Posts Tagged ‘Green policies’

When molluscs and plovers take precedence – the “green” contribution to drought and flooding

February 13, 2014

Do-gooding idiocy has its consequences.

High rains (which happen from time to time) and undredged rivers will inevitably result in escape channels for the water being restricted and increase the possibility of water breaking out of the river channels and finding their own way to the sea. In the UK it seems rainfall levels have been very high this winter – but not as high as in 1929/1930. People are now living in much more vulnerable areas than they did before and the lack of dredging – mainly to protect some form of plant or wildlife – has led to – or at least contributed to – some of the flooding that is currently being experienced. Sections of the Thames have been left undredged to protect molluscs!

Apparently the same form of green idiocy  has also been prevalent in the US. In South Dakota plovers take precedence over humans and in northern California, the Delta Smelt – a small fish – is preventing the release of waters which could alleviate the drought being experienced by many farmers.

Human Lives Being Imperiled to Save the Mollusc and the Plover

It’s time for the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its British counterpart the Environment Agency (EA) to put humans first on their epic Endangered Species Lists. 

The new mantra of everyday people who make the populations of the U.S. and Britain should be: ‘People First, Rare Molluscs, Plover, & Delta Smelt Last’.

Thousands of people in both nations are being flooded out of house and home and lives are being imperiled because weak western leaders like Barack Obama and David Cameron allow their environment protection agencies to continue to cower to the demands of radical environmentalists.

Out of decency for the devastated, photo ops for Prime Minister David Cameron and politicians visiting Britain’s flooded areas wearing “wellies” (as in Wellington rubber boots) should be curtailed. …… 

It now turns out that in spite of the afflicted region being one of the most ‘undefended flood plains in England’, the Thames was not dredged in case a rare mollusc was disturbed. (Daily Mail, Feb. 13, 2014)

The EA,  of course is claiming that the mussels were not the only reason the Thames was not dredged, even though in a 2010 report, seen by the Mail, they ruled out dredging between Datchet and Staines because the river bed was home to the vulnerable creatures. ….. 

Even with devastation as the result, in South Dakota the waters of the mighty Missouri River are held back each spring to protect the plover, a shore bird that nests along the Missouri. 

“If they let out too much water in the spring, it drowns out their nests and kills the baby birds.  So the corps holds it back to allow the birds to hatch.” (William Kevin Stoos,CFP, June 1, 2011)

“Fast forward to the spring of 2011.  As I watch my friends in Dakota Dunes frantically trying to escape the mighty flood waters released in record amounts by the Corps this week, while their houses are ruined by the Muddy Mo, and my friends, neighbors, and family members work feverishly to protect our own homes and each others’ homes in Wynstone, South Dakota—up river a ways—I thought about the plover. ……

That’s the true tawdry tale of the plovers saved by environmentalists along the Missouri.

Then there’s the never-ending curious story of the Delta Smelt, a tiny fish that is exclusive to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a once fertile area that serves as a transition for water originating in northern California, ending in water delivery west of the delta for agriculture and south of the Delta for citizens of southern California.

According to Save-the-Fish radical environmentalists, pumping stations used for water delivery were pulverizing the smelt and leading to a dramatic decrease in population and possible extinction.

“The Delta smelt is not edible, does not eliminate pests or have any meaningful commercial value.  Sometimes, despite environmentalist’s protestations to the contrary, certain species reach a natural evolutionary dead end,” wrote William Busse in the Maricopa County Conservative Examiner back in September of 2009.

“However, using the weapon of the Endangered Species Act, environmental groups sued, and on December 14, 2007, Judge Oliver Wanger of the United States District Court for the Eastern district of California, issued an Interim Remedial Order

“The impact on farmers in the area has been devastating with the San Joaquin Valley unemployment rate reaching 14% and leaving thousands of previously productive farming acres scorched and unusable.  In addition, water utilities in southern California have already begun raising rates and creating tiered pricing to address the 85% reduction in imported water.”

To this day California is still under deadly drought—and still diverting water to save the Delta Smelt.

The incredulous headlines today are about a snowstorm in Washington. A snowstorm in winter! Who could possibly have anticipated that?

Environmentalism gives little priority to humans.

The EU’s green sickness: Competitiveness and shale gas at Davos

January 28, 2014

It is my contention that the spread of perverse “Green” energy policies in Europe are partly responsible if not for the financial crisis itself, certainly for its prolongation and for slowing down the recovery. It is also my contention that it is the deadening and oppresive inertia that is represented by the “obese” and self-preserving nature of the EU bureaucracy in Brussels which has prevented individual countries in Europe from taking fast corrective actions when needed.

It is now energy costs for industry (and not just labour policies) which is increasing the competitiveness divide between Europe and the US. It seems that this competitiveness – or lack of it – was of some passing interest at Davos:

CNBC

One of the biggest themes at Davos this year — and one that was not there last year — was “competitiveness.” You encountered it whether in the public sessions in the Congress Center, or in the private sessions, and at the various dinners in the hotels strung along the Davos Platz.

This particular rivalry pits the United States head-on against Europe. And, no question — at Davos this year, the United States was judged the clear winner, much to the dispirit of the Europeans trudging back along the icy, snowy streets of this mountain village.

Of course, competitiveness among nations gets measured in many different ways. …… But this year at Davos, it was calibrated along only one axis — energy. And that measure is creating great angst for European industry. …… It all comes down to shale gas and the energy revolution it has triggered in the United States. As a result of the rapid advance of shale technology, the United States now has an abundance of low-cost natural gas — at one-third the price of European gas. European industrial electricity prices are twice as high as those in some countries and are much higher than those in the United States. To a significant degree, this is the result of a pell-mell push toward high-cost renewable electricity (wind and solar), which is imposing heavy costs on consumers and generating large fiscal burdens for governments. In Germany, it was further accentuated by the premature shutdown of its existing nuclear industry after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. 

All this puts European industrial production at a heavy cost disadvantage against the United States. The result is a migration of industrial investment from Europe to the United States — what one CEO called an “exodus.” It involves, not only energy-intensive industries like chemicals and metals, but also companies in the supply chains that support such industries. …….. a senior European official declared that Europe needs to wake up to the “strategic reality” that shale gas in the United States is a “total game changer.” Without a change in policies at both the European and national levels, he warned, Europe “will lose our energy intensive industries — and we will lose our economy long term.” ……..

And the first signs of a potential change of policy abruptly emerged in both Brussels and Berlin during Davos week. European policy makers, struggling with already high unemployment, have begun to visualize the further job loss that will result from shutting down European plants. They have also started to pay attention to the 2.1 million jobs in in the United States supported by the unconventional oil and gas revolution.

In Brussels, coinciding with the first day of Davos, the European Commission released a new policy paper on energy and climate. It reiterated the commitment to substantial growth in renewable electricity and a “low-carbon economy.” But, for the first time, it put heavy emphasis on the price of such policies and called for a “more cost-efficient approach” to renewables. ….. Despite the fervent opposition to shale gas in some quarters in Europe, it pointedly included shale gas as among the domestic low-carbon energy sources that member countries can pursue.

……… A similar message resounded at exactly the same time from Berlin. Sigmar Gabriel, the social democratic minister of economy and energy in Germany’s coalition government, called for reform in Germany’s Energiewende — or “energy turn” policy — which has heavily subsidized the rapid growth in renewable electricity. He warned that the “anarchy” in renewable energy and its costs in Germany had to be reined in. ……… Up until now, the Energiewende in its present form has been sacrosanct, supported not just by the Greens but all across the political spectrum. Gabriel — and Chancellor Angela Merkel — aim to maintain the commitment, but reduce subsidies, focus more on costs, and, as Gabriel said, “control the expansion of renewable energy.”

His comments reflect the recognition that, if the course remains unchanged, Germany could be facing what Gabriel called “a dramatic deindustrialization.” ………. Exports are responsible for over 50 percent of German GDP, compared to 27 percent for China, which is generally considered to be the workshop of the world.

Gabriel’s comments stirred up criticism from environmentalists; indeed, they may seem strange words coming from the leader of the Social Democrats (the SPD). But the Social Democrats are very close to the trade unions, for which loss of competitiveness translates into loss of jobs.

In 2 decades of green profligacy, I estimate the “jobs lost” by the ” growth prevented” to be around 17 million just within the EU.


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