Roundup 22 Oct from Prescott Valley Arizona

Arizona Sunset

Several important posts from Jo Nova recently. See them all!

UPDATE. Don Aitkin on deplatforming.

Microbes love plastic! Stop worrying about drinking straws and all the other microbe food in the rivers and oceans!

Microbes are eating the plastic film that ends up in the oceans, stating: “…tailored marine consortia have the ability to thrive in the presence of mixtures of plastics and participate in their degradation.”

Last year, scientists in Japan discovered bacteria that was eating PET plastic — the plastic that those clear soda and water bottles are made of — and another group discovered an enzyme that breaks down PET. Of course, “ Waxworm caterpillars have been found to break down plastic in a matter of hours, and mealworms possess gut microbes that eat through polystyrene. Beckham [Gregg Beckham, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory] thinks, given how ubiquitous environmental pollution has become, “it is likely that microbes are evolving faster and better strategies to break down man-made plastics. It seems that nature is evolving solutions.”

Some plastics are intentionally engineered to withstand exposure to sunlight and chemicals without degrading. Among them are various types of HDPE (High-density polyethylene) , which is used in the manufacture of thousands of items, including potable water pipes, surgical implants, landfill liners, pyrotechnic mortars and fuel cans. Another personal note: If you are buying jerry cans for marine use, or fuel cans for outboard motors, buy only those marked HDPE with the symbol shown here. Many consumer gas cans are meant to be stored in garages and breakdown rapidly if left exposed to sunlight. HDPE fuel cans are intended to be exposed and last a very long time.

From The Spectator. How one person changed his mind about global warming.

This is the first in a series of blogs where I describe how and why I changed my mind about something. I hope to encourage myself to change my mind more often. And to encourage others.
Short summary: I now worry less about global warming than I did, the scientific evidence is that it’s not going to be catastrophic.

Extinction Rebellion and all the latest rage in cataclysm

Everyone has been inconvenienced by the activities of those associated with Extinction Rebellion, an organisation co-founded by the disaffected English Marxist, Roger Hallam who happily announced that in bringing down the government, some people may die in the process.

A Conversation. Immigration and many other issues. Deep Trouble #6: The Hon. Kelvin Thomson with Dr Mark Halloran [Podcast]. Kelvin Thomson was the Shadow Attorney General for the Rudd Labour government. The conversation ranges over immigration, population growth, the Rudd-Gilliard-Rudd years, and Australia’s addiction to gambling. Kelvin contends the need to stabilise the Australian population by limiting skilled migration whilst increasing humanitarian refugee intake. This is a bit weird, we punch well above our weight on our refugee intake and we need all the skills that we can get.

Quadrant online. Tireless Tony Thomas. Greenies struggle with arithmetic.

Politicians and climate alarmists are running what amounts to a promises auction about getting the world to zero net emissions in ten to thirty years’ time. It’s easy to bid as you will never be held accountable, you look virtuous and bids cost nothing, at least for the time being.

Australia’s Future and Its Enemies. The farmers wake up. Can they match the Dutch?

Finally! The National Farmers Federation has announced that it will implement a long-term public relations campaign to mobilise public and political support for a major expansion of the agricultural industry in Australia and combat the zealotry of animal rights activists and green extremists.

Strategic Policy Institute. The 180kg panda in the room.

Engineering global consent: The Chinese Communist Party’s data-driven power expansion. The Chinese party-state engages in data collection on a massive scale as a means of generating information to enhance state security—and, crucially, the political security of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—across multiple domains. The party-state intends to shape, manage and control its global operating environment so that public sentiment is favourable to its own interests.

IPA. Australian Values And The Enduring Importance Of The Nanny-State.

A strange title! The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee is conducting an inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy. The IPA is preparing a contribution and among other things it will consider the idea of popular sovereignty and argue that declining trust in Australia’s governing institutions caused in part by the departure of our rulers from Australia’s fundamental values. In particular it shows how freedom, egalitarianism, and localism have been undermined through government intervention.

Centre for Independent Studies. Come on Treasury, time doesn’t stand still. The Treasury’s flawed tax model has led to serious errors in the costing of structural reforms. The government should bring forward proposed changes from 2022 and 2024 to start next year, and can do so without threatening the budget surplus.

Simon says “Lets hear it for competitive meritocracy!” An important statement by the leader of the ground-breaking program in the Centre that is exploring the dynamics of the Australian economy to reveal unexpected strengths in our performance in recent decades. This is a long-term program of work that shows up the weakness of so much research in the universities that is driven by the imperative to publish quickly and to avoid rocking the boat by challenging the paradigm.
There is no reason why meritocracy can’t be compatible with an agenda focused on reducing poverty. However it may require abandoning the myth that every difference in outcome is the result of government not doing enough, or discrimination of some kind.

From a piece in the Canberra Times urging Labor to embrace competitive meritocracy and pitch for the aspirationals at the next election.

Australian Taxpayers Alliance. Australia Institute’s Anti-Nuclear Claims Are Built on Sand. Labor gets away with $388,000 in Victoria. The Police Department gives up on Labor’s “red shirts” rort. A plastic bag ban would hurt the environment. Sukkar plan gives ATO more power to hurt small business. What was that about the Coalition supporting small business?

Climate, Environment and Energy

The farmers are revolting in Holland. Stunning pictures! Remarkable use of power by the bitcoin industry – matching the energy consumption of Ireland. Greenpeace is going down financially. Greenpeace’s ship is sinking.

Their budget line for “Marine Operations”, the costs of maintaining four large ocean vessels, is choking the NGO more than the diesel fumes they emit to transport a grand piano to the Arctic Ocean for a useless stunt (see cover image). The Rainbow Warrior, Esperanza, Arctic Sunrise and Argus are now costing the NGO 25% more than they spend on all of their global campaigns (over €13 million in 2018).

Donna Laframboise, her website. Recall her devastating exposure of the political games that the IPCC play.

A very high quality climate site in Thailand. For climate nerds, a test of the hypothesis that we will all be killed by the melting permafrost in the tundra. Very sophisticated experimental work and analysis. The bottom line – relax!

Problems with carbon budgeting. This is one for people who are concerned about the deadweight costs of any form of carbon tax, or even simply trying to count emissions.

Looking again the site is mixed bag, some of the posts are straight summaries of alarming UN reports. Maybe just saving the need to access the original but very different from the first posts that I read that took a highly critical line.

The Portal to a collection of fellow-travellers

In no particular order. Australian Institute for Progress, The Institute of Public Affairs IPA, the Centre for Independent Studies CIS, The Sydney Institute, Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, Quadrant On Line, The Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Tim Blair, Andrew Norton, the classical liberal in Carlton, Rite-ON admirable Queensland activists!, The Menzies Research Centre, Jim Rose Utopia You Are Standing in It. LibertyWorks. On Line Opinion.

Overseas. Spiked, Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Dan Mitchell, The Last Refuge.

Education and Culture. Quillette. Heterodox Academy. Accuracy in Academia, Intellectual Takeout, Institute for Humane Studies.

For Nerds. Rafe’s website, Critical Rationalist Blog, My bookstore.

Looking for a book? Try here!

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10 Responses to Roundup 22 Oct from Prescott Valley Arizona

  1. egg_

    Politicians and climate alarmists are running what amounts to a promises auction about getting the world to zero net emissions in ten to thirty years’ time. It’s easy to bid as you will never be held accountable, you look virtuous and bids cost nothing, at least for the time being.

    Amen.
    Why is it always the single-person-SUV drivers at work crapping on about the environment?

  2. Mark M

    New life discovered growing on plastic waste dubbed the ‘plastisphere’

    “A whole new group of microscopic creatures has been found growing of the vast amount of discarded plastic floating in the world’s oceans.
    “The organisms inhabiting the plastisphere were different from those in surrounding seawater, indicating that plastic debris acts as artificial ‘microbial reefs’,” said Mincer.”

    https://www.coolaustralia.org/new-life-discovered-growing-on-plastic-waste-dubbed-the-plastisphere/

  3. Brian

    Interesting excerpt from your Greenpeace link:

    If one wonders why the environmental-health issues gaining media attention are becoming so bat-shit crazy (anti-vaxxers, agroecology, glyphosate, anti-vaping…), this has to do with the nature of the activists and gurus now holding the microphones. These upstarts get their “science” from Google searches.
    As grandparents and teenagers weep in the streets over the imminent extinction of humanity; as parents panic at the thought of carcinogens lurking in their children’s cereal; as stakeholder dialogue breaks down and consumers are left in an unbridled state of fear, egged on by an activist driven media; we need to understand how the shift in activism techniques is having dire consequences on our capacity to reach sensible ecological solutions. We are no longer talking about air, water and soil; we are no longer talking about sustainable development; we are no longer talking about innovative technologies. These activist upstarts have delivered nothing but grief, cynicism and eco-anxiety.
    At least Greenpeace employed scientists and sought positive solutions. Farewell old adversary … I think I’m going to miss you after all.

  4. pbw

    From the WUWT guest essay on Bitcoin energy consumption.

    Co-author of the research, Brian Vad Mathiesen of Aalborg University says: “There are some persistent myths that 100 percent renewable systems are not possible. Our contribution deals with these myths one-by-one, using all the latest research.”

    All the latest research!

  5. Rafe Champion

    Amusing to see the increasing demand for electrons to run cryptocurrencies, add electric cars and the grid is really going to creak under the extra load!!

  6. Cardimona

    Great post, Rafe.
    I’m sending it to a young journalist I know.
    It could be his red pill.

  7. Whalehunt Fun

    What is the name of the third Mario brother, the one with the white hat, and why is he photographing a sunset?

  8. Whalehunt Fun

    100 percent renewable systems

    What sort of denier still believes in the steady state cosmos theory?
    The Universe is running down, probably to a cold death. No system of perpetual motion can exist and no system 100% renewable. Has this buffoon never heard of entropy?
    God in heaven but there are some dullards lined up at the tax trough.
    Someone needs to ask him if the Nasties killed any chews or was it all a chewish lie.
    His answer is predictable.

  9. Rafe Champion

    No Mario brother, that is my wife!
    She photographs everything.
    I try to keep out of the way.

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