Environmentalism: gravy trains, lies, hidden agendas and alarms such as 5G and gsms.

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Sorry for misleading you, but I cried wolf on climate change

Sorry for misleading you, but I cried wolf on climate change  By Michael Shellenberger, The Australian, 1 July 2020

I have been a climate activist for 20 years but on behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologise for the climate scare we created.

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologise for the climate scare we created over the past 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by the US congress to provide ­objective testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to serve as a reviewer of its next assessment report, I feel an obligation to apologise for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know: Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”;

The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”;

Climate change is not making natural disasters worse;

Fires have declined 25 per cent around the world since 2003;

The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska;

The author’s new book.

The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California;

Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany and France since the mid-1970s;

The Netherlands became rich, not poor, while adapting to life below sea level;

We produce 25 per cent more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter;

Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change;

Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels;

Preventing future pandemics requires more, not less, “industrial” agriculture.

I know the above facts will sound like “climate denialism” to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism. In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those ­conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Inter­national Union for the Conservation of Nature and other leading scientific bodies.

Some people will, when they read this, imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s co-operatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia.

Green beginnings

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to ­invest $US90bn into them. Over the past few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions.

But until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I ­referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilisation, and called it a “crisis”.

But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.

I even stood by as people in the White House and many in the media tried to destroy the reputation and career of an outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke Jr, a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist who testified in favour of carbon regulations. Why did they do that? Because his ­research proves natural disasters aren’t getting worse. But then, last year, things spiralled out of control. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “climate change kills children”.

Turning point

The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilisations”. Mainstream journalists ­reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world”, and that deforestation was like a ­nuclear bomb going off.

As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity ­extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.

Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened.

I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence. And so my formal ­apology for our fearmongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany and France since the mid-1970s.

It is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialisation, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.

Some highlights from the book:

  • Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress.
  • The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land.
  • The most important thing for reducing pollution and emissions is moving from wood to coal to petrol to natural gas to uranium.
  • 100 per cent renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5 per cent to 50 per cent.
  • We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities.
  • Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4 per cent.
  • Greenpeace didn’t save the whales — switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did.
  • “Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300 per cent more emissions.
  • Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon.
  • The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants.

Why were we all so misled? In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never I expose the ­financial, political and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable”. And status anxiety, depression and hostility to modern civilisation are behind much of the alarmism.

The most important thing for reducing pollution and emissions is moving from wood to coal to petrol to natural gas to uranium.

Reality bites

Once you realise just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavoury motivations, it is hard not to feel duped. Will Apocalypse Never make any difference? There are certainly reasons to doubt it. The news media have been making apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change since the late 1980s, and do not seem disposed to stop. The ideology behind environmental alarmism — Malthusianism — has been repeatedly debunked for 200 years and yet is more powerful than ever.

But there are also reasons to ­believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power.

A real crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, COVID-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people [Editor’s note 1: There is compelling evidence this figure is grossly inflated due to dubious practices and methods of measuring] and shattered economies around the globe [Editor’s note 2: It is the related governmental regulations that have ‘shattered economies around the world’, not COVID-19].

Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicisation of science. Their future existence and relevance depends on new leadership and serious reform. Facts still matter, and social media is allowing for a wider range of new and independent voices to outcompete alarmist environmental journalists at legacy publications.

Nations are reverting openly to self-interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.

The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilisation is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilisation that climate alarmists would return us to.

Greenpeace didn’t save the whales — switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did.

The invitations from IPCC and congress are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment. Another one has been to the response to my book from climate scientists, conservationists and ­environmental scholars. “Apocalypse Never is an extremely ­important book,” writes Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning ­author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “This may be the most important book on the environment ever written,” says one of the fathers of modern climate science, Tom Wigley.

“We environmentalists condemn those with antithetical views of being ignorant of science and susceptible to confirmation bias,” wrote the former head of The Nature Conservancy, Steve McCormick. “But too often we are guilty of the same. Shellenberger offers ‘tough love’: a challenge to entrenched orthodoxies and rigid, self-defeating mindsets. Apocalypse Never serves up occasionally stinging, but always well-crafted, evidence-based points of view that will help develop the ‘mental muscle’ we need to envision and design not only a hopeful, but an attainable, future.”

That is all I hoped for in writing it. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll agree it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems that a lifelong environmentalist and progressive felt the need to speak out against the alarmism. I further hope that you’ll accept my apology.

Michael Shellenberger is president of Environmental Progress, an independent research and policy organisation. He is the author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, published by Harper Collins

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The Sun “Has Gone Into Lockdown”

The Sun Has Gone Into Lockdown  By Michael Snyder, 19 May 2020

The Sun “Has Gone Into Lockdown”, And This Strange Behavior Could Worsen Global Food Shortages

At a time when the world is already being hit with major crisis after major crisis, our sun is behaving in ways that we have never seen before.  For as long as records have been kept, the sun has never been quieter than it has been in 2019 and 2020, and as you will see below we are being warned that we have now entered “a very deep solar minimum”.  Unfortunately, other very deep solar minimums throughout history have corresponded with brutally cold temperatures and horrific global famines, and of course this new solar minimum comes at a time when the United Nations is already warning that we are on the verge of “biblical” famines around the world.  So we better hope that the sun wakes up soon, because the alternative is almost too horrifying to talk about.

Without the sun, life on Earth could not exist, and so the fact that it is behaving so weirdly right now should be big news.

Sadly, most mainstream news outlets are largely ignoring this story, but at least a few are covering it.  The following comes from Forbes

While we on Earth suffer from coronavirus, our star—the Sun—is having a lockdown all of its ownSpaceweather.com reports that already there have been 100 days in 2020 when our Sun has displayed zero sunspots.

That makes 2020 the second consecutive year of a record-setting low number of sunspots— which you can see (a complete absence of) here.

And here is what the New York Post is saying…

Our sun has gone into lockdown, which could cause freezing weather, earthquakes and famine, scientists say.

The sun is currently in a period of “solar minimum,” meaning activity on its surface has fallen dramatically.

Experts believe we are about to enter the deepest period of sunshine “recession” ever recorded as sunspots have virtually disappeared.

Yes, covering COVID-19 is important, but the fact that scientists are warning that we are potentially facing “freezing weather, earthquakes and famine” should be deeply alarming for all of us.

And since the mainstream media has been largely silent on this crisis, most Americans don’t even know that it exists.

Last year, there were no sunspots at all 77 percent of the time, and so far this year there have been no sunspots at all 76 percent of the time

“This is a sign that solar minimum is underway,” reads SpaceWeather.com. “So far this year, the Sun has been blank 76% of the time, a rate surpassed only once before in the Space Age. Last year, 2019, the Sun was blank 77% of the time. Two consecutive years of record-setting spotlessness adds up to a very deep solar minimum, indeed.”

So why is this such a big deal?

Well, every once in a while a very deep solar minimum that lasts for several decades comes along, and when our planet has experienced such periods in the past the consequences have been quite dramatic.

For example, the New York Post is claiming that NASA scientists fear that we could potentially be facing “a repeat of the Dalton Minimum”…

NASA scientists fear it could be a repeat of the Dalton Minimum, which happened between 1790 and 1830 — leading to periods of brutal cold, crop loss, famine and powerful volcanic eruptions.

Temperatures plummeted by up to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over 20 years, devastating the world’s food production.

Even worse would be a repeat of the Maunder Minimum which stretched from 1645 to 1715.  It came as the globe was already in the midst of “the Little Ice Age”, and it caused harvest failures and famines all over the globe

The Maunder Minimum is the most famous cold period of the Little Ice Age. Temperatures plummeted in Europe (Figs. 14.3–14.7), the growing season became shorter by more than a month, the number of snowy days increased from a few to 20–30, the ground froze to several feet, alpine glaciers advanced all over the world, glaciers in the Swiss Alps encroached on farms and buried villages, tree-lines in the Alps dropped, sea ports were blocked by sea ice that surrounded Iceland and Holland for about 20 miles, wine grape harvests diminished, and cereal grain harvests failed, leading to mass famines (Fagan, 2007). The Thames River and canals and rivers of the Netherlands froze over during the winter (Fig. 14.3). The population of Iceland decreased by about half. In parts of China, warm-weather crops that had been grown for centuries were abandoned. In North America, early European settlers experienced exceptionally severe winters.

Of course this would be an exceptionally bad time for such a cataclysmic climate shift, because African Swine Fever has already wiped out approximately one-fourth of all the pigs in the world, colossal armies of locusts the size of major cities are systematically wiping out crops across much of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and fear of COVID-19 is greatly disrupting global food supply chains.

In fact, it is being reported that widespread shutdowns of meat processing facilities in the United States may force farmers to euthanize “as many as 10 million hogs by September”

U.S. pork farmers may be forced to euthanize as many as 10 million hogs by September as a result of production-plant shutdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

At least 14,000 reported positive COVID-19 cases have been connected to meatpacking facilities in at least 181 plants in 31 states as of May 13, and at least 54 meatpacking facility workers have died of the virus at 30 plants in 18 states, according to an investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative reporting.

Even if the sun suddenly started acting perfectly normal once again, we would still be facing what the UN is calling “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”.

Global food supplies are getting tighter with each passing day, and many are warning that some areas of the globe will soon be dealing with severe food shortages.

What we really need are a few years of really good growing weather, but the behaviour of the sun may not make that possible.

So let’s keep a very close eye on the giant ball of fire that we are revolving around, because if it remains very quiet that could mean big trouble for all of us.

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Switzerland’s environmental agency announces national moratorium on 5G

Switzerland’s environmental agency announces national moratorium on 5G  By Michael Alexander, Natural News, 20 February 2020

Telecommunications companies will not be rolling out 5G towers in several Swiss cantons or regions after the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment or Das Bundesamt für Umwelt (Bafu) placed an indefinite moratorium on the network’s use over potential health concerns.

In its moratorium, Bafu said it cannot yet provide universal criteria without further testing of the impact of 5G radiation on human health.

According to the agency, the moratorium will stay in place as they examine and monitor extensively the effects of 5G exposure through adaptive antennas in “real-world operational conditions,” adding that “this work will take some time”.

International newspaper The Financial Times first broke the story.

However, according to a statement sent by a representative to Mobile World Live, Bafu said that these letters did not contain any recommendation to stop the permitting of 5G base stations, but rather, only sets out how the country’s cantons can proceed with the permitting of 5G and adaptive antennas until enforcement aid on the structures is available.

In the same statement, the Bafu representative noted that several cantons and municipalities had already imposed moratoria on 5G, but added that these do “not affect Switzerland in general”.

Among the cantons that voluntarily imposed moratoria on 5G towers because of uncertainty over health risks are Geneva, Vaud, Jura and Neuchâtel.

The apprehension regarding the new 5G communication technology — which proponents say will eventually be used to support everything from driverless cars to even virtual reality — stems from the fact that individuals will be exposed to more concentrated radiation beams.

Swisscom, the country’s largest mobile operator, maintains that while it understands “the fears often expressed about new technologies,” there is no evidence that 5G radiation affects human health.

Despite Swisscom’s statement, however, the Swiss Medical Association still advised caution on 5G, noting that there are still unanswered questions regarding the technology’s potential to cause damage.

Medical journal The Lancet has published a report questioning the validity of current safety standards, which are based on the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers first established in the 1990s. As noted in the Lancet report, these standards assume that only the acute thermal effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation are hazardous.

In her report, however, author Priyanka Bandara points to research suggesting the damage goes beyond these thermal effects, noting that radiation might alter human brain metabolism, electrical activity in the brain and immune responses. Bandara, in the Lancet report, also added that chronic exposure has been associated with increased oxidative stress and DNA damage and cancer risk.

Additionally, Bandara said, there appears to be evidence for an association between neurodevelopmental or behavioral disorders in children and exposure to wireless devices. Prenatal exposure might cause structural and functional changes in the brain associated with ADHD-like behavior.

Similarly, a group of scientists and researchers has also aired concern over the impending global rollout of 5G, noting that electromagnetic fields or EMF have well-documented negative effects on the not just on the human body, but also the environment. (Related: 5G Danger: Hundreds of respected scientists sound the alarm about health effects as 5G networks go up nationwide)

“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life,” the group, led by Elizabeth Kelley of Electromagnetic Safety Alliance Inc., said.

Aside from the recently imposed moratorium, there are currently five proposals for legally binding referendums on 5G use that are in motion in Switzerland. Two of these have already been formalized and now only need to collect 100,000 signatures in order to get onto the official ballot.

The first of the two proposals aims to make telecommunications companies legally liable for any subsequent claims of damage caused by radiation, while the second one proposes strict and stringent limits on radiation emissions, as well as gives local residents the power to veto new antenna and mast constructions in their respective areas.

Sources include:

WakingTimes.com

MobileWorldLive.com

LiveScience.com

TheLancet.com

ScientificAmerican.com

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