MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

3 Radical Government Programs and What They Mean for You Today

Posted by M. C. on July 10, 2021

All three of these initiatives in isolation would be (and should be) horrifying to any freedom-loving individual. Collectively they are the equivalent of grabbing the global economy, hoisting it up onto your shoulders, and then tightrope walking across the Grand Canyon blindfolded with a swarm of mosquitoes biting you, but only after drinking an entire bottle of Absolut vodka. You might make it across to the other side, but the odds are right up there with finding a juicy T-bone steak at a vegan festival.

https://internationalman.com/articles/3-radical-government-programs-and-what-it-means-for-you-today/

by Chris MacIntosh

When initiatives like vaccinating the planet, “climate change,” and implementing a minimum global corporate tax are on the G7 agenda, and they’re selling it to a citizenry who would be content with their peanut butter on toast because “they are doing their best for us,” you know that freedom-loving people are in for a lot of trouble.

All three of these initiatives in isolation would be (and should be) horrifying to any freedom-loving individual. Collectively they are the equivalent of grabbing the global economy, hoisting it up onto your shoulders, and then tightrope walking across the Grand Canyon blindfolded with a swarm of mosquitoes biting you, but only after drinking an entire bottle of Absolut vodka. You might make it across to the other side, but the odds are right up there with finding a juicy T-bone steak at a vegan festival.

What these initiatives cement is a collapse in living standards of the global citizenry and ultimately a rather dramatic increase in the likelihood of a major international war.

Why? By pushing the climate hysteria agenda with its bedfellow of “CO2 reduction” and forcing it upon developing nations, they will be forcing not just a decrease in living standards but sending billions of people (literally) into extreme poverty.

First off, it’s important to understand where you’re at in any cycle, especially for long-term, deep-value macro investors (such as ourselves). We must attempt to parse noise from trends and focus on the latter while realising the former for what it is.

You’ll notice that one thing that is prevalent in all Western “liberal democracies” is that the leadership all act like angry stubborn old farts desperate to hang onto their own power. Karl Marx was right about one thing.

What Karl never went on to say but should have is the following: Aside from genocide, communism always also leads to shortages, stagflation, and a collapse in the standards of living of any who are unfortunate enough to live under it.

But we are where we are, and the average punter doesn’t see it, his mind being unable to believe that this is actually happening. That and a steady indoctrination have led him to actually believe this. It is being couched in feel-good terminology like “sustainability.” I mean, who doesn’t want that? There is “equity,” which, on the face of it, is about fairness. Again, who doesn’t want that? And of course, there is “stakeholder capitalism,” which is the new marketing term used to make communism sound palatable.

This means that the average punter is more buggered than an altar boy at the Vatican, but unfortunately, we’re all caught up in this insanity, and if we’re not very careful, we may suffer alongside the zombies.

It is under this magnificent collapsing system that we find ourselves today with “leaders” acting out their part, and so it isn’t a surprise that the focus is on hanging onto power (at all costs, it would seem).

To communists, a minimum global 15% corporate tax sounds perfectly swilling. This, of course, will come in addition to all the other taxes already hanging around the necks of government subjects.

This global tax will do little to harm large technology companies or even large corporations, but it will spell the death of many small and medium-sized businesses.

Arguably, though, what is more important is to think about what this means on an international playing field. Namely, on an international basis, this will be terrible for any small countries that are in need of attracting capital investment. If they are forced into this collective, their economies will suffer, with those aforementioned technology giants taking up much of the market share. Everyone loses, but large, multinational corporations get richer.

In fact, don’t be surprised when some of these large conglomerates mysteriously score a bevy of tax breaks and subsidies. You see, the new form of communism will not be like the old form. The reason for this is simple but very, very important to understand. The leaders you see on the idiot box are not in charge. They are stooges.

All presidents and major political figures are being micromanaged by handlers providing a carefully scripted cardboard-cutout image meant to look palatable to a gullible populace.

Whether it be small- and medium-sized businesses or small nations, they will lose their dynamism as well as their attractiveness for capital investment. This, in turn, means that because they will have fewer reserves to invest and grow in the future, their credit conditions will weaken, forcing them to raise interest rates in the face of declining collateral, which itself is deflationary for the respective companies.

But what needs understanding is that this will decrease the supply of … well, everything.

This at a time when these clowns are providing trillions of dollars in “stimulus” spending as now fiscal spending for their pixie land “build back better,” which is, of course, a green boondoggle.

Editor’s Note: The 2020s will likely to be an increasingly volatile time. More governments are putting their money printing on overdrive. Negative interests are becoming the rule instead of the exception to it.

One thing is for sure, there will be a great deal of change taking place in the years ahead.

That’s precisely why legendary speculator Doug Casey and his team released an urgent new report titled Doug Casey’s Top 7 Predictions for the Raging 2020s.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Australia, UN face off over reef

Posted by M. C. on June 23, 2021

The One World UN government that many desire is trying to dictate life for one of it’s subjects and that subject doesn’t like it.

Oh the irony of it all. The country that continues to enforce the hardest of hard virus lockdowns on it’s own citizens balks at a possible tourism lockdown by the UN.

Is this the first symptom of an emerging climate lockdown? Whatever this is, I am sure there will be more to come.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=06908c12e_1345de3

Rod McGuirk ASSOCIATED PRESS CANBERRA, Australia – Australia said Tuesday it will fight against plans to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status due to climate change, while environmentalists have applauded the U.N. World Heritage Committee’s proposal.

The committee said in a draft report on Monday that ‘there is no possible doubt’ that the network of colorful corals off Australia’s northeast coast was ‘facing ascertained danger.’

The report recommends that the world’s most extensive coral reef ecosystem be added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger, which includes 53 sites, when the World Heritage Committee considers the question in China in July.

The listing could shake Australians’ confidence in their government’s ability to care for the natural wonder and create a role for UNESCO headquarters in devising so-called ‘corrective measures,’ which would likely include tougher action to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Any downgrade of the reef’s World Heritage status could reduce tourism revenue that the natural wonder generates for Australia because fewer tourists would be attracted to a degraded environment and dead coral.

Reef cruise operators said the report was wrong and that tourists continued to be awed by dazzling coral and multicolored fish. But some tourists said the reef had seemed more colorful during visits decades ago.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley said she and Foreign Minister Marise Payne had called UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay to express the government’s ‘strong disappointment’ and ‘bewilderment’ at the proposal.

Australia, one of 21 countries on the committee, will oppose the listing, Ley said.

‘This decision was flawed. Clearly there were politics behind it,’ Ley told reporters. ‘Clearly those politics have subverted a proper process, and for the World Heritage Committee to not even foreshadow this listing is, I think, appalling.’

The network of 2,500 reefs covering 134,000 square miles has been World Heritage-listed since 1981.

But its health is under increasing threat from climate change and rising ocean temperatures.

The report found the site had suffered significantly from coral bleaching events caused by unusually warm ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017 and last year.

Australian Marine Conservation Society environmental consultant Imogen Zethoven welcomed the committee’s recognition that ‘Australia hasn’t done enough on climate change to protect the future of the reef.’

The reef would become the first site to be added to the List of World Heritage in Danger primarily for climate change reasons, Zethoven said.

‘It would be a very significant step for the World Heritage Committee to make this decision and one that we really hope that it does make because it will open up a lot of potential change,’ she said.

Richard Leck, a spokesman for the environmental group WWF, said listing the reef as in danger would be ‘a real shock’ to many Australians.

In 2014, Australia was warned that an ‘in danger’ listing was being considered rather than being proposed for immediate action.

Australia had time to respond by developing a long-term plan to improve the reef’s health called the Reef 2050 Plan.

The committee said this week that plan ‘requires stronger and clearer commitments, in particular towards urgently countering the effects of climate change.’

Ley said climate change policy debate should be restricted to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

‘I know … that climate change is the biggest threat to the reef, and in no way am I stepping away from that recognition, and countries including European countries have got strong views about what policies different countries should have on climate change, and I understand that as well, but this is not the convention in which to have those conversations,’ Ley said, referring to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Observers say the swearing in on Tuesday of new Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who opposes action on climate change that increases prices, signals Australia is likely to set less ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council’s Center for Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, said Australia’s refusal to commit to a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 made the country a ‘complete outlier.’

‘This draft decision from UNESCO is pointing the finger at Australia and saying: ‘If you’re serious about saving the Great Barrier Reef, you need to do something about your climate policies,’’ Hughes told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The U.N. World Heritage Committee says Australia’s Great Barrier Reef faces ‘ascertained danger’ and proposes lowering its status. Kyodo News via AP

Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the U.N.’s proposal to list the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ is flawed and politically driven. Lukas Coch/AAP via AP

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What Is America’s Cause in the World? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 9, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/06/patrick-j-buchanan/what-is-americas-cause-in-the-world/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Take away this pudding; it has no theme,” is a comment attributed to Winston Churchill, when a disappointing dessert was put in front of him.

Writers have used Churchill’s remark to describe a foreign policy that lacks coherence or centrality of purpose.

For most of our lifetimes, this has not been true of the United States. The goal of our foreign policy has been understandable and defined.

From 1949-1989, it was Cold War containment of the Soviet Empire and USSR.

Ronald Reagan believed in a “rollback” of communism, once telling an aide that his policy might be summed up as: “We win. They lose.”

At the Cold War’s end, George H. W. Bush said America would now lead mankind in the creation of “a New World Order.”

George W. Bush was going to deny to all “axis of evil” nations — North Korea, Iran, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq — access to the “world’s worst weapons,” with our ultimate goal being “ending tyranny in our world.”

According to the Biden Democrats of today, America’s goal is the preservation of “a rules-based international order,” which is less inspiring than “Remember the Alamo!” or “Remember Pearl Harbor!”

What are the causes that actually animate Americans?

A March survey of 2,000 registered voters, done by the Center for American Progress, reveals that most Republicans still share the foreign policy priorities of Donald J. Trump.

Asked to identify their first three foreign policy priorities from a list of a dozen, two-thirds of Republicans, 65%, gave as their principal concern “Reducing illegal immigration.” And 57% of Republicans put “Protecting jobs for American workers” right behind it. Independents agreed that these should be the top twin goals of U.S. foreign policy.

What does this tell us?

Economic nationalism is alive and well in the GOP, and securing the border remains a central concern of America’s center-right.

In third position, at 31% among Republicans, was “Taking on China’s economic and military aggression.”

Only 9% of Republicans listed “Fighting global poverty and promoting human rights” as top foreign policy priorities. Last among GOP priorities, at 7%, was “Promoting democratic rights and freedoms abroad.”

Indeed, this was the least popular foreign policy option among all voters.

Conclusion:

The priorities of the Bush presidencies and the neocons — democracy crusades, free trade, the New World Order, open borders — have failed to recapture the constituencies they lost in the Trump years.

While “Combating global climate change” rests near the bottom of Republican concerns at 10%, it is the No. 1 priority of Democrats, with 44% listing it first.

When it comes to “Ending US involvement in wars in the Middle East,” that goal ranks 5th among all voters. Democrats, Republicans and independents all support that objective.

Since the last CAP survey in 2019, the greatest change is the reduced concern over “terrorist threats” from al-Qaida and ISIS. Fewer than 1 in 4 voters now view this as a top priority.

As Matthew Petti writes in an analysis of the CAP survey, today, Americans “prioritize getting out of Middle East wars over confronting Middle East adversaries.”

This survey would thus seem to provide public support for the Trump-Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan, and for Biden’s effort to reengage with Iran and renew the 2015 nuclear deal.

Also ranked high among Democrats and independents, but less so among Republicans, is “Improving relationships with allies.”

What does the survey tell us?

Illegal immigration and economic nationalism energize the GOP rank-and-file; climate change does not. There is no enthusiasm in either party for new democracy crusades. And there seems to be no enthusiasm in either party for a clash with Iran, North Korea, Russia or China.

Only 14% of Democrats wish to address China’s “military and economic aggression,” though 31% of Republicans do.

But the overall impression here is one of democratic confusion.

We Americans are all over the lot about what our foreign policy should be and what it should do. One is reminded of an insight from Walter Lippmann about U.S. foreign policy confusion before World War II:

“When a people is divided within itself about the conduct of foreign relations, it is unable to agree on the determination of its true interest. It is unable to prepare adequately for war or safeguard successfully its peace. Thus, it course in foreign affairs depends, in Hamilton’s words, not on reflection and choice, but on accident and force.”

Should we energetically promote democracy worldwide, because it is the right and moral thing to do, though the American people clearly do not see this as America’s cause?

Should we intervene to help Ukraine retrieve Crimea?

Should we fight to prevent China from consolidating rocks, reefs and islets of the East and South China Seas?

Is preserving the independence of Taiwan, which we conceded half a century ago is part of China, worth a war with a nuclear-armed China?

What role should U.S. public opinion play in the shaping of U.S. foreign policy?

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Go green on housing with no additional cost

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2021

“Go green on housing with no additional cost”

The point here is “no additional cost” really means “free government money” pays the tab. This person, vice president of the Environment Program at the JPB Foundation, is delusional.

Free government money comes from 3 places. Taxes (not free to the taxpayer), loans from other countries and entities (the resultant interest is not free) and printing money which generates the hidden tax that is inflation which is now again rearing it’s ugly head (paid for by everyone).

The sad part is the author and most of the unwashed masses may actually believe free government money is really a free lunch.

The real housing crisis is sky high home prices. And that is courtesy of free government money supplied by the Fed.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=276b95073_1345dd0

Go green on housing with no additional cost

Your Turn Dana Bourland | Guest columnist Two of the biggest problems we face today — a shortage of decent, affordable housing and climate change — are connected. Fortunately, the solutions are connected as well. That’s why we must not only ‘build back better’ in the wake of pandemic and recession, but build back greener.

Most housing in the United States is inefficient and expensive to heat and cool. That means high utility bills and higher carbon emissions; residential energy use accounts for a fifth of climate-changing greenhouse gases emitted in the United States.

At the same time, the facilities that produce the power to build and operate our homes — like coal-fired power plants — contribute to a changing climate. Because they are often located in communities of color, these facilities also exacerbate environmental injustice. And producing the petrochemicals used in adhesives, cabinets, carpets, insulation and other building materials not only contributes to climate change, but pollutes the air outside and inside our homes.

The good news is that we can address our housing crisis and our climate crisis with green affordable housing at no additional cost.

President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan includes a large allocation for housing — an important first step. And the much-needed recent expansion of the Weatherization Assistance Program will make homes more comfortable and efficient.

But these investments can accomplish so much more, by ‘greening’ the entire building supply chain. That means going beyond energy consumption in our homes to address energy usage and petrochemicals in the manufacturing and transportation of materials.

In other words, how we build is as important as what we build. We can’t make one home green while polluting other communities in the process.

Biden’s ‘American Jobs Plan’ calls for investing $213 billion in the nation’s housing infrastructure. This includes $40 billion to repair public housing, $45 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund, an expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher program and more.

The administration can ‘green’ this investment by requiring these programs to use holistic green affordable housing criteria. These should go beyond energy efficiency to include the use of sustainably produced, non-toxic building materials. In this way, the infrastructure bill could stabilize the climate and improve public health while expanding access to affordable housing.

Similarly, the Weatherization Assistance Program could be expanded to include health and safety improvements as well as energy-efficiency upgrades, creating well-paying jobs for contractors while reducing triggers for asthma and other health impacts.

To solve our housing and climate crises, we must integrate how we think about both. We do not have the time or the resources to meet our housing crisis without considering how to meet our climate crisis. And if new investments in infrastructure deploy green building practices, we can score a triple win for housing, health and the climate.

Dana Bourland is vice president of the Environment Program at the JPB Foundation and author of ‘Gray to Green Communities: A Call to Action on the Housing and Climate Crises.’

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America’s Corporate Thought Police | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2021

https://mises.org/library/americas-corporate-thought-police

David Gordon

In my column last week, I said that Senator Josh Hawley’s book The Tyranny of Big Tech raises important issues, and I’d like this week to go into one of these. He notes that Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Search have immense influence on the news and political opinions people see.

As he points out, the

tech platforms are destroying Americans’ control over their lives … by manipulating what news Americans can see and influencing the political decisions they make. By 2019, Facebook was boasting it could change election outcomes…. In the days leading up to the 2020 presidential vote, Facebook and Twitter seemed determined to try. Both platforms censored the distribution of a New York Post report detailing illicit foreign profits by Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and alleging Joe Biden’s potential involvement. The platforms suppressed the story until after the election was over. (p. 7)

Here is an example of censorship I experienced myself. Sometime ago, I tried to send a link using Facebook to an article by Gordon Tullock, “Hobson’s Imperialism” (Modern Age, 1963). Although I tried to send the link in a private message, the message did not go through. The problem was that my link was to an index run by Ron Unz, who holds controversial views that make him a “nonperson” to Facebook. His index is just that, an index, and doesn’t contain political views. But the very mention of his name in a link is sufficient to block a message.

The media giants operate on a premise that, if true, would make their acts of suppression reasonable. The premise is that certain opinions, if widely held, can cause great damage and that people cannot be trusted to judge these opinions for themselves. A wise elite must protect us from these opinions.

To return to an example mentioned last week, suppose that you would like to study whether wearing masks helps prevent the spread of covid-19. Tom Woods had an excellent YouTube video arguing that it doesn’t. YouTube took it down, and now people are now longer able to listen to his case and make up their own minds about it.

The censors reason in this way. If people see the video, they may be convinced by it and, as a result, stop wearing masks. But Woods, they think, is wrong: wearing masks is beneficial. His talk may thus have bad consequences and should be suppressed.

What is wrong with this reasoning? Obviously, if Woods is right, then if people listen to him, this will have good consequences. People will be reluctant to wear masks and this will help free us from a petty tyranny that blights our lives. But suppose, contrary to fact, that Woods were wrong. That is, suppose that wearing masks did help save lives. Then wouldn’t YouTube have done the right thing in taking down his video?

I do not think so. Shouldn’t people be free to evaluate for themselves conflicting opinions on controversial issues? That, at any rate, is the assumption on which a free society is based. In response, it might be urged that people lack the ability to do so, either because they are stupid or because they do not have the expert knowledge needed to make accurate judgments. The implicit premise of the censors is that because ordinary people do not have the ability to evaluate arguments for themselves, they must be guided by their betters to do so.

On what basis do the censors claim that ordinary people are too stupid to be able to see their way through controversial issues without expert guidance? Often, the support for the premise is that people by themselves arrive at conclusions the experts think are wrong. People who saw the video might because of their stupidity throw their masks away. And what shows they are stupid? The very fact that they find convincing the arguments against masks. This blatantly begs the question.

But aren’t the censors right that some issues cannot be judged properly without expert knowledge? That is true, but this just pushes matters back one step. Why can’t people be trusted to figure out for themselves who count as real experts? Further, it is vitally important to bear in mind that the judgments of the alleged experts on political issues to whom the media giants appeal at least in part reflect their own values, which often differ greatly from those of the public. Most people, it is safe to think, wish to retain their liberty and resent intrusions on it. Those who wore masks did so because they thought this a regrettable necessity. Dr. Anthony Fauci appears to think freedom of little value, though he does not himself observe the restrictions he endeavors to foist on others.

Unfortunately, wearing masks is but one of many instances of suppression by the media giants. If you attempt to post on Facebook videos critical of the view that “climate change” requires drastic action to deindustrialize the American economy, you will not be permitted to do so. If you search for “climate change,” you will be directed to the “Climate Science Information Center.” Here you will learn, among other things, that “the cause of climate change is widely agreed upon in the scientific community.” You will not be surprised to learn that global warming is “human-caused.” Disagreement among qualified scientists about this alleged fact is a myth. One might view this assertion with more confidence were it not the case that those experts who do dissent are censored and attacked. First you suppress the experts who reject your views; next you support your views by pointing out that those whom you haven’t suppressed agree with you. This is not altogether convincing.

The critics of the advertising algorithms whom I talked about in my article last week usually have very different political views from the supporters of masks and “climate change” activism mentioned in the present article. But both groups fall into a common pattern: they assume that people cannot judge for themselves. Thus, from one side, the purveyors of the algorithms must be stopped; from the other, people must not be exposed to the “wrong” opinions.

Though it is a digression, I’ll mention one topic that came up in the comments on my article of last week. Some people adduced as a point in support of their critical view of the algorithms that if you spend a great deal of time on Facebook or on your phone, changes in your brain will result. The insinuation was that if this is so, you are being manipulated and that such attacks on your brain need to be curtailed. Though the matter merits much more discussion than I’m giving it here, the point about brain changes is trivial and doesn’t lend support to demands for suppression. Whenever you think or feel, something is changing in your brain. To call attention to this is insufficient to show that something sinister is going on.

To return to our main topic. We ought to reject the claim that ordinary people need to be protected in forming their opinions, from whatever source this claim comes.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

Author:

Contact David Gordon

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and editor of the Mises Review.

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“Just Throwing Money, It Doesn’t Work” – Dimon Slams Planned Dem Tax Hikes As “A Little Bit Crazy” | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on May 7, 2021

Like a wealthy liberal New Yorker opposing the development of a halfway house in their neighborhood, Dimon is just the latest example of a time-honored phenomenon. It’s easy to offer lip service about raising taxes and promoting economic equality. But when the reality that their tax bill is about to explode finally sinks in, many of these pro-tax corporate crusaders change their tune.

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/just-throwing-money-it-doesnt-work-dimon-slams-planned-dem-tax-hikes-little-bit-crazy

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

And as Democrats prepare to push through the first part of Biden’s two-part “Build Back Better” ‘Great Society’-style “infrastructure” plan, which will be heavily offset by tax hikes, the biggest in decades, Dimon added yet more caveats to his original position in an interview with the Investment Company Institute this week.

Clearly having read the outlines of Biden’s plans, Dimon says he’s “concerned” about how the money raised by new taxes will be spent. To ensure that taxpayer money is spent “responsibly”, Dimon insisted that the administration should produce an itemized list detailing “miles of highway will get built and how many students the government expects to graduate from free community colleges and get high-paying jobs.” He also worried that some of the tax hikes being considered sound “a little crazy”.

Here’s more from CNN:

“I’m concerned about how the money’s going to be spent,” Dimon said in a recorded interview for the Investment Company Institute’s general membership meeting Thursday.

“The government needs to be very clear about what they want to accomplish,” he added.

Dimon said that he wants to see a bipartisan bill that specifically spells out details such as how many miles of highway will get built and how many students the government expects to graduate from free community colleges and get high-paying jobs.

“We’re just throwing money. It doesn’t work,” Dimon said. “We already waste tremendous sums of money.”

Lawmakers and the administration owe this level of transparency to the public. “If you’re going to give me your money, I’m going to be a good steward of it and here’s what I am going to accomplish and I am going to report back to you,” he said, comparing it to the information companies disclose.”

One Democratic Senator “clapped back” at Dimon on twitter, noting that “we totally do this” already.

We totally do that. He can start here. https://t.co/8nfen0xHVe https://t.co/SyWaGXPye2 — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 6, 2021

Later in the interview (which can be watched in full here), Dimon ounded more like a conservative Republican when he warned that scrapping the Trump-era corporate tax cuts – something he once spoke out against – and imposing higher rates on businesses will hurt capital formation and the economy.

“If policymakers don’t get that … they are making a mistake,” Dimon said, adding that wealthy individuals will have to pay more but that a potential capital gains tax rate of nearly 40% “won’t be successful.”

Though he apparently has caved on higher taxes, Dimon continued to virtue-signal about the importance of battling climate change.

“Climate change is a real issue that we need to attack as a nation,” he said. But he added that simply imposing more rules on businesses over emissions reporting is not the answer. He said he is in favor of a carbon tax.

Finally, Dimon also weighed in on Bitcoin. Now that his bank is launching its own cryptocurrency-focused funds for institutional clients, Dimon claimed that he’s still “not a fan” of the cryptocurrency and that the government should do more to control the rapidly growing space.

Like a wealthy liberal New Yorker opposing the development of a halfway house in their neighborhood, Dimon is just the latest example of a time-honored phenomenon. It’s easy to offer lip service about raising taxes and promoting economic equality. But when the reality that their tax bill is about to explode finally sinks in, many of these pro-tax corporate crusaders change their tune.

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Neo-colonialism has gone green – spiked

Posted by M. C. on May 1, 2021

For miserablists like these, it is a straightforward narrative: the West has (mal)developed, therefore we have to stop the developing world from ‘making the same mistakes’. The authors ignore the continued immiseration visited on undeveloped countries. And they refuse to recognise their own colonial mindset, in which the development from which the West has benefited is to be denied to the world’s poorest and voiceless (who, by the way, seem to want development).

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/04/26/neo-colonialism-has-gone-green/

Austin Williams

Neo-colonialism has gone green

Share Topics PoliticsScience & TechWorld

‘One of my top priorities… is to champion global action for vulnerable countries on the frontline of climate change.’ So said the UK’s former business secretary and now COP26 president designate Alok Sharma ahead of last month’s ‘global summit on climate and development’.

Grand words, but behind them lies a murky reality. The ‘vulnerable’ countries of which Sharma speaks are poor sovereign states that have been screwed for decades by supra-national bodies, like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. And they are about to get screwed again by the same institutions, but this time in the name of saving the planet.

Back in the 1980s, global institutions, like the IMF, provided financial aid to developing countries on the condition that they changed their economic policies, reduced inflation, devalued their currencies, and so on. These so-called structural-adjustment programmes (SAP) imposed imperial-style diktats on the way that these heavily indebted countries were allowed to develop. They forced them to restrain internal demand, shift production according to the priorities of external markets and impose policies that would provide a handsome return to the aid-giver.

In recent years, global leaders and institutions have changed tack. They no longer tell subservient nations how they should develop. Instead, they nudge developing countries to consider whether they want to develop at all. In the name of the environment, they are encouraging developing countries to stay where they are, undisturbed by anything as alien as economic progress.

This is not a surprise. In Western circles, the idea of ‘development’ has long been portrayed as a bad thing. Writing in Open Democracy, the authors of ‘Development’ is Colonialism in Disguise argue: ‘The South emulates the North, captivated by its dazzling lifestyles in a seemingly unstoppable course that brings ever more social and environmental problems. Seven decades after the concept of “development” erupted on to the scene, the entire world is mired in “maldevelopment”.’

Recommended The Green New Deal will impoverish America Joel Kotkin

For miserablists like these, it is a straightforward narrative: the West has (mal)developed, therefore we have to stop the developing world from ‘making the same mistakes’. The authors ignore the continued immiseration visited on undeveloped countries. And they refuse to recognise their own colonial mindset, in which the development from which the West has benefited is to be denied to the world’s poorest and voiceless (who, by the way, seem to want development).

This antipathy towards development is writ large in the United Nations’s 2012 review of its 1992 action plan, originally formulated at the Earth Summit in Rio. The UN complained that, hitherto, ‘donors more often than not prioritised participation in so-called development-oriented projects and not sustainable-development governance’. Instead, the UN urged donor agencies to focus on the environment, sustainable development and climate change.

The UN and aid agencies effectively disregard the sovereignty, not to mention the desires, of those nations to which they lend money. And, in doing so, they thwart poor countries’ aspirations to develop. In the place of such aspirations, the green agenda inculcates a message of limits, and portrays development as a solely destructive process.

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs is even encouraging underdeveloped nations to move beyond GDP as a measure of success. To do this, it is encouraging the use of the concept of ‘natural capital’ as a measure of a nation’s developmental status. This means that decrepit infrastructure and low productivity can be balanced against the amount of forest cover and carbon sinks a nation has. So Malawi may have no economy to speak of, but it has a magisterial coastline, unspoiled landscape, wildlife and ecosystems. All of these, the UN argues, must be factored into a nation’s economic accounts. In this way, the lunatic logic of environmentalism decides that the poorest non-developing countries are really very rich indeed.

Recommended The violent virtue-signalling of Western intervention Brendan O’Neill

Elsewhere, the World Bank is pushing a Green Gross Domestic Product (GGDP) as a useful measure of economic growth with the environmental costs and services factored in. For example, a nation’s GGDP monetises biodiversity and encourages developing countries to become ‘stewards’ of their environment rather than spoiling it with factories, housing and other signs of development. In How To Avoid a Climate Disaster, Bill Gates even advocates ‘paying countries to maintain their forests’. This effectively means bribing countries to stand still in order to save the planet.

Western politicians and political bodies are now falling over themselves to be at the forefront of this neocolonial effort to lead the world’s fight against the ‘climate crisis’, and dictate the terms of ecologically responsible development to Malawi or sub-Saharan Africa. So, while the EU is about to issue a stringent package of revised climate and energy laws for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, US president Joe Biden has stolen a march on it by convening an online global Leaders’ Climate Summit on Earth Day (22 April), at which 40 nations will draw up plans for the future.

Such is the coercive force of the West’s green agenda that even China is being brought into line. A Greenpeace activist in Beijing confirmed that ‘amid great geopolitical challenges… it is very important for the rest of the world to understand that at least on the issue of climate change the G2 [China and the US] are united again’. As far as the Western world is concerned, if climate change is the issue that can bring even China to heel, imagine what it can do to impoverished countries with no power, no reserves, and just trees.

See the rest here

Austin Williams is the author of the Academy of Ideas’ Letters on Liberty: Greens: The New Colonialists.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-World leaders pledge cooperation on climate

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2021

However, Russia and China announced no specific new emissions cuts themselves.

Other speakers urged hefty taxes on climate-damaging polluters and a slashing of government programs that amount to subsidies for oil, gas and coal.

The only lines worth reading. They tell us who will bear the burden and pay the cost.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=0d6af1bec

Many set aside other rifts for virtual summit

Ellen Knickmeyer and Aamer Madhani

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden convened leaders of the world’s most powerful countries on Thursday to try to spur global efforts against climate change, drawing commitments from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin to cooperate on cutting emissions despite their own sharp rivalries with the United States.

“Meeting this moment is about more than preserving our planet,” Biden declared, speaking from a TV-style set for a virtual summit of 40 world leaders. “It’s about providing a better future for all of us,” he said, calling it “a moment of peril but a moment of opportunity.”

“The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. The cost of inaction keeps mounting,” he added.

Biden’s own new commitment, timed to the summit, is to cut U.S. fossil fuel emissions up to 52% by 2030. marking a return by the U.S. to global climate efforts after four years of withdrawal under President Donald Trump. Biden’s administration is sketching out a vision of a prosperous, clean-energy United States where factories churn out cutting- edge batteries for export, line workers re-lay an efficient national electrical grid and crews cap abandoned oil and gas rigs and coal mines.

Japan announced its own new 46% emissions reduction target Thursday, and South Korea said it would stop public financing of new coal-fired power plants, as the U.S. and its allies sought to build momentum via the summit.

The coronavirus pandemic compelled the summit to play out as a climate telethon-style livestream, limiting opportunities for spontaneous interaction and negotiation. The opening was rife with small technological glitches, including echoes, random beeps and off-screen voices.

But the U.S. summit also marshaled an impressive display of the world’s most powerful leaders speaking on the single cause of climate change.

China’s Xi, whose country is the world’s biggest emissions culprit, followed by the United States, spoke first among the other global figures. He made no reference to nonclimate disputes that had made it uncertain until Wednesday that he would even take part in the U.S. summit, and said China would work with America in cutting emissions.

“To protect the environment is to protect productivity, and to boost the environment is to boost productivity. It’s as simple as that,” Xi said.

Putin, whose government has been publicly irate over Biden’s characterization of him as a “killer” for Russia’s aggressive moves against its opponents, made no mention of his feuding with Biden in his own climate remarks.

“Russia is genuinely interested in galvanizing international cooperation so as to look further for effective solutions to climate change as well as to all other vital challenges,” Putin said. Russia by some measures is the world’s fourth-biggest emitter of climate- damaging fossil fuel fumes.

However, Russia and China announced no specific new emissions cuts themselves.

Other speakers urged hefty taxes on climate-damaging polluters and a slashing of government programs that amount to subsidies for oil, gas and coal.

President Joe Biden and John Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, attend the virtual summit from the White House on Thursday. EVAN VUCCI/AP

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Fantastical Energy – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on February 22, 2021

As the catastrophic results in Texas this week show us, weather modeling is as iffy as using your online astrologer to plan your investments. (It was supposed to be sunny and mild.) Such forecasts are too unreliable to count on ever, but particularly when the weather is harsh and your need for reliable energy is greatest. In the real world, we have the choice of spending more money to harden conventional energy production and transmission or living with unreliable energy.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/02/fantastical_energy.html

By Clarice Feldman

Energy issues are boring to many people, full of the sort of things the current wizards of academia and the press consider “white privilege” and “patriarchal” thinking — you know, the kind of thing in which correct answers matter more than subjective feelings. Significant numbers of people escape into fantasy worlds rather than consider reality, which is not only boring, but often harsh enough that it requires us to make hard choices. Escapism seems preferable.

On the one hand, we have those hucksters who profit off our ignorance by providing dire forecasts, the daily frisson of horrific scenarios which appeal to the growing number of neurotics who need it as much as their morning coffee to jumpstart their sluggish mental systems, along with politicians who feather the nests of their buddies with expensive, nonfunctioning projects like Solyndra.  If you’ve forgotten them here are 50  of them, everything from famine to death by “blue steam,” and from a return to  ice ages to drowning by ice melts caused by climate warming.

A little something in the noggins of newspaper readers to fill the space between what’s happening with the Kardashians and the Sussexes.

On the other hand, the complexity of the issue induces others to seek less banal reality in fantasies in which free energy is there for the taking with no downsides. Both fantasies operate in tandem: We’re going to die any minute from the greenhouse effect caused by eating meat from animals that fart; by using electricity, pumping water and heating and cooling our homes and offices with energy generated by conventional means and driving our own gasoline-powered autos instead of using mass transit and electric cars. The fantasy continues that  we can only avoid it by blanketing the countryside with windmills and solar arrays and using hydro power.

Reality does not comport with our imaginations. To take one example of such thinking — there’s the claim that “just 0.1% of the heat content of Earth could supply humanity’s total energy needs for 2 million years.” — My online friend “The Great Iggy” does  know how to  count and he responds: 

This may or may not be a useful, profitable technology but “eye catching” is not the term for a pointless hyperbolic statement like the above. That’s like the claims for how much energy the sun deposits on earth’s surface each day.

We cannot tap .1% of the earth’s heat content or even a meaningful fraction of .1% of it any more than we can or should want to coat the surface of the earth with solar panels.

If we had any damned brains or weren’t under the spell of prog imbeciles we would build whatever is the cheapest energy source and enjoy the benefits of it, including a greening, wetter planet if one of the cheap source’s side effects was increased CO2.

As the catastrophic results in Texas this week show us, weather modeling is as iffy as using your online astrologer to plan your investments. (It was supposed to be sunny and mild.) Such forecasts are too unreliable to count on ever, but particularly when the weather is harsh and your need for reliable energy is greatest. In the real world, we have the choice of spending more money to harden conventional energy production and transmission or living with unreliable energy.

“Renewable intermittency is the new systematic challenge to grid reliability.” 

 The guilty party will be our choice not to invest in pipelines and backup gas plants to support our desired renewables in the face of cold spells a lot more predictable than those that landed on Texas.

This outcome is all but guaranteed unless we get a better discussion than the one we’re having. Then something else will become manifest: When the design performance limitations of utility systems come into play, it will always be in the interest of politicians and utility executives to change the subject to global warming.

Somehow voters have to focus on the fact that unless we spend money to improve reliability, we will face more $9,000 per megawatt hour (instead of $50 per megawatt hour) as Texas just did, an increase in the cost of electricity that consumers will be stuck paying for anyway.

The details of the Texas outage are explained at Powerline blog. On the reliability grading scale, natural gas scored highest even though some natural gas pipelines froze. Monday through Thursday natural gas provided over 65  percent of all electricity generation. What didn’t work?

“Green” energy: solar, wind and hydro. Solar was irrelevant to energy production in the storm, wind was virtually irrelevant as well. Indeed, it came out worst on the reliability scale, there was little wind in this cold blast and, worse, when it gets really cold “they draw power off the grid to heat their motors… they become consumers, not producers of energy.” 

There are other steps to consider to increase reliability during these rare events, mostly weatherizing the energy infrastructure, but that will cost money and — let me just spitball here — once the disaster is over, it will be politically unfeasible to advance such a program. 

Instead of real solutions, we see political leaders like Chuck Schumer blather on:  “It’s long past time for our Senate to take a leading role in combatting the existential threat of our time: climate.”  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez equates the fight to mitigate “climate change” (just a short while ago that was “climate warming” which proved ridiculous because it wasn’t much) which she dubbed her generation’s “World War II.” A year ago, about the same time Ocasio-Cortez learned to her amazement there was such a thing as kitchen garbage disposals, she proposed her fantasy “Green New Deal.”

Remember?  Stunningly Absurd “New Green Deal”

Here are some of the key ideas.

  1. Upgrade all existing buildings in the US
  2. 100% clean power
  3. Support family farms
  4. Universal access to healthy food
  5. Zero-emission vehicle infrastructure
  6. Remove greenhouse gasses form the atmosphere
  7. Eliminate unfair competition
  8. Affordable access to electricity
  9. Create high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages
  10. Guaranteeing a job with a family sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.

At the time I’d have joined others in predicting none of this would pass into law, but that’s before the White House was occupied by a man obviously senile who needs to hold his fractious troops together by catering to the ninnies supporting this nonsense. Even the Australian press has commented on it. Ours doesn’t, although as Yaacov Apelbaum, quoted here, notes, there is ample evidence in the videos of Biden’s appearances that he meets the eight diagnostic filters for multiple dementia/early Alzheimer patterns.

Maybe President Biden will retire from office early enough that he can still remember to show Ocasio-Cortez how a garbage disposal works, and they can noodle how best to stave off climate catastrophe and fight their version of WWIII.

Maybe it’s time to buy home generators.

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As Germans freeze, leading newspaper calls green energy strategy ‘a dangerous miscalculation’ – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on February 18, 2021

Call it a security crisis then NATO (US taxpayers) can bail them out.

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”
—Physicist Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/02/as_germans_freeze_leading_newspaper_calls_green_energy_strategy_a_dangerous_miscalculation.html

By Dennis Sevakis

The very green Germans have major concerns regarding their dependence on renewables:

Die Welt’ Commentary: “Europe Can’t Bail Out The German Power Supply”…Calls Strategy “A Dangerous Miscalculation”
Germany has seriously overestimated how much its neighboring countries are able to help out in the event wind and solar energy fail to deliver, thus putting its power supply at risk.
By P. Gosselin on 11 September 2018


Snow-covered solar panels don’t work (file photo).

Little attention is paid to the question of just how much “climate change” is a result of human activity — i.e., CO2 emissions into the atmosphere resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.  Does anyone have a handle on this?

A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions

ABSTRACT:We examine tropospheric temperature trends of 67runs from 22 ‘Climate of the 20th Century’ model simulations and try to reconcile them with the best available updated observations (in the tropics during the satellite era). Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs. These conclusions contrast strongly with those of recent publications based on essentially the same data. 

Copyright 2007 Royal Meteorological Society 
Received 31 May 2007; Accepted 11 October 2007

I’ve sent that around before, and here’s one of the replies I received in response to the question:

So, you think the following (‘A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions’) is b.s.? You don’t understand it? Or something else? Just asking.

Answer: “So tilts the narrative that conclusions are not credible. (can collect enough isolated facts to prove almost anything — in this case, I just don’t agree with premise.)”

…which indicates absolutely zero understanding of the issue.  The degree of warming in the tropical troposphere resulting from an increase of CO2 is the central premise behind the climate change hoopla.  The fact that such warming is not occurring to the degree predicted by the climate models is not an “isolated fact”; it is a strong indication that there is a real disconnect between theory and reality.  The linchpin is weak or missing.

Whatever observed changes are taking place, they are probably not primarily the result of CO2 “pollution.”

What’s also missing is any great awareness of this by the general population.  Try asking friends or acquaintances what their understanding is of the connection between human activity and “climate change.”  A blank stare is often the result.

As far as our climate crisis leadership elites are concerned, I have little idea how many are merely ignorant or lying or both.  Whatever the case may be, it’s misdirection on steroids — 90% politics, 10% science.

For more on the issue of what’s “science” and what’s “denial,” spend some time browsing the “Science and Environmental Policy Project” website.

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” 
—Physicist Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate

I occasionally remind myself of that.

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