Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness..."

Earth Hour: A Dissent

by Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick,
Professor of Economics,
University of Guelph,
Image via Wikipedia


In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour.

Here is my response.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water.

Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases.

Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity.

Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.

Here in Ontario, through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s, despite the expansion of industry and the power supply.

If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity, and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children who have been caught doing something bad, then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations.

No thanks.

I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics
University of Guelph

[Via]

The video.


Friday, March 30, 2012

"Earth Hour" eco-fascism on the wane

Peter Foster:
... Enthusiasm for the dim-bulb stunt appears to have waned in line with climate hysteria, although the WWF is doing its best to keep activism alive in the classroom, the cubicle and the corporate suite. ...
... The WWF has lots of great ideas ... kids: have a contest to see who can “raise the most funds for WWF.” ...
... climate is so, like, 2008. Although you would never know it from reading the mainstream media ...
... Meanwhile, the climate policy process is collapsing.
How often did President Barack Obama mention climate change during his recent “all-of-the-above” U.S. energy tour?” Not once. ...
... Britain is abandoning its plans to force corporations to report their greenhouse gas emissions ... (although the lights will still go out on Saturday Night at Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament).
... Poland has blocked new European Union emissions targets.
... Other East European members of the EU are increasingly inclined to block targets permanently.
... “climate policy is no longer a big item on the EU’s agenda and the climate mania is gradually coming to an end after almost 20 years.”
And with it, fortunately, ecofascist nonsense such as Earth Hour.
Good riddance to "Earth Hour".

Celebrate "Human Achievement".

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What's next for the progressive left? The LDP?

With Mulcair at the NDP helm and Rae leading the Liberals would there be a merger? Mulcair denies it but both have mused about "uniting progressives" and so has Jean Chretien.  With a former provincial Liberal heading the NDP and a former provincial Dipper running the Liberals I'm guessing the idea would get serious consideration. But we'll just have to wait and see.

If it happened the new, merged party would need a new name. I'm betting it would be the "Liberal Democratic Party". Both get to keep their names, the oldest party's name comes first, "NDP" is promoted two letters in the alphabet and finally gets rid of the worn out "New".  You heard it here first.

Friday, March 23, 2012

David Suzuki funded by Canadian billionaires

Peter Foster's excellent column today covers David Suzuki's efforts to silence "deniers" including his recent  robo-email campaign urging people to write to the Senate protesting certain Conservative senator's alleged attempts to silence "...those who don't share their positions."

I wasn't aware of this:
... Mr. Suzuki is also heftily supported by Canadian Establishmentarians such as the Bronfman family, Power Corp., Jim Pattison, and Gerry Schwartz.
Peter asks some pertinent questions:
Do these leaders and scions of capitalism grasp that they are supporting an anti-development fanatic who believes that anybody who doesn’t think like him on climate science is evil, mentally defective or a corporate shill? Do they agree with his 2008 suggestion that apostate politicians should be put in jail? Do they go along with his admiration for totalitarian Cuba’s “sustainability?” Do they support child-scaring propaganda such as his recent Christmas campaign based on “saving” Santa’s North Pole workshop? Do they fail to register that he demonizes “corporate profits and interests?” ...
It's time to start writing to these Suzuki-Kool-Aid guzzlers and get some answers.

Also, it's worth revisiting Ezra Levant's deconstruction of David Suzuki's 'virtual classroom' last November:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The anatomy of left-lib response to Islamo-terror

With the Toulouse murders as a case in point, Mark Steyn breaks down the inevitable four stages:
... Stage One: The strange compulsion to assure us that the killer is a “right wing conservative extremist"
... Stage Two: Okay, he may be called Mohammed but he’s a “lone wolf.”
... Stage Three: Okay, even if there are enough lone wolves around to form their own Radio City Rockette line, it’s still nothing to do with Islam.
... Stage Four: The backlash that never happens. Because apparently the really bad thing about actual dead Jews is that it might lead to dead non-Jews: “French Muslims Fear Backlash After Shooting.” ...
Mark's piece comes complete with references to two of Canada's usual suspects, Warren Kinsella and Bernie Farber.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NP's Jonathan Kay attacks Ezra Levant (and his new book about Omar Khadr)

The ever smug, snotty left-lib Jonathan Kay, having eavesdropped on Ezra Levant in the next cubicle (and apparently took notes), has decided that Ezra Levant lacks sufficient "intellectual sophistication and nuance" to process a case as "complex" as Omar Khadr's:
... the two of us were side-by-side cubicle neighbours. He did every telephone call in a booming Rush Limbaugh voice ...
...his style of attack is so obsessional that it sometimes seems like a manifestation of clinical mental illness...
...when it comes to an intellectual endeavor that actually requires intellectual sophistication and nuance — say, a full-length book about the legal treatment of a captured Canadian child-soldier ...
... most reasonable observers would agree that the case is complex.
This commenter captures the essence of Kay's attitude towards Ezra:
Well I don't know, Jonathan. I'd say it sounds a little more like you sat in your cubicle at the Post, and you watched Ezra come, and then you watched him go, and then you saw him put book after book on the bestseller list while you sat in your cubicle and wrote wimpy articles that no one reads. What makes this even more sad is that the only reason anyone read this particular article is because it happened to be about Ezra Levant.
I guess we can look forward to Kay's many "Welcome back Khadr!!" columns.  We can also look forward to Ezra's response.  Kay has handed him a couple of weeks worth of material.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

BC Senator Greene-Raine opposes carbon-offsets tax credits

In a speech before the Senate on March 13thBC Senator Nancy Greene-Raine opposed an amendment to the Income Tax Act which "would give tax credits to Canadians who invest in so-called carbon offsets" concluding:

In summary, I believe that the real focus of Canada's climate policy, the no-regrets approach that yields benefits no matter what causes climate change, must be to help vulnerable people and communities prepare for and adapt to inevitable climate change. We should also continue to support scientific research in the field so that some day we may be able to forecast climate to help us get ready for whatever nature throws at us next.
Bravo, Nancy!

Update: The amending bill in question is Bill S-205 sponsored by climate hysteric Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell (see also).

[via]

Friedrich Hayek's interview by John O'Sullivan

Saturday, March 17, 2012

John O'Sullivan and the state of conservatism

George Jonas:
John O'Sullivan thinks conservatism in the “Anglosphere,” or the English-speaking world, is alive and well in three out of four countries. It “remains vigorous and fundamentally healthy” in America, and it “is thriving both in Australia and in Canada.”
Only the “Cameron Tories” of the United Kingdom are faltering.
... O’Sullivan thinks conservatism is thriving in Canada and Australia in very different ways. “It is advancing in Australia by boldness,” he writes, “and in Canada by caution.”
O'Sullivan's prescience on Stephen Harper's future:
... he asked me what I thought Harper would be doing in 10 years time. ... Harper was then 40, running the National Citizens Coalition ...
“Teaching civics classes,” I said. “Writing op-ed pieces. Walking the dog.”
In 10 years, he’ll be prime minister of Canada,” O’Sullivan said. He was wrong. It took Harper only seven years. [Actually, O'Sullivan was not wrong.]
... the rest.

Rex Murphy - oil sands booster

Heeers Rex!
... The Premier of Ontario, a province that owes much of its prosperity to its huge automobile industry shivers when he looks at Alberta, mutters about the dark forces of the “petro-dollar,” and implied ... that somehow Ontario’s fretful financial state is Alberta’s fault. 
It’s almost a fantasy disconnect. Dalton Mcguinty can throw billions at General Motors and urge the feds to do the same, all to save the automobile industry. He ignores that four decades or more of Ontario’s prosperity wasn’t founded on windmills: It was based on gas-guzzling cars and trucks. ... 
... I can summarize the entire case very simply. The environment is not just what you see on green posters. It is not just sunsets and tall trees. It is also the people living in it. And people need energy, and people need jobs.
Bang on, as usual.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oil v. education: OECD's (and Thomas Friedman's) lame correlation

Thomas Friedman's NYT column, published in today's National Post (under the heading "The oil curse: and how we avoided it"), claims that the scholastic performance of students depends on the degree to which their countrys' economy is dependent on natural resource extraction.  As proof he cites an OECD study:
... O.E.C.D. has just come out with a fascinating little study mapping the correlation between performance on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, exam — which every two years tests math, science and reading comprehension skills of 15-year-olds in 65 countries — and the total earnings on natural resources as a percentage of G.D.P. ... In short, how well do your high school kids do on math compared with how much oil you pump or how many diamonds you dig?
Conclusion:
... Oil and PISA don’t mix. So hold the oil, and pass the books.
That strikes me as an extremely lame correlation.  This fellow's criticism hits the nails (including Friedman's agenda) on the head:
... As the cases of Norway and Canada show, the random existence of a given resource under your soil does not in itself determine your country’s future success. 
...I think a better correlation might be quality of government versus average education level. ... much oil production comes from countries which have, shall we say, leadership issues. 
Here’s a case where someone takes a multivariate problem, and focus on the one variable for which he has an agenda. He doesn’t investigate the role of other variables. And the public? Yet another reason to believe how awful the oil industry is!
Or, as a commenter (Nevsky) at the National Post observed:
... Education is important; culture is decisive.

Vacation in Key West

Snowbirds planning a vacation in Florida should check out my friend Vinney's lovely house for rent in sunny Key West.


 

 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New York Times - hypocrites and cowards

Pamela Geller:

REJECTED!
What the NY Times Won't Run: Counter-Jihad Facts
What the NY Times Will Run: Anti-Catholic Smear Ads ...
Who knew?
... We used the same language as the anti-Catholic ad. The only difference is, ours was true and what we describe is true. The anti-Catholic ad was written by fallacious feminazis.
More reaction.

[via Mark Steyn]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Christy Clark, “Iron Snowbird”? More like “Plastic Dodo Bird”

When Preston Manning dubbed BC Premier Christy Clark an "Iron Snowbird" last week there were mixed reactions from conservatives (mostly disbelief, guffaws, sniggering, etc) . Here’s how Vancouver’s Alex Tsakumis reacted:

Christy Clark Was Not Ever, Is Not Now, Nor Will Ever Be a Conservative! ...
‘Iron Snowbird’ my derriere. Let’s do a little Christy retrospective:
(1) Grew up in staunchly Liberal home where Liberal doctrine was like mother’s milk. Daddy Jim was a huge federal Liberal who HATED Conservatives.
[...]
(4) Part of the federal Liberal machine that took over the provincial Liberal party. Conservatives were not welcome until Gordon Campbell came along...
[...]


(6) Spent her entire time as a talk show host reading from federal Liberal speaking notes when dealing with national issues (I know at least two people that have shown me emails sent to her, including responses, about what kind of “shitheads” Conservatives are and how Stephen Harper was (is) an “asshole.”)
[...]


(14) Pretends to be socially conservative, while living a life completely detached from such a constrained reality ...
[h/t BC Blue]

Monday, March 12, 2012

Who is Pierre Poutine?

Late breaking:
... There were rumours that a key suspect did spill the curds on the affair on Monday, but Elections Canada would not confirm this.

A spokeswoman said it’s possible no one will know until the agency’s ongoing probe wraps up.
And if Pierre is a Lib or Dipper, EC may never tell us.

Robocall protest - dozens rally across Canada

We've been told (repeatedly) that there are tens of thousands of complaints about supposedly fraudulent "robocalls": Over 31,000 to Elections Canada, over 42,000 signatures on a leadnow.com petition




On Sunday there were rallies across the country to protest and call for an inquiry. This report headline said "Thousands rally...".  The actual figures reported were:




"... Ottawa, about 30 people ..." 
"... 30 people in St. John’s"
"... Montreal, about 125 protesters"
"... Vancouver, more than 200"
"... Toronto, more than 500 people" [I've heard this is a CBC estimate, so say 150]
Out of all those thousands of complainers and petitioners that's it?! Oh, the outrage!

Post Script: My own small contribution to the Vancouver rally facebook page [over 4,700 invitations sent] garnered some negative blowback.

Also, BC Blue has the YouTube video of Sun TV's Jerry Agar with Eric Duhaime and a link to Blazing Cat Fur's coverage of the Toronto rally.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

FakeGate's similarities with Watergate

Steve McIntyre:
"We are approaching the 40th anniversary of the original Watergate burglaries...."

... Most fundamentally, both Gleick and the Watergate burglars were seeking the same sort of documents ....

... Both Gleick and the Watergate burglars used illegal methods, though Gleick used fraud and identity theft rather than burglary and photography.

... The biggest difference between the two crimes thus far has been police and prosecutiral commitment. The Watergate burglars were arrested, charged and received serious sentences. ...  no police have seized Gleick’s computers at home or at work or, for that matter, even crossed the threshold to interview him.

I suspect that Gleick grew up in a family that felt nothing but contempt for Nixon. It is an odd irony that Gleick has emerged as arguably the G. Gordon Liddy of climate.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Robocalls - leadnow.com's reversible online petition

A leadnow.com online petition to federal party leaders has customizable subject and message text.  My message reads:

Subject: Robocalls - the opposition and media smear campaign

Dear Prime Minister Harper, Mr Corbett, Mr Paulson, Ms Turmel, Mr Rae, Ms. May and Mr. Plamondon,

I am gravely concerned by the smear campaign being perpetrated by opposition partisans and promoted by their media cheerleaders.

This unconscionable campaign is damaging the integrity of our electoral system. I urge you to vigorously resist it.

A public inquiry would be a monumental waste but should there be one it should be focused on the actions of those attempting to smear Conservatives.
I wondered if leadnow.com might filter/block it, but a reply from the PM's office confirms it was delivered as (re)written.

FakeGate: Part II

Peter Foster's take:

... What is intriguing about the aftermath to what British journalist James Delingpole called “Fakegate” is the vituperation that has been unleashed not against Mr. Gleick but against Heartland, while Mr. Gleick has been treated as some kind of slightly misguided “hero.”
Part I.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Robo-bullcrap

Bravo, Ezra!
There's not much else we need to know about the Robo-smear campaign.
But here's some more from BC Blue and Brian Lilley.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Climate change denial in the classroom at Carleton University!!



Full story at WUWT:  Fake moral outrage translated to smear: media upset that students can choose to take an elective course on climate change at Carleton

Robocall allegations: the National Post apologizes

MooseandSquirrel: "Let the robocal retractions and apologies begin":
From the National Post: ... The National Post apologizes to Responsive Marketing Group Inc. for the error.
Whatever could have prompted this backtracking? Could it be this [lawsuit]?
[...]
It was only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, the media smear gets lamer by the day.

[via]

See also, BlueLikeYou.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Peter Foster on the CIBC's Jim Prentice

"The Sorcerer's Prentice":

... A speech Mr. Prentice gave to the Toronto Board of Trade on Thursday was a jaw-dropper. It was the kind of mushy mixed economics that is regurgitated with tedious regularity every decade or two by those who have forgotten, or never understood, the lessons of economic history.  Mr. Prentice appears to reject market orientation as unaffordable “ideological purity.”
... Adam Smith would instantly have spotted a market-challenged mercantilist. Unfortunately, Mr. Prentice too has embraced the cause that Smith exploded more than two hundred years ago.
... we should perhaps be relieved that Mr. Prentice is no longer at the Cabinet table.
I wonder what's in it for the CIBC.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

R.I.P. Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart, 43, Has Died

...unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.

... had suffered heart problems a year earlier ...

... Breitbart is survived by his wife Susannah Bean Breitbart, 41, and four children.