Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Tim writes about politics, not my usual fare,

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http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/investigatorypowers.html

Published by aljazera…

The IP Act: UK’s most extreme surveillance law
Snowden’s revelations didn’t preclude the passing of the most invasive surveillance law in the UK.

Jim Killock is Executive Director of Open Rights Group, which campaigns for privacy and free speech.

The Investigatory Powers Act will come into force at the start of 2017, and will cement ten years of illegal surveillance into law.

It includes state powers to intercept bulk communications and collect vast amounts of communications data and content. The security and law enforcement agencies – including government organisations such as HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) – can hack into devices of people in the UK.
…” http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/12/ip-act-uk-extreme-surveillance-law-161201141317587.html

And as if that isn’t enough our old friend[1] Warwick Hughes has an article up pointing to an analysis by an outside party of EU fun coming 2017

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According to the latest international comparison, Australian kids are falling further behind, despite ever-larger sums of taxpayer cash being poured into the Chalk-Industrial Complex. One reason we’re raising another generation of dolts: propaganda passed off as wisdom

green teacherGreen/Left lobby Cool Australia, backed by Labor’s teacher unions and Bendigo Bank, is achieving massive success in brainwashing school students about the inhumanity of the federal government’s asylum-seeker policies, the evils of capitalism, and our imminent climate peril. The Cool Australia’s teaching templates are now being used by 52,540 teachers in 6,676 primary and high schools (71% of total schools). The courses have  impacted just over a million students via 140,000 lessons downloaded for classes this year alone. Students’ uptake of Cool Australia materials has doubled in the past three years.

Teachers are mostly flummoxed about how to prioritise “sustainability” throughout their primary and secondary school lessons, as required by the national curriculum.[1]  Cool Australia has marshaled a team of 19 professional curriculum writers who offer teachers and pupils easy templates for lessons that  include the sustainability mantra along with green and anti-government propaganda.
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NASA space robot [image credit: phys.org]

NASA space robot [image credit: phys.org]


After all, there’s no ‘C’ in NASA.
H/T GWPF/Sunday Times

US President-elect Donald Trump is set to slash Nasa’s budget for monitoring climate change and instead set a goal of sending humans to the edge of the solar system by the end of the century, and possibly back to the moon.

Mr Trump, who has called climate change a “Chinese hoax”, is believed to want to focus the agency on far-reaching, big banner goals in deep space rather than “Earth-centric climate change spending”.

According to Bob Walker, who has advised Mr Trump on space policy, Nasa has been reduced to “a logistics agency concentrating on space station resupply and politically correct environmental monitoring”.

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US President-elect Trump [image credit: politico.com]

US President-elect Trump [image credit: politico.com]


The winds of change following the US election are about to blow through the well-funded – up to now at least – world of climate-related bureaucracy, as CCN mournfully reports.

US Republicans are expected to axe billions of dollars in climate finance when they take the White House and Congress in January.

Funds to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of global warming and develop sustainably will be redirected to domestic priorities.

“We are going to cancel billions in payments to the UN climate change programmes and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure,” said President-elect Donald Trump in his 22 October Gettysburg address. With a Republican majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, there appears to be little standing in his way.

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  • smart-meterDr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

The UK’s new secretary of state for Business, Greg Clark, has just given his first public speech on energy. It suggests, unfortunately, that he is not yet sufficiently confident of his brief to resist the views of his civil servants. Indeed, this speech could easily have been written for Ed Miliband, or Chris Huhne, or Ed Davey, and suggests that the rent-seeking green interests in the electricity sector are re-injecting themselves into the national bloodstream through an interventionist industrial strategy. This will result in overcapitalisation and reductions in productivity.

It is now a year since Amber Rudd, then Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate  (DECC) gave her “reset” speech. I was in Japan at the time, and showed the text to an impressed but disbelieving colleague from the University of Tokyo. “This is an ENERGY policy”, he said, as if anything from a British politician would obviously focus on climate change and little else besides.

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Germany will attend the COP22 climate summit in Morocco 'empty-handed', say critics.

Germany will attend the COP22 climate summit in Morocco ’empty-handed’, say critics.


The whole idea of a ‘climate protection plan’, as well as sounding like some sort of insurance racket, is loaded with suspect assumptions about supposed effects of human activities on the inherent natural variation of Earth’s ocean-atmosphere system.

DW.COM reports on what’s seen by some as Germany’s Moroccan climate embarrassment, as some of its own top politicians put a spanner in the works.

Germany’s failure to approve a national climate plan to bring to the table at the UN international climate conference has sparked a round of finger-pointing over who is responsible for the blow to the country’s green reputation.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks has vented her frustration over the prospect of representing her country at the talks in Marrakesh next week without any concrete measures on how it plans to meet the goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

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Reposted from the blog of Jamie Foster

gunpowder-plot

Remember, remember the 4th of November, it’s the day the legal profession took leave of its senses. Hopefully temporarily but certainly noticeably. It was perhaps unsurprising. It is not often that a constitutional law case which could help define our political future appears on the front of our national newspapers with such a barrage of fireworks. It is easy to be drawn in by the pretty explosions.

The 3rd November marked a win in the High Court for a wealthy fund manager, Gina Miller. This modern-day Guy Fawkes placed her barrels of gun powder directly under the Government, rather than Parliament this time. Her explosive case determined that the Government had no right to trigger Art 50 and inform the EU of the UK’s desire to leave without a vote in Parliament. The sparks from the case caused explosions across the press, with the Mail and the Sun calling the three judges who took the decision ‘traitors’ and ‘enemies of the people.’

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Heathrow or Gatwick: Runway decision tomorrow 

Posted: October 24, 2016 by oldbrew in government, Travel
Tags:

Heathrow expects... [credit: your.heathrow.com]

Heathrow expects… [credit: your.heathrow.com]


One thing’s for sure – they won’t be adopting the Guardian’s solution of no more runways ever. When one battle ends another will start, as ITV News reports.

The Government will tomorrow make a decision on where a new runway for the south should be built and Heathrow is expected to be the winner.

But it is expected that Gatwick could also be allowed to expand at a later date. The decision will then be subject to consultation ahead of a vote by MP’s in early 2018.

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UK Houses of Parliament [image credit: Climate Change News]

UK Houses of Parliament [image credit: Climate Change News]


The BBC reports from the cloud-cuckoo land that is the UK’s Committee on Climate Change. Their delusions would be laughable but for the fact the government is supposed to follow their advice. When will the nonsense ever stop?

The UK’s official advisers have issued a sombre assessment of government plans to hold climate change at a safe level.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says the government is not on track to meet its pledge of cutting emissions 80% by 2050. And they controversially warn ministers to park their recent ambition to tighten carbon reduction targets to protect vulnerable nations.

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Daimler-Benz production lines [image credit: BBC]

Daimler-Benz production lines [image credit: BBC]


Hard to see Germany’s mighty motor industry taking this lying down, even if it’s not law just yet. A bad case of ‘greenhouse gas disease’ in the minds of legislators?

Germany invented the gasoline engine and diesel engine. Now, Germany’s Bundesrat wants the internal combustion engine banned starting in 2030, says ExtremeTech. The resolution by one of Germany’s two legislative bodies (analogous to the US Senate or British House of Lords) isn’t binding, but it had bipartisan support.

It suggests the days of the internal combustion engine car are finite. Other code phrases in the resolution, once deciphered, suggest Germany wants to roll back tax credits favoring diesel engine cars, and push for further incentives to ramp up the sales of electric vehicles.

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Hydraulic fracturing wellhead  [image credit: Joshua Doubek / Wikipedia]

Hydraulic fracturing wellhead
[image credit: Joshua Doubek / Wikipedia]


Fracking permission takes a week in Texas but nine years in Britain, as the GWPF’s Dr Benny Peiser points out. Some objectors still claim the technique is unproven despite years of experience in the USA and elsewhere.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has upheld an appeal made by Cuadrilla in February against the decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse permission to carry out hydraulic fracturing at two sites in the region reports Utility Week.

In a letter to a lawyer representing the drilling company, Javid said it will be allowed to drill and then fracture four exploratory wells at its site on Preston New Road, subject to some conditions.

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Hinkley Point C nuclear site [image credit: BBC]

Hinkley Point C nuclear site [image credit: BBC]


The Independent’s headline may be an exaggeration, but nuclear power is not popular in Britain at present. The illusion persists in some quarters that Britain could run almost entirely on wind power, which is very far from being technically or financially realistic.

Three out of four Britons oppose the Hinkley nuclear power project that has just been approved by the Government, according to a poll.

A quarter (25 per cent) of the 2,028 people surveyed in the Populus  poll, conducted on 7-8 September, said they supported Hinkley, while nearly half (44 per cent) oppose the plans.

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UK electricity supply - approaching the cliff edge? [image credit: Wikipedia]

UK electricity supply – approaching the cliff edge? [image credit: Wikipedia]


Utility Week highlights an expert’s view of the dire state of the UK’s electricity network, largely driven by the climate dogmatism of government policies. Urgent action is advised, with Brexit in mind.

UK Business and Energy secretary Greg Clark needs to “reset the balance between the market and the state” and avoid “more patching up of what he has inherited”, [Professor] Dieter Helm has said.

The energy sector is “not in good shape,” and is unable to fulfil the needs of a major industrial economy, “especially for one doing Brexit”.

Growing electricity demand, as heat and energy are electrified, will make the “current capacity margin of roughly zero even more alarming than it is now”, the Oxford economist said in a paper.

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Hinkley Point, Somerset [image credit: conservativehome.com]

Hinkley Point, Somerset
[image credit: conservativehome.com]


Seconds out, round 10 – or so it might seem in the Hinkley nuclear struggle. Who kept who in the dark [pun intended]? PEI’s Diarmaid Williams takes a ringside seat.

Five of the 17 board members who voted to approve a decision by EDF to press ahead with the development of Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in England are now seeking a court annulment of that decision.

The board members, all union representatives, say they were not provided with information that was crucial to their decision on the day.

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Solar-Loaf-600-AEAEd Hoskins has sent me a summary of his latest post on ‘green energy’ profligacy, which well worth a click and read.

It seems that the UK with the least performant solar energy environment  in Europe has allowed to be invested about £30 billion with an output of less than 1 GW as and when the sun shines.

This amounted to a total of about   9.6GW nameplate solar installations yielding the equivalent of about 0.9GW of power, but only when the sun shines.  The capacity factor for Solar energy in the UK is only ~9%.  This is the least performant solar power in the whole of Europe.

Even though according to David Mackay DECC well understood that solar energy should never have been considered viable in the UK, the department still oversaw these huge continued expenditures and dispensed with about £19,000,000,000 in 2014 and 2015.  That amounted to more than the full cost of Hinckley Point C:  the wasted expenditure seems never to have been questioned or discussed.

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Michael_HartInterview at Lifesitenews with Michael Hart.

Michael Hart is a former official in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and now emeritus professor of international affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where he has taught courses on the laws and institutions of international trade, Canadian foreign policy, and the politics of climate change. He held the Fulbright-Woodrow Wilson Center Visiting Research Chair in Canada-U.S. Relations and was Scholar-in-Residence in the School of International Service, Senior Fellow at American University in Washington, and is the founder and director emeritus of Carleton University’s Centre for Trade Policy and Law. In addition, he has taught courses in several other countries. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of more than a dozen books and several hundred articles.

LifeSiteNews interviewed him during a conference on Catholic Perspectives on the Environment, sponsored by the Wojtyla Institute for Teachers, held at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, August  4-6, 2016.

1)  Professor Hart, your book Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change, has recently been published. In it, you challenge a worldwide project that has become something of a sacred cow. Can you tell our readers what motivated you to begin your research into the subject?

I was initially motivated by questions from my students – and my wife – about the policy implications of climate change. The more I looked into it, however, the more I learned the extent to which it fit with one of my research interests: the extent to which modern health, safety, and environmental regulatory activity relies on poor science advanced by activists to push an agenda. I learned that both domestic and international actors had succeeded in using the poorly understood science of climate change to advance an ambitious environmental agenda focused on increasing centralized control over people’s daily lives.

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gwpf-energy-industry

A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)  confirms suspicions that previous governments have misled the public about the impact of climate policies on businesses such as Tata Steel.

There are three main faults in government analysis:

 

  1. Instead of showing the impact of climate policies on profitability (Gross Operating Surplus), the government has compared policy costs to the total expenditure of a business, which is misleading. In 2014, for example, the sector had an operating surplus of £169m, yet energy costs were equal to 330% of that sum.

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uk-piggy-bankResidents affected by fracking could be paid a proportion of the proceeds of shale gas projects, the government has suggested.

A shale wealth fund was unveiled in 2014 to set aside up to 10% of the tax proceeds from fracking to benefit communities in the UK hosting wells.

The PM is now considering paying the money directly to individual households instead of councils and local trusts.

The plan is one option due to be outlined in a consultation on Monday.

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clexit-header

After several years of fighting, and losing, various elections, winning the EU referendum campaign has been a real tonic for me. If it had been fought on the same electoral ‘first past the post’ basis constituency by constituency, ‘the Brexit party’ would have won 70% of the seats. In my home region of Yorkshire and Humberside, where I was a Leave campaign director, it would have been a landslide, with all but a few of its 54 constituencies voting for an exit from the EU.

While Brexit is being negotiated, we are starting another campaign – Clexit. The aim is to get all nations to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. The founders, Marc Morano in the States, Christopher Monckton in the UK and Viv Forbes in Australia, have now invited me to head up the Clexit-UK campaign. I’ll have more details soon, discussions are ongoing.

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Glasgow International Airport

Glasgow International Airport


What’s this – business before enviro-correctness? Shocking to some perhaps. Could be fun if Scotland’s air fares undercut England’s by a significant margin. BBC reporting.

Plans to cut and replace air passenger duty (APD) in Scotland have been met with a mixed response. The Scottish government wants to replace APD, with the tax to be reduced by 50% from April 2018 and eventually abolished.

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