Warmists Make Bad Investors

Terence Corcoran explains at the Financial Post: The world needs more of what Exxon is selling (and will for decades). Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

World demand for Exxon’s products, fossil fuels, is expected to increase and remain steady over the coming decade

It’s the kind of story that lights up headlines: one of Britain’s biggest fund managers started selling shares in Exxon Mobil Corp. because the global oil giant wasn’t doing enough to address climate change.

The investment fund manager, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), oversees $1.3 trillion, making it the 11th largest money manager in the world. Legal and General (as it is called) is also one of scores of investment management firms, activists and hand-wringing organizations that are part of the burgeoning global sustainable and environmental social finance and governance effort to promote collaborative engagement and foster responsible investment and divestment. The goal is to enhance disclosure target-setting within corporations so that they can become leaders and builders of business models that will help the planet achieve a prosperous and sustainable future and overcome the climate emergency/crisis/disaster now faced by humanity if fossil fuels are not reduced to near-zero in the not-too-distant future.

As part of this movement, LGIM is a member of an organization called Climate Action 100+: Global Investors Driving Business Decisions, a collection of meddling institutional investors around the world, mostly government-run pension plans — although Quebec’s state pension fund, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, is the only obvious Canadian member of Climate Action 100+.

Exxon was one of five companies LGIM said it had placed on the divestment list as it steps up pressure on companies to address climate change: ExxonMobil Corporation, Hormel Foods, Korean Electric Power Corporation, Kroger and Metlife. “These names,” said LGIM, “are in addition to China Construction Bank, Rosneft Oil, Japan Post Holdings, Subaru, Loblaw and Sysco Corporation, all of whom remain engaged but who have yet to take the substantive actions to warrant re-instatement.”

Meryam OImi, head of Sustainability and Responsible Investment Strategy at LGIM, said the investment firm “will continue to push companies to build business models fit for a prosperous, sustainable future.” LGIM’s name-and-shame strategy was enthusiastically endorsed last week in Forbes magazine for maintaining “a sophisticated approach to climate change.”

One has to wonder, however, about the wisdom of divesting Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s most successful fossil-fuel producers, at a time when world energy forecasters project continuing expansion of fossil fuel demand well into …

Whoa. Hold on a second. Let me go back a few paragraphs. Loblaw? Is that our Canadian Loblaw, national champion virtue-signalling food industry giant, master of green product marketing, installer of solar panels on supermarket roofs, and most recently recipient of government funding to help upgrade the company’s refrigeration units to make them more green?

By gosh, it is our Loblaw. In a release, LGIM said “Loblaw, the Canadian grocery chain,” will continue as an “exclusion candidate.” According to Angeli Behham, a corporate governance manger who leads LGIM’s “pledge engagements with the food sector,” Canada’s leading food company “has made improvements in its governance, appointing a Lead Independent Director to ensure a counter-balancing voice to the Chair/CEO role. But we believe there are still a number of necessary steps for companies of such scale, and look forward to continuing engagement and support for substantive changes in the future.” Only then, it seems, will Loblaw be removed from the “divested” list and “reinstated.”

A colleague here at FP Comment, Peter Foster, sent an email to a public affairs person at Loblaw’s head office in Toronto about LGIM’s listing of Loblaw as a climate laggard. “Did they tell you where you are falling short? Are you taking steps to regain their approval? Does this mean they don’t invest in you at all, or just in one of their funds?” There has been no reply as of deadline.

Meanwhile, back to Exxon Mobil, from which LGIM has commenced divesting. Presumably the objective is to use slow trickle-down divestiture as a form of blackmail: change your ways, Exxon, or we will take away our investment, publicly announce our intent and drive your share price down.

This may be terrific green headline-grabbing investment politics, but in the stock market world the plan seems a little naive. According to the latest forecasts — from the International Energy Agency, BP’s Energy Outlook, and McKinsey — world demand for Exxon’s products, fossil fuels, is expected to increase and remain steady over the coming decades.

Natural gas demand, for example, surged last year, and McKinsey reports that gas demand will continue to increase from about 3,500 billion cubic feet (bcf) today to a peak of about 4,200 bcf in 2035 before declining slightly back to today’s level by 2050. Over the next 30 years, oil will also gain from 100 million barrels a day (MMBD) a year today to 108 MMBD a year in 2033 before falling back down to 100 MMBD by 2050.

That means that Exxon and other fossil-fuel companies are forecast to produce a total of 3,000 MMBD of oil over the next 30 years and 120,000 billion cubic feet of gas.

By most investment standards, this is no time to be divesting fossil-fuel stocks. If LGIM and other dumb fund management clucks agitating for sustainable investment and divestment want no part of it, then let them have their political fun. Sell, baby, sell. As they do their bit to keep the fossil-fuel stocks low, they are creating buying opportunities for smarter investors. In future, it seems, the world will need more Exxon.

Comment:  How is it that so-called professional wealth managers can be so crippled with wish dreams and political correctness?  Do they think that everyone with disposable income lives in their progressive, post-modern bubble?  I hope they lose their shirts.  (Except for Quebec pension fund who need to send me a check every month.)

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Carbon Tax Dubious Economics

How could 3508 economists be wrong? Let us count the ways.

Michael Davis writes at Regulation Magazine The signatories of the recent “Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends” must address some important issues. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Economists are disagreeable people. And it’s good that they are. Most important economic questions are complex, multi-dimensional puzzles with no obvious, simple answers. But debate and disagreement advance our understanding of the world, and so good economists debate and disagree.

If you heard that thousands of the very best economists actually did agree on something, you’d probably think that it was something glaringly obvious—maybe they issued a joint statement condemning the designated hitter rule or calling for a total ban on Super Bowl halftime shows. But those aren’t the subject of the recent “Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends,” signed by 3,508 economists and released by the Climate Leadership Council. The statement supports the creation of a Pigouvian tax on U.S. carbon emissions on the grounds that “global climate change is a serious problem calling for immediate national action,” and that “a carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary.”

This agreement is remarkable! The environment and the economy are both complex systems. Intelligent people can agree on a few things involving them—of course, manmade global warming is real—but there is vast uncertainty about how the complex climate system interacts with the complex economic system to shape the human condition in the distant future. More importantly, core questions about climate change engage fundamental moral values about intergenerational equity. How to deal with climate change is the very epitome of a “wicked problem.”

[Note: Intelligent people also note that in the world (as opposed to models) manmade global warming has yet to be detected separately from natural global warming. I understand the author is not questioning the science or the impacts (later on), but is raising serious issues about the policy proposal.]

This is a serious proposal advanced by serious people to deal with a serious problem. But it is also a radical proposal. According to a joint study by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and the Urban Institute–Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, in the first year the tax would amount to about $2,000 for a family of four. No matter what is done with the tax revenues, this proposal would have far-reaching economic consequences.

And so, before we get too far along, we need a proper argument over this proposal’s merits. Here, then, are five important questions about the plan. Let’s hope these questions lead to some disagreeable, but fruitful, discussions.

QUESTION 1: What if these economists are right about the principle but wrong about the tax rate?

The principle behind the carbon tax makes perfect economic sense. The market price of any good reflects at least some of the costs of making that good. The price of a gallon of gas, for example, needs to be high enough to compensate all those who worked to get the gas into your car. But some goods—and gasoline is one of them—impose costs on others that are not reflected in the price. Economists call these costs “negative externalities.” If burning a gallon of gas causes damage to coastal property, drivers are not paying the full price of their consumption and that distorts their consumption choices. That’s unfair and inefficient.

The obvious solution is to levy a Pigouvian tax equal to the harm caused, forcing consumers to shoulder the externality cost of their consumption and, perhaps, change their consumption pattern. But we have very little idea of the magnitude of the actual harm from a ton of CO2 emissions and so we don’t really know how high this carbon tax should be. Estimates of the “Social Cost of Carbon” published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate that a ton of CO2-equivalent released in 2020 could cause harm of as little as $5 or as much as $123. (This roughly translates to a range of between 4¢ and $1 of damage from the burning of a gallon of gas.) The $40-per-ton tax suggested by the Statement signatories is a kind of average of several disparate estimates. As such, it is almost certainly the wrong number.

These economists will, no doubt, point out that the current carbon tax of zero is also wrong. But that observation, alone, is not enough to justify the proposed tax because setting the rate in excess of the actual external harm would cause real economic damage.

The economic argument in favor of carbon taxes needs to be coupled with a clear understanding that cheap, abundant energy has been an essential part of recent human progress. Fossil fuels provide food, shelter, health care, education, the arts, and countless other goods. They are not some vile poison, and consuming fossil fuels is not a shameful sin. When something is taxed, less is consumed. If, as seems likely, we consume too much energy from carbon-based resources, a tax can help to moderate that consumption appropriately. But if the tax is too high, we will consume too little. If we consume too little, we will miss out on some of the benefits that come from fossil fuels.

Here’s another problem related to the practical question of the appropriate carbon tax rate: Many fossil fuels are already heavily taxed. For example, the average tax on motor fuels is now about 48¢ per gallon, the equivalent to a tax of $54 per ton of carbon. These taxes exist mostly to raise revenue for transportation infrastructure, not control some other externality. Should the proposed new carbon tax be in addition to those existing taxes?

QUESTION 2: Should the United States impose carbon taxes even if the rest of the world does not?

In 2019 the world will produce a bit more than 35 gigatons of CO2-equivalent emissions. The United States will contribute about 5 gigatons to that total. The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts that, in 2040, world emissions will increase to 43 gigatons while U.S. emissions will drop by a small amount. A 2018 report by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University forecasts that if we impose a tax of $50 per ton of carbon in 2020 and increase that tax by 2% per year, annual U.S. emissions will fall by 13%–29% by 2030. But by 2030, U.S. emissions will be less than 15% of the world total. Even under the best-case scenario, our carbon tax would reduce global emissions by less than 5% and climate change will continue.

If the rest of the world doesn’t join us, the U.S. carbon tax won’t matter. This leads to a related problem. If the United States levies a carbon tax, it becomes more expensive for U.S. firms to make and transport goods. That means a U.S. carbon tax will reward those countries that don’t do anything to reduce their emissions by giving those places a competitive advantage. Exploiting that advantage will likely be too much of a temptation for others—especially developing countries with desperately poor people—to ignore. It is even possible that by pushing energy-intensive production to places with no controls on carbon emissions, this policy will make global emissions worse.

QUESTION 3: Doesn’t the “border-adjustment tax” that has to be part of the plan present enormous practical and political problems?

This carbon tax should not just apply to U.S. emissions, but to foreign emissions resulting from goods imported into the United States. Assessing a border-adjustment tax on these goods would be difficult from both an economic and political perspective. For example, almost 5% of the world’s carbon emissions result from the production of cement. But different production technologies for cement and different modes of transportation result in vastly different emissions. Even though two different shipments of cement may be practically identical, they won’t have similar carbon footprints. How would U.S. authorities determine which bags of cement face what tax rates?

The political problems are also tough. First of all, to the rest of the world a border-adjustment tax would seem like a tariff. How would we impose this tax without violating treaty obligations and without inviting retaliation? Second, how would we keep the crony capitalists away from the treats? The temptation to game the system for competitive advantage would be enormous.

QUESTION 4: What about adaptation?

All but the most apocalyptic of the potential harms from global warming can be managed through some type of adaptation to the changing climate. Building practices, for example, can be changed to deal with the threat of rising sea levels. There is also the possibility of some sort of geo-engineering solution. Remember that atmospheric CO2 is an otherwise harmless substance and that the burning of fossil fuels is enormously valuable. This means that if it is less costly to adapt to the effects of a ton of CO2 emissions than it is to eliminate the carbon, we should adapt. But to the extent that the carbon tax actually works to reduce CO2 emissions, it creates disincentives to adapt.

The proponents of a tax might say that the estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon already balance adaptation costs. The problem with that argument, though, is that the most effective adaptation solutions probably haven’t been created. New technologies to deal with climate change—altering agriculture practices, geo-engineering solutions, and other initiatives we can’t currently imagine— may well prove extraordinarily effective and efficient. An effective carbon tax reduces the incentive to find those solutions that allow us to enjoy the benefits of fossil fuel use without much cost.

QUESTION 5: Isn’t economic growth much more important than lowering CO2?

Every four years, a distinguished group of analysts delivers to Congress the “National Climate Assessment.” The latest version came out last November and was full of sobering projections. Anyone who chooses to ignore the threat of global warming should read what it has to say. Among the direst warnings was a graphic showing that if the worst-case scenario played out, by 2100 the effects of global warming would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by about 15% from current projections. To put that number in perspective, during the 2008 recession GDP fell by about 1%. That was accompanied by huge increases in unemployment and economic dislocation. Between 1929 and 1933, the worst years of the Great Depression, GDP fell by about 34%. That led to tremendous misery and, arguably, a world war. Remember, too, that the potential decline of 15% of GDP in 2100 isn’t just a short-term event. As bad as the Great Depression was, the economy recovered. The scary scenario is that by failing to address global warming, we will cause future generations to suffer a huge permanent decline in GDP.

But there’s another thing to keep in mind: if the United States could boost annual GDP growth rates between now and 2100 by an additional 0.2 percentage points, by the year 2100 U.S. GDP would be more than 17% larger than is currently projected. Think about it this way: Suppose that you had to pick between two tax policies. The first would reduce U.S. carbon emissions and maybe prevent the potential loss of 15% of GDP by 2100. The second would increase annual growth rates by 0.2 percentage points, increasing GDP by 17% by 2100.

As you’re picking between the choices, keep in mind that even if the carbon policy controls U.S. emissions, it is uncertain whether the rest of the world will go along and climate change will stop. Remember, too, that there is huge uncertainty about the specifics of global warming. The carbon emissions policies target the worst-case scenario. The GDP growth policy, on the other hand, doesn’t depend on the rest of the world and the benefits are guaranteed by the simple mathematics of compound growth.

Don’t try to waive off this choice by saying you want to do it all. We all want many things, but what we can have is bounded by our scarce resources. This particular group of distinguished economists has—quite deservedly—an impressive stock of political capital and prestige. But political capital and prestige are two such scarce resources. Why target carbon taxes rather than growth-enhancing tax reform?

Climate lemmings sticking together.

CONCLUSION

Let’s end where we started, with a call for a conversation. These five questions aren’t intended as some snarky put-down of a silly economic proposal. No good economist—and certainly none of the 3,508 who signed the Statement—should feel disrespectfully challenged by these questions. There are intelligent responses to each of these questions. And at the end of the discussion, we should all have a better idea about whether the answers are good enough to go ahead with the tax.

Kerry’s Blarney and Murphy’s Law

Recently former unsuccessful Presidential candidate and US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork, Ireland. He missed seeing the boomerang on the accusation of his own lying, unless of course he no longer considers himself a world leader.  As we shall see, Kerry would have been better served by using the cork to shut up with his fear-mongering. The article is in Irish Examiner. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

World leaders are lying to the public about the climate crisis and dismissing scientific evidence.

That was the stark warning from former US Secretary of State John Kerry who said the truth is not just being ignored but altered.

“Today we have public leaders who not only try to avoid the truth, but who try to alter it, through thousands of lies,” he said.

Mr Kerry was speaking after addressing a global oceans summit in Cork where he said the world and its climate do not have the time or space to deal with “presidents and prime ministers” who deny the truth about climate change.

However, he told delegates at the Our Ocean Wealth summit that the tide can be turned if governments face up to the truth and act faster.

Mr Kerry is leading a global effort to deliver more Marine Protected Areas but warned that humans are changing the chemistry of that oceans faster than it has been changed in the last 50m years.

“We can’t protect oceans without solving the problem of climate change and we can’t solve that without protecting the oceans — they go hand in hand,” he said.

“I believe we can do this. My frustration is that we are not doing what we know we can do. And time is not on our side.

“We know the enemy — the enemy is man-made. If it’s man-made it can be ‘man-solved’.

While Kerry was talking Blarney in Ireland, Robert Murphy was laying down the Law in Connecticut.  Zero Hedge reported his remarks in an article What Universities Won’t Teach College Students About The Economics Of Climate Change. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

[Authored by Robert Murphy via The Institute for Energy Research]

I recently gave a talk to a student group at Connecticut College on the economics of climate change. (The video is broken up into three parts on my YouTube channel: one, two, and three.) In this post I’ll summarize three of my main points:

(1) There is a huge disconnect between what the published economics research actually says about government policies to limit global warming, and how the media is reporting it.

(2) President Trump taking the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement doesn’t really affect anything on the margin, even if we stipulate the alarmist position on climate change. And

(3) If I’m wrong, and human-caused climate change really does pose a dire threat to humanity in the next few decades, then scientists are currently working on several lines of research of practical ways to actually deal with the problem.

The “Consensus Research” Does Not Justify Radical Political Intervention

To demonstrate just how wide the chasm is between the actual economics research and the media treatment of these issues, I described to the students the spectacle I observed back in the fall of 2018, when on the same weekend news came out that William Nordhaus had won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on the economics of climate change and that the UN released a “Special Report” advising governments to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The media treatment (sometimes in the same story) presented these events with no sense of conflict or irony, leading regular citizens to assume that Nordhaus’ Nobel-winning work supported the UN’s goals for policymakers.

But that is not true at all. Here’s a graph from a 2017 Nordhaus publication that I included in my presentation:
As the figure shows, Nordhaus’ model—and again, this isn’t cooked up by the Heritage Foundation, but instead was one selected by the Obama Administration’s EPA and was the reason he won the Nobel Prize—projects that if governments “did nothing,” total global warming would reach about 4.1 degrees Celsius. In contrast, if governments implemented the “optimal carbon tax,” as Nordhaus would recommend in a perfect world, then total warming would be about 3.5 degrees Celsius.

Anyone remotely familiar with the climate change policy debate knows that such an amount of warming would terrify the prominent activists and groups advocating for a political solution. They would quite confidently tell the public that warming of this amount would spell absolute catastrophe for future generations.

My point here isn’t to endorse Nordhaus’ model. My point is simply that Americans never heard anything about this when the media simultaneously covered Nordhaus’ award and the UN’s document calling for a 1.5°C limit. And yet, Nordhaus’ own work—not shown in the figure above, but I spell it out here—clearly concludes that such an aggressive target would cause far more damage to humans in the form of reduced economic output, that it would be better for governments to “do nothing” about climate change at all.

With or Without the United States, the Paris Agreement Was Going to “Fail”

To continue with the theme of how they’ve been misinformed, I reminded the students of the media’s apoplexy when Trump announced his intention to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement (or treaty, in lay terms). I showed them a headline in which famed physicist Stephen Hawking said Trump was pushing the planet “over the brink.”

I then asked the students rhetorically, “You would think that the Paris Agreement was going to ‘work’ to contain the threat of climate change, except for Trump pulling out and wrecking it, right?

And yet, the pro-intervention group ClimateActionTracker.org nicely illustrates that even if all countries met their pledges (including the U.S.), it wouldn’t come close to limiting warming to the weaker benchmark of 2°C, let alone the newer, more chic target of 1.5°C. Things were even worse if we evaluated the actual policies of governments (as opposed to what they stated they intended to do, about limiting their emissions).

Technological Solutions

After spending so much time showing that the political “solutions” were failing even on their own terms, I summarized a few avenues of research (see this article for details) where scientists are exploring techniques to either remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or reflect some incoming sunlight. Although I personally do not think human-caused climate change is a crisis, and do think that adaptation coming from normal economic growth will be more than sufficient to deal with any problems along the way, nonetheless scientists do have these other techniques in their back pocket, should they become necessary to “buy humanity a few decades of breathing room” while technology advances in the transportation and energy sectors.

Conclusion

Americans, especially students, are being whipped into a panic over the allegedly existential threat of climate change. Yet the actual research, summarized in the UN’s own periodic reports and in the research of a Nobel laureate in the field, shows that at best only a modest “leaning against the wind” could be justified according to standard economic science.

By their own criteria, the alarmist activists are admitting that political measures are nowhere near achieving their goals. Their own rhetoric says that these activists are wasting everyone’s time pushing solutions that will end in catastrophe. Occasionally they slip up, as for example when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez admits that her “we have 12 years left” was not to be taken literally.

In order to bring light to the climate change debate, at this point one just needs to actually screenshot and explain the evidence from the establishment sources. The rhetorical framing of the issue is so far removed from the underlying research that this alone is heretical.

See Also:  Economists as “Useful Idiots” for Green Socialists

Zero Carbon $$ Poppycock


Tim Worstall writes at Adam Smith The Observer is More Than Usually Confused on the Subject of Climate Change.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The costs of doing something about climate change versus the costs of not is a subject that has been well hashed over in the Stern Review and the work of William Nordhaus. No point in revisiting all of that here. However, The Observer manages to get itself more than usually confused over the subject in the business editorial.

The idea is that we should strive ahead to be a zero carbon society and economy because we’ll create vast profits from having done so.

But the spin-off economic benefits of being in the vanguard of decarbonisation are potentially enormous. The countries that move first to develop green technologies will reap monopoly profits until such time as their rivals catch up.

That’s not quite how it’s working out already. Britain installs a large number of solar panels – too many for a country so far north perhaps – but not one single solar cell is made in Britain. It’s difficult to have world leadership in the manufacturing of a technology when you don’t actually do the manufacture. To be world leader in solar panel installation might be a nice green badge to wear on the Scout’s uniform but being able to nail things to the roof is not what international monopolies are built of. We seem to import our windmills from Denmark and such places. And so on.

But even to think along such lines is to be making a category error. For while it might be true that government policy encourages the development and deployment of such technologies it’s not actually government, nor the country, that does or will own them. They do belong and will belong to the private sector economic actors who develop them.

Perhaps Drax will solve the thorny problem of carbon capture without expending so much energy doing the capturing as to make the process economic. Unlikely but still – that process will belong to Drax, not GB PLC.

That’s not the only error of course. For British companies to be able to extract monopoly profits from foreigners means that they must have actual monopolies. Which means that they’ll have a monopoly over their technologies here in the UK too, extracting monopoly profits from our hides. Which isn’t the point nor the policy at all, is it?

There’re unlikely to be monopoly profits from going green, they wouldn’t belong to the nation that suffered the costs and even if there were we’d be working as hard as we could to break the monopoly for fear of the costs such would extract from us. Meaning that the promise of global monopoly profits from going green isn’t all that alluring a prospect, doesn’t it?

Climate Cartel: Watch Your Wallets

Climate bonds and pledges are creating virtual finance and group think cartels based on the faulty scientific premise that carbon dioxide controls climate change, when it is the sun’s direct and indirect effect.  Billions of dollars are being applied to the wrong societal response; children are being misled and frightened and society is left unprepared for impending cooling of a solar minimum. H/T Friends of Science

Background

On May 28, 2019, the National Observer reported on The Clean Energy Ministerial conference at Vancouver, the 10th of its kind, bringing together energy ministers from 25 countries as well as other officials from government, industry and non-governmental organizations that represent the bulk of clean energy investment. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

One of the top officials at the European Union’s lending arm  ,Ambroise Fayolle, vice president of the European Investment Bank, said investments connected with the climate crisis and the low-carbon transition will continue and expand.

“It’s clearly going to stay. The needs are huge. We know that in Europe only, we would need to invest 400 billion euros ($602 billion) every year to catch up on the needs of energy efficiency.”

The EIB has a requirement that at least a quarter of its investments must be related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. In 2018, it directed 16.2 billion euros ($24.4 billion) to this effort in 2018, or close to 30 per cent, which is above its target.

The bank is trying to generate new low-carbon markets, said Fayolle, though initiatives such as its Climate Awareness Bond, the first green bonds which began about a decade ago.

Billions of Public and Private Funds Misallocated

This public sector policy flies in the face of observable facts. Friends of Science Society says the sun drives climate change, not carbon dioxide. The sun is moving into a cooling period as reported by Space Weather on April 10, 2019, meaning fossil fuel stocks will be more valuable than ever.

In fact, the world has cooled half a degree Celsius (0.5°C) in the past three years as the solar minimum kicks in, according to the December 2018, NASA GISS temperature record.

In an analysis of future energy markets by BP, summarized by Robert Lyman in a May 29, 2019 blog post all fossil fuel use is predicted to grow to at least 2040.

Lyman deconstructs “green energy” advocates’ myths that conventional energy is diminishing in volume or demand versus the actual data which shows the opposite to be true.

Friends of Science Society says the financial community has embarked on a path far removed from climate science, focusing solely on the carbon dioxide molecule, rather than the larger climate picture. The National Observer article on climate investments of May 28, 2019, quotes Alberta Premier Jason Kenney calling concerns over “climate risk” the “flavor of the week.”

Groups like the UNPRI and Climate Bond Initiatives and the CDP Worldwide have effectively created a ‘climate cartel’ of activist investors, focussed on making signatories agree to investing only in projects that support goals to lower carbon dioxide. This has skewed investment in projects like the Alberta oil sands, as reported in a previous press release by Friends of Science of March 22, 2018. This leaves valuable oil sands assets open to vulture investors, reducing the long-term net worth of these reserves to Canada.

Friends of Science Society says many financial and philanthropic community members associated with climate bonds have funded environmental groups. Those groups have ramped up fears of a warming world and alleged ‘climate emergency’ to create a societal ‘climate psychosis.’ Unnecessary fear grips children, evidenced in the sad story of Greta Thunberg, as told in Quillette of April 23, 2019.

In Canada, part of that psychosis is born out of the “Tar Sands Campaign” – a Green Trade War against Canada’s primary resource industry, as discussed in an op-ed on Friends of Science blog of May 26, 2019. LINK: blog.friendsofscience.org/2019/05/26/down-the-rabbit-hole-with-andrew-nikiforuk/

As Emeritus Professor Francois Gervais presented at the 2018 Porto Climate Conference, the scientific consensus now is that carbon dioxide’s effect on warming in nominal to nil, meaning a low-carbon dioxide transition will have no effect on global warming but will be burdensome in terms of debt to future generations. 

“Such a policy goal would make humanity $14 trillion poorer compared to doing nothing at all about climate change,” estimates Robert Murphy in his analysis of Nobel winning economist William Nordhaus’ work regarding the UN’s Paris targets of limiting carbon dioxide, published Nov. 5, 2018 article in The Library of Economics and Liberty.

Is it moral to leave our children freezing in the dark, terrified of life itself and saddled with debt, to make ‘low-carbon’ investors rich?

About  Friends of Science Society is an independent group of earth, atmospheric and solar scientists, engineers, and citizens who are celebrating its 16th year of offering climate science insights. After a thorough review of a broad spectrum of literature on climate change, Friends of Science Society has concluded that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2).

Footnote:

Willie Soon is both humorous and informative in addressing Friends of Science recently:

 

 

 

New Low in Climate Posturing

At least Madonna posing was entertaining, and children get to feel good about skipping school in order to stop the climate from changing.  But some posturing is both vapid and damaging.

The New York Post Editorial Board explains: A new low in posturing over climate change. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Of all New York politicians’ efforts to posture on climate change, the drive to divest public pension funds from fossil fuels may be the most deranged.

The bill from state Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-B’klyn) would force state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to sell off all the fund’s holdings in the 200 largest oil, gas and coal companies within five years.

The unions whose members’ retirements depend on the funds are against it. A union-funded report found that the fossil-fuel holdings outperform their green-energy counterparts in the long term.

Also in opposition is DiNapoli, who notes that “manipulation by legislative fiat has hurt pension funds in other states.”

The pension fund pays more than $1 billion a month in benefits. With an unaudited value of $210.2 billion, it now has about $6 billion in fossil-fuel stocks. Diversification of investments is central to fiscal prudence: Let politicians start banning any given stock, and you’re well on the road to requiring a massive taxpayer bailout — and/or huge cuts to the pensions of some classes of retirees.

Thankfully, New York courts have struck down past legislative efforts to mandate specific investment decisions: The state Constitution protects the comptroller’s discretion.

But that’s no guarantee that the principle will survive the climate-change zealots. After all, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called on the state authorities he controls (the MTA, the New York Power Authority, the Thruway Authority) to divest from fossil fuels.

All that magical thinking about fighting climate change just might persuade state judges. And DiNapoli is surely worried that, if he goes to court over the issue, he’ll face a challenger in the next election who’ll promise to do as the green extremists demand.

Sensible lawmakers need to quash this nonsense before it goes any further.

Woke Capitalists: Corporate Vigilantes

Some recent reports note a disturbing trend in large and influential corporations. Having worked in and for some of these, I believe the incidents show a dangerous virus is mutating from academia to the workplace. The import of these developments is not good for free enterprise or for individual freedoms.

Warning bells in the past concerned punative efforts against some employees to silence their discomforting opinions. For example James Damore was fired by Google for saying that staffing with the most competent techies is more important than gender hiring quotas. Now it appears such events are not atypical, but reflect a systemic takeover of corporate cultures.

Rod Dreher writes at American Conservative Woke Capitalism Is Our Enemy. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Pro tip: whenever you hear a management type talk about “diversity” and “inclusion,” you may be certain that you are about to hear a rationale for creating a more ideologically uniform and ideologically exclusive community.

A reader has sent me internal documents from a leading global corporation having to do with its employee program to create a Diverse and Inclusive culture. I am not allowed to quote from the documents, or to identify the company, so I’m going to be delicate here in what I describe, to honor the reader’s request to protect privacy. The reader said:

It confirms what you have been saying all along. You are absolutely correct about the “soft totalitarianism” that is coming. It’s already happening, and it’s picking up speed.

The documents are pretty shocking to my eyes, because I know what I’m looking at. It is 100 percent, pure, uncut Human Resources Department cant. What’s so amazing about it — truly amazing — is that it is all about coercing people into accepting and participating in a cultural revolution by redefining the revolution’s goals and methods as good for business, and a chance for employees to exercise virtue.

This particular company’s program is far more sophisticated and thorough than anything I’ve seen before. It is totalitarian in the sense that it encompasses nearly every aspect of life in the company. From reading these documents, you would think that the purpose of this company is to shape the cultural politics and behavior of its employees. I’m not kidding you: it’s like a church organization trying to catechize and discipline its employees in true religion — and part of that discipline is urging them to police their own ranks for heretics. It even instructs employees to conduct struggle sessions within themselves to root out false beliefs that undermine Diversity and Inclusion.

Though it’s stated in happy-clappy HR jargon, it’s clear that the company is training its employees to monitor each other for signs of bias, and encouraging them to call out each other. Incredible. It’s the Stasification of the American workplace. And the program instructs employees to think and talk about Diversity and Inclusion all the time, in everything they do. Seriously, it does. If I were an employee there, I would find all this completely unnerving. I would wonder constantly if I were being monitored by my co-workers and judged for not showing enough commitment to Diversity and Inclusion. I would watch what I said, but also worry about what I did not say. It would make me a nervous wreck.

Again, I’m not going to name the company or give identifying details about the program. I am quite confident that what I’ve said here describes the internal culture many corporations are building. I’m sure many of you readers are thinking, “That sounds like where I work.” It is coercive, and it is totalitarian. It is going to create massive suspicion and mistrust within companies that do this, in part because it is going to empower members of particular groups to harass others in the workplace, to inform on others, and even to affect their salaries and impede their career advancement.

Get this: the way this particular program is set up, you don’t have to participate, but failing to do so will be noted, and it’s going to affect your pay. It’s not enough to sign up for the program in a pro forma way, and then simply be quiet about it. You are expected to be an active, vocal advocate of its principles. From what I can tell, it appears that they have the rudiments of a Chinese-style Social Credit System structure to monitor employee enthusiasm.

You might be a first-rate maker of widgets for this corporation, or a superb sales executive, manager, whatever, and you may be a diligent employee who is honest and works well with others. But if you are not 100 percent aboard the Party’s company’s ideological campaign for cultural revolution, it will go down in your employee record, and it will affect your future at the company.

When you see these documents, and realize that this is how it is inside one of the world’s leading corporations, you know perfectly well that this is quickly going to become normative in corporations, if it isn’t already. What kind of future do any of us deplorables (or our kids) have in corporate life when workplaces become communities of coerced wokeness?

What? Have you no respect for diversity?

Let me put it to you like this. If this were the US Government, and it pushed “patriotism” on its employees following the same platform and methods that this corporation is pushing “diversity and inclusion,” people would freak out at the coerciveness and invasion of privacy. And they would be right to! Imagine that you, a US government employee, were told to monitor yourself constantly to root out a lack of patriotism. How … Soviet would that feel? Well, that’s what this corporation is doing to its employees regarding diversity and inclusion.

The familiar left vs. right categories no longer serve as reliable guides to our cultural reality. The cultural left has captured the bureaucracies at American corporations. One thing we hear a lot from our friends on the left is that Big Business is conservative, and would never do anything that would hurt its bottom line. Wrong! I have seen personally how companies will do politically correct things that actually hurt their business model, but that win its management pats on the back among their social cohort. These documents I looked at today assert — assert, do not argue — that the total politicization of the company’s culture is critical to its business success … and then go on to describe a program that is almost certainly going to cause major problems with teamwork, cohesiveness, and conflict. These documents are a recipe for creating intense anxiety and suspicion within the company. It’s as clear as day. You cannot imagine why any sensible company would embrace these principles and techniques, which can only hurt its ability to compete. But there it is, in black and white.

Woke capitalism is a vanguard of unfreedom. It’s happening. We have to be prepared to resist.

My Comment

I have done consulting with enough HR departments to know that they are not power centers in companies, but are seen rather as administrative overhead. The line operations make or break the bottom line, and there the credo of middle managers still holds: “Whatever interests my boss, thrills the hell out of me.” Thus in any company where HR is going viral with social justice, diversity inclusion and the rest of it, it can only happen if HR is carrying water for the CEO and everyone knows it.

That appears to be the case, as described by Nick Dedeke in his article at Real Clear Poliitcs Is Corporate Vigilantism a Threat to Democracy? Excerpts in italicss with my bolds.

A serious issue has gained prominence in modern society the last few years: The executives and/or founders of large companies increasingly consider it their civic and moral duty to use the influences and powers of their businesses to censor or suppress political and/or inconvenient ideas they do not support or find offensive. This mindset is reflected in the following statement from PayPal CEO Daniel Schulman: “Businesses need to be a force for good in those values and issues that they believe in.” Taken in isolation, this is a very good philosophy. However, one needs to also examine the implications of it in practice.

Recently, PayPal decided to stop processing financial transactions for customers it deemed to have hateful political views. Not long ago, MasterCard and Visa refused to process any donations to David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, a conservative nonprofit. The crime? Horowitz had personal and/or political views that were judged by the credit card companies to be hateful. YouTube has banned some Prager University (PragerU) videos (PragerU is not a higher learning institution, but a nonprofit that promulgates conservative views.) Selected content from conservatives, Christian and some liberal-leaning groups has also been removed from social media and the accounts of the targets were deleted or deactivated.

The motivation for these actions is the desire of the executives of these companies to be “good” by punishing the “bad.” These executives, and their supporters, declare that their actions are protected by the laws of the United States of America, which they claim permit them to run their private businesses any way they deem fit.

Two questions need to be asked. First, does a private business have a boundary? If so, where is it? These are critical questions that need to be answered. Without defining the boundary of the modern business, we are likely going to alter, in negative ways, the civic foundations of our society. I do agree that a business should be allowed to have maximum freedom to be run as its founder sees fit. However, I also believe that the boundary of a business has to be limited to its business charter. PayPal has a charter to process payments for society; it does not have a charter to make society “good.”

I argue that many of the well-intentioned actions taken by executives of large corporations fall under what one could call corporate vigilantism. In a notable academic analysis, Les Johnston identified six criteria that are common to most vigilantism. (1) there is planning and premeditation by those engaged in such actions; (2) the actors are private citizens acting voluntarily; (3) the actors view their actions as “autonomous citizenship”; (4) the actors use or threaten to use force and pressure against targets; (5) the actors go into action to protect an established or new order from actual, potential or imputed transgressions; (6) the actors aim to control crime or other social infractions.

It should be noted that vigilantism is not new. It is likely the most popular form of justice in countries in which there are no mature civil institutions. However, vigilantism is a danger wherever it is found. There are three reasons for this. First is that it violates a basic organizing principle of society — namely, that institutions are only allowed to perform duties for which they have a societal mandate. There is no known societal law or mandate that empowers a corporate executive to be the vanguard of moral actions, choices and speech in society.

Second, vigilantism violates the essential principle of separation of powers, which is so essential to the norms of justice. In most vigilante processes, the same institution or group of people constitutes the judge, jury and executioner. Hence, the vigilante system has, by design, inherent, embedded and systemic biases.

Third, the vigilante process is not equipped to recognize its own biases. When asked about how PayPal, in collaboration with the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center, determines when to decline services to customers, Schulman told the Wall Street Journal: “We don’t always agree. We have our debates with [SPLC]. We are very respectful with everyone coming in. We will do the examination carefully. We’ll talk when we don’t agree with a finding: We understand why you think that way, but it still goes into the realm of free speech for us.” Despite this claim of evenhandedness, however, the majority of blocked customers are right-leaning groups and individuals.

A common protest is raised when one questions corporate vigilantism. People often respond by asking, “But, it is their business, isn’t it?” Yes, it is. But, society still has a role to play if and when the pursuit of private business’s self-interest is in conflict with major interests of its customers or the public. That is why regulations were enacted when we realized that private businesses were polluting rivers and other water resources. That is why the new, and stricter, European General Data Protection Regulation was enacted. That is why there is a process whereby new drugs have to be vetted and approved by a neutral party, such as the Food and Drug Administration, before they can be sold to the public. What do these actions have in common? They all involve the establishment of mechanisms that limit the authority of large organizations to exercise their freedom at the expense of the freedoms of others.

There is no debate that an executive of a company could support a political candidate or give money to any cause she/he pleases to do. The executive can also hire and fire anyone that she/he pleases. But this is quite different from what we see in corporate vigilantism. We hear about an executive of a corporation threatening to withdraw its businesses from a state because of perceived political and/or moral transgressions by people there. Or we read about an executive threatening to abandon or exclude a state from its expansion plans if and when a political organ of the state votes for the “wrong” cause or the “wrong” policy. These are some of the most dangerous kinds of politicization that can occur in a society. There is little difference between such corporate vigilantism and what we call corruption. What would you say if a politician promised to give voters money — if they vote a certain way? What would you think of a company that threatened to punish voters if they dared to vote a certain way?

We have had no laws curbing corporate vigilantism in the United States. This is because most business founders knew and/or believed that one should not mix politics and business. Unfortunately, things have changed. For a large corporation today, there is little or no penalty for using one’s near-monopolistic position to shut down the freedoms of others.

The spirit of vigilantism that makes a restaurant owner eject a customer who holds different political views is the same mindset that prompts executives of some large corporations to punish opinions, choices and actions that they do not like. The only difference is in the type and scope of harm done. Vigilantism corrupts free democratic societies, sooner or later, if action is not taken to curb it.

Nick Dedeke teaches information management courses at Northeastern University.

Activists Demand Shell Commit Harikari

CNN proudly proclaims: Climate groups threaten lawsuit to force Shell to ditch oil  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The groups have accused Shell of “deliberately obstructing” efforts to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, the key goal of the Paris agreement. Pressure on companies has been building since the UN warned last year that the world has only 12 years to avert a climate disaster.

The company has no concrete plans to align its business strategy with the commitments contained in the agreement,” Joris Thijssen, the director of Greenpeace Netherlands, said in a statement.

Shell spends billions on oil and gas exploration each year, with current plans to invest just 5 percent of its budget in sustainable energy and 95 percent in exploiting fossil fuels,” the groups said.

Climate Liability News has the story Shell Sued in the Netherlands for Insufficient Action On Climate Change.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Seven environmental and human rights organizations in the Netherlands have filed suit against Royal Dutch Shell for failing to align its business model with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The suit, which is the first to directly challenge an oil company’s business model, was filed Friday in The Hague by Friends of the Earth Netherlands/ Milieudefensie, Greenpeace Netherlands, five other organizations and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens.

The plaintiffs are not seeking financial compensation, but are asking Shell to adjust its business model in order to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as recommended by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They allege that by following a business model that it knows will not reach these goals, Shell is violating a Dutch law prohibiting “unlawful endangerment” and is violating human rights by taking insufficient action against climate change.

“If successful, the uniqueness of the case would be that Shell – as one of the largest multinational corporations in the world – would be legally obligated to change its business operations,” said Milieudefensie attorney Roger Cox, who also represented plaintiffs in the landmark Urgenda suit.

Urgenda was the first case in which a court ordered a government to reduce its emissions and the first time a court ruled that not taking sufficient action on climate change is a human rights violation.

Plaintiffs allege Shell’s current business model threatens human rights because the oil giant is knowingly undermining the world’s chances to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. They maintain that rather than guarantee emission reductions, Shell’s current plan would contribute to a much larger global temperature increase.

Shell did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but in a Dec. 2018 press release said it “aims to reduce the net carbon footprint of its energy products by around half by 2050, and by around 20% by 2035, in step with society’s drive to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Plaintiffs maintain that a reduction of the company’s carbon footprint is not the same as a reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions because the carbon footprint involves a relative reduction in carbon emissions per unit of energy produced for the market, not an absolute reduction. Shell could reach its goals by producing as many units of renewable energy as it does oil and gas and could therefore reduce its carbon intensity by half without ever having to reduce its production or trade of fossil fuels.

By using this formula, plaintiffs contend that Shell – which has announced plans to link executive pay to the targets – could reach its stated goals without reducing its carbon emissions.

They say even if Shell’s goals were specific to emission reductions, the company’s target of a 50 percent reduction by 2050 still falls short of the IPCC recommendation that carbon emissions reach net zero by mid-century.

If successful, the lawsuit will be the first in which a company is ordered to reduce emissions.

The suit should come as no surprise to Shell. As required by the Dutch legal system, the defendant organizations sent the company a liability letter last year, demanding it cut back on its oil and gas production and align its business strategy with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Shell rejected those demands, saying it “strongly supports” the goals of the Paris Agreement and pointing to the company’s Sky scenario, as “a technically possible but challenging pathway” toward achieving those goals. The groups, which encouraged Dutch citizens to sign on to the suit, announced in February they intended to sue the oil giant.

According to the Carbon Majors report, which was compiled and released in 2017 by the Climate Accountability Institute, Shell ranked sixth in the world in cumulative greenhouse gas emissions between 1854 and 2010.

Plaintiffs maintain it is still possible to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius, but doing so will require immediate large-scale changes, including a transition to renewable energy and drastic emission reductions by Shell and other carbon polluters.

“We also expect that this [case] would have an effect on other fossil fuel companies, raising the pressure on them to change,” Cox also said that unlike previous cases which sought financial compensation for the effects of climate change, this one involves asking the judge to order Shell to ensure its activities have zero percent carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Methinks these folks should beware their wishes coming true:

See Also  Going Dutch: How Not to Cut Emissions

 

Investor/Activists Repelled

Climate Activists storm the bastion of Exxon Mobil, here seen without their shareholder disguises.

But their latest weapon of mass corporate destruction was defused by the SEC.  European energy companies were not so fortunate.  The story comes from CNN, who disapprove of the result. SEC sides with Exxon by blocking major climate vote.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

New York (CNN Business)ExxonMobil has dodged a climate change shareholder vote — with some help from the SEC.

The agency granted Exxon’s request to block a shareholder resolution that would have urged the oil behemoth to adopt and disclose greenhouse gas emissions targets on its business and products in line with the Paris climate accord.

The SEC ruled that the nonbinding proposal, which was backed by investors with $9.5 trillion in assets, would “micromanage” Exxon (XOM) by seeking to impose “specific methods for implementing complex policies” in place of managerial judgment.

The decision deals a blow to momentum in the investment community to coax force fossil fuel companies to come to terms with the realities conform to alarmists’ views of climate change. Exxon’s European rivals have already agreed caved in to adopt similar emissions targets.

But backers of the proposal, including the New York State pension, vowed to keep fighting for change at Exxon and other oil companies.

“We’re not going away,” New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who runs the state’s pension fund, told CNN Business. “Don’t take a minor setback as defeat. It’s part of a longer process.”

The New York State Common Retirement Fund, which owned 10.5 million shares of Exxon as of the end of last year, led the Exxon shareholder proposal along with the Church of England’s endowment fund. DiNapoli suggested the SEC’s position was “influenced” by the Trump administration’s climate change skepticism.  “We’ve had a national administration spend a lot of time denying that climate change is a reality,” DiNapoli said.

Exxon declined to comment on the SEC ruling.

Exxon fought ‘vague’ resolution

The Exxon battle comes after DiNapoli’s office and the Church of England won a landmark victory against the world’s largest publicly traded oil company two years ago.

More than 60% of Exxon shareholders in May 2017 backed a separate proposal urging the company to do more to disclose the risk it faces from efforts to regulate carbon emissions. Six months after the rare rebuke, Exxon stopped resisting and agreed to reveal these climate risks.

Shareholder activism is on the rise, but companies are fighting back

But Exxon fought hard against this latest resolution. In letters to the agency, Exxon strongly urged SEC staff members to confirm they would not recommend punishing the company for leaving the proposal out of its annual proxy vote.

Exxon argued that the proposal is “vague and indefinite,” seeks to “micromanage the company” and has already been “substantially implemented.”

Exxon pointed to the company’s 2018 Energy and Carbon Summary as evidence that it is already doing its part to address the risks of climate change. Exxon pointed to other climate-related steps, including promises to cut emissions, research into fuel cells and biofuels and purchases of wind and solar energy.
And Exxon warned that “unilateral action” disconnected to government policy changes and consumer demand “could harm ExxonMobil’s business” and prevent the company from meeting the world’s energy needs,

European oil majors take different approach

The Exxon victory comes as major corporations are fighting to impose constraints on proxy advisory firms and what they view as “political” resolutions from activist shareholders.

In sharp contrast to US oil giants, European oil companies Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), BP and Total (TOT) have either agreed to set emissions goals or are in the process of doing so. BP (BP) recently agreed to link the bonuses of 36,000 of its workers to climate change targets. Shell announced this week that it will quit a major US oil lobby because it disagrees with the group’s climate change policies.

The divergent approaches reflect the more urgent climate change concerns among European governments, shareholders and citizens.

U.S. Elites $$$ Funding Overthrow of Canadian Government Policy (by force and violence)

pipeline-protest
A current example of disrupting lawful development activity in Canada is the illegal protests against the LNG pipeline in BC.  Amy Judd writes at Global News RCMP arrest 14 at anti-pipeline protest in northern B.C.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The RCMP say it has arrested 14 people Monday evening for allegedly violating the conditions of an interim court injunction requiring the removal of a blockade to a forest service road in northern British Columbia that is preventing access to a pipeline project.

The interim injunction issued by the B.C. Supreme Court in mid-December orders anyone who interferes with the Coastal GasLink project in and around the Morice River Bridge to remove any obstructions.

In statements issued today, the RCMP say they arrived on scene around 11 a.m. By 3 p.m., they entered the blockade, after a meeting with a number of hereditary elders and CGL failed to resolve the issue without police involvement.

By 6:45 p.m., they had made a number of arrests from the blockade set up by Gitdumt’en on Morice West Forest Service Road. RCMP also say they observed a number of fires being lit along the roadway by ‘unknown persons’, with large trees felled across the roadway.

Click on link below to watch video report.

https://webapps.9c9media.com/vidi-player/1.5.4/share/iframe.html?currentId=1580906&config=ctvnews/share.json&kruxId=ImoeZsch&rsid=ctvgmnews,ctvgmnewsglobalsuite&cid=%5B%7B%22contentId%22%3A1581681%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1581852%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1581754%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1581731%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1581603%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1580971%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1580906%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1580884%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1580579%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%5D

In their statement, the RCMP dispute reports that they jammed communications in the area in order to prevent the media and public from communicating the unfolding situation to the outside world. They say the area is extremely remote, and even police had limited access to communication, other than their radios.

They also say reports that the Canadian Military were present are erroneous, saying they have deployed Tactical and Emergency Response Teams as part of their ‘measured and scalable approach to enforcing the court ordered injunction’.

RCMP say they set up a ‘temporary exclusion zone’, where the police do not allow access to anyone – media or otherwise – who is not part of the enforcement team.

The dispute centres around the GasLink pipeline project, which is intended to convey natural gas from fracking projects in the Peace Region to the future $40-billion LNG Canada plant in Kitimat.

The pipeline route travels through Wet’suwet’en First Nation territory, and the nation’s elected leaders signed a benefits agreement with the province for Coastal GasLink in 2014.

However, some Wet’suwet’en oppose the development and have established a years-long camp, known as Unist’ot’en, blockading the Morice River Bridge.

In December, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled in favour of Coastal GasLink, granting an injunction against demonstrators occupying the area around the bridge.

The order has since been expanded to include the Morice West Forest Service Road, where other Wet’suwet’en demonstrators have set up a second checkpoint known as the Gitdumt’en access point.

The protesters assert that the project is infringing Aboriginal title, citing the 1997 Delgamuukw Supreme Court of Canada ruling. The court found that the Wet’suwet’en had not given up title to 22,000 square km of territory, and demonstrators say those rights are represented by their hereditary chiefs.

RCMP say their first priority is safety but protesters say they are worried about what they call an “invasion.”

“It’s important for the government because they want the tax money coming in,” said Jeffery Brown, Chief Madeek, Head Chief of the Gidumt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.

“[It’s] important to get [the pipeline] through but even to get it through, there’s a moratorium on the coast to get that lifted and I’m sure they’re gonna try and do that, too.”

The RCMP issued a media release Sunday morning affirming its role in enforcing the injunction, and stating that police have been in dialogue with the camp in recent months about possible enforcement.

“We would like to emphasize that the RCMP respects the Wet’suwet’en culture, the connection to the land and traditions being taught and passed on at the camp, and the importance of the camp to healing,” states the release.

“Should enforcement take place, the RCMP will be prepared to ensure the safety of everyone involved — demonstrators, police officers, area residents, motorists, media and general public.”

The Wet’suwet’en are seeing support from across Canada and a number of events are being planned by groups standing in solidarity with them. Those events start Tuesday in Victoria and Vancouver.

Coastal GasLink says it consulted with hereditary chiefs for more than five years and secured 20 project agreements with elected First Nations councils all along the pipeline route.

“We understand that there are those that share different opinions so we want to continue to work with those individuals to find solutions,” Jacquelynn Benson of Coast GasLink said.

The company says seeking an injunction was a last resort.

Pipeline Protests Fueled by $$$ from Alarmist US Billionaires

From CBC News January 22, 2019  Debate grows over impact of American funding being directed towards Canadian environmental campaign.  Excerpts below in italics with my bolds.

Alberta at Noon host Judy Aldous spoke to researcher and blogger Vivian Krause, as well as award-winning Calgary author Chris Turner, Monday about the degree to which U.S. dollars are shaping the conversation we’re now having in Canada about building pipelines.

Krause has estimated that various U.S. funders have contributed in the neighbourhood of $40-million in recent years to hundreds of Canadian environmental and Indigenous groups. The goal is to help them spread a message about the need to land-lock Alberta crude through protests against the construction of new pipelines.

Krause believes those American dollars are financing a message that has turned the conversation around, adding topics like pipeline development have become toxic.

“The campaign has been devastating,” Krause said.

“I think the campaign is the reason why Northern Gateway was cancelled: Energy East, Keystone, Trans Mountain.

“And this is the same organization, same strategy, same funders that stopped the Mackenzie [Valley] gas pipeline. I think the coastal gas pipeline is also in serious trouble.

“I have no hope for any pipeline [being approved for development] until this campaign is brought to an end,” she said.

Turner, meanwhile, said that foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Hewlett Foundation, and the U.S. environmental group the Tides Foundation have far less of ability to manipulate the environmental agenda in Canada than Krause suggests.

He didn’t disagree with the numbers but disputed Krause’s interpretation of them.

Krause said she isn’t opposed to the principle of funding environmental groups from outside the country. However, she said she feels there has been a disproportionate focus on the oilsands by American environmental activists, particularly considering the U.S. is now one of the top oil producers on the planet.

She also suggested that by turning up the heat on Canadian energy development, those same activists are enabling — or perhaps are motivated by — a desire to open up markets for American oil producers.

“But here’s the thing,” she added. “Guess whose oil is getting to market and is getting the highest prices? It’s not Canadian oil or gas. It’s American oil and gas.”

She asked why environmentalist don’t instead focus on “landlocking the development of American oil and gas.”

Summary

Hey PM Trudeau, how about a wall to protect Canadians from US billionaires funding the overthrow of our governments’ policies?  Hungary took the initiative to block socialist George Soros from subversive political activity in his homeland.  What are we waiting for?  Can we be a nation without controlling our borders?