Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

Dec 28, 2010

Wow, my lucky day, and a princess no less.

I have written before:

People in foreign lands who share a surname with me have really rotten luck, in fact lethal luck. Some time ago I received what is the third notification of someone with my surname meeting with a fatal accident in a far off land, after depositing a large sum of money in a financial institution, and leaving no will.

Owing to the fact that these invariably involve a deal to share in the proceeds of the account, and out of concern for my unrelated namesakes, I advise them to;
(a) Change their name before travelling overseas.
(b) Don’t deposit tens of millions in foreign banks, thus tempting fate. And
(c) Make a will, so your family can benefit.

Today though I got one from no less than Princess Josephene of Cote D’Ivoir with an offer too good to refuse. Here it is:
Hi, Dearest one, (A very affectionate first contact, must be the French influence.)

How are you today, i hope fine? I am a female student from University of Cote D'Ivoir. I am 22 yrs old. I will love to have a long-term relationship with you and to know more about you. (Hey, it works for Hugh Heffner and he is older than me.)
I would like to build up a solid foundation with you in time coming if you can be able to help me in this transaction.
There is this huge amount of Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand united states dollars. ($7.500.000.00) which my late Father Deposited for me in the Bank here in Cote D'ivoire as his next of kin before he died out of sickness.

I want you to help me to transfer my inheritance money into your personal account in your country for investment purposes on these areas:

1).Transport industry, 2). Five star hotel, 3). Real estate, 4). Company.

If you can be of an assistance to me, I will be pleased to offer to you 20% Of the total fund. I will be humbly waiting your soonest response.
(I guess I will just have to give her my banking details.)

Of course I will have to check out her bona fides which will be difficult from here, but perhaps I can get that nice Nigerian banker who occasionally gets in touch to do this for me.

Gary Johnson on Newsmax Tv.


Here is an interesting interview with Gary Johnson covering some of his positions. I have said before, I think he will declare his candidacy fairly soon. It is interesting that in this one he avoids getting bogged down on the marijuana issue, which is great as in some of them little else seems to get through.

He makes the point that he feels that excessive spending is a threat to national security, and deals with Medicare, Medicade, Social Security, and a number of other important issues. Maintaining that the states should not be bailed out, he makes the point that they and the federal government ended up in dire financial straits the same way — through “political promises that were made that should have never been made.

On the subject of illegal immigration, Johnson advocates a system that would make it as easy as possible to get a work visa but cautioned that it would not be a green card or citizenship. It would entail a background check and require paying applicable taxes. With regard to illegal immigrants in the country now he would allow a grace period for them to get a legal work visa, again not a green card, not citizenship, and then once that grace period expires make it a one strike you’re out: If you’re in this country illegally you’re going to be arrested, you’re going to be deported, and you’re not going to come back.”

On other issues, Johnson said:

The tax system is unfair and doesn’t promote growth, innovation, or entrepreneurship.

The corporate income tax should be eliminated.

The “devil is always in the details” when it comes to a flat tax, which could turn into a tax increase.

If marijuana were legalized, border violence would be reduced 75 percent.

He supports a woman’s right to choose abortion until the time of viability.

He favors gay civil unions.

Obamacare should be repealed, along with prescription healthcare benefit passed when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House.

Dec 24, 2010

Time to Topple the Pyramid of Frauds

From Viv Forbes, Chairman,

Thanks for all the messages of support and Christmas Greetings. We may not answer them all but we do read them all, answer some of them and appreciate most of them.

The deep freeze in the Northern Hemisphere has many people saying "If this is global warming, we have had enough". It is true that one blizzard or one heat wave does not prove climate change. But this one illustrates that the people claiming to forecast the climate in 100 years time cannot get it right even for next month, and they use the same massive computers to do it. But small private forecasters like Piers Corbyn, who do not feed speculative warming effects from carbon dioxide into their forecast models, are calling the shots better.

The public do not understand the scientific arguments about the global heat balance and the radiative properties of carbon dioxide. But they can see the snow, they know what heat is and they do remember the official seasonal forecasts. So scepticism is suddenly becoming fashionable. Sceptical scientists and commentators are being noticed at last.

Please help knock down the tottering house of cards that has been erected on the simple but erroneous proposition that earth faces runaway global warming because of man's industry. The short statement below covers a few of the main myths.

We will continue the battle next year. The main activity will be the Carbon Tax Battle. Gillard and the Greens have a committee of warmist patsies coming up with their wish list of ways to boost our electricity costs, ration our travel, stagnate our industries and control our consumption of everything.

We appreciate all the help we have got over the year. Next year let us all try to at least double the number of people we prompt to take an interest in the battle of our times. Don't stop for casualties, seek out fertile fields and help arm those who need ammunition and encouragement. Help us to spread Carbon Sense.

Best wishes from
Viv Forbes
And the small group who help keep Carbon Sense alive in this mad, mad world.

Time to Topple the Pyramid of Frauds

One of the fastest growing industries in the world is based on a pyramid of frauds and its inevitable collapse will be worse than the sub-prime crash.

The Global Warming Industry is now fed by billions of dollars from western taxpayers and consumers. It is based on the unproven and now discredited claim that man's production of carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming.

The basic fraud is this:

There is no evidence that carbon dioxide controls world temperature – just a theory and the manipulated results from a handful of giant computer models that very few people have checked or understand.

But there is clear evidence from historical records of atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature that carbon dioxide does not control temperature. Rather the reverse – as solar or volcanic heat warms the oceans, the waters expel carbon dioxide. Global warming causes an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the reverse.

Moreover, every day provides more evidence that current temperatures are not unusually high. Over the past 2000 years there have been two previous eras of warming ("the golden ages") separated by two mini ice ages ("the dark ages"). Both the Roman Warming and the Medieval Warming were warmer than today and there was no human industry causing that warming.

The next fraud, invoked as the first fraud started to falter, is the claim that carbon dioxide is a pollutant in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the food for all plants and thus the food source for all life on earth. It is not poisonous at any level likely to be experienced in the atmosphere and there is clear evidence that more carbon dioxide makes plants grow faster and bigger, and makes them more tolerant of drought, heat and salinity. Current levels are below those optimal for life.

A related scientific fraud is the claim that grazing animals increase atmospheric carbon. Any competent biologist can debunk this fraud by explaining the carbon food cycle.

Built on these frauds are the fraud-riddled carbon credit and carbon trading empires. The revelations of massive fraud in European carbon credits and the collapse of carbon trading on the Chicago Climate Exchange are harbingers of crises yet to surface. Carbon credits have no intrinsic value – they are dependent on political support, and this will always evaporate in time.

The next level of fraud is the alternate energy industry. Despite decades of subsidies and tax breaks the wind/solar power industry cannot survive unless the handouts continue, and their coal competitors are taxed heavily. To call these activities "industries" is a fraud – they are corporate mendicants.

Finally, those who waste millions on projects designed to prove the feasibility of burying carbon dioxide are committing a fraud on taxpayers and shareholders. There are no benefits of burying atmospheric plant food from any source. With zero benefits and huge costs CCS can never be "economic" and it is fraudulent to pretend it can ever be otherwise.

The global warming industry is a huge pyramid of financial and political fraud resting on a quasi-scientific foundation of quicksand.

PS If you would like to dig a little deeper on these matters, here are a few starting leads:

A Two Thousand year Temperature History:

The Lynching of carbon dioxide – the innocent source of all life:

Carbon Dioxide feeds the World:

Carbon Trading Fraud:

Fraud in the Carbon Markets:

Manufacturing Carbon Credits in China:

Questions on the REDD Scheme (Deforestation) in PNG:

PNG tries for $625M for non-existent carbon trading:

The Carbon Cargo Cult Club:

Mafia Discover Wind Farm credits in Sicily:

Fraud in the Spanish Solar Business:

Rogue Trader recycles Carbon Credits: 

Fraud in the EU Carbon Trade:

More Carbon Fraud in Australia, Belgium and Norway:

ETS Schemes riven with fraud: 

Germany investigates carbon fraud:

Carbon fraudsters arrested in UK:

Prices crash for Emission Permits in Trading Scheme:

Carbon Capture & Burial – How to Blow $150M:

CCS – The Carbon Cemeteries are already full:

Put Piddle Power in the Parks?

"If wind farms are so clean and green, why don't they put them all in National Parks instead of devaluing private property?

"They don't generate reliable electricity anyway, but they may drive feral dogs and wild pigs out of their safe havens in the parks."

Feedback from a Reader 

From: Andrew Rettman
To: Viv Forbes
Subject: Re: The Pyramid of Frauds

do you get paid by fossil fuel or tobacco companies to say this?

No unfortunately, Andrew.
Here in Australia the big coal companies are supporting the alarmists and funding carbon capture and storage. Are you a stooge for them?
I have no idea what tobacco companies say or think on the man-made global warming scam.

Have a nice Christmas

Dec 21, 2010

Marijuana jury rebels.

H/t The Agitator.

There was an interesting case in Missoula, Montana recently where jurors in a case before the court rebelled. The court was thrown into turmoil when it became clear that that there was no chance that a full jury could be empanelled from the thirty odd people available. The problem was that the defendant was only caught with some burnt marijuana cigarettes, a pipe and some residue, as well as a shoulder holster for a handgun and 9mm ammunition.
They took the law into their own hands, as it were, and made it clear they weren’t about to convict anybody for having a couple of buds of marijuana. Never mind that the defendant in question also faced a felony charge of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

The tiny amount of marijuana police found while searching Touray Cornell’s home on April 23 became a huge issue for some members of the jury panel.

No, they said, one after the other. No way would they convict somebody for having a 16th of an ounce.

In fact, one juror wondered why the county was wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all, said a flummoxed Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul.

District Judge Dusty Deschamps took a quick poll as to who might agree. Of the 27 potential jurors before him, maybe five raised their hands. A couple of others had already been excused because of their philosophical objections. …

“Public opinion, as revealed by the reaction of a substantial portion of the members of the jury called to try the charges on Dec. 16, 2010, is not supportive of the state’s marijuana law and appeared to prevent any conviction from being obtained simply because an unbiased jury did not appear available under any circumstances,” according to the plea memorandum filed by his attorney. …
The defendant was a known felon and appears to be a waste of space, however justice is justice and matters before the court should be dealt with on merit, regardless of the defendants background. This could be the beginning of a serious fight back in the drug war, which all too often is waged against minor marijuana offenders. Drugs are a problem, but the criminalization of youth over minor indiscretions is a much bigger one.

It is often argued that marijuana is a “gateway” drug leading to other drug use, however it is possible that if this is true one of the reasons is probably that its illegality means that it is obtained from people who are also in many cases pushing harder stuff and will encourage users to try it. It seems to be considerably less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco, and there is no point in continuing to wage a decades old war on a habit, despite that 'war' having little public support.

That is what has happened here. Jurors ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s and have seen enough of this rot. This is in fact a reflection that society is as a whole is moving on and it’s about time that authority did so as well.

Clean Coal; another $150 million, pissed against the wall.

Cartoon; by Nicholson.

Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh is one of the few people who somehow manage to make former Premier, the late Joh Bjelke Petersen look like an intellectual. She seems to come up with a continuous stream of nonsensical and ideologically driven projects and legislation to the point where, when she is not actively engaged in spending every cent she can loot from us, she is doing something to stop us earning more.

The latest is the now collapsed ZeroGen project. ZeroGen was intended to place the state at the forefront of the unproven carbon capture and burial technology. Not content with the slow pace of the industry owing to investors tending to hold the conservative attitude of only investing in economically feasible enterprises, she was going to show the way, with our dollars.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the project has now been abandoned after the spending of $150 million. Probably one of the worst aspects to the entire bungle was that the government was advised about $40 million ago to ditch the whole thing. In addition to around $100 million of state funds, there are close to $50 million of federal funds wasted.

Bligh insists that the money has not been wasted and that she will be spending a lot more in the future.

Governments in this country have a habit of throwing money at anything that gets the green description. There is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of producing power with lower emissions. The problem is that the state in trying to force the issue is pushing money into unproven and uneconomic concepts that have a long way to go before they can be feasible.

If they want zero emissions power, the simplest way to go is to remove the purely ideological objections to nuclear power generation in this country. Windmills, solar panels, and clean coal are not economically viable at present. Sure, the first two can generate a certain amount of very expensive electricity, but there is the problem of uncertainty of supply and the need for base load generation anyway.

The quickest, cheapest, and greenest solution to any perceived need to cut emissions is nuclear power. By allowing it future needs will be met by means other than coal, and would provide breathing space for viable alternatives to arise and prove themselves at their own pace.

Dec 19, 2010

New Mining tax revolt.

Cartoon; Bill Leak.

When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads. – US Congressman Ron Paul M.D.

If you can’t trust the government, who can you trust? - Sam Walsh, CEO, Rio Tinto Iron Ore.

In retrospect it becomes clear that hindsight is definitely overrated! - Alfred E. Neuman.

Mining companies are outraged and planning an advertising blitz against the government over the perceived double cross over the Mining Resource rent tax. It is a little late for that, given that the actions of BHP Billiton, Xstrata, and Rio Tinto have placed the reigns of government into the hands of the very people doing this to them.

There is no doubt that the entire industry was sold a pup by the Rudd government over the mining super profits tax during the interval between the issuance of the Henry tax review, and the announcement of the tax and budget forecasts. During this time they were repeatedly assured that there would no new tax without consultation with them.

Rudd actually had Resources Minister Martin Ferguson doing the rounds of his contacts within the industry reassuring them of this. It seems that during this time while the Treasurer, Wayne Swan was working out the details to present as a fait accompli a deliberate decision was taken to keep those affected in the dark using the excuse that if they were informed the executives would be required to inform their shareholders.

The mining companies began an advertising campaign against the tax in the lead up to the last election. The current problem began when despite having the Rudd government on the ropes, CRA along with BHP Billiton and Xstrata sold out to Gillard in a sweetheart deal for lower rates of taxes to themselves. Now to their apparent surprise they are beginning to understand that they have been conned.

Gillard assured them that all state royalties would be offset against the tax, however they have now discovered that increases in such royalties will not be covered. In the meantime we have all of the state governments spending hand over fist and making a virtue of it owing to the irresponsible belt tightening of the private sector.

The states will therefore be looking for a sector of the economy to loot, one that is doing reasonably well despite their depredations and the economic downturn. Guess who that is going to be.

While wishing them well with it, I feel they have missed their chance. Had the three who are screaming the loudest at the moment not sold their mates down the drain, we would have a government who were diametrically opposed to the tax in its entirety and were prepared to make expenditure cuts in order to balance the budget.

Dec 17, 2010

Jeremy Clarkson’s farming venture.

H/t: IPA, Hey, what did I miss.

The later generations of the British have truly become adept at the European model of society to the point where they appear to be the most eager elements of that sorry region to accept the principle of; “Just relax and accept that the state knows what’s best for you."

The following could have been written for Englishmen, by Englishmen:

There's nobody who can better plan, monitor, supervise and assess your personal happiness than a well-meaning government official, sensitive to your and your loved ones' needs and fantasies. Happiness in general is a selfish, individualistic notion. Instead, we encourage everyone to cultivate the feeling of guilt. Guilt is a healthy sentiment that gives you the brazen strength of a martyr as you sacrifice your own happiness to the common good. – “The Politbureau” (CFK)
Occasionally though there is the odd one who has cracked the mold, although most of them have emigrated. Some of these have remained there for some reason and seem to have a special talent of seeing and ridiculing the flaws of the natural leaders of the command state who by their very nature condemn that institution to inertia. Jeremy Clarkson is one of these.

Here is an excerpt of his reflections on farm ownership:
Last week I bought a farm. Though financially speaking, it’s entirely possible I’ve bought the farm. But let’s look on the bright side. I can’t possibly make as much of a hash with the investment as the bankers made when they had the money.

Or can I? You might imagine it’s very easy to buy a farm. Unlike a house, you don’t need a surveyor to check on dry rot because a field cannot fall over, and rising damp is a good thing because it means free water. It turns out, however, that it’s actually very difficult, mostly because of the Georgians. Let me give you one example so you can see the scale of the problem.

There are a number of springs on the farm I’ve bought, one of which provides water to several properties in a nearby village. This arrangement was made when the land belonged to a fat man who had tea interests in India, and sealed in a document written with a quill, on bark.

Fine. But what if the water supply dries up, or the pipe breaks, or everyone in the village gets lead poisoning and grows two heads? Common sense dictates this would not be my problem, but under new Labour’s legal guidelines, all landowners are in the wrong at all times. Especially when a little old lady with two heads is in court, sobbing and waving around a piece of bark from 1742. …

I thought some sheep would be nice but it turns out Gordon Brown has an opinion on this. He reckons the number of animals I have per acre should be determined by how much nitrogen is in their excrement. I am consequently allowed only 0.6 of a sheep per acre, which means I may have only 75 of the damn things. …

One of the things I have accidentally bought is a Neolithic fort. It is, of course, no such thing. It is a slight ripple in an otherwise flat field, useful only as an exciting launch pad for the children’s quad bikes. But I feel fairly sure that if we use it for this purpose, Brown will make me apologise, in public, to Piltdown man.

Certainly I know he is using satellites to make sure that I plant the right crop in the right field. Also, he is employing men called Colin to come round regularly to make sure I don’t have too many sheep. Can you believe that? That your tax money is being spent to pay a man whose job is to count sheep. How the hell does he stay awake? …

What I want to do most of all is plant some game crop so that I can rear a few pheasants. But guess what? It turns out that Brown has an opinion on this as well, and it’s not allowed. He has an opinion on everything, it seems. There’s one field I thought would look nice if I grew some poppies and cornflowers. But that’s not allowed either.

Strangely, however, he will give me cash money if I promise to make a trout lake, and even more cash money if I don’t grow anything that could be turned into food. Quite how he squares this in his head when half the world is starving, I have no idea. And nor do I understand why the forms I have to fill in to get this cash money are longer and more complicated than the instruction manual for a nuclear power station.

I thought that farming would be easy. You plant seeds, weather happens and food grows. But I fear that as the seasons slide by, I will discover that I’m working my nuts off for less return than I got from those useless bastards at AIG. …
The whole article is here. There is much more to “Top Gear,” than fast cars, smooth chicks, and raw power.

Dec 16, 2010

Green Power just generates Red Ink

Cartoon by Nicholson.

By: Viv Forbes, 

The Carbon Sense Coalition has called for an end to all subsidies, mandated markets and sweetheart pricing for solar and wind energy.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that current energy policies were harming the existing power industry and robbing taxpayers and electricity consumers.

Forbes continued:
 "It's time to end the mollycoddling of wind and solar energy toys before this stupidity does irreversible damage to Australia’s electricity supply and costs.

"The mindless green dream of producing serious base load power from whimsical breezes and intermittent sunbeams has caused a halt to new low-cost coal power, a boom in expensive gas power, a national debate about nuclear power and has had no effect at all on global climate.

"The frivolous wind and solar generators already installed have caused a surge in electricity prices, a bonanza for Chinese manufacturers and well founded doubts about our future ability to keep the lights on.

"Transmission costs are also ignored or under-estimated by green disciples. Because wind and solar are dilute forms of energy, often best developed in remote locations, collectors must sprawl over large areas of land, with each collector needing expensive new power lines to connect to the grid.

"Provision of cheap reliable energy is a basic requirement for modern civilisation and is the engine that lifts people from poverty. It is far too important to be left to green dreamers, anti-industrial zealots, vote seeking politicians, engineering illiterates and guilt-ridden millionaires.

"It is already obvious from Denmark, Spain, California and Germany that subsidising green power creates very little power but much red ink in the accounts. It always causes massive burdens for tax payers, electricity consumers and industry. Tax payers and investors will rue the day they allowed politicians to waste their savings on chimeras.

"Get rid of all the mandated markets, subsidies and tax breaks for all energy generators, and leave power engineers and business managers to work out how best to supply our future energy needs in a free competitive market.

"Subsidised power must collapse under its own dead weight. But every day's delay increases the eventual cost. "

More Info:

The Green Energy Collapse:

Creating Green Jobs, in China:

The German Experience:

Some Uncomfortable truths on wind power and those promoting them:

How to Freeze in the Dark when the wind drops in Scotland:

Wind for the Birds – a comment on wind capabilities, written 30 years ago, but the physics of wind has not changed:

The Critical Problem for Wind & Solar –
Low Energy Density

"The low energy density explains why wind and solar plants require massive collecting areas. This means that wind and solar do not lend themselves to economies of scale. This diluteness factor guarantees diseconomies of scale would quickly kick in.

"There is no way technology can overcome this problem."

Gerard Jackson, Economics Editor BrookesNews.

U.K. Carbon reduction scheme explained:

For Australia instead of "6 and a half pints", read "one teaspoonful".

And a glimpse of the future:

What Happened at Cancun?

Here is a sobering report from Christopher Monckton on what they have planned:

But the world press is no longer swallowing the scare stories:

The concerned delegates call for rationing (for everyone else):

And what middle America thinks about global warming: "This is madness":

The Carbon Tax is Back.

Every day we are told that unless we provide "certainty" and levy another tax on carbon we risk electricity blackouts.

They have it backwards. Taxes and the threat of taxes always depress production of the goods or services being taxed. It is the fear of a carbon tax that has frozen the electricity industry and increased the risks of blackouts.

Their continual threats to introduce new carbon taxes ensure that no investors will build a new coal power station in Australia. And they have created fear in financiers who have backed some existing older facilities. They will be unable to finance expansions or upgrades.

Fear of a carbon tax is also a deterrent to new gas fired power stations (gas produces the same two harmless "greenhouse" gases as coal – carbon dioxide and water vapour. Burning gas just produces a higher ratio of so far untaxed water vapour.)

Until the details and amount of the carbon tax are announced, no one can calculate the economics of gas power. So vague threats of another carbon tax is also deterring gas fired power.

But there will never be enough Green Power capacity unless punitive taxes are imposed on all the competitors of Green Power. If Gillard and the Greens introduced carbon taxes so large that the soaring electricity prices made wind and solar a profitable speculation, the political reaction from electricity consumers and the electorate would be immense. So Green Power is also becalmed by political posturing and threats.

And of course nuclear power is not spoken about in polite company in Australia.

It is time for sensible people on both sides of Parliament to reject the nonsense from Gillard and the Greens, guarantee that Australia will not introduce a carbon tax, and thus allow the construction of power for the future.

The Task for 2011: "KILL THE CARBON TAX".

Feedback from a Reader

The Insignificance of carbon dioxide in the Atmosphere:

The graphic linked was on my site several years ago but has been now reinstated in a prominent position:

That graph alone should have stopped the insanity but nobody took the slightest notice. So much of my earlier work could just as well have been written today, it beggars belief how nothing I've done has made the slightest difference to the climate insanity.

Let's hope our book shakes a few people awake.

Hans Schreuder, UK

Reply: Hans, never feel that what you have done has been in vain.

People do not jump ship quickly. But, for a long time, they listen and think.

Then, one day, for an apparently insignificant reason, one will jump, and then suddenly they will all jump. But the idea of jumping has to lay around in their mind, fermenting and being reinforced by many people with many different ways of saying “this ship is sinking”.

Keep up the faith. Persistence eventually penetrates the thickest skull.

And this ship will sink.

GW ad.

H/t Bishop Hill.

The extreme language of the climate change truther movement, such as calling for treason charges against rationalists, war crimes against big emitters, combined with governments willingness to play along for the taxes and control offered, sometimes blurs the line between satire and reality.

This is of course, a spoof:

It is reasonably close to reality, or what passes for it, given this illustration from the Discovery Channel Little Shop of Horrors, and if you are inclined to think this is an aberration check out the 10:10 exploding children ads, after which nothing should really surprise you:

I have been predicting that despite the ‘unseasonal’ cool weather here in Australia’s summer, and the freezing northern winter, that we will be told that it is a record hot year. Told you.

Dec 13, 2010

Prediction; Gary Johnson will run.

Given the current revolt against big government, taxes, and wasteful spending going on in the States, this is the ideal time to be looking for someone outside the usual, ‘more of the same’ Presidential hopefuls who start appearing at political rallies around now. On the GOP side the old names such as the Huckster, Romney, Pawlenty and so on are being dragged out for another spin, with the addition of Palin, and Trump neither of whom will stand.

Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico would be the ideal candidate for these times and has been testing the waters for a while. Gary has a substantial record of fiscal responsibility from his Governorship, which will appeal strongly to the mood of the electorate at present as well as a solid libertarian attitude, which can be seen here in his speech to CPAC this year:

Part two and part three, (in which he deals with the Marijuana issue,) are worth watching if you have the time.

He has been touring the country testing the sentiment and while his figures are in single digits at the moment, as a low profile candidate they show some reason for optimism. There is every reason to believe that Ron Paul will throw his weight behind him, and he is a cinch for the support of the Tea Party with its strong libertarian element.

He is to be a major speaker at the Republican Liberty Caucus National Convention in February, and I tip that he will announce then.

The major difficulty I see him having is with the religious social conservative element over the marijuana issue. Huckabee, who is already claiming he can beat Obama, (along with the drovers dog,) will exploit this area to the best of his ability. There is no avoiding this issue as he is out there over a long period in support of legalization. This has to come to a head and Johnson will win a debate on the issue as Huck can hardly present much of a case for the current drug war being a resounding success.

He will have to ensure that this issue does not dominate the campaign. Press coverage tends to focus on it, as it is something of a novelty for them to have someone who speaks his mind. He has to ensure that the other issues have to come to the fore, or he will be consigned to a novelty issue.

Gary has what it takes to make a real difference, and the track record to prove it from his time as NM Governor. There is a good argument that with his libertarian tendencies he will have a considerable appeal to the saner Democrat voters who are fiscally literate but are turned off the social conservatism of the Republicans, and therefore may be able to turn blue states red.

With a Republican majority in Congress, California and its mates are unlikely to get bailed out of their financial problems in this term and are likely to be bankrupt and angry by 2012. There will be major changes in attitude over the next two years in these states, which can be exploited successfully if the GOP has the sense to be daring enough.

With the abject failure of conservative candidates in California this time, it might be a good idea to try more libertarian orientated people to carry the banner next time.

Dec 11, 2010

Mission Misunderstood.

There was some idiocy regarding dingo control which was along these lines however I believe this story to be apocryphal unfortunately, but its a good one.

The Australian Government and the NSW Forestry Service were presenting an alternative to NSW sheep farmers for controlling the dingo population.

It seems that after years of the sheep farmers using the tried and true methods of shooting and/or trapping the predators, the Labor Government (Peter Garrett - Environmental Minister), the NSW Forestry Service and the Greens tree-huggers had a 'more humane' solution.

What they proposed was for the animals to be captured alive, the males would then be castrated and let loose again. Therefore the population would be controlled. 

This was Actually proposed to the NSW Sheep farmers Association and Farming Association by the Federal Government and the NSW Forestry Service.

All of the sheep farmers thought about this amazing idea for a couple of minutes. Finally, one of the old boys in the back of the conference room stood up, tipped his hat back and said, Mr. Garrett, son, I don't think you fully understand the real nature of our problem.

Those dingoes aren't shagging our sheep - they’re eating em.

Dec 7, 2010

No Rerun for “Rudd’s Folly”

Image: Britain is in the grip of two weeks of subzero temperatures. (We are to be told that this year is the 3rd hottest on record. – Ed.)

By: Viv Forbes,

The Carbon Sense Coalition today said that Australia must not renew its Kyoto Agreement.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr. Viv Forbes, said that the current failing agreement was signed without due diligence by Kevin Rudd and should be referred to as “Rudd’s Folly”.

“Appropriately, the death notice for the Kyoto misadventure was posted by Japan, the birthplace of Kyoto, when their representative at Cancun Resort announced:

“Japan will not inscribe its target under the Kyoto protocol on any conditions or under any circumstances.”

“Thus the four biggest economies in our region (USA, China, Japan and India) will not sign; nor will Australia’s big competitors in Brazil (iron and beef), Indonesia (coal), Chile (copper) or Canada (wheat).

“If Australia is foolish enough to renew its Kyoto liabilities it will find itself isolated in the Pacific with only gullible Kiwis and faraway Europeans for company.

“The old Soviets have benefitted from Kyoto by outsmarting everyone on choosing the base year. No one else will achieve the unrealistic Kyoto targets, which is lucky because they could not be achieved without a repeat of the Great Depression or the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“The use of carbon fuels, more than any other index, indicates the health of the real economy. The only way to kill carbon is to kill the economy.

“Japan was shocked to realise the billions in liabilities they had accumulated by not meeting Kyoto target cuts.

“Australia avoided a similar fate by robbing Australian landowners. They stole carbon credits from landowners by imposing vegetation clearing bans. This trick can’t be pulled twice.

“Kyoto also spawned many other wasteful schemes like pink batts, wind and solar toys, carbon burial schemes and regulatory empires.

“The Kyoto Agreement is a costly failure, and the international meetings which document the failure have degenerated into the farce now on display at Cancun.

“Minister Combet should enjoy his tropical holiday, keep his pen in his pocket and sign nothing.” More Info:

Wind Power Lessons from Germany

The bottom line:

“Germans will have to prepare for significantly higher electricity tariffs – and more frequent blackouts.

“If all German wind power projects are realized as planned, the country will incur economic losses well over 100 billion Euros by 2030.

“The only word that describes this ‘world improvement’ strategy is suicidal.”

From: “Germany’s Offshore Wind: Wasted Resources, Environmental Blight”
By Edgar Gaertner, Master Resource, Dec 1, 2010

No Warming for 15 years.

The chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri was interviewed recently at Cancun. When asked about the fact that there has been no statistically significant global warming for the past 15 years, Pachauri became evasive.

Most tellingly, while Pachauri agreed that global carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing for the last 15 years, he was at a loss to say how much global temperatures had increased during that same time. That seems like a pretty basic piece of information for the head of the UN's climate panel to know. See the following minute and a half video from CFACT:

Even Phil Jones, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia and a prominent global warming alarmist, admitted there had been no warming for 15 years.

A year after Climategate, however, the IPCC's Pachauri still refuses to face reality and clings to the deeply flawed 4th Assessment Report, which has been completely discredited over the past year.

"This interview revealed that the IPCC chair is ignorant of some very basic facts about global warming," said CFACT's Executive Director, Craig Rucker. "This is particularly striking in light of all the criticism being poured on the IPCC by scientists and independent review panels for its sloppy handling of key data and vital information."

Britain on the way to Coldest December for 29 years.

Britain was braced for another week of chaos last night as forecasters warned temperatures would plummet to as low as -15c (5f).

With some areas covered by up to one metre of snow forecasters said Britain had already seen the deepest and most widespread snowfall for December since 1981.

And if the temperatures remain below average for the rest of the month it could also become the coldest on record since 1981. See:

“Carbon Sense” is a newsletter produced by the Carbon Sense Coalition, an Australian based organisation which opposes waste of resources, opposes pollution, and promotes the rational and sustainable use of carbon energy and carbon food.
Please spread “Carbon Sense” around.
For more information visit our web site at
Literary, financial or other contributions to help our cause are welcomed.

Dec 4, 2010

Olbermann takes on Bristol; loses.

Illustration; this weeks MSNBC ratings.

When Palin was picked for the VP nomination Lemuel Calhoun predicted that the left would be vicious in attacking her family, especially with regard to Trig who was born with Downs Syndrome: "Do not doubt me in this, I may have underestimated McCain but one literally can not have too low an opinion of left-liberal Democrats. There is absolutely no moral depth to which they are not compelled to dive."

If Lemuel got anything wrong, it was overestimating the depth they wouldn’t sink to, they were much worse than he thought possible. I recognized the possibility, but had no clue as to how far in their derangement they would go to attack the family. It is not that long ago we saw the smarmy creep Letterman sink to the depths of attacking Piper Palin with sexual innuendo at the age of around 8 but hey, dirty old men are about that sort of thing anyway. It is possible that it is not a liberal thing, just a Letterman thing.

Recently there have been suggestions that Bristol’s efforts in Dancing With the Stars has driven the left insane after all of those accusations of a vast right wing conspiracy, Tea Party vote rigging and so on. This is completely wrong. The left were completely incoherently deranged long before she took her first step onto the dance floor.

Bristol Palin has now acquired the most celebrated award it is possible to achieve for any conservative chick, or guy for that matter. Much to the envy of all of those of us who have strived unsuccessfully for many years, she has been awarded the coveted, “Worst person in the world” award, from Keith Olbermann. It is of course becoming rather passé owing to the frequency it comes up, but hey, an award is an award.

The real class thing about her is, that while most of those who receive it tend to bask in the kudos of having done so, she has put Olbermann down in a more effective way than even a .45 between the eyes:

Courtesy; Hot Air.

“Accusing me of hypocrisy is by now, an old canard. What Mr. Olbermann lacks in originality he makes up for with insincere incredulity. Mr. Olbermann fails to understand that in order to have credibility as a spokesperson, it sometimes takes a person who has made mistakes.

Parents warn their children about the mistakes they made so they are not repeated. Former gang members travel to schools to educate teenagers about the risks of gang life. Recovered addicts lecture to others about the risks of alcohol and drug abuse. And yes, a teen mother talks about the benefits of preventing teen pregnancy.

“I have never claimed to be perfect. If that makes me the ‘worst person in the world’ to Mr. Olbermann, then I must apologize for not being absolutely faultless like he undoubtedly must be.

“To Mr. Olbermann let me say this: you can attack me all you want. But you will not stop me from getting my message out about teen pregnancy prevention. And one day, if you ever have a daughter, you may change your mind about me.”
Note; Olbermann is on MSNBC so you may not be aware of him.

Update; Bristol and John Ziegler slam Olbermann on BAM. (The second clip is the better one.)

Nov 29, 2010

Boycott the Cancun Climate Circus

Statement by Viv Forbes, Chairman,

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on all Australian governments to boycott the Cancun Climate Change Circus.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said “we do not want a repeat of the Copenhagen obscenity when 45,000 people gathered to discuss how to reduce things like air travel and conspicuous consumption”.

Forbes said there is no reason for Australia to attend.

“This conference is no longer about climate – it is about international redistribution of wealth and industry from the west to the rest of the world. Australia is part of the spoils they hope to redistribute.

“There is zero chance of global agreement on emissions trading schemes or more carbon taxes. The political landscape and public opinion in the USA has turned dramatically sceptical of the increasingly shrill predictions from the desperate alarmists. Moreover, trading in carbon credits in Chicago has collapsed and even Al Gore is recanting on ethanol. Without US participation, nothing will be agreed globally.

“In addition, for over a decade, the whimsical world climate has mocked the feverish forecasts of the IPCC. Global Warming looks like becoming Global Cooling (still caused by burning coal of course). Prudently they chose tropical Mexico for this conference or the world media would be treated again to the amusing spectacle of warmists shivering in another bitter northern winter of “unseasonal” snow and blizzards.

“So they are plotting a new scheme – enforced global rationing of carbon emissions on a per capita basis. This means transfer of Australian wealth, industry and jobs to India, China and Africa for decades to come. And to bypass parliaments and the suspicious electorate, this will be attempted via “International Agreements”.

“Australia should send no more than one observer to Cancun, and that person should have no power to agree to anything. In particular there should be no promises to extend the failed but costly Kyoto Accord, and no transfer of authority to any new international body.

“A boycott makes more sense than sending jumbo jets of people to beach resorts in Mexico to talk about reducing that sort of activity.”

For those interested in more info see:
IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer clarifies matters: 
“The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War … one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.

Palin’s Obama put down, Greetings from the 57 States.

Recently sufferers of Palin Derangement Syndrome, have started out to have a field day three times over her statements which they have claimed to be symbolic of ignorance and a lack of ability to lead etc, etc, etc.

The first was her use of the word “refudiate,” especially after she tweeted to the effect that Shakespeare often invented new words. The hysterics went on for a while, until the Oxford American Dictionary came out and declared it the best new word of the year, and gave the following reason:

"From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used 'refudiate,' we have concluded that neither 'refute' nor 'repudiate' seems consistently precise," the statement read. "'Refudiate' more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of 'reject.' "

The second was when she urged the Tea Party, “not to party like its 1773 yet.” This was taken to indicate that she had no knowledge of history, until it was pointed out by some spoilsport that it obviously alluded to the Boston Tea party, which occurred in that year. The term “Party like its 1773” has been around for some time, but I read the more plebian stuff that the elites would not dream of viewing.

The third was her reference in an interview to North Korea being Americas ally. Had it been said by someone on the left, it would have been dismissed as a ‘mis-statement’ by the media, but being Palin it was blown up as a display of ignorance of geography. She has answered it by highlighting a whole lot of Obama flubs with her message: “A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States”

My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that…

The best part is that each one is a Youtube link to him actually saying it.

She maintains that she didn’t have the time to do one for Joe Biden, who has a great many classics out there. During the Presidential election, there was some speculation by the more paranoid elements that the right would be so racist as to assassinate Obama. He took this seriously, and in a devilishly cunning move made Joe his VP, thus guaranteeing his safety. All of the extreme far right knew Obama was the only thing standing between them and a Biden Presidency.

Nov 28, 2010

Farage; Who the Hell do you think you are?

The European union reminds me of a skit on one of the comedy shows I saw years ago on the reunification of Germany. The faux news presenter announced it and quoted the German Chancellor as saying:

"We all welcome this momentous event, and now look forward to reuniting with Belgium, Holland, France, Poland, ..... ."

I recently mentioned the activities of Daniel Hannan, who is one of the more articulate opponents of the EU. Nigel Farage, a MEP from The United Kingdom Independence Party is also a great speaker and very popular. I am quite taken by the similarities in their oratorial style although Farage is a little rougher around the edges but still gets the message across.

If you like Hannan, but are inclined to think he holds back on his real feelings and should really say what he means, try this from Farage:

Nov 25, 2010

Is the media leftist or statist?

Radley Balco at Reason has a theory that the media which tends to support the left of politics is not so much leftist, but statist. This is a plausible proposition considering the point that the left are inherently inclined towards big government, there is the possibility we are simply confusing the issue. It could be that a disposition towards big government solutions shared by both gives that impression.

He argues that a survey of the largest dailies in California showed that they were all opposed to Proposition 19, which was the ballot measure to legalize the recreational use of Marijuana. He states:

This puts the state's papers at odds with nearly all of California's left-leaning interest groups, including the Green Party, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Service Employees International Union, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; progressive publications such The Nation, Salon, and The Huffington Post; and a host of prominent liberal bloggers. According to a CNN/Time poll released last week, it also pits the state's newspapers against 76 percent of California voters who identify themselves as "liberal."
On this issue, the state's dailies are also to the right of conservative publications such as The Economist and National Review, prominent Republicans such as former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a growing portion of the Tea Party movement, and even Fox News personality Glenn Beck. …
He points out that newspapers supported the federal government on its right to prosecute medical marijuana users even in states that allowed it. They argued that overturning this would undermine the Commerce Clause. The press also endorsed the Kelo decision.

He raises support for the TSA here and points out an article in Cato involving a Washington Post/ABC push poll on the issue. The questions were designed to favor a response toward preference for safety over Privacy:

I have some doubts as to Balco’s conclusion here although he is generally pretty good on most issues, and one of the reasonably sane left libertarians. From my experience, yes, they definitely are statists. Where we part company is that from my experience they are also blatantly leftist. Only the most optimistic Republican with the rosiest of rose-colored glasses could say that the party has not been one of big government, even though the rhetoric differs.

Even though Bush expanded the size, cost, and scope of government exponentially during his tenure, it can hardly be argued that the press endorsed him or cheered him on. There was some support in the aftermath of 9/11 and so on but the press generally took an opposing perspective. They are definitely more approving of the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay now than they were during the previous administration. Bush would never have had favorable editorials on strip searches, naked body scans, or TSA feel ups.

If the complaints of abuses had been raised under Bush the press would be baying for blood. In a post during the last Presidential election I raised the issue of the NYT having not endorsed a Republican since Eisenhower in 1956, - 54 years. Admittedly Eisenhower was a statist to the point that Goldwater referred to his administration as, “A dime store New Deal.” The interesting part though was the reasons they gave for their following endorsements:

LBJ: In his frenetic dashing about the country, President Johnson stuck mainly to the safety of pious platitudes, interlaced with cloudy visions of the “Great Society.”

Jimmy Carter: Again and again Jimmy Carter seemed to be all sail and no boat, what did he do when his popularity sank in 1979? He fired half his cabinet and blamed the public for succumbing to malaise. … Mr. Carter’s economic policy amounts to nothing more than muddling through. But (heres the good part, probably written by their finance editor) isn’t muddling through just where economics is today?

Mondale: Mondale has all the dramatic flair of a trigonometry teacher. His Nordic upbringing makes it hard for him to brag.

Dukakis: Michael Dukakis is not the unfocused incompetent his late and lame response made him seem.

They are both statist and lefties Radley, it’s just that both coincide on most points that causes the confusion.

Radley Balco is a senior editor at Reason Magazine, and does a number of columns elsewhere and blogs as “The Agitator.”

Nov 24, 2010

David Cameron proves Hannan to be correct.

David Cameron (seen here with Boris Johnson) has referred to Daniel Hannan (Right) as an eccentric.

Some time ago I encountered a Youtube video of an interview in America by Daniel Hannan, the Conservative, (God knows why, he belongs to them) MEP. During the discussion Hannan was strongly critical of the NHS in Britain and urged Americans to reject the idea of National Health in its entirety.

Asked why it had not been wound back over the years, he pointed out that the NHS as bad as it was has become a sacred cow, and that no government including that of Margaret Thatcher had dared to touch it. In fact, he maintained it was forever expanded.

It appears that he was completely correct including for the current government. David Cameron has been taking some heat from elements of the left over these remarks, and has decided that rather than make a stand that might be seen as controversial, (that leftie swear word,) it is a better proposition to repudiate one of the most lucid if not the only lucid voice in his party:

Mr Cameron brushed aside an attack on the NHS's record by Mr Hannan, who told American television viewers that he "wouldn't wish it on anybody."

"He does have some quite eccentric views about some things, and political parties always include some people who don't toe the party line on one issue or another issue," the Tory leader said.

In an email to Conservative Party workers, details which were published on his blog, Mr Cameron said millions of people, including his own family, were grateful for care they had received from the NHS.

Hannan is probably the best thing the Conservatives have going for them, especially now that Gordon Brown has gone. He is an international sensation, a libertarian hero although he may not see himself as such, and one of the most articulate politicians Britain has produced.

Who could forget the put down of Gordon Brown in the European Parliament with his “Devalued Prime Minister…” speech:
“And when you repeat in that wooden and perfunctory way, that our situation is better than others, that we’re well placed to weather the storm, I have to tell you, that you sound like a Brezhnev era apparatchik, giving the party line.”

Oh hell, just in case you have been on another planet for the last couple of years here is again:

Nov 23, 2010

Cars, Cattle and the Ethanol Con

By: Viv Forbes

Why are emissions from cattle eating grain classed as bad whereas emissions from cars burning grain ethanol are good?

Consider a paddock of corn. Most of the carbon in the growing plant comes from carbon dioxide in the air and is converted to plant material using solar energy via the magic of photosynthesis. Some comes from the atmosphere via microbes in the soil.

This plant material, either biomass or grain, can be fed to cattle or made into ethanol for motor fuel.

Both cattle and cars then use an internal digestion/combustion process to extract the energy stored in the plant material.

Both processes produce gaseous emissions. In cars, virtually every atom of ethanol carbon burnt produces one molecule of carbon dioxide. In cattle, some of the plant’s carbon is stored for a while in flesh and bones, and the rest is emitted as the natural gases carbon dioxide and methane. This methane is soon oxidised in the atmosphere to produce carbon dioxide.

Over the life of a car or a cow, they both produce the same carbon emissions. Every atom of carbon extracted from the air by the green plant eventually returns to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, the plant food. This is the cycle of life.

It is therefore scientific incompetence or deliberate fraud by government climate alarmists to claim that consuming ethanol in cars is good and should be subsidised but consuming the same plant material in cows must be rationed and taxed.

An ethanol industry propped up by subsidies and mandates is not sustainable. This industry damages taxpayers and pushes up the cost of grains, beef, pork, eggs, milk and cereals.

Subsidising ethanol brings no environmental benefits and is the enemy of the poor and hungry of the world.

It is time to end the ethanol con.

No more forcing motorists to buy it. No more tax breaks for construction of ethanol plants. No more subsidies or special protection for ethanol speculators.

And no more slander of the livestock industry which, when all is considered, is greener than the ethanol industry.

The Unlikely Coalition:

Can you imagine an issue on which Greens, Rational Economists, Feedlot Operators, Global Warming Sceptics, Consumer Advocates and Tax Reformers agree? No? See this article on Ethanol Subsidies.

More Good News:

Canadian Senators have voted down “The Climate Change Accountability Act” a stupid bill that called for Canadian greenhouse gases to be cut 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

(I think these target figures are generated by a huge random number generator run on a supercomputer).

Whose Bloody money is it anyway?

Cartoon: Bill Leak.

“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” – Thomas Paine

Recently an editorial in “The Australian” commented skeptically on Wayne Swans tendency to play fast and loose with the truth:

WAYNE Swan's political alchemy must stop. He can't be allowed to get away with describing tax increases as budget savings to firm up the misleading statement that he has instituted "the fastest fiscal consolidation since the 1960s".
It is a fiscal consolidation only because the government blew the budget during its first two years in power - some will say justifiably, fighting the global financial crisis; others will say recklessly, with poorly targeted and unnecessary spending. You can decide. …
Of the savings Swan claims credit for, he includes every tax increase this government has implemented or intends to implement (alcopops taxes, the mining tax, tobacco taxes, you name it). He even includes money raised such as a $150 million one-off dividend extracted from Australia Post in the 2008-09 budget.
The political alchemy doesn't stop there. Swan's so-called savings includes $555m raised by increasing luxury car taxes, $402m from increasing visa application charges and, in the most recent budget, $275m by amending the arrangements for ethanol (in other words, more fuel taxes).

Andrew Bolt among others feel it’s an indication that he is in over his head - and not telling us the truth.

Undoubtedly it is spin, undoubtedly he is not telling the truth, at least the truth as a rational person understands it to be. There is a growing perception on the left that money we are allowed to keep by the state is revenue forgone.

This sentiment is echoed often in the US where the Democrat mantra is that extending the “Bush Tax Cuts,” is extravagant government spending that has to be reigned in. In an appeal to the good old ‘class warfare’ argument they, in the face of voter anger are willing to extend what Bush did for the middle class but argue that extending them for higher income earners constitutes, “Tax cuts for the wealthy.”

In reality a failure to continue with present tax rates is a tax hike. It might be, by omission, but still a tax hike.

Any argument about extensions not being affordable ignores the fact that the deficit is caused by too much spending, not too little taxing. It also exposes, as is the case here that those in charge are operating from a sense of entitlement rather than from any sense of economic rationality. Modern government has the some attitude of all tyrants through the ages, they rule, you obey, and they are entitled to take whatever they like from you.

Swan, like Gillard, Obama, and Co. seriously believe that we are property of the state, as are our possessions, and our role is to give them whatever they wish in order to do that which they deem to be good for us. What is left is ours for the time being, less of course any charges they chose to put on spending on non approved items as yet unbanned.

Nov 17, 2010

No pardon for “The Breaker.”

Image: "Breaker Morant."

The British have decided that no Royal pardon will be granted for Harry "Breaker" Morant in an appeal against the case that saw the Australian soldier executed. Morant, and Peter Handcock were executed after being accused of murdering prisoners during the Boer War. A third, Lt Witton was also found guilty and was imprisoned.

Australian military lawyer Commander James Unkles petitioned the Queen for a Royal pardon for Morant and Handcock. He was researching Morant's lawyer Major James Thomas when he became convinced the soldiers were innocent. "It became very apparent to me that a major injustice had been committed and the only way it was going to be addressed was by taking some action," he said.

It seems odd to me that in this day and age that we would bother to ask the British to act in this matter at all. We are big enough and old enough to decide the matter for ourselves. While the Australian War Memorial says that the evidence suggests that they were guilty of the crimes for which they were tried, there is some dispute about whether they were in fact acting under orders at the time.

Kitchener denied issuing such an order but significant evidence exists to the effect that he did. He was responsible for the placement of thousands of civilians into concentration camps in which many died. Images from these times remind me of the Holocaust. He also reportedly ordered that Boer women and children ride on trains to stop them being targeted by Boers. Such an order would be consistent with those actions. He was a butcher with little regard for human life, including those under his command whom he used as a blunt instrument.

Transcripts of the case ‘went missing’ and were thus unavailable for review, and witnesses included soldiers who were disciplined by Morant, one of whom stated that would walk 100 miles barefoot to serve in a firing squad to shoot Morant and Handcock." The Australian government was not informed.

Since that time, the Australian army never accepted British Army justice, in cases involving its soldiers. This has led to considerable ill feeling on the part of British authorities right through to the end of WW2. There were numerous approaches by British authorities, requesting the right to shoot us to improve our discipline, all of which were rejected.

It is reasonable to assume that they would have satisfied their blood lust by shooting Kiwis, Canadians, South Africans, Rhodesians, Indians, Pakistanis, as well as members of all other Commonwealth countries who were more than happy to allow them to do so, but they seemed to be obsessed with us.

While I was growing up there were a lot of WW1 veterans still around, and they roundly detested Kitchener. Generals like Kitchener were the people who gave rise to the Australian military expression from both World Wars, “England will fight to the last imperial soldier,” which was probably a bit unfair to the British soldier, but none the less heartfelt.

The case is irrelevant at any rate as “the Breaker” has placed himself solidly and immovably as part of Aussie folklore and is likely to remain there.

A Few Facts about Wind Turbines.

For those who think that wind farms are green and environmentally friendly have a look at this 6-minute video about wind turbine construction.

Here are a few facts on wind power sent to us by David Bellamy in UK:

• Wind farms generate cheap (or even free!) electricity
This is not true. The electricity generated by wind turbines is much more costly than that from conventional power stations, because the price has to include enough to cover the subsidies paid to the wind farm companies for operating them. UK electricity prices have already gone up, and are predicted to go up by a further third over the next decade, to pay for our commitment to renewables.

• Wind power is reliable because the wind is always blowing somewhere
That is not the case. Meteorologists can list many periods, often in very cold winter weather, when there is so little wind that the contribution to the grid is negligible. In addition, wind turbines only start generating when the wind is blowing at about 10mph, and have to be turned off for safety reasons when wind speeds reach about 55mph. In fact, on average, for about 110 days a year any individual turbine may generate no electricity at all. That means a back-up supply always has to be available – which is why no countries have been able to shut down their conventional power stations.

• Wind farms provide employment
This is hardly true. There may be a small number of construction jobs on offer while the access roads to the site are being built but the on-site work to erect the actual turbines is a specialist job that will only be carried out by the contractor. Once the turbines are up, wind farms are operated remotely, sometimes even from abroad, so no ongoing local jobs are likely.

• Wind farms only last for 25 years and are then removed
The key components of the turbines, namely the gears, normally last only about 10 to 12 years before they need replacing. Very few wind farms are as much as 25 years old yet – but we know of several cases where the operators have taken the opportunity to rebuild much sooner than that, erecting larger turbines than originally installed. So it is safer to assume that a wind farm, once built, will effectively be a permanent feature of the landscape.

• Wind farms are not noisy
Wrong. There are plenty of examples where residents have suffered ill health effects caused by both noise (and on occasion shadow-flicker) when living too close to turbines. Some people, including some farmers, have even been forced out of their homes as a result. There is no legal setback distance from homes in the UK, though the Scottish Executive recommends 2kms as a desirable minimum.

• Wind farms generate hardly any complaints
A report by the University of Salford in 2006 showed that about 20% of wind farms had already generated formal complaints. That work is currently being updated, as there are many more wind farms today than in 2006 and their technology has allegedly improved. The current work shows that the 20% level of complaints, however, remains steady.

• Wind farms don’t cause a fall in house prices
Wind farm developers make this claim but there are certainly cases where people have difficulty in selling their homes once turbines are present. In one case, the vendors were legally obliged to compensate the purchasers by 20% of the house value, plus interest, for selling without having disclosed the presence of a wind farm proposal. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors surveyed house values near wind farms and found that about 60% had declined by amounts varying between 5% and 50%.

• Wind farms have no damaging effect on tourism
The earliest wind farms had such novelty value that they were almost tourist attractions in themselves – but even the developers admit that this no longer applies. One caravan site near Harrogate, for example, has seen a drastic drop in income since four turbines were erected nearby. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, has recently released a ‘Tranquillity Map’ of the UK because it is clear that tourists are increasingly looking for peace and quiet when they go away from home.

• Wind turbines pose no danger to birds and bats
Not true. Small birds can often avoid rotating blades at short notice (though remember that the tip of a turbine blade is moving at about 200mph) but larger birds such as eagles have much more trouble in diverting to avoid them. Birds that fly around at dusk or during the night are far more at risk than daytime birds. Bats are affected in a different way: They are seldom hit by the blades but they can suffer what is known as ‘barotrauma’ where the change in pressure near the blade tip kills them by damaging their lungs.

• Wind farms are a safe form of technology
On the whole this is true (though there may be adverse health effects as noted above). Accidents can happen, however; there have been some examples in Britain of blades collapsing or flying off, and one or two cases of turbine hubs catching fire. A different concern is ‘ice throw’ which happens when ice forms on the blades, usually overnight, and may be flung off in chunks when conditions warm up. This may be a particular concern for farmers with livestock.

• Lines of pylons are needed to take the power away from the site
This is not true. Typically, the cables are laid underground from the turbines within the wind farm site and are then linked to overhead lines on wooden poles to connect with the Grid. One worrying aspect, though, is that the developer of a wind farm does not have to seek planning permission for connection, or even to indicate what the proposed route for connection will be, because that is a matter for the Regional Electricity Supplier to address. Permission to the RES is more or less automatic.

• Wind farms reduce CO2
Wind farms contribute very marginally to reducing CO2 mainly because an alternative power source has to be kept running at all times for the periods when the wind stops blowing. If we were to rely entirely on wind, we would need to learn to live with a very uncertain and intermittent electricity supply!

• Well at least wind farms are better than nuclear power stations
Maybe. It would take about 6000 wind turbines, spread over perhaps 40 square miles to produce as much electricity as the one coal-fired power station at Ferrybridge, or nearly 3000 turbines, spread over 20 square miles, to match one of the two nuclear reactors at Hartlepool. But in both cases the power stations would still be needed as back-up for the 110 days when all those wind turbines would produce no electricity at all.

Finally, some Good News: 
The price of carbon credits on the Chicago Carbon Exchange has collapsed to 5 cents a ton and the exchange has decided to cease trading.