Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

Drudge Retort

User Info

cutiepie

Subscribe to cutiepie's blog Subscribe

Menu

Special Features

Comments

__________

Maybe you're wrong and it's not a lie. Ever think of that Einstein? Our leaders lie too.
Ukrainian paramilitary units have been killing separatists in the Donbass for over eight years.
#22 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2022-09-20

That's some "alternative facts" and alternate reality metaverse you and Putin are trying to paint. As much as Putin and his cronies and trolls keep trying to rewrite the history, it's not working any more than "Nazi Ukraine" or "Zio-Nazis" or turning Russian genocidal mercenaries in Donbas, Ukraine and elsewhere in former Soviet republics and Syria into victims of supposed genocide.

We get it - that's the only story you've got left but everyone outside Russia (and many inside) know the history. It's been well documented.

Putin and his henchmen pretty much gave the game away long time ago when they declared Ukraine as non-country and Ukrainians as non-people, just an extension of Russian empire.

How the trouble started

With its substantial Russian-speaking population, Donbas (Donetsk Basin) was a bedrock of support for Viktor Yanukovych, who became Ukraine's president in 2010 with the help of Vladimir Putin "meddling" in Ukrainian elections. Donetsk-born Yanukovych was funneling most of Ukraine's budget to oligarchs and Russian-speaking minority in Donbas. The last straw came in 2014 when - under pressure from Putin - Yanukovych made a decision to renege on signing a trade pact with the European Union, and he was ousted after protests, known as Maidan or Euromaidan, turned violent. Yanukovych fled to Russia.

While the new pro-Western government was forming in Kyiv, Putin sent unbadged masked troops - known as "Putin's little green men", operatives from the Special Operations Forces, Spetsnaz GRU units and Wagner Group contractors - to annex Crimea, Ukraine's lightly defended Black Sea peninsula. Backed by agents from Moscow, so-called "separatists" tried to emulate that success by taking control in cities across the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. But this time there was strong resistance and an armed conflict developed in the Donbas. It's clear that many Russian speakers in the region wanted stronger ties with Russia, though not that they wanted to join it or fight. One of the first commanders of the separatist forces, Igor Girkin, aka Strelkov, was a Russian GRU intelligence officer who had been involved in Moscow's operation to seize Crimea. Girkin was dismissed as "Defense Minister of DPR " in August 2014, after 298 people died when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. In 2016 he formed the Russian National Movement, a political group in favor of "uniting the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, and other Russian lands into a single all-Russian state and transforming the entire territory of the former USSR into an unconditional zone of Russian influence." To that end, the Kremlin often uses tactic of organizing sham votes in "referendum" to approve of its annexation of the areas under its military control.

Why is Russia focused on Donbas?

Putin has made clear since at least 2007 that he doesn't accept eastern Europe's post-Soviet Union USA-aligned security architecture. He since tried to carve out a sphere of influence for Moscow in the former Soviet space, using military against efforts by Russia's neighbors to join or associate with the NATO or the European Union. He tried instead to build Russian-led equivalents " the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Eurasian Economic Union " but without Ukraine, a fellow Slav nation of about 41 million, they would amount to little. Putin saw control of Donetsk and Luhansk as a leverage to ensure Ukraine would remain within its orbit, but when that failed he invaded.
__________

__________
#10 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2022-09-15
I'd love to see Prof Mike's research paper on it and not an op-ed where the math is so far off.
It's also a farce when people start talking zero carbon by completely ignoring the supply chain.

---

Yep. The headline and the author was very clever in the article to omit that the batteries have not generated new power - batteries are only a storage of energy that MUST be used because "renewable" sources of energy are intermittent and unstable.

Just because wind and solar are "renewable" and "free" doesn't mean that capturing / producing energy from them is "renewable," carbon-free, less expensive or more secure, if you take supply chain into account. Not to mention the amount of space, lack of scalability and locations / NIMBY factors.

Batteries "the size of football field" are necessary for wind or solar farms to be of any use at all on the grid - IOW, it's an unavoidable additional expense of money and space, and they use tons of carbon to produce and maintain, degrade with use, i.e., are not "renewable," use metals and minerals which have to be mined and may be in short supply or unavailable to US companies (national security issue).

So batteries didn't "save" California, they are saving wind and solar farms from being completely useless otherwise, IOW, making a virtue of necessity.

It's not like it's a new concept - article makes it sound like there was some kind of breakthrough in electrical science. Most environmentalists who have been gung-ho on "renewables" are already switching to view that nuclear, particularly thorium reactors (MSR) and possibly other "clean" fuels like green hydrogen are better and cheaper and definitely much less carbon-intensive, space-consuming and far more portable than wind and solar. At the same time electric cars (essentially, a battery on wheels with plenty of power-hungry electronics and software) are now under scrutiny due to extremely carbon-intensive production and maintenance cycles which make them "gross carbon polluters" compared to many hybrids and ICE.

drudge.com - The energy historian who says rapid decarbonization is a fantasy
drudge.com - Why renewables can't save the planet | Michael Shellenberger
The Contradictions of Battery Operated Vehicles
The World Is Not Yet Ready for Electric Cars

Also, what may be "good" for CA, may not be applicable in other places, but the "one-size-fits-all" mentality seems pervasive in politicians who don't understand science, or don't care as long as they can convince people that they are "saving" the planet and creating "good, clean, well-paying jobs" and it will be "cheaper for consumers" while actually doing damage to environment and increasing costs for everyone, i.e., creating inflation.

en.wikipedia.org - Ivanpah world's largest solar plant burns birds

MEANWHILE... "blue" California will be paying "red" Wyoming for wind power, just like 10% of their oil is/was(?) imported from Russia despite plenty of it in the US and in CA itself. Oh, the irony!

www.latimes.com - Most of the West is rendered in pale shades of green and light blue, meaning average wind speeds of 10 to 15 mph at best. But this part of southern Wyoming " where the Rocky Mountains drop down in elevation, creating a funnel-like effect " is streaked with thick veins of dark blue. For wind energy developers, that's the really good stuff: speeds of 20 mph and above."
__________

__________
#25 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2022-09-13

Cause the Russians are trying to get the Russian speakers their own countries until they can be annexed to Russia like they want.

Exactly.

The Ukrainian's just want to ... keep the land.

How dare they "keep the land"! Why should they be ALLOWED to "keep THEIR land" if Putin wants it and some people there speak Russian?

Same as in Transnistria (Moldova) - where BTW about quarter of people speak Ukrainian - and Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh regions - all post-Soviet Putin-supported conflicts that as you so eloquently put it, Putin the Mad wants to use as a pretext to annexation into the Greater Russia and/or Eurasia. Rebuild former failed Soviet Union into Russian Union or, forget "union" of republics - just make it one Russia again.

Have news for you - after Ukies are done with your fascist Orcs and Vlad the Mad is a bad memory (like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Saddam etc.) we are taking them back to their respective representative countries. We might have to take a bite of Russia, too, so you would remember... Definitely "Kaliningrad" - no more "Soviet" cities / oblasts / regions, especially in the middle of Europe - Konigsberg really belongs to Poland and Lithuania, NATO countries. If they had referendum they would prefer to be in EU, don't you think?

... Maybe we should take Rostov, too - make sure Black Sea is closed to whatever is left of Russian fleet - just an idea.

It's the industrial hub of the Ukraine so the Ukies don't want to give it up even though they are waging war on their "own" people.

But you just said that they are not really their "own" people because they want to be "Russian people" and they want this to be Russia instead of Ukraine? You're slipping.

Ukies don't want to give it up

Who do they think they are, not giving up the land that Putin and the glorious Russian federation want to have! If some Russian-speaking people don't want to live in Ukraine under present regime they can move to Russia or to vote in honest elections - they seemed to have been happy under corrupt Putin's crony Yanukovych, when he was sending them most of Ukraine's budget and they terrorized the Ukrainian-speaking population with the help of Russian black-shirt thugs.

And Putin and his propagandist spokespeople already gave away the game long time ago - these "People's Republics" are just outposts before Russia moves further until it has entire countries, one by one - that's the idea behind kidnapping and "filtrating" populations of the occupied territories. It just happened that Putin's Gambit didn't work, blitzkrieg failed, resistance prevailed, so you're scaling back to trying to hold Donbas... for now... until the next opportunity comes along.

It's important to make sure that it will never again comes along, after freeing all other "post-Soviet conflicts" from their Soviet heritage. Soviet Union belongs in the ash heap of history, let's keep it there, until it's de-Sovietized, de-Putinized, demilitarized. It's the job of NATO, i.e., mostly United States.

The Serbs were accused of "genocide".The Ukrainian's could be justly accused of something similar in the Donbass.

The only similarity here is genocide being committed by Putin and his band of marauders.

So war again.

If that's what it takes. Only now the entire world and you know how horribly weak and bad Russian 'Wehrmacht' really is. There may another round in Syria or somewhere else where other bad actors are aligned with Putin and make the world much worse place than it could have been.
__________

__________
First let's establish that you are trolling for Russian troll farm like Saint Petersburg's IRA (Internet 'Research' Agency) - you have many "tells" as they say in poker. Da? OK.

But now you are just losing it. Ask for a better script and try to keep it together so we can keep laughing at the latest Russian propaganda ideas... like "Zio-Nazis" - because Zelensky is Jewish and plain ol' "Nazis" didn't work, right? Very cool!

I hope the Ukies have enough people ready to die violently to reclaim it.

They already have shown that they would rather die defending THEIR country than die being slaves of Putin and "mother" f'king Russia.

Give peace a chance.

Good idea. Tell that to Putin, Medvedev, Lavrov, , Prigozhin, Solovyev, Simonyan ... and don't forget to inform Tucker Carlson.

Is real estate worth dying over?

Oh, that's a good one. What to you is "real estate" is home to millions of people that have been displaced, killed or maimed because of Putin. Also, that "real estate" happens to have large deposits of energy supplies in coal and gas as well as grain fields and largest nuclear plant in Europe, among other natural resources.

The people who live there don't even want to be Ukrainian.

Seriously not working. Even Russian-speaking people in the east Ukraine are now anti-Russia, anti-Putin - they saw what your people are doing and they want to be in EU and NATO, protected from barbaric terrorist Russia and people in it who allowed Putin to brutally destroy civilian structures and kill, pillage, rape, kidnap and "filter" millions of innocent Ukrainians, including their loved ones. They will hate you for generations.

Ukraine in 1994 gave up its nukes to live in peace within well-defined longstanding boundaries Russia pledged to guarantee. Putin fixed Ukrainian elections to install his corrupt crony Yanukovych. When the Ukrainians overthrew Putin's puppet in Maidan-2 and the flow of money stopped, Putin seized Crimea and most of Ukraine's industrial heartland in the east in 2014.

Ukraine accepted a ceasefire, even as it left Russian forces in their country, for the promise of peace talks. Russia responded by stalling, shelling unoccupied parts of Ukraine, setting up two corrupt puppet regimes in Donetsk and Luhansk during which they shot down a Malaysian civilian airplane " and ultimately disavowing its agreement, to invade again.

People are dying Man. Don't ya care. Stop the Madness.

We do care, finally. People were dying when Putin took Crimea, when he sent his black-shirt goons to foment "separatists" in eastern Ukraine.

Putin the Mad can stop it any time he wants to. No, don't stop, we need to empty the warehouses of all the old equipment, like HIMARs that we didn't sell 20 years ago, to make room for new advanced weapons and ammo. We also need to test our more advanced devices against Iranian drones and whatever else Putin wants to buy elsewhere because, boy, does Russian 'Wehrmacht' weaponry sucks!

Too bad we have to kill a lot more Russian Orcs who didn't want to be soldiers in this WAR against Humanity, but Putin is making us do it. So we have to kill more or take them captive (for exchange, or some may want to stay in soon-to-be EU and NATO country) so Russian mothers and sisters wake up and make Putin and other 'leaders' pay for this. IF we are lucky, maybe we'll see "Ceausescu" (executed with his wife on Christmas Day) or even "Mussolini" - his and his mistress' corpses hung upside down for public display and humiliation.

This is Western machinations against the glorious Russian federation and the Russian peoples of Ukraine.

Nicely done! Points for ass-kissing.

The real Ukrainian's want no part of this.

True, real Ukrainians never wanted this war or occupation by "separatists" with the help of Russian black-shirt thugs with Soviet flags.
__________

__________
First Law of Holes: When your opponent is in a hole and digging, don't take away his shovel."

Instead of letting people concentrate on Trump's troubles and GOP's slate of inept MAGA candidates who are trying to run away from Trump and Dobbs / SCOTUS and Rick Scott ("if they can't handle their own money, what will they do with ours?") - he is drawing attention to himself and problems with economy and "wokenness" - his "emergency" multi-billion dollars giveaways to special interest groups, like student loans "forgiveness," are not widely popular outside of those who directly benefit from them...

d2eehagpk5cl65.cloudfront.net
reason.com

And mocking and resorting to name-calling from the President - where have we seen and heard this before? This is a rerun of "deplorables" that worked so well in 2016? It's hubris, and it doesn't end well - just ask "A Cinch" Hillary or "Dark Vlad" Putin. This may play well among the party-line folks, but doesn't help convert anyone to their side and turns off undecideds. His low approval ratings don't afford him the luxury of looking like angry clown.

Not to mention, this doesn't help DOJ to properly put the Orange Man into an orange suit, because it feels "political" - that's the reason TV networks didn't carry his Philadelphia speech, despite assurances from Jean-Pierre that it was "not a political speech." And with Biden's idiot children leaving their analog and digital breadcrumbs everywhere, it's not a good idea of even appearing to influence DOJ - "anything you say will be used against you."

This is not a good look for Biden, who ran on "uniter, not a divider" platform. He and Democrats should remember that people didn't vote for him, they voted against TOG, now TFG. He's never been good on the stump and he isn't now... someone (maybe Obama?) should tell him that. People liked him better when he was in quarantine. If Dems lose seats this November, they can "thank" the emergence of "Dark Brandon" Biden, not "Sleepy Joe" Biden.

Large Racial Turnout Gap Persisted in 2020 Election
www.brennancenter.org

__________

__________
More research material for intellectually curious:

The Contradictions of Battery Operated Vehicles | Graham Conway | TEDxSanAntonio
www.youtube.com

SwRI Principal Engineer Dr. Graham Conway is sparking debate with his views on electric vehicles. Conway presented his ideas in a TEDx San Antonio talk, which now has thousands of views on YouTube. In this episode, he explains why he believes describing electric cars as "zero emissions" doesn't tell the whole story. He urges listeners to examine where the electricity that powers battery-operated vehicles comes from. If the power source creates pollution, can the technology truly be considered zero emissions? Conway provides valuable insight for the environmentally aware driver.

Technology Today Podcast - Examining Zero EmissionsEpisode 21: Examining Zero Emissions
Transcript: www.swri.org

The World Is Not Yet Ready for Electric Cars
By Rob Enderle July 11, 2022
www.technewsworld.com
___

Why renewables can't save the planet | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxDanubia
www.youtube.com

Why I changed my mind about nuclear power | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxBerlin
www.youtube.com

Michael Shellenberger is co-founder and Senior Fellow at the Breakthrough Institute, where he was president from 2003 to 2015, and a co-author of the Ecomodernist Manifesto.
Over the last decade, Michael and his colleagues have constructed a new paradigm that views prosperity, cheap energy and nuclear power as the keys to environmental progress. A book he co-wrote (with Ted Nordhaus) in 2007, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism
to the Politics of Possibility, was called by Wired magazine "the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring," while Time Magazine called him a "hero of the environment." In the 1990s, he helped protect the last significant groves of old-growth redwoods still in private hands and bring about labor improvements to Nike factories in Asia.

Shellenberger was a Democratic candidate for Governor in the 2018 California gubernatorial election, placing ninth in a field of twenty-seven candidates. In 2021, he supported recalling Governor Gavin Newsom in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election. Shellenberger ran as a "No Party Preference" candidate in the 2022 gubernatorial election, failing to make the runoff.
Political party: No Party Preference (2022 " present)
Other political affiliations: Democratic (until 2022)
en.wikipedia.org
__________

__________
California: Mandates EVs but asks people not to charge them

Yep, does sound like California and few other places where governments think they can just "pass the bill" and things magically get better, cheaper, faster, copacetic...

Scalability, energy density, environmental impact, required new infrastructure and recycling old infrastructure, security + independence + redundance / alternatives of supplies and supply chains when needed, and the costs are afterthoughts. First, dig up the pool, we'll figure out where to get the water on massiuve scale to keep it all filled up later, before we order you to jump in.

The example of Germany means nothing? Or it's just Putin, Russia, Russia, Russia... who could predict? Energy diversification = "electricity" and batteries on wheels and "battery walls"? Where do the [toxic] raw materials to make it all work, like nickel, lithium, cadmium, molibden etc. come from? How many of these are "green" or "renewable"? Will any of this really be cheaper or at all affordable? Questions for later, first let's start digging those pools?
___

www.latimes.com
The energy historian who says rapid decarbonization is a fantasy

Vaclav Smil rarely agrees to interviews. Too many in the media have portrayed him as a tool of Big Oil, he says - because he insists on pointing out how deeply dependent humanity is on fossil fuels and how difficult it will be to give them up.

The economist and professor emeritus at Canada's University of Manitoba heats his house with solar energy. He's no global warming denier. His mission: lay out facts. "I'm not an optimist or a pessimist," he likes to say. "I'm a scientist."

Smil, 79, has spent a lifetime studying the history of energy - from wood to coal to oil to gas and nuclear to wind and solar - and has written dozens of deeply researched books. He's highly regarded and frequently cited in academic circles and counts Bill Gates among his most famous fans.

Q: Much of the climate debate, you write, is dominated by catastrophists who are certain humanity finds itself on the eve of destruction, and utopians who fervently believe that technology will save the human race. How should the rest of us think about real solutions to serious energy and environmental problems?

Q:Many people and policymakers seem to think with enough money and willpower, we can rapidly switch to renewable energy. You believe this is a delusion, and the transformation will take decades.

It's not a matter of belief. What is decisive is the size of the global energy system, its economic and infrastructural inertia.

Fossil fuels now supply about 83% of the world's commercial energy, compared to 86% in the year 2000. The new renewables (wind and solar) now provide (after some two decades of development) still less than 6% of the world's primary energy, still less than hydroelectricity.

What are the chances that after going from 86% to 83% during the first two decades of the 21st century the world will go from 83% to zero during the next two decades? Especially as a few weeks ago China announced additional 300 million tons of new coal production for 2022, and India additional 400 million tons by the end of 2023. We are still running into fossil fuels, not away from them.

Q: While not opposed to electric vehicles, you take issue with those who buy them thinking they're doing their part to solve global warming, mission accomplished.

There are no EVs. They are battery vehicles reflecting the electricity's origins. If I were to buy an EV in Manitoba, it would be a 100% hydroelectricity, truly zero carbon energy, car. In North China it is a 90% coal car, in France it is a 70% nuclear car, in Russia mostly a natural gas car and in Denmark a 50% wind car et cetera.
__________

__________
#10 | Posted by sitzkrieg
#11 | Posted by GalaxiePete
#12 | Posted by GalaxiePete

Appreciate the frequent updates.

At this point the Germany's remaining nuclear power may provide about 3%-5% max of all German electricity, but every little bit helps.

Re LNG - yeah, EU, Germany in particular, dropped the ball big time. There was a way to keep "friendship" with Putin, hoping "to bring Russia into civilized world" without going all-in into full hostage dependency situation. Too seductive to be exploited for Putin's ilk.

But then, Russian LNG efforts are in shambles. After 2014 Crimea invasion and sanctions, Total's / Novatek's Yamal LNG was saved by China's money and personal support of Putin and Xi Jinping.

Novatek's new Murmansk-based Arctic LNG-2 project to supply LNG to China and Asia can no longer find Western materials, expertise and financing for it, after reckless February invasion of Ukraine and much tougher sanctions.

And Xi already has / will have all the gas supply China needs - he doesn't need Russian's excess supply delivered to rest of Asia by tankers. Chinese banks are very cautious of sanctions and they have to deal with many bad loans inside China. Despite all the apparent loud "successes" they claim, CBRI (Chinese Belt and Road Initiative) is in financial trouble due to poor choices and management of the loans to several developing countries, there are few new loans and none to Russian projects. And the supply chain for new Russian projects - at least the ones that don't do any good to China - has
been severely disrupted.

Now Russia has to keep burning gas - "so much winning" for "great 3D/4D chess master" Vladimir Putin who imagines himself new Peter/Vlad the Great.

Xi was also in trouble due to financial and COVID mismanagement just before CCP is deciding to extend his "King / President for Life" post, but then Nancy Pelosi's ego just had to stop by in Taipei and Xi grabbed the moment. Just when the news 24/7 should have been the achievement of US Hellfire R9X "ninja shredder" missile killing al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and as a warning to all terrorists (including heads of terrorist states) - she stepped right in and all over it. Oh well.

__________

__________
Russia's gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will not resume in full until the "collective west" lifts sanctions

Putin is desperate desperado right now... you can't eat gas and oil.

Oil is fungible, so it was easy to figure out that if Russia has to sell it at a great discount of about 30%-33% to India, China and some secondary market countries, then it will only replace some other former supplier who now have to sell at a discount somewhere else - i.e., Brent and WTI oil futures prices started spiraling down to the point that OPEC+ is now cutting production, to support the price. RBOB Gasoline is down nearly 50% from 3 months ago.

Gas is different in terms of delivery because it mostly comes through very expensive pipelines - but that means that if he wants to punish EU by not delivering gas, he is also punishing Russia by not getting rubles... And while China is getting gas via "Power of Siberia" pipeline (at best $38B over 30 years), they are using more oil and coal than gas, and while they somewhat benefit from Putin's mistakes, they are not about to make Russia "their problem" and bail out flailing and failing Putin and Russia, especially with all their economic and COVID problems at home.

For a while Putin thought he had upper hand with energy, but with EU starting to get serious about energy "independence from Russia" he is about to make Russia a vassal of China - but China knows what will happen later if she depends on Russia, like Germany and/or some EU countries did. So "barbarian" Russia will always be a low-margin supplier of last resort, with lack of its own technology - rich in essential raw materials (minerals, energy supplies, brains...) but otherwise "poor relative" which is where she should belong.
___

Headlines from Ukraine front:
Russia Resorting to Weapons from North Korea Indicates Artillery Shortage
Russia Resorting to Out of Date Missiles as Weapon Stocks Run Low
Ukraine Shoots Down 50 to 70 Percent of Russia's Missiles

Satellite Images, Videos Appear to Show Key Bridges Hit by HIMARS
Putin Stuck 'in a box' as Ukraine Foils Russians at Dnieper River
Russia Gives Clearest Indication Yet That Kherson Defense is Not Going Well
Map Shows 'Verifiable Progress' in Ukraine Counteroffensive
Russian Advance Struggling in Donbas

Russia Recruits Soldiers From Mental Health Unit to Make Up Troop Shortfall
Russia Recruiting Sick and Injured From Hospitals to Replace Losses
Russian military described as "drunk, brutal, having low morale, bad leadership"
Putin Facing Troop Morale Crisis, Discipline Issues Over Low Pay
Russian Soldiers Riot, Refuse To Fight Over Lack of Supplies
Putin Forces 'Confused' by Ukraine Strikes, Headed for Surrender

The explosion at Russian Embassy in Kabul killed two diplomats, carried out by a suicide bomber
__________

__________
#21 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2022-08-27 04:54 PM
... he just fooled a lot of people.

_____

Congrats, finally you may understand a little of what I've been trying to explain - today's your "good guy[s]" may just be fooling you and turn out to be "bad guy[s]" that's just using people like you by telling them what they want to hear, while feasting on "government money"... you just don't know it yet, because you are looking at business / financial / economic issues through political glasses, they are looking at politics (and more importantly, politicians) through financial glasses - be it Musk, Gates, Trump etc. - they just have different audiences.

Politicians to them are just part of the "supply chain" (now that everyone seems to know that term) to get the "government money" to their investments' bottom line.

I've already given you a few examples above - if you followed business / finance / economy the way you seem to follow what they feed you as "politics," you would understand reality more and better than "good guys" and "bad guys."

August 24 - Blackrock's former sustainable investing chief now thinks ESG is a 'dangerous placebo'
- Tariq Fancy argued that financial institutions have an obvious motivation to push for ESG products given these have higher fees, which then improves their profits.
- But there are other issues with ESG investing, including its subjectivity and the unreliability of data and ratings.

Former BlackRock executive has outlined why he now thinks that sustainable investing is a "dangerous placebo that harms the public interest," after previously evangelizing the trend for the world's largest asset management firm. Tariq Fancy, who was BlackRock's first global CIO for sustainable investing, warned that there were some fallacies associated with this area.

"Green bonds is one of the largest and fastest-growing categories in sustainable investing, with a market size over $1 trillion. In practice, it's not totally clear if they create much positive environmental impact that would not have occurred otherwise. And nothing stops them from pursuing decidedly non-green activities with their sources of funding."

VIDEO 9:48 Is sustainable investing just a marketing ploy?

He also argued that financial institutions have an obvious motivation to push for ESG products given these have higher fees, which then improves their profits. ESG funds have an average fee of almost 50% higher than the standard baskets of stocks.

But there are other issues with ESG investing, according to Fancy, including its subjectivity and the unreliability of data and ratings.

The necessity to make profits also leads market players to think about ESG investing within a short-time horizon. This becomes an issue when trying to address climate change in the coming decades.

___

June 22 - 'Vacuous' debate over 'woke capitalism'
Last year Tariq Fancy, published an excoriating treatise against ESG financing " decrying the lucrative investment space as an elaborate ruse.

ESG has had something of a reckoning, and the shakeout is ongoing. Earlier this month, the SEC began investigating claims of greenwashing at Goldman Sachs's ESG funds. Days earlier, police in Germany raided Deutsche Bank headquarters on greenwashing charges.

Fancy has returned to add an epilogue to his original essay Secret Diary of a 'Sustainable Investor', urging readers, again, to not be fooled by the promise of sustainable funds.

"The financial mechanics behind the vast majority of low carbon funds mean that they just move money around but do not lower real-world emissions, though socially conscious investors usually pay higher fees for the privilege of being attributed less emissions on paper."
__________

__________
The old narrative was simple: Per capita incomes in the US might range 30% higher or more, but Western European lifestyles are less stressful and more relaxing. European health care systems, and their near-universal coverage, are also superior.

... A traditional trump card for Western Europe has been the quality of its health-care systems. But the boasting here is not nearly as justified as it used to be.

The pandemic revealed years of capital underinvestment in many of European health-care systems. Many Americans used to admire the UK's National Health Service, but right now the whole system is ailing. There has been a labor and capital shortage, and a collapse of emergency health care services, which may be costing up to 500 excess (non-Covid) deaths a week. Similar problems exist throughout Europe, though they seem to be worst in the UK.

America actually has something pretty close to universal coverage, at least as an option - the percentage of the uninsured population is now 8%. Keep in mind that many of those uninsured may have decided not to purchase health insurance, instead preferring to spend their money in other ways. That might be a personal mistake, but that is not the same thing as a systemic failure of the entire US health care regime.

And remember that some of the European systems, most notably in Switzerland, also require significant out-of-pocket expenditures. Other parts of those systems are paid through regressive systems of a value-added tax (VAT), so they are not as "free" as they might seem.
__________

__________
Gates is far from alone to benefit from government's largess in his investments. Al Gore cashed in with his "environmental fund" and of course, Elon Musk made Billion$ with Tesla's "carbon credits" and Ford, GM etc are getting into the game, too, while raising prices on their EV cars and setting up "subscriptions" for what used to be "free" or standard features, becoming "options."

Going all-in on EV and wind-and-solar-everything without diversity of alternative forms of portable energy without considering the costs (increasing, not decreasing as it was before the inflection point of Trump's "Great Trade Wars" abject stupidity, which Biden is very slow to unwind) and not considering other damage to the environment (space requirements. locale / location, mining, toxicity, lifespan before replacement, recycling etc. just to name a few) which will be required to make unstable "renewable energy" work when it needs to be used is like jumping into the pool before the water is filled.

If the example of Germany and Spain (hydro-) is not enough to stop and think about the future and costs and diversification of energy, I don't know what will.

Even by European Standards, Life is Good in America

The old narrative was simple: Per capita incomes in the US might range 30% higher or more, but Western European lifestyles are less stressful and more relaxing. European health care systems, and their near-universal coverage, are also superior.

That narrative now lies in tatters. The major disruptor has been energy markets. The US really does seem to have energy independence. Americans complain about high gasoline prices, but the American way of life has barely been affected. This summer Americans took to the road in record numbers. Energy supplies to homes and businesses have continued, though rising prices have created some pressure .

But the situation in Europe is far worse. Much of Western Europe, dependent on gas supplies from the East, faces serious questions about how it will get through the winter. In Germany, Google searches for "firewood" have risen sharply. Even the French, with their heavy reliance on nuclear power, now face very high prices and serious shortages; they did not invest enough in the maintenance of their nuclear power system.

Germany still seems to be shutting down its remaining nuclear power plants. It is hard to regard European energy policy as anything other than a huge unforced error. Keep in mind that energy supplies are far more important than their percentage of GDP might suggest. Energy is the lifeblood of modern civilization.

The price of energy shows just how bad the European situation is, and winter is still months away. Germany right now is paying about 600 euros per MWh for electricity; as recently as 2020, a price of 100 euros would have been considered very high.

And it's not just the high prices. The stress about the future availability of energy belies one of the fundamental motivations behind the social welfare state: to make a citizenry feel secure and taken care of.

Financially illiterate, "crisis / end-of-the-world doom"-scared "environmentalists" are just there to be used to provide the numbers to enable the government to dole out Billion$ to the rich and famous / influencers, who invested in the "space" while the financially unaware "environmental warriors" hoi polloi will be happy when assured that "progress has been made" and all that we need is more government "investment."
__________

__________
You can always get richer trashing the environment than protecting it. That's what republicans are mad about.

You don't even understand that "environmentalists" and like Al Gore and Greta Thunberg etc. are doing very well financially playing you and people like you, to cash in on "environmental crisis / doom" just like "end-of-the-world prophets" keep moving the Day of Doom - only they are asking for donations from illiterates, while ESG crowd are raking in Billions of Dollars and Euros by using financially illiterate hoi polloi to think they will benefit from ESG government programs to "save the Earth" and reduce "health costs" while the money go the monied special interests. All the PPP fraud by the already rich and famous is just a small example.

Three quarters of Trillion Dollars in the latest special interest groups money grab - good first step?

"Bill Gates and the Secret Push to Save Biden's Climate Bill
Aug 16, 2022 " The Inflation Reduction Act, sponsored by Manchin and Schumer, includes $374 billion in new spending to speed up clean-energy deployment...

It was the middle of July " with temperatures surging through one of the hottest summers in US history, half of the country in drought " and the Senate's all-important member, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, had slammed the brakes on legislation to combat global warming. Again.

That's when billionaire philanthropist and clean-energy investor Bill Gates got on the phone with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, whose job it was to hold together the Democrats' no-vote-to-spare majority.

One of the world's richest men felt he had to give one of the nation's most powerful lawmakers a little pep talk. "[Schumer] said to me on one call that he'd shown infinite patience," Gates recounted in an exclusive interview. As he revealed to Bloomberg Green, he has quietly lobbied Manchin and other senators, starting before President Joe Biden had won the White House, in anticipation of a rare moment in which heavy federal spending might be secured for the clean-energy transition.

So he tapped into a relationship with Manchin that he'd cultivated for at least three years. "We were able to talk even at a time when he felt people weren't listening."

Collin O'Mara, chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation, recruited economists to assuage Manchin's concerns, including representatives from the University of Chicago and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Senator Chris ----- of Delaware brought in a heavyweight: former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers... The economists were able to "send this signal that [the bill's] going to help with the deficit. It's going to be slightly deflationary and it's going to spur growth and investment in all these areas." Through this subtle alchemy, clean-energy investments could be reframed for Manchin as a hedge against future spikes in oil and gas prices and a way to potentially export more energy to Europe.

Take a startup making carbon-free cement " success means bringing to market a product that's as much as three times as expensive as normal cement.

This is no hypothetical for Gates. His investments through Breakthrough Energy, the Gates organization that does climate work, have sunk at least tens of millions into green cement startups such as Ecocem, Chement and Brimstone. None have yet reached commercial scale. He saw the bankruptcy filing of a battery startup he backed, Aquion, that might have had a fighting chance if energy-storage tax credits were available.

While a carbon tax could level the playing field, the US failed spectacularly when it tried to enact that policy under President Barack Obama. Manchin at the time released a campaign ad in which he shot a bullet into a copy of the cap-and-trade bill favored by many lawmakers in his party.
__________

ESG investing is not required, as of now I don't think ESG reporting is even required. ... So all the talk of control is literally crazy talk.

Of course, not as of now, not yet. Revolution is not done in one day, but "it will be televised."

But Blackstone, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and government-run or affiliated funds, like CalPERS, CalTRANS etc., as well as SEC's new "High Priest" Gary Gensler (formerly of Goldman Sachs, partner in M&A and Media divisions) are trying to de-facto institutionalize ESG, before making it a government formality.

Just in case anyone has any delusions about "ESG-consciousness" - it's not about that at all, it's all about control over your money and your behavior and your investment choices and your lifestyles.

BlackRock Inc. is warning US regulators that new rules to fight greenwashing by fund managers could sow more confusion and make investors think their holdings are more socially conscious than they really are. The firm is pushing back on a key detail in a proposal to require managers to say more about how environmental, social and governance issues fit into strategies for funds that also consider myriad other factors. The result, BlackRock said in a letter this week to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, could mislead investors about how much ESG really matters when managers pick stocks and bonds. SEC Chair Gary Gensler and the agency's Democratic commissioners proposed new regulations for ESG funds in May and could finalize them in coming months.

So who talks the "crazy talk"?
__________

__________
so much for "the invisible hand of the free market"
#6 | Posted by e1g1 at 2022-08-26 03:46 PM
_____

ESG is exactly opposite of "invisible" and of "free market" - whatever small group of bureaucrats and people with a lot of money (read "government" or few affiliated financial and non-financial NGAs) define what ESG parameters are will define what is or is not included in the "investable market."

ESG is just another concept for "politically correct" - it will shrink the market and will become just another tool of centralized, "politically correct" economy, having a small group of "oligarchs" dictating what's "good for the country."

Think "5 year plans" - think Venezuela, Hungary, China, Russia...

It's just another leftist dream and attempt at runaround of "free" market - making it a "ESG / politically correct managed market" - like all leftist dreams of "good" Big Government and ruling by Supreme Court, they becomes a "nightmare" when people decide they've had enough and choose opposite party to exchange one repressive regime of left fascism with another repressive regime of right fascism... replacing one autocratic "theocracy" with another.

Big Government swings both ways - it's the people in the middle who suffer.

But don't just take my word for it - here's one Warren Buffett (the "good capitalist"?) calling ESG reporting 'asinine' :

"This includes ESG questionnaires. They also noted that most ESG request came not from shareholders, but from third party organizations, and, as an organization, Berkshire is more inclined to respond to shareholder needs. Berkshire's culture is one that avoids reporting for the sake of it, and Buffett believes ESG reporting falls under that umbrella. He also noted that Berkshire does provide substantial disclosure in its shareholder reporting.

Buffett himself may not be a fire-breathing foe of environmental, social and governance precepts, but he doesn't go out of his way to cater to ESG proponents, either.

Last year, he opposed a shareholder initiative to make Berkshire disclose more about its efforts to address climate change and promote diversity and inclusion in its workforce. The proposal's sponsors were two huge pension funds, the California Public Employees' Retirement System and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, plus asset manager Federated Hermes.

Buffett called the plan "asinine." The company's business units operate in a decentralized fashion, and the parent is only concerned with their financial performance, he said.

"We do some other asinine things because we're required to do it, so we'll do whatever's required," Buffett said. "But to have the people at Business Wire, Dairy Queen ... make some common report ... we don't do that stuff at Berkshire."

Buffett is not alone, of course. He and others understand that ESG is a direct attack on "free market" from the "usual suspects" and does what he can to educate people that investment decisions should be mostly free from government control and influence.
__________

__________
This kind of idiotic BS should and, I believe and hope, will backfire on MAGA "evangelicals" (nothing "angelic" about imposing one's faith or lack of it on others - with other faiths or faithless).

Now they are even going after contraceptives - whose "children" are they "saving" with that? What's next, "5 children minimum" policy?

Some issues, like abortions and sex definitely shouldn't belong "in the states" and generally shouldn't be government's business, outside of medical considerations.

Hope that Putin's Agent Orange will announce soon and run and get the nomination of Trump Party and gets destroyed in 2024 elections, hopefully to someone other than Biden. Obama got the "shellacking" in 2010, but a lot of economic problems today should well be resolved by 2024, if only "progressives" stop pushing anti-business, anti-economic and other "woke" policies and initiatives that even a lot of their old / former, more conservative constituents and BlueDog Democrats can't stand. Both parties keep trying to commit suicide, only to be saved by the extremism of the other side.

- ("Latinx" for Latinos y Latinas y Hispanics? "They" for the few confused who can't decide who they want to be, now or when they grow up? Trans- in school / college / Olympics / professional physical sports?

Pareto Principle for politics: "Focus on 20% of the issues that bring you 80% of the votes." Corollary to Pareto Principle: "Don't push 1% of the issues that piss off more than 50% of the voters, especially in the states / areas that count."

That's what Republicans have been doing for the last few decades. Now that they are overstepping and their "dog finally caught the car it was chasing" maybe Democrats can show the people that they can moderate and are not wholly beholden to small minority of "woke progressives."
__________

__________
How Congress Can Preempt the Most Dangerous Possible Ruling of the Next Supreme Court Term
---

Reagan lawyer: Republicans expanding 'slow-motion coup' as they try to 'repeal the 20th century'
www.rawstory.com

Reagan White House Solicitor General Charles Fried explained how Republicans are conducting a "slow-motion coup."

[Fried] was four years old when he fled Czechoslovakia with his family in 1939 to escape Nazi terror. Twenty-two years later, he became a Harvard Law professor.

Justice Samuel Alito worked for Fried and he testified at John Roberts confirmation that the nominee was "too smart a lawyer to overturn Roe vs. Wade."

"To overturn Roe now would be an act of constitutional vandalism " not conservative, but reactionary," Fried wrote in November.

"Unions, religion, second amendment, abortion, campaign finance, gerrymandering, regulation of elections. All this is an attempt in the last ten years or so to repeal the 20th century. The greatest threat next term: the 'independent legislature clause' case from North Carolina which would produce a slow-motion coup d'tat."

Fried expanded on his analysis. He explained how such a U.S. Supreme Court ruling would make state gerrymandering of legislative districts even worse.

"North Carolina, which is the case involved, is a hideously gerrymandering. The population is half registered Republican, half registered Democrat, but its 13-person congressional delegation is ten Republicans, three Democrats. And when the head of the legislative committee was asked, 'How did you do that? How come you did this?' 'Because we couldn't think of any way to get just two Democrats.' Now, this is what would be the coup d'tat, because these gerrymandered state legislatures in all of the swing states " Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia " would then be able to send the electives " the electors they choose, not the electors chosen by the people. and there is nothing that could be done about it."
__________

Drudge Retort
 

Home | Breaking News | Comments | User Blogs | Stats | Back Page | RSS Feed | RSS Spec | DMCA Compliance | Privacy | Copyright 2022 World Readable