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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 16, 2019, 01:01:07 pm »

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October 16, 2019

Protests: We Need System Change, Not Personal Sacrifice.
🐍 Lomborg: Protesters Are Wrong To Ask For Personal Sacrifice ::)

It’s been years since anyone could be excused for taking 🦕 Bjorn Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist” schtick seriously. Time and again he’s proven himself to be a hollow shell of pseudo-intellectual pretense, a good-looking argument that falls apart upon even the most cursory inspection.

His latest op-ed in the NYPost is nothing new. In the piece, Lomborg claims, as is his mantra, that protesters are “focused on all the wrong solutions.”

The thrust of his argument is that individual actions, like not driving, flying, or eating meat, aren’t enough to save the climate.

That’s true. What isn’t true, though, is 😈 Lomborg’s mischaracterization of the protests, which no honest observer could possibly claim is about asking people to make token sacrifices.

That’s probably why Lomborg doesn’tactually quote Greta Thunberg or any of the other protesters, or cite any of their website materials, or otherwise substantiate his strawman claim about them “pursuing the wrong solution to climate change.” In reality, Extinction Rebellion’s three main asks are all aimed at governments. If Lomberg were to watch any of Greta’s speeches, he’d immediately see her ire is pointed at governments for failing to act, not at regular people for failing to sacrifice. 

In fact, even the picture accompanying Lomborg’s op-ed debunks its premise: the only legible sign reads Congress, Albany, NYC: Why are you complicit in the climate crisis?” Clearly that’s a call for systemic change at the legislative level, and not one of personal sacrifices.

And in looking at page after page of “best signs” picture stories, the only ones having to do with personal action are obviously jokes.

The overarching goal of the ongoing student strikes is to get leaders to take action, because individual sacrifice is in no way enough to solve the problem. And Greta’s whole point in taking a sailboat instead of a plane to travel to the United State was to highlight the lack of sustainable long-distance travel options, and the need for systemic change to create those alternatives.

But Lomborg needs to attack real activists to be even remotely relevant. Pointing out that the protesters are right to call for systemic solutions wouldn’t get him published in the Murdoch press, after all.

Criticizing protesters, though, as he has always done, is a surefire way to get placed in outlets that care less about facts than they do attacks.

Full Nexus Hot News:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 07, 2019, 06:53:35 pm »

Shifting Blame Is a Favorite Habit of 🦕🐍🦖 Polluters and This 🦀 President

William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT

PUBLISHED September 7, 2019

Trump blaming businesses for the failures of his economic policies, polluters blaming consumers for the state of the environment, is all of a piece: The captain of the Titanic blaming the passengers for the iceberg. Both Trump and the polluters have a great deal of power and money to fling their blame-shifting into the zeitgeist. Please don't fall for it.

During the CNN climate town hall on Wednesday night, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren forcefully blew the lid off the idea that consumers must bear the blame for the state of the environment. The altogether glorious moment came when 🐍 Chris Cuomo, one of the town hall hosts, became the first golf ball in history to put itself on a tee.

“Today the president announced plans to roll back energy-saving lightbulbs,” said 🐍 Cuomo to Warren, “and he wants to reintroduce four different kinds. Do you think that the government should be in the business of telling you what kind of lightbulb you can have?”

Warren , in response, went full No Time For Your Bullshit, Chris. “Oh, come on, give me a break,” she began, before cracking off one of the more important moments of the evening:

This is exactly what the 🦕🦖 fossil fuel industry hopes we’re all talking about. That’s what they want us to talk about. “This is your problem.” They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your lightbulbs, around your straws, and around your cheeseburgers. When 70 percent of the pollution of the carbon that we’re throwing into the air comes from three 🐉🦕🦖 industries, and we can set our targets and say, by 2028, 2030, and 2035, no more. Think about that. Right there.

Now, the other 30 percent, we still got to work on. Oh, no, we don’t stop at 70 percent. But the point is, that’s where we need to focus. And why don’t we focus there? It’s corruption. It’s these giant corporations that keep hiring the PR firms that — everybody has fun with it, right, gets it all out there — so we don’t look at who’s still making the big bucks off polluting our Earth.

Read the Article →

 The 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon 👹 Hellspawn Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME, but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or   PAYING THE FINE! Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 06, 2019, 02:43:29 pm »

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September 6, 2019

😈 Watts Ships Out On Alaskan 🦖 Wingnut Cruise With 🐉 Steyn,  🦕McIntyre and  🦕 McKittrick

Yesterday, Anthony Watts announced he was taking a week-long cruise at the invitation of Mark Steyn, a man known probably best known for his Islamophobia, and occasionally filling in as a guest host for both 👹 Rush Limbaugh and 👹 Tucker Carlson. (Apparently Steyn’s who you call when you need a pinch-hater.)

As Watts put it, being given a free ride on Steyn’s week-long Alaskan cruise is “one of the few perks I get as a climate skeptic.”. Along with him will be Steve McIntyre and Ross McKittrick. The three will appear on a climate panel during the cruise, and then sign books with the lucky ducks on board.

Like Watts, McIntyre and McKittrick are hardly relevant in the climate conversation these days. McIntyre is a former mining executive turned blogger who mostly faded into obscurity after getting called out for manufacturing Climategate quotes and making elementary errors in attacking climate scientists, like confusing annual and monthly data.

McKittrick, to his credit, didn’t let making a fool out of himself by mixing up radians and degrees in his haste to attack the climate consensus slow down his output of misleading and cherry-picked denial pseudoscience.

Steyn, meanwhile, is not exactly an up-and-comer. The conservative CRTV (now BlazeTV) canceled his show after just two months in 2017 (although  the lawsuit over it seems to be carrying on, far outlasting the show itself). His former employees accused him of being verbally abusive, wasteful with the company credit card, unrehearsed and ill-prepared, and generally “not interested in help with the creation of his show,” which he allegedly “intentionally sabotaged.” 

Oh, also, Dr. Michael Mann is suing him for defamation. Even those who aren’t fans of Mann’s approach consider Steyn’s behavior “disastrous,” describing his moves as “antics” and “a very risky gambit.” And one example of this? Steyn’s chosen to defend himself. Of course, as the old saying goes, he who represents himself has a fool for a client.

Between the four of them, and everyone else who signed up for a Steyn cruise, it’s a regular Ship of Fools.

Read more:

Agelbert NOTE: I would call that ship of fools a a ship of 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon Hellspawn Bought and Paid for 🐍 SNAKES!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 13, 2019, 07:08:25 pm »

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Aug 12, 2019, 8:20 AM

Attacking 16-Year-Old Great Thunberg’s Climate Activism Isn’t Enough For Deniers, Who Have To Make Personal, Too

One of deniers’ favorite lines, used to justify the fact that basically everyone who isn’t paid by fossil fuels debunks everything they say, is that if you’re taking flak, you must be close to the target. It comes from World War II, when bomber pilots came under increasingly heavy fire as they approached the German’s most valuable assets.

Judging by that criteria, deniers are feeling downright terrified of 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Greta Thunberg, a valiant voice of Truth, continues to be Viciously Attacked by the Hydrocarbon Hellspawn. >:(

While most school children are busy enjoying summer, this August began with a risible attack on Greta by denier from down under Andrew Bolt, which predictably got picked up by WUWT. To her credit, Ms. Thunberg seemed relatively unfazed by major Australian newspaper the Herald Sun running Bolt’s piece calling her “deeply disturbed,” tweeting in response that yes, she is “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.”

And the day after Greta’s tweet, none other than the bastion of mainstream liberal media, The New York Times, ran an op-ed attacking Thunberg. The piece was authored by Christopher Caldwell, a senior editor at the conservative Weekly Standard. (Which may make you wonder about that “conspiracy campaign” targeting her.)

As Ted Macdonald notes in his Media Matters debunking of Caldwell’s piece, the essay includes “basic climate denial and personal attacks” that “echo those that have been made in right-wing media ever since Thunberg rose to prominence.”

We’ve known for years that the 🦍 Serengeti Strategy is a key tactic of organized denial. Coined by one of its primary victims, Dr. Michael Mann, this is the term for the process of singling out and focusing negative attention on someone deniers are particularly threatened by--akin to how lions seek out a single individual on which to prey. Because it’s basically impossible for deniers to challenge the science and evidence, they instead target individuals in the hopes of harassing them into silence.

But the attacks on Greta go even further. As E&E’s Scott Waldman reported on Friday, Thunberg’s openness about not being neurotypical has become a recurring theme to organized denial’s attacks.

In addition, then, to folks comparing her activism to the “Hitler youth,” accusations that she’s “being mercilessly manipulated by adult climate bedwetters funded by Putin,” and simple tweets like “Greta=Evil,” we’re seeing what autism expert Steve Silberman described to Waldman as “classic autism bashing.” Silberman explains how deniers “feel like they don’t have to hold back” and can “just ‘other’ her, turn her into a freak when she’s actually making more sense than 95% of the adults who have addressed this issue for the last 30 years.”

For example, Waldman mentions attacks on Thunberg’s “monotone voice” and “look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes” that apparently make her look like a “millenarian weirdo.” As autism advocate Zoe Gross points out, these could be examples of people “explicitly saying that autistic people are not worth listening to,” despite what should be an obvious fact that “people with all kinds of disabilities can form and express opinions, speak up for ourselves and others, and become advocates and leaders.”

As well they should. And it’s not even always much of a disability, with Thunberg herself saying while it’s “not a ‘gift,’” it “CAN be a superpower.” As Silberman describes: “unlike most neurotypical people, she can’t just shrug off the fact that of course oil company executives are going to lie and politicians who are beholden to them are going to lie. She can’t abide that, it bothers her almost viscerally.”

Which, yes, it should. It should bother all of us viscerally.

So while their attacks are even more re-Gretable than usual, it sort of makes sense that she would be targeted. As far as activists go, she’s already had an inGretable influence, and she’s just getting started .     

Full Newsletter:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 09, 2019, 06:03:55 pm »

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August 9, 2019

Launch of KochDocs.org Puts Primary Resources At Your Fingertips

Some might say that we’re a little obsessed with the 🦕🦖 Koch network over here. And, well, they might be right. But given the sprawling nature of the network, even we have trouble keeping all the various debunkings and exposés and histories in one place.

Thankfully, DeSmog has launched a new Koch clearinghouse, which has all the KochDocs you could ever want. It was compiled by a pair of researchers, Lisa Graves and Connor Gibson, who have spent more time than we’d care to imagine immersed in the Koch’s world.

So what’s the site have to offer? Well, there’s a page compiling some 860 different 990 forms for various Koch-affiliated groups, putting the tax info directly linking Koch money to their front groups right at your fingertips. Then there’s the collection index, with primary documents dating back to a 1972 Libertarian party 😈 pamphlet

If that’s a little much, there’s a more cultivated tab of Top Documents, highlighting past and present evidence of how the Kochs wield their power and influence. And the Resources tab has links to essential Koch books for those who like a long-read, some lovely videos for the more visually-inclined, and a whole bunch of reports from other groups for those somewhere in the middle.

To get a sense of the stories that can be written from these materials, see the Analysis tab, which includes the latest piece, on how the Kochs tried to kill the Department of Energy while it was still in its infancy.

They lost that battle, obviously, but the bigger war? Well, the man currently atop the Department of Energy is one who famously claimed to want to abolish it, proving that for every thrust of reality, the Kochs will Perry.

More Nexus News:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:49:10 pm »

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August 8, 2019

Latest 🦕🦖 Koch Attack on Green New Deal Inherently Misleading, And Relies On ‘Bogus’ Numbers

😈 Kent Lassman of the Koch-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute recently partnered with former Koch lackey 😈 Daniel Turner of Power the Future on what the Washington Times’ Valerie Richardson generously describes as a “study” claiming that the Green New Deal will cost American households some $70,000 in its first year.
While most people would consider a study to be research based on real facts and peer reviewed to verify claims and published in an academic journal, these claims meet none of those qualifications.

Instead, this can at best be described as an analysis, but more honestly, it’s two Koch goons doing some back-of-the-envelope math, copying the work of fellow Koch goon Benjamin Zycher and the former Nixon CREEP at American Action Forum who popularized a $93 trillion price tag for the GND that Politico aptly described as “bogus.”

Essentially what Lassman and Turner do is average the costs cooked up by Zycher and AAF with those from the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie, who estimated a $4.7 trillion cost for moving off of fossil fuels. They then divided those costs by the number of households in five key states, and came up with some big scary numbers.

Since the Green New Deal is more of an aspiration than an actual set of policies at this point, they admit that they’ve had to make “a considerable number of assumptions.” And no one intelligent would give people whose job it is to promote fossil fuels and attack renewables the benefit of the doubt that those assumptions were legitimate. And you don’t even have to look hard for them.

For example, the authors confess that they don’t even bother trying to calculate the cost savings of energy efficiency upgrades, which would dramatically reduce household energy bills and almost certainly pay for themselves over the long term. Instead, they average a few different estimates for making a home energy efficient and peg the number at $27,413. They THEN assume that cost is all paid at once in the first year of the GND, making their headline first-year figures nearly $30,000 bigger than each year afterwards.

It’s the same for electric vehicles. They don’t take into account that EVs have significantly lower operating costs than gas-powered cars, which lowers lifetime costs. They also ignore the fact that people are regularly buying new cars anyway, so instead of comparing the cost of buying a new car when you need it with a new EV instead, they simply pretend the GND will make everyone go out and buy a new EV immediately.

Despite these obvious failings, and the reliance on a “bogus” report, there’s little doubt the dramatic “GND will cost households $70,000 a year!” framework will get picked up by fossil-fueled deniers. And when that happens, it would certainly be helpful to have some rigorous debunking of the numbers beyond the surface-level fallacies we’ve pointed out here. 

But the entire report is based on a fundamental misrepresentation: that individual households should be responsible for picking up the cost of climate action. Why in the world would that be the case?

After all, it’s a pretty universal human value that when you make a mess, you clean it up yourself, you don’t make someone else do it for you. Or in policy parlance, it’s the polluter pays” principle, which dates back to at least the industrialization of the 1800s. 

The 🦖 fossil fuel 😈 industry has known for decades that its product causes climate change. It has profited off of making this mess. Why shouldn’t it be responsible for paying for the clean up?

After all, they certainly have the money- a 2018 study pegged the stock value of 1,500 oil and gas firms at $4.65 trillion. For those keeping score, that’s just shy of the $4.7 trillion Wood Mackenzie guessed it would take to kick our fossil fuel addiction.

But if you must charge households, maybe start with those of the 🐉🦕🦖 fossil fuel executives still profiting off of the problem ?

Read more:

 The 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon 👹 Hellspawn Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME, but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or   PAYING THE FINE! Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 05, 2019, 01:33:40 pm »

Elitists Roll Out  "Stop Rebelling And 🙉🙊🐵 Support 😈 Biden, You Insolent Little Sh!ts" Campaign 

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 10:30

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The US presidential election is more than 15 months away, and already we’re seeing elitist establishment narrative managers rolling out their long-anticipated “Stop Rebelling and Support Biden, You Insolent Little Sh!ts” campaign. HBO’s  Bill Maher spent his “New Rule” monologue segment last night admonishing his audience to abandon any notion of progressive reform and embrace the former vice president instead.

“All the Democrats have to do to win is to come off less crazy than Trump, and of course they’re blowing it, coming across as unserious people who are going to take your money so that migrants from Honduras can go to college for free and get a major in America Sucks,” Maher said.

“Now do I want Biden to be president? Not really ,  but Biden’s the only Democrat who beats Trump in Ohio. He’s like non-dairy creamer: nobody loves it, but in a jam it gets the job done.”

“I’m sick of hearing that Democrats need to excite the base; Trump excites the base,” Maher said.

“It’s the fatigue, stupid. Let’s make it hard for Donald Trump to play on voters’ fears and let the fatigue win the election for us. We’ll get to the revolution, but remember: put on your oxygen mask before assisting your child.”

Boy, Bill. If that’s not the kind of inspiring rallying cry that can galvanize people against the president, I don’t know what is.

Weirdly, Maher inadvertently explains why his brilliant Biden strategy is doomed to failure earlier on in this exact same segment. Maher praises the Trump economy, saying “It’s hard to beat an incumbent in a good economy; every incumbent since FDR has won if they avoided a recession leading up to the election year.”

“The voters that Democrats need to win, moderates who have Trump fatigue, will vote against a good economy, I think, just to get back to normalcy,” Maher said.

“But they won’t trade it away for left-wing extremism. You say you want a revolution, well, you know, you gotta get elected first.”  ::)

Maher has all the facts right there in front of him, but because he is a propagandist who is only famous because he knows how to spout pro-establishment lines in an authoritative tone of voice, he manages to interpret them in the dumbest way possible. Yes, on paper the US economy is doing well, but only by the standards used by neoliberal politicians and mass media outlets to determine economic success. In real terms a population that used to be able to support a family on a single income now mostly requires two incomes, and most of them would struggle to pay even a thousand-dollar emergency expense.

Americans have gotten much poorer in terms of real income and income inequality has been exploding, but because both parties have been normalizing this paradigm and deceitfully using stock markets and unemployment rates to measure economic success, Trump is able to say he’s performing amazingly well economically. In terms of real American spending power he’s actually performing abysmally, but Democrats are resistant to saying so because it will mean conceding that the Obama/Biden administration did, too.

The path to beating Trump, then, is obviously not to hope that Americans will “vote against a good economy” for the first time in living memory as Bill Maher suggests, but to address the elephant in the room of growing income and wealth inequality and how more and more Americans have to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. If you can offer Americans more in terms of real economic justice instead of crap about the stock exchange that puts bread on nobody’s table, voters will listen. There are some candidates who are campaigning on exactly this platform, and none of them are named 😈 Joe Biden.

Joe Biden has a message for the millennial generation: Stop complaining. https://t.co/4qELqr15vU

— HuffPost (@HuffPost) August 3, 2019
Biden’s platform, in contrast, seems more and more to consist of him just telling progressives to shut up and stop whining. Asked on a recent AFSCME forum about his controversial comments in January of last year that he has “no empathy” for young Americans who fear crippling college debt and rising cost of living, The Huffington Post reports that Biden not only stood by his comments, but doubled down on them, saying that if things are bad then the younger generation is to blame for not engaging in the political process.

“Don’t tell me how bad it is, change it,” Biden said.

“Change it. Change it. My generation did.”

Biden, like Bill Maher, is inadvertently giving progressives all the information they need. Yes, they should change it. And the very first thing they should change is a political dynamic which elevates warmongering Wall Street cronies like Joe Biden. There’s absolutely no reason for anyone to accept a status quo that insists the only way to beat Trump is to take a Hail Mary on trying to elect a Democrat who’s no better than Trump. They tried that in 2016 and there’s no reason to believe they’ll be able to bully everyone into playing along in 2020.

The former vice president is about one click away from coming right out and saying “Vote for me, because f u c k you that’s why.” And elitist establishment narrative managers are already essentially saying it for him. >:(

*  *  *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Agelbert NOTE: Most of those Crooks and Liars trying to pass as "Democratic Candidates for President" are corporate bullshit artists positioned there for the express purpose of reducing the microphone time of true progressives AND watering down their message with right wing scaremongering hyperbole about "unwinnable progressives".

No matter what the idiot Maher says, Biden is NOT "better than Trump" unless you think supporting the MURDEROUS government funded status quo that is trashing the biosphere, perpetuating wars and Corporate Welfare Queen HANDOUTS on behalf of the  🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon Hellspawn (and other MIC PARASITIC bastards) "profits", society impoverishing, inequality enhancing, and Wall Street babying is "better than Trump".

The Democratic Party is trying to undermine Progressive voices like Senator Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard and Yang. Don't let them get away with it. DEMAND that Progressives be given 5 TIMES the air time as anybody else in that crowd of disguised Republicans. They have EARNED IT.

Those SAME media outlets gave Trump BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF FREE TIME in 2016! Don't believe any BULLSHIT about "costs" from those corporate media BASTARDS!

Doubling Down: The Military, Big Bankers and Big Oil Are Not In Climate Denial, They Are in Control and Plan to Keep It That Way.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 30, 2019, 06:31:42 pm »


JUL 28, 2019

By Katie Halper / FAIR

Senator Sanders is America's FAVORITE, no matter what LIES the 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon Hellspawn corrupted 😈 media spread to tarnish his reputation.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 25, 2019, 05:30:23 pm »

Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

July 25, 2019

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 08, 2019, 09:14:37 pm »

5 Responses to 🐒 Climate Change Deniers ►►

Robert Reich

Published on Jul 8, 2019

Category News & Politics

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 27, 2019, 05:16:44 pm »

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June 27, 2019

Science Shows Serious Denier Pushback Is Good, But Fun and Games are Better!


On Tuesday, Scientific American ran a great story on debating deniers, covering a couple of new studies that are, to put it mildly, relevant to our interests.

The first study looked at whether it was more effective to rebut denial by addressing the factual errors presented (a topic-based approach) or by addressing the ways in which deniers are deceptive (exposing the techniques they use). It also tested if rebutting the myths actually reinforced them, a concept known as the backfire effect.

The results showed that both topic and technique-based rebuttals reduced the negative impact of anti-vaccine and climate change denial arguments. Neither proved to be significantly more effective than the other, and combining them together doesn’t seem to have a greater effect than either alone. It’s nice to know that climate scientists who provide the facts disproving denial are just as effective as those who expose deniers’ rhetorical techniques and logical fallacies, and that there’s not necessarily a need for any one person to be an expert in both types of rebuttals.

It also found that rebuttals were most effective for the groups who are most susceptible to the misinformation: those who went into the experiment less convinced about the efficacy of vaccines than the average person, and folks with more conservative political beliefs who are more likely to be skeptical of climate science.

The research adds to the now relatively robust body of evidence suggesting that the backfire effect isn’t a particularly pressing problem--in other words, rebuttals were more effective than letting the denial argument go unchallenged. The study also suggests that when deniers are invited to an event it’s always best to have someone show up to debunk deniers, but those who protest debates with deniers are doing good if it leads to the events’ cancellation, because then no one is misled in the first place.

The most effective way of battling denial, of course, is preventing people from being deceived in the first place. A growing body of research known as the “inoculation theory” proposes exposing people to weak versions of denial in order to educate them on how misinformation is created and spread so that they are more resistant to it when it appears in the wild.

The second new study focuses on what the first calls a technique-rebuttal approach, and seeks to find a “broad-spectrum vaccine” that works just as well against climate denial as it does for anti-vaccine rhetoric or any other sort of fake news.

The study takes a novel approach: a game. Researchers designed a Fake News Game, in which players “take on the role of a fake news creator” with a goal of attracting “as many followers as possible while also maximising credibility.” Through six scenarios in which players are offered a “choose your own adventure” set of options, they learn about the strategies used to spread misinformation in pursuit of becoming a Titan of Fake News (Rupert Murdoch, basically).

The game captures the sorts of fake news strategies we see all the time, from impersonation (see: NIPCC) to emotional content and polarization to conspiracy theories and attacking opponents on personal grounds.

read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 13, 2019, 03:56:54 pm »

Why Don’t the Dems Want A Climate Debate?

June 12, 2019

This week, Biden endorsed the proposal for a climate debate and activists delivered a 200,000 signatures in support to the DNC. Media Matters' Lisa Hymas talks about why they're still rejecting the proposal


Agelbert NOTE: It's the OIL-igarchy, stupid!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 04, 2019, 10:00:04 pm »

June 4, 2019

Report Exposes Real Reason 🦕🦖 Kochs Fund Regulatory Center at George Washington University

A little over a year ago, student activists at George Mason University successfully exposed just how much influence the Koch brothers had over the university and its Mercatus Center. But as we mentioned last month when the Kochs announced a supposed shift away from politics, Mercatus is just one of hundreds of academic institutions the brothers fund to protect their profits. (Okay, we will admit it’s not JUST about Koch Industry profits--it’s also about protecting the tobacco industry, and occasionally promoting white nationalists…) 

Now, a new report from Public Citizen digs into a Mercatus-like situation at George Washington University’s Koch-funded Regulatory Studies Center (RSC). As one should rightly assume about something that involves the Koch’s so-called philanthropy, Public Citizen revealed it as nothing but a cog in the Koch profit machine.

Though RSC director Susan Dudley would like us to think its goal is to bring the public “an objective, unbiased look at the regulatory system,” Public Citizen examined RSC’s output, funders and personnel, and proves it is anything but unbiased. And Dudley herself, Public Citizen notes, has been involved with at least eight Koch-related groups, and once criticized the EPA for failing to take into account the benefits of smog as a skin-cancer-reducing form of sunblock.

Getting down to the numbers, one of the RSC’s main products is public comments on proposed regulations. Between 2013 and 2018, the report’s study period, over half of the RSC’s comment authors have been affiliated with at least 28 other different Koch groups in addition to the RSC. Those authors, in turn, made up 75% of comments coming from the RSC. Note to Dudley: getting money from people hurt by regulations makes your regulatory work biased, pretty much by definition.

That’s why it’s no surprise that Public Citizen found that 96% of RSC’s comments “relating to the stringency of specific regulations recommended less regulation than the proposal or status quo.” If that seems low, don’t worry: “100 percent of the comments relating to overarching regulatory policy recommended changes that would result in less regulation in the future.”

While RSC;s funding is kept obscure, Public Citizen was able to ascertain that the Charles Koch Foundation and ExxonMobil Foundation have both given the RSC more than a million dollars. This makes the RSC less of an “objective, unbiased” source of study and more of a tool of the Koch’s massive interlocking propaganda machine designed to make the public think a deregulatory agenda is an empirically sound philosophy, as opposed to simple industry advertising meant to protect profits and pollute the public.

And that they act as a component of a larger Koch strategy to warp reality to their liking is hardly accidental or hyperbolic. In fact, members of Koch organizations admitted this is exactly the case. Public Citizen’s report points to a 1996 essay by the Charles Koch Foundation’s chief strategist Richard Fink where he describes the foundation’s philanthropic philosophy for making social change.

First, “research done by scholars at our universities” produce the “intellectual raw materials” that are “transformed into a more practical or useable form.” Then think tanks and policy institutions have the job of “developing new policy and articulating its benefits,” and front groups “build diverse coalitions of individual citizens and special interest groups to press for the implementation of policy change.”

Thirty years later, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Public Citizen points to FreedomWorks president Adom Brandon, who wrote in 2018 that RSC and Mercatus team up with the Heritage and CEI to “act as the brains of the conservative regulatory fight” while Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity exist as “the muscles of the conservative movement.” 

Charles Koch Foundation director of Investments Charlie Ruger explained to an audience at a conference  in 2016 how the Koch network has “a constellation of network organizations that are focused on applying what comes out of the universities to change the world,” because “that’s sort of the core of the partnership. Money plus the network.”

In summary, and using their own words, the Kochs pay for “scholars at our universities” to create “intellectual raw materials” as “the brains of the conservative” fight against regulations, waged by “a constellation” of Koch-funded groups who serve as “the muscles of the conservative movement” in order to use “money plus the network” “to change the world.”

But sure, Susan Dudley, the RSC is definitely churning out “objective, unbiased” regulatory scholarship. The Kochs could afford to build a Frankensteinian monster of a political apparatus to serve them. But the only thing they couldn’t buy? A conscience.

read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 03, 2019, 05:49:32 pm »

June 3, 2019

Republican Favorite Patrick 😈 Moore Compares Young Activists to Hitler Youth ::)

In a recent piece for PJ Media, Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr wrote about the “untold scandal” of professional scientific societies accepting climate science. Harris and Lehr are with the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), the misleadingly named denier group that describes itself as a “highly credible alternative to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” and that has received funding from Heartland. 

The main argument of the piece is that radical environmentalists have infiltrated and taken over scientific societies. The authors claim that in the last few years, several professional societies, including the American Physical Society and the Geological Society of America, have put out statements that affirm the reality of human-caused climate change.

The reason for this? The authors charge that these groups are more interested in making money than promoting science, and are simply “going along with popular concerns.”

On that final point, they’re not wrong: recent polling data shows that people are more worried than ever before about climate change. But these societies are probably instead “going along with” the overwhelming body of scientific evidence…something we would hope to see from an institution of science.

So a whole heap of professional societies, the American public, and of course the scientific community dedicated to studying the subject all think climate change is a problem… but sure, it's these guys who are right.

One specific example the authors use is Patrick Moore’s claim that Greenpeace was taken over by “radical greens,” and that is why he left the organization. This is a tried and true talking point from Moore, who recently went even further with this characterization of climate activists as extremists. (Unfortunately, it seems William Happer isn't the only Trump favorite to make inappropriate comparisons between climate change and Nazi Germany.)

Last week in an interview with Australian radio host Alan Jones, Moore likened Greta Thunberg and other school strike activists to the Hitler Youth. He claimed the kids are being “used mercilessly” by their parents, seemingly unwilling to believe that maybe young people are actually driven by the belief that adults aren’t doing enough and just want a livable planet considering the devastating impacts of climate change they will see in their lifetime.

Moore, if you remember, is the guy who just a few weeks ago Republicans invited to testify before Congress. And Marc Morano, the other guy who they invited to that hearing? He’s pushing a similar message. Last week, Morano tweeted a 30 second video of Charles Manson talking about climate change in what we assume in an attempt to disparage belief in climate change by connecting it to Manson.

We’ll have to see how this strategy works out for these guys: when Heartland tried something similar a few years ago, it backfired spectacularly. After Heartland put up a billboard with a picture of Ted Kaczynski, the so-called “Unabomber”, and the caption “I still believe in global warming. Do you?”, several companies withdrew their support for the organization. In fact, the response was so negative, the billboard was taken down within 24 hours and plans were canceled to put up similar billboards with Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson and Fidel Castro.

Kind of sad that deniers have been reduced to recycling old tactics that didn’t even work. And when your only argument is well-known logical fallacy, it’s probably time to get some new material.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 12, 2019, 07:01:43 pm »

How the Mainstream Media Ignores ;) the Climate Change Crisis

May 12, 2019

The climate change crisis is real: more powerful storms, droughts, floods, and rising sea levels. However, mainstream media continues to ignore the crisis. A TRNN documentary on the lack of coverage

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 10, 2019, 07:52:58 pm »




Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib said that bank executives were "greenwashing" their role in funding climate change on Wednesday.

The chief executives of Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and State Street appeared together in front of Congress for the first time in 10 years to face questions from the House Committee on Financial Services. At the hearing, which discussed changes large banks had made since the financial collapse of 2008, Tlaib asked the CEOs if they would change bank behavior to address climate change.

The bank leaders said they had and continue to take action on climate change, leading Tlaib to respond: "Don't say that you're clean and sustainable financing because your companies' words are not consistent with your actions. I would call this gaslighting."

"But for the sake of this hearing, I'll say that you are greenwashing your own track record and duping the American people into believing that you are helping address climate change. On the record, will any of your banks make a commitment to phase out your investments in fossil fuels and dirty energy?"

Tlaib earlier told JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon that, "your bank alone has provided more than $195 billion in fossil fuel lending and underwriting over the past three years since signing of the Paris Climate agreement, making your bank the number funder of fossil fuels in the world."

She also said that 😈 Citigroup and 😈 Bank of America have provided over $100 billion each in fossil fuel funding in the last three years, making them, respectively, the third and fourth largest funders of 🦕🦖 fossil ☠️ fuels.

read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 03, 2019, 02:51:39 pm »

NAACP Shows How Fossil Fuel 🦕😈🦖 Industry Manipulates Communities of Color


The fossil fuel industry regularly deploys manipulative and dishonest tactics when engaging with communities of color, often working to co-opt the respect and authority of minority-led groups to serve corporate goals. A new report released by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) outlines the top 10 manipulation tactics that the group's members and partners routinely observe.

Read the Article →
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 27, 2019, 07:29:53 pm »


MAR 26, 2019

AOC Just Tagged Republican Mike Lee 🦕 for His Embarrassing Climate Change Shtick.

Meanwhile, the Green New Deal she co-sponsored is making Republicans sweat

Full article with video:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 16, 2019, 04:43:41 pm »

Much better to suck off the centurions of the status quo. Let's never do anything, but clutch pearls and wring hands
I'm not advocating for that either, but the inertia is so immense, the problem so multi-dimensional, that whatever explanation of the Situation you provide has to be unassailable TEFLON. Whatever you'll do will have to be done steadfastly with historically unheard of resolve.
Gimmicks are prone to backfiring.

Then where to start? Young people, whose lives are in line to be trashed, have tried this gimmick to get the attention of term elders, who nod, smile, and get back to the Godswork of making their quarter.

I completely agree that the inertia is immense, and the forces of greed so richly and deeply arrayed as to make the effort seem futile. Which is right where they want ordinary people. throwing up our hands, sighing, and saying "what's the use?"

I wonder what "explanation of the cause" of anthropogenic climate change" could be made to your satisfaction?

What do you mean "you wonder" ?  You're on the Doomstead Diner for crying out loud !
You know damn well the climate change issue isn't one to be looked at in isolation.
You either give a proper assessment of the WHOLE BIG PICTURE to show you're TRULY COMPETENT ... or you PROVE that you're not by throwing a grab bag of progressive policies and throw them under the umbrella of a half assed Green New Deal  ...

If we wait for that, we might as well go full trump. As it is, the debate seems to be, "here we dead in ten years or 100 years?"

Perhaps the "Green New Deal" is half-assed. At least it's a start. All you get from republicans (and the corpadems who love their donors) is some variant of "drill baby, drill."

but Ocasio-Cortez majored in international relations and economics at Boston University, graduating cum laude in 2011.

I've been reading about energy, economics and finance for over 13 years non stop now, and the time has long passed that such a resume would actually impress me.
The truth is, a science and economics background should now be mandatory qualifications for any government leadership position in all advanced countries. The system is to complex now for overly ambitious lawyers, economist and 'social scientists' to have a go at demonstrating what 'Silo Thinking' can do for us...

You are taking my comment out of context. Citing AOC's credentials was not meant to impress you, but merely to reply to the fuckwit who described her as a "twit." If you have followed her work this far in the House, she's done a really good job in her public outings. Especially for a rookie. I was much impressed with how she spent her five minutes during the House Oversight Committee hearing. I think she will represent her district, and her generation , pretty well. Expect the republicans to richly fund Joe Crowley or some other opponent to get her removed in the next election. She poses far too much of a threat to the status quo, just by mentioning certain policy issues that were never to be spoken of publicly, lest we proles get our hopes up.

Well said, Surly. I admire your patience.

I briefly looked at this thread and my BS meter pegged the needle to the right (pun in tented  ;)) when I noticed the continual pejorative front door (and back door) sniping at the Green New Deal in general, and AOC in particular, from this fine fellow you are patiently debating.

The bottom line for EVERYONE that posts on this forum should be, but rarely is, that NONE of us here will have BEANS to do with shaping the future of humanity, PERIOD.

I am pretty sick of reading hand wringing CRAP from closet (or open) status quo defenders about how ANY attempts at transitioning to a 100% Renewable Energy, decentralized, non-exportable green jobs type economy that cleans up the environment, and consequently improves the the health of we critters that live off the environment, are "not enough", so let's just "DO NOTHING", EXCEPT, OF COURSE, BAD MOUTH anyone like AOC that claims there ARE REAL WORLD SOLUTIONS (THAT DOOM THE FOSSIL FUEL "Industry"). 

The people out there on the (possibly, but not guaranteed) planet saver=social justice side like AOC, Greta Thunberg, etc. et al DAILY struggling against the "people " on the GUARANTEED planet killer side like Mitch McConnel, Rex Tillerson, Koch Brothers, Trump, etc. et al ARE the ONLY HOPE we have, PERIOD.

The POLLUTING INDUSTRY SUPPORTING people should be constantly exposed for their treachery and empathy deficit disordered immoral, biosphere exploiting world view.

Ridiculing those like AOC that propose REAL WORLD SOLUTIONS, which include taking the polluters to the bankuptcy woodshed, is not rational.

Praising the efforts of AOC, Greta Thunberg, etc. et al IS rational.

GO GET EM', AOC, Greta Thunberg and RATIONAL FRIENDS all over the planet!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 07, 2019, 01:58:59 pm »

January 7, 2019

New Year, Same Struggles: Climate Denial, Racism and Sexism

Back in November, Paul Krugman wrote a great column on “the depravity of climate denial,” comparing climate denial to the tobacco-cancer denial industry. Krugman concludes that climate denial is even worse than the tobacco industrial complex: cancer denial most impacted those who choose to smoke, he argues, whereas climate denial hurts us all.

And it’s not like those in denial have legitimate concerns. Krugman points out that “there are almost no good-faith climate-change deniers,” as they are really driven by sins of greed and ego. And because one political party appears beholden to this denial, he concludes that “Republicans don’t just have bad ideas; at this point, they are, necessarily, bad people.”

Krugman’s arguments were so upsetting it apparently took Canadian denial blogger Donna LaFramboise over a month to respond with a post of her own, decrying how Krugman’s disdain for deniers “is extreme prejudice” and “outright bigotry.”

“To be a climate skeptic,” LaFramboise 😈 concludes, “is to belong to a despised minority, one that respectable people think it’s OK to demonize.”

So sad.

On the same day LaFramboise posted her complaint about how respectable people treat deniers, one of the loudest and least respectable deniers wrote a post of his own. At Breitbart last week, James Delingpole wrote up a listicle of things he’d like to see more of in 2019. It’s pretty standard outrage clickbait: Delingpole laments that even conservative media fails to recognize that “Donald Trump is one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history.”

The real kicker, though, is the kicker: Delingpole’s “resolution this year is to be much more sexist.” According to Deli, sexism “is just a made-up leftist term designed to pathologise normal male behaviour.” “Girls are great,” Delingpole writes, “but as we’ve known since Genesis they do have a tendency to get out of hand if they’re either not watched carefully or overindulged.” 


While clearly ridiculous, it's important we not forget that the axis of denial 🐉🦕😈🦖👹 operates on many fronts at once. Keeping women down means keeping the pro-fossil fuel status quo going. And keeping people of color--the real minorities whose struggle LaFramboise minimizes--from positions of power also serves to support the fossil-fuel status quo.

And the tools for doing so are basically the same. As American University’s Director of Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center Ibram Kendi wrote recently at the Atlantic, climate and racism deniers are functionally quite similar. Both deny observable, objective reality by framing the acceptance of climate science or acknowledgement of structural racism as a matter of opinion, which makes it difficult to hold those with different beliefs accountable. This line of reasoning what gives  LaFramboise the cover to complain that deniers are reviled for simply believing something different. Therefore, one way to hold deniers accountable, Kendi argues, is by reframing questions to focus on knowledge rather than one person’s opinion--asking about the evidence of climate change rather than what a person believes about it, for instance, or what racism in action looks like rather than if someone believes a person is racist.

Fortunately, this tone-deaf blindness to reality and full immersion in their false but comforting beliefs can lead to some real own-goals. For example, a tweet (from a now-deleted account) with a video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing that was meant to be an attack on her character. Because apparently conservatives think (a young woman of color) dancing is bad, which AOC respond to by doing a little dance on her way into her new office in the House of Representatives.

Then in addition to having the gall to dance, in an interview Sunday she suggested taxing the rich at historically moderate rates to pay for climate action.

Rare is the political figure who's willing to be honest about the need to raise taxes instead of cutting them, but seems like the only thing AOC wants to cut is loose: footloose!   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 20, 2018, 06:25:25 pm »

Jordan Peterson is BOUGHT AND PAID FOR by the Koch Brothers

Who is Jordan Peterson 😈, the ‘alt-right’ darling of YouTube?

Brenden Gallagher— Apr 30 2018 at 2:00AM | Last updated Apr 30 at 8:45AM


If you hang around intellectuals or academics long enough, one of them will make the joke that they wish they were conservative because there is a lot more money in it. Jordan Peterson is living proof of that.

The Koch Brothers and the Heritage Foundation are eager to fund and promote the brightest minds conservatism has to offer. They intend to use the free market language of the right, there is a high demand for “intellectuals” who will defend conservative ideas, but there is a very low supply.

So if you’re wondering how 55-year-old Canadian psychology professor Jordan B. Peterson became an overnight sensation, going from obscure academic to international bestseller lauded in the New York Times 👹 as “most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now,” you don’t have to look much further than that old academic joke.

Jordan Peterson is famous because in the era of the resurgent alt-right, the loose collection of conservatives that align with white supremacists, there are few intellectuals willing to align themselves with the movement. The alt-right is in need of intellectuals to justify their fascist worldview, and Peterson has been ready.

Full article:


Agelbert NOTE: Jordan Peterson is a stalking horse for FASCISM. He enthusiastically supports the Koch Brothers push to get Trump and his wreckng crew to eliminate Social Security and Medicare.

Jordan Peterson is a Kochroach. He is a stalking horse apologist for empathy deficit disordered, might is right, Social Darwinism. Peterson is quite fond of Hitler's favorite "philosopher", Nietzsche 😈 , of the "Territorial Imperative" (BALONEY) and "man needs to become superman" infamy.

In short, this Peterson Canadian Climate Denying Kochroach is a defender of our present oligarchic civilization destroying status quo. 👎

Read more:


Here's more:

Psychology Today

Posted Feb 14, 2018

By Paul Thagard Ph.D.


In January, Peterson released 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos. Several hundred pages slimmer than his earlier work, the book mixes his ideas about masculinity, individualism, and mythic destiny with a self-help style manual for living.

12 Rules breaks up his long academic and philosophical digressions into chapters with titles fitting of a book like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, like “Stand Up Straight with Your Shoulders Back” and “Be Precise In Your Speech.” With this book, Peterson rebranded as a kind of Malcolm Gladwell of the right, boiling down varied, complicated concepts into digestible chunks that support generally accepted ideas that he can then use to bolster his misogynistic, bigoted, reactionary worldview.

Full article:

Read still more:

December 20, 2018

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 07, 2018, 06:27:32 pm »

No, it's not a lie. I still remember the thread where you went off on me for daring not to blindly believe your theories about ancient aliens and high-tech Atlantis type societies. What happened to all of those theories, AG?    Did you finally realize it was all nonsense you were following because it sounded intellectual and made you feel superior to those without the secret "knowledge"?   

Only among tarantulas could be it "trolling" or "sophistry" to simply be honest and admit you do not know something well enough to write intelligently about it. This is what you should be doing when it comes to a great many things you have written about, but wanna-be tyrants will never admit their intellectual blind spots and personal weaknesses.

If their is one thing you have NEVER done, it's "admit intellectual blind spots and weaknesses". You are always too busy inventing said "blind spots" and "weaknesses" in your perceived opponent. Disingenuous posturing does not qualify as an admission of ZIP, counselor. 

Deny all you want and keep up the false accusations, as is your wont. I understand that "works for you" so you can avoid discussing the Climate Crises issue objectively. So, go head, continue keeping your Denier head firmly ensconced in your status quo worshipping descending colon. The fact that you consistently refuse to acknowledge the validity of the dire need for a worldwide effort to get the global economy off of fossil fuels (and other biosphere degrading human activities), to the point that you disingenuously claim that "tinkering" with this complex CAPITALIST system this way will "unjustly hurt the poor" (a Fossil Fuel Industry Propaganda Denier talking point for the last TWO decades, at least) means that you, like the others that cheerlead the status quo, have blood ☠️ on your hands. Those of us advocating a clean energy based economy for a viable biosphere, do not, despite your Orwellian attempts to demonize us.   

Be sure and IGNORE the following post because, if you read it, it will make your head hurt.

Have a nice deluded day.

Climate Crisis Critical Issue in 2020 Elections – Jane Sanders

December 7, 2018

Jane Sanders tells Paul Jay that voters shouldn’t support candidates who claim to be progressive, but don’t prioritize the fight against fossil fuel interests

Story Transcript

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.

The Gathering, a meeting of 200 or so progressive thought leaders invited to Burlington, Vermont, was a meeting to talk about what comes next in the coming 2020 elections to help create a vision, a policy framework, for what candidates might run on, what people might fight for. It comes at a rather momentous time in human history, as I said in one of the other interviews; 2020 is maybe the most important election anyplace, ever, given what’s at stake. The Gathering was called by Jane O’Meara Sanders, who’s co-founder of the Sanders Institute; now serves as a fellow. Jane served as a political consultant, has held appointed and elected office, and Jane was the driving force behind the Gathering. And she now joins us here in our studio at the Gathering. Thanks for joining us.

JANE SANDERS: Thanks, Paul.

PAUL JAY: Your hopes going in—and I heard this a little bit in the email back and forth—is we don’t want to spend all this time trashing Trump. We really want to talk policy and what a different world might look like. How do you feel that was achieved?

JANE SANDERS: I was astounded. I mean, we had 49 speakers in 48 hours. And actually, I think a few added on during the weekend. It was thought provoking, inspiring, much better than I had ever envisioned. I had pretty high thoughts for this weekend. We came—you mentioned thought leaders. And what I realized by the end is they’re not just progressive thought leaders. They are bringing the heart to the, their hearts to the causes, to the issues that we talked about. They’re leading from values and principles, and then their intellect informs the rest. But the first layer is the values and the principles that we espouse, for democracy and for human dignity.

PAUL JAY: The times we live in are, as I said, this may be—the coming election may be the most important ever, to a large extent because of climate change. If a climate denier is elected again, or if a corporate Democrat is elected who pays lip service to the climate crisis and doesn’t take effective action, we’re kind of screwed. We’re already close to 1.5 or 2 degrees above—in terms of warming, above pre-industrial averages. The tipping point is really within sight. In terms of the messaging of the extent of the crisis and what to do about it, do you think that was addressed here?

JANE SANDERS: I think it was. I think that people walked away with the concept that, and with the realization, that time is running out. And what we need to do is not just ask people what to do or inform people about the issue.

One of the things that we need to do, and the reason for the Gathering, was to amplify each other’s voices, resonate on the issues. We need leadership that actually says, I’m sorry, this is a crisis. We need to address it now. Not next year, not the year after. It’s leadership at the local, the statewide, the national, the international level. Not just people who are elected, but people who want to make a difference in the world.

At the end of the climate crisis panel, Bill McKibben said that we need to have healthcare, Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and 100% renewable. Those are not the only things. But the 100% renewable and the focus on the climate crisis has to be at the outset of anybody running for office. Where do you stand? Where do you stand? Not [crosstalk]

PAUL JAY: Absolutely. But I’m not hearing it. Even with progressive candidates it’s like, I have to say even to some extent Bernie, although he’s certainly better than any of the others that actually have a mainstream role. But the extent of the threat is not like—it’s got to be front and center. We’re often, it’s like a shopping list, healthcare, Medicare for all, $15, climate. Well, climate is, it doesn’t matter if you get $15 an hour if we ain’t here. There seems to be a feeling both amongst people that work on this issue in the climate sector, people involved in political campaigns, that if you talk about the extent of the crisis you’re just going to scare people. Well, shouldn’t we be scaring people?

JANE SANDERS: I think so. I think you’re absolutely right. And we have to start—I believe a lot of people have conferences, and that’s the end game. Let’s have a conference. This was a jumping off point. We want to have the conference inform future action. What I heard from the questions from the attendees, the hallway conversations was that we have to hold people accountable. It’s not from a perception of you have to vote for this or vote for that. What do you understand about the climate crisis? Where do you stand on it, what are you willing to do, and what are you not willing to do? Don’t talk to me about in sound bites, don’t talk to me to say climate crisis is really bad, but no, I’m not going to fight the pipelines in the states. I’m not going to not take fossil fuel industry money. I think with the climate crisis, I think more than anything else we have to draw a very clear line and say these are the expectations. If you don’t do this, I don’t care how progressive you are, supposedly, it’s not—we’re not interested.

PAUL JAY: It’s got to be a criteria people use on who they vote for. But to do that we’ve got to get into those sections amongst working people who right now, climate is barely on the top 20 of their list. We did some work in southern Pennsylvania, we’ve done work around Baltimore where we’re based. And without doubt, the day-to-day suffering is such that people, they want that addressed. This thing has to be framed in a way that it is today. It’s not some great future prospect. And it’s your kids at stake, your grandkids at stake. The messaging is not getting through much to ordinary people.

JANE SANDERS: Well, when you look at the floods and the torrential rains and the fires, there is no analysis of that on the news. They cover it like voyeurs to say, oh, look at this terrible thing that’s happening. These people are helping, this is good news. The community is coming together, great. But they don’t ever ask why. Why is this occurring? Cover the science. And that is not happening. They need to cover the science.

PAUL JAY: Every day.

JANE SANDERS: Yeah, every day. But they’re not, and we need to insist they do.

PAUL JAY: We’re going to be, we are. and we’re going to be every day doing science. Because what’s missing from the whole discourse for ordinary people, people coming in on the issue, is the sense of urgency. People that understand what’s going on, we feel a sense of urgency, but there’s still this feeling that you can’t tell people that because it’s going to overwhelm them. It’s like treating people like kids.

JANE SANDERS: Partly. But I also think that people don’t want to have—want to just focus on a problem without a solution. Many of the people that are speaking about it or looking for votes don’t want to deal with the solutions. I do think that we have an opportunity at this point in time to say, to lay out what this administration has been doing in terms of rolling back air and water and all this, and all these regulations, and to recognize the support they’re giving to the fossil fuel industry with our tax dollars and not to renewables, which would help us. But to be able to say there is an answer.

The House just turned, and we should be making it very clear to the Democrats that are in control of the House, are you going to do something? If you’re not going to do something, thank you very much, we’re not going to be supporting you. If we say to the people, this is what you can do, and this is what we expect of you as leaders in your community or as elected leaders, we need your voice out there, then we can make a change. I think people need to not just focus only on the climate crisis, because as you say, that’s what everybody is saying. Everybody is going to be very nervous about it and very concerned. They should be, but we have to give them a path forward. We have to say how are you going to be able to make this-

PAUL JAY: Well, one of the things that came out of the conference was the discussion of a new green deal, a Green New Deal, I should say, which seems to make a lot of sense. It makes a lot of sense when you already understand why we need a new green deal—Green New Deal. Most people don’t even get the urgency of that.

JANE SANDERS: I think the bully pulpit really matters. The people in that room, and hopefully the people that watched on livestream, and the people that watch the things we’ll be putting out in the future at the Sanders Institute, will understand more. And Real News. You’ve been talking to people this entire time to have the Real News be covering the science, covering the facts, and having people who are in a position to lead their communities to solution. That helps. Now, the problem is that so many of the solutions, or so many of the approaches, seem to be protesting only. That’s not what we—I mean, protests are very important. That’s not enough. What we need to do is demand accountability, demand that they don’t take money from pipeline, they don’t support banks that fund pipelines. We need to say to our representatives and to the media, we expect you to ask and answer serious questions that are complex and not just give us sound bites.

PAUL JAY: I got a suggestion for the Sanders Institute.


PAUL JAY: One of the things I learned over the weekend was how Barcelona has created a publicly owned energy company. It seems to me more of that kind of program, like here’s what, if you actually took over a city, major city in this country, here’s what a city can do, here’s what a state could do. Also in terms of Congress, I think there’s going to be a real fight over whether real hearings are going to be held over what to do about climate change or trash Trump. I have no problem with trashing Trump. But if the focus is on that it’s just more of the same rhetorical battle.

JANE SANDERS: I agree. I think, unfortunately, the Democrats have a great opportunity, and unfortunately I’m concerned that they are going to blow it and focus on investigations, investigations, investigations. People want them to pay attention to the real issues facing their lives. And what’s happening now, I know, I really want Medicare for All, I really want $15 minimum wage, we want a lot of things. And a lot of new ideas and replicable policies came out of this conference. In terms of the climate crisis, what we need to do is focus on it, and if they don’t deliver to the voters that put them in, I think that it’s over. I think it’s over for that party. I don’t, I think-

PAUL JAY: It’s over for us humans.

JANE SANDERS: Well, but no. Because I think if they don’t focus on real change, on effecting real change, especially in this area, I think that we will be able to lead from below.

PAUL JAY: The logic—I mean, other than the fact that a whole section of the Democratic Party is very tied up with finance and fossil fuel, but set that aside for a second. They accept the dictatorship of corporate media. What I mean by that is the corporate news media is making a fortune out of this partisan battle. Not only does it drive ratings, because it’s like watching a football game, then the parties spend a billion, over a billion dollars, billions on advertising and campaigns. The partisan war, the news media loves. The logic goes if we have a hearing on climate change they won’t cover it.

JANE SANDERS: That’s what they said, actually. They have said that to us, that the ratings on climate change don’t matter. Then, at the same time, the ratings on fires and floods, they cover ad nauseum. Now, how hard would it be to cover them in a way that said these are the facts, this is climate change at work. This is why it’s happening. And this is what you can expect to happen later. These parts of the world are going to be underwater, and there’s going to be mass migration, and there’s going to be food shortages. They don’t have to cover it all at once. But when you look at things and you see the same footage for three days of terrible personal pain that people are experiencing, the loss of their homes and of their communities and even their cities, instead of saying, okay, we don’t have to put that on again, we can keep informing the people. That’s my, one of my concerns, is I think the fourth estate has been letting us down. A democracy requires an informed electorate. The media, the fourth estate, is supposed to inform the public. They’re not doing that. They’re selling ratings. But they’re not even thinking deeply about it. Because if they covered the fires and explained them, they’d get the same ratings.

PAUL JAY: I agree with you. But I have no expectation that corporate news media is going to change. This Democratic-controlled House, if they’re serious about climate change, they can create hearings with as much drama as the Kavanaugh hearings. You know, subpoena the head of Exxon, create a real dramatic presentation.

JANE SANDERS: Like they did with tobacco years ago, under Henry Waxman.

PAUL JAY: Exactly. But they have to want to do it. And that’s going to be a fight.

JANE SANDERS: It is going to be a fight, because people don’t want to take on the banks. They don’t want to take on the fossil fuel industry. They don’t want to take on the large donors and the big corporations. My hope is there will be—and I know there will be a group of people that will in the new Congress. And the Progressive Caucus in the Congress is pretty good.

PAUL JAY: There is a group now pushing for hearings on a Green New Deal.

JANE SANDERS: I think we’ll see some, for once, moving in the right direction. And I think the fact that under the Trump administration so many things have been so difficult for not just climate crisis, but everything, that I think people are beginning to realize we can’t take six more years of this. We can’t possibly survive that well. I guess that’s dramatic but-

PAUL JAY: A lot of people won’t survive.

JANE SANDERS: Yeah, a lot of people won’t. I think people are getting that. I have more faith in the American people. I think that they’re going to pay attention if they can be informed. That’s why places like The Real News and the Sanders Institute and all the people that were here from different organizations are so important, because—you started it with I don’t think they know. That education is extremely important.

PAUL JAY: Great, thanks very much.

JANE SANDERS: Thank you.

PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 29, 2018, 11:53:45 am »

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November 29, 2018

WSJ    Opinion 😈 Page Thinks Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars of Climate Damages Are “Affordable”

To those who have already suffered from climate impacts, like the Native Americans displaced by sea level rise in Louisiana and permafrost melt in Alaska, or those who lost their homes in wildfires or lives in heat waves, the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page has a message: you’re expendable.

That’s the gist of a pair of pieces responding to the NCA (National Climate Assessment) this week. The report says explicitly that climate change is already making extreme weather like hurricanes and wildfires worse, is already raising sea levels to the point that coastal communities are flooding on sunny days, and is already hurting the health of Americans across the country. Despite this, all the Journal seems to care about is money.

In a piece published on Monday, Steve Koonin 😈 argues that the report says “the overall economic impact of human-caused climate change is expected to be quite small.” To reiterate, this is the report that says many coastal communities will likely flood daily regardless of emission reductions, and that the entire $3.6 trillion dollar coastal real estate market is on the line.

The NCA also suggests there will be hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses, primarily from three factors. First, Americans dying prematurely means lots of hospital spending but not much else (turns out the dead don’t buy much). Second, there will be losses in outdoor worker productivity as entire swaths of the South becomes so hot that sustained outdoor work would literally be lethal. And thirdly, sea level rise will put coastal communities under water, literally and financially.

But because the economy will grow between now and then, Koonin claims that the costs won’t be so bad. As a country, we’ll be four times richer by 2090, so what’s a few hundred billion dollars lost every year by then?

Holman Jenkins Jr. 👹 follows Koonin’s lead, and on Tuesday put a finer point on his misplaced priorities of profits over people.

In reference to the report’s $510 billion in potential losses by 2090, representing thousands of dead Americans, Jenkins quips that “paying this bill would be a nuisance, not Armageddon.”

Sure, a nuisance. What a great way to describe grandmothers dropping dead of heat stroke, or children gasping for air as asthma rates in communities of color climb even higher.

Jenkins helpfully advises the climate community, which he’s spent years insulting, to slip a carbon tax into a larger tax reform package, because “the biggest holdup to direct action on climate is showing that preventing these changes would be cheaper than enduring them.”

Apparently, $500 billion dollars a year in dead Americans, flooded coastal communities and the scorching of the South’s agriculture industry is affordable, but switching from fossil fuels to renewables now is just too expensive.

While most deniers are clearly funded by fossil fuels, it’s starting to feel like the WSJ’s biggest advertiser might be the coffin-makers.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 22, 2018, 01:53:37 pm »

Conservative 😈 🦕🦖👹 Media Try To Discredit Tesla Via EV Tax Credit Campaign — #MediaAnalysis

November 21st, 2018 by Carolyn Fortuna


As I was researching an article about Tesla’s participation in the new EV Drive Coalition about a week ago, I came across a source from The Daily Caller on the subject. As I skimmed, this online newspaper’s right wing ideology was quite evident — not my worldview, granted, but didn’t Sun Tzu say in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles?” So I read on … and was amazed at how this newspaper, in the guise of reporting on new electric vehicle advocacy, offered its readers some targeted messaging, completely neglected to include many important facts, and chose language specifically intended to discredit Tesla without foundation.

Let’s do a little discourse analysis to uncover the meanings, methods, and messages within the article. It’s really fascinating! And it speaks to how much the fossil fuel industry has to lose by Tesla’s ascendancy in the automotive and energy markets through its model of a sustainable tomorrow for the planet.

The Daily Caller 🐉 offers the following “About Us” information on its website:

“Founded in 2010 by Tucker Carlson, a 20-year veteran journalist, and Neil Patel, former chief policy advisor to Vice President Cheney, The Daily Caller is one of America’s largest and fastest-growing news publications. … From exposing shocking mismanagement of Republican National Committee funds to exclusively revealing the FBI’s interview with Hillary Clinton, The Daily Caller’s reporting has been thorough and tough on members of both political parties. … The Daily Caller’s reporting is distributed worldwide to over 20 million unique readers each month through our highly-visited homepage, wildly popular newsletters and apps, countless citations from the world’s other top news sites, and our vast social media following.” 
discredit Tesla - Courtesy of Media Bias/ Fact Check

Framing  the Status of EVs Today in Order to Discredit Tesla

From the people (“Tucker Carlson,” “Neil Patel,” “Vice President Cheney,” “Hillary Clinton”), to its topics of interest (“Republican National Committee funds,” “FBI’s interview,” “both political parties”), to its audience (“unique readers”), and its self-congratulatory adjectives (“largest,” “fastest-growing,” “shocking,” “exclusively,” “thorough,” “tough,” “highly-visited,” “wildly popular,” “countless,” “vast”), The Daily Caller self-defines in terms of strongly right-biased story selection and self-aggrandizing exclamations. Noted for conservative media opinion writers and deep-thinking essayists rather than journalists who do original reporting, the news and opinion website has been labeled by Media Bias/ Fact Check as “mixed” for its numerous failed fact checks.

Full article: 🕵️


Agelbert COMMENT:

The Daily Caller and all the GOP 🐉 loving Fossil Fuel 🦕🦖 Fascists that spew disinformation there on behalf of Profit Over People and Planet need BE RUN OUT OF BUSINESS.

An Action Movie We Won't Want to See

Unchecked warming could trigger a slew of simultaneous climate crises in parts of the world by the end of the century, with some areas being hit by as many as six climate-influenced disasters at a time, according to new research.

A multidisciplinary study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change identifies 467 different ways climate change is already impacting society—including warming, droughts, fires, sea-level rise, changes to food systems and health problems—and predicts that these disasters will begin to compound on top of one another if warming continues at current rates.

"Facing these climatic changes will be like getting into a fight with Mike Tyson, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Jackie Chan—all at the same time," lead author Camillo Mora told CBS. "I think we are way above our heads."
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 14, 2018, 05:18:50 pm »

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Novemebr 14, 2018

In Not-So-Subtle Nod 👍 to Climate Change, South Park Shows a ManBearPig Denier Eaten by ManBearPig  ;D

''The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with sticks,'' Dr. Wallace S. Broecker 
warned humanity, decades ago. Now it looks like the beast is awakening, and even former critics seem to be coming around to the idea that we should stop poking it.

This reversal is even showing up in what we watch after work. The libertarian-leaning sensibilities of South Park’s creators have been plainly evident on TV for years. Humor like South Park’s fuels the sort of nihilistic “both parties are the same” rhetoric that allows edgy young men to feel superior to both parties, without having to actually make a political choice.

Climate change has come up in the show multiple times, from skewering the over-the-top dramatics with a Day After Tomorrow parody to lampooning the smug self-satisfaction of Prius driving liberals. But the episode that has continued to resonate, particularly in the deniersphere, is the ManBearPig episode. This infamous 2006 bit mocked Al Gore’s pandering to the press and public while promoting his Inconvenient Truth movie.

To be fair, the episode was always more about Gore’s attention-seeking behavior and bitterness at losing the presidency. The titular mythical monster (half man, half bear, half pig) served a stand-in for his public concern for climate change. For deniers obsessed with Gore, though, “ManBearPig” became something of a meme. 

But in last Wednesday’s episode, twelve long years after Gore was mocked mercilessly for warning of ManBearPig’s existence, the cryptid made its first (real world) appearance in the show. And real news like NBC  and Vanity Fair--as well as conservative fake news like Newsbusters, the Washington Times and Fox--all wrote how this new episode could be considered an anthropocene apology to Al Gore.

In the episode, the cartoon’s four young protagonists must seek out Gore after being blamed for the murders committed by ManBearPig (which police mistake for yet another school shooting). They’re determined to make amends so that they can clear their names and take down ManBearPig together. Lest you think the creators are now fans of the former VP, the cartoon Gore is less than gracious, requiring the kids apologize repeatedly and throw him a party at Olive Garden, where he bores them with a slideshow of his career. At the end, he gives them his Nobel prize and tells the kids it’s up to them now. (Presumably, this cliffhanger will be be picked up in tonight’s episode.)

But in one particularly climatic scene, captured by the right-wing “Media Research Center,” ManBearPig slaughters his way through a restaurant, while a glib denier explains that “You can't just go along with what people are saying, Susan, okay? There's no scientific proof, no real evidence of a ManBearPig… everyone wants to use the fear of a ManBearPig to get what they want. They throw around bad science, bad taxidermy… ”

When ManBearPig crashes through the wall behind the man, and begins a violent rampage he continues undaunted, saying “You can't just let people tell you that if you don't believe in ManBearPig, then you don't care about the world.”

When Susan points out that not only is ManBearPig real, but here, right now (and ripping the spine out of the guy behind him) the man shifts to the denier line that it’s too late now: “What can we do that everyone else will also do, Susan? Come on, use your brain. Even if we do something about it...  What about the Chinese? They’re just gonna keep right on--”

But ManBearPig picks him up and begins chomping down on the his skull, cutting off his denial mid-sentence.

While climate change was already plenty real twelve years ago, when ManBearPig was just a figment of Gore’s imagination, a decade of Sandys and Harveys and Marias and Florences, of wildfires and droughts and pests and heat waves, have made the risk of poking Dr. Broecker’s climate beast an obvious, if inconvenient, truth.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 13, 2018, 02:11:06 pm »

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November 13, 2018

Wildfires 🔥🔥🔥🔥 Latest Example Of How Burning Fossil Fuels Leads To Burning California

With dozens of lives lost and thousands of acres burned, the fires currently raging across California are an unpleasant reminder of what’s at stake in the climate fight.

Those who are opposed to the clean energy solutions that, while obviously wouldn’t put out  the flames but would at least quit fanning them, haven’t let this moment go without their own commentary.

For example, we heard that Dr. Jane Orient 🦕 of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)  sent out a press release on Sunday with two broad claims. One was that since warming has paused and more acres were burned in the 1930s, CO2 emissions aren’t the cause of increased wildfires. Orient also says that if the US adopted “California-like renewable energy mandates” that fight climate change, it still wouldn’t prevent forest fires. The claims link to two year-old page on a Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) website, one on wildfires, the other California energy policy.

Now before one dives into the veracity of these claims, one should consider their source. One association of doctors linking to another group of doctors certainly sounds respectable... But are they?

No. Not at all. Not even the slightest little bit.  

As we’ve covered before, Dr. Jane Orient is the Breitbart-beloved anti-vaxxer who once compared a tobacco tax to “Third Reich measures” and more recently was the source of some of the conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health on the campaign trail. The AAPS🦕 , which she 🦕 runs, along with DDP, considers Medicare and Medicaid “evil,” publishes pseudo-scientific claims with starkly conservative bents (like denying the existence of HIV and claiming abortions cause breast cancer) and once suggested President Obama was not actually “a brilliant orator,” but instead uses “neuro linguistic programing (NLP), a covert form of hypnosis.”

So while the organizations may appear legitimate at first glance, even a cursory search reveals their bald partisanship and outright insanity. Woe to the reporter who takes the press release seriously at face value.

However, since even a stopped clock is right twice a day, we’ll take a look at their actual claims.

On whether rising CO2 levels are making wildfires worse, Orient and the AAPS use a graph going back to 1926 to claim that since more acres were burnt then, it must be poor forest management causing fires now. They use the National Interagency Fire Center’s data to prove this point, despite the fact that the Center says explicitly that data prior to 1983 is unreliable, and “should not be compared to later data.” (Exactly why is complicated, but include the fact that pre-’83 fires may be double or triple-counted.)

Not only is Orient guilty of the classic logical fallacy of “people die naturally therefore murder’s a hoax,” but she’s also using unreliable data to do so.

In reality, the connections between fires and climate are varied and well-established. Temperatures were exceptionally high this season where the fires started, and have risen twice the global average in the west since 1970, while the wildfire season has grown from five to seven months, on average. This corresponds to a fourfold increase in large fires between 1980 and 2010. Further, warming has contributed to the drying-out of the west: one study shows that over half the increase in aridity (a key driver of fires) is because of climate change.

We can make similarly quick work of the second claim that a California-like renewable energy standard wouldn’t prevent forest fires. While obviously investing in renewables won’t completely stop wildfires, as the above links between warming and fires demonstrate, fossil fuel emissions make things warmer and dryer, which are the conditions necessary for fires like these.

By phrasing her question as though people are saying “Only YOU can prevent forest fires, by putting up solar panels,” Dr. Orient is just tossing a strawman onto the fires.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 13, 2018, 01:48:07 pm »

Big Oil 🐉🦕🦖 claims it's doing its part to combat climate change. A new study finds it's not even close.


Despite years of claims and commitments about clean investment and alleviating climate change, the world's largest oil companies have contributed just 1% of their spending budgets to green energy in 2018.

Companies like Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and BP, have all accelerated efforts into renewables and battery technology in recent years. But many efforts have been overshadowed  by the oil industry's efforts to block or overturn environmental regulations.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 12, 2018, 02:31:56 pm »


Before we had Trump’s swarm of bloodsucking lobbyists gutting government regulations from within, we had Cheney’s. Before Trump brazenly used the White House to boost his brand, we had Cheney wallowing in emoluments: He let his energy industry pals shape energy policy; he pushed to invade Iraq, giving no-bid contracts to his former employer, Halliburton, and helping his Big Oil cronies reap the spoils in Iraq.

Read more:

Agelbert NOTE: The NYT asks the WRONG QUESTION. Trump is HERE NOW. Yeah, Trump would not be HERE without Cheney 🦖 (AND Obama 🐩), but the M.I.C. that put Cheney there is STILL HERE.  

The M.I.C. (i.e the DEEP STATE) PUT Cheney. Obama AND Trump (and ALL Presidents since WWII) IN POWER!

The M.I.C. IS THE PROBLEM, of which Trump 🦀 is currently just one of its Capitalist Profit Over People and Planet Biosphere destroying symptoms 😈👹🐉🦕🦖💵🎩🍌🏴‍☠️.

The NYT, a CREATURE OF THE M.I.C., is engaging in an attempt to DISTRACT we-the-people from the REAL PROBLEM. The article says many truths, YET refuses to connect ALL the dots that lead straight to the 'MIGHT EQUALS RIGHT' Social Darwinst RELIGION of the Wall Street 'GREED IS GOOD', biosphere math challenged evil bastards.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 21, 2018, 02:47:52 pm »

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Lies, Lies, & More Lies: Lawrence Solomon🦕 Is Scared & So Is The Fossil Fuel Industry

October 21st, 2018 by Joshua S Hill

It should come as no surprise that the fossil fuel industry has many defenders 🐵 🐒 🦍 willing to step up to the plate and bat for them — it is, after all, a multi-billion-dollar industry with long-standing relationships and a desire not to collapse into infamy and oblivion.

The simple reality is that, for a large part of the planet, the fossil fuel industry is on its last legs. Developed nations are wholesale turning to renewable energy — either by federal impetus or through the work of sub-national players such as local governments and corporations — and developing nations are looking to renewable energy as a means to jump over the fossil fuel step altogether, avoiding the need to build up costly nationwide infrastructure and preventing further emissions increases.

Fear & Ignorance

This new reality, however, is apparently difficult for some people to comprehend. Most recently, BP CEO Bob Dudley, speaking as the “Petroleum Executive of the Year” at the Oil & Money conference in London, raised his fears of the global divestment and disclosure movements that are impacting the fossil fuel industry, suggesting that they “could lead to bad outcomes.” His rationale, however, was based on faulty assumptions and blind ignorance of the realities.

BP 🦕 CEO Bob Dudley 😈

However, Dudley can at least be given credit for admitting the need for change, and presenting a path forward which he claimed was “not a call for business as usual” and one that “requires significant and rapid disruption to our industry.”

The same credit cannot be given to Lawrence Solomon, however, a columnist for Canada’s National Post section (which bears the name Financial Post after the business newspaper of the same name) and the Executive Director of Energy Probe, the consumer and energy research team of Canada’s Energy Probe Research Foundation.

Writing an op-ed recently for the Financial Post, Solomon set aside any dignity or professional integrity he may once have grasped to and penned what can only be described as a hit-piece on the renewable energy industry with all the internal consistency of a wet tissue. Solomon’s article — entitled “Trudeau stands alone as Canada — and the world — abandons green energy” — ran with the witty lede, “Wind and solar have become the fossils of the energy industry; oil, gas and coal remain the fuels of the future.” An entire fact-check article could be written about the opening paragraph on its own — not bad, considering it boasts only 109 words in four sentences.

Solomon’s article was brought to our attention here at CleanTechnica by a frustrated reader who asked that we investigate the claims Solomon made in his piece — described by the reader as “so untruthful and so far from reality that I think it deserves to be called out.”

More than simply “calling out” Lawrence Solomon, however, I think it’s worth being completely upfront and honest about Solomon and his opinions — and opinions they are, make no mistake about it, in the true spirit of the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word — “A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge” — for, it would appear that Solomon’s opinions have never even heard of the concept of “facts” and “knowledge.”

Lies, Lies, & More Lies

To be fair, the issue is not so much with Lawrence Solomon in and of himself, rather, he is simply representative of a number of such pundits who occupy their own little space of real estate in magazines, newspapers, and on television the world over.

Solomon is in no way particularly special for the absurdity of his views, but he serves as a convenient example of the types of lies that are spread, and the way in which people opposed to renewable energy and in denial about global warming make their arguments.

In his opinion article, Lawrence Solomon attempts to make the argument that renewable energy is not only on the back foot around the world, but that it is in full retreat. To support this argument, Solomon refers to several pieces of so-called evidence which he has pulled kicking and screaming out of context. I’ll handle them one at a time.


Solomon claims that China has “begun to throw in the towel by cutting subsidies to renewables, an augur of the demise of investment in its renewables sector.” Solomon also points to recent reporting from green campaigners CoalSwarm which claimed that 259 gigawatts (GW) of new coal capacity are currently under construction.

Satellite visualization from Carbon Tracker

While Solomon accurately reported the findings from CoalSwarm’s new satellite imagery report — which showed construction ongoing at coal plants across the country, the result of a permitting surge between late-2014 and early-2016 — he incorrectly blames the reason for China’s decision to cut subsidies to renewables.

It’s important to remember the context of China’s current reliance on coal. The new capacity currently under construction is the result of local authorities approving new projects, and actually flies in the face of China’s Central Government’s decisions to halt construction of new coal-fired power plants. Toward the end of 2016 and over the first few months of 2017, China announced the cancellation of 30 large coal-fired power plants amounting to 17 gigawatts (GW), followed soon after by the cancellation of 104 more under-construction and planned coal projects amounting to 120 GW. In March of this year, a report showed that the development of new coal plants in 2017 had declined in China, thanks in part to the Central Government’s decision to suspend construction across hundreds of projects.

Unfortunately, CoalSwarm’s recent report might suggest that China’s Central Government no longer has the control it once had to make these sweeping cuts, but a report published earlier this month by Carbon Tracker shows that 40% of China’s coal plants are already losing money and that the country could save nearly $390 billion by closing plants instead of keeping them operational.

Further, it’s important to look at the whole of what is happening in China. In September, China’s National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) wrote a draft policy that paved the way to increase the country’s renewable energy target from 20% to 35% by 2030.

Later that same month, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) issued draft guidelines that would look to phase out power generation subsidies — just as Solomon highlighted, except, the intention of the decision was to provide the country’s renewable energy sector with further technological and policy support so that those technologies can compete against other technologies on their own. Specifically, the draft guidelines seek to incentivize renewable energy technologies in regions where they can operate without help from government subsidies.

“The reason China’s cutting subsidy is mainly because of the huge deficit in the national renewable subsidy fund,” explained Yali Jiang, a solar analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who spoke to me via email. “By the end of 2017, the deficit amounted around $19 billion including those for wind and solar projects. As a result, the government expects to, for instance, restrict new solar installations that require national subsidy immediately.”

“China’s solar installation contracted in 3Q due to the policy change,” Jiang added. “The grid-connected PV capacity halved in July and August compared with last year. But the country remains to be the largest investor in clean energy in 3Q ($26.7 billion), a fraction above the same period of 2017.”

Far from being “an augur of the demise of investment in its renewables sector,” as Solomon so dramatically put it, China’s decision to cut subsidies is actually based in a desire to minimize the financial strain caused by subsidizing new power generation, while at the same time providing technological and political support that will help renewable energy compete on its own — much as it does in other parts of the world, such as throughout Europe and North America.


Lawrence Solomon, far from being happy with one example, decided to add another to the mix, explaining that, “With the cutting of subsidies to renewables in the [European Union], investment last year dropped to less than half of its peak six years earlier.”

Again, Solomon correctly looked at the chart, sourced from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and highlighted by the World Economic Forum in May of 2018 — an article, mind you, which highlights the success of the investment in China’s renewable energy sector, and betrays Solomon’s contention that China has suffered a decline in investment in its renewables sector (made literally the sentence beforehand).

While it is true that investment in Europe’s renewable energy industry has fallen off in recent times, it’s doubly important to look at the region’s capacity installations over the same time. Between 2011 and 2017 — the six-year period Solomon highlighted — generation from renewable electricity across the 28 Member States of the European Union skyrocketed.

Gross electricity generation from renewable sources, EU-28, 1990-2016 Image Credit: Eurostat

The share of renewable energy sources in the final consumption of energy has also steadily increased over the past decade, as can be seen in the table below.

Share of electricity from renewable sources in gross electricity consumption, 2004-2016 Image Credit: Eurostat

Complete renewable energy capacity additions for Europe are difficult to come by — unsurprising, given the nature of a supranational governing body — but we can mitigate that somewhat by looking specifically at the two dominant renewable energy technologies, wind, and solar.

Annual wind energy installations across Europe have steadily ticked up each year, declining only once since 2011, in 2013.

It’s worth noting, though, that new capacity additions for 2018 are on a worrying downward trend, as seen by half-year figures published by WindEurope in July.

Europe’s solar industry has similarly suffered from recent investment figures, as can be seen in the graph below, published by SolarPower Europe in June (as part of a global outlook).

Evolution of Global Annual Solar PV Installed Capacity 2000-2017

So while from a certain point of view, Lawrence Solomon can claim that Europe’s clean energy investment has fallen, resulting in lower solar capacity additions and moderate wind additions, it’s worth seeing this in light of the whole. Solar has begun growing again across Europe — with a total of 9.2 GW worth of new capacity added in 2017, a 30% increase on the year before — and offshore wind continues to increase its share. Europe was also one of the first regions to double-down on solar, and accounts for 28% of the global total, with a total of 114 GW worth of installed capacity.

Additionally, even though investments have decreased, this does not necessarily speak to a larger fall-off for the renewable energy industry. Rather, as technologies such as solar PV and onshore wind mature, their costs have decreased, which means that less money is needed to build even more capacity.

Lawrence Solomon may have struck closer to the mark with this particular example, but it does not serve to bolster his argument any, considering the impact of Brexit and the UK’s shift away from solar towards wind, the declining cost of mature technologies, and natural market dynamics and political malfeasance from politicians who share Solomon’s point of view.


Investment in Japan’s clean energy industry has indeed slowed since 2016 — essentially falling off a financial cliff at the end of 2015. Much like China, however, Japan’s situation is not as clear-cut as a graph might show.

“After years of record-breaking investment driven by some of the world’s most generous feed-in tariffs, China and Japan are cutting back on building new large-scale projects and shifting towards digesting the capacity they have already put in place,” said Justin Wu, head of Asia for BNEF, said in January of 2017.

“China is facing slowing power demand and growing wind and solar curtailment. The government is now focused on investing in grids and reforming the power market so that the renewables in place can generate to their full potential. In Japan, future growth will come not from utility-scale projects but from rooftop solar systems installed by consumers attracted by the increasingly favorable economics of self-consumption.”

It’s ironic, however, that Solomon decided to use Japan as throwaway proof of “a worldwide trend rejecting renewables.” If he had made the argument even a year ago, it might have held more weight, but given recent moves by Japan’s government, and corporations and utilities within Japan, it loses all importance.

In July, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, better known as TEPCO, announced that it intends to pursue the development of between 6 and 7 GW worth of renewable energy capacity worth tens of billions of dollars in an intentional move away from nuclear power. Speaking to Nikkei, TEPCO’s president Tomoaki Kobayakawa announced his company will look to develop 6 to 7 GW of renewable energy across Japan and overseas in a move expected to yield 100 billion yen ($8.98 billion) in profit. “We must gain a competitive advantage in renewable energy,” he said.

Meanwhile, in September, Japan’s Electric Power Development Co., better known as J-Power, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with French multinational electric utility ENGIE to collaborate on power projects, specifically offshore wind and floating offshore wind projects — a further sign of Japan’s turn away from nuclear, and specifically towards contending with Taiwan as an offshore wind hub. And only last week, the Fitch Group published a forecast which expected Japan to add 17 GW worth of new solar capacity by the end of 2020, before the sector begins to slow.

For Lawrence Solomon, Japan also does not prove his belief that renewable energy is on the back foot.

The UK, et al

I could go on. Solomon points to Germany, the UK, and Australia as further proof that the world is turning away from renewable energy. While both Germany and Australia serve as good examples of this, they are about the only two countries that do — and only from a national point of view, with sub-state actors serving to pick up where the nation’s governments left off (or, in Australia’s case, never picked up to begin with).

Solomon’s citing the UK as an example of a flagging renewable energy industry, however, truly beggars belief. Not only is the UK home to one of the world’s most persistent and dominant renewable energy countries, Scotland, but the UK is also the world’s offshore wind energy leader, boasting a portfolio of projects in operation, under construction, or in development, of 35.2 GW.

Agreed, the UK’s investment is likely to fall, a point made by the Green Alliance in January of 2017, analyzing the UK Government’s own numbers. The government has proven lackluster at best when it comes to preparing for a post-Brexit world, and it has thoroughly mishandled commitments to various technologies (onshore wind and solar, in particular). However, it’s important to look at the long-term — the Green Alliance’s analysis only looks to 2020, and a July announcement from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy could mitigate some of these short-term losses, by setting a timeline for new offshore wind auctions starting from 2021.

“The renewables sector in the UK has seen pretty dire policy from government: solar and onshore wind projects have been effectively blocked, despite the fact that they’re now the cheapest form of new power,” explained Dustin Benton, Policy Director at Green Alliance. “By contrast, dirty power stations, supported by the UK’s flawed capacity market, have seen several hundred million pounds of government contracts over the past few years.”

Image Credit: MHI Vestas

“The exception to this generally gloomy picture is in offshore wind: despite irregular auctions, the sector has reduced prices by two-thirds over the past two years, and the government has committed to procuring around 16 GW of new offshore wind during the 2020s, putting the country on track for 30 GW by 2030 – a level consistent with meeting the UK’s carbon targets.”

It’s also worth remembering that Great Britain currently boasts its lowest ever share of fossil fuels in its energy mix, accounting for only 41% of total generation, down from 71% only 7 years ago.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Lawrence? Lie!

An argument against renewable energy and climate change is not complete, however, without mentioning the biggest elephant in the room — the United States. Solomon reserves an entire paragraph for the US but barely manages to come close to the truth.

Solomon sets the scene — the Democrats are out of power and Donald Trump is in, and quickly moves to exit from the Paris Agreement. What did the country manage to do with this new paradigm shift?

Right out of the gate, Solomon … well, he pretty much rushes headlong into the gate. Solomon starts out by claiming that the US has revived its coal industry. One wonders exactly where to start on this. In January, Reuters obtained preliminary US government data which showed that the coal industry continues to shed jobs. In February, figures published by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) revealed that not only had there been no new coal capacity added during 2017 (and only 3 units in 2016) but that coal’s total share of generating capacity has declined by 17.83% over the past five years. In fact, according to figures published in June by the US Energy Information Administration, coal has dropped to providing only 27% of total electricity generation.

The cause for coal’s steep decline? According to researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Colorado Boulder writing in May, the responsible party is not renewable energy but is in fact the decline in natural gas prices. And only this week, the White House — the very center of Donald Trump’s power — has reportedly shelved a plan to bail out the coal (and nuclear) sectors.  ;D

The final point to make is, possibly, the most absurd. Written and positioned as if it was the final nail in Solomon’s argument, he writes that “The once-powerful United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, formerly a fixture in the news, is defanged and forgotten, having lost its US funding and its relevance.”

Solomon’s article was published on September 28, only 11 days before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report warning that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will “require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” Putting aside the fact that the IPCC works in long-term cycles and is not beholden to publish material regularly (nor has it ever), Solomon must have regretted that particular sentence.

Abandoning Truth

It takes something special to be able to so blatantly and casually lie in public as Lawrence Solomon manages. To so clearly and repeatedly mishandle the facts and misconstrue the evidence requires either an almost champion level of ignorance, or a complete disregard for the truth. Solomon squeezes at least a dozen lies and half-truths into only 750 words — that’s at least one every 62 words.

Is the global renewable energy industry on the back foot? No — in fact, in many parts of the world, it is progressing faster than ever before, and well above any other energy technology. The industry is maturing, however, and with that naturally comes some bumpy patches — stagnation, political intervention and misappropriation, and economic fluctuations; to think otherwise is naive.

But to think that these bumps in the road represent some global shift away from renewable energy is to ignore all common sense and historical evidence. Renewable energy isn’t going away, nor is it declining in popularity. It is the future — not just because we need it to be, but because it is economically better. 


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 12, 2018, 07:21:47 pm »

The ‘Greatest Hoax’ Strikes Florida

Denying climate change doesn’t stop its devastating effects.

By Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

Oct. 10, 2018


“One of the most preposterous hoaxes in the history of the planet,” scoffed Rush Limbaugh of Palm Beach. Gov. Rick Scott’s administration went so far as to bar some agencies from even using the term “climate change,” according to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (Scott denied this).

Myopic Floridians have plenty of company. President Trump dismissed climate change as a hoax “created by and for the Chinese.” Senator James Inhofe , a Republican of Oklahoma, “disproved” climate change by taking a snowball onto the Senate floor and noting that it was chilly outside; using similarly rigorous scientific methods , he wrote a book about climate change called “The Greatest Hoax".

Alas, denying climate change doesn’t actually prevent it. North Carolina passed a law in 2012 prohibiting the use of climate science in certain state planning, yet that didn’t intimidate Hurricane Florence last month. And banning the words “climate change” isn’t helping Florida now.

Some folks will say this isn’t the moment for politics. But don’t we have a responsibility to mitigate the next disaster?

Prof. Michael E. Mann of Penn State told me that Hurricane Michael should be a wake-up call. “As should have Katrina, Irene, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Florence,” he added wryly. “In each of these storms we can see the impact of climate change: Warmer seas means more energy to intensify these storms, more wind damage, bigger storm surge and more coastal flooding.”

Full article:


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