Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Climate Change Is Taking A Toll On Farmers’ Mental Health (?)

The nonsense below simply assumes what it has to prove.  And what it presumes is wrong.  Recent droughts have not been  caused by global warming because there has been no warming.  Drought sure is hard on farmers but that is all that they have to report below.

But, Hey! Let's not be hard on these Warmist galoots.  Let's give them their assumption that warming is happening.  Will that cause droughts?  Hardly.  A warmer earth will mean warmer oceans -- which will evaporate off more water vapour -- which will fall as rain.  So drought is the last thing that warming will cause.  It is more likely to cause floods

So these galoots have got the brains of a slug -- and are just as slimy

The success or failure of a farming operation depends hugely on the vagaries of weather and climate. For a farmer, a single intense rain event or prolonged dry period can mean a year of lost crops and income.

Climate change is expected to make the line between success and failure even more tenuous for farmers in the future. And this uncertainty about growing conditions is having a noticeable impact on farmers’ mental health, according to a recent study out of Australia’s Murdoch University.

To understand how climate change is impacting farmers’ mental wellbeing, Neville Ellis, from Murdoch University’s Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability, interviewed 22 farmers from the Australian town of Newdegate, located in the country’s southwestern corner. A self-sufficient farming community, Newdegate lies in what is known as Australia’s Wheatbelt, an area of high agricultural importance for Australia.

Since the mid-1970s, Australia’s Wheatbelt has undergone an intense period of drying, with a 20 percent decline in rainfall over the past several decades. That trend is expected to continue as climate change worsens, with Western and Southwestern Australia set to encounter hotter, drier seasons in the coming years.

Ellis interviewed farmers in Newdegate throughout 2013 and 2014, which proved to be some Western Australia’s warmest years on record and some of the driest for Southwestern Australia.
They shut themselves off in their properties with the curtains drawn so they wouldn’t have to face the realities outside

After conducting the interviews, Ellis found that increasingly variable weather was having a negative impact on many farmers’ wellbeing.

“The South West [sic] of Western Australia has experienced abrupt and severe climate change in the last forty years,” Ellis said in the study’s press release. “Farmers have always worried about the weather but today that worry is becoming detrimental to their mental health and wellbeing. They feel they have less ability to exert control over their farmlands and as a result are fearful for their future.”

Uncertainty, Ellis said, seemed to be at the heart of the farmers’ concerns. According to his interviews, some farmers would check weather forecasts on their phones “up to 30 times a day” across numerous websites. Ellis also said that he talked to farmers that would track distant weather events, like storms in Africa, in the hope that those rains could potentially make their way to Australia.

According to Ellis, one subject referred to the state of farmers’ mental health as akin to seasonal affective disorder — except that instead of suffering from lack of sunlight, farmers are suffering from a lack of rain.

“The farms are more than just a business for these farmers – it’s their home, their personal history. There is no escape if they have a bad day at work,” Ellis said. “Some I talked to had become completely disengaged from the predictions and the forecasts – they shut themselves off in their properties with the curtains drawn so they wouldn’t have to face the realities outside.”

In the United States, climate change is expected to force similar shifts key agricultural regions, especially in the Midwestern Corn Belt, where climate change will likely bring longer periods of dry heat coupled with intense rains. In 2014, the USDA created seven regional “Climate Hubs” aimed at helping farmers obtain up-to-date information about climate and weather. In collaboration with other USDA agencies and land-grant universities, the Climate Hubs are working to create tools that can give farmers the most accurate and up-to-date information about impending weather and climate shifts.

“What farmers really want to know is what is going to happen in the next five to ten days,” Allison Chatrchyan, director of the Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture at Cornell University, told ThinkProgress. “What we’re working to do [at Cornell] is develop some online decision tools that take the long term weather data that we have, as well as the climate projections, and give farmers a tool that they can use to make more informed decisions.”


Obama Set To Unleash Thousands Of New Global Warming Regs In 2016

The Obama administration is set to propose thousands of new energy regulations targeted at global warming in 2016, according to a Politico report Monday.

The new regulations are likely to help implement Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and include everything from Department of Energy efficiency measures to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules on pipeline safety and fuel efficiency for trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles.

Obama may only have until May of 2016 to issue the new regulations, as anything later would allow Congress to reject the rules under the Congressional Review Act.

The next year will also be a critical one for Obama’s previous energy regulations in court. Obama’s CPP faces lawsuits from 26 different states, which claim the plan is a federal takeover of state resource and energy policies.

“As Attorney General, I have a responsibility to protect the lives of millions of working families, the elderly and the poor, from such illegal and unconscionable Federal Government actions,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement announcing his state’s lawsuit.

A professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School wrote a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that argued the plan was unconstitutional. President Barack Obama has already stated that he intends to use “executive authority” in order to institute the CPP over the objections of Congress.

The plan attempts to reduce global warming by cutting carbon emissions from the energy sector. It is intended to reduce 32 percent of these carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 by forcing companies to use unreliable, costly, and deeply flawed solar and wind power.

Texas, one of the states legally challenging the CPP, found that the plan could force 4,000 megawatts of coal-fired power capacity to retire. The retirement would make it both difficult and expensive to reliably provide electricity to the state’s citizens.

The plan alone is expected to cost a staggering $41 billion annually. Yet, even if implemented full scale, it likely won’t have a major impact on global warming. According to analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute using EPA models, CPP will only advert 0.019° Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it can’t be detected.

The EPA actually omitted the amount of warming the CPP will prevent from the agency’s analysis of regulatory impacts. EPA admits it assesses the plan’s benefits “qualitatively because we do not have sufficient confidence in available data or methods.”


Now it's text messages that cause Global Warming!

Tim Callahan from Seattle wrote:

    "A friend asked how texting - in all its forms (admittedly a squishy thing to corral) - is contributing to global warming? After saying, 'minimally...', I thought about how to answer that question. Putting aside the sunk contribution caused by the manufacture and transport of the device you text with, how much does the battery emit / generate while a person does a typical or somehow average text? ... Can you help quantify?"

I tracked down someone who'd get us to the answer: greenhouse gas footprinting expert Mike Berners-Lee. Climate impact calculations are just the sort of thing he does for work at Small World Consulting at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. And estimating the impact of a text message is exactly the thing he did for his 2010 book How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint Of Everything.

A carbon footprint, he explains, is a way of estimating the total climate change impact of something you do or buy — all along the supply chain, from manufacturing to delivery to use — with a metric called carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e, which translates all the different greenhouse gases into a comparable amount of CO2 by impact.

More nonsense HERE

Leonardo DiCaprio Declares ‘Argument Over’ On Global Warming

Now there's an authority for you!

Leonardo DiCaprio is thrilled world leaders are giving global warming the attention he believes the issue deserves.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the scientific community is in agreement that man is contributing to [global warming],” DiCaprio told the Associated Press Wednesday at a premier of his new movie, “The Revenant.”

“The argument is over,” he continued. “Anyone that doesn’t believe that climate change is happening doesn’t believe in science.”

DiCaprio has traveled the world in support of environmental causes, and his charity, The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, granted millions of dollars last year to global warming research groups.

“No one has the answer what the future is going to look like, and no one can foresee the dramatic effect that climate instability will have on our planet and the biodiversity in it,” he added. “But I’m just very proud for the first time we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”

In December, DiCaprio flew a private jet to France, so he could have a private audience with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other dignitaries to discuss the climate summit in Paris.

Prior to his Paris visit, DiCaprio confided to an audience at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation awards that the time he spent on set of his new movie gave him a newfound awareness of the power of global warming.

“Our team endured two unprecedented weather events that shut down the already-delayed and complicated production schedule, which I’m sure you’ve heard about,” he said, adding: “2015 has literally become the tipping point for climatic instability and it’s incredibly scary.”

Environmentalists in the U.K., like DiCaprio, give myriad justifications for flying in gas-chugging airplanes, a study published last year in the Journal of Marketing Management showed, although they acknowledge the supposedly harmful effects fossil-fuel guzzling jets have on the environment.


Australia:  Important coal mine approval faces challenge from Greenies

The Baird government's approval of a Blue Mountains coal mine expansion contravenes its own planning policy, say environment groups who have begun legal action to overturn the decision.

The 13-year extension of the Springvale coal mine, located near Lithgow, was backed by the Planning Ministry and secured final approval from the independent Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) last September.

The underground mine will produce as much as 4.5 million tonnes of coal a year from 20 new longwall panels, and continue to discharge untreated waste water into the upper Coxs River.

The river flows through the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and is the second-largest source of water for Sydney's main water reservoir at Warragamba Dam.

Environment groups led by 4nature are challenging the approval in the Land and Environment Court, arguing the move is not compliant with the 2011 State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) covering Sydney's drinking water catchment. The policy permits approvals only for projects that have a neutral or beneficial effect on the area.

Andrew Cox, 4nature's president, said the groups had  found no evidence the government had taken the SEPP into account when approving the project.

The mine will release 19 megalitres a day of waste water – containing salts, metals and other materials – with the flows making up as much as two-thirds of the water in the river at the discharge point.  "How can you possibly rationally conclude that the mine isn't lowering water quality?" Mr Cox said.

Gary Whytcross, director south for the NSW Environment Protection Authority, told Fairfax Media in July that "there's no doubt there will be impacts" for the Coxs River from the mine discharges​, with the high salinity the main concern.

The first legal challenge of the particular SEPP may affect future mine approvals, Mr Cox said.  "It could set an important precedent for development in the catchment, he said. "Other coal mines in the catchment will have to demonstrate that they have a neutral or beneficial impact."

The Environmental Defenders Office of NSW filed the case on December 18, and the court will next consider the matter on February 12, 2016. Operations at Springvale   would not be affected until a final court ruling, 4nature said.

"It is important that the community is able to ensure that decisions are legally robust, and we respect the EDO's right to take this action following the decision by the independent [PAC]," Rob Stokes, Planning Minister, said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Planning and Environment said, the approval had followed an extensive consultation process including state agencies, independent experts and a "rigorous assessment of all environmental, economic and social impacts".

Since the approval includes "strict limits" on the salinity of discharges "the department concluded the mine extension would have a beneficial effect on Sydney's drinking water catchment, compared to the mine's previous operations", the spokeswoman said.

Opponents, though, say they will argue the comparison should be made with the absence of discharges, not the previous workings of the mine.

The waste water had previously been sent to the Wallerawang power station before it closed down. Mr Muir has proposed the waste water be transported for treatment and use at the mine's main customer, the nearby Mt Piper power plant – a course only noted by the PAC as an option.

"It isn't diluted and there is no reduction in the impact on the environment," Mr Muir said, adding that upland swamps had  also been affected along with the river.

The local Lithgow Council has supported the mine's continuation, arguing that hundreds of full-time jobs and royalties approaching $200 million were at stake. The mine is Mt Piper's only coal source, with the plant providing 15 per cent of the state's electricity.


What Happened in Paris?

 by Viv Forbes

Premature Celebrations by Sceptics

Many climate sceptics are celebrating that "nothing in the Paris deal is legally binding." They should look deeper. They have suffered a huge political defeat.

Skeptics are winning the climate science debate, but the main battle is no longer about facts and science " it is about propaganda and politics. There were few scientists at COP21 talking about atmospheric physics - just politicians, bureaucrats and green activists discussing emission targets, carbon taxes, climate reparations and who will pay.

The Paris party organisers managed to assemble representatives of 196 nations with the aim of getting 100% agreement on something/anything that would assist their clandestine campaign for world government and world taxes. This process will cripple the industrial power and political freedom of the Western democracies. They achieved agreement because of leadership by UN loving Western centralists like Obama, Merkel, Cameron, Hollande, Trudeau and Turnbull, helped by misguided theologians, and supported by vested interests in mendicant nations and some powerful competitors of the West.

They spent two weeks reworking the draft document until there was nothing in it that offended any nation. Most of them wanted their benefits clauses made compulsory, but the would-be-providers of such largesse dared not sign obviously binding liabilities because the media and their home electorates were watching.

The UN game plan is for this massive global climate circus to meet regularly in pleasant locations, setting illusory targets, generating publicity and seeking even more green levers to pull. So there is only one legally binding clause " an agreement to table targets, and to meet again.

This is some small reason to celebrate.

The big picture, however, is very gloomy at least in the medium term  -- climate alarmism has been encouraged and will flourish, for a time.

This is the first time those promoting world governments have managed to get what they can now parade as a "world agreement" on a radical agenda. They can now be more confident of using the excuse of global warming to "control carbon dioxide", and to tax rich nations in order to somehow prevent "catastrophic man-made global warming". To sound scientific and credible they have even invented a mythical temperature target ("below 1.5 deg C").

The ability to quote "100% support" gives the war on carbon enormous moral, political and propaganda clout. As would-be-world-Emperor, Ban Ki-moon, exulted ominously:

"What was once unthinkable is now unstoppable."

Therefore things will get worse before they get better. Here is their agenda:

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution." -- Christiana Figueres, Executive secretary of U.N.'s Convention on Climate Change, and a key organiser of the Paris Agreement.

The Paris COP-21 agreement is already being hailed as "an historic landmark." The whole global network of alarmists with their media friends and the help of green/left politicians will use that 100% figure to intimidate opponents, especially in election campaigns. Even though nothing in the agreement is mandated, the framework and "commitment" is there, and the danger is that globalists among local politicians will scheme for it to become legally binding domestically.

This process will slowly suffocate us via regulation, legislation and coercion by federal, state and local bureaucracies, politicians and even courts. International trade sanctions and offers of green bribery will be used to bully and bribe recalcitrant nations. And as the public and the free media get bored with "climate change alarm", those planning more carbon taxes and energy rationing will make bigger gains, without publicity, often hidden within claims of environmental protection. With their well-planned war on carbon, they have planted the poisonous seeds of world government and the destruction of Western liberty. Now they will diligently feed and water these seeds.

So we can now expect more hyped-up propaganda from the UN green/globalists, from the Mendicants and from the Climate Industry. This will coerce politicians and bureaucrats in the developed nations to create more restrictive green tape and to continue throwing $billions at a problem that doesn't exist. Meanwhile the Eurasians will expand their use of carbon fuels while exploiting every loophole and green business opportunity they can find. The flight of industry and jobs from the West to the East will accelerate.

COP-21 is modelled on the key principle of International Marxism: "From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs." They have even resurrected a trademark of last century"s failed Command Societies - "The Five Year Plans".

This new experiment with Marxism will fail, just like the previous ones. We just hope that the cost in human lives and living standards will not be as large.

But Thinking Greens are Concerned

One bright spot in this Paris agreement is that it will provoke dissension in the green ranks.

Some deep greens now realise that even if all pledges are honoured, human CO2 emissions will continue to increase for years to come. There is also no chance of meeting the agreed  emission goals while keeping the lights on without a massive expansion of nuclear power, which they hate as much as coal; or an expensive campaign to build rapid-response gas power plants (which also release CO2) to cover the flat spots in intermittent green energy production.

Real defenders of the environment are also coming to see that thousands of wind turbines, solar farms, roads, transmission lines and ethanol plantations cause more real environmental and economic damage than reliable concentrated energy provided by coal, oil, gas, nuclear and hydro.

And in due course, genuine greens will also realise they have also been conned by the green energy rent-seekers and financiers who just want their world of green subsidies, tax breaks and mandated markets to continue propping up their dud green-energy speculations.

But the Green Armada is heading for the Rocks of Reality.

There is good news of sorts " the green armada is heading for the rocks of reality, which will prevail over the make-believe world of UN politics and the posh hotels of Paris.

The years of green tomfoolery and waste will be brought to an end by industry closures, job losses, soaring electricity prices and out-of-control deficits. Suddenly there will be no funds for Climate tourism, Climate "research" or Climate aid. When this reality asserts itself, this fatuous Paris agreement will be brushed aside as a stupid distraction.

Using Australia as an example, the Australian economy has always been supported on a three-legged stool: mining/mineral processing, harvesting (farming, forestry and fishing) and foreign inflows (settlers, investors, tourists and export earnings). The rest of Australia is engaged in applying labour, management, marketing, infrastructure, transport, energy, processing, red tape, green tape and taxation to these three backbone industries.

The mining/processing leg has been weakened as commodity prices plunge and soaring electricity prices send refineries overseas. This has been exacerbated by green guerrilla warfare on mining and development " the divestment campaign, legal obstructionism to every development proposal, harassment of investors and financiers, obstruction of exploration activities, delay of every development proposal with claims about heritage or dreamtime, promotion of punitive taxes, lies about "subsidies", an anti-industry anti-hard-science bias in state education, and relentless propaganda to associate mining with ideas like "polluting", "dirty", "climate altering", "reef destroying", "threat to endangered species" etc.

For decades now, green extremists have been sawing away at the mining branch of our economic tree, not realising it was the branch they perched upon. Too late they will discover that much funding for government environmental spending and green energy subsidies comes from direct taxes and royalties on miners and indirectly via government taxes and levies on their massive payments for wages, travel, power, rail, port and contractors.

Mining will recover from this double barrelled assault, but not fast enough to take us back smoothly to the golden years.

The second leg (harvesting the biosphere  via farming, forestry and fishing) is also suffering from bans and barriers on everything " live export bans, development bans, vegetation bans, land use bans, heritage bans, fishing quotas and bans, logging bans, confusion and disputes over animal rights and land rights for farmers, miners, gas producers, explorers and those claiming indigenous rights. Greens are also responsible for encouraging the invasion of natural grasslands by woody weeds, and for the feral pests, weeds and bush-fires that spread in and around their ever-expanding parks, reserves and heritage areas. And Green water policies in the huge Murray Darling Basin give preference to irrigating the Great Southern Ocean in preference to irrigating human towns, crops and orchards. These policies are promoted by those who support one of the goals of Agenda 21 " to depopulate most rural areas.

Farmers are also discouraged from continuing or expanding their operations by the nibbling at their income by compulsory "research" or "marketing" levies on everything they sell. All of this makes our farmers less able to cope with the normal stresses of naturally occurring droughts, floods, fires and cyclones. Should the climate "pause" turn into a natural cooling phase (which will also be drier) farm output will plunge and the second leg will be weakened further. (Although for those farmers who hang on, shortages will then cause food prices to soar).

The third leg, foreign inflows, is also threatened. As the great primary industries weaken and soaring energy prices cripple processing and manufacturing, the world-wide welfare/subsidy/deficit/debt bubble will burst, and foreign investors and tourists will stay at home.

Our Neck is in the Noose . . . What must we do"

After the Paris Party, our neck is in the noose. They are planning a global green tyranny.

To escape we will have to fight the UN, the vested interests, the powerful politicians" club, the public service, the climate industry, the government media, guilt-ridden billionaires, misguided clerics and princes, and the wanna-be-green gang in Hollywood.

But we will win because reality exists even if few recognise it. When economic pains become politically bothersome, new voices will be heard, and truth will be spoken.

What must be done"

In the words of David Cameron (UK PM) we must "Cut the Green Crap" and return to a sane world with sounder industries, economical and reliable electricity generators, prudent politicians and unshackled industries.

The battle must go on. We must protect real environmental values but we must "Cut the Carbon War Crap". Every day we delay will make the cleansing correction more painful.



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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