Climate hypocrisy rules the day with jet-setting liberal influencers
Polls show that people are a lot more concerned about climate change than they used to be. But are they responding to actual evidence of climate change, or the constant harangues at them by Chicken Little politicians and cultural influencers desperate to prove their Gaia-reverent, politically correct credentials?
My own skepticism is buttressed when, for example, I see the Obama family purchasing a $15 million home on Martha’s Vineyard, a short walk from the beach. Obama is a huge climate alarmist. Does he or doesn’t he believe that sea levels are rising at a hugely accelerated rate because of climate change?
And if he does, why is he paying top dollar to get it? Shouldn’t it be a buyer’s market, if all the well-educated, sincerely environmentally-conscious people who own homes there believe the “consensus” view of a multiple-foot rise within 50-80 years, which would effectively finish off posh islands like Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket? In normal crises affecting threatened regions, real estate prices tumble. Instead, coastal property prices everywhere are stable or rising.
In another, much more convincing sign of the gap between rhetoric and action, the Government Accountability Institute undertook a yearlong study of 40 coastal cities, such as New York and New Orleans and San Francisco, whose waterfront areas and historic neighbourhoods would be severely affected or lost by rising oceans, and whose political leaders publicly concur with the alarmist narrative.
The question the researchers sought to answer was: “[W]hen [politicians] authorize selling municipal bonds to pay for local development, do they mention any of these risks to investors?” Financial officials—unlike party leaders on campaign trails—are legally obligated to disclose all significant risks to the value of the bonds.
The researchers found that the risk of the city being swamped by ocean water was all too often not disclosed. The study looked at 100 bond issues, mostly of the GO type (General Obligation)—that is, not specifically tied to one particular revenue source, but priced and issued based on the future economic prospects of the city’s overall tax base. They chose 100 of these issuances for 20 high-risk coastal cities, and also 100 issuances for 20 low-risk inland cities such as Chicago and Kansas City.
Greater risk is supposed to produce a higher bond interest rate, or “coupon rate.” The average bond maturity for the at-risk sample was 17.95 years; for the no-risk sample it was 17.09 years. Seventeen years from now—2036— sea level rise should, according to alarmists, be producing consequences for coastal cities that should affect the risk of these bonds, which should, therefore, be returning a significantly higher rate of interest.
The study also examined the official statements concerning each bond issue. “These documents are issued by the city and its agents to explain the purposes and risk factors of the bonds and describe the city’s financial outlook, future prospects” and so forth.
But after compiling the 200 bond issuances, the study found “no statistically significant difference between the coupon rate offered by at-risk cities and the coupon rates for the no-risk cities.”
This does not square at all with previous pronouncements of politicians in coastal cities. New York’s Bill de Blasio, for example, has said climate change is a “dagger aimed straight at the heart” of his city. In statements of claim against ExxonMobil, Chevron and other oil companies by the City of Oakland, the City of San Francisco and San Mateo County, the plaintiffs stated that the threats of rising sea levels were so ominous that “by 2050, a ‘100-year flood’ in the Oakland vicinity is expected to occur…and by 2100…once per week.” These floods would threaten Oakland’s sewer system and property and might cost the city as much as $38 billion dollars to manage.
But lo! In their risk statement to investors, New York and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey include only passing references to climate change or sea levels. And Oakland’s 2017 bonds document states, “The City is unable to predict when seismic events, fires or other natural events, such as sea rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm, could occur, when they may occur, and, if any such events occur, whether they will have a material adverse effect on the business operations or financial condition of the City or the local economy.”
San Mateo County offers a similar scenario, and similar wording in its statement, as did Boston, San Francisco, Marin County and the City of Imperial Beach. The cities of Miami and Boston both have mayors that invoke the menace of climate change to their cities when they are seeking grants from the federal government, but neither mayor took his alleged fears into consideration when issuing permits for flood-susceptible areas.
In fact, the study looked at 4,361 pages of official documents for the 20 at-risk cities, scanning for words like “sea-level rise,” “flood,” “climate change” and even “global warming.” They found fewer than 100 relevant mentions in all those pages and, in fact, “twelve of the cities did not mention any of the terms even once in such a context.”
The bottom line is that either truths are being concealed in the issuance of bonds in these cities—a very grave offence—or lies are being promulgated in the alarmist narratives spouted by the mayors when there is no price to pay for dishonesty, and grants from government or payouts from oil companies to be had for exaggerations. I know which scenario makes the most sense to me.
Twenty-nine climate activist youths occupied the offices of several figures of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline in Toronto today. The group also had a protest on Bay Street which temporarily shut down traffic.
According to reports from ClimateJustice T.O., a group focused on achieving “climate justice,” 29 youth occupied the offices of the prime financiers of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in Toronto “in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en peoples.”
The group stated on their Instagram page that they also occupied the office of RBC’s CEO David McKay, stating that the bank “is the exclusive financial advisor to CGL, which means they’re responsible for man camps leading to MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), fossil fuel extraction, and land theft at gunpoint.”
The group had a large protest circle at the intersection of Bay and King street in Toronto which halted traffic for a number of hours.
“As major financiers of the CGL natural gas pipeline, these corporations must divest their involvement in a project that is attempting to illegally construct a pipeline on Wet’suwwet’en First Nation territory, facilitating a colonial invasion by the RCMP, and locking us into decades of fossil fuel extraction. We unite in solidarity with Wetsuwet’en land defenders,” the group said in a statement.
Australia takes legal action against 183 during bushfire season; celebrities claim they were caused by climate change
Australia’s rampant and destructive wildfires were started by arson and other causes, as well as fueled by dry conditions and high temperatures, but you’d never know it from the Golden Globes or mainstream media outlets.
In November, a teenage volunteer firefighter from New South Wales was charged with setting 7 bushfires in the region, and then returning with his brigade to fight them. Apparently, he has set 17 fires, and the pyromaniac has now been barred from access to any firefighting equipment.
“When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster,” Cate Blanchett said.
Meanwhile, Russell Crowe’s statement at the Golden Globes, read aloud by Jennifer Anniston, stated that “the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based. We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy, and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future.”
Switching the script, Joaquin Phoenix took personal responsibility for his own actions, and advocated for a plant-based diet. “It’s great to vote, but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives and hope that we can do that. We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the awards. I’ll try to do better, and I hope you will too.”
According to The Australian, “Police arrested 183 people for lighting bushfires across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania in the past few months. NSW police data shows 183 people have been charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offences since November 8, and 24 arrested for deliberately starting bushfires.”
This claim was later revised to 183 people who Australian authorities have taken “legal action” against. Still, that’s 183 people who have acted illegally with regards to fire safety during this period of catastrophic bushfires, displacement, property loss, and deaths of both people and animals.
So why do so many Hollywood celebrities claim that the massive fires in Australia are a result of climate change? There’s a years’ long drought along Australia’s Gold Coast. There are rising temperatures. This has been the driest year on record, and the fire and cyclone seasons are just around the corner. But without those 183 irresponsible or malicious people since August, these blazes would probably be substantially less bad.
Climate change, greenhouse gases, pollution, air quality, and other threats to life and quality of life are of course real concerns. But the predilection of media and stars to taking any tragedy and using it as a fulcrum for their own cause celeb does less to amplify the need for action and policy change, and more to highlight the myopia that makes the public at large roll their eyes. Extinction Rebellion, devotees of teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, and simplifications of complex issues make it easy for people to dismiss climate concerns as baseless. Stating facts and offering solutions will do more to convince people of the need for change than easily dismissable hyperbole.
A $182.5 million federal government program has so far subsidized 102 electric vehicle charging stations across Canada, but some locations are used barely once-a-day according to an audit by Natural Resources Canada.
“Overall, the demand for electric vehicles has increased significantly in Canada,” reports NRCan despite a 1,254 percent increase in electric vehicle sales between 2013 and 2018. The 44,000 vehicles purchased in Canada in 2018 represented just three precent of the total new car market for that year.
Ottawa’s Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure initiative provides half of the cost of electric vehicle charging stations up to a value of $50,000 and the same deal for natural gas or hydrogen fuel cell stations up to a value of $1 million.
Proponents include municipalities and businesses and in addition to electric stations, seven natural gas fuelling stations and three hydrogen fuel cell stations have been built to date, and their construction exceeded NRCan’s expectations.
“EV stations are present in densely populated areas, selected remote locations, and along the cross-Canada main corridor,” according to the department, which reviewed each site before approving the funding.
Unfortunately, fewer than six percent of the units were in service long enough to provide any measure of success.
“As of March 31, 2019, only six of the 102 EV stations reported usage data to NRCan; the data were not provided for the remaining stations because they have not yet been in operation for a full year,” according to the NRCan audit.
Of the half-dozen stations NRCan was able to glean 365 days of usage data—two in Peel Region (Ontario) and four in Quebec—the electric vehicle chargers were utilized an average of 2.6 times-per-day.
The pair of EV chargers in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Que, barely registered one charge-per-day (1.2) compared to nearly four-times (3.7) for Peel’s stations. Based on an average charge time of 38 minutes for Peel’s EV charging locales, the infrastructure sat idle more than 21 hours each day.
The federal program is intended to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for which transportation accounts for approximately 25 percent of Canada’s annual GHG output, which in 2016 was 704 megatons.
In order for Canada to meet its Paris Agreement commitments, total annual GHG emissions must be brought to 512 mT/year, or 30 percent below 2005 levels.
Norway is heavily involved in the ongoing climate change debate on a national and worldwide level. The Scandinavian country is also on course to drill more oil wells in the future than they ever have in the past.
It is estimated that the country will drill 130 wells this year—16% more than in 2018. According to Rystad Energy, 55 of the wells are meant for drilling for new sources of oil. This is sometimes referred to as “exploration drilling.”
According to Fortune, drilling is expected to take place in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, where much of the oil production occurs in the North Sea.
Rystad analyst Eivind Drabløs, said, “This brings activity levels in line with the record pace last seen in 2013 and 2015 before the effects of the oil price collapse took hold on the drilling market in Norway.”
The agency has also predicted that between now and 2023, there will be around 30 to 50 drills per year for “exploration” purposes.
Consultancy Wood Mackenzie noted in January that there is a “promising year ahead” for North Sea oil exploration with help from raised budgets for the oil companies.
Around the same time, analyst Neivan Boroujerdi wrote, “Norway will be at the heart of the uptick, with drilling expected to reach pre-downturn levels.”
Norway is at the forefront of the green movement, which puts them in an interesting situation. The country has embraced many green technologies though much of their wealth has come from the drilling of oil.
In 1969, Norway began drilling offshore, making the country one of the biggest producers of oil in the world. This brought in a large amount of wealth to the Norwegian people. The oil coming from the North Sea also contributed profit to the U.K.
Many Norwegians are not happy with the oil industry and have been making themselves heard. Some parties such as the Greens and the Socialist Left party have been gaining support as they are against heavy drilling in the industry, while parties supporting the growth have taken a hit.
The political division has been growing in the country as the drilling continues alongside green initiatives and an ever-increasing awareness of the impact drilling is having on the climate.