Hey look

September 25th, 2019

Some guy at the UN:

One of the most serious challenges our countries face is the specter of socialism. It’s the wrecker of nations and destroyer of societies. Events in Venezuela remind us all that socialism and communism are not about justice. They are not about equality. They are not about lifting up the poor. And they are certainly not about the good of the nation. Socialism and communism are about one thing only, power for the ruling class. Today I repeat a message for the world that I have delivered at home. America will never be a socialist country. In the last century, socialism and communism killed 100 million people.

Yeah, wise guy – who else killed that many?

Warm is better

September 25th, 2019

China. “Their study also found that 500-year cycles often ended with rapid climate cooling. Whenever that happened, societies started to collapse.” How’s that Maunder Minimum working out for you?

Execution?

September 25th, 2019

Anyone with half a brain knows that, as we’ve noted, the Biden story is precisely the opposite of what Biden and his buddies claim. Yet there are accomplished R’s that want the president executed. Huh??? (Psst, hey, maybe the D’s know that the R’s are really stupid.)

Good piece

September 24th, 2019

Good piece from Andrew Sullivan.

Why?

September 24th, 2019

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 220 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

ROME – When Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg was 11 years old, her body had started to shut down due to severe self-starvation tied to debilitating depression. She spoke to almost no one but her immediate family. She was afraid of crowds. She was lost in her own world, and the world very nearly lost her.

But thanks to the formal diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome coupled with high-functioning autism and obsessive compulsive disorder, the now-16-year-old Swede has become quite literally the poster child for the generation that will have to deal with the destruction of our planet. Once she started receiving multifaceted treatment, Thunberg was able to channel her anxiety into something we should all be concerned about: the health of the planet and the science behind apocalyptic warnings of its demise.

In October 2018, Thunberg started having anxiety-ridden 3 a.m. nightmares, but unlike before, they were not about her. The recurring nightmares were about the impact of global warming on the planet, according to the book, Scenes From the Heart, she wrote with her parents and sister Beata, who also suffers from many of the same emotional conditions.

This time, instead of holing up in her bedroom as she did before treatment, she decided that her anxiety about the climate needed to become everyone else’s, too. One of the aspects of her complicated diagnosis is obsession. Her family says she just wouldn’t let the idea go that the planet was burning up and there was ample science to prove it. She did not understand why no one was doing anything. She could not comprehend why adults and policy makers were ignoring the issue.

She started skipping school on Fridays to protest, all alone, on the steps of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm where she grew up. Slowly–and in some ways inexplicably—the protests, which were dubbed Fridays for Future, caught on and soon she was joined by tens, then scores, then hundreds of Swedish children demanding that adults start paying attention to science when it comes to climate change.

Soon, the girl who once would not leave her bedroom was traveling across Europe to draw her peers out of the classrooms and onto the streets for the sake of the environment. Since she began not even a year ago, the protests have been held in 100 cities by teen activists. Her intensity has become her secret weapon and her now-famous speeches at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, in front of the British Parliament and at the United Nations’ COP24 Climate Talks, landed her a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

“You have ignored us in the past, and you will ignore us again,” she told the World Economic Forum in Davos. “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.” “Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences,” she scolded the British Parliament. “But their voices are not heard. Is my microphone on? Can you hear me?”

When she was invited to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York to be held later this month, she was faced with a dilemma. Would she look like a hypocrite hopping on a jet, leaving the very carbon footprint she had won such acclaim railing against? Instead, she took a state-of-the art carbon-zero yacht called the Malizia II, and made the journey by sea.

The Malizia II is owned by German property developer Gerhard Senft. It was built as a high-tech racing craft that was designed to collect data for scientists studying rates of ocean acidification from carbon emissions. Senft offered use of the boat and crew when he heard Thunberg wanted to sail across the Atlantic to address the climate summit.

In the 14 days at sea, some of them in inclement weather, the crew didn’t turn on the motor once. The Malizia II crew was led by Pierre Casiraghi, who happens to be the grandson of Monaco’s Prince Rainier III and actress Grace Kelly. The yacht is kitted out with solar panels and hydro generators, meaning it is completely emission-free. But its spare design doesn’t have a functioning toilet, shower or other amenities.

RELATED IN WORLD: Greta Thunberg Calls Out Leaders at UN: ‘You Are Failing Us;’ U.N. Climate Summit Makes Progress as Trump Lives in Fantasy; Climate Migrants May Number 143 Million by 2050

Not everyone wants to hear Thunberg’s message and there is a growing chorus of people who say she and her obsessive condition are being exploited for political purposes. Thunberg has been the object of cruel attacks from climate change deniers who have used her medical conditions against her. Arron Banks, a prominent British businessman who bankrolled the drive for Brexit, tweeted, “Freak yachting accidents do happen in August.” He later said the tweet was a joke, but he has not removed it from his feed. Far-right groups across Europe have chided her and her message, referring to the “apocalyptic dread in her eyes” and saying many other things far too cruel to repeat.

There is an argument to be made that climate deniers tend to be men and climate activists, with the exception of Al Gore, tend to be women, sparking debate whether there is a misogynistic element to the debate. A 2016 study in the Journal of Consumer Research, “Is Eco-Friendly Unmanly? The Green-Feminine Stereotype and Its Effect on Sustainable Consumption,” backs up the theory. “Men may shun eco-friendly behavior because of what it conveys about their masculinity,” the authors write. “It’s not that men don’t care about the environment. But they also tend to want to feel macho, and they worry that eco-friendly behaviors might brand them as feminine.”

Thunberg’s most vocal critics, it has to be said, are all men, but many of them actually go beyond misogyny and come very close to shaming her for her Asperger’s. Steve Milloy, a former Trump staffer and full-time Thunberg obsessive, regularly tweets about the “climate puppet.” He claims that the “the world laughs at this Greta charade,” often posting pictures of the teenager in awkward poses.

Her response has always been swift to her 1.4 million Twitter followers and 3.1 million followers on Instagram. “I am indeed ‘deeply disturbed’ about the fact that these hate and conspiracy campaigns are allowed to go on and on and on just because we children communicate and act on the science,” she tweeted in August. “Where are the adults?”

Thunberg chronicled her journey to America by sea on her social media, but after each post is a usual barrage of hate, insults and cruelty of the kind you might expect on a playground. She reads them all, often commenting, but most often questioning why people just don’t want to see the truth.

When she neared Manhattan in late August after two weeks on the high seas, she was escorted into the harbor by a fleet of 17 boats representing the U.N.’s sustainability development goals and hordes of teens who stood in the rain at 3 a.m. to cheer her to shore. Many will attend the Fridays for Future protest in New York City on September 20. Others just wanted to get a glimpse of their unlikely heroine. But one person she won’t see when she is in the U.S. is President Donald Trump. She has not been invited to meet him, but if she is, she told her supporters that she would decline because she has “nothing to say” to those who don’t believe the science.

“I usually ignore them,” she said when asked recently what she would tell a climate change denier like Trump. “I have nothing to say to them and they have nothing to say to me.” She added that, indeed, if she did meet the president or someone “like him” she would keep going back to the science. “Many people think climate change is an opinion,” she said. “But it’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.”

On September 23, Thunberg will address the U.N. Climate Change Summit, quoting from her recent book No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference. She has held weekly Fridays for Future protests since her arrival in late August, inspiring hundreds of American teens to protest for policy changes. She has also inspired many of her peers to ignore the naysayers.

“When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go,” she tweeted a few hours after she docked in New York. “And then you know you’re winning! I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances – being different is a superpower.” Indeed, in the case of this young Swedish climate-busting hero, it most certainly is.

COMMENTARY: So we continue in our soft Civil War. There’s no dialogue possible. We think the other side is silly and worse, and they have similar thoughts about us. And it’s not just the enviro stuff. We agree with Trump on most issues and think he’s doing a good job. He’s a very funny guy, which is a big plus, and we even like his tweeting. For the other side, it was Russia! to start, then Racist!, etc., and now for some odd reason, Impeach! We think a good chunk of these people have been swept away by a very weird religious cult. However, that’s not the reason for quoting the Daily Beast article. Why quote it? It was the first place we’ve seen that a 16 year old has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We bet she wins. That’s the world we’re in today.

Mototaka Nakamura

September 24th, 2019

Yet another via AT. Just sayin’

On a scale of 1 to 10…

September 23rd, 2019

On a scale of 1 to 10, if you say the weather is an existential threat, what level of idiot are you? Okay, should you be free to walk the streets and run for president saying such bilge, or should you be locked up like the lunatic you are?

BTW, we’re speaking as an expert on this, since, up close and personal, we’ve seen weather as an existential threat, if you wear the wrong clothes, that is. We’ve seen global warming so severe that temperatures have varied IN A SINGLE YEAR by over one hundred and ten degrees!!!!!!

Expensive rubbish

September 23rd, 2019

Foreign Affairs:

As world leaders gather on Monday for the Climate Action Summit at the UN General Assembly, it is sadly clear that the prospect of rising global temperatures and sea levels has failed to generate a sufficient sense of urgency around climate change. What might spur leaders to action, if it were better understood, is the enormous threat that climate change already poses to human health.

Climate change exacerbates chronic and contagious disease, worsens food and water shortages, increases the risk of pandemics, and aggravates mass displacement. The broad environmental effects of climate change have long been discussed as long-term risks; what’s clear now is that the health effects are worse than anticipated — and that they’re already being felt.

The dangerous health effects of climate change begin with the emissions that cause it. Black carbon, methane, and nitrogen oxides are powerful drivers of global warming, and, along with other air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and ozone, they are responsible for over seven million deaths each year, about one in eight worldwide. The problem extends beyond cities with famously poor air quality, such as New Delhi, Beijing, and São Paulo. Ninety percent of the world’s urban dwellers breathe air containing unsafe pollution levels, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The dangers start at the beginning of life. Toxic pollutants cross the placenta, increasing the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight, which can cause lifelong damage to multiple organ systems. Children breathe more rapidly than adults do, so they absorb more pollutants at a time when their developing organs are more vulnerable. As a result, air pollution causes an estimated 600,000 deaths each year in children under five, mostly from pneumonia. There is also emerging evidence that air pollution compromises children’s cognitive development and can increase their risk of behavioral disorders.

In adults, pollution contributes to a wide range of respiratory and circulatory diseases, and may accelerate cognitive decline in seniors. Most air-pollution-related deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, but ambient air pollution also accounts for a significant number of pneumonia, asthma, emphysema, and lung cancer deaths.

In addition to air pollution, emissions are responsible for rising global temperatures. These in turn lead to increased humidity and cause more frequent and intense heat waves that worsen hypertension and mental health problems, and can limit the effectiveness of certain medications. When a person’s body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or above, systematic organ failure occurs. Heat waves this summer killed 1,435 people in France alone, the only country to have published statistics on heat-related deaths. As many of the world’s major population centers grow hotter and more humid, more people will die from simply overheating.

Climate change also compounds the threat of communicable diseases. Increased rainfall and higher temperatures favor vector-borne diseases—those caused by parasites, viruses, and bacteria transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and fleas. Cold-blooded insects generally prefer warmer temperatures, which not only extend their breeding seasons but accelerate their geographical expansion.

The mosquito is already the deadliest animal in the world, causing more than half a million deaths each year — 438,000 of them from malaria. Warmer temperatures make it easier to transmit malaria at higher altitudes, and may cause it to spread farther into African highlands.

Another virus likely to spread as a result of climate change is dengue, which currently infects 96,000,000 people each year and kills 90,000 of them. Dengue virus is transmitted by two species of mosquito — Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus — that are unusually tough and also transmit yellow fever, Zika, West Nile, and other viruses. More than half the world’s population lives in areas where an Aedes species is already present—and that proportion is likely to grow. A. aegypti in particular thrives not only in warm and moist environments but in drought-prone ones, too. Europe, North America, and high-elevation areas in the tropics may soon have to contend with dengue as well as other emerging diseases.

The steady swarm of Aedes into new regions points to the single biggest threat of all: pandemic disease. As man-made climate change has taken hold over the last four decades, dozens of new infectious diseases have emerged or begun to threaten new regions, including Zika and Ebola. Cholera is also becoming more difficult to control: warm, brackish waters and rising sea levels help spread the disease, which infects about four million people each year and kills about 100,000 of them. Bubonic plague, spread by rats and fleas, is predicted to increase with warmer springs and wetter summers. Anthrax, whose spores are released by thawing permafrost, could spread farther as a result of stronger winds.

And those are just the direct health effects of climate change. Rising sea levels and increased ocean acidification will reduce fishing and aquaculture, aggravating malnutrition and food insecurity. Contamination of aquifers will exacerbate water shortages. Droughts, which already kill and displace more people than any other type of weather catastrophe, are predicted to grow longer and more frequent. The World Bank estimates that by 2050, there could be one billion climate refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

Extreme weather also disrupts public health infrastructure and services. That is why it is imperative that countries around the world invest in adapting health-care systems to the environmental changes already underway and likely to follow. At the first high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) at the United Nations, the WHO will call on world leaders to invest not only in safe water, hygiene, and sanitation services but also in universal access to health services for chronic disease, child health, and antenatal and palliative care. Almost every disease caused or aggravated by climate change can be prevented or treated if addressed early. Unfortunately, the WHO projects that by 2030, 42% of the world’s population will either not have access to health services or not be able to afford them.

Universal health coverage includes screening and accurate and timely diagnostics. It also includes surveillance and rapid response to emerging global health threats. The world has tended to fight such threats one disease at a time — whether it is smallpox, polio, TB, HIV/AIDS, or malaria — and to adopt a firefighting approach when a deadly pandemic such as Ebola emerges. Taking on the whole range of global health threats at once by implementing universal health coverage by 2030 is not only the best way to prepare for inevitable climate-related catastrophes; it will also prevent up to one billion deaths from communicable disease, according to the WHO. As world leaders gather in New York to address climate change, they should remember the threat that it poses to human health and act decisively to implement universal health coverage.

WHO gets $1.5 billion from Bill Gates and the US government. Hey, stop wasting your money.

Okay, we get it now – maybe

September 22nd, 2019

After consulting with Clarice, as well as Rocky and Bullwinkle, and using additional fortune telling techniques, we have arrived at a conclusion. The media are most certainly stupid and self-absorbed, but even they must know that a scandal that has already completely been reported on for over half a year can’t transform itself into The Trumpian Scandal of the Century if the president discussed it in a phone call last week. We’re guessing that it’s one of the confrères of Clapper and Brennan trying to help get someone in the White House in 2021 that will save them from wearing orange jumpsuits; they know that a mention of Trump will get the volume turned up to 11, but eventually this may be the thing that gets Senile Old Joe to finally retire. That’s our guess anyhow.

Getting the vapors at the WSJ

September 21st, 2019

Background to this piece: Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.

This Shocked! Shocked! WSJ piece below is from the other day, and it is freaking out about things reported in April and earlier, huh? Please note that we live in the most wonderful world of all, where the US Number 2 Executive demanding that a prosecutor who’s going after his kid gets fired – or else billions in foreign aid are dropped – is “no evidence of wrongdoing.” Beautiful, just beautiful.

“President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son, according to people familiar with the matter, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani on a probe that could hamper Mr. Trump’s potential 2020 opponent. “He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” if his lawyer’s assertions that Mr. Biden acted improperly as vice president were true, one of the people said. Mr. Giuliani has suggested Mr. Biden’s pressure on Ukraine to fight corruption had to do with an investigation of a gas company for which his son was a director. A Ukrainian official this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son Hunter Biden. Mr. Trump in the call didn’t mention a provision of U.S. aid to Ukraine, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid pro quo for his cooperation on any investigation. The interactions between the president, Mr. Giuliani and Ukraine have come under scrutiny in recent days in the wake of a whistleblower complaint that a person familiar with the matter said involves the president’s communications with a foreign leader. The complaint, which the Washington Post reported centers on Ukraine, has prompted a new standoff between Congress and the executive branch. Separately, lawmakers are investigating any connection between the review of foreign aid to Ukraine and the efforts to pressure Kiev to look into Mr. Biden. Mr. Giuliani in June and August met with top Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation, he said in an interview. After the July call between the two presidents, the Ukrainian government said Mr. Trump had congratulated Mr. Zelensky on his recent election and expressed hope that his government would push ahead with investigations and corruption probes that had stymied relations between the two countries. The White House declined to comment. Mr. Biden, in a statement Friday, called for the White House to release the transcript of the president’s call with Mr. Zelensky. “Such clear-cut corruption damages and diminishes our institutions of government by making them tools of a personal political vendetta”

That’s the WSJ, not the NYT, BTW. Now let’s compare what was ancient history, um, April 1 of this year:

Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor. In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat. Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden’s account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day. Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s parliament obliged by ending Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired. But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member. U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia. The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Um, we’re missing what’s giving the WSJ NYT-style vapors, when the stories have been out for all to see for many months, and it’s clear who the bad guys are – and they’re not the ones asking obvious questions, domestic or foreign. So huh? What are we missing?

Question of the day

September 21st, 2019

Sums are not set as a test on Erasmus. The question of the day is: why? Extra Corn Pop for the first correct answer, but Esther Williams will not be at the pool, since she’s too busy conspiring with Ukraine.

Some reading and viewing

September 21st, 2019

Feel free to believe in greenhouse gas climate doom if you like. However, it is not all non-cognoscenti on the other side of the issue, which we believe to be the #2 economic scam in history. (BTW, the scam has Spy vs. Spy hidden sneaky laugh benefits to the Commies and others who’d like to see the West cripple itself.)

We begin our discussion with the humiliating defeat of climate God / Mann (of hide the decline fame). Professor Mann sued Dr. Tim Ball in Canada for saying he was a fraud, and then he failed to produce the evidence for his famed hockey stick (which chart, in a Freudian confession, actually eliminated the MWP!!!!). Gee, why would he fail to produce evidence for such a famous thing? Hmmm? Steyn has more, as Mann’s similar suit against him seeks to enter its second decade.

Meanwhile, here’s a rather funny piece by Richard Lindzen, and a longer one here. Then there’s another one saying that CO2 is beneficial by a fellow named Dyson. (BTW, how can it be beneficial if, to the nearest 1/10 of 1%, there is 0% CO2 in the atmosphere? It must be Magic CO2!)

We also recommend some PragerU material. Here’s one from Bjørn Lomborg, a believer in global warming, another from Lindzen, and a piece hauling PragerU over the coals (as it were), which we include since it is amusingly authored by someone named Joe McCarthy.

Enjoy.

2 out of 4

September 20th, 2019

NYT:

Anxious about their future on a hotter planet, angry at world leaders for failing to arrest the crisis, hundreds of thousands of young people poured into the streets on Friday for a day of global climate protest.

In New York City the main demonstration got underway around midday, but participants began assembling early at Foley Square and it was clear that turnout would be large. By midafternoon, the New York City mayor’s office estimated the crowd at 60,000.

“I’m feeling very hopeful,” said Azalea Danes, 20, a senior at the Bronx High School of Science. “This is our first inter generational strike.”

Thousands of marchers eventually made their way out of the square, turning south on Broadway and heading toward an afternoon rally at Battery Park. Youth leaders led the group in chants of “you had a future and so should we” and “we vote next” as they marched. Many brought handmade signs. “Think or Swim,” one read.

Strikes were planned in each of the 50 United States. By late morning, protesters across the Eastern Seaboard were streaming out of schools and office buildings, pooling around steps of local city halls. The police in Baltimore blocked roads as students arrived on foot, scooter and skateboard. In St. Petersburg, Fla., about 200 protesters convened at City Hall, including one dressed as a polar bear with a sign that said “Climate Action Now.”

In Des Moines, Iowa, around 500 protesters with signs gathered outside the State Capitol under a cloudless sky, sweat rolling down their faces as temperatures hovered around 83 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 28 Celsius.

A day after Tropical Storm Imelda swamped parts of southeast Texas, crowds in Houston chanted, “Our streets flood, so we flood the streets.” Many websites went dark in solidarity with the protests or posted statements of support. Groups of scientists, doctors and technology sector workers were also joining the strikes in various locations.

More than 1,500 employees of Amazon planned to walk out from the company’s Seattle headquarters and other office locations, after months of pressing the technology company to issue a comprehensive climate plan. Workers at Google, Facebook and Twitter also said they planned to participate.

Demonstrations in North and South America will be the culmination of a day of global strikes that began almost 24 hours earlier as morning broke in the Asia-Pacific region.

More than 100,000 protested in Melbourne, in what organizers said was the largest climate action in Australia’s history. The rally shut down key public transport corridors for hours. In Sydney, thousands gathered in the Domain, a sprawling public park just a short walk east of the Central Business District — grandparents escorting their children holding homemade signs, groups of teenagers in school uniforms, parents handing out boxed raisins to their young children.

As morning arrived farther west, banners in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, ranged from serious to humorous. One read, “Climate Emergency Now.” Another said, “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.” In Mumbai, children in oversize raincoats marched in the rain. Thousands turned out in Warsaw, the capital of coal-reliant Poland.

Rarely, if ever, has the modern world witnessed a youth movement so large and wide, spanning across societies rich and poor, tied together by a common if inchoate sense of rage. Roughly 100,000 demonstrators gathered around the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on a bright but unseasonably chilly day in Berlin, according to the police.

Demonstrators there held signs reading: “Stop the Global Pyromania,” “Short-Haul Flights Only for Insects,” and “Make the World Greta Again.” “We all know what the problem is,” said Antonia Brüning, 14, marching nearby, next to the Reichstag, with a group of her friends from school. “So why isn’t anything happening?” Across Britain, there were protests from Brighton to Edinburgh. The turnout in London was large, with organizers estimating more than 100,000 participants.

Theo Parkinson-Pride, 12, was passing by the Palace of Westminster with his mother Catherine, 45, who said she had emailed her son’s school to tell them he would be missing classes on Friday. “I said to my mum, I feel this is more of important than school today because soon there may be no school to go to,” Theo said.

At a time of fraying trust in authority figures, children — who by definition have no authority over anything — are increasingly driving the debate over how to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Using the internet, they are organizing across continents like no generation before them. And though their outsize demands for an end to fossil fuels mirror those of older environmentalists, their movement has captured the public imagination far more effectively.

“What’s unique about this is that young people are able to see their future is at risk today,” said Kumi Naidoo, the head of Amnesty International and a longtime campaigner for environmental issues. “I certainly hope this is a turning point.”

The generational outcry comes as planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar, even as their effects — including rising seas, intensifying storms, debilitating heat waves and droughts — can be felt more and more. Average global temperatures have risen by about 1 degree Celsius since the start of the industrial age, and the world as a whole remains far from meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement, the landmark climate accord designed four years ago, to keep temperatures from rising to catastrophic levels. President Trump has said the United States, which has contributed more emissions than any country since the start of the industrial age, will pull out of the accord.

An early test of the student protests will come on Monday when world leaders assemble at United Nations headquarters to demonstrate what they are willing to do to avert a crisis. Their speeches are unlikely to assuage the youth strikers, but whether the youth protests will peter out or become more confrontational in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen. More protests are planned for Monday in several cities.

“They’re going to call ‘BS,’” Dana R. Fisher, a sociologist at the University of Maryland who studies contemporary protest movements, said of the protesters. “It’s great for people at the United Nations summit to posture and say they care about this issue, but that’s not enough to stop the climate crisis. These kids are sophisticated enough to recognize that.” “Adults are, like, ‘respect your elders.’ And we’re, like, ‘respect our futures,’” said Jemima Grimmer, 13, on Friday in Sydney. “You know, it’s a two-way street, respect, and I’m angry that I have to be here.”

Certainly, this is not the first time in modern history that young people have been stressed about their future and galvanized around a cause. Young people led social movements against the Vietnam War and for civil rights in the United States. So, too, against apartheid and in the global antinuclear movement.

This is a new generational revolt, though. It’s not against injustice in a particular country, nor against a war. This is about the future on a hotter planet. Young people worry about the cataclysmic impact of climate change on their future, coloring where they will live, how they will grow their food, and how they will cope with recurrent droughts and floods. The internet allows them to mobilize. They often know more about the issue than their parents do. Whether they will have any direct impact is unlikely to be clear for years.

Megan Mullin, a political scientist at Duke University, said she saw no evidence that the youth protests would move the political needle on climate change in a state like hers. “The challenge is translating something that is a global movement into a kind of concentrated political pressure than can influence government decisions,” she said. “It needs to be translated to influencing decision makers who aren’t already convinced.”

In the United States, climate strikers — nearly two-thirds of whom are women and girls — have been unusually engaged. Half had attended other protests, including for gun control laws and women’s rights, according to a survey that Dr. Fisher carried out among 660 climate strikers. By comparison, 40 percent of survey-takers outside the United States had attended protests on other social issues.

“They are mobilized around an issue of consistent concern across countries and across geographic areas,” Dr. Fisher said. “It spans the developing-developed country divide. There aren’t that many issues that would unify in such a manner. And we all know the burden of climate change will fall on these kids’ shoulders when they are adults. They are acutely aware as well.”

As we’ve said, the 4 indicators of insanity (hey, let’s be kind, it could just be idiocy) are (1) the climate nonsense above; (2) thinking Marxism-Leninism-Socialism (Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Maduro, etc.) is somehow good; (3) thinking there are more than 2 sexes; and (4) thinking the New York Times, with the story above and its 1619 rubbish, is still a “news”paper.

Thus we see at least 2, and maybe 3, indicators in the story above. Wouldn’t be nice if we all woke up tomorrow and instead of this nonsense being so organic and deep-seated, it turned out to be just a simple old Commie plot. Ah, the good old days….

A “potentially explosive complaint” – Ukraine?

September 20th, 2019

Let’s see. Russia, Racism, Recession, and now Rukraine? YAWN.

A “potentially explosive complaint” against Orange Man, shrieks the media today, for a full 6-12 hours or so maybe. Then snooze and wait for the next BLOCKBUSTER. Our guess is if anything at all occurred, the Evil One asked about the Biden family and its nasty and maybe illegal stuff in Ukraine, China, etc. DOUBLE YAWN.

Question: if (a) you have not finished 6.00 grade and/or gotten a PhD in politics, and (b) your IQ is not more than 60.00, is there any way you can get turned down for a job on MSNBC, etc.

Very funny climate shrieks

September 19th, 2019

Here. HT: FM

From Bright College Years to Not-2-Brite Cottage Cheese

September 19th, 2019

Boola Boola:

Dean Takahashi, the longtime senior director of the Yale Investments Office, will spearhead a new multidisciplinary Yale laboratory that will develop and support innovative solutions to the challenge of climate change.

The Yale Carbon Offset Laboratory (COLab) will engage faculty and students from across campus — as well as innovators and scientists from outside the university — who are developing technologies that sequester and store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will focus on methods designed to succeed on a large scale and that can be tested and validated quickly and inexpensively.

The COLab’s administrative home will be the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), but it will seek participation from across campus, taking advantage of the university’s strength in natural and social sciences. (Learn about the broad range of climate-change research at Yale.)

The lab will aim to offset more than 1 billion tons of global carbon dioxide emissions over the long term, and it will target more than 10 million tons in emissions offsets by 2030 — or about 50 times Yale’s current net emissions. By demonstrating the value of the technologies essential to this endeavor, Takahashi hopes the COLab will also strengthen the global market for carbon offsets, promoting further innovation.

“I know it is ambitious, but I think it is important to set aggressive goals for the COLab so that we do something significant and worthy of Yale,” Takahashi said last week. “To meet these targets, it is essential that we solicit and collect great ideas from the Yale community and externally.”

“Yale is a place where we should be coming up with big ideas that have global impact,” he added. “We want to find the kinds of projects that could reduce global carbon emissions safely at a large scale but at a low cost.”

“Dean has long been devoted to finding solutions to climate change (HINT: we call them heating and air conditioning, among other things.), and he has an impressive record of exceeding expectations to ensure a bright future for Yale. His work at the Investments Office for the last three decades has significantly strengthened our ability to fulfill our mission,” said President Peter Salovey. “Through the COLab, he will focus his considerable expertise and creativity on building a more sustainable future. He will foster multidisciplinary collaborations and champion innovation boldly.” Salovey has appointed a task force to determine how quickly Yale can meet its goal of net zero carbon emissions.

Takahashi takes on this new challenge following more than 33 years with the Yale Investments Office, where he worked alongside David Swensen, Yale’s chief investment officer, in developing the widely emulated “Yale model” of endowment management. During Takahashi’s tenure, Yale’s endowment grew from $1.5 billion to $30 billion, and annual spending increased from $50 million to $1.4 billion.

The COLab will identify a handful of projects with the long-term potential to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, with a focus on those that take advantage of the carbon-storage potential of natural ecosystems. Land-based plants and the world’s oceans currently store approximately half of global fossil fuel emissions. Unfortunately, global land use change is reducing the capacity of terrestrial systems to store carbon, increasing the release of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Natural ecoystems also produce methane and other greenhouse gases. The COLab will investigate technologies that reduce harmful emissions and increase carbon storage. In addition, it will examine techniques that reduce the absorption of incoming radiation by increasing the reflectivity of land surfaces.

The COLab, which will be located on the Yale campus, will provide funding and work space for project managers and assistants, as well as research fellows and interns working in collaboration with Yale faculty and external partners. (The COLab will have a general and administrative staff of five to eight people, and project teams with up to three members focused on developing specific technologies.) Selected projects will be eligible for funding commitments of three to five years, with possible extensions. The lab will also cover the costs of analytical studies, workshops with outside experts, technical instruments, pilot projects, and other direct operating expenses.

Integrating Takahashi’s expertise in investments with the scholarship being produced across Yale provides a critical opportunity to support new climate solutions, said Indy Burke, the Carl W. Knobloch Jr. Dean at F&ES. A closer relationship between Takahashi and F&ES, she added, is a “fantastic” match.

“Our mission at F&ES is to provide knowledge and leadership for a sustainable future, and I think that Dean is an absolutely perfect representative of that,” she said. “Through the COLab, Dean will work with scholars and practitioners from across campus, including those working on issues related to biology, ecosystems science, engineering, investments, health, and many others. This matters, because working across disciplines is critical to every solution for sustainability.”

Over the past several years, Takahashi has supported and collaborated on research at F&ES, including with professors Mark Bradford and Peter Raymond on the potential for managing peat bogs to reduce carbon emissions.

Also, working alongside Brad Gentry, the Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Professor in the Practice of Forest Resources Management and Policy at Yale, Takahashi has helped the university explore how its investments in projects related to the reduction of carbon emissions might help it meet its own short- and long-term emissions reduction targets. Fourteen years ago, Yale committed to a 43% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions compared with 2005 levels. It has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Takahashi said he hopes that by developing and proving the viability of emissions reduction technologies, the COLab will not only help Yale achieve these targets, but also demonstrate the value of emissions reductions and bolster the global market for carbon offsets.

“Despite the huge societal value of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there are few proven strategies to achieve it,” he said. “It’s a Catch-22: You cannot create policies and markets for carbon offsets on a large scale without viable negative emission technologies, but people won’t develop those technologies without functioning markets.”

“That change doesn’t happen with a flip of a switch,” he added. “It takes years to devise and test technologies, measure their impact, estimate their cost, and develop standards for quantifying their carbon offset value. We need to start developing and proving the viability of negative emission approaches now.”

Check and Double Check for one of the Big 4 of Insanity. When we went to college, they had actual adults in important positions. Bart Giamatti and his sprezzatura, Vincent Scully teaching art and architecture history, Harold Bloom teaching Blake, and so on.

Today in the world: GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES and confess your environmental sins. Just pathetic.

End Global Warming Now!

September 19th, 2019

The pathetic age 16 Thunberg creature was lecturing Congress, after her eco-friendly sailboat trip across the Atlantic and her UN speech, all the while propped up and exploited by the charlatans and sophists (and big time $$$ scammers) of so-called Climate Change. We need to end Climate Change now.

Here’s a suggestion for a good part of a solution: (a) compile a list of the most stern doomsayers in politics, big business, Hollywood, academia (oops, that guy already lost big-time in Canada), etc., of course complete with their predictions of THE END DATE (12 years or fewer please). (b) compile a list of the houses they own on Maui and Martha’s Vineyard, in Palm Beach, etc., all with dreamy nice photos of course, (c) as well as the total numbers of such properties they own, along with square footages if over 4000 square feet, or whatever the evil square footage is today. (The displaced are going to have to be moved somewhere, and the Climate Saints are so kind!) (d) similar questions re their Gulfstream G550’s, etc.

The final stage of eliminating Global Warming is the toughest, because it would depend on the reporters and correspondents being honest, rather than the rabid left-wingers they mostly are. Whenever the enviro-coo-coos appear before Congress, TV, or in enviro-galas, etc., the questioner should ask about their properties, and let them yammer a bit. Then ask them about their ritzy friends who have done the same thing. Then ask them why they (and their friends) don’t sell these billions of dollars of doomed properties and move to safer ground in the brief time remaining.

Their best answer might be that it would be immoral to exploit the property buyer in this way. “So you’re saying that you don’t want to take advantage of a gullible or stupid person who would buy such a property when it would be gone in a few years?” The Climate Saint answers YES, it would be wrong to exploit such stupidity, and we say: that’s a Bingo!

Again and again. Lather, Rinse, Repeat – which should be so easy since there’ll be water water everywhere.

Kulturkampf

September 19th, 2019

Our thoughts. VDH says them well.

Go figure

September 18th, 2019

WSJ:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York saw huge demand from banks Wednesday, as they rushed to bid on the $75 billion on offer in a second day of intervention to ease a crunch in overnight funding markets. Banks bid for $80.05 billion in funding in the auction — $5 billion above the maximum amount offered by the Fed. Tuesday’s auction, the first in a decade, saw banks take $53 billion of the $75 billion on offer. Overnight rates remained elevated before Wednesday’s auction at about 2.8%. Soon after, they dropped to 2.6% and by midmorning were down to 2.25%, according to Refinitiv data. The tumult in U.S. overnight money markets is adding to investors’ hopes that the Federal Reserve might cut rates faster than expected in coming months or restart bond buying to boost the amount of money in the financial system. A loosening of monetary policy could alleviate the strains that caused overnight lending rates to spike as high as 10% Tuesday. The Fed lowered interest rates Wednesday by a quarter-percentage point for the second time this year. The high short-term U.S. rates and lower rates elsewhere have put foreign investors off buying U.S. Treasurys as it becomes increasingly less profitable to fund longer-term U.S. government bonds with short-term borrowing.

“A series of sharper than priced in rate cuts from the Fed will bring down the front end of the yield curve [cut short-term yields] and encourage foreign buyers back in,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Capital Management, in Philadelphia. Foreign buyers with lots of dollars at hand, such as non-U.S. lenders and central banks, have also stopped buying Treasurys because they can put unlimited amounts of cash into the Federal Reserve’s foreign repo program. This facility is an ultrasafe haven for funds — paying the same as overnight repo — and has been absorbing foreign-owned dollars like “a supermassive black hole,” Zoltan Pozsar, a money-market strategist at Credit Suisse Group , said in August. Cutting interest rates more rapidly so that longer-term Treasurys yield more than short-term money would help to reverse this trend.

And: Seven of 10 officials voted in favor lowering the short-term benchmark to a range between 1.75% and 2%. As in July, two reserve bank presidents dissented from the decision in favor of holding rates steady. This time, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell faced a third dissent from a bank president who preferred a larger, half-point cut.

If we were running the Fed, we’d be strongly on the rate-cutting side. Having said that, we don’t understand the first two paragraphs above, and we’ve been studying this stuff for decades. A great deal more clarity is needed ASAP.

NYT: “You can see why people might be confused”

September 18th, 2019

NYT

When is Impeachment not Impeachment? To clarify: The House Judiciary Committee has begun an inquiry to determine whether to recommend the impeachment of President Trump. The effort has been underway since March 4, when the committee announced it would look into “the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power” on the part of the president. Last Thursday, committee members passed a resolution setting the parameters for the investigation “to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment.” On Tuesday, the panel began what its chairman, Representative Jerry Nadler, has said will be an “aggressive series of hearings” to this end.

This does not mean that the committee will necessarily recommend impeachment. But Mr. Nadler’s team is working to establish whether that step makes sense. Unfortunately, there is tremendous confusion about what the Judiciary Committee is up to — largely because of conflicting signals from House Democrats, who have been struggling with their public statements on impeachment. Mr. Nadler has said repeatedly that his committee is engaged in an impeachment investigation — or, if you prefer, an impeachment inquiry. He insists the “nomenclature” does not matter. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and her leadership team clearly disagree. They assiduously avoid the “I” word, painting the committee’s work as garden-variety oversight.

As a result, even Democratic lawmakers don’t seem to know whether they are engaged in an impeachment inquiry. Representative Pramila Jayapal has said “yes.” Representative Jim Himes has said “no.” Last week, Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, said “no” — then backtracked, claimed he’d misheard the question and offered a non-answer instead.

This is more than semantic hairsplitting. It is a reflection of the Democrats’ divisions over the wisdom of impeaching Mr. Trump. Advocates of impeachment are eager to play up, and skeptics to play down, the possibility of the Judiciary Committee’s work leading in that direction. Need to Impeach, the advocacy group founded by the Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, called Thursday’s resolution vote a “pivotal moment.” The speaker’s camp characterized it as non-news. At her Thursday news conference, Ms. Pelosi bristled when reporters pressed her on whether an impeachment investigation was underway. The conference was “gathering facts” as it had been doing for months and would make a decision “when we’re ready,” she said. “That’s all I have to say about this subject.”

Complicating matters, in attempting to wrest documents and testimony from a White House committed to stonewalling, Democrats have argued in court filings that they are already engaged in an impeachment inquiry. (Some legal experts contend that impeachment proceedings — versus ordinary investigations — could strengthen Democrats’ hand in such scuffles.) So even as the leadership and other skeptics insist there’s nothing unusual going on, Democrats’ court filings cite an existing impeachment inquiry.

Republicans have waded into the mix, arguing that impeachment investigations of past presidents required an authorization vote by the full House. Democrats counter that the rules have been changed such that the committee already possesses the investigatory powers that authorization once conferred, making a vote unnecessary. You can see why people might be confused. But the muddled messages are creating their own problems and threatening to undermine the push for presidential accountability. The contradictory statements make Democrats look divided and conflicted, complicating efforts to build public confidence in their oversight powers. Representative Tom McClintock, a Republican, has mocked the Democrats’ strategy as, “You can have your impeachment and deny it, too.”

More concretely, the Department of Justice is using Democrats’ ambiguity to argue that the administration need not hand over information sought by congressional investigators. “Most prominently, the speaker of the House has been emphatic that the investigation is not a true impeachment proceeding,” the department contended in a court brief filed Friday.

The Democratic leadership should try to find a way forward that, at the very least, doesn’t leave members contradicting one another and further embolden Mr. Trump. Consider having members defer on the question to Mr. Nadler’s committee, which can reply, truthfully, that the panel is uncovering the facts and will decide how to proceed based on those facts. As the Judiciary Committee’s hearings begin, fresh attention will fall on its investigation. This exercise is about more than politics; it is about safeguarding the health of our democracy. Democrats need to clarify to the public — and to themselves — where they are headed.

Look we understand you hate the guy, but, as we asked CNN, what’s the crime?