A warning about letting the Green Party have too much influence in the EU parliament. Also of other green groups by implication.
I may not agree with every word, but with the daftness of Extinction Rebellion etc , people should be wary of voting Green – at any level
This document is a follow-up to my Science Charter blog.
German Green MEP Maria Heubuch has spent more time campaigning against agricultural technologies (and Africans) than representing her constituents. When she went to Berlin on the public purse to attend a secret NGO meeting to campaign against the merger of Bayer and Monsanto, she used her Gmail account so her activities could not be officially recorded. A few weeks later, she stood up in the European Parliament and demanded that a Commission official be transparent. MEPs Bart Staes, Pavel Poc and Michele Rivasi spend public funds obsessively campaigning against a single company and flying in non-scientific activists from as far away as the US and Australia to speak in the European Parliament. No scientists were invited to speak at their public events. The chair of the Parliament’s PEST Committee, Eric Andrieu, has tried to change the…
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A excellent take down of Extinction Rebellion.
I am sure he could do something on Rowan Williams’ part in it. – some friar from MP and the Holy grail
Unless policy-makers act immediately, the planet will cease to be able to support human life in twelve years, three months and seven days … this event will happen on a Tuesday … after lunch.
No, that is not a skit from Monty Python but an approximation made by the latest virtue signalling publicity craze, Extinction Rebellion. This motley crew of eco-rednecks was founded in October, 2018 and quickly created a loose network from eco-conscious hippies to students on Easter break to antagonised aging Marxists. Together they have managed to show how social networks can be utilised to control an agenda with stunts that require limited funding, planning or intellectual coherence. The media, during a slow news cycle, are lapping up these attention whores who use the microphone and a myriad of intertwined social media accounts as acts of virtue signalling liberation.
There is one nagging question that won’t go away: Was…
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Many good points made here how the EU is influenced by anti-scientists whether By anti-vaxxers, opponents of GMOs various insecticides and pesticides, energy, especially nuclear and gas.
Some of the Green NGOs are the worst culprits.
Too many are not aware on how these groups influence the EU and thus the UK, with their dodgy science and appeal to the moral high ground
The last European Parliament has proven to be the least scientifically competent political entity since the days of Lysenko and Darré. In the last five years we have seen the sorry lunatic ideas of anti-vaxxers like Michèle Rivasi, chemophobe Pavel Poc and agtech neophyte Bart Staes – activists using the Parliament and public money to spread fear and ignorance. This May’s European elections, with the rise of extremist populism on the fascist far right and the Green Marxist left, is making the outlook for science and rational dialogue in Europe even grimmer.
Science is not a big vote winner in an election where, as in this year, the European electorate has been juiced up on fear-based issues like immigration and pesticides. So how a candidate feels about science may be a good bellwether to how rational of a public representative he or she will be. Wouldn’t it be…
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Zaruk is spot on as far as many green NGOs are concerned. It is my experience of Foe and Greenpeace.
Many won’t like this, but it does more to help us to care fro god’s creation than FoE or GP do.
Poor Greta, the young Swedish climate-protest student camped out in front of a government building in Stockholm. She has been convinced that governments are capable of fixing climate change and, unsurprisingly, she is upset they are not up for the job.
Poor Donald, the old American with a twitter fetish. Everyone is angry that he took the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. All he had to do was sit back and let American industry continue along its remarkable path of CO2 reductions, easily allowing the US to comply with Paris without lifting a regulatory finger.
One of these two will likely win a Nobel Peace Prize. Neither of them understand how humanity’s problems are solved.
The problem with government …
I think the other shoe dropped when I read a recent BBC News article from a popular left-wing philosopher and writer, Roman Krznaric, saying that if…
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In the bad old days you gave up chocolate for Lent. I confess I never have.
More recently as some in the churches have gone a very dark shade of green, the suggestion is to have a carbon fast.
This year it is to to have a plastic fast. To some that means not using single-use plastic. Single use plastic has been much emphasised recently but we need to go much further than that and consider problems beyond that.
My concern is that that these Lenten fasts are temporary and don’t focus on central issues.
But before being very serious , here’s my suggestion for a fossil-fuel lenten fast.
Now what about a FOSSIL FUEL FAST?
That is a great challenge but how would we do it?
Now you are not going to use anything made or brought to you by fossil fuels.
Let’s see what happens.
You get out of bed and take off your pyjamas/nightshirt/nightie and you are bursting.
You go to the toilet and realise that the water in the loo and in the pipes has CHLORINE in it made courtesy of Natural Gas by Big Bad Jim Radcliffe. So you go outside and your neighbours see you having a wee.
You come back in and feel rather sweaty and want a shower. Ooops you can’t ! The water would be riddled with bugs were it not for the Chlorine made by Big Bad Jim. You had decided to have a cold shower when you realised that the gas is FRACKED.
You have a serious medical condition and need to take daily medication. But, you realise they are synthesised from gas or oil , so you decide not to take them on moral grounds.
You start to dress and then struggle to find clothes which a 100% wool, cotton or linen. In the end you go naked
You go downstairs, cold and sweaty, and dying for a cuppa. You are about to switch the electric kettle on and then realise that my GridGB says 47.3% of the elec is generated by gas, 6% by coal and 25% by nuclear (and greenies don’t like nuclear either). Though it went up to 35% or more during the storms – which stopped cycling!
You decide for some orange juice – but it’s in a plastic bottle.
Out of desperation you decide on a beer and realise you have a choice of an aluminium can or bottle – both made using fossil fuels.
You are thirsty so to keep your ideological purity you drink from the water butt – and chew an insect.
You are hungry, but you can only eat organic as other food is grown with artificial fertiliser from natural (fracked) gas. You remain hungry.
You need to check your e-mails. Stop, both the phone and computer are full of oil/gas-based plastic. So you don’t. The electronic web uses a good percentage of fossil-fuel power.
You are standing there in your itchy merino vest , woollen trousers and shirt etc and thinking it is time for work. Oh dear , how can you travel;
The car is out
so is the railway and bus
That leaves the bike, but each tyre was made from 2 litres of oil and the aluminium frame consumed loads of fossil fuel in its making. The saddle is plastic.
So off on foot you go in a pair of ancient leather shoes.
As you go it starts to rain, a lovely cold, wet, driving March rain which soon penetrates your non-fossil-fuel woollen clothing.
You are freezing and realise this fossil-fuel fast is daft and a rebellion like this will immediately result in your extinction. Shivering you go back home.
As you shuffle home you realise what a life your green heroes lead; some have private yachts and jets, others fly round the world on a regular basis, many have mansions.
You say “SOD IT” 1000 times , run home get a hot shower, put on clothes regardless of material, have a cooked breakfast, check your email and ring your boss to say you’ll be late.
That evening you call into your garage and swap your Nissan Leaf for a diesel SUV.
Yes, this is all very far fetched BUT it is the logic of Dark Greens, even when their behaviour does not match their words. It is the logic of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibbin , Extinction Rebellion, Operation Noah Christian Climate Action and so much of the green movement today. Probably General Synod of the Church of England too!!
Yes, they are totally right that the planet is a mess and something has to be done to reduce the use of fossil fuels and over-consumption generally. Pipe -dreams that it can be done by 2025 or even 2030 are just that and counter-productive. No amount of appeals to renewables can make it happen.
This diagram of June 2018 shows exactly why. Look at the tiny orange band for renewables and even the blue for hydro. Despite rapid growth recently renewables only produce a few per cent of the total energy demand whereas fossil fuels deliver a good 80%.
No wonder every forecast of energy use recognise that fossil fuels will still be majorly used in 2050 , even if in decline. This is especially so for transport (when having electric vehicles actually means retaining fossil fuels to generate the extra electricity.).
The green mantra is that all fossil fuels are bad and ignore the fact that coal is the worst both for CO2 and other pollution and gas the best. Thus all three are demonised. We need this
The more coal is replaced by gas the better, but that does not sit easily with a green outlook.
As well as giving energy, fossil fuels give an immense number of products – not only the scourge of single use plastic.
A good exercise is to start listing them; pens, kitchen utensils, car-parts, bike-parts, in computers and phone, medicines
This diagram lists those made from oil. A similar list could be done for gas.
none of this is to say that fossil fuels are purely beneficial. Over the last 250 years they have given immense benefits to almost everyone on the globe.
But there has been an unacceptable price; the CO2 emitted is affecting the climate, which are anything but good.
Hence there need to be changes.
Activist greens argue for immediate drastic action as is seen with the recent activities of Extinction Rebellion. At best they are totally unrealistic and at worst they will be counter-productive and make both politicians and the public reject what is good in thier message.
Their claim is that governments are criminal and committing ecocide, but that ignores the strides (though very ponderous) that governments have made in the last few decades and that IPCC reports are listened too and acted on. Perhaps if they were not so full of virtue signalling they would see first how much fossil fuel they use and secondly that the slow hard graft by many in and out of government are bearing fruit.
As a result the whole issue of the climate is polarised, made worse by the frequent accusations of being a Climate Denier thrown at some, whether it is true or not.
Yes, I’ve poked fun at some of the green christian suggestions for Lent and then taken them one stage further.
Perhaps a better use of Lent (on top of the traditional Christian observation in prayer but not giving up chocolate) would be to getting fully informed of all the issues around climate and energy- and that means studying publications from all perspectives and not just those perceived to be S-O-U-N-D and too our liking. I note that many Christian green groups simply only look to one side i.e. those with a similar perspective to Klein and McKibbin and ignoring those of Ecomodernism, or even Matt Ridley!
As well as that all of us need to look at ways of reducing our impact on the planet, and here I’d need to give a thousand green tips. For myself I have followed some but find others I need to adopt. These cover all areas from transport, use of water, gardening, energy in the house etc.
Think of one or two green things you can start this Lent and carry on doing them for ever.
Have a profitable and green Lent, but more importantly a purple one which turns to red.
P.S. Burning fellow Christians at the stake releases loads of P2.5 – so I am safe!
The month of September has been designated the Season of creation which is a magnificent idea as so often God as Creator and his Creation has been sidelined, almost to the point that the Gospel is just about Post-mortem salvation, with only a narrow concern on personal ethics. Or the more “liberal” who have a social concern but are indifferent to the environment and thus Creation.
In my church we are having Sept 2 to Oct 14 as our Season of Creation as it is bounded by Harvest Services and a Pet Service. That gives great opportunity to consider a variety of themes on God as creator, human responsibility to Creation, whether plants , animals, minerals,water and the need to ensure that there is enough for all.
There is much to consider apart from the Big bad wolf of fossil fuels, which at times become THE only issue.
As part of the Season of Creation Operation Noah has launched a campaign to encourage parishes and local churches to divest from fossil fuels.
This follows the partial divestment by the General Synod of the Church of England in July 2018. Operation Noah did not thinkt hey went far enough
This is the blog of the new campaign http://brightnow.org.uk/action/divest-your-church-season-of-creation/
As our scorching summer gradually begins to fade into autumn, the Bright Now campaign is inviting local churches to support the movement for fossil free Churches. Could you join us in this next stage of the campaign? ………………
Their aim is to encourage all to divest totally from fossil fuels as soon as possible. In their reports Bright Now of 2013 http://brightnow.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Bright-Now-Report.pdf and Fossil free Churches: Accelerating the transition to a brighter, cleaner future on June 2018 http://brightnow.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bright-Now-Transition-Report-2018-web.pdf they give very clear and forceful arguments which divestment should be done immediately, with a large number of references.
If these two reports are the only things you read, then you will conclude that for the sake of the planet and humanity, immediate divestment is the only ethical action. Here they are in line with groups like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, McKibben’s 350.org and many fossil fuel campaigns.
However I consider the whole Operation Noah and Bright Now campaigns and reports to be very inadequate and misleading, and thus fatally flawed.
Major Issues simply disregarded
First there are aspects about fossil fuels and energy which they simply ignore.
- Fossil fuels are more than fuel
- Renewables will not be able to replace fossil fuels for decades
- Fossil fuels vary in dirtiness
Now to consider each in turn.
Fossil fuels are more than fuel
Fossil fuels are used for far more than providing energy as this picture shows.
Fossil fuels are used for Medicines, Cosmetics, Plastics, synthetic rubber, cleaning products, and asphalt. They could have included artificial fertilisers without which many in our world would starve and the making of essential chemicals like chlorine which means that our water is safe to drink.
In fact about a third of each barrel of oil produced is , on average, not used for fuel. As for gas, some is used to make plastics, fertilisers and other things.
Yes, I know, many plastic things are awful, especially the excessive use of single use plastic and it is great that these are campaigned against.
For those who do not have perfect health (or even eye-sight) we depend on plastic for so many things medical.
Perhaps readers could get up one morning and vow to use nothing dependent or made from oil, gas or coal. First, you will have no heat, Secondly no water, thirdly no electricity, fourthly, no clothes from artificial fibres, fifthly you can’t take your medicines, sixthly you can put your glasses on etc etc.
Renewables will not be able to replace fossil fuels for decades
It would be fantastic to get rid of all fossil fuels by the end of the year. That will not happen and cannot happen for several reasons.
Renewables are dependent on energy storage to tide one over when wind and solar produce no or little power. Batteries or other storage systems are simply not in place and hardly on the horizon.
Even if they were in place ramping up would take decades and not years.
Often we are told that renewables produced 30% of our power this year. This is true, but often no power is produced as on a cold windless winter’s night. Further electricity is only a third or so of our energy usage – industry, heat, trans[port and when that is taken into consideration renewables produce less than 10% of Britains’s energy.
This shows how energy is sourced on a world perspective
This earlier chart for 2015 shows how small the renewable contribution is. Note the question
This shows the change in the mix for UK energy this decade. The largest changes have been the decline of coal and rise of gas.
And a reminder that energy transitions take decades, not years.
I rest my case that divestment from fossil fuels is anything but premature and also folly resulting in worldwide suffering. In fact I consider it a poor form of virtue signalling and is better for those divesting than our fellow humans who struggle with insufficient energy as well as everything else. I include those in fuel poverty in our towns and cities.
Fossil fuels vary in dirtiness
There is no doubt that fossil fuels are dirty. Some of us remember the London pea-soupers. I think the last was early 1963 and the soup came within a hundred yards of our house in Surrey. I won’t forget the petrochemical smog around Chamonix when we were walking by a glacier, or the pall of coal smoke hovering over Llanrhaidr-ym-Mochnant while climbing the Berwyns in winter. Far worse is an open fire heating a hovel, but that is preferable to hypothermia.
Of all fossil fuels coal is by far the worst and emits more CO2 but also particulates, ash and radioactive particles. We know of diesel. The cleanest is gas and all scientific studies conclude that gas is by far and away the cleanest fossil fuel, except for one researcher – Robert Howarth. (However, the 2013 Bright Now report accepts Howarth’s outlying ideas due to relying on questionable secondary sources. But they did acknowledge that the switch to gas has reduced emissions.)
From this, it is a pity that Operation Noah did not prioritise getting rid of coal.
Having considered their serious omissions I will now consider some
The ON reports very much follow a leave it in the ground stance and say
5. The vast majority of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground if we are to have any chance of meeting the Paris Agreement targets. The reserves in currently operating oil and gas fields alone would take the world beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
This is in two parts. The first is a sweeping statement on the Paris Agreement and fails to make any distinction between the 3 fossil fuels. The fact that emissions of CHG from coal are vastly greater than oil, which is turn is greater than gas is simply ignored as is the proportion of each fuel which should be left in the ground. Also ignored is the wide-spread rejection of coal. This seems to be a rewrite of the Paris agreement and rather alters the meaning. Further no one has put it that baldly. The original source on keeping fossil fuels in the ground comes from a paper in Nature from University College London researchers. They distinguished between the three fossil fuels
A third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves globally should remain in the ground and not be used before 2050 if global warming is to stay below the 2°C target agreed by policy makers, according to new research by the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources.
This puts things in a very different light both on the timeframe and which fuels are to be left in the ground. In other words, coal needs to be left there but oil and gas will be used to 2050 – and will have to be simply to keep the lights on. There is clear to anyone who understand than energy transitions take DECADE not YEARS.
This attitude is often accompanied with the mantra keepitintheground which is great for chanting but does not solves problems of energy or emissions.
As serious is the lop-sided bias of Operation Noah reports, as I discuss in my blog referred to above. The authors seem to ignore anything apart from the most strident keepitintheground position, preferring the one-sided approaches of the most strident greens and ignoring the more moderate (and in my view more constructive ones) of Lord Deben, Sir David Mackay, Dieter Helm and various others. It is wrong not to mention and consider them as it prevents the average churchmember and minister from considering a variety of viewpoints which are all concerned with doing the best for the planet and to fulfill the Paris agreement.
At best this is a case of shoddy argument, but is very misleading and prevents an honest discussion as other well-evidenced arguments are simply not presented.
Some may consider it to be duplicitous and slightly less than honest.
What has happened is that the churches’ witness for the environment , and particularly fossil fuels, has been hijacked by a group who are prepared to give a highly biased and often inaccurate argument for divestment. I also note that some members of Operation Noah are prepared to break the law to make their point.
It is very difficult for someone, even if they have some technical skills, to counter such strident arguments which are buttressed by claims to be ethical.
It is a pity that there are insufficient people in the churches, who have the technical expertise to present a more reasonable argument rather than virtue signalling.
I rest my case and there is much more i could have said………….
Another good blog by Zaruk on the appalling decision by the EU to ban GMOs etc.
This is largely due to the pressure of anti-science NGOs who con too many people.
Perhaps it gives an argument for leaving the EU – and the only one a remainer like me could be convinced of.
Below must be the little shits in bee costumes
On 25 July 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that plants bred via recent mutagenesis techniques would fall under the suffocating 2001 GMO regulatory regime. The pre-designed hurdles this legislation intentionally imposes on researchers (data, time, money) will lower the likelihood of approving any seed breeding innovation in the EU to, well, zero.
This is a confused, scientifically illiterate decision in a European court that highlights failure on many levels:
- A failure for science and science-based decision-making;
- a failure of the European legal system to recognise how this case is part of a larger activist issue exploited by opportunistic zealots;
- a failure for farmers and consumers who are becoming more dependent on technological advances to deliver healthy, safe, affordable food;
- a failure for researchers in developing countries whose vital solutions to local problems will be stymied by regulatory copy-paste;
- and most importantly, this is a failure…
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Sadly this is the case for many environmental issues. There is a desire to keep those who ask questions out.
That also applies in Christian green groups……………..
Why do some not want rational dialogue?
Are we entering into a post-dialogue world? When did we stop listening to other ideas? Why are so many resorting to ad hominem attacks rather than engaging with people who disagree?
This post-dialogue world didn’t just happen – it was premeditated.
The third and final part of the Insignificant Trilogy will look at how the environmental activist cults impose their new authority by denying dialogue or a role for expertise. The first part looked at how activist gurus have skewed our understanding of leadership in order to profit from the fear they promulgate. The second part examined how the naturopathic cult populism has created an “entitled elite” who impose an intolerance towards others. This populism would do well to block dialogue, condemn any opponents to the ideology as threats and put a premium on emotional rhetoric. A Jacobin Terror script has been played out in every populist uprising. Part Three…
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Far too often Green Groups – no names of course – oppose GMOs as dangerous and organic is the best. Yet as we found with Friends of the Earth the claims are simply false. This blog deals with the issues and should shame those who misguidedly support them as the answer for food, whether for the affluent west or the poorer countries.
I do hate their virtue signalling
Evil GE foods and eco-friendly organics, Misrepresentations by radical greens promote myths of GE dangers and organic benefits, eradicate food poverty, genetically modified foods