Friday, November 14, 2014

Western diets must be abandoned for vegetarianism or greenhouse gases will rise by 80%, experts warn

The medical journals are full of findings that red meat is bad for you.  Yet never before have Americans eaten more of it and never before have Americans lived so long.  So what gives?

Before I answer that, let me mention another fact:  Australians  are big meat eaters too and yet the life expectancy of Australians is up there along with Japan and the Scandinavian countries.  In some reckonings, the Australian life expectancy is the longest of any national population.  And what is behind that statistic?  Nonagenarians.  There are an incredible number of people aged over 90 tottering around in Australia.  Most families include or have recently included one among their close relatives.

So what food did those nonagenerians grow up on?  They grew up on a traditional British diet and still mostly eat that to this day.  It sounds (and was) unbelievably boring but every night they would sit down to fried meat of some sort, often steak.  And it would be fried in dripping -- i.e. beef fat --  and accompanied by boiled vegetables.  Lifespan is the ultimate test of any diet so plenty of beef and fat therefore stands thoroughly vindicated as a healthy diet.

So what are the medical journals blathering about?  The studies they rely on are epidemiological.  They report correlations of uncertain meaning  -- so the authors simply leap on the interpretation  that they like -- without proof.  I know of no double blind controlled study which shows significant ill-effects on lifespan from eating red meat.  Ancel Keys was the first to claim ill effects and his studies were very broadly epidemiological indeed.

So why do many medical researchers want to find that red meat is bad for you?  Elitism, Hubris.  They know they are smart and are sufficiently weak in character that they want to announce that far and wide. The humility preached by Jesus in Matthew chapter 6 is not for them.  And one way they can announce their superiority is by mocking and scorning anything that is popular.  And red meat is VERY popular.

And the Green/Left too are elitists.  They think they are so superior that they can and should tell the rest of us what to do and are prepared to use force to bring that about wherever they can.

So the article below is just another superiority claim

One notes that they have also slipped into their story one of the scarcity warnings that they so love.  According to the Green/Left, there is always something that we are in danger of running out of. Their claim that in future we may not have enough food for  everyone is as old as Thomas Malthus and Adolf Hitler's

The fact of course is that the whole trend in agricultural and other primary production has been towards greater abundance, even  food surpluses, which is why food has never been as cheap as it is now.  The Green/Left prefer theory to facts

A love of meat and sugary treats could be damaging the planet, as well as your health.

By 2050, experts predict that these so-called western diets, which are typically high in fats and oils, will cause greenhouse gas emissions to increase by 80 per cent.

If left unchecked, this could also lead to an extra billion hectares of habitat being destroyed to make way for the extra land needed for food production and agriculture.

‘Rising incomes and urbanisation are driving a global dietary transition in which traditional diets are replaced by diets higher in refined sugars, refined fats, oils and meats,’ explained ecologists Professor David Tilman and graduate student Matthew Clark from the University of Minnesota.

‘By 2050, these dietary trends will be a major contributor to an estimated 80 per cent increase in global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from food production and to global land clearing.’

The researchers said these dietary shifts are also greatly increasing the number of cases of Type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and other chronic diseases that lower global life expectancies.

Their study, published in the journal Nature, analysed data on environmental costs of food production, diet trends, relationships between diet and health and population growth.

Between 1961 and 2009, the pair discovered that consumption of meat and calories per person rose in tandem with income.

Combining this with forecasts of population and income growth for the coming decades, the researchers showed diets in 2050 would contain fewer servings of fruits and vegetables, but 25 to 50 percent more pork, poultry, beef, dairy and eggs.

The study also used a computer model to see how changing from an omnivore diet to a typical Mediterranean, pescatarian or vegetarian alternative could make a difference.

Their {model] results show that these alternatives have the potential to reduce incidences of Type II diabetes by, on average, 27 per cent, cancer by about 10 per cent and heart disease deaths by about 20 per cent.

‘Alternative diets that offer substantial health benefits could, if widely adopted, reduce global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, reduce land clearing and resultant species extinctions, and help prevent such diet-related chronic non-communicable diseases.

‘In particular, if the world were to adopt variations on three common diets health would be greatly increased at the same time global greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by an amount equal to the current greenhouse gas emissions of all cars, trucks, plans trains and ships.

‘This dietary shift would prevent the destruction of an area of tropical forests and savannas as large as half of the United States.’

The results back up the findings of a previous study from the University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen that said eating less meat is 'essential' to ensure future demand for food can be met and 'dangerous' climate change avoided.

The study found food production alone could exceed targets for greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 if current trends continue.

Population growth and the global shift towards 'meat-heavy Western diets' has meant increasing agricultural yields will not meet projected food demands for an expected 9.6 billion world population in 30 years, according to the researchers



In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG thinks he knows why China agreed to Obama's climate push

Host of G20 meeting in Australia  says jobs and growth, not climate, top of the  agenda

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has insisted jobs and economic growth, not "what might happen in 16 years' time" on climate change will be front and centre at the G20 summit in Brisbane, even as senior US officials said climate change was an issue for the global economy.

In an extraordinary statement, Mr Abbott, who last month said "coal is good for humanity" and would remain an "essential part of our economic future" in Australia and right around the world, argued "for Australia, I'm focusing not on what might happen in 16 years' time, I'm focusing on what we're doing now and we're not talking, we're acting" despite the long-ranging superpowers' climate deal.

In Washington, US State Department senior spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that at the G20 meeting "there will be a focus on economic issues and how we are co-ordinating with the global economy. Climate in our view is part of that".

In Beijing, analysts told Fairfax Media China was unlikely to push as hard as the US appeared to be doing to put climate talks on the G20 agenda.

The Prime Minister's comments came after the United States and China announced a deal that will see the US target an emissions cut of 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025 and as China pledged to cap growing carbon emissions by 2030.

The federal government's Direct Action policy, in contrast, mandates a 5 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 against 2000 levels, a target Mr Abbott said he was confident Australia would hit.

While Mr Abbott and his most senior ministers, including Joe Hockey and Julie Bishop, welcomed the US-China deal on Thursday,  they hosed down its immediate impact on Australia's post-2020 emissions reduction target, which is due to ne set in the first half of 2015.

Mr Abbott has resisted attempts to make climate change a high priority agenda item for the G20 summit of world leaders and Mr Hockey said climate change would only be "part of the agenda" while accusing companies who do not pay tax where they earn profits of committing "theft".

Mr Abbott said the US and China were the "two most significant countries and they're obviously the two biggest emitters" but said that at the APEC Beijing conference "climate change was hardly mentioned".

Forthcoming climate conferences in Lima and Paris would focus on the environment and he expected at the G20 "if other countries want to raise other subjects they're entirely welcome to do so but my focus, and I believe the principal focus, of the conference will be on growth and jobs".

In Washington, Ms Psaki said the US hoped the China climate deal would provide momentum for further international action and "I am certain in bilateral meetings the issue of climate, as we look to the Paris negotiations a year from now, will be a part of the agenda" at the G20.

The joint US-China announcement is seen as deft diplomacy by Chinese President Xi Jinping, with the deal seen as symbolically important, as China's economy has already begun shifting away from dirty coal and its 2030 target is not seen as overly ambitious.

Wang Tao, a Beijing-based climate change expert at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy, said the joint announcement was a "clear signal" that would have leverage and implications on potential negotiations around climate change at the G20.

"It's regrettable that Australia's scrapped the carbon tax and it's actually moving on the other direction from everyone else in the climate change negotiations," Dr Wang said.


Get Ready for Obama's Climate Offensive

After last week’s GOP election wave, Barack Obama is desperate to prove he’s still relevant. And when a narcissist gets desperate, well, look out. The president is set to issue a series of sweeping executive orders over the next few weeks, all meant to address allegedly man-made global warming – as some parts of the U.S. see record cold and snow fall.

Politico reports, “The coming rollout includes a Dec. 1 proposal by EPA to tighten limits on smog-causing ozone, which business groups say could be the costliest federal regulation of all time; a final rule Dec. 19 for clamping down on disposal of power plants' toxic coal ash; the Jan. 1 start date for a long-debated rule prohibiting states from polluting the air of their downwind neighbors; and a Jan. 8 deadline for issuing a final rule restricting greenhouse gas emissions from future power plants.

That last rule is a centerpiece of Obama’s most ambitious environmental effort, the big plan for combating climate change that he announced at Georgetown University in June 2013.”

Congressional Republicans may have little recourse beyond a fight over funding to stop the president, who is determined to crush the economy and shred the Constitution on the way to enacting his climate agenda.


Proposed Water Rule Could Put ‘Property Rights of Every American Entirely at the Mercy’ of EPA

It seems incredible, but a single missing word could turn a water law into a government land grab so horrendous even a U.S. Supreme Court justice warned it would “put the property rights of every American entirely at the mercy of Environmental Protection Agency employees.”

The missing word is “navigable.” The Obama administration is proposing a rule titled “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act,” which would strike “navigable” from American water law and redefine any piece of land that is wet at least part of the year, no matter how remote or isolated it may be from truly navigable waters, as “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS.

The proposed rule would provide EPA and the Corps of Engineers (as well as litigious environmental groups) with the power to dictate the land-use decisions of homeowners, small businesses and local communities throughout the United States. There would be virtually no limit to the federal government’s authority over private property.

The proposed rule has ignited a firestorm of protest. Agricultural and business interests, free-market think tanks, state agencies, attorneys general and governors have joined the “Ditch the Rule” movement and demanded it be withdrawn.

The Obama administration is conducting an aggressive shield campaign to downplay the proposed rule’s huge negative impacts and paint critics as opponents of clean water, shills for development interests or anything other than concerned citizens.

Obama’s own political shills for anti-development interests, such as Organizing for Action, Natural Resources Defense Council and Clean Water Action, are marching in lockstep with the agencies to discredit any opposition to the rule.

But recently, a group of 25 U.S. senators called out the Obama administration for misleading Americans on the proposed rule. In a scathing letter to the EPA and the Corps, the senators detailed the administration’s deceptions and bias:

EPA has attempted to delegitimize questions and concerns surrounding the proposed rule. Concerns are legitimate.
EPA and the Corps have blatantly misrepresented the impacts of increased Clean Water Act jurisdiction. The impacts are real.
EPA’s social media advocacy in favor of the proposed “Waters of the United States” rule prejudices the rulemaking process. It kills debate.

Affected parties are more credible in this battle than the administration. The American Farm Bureau started the “Ditch the Rule” movement with pictures that showed what the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers would regulate if the Waters of the United States rule takes effect: “wetlands” that are nothing more than low spots on a farm field, the decorative pond of a suburban home or even a vacant lot that the agency designates as possessing the requisite wetness.

If the farmer fills in low spots or the homeowner builds a child’s playhouse by the pond, or a business constructs a new office on the vacant lot or anyone touches any bureaucrat-designated “wetland” in any way, the EPA or Corps may order the owners to cease activity, restore original conditions and abandon any use of the property.

If the owners do not comply, they could be fined up to $75,000 per day—$37,500 for violating the rule and another $37,500 for violating the agency’s order. The property owner is blocked from going to court until sued by the agency, which could dawdle until fines have skyrocketed into the millions.

That’s no exaggeration.

It’s from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s concurring decision in the 2012 case of Michael and Chantell Sackett, an Idaho couple who placed fill material on their property to build their dream home and suffered exactly the outrageous treatment the justice described.

After failing in lower courts, the Sacketts finally won a Supreme Court ruling that they had the right to sue the EPA for exceeding the reach of the Clean Water Act. At least three other Supreme Court rulings have rejected parts of the administration’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act.

The Supreme Court trumps the president of the United States, and in this instance shares the concerns of the “Senate 25.” But none of the high court’s decisions answer the exact question: What is the reach of the Clean Water Act?

Therein lies the crux of the WOTUS menace: The reach of the Clean Water Act is notoriously unclear, and EPA and the Corps have kept it that way.

The Farm Bureau is particularly concerned by EPA’s refusal to answer direct questions such as, “Name three things that get wet, like roadside drainages, irrigation ditches, and livestock watering ponds, that would not be regulated by WOTUS.” Dead silence. And a permit to do anything in a designated “wetland” can cost upwards of $250,000.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses asserted in its official comments to the EPA, “The CWA is unconstitutionally vague because the regulated community cannot readily determine whether a given property is, or is not, a jurisdictional wetland.” The uncertainty helps the Obama shield campaign.

Two weeks before the Senate 25 called out the EPA, the attorneys general of 11 states and the governors of six states sent a similar letter to the EPA and the Corps.

“This rule should be withdrawn and replaced with a common-sense alternative that respects states’ primary responsibility over lands and waters within their borders while also giving land owners clear guidance,” the letter stated.

Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general and a leader in drafting the states’ letter, told The Daily Signal, “The proposed ‘WOTUS’ rule unlawfully and unconstitutionally asserts federal control over local water and land by needlessly replacing state and local land-use management with top-down, federal control.”

“Unlawful” and “unconstitutional” are not words attorneys general use lightly. When asked to size up the overall issue, Pruitt said, “The WOTUS rule appears to be another attempt by federal agencies to implement an agenda through regulations to affect land-use decisions that should be left to the states and private property owners.”

In September, the House passed bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5078, that prohibits the EPA and Corps from finalizing the WOTUS rule. A companion bill is stalled in the Senate.

With the coal industry overpowered, Obama’s rogue administration looks to have declared war on the rest of us.


Background briefing for climate teachers: false prophets and false prophecies from the cult of CO2 alarmism

What with a Nobel Peace Prize shared between the IPCC and Al Gore, and no end of awards presented by CO2 alarmists and their followers to one another, the casual observer is at risk of concluding that wise and distinguished people are leading the call for dramatic reductions in our CO2 emissions. The reality is that buffoons and charlatans, confidence tricksters and shallow opportunists, not to mention malevolent sociopaths, are in this odious vanguard. Dramatic threats of imminent doom, portentous language, terrifying imagery about what is going to happen to us are their stock in trade. A journalist has picked up on summaries of failed prophecies from such as the WUWT site, and in a recent article at The New American he notes:

'Warnings have been issued for many decades now regarding catastrophic climate change that forecasted certain trends or occurrences that we should already have witnessed. Yet such predictions have turned out to be very, very wrong. This was certainly the case with the alarmist predictions of the 1960s and ’70s that man’s activities on Earth were causing a catastrophic cooling trend that would bring on another ice age. And it is also the case with the more recent claims about catastrophic global warming. '

The examples he gives are listed below:

Global cooling – one of the eco-threats of the 1970s: FAIL (see the article for more details of each fail here and below)

Global warming – one of the eco-threats from the 1980s onwards: FAIL after FAIL after FAIL:

'In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned that imminent sea-level rises, increased hurricanes, and desertification caused by “man-made global warming” would lead to massive population disruptions. '  FAIL

'In its final 2007 report, widely considered the “gospel” of “settled” climate “science,” the UN IPCC suggested that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 or sooner. ' FAIL

'Like the UN, the Pentagon commissioned a report on “climate change” that also offered some highly alarming visions of the future under “global warming.” The 2003 document, entitled “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security,” ...

By now, according to the “not implausible” scaremongering outlined in the report for a 10-year time period, the world should be a post-apocalyptic disaster zone. Among other outlandish scenarios envisioned in the report over the preceding decade: California flooded with inland seas, parts of the Netherlands “unlivable,” polar ice all but gone in the summers, and surging temperatures. Mass increases in hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters were supposed to be wreaking havoc across the globe, too. All of that would supposedly spark resource wars and all sorts of other horrors.' FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

'For well over a decade now, climate alarmists have been claiming that snow would soon become a thing of the past. In March 2000, for example, “senior research scientist” David Viner, working at the time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, told the U.K. Independent that within “a few years,” snowfall would become “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he was quoted as claiming in the article, headlined “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.” ' FAIL

'The IPCC has also been relentlessly hyping the snowless winter scare, along with gullible or agenda-driven politicians. In its 2001 Third Assessment Report, for example, the IPCC claimed “milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms. ' FAIL

'In 1988, Hansen was asked by journalist and author Rob Reiss how the “greenhouse effect’ would affect the neighborhood outside his window within 20 years (by 2008). “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water,” Hansen claimed. “And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change...There will be more police cars .... [since] you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.” In 1986, Hansen also predicted in congressional testimony that the Earth would be some two degrees warmer within 20 years. ' FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

'Separately, another prominent alarmist, Princeton professor and lead UN IPCC author Michael Oppenheimer, made some dramatic predictions in 1990 while working as “chief scientist” for the Environmental Defense Fund. By 1995, he said then, the “greenhouse effect” would be “desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots.” By 1996, he added, the Platte River of Nebraska “would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” The situation would get so bad that “Mexican police will round up illegal American migrants surging into Mexico seeking work as field hands.” '  FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

'Perhaps nowhere have the alarmists’ predictions been proven as wrong as at the Earth’s poles. In 2007, 2008, and 2009, Al Gore, the high priest for a movement described by critics as the “climate cult,’ publicly warned that the North Pole would be “ice-free” in the summer by around 2013 because of alleged “man-made global warming.” ' FAIL

'Even more embarrassing for the warmists have been trends in the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, all of the “climate models” and “climate experts” and “scientists” predicted that rising CO2 emissions would increase global temperatures, which would melt the ice in Antarctica - by far the largest mass of frozen H2O on the planet. ' FAIL

'In his second-term inaugural address, Obama also made some climate claims, saying: “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgement of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and powerful storms.” Ironically, all three of the examples he provided of what he called the “threat of climate change” actually discredit his argument. ' FAIL FAIL FAIL

The article, by journalist Alex Newman, concludes

'Few people would make an important decision based on next week’s weather forecast. When it comes to “climate,” though, the $360 billion-per-year climate establishment is telling humanity that civilization must be reorganized from top to bottom based on failed models purporting to make predictions decades and even centuries in advance. Flawed predictions aside, a great deal of evidence suggests accuracy or truth was never the intent — generating fear to seize more money and power was (and is). Many top alarmists have admitted as much, with some responding to the implosion of their theories with calls for censorship or, more extreme still, the imprisonment, re-education, and even execution of “climate deniers.” '

So, beware of what you are letting into your classroom should you be tempted to bow to the establishment pressure to promote acute alarm over our CO2 emissions. The case for alarm over these emissions is very weak (See for example the recent NIPCC reports). On the other hand, the case for alarm over those those who promote such alarm is very strong.


More "proof" that cooling proves warming

A fantasy by some Australian authors

GLOBAL warming could be making parts of the world colder. Yes, you read that right. Here’s why this is not a crazy thing to say.

There’s a strong outbreak of cold weather across parts of the United States this week. It’s similar in some ways to last year’s so-called polar vortex — that conveyor belt of frigid Arctic air which parked itself on top of large parts of the United States, bringing bitter cold for days.

This week’s cold outbreak is much weaker, but it’s again making people question the widely accepted narrative of global warming.

The sceptic’s logic train is understandable: if it’s so damn cold, how can the world be warming?

Time magazine did a fair job of explaining all that earlier this year. We paraphrase a little here, but here’s how their theory works in regards to the polar vortex:

1. Sea ice is vanishing from the Arctic, which leaves behind dark open ocean water.

2. That water absorbs more of the heat from the sun than reflective ice.

3. Relatively warmer water is the main reason the Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the planet.

4. As the temperature difference between the polar north and more temperate latitudes diminishes, a band of high-level strong winds called the “jet stream” weakens.

5. For want of a more technical description, the jet stream kind of holds all the weather systems in place. Most of the time it keeps the cold stuff north and the warm stuff south.

6. But a weakened jet stream can develop what Time calls “kinks”. Time reported that an unusually large kink in the jet stream was what allowed all that Arctic air to flow much further south than normal during the polar vortex.

Statistics show that most people tune out about halfway through most stories, so we thoug

Statistics show that most people tune out about halfway through most stories, so we thought this penguin might encourage you to struggle all the way through. Source: Supplied

So there’s your theory. It’s extremely cold a little more often as an indirect result of the world getting warmer. Or as Dan Pydynowski, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather told USA Today. “It’s a similar pattern. The jet stream buckles and releases Arctic air from its circulation over the North Pole. Here comes that cold air.”

Closer to home, there’s another example of how warming can produce seemingly contradictory effects. Warmer temperatures are not only causing more snowfall in Antarctica, scientists believe, but could also be producing more sea ice.

The basic theory is that melting water from glaciers is slightly colder than the seawater into which it flows. That means the ocean around the continent is more likely to freeze.

The bottom line here is that a few cold outbreaks in the USA, no matter how severe, don’t mean the world isn’t warming.

The world definitely is warming, according to just about every reputable science body, including our own Bureau of Meteorology, which says Australia’s climate has warmed by 0.9°C since 1910, with more extreme heat and fewer cool extremes.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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