Monday, May 25, 2009

Roast lamb threatens the planet

Tomatoes too! And don't mention booze! But Coca Cola and chocolate are OK. All of which shows what absurdities you end up with when you start from silly assumptions

GIVE up lamb roasts and save the planet. Government advisers are developing menus to combat climate change by cutting out "high carbon" food such as meat from sheep, whose burping poses a serious threat to the environment. Out will go kebabs, greenhouse tomatoes and alcohol. Instead, diners will be encouraged to consume more potatoes and seasonal vegetables, as well as pork and chicken, which generate fewer carbon emissions.

"Changing our lifestyles, including our diets, is going to be one of the crucial elements in cutting carbon emissions," said David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change. Kennedy has stopped eating his favourite doner kebabs because they contain lamb. A government-sponsored study into greenhouse gases found that producing 2.2lb of lamb released the equivalent of 37lb of carbon dioxide.

The problem is because sheep burp so much methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Cows are only slightly better behaved. The production of 2.2lb of beef releases methane equivalent to 35lb of CO2 Tomatoes, most of which are grown in heated glasshouses, are the most "carbon-intensive" vegetable, each 2.2lb generating more than 20lb of CO2 Potatoes, in contrast, release only about 1lb of CO2 for each 2.2lb of food. The figures are similar for most other native fruit and vegetables.

"We are not saying that everyone should become vegetarian or give up drinking but moving towards less carbon intensive foods will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve health," said Kennedy.

The climate committee is analysing emissions from farming and will suggest measures to reduce them. However, it has concluded that people will have to change their habits.

Alcoholic drinks are another significant contributory factor, with the growing and processing of crops such as hops and malt into beer and whisky helping to generate 1.5% of the nation's greenhouse gases.

The Carbon Trust, a government-funded firm, is working with food and drink companies to calculate the "carbon footprints" of products - sometimes with surprising results. Coca-Cola, for example, generates only about half the greenhouse gas emissions of Innocent's "smoothies". Cadbury's chocolate generates about 4«lb of CO2 for every 2.2lb eaten - less than half that from the same weight of chicken.


"Philanthropist" means "lover of people". But the very rich ones despise people and want fewer of them. They seem embarrassed about it though

But it's all "For the environment", of course. Note that according to that logic, Westerners are the big polluters and users of resources -- so it is you and I that they hate and want to get rid of as soon as possible. No wonder they tried to keep their meeting secret!

SOME of America's leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world's population and speed up improvements in health and education. The philanthropists who attended a summit convened on the initiative of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change.

Described as the Good Club by one insider it included David Rockefeller Jr, the patriarch of America's wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey. These members, along with Gates, have given away more than œ45 billion since 1996 to causes ranging from health programmes in developing countries to ghetto schools nearer to home.

They gathered at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, a British Nobel prize biochemist and president of the private Rockefeller University, in Manhattan on May 5. The informal afternoon session was so discreet that some of the billionaires' aides were told they were at "security briefings". Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, said the summit was unprecedented. "We only learnt about it afterwards, by accident. Normally these people are happy to talk good causes, but this is different - maybe because they don't want to be seen as a global cabal," he said.

Some details were emerging this weekend, however. The billionaires were each given 15 minutes to present their favourite cause. Over dinner they discussed how they might settle on an "umbrella cause" that could harness their interests. The issues debated included reforming the supervision of overseas aid spending to setting up rural schools and water systems in developing countries. Taking their cue from Gates they agreed that overpopulation was a priority.

This could result in a challenge to some Third World politicians who believe contraception and female education weaken traditional values. Gates, 53, who is giving away most of his fortune, argued that healthier families, freed from malaria and extreme poverty, would change their habits and have fewer children within half a generation. [He's probably right about that] At a conference in Long Beach, California, last February, he had made similar points. "Official projections say the world's population will peak at 9.3 billion [up from 6.6 billion today] but with charitable initiatives, such as better reproductive healthcare, we think we can cap that at 8.3 billion," Gates said then.

Patricia Stonesifer, former chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which gives more than œ2 billion a year to good causes, attended the Rockefeller summit. She said the billionaires met to "discuss how to increase giving" and they intended to "continue the dialogue" over the next few months.

Another guest said there was "nothing as crude as a vote" but a consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat. "This is something so nightmarish that everyone in this group agreed it needs big-brain answers," said the guest. "They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming."

Why all the secrecy? "They wanted to speak rich to rich without worrying anything they said would end up in the newspapers, painting them as an alternative world government," he said.


Warmist challenges Pielke Sr. to a debate. Pielke accepts

Amusing to see if the Warmist follows through. Pielke does not deny global warming via CO2 but suspects that it is a minor effect. He is a fully qualified meteorologist

There is part one of an interview with Professor Stephen Schneider regarding global warming and climate change issues published on on May 24 2009. It is titled "The global warming debates: Stephen Schneider" and is written by Thomas Fuller who is the San Francisco Policy Environmental Policy Examiner reporter. This interview is an excellent example of the failure to present a balanced presentation of the climate science issues.

The reporter asked the following question

"More specifically, the principal skeptic websites (Watt's Up With That, Climate Skeptic, Climate Audit and Climate Science) that I look at regularly seem to think they are winning the day. They think data is coming in that questions the established paradigm."

First, the reporter erroneously presented my perspective as a "skeptic" website.

Steve Schneider, unfortunately, chose not only to fail to correct this error, but demeaned the scientific value of these websites.

His reply is

"They have been thinking that as long as I have observed them and they have very few mainstream climate scientists who publish original research in climate refereed journals with them-a petroleum geologist's opinion on climate science is a as good as a climate scientists opinion on oil reserves. So petitions sent to hundreds of thousands of earth scientists are frauds. If these guys think they are "winning" why don't they try to take on face to face real climatologists at real meetings-not fake ideology shows like Heartland Institute-but with those with real knowledge-because they'd be slaughtered in public debate by Trenberth, Santer, Hansen, Oppenheimer, Allen, Mitchell, even little ol' me. It's easy to blog, easy to write op-eds in the Wall Street Journal."

On the first issue, the characterization of my website as a "skeptic website" is completely inaccurate. In 2006, Andy Revkin of the New York Times also erroneously described me as a "climate skeptic", and after confronting him on this mistake (see), the New York Time published a correction (see). My views on climate science, hardly those of a climate skeptic (which I consider a perjorative characterization of my perspective), are summarized, for example, in my weblogs

Summary Of Roger A. Pielke Sr's View Of Climate Science

Roger A. Pielke Sr.'s Perspective On The Role Of Humans In Climate Change

Roger A. Pielke Sr.'s Perspective On Adaptation and Mitigation

and in my House subcommittee testimony in 2008; see:

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2008: A Broader View of the Role of Humans in the Climate System is Required In the Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Effective Climate Policy. Written Testimony for the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing "Climate Change: Costs of Inaction" - Honorable Rick Boucher, Chairman. June 26, 2008, Washington, DC., 52 pp.

More importantly, I am disappointed that Steve Schneider personally attacked the websites that are listed. I have quite a bit of respect for Dr. Schneider's past work [e.g. his book Genesis Strategy is an excellent example of why we need a resource-based, bottom-up assessment of vulnerability, as has been discussed in our peer reviewed papers (e.g. see) and books (e.g. see)].

However, his casual denigration of each of the websites, Watt's Up With That, Climate Skeptic, Climate Audit and Climate Science (each of whose contributions to the discussion of climate science are informative and very valuable) represents a failure to engage in constructive scientific debate.

This cavalier dismissal of these websites illustrates that instead of evaluating the soundness of their scientific evidence, the authors of these websites, who provide a much needed broader viewpoint on climate science, are insulted. This is not the proper way to discuss scientific issues.

I would be glad to debate Dr. Schneider (or any of the other individuals who are listed).

I also challenge them to refute in the professional literature (and in a debate) the numerous peer reviewed articles and national (e.g. see) and international climate assessments (e.g. see) that present scientific evidence that conflicts with the narrow perspective on climate science that Steve Schneider is representing.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Skepticism heard in N. Ireland Parliament

On Thursday 21 May 2009, at Stormont, Belfast, Dutch scientist Hans Schreuder, who now lives in East Anglia, told the Northern Ireland Climate Change Committee that there is no evidence for global warming or climate change being man-made. Quoting from eminent scientists world-wide, Mr Schreuder dismissed the entire climate alarmist scenario. From his testimony, these quotes:

"[...] the longstanding paradigm says that because of trace gases like CO2, the atmosphere heats the earth. But this isn't true."

"Any and all evidence that has ever been presented to support the idea that carbon dioxide has an effect on global temperatures has been biased, opinionated and based on an agenda that pre-emptively dismissed alternative explanations."

"Computer simulations regard the earth as a flat disk, without North or South Pole, without the Tropics, without clouds and bathed in a 24 hour haze of sunshine. The reality is two icy poles and a tropical equatorial zone, with each and every square metre of our earth receiving an ever varying and different amount of energy from the sun, season to season and day to day. This reality is too difficult to input to a computer. Did you realise that?"

"If carbon dioxide really is such a danger to mankind, as the US Environmental Protection Agency would have us believe, then the upcoming Olympic Games should be cancelled, as well as all other big sporting events, as well as all road transport and all air transport and all coal- and gas-fired powerstations should be shut down. Clearly there is no need for such drastic action and clearly carbon dioxide is not dangerous at all."

"The above makes a mockery of saying that today's level is unprecedented."

"As a further rebuttal of the influence of carbon dioxide over the climate, the alleged IPCC greenhouse effect is a non-existent effect. No greenhouse, whether made from glass, plastic, cardboard or steel will reach a higher inside temperature due to the magic of re-radiated infrared energy. If it did, engineers would have long ago been able to design power stations made from air, mirrors and glass, extracting more energy out of it than was put into it - if only!"

"The periodicity in the data and the unequivocal solar linkage were not even addressed. This is not science. The whole climate change issue is about to fall apart. Heads will roll."

"Any and all schemes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are futile in terms of having an effect on global temperatures or the climate and any and all carbon trading exchanges are a fraudulent exercise amounting to no more than hidden taxation."

Above is a press release from Schreuder []. Full presentation here

Comment on the above received by email:

Courtesy of Prof. Ian Plimer, let me offer you another conundrum. The earth is approx 3.5bn years old. For half of this almost unimaginable span of time, its atmosphere was largelydevoid of O2, a statement which is scientifically uncontentious, I believe. O2 now accounts for roughly 21% by volume whilst poor old CO2 languishes at all of 0.03%.

Question - why?

Answer - because the rise of green plants and photosynthesis have sequestered carbon from CO2 and left behind good ole oxygen. Before green plants, was there a runaway greenhouse effect? To be sure, there was not - in fact, repeatedly the opposite, namely glaciation. All very odd, but for the true believer irrelevant!


It was the year 1799, during the "Dalton Minimum" when the sun was quiet that George Frederick Bollinger led a group of early pioneers from North Carolina to establish early settlements in Missouri. They hoped to cross their largest obstacle, the Mississippi River, on the ice, frozen solid in mid-winter.

The pioneers and their wagon train moved westward a few miles each day, making and breaking camp each night, fording the small streams and floating across the larger ones on rafts which they made from the nearby trees, following roads that were barely trails through forests and valleys.

They arrived on the east bank of the Mississippi River opposite St. Genevieve in late December, pitched camp and explored potential river crossings. St. Genevieve is located about a hundred miles downstream from Saint Louis. Winter had come early and the Mississippi river was already covered with ice. It was bitterly cold. They determined the ice was not yet thick enough to support a crossing of ox-carts and covered wagons. Daily the thickness of the ice was measured and then on December 31, a chopped hole in the ice indicated thickness well over two feet. They tested the ice by making a few trips across on foot and horseback. The believed the ice was thick enough to support a loaded wagon.

As a test, a wagon was selected to be driven across with no one riding and the driver would walk ahead watching the ice and leading his team. The trip across and back to camp was made without the ice cracking and preparations were made for an early crossing New Years Day.

The next morning final preparations were made to break camp and all supplies were loaded. The weather remained bitter cold with dark skies overhead and light snow falling, but the decision had been made to cross and there was no turning back. The group was devout German Reformed Protestants and they gathered together in the early cold gray dawn to seek guidance from their God for a safe crossing.

The cracking of whips like pistol shots rang out over the heads of the oxen to coax them out onto the ice; the crossing had began. All that were able, walked to lighten the loaded wagons, keeping a safe distance from the wagons, which were also spaced far apart to lessen the danger of breaking the ice. The crossing was made successfully with no mishaps, except extremely cold hands and feet.

The townsfolk of St. Genevieve had built a large fire to welcome and warm these new settlers. Safely across the Mississippi, they were relieved of their crossing fears and enjoyed the local hospitality. They exchanged news from the East for information of what they might expect ahead. Needed supplies were purchased and even the weather abated a little as the sun broke through the clouds. They settled along the Whitewater River where the soil was rich.

We are transitioning into Solar Cycle (SC) 24 and the sun has become fairly quiet. During most of the last century (SC 16-23) the sun has been in a "Grand Maxima". As a result the Earth has experience warming. But with SC 24 the sun is again changing states. From the peak year 1998, the lower Troposphere temperatures globally have already fallen around 1/2 degree Celsius. This is despite the fact that during that same time period, atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen 5% from 367 ppm to 386 ppm. Several solar scientist are predicting the sun will slide into a "Dalton Minimum" event in SC 25, about a decade from now. If that happens, the Earth will experience some bitterly cold winters for several decades.

The winters may once again resemble the winters 200 years ago during the time of the early pioneers. Imagine for a minute the west fork of the White River near Bloomfield, Indiana freezing into a block of ice two feet thick.


Australian carbon plan will cause jobs carnage

THERE is a surreal aspect to the present debate about the accuracy of short to mid-term economic growth forecasts contained in the recent budget. As this debate plays out, the 76 members of the Australian Senate are preparing for a crucial vote next month on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a policy initiative the Government has described as the most substantial economic reform of the Australian economy for decades.

Yet those 76 senators will have to make their decisions on this once-in-a-generation reform without the benefit of any detailed forecasts of the scheme's short and medium-term impact. While the Government describes its Treasury modelling as the most comprehensive ever attempted, the analysis provides no forecasts on the sectoral or regional employment impacts over the first decade of the CPRS. None at all. The Treasury analysis provides intricate detail about the shift in employment shares between sectors in 2050, but nothing about what the scheme will mean for jobs in key Australian sectors between now and 2020.

Senior Treasury officials admitted this week that a limitation of its modelling is that it "doesn't capture all the transitional elements". For those unfamiliar with bureaucratic eco-jargon, a "transitional element" means someone losing their job.

In other words, the Government's premier economic agency officially has no clear sense about the near-term employment impact. This is economic policy-making with a blindfold on.

The minerals sector considers this sort of economic risk-taking is unwise at best. So we asked Australia's most experienced economic forecaster -- Brian Fisher -- to assess the impact on employment in the sector that produces about 50per cent of Australia's exports. Fisher -- a former executive director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics -- used the same Treasury assumptions and the same data sources used in the Treasury modelling. Unlike the Treasury, he took into account the global financial crisis. It is a sober, straightforward analysis. The results are even more sobering.

The CPRS scheme will shed 23,510 jobs in the minerals sector by 2020 and more than 66,000 by 2030. These are direct jobs. All minerals sectors will be affected, whether in coal mining, gold and base metals, alumina refining, mining services, copper, zinc, lead and aluminium smelting and so on. No state, or the Northern Territory, will be spared, no mining region will be untouched. The impact on regional Australia will be severe, including thousands of jobs in the Illawarra and the Hunter in NSW, the Bowen Basin in Queensland, remote regions in Western Australia, including the Pilbara and Kalgoorlie, South Australia, Victoria's Latrobe Valley, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

You can add to these numbers the jobs of the council workers, the school teachers, the nurses, gardeners, and employees in the hundreds of small businesses in the towns and communities that service these mining regions.

Not surprisingly, I consider these numbers should prompt a Government re-think of its CPRS legislation.

In particular, the Government has made one basic mistake. It decided that raising revenue was more important than establishing a sensible measured transition to an emissions trading scheme. It decided to auction 70 to 75 per cent of its permits from the outset of the scheme.

It is a mistake that puts the Australian scheme at odds with the European scheme and the one being developed by Barack Obama's Democratic Party in the US. The present draft of the US legislation will auction only 15 per cent of permits; that compares with 70 to 75 per cent in Australia.

That emphasis on revenue raising is at the core of the threat to job losses in Australian industry. It will mean that the CPRS will cost the mining industry $10 billion in the first five years, a cost none of our international competitors will bear. Over time, as the new analysis shows, that means a steady drain of jobs out of the industry, and out of the regional communities that depend on it.

Repairing the mistake in the CPRS will not weaken the environmental integrity of the scheme. Allocating permits without charge will not make a scheme less environmentally rigorous than if all permits are sold. But don't take my word for it. The head of the Pew Centre on Global Climate Policy (and former Clinton administration climate negotiator) Eileen Claussen told a recent congressional hearing that the "free allocation (of permits) provides the same economic incentive to reduce emissions as does an auction".

There is a simple solution. Let's do what the Europeans and Americans are doing. Let's phase in the auctioning of permits. Such an approach will establish a carbon price signal without putting the economy into reverse. It will reward firms who reduce their emissions. It will also raise sufficient revenue to ensure low and fixed income earners are not economically disadvantaged. There is no need for special treatment or compensation for certain sectors: the burden of the new scheme will be spread evenly across the economy.

We'd also have a better chance of meeting those economic growth forecasts that are front and centre of the present political debate.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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