Category Archives: Green Agenda

Monckton’s Schenectady showdown


Attendees listen to Monckton’s speech at Union College. Photo by Charlotte Lehman

Monckton vanquishes Union College “Greens too yellow to admit they’re really Reds”

wattsupwiththat.com | Mar Mar 10, 2012

by Justin Pulliam

THE NEWS that Lord Monckton was to give his “Climate of Freedom” lecture at Union College in Schenectady, New York, had thrown the university’s environmentalists into a turmoil. The campus environmentalists set up a Facebook page announcing a counter-meeting of their own immediately following Monckton’s lecture. There is no debate about global warming, they announced. There is a consensus. The science is settled. Their meeting would be addressed by professors and PhDs, the “true” scientists, no less. Sparks, it seemed, were gonna fly.

Traveling with Lord Monckton on the East Coast leg of his current whistle-stop tour of the US and Canada, I was looking forward to documenting the Schenectady showdown. I have had the pleasure of listening to His Lordship at previous campus events. He is at his best when confronted by a hostile audience. The angrier and more indignant they are, the more he seems to like it.

The Union Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) sponsored the lecture, which was video streamed by CampusReform.org (where a video recording is available). The afternoon of the event, Lord Monckton appeared on the CFACT leaders’ hour-long weekly show on the Union College radio station. As a result, that evening 200 people packed a campus lecture theater to hear Lord Monckton speak.

As they filed in, Lord Monckton was chatting contentedly to a quaveringly bossy woman with messy blonde hair who was head of the college environmental faction. Her group had set up a table at the door of the auditorium, covered in slogans scribbled on messy bits of recycled burger boxes held together with duct tape (Re-Use Cardboard Now And Save The Planet). “There’s a CONSENSUS!” she shrieked.

“That, Madame, is intellectual baby-talk,” replied Lord Monckton. Had she not heard of Aristotle’s codification of the commonest logical fallacies in human discourse, including that which the medieval schoolmen would later describe as the argumentum ad populum, the headcount fallacy?  From her reddening face and baffled expression, it was possible to deduce that she had not. Nor had she heard of the argumentum ad verecundiam, the fallacy of appealing to the reputation of those in authority.

Lord Monckton was shown a graph demonstrating a superficially close correlation between CO2 concentration and temperature over the past 150,000 years. Mildly, he asked, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Was it CO2 concentration that changed first, or temperature that changed first, driving the changes in CO2 concentration?”

The student clutching the graph mumbled that it was impossible to tell, and nobody really knew.

At Lord Monckton’s elbow, an elderly lady – presumably on faculty at Union College – said, “Perhaps I can help. It was temperature that changed first.”
“Exactly,” said Lord Monckton.

“However,” she continued, “CO2 then acted as a feedback, amplifying the temperature change. That’s one way we know CO2 is a problem today. And what,” she said, turning noticeably acerbic in a twinkling of Lord Monckton’s eye, “caused the changes in temperature?”

“Well,” said Lord Monckton, “we don’t know for certain, but one plausible explanation …”
“… is the Milankovich cycles!” burst in the venerable PhD, anxious not to have her punch-line stolen.

“Yes,” Monckton agreed imperturbably, “the precession of the equinoxes, and variations in the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit and in the obliquity of its axis with respect to the plane of the ecliptic. Actually, it is arguable that the cycles were first posited by an autodidact university janitor, a Mr. Croll.” The yakking crowd of environmentalists grew more thoughtful. Their propaganda had made him out to be an ignorant nincompoop, and they had begun to realize they had made the mistake of believing it.

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Shocker: dirty electric cars

From the University of Tennessee at Knoxville  comes this surprising bit of research. Taken in entirety, and electric vehicle has a greater impact on pollution than a comparable gasoline vehicle.

wattsupwiththat.com | Feb 13, 2012

UT researchers find China’s pollution related to E-cars may be more harmful than gasoline cars

by Anthony Watts

Electric cars have been heralded as environmentally friendly, but findings from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researchers show that electric cars in China have an overall impact on pollution that could be more harmful to health than gasoline vehicles.

Chris Cherry, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, and graduate student Shuguang Ji, analyzed the emissions and environmental health impacts of five vehicle technologies in 34 major Chinese cities, focusing on dangerous fine particles. What Cherry and his team found defies conventional logic: electric cars cause much more overall harmful particulate matter pollution than gasoline cars.

“An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles,” Cherry said. “Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to. Prior studies have only examined environmental impacts by comparing emission factors or greenhouse gas emissions.”

Particulate matter includes acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. It is also generated through the combustion of fossil fuels.

For electric vehicles, combustion emissions occur where electricity is generated rather than where the vehicle is used. In China, 85 percent of electricity production is from fossil fuels, about 90 percent of that is from coal. The authors discovered that the power generated in China to operate electric vehicles emit fine particles at a much higher rate than gasoline vehicles. However, because the emissions related to the electric vehicles often come from power plants located away from population centers, people breathe in the emissions a lower rate than they do emissions from conventional vehicles.

Still, the rate isn’t low enough to level the playing field between the vehicles. In terms of air pollution impacts, electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled in China than conventional vehicles.

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Agenda 21: Conspiracy theory or threat? Commissioners to decide

gastongazette.com | Jan 25, 2012

by Michael Barrett

The Gaston County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution condemning Agenda 21 during its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Gaston County Courthouse, 325 N. Marietta St., Gastonia.

When Gaston County commissioners sound an alarm tonight for Americans to wake up and guard against a subversive, sinister threat of global political control, they know many people will scratch their heads.

Others, said Commission Chairman Donnie Loftis, may consider their warning about the “insidious nature of Agenda 21” to be an overreaction.

“I realize there will be folks who say, ‘You guys are drinking the Kool-Aid,” he said.

But Loftis believes the county’s resolution “to heighten awareness of Agenda 21’s impact on communities in the United States” is necessary to shed light on a nefarious United Nations initiative.

On the surface, Agenda 21 is a 1992 blueprint for communities worldwide to use in achieving “sustainable development.” Critics, however, allege it’s a ploy to strangle the American way of life by reducing private property rights, and instilling harsh zoning restrictions and socialist philosophies into local government planning.

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“The point is, this is something people do need to know about because it’s happening in other parts of the country,” said Commissioner Tracy Philbeck, who referred to Agenda 21 as a “Marxist weapon.’”

“More people need to be aware of what could be implemented here if we’re not careful,” Philbeck said.

Commissioners are expected to vote on the resolution during their 6 p.m. meeting, as part of the consent agenda.

Roadmap for growth

The United Nations adopted Agenda 21 two decades ago as a global initiative to combat climate change. It endorses practices such as the preservation of green spaces, the availability of good transportation choices, and the prevention of urban sprawl.

President George H.W. Bush agreed to back the initiative in 1992, and President Bill Clinton signed an executive order in 1995 to create a council on sustainable development. But nothing about Agenda 21 is legally binding.

Today, a Google search on Agenda 21 will turn up any number of websites that broadcast the dangerous headway those philosophies are making into American society. Authors of that fear often come across as conspiracy theorists. But they warn that the nature of Agenda 21 as a dull topic is allowing it to fly under the radar and work its way into public policy, while raising minimal suspicion.

Members of the Greater Gaston Tea Party have become the most outspoken local critics of Agenda 21 in the last two years. They allege that its principles of extreme environmentalism are already showing up in Gastonia’s adopted plans for growth and development.

Philbeck, a Tea Party member, said Agenda 21’s influence can be seen in the concept of using eminent domain not for hospitals or highways, but for things such as greenways — something he opposes. His increasing familiarity with the subject led him to suggest that commissioners formally denounce Agenda 21 in a resolution.

Philbeck was spurred into action after hearing Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich warn that Agenda 21 could be used to seize the private property of American citizens.

“You know it’s huge when a presidential candidate is talking about it in a debate,” Philbeck said.

Valid fear or unfounded fantasy?

Agenda 21’s detractors have critics of their own, who say Gingrich and others are playing on conservative phobias.

Eric Heberlig, an associate professor of political science at UNC Charlotte, said he’s not thoroughly familiar with Agenda 21. But the objections to its principles are typical of conservatives who believe climate change is overblown, he said.

“The environmental movement represents the bad guys,” he said. “So anything they are for is seen as being suspicious, or a threat in terms of what their opponents want to see in public policy.”

To Agenda 21 opponents, terms like “sustainable growth,” “livable cities” and “green environments” seem to represent a shadowy, menacing threat, Heberlig said.

“We’re reacting to symbols here,” he said. “If the hippie environmentalists are for it and the United Nations is for it, it must be a bad thing.”

Philbeck points to websites such as democratsagainstunagenda21.com as evidence that conservative Republicans aren’t the only ones on alert.

“The folks who are pushing this thing want us to look fanatical,” he said. “That’s why I recommend people go and read Agenda 21 for themselves.”

Philbeck and Loftis said they aren’t against planning for growth and development in Gaston County, but doing so requires a delicate balance.

“It’s a fine line to balance growth without it being micromanaged by government,” Loftis said.

The resolution to be voted on Thursday decries Agenda 21 as “insidious” and having “underlying harmful implications, “destructive strategies” and “radical policies.” Its approval would put Gaston County on record and allow a copy to be sent to other county commissions across the state, and governors and agencies across the country.

“If there are not some checks and balances along the way, I think (Agenda 21) has the potential to involve a slow erosion of local control,” said Loftis. “We don’t want to give that authority away to someone away from here who has a bigger agenda.”

Global temps in a Crash as AGW proponents Crash the Economy

wattsupwiththat.com | Jan 19, 2012

By Joe Bastardi, Weatherbell Analytics

When the PDO turned cold, most of the meteorological and climate community understood that the pattern was turning very similar the last time of the PDO reversal, the 1950s, and it was a matter of time before the global temperatures, which have leveled off, would start falling in the same herby jerky fashion they had risen when the PDO turned warm at the end of the 1970s. I am not going to rehash the sordid details of how the AGW crowd simply ignores the major drivers of a cyclical nature. We all know that. Nor am I going to question them as to why they believe a trace gas like CO2 (needed for life on the planet) with a specific gravity of 1.5 as compared to the atmospheres 1.0, was going to mix with air in a way to affect the earth’s temperatures. Instead I am going to drive home points I have been making since 2007 and are now dramatically validating.

The La Ninas of 2008-09 and now this one had rapid mid level temperature drops that followed their onset and this years was nothing short of the most dramatic mid tropospheric drop since the start of the millennium. It is much more plausible to believe that rapid cooling in the mid levels would have an effect at leading to extremes, rather than what the warmingistas claim, which of course is anything that happens. In any case, one very interesting level that cooled to record cold levels was 400 mb, the very levels that the so called trapping hot spots were going to show up because of CO2…again a neat trick since somehow CO2 was going to defy the laws of Gravity, since, as mentioned above, its specific gravity is higher than the atmosphere (of course even if it was, it a) has not been proven to cause warming and b) man’s contribution is so tiny as to render it a non item anyway in climate considerations.

However first came the flip in the PDO, seen nicely here on the Multivariate Enso Index chart, which clearly illustrates the colder Pacific when the earth was colder, the start of the warming period coinciding with the satellite era, and now.

Now from the AMSU site, the amazing one year drop in temperature, the orange tan line being after the El Nino of 2009/10, the purplish line this past year and one can see the green this year, we are near record cold levels again.

And oh my my, the trapping hot spot itself.. 400mb or 25,000 feet… coldest in the entire decade

But the 2 meter temperatures, being in the boundary layer, do not respond as fast as the ocean, or a transparent atmosphere above

Nevertheless three downturns in a jagged fashion started predictably after the last El Nino now falling again in fits and spurts through December.

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Shivering S. Koreans battle ‘Big Chill’ in offices


South Korean women wearing warm clothes walk in a street of Seoul on January 11 (AFP/File, Hong Jin-Hwan)

AFP | Jan 18, 2012

By Nam You-Sun

SEOUL — “It’s freezing!” complained chef Byun Sang-Won, jogging on the spot with arms folded and teeth clenched as he tried to keep warm inside the luxury Seoul hotel where he works.

“I can’t even imagine working without wearing extra underwear and hot packs because it’s too cold in the kitchen and hallways,” the 26-year-old said.

Tens of thousands of shivering South Koreans feel the same way.

Cold Januarys, with average lows of minus 6 to 7 Celsius (21-19 Fahrenheit) and occasionally minus 15 C, are the norm. But this winter there is no escape from the chill.

The government, worried about shrinking power reserves after a shock September blackout, has ordered staff in 19,000 government offices to keep the indoor temperature below 18 degrees C (64 F).

Private buildings including offices must not exceed 20 C (68 F) between December 5 and February 29. Offenders face fines of between 500,000 won ($433) and three million won.

“There have been complaints that working in such a chilly environment is uncomfortable,” acknowledged Kim Jeong-Dae, an official at the Knowledge Economy Ministry in charge of enforcing the measures.

“But we have no choice. Recent changes in energy usage patterns led to surging demand for electricity, while eco-friendly policies and awareness that Korea overuses energy made it difficult to build more power plants.”

Officials from the knowledge economy ministry regularly visit private and government offices and other premises to check room temperatures with thermometers.

During the big chill, employees pile on more layers of clothing starting with underwear. To stop shivering at their desks, they use hot packs — air-activated pads for pockets or under vests — and blankets.

“Everyone works wearing a jacket, scarf and gloves because it’s so cold even in the office,” said Lee Hae-Woo, 24, an assistant director at state broadcaster Korea Broadcasting System.

“With guards checking the temperature regularly, it’s impossible to heat up more than we are told to. Well, it’s government policy, so what can we do about it?”

Chef Byun said his co-workers, when out of the public eye, swathe themselves in blankets or stuff hot packs in their pockets.

“It’s good trying to cut energy usage but it shouldn’t be too cold, because people’s efficiency really does fall when they feel too frozen to do anything,” he told AFP.

“And it gets worse when our guests complain and talk about their ‘right to be warm’ in the lobby and restaurants. But we can’t do anything about it.”

Not everyone gives the rules a frosty reception. Online shopping malls have been doing a roaring trade.

From early December, major online malls GS shop and D&shop together sold more than 16,000 sets of underwear in less than a month, double the amount even in the unusually cold winter of 2010-2011.

Sales of hot packs and blankets sales increased by more than 20 percent to 3,000 and 2,000 respectively.

“Office workers are at the centre of this spree, as the office temperature is so low that it’s called ‘Big Chill training’ for employees,” GS shop said in a statement.

The electricity scare was paradoxically caused by unusually warm weather last September, when several power stations were down for maintenance.

As reserves fell dangerously low, authorities briefly imposed rolling blackouts lasting several hours which hit up to 2.1 million households and other premises.

In November, as winter loomed, the government announced its winter power-saving measures. President Lee Myung-Bak urged fellow Koreans to follow his example and don thicker underwear.

Restrictions on neon signs were also announced, although the giant TV screens which dot Seoul’s cityscape are still switched on.

The power-saving drive follows measures imposed in neighbouring Japan to help lower blackout risks last summer, which limited the use of air conditioning following the March tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster.

With the majority of its nuclear reactors halted for routine inspections, Japan has also urged businesses and households to reduce consumption this winter.

Unlike Japan, analysts say South Korea’s power problems arise because successive governments have shirked charging consumers a realistic price for electricity.

Britain’s electricity price is about twice that of South Korea.

Critics say the office restrictions are counter-productive because workers smuggle in small fan heaters to hide under their desks.

But despite the complaints, the government is expected to maintain this winter’s policy for the foreseeable future.

“So far, people have followed the policy without much trouble and thanks to that, we are not going through severe electricity shortage issues for now,” Kim of the knowledge economy ministry told AFP.

“It takes 10 years to build a nuclear power plant and at least five years to build a liquefied natural gas plant. So we will have to try our best to reduce consumption rather than increase supply.”

The Mob Goes Green – Organized Crime Profits With New Jersey Recycling

NPR | Dec 7, 2011

by Korva Coleman

Felons tied to organized crime are earning millions of dollars in New Jersey’s poorly regulated recycling industry, despite a state law that sets out limited guidance. The State Commission of Investigation released a sharp report Tuesday called “Industrious Subversion – Circumvention of Oversight In Solid Waste and Recycling In New Jersey”. It finds state rules aren’t well enforced, state regulators don’t share information that could stop criminals and the law’s exceptions are so broad you could drive a garbage truck through them.

The bulk of the report is filled with example characters such as ‘The Landlord’, a felon who used leases to earn money off the recycling industry; ‘The Hidden Hand’, a felon who controls the waste company but outwardly appears to be just a lowly salesman; and “The Consultant”, a felon who runs a separate company but is paid handsomely for his advice to a waste and recycling firm.

Frank Lemmo Jr. is dubbed ‘the Poster Boy’ because he’s successfully exploited several loopholes in New Jersey’s waste and recycling laws. The commissioners say “despite multiple criminal convictions and known ties to organized crime, Lemmo profited richly from the industry, operating for years in plain sight without intervention by state regulators.”

When he emerged from prison, Lemmo set up a truck rental company that leased vehicles to a relative who collected recycling. He earned more than a million dollars a year until regulators stepped in. So in 2009 he sold the rental company for well over three million dollars a year. The trucks are stored on a parking lot that Lemmo still owns – he gets more than $100,000 in rent each year.

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NJ commission: Organized crime still in waste hauling business, now getting into recycling

The commissioners say 30 criminals got waste-related work in New Jersey after they were booted out of other states, mostly New York, which has stricter trash regulations, according to the Star-Ledger.

They’re worried about more than illegal profits. “Of particular concern,” according to the report, “is the vulnerability to corruption of certain activities, such as the recycling and disposal of contaminated soil and demolition debris that pose serious potential environmental and public‐health consequences.”

What are these companies dumping, and where are they dumping it? The commissioners say it’s not just old newspapers: “Class D recyclable material includes oils, antifreeze, latex paints, batteries, mercury containing devices, and consumer electronics.”

They want lawmakers to beef up regulations for proper waste and recycling disposal, cut felons out of the business and give the state attorney general new enforcement powers to make the regulations stick.

The BBC and an inconvenient truth about climate change


Toeing the party line: Attenborough put across his apocalyptic climate change message forcefully in the final episode of Frozen Planet

dailymail.co.uk | Dec 8, 2011

by Christopher Booker

From its breathtaking footage of killer whales hunting in packs to the scenes of penguins swimming with balletic grace under the sea ice, Sir David Attenborough’s BBC series Frozen Planet has been acclaimed as perhaps the most riveting sequence of natural history programmes ever produced.

The sophistication of the photography, the extraordinary endeavour of the film crews to get the best shots  and Sir David’s breathily authoritative commentary have had viewers entranced in their millions.

Last night’s was the final part of this landmark series, and it set a very different tone from his usual celebration of the natural world. This was because Sir David and the BBC decided to use the last programme to put over a particular message that has become all too familiar from the Corporation in recent years.

Sir David used the awesome shots of the frozen polar wastes to hammer home his belief that the world is facing disaster from man-made global warming.

No one can doubt the  passion of his belief. But in putting across his apocalyptic  message so forcefully, too many important questions on this hugely important subject  were last night neither asked nor answered.
Distorted

In short, it was a deeply disappointing end to the series — for it was the latest one of countless examples of how, in recent years, the BBC has chosen to make its coverage of one of the most crucial issues of our time quite deliberately, even defiantly one-sided.

The BBC is committed by its charter to report with ‘accuracy and impartiality’. Yet on climate change, it has adopted a clear ‘party line’, which has run through almost every aspect of its broadcasting.

Earlier this year, when the Mail serialised the memoirs of the respected former BBC news reporter and anchorman Peter Sissons, his insider’s view explained how the BBC had become ‘a propaganda machine for climate-change zealots’.

So distorted has the BBC’s coverage become that I produced a detailed report on the subject for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the ‘sceptical’ think-tank run by former Chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson, which is published today.

My disturbing findings show that the problem began a few years ago when the alarm over global warming was at its height. Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth — a sensationalist documentary warning of the imminent destruction of our planet because of climate change — was packing in vast audiences and being circulated to our schools to show to children.

Tony Blair was putting global warming at the top of his government’s agenda. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) was producing its scariest report to date.

At a secret ‘high-level seminar’ in January 2006, 30 of the BBC’s most senior staff listened as a former president of the Royal Society, Lord May, told them that ‘the scientific debate over climate change’ was over, and that the BBC must ‘stop reporting the sceptics’.

As a result, the BBC adopted a new editorial policy line, throwing any obligation to impartiality to the winds.

The BBC’s journalists and producers were let off the leash — to line up with the more extreme environmental pressure groups, such as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and Friends of the Earth, in pushing their global warming agenda for all it was worth.

This bias was soon evident across the whole of the BBC’s output. Not just in the news and current affairs coverage, but from children’s programmes such as Blue Peter —which titled one show Green Peter, with top tips to save the planet — to story-lines in The Archers, one of which involved a farmer planting trees to combat climate change.

Even producers of the BBC Proms got in on the act. In 2007 they commissioned a ‘music drama’ centred on a group of children who had lost their homes through floods caused by climate change.

Programme after programme promoted the climate change gospel, including a two-part documentary series by David Attenborough in 2006, which featured practically every scare story ever dreamed up.

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