Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Climate News - January 2019

by Alan Moran

A review and commentary on topical matters concerning the science, economics, and governance associated with climate change developments.
Alan Moran
1 January 2019
The key take-away by The Guardian of December's climate change Conference of Parties (COP 24) in Katowice was an absence “of how countries will step up their targets on cutting emissions”.  The Global Warming Policy Foundation assembled this caricature of the meetings since 2007, featuring politicians, rock stars and media personalities proclaiming "the last chance to save the planet".  The next major meeting will be 2020, “when countries must meet the deadline for their current emissions commitments and produce new targets for 2030 and beyond that go further towards meeting scientific advice”.

Heartland's James Taylor hosted presentations in Katowice that addressed the false premises, inaccurate science and threats to economic freedom and prosperity of the UN climate change agenda. At the same time Heartland released the monumental work, Climate Change Reconsidered, of the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change. Comprising over 700 pages, this was prepared with the assistance of 100 scientists and examines the vital role of fossil fuels in promoting the wealth and environmental improvements mankind is enjoying.  

China, the world’s biggest emitter, called on developed nations “to pay their climate debt” while absolving itself from any action.  Climate activists recognise that China's growth will continue to rely on fossil fuels while claiming it is on track to meet its vague Paris commitments and hoping that its emissions will decline after 2030!
Riots in France led President Macron to absent himself from Katowice and retreat from his economy-destroying pursuit of a taxation induced Green nirvana.  As Henry Ergas ($) observes, the elites in France and elsewhere have falsely claimed that the exalted renewable future will also bring cheaper energy; ordinary people protest once this is disproven to their immense disadvantage.

With a view to locking nations into obligations policed by an international bureaucracy, under Macron, France has been a major promoter of the UN’s program to codify international environmental law, the first report of which was issued on 10 December 2018.  
Even though the US confirmed it will leave the Paris Agreement, demonstrating the potency of “Stockholm syndrome”, Conoco, Chevron, Exxon, BP, Shell and Total are all funding lobbies calling for a US carbon tax. And, while the anti-carbon tax yellow vest protests in France threaten the continued existence of the Macron regime, some US young Republicans fret that the absence of a policy favouring such measures threatens the future of their party. 

Meanwhile, as Alex Robson demonstrates, by crippling the economy with high regulation-induced electricity and gas prices, Australia ($) claims it will meet its 2030 Paris target 8 years early.  I wrote articles on the myth of low cost renewables in the Spectator and in Catallaxy.

Prime Minister Trudeau is backing a Canadian carbon tax but, although current opinion polls are favourable, all are wary of the French riots. Ontario is opposed to the national tax but its alternative plan, which I addressed in the Financial Post, would also penalise carbon dioxide emissions at high cost and with no benefit. At Katowice, Canada and the UK hosted a “coal free day”.

Fatih Birol, the renewable-phile head of the International Energy Agency launched the latest edition of the World Energy Outlook.  As usual this promotes the merits and inevitability of a renewable energy future but buried within its spin is the amount of energy actually produced by wind and solar - a mere 1.1 per cent. 
Scientific developments
A massive expansion of Greenland ice is taking place.  At the end of the 2018 season (31 August), 517 billion tonnes more snow fell than the snow and ice that melted into the sea. The aggregate level of snow was 150 billion tonnes above the average for 1981-2010.

Greenland Snow
That evidence has not prevented alarmist stories asserting the contrary.  But one pole’s gain may be another’s loss, as data for the Katowice conference suggests that the eastern Antarctica glaciers are shrinking, findings that were said to have, “very serious repercussions for climate change and particularly sea-level rise”.  As Judith Curry ($) shows, this is just part of a natural rhythm. The data on snow cover for 2018 shows in some areas it is thicker and some it is thinner. 
Professor Peter Ridd is among the foremost scientists studying the Australian Great Barrier Reef.  Having been sacked from his university post for suggesting the reef remained healthy, thereby threatening the grant funding of his fellow academics, he is now less constrained from speaking out.  Writing in The Australian ($), he demonstrates how the regular pattern of alarmist claims of the reef’s imminent disappearance is followed by its (unreported) recovery in a pattern that has been going on for thousands of years.  

For those claiming that there is a total scientific “consensus” that climate change is being driven by human emissions of carbon dioxide, Pierre Gosselin helpfully assembles 85 scientific studies that show a negligible relationship.

John Maclean issued this piece summarising some of the false scientific forecasts, including lack of increased temperatures and rising seas, that underpin global warming action plans.

Forecasts, schmorecasts ..... ANDREW MOUNTFORD examined the first published UK official climate alarmism against the record.  Here is how wide of the mark the experts were:
Confirming preconceived notions that a hotter climate harms mental health, (for boys but apparently not girls) this Australian  study also demonstrates the potency of a good climate change hook in an application for funding.

And in a Christmas Story, increased carbon dioxide which, whatever its claimed malevolencies, is certain to mean more vegetation growth, is bizarrely said to be reducing the size of reindeers
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Subversion of Democracy by Persistent & Pervasive Media Bias in Australia


Persistent Bias by Omission across the Australian Media Prevents Democratic Voter Participation

Graham Williamson
January 2019


Australia was once a proud independent and secure country leading the world in social harmony and standard of living. It was once a country where politicians were dedicated to democracy, Australian interests and the Australian people. Now however, it is an extremely dependent indebted country, a country whose security is threatened both internally and externally by deliberate policies constructed to place global ideological agendas ahead of Australian interests and the Australian people. Radical extremist social agendas are becoming ‘normal’ as radical ideologues infiltrate political and academic life, even targeting our schoolchildren as social activists. For decades political “opposition” parties have obsessively pursued short sighted global agendas and abandoned their role as protectors of Australian interests and the Australian people. And democracy has become a frustrating nuisance, something to subvert and demonise.

But another important contributor to the once effective system of checks and balances has also failed the Australian people, namely, the mainstream media. As I have demonstrated previously, for decades the Australian media has also placed personal politics and global ideological agendas ahead of people, real people, the Australian people (1, 2, 3). For an astonishing period of more than 25 years the Australian media refused to publicise the UNs Agenda 21 program, even though successive Commonwealth governments, State governments, and local Councils around Australia, all proceeded to implement it. As I concluded previously (1):
 “Never has there been such a massive, consistent, and long lasting, failure of the media in this country, a failure which continues to jeopardise Australian security, prosperity, national sovereignty, freedom, and democracy. The media failings are primarily twofold.
1. The media have chosen to ignore, or misinform the public about, the most massive, pervasive and enduring policy initiative in Australian history, one that successive governments and Councils around Australia admit they have been implementing for more than 2 decades, while continuing to deny Australians any democratic choice. 
2. Both major political parties have been shown to be acting counter to Australian interests by encouraging and enabling the UN to increasingly and undemocratically interfere in Australian domestic affairs. Media determination to ignore Agenda 21 means the media have consistently condoned, and refused to expose, the anti-democratic mechanisms governments have utilised in an attempt to implement this imported anti-Australian program. The media has enabled successive governments to completely avoid democratic accountability.
Any attempt to prevent public debate regarding matters such as, undemocratic UN interference in Australia, and the move to ensure environmental laws cannot be democratically reversed, are simply inexcusable. This is much too great a price to pay for media subservience to the UN, political bias within the media, or media incompetence.”

Such gross, enduring, and widespread bias by complete omission can seemingly only be explained by the deliberate prioritising of self-interest or personal or professional ideological agendas over truth. For 25 years members of the media twisted and turned and even demonised anyone mentioning Agenda 21, all apparently in an effort to conceal or avoid the truth. While Agenda 21 was publicly discussed and implemented by Prime Ministers, Premiers, Environment Ministers, and local Councillors around Australia, even though Australians were denied any democratic choice, the media collectively looked the other way and pretended nothing was happening. Voters were kept misinformed and therefore were unable to cast an informed democratic vote.

Evidence of media bias, or ‘lies by omission’, in Australia, is extensive and persistent. But effective democracy is dependent upon accurately informed voters, as cited by the Electoral Regulation Research Network:
Ian McAllister, the leading Political scientist in research on Australian voters, writes:
One of the most important requirements for the functioning of representative democracy is the existence of informed and knowledgeable citizens’

The Electoral Regulation Research Network cites a statement from Isaacs J in Smith/v/Oldham, a case in the High Court underlining the vital importance of informed voters: 
The vote of every elector is a matter of concern to the whole Commonwealth, and all are interested in endeavouring to secure not merely that the vote shall be formally recorded in accordance with the opinion which the voter actually holds, free from intimidation, coercion and bribery, but that the voter shall not be led by misrepresentation or concealment of any material circumstance into forming and consequently registering a political judgment different from that which he would have formed and registered had he known the real circumstances.”

Fully informed voters are clearly essential for the very survival of democracy, as has been noted by Jennifer Hochschild.

The Australia media however, are still acting counter to Australian interests, abandoning truth and the people of Australia.

From Agenda 21 & ‘Human Rights’, to the Global Compact On Migration – Imported UN laws undemocratically imposed upon Australians, while the media continues to look the other way.

In many of their International Agreements the UN uses the terms ‘non-binding’ or ‘voluntary’ in an attempt to convince national leaders that the expensive talkfests are all meaningless and compliance with the multitude of onerous stipulations laid down by the UN is really not necessary. If we believe these UN claims then It is all just a very expensive game where time and money are wasted but nothing is achieved. But is the UN telling the truth?

Previously I have shown that although UN agreements may state in one paragraph that they are ‘non-binding’, in other sections they state the provisions must be enforced by incorporation into domestic legislation (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Looking at the Global Compact on Migration, which began its life as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, this agreement was also described as ‘non-binding’ (10, 11, 12, 13). In fact, the claim that the Compact is ‘non-binding’ is made in paragraph 7 of the Preamble, and also in Section 15(b) of the Global Compact document.

However, ‘Non-binding’ international agreements, often described as ‘soft-law’ agreements, are commonly seen as the first part of the global law-making process since they establish global norms of behaviour which ultimately become binding global laws (17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24). The international community can draw on more than half a century of precedents here in regard to human rights ‘law’, the whole process being initiated by the ‘non-binding’ UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. A constant flow of ‘non-binding’ human rights agreements followed, and the acceptance of these ‘rights’ by countries around the world has been the fundamental factor which has converted these ‘non-binding’ agreements into what are now considered to be binding laws (25, 26, 27, 28). Though considered legally binding, effective enforcement capability is still developing.

It is vitally important to understand though, that ‘non-binding’ international agreements are not ‘static’ documents frozen in time, but rather are intended to evolve into binding global law, described as ‘customary international law’. Initially compliance with the requirements of ‘non-binding’ international agreements may be assisted by pressure from the global community. However, the UN often includes onerous ‘reporting requirements’ within the agreement to ensure compliance, as noted by Dinah Shelton.

It is clear that the process of converting soft law to binding global law utilises various techniques and is a process of stealth, a factor which enables the UN to maximise buy in for potentially unpopular or controversial reforms. As Dinah Shelton points out, non-binding agreements may be favoured when scientific evidence is lacking:
“Non-binding instruments are faster to adopt, easier to change, and more useful for technical matters that may need rapid or repeated revision. This is particularly important when the subject matter may not be ripe for treaty action because of scientific uncertainty or lack of political consensus (Raustiala 2005: 582). In such instances, the choice may not be between a treaty and a soft law text, but between a soft law text and no action at all. Soft law may help mask disagreements over substance, overcome competing visions of organizations’ purposes and resolve institutional crises (Schäfer 2006: 194).…..
Laura Horn further confirms the progression of ‘non-binding’ soft law to hard law:

As time passes, some soft law principles will progress to hard law. Gradually, evidence of state practice will accumulate and eventually opinion juris can be established to form the basis for customary international law.”

As the UN summarises in their Training Manual on International Environmental Law,  customary international law results when “the way things have always been done becomes the way things must be done:”

“2. Customary International Law
33. The second most important source of international law, and thus of international environmental law, is customary international law. Before treaties became as important as they are today, customary international law was the leading source of international law: the way things have always been done becomes the way things must be done.”

As the UN further explains, global norms of behaviour established by ‘non-binding’ agreements, leading on to customary international law, are binding on ALL countries, unlike treaties which only bind signatories which accept the treaty:

“34. Once a rule of customary law is recognized, it is binding on all states, because it is then assumed to be a binding rule of conduct…….36. Customary law was mentioned in relation to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Namely, the provisions of the declaration, although not specifically intended to be legally binding, are now generally accepted asconstituting customary international law. Customary international law is as legally binding as treaty law. It can be argued that customary international law has a wider scope: a treaty is applicable only to its parties and it does not create either rights or obligations for a third state without its consent, but customary law is applicable to all states (unless it constitutes regional custom)…...
38.Non-legally binding agreements emerge when states agree on a specific issue, but they donot, or do not yet, wish to bind themselves legally; nevertheless they wish to adopt certain nonbinding rules and principles before they become law. This approach often facilitates consensus, which is more difficult to achieve on binding instruments. There could also be an expectation that a rule or principle adopted by consensus, although not legally binding, will nevertheless be complied with. Often the existence of non-legally binding norms will fuel civil society activism to compel compliance.”

Given the fact that ‘non-binding’ international agreements commonly progress to binding global law, one may well ask, ‘why are our legislators so keen to sign up for such ‘non-binding’ agreements? According to Dinah Shelton, they do it “knowingly”, but they see law in black and white terms and therefore turn a blind eye to the possible progression to ‘hard law’.

The evidence is quite clear.

·       According to the UN and legal experts, international agreements are described as ‘non-binding’ as part of a deceptive stealth process the aim of which is to progressively transfer control to the UN and lock countries in to binding UN laws.
·       Such agreements are deliberately described as ‘non-binding’ in order maximise compliance, especially in regard to more controversial or radical initiatives. These facts are confirmed by decades of precedents, particularly ‘non-binding’ human rights agreements which have transitioned into binding laws, but also ‘non-binding’ environmental agreements.
·       By transferring power from their own countries to the UN and the ICJ, national leaders have created a situation whereby they may be legally bound by ‘non-binding’ agreements, even without participating in the agreement or granting consent.
·       Though these revolutionary changes have been proceeding for decades, the people have been denied a democratic vote.

Sadly, if Australians wish to know the truth about these issues, history shows the last place they will find it is in the mainstream Australian media. The media seem to have their own agenda which includes avoiding truth, misleading or misinforming the people, and publicising ‘news’ which fits their own agenda.

US Government Claims the UN is Deceptively Describing International Agreements as ‘Non-binding’ in an Attempt to Promote UN Global Governance by Locking the World into Binding Global Laws


On 7th December 2018, ahead of the UNs Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact on Migration on 10th December, the US government issued an updated official statement regarding their reasons for rejecting the Migration Compact. They claimed the UN was seeking to advance “global governance” and was attempting to build “customary international law”:
 “The United States proclaims and reaffirms its belief that decisions about how to secure its borders, and whom to admit for legal residency or to grant citizenship, are among the most important sovereign decisions a State can make, and are not subject to negotiation, or review, in international instruments, or fora. The United States maintains the sovereign right to facilitate or restrict access to our territory, in accordance with our national laws and policies, subject to our existing international obligations.We believe the Compact and the process that led to its adoption, including the New York Declaration, represent an effort by the United Nations to advance global governance at the expense of the sovereign right of States to manage their immigration systems in accordance with their national laws, policies, and interests. …….
The United States also is concerned that Compact supporters, recognizing the lack of widespread support for a legally-binding international migration convention, seek to use the Compact and its outcomes and objectives as a long-term means of building customary international law or so-called “soft law” in the area of migration. The United States is particularly concerned by the novel use of the term “compact” to describe the document. Unlike standard titles for international instruments, “compact” has no settled meaning in international law, but it implies legal obligation……..
In the United States, foreign nationals who are not lawfully present are not “irregular” – they are illegal aliens violating the laws and immigration policies of our nation and are subject to prosecution and removal.”
The United States also is concerned that Compact supporters, recognizing the lack of widespread support for a legally-binding international migration convention, seek to use the Compact and its outcomes and objectives as a long-term means of building customary international law or so-called “soft law” in the area of migration. The United States is particularly concerned by the novel use of the term “compact” to describe the document. Unlike standard titles for international instruments, “compact” has no settled meaning in international law, but it implies legal obligation…….. In the United States, foreign nationals who are not lawfully present are not “irregular” – they are illegal aliens violating the laws and immigration policies of our nation and are subject to prosecution and removal.”
This alarming statement should have generated headlines across Australia.

This US statement, issued just before the UN Conference to approve the Migration Compact, was reported by the media in countries around the world (29, 30, 31, 32, 33). However, seemingly to confirm their ideological bias and abandonment of truth, the Australian mainstream media apparently decided NOT to inform the Australian people. Typically, headlines around the world screamed “US intensifies opposition to UN global compact on migration”, but the Australian media adopted an extremely embarrassing and incriminating silence.

On the 19th of December the UN General Assembly met to officially adopt the Migration Compact but although the US strongly opposed the Compact, Australia merely ‘abstained’, apparently unconcerned about abandonment of Australian citizens and Australian interests, and claims of global governance and international law made by the US:

The representative of Australia, noting that her country was built on migration, underscored the importance of international cooperation on the issue, particularly in the Pacific region.  Australia’s constructive engagement in negotiations reflected its experience, including responsibility-sharing between States as well as efforts to address adverse drivers of migration.  Regrettably, the agreement falls short in several areas, including, among other things, putting unnecessary constraints on State control of borders.  It also risks fostering irregular and unlawful migration.  Australia did not adopt the Global Compact and it abstained from the vote, she said.”

However, the US again repeated their concerns to the General Assembly about global governance and international law and made the following points:

·       “The United States proclaims and reaffirms its belief that decisions about how to secure its borders, and who to admit for legal residency or citizenship, are among the most important sovereign decisions a State can make. They are not subject to negotiation or review in international instruments or fora.”
·       “The United States objects to any such claims and holds that neither the Compact nor any commitments by States to implement its objectives create any legal obligations on Member States or create new rights or protections for foreign nationals as a matter of conventional or customary international law.”
·       “In the United States, foreign nationals who are not lawfully present are not “irregular” – they are illegal aliens violating the laws and immigration policies of our nation and are subject to prosecution and removal.”
·       “Calls in the Compact to prevent all instances of intolerance against foreign nationals or to promote certain perspectives for media professionals in how they report on or characterize foreign nationals raise concerns about respect for freedom of opinion and expression and media freedom, core tenets upon which the United States was founded.”
·       “While the United States honors the contributions of the many immigrants who helped build our nation, we cannot support a Compact or process that imposes or has the potential to impose international guidelines, standards, expectations, or commitments that might constrain our ability to make decisions in the best interests of our nation.”

Australian Media Decides which News Items to Present to the Australian People, & UN Attempts to Promote Undemocratic ‘Backdoor’ Pathway to Global Law were Apparently, not of Sufficient Importance

The Australian media decided not to tell the Australian people about the UNs global governance plans and the updated US statement, apparently because they had other, more important news. For instance, at the same time as the UN was seeking to promote their undemocratic global governance plans through the Migration Compact, the Australian media reported a feud between Karl Stefanovic & his ex-wife. Then there were the bikies allegedly having sex with an alpaca, apparently considered by the media to be much more newsworthy than undemocratic UN global governance. Other matters, apparently of more importance to the Australian media, included the woman who won TattsLotto twice, new hand luggage restrictions on our airlines, and an item about a woman who “asked a court to annul her 20-year marriage to her husband, who became a transgender female — so they could remarry as a same sex couple.”

As important as all these matters are, are they more important to Australia and Australians than backdoor undemocratic attempts to lock Australia into UN controlled global laws, and to do so without informing the Australian people and enabling them to have an informed democratic vote?

Some may argue that the above news stories are not truly representative. However, they all have 2 things in common, namely, they all appeared prominently in the Australian media at the same time as media around the world were reporting the US updated statement on the Migration Compact.

The United Nations Has the Final Say

UN Tells Potential Signatories ‘Not-Binding’
According to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, the Migration Compact is not binding:

“Ms. Arbour reiterated Secretary-General António Guterres’s call to banish the myths surrounding migration, and the international accord, saying that ‘it is not correct to suggest it imposes obligations on Member States and infringes on their sovereignty. It does nothing of the sort, and it is not binding, as a treaty would be’.”
“The UN secretary-general has criticised about 30 countries that have refused to back the organisation’s first agreement on protecting migrant rights, accusing them of spreading falsehoods.
Antonio Guterres was speaking in Marrakesh, where 164 ­nations signed the non-binding deal, which seeks to save refugees from people traffickers.”
On the Other Hand - UN tells lawyers & legal experts, Not binding today, but if successfully adopted, binding on all countries ‘tomorrow’
As noted above, according to the UN in their Training Manual on International Environmental Law,  binding customary international law results when “the way things have always been done becomes the way things must be done:” The aim then, according to the UN, is to establish global norms of behaviour by ‘non-binding’ agreements or other means, and eventually these will transform into binding global law.

According to Chapter 5 (Identification of customary international law) of the Report on the work of the seventieth session of the International Law Commission, in order to be classified as customary international law there are 2 requirements. To quote the UN report (A/73/10).

1.     Firstly, there must be a general or widespread practice and acceptance.

·       The requirement of a general practice, as a constituent element of customary international law, refers primarily to the practice of States that contributes to the formation, or expression, of rules of customary international law.
·       In certain cases, the practice of international organizations also contributes to the formation, or expression, of rules of customary international law.
·       State practice consists of conduct of the State, whether in the exercise of its executive, legislative, judicial or other functions
·       Practice may take a wide range of forms. It includes both physical and verbal acts. It may, under certain circumstances, include inaction.
·       Forms of State practice include, but are not limited to: diplomatic acts and correspondence; conduct in connection with resolutions adopted by an international organization or at an intergovernmental conference; conduct in connection with treaties; executive conduct, including operational conduct “on the ground”; legislative and administrative acts; and decisions of national courts.
·       The relevant practice must be general, meaning that it must be sufficiently widespread and representative, as well as consistent.
·       Provided that the practice is general, no particular duration is required

2.     Secondly, this practice must be accepted as law.

·       The requirement, as a constituent element of customary international law, that the general practice be accepted as law (opinio juris) means that the practice in question must be undertaken with a sense of legal right or obligation.
·       A general practice that is accepted as law (opinio juris) is to be distinguished from mere usage or habit.
·       Evidence of acceptance as law (opinio juris) may take a wide range of forms.
·       Forms of evidence of acceptance as law (opinio juris) include, but are not limited to:
public statements made on behalf of States;
official publications;
government legal opinions;
diplomatic correspondence;
decisions of national courts;
treaty provisions; and
conduct in connection with resolutions adopted by an international organization or at an intergovernmental conference.
·       Failure to react over time to a practice may serve as evidence of acceptance as law (opinio juris), provided that States were in a position to react and the circumstances called for some reaction.

According to the Report, the above conclusions “reflect the approach adopted by States, as well as by international courts and organizations and most authors.”

According to the UN, global norms of behaviour established through ‘non-binding’ international agreements, satisfies the first requirement of the ‘practice’ of binding customary international law. To satisfy the second requirement that the practice is accepted as ‘law’, all that is needed is:

·       public statements made on behalf of States;
·       government legal opinions;
·       decisions of national courts;
·       conduct in connection with resolutions adopted by an international organization or at an intergovernmental conference

And even if a State simply fails to object over time, this too confirms the practice is ‘law’.

The Australian media have failed the Australian people abysmally with their consistent and determined refusal to disclose the above facts and effectively subvert the democratic process. So many ‘professional’ journalists today seem to be thoroughly devoted to ideological agendas or ‘infotainment’.

How much longer will the Australian people have to wait before the Australian media decide to disclose the truth? And how much more damage will need to be done to Australian democracy, autonomy, social harmony, and independence?