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Divestment protests are astroturf: university students are paid pawns to be political activists

Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) study: Inside Divestment (pdf)

The Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement (FFDM) is running on more than 1000 American colleges and universities, and about 30 of them have “divested”. It’s embedded in the tertiary sector, some 4,000 profs have signed supportive petitions, and some teach it in lectures.

The authors of a new 290 page study on Divestment Campaigns say that it’s not the grassroots thing it poses as, but is driven by professional political activists and funded by wealthy donors and foundations. The organization pushing the US campaign, 350.org, pays and trains students to be activists. Key dates and events are decided from the top down.

It’s all another charade — the holier than thou promises to sell fossil fuel stocks are often just empty PR stunts.  Most divestment declarations are empty PR — 66% of the  universities are saying they divest but hanging on to some fossil stocks. And four universities have not sold a thing — including Oxford. (Where are those protests?). But in the end,  it doesn’t matter whether the divestments actually happen, a mere detail, because if they did, they wouldn’t affect the share price anyway, and they certainly won’t cool the planet. Success is not about cutting CO2, emissions, or investments, it’s about getting out a press release, and then hyping up the students. (Though if the students also talk their uni funds into buying up solar and wind, I expect some renewables investors might be happy about that. Ka Ching. Ka Ching.)

The protests are — as per the norm at higher education — not about free persuasive debate, but about bullying, intimidation and smears.  Fools like you and I might think students would be grateful for income from fossil fuel investments which fund their universities. Instead impressionable pawns are taught to hate the energy companies which probably help them make to their classes, and sit in a warm room when they get there. The whole idea is so nutty, anti-free speech, and bad mannered that naturally it’s most popular at places like Harvard, Stanford, Yale and  Swarthmore. That’s where the most competitive students vie to be the most fashionable thinkers. Err, “congrats” to them.

I want to know where the student movement is that is protesting that universities are putting politics above students. How much extra do students have to pay to make up for the money burned on a symbolic protest? What are students missing out on because the investment board chose less profitable investments? Where are those placards…

As the study details, most divestments are empty political promises with little financial effect on fossil fuel companies. The leaders of the movement see the sham divestment decisions as part of the strategy. “The divestment campaign is designed to fail,” said Rachelle Peterson, director of research projects at NAS and author of Inside Divestment. “The organizers’ goal is not to cause colleges to divest, but to anger students at the refusal of colleges to divest fully and to turn their frustration into long-term antipathy toward the modern fossil fuel-based economy.”

Wood explained, “The movement pretends to change the way we generate energy, but its actual aim is to generate resentment, which is fuel for political demagoguery.  The ultimate beneficiaries are rich people whose investments in ‘green energy’ will prosper only if they can trick the public to strand our reserves of coal, oil, and gas underground. They favor high-priced, inefficient technologies that happen to require massive government subsidies coupled with sweeping new government powers.  Students drawn by ‘save the world’ rhetoric and prevented from ever hearing arguments on the other side have become willing pawns for a movement that, rightly understood, is profoundly anti-democratic and that will also consign much of humanity to perpetual poverty.”

Are universities about

FFDM is political. Divestment turns the university endowment into a billboard for virtue signaling. It turns trustees and donors into political operatives rather than patrons of higher education.

· 83 percent of all divested colleges and universities in the United States are located in states that the Gallup Poll ranks as either “solid” or “leaning” toward the Democratic party. No state that is “solid” or “leaning” Republican has any divested colleges or universities.

The same group released a report earlier this year: Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism.

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183 comments to Divestment protests are astroturf: university students are paid pawns to be political activists

  • #
    michael hart

    “..some 4,000 profs have signed supportive petitions, and some teach it in lectures.”

    Around the turn of the century I was at the University of Washington when I saw an undergraduate course being offered which was teaching (something?) along the lines of “Science and Sociology as explained using The Matrix [movie]“.
    This was advertised in the Chemistry Department.

    The commendable concept of science-outreach is all well and good. But when you end up with science teaching being dictated by ‘what the kids want’, then you will simply end up with the latest or most persistent fashions. Conveniently, it still keeps the government funding and tuition fees rolling in.
    [I can have little or no honest objection if money is spent on real science. I have benefited myself. It is the politics and sociology riding science that gets my goat.]

    Thus we get “The end of the world as explained by climate science” and political/economic spin-offs like “fossil fuel disinvestment”. None of us is perfect, but if you strongly incentivize children, juveniles, or adults to act like morons then that is what you will get.

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    • #
      Bulldust

      Tacking this near the top – William Briggs akso covered this story:

      http://wmbriggs.com/post/17271/

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    • #
      Craig Thomas

      …except the well-known physical properties of CO2 – such as its absorption spectrum – are a pretty plain scientific fact that “what the kids want” has nothing to do with.
      Equating juvenile campus behaviour with established scientific fact sounds like confusion on your part.

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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Craig,

        I agree with the first part of your statement:

        “…except the well-known physical properties of CO2 – such as its absorption spectrum – are a pretty plain scientific fact”.

        What you probably don’t know as fact, since you are obviously not a scientist, is that the energy of the absorbed ground

        origin IR is at best described as “feeble”.

        Another “fact” that you were probably unaware of is that Natural origin CO2 is 96% of all atmospheric CO2.

        This leads to the next “fact” which I am sure you can calculate ; That human origin CO2 is maybe 4 % of airborne CO2.

        Our share of the greenhouse effect, which is a very loose term, but under the circumstances, is effectively zero when water and natural CO2 step up to the plate to gobble up the specific low grade spectrum they all share.

        No confusion, just science.

        Continued on from where you left off.

        KK

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      • #
        john karajas

        Judging by all your comments below, it would not surprise me if you were an Astroturfing operative.

        100

    • #
      Bill

      Not really a surprise, we’ve seen this sort of thing for years, especially the attacks on people and organisations/countries. It used to be confined to those dastardly folks who thought communism was a bad idea, that dictatorships harmed societies, who supported the right of Israel to exist and not be subjected to terrorist attacks (including the right for Israel to defend its people). Now, under the guise of all things “green”, it’s become a generalized attack on everything and everyone that draws their ire at any point, nothing and nobody is safe. Not only do they harass people and attack reputations, but they are also condoning/inciting acts of personal violence and public damage.

      Canada, despite claims from the left, is not immune. The major universities have become hotbeds for the same nonsense being taught elsewhere, including hate directed towards identifiable groups (meets the definition of “hate speech” by any measure), bit also provide the basis for complete politico-religious movements designed to fragment and destroy society in general along socio-economic, ethnic, religious, and familial lines. The oldest (some would claim most venerable) institutions have become the worst offenders in this regard, including MacGill, the University of Toronto, and Queens University. It has become so bad that the major universities have become suppressors of free speech and inquiry rather than supporters. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider how universities are governed and make them responsible to society rather than isolated islands immune from corrective action?

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        This is why its important that the raw data ( pre-”homogenization” ) is protected under lock and key.

        Socialism breeds “seagulls” – they squark, tear and cr*p all over everything, they are rats with wings…

        As Thatcher said “they are very good at spending other peopel smoney” which implies general uselessness except tearing stuff down and creating a mess and chaos.

        We need to get the message out to the 20-somethings that they have been hugely lied to, and that the data soesnt support the lie. They also need a crash icourse in the dangers of socialism and communism and how heavy in communism the CAGW nonsense is.

        I also advocate teaching people about Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao & Hitler – the fact they killed more people than in WW2 and were leftist thugs.

        Part of the problem is education has been duumbed down and dominated by “seagulls”.

        I was monitoring a conversation about illegal firearms in Australia over on The New Daily and there is one poster who is pushing heavily pushing the Communist aim of total gun control very heavily , he seems a professional agitiator and smart.

        Anothe rpoint i have noticed is that I’ve also heard many people comment on how completely useless and a huge joke the media is now – with very little fact checking and hype replacing solid journalism.

        I think the Left now so heavily dominates the media that the intellectual shallow end of th epool is all thats now used.

        We owe it to kids 10 or older to teach them about communism and history, about how the media manipulates people and how 75% of what you read in the media is complete fluff. Unless kids get a solid yardstick based on some form of classical education and rigorous teaching about logical reaosning and methods of propganada and deception, they are lambs tot he slaughter , and you will find your own kids turning against you if the seagulls get inside their heads….

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  • #
    Spetzer86

    They’re teaching how to protest and rage against inequities in US grade schools now. A sad state of affairs. Robin has had several posts on it over the years at http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/.

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    • #

      UNESCO – Ingsoc converter of the lambs.

      80

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Protest and rage against the machine, the same machine that gave so many a better life and could continue to raise quality of life for the most vulnerable on this planet, are these protesters prepared to accept the extra deaths when the planet cools and the machine is decommissioned?

      Next time some sustainability twerp bangs on about population, peak this, peak that, ask them if they’re fine with removing the possible life support for millions that haven’t had the chance to live as they have, nobody has the right to prejudge on someone’s right to live or how they would live that life, considering the astounding stupid behaviour from many so called high achievers in our society I would like to see how the real battlers would employ proven/sound technology, I guarantee inequality courses would not even rate against clean water.

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  • #
    Doug Proctor

    Interestingly, the student position is that this is not “political” but “social”, or “social justice”.

    The object, in democratic countries, of politics is to improve and protect its citizen-voters, and to do so in line with principles of good government and justice as set out in their constitutional rights. In other words, politics is the organizational system to create the desired social situation. You cannot divorce political action from social targets, and you cannot divorce the achievement of social targets from political action.

    Think of the Viet Nam war protests: a social goal of ending a war, achieved by targeting the political reality, achieved through political change. Politics.

    It is important to recognize that political activism is not separable from social improvements (or regression, for that matter). And, of course, the campaign against fossil fuel CO2 is not technical – the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere is, technically, unimportant for an adaptable biosphere – but social, in that the changes alleged to result are not desirable to various segments of the human world.

    I disagree with the divestment program, but the students are correct in applying political pressure in their attempts to change the current operation of their alleged demonic fossil fuel industry (I’m an oil and gas exploration geologist, one of their targeted imps, but that is irrelevant to my point here). Politics is how we mobilize for change. Unless you opt for totalitarianism, the politics of the crowd (or mob) is what drives action.

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Social justice is Communist speak for tearing down the solid pillars of society to replace with a grotesque re-engineered version that breeds division between sectors of society….in other words, class warfare…..divide and conquer…

      20

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    The National Association of Scholars (NAS) study: Inside Divestment makes a lot of sense, unlike “divestment” that has only the result that stocks (ownership) moves from one holder to another. Willing seller & willing buyer, and all that. This report is the best I have seen that explains the movement. There is zero economic justification for it.

    When someone tells me a falsehood, and I learn of that, I no longer believe that person (or government, or some organization). Maybe that’s how skeptics are generated.
    How then to explain the misinformation sources that exist for decades making proclamations and have enthralled followers? A new generation, perhaps, that has still to learn they are being misled.
    However, global warming seems to have a lot of older folks that willing take to the issue. How to explain them? Guilt? The need for a non-god-religious base to their existence? “Social justice” indoctrination?
    There must be a great number of new skeptics being generated (or about to be) by the global warming scam.

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  • #

    It is, as I have often stated, all about the money.

    Every green/far left movement, demonstration, etc. is financed by people who want your money. Every facet of the green movement, from global warming to saving the whales, is nothing more than an artifice or device to steal your money.

    Greens can not fathom the concept of contributing to society (i.e., getting a real job) so they steal from those that have real jobs.

    When the greens hold climate conferences online instead of spewing CO2 as they fly to vacation places that most hard working people can never afford to go will be the day hell freezes over.

    What a scam!

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    • #
      Craig Thomas

      So…when Sea Shepherd goes out there and defends our waters from the Japs (that our Navy is too gutless to do themselves), how are either you or I paying for that?
      When the feral greenies go and chain themselves up into trees, who is coming to you asking you for money in response to that?
      Your entire rant is utter nonsense – of course – environmentalism is quite simply *not* about the money. It’s about politics, moral belief, self-rightousness, whatever – it’s obviously not about money.
      (Yes, some companies adopt some “green” nonsense to help sell their product – that’s not environmentalism.)

      Meanwhile, coal companies are being propped up with bucketloads of taxpayer subsidies, AND, they are being allowed to continue pumping out CO2 into the atmosphere despite the economic reality that this constitutes a genuine externalised cost that – once again – the rest of us will be paying for.

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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Craig

        Where do you get this stuff?

        You obviously aren’t smart enough to compose it yourself.

        WWF, Christina? Julie of the black eye shadow? Prince Charles Equerry?

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      • #
        JohnRMcD

        What goddamned subsidies for the coal industry? Please list and explain.

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        • #
          Craig Thomas

          Not sure what your “goddamned” (lol – way to sound like a wacko) problem is, John, but there is nothing even remotely controversial about reporting the very plain fact that fossil fuel industry receives a huge amount of subsidies from the poor old taxpayer:
          http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/cost-of-state-mining-and-energy-subsidies-revealed-20140623-3aoxr.html

          And it’s a global problem/scam, as the IMF reports:
          http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2015/NEW070215A.htm

          What a waste of money that we could be spending on windpower which doesn’t pollute, doesn’t ruin the groundwater, doesn’t spread radioactive waste everywhere, and – as reported by the IEA – is now a cheaper means of producing power than even coal.

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          • #

            So undercharging for your fantasy environmental damage is a government subsidy
            How very communistic of you troll!

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          • #
            Keith L

            If you adjust the definition of subsidy to include tax breaks then it is an utterly useless word and serves no purpose. You would have to admit that I am subsidizing your breakfast each morning since I am rebating you one hundred percent of the tax I levy on it.
            In reality the only way to subsidize something is to load up the price on something cheaper. Since fossil is the cheapest form of energy it is impossible to subsidize it.
            My guess is that you have no quantitative skills in anything.

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      • #

        I live in an area controlled by a “green” council. I am a tree lover, but In their stupid misplaced “wisdom” these greeni local authorities have banned all non indigenous trees, so they are systematically cutting down all the advanced non native trees in our area!!! This is heartbreaking because it makes the place look like a concrete jungle!!! Every time I come across greenies in control I find idiots who put political correctness like this before the so called principles they are conning people they stand for, in this case preserving trees. Lefty greenies will always have some ridiculous political agenda that will stop them from doing what they would con you into believing they are there to do!!!!

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        • #

          I chained myself to one of these trees – a beautiful big palm tree – and managed to save it! I have more love for trees than any so called green ever did

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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Amazing stupidity by council Robert; most councils don’t care much about services and value for the ratepayer; it’s a political stepping block.

          Brave to stand in front of a greenie with a chainsaw.

          KK

          20

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Speaking of councils, the sudden push for amalgamation is based on the Soviet model of governance…..

            20

          • #

            Yeah thanks. I actually ended up doing a deal with the council where they agreed to leave all the trees in this category standing on public property near me if I agreed to pay a contractor to prune the dead branches off these trees from time to time. I got warned that they would cut them down if I didn’t do this. These trees are still there as a result, whereas they chain sawed all the trees further away from me. Can you believe you have to go to the this trouble to achieve what greens are meant to do in the first place?

            10

            • #
              KinkyKeith

              Of these people the old adage has great meaning.

              “like a chook with it’s head off”.

              Having “dressed” a number of chooks in my youth I can appreciate that saying better than most.

              KK

              21

      • #
        Aaron M

        Craig,

        You’re out of your league here. I’ll see you back at The Guardian a bit later.

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        • #
          Craig Thomas

          Actually, all we are seeing here is empty, fact-free assertions, bottomless ignorance, and illogical arguments, so this is clearly not even a league.

          I don’t know what you’re on about with the Guardian – are you among this plethora of ignoramuses that think a VPN will encrypt something that is being recorded under the Data Retention Act?

          17

      • #
        Bill

        1) Sea Sheppard and Watson are NOT defending anything, they are criminals and TERRORISTS. As a Canadian, I am disgusted by them.
        2) Watson’s brother served in the Canadian Navy and hated his guts, as do the majority of his family. On one operation in the North Atlantic, he tried to convince the ships Captain to turn the guns on his brothers ship.
        3) Keep your racism out of the discussion.

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        • #
          Craig Thomas

          I’m not racist, but if the japs come into our waters and steal our fish, I expect our Navy to do something about it – instead we see Sea Shepherd defending us because the navy is too gutless.

          And the point is – it didn’t cost me a cent.

          16

          • #
            Bill

            Not defending you at all. If you knew anything about the subject, you would not be cheering on watson’s thugs. As for your “japs” comment, grow up, it’s not 1945 anymore.

            20

      • #

        The environmental movement has been hijacked by anarchists and communists. Fools like you blindly believe and fearlessly follow. Lenin would call you a useful idiot. The Greens are led by people that could care less about you or anything else besides getting control and power so they are able to force their “green utopia” upon us all. They give the invisible hand of the free market the invisible middle finger of green hubris. They will not be content until we all toil under the green lash. If I looked the term situation ethics up in the dictionary they would probably have a picture of the Sea Shepherd next to it.

        The advent of the hydrocarbon era has transformed our society from an agrarian abyss where people toiled from sunrise to sunset and rarely reached their fiftieth birthday into one in which people have a much higher standard of living, leisure time and an average life span of over eighty years. The places on this planet where people don’t live the modern life, with its myriad and attendant benefits, are the ones in which the misanthropic greens have held them back and kept them down.

        The Green’s war on humanity has been relentless and has killed more people than that what occurred during World War 2. The war on DDT, fossil fuels, hydroelectric and nuclear power, etc. has destroyed generations of the poorest of the poor in Africa and Asia.

        The leaders of the Green movement should be tried by an international tribunal for crimes against humanity. [snip.] Their useful idiots should be exiled to the poorest areas of Africa and forced to live there until they repent and apologize for the lives they have taken!

        That would be justice. Unfortunately, we will probably never see it.

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        • #

          Dear moderator, I see you snipped my suggested sentence for greens found guilty of crimes against humanity. I find it interesting that in a post years ago on this very site I suggested the same punishment. Although it caused quite a stir it was left intact.

          Why was it okay then but not now?

          41

          • #

            I stand corrected. I just searched for the quote in question and found it.The comment was snipped before, as well. Jo even commented,

            “Eddy, don’t speculate on punishments meted out by courts. It’s unnecessarily inflammatory.

            Temp, don’t inflame it further by spinning it into something it never was. Eddy wanted legal trials and punishment.”

            My apologies to the moderator. Sigh! I must be getting old, er, older! ;-)

            40

            • #
              Craig Thomas

              It’s interesting that Eddy pretends to speak for Lenin AND advocates stringent punishments be meted out to those who don’t share his politics.

              *I*’m not the “useful idiot”, mate.

              07

              • #

                Yes, you are a useful idiot. Tragically, you are so indoctrinated that you cannot see the greens from the forest!

                [Craig and Eddy, This would be a good time to not continue this any further. :-) Thanks.] AZ

                40

          • #
            Bill

            I would tend to agree, the greens want people who disagree with them jailed so why shouldn’t those who force dangerous policies on humanity that cost lives be held accountable? “sauce for the goose”.

            40

      • #
        AndyG55

        “are being allowed to continue pumping out CO2 into the atmosphere ”

        Yes.. WONDERFUL, isn’t it :-) The Earth’s plant life will LUV it.

        And guess what.. with China , India and many many other countries requiring good solid energy, those CO2 emission levels are going to keep going up and up. :-)

        Live with it.. sook !! :-)

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      • #
        AndyG55

        “coal companies are being propped up with bucketloads of taxpayer subsidies”

        That is a total and absolute LIE !!

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        • #
          Craig Thomas

          What kind of nincompoop would make such a silly assertion?

          http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2011/11/1/smart-energy/nsws-great-big-coal-subsidy-scandal

          Why not do some reading so you can come across as being informed?

          05

          • #
            AndyG55

            And the income into Australia from wind and solar is ????

            That wasn’t a subsidy, it was an investment to maintain income.

            Next.. are you going to say the diesel tax rebate is a subsidy, that’s the usual line.

            Coal provides a huge income into Australia,

            wind/solar .. NOTHING. they are a drag on the economy.

            40

          • #
            AndyG55

            Anyway, don’t worry Craig, coal mining is expanding at rapid rates in many countries around the world. There will be plenty of CO2 for many decades and centuries to come. :-)

            Did you know that Indonesia overtook Australia as a coal producing country in 2013.. part of the reason prices are low. And they have plenty and are more than willing to sell it off to China, India .. whoever needs it.

            Sorry, child-mind, but the global emissions of CO2 will continue to grow apace, and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. :-)

            The anti-CO2 agenda of the AGW scam has failed miserably.

            The related totalitarian socialist agenda that you are part of, is yet to be decided.

            50

  • #
    Manfred

    Bill McKibben & UNEP Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP & under-secretary-general of the UN share the same European Green Party platform, “Missed our International Divestment Conference in Paris?” Can their be any doubt about their combined mission?

    And if there is any residual doubt about ‘divestment’, it can only be that there is insufficient compulsion. This is of course being addressed as we speak.
    New Report Launched to End Debate Surrounding Environmental, Social and Governance Issue Integration and Fiduciary Duty

    This report published by UNEP FI, with partners Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), UNEP Inquiry and the UN Global Compact aims to end the debate surrounding environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and fiduciary duty.

    “The report, which was formally launched at the PRI in Person Conference, London, following a ‘soft’ launch in Rio de Janeiro, is based on an analysis of fiduciary duty and investment practices in eight countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, the UK and the US.”

    “Despite significant progress, too many investors are not yet considering ESG issues in their investment research and decision-making. Failure to consider long-term investment value drivers, which include ESG issues, in investment practice is a failure of fiduciary duty. Furthermore, even with investors that do accept the argument that they should consider ESG issues in their investment processes, implementation remains variable. The report examines the reasons why investors are not systematically integrating ESG as part of their fiduciary duty and proposes practical actions for institutional investors and policy-makers to address these barriers.”

    Be assured, it won’t be too long before fiduciary duty is directed to preordained investment, if the likes of Christiana Figueres at the UNFCCC and her UNEP totalitarians in arms are left to advance their agendas unchecked.

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    • #

      Kick the UN from NYC, forcibly if required! Stop all payment to the UN, as they have clearly violated their charter. Relocate all to a leaky ship at the current north pole. They can then go round anticlockwise, with no fear of overheating by 2°C

      50

  • #
    Peter Miller

    It is fine for students to be idealistic, the problem is their enthusiasm for causes are usually hijacked by their elders with their own, usually dodgy, agendas.

    Let us never forget that Experience and guile will always beat youth and enthusiasm.

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  • #
    TdeF

    star comment
    Since the takeover of the Green movement by displaced communists in 1988, it has sought to economically and politically destablilize democracies from within. As always, the most impressionable and easily manipulated people are the young making the transition from believing everything they are told to questioning everything they are told. It has always been this way. Most soldiers are 18 and even enthusiastic about going to war, whether on the battle field of Ypres or against the energy companies. Add another ten years and those who survive question who sent them and why.

    Now Green activism is a $1Bn a day business, and enthusiastic footsoldiers join forces with the people who make a lot of money from it, the Krupps of the day who want war. “Give me a child when he is seven and I will give you the man” is wisdom which goes back to Aristotle. In our modern world with an education system which has young people learning by rote until they reach university, give me a child when he is seventeen and I will give you the activist. This is how communism survived until the 1990s, control of the information and censorship. Now you have an unholy alliance between the communist Greens and the very left media, to starve children of the facts. Anyone who dares question is silenced by peer pressure.

    Scepticism is a characteristic of older, wiser people. It is the defining characteristic of the rational scientist. Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am. Logic and evidence, not emotion.

    Unfortunately worldwide, our very left journalist classes are teaching communism doctrine and looking around for capitalist enemies. So we have the appalling situation where the very energy companies which have created a massively better quality of life for some are being attacked by the same people as capitalist oppressors and anti environmental. This absurdity will doom the world’s poor to eternal suffering and war.

    If only the $1Bn a day was being spent on energy storage, disposal of nuclear waste, fusion, thorium, new metal recycling and battery technologies like aluminum and fuel cell and lifting the quality of life for the poor. Once again the unwitting tools of the communist cause are unthinking young enthusiasts looking for a cause.

    It has always been like this and the political commissars of the Greens have joined forces with the money men of big Wind, big Carbon, big Solar and the merchant banks. Amazingly it is blogs like this which keep the spirit of Rene Descartes alive. Underground resistance using facts and logic, not emotion. No wonder in Australia Labor and the Greens want to drop the voting age to 16.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Did cogito ergo sum get this into moderation?

      –No idea. :- ( Jo

      50

    • #
      sophocles

      You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

      You can lead (guide, steer, push, chase, herd … ) students towards knowledge, but you sure can’t make them think.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        We are in an unpleasant situation where we have to tell primary school kids they are being lied to by their teachers….as long as teachers dont push back on the curriculum and agree to teach kids The state sponsored Big Lie, they are fair game.

        I might add I dont want this fight – gone are the days when kids learn basic education, now they are dragged into a war of attrition by state sponsored propaganda and the state expects peer group pressure will win out…oh how wrong they are.

        Alea Iacta Est.

        30

        • #
          Bill

          True. Having multiple advanced degrees, I am repeatedly having to correct the teaching materials used with my youngest (in college) and my granddaughters. Teachers are not teaching anymore, they are indoctrinating.

          20

    • #
      Yonniestone

      In ancient Sparta boys aged 7 would undergo training in the “agoge”, this system was adopted to produce the best defenders of their nation against genuine threats, as you point out what are these new green foot soldiers defending against?, every developed country already has a trained defence force.

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        TdeF

        Enemies of the state. A generation of enforcers of the politically correct against those who would challenge left wing orthodoxy including climate change. Intimidation and muscle. Free speech is the first thing to go. You can make your own list of the things you are no longer able to say in public.

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          Yonniestone

          You can make your own list of the things you are no longer able to say in public

          And yet I still say them :)

          Most here know what not to say from being taught manners and etiquette, a far cry from persecuting free speech on politics or science.

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    Ruairi

    Many gullible students are tools,
    Of alarmists in college and schools,
    For endorsing the Greens,
    Through renewable schemes,
    And divestment of all fossil fuels.

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    John Robertson

    “The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it” PJ O’Rourke.

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    John Watt

    Off topic but are Geoff Cousins and ACF having an Oscar Wilde moment by taking Fed Govt to court over Adani approval? If David Evans and John Nicol are on the right track aren’t ACF ,the aggressor in this court action, actually the guilty party. Haven’t they been trumpeting the false Gore/IPCC message and misleading the public? Will the Gore/IPCC story be able to withstand the scrutiny of the court process?

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      TdeF

      It is very interesting that a court is being asked to decide whether coal is damaging the Great Barrier Reef. After all, humans have been generating CO2 for a century and UNESCO just reported that there is no problem at all, so there is no obvious basis for this claim. Nor is it about a snake, a skink or a bird. It is about delaying and so stopping the export only of Australian coal.

      Commercially , this only pushes Indonesian coal exports, as Indonesia has risen to nearly eclipse Australia as the world’s largest coal exporter at 25% each. There are huge amounts of money at stake in this industry and there is no expectation that world coal exports will slow let alone stop. It is only about stopping the Australian coal industry. You have to ask why? Sorry, I forgot the skink.

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      clive

      Thesooner this goes to court,the better.Is that an “Own Goal”or what?

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      • #
        ianl8888

        Sorry, Clive, but the lawyers for the ACF are very experienced at judge shopping

        Yes, the case is to be heard in the Federal Court but only one (1) judge is required for this hearing

        Appeal by either side is then possible, eventually to the High Court, but Adani may by then have run out of time and patience

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        • #
          clive

          We should do what India has done,make it illegal for these “Lefties”to operate here.They are costing us jobs and revenue.

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  • #

    “Oil prices are flirting with settling at their lowest level since late Aug. 27, when WTI ended at $42.56 a barrel, according to FactSet data.”
    The price is well on its way to going negative. Abiotic oil if untapped will soon start gushing up all over the place. The only way to prevent this pollution is to turn it into beneficial CO2. ACT NOW! Sadly this may require a global effort that is too big for our current population. Peak usage may have been reach but supply of this natural renewable will not stop for humans. Our planet could look like Triton and Titon soon if we do not get to work. Solar warming may have caused the increase in abiotic production. Sadly The TSI is still up.
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-under-pressure-as-investors-brace-for-rising-stockpiles-2015-11-11

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      As well as warming from increased Total Solar Irradiance, the natural increase in abiotic oil production could be made worse by wind turbines reducing convective cooling of the planet. Yes anthropogenic global warming is real and is caused directly by wind turbines.

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  • #
    John Robertson

    i must admit I am immensely enjoying the universities reaping what they have sown.
    This is the progressive way, they scream and fling faeces , then they devour they own.
    The ideology intolerance and ignorance of human nature the academics have fostered is an ugly blot on civil society.
    Let the Credential Mills burn.

    Back in 1984 I had the misfortune to argue with two university of Otago Philosophy students. They had memorized John Stuart Mill on Liberty, without understanding a word.
    Now we have two generations of ” Participation Award” children compounding the malaise..
    Buy Popcorn.

    Universities are dead and good riddance.
    A motivated person can actually gain a useful educate online today.
    Look how many of us have taken the trouble to educate ourselves about our climate, as a part-time after work exercise.
    After stopping to consider the CAGW message, I started to seek more information, I have learned many things, about climate weather and mass hysteria of the herd.
    This is the future of education.

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    PeterS

    Universities by and large are the last place to go and learn the truth. This satire is so close to reality it’s not funny: Modern Educayshun

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    George McFly......I'm your density

    University: a sheltered workshop for the mentally abled

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      PeterS

      Interesting article by Andrew Bolt on “Safe space” which is what Universities tend to be these days. Trouble is such “safe places” are divorced from reality, and that’s the problem.

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        Retired now

        The concept of safe space is fundamentally flawed. It is ridiculous to give in to the demand of students to be psychologically safe, where they will never be able to be challenged and where their ego is so attached to being right that they cannot consider another point of view without being hurt, “emotionally destroyed” or other over the top meme. And the bullying that goes with the demand to never challenge their memes is not only psychological but physical.

        Life has never been safe – physically, socially and/or psychologically. Part of life’s lessons is to learn how to manage the risks and how to consider and deal with other’s views.

        Perhaps we, as adults, need to recognise and address and manage the current bullying by SJW (so called social justice warriors). They didn’t choose the word warrior for nothing. They are at war with our culture and the sooner we not only recognise that but improve our own battle skills and realise that in playing the war/warrior/fighting metaphor that takes no prisoners, its either kill or be killed. I don’t want to lose the gains we have made over the decades and centuries – our freedom of speech and the equality of men and women in particular. Hence I, and others who want to keep our freedoms, have to reorient ourselves, organise ourselves, learn the difference between strategies and tactics and realise we actually are at war. The leftie socialist war has gained such momentum (global warming, anti coal, SJW harassment, ABC, MSM, the Turnbull takeover, the gimmigrent invasion of Europe, the tolerance/acceptance of political Islam with the concomitant raping of women and western culture) that we can no longer pretend it hasn’t happened and just get on with our lives hoping they will go away. They won’t and if we don’t oppose them they will win.

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    Andrew Richards

    Insidious totalitarian cronies. But this will, I believe, back-fire badly. You can fool some of the people some of the time…

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      PeterS

      That’s true to a point but don’t underestimate the power and influence of the so called social justice warriors. Hitler was one example. Things tend to go too far before people get the energy and interest in rising up against evil.

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    You harangue somebody to divest somebody else’s money from an industry on which you will continue to rely utterly (even right through the orgy of ingratitude known as Earth Hour)…Your work is done! Being an activist means never having to preach feminism or gay rights in Lakemba.

    Remember how everyone clever was a fearless opponent of nukes back in the 80s? Our local council here on the midcoast of NSW had a sign proudly proclaiming our nuclear free status. Of course, a few isotopes would have come up and down the highway, defying our ban, but to this day there is no nuclear reactor between Crescent Head and South West Rocks. We sure showed ‘em.

    Much as I like children, I really would love to live in a world where the journalists, academics and intellectuals are all adults. I’ve just got a thing about that. Call me a dreamer.

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    Employment Lank

    To counter this there could be a FFEM (Fossil Fuel Employment Movement) which selects new earth science graduates for industry employment in ‘fossil fuel’ industries.
    Of course only graduates from educational institutions which did not have a satisfactory investment in FF industries would be considered.

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    Ross

    The thing about the divestment push I like is that the proponents always include Norway ( not just universities) in their spin. They just cannot join the dots and realise almost all Norway’s huge wealth came from and continues to come from those evil fossil fuels.

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      Norway are absolute stars at sending their carbon offshore while sucking money back onshore. They also look after their toxic waste by sending it next door to Sweden, who take the hit for the Scando team (and for some of those nice petro-kroner).

      Are we are now entering the post-Ethel Merman Period, wherein there is no business EXCEPT show business?

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    pat

    10 Nov: Science2.0: Hank Campbell: Fossil Fuel Divestment: An Intellectual Placebo For The Wealthy College Near You
    In 2015, with a nearly $20 trillion debt and chronic un- and under-employment in the United States, public financing is not going up any time soon. That means more scientists will either join the private sector officially or be financed by it. For that reason many schools are playing it down the middle. Oxford said it won’t invest in tar sands, for example. Meanwhile, they get more money in grant funding from fossil fuel companies than they get from the UK government.
    I use the term “intellectual placebo” for two reasons: First, this is not a student movement, as Mr. McKibben hoped, it is instead “astroturf” – the movement is not really green, it is instead organized, financed and run by professional green activists; second, it is just fake…
    http://www.science20.com/science_20/fossil_fuel_divestment_an_intellectual_placebo_for_the_wealthy_college_near_you-158963

    plenty of figures in the following:

    23 Oct: Energy Desk Greenpeace: Maeve McClenaghan: Investigation: Top universities take £134m from fossil fuel giants despite divestment drive
    The majority of all the funding – nearly £100m – went to the University of Manchester, University of Cambridge, Imperial College and Oxford University…
    The data showed that funding from just two companies, BP and Shell, was equivalent to an eighth of all the public money which went to fund energy related research…
    Nearly a quarter of the universities explored received more money from fossil fuel companies than from another major science funder, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
    Greenpeace found that EPSRC provided £235,521,962 research grants to universities for projects that partnered with Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil…
    At the University of Oxford, BP has given millions to fund the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies…
    http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2015/10/23/data-top-universities-take-134m-from-fossil-fuel-giants-despite-divestment-drive/

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    pat

    in a sponsored article, Guardian is shilling for Blood & Gore’s Generation Investment Management today:

    11 Nov: Guardian: Marc Gunther: How to free your investment portfolio from fossil fuels
    Wealthy institutions like pension funds can get sophisticated advice on divesting fossil fuels. For individual investors, it’s not so easy. Here’s our advice
    High net worth individuals, with assets of $1m or more, can access such sustainable investment managers as Generation Investment Management, the London-based firm led by Al Gore, which has done very well for its investors, according to this deep look in The Atlantic…
    http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/nov/11/individual-investors-fossil-fuel-free-porfolios-funds

    Nov Issue: The Atlantic: James Fallows: Saving, Capitalism-Subverting, Surprisingly Lucrative Investment Secrets of Al Gore
    The former vice president has led his firm to financial success. But what he really wants to do is create a whole new version of capitalism.
    The minimum investment Generation will accept in its main fund is $3 million, and even then individuals must show they have total assets many times that large to be “qualified investors.” And besides, its most successful fund is now closed to new investment. Instead he and his colleagues are aiming at a small audience within the financial world that steers the flow of capital, and at the political authorities that set the rules for the financial system…
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/11/the-planet-saving-capitalism-subverting-surprisingly-lucrative-investment-secrets-of-al-gore/407857/

    criticism & further commentary to come in followup comment/

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    Say, I suppose it’s a little Off Topic, but related somewhat.

    This is just from yesterday, and I suppose it’s relatively common knowledge, but it’s interesting to see it getting into print, at this time, in the lead up to Paris.

    Cold Sun Rising

    Tony.

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      Manfred

      Nice article Tony, thanks.

      The sun will go into “hibernation” mode around 2030, and it has already started to get sleepy.

      It seems there’s quite a lot hinging on 2030. I had thought ‘hibernation’ mode was closer. The UN post-2015 Millennium Goals project a target date of 2030? Do they need their major pitch at installing global governance to be successful before the wheels finally fall off this politically orchestrated climate charade and most realise that Emperor is indeed naked?

      No, of course not. Silly thought.

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      Craig Thomas

      I notice your article’s conclusions are based on modelling.
      I thought modelling was Evil?
      Or is your attitude to modelling a bit more nuanced than I thought…?

      I also notice this isn’t actually “news” as it refers to an event that took place 4 months ago.

      Do you suppose this is a political stunt, maybe?

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    doubting dave

    Jo , in your headline for this post you use the phrase ” ASTROTURF ” it occured me that some readers may not fully understand the meaning of that phrase, in a recent open thread i posted a video from an American journalist Sharyl Attcisson that explains astroturfing as well as i have ever come across. Sharyl doesnt mention climate during her presentation , but she might as well of . Its a must watch video so i’ll repost it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU , for those of you that have not seen this video , please please please watch it , because in my humble opinion its by far the best video i have seen for a long time , and this woman is a star ;)

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    • #
      Manfred

      I would not have known about ‘astroturf’ had I not been educated by your link to SA. Thank you. The phrase hasn’t yet quite reached the common vernacular.

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    • #
      john karajas

      Excellent link doubting dave.

      I suggest a new term: “ASTROTURF MEGAPHONES”. A prime example would be “Our ABC”, a purveyor of BS for, at least, since the early 1970′s. But then, most employees of our taxpayer-funded broadcaster are morally superior people, aren’t they?

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      R2Dtoo

      Sharyl posted a report in the last two days on the US National Institute of Health’s cover-up of a major study of flu vaccines and seniors. Must search and read! More government manipulation of science. I’m not where I can access the article, but read it earlier today. The public is being duped on many issues. Sharyl A. is one of few real journalist left.

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  • #
    Egor TheOne

    They preach their Totalitarian Rubbish in our pre and primary schools .

    Did anybody seriously think that the secondary schools , colleges and especially the universities would not be taken advantage of by the Marxists and Totalitarians .

    How people on low paid job are taxed to pay for the elites free university degrees !
    Which is Shady Shorty’s promise to gain their votes .

    The outrage that even 40% costs of university degrees have to be paid by the beneficiaries only once they can afford to …..what a tough life these high moralites see themselves as having .

    And yet these highly ‘educated’ (indoctrinated) freeloaders choose to propagate CAGW with zero scientific evidence but endless propaganda ,strikes and protests.

    An educated braindead ,many of whom end up at the ALP ,the Greens, and /or biased journalists for the True B’lver AlpgreensBC .

    50% AlpgreensBC journos are Green , 35% Alp ,with only 15% coalition ….Yea , the Marxist version of balanced .

    Science is not needed , just the Knowledge of how to BS the gullible ….more scary stories means more money for great big new taxes and private junk project funding .

    If this CAGW is not a long term deceit , then why was Al Gore’s BS doco flogged in the U.K. junior and preschools ?

    Simple , they will brainwash our young minds with this garbage if they cannot succeed with the adults .

    Now it is Cop21 . If this fails there will just be cop22 ,etc ,until they achieve their Unelected Nutters(U.N.) Totalitarian rule ….the current EU is already a model of this and just look how well they are doing ….they cannot even protect their borders ,and even some are now blaming an imagined CAGW for this mass exodus …..yet another excuse for more CAGW taxes !

    This CAGW delusion will continue until a stop is put to it , and good science will continue to be ignored .

    The political and the elite are too powerful and this must be ended before we really are in serious trouble .

    We are being rorted by those who couldn’t care less about this CAGW non event , but you can bet that they will milk it for every dollar they can and will laugh about it and how gullible we are behind closed doors .

    They must look us and think to them selves “Here Come the Sheep” ……Its Fleecing time!

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    • #
      Egor TheOne

      He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.

      Albert Einstein

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    Dennis

    From The Electronic Whorehouse by Paul Sheehan.

    I think we are dealing with an octopus … Advertising as news. It’s skilfully done. The methods of seducing the media, the ingenuity of spin has reached the point where we, as a general public, have never been lied to by such sophisticated means as now.

    Lies, fabrications, character assassinations, reputational rapes, point scoring, axe grinding, sneering, smearing and generalised weaselling have become standard fare in the media.

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    • #
      Egor TheOne

      Sounds about Right !

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      el gordo

      ‘Lies, fabrications, character assassinations, reputational rapes, point scoring, axe grinding, sneering, smearing and generalised weaselling have become standard fare in the media.’

      Its what the yellow press do best and have done for centuries, but the ABC is a worry.

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      • #
        Dennis

        Another quote;

        Lies, fabrications, character assassinations, reputational smears, point scoring, axe grinding, sneering, smearing and generalised weaselling have become standard fare in the media. This is the terrain of The Electronic Whorehouse.

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        Egor TheOne

        The AlpgreensBC is the worst offender !

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    • #
      Craig Thomas

      Like…publishing Tim Flannery’s home address along with incorrect assertions as to his house’s vulnerability to sea level rise, you mean?
      Agreed.
      Low and contemptible.
      Perhaps you know of some more examples…?

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      • #
        el gordo

        Flannery doesn’t rate, the elephant in the room is CO2 does not cause global warming.

        “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

        Joseph Goebbels

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        Egor TheOne

        Well , He should not spout CAGW BS then !> http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/artwork/cartoons-by-others/hunter/flannery-ultimate-prediction-600.gif

        How many of his hysterical Dud predictions are we supposed to entertain before ‘Sage Flannery’ is introduced to his inevitable future ? > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straitjacket#mediaviewer/File:Straitjacket-rear.jpg

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          Craig Thomas

          Ah!
          So “Lies, fabrications, character assassinations, reputational rapes, point scoring, axe grinding, sneering, smearing and generalised weaselling” is ok if it’s directed against somebody smarter and more educated than you, that you disagree with.

          I got it.

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            john karajas

            If you are referring to Tim Flannery’s stupid prognostications helping to cause plain wrong management practices at the Wivenhoe Dam as well as the expenditure of billions of dollars on unnecessary desalination plants in the Eastern States: Tim Flannery deserves all the crap that’s currently being dished out to him. I suggest that you go and seriously study the recent posts by Davis Evans on this blog site, that is, if you are capable of understanding them.

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            Winston

            Craig,

            Publication of Tim Flannery’s address or personal details should not be condoned no matter what he may or may not be responsible for. Indeed low and contemptible, in spite of his complete lack of remorse for the damage he is responsible for, and the enormous waste of taxpayers money made directly as a result of his dodgy advice, and in the false belief in his alleged expertise. However, that being said, the treatment of anyone skeptical of CAGW, or who even expresses a passing doubt as to the validity of global warming doctrine has been, and continues to be far worse.

            Witness the treatment of Bob Carter by JCU, Murray Salby by Macquarie University, Ferenc Miskolczki by NASA, as but three examples of people whose politically inconvenient opinions led to them being first ostracised then led in quick succession to loss of employment, tenure and the prestige that goes with their respective positions.

            Now I ask you, is that a healthy environment for open debate, or heaven forbid, finding the truth? Just how many scientists currently working in the field of climate science would feel comfortable to express any misgivings they might have about whether CO2 was really a prime driver of our climate?

            Let’s see if you can be honest, Craig. Do you really think this is an environment that welcomes intellectual disagreement and open challenges to the accepted paradigm for the sake of advancing our understanding?

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            OriginalSteve

            The most logical question is “Why would anyone take Flannery seriously?” Flannery has shot himself in the foot numerous times.

            Additonally, I certainly would never publish anyones house address as there are rules of decency ( morals ) that need to be abided by, regardless of what you might think of someone else.

            Civility is a good guage of a society and the mark of a man.

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              Craig Thomas

              Actually, normal people recognise Tim Flannery is a highly-respected expert on Macropods with many professional academic publications to his name as well as some pretty good books, too.

              The personal attacks on Flannery by the gutter journalists are laughable.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                “expert on Macropods”

                Yes.. macropods.

                What more can one say !!!

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              • #
                Dave

                ,

                Griag

                “Normal people recognise Tim Flannery is a highly-respected expert on Macropods”

                Couple things Griag

                1: Should read “as” not “is” – but minor detail!
                2: Normal people, amazing, but what is your definition of normal people Criag? Seems most Normal people I speak to like Plumbers, Labourers, Doctors, Solicitors, Crane drivers & even locals in my area on the dole – all say he’s a fruitloop that said “THE RAIN THAT FALLS WILL NEVER FILL OUR RIVERS AND DAMS!” Seems like your normal is NOT!
                3: Actually he is not an expert on Macropods – his one dally into Papuan New Guinea Tree Kangaroo Fornication paper was a flop when it first came out! Only later with his media coverage did it hit the headlines. No longer quoted anywhere in new peer reviewed papers really!

                Really you should cease trying to justify his parasitic nature on the Green Gravy Train!

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              • #
                Bill

                “gutter journalists”? You mean the ones who publish outright lies and deceit, refer to anyone who questions the alleged “science” as a denier? Or only those who fail to blindly support the politico-religion of CAGW?

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  • #
    • #
      Dennis

      Greg Sheridan wrote in The Australian today: “For the moment, Turnbull has the style of Keating and the substance of Abbott.”

      Let’s hope he is right, and that he will not take the Paris Conference bait and sign the agreement.

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      • #
        ianl8888

        Except that Sheridan means Abbott had no actual substance … he’s pE#d off that Turnbubble is just pirhouetting in circles, flying kites and watching polls for the best time (as decided by his narcissism) to put on an election

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    pat

    my #18 comment on Blood & Gore has been in moderation for 2 hours, & i’m waiting to post a followup.

    meanwhile,

    10 Nov: Politico: Janosch Delcker: The climate revolutionary
    Christiana Figueres blends tact, emotion and a bit of bullying to get deep emissions cuts in Paris next month.
    “I am the daughter of a revolutionary and I feel very comfortable with revolutions,” Figueres said at a climate conference last month in Oslo…
    “If any press person comes to Paris and all of the sudden says ‘I just discovered something — Eureka! — Paris is not putting us on the 2 degree path,’ I will chop off the head of this journalist, because I’ve been saying it for two years,” she said in Oslo…
    Financial executives speak about how, in the middle of meetings, while talking about the finer points of some financial mechanism, the climate chief would change gears and ask them, “are you okay?” or “are you in need of support?”
    “It’s very rare,” Rachel Kyte, the World Bank’s climate change envoy, said in an interview. “It’s human. It’s the whole person. She’s interested in the whole of you. From that, you become colleagues, and then you become friends, and then, you become comrades.”…
    (Figueres) “The science of climate is constantly reminding us that we only have 5 to 10, maybe 15 years maximum to make huge, huge changes in investment into infrastructure, particularly energy infrastructure.”
    The push away from fossil fuels, she added, “has to be accelerated by intentional policy decisions, which is not the way the industrial revolution occurred.”…
    Last year she was in Montreal to address a network of international investors, representing about $60 trillion in assets, who support the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)…
    Business greeted her call with sustained applause.
    “At our conferences, I’ve never seen anyone getting standing ovations,” said Fiona Reynolds, managing director at PRI…
    http://www.politico.eu/article/the-climate-revolutionary-un-christina-figueres-climate-chief-cop21/?utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-cad56b113e-303439889&utm_content=bufferfa1cd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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      ianl8888


      … maybe 15 years maximum to make huge, huge changes in investment into infrastructure …

      OMG, another 15 years of this whining rubbish. I know I can’t cope …

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    pat

    ***the unbiased pollsters!

    10 Nov::New Scientist: Pope’s call for action on climate change has shifted US views
    The percentage of Catholics who said they were “very worried” about global warming more than doubled over the numbers this spring. And those who denied the scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is happening declined 10 percentage points for Catholics and 6 points for the US population in general.
    Pollsters interviewed the same panel of just over 900 respondents before the release of the pope’s encyclical – a major document setting out Catholic doctrine – in June and also after his widely reported trip to the US in late September.
    The authors of the survey, Edward Maibach of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and Anthony Leiserowitz of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, dub the shift in public opinion “the Pope Francis effect”. The effect, they say, has intensified a trend that was already in progress…
    ***“A key principle of communication is that the messenger often matters more than the message itself,” says Leiserowitz, so the fact that the charismatic pope is popular among people has predisposed them to be swayed by his moral reframing of the issue.
    ***“Climate change brings up the most fundamental questions about humanity’s place on the planet, [and] what is the proper relationship between human beings and their fellow humans,” Leiserowtitz says. “The pope has succeeded in initiating a discussion on these issues that just hasn’t been there before.”
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28472-popes-call-for-action-on-climate-change-has-shifted-us-views/

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    Joanne,

    Your article sparked my interest, not because it is news to me but because others are waking up to what is going on and how serious the situation is becoming. On the LoR website can be found Eric D. Butler speaking at a “Social Dynamics” public meeting in Adelaide in 1985. If you look carefully you will notice Eric never smiles and never misses a beat in his presentation.

    Just one week earlier he had returned from a series of public meetings in New Zealand where he was harassed by a ‘student rent-a-mob’crowd as we described them in those days.

    What we didn’t know at the time was that he had been physically attacked by the ‘rent-a-mob’ crowd, had one front tooth knocked out and had been savagely kicked in the groin.
    I think your male readers would appreciate what that meant in terms of pain and further effects.

    It is only because his wife told me later that I appreciated just what pain Eric D. Butler must have gone through that day – but never flinched from what he had to do.

    I’m afraid there could be more pain and suffering to come for this nation because the people failed to recognise friend from foe, that is ‘the enemy within’, all those years ago.

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  • #
    thingadonta

    I don’t agree with donating money to Greenpeace, so I don’t. I also don’t think that such organisations should have tax exempt status. All this tends to do is attract people seeking to profit from such tax exemption. So figures get ‘inflated’ and causes get ‘enhanced’ in the same way it tends to occur in any company stock market release, but without the attendant market correction, since they are not part of the market in the first place.

    The question of divestment is ultimately a legal one, and it’s when the law gets targeted and changed that one needs to worry, (as in the case with the ongoing to and fro with state significant development laws). Activists never seem to understand that not everybody agrees with them, or that there is another way of looking at something, or other benefits, and that is one reason why we have laws in the first place.

    I suspect that divestment campaigns will ultimately fail, because if there really is a majority support for such a change then this will occur at the legal and political/democratic level in the first place; if this hasn’t already occurred then divestment campaigns are really just an example of activist desperation.

    In other words, they can’t change the law because the majority of people don’t agree with them, so they try and force the market in a direction that the majority of people also don’t agree with, with exactly the same result.

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  • #
    pat

    ***India’s coal consumption could triple or quadruple…

    10 Nov: NYT Economy section: Eduardo Porter: India Is Caught in a Climate Change Quandary
    “Today, I see the carbon space occupied by the developed world,” Prakash Javadekar, the environment minister, said in an interview with The Associated Press in September. “We are asking the developed world to vacate the carbon space to accommodate us. That carbon space demand is climate justice.”…
    The United Nations expects India’s population to reach 1.5 billion by 2030, bigger than China’s. If over the next 15 years it follows anything like the fossil-fuel-heavy path out of poverty that China took over the last 15, it could blow any chance the world has of preventing a disaster…
    For instance, a recent report by the World Bank argues that economies like China and India must totally decarbonize their electricity supply around midcentury and achieve negative emissions from then on, using carbon capture technologies and vastly increased forests, to suck excessive carbon out of the atmosphere.
    To put it mildly, that is going to be a challenge…
    Jairam Ramesh, who was minister of the environment under the previous prime minister, Manmohan Singh, argues that India must continue to grow at 7.5 to 8 percent a year for the next 15 years.
    To power this growth, India’s electricity consumption — which accounts for over half its greenhouse gas emissions — would rise 6 to 7 percent a year. Even under the most ambitious goals for nuclear power and renewable energy, more than half of this power is expected to come from coal, the dirtiest fuel. “By 2030 India’s coal consumption could triple or quadruple,” Mr. Ramesh told me…
    Under the right set of policies, the World Bank projects, even the most disruptive climate change would add only three million people to India’s extreme poor in 2030. Bad choices, by contrast, would add 42 million to that number…
    And yet, there is still a significant risk that India will say no to the West’s climate change agenda. “It plays hugely well domestically,” Mr. Ramesh told me. “One should never discount that possibility.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/11/business/economy/india-is-caught-in-a-climate-change-quandary.html?_r=0

    11 Nov: Guardian: Bill McKibben: Is Australia the last country standing in defence of coal?
    303 years later, the coal age is drawing to a close…
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/11/is-australia-the-last-country-standing-in-defence-of-coal

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    • #

      This statement pat mentions is an absolute joke:

      …..argues that economies like China and India must totally decarbonize their electricity supply around midcentury and achieve negative emissions from then on…..

      Note how they say this in such a blase manner. They just KNOW it will never happen.

      When you look at the already Developed World and the ratio of total power generation and population, taking into account the three consumption areas of Residential, Commerce and Industry, most of those Countries have a relatively similar ratio.

      However, when China is calculated, they are barely one third (31% in fact) of the way towards parity, and India is way way less than that.

      With respect to China, to even approach that similar parity we already have, and at their current rate of power plant construction, they will not achieve that for another 20 to 25 years, and India even longer.

      The vast bulk of that power plant construction in China will be coal fired power.

      So here we have China not even getting close to similar to what we have by 2035/40, and those latter coal fired plants will have a life expectancy out till almost 2100.

      The renewables of choice, Wind and Solar cannot ever achieve power delivery of what is actually required, so to blithely say that China and India need to, umm, decarbonise is a patently false mendacity, and they know this.

      Statements like this are meant for the spin cycle for the general public who might perhaps believe it, but it will never actually happen.

      I can’t believe that people in positions like this can so blatantly say things like this that they know will never happen.

      China is currently generating around 5600TWH a year, and to even approach parity with the Developed World, they would need to get to around 17,500TWH, (and that’s based on today’s population only) and they are currently adding around 400 to 500TWH a year. Keep in mind that upper total of 500TWH addition is equal to two and half times Australia’s total power generation, and they need to add it at that rate EACH YEAR.

      Tony.

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  • #
    pat

    followup to what is now comment #21 – Blood & Gore, keeping in mind the Atlantic’s James Fallows and Felix Salmon below are CAGW believers. read all Salmon’s questions re GIM:

    The Atlantic: James Fallows: Felix Salmon Isn’t Buying What Al Gore Is Selling
    Felix Salmon, the prominent financial writer and senior editor for Fusion, has some thoughts about this piece, what Al Gore and his colleagues are up to, and what it all does or does not mean…
    http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/all/2015/10/al-gores-plan-to-save-capitalism-does-it-make-sense/410632/#note-410641

    some other commentary (also links to the Salmon piece):

    The Atlantic: James Fallows: Al Gore’s Plan to Save Capitalism: Does It Make Sense?
    Below are Atlantic notes, from James Fallows and others, in response to his November, 2015 article on Al Gore’s campaign to make capitalism more sustainable—and profitable.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/all/2015/10/al-gores-plan-to-save-capitalism-does-it-make-sense/410632/

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  • #
    Ross

    O/T but along the same lines of misguided policies, this piece by Matt Ridley about how the environmental movement indirectly bought on China’s one child policy makes good reading

    http://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.co.nz/2015/11/matt-ridley-western-environmental.html

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  • #
    Robdel

    I would like to see these activists divest themselves of electricity (from coal) for a month and see how they get on.

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    • #
      Dennis

      They would sit in their electric cars using electricity stored in the batteries that they believe can power the world.

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  • #
    Dennis

    An interesting coal creates water explanation from Viv Forbes;

    http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/coal-burning.pdf

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  • #
    pat

    at least AFR reports the story, tho they still give anti-coal, former Citigroup analyst, Tim Buckley, two paras, not excerpted:

    11 Nov: AFR: Ben Potter: South-east Asia and India the mainstays of Australia’s future coal exports
    Australian coal exporters can still have a prosperous future in a world of slow but steady demand in growth for coal increasingly concentrated in Asia, the International Energy Agency says…
    The 2015 World Energy Outlook endorses Indian group Adani Mining’s controversial Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in Queensland – a target of anti-coal activists who say the vast Galilee Basin coal reserves need to stay in the ground to help avoid dangerous climate change…
    But Brendan Pearson, chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, said, “The WEO refutes the false claims of divestment activists that coal is at risk of becoming a so-called stranded asset. The projection of a 37 per cent increase in demand for Australian coal underlines Australia’s advantage of being a producer of high-quality, high-energy coal ideally suited for low-emissions coal plants around the world,” he said…
    The IEA’s projections see Australia regaining the mantle of the world’s largest coal exporter from Indonesia by 2020 as surging domestic demand in south-east Asia absorbs more of that regions’ coal production…
    http://www.afr.com/business/mining/coal/southeast-asia-and-india-the-mainstays-of-australias-future-coal-exports-20151111-gkw51o

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  • #
    pat

    11 Nov: Financial Times: Paris climate deal will not be a legally binding treaty
    by Demetri Sevastopulo in Norfolk, Virginia, and Pilita Clark in London
    He said it would contain measures that would drive a “significant amount of investment” towards a low-carbon global economy. But he stressed there were “not going to be legally binding reduction targets like Kyoto”, a reference to the 1997 Kyoto protocol…
    The Paris deal is supposed to cover all countries, but Mr Kerry’s comments underline the differences between the US and other nations over how to ensure it is robust enough to shift billions of dollars of investment away from fossil fuels and towards greener energy sources…
    A European Commission spokeswoman on Wednesday said the commission and many nations “would like the Paris agreement to be in the form of a protocol or a treaty”
    Privately, EU officials acknowledge the Obama administration is eager for a deal in Paris, but not one containing new, legally binding measures because these would strengthen arguments that the agreement needs approval from a hostile US Senate, which must ratify all treaties…
    Mr Kerry said he thought the overall target of $100bn for the deal would be surpassed but that “whether it’s formalised or not remains to be seen”…
    While he praised China for its role in the talks, he raised concern about other countries, including India..
    “India has been more cautious, a little more restrained in its embrace of this new paradigm, and it’s a challenge,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of focus on India right now to try to bring them along. ”
    But conscious of putting too much pressure on countries that believe the US and developed nations should take more responsibility for the current level of greenhouse gases, the top US diplomat said, “we have to be careful not to be holier-than-thou or accusatory”.
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/79daf872-8894-11e5-90de-f44762bf9896.html

    12 Nov: Sputnik News: Kerry: COP21 Not to Result in Legally Binding Measures to Cut Emissions
    The upcoming Paris climate change conference will not result in a legally binding agreement that would demand specific carbon emission reduction targets from various countries, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview with The Financial Times.
    Kerry told The Financial Times on Wednesday that he expected summit participants to agree on measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions but there were “not going to be legally binding reduction targets like Kyoto.”…
    According to Kerry, there is a problem with “attitudes about climate change” in Congress and an “ideological barrier” that is making it difficult for the United States to move ahead with its climate improvement measures, such as allocating $3 billion to help developing countries combat global warming
    http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151112/1029956042/cop21-carbon-emissions.html

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  • #
    Craig Thomas

    Huh?
    Selling fossil fuel shares, “wouldn’t affect the share price anyway”,
    but
    “buying up solar and wind, I expect some renewables investors might be happy about that. Ka Ching. Ka Ching.”

    How does that work? Or is this now a comedy blog?

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    • #
      Egor TheOne

      Let ‘Big Renewables ‘ stand on its own 2 feet , instead of taxpayer funded to the hilt .

      Everything and Anything is viable ,if someone else pays for it .

      For Example , Denmark has 5000 turbines littering its shorelines .

      Just one Coal or gas fired standard power station would match all of Denmark’s 5000 ‘Prayer Wheels’ and give power on demand .
      Not just when the wind blows and and nothing at all when there is calm , not to mention high maintenance costs and 18 year life spans ……Only nutters can think that these things are viable . Not to mention all the dead birds struck by the props ,which eventually puts them out of balance .

      To them it does not matter whether or not it is viable …..Just as long as they feel good about it ,hold hands ,hug trees and sing Kumbayah !

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    • #
      AndyG55

      Once the subsidies and mandated usages are removed….

      …all those that invested in renewable non-energy will lose all their investment.

      That’s how it will work.

      Its called Peak renewables because renewables are TOTALLY dependent on those subsidies.

      I hope you are persuading your super fund to invest in renewables, Craig ;-)

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  • #
    pat

    12 Nov: 7News: SA govt wants to go green by 2017
    South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill wants his government to be powered completely by green energy by 2017.
    The government has called on companies to submit proposals to supply all electricity for government sites from low-carbon sources – such as wind and solar – after current agreements expire over the next two years.
    It’s part of Mr Weatherill’s plan to make Adelaide the world’s first carbon-neutral city and to have half of the state’s total energy sourced from renewables by 2020…
    Green groups have welcomed the government’s latest proposal, but are concerned it still allows for the use of gas.
    “We are seriously concerned that the state government hasn’t ruled out buying power from gas facilities when we should be focusing on building clean, renewable energy power plants,” the Australian Youth Climate Coalition said…
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/sa/a/30071746/sa-govt-wants-100-low-carbon-energy/

    Australian Youth Climate Coalition given a voice, but not any adult who might have some reservations!

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    • #
      Craig Thomas

      Cut’n paste, cut’n paste, I’m still in kindergarten.

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      • #
        Yonniestone

        Is that an admission or just poor trolling?

        Gore has a lot to answer for…

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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Paris is behind this. First we have Ferdinand back now the suit that reminds me of my Sunday school days, so, long ago?

        Memories.

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      • #
        AndyG55

        Poor Craig, so dependent on everything CO2, and can’t live without fossil fuels. :-)

        Don’t worry, child-mind, there will be plenty for all of us. :-)

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      • #
        James Murphy

        “cut’n’ paste” is far more interesting and constructive than your immature cut ‘n’ run routine whenever anyone asks you to back up your statements with references from legitimate sources.

        Go on, put some effort into it, show us all how wrong we are, using facts and figures… should be very easy for you, if “the science is in”.

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      • #
        Ross

        If you don’t like it Craig don’t read Pat’s posts or simply go elsewhere.
        Most of us who read Jo’s site really value Pat’s contributions. He is extremely good at what he does with News aggregation.

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      • #
        AndyG55

        Just face it Craig, all the manic adjustments, all the lies and data manipulation, all the closing down of debate and getting contrary facts and people thrown out of their jobs..

        …. and yet as an anti-CO2 crusade, the AGW scam has been a monumental failure.

        Global CO2 emissions will continue to climb quite rapidly because of the developing countries’ need for solid reliable cheap energy.

        It remains to be seen how far the totalitarian social agenda behind the AGW scam will get.

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  • #
    pat

    12 Nov: UK Daily Mail: David Martosko: EXCLUSIVE: Hillary hops on carbon-spewing private Learjet after winning endorsement from environmental group that says fighting global warming is its ‘top priority’
    Clinton boarded a Learjet model 60 private jet in Lebanon, New Hampshire after 2 days of campaigning – a plane that emits 2 TONS of carbon per hour
    The League of Conservation voters gave her an unusually early endorsement on Monday during the same campaign trip
    The group says its ‘top priority is addressing climate change’
    Clinton’s campaign pledged in July to go ‘carbon neutral,’ after a DailyMail video showed her boarding a private jet following a global warming speech
    The campaign hasn’t outlined any steps it’s taken since then toward achieving that goal
    The $13.3 million Learjet 60 cruises at a top speed of 525 miles per hour, according to Jet Advisors, a firm that counsels America’s 1 per cent on aircraft purchases.
    It also consumes 203 gallons of jet fuel for every hour it spends with its twin engines running.
    According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, burning a gallon of jet fuel produces 21.1 pounds of carbon dioxide.
    That puts the Learjet 60′s hourly carbon footprint at 4,283 pounds – more than 2 tons.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3314183/Hillary-hops-carbon-spewing-private-jet-winning-endorsement-environmental-group-says-fighting-global-warming-priority.html

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  • #
    pat

    while noting the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton, how about the madness of DiCaprio flying all over the world to discuss CAGW (what on earth would he know?):

    9 Nov: Tech Times: Katrina Pascual: Leonardo DiCaprio Visits India To Witness Impact Of Climate Change
    The ***renowned climate activist held extensive discussions with experts and local townsfolk about the links between poverty and climate change, as well as promoted renewable energy sources in the area…
    DiCaprio, who visited New Delhi and then proceeded to Kheladi village in Mewat, Haryana, also attended a conference with Delhi-based organization Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) delving on climate change’s effects…
    According to Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general at CSE, the per-capita emission of the U.S. per year would be 12 tons while the European Union’s would be five by 2030. “Americans need to scale down their lifestyles,” Bhushan warned…
    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/104436/20151109/leonardo-dicaprio-visits-india-to-witness-impact-of-climate-change.htm

    DiCaprio scale down his lifestyle?

    27 Oct: LA Times: Julie Makinen: Did a Chinese casino really just pay $70 million for a 15-minute Martin Scorsese film?
    Did a Chinese casino really just spend $70 million on a 15-minute film/advertisement directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio?
    That was the eye-popping number that started circulating last year even before a trailer for “The Audition” was released online in January. Outlets including Page Six, quoting anonymous sources, said the actors pulled in a cool $13 million each for the gig — though the whole thing only took less than a week to shoot…
    On Tuesday, as Melco Crown Entertainment threw open the doors to its $3.2-billion Hollywood-themed casino resort called Studio City in Macau, Scorsese, De Niro and DiCaprio were on hand for a red-carpet event…
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fg-film-china-casino-scorsese-pitt-deniro-dicaprio-20151027-story.html

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  • #
    Egor TheOne

    What are we doing with socialist parties ?

    Why are they not rounded up ?

    The nutters (greens and friends) ,30 years ago were considered to be fringe extremists , a protest away from an asylum for the insane .

    Now here we are present day and the lunatics (Greens and friends)have their own political party and propaganda outlet ( the AlpgreensBC ) !

    So we now have Asylum Candidates as a 3rd political party , sabotaging anything that is against their CAGW Religion .
    Where medieval religions have become the norm .
    [SNIP. We can't moderate where that thread will wander.]

    Which is exactly what is happening with this latest Religion .
    The 46% CAGW True B’lvers are forcing the other 54% of us to pay for their belief ,their new religion as none of them can offer proof that our co2 output has or will cause dangerous global warming ,which is what it is all about ,in fact nothing at all for nearly 19 years .

    So this garbage is not science based ,it is faith based and now seized upon by the political ,the Marxists , the Malthusians and the Totalitarians …….Our beloved Global Unelected Nutters .

    Maybe they are modelling SPECTRE from James Bond !

    [SNIP. No. No. No. ]

    As far as I am concerned ,when these kooks interfere with our kid’s education to the point of indoctrination , is when the gloves come off !

    What they are doing is paramount to ‘Child Abuse’ .

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  • #
    pat

    more insanity:

    12 Nov: Guardian: Lenore Taylor: Carbon abatement: government spends another $557m to buy 45m tonnes
    The Turnbull government has bought another 45m tonnes of carbon abatement for $557m – meaning it has spent almost half the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund to buy less than half the greenhouse reductions needed to meet its 2020 target…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/12/carbon-abatement-government-spends-another-557m-to-buy-45m-tonnes

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  • #
    pat

    12 Nov: ABC: Sarina Locke: Landholders the biggest winners in $550 million carbon abatement auction
    Farmers and landholders have again been the largest recipients of funding in the second auction for carbon credits in the Government’s Direct Action Scheme…
    According to one winning company that represents 36 graziers in Queensland and NSW with $120 million worth of contracts, it has come at the right time for those struggling through drought.
    “The reaction for some has been relief and others have been in near tears,” Australian Carbon Traders managing director Ben Keogh said.
    His firm helped prepare 40 landholders’ bids in western Queensland and western NSW…
    But the low price has been criticised by Australian Carbon Traders…
    One example was a large western Queensland grazier who received a lot of rain in 2010-11.
    Instead of grazing it and clearing the native regrowth, the grazier decided to let the forest grow and continue to graze underneath…
    “Vegetation and savannah burning [in northern tropical Australia] won 70 per cent of all funding, or $394 million in total,” Mr Grossman (Reputex) said.
    Big industry, which was expected to take up more of this round of funding, was late with its projects.
    “Industry accounted for just 7 per cent of all projects registered,” Mr Grossman said…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-12/landholders-biggest-winners-in-carbon-abatement-auction/6935968

    12 Nov: SMH: Tom Arup: Turnbull government spends big on emissions cuts, but falls short on targets: critics
    IDIOTIC 2MIN VIDEO
    Projects that won contracts under the latest auction were again dominated by schemes to protect and restore native vegetation and curb emissions from landfills, echoing the results of the fund’s first auction in April…
    If delivered, those projects would see 45 million tonnes of emissions cuts at an average price of $12.25 a tonne, lower than the $13.95 a tonne paid under the first auction…
    “The government has run another professional auction process, but now we need to get down to the policies that matter. We need to tackle the biggest polluting sector of the economy – the electricity sector,” Mr (John) Connor said.
    “This starts with a closure plan for our old and inefficient coal-fired power plants so they can be replaced with clean energy alternatives.”…
    Amid the winning companies was the ASX 100-listed Wesfarmers, which owns Coles, Kmart, Bunnings and Officeworks among other brands, which won a contract to upgrade lighting
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-government-spends-big-on-emissions-cuts-but-falls-short-on-targets-critics-20151112-gkxhv9.html

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  • #
    Manfred

    Back in New Zealand, how true the headline by Jo:

    university students are paid pawns to be political activists

    Student sues Government over climate targets

    A classic case of a numpty head put up to it. The necessary financial support apparently comes from deep pockets, according to the Radio NZ news this evening. ‘We’re here for the long haul’ the student said happily.

    Sarah Thomson wasn’t happy with the targets the Government has set to combating climate change – so now she’s taking it to court.

    The Waikato University law student, 24, doesn’t consider herself a climate activist but felt “urgent action” was needed over climate change.

    “I guess I just saw something needed to be done and I felt like I couldn’t stand by and watch the country pretty much just do nothing.”

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  • #
    pat

    CAGW causes Australians to live longer:

    12 Nov: news.com.au: Life in expectancy hits a new high with both sexes born today to live into their eighties
    by Ian Horswill and AAP
    Despite the fact that we are fatter than ever and that obesity will chronically shorten our lives, life expectancy for males at birth rose from 80.1 in 2013 to 80.3 last year, while for females it jumped from 84.3 to 84.4, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. There are only six other countries — Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Iceland, Israel and Sweden — in the world where both men and women have a life expectancy over 80 years, Beidar Cho from the ABS said in a statement on Thursday.
    “Australia has a higher life expectancy, at both the male and female level, than many similar countries to ours, such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.”…
    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/life-in-expectancy-hits-a-new-high-with-both-sexes-born-today-to-live-into-their-eighties/story-fneuz9ev-1227606400576

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