Monday, May 14, 2012

BBC runs an old fashioned revival hour for Greenies

Is this an attempt to outdo the Heartland Institute? On Thought for the Day, BBC Radio 4's prime time religion slot, John Bell, a church of Scotland minister, discussed men, and in particular their badness:

"However the notion that men are inherently superior doesn’t stand up to empirical proof. While in physical strength they might usually have the advantage, in terms of moral fibre and human decency men don’t always come out on top."

No indeed. One aspect of their badness that is of concern to John Bell is of course, climate change:

"...the people who are most vocal in denying human responsibility for the disastrous effects of climate change are mostly male."

That's bad, I must say. But there are other equally bad men around, sinners to rank alongside those who are a bit doubtful about whether we are all about to fry. Can you guess what they are?

* people who control factories of wage slaves in the developing world

* the commanders of terrorist regimes

* leaders who threaten or declare war

* those involved in paedophile gangs

* networks of men who organise systematically the abuse of children


"Expert" warns of global food shortages

Hard to believer that such Malthusian tosh is still being mouthed. Does he realize that Hitler said the same thing? Does he realize that capitalistic policies have made CHINA a major food exporter? He quite obviously is speaking about a subject he knows nothing about -- and he is not going to learn anytime soon

AS MUCH food is wasted in developed countries as is produced in sub-Saharan Africa.

This "eye-popping" statistic highlights one of the big changes urgently required to meet the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050, a visiting expert in agriculture and economics has said.

Chris Barrett, of Cornell University, warns there is "dangerous complacency" about global food security. Professor Barrett, who will give a public lecture on Wednesday night at the University of Sydney, said that demand for food is about to rise significantly, particularly as a result of population growth in developing countries, rises in income and the migration of people to towns and cities.

There is no magic bullet with which to meet this unprecedented demand, which will be for animal products, processed foods, fruit and vegetables, and traditional staples, he said.

"We need a multipronged strategy to ensure our grandchildren's generations do not confront chronic global food crises of the sort that our grandparents' generations so skilfully averted on our behalf."

If can be difficult for people in countries like Australia, with an abundance of affordable food, to fully appreciate the looming problem fully but it will eventually affect food prices everywhere if it is not addressed.

"The global food price crises of 2008 and 2011 offered a glimpse of what is to come if we do not act swiftly," he said. The requirement for more food would also have environmental consequences, increasing the pressure to convert forests, wetlands and grasslands to crop and livestock production.

As an exporter of food, and a world leader in agricultural research and innovation, Australia has an important role to play in helping feed the world, Professor Barrett said.

Change must occur disproportionately in Asia and Africa, where the extra food was most needed, because food is perishable and expensive to transport, he said. At present, yields in these regions are only a third of those in higher-income nations. Governments and the private sector needed to invest substantially in agricultural productivity to improve the nutritional value of foods, not just the amount of calories, Professor Barrett said. "One hundred million to 140 million children are deficient in vitamin A. Two billion people are iron deficient, mainly women," he said.

The regions where food demand is expected to be the greatest are those that will be worst affected by global warming, yet there has been "no significant progress on mitigating or adapting to climate change", he said.

Rich nations could do a lot to reduce their food consumption, reduce food waste and ease the pressure to farm more land.


The global-warming fight is a thinly disguised anti-capitalist movement

By strangling the U.S. economy, President Obama may have single-handedly saved the planet. That’s the upshot of a paper recently published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Policy by researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Valladolid in Spain. Congratulations, Mr. President.

The study found the Great Recession a boon when it comes to preventing global warming. The scientists hypothesized that the worldwide economic collapse contributed to a drop in atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels in 2009. For devotees of climate change, CO2 isn’t the gas that animals exhale and plants convert into energy, preserving life on this planet. They believe instead that carbon dioxide is sometimes an enemy that heats the globe, kills polar bears and provokes disaster on an apocalyptic scale.

Alarmists insist only the carbon-dioxide molecules that are the byproduct of capitalism can cause environmental damage. As this new research claims, natural cycles, such as the El Nino climate pattern, are not responsible for elevating bad carbon-dioxide levels. “The major conclusion of our study is that the annual growth of atmospheric CO2 levels is strongly dependent on the absolute growth of the world economy, so that the annual absolute increase of (world gross domestic product) is a key variable to capture the annual increase in atmospheric CO2,” the report found.

This finding highlights how the global-warming movement has always been about reversing the industrial revolution, making the world a better place. Al Gore’s seminal 1992 work “Earth in the Balance” declared the internal-combustion engine a “mortal threat” to the future of the planet.

Mr. Gore chose his target well. Internal combustion multiplied the effectiveness of mass production, allowing the industrial revolution to better the lives of everyone. Socialists hate the idea that individuals acting through the free market would be allowed to improve their living conditions as a result of a process lacking centralized direction. The leftist impulse is to entrust government with the responsibility of making decisions and imposing order.

That’s why today’s liberals remain enthralled with green technologies like wind and solar. Though these are promoted as if they were forward-looking alternatives to fossil fuels, they’re really throwbacks to pre-industrial times. Humanity has moved past these quaint energy sources. Once upon a time, a wind-powered ship was called a sailboat. A solar-powered clock was called a sundial. Now retrograde “achievements” like powering homes with 15th century windmills is something celebrated with lavish taxpayer grant funding.

Forcing adoption of expensive and inefficient sources of power only drags down the economy, which is exactly what global warming’s believers want. In that respect, Mr. Obama’s stimulus policy wasn’t a colossal failure after all. The massive unemployment and lackluster growth that followed his $831 billion spending spree were a smashing success, so long as one is more worried about carbon-dioxide levels than the number of lasting jobs.


Electric car burns house down

Last week, a fire badly damaged the home of a new Fisker Karma owner, and authorities are saying that the electric car was the source of the blaze.

According to Fort Bend County, Texas, chief fire investigator Robert Baker, the Fisker Karma started the fire that spread to the house.

“Yes, the Karma was the origin of the fire, but what exactly caused that we don't know at this time,” he said. The car was a complete loss.

According to Baker, the driver arrived home in the Fisker, pulled into the garage, and less than three minutes later the car was in flames. It reportedly was not plugged in at the time of the fire and the Karma's battery remains intact.

Right before the fire, the owner reported a smell of burning rubber.

“The car was brand-new,” said Baker. “He still had paper tags on it, so it was 60 days old at [most].”

According to Baker, the Karma was a post-recall vehicle bought in April.

There was substantial damage to the garage, which then spread to the second floor. No injures were attributed to incident. The house was new, but the owner had already moved in.

Baker estimated damages at roughly $100,000, not including the other two vehicles in the garage, a Mercedes-Benz SUV and an Acura NSX.

“This looks just like golf cart fires we have down here,” said Baker. The suburban Houston area has approximately 50 golf cart fires a year, he said.

“I've worked homicide scenes with less secrecy,” Baker added. “There have to be about 15 engineers down here working on this one.”

While Baker seems certain of his conclusions, the incident is the subject of an ongoing investigation, and an official report is expected in the near future.

When reached for comment, Fisker had this to say:
Last week, Fisker Automotive was made aware of a garage fire involving three vehicles, including a Karma sedan, that were parked at a newly-constructed residence in Sugar Land, Texas. There were no injuries.

There are conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding this particular incident. The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated.

We have not yet seen any written report form the Fort Bend fire department and believe that their investigation is continuing. As of now, multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out possible fraud or malicious intent. We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials. Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma's lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident.

Fisker will continue to participate fully in the investigation but will not be commenting further until all the facts are established.


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