Rockefeller foundation

Rockefeller Foundation: The Rise, Fall And Rebirth Of 100 Resilient Cities

The UN’s term “Resilient” means anything you want: “improving mobility”, “breaking down structural racism”, “any social and infrastructural fault line”, “predictive analysis” and even weather forecasting. Thus, it is a catchall term for implementing the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda, aka Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

In late April, at a town-hall meeting in New York City, Raj Shah, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, addressed the staff of 100 Resilient Cities. The nonprofit, launched by the philanthropy in 2013, has helped cities around the world plan for natural disasters and social shocks, especially the ravages of climate change.

Earlier that month, the foundation had abruptly announced plans to shutter the program. Now Shah was explaining why.

“This is not about whether 100 Resilient Cities works,” Shah said. “It’s a shift in the foundation’s focus to delivering measurable results for vulnerable people … with a budget framework that works.”

In a video recording later viewed by CityLab, a few people who dialed in from satellite offices were broadcasted at the bottom of the screen, their expressions grim. By August 1, the organization’s 86 employees would be out of a job. In city halls around the globe, officials who’d come to rely on their support wondered how they’d keep climate-prep initiatives afloat, including the hiring of hundreds of “resilience officers.”

But now plans are being hatched to advance some of 100RC’s work beyond its expiration date. Last week, the nonprofit’s president, Michael Berkowitz, told staff that he and a group of soon-to-be-former 100RC officers were preparing to start a new nonprofit with the mission of helping cities implement resilience projects.

What’s more, the Rockefeller Foundation has confirmed that it may keep some elements of the 100 Resilient Cities program alive.

These are significant turns of events from just a few weeks ago, when the future of 100RC looked bleak, despite its well-regarded status in climate-planning circles. For local governments, the whiplash may be a reminder of the risks of relying of private dollars to create public policies.

Established in 2013 by the Rockefeller Foundation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, 100 Resilient Cities was born out of the idea that local governments needed help planning for disasters and combating persistent social maladies. Across a network of more than 100 global member cities—from New York to New Orleans, Rome to Ramallah, Montevideo to Montréal—the group underwrote salaries for chief resilience officers, shepherded resilience plans, and supplied local leaders with ideas, financing, and technical assistance.

While the nonprofit was best known for climate adaptation plans, its work encompassed much more. For example, in Boston, leaders defined resilience as breaking down structural racism. In Panama City, it was about improving mobility. A city became “resilient” by identifying virtually any social and infrastructural fault line that a shock might expose. Change was measured on a long-term basis. In contrast to other nonprofits that give grants for specific projects, the 100RC model was unusually flexible.

Read full story here…




Leaked: How Facebook Determines ‘Hate Agent’ Status

The reason that Big Tech censorship seems so disjointed is because it is. Facebook gathers data about you from online and offline sources, determines all your associations, what posts you share, who you interview, who you ‘Like’ and then slaps you with a hate score. Once tagged as a ‘Hate Agent’, the designation will blacklist you for years to come. Once shared with other Big Tech companies, your blacklisting will become universal. ⁃ TN Editor

Facebook monitors the offline behavior of its users to determine if they should be categorized as a “Hate Agent,” according to a document provided exclusively to Breitbart News by a source within the social media giant.

The document, titled “Hate Agent Policy Review” outlines a series of “signals” that Facebook uses to determine if someone ought to be categorized as a “hate agent” and banned from the platform.

Those signals include a wide range of on- and off-platform behavior. If you praise the wrong individual, interview them, or appear at events alongside them, Facebook may categorize you as a “hate agent.”

Facebook may also categorize you as a hate agent if you self-identify with or advocate for a “Designated Hateful Ideology,” if you associate with a “Designated Hate Entity” (one of the examples cited by Facebook as a “hate entity” includes Islam critic Tommy Robinson), or if you have “tattoos of hate symbols or hate slogans.” (The document cites no examples of these, but the media and “anti-racism” advocacy groups increasingly label innocuous items as “hate symbols,” including a cartoon frog and the “OK” hand sign.)

Facebook will also categorize you as a hate agent for possession of “hate paraphernalia,” although the document provides no examples of what falls into this category.

The document also says Facebook will categorize you as a hate agent for “statements made in private but later made public.” Of course, Facebook holds vast amounts of information on what you say in public and in private — and as we saw with the Daily Beast doxing story, the platform will publicize private information on their users to assist the media in hitjobs on regular American citizens.

Breitbart News has already covered some of the individuals that Facebook placed on its list of potential “hate agents.” Paul Joseph Watson eventually was categorized as “hateful” and banned from the platform, in part, according to the document, because he praised Tommy Robinson and interviewed him on his YouTube channel. Star conservative pundit Candace Owens and conservative author and terrorism expert Brigitte Gabriel were also on the list, as were British politicians Carl Benjamin and Anne Marie Waters.

The Benjamin addition reveals that Facebook may categorize you as a hate agent merely for speaking neutrally about individuals and organizations that the social network considers hateful. In the document, Facebook tags Benjamin with a “hate agent” signal for “neutral representation of John Kinsman, member of Proud Boys” on October 21 last year.

Facebook also accuses Benjamin, a classical liberal and critic of identity politics, as “representing the ideology of an ethnostate” for a post in which he calls out an actual advocate of an ethnostate.

In addition to the more unorthodox signals that Facebook uses to determine if its users are “hate agents,” there is also, predictably, “hate speech.” Facebook divides hate speech into three tiers depending on severity and considers attacks on a person’s “immigration status” to be hate speech.

Here’s how “hate speech” — both on and off Facebook — will be categorized by the platform, according to the document:

Individual has made public statements, or statements made in private and later made public, using Tier 1, 2, or 3 hate speech or slurs:

3 instances in one statement or appearance = signal
5 instances in multiple statements or appearances over one month = signal

If you’ve done this within the past two years, Facebook will consider it a hate signal.

Read full story here…




Geoengineering

Geoengineering Could Start WWIII As Nations React

Weaponizing weather has been a military goal since WWI, but as global warming hysteria proceeded, it was used to ‘cool’ the earth. However, weather does not respect national borders and what one country does can radically affect the weather in its neighbors. ⁃ TN Editor

Climate change may end up causing World War 3 if individual countries start to try and save themselves by hacking the weather with a process called geoengineering.

Many experts are in favour of geoengineering, which involves manipulating the atmosphere by blocking sunlight or isolating excess carbon, but weather hacking in one region could have negative impacts in another and lead to global conflict, according to scientists.

It is solar geoengineering that appears to be the most problematic and not so much carbon capture because solar geoengineering would involve spraying chemicals into the air that would block some sunlight.

When speaking on the sun blocking topic, geoengineering researcher Juan Moreno-Cruz told Business Insider: “The threat of war never is out of the question.”

If geoengineering is going to happen then all countries would have to be informed and agree because some areas may be more negatively effected than others.

Andrea Flossmann, a scientist at the World Meteorological Organization, explained in a WMO report: “The atmosphere has no walls. What you add may not have the desired effect in your vicinity, but by being transported along might have undesired effects elsewhere.”

Earth’s temperatures are set to soar to dangerous levels so a lot of scientists think the unknown consequences of geoengineering are worth the risk.

The worse case scenario is that Earth’s atmospheric chemistry is irreversibly altered and causes freak weather conditions like monsoons, hurricanes and heatwaves that could kill thousands and increase global tensions.

Read full story here…




Bills To Require Breathalyzers In Cars, Mandatory Mental Health Assessments

Progressive liberal Democrat Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) introduced two bills that have serious Constitutional implications. Her bills will encourage law enforcement into a police-state mentality that will be impossible to undo. ⁃ TN Editor
 

If you thought the TAPS Act was bad, wait until you read this.

Our politicians are hard at work introducing bills that promise to turn America into a mirror image of China.

Rep. Kathleen Rice’s H.R. 3374 bill, otherwise known as the End Drunk Driving Act, would put breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices in every new car.

According to the LI Herald, Rice wants to force auto manufacturers to put breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices in new cars by 2029.

“The End Drunk Driving Act would mandate that, within 10 years, all cars sold nationwide come equipped with technology that would detect a driver’s blood alcohol content and prevent the vehicle from moving if it is above the legal limit.”

With close to 280 million cars in the U.S. and over 226 million drivers licenses, nearly every American would be affected by this and other bills.

If Rice’s bill is passed it would effectively turn 226 million people into suspects.

SEC. 3. Advanced Technology To End Drunk Driving:

(a) In General.–Not later than 10 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue a final rule prescribing or amending a Federal motor vehicle safety standard that would prevent operation of a motor vehicle when the operator is under the influence of alcohol. The standard–

(1) shall prevent the operation of the motor vehicle if the operator’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit; and

(2) shall require such technology to be–

(A) reliable and accurate;

(B) set at the legal limit;

(C) unobtrusive and fast;

(D) tamper-proof/circumvention-resistant;

(E) functionary in extreme environments (both hot and cold); and

(F) easily maintained.

If Rice’s bill becomes law, then motorists in Utah, who have consumed one alcoholic beverage would not be allowed to drive.

As I reported last year, at least six states are considering criminalizing consuming one alcoholic beverage. Earlier this year, Michigan expressed their desire to do the same, bringing the total to seven states.

Rice’s plans for law enforcement and accused drunk drivers will leave your head spinning in disbelief.

Rice’s H.R. 7099 bill, otherwise known as the Prevent Impaired Driving Child Endangerment Act would force anyone convicted of a DWI with a child in the car, to undergo a mental health assessment.

The LI Herald states that every state would force law enforcement to give drivers mental health assessments or lose federal funding.

“Offenders would also be required to undergo an alcohol, substance abuse and mental health assessment and receive treatment if necessary. The case would be added to state child abuse registries and states that fail to comply could have certain federal funding withheld by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.”

Rice’s claim that only motorists who have been convicted of DWI will be given mental health assessments is a lie. Why? Because it is already happening.

For the past three years, Police officers in Texas have been giving everyone they arrest, a mental health assessment.

“Once at jail, anyone who is arrested will be screened for mental illness. The jail will send those results to judges to consider when setting bond. The county will also start using a risk assessment tool to arrive at an estimated level of danger and flight risk posed by each defendant.”

H.R. 7099 would turn America’s police into psychologists with unimaginable powers.

“(D) A law that—

“(i) requires the individual, if convicted of the offense, to undergo an alcohol abuse, substance abuse, or mental health assessment; and

“(ii) if the assessment indicates a need for treatment, authorizes the appropriate court (or monitoring agency) to require the individual to undergo treatment as part of the individual’s sentence in connection with the conviction or as a condition for reissuance of a State driver’s license to the individual.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Rice’s bill would turn drunk drivers into instant child abusers.

“(E) A law that requires, if the individual is convicted of the offense and is the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child passenger or is otherwise legally responsible for the child passenger, the law enforcement agency that charges the individual with the offense or the appropriate court to file with the appropriate State register of child abuse a report on the individual concerning the offense.

Turning people into instant child abusers for having one alcoholic beverage or being judged mentally unfit by law enforcement is appalling.

The TAPS Act, the End Drunk Driving Act and the Prevent Impaired Driving Child Endangerment Act are all indicators that America is headed down a dark and dangerous road.

Read full story here…




Self-Driving Cars Could Disrupt The Airline Industry

Technocrats who promised that their self-driving cars would solve major urban transportation problems never though the overall consequences of their actions. Airlines may be disrupted and studies have already shown that unban congestion is increasing, not decreasing. ⁃ TN Editor
 

As driverless cars become more capable and more common, they will change people’s travel habits not only around their own communities but across much larger distances. Our research has revealed just how much people’s travel preferences could shift, and found a new potential challenge to the airline industry.

Imagine someone who lives in Atlanta and needs to travel to Washington, D.C., for business. This is about a 10-hour drive. A flight takes about two hours, assuming no delays. Add to that the drive to the airport, checking in, the security line and waiting at the gate. Upon arrival in D.C., it may take another 30 minutes to pick up any checked bags and find a rental car—and even more time to drive to the specific destination. The average person would estimate a total travel time of four to five fours. Most people would choose to fly instead of driving themselves.

However, if they could have a fully driverless car take them there, the choice changes. Passengers could eat, drink, work and sleep during the 10-hour drive. They could leave whenever they want, and pack whatever they want—including liquids and pocketknives—with no searches or scans. When they get to D.C., they wouldn’t have to find a rental car and navigate to the actual place they’re going.

Which would you choose? Now imagine the self-driving car has a reclining seat with actual legroom, or even a bed. It’s more than a little tempting.

What do consumers say?

As experts in public opinion research, we know that the American public loves how quickly flights can cover large distances, but hates the security checks, long lines, delays, risk of losing baggage and overall hassle of the flying experience.

We also know that at the moment, most people are reluctant to ride in driverless vehicles—including school buses and even ambulances that could speed their treatment in an emergency. However, our data also shows that as people learn about the benefits of driverless cars, they become more accepting of the new technology. Over time, people will feel comfortable using autonomous cars (and ambulances), just like they adjusted to riding in the first automobiles.

A future with driverless cars means people will have more options to avoid driving on their own, beyond trains and buses.

In our study, we showed people trips of different lengths and asked them to choose whether they would rather drive themselves, take a flight or ride in a self-driving car. In general, the data indicated that people always preferred driverless vehicles over manual driving. Taking a driverless car got even more attractive if people were told that after flying, they would need a rental car in their destination city.

Read full story here…




Psychology Today: Sex Robots And The End Of Civilization

With demographics already tanking in all Western nations, adding sex robots into the mix virtually guarantees to accelerate the trend and cause relationship dysfunction across the board. ⁃ TN Editor

Imagine this: A totally realistic robot of your own design that is capable of fully carrying out any sex act that you can dream up. It looks, smells, and sounds incredibly realistic. And your state-sponsored insurance paid for her in full. In effect, she was free—prescribed by your physician to help with your status as officially “sexually dysfunctional.” Recent federal legislation, supported overwhelmingly by a male majority in the House and Senate, has made this kind of medical prescription perfectly legal.

Robin the Robot never has a headache. It never gets a cold. It never rejects an advance. It is, perhaps strangely, beautiful in many respects. And, surprisingly, it is even seemingly intelligent and witty.

Sure, it sounds great on the surface.

And get this: According to expert clinical psychologist and sex therapist Dr. Marianne Brandon, what I’ve described above is, in fact, a likely portrait of our near future. Welcome to the new world.

Sex Robots as Supernormal Stimuli

Earlier this month, I was fortunate to attend a special symposium on understanding mental health from an evolutionary perspective. This event, formally sponsored by the Applied Evolutionary Psychology Society (AEPS) and affiliated with the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS), was eye-opening for the many scholars, practitioners, and students who were in attendance. And while all of the talks were provocative and engaging, I have to say that Dr. Brandon’s presentation was something of a show-stopper.

When you think about things from an evolutionary perspective, the history of human technology largely becomes the history of developing supernormal stimuli for profit.

In the 1950s, renowned behavioral biologist Niko Tinbergen articulated the idea of a supernormal stimulus. A supernormal stimulus is essentially an exaggerated, often human-made version of some stimulus that organisms evolved to respond to in certain ways.

For instance, humans evolved taste preferences so as to desire high-fat foods because our ancestors regularly experienced drought and famine. A Big Mac is a human-created product that includes an amplification of high-fat food that would have been beyond the fat and caloric content of nearly any food that would have existed under ancestral human conditions. The Big Mac is a classic supernormal stimulus.

Same with pornography. And video games. And so many cosmetic products that amplify attributes of faces and bodies that bear on Darwin’s bottom line of reproductive success. Vibrant hair color and lip gloss are supernormal stimuli.

Importantly, as you can see, supernormal stimuli may well be deceitful. In the modern world of humans, supernormal stimuli are essentially hijackers. They are human-created technological products that hijack our evolved psychology in a way that leads to short-term emotional and/or physiological benefits. However, since these products are, at the end of the day, evolutionarily unnatural, they quite often do not lead to the long-term evolutionary benefits (such as strong connections with others and/or long-term reproductive gains) which pertain to why these stimuli evolved to be desired by humans in the first place. We can call this evolutionary irony.

In her presentation, Dr. Brandon rightfully pointed out that sex robots, when they arrive (and they will), will be the ultimate in human-created supernormal stimuli. And this could be a problem.

Potential Problems Associated with the Sex Robot Revolution

Is there a sex robot revolution on the horizon? In a few weeks, the city of Brussels will host the 4th International Conference on Love and Sex with Robots, so you tell me!

In her presentation at the AEPS symposium, Dr. Brandon made a strong case suggesting that sex robots are truly in development and on the way. Perhaps in a decade or two.

Brandon pointed out several potential problems that may well come along with the robots for the ride. These problems all make sense when we think of our evolved relationship psychology. Some of the potential problems that she pointed out are as follows:

  • Men, who are disproportionately represented as consumers of pornography, will likely be over-represented as consumers of sex robots.
  • Within committed relationships, sexual interactions, which are apparently already on a nationwide decline, are likely to drop further in prevalence.
  • Intimacy in relationships, which strongly maps onto both quantity and quality of sexual interactions within mateships, is likely to drop in quality as well.
  • The prevalence of marriage and birth rates may well see declining numbers.
  • Motivation for people to work on relationship problems within mateships will be naturally reduced.

In short, the advent of sex robot technology may well foreshadow, in many ways, the demise of intimate relationships in the modern world.

Read full story here…




Human Rights Lawyer: Facial Recognition Is Arsenic In The Water Of Democracy

One critic of Social Engineering and Digital Slavery, aka Technocracy, suggests that “Mass surveillance has a chilling effect that distorts public behaviour.” Indeed, the world has little time left to reverse the trend. ⁃ TN Editor

Automated facial recognition poses one of the greatest threats to individual freedom and should be banned from use in public spaces, according to the director of the campaign group Liberty.

Martha Spurrier, a human rights lawyer, said the technology had such fundamental problems that, despite police enthusiasm for the equipment, its use on the streets should not be permitted.

She said: “I don’t think it should ever be used. It is one of, if not the, greatest threats to individual freedom, partly because of the intimacy of the information it takes and hands to the state without your consent, and without even your knowledge, and partly because you don’t know what is done with that information.”

Police in England and Wales have used automated facial recognition (AFR) to scan crowds for suspected criminals in trials in city centres, at music festivals, sports events and elsewhere. The events, from a Remembrance Sunday commemoration at the Cenotaph to the Notting Hill festival and the Six Nations rugby, drew combined crowds in the millions.

San Francisco recently became the first US city to ban police and other agencies from using automated facial recognition, following widespread condemnation of China’s use of the technology to impose control over millions of Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.

When deployed in public spaces, automated facial recognition units use a camera to record faces in a crowd. The images are then processed to create a biometric map of each person’s face, based on measurements of the distance between their eyes, nose, mouth and jaw. Each map is then checked against a “watchlist” containing the facial maps of suspected criminals.

Spurrier said: “I think it’s pretty salutary that the world capital of technology has just banned this technology. We should sit up and listen when San Francisco decides that they don’t want this on their streets.

“It goes far above and beyond what we already have, such as CCTV and stop-and-search. It takes us into uncharted invasive state surveillance territory where everyone is under surveillance. By its nature it is a mass surveillance tool.”

She said a lack of strong governance and oversight could allow the police to roll out live facial recognition by stealth, without a meaningful debate on whether the public wanted it or not. The technology was developing so fast, she said, that government was failing to keep up.

“There is a real sense of technological determinism that is often pushed by the big corporations, but also by law enforcement and by government, that it’s inevitable we’ll have this, so we should stop talking about why we shouldn’t have it,” she said.

Read full story here…




In China’s Smart Cities, Everyone Is Being Watched

There is no escape from digital slavery: China now reveals that “most citizens are required to download apps on their phones that let the authorities monitor what they look at and track their movements.” ⁃ TN Editor

Earlier this year, a U.S. congressional committee commissioned a report on China’s development of “smart cities,” with a particular focus on whether they were smarter than their American counterparts.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s (USCC) request for submissions was revealing because it showed that, despite the hype, not much is known about the fruits of China’s efforts to build such cities. Smart cities are highly digitally connected and use the latest technology to manage services.

About 500 of the roughly 1,000 smart cities being built worldwide are in China, according to Chinese state media, government figures and estimates from Deloitte. Under a five-year plan to the end of 2020, the Chinese government expects $74 billion of public and private investment in these cities.

Yet while scattered futuristic pilot examples can be found — from intelligent lighting and power grids to smart traffic management — there is little evidence that this grand vision is dramatically improving the lives of the masses.

Instead, it appears that the bulk of the resources poured into smart city development has gone into improving surveillance of Chinese citizens by the pervasive domestic security services. For nearly a decade, China has spent more on internal security than on its defense budget. Put another way: The Communist Party spends more on monitoring its own people than on guarding against foreign threats.

“It’s very clear that surveillance is a significant element in China’s conception of smart cities,” says Rogier Creemers, an expert in Chinese law and technology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. “This involves across-the-board surveillance that is partly political and partly about mechanizing ordinary street-level policing.”

The security apparatus uses a vast network of cameras, facial and even gait recognition along with artificial intelligence and cloud computing to identify and track many of China’s 1.34 billion people.

Domestic companies such as camera maker Hikvision, e-commerce group Alibaba and telecoms equipment maker Huawei have become big suppliers to China’s security services. In the process, they take business from Western companies such as IBM and Cisco that previously provided much of the equipment.

Nowhere is this vision of a technologically enabled police state more advanced than in the restive western region of Xinjiang, where every facet of the predominantly Muslim minority society is watched and tightly controlled.

Apart from the ubiquitous cameras, most citizens are required to download apps on their phones that let the authorities monitor what they look at and track their movements. Viewing content that the Communist Party deems inappropriate can land someone in one of the gulags that have sprung up in recent years, which now hold as many as 2 million Muslims, according to estimates from the U.S. State Department.

With some of the most sophisticated surveillance and control technology in the world, Chinese suppliers are increasingly exporting it — not only to authoritarian states but also even to some advanced democracies, particularly in Europe.

Domestically, at least outside of Xinjiang, the picture is confused because some of the surveillance technology deployed can also be used in more benign ways that help improve people’s lives. For example, the cameras that capture license plates and drivers’ faces on all Chinese highways can now be networked to provide real-time data on traffic conditions, allowing authorities to better manage congestion.

Huawei claims that a surveillance system it built in the eastern city of Nanjing is used not only by the police but also to deploy electrical workers and doctors when their services are required.

Read full story here…




merkel

Merkel Admits: German Multiculturalism Has ‘Utterly Failed’

The late Peter Sutherland, a member of the Trilateral Commission, originally pushed multiculturalism throughout Europe as an absolute necessary to achieve Sustainable Development. Needless to say, he lied.

NOTE: This story was originally published in 2010, but it was apparently mistakenly included in a recent RSS feed as if it had just been posted. TN will allow the story to remain because it is still an important historical insight into the failure of multiculturalism. ⁃ TN Editor

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has courted growing anti-immigrant opinion in Germany by claiming the country’s attempts to create a multicultural society have “utterly failed”.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democratic Union party, Merkel said the idea of people from different cultural backgrounds living happily “side by side” did not work.

She said the onus was on immigrants to do more to integrate into German society.

“This [multicultural] approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, west of Berlin, yesterday.

Her remarks will stir a debate about immigration in a country which is home to around 4 million Muslims.

Last week, Horst Seehofer, the premier of Bavaria and a member of the Christian Social Union – part of Merkel’s ruling coalition – called for a halt to Turkish and Arabic immigration.

In the past, Merkel has tried to straddle both sides of the argument by talking tough on integration but also calling for an acceptance of mosques.

But she faces pressure from within the CDU to take a harder line on immigrants who show resistance to being integrated into German society.

Yesterday’s speech is widely seen as a lurch to the right designed to placate that element in her party.

Merkel said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her argument that they should learn German in order to cope in school and take advantage of opportunities in the labour market.

The row over foreigners in Germany has shifted since former central banker Thilo Sarrazin published a highly-controversial book in which he accused Muslim immigrants of lowering the intelligence of German society.

Sarrazin was censured for his views and dismissed from the Bundesbank, but his book proved popular and polls showed Germans were sympathetic with the thrust of his arguments.

One recent poll showed one-third of Germans believed the country was “overrun by foreigners”.

It also found 55% of Germans believed that Arabs are “unpleasant people”, compared with the 44% who held the opinion seven years ago.

In her speech, Merkel said the education of unemployed Germans should take priority over recruiting workers from abroad, while noting that Germanycould not get by without skilled foreign workers.

Read full story here…




Study: Solar And Wind Generation Makes Electricity More Expensive

The renewable industry will howl and whine about this authoritative study from the University of Chicago, but the facts are in: Renewables drive energy costs UP, not down as claimed.  ⁃ TN Editor

Solar panels and wind turbines are making electricity significantly more expensive, a major new study by a team of economists from the University of Chicago finds.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) “significantly increase average retail electricity prices, with prices increasing by 11% (1.3 cents per kWh) seven years after the policy’s passage into law and 17% (2 cents per kWh) twelve years afterward,” the economists write.

The study, which has yet to go through peer-review, was done by Michael Greenstone, Richard McDowell, and Ishan Nath. It compared states with and without an RPS. It did so using what the economists say is “the most comprehensive state-level dataset ever compiled” which covered 1990 to 2015.

The cost to consumers has been staggeringly high: “All in all, seven years after passage, consumers in the 29 states had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity than they would have in the absence of the policy,” they write.

Last year, I was the first journalist to report that solar and wind are making electricity more expensive in the United States — and for inherently physical reasons.

Solar and wind require that natural gas plants, hydro-electric dams, batteries or some other form of reliable power be ready at a moment’s notice to start churning out electricity when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, I noted.

And unreliability requires solar- and/or wind-heavy places like Germany, California, and Denmark to pay neighboring nations or states to take their solar and wind energy when they are producing too much of it.

My reporting was criticized — sort of — by those who claimed I hadn’t separated correlation from causation, but the new study by a top-notch team of economists, including an advisor to Barack Obama, proves I was right.

Previous studies were misleading, the economists note, because they didn’t “incorporate three key costs,” which are the unreliability of renewables, the large amounts of land they require, and the displacement of cheaper “baseload” energy sources like nuclear plants.

Read full story here…