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Saturday, July 23, 2022

The Byzantines as Romans (2)

(Part 1)

"What personal and social “content” made someone a Roman in Byzantium, beyond the formal labels of state (being a subject of the “emperor of the Romans”) and law (being a Roman citizen)?...

The historian Agathias, writing around 580, presented an idealized image of contemporary Frankish society...

Agathias offers a global, comprehensive definition of who the Franks are as a people by deploying the categories of classical ethnography and applying them to a base-Roman template, which is then adjusted to reflect the distinctive aspects of Frankish culture and society. According to him, a people—today we might say an ethnic group or nation—is defined by its polity, laws, religion, customs, morality, language, and dress... It is interesting that dress and language, rather than more abstract qualities such as politics and civilization, are singled out as the chief markers of difference between the two...

An early twelfth-century addition to the history of Ioannes Skylitzes notes that Basileios I (867–886) founded the city of Kallipolis (Gallipoli) on the coast of southern Italy by resettling people there from the city of Herakleia on the Black Sea coast. “This explains why that city still uses Roman customs and dress and a thoroughly Roman social order, down to this day.” “Roman” is again defined through the same ethnographic terms: one can tell who is a Roman and who is not by the presence or absence of mundane ethnic traits such as dress. Not everyone in Byzantine southern Italy was a Roman, and these, then, were the criteria by which one could tell the difference. The passage has two additional corollaries. First, it implies that a provincial population from the Black Sea coast, and not only the populace of Constantinople, could serve as a benchmark for Byzantine Romanness, especially when transplanted to Italy, where the population was ethnically diverse. Second, the author expects that, barring major disruption, the town’s ethnic profile would abide during the three centuries between its foundation and his own time. In the local Italian context, this implies a continuity in settlement. “The persistence of ‘local’ or ‘indigenous’ traits, habits, styles, and so on constitutes a kind of descent,” and therefore a kind of ethnicity. The bishops of Gallipoli remained “Greek” until the later fourteenth century...

The snapshots presented above and in Chapter 1 strongly suggest that the Romans of Byzantium were an ethnic (or national) community. The remainder of this chapter and Chapter 3 will confirm this preliminary conclusion by mapping out, both geographically and socially, whom the Roman sources included and whom they excluded from the Roman community. We will pay attention also to the criteria that justified inclusion and exclusion. The factors that we will find, taken together, suggest that the Romans were an ethnic group that demarcated itself against other ethnic groups by roughly the same criteria that are used by modern scholars to discuss ethnicity...

Seneca wrote that “every day there are names of new nations, and old ones go extinct or are absorbed into more powerful ones . . . all peoples have become confused and mixed up.” He attained this realization in part because many Romans viewed their own nation as a mixture and melting together of prior ethnic groups.

For example, before the Roman conquest, Italy was populated by many ethnic groups such as the Etruscans who had their own ethnonyms, traditions, polities, languages, and a sense of difference from the Romans and each other. Centuries after the Roman conquest, by contrast, their polities and languages were mostly extinct, and they had become Latin-speaking members of a more expansive Roman state, and no less Roman than anyone else...

In 212, the Constitutio Antoniniana made almost all free people in the empire Roman citizens. The principle was subsequently enshrined in Roman law, for instance in the Corpus of Justinian, that “all who are in the Roman world are Roman citizens.”...

Byzantine chronicles trace the history of the Roman polity from antiquity to the Byzantine present without break or ethnic rupture. The symbolic “bridge” between the two was the career of Constantine the Great, who built New Rome and, according to the Byzantine imagination, populated it with nobles whom he brought from Elder Rome. This may have been enough to establish a sufficient or symbolic link of biological continuity between the two Romes. Also, as we will see in Chapter 3, Byzantine writers called Latin their “ancestral language,” which implies that they viewed the ancient Romans as their own ancestors. By contrast, when they talked about the ancient Greeks, whether in works of elite literature or just in church, they referred to them in a distant way, as a people of the ancient world who were no longer around in the present, the way we might talk about ancient Egyptians or Phrygians.

In some contexts, biological continuity from ancient Rome was asserted more explicitly, for example in the army. In a speech to his army, the emperor Julian in 363 referred to the conquerors of Carthage and Spain—over five hundred years before—as “our forefathers.” In 589, the bishop of Antioch, Gregorios, restored order to an army that had mutinied by addressing the soldiers as “Roman men” and challenging them to prove that they were true Romans and not the “illegitimate children” of their ancestors, who included Romans of the Republic such as Manlius Torquatus. A church liturgy for fallen soldiers, dating probably from the tenth century and produced in the provinces, refers to the sanctified heroes as the “offspring of Rome,” calling them also the foundation of the patris and the entire genos. During the passage of the Second Crusade in 1147, the emperor Manuel I Komnenos warned the German king Conrad not to pick a fight with the Romans, that is, his own people...

More than any other ancient polity, Rome incorporated foreign peoples and admitted them to its citizenship and name, even though some Romans did talk about blood purity. That claim is not extensively documented, but it was made. The dominant logic, however, was of assimilation. A community formed through social consensus, and that moreover knew itself to be so formed, could nevertheless still cast itself as a community of descent. As has been written about ancient Rome:

All Romans, no matter their origins, were in a sense descended from Romulus. . . . Commitment to the community allowed one to become part of that community. . . . Loyalty to the group was more important than biological ties in the construction of Roman society. . . . The myth of shared descent was by nature permeable...

Our sources were produced by such a wide variety of people across time, space, class, and language that no conspiracy to produce a “homogenizing discourse” can be suspected. We have evidence from outside Byzantium too, specifically from the Arab and even Latin worlds, that most Byzantines were ethnically Roman...

In his Life of Saint Ioannes the Hesychast, Kyrillos of Skythopolis (sixth century), a monk at St. Saba near Jerusalem, says that a Saracen raid against the provinces of Arabia and Palestine seized “as captives many tens of thousands of Romans.” Kyrillos had no investment in the discourses of Roman power propagated by the court...

Provincial Syriac texts from the sixth century tell the same story. The Church of Zeugma, in Mesopotamia, wrote a letter to the Church of Edessa about an omen that concerned “you, us, and all Romans” (a goose had laid an egg with the inscription “the Romans will conquer”). This letter was then copied into the so-called chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua the Stylite, a Syriac text written by an official in Edessa that is as straightforwardly pro-Roman as any Greek or Latin history written in Constantinople. It proves that members of a local church on the fringes of empire saw their fates as entwined with the victories of the Roman armies and considered themselves and their fellow provincials to be Romans.

Examples can be multiplied, and more evidence pours in if we tap the riches of Arabic literature, which consistently called the Byzantines Romans (Rum), distinguishing them from other ethnic groups who lived near or among them, such as Slavs, Armenians, or Bulgarians. Already in the eighth century, Arab writers listed the Romans among the “ethnic categories,” so alongside the Persians and Copts. In their detailed testimony about Byzantium, Arab ethnographers and other writers treat the inhabitants of the empire, whether high or low, Constantinopolitan or provincial, as al-Rum, unless they belonged to one of the aforementioned ethnic groups. The ninth century Arab essayist al-Jahiz quotes a Turkish general who made the point that Rum and Slav differ in the same way that Arab and non-Arab differ, not in the way that different kinds of Arabs differ...

Moreover, Arab writers saw the Romans as a kinship group. The ninth-century Baghdadi poet Ibn al-Rumi claimed that he had Roman ancestors, and that his maternal uncles were Persian, but his paternal uncles were Romans...

The same conclusion emerges even from some Frankish or Latin sources. Despite their general tendency to call the Byzantines “Greeks,” sometimes the real name sneaks through. This happened, for instance, when a western power wanted to keep the Byzantines loyal to an alliance and so softened the exclusion of the name Roman. In his diplomatic letters, the German emperor Friedrich II usually called his Byzantine counterpart Ioannes III Batatzes, his ally against the pope, “the emperor of the Greeks.” But in one letter of 1250 he indignantly recounts how the pope had excommunicated Batatzes and all his subjects—“all the Romans subject to you, shamelessly la belling as heretics the most orthodox Romans, from whom the Christian faith had spread originally to the four corners of the earth!” It was an occasional piece of flattery, to call his correspondent by his own ethnic name.

This slip occurred in contexts that had nothing to do with Constantinople or the court. The Chronicle of the Morea is an early fourteenth-century poem that recounts the conquest of the Peloponnese in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade and the history of the Frankish principality of Achaea during the thirteenth century. In the Greek version of the poem, the Byzantines are called Romans throughout...

In Hebrew texts it is likewise called Romaniyah, which is just a direct transcription of what Jews heard it called in common parlance. And the French version of the Chronicle of the Morea begins by declaring its theme as “la conquest de Costantinople et de l’empire de Romanie”...

Why would “the language of the Romans” be different from the language currently spoken by the Romans? This was, after all, what western critics (such as popes and German emperors) brought forward in order to deny that the Byzantines were really Romans. In a famous letter of 865, Pope Nicolaus I scolded the emperor Michael III for calling himself the emperor of the Romans when he did not speak the language of the Romans (i.e., Latin); it seems that Michael had even denigrated the Latin language in his now lost letter. Some modern Greek scholars make the same error: the Byzantines were really Greeks, they assert, because they spoke Greek.

The Byzantines had ways of addressing this mismatch of language and ethnicity, but it should be noted that at no point did this discrepancy cause them to doubt whether they were Romans. Until the end of the empire and beyond, they were unpersuaded by western polemics on this point. Moreover, our understanding of ethnicity should give to the Byzantines themselves the right to decide which of their cultural attributes constituted their ethnicity and how. Here the evidence is clear: they did not see their ethnicity as defined by their language, but the reverse.

One device was to qualify Latin as “the ancestral (patrios) language” of the Romans, implying that it was no longer the language that they used, but was the language of their ancestors...

This is not without parallel in other times or parts of the world, mutatis mutandis. The ancestral language of Greek-speaking Jews in antiquity was Hebrew. The ancestral language of Ireland is Gaelic. Latin in Byzantium can be seen as such a “talismanic” ancestral language, analogous to Hebrew among postbiblical Jews: “a national language that is not spoken by most of the nation.”...

For most of their history the Byzantines did not think that their language made them Greek; to the contrary, their ethnicity as Romans made their language “Roman,” or Romaic.

The Byzantines’ self-understanding in this matter did not deviate from ancient Roman precedents. In ancient Rome, Latin was at times invested with the aura of traditionalism but—and the following point cannot be repeated too much—there was never any requirement that one know Latin to be a Roman. Greek had always been a part of Roman culture and the Romans often referred to their “two languages,” Greek and Latin. Interestingly, even Byzantines of the middle period could refer to their “two languages, Greek and Roman,” in some contexts, for example law. The terms Roman and Latin were thus asymmetrical, and they remain so today. A study of ancient Roman literature might include Greek texts. A recent survey of Roman historiography, for example, begins with a senator writing in Greek (Fabius Pictor) and ends with both Greek and Latin historians of the later empire. What was new about the Byzantines was not that they were Romans who spoke Greek but that they were Romans who had lost touch with the Latin tradition. That was an interesting development, though it emerged over the course of centuries.

Instead of arguing that the Byzantines were not really Romans because they did not speak Latin, we should be saying instead that the Byzantines had two Roman languages, one the language of their ancestors (Latin) and another their language in the present (Romaic).

It was well understood in Byzantium—I believe by the entirety of the population—that the two labels Roman and (Orthodox) Chris tian did not signify the same thing, even though they overlapped when one was looking only at the Romans...

The Romans had formerly been quite hostile to the Christians. The average Byzantine would have been regularly reminded of this by the stories of the martyrs that were told in church, as they heard about cruel Roman officials grue somely torturing Christian saints...

The most interesting account of ancient Romanization is contained in a set of letters by the patriarch Photios (ninth century). In two letters (nos. 246–247), Photios explained to his correspondent Euschemon, the bishop of Kaisareia, how St. Paul could have been a Roman, which Euschemon was inclined to doubt on the grounds that Paul was a Jew from Tarsos in Cilicia...

How could Paul simultaneously be a Jew, a citizen of Tarsos, and a Roman? (ll. 41–44). Photios maintains that there is no problem here. Paul was a Jew by genos (family or race) and by being raised in the Mosaic Law; his fatherland (patris) was Tarsos, because he was born there; and, finally, he both was and was called a Roman because his father had obtained citizenship formally either through a Roman grant or by paying money (ll. 45–49). Thus Paul was not born “at” Rome but was born into the Roman name (i.e., citizenship) and the Roman polity (ll. 51–54)... Moreover, it was not only individual men but entire cities and even cities of a foreign genos (allogeneis) that could acquire the Roman name. Photios cites the example of the city of Philippi, whose citizens called themselves Romans (ll. 63–75). Although he does not say so, we know that the city was made a Roman colony in the aftermath of the famous battle there in 42 BC...

The Roman polity in all of its phases—Republic, early empire, Byzantium—was capable of absorbing foreigners, including the inhabitants of conquered lands, barbarian armies defeated on the frontier, and refugees, settling them according to its own modes, and, over time, making them into mainstream Romans. It was a literary cliché that Rome was formed from a mixture of nations. Absorption and assimilation were among the driving mechanisms by which Rome expanded from a town on the Tiber to the world of Romanía...

Some empires, for example the Achaemenid Persian and the Ottoman, were premised on the management and enforcement of difference among conquered populations: different groups were expected to abide, and be defined, by their own religious, local, or national traditions, as permitted by the ruling class of the empire. They lived according to a differentiated legal system, and the culture and identity of the conquering ethnic group was never extended to a large portion of the population. The same groups that went into the empire at its creation by and large came out of it upon its dissolution. Romanía was not such an empire. Compared to other pre modern states, the Roman state had the most success at extending the culture and identity of its metropolis to its provincial populations, and not only to their elites. As we will see, through a combination of policy on the one hand and the largely passive but pervasive and enduring operation of institutions on the other, it turned “barbarians,” who had initially entered the empire as members of different ethnicities, into Romans"

 --- Romanland: Ethnicity and Empire in Byzantium / Anthony Kaldellis

Links - 23rd July 2022 (Hwa Chong Sex Education)

HWA CHONG SCHOOL COUNSELLOR DISCRIMINATED LGBTQ PEOPLE DURING ASSEMBLY - "The slide displayed prejudices against those from the LGBTQ community, with statements such as “33% of homosexuals have problems with alcohol”, and “33% of homosexuals are pedophiles and rapists”."
There is some research supporting some of his claims (indeed, each claim had a source - though some are too small to read and some are problematic). Epistemologically, the problem is that he didn't contextualise them (you can't take one source and proclaim that the results for the sample are the true value for the population). But facts don't matter. Most of the condemnation was not because what he said was wrong - but because it was "discriminatory". You're not allowed to say anything negative about the alphabet community.
Of course some homophiles try to dispute his sources, but ironically they love to claim that one study "proves" that "homophobes" are secretly gay (even if the study itself mentions an alternative explanation for arousal)

Hwa Chong reprimands staff member, suspends him from sexuality education over anti-LGBTQ content - “We appreciate and emphasise respect and empathy for all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, socio- economic status.”
It is telling that in the supposedly institutionally homophobic country of Singapore where homosexual sex lands gay men in jail and life for gay men is intolerable, a MOE-linked school is condemning material that offends the alphabet community and throwing their staff under the bus. Of course this won't stop the activists and their wild claims

Lesbian Use and Abuse of Alcohol: Results of the Boston Lesbian Health Project II: Substance Abuse - "Early studies on alcohol use found high rates of alcohol use and abuse among homosexuals(1,2). Almost one third of homosexuals had “alcohol related problems,” 33% of homosex-ual women were heavy drinkers, and 28% alcoholic. These rates of drinking and alcoholismwere 5 times that of heterosexuals"

Intestinal parasitic infections in homosexual men: prevalence, symptoms and factors in transmission. - "In a controlled study 67.5% of 200 homosexual men but only 16% of 100 heterosexual men were found to be infected with intestinal parasites"

Comparative data of childhood and adolescence molestation in heterosexual and homosexual persons - "In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. This research is apparently the first survey that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls. Suggestions for future research were offered."

The proportions of heterosexual and homosexual pedophiles among sex offenders against children: an exploratory study - "Previous investigations have indicated that the ratio of sex offenders against female children vs. offenders against male children is approximately 2:1, while the ratio of gynephiles to androphiles among the general population is approximately 20:1. The present study investigated whether the etiology of preferred partner sex among pedophiles is related to the etiology of preferred partner sex among males preferring adult partners. Using phallometric test sensitivities to calculate the proportion of true pedophiles among various groups of sex offenders against children, and taking into consideration previously reported mean numbers of victims per offender group, the ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles was calculated to be approximately 11:1. This suggests that the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a homosexual erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually. This, of course, would not indicate that androphilic males have a greater propensity to offend against children."
Based on these numbers, 0.7-2.5% of the population being gay (as per the Williams Institute's summary of the numbers) and a general population pedophilia prevalence rate of 1-5%, I get anything from 3 to 60% of the gays being pedophiles (vs 0.9 to 4.7% for the straight population). As per the article, there is a difference between offending and non-offending pedophiles, noises of the "wood chipper" brigade aside

LGB people and extraverts tend to have more sexual partners, study finds
The health and well-being of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Britain: Evidence from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3)
Among men who have sex with men, the age-standardised mean number of lifetime sexual partners was 111 and the non-age standardised median was 17. Much lower than the study cited (which had selection bias issues), but still very high. For men who have sex exclusively with women (MSEW) the numbers were 14 and 6 respectively

60% of Gay Men Found To Get Venereal Disease - The Washington Post - "Sixty-six percent had had an episode of pediculosis -- infestation of head or crab lice. If these are included, then 78 percent of all respondents had experienced at least one sexually transmitted disorder."

How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study - "23% of LMs said yes when asked whether ‘‘a parent or other adult caregiver ever touched you in a sexual way, forced you to touchhim or her in a sexual way, or forced you to have sexual relations’"
LM = R reported R’s mother had a same-sex romantic (lesbian) relationship with a woman, regardless of any otherhousehold transitions

HIV and men who have sex with men - Wikipedia - "The CDC (2015) reported that gay and bisexual men accounted for 82% (26,375 out of 1,242,000 adults and adolescents) of HIV diagnoses among males and 67% of all diagnoses in the United States"

Meme - "Ah, your words, not mine! Blame has been assigned; all is well in the bureaucracy."
"As someone who went for the actual assembly though, I would want to clarify that the news have greatly exaggerated the content and cherry- picked the details they put in. The actual topic was more of "not making your decision too quickly when it comes to sexual orientation" and "don't engage in too much activism at our age" rather than any outright homophobic views. Though he kinda tilted towards the conservative/ homophobic perspective, I don't think it's anywhere as bad as the media depicts it to be. The school also just kinda throw him under the bus and they said they didn't vet any of the materials for the though I suspect it is very similar content to past year cause most of the"
Meme - "sources were from before 2014)"
"maybe they said it was discriminatory because they knew they couldnt say it's not true"

Facebook - Pink Dot SG: "The HCI incident shows us that... MOE's lack of standards and guidelines means implementation of life-saving intervention is not only sorely lacking"
This must be the most brazen they've been in pushing trans mania

Friday, July 22, 2022

Links - 22nd July 2022 (2)

NUS graduation ceremony ‘not a forum for advocacy’: University on student who held up anti-death penalty sign - "NUS student Luke Levy held up a sign protesting the death penalty on stage during his commencement ceremony last week"
Damn, now I want to pay someone to display a conservative message next year just to see all the people who are now cheering this guy now condemn the other one next year

Chinese arsonist is executed for setting fire to a busy karaoke bar killing 18 - "An arsonist in China has been executed for setting fire to a popular karaoke lounge in a revenge attack which left 18 people dead.   Liu Chunlu, then 32 years old, carried out the crime last April after a female worker at the bar rejected his advances - a move that infuriated Liu. Liu, who had been drinking and singing at the bar with friends, then yanked out the fuel pipe from his motorbike parked outside, spread gasoline on the ground in front of the three-storey building and set the fuel ablaze with a cigarette lighter."

Colombia Is Considering Legalizing Its Massive Cocaine Industry - "After 40 years of U.S. - backed anti-drug policy that criminalizes the coca leaf, Marulanda and a group of members of congress want to change tack.   The bill attempts to create a legal industry that distributes cocaine to users for pain relief, not recreational use. Like that in Bolivia, it also hopes to bring hundreds of thousands of illegal coca farmers out of the shadows into a legal, homegrown industry... In Colombia, the personal consumption of cocaine is legal. It’s legal because of a court ruling that recognizes personal consumption as a human right. In Colombia we have those freedoms and the state can’t intervene. However, what we don’t have is the legal cocaine to meet that demand. Instead, we have consumers who are in contact with organized crime groups who supply them cocaine in local drug markets. It’s poor quality cocaine and it’s often mixed with unregulated substances. It’s everywhere: in our schools, in universities, in parks and bars. It’s in all these public spaces... Less than 10 percent of cocaine consumers are addicts."

Left-wing social media also promotes violence - The Washington Post - "Months of civil unrest have coincided with a significant rise in social media posts critical of police that sometimes are laced with violent themes, including calls to destroy property and attack officers... the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), which previously has studied right-wing violence from groups such as the “boogaloo boys,” warns that some left-wing groups have embraced similar social media tactics, including memes and humorous catchphrases, to spread their messages and possibly help coordinate offline activity. The researchers pointed to possible signs of such coordination associated with riots in Seattle, Portland and other cities on July 25, involving fires, looting and property damage... the researchers found the growing use of memes a worrying sign and argue that the spread of dehumanizing rhetoric on the left could set the stage for more serious incidents by what the report called “network-enabled mobs.”  It drew particular attention to the growing use of slogans — many of them profane — such as “ACAB” for “All Cops Are Bastards,” that have spread extensively in online conversations while also increasingly appearing in graffiti on government buildings and statues that have been toppled by protesters. Some memes that spread on social media depict police officers being shot or their vehicles burned. One post from a left-wing group cited by the report called for the use of laser pointers to obstruct surveillance and the lighting of fires at police barricades. Another post urged people to use 3-D printers to make guns that can’t be traced by authorities... “We don’t know enough about it to know just how dangerous it is, and we don’t know enough to know how dangerous it can become,” said Joel Finkelstein, a co-author of the report and executive director of the Network Contagion Research Institute, based in New Jersey. Its funders include George Soros’s Open Society Foundations as well as the Charles Koch Foundation.
Liberals will pretend this doesn't exist and continue demonising the "far right"
Since this is funded by both Soros and the Koch brother, everyone can be upset

It’s 2022 and the Magic Mouse still charges from the bottom - "six and a half years after its introduction, Apple still seems to think that the best way to charge the mouse is by flipping it over (rendering it useless) and plugging in a Lightning cable."
"User centered design"

How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name - "Once upon a time, Apple was known for designing easy-to-use, easy-to-understand products. It was a champion of the graphical user interface, where it is always possible to discover what actions are possible, clearly see how to select that action, receive unambiguous feedback as to the results of that action, and have the power to reverse that action–to undo it–if the result is not what was intended. No more. Now, although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist... Android phones have Back built into the phone as a universal control that is always available. Apple does not. Why? We don’t know. Were they trying to avoid having a button or a menu? The result does provide for a clean, elegant visual appearance, but the simple-appearance mask is deceptive, for it increases the difficulty of usage.  Apple does provides a “back” arrow in some locations, but, unlike Google’s Android, where it is universally available, Apple’s undo and back buttons are at the option of the developer. Not everyone, including Apple, implements these features... Apple products deliberately hide complexity by obscuring or removing important controls... Simple appearance can make control more difficult, more arbitrary, require memorization, and be subject to multiple forms of error. In fact, in the early days of Apple’s Lisa and Macintosh computers, “No Modes” was a rallying cry. The only way to have no modes is to have dedicated controls, each always meaning the very same thing."
From 2015

Stephen King’s It Has A Very Graphic Child Orgy Scene - "The kids, known as the Losers' Club, defeat the killer shape-shifter at the end of the first segment, or so they think, but are stuck inside a network of tunnels that they can't seem to get out of. Right, you've just put an end to a merciless, demonic entity which has killed dozens of people in your town and you can't seem to navigate tunnels?  Putting that to one side, the Losers ponder about how they're going to get out of their predicament. Beverly, the only girl in the group, decides that the only way to bring unity back to the group is to have an all-out sex session.  The 11-year-old tells the six other boys of the same age: "You have to put your thing in me." Yep.  Apparently, Stephen King doesn't miss anything and explains, in detail, the orgy for a few pages: "Mike comes to her, then Richie, and the act is repeated. Now she feels some pleasure, dim heat in her childish unmatured sex, and she closes her eyes as Stan comes to her and she thinks of the birds."... the author decided to clear things up about the controversial scene on a blog saying: "I wasn't really thinking of the sexual aspect of it. The book dealt with childhood and adulthood --1958 and Grown Ups. The grownups don't remember their childhood. None of us remember what we did as children--we think we do, but we don't remember it as it really happened.  "Intuitively, the Losers knew they had to be together again. The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood. It's another version of the glass tunnel that connects the children's library and the adult library. Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues."  Stephen King has been controversial in several books. In the novel The Stand, the character called Trashcan Man gets the barrel of a gun inserted into his anus, while in Apt Pupil, a kid called Todd has a dream about raping a 16-year-old girl with a condom that delivers electric shocks from the tip. But 'It' is the first child orgy."

Murders are up. Crime is not. What’s going on?
Many people had problems understanding that murder is just one type of crime

Couple order motorist who parked on their drive to pay £100 to have the car released - "Barry Newton and his girlfriend Zoe Hameston were baffled when they found the blue Peugeot parked at their home in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, without their permission... The car's owner, apparently the victim of a parking app scam, is believed to have been forced to pay the £100 cash fee to be able to leave with their vehicle"

Former Spanish king’s sex drive ‘was a danger to the state’ - "The former king of Spain was injected with female hormones as his sex drive was considered a "state problem"... José Manuel Villarejo, a disgraced former police commissioner entangled in allegations of spying, fraud and bribery, told Spain's parliament that Juan Carlos had been administered testosterone blockers to dampen his “ardent” libido.  “They took everything away from him, he couldn’t be with a woman or anything,” said Mr Villarejo, who was at the centre of a scandal that eventually led to the king's exile...   Apart from Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, Juan Carlos is rumoured to have had many lovers during his nearly four decades on the throne, including a Miss World contestant called Bárbara Rey, who allegedly received millions of euros from state coffers to maintain her silence on the affair.  Juan Carlos apologised to Spaniards in 2011, when it was revealed that he had been on a secret elephant hunt in Botswana in the company of Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein during a deep financial crisis in Spain."

Ethan Larsen's answer to Can tanks drive through walls? - Quora - "Tanks go where they want to go, and few objects short of a speeding freight train will stop one. But there are some things to remember.
The crew must watch the gun barrel. Especially for tanks with longer guns, the barrel can be fragile in comparison to the rest of the vehicle. Warpage or stoppage in the barrel can cause it to rupture when the tank attempts to fire. Especially for tanks like the Tiger I, which absolutely relied on the gun’s muzzle brake to manage the recoil, any damage to this part could render the vehicle toothless.
Structures with deep foundations could cave in, causing the tank to become trapped. While it wasn’t a tank, Marvin Heemeyer’s famous ‘Killdozer’ was caught this way.
C-wire can stop a tank dead in its tracks… by removing them... Still, tank wins 99% of the time."
Someone claimed that it was very easy to stop tanks, especially in urban environments. Weird how armies around the world still have them, then

My gruelling weekend at Witcher School - "All signs of modern life have been disguised or hidden, electronics outlawed (except in dormitories). For the duration the castle will be lit by torches and candles and by fires roaring in hearths. And everyone here - everyone - is in costume. Witcher School is a weekend-long live action role-play event - or, if you will, a larp. Imagine a video game, come to life. The event ran for the first time last year, though was only open to locals; this year it's international, and is carried out entirely in English. People have come as far as from America to play, as well as from all over Europe, and for many (myself included) this is their first larp. It's all a testament to the extraordinary success of The Witcher video games, which have propelled Andrzej Sapkowski's fiction far beyond Poland. CD Projekt has nothing to do with the Witcher School, incidentally, beyond being name-checked as a partner. Witcher School costs €350 (£276) to attend, a price that includes a weekend's accommodation, food and rental of a costume, although travel's not included. It's a significant amount - as much as week's break somewhere hot - but it's a far bigger and more impressive operation than I expected... How you play the game is explained in a series of workshops upon arrival, and there are so many new players this explanation is essential. It's not complicated; the general rule of thumb is 'don't be an asshole'. If you're hit, act hit. Support the role-play, don't poo-poo it because you want to be the hero. Do what's good for the game. There are more specific mechanics, including sex cards non-player characters can hand out to simulate the raunchy side of the Witcher games and fiction without things getting weird. There are safe words, and there are some guidelines about how often adepts like us can use witcher magic - i.e. we can't, really. Not yet. Then, after the workshops and dinner, the game begins, and runs non-stop Thursday evening to Saturday night. Dormitories may be flagged as 'out of game', and the organiser's backstage area and office is 'out of game', but otherwise everywhere and everyone will be in character for the duration. I'm Lester, an email I receive a few days before the event tells me, a spy and a deserter from the Temerian army captured and forced to infiltrate Witcher School. Will I find the Temerian Captain and keep them happy with information, or will I be discovered by the witchers and punished? Armed with motivations and backstory I stride into the courtyard with the other recruits and stand before the witcher masters, bedecked in their impressive assortments of leather and metal, capes and scars. The game begins. Witcher School isn't for the faint-hearted; it's more like military boot camp than a holiday. We are pushed to physical breaking point - some do break, almost literally - and robbed of sleep... wherever possible Witcher School employs theatrical tricks to lend an immersive helping hand. It may be an ultraviolet light to simulate being able to see in the dark; or a pyrotechnic display to simulate a fire spell; or a very convincing monster crew twisting and contorting into believable-enough replicas of the fantasy thing. It sounds silly but it works, it really does, and to the man who wore a wetsuit in the icy night so he could emerge as a drowner from a pond, over and over again: you are my hero."

Dawn Butler, take note. Name-calling won't endear you to the public - "The Commons rule that members must not accuse another member of lying or hypocrisy is often disparaged by commentators and political activists, particularly those on the Left. If someone is a liar, why not say so?  But they overestimate the public’s appetite for lowering the tone of political debate even further. Would the country really be improved by replicating the tone and language of Twitter in the Houses of Parliament?"

Fired: German reporter seen applying mud to her face before reporting on flood - "A German TV reporter who was accused of smearing mud on herself and pretending to help during Europe’s devastating floods has been fired... Susanna Ohlen was caught applying mud on herself before claiming to aid emergency efforts that are underway following more than 200 deaths due to massive floods in Western Europe."

Iowan fired for using forklift on candy machine - "An Iowa man has lost his job and unemployment benefits for using a forklift to get a candy bar from a malfunctioning vending machine... Robert McKevitt, 27, of Spirit Lake, was working at Polaris Industries' warehouse in Milford when the incident occurred last fall.  McKevitt wanted some candy, so he deposited $1 in a vending machine for a 90-cent Twix candy bar, The Des Moines Register reported. But the candy bar got snagged on a hook and wouldn't fall.  He banged it and rocked it, but that didn't work.  The state records said McKevitt then commandeered a forklift, picked up the machine at least six times and dropped it about 2 feet onto the concrete floor. Three candy bars fell.  McKevitt was fired five days later...   "That machine was trouble," McKevitt said. "They fired me, and now I hear they have all new vending machines there.""

Meme - "Don't break in. Here's $20 for meth"

Daylight Saving Time Disrupts Humans' Natural Circadian Rhythm - "When people living in many parts of the world move their clocks forward one hour in the spring in observance of daylight saving time (DST), their bodies' internal, daily rhythms don't adjust with them"

U.S. Senate approves bill to make daylight saving time permanent - "The House Energy and Commerce committee held a hearing on the issue this month. Representative Frank Pallone, the committee's chairman, said that "the loss of that one hour of sleep seems to impact us for days afterwards. It also can cause havoc on the sleeping patterns of our kids and our pets"... Pallone cited a 2019 poll that found that 71% of Americans prefer to no longer switch their clocks twice a year.  Supporters say the change could prevent a slight uptick in car crashes that typically occurs around the time changes and point to studies showing a small increase in the rate of heart attacks and strokes soon after the time change."
If it passes, this might be the best news in 2022

Is Daylight Saving Time Hazardous to Your Health? - Freakonomics - "In 2001, a group of researchers from Stanford analyzed 21 years of data and found that fatal car accidents increased on the Monday after we set the clocks forward. What was also interesting was that the researchers spotted more deadly crashes on the Sunday when we gain an hour, in the fall. For the autumn change, they theorized that people changed their behavior — they stayed out later, they drank more — in anticipation of the bonus hour of sleep they were about to get. Driving hazards weren’t the only problem that people started investigating. In 2008, two physicians from Sweden found that heart attacks spiked in the three days after the spring change. There were about 10 percent more heart attacks on the Tuesday following “spring forward” compared with the two weeks earlier or two weeks later. The research that’s followed has been contradictory"

Daylight Saving Time Wastes Energy - NYTimes.com - "daylight saving time reduces demand for residential lighting, yet increases demand for heating and especially cooling. So, while Benjamin Franklin’s argument still applies to lighting, the more important effect today comes from air conditioners. And in regions where demand for air conditioning is greater and growing, daylight saving time is likely to increase electricity use even more. Arizona, one of the hottest states, may have it right by not changing the clocks."

Meme - Brittany Matthews @brittanylynne8" "That guy needs to get out of the game...and go die I literally hate him >:( #totalbs"
Brittany Matthews @brittanylynne8: "Hate is a very strong word to just be thrown at someone you don't even know. *shrug*"
The "be kind" squad strikes again

Meme - Jack Cocchiarella: "Breaking: Disney is pausing all political donations in Florida. Keep up the pressure. Keep saying GAY"
Jack Cocchiarella @JDCocchiarella: "Can someone ask the Disney CEO why they paused donations to Florida Democrats? We're standing up for students, democracy, and a woman's right to choose. Does he have a problem with that?"

Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin, wasn't black. But here's why so many people think he was.

North Korea’s Kim has noticeably lost weight - "Kim stands at around 170cm and once reportedly weighed 130kg, per South Korean estimations – measurements that would place him as obese on the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale. However, Kim has been steadily shedding the pounds since earlier this year, with North Korean state media in June describing his weight loss as upsetting the nation and leaving him looking “emaciated.”  Severe flooding and supply issues due to the coronavirus pandemic have reportedly caused food shortages in North Korea, with the closure of the communist state’s border with China further exacerbating the problem. The government, famously tight-lipped about the country’s internal struggles, appears to have acknowledged this problem, stating that Kim is eating less “for the sake of the country”"

Kim Jong Un: K-pop is a 'vicious cancer,' merits execution - "It’s not just listening to K-pop that’s the problem. Lately, Korean slang has started to infiltrate everyday conversation, with North Korean women increasingly calling their boyfriends “oppa” — a term for “honey” popularized by South Korean dramas — rather than the state-mandated “comrade.”  In order to eradicate the “perverse” phenomenon, state officials have been ordered to search computers, text messages and notebooks for South Korean vernacular, while people caught mimicking the “puppet accent” could be banished from cities, per the top-secret papers.   However, it might be too late the curb the trend. A South Korean study of 116 recent defectors found that nearly half had “frequently” enjoyed southern content while residing in the DPRK...   This isn’t the first time Kim has cracked down on so-called anti-socialist tendencies.  This past April, the mushroom-haired dictator infamously outlawed mullets and skinny jeans in an attempt to cut off “decadent” Western-style fashion trends."

Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ on Twitter - "The leader of Sexy Summer Camp recommends that children begin to masturbate as toddlers. "Masturbation is really healthy and I recommend it to people of all ages. All ages. As soon as my nephews could talk, they were doing that.""
Sexualising children is just a conspiracy theory

Play slammed over safety as live wolves chase, 'maul' actors - "Viewers are raising safety concerns over a Chinese play, in which real-life wolves were seen chasing performers through the middle of a crowded theater in Xi’an...   In the shocking footage of the show — titled “Tuoling Legend,” or “The Legend of Camel Bell” — wolves can be seen pursuing performers across the stage sans any leashes or safety harnesses.    At one point, the apex predators leave the stage and chase the actors through the packed aisles while audiences record the shocking scene. The toothy thespians even act out fight scenes with a wolf pretend-mauling one of the performers as they flail about on the ground.    The controversial scene was part of a visual history of the Silk Road — an ancient trade route — in which the wolves were meant to symbolize the dangers China’s ancient camel warriors would face while traversing Central Asia... Huaxia Cultural Tourism, the company behind the show, insisted that the “wolves are safe and won’t hurt people.  “The wolves have been domesticated for three to four generations,” a representative said in a statement. “They are legally raised and trained by professional trainers with certifications since 2018 and no accident happened in the past three years.”   In order to further ensure the safety of the audience, the company put up protective nets between the stage and seats, according to CNN. Meanwhile, the actors reportedly donned safety gear so they wouldn’t get injured while play-fighting with their canine co-stars"

panini — Hot Take: - "Hot Take:
Witchcraft isn’t just organized spells and ceremonial magick.
Magic is talking to your plants and explaining to them why they’re being re-potted.
Magic is wearing your favorite shirt for good luck.
Magic is saying “thank you” to old items before discarding them.
Magic is a deep breath and a murmured assurance of, “I can do this” before a big day.
Magic is keeping a candle lit on your desk because you find it relaxing.
Magic is throwing open your windows and playing some comforting music.
Magic is the little things, too."

Gray hair is caused by stress — and is reversible: study - "Researchers from Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons reached these conclusions by analyzing the individual hairs of 14 volunteers in comparison to stress diaries each kept.   The method they used is comparable to analyzing the rings of a tree: By looking at a tiny portion of each human hair, reflecting approximately an hour of hair growth, the scientists were able to find a correlation between times of stress and times of graying in the hair.   Not only that, but they also found that periods of relaxation correlated with once-gray hair growing out dark.   “There was one individual who went on vacation, and five hairs on that person’s head reverted back to dark during the vacation, synchronized in time”"

Old HDB flats are being snapped up by young Singaporeans, but why? - "Here are some likely reasons:
    High home ownership rates reduce legacy needs
    HDB flats depreciating slower than theories suggest
    Trending gentrification
    The oldest flats tend to be bigger (for five-room flats at least)
    Changing perspectives of flats as assets
    Optimism about flats being just a temporary home"

Planck's Principle - "Two views about the Darwinian revolution are tested: that nearly all scientists in Great Britain had been converted to a belief in the evolution of species within 10 years after the publication of the Origin of Species, and that younger scientists were converted much more rapidly than older scientists. Both views are shown to be less than accurate."
Aka the claim that "science advances one funeral at a time."

Science really does advance one funeral at a time, study suggests - "When a superstar dies, their subfields expand a little, says study co-author Pierre Azoulay, a professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. But within those subfields, the number of papers authored by former collaborators of star scientists collapses ‘very drastically’, Azoulay says, while the number of papers by non-collaborators rises markedly.   What’s more, Azoulay explains, most non-collaborators tend to be new to the subfield rather than existing competitors to the deceased star. He speculates that outsiders perceive fields to be closed and therefore stay away while stars are alive."
This is a subtly different sense of the saying than what Planck said: “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

Ponytail Physics: How Competing Forces Shape Bundles of Hair - Scientific American Blog Network - "A ponytail may look like a relatively simple object, but in truth it is a bundle of physical complexity. Multiple forces are in play. Each hair is elastic, with a random intrinsic curvature. And the average head of hair has 50,000 to 100,000 individual strands, according to Raymond Goldstein, a professor in the University of Cambridge's department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics... Some of the major forces conspiring to shape a ponytail are elasticity, gravity, tension and pressure... Beyond unveiling a theory of the ponytail, Goldstein and his colleagues also added a new term to the physics lexicon. They describe ponytail size by the "Rapunzel number," a unit equal to the total length of the ponytail in centimeters divided by five. Five centimeters, Goldstein said, is about the length scale below which gravity does not bend the hairs much."

Walking with coffee: Why does it spill? - "In our busy lives, almost all of us have to walk with a cup of coffee. While often we spill the drink, this familiar phenomenon has never been explored systematically. Here we report on the results of an experimental study of the conditions under which coffee spills for various walking speeds and initial liquid levels in the cup. These observations are analyzed from the dynamical systems and fluid mechanics viewpoints as well as with the help of a model developed here. Particularities of the common cup sizes, the coffee properties, and the biomechanics of walking proved to be responsible for the spilling phenomenon. The studied problem represents an example of the interplay between the complex motion of a cup, due to the biomechanics of a walking individual, and the low-viscosity-liquid dynamics in it."

When people explode during colonoscopies - "an explosion of colonic gasses requires three things:
1. The presence of combustible gases (hydrogen and/or methane)
2. The presence of combustive gas (oxygen)
3. Application of a heat source...
And yet, a survey of the medical literature conducted by Ben-Soussan's team turned up just 20 cases of colonic gas explosion between 1952 and October 2006, only one of which was fatal. Why such a small number? Because if you read the last paragraph closely, you'll notice that the cited hydrogen and methane concentrations are high in unprepared (i.e. uncleaned) large intestines; and adequate bowel cleansing, as you might expect, is pretty common practice in colonoscopies"

‘New homes’ turn Swedes’ hair green - "When several formerly blonde inhabitants of Anderslöv in southern Sweden suddenly had green hair, suspicion was immediately directed towards the municipal drinking water.  The culprit, however, turned out to be new homes combined with hot showers...   When the tests showed normal copper levels in the water delivered to houses, engineers were confounded.  However, left overnight, the copper suddenly skyrocketed to five or ten times the normal amount.  Hot water left overnight peeled copper from the pipes and water heaters, and into the water.   The problems were most severe in new houses, where pipes lacked coatings."

Winners of 2012 Ig Nobel Prizes for Odd Discoveries Revealed [PHOTOS + VIDEO] - "Literature Prize - The US Government's General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports"

Catherine the Great: Love, Sex and Power, by Virginia Rounding - "When Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst arrived at the Russian court in 1744, one of the many daughters of minor German royal houses who came to St Petersburg in the hope of an advantageous marriage, she was just 15 and ‘as ugly as a scarecrow’ after a severe illness. Her future husband, the heir to the throne, Grand Duke Peter, was a bizarre character whose main interests were his toy soldiers and ‘romping’ with his valets. No one, unsurprisingly, recognised in her the future Catherine II, one of Russia’s greatest rulers, who was to preside over a vast expansion of Russian territory, the flourishing of St Petersburg, the huge collection of European art and sculpture that formed the basis of the Hermitage, the reform of local government, law and education, not to mention a procession of ever younger and more delectable lovers... After seven years of marriage, her ‘child-husband’ had still not got round to the business of consummation. Finally an attendant arranged that Catherine take her first lover, bloodlines being less important than healthy little heirs. A son duly appeared... A year after the ascendancy of her husband, Peter III, she was already plotting to overthrow him. In June 1762, she was woken in the middle of the night by the news that one of her conspirators had been arrested and the coup must take place at once. She left the palace in such a hurry that only a lucky meeting with her French hairdresser, who jumped into her carriage and arranged her hair as they sped towards the Ismailovsky regiment, avoided the scene of Catherine, Empress of All the Russias, receiving the oath of allegiance in her lace nightcap.    Peter did not resist. Arrested in his palace of Peterhof, it was said of him later that he ‘allowed himself to be dethroned like a child being sent to bed’. A week later Peter was dead, strangled by his guards. It looked fishy, whether Catherine was complicit in the murder or not. All her efforts to bring Russia into the Age of Enlightenment could never quite rid her of the stain of regicide.  Catherine took to power with alacrity. Clever, diligent and well-read from her years of preparation, she was an empress who astonished her Senate by actually joining in their sessions. She, in turn, was horrified to discover the senators’ ignorance of the country they were governing. One of her first instructions to them was to obtain a map of Russia from the Academy of Sciences...   Essential to her happiness was a current ‘favourite’, of whom she had, I think, ten during the course of her 30-year reign. ‘The trouble is that my heart is loth to remain even one hour without love,’ she wrote. She was not as capricious as this makes her sound; most of her lovers were seen off by court intrigues. Her practice of loading each one with not only rank and wealth but political power made this almost inevitable. Only Potemkin, whom she may have secretly married (although Rounding thinks not), retained his position after their first passion had waned. Catherine relied on him as a member of her government, and in a brilliantly pragmatic move he provided her with young, handsome officers, thus solving the matter of her heart and preserving his status in one move."
"What she did when alone with these young men we will never know. Rounding plausibly suggests that sex may not have been as important to Catherine as her contemporaries imagined. During the war with Sweden in 1790, Catherine (aged 61) and Platon Zubov (aged 23) were disturbed by a cannonade clearly audible from her private apartments, but the activity interrupted by the noise was irreproachable: the couple were busy translating Plutarch into Russian."

Every Jurassic Park Dinosaur Illustrated With Modern Science

Experimental Archaeology

"These are some of the things that I have learned by doing experimental archeology, pilgrimages and re-enactments that I wouldn’t have got just from reading books.

1) Cleaning and drying leather boots is a pain. In warm weather it’s easier to cross a muddy field or a river by taking them off and hanging them round your neck ..... feet are easier to clean than boots. On damp ground, smooth leather soles will make you slide around all over the place unless you rough them up.
2) Archery was a numbers game....at Agincourt half a million arrows were bound to hit something squishy.
I have worn the armour of the period and the sheer blunt force trauma can be significant....I have advanced in armour into an arrow storm shot by modern 40-60lb longbows, and it can put you on your backside with just the transferred energy. When you are knocked off your feet backwards by a handful of half inch diameter arrows, guess which bit of your body is then facing the incoming arrow storm.....ouch.
If you turn to retreat, your relatively unarmoured parts are then facing the enemy and you discover that an arrow up your bum can ruin your whole day.
3) The carbon dioxide buildup in even the best medieval helmet limits the amount of full on swordfighting you can do before you need to lift your visor. Any more than a minute or two, without a special breathing technique and you’re knackered....and so you lift your visor, and we’re back to the archers again!
4) Sleeping rough with just a cloak wrapped around you is totally do-able for two or three weeks, even in the rain.....but it is not comfortable and no-one will sit next to you in the car on the way home.
5) Unheeled flat bottom turn shoes are good for a 250 mile walk, IF you stuff them with raw sheep’s wool or grass, and the lanolin will keep your feet dry too.....but your modern feet WILL hurt for a week.
6) EVERYTHING in the middle ages required muscle power...it’s easy to underestimate how many calories you need to survive day to day when you’re lifting and carrying all the time.
7) Wool warms up by an exothermic reaction when it dries, this must be why the Scots used to wrap themselves in a wet blanket before going to sleep.....not because they were rufty tufty hard men.
8 ) A decent hard cake, fruit cake or oat cake will keep in your pack for at least three weeks as you walk cross country, without dissolving into crumbs or going mouldy.
9) Honey smeared on a nasty head wound will stop the bleeding and is antiseptic. If you apply a linen bandage soaked in lavender water it heals quite quickly too.
10) It is possible to take quite a respectable bath in a freezing cold river in about 30 seconds, giving you time to get your clothes back on before any tourists or hikers happen by.....usually.
If you do get caught stark naked out in the open, you don’t tend to worry too much about it....it’s happened to me three times now.
11) When you’re on a long march or a pilgrimage, everything reduces down to a few basics.....footwear, shelter, food, drink....you eat when you can and you sleep when you can, and after a few days you begin to drift into an almost meditative state.
12) When you make something beautiful or functional by hand with hand tools, you learn to value ‘stuff’ much more.
13) On a long march or pilgrimage you cat nap, falling asleep and waking up regularly because out in the open every gust of wind and every fox or badger disturbs you ..... this carries on through the day as well. Sleeping for eight hours becomes a thing of the past.
14) Beeswax has LITERALLY dozens of uses, maybe even hundreds....never go on a long walk without some.
15) The middle of a battle is chaotic, terrifying and NOISY. You don’t know where anything is or what’s going on, and you are totally reliant on the men around you.....all you know is what is directly in front of you.
16) The gift of a carrot from a Canadian man towards the end of a 250 mile pilgrimage brought me to tears, and I’m not usually emotional in public.
Despite having a letter of support from the Pope and another from the Archbishop of Canterbury in my pack, what I remember most from that trip is the homeless man who bought me a pasty.......cherish what’s important.
What have you learned about medieval life by ‘doing’ rather than by ‘reading’."

Links - 22nd July 2022 (1 - Climate Change: Energy Transition)

Opinion: Europe made its energy bed and now must sleep in it — shivering - "One of the more bizarre developments in Europe in recent years has been the twin policy paths whereby fossil fuels have been discouraged in favour of wind and solar, but deals have been struck with autocracies, including Russia, to import more fossil fuel via pipelines. The net effect of the first policy, obvious in the last few weeks, has been to force European consumers and businesses to pay much more to heat and power their homes and run their businesses. That results from the intermittent nature of wind and solar: when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, the electricity grid needs backup. That comes from natural gas or coal, though coal, along with nuclear power, is increasingly being phased out. Needing backup means Europeans pay twice for power. Now combine the coal and nuclear phaseouts with Europe’s political and policy disdain for local exploration for oil and natural gas, such as in 2017 when France proudly banned future exploration for oil and fracking for gas both at home and in its overseas territories. Then add parallel attempts to label Canadian oil as dirty and thus discourage future Canadian exports to Europe. The result is that the European demand for energy has hit limited supply, causing energy prices to soar. A real-time example is occurring with the natural gas used to back up and power Europe’s electricity grid. On electricity prices, for example, Dutch TTF gas (a European benchmark price) has been reaching as high as €90 a megawatt hour in the last few weeks, more than five times what it was in January.  Price spikes have consequences. Even before the recent rise in electricity prices, an estimated 80 million households across Europe struggled to pay their power bills, with 12 million in arrears. A quintupling of power prices will cause these numbers to surge this winter... The best-known example of growing dependence on autocrats is the near-completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bring Russian natural gas to Germany and other parts of Europe. Initially, some European and American politicians opposed the pipeline, fearing it would make the continent more dependent on Russian whims, including the use of energy as a geopolitical weapon.  The concern is legitimate. In 2009, Russia cut off the natural gas supply to Ukraine in mid-winter, ostensibly over a pricing dispute. In reality, it was an attempt to control Ukraine. Since then, Ukraine has bought natural gas from third-party sources rather than directly from Russia.  Consider how dependent Europe already is on autocracies and tyrannies for another fossil fuel: oil. Between 2005 and 2019, European countries imported over 61.5 billion barrels of crude oil, worth just over €4.6 trillion or about C$6.9 trillion. About two-thirds of this came from countries with poor records for human freedom — in other words, tyrannies, autocracies or dictatorships"
Presumed liberal logic: fossil fuels from dictatorships don't count because they are assumed to be evil already

Randall Denley: Ontario politicians eager to phase out natural gas only have to look to Europe for the consequences - "For years, Ontario generated so much electrical power that it had to sell it, often at a loss, to neighbouring states and provinces. Now, the province’s ability to produce an adequate supply of reliable power is threatened by an increasing enthusiasm for eliminating natural gas plants that are critical to Ontario’s future. An environmental group called the Ontario Clean Air Alliance is demanding that natural gas power generation be phased out by 2030. It’s a predictable stance for an environmental group, but the worrying thing is that the alliance’s wobbly plan to replace natural gas has been endorsed by 32 municipalities, representing about 60 per cent of Ontario’s population. Among them are Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Mississauga and Windsor. The federal Liberal, NDP and Green parties all promised zero emissions electricity in last month’s election. Zero emissions electricity has to be taken seriously, not because it’s feasible in Ontario in this decade, but because it’s just the sort of simplistic idea that appeals to people who believe the planet will perish without just the right mix of government policies in Canada. These would be the same people who call for a future in which electricity powers all cars and home heating, but they want only their sort of electricity. That doesn’t include natural gas or emissions-free nuclear, which combined provide 62 per cent of Ontario’s generation capacity. Ontario’s power generation sector is a curious target for environmentalists, given that it is 94 per cent emissions free and produces only three per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. Ontario produces 81 per cent fewer carbon emissions per kilowatt hour than the rest of Canada. That’s due to the phase-out of coal plants under the former Liberal government. That move reduced the power sector’s emissions from 21 per cent of the overall amount, even if Ontarians did pay a steep premium for every part of it.   Some of that progress will be lost over this decade because the aging Pickering nuclear reactor is being phased out, reducing generation capacity by 14 per cent. Other reactors are up for refurbishment, meaning the province will have to rely more on natural gas for power generation... The increasing reliance on gas has got the environmental group fired up, but its position is a bit complicated. It backed the coal conversion, naturally, but now it opposes the gas plants that support intermittent wind and solar power. It also opposes nuclear on the grounds of cost and safety.  One has to hand it to the clean air alliance. Lobbying municipalities to pressure for an end to natural gas power generation was a clever move. The average municipal politician is quick to rally to a good-sounding cause and knows squat about power generation... If gas plants were shut down by 2030, as the environmental group and myriad city councillors propose, there would be some pretty noticeable side effects. Those would include the need to spend $27 billion on alternative generation and transmission lines, plus additional operating costs of $5.7 billion a year, which would push the average homeowner’s bill up $100 a month. Oh, and there would also be rolling blackouts without the reliable natural gas power.  None of that is slowing down the clean air alliance, which accuses the IESO of trying to scare the public. Its own plan relies on Quebec investing in wind and solar so that it can sell its own hydro power to Ontario, plus an emerging idea to draw power from electric car batteries... Before they get too keen on phasing out gas plants, Ontario politicians might want to consider the situation in Europe. Countries there enthusiastically embraced wind and solar but then made the mistake of shutting down nuclear plants and not replacing coal power with sufficient natural gas. Now they find themselves short of power and the price is increasing sharply. Ontario has avoided that fate, so far, but it’s never too late to do the wrong thing."

“Explosive” German Government Audit Report: ‘Energiewende’ Has Become “A Danger For All Of Germany” - "A new German government audit report warns that the Energiewende is exploding costwise, and that there is a real danger of electricity shortfalls…”a danger for all of Germany”  Daniel Wetzel at German national daily Die Welt reports on the latest German Federal Court of Auditors’ warning: “If things continue like this, Germany as a business location is in danger. The costs are out of control – and there is a growing threat of an electricity shortfall.”  The “Energiewende” (transition to green energies) has seen Germany recklessly rush into wildly fluctuating wind and solar energy without properly planning the grave impacts they would have on the power supply grid and prices"

Energy Crisis Hobbles Biden’s Green Agenda - WSJ - "President Biden may soon have to choose between his climate policy and his overall national strategy.  The problem is not just that the energy shortage and price surges threaten to drive a wedge between green activists and middle- and working-class voters struggling with high energy bills—though that is a problem, and voter dissatisfaction with gasoline prices will likely take a toll on the president’s approval ratings. It is not even that the same forces are at work internationally, so that, for example, high energy prices could propel a far-right candidate into the Élysée Palace in France next spring. The real problem is that the green agenda as currently conceived is an effective machine for undermining the economic and political power of the democratic world and boosting the influence of precisely the authoritarian powers President Biden has made it his mission to oppose. By artificially depressing fossil-fuel production and investment in the democratic world faster than renewables and other fuels can fill the gap, Biden policy promotes a multiyear, multitrillion-dollar windfall for countries like Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Fossil-fuel companies in the Western world, responsive to the dictates of regulators and the exigencies of public relations, are scaling back investments in new oil and gas production. But consumers in the West and, crucially, elsewhere in the world will move slowly if at all away from current levels of fossil-fuel use. State-owned oil companies in countries like Russia can choose between equally rewarding alternatives. They can raise production slowly and count their winnings as prices rise or raise production faster and count their winnings as grateful customers absorb the new supply.  Russia will have more money to spend on adventures abroad. The Gulf monarchies will think less about reform and renewal as a new wave of oil riches postpones the day of reckoning. This shift won’t only make unregenerate oil producers richer. It will make them more powerful. Already, Mr. Biden is back to begging the OPEC+ countries not to jack prices up too high. But that humiliation is only the beginning. America’s greatest single achievement of the past decade was replacing the Middle East as the swing producer in world energy production, shifting a critical lever of economic power from authoritarian monopolists to market-driven capitalists. To throw this achievement away means, among other things, the return of the Middle East to the center of the American foreign policy agenda—something Mr. Biden desperately hopes to avoid.  It is also a greater boost to Vladimir Putin than anything even the most conspiracy-minded Democrats imagined Donald Trump had in mind. To raise energy prices while enabling Moscow to tighten its grip over Europe’s energy supply is to turbocharge a Russian regime that was staggering and showing its age."

Biden Suddenly Loves Frackers - WSJ - "Falling poll numbers concentrate the presidential mind, and the result can be startling. Look no further than this nominee for headline of the year from Politico this week: “ Biden team asks oil industry for help to tame gas prices.”  Stranger things have happened, but we can’t recall one. For nine months President Biden has been pursuing policies to squeeze oil-and-gas producers to limit production and eventually go out of business. Having begged OPEC in vain to boost oil production, Mr. Biden is now having to suffer the humiliation of beseeching an American industry he vilifies as destroying the planet to save the day... this “outreach” to the oil industry is “an awkward shift.” No kidding, and it’s worth going down the list of ways this Administration has tried to punish U.S. producers... the Interior Department got the presidential message. It approved a mere 171 drilling permits on federal lands in August, down 75% from April. The Biden Administration also moved to suspend existing leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and it initiated a fresh review of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve that could put it off limits as well. Get it—a “petroleum reserve” will be off limits for petroleum.  Mr. Biden also signed a Congressional resolution that vitiated the Trump Administration’s regulation on methane leaks from fossil-fuel production. The White House probably will replace it with a stringent standard that will make fracking more expensive.  The Administration is also unleashing financial regulators against the industry. The Federal Reserve and other bureaucracies are looking to impose new rules on “climate-related financial risk,” as a May order from Mr. Biden put it. The purpose is to close off sources of funding and raise the cost of capital for the industry, and it’s succeeding.   The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees natural-gas pipelines, has signaled it probably will start requiring a climate study before approving even the smallest infrastructure upgrades. That will raise the bar for worthy projects, while creating costs for climate mitigation. As one sign of the regulatory gantlet, two different proposed pipelines in the past two years have won a case at the Supreme Court and then been canceled anyway.  Progressives in Congress, meantime, want to use the Democratic reconciliation bill to punish the industry by doing away with expensing for intangible drilling costs, the oil depletion allowance and more. The bill’s Clean Electricity Performance Program is expressly designed to punish fossil fuels, including natural gas. Mr. Biden and his party have sent signals that are loud and clear, in accord with the larger cultural message that fossil fuels are the new tobacco and the world doesn’t need them.   That isn’t true, as Mr. Biden is finding out the hard way. Despite all the subsidies for renewables, fossil fuels provide about 80% of America’s energy, and high prices weigh on consumers and the economy. The White House says rising energy costs are a global problem, and that’s true in part. As the economy began to revive from the pandemic, it was only natural, and in fact a good sign, that demand for energy would rebound.  But the U.S. has been the world’s leading oil producer and thus a major player in global supply and demand. American crude-oil production in March 2020 was 12.8 million barrels a day, per the Energy Information Administration. That fell sharply when Covid hit, and now it’s barely inching back up. July’s output was only 11.3 million barrels a day, more than 10% below the pre-pandemic trend.  In other words, this is Mr. Biden’s energy crisis."
Looks like the Biden administration itself doesn't believe what apologists claim, that he has had nothing to do with the rise in oil prices

Philip Cross: If oil and gas are dead, why are exports booming? - "Despite all the hype surrounding electricity exports, they earn less in a month than oil and gas generate every day... Opponents of Canada’s oil industry gleefully leapt on this one-day anomaly of negative oil prices to chortle that the industry had no future. Their pronouncements at the time make for interesting reading today. Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May told reporters that “Oil is dead and for people in the sector, it’s very important there be just transition funds.” Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet predicted oil is “never coming back” and that “it is clear that there is no long-term future for that kind of industry, so let’s help them go somewhere else, something which is more green.” Wiser heads were more cautious, recalling that sharp declines in oil prices have rarely lasted more than six months. The strong recovery of prices over the past year proves that their nosedive in spring 2020 was just another cyclical decline, albeit an extreme one, given the sharp economic slowdown, and did not signal the end of fossil fuels... The Economist magazine recently summarized the complex of factors boosting overseas natural gas prices. A shortfall of renewable power plays a key role. Drought in Asia curtailed hydro power production there, while power plants shifted from coal to gas for environmental reasons. Gas production dropped in Britain and the Netherlands as firms nervously refused to invest when green energy proponents held sway in European capitals, while calm winds reduced wind generation in northwest Europe. Europe has fingers crossed that exports of Russian and U.S. gas will make up the shortfall of supply entering the winter months — but the prospect of power shortages and outages looms large. Meanwhile the gas shortage encourages Europe to burn more coal, the opposite of what was promised to meet its Paris Climate Accord goals. In their rush to switch to renewable energy, European countries did not ensure the reliability of supplies to replace fossil fuels, a mistake Canada simply cannot afford to repeat, given our harsher winters. Booming oil and gas exports are solidifying energy’s place as our leading export. It now single-handedly accounts for 22.1 per cent of all merchandise exports, dwarfing all other exports and more than double auto exports of $5.6 billion per month."
People freezing to death will lower a country's carbon footprint. So this is a brilliant way to combat climate change

Rex Murphy: This energy crisis has been 30 years in the making. Why is anyone surprised? - "The 26th gathering of doomsday professionals known as COP26 is close at hand, this time in Glasgow, for another massively over-subscribed conference bent on rejecting the great gifts of nature and providence — oil and gas. COP26 will coincide with the very crisis that the previous 25 conferences, with their wild projections of the Earth collapsing if their prescriptions were not taken up, were in large part responsible for. This time there will be as many as 25,000 delegates travelling great distances by jet during a plague and — this will shock no one — as the BBC reports “COVID rules will be relaxed … (delegates) will not require to be fully vaccinated.” Of course not. Global warmers have virtue-signalling immunity. The world we know lives and functions on reliable sources of proven energy. Note the adjective, proven. It’s the key one. Everything from modern medicine and government to transportation, agriculture and research — the wealth of nations and thereby their security and the well-being of their citizens — depends on a secure and proven supply of energy. Which we have already. We also have dependable systems to deliver it.  But for the 30 years referenced above, what we already have in place, what actually works, has been set against by the climate-change movement, with its frenzied alarms about the approach of doomsday... There was a time when societies and nations looked back at their pasts, at the work and hardships and deprivations of previous generations, and gave thanks that those generations vaulted succeeding ones into new realms of comfort, security, ease of life, and stability.  This is the first one that has fostered a political and activist force built around a philosophy of ingratitude for the privileges we enjoy, the means by which those privileges were earned, and a furious determination to bring the whole house down.   No one who attends the grand shindig in Glasgow will experience any hardship, any difficulty, any anxiety, if there are blackouts, unmeetable energy bills, or interruptions in power during the next six months. For as is it written in the Book of Climate Change: “Thou climate warriors, ye who assemble in fine hotels, and ye who squat on the highways and superglue your bottoms to the asphalt thereon, yea, all who vote Green — cold and want shall never visit ye. And much golden press coverage will be yours.”... All one needs to know is that while the western world is self-flagellating, China continues to build the equivalent of more than one coal-fired power plant a week , with no mention nor any consequences from the globalist elites.  Finally let me cite the sagacious Lorrie Goldstein, who makes an undeniable point : “Carbon taxes/prices are becoming increasingly divorced from the claim their purpose is to combat climate change and correctly understood as a sin tax for using fossil fuels, raising the cost of almost all goods and services because almost all goods and services are created, grown, manufactured, or delivered using fossil fuel energy.”"

Winter Is Coming: Can Energy Catastrophe Be Averted? - "The energy crisis in Western Europe this summer has been brought on by premature retirements of hundreds of coal and natural gas power plants in favor of massive over-reliance on wind power and, to a lesser extent, solar. Ironically, this crisis is taking place just as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats attempt to ram through their massive $3.5 “budget reconciliation” bill that is in large part designed to recreate the European model in the United States... the wind has pretty much stopped blowing in Europe, causing governments that spent the last decade retiring coal and natural gas plants to scramble to re-activate them... we see the consequence of a mass decision by European governments to attempt to violate the laws of physics by trying to replace high-density energy sources with low-density energy sources now resulting in their colliding with the laws of supply and demand... Russia is also the only potential supplier that could provide the quantities of coal needed to keep Europe’s lights on and homes heated this winter. “If all the European utilities switch to coal, it will result in a huge spike in coal demand that Russia alone cannot provide for on such a short notice,” Tyrina said. “That would need supply from other countries as well, from the U.S. for example, but the situation there is similar to everywhere else.”...   It would be one thing for leaders in Washington, DC to engage in this exercise if the needed battery storage technology for those low-density energy sources existed on a wide scale. But, as I’ve documented here this year, while progress in research has been made, no such technology currently exists on a meaningful, scalable basis. Making matters even more tenuous, the producers of the array of critical minerals needed for the existing lithium-ion technology currently in limited use for power generation and essential for EVs are scrambling to figure out how they are going to meet new demand that is projected to rise by as much as 4,000 percent by 2040 for their products, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)... Of course the “clean energy transition policies” bear some responsibility for this run-up in energy prices. Every new regulation, no matter how noble-minded, has a cost, and the “energy transition” has already demanded wave after wave of new regulation on fossil fuels. Claiming these actions bear no cost or consequence is simply absurd.  Plus, it’s not just the policies of the transition at play here. The ESG-related demands of the investor community, which have limited access to capital for fossil fuel producers and demanded that they shift big portions of their capital budgets over to “green” energy initiatives, have also played a significant role in driving up fossil fuel prices. This is not even arguable: In fact, it’s a key part of the “green” strategy to raise the cost of fossil fuels so that these other “green” energy sources become more competitive in the marketplace.  Birol’s remarks are just in keeping with the seeming vow of Omerta (code of silence) among many public leaders against ever uttering any critical remarks related to these renewable energy sources...   At the end of the day, despite all the prevailing narratives flying around, the world’s energy future will be governed as it always has: By the laws of physics, supply and demand. It is becoming fearfully evident right now that the policy decisions made by governments in Europe, the U.S. and other parts of the world during the last decade have violated all three of those immutable laws.  As a result, winter is coming, and potential energy disaster is coming with it."

Latter-day Luddites | The Spectator Australia - "Queensland LNG exporters are being forced to bail out Victoria, but the state’s pain is all self-inflicted.  Nobody bears more responsibility than Ms D’Ambrosio for the farcical reality that Victoria is sitting on top of massive onshore reserves of natural gas in the Gippsland and Otway basins, while power prices skyrocket, industries shut down, and the poor shiver in unheated homes.  But there’s plenty of blame to share around. For more than a decade Victorians have voted in governments of the right and left that have banned the fracking of unconventional gas and then enshrined the ban in the constitution to make it harder to undo. They even put a moratorium on conventional gas exploration and when it ran out, government incentives all subsidised the development of renewable energy.  Australia has built four to five times more solar and wind energy than Europe, the US, Japan or China but now hapless Victorians are discovering that to get through a ‘renewable drought’ which analysts forecast could cause a one-terawatt shortage between now and September, the state would need about 7500 batteries like the one Elon Musk built for the South Australian government, after it cheerfully blew up a coal-fired power plant. The cost? A cool $700 billion. The energy shortfalls come because our giant energy producers across the National Electricity Market – stretching from South Australia and Tasmania through Victoria and NSW to Queensland – are accelerating the closure of coal-fired power plants...   You can hardly blame the providers. Ever since the introduction of the federal renewable energy target by the Howard government in 2001, followed by state targets, governments have ensured power companies receive hefty subsidies for unreliable renewables and crushing penalties for reliable fossil fuels. Why wouldn’t they shut down coal and not build gas when there was an 85 per cent increase in power prices after the accelerated closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station?   Victorian Premier Dan Andrews sneered when former federal energy minister Angus Taylor tried to get the states and territories to see sense and sign up to an energy security mechanism that would prevent power companies closing coal-fired power plants until they were replaced with dispatchable energy...   The Russian invasion of Ukraine has provided a brutal wake-up call to Europe, the UK, and the US. Faced with soaring energy prices enriching Mr Putin and funding his war, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Austria opted to fire up their coal-fuelled power generators. Indeed, 345 new coal-fired power stations are being built around the world and China and India are expanding their coal mining operations by 700 million tonnes a year, almost twice Australia’s annual production.  Yet Australian politicians seem oblivious to this reality, still in the grips of carbon dioxide-driven delusions, with Prime Minister Albanese fighting to legislate his economy-killing emissions reduction target of 43 per cent by 2030 while the Greens push for a target of 75 per cent."

Short of gas, wind, and power: How a perfect storm is roiling the world's energy market - "Wind power, which now makes up around 20% of the European energy mix on average and directly competes with gas for power generation, has long grappled with a supply conundrum: what happens when the wind doesn't blow?  This summer, that's exactly what happened—producing a shortfall that Mads Nipper, the CEO of Danish wind giant Ørsted likened to being a farmer, "and it doesn't rain".  This shortfall (and the solar equivalent: cloudy skies) hits at the problem of renewable intermittency, which forces those who rely on renewables to either store energy generated by those energy sources in batteries in order to shore up low periods, or rely on traditionally stable sources of energy like nuclear power, gas, or coal to fill the gaps.  Because battery storage on a wide scale is expensive, Europe relies on highly-interconnected systems of power, moving renewable energy around on the continent to try and balance out supply. But low renewable supplies—currently paired with tight gas supplies, which typically step into the gap—is momentarily re-carbonizing the European power system, and doing so at a high cost.  "When wind is down, solar is down, [and] gas is also quite tight, then coal has to be up, with a higher cost," said Xi. Because coal faces high carbon prices, as the highest polluting fuel, that pushes up the "baseline" energy cost, she points out."

The German economy is on the brink - "Most of Europe’s 100 largest companies were founded in the 1980s or before, which means that the old continent has entirely slept through the digital revolution of the 1990s and 2000s. There is no European counterpart to American corporations like Facebook, Amazon, E-Bay or China’s Alibaba or WeChat.  This became painfully clear during the Covid pandemic, when the once vaunted German bureaucracy was revealed to rely on paper, pens and fax machines in its health care system due to a complete lack of digitalisation in key areas. Not surprisingly, the German economy shows cracks elsewhere as well. Measured by market capitalisation, only one German company makes it into the top 100 worldwide, and German market capitalisation as a share of global market capitalisation has shrunk to 1.97%, an all-time low. These are devastating numbers for a country that just a few years back was seen as a model for the world with its transition to Green energy and the planned exodus from nuclear power. In fact, to add insult to injury, one of the largest German producers of rotator blades for wind turbines has announced it will close down production in Germany and move to India. Similarly, Villeroy & Boch, a company that has produced tiles in the German city of Merzig since 1879 will retire its factory and move manufacturing to Turkey, quoting high energy and labour costs as the main reason... Electricity prices have been surging to an all-time high, with current 1-year forward electricity contracts clocking in at EUR 340 per MWh. Just to put this number into perspective, for the last three decades this value never surpassed €100 per MWh. In other words, the year 2023 will see electricity turning from a utility into a luxury good for many Germans. With the war in Ukraine and Germany’s dependency on Russia exposed, energy has become a scarce resource for Germans almost overnight, with major cities like Hamburg already preparing for rationing of gas and warm water supply... without sufficient gas entire industries could collapse.  One thing, however, remains true despite all these problems: they did not cause but reveal the German economy’s malaise. An ideological fixation on renewables, paired with the rejection of nuclear energy and an addiction to Russian gas, led to a focus on everything except the things that matter. From internet technology to electric vehicles, Germany is behind, and the once-revered label “Made in Germany” rings increasingly hollow. One can only hope that this clash with reality will put an end to a cognitive dissonance that could derail the entire European economy and, with it, the European project."
Too bad they will just double down and claim the problem is that they didn't transition to "green" energy fast enough

Biden’s Fossil-Fuel Blockade - WSJ - "Asked Thursday how high gasoline prices would need to rise before she’d support opening federal lands to oil-and-gas production, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi coolly replied: “I’m not for drilling on public lands.” That’s no doubt how Tesla -driving Democratic donors feel. But why is President Biden letting them steer his energy policy? We reported last month that a federal judge slapped down the Biden Administration’s inflated “social cost” estimate for greenhouse gas emissions. The Administration’s estimate captured all of the potential harm from carbon emissions globally over three centuries—yes, centuries. They threw in everything from property damage to health harms and war.  Biden officials were furious at the judge’s decision because they planned to use this grossly inflated social cost estimate to support restrictions on fossil fuels—from stricter fuel-economy rules to methane emissions curbs for oil and gas production. Now they can’t, so dozens of rule-makings are stalled. But here’s the kicker: The White House budget office says the injunction has caused it to halt permitting work on at least 18 wells on federal oil and gas leases in New Mexico and new lease sales. The White House is blaming the judge for what it was already doing or, rather, not doing... Mr. Biden hasn’t held an onshore lease sale and is the only President in at least two decades not to have done so in a given year. Approvals for new liquefied natural gas terminals and expansions are also sitting at the Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to the American Petroleum Institute...   We take the point that reducing regulatory barriers to development won’t increase production or reduce energy prices overnight. But as one oilfield services executive recently told Bloomberg, “Biden is signaling that his environmental goals trump energy security and consumer prices,” and “that’s not lost on public companies or the banks they rely on.”  Regulatory uncertainty and political hostility to fossil fuels discourage long-term investments, which are needed to increase supply and keep energy prices in check."

Is gas really heading to $2 a litre in Canada? - "geopolitics has derailed the supply side of the equation. Investment in the oil industry has virtually dropped off a cliff, mainly because investors are shunning oil exploration. Classic economics dictates that as a commodity’s price increases, so does investment in sourcing that commodity. But according to The Economist, unlike other resources in high demand — copper, lithium, etc. — capital expenditures in the oil industry, including new drilling, are less than half of what they were six short years ago.  Rozencwajg says much of this seemingly self-destructive tightening of budget is due to activist investor groups. By way of example, he cites the case of Engine No. 1, an environmentally active hedge fund not even a year old; and ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil producer not sporting a Saudi flag. Through the vagaries of proxy voting — and truly, you don’t want the entire intrigue explained — Engine No. 1, with but 0.02 per cent of ExxonMobil shares, somehow hoarded three board seats. Next stop, says Rozencwajg, is Chevron, the goal in both instances to choke off oil supply. Now, before environmentalists start rejoicing that this price squeeze actually is the rabbit hole you want to follow these activist groups down, be aware that one of the main accomplishments of all these machinations has been to put OPEC+ back in control of the world’s oil market.  With demand up and your activism shutting down non-OPEC investment, we’re back on the same knife-edge precipice we were back the 1970s. That might not be the worst of it. According to Rozencwajg’s analysis, if demand were to return to its previous peak of 101 million barrels a day, there simply might not be enough oil to go around. Indeed, this might be the oil crisis to end all oil crises. As Rozencwajg explains it, previous oil shortages were artificial — someone, usually the Saudis, cutting supply in a deliberate attempt to raise prices. There was enough oil to supply demand; they simply chose not to sell it to us. Now imagine a situation where the Saudis, even if they don’t want to hold us hostage, simply can’t produce enough oil."
Of course, it hit $2

Restricting Reliable Energy Sources Is Expensive and Dangerous - "Government officials fail to serve citizens when their policies deliberately limit access to affordable, reliable energy sources like gasoline, natural gas, nuclear, or propane. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's campaign to close the Line 5 pipeline is one of the more pressing examples of this failure.  Unfortunately, this reality is hindering a growing number of American lives, as no reasonable alternatives exist for transportation fuels like gasoline or jet fuel, or for heating and cooking fuels like propane for rural households...   Texas has spent tens of billions over the past decade shutting down reliable energy and trying to replace it with "reliably unreliable" wind. Generous federal subsidies and a laser focus on the lowest prices, rather than valuing a reliable service, skewed electricity markets and ensured new wind was prioritized over constructing and maintaining reliable, properly weatherized power generation equipment. The consequences of this were seen in February when an unusual, but not unprecedented, bout of extreme cold led to a systemwide failure of Texas' increasingly fragile grid, leaving millions of Texans in the cold and dark.    In California, green priorities have led the state to build solar panels rather than complete essential maintenance on transmission lines. Strong winds during the 2019 summer heat wave caused aging transmission infrastructure to fail, sparking massive wildfires. Similarly, California's 100 percent clean energy target was at the root of the summer 2020 rolling blackouts when increased energy use during a heat wave ran headlong into what an official report called solar's inability to "meet demand in the early evening hours."  The California Public Utilities Commission's nonsensical commitment to closing the state's primary sources of reliable, emissions-free electricity (the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear plants) has only added to their problem. And Gov. Gavin Newsom's ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 will force the state's already struggling grid to take on the stress of charging millions of electric vehicles each night. In Washington state, green politicians and activists routinely advocate for breaching large hydroelectric dams, claiming (wrongly, it would seem) that doing so is essential to maintaining salmon populations. But relying on non-hydro renewables would leave citizens exposed to situations like November 2019, when the state's wind resources went to essentially zero for an entire week. At the federal level, President Joe Biden has reentered the Paris climate agreement and canceled the construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Strangely, however, he appeared willing to overlook climate concerns when he bucked bipartisan congressional opposition and waived sanctions against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which he had previously called a "bad deal for Europe." Yet while the president bans American energy and gives his tacit blessing to Russian energy production, numbers from the Energy Information Administration, published in late March, indicate that U.S. gasoline prices had increased for 17 consecutive weeks"
From 2021

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