Tuesday, August 29, 2017



Texas hurricanes

Harvey came ashore as a major hurricane overnight but was down to 75mph in the last advisory. It was the first hurricane this decade in Texas and the first major hurricane since Alicia for Texas in 1983. Already over a foot of rain has fallen (SRH rain through 17Z) in a few spots and with the storm not forecast to leave the state until perhaps next weekend, it seems likely to eclipse Amelia's record of 48 inches in the week long rains in Medina, TX in July 30-August 5, 1978.



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Harvey in context

Judith Curry writes:

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear people blaming Harvey on global warming.  How unusual was Harvey?  Well, it will definitely be in the record books for ending the 12 year drought of major hurricanes striking the U.S.

Phil Klotzbach has prepared this list off Cat 4-5 U.S. landfalling hurricanes:



This list reminds us how awful things were.  Apart from the horrendous 2004/2005 years, we have been pretty lucky in recent decades.

Anyone blaming  Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)




Callous CALAS activists against the poor

Anti-mining groups “protect” local tribe against phony risks by trampling on Guatemalan workers

Paul Driessen

Not long ago, supposed “environmental justice” concerns at least involved risks to mine workers and their families. The risks may have been inflated, or ignored for decades, but they were a major focus.

In one case, a state-run mine and smelter had fouled the air, land and water with toxic contaminants in a Peruvian town for 75 years. Environmental groups raised few objections – until a U.S. company bought the properties and began installing modern pollution controls, implementing worker health and safety practices, cleaning up widespread lead dust, and initiating numerous community improvement projects.

Suddenly, anti-mine activists descended on the town. They blamed the company for decades of pollution, claimed corporate officials weren’t acting quickly enough, ignored government foot-dragging on its commitments, pressured banks into cutting off loans to the company, and eventually shut everything down. Thousands of workers were left jobless. The activists and news media celebrated their victory.

Today, mining operations in Guatemala have become ground zero for campaigns in which pollution and human health are largely irrelevant, “indigenous people” are the new politically favored “victims” of multinational mining companies, rigged “consultation processes” have become the tactic du jour, and mine workers are among the new “oppressors,” whose health and living standards are now irrelevant.

Not only do radical “keep it in the ground” protesters pay little attention to where essential raw materials come from, so long as their favorite tech toys magically appear in retail outlets. They almost flaunt their callous disregard for families that had been dirt poor before a modern mine brought jobs and comparative prosperity – and will be destitute again after the outside agitators have shut the mine down and moved on to their next target. A case in point is the Escobal silver mine near San Rafael las Flores, Guatemala.

Since buying the mine in 2010, owner and operator Canada-based Tahoe Resources has invested more than $1 billion into the mine’s operation and related infrastructures– plus another $10 million upgrading hospitals and schools, planting 32,000 trees, and launching vocational, entrepreneurship, health, nutrition and other programs. More than 1,600 mining jobs and 6,000 indirect jobs brought many millions of dollars in salaries to the region. Locals launched over 100 new businesses. Life was getting better.

Company officials say the mine is designed and operated to meet the highest Guatemalan and Canadian health and environmental standards, and there has been no evidence of air or water pollution during Tahoe’s tenure. Anti-mining activists nonetheless launched campaigns against it as soon as it was licensed.

Incessant protests and confrontations, arson incidents, forcible detention of miners and police by activists, and assorted legal actions fueled tensions. The agitators are determined to prosecute Tahoe in multiple courts, persuade banks not to extend further credit to the company, send its stock values plummeting, and block Escobal mining operations permanently.

What will we do if they shut the mine down? locals ask. Without these jobs, we will be poor again. Our businesses will close, our children will have no future, and people will have to go to the United States for work – just like before the mine created jobs that brought workers back to the area.

The agitators’ newest tactic is to enlist indigenous tribes, claim companies failed to consult adequately with the tribes under Guatemala’s community consultation and plebiscite “consultas” process, use ballot initiatives to claim people around the area overwhelmingly oppose the mine – and rage that the local people’s and indigenous groups’ human rights have been violated, in gross miscarriages of justice.

The blatant dishonesty of this process is underscored by the fact that every consultas held between 2011 and 2016 resulted in 93to 100 percent opposition to mining. Indeed, the process was cleverly designed and then hijacked, manipulated and rigged by outside activists and their local allies to foment opposition to mining activity and eliminate mine-dependent jobs, rather than assess true community sentiment.

Banners depicted a sample ballot marked “NO” and proclaim that shutting down mining is “necessary for life.” Ballots were explicitly worded to solicit negative responses. Even worse, many ballots highlighted the “No” vote in yellow, suggesting to voters it was the “correct” answer. The dishonesty is even deeper.

Community meetings held before the vote were little more than disinformation and agitprop sessions, designed to advance the anti-mining sentiments of activists from wealthy nations. Mine owners, foremen, environmental directors, community development coordinators, even workers and their families were not invited or permitted to participate. They could not correct misinformation; ask or respond to questions; explain health, safety and environmental safeguards; discuss economic, employment, living standards and other benefits to the community; or otherwise ensure fair, balanced, complete and open discussions.

Workers and others who wanted to speak out at other times were greeted with threats and intimidation.

The deck was stacked. The well-funded and coordinated agitators behind the consultas had no interest in ensuring that local people were actually consulted and given opportunities to learn the facts. Their goal was and is to block mining projects, regardless of how many jobs would be created, living standards improved, and health, safety and environmental safeguards implemented by mining operators.

Can anyone recall a case where activists ultimately supported a mining project, following consultations or improved mining practices? I did not see it happen in Peru, and it is not happening in Guatemala. The agitators simply change the issues, ramp up their demands and move the goal posts.

The anti-mining agitators do not care whether a consultation process is fair, open and complete; that a mine would be safe and non-polluting; or that it would ensure good jobs and improved schools, hospitals, homes, living standards and opportunities for thousands. They simply do not want mines in any targeted area, anytime or under any conditions.

Their current ploy is to say that Guatemala’s Ministry of Mines did not consult adequately with Xinca tribal groups that live miles from the mine, before it issued the mining license. The Guatemalan courts agreed with the activists – and shut down operations.

If the closure becomes permanent, 7,600 workers would be left jobless and their families destitute. Their growing anger, frustration, hopelessness and sense of betrayal are reaching a boiling point. Several miners recently went on a hunger strike, to protest what the activists and courts have done. Will Guatemalan, Canadian, U.S. and international jurists, legislators, journalists and real human rights advocates pay any attention? Call for social and environmental justice? Time will tell. But don’t hold your breath.

The entire operation was orchestrated by several local pressure groups, led by CALAS – the Centro de AcciĆ³n Legal Ambiental y Social de Guatemala: Guatemalan Center for Environmental and Social Legal Action. However, the real organizing, money and strategizing came from far outside the country.

The real power behind the throne has been Oxfam America, joined by a cabal of likeminded American, Canadian and European pressure groups, all of which masquerade as “civil society” and “environmental justice” organizations – and their financial backers. Together, they have poured millions of dollars into the anti-mining, anti-worker, Keep the Poor Impoverished campaigns.

From 2009 to 2015, Oxfam pumped over $9 million annually into its Central America/Caribbean programs. The New-York based Moriah Fund contributed nearly $15 million over a ten-year period to these and other international NGOs, while the Fund for Global Human Rights added over $3 million.

Unbelievably, the European Union contributed more than $17 million to Guatemalan pressure groups between 2007 and 2011! And to top it off, the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture is another major sponsor – using U.S. tax-dollar donations to the UN. How the heck did “failure to consult” become “torture” – akin to what the SS, KGB, ISIS and other criminal outfits routinely engage in?

For callous CALAS and its allied pressure groups and despicable benefactors to violate the human rights of so many Guatemalan working class families is bad enough. Do the courts really have to pile on?

Via email


                                                 
Sun Activity Has Collapsed to the Lowest in 9,300 years

THE sun is the source of all our warmth. Without it, we would not exist.  Like everything else, it is cyclical in nature. The term “lunatic” referred to people who seemed to go a bit strange when there was a full moon. Some people are perhaps susceptible to its gravitational forces. After all, it is the moon that lifts the entire oceans creating high and low tide. There are people who have varying mood swings and others who are a tad more steady. Yet we all have our ups and downs.

There is the Human Excitability Study where war was correlated to sunspot activity. The sunspot cycle is roughly every eleven years. However, this time it’s different. The sun is headed for a very rare, super-cooling period that threatens to topple civilization itself as it has throughout history roughly following a 300 year cycle.

For most of its history, science believed the sun’s output was constant. They finally realized that a thermal dynamic cycle beats like your heart so the sun could not exist if it was a steady outflow of energy. One degree less and it would blow itself out. Hence, it is cyclical rising and falling in intensity.

The eleven-year cycle in sunspots itself builds in intensity like the Economic Confidence Model (ECM) reaching “grand maxima” and “grand minima” over the course of 300 years. The last grand maximum peaked circa 1958, after which the sun has been steadily quieting down. Today, the drop in activity is at its steepest in 9,300 years, which is being ignored by the Global Warming propaganda.

The last Maunder Minimum, during which the sun languished for seventy years, took place from 1645 to 1715 when the sun’s brightness declined and the number of sunspots collapsed to almost zero.

[The Maunder Minimum coincided with more severe winters in the UK and continental Europe]

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Theaters Self-Sacrifice To Boost Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel

On Tuesday (8/22), sales for Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel hit an hilarious new low of $117/theater. The financial self-sacrifice that theaters are now making to support it must go down as one of the greatest acts of generosity in cinematic history.

Per Box Office Mojo, Inconvenient Sequel had a couple of good opening days, when true believers and Gore’s extended family showed up, but by the second week sales plummeted and continued to decline thereafter. Again per Box Office mojo, $117/theater isn’t very good, a level ranking among the worst per theater averages on record, and given that theaters are expensive to operate almost assuredly indicates a running bottom line loss.

Nonetheless, the film expanded to over 500 theaters in its second week and has remained at that level since. What an act of extraordinary kindness! By contrast, the courageous and Academy-Award winning Citizenfour was released in just 105 theaters at its very peak. A pity director Laura Poitras wasn’t better politically connected and funded.

According to Variety, experts say total sales are expected to reach $10 million. But what terrible financial losses will have to be suffered to reach that level. Sales to date are just $3.1 million, and that despite strong support from forgiving critics and this heroic self-sacrifice by theaters. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 48% audience score, as represented by an abandoned popcorn container.



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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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