for a doubling of the concentration from the pre-industrial level.  For this to be true, atmospheric heating of at least 2.0°C should have been seen to date. In the real world, there has been a temperature rise of 0.3°C in the last 35 years, as measured by satellites.  This is well short of what is predicted by global warming theory as practiced by the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and others.

This is also a far more plausible reason for the warming of the planet during the current Modern Warm Period which followed the ending of the Little Ice Age in 1900.  The energy that keeps the Earth from looking like Pluto comes from the Sun and the level and make-up of that energy does change. The Sun was more active in the second half of the 20th century than it had been in the previous 8,000 years.  As shown by the geomagnetic Aa Index, the Sun started getting more active in the mid-19th century and the world’s glaciers began retreating at about the same time.

It is entirely rational to think that a more active Sun would result in a warmer Earth, and this is borne out by empirical observation. To wit, the increased Antarctic sea ice cover observed during the satellite period.

Arctic sea ice extent retreated for the last 20 years of the 20th century.  That is compatible with global warming for any reason.  At the same time, Antarctic sea extent increased by an amount similar to the Arctic sea ice loss. This is not possible if we accept that global warming is due to carbon dioxide.  It also means that global warming due to carbon dioxide did not cause the bulk of the warming in the rest of the planet because carbon dioxide’s effect was overwhelmed in Antarctica by some other force.

Increase in Antarctic sea ice extent

The increase in Antarctic sea ice extent is entirely consistent with increased global temperatures due to high solar activity, as explained by Henrik Svensmark’s theory, which holds that high solar activity produces a lower neutron flux in the lower troposphere from intergalactic cosmic radiation, in turn providing fewer nucleation sites for cloud droplet formation and, thus, less cloud cover. Sunnier skies over Antarctica in turn mean that more solar radiation is reflected by high-albedo snow and ice instead of being absorbed in the cloud cover.  Thus Antarctica has cooled.

The rest of the world has enjoyed the best climatic conditions, and thus agricultural growing conditions, since the 13th century.  But what the Sun gives it can also take away.  Solar physicists have been warning for over a decade  that the Sun is entering a prolonged period of low activity similar to that of the Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1710. Most recently, Livingstone and Penn have predicted a maximum amplitude for the next solar cycle, Solar Cycle 25, of 7.  By comparison, the previous solar cycle, Solar Cycle 23, had a maximum amplitude of 120.

The longest temperature record on the planet is the Central England Temperature Record from 1659.  Using the solar-based forecasting model developed by Dr David Evans and the Livingstone and Penn estimate of Solar Cycle 25 amplitude of 7, a prediction can be made of the effect on the Central England Temperature out to 2040.  The reduction in solar activity now being observed will result in temperatures returning to the levels of the mid-19th century at best, with the possibility of revisiting the lows of the 17th and 18th centuries.  Peak summer temperatures may not change much but the length of the growing season will shorten at both ends, playing havoc with crop yields.

The notion of global warming

The notion of global warming has resulted in an enormous mis-allocation of resources in some Western societies, but we can be thankful for one thing.  If it had not been for the outrageous prostitution of science in the global warming cause, then the field of climate would not have attracted the attention that has determined what is actually happening to the Earth’s climate.  Humanity would otherwise be sleepwalking into the severe cold period in train.

As demonstrated above, there is no moral basis for Australian society’s investment in wind turbines if the purpose of that investment is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through a form of renewable energy.  Global warming due to carbon dioxide is of no consequence and the world is cooling anyway.

Wind turbines

WIND TURBINES may lack a moral purpose, but might there be some other good involved?  Let’s examine the claim that wind turbines provide renewable energy, thus reducing our depletion of finite energy resources.

Wind turbines are made using energy from coal at about 4 cents per kWh and provide energy thought to cost of the order of 10 cents per kWh.  In effect, they are machines for taking cheap, stable and reliable energy from coal and giving it back in the form of an intermittent and unpredictable dribble at more than twice the price.

That is one thing.  But what stops wind turbines from being renewable is that the making of wind turbines can’t be powered using energy from the wind turbines themselves! If power from wind turbines costing 10 cents per kWh was used to make more wind turbines, then the wind turbines so produced would make power at something like 25 cents per kWh.  The cost would compound away and any society that attempted to run itself on wind energy would collapse. Wind energy as a component of a power system relies upon transfer of energy at its inception from another source.  It is not renewable energy.  It is no consolation that solar power from photovoltaic panels is much worse in this respect.

That wind energy is renewable energy is the second lie on which the RET scheme is based, the first being that renewable energy is a palliative against global warming.

There is not much more that needs to be said. The RET Scheme is a monstrous misallocation of the nation’s resources and continues to make the Australian people poorer for no good reason.  Those who concocted it and voted for it have sold the Australian people into the servitude and oppression of rent-seekers to the tune of $5 billion per annum. The science and economics it is based on are no better than voodoo and witchcraft.  The wind turbines scattered around the Australian countryside are a physical manifestation of the infestation of the body politic by the self-loathing, millenarian cult of global warming.

The RET Scheme draws resources from better schemes

Unfortunately, the RET Scheme and its ilk have drawn resources from the development of energy sources that would power Australia cheaply, efficiently and with enough of a return on energy invested to maintain Australia’s high standard of living into the next millennium.

The same kind of intense interest from the wider scientific community that determined what is really happening with climate has also determined that the optimum nuclear technology for society to adopt is the thorium molten salt reactor.  Any middle-ranking industrial power, such as Australia, could develop this technology, and should do so.

Much time and treasure has been lost chasing the phantom menace of global warming.  The sooner the RET Scheme is put to rest, the sooner that the nation’s efforts can be properly directed towards our security and welfare in developing the best possible energy source if the nation is to survive and prosper.

David Archibald is a visiting fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington DC where his research interest is strategic energy policy.  The Institute is a graduate school for US security agencies, State Department and Department of Defense. He has published several books and a number of papers on climate science.  He has lectured on climate science in both US Senate and Congressional hearing rooms. His most recent book is Twilight of Abundance (Regnery, 2014)

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Energy plan puts public service before public good

by Alan Moran, Director, Deregulation, Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) March 14, 2014

THE energy white paper under preparation proclaims that government has a role in the energy industry. But it is one that is best limited to controlling natural monopoly elements within the industry. It is certainly not to provide some blueprint for the future.

A history of public ownership

Energy has an ongoing history of public ownership, at least in part stemming from misplaced notions that it is a natural monopoly and a necessity requiring government interventions. The outcome has been deleterious and has been compounded by a determination of governments to use the industry to accommodate its social, environmental and industry policies. This has transformed an inherently low-cost industry into one that now has among the world’s highest prices.

A worrying feature of the review is a prominent role given to the supposed need to maintain analytical capability within the government. This appears to be a priority to protect departmental personnel jobs that sits badly with the market-driven industry the white paper claims to be championing. The priority may be partly due to an excessive number of goals that the white paper’s “issues paper” specifies. These encompass supplying and using energy:

  • To put downward costs of business and households.
  • To grow exports.
  • To promote low emissions energy technologies.
  • To encourage the more efficient use of energy.

Whatever may be said of the first two of these stated goals, the third and fourth are in conflict and have spawned the egregious interventions in energy policy that have created a need for a white paper. The fourth also adopts the discredited hubris: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

Markets develop from the interactions of consumers with businesses, which seek to sell their goods, access inputs and reduce risks. Government’s role is to allow these processes to be pursued and to uphold the law.

A plethora of goals

Rather than a plethora of goals, the white paper should have a single focus: to allow the market to bring about efficient production of energy with interventions limited to addressing natural monopoly situations. Anything beyond that will perpetuate the weaknesses presently evident.

Energy is a vital factor in the direct wellbeing of consumers.

More important still for Australia, it is a key component of economic development. Our minerals and agricultural processing industries are natural fits to the resource endowment that ­Aust­ralia has and cheap energy is both part of that endowment and crucial to its development.

Irresponsible government actions

Irresponsible government actions have impaired the value of our energy resources. This can be seen in four key areas:

  • Retaining ownership of energy businesses in networks where such ownership is verifiably inefficient and always likely to remain so.
  • Placing taxes and regulatory imposts on energy suppliers to force them into costly measures in pursuit of government-determined efficiency, consumer consultation and greenhouse-re­­­d­­uc­­­­ing measures.
  • Impeding access to land for gas exploration and development.
  • Suppressing prices to certain customer groups, thereby weakening incentives to supply and maintain industry resilience.

Policies to rectify these impairments often entail government action, which are the cause of the problems in the first place.

In the past, as with the post-­Hilmer competition policy ­pay­ments, governments were re­warded (and occasionally punished) with regard to an agreed set of principles.

But the use of government to combat government deficiencies is oxymoronic.

Indeed, if a previous commonwealth government had attempted more forcefully to exert pressure on states to promote a goal it favoured, energy saving measures, the outcome would have been even more perverse than that which has eventuated.

The white paper’s aforementioned issues paper continues to promote market interventions in many places associated with green energy and energy efficiency.

It also has to be said that providing incentives for governments to do things that are in the interests of their own consumers is logically questionable.

A useful starting point

A useful starting point for policy, in line with the government’s deregulation initiative, is to announce the early sun-setting of all regulatory measures and discriminatory charges and taxes on energy supplies at the commonwealth level. This would be accompanied by an invitation to state governments to adopt similar programs. In the absence of such a measure the best that can be hoped for is to have the process unveil costs of poor decisions in the past as counsel for future decision-makers.

 

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