Environmentalism: too many gravy trains, lies and dangerous hidden agendas

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

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

Science’s Untold Scandal: Professional Societies Promote the Climate Change Scare

Sciences Untold Scandal,Professional Societies Promote the Climate Change Scare  By Tom Harris, Dr Jay Lehr, 27 May 2019

When we started our careers, it was considered an honour to be a member of professional societies that helped practitioners keep up with the latest developments in their fields through relevant meetings and publications. Senior author Dr. Jay Lehr had the privilege of leading one of these societies long ago.

But things are different now. Whether it be chemistry, physics, geology or engineering, many of the world’s primary professional societies have changed from being paragons of technical virtue to opportunistic groups focused on maximizing their members’ financial gains in support of the climate scare, the world’s greatest science fraud. In particular, they continue to promote the groundless hypothesis that carbon dioxide emitted as a result of mankind’s use of fossil fuels is leading to environmental catastrophe. You have been hearing about it for the past decade and more, with 21 candidates for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in the next election promoting some form of a Green New Deal—a plan to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and replace them with wind and solar power thereby returning society to the lifestyle of the 1880s.

Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, wrote in 1994 that radical greens had taken over the organization after the fall of the Berlin Wall, leaving him no choice but to resign. The takeover of environmental institutions by extremists is now almost complete, the most important of which may be the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). President Donald Trump is aggressively trying to win back the EPA in the best interests of the nation, but it is an uphill battle as the climate cult has also taken control of academia, political parties, and governments themselves.

An example of how professional societies have apparently been hijacked by extremists concerns the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, Canada (APEGA). Allan MacRae, a prominent long-time member of APEGA, was named to receive its most distinguished lifetime achievement award in 2019. Then APEGA staff learned that MacRae had written publicly about the damage done to humanity and the environment by radical greens. APEGA leadership strongly condemned his comments and his award was withdrawn. It led MacRae to write “Hypothesis: Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age,” which explains the APEGA award withdrawal and to support his contention that radical greens have done enormous harm to humanity and the environment with their destructive, misguided policies. MacRae writes, “APEGA refused to discuss the evidence, and baselessly claimed the moral high ground.”

One commenter responding to MacRae’s essay posed a question, the answer to which tells an important story: “How did the Greens get control of APEGA?” Another commenter answered:

The same way they have taken over every other professional organization.  The actual members are too busy building their careers and actually working in the field to spend much time worrying about the day to day operation of the organization. As a result, they are taken over by lawyers and activists whose interest is in pushing their own agenda, not advancing science for humanity.

Another reader commented:

“The long march through the Institutions” as proposed by the Frankfurt school back in the 1930s was launched knowing it would be a generations long policy. Here we are three generations on and they have now taken control of all the western institutions as planned. The socialists do not stop just because their prime construct, the USSR failed in 1990. They regard that failure as simply work in progress. The climate as a tool which can never be tamed, was a genuine piece of strategic genius by the COGS (constantly offended green socialists). They will not stop. The destruction of humanity is too big a prize, they view this activity as pressing the Earth’s reset button.

The same thing is happening in the United States, where feathers were really ruffled at the American Physical Society (APS) when Dr. Hal Lewis, emeritus professor of Physics at the University of California, sent his resignation letter to the Society after being a member for 67 years. In his letter, he described the joy of working with brilliant physicists for decades, when no one expected to get rich in this field. Lewis explained how studies done within the society had effective oversight that enabled members to stake their reputations on the work of the organization. He said that has all now changed. Open dialogue has disappeared and all organization policies follow the new politics of the organization leadership rather than the membership. It is apparently focused on the money that accrues to the organization and its members by going along with popular concerns.

Lewis’ letter can be found here. A telling quote from that letter follows:

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave.  It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone that has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents which lay it bare.

Lewis went on to state that he recruited over 200 members of APS to oppose the new APS policy that fully supports the global warming fraud. Their request for a hearing on the issue was completely ignored.

On March 31, 2019, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) issued a press release announcing the launch of The Climate Solutions Community, a broad committee to identify viable solutions to mitigate, adapt, and become resilient to the effects of climate change. They totally buy into the dangerous man-made climate change hypothesis with no consideration of alternative points of view. AIChE’s description of their efforts highlight the fact that employment can be gained for their members as a result of the climate scare.

The Geological Society of America (GSA) has fallen into the same trap. In April 2015, GSA issued a Position Statement asserting that:

Human activities (mainly greenhouse-gas emissions) are the dominant cause of the rapid warming since the middle 1900s (IPCC, 2013). If the upward trend in greenhouse-gas concentrations continues, the projected global climate change by the end of the twenty first century will result in significant impacts on humans and other species.

The GSA backs up the statement with vague evidence from paleoclimates and offers their full support for the reports of the widely discredited United Nations International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC).s

As is evident from the process described on the GSA Position Statement FAQs web page, the full membership of GSA is not polled after the development of Position Statements. Consequently, it is unknown what fraction of the membership actually support the final statement. However, clearly, GSA leadership recognize that such a position offers employment to many of their members trained in geology.

The lockstep march of professional societies in support of climate alarmism has been going on for years. For example, fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and a leading Canadian energy expert, the late “Archie” Robertson of Deep River, Ontario, explained in the April 28, 2006, edition of the National Post what happened in Canada:

To claim that the IPCC-2001 assessment was “supported by the Royal Society of Canada” is stretching the truth. Prior to last year’s Montreal conference, the president of the Royal Society of London, whose manner of promoting Kyoto has been criticized, drafted a resolution in favour and circulated it to other academies of science inviting co-signing. The Canadian Academy of Science is one of three academies within the Royal Society of Canada (the other are from the humanities). The president of the RSC, not a member of the Academy of Science, received the invitation. He considered it consistent with the position of the great majority of scientists, as repeatedly but erroneously claimed by Kyoto proponents, and so signed it. The resolution was not referred to the Academy of Science for comment, not even to its council or president (I learned this when, as a member of the Academy of Science, I inquired into the basis for the RSC supporting the resolution).

A similar episode happened in the United States and Russia concerning The Royal Society initiative. Pronouncements from other science bodies are often just the opinions of the groups’ executives or committees specifically appointed by the executive. The rank and file scientist members are rarely consulted at all.

Past IPCC lead author Dr. Richard Lindzen, professor emeritus of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  explained the problems with a previous National Academy of Sciences report here and concluded: “there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them.”

All of this seriously damages the image of these once-respected professional societies in the eyes of both the public and the membership.

The climate cult that has taken over the environmental movement has never been about the environment. It has always been a mechanism to advance socialism, grow government, reduce individual rights, reduce human population, and ignore the human suffering and environmental damage their policies cause. Activists promoting this anti-human, anti-environment agenda appear to suffer emotional and psychological problems which they seem to deal with by attempting to make others miserable.

On April 27, 1961, at a speech in New York City, President John F. Kennedy said:

We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence – on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Those words describe socialism, a system sold as Utopia. It appears that a yearning for Utopia never dies, because it springs from innate spiritual qualities of humanity. But as we have seen in every instance of national-scale socialist “Utopias” such as Cuba, China, Russia, and Venezuela, the result is inevitably suffering, scarcity, environmental degradation, oppression, and death. Truth, reason, and logic are the first values sacrificed along the way. Professional Societies must stop supporting it.

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Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Analyst with of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). Tom Harris is Executive Director of ICSC.

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New Zealand’s Labour Government suicidal Climate Change plans

New Zealand’s Labour Government suicidal Climate Change plans  By Dr Muriel Newman, NZCPR.com, 17 May 2019

The coalition Government’s newly announced Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill 2019, which has been described by a former Energy Minister as “the most dangerous piece of  government legislation ever placed before New Zealand’s House of Representatives”, is so radical that it offers National a similar opportunity. But only if they start acting like a real opposition and stop allowing themselves to be manipulated by the Government into a ‘consensus’ approach.

First, some background.

The drive for ‘zero carbon’ is being used as a vehicle by the United Nations’ to advance its global socialist agenda. By embracing extreme environmentalism, they have tapped into a rich vein of activism and popular political support.

The fact that in 2016 almost every country supported the Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050 – with a long-term target of 1.5 degrees – demonstrates their success and momentum.

However, as the tangible effects of the Paris Agreement are beginning to be felt – through expensive energy-rationing policies that are forcing up prices with no environmental benefits – public opposition is increasing.

It is this growing mood of resistance that brought the UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on a promotional tour of New Zealand and the Pacific. Amid his exaggerated predictions of climate doom, he was full of praise for the hard-line approach being taken by our Prime Minister.

“We are facing a climate emergency…The paradox is that as things are getting worse on the ground, political will seems to be fading. That is why the leadership of the government of New Zealand is extremely important. Not only is New Zealand fully in line with what was promised in Paris, but New Zealand is introducing legislation to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. Your leadership Prime Minister is absolutely crucial in this regard and I’m extremely grateful for it.”

It is deeply concerning that our PM has taken on the role of international cheerleader for the climate change movement – as she is also doing over gun control and hate speech.

With the support of the UN, Prime Minister Ardern is determined to see New Zealand leading the world in climate restrictions, even though at 0.17 percent, our contribution to global man-made greenhouse gas emissions is almost too small to measure.

Since the PM’s new legislation has been modelled on that of the UK, it is instructive to read what policy analyst and former advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rupert Darwall has to say about the expected impact of the zero carbon targets that are being proposed by their Committee on Climate Change:

“Going to net zero requires a significant ramp up in policy, i.e. even more cost, hardship and disruption. The ban on petrol and diesel cars will have to be brought forward. One fifth of Britain’s farmland is to be converted to forest or given over to growing crops for fuel. ‘Societal choices’ will be made (how?) so people eat less beef, lamb and dairy. People will need to make changes inside their homes. The committee envisages little room for Britain’s manufacturers in a net-zero economy.”

The impact of zero carbon targets on New Zealand will also be significant. According to the Bill’s Regulatory Impact Statement the estimated cost to the economy will be up to $12 billion – $8,000 for the average household – each year for the next 30 years. Other economists believe the costs will be much higher. As the Minister for Climate Change increases the value of carbon, prices will escalate putting huge pressure on family budgets, businesses will close, and unemployment will rise.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, former Energy Minister Barry Brill and Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition has examined the Bill and provides a sobering ‘must read’ analysis:

“The Bill envisages government intervention and regulation in every aspect of daily life, so as to facilitate a centrally-planned ‘transformation’ of New Zealand’s economy, society and environment.

“It is fundamentally anti-democratic in seeking to bind future Parliaments and governments by a heavily entrenched 30-year target and 15-year budgets/plans.

“It is unconstitutional in delegating to the Minister for Climate Change the power to impose the largest tax increases in history.

“It arms Minister Shaw with unfettered statutory authority to decide what climate-related risks might arise in any part of the country and what should be done about any of them. His 2020 plan can render homes uninsurable, devastate property values and hike rating burdens – without limitation – and will override all the existing protections in the RMA and elsewhere.”

As Barry explains, the Bill attempts to bind future governments by making it almost impossible to relax carbon restrictions even if they cause widespread hardship and poverty.

And while the Paris Accord set a temperature reduction target of 2° Celsius by 2050, with an aspiration goal of 1.5°, astonishingly, it is this harsher 1.5° goal that our PM has set as New Zealand’s standard in the legislation.

The Bill outlines the targets: “net emissions of greenhouse gases are zero by 2050; and gross emissions of biogenic methane are 10% less than 2017 emissions by 2030; and are at least 24% to 47% less than 2017 emissions by 2050…”

The bill explains that ‘net’ emissions can be offset by forestry or by carbon credits from other sources, while ‘gross’ emissions, which refer to methane, allow no such offsetting.

With almost half of all New Zealand’s emissions generated by the food producing agricultural sector – largely by sheep and cattle chewing their cuds – the only option to reduce methane will be to cut stock numbers.

But by imposing such restrictions on farmers, Jacinda Ardern is ignoring Article 2 of the Paris Accord which specifically prohibits countries from restricting food producers. It says, “This Agreement… aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change… in a manner that does not threaten food production”.

So despite New Zealand’s livestock farmers producing almost twice the milk and meat per kilogram of carbon dioxide than the global average, Prime Minister Ardern’s cheerleading means they will face the harshest restrictions in the world.

It is astounding that such punitive measures could even be contemplated by our own Government on a vital sector of New Zealand’s economy and an international leader in primary production.

In fact this attack on farmers looks like a re-run of the ‘fart tax’ that Helen Clark’s Labour Government tried to impose in 2004. At that time, the public and the opposition rallied in support of the farming community and forced Labour to back down.

This time around, Labour and the Greens will be hoping that the rural community will remain isolated, without the support of National strongly opposing the Bill.

It remains to be seen how the New Zealand public will react to the Government’s radical zero carbon agenda and whether opposition will grow – as it has done overseas.

In France in 2018, when President Emmanuel Macron tried to impose carbon taxes to meet the country’s targets under the Paris Accord, protesters donned yellow vests and took to the streets. They forced the President to abandon his scheduled increases in fuel taxes, electricity prices, and vehicle emissions controls. Despites this the protests are continuing.

In Canada, a backlash is also underway against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Paris climate policies. The new federal carbon tax that he imposed on the five provinces that have climate sceptics as their premiers, is now being challenged through the courts.

In Australia, former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to introduce Paris carbon restrictions is said to be one of the reasons he was forced to resign. His successor, Scott Morrison, announced that reducing energy prices and improving reliability, rather than fighting climate change, would be the government’s goal going forward.

In Holland, the Forum for Democracy, a political party that started life as a think tank that opposed global warming scaremongering, has just become the biggest party in the Senate. The FfD’s victory in the provincial elections is a clear signal that Dutch voters are increasingly opposed to the government’s overly-ambitious climate policies.

Essentially, the FfD claimed the government was being driven by “climate-change hysteria”, saying their policies were far too costly and would attain a reduction in global temperature of only 0.0003 degrees Celsius by 2100. They wanted to stop the government funding programs to meet international climate agreements, and like US President Trump, they want to leave the Paris Accord.

In Finland, climate change also dominated their recent elections. With most parties proposing to raise energy prices and limit people’s energy use, the Finns Party made the fight against expensive climate policies the central part of its platform. It gained the second-highest number of seats in the Parliament. Just two months before the election, polls showed support for the Finns Party at only 8 percent, but after opposing climate alarmism became its main objective, its popularity doubled.

The New York Times credited the Finns Party’s success to its climate scepticism: “As Finland’s other parties competed with each other to offer ambitious climate goals, the Finns Party has seized on climate as a new front in the culture wars, warning its conservative, working-class supporters that they are being betrayed by urban elites. Aggressive environmental measures will ‘take the sausage from the mouths of laborers’, warned a Finns Party politician in a televised debate. And, more important, from dogs and cats, whose food would increase in price by 20 to 40 percent. ‘What are you going to say to the little girl or boy who cries when Mom and Dad say that they can’t afford it any longer? And take the lovable pet to be put down?’ If that was not enough, he suggested contemptuously that, if the liberals got their way, dogs and cats would have to accept vegan substitutes for meat.”

In Germany, even Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union Party is positioning itself against a carbon tax. They are putting the interests of the economy ahead of climate protection, as concerns grow that many aspects of everyday life will become considerably more expensive under carbon pricing, with the financial burden falling disproportionately on the poor.

In some German polls, opposition to carbon taxes has now risen to over 60 percent. At a recent meeting in Brussels, Germany sided with Poland, Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic in refusing to commit to climate neutrality by 2050.

It was in 2016 that President Trump turned America away from the Paris climate accord. He refused to support what some had called an ‘economic suicide pact’ intent on exerting global government control over the lives and living standards of people everywhere.

At the time, the Heritage Foundation estimated that the Paris restrictions “would cost average US families $30,000 in cumulative higher electricity prices over the next decade. Paris would eliminate 400,000 high-pay manufacturing, construction and other jobs – and shrink the US economy by $2.5 trillion by 2027.”

Other analysts put the costs much higher.

With the first reading of the Zero Carbon Bill scheduled for next week, the big question is whether National will recognise the need to take a leading role in bringing the Prime Minister and James Shaw to heel.

National needs to decide whether it will continue to go along with this global climate change hysteria and allow New Zealand to be pushed into a vortex of decline. Or whether it will defend the national interest and oppose this extremist legislation.

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Coral can take the heat, unlike experts crying wolf

Coral can take the heat, unlike experts crying wolf  By (Professor) Peter Ridd, The Australian, 26 December 2018

Editor’s note: Peter Ridd was sacked by James Cook University for questioning other scientists’ dubious reports, as noted below. A related court case is pending.  JCU also removed world-renowned Professor Bob Carter (1942-2016) for similar reasons.

Scientists from James Cook University have just published a paper on the bleaching and death of corals on the Great Barrier Reef and were surprised that the death rate was less than they expected, because of the adaptability of corals to changing temperatures.

It appears as though they exaggerated their original claims and are quietly backtracking.

To misquote Oscar Wilde, to exaggerate once is a misfortune, to do it twice looks careless, but to do it repeatedly looks like unforgivable systemic unreliability by some of our major science organisations.

The very rapid adaptation of corals to high temperatures is a well-known phenomenon; besides, if you heat corals in a given year, they tend to be less susceptible in the future to overheating. This is why corals are one of the least likely species to be affected by climate change, irrespective of whether you believe the climate is changing by natural fluctuations or because of human influence.

Corals have a unique way of dealing with changing temperature, by changing the microscopic plants that live inside them. These microscopic plants, called zooxanthellae, give the coral energy from the sun through photosynthesis in exchange for a comfortable home inside the coral. When the water gets hot, these little plants effectively become poisonous to the coral and the coral throws them out, which turns the coral white — that is, it bleaches.

But most of the time, the coral will recover from the bleaching. And here’s the trick: the corals take in new zooxanthellae, that floats around in the water quite naturally, and can select different species that are better suited to hot weather.

Most other organisms have to change their genetic make-up to deal with temperature changes — something that can take many generations. But corals can do it in a few weeks by just changing the plants that live in them.

They have learned a thing or two in a couple of hundred million years of evolution.

The problem here is that the world has been completely misled about the effects of bleaching by scientists who rarely mention the spectacular regrowth that occurs. For example, the 2016 bleaching event supposedly killed 93 per cent, or half, or 30 per cent of the reef, depending on which headline and scientist you want to believe.

However, the scientists looked only at coral in very shallow water — less than 2m below the surface — which is only a small fraction of all the coral, but by far the most susceptible to getting hot in the tropical sun.

A recent study found that deep-water coral (down to more than 40m) underwent far less bleaching, as one would expect. I estimate that less than 8 per cent of the Barrier Reef coral died. That might still sound like a lot, but considering that there was a 250 per cent increase in coral between 2011 and 2016 for the entire southern zone, an 8 per cent decrease is nothing to worry about. Coral recovers fast.

But this is just the tip of the exaggeration iceberg. Some very eminent scientists claim that bleaching never happened before the 1980s and is entirely a man-made phenomenon. This was always a ridiculous proposition.

A recent study of 400-year-old corals has found that bleaching has always occurred and is no more common now than in the past. Scientists have also claimed that there has been a 15 per cent reduction in the growth rate of corals. However, some colleagues and I demonstrated that there were ­serious errors in their work and that, if anything, there has been a slight increase in the coral growth rate over the past 100 years.

This is what one would expect in a gently warming climate. Corals grow up to twice as fast in the hotter water of Papua New Guinea and the northern Barrier Reef than in the southern reef. I could quote many more examples.

This unreliability of the science is now a widely accepted scandal in many other areas of study and it has a name: the replication crisis. When checks are made to replicate or confirm scientific results, it is regularly found that about half have flaws. This is an incredible and scandalous situation, a view shared by the editors of eminent journals and many science institutions. A great deal of effort is going into fixing this problem, especially in the biomedical sciences, where it was first recognised.

But not for Barrier Reef science. The science institutions deny there is a problem and fail to correct erroneous work. When Piers Larcombe and I submitted an article to a scientific journal suggesting we needed a little additional checking of Great Barrier Reef science, the response from many very eminent scientists was that there was no need. Everything was fine. I am not sure if this is blind optimism or wilful negligence, but why would anybody object to a little more checking? It would cost only a few million dollars — just a tiny fraction of what governments will be spending on the reef.

But the truth will out eventually. The scare stories about the Barrier Reef started in the 1960s, when scientists first started work on it. They have been crying wolf ever since. But the data keeps coming in and, yes, sometimes a great deal of coral dies in a spectacular manner, with accompanying media fanfare. It is like a bushfire on land — it looks terrible at first, but it quietly and rapidly grows back, ready for the scientists to peddle their story all over again.

Peter Ridd was, until fired this year, a physicist at James Cook University’s marine geophysical laboratory.

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Links to previous articles

About Peter Senior

I'm a very experienced and pragmatic management consultant. I've reviewed and led the restructuring of many organisations - large and small corporations and Government Departments, much of the time as President of the New Zealand Institute of Management Consultants. Before that I was General Manager of a major NZ newspaper; earlier, an analyst for IBM UK. I gained an honours degree in engineering at London University, and studied management at Cambridge University. This wide range of experience has left me frustrated: I continue to see too many examples of really bad management. Sometimes small easily fixed issues; sometimes fundamental faults; and sometimes really tricky problems. Mostly these issues can be fixed using a mixture of common sense, 'management 101' and applying lessons from years of management experience. Unfortunately, all too often, politics, bureaucracy and daft government regulations get in the way; internal factors such as poor culture and out-of-date strategies are often evident. So what's gone wrong, and why, and most importantly, how to fix 'it'? I hope there are like-minded people 'out there' who will share their thoughts enabling 'us' to improve some significant management failures that affect the general public. If you just accept bad management, you don't have the right to complain! If you'd like to share thoughts on any aspects of management, send me an email to petersenior42@gmail.com . My latest project has the interim title 'You’ve been conned. Much of what you were taught and read is largely irrelevant, misleading or plain wrong – this is the REAL story of life: past, present and our possible future.' The working paper so far comprises 105 pages, many listing references and interim conclusions. The main problem is finding sufficient credible evidence, and realising the more Iearn, the more I realise I don't know!
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