Tuesday, January 17, 2006


This is just the usual brainless Greenie drivel that treats the amount of available resources as static. Earth's huge fields of bauxite were not a resource until Hall and Heroult discovered how to get aluminium from it. And look at the number of things we now use aluminium for! People CREATE resources. Something is not a resource until people make it available for use and people are always making more and more things available for use. There are now more than 7500 land-based desalination plants worldwide, including the US, Spain and India, that are making fresh water available on a large scale by extracting it from seawater. "Finite" resources are a lie

Earth lacks the water, energy and agricultural land to allow China and India to attain Western living standards, a US think-tank has warned. The Worldwatch Institute said the booming economies of China and India are "planetary powers that are shaping the global biosphere". Its State of the World 2006 report said the two countries' high economic growth hid a reality of severe pollution. It said the planet's resources could not keep pace with such growth. Important choices "The world's ecological capacity is simply insufficient to satisfy the ambitions of China, India, Japan, Europe and the United States as well as the aspirations of the rest of the world in a sustainable way," the report added. It said that if China and India were to consume as much resources per capita as Japan in 2030 "together they would require a full planet Earth to meet their needs", [No mention that China and India might PRODUCE huge resources too] it said.

The institute's report said that in the next few years the choices China and India made could lead to political and economic instability, or they could usher in an age of better stewardship of resources and more efficient technology. The reports said the US - which continues to consume more of the Earth's resources than any other country - needed to cooperate with China and India to help develop more environmentally friendly practices and technologies.

"China and India are positioned to leapfrog today's industrial powers and become world leaders in sustainable energy and agriculture within a decade," Worldwatch Institute president Christopher Flavin said [In his dreams]. "We were encouraged to find that a growing number of opinion leaders in China and India now recognise that the resource-intensive model for economic growth can't work in the 21st Century," he said. China already has a solar-powered heating system which supplies hot water to 35 million homes, while India has pioneered a system bringing clean water from rainfall [Clean water from rainfall! Wow! Who'd have thought of that! I drank plenty of tank water when I was a kid 50 years ago. But treated town water is safer and cheaper], the report said.

From BBC NEWS, 12 January 2006


They are just feelgood myths for the affluent

'What a long way the Soil Association has come', reflected TV and radio presenter Jonathan Dimbleby from the rostrum of the organic food association's sixtieth annual conference. Once the province of baggy-jumpered Greens and old-style farmers, the Soil Association now wins mainstream respect. Sponsors included Thames Water and Sainsbury's; BBC Radio 4 frontman and former organic farmer John Humphrys chaired the conference's 'Question Time' session, and the audience was peppered with journalists. Speakers included not just Green MEP Caroline Lucas, but Labour London Mayor Ken Livingstone and new Tory leader David Cameron. The conference was set not in some drafty provincial hall, but in the heart of the City of London. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, meanwhile, collaborated with the Soil Association for his high-profile TV campaign last year to improve school dinners....

The Soil Association's rise reflects not its own lobbying efforts, but a changing political culture. We live in times where anything manmade is seen as tainted, dangerous for our health and the environment; natural things tend to be seen as good. Organic products sell because of their 'natural' glow. They suggest an awareness of the environment and personal health, a desire to live within the limits of nature.

The growth of organic has been blithely immune to evidence about its pros or cons. Even the Soil Association, back in 2001, admitted that the 'perception that organic food is "good for you" appears to have been largely based on intuition rather than conclusive evidence'. There is no evidence that the tiny levels of synthetic pesticides in our food present any real threat to human health. Indeed, some academics, such as Anthony Trewavas of Edinburgh University, argue that consumers are potentially more at risk from natural chemicals in organic crops.

The speakers were coasting the wave of today's political sensibility, and so felt little need to justify their position, or engage with alternative arguments. Their views were 'hard for intelligent people not to share', opined Dimbleby. Jonathon Porritt, the green author who was appointed by Tony Blair to chair the Sustainable Development Commission in 2000, said that farmers had to 'wake up and smell the carbon'. There is no alternative, apparently, but to live within their vision of sustainability: 'Start getting to grips with the new world. This is your new reality', said Porritt.....

Much has changed since the Soil Association's founding 60 years ago, but one thing has not: its upper-crust appeal. From its founder, the landed Lady Eve Balfour, onwards, the organisation has often found its supporters among the upper-middle classes and landed aristocracy. The association's conference hall was awash with plummy accents and tweed jackets.

Organic food remains a luxury for those who don't mind paying extra for a warm glow, to feel that they are 'aware' and 'making a difference'. When money is no object, you can look down on the attempt to produce more, faster, cheaper as crude and uncouth. Romantic visions of harmony with nature are a dalliance, more than a practical reality. Prince Charles can wander around his pesticide-free estate, but when he comes back in he has personal assistants on hand to clean his shoes for him (or squeeze his toothpaste). Buyers of Spiezia organic beauty cream don't get their hands dirty; they just hand more cash over the counter.

This is why, although the organic market has grown enormously, it is still only one per cent of the total food and drink market. It has a public profile way above its real public clout. Yet the Soil Association argues that its way should be the way for everyone. 'All farming should be organic', one delegate told me. 'People who aren't so well off care about their health too.' London Mayor Ken Livingstone outlined a plan to roll out organic food in 'schools, hospitals, prisons', as well as trying to 'change people's attitudes'. Porritt warned euphemistically of 'shocks' that would be necessary to get people to stop their consuming ways and see the light.

But the Soil Association doesn't represent the interests of all. It criticises the food industry yet that industry has done much to make food healthier, tastier and more efficiently produced over the past century. Thanks to improvements in productivity, less and less land is required as farmland. This leaves old farmland as slack, which gives farmers room to play around with organic farming. Ironically, then, organic farming is really only a viable option because of the gains in agricultural productivity elsewhere in the economy.

The Soil Association's proposal for Britain would mean wasting efforts and resources, which could be better applied to different ends. Why would we want more workers on the land than was absolutely necessary? Why would we want to pay more for our food? Perhaps the Soil Association is the one who really needs to face up to reality.


Nuclear power ecologically crucial

Nuclear power is critical to tackling global air pollution and climate change, the US and Australia have warned as they prepare to unveil a multi-million-dollar investment in clean energy technology. The Asia-Pacific Clean Development and Climate Partnership, which held its inaugural meeting in Sydney yesterday, will today announce eight new taskforces embracing the member nations of China, India, Japan, South Korea, the US and Australia. US officials will also unveil a significant investment to match Australia's expected $100million commitment to a new fund that will be used to establish industry and government working groups on energy and climate issues.

One working group on "hybrid renewables" in the region will work towards linking solar, wind and hydro power. "Imagine bringing together in one project solar energy by day, wind at night and potentially linking it to hydro power," Environment Minister Ian Campbell told The Australian last night. "We've got some of the greatest minds from the biggest companies in the world ... If they don't do it, no one will."

But the call to embrace nuclear power came with a warning from the US that Australia must ensure appropriate safeguards are in place if it pursues plans to sell Australian uranium to China. "We don't object to that," US secretary of Energy Sam Bodman said of the proposal being negotiated between Australia and China. "But we would encourage both the Australians as well as the Chinese to make sure there are adequate safeguards in place. "The potential after 9/11 in our country, the threat of terrorists, is something we are taking very seriously and there is concern over the potential access of terrorists to nuclear material."

The talks brought together high-profile industry and government delegates from the six nations, with a view to encouraging the adoption of cleaner methods of generating power, such as renewable energy. Jim Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council of Environmental Quality, said nuclear energy was critical to developing cleaner energy sources. "You are not serious about cutting the harmful effects of air pollution and tackling climate change unless you have a serious discussion about the future of nuclear," he told The Australian.

Australia mines and exports uranium but, unlike many nations, does not use it to generate power, despite a growing debate on the merits of nuclear energy. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Industry and Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane backed the US push to debate the use of nuclear power. Mr Downer also confirmed work had begun to hold talks with China about safeguards for the potential sale of uranium. "Nuclear power is greenhouse-friendly and that needs to be taken into account," he said.

More here


Could it be that celebrities are planting the forests that are causing the global warming that is growing the bacteria that are wiping out the frogs? Global warming alarmists may be compelled to consider that chain of causation this week thanks to two new studies just published in the Jan. 12 issue of the journal "Nature". In the first study, Max Planck Institute researchers reported their discovery that living plants emit into the atmosphere methane (natural gas), the third most important greenhouse gas behind water vapor and carbon dioxide. Until this discovery, scientists thought the methane in the atmosphere was largely produced by bacterial processes not involving oxygen. But the Max Planck researchers report that living plants -- two-thirds of which are in tropical rainforest regions -- produce 10 to 30 percent of annual global methane production.

The implications of this study are stunning. Previously, it was thought that the net effect of growing plants was to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, therefore, to reduce global warming. But in the words of New Zealand climate researcher David Lowe, "We now have the specter that new forests might increase greenhouse warming through methane emissions rather than decrease it by being sinks for carbon dioxide." The discovery also implies that deforestation -- that is, cutting down trees -- slows methane accumulation in the atmosphere and, as a consequence, reduces global warming.

This is all bad news for the movie and rock stars -- including Leonardo DiCaprio, the Foo Fighters, Dido, and Simply Red to name a few -- who have decided to plant "All Celebrity Forests" in hopes of offsetting their personal carbon dioxide emissions in order to avoid contributing to global warming. And the news seems to get worse for these so-called "carbon neutral" celebrities. The other "Nature" study reported that global warming is promoting the growth of the chytrid fungus in parts of Central and South America that, as Reuters headlined on Jan. 11, is "wiping out frogs."

Since we now know that living plants emit lots of methane - which global warming alarmists maintain contributes to global warming - one could reason that all those celebrity-planted forests may be taking their toll in frog casualties.

Ironically, an analysis of the "Nature" frog study published in World Climate Report (WCR) -- a long-time nemesis of the global warming alarmist crowd -- would seem to let the stars off the hook. First, WCR points out that while humans may be to blame for the chytrid fungus thriving in areas where the alleged frog extinctions occurred, it's quite likely that the human activity in question is eco-tourism and field research, according to a 1999 study published in the journal Emerging and Infectious Diseases -- not the burning of fossil fuels.

But regardless of how the fungus got there, are man-made emissions of greenhouse gases promoting its growth so as to cause frog extinctions? To date, efforts to attribute the prevalence of the fungus to global warming have been stymied by the simple fact that higher temperatures are known to inhibit fungus growth -- it's a conundrum called the "climate-chytrid" paradox.

The researchers claim to have solved the paradox by speculating that increasing cloud cover moderates the warming effects of nearby temperate ocean water to produce conditions suitable for the fungus to thrive. Unfortunately for this theory, as WCR points out, cloud cover is negatively correlated with temperature, according to satellite records maintained by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project. The ISCCP data also indicate that no change in cloud cover occurred in the region of the alleged frog extinctions during the time period in question.

In addition to the climate-chytrid paradox not being resolved by the cloud cover hypothesis, it's not at all clear to what extent, if any, human activity has affected climactic conditions in the region of the frog extinctions. Therefore, it is inappropriate to jump to the conclusion that human activity is killing frogs.

Even allowing the researchers the benefit of the doubt that changing climactic conditions have promoted chytrid growth, WCR estimates that only about 12 percent more of the regional frog populations would have been at risk as a result of the change in local climate - an estimate not squaring with the researchers' allegation that the fungus has wiped out two-thirds of the frog species.

Finally, Cynthia Carey, a University of Colorado amphibian disease expert, told the New York Times in a Jan. 11 story that the Nature paper failed to offer anything beyond circumstantial evidence of links between warming and fungal illness. "It is difficult to prove cause and effect on the ground where multiple factors interact in complex ways," Dr. Carey told the Times.

Still, while the frog study is easily debunked and dismissed, the methane study's significant ramifications remain intact. If we are just discovering that plants are a significant greenhouse gas source -- something you might think we should have learned long ago -- it would appear that our understanding of global climate system is woefully insufficient to support the rush-to-judgment advocated by celebrity-backed global warming alarmists.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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