Wednesday, May 31, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: East European States Mount Revolt Against Paris Agreement

EU Climate Policy Threatens To Destroy What Is Left Of Europe’s Steel Industry

In this newsletter:

1) East European States Mount Revolt Against Paris Agreement
Climate Home, 29 May 2017
2) EU Climate Policy Threatens To Destroy What Is Left Of Europe’s Steel Industry
Reuters, 29 May 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Global Greening Cools Parts Of Planet Earth

Africa Has Become Much Greener In The Last 20 Years

In this newsletter:

1) Africa Has Become Much Greener In The Last 20 Years
Science Nordic, 28 May 2017
2) Gaia At Work: Global Greening Cools Parts Of Planet Earth
Daily Caller, 27 May 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

NZCPR Weekly: The 2017 Budget

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we examine the Budget - and in particular the appropriation that provides millions of dollars of taxpayer funding for groups claiming ownership of New Zealand’s coastline, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Frank Newman provides his analysis of the Budget, and this week’s poll asks whether you believe $8.45 million should be available to groups claiming our coast. 

We have been looking into Marine and Coastal Area claims and found that the only one to be resolved in the High Court had no groups opposing it – only the Attorney General. The Judge found in favour of the applicants. As a result, we have been working hard to ensure that all of the 100-plus High Court claims that have been advertised in newspapers will be opposed by fishing and recreation groups. However, while claimants have access to millions of dollars of financial assistance, those objecting to the claims have to pay $110 for each one they oppose. Accordingly, we are now launching a fundraiser to help these fishing and recreation groups cover the tens of thousands of dollars in Court application fees and other costs that they are incurring on behalf of the New Zealand public. If you oppose these Marine and Coastal Area claims, please help those who will be standing up for you in the Court, by clicking HERE. Please be generous, because the task these groups have taken on - in the public interest - is certainly not an easy one!

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: European Nations Set To Wipe Out Forests To Cheat On CO2 Emissions

Windfarms Blamed After Three Whales Die Off Suffolk Coast

In this newsletter:

1) European Nations Set To Wipe Out Forests To Cheat On CO2 Emissions
New Scientist, 23 May 2017
2) Windfarms Blamed After Three Whales Die Off Suffolk Coast
The Times, 22 May 2017 

Richard Epstein: Progressively Bankrupt

A recent story in the Wall Street Journal foretells a grim financial future for Connecticut, the wealthiest state in the union by per capita income. Its great wealth, however, does not translate into financial stability. For this coming year, the state expects a $400 million shortfall in tax collections that will only compound its looming budget deficit of some $5.1 billion, attributable to the usual suspects: service on existing debt, a lowered credit rating, surging pension obligations, runaway health care expenditures, and a declining population. 

In both 2011 and 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy sought to fill the fiscal gap by engineering two tax increases on the state’s wealthiest citizens, so that today the state’s highest tax bracket is 6.99 percent. Under the state’s tax pyramid, about one-third of the state’s $7-billion budget is paid by the several thousand people earning over $1 million per year.

David Skilling: A busy week for globalisation

Globalisation is not dead, but it is definitely changing.  And from Asia to Europe and the US, this past week has highlighted that the transition to a genuinely multipolar set of arrangements is gathering pace.

This process has been underway for some time, of course, and partly reflects fundamentals.  As Asia rises, it is unsurprising that it will increasingly shape the rules of the game.  And there is an increasingly regional shape to the global economy (a lesson that the UK has chosen to overlook).  But the adoption of a more inward-looking ‘America First’ stance is accelerating the transition to a multipolar world with overlapping, potentially competing groupings.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Matt Ridley: The Red Queen race against computer viruses

The WannaCry ransomware cyberattack of last week, which briefly crippled much of the National Health Service, may be the biggest, but it will not be the last outbreak of cybercrime. 

Remember your Through the Looking-Glass. The Red Queen lives in a world where, she says: “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.” We, the good guys, are locked in a Red Queen race with hackers, just as we, the human race, are locked in a race with real viruses, and with antibiotic resistance.

Karl du Fresne: Accountability - frequently talked about, rarely practised

I’ve been scratching my head trying to recall the number of times when someone in a position of responsibility in New Zealand fell on their sword in atonement for things that went badly wrong.

Conservation Minister Denis Marshall did it after the Cave Creek viewing platform collapse in 1995 and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson stepped down in 2012 over Pike River – in both cases, after commissions of inquiry released highly critical reports.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

China Claims Methane Hydrates Breakthrough May Lead To Global Energy Revolution

Trump’s Climate Challenge:
Between Energy Superpower And Green Shackles

In this newsletter:

1) China Claims Methane Hydrates Breakthrough May Lead To Global Energy Revolution
CNN Money, 20 May 2017
2) China’s Motive Behind Takeover of South China Sea
Wall Street Daily, 5 October 2015

Sunday, May 21, 2017

NZCPR Weekly: Tax Competition

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, ahead of the Budget, we make the case for lower taxes, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Professor Richard Epstein from the US outlines the sweeping tax reforms announced by President Trump, and this week’s poll asks whether you think taxes should be reduced in Thursday’s Budget.

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

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Frank Newman: Closing the speculation tax loophole

Last week Labour announced further measures to crack down on property speculators. Their latest measure is to close the "loop-hole" on negative gearing, and is the third policy statement targeting residential property investors. The other two previously announced policies would ban overseas investors buying existing homes, and extend the capital gains tax (bright-line test) on rental houses from two years to five.

To recap, negative gearing is where an investor makes a loss from their investment, and offsets that loss against other income derived from another source. The effect is to reduce their taxable income, and therefore the amount of tax they pay (based on their marginal tax rate).

Brian Gaynor: In this game, we're beating the Aussies

One of the major differences between New Zealand and Australia is their respective political systems and this difference may have contributed to the much stronger financial performance of the New Zealand Government in recent years.

Australia has a bicameral, federal system with 13 houses of parliament and 782 elected representatives while New Zealand has a unicameral structure with only one house and 119 current members.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Power Shift

China & India Dominate Global Coal As Green Nations Divest

In this newsletter:

1) Power Shift: China And India Dominate Global Coal Industries As Green Nations Divest
Reuters, 16 May 2017
2) China’s Energy Silk Road Based On Building Coal Power Far And Wide
China Dialogue, 12 May 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Guy Benson: Analysis - Congress Should Subpoena Comey, Alleged Memo About Trump Pressuring Flynn Probe

Another evening, another potential bombshell. Just as Washington starting to wrap its arms around the possible fallout from the president's alleged disclosure of highly classified intelligence from a foreign partner (reportedly Israel), the New York Times drops this story:
"President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting. 'I hope you can let this go,' the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Phil McDermott: Auckland facing Hobson’s Choice - Expansion or Implosion?

Choosing Auckland
In 1840, the first New Zealand Governor, William Hobson, sailed into Waitemata Harbour and chose Auckland as the country’s new capital.  The harbour offered ease of embarkation and disembarkation.  Fertile coastal lands meant that settlers could grow food crops, and the local tribe, Ngati Whatua, welcomed the promise of protection and trade that European settlement offered.

Auckland’s early fortunes fluctuated.  The city could only be reached by sea from other parts of New Zealand.  It was on an isthmus divided by two harbours, crossed by flood-prone creeks and peppered with swamps.  In addition, tribes to the south resisted the sale and alienation of their fertile Waikato lands, stalling expansion of European settlement until the late 1860s. 

Matt Ridley: The Paris climate treaty is weak, so why do climate activists defend it?

President Trump will decide shortly whether to pull the US out of the Paris agreement on climate change. By all accounts, his instincts and his campaign promises encourage him to do so while his daughter Ivanka and his secretary of state Rex Tillerson want him not to. He has already started rolling back the “clean power plan”, which was Barack Obama’s way of meeting America’s commitment under the Paris agreement.

If he does pull out, or send the agreement to the Senate for ratification on the grounds that it is a “treaty” — something Obama took great pains to try to deny so that he would not have to send it to the Senate — there will be a fresh paroxysm of rage among his critics. Climate scepticism is high among reasons that the left hates Trump. By contrast, it is one of the few things on which I half agree with him.

GWPF Newsletter: Planet Earth Covered In Much More Forest Than Thought

Earth's Forests Just Grew 9% In A New Satellite Survey

In this newsletter:

1) Good News: Planet Earth Covered In Much More Forest Than Thought
Australian Associated Press, 12 May 2017
2) Earth's Forests Just Grew 9% In A New Satellite Survey 
Science, 11 May 2017

NZCPR Weekly: Cultural Competency

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we look into cultural indoctrination within the education system, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Fiona Mackenzie outlines serious concerns over the new Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession that will become operational on July 1st, and this week’s poll asks whether you think that cultural competency training should be compulsory for teachers.

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

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Frank Newman: Interest rates and MP houses

As expected, last week Reserve Bank Governor Graeme left the official cash rate (OCR) unchanged at 1.75%. What was unexpected was the tone of the comments made in the Monetary Policy Statement that went with it.

That surprise was evident in the reaction of the foreign exchange  market where the Kiwi dollar fell a cent against the Australian and US currencies. That reaction was because the "market" had been expecting interest rates to rise faster than the Governor is now forecasting.

GWPF Newsletter: Europe’s Biggest Solar Company Goes Up In Smoke

African Nations To Build More Than 100 New Coal Power Plants

In this newsletter:

1) Europe’s Biggest Solar Company Goes Up In Smoke
Reuters, 11 May 2017 
2) Largest US Solar Panel Maker Files For Bankruptcy After Receiving $206 Million In Subsidies
The Daily Caller, 11 May 2017 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Theresa May Faces Backlash Over Energy Price Cap

Plan To Cap Energy Prices Smacks Of 1970s Madness

In this newsletter:

1) May Faces Backlash Over Energy Price Cap
The Times, 9 May 2017 
2) May Admits Energy Price Cap Is Not 'Conservative' But Voters Come Before Ideology
The Daily Telegraph, 10 May 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mike Butler: Govt hazy on mandate data

A series of questions sent to the Office of Treaty Settlements revealed patchy information and a government that is hazy on data to do with claimant group mandates, the cornerstone of treaty settlement integrity.

Deeds of mandate are intended to provide evidence that the body claiming mandate has the widespread support of the members of the claimant group to negotiate a settlement of perceived treaty breaches by the Crown.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Antarctic Ice More Stable Than Thought

Antarctic Ice Sheet Has Been Stable For Millions Of Years: Study

In this newsletter:

1) Antarctic Ice Sheets Stable For Millions Of Years
The Indian Express 8 May 2017

2) Antarctic Peninsula Ice More Stable Than Thought
University of Leeds, 2 May 2017

Matt Ridley: Britain should adopt the Innovation Principle

An open letter to George Freeman MP, chairman of the government’s policy board.

Dear George, as a former biotech venture capitalist, you are a passionate champion of innovation. It has pulled an average of 137,000 people out of extreme poverty each and every day of the past 25 years. It’s the only thing that can pay off our £1.9 trillion national debt while keeping our grandchildren prosperous. You are on record as saying: “We have a once-in-a-generation chance to seize the opportunities to make the UK the innovation capital of the world, defying the doubters and being clear that we will go on leading the world in science and technology.”

Karl du Fresne: St John and the cult of managerialism

I thought it significant that in Consumer’s recent comparison of emergency survival kits on the market, the one that scored worst by far was marketed by the St John Ambulance organisation.

Its “Emergency Grab Kit” got a scathing “fail” from Consumer, with a score of 38% – far below any of the six other kits tested. How humiliating for an organisation that traces its history back to the 12th century, when the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem looked after sick and injured pilgrims to the Holy Land.

Christopher Horner: The Legal and Economic Case Against the Paris Climate Treaty

President Trump should keep his two-part campaign promise to cancel U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments to United Nations global warming programs. 

The Paris Agreement is a costly and ineffectual solution to the alleged climate crisis. It is also plainly a treaty, despite President Obama’s attempt to implement it without the Senate’s advice and consent. Failure to withdraw from the agreement would entrench a constitutionally damaging precedent, set President Trump’s domestic and foreign policies in conflict, and ensure decades of diplomatic blowback.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: The New Pause

Europe’s Trend Of CO2 Reductions Seems To Have Stopped

In this newsletter:

1) The New Pause: Europe’s Trend Of CO2 Reductions Seems To Have Stopped
EUObserver, 5 May 2017
2) Tesla’s SolarCity’s Installations Crash Nearly 40%
Reuters, 5 May 2017

NZCPR Weekly: Claims Tsunami Hits Foreshore and Seabed

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we examine the foreshore and seabed claims debacle and outline how some tribal groups are planning on ‘taking’ dolphins, whales, penguins and seals, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Hugh Barr explains the claims process and raises concerns about the public being denied access to the coast, and this week’s poll asks whether you think the foreshore and seabed should be returned to Crown ownership. And, if you oppose tribal claims to the coast, please consider signing our on-line petition in support of Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed - HERE.

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

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Richard Epstein: Trump's Tax Plan

The Trump administration has revealed a one-page tax plan that, if implemented, could have vast consequences for the economy of the United States. The high points of that plan are simplification and repeal. 

The brackets go down from seven to three—10%, 15%, 35%. Corporate tax rates are slashed from 35% to 15%. The standard deduction is doubled to about $24,000, removing large numbers of low-income people from the rolls. The alternative minimum tax and the special Obamacare capital gains tax of 3.8% are eliminated, along with the estate tax. Deductions for home mortgages and charitable donations are preserved, but those for state and local taxes are eliminated. The plan has drawn enthusiastic support from conservative commentators and withering criticism from Democrats. Where does the truth lie?

Brian Gaynor: No reason to go back to the bad old days

Rodney Hide, the former MP and leader of the Act party, says “we need the wild west back in New Zealand’s capital markets”.

He believes the wild west NZ sharemarket of the 1980s was not “a bad thing. It wasn’t. It was a time of the greatest and best transformation of business and organisation in the country’s history. It was possible then. It’s not now.”

New Study Confirms: Global Warming Pause Is Real

Arctic Defies Alarmist Hype

In this newsletter:

1) New Study Confirms: The Warming ‘Pause’ Is Real And Revealing
GWPF Observatory, 4 May 2017
2) Arctic Defies Alarmist Hype
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 May 2017

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Dealing with North Korea – getting Beijing on board

My sense of relief when the North Korean missile test of 15 April failed was short-lived.

Had that test missile worked, it would have headed towards the Sea of Japan and my expectation was that the US Navy Carl Vinson Strike Group, which we had been told had been despatched to the waters off the Korean peninsula, would have shot it down. Then what? Emperor Kim III had ranted and raved about nuking the US should “a single bullet be fired”. Would that have qualified?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: White House Leaning Toward Exiting Paris Climate Pact

In White House, Momentum Turns Against Paris Climate Agreement

In this newsletter:

1) White House Leaning Toward Exiting Paris Climate Pact
The Hill, 3 May 2017

2) In White House, Momentum Turns Against Paris Climate Agreement
The Washington Post, 3 April 2017 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Global Temperatures Plunge 0.5° Celsius In April

Trump On Paris Climate Agreement: 'Not With Me, Folks!'

In this newsletter:

1) Global Temperatures Plunge 0.5° Celsius In April
GWPF Observatory, 29 April 2017
2) Trump Promises To Make ‘Big Decision’ On ‘One-Sided Paris Deal’ Soon
Press Trust of India, 30 April 2017