Citizens vs Lobbyists: The Big Wind War

By John Droz, Master Resource

“I used to believe that understanding the basics, being passionate, working hard, and being on the factually correct side of an issue was enough. These ingredients are necessary, but are not sufficient. We also have to use effective PR techniques. Properly phrasing our message, its timing, and getting it to the right people are critical.”

As a citizen, my hope is that our representatives make technical policy decisions based on genuine science. Such an assessment would thoroughly review all pertinent technical, economic and environmental (which includes health) aspects of what is being considered.

To date that has not been the case with energy and environmental policies. The main reason for this is that citizens are engaged in an epic battle with lobbyists (representing clients with financial and/or political agendas) — yet most people are not even aware of this war, and hardly any are properly prepared for such an engagement.

Not surprisingly, the results so far are that the lobbyists are winning in a rout.

What’s going on with industrial wind energy is a good example. Right now in the US there are over two hundred local groups fighting this scourge. By and large these are informal collections of local citizen volunteers, who commendably share a common interest in protecting their community from these special-interest promoters. Some of these groups have been successful, others not. What makes the difference?

I have put on an energy presentation to thousands of citizens in the Northeast US, and have had the privilege of speaking face-to-face with many of these good people. Additionally I have corresponded with thousands of other group members, worldwide. These groups are amazingly diverse when it comes to the members background, organizational structure, website, funding, message, activity, etc. Which ingredients are the keys for success?

Many complain that they could be more successful if they had more money. Surprisingly, from what I have seen, the amount of financial resources such groups have does not correlate well with success rate. For example there are organizations with paid staff, a formal board of directors, office space, a professional website, significant money for advertising, etc. — and they have accomplished less than some other organizations with zero funding, no hired staff, no board of directors, no office space, only a basic website, etc.

How can this be?

I used to believe that understanding the basics, being passionate, working hard, and being on the factually correct side of an issue was enough. Over thirty years in the trenches has showed me that all these ingredients are necessary, but are NOT sufficient!

Everything today is really about Public Relations (PR). A lot of this can be attributed to the Internet, which has spawned the perfect storm. For example, within a few minutes we can now send messages (for free) that are read by millions of people. That is an extraordinary and unprecedented power — and it is aggressively used by lobbyists.
At the other end, recipients are in overload, due to an incessant bombardment of these communiqués. It is extremely hard for almost anyone to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Couple this with the fact that our academic system is not teaching critical thinking, and marketers simply salivate. They see selling us their product like shooting fish in a barrel. Since almost no one has the time or inclination to actually study anything, most people usually end up making decisions based on superficial sound bites (like “free, clean & green”).

That might be fine for toothpaste, but when it comes to some of the enormous issues of our times (global warming, alternative energy, etc.), such a methodology is woefully inadequate.

What this says is that we have to properly utilize these current realities, if we have any expectation of success against the lobbyists.

Put another way, this means that in addition to getting organized, being educated, and working hard, we also have to use effective PR techniques. Properly phrasing our message, its timing, and getting it to the right people are critical. Most citizens are not good at this, while this is the lobbyists’ forte — which is a big reason why they are winning.
So, back to why a well-funded group has no guarantee of being more effective than one comprised of all volunteers. In my view, the key decision that any fighting unit has to make is: what is their battle strategy going to be?

To identify optimum tactics, we need to start with a clear idea of who the opposition is–and what are their strengths and weaknesses. A careful assessment of this situation will reveal the reality that citizen groups fighting alternative energy promoters are the underdogs.

Briefly, the opponents are:

1 – The Wind Industry [lobbyists (e.g. AWEA), manufactures (e.g. Vesta), developers (e.g. Iberdrola), installers (e.g. Horizon), investors (e.g. Goldman Sachs), and some utilities].

2 – Most large mainstream environmental organizations (e.g. Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists).

3 – Some labor unions and businesses.

4 – Many Academics (e.g. at Pace, Stanford).

5 – Many of our representatives and agencies: Federal (e.g. Congress, DOE, FERC); State (e.g. legislators, PSC, DEC); Local (e.g. county, town board, planning board).

6 – Some of their neighbors (e.g. lease granting landowners, well-intentioned environmentalists).

Their adversaries’ strengths are:

1 – Many more people
2 – A lot more money
3 – Better marketing/PR skills
4 – More media support
5 – More political power
6 – A cause that has intuitive appeal (“all of the above energy options”)

Rather daunting, right?

Well, for comparison, what chance did George Washington’s ragtag group of untrained, unfunded volunteer farmers and fishermen have against the largest, well financed, most professional army and navy in the world?

The only chance that an outnumbered, out-gunned group has for winning is to take the high ground, and to exploit the enemy’s weakness. Fortunately, Big Wind has a fatal deficiency:

There is no scientific proof that wind energy is a NET societal benefit.

For example, wind is not reliable energy, or economical energy, or an environmentally friendly source of energy. Wind does not reduce our dependence on oil, or replace conventional power plants, or significantly reduce CO2 emissions, or create net jobs, etc.

Groups that focus on effectively attacking this weakness will succeeded more than others who do not.

Note that I haven’t mentioned aspects like turbine setbacks. There is nothing wrong with hitting that issue (or others) — as long as they are presented as just a part of the REAL problem:

There is no scientific proof that wind energy is a NET societal benefit.

The understanding that needs to be fully grasped by all concerned citizens is this: even if a wind related issue important to them is reasonably addressed (e.g. large setbacks are granted), that does NOT then make industrial wind energy a good thing! All it would do would be to make industrial wind energy less bad.

This is so because such a change would only address a small part of the Big Picture. Such a “concession” would certainly not fix the fundamental deficiency that there is no scientific assessment proving that wind energy is a net societal benefit.

The bigger picture perspective is that we should be promoting “All of the Sensible” — in contrast to the inane “all of the above”. What defines “sensible”? Well that is the type of productive conversation we should be engaging it — as vs such absurdities like: where are the “best” offshore wind locations?

In my 30+ years of fighting for various environmental causes, I have found that:

1 — Many citizens will get engaged if the issue is presented to them in the right way.
2 — If enough citizens speak up constructively, almost all self-serving representatives will back down.
3 — Citizens will take action to censure or remove non-compliant legislators — as they are no longer “representatives.”
4 — Active media support and the assistance of other organizations can be very helpful.

To maximize their chance at success, a citizens’ group must:

1) be organized,
2) be on the same page,
3) clearly understand the issues, and
4) employ effective PR techniques.

Is this easy to do? No! It largely depends on the abilities of the group’s leaders.

I compare it to baking a cake from scratch. To have it come out right they need to follow all the directions, carefully. Periodically I hear from groups that are not doing too well, and they insist that they are doing everything I’m advocating.

But they usually are like bakers who wing it. When I look into their situation it turns out that they have only some of the ingredients. Additionally they did not combine them in the right sequence, or with the proper amount.

Conclusion

We have a formidable adversary, so doing things just right is essential to maximize the likelihood of prevailing.

Our network’s new website, WiseEnergy.org, is an extraordinary collection of resources to help make this battle less one-sided.

Make sure to print out, study and use What Not To Say, which summarizes what I believe is the optimum strategy to usually take. I also recommend seeing an apropos (and inspiring) movie: Amazing Grace.

If all else fails, U.S. citizens have a nuclear option, which is applicable in most cases: a federal 1983 lawsuit (see #5). Other countries may have similar recourse if they engage a competent and aggressive lawyer.

– See more at: http://www.masterresource.org/2013/08/citizens-versus-wind-lobbyists-ii/#sthash.eWje19x3.dpuf

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Wake up young people

I have two grown children and three grandchildren. I was fortunate to have been brought up in America. I fear their future will be surviving in the new Europe.

Unemployment has reached a new high in Europe. Joblessness in the 17-nation EU currency area rose to 12.2 percent in the spring, EU statistics office Eurostat said, marking a new record since the data series began in 1995. The risk is high that will be your future unless you open your mind and ….do your homework on government and the economy.

Deepening unemployment crisis is a threat to the social fabric of the euro zone. Almost two-thirds of young Greeks are unable to find work, exemplifying southern Europe’s ‘lost generation’. In France, Europe’s second largest economy, the number of jobless rose to a record in April, while in Italy, the unemployment rate hit its highest level in at least 36 years, with 40 percent of young people out of work. In Spain, the overall unemployment reached a record 27.2% due to a combination of the progressive big government anti-business policies and the enviro pushed green energy subsidies. This green push (wind power is not only a health hazard to humans and deadly to birds (killing millions worldwide including many endangered species like eagles and condors), but among the most inefficient of all energy sources) caused energy prices to skyrocket, shutting businesses or forcing manufacturers overseas.

In Spain, 2.2 jobs were lost for every green job created and only 1 in 10 green job was permanent. In Italy it was 3.4 jobs lost for every temporary green job, Spain ceased subsidization, but the damage has been done. In Germany where electricity prices have doubled, 800,000 homes had their electricity turned off during the last brutal winter, the 5th straight such throwback winter to the Little Ice Age. In the UK 25 to 50% are in energy poverty. Many pensioners have had to choose between heating and eating. Bet you did not hear about the many tens of thousands of deaths in the cold. The German government remarked that solar provide 0% of the electrical needs last winter. In December 2010, when the UK had the second coldest December since the Little Ice Age in 1659, the massive wind farms produced less than 0.5% of their energy needs.

Sadly, even as Europe has soured on the green dream and are furiously building coal and gas power plants, our government is using Europe as a model. After you graduate with the burden of tens of thousands or in some cases well over $100,000 in college loans, you will find it difficult getting the job you need and deserve and the home you dream about. You can thank your liberal progressive teachers and professors and the Obama administration for misleading you into the direction this country should head and for the way you voted. Academics have tenure and don’t have to worry about losing their jobs. They are ideologues who refuse to concede the policies they and the administration in Washington (mostly Academics without real world experience) support, have caused the number of people working today to be lower than in 2008, and will limit the hiring of graduates in the foreseeable future. When I was a college professor, I taught my students how to think not what to think. Is that happening at your school? If not you are not being educated, just brainwashed.

Votes have consequences. The health care bill is hurting the middle class (insurance is not down $2,500 as promised but up by that amount for most families for less coverage). You will bear the cost of this monstrosity in the future. You will pay for it big time or if you opt out, you pay a penalty. And you will be burdened with supporting social security and medicare because the government already used the deductions to pay for its spending spree. Retirees paid for their support but that money is long gone. The ACA takes social security and medicare to a whole new level.

Despite what you have been told, corporations big and small are not evil. Entrepreneurs are demonized for being successful, but they are the job creators. Penalizing them diminishes the potential you have for getting a rewarding job and successful career. You have been lied to since elementary school in your science classes with the liberal green curriculum on climate change that demonizes fossil fuel energy. It is perfectly reasonable to be green minded and work towards conservation of our resources. But CO2 has been incorrectly blamed for the natural cycles of temperatures and weather extremes of drought, flood, hurricanes, tornadoes, heat and cold. It has been called carbon pollution, a term that really should apply to particulate matter, largely removed from even coal plant effluence with scrubbers.

In fact, EPA’s own charts show a 30% decline in these small particles and ozone the last three plus decades. Natural gas burns clean. The US is exporting fuel oil but no thanks to the administration, which has blocked drilling on all federal lands and offshore and has blocked the Keystone Pipeline. It is the heavy drilling and fracking in states on private land that has made the US as big as OPEC. After destroying the coal industry, the radicals at the EPA want to stop this and block natural gas by blocking the long used fracking process. The administration admitted openly they want $8 gasoline and heating oil to make their renewables cost seem less onerous.

Instead of a health hazard (inconceivable since every breathe you take emits 100 times more CO2 than is present in the atmosphere), CO2 is plant food and has helped greatly improve global crop yields and feed the increasing population. In future stories, we will show you how all the claims made demonizing CO2 have been falsified by real data including how global warming has stopped for 16 years and declined for over 10 years even as CO2 has risen almost 10%, sea level rise has slowed dramatically, there is no trend in drought, flood, hurricanes globally are coming off a 34 year low, tornadoes this season are fewer than any year since records started in the 1950s, the fires in the west the lowest of any year the past decade and the arctic had the coldest summer on record. The only weather event that has increased is snowstorms. 4 of the top snowiest years for the decade have been in the last 6 years.

But isn’t there a consensus of scientists on global warming? Sure among the scientists and modelers on the receiving end of some of the $100B in government, big fund and enviro grants.

But among those not feeding at the trough. 31,487 American scientists have signed a petition, including 9,029 with PhDs that concluded “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth.”

The great author and medical doctor Dr. Michael Crichton said about consensus:

“Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had. Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics.”

Carbon dioxide: The “gas of life”

Tiny amounts of this miracle molecule make life on Earth possible

Paul Driessen

It’s amazing that minuscule bacteria can cause life-threatening diseases and infections – and miraculous that tiny doses of vaccines and antibiotics can safeguard us against these deadly scourges. It is equally incredible that, at the planetary level, carbon dioxide is a miracle molecule for plants – and the “gas of life” for most living creatures on Earth.

In units of volume, CO2’s concentration is typically presented as 400 parts per million (400 ppm). Translated, that’s just 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere – the equivalent of 40 cents out of one thousand dollars, or 1.4 inches on a football field. Even atmospheric argon is 23 times more abundant: 9,300 ppm. Moreover, the 400 ppm in 2013 is 120 ppm more than the 280 ppm carbon dioxide level of 1800, and that two-century increase is equivalent to a mere 12 cents out of $1,000, or one half-inch on a football field.

Eliminate carbon dioxide, and terrestrial plants would die, as would lake and ocean phytoplankton, grasses, kelp and other water plants. After that, animal and human life would disappear. Even reducing CO2 levels too much – back to pre-industrial levels, for example – would have terrible consequences.

Over the past two centuries, our planet finally began to emerge from the Little Ice Age that had cooled the Earth and driven Viking settlers out of Greenland. Warming oceans slowly released some of the carbon dioxide stored in their waters. Industrial Revolution factories and growing human populations burned more wood and fossil fuels, baked more bread, and brewed more beer, adding still more CO2 to the atmosphere. Much more of the miracle molecule came from volcanoes and subsea vents, forest fires, biofuel use, decaying plants and animals, and “exhaust” from living, breathing animals and humans.

What a difference that extra 120 ppm has made for plants, and for animals and humans that depend on them. The more carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, the more it is absorbed by plants of every description – and the faster and better they grow, even under adverse conditions like limited water, extremely hot air temperatures, or infestations of insects, weeds and other pests. As trees, grasses, algae and crops grow more rapidly and become healthier and more robust, animals and humans enjoy better nutrition on a planet that is greener and greener.

Efforts to feed seven billion people, and improve nutrition for more than a billion who are malnourished, are steadily increasing the tension between our need for land to feed humans – and the need to keep land in its natural state to support plants and wildlife. How well we are able to increase crop production from the same or less acreage may mean the difference between global food sufficiency and rampant human starvation in coming decades – and between the survival and extinction of many plant and animal species.

Modern agricultural methods steadily and dramatically improved crop yields per acre between 1930 and today. That is especially important if we continue to divert millions of acres of farmland from food crops, and convert millions of acres of rainforest and other wildlife habitat to cropland, for biofuel production to replace fossil fuels that we again have in abundance. Carbon dioxide will play a vital role in these efforts.

Increased CO2 levels in greenhouses dramatically improve plant growth, especially when temperatures are also elevated; rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have likewise had astounding positive impacts on outdoor plant growth and survival. Lentils and other legumes grown in hothouses with 700 ppm CO2 improved their total biomass by 91%, their edible parts yield by 150 % and their fodder yield by 67%, compared to similar crops grown at 370 ppm carbon dioxide, Indian researchers found.

Rice grown at 600 ppm CO2 increased its grain yield by 28% with low applications of nitrogen fertilizer, Chinese scientists calculated. U.S. researchers discovered that sugarcane grown in sunlit greenhouses at 720 ppm CO2 and 11 degrees F (6 degrees C) higher than outside ambient air produced stem juice an amazing 124% higher in volume than sugarcane grown at ambient temperature and 360 ppm carbon dioxide. Non-food crops like cotton also fare much better when carbon dioxide levels are higher.

Research into natural forest and crop growth during recent periods of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, between 1900 and 2010, found significant improvements under “real-world” conditions, as well.

An analysis of Scots pines in Catalonia, Spain showed that tree diameter and cross-sectional area expanded by 84% between 1900 and 2000, in response to rising CO2 levels. The growth of young Wisconsin trees increased by 60%, and tree ring width expanded by almost 53%, as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased from 316 ppm in 1958 to 376 ppm in 2003, researchers calculated.

University of Minnesota scientists compared the growth of trees and other plants during the first half of the twentieth century (which included the terrible Dust Bowl years), when CO2 levels rose only 10 ppm – to the period 1950-2000, when CO2 increased by 57 ppm. They found that carbon dioxide lowered plant sensitivity to severe drought and improved their survival rates by almost 50%. Swiss researchers concluded that, because of rising carbon dioxide levels, “alpine plant life is proliferating, biodiversity is on the rise, and the mountain world appears more productive and inviting than ever.”

Other researchers used historical (real-world) data for land use, atmospheric CO2 concentration, nitrogen deposition, fertilization, ozone levels, rainfall and climate, to develop a computer model that simulates plant growth responses for southern US habitats from 1895 to 2007. They determined that “net primary productivity” improved by an average of 27% during this 112-year period, with most of the increased growth occurring after 1950, when CO2 levels rose the most, from 310 ppm in 1950 to 395 ppm in 2007.

How does all this happen? Plants use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide from the air, and water and minerals from the soil, into the carbohydrates and other molecules that form plant biomass. More CO2 means more and larger flowers; higher seed mass and germination success; and improved plant resistance to droughts, diseases, viruses, pathogenic infections, air pollutants, and salt or nitrogen accumulation in soils. Higher CO2 levels also improve plants’ water use efficiency – ensuring faster and greater carbon uptake by plant tissues, with less water lost through transpiration.

More airborne CO2 lets plants reduce the size of their stomata, little holes in leaves that plants use to inhale carbon dioxide building blocks. When CO2 is scarce, the openings increase in size, to capture sufficient supplies of this “gas of life.” But increasing stomata size means more water molecules escape, and the water loss places increasing stress on the plants, eventually threatening their growth and survival.

When the air’s carbon dioxide levels rise – to 400, 600 or 800 ppm – the stomata shrink in size, causing them to lose less water from transpiration, while still absorbing ample CO2 molecules. That enables them to survive extended dry spells much better.

(The 2009 and 2011 volumes of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change report, Climate Change Reconsidered, especially this section, and Dr. Craig Idso’s http://www.CO2science.org website summarize hundreds of similar studies of crops, forests, grasslands, alpine areas and deserts enriched by carbon dioxide. CO2 Science’s Plant Growth Database lets people search for more studies.)

One of the worst things that could happen to our planet and its people, animals and plants would be for carbon dioxide levels to plunge back to levels last seen before the Industrial Revolution. Decreasing CO2 levels would be especially problematical if Earth cools, in response to the sun entering another “quiet phase,” as happened during the Little Ice Age. If Earth cools again, growing seasons would shorten and arable cropland would decrease in the northern temperate zones. We would then need every possible molecule of carbon dioxide – just to keep agricultural production high enough to stave off mass human starvation … and save wildlife habitats from being plowed under to replace that lost cropland.

However, even under current Modern Warm Era conditions, crops, other plants, animals and people will benefit from more carbon dioxide. The “gas of life” is a miracle plant fertilizer that helps plants grow and prosper – greening the planet, nourishing wildlife habitats, feeding people who crave larger amounts of more nutritious food, preventing species loss, and even warming the Earth a little.

That is an amazing fete for a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that comprises just 0.04 percent of our atmosphere! We should praise carbon dioxide – not vilify, ban or bury it.

__________

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. His full report on the magic and mystery of carbon dioxide can be found at http://www.CFACT.org. 8/14/13

How environmentalists are killing the planet, destroying the economy and stealing your children’s future

They are green on the outside, but under the skin the deepest of reds. Their methods are neo-Marxist, especially in the adoption of a form of Trotskyite entryism. The green veneer derives from their first successful coup in achieving control of the environmentalist group Greenpeace, resulting in the departure of original members such as Patrick Moore, the co-founder. Their subsequent success in infiltrating and taking control of leading institutions of politics, science and the media has been nothing less than extraordinary. The organisation is diffuse, largely invisible and contains members who are highly various, ranging from violent revolutionaries to failed politicians who have turned their attention to personal wealth creation. In an age of specious conspiracy theories they have created the greatest and most lucrative conspiracy in the history of human civilisation.

They are savage in their treatment of opponents and critics: for example, in an inexcusable exploitation of the Holocaust, labelling them as “deniers”. A highly successful academic, who happened to be a global warming sceptic, was fired by his university (motto: “Open minds. Open doors”) without explanation; and should you think this was a unique occurrence it happened to another. That such things could happen in any university, let alone ones in the land of the free, would until recently have been unthinkable, but universities have now become so dependent on huge dollops of hapless taxpayers’ money, doled out to promote watermelon-sponsored causes, that they dare not put them at risk.

This then is the murky alligator-infested pool into which James Delingpole has dared boldly to plunge. He wryly and self-deprecatingly recounts his experiences of dedication to the cause of reason. He has discovered that overt scepticism brings you nothing but relative poverty and gross insult. One of the myths that the movement has successfully propagated is that sceptics are fuelled by massive funding from such sources as the energy industries. Not only do such sources not materialise, but such industries are often in on the rackets themselves. As for the insults, they come from a numerous body of hangers-on (Lenin’s useful idiots). Many (anonymous of course) are full of debased Anglo-Saxon epithets, while in other slightly more polite ones you get to be called “moron” by people who are manifestly unable to string together two coherent sentences. From the posh end you get ex cathedra pronouncements from the Court of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. He makes it up as he goes along, without evidence: for example “Sceptics have no love for nature and her works”. If he bothered to speak to some of them, he would find that the reverse is true, though they would tend to avoid the rather effete personal adjective.

The first chapter of this book is called Imagine, and is an ironic survey of what life might have been like if the watermelons had not existed. Then comes an account of Climategate, a momentous and outrageous event that in a rational world would have put an abrupt end to the whole caboodle. The suffix “-gate” has been much over used, but it is justified in the case of Climategate, as the political cover-up was as egregious as the original transgressions. The difference is that this time the whitewashers completely got away with it, an awesome demonstration of the power and influence of the watermelons in politics and the media.

The third chapter is about “The Science” which only the cognoscenti will recognise as something quite different from “Science” tout court. Further chapters entertainingly and comprehensively fill in the detail of the origins and activities of the watermelon movement. Chapter 8 is Welcome to the new order, an account of the way we are really governed today. It starts with the sinister Club of Rome and proceeds via a soporific catalogue of interlocked organisations to the UN IPCC. As the author warns us, boredom is a powerful political tool. It was notably used by extremist entryists to take control of the trades unions, who waffled on until the ordinary members had left and then put their killer motions to the rump of the meeting. The burden on taxpayers of keeping all these gas chambers afloat is colossal, but it is dwarfed by the costs of the policies they impose. The last chapter is a postscript, The big lie, the title being a reference to the well known Hitler quote.

Perhaps the most tragic event in all of this for lovers of science was when the Royal Society, having been taken over by a watermelon faction, changed its sceptical motto of centuries, to one that managed to be both banal and sinister. Recent Presidents of the Royal Society have been watermelons first and scientists second (Robert May for example).

Of the many corporate villains of this piece one of the most egregious is the BBC. The watermelons who have seized control of it have effectively torn up its charter, turning it into a shop window for their pet causes, especially global warming. It is not just the occasional extravagant spectacular, but also the constant daily drumbeat of reminders. If climate change really is real, why do they have to keep telling us so? After all, they don’t keep telling us the sky is blue. Could it be that they do not really believe it, but need us to believe it, so that we will meekly accept their policies that lead to world socialist government? With one exceptional circumstance sceptics never appear on any BBC channel. The exception is when they are being set up for a hatchet job.

Delingpole himself was the victim of a BBC stitch-up. Though it did not seem so to him at the time, this was a great compliment. It meant that they considered him to be a serious danger to the maintenance of the elaborate scenario so painstakingly created by the watermelon community. To an ordinary rational human being, what the BBC gets up to on these campaigns seems beyond reason, which ironically lends that organisation a spurious credibility. Who would expect any person or institution to devote enormous resources to obtaining many hours of video just so their editors can extract a few moments that cast their victim in an extremely unfavourable light? This, however, is just what they do, after a subtle seduction to induce cooperation by the dupe. In the case of Lord Monckton they made elaborate promises, such as editorial approval, which they casually broke, and then sent an “independent” crew to follow him round the world gathering material that could be given a condemnatory bias by cunning editing.

It is difficult for ordinary people to understand how the BBC now operates. It has virtually infinite resources (torn from UK households in the form of a sort of compulsory poll tax, currently £145 per annum). It grossly overpays its “stars”, many of whom exhibit blatantly limited talent, and also its overweening management. It still rests on the reputation it had in pre-watermelon times for sober and unbiased reporting of world events. Its prejudices wreck otherwise excellent programmes. While your reviewer was reading this book, BBC Radio 4 presented a fascinating piece on the great extinctions. It was genuinely edifying for about twenty five minutes, with contributions from obvious experts, but then came the “message from our sponsors”, a total non sequitur. A “climate scientist” was wheeled on. Guess what! You can forget all that stuff about volcanoes belching noxious sulphurous gases; it was all down to the dreaded carbon dioxide.

Finally, to intrude a personal view, your reviewer’s preoccupation with this subject began with his ancient and yellowing PhD thesis. Among other things this contains elements of quantum physics, measurement statistics and computer modelling; all of which turn out to be the sources of gross dubiety in the global warming belief system. The author of Watermelons started out as an undergraduate student of English at Oxford and went into journalism. It is personally fascinating that two people from opposite ends of the educational spectrum should arrive at virtually identical opinions.

Please read this book and then tell people about it, because the establishment media will most likely pretend that it does not exist.

John Brignell

June 2012

Europe Pulls The Plug On Its Green Future

As country after country abandons, curtails or reneges on once-generous support for renewable energy, Europe is beginning to realise that its green energy strategy is dying on the vine. Green dreams are giving way to hard economic realities.

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Solar panels in Spain, where 50,000 solar panels entrepreneurs face financial disaster following cuts in government subsidies. Source: AFP

Slowly but gradually, Europe is awakening to a green energy crisis, an economic and political debacle that is entirely self-inflicted.

The mainstream media, which used to encourage the renewables push enthusiastically, is beginning to sober up too. With more and more cracks beginning to appear, many newspapers are returning to their proper role as the fourth estate, exposing the pitfalls of Europe’s green-energy gamble and opening their pages for thorough analysis and debate. Today, European media is full of news and commentary about the problems of an ill-conceived strategy that is becoming increasingly shaky and divisive.

A study by British public relations consultancy CCGroup analysed 138 articles about renewables published during July last year in the five most widely circulated British national newspapers: The Sun, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, which enjoy a combined daily circulation of about 6.5 million.

“The analysis revealed a number of trends in the reporting of renewable energy news,” the study found. “First and foremost, the temperature of the media’s sentiment toward the renewables industry is cold. More than 51 per cent of the 138 articles analysed were either negative or very negative toward the industry.”

More than 80 per cent of the articles appeared in broadsheet titles The Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the report says, “but 55 per cent of these articles were either negative or very negative about the industry”.

EU members states have spent about €600 billion ($882bn) on renewable energy projects since 2005, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Germany’s green energy transition alone may cost consumers up to €1 trillion by 2030, the German government recently warned.

These hundreds of billions are being paid by ordinary families and small and medium-sized businesses in what is undoubtedly one of the biggest wealth transfers from poor to rich in modern European history. Rising energy bills are dampening consumers’ spending, a poisonous development for a Continent struggling with a severe economic and financial crisis.

The German Association of Energy Consumers estimates that up to 800,000 Germans have had their power cut off because they couldn’t pay the country’s rising electricity bills; among them, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported last October, are 200,000 long-term unemployed.

As The Washington Post writer Charles Lane observed at the time: “It’s one thing to lose your job because a competing firm built a superior mouse trap; it’s quite another, justice-wise, to lose it because a competitor talked the government into taking its side.”

Two weeks ago, the Czech government decided to end all subsidies for new renewable energy projects at the end of this year. “The reason for this law amendment is the rising financial burden for electricity consumers,” Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok said. “It threatens the competitiveness of our industry and raises consumers’ uncertainty about power prices.” In recent years, almost all EU member states also have begun the process of rolling back and cutting green subsidies.

Spain is a particularly cautionary tale. By failing to control the cost of guaranteed subsidies, the country has been saddled with €126bn of obligations to renewable-energy investors.

Now that the Spanish government has dramatically curtailed these subsidies, even retrospectively, more than 50,000 solar entrepreneurs face financial disaster and bankruptcy.

Germany, however, is the nation that has pushed the renewables agenda furthest and is struggling most with the unintended damage of the green energy shift, its so-called Energiewende.

Germany’s renewable energy levy, which subsidises green energy production, rose from €14bn to €20bn in just one year as a result of the fierce expansion of wind and solar power projects.

Since the introduction of the levy in 2000, the electricity bill of German consumers has doubled.

German households will pay a renewables surcharge of €7.2bn this year alone. In addition, consumers will be affected by indirect costs because industry, trade and commerce pass on their rising energy costs in product prices. And because green energy subsidies are guaranteed for 20 years, the costs threaten to rise exorbitantly as more schemes are being agreed. Energy bills are going through the roof, fuel poverty is rising and renewable energy policies face a growing public backlash. What is more, governments are increasingly concerned about the threat to Europe’s industrial base.

Germany has the most expensive electricity in Europe, with an average price of 26.8 euro cents (40c) a kilowatt hour. No wonder Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the rapid expansion of green energy programs is weakening Germany’s competitive advantage in the global economy.

The EU also is quietly rolling back its renewable agenda, which EU leaders now recognise has been raising energy prices across the Continent. At their summit in Brussels in May, leaders indicated that they intended to prioritise the issue of affordable energy over cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU summit signalled Europe intended to restore its declining competitiveness by supporting the development of cheap energy, including shale gas, while cutting green energy subsidies.

However, EU environment ministers are alarmed at the prospective rollback. They are seeking to prevent the development of EU shale resources by trying to introduce EU-wide environmental barriers.

Until recently, Europe had positioned itself as the global leader in climate protection and renewable energy, with Germany leading the way with ambitious targets and generous subsidies that boosted solar power and wind energy.

More than half of the world’s solar panels are installed in Germany. On June 6, Germany’s solar power production touched a new record of 23.4 gigawatts, meeting almost 40 per cent of the country’s entire peak electricity demand. But to understand that this record is quite meaningless, consider the grid’s narrow escape last winter. For many weeks in December and January, Germany’s 1.1 million solar power systems generated almost no electricity. During much of those overcast winter months, solar panels more or less stopped generating electricity. To prevent blackouts, grid operators had to import nuclear energy from France and the Czech Republic and power up an old oil-fired power plant in Austria.

Subsidies are extremely generous and guarantee investors an almost 10 per cent annual return for 20 years. Given such an unparalleled offer, it is not surprising that more than a million families already have installed solar panels. This solar boom, however, has saddled the country with obligations of more than €130bn in subsidies, leading to ever increasing energy prices.
As wealthy homeowners and businesses owners install solar panels on their homes and commercial buildings, low-income families, living in rented apartments, have to foot skyrocketing electric bills. Many can no longer afford to pay, so the utilities are cutting off their power.

To stop the solar boom, the government has reduced feed-in tariffs for photovoltaic schemes in the past few years. Since 2010, however, more than 5000 companies involved in the solar business have closed, shedding tens of thousands of green jobs.

Germany’s biggest companies, such as Siemens and Bosch, are abandoning the industry too. Their renewable energy strategies resulted in costly debacles. Siemens, Europe’s largest engineering company, announced in June that it would close its entire solar division, at a loss of about €1bn. Last month the Siemens board fired its chief executive, Peter Loescher. His dramatic dumping was seen in the context of a catalogue of disastrous misinvestments in the green energy sector he presided over.

For Bosch, another German giant, its move into solar ended in disaster too, costing the electronics company even more than Siemens: about €2.4bn.

During the past year, the wave of bankruptcies in solar has devastated the entire industry, while solar investors have lost almost €25bn on the stockmarket.

Now Germany plans to phase out subsidies altogether, its solar industry is likely to disappear by the end of the decade.

Most observers were convinced the energy gap caused by Germany’s decision, two years ago, to phase out nuclear power would be filled by wind and solar power. Hardly anyone realised that the extraordinary boom in renewable energy construction would generate a coal boom too.

In fact, German CO2 emissions have been rising for two years in a row as coal is experiencing a renaissance. But CO2 emissions in the EU as a whole are likely to rise because of increased coal burning at power stations. The revelation has embarrassed the German government and dumbfounded the public, which cannot understand how a nation that has expanded renewable energy more than any other country is building 20 coal-fired power stations.

In much of Europe, coal has become much cheaper than natural gas for power generators. The reason is the collapse of the EU’s emissions trading scheme and the subsequent decline in carbon prices, which make coal plants more economical than gas-fired power plants.

So far Europe’s emissions trading scheme has cost consumers more than €300bn. Massive amounts of green investments originally projected on the back of a high carbon price have been shelved and are no longer feasible. There can be little doubt Europe’s flagship climate policy has turned into an utter failure. In a realistic assessment of Europe’s policy shift, the International Energy Agency recently noted that “climate change has quite frankly slipped to the backburner of policy priorities”.

Of all the unintended consequences of Germany’s Energiewende perhaps the most extraordinary is the detrimental effect of wind and solar schemes on the price of electricity generated by natural gas. Almost 20 per cent of gas power plants in Germany have become unprofitable and face shutdown as renewables flood the electricity grid with preferential energy. To avoid blackouts, the government has had to subsidise uneconomic gas and coal power stations so that they can be used as back-up when the sun is not shining, the wind does not blow and renewables fail to generate sufficient electricity.

The mess is forcing struggling utilities to contemplate even more radical solutions. E.ON, Germany’s biggest energy company, is thinking of dismantling some of its European gas power plants, mothballed because they are no longer profitable, and relocating them outside the EU. Such farcical considerations become symptomatic of the unintended consequences caused by the rapid expansion of renewable energy.

Europe’s manufacturers are rapidly losing ground to international competition. Instead of putting money into the energy-expensive EU, investors are pouring money into the US, where energy prices have fallen to one-third of those in the EU, thanks to the shale gas revolution.

The naive assumption of policymakers that Europe’s main competitors would follow the shift from cheap fossil fuels to expensive green energy has not materialised. Europe, The Washington Post recently warned, “has become a green-energy basket case. Instead of a model for the world to emulate, Europe has become a model of what not to do.”

Europe’s strategy was founded on two fears: first, that global warming was an urgent threat that needed to be prevented imminently and at all costs; and second, that the world was running out of fossil fuels, which meant oil and gas would become ever more expensive. Both conjectures, however, turned out to be wrong.

The result of a fear-driven gamble with the Continent’s industrial future is a costly shambles that threatens to undercut Europe’s economic and political position in a world that is sensibly refusing to follow its lead.

Germany’s green energy strategy is likely to change significantly after federal elections on September 22; Merkel has promised voters to drastically curtail the €20bn burden they have to pay renewable energy investors every year should she win.

Australians would be well advised to watch this green train wreck very closely if they wish to avoid a repeat of the fiasco that is unfolding in Europe.

Benny Peiser is director of the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Hot Lies Disputed by Cold Facts

By Alan Caruba

AA - Global Warming Hoax

I have always found a stark contrast in the way the forecasts of meteorologists on television and radio are limited in accuracy to about a week and beyond that become more speculative while the claims about global warming are always stated in decades. For example, the polar ice caps were supposed to have all melted by now.

The daily forecasts are formulated based on sophisticated meteorological satellites. The global warming claims are all based on computer models, not empirical observation and data.

I am not a meteorologist, nor even a scientist. I am, however, a science writer who has followed the global warming hoax since it began in the late 1980s and picked up momentum as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing its computer-based doomsday claims.

The IPCC objective was to get nations to impose carbon taxes on “greenhouse gas emissions”, mostly carbon dioxide (CO2). Why anyone would want to tax CO2 when it is vital to all life on Earth is a mystery. The claim was that it was trapping heat. The essential flaw in all this scare mongering is that the Earth is an extraordinary self-adjusting mechanism and more CO2 is great news for thriving forests and growing crops.

Two friends of mine, both recognized as major voices in the world of meteorology, Joseph D’Aleo, a certified consulting meteorologist, and Dr. William Gray, were joined by Dr. Neil Frank, another respected member of the profession, in a July 8 letter sent to Keith Seitter, the Executive Director of the American Meteorological Society, these AMS Fellows, took him and the Society to task for continuing to push the bogus assertion that a “consensus” of its members believe that global warming is occurring.

THE REAL STORY ABOUT TEMPERATURES

A Wikipedia page notes that the American Meteorological Society was founded in 1919 and “promotes the development and dissemination of information and education in atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic science.” The Society has a membership of more than 14,000 professionals, professors, students, and weather enthusiasts.

Suffice to say, global warming is the greatest hoax of the modern era and is seriously undermined by the fact that the Earth has been in one of its natural cooling cycles for the last seventeen years at this point.

Even so, D’Aleo, Drs. Frank and Gray, felt compelled to put Seittler on notice. “We know you have used your authority as Executive Director to push the AMS ‘climate consensus’ position…” noting the way Seittler had worked “to refine the message to help sell the ‘consensus’ position to the membership and the public.”

Since the publication of science papers advances knowledge, blocking them has the opposite effect. “Your editors have slow-walked and thrown up obstacles to paper that challenge the ‘consensus’ position, often forcing authors to go elsewhere.”

“This pattern disturbs us, but there is another development that is even more disconcerting, and that is a campaign of intimidations launched by an advocacy group known as Forecast the Facts. While they claim to be a grass roots organization, the IRS tells us that Forecast the Facts is funded by the Center for American Progress, which is a left-wing advocacy group that has, in turn, been heavily funded by George Soros.”

“Forecast the Facts harasses TV stations whenever their meteorologists present a skeptical view on global warming, whether on-air, in blogs, local op-eds, or twitter accounts.” For the three men of science this kind of thuggish behavior, combined with the AMS position, has reached a point where they felt compelled to challenge it. It is occurring as the lie that a vast number of scientists support the global warming hoax is “failing miserably” when put forth by the AMS, the IPCC, and two government agencies, the EPA and NOAA.

The meteorological trio pointed out that “global hurricane frequency is at a 30+year low and strong tornado trends are down. There is no long term in droughts and floods. Snow and cold have been increasing in winter, not decreasing as the IPCC and NOAA climate reports have forecasted. We have seen deceleration in sea level rises.” The opposite of these facts have been the claims still being made in the name of global warming.

They concluded saying, “We also hope to hear from you that the AMS is not endorsing, or in any way colluding in or supporting, the tactics Forecast the Facts is using to enforce conformity with the official position of the AMS…”

In an August 4 blog post on IceCap.us, D’Aleo’s website, he reported on the response he received from Seitter who clearly got the message. “Personally, I do not feel the Forecast the Facts approach is a productive one and I have told them so on several occasions” referring their demand that weather reporters who do not hue to the global warming lies be fired.

D’Aleo’s post noted what Michael Crichton said about consensus. “Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming the matter is already settled. Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics.”

The time is overdue for the American Meteorological Society to abandon any role in advancing a hoax that Mother Nature herself has exposed. Three cheers for these three statesmen of meteorology.

Media ‘Green Wars’ Break Out

http://www.trendingcentral.com/media-green-wars-break-out/

It is the business of the Fourth Estate to be sceptical. Sceptical, that is, of government, of political agendas and of vested interests. While that scepticism still applies to Big Corporate, Big Oil et al, the mainstream media (MSM) has been asleep at the wheel when it comes to Big Green – and the huge amount of government largesse it receives.

But a twin-pronged attack by the UK Guardian and the US media watchdog Media Matters on other Western news media suggests that all that is changing.

Germany’s Der Spiegel recently ran a number of articles revealing a deep concern over the direction of Germany’s green energy policy since the knee-jerk reaction of its government, post-Fukishima, to dump its nuclear programme. In the UK the national papers have lately been on the case over the mind-boggling subsidies for wind and solar projects. The MSM has become aware of the facts that renewable energy is extraordinarily expensive, and that the public has grown weary of the Grand Narrative of climate alarmism without any real evidence. The latter was tacitly acknowledged even by the warmist editors at the New York Times.

In January, they laid off the paper’s entire complement of nine staff on its environment desk; a lack of public interest due to a lack of evidence, perhaps? Then on July 23rd, the doyen of the climate alarmist flag-waving media, The Guardian, ran two articles that revealed, as one opined, “The gloves are off” in the public debate over anthropogenic global warming (AGW)/climate change. Could it finally be true? Might we at last expect genuine debate in an area the MSM has long been guilty of attempting to close down?

The first article pulled no punches in attacking a raft of other UK national newspapers for conducting a “sustained attack on environmentalism”. The other carries a report from the US ‘watchdog’ Media Matters targeting the international news agency Reuters. It’s sin? Allegedly cutting its climate change coverage “by nearly 50 percent” after appointing a “sceptic editor”.

The Guardian’s Don’t underestimate rightwing desperation in media attacks on greens was penned by the aptly named Tom Burke. The author had in the crosshairs “influential journalists” at The Times, the Telegraph and the Financial Times (with ‘honorable mentions’ for the dailies Mail and Express). All are accused of writing articles “blaming the environment community for our current woes”. The “environment community”, presumably an exclusive club which alone cares about our environment, is concerned that much of the news media is mounting a “sustained attack on environmentalism”. But Mr Burke, it seems, has a very short memory.

For years all three, the Telegraph, the FT and (especially) the Times, have been essentially eco-alarmist, largely buying into the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change need for an anti-carbon dioxide war and its economy-sapping solutions. At best, the Telegraph has been even-handed in its coverage. Yes it does carry Chris Booker’s anti-alarmist blog. But it has also consistently carried the usual alarmist fair. Only recently have all three revealed a growing editorial concern with the increasing economic impact of government green policies.

Neither is the media generally conducting a “sustained attack on environmentalism”. Unless, that is, we mean the modern ideological version dominated by Left-wing social engineers? As with other alarmist writers, the theme of Burke’s article is one of moral self-righteousness. Only Burke’s “environment community” are concerned, it seems, for the general environment. Writers not of that community, simply bear “animus towards the environment”. Who does that?

AGW “deniers” were one and the same with “sceptics”. According to Burke, however, “deniers have become sceptics”. Confused? Burke certainly is. Above all he is irritated that a “cabal of ideologues and editors” are having the temerity to hold Big Green to account over its diagnosis, solutions and sheer cost. Burke calls for a Big Green counter-attack as, “An uncontested realm of public discourse is an occupied realm.” Anyone know what that means?

Burke closes by demanding three things. He wants media editors to be held to account on climate matters, the naming and shaming of writers who mislead the public on climate issues, and he wants to “mobilise the base of society”. I have no problem at all with the first. I have often done the second myself. As for the third, anyone know what the “base of society” is?

On the same day as Burke’s article appeared, the Guardian ran a separate piece reporting how Media Matters for America had identified that climate coverage by the Reuters press agency “fell by nearly 50 percent” after it had appointed a sceptic, Paul Ingrassia, as senior editor. For the uninitiated, Media Matters is anything but an independent group of public-spirited citizens.

In February 2012, an investigation by the conservative U.S. news site Daily Caller discovered that Media Matters is “foundation driven”. Since 2003, 54 percent of the $28.8 million of funds Media Matter raised came from activist liberal groups, including billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institutes, the radical Left-wing Tides Foundation, and the particularly vicious MoveOn.org.

The point being that Media Matters is no citizen-supported organisation operating in the wider public interest. Rather it is what Mr Burke might term an ideologically driven front group for a leftist social engineering …er…cabal?

The Guardian was making the point that while Reuters’ was cutting back its coverage on climate change, its mains competitor, Bloomberg, was expanding its coverage at the behest of its owner Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Michael Bloomberg, of course, is a de-facto Democrat with strong liberal and climate activist interests. As the Guardian reports, what set the Media Matter scrutiny of Reuters in motion was the departure of its former Asia Climate Change Correspondent, David Fogerty. Fogerty complained he had left because under Ingrassia’s senior editorship it “became increasingly difficult to get climate change stories published”. At this point, I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

Coming at the same issue from a ‘sceptic’ perspective I was reminded how, for over ten years, I found editors largely had a voracious appetite for alarmist/sensationalist material, but had almost none for fact-driven questioning scepticism.

So is Reuters’ Ingrassia simply another of Burke’s ‘anti-green cabalists’? Well, according to Fogerty, Ingrassia had explained that he was “just someone who wanted to see more evidence mankind was changing the global climate”.

And that, Messrs Burke and Fogerty, is something it appears we’d all like to see.

Peter C Glover is author of bestseller Energy and Climate Wars (Bloomsbury) and is a contributing editor at Trending Central.