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‘Gaslighting’ Is the Word of the Year for Good Reason

‘Gaslighting’ Is the Word of the Year for Good Reason

Every year, Merriam-Webster picks a word to capture the culture of a moment in time. The choice is based on the frequency and quantity of searches as well as the departure from the norm. This year, the choice seems perfect: gaslighting. It’s drawn from the 1944 film noir starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman.

The term means to be subjected to extended psychological trickery to cause the victim to question his or her own reality. In the film, Boyer plays a handsome stranger who meets the beautiful heiress Bergman on a foreign journey and they fall in love. He convinces her to marry and move back together to London to her family home, whereby he embarks upon a subtle campaign to convince her she is bonkers while he secretly searches the home for legacy jewels he intends to steal.

It’s painful to watch, but the experience connects with our own as we watch mainstream media, see respectable scientists canceled for supposedly spreading disinformation, or when we watch a White House press conference. They try to convince us that they are normal and we are the crazy ones, probably guilty of wrongthink or not aware of the full facts. The more they insist on their version of truth, the more we are invited to see ourselves as nuts for failing to give them all the benefit of our doubts.

The film has this crucial moment when Bergman flips from believing that she is a broken spirit and confused person suddenly to realizing that she is the victim of an elaborate hoax. Once she realizes this, and all the pieces fall into place, she calls him out as a fraud and a thief…

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‘Canary in the Gold Mine’: Asset Seizures Could Skyrocket Due to Post-Pandemic Debt Default, Says Bailiff

‘Canary in the Gold Mine’: Asset Seizures Could Skyrocket Due to Post-Pandemic Debt Default, Says Bailiff

North Central Bailiffs in Kelowna, B.C., is busy. In fact, as pandemic restrictions and mandates continue to ease, owner Mike Sundstrom has never had more work end up on his desk.

From Sundstrom’s vantage point, the industry where he makes his living as a licensed bailiff and licensed sheriff isn’t prepared to handle the massive surge of claims he predicts is just around the corner.

His firm, one of several bailiff firms in the province, gets to see a sweeping overview where most of the financial and economic sectors collide. And given how many lenders and government agencies hit the pause button on collections during the past two and a half years of COVID-19 when Canadians’ ability to pay was most fragile, Sundstrom says every sector is now beginning to call him.

“[Bailiffs are] the canary in the gold mine,” he told The Epoch Times.

From banking to car dealerships to residential defaults, he says asset seizures continue to climb. Yet, he says, what has him even more concerned is the fallout when the slow pace of government claims such as tax files eventually make their way through the system.

“Every time I turn around there’s a new file coming in, and we’re seeing this all at once,” Sundstrom says.

“Everything is up. Repossessions are up, evictions are up. And this even though we’re not seeing Revenue Canada, PST [provincial sales tax], and WCB [Workers’ Compensation Board] back to full speed…

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Turkey Adopts Legislation That Could Jail Journalists for ‘Disinformation’

Turkey Adopts Legislation That Could Jail Journalists for ‘Disinformation’

Measure heads to president for final approval

Turkish lawmakers have voted to adopt a law that aimed at preventing “disinformation” in the media and online, despite widespread concerns about the measure’s potential to quash free speech.

Lawmakers from President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which together have a majority, voted in parliament on Thursday to approve the legislation. The bill now goes to Erdogan for final approval.

While government officials have said the highly controversial bill is needed to combat fake news and disinformation, opposition members of parliament as well as European countries and media rights activists have called to scrap it.

Many have taken issue with article 29 in the measure, saying that it may be used to enforce censorship and quash free speech, as well as threaten independent journalism, since the Turkish government currently controls a majority of major news outlets in the country.

Article 29 says that people who are found guilty of spreading false information online intended to “create fear and disturb public order” could be punished with a prison sentence of one to three years. The measure also stipulates that if anonymous accounts are used to spread the alleged disinformation, sentences can be increased by up to half.

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The Renewable Energy ‘Paradox’: A More Costly Way Forward

The Renewable Energy ‘Paradox’: A More Costly Way Forward

A California-based leading eco-modernist has disputed the widespread claim that renewables are a cheap and clean energy source, arguing that it’s the opposite.

Michael Shellenberger, founder of Environmental Progress, said one of the “most misleading ways that renewable salespeople sell their technology” is they claim the electricity produced by wind and solar is cheaper.  

However, the paradox about renewable energy is when deployed at scale, they actually make electricity production more expensive, Shellenberger told CPAC Australia in Sydney on Oct. 1. 

“There are basically two reasons,” he said, “It requires more machines, more backup power generators, more transmission systems, and more people to manage the chaos of an electrical grid with a large amount of unreliable weather-dependent energy.”  

Shellenberger pointed to a prediction by German economist Leon Hirth that the economic value of wind and solar declines significantly as they take up a larger proportion of the electricity grid.  

In a paper for Energy Policy in 2013, Hirth estimated that when wind turbine power generation comprises 30 percent of the grid, its value declines by 40 percent; while solar power’s value declines by 50 percent when it reaches 15 percent.  

“The reason is easy to understand,” Shellenberger noted, “Solar and wind produce too much energy when you don’t need them and not enough energy when you do, and both of those impose costs on the electrical grid.”  

Epoch Times Photo
Steam rises from cooling towers of the Neurath coal-fired power plant as wind turbines spin over a field of rapeseed on May 05, 2022 near Bedburg, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

He said the ideal situation was for the electricity supply to keep up with demand at “all times.”

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A Banking Crisis Looms

A Banking Crisis Looms

My columns have turned rather apocalyptic of late, but for a valid reason. Just this week, we got confirmation that our financial system is, again, on the brink of collapse, when the Bank of England (BOE) was forced to enact, de facto, a bailout of the pension funds of the United Kingdom.

On Sept. 28, around noon, the Bank of England stepped (back) into the gilt markets and started buying government bonds with longer maturities to stop the collapse in their value, which could have caused the financial system to become unhinged. Pension funds were faced with major margin calls, which threatened to cause a rapidly cascading run on their liabilities, as trust in their liquidity and solvency would have become questioned by a widening circle of investors and customers.

Effectively, the BOE stepped in to limit the vicious circle of margin calls faced by pension funds because of the crashing values of the gilts.

Without the BOE intervention, mass insolvencies of pension funds—and thus most likely other financial institutions—could have commenced that afternoon. It’s obvious that if one of the major financial hubs of the world, the City of London, would face a financial panic, it would spread to the rest of the world in an instant.

It looks as though the global financial system was pulled from the brink of collapse, once again, by central bankers. However, this was only a temporary fix.

It’s now clear that an outright financial collapse threatens all Western economies, because if pension funds, often considered very dull investors because of their risk-averse investing profile, face a threat to their insolvency, it can happen to any other financial institution…

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Global Food Supply Crises May Worsen Due to Poor US Harvest

Global Food Supply Crises May Worsen Due to Poor US Harvest

U.S. agriculture has been facing a poor harvest this year, aggravating the global food supply crisis, industry executives have said.

The supply of food worldwide has been tight, since Russia’s war in Ukraine cut off vital shipments of resources needed to make fertilizer and grain products from the region.

Several high-level executives from big agricultural firms such as Bayer, Corteva, Archer Daniels Midland, and Bunge, told The Wall Street Journal that it will take at least two more years of good harvests in North and South America to ease the supply pressures.

“The current market expectation is that global grain and oilseeds markets need two consecutive normal crop years to stabilize global supplies,” said Chuck Magro, chief executive of Corteva, at an investor presentation this week.

This year’s grain harvest has fallen below normal yields in the West, hindering efforts to restock global crop supplies he explained.

The United States and South America, two of the world’s major crop exporters,  faced persistent drought conditions this summer.

The hot summer worsened drought conditions in states throughout the U.S. Grain Belt, which saw a major reduction in the harvest due to lack of water and a wet spring planting season earlier in the year.

The Agriculture Department announced on Sept. 12, that it had lowered its nationwide corn production estimates to 13.9 billion bushels.

This is 3 percent lower than its projections in August, about 8 percent lower than the total amount harvested last year.

Projections for soybean production estimates in September were down 3 percent from August, down slightly from 2021.

Maintaining a Food Truce

Global recession fears have also weighed on food commodity markets and the prolonged conflict in Ukraine has not helped matters.

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IMF Chief: Harsh Winter May Spark Social Unrest In EU Amid Energy Crisis

IMF Chief: Harsh Winter May Spark Social Unrest In EU Amid Energy Crisis

A number of countries in Europe may experience social unrest if the upcoming winter is harsh amid an economic crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Wednesday.

“There is certainly fear of recession in some countries, or even if it is not recession, that it would feel like recession this winter,” said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF.

“And if Mother Nature decides not to cooperate, and the winter is actually harsh, that could lead to some social unrest,” she added.

Attending the 2022 “Michel Camdessus Central Banking Lecture” held in Washington, D.C., Georgieva pointed out that Europe is directly affected by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, saying the war has led to “horrible” economic consequences and added fuel to fears of recession in some countries.

Georgieva said the current situation meant that the European Central Bank needed to be “mindful of the necessity to keep the economy going,” while also remaining persistent in fighting broad-based inflation.

“Inflation is stubborn, it is more broad-based than we thought it would be,” Georgieva said. “And what it means is … we need central bankers to be as stubborn in fighting it as inflation has demonstrably been.”

Second-Order Effects

Georgieva noted at the event that the global economy had two consecutive shocks, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which contributed to surging prices and a cost-of-living crisis.

The disruptions in the flows of Russian gas to Europe remain the primary cause of Europe’s current energy crisis. The continent has relied upon cheap Russian energy for years to power factories, generate electricity, and heat homes.

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The Big Green Lie Almost Everyone Claims to Believe 

The Big Green Lie Almost Everyone Claims to Believe 

Almost every member of Congress, Democrat or Republican, pays homage to the Big Green Lie. So do all the past and remaining Conservative candidates vying to be prime minister of the UK and every candidate currently vying for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. So does virtually all of the mainstream press.

The Big Green Lie—that carbon dioxide is a pollutant—is so pervasive that even those considered skeptics—including right-wing NGOs and pundits—generally adhere to the orthodoxy, differing not in their stated belief that CO2 is a pollutant but only in how calamitous a pollutant it is.

Because everyone now participates in the “CO2 emissions are bad” lie, the debate over climate policy hasn’t been over whether a CO2 problem exists but over how urgently CO2 needs to be addressed, and how it should be addressed. Do we have eight years left before Armageddon becomes inevitable or decades? Do we get off fossil fuels by building nuclear plants or wind turbines? Should we change our lifestyles to need less of everything? Or should we mitigate this evil—the view of those deemed climate minimalists—by shielding our continents from a rising of the oceans by enclosing them behind sea walls?

With almost everyone across the political spectrum publicly agreeing that curbing CO2 is a good thing, the debate has been between those who want to do good quickly by reaching net-zero in 2040 and sticks in the mud who want to slow down the doing of a good thing. With discourse careening down rabbit holes, almost everyone gets lost pursuing solutions to Alice-in-Wonderland delusions—and wasting trillions of dollars in the process.

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UN, World Economic Forum Behind Global ‘War on Farmers’: Experts

UN, World Economic Forum Behind Global ‘War on Farmers’: Experts

They say ‘Agenda 2030’ development goals at root of sustainability policies that could lead to food shortages

The escalating regulatory attack on agricultural producers from Holland and the United States to Sri Lanka and beyond is closely tied to the United Nations’ “Agenda 2030” Sustainable Development Goals and the U.N.’s partners at the World Economic Forum (WEF), numerous experts told The Epoch Times.

Indeed, several of the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are directly implicated in policies that are squeezing farmers, ranchers, and food supplies around the world.

High-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members within the U.N. system helped create the SDGs and are currently helping lead the organization’s implementation of the global plan, The Epoch Times has previously documented.

If left unchecked, multiple experts said, the U.N.-backed sustainability policies on agriculture and food production would lead to economic devastation, shortages of critical goods, widespread famine, and a dramatic loss of individual freedoms.

Epoch Times Photo
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), is seen at the opening of the WEF Davos Agenda in Cologny, Switzerland, on Jan. 17, 2022. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Already, millions of people worldwide are facing dangerous food shortages, and officials around the world say those are set to get worse as the year goes on.

There is an agenda behind it all, experts told The Epoch Times.

Even private land ownership is in the crosshairs, as global food production and the world economy are transformed to meet the global sustainability goals, U.N. documents reviewed by The Epoch Times show.

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Dutch Nitrogen Scientist Questions the Basis of Government Climate Mandates

Dutch Nitrogen Scientist Questions the Basis of Government Climate Mandates

‘We now treat farmers as polluters … which is a very strange perspective’

Jaap Hanekamp is skeptical of the received wisdom in science. He won’t stop asking a simple question: “But, is this true?”

When it comes to the Dutch government’s calculations of ammonia and nitrogen oxide deposition—the basis of climate mandates that would slash livestock numbers and put many farmers out of work—Hanekamp is especially critical of “the science.”

He thinks it relies on vague definitions, excessive deference to expert judgment, and a narrow focus on costs rather than both costs and benefits.

“We now treat farmers as polluters, end of story, which is a very strange perspective,” he said.

Hanekamp, an associate professor of chemistry at University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands, made the comments in an interview with Roman Balmakov, host of EpochTV’s “Facts Matter.”

A 2019 Dutch court decision that hindered the construction of livestock facilities triggered an earlier round of protests by farmers.

Science article on the protests described some of the harms attributed to nitrogen emissions: “In 118 of 162 Dutch nature reserves, nitrogen deposits now exceed ecological risk thresholds by an average of 50 percent.

“In dunes, bogs, and heathlands, home to species adapted to a lack of nitrogen, plant diversity has decreased as nitrogen-loving grasses, shrubs, and trees move in.”

“Nitrogen chemicals are nutrients—you need them for growing plants,” Hanekamp said.

Hanekamp believes the government has focused on nitrogen almost to the exclusion of other factors that affect nature, such as the location of groundwater relative to the surface.

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UK Met Office Issues First Red Warning for Extreme Heat

UK Met Office Issues First Red Warning for Extreme Heat

The UK’s Met Office has issued its first ever red warning for extreme heat, as it warned of a “potentially very serious situation” in parts of England that could pose a risk to life.

During the ongoing heatwave that is set to peak on Tuesday, the Met Office said, there is an 80 percent chance of the mercury topping the UK’s record temperature of 38.7C (101.7F) set in Cambridge in 2019, and there is a 50 percent chance of temperatures reaching 40C somewhere in the UK.

The red warning, the first of its kind ever issued, covers an area from London up to Manchester and then up to the Vale of York, said Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge, adding: “This is potentially a very serious situation.”

Penny Endersby, Met Office chief executive, said in a sombre video shared online: “The extreme heat that we’re forecasting right now is absolutely unprecedented.”

“Stay out of the sun, keep your home cool, think about adjusting your plans for the warning period,” she said.

‘National Emergency’

The UK Health Security Agency has increased its heat health warning from level three to level four, which indicates the situation amounts to a “national emergency.”

Level four is reached “when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system… At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups,” it said.

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, asked people on Twitter to look out for each other.

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Not Enough Renewables: Minister Blames Australian Electricity Shortage on Lack of Green Energy

Not Enough Renewables: Minister Blames Australian Electricity Shortage on Lack of Green Energy

Energy Minister Chris Bowen has blamed Australia’s current electricity shortage on a supposed lack of investment in renewable energy and storage facilities from the previous government.

The Labor minister was responding to questions on whether Australia should simply increase—or repair—coal-fired energy generators that already provide around 64.67 percent of the country’s total electricity, as of December 2021.

“The problem is there hasn’t been enough investment in renewable energy,” Bowen told reporters on June 16. “There hasn’t been enough investment in storage.”

“Yes, you can say the wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine. Well, the rain doesn’t always fall out there, but we managed to store the water,” he said.

“We can store the renewable energy if we have the investment, and that investment has been lacking for the last decade. That’s the problem.”

Outside of coal, the National Electricity Market is supported (pdf) by wind power (10.45 percent of total generation), hydro (7.21 percent), individual solar systems (7.09 percent), gas (6.57 percent), and grid-scale solar (3.85 percent) among others.

Incidentally, Australia has been one of the fastest nations to adopt rooftop solar technology installing over 380,000 systems in 2021, with the Clean Energy Regulator saying the combined amount of electricity generated was 3,200 megawatts.

Further, experts have noted that simply building more batteries to increase storage capacity was unfeasible. One of the world’s largest battery storage systems is FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center in Florida, which can power approximately 329,000 homes but for only a two hour period.

Another problem with increasing battery production would be an increased reliance on Chinese supply chains, which would be risky considering the willingness of the Chinese Communist Party to leverage trade relationships in geopolitical disputes.

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Thousands of Homes in Sydney Plunged Into Darkness As Energy Shortage Plagues Australia

Thousands of Homes in Sydney Plunged Into Darkness As Energy Shortage Plagues Australia

Thousands of homes on Australia’s east coast were plunged into darkness on Monday as electricity suppliers struggled to meet demand as the country teeters on the edge of an energy shortage.

On Monday night, multiple areas in Sydney’s north and along the affluent Northern Beaches were sent into darkness, after the energy market operator warned of power disruption across the states of New South Wales and Queensland.

Affected suburbs include Beacon Hill, Frenchs Forest, Narraweena, Cromer and Dee Why in New South Wales (NSW), according to Ausgrid—Australia’s largest electricity distributor on the east coast. Power was available later in the day.

Households were encouraged to use less power as leading energy provider Powerlink Queensland warned of an “unusual combination” of unexpected generator outages plus cool winter temperatures and high demand for electricity.

“Gas supplies are sufficient however very high gas prices means [the Australian Energy Market Operator] has already triggered its market generation response mechanisms,” Powerlink said in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on Tuesday confirmed that some energy generators have “revised their market availability” in NSW and Queensland due to a new $300/MWh price cap, a result of increased wholesale electricity prices.

In the gas markets, gas prices remained capped at $40/GJ after reaching cumulative high price thresholds in Victoria and Sydney.

“As a consequence of the administered price cap in Queensland, AEMO has seen generation bids reduce,” AEMO said in a media release on Monday. “The price cap … will only remain in place if the cumulative price threshold is still exceeded.”

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Looming Price Hikes on Food Set to Hit Americans This Fall

Looming Price Hikes on Food Set to Hit Americans This Fall

Higher inflation could force Fed action, leading to a ‘deeper recession’

In its effort to contain inflation, the Federal Reserve has begun what many expect to be a series of interest rate boosts, which are already taking a toll on stock and housing markets, with job losses likely to follow. While Americans grow weary of record high gas and grocery prices, however, another round of price increases is making its way through the food supply chain and is expected to reach consumers this fall.

“People don’t realize what’s fixing to hit them,” Texas farmer Lynn “Bugsy” Allen said. “They think it’s tough right now; you give it until October. Food prices are going to double.”

The 8.8 percent increase in food prices that Americans have already seen doesn’t take into account the dramatically higher costs that farmers are now experiencing. That’s because farmers pay upfront and only recoup their expenses at the point of sale, months later.

“Usually, what we see on the farm, the consumer doesn’t see for another 18 months,” said John Chester, a Tennessee farmer of corn, wheat, and soybeans. But with the severity of these cost increases, consumers could feel the effects much sooner, particularly if weather becomes a factor.

“Nothing that consumers are paying is going to bridge the gap for farmers right now,” according to Lorenda Overman, a North Carolina farmer who raises hogs and grows corn, soybeans, and sweet potatoes. She said the spike in fuel costs has put her farm into the red this year.

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World Has Just ’10 Weeks’ of Wheat Supplies Left in Storage, Analyst Warns

World Has Just ’10 Weeks’ of Wheat Supplies Left in Storage, Analyst Warns

The world has only about 10 weeks of wheat supplies left in storage amid the conflict in Ukraine and as India has moved to bar exports of wheat in recent weeks, a food insecurity expert says.

Sara Menker, the CEO of agriculture analytics firm Gro Intelligence, told the United Nations Security Council on May 19 that the Russia–Ukraine war “simply added fuel to a fire that was long burning,” saying that it is not the primary cause of the wheat shortage. Ukraine and Russia both produce close to about a third of the world’s wheat.

“I want to start by explicitly saying that the Russia–Ukraine war did not start the food security crisis. It simply added fuel to a fire that was long burning. A crisis we detected tremors from long before the COVID 19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our supply chains,” Menker said, according to a transcript.

“I share this because we believe it’s important for you all to understand that even if the war were to end tomorrow, our food security problem isn’t going away anytime soon without concerted action.”

In providing data, Menker said that due to price increases in major crops this year, it’s made another 400 million worldwide “food insecure,” adding that with wheat, the world “currently only [has] 10 weeks of global consumption sitting in inventory around the world.

“Conditions today are worse than those experienced in 2007 and 2008,” she said. “It is important to note that the lowest grain inventory levels the world has ever seen are now occurring while access to fertilizers is highly constrained, and drought in wheat-growing regions around the world is the most extreme it’s been in over 20 years…

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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