Day: 1 May 2022

Green Madness: U.K. Alone in Banning New Petrol and Diesel Cars in 2030

As host of COP26, our Government wanted to be seen as “world leaders in reducing CO2 emissions”, and so before the meeting it announced the U.K. would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030. It hoped it could then persuade other countries to follow our lead. It completely failed and no other major country went along with this: Germany, Japan, Italy and China do not propose a ban until 2035, France and Spain do not propose a ban until 2040 and the USA and India are not proposing any ban at all.

It is not hard to see why other countries were so unenthusiastic to inflict this policy on their population. Electric cars are so expensive. For example, Nissan’s basic electric car, the Leaf, has a recommended retail price (RRP) of £26,995, whereas its equivalent petrol car, the Micra, has an RRP of £16,685. The cheapest Tesla is the Model 3, which has an RRP of £45,990 or more, depending on the version. The petrol equivalent is a BMW 3 series, which has an RRP of £29,990 or more, again depending on the version. The running costs of electric cars are lower – charging a battery is cheaper than filling a tank with petrol – but for the average U.K. motorist, who has an annual mileage of 7,400 miles, these lower running costs will never compensate for the very high purchase price.

The lower running cost of electric cars is in any case largely an artefact of Government fiscal policy, namely the enormous amount of tax on petrol. Most of the cost of a litre of petrol is tax, whereas there is only 5% VAT on electricity. These very high rates of tax on petrol mean that if motorists switch from petrol to electric then the Government will face a black hole in its finances. The Government therefore will need to find a way of taxing electric vehicles to make up for this lost revenue. A plan under discussion is to install tracking devices in cars such that the Government knows how many miles you are driving and can then charge you a “per mile road tax”. If this happens, the running costs of electric cars will rapidly increase.

U.S. and U.K. Among 60 Countries to Sign Declaration that Commits to Censoring “Misinformation” and “Harmful” Speech

The United States and 60 other countries, including the U.K., Canada, Australia and EU member states, have signed a sweeping “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” which commits to bolstering “resilience to disinformation and misinformation” and somehow upholding free speech rights while also censoring “harmful” content. Reclaim the Net has more.

The White House framed the declaration as something that supports freedom and privacy by focusing on its commitments to protect human rights, the free flow of information, and privacy. The EU put out similar talking points and claimed that those who signed the declaration support a future internet that’s open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure.

However, the commitments in the declaration are vague and often conflicting. For example, the declaration makes multiple commitments to upholding freedom of expression yet also commits to bolstering “resilience to disinformation and misinformation”. It also contains the seemingly contradictory commitment of ensuring “the right to freedom of expression” is protected when governments and platforms censor content that they deem to be harmful.

Furthermore, many of the governments that signed this declaration are currently pushing sweeping online censorship laws or openly supporting online censorship.

For example, just a few days ago, the Biden administration called for private companies to censor online “misinformation” – the latest of many similar calls. The EU also recently passed its Digital Services Act (DSA) which contains requirements to censor “hate speech” and “misinformation.”

Some government officials, including Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne and UK Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) Secretary of State Nadine Dorries, even mentioned their country’s online censorship laws during the live launch of this Declaration for the Future of the Internet.

The new Orwellian definition of ‘free speech’, which involves censorship of ‘misinformation’ – defined as anything that disagrees with the Government – and ‘hate speech’ – defined as anything not deemed sufficiently woke – is gaining ground. The ‘Conservative’ Party in the U.K. seems blissfully unaware that conservative ideas are precisely what the ‘progressives’ pushing this agenda want to censor, and already are.

Worth reading in full.

Beware a More Transmissible and Deadly Variant, Warns Bill Gates (Who Has a Book to Promote)

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has warned there is a “way above 5%” risk the world has not yet seen the worst of the Covid pandemic. MailOnline has more.

The tech mogul and philanthropist said he did not want to sound “doom and gloom” but warned there was a risk an “even more transmissive and even more fatal” variant could be generated.

He said the risk of that happening is “way above 5%” and would mean the world has yet to see the worst of the pandemic.

It is not the first time he has made such a prediction. In December 2021, he warned his millions of Twitter followers to brace themselves for the worst part of the pandemic having previously cautioned in 2015 that the world was not ready for the next pandemic.

Gates told the FT: “We’re still at risk of this pandemic generating a variant that would be even more transmissive and even more fatal.

“It’s not likely, I don’t want to be a voice of doom and gloom, but it’s way above a 5% risk that this pandemic, we haven’t even seen the worst of it.”

COVID-19 has killed an estimated 6.2 million people worldwide since March 2020, but case numbers and deaths have been dropping in recent weeks.

Gates’s warning comes after Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), this week warned that people still needed to be weary of the virus, and that decreases in overall testing and Covid surveillance in many countries left the world at risk to a resurgence of the virus.

Gates – who releases his new book How to Prevent the Next Pandemic on Tuesday – advised governments across the world to invest in a team of epidemiologists and computer modellers to help identify global health threats in the future.

More epidemiologists and computer modellers?!? Based on their track record of the last two years. I don’t think so!

Worth reading in full.

Norfolk Police Issues List of 37 Genders and Sexual Identities

A guide listing 37 different gender terms and sexual identities has been issued to police officers and staff to help them when dealing with members of the public. MailOnline has more.

Norfolk Constabulary’s document, ‘The + in LGBT’, explains current terminology alongside a picture of a ‘gender bread person’ – a play on gingerbread man.

Critics called it a “complete waste of taxpayers’ money” last night.

The guide, on the force’s internal computer system, was obtained by the Mail on Sunday using a freedom of information request.

Some of the terms relating to sexuality, such as ‘questioning’ or ‘asexual’, are self evident, but others will be new to most, such as gynosexual (someone who is attracted to feminine gender presentation) and grey asexual (a person who “experiences attraction rarely”).

Another lesser-known term is ‘varioriented’, which is described as “when your sexual and romantic orientations do not target the same set of genders”.

Similarly, a range of gender terms is also listed.

It includes words used in everyday language, such as binary, but also less common terms such as ‘neutrois’, which is when someone “identifies as agender, neither male nor female, and/or genderless”, and ‘maverique’, which is used to explain a “non-binary gender that exists outside of the orthodox social bounds of gender”.

Force staff who are confused by any of the definitions are directed to the ‘gender bread person’ diagram, which includes a series of sliding scales that relate to gender identity, sexual orientation, gender expression and biological sex.

Norfolk Police declined to say whether it had produced the guide itself or had obtained it from another organisation.

Worth reading in full.

Covid Vaccines Impair Immune Response to Infection, U.S. Government Study Shows

A pre-print study (not yet peer-reviewed) by U.S. Government researchers shows vaccinated people produce a less comprehensive immune system response following SARS-CoV-2 infection than unvaccinated people.

The researchers examined data from the Moderna Covid vaccine trial and found that, compared to unvaccinated controls, vaccinated participants produced far fewer N-antibodies. These are antibodies against the nucleocapsid protein inside the virus particle, in contrast to S-antibodies against the spike protein that the vaccines target. N-antibodies were detected in 40% (21 of 52) of infected vaccine recipients versus 93% (605 of 648) of placebo recipients. This means those infected after being vaccinated produced N-antibodies at less than half the rate of the unvaccinated.

The researchers found that N-seroconversion (producing N-antibodies following infection) was more likely for infections with higher viral loads. So they checked to see if the difference was due to the vaccinated having milder infections with lower viral loads owing to the vaccine. They found that it wasn’t: for the same viral load the unvaccinated were around 14 times (13.67, 95% confidence interval 5.17-36.16) more likely to have detectable N-antibodies following infection than the vaccinated. Look at the contrasting curves below: the yellow unvaccinated curve is much higher than the blue vaccinated curve, showing that for any given viral load (x-axis) the probability of detecting N-antibodies following infection (y-axis) is much lower for vaccinated than unvaccinated.

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