Sunday, May 12, 2019

A forbidding island off Martha’s Vineyard, once a bombing site, is now a bunny refuge

Maybe this makes sense to Greenies but it makes no sense to me.  Rabbits are Australia's worst pest species.  They greatly reduce the productivity of our pastures.  So to me and to most Australians the only good rabbit is a dead rabbit. And from a species conservation viewpoint, rabbits are nearly as toxic as rats.

And it is on islands that they do greatest harm -- wiping out many native species.  Herculean efforts have been made on South Georgia and Macquarie islands to get rid of them and remove the threat of further extinctions hanging over the what's left of the  native flora and fauna. So why on earth are they being introduced to Nomans island?  Are there no flora and fauna native to that place?  As a federal wildlife refuge one would think there is

Closed to the public, Nomans Land, 3 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard, is littered with unexploded bombs and rockets from its years as a naval bombing site.

This week, the federal government was delivering a payload of a gentler sort: 13 cinnamon-colored New England cottontail rabbits, each one nestled in its own compartment in wooden boxes stowed behind the captain’s chair.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service, which had outfitted the rabbits with tiny GPS collars, was on a mission to help rescue the species by establishing a self-sustaining colony on Nomans Land, a 628-acre federal wildlife refuge.


'Climate Anxiety': There's a Guide for That (Seriously)

For all the panicked young people out there, climate alarmists say they feel your pain. 

A conciliatory CNN report this week touches on the issue of so-called “climate anxiety,” which apparently is becoming widespread. The first paragraph of the report introduces a Willamette University student who “woke at 2 a.m. and then cried for two solid hours about the warming ocean.” That student’s climate professor, Wendy Petersen Boring, asserts, “Back in 2007, [climate change] was the mouse in the room; then, it became the elephant in the room. By 2016, those concerns and fears began to flood over.”

The report goes on to cite a 69-page American Psychological Association/ecoAmerica climate guide published in March 2017 that tenders ways to ameliorate the effects of environmental anxiety. According to the guide, “This … report is intended to further inform and empower health and medical professionals, community and elected leaders, and the public.”

CNN fans the flames by claiming, “Higher temperatures alone have led to more suicides and increased psychiatric hospitalization and have hurt our sleep, which can also harm mental health. These problems will get worse as the temperature continues to rise, research shows.” With statements like that, it’s little wonder students think the sky is falling.

Fact check: It’s not. As veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi has pointed out time and again, our standard of living and gross domestic product on a global scale has never been better because of fossil fuels. Taking those away hastily is a recipe for disaster.

Of course, not everyone is victimized by “climate anxiety.” In March, Gallup reported that 66% of Americans are convinced global warming is man-made. That said, “Fewer than half of Americans — 45% — think global warming will pose a serious threat in their own lifetime and 44% say they worry a great deal about it. Another 21% worry a fair amount about global warming, while about a third (35%) worry only a little or not at all.”

But even that worry seems to become less so come voting time. After every election, climate change as a preeminent issue ends up ranking fairly low among voters. It’s good that at least some people get their priorities straight before casting their votes.

Which bring us to the final point. Tellingly, Gallup also reports, “In terms of demographic differences, there is a 20-percentage-point spread between the youngest and oldest Americans in those classified as Concerned Believers: 67% of those 18 to 29 vs. 47% of those 65 and older. Additionally, only 7% of young adults meet the definition of Cool Skeptics, compared with 22% of seniors.”

Younger generations are more prone to believe climate-change alarmism thanks to our modern-day leftist education complex. Older generations, on the other hand, have lived long enough to know that a plethora of climate doomsday scenarios haven’t unfolded. Propaganda and pollaganda are powerful tools. And for that, we should all be extremely anxious for our future.


NRDC Never Stops Lying About Glyphosate, or Science in General

Pop quiz: What do the New York Times, Jeffrey "the yogic flying instructor" Smith, and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have in common?

Answer: They all shamelessly lie about glyphosate to make money. (You get full credit if you answered, "They are all bad sources of science information.")

Danny Hakim, a journalist (I'm using that word rather loosely) who writes for the New York Times, promotes conspiracy theories about American agriculture. He once wrote an article comparing pesticides to "Nazi-made sarin gas." And he followed that up with another article accusing the U.S. government of knowing that glyphosate was killing people but covering it up. I eagerly await his next exposé on the aliens the government is hiding at Area 51.

The same sort of hysteria is repeated by Jeffrey Smith, a yogic flying instructor (yes, it's as weird as it sounds) who operates the deceptively named Institute for Responsible Technology. Like the New York Times, Smith perpetuates one lie after another about biotechnology. Now, he's spreading lies about medical treatments for cancer which are so egregious that, if cancer patients actually followed the advice, they would die. So much for responsible technology.

In our experience, birds of a feather flock together. It's an easy jump from being anti-GMO to being anti-vaccine or anti-technology in general.

NRDC: Cranks, Crackpots, and Conspiracy Theorists

Thus, joining this motley crew is the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a group of cranks, crackpots, and conspiracy theorists who knowingly spread misinformation about nuclear power, GMOs, and scary "chemicals."

While the NRDC is fond of calling everybody who disagrees with them a "shill" for industry, the reality is quite different. The NRDC rakes in a whopping $130 million every year telling people that the latest technological developments in energy and biotechnology are just too scary for Americans. It's good business. The President, Rhea Suh, made $541,000 in 2016. Not bad. That's more than half of ACSH's entire budget.

Well, NRDC is back, trying to cash in on the delirium surrounding glyphosate. What better time to cash in than when trial lawyers are duping juries into awarding multi-million-dollar verdicts to sympathetic cancer patients? It is within this milieu that NRDC's Jennifer Sass said:

"EPA's Pesticide office is out on a limb here—with Monsanto and Bayer and virtually nobody else. Health agencies and credible non-industry experts who've reviewed this question have all found a link between glyphosate and cancer."

That's not just a lie. That's a pants-on-fire, nose-is-longer-than-a-telephone-wire sort of whopper.  The truth is literally the exact opposite.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) claim that there is no link between glyphosate and cancer. That is also the conclusion of regulatory agencies in Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, and South Korea. (See this excellent infographic from the Genetic Literacy Project for more.)

To insist that glyphosate causes cancer, you would have to reject the scientific consensus established by regulators around the entire world. (Or, you'd have to believe that Monsanto has secretly bought off every major nation on the planet.) The only groups who reject the consensus are IARC and the environmental activists and their lawyers who rake in millions of dollars telling juries that biotechnology is killing them.

We can predict that the New York Times will cheer them on and uncritically parrot whatever the NRDC says, because needlessly scaring people is good business for them, too. And for the yogic flying instructor.

It's utterly infuriating to watch as modern medicine and science are mocked and exploited for personal profit by environmental activists and lawyers. What a stupid time to be alive.


Fake Climate Science And Scientists

The multi-colored placard in front of a $2-million home in North Center Chicago proudly proclaimed, “In this house, we believe: No human is illegal” – and “Science is real” (plus a few other liberal mantras).

I knew right away where the owners stood on climate change and other hot-button political issues. They would likely tolerate no dissension or debate on “settled” climate science or any of the other topics.

But they have it exactly backward on the science issue. Real science is not belief – or consensus, 97% or otherwise. Real science constantly asks questions, expresses skepticism, reexamines hypotheses and evidence. If debate, skepticism and empirical evidence are prohibited – it’s pseudo-science, at best.

Real science – and real scientists – seek to understand natural phenomena and processes. They pose hypotheses that they think best explain what they have witnessed, then test them against actual evidence, observations and experimental data.

If the hypotheses (and predictions based on them) are borne out by their subsequent findings, the hypotheses become theories, rules, laws of nature – at least until someone finds new evidence that pokes holes in their assessments, or devises better explanations.

Real science does not involve simply declaring that you “believe” something, It’s not immutable doctrine. It doesn’t claim “science is real” – or demand that a particular scientific explanation be carved in stone.

Earth-centric concepts gave way to a sun-centered solar system. Miasma disease beliefs surrendered to the germ theory.

The certainty that continents are locked in place was replaced by plate tectonics (and the realization that you can’t stop the continental drift, any more than you stop climate change).

Real scientists often employ computers to analyze data more quickly and accurately, depict or model complex natural systems, or forecast future events or conditions. But they test their models against real-world evidence.

If the models, observations and predictions don’t match up, real scientists modify or discard the models and the hypotheses behind them. They engage in robust discussion and debate.

They don’t let models or hypotheses become substitutes for real-world evidence and observations. They don’t alter or “homogenize” raw or historical data to make it look like the models actually work.

They don’t hide their data and computer algorithms (AlGoreRythms?), restrict peer review to closed circles of like-minded colleagues who protect one another’s reputations and funding, claim “the debate is over,” or try to silence anyone who dares to ask inconvenient questions or find fault with their claims and models.

They don’t concoct hockey stick temperature graphs that can be replicated by plugging in random numbers.

In the realm contemplated by the Chicago yard sign, we ought to be doing all we can to understand Earth’s highly complex, largely chaotic, frequently changing climate system– all we can to figure out how the sun and other powerful forces interact with each other.

Only in that way can we accurately predict future climate changes, prepare for them, and not waste money and resources chasing goblins.

But instead, we have people in white lab coats masquerading as real scientists. They’re doing what I just explained true scientists don’t do.

They also ignore fluctuations in solar energy output and numerous other powerful, interconnected natural forces that have driven climate change throughout Earth’s history.

They look only (or 97% of the time) at carbon dioxide as the principle or driving force behind current and future climate changes – and blame every weather event, fire and walrus death on man-made CO2.

Even worse, they let their biases drive their research and use their pseudo-science to justify demands that we eliminate all fossil fuel use, and all carbon dioxide and methane emissions, by little more than a decade from now. Otherwise, they claim, we will bring unprecedented cataclysms to people and planet.

Not surprisingly, their bad behavior is applauded, funded and employed by politicians, environmentalists, journalists, celebrities, corporate executives, billionaires and others who have their own axes to grind, their own egos to inflate – and their intense desire to profit from climate alarmism and pseudo-science.

Worst of all, while they get rich and famous, their immoral actions impoverish billions and kill millions, by depriving them of the affordable, reliable fossil fuel energy that powers modern societies.

And still, these slippery characters endlessly repeat the tired trope that they “believe in science” – and anyone who doesn’t agree to “keep fossil fuels in the ground” to stop climate change is a “science denier.”

When these folks and the yard sign crowd brandish the term “science,” political analyst Robert Tracinskisuggests, it is primarily to “provide a badge of tribal identity” – while ironically demonstrating that they have no real understanding of or interest in “the guiding principles of actual science.”

Genuine climate scientist (and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology) Dr. Judith Curry echoes Tracinski.

Politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren use “science” as a way of “declaring belief in a proposition which is outside their knowledge and which they do not understand.

The purpose of the trope is to bypass any meaningful discussion of these separate questions, rolling them all into one package deal – and one political party ticket,” she explains.

The ultimate purpose of all this, of course, is to silence the dissenting voices of evidence- and reality-based climate science, block the creation of a Presidential Committee on Climate Science, and ensure that the only debate is over which actions to take first to end fossil fuel use … and upend modern economies.

The last thing fake/alarmist climate scientists want is a full-throated debate with real climate scientists – a debate that forces them to defend their doomsday assertions, methodologies, data manipulation … and claims that solar and other powerful natural forces are minuscule or irrelevant compared to man-made carbon dioxide that constitutes less than 0.02% of Earth’s atmosphere (natural CO2 adds another 0.02%).

Thankfully, there are many reasons for hope. For recognizing that we do not face a climate crisis, much less threats to our very existence.

For realizing there is no need to subject ourselves to punitive carbon taxes or the misery, poverty, deprivation, disease, and death that banning fossil fuels would cause.

Between the peak of the great global cooling scare in 1975 until around 1998, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperatures did rise in rough conjunction.

But then temperatures mostly flat-lined, while CO2 levels kept climbing. Now actual average global temperatures are already 1°F below the Garbage In-Garbage Out computer model predictions. Other alarmist forecasts are also out of touch with reality.

Instead of fearing rising CO2, we should thank it for making our crops, forest and grassland plants grow faster and better, benefitting nature and humanity – especially in conjunction with slightly warmer temperatures that extend growing seasons, expand arable land and increase crop production.

The rate of sea level rise has not changed for over a century – and much of what alarmists attribute to climate change and rising seas are actually due to land subsidence and other factors.

Weather is not becoming more extreme. In fact, Harvey was the first Category 3-5 hurricane to make US landfall in a record 12 years – and the number of violent F3 to F5 tornadoes has fallen from an average of 56 per year from 1950 to 1985 to only 34 per year since then.

Human ingenuity and adaptability have enabled humans to survive and thrive in all sorts of climates, even during our far more primitive past.

Allowed to use our brains, fossil fuels, and technologies, we will deal just fine with whatever climate changes might confront us in the future. (Of course, another nature-driven Pleistocene-style glacier pulling 400 feet of water out of our oceans and crushing Northern Hemisphere forests and cities under mile-high walls of ice truly would be an existential threat to life as we know it.)

So if NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and other egotistical grand-standing politicians and fake climate scientists want to ban fossil fuels, glass-and-steel buildings, cows and even hotdogs– in the name of preventing “dangerous man-made climate change” – let them impose their schemes on themselves and their own families.

The rest of us are tired of being made guinea pigs in their fake-science experiments.


Tim Blair's lesson for all the student climate protestors

Attention, students. Because so many of you missed Friday’s classes, what with your little climate party and all, today I’m assigning extra work.

Let’s begin with mathematics. 558,400,000 is a really big number. Can anyone here tell me what it might represent? No?

Well, that’s the amount in tonnes of carbon dioxide that Australia emitted last year.

I’ll just pause here for a minute until Samantha stops crying. By the way, Samantha, your sign at the climate rally needed a possessive apostrophe and “planet” was spelled incorrectly, so I’m putting you back in remedial English again.

Where were we? Oh, yes. 558,400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Let’s see how we can reduce that number. Ban coal mining? That’ll knock off a big chunk.

Ban petrol-powered vehicles? Good call. That’s another slab of emissions gone.

Does the class believe we should ban all mining? You do. Interesting. For your homework tonight, I want you all to design batteries that contain no nickel or cadmium.

Good luck getting to school in electric cars without those.

And there’ll be no more steel wind turbines once the iron ore mines are closed. It’s just the price we’ll have to pay, I suppose.

Even with all those bans, however, Australia will still be churning out carbon dioxide by the magical solar-powered truckload. Cuts need to go much further.

More people means more human activity which means more carbon dioxide, so let’s permanently ban immigration. Is the class agreed?

Hmmm. You’re not quite so enthusiastic about that one. Come on, students. Sacrifices must be made.

Speaking of which, how many of you have grandparents? Not any more you don’t.

And Samantha is crying again. Can someone please take her to the school safe space and let her “process some emotions”, or whatever the hell it is you kids do in there? Thank you.

Who agrees we need to simplify our lives in order to reduce emissions? Returning to earlier times, when emissions were much lower, might help save our earth.

So goodbye to air travel, the internet and your cell phones. People got by without them in the past and they’ll survive without them in our sustainable future.

Still, those emissions will be way too high. Just for fun, let’s ban Australia and see what happens.

All factories, houses, streets, farms – gone. All people gone. Every atom of human presence on this land mass, completely erased.

At that point we’ll have finally cut our emissions to nothing. We’ve subtracted an annual 558,400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Congratulations, children. By eliminating Australia, you’ve just reduced the world’s yearly generation of carbon dioxide from 37,100,000,000 tonnes to just … 36,541,600,000 tonnes.

Still, every tiny reduction helps, right? Maybe not. Let’s have a quick geography lesson. Tyler, please point out China on this map. No; that’s Luxembourg. China is a bit bigger. Try over here. There you go.

Here’s the thing about China. How long will it take for China to produce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that we’ve slashed by vanishing Australia? One year? Two years? Five years?

Not quite. Start the carbon dioxide clock on China right now, and that one enormous nation will have matched our annual output by April 5. China adds a whole Australia to the global emissions total every twenty days.

For that matter, China will have added another 1,190,953 tonnes by the end of this one-hour class.

Even a tiny increase in China’s output puts Australia in the shade. Various experts last year estimated that China was on course for a five per cent carbon dioxide boost.

This would mean an extra 521,637,550 tonnes – or basically what Australia generates. Our total is the same as China’s gentle upswing.

So maybe your protest was in the wrong country. Here’s another assignment: write letters to the Chinese government demanding it stops dragging people out of poverty.

Make sure you include your full name and address, because the Chinese government is kind of big on keeping records. Send a photograph of yourself standing in front of your parents’ house.

You might repeat this process in India. In fact, rather than going to Europe for your next big family holiday, prevail upon your parents to visit India instead. The tiny village of Salaidih would be the perfect place to tell slum-dwelling residents they shouldn’t have electricity.

They’ll probably thank you for it. Or they should, if they aren’t stupid climate deniers. Indian paupers must avoid making the same tragic affluence mistakes as us, so we must keep their carbon footprints as tiny as possible.

Can you imagine how terrible is would be for the earth if all of India’s one billion-plus population owned cars and airconditioners? It really doesn’t bear thinking about.

One further assignment: tonight, locate a clean, green alternative source for $66 billion in exports. That’s how much was raised last year by the Australian coal industry.

Working it out won’t be too much of a challenge, I’m sure. After all, you know science and stuff. About half of your signs on Friday claimed you know more about all these things than does the Prime Minister.

Show him how advanced your brains are by devising a brand-new multi-billion export bonanza.

Hey, look who’s back! Feeling better, Samantha? That’s nice. Feelings are the most important thing of all.



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


No comments: