Exposing lies, distortions and ignorance but supporting realistic nature conservation...  

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31 May, 2004


The introduction to an article by Patrick J. Michaels -- a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute:

"As a scientist, I bristle when lies dressed up as "science" are used to influence political discourse. The latest example is the global-warming disaster flick, The Day After Tomorrow. This film is propaganda designed to shift the policy of this nation on climate change. At least that's what I take from producer Mark Gordon's comment that "part of the reason we made this movie" was to "raise consciousness about the environment."

Fox spokesman Jeffrey Godsick says, "The real power of the movie is to raise consciousness on the issue of (global warming)." 'Nuff said.

Oh, the plot. Global warming causes the Gulf Stream to shut down. This current normally brings tropical warmth northward and makes Europe much more comfortable than it should be at its northerly latitude. The heat stays stuck in the tropics, the polar regions get colder, and the atmosphere suddenly flips over in a "superstorm." The frigid stratosphere trades places with our habitable troposphere, and in a matter of days, an ice age ensues. Temperatures drop 100 degrees an hour in Canada. Hurricanes ravage Belfast. Folks in Japan are clobbered by bowling-ball-size hailstones. If we had only listened to concerned scientists and stopped global warming when we could.

Each one of these phenomena is physically impossible

Start with the Gulf Stream. Carl Wunsch, a professor of physical oceanography at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, knows more about ocean currents than most anyone. He thinks the nonsense in The Day After Tomorrow detracts from the seriousness of the global-warming issue. So he recently wrote in the prestigious science journal Nature that the scenario depicted in the movie requires one to "turn off the wind system, or to stop the Earth's rotation, or both."....."

More here


I have borrowed this entire post from Commonsense & Wonder. See the original for links

The NYT Book Review is in overdrive with global warming hype this weekend.

Verlyn Klinkenborg, who writes editorials for The Times, says, "Several significant new books on the environment are ... about to appear ... and they could settle the debate" about global warming "right now -- if people take the trouble to read them. They range from anecdotal, first-person accounts of vanishing Peruvian glaciers and Pacific islands slipping beneath a rising ocean, like Mark Lynas's 'High Tide' ... to profoundly sobering studies, like James Gustave Speth's 'Red Sky at Morning.'"

According to the authors of the updated "Limits to Growth," writes Klinkenborg, "the ecological burden of humanity had already outstripped the carrying capacity of the earth two decades ago -- as the first edition of this book, originally published in 1972, warned it would." "What is news is the nature of the evidence. There are signs that global warming and environmental degradation are accelerating much more quickly than anyone expected even 10 years ago."

Ross Gelbspan, a former Boston Globe reporter and editor, "argues that on matters of scientific fact, journalists employ an essentially unfair idea of 'balance' -- treating global warming as though it were still a matter of open conjecture."

"One With Nineveh" reports that "we are well past the threshold of inevitable change and on the cusp of climate destabilization," says Klinkenborg.

Firstly, I've never read anything in the NYT or any other mainstream press which refers to global warming as anything other than accepted, written in stone fact, contrary to Mr. Gelbspan's assertions. The big problem is that there is a complete lack of balance on the issue. Evidence against global warming as a phenomena or as a natural as opposed to human caused phenomena or if it exists whether or not it will be a disaster or a boon is almost entirely lacking in the press. And as for the authors of the updated "Limits to Growth" and the Ehrlichs, how frequently and consistently must people be wrong before they are no longer paid any attention to. I guess if you preach the leftist gospel of imminent doom which requires massive government interference to halt, then 30 years of bad opinions aren't enough. For some balance and a few alternate viewpoints you can look here, here, here, here, here, here, here or here.

Now, this is not to claim that global warming doesn't exist or even that it may not be a problem. I am not a climate scientist, but I was trained as a physicist and know enough about science and its processes to know that when someone, particularly a reporter like Mr. Gelbspan who was most likely a journalism major and never took a science course in his life, claims that something as vastly complicated and with so many unknown (and unknowable) variables as climate science is not subject to debate, that he is full of shit and has not a clue of what he is talking about. And as for Ehrlich who received his degree studying the structure and genetics of butterfly populations has proven time and again that he is full of shit. Even if warming is a real secular trend and not just a transitory effect or merely and reversion from a unusually cool period there is no evidence that a slightly warmer earth would not generate large benefits in increased food production, larger species diversity, etc... as it has in past warmer periods (can you say Renaissnance?). So before we engage in massive, growth and technology limiting restrictions we better be damn more sure than NYT and other reporters think we are about the actual parameters of the problem. Because one thing I do know for sure is that lower growth rates and less technology will mean more future deaths, shorter lives, more health problems and worse living conditions for many if not most of the people on the planet.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


30 May, 2004


Even natural gas is no good. Only impractical alternatives get the Greenie seal of approval, of course:

"Hundreds of people rallied downtown Saturday against the construction of a $550-million natural-gas-powered electrical generation station near Montreal. The march was organized by a coalition of environmental and social groups who say the project will increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Andre Belisle, spokesman for the Quebec Green Coalition for Kyoto, said the province should look at cleaner forms of energy. "People want wind power energy, solar energy and we want to remind the government of that," Belisle said".


S. Fred Singer is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and president of the Science & Environmental Policy Project based in Arlington, Virginia. He has served as director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. Excerpts from his latest article:

"The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, insists on lowering [carbon dioxide] emissions.... At best, Kyoto would merely slow down somewhat the rate of rise, which by the year 2020 will be largely determined by emissions from major developing countries like China, India, Brazil, and Mexico -- none of which are covered by the accord. The Kyoto Protocol's main emphasis is on carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels. By contrast, the powerful greenhouse gas methane is barely mentioned-perhaps because its main sources, while human-related, are "natural": rice agriculture and cattle-raising. Furthermore, the Protocol does not mention other factors that affect the climate, such as sulfate aerosols from coal-fired power plants, soot from diesel engines, and smoke from the burning of biomass (mostly in developing countries). The Kyoto Protocol, therefore, would have practically no impact on global temperatures....

An even more serious embarrassment to the IPCC claim is the fact that the global atmosphere has not warmed appreciably in the last quarter century. The IPCC climate models very specifically call for the atmosphere to warm faster than the surface as a result of the greenhouse effect. The warming rate is supposed to increase with the altitude up to about five miles. But data from weather satellites and weather balloons show no significant rise in the global mean temperature of the atmosphere, in stark contradiction to the climate models.....

The response of global-warming theorists to these contrary findings has been twofold: One strategy has been to attack and try to discredit both the satellite data and the re-analysis of the proxy data; the other has been simply to ignore any contrary evidence. They make repeated references to the "warming of the last 25 years" but never mention the total lack of warming evidenced in both satellite and balloon observations.....

Over the last twelve years, since Rio de Janeiro, an impressive set of stakeholders has been built up: international bureaucrats and national bureaucracies; industries that build, sell, and operate wind energy and solar energy technologies; and a multitude of non-governmental organizations that make their living from climate scares. In addition, there is the $4 billion a year spent by the U.S. federal government alone on climate studies and on research related to the mitigation of global warming. These stakeholders do not ultimately care about the details of the Kyoto Protocol; the important thing to them is the process, which must be kept alive.

Economists must offer convincing demonstrations of what is already apparent from the data: that modest warming correlates with increased GNP, higher average income, and enhanced living standards across the globe; and that carbon dioxide, rather than being a pollutant, benefits the growth of agricultural crops and forests. Economists must also demonstrate that control of carbon dioxide imposes huge economic penalties, particularly on lower-income groups. This is a matter of making the facts known".


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


29 May, 2004


Excerpts from TCS on evidence for global COOLING being deliberately ignored and distorted

"A new paper appearing today in the journal Nature purports to solve the long standing "problem" of the satellite-based global temperature record not showing much warming over the last 25 years (only +0.085 deg C/decade -- about a third of what is expected from climate models for the troposphere). Instead, all it does is help answer the question: "is the quality of peer review in the popular science journals getting worse?" (The answer is "yes.")

By way of background, the Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) on the NOAA polar orbiting satellites measure deep layers of the atmosphere, with each instrument channel measuring the average temperature of a different layer. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and I discovered in 1990 that these instruments were so stable in their calibration that we have been using them ever since for climate monitoring of tropospheric and lower stratospheric temperatures since the satellite record began in 1978.

The lowest layer (the troposphere) is measured by channel 2, and this is where global warming is supposed to occur. The lower stratospheric layer is measured by MSU channel 4. Christy and I have measured substantial cooling (-0.47 deg. C/decade) in this layer over the same 25 year period.

Enter the new Nature study. The authors, noticing that channel 4 measures the extreme upper portion of the layer that channel 2 measures (see Fig. 1), decided to use the MSU channel 4 to remove the stratospheric influence on MSU channel 2. At first, this sounds like a reasonable approach. We also tried this thirteen years ago. But we quickly realized that in order for two channels to be combined in a physically meaningful way, they must have a large percentage of overlap. As can be seen in Fig. 1, there is very little overlap

This kind of mistake would not get published with adequate peer review of manuscripts submitted for publication. But in recent years, a curious thing has happened. The popular science magazines, Science and Nature, have seemingly stopped sending John Christy and me papers whose conclusions differ from our satellite data analysis. This is in spite of the fact that we are (arguably) the most qualified people in the field to review them. This is the second time in nine months that these journals have let papers be published in the satellite temperature monitoring field that had easily identifiable errors in their methodology.

I will admit to being uneasy about airing scientific dirty laundry in an op-ed. But as long as these popular science journals insist on putting news value ahead of science, then I have little choice. The damage has already been done. A paper claiming to falsify our satellite temperature record has been published in the "peer reviewed" literature, and the resulting news reports will never be taken back. This is one reason increasing numbers of scientists regard Science and Nature as "gray" scientific literature.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


28 May, 2004


Some 842 million people - 13% of the world's population - don't have enough food to eat each day. Millions of them face starvation in Africa because of droughts and armed conflicts in countries that include Sudan, Angola and Uganda. In one sense, that's an old story - so old, it makes even sympathetic eyes glaze over. But it could have a new happy ending that, remarkably, has yet to be written. While the script promises a reliable, cheap food supply for all who are hungry, some fear that outcome the way villagers were terrified by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein monster.

In fact, fearful environmentalists and their political allies call the solution "Frankenfood," crops genetically altered to resist disease, pests and drought, or staples engineered to add nutrients. Such crops could transform health in the poorest nations, the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization said in a report last week. Biotech rice alone could prevent 500,000 cases of blindness and 2 million children's deaths each year as a result of vitamin A deficiency.

Yet most of Europe, where a purist view of agriculture reigns, has banned biofoods because of health and environmental worries. That has caused some African nations to reject U.N. donations of foods containing bioengineered seeds; they fear their agricultural exports would be shut out of Europe.

The U.N. report challenged European myths about genetic modification, which has existed since our ancestors used microorganisms to make bread, wine and cheese. No serious illnesses tied to these foods have been documented, it notes. In the U.S., most foods are genetically modified in some way and must meet rigid safety standards. Technology is never risk-free, but given the minimal risks, denying the food to starving people defies reason and conscience.

More here.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


27 May, 2004


Court cases now favor timber cutting: "Since President Bush signed a new forestry law in December, the government has won 17 straight court cases favoring timber cutting over challenges by environmentalists. Bush pushed for the law that sponsors named the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, saying it would reduce wildfires in national forests by thinning trees while also limiting appeals and environmental reviews of proposed timber sales.

The court victories mark a turnabout from recent years, when environmentalists succeeded in delaying and halting logging projects that the Bush administration and many Western lawmakers said could have removed the trees and underbrush fueling wildfires."


"The alarms about runaway global warming have been ringing for several decades now. According to eco-Liberals (modern-day Luddites to whom modern industry is a curse, though they gladly enjoy its benefits) and scientists who want to keep their grant money flowing, we humans are about to destroy the delicate balance of Nature. Our sin of emission consists of greenhouse gases -- mostly water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and sulfur dioxide. Americans are usually cast as the worst offenders against Nature... or perhaps America's a safe target because we're one of the few countries that doesn't simply laugh off or imprison both scientists and Liberals. Curiously enough, America isn't even the top emitter of some greenhouse gases -- Australia and Canada are ahead of us in line for that distinction in the carbon dioxide category.

But is it serious science, or agenda-driven fear-mongering? The theory that global warming is running amuck is based on half a century of observation (taken out of context and exaggerated) which shows that the global mean temperature has risen by half a degree Fahrenheit during that time, and perhaps a whole degree over the last 150 years. At the moment, the Earth just happens to be in an interglacial period between ice ages. We're technically still emerging from the last one, which "ended" only about 10,000 years ago. In fact, during the last thousand years, the global mean temperature rose to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (during the late 12th century) and fell to 47 degrees (in the late 17th century) before rising to its 1998 peak of 58 degrees. Is that consistent with a slight fluctuation in the global mean temperature over the course of 150 years? You bet it is. Does it mean the temperature will necessarily continue to rise? Of course not. In fact, though succeeding years have still been warmer than average, they were less warm than 1998. Satellite data also indicates a slight cooling (especially in the southern hemisphere), if anything. Furthermore, an objective look at the global temperature data in context shows that the Earth is not, in fact, the warmest it has been in the last 2000 years. The global mean temperature has been even higher than it is today three times -- once just before and once after 700AD, and once just before 1000AD. Modern temperature averages only look unusual when scientists compare current instrument readings against reconstructed historical temperature data. If you "reconstruct" current data the same way as historical data, and look at today's temperatures in context, the entire case for global warming hysteria dries up.

The problem is that there is no "balance of nature," which implies a status quo that must be adhered to. The Earth has always been in a constant, if slow, state of flux. Weather cycles run in terms of centuries, if not millennia. Geological cycles run in terms of millions of years. The mean temperature of the Earth has risen and fallen in cycles for billions of years, almost all of it without being affected in the slightest by human beings."

More here.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


26 May, 2004


What a dilemma for the little petals!

"Global warming is now advancing so swiftly that only a massive expansion of nuclear power as the world's main energy source can prevent it overwhelming civilisation, the scientist and celebrated Green guru, James Lovelock, says.

His call will cause huge disquiet for the environmental movement. It has long considered the 84-year-old radical thinker among its greatest heroes, and sees climate change as the most important issue facing the world, but it has always regarded opposition to nuclear power as an article of faith."

(Via No Watermelons)


Rude awakening for hybrid dreamers: "Hybrid-electric cars are the flavor of the moment for environmental campaigners. Activists like Arianna Huffington, Larry David and Leonardo DiCaprio urge us all to "break the chain" and drive them. Al Gore, meanwhile, used the previews last week of the scientifically implausible disaster film The Day After Tomorrow to commend them, saying, "I think the new fuel-efficient vehicles represent ethical choices." Yet there are a few problems with this dream of a hybrid tomorrow. Surveys show that people are highly resistant to them; their owners are starting to realize that they aren't quite as fuel-efficient as advertised....

Yet even those who already own hybrid electric vehicles are beginning to turn restive. It seems, for instance, that the owners are simply not getting the fuel efficiency they thought they were buying. John DiPietro, a road test editor of the automotive website, explained in a recent article on ("Hybrid Mileage Comes Up Short", May 11, 2004) that hybrid drivers hardly ever experience the actual miles per gallon advertised by the EPA (Brock Yates alerted TCS readers to this issue back in 2002). Most automobiles would have actual miles per gallon performance of approximately 75 to 87 percent of the EPA's rating. However, data from Consumer Reports' extensive road tests suggest that the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius averaged well under 60 percent of the EPA's reported miles per gallon when operating on city streets. The Civic Hybrid was getting only 26 mpg in the city.

Pete Blackshaw was particularly passionate about hybrid technology and greater fuel efficiency when he bought his Honda Civic Hybrid, so much so that he started a blog on the subject. Yet his experiences did not turn out the way he expected, as he encountered the problem of lower-than-expected fuel efficiency coupled with inadequate customer support from Honda. After his blog was publicized on Wired and Slashdot, he was deluged with a wave of advice on how to drive his car:
"Don't drive fast. Check the tires. Careful on hills. Don't drive fast. No quick starts. No short trips. Turn off air conditioner. Use cruise control. Don't drive fast. Don't use the stereo. Ignore the meter, focus on the actual tank! Read the manual! Wait for 5,000 miles. No speeding. Wait for 10,000 miles. No, 15,000 miles. .


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


25 May, 2004


It has been known for years that part of the arctic -- mainly the ocean-covered part -- is warming up. And nobody knows why, though it seems to be part of some natural fluctuation. Other parts, such as Greenland, may actually be cooling down, as may antarctica. So today all that is hot news again and cause for a big panic. Even the panic merchants admit how localized the effects are, however: ""There is dramatic climate change happening in the Arctic right now... about two to three times the pace of the whole globe," said Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment" and: "Some parts of Alaska have heated up 10 times more than the global average, said Corell". And in a supreme example of illogic, what is responsible for these LOCAL effects? Why, GLOBAL warming, of course.

I suppose someone will have to read the 1800 page report, which "combines input from scientists, indigenous peoples and eight Arctic-rim nations", but it won't be me. See my post below of 19th for more on arctic ice.


I knew it! Like many things that are poisonous in large doses, lead has hormetic effects (i.e. small doses are actually good for you). See the last paragraph below. On 14th April I also noted here that another heavy metal excoriated by the Greenies -- mercury -- seems to have hormetic effects too

"Last January, the Washington Post revealed that corroding lead pipes were contaminating the city's drinking water. Officials at the local Water and Sewer Authority had known about the lead in the water since 2002 and had quietly notified those whose drinking water had been found to have elevated lead levels. But it was after the Post "broke" the story that Washingtonians evinced the type of righteous indignation that often accompanies perceived cases of bureaucratic indifference to the public's health......

First, a bit of history is in order. Lead has been used for thousands of years for everything from bullets to fancy crystal tableware to water pipes. Today, lead is integral to umpteen useful products: the bibs that shield you from X-rays, the screen on your computer, the battery in your car. Given its wide use, lead is ubiquitous—found in air, soil, dust, paint, and water contaminated by corroding pipes. (Lead dust and lead paint are considered the most prevalent source of contamination.) Therefore, humans can't really avoid inhaling or ingesting it.....

In D.C., it's unclear whether lead in the water is affecting children's blood-lead levels. Not every District child has been tested, but of the 1,692 kids under age 6 who were evaluated as of late-April, 35—2.1 percent of those tested—had blood-lead levels higher than 10 micrograms per deciliter. Among the 13 children living in houses where the water-lead levels were more than 20 times the EPA-threshold, none had elevated blood-lead levels....

A 1994 roundup of those lead-IQ studies that did take these factors into account concluded that a rise in lead blood-levels from, say, 10 micrograms per deciliter to 20 might indeed cause a "small" IQ deficit of perhaps one to two points in childhood.....

Furthermore, though lead is one of the most studied environmental toxins, the literature is suggestive, but not necessarily conclusive.... And a 2003 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, counterintuitively suggested that blood-lead levels below 10 micrograms per deciliter, the CDC threshold, might somehow lead to more dramatic IQ deficits than those above 10 micrograms per deciliter."

More here. See also my post of 22nd. April.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


24 May, 2004


The movie, "The Day After Tomorrow":

"Independence Day was an unashamedly silly film, aspiring to little more than to entertain. The Day After Tomorrow, however, is being touted as carrying a serious message about climate change. Emmerich says 'the threat of global climate change is the only problem big enough to force all the countries of the world to stop fighting and work together to save the planet'.... According to the film's producer Mark Gordon, 'this is science fact, although we have collapsed the time period to make the coming of this ice age happen much more quickly' ..

Statistician Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, [says]: 'If The Day After Tomorrow had no claims to be anything more than another cheesy Hollywood movie with some fabulous special effects, we could happily turn a blind eye to its bogus science.' But, as Lomborg says, 'the film claims to be offering something more than this'.

Summing up the thinking behind this scaremongering, a senior executive behind the film says that it's 'not a documentary, but it's very scary to think that it could be one' ... So is this film the work of an inventive bunch of storytellers out to entertain, or the work of environmentalist crusaders out to debate science? The answer you get from the filmmakers depends on whether they stand to gain publicity from a scientific debate about the film (in which case, it's serious), or whether you're taking them to task over the film's scientific accuracy (in which case, it's just entertainment)....

There is a general acceptance today that assuming worst-case scenarios when predicting the future, seeing people as a problem and the environment as something that needs saving, and characterising the comforts and technologies of modern life as irresponsible, are all correct attitudes to hold. Since these attitudes are not scientific in essence, but political, they can happily find affirmation in a far-fetched film whose science is all over the place."

There is a detailed dissection of the background to the movie here. And Rather Biased notes the dishonest way Dan Rather and CBS have promoted the movie. See also my post of 8th.


An inconvenient application of plate tectonics

In my post of 19th about arctic ice, I pointed out that most of the arctic is covered by the sea, so most of the ice in the arctic is floating on water -- and it is basic physics that melting ice does NOT raise the water level. So even if all the sea-ice in the world melted, the sea level would stay exactly where it is now. It would not cause ANY flooding of places that are at present above water. I pointed out that only the melting of land-based ice could raise the level of the oceans and that land-based arctic ice does NOT appear to be melting -- thus throwing a major Greenie scare into a cocked hat. In response, a reader sent in this succinct comment: "Since lands are floating on magma, the rebound of land as ice melts also has to be factored in". So, to oversimplify a little, even if all the earth's ice DID melt (which seems to be unknown throughout the geologic history of the last billion years or thereabouts), there might be no overall "drowning" of the land. The land could rise to cancel out the rise in sea level. Some land would rise and some would fall relative to the sea-level. It's all pretty speculative but no more so than most of what passes for gospel among the Greenies.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


23 May, 2004


Another nasty one for the Greenies: Scientists have found ways of making major food crops much more salt-tolerant. So we should in the future be able to grow crops on poor and saline soils (of which Australia has millions of acres) and even use sea-water to irrigate them (Mangroves and marine angiosperms live quite happily in salt water, after all) . So that food-shortage that the Greenies have been predicting for decades now just got pushed back yet again. Though with the way the earth's population is ceasing to grow, there was never any likelihood of food shortages anyway. According to the Greenies of the 60s, we should all be starving to death and eating soylent green (cannibalism) by now. Instead, the world has continued to be plagued by agricultural surpluses, not shortages.


Will we run out of energy? "With gas prices exceeding $2 per gallon, an alarmed American public is prone to believe scary predictions about a future without gas. And so into this hyper-charged environment will step a number of commentators who claim to marshall all the data to show that we must dramatically change our lives.

For example: "Civilization as we know it will come to an end sometime in this century unless we can find a way to live without fossil fuels." Alarmist David Goodstein begins and ends his new book, Out of Gas, with this warning....

Dire warnings about oil shortages have been around almost since oil wells were first drilled. In the late 1800s, the oil fields in the eastern U.S. were in decline raising doubts about the possibility of providing for U.S. energy needs....

Goodstein depends on empirical findings while ignoring the data that contradicts his argument. He ignores the fact that energy alarmists have always underestimated future oil supplies and he dismisses the possibility of developing vast quantities of unconventional sources of oil.

Oil production declines will create incentives to find more conventional oil, to use unconventional oil, and to develop new energy alternatives. Government intervention makes our energy situation more precarious. Goodstein fails to understand any of these issues.

Though the book has received favorable press for alerting us to alleged energy problems that confront us, its main value is that it compiles the economic fallacies regarding a potential energy crisis into a single slim volume."


Greenies are very big on the claim that oil is is a fossil fuel which took eons of our past to create. So by using it we are said to be using up almost overnight something which cannot be replaced and of which there is very little. Michael Ross has a simple account of why it makes no sense to claim that oil is a "fossil" fuel. (See also my post of 2nd. below). Excerpt:

"When I was at school I was taught that oil comes from vast areas of rainforest that somehow got covered over with a bunch of dirt, and over time the forests kind of fermented and became oil. And coal was formed when other forests were likewise covered over with dirt. BUT this time there was some heat and pressure and it made all the wood and stuff become coal rock.

I always had a problem with those concepts. I couldn't understand how trees and other vegetation could turn into oil as claimed. Specially, when considering there are vast oil fields. These tree forests had to be thick. Real thick. So thick and lush there wouldn't have been any room for light to penetrate anything - which would make them not so thick and lush after all.

It just didn't add up to me. Rotting trees becoming oil. Dead trees under pressure becoming coal rock.

And my puzzlement was added to when I was given a bottle of oil as it comes right up out of the ground. My uncle was high up in the oil rigs business and one thing led to another and I got a bottle of unrefined unprocessed oil (sauce bottle size) direct as it came up at 90 degrees Celsius.

The odd thing about that oil was that it got lumpy. It didn't stay a liquid. It solidified. Hardened. I never understood why. But thought it was odd.

Recently, I've discovered a theory which satisfies my doubts and makes more sense than "trees rotted and become oil". The theory basically puts forth the idea that oil did not become made when trees got covered over with dirt BUT it already existed! Just like other things on this planet seem to already exist. AND, that the oil wells are constantly being refilled from deeper within the Earth.

To help prove his point, the scientist who has put forth this theory has drilled into granite and found oil! There were never any trees growing under granite rocks, so the oil must have been there first.

He also analyzed the organisms found within the oil. And found them to vary depending upon how deep they extracted the oil - and thus how hot the oil was. He found organisms living in the appropriate heat bands within the oil.

He further puts forth that coal is basically solidified oil. And this makes sense to me as the oil I had solidified over time right in the bottle"


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


22 May, 2004


(But President Putin has made it clear that getting favours from the EU matters a lot more to him than anything else involved. So it looks like Russia will ratify the treaty after all)

"The Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gases has no scientific basis and puts the Russian economy at risk, Russia's leading scientists said in official advice to President Vladimir Putin.

In the document, obtained by Reuters on Monday, the Russian Academy of Sciences said the global treaty would not stabilise greenhouse gases even if it came into force.

The Academy drew up the summary after a request from Putin, who has the power to kill off the treaty worldwide by refusing to pass it to parliament for ratification. Some diplomats hope for a decision on the matter by the end of the week.

"The Kyoto Protocol has no scientific foundation," said the first of the Academy's conclusions, adopted in a closed session last Friday".

More here


Paul Ehrlich has never been right. Why does anyone still listen to him?

"Environmentalist Paul Ehrlich has proved himself to be a stupendously bad prophet. In 1968 he declared: "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines--hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." They didn't. Indeed, a "green revolution" nearly tripled the world's food supply. In 1975, he predicted that, by the mid-1980s, "mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity," in which "accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion." Far from it. Between 1975 and 2000 the World Bank's commodity price index for minerals and metals fell by nearly 50%. In other words, we abound in "key minerals." Naturally, Mr. Ehrlich has won a MacArthur Foundation genius award-- and a Heinz Award for the environment. (Yes, that Heinz: Teresa Heinz Kerry is chairman of the award's sponsoring philanthropy.)....

Of course, there are environmental problems, although not the global warming the authors fear. (Satellite data now suggest that such warming will be mild over the next century--about a degree Celsius.) But the depletion of fisheries and tropical forests is real enough. Alas, the Ehrlichs and most of their ecological confreres miss the central reason for it: the tragedy of the commons, where nobody owns a resource--forest, fish, water--and thus no one has a reason to protect it. By contrast, enclosing the commons, by assigning owners, internalizes costs and benefits, and allows markets to determine the value of any given resource. With characteristic wrongheadedness, they advocate instead eroding property rights, thus enlarging the commons and tending to make environmental problems worse".

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


21 May , 2004


Extreme weather? "As for the extreme weather events that can cause storm surges and which form a big part of the movie, there is no comfort for Al Gore even there. Madhav Khandekar, recently retired after 25 years with Environment Canada, is an expert on extreme weather events and edited a special issue of the International Journal of Natural Hazards on the subject last year. He told the audience that extreme weather events as defined by the IPCC are not increasing anywhere in North America at this point in time. Nor, based on available studies, does there appear to be any increasing trend in extreme weather events elsewhere."


A Greenie gloat about the low birthrate in the developed world

Amazing: The original Moonbat has escaped from the Guardian and now has an article in the Spectator. He's still not taking his pills, though. He writes about population economics as if he knew something about it -- and his conclusions are predictably misanthropic and wrong: "The world will be a happier and better place with fewer people". See here for a better-informed account of the matter.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


20 May, 2004


Cafe Hayek summarizes why we are not running out of oil and why we are not likely to. And Michael Kantor has some sarcastic comments on Krugman's latest bleat about oil shortages. See also my post of 2nd. about oil NOT being a fossil fuel.


The Leftist Mother Jones has a surprisingly good article on using hydrogen as an alternative fuel to petroleum products. It first notes that some unlikely characters are behind this bit of pandering to Greenie hysteria:

"Last Tuesday was a good day for fans of a hydrogen-fueled future. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced federal funding of $350 million for research projects to establish a hydrogen economy-a follow-up to Bush's statement in the State of the Union address last year that he would set aside $1.2 billion for hydrogen study, making hydrogen the clean fuel du jour --and California's Gov. Schwarzenegger announced plans to build a "hydrogen highway" of 200 fueling stations in California by 2010. Both Schwarzenegger and the federal government are preparing for a transition to hydrogen-fueled cars, perhaps within ten years. Schwarzenegger said that by 2010 he also hopes to see at least 500,000 hydrogen-fuel vehicles on California roads"

The article then notes just one of the major problems with hydrogen:

"The most serious argument against hydrogen, though, is that the process for extracting it may cause more pollution than gas-run cars, some experts say. Because hydrogen is bound up in molecules of water or hydrocarbons like natural gas, a great deal of energy must be used to unbind it. The most common method for "mining" hydrogen involves treating natural gas with steam. But with rising prices and declining domestic reserves, natural gas is not the most ideal candidate. Electricity can separate hydrogen atoms from oxygen atoms in water, but this method is expensive and dirty. Hydrogen may also be extracted from coal."

No doubt human ingenuity will make hydrogen-fuled cars a reasonable proposition if we ever really need them, but, in the unlikely event that oil ever runs out, the easy and obvious alternative is ethanol (industrial alcohol). It can be used and is used in the sort of cars we have now, its raw material is natural and highly renewable sugar, of which the world has a chronic surplus, and its cost is only a little above the cost of the stuff we use now. And Australian sugar-cane mills use cane waste (bagasse) as their major fuel. So producing the sugar does not require big external energy inputs. And turning the sugar into alcohol is not energy-intensive either. Little bugs (yeast) do all the work.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


19 May, 2004


That will upset the Green/Left. Here's betting that they get that overturned

"Biotechnology, including genetic modification, must be backed by government money if it is to bring wide benefits to the developing world, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Monday. The organisation gave its strongest support yet to the possible benefits of biotechnology but stressed that a cautious crop-by-crop approach and more funding by national governments were crucial. So far, investment by the private biotech industry, totalling $3bn (?2.5bn, o1.7bn) a year, had been largely concentrated on four commodity crops: cotton, soya, maize and canola, or rapeseed.

Jacques Diouf, the FAO director-general, said: "Neither the private nor the public sector has invested significantly in new genetic technologies for the so-called 'orphan crops' such as cowpea, millet, sorghum and teff that are critical for the food supply and livelihoods of the world's poorest people.

In a report, the FAO gave its strongest backing to the use of biotechnology - including controversial transgenic techniques - saying it could increase yields.

It supported much of the current GM technology, saying it had already produced benefits. Some crops, notably insect-resistant cotton, had proven economic benefits for small as well as large farmers and the use of toxic chemicals had been reduced, it said. "The evidence also suggests farmers and consumers so far are reaping a larger share of the economic benefits of transgenic crops than the companies that develop and market them," it said."

More here


There seems to be evidence that arctic ice is melting while antarctic ice is increasing. There is a properly cautious article here that notes the melting of the arctic ice but says that nobody knows why. There is one paragraph in it which notes something very awkward for the Greenies, however:

When Arctic ice melts, it does not raise the level of the ocean, threatening coastal communities with flooding. Like an ice cube in a drinking glass, sea ice only displaces ocean water, merely changing form when it melts. By contrast, land-based ice does pose a threat to coastlines if it melts too rapidly.

So Greenie hysteria over melting arctic ice is sheer ignorance. And guess what? The biggest body of land-based ice is in the ANTarctic! So sea levels are more likely (minutely likely, however) to fall, rather than rise!

The minority of Greenies who are scientifically sophisticated will of course reply that although the arctic cannot be a problem itself, it is a SYMPTOM of warming elsewhere in the Northern hemisphere. But the biggest land-based body of ice in the Northern hemisphere is probably the Greenland icecap. So what is happening in Greenland? In June, 2002, the BBC reported that Greenland is warming up. But in March, 2003 the BBC reported that Greenland is cooling down! What a difference 9 months can make! At least the second report is based on more long-term data. When will people accept that there is nothing systematic going on there at all? Just random variations beyond our control?

For a bit of fun about Greenland ice, however, read this


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


18 May, 2004

The costly fraud that is organic food

By Lord Taverne. Excerpts:

"Organic farming is a billion-pound industry. It is promoted by a stream of propaganda from green lobby groups, notably the Soil Association, and subsidised by government. Supermarkets like it because premium prices increase profits. Every lifestyle magazine regards organic food as synonymous with healthy living and every TV chef tells us that organic food tastes better. To question claims made by the organic lobby is not just akin to doubting the virtues of motherhood, but to reveal indifference to the poisoning of the nation and the fate of the planet, perhaps even to be guilty of corruption by American multinationals and of support for George Bush.

It is claimed that organic food is more natural and that its reliance on natural chemicals makes it safer than food grown with the help of synthetic ones. This is nonsense. There is nothing wholesome about natural chemicals like ricin or aflatoxin or botulinum toxin, or especially dangerous about synthetic chemicals like the sulphonamides, isoniazid that cures TB, or the painkiller paracetamol.

We are told we should eat organic food because pesticide residues harm us. As the FSA has pointed out, there is a disparity between public fears and the facts. Dietary contributions to cardiovascular disease and cancer probably account for more than 100,000 deaths a year; food poisoning for between 50 and 300. There are no known deaths from pesticide residues (or GM foods). A cup of coffee contains natural carcinogens equal to at least a year's worth of carcinogenic synthetic residues in the diet. If people are worried about the effect of pesticides in farming on wildlife or human health, they should promote pesticide-resistant GM crops, which reduce their use.

It is said that organic farming benefits wildlife. True, many people become organic farmers for environmental reasons, and achieve their aim. But studies show that environmental effects depend on the style of management, not the system of farming. In general, integrated farm management achieves the best results. What is most beneficial to birds and wildlife is low-till farming, which is made possible by cultivating GM crops. Organic farmers depend on the plough, which disturbs the ecology of the soil, releases more carbon dioxide, uses more fossil fuel and drives out nesting birds..... "

(Via Adam Smith Institute)


An excellent post on The Commons: "In a column for The Guardian, Jeremy Rifkin promotes the "Precautionary Principle" as an alternative to what he calls "Enlightenment science," which he says is too "primitive" to address the potentially global risks created by modern technological societies. The Precautionary Principle (PP) takes many forms, but a common statement of it by proponents is "When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically."

But Rifkin is selective about when he thinks the PP should be invoked. For example, last year Caltech scientists published research showing that widespread use of hydrogen for energy has the potential to damage the ozone layer and alter global climate. The results are uncertain and have been challenged by other researchers, but that's immaterial, for the PP requires a halt to any technology at the first hint of danger. Yet Rifkin, a hydrogen proponent, responded to the Caltech research by arguing that "when you move into a new energy source you have to assume there's going to be some environmental impact," but that replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen "is our hope for the future." Whatever principle Rifkin is following, it isn't the PP. In fact, Rifkin's statements about hydrogen sound much more like traditional risk assessment, based on the "primitive Enlightenment science" that's ostensibly no longer applicable in the modern world.

For Rifkin and other activists, the Precautionary Principle is not really a principle at all, but merely a political and rhetorical tactic to ban technologies and activities to which environmental activists are ideologically opposed".


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


17 May, 2004


Who do the local dictators think is going to end up paying the costs inflicted on builders? That extra $30,000 the developer has to pay to use a piece of land he already owns will just mean more years paying off the mortgage for the people who eventually buy the houses concerned

"Empty lots, green and neatly mowed, are scattered among the spanking new houses in the neighborhood Tom Troy is building.

Troy is planning to fill those lots with more $500,000 houses for commuters using the nearby rail line to Philadelphia or New York. But he can't break ground on the 90 empty lots until he pays to preserve one of about 20 farms remaining in Washington Township. Under a smart-growth program passed in New Jersey in March, builders like Troy can pay to preserve land that towns want to keep open - and in return build housing in areas the town wants to grow.....

Troy's company, Sharbell Development, bought 190 acres of the site for $10.8 million and has spent $100 million developing it. Buying development credits was part of the plan from the beginning, Troy says. "Now it's up to me to make the economics work." He wants to pay about $30,000 to fill each of his 90 empty lots.

More here.


"Greenpeace's 'blockade' of a ship carrying genetically engineered (GE) soya into Chioggia, Venice, ended on the evening of 12 May 2004, after three days.

Four activists from the Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, first boarded the Argentinean vessel, the Keoyang Majesty, on the morning of 9 May. They waved banners saying 'Don't buy GE food' and 'Defend yourself from GMOs' (genetically modified organisms). On the morning of 13 May, they began to disrupt the offloading and transportation of the GE cargo, boarding barges and an elevator used for these purposes. Six activists also placed themselves in canoes between a barge and the Keoyang Majesty.

Coordinated with the Chioggia campaign, another blockade started on 10 May in the Italian port of Ravenna. Seventy Greenpeace activists from six European countries blocked warehouses on the docks, preventing GE soya from being loaded from the depots for transport around the country.

According to Greenpeace, Italy imports about 4.2million tonnes of soybeans every year for animal feed, about three million tonnes of which are genetically modified (GM). The port of Ravenna accounts for an estimated two million tonnes of these imports, making it the main entry point into Italy. Greenpeace wants Chioggia and Ravenna to be 'GM free'.

These protests may seem radical, but what exactly was Greenpeace calling for? While Greenpeace would of course like to end GE imports into Italy, its specific request during the blockade in Chioggia was for the intervention of the Italian authorities to check that the cargo complied with European regulations.

The European Union (EU) hasn't allowed experimental or commercial growth of any new GM crops since 1998, or the imports of new GM-based food products. Eighteen biotech plants had been approved before this date, including soybeans. Since then, the European Commission has pushed through new laws on the traceability and labelling of GM products."

More here.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


16 May, 2004


Tibor Machan: "It's been a while since I have addressed in print the rank lobbying of my local environmentalist crowd. It's now time to speak up again.

Not only do they - the Canyon Land Conservation Fund is the name they have chosen for themselves - place their announcements on the local U.S. Postal Service's bulletin board (a definite no-no - it's a government facility and isn't supposed to be used for partisan political purposes). They are also unashamedly urging everyone to "walk or run to rescue one of Orange County's last rural beauties and preserve it for future generations," as the flyer puts it.


Here is the trouble with this shameless plea: What someone who holds to these ideas ought really to do is move out of the canyon, raze his or her own buildings and restore the land to its wild state, not demand that others stay out of the canyon. That would be holier than thou in spades. Instead, we get this unabashedly self-indulgent walking or running, for what? To keep things for themselves alone.

It is for this reason that I have decided to create a bumper sticker and have placed it on my vehicle, reading in beautiful green: "Share the Canyons!" Because these people of the conservation fund and all their cohorts have no hesitation about displaying bumper stickers that read: "Save the Canyons," as if somehow they alone had the divine right to live there, everyone else having to imagine it all from afar."

(Registration is required to view the full article but it may save you some hassle if you log in as "rationalreview" with the password "rationalreview")


More wacky "science": We are getting 15% less sunlight than we used to yet the earth is still getting warmer? You figure it! See also my post of 12th. The truth appears to be that warming effects tend to be self-cancelling -- something never allowed for in the scare stories

"Thanks to thicker clouds and growing air pollution, much of the Earth's surface is receiving about 15 per cent less sunlight than it did 50 years ago, according to Michael Roderick, a climate researcher at Australian National University in Canberra.

"Global dimming means the transmission of sunlight through the atmosphere is decreasing," Mr Roderick said. "Just look out the window when you fly into New York or to California - it's dimmer," said Beate Liepert, a climatologist at Columbia University in New York."



The earth is actually cooler now than it has been in the relatively recent past

A good comment on the global warming scare by UK conservative Norman Tebbitt (PDF): "In Roman times we were growing grapes in this country up to the Scottish border. In fact the imperial governor was getting rockets from Rome because we weren't importing enough wine from Italy, we were making too much of our known - plus ca change. So there is nothing new about climate change. It wasn't human activity which ended the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago, it wasn't human activity which caused it. So these things have always gone on. We would be foolish if we ignored the possibility that some of the things we are doing are affecting the climate - of course - but let's also be quite sure that the World Health authority, if it gets warmer, will not be counting the number of people who don't die in Britain in the winter because of the cold as being a benefit of global warming".


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


15 May, 2004


The prosection against Greenpeace just launched in the USA is a very token effort. It is so poorly based legally and the penalties for guilt are so slight that it obviously just a warning shot. But the reaction of Greenpeace shows their elitist mentality. They obviously think that they have a RIGHT to break the law. They are outraged that the prosecution might force them to behave legally, like everyone else. Winning their causes by lawful, democratic methods has obviously not occurred to them.

"The environmental group is accused of sailor mongering because it boarded a freighter in April 2002... Sailor mongering was rife in the 19th century when brothels sent prostitutes laden with booze onto ships as they made their way to harbor.

Greenpeace says the decision by the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute the organization rather than just the activists who boarded the APL Jade freighter is a sea change in policy, and a conviction would throttle free speech everywhere..... The case is unprecedented, not just because of the bizarre nature of the crime. Six Greenpeace activists were charged after the 2002 protest in choppy waters off Miami, pleaded guilty and sentenced to time served -- the weekend they spent in jail. If convicted, Greenpeace could be placed on probation, and pay a $10,000 fine.

"It's ominous," said attorney Maria Kayanan of law firm Podhurst Orseck, which worked with the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) on a "friend of court" brief to back a Greenpeace demand that the government reveal who ordered the prosecution. "It will be very chilling because advocacy groups whose members chose to engage in acts of protest which happen to violate the law will be loathe to act at all."


* The Heinz/Kerry family pumps conservation.but guzzles gas
* Swedish "endangered species" includes mythical monster
* The EPA hypes "hybrid" gas mileage statistics
* To greens, forest roads are simply un-bear-able
* Protecting yourself from "protected" predators
* Judge orders a report on an elephant's happiness
* Feuding greens huff and puff over windmills
* 'Viros are anguished about the moral dilemmas of daily living

Details here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


14 May, 2004


Below is the NPR program summary. Predictably it is two for and one against. Though having even one against is probably a sign of major doubt from them. The first guy discovers that climate change has happened very rapidly in the past from natural causes so concludes from that that human activity is changing the climate now? GREAT logic! The third guy advocates what even NPR calls a "far-out" scheme. This is the best they could get to defend global warming? I guess it is.

Part 1: Richard Alley, Penn State University Glaciologist

Richard Alley discovered something 10 years ago that made him worry the Earth's climate could suddenly shift, and it changed his life. It was a two-mile long ice core, pulled up from the center of Greenland. It contained bubbles of air that reveal what the Earth's atmosphere was like over a period of 100,000 years. The ice core showed that at one point, in as little as 10 years, the global climate had drastically changed. Soon after that discovery, climate change became a personal crusade for Alley.

Part 2: John Christy, University of Alabama Climatologist

Last fall, the Senate debated a bill that would have created regulations to combat global warming. Sen. James Inhofe [R-OK] led the opposition, and went so far as to call global warming a hoax. He based that statement, in part, on the work of John Christy, a professor and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Christy is a respected climatologist, but he's also a maverick who argues that global warming isn't a problem worth worrying about. His major contribution has been to analyze millions of measurements from weather satellites, looking for a global temperature trend. He's found almost no sign of global warming in the satellite data, and is confident that forecasts of warming up to 10 degrees in the next century are wrong.

Part 3: Wallace Broecker, Columbia University Oceanographer

When Wallace Broecker started his career in science more than 50 years ago, no one was worried that humans could change the climate. Broecker, now an oceanographer with Columbia University, has helped to reverse that. And he's using his considerable stature to advocate a far-out scheme to slow global warming: giant machines would absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and the concentrated gas could be either pumped deep underground or turned into carbon-rich rocks. This certainly wouldn't be cheap, but he says it would be easier than social engineering.


No prizes for guessing which side the Greenies are on

Sympathy for the mosquito? "Save Our Mosquitoes," isn't a plea one expects to see these days with the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus killing hundreds and making thousands of people sick. But someone posted that very appeal on a sign in Chargin Falls, Ohio. These "poor bugs" were indeed at risk as the town was debating whether to spray pesticides that year. Residents decided to show their mercy; they gave the mosquitoes a stay of execution. No spraying in 2002....

Radical environmental activists have been leading the pack, making a host of unsupported claims about the risks associated with pesticides. While some might sympathize with plight of the mosquito, the anti-pesticide crowd has shown little concern for those humans suffering from the sometimes deadly, and often debilitating, virus transmitted by the bugs.

In the past, these groups have downplayed the risks by pointing out that the illness only kills the elderly, the sick, and children-as if that offered any comfort! However, it isn't even true. In 2003, the median age of those who died from the virus was 47 years with a range of 1 month to 99 years old.

Radical environmentalist comments on this topic may have played better before 2002, when the death toll remained relatively low. Starting in 2002, West Nile took a disturbing turn. The CDC reported that more than 4,000 people became ill and 300 died. The CDC's tally for cases in 2003 is nearly 10,000 and more than 250 deaths. Almost 3,000 of these were reported to be West Nile meningitis or encephalitis, which is a particularly painful and potentially debilitating form of the disease.

As a point of comparison, consider the CDC data on the cases of health problems related to pesticide exposures from spraying during 1999-2002. According to the CDC report, there were a total of 133 "potential" cases of temporary illness over four years among a population that CDC estimates was 118 million in 2000. CDC concluded: "The findings in this report indicate that serious adverse outcomes potentially related to public health insecticide application were uncommon. When administered properly, in a mosquito-control program, insecticides pose a low risk for acute, temporary health effects."

Environmental activists have also claimed that application of chemical insect repellants- particularly those that contain DEET-can increase risks of seizures among children. Researchers recently published a review of the literature on this topic in Canadian Medical Association Journal. They report that none of these studies were conclusive that DEET was in fact the cause of seizures...."


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


13 May, 2004


It leads to food abundance and prevents the scarcities and disasters they so fervently desire in order to makes themselves look wise and important.

So Australian Greenies are doing their best to take irrigation water away from farmers -- on the flimsiest of pretexts.

"LAST month, Prime Minister John Howard reaffirmed his Government's commitment to saving the Murray River, despite having dismissed the findings of a report that says the scientific evidence does not support claims that the river is dying.

The interim report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry -- which included seven Coalition and three Labor members, with one Labor member dissenting - was issued after the evidence had been carefully assessed, yet it was subsequently strongly condemned by many politicians, scientists and environmental activists.

I looked for the evidence to support the claims of declining water quality, declining native fish stock and dying red gums. Instead, like the committee, I discovered junk science supporting predetermined agendas. Murray cod was listed as vulnerable to extinction in July last year on the basis that there had been a 30 per cent decline over the past 50 years. This newspaper published two stories, "Murray cod on national list" (July 2, 2003) and "For cod's sake, Murray needs stronger flow" (July 5, 2003). But there is no data to support the claims.

The most widely quoted source on native fish status in the Murray-Darling Basin is a 1995-96 NSW Fisheries survey. The report's principal conclusions include the statement that: "A telling indication of the condition of rivers in the Murray region was the fact that, despite intensive fishing with the most efficient types of sampling gear for a total of 220 person-days over a two-year period in 20 randomly chosen Murray-region sites, not a single Murray cod or freshwater catfish was caught."

Most remarkably, at the same time and in the same regions, commercial fishermen harvested 26 tonnes of Murray cod.

At the time of the fabricated cod crisis, the CSIRO website claimed "salt levels are rising in almost all of the [Murray-Darling] Basin's rivers". After a challenge, this whopping lie was eventually removed from the website of our most respected research institution. The reality is that salinity levels have dropped over the past two decades, particularly at the key site of Morgan, which is just upstream from the off-takes for Adelaide's water supply."

More here.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


12 May, 2004


The data are as usual thin, but it looks like the earth may be getting wetter instead of warmer. Not that this will trouble the alarmists. Now they can try to scare us with floods! For the Greenies, the sky will always be falling, no matter what

"The earth may be more resilient in the face of global warming than originally thought, according to scientists who believe the world is getting wetter as it warms, enhancing the biosphere's ability to soak up carbon dioxide.

Research from Australian scientists released during the annual science meeting of the Co-operative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting, supports the notion that the earth is self-regulating. The centre's communique suggests that, contrary to popular perceptions, the earth is getting wetter - not necessarily through greater rainfall but through a reduction in evaporation caused by cloudier days that prompt more efficient photosynthesis. Research centre chief Chris Mitchell said such conditions could favour long-lived woody plants such as trees, which were capable of storing greater amounts of atmospheric carbon than shorter-lived plants such as grass. In Australia that trend could already be seen in the tropical north, where grasslands were being replaced by woodlands, although scientists had still to determine whether that was caused by warmer temperatures or by factors including changes in grazing and fire regimes.

Scientists expect that trend will continue. "The CRC's work suggests the global biosphere is more resilient than we first thought," Dr Mitchell said."


Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


11 May, 2004


As a libertarian, I can rarely see much good in government regulation but, being a libertarian conservative rather than a doctrinaire libertarian, I do think there are some occasions where the market fails in significant ways. So I welcome this announcement:
"The Bush administration will finalize rules on Tuesday to cut air pollution from tractors, bulldozers and other off-road diesel vehicles by over 90 percent, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday."
It has always bothered me to see diesel-powered vehicles and machinery puffing out their characteristic clouds of black smoke into the air I need to breathe and it has been happening for around a century without much sign of the market doing anything to ameliorate it so I think this is one case where the State has a welcome role.


"As an attorney I am sometimes consulted by property owners who want to remove trees without fear of tree regulations. As an attorney I cannot advise my clients to ignore laws (though often tree laws seem easy to ignore). I can tell clients what a lot of people do: they don't plant any tree that is covered by tree laws. And any tree protected by tree laws that is still small enough to be legally killed, is killed.

Tree laws can be amended to include other trees, so that under modern government every tree is a potential risk that a property owner will be restricted in the future use/alteration of his property. Tree laws make treeless property the safest route.

Tree laws kill trees, as every libertarian knows. And rightfully so, because tree laws violate private property rights by "socializing" trees. All freedom is founded on private property. The joke about the endangered species act is: shoot, shovel and shut up. Under "tree-preservation" laws it is: chop, chip and chill.

Tree laws illustrate the fatal conceit of socialism via its unintended consequences. Tree-huggers must have fallen out of a stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. If public officials were any more stupid, they'd have to be watered twice a week. If their antidisestablishmentarianism continues then more "protected" trees will die.

Tree laws prove that socialism is environmentally disastrous. Government built roads through forests, straightened rivers, drained wetlands, cut canals, and subsidized other agricultural uses with taxes and other socialism. The government has already done more environmental damage than private enterprise could ever have afforded to do.

Capitalism saves trees from socialism's destruction. Capitalists farm trees for paper, and other uses. Capitalists created alternative forms of power to replace the burning of wood.

The best environment is a capitalist environment. Trees prove that the color of a healthy environment and the color of money are the same. Mother Nature is a capitalist. Capitalists are the true greens"


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10 May, 2004


Anti-biotechnology NGOs: Their significant distortions and omissions of facts are not limited to statements about the nature or risk of the technology itself. The activists also attempt in invidious ways to create a presumption of genuine controversy (where none exists) over the safety and usefulness of gene-splicing techniques.

For example, the Pew Initiative's 2003 report, "Public Sentiment About Genetically Modified Food," is a typically disingenuous pastiche of truisms, half-truths and sleight-of-hand. Their survey finds that "Americans' knowledge about [biotech] foods remains low," with 54 percent saying they have heard nothing or not much about them. Then, without enlightening the subjects or offering them any sort of proper context, the survey goes on to pose leading questions about safety and regulation. Not surprisingly, 89 percent agreed with the statement, "Companies should be required to submit safety data to the FDA for review, and no genetically modified food product should be allowed on the market until the FDA determines that it is safe."

This polling technique is rather like the example of Idaho junior high school student Nathan Zohner, who found that 86 percent of survey respondents thought the substance dihydrogen monoxide should be banned when told that prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage, exposure to its gaseous form causes severe burns, and it has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients. Only one in 50 of young Nathan's survey respondents correctly identified dihydrogen monoxide as water, or H2O. As any pollster (as well as common sense) will tell you, it's not hard to design survey questions to elicit a desired response, and Pew has incorporated that trick into their repertoire.

What the almost nine-in-ten respondents in Pew's survey undoubtedly do not recognize is that: 1) with the exception of wild berries, mushrooms and game, and fish and shellfish, virtually all the organisms-plants, animals, microorganisms-in our food supply have been modified by one genetic technique or another; 2) because the techniques of the new biotech are more precise and predictable than their predecessors, biotech foods are likely to be even more safe than other foods; 3) food producers are already legally responsible for assuring the safety of their products, and the FDA does not normally perform safety determinations, but primarily conducts surveillance of marketed foods and takes action if any are found to be adulterated or mislabeled, and; (4) unwarranted, excessive regulation, including unnecessary labeling requirements, discourages innovation, imposes costs that are passed along to the consumer and are a disproportionate burden on the poor. The Pew survey purposefully exploits consumers' (understandable) lack of familiarity with the nuances of both the new biotech and the way that food is currently regulated".


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9 May, 2004


David's Medienkritik shows that Europe's most successful Green party is really just another frantically Leftist party. It might also be noted that the Greenie leader quoted, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, was known in the 60's as "Danny the Red":

"As many of our readers already know, Germany's Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, is a member of the Green party, which along with the SPD (Social Democrats) comprises the ruling coalition government in Germany. The Foreign Minister's party recently published an article as a part of its platform for European parliamentary elections on international issues entitled "Do Whatever it Takes to Get Bush Voted Out." The article is taken from the transcript of an interview conducted by the "Frankfurter Rundschau" with the Green's Chairman in the European parliament, Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

The first paragraph of the platform states:

"We have to, as Europeans, do whatever is possible so that this Bush Administration is voted out in November. With this US government no peace is achievable in the Middle East."

It is interesting to note that the Bush Administration is seen as the greatest impediment to peace in the Middle East, and not say, terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda or Hamas or autocratic governments such as those in Syria, Iran or Libya. Cohn-Bendit further states:

"Basically, it should be forbidden for US Presidents to make any type of decision on the Middle East during an election period."

We at Medienkritik wonder who Mr. Cohn-Bendit expects to enforce this special new rule of his, the UN? When it came to enforcing the 17 UN Security Council resolutions aimed at disarming Saddam Hussein's regime, a deafening silence was to be heard from Mr. Cohn-Bendit and other members of his Green party."


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8 May, 2004


"In the upcoming movie "The Day After Tomorrow", German director Roland Emmerich lets the glaciers roll over Manhattan following an abrupt change in climate...

The ice sheets that roll over Wall Street are caused by manmade global warming. You read that right. In some environmental alarmists' computer models, global warming threatens to shut down the Gulf Stream and bring a new ice age to Europe and North America. Al Gore, indeed, is so impressed by the argument that he told Variety, "The Day After Tomorrow presents us with a great opportunity to talk about the scientific realities of climate change. Millions of people will be coming out of theaters on Memorial Day weekend asking the question, 'Could this really happen?' I think we need to answer that question."

The answer to the former vice president's question is well known. It's about as likely as a 30-story-tall monster emerging from the depths. MIT's Carl Wunsch, a leading expert in ocean-circulation systems, said recently in a letter to Nature magazine that "The only way to produce an ocean circulation without a Gulf Stream is either to turn off the wind system, or to stop the Earth's rotation, or both.... The occurrence of a climate state without the Gulf Stream any time soon - within tens of millions of years - has a probability of little more than zero."

Even more succinctly, Canadian experts Andrew Weaver and Claude Hillaire-Marcel said in the April 26 issue of Science magazine, referring directly to the movie, "it is safe to say that global warming will not lead to the onset of a new ice age." But climate alarmists like Al Gore push this fantasy - however implausible - to blame greed and consumerism for the energy use and greenhouse gases they say threaten the planet. Therefore, New York, the icon of American capitalism, is the ideal target to underline the threat.


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7 May 2004


By publicizing the truth about the Greenies

"Brazil is now enjoying a rejuvenation of nuclear energy, with the completion of its second nuclear plant, Angra 2, and the defeat of the anti-nuclear Greenpeace-in the population, in the media, and in the political arena. This dramatic turnaround, from Brazil's greenie-engineered nuclear retreat of the early 1990s, was the result of a head-on war against Greenpeace waged by the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Association (ABEN)....

The director of the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Association, nuclear engineer Guilherme Camargo, tells the fascinating story of how the truth won out over Greenpeace's lies... Inspired by articles in Executive Intelligence Review and 21st Century magazines, Camargo got in touch with the Icelandic journalist Magnus Gudmundsson, who had made two films documenting in graphic detail the lies of Greenpeace. He was stunned by what the films showed of the self-righteous Greenpeace group. Greenpeace had even staged the grisly killing of a baby seal just to make a fundraising film that purported to show how bad fishermen were killing baby seals.

Camargo put this information together with the EIR documentation of Prince Charles's influence in Greenpeace, and Prince Philip's control over the World Wildlife Fund, and their anti-population agenda. Then ABEN brought this information to the Brazilian press. At the same time, ABEN arranged a visit of Gudmundsson to Brazil. As Carmargo said, "We spent almost eight months, hitting Greenpeace in the liver, very carefully and very sharply."

At first, there was opposition to this campaign among the engineers and scientists in the nuclear ranks, who were used to apologetically defending the safety of nuclear plants, saying things like "the probability of an accident is 10 to the minus so-and-so"-true, but ineffective in the face of irrationality. Camargo said that ABEN was persuaded "that there was a war, and that war must be taken on, and that there was no other way. That we had to defeat the enemy in order to succeed in our aims."

"The whole nuclear sector in Brazil-because they are not idiots, they just needed somebody to wake them up from this psychotic trance-this woke them up to the real fight. The real fight has nothing to do with technical issues; it is purely political, and mainly emotional and psychological warfare. As a matter of fact, we used the same tactics as the anti-nuclear people used against us," Camargo said.

The ABEN campaign expanded from using the truth to defeat Greenpeace, to using the truth to attack the rest of the green groups and non-governmental organizations, which in Brazil are funded almost entirely by international organizations like WWF. "I wrote a very strategic article in O Estado de Sao Paulo, one of the most important newspapers," Camargo said, "stating the truth about the NGOs and the whole grand strategy about using them to eliminate the sovereignty of the country."

Although Greenpeace has dropped its anti-nuclear campaign -Brazil is probably the only country in which this has happened- the ABEN is continuing to fight on the sovereignty question. And in the transformed political climate, there are now plans to build two more nuclear plants at the Angra site."

More detail here


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6 May, 2004


The latest Greenie scare is the sort of joke that all Greenie scares that I know of have turned out to be. They say that kangaroos could soon become extinct. Like all Greenie scares, when you know the facts you just have to laugh. Kangaroos are a protected species under Australian law and, as one result, they are in plague proportions in much of rural Australia. That's why the government licenses professional shooters to kill large numbers of them -- despite the incessant shrieks of the Greenies and the animal rights protesters. And, even so, farmers and graziers (ranchers) have a lot of trouble getting permission to kill enough of them to make much of a difference.

And kangaroos are not confined to rural areas either. You can see them hopping about the place even in certain suburbs of my home city of Brisbane -- and Brisbane is Australia's third largest city. They are among the many species that have thrived as a result of human intervention in nature.

All Australian governments do their best to placate the Greenies so you can be sure that there have to be strong reasons for them not to cave in to any particular Greenie demand. The current Greenie shriek seems to refer to the situation in the State of South Australia and the relevant government Department there says: "These species are widespread and secure across South Australia.... Kangaroo populations in South Australia are monitored regularly, using either aerial survey or ground survey techniques. Most of the commercial harvest zone is monitored annually by aerial survey. This survey is one of the longest wildlife surveys of its type in the world, and has been running since 1978 in collaboration with staff from the University of Queensland." So NOTHING adverse is going to happen to kangaroo populations.

And the situation in other Australian States is similar. See here for a brief summary of the situation in Queensland.


From Tech Central Station -- some excerpts

"The first thing to be clear about is that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Rather, the presence of this trace gas in Earth's atmosphere is vitally important for the growth of plants. And in extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, plants in turn release the oxygen that is required for the respiration of most animal life forms, you and me included.....

An accurate 25-year-long record of atmospheric temperature is now available from both satellite and weather balloon measurements. These show virtually no long-term trend of temperature increase despite the increased carbon dioxide levels over the last 25 years. Finally, a recent study by Bill Ruddiman of the University of Virginia suggests that the clearance of forests and development of agriculture by neolithic and early modern peoples, since about 8,000 years ago, have caused the release of sufficient "extra" greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) into the atmosphere to have already prevented the earth's expected decline into its next glacial episode. What, then, can we conclude from all these, sometimes conflicting, lines of evidence?

It is that, contrary to strong public belief, the effects of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are generally beneficial. Enhanced plant growth has many obvious benefits, amongst them increased natural vegetation growth in general, and increased agricultural production in particular. And to maintain or slightly increase planetary temperature is also very much a global good if -- as Ruddiman and other scientists assert -- the human production of greenhouse gases is helping to hold our planetary environment in its historic, benignly warm, interglacial mode.

This news has yet to percolate up to the policy level within western governments, most of whom are still preoccupied with the politics of the now obsolete Kyoto protocol...

There is an urgent need for governments to shake themselves free of the partial advice provided by environmental advocacy groups and government science agencies, all of whom have a strong and often undeclared self-interest in most environmental matters. Nowhere is this need greater than in the debate over climate change."


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5 May, 2004


California State Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, is pushing legislation intended to scare Californians about their own bodies. Doing the bidding of environmental extremists, apparently, is more important to Sen. Ortiz than the health and welfare of her constituents.

In March, Sen. Ortiz introduced California Sen. Bill 1168 requiring the monitoring of chemicals in the bodies and breast milk of Californians. This "biomonitoring" bill passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee last week. The bill calls for examination by June 2006 of breast milk for the presence of chemical contaminants in three economically, racially and geographically diverse communities. The program will expand to include additional communities by 2008. Participants' bodies will also be evaluated for the presence of "toxic" chemicals.

Sen. Ortiz's "rationale" for the bill goes as follows: There are an estimated 125 million Americans who have at least one chronic health condition and there are an estimated 85,000 synthetic chemicals registered for use in the U.S. with another 2,000 added each year.

That's it. That's her entire "reasoning" - two distinct observations that have no demonstrable relationship between them despite decades and billions of dollars of research.

(Via "Junk Science")


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4 May, 2004


Excerpt from "Why Does the Left Hate Israel?" by Richard Baehr

"In Europe there are a much larger number of hardcore leftists than we have in the United States. Score one for America, I think. Two percent of the population vote for the Green Party here, 10% or more do so in European countries. While many think the Greens are primarily an environmental movement, the party platform in every country in which they are a factor, including the US, is replete with harsh attacks on Israel. In many European countries, the Greens are part of a left of center governing coalition, which helps explain why there is so little sympathy for Israel in Europe.

Why do the Greens hate Israel? The Greens hate the western consumer society in which they live, they hate corporations and capitalism, and they hate globalization. America is the great Satan for the Greens - the killer of Kyoto, the maker of genetically modified foods, the exporter of McDonald's, Disney, Hollywood trash and Starbucks. So the Greens are leftist by definition. And economic leftists have an anti-American world view which tends to make them reflexively pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel."


I have on a number of occasions referred to Greenies as people-haters. I thought therefore that it might be useful to reproduce here some excerpts from an article that appeared late last year in "Spiked" that gives some detail of their jaundiced view of humanity

"Britain's most famous naturalist, David Attenborough, is backing a campaign to reduce the UK population by half. He claims that if population control doesn't become government policy, nature will do the job for us - and the poor will suffer most.

The campaign is organised by the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), a group set up in 1991 by environmentalists and population campaigners, whose current patrons include Paul Ehrlich, Norman Myers and Jonathan Porritt.

In the 1960s, Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb, which claimed that 'the battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.. Population control is the only answer'. In 1969 he said: 'If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.' Three years after doomsday, we're still here.

According to OPT, 'failure to reduce population is likely to lead to a population crash when fossil fuels, fresh water and other resources become scarce'. But do its arguments stand up to scrutiny?

Global warming

Even if Earth gets much warmer, increasing development will allow us to cope with such climate changes. Rising living standards and rising populations go hand-in-hand. The solution could be, not to reduce the population, but to speed up development so that more of the world can live comfortable lives and cope with change.

Food shortages

A classic Malthusian argument: population will outstrip food supply, leading to shortages in the future. Yet this has simply not been the case in the developed world. Indeed, current panics claim that we are eating too much. The average number of calories consumed per head in the West has risen steadily over the decades. About half the world's cultivable land is not used to grow food at present. If we used the best technology available today, a population of 32billion people could be supported on just the land available in the developing world.

Energy shortages

'UK sources of oil and gas are likely to be almost depleted by 2050.. Britain will become dependent on imports of oil and gas from foreign sources.'

You would have thought that Ehrlich and co might have learned their lesson about resource shortages. Known reserves have tended to go up, rather than down, over the past 30 years. As for energy, there is no problem - Britain could easily replace imports with nuclear power if it needed to....

The list goes on: road congestion, an ageing population, urban crime - you name it, there isn't a social problem that, apparently, could not be solved by controlling population growth. OPT has its fingers on the pulse of Britain's fears and panics. Every one of the concerns it raises is the subject of handwringing in Whitehall and Westminster (apart from the imports thing - they gave up all hope for British industry decades ago).

The reason that these have become big concerns is an underlying outlook that views people, especially too many people, as a problem. Human beings are seen as greedy, rapacious and destructive, and the solution is apparently to cut our numbers. In truth, the fact that six billion people can live on Earth - while living conditions continue, in the main, to improve - suggests that people are the solution, not the problem


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3 May, 2003


Mercury: "While political debate rages about what regulatory method would most effectively and efficiently reduce mercury emissions, the scientific debate is largely settled: Mercury poses little or no threat to the health and well-being of U.S. citizens. Steven Milloy, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and author of Junk Science Judo: Self-Defense Against Health Scares and Scams, questioned the need for even the limited EPA/FDA advisory."

I mentioned the mercury issue on 18th April below also.


On their usual flimsy grounds

"Because of the remote possibility a few dragonfly larvas in the Blue Mountains might be disturbed, green groups have managed to shut down filming of the big-budget Hollywood blockbuster Stealth and jeopardise the state's $4 billion film industry.

Yet the swampy habitat of the giant dragonfly and the Blue Mountains water skink that Greens MLC Ian Cohen and his hangers-on care for so deeply was annihilated by ferocious bushfires two years ago - 12,200 hectares incinerated at Mount Hay in October 2002.

And the reason those fires were so ferocious was the irrational opposition by those very same green groups to regular hazard reduction burning.

Blind to the irony, on Sunday night green protesters and the usual NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) locals who abound in the mountains blockaded Mount Hay Road in Leura, to stop the planned 2 days' filming, which was to have finished tomorrow. Then, on Thursday, the Blue Mountains Conservation Society persuaded the Land and Environment Court to ban filming at Mount Hay, not on environmental grounds but on a legal technicality.

Losing a staggering $500,000 a day, Columbia Pictures decided on Friday to abandon the Blue Mountains"

More here and here

A reader comments on the damage done to Australia's film production industry:

"More absurd greenie values: Destroying an industry to 'protect' a dragonfly that doesn't sound as if it was in danger anyhow. I suspect there is some kneejerk anti-Americanism at work here too. I can just see them tut-tutting at a Hollywood action epic with its US military hardware. I wonder how many of the local Greenies even knew about the dragonflies before their protest? I also wonder if the Australian film industry heavies who protested against free trade will come out against this attack on their industry?"


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2 May, 2004


What a disappointment for all the Greenie prophets of doom

"Officials from Saudi Arabia's oil industry and the international petroleum organizations shocked a gathering of foreign policy experts in Washington yesterday with an announcement that the Kingdom's previous estimate of 261 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum has now more than tripled, to 1.2 trillion barrels. Additionally, Saudi Arabia's key oil and finance ministers assured the audience - which included US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan - that the Kingdom has the capability to quickly double its oil output and sustain such a production surge for as long as 50 years.....

"Saudi Arabia now has 1.2 trillion barrels of estimated reserve. This estimate is very conservative. Our analysis gives us reason to be very optimistic. We are continuing to discover new resources, and we are using new technologies to extract even more oil from existing reserves," the minister said..... "Saudi Arabia's vast oil reserves are certainly there," Naimi added. "None of these reserves requires advanced recovery techniques. We have more than sufficient reserves to increase output. If required, we can increase output from 10.5 million barrels a day to 12-15 million barrels a day. And we can sustain this increased output for 50 years or more. There will be no shortage of oil for the next 50 years. Perhaps much longer.""

More here.

The Swordsman has some good comments on the matter too. He refers in passing to physicist Tom Gold's argument that oil is not a fossil fuel anyway and that there are still vast amounts of it to be discovered beneath the earth. Hydrocarbons (the principal components of crude oil) have been observed throughout the universe -- including on planet Jupiter -- so clearly are far too common to be explained as the product of living organisms.

The only real answer to Tom Gold's argument is that crude oil does normally have many traces of living organisms in it -- which proves precisely nothing. The sea has got lots of living organisms in it too but that does not mean that the organisms concerned created the sea, does it?


Patrick Moore has been called a sellout, traitor, parasite, and prostitute - and that's by critics exercising self-restraint. It's not hard to see why they're angry. Moore helped found Greenpeace and devoted 15 years to waging the organization's flamboyant brand of environmental warfare. He campaigned against nuclear testing, whaling, seal hunting, pesticides, supertankers, uranium mining, and toxic waste dumping. As the nonprofit's scientific spokesperson, he was widely quoted and frequently photographed, often while being taken into custody.

Then, in 1986, the PhD ecologist abruptly turned his back on the environmental movement. He didn't just retire; he joined the other side. Today, he's a mouthpiece for some of the very interests Greenpeace was founded to counter, notably the timber and plastics industries. He argues that the Amazon rain forest is doing fine, that the Three Gorges Dam is the smartest thing China could do for its energy supply, and that opposition to genetically modified foods is tantamount to mass murder.

Moore's turnabout was the biggest change of heart since Harold "Kim" Philby left Her Majesty's secret service for the Soviet Union - or was it? Moore insists that he hasn't changed a bit. His professional life, he says, has been a single-minded quest for true ecological sustainability. To his opponents, however, it adds up to little more than an ideologically bankrupt series of betrayals.

Consider the public hearing held at Boston City Hall on October 23 last year. The matter at hand was a proposal to ban the purchase of polyvinyl chloride products using city funds. An impressive array of expert witnesses testified in favor of the resolution - an Environmental Protection Agency toxicologist, a Tufts University economist, a Boston Public Health Commission official, the head of purchasing for a cancer research center. The production and incineration of PVC products, they argued, releases chemicals known as dioxins, exposure to which can lead to endocrine disorders, cancer, diabetes, infant mortality, and cognitive and developmental problems in children.

Then Patrick Moore took the floor. "It's a good thing most of the people who got up here before me weren't under oath," he began. "There is not a public benefit to be derived from a ban on PVC." The whole issue is "based on bad science and misinformation."

First of all, Moore argued, total dioxin emissions have dropped 90 percent since 1970, to levels safely below those that cause health problems. Furthermore, dioxins are not some newfangled product of the industrial age. They've been around as long as fire. If the council wanted to make a real difference, he said, it could ban backyard burning, which spews nearly 60 times more dioxins than PVC manufacturing, or residential fireplaces, which emit 10 times more.

Throughout his presentation, Moore made barbed references to the devious forces behind the legislation, the same pack of Luddites who "hijacked a considerable portion of the environmental movement back in the mid-'80s and who have become very clever at using green language to cloak campaigns that have more to do with anti-industrialism, antiglobalization, anticorporate, all of those things which are basically political campaigns."

More here


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1 May 2004


Excerpts from an article in the April 22 edition of Front Page Magazine

"Earth Day dawns on us today, and with it a grave danger faces mankind. The danger is not from acid rain, global warming, smog, or the logging of rain forests, as environmentalists would have us believe. The danger to mankind is from environmentalism. The fundamental goal of environmentalism is not clean air and clean water; rather, it is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization. Environmentalism's goal is not the advancement of human health, human happiness, and human life; rather, it is a subhuman world where "nature" is worshipped like the totem of some primitive religion.

In a nation founded on the pioneer spirit, environmentalists have made "development" an evil word.... Nature, they insist, has "intrinsic value," to be revered for its own sake, irrespective of any benefit to man. As a consequence, man is to be prohibited from using nature for his own ends....

The ideal world of environmentalism is not twenty-first-century Western civilization; it is the Garden of Eden, a world with no human intervention in nature, a world without innovation or change, a world without effort, a world where survival is somehow guaranteed, a world where man has mystically merged with the "environment." Had the environmentalist mentality prevailed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we would have had no Industrial Revolution, a situation that consistent environmentalists would cheer--at least those few who might have managed to survive without the life-saving benefits of modern science and technology.

The expressed goal of environmentalism is to prevent man from changing his environment, from intruding on nature. That is why environmentalism is fundamentally anti-man. Intrusion is necessary for human survival. Only by intrusion can man avoid pestilence and famine. Only by intrusion can man control his life and project long-range goals. Intrusion improves the environment, if by "environment" one means the surroundings of man--the external material conditions of human life....

To save mankind requires the wholesale rejection of environmentalism as hatred of science, technology, progress, and human life. To save mankind requires the return to a philosophy of reason and individualism, a philosophy that makes life on earth possible".


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