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Europe’s Climate Rebellion: EU nations reject EU’s COP28 climate pledge over emissions cuts

1) EU nations reject EU’s COP28 climate pledge over emissions cuts
Bloomberg, 14 July 2023

2) Europe faces political earthquake as growing number of EU governments shift to the right
Daily Express, 15 July 2023

3) The deindustrialization of Germany is accelerating
Politico, 13 July 2023

4) European are getting poorer as the stage is set for economic stagnation
The Wall Street Journal, 17 July 2023

5) €€€Trillions for nothing: Germany set to miss 2045 Net Zero target
Clean Energy Wire, 17 July 2023

6) Eco madness as Net Zero risks forcing Christmas markets to close
GB News, 17 July 2023

7) L.B. Hahn: The lifestyle of climate radicals tells you all you need to know about their sincerity
The Federalist, 17 July 2023
8) Electric cars might not even lower CO2 emissions, new report finds
The Washington Free Beacon, 14 July 2023

9) Have we reached peak virtue signalling with EVs?
Issues & Insights Editorial Board, 14 July 2023

10) Ralph Schoellhammer: The human cost of Net Zero
Spiked, 16 July 2023

11) And finally: British government funds campaign to rewrite climate science entries on Wikipedia
The Daily Sceptic, 16 July 2023

1) EU nations reject EU’s COP28 climate pledge over emissions cuts
Bloomberg, 14 July 2023

Six European Union nations are resisting an updated climate pledge showing the bloc is on course to over-deliver on emissions cuts ahead of COP28, in the latest sign of concern over the pace of the green transition.

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, is aiming to submit by September a revised pledge showing it’s on course to slash carbon emissions by 57% by 2030, according to a draft document seen by Bloomberg.

But Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Romania are concerned that the figure — higher than the 55% targeted under the bloc’s green deal — is too ambitious, according to people familiar with the matter.

The EU’s climate chief Frans Timmermans has said the bloc will overachieve its goals, with green deal proposals such as an overhaul of its carbon market and higher CO2 removals from its natural sinks now finalized.

The EU will also push for a phase out of all fossil fuels, the bloc’s draft negotiating position seen by Bloomberg said. The energy sector will have to be free of them “well ahead” of 2050, it added.

The fact that the bloc is implementing policies on the quest for climate neutrality is a model for other countries, Timmermans said at the COP27 summit in Egypt last year. The world is currently not on track to keep global warming below the target of 1.5C laid out by the Paris Agreement, numerous scientific reports have said.

Despite that, the EU’s own climate plans have come under attack in recent months, with countries pushing for carve-outs in rules for scaling up renewable energy and phasing out the combustion engine in new cars. French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a regulatory pause.

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2) Europe faces political earthquake as growing number of EU governments shift to the right

Daily Express, 15 July 2023

More than a third of the EU’s 27 member nations now find themselves under the influence of right-wing forces, with their common agenda centred around halting uncontrolled migration, cracking down on crime, championing traditional family values, and putting the brakes on those pesky EU laws that demand radical changes in lifestyle to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In a startling political shift, right-wing movements are taking hold across Europe, transforming the continent’s political landscape. From Sweden to Italy, Finland to Greece, the rise of right-wing parties is shaking the foundations of the European Union.

But the wave of change does not stop there, as Spain gears up for national elections in just one week, followed by the Netherlands and even Germany could soon join the ranks of the right.

The seismic shift has left experts and politicians scrambling to make sense of the dramatic rise of these populist-style governments and factions.

The consequences of this political sea change are far-reaching, and some fear that the EU, once seen as the bastion of liberal democracy, may be on the verge of becoming too liberal for its own citizens.

The ordinary people living within the EU’s borders are making it clear: they want their politicians to prioritise their own needs, especially as inflation soars and the cost of energy and food skyrocket, according to analysis by the Daily Mail.

But the rising tide of right-wing sentiment is not solely driven by economic concerns. Many Europeans are pointing their fingers at high immigration rates as the root cause of rising crime, a crippling housing shortage, horrifying terror attacks, and what they perceive as a dangerous erosion of European culture.

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3) The deindustrialization of Germany is accelerating
Politico, 13 July 2023

BERLIN — Germany’s biggest companies are ditching the fatherland. Absent an unexpected turnaround, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Germany is headed for a much deeper economic decline.

Chemical giant BASF has been a pillar of German business for more than 150 years, underpinning the country’s industrial rise with a steady stream of innovation that helped make “Made in Germany” the envy of the world.

But its latest moonshot — a $10 billion investment in a state-of-the-art complex the company claims will be the gold standard for sustainable production — isn’t going up in Germany. Instead, it’s being erected 9,000 kilometers away in China.

Even as it chases the future in Asia, BASF, founded on the banks of the Rhine in 1865 as the Badische Anilin- & Sodafabrik, is scaling back in Germany. In February, the company announced the shutdown of a fertilizer plant in its hometown of Ludwigshafen and other facilities, which led to about 2,600 job cuts.

“We are increasingly worried about our home market,” BASF Chief Executive Martin Brudermüller told shareholders in April, noting that the company lost €130 million in Germany last year. “Profitability is no longer anywhere near where it should be.”

Such malaise now pervades the whole of the German economy, which slipped into a recession in the first quarter amid a flurry of surveys showing that both companies and consumers are deeply skeptical about the future.

That concern is well founded. Nearly 20 years ago, Germany overcame its reputation as the “sick man of Europe” with a package of ambitious labor market reforms that unshackled its industrial potential and ushered in a sustained period of prosperity, driven in particular by strong demand for its machinery and cars from China. While Germany frustrated many partners by exporting vastly more than it was buying, its economy flourished.

The boom times, however, came with a cost: The economic strength lulled its leaders into a false sense of security. Their failure to pursue further reforms is now coming back to bite.

Suddenly, a perfect storm is brewing over the former European powerhouse, signaling that its current recession isn’t just “technical,” as policymakers pray, but rather a harbinger of a fundamental reversal in economic fortunes that threatens to send tremors across Europe, injecting even more upheaval into the Continent’s already polarized political landscape.

Confronted by a toxic cocktail of high energy costs, worker shortages and reams of red tape, many of Germany’s biggest companies — from giants like Volkswagen and Siemens to a host of lesser-known, smaller ones — are experiencing a rude awakening and scrambling for greener pastures in North America and Asia.

Absent an unexpected turnaround, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Germany is headed for a much deeper economic decline.

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4) Europeans are getting poorer as the stage is set for economic stagnation
The Wall Street Journal, 17 July 2023

Europeans are facing a new economic reality, one they haven’t experienced in decades. They are becoming poorer.

Life on a continent long envied by outsiders for its art de vivre is rapidly losing its shine as Europeans see their purchasing power melt away.

The French are eating less foie gras and drinking less red wine. Spaniards are stinting on olive oil. Finns are being urged to use saunas on windy days when energy is less expensive. Across Germany, meat and milk consumption has fallen to the lowest level in three decades and the once-booming market for organic food has tanked. Italy’s economic development minister, Adolfo Urso, convened a crisis meeting in May over prices for pasta, the country’s favorite staple, after they jumped by more than double the national inflation rate.

With consumption spending in free fall, Europe tipped into recession at the start of the year, reinforcing a sense of relative economic, political and military decline that kicked in at the start of the century.

Europe’s current predicament has been long in the making. An aging population with a preference for free time and job security over earnings ushered in years of lackluster economic and productivity growth. Then came the one-two punch of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s protracted war in Ukraine. By upending global supply chains and sending the prices of energy and food rocketing, the crises aggravated ailments that had been festering for decades.

Governments’ responses only compounded the problem. To preserve jobs, they steered their subsidies primarily to employers, leaving consumers without a cash cushion when the price shock came. Americans, by contrast, benefited from inexpensive energy and government aid directed primarily at citizens to keep them spending.

In the past, the continent’s formidable export industry might have come to the rescue. But a sluggish recovery in China, a critical market for Europe, is undermining that growth pillar. High energy costs and rampant inflation at a level not seen since the 1970s are dulling manufacturers’ price advantage in international markets and smashing the continent’s once-harmonious labor relations. As global trade cools, Europe’s heavy reliance on exports—which account for about 50% of eurozone GDP versus 10% for the U.S.—is becoming a weakness.

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5) €€€Trillions for nothing: Germany set to miss 2045 Net Zero target
Clean Energy Wire, 17 July 2023

A draft report commissioned by the German government shows that the country’s current and planned climate policies are not enough to reach the official target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, according to a report published by Der Spiegel.

The projections report, in which leading research institutions calculated scenarios for future emissions development, showed that, even in a best-case scenario, Germany would still have net emissions of 160 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year by 2045, writes Der Spiegel. The draft must still be agreed by the government cabinet, which was originally scheduled for publication in March.

Germany is aiming for climate neutrality by 2045, meaning that remaining  greenhouse gas emissions will need to be cancelled out. This can be done by removing the same amount through natural sinks like forests or technical removal, such as directly capturing CO2 out of the air and storing it underground. The government published a first preview of the projections for the years up until 2030 when it presented its new climate action package in June. The data showed that even if these measures were to be successfully implemented, Germany would still emit a total of 200 million tonnes of CO2 more than planned until the end of the decade.
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6) Eco madness as Net Zero risks forcing Christmas markets to close
GB News, 17 July 2023

A popular Christmas market may not go ahead this year because the county council has “prioritised their net-zero ambitions”, the organiser of the festive event claims.

Oxford’s longest running market could be forced to close this Christmas after council chiefs said they are adamant that a cycle lane must remain open.

Nicole Rahimi, who has organised the event for the past 14 years, said Oxfordshire County Council had made it “impossible” for her to accept the conditions to run it again.

Fears have been raised by Rahimi over a high speed collision that could take place between cyclists and pedestrians as thousands of visitors will be unaware of the major cycle lane through the city.

The market usually opens during the first week of December where traders sell food, drinks and Christmas decorations.

“They are prioritising cycling and their net-zero ambitions over the 60 businesses which come each year,” Rahimi told the Oxford Mail.

“I cannot accept the county council’s conditions so it will not go ahead at the moment.”

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7) L.B. Hahn: The lifestyle of climate radicals tells you all you need to know about their sincerity
The Federalist, 17 July 2023

Either climate alarmists don’t actually believe the planet is doomed, or they aren’t as confident in that belief as they claim to be.

A panel of scientists recently claimed that humans’ effect on the planet is so significant it should be memorialized through the creation of a new geological epoch that began sometime in the middle of the 20th century. As we speak, climate activists are preparing to do what any well-adjusted, functioning adult would do on the heels of such news: glue themselves to a building or throw tomato soup at great works of art.

The latest breaking climate story always provides new opportunities for the left to sermonize, identify heretics, and reassert their moral and intellectual superiority while making no changes to their own lifestyles that would demonstrate even a modicum of sincerity. The oft-discussed hypocrisy of elites who charter private jets to attend climate summits is no secret, but less discussed is the day-to-day hypocrisy of the rank-and-file voters who comprise the broader Democratic Party.

Democrats describe global warming as an existential threat with only X number of years to act before the planet is on an irreversible course to becoming uninhabitable. It stands to reason that anyone who genuinely believes this would take dramatic steps to prevent our imminent annihilation. These measures would include self-imposed lifestyle changes far beyond driving an electric vehicle, yet when it comes to climate alarmists, so often we cannot pick their lifestyle out of a lineup.

The lifestyle of voters who believe humans are destroying the planet is often indistinguishable from that of those who believe manmade climate change is a hoax. This suggests one of two things: Either climate alarmists don’t actually believe the planet is doomed (or at the very least they aren’t nearly as confident in that belief as they claim to be), or they truly believe the planet is doomed but aren’t willing to inconvenience themselves in any meaningful way.

Neither explanation presents climate hysterics in a positive light. Living in a manner consistent with one’s proclamations requires sacrifice, and who needs that when you can sport beliefs like fashion accessories and enjoy the perks of trendy moralism without the hefty price tag? This window-dressing approach to morality offers Gucci fashion at Goodwill prices.

Activists will suggest that voting for the Democratic party is more than enough to demonstrate a genuine belief in the claim that we are on the brink of permanently destroying human civilization, but this fails to stand up to scrutiny. Anyone convinced that our extinction is imminent would certainly take it upon himself to enact radical change in his own life, even in the absence of laws requiring him to do so. Abdicating one’s duty by virtue of voting for politicians who claim to care about the planet is not an acceptable stand-in for personal responsibility — not when the stakes are that high.

Similarly, activists supposedly on a mission to thwart the destruction of the planet would not spend their time gluing themselves to artwork but instead would launch aggressive sabotage campaigns up to and including domestic terrorism.

Unfortunately, given the increasingly violent nature of the left’s activism and their tendency to use just about anything as an excuse to tear down the society they despise, this is one area where their actions might eventually match their hysteria.

At this stage, it would be beneficial to properly characterize the left’s position on climate change, which is like a Jenga tower. It starts off relatively stable, but as things progress it begins to teeter:

1. The earth is warming.

2. Humans are contributing to this warming effect. 

3. Humans are significantly contributing to this warming effect. 

4. Humans are the primary cause of this warming effect.  

5. The data and modeling used to arrive at this conclusion are immune to human error and bias. 

6. This warming effect is mostly preventable. 

7. It is preventable only by implementing a centrally planned economy. 

8. Other countries will join our efforts, including our enemies, even though it would benefit them not to do so.  

9. There will be no unintended consequences to our plan.  

10. Anyone unwilling to accept this list from top to bottom is a “climate denier.” 

It is not difficult to understand why Republicans are skeptical. Democrats present their argument with the credibility and trustworthiness of a flea market fortune teller, not only because their palm reading has proven to be wildly inaccurate in the past, but because their solutions have a striking resemblance to the agenda they’ve been trying to implement long before climate change was a thing. As if incrementally destroying the economy by transforming it into a centrally planned bureaucratic hellscape is not enough, the left has managed to work race into this issue — because of course they have.

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8) Electric cars might not even lower CO2 emissions, new report finds
The Washington Free Beacon, 14 July 2023

The large amount of carbon emissions associated with producing—and even charging—electric vehicles means the cars might not even help the environment, according to a new report.

While electric vehicles do not produce tailpipe emissions, the materials that must be mined, processed, and refined to build the cars produce considerably more carbon dioxide than those used to build their gas-powered counterparts. In many cases, meanwhile, the power used to charge electric vehicles comes from natural gas and coal. Those emissions, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark Mills argues in a Wednesday report, “substantially offset reductions from avoiding gasoline.”

Additionally, driving an electric vehicle instead of a gas-powered one “could even lead to a net increase in emissions.”

For Mills, the findings expose a “fatal flaw” in the rationale behind President Joe Biden’s electric vehicle mandates. Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency in April announced a rule that effectively forces U.S. automakers to ensure two-thirds of the vehicles they sell are electric by 2032. That rule, the Environmental Protection Agency said at the time, will “tackle the climate crisis” by avoiding billions of tons of carbon emissions.

But the agency’s forecast and other assessments that claim electric vehicles will “play a central role in radically cutting carbon dioxide emissions” are flawed, according to Mills’s report. “Every claim for EVs reducing emissions is a rough estimate or an outright guess based on averages, approximations, or aspirations,” the report says. “The variables and uncertainties in emissions from energy-intensive mining and processing of minerals used to make EV batteries are a big wild card in the emissions calculus.”

Some forecasts the report cites, for example, assume that the minerals used to build electric cars come from North America, where power grids are much cleaner. “In reality,” Mills writes, “China refines 50%-90% of the world’s suite of energy minerals,” and the emissions associated with Chinese refineries are considerably higher than those seen in the United States or Europe. As a result, Mills calculated scenarios in which driving an electric vehicle “leads to greater lifetime emissions” than driving a gas-powered car.

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9) Have we reached peak virtue signalling with EVs?
Issues & Insights Editorial Board, 14 July 2023

The cars that were going to save our world from the scourge of carbon-based global warming are, says one media outlet, “piling up on dealer lots” because they can’t be sold. Maybe we’re finally at the point where most if not all of those who are desperate to demonstrate their green cred already have an EV and don’t need another battery-powered adult toy.

Even though “the auto industry is beginning to crank out more electric vehicles (EVs) to challenge Tesla,” Axios reported Monday, “there’s one big problem: not enough buyers.”

Two days later, Market Watch said that as “EV sales stall … there’s a ‘step back from euphoria.’”

While ​​Tesla Inc. and BYD Co., a Chinese conglomerate, have strong growth numbers, the rest in the industry, which has been incentivized to build, build, build by government mandate, can’t sell their EVs.

Korean luxury brand Genesis “sold only 18 of its nearly $82,000 Electrified G80 sedans in the 30 days leading up to June 29, and had 210 in stock nationwide — a 350-day supply,” Axios says.

Meanwhile, “Audi’s Q4 e-tron and Q8 e-tron and the GMC Hummer EV SUV, also have bloated inventories well above 100 days,” and “the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Nissan Ariya are also stacking up.” Even “the once-hot Ford Mustang Mach-E now has a 117-day supply.”

Axios is blaming the high price of EVs for the lack of sales, but that doesn’t explain why Tesla and BYD continue to sell electric cars. Could be there’s another factor.
We have recently written:

That EVs are evil (they’re “​​responsible for raping the planet, poisoning entire communities, enriching genocidal tyrants, and creating a massive hazmat problem while doing nothing to stop “climate change”).

That EVs are the Yugo of the 21st century (“a minor accident can cause a total loss, even if the car’s been driven only a few miles,” because “the cost of repair is exorbitant”).

And that they deserve scorn from those who don’t own them (because “​​the policy geniuses in Washington” want to impose a per-mile tax on all driving since EVs don’t generate fuel tax revenues that fund road repair and new construction – when they’re not being diverted to public transit and other destinations that have nothing to do with automobile travel).

But we haven’t said nearly enough about how they’ve been the perfect product for virtue signalers. EVs are rolling megaphones for the upper-middle class and upper-class white Democrats and progressives who want to scream “look at me, I’m saving the planet.” We’ve seen no research on the matter, but we’d bet that there’s an enormous crossover between homes with EVs in the garage and “In This House We Believe …” signs in the yard.

Guardian columnist John Naughton recently wrote about EV buyers “basking in the warm glow that comes from doing one’s bit to save the planet,” and the “smug feeling” one gets when one doesn’t produce the same emissions as a “​​hideous diesel SUV.”

He was being a bit sarcastic, as the column is primarily focused on the dirty reality of EVs, an important point we have covered, as well. As an EV owner himself, though, he gets the virtue signaling exactly right.

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10) Ralph Schoellhammer: The human cost of Net Zero
Spiked, 16 July 2023

In 2021, Jeremiah Thoronka was making a name for himself in clean-energy technology. The then 21-year-old Durham University masters student had invented a device that uses kinetic energy from traffic and pedestrians to generate electricity. It certainly sounded groundbreaking. In a pilot project in Thoronka’s native Sierra Leone, two devices had apparently provided free electricity to 150 households and 15 schools.

Thoronka’s work clearly impressed awards panel judges. In 2021, he picked up the Commonwealth Youth Award and the Global Student Prize, which was presented to him by filmstar Hugh Jackman at a virtual ceremony, broadcast from the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Thoronka was the man of the moment. There was a profile by the BBC, an invitation to give TED talks and, in May 2022, an audience with the pope. He was celebrated as a green-tech innovator, someone setting a clean-energy example for the world to follow.

The accolades have continued to flow. Last month, at the Green Tech Festival in Berlin, he won the Youngster Green Award for 2023. It was this that prompted German journalists to ask if it might all be a little too good to be true. They contacted the organisers of the Youngster Green Award and Greentech Festival to find out a bit more about Thoronka’s pilot project. After all, it sounded incredible. But the organisers said that wouldn’t be possible because the pilot had since been dismantled. They asked if the device was being used anywhere else, and were told that it wasn’t. One journalist even asked if there were any videos, blueprints or other documentation of this unprecedented breakthrough. Again, nothing was forthcoming. In fact, no one could tell journalists much about the device or the pilot project at all.

It seems the Youngster Green Award and Greentech festival organisers, and potentially others, have been willing to take Thoronka’s achievement entirely at face value. Perhaps the pilot was a success; perhaps it wasn’t. That no one really knows – or cares to know – is telling.

Clearly, Western green elites want to believe in the success of Thoronka’s device. As journalist Alexander Wendt concluded, perhaps Thoronka’s genius lies not in the field of piezoelectricity – the conversion of kinetic energy into electricity – but in ‘psycho-engineering’. He is telling the West’s green establishment what it wants to hear. It wants to believe it’s possible to meet Africa’s growing energy needs without fossil fuels or nuclear power. And so this kinetic-energy device is catering to their environmentalist fantasies.

The tale of Thoronka’s device captures well the wishful thinking that dominates the worldview of Western green elites. They are determined to believe that there are quick and easy routes to decarbonising the economy. That it’s possible to meet people’s energy needs today without using fossil fuels or nuclear power. That the transition to clean, green energy is just around the corner, and the only thing standing in its way are the evil fossil-fuel companies.

This is a dangerous, infantile outlook. And it’s not just confined to the likes of groups like Just Stop Oil. It is the outlook of a large part of our political and media elites, too. They talk up the transition to clean energy and set grandstanding Net Zero targets. And they encourage the demonisation and cessation of fossil-fuel use. But all their green schemes will come at a huge human cost.

The truth is that our societies are still massively dependent on fossil fuels. For all the talk of the advances made in renewable energy, the proportion of our electricity production reliant on fossil fuels has barely changed over the past 40 years. In that time, only nuclear power has declined as a source of electricity.

None of this is to say that an energy transition is impossible. A target of Net Zero by 2050 could well be met. But the rapid abandonment of fossil fuels that this demands would inflict misery and hardship on billions of people.

How fossil fuels power the world

Of course, Western elites will claim that the energy transition is absolutely necessary if we’re to avert catastrophe from climate change. King Charles and London mayor Sadiq Khan even unveiled a ‘National Climate Clock’ last month, just to show how little time we supposedly have left to stave off the apocalypse.

In truth, Western politicians themselves don’t really take their own doom-mongering that seriously. They know that talk of ending fossil fuels appeals to parts of the electorate. Plus it looks good on the global stage. It’s something to posture over at the annual COP junket. But they also know that most people would be unwilling to bear the consequences of an actual end to fossil fuels.

US president Joe Biden, for example, is well aware that gasoline prices have a direct impact on his re-election prospects. This is why he has shown no hesitation in draining America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep prices down.

The same bad faith is at work among European politicians, too. They hype up the ‘climate emergency’ and posture over Net Zero targets. But when push comes to shove, they relent. Germany, for example, likes to present itself as a leader of the global energy transition. Yet as soon as the energy crisis started to bite last year, the German government brought coal power plants back online to power the electricity grid. And it did so by burning lignite, the dirtiest type of coal.

Then there’s Norway, the fifth-richest country in the world, which is blessed with abundant natural resources and hydropower. It has become the poster child for the introduction of electric vehicles, and we’re told it is showing the world how to manage the energy transition. But is it really? Domestic oil consumption in Norway today is about as high as it was in 1985. Despite the hype, Norway’s energy transition is going much slower than the headlines let on. Norwegians themselves know which side their Smørrebrød is buttered. Indeed, Oslo has just approved $18 billion in funding to help develop another 19 oil and gas fields.

Western governments’ green hypocrisy is revealing. They posture endlessly about Net Zero and indulge in fantasies about the energy transition. Yet they can’t escape the fact that fossil fuels are integral to their societies’ wellbeing.

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11) And finally: British government funds campaign to rewrite climate science entries on Wikipedia
The Daily Sceptic, 16 July 2023

By Chris Morrison

A major rewriting of the science published on Wikipedia that is sceptical of the ‘settled’ climate narrative is being funded by a number of Governments from Scandinavia and the U.K.

The operation is being directed by the green activist group, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), under a project titled ‘Improving communication of climate knowledge through Wikipedia’.

The operation targets climate change pages that have significant daily page views. The SEI notes that Wikipedia articles usually appear at the top of internet search results, and the site plays a “key role” in helping promote climate change knowledge. “The improvement of the key articles making use of available scientific expertise is necessary,” it says.

The key word of course is “improvement” but, alas, a brief list of the “content experts” does not inspire confidence that rigorous dissemination of all climate science views will prevail. For instance, Kristie L. Ebi from the University of Washington has the curious notion that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are “affecting the nutritional quality of our food”. Poor old CO2 you might feel. It gets a shocking press these days but few doubt its role as the gas of life, whose 60% reduction in the atmosphere would lead to the swift removal of all plant and life forms on Earth.

Elizabeth Gilmore of Carleton University, another of SEI’s “content experts”, runs a class on inspiring young eco-activists. She recently wrote that after Greta Thunberg “admonished” delegates at COP24, “it has become increasingly apparent that university students feel the brunt of multiple and interlinked existential crises of climate change, biodiversity, persistent inequality, inequity and economic precarity”.

The SEI project includes academics who have “scientific and climate change expertise”. In fact the ‘expertise’ seems to tend towards the burgeoning world of eco bureaucracy, consultancy and green activism. All the parties collaborate by revising and cutting text, proposing new content and adding new references. There is also interaction with published experts, “who advise us on necessary content edits”.

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