Thursday, March 30, 2017

Frank Newman: Property market on the turn


The latest issue of Property Focus by the ANZ has some interesting, if somewhat sober, commentary about the current state of the property market. In essence they say the market has turned, but due to a lag effect it has yet to become evident in the annual property measures. 

They say, "On a 3-month annualised basis, nationwide prices are running at 1.9%, which is down from over 23% in mid-2016. Auckland and Christchurch prices are actually 6.7% and 10.2% lower respectively on the same measure; even if we account for volatility that’s an almighty thump…Nationally, house prices are still up 10.6% on a year ago according to the stratified measures, but annual changes lag turning points. Quarterly changes are noisier but more adept at picking changes in the market. The signal on this front (just +0.5% 3m/3m in February) indicates a clear slowdown."

GWPF Newsletter: Donald Trump Declares ‘New Age Of American Energy’








Trump Signs Executive Order Unwinding Obama's Climate Policies

In this newsletter:

1) Donald Trump Declares ‘New Age Of American Energy’ As He Destroys Obama’s Climate Legacy
The Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2017
 
2) Trump’s Executive Order On Energy: This Time, He Listened To The Lawyers
Forbes, 29 March 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: ‘Biggest Oil Discovery In UK Waters This Century’








UK Energy Policy Will Be About Cutting Costs, Not Emissions, Says Government Chief

In this newsletter:

1) ‘Biggest Oil Discovery In UK Waters This Century’
Financial Times, 26 March 2017
 
2) UK Energy Policy Will Be About Cutting Costs, Not Emissions, Says Government Chief
Newcastle Journal, 23 March 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

NZCPR: Education in Need of Reform



Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the decline in New Zealand’s educational performance, our NZCPR Guest Commentator, Professor Sing-Kong LEE highlights some of the key features of Singapore’s education system that have led to their outstanding success in international tests; and this week’s poll asks whether you believe New Zealand should consider replacing the NCEA.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.
 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Matt Ridley: Free trade agreements are easier if you keep them simple


The prime minister will soon press the button and launch Article 50 on its inexorable, ballistic trajectory towards impact in March 2019. From the political class here, let alone in Brussels, comes incessant pessimism about those two years: it will be fractious, we are not ready to negotiate, a trade agreement is all but impossible, the timetable is too tight, we’re going over a cliff.

This is mostly wishful thinking by those who want us to fail. A conversation last week with the former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott brought this home to me. When he became prime minister, Mr Abbott did something unusual. Noticing that his country’s trade negotiators had spent years meandering towards deals with China, Japan and other countries – enjoying room service in five-star hotels in different cities as they did so – he set them deadlines.

Karl du Fresne: Why celebrity activists piss me off


I tuned into the BBC World Service in the middle of the night recently, as one does, and found myself listening to an interview with an American woman whose identity, since I came in part-way through, was not evident to me.

She was lamenting the appalling state of the world and the heartlessness of the people who allow it to be that way.

Mike Butler: Labour’s land-grab claim shows cracks in claimed treaty settlements consensus


The Labour Party’s sudden opposition to a bill that would enable some Auckland reserve land to be used in a treaty settlement for housing appears to show cracks in the claimed cross-party consensus on treaty settlements.

Anyone who dares to criticise treaty settlements, whether the dollar amount of financial redress or the shaky basis of many of the claims, is told that “everyone agrees” that these settlements are “the right thing to do”.

Friday, March 24, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Bad Weather Proves Climate Change, Says WMO








GWPF Report: Current Global Warming Is ‘Not Outside The Range Of Natural Variations’

In this newsletter:

1) New Report: Current Global Warming Is ‘Not Outside The Range Of Natural Variations’
The Daily Caller, 22 March 2017
 
2) GWPF TV: State Of The Climate In 2016
GWPF TV, 23 March 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: U.S. Shale Is Pushing OPEC To Breaking Point








Shale 2.0 Triggers $160 Billion US Manufacturing Boom

In this newsletter:

1) U.S. Shale Is Pushing OPEC To Breaking Point
The Times, 20 March 2017

2) Shale 2.0 Triggers $160 Billion US Manufacturing Boom 
CNBC, 9 March 2016

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bryan Leyland: Things you know that ain't so - there's a global warming "tipping point"


"Things you know that ain't so - if world temperatures rise more than 1.5 or 2°, a dangerous "tipping point" will be reached.

The problem with this belief is that, as far as I can make out, it is totally unsupported by any evidence whatsoever. It is not predicted by the climate models – they merely project that temperatures will increase steadily as carbon dioxide increases – and there is no evidence of tipping points occurring within what one might call the normal temperature range in the past.

Frank Newman: Disruptive opportunities



Technology based companies are having a significant impact on the way people do business. Companies like Uber and Airbnb are among a new generation of IT based "disrupters" – operations that are so innovative that they seriously threaten the viability of an established industry.

The best example is Uber, which for those that don't know, is a taxi service. It differs from the traditional taxi companies in a number of ways. Most significantly, it is not strictly speaking a taxi company - it is more like a broker that brings together those that want a taxi with those that want to provide a taxi service - like Trademe. They create an online marketplace for buyers and sellers.

GWPF Newsletter: G-20 Drop Climate Change From Communique








US To Stop Funding UN Climate Process

In this newsletter:

1) G-20 Drop Climate Change From Communique
Reuters, 17 March 2017

2) Trump Budget: US To Stop Funding UN Climate Process
Climate Home, 16 March 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

NZCPR Weekly: An Abomination of a Bill



Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we reveal how misinformation is being used by the Minister for the Environment to counter the NZCPR’s concerns over racist provisions in his Resource Legislation Amendment Bill; our two NZCPR Guest Commentators are freelance journalist Michael Coote, who outlines why Nick Smith’s reforms are a recipe for disaster, and legal expert Stephen Franks, who refutes the Minister’s misleading allegations about the Bill; and this week’s poll asks whether you believe National should press ahead and pass the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill into law before the election.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.
 

Mike Butler: Govt by iwi leaders through Nats


Data obtained under the Official Information Act shows that since November 2008 there have been at least 44 meetings between the former Prime Minister, John Key, the current Prime Minister, Bill English, other senior Ministers, and the Iwi Leaders Group.

Years of positioning for political dominance by the Iwi Leaders Group has materialised in the mana whakahono a rohe/iwi participation clauses in the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill which would entrench co-governance and partnership obligations with iwi Maori into local government, creating an under-the-radar constitutional change.

Friday, March 17, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Trump’s Budget Targets Obama’s Climate Policies








To Protect $77 Billion Climate Funds, Obama Stashed It Where It’s Hard to Find

In this newsletter:

1) Trump’s Budget Targets Obama’s Climate Policies

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Richard A. Epstein: Mob Censorship On Campus


In today’s political climate, there are sharp divisions of opinion over a range of issues, from health care and climate change to education and labor law. Ideally, a civil debate undertaken with mutual respect could ease tension and advance knowledge. Politics, however, often takes a very different turn.

One of the landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court, New York Times v. Sullivan, was decided in 1964 at the height of civil rights movement.

GWPF Newsletter - Hail Shale: OPEC Is Losing The Global Oil Game








US Shale Revolution Yields New World Order

In this newsletter:

1) Hail Shale: OPEC Is Losing The Global Oil Game
Financial Post, 11 March 2017
 
2) Russia’s Rosneft Says OPEC’s Oil Production Cuts May Not Be Extended
OIlPrice, 13 March 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Bryan Leyland: Things you know that ain't so - aid to poor countries brings substantial benefits


"Things you know that ain't so - aid to poor countries brings substantial benefits".

There appears to be a widespread belief that developing countries would be better off if more aid was available. But is it true?

The presumed objective of aid is to help countries achieve a better life for their citizens: they should be better off, healthier, better governed, more self sufficient, and suffer less from corruption.

GWPF Newsletter: G-20 Poised To Signal Retreat From Paris Climate Deal Pledge








New EPA Head Stacks Agency With Climate Sceptics

In this newsletter:

1) G-20 Poised To Signal Retreat From Paris Climate Deal Pledge
Bloomberg, 11 March 2017
 
2) EPA Chief Calls Paris Agreement ‘A Bad Deal’ Amid Internal White House Struggle
The Daily Caller, 9 March 2017

Christopher Horner from the US: Nixing The Paris Climate Pact



Recent media reports suggest a conflict within the Trump White House over whether to keep the president’s campaign promise “to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement,” the successor to the rejected Kyoto Protocol. 

President Trump also promised to roll Barack Obama’s controversial and harmful climate agenda back, yet the Paris agreement, signed in September 2016 just before the presidential election, is the capstone of that agenda, committing us to keep the agenda in place, and forever tighten it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Matt Ridley: The possibilities opened up by gene editing


Scientists at the Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, said last week that they had edited the genomes of pigs, rendering them immune to a dangerous virus. The announcement is extraordinary precisely because it sounds almost routine these days. 

Gene editing is already starting to save the lives of human cancer patients and generate healthier crops. Yet the battle to ensure it gains favour with public opinion must be urgently addressed. The usual suspects are already trying to blacken its name.

Karl du Fresne: How to alienate your best friends


I find myself in the unfamiliar situation of being in agreement with Winston Peters. The New Zealand First leader thinks the police have lost the plot, and so do I.

Peters has attacked the police for wanting to curtail the right of people to take their own wine and beer to race meetings. He uses his customary blustering rhetoric, describing the police as politically correct wowsers and comparing them with Nazis.

NZCPR Newsletter: Climate change data fabricated



Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the climate change industry and examine a major global warming scandal that was revealed last month, our NZCPR Guest Commentator is the whistleblower, the former Principal Scientist of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr John Bates, who shares his full disclosure, and our poll asks if the US withdraws from the Paris climate accord, whether New Zealand should follow suit.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.
 

Friday, March 10, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Germany’s “Silent Catastrophe”






330,000 Households See Power Turned Off In One Year

In this newsletter:

1) Germany’s “Silent Catastrophe” …330,000 Households See Power Turned Off In One Year
NoTricks Zone, 3 March 2017

2) Report: Germany's Energyewende Threatens To Become An Economic Disaster
Die Welt, 6 March 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: One Of Greatest Mass Extinctions Was Due To An Ice Age And Not To Global Warming








New Study: More Arctic Sea Ice Now Than For Nearly All Of The Last 10,000 Years

In this newsletter:

1) Oops: One Of Greatest Mass Extinctions Was Due To An Ice Age And Not To Global Warming
Science Daily, 6 March 2016
 
2) New Study: More Arctic Sea Ice Now Than For Nearly All Of The Last 10,000 Years
No Tricks Zone, 2 March 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Richard Epstein: The Affordable Housing Crisis



Housing policy has become yet another flashpoint in these highly polarized times. Much of the controversy swirls around President Donald Trump’s nomination of Ben Carson, a distinguished neurosurgeon, as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. 

HUD operates a wide range of subsidized federal housing programs that impassioned critics of his nomination are sure Carson will dismember. His chief vice in their eyes is his lack of direct experience working in the housing area. In a real sense this is a mixed blessing. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Karl du Fresne: When the police become mother hens


I shudder when I see someone advocating a hate speech law. So should we all.

Police commissioner Mike Bush didn’t go so far as actually advocating a law prohibiting “hate speech”, however that may be defined, but obviously it was on his mind. In fact he’s talked to the Human Rights Commission about it.

I imagine it would have been a meeting of minds. After all, it’s the nature of bureaucracies to want their powers expanded.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Transgender kids and sexploitation


It should not come as news to anyone that there is an on-going vigorous campaign to have transsexualism/transgenderism normalised. 

TIME magazine gave it cover page prominence and called it the “next civil rights frontier”. Rows over ‘bathroom bills’ have become a part of the political landscape (see my article “Do we really need new toilet laws?”, Breaking Views 3 June 2016).  National Geographic recently got in on the act with a cover featuring a 9-year-old boy, Avery Jackson, who has been ‘transitioning’ to being a girl since age 7. (PC-Newspeak actually demands that I refer to him as female, but I flatly refuse.)

GWPF Newsletter: Science In Crisis








British Universities Stifle Debate As Academics Lurch To The Left

In this newsletter:

1) Groupthink Rife In British Academia: Increased Risk Of Systematic Bias In Science
Adam Smith Institute, 2 March 2017
 
2) Lurch To Left Raises Concerns For Increased Risk Of Academic Bias
The Times, 2 March 2017

NZCPR Newsletter: Hate Speech



Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at why the calls by the Race Relations Commissioner for stronger hate speech and hate crime laws are so misguided, our NZCPR Guest Commentator, Lindsay Perigo, explains why free speech must be defended, and our poll asks whether you agree with Dame Susan Devoy that ‘hate speech’ laws in New Zealand need to be strengthened.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.
 

Mole News


Wellington Māori with "tenths" arrangement look closely at court judgement
The Wellington Tenths Trust is looking closely at a landmark Supreme Court ruling that the Crown must honour a land deal agreed with Nelson Māori in 1839.

The Wakatū Incorporation, representing the descendants of Nelson Māori, successfully argued that the terms of the land deal, that they should receive a tenth of the land bought by a settler company, was valid. The Supreme Court found the government had acted as trustee in the arrangement and owed fiduciary duties to reserve the land.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Guy Benson: Network News Has Covered Trump Positively...Three Percent of the Time



Three percent? That's somehow even lower than the number of Americans who think Obamacare is working well, which is quite a feat. Granted, this is just one study based on a single metric, but its findings should sound about right to anyone who's watched (or read, for that matter) coverage of the Trump administration thus far.  

The president too often oversteps in his bashing of the press, particularly when he over-applies the term "fake news," but he's not wrong to regard much of the media as an active arm of his political opposition.  Via the Washington Post:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Shale Boom 2.0: OPEC Underestimated U.S. Frackers








Shale Revolution Drives American Household’s Energy Cost To Record Low

In this newsletter:

1) Shale Boom 2.0: OPEC Underestimated U.S. Frackers
Bloomberg, 26 February 2017
 
2) Energy Superpower: Surging Exports Propel US To Bigger Impact On Global Oil Market 
Financial Times, 28 February 2017