Category Archives: Economics

“Climate Change” is a $100 Trillion Wealth Transfer from the Poor to the Rich

Are you predator or prey?, asks Elizabeth Nickson.

Excerpts:

Ever asked yourself why 20 million have poured through the Southern border in the last three and a half years?

[. . .]

Mostly they are coming because Black Rock, the UN, the WEF are grabbing their lands, the more fertile the better, driving them from those lands and sticking them into tenement cities where they have to scratch like chickens for a living.  Agenda 2030 is ravening under the radar in the US and Canada, where “civil society” in the pay of the government and environmental NGOs funded by oligarchs, is taking as much land and as many resources as possible out of the productive economy and shoving it into the land banks of BlackRock.

In the south, it’s not surreptitious. It is state policy to destroy their lives, to take their ancestral lands, whether it’s 40 acres or a half acre and leave them begging by the side of the road.

[. . .]

At the same time, in our vast swaths of upland forests, the UN organization Transitions is slowly accreting that land. For who? We don’t really know. Transitions is everywhere, in the US, in Canada, in every country in Europe.  It is where you live. It is one of the many prongs of Agenda 2030. Everywhere, it invades local governments and acts to suppress economic activity.

Transitions also trades carbon credits. For who? Who do you think?

Therefore Transitions, which has a rainbow-colored smiley PR face, is in that business. Buying land to transfer it to international organizations and mega-rich families so they can make money on our forests. But not us. We can’t.  We can’t even thin them to prevent catastrophic forest fire.

Those contracts must be interesting, not that anyone can see them. The first thing they do is act as whacking big first-time tax deductions. The second thing they do is act as an annual tax deduction because those trees are eating CO2. Very clever. International interests buy our land (and yours) and use it to not pay taxes. While banking some of the most valuable assets on the planet.

Multiply this 100,000 times, and you will see just a very tiny piece of the vast tapestry, the puzzle, of the Climate Change/Agenda 2030 plan that will shut down economic activity everywhere.

Weathering Climate Change – A Fresh Approach

Review of a book by Hugh Ross

I discovered Hugh Ross recently (see his Wikipedia page), and am very impressed by his ability to explain astronomical phenomena. I am also hugely impressed by his courage and ability to interpret these phenomena from a Christian perspective. He is an “old-earth creationist”. In various speeches and interviews he shows how extremely unlikely the existence of life in the universe is. He explains the long array of unlikely coincidences which have to happen – some of them concurrently – to make life possible (see e.g. here and here). He runs a website called “Reasons to Believe“.

I resolved to find out more and bought a couple of books by him. One of those I have now finished reading: “Weathering Climate Change – A Fresh Approach” (RTB Press, Covina, CA, 2020). This is my review of this book.

We know that over the past few centuries, the Earth’s atmosphere has been warming somewhat. We also are reasonably sure that human activity has had some input into this warming, although we’re not at all sure what exactly and to what extent – despite what politicians and media appear to want us believe in this regard. (See e.g. the content description of this current book by Steven E. Koonin, a former top science advisor to the Obama administration.)

Ross clearly believes that the human contribution to the current climate change is considerable and dangerous to our continued existence. He suggests some measures, about which more later.

I am sceptical of that claim. However, I’m not in a position to contend it. The reason I’m writing this review is that Ross adds a perspective I have rarely seen before. And that is his contention that in the past near 10,000 years, human activity has decisively contributed to preventing the onset of a new glaciation. I say “glaciation”, not “ice age”, because the latter refers to a much longer time, measured in millions of years, in which periodic glaciations take place, which typically last thousands if not tens of thousands of years.

The current ice age started about 2.6 million years ago. It’s still ongoing. At the beginning of that age, glaciation phases happened roughly every 41,000 years. About 800,000 years ago this rhythm changed to about 100,000 years. We’re not sure why. Ross lists 14 currently discussed explanations, one of which is a large meteorite strike. This switch also meant that the interglacial phases lengthened to 2-4,000 years. (p. 140) Another hugely interesting fact he discusses is that another meteorite strike, about 12,000 years ago on the north-west edge of Greenland, stopped the “normal” warming phase that would otherwise have triggered a new glaciation within a couple of thousand years or so. This happened “just in time” so to speak, to allow human civilisation to flourish. (See chapter 14, “The Marvel of [current] Climate Stability”)

If you look at a temperature chart of the past 800,000 years (such as this one using ice cores from Antarctica), a few things stand out: 1. In the past 300,000 years or so, the glaciation phases have become progressively longer and deeper (i.e., colder). 2. While the previous interglacial phases were always very short (just a couple of thousand years at most), shown by sharply upward indicating points of the graph, followed swiftly by an equally sharp decline in temperature), our current interglacial is untypically long. It has lasted almost 10,000 years.

The reason (apart from the above mentioned Greenland meteorite), Ross contends, is human activity. “The human factor . . . has played the predominant role in delaying the onset of the next glacial episode.” He emphasises why this is important: “We need to understand how the fortuitous balance and current imbalance came about – and to gain hope that we can do something to stabilize the temperature, at least for a while.” (p. 199)

He goes into detail: “The dramatic rise in the number of cattle and the breeding of cows to increase milk and meat production that began during the sixth millennium BC substantially augmented the emission of greenhouse gases, specifically methane and carbon dioxide, into Earth’s atmosphere.” In addition, “[t]hroughout Eurasia, deforestation to make room for intensive crop cultivation and pastureland raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by replacing trees with photosynthetically less-productive plants.” (p. 199-200).

He continues: “Prior to the industrial revolution, the combination of animal husbandry, rice farming, and transformation of tropical and subtropical forest land to cultivated fields and pasture raised the atmospheric methane level from 450 parts per billion to 700 parts per billion and the atmospheric carbon dioxide level from 245 to 280 parts per million. These three human activities over the past 7,000 years not only helped to delay the onset of the next ice age [!], but they also contributed to maintaining an unprecedented period of extreme global climate stability.” (p.200)

However, “the explosive rise in technological and industrial development, transportation, standard of living, and resource consumption that has occurred in nearly all the world’s nations over the past 70 years has accelerated global warming beyond the global cooling rate from natural causes. As the imbalance continues, it has the potential to hasten the onset of warming disasters, followed by the greater devastation of the next glacial era.” (p.200, my emphasis)

The reason for the latter is, according to Ross, the current distribution of sea and land. Specifically, the fact that at the North Pole, there is no land. That in turn means there is not much ice at the North Pole, compared to Antarctica. So, a relatively small temperature rise will make all that ice disappear. What happens then, according to Ross, is this:

“As Arctic sea ice continues to vanish, the newly opened waters of the Arctic Ocean, with their much lower reflectivity than that of ice and snow, will absorb more heat from the sun. . . . This extra heat absorption increases the temperature and moisture content of the overlying atmosphere, which in turn means more precipitation falling on the landmasses adjoining the Arctic Ocean (primarily Canada and Russia).” (p. 189)

That would explain why previous interglacial phases ended very soon after the temperature spiked at a few degrees above the current global average level and much of the world became covered in immensely thick sheets of ice.

As mentioned, the reason that has not happened yet in the current warm phase is, according to Ross, human activity. However, our activities are tipping the temperature higher, so a new glacial phase might result.

Again, as mentioned, I am in no position to know whether this is true or not. However, I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of Ross as a Christian and a scientist.

So, what to do about this (possible) threat?

Near the end of the book, Ross presents some measures that might prevent the world tipping into a new glaciation. At least, “for a while”. And here, I am in a position to judge, at least to a certain extent, whether these measures are viable and/or wise.

It is laudable that Ross has recognised a very important point. The measures generally suggested nowadays involve economic sacrifices. “This”, he warns, “ignores the fact that humans are inherently selfish. While some individuals and nations may go along with austere governmental restrictions, most will battle them. Cheating is inevitable”, which in turn will “not only make the intended goal unachievable but also sow seeds of political mistrust and animosity.” (p. 200).

He then asks: “What if we could significantly prolong climate stability without resorting to draconian economic sacrifices?”

However, when one surveys his list of suggestions, some of which he himself admits are quite outlandish, one is struck by the fact that he doesn’t seem to realise that they all, too, involve some kind of economic sacrifice, at least from some. I will discuss this fact after I’ve presented Ross’ suggestions.

Here they are. He starts with “geoengineering ideas”: Artificial sun shields (possibly orbiting the sun, placed between earth and sun); solar power generators in space (where no clouds and haze prevent the collection of solar energy – which must then be beamed to earth through microwave radiation); Aerosol injection into the stratosphere (here at least he concedes that this may lead to “unintended consequences”); removal of atmospheric greenhouse gases (current technology only addresses CO2, not however methane, nitrous oxides and hydrofluorocarbons, the removal of which would “likely be 10-10,000 times more expensive than CO2 removal”, thus, “greenhouse gas removal factories will likely fall far short of compensating for emissions”); ocean fertilisation (again, “major concerns surround the potential environmental consequences and economic risk”); rocket earth (pushing earth out to more distant orbits around the sun while the sun continues to get brighter). (p. 203-05)

Ross concludes: “Although the rocket planet proposal seems too far-fetched, the other five proposed geoengineering ideas show some promise”, however, their implementation “in time to solve the current global warming trend seems remote.”(p.205)

So instead, Ross lists some “wise management of life resources” ideas, which he precedes with an important caveat: “If we keep the realities of human nature in view and follow well-established free-market economic principles, we should be able to resolve our environmental problems in ways that enhance both human welfare and the welfare of Earth’s life.” (p.206)

Here they are: Rice Paddy Management. Apparently, “direct seeding of rice into initially dry paddies” reduces “methane emissions by18-90 percent” compared to flooded rice paddies, which emit about “500 million tons of methane” or “20 percent of methane emission form human activity”. (p.206)

Alternative meat source. Ross advocates finding ways to replace beef, lamb and goat with ostrich meat. While texture, taste and colour resemble that of beef, it is much leaner, richer in iron and lower in cholesterol. Ostriches emit “very little greenhouse gas . . . virtually no methane.” They also “need far less water and pastureland”. (p. 208) The problem is: We have yet to discover how to “farm” them because ostriches, compared to cattle, “are far more sensitive and social animals. They tend to mate for life, and they need contact with other ostriches with whom they have developed emotional bonds. They need social contact with their ranchers, too.” (p.209)

Effective lumbering. Here, Ross makes a hugely important point. “Replanted forests grow at a much faster rate than virgin forests and, thus the rate at which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere is much higher.” (p. 210) This echoes the commandment given by God in Genesis that we should “tend and watch over” creation (chp. 2, v. 15). Ross advocates “reduced-impact logging techniques” instead of “traditional, clear-cut logging” (p. 210)

Smart dams. Dams reduce dependence on fossil fuels for electrical power generation. However, they come with their own environmental challenges. Citing experts, Ross contends that “dams can be designed in such a way that the environmental positives outweigh the negatives.” (p. 211) Here too, we can allude to Genesis 2,15.

Restoring whale populations. Apparently, whales’ faeces fertilise the ocean’s phytoplankton. They in turn remove a lot of CO2 from the atmosphere. Whales contribute to CO2 production, but their presence allows for significantly more CO2 reduction due to their fertilisation of the oceans. (p. 212)

Replanting expanded deserts. Speaks for itself really. (p. 213-14) Unfortunately, Ross doesn’t mention the interesting fact that deserts are currently actually shrinking, without active, direct input by humans. And that is due to the risen CO2 content in the atmosphere.

Multilevel hydroponic farms. This means “growing plants without soil and often without natural light, nourishing them via water and dissolved minerals. . . . Shelves of plants and lights can be stacked on top of one another.” This not only means less use of natural ground, but “photosynthesis [i.e., removal of CO2] per unit of area also multiplies.” (p. 214)

Finally, Ross also advocates the “management of current technology”. He provides three examples: Solar power generating rooftops, bitcoin elimination (because “cryptocurrency consumes vast amounts of electricity” and “alone could push the global mean temperature 2°C above the preindustrial level in less than three decades.” [p. 215]) and wearable thermoelectrics (“wearable devices that can deliver more than 10°C of adjustable cooling or heating effect for up to eight hours” which, were they to become ubiquitously available, “more than 10 percent of the total energy presently being consumed by humans could be eliminated.” [p.216])

What to say about these suggested measures?

The idea of preventing/forbidding cryptocurrency appears nowadays as a non-starter. In fact, it’s amazing that no-one else has picked up on this, considering what Ross says about it. Maybe the reason is that central banks around the world are feverishly working on creating their own cryptocurrency and hoping to herd us all into exclusively using it for money, thereby immensely enhancing the powers of surveillance and behavioural control.

More generally however, when surveying the ideas that Ross promotes, he appears to overlook some basic facts of economics. For one, every measure (every human action, to be precise) involves an “opportunity cost”. We live in a world of scarcity. Using time, effort and material for one thing means they cannot be used for something else. That is the opportunity cost. A more religious term, which means the same thing, is the aforementioned “sacrifice”. What are we sacrificing when we embark on these measures? And then: Who should make the ultimate decision on what to sacrifice? For which purpose exactly? How certain can we be of reaching that goal? And how certain can we be of the scope and volume of the sacrifice? Who, in the meantime, gains from those measures?

These are important questions that may have been beyond the scope of Ross’ book, so will have to be addressed elsewhere.

These questions also bring me to the second basic fact of economics: For every measure, there are unintended consequences. In a free market system supported by the rule of law, unintended consequences are dealt with swiftly and efficiently, and damage is limited. However, when government intervention is involved (and most of Ross’ suggestions require a huge amount of government intervention), unintended consequences are, for unavoidable structural reasons, not dealt with swiftly and efficiently. Therefore, damages are not limited.

The biggest, and sadly largely unrecognised, unintended consequence of allowing large-scale government interventions is a metastasising state. Every unintended consequence is another “reason” for the government to intervene even further, causing more unintended consequences in a downward spiral that ends in societal disaster of one kind or another.

In order to cover/ignore/rationalise the resulting and growing mess, an ideological superstructure is sought that will justify this “mega-sacrifice” everyone (except for the “wise” managerial elite) is expected to endure. The end result is a totalitarian state, which tries to keep the lid on ever growing chaos in the society below. The Bible has a precedent for this development. It is the Tower of Babel. It is ungodly. It is anti-God.

This is an important aspect that Ross has missed out in his book. Christians need to be aware that, in allowing or even supporting unchristian methods, they are paving the way for a catastrophe for themselves and others that is much greater than even the onset of a new glaciation. They might even get the glaciation or some other climate catastrophe on top of totalitarianism, because of the common phenomenon of “government failure”. Bad weather, even very bad weather, can be dealt with when it arrives, by applying new, as yet undreamt-of technologies emerging on the free market – where, as mentioned above, unintended consequences are swiftly dealt with, while resources continue being concentrated on the actual task at hand.

Socialism’s Very Quiet Revolution is Already Causing Chaos in the West

From Howard Kunstler’s recent article: “If Wishes Were Fishes“:

The failures of each giant system will only amplify and ramify the failures in all the other systems. Take that as axiomatic. For instance, the fantastic failures in higher education now on display, largely due to the Marxian defeat of excellence, will implant a generation of incompetents in all hierarchies of management. That will result in an insidious matrix of bad decision-making. The Pareto 80-20 principle will ensure that 80-percent of all institutional energy will focus on propping up failing institutions with bad decisions that add up to broken business models (while 20-percent goes into actually carrying-out the bad decisions as policy). That explains how Pete Buttigieg’s Department of Transportation spent $7.5-billion to build seven electric car charging stations.

From Wanjiru Njoya’s recent article “Socialism’s Very Quiet Revolution“:

The quiet nature of this revolution means that great optimism surrounds the banning of schemes and programs such as DEI, and many fail to notice that such bans do not capture the relentless “great tides of thought and appetite that run unseen deeply below the surface” to which Flynn referred. Thus, we see DEI offices being shut down and DEI staff reassigned to other offices to continue their work albeit without referring to it as DEI.

[. . .]

The lesson to derive from Flynn is that citizens unaware of an unfolding revolution are easily “sneaked into socialism.” Conservatives are now rejoicing at “winning” their battle to quash DEI programs, while the DEI enforcers simply slap a new label on their schemes and carry on. Being unaware of the scale of the threat, citizens fail to take effective action and are eventually “trapped in a socialist system.” A good example of how a country can become trapped is when decades of case law and legal precedent become difficult to reverse. Constitutional concepts over time acquire the meaning assigned to them by the courts, which are then entrenched in law schools and courts as the “correct” meaning. In this situation, the people’s optimism becomes their weakness.

David Hilderman: CO2 Emissions and Atmospheric Levels

Video here.

From the description:

David Hilderman has a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Electronic Information Systems Engineering from the University of Regina and has worked in the electronics industry since graduation in 1988. 

David grew up in Saskatchewan, the second oldest in a family of six boys. Since 2000 he has lived in beautiful Saanichton British Columbia, raising two great kids with his lovely wife. He went to the Victoria area to combine his engineering experience and love of music production to work for TC-Helicon, a company that makes products for performing musicians. He worked there for 19 years, five of which were in the role of Chief Operating Officer. 

Early 2020 he became aware of the fact that sea level rise rates were not accelerating. In Victoria, the rate of rise has not changed over the entire record since 1909 and is only 0.75mm/yr. This began his research in other climate alarmist claims. Reality is so counter to the narrative and the consequences of acting on the narrative are so detrimental that he felt he needed to do something about it. 

In 2021 he ran in the federal election against the Green Party incumbent, Elizabeth May, and had the opportunity to debate her on the issue of climate five times. He continues to be active in his community, working to educate people on the benefits of increasing atmospheric CO2. 

00:00 Introduction and Background 00:33 Understanding Carbon Dioxide Emissions 02:06 Historical Carbon Dioxide Levels 05:08 Impact of Increased Carbon Dioxide 09:26 Mathematical Analysis of Carbon Dioxide Absorption 15:50 Future Carbon Dioxide Emission Scenarios 28:42 Sea Level Rise and Climate Change 37:51 Personal Journey and Conclusion
 

A Christian Libertarian View on Environmental Protection

I’ve just finished reading “Faith Seeking Freedom – Libertarian Christian Answers to Tough Questions“. The authors are Dr. Norman Horn, Doug Stuart, Kerry Baldwin and Dick Clark.

It covers 12 different subjects, plus one chapter on “Christian misconceptions on Libertainism”.

Here, I’m just going to concentrate on chapter 12: “What about the Environment and Creation?”

Here are a few quotes from that chapter:

The natural world in the beginning [of Genesis] is described as a garden. Gardens are meant to be worked, and that work inherently means that the garden is incomplete.

Therefore, the destiny of the whole earth is not pure wildland, but cultivation by its inhabitants.

Now, that does not mean we should be utterly wasteful and foolish with those resources, but it also means we do not have the right to assume we know better than our neighbor how he can use those resources that he rightfully owns.

As we use the resources that God has seen fit to grant us, we should use them as mindful stewards of a divine blessing (Matt. 25:14-30). The righteous take care to leave something of value for future generations (Prov. 13:22)

When property boundaries are clear and unambiguous, neighbors can more readily hold each other accountable.

Too often, in a system where environmental regulation is provided through government, political decision making can lead to wasted resources. Under modern environmental regulatory regimes, polluters and other bad actors may even be able to defend their harmful actions legally by pointing to government licensure and compliance with relevant regulations.

In a free society, property owners would have a better chance at holding others accountable for the environmental damage that they cause.

It is important to point out that governments do not just fail to protect the environment; in fact, they are among the worst polluters. A 2020 report concluded that the United States military is the “largest single institutional consumer of hydrocarbons in the world”.

Private property owners have a strong incentive to conserve their privately owned resources. Unfortunately, when government owns and manages natural resources, there is an incentive for private parties to attempt to get as much as they can until the resource is exhausted.

It is rational to maximise profits, and for as long as human beings live in a fallen world with scarce resources, they will seek to do so.

We must recognize that some pollution is inevitable simply because of entropy.

The bigger concern, though, is hazardous waste. [Whoever damages] someone else with their pollutant, they are liable for those damages in form of a tort (a civil lawsuit). The polluter would have to pay restitution for those damages and resotre the property (or health) of the claimant.

Models of the future are massively uncertain, and their predictions of global climates and the need to “fix” the predicted issues are dangerous at best and unjust to billions at worst.

Encourage efforts that move land and resources into private hands rather than the state.

Jordan Peterson on Climate Change Hysteria

9-minute video.

From the video description:

Jordan Peterson Exposes the Environmental Movement’s Flaws In this riveting video, Jordan Peterson, a leading voice in contemporary intellectual thought, critically examines the modern environmental movement. Peterson dissects the motivations and implications behind the push for drastic environmental policies, revealing what he sees as a troubling anti-human agenda. Peterson questions the vague yet powerful concept of “the environment,” suggesting it has become a quasi-religious idol for climate change advocates. He points to extreme proposals like limiting personal flights, reducing private car ownership, and restricting meat consumption as evidence of an agenda that prioritizes ideology over practicality and human well-being.

Addressing the economic ramifications, Peterson argues that such policies disproportionately harm the poor by raising energy prices and restricting access to essential resources. He critiques the hypocrisy of environmentalists who oppose nuclear energy despite its potential to provide safe, clean power, and reduce carbon emissions.

Peterson also challenges the commonly touted scientific consensus on climate change, suggesting that the narrative is driven more by political and ideological interests than by solid science. He advocates for a balanced approach that emphasizes economic growth, technological advancement, and local environmental action as the true pathways to sustainability.

Highlighting the success of free markets and capitalism in lifting millions out of poverty, Peterson calls for policies that make energy affordable and accessible, thus enabling broader environmental stewardship.

Climate The Movie

Here it is.

Alternatively, here. Under this video on rumble.com we find the following text:

This film exposes the climate alarm as an invented scare without any basis in science. It shows that mainstream studies and official data do not support the claim that we are witnessing an increase in extreme weather events – hurricanes, droughts, heatwaves, wildfires and all the rest. It emphatically counters the claim that current temperatures and levels of atmospheric CO2 are unusually and worryingly high. On the contrary, it is very clearly the case, as can be seen in all mainstream studies, that, compared to the last half billion years of earth’s history, both current temperatures and CO2 levels are extremely and unusually low. We are currently in an ice age. It also shows that there is no evidence that changing levels of CO2 (it has changed many times) has ever ‘driven’ climate change in the past.
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Why then, are we told, again and again, that ‘catastrophic man-made climate-change’ is an irrefutable fact? Why are we told that there is no evidence that contradicts it? Why are we told that anyone who questions ‘climate chaos’ is a ‘flat-earther’ and a ‘science-denier’?
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The film explores the nature of the consensus behind climate change. It describes the origins of the climate funding bandwagon, and the rise of the trillion-dollar climate industry. It describes the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on the climate crisis. It explains the enormous pressure on scientists and others not to question the climate alarm: the withdrawal of funds, rejection by science journals, social ostracism.
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But the climate alarm is much more than a funding and jobs bandwagon. The film explores the politics of climate. From the beginning, the climate scare was political. The culprit was free-market industrial capitalism. The solution was higher taxes and more regulation. From the start, the climate alarm appealed to, and has been adopted and promoted by, those groups who favour bigger government.
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This is the unspoken political divide behind the climate alarm. The climate scare appeals especially to all those in the sprawling publicly-funded establishment. This includes the largely publicly-funded Western intelligentsia, for whom climate has become a moral cause. In these circles, to criticise or question the climate alarm has become a breach of social etiquette.
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The film was shot on location in the U.S., Israel, Kenya and UK.
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MARTIN DURKIN