Wednesday, July 31, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Why Should We Subsidise Tomorrow’s Rich In The Name Of The Climate?

The People’s Front Of Extinction Rebellion Points To A Deeper Divide Within The Green Cause

In this newsletter:

1) Sanjeev Sabhlok: Why Should We Subsidise Tomorrow’s Rich In The Name Of The Climate?
The Times of India, 28 July 2019

2) Electric Vehicle Sales Slump One Year After Subsidy Cut
Brian Lilley, Toronto Sun, 29 July 2019

3) Tesla’s Sales Never Recovered After Hong Kong Cut A Tax Break
Quartz, 29 July 2019 

4) Julie Burchill: The People’s Front Of Extinction Rebellion Points To A Deeper Divide Within The Green Cause
The Sunday Telegraph, 28 July 2019 

5) Climate Of Corruption: Inside Quebec’s $5.5 Billion Green Climate Fund
The Canadian Press, 28 July 2019

6) The World Faces ‘Pollinator Collapse’? How And Why The Media Get The Science Wrong Time And Again
Jon Entine, Genetic Literary Project, 30 July 2019

7) Richard Tren: Environmental Extremists Favor Mosquitoes Over Mankind
The Wall Street Journal, 30 July 2019 

Full details:

1) Sanjeev Sabhlok: Why Should We Subsidise Tomorrow’s Rich In The Name Of The Climate?
The Times of India, 28 July 2019

As a liberal party, our default position is to reject any government intervention in the lives of people unless it is thoroughly justified. In particular, we reject the wishy-washy precautionary principle. Real harm must be proven before even the thought of government intervention is entertained.

It is a matter of concern to us that Indian governments have been dumping scarce taxpayer resources into renewable energy and other inefficient technologies in the name of “climate change”. Instead of acting as the voice of reason, governments world-wide are having a picnic, feasting on our panic. When people are scared, it is much easier to raid their pockets.

We are the only party in India (and possibly in the world) that stands for reason. We believe that everything must be questioned. In this case, IPCC’s own analysis shows there is no harm from climate change.

Yes, you’ve read correctly: the IPCC itself has said that there is no harm from climate change. Of course, you won’t be told about this unless you dig deep.

The IPCC’s 2014 AR5 report (see the chart at p.690 of Chapter 10 of the Working Group II’s contribution) makes note of 20 studies by economists about the welfare impacts of climate change. Three of these conclude that doing nothing may improve things. Most of the remaining 17 studies suggest a very modest loss of future income, of less than three per cent. The IPCC summarises: estimates of global annual economic losses for an additional temperature increase of 2°C are between 0.2 and 2.0 per cent of income. These are its precise words. Check them out for yourself.

Thus, the IPCC is telling us that if global temperature increases by 2 degrees, future generations would lose a pitiable 2 per cent of their (hugely greater) income.
Let’s pause to digest this further. The IPCC is saying that instead of being 6 times richer by the end of the century (the historic performance of economies for the past 200 years) our future generations will be only 5.6 times richer. I am sure tears are starting to roll down your cheeks by now.

Policy makers hide this fact very carefully from us. Instead, they drum up panic and ask us to price carbon and subsidise renewable energy so we can make the rich future generations even richer.

This 2014 IPCC conclusion was confirmed by a 2018 study in Nature by Marshall Burke, Matthew Davis and Noah Diffenbaugh which found that future generations could lose a cumulative $20 trillion worth of income (at a low 3 per cent discount rate) if the temperature rose by 2 degrees. So these super-rich people would have a mere $380 trillion in global income instead of the $400 trillion they would have had otherwise. How truly sad!

The study also suggests that if the temperature went up further, to say 3 degrees, these future rich have up to 25 per cent less income than they would otherwise have. And if it went to 4 degrees, they would have 30 per cent less income than they would, otherwise. In all cases they would be insanely richer than us.

In contrast to CO2, though, socialism causes real harm – but don’t expect Nature or grant-sucking scientists and economists to tell us that. India could easily become $125 trillion economy by 2100 if it dumps socialism. Instead, if India continues with Mr Modi’s socialism, it will struggle to become even a $20 trillion economy. But Nature won’t ever publish my article that spells this out for India and the world. These anti-poor communists would rather peddle the Green New Deal.

In brief, economists and scientists have comprehensively failed to prove that CO2 causes any harm. No case has been made whatsoever for any government intervention.

Moreover, the economic models currently used are deeply flawed. I’ll touch upon some technical matters separately. But we should note here that these models greatly exaggerate the (miniscule) harm from CO2. They contain strong but dangerous hidden assumptions, such as: (a) the current temperature is optimal, and (b) CO2 causes a significant increase in temperature.

I have refuted the second assumption in previous articles, so let me make some observations about the first of these two assumptions – regarding the current temperature being optimal.

There is no basis to suggest that today’s temperature or sea level is optimal for life on earth. The climate has constantly changed, sometimes massively. A few degrees up and down, a few tens of metres of sea level up and down, is par for the course for life on Earth.

Just a thousand years ago, the global temperature was very warm. The IPCC’s first report had a chart that showed temperatures far in excess of current temperatures during the Medieval Warming (MW) period. But the IPCC soon realised that people wouldn’t cough up their money unless the MW was erased. Since then, these “scientists” have been making strenuous efforts to get rid of it.

A recent study published in Nature rejects MW. But I’d be reluctant to embrace it, at least not so fast. It needs to be thoroughly scrutinised by scientists whose hundreds of previous studies confirmed the MW. The weight of evidence is still with the MW. And then the temperatures cooled, leading to a Little Ice Age from which we emerged around two hundred years ago. All this variation occurred without man-made CO2 emissions.

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2) Electric Vehicle Sales Slump One Year After Subsidy Cut
Brian Lilley, Toronto Sun, 29 July 2019

Electric vehicle sales took a sharp tumble in Ontario when the Ford government cancelled subsidies for the high-end cars a year ago.

Fresh off their election win, the PCs said there was no sense in subsidizing vehicles for wealthy people that could afford to spend the extra money for a green car.

It’s a point the premier made in Hamilton after touring the industrial city where steel for many Ontario-made vehicles is made.

“The common folks here in Hamilton have a big problem giving rebates up to $16,000 of their hard-earned money to millionaires buying $80,000 cars, $100,000 cars,” Premier Ford said last August.

It’s a valid point, even if not every electric car is a $100,000 Tesla.

The most popular electric vehicle in the first three months of 2019 was the Tesla Model 3, and those start at $43,000.

Of course they compare to a Toyota Corolla in terms of the kind of sedan you get, and Corollas start at $18,900.

What’s the future of electric cars in Ontario?

The second most popular EV was the Hyundai Kona, a vehicle that starts at $21,000 for the regular model but costs a minimum of $45,000 for electric.

Those are big price differences, and that’s why without the enticement of a rebate, people just aren’t buying electric cars.

Between the beginning of January and the end of March this year, just 1,219 electric vehicles were sold — compared to 2,633 electric vehicles over the same period in 2018.

That’s a 55% drop in sales according to Electric Mobility Canada, an industry group that compiled the figures and wrote the report.

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3) Tesla’s Sales Never Recovered After Hong Kong Cut A Tax Break
Quartz, 29 July 2019 

For a long period, Tesla was the electric car in Hong Kong. Other brands’ annual sales couldn’t compete with Tesla’s in a single month—until the local government took away a generous tax incentive.

In the more than two years since April 2017, the month the city sharply reduced a tax break for purchases of electric cars, only 180 new Teslas have been registered with the Hong Kong Transport Department (HKTD). The new policy, which was aimed at reducing congestion, capped a waiver of Hong Kong’s hefty vehicle registration tax that can equal a car’s sticker price, and made a new Model S more than 1.5 times more expensive.

Tesla saw a spike in people rushing to buy a Tesla car in March that year—when the full waiver meant the price was effectively less than $75,000 (HK$570,000). As many as 2,939 new cars were registered that month, followed by only 32 for the rest of the year.

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4) Julie Burchill: The People’s Front Of Extinction Rebellion Points To A Deeper Divide Within The Green Cause
The Sunday Telegraph, 28 July 2019 

The Extinction Rebellion mob are the most visible example of what passes for political protest these days; the dialectics of dummy-spitting and scweaming and scweaming till you’re sick – more Violet Elizabeth than Vladimir Ilyich.

This being so, I was delighted to find that they are already experiencing a People’s Front of Judea/Judean People’s Front moment with the splinter group XR Youth (motto: “Act Now, Do Homework Later”) interrupting an Extinction Rebellion meeting to demand that their elders drop plans to spoil people’s holidays by disrupting Heathrow with drones.

One of them, Robin Ellis-Cockcroft (aged 24 – swipe my shadow and call me Peter Pan!) said that the younger members had delivered a list of demands, a declaration, and a cake, telling this newspaper: “The planes might crash and people will be hurt.” He further objected to young people being excluded from positions of authority: “It’s become an organisation run by adults. We live in an adult world, made by adults for adults.”

Of course, these youngsters have (suntanned) skin in the game when it comes to travel; a number of them have been accused of hypocrisy after boo-hooing about climate change while hopping on planes quicker then you can say “Instagram”.

One of them, Robin Boardman-Pattinson (XR has more hyphens than the Almanach de Gotha), decreed “Air travel should only be used in emergencies” – despite having been on a number of skiing trips – while another, Zoe Jones, was shown in old photos on social media enjoying safari holidays in Uganda, boozing on the beach in New Zealand and bungee jumping over the Nile. That’s not a simple carbon footprint – that’s a carbon clown-shoe footprint.

Instead of giving these layabouts a verbal clip round the ear, one of XR’s co-founders, 47-year-old Gail Bradbrook, simpered: “We have left our young people to organise on their own by failing to address adult privilege within our organisational and decision-making structures. It’s time to change that and heal the division and hurts between us. It was a relief to name how harmful this separation has been for us all.”

She’d know about how harmful privilege can be – Gentile privilege, that is – having displayed a deal of it herself by allowing posts quoting from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic forgery beloved of conspiracy theorists, to be shared on a Facebook page she runs. What a sleazy, shifty shower XR are – hippies, hypocrites and horrible Jew-baiters.

Coincidentally, the legendary James Lovelock celebrated his 100th birthday this week. I’m not an environmentalist, believing that life will always find a way, but this is a hero with a hinterland so much bigger than scrounging off the state and going on holiday. From a working-class rural family, he was a maverick from the start. Working on ways of shielding soldiers from burns, he refused to use anaesthetised rabbits and exposed his own skin to heat radiation instead.

Always ready to change his mind when facts contradict theories, he registered as a conscientious objector at the start of World War Two, then tried to enlist after hearing of Nazi atrocities but was told that his medical research was too valuable.

In 2004 he caused a sensation by declaring that “only nuclear power can now halt global warming”. In 2012 he stated that he had been “alarmist” about climate change, criticising recent environmentalists for treating global warming like a religion: “The green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion – it’s got all the sort of terms that religions use. The greens use guilt. You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty.”

The divide between the two faces of environmentalism could not be greater; it’s not just some people in their twenties squabbling with some people in their forties. It’s the difference between children who know little of life versus a centenarian scientist of vast experience.

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5) Climate Of Corruption: Inside Quebec’s $5.5 Billion Green Climate Fund
The Canadian Press, 28 July 2019

Quebec’s green fund was created in 2006 as a way of collecting billions in revenues and redistributing the money towards initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, the fund became a buffet for the pet projects of various ministers.

When Ljiljana Latkovic was named to the council governing Quebec’s multibillion-dollar green fund in 2017, she thought she was going to use her science background to help choose projects aimed at fighting climate change.

Instead, Latkovic said she and the eight other council members were asked to sign off on proposals whose financing had already been approved by various government departments. article continues below
Moreover, she said, in the case of many projects they were approving, councillors had no idea how the projectswere actually going to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, that trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise.

“My opinion is that the (environment) ministry didn’t care about the reductions,” Latkovic said in a recent interview.

Quebec’s green fund was created in 2006 as a way of collecting billions in revenues — in large part from the province’s version of a carbon tax — and redistributing the money towards initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But the so-called green fund has been widely criticized as a boondoggle.

Quebec’s new environment minister, Benoit Charette, is promising reform, but he has a colossal task ahead of him. The province’s past mistakes highlight the difficulties of managing a multibillion-dollar fund to which various government departments have access.

Instead of promoting projects with strict greenhouse gas emission targets, the fund became a buffet for the pet projects of various ministers, Charette said.

“Unfortunately, yes,” Charette said in an interview when asked whether the fund was being misused. “Certain departments helped themselves to the fund, so to speak, without a guarantee of results on investments. And the previous government let this phenomenon go on like that, which made things even more deplorable.”

Charette said despite the billions of dollars collected since 2006, the reduction in greenhouse gases “was very small across the projects that were financed.”

Quebec collects hundreds of millions of dollars every year from a carbon credit cap-and-trade system. Companies that emit high amounts of greenhouse gases are legally forced to purchase the right to release those gases into the atmosphere. Quebec sells emissions credits four times a year at auction.

Since its inception, almost $5.5 billion has been poured into the fund. And from the beginning, the program has been mismanaged, according to several reports from the province’s auditor general.

Full story 

6) The World Faces ‘Pollinator Collapse’? How And Why The Media Get The Science Wrong Time And Again
Jon Entine, Genetic Literary Project, 30 July 2019 

With neither the facts nor science on their side, the catastrophists continue to pound the table.

There’s a saying among lawyers that goes, “If the facts aren’t on your side, argue the law. If the law isn’t on your side, argue the facts. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.”

Substitute the word “science” for “law” and the same would apply to many environmental advocacy groups and even some politicians campaigning to ban various pesticides on the grounds that they’re contributing to a dangerous collapse in our pollinator population.

With neither the facts nor the science on their side, they’ve been doing a lot of table pounding lately.
As I and others have detailed in the Genetic Literacy Project and as other news organizations such as the Washington Post and Slate have outlined, the pollinator-collapse narrative has been relentless and mostly wrong for more than seven years now.

It germinated with Colony Collapse Disorder that began in 2006 and lasted for a few years—a freaky die off of bees that killed almost a quarter of the US honey bee population, but its cause remains unknown. Versions of CCD have been occurring periodically for hundreds of years, according to entomologists.

This was a worrisome event in part because it exacerbated a trend, first evidenced in the 1980s, when the Varroa destructor mite invaded the North American and European bee populations, seeding a corrosive health problem among the pollinators.

Today, almost all entomologists are convinced that the ongoing bee health crisis is primarily driven by the nasty Varroa. Weakened honey bees, trucked around the country as livestock, face any number of health stressors along with Varroa, including the use of miticides used to control the invasive mite, changing weather and land and the use of some farm chemicals, which may lower the honeybee’s ability to fight off disease.

Rise of the Bee-pocalypse

Still, the ‘bee crisis’ flew under the radar until 2012, when advocacy groups jumped in to provide an apocalyptic narrative after a severe winter led to a sharp, and as it turned out temporary, rise in overwinter bee deaths.

Colony loss numbers jumped in 2006 when CCD hit but have been steady and even improving since.

The alarm bells came with a spin, as advocacy groups blamed a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, which were introduced in the 1990s, well after the Varroa mite invasion infected hives and started the decline. The characterization was apocalyptic, with some activist claiming that neonics were driving honey bees to extinction.

The “bee-pocalypse,” as it was dubbed, became front page news – most famously in Time magazine’s cover story titled “A World Without Bees.” The claim that neonics were at fault was originally given some credence by laboratory experiments, most of which over-dosed individual bees with neonics, which is not the way bees naturally encounter the insecticide, which is mostly applied by coating seeds.

In the lab evaluations, which are not considered state of the art—field evaluations replicate real-world conditions far better—honeybee mortality did increase. But that was also true of all the insecticides tested; after all, they are designed to kill harmful pests.

Neonics are actually far safer than the pesticides they replaced, mostly organophosphates (which are synthetic) and pyrethrins (which are natural and used by organic farmers), both of which are carcinogenic to humans and harmful to beneficial insects. A study by researchers at the Department of Agriculture and Mississippi State University showed that neonics are far from the “most bee-deadly” pesticide as many advocacy groups claim, particularly when their impact is observed under field-realistic conditions (i.e., the way farmers would actually apply the pesticide).

The media firestorm touched off a panic in policy circles, mostly targeting neonics. Emergency regulatory reviews were launched in the EU, US and Canada before. But as the media noise level increased, the actual statistics on bee hive numbers were actually telling a different story. The stats on honeybee populations, which are kept by most national governments and can easily be found on publicly accessible websites kept by FAOStatsCanada and the USDA, among other groups, showed that far from declining, honeybee populations have been rising on every continent (except Antarctica) since neonics entered the market in the mid-1990s.

As the “science” supporting the bee-pocalypse came under scrutiny, the ‘world pollinator crisis’ narrative began to fray. Not only was it revealed that the initial experiments had severely overdosed the bees, but increasing numbers of high-quality field studies – which test how bees are actually affected under realistic conditions – found that bees can successfully forage on neonic-treated crops without noticeable harm. Not surprisingly, these tests comported with real-world evidence in places such as Australia, where there is no Varroa mite crisis, and in Western Canada, where thriving beekeeping operations transport their hives into the middle of the region’s massive neonic-treated canola fields to harvest their nutritious pollen.

The honey bee-pocalypse narrative was eventually dealt a final blow by the US EPA’s preliminary assessment of neonics, published in 2017. While still being finalized, EPA’s analysis has clearly found that most uses, including seed treatments, “do not pose significant risks to bee colonies.” Soon thereafter, Canada’s PMRA issued a similar finding.

But by that time, Europe had ceded the science to hysteria. The EU’s precautionary ban on neonics, so often cited by activists as proof of a crisis, actually supports the conclusion that we are not in crisis as well, although in a somewhat backhanded way. As I have previously explained, the EU regulators – under intense political pressure to ban the chemicals – were forced to rig the review process to arbitrarily exclude field tests that clearly showed neonics have a minimal environmental impact. Regulators then cited “data gaps” in their scientific assessment – in other words, the evidence they had excluded – to rationalize a “precautionary” ban.

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7) Richard Tren: Environmental Extremists Favor Mosquitoes Over Mankind
The Wall Street Journal, 30 July 2019 

Genetically altered insects could save millions from malaria but are anathema to ‘agroecologists.’

A child under 5 dies from malaria about every two minutes world-wide. Yet radical environmentalists are mobilizing against an important measure to stop mosquitoes from spreading the disease.

Target Malaria is a Gates Foundation-supported research effort to develop genetically modified sterile mosquitoes. Its approach is to drive modified genes through a mosquito population to produce sterile females or cause the breeding of only males. The goal is to reduce mosquito populations so much that the malaria parasite cannot be spread from person to person.

This spring Target Malaria ran a carefully controlled experimental release in Burkina Faso. The test followed years of research and similar successful releases in Latin America and the Caribbean. None of that mattered to the coalition of 40 leading environmental and “civil society” organizations demanding the project be shut down immediately.

The activist opposition to Target Malaria is part of a larger and growing campaign against all modern genetic technologies and pesticides used in both in disease control and agriculture. The campaign has been promoted in recent years by United Nations agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, as well as by European governments and European Union-funded nongovernmental organizations.

Malaria deaths in Africa are declining thanks to insecticide-treated bed nets, spraying and better treatment. But the disease remains stubbornly persistent in much of the continent. The emergence of resistant strains of mosquitoes and malaria parasites means public-health programs need new tools.
Field releases of genetically modified mosquitoes elsewhere—notably Oxitec’s trial in Brazil, aimed at controlling Dengue fever—have gone off without the dire consequences environmentalists predicted. But several years ago during the Zika outbreaks in Florida and Texas, scare campaigns succeeded in blocking mosquito tests that had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

There’s a long history of opposition to genetic technology, with serious human costs. Consider the decadeslong effort to stop cultivation of genetically modified golden rice, which could save two million people a year—many of them children—from early death and crippling blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency. A petition signed by 144 Nobel laureates calls on environmentalists to end their campaigns and accuses Greenpeace of a “crime against humanity” for its leading role.

Opposition to modern technology has deepened, and its highly politicized ideology has captured much of the development community under the banner of “agroecology.” This is a radical approach to food production that excludes modern farming techniques, including synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, modern hybrid seeds and even mechanization. Agroecology explicitly promotes “peasant agriculture” and the superior wisdom of “indigenous peoples.”

Agroecologists abhor free markets. A leader of the movement, Eric Holt-Gimenez of Food First, asks, “How can agroecology help us transform capitalism itself?” La Via Campesina, one of the groups protesting Target Malaria, rails against international trade and “profit at any price.” The Third World Network champions world-wide socialism and blames the U.S. for Venezuela’s economic and humanitarian crisis.

Now, with little debate, agroecology dogma has been officially adopted by the FAO, the U.N. Development Programme and the U.N. Environment Programme, and is being underwritten by European governments through their development agencies and support of environmental groups.

Like other radical “social justice” movements, agroecology is based on fraudulent history. FAO Steering Committee member Miguel Altieri describes the Green Revolution, which saved a billion people from starvation, as a “failed” project that undermined the ability to address “the root causes of hunger” and put “global food production under the control of a few transnational corporations, bolstered by free trade agreements.” According to the FAO’s own data, however, the Green Revolution increased the world-wide food supply from 2,253 to 2,852 calories per person from 1961-2013, when the global population more than doubled.

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The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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