How phantom forests are used for greenwashing


By Paul Homewood


Capturing carbon by increasing forest cover has become central to the fight against climate change. But there’s a problem. Sometimes these forests exist on paper only – because promises have not been kept, or because planted trees have died or even been harvested. A new effort will now be made to track success and failure.

Dr Jurgenne Primavera is being paddled in a canoe along the coast of Iloilo in the Philippines. It’s an idyllic scene but she is frowning. Six years ago these shallow waters were planted with mangroves as part of the country’s ambitious National Greening Programme, but now there is nothing to see but blue water and blue sky.

Ninety per cent of the seedlings died, Dr Primavera says, because the type of mangrove planted was suited to muddy creeks rather than this sandy coastal area. The government preferred it, she suggests, because it…

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Inconvenient Truths: Sunset & Calm Weather Mean Wind & Solar Can Never Power Us


No country has ever powered itself entirely on wind and solar; no country ever will. And the reason is very simple: sunset and calm weather.

Pressed on the inherent intermittency of wind and solar, the acolyte starts muttering about “storage” as if it were a thing. It isn’t and, for reasons of physics and economics, will never be. As Francis Menton spells out below.

No Amount Of Incremental Wind And Solar Power Can Ever Provide Energy Independence
Manhattan Contrarian
Francis Menton
15 March 2022

Here’s the single most important function of this blog: Saying the things that are patently obvious but that just can’t be said these days in polite society. Yes, it’s The Emperor’s New Clothes every day here at Manhattan Contrarian.

With war raging in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, there is a renewed concern in many quarters for “energy independence.” Until recently, the sophisticated countries of Europe had…

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The Big ‘Green’ Lie: Why We’ll Never, Ever Be 100% Powered By Wind & Solar Power


The wind and solar acolyte in their more delusional moments readily proclaims that an all-wind and sun-powered future is upon us.  Never mind sunset; never mind dead calm weather; and never mind the fact that the idea that giant lithium-ion batteries economically storing wind and solar power at grid-scale is pure hokum – for the dreamer, the only thing in our path is a bunch of fossil-fuel loving ‘dinosaurs’.

The renewable energy rent-seeker preys on the naïve and ignorant, with a marketing mantra that, for a few dollars more, we can all enjoy electrons exclusively harvested from sunshine and breezes. Never again will our consciences be troubled by the notion that our lights and fridges are running on coal-fired electricity. Perish the thought.

Or, so the story goes.

Karsten Neumeister – quite apparently a subsidised solar worshipper – takes a look at the methods used by power retailers to dupe…

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Jacob Eisler: The Elections Act in Uncertain Times: Democracy, Partisanship, and the Uncodified Constitution

UK Constitutional Law Association

The Elections Act 2022 – finally law after a long and contentious development in the Commons and the Lords – implements a number of controversial measures. The IDprovision requires that persons present a photographic identification at the polls. This has raised concerns of suppressing the vote of economically and socially vulnerable groups who may be less likely to possess such ID. The lack of evidence of widespread voter deception in the UK undermines its justification as an anti-fraud measure. A separate provision places the Electoral Commission under greater governmentcontrol, politicising the previously independent watchdog of campaign financing and electoral integrity. While advocates for the provision argued for it on the grounds of political accountability, it has raised concerns that the neutrality desirable of an electoral regulator is being needlessly sacrificed.

The legislative unfolding of the Act casts light on a deeper political crisis facing democratic self-rule in…

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Time Is Wrong–Climate Change Will Not Make Us Hungry


By Paul Homewood


The article naturally focusses on Ukraine, but then proceeds with a series of lies about climate change:

The ripple effect of the Ukraine crisis on global grocery bills, however, is just a taste of what is to come as climate change disrupts the world’s agricultural areas. As temperatures rise due to increasing greenhouse-gas emissions, so too will the price of food. Humanitarian aid is likely to suffer first, with donors’ funds losing their purchasing power when prices of basic commodities like wheat and oil increase.

“The full impact of climate change will make the Ukraine crisis’s impact on food prices look like kindergarten,” says Enock Chikava, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s interim director for agricultural development. “We are already living in a one-degree warmer world, and we are already seeing more pests, more droughts, more heat. If we continue on this trajectory, to 1.5°C…

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Damaging a wounded Wellington

Barrie Saunders

Like most cities Wellington has been damaged by Covid and some flow on effects from more people working at home. But unlike most, Wellington is now subject to radical changes to its centre, which will likely inflict enormous damage on its so called Golden Mile (GM), which runs from the Cenotaph near Parliament to the Embassy Theatre at the end of Courtenay place – a distance of 2.6 kilometres.

Needless to say this has been subject to supportive analysis by consultants brought in from Auckland and overseas – Denmark.

In essence the radical plans will ban private cars from the entire length of the GM as well as taxis and the likes of Uber, who bring customers into the city and help make it a viable shopping, cafe and restaurant precinct. Whether trucks will be able to deliver product when they wish, courier vehicles and tradies is yet to be…

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Caucus neophytes may be keeping the govt from knowing what Kiwis in their electorates are wanting

Point of Order

Labour  backbenchers, conscious   that  recent polling shows their  political futures  could be  cut  short,  will  be  looking to  this week’s  budget  to replenish their  party’s  popularity with  handouts  to  swing  votes.

They  could  be  disappointed, if the Budget’s programme does not tackle voters’ concerns.

BNZ  economists  last week  warned  that the  chances of  a  recession  are “increasing  by  the  day”.  Economist  Cameron  Bagrie  says  controlling  government  spending  to  tamp  down the  factors causing high inflation should be  a  priority for  the  government, but  a  big-spending  budget is  already  locked  in.

Meanwhile  investors  in the  local  sharemarket, taking  a gloomy  view  of  NZ’s  economic  prospects,  are  already  reeling  from the  downward  trend  in  the  local indices.  Similarly   the  NZ  dollar  has  dipped  sharply against both  the  greenback   and the  Australian  dollar, as  New Zealand’s  main   export  market in  China suffers  from a severe Covid  lockdown.

This  then  could  be  the  moment…

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The World’s Most Inefficient Healthcare System, Part I: Created by Government, Financed by Government

International Liberty

I shared last year a matrix to illustrate Milton Friedman’s great insight about the superior results achieved by markets compared to government.

Incentives explain why markets work best. When you spend your own money on yourself (box 1), you try to maximize quality while minimizing cost. And that drives the businesses that are competing for your money to constantly seek more efficient ways of producing better products at better prices.

This system generates creative destruction, which sometimes can be painful, but the long-term result is that we are vastly richer.

Governments, by contrast, don’t worry about efficiency or cost (box 4).

Today, though, let’s  use Friedman’s matrix to understand the shortcomings of the US healthcare system. Way back in 2009, I opined that the most important chart in healthcare was the one showing that American consumers directly paid for less than 12 percent of health expenditures.

For all…

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The Left’s Pro-Single Payer Health Care Graphic: Right Diagnosis, Wrong Prescription

International Liberty

The new leftist website, Vox, has an article by Sarah Kliff on Vermont’s experiment with a single-payer healthcare system.

But I don’t really have much to say about what’s happening in the Green Mountain State, other than to declare that I much prefer healthcare experiments to occur at the state level. Indeed, we should reform Medicaid and Medicare and also fix the tax code so that Washington has no role in healthcare. Then the states can experiment and compete to see what works best.

But that’s a topic for another day. The real reason I cite Kliff’s article is that Ezra Klein tweeted this image from the article and stated that is was “The case for single payer, in one graphic.”

Vox Third-Party Payer

I don’t know if the numbers in the graphic are correct, but I have no reason to think they’re wrong.

Regardless, I certainly don’t disagree with the notion that…

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Are sanctions on Russia failing?

Plain-speaking Economics

Sanctions are the West’s key weapon in the fight against Putin, but there are signs that Russia’s economy and financial system is weathering the storm better than expected. The rouble has already bounced back and Russia has been able to continue to service its debts, with only minor hiccups. A closer look however reveals that sanctions are biting hard – and that Russia is losing the economic as well as military war.

Take the rouble’s resurgence, which is not what it seems. The ability of Russia’s currency to bounce back reflects the fact that Russian imports have fallen by more than the country’s exports, as local consumers and businesses have cut spending. This means there is less demand to sell roubles to buy foreign currencies.

The central bank has also propped up the rouble, but the measures it has used to do so are unlikely to endure for long. Conventional…

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Rescuing the 1 day old newborn abandoned kittens | Adopted and nursed by Foster Cat Mom Coco

Heat pump costs soar because Britain’s radiators are ‘too small’

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Domestic Air Source Heat Pump [image credit: UK Alternative Energy]
The ill-conceived ‘net zero’ emissions plan born of the UK government’s carbon dioxide obsessions takes another hit. Five-figure radiator installation bills will put people off bigtime.
– – –
Homeowners trying to install eco-friendly heat pumps have been left with surprise £30,000 bills after it emerged millions of radiators are too small to work with the new technology, says The Telegraph.

The Government wants 600,000 heat pumps installed every year by 2028, in line with its “net zero” aims, but the majority of homes may need thousands of pounds worth of upgrades to accommodate them.

Heat pumps need larger radiators to achieve the same heat output as gas boilers, which heat water to much higher temperatures.

Some 99pc of British homes do not have radiators large enough to heat a room on the coldest winter’s day, using a low-temperature…

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Plastic Surgery and Third-Party Payer

International Liberty

Most people would say high prices are the biggest problem with health care in the United States. But high prices should be viewed as the symptom of the real problem, which is “third-party payer.”

And what is third-party payer?

It’s the fact that consumers purchase health care with other people’s money. And we should blame government intervention.

To be more specific, the vast majority of purchases are financed by government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, or by insurance policies that are subsidized by the tax code’s healthcare exclusion.

And that means people have very little reason to care about the cost of care – creating a recipe for higher costs and inefficiency.

Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute explains the problem.

One of the reasons that the costs of medical care services in the US have increased more than twice as much as…

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Two must-read articles from Karl du Fresne

No Minister

Readers will be well aware that my attitude towards the MSM is that that they are, at best, shallow and useless in their reporting and “analysis”, and at worst combine that with massive ideological bias to the Left as well as the occasional bouts of outright partisanship towards, in the case of New Zealand, the Greens, Labour, or the Maori party, depending on how well each of them is doing in supporting a Left wing agenda.

The read I have on the NZ MSM at present is that, as Chris Trotter and Martyn Bradbury have often pointed out, they’ve sold their souls for capitalist money and the “neo-liberal” status quo established since 1984, in exchange for pushing every other piece of Leftist wank. I think those two gentlemen are nostalgic screamers because, at least in the environmentalist world of combating AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) they may get want they want…

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Despicable Marx and Disgusting Marxism

International Liberty

Early last year, I shared a video explaining that Karl Marx was a despicable human being. Today, let’s look at a video that further examines him and his hideousideology.

This raises an interesting question of picking the most offensive feature of Marxism.

  1. The totalitarian brutality in nations that (so far) have murdered and starved 100 million people?
  2. The economic illiteracy of a system that has anywhere and everywhere produced misery and poverty?
  3. The moral abomination of an ideology that assumes individuals are abjectly subservient to the state?

The the video above is from the Ayn Rand-inspired Atlas Society, I suspect they might emphasize answer #3.

And that certainly is correct, but the best answer is “all of the above.”

I’ll close with the observation that Marx was a bad person, but he’s not nearly as bad as modern-day Marxists.

That’s because Marx was guilty of coming…

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