Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Warming is good for flamingos!

In a feat attributed to the heat wave that swept across Europe, rare Andean flamingos at a wetlands reserve in Britain have laid eggs for the first time in 15 years.

The exotic birds are “fickle breeders” and can go years without nesting successfully, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, England, said in a statement this past week.

But amid scorching temperatures on the Continent — which have spawned wildfires in England and Wales, melted glaciers in Austria and Sweden, and broken records in Portugal — a surprising thing happened at the reserve.

Six of the flock laid nine eggs, which Mark Roberts, the aviculture manager at the reserve, called “a wonderful and welcome surprise.”

“We’ve been encouraging the flock by helping them to build nests,” he said in the statement, “but there’s no doubt that the recent heat has had the desired effect.”

Unfortunately, the organization said, all the eggs were infertile, so no new Andean flamingos will emerge from this batch.

So in a bit of human meddling, caretakers decided to get the Andean birds in parenting mode: They took a few eggs from Chilean flamingos, “near relatives,” and planted them among the Andean birds, who became foster parents to new chicks, the reserve said.

A spokesman for the organization, which is based in Gloucestershire, said by phone on Saturday that the Andean flamingos were some of the oldest at Slimbridge, which describes itself as the only such reserve where all six flamingo species roam.

A few flamingos arrived in the 1960s, according to the reserve, and some of them have been there longer than staff members.

Both the Andean and Chilean flamingos are considered at risk of extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Chilean birds are described as “near threatened” because of egg-harvesting, hunting, disturbance, and the loss of habitat, while the Andean ones are called “vulnerable” because of past exploitation that shrank their population.

The heat wave broke in other parts of Europe, meanwhile, unleashing torrents of rain that caused flash flooding in France.


Benefits Of Record CO2 levels: Record Harvests Reported In Numerous Countries

Following recent reports of record coffee harvests comes news that Ukraine, Argentina and the U.S. are expecting record corn and soyabean crops. It would appear that warmer years have been exceptionally good for global agriculture as stocks of cereal, rice and coarse grains all reached record levels.

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Argentina is expected to produce a record crop of wheat and corn during the 2018-19 season as farmers planted more hectares of both than in previous years, the Rosario grains exchange said on Wednesday.

Brazil Soyabean Production To Touch Record Levels In 2018/19
US forecasts record soyabean crop

The US government has forecast the largest soyabean crop in history thanks to a favourable growing season, putting more pressure on prices for a commodity that has already been hit by Chinese tariffs.

The US Department of Agriculture said the 2018 US soyabean crop would total 4.59bn bushels this autumn, up 4 per cent from last year’s record 4.39bn bushels. The forecast reflected a bumper yield of 51.6 bushels per acre and widespread plantings across the Midwest.

The estimate suggests that farmers will have plenty of soyabeans to sell, albeit at lower prices. The department said the US would still be storing 785m bushels of leftover soyabeans next summer, a forecast up 205m from last month…. The USDA also forecast a larger-than-expected corn crop of 14.6bn bushels, thanks in part to a record yield of 178.4 bushels per acre.

But harvests in Western Europe have been hit by drought conditions this year.

Southern Europe may salvage EU maize harvest but huge imports loom

Favourable prospects for maize in southern Europe could help offset damage from drought and heatwaves further north, but the EU is still expected to import a record amount to feed livestock following a poor wheat harvest, analysts said.

Widely followed analysts Strategie Grains on Thursday increased slightly their European Union grain maize crop forecast, as upgrades for countries like Romania balanced cuts in Germany or France.


Welcome to Dark Age Britain: Anti-Frackers Demand Research Ban On Shale Gas

It was just a question of time before radical greens would demand an end to scientific research into fields and areas they categorically oppose. In the latest show of dark age mentalities in Green Britain, anti-fracking campaigners are demanding that a new scientific research centre in the North West of England should be banned from researching any issue that deals with shale gas. Welcome to the New Age of unreason and extremism.

Anti-frackers demand a proposed energy research centre near Chester concentrates on renewables but avoids investigations perceived as supporting the shale gas industry.

Government-funded plans envisage a site at Ince Marshes looking at shale gas as well as carbon capture and storage with a sister site in Glasgow focused on geothermal energy.

But Frack Free Dee want British Geological Survey (BGS), who will deliver the project, to drop the shale gas research element fearing its data will be used to support the fracking industry.

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is the controversial method used to extract the gas from the shale layer with associated concerns around water and air contamination as well as earthquakes. And the government has made no secret of its intention to convince the public that fracking can be safe using independent research.

In a statement, Frack Free Dee said: “We do not support publicly-funded research into an already failed and discredited industry and call on the British Geological Survey to remove this aspect of their research programme at Ince Marshes. There are significant issues with BGS being seen to promote this industry, including loss of professional reputation as identified in their own strategy.

“Frack Free Dee would be supportive of those aspects of research which would remove our dependence upon fossil fuels, have a positive effect on our communities, and help our nation meet its climate change responsibilities.”


George Soros Pushes for Facebook To 'Ban Anyone' Who Denies Global Warming

The infamous George Soros-funded Media Matters activist group has taken it upon themselves to push Facebook to ban anyone who dares to question global warming.

Following Facebook's recent purge of alternative media pages, and now most recently Alex Jones, the fact that an outlet like Media Matter's is pushing for more censorship on free speech is quite worrying.

Last week, Neon Nettle reported that National Geographic photographer openly admitted that  'viral image' of a polar bear starving to death was fabricated fake news, saying, “We had lost control of the narrative."

It seems most social media platforms becoming a censorship farm, and if you run the risk of being banned from having an opinion on Climate Change, is it even worth being on the platform at all?


Paris Agreement To Cost Australia $52 Billion

“Following the emissions reduction requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement will impose significant and irreparable economic damage without delivering an environmental dividend,” said Daniel Wild, Research Fellow at the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today the IPA released a research report Why Australia must exit the Paris Climate Agreement. The report estimates that the Paris Climate Agreement emissions targets will impose a $52 billion economic cost, over 2018-2030. This equates to $8,566 per family.

“The immutable law of energy policy is this: lower emissions mean higher prices.”

“Each family in Australia will be at least $8,566 worse off under the Paris Climate Agreement, on average. This is at a time when wages are stagnating and the cost of living is rising.”

“$52 billion could purchase 22 new hospitals or pay for 20 years’ worth of the Gonski 2.0 education funding.”

“For families, $8,566 could be used to pay off credit card debt, pay the school fees for a few years, or pay four years’ worth of electricity bills.”

The report finds the Agreement which Australia signed is much different to how it is currently operating. The United States has exited the Agreement. China is unconstrained by the Agreement. And none of the European Union nations are on track to meet their targets.

“The time to exit the Agreement is now. The government must put lower prices and improved reliability ahead of emissions reductions.”

The report finds that the cost of the Paris Agreement more than twice cancels out the benefits of the government’s tax relief, put forward in the 2018-19 Budget.

“The National Energy Guarantee and the Paris Agreement will lead to higher electricity prices. This will damage business investment, jobs growth, and wages growth, and put upward pressure on everyday goods and services,” said Mr Wild.




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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