Vatican Invites ‘Population Bomb’ Hoaxer Paul Ehrlich to Address Biodiversity Conference
The Vatican has invited the most notorious population alarmist in recent history to speak at an upcoming Vatican-run conference titled ‘Biological Extinction.”
The conference, sponsored jointly by the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, will address issues of biodiversity, “great extinctions” of history, population and demographics.
Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich—who has defended mass sterilization, sex-selective abortion and infanticide—will speak on “Causes and Pathways of Biodiversity Losses: Consumption Preferences, Population Numbers, Technology, Ecosystem Productivity.”
To allow women to have as many children as they want, Ehrlich has said, is like letting people “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”
Ehrlich became famous through the publication of his 1968 doomsday bestseller, The Population Bomb, which generated mass hysteria over the future of the world and the earth’s ability to sustain human life.
In the book, Ehrlich launched a series of frightening predictions that turned out to be spectacularly wrong, creating the myth of unsustainable population growth.
He prophesied that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s (and that 65 million of them would be Americans), that already-overpopulated India was doomed, and that odds were fair that “England will not exist in the year 2000.”
Ehrlich concluded that “sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come,” meaning “an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity.”
Mankind stood on the brink of Armageddon, the book proposed, because there was no way to feed the exponentially increasing world population. The opening line set the tone for the whole work: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over.”
Despite Ehrlich’s utter failure to predict humanity’s ability to feed itself, his theories will be dusted off and re-proposed in the Vatican in late February.
In its brochure for the upcoming workshop, the Vatican asserts in Ehrlichian doomspeak that “Earth cannot sustain” our desire for “enhanced consumption.”
Humanity is presently using about 156 percent of “the Earth’s sustainable capacity” every year, the text contends, and it is therefore essential to address “the question whether the Earth system is able to support the demands that humanity has been making on it” and “how global inequality and poverty relate to that.”
The conference will also feature a speaker from an environmental advocacy group called the Global Footprint Network (GFN), which each year calculates the day when the year’s available resources supposedly run out and mankind begins overconsuming nature.
“We use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester,” the group exclaims on its website.
“On August 8, 2016, we will have used as much from nature as our planet can renew in the whole year,” GFN announced last summer.
In their brochure, the Pontifical Academies make the counterintuitive claim that biodiversity means “everything” for the human race, but then proceed to acknowledge that only 103 species of plants out of an estimated 425,000 species produce about 90 percent of our food worldwide. Moreover, just three kinds of grain, maize, rice, and wheat, produce about 60 percent of the total, the text notes.
Since none of these species are under any danger of extinction, one wonders how biodiversity can mean “everything” for humanity.
Just why the Vatican would wish to showcase the purveyor of debunked, apocalyptic theories is anybody’s guess, but it certainly cannot bode well for the relationship between faith and science.
Where's that food shortage Warmists are always predicting?
A lot of grain silos are so full there is no room for more. Many grains are in glut (oversupply), driving the prices down -- and causing farmers to switch to other crops
United States farmers have planted their smallest winter wheat crop in 108 years, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Its monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) revealed winter wheat plantings were down 1.5 million hectares to just over 13 million hectares.
The report also contained projections of cuts to US and global soybean production as well as lower-than-expected ending stocks, which sent Chicago Board of Trade March soybean contracts soaring to a three and a half week high.
The USDA's latest report echoes similar reports from global agencies detailing the globe's enormous stocks of grain, with wheat stocks tipped to reach levels not seen in three decades.
"Global wheat supplies for 2016/17 are raised 1.3 million tonnes on a production increase that is only partially offset by lower beginning stocks," the report said.
"The largest increases are for Argentina, Russia and the European Union."
The cuts to soybean production and wheat plantings reflect farmers' moves to plant higher value crops during a period of major over-supply, according to Chicago trader and PRICE Futures Group vice-president Jack Scoville.
"I think a lot of producers are very unhappy with the wheat price here in the United States.
"They're looking for alternatives, and given where the reductions are out in the great plains, I'm sure we're going to hear about more cotton in the coming growing season, this US summer, and also maybe some more soybeans and perhaps a little bit more sorghum."
Mr Scoville said despite a good session on the CBOT, wheat, corn and soybean prices were all trading near four or five year lows.
"That's creating quite a problem for producers, they really need more money than that."
Global Temperature Trend Propaganda Video: Who Needs Peer Review?
I repeat, once again, that I believe that the balance of the evidence suggests that man-made global warming could become a significant problem for humanity as this century unfolds. OK, that is now out of the way. So let's turn to a sleazy attempt by some climate scientists (activists?) to undercut scientific findings by other researchers that call into question their assertions about global temperature trends.
University of Alabama at Huntsville climate scientists John Christy and Roy Spencer have been reporting data from NOAA satellites that measure the temperature of the mid-troposphere since 1979. Their data show that global average temperature has been essentially flat for the past 18 years. This is very inconvenient for rival researchers whose climate models have projected that significant warming should have occurred during this period as humans continue to burn more fossil fuels and load up the atmosphere with global-warming carbon dioxide. In addition, there is a significant mismatch between the surface temperature data sets that show higher rates of warming than do the satellite data.
So what to do? What good scientists would do is try to reconcile the datasets and debate the issues in the scientific journals. Well, that's messy, slow, and the results are not pre-determined. So what a trio of climate scientists - Michael Mann, Kevin Trenberth, and Ben Santer - have evidently decided to do is participate in a video project funded by an climate activist foundation whose chief aim is to cast doubt on the satellite data.
Why now? Because various government agencies are shortly going to declare that 2015 is the warmest year ever in the historical surface temperature records. The climate scientists in the video evidently fear that "climate deniers" will dismiss these dire declarations by pointing to the satellite data which show a considerably slower rate of warming. Solution: Deny data that contradicts their preferred narrative. This is not science!
Over at Breitbart, Christy responds to the video:
There are too many problems with the video on which to comment, but here are a few.
First, the satellite problems mentioned here were dealt with 10 to 20 years ago. Second, the main product we use now for greenhouse model validation is the temperature of the Mid-Troposphere (TMT) which was not erroneously impacted by these problems.
The vertical “fall” and east-west “drift” of the spacecraft are two aspects of the same phenomenon – orbital decay.
The real confirmation bias brought up by these folks to smear us is held by them. They are the ones ignoring information to suit their world view. Do they ever say that, unlike the surface data, the satellite datasets can be checked by a completely independent system – balloons? Do they ever say that one of the main corrections for time-of-day (east-west) drift is to remove spurious WARMING after 2000? Do they ever say that the important adjustment to address the variations caused by solar-shadowing effects on the spacecraft is to remove a spurious WARMING? Do they ever say that the adjustments were within the margin of error?
In addition, another group, Remote Sensing Systems, established explicitly to independently evaluate the satellite temperature data finds the same overal temperature trend as the folks at the University of Alabama. See Christy's version of the mismatch between model projections and satellite and weather balloon temperature trends below.
If these researchers have any real arguments showing that the satellite data are wrong, the place to prove that is in the peer-reviewed scientific literature - not a propaganda video.
Venezia ghiacciata per il freddo. Prima volta nella storia (Venice canals freeze for the "1st time in history")
Nelle ultime settimana l’Italia è stata invasa da freddo e neve, persino al sud si sono verificate abbondanti nevicate. Ma questo inizio 2017 verrà ricordato soprattutto per un evento che non ha precedenti nella storia. La laguna e alcuni canali di Venezia si sono completamente congelati [The lagoon and some canals of Venice are completely frozen], l’acqua è diventata ghiaccio e si prevede che questo “congelamento” duri ancora per un paio di giorni. Venezia è solita ad abbondanti nevicate durante l’inverno, tuttavia le basse temperature, insieme a una particolare umidità, hanno creato un totale congelamento dei canali.
I turisti, e anche gli abitanti, sono tanto sorpresi quanto affascinati. Magari dovranno rinunciare a qualche giro in gondola nei canali più grandi (la maggior parte di essi è comunque navigabile) ma lo spettacolo a cui stanno assistendo non ha precedenti. La bassa profondità delle acque e la loro limpidezza ha fatto in modo che il ghiaccio sia dotato di una luminosità incredibile, specie in alcuni punti più centrali della città. Esso appare quasi azzurro con tinte biancastre, e particolarmente lucente. Il meteorologo, Tenente Colonnello Giovanni Piastrucci, ha spiegato che il fenomeno è dovuto alle proprietà igroscopiche delle acque veneziane, che insieme alla temperatura sotto lo zero, creano uno strano effetto di rifrazione dei raggi luminosi.
Whoops! The above pic is a photoshop. The canals did ice up in 2012 however. The pic below is from Feb. 6, 2012
Australian energy bills soar in shift from coal power stations
Electricity companies have begun hiking consumer prices around the country, blaming the closure of coal-fired generators and the increased cost of renewable energy for higher-than-predicted increases of more than $130 this year.
EnergyAustralia and AGL have increased electricity tariffs in Victoria by $135 and $132 on average for the year respectively — greatly exceeding state government modelling that concluded bills would rise by $27 to $100.
The Victorian price rises will flow from this week but the companies’ customers in other states, including South Australia and NSW, face a yet-to-be announced price rise in June.
Red Energy, the retailing arm of Snowy Hydro, informed customers in NSW its rates would increase this week because of “increases in the wholesale cost of electricity and the large-scale renewable energy certificates”.
Some tariffs were raised by almost 25 per cent.
The consumer price rises will increase political pressure on state and federal governments to deal with escalating energy costs that have sparked business warnings that rising power charges are undermining competitiveness.
The Australian Energy Council has warned the impact will be greatest in Victoria and South Australia, which face the biggest wholesale price increases.
The South Australian government is under pressure over its heavy reliance on renewable energy, particularly with the closure of the Northern power station and blackouts sparked by severe storms. Queensland, which has a regulated market, is reviewing its energy tariffs with results expected by the middle of the year.
The Energy Council’s corporate affairs general manager, Sarah McNamara, said the Victorian wholesale price increases were a “byproduct of the reduction in the state’s generation capacity by around 20 per cent, a direct consequence of the upcoming closure of the Hazelwood power station in March”. The Energy Council, which represents major electricity and gas producers, has repeatedly called for a national strategy to deal with supply issues and price volatility as older power stations are retired and an increasing amount of large-scale renewable energy is made available.
An EnergyAustralia spokesman said the average $11 a month increase in Victoria reflected “higher generation, general business and government green-scheme costs”. In that state, there was an increase in the cost of buying electricity for 2017 from about $40 a megawatt hour in January to more than $60 a megawatt hour in November, he said.
“The closure of the Northern power station in South Australia, increased demand for gas by large LNG projects in Queensland, reliability issues and … the market’s reaction to the closure of Hazelwood were among the main factors,” he said.
AGL, through a spokesman, said residential electricity prices would rise by $2.59 a week, on average, or a 9.9 per cent increase, while small and medium-size businesses would see costs increase by 13.4 per cent.
Despite the higher charges, the closure of Hazelwood could boost earnings at AGL, which owns the Loy Yang A power station, by up to 10 per cent, according to analysts at investment bank JP Morgan. That analysis, released late last year, assumed the closure of Hazelwood would increase wholesale prices by 15 per cent in Victoria and 10 per cent in NSW.
Victorian coal generators will also face increased royalty costs this year, with the subsidy intended on making renewable energy more attractive rising to 22.8c a gigajoule for companies mining brown coal from 7.6c, netting the government about $250 million over four years.
The Minerals Council’s Victorian executive director, Gavin Lind, said the brown coal royalty increases introduced by the Andrews government were harmful and ignored the practicalities of the electricity market.
“The expected increase in electricity costs will hit Victorian businesses hard, especially the manufacturing sector where uncertain economic conditions are already placing the industry under strain,” he said. “The Victorian government seems intent on increasing the state’s dependence on expensive and part-time energy sources and committing Victorian households and industry to higher energy prices. It will pass the cost of the scheme on to electricity users via their energy bills. In so doing, it will subsidise uneconomic renewable energy projects while driving out affordable, reliable coal-fired energy.’’
A government spokesman defended the increase. “The royalty rate has not changed in a decade, and this will simply bring Victoria into line with the other states. We are ensuring Victorians get a fair return for the use of our state’s natural resources,” he said.
In Queensland, the state’s Competition Authority is in the final stages of setting electricity tariffs for 2017-18, with the Palaszczuk government unveiling a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 that could slash earnings at the government-owned electricity generators.
Renewable energy schemes were blamed by Red Energy for this week’s increase in retail prices, although Snowy Hydro declined to provide details about the increases. “There are a number of factors that can push energy prices higher for consumers and the need to source renewable energy certificates to cover a portion of the energy consumed by customers is one of them,” a spokesman said. “We cover the resulting REC liability through a combination of RECs generated by the Snowy Scheme with the remainder sourced from the market.”
The price of those certificates has jumped in recent months, netting some electricity retailers windfall gains, as concerns grow that Australia will not reach its 2020 renewable energy target.
The spot price of those certificates rose to about $87 at the end of last month compared with an average of $54 in 2015, although the largest retailers can obtain RECs as part of the normal course of business or at lower contract rates.
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