#extinctionrebellion

Brain dead anoint the brainwashed

The University of Mons in Belgium will anoint 16yo Greta Thunberg with an honorary doctorate in October this year. Will this trigger participation doctorates for all kids who sing the climate emergency tune?

It ranks up there with all of the justification that led to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize 9 months into his presidency. Literally none. It is pure virtue signaling. It reflects on the university’s clear preference for closed debate.

What troubles CM is that the soon to be Dr Thunberg will be abused even more by those pushing the climate narrative. She is the perfect human shield to the divisive machine that lurks begins her. It is hard to criticize a movement when the face is a child.

She faces either nothing happening with the climate and being exposed as brainwashed. Or the policies she espouses will lead to such a miserable existence that life will be even more miserable that it is now.

This is not to criticize Thunberg per se. She is undoubtedly a very brave girl to face world leaders with a scripted message.

However there is something so Soviet about the way she is the face of the climate change movement, which is the effective trendy thing to be much like socialism was in the 1980s.

Thunberg is a great example of how schools are corrupting young minds. Whether climate change, gender fluidity or cross dressing days, these things have nothing to do with balanced education and critical thinking.

What a surprise to see Sweden’s PISA education scores falling in mathematics, science and reading. Scarily below Australia which has been on a long term decline too.

Naturally the media will overlook this and chant “progressivism” as the way of the future despite their own socialist rhetoric clearly point to “extinction”.

Whistleblowing against fraud up 16x

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In May 2011 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) introduced a new whistleblower program under Section 92 of the Dodd-Frank Act. This was partly in response to its much publicised failure to investigate the US$50bn Bernard L. Madoff Ponzi scheme despite being made aware of it multiple times by a whistle-blower, Mr Harry Markopolos, since 2000.

Markopolos wrote in his November 7, 2005 submission to the SEC,

“Scenario # 2 (Highly likely) Madoff Securities is the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme. In this case, there is no SEC reward payment due the whistle-blower so basically, I’m turning this case in because it’s the right thing to do. Far better that the SEC is proactive in shutting down a Ponzi Scheme of this size rather than reactive.”

The SEC now encourages whistle-blowing by offering sizable monetary awards (10 to 30% of the monetary sanctions collected). Successful enforcement actions as a result of whistleblowing have led to awards as high as US$50,000,000. As a result, the SEC has seen a 16 fold increase in claims over the last few years. The following charts are from the SEC.

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The SEC 2018 Whistleblowing Annual Report noted, “from program inception to end of Fiscal Year 2018, the SEC awarded over $326 million to 59 individuals.

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On March 19, 2018, the Commission announced two of its largest-ever whistleblower awards, with two individuals sharing a nearly $50 million joint award and another whistleblower receiving more than $33 million.

As CM has been saying since whistleblower protections were enacted, those willing to speak out have surged. One can’t come out with false claims. Unsubstantiated claims are not paid.

As mentioned in the previous post, CM believes that climate scientists need an SEC-style watchdog to prosecute fraudulent claims which cost taxpayers billions in the misappropriated allocation of funds. If they do not commit fraud, they face no risks. To date, no scientists have been jailed or fined for data manipulation. By bearing no financial risk or threat of jail time, climate scientists are free to do as they please.

If Extinction Rebellion or any other alarmist group want us to declare “climate emergencies” they should have no problem submitting to a regulatory framework that ensures confidence in the data to drive the debate and allocate resources. CM guesses that they would howl in protest because after all emotion is more important that data. Torn asunder their antics would be undone by reality.

Can we please get some adults in the room?

Here is a picture from the angelic pig-tailed climate strike goddess Greta Thunberg’s Twitter feed calling for another global school strike. The climate change activists are really at the point of maximum desperation. Kids are now being weaponized to fight climate change because the supposed adults in the room have done such a woeful prosecuting the case to the heretic non-believers.

It is hard to speak to those who dismiss one as a knuckle dragger from the start. What is lost on alarmists is that skeptics merely wish to be presented with facts and figures not sanctimonious finger wagging. In 99.9% of cases, when politely asking to be provided with facts, it ultimately leads to ad hominem attacks. “Your kids will thank you for it” is an argument often used as a condescending way to end a debate before it has even started. Others resort to saying skepticism comes from regrading quack websites resourced by the fossil fuel lobbyists, When CM asks alarmists about whether they have concerns over the multiple cases of fraud committed by scientists from the very (often government) bodies they spruik, not one has voiced issues with their ethics. At that point they have lost CM.

If alarmists can’t admit the fraud committed from their own side, it shows that they are utterly indoctrinated. 1+1=3. Fraud is fraud. CM has often argued that climate scientists face absolutely zero repercussions for peddling falsehoods. None. Think of the penalties handled out to the financial sector. There has been much malfeasance committed in the last few decades that have resulted in humungous penalties.

WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years based on nine counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and false regulatory filings to the tune of $11bn.

Enron’s former CEO Jeffrey Skilling was convicted on 35 counts of fraud, insider trading and other crimes related to Enron and sentenced to 24 years prison and fined $45 million.

Madoff got 150 years for his $65bn Ponzi scheme, Allen Stanford received 110 years jail for his $7bn fraud.

Yet when the scientific community commits fraudulent offences, they’re not even brought to trial. Nothing. Even worse the alarmists are only too happy to wheel out the very same scientists who have made dud predictions and push them as experts in their field.

How are billions in taxpayer funds that bail out Wall St any different from billions of taxpayer funded adventures into redundant climate change white elephants based of manipulated scientific claims any different?

CM reckons that if climate scientists faced steep fines and penalties for committing data fraud we would quickly work out we had way more than 12 years to live. Why not provide an amnesty period for scientists to come clean on any manipulation without facing any prosecution? After the date they would face stiff treatment. That is the only way to kill this industry at the source.

If scientists were forced to come clean with the truth, we would find that all of the grossly inaccurate models predicting gloom and doom were shown up for what they really were. Empty rhetoric.

Maybe the secret to solving the climate emergency is child’s play after all? Make the rules of malfeasance so transparent that even a 5 year old can understand.

If we look at the whistleblowing rules introduced by the SEC in 2011, it offered the whistleblower 10-30% of the monies saved through fraud as a reward. Surprise, surprise whistleblowing claims have shot up 16-fold since the rule’s introduction. In 2011 only 334 claims were made. In 2012, 3,001 were made. In 2014, 3,620. In 2018 it was 5,282. A total of $168mn was paid out to 13 individual whistleblowers.

Given so many scientists are probably aware of the manipulation that lies within the ranks, they have far more opportunity to dob in their crooked colleagues and collect a massive pay day.

No need for #ClimateEmergency. As the Australian Democrats used to say as an election slogan, “keep the bastards honest!”

Palaszczuk backflips on Adani

What a farce. Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is about to backflip on the Adani coal mine approval after her federal colleagues were wiped out in Queensland.

Typical. She’ll still lose the next state election in October 2020 for this expediency. She had to weight for the litmus of a federal election to find her missing conviction. Total clown show.

The people have spoken. So all the radical left activists have failed. The bullying of the banks which caved in to this pressure are no better.

This approval process has been 8 years in the making. An Indonesian coal mine took only 18 months.

Queensland Government appointed an advisor, Tim Seelig, to the Dept of Environment. As an anti-coal Greens activist it seems apparent he threw up roadblocks to dissuade Adani from going ahead by unnecessary and overbearing approval processes.

Now Palaszczuk is considering launching an inquiry as to how Seelig was hired into the role despite the applications deadline having ended. Another backflip.

Once again – get woke, go broke!

Go woke, go broke

Yet another example of why CM has cancelled his FT subscription. Where is the critical reporting? This article by Pilita Clark doesn’t critique the ridiculous movement by corporates to virtue signal but falls in line with the stupidity.

Maybe the best metaphor for the woke corporation is parsley. It often looks nice as a garnish but 99.9% of us push it to the side of the plate and leave it to be thrown away.

Corporate hypocrisy is everywhere.

Take Josh Bayliss, CEO of Virgin Group. He says,

“It’s definitely true that right now every one of us should think hard about whether or not we need to take a flight.”

Why doesn’t he close down the airlines in the portfolio? Instead of waiting for his customers to grow a conscience and do the right thing why not force their choice? The obvious answer is that it’s hypocritical.

Airlines operate on about 70% capacity load factor break even so if Virgin flights end up being half full he’ll only end up spewing more or less the same CO2 per flight and go out of business. British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair will welcome Virgin’s virtue signaling. Go woke, go broke.

Qantas has the world’s largest carbon offset program yet only 2% of passengers elect to pay. That’s the extent of the belief in global warming.

Blackrock’s chief Larry Fink said his asset manager needs to do more than just make money yet it only backed 10% of the climate related shareholder proposals. Why? Supposedly because they would crush profits. All talk, little walk.

BP surprisingly helped prevent a carbon tax it openly launched support for. A fossil fuel company trying to undermine a carbon tax? Wow. Who’d a thunk?

UK shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said Labour would seek to delist companies from the London Stock Exchange that didn’t meet their climate change commitments. In order to meet that, will that mean a child daycare company will be burnt at the stake for not brainwashing kindergarten kids? Will there be a minimum pot plant to child ratio?

How would regulations impact the myriad of different businesses that would trigger being dumped from the LSE? What standard would be applied? CM is betting corporates jus need to “file” a governance statement on climate change which no one will read. As long as 100% of companies file, nothing will happen.

Pretty easy to avoid too. Companies could list on Nasdaq or the Singapore exchange to avoid the regulations and still raise capital. Did you think of that Mr McDonnell? No because it is all about being woke and there are plenty of alternatives to dodge stupid policy. Capital is global.

Pilita Clark closes her article by saying,

“Yet the climate debate is shifting and I am willing to bet that companies failing to match their green claims with solid action face far greater risks than they ever have before.”

Like much of the climate religion, few hard facts are ever presented except the date we are all supposed to die. Even then that is an ever-shifting goal post. We can be assured that when 2028 arrives all of a sudden we’ll have another 12 years to do something. A bit like the joke where a patient asks his doctor how long he has to live and is given an extension so he can pay his bill.

The ever-growing tide of the “woke” corporation is going to thwart ingenuity and entrepreneurship. It is corporate suicide to pander to this nonsense. It is not for companies to bang on about their wonderful commitments. Customers and shareholders can decide for themselves. Maybe if companies listened to both groups they would find profits go up. People are growing sick and tired of being told what to do. How to think.

The world is littered with corporate wokeness backfiring. The irony is much of it is self-inflicted. By trying to create false images of virtue, the results have been disastrous.

P&G had to write off billions from its Gillette brand for the toxic masculinity campaign. Before the campaign Gillette was ranked 7th out of 45 health and grooming brands. After, rock bottom.

There is almost a wave of corporate fear twisted by a minority of social activists like Sleeping Giants which create false narratives about public perceptions of evil companies. There is a flip side.

Chick-fil-A was established by Southern Baptists. They don’t ram their Christian beliefs at all in the restaurants. Activists tried to boycott the fast food outlet because one of the directors personally didn’t support same-sex marriage. Guess what, store numbers have doubled and revenues tripled over the last decade.

Chick-fil-A states it’s mission is, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

Chick-fil-A is notable by its closure on Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So people are well aware ofthis corporate backing its religious beliefs.

There is a difference between founding a company on certain beliefs and concocting them to ride a wave of hijacking social movements. Customers are aware of the difference.

Virgin Group can wax lyrical about its concerns in trying to save the planet but the only woke thing would be to shut down. Pushing the guilt back on its customers shows how hypocritical the airline is.

To be honest it gets tiring waiting in corporate lobbies watching flat panel TVs advertising all of the wonderful community things they do. 99% of the transaction with any corporate will be driven by the ability to deliver goods and services, not supporting tree planting. It is not to diminish charity or good intentions, rather to cut back on acting as though they’re angels to avoid being put on an imaginary naughty step that doesn’t exist.

Perhaps CM should recommend a portfolio of non-compliant ESG companies. When the market sells off, all the passive money in ESG compliant names should well underperform those that don’t. Perhaps an asset manager should establish an ETF with a basket of companies that just provide product or service rather than garnish it with lashings of corporate virtue. Here is betting it would be a contrarian winner.

Actually, vote on the political emergency

No surprise to see The Guardian parrot on about a climate emergency. The editorial completely misses out on the political emergency we face. The economic climate is a massive issue facing Australia. When Bill Shorten tells us that he “will change the nation forever” we shouldn’t view that positively. It is probably the honest thing he has said. Labor’s policy suite is the worst possible collection one could assemble to tackle what economic headwinds lie ahead. Our complacency is deeply disconcerting.

First let’s debunk the climate noise in The Guardian.

The math on the climate emergency is simple. Australia contributes 0.0000156% of global carbon emissions. No matter what we do our impact is zip. If we sell it as 560 million tonnes it sounds huge but the percentage term is all that is relevant. Even Dr Finkel, our climate science guru, agrees. What that number means is that Australia could emit 65,000x what it does now in order to get to a 1% global impact. So even if our emissions rise at a diminishing rate with the population, they remain minuscule.

Bill Shorten often tells us the cost of doing nothing on climate change is immeasurable. He’s right, only in that “it is too insignificant” should be the words he’s searching for.

Perhaps the saddest part of the Guardian editorial was to say that the Green New Deal proposed by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was gaining traction in the US. It has been such a catastrophic failure that she lost an unsolicited vote on the Senate floor 57-0 because Democrats were too embarrassed to show up and support it. Nancy Pelosi dismissed it as a “green dream.” At $97 trillion to implement, no wonder AOC says feelings are more important than facts.

With the 12-year time limit to act before we reach the moving feast known as the tipping point, it gets confusing for climate sceptics. Extinction Rebellion wants things done in only 6 years. The UK House of Commons still can’t get a Brexit deal done inside 3 years but can act instantaneously to call a “climate emergency” after meeting a brainwashed teenager from Sweden. It speaks volumes of the desperation and lack of execution to have to search for political distractions like this.

The ultimate irony in the recent celebration of no coal-fired power in the UK for one week was fossil fuel power substituted all of it – 93% to be exact. Despite the energy market operator telling Brits that zero carbon emissions were possible by 2025 (40% of the current generation capacity is fossil fuel), it forgot that 85% of British homes heat with gas. Presumably, they’d need to pop on down to Dixon’s or Curry’s to buy new electric heaters which would then rely on a grid which will junk 40% of its reliable power…good luck sorting that out without sending prices sky high. Why become beholden to other countries to provide the back-up? It is irrational.

Are people aware that the German electricity regulator noted that 330,000 households (not people) were living in energy poverty? At 2 people per household, that is 1% of the population having their electricity supply cut off because they can’t afford to pay it. That’s what expensive renewables do. If the 330,000 could elect cheap electricity to warm their homes or go without for the sake of the climate, which would they choose? 100% cheap, reliable power. Yet Shorten’s plan can only push more into climate poverty which currently stands at 42,000 homes. This is before the economy has started to tank!

If one looks across Europe, it is no surprise to see the countries with the highest level of fossil fuel power generation (Hungary, Lithuania & Bulgaria) have the lowest electricity prices. Those with more renewables (Denmark, Germany & Belgium), the highest. That is Australia’s experience too. South Australia and Victoria have already revealed their awful track record with going renewable. Why did Coca-Cola and other industries move out of SA after decades? They couldn’t make money with such an unreliable

Ahh, but we must protect our children and grandchildren’s futures. So low have the left’s tactics sunk that using kids as human shields in the fight for climate change wards off conservatives calling out the truth because it is not cool to bully brainwashed kids. We should close all our universities. As the father of two teenagers, CM knows they know everything already so there is little requirement for tertiary education!

The Guardian mentioned, “But in Australia, the Coalition appears deaf to the rising clamour from the electorate [on climate change].” Really?

CM has often held that human consumption patterns dictate true feelings about climate change. Climate alarmist Independent candidate Zali Steggall drives a large SUV and has no solar panels on her roof! Her battleground in the wealthy seat of Warringah is probably 70%+ SUV so slapping a Zali bumper sticker does nothing but add to the hypocrisy.

Why do we ignore IATA forecasts that project air travel will double by 2030? Qantas has the largest carbon offset program in the world yet only 2% elect to pay the self-imposed tax. Isn’t that telling? That is the problem. So many climate alarmists expect others to do the heavy lifting.

SUVs make up 43% of all new car sales in Australia. In 2007 it was 19%. Hardly the activity of a population fretting about rising sea levels. In Warringah, waterfront property sales remain buoyant and any bank that feared waves lapping the rooves of Burran Avenue would not take such portfolio risk, much less an insurance company.

Shorten’s EV plan is such a dud that there is a reason he can’t cost it. Following Norway is great in theory but the costs of installing EV infrastructure is prohibitively expensive. It will be NBN Mark II. Will we spend millions to trench 480V connectors along the Stuart Highway?

Norway state enterprise, Enova, said it would install fast chargers every 50km of 7,500km worth of main road/highway. Australia has 234,820km of highways/main roads. Fast chargers at every 50km like the Norwegians would require a minimum of 4,700 charging stations across Australia. Norway commits to a minimum of 2 fast chargers and 2 standard chargers per station.

The problem is our plan for 570,000 cars per annum is 10x the number of EVs sold in Norway, requiring 10x the infrastructure. That would cost closer to $14bn, or the equivalent of half the education budget.

The Guardian griped that “Scott Morrison’s dismissive response to a UN report finding that the world is sleepwalking towards an extinction crisis, and his parliamentary stunt of fondling a lump of coal”

Well, he might doubt the UN which has been embroiled in more scandals related to climate change than can be counted. Most won’t be aware that an internal UN survey revealed the dismay of unqualified people being asked for input for the sake of diversity and inclusion as opposed to choosing those with proper scientific qualifications. The UN has climbed down from most of its alarmist predictions, often citing no or little confidence of the original scare.

Yet this election is truly about the cost of living, not climate or immigration. The biggest emergency is to prepare for the numbers we can properly set policy against.

We have household debt at a record 180% of GDP. We have had 27 years of untrammelled economic growth. Unfortunately, we have traded ourselves into a position of too much complacency. Our major 4 banks are headed for a lot of trouble. Forget meaningless stress tests. APRA is too busy twiddling its thumbs over climate change compliance. While the Royal Commission may reign in loose lending, a slowing global economy with multiple asset bubbles including houses will come crumbling down. These banks rely 40% on wholesale markets to fund growth. A sharp slowdown will mean a weaker dollar which will only exacerbate the problem.

We have yet to see bond markets price risk correctly. Our banks are horribly exposed. They have too little equity and a mortgage debt problem that dwarfs Japan in the late 1980s. Part/whole nationalization is a reality. The leverage is worse than US banks at the time of the Lehman collapse.

We have yet to see 10% unemployment rates. We managed to escape GFC with a peak of 6% but this time we don’t have a buoyant China to rescue us. Consumers are tapped out and any upward pressure on rates (to account for risk) will pop the housing bubble. Not to worry, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen assures people not to panic if their home falls into negative equity! This is the level of economic nous on the catastrophe that awaits. It is insanely out of touch.

Are our politicians aware that the US has to refinance US$8.4 trillion in US Treasuries in the next 3 years? That amount of money will crowd out a corporate bond market which has more than 50% of companies rated BBB or less. This will be compounded by the sharp rise in inventories we are witnessing on top of the sharp slowdown in trade (that isn’t just related to the trade war) which is at GFC lows. The 3.2% US economic growth last quarter was dominated by “intellectual property”, not consumption or durable goods.

China car sales have been on a steep double-digit decline trajectory for the last 9 months. China smartphone shipments dwindle at 6 year lows. In just the first four months of 2019, Chinese companies defaulted on $5.8 billion of domestic bonds, c.3.4x the total for the same period of 2018. The pace is over triple that of 2016.

Europe is in the dumps. Germany has had some of the worst industrial production numbers since 2008. German GDP is set to hit 0.5% for 2019. France 1.25% and Italy 0.25%. Note that in 2007, there were 78mn Europeans living in poverty. In the following decade, it hit 118mn or 23.5% of the population.

Global bellwether Parker Hannifin, which is one of the best lead indicators of global industrial growth, reported weaker orders and a soft outlook which suggests the outlook for global growth is not promising.

This election on Saturday is a choice between the lesser of two evils. The LNP has hardly made a strong case for reelection given the shambolic leadership changes. Take it to the bank that neither will be able to achieve surpluses with the backdrop we are headed into. Yet when it comes to economic stewardship, it is clear Labor are out of their depth in this election. Costings are wildly inaccurate but they are based on optimistic growth scenarios that simply don’t exist. We cannot tax our way to prosperity when global growth dives.

Hiking taxes, robbing self-managed super fund retirees and slamming the property market might play well with the classes of envy but they will be the biggest victims of any slowdown. Australia has run out of runway to keep economic growth on a positive footing.

We will do well to learn from our arrogance which has spurned foreign investment like Adani. We miscalculate the damage done to the national brand. Adani has been 8 years in the making. We have tied the deal up in so much onerous red tape, that we have done nothing more than treating our foreign investors with contempt. Those memories will not be forgotten.

There will come a point in years to come where we end up begging for foreigners to invest at home but we will only have ourselves to blame.

The editorial closes with,

However you choose to exercise your democratic decision-making on Saturday, please consider your candidate’s position on climate and the rapidly shrinking timeframe for action. We have endured mindless scare campaigns and half-baked policy for too many decades. We don’t have three more years to waste.

This is the only sensible quote in the entire article. The time for action is rapidly shrinking. However, that only applies to the political and economic climate. One can be absolutely sure that when the slowdown hits, saving the planet will be furthest removed from Aussie voters’ minds.

Will Bill Shorten declare a climate emergency?

Why is Greenpeace demanding PM Scott Morrison declare a ‘climate emergency’? Why not badger Bill Shorten? Labor has an uncosted climate change policy but gone one step short of declaring a full blown “climate emergency” despite the cost of doing nothing being so huge. Probably because climate change isn’t as big an election issue as made out and declaring catastrophe might wreck his chances to move into The Lodge.

Ironically Greenpeace just wrote about the success of Extinction Rebellion with respect to climate emergency. In the process revealing how useless it is at public advocacy to praise a rival playing in the same donation pool. Will these two leftist groups eat each other in months to come when they realize they’re fighting over the same funds?

Are the Greens expecting the Libs to hold onto power? Even if Morrison declared an emergency, not one Greens voter would put Liberal as their second preference.

What we do know is the Greens love law breakers. It is a $3,000 + GST per person fine to climb onto unauthorized parts of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 15 of them. $45,000 for Premier Gladys Beijiklian. It doesn’t matter if they were experienced abseilers. They should be prosecuted.

Instead of condemning illegal activity the Greens, true to form, were applauding! NSW Greens politician, Cate Faehrmann, was quick to say,

BREAKING: Protesters have scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge calling on Australia to declare a climate emergency! I applaud their actions 100%. Governments aren’t listening so more and more people are taking desperate action to be heard.”

Imagine if pro-Adani groups handed out leaflets on the benefits to jobs and the economy. The Greens would censure the activity as unconstitutional and demand they be arrested and jailed for heresy.