Sunday, August 11, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Is The Left Beginning To Abandon Renewable Energy?

Greta Throws Journalists Out Of Climate Summit

In this newsletter:

1) Is The Left Beginning To Abandon Renewable Energy?
Associated Press, 8 August 2019
2) Greta Throws Journalists Out Of Climate Summit
BLICK - Swiss News, 9 August 2019

3) Germans Rebel Against Tax On Meat
John Hinderaker, 8 August 2019
4) There Is No Conservative Momentum For A Carbon Tax
Mike Palicz, Washington Examiner, 8 August 2019
5) What Is Eco-Fascism, The Ideology Behind Attacks In El Paso And Christchurch?
Luke Darby, GQ 7 August 2019
6) Joe Oliver: Beware Foreign Influence In Canada's Resource Sector And Elections
Toronto Sun, 9 August 2019

Full details:

1) Is The Left Beginning To Abandon Renewable Energy?
Associated Press, 8 August 2019

“It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real and to discover the solar panels and wind turbines are not going to save us.”

What if alternative energy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? That’s the provocative question explored in the documentary “Planet of the Humans,” which is backed and promoted by filmmaker Michael Moore and directed by one of his longtime collaborators. It premiered last week at his Traverse City Film Festival.

The film, which does not yet have distribution, is a low-budget but piercing examination of what the filmmakers say are the false promises of the environmental movement and why we’re still “addicted” to fossil fuels. Director Jeff Gibbs takes on electric cars, solar panels, windmills, biomass, biofuel, leading environmentalist groups like the Sierra Club, and even figures from Al Gore and Van Jones, who served as Barack Obama’s special adviser for green jobs, to leader Bill McKibben, a leading environmentalist and advocate for grassroots climate change movements.

Gibbs, who produced Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” didn’t set out to take on the environmental movement. He said he wanted to know why things weren’t getting better. But when he started pulling on the thread, he and Moore said they were shocked to find how inextricably entangled alternative energy is with coal and natural gas, since they say everything from wind turbines to electric car charging stations are tethered to the grid, and even how two of the Koch brothers — Charles and David — are tied to solar panel production through their glass production business.

“It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”

Both know the film is going to be a “tough pill to swallow.” It was a difficult eye-opener for them as well.

“We all want to feel good about something like the electric car, but in the back of your head somewhere you’ve thought, ‘Yeah, but where is the electricity coming from? And it’s like, ‘I don’t want to think about that, I’m glad we have electric cars,'” Moore said.

“I’ve passed by the windmill farms, and oh it’s so beautiful to see them going, and don’t tell me that we’ve gone too far now and it isn’t going to save us … Well, my feeling is just hit me with everything. I’m like let’s just deal with it now, all at once.”

It’s part of the reason why they had to make it independently. Gibbs said he tried for years to get an environmental group on board to help offset the costs, only to be turned down at every door. He was further disheartened when, in the film, he approaches people like Jones, McKibben and a local Sierra Club leader, and asks them about their stance on biofuel and biomass. Biomass, like wood and garbage, can be used to produce heat and is considered a renewable source of energy. It can also be converted to gas or liquid biofuels that can be burned for energy.

He finds every one ill-prepared to comment on their stance about the biomass process, which the documentary says requires cutting down enormous numbers of trees to produce the woodchips that are converted into energy. Neither Jones nor McKibben responded to request for comment from The Associated Press.

“I like so many people in the film and I’m one of those people who wanted to believe all of these years that that was the right path,” Moore said. “(But) I refuse to let us die out. I refuse to let this planet die.”

They were even nervous to show it to the festival crowd, where they expected maybe a “50-50 response.” Instead, they got a standing ovation. And there were even members of The Sierra Club there.

“It’s up to people who actually share the same values to sometimes call each other out and bring out the uncomfortable truths,” Gibbs said. “This is not a film by climate change deniers, this is a film by people who really care about the environment.”

Although the findings will be disheartening, both Gibbs and Moore say they hope that it inspires people to reset and start thinking differently.

Full story

2) Greta Throws Journalists Out Of Climate Summit
BLICK - Swiss News, 9 August 2019

At the big meeting of the climate youth movement in Lausanne trouble is brewing. That seems to have left its mark on leader Greta Thunberg. Today the 16-year-old had reporting journalists thrown out of the conference hall.

Climate icon Greta Thunberg had the media thrown out of the hall on Friday. The reason: The newspapers reported on the quarrels at the climate summit in Lausanne.

On the last day of the “Smile for Future” climate summit at the University of Lausanne, the mood among the teenagers remains tense. Since Wednesday, when there had been crying fits and violent quarrels at times at the meeting, the activists are under particular observation.

The idol of the movement, Greta Thunberg, knows that too. The friction among the youngsters does not leave the 16-year-old Swede indifferent. On the contrary: On Friday morning her patience snapped. She personally had the journalists present thrown out of the hall.

Frustration over grassroots democracy

The fifth and last day of the conference started with a reassessment. Micael, one of the participants, standing on the stage put his finger in the weak spot of the activists: “There was little structure and it was difficult to agree on anything.”

It would appear that Micael’s complaint resonated with many of the young people present. “Grass-root democracy…” another participant quietly moans.

“Once someone says no, you cannot come to any decision.” The frustration over the course of the climate summit is deep among the teenagers.

«They present it as if we had a quarrel»

Then, from the back rows in the hall, a teenager speaks up. It is Greta Thunberg. The climate icon believes the media are to blame for the bad mood. Thunberg therefore advocates excluding the journalists “because they otherwise portray it as if we had a quarrel”.

Only on Wednesday BLICK had reported on the giant spat among the Greta disciples. The headline caused a stir and was also picked up by newspapers abroad. Thunberg was not pleased that the images of exasperated and crying teenagers attracted so much attention. She also rejected the claim in an article by “Buzzfeed” that she had participated in a summit strike.

U-turn after a few minutes

The majority of the 450 participants in the room wave their hands as a sign of approval for Thunberg. All news media have to leave the hall while the journalists are stunned.

BLICK journalist Fabienne Kinzelmann is sitting in the front row as she is being asked to leave the hall. The question of why remains unanswered by Thunberg and her followers. “How should we report on the summit, if we are not allowed to be here?”, Wolfgang Wanner asks, who had traveled to Lausanne as Swiss correspondent for the German television station ARD.

Already on Thursday news journalists were forbidden to attend a number of summit events.

Yet media boycott by the climate teens doesn’t last for long. After a few minutes the journalists are allowed back. When a BLICK journalist asks about the reasons for being thrown out, the summit’s co-organizer Kelmy Martinez (21) says: “We are only human and sometimes we need privacy. As a movement, however, we strive to be as transparent as possible.”

Translation GWPF

Full story (in German)

3) Germans Rebel Against Tax On Meat
John Hinderaker, 8 August 2019

Through human history, the basic standard of well-being has been the ability to afford an adequate diet, especially one that includes animal protein. But, in classic first world style, some German politicians have decided that Germans eat “too much” meat. 

Hence a campaign to raise taxes on meat: “Green tax on sausages a step too far for Germans.”

Germany has raised the prospect of imposing a hefty tax on meat to encourage carnivores to cut down on their consumption.

This week MPs from the ruling parties flirted with abolishing meat’s special status in the tax system and nearly trebling the levy on each product to 19 per cent.

A 19 percent tax on meat!

Alongside staples such as bread, milk and coffee, Germany levies only a 7 per cent VAT rate on meat products, while charging 19 per cent VAT on baby food, restaurant meals and mineral water.

Earlier this week MPs floated the idea of moving meat into the more expensive category, in effect indicating that it is more of a luxury than an indispensable foodstuff.

I think most of us would agree that meat is indispensable. Most Germans apparently agree:

The meat tax was abandoned yesterday as the leaders of the mainstream parties fretted that it could become politically toxic and difficult to administer in Germany’s highly devolved federal structure.

The fundamental question, of course, is: what right do politicians and bureaucrats have to tell the rest of us we are eating “too much” meat, so that the price should be inflated via taxation?

4) There Is No Conservative Momentum For A Carbon Tax
Mike Palicz, Washington Examiner, 8 August 2019

There is little support for a carbon tax among conservatives. Not in Congress, not in the conservative movement, and certainly not among everyday voters.

Despite a deep-pocketed, full-court lobbying operation targeting GOP legislators, advocacy groups have convinced exactly one Republican in Congress to support carbon tax legislation.

This same congressman, Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida, just voted for a $15 minimum wage and is the only Republican co-signer on a bill creating government mandated prices in Medicare Part D — a long standing priority for the liberal left. Rooney backs a carbon tax because he wants to “kill off coal.”

How conservative.

Here’s the truth: When advocates can’t build support on the right for a carbon tax, they buy it instead.

In June, pollster Frank Luntz released a poll commissioned by the Climate Leadership Council, a pro-carbon tax organization. Luntz’s poll claims that 53% of Republican voters support CLC’s carbon tax plan. Luntz achieved CLC’s desired results by asking those surveyed if they support a “climate solution that charges fossil fuel companies for their carbon emissions and gives all the money directly to the American people through a quarterly check.”

Luntz omits key details such as skyrocketing energy costs or that CLC’s dividend plan limits families to half credits for children. They might as well ask people if they’d like free money from oil companies. The poll doesn’t show growing support on the right for a carbon tax, but it certainly proves Luntz can rig a poll if he’s paid to.

In July, CLC paraded Luntz and his poll in a mock hearing in front of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis — an unofficial committee comprised of only Democratic senators and dubbed a political stunt by Republicans. Nothing could better capture the true makeup of the carbon tax lobby: A paid consultant presenting a misleading poll at a sham hearing of a fake Senate Committee organized by Democrats.

In reality, opposition to a carbon tax is about as unanimous as it gets on the right.

In a June letter sent to Congress, 89 free market organizations including Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and the American Legislative Exchange Council all voiced their opposition to any form of a carbon tax. The official Republican party platform also rejects any carbon tax, while the Democrat party platform explicitly endorses one.

And at the state level, voters have consistently rejected carbon tax initiatives. In 2018, voters in the blue state of Washington rejected a carbon tax ballot initiative by a vote of 56 to 44.

In 2009, South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis was the first Republican in Congress to introduce a carbon tax. He was soundly defeated in his following primary by Trey Gowdy, losing 71% to 29%. And in 2018, former Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo became the first Republican since Inglis to roll out a carbon tax bill — a staggering $150 billion annual tax. Curbelo lost reelection in 2018 after winning by 12% previous cycle.

As it turns out, voters don’t like Republicans who threaten to raise taxes.

Both Curbelo and Inglis have since joined organizations lobbying for a carbon tax. That’s the swamp for you.

Carbon tax advocates typically make two false pitches to Republicans on Capitol Hill: that a carbon tax is a “market-based solution” and that their carbon tax is revenue neutral.

Full post

5) What Is Eco-Fascism, The Ideology Behind Attacks In El Paso And Christchurch?
Luke Darby, GQ 7 August 2019

Fears of climate change, immigration, and overpopulation are driving a new wave of violence.

Shortly before Patrick Crusius murdered 22 people and injured more than two dozen in El Paso, Texas, he declared in a manifesto posted on the website 8chan that he was trying to stop a "Hispanic invasion of Texas." But there was also a distinctly environmental theme to his screed: part of a lesser-known far-right strain called eco-fascism.

The El Paso shooter named his manifesto "An Inconvenient Truth," presumably after Al Gore's 2006 climate change documentary. "The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly overharvesting resources," he wrote. "If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable." He also blamed America's consumer culture for environmental damage:

Fresh water is being polluted from farming and oil drilling operations. Consumer culture is creating thousands of tons of unnecessary plastic waste and electronic waste, and recycling to help slow this down is almost non-existent. Urban sprawl creates inefficient cities which unnecessarily destroys millions of acres of land. We even use god knows how many trees worth of paper towels just wipe water off our hands. Everything I have seen and heard in my short life has led me to believe that the average American isn’t willing to change their lifestyle, even if the changes only cause a slight inconvenience.

Crusius also claimed that he was inspired by the shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, who killed 51 people at two mosques and, in his own rambling manifesto, referred to himself as an "eco-fascist." He described immigration as "environmental warfare," and claimed "there is no nationalism without environmentalism."

The shootings in both El Paso and Christchurch, New Zealand are the latest examples of a new kind of ecoterrorism. According to the FBI, ecoterrorism is "the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally-oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature." For many, this likely evokes the image of tree-huggers with bolt-cutters, like the Animal Liberation Front which started breaking into animal testing labs in the '80s, releasing test subjects and destroying equipment.

That's probably the image White House advisor Kellyanne Conway was trying to conjure up when she told Fox News viewers to read the Christchurch shooter's manifesto for themselves: some demented hippie more in line with PETA than Donald Trump. "He said he’s not a conservative, he’s not a Nazi, I think he referred to himself as an eco-naturalist or an eco-fascist," she said. 

But eco-fascism is not the fringe hippie movement usually associated with ecoterrorism. It's a belief that the only way to deal with climate change is through eugenics and the brutal suppression of migrants. The movement's founding father was Madison Grant, who started the first organizations dedicated to protecting California redwoods and American buffalo. He was also a staunch supporter of race science who, as president of the Bronx Zoo, put Ota Benga, a member of the Mbuti tribe kidnapped from Congo, on display in a cage with apes in 1906. He published The Passing of the Great Race, or The Racial Basis of European History in 1916, warning of the decline of the "Nordic" race, and wrote elsewhere that his generation had "the responsibility of saying what forms of life shall be preserved."

His racial theory inspired Anders Breivik, the man who massacred 77 people at a Norwegian youth camp in 2011. But his fusion of white supremacy and environmental conservation also lingers.

Eco-fascism relies heavily on a concept called "deep ecology," the idea that the only way to preserve life on Earth is to dramatically—forcefully, if necessary—reduce the human population. It's best summed up by "lifeboat ethics," as eco-fascist and radical ecologist Pentti Linkola put it: "When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship’s axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides."

Eco-fascists today believe that the size of the human population is not only putting a strain on natural resources, but also that masses of displaced people will be a threat to state and cultural stability in a seemingly inevitable post-climate change world.

Full post

6) Joe Oliver: Beware Foreign Influence In Canada's Resource Sector And Elections
Toronto Sun, 9 August 2019

Canadians should welcome Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s inquiry into foreign financing opposition to the oilsands because it will investigate a significant problem for the entire country. Nevertheless, it generated overwrought criticism from those who seek to belittle the issue.

That reaction is not new. Back in January 2012, as minister of natural resources, I denounced American funding of domestic radicals trying to block Canada’s resource development. Exposing an inconvenient truth generated a cacophony of outrage and derision from those who benefitted from the Yankee moolah or welcomed any help to block pipeline projects.

Fast forward over seven years, my allegation remains factually correct, based on irrefutable research doggedly pursued by Vivian Krause, who also proved that foreign funding was employed to influence Canadian elections. Understandably, I am proud to be on the same page as the premier on a troubling issue which merits urgent public attention.

When asked by a reporter how I defined a radical, I answered it was someone who opposed every major resource development in the country. I then issued a challenge, repeated numerous times: name a single major project that any environmental organization supported. The deafening silence continues to this day. My reply was buried, presumably because it sounded too reasonable and raised uncomfortable questions.

Another important issue I discussed that was ignored by the media is that the oilsands represent a minuscule one-thousandth of global greenhouse gas emissions. Climate warming alarmists hated hearing that because it made obvious what they only acknowledged among themselves: The oilsands were just a symbol to rally opposition to pipelines projects.

A former CBC TV host warned me that if I mentioned the 0.1% he would go into attack mode. After all, that would have made it impossible for him to paint the oilsands as a major contributor to catastrophic climate change.

Although taking on implacable opponents to resource development certainly annoyed them, it made no difference, since accommodation was never in the cards. Former Alberta premier Rachel Notley tried so very hard to find a compromise, without success. The same with the prime minister’s grand bargain of offering a carbon tax in exchange for support of pipeline construction. It is obvious that obtaining a so-called social licence requires unachievable unanimity and empowers militant opposition. Unwavering determination is a better strategy for getting pipelines built.

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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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