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Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

“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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Joe Biden’s Two-Front Battle Against Covid and Climate Change May Trigger Severe Food Shortages for U.S. Consumers — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on February 15, 2021

Another reason that the future does not bode well for American farming is that Biden’s nominee for Agricultural Secretary is none other than Tom Vilsack, who also served as the USDA chief in the Obama administration.

Under Obama, Vilsack happily rammed through a number of delectable Dr. Frankenstein technologies, like cloned-farm animals, lab-grown meat and more new genetically modified organisms (GMOs), many from Monsanto. So while there will probably be something to eat in Biden’s new America, it might be a stretch to actually call it ‘food.’ Indeed, for those Americans who prefer a bounty of farm-fresh, organic produce as opposed to some artificial, 3D meat knockoff, the nightmare has just begun.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/02/05/joe-biden-two-front-battle-against-covid-and-climate-change-trigger-severe-food-shortages-us-consumers/

Robert Bridge

In the United States, the local farmers, it seems, are being squeezed out of business, or paid not to grow food, while Big Agriculture is more concerned with exporting its supplies than keeping domestic food stocks safe and affordable.

In an effort to fight two wars at the same time – against a pandemic as well as purported climate change – the Biden administration risks putting the United States on a crash course with food shortages and soaring prices as early as this year.

Sealed up inside of his White House fortress, surrounded by a ring of steel and thousands of National Guardsmen, U.S. President Joe Biden has been busy signing off on a raft of executive orders without the nuisance of democratic debate and congressional prattling. One of those presidential actions envisions the conservation of 30 percent of the nation’s lands and waters over the next decade. Where will all of that protected land come from? Perhaps from Bill Gates, who now owns the deed to most of the farmland in the nation? Doubtful. The answer is from small, independent farmers, whose agricultural activities, the Democrats say, are responsible for 10 percent of the manmade greenhouse emissions purportedly frying up the planet.

While occupying the previously unknown ‘Office of the President-Elect’, the Democratic leader said he would pay U.S. farmers to “put their land in conservation” and live without their ‘cash crops.’ How much the tillers of the soil will receive has not been disclosed, nor if this program will be enforced upon farmers against their will.

Another reason that the future does not bode well for American farming is that Biden’s nominee for Agricultural Secretary is none other than Tom Vilsack, who also served as the USDA chief in the Obama administration. Biden said Vilsack will help American agriculture become “the first in the world to achieve net-zero [greenhouse] emissions.” But is anyone considering what will happen if or when America achieves net-zero food production at a time when the rest of the world is hoarding limited supplies? Equally concerning will be the quality of the food being produced.

Under Obama, Vilsack happily rammed through a number of delectable Dr. Frankenstein technologies, like cloned-farm animals, lab-grown meat and more new genetically modified organisms (GMOs), many from Monsanto. So while there will probably be something to eat in Biden’s new America, it might be a stretch to actually call it ‘food.’ Indeed, for those Americans who prefer a bounty of farm-fresh, organic produce as opposed to some artificial, 3D meat knockoff, the nightmare has just begun.

A Brave New Foodless Future?

Paradoxically, at a time when the United States finds itself smack in the middle of a pandemic, which has caused supply chains to be stretched to the breaking point, it is not saving for a ‘rainy day,’ but rather exporting its farm products like there’s no tomorrow. Consider the corn exports just to China alone, below.

Corn is the winner today and it’s all about exports as China has stepped back into the market once again today with a huge 1.7MT export sale of US corn. it has been a busy week so far for US corn:https://t.co/MDXdCJ7H7J pic.twitter.com/VJ5PuS3OIa

— RitaBuyse (@ACOMRB) January 28, 2021

And when it is not buying regular corn supplies, China is buying up massive amounts of U.S. ethanol, the corn-based biofuel. The Asian economic powerhouse has bought “roughly 200 million gallons” of ethanol for the first half of 2021, matching its previous record for annual imports of the corn-based biofuel, Archer Daniels Midland Co Chief Financial Officer Ray Young told Reuters.

At the same time, America’s second leading cash crop, soybean, which is used in many products as well as for livestock, has also experienced something of a rout that looks set to become increasingly worse as the year progresses.

“The scramble for beans comes as record U.S. soybean exports and an historically large domestic crush whittled down supplies and sent prices to the highest since 2014,” the Reuters article continued. “Crop concerns in South America due to dry weather have further stoked worries over supplies and global food security during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), which represents 95 percent of the U.S.-based industry, said the 2020 crush was the largest ever, “helped by demand for diesel biofuel and unusually weak production in top soymeal producer Argentina.” Such a rapid pace could continue for only a few more months, analysts were quoting by NOPA as saying, after which soybean supplies “are uncertain.”

The question demands repeating: if the United States understands that it is dealing with a potentially critical situation with regards to food security in the middle of a pandemic, why does it continue to export at breakneck speed? While the major agricultural powerhouses, like Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, Russia and China are taking steps to protect their domestic food supplies, keeping prices in check, the U.S. seems to be bucking the trend.

Ukraine is limiting 20-21 corn exports, 24.0 mmts vs 29.0 mmts prior year.

Ukraine is not allowing the world market drawing down their corn stocks.#corn #agtrade

— National Farmers (@NatlFarmers) January 26, 2021

Perhaps the closest thing to a siren warning of danger came from a recent report by Bloomberg that carried the headline, ‘China Is So Thirsty for Soy That America Could Soon Be Importing.’ The question, however, that the article never dares to ask is: ‘importing from where?’

“China’s appetite for U.S. soy is draining silos to the point that American processors may need to import the most beans in years this summer,” the article began. “The boom in U.S. shipments to China comes after Brazil and other countries effectively ran out of exportable supplies – prospects traders in North America are now facing.”

Christian Westbrook, the host of Ice Age Farmer who has been warning about a potential “engineered famine” for some time, summed up the situation as “game over.”

“That’s why, to see the Biden administration roll forward these terrible executive orders, it’s insane,” Westbrook commented. “Other countries are frantically taking steps…to protect their domestic food supplies, keep prices low and be able to feed their animals, and then, in turn, be able to feed their people. Not here.”

Indeed, what seems to be happening in the United States is that the local farmers are being squeezed out of business, or paid not to grow food, while Big Agriculture is more concerned with exporting its supplies than keeping domestic food stocks safe and affordable. That seems to be a reckless policy at the best of times; at the peak of a pandemic, however, it is simply a recipe for disaster.

© 2010 – 2021 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org.

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The billionaire takeover of civil society – spiked

Posted by M. C. on February 1, 2021

The Omidyar Network

Omidyar, whose Omidyar Network funds AELP, also funds the Democracy Fund which is now part of Omidyar Group (1). The Democracy Fund, in turn, together with the Knight Foundation, Quadrivium, the McArthur Foundation and Luminate (also funded by Omidyar) fund Democracy Works (2). Omidyar also funds Democracy Fund Voice, which in turn contributes to Defending Democracy Together (3). Then there is Healthy Democracy which is funded by the Democracy Fund, Silicon Valley Community Foundation (which also receives money from Democracy Fund) (4) and the Ford Family Foundation. The Omidyar Network also co-funds New Public by Civic Signals, along with the Knight Foundation, One Project, the National Conference on Citizenship and the University of Texas at Austin, Centre for Media Engagement. Of course, the University of Texas at Austin, Centre for Media Engagement is also funded by the Omidyar Network, the Democracy Fund (funded by Omidyar), the Knight Foundation, Robert McCormick Foundation, and Google. To name just a few others, the Ada Lovelace Institute also receives funding from Luminate, the Wellcome Trust and Nuffield Foundation, while TicTec, a MySociety event about ‘civic tech’, is funded by Facebook, Luminate and Google, among others.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/01/29/the-billionaire-takeover-of-civil-society/

Roslyn Fuller

As the founder and operator of a pro-democracy civil-society organisation, I’ve often been astounded at calls to give NGOs a greater say in rule-making, more visibility during negotiations and privileged access to decision-makers. Because I know what few people do – that small, member-driven, self-funded NGOs are relatively rare.

Instead, the kind of organisation that tends to drive the political agenda is generally billionaire (or at least multimillionaire) funded. The most well-known examples here are groups funded by conservatives like the Koch brothers and large companies like ExxonMobil. I had naively assumed that others criticised these organisations for the same reasons I did – because their actions undermined the principle of democratic equality by giving the impression that their ideas enjoyed far more backing than they did.

However, I stand corrected.

A few months ago, I suffered a rare relapse into naivety and decided that it was about time I got on to the NGO ‘funding’ gravy train. Apparently, floods of money were out there waiting for me in the democracy world. Meanwhile, for incomprehensible reasons, I was stubbornly insisting on behaving like some old-fashioned grandmother, cackling things like, ‘In my day, we used to go around with a tin can collecting for Amnesty International at Christmas! We met in the basement of a pub and everyone paid for their own beer!’

People were so baffled at this attitude that I began to doubt myself and look into how to get funding for projects in the democracy space. And because I thought it would be a good idea to be organised about it, I made a database.

That turned out to be a good idea, because it revealed the influence exerted by a wealthy few over civil society. To illustrate this, I am going to show how just a tiny fraction of a small slice of one funding network starts, but definitely does not end, with eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar.

I should stress that I have no particular axe to grind against Omidyar, who has supported things I whole-heartedly approve of, like the Intercept under Glenn Greenwald. I also don’t believe that Omidyar is the source of any kind of unique evil or that he is up to anything other wealthy people aren’t. I merely picked him as my starting point to illustrate the generalities of the modern NGO-industrial complex, which includes an end-to-end web of political financing, of which Omidyar is merely a part.

Omidyar provides funding for, among many other things, the American Economic Liberties Project. AELP views itself as a check on the influence of big business on politics. According to its website: ‘All across society, monopolistic corporations govern much of our economic lives and exert extraordinary influence over our democracy.’

According to a typically fawning article about the AELP, during one meeting:

the conversation turned to a report the group was producing: a series of graphics showing that different brands of a certain product – or coffee – were, in fact, owned by a small number of conglomerates. The graphics represented the group’s hope that people will understand how concentration affects their lives – and be moved to do something about it. [To which AELP’s executive director Sarah Miller said:] “Let’s just wonder at it for a minute.”’

And that is exactly what we’re going to do here: just wonder at the concentration of power behind a bazillion different brand names and hope people understand how it affects their lives.

See the rest here

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Conservatives Must Now Draw A Line In The Sand And Stop The “Great Reset” | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2021

I think we are reaching a stage in the conflict between freedom advocates and collectivist tyrants when many illusions are going to melt away, and all we will be left with is cold hard reality. Now is the time when we find out who is going to stand their ground and fight for what they believe in, and who is going to cower and submit just to save their own skin.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/conservatives-must-now-draw-line-sand-and-stop-great-reset

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us,

There are many millions of Americans today in the post-election environment that feel uneasy about the fate of the country given the rise of a Biden presidency. And though I understand why this tension exists, I want to offer a possible “silver lining”; a different way of looking at the situation:

With Biden in the White House, there is no longer any ambiguity about what conservatives (and some of the more courageous moderates) need to do and need to accomplish. Now we know where we stand, and now the stakes are clear.

With Trump in office, a lot of liberty minded people became a little too comfortable, to the point that they were inactive. They actually believed the system could be repaired and corruption ended from within, and without much effort on our part beyond our votes. Trump made many conservatives lazy.

Then there was the Q-anon-sense floating around on the web which also misled some freedom activists into thinking that people much higher placed or “smarter” than us were fighting the good fight behind the scenes and that the globalists would be swept up in a grand 4D chess maneuver. This was a fantasy; it was never going to happen. Finally, everyone knows this and we can get on with the business of fighting the real battles ahead.

I think we are reaching a stage in the conflict between freedom advocates and collectivist tyrants when many illusions are going to melt away, and all we will be left with is cold hard reality. Now is the time when we find out who is going to stand their ground and fight for what they believe in, and who is going to cower and submit just to save their own skin. Now is the time when we find out who has balls.

The last four years plus the election of 2020 have revealed that political solutions are out the window. A lot of conservatives should have known better, but maybe it takes a perceived disaster to shock some people out of their waking dreams. Elections, voting, potential third parties; it’s all Kabuki theater. It’s all a facade to keep us docile and under control.

The liberty movement cannot revolve around a single political figure. We cannot bottleneck out efforts into the hands of one man or one political party. The fight is up to us – each of us as individuals. It was ALWAYS up to us.

A different form of organization needs to happen if Americans are going to protect our freedoms; a grassroots approach from the ground up rather than the top down. There will of course be people who stand out as teachers and pioneers, those that lead by example. But overall, the movement will not be acting on orders from on high. Rather, it will be acting according to self motivation. The liberty movement is not driven by personalities, but by shared principles which take on a life of their own.

I’m not worried about Biden. In fact, his presence may be the best thing to happen to conservative unity in well over a decade. The only thing I worry about, as noted, is who is going to stand their ground, and who is going to give in?

Biden may also be a wake up call for any moderate democrats out there who thought that by voting for a hair-sniffing corporate puppet they might put an end to the division and civil unrest in the nation. I think they will discover that Joe will attract even MORE civil unrest. He may even trigger more looting and rioting by Antifa and BLM during his administration than Trump did, by the simple fact these insane people will assume that Biden will be malleable and easier to exploit.

Biden himself is not all that important; he is nothing more than a foil for bigger events and a proxy for more nefarious people. His presence signals that the “Great Reset” agenda is fully greenlit. This agenda has a pretty obvious set of goals, many of them openly admitted to by the World Economic Forum, and some of them strongly implied by the extreme political left and the media. They include:

1) Perpetual pandemic lockdowns and economic controls until the population submits to medical tyranny.

2) Medical passports and contact tracing as a part of everyday life.

3) The censorship and de-platforming of all voices that oppose the agenda.

4) Greatly reduced economic activity in the name of stopping “climate change”.

5) Greatly increased poverty and the loss of private property.

6) The introduction of “Universal Basic Income” in which the government becomes the all-powerful welfare provider and nursemaid for a generation of dependent and desperate people.

7) A cashless society and digital currency system where privacy in trade is completely erased.

8) creation of a “shared economy” in which no one will own anything and independent production is outlawed.

9) The deletion of national borders and the end of sovereignty and self-determination.

10) The centralization of global political power into the hands of a select few elitists.

Now, you would think that most sensible people would be opposed to such a dystopian agenda. It would inevitably lead to mass death in economic terms, as well as war. Unless you are a psychopath that gets a vicarious thrill from the brutal oppression of millions of people, or you are a globalist that stands to gain immense power, there is nothing about the Reset that benefits you.

That said, there will still be millions of useful idiots that support totalitarian policies, and they will act to enforce them. Some of them will be convinced that they are serving the “greater good”, and others will think that they can “earn a place at the table” if they lick the boots of tyrants long enough. Bottom line? It’s not just the globalists we need to worry about, it is also the contingent of zombies they have duped or bribed into serving the Reset.

The information war is about to take a backseat and a new fight is about to begin. But how will it start?

I believe the first test for conservatives will be Biden’s pandemic response. The Reset agenda and the pandemic are closely intertwined. Do not be misled by calls from Democrats to reopen the economy; there are strings attached.

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that the state needed to reopen, or there would be “nothing left”, he also consistently hinted that vaccination numbers needed to improve. There are two big lies involved in this narrative – The first is that the vaccination rollout has failed on a technical level.

They want us to believe that only around 60% of the first 2 million vaccine doses have been administered because the state and hospitals failed to get them to citizens fast enough. The truth is, as we’ve seen in numerous polls of Americans and medical staff, millions of people DO NOT WANT to take the vaccine. The situation in New York must be shocking to establishment elites; it’s one of the most leftists states in the US and yet they can’t seem to trick enough people into taking the shot.

The same is true across the country, and it’s not because of bureaucratic failure, it is a propaganda failure.

Second, Cuomo’s statements hint that though lockdowns are destroying the economy, vaccine saturation is paramount. The message is this – “Take the vaccine, or the economy will crash.” The pandemic response is a carrot and stick approach: The lockdowns are the stick, and the reopenings are the carrot.

Of course, even if most people get vaccinated and submit to medical passports and contact tracing like good little slaves, this does not mean life will go back to normal. On the contrary, things will get much worse.

As I have noted in past articles like ‘Waves Of Mutilation: Medical Tyranny And The Cashless Society’, the globalists have admitted that the covid mandates and controls are going to be in place for many years, perhaps forever. Elites at MIT and the Imperial College Of London have written extensively about a strategy I call “Wave Theory”, in which governments constantly batter the public with waves of lockdowns followed by brief windows of partial openings and limited freedom.

The reopenings are a trick, a way to release public tension like a steam valve and make everyone think that the crisis is almost over. Then, the draconian mandates are brought back once again. This will never end. The only way to stop it is to remove the globalists from power and crush the Reset agenda.

A new narrative is already being injected into the mainstream media hinting that even vaccinations will not lead to freedom.

Anthony Fauci and others have argued that those who are vaccinated still need to follow lockdown mandates and wear masks. This policy completely ignores the scientific FACT that the death rate of covid is only 0.26% for anyone outside of a nursing home. It ignores the fact that masks have been consistently proven to do nothing to stop the spread of the virus. It ignores the fact that hospitals across the US have remained mostly empty, with only 15% of capacity in use during Covid . And, it ignores the fact that the vaccines are barely tested experimental cocktails that even the former VP of Pfizer has warned might cause dangerous autoimmune reactions and infertility.

On top of this, more and more stories about “covid mutations” are hitting the news wire. They are supposedly more infectious and more deadly than the original (which runs contrary to the natural evolution of the vast majority of viruses), and the mutation in South Africa is also “possibly” unaffected by existing vaccines. There is no concrete proof to support any of the claims, but I think you see where all of this is headed, right?

My guess is that in about two months the CDC and WHO will announce a new global outbreak of a more deadly strain of Covid. They will say the current vaccines are ineffective, and that lockdowns must continue. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are savvy to the old covid-19 scheme, so the elites are going to introduce covid-20, and covid-21, and covid-22, etc.

Biden will call for Level 4 lockdowns similar to those implemented in Europe and Australia, and this is where conservatives must draw a line in the sand and announce that we are not subject to unconstitutional restrictions, that we are breaking free. This will be our first major test.

It’s not enough to simply say “I won’t submit” when the consequences are minimal. One must be willing to fight back even when the consequences are dire. Being willing to lose everything for what you believe, being willing to possibly die for your values and principles means you are no longer a spectator in history, but an actor that can affect the future. Anything less is not enough to win the war that is coming.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : When Fascism Comes, It Will Be Wearing a Mask

Posted by M. C. on January 26, 2021

Mask and social distancing mandates, government control of private industry, and some of Biden’s other executive actions, such as one creating a new “Public Health Jobs Corps” with responsibilities including performing “contact tracing” on American citizens, are the type of actions one would expect from a fascist government, not a constitutional republic.

Joe Biden, who is heralded by many of his supporters as saving democracy from fascist Trump, could not even wait one day before beginning to implement fascistic measures that are completely unnecessary to protect public health. Biden will no doubt use other manufactured crises, including “climate change” and “domestic terrorism,” to expand government power and further restrict our liberty. Under Biden, fascism will not just carry an American flag. It will also wear a mask.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/january/25/when-fascism-comes-it-will-be-wearing-a-mask/?mc_cid=4115c2c90e

Almost immediately after his inauguration, President Joe Biden began creating new government dictates via executive orders. Many of these executive orders concern coronavirus, fulfilling Biden’s promise to make ramping up a coronavirus-inspired attack on liberty a focus of his first 100 days.

One of Biden’s executive orders imposes mask and social distancing mandates on anyone in a federal building or on federal land. The mandates also apply to federal employees when they are “on-duty” anywhere. Members of the military are included in the definition of federal employees. Will citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries where US troops are or will be “spreading democracy” be happy to learn the troops shooting up their towns are wearing masks and practicing social distancing?

Another one of Biden’s executive orders forces passengers on airplanes, trains, and other public transportation to wear masks.

Biden’s mask mandates contradict his pledge to follow the science. Studies have not established that masks are effective at preventing the spread of coronavirus. Regularly wearing a mask, though, can cause health problems.

Biden’s mask mandates are also an unconstitutional power grab. Some say these mandates are an exercise of the federal government’s constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce. However, the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to regulate interstate commerce. The president does not have the authority to issue executive orders regulating interstate commerce absent authorization by a valid law passed by Congress. The Founders gave Congress sole law-making authority, and they would be horrified by the modern practice of presidents creating law with a “stroke of a pen.”

Just as important, the Commerce Clause was not intended to give the federal government vast regulatory power. Far from giving the US government powers such as the power to require people to wear masks, the Commerce Clause was simply intended to ensure Congress could protect free trade among the states.

Biden also signed an executive order supporting using the Defense Production Act to increase the supply of vaccines, testing supplies, and other items deemed essential to respond to coronavirus. The Defense Production Act is a Cold War relic that gives the president what can fairly be called dictatorial authority to order private businesses to alter their production plans, and violate existing contracts with private customers, in order to produce goods for the government.

Mask and social distancing mandates, government control of private industry, and some of Biden’s other executive actions, such as one creating a new “Public Health Jobs Corps” with responsibilities including performing “contact tracing” on American citizens, are the type of actions one would expect from a fascist government, not a constitutional republic.

Joe Biden, who is heralded by many of his supporters as saving democracy from fascist Trump, could not even wait one day before beginning to implement fascistic measures that are completely unnecessary to protect public health. Biden will no doubt use other manufactured crises, including “climate change” and “domestic terrorism,” to expand government power and further restrict our liberty. Under Biden, fascism will not just carry an American flag. It will also wear a mask.


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Pa.’s participation in RGGI will achieve little

Posted by M. C. on January 8, 2021

“But electricity prices will be 3% lower, says Gov. Wolf. How will electricity prices be lower if the cost to produce is going to increase every year? That’s easy. Pennsylvanians would be paying slightly less for electricity because they will be using a lot less electricity.”

Comrade Wolf apparently isn’t familiar with the concept of electric vehicles. Even going for a walk takes electricity, charging the cell phone before you go out. Unless you are in lockdown where you are stuck in front of your TV or computer.

Look to Australia for what cap and trade does to a person. A scheme was initiated there a few years ago. Electric costs skyrocketed. The government had to supplement the unwashed masses so they could pay their bills. Their Green party got what they asked for.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=14909bfae

Your Turn

Steve Milloy Guest columnist Gov. Tom Wolf has started the process to enlist Pennsylvania in the battle to stop climate change.

He has proposed for Pennsylvania to join something called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced ‘Reggie’). RGGI is an agreement between Northeast states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via a cap-and-trade system.

If Pennsylvania joins RGGI, power plants in the state will be required to purchase permits for every ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted. The scheme is for the price of the permits to go up and their availability go down every year so that it becomes more and more expensive for power plants to emit CO2.

What could go wrong a plan to make electricity cost steadily more?

If you listen to Wolf administration, the answer is nothing. Gov. Wolf estimates that emissions will decline by a cumulative 188 million tons by 2030, electricity prices will be 3% lower than they otherwise would be by 2030, personal income will be slightly lower by 2030 (-0.02%) but state revenue will be slightly higher (0.02%), and there will be public health benefits worth an estimated $6.3 billion by 2030.

The whole idea of this scheme is to ‘combat climate change.’ Will it? Regardless of whether you believe United Nations science on climate, an indisputable reality is that human activities produce about 55 billion tons of emissions ever year and the UN has projected that those emissions are increasing with no end in sight.

So by 2030, when RGGI membership supposedly will have reduced state CO2 emissions by a total of 188 million tons, the world will have emitted more than 550 billion tons. So RGGI in Pennsylvania will reduce global emissions by a not-so-whopping 0.034%. The insignificance to the global climate and weather of that level of emissions cut is obvious. So RGGI will accomplish nothing for the climate or environment.

But electricity prices will be 3% lower, says Gov. Wolf. How will electricity prices be lower if the cost to produce is going to increase every year? That’s easy. Pennsylvanians would be paying slightly less for electricity because they will be using a lot less electricity.

Gov. Wolf wants to reduce cumulative electricity use in Pennsylvania by a whopping 27,822 gigawatt-hours by 2030. The other word for this so-called ‘demand reduction’ policy is ‘rationing.’ Though the world is awash in cheap energy, electricity will be arbitrarily rationed by government decree in Pennsylvania.

And let’s not forget that compared with states without excessive CO2 emissions regulations, Northeast states already in RGGI have seen their electricity prices rise 64% faster, according to the Commonwealth Foundation.

What about the projections for personal incomes and state revenues? I know of no state government that can successfully predict your or its income 10 years in the future. But if you work in, or depend on the coal or fracking industry, RGGI is not designed to be a job security program for you. Such high-paying jobs are earmarked to be redistributed to much lower wage wind and solar workers.

Although the Wolf administration projects the state to come out ever so slightly ahead by 2030 because of RGGI’s cap-and-tax design, this is questionable. There will be offsetting lost tax revenues from reduced coal mining and fracking. Also, it’s hard to imagine how making people pointlessly poorer will boost state tax revenues.

Finally, there is the claim that RGGI’s emissions cuts will bring public health benefits that, if hypothetically monetized, are worth billions of dollars. This is nonsense.

Pennsylvania’s air quality is already clean and safe.

There is no scientific or medical evidence indicating that the historically low levels of power plant emissions across Pennsylvania are harming anyone’s health or that lowering them further will make anyone healthier.

In contrast, it is well known that unemploying people or otherwise making them poorer negatively affects their health. That is certain to happen as Pennsylvania’s RGGI membership shutters coals mines, fracking fields, power plants and their support industries.

What’s the bottom line? Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI will accomplish nothing for the environment, climate or public health. Instead, energy prices will increase. Personal income and state tax revenues will be put at risk. Electricity rationing will only move Pennsylvania’s standard of living in the wrong direction.

The cap-and-tax wolf is at the door, Pennsylvania. Don’t open it.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com. He served on the Trump EPA transition team and is the author of ‘Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.’ Work continues at a shale gas well drilling site in St. Mary’s, Pa., in March. The fracking process has raised environmental concerns while turning the state into a major energy producer. Keith Srakocic/ap/File

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