On this historic Brexit day the fun has not been confined to this continent. Over in the US they have had a 'hearing' on Climate Science with three of the world's most eminent climate scientists. Michael Mann was there too.
Guest Post by David Holland
Dick Lindzen has sent to President Trump a letter and petition signed by some 300 scientists and experts (H/T Anthony Watts). The petition is for the US to withdraw from the UNFCCC. I had some difficulty accessing it but eventually located a pdf of the letter and the petition itself here.
I'm sure Dick speaks for many BH readers as well some of our MPs. Even at the high water mark in 2008 only a little over half of British voters thought humans were responsible for most global warming and less than half thought it a pressing problem. Recent opinion polls now show that barely 10% of the public regard climate change as a serious concern. Few can now dispute the global agricultural benefits of increased carbon dioxide concentration, but in the UK and elsewhere we are seeing the chronic health damage resulting from the dash to diesel subsidised by foolish governments.
Hopefully when Parliament debates the Grand Repeal Bill some of our smarter MPs will push to dump any directives requiring reductions in carbon dioxide emissions or support for the UNFCCC.
Just about everywhere.
Response to critiques: Climate scientists versus climate data by Judy Curry.
Instability of GHCN adjustment algorithm by Paul Matthews.
Science: One Damned Adjustment After Another? by Geoff Chambers
Myron Ebell, who led President Trump's transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency, gave a fascinating talk at the House of Commons today on Trump's approach to environmental policy.
There are plenty of stories in the media (Guardian, Daily Mail and Independent, for example) from the press conference held earlier in the day and he covered similar ground in the HoC talk. Here are some cartoon notes - it was a lot of fun.
Click to enlarge
Here is a video of the Press conference held by the Foreign Press Association and the GWPF.
The BBC was worried about primates this morning. Apparently loss of forest habitat means that our hairy cousins are facing the threat of extinction. Professor Jo Setchell is quoted in the piece as the woman with the answer though:
"...don't buy tropical timber, don't eat palm oil"
But burning palm oil to create energy seems to be fine with the good professor (and presumably the BBC's journalist, Victoria Gill) because it doesn't even warrant a mention.
Greens trashing the environment. Again.
Updated on Jan 25, 2017 by Josh
This is a guest post by Charlie Flindt.
I can’t see what all the fuss is about; I loved 2016. The Left spent much of the year deafening us with its whining, and flooding us with its bitter tears, the Brexit vote has done marvels for my farm's bank balance after a mediocre but easy harvest, and, best of all, the Soil Association has gone completely potty.
We conventional farmers have always loved our organic brethren. We love anyone who deliberately grows less than they could be growing – it’s good for the wheat supply-and-demand, even if it is slightly morally questionable when much of the world is still hungry. We marvel at their carefully cultivated image of ‘pesticide-free’, when the truth is not quite as clear-cut as that. So when the leading lights of the Soil Association start sounding a bit bonkers in front of the media – well, it’s time to get the popcorn and enjoy the show.
Back in May, yet another report came out stating that GM food was safe. After a brief chat with a world-weary-looking pro-GM scientist, the BBC interviewed Lord Peter Melchett, the Soil Association’s policy director, who, not surprisingly, took a different view on GM’s dangers. “Just because there’s no evidence,” he said solemnly, “doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening. Now, in the country where most GM food has been eaten, there is a huge developing diet-related health crisis – in North America. I’m not saying that’s because of GM food – but you can’t tell me it’s not.”
This is remarkable and (I would suggest) somewhat contradictory logic from a man who read Law at Cambridge. I would refer M’Lud to some of the finest cover stories of the Sunday Sport in its 80s heyday: ‘B-52 Bomber Found on Moon!’ ‘Lord Lucan Seen on Shergar!’ ‘I was a nine-inch sex slave!’ ‘B-52 Bomber Now GONE From Moon!’ All must be true, according to the Soil Association’s finest legal mind, because of a lack of evidence that they’re not. I rest my case.
In July, the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) came under attack again, and this time it was the Soil Association’s Helen Browning’s turn to be given the kid-glove treatment by the BBC. Countryfile allowed her free rein to demand that this vital herbicide should be banned simply because there are suggestions that it might be carcinogenic, and that the public would be happy to pay more to compensate the farmer for drying costs if pre-harvest desiccation were banned. The hilarity (and hypocrisy) of this interview stemmed from the fact that much of it was carried out over the bonnet of an aged diesel-powered Land Rover Defender. When it comes to carcinogenic emissions, there’s only one way to beat a diesel-fuelled grain dryer: you drive one of Solihull’s finest.
And then, late in the year, we had SA's astonishing Tweet. ‘Millions of farm animals are abused in the pursuit of cheap food, but there is another way...’ said the Soil Association on its Twitter feed. The resulting (and perfectly justified) outrage from non-organic livestock boys and girls was enough to prompt a letter of apology. But even that seemed to stop being an apology halfway through, and drifted off into the realms of comedic praise for Greenpeace’s intimidation of companies by staking out their HQs dressed as gorillas. Really, Ms Browning? I mean – really?
Yup, it has been a vintage year for entertainment, courtesy of the Soil Association. It’s the organic gift that goes on giving. Let’s hope they keep it up for 2017.
The charity Survival International is reporting that the OECD is going to investigate allegations that WWF has been funding human rights abuses in Cameroon.
Survival submitted the complaint in February 2016, citing numerous examples of violent abuse and harassment against Baka “Pygmies” in Cameroon by WWF-funded anti-poaching squads. Survival also alleges that WWF failed to seek communities’ free, prior and informed consent for conservation projects on their ancestral land.
This is the first time a non-profit organization has been scrutinized in this way. The acceptance of the complaint indicates that the OECD will hold WWF to the same human rights standards as profit-making
WWF funds anti-poaching squads in Cameroon and elsewhere in the Congo Basin. Baka and other rainforest tribes have reported systematic abuse at the hands of these squads, including arrest and beatings, torture
and even death, for well over 20 years.
The Advertising Standards Authority has been conducting an investigation into Friends of the Earth's wild stories about unconventional oil and gas in recent weeks. Today it was announced that our green friends have decided that a hasty retreat is in order. Rather than fighting the allegations against them they have decided to promise to stop telling said porkie pies rather than wait for an official ruling that they are, in fact, wholesale purveyors of baked meat products.
Some of you may be interested in Gavin's Schmidt's forthcoming talk at Exeter University. It's hard to deny his expertise in the area.
Climate change is now a constant presence in the media with many stories about the latest records in global heat, Arctic ice loss, sea level rise, or the potential for changes in extreme weather. But many people still have questions about how scientists study the Earth system, where the dramatic predictions of future change come from, and how credible they are.
In this talk Dr Schmidt will discuss the use and abuse of climate simulations, how they are used to attribute changes in the past and what they suggest for the future. He will specifically discuss how global society now has to choose its own adventure and what the implications of these choices will be.
From the Guardian
South Pacific island ditches fossil fuels to run entirely on solar power
Using more than 5,000 solar panels and 60 Tesla power packs the tiny island of Ta’u in American Samoa is now entirely self-sufficient for its electricity supply – though the process of converting has been tough and pitted with delays.
From the website of the government of American Samoa
The project description lists 1,410 kW of Solar panels and 6,000 kWh of battery storage. Also, three new 275KW Cummins Diesel Generators...
The latter presumably for decoration.
You can pre-order the Calendar here.
The calendar will be printed after 8th November and pre-order deliveries will be made the week of the 21st November.
As a special offer I am including a second calendar for half price for all orders before the 8th November.