Thursday, August 31, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Record Rainfalls A Thing Of The Past

University Fires Prof Who Said Texas Deserved Hurricane Harvey

Because It Voted Republican

In this newsletter:

1) Record Rainfalls A Thing Of The Past
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 30 August 2017 
2) Flooding Not Increasing In North America And Europe, New Study Confirms
G.A. Hodgkins et al., Journal of Hydrology, September 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Hurricane Harvey Ends 12-Year U.S. Hurricane Drought

Why Houston Flooding Isn’t a Sign of Climate Change

In this newsletter:

1) Why Houston Flooding Isn’t a Sign of Climate Change
Roy W Spencer 28 August 2017 
2) Hurricane Harvey Ends 12-Year U.S. Hurricane Drought
CNS News, 26 August 2017 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

David Skilling & Michael O’Sullivan: The beginning of the end

At the 10th anniversary of the start of the global financial crisis, the remedies put in place to staunch its financial and economic effects remain. However, in a sign that the global economy has stabilized, central bankers are signaling the end of their super-accommodative monetary policies.
The “great normalization” began with the U.S. Federal Reserve raising rates three times amid deafening silence from low-volatility markets. Other authorities have followed, notably the European Central Bank, with markets egging on the end of quantitative easing, and the Bank of England, where a debate on inflation is underway. Both the euro and the pound have risen against the dollar, but in both cases diminished political risk has played a role.

Frank Newman: Red-faced regional council

The Northland Regional Council (NRC) has got itself into a bit of strife. The High Court has determined that between 2012 and 2016 it illegally collected some $14.4m worth of rates from ratepayers in Kaipara.

Before the High Court was an application for judicial review. In essence it was a challenge that the NRC did not act in accordance with the Rating Powers Act, and as a result the rates were set unlawfully.

The case was taken by the Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents' Association and Bruce & Heather Rogan. It related to the Kaipara district only, but the NRC rates for Whangarei and Far North districts were set and assessed on the same basis as Kaipara and there is now a compelling precedent for those areas if anyone is minded to challenge the rates. If that were to happen, the amount involved would be close to $100m not $14.4m.

Sylvain Charlebois from Canada: The End of Supply Management?

Canada’s supply management system is a textbook case for food sovereignty. But the social contract the system represents may need to be redrafted as we head toward North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations.

Supply management is a social contract between farmers and consumers. Canada’s heavily-criticized quota regime for the dairy, egg and poultry industries was set up decades ago to protect strategic agricultural sectors by implementing high tariffs on imports. Farmers produce what the domestic market needs and we import very little.

Karl du Fresne: Looks like we've got ourselves an election campaign

It’s hard to recall a more dramatic – you might even say enthralling – election campaign. And there’s still a month to go.

Last time around, there was the noise and smoke surrounding Kim Dotcom and Nicky Hager. But that was manufactured drama, and voters were unmoved. This election is different. The drama is real.

A former British prime minister, Harold Wilson, famously said that a week was a long time in politics. That may have been true in the 1960s, but time frames have been greatly compressed.

NZCPR Weekly: Bureaucracy Rules

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we look into bureaucratic madness both in the UK and here in New Zealand, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Christopher Snowden reflects on the nature of officials who mindlessly apply the letter of the law instead of using their discretion, and this week’s poll asks whether you think the Food Act should be replaced with more practical regulations.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Fat Polar Bears (And Lots of Them) Signal The End Of A Climate Icon

Gaia In Action: Melting Sea Ice May Help Cool The Planet

In this newsletter:

1) Fat Polar Bears (And Lots Of Them) Signal The End Of A Climate Change Icon
Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 23 August 2017
2) Gaia In Action: Melting Sea Ice May Help Cool The Planet
The Australian, 18 August 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Modern Warm Period Not Unprecedented, Chinese Academy Of Sciences Study Finds

Dakota Access Pipeline Owner Sues Greenpeace

For $300 Million In Damages

In this newsletter:

1) Modern Warm Period Not Unprecedented, Chinese Academy Of Sciences Study Finds
Chinese Academy Of Sciences, 8 August 2017 

2) Characteristics Of Temperature Change In China Over The Last 2000 Years And Spatial Patterns Of Dryness/Wetness During Cold And Warm Period
Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, August 2017

Marc Morano: Review of Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Sequel - Truth to Power’

I went to a local suburban mall cineplex on a Saturday night to see Gore’s sequel. There were only about 12 other people in the theater to watch. The film held many surprises and a very satisfying ending. Who would have thought that a film that featured weather disasters and apocalyptic predictions of climate doom would have a happy ending!

The ending has a stand up and cheer moment when President Donald Trump announces the U.S. is exiting the UN climate pact. It also features Trump announcing the end to EPA “climate regulations” and reveals that former President Barack Obama’s global warming agenda was being dismantled. Just when you think the U.S. is doomed to give up sovereignty, and become entangled in the most expensive treaty in world history, along comes the hero of the film, Trump, restoring sanity to the U.S. domestic and international climate policy.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

GWPF Newsletter - New Paper: Most Of The Recent Warming Could Be Natural

Big Data Finds The Medieval Warm Period - No Denial Here

In this newsletter:

1) Big Data Finds The Medieval Warm Period – No Denial Here
Jennifer Marohasy, The Spectator, 22 August 2017 
2) Most Of The Recent Warming Could Be Natural
Jennifer Marohasy, 21 August 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: India’s 50-Year Dry Spell Ends As Monsoons Strengthen Over Past 15 Years

Good News Ignored by Global News Media

In this newsletter:

1) India’s 50-Year Dry Spell Ends As Monsoons Strengthen Over Last 15 Years
India New England News, 8 August 2017
2) False Alarm: Climate Change Threatens India's Monsoons
The Daily Telegraph, 28 August 2009 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Nicholas Kerr: New Zealand’s reforms and lessons for Washington

This is the text of a speech delivered to the Washington Policy Center monthly breakfast on June 27, 2017.

Many of you may be familiar with New Zealand’s reforms from an economic perspective, so I’m going to spend more of my talk focused on two other areas:
  1. How policies before and after the reforms impacted individuals
  2. How the key players succeeded in implementing the reforms
As a young New Zealander in the period before 1984 and the following decade of reforms, I’ll be speaking from personal experience about their impact. And I’ll be discussing their implementation as the son of an economist who was a key figure in making them come about.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Frank Newman: Money matters and mediation

Last week was Money Week. I thought every week was money week but apparently we only need to think about money one week of the year and the remainder of the time we can think about the various other causes that have weeks attached to them.

One of the major daily newspapers has been running a series of columns with money tips from our political leaders. I am not sure why one would actually ask a politician for money advice when the government consistently spends more than it earns. It would be more logical to ask for money advice from those who are good at managing money - but then they are not chasing votes and most do not seek publicity.

Seton Motley: Silicon Valley’s ‘News’ Services Bad News for Less Government Everywhere

For decades now, all of America’s major institutions – have been broadly, unquestionably Leftist, and rigidly opposed to any deviance from the entrenched doctrine.

Colleges and universities, Hollywood and entertainment, the Sciences and the News Media – all deeply in Leftism’s thrall.

And then there is the Silicon Valley – now the biggest, baddest, broadest institution of them all. Because of their dominance of the Internet – they have their hands in all of the legacy institutions.

NZCPR Weekly: The Water Debate

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we look at political manipulation in the debate over fresh water, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Michael Coote examines Maori plans to create a perpetual revenue stream of royalties from commercial water levies, and this week’s poll asks whether you support a charge on the commercial use of water.

And with the election fast approaching, please feel free to forward our newsletters on to others that you believe would be interested in our research and commentary. Anyone is welcome to register for our free weekly newsletter.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: U.S. Shale Flooding World Markets

Shale Forever: A Near Infinite Energy Resource?

In this newsletter:

1) U.S. Shale Flooding World Markets: Henry Hub Emerges as Global Natural Gas Benchmark
The Wall Street Journal, 17 August 2017 
2) Shale Forever: A Near Infinite Energy Resource?
David Blackmon, Forbes, 17 August 2017 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Melanie Phillips: How totalitarianism is winning in the west

Credit to the left-leaning Atlantic magazine for running a piece by Peter Beinart, who has actually looked at what is happening in American society and reached an uncomfortable conclusion which would be hard to find elsewhere in the media – and which is all-too pertinent in the wake of Charlottesville.

For Beinart warns that the left is lurching into totalitarianism and violence. “Antifa” purport to be anti-fascist. But they define as fascist anyone they disagree with including mainstream conservatives. Hence their violent suppression of commentators and scholars such as the conservative columnist Ann Coulter, the Breitbart controversialist Milo Yiannopoulos and the political scientist Charles Murray.

Bryan Leyland: Things you know that ain't so - Auckland airport must have rapid transport

Things you know that ain't so - Auckland airport must have rapid transport.

At the moment, the politicians are going all out with promises of rapid transport – Winston Peters favours heavy rail, while Jacinda promises light rail within a few years.

GWPF Newsletter: All Time Record - India Set For Best-Ever Foodgrain Production

Breaking: Drilling Begins At Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site

In this newsletter:

1) All Time Record: India Set For Best-Ever Foodgrain Production
Times of India, 17 August 2017 
2) India’s Foodgrain Output Up 5-Fold In 60 Years
India Spend, August 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Global Ocean Cooling Continues

Pruitt: EPA Will Review 'Politicized' Climate Science Report

In this newsletter:

1) Global Ocean Cooling Continues
Science Matters, 10 August 2017 
2) Pruitt: EPA Will Review 'Politicized' Climate Science Report
Politico, 11 August 2017 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: An Inconvenient Split?

Some Of The World's Largest Non-Polar Glaciers Are Expanding, Despite Global Warming

In this newsletter:

1) An Inconvenient Split?
Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 13 August 2017

2) Some Of The World's Largest Non-Polar Glaciers Are Expanding, Despite Global Warming
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 11 August 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

Matt Ridley: In its energy policy, Britain keeps picking losers

Shortly before parliament broke up this month, there was a debate on a Lords select committee report on electricity policy that was remarkable for its hard-hitting conclusions. The speakers, and signatories of the report, included a former Labour chancellor, Tory energy secretary, Tory Scottish secretary, cabinet secretary, ambassador to the European Union and Treasury permanent secretary, as well as a bishop, an economics professor, a Labour media tycoon and a Lib Dem who was shortlisted for governor of the Bank of England.

Genuine heavyweights, in short. They were in general agreement: energy policy is a mess, decarbonisation has been pursued at the expense of affordability and, in particular, the nuclear plant at Hinkley Point C in Somerset is an expensive disaster. Their report came out before the devastating National Audit Office report on Hinkley, which said the government had “locked consumers into a risky and expensive project [and] did not consider sufficiently the risks and costs to the consumer”.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Karl du Fresne: Greens pay the price for one woman's hubris

This was going to be a Turei-free column. Honest. But how can anyone ignore what has been arguably the most tumultuous fortnight in politics since 1984?

My colleague Tom Scott had a cartoon in Wednesday’s paper in which a priest asked a boy: “What has Metiria Turei’s admission of benefit fraud and the Green Party’s subsequent meltdown taught us?”

The boy’s answer: “Never admit to making a mistake even 25 years later.”

That’s a legitimate interpretation of what happened, but my take on it is slightly different.

NZCPR Weekly: Super Policy Under Scrutiny

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we examine retirement policy, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Michael Littlewood outlines the advantages of our present superannuation system and decries the lack of research and evidence underpinning many policy decisions, and this week’s poll asks whether you would support the retirement age being increased from 65 to 67. 

With Parliament sitting for only one more week before rising for the General Election, this is your last chance to contact Members of Parliament – all MP email addresses can be found on our website HERE.

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GWPF Newsletter: New York Times Admits Its Frontpage Climate Story Was Wrong

Lord Lawson Blasts Al Gore For Obsession Over Climate

In this newsletter:

1) New York Times Admits Its Frontpage Climate Story Was Wrong
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 9 August 2017

2) Lamar Smith Slams NYT 'False Allegations', 'Fake News' of 'Leaked' Climate Report
CNS News, 9 August 2017 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Met Office Accused Of Misleading BBC Audience Over Extreme Weather

BBC Defends Lord Lawson Climate Change Interview

In this newsletter:

1) Met Office Accused Of Misleading BBC Audience Over Extreme Weather Claims
Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 11 August 2017

The BBC asked Peter Stott (Met Office) about extreme events, and specifically storms, but Stott responded by talking about heat waves. What we see here is another example of the self-destructive ‘circling the wagons’ policy. The sceptic has to be attacked, and the warmist defended, even when the IPCC report supports the sceptic.

Frank Newman: Political manias and meltdowns

The election campaign has already brought up its share of extraordinary events: the self-mutilation of the Green Party leadership and the rise of Jacindamania. With those two events the campaign has been transformed as support shifts from NZ First and the Greens to Labour - although based on the latest polling it looks like NZ First will continue to hold the trump card come election night.

In amongst the manias and melt-downs there have been some policy announcements. Prior to the election I will summarise the party policies that particularly affect property investors, but one that is particularly eye-brow raising in a weird way is the announcement by the Opportunities (Gareth Morgan) Party (TOP).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Karl du Fresne: Shakespeare would have loved it

Greens co-leader James Shaw on Q&A yesterday was saying he was shocked at the hatred for the poor that had been exposed since Metiria Turei went public about her benefit fraud. What bullshit. 

Turei is still being characterised by her admirers as courageous and virtuous. That’s bullshit too. 

She made a calculated and cynical political decision and it backfired spectacularly. While she was gazing down the track at a shimmering city of votes floating like a tantalising mirage in the distance, a 100-tonne locomotive was bearing down on her from behind.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mike Butler: The story behind the Titford story

Northland farmer Allan Titford steeled himself on Thursday for a long time locked up when he found out that his appeal against conviction and sentence was rejected. Now, with the appeal over, the other hidden story may be told.

Titford, who was jailed in 2013 for 24 years on 39 charges including the rape of his wife, burning his house down, and assaulting his children, found out about the failure of his appeal from a friend who saw it in a newspaper.

Ron Manners: Australian Native Title Act - this may surprise you!

I posted the following article about the Native Title Act on my website recently and it's a topic that's been generating quite a bit of discussion in the news. Although I reflect on my interactions with the Act and Aboriginal people in the article, as I've charted the Native Title Act process from 1977, it's also a tale of lost opportunities and political correctness.

Have a read for yourself and let me know your opinions on this legislation. Does it surprise you?

To anyone who assumed that the Native Title Act was designed to ‘assist our Aboriginals’, think again. Like most legislation there was much going on behind the scenes that only became obvious after the economic damage was done.

Brian Gaynor: Will Jacinda make the markets take notice?

The general election campaign sprang into life this week with the election of Jacinda Ardern as leader of the Labour Party. Until then it had been a big yawn as far as investment markets were concerned - mainly because of the figures in the accompanying table.

Support for Labour has steadily declined since the 2005 election, and opinion polls were indicating that the left-of-centre party would be no threat to National on September 23.

Labour's recent election peak was 41.3 per cent in 2002, when party leader Helen Clark gave National's Bill English a hiding. The post-election position was Labour with 52 seats, National 27 seats, New Zealand First 13, Act and the Greens with 9 each, United Future 8 and Jim Anderton's Progressive Party with two seats.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Ireland and Canada grapple with polygamy

A few weeks ago, the Irish caught up with most of the rest of us when their Supreme Court recognised the first, but not second, marriage of a Lebanese man with two wives whom he had married under Sharia law, which is accepted as legitimate marriage law for Muslims by the Lebanese State.

The recognition of marriages concluded in outside jurisdictions is commonplace worldwide. As a rule of thumb, a jurisdiction will recognise the marriage of a couple where the State authorities of the jurisdiction in which they were married recognises them as being legally married, unless the marriage would have been disallowed in the jurisdiction being applied to. 

Melanie Phillips: Going wherever the evidence leads

At present, a person who wishes to change gender must apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. This requires a doctor’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria certifying that the individual has spent two years of living in the opposite gender. All that will be needed in future is for a man to say he is now a woman and vice versa for their birth certificate to be changed.

Such a birth certificate will thus be a lie. For whether or not the person should be recognised as having changed sex now, he or she was born a girl or a boy. This Conservative government – conservative! – will thus be putting legalised lying onto the statute book.
This is why the Conservative Party has lost its way.

NZCPR Weekly: A Long Week in Politics

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we look at the state of politics and the extraordinary events of the last week, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Bryce Edwards outlines the media’s response to the Labour Party’s leadership change, and this week’s poll asks whether you believe the Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei should resign from Parliament.

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Karl du Fresne: "Progress" has become a matter of what's possible

Some people fret about the threat posed to humanity by climate change. I fret about the threat posed to humanity by technology.

A couple of weeks ago, I used my smartphone to get directions to a motel that I’d booked in Auckland. I only wanted to know how to get there from Queen Street, but of course my phone interpreted the request literally.

Within moments it had mapped out a route all the way from my home in Masterton. It had plotted every turn along the way, precisely calculated the distance (602.2 km), estimated the travel time (7 hours and 25 minutes) and advised me how to avoid the Manawatu Gorge road closure.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mike Butler: Wrecked rivers, iwi demands

Rapid changes in land use leading to polluted water and wrecked rivers have prompted a new book titled Water Quality and Ownership. Author Bill Benfield is a Christchurch architect and vineyard owner who, as a keen angler from an early age, has witnessed the progressive degradation of water quality in rivers and streams.

How has this happened? Benfield goes back to the Muldoon “think big” projects of the early 1980s that produced cheap nitrogen fertiliser from natural gas which enabled greater use of fertiliser.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Richard Epstein from the US: Presidential Chaos

The Trump White House is in a perpetual state of dysfunction and chaos. Trump kicked off the past week with a series of attacks on Jeff Sessions, his Attorney General and long-time loyalist, for recusing himself from the ongoing investigation of Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. There are tricky arguments, pro and con, on whether Sessions should have removed himself the investigation. But nothing can excuse Trump’s barrage of immature and abusive tweets against a key member of his own team. The upshot is an impasse in which Sessions cannot resign and Trump dare not fire him.

The President followed his Sessions tirade with an ill-considered tweet haphazardly announcing a ban on transgender people serving in the military, which everyone from a blindsided James Mattis on down regarded as a gratuitous insult to many transgender soldiers who have served with distinction. His tweet of course carries no legal consequence, but it puts everyone in government in limbo until the President either issues that foolish order or is, once again, talked off the ledge by his few remaining sensible advisors.