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? Currently, the jury’s out…
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If Donald Trump manages to unravel the prerogatives and power of the bureaucratic elite whose rules and regulations reach deep into the interstices of everyday life to hamper initiative, stymie independence and stifle originality, he will have fulfilled his most important campaign promise.
The other day, The New York Times ran one of their signature wrinkled-brow politics-masquerading-as-news pieces about Donald Trump. The New York Times, in case Australian readers are innocent of this datum, does not like Mr. Trump. This particular column, about Trump’s transition team, was half minatory, half I-told-you-so crowing. “Trump Lets Key Offices Gather Dust Amid ‘Slowest Transition in Decades,’” shouted the headline. The State Department: “hushed and virtually empty.” The Pentagon: woefully understaffed. Treasury, Health and Human Services: “many senior posts remain vacant.” Things are bad, Comrade, bad. “Seven weeks into the job,” Trump is “months behind where experts in both parties, even some inside his administration, say he should be.”
Experts, eh? According to the Times Trump’s failures to fill many positions “has left critical power centers in his government devoid of leadership.” “There’s no question this is the slowest transition in decades,” said one of those experts the Times drags in to second its opinions. It is a “flawed transition” that paints an “unmistakable picture” of “dysfunctional transition effort.”
In fact, Trump has filled all his key cabinet posts and has, moreover, filled them with people very unlike the dramatis personae of recently past cabinets. Trump’s cabinet is manned not by political apparatchiks, think-tank denizens, or academics. It is manned by successful — the most successful — businessmen, entrepreneurs, and military men, people whose chief aim will not be to “protect their turf” and coddle the bureaucracy under their charge but rather to get the nation’s business done as efficiently as possible. The Times did quote Trump observing that “a lot of those jobs, I don’t want to appoint, because they’re unnecessary.” Yeah, right. Whoever heard of cutting government jobs? Can’t be done. Shouldn’t be done.
But guess what? It is being done. On March 13, the Trump administration released an Executive Order calling for a “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch.” It directs the head of the Office of Management and Budget to “propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies . . . components of agencies, and agency programs.”
“Eliminate unnecessary agencies . . .”
When was the last time you heard of a President actually set about doing that?
The document is quite specific. Within 180 days, the Director of the OMB is charged with submitting a plan “to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies.” Moreover, this is no mere shell game, where Department A is renamed Department B and given new offices, a larger staff, and a more lavish budget on the other side of the Potomac. No, the Executive Order calls for eliminating “unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions.”
I like it. And it is worth stressing that it is of a piece with other initiatives undertaken by Trump, e.g., a hiring freeze on non-essential government personnel, making staff cuts of 20% and and a budget cut of 10%. The aim of all this, as Trump said in his inaugural address, was not simply to transfer power from one party to another — chaps with different hats but the same grasping hands and insatiable appetite for your money — but to transfer it from Washington to where Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson and the rest of the Founders thought it should be, to We the People.
This is an essential part of Trump’s oft-declared ambition to “drain the swamp” of Washington. Many politicians have said something similar. No one, not even Ronald Reagan, managed to do it. (In Reagan’s defense, he had two different goals, both of which he achieved: defeat the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union and cuts taxes.) Trump actually seems to be in earnest about taking on The Bureaucracy. Whether he will succeed is entirely up in the air. If I had to give odds, I would say about 65-35 in favor of Trump. But then I am known for my sunny disposition. Other bookies, pointing to the extraordinary resilience (not to say insanity) of the “anti-Trump” and “never-Trump” agitators discount those odds sharply. Time will tell.
But it is largely on this question that Trump’s Presidency will rise or fall. Yes, he will, like all leaders need a bit of luck. Where would Marcus Aurelius have been without the Miracle of the Rain in the Marcomannic Wars? When the Romans, besieged by the Quadi, were bottled up and dying of thirst, a sudden rain storm delivered them from certain defeat and they went on to rout the enemy.
But luck takes one only so far. The rest of the distance is covered by policy, formulation and execution. To understand the radical nature of Donald Trump’s administration, one needs to consider his unofficial and unconfirmed cabinet colleague. No, I do not mean Steve Bannon. I mean James Burnham, the American political philosopher who helped start National Review in 1955 and whom William F. Buckley Jr. called “the number one intellectual influence on National Review since the day of its founding.”
Now Burnham died in 1987, so it might seem odd to accord him an honorary place on Donald Trump’s cabinet. Pedants might also point out that the chances are remote that Donald Trump has made a detailed study of James Burnham’s work. But those are mere details. Burnham belongs in the constellation of Trump’s influences for several reason. There are, to start with, the two Ps: pragmatism and patriotism. Burnham was above all a pragmatic political philosopher. He reached through the mists of high-flown rhetoric to grasp policies that worked, that had a good chance of achieving the goals he wanted to achieve.
Part of Burnham’s pragmatism was realism about the metabolism of power. Burnham was famous as a staunch anti-communist crusader. His implacable anti-communism had a moral component: he saw, rightly in my view, that communism, whatever its talk of brotherhood and equality, was evil incarnate. And Burnham saw, too, that fighting communism was partly a rhetorical task—the West had to compete in the matter of visionary appeal—but also partly a matter of brute power. “How divisions does the Pope have?” Stalin famously asked. The iron fist inside the utopian rhetorical glove underwrote the advancement of communist tyranny.
Burnham understood that and was icily clear-eyed in his calculation of power politics. It was one of the things that both fascinated and repelled George Orwell about Burnham.
In the news as I write is a report that Trump is planning to cut the US contribution to the UN by 50%. It’s a start. Trump would, I think, have applauded Burnham’s response to the UN’s resolutions disapproving of US nuclear policy:“Why in the world,” he wondered, “should any sensible person give a damn what some spokesman for cannibalistic tribes or slave-holding nomads thinks about nuclear tests?” Good question.
And this brings us to the second “P,” patriotism. Like Trump, Burnham put America first. No, I do not mean that he was a follower of Charles Lindbergh and more than Donald Trump is. Rather, he saw that it was only by first catering to one’s own interests that one could successfully cater to the interests of others. Put your own house in order, take care of your citizens, and you will conduce not only to their good but also to the good of others. The “telescopic philanthropy” that Charles Dickens satirized in Bleak House had step-by-step become the foreign policy of the United States, to the detriment of the beneficiaries of our largess as well as the moral stature of the US. Trump, like Burnham, aims to reverse that misguided policy.
But Burnham’s most important influence is to be found in his first and most famous book, The Managerial Revolution (1941). Readers of Quadrant will be familiar with Tocqueville’s famous passages about the character and operation of “democratic despotism” in modern societies. It operates, said Tocqueville, not like despotisms of yore: instead of tyrannizing over man, it infantilizes him. And it does this by the promulgation of rules and regulations that reach into the interstices of everyday life to hamper initiative, stymie independence, stifle originality. This power, said Tocqueville, “extends its arms over society as a whole.”
It does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them, and directs them; it rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one’s acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.
Tocqueville’s analysis has led many observers to conclude that the villain in this drama is the state. But Burnham saw that the real villain was less the state than the bureaucracy that maintained and managed it. The shepherd was really a flock of shepherds, a coterie of managers who, in the guise of doing the state’s business, prosecuted their own advantage and gradually became a self-perpetuating elite that arrogated to itself power over the levers of society.
Anatomizing this sleight-of-hand is at the center of “James Burnham’s Managerial Elite,” Julius Krein’s essay in the inaugural issue of the quarterly he edits, American Affairs.“Although the managerial elite uses the state as an instrument to acquire power,” he notes, “the real enemy is not the state but rather the managerial separation of political and economic power from the liberal social contract.”
This separation of the real power of society from the economy of politics renders the managerial elite all-but-untouchable. And this, as Burnham saw, was the property neither of liberalism nor of conservatism but rather of anterior forces that engulfed both. “The contradiction of contemporary conservatism,” Krein writes,
is that it is an attempt to restore the culture and politics of bourgeois capitalism while accelerating the economy of managerialism. Because of its failure to recognize this contradiction, “much of conservative doctrine is, if not quite bankrupt, more and more obviously obsolescent,” as Burnham wrote in 1972. Since then it has only evolved from obsolescent to counterproductive. At this point, expanding “free markets” no longer has anything to do with classical American capitalism. It is simply the further emancipation of the managerial elite from any obligations to the political community. Likewise, promoting democracy as an abstract, universalist principle only undermines the sovereignty of the American people by rejecting national interests as a legitimate ground of foreign policy.
Donald Trump’s executive order is a sighting shot across the bow of the managerial elite that has hollowed out our democracy and elevated itself to a position of nearly untouchable unaccountability. Really, it is not the pathetic battalions of females in pink hats and vagina costumes who should be protesting Donald Trump. It is the managerial elite who have incarnated Tocqueville’s warning about Democratic Despotism. They are the real swamp dwellers who stand to lose if Trump’s ecological initiative to drain the boggy fen should succeed.
As of this writing, Donald Trump has been President for less than two months. Pace theNew York Times, he has moved with blinding speed, has indeed undertaken a sort of political blitzkrieg to keep his promises on enforcing immigration laws, repealing Obamacare, rolling back the regulatory state, and reinvigorating the military. Behind it all, however, is an attack on the managerial elite that has overseen and extended the bureaucratic quagmire that has the West in its clammy and enervating grip. If Trump manages to unravel the prerogatives of that elite, if he succeeds in handing back power to the political process, he will have fulfilled his most important campaign promise. A key intellectual ally in that battle will be Trump’s silent and unacknowledged partner, James Burnham.
Trump’s attack on the CIA came into focus after the CIA claimed Putin subverted the election on behalf of Trump.
The Trump team retorted: Ridiculous; reminds us of the CIA’s phony assessment of Saddam’s WMDs that led to the disastrous war against Iraq.
Then the CIA’s gloves came off.
But there is more to it than that.
All along, Trump has been hammering the mainstream press, calling them biased, idiots, fake, etc. Certainly through his advisor, Steve Bannon, and quite probably through other sources, Trump knows about the CIA-major media connection. This connection, of course, goes way back to the Mockingbird CIA operation of the early 1950s. Major news outlets have been infested with CIA operatives since that time.
When Trump goes after mainstream news, he’s also going after its shadow brother, the CIA; and vice versa. This is no accident. You can’t put a heavy dent in one without putting a heavy dent in the other.
As the mainstream press continues to stir the pot and attack Trump on every possible front, day after day, they strive to impart the impression that the escalating war between Trump and the CIA is a sign that the president’s administration is in a condition of severe imbalance, heading toward the edge of the cliff.
Two points about that: the press is trying to protect its shadow brother, the CIA; and the reason a war between a president and the CIA hasn’t broken out since JFK and the Bay of Pigs is, simply, no president has dared to challenge the CIA openly.
Or to put it another way, every president since Kennedy SHOULD have gone to war with the CIA, but no president did.
Trump, so far, is carrying out his version of a war.
He may stop, he may make peace, he may turn away, he may decide the consequences are too steep, but so far he’s doing, in this respect, what he should be doing, because the CIA has believed, for a long, long time that it is the president, it runs the country, it decides the important issues, it fronts for mega-corporate incursions into foreign nations, it decides foreign policy, it calculates when a regime should be overthrown, it decides how to foment wars that will end up funneling huge chunks of cash to the military-industrial complex…
People with attention spans of less than six seconds think rooting out corruption in high places can be done with the stroke of a pen and an executive order. No. Afraid not.
Digging out, exposing, and getting rid of the rot and corruption inside the CIA is on the order of turning around an oil tanker in a small lake.
That rot and crime wasn’t built to its present level overnight. It has been built since 1948.
The people who constructed it (with Allen Dulles right up there at the head of the line) assumed they could stage a coup. A national coup. They could essentially take over the country. And to a large extent, they did. JFK’s assassination removed a potential obstruction early in the game.
Then, nothing. Until Trump.
Maybe he’ll throw up his hands and forget about going after the CIA. Maybe he’ll focus on other parts of his agenda. Maybe he’ll prove to be completely ineffective and unwilling, as regards the Agency. But he has sounded an alarm, just as he sounded an alarm about Globalism, the so-called “free trade” treaties, and the brutal theft of jobs in America by those Rockefeller forces who want to torpedo economies, as a step toward exercising greater international control over the lives of billions of people.
The CIA and major media in this country are in lock-step. They feed each other. They produce a picture of reality that is entirely shallow and false. They want compliance, obedience, and silence. They want to make black white and white black. They want to fulfill Orwell’s 1984 prediction.
The best of these little “journalists” are leeches and adoring cowards. They cling to the higher-ups who run the show. The worst of them are psychologically and spiritually mongrelized sociopaths, for whom sadism is the only way of life. Like their CIA brothers, they believe (or did believe until recently) that no one could remove their entitlements.
Steve Bannon knows—and I’m sure he’s told Trump—that a war against the media is the best way to go right now. On many fronts, the media are the funnels for presenting inside out lies, from the CIA, to the American people.
In other words, if the head of the snake is too hard to cut off at the moment, go for other parts of the body.
Recent developments show how important and necessary websites such as paulcraigroberts.org are. The latest Wikileaks release of CIA documents code-named Vault 7 reveal that the CIA has the capability and the intent to mask the cyber-attacks it commits by making them seem as if they originated from another source.
Maria Zakharova points out another reason that sites such as this one are crucial. The fake news promoted by CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, and all the rest of the Western presstitutes has undermined the credibility of all traditional Western media, leaving only Internet sites that vary in commitment to truth from which the public can form an opinion. In a press conference, Zakharova said that the Western media is shameful, a form of vandalism. She asks if the Western media has yet hit bottom “or can they dive a little lower?” The US media is engaged in “a total disinformation campaign not only for their internal audience, but also for the global audience. . . This is Orwell, 1984. Now we know who he wrote about when he wrote about Big Brother. Big Brother, in America, is now the media, which has stepped so far outside of professional ethics, as well as their own competency. They accuse and judge, based on entirely fabricated lies. . . That which is happening now is a global tragedy, the destruction of trust in the authority of media. What is going to happen in the future?” http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/03/big-brother-is-here-zakharova-warns-of.html
The future of truth lies with websites, such as the one you are reading. This website has faithful donors. They are the people who pushed me out of retirement back into the fray. Many of them make automatic monthly donations. Others have joined them. But most of the people who use this site do not support it.
As we see President Trump collapse on his promise of normalized relations with Russia, we witness another president captured by the military/security complex.
For an individual website to go up against powerful forces controlling billions of dollars requires your support. If you are with me, I need your financial support.
If you have any doubts that the media are a propaganda agency for the ruling elite, note that when Julian Assange released the CIA documents given to WikiLeaks that show the CIA’s ability to blame its hacks on innocent parties, ABC presstitute Brian Ross was uninterested in the documents and attempted to discredit the WikiLeaks release with the question if Assange had ever been paid by the Russian government. Assange replied “no” but that it was a “pretty sad question” which tried to divert from the content of the released documents. “Quite interesting,” Assange said, “to see ABC taking that line.” https://www.rt.com/viral/380044-assange-denies-russian-funding-msm/
In other words, when the CIA’s own documents are presented to the whores who comprise the Western media, the well-trained whores cast aspersion on the person who makes the documents public, not on the crimes of those that the documents reveal.
As I wrote some years ago, “Truth Is Imperiled.” You cannot acquire truth from the Western media, but you can get truth from this site. So support it.
If we lived in a world where headlines bore any connection to reality, the front pages of newspapers around the world would be informing us that one of history’s richest and most powerful eugenicists, an arch-globalist and committed enemy of humanity, had finally shuffled off this mortal coil.
On the other hand, I can sympathize with their conundrum. It would be impossible to condense such villainy down to a single headline. It would be like announcing the death of Darth Vader, except without the redemptive bit at the end.
“Lord Vader, Scourge of the Galaxy, Dies on the Death Star; Ewok Funeral Pyre Dance at Sundown.”
Indeed, where does one begin when attempting to enumerate the evils embodied by this man?
Chase Manhattan Bank? Chairman and CEO, David Rockefeller.
Globalist? Well, don’t ask me, ask him:
“Some even believe we (the Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — One World, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” – David Rockefeller,Memoirs, page 405
But let’s be clear: There is no joy to be had in the death of another, even a Rockefeller. He left this world as he came into it: filthy rich, gluttonously greedy and mercilessly cruel.
He has bequeathed that to the next generation of minions who will swoop in to fill his place in the power vacuum. The world has gained nothing by his death, surely not a respite from the powers-that-shouldn’t-be who will continue on exactly as before.
Just as President Putin has stated that governments and media in the West have destroyed Russia’s trust in the West, the governments and media in the West have destroyed the trust of their citizens, who have been transformed into serfs to whom government no longer is accountable.
I have stressed in many columns that the absence of trust between nuclear powers is a great threat to all life on earth. Yet the Western governments and media continue to work 24/7 to worsen relations between the US and Russia and the US and China. Those of us who warn of the possible consequences are put on lists of “Russian dupes” and purveyors of “fake news.” These lists show the desperation behind the orchestrated “Russian threat.” A one thousand billion dollar annual military/security budget is at stake along with American financial and political hegemony.
In brief, greed for money and power are driving the world to destruction.
Greed and power have also driven Americans, indeed all of the Western world, into a more complete police state than George Orwell describes in his book, 1984.
Judge Andrew p. Napolitano describes the extraordinary spy capability of the US government and the ease with which it can be used against even the President of the United States. Napolitano’s article appeared on LewRockwell.com, InformationClearingHouse.info, and antiwar.com. The antiwar.com link has a link to the response from the UK’s GCHQ, which has full access to NSA’s digital collection of all electronic communications of Americans, to Napolitano’s suggestion that Obama could have used the British to avoid leaving US fingerprints on his spying activities against Trump. http://original.antiwar.com/andrew-p-napolitano/2017/03/18/did-obama-spy-on-trump/
The British Government Communications Headquarters dismissed Napolitano’s suggestion as “nonsense, utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.” In other words, the GCHQ did not deny that it has access to every electronic communication made by Americans, including the President of the US. Instead, GCHQ tried to impugn Napolitano’s credibility. Keep in mind that it was British intelligence that permitted Prime Minister Tony Blair to lie to the British Parliament in behalf of the George W. Bush regime’s orchestrated case for invading Iraq.
When you read Napolitano’s account of the completeness with which Americans have lost all privacy, you will understand that the US Constitution is erased, like the Confederate States of America and its battle flag. Our privacy is not only erased by government but also by private corporations. Those Americans so insouciant as to respond to the fact that they are spied upon by saying, “I’m doing nothing wrong, so I have nothing to fear,” should read the statement below from the American Civil Liberties Union:
“Last year we won strong internet privacy rules. The Federal Communications Commission introduced protections that require companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to get your permission before they sell your private information to the highest bidder.
“Now some politicians are caving to industry pressure. The Senate introduced a resolution to overturn this important FCC rule – and if passed by Congress, the FCC would be blocked from issuing similar rules in the future.
“Add your name to tell the Senate you don’t want companies selling your data without your permission.
“For years, internet service providers have been trying to find ways to collect, use, and sell the sensitive data they collect from you – every website you visit, the times you log into and out of your online accounts, and even your location. These companies collect data that can paint an intimate picture of your religious practices, sexual activities, health problems, and more.
“Who are the buyers? Advertisers, big-data brokers, and even government and law enforcement agencies.
“Protecting privacy is also about stopping discrimination. Retailers can offer different online prices based on customers’ locations, sometimes giving worse deals to residents of low-income neighbourhoods where there are fewer stores to compete with online prices.
“Tell the Senate to keep common sense online privacy protections in place.
“We’ve been on the front lines of the long fight to restrict what profiteers can do with the sensitive data they sweep up from your online activity.
“Help put the pressure on politicians to keep crucial FCC rules in place.”
The ease with which the US government has been able to destroy the US Constitution in the 21st century illustrates the weakness of democracy. Unconcerned and unaware people are incapable of protecting their civil liberties. Habeas corpus, due process, and privacy have been erased. The only remaining protection is the Second Amendment, which cannot stand alone.
The peoples of the West have allowed themselves to be deceived by lies, misled by orchestrated “threats,” and distracted into irrelevant matters. Consequently, they have lost their liberty.
And they might lose their lives.
You are being slaughtered right in front of the world’s eyes and nobody says beep. Least the Greek cabal elite.
Your Government. A few, but a few too many, allow the slaughter because it doesn’t concern them. They are blinded by the false glamour of the euro and of belonging to the ‘elite class’ of the noble Europeans (sic!).
They apparently live well enough, including the caviar socialists of Syriza. They let their country bleed to death literally, morally, socially and psychologically. Medical care is no longer available or privatized and unaffordable. Pensions were reduced five times. They were never more than a survival kit. By now they have been slashed in some cases by over 50%.
Hordes of people live on food handouts. Most social services, including to a large extent education have been sold out, privatized. Gone with a flicker. Gone, by order of Germany – and the holy troika – the criminal gang of three, IMF, European Central Bank (EIB) and the European Commission (EU); the latter a mere bunch of unelected corrupt puppets, deciding the fate of some 800 million Europeans – with YOU, the Greek people, accepting carrying the brunt end of the stick.
In September 2016, the unelected European Commission sent Greece a Brussels-drafted legislation of over 2,000 pages, in English, to be ratified by the Greek Parliament within a few days – or else. – Nobody asked: ‘What is else’?
Brussels didn’t even bother translating this unreadable legalistic heap of paper into Greek, nor did they allow the Parliament enough time to read, digest and debate the new fiscal legislation. Most parliamentarians could not read them, either because of language or due to the imposed time limit. The Parliament ratified the legislation anyway.
Under this new law, Greece is transferring all public assets (public infrastructure, airports, ports even public beaches, natural resources, etc.), unconditionally, for 99 years, to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) which is free to sell (privatize) them at fire sales prices to whomever is interested – supposedly to pay back the Greek debt.
The fund was originally estimated, certainly under-estimated – at about 50 billion euros. In the meantime, the value of the Greek assets has been further downgraded by the troika to between 5 and 15 billion euros, as compared to Greece’s debt of more than 350 billion euros. The ESM is a supranational undemocratic apparatus, accountable to no one.
With this legislation, the Greek Parliament – YOUR Parliament, Esteemed People of Greece! – has annulled itself. It is no longer allowed to pass any budget or fiscal (tax) legislation. Everything is decided in Brussels in connivance with the IMF and the ECB. The last time a similar situation happened was in 1933, when the German “Reichstag” (Parliament) transferred all of its legislative power to Chancellor Adolf Hitler.
This, Dear People of Greece – is sheer economic fascism, right in front of your eyes, the world’s eyes, but nobody wants to see it. The worst blind is the one who doesn’t want to see.
This asset seizure was confirmed when the last hope for at least some debt relief was dashed at the end of February this year. Even the IMF initially recommended and today still privately recommends debt relief.
However, the cabal that has occupied Germany since WWII, without mercy announced the final pillage of Greece, requesting Greece to surrender gold, utilities and real estate to the ESM – .
The next ‘bailout’ amount, if Greece goes to her knees and surrenders everything, might be 86 billion euros, meaning NEW DEBT. In exchange of what? More interest, a higher debt service (interest and debt amortization) — and an even bleaker outlook to ever, and I mean ever, getting out of this US-European fascism imposed process of killing of a nation.
Some facts about Greece’s debt, as of 9 March 2017:
Population 10.8 million.
Debt: 352 billion euros (interest per second: 617 euros; debt per citizen: 32,580 euros).
Interest per year: 19.5 billion euros.
Total Greek bailout funds from 2010 to end 2016: in excess of 250 billion euros – none of which went to Greece for the benefit of the people, but to pay debt service to the troika and pay off mostly German and French private banks.
Debt as a percentage of GDP: 181% (GDP 195 billion euros);
2008 Debt to GDP: 109% (less than today’s US debt to GDP ratio of 109.63%).
Greece’s GDP amounts to less than 2% of EU’s GDP.
Greek GDP has collapsed by more than 25% since 2008.
Unemployment is rampant – with an average of 26% – and close to 50% for young people (18 to 35).
Greece’s debt in 2008 would have been totally manageable internally, without outside interference, or so-called ‘bailouts’ – which are really not bailouts but forced debt accumulation.
Greece’s debt was NEVER a threat to the European Union, as the FED / ECB / WS bankster propaganda made you believe.
The Greek and subsequent “European Crisis” was entirely fabricated by the banksters for their benefit, at the detriment of Greece and Europe. It had nothing to do with the Greek or European debt. But nobody questioned it. Those European and international top economists and politicians who knew, didn’t dare to speak out. The voices of those who did dare to speak the truth were muffled. The people of Europe were lied to, including the Greek, as usual by the presstitute media.
Let’s put the Greek debt in perspective.
In September 2011, without warning, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) devalued the Swiss franc by about 12% against the euro to protect its economy. This was an unfair move – to say the least, since none of the euro-zone bound countries has the liberty to re-or devalue its currency, as deemed necessary by their economy, i.e. Greece.
While Switzerland is not a direct member of the EU, Switzerland is nevertheless bound to the EU by more than 120 bilateral contracts, thereby de facto a EU member.
During the 3 ¼ years of locking the exchange rate into a fixed rate of at least CHF 1.20 per euro, the SNB amassed more than 500 billion francs in extra foreign currency, mostly in euro. This is about 150% of Greece’s current debt.
Switzerland, a country of 8 million people, in theory, could bail out Greece’s full debt, say, at no interest, by a 50-year loan (World Bank IDA terms) – in solidarity; and to compensate a bit for the SNB’s questionable ethics vis-à-vis EU members. Switzerland would not suffer. (Switzerland is the Cabal HQ)
To the contrary, such a move would help stem the risk of a Swiss currency inflation, due to the huge amounts of Swiss francs that needed to be ‘printed’ to maintain the artificial exchange rate against the euro. Would Switzerland be prepared to engage in such a solidary rescue action? –Probably not.
People of Greece! – Wake up.
Take things in your own hands! Don’t believe you politicians, your media! Get out of this criminal organization called the European Union, and this fraudulent western monetary system that is strangling you to death.
Take back your sovereignty, your own currency. Default on your debt – the west can do nothing about it.
Not if you run your country with your own public banks, and your own money, gradually but surely rebuilding a destroyed economy. Debt repayment is negotiable. Cases abound around the world. Argentina is one of the more recent ones. Even Germany renegotiated its foreign debt in 1952 (see London Agreement of German External Debt).
Germany, the leader of this economic massacre of Greece, owes Greece huge WWII reparation payments. On 8 February 2015, PM Tsipras requested Germany to pay up her full reparation debt to Greece of an equivalent of 279 billion euros, in today’s terms.
The cabal in Germany replied in April 2015 that the reparation issue was resolved in 1990 – which, of course, it wasn’t. It cannot be excluded that much of the German pressure on Greece today is a means of deviating the world’s attention of the reparation debt Germany owes to Greece.
People of Greece, be aware of what is going on. Do NOT ACCEPT what your government, Brussels and the troika are doing to YOU and YOUR country.
To the contrary, request the full reparation payment from Germany – and demand GREXIT, as a fully legitimate follow-up to YOUR July 2015 overwhelming NO vote to more austerity-imposing troika ‘rescue’ packages. f you do, you will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel — a light that has been blacked-out for too long by Germany and the gangsters of the troika and your own government.
Threats of Expulsion from the Euro Zone
Cabal German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble still is attempting bluffing the Greeks and impressing the rest of the world by threatening Greece with expulsion from the Euro.
Any sane government would turn that threat into its own initiative and abandon this putrefied monster called European Union, along with its fake and fraudulent common currency, called euro.
But that’s the problem, Greece’s traiterous cabal is reigned by insanity.
So, the Greek Government responds to insanity (from the troika) with insane submissiveness, namely with meek compliance – to the detriment of millions of their already deprived and enslaved compatriots.
Among those (still) influential Greek highflyers is Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis; the legendary and charming, ‘radical’, Motorcycle Minister.
Though he resigned in apparent protest of the Syriza compliance with the troika’s requests despite the NO vote, today he is nothing more than a conformist, who is seeking few nominal ‘reforms’ in Brussels, but by no means wants Grexit, let alone the collapse of the EU – which, by the way, is fortunately imminent.
As Greek Minister of Finance, Varoufakis never even had the ‘Option Grexit’ as a Plan ‘B’
Nobody screams, yells, revolts, takes to the streets, blocks streets, bridges, railways, for days, weeks, interrupts the still ongoing commerce of the foreign owners of what’s left of YOUR country’s public assets. Nobody.
This is not to blame the Greek who have to fight for sheer survival, who have to find ways to feed their kids and families, but the j’accuse goes to the Tsipras- Syriza clan and all those Greek elitist traitors, the media (are they all bought by the CIA?) and parliamentarians, who just watch in awe – but stand by.
No action. Watching Greece – YOUR country, People of Greece! – bleeding to death.
Be aware, this is in fact not about debt and bailouts. If they tell you that the European ‘debt crisis’ is Greece’s fault, and that a new crisis is brewing, depending on how well Greece will conform to the rules of the next bail out – it is an outrageous lie.
This crisis is manufactured by the very European, their elite, the international banksters, the FED-led Goldman Sachse’s of this world, who run the European Central Bank through Mario Draghi, a former GS executive – who de facto runs the European economy.
Why do they want Greece under their boots? – They, the scum of Brussels and ‘swamp’ of Washington (as President Trump used to call the Washington Deep State ‘establishment’), want a submissive Greece.
Because Greece is in a highly strategic geographic location, at the cross-roads of west and east. Greece is a NATO country. Maybe the second most important NATO country (after Turkey), because of its strategic position.
They don’t want Greece to be run by a ‘left-wing’ government. Syriza, of course, is everything but left-wing. It is as neoliberal as they come. The masters of the universe want ‘Regime Change’ – the good old regime change that threatens all those who do not bend to the rules of the west. Right now, the Syriza government is bending backwards over to please the money masters and to let her people be miserably humiliated and ruined.
Were Greece to hold new elections and let a right-wing party and Prime Minister win, à la New Democracy or even the fascist Golden Dawn, or a coalition of the two – the debt problem would go away, almost overnight.
What Washington wants, and Brussels by (puppet) extension, is a compliant Greece that will never ever question its role in NATO, never question the EU, never question its shackles to the euro, and never question the US access to the Mediterranean Sea – rich in deep off-shore minerals and hydrocarbons.
The same applies, by the way, also to Italy, Spain and Portugal – also riparian states of the Mediterranean Sea. Their governments have already been changed by outside (US / EU) interference to right-wing neoliberal compliant stooges.
The Greek elite and government inaction is inexcusable. This is Stockholm syndrome at its worst. Submissive to their hangman, until death do us part. And death in the form of total destruction, total pillage, total slavery, is not far away.
Do you, People of Greece, want to continue this path to slavery by a predatory empire, that will eventually call the shots on every move you make?
Or do you want to get your sovereignty back, your own currency – and be unshackled from the dictate of Brussels – and start afresh – as the noble and wise Greek people, who brought Democracy to the world some 2500 years ago? –
Surely, Greece still has visionaries and the wisdom to remake Democracy. Remember, while we cannot change our geographic location – the future is irrefutably in the EAST.
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.
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, TheWall 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 , 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.
The Dow Jones is up. The Aussie dollar is stronger. Gold has recovered.
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.
According to the International Monetary Fund, global debt has grown to a staggering grand total of 152 trillion dollars. Other estimates put that figure closer to 200 trillion dollars, but for the purposes of this article let’s use the more conservative number. If you take 152 trillion dollars and divide it by the seven billion people living on the planet, you get $21,714, which would be the share of that debt for every man, woman and child in the world if it was divided up equally.
So if you have a family of four, your family’s share of the global debt load would be $86,856.
Very few families could write a check for that amount today, and we also must remember that we live in some of the wealthiest areas on the globe. Considering the fact that more than 3 billion people around the world live on two dollars a day or less, the truth is that about half the planet would not be capable of contributing toward the repayment of our 152 trillion dollar debt at all. So they should probably be excluded from these calculations entirely, and that would mean that your family’s share of the debt would ultimately be far, far higher.
Of course global debt repayment will never actually be apportioned by family. The reason why I am sharing this example is to show you that it is literally impossible for all of this debt to ever be repaid.
We are living during the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and our financial engineers have got to keep figuring out ways to keep it growing much faster than global GDP because if it ever stops growing it will burst and destroy the entire global financial system.
Bill Gross, one of the most highly respected financial minds on the entire planet, recently observed that“our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road”.
And he is precisely correct. Everything might seem fine for a while, but one day we are going to hit the wrong bump at the wrong time and the whole thing is going to go KA-BOOM.
The financial crisis of 2008 represented an opportunity to learn from our mistakes, but instead we just papered over our errors and cranked up the global debt creation machine to levels never seen before. Here is more from Bill Gross…
My lesson continued but the crux of it was that in 2017, the global economy has created more credit relative to GDP than that at the beginning of 2008’s disaster. In the U.S., credit of $65 trillion is roughly 350% of annual GDP and the ratio is rising. In China, the ratio has more than doubled in the past decade to nearly 300%. Since 2007, China has added $24 trillion worth of debt to its collective balance sheet. Over the same period, the U.S. and Europe only added $12 trillion each. Capitalism, with its adopted fractional reserve banking system, depends on credit expansion and the printing of additional reserves by central banks, which in turn are re-lent by private banks to create pizza stores, cell phones and a myriad of other products and business enterprises. But the credit creation has limits and the cost of credit (interest rates) must be carefully monitored so that borrowers (think subprime) can pay back the monthly servicing costs. If rates are too high (and credit as a % of GDP too high as well), then potential Lehman black swans can occur. On the other hand, if rates are too low (and credit as a % of GDP declines), then the system breaks down, as savers, pension funds and insurance companies become unable to earn a rate of return high enough to match and service their liabilities.
There is always a price to be paid for going into debt. It mystifies me that so many Americans seem to not understand this very basic principle.
On an individual level, you could live like a Trump (at least for a while) by getting a whole bunch of credit cards and maxing all of them out.
But eventually a day of reckoning would come.
The same thing happens on a national level. In recent years we have seen examples in Greece, Cyprus, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and various other European nations.
Here in the United States, more than 9 trillion dollars was added to the national debt during the Obama years. If we had not taken more than 9 trillion dollars of consumption and brought it into the present, we would most assuredly be in the midst of an epic economic depression right now.
Instead of taking our pain in the short-term, we have sold future generations of Americans as debt slaves, and if they get the chance someday they will look back and curse us for what we have done to them.
Many believe that Donald Trump can make short-term economic conditions even better than Obama did, but how in the world is he going to do that?
Is he going to borrow another 9 trillion dollars?
A big test is coming up. A while back, Barack Obama and the Republican Congress colluded to suspend the debt ceiling until March 15th, 2017, and this week we are going to hit that deadline.
The U.S. Treasury will be able to implement “emergency measures” for a while, but if the debt ceiling is not raised the U.S. government will not be able to borrow more money and will run out of cash very quickly. The following comes from David Stockman…
The Treasury will likely be out of cash shortly after Memorial Day. That is, the White House will be in the mother of all debt ceiling battles before the Donald and his team even see it coming.
With just $66 billion on hand it is now going to run out of cash before even the bloody battle over Obamacare Lite now underway in the House has been completed. That means that there will not be even a glimmer of hope for the vaunted Trump tax cut stimulus and economic rebound on the horizon.
Trump is going to find it quite challenging to find the votes to raise the debt ceiling. After everything that has happened, very few Democrats are willing to help Trump with anything, and many Republicans are absolutely against raising the debt ceiling without major spending cut concessions.
So we shall see what happens.
If the debt ceiling is not raised, it will almost certainly mean that a major political crisis and a severe economic downturn are imminent.
But if the debt ceiling is raised, it will mean that Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are willingly complicit in the destruction of this country’s long-term economic future.
When you go into debt there are consequences.
And when the greatest debt bubble in human history finally bursts, the consequences will be exceedingly severe.
The best that our leaders can do for now is to keep the bubble alive for as long as possible, because what comes after the bubble is gone will be absolutely unthinkable.
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.
Has there ever been a tantrum as tinny and irritating as the one thrown by the chattering classes in response to Brexit and Donald Trump? It’s the mother of all meltdowns. The huff heard round the world. A hissy fit of historic proportions.
Children who don’t get their way normally foot-stomp and wail “I hate you” for three or four minutes before collapsing into a knackered heap. The liberal elite has been at it for nine months, ever since Brexit last June pricked the sealed, self-satisfied bubble they live in and reminded them that — brace yourself — there are people out there who think differently.
Brexit and Trump signal the demise of Western liberal civilisation, they sob. Fascism is staggering back to life, they cry. “Boy does this age remind me of the 1930s,” said British politician and historical illiterate Paddy Ashdown about Brexit.
Russia planted Trump in the White House, they yelp, like neo-McCarthyists convinced the Kremlin has commandeered Washington with an evil eye for steering it towards destruction.
Their arguments grow more unhinged every day. Their contempt for ordinary voters intensifies. Their toddler-like search for some evil thing to blame their political troubles on gathers pace.
What we’re witnessing is the rage of the entitled, the fury of a technocratic elite that had come to see itself as the rightful, most expert overseer of politics. They really cannot believe that everyday people, millions of the idiots, have had the brass neck to say: “We don’t like how you do politics. We’re going to try a different approach.”
As with all tantrum throwers, their first instinct is to deflect blame from themselves. “I didn’t do it!” is the cry of the child who did do it, and so it is with the melting old oligarchy.
Seemingly incapable of reasoned self-reflection, unwilling to accept that lots of people are simply rejecting their politics, the chattering class goes on the hunt for some naughty force on which to pin the blame.
It was Russian meddling that swung the election for Trump, they say. Trump is “Putin’s puppet”, apparently. A YouGov survey of Democratic voters in the US found that 50 per cent of them believe Russia “tampered” with vote counts. There’s no proof whatsoever for this. It’s an “election-day conspiracy theory”, in YouGov’s words.
Some even claim that we 17.4 million Brits who voted for Brexit were somehow got at by Putinite masterminds, though they never explain how. British Labour MP Ben Bradshaw says it’s “highly probable” Russia interfered in the EU referendum last June. He’s offered not one shred of evidence for this. But then, we’re no longer in the realm of reason — we’re in a world of tantrums.
As Masha Gessen argues in The New York Review of Books, the “unrelenting focus” on Russia of Western liberals has become a way of avoiding self-analysis. It’s become “a crutch for the American imagination”, a catch-all explanation for “how Trump could have happened to us”. So the problem isn’t that Hillary Clinton and her myriad media cheerleaders failed. It’s that powerful foreign forces meddled with American minds and warped the American political fabric.
The chattering-class tantrum is fuelled by an urge to dodge self-reckoning; by an absolute terror of asking what the old politics was getting wrong.
Some in the meltdown lobby are blaming “bots” — computer programs that pump out pro-Trump or pro-Brexit messages on social media. These sinister machines “changed the conversation”, says Britain’s The Observer newspaper. EU aficionado and one-time rationalist Richard Dawkins goes further, saying “sinister social media bots read minds and manipulate votes”, and apparently this “explains the mystery of Trump and Brexit”. They really are losing it. Another ingredient of temper tantrums is the use of heated language that’s way over the top to the situation at hand. The chattering class meltdown has plenty of this.
Witness the growing reliance on Nazi talk. Protesters against Trump wave placards of him wearing a Hitler moustache next to the words “we know how this ends”. The Archbishop of Canterbury says Brexit and Trump are part of the “fascist tradition of politics”. Prince Charles says the Brexit era brings to mind “the dark days of the 1930s”. Calm down, Charlie.
This casual marshalling of Nazi horrors to demonise Brexit and those Americans who voted for Trump is pretty outrageous. It drains the word Nazi of its historic meaning and turns it into an all-purpose insult, to be hurled at anyone we don’t like. Again, it’s tantrum-like when these people shout “Hitler!” — what they’re really saying is “I’m so angry I could cry”. They’ve turned the Holocaust into an exclamation mark to their fury — an unforgivable abuse of history.
And, of course, all tantrums involve lashing out, as this one does. The levels of antipathy aimed at voters, and at democracy itself, has been extraordinary.
We have failed to “keep the mob from the gates”, says Brexit-fearing columnist Matthew Parris. American writer Jason Brennan has become a favourite of liberal publications in the tantrum era because he wrote a book called Against Democracy and says “low-information white people” should not be trusted to make big political decisions.
American-British conservative Andrew Sullivan frets that the “passions of the mob” have been unleashed. A writer for TheObserver says it’s time to smash the “taboo” against saying that ordinary people are often very stupid, and “there are times when their stupidity combines to produce gross, self-harming acts of national stupidity”.
Don’t worry, mate: that taboo has been well and truly demolished, if it ever existed. Post-Brexit and post-Trump, the chattering classes have not been shy in wondering if the masses are too daft for politics.
This is the frenzy of entitlement. The “third way”, pro-EU, Clinton-style technocratic classes that have dominated public life for a couple of decades came to think of themselves as the only people properly cut out for politics.
They insulated the business of politics from popular opinion. They made it all about expertise, not public engagement. Through bureaucratic institutions like the EU, and by giving greater decision-making powers to quangos and the judiciary, they sought to elevate politics far above us, the plebs.
They really convinced themselves that politics was for people like them, for the cool-headed and clever, not for us; not for the poor; not for the ill-educated or those driven by conviction rather than science.
And that’s why Brexit, Trump and other quakes have devastated them so, propelling them into a permanent state of tantrum: because they’d become so aloof and so arrogant, that they started believing no one except their set, their friends, their institutions, could be trusted with deciding the fate of nations.
And guess what? That’s why so many are voting against them. We’re witnessing a revolt of the demos against a political class that thought it could get away with governing from on high and treating people as problems to be fixed rather than as political citizens to be taken seriously. In a beautiful irony, the fact that their response to this revolt has been “Waaaah! How dare you?!” proves the revolt was long overdue.
Why Do Leftists And Globalists Hate Tribalism So Much?
Over the years I have heard the word “tribalism” used consistently as a way to deride and attack conservative groups with political stances outside the boundaries of globalization. Many readers have been exposed to this propaganda recently as “tribalism” becomes the go-to denouncement of the Trump Administration. From The Atlantic to CNBC to The Washington Post and beyond, tribalism is used almost as often as the fascist label, and there are very specific reasons for this.
Tribalism (like nationalism and populism) has slowly but surely been falsely associated with totalitarianism, as if the two are synonymous. The use of “tribalism” as a dismissal of sovereignty concepts is a distinctly globalist and leftist habit; clearly, they hate the very notion of it, so much so that they have sought to turn it into a four letter word. But why?
The fact of the matter is, tribalism revolves around sets of principles; meaning, some people hold principles that are completely incompatible with other people’s principles. Some principles simply cannot be reconciled with other principles, and they cannot coexist. Groups tend to form around principles, and thus, certain groups cannot live in close proximity with other groups. When they do live in close proximity, one will invariably absorb the other or destroy the other.
This is more likely to occur when two groups have diametrically opposing views rather than minor deviations and disagreements.
For example, the mass injection of millions of Muslim immigrants into European nations has in a very short period of time resulted in the steady decline of Western ideals and even the decline of legal frameworks in the areas where the immigrants concentrate. Sharia law is a direct antithesis to traditional Western values such as religious freedom, free speech, freedom of association, individual rights, economic independence, free markets, etc. (It is interesting to note that western socialists and communist ideals run parallel to Muslim culture when it comes to the desire to dismantle sovereignty.) The effects of this clash of principles are quite obvious at this point.
Sharia-based groups have been transplanted into the Western sphere in what I consider a deliberate Cloward-Piven strategy of cultural destabilization of Europe.
These groups do not assimilate, they devour the surrounding culture and turn it into something that sublimates in accordance with their principles. This is why the leftist and globalist call for “multiculturalism” is nonsensical. You cannot have two or more diametrically opposed cultures within the same society — one of them has to take precedence over all the others. Globalists in particular KNOW this is the reality, and they use multiculturalism as a means to undermine nations specifically built upon traditional sovereign values.
Leftists are in most cases merely useful idiots that promote multiculturalism as a means of “penance.” That is to say, they believe that traditional western culture should be punished for past transgressions and in due course, phased out completely in exchange for a new utopian system.
Both leftists and globalists will often try to argue that if tribalism was not prevalent there would be no ill will between Muslims and Westerners or any other groups for that matter. But, as stated earlier, what they are glossing over is the inevitability of groups separating based on principals. The only way for all groups to coexist in close proximity in the multicultural paradise we are being sold is for ALL value systems to be eliminated except for one. And perhaps that is the point.
Globalists prefer an outcome in which traditional values are erased and replaced with a “new world order” mindset; a system that is rooted in collectivist suppression of individual liberty, where freedom is exchanged for “harmony;” one global tribe worshiping one global god — the state.
The existence of tribalism might lead to conflicts if opposing cultures are deliberately mashed together, but it also makes the formation of a single overarching tyranny very difficult. Globalists seek to irritate existing divisions and trigger chaos between groups because ultimately, they want to demonize the very concept of tribalism and make way for a one world ideal that fits THEIR agenda.
Leftists are decidedly less self aware on why they fight so hard against tribalism. They see cultural division of any kind on the part of the west as inherently evil. Ironically, when it comes to so called “victim groups” like Muslims, social-justice warriors will argue that their aggressively divisive behavior is off limits to criticism because you have to be “from that culture to understand it”. So, tribalism on the part of designated victim groups is beyond reproach, and tribalism on the part of westerners is a cancer that must be eradicated.
To reiterate, leftists love tribalism initiated by those they consider victim groups. They only hate tribalism when it is initiated by conservatives and the traditional western middle class. The double standard is evident.
Exactly what is happening here? Well, we are being given a false choice. We are offered tribalism at the cost of endless social crisis (which is being deliberately instigated), or, the erasure of tribalism and traditional principles for the sake of “peace.” No other solutions are being presented.
Liberty proponents like myself would point out that there is an underlying principle within natural law that could solve many of the problems that arise between groups with differing world views without sacrificing everything to join a one-world collectivist hive mind. That rule would be the “Non-Aggression Principle.” To summarize, the non-aggression principle holds that no person or group has the right to impose their beliefs or will on another person or group. The only time force of action is warranted is in self defense and the defense of innocents.
If a society was to operate by the rule of non-aggression, and people were to abide by that rule, then most groups and cultures could live peacefully. For the people who do not abide, removal from that society or nation would be necessary. This is the intrinsic advantage of tribalism in its purest form; tribalism allows us to discriminate against groups with destructive principles and behaviors, or against those that have different objectives. Some divisions are useful divisions. This allows for a group with shared goals to accomplish those goals without constant internal obstruction or sabotage. As long as the non-aggression principle is adhered to, tribalism is the ideal system.
Of course, there are certain groups that are incapable of accepting this dynamic.
Leftist ideology depends upon thought control and manipulation in order to remain relevant. Because their values are not based in logic or self examination, they don’t have the ability to win people over through compelling arguments; all they have are lies and force. When in power, they use the force of government. When out of power, they use the threat of the mob. If tribalism and the non-aggression principle were to thrive, the leftists in their current form would represent a failed group, and they would fade away.
Globalists see themselves as social architects, and an architect cannot function if his building materials will not cooperate. Globalism is impotent without the ability to impose will and the ability to undermine practical divisions between ideological opposites. Tribalism in the name of sovereignty and free society is an impassable wall to globalization. Their only option is to utilize and exploit groups that are anti-liberty as a weapon against existing societies that still have some basis in sovereignty. This is much easier to do when anti-liberty groups are organized within those free systems, or, when they are imported into them. A strong, free people cannot be destroyed from without, they can only be destroyed from within.
Social divisions are absolutely rational and healthy, and there is nothing “evil” or totalitarian about organizing only with people that share your values. The real evil comes from those that would suppress our values in the name of “harmonization” — there is no such thing. Globalists and leftists argue for the adoption and toleration of all ideologies and principles as a means to peace, but what they really want in the end is the erasure of all the ideologies and principles they see as disagreeable in order to make way for their own.
“As public man-made global warming scepticism grows, bodies that rely on ‘doomsday scenarios’ have to get more hysterical to stay relevant.”
See full text below graphic.
A NEW wave of bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef has given the go-ahead for anyone with a green axe to grind to start gloating about how evil humans are causing climate change. The added benefit is that jittery governments desperate to win votes from inner-city elites, are more willing to fork out millions to scientists who claim they can defeat nature.
Even before the latest bleaching, the World Wildlife Fund issued a press release saying that last year’s bleaching had set back Australia’s Reef protection efforts by 20 years.They also took the chance to remind the Federal Government that it had admitted a funding gap of between $143 and $408 million to implement Reef 2050 Plan actions. Of course, it said that even this amount is “under-estimated”.
Last year, the feds pledged $1 billion to protecting the Reef from climate change and water-quality issues.It really means giving money to scientists to think up new ways to impose even more red tape on miners and farmers already drowning in it.
This is also despite a Queensland Government report in 2015 admitting that even if every farmer in North Queensland adopted the world’s best strategies to manage run-off, they have no chance of getting anywhere near the punishingly high targets set by the green mafia. In December 2015, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency said we were experiencing the strongest El Nino weather event on record. And the Bureau of Meteorology believes there’s a 50 per cent chance of another one this year. El Ninos produce dry conditions on land and warmer water in the Pacific, about 3C higher than normal this time around.
A perfect one-two combo to increase the chances of coral bleaching. But El Ninos do end, and it makes sense to save our pennies and see what happens to the Reef when more favourable conditions resume.
But this doesn’t suit a green movement that relies on emotion-charged hyperbole to convince everyone that it’s man-made emissions that are killing the Reef and goes into all-out attack when challenged, especially when rivers of government funding are at stake.
They also seem intent on destroying the North’s tourism industry with their claims “the Reef” is dying, and then dodge scrutiny. For example, a major Queensland newspaper has been trying to commission scientists to join a reporter on a tour of the GBR to independently see just how bad the bleaching supposedly is. So far, there have been none willing to take them up on it.
There are some people who believe water warmed by undersea volcanoes in the South Pacific could be causing coral to bleach. Others point to studies showing oxybenzone in sunscreen worn by millions of reef tourists harms coral.
I put both scenarios to James Cook University and it directed me to its ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Three weeks after I emailed ARC’s communications team, they finally told me to go back to the JCU team.
You would think that JCU/ARC – the main “man-made climate change is killing the Reef” alarmist body in Queensland, if not Australia – would jump at the chance to quash alternative theories, but there’s total silence.
Australia is being held to ransom by militant green groups intent on making us believe humans are killing the planet, and that giving them huge amounts of money will prevent it.They are depriving Australia of job-creating industries, they hold up major developments in the courts, they demonise farmers and use loud noise, threats and ridicule to silence even the most rational, fact-based counter-arguments on climate change, dredging or fossil fuels.
There also appears to be a “science for hire” mentality by which if you receive funding to combat climate change’s effects, you’ll make sure you find problems – or at least hypothesise on possible problems.
As public man-made global warming scepticism grows, and sceptical politicians gain popularity, bodies that rely on “doomsday scenarios” to continue existing, have to get louder and more hysterical to stay relevant.
This is despite a string of failed predictions, the most recent being the lack of cyclones this year. Scientists predicted at least 11 cyclones to form in 2016-17 we’ve only had three. Then we’ve had the “Climategate” emails, and revelations that US scientists mishandled climate data to suit a government agenda. But according to MMGW alarmists, weather/climate scientists can’t be wrong or even questioned.
It’s time we had a government that applies scepticism to all environmental claims, stands up to international environment bullies, and that realises nothing we do in Australia is going to make a noticeable difference to the world’s temperatures.
Bill Leak’s final brilliant speech From John Roskam, Executive Director, IPA, 12 March 2017
‘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
There is an inexplicable lack of clarity around the energy crisis even as politicians, business leaders and journalists discuss details of complex policies and proposals designed to correct it. And, worryingly, a shambles created by government intervention is prompting yet more intervention by way of so-called remedies.
The debate is confined by unspoken mutual agreement so that the main causes and most obvious solutions are not even discussed. This is the constrained world of political correctness taking hold in a crucial area of practical and vital economic policy.
It should be about cold hard facts: energy demand and supply; resource availability and exploitation; electricity generation and consumption; power prices and security. We should have dispassionate and frank discussions but instead facts are often ignored or denied.
Since South Australia’s unprecedented statewide blackout in September last year, Labor Premier Jay Weatherill has steadfastly claimed there was nothing wrong with his state’s energy policies or system. Defiantly unapologetic, he spoke about “two tornadoes ripping through” the state in what was “not simply a storm” but an “unprecedented weather event” and he castigated anyone pointing out his renewables-reliant grid was at fault. “This was a weather event,” he protested, “this was not a renewable energy event.”
Yet this week Weatherill unveiled a $550 million plan to boost state-based gas generation, increase gas supplies, reduce reliance on interstate interconnection and provide large-scale battery storage to try to prevent future blackouts and load shedding. He is spending more than half a billion dollars on a problem he said didn’t exist.
Weatherill’s plan is vastly more expensive — by a factor of at least 20 — than the proposal he rejected little more than a year ago: to keep the Northern coal-fired power station in operation. Had he done that the blackouts would not have occurred and the next couple of years would not look so risky as he tries to build more generation and faces more pressure on interstate supplies with the imminent closure of Hazelwood in Victoria.
The Premier has stuffed this so badly that he plans to bring 100MW of back-up diesel generators into SA next summer. What a shambles.
When the power catastrophe hit on September 28, anyone familiar with SA’s energy system and policies knew immediately it was a consequence, at least indirectly, of Weatherill’s renewable energy push. This was because the decisive event was the tripping of the main interconnector to Victoria.
The government’s push for a 50 per cent renewable share undercut the commercial viability of coal and gas generation — as intended — forcing much of the state gas generation into mothballs and triggering the closure of the coal-fired generators. So for the periods when wind or solar weren’t working, Weatherill’s Labor had made the state hopelessly reliant on that interconnector.
Subsequent technical reports revealed the culpability to be even worse. Rather than being triggered by collapsing towers, the initial problems occurred when wind farms fell off the grid and the sudden drop in voltage tripped the interconnector. Then, with no baseload or synchronous power available to re-energise the grid, the state was stuck.
The wind push had created the vulnerability in the grid; wind unreliability triggered the blackouts before lines were even brought down; and wind energy was useless when it came to trying to restart the system. Weatherill had introduced Don Quixote to the Ancient Mariner — windmills, windmills everywhere but not a volt to link.
Now a range of federal and state interventions are floated to fix SA’s problems and prevent them spreading east to the other National Electricity Market states. Apart from publicly funded gas generators and battery installations there are incentives for exploration, proposed changes to the NEM rules and Canberra’s demands that gas producers allocate more of their resources for peak demand domestic generation.
Serious consideration is given to taxpayer support for a ‘‘clean’’ coal generation plant somewhere on the eastern seaboard and now Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $2 billion medium-term upgrade of the Snowy Mountains scheme to included pumped hydro storage, boosting output by more than 2000MW.
This is a dog’s breakfast of interventions that can only make it even more difficult for private energy investors, except in subsidised renewables. Yet most of the public debate focuses on the individual merits of the various interventions — band-aids on band-aids. Only a handful of politicians and commentators raise the elephant in the room — the renewable energy target.
The renewable energy that now makes up more than 40 per cent of SA’s electricity production, not to mention wind and solar projects in other states, has emerged under the RET. This federal scheme mandates and subsidises renewable energy to a target of 33,000GWh by 2020.
And it is only about half complete — a further $10bn of large-scale renewable energy investment will occur in the next three years. These costs will be met by energy consumers regardless of whether electricity demand increases (ie, regardless of whether the investment is needed).
Because renewable electricity is intermittent, this investment does not negate the need for other forms of power — baseload — which are required when the renewables go missing. The trouble is, all this has made baseload investment unbankable.
Canberra’s bipartisan RET has been successful in underwriting renewable projects and helping to close down a series of major coal-fired power stations, but it acts as a disincentive for investment in baseload generation. Hence SA’s dilemma — coal and gas have shut down because their continued operation is financially unviable and there is no incentive to invest in baseload upgrades or new plant to meet the demand that might or might not occur, depending on the vagaries of the wind.
Even the debate about gas availability isn’t entirely frank. If gas generators were confident about the electricity market they would have locked away long-term contracts and secured their supplies. The RET has killed that certainty — it is no use committing to gas contracts when your electricity price is undercut as soon as the wind blows, leaving them as the bidders of last resort for our gas resources.
The Pelican Point gas plant in Adelaide, for instance, could soon reboot its second generator but only if adequate electricity contracts can be signed enabling it to enter into gas contracts. It hopes large customers might now be willing to pay a premium for security.
The Prime Minister has become fond of saying he wants a “technology-agnostic” approach to energy fixes. But the RET is the antithesis of this — it is a massively disruptive market intervention in favour of renewable technologies.
If the RET were scrapped tomorrow, energy companies would model demand projections and costs and invest in the plant and contracts required to meet demand. That process now is completely contaminated, especially with Labor promising to double the RET after 2020 and the Coalition refusing to say what it will do beyond that date.
Without the RET, SA’s coal-fired power stations would still be operating and Pelican Point would be running at full capacity. There might even have been more investment in new plant or upgrades to other gas-fired plants. Hundreds of people would still be in work, a statewide blackout would not have occurred, Adelaide Oval would not be looking to buy a back-up generator, power would be cheaper and a $550 million state energy rescue package would not be required.
Similar chaos awaits Victoria as it pursues a 40 per cent renewable target and Queensland as it chases 50 per cent. All NEM states are already suffering price and insecurity consequences that will escalate dramatically if Labor’s 50 per cent national target is adopted.
The RET is the problem but both major parties have declared it sacrosanct. The only possible justification for having a RET is to reduce emissions and save the planet. Yet this is obviously not happening because our emissions reductions are internationally insignificant and global emissions continue to rise. This is economic self-harm for no environmental gain — the madness of gesture politics writ large.
Anyway, there are a million other ways to reduce emissions, if we need to.
Look out when science and politics tell us the future
A growing mood of catastrophism is enveloping our more serious newspapers as the cost of anthropogenic change to the business climate bites.
A decade of ill-judged environmental and energy policy has exacted a terrible toll on the national economy. There is little chance of the investment needed to rid South Australia of its basket-case status while the government is unable to guarantee a stable power supply. Across the country, household electricity prices have more than doubled in less than a decade, and gas is running out on the eastern seaboard.
A decade ago, Australia enjoyed an efficient and reliable energy market and some of the cheapest power in the world. Hubristic government intervention has changed that and the damage could take decades to repair.
The politicisation of the global warming debate began almost 30 years ago with the 1988 climate change conference in Toronto. It was the start of a series of international gatherings, each larger than the last, with escalating apocalypticism and ever more strident demands for action.
The hyper-dramatisation of the millennial drought and the release of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth set the stage for Kevin Rudd to declare climate change our greatest moral challenge.
“There are two stark choices,” Rudd said in an extraordinary speech in late 2009, “action or inaction.” A pedant might describe it as a single choice constructed around a false dilemma, but his rhetorical point was made.
His government, naturally, would choose action since in modern progressive politics the urge to do something is stronger than the imperative to assess the likely consequences of the thing they are intending to do.
Time has helped illuminate the dewy-eyed naivety of the climate change policy Rudd took to the 2007 election. Ineffectiveness is one thing; the damage caused by the unintended consequences is quite another.
By setting a 20 per cent renewable energy target for 2020, the government privileged the suppliers of intermittent energy — wind and solar — over sources of energy capable of producing a reliable supply.
The costs of the scheme were seriously underestimated. The myth was allowed to percolate that renewable energy was free.
If we thought we’d been let off the hook when the Abbott government scrapped the carbon tax, we were wrong. The collective weight of government interventions, large and small, driven by compassion for the planet, has made us poorer than we would otherwise be. The Garnaut report in 2008 spoke of the massive economic transformation required to adapt to a carbon-constrained future but greatly underestimated the cost.
Its logic was obscure and its economic modelling so ambitious that it was frankly unbelievable. Treasury had forecast Australia’s gross national product for the next 92 years, yet one has only to read old budget papers to realise that their modelling breaks down over four.
Today the Garnaut report, with its lofty, theoretical arguments, reads like a brilliant postgraduate thesis. As a blueprint for government policy, however, it is dangerously flawed.
Yet by 2008 science and politics had become indistinguishable. Science provided the justification for political action; politics provided the grants that sent science heading along a single track.
Some say the politicisation of climate change picked up where the Cold War left off. There are certainly parallels: Marxism, according to Friedrich Engels, was scientific socialism; its theories supposedly held to an empirical standard, based on the methodical observation of history.
Once you understood — or thought you understood — the rules according to which human beings operated, you could build a perfect society and create economic order from chaos. There was no room for dispute because the science was settled; authoritarianism was its natural consequence.
The science of global warming offered the intellectuals another chance to organise the world as they wanted it to be, to take charge of human affairs and to bypass the irksome process of democracy. It was a global problem that called for global action.
It was an opportunity to settle old scores by re-fighting the lost battle of the Cold War: the fight against free markets. It justified a new technocratic world order, constructed in the spirit of Thomas Paine: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” And they weren’t shy to admit it. As Christine Figuerres, executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, put it in 2015: “This is first time in the history of mankind that we set ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”
From the perspective of free-market liberals, this is bound to end in tears. The massive collective interventions that have distorted the energy market are choking the economy in the 21st century, as surely as socialist interventions did in the 1990s.
An ideological commitment to address market failure has resulted in something worse: non-market failure. Australia is running short of baseload electrical power, but the disincentives for investing are large.
So the South Australian government now talks of taking electricity generation back into public ownership. Others talk about subsidising baseload power plants from the public purse, falling back on the industrial welfare habit.
It all makes perfect sense to the technocrats and central planners.
On a personal note, I would like to express my thanks for the many supportive words offered to Bill Leak’s family and friends since the news of his untimely death on Friday. Bill was an avid reader of the column, and I will miss his witty responses.
Nick Cater is executive director of the Menzies Research Centre.
When it comes to renewable energy, the Emperor is naked
According to the Prime Minister, it will take but a few more billions to perfect carbon-capture technology, protect Gaia and win the approval of those who will never vote Coalition come hell or ‘extreme weather’ high water. Alan Moran’s new book delivers the good kicking such thinking deserves
As you might expect at the launching by Andrew Bolt of a book detailing the asinine inspiration and disastrous consequences of “green” energy policies, all present kept their clothes on at yesterday’s gathering in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Carlton. The surprise — although it isn’t really that surprising after all these years of the media’s dutifully parrotted warmist propaganda — is that so many of those who will scoff at Quadrant contributor Alan Moran’s Climate Change – Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era aren’t themselves laughingstocks for the stark-naked exposure of their lies and cause.
Bolt, of course, was citing Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the emperor’s new clothes, casting himself as but one among the legion of rational and observant little boys who have yelled long and loud that the shortcomings of warmism’s priests and pardoners are on full display for all to see. What he can’t figure, he told his lunchtime audience, is why the greater public remains unmoved by the costly peddling of alarmist fantasies, lies, deceits and evasions, not to mention the imposition of unworkable solutions on a non-problem.
However there is hope, he said, as even the warmists’ altar boys in the media must be getting “a little nervy” that none of the prophesied climate catastrophes their breathless reporting so confidently endorsed have yet come to pass, nor do they appear ever likely to do so.
“Authorities said things would happen, like the onset of dengue fever and Tim Flannery’s dried-up dams,” Bolt noted. “Well the dams haven’t dried, [Melbourne’s are] more than two-thirds full. On the strength of that expert advice – Flannery is actually a mammologist – most capitals have spent billions to create idled desal plants.
“This suits the Greens, who don’t want new dams either. The Mitchell River catchment was created for a new dam and then was deliberately converted into a national park to thwart any dam,” he continued, referencing as his source Victoria’s former deputy-premier John Thwaites, a Labor man, who also served at Gaia’s altar as the minister for weather, aka climate change.
Bolt also instanced the IPCC/UN prediction of 50 million climate refugees by 2010. “We’re still waiting to see them. One bloke has claimed climate refugee status and the NZ courts threw him out.”
The tall tale that polar bears would soon be extinct was all the rage a decade ago, he noted, with Al Gore’s omnibus collection of lies and distortions, An Inconvenient Truth, using animations of drowning bears to make its spurious point (and the failed presidential candidate a pile of money). That myth, only this week put to rest once and for all by the news that ursus maritinus is doing just fine, thank you, was inspired by nothing more than the observation from a low-flying plane of four drowned and floating bears that perished after a storm. Naturally the ABC, keen as always to push climate shock and horror, went big on the story at the time. Coca-Cola was moved to “raise awareness”, as they say, by putting polar bear images on cans and bottles, the scare culminating in George W. Bush putting the creatures on the endangered species list. The reality is that polar bear populations overall are thriving, but the non-story remains largely impervious to fact and reason. Indeed, even in December, as researchers were finalising the latest and most comprehensive paper to date on the robust health of polar bear populations, the ABC continued to feature its fake news about polar bears’ looming extinction.
Bolt noted that Moran’s book covers al the other massive fictions and scares, including acid rain, the health of the Antarctic ecosystem and whale numbers. The explanation for those myths longevity is quite simple: absent the panic, those armies of second-rate “scientists” and crusading academics, the rent-seekers, podium hogs and publicity hounds might have to find real work and other sourcs of income. There would be no more turning left when entering jetliners bound for all-expenses-paid international conferences and gabfests where hollow pieties, rather than facts, are the currency of participants. An astonishing 40,000 devotees of room service and free travel tripped to the Paris climate jamboree in 2015, which makes one think admiringly of the Medici popes, who had the good sense not to parade their mistresses while preaching chastity. But climate “experts”, such as the high-school dropout Leonardo DiCaprio, see no such need as they instruct the world to cut emissions, then climb aboard private jets propelled no less by fossil fuels than their galloping hypocrisy.
The reality is that the expensive green energy touted by such people will cause the poor and pensioners to endure unaffordable heating and cooling bills, potentially a lethal issue. As if to confirm Bolt’s point, that very same day Fairfax Media was exploring on its Domain website another aspect of the damage green theology is wreaking. Residents of high-rise apartments, Fairfax informed visitors to the site, will be hardest hit in a future plagued by inevitable South Australia-style power shortages. As if to confirm Bolt’s point about self-evident truths ignored, that same report went on to quote yet another, er, expert, Matt Mushalik of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, to the effect that people would be climbing endless flights of stairs because “few of the existing towers ever invest in renewable energy to make up for shortfalls”. The naked emperor wiggles his craggy bottom and, once again, his green courtiers acclaim cellulite as the richest and most exquisite royal velvet.
Not that apartment dwellers will be alone in their inconvenience, as the burden and imposition go well beyond the exertion of mounting 30 flights of stairs. BHP-Billiton, for example, has said South Australia’s excess energy costs have amounted to $US105 million at Olympic Dam alone, prompting a freeze on plans to expand operations at the site and the jobs that would have gone with it.
“Real money! Real jobs! Incredible!” marvelled Bolt. “Anti-warming measures have cost Australia far more than warming has ever done. Not just lost jobs and lost investment but the huge distraction of the government and bureaucracy from real issues like Aboriginal disadvantage. It’s been a shocking corruption of the public process.”
Yet even as the Liberal Party finally recognises that policies have to shift, it continues to make power systems more expensive while driving businesses to the wall. As today’sAustralian Financial Review reports (paywalled):
Hardware manufacturer Alchin Long Group in Sydney’s west has had to agree to a near-doubling of its electricity price and may rethink plans to shift work back to Australia from China as a result, said Graham Lee, national operations manager. The price of the new two-year contract from Origin Energy has surged from $55.30 per megawatt-hour to $109.70. (emphasis added)
The Liberals’ addled ‘solution’ is to spend yet more taxpayer funds on subsidies in a bid to alleviate the ills sown by previous subsidies to green rent-seekers, which have made the production of baseload, coal-fired electricity uneconomic and unsustainable. If Victoria’s Portland aluminium smelter goes under as a consequence of soaring electricity prices, with the loss of 700 direct jobs and many indirect ones as well, official policy will have turned the now prosperous and pleasant Western District community into a second Moe, the Victorian town infamous for welfare dependency and social malaise. Thousands will be trapped there because house devaluations will prevent them re-buying elsewhere. Government reaction? More subsidies.
In the case of the Hazelwood power station’s imminent shuttering, the official ‘solution’ is to subsidise a skyhook technology, carbon capture and storage (CCS), which has worked nowhere else in the world. Unless Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has endorsed the expenditure of yet more millions to develop CCS, and his ministers are entirely brain-dead, they will know in their private conversations that CCS is folly on gold-plated stilts. Yet none dare raise a public voice against such madness, for such is their fear of being branded abusers of Gaia. The supreme irony, the great testament to such cowardice and craven fecklessness, is that those inner-suburban green/left critics will never vote for the Coalition no matter what they do.
Mathias Cormann, for one, knows it is all rubbish and has argued against the renewable energy targets (RET), Bolt said. Yet people like the finance minister now argue that scrapping those mandated goals would raise the spectre of sovereign risk and, as a consequence, prompt a strike of overseas investment. The notion that a healthy, growing economy powered by cheap energy might more than compensate seems never to have occurred to them.
“The final insanity is that, even if CO2 warming were real and dangerous, all the vast spending on emission cuts, and plans to spend more, will achieve no detectable reduction of future warming,” Bolt said.
“If every emitting country adhered to its Paris non-binding commitments, on the IPCC’s own formula, global temperature over the rest of the century would lower by a trivial 0.168degC. Is it worth it? If politicians think it is, I would like them to say so.
“They all know the emperor is naked,” Bolt concluded, “but not one of them has the guts to tell you so.”
Tony Thomas’s book of Quadrant essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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)
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 fightbattles 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)
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.
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.
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:
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 feelingsabout 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.
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).
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’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.”
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.
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:
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 article was published in the Cairns Post business section, 23 November: ‘Benefits of dredging impossible to ignore’:
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 newchannels 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’.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.’ 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 Economicssubmission).
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
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 Economicssubmission.
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.
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 modifiedthe 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.)
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
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 teamin 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
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.
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?
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 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 Qld Coordinator General,Cummings Economicssubmission, 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: .
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.
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).
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 EISExecutive Summary.
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.
…. 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.
The next 7 sections explain the convoluted steps that resulted in the current dismaying situation.
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 theeconomic 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:
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. SeeReef 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
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.
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.
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.’
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
An article in the Cairns Post 20 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.
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.
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.’
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?’
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The issues were captured brilliantly in a cartoon in the Cairns Post, 16 August 2014:
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
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:
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:
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
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…..
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.’
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.
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 08-05-12Cairns 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.”
What are the plans for a ‘New World Order’ (NWO)? Main stream media invariably describe ‘NWO’ and related strategies as conspiracy theories; some weblogs describe scary scenarios, including the ‘deep state’. This post examines a range of views that demonstrate the reality and intentions of some world leaders and organisations such as the UN, past and present, as well as a range of articles on the subject.
Scan down to read the latest articles. Links to more articles are at the end of this post.
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.
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”.
I said it before, the way people are controlled is through setting them in opposition with each other. The only way people regain control is if they work with each other for a beneficial future. The only way this falls apart is if people are fighting each other over petty things.
It’s all so much deeper than we are told. They didn’t just invent petty products’ for this “world” this “universe,” they introduced a whole spiritual soul-trading system by the use of electromagnetic frequency nets.
The state of the original human is eternal, but with this system the population is recycled over and over in time.
Active DNA is a physical thing that pulls information from what is called the “aether” (other realities) and manifests it physically in this reality.
If DNA is targeted , i.e. by the system just mentioned, then other realities can also be manipulated in instances where the DNA is active.
That is what this is all about: The Universe, time, and the Earth are naturally a multi-dimensional existence of which those other realities, times and planes were influenced because of the manipulation that took place here.
To say it another way, the divisive control grid has had access to higher dimensions and therefore the soul-energy of Humanity, and the non-physical realms we are connected with.
This is out of balance and cannot remain this way forever. It is leading up to a fulcrum of experience in which the forces at play must reach a completion of cycles.
The way we can fix this is by becoming aware of the hidden knowledge which is literally the invisible energy of the mental and emotional bodies. We must see how Humanity is being manipulated, or blocked from our higher awareness.
The off-the-wall explanation is that physical reality manifests out of the collective unconscious.
Which also means that when each person on Earth clears their unconscious of all the debris and toxins stuck in their ‘fields’ then we all will experience life on Earth at a frequency which reflects that healing.
To get to this healed “timeline” we have to go through a healing process. This process is cathartic and involves expelling the toxins of mind and body and is painful in and of itself.
In previous times this has been a “washing machine” cycle where people get tossed in and every so many thousand years some people get out while the rest are recycled.
This time may be the fulfillment of those cycles where the entire bunch gets released at once.
The idea is that if people are not prepared for this they will experience the chaos of a simultaneous clearing and healing.
Instead of painful healing spread out over months or years, it would all occur in a matter of days or weeks.
This is the time to take steps to represent ourselves. The follow the herd mindset is how people are manipulated and controlled mentally and physically.
We have to connect and work together, really work together, not just messaging and posting meme pictures which is just another way of control.
To the credit of this process it can be said that truth is spreading so fast because of that ability to convert the topics and knowledge into meme images and other quick bits of information that can be shared and understood within seconds.
Instead of minutes to hours of discussion or documentary, condensed images with captions can describe a complex situation to the fullest of its true exaggeration without having to explain hours of backstory and research.
However, few people own it all. Fewer people still have advanced technology that allows for a “futuristic” existence without the problems people are challenged by today. And even fewer people than that have the knowledge of the true human history.
What is not realized is that the shock of Humanity finding out about the origins of time and space is going to be far greater than figuring out that they were manipulated this entire time by people with greater knowledge.
The real truth under all the supposition is a complete disconnection from every school of thought which is currently accepted.
It’s completely beyond normal into the realm of paranormal, time loops, altered consciousness and DNA, soul-knowledge, eternity, quantum superimposition guided by imagination and attitude, and that it all happens right here… but is invisible to the 5-senses.
Currently the development of that which interprets energy from beyond the 5-senses has been purposely ridiculed and categorized to push people away from finding the truth so easily.
One could say this is for control as much as it is protection of the current system as much as it is for a challenge of their own spiritual values.
To take this a step further, imagine we are in a simulator of sorts, designed by the intelligence behind the “Multiverse” (or even something more personal).
If so, then what does it mean when people fight and hurt each other for material things? Do we say, they were just doing what they needed to or they are just in a simulator?
Or is this is a way of seeing who would do what, in what kind of situations, in a way that cannot be repeated, or in a way that cannot be falsified without dumping self-responsibility?
Or it may be a test, a manipulation, a challenge or a learning process all at once using confusion and fear to control Humanity.
In truth we have the capabilities and tools to remove this mental confusion and fear. In reality the mind is naturally beyond polarity as it is capable of abstracting from eternity.
Right now or minds are polarity based and this is the source of disturbance in our world.
By doing so we are trading that transcendence, our true heritage, for a polarized world by being disconnected from that eternal source which is the emanation of the soul and spirit through our body.
That is also why people say there are souled beings and non souled here because the other beings came from a Universe that is not connected with the source of this Universe. It is as if they cut across timelines to get to us.
Our completion out of polarity, our expansion out of paradox and into eternal meaning, would not be the same as the non-souled.
Actually one would cancel out the other, for if we reached completion and they did not then their occurrence of interjection would be experienced as a time loop which does not complete.
If they reached completion and ours did not, we would experience the completion cycle of another Universe’s being which would not resonate or return “soul-knowledge” to the source people are connected with.
This is in part why people are saying “ascension” is the way out. Because if the time loops are severed then it would be a planck time fractal repetition into infinite and those without the ability to navigate “hyperspace” would become one of with the void.
If this is to happen or either way, one must learn to navigate the spiritual world because that is the real playing field.
The big issue is not that we have stuff happening on Earth.
The issue is that the real playing field, the spiritual planes, have been targeted and infiltrated as far as this imbalance goes.
When we become aware of the knowledge of experience on the soul level we can bring harmony back to the overall system and when enough people do this “the grid” (or spiritual soul-trading system) cannot work with the harmonious energy.
There is no way to use harmonious energy and manipulate it to serve a personal need, it always serves the whole.
Conspiracy theory, Wikipedia Link to Wikipedia, 21 Feb 2015 – Wikipedia has a remarkably comprehensive list of most ‘theories’ and issues relating to a New World Order, including 91 references and much ‘further reading’.
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!
Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).
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.
Nick Giambruno: Doug, you predicted the fall of the European Union a few years ago. What has changed since then?
DougCasey: Well, what’s changed is that the entire situation has gotten much worse. The inevitable has now become the imminent.
The European Union evolved, devolved actually, from basically a free trade pact among a few countries to a giant, dysfunctional, overreaching bureaucracy. Free trade is an excellent idea. However, you don’t need to legislate free trade; that’s almost a contradiction in terms. A free trade pact between different governments is unnecessary for free trade. An individual country interested in prosperity and freedom only needs to eliminate all import and export duties, and all import and export quotas. When a country has duties or quotas, it’s essentially putting itself under embargo, shooting its economy in the foot. Businesses should trade with whoever they want for their own advantage.
But that wasn’t the way the Europeans did it. The Eurocrats, instead, created a treaty the size of a New York telephone book, regulating everything. This is the problem with the European Union. They say it is about free trade, but really it’s about somebody’s arbitrary idea of “fair trade,” which amounts to regulating everything. In addition to its disastrous economic consequences, it creates misunderstandings and confusion in the mind of the average person. Brussels has become another layer of bureaucracy on top of all the national layers and local layers for the average European to deal with.
The European Union in Brussels is composed of a class of bureaucrats that are extremely well paid, have tremendous benefits, and have their own self-referencing little culture. They’re exactly the same kind of people that live within the Washington, D.C. beltway.
The EU was built upon a foundation of sand, doomed to failure from the very start. The idea was ill-fated because the Swedes and the Sicilians are as different from each other as the Poles and the Irish. There are linguistic, religious, and cultural differences, and big differences in the standard of living. Artificial political constructs never last. The EU is great for the “elites” in Brussels; not so much for the average citizen.
Meanwhile, there’s a centrifugal force even within these European countries. In Spain, the Basques and the Catalans want to split off, and in the UK, the Scots want to make the United Kingdom quite a bit less united. You’ve got to remember that before Garibaldi, Italy was scores of little dukedoms and principalities that all spoke their own variations of the Italian language. And the same was true in what’s now Germany before Bismarck in 1871.
In Italy 89% of the Venetians voted to separate a couple of years ago. The Italian South Tyrol region, where 70% of the people speak German, has a strong independence movement. There are movements in Corsica and a half dozen other departments in France. Even in Belgium, the home of the EU, the chances are excellent that Flanders will separate at some point.
The chances are better in the future that the remaining countries in Europe are going to fall apart as opposed to being compressed together artificially.
And from strictly a philosophical point of view, the ideal should not be one world government, which the “elite” would prefer, but about seven billion small individual governments. That would be much better from the point of view of freedom and prosperity.
Nick Giambruno: How does the recent Brexit vote affect the future of the European Union?
Doug Casey: Well, it’s the beginning of the end. The inevitable has now become the imminent. Britain has always been perhaps the most different culture of all of those in the European Union. They entered reluctantly and late, and never seriously considered losing the pound for the euro.
You’re going to see other countries leaving the EU. The next one might be Italy. All of the Italian banks are truly and totally bankrupt at this point. Who’s going to kiss that and make it better? Is the rest of the European Union going to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to make the average Italian depositor well again? I don’t think so. There’s an excellent chance that Italy is going to get rid of the euro and leave the EU.
Nick Giambruno: Why should Americans care about this?
DougCasey: Well, just as the breakup of the Soviet Union had a good effect for both the world at large and for Americans, the breakup of the EU should be viewed in the same light. Freeing an economy anywhere increases prosperity and opportunity everywhere. And it sets a good example. So Americans ought to look forward to the breakup of the EU almost as much as the Europeans themselves. Unfortunately, most Americans are quite insular. And Europeans are so used to socialism that they have even less grasp of economics than Americans. But it’s going to happen anyway.
Nick Giambruno: What are some investment implications?
DougCasey: Initially there’s going to be some chaos, and some inconvenience. Conventional investors don’t like wild markets, but turbulence is actually a good thing from the point of view of a speculator. It’s a question of your psychological attitude. Understanding psychology is as important as economics. They’re the two things that make the markets what they are. Volatility is actually your friend in the investment world.
People are naturally afraid of upsets. They’re afraid of any kind of a crisis. This is natural. But it’s only during a crisis that you can get a real bargain. You have to look at the bright side and take a different attitude than most people have.
Nick Giambruno: If you position yourself on the right side of this thing, do you think you’ll be able to make some big profits on the collapse of the EU?
DougCasey: Yes. Once the EU falls apart, there are going to be huge investment opportunities. People forget how cheap markets can become. I remember in the mid 1980s, there were three markets in the world in particular I was very interested in: Hong Kong, Belgium, and Spain. All three of those markets had similar characteristics. You could buy stocks in those markets for about half of book value, about three or four times earnings, and average dividend yields of their indices were 12–15%—individual stocks were sometimes much more—and of course since then, those dividends have gone way up. The stock prices have soared.
So I expect that that’s going to happen in the future. In one, several, many, or most of the world’s approximately 40 investable markets. Right now, however, we’re involved in a worldwide bubble in equities. It can go the opposite direction. People forget how cheap stocks can get.
I think we’re headed into very bad times. Chances are excellent you’re going to see tremendous bargains. People are chasing after stocks right now with 1% dividend yields and 30 times earnings, and they want to buy them. At some point in the future these stocks are going to be selling for three times earnings and they’re going to be yielding five, maybe ten percent in dividends. But at that point most people will be afraid to buy them. In fact, they won’t even want to know they exist at that point.
I’m not a believer in market timing. But, that said, I think it makes sense to hold fire when the market is anomalously high.
The chaos that’s building up right now in Europe can be a good thing—if you’re well positioned. You don’t want to go down with the sinking Titanic. You want to survive so you can get on the next boat taking you to a tropical paradise. But right now you’re entering the stormy North Atlantic.
A few months after the stunning Brexit vote, there’s even more turmoil ahead for the European Union… with potentially severe consequences in the currency and stock markets.
Doug Casey and his team just released a new video that reveals how a financial shock far greater than 2008 could strike America on December 4, 2016, as Italian voters decide the fate of the European Union itself. Click here to watch it now.
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 Egypt, Syria 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 SecretaryRobert McNamara and PresidentLyndon 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.
A 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.
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.
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’…
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.
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…
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?
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….
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.
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…
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….
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
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…
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.
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?
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?)
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.
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…
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…
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….
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…
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.
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…
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…
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 .
better-management-newsletter-2-october-2016 – Syria and Washington’s propaganda, North Korean threats, a world of finite resources, Deutsche Bank fiasco, a trail of bank malfeasance, Property bubbles, the ‘yellow peril’, a shooting war in the South China Sea? Higher productivity means more population.
Better-Management Newsletter, 26 July 2016 – This newsletter will focus on explaining my preoccupation with oil, and a key measure, Energy Return of Energy Input, EROEI. Then onto some important geopolitical factors.
Better-Management Newsletter, 18 July 2016 – Chaos in the US, France and Turkey – martial law coming? / Britain’s new PM is shaking things up / Italy’s banking crisis worsens / Self-driving cars hotting up / Venezuelan fiasco
Better-Management Newsletter, 18 June 2016 – The economy on life support / Geopolitics updates / Energy storage / Australasian property and debt / Water drying up / Oil inventories dropping / Gold going up and up
Better-Management Newsletter, 26 May 2016 – More EU smoke and mirrors / China – ditto / Tayyip Erdogan thinks Germany is stupid / Renewable Energy, some progress / Earth’s surface not so stable / The crooked US banks and DOJ / Water, water not everywhere / Chinese puzzles
Better-Management Newsletter, 8 May 2016 – Compulsory superannuation: the “lucky country” gets it wrong / TPPA: more now realise it’s a big corporation con / Oil: Saudis panicking / Failed and failing states: why? / Activity on the ring of fire: dire forecasts?
Better-Management Newsletter – 20 April 2016 – Oil – the plot thickens / COP21 gave China a free pass to pollute / EU deal with Turkey to return asylum seekers? / Government statistics lie / Central banks destroying the global financial system
Better-Management Newsletter – 17 March 2016 – Fact: the world does need to transition to another form of energy / Our societal complexity and conflicting demands / But do we have the financial resources? / Putting off the evil day
Better-Management Newsletter – 4 March 2016 – Have central banks reached the end of the road? / Everyone is attacking Donald Trump (except most of the voters) / Is global cooling worse than global warming? / Will globalisation continue?
Better-Management Newsletter – 25 February 2016 – Negative interest rate hidden agenda, an admission of defeat / Crash may now be inevitable / Meanwhile banks are already in big trouble / Local steel companies in trouble / Political misdirection in trumps (not Donald…) / Frightening: “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”
Better-Management Newsletter – 11 January 2016 – The nature of the collapse of complex societies / Resource depletion was a source of stress / The depletion of resources / Fossil fuels enabled development / The Chinese economy is already in trouble / Frau Merkel’s problem / The interaction between energy and the global economy
Better-Management Newsletter – 19 December 2015 – Another motive for the Fed rates hike? / Business as usual Stupid! COP 21 revisited / The oil disaster continues / Cyberspace espionage and dodgy ‘multilateral’ internet changes / China flexing its muscles in the South China Sea / Japan isn’t taking Chinese aggression lying down / Global recession – if or when?
Better-Management Newsletter – 12 November 2015 – Will the EU unravel, or will the EU bureaucrats win again? / A growth economy v. a replacement economy / COP21 in Paris: ground hog day / Will the EU unravel, or will the EU bureaucrats win again?
Better-Management Newsletter – 10 November 2015 – Global economy is shrinking / China’s trade shrinking too / How many human workers will the world need? / Oil Companies in survival mode / Gas and coal in trouble too / General Electric, back to core business
Better-Management Newsletter – 7 November 2015 – The economy: oil prices, stocks, down; tech stocks up / When the cult of central banking collapses / Bitcoin bounce / Latin American economic yoyo / Saudi water problems / Fraud and the apostles of AGW / Oil: Obama pontificates
Better-Management Newsletter – 29 October 2015 – Banksters rule the world via CDSs / Chinese coercion – the Spratly Islands / “British Industry” is an oxymoron / Climate Change – COP21 degenerates / USA – budget madness / Oil – who would be mad enough to invest?
Better-Management Newsletter – 25 October 2015 – Collapse in oil prices could trigger next GFC / Even biofuels get hit / USD70/bbl needed to avoid oil supplies crash / Middle East oil – even murkier / European winter of discontent / Chinese hard landing? / Russian public approve of Putin
Better-Management Newsletter – 23 October 2015 – Collapse in oil prices could trigger next GFC / Even biofuels get hit / USD70/bbl needed to avoid oil supplies crash / Middle East oil – even murkier / European winter of discontent / Chinese hard landing? / Russian public approve of Putin
Better-Management Newsletter – 2 October 2015 – Germany’s cheats and banksters / Syria: Russia embarrasses the rest of the world / More USA can-kicking / Will China have a hard landing? / Global economic gloom / Oil exploration grinds to a halt
Better-Management Newsletter – 24 September 2015 – US share market in rarefied territory / The fall is always faster than the rise / Volkswagen fiddles emissions, cops gigantic fine / A sea of red ink / National sovereignty dies / Avian flu hits the USA / Oil field depletion accelerating
Better-Management Newsletter – 24 July 2015 – Still heading in the direction of GD1 / Global trade – an indicator of a global recession / Ukraine, a pawn / Deflation and precious metals / UK’s finances are suffering
Better-Management Newsletter – 18 July 2015– Greece’s impossible task / The rise and fall of the EU – et al / The insolvency lingers on / Don Corleone kept the peace / Disaster scenarios – take your pick / China – all is unclear
Better-Management Newsletter – 15 July 2015 – Greek coup by Germany / When Germany dominated Europe there was war / Iran and their nuclear ambitions / Chinese stock market roller-coaster / The monetary Casino / Large Hadron Collider
Better-Management Newsletter – 1 July 2015 – Greece technically in default? / Solar power, not Obama’s blatant lie / Printing money not the solution / If the next crash happens this year… / Challenges stacking up / Rare earths as investments?
Better-Management Newsletter – 5 June 2015 – He who has the gold makes the rules / Bonds continued their sell off / Shares are over-valued / China and Russia building up resources / Islamic state expanding / Greek can-kicking / Ukraine – fighting escalating / Oil shenanigans
Better-Management Newsletter – 26 May 2015 – Banksters encore / No lifeboats to save the global economy / Plenty of land for farming / Oil price scenarios / Atomic fusion / Ron Paul on the coming crash…aka GD1 / China, brinksmanship / Could Putin be right?
Better-Management Newsletter – 16 May 2015 – Middle Eastern turmoil / Greece needs a political solution / Batteries are extra / UK election victory / Dairy industry depression / China and gold / Economics a bankrupt profession / More energy problems
Better-Management Newsletter – 14 May 2015 – He who has the gold / Shale oil production peaked? / …But no-one will cut voluntarily / US/China brinkmanship / China v India? / Britain opt out of the EU? / Tectonic plates on the move
Better-Management Newsletter – 30 April 2015 – Which New World Order? / The Russians and Chinese are changing the game / The Trans Pacific Trade Partnership / A global arms race has begun / Meanwhile the world is awash with debt
Better-Management Newsletter – 27 April 2015 – The USA is in trouble / Laissez-faire capitalism / The rich make the rules / Russia and China hold the trumps / All is not lost / First debase her currency / Greece et al – Still in trouble
Better-Management Newsletter – 25 April 2015 – Lies, damned lies and oil figures / Even idiots know exponential growth is not possible for ever / Irrational behaviour rewarded / The surplus of energy is falling / A temporary range extender / USA financial sector now 27% of GDP / High energy density scalable batteries / Blindly leading us into a collapse scenario
Better-Management Newsletter – 24 April 2015 – The interconnectedness / USD8 trillion washing around / The hidden cost of debt / China’s place in the sun / The Empire Fights Back / Gold to back the Renminbi / If the derivatives bubble explodes
Better-Management Newsletter – 23 April 2015 – A coming collapse / Greece: grexit delayed / Yemen – even worse / China outmaneuveres Obama / Oil games / We seek innovative solutions / Convert investments to cash? / ‘The curse it is cast’ / When the debt crisis finally has its reckoning / Thirty years of debt drug abuse / When the next crash happens / USD16 trillion secret loans
Better-Management Newsletter – 20 April 2015 – Ready for Grexit contagion / Warfare prep – for what? / USA out-manoeuvred by China / China reinforce the Silk Road / Chinese pollution / The Yemen disaster / Obama’s disastrous reign
Better-Management Newsletter – 11 April 2015 – Gold doesn’t all glister / The games played by big banks / US statistics a national disgrace / Greenpeace caught out / The sun setting on the Euro? / US Fed to raise interest? / Amazing science
Better-Management Newsletter – 8 April 2015 – Energy makes the world go round / Next step in fossil fuel exploitation / Prof Freeman Dyson / Whatever happened to Breton Woods? / The Greeks are squirming / Immigrants get more benefits / Rocky road ahead for dairy?
Better-Management Newsletter – 27 March 2015 – The end of king coal?? / Oil Reserves / Extensive oil storage facilities / Middle Eastern crises are a worry / Netanyahu’s apology / The Middle East powder keg / Cheap oil prices temporary
Better-Management Newsletter – 21 March 2015 – The global economy / Nightmare scenario staring the EU / The China-led Asian bank / A new global reserve currency / Russian politics / World War III predictions / The future of tech miniaturization / Exponentially increased growth / Religious intolerance / GDP growth scam
Better-Management Newsletter – 16 March 2015 – What is Putin real strategy? / The Global Recession deepens / Growth is for the sake of growth now / How are the BRICS tracking? / We must change… / Oil is a finite, master resource / Nuclear back to pre-Fukushima levels / Elections: he who pays the piper…
Better-Management Newsletter – 8 March 2015 Resource depletion / Exponential growth / Deceptive and misleading statistics / Our economies are being re-engineered / Population 7.25 billion and rising / Gaia’s revenge / Increased control by the state / We must save ourselves / How long do we have?
Better-Management Newsletter – 6 March 2015 – Arms race encore / …bankrolled by QE / China builds fortresses / Has Wall Street made a top? / Apple cars and Google phones? / Peak oil end game soon? / Industrial age of oil on the skids
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 – 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 – 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?
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?
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.
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 it’s 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.
David Icke’s “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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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
It’s time to shoot down the post-Brexit hate-crime hysteria
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.
90 Days Later: Still No Signs Of Brexit ‘Doom & Gloom’
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%.
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.
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.
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 . 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. 
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. 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  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. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
Thus, Atrahasis is the biblical Noah. Also noted, Ninharsag is later to be called “Isis” in ancient Egypt.
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.
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.
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.
“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)
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.
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.
This article presents a range of issues with regard to the potential for free energy.
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’.
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
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
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 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
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 mechanicalphysical 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.
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 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)
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.