Tuesday, January 12, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: Hundreds of Pacific Islands are getting bigger despite global warming


Is John Kerry setting up Boris Johnson for COP26 flop?

In this newsletter:

1) Hundreds of Pacific Islands are getting bigger despite global warming
ABC News, 8 January 2021

2) Deutsche Bank: EU Green Deal can only succeed with “a certain degree of eco-dictatorship”
GWPF & Deutsche Bank Research, 10 January 2021

3) Is John Kerry setting up Boris Johnson for COP26 flop?
The Sunday Times, 10 January 2021
4) Chinese President Xi wins 2020 ‘climate hypocrite’ award for green talk, coal action
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 9 January 2021
5) Poland announces online freedom of speech bill
The First News, 17 December 2020
6) Spoils of climate campaign: German Greens hope to win chancellorship in upcoming general elections
Clean Energy Wire, 11 January 2021
7) Dominic Lawson: The rush to ‘Net Zero’ will most harm those Boris Johnson pledged to prioritise
The Sunday Times, 10 January 2021
8) Peter Foster: Sustainable Newspeak by 2050
Financial Post, 5 January 2021

Full details:

1) Hundreds of Pacific Islands are getting bigger despite global warming
ABC News, 8 January 2021

New research says hundreds of islands in the Pacific are growing in land size, even as climate change-related sea level rises threaten the region.
Jeh, an island in the Marshall Islands, was one of the landmasses researchers say are growing.

Scientists at the University of Auckland found atolls in the Pacific nations of Marshall Islands and Kiribati, as well as the Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean, have grown up to 8 per cent in size over the past six decades despite sea level rise.
They say their research could help climate-vulnerable nations adapt to global warming in the future.
The scientists used satellite images of islands as well as on-the-ground analysis to track the changes.
Coastal geomorphologist Dr Paul Kench said coral reef sediment was responsible for building up the islands.
"All the islands that we're looking at, and the atoll systems, comprise predominantly of the broken up corals, shells and skeletons of organisms on the coral reef, which waves then sweep up and deposit on the island," he said.
Dr Kench said in areas where coral reefs were healthy, enough sediment was being produced to cause islands to grow.

Historical aerial images show how much Jeh's shoreline has changed over the decades.
"The majority of islands in each of those nations has either got larger or stayed very similar in size," he said.
"So, you know, one of the remarkable takeaways of the work is that these islands are actually quite dynamic in a physical sense."
Healthy coral reefs key to growth
Coastal erosion from rising sea level is considered a major threat to many Pacific communities, with some already watching shorelines recede.
Dr Kench said about 10 per cent of islands captured in the study had gotten smaller in size.
He said a better understanding of which islands are growing and which are eroding could help Pacific nations adapt to climate change.
"That gives the island nations some power to think about adaptation strategies, about where do you focus further development, and you would perhaps choose those islands which we can demonstrate are actually growing in size," he said.
"So we think it's affording some different sort of strategies and opportunities for islands to think about as they're contemplating an uncertain future."
Dr Kench said there was more work to be done in understanding other factors influencing the growth or reduction of Pacific islands.
Full story
2) Deutsche Bank: EU Green Deal can only succeed with “a certain degree of eco-dictatorship”
GWPF & Deutsche Bank Research, 10 January 2021

A senior economist at Deutsche Bank warns that for the EU’s Green Deal to succeed, “a certain degree of eco-dictatorship will be necessary”

An analysis published by Deutsche Bank sharply criticises the “dishonest debate” with which the EU is selling its “Green Deal” to the people of Europe. The massive risks of the project for prosperity, the economic system and democracy itself should not be concealed, but should be addressed openly.

Eric Heymann, a senior economist at Deutsche Bank Research, warns that Europe’s Green Deal and its goal of climate neutrality by 2050 threatens a European mega-crisis, leading to “noticeable loss of welfare and jobs”. And he warns: It won’t work without “a certain degree of eco-dictatorship”.
The analyst describes it as dubious that the Green Deal is being touted across the board as “a new growth strategy” which would allow the EU to become a “fair and prosperous society.” While this may look good on paper, Heymann writes, in order to achieve carbon neutral by 2050, Europe’s economy and its entire political and legal systems will have to be changed fundamentally.
For the time being, the revolutionary consequences of the EU’s climate agenda for everyday life are “still relatively abstract” and for most households “still acceptable.” Soon, however, the path towards climate neutrality will require drastic interventions in the choice of means of transport, the size of housing, the means of heating, the possession of electronic consumer goods, as well as restrictions in the consumption of meat and tropical fruits.
And he warns these restrictions and infringements will inevitably trigger “massive political resistance.”
"Some parties will find arguments against strict climate protection policies if the latter lead to a significant increase in energy prices or to restrictions of personal freedom or ownership rights. And let us not fool ourselves: these parties will find voter support. At the EU level, there will be major conflicts about distribution, which may contribute to (further) divisions within the bloc. Are we ready to deal with this polarisation?"
Below are excerpts of Eric Heymann’s analysis.
Climate neutrality: Are we ready for an honest discussion?

A certain degree of eco-dictatorship will be necessary
The impact of the current climate policy on people’s everyday lives is still quite abstract and acceptable for many households. Climate policy comes in the form of higher taxes and fees on energy, which make heating and mobility more expensive. Some countries have set minimum energy efficiency standards for buildings or similar rules in other areas. However, climate policy does not determine our lives. We take key consumption decisions, for example whether we travel at all, how much we travel and which means of transport we use, whether we live in a large house or a small apartment and how we heat our homes, how many electronic devices we have and how intensely we use them or how much meat and exotic fruit we eat. These decisions tend to be made on the basis of our income, not on climate considerations.

If we really want to achieve climate neutrality, we need to change our behaviour in all these areas of life. This is simply because there are no adequate cost-effective technologies yet to allow us to maintain our living standards in a carbon-neutral way. That means that carbon prices will have to rise considerably in order to nudge people to change their behaviour. Another (or perhaps supplementary) option is to tighten regulatory law considerably. I know that “ecodictatorship” is a nasty word. But we may have to ask ourselves the question whether and to what extent we may be willing to accept some kind of eco-dictatorship (in the form of regulatory law) in order to move towards climate neutrality. Here is an example: What should we do if property owners do not want to turn their houses into zero-emission buildings; if they do not have the financial means to do so; if doing so is not possible for technical reasons or if the related investments do not pay off?

Loss of competitiveness or restrictions to free trade
If the EU moves considerably more quickly towards climate neutrality than the rest of the world, carbon prices in the EU will rise more rapidly, too. This will reduce the competitiveness of energy-intensive companies in the EU. Are we willing to pay that price? Probably not – remember, nobody is to be left behind. So will we subsidise these companies to enable them to use expensive, but climate-friendly technology? This option will be difficult to implement in the long run due to budget constraints. An honest discussion will have to deal with the truth that each euro spent on climate protection is no longer available for expenses on education, research, public health, digital infrastructure, domestic and external security, tax cuts or higher pensions. The EU commission plans to introduce a carbon border adjustment system to address the competition problem. Do we really believe that doing so will not make the affected countries introduce countermeasures? Are we really willing to give up the advantages of free trade in favour of climate protection?

Massive political resistance ahead
Nobody is to be left behind on the path towards climate neutrality. This statement from the Green Deal probably amounts to trying to square the circle. A major turnaround in climate policy will certainly produce losers among both households and corporates. In addition, prosperity and employment are likely to suffer considerably. If this was not the case, climate protection would be an easy undertaking. These developments will obviously have an impact on the political landscape, both at the national and EU level.

Some parties will find arguments against strict climate protection policies if the latter lead to a significant increase in energy prices or to restrictions of personal freedom or ownership rights. And let us not fool ourselves: these parties will find voter support. At the EU level, there will be major conflicts about distribution, which may contribute to (further) divisions within the bloc. Are we ready to deal with this polarisation? Or will we adjust our climate policy ambitions if we find that (overly) ambitious climate policies are not acceptable to a majority of the people?

The full analysis is available at  Deutsche Bank Research  (pp. 70-73) 
3) Is John Kerry setting up Boris Johnson for COP26 flop?
The Sunday Times, 10 January 2021
Boris Johnson put a cabinet minister in charge of the Cop26 climate change summit last week following a warning from Joe Biden’s team that there was no “heavy hitter” running the show.

America’s climate pointman John Kerry urged Britain to get a grip on summit preparations JIM LO SCALZO

In the first sign of the US president-elect flexing his muscles with the UK, Biden’s climate change pointman John Kerry complained before Christmas that if Britain wanted to be taken seriously it would need to get a grip on preparations for the summit, which Britain is hosting in Glasgow in November.

Alok Sharma gave up his cabinet job as business secretary on Friday to concentrate on Cop26 full-time. But his appointment comes after Johnson’s approaches to David Cameron and Theresa May last year were rejected.

Johnson’s response to the pressure from Kerry, himself a former presidential candidate, comes amid concern that the prime minister’s relationship with Donald Trump will damage relations with Biden, particularly after Trump’s supporters smashed their way into Congress last week.

A senior Tory said: “John Kerry phoned one of his old contacts in London and the message was relayed to No 10 that Cop is the thing Biden really cares about.

“If you want to have a relationship with him get serious about Cop and get someone serious to do it.”

Full story (£)
4) Chinese President Xi wins 2020 ‘climate hypocrite’ award for green talk, coal action
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 9 January 2021
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday was named 2020 “Climate Hypocrite of the Year” by British skeptics for touting the Paris agreement and encouraging global emissions reductions even as China fires up new coal plants.

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum announced the second annual “award” with a cartoon of Mr. Xi holding a green mask as coal-fired plants discharged clouds of black smoke in the background.

"The General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party is a deserving winner this year for his smooth parading of ‘concern’ for the climate while all the time building hundreds of coal-fired power stations in China and around the world as fast as he possibly can,” the forum said in its announcement.
The dozens of nominees included The North Face, which rejected a jacket order from a Houston oil-and-gas company even though its outdoor wear and gear are made largely from petroleum products like nylon and polyester.
Also receiving nods were celebrities who sounded dire climate warnings while jetting around the world, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the British ice-dancing pair Torvill and Dean, who flew to Alaska for a television special to skate outdoors and explore “the effects of climate change,” according to ITV.
Even as China cranks up production of coal plants, Mr. Xi has promoted the 2015 Paris climate accord and announced plans to reduce China’s emissions footprint.
Full story
5) Poland announces online freedom of speech bill
The First News, 17 December 2020

Poland's justice minister announced a legal initiative on Thursday aimed at enabling internet users to file complaints against the removal of online posts as well as the creation of a special court for freedom of speech.



Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said the aim of the bill was to give internet users the feeling that their rights are protected and that their posts cannot be arbitrarily removed from online platforms.

The full name of the bill is the law on freedom of expressing one's own views and searching and disseminating information on the internet.

Under its provisions, social media services will not be allowed to remove content or block accounts if the content on them does not break Polish law. In the event of removal or blockage, a complaint can be sent to the platform, which will have 24 hours to consider it. Within 48 hours of the decision, the user will be able to file a petition to the court for the return of access. The court will consider complaints within seven days of receopt and the entire process is to be electronic.

"Often, the victims of ideological censorship tendencies are also representatives of various groups operating in Poland, whose content is removed or blocked, just because they express views and refer to values that are unacceptable from the point of view of communities (...) with an ever stronger influence on the functioning of social media," Ziobro said.

"We realise that it is not an easy topic, we realise that on the internet there should also be a sphere of guarantees for everybody who feels slandered, a sphere of limitation of various content which may carry with it a negative impact on the sphere of other people's freedom," he said.
"But we would like to propose such tools that will enable both one side and the other to call for the decision of a body that will be able to adjudicate whether content appearing on such and such a social media account really violates personal rights, whether it can be eliminated, or whether there is censorship."

If a special court rules in favour of the plaintiff and the internet service does not obey the ruling it can subject to a fine of up to PLN 8 million (EUR 1.8 million) imposed by the Office of Electronic Communications.
6) Spoils of climate campaign: German Greens hope to win chancellorship in upcoming general elections
Clean Energy Wire, 11 January 2021

Despite coming second way behind chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU coalition in current polls, Germany’ Greens have a chance of becoming the strongest party and winning the chancellorship in this year's general election, Anton Hofreiter, head of the Greens’ parliamentary group, told Valerie Höhne in an interview on Spiegel Online.
Merkel’ popularity and the coronavirus crisis are helping the CDU/CSU in the polls for now, but Merkel won’t be running in the September elections and this means there will be “an open race to see who has the best answers for the future of our country,” Hofreiter said. “How do we succeed in expanding renewable energies, how do we secure Germany as an industrial location, how do we create more social cohesion?” would be questions that the parties have to answer.

Hofreiter said his party would tackle the climate crisis proactively, “with massive investments in new energy systems, in railways and public transport, in climate-neutral industrial processes.” He criticised the programme of the CDU/CSU  – the parties with which the Greens could enter into a coalition after the election –  for being “ecologically, economically and socially bad for the future of our country.
The CDU/CSU wants to save rather than invest. It is putting the brakes on the expansion of renewables and thus endangering the ecological restructuring of industry.” Hofreiter said that the Green Party had more in common with the Social Democrats SPD, who are currently governing as a junior partner alongside the CDU/CSU, but he also called them “exhausted and weary.”

The Green Party currently polls at around 21 percent compared to 35 percent for the CDU/CSU and 14 percent for the SPD. The Greens still have to choose their candidate for the chancellery, which will likely be one of their co-party heads, Annalena Baerbock or Robert Habeck. While the SPD is a former -- and in the eyes of many a more natural -- coalition partner to the Greens, the first conservative-Green alliance on the federal level currently looks like the most probable outcome of the election, according to many analysts.
7) Dominic Lawson: The rush to ‘Net Zero’ will most harm those Boris Johnson pledged to prioritise
The Sunday Times, 10 January 2021
Of the 10 million jobs threatened by the UK government’s Net Zero commitment, far and away the greatest concentration are in ‘red wall’ constituencies.

You think the government’s policies over Covid-19 have been confused and contradictory? Compared with those it is pursuing in the field of energy and industry, they have been a model of good sense and intellectual rigour. But while shortcomings in the former are revealed within weeks, in mortality figures, flaws in energy policy take years to emerge — by which time the politicians responsible have comfortably retired from the scene.

But there are already straws in the wind. So to speak. Last week — as is not unusual in a British January — temperatures dropped below freezing, while wind speeds also dwindled. Result? To quote Tuesday’s edition of The Guardian: “Electricity market prices have surged tenfold in a day to reach a record high of £1,000 per megawatt hour ... wind turbines come to a virtual standstill only weeks after setting a new generation record.” According to one trader quoted in the article, the UK “is at much greater risk of blackouts this winter than the National Grid has forecast”.

It is wind power on which the government has staked this country’s energy future. Boris Johnson boasted absurdly that we would become the “Saudi Arabia of wind”, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the Saudis were enriched because they were able to export their oil globally and at vast proft margins. The effect of increasing our dependency on indigenous wind will only add to the likelihood of the sort of market panic we witnessed last week — and of blackouts.

This was set out with painful clarity by the late government chief scientific adviser Professor David McKay in 2016, 11 days before his death: “Because time is getting thinner and thinner I should call a spade a spade ... There is this appalling delusion people have that we can take this thing [renewables] and we can just scale it up and if there is a slight issue of it not adding up, we can just do energy efficiency. Humanity really does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics.”

There are also the laws of economics. When launching his 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” (there are always 10, because prime ministers think they are Moses) Johnson promised a “green recovery — with high-skilled, high paid jobs”, and even gave precise numbers: 60,000 new jobs in offshore wind, for example. As the Financial Times’s Jonathan Ford observed: “According to the ... National Grid, the total cost ... of getting to net-zero is of the order of a thumping £160bn a year over the next three decades. It is hard to imagine that this wouldn’t create some jobs along the way ... But where are all these workers to come from? Most likely by diverting people from other, possibly more economically valuable pursuits.” Such as ones not subsidised by the taxpayer, or by energy users in the form of much higher bills — which is a form of impoverishment, not enrichment.

The people who will suffer most from the government’s equivalent of the USSR’s five-year plans (which had about as much economic sense) are precisely those on whom it relied for its election victory in 2019 — and whose fortunes it has pledged to restore. Last week the think tank Onward, in a report signed off by two former ministers, one Labour and one Conservative, pointed out that of the “10 million jobs” threatened by the government’s commitment to excise UK CO2 emissions by 2050, far and away the greatest concentration were in the former red wall constituencies that had put their faith in Johnson.

The report supported the net-zero plan wholeheartedly. It simply observed the result would be that “the industrial and manufacturing heartlands in the Midlands and the North are far more likely to experience economic disruption during the net-zero transition than the southeast and London ... That many of these places were worst hit from the deindustrialisation of the 1980s and 1990s reinforces this problem.” I’ll say. Not so much “levelling up” but pushing back down and then stamping on its neck.

British governments’ actions to date in adding more expensive non-fossil-fuel-based energy to the bills of industrial users have not only continued our deindustrialisation but have actually caused global emissions to increase, not decrease: the manufacturing has been outsourced, above all, to China, whose use of coal is more intensive than that of any European country. As Dieter Helm, the professor of energy policy at Oxford, puts it: “The story for the past 20 years is that in Europe we have been de-industrialising, and we’ve been swapping home production for imports, so even though it looks to the contrary, [our policies] have been increasing global warming.” Marvellous. Carry on, chaps. Just remember to turn the lights out as you leave. Assuming you could still afford to have them on in the first place.

Full post (£)

8) Peter Foster: Sustainable Newspeak by 2050
Financial Post, 5 January 2021

As Orwell noted, the language of fear and panic is one of the main instruments of political control. 


George Orwell pointed out that one of the first casualties of socialism is language. The damage is not collateral, it is deliberate — designed to numb minds and render critical thought difficult or impossible. The instrument of this dumbing down in Nineteen Eighty-Four was Newspeak, the official language of the English Socialist Party (Ingsoc).
Newspeak was a sort of Totalitarian Esperanto that sought gradually to diminish the range of what was thinkable by eliminating, contracting and manufacturing words. New words had a “political implication” and “were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them.” The meaning of words was often reversed, as was most starkly emphasized in the key slogans of Ingsoc:
War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
Nineteen Eighty-Four was written in 1949. Its nightmarish fictional world is now 37 years in the past, so one might reasonably conclude that Orwell was far too pessimistic, but his great book was less a prediction than a warning, and above all an analysis of the totalitarian mentality.
Meanwhile, there is another significant date in Nineteen Eighty-Four. The book’s appendix on “The Principles of Newspeak” stressed that the corruption of language was a multi-generational project whose fruition would not come until well into the present century. Ingsoc’s objective was to render independent thought impossible by “about 2050.”

Intriguingly, that is the same year that the world allegedly has to become “carbon neutral,” or “net zero,” to avoid climate Armageddon.
Weasel Words
The year 2050 has become a key date for the UN’s “Global Governance” agenda, which seeks nothing less than to oversee and regulate every aspect of life on the basis of a suite of alarmist projections. The main existential threat is claimed to be catastrophic man-made climate change.
“Climate Governance” has thus emerged as the “fourth pillar” of the UN’s mandate, joining Peace and Security, Development, and Human Rights.
So far — as with the other three pillars — the UN’s climate efforts have been spectacularly unsuccessful. It has held 25 enormous “Conferences of the Parties,” or COPs, which have promoted a morass of uncoordinated national policies that have had zero impact on the climate.
COP 21 in Paris in 2015, for instance, was meant to hatch a successor to the failed Kyoto Protocol. But all it produced was a raft of hypocritical, voluntary, fingers-crossed “Nationally Determined Contributions.” The failure of Paris, and of temperatures to rise in line with flawed models, led to a doubling down of “ambitions.” One new commitment that seeped out of Paris was for the countries of the world to hold temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above levels before the Industrial Revolution (the original climate sin). Staying below that level, UN policy wonks rapidly calculated, would require the world to become carbon neutral, or net-zero, by 2050.

In a video lecture to Chinese students last year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres claimed that there was “no excuse” not to meet the net-zero emission target by 2050. “The time for small steps has passed,” he said. “What is needed now is transformational change.” For “transformational” read “revolutionary” — change that would involve the destruction of Western industrial society and freedom.
In fact, there is no climate “crisis” or “emergency.” However, as Orwell noted, the language of fear and panic is one of the main instruments of political control.
Today, just as in Nineteen Eighty-Four, the classical liberal concepts of liberty and equality (of opportunity) are under relentless attack, as are the values of reason and objectivity. Liberty and equality were classified in Newspeak as “Crimethink.” Objectivity and rationalism were “Oldthink.” A doomed Newspeak lexicographer named Syme tells the book’s equally doomed hero, Winston Smith, that even the party slogans will eventually become incomprehensible: “How could you have a slogan like ‘freedom is slavery’ when the concept of freedom has been abolished?”
Orwell was hardly the first observer to point to the political dangers of linguistic manipulation, which go back to discussions of sophistry in Plato. The great economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek pointed in particular to the left’s use of “social.” He dubbed it a “weasel word” that not merely sucked meaning from words to which it was attached but often reversed meaning. Thus, by classical liberal standards, social democracy is undemocratic, social justice is unjust, and a social market economy is anti-market. We have a prime current example in the phrase “social licence to operate,” which in fact means a potential veto on corporate activities by radical environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), the stormtroopers of the Global Governance agenda.
Private corporations were once socialism’s enemies; now they have been co-opted as its partners, agents of “Global Salvationism.” Nobel economist Milton Friedman pointed to the subversive, open-ended nature of “Corporate Social Responsibility,” where “responsibility” represents another weasel word. CSR’s purpose is to force corporate executives to abandon their responsibility to their shareholders in favour of an endless list of “stakeholder” demands.

Friedman has been regularly and ritually subjected to the Two Minutes Hate ever since. The most recent example was a collection of overwhelmingly condemnatory essays in the New York Times to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of his essay on CSR. Typically, it grossly misrepresented Friedman and wrote off his alleged bottom line as “Greed is Good.”
The shackles of CSR have now been tightened by the concept of ESG (Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance). ESG is, like the neologisms of Newspeak, “intended to impose a desirable mental attitude” on executives, who often seem intellectually and morally defenceless in the face of NGO campaigns of lies and intimidation. Business schools certainly don’t appear to equip them to counter such assaults.
A Climate of Newspeak
Perhaps the most significant new weasel word to have emerged from the UN’s equivalent of the Ministry of Truth is “sustainable.” Commitment to sustainability is now mouthed by every politician, bureaucrat, marketing executive and media hack on Earth. It sounds so benign, so reasonable, but what it actually means is “bureaucratically controlled and NGO-enforced within a UN-based socialist agenda.” Like most aspects of socialism, it is based on incomprehension and/or hatred of the nature and function of market capitalism, not least because markets — which signal scarcity, reward economy and promote profitable innovation — are the only true source of sustainability.
Projected catastrophic man-made climate change was enthusiastically embraced by global socialism because it was — in the words of Nicholas Stern, who was ennobled for his manufacture of an egregiously skewed review of climate impacts for his political masters in the U.K. Labour Party — “the greatest market failure the world has ever seen.” The problem is that we haven’t actually seen it, except, that is, through the biased lens of “official” science and an alarmist crusading media.

Like “social,” “sustainable” tends to vitiate or reverse the meaning of words to which it is attached. Thus sustainable development is development retarded by top-down control, and whose effectiveness is further compromised by the insertion of a long list of cart-before-the-horse social policy objectives, from gender equity to “responsible consumption.”
Full essay
Peter Foster is a Toronto-based journalist and the author of 10 books. A collection of his National Post columns, titled How Dare You!, was recently published by the Global Warming Policy Forum.  It can be purchased in hard copy or ebook from Amazon: UK – USA – Canada – Australia

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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