Jonathan Pie on comparing Tories to Nazis

Expletive laden as per normal but Jonathan Pie makes valid points with respect to UK Labour MP David Lammy’s assertions that Jacob Rees-Mogg and the ERG were Nazis and Boris Johnson was a white supremacist. His answer to what Somerset is famous for is hilarious.

Peter Ridd wins unfair dismissal action

Congratulations to Prof Peter Ridd, who has won his court case for unfair dismissal. Ridd, who was unceremoniously dumped by James Cook University for challenging the orthodoxy about the deterioration of the Great Barrier Reef, exposed the Marxism rife within our government funded universities.

The whole point of university is to encourage new thought and fresh ideas. Not sack those who disagree. So much for mounting a credible argument to debunk Ridd’s assertions. If anything he has proved the faculty couldn’t disprove him with facts.

He has won on all counts with respect to unfair dismissal. Will the Dean move to sack/sanction/demote those who encouraged the sacking?

Extinction Rebellion – instinctive revulsion

The lunacy is incredible. Carbon neutrality in the UK by 2025. Good luck with that. The Extinction Rebellion (ER) is the next radical left protest movement that seeks widespread civil disobedience, because in the words of one of the founders, “getting arrested can be quite fun.” Some have goals to see inside of a prison cell. CM suggests doing such protests in China where most of the “environmental” problem they fear lies. No doubt President Xi will warmly oblige requests for long stays in one of his many jails.

ER’s manifesto is a collection of web links to climate alarmist sites and comments. Pretty much every maximum alarmist reference has been uploaded. No balance in there.

Sadly they haven’t done much proof checking of the website contents. That’s what happens when one is foaming at the mouth kneeling at the altar of climate alarmism.

Note the following 3 examples

1) under pollution ER notes,

All forms of pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated 9 million premature deaths“.

Yet only one paragraph later it follows up with:

the very air we breathe is growing dangerously polluted: nine out of ten people now breathe polluted air, which kills 7 million people every year.

So deaths have gone down? Which is it?

2) The Great Barrier Reef

Corals reefs are suffering mass die-offs from heat stress.  These events are becoming much more common with back to back die-offs on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 2016 and 2017.

Wrong again. The reef has been seen to be flourishing. Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Sep 2017 surveyed 14 coral reefs between Cairns and Townsville to see how they fared after being bleached and were surprised to find the coral had already started to reproduce.

3) Rising sea levels

2°C warming  would threaten to inundate areas now occupied by 130 million people while increase to 4°C could lock in enough eventual sea level rise to submerge land currently home to 470 to 760 million people globally

Analysis using tide gauges and satellites showed 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, revealed that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted. What sea level rise? The most experienced is around. 1mm pa.

Maybe we should feel safer in the knowledge that ER co-founder, Gail Bradbrook, flew to Costa Rica to have a high dose of a psychedelic substance (iboga) which induced visions according to the FT. Should we put her eR movement down to the hallucinations and anxiety caused by the drug?

Two certainties.

We can be sure ER will not be a peaceful conscientious objector (charges for property damage already reported) and CM was right to cancel his FT subscription given they thought giving these loonies any airtime was warranted.

You won’t believe how California will help us save the planet this time!

At some point, Californians will end up with a list that tells them what they can do which will be shorter than what they can’t. The Democrat controlled state is banning those single use shampoo and body soap containers. The reason being that too much of this plastic waste ends up where it shouldn’t. So instead of encouraging more sensible disposal, let’s just ban it!

How ironic that at the World Economic Forum of all groups said with regards to plastic,

Many environmental activists are calling for a ban on plastics. However, the very properties that make plastic so dangerous – its durability and long lifespan – also make it a great asset. A material that will not die or be destroyed for five hundred years is valuable. We can reuse it almost endlessly. The problem is not plastic itself. The problem is using it irresponsibly….

…A material that can be constantly recycled is a great help to ecology and the economy, especially when the human population is growing rapidly and our lifestyle demands are increasing exponentially. The solution is not to ban plastic, but to ensure that it is used responsibly and recycled properly.”

Bingo!

Once again leftist governments think more regulation, rather than punishing irresponsibility is the answer.

Like all those who praised the banning of plastic shopping bags as being environmentally ‘woke’ when the facts reveal the opposite. Not to mention that we have to go aisle 7 to substitute the plastic shopping bags for plastic waste bin liners. Maybe our Sulo wheelie bins should be made of cardboard?

CM wrote,

In 2006 the UK Environment Agency did a study on the effectiveness of alternative packaging solutions to HDPE (conventional plastic bags) in terms of lowering environmental impact. It said,

The paper, LDPE, non-woven PP and cotton bags should be reused at least 3, 4, 11 and 131 times respectively to ensure that they have lower [impact] than conventional HDPE carrier bags that are not reused.”

So if conventional biodegradable plastic shopping bags are used to throw out garbage that means 6, 8, 22 and 262 days.

While we’re at it, do people realize that the majority of take away wax-lined coffee cups aren’t recycled even though you can feel good about yourself when disposing of it in the right bin? How many people elect to have their brew poured into a ceramic cup? Look next time – hardly any! The cost to recycle the 500 billion (and rising) coffee cups consumed annually is so astronomical (it is hard to separate the wax that stops the cup disintegrating because of the energy intensity involved to do so) that over 90% end up in landfill. No one talks about that 300 million tons of virgin paper used to make these cups! How many of us give it one thought when we need a shot of caffeine? Right?! Although Starbucks is trialing a 5p latte levy for those that elect to use a paper cup.

All this ban has done has inconvenience people. 60% of mismanaged plastic waste was from East Asia (i.e. China), 11% from South Asia; 9% from sub-Saharan Africa; 8% from MENA; 7% from LatAm; 3% from Europe and 0.9% from North America.

Instead of accepting Americans are 5% of the population and 0.9% of mismanaged plastic waste globally, Californians, at 12% of the US population, would ceteris paribus, be responsible for 0.1% of mismanaged plastic waste! Banning hotel shampoo bottles might lower it to 0.099%?

Way to go California! Your genius knows no bounds! A word of advice. Probably better to focus on the $1 trillion plus unfunded liability in your state pension system.

2020 presidential election campaign funding not even close

So the fundraising for the 2020 residential election moves on in earnest in America. It seems Trump has received $30m in Q1 2019 alone. Bernie Sanders has collected $18m and Kamala Harris $12m since her bid to run in January 2019. Elizabeth Warren has $4m in the campaign kitty and Beto O’Rourke $9.4m.

For a man so hated, many seem willing to throw their cash in the ring to support his re-election bid. The Republican National Committee has raised another $46m. The large number of donations it received seem to be driven off the back of the outcome of the Mueller report which announced no crimes committed.

Could it be the deplorables, who apparently have no money, want to put Mr Trump back in charge in 2020? Or maybe a broader section of Americans are tired of the non-stop drone in the media and tuned out to Democrats who seem more interested in opposing Trump on everything rather than put forward a proper campaign based on alternative policies.

That sinking feeling?

Clarksons.png

We are often told how robust the world economy is. Global trade tends to be a good indicator. Looking at the latest Clarkson’s December 2018 annual review, we can see that the number of shipyards that make the vessels (20,000dwt+) that look after global trade has slid from a peak of 306 in 2009 to 127. Newbuild orders have slid from 2,909 vessels to 708. Wärtsilä is anticipating a gradual recovery in contract new builds as high as 1,200 ships by 2022. Wishful thinking?

According to Clarksons, the global fleet of all types of commercial shipping is 50% larger than it was before the GFC despite the World Trade Organization saying growth in global trade for 2019 is expected to fall 2.9%. The WTO has fingers crossed for 2020. The charts in this WTO report show the sharp slowdown in freight in Q4 2018 and Jan 2019.

Germany’s five leading ship financiers reported outstanding ship-related loans of 59 billion euros at the end of 2016 with an average problem loan ratio of 37%. In recent years they have been busy reducing or selling off shipping portfolios. HSH Nordbank required a 10 billion euro bailout by its 85% owners, federal states Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. It ended up being swallowed by private equity and renamed Hamburg Commercial Bank. Nord LB was looking to bail in Bremer LB beyond the 54.8% it already owns. Bremer LB had to write off  €400m of its shipping portfolio.

China has been aggressive, filling the void left by the Germans with high leverage financing to support the longer-term objectives of the Belt & Road Initiative. One wonders whether China plans to spoil the market by squeezing a damaged sector further. It wasn’t so long ago that South Korea’s  Hanjin Shipping went bust.

BTIG reported that ship scrapping in Q1 2019 was up 35% to 107,000dwt. Ship owners tend to scrap ships if the cost of idling or operating them exceeds this. Note Capesize shipping rates have fallen to around $9,000/day well below the $25,000 breakeven rate. The bellwether Baltic Dry Index is 27% down year on year and 85% below the peak levels seen in 2009.

The shipping industry has been sick for a decade. The majors have been busy merging, cutting debt and right sizing. Unfortunately it is  still in a pickle. A global slowdown will only exacerbate the issues in the industry.

The one area that looks interesting is the scrubber makers (eg Alfa Laval, Valmet, Fuji Electric). There has been a sharp uptick in growth for retro-fitting pollution equipment to existing ships instead of buying new equipment. Sometimes the best investments come when industries that require massive consolidation hit breaking point.

Populist Finns Party set to more than double number of seats

The nationalist, anti-immigrant and eurosceptic Finns Party is set to grow seats from 17 in 2015 to 38 in today’s election, or represent around 17% of parliament. The party election video is an interesting one to say the least.

Whatever one’s personal views on populism, in Europe it is the fastest growing segment in politics. With 118m Europeans below the poverty line, 50% higher than 2007 is it any wonder the citizens of many member states have had enough of EU control. Finland has only 15.7% (up from 12.6% in 2007) poverty as a percentage vs 22.4% (16% in 2007) in the EU-28 but that is enough to trigger the ice cold welfare state to revolt.

Mrs May, do you understand more EU members don’t want to be held captive by Brussels?