Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Experts call for reduced meat consumption to prevent climate change

They are pissing into the wind on this one.  As China and India become richer, meat consumption will RISE

SORRY world. Your Friday night burgers, Saturday morning bacon and Sunday afternoon barbecues are putting us all in danger.

That’s the warning from the authors of Changing Climate, Changing Diets who argue cutting down the amount of meat consumed could significantly contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming.

Authors Laura Wellesley, Catherine Happer and Antony Froggatt say while leaders from 195 nations will meet in Paris next week to discuss ways of keeping climate change within the critical two degrees, they are mising a trick by failing to address the issue of meat consumption. They’re calling for governments to consider a range of policy measures from a tax on meat and other unsustainable products to clearer labelling and public awareness campaigns.

“Globally we should eat less meat. Global per capita meat consumption is already above healthy levels; critically so in developed countries. We cannot avoid dangerous climate change unless consumption trends change,” they write.

The reports states livestock farming and meat production is regarded as a driver of deforestation and habitat destruction around the world and accounts for 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emmissions - around the same amount as “tailpipe emissions from all the world’s vehicles.”

“Even with best efforts to reduce the emissions footprint of livestock production, the sector will consume a growing share of the remaining carbon budget,” it says, as a “protein transition” takes place around the world with growing demand for meat from burgeoning middle classes in India and China.

“Governments need credible strategies to close the gap, and reducing meat consumption is an obvious one: worldwide adoption of a healthy diet would generate over a quarter of the emission reductions needed by 2050.”

The 14-month project done in conjunction with Glasgow University used focus groups in Brazil, China, UK and US and found people eat double the recommended amount of meat in industrialised countries leading to pressure on resources and health concerns such as obesity and cancer.

Despite what they describe as a “compelling case” for action, the research found governments are loath to intervene because they fear a backlash and are “trapped in a cycle of inertia”.

“They fear the repercussions of intervention, while low public awareness means they feel no pressure to intervene,” the report states.

“Soft interventions to raise awareness among consumers or ‘nudge’ them towards more sustainable choices, for example by increasing the availability and prominence of alternative options at the point of sale, are likely to be well received.”

It comes a month after the World Health Organisation warned red and processed meat were carcinogenic for humans. Eating just 50 grams a day of processed meat like bacon, sausages and biltong, was enough to increase the risk of cancer. Meanwhile red meat was classified as “probably carcinogenic” based on limited evidence it caused colorectal cancer.

The UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s Corporate Affairs manager Andy Hutson said the “simplistic suggestion” that cutting meat consumption will make a difference to the environment “doesn’t hold water” and won’t improve efficiency when it comes to livestock consumption.

“We do not believe a meat tax is realistic. Potentially, it could fuel a social divide where poorer families could be priced out of the consumer market, while opening that market to more imports from global competitors,” he said, adding that consumption is already falling in the UK as the price of protein becomes more expensive.

He said the industry has also produced three “roadmaps” covering practical ways for producers to reduce their “environmental footprint.”

“We are also funding a range of research projects, including investigation of dietary ingredients to reduce methane emissions from the rumen of beef cattle, and a suite of projects aimed at improving the health of animals – which will improve welfare and performance alongside reducing the lifetime greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”


Bernie Sanders and Vermont to lead carbon tax effort

Underneath all of Sanders’ rhetoric to fight class inequality and Wall Street corruption is an initiative that may directly contradict this platform. Sanders, likely more than any other 2016 presidential candidate, is spearheading the initiative for a carbon tax.

As the mover and shaker George Soros sponsored media outlet Mother Jones article recently highlighted, Sanders is the leading climate change candidate. Sanders was recently endorsed as the number one member of the Senate by Climate Hawks Vote, a new super PAC. He recently did an editorial for the Huffington Post reiterating his conviction.

“Global warming is real and it is caused by human activity,” he wrote. “In terms of droughts, heat waves, floods, forest fires, disease, rising sea levels and extreme weather disturbances, global warming is already causing devastating problems. The simple truth is that if we do not act boldly and quickly these problems will only get much worse in the years to come.”

At the first Democrat debate for the 2016 election, Sanders called global warming the biggest threat facing the U.S. He went on to call for the carbon tax as the primary solution.

Back in Sanders’ home state, Vermont’s East Montpelier Rep. Tony Klein, Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Energy stated in late 2014 that Vermont will likely be the first in the union to implement a carbon tax.

Alongside the carbon tax is another climate change initiative, lesser known but similar in aim. It is called the renewable energy portfolio standard, states that adopt these must convert energy production into non-carbon alternatives at an increasing percentage every few years. The goal in Vermont is currently 15 percent and up to 90 percent by 2050. Currently, 29 states have signed onto a REPs, but none since 2009. At least two have backed out or put a freeze on it.

An example of renewable energy costs hitting the local rate payer can be found in Hardwick, Vermont. The town’s electric department told the Hardwick Gazette that clean burning coal (just water vapor and carbon emitted) can be purchased for just about 4 cents per kWh. Solar panels which are being purchased to fill REP requirements can cost around 12 cents per kWh, that’s not including subsidies.

In an interview with Dr. Bronner Cohen of the National Center for Public Policy Research, he commented on the high costs of alternative energy.

“If you just look at solar nationwide, it just provides U.S. with two tenths of 1 percent of our electricity, and this is after decades of subsidies,” he said. “Wind is slightly above 3 percent. Put the two together and it’s still fewer than 3.5 percent. So how would you propose to get to 12 or 15 percent? It’s not going to happen.”

He added efforts to reach those goals would be prohibitively expensive and hurt those who would be least capable to withstand the financial burden, namely the middle and lower class.

The much touted scientific consensus that carbon is causing global warming is apparently not a consensus for everyone. As a Forbes article from January pointed out, there is no such poll indicating that “97 percent” of any group of scientists supports the theory of man-made global warming.

Were it assumed the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models are true, the U.S. acting alone would barely make a difference according to journalist Ronald Bailey for a 2013 Reason.com story.

“Assuming the projected trajectory of overall global emissions by all countries,” wrote Bailey. “If the U.S. were somehow to completely eliminate all of its greenhouse gas emissions now that would reduce future warming by only 0.2 degree Celsius by 2100.”

The very notion that carbon dioxide causes warming at all was disputed by Cohen.

“Carbon dioxide does not drive temperature,” he said. “If temperatures rise for whatever reason, carbon dioxide will rise afterwards. It does not drive temperature. It’s the other way around, it’s a lagging indicator.”

A looming shadow in the backdrop is the 2009 scandal of leaked emails from East Anglia University. The emails revealed manipulation of data and deception by IPCC climatologists according many media outlets including English columnist James Delingpole who dubbed it “climategate.”

Sanders is not the only high profile leader ratcheting up calls for the carbon tax.

“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications,” said Pope Francis on the issue. “Environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods, it represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

If there were ever a means to micromanage economic development, it would be the carbon tax. Any energy, any fuel, building, producing, transporting, breathing, having a kid … every conceivable human activity can be associated with carbon.

“Whether that’s the goal or not, that (austerity) will most certainly be the result,” said Cohen. “You are imposing additional costs on middle and lower class people. You may have millionaires who are going to shrug their shoulders, they can do it. But what about people further down the food chain? They can’t do it, this is very regressive. It is going to hurt those most who are at the very bottom of the income scale.”


The People’s March for Climate? Yeah, right

This week, outside my local London Tube station, Farringdon, people dashing home from work have been greeted by leafleters urging them to take part in the People’s March for Climate. ‘To change everything, we need everyone’, the leaflet declares. But what exact kind of change do they have in mind?

A quick look at the back of the leaflet reveals the thinking behind the march. First off, who are The People? Are they the people paying more for their energy thanks to eco-taxes and subsidies? Are they the people heading for Heathrow today, hoping to jet off to some other part of the world, whose journey was delayed by disapproving activists who will do everything they can to make sure the airport can never expand to meet rising demand? It’s doubtful if they are the people around the world desperately trying to work their way out of poverty, relying on the very fossil fuels the marchers disapprove of to power that economic development? Declaring this to be a march by and for The People is pretty much the exact opposite of the truth.

The leaflet then tells us: ‘In days, world leaders are meeting for a global climate summit [in Paris] that is our generation’s best chance to end fossil fuels, and move to a game-changing 100 per cent clean-energy track.’ At the moment, ‘clean’ energy makes up a small fraction of the world’s energy use. Even if the world pursues the aim of lowering greenhouse-gas emissions, low-carbon energy – including nuclear and burning biomass as well as wind, solar, etc – will still only supply a quarter of our energy needs by 2040. The rest of our energy will come from fossil fuels – which are cheaper and much more reliable. Nothing that happens at the climate talks in Paris will change that very much, thankfully.

The leaflet goes on to talk about how the ‘the people of Paris’ have been ‘silenced’, kept from ‘taking to the streets to meet world leaders as they land for the meeting’ because of (fairly understandable) security concerns. But the funny thing about this protest is just how many campaigners will be inside the conference. According to the conference website: ‘The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.’ This march is not a demand for action emanating from outsiders against the wishes of world leaders. It’s a stage army designed to reinforce the entire purpose of the event, to dress it up as the will of The People.

The climate talks in Paris are, in reality, driven by a coterie of unelected officials, multinational NGOs and politicians desperate to convey some moral leadership on the world stage. The aim is to control The People, to use the environment as an excuse to restrict their ability to live their lives as they choose and realise their ambitions. There’s nothing democratic about that.


Massive Tampering With South African Temperatures

There are only ten GHCN stations currently operating in South Africa, and only one of these, Calvinia, is classified by GISS as rural. It has a population of 9000, and is situated inland in the Northern Cape province.

This is the actual temperature trend at Calvinia, based on GHCN V2 raw data in 2011.

There has been no warming since the start of the record. Yet the current version of GISS, which is based on adjusted GHCN data, has miraculously morphed into a sharply rising trend.

Temperatures prior to 1989 have been marked down by around 0.7C, and those 1940’s ones by even more.

So, what about the other nine sites? We have three with long, and pretty much continuous, records back to the 19thC.

There was a large drop in temperatures at Port Elizabeth between 1950 and 1951, but there also large drops at that time at Capetown, Kimberley and other sites, including East London, which is nearby. There is no evidence that the change was due to anything but natural factors.

All the graphs have one thing in common – that tell tale peaking of temperatures around 1940, which we see so often. There is even a glimpse of this at Calvinia, where the warmest year on record was 1945.

All of these stations will, of course, have been heavily affected by UHI effects since the 1940’s.

For instance, much of the warming at Port Elizabeth in recent decades is likely due to the siting of sensors  in the middle of the runways at the airport there.

Out of the ten stations mentioned above, there has been marked warming trends introduced by adjustments at eight. One, De Aar shows little change, but Upington, oddly enough, bucks the trend with a cooling trend added. However, when the adjustments at all ten are averaged together, the overall effect is obvious.

One oddity is the 1990’s period, when seemingly temperatures were over adjusted up, only to be adjusted down since. It is one thing questioning whether temperature measurements taken in the 1880’s were accurate, but the 1990’s? Are we seriously saying they were understated by half a degree? This is clearly a nonsense, and it goes to the heart of how adjustments have corrupted the temperature dataset.

No reputable scientists would go near this garbage with a barge pole.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

The 21st Birthday Party in Paris - It’s Time they Grew Up

Global Warming Alarmists are about to gather in Paris for the biggest climate carnival in their 21 year history – they hoped to see 25,000 official guests and 15,000 hangers on. Surely on their 21st birthday it is time they grew up and faced some adult world problems.

Any urchin on the streets of Paris today could tell buffoons like Ban Ki-moon and Barack Obama that the “biggest security threat facing the world today” is NOT a miniscule increase in atmospheric plant food, caused mainly by gentle natural global warming which has triggered minor expulsion of carbon dioxide from the oceans.

Obama and his side kick Kerry call climate change the biggest threat to national security:

But the US Congress is not supporting the Paris party:

Radical Islamist terrorists just maimed and murdered hundreds of people in Paris, dozens more in Mali, still more in other nations. They promise more atrocities in the United States and around the globe.

Meanwhile some 40,000 bureaucrats, politicians, scientists, lobbyists, activists and journalists plan to enjoy five-star Parisian hotels and restaurants, while attending COP21, the twenty-first UN Climate Change Conference, from November 30 through December 11. Like President Obama, they insist that humanity faces no greater threat than climate change. Some are even saying that ISIS attacked Paris to disrupt the climate confab.

Napoleon once said: “Only a foolish horse fights with his nose bag”. But today we have many foolish people fighting their nose bag. They are weakening Earth’s food chain with a war on carbon.

Carbon is the building block of life. “Organic” means “containing carbon” and every bit of plant and animal life is built around the carbon atom.

Carbon enters Earth’s cycle of life via plants, which extract it from the rare and precious carbon dioxide plant-food in the atmosphere. Living things use this carbon, plus water, oxygen and minerals, to create the proteins, fats, carbohydrates and skeletons they need.

Plant growth responds quickly to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

However, today’s levels are far below those that sustained the abundant forests, grasslands, wetlands, herbivores and carnivores of past eras.

The biggest long term threat to abundant life on Earth is natural carbon sequestration, especially during the recurring cold dry eras when cooling oceans absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and growing ice sheets capture most of its water.

Nature is very efficient at carbon capture and burial. Enormous quantities of carbon and hydrogen have been removed from past atmospheres and buried under ancient sediments in extensive beds of coal, oil shale, limestone, marble, dolomite and magnesite, and in diffuse deposits of hydro-carbon liquids and gases. The result is that the carbon dioxide level in today’s atmosphere is not far above the minimum needed to sustain plant life (which is why nurserymen pump more carbon dioxide into their green-houses).

However, in a rare piece of environmental serendipity, man’s extraction and use of coal, oil, gas, limestone and dolomite for power generation, transport, aviation, steel, cement and fertilisers is recycling a tiny part of this storehouse of buried carbon. For example, for every tonne of coal burned, 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide plant food plus one tonne of fresh water is added to the atmosphere; and producing one tonne of cement releases about one tonne of carbon dioxide.

Every tonne of wheat grown needs a tonne of carbon dioxide just to get the carbon for the grains, and other foods have similar needs. Carbon industries thus help to feed all of Earth’s plants and animals.

Industrial use of carbon-bearing mineral resources also recycles other essential nutrients such as nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus which are present in variable amounts in coal, oil and carbonates. Any of these by-product gases can be toxic if concentrated in confined spaces, and all of man’s activities can pollute crowded cities, but in the open atmosphere, plant life often suffers because of a deficiency of these key elements.

Those waging a war on hydro-carbons and carbon dioxide are enemies of the biosphere. Their foolish policies like carbon taxes, emissions trading and “Carbon Capture and Burial” are denying essential nutrients to the food chain.

The failed global warming forecasts show that these policies will have no effect on climate, but will reduce the atmospheric supply of food nutrients and fresh water for all life on Earth.

Life is a carbon cycle – don’t break the food chain.

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

The carbon promises of the Australian Left will hit the cost of living

Bill Shorten has sparked a polit­ical fight over the cost of living after setting a climate change target that could impose a cost burden 10 times greater than Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.

The new Labor target was branded “way out of range” of other countries as world leaders prepare to meet in Paris on Monday to try to agree on a united plan to address global warming.

Labor is defending its goal of a 45 per cent cut in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by insisting­ it will not need an expensiv­e price on carbon that drives up household energy bills.

In a break from bipartisanship on previous targets, Labor’s ambition is almost twice the size of the government’s offic­ial goal of cutting carbon pollution by 26-28 per cent, which Malcolm Turnbull will reiterate when he attends the Paris talks.

The Opposition Leader’s move prompted concerns yesterday that a partisan brawl over competing targets would damage the prospects for real action on climate change, frightening investors and making a consensus more difficult.

Former Reserve Bank board member Warwick McKibbin, the author of a detailed economic study of climate change targets, warned that the Labor plan went too far beyond the commitments being made by similar nations.

Professor McKibbin estimated that the Labor goal would need a carbon price of $200 a tonne without access to inter­national credits — almost 10 times the $23 fixed price in Ms Gillard’s carbon pricing scheme four years ago.

While only an early estimate, the $200 figure is a like-for-like comparison in today’s dollars based on the fact that the carbon tax only needed to achieve a 5 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Mr Shorten said yesterday that Labor would set up an “internationally linked” emissions trading scheme, suggesting it could allow the purchase of permits that might keep the price down. The new Labor and Coal­ition targets aim to cut carbon emissions by 2030, compared with the base year of 2005.

Professor McKibbin, who holds the chair in public policy at the Centre for Applied Macro­economic Analysis at the Australian National University, said Labor’s target was “far more than any other country” was planning at Paris.

“Why would you go much harder than everyone else when it’s the global target that matters?” he asked.

“At the moment, Australia is contributing a greater economic loss than other countries with the 26-28 per cent target. To be going further out in front is not good policy.”

The Labor target compares with commitments by Japan (25 per cent), the US (41 per cent) and Europe (34 per cent).

Frontier Economics director Danny Price said the real impact on Australians was greater on a per-capita basis and showed that Labor was too far ahead of other countries. “The problem with such tough targets and high costs is that they generate objections to clim­ate change policies,” said Mr Price, an expert in the carbon pricing debate over the past decade.

“You can see why Labor’s doing it, because they want to appeal to Labor/Green voters. But in appealing to those voters it makes the actual­ implementation of the policy less likely.”

The Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group welcomed the chance to consult with Labor on the new target, but the Minerals Council of Australia dismissed it as an “ambit claim” and favoured the government plan instead.

Climate Institute chief John Connor said the Labor target was “stronger and more credible” and would achieve the agreed inter­national goal of preventing global temperatures rising by 2C — something he said the government target would not do.

The Climate Change Author­ity, set up by Labor, recommends a cut of 40-60 per cent.

Labor is yet to reveal how its ETS would work or what price it would set, the key factor in shaping the cost impact on households.

Professor McKibbin’s economic analysis with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade this year found that a 26 per cent target would trim 0.6 per cent from gross domestic product in 2030 while a 45 per cent target would trim 1 per cent from GDP instead.

Given that the government’s Intergenerational Report forecasts GDP to reach about $3 trillion in 2030, Labor’s target would in theory cost $30 billion in forgone economic output in that year. The government target would cost $18bn. Economic growth continues under both targets.

Mr Shorten countered the idea that his target would hurt the economy, saying “this modelling took no account of the ­economic consequences of not adopting this sort of target”.

Setting out his policy in a speech to the Lowy Institute in Sydney yesterday, Mr Shorten made it clear there would be help for families to deal with the costs.

“We will undertake this process mindful of the consequences for jobs, for regions and for any impact­s on households,” he said.

Labor also argues it will not have to rely only on an ETS to reach its target because of its commitment to make renewable energy account for half of all power by 2030.

Scott Morrison warned of the economic damage from the Labor plan while Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the policy would “smash household budgets” and the economy by re­introducing a carbon tax. Labor rejected­ the claim that its ETS would be a carbon tax, citing a comment from the Prime Minister in September that drew a distinction between a carbon tax and an ETS and other mechanisms to reduce emissions.



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.  

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