The man-made warming activists at the UN are trapped in turmoil over how to deal with the earth’s lack of warming since 1998. A couple of weeks ago, the UN climate panel circulated a draft statement that would have admitted we’re unlikely to have any further earth-warming for the next 30 years “because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability.” The BBC’s environmental reporter Richard Black reported that he’d received a copy of that draft. Black said he expected member governments to reject the statement, however, because it would embarrass the first-world governments’ green energy [...]
CHURCHVILLE, VA: Africa is the only continent where food production per capita is falling as its population continues to expand. Three-fourths of Africa’s food is produced on small farms that get radically lower crop yields than its experimental farms. Even if these little farms got adequate fertilizer and high-yield seeds, they still wouldn’t get the higher yields produced by First World farmers because of the heavy weed populations fostered by Africa’s high temperatures, high humidity, and intense sunlight. A Nigerian field has an estimated 200 million weed seeds per hectare! African women are courting disabling diseases as they spend 300 hours [...]
CHURCHVILLE, VA—The world’s farm pesticide death toll has been cut radically with biotech seeds that carry their own internal pesticide. A new study in India has found that biotech cotton has reduced pesticide spraying by 50 percent, and spraying of the most toxic poisons by 70 percent. The reduced spraying is helping avoid “several million cases of pesticide poisoning in India every year.” This is important progress—which should be enough by itself to embarrass Greenpeace and the other anti-technology groups opposing biotech. But the big news on the biotech crops is that they’re slashing the toll from farmer suicides, perhaps by [...]
CHURCHVILLE, VA—“It’s not just that man-made emissions don’t control the climate, they don’t even control global CO2 levels.” That’s the incredible message Dr. Murry Salby, Chair of Climate Science at the respected Macquarie University in Australia, presented recently to the Sydney Institute. Professor Salby’s paper, with all the graphs, will be released in about six weeks. His book Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate will be released later this year. Don’t expect an easy read—but if his research holds up, it could well change the direction of the entire climate debate.Salby suggests that the earth’s own warming since the depths of [...]
Get ready for the next big bombshell in the man-made warming debate. The world’s most sophisticated particle study laboratory—CERN in Geneva—will soon announce that more cosmic rays do, indeed, create more clouds in earth’s atmosphere. More cosmic rays mean a cooler planet. Thus, the solar source of the earth’s long, moderate 1,500-year climate cycle will finally be explained.
CHURCHVILLE, VA—The African Biofortified Sorghum project centered in South Africa, is striving to breed sorghum with extra lysine, vitamin A, iron, and zinc to help millions of African small farmers meet their families’ nutritional needs. The project is funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, collaborating with Du Pont and Pioneer Hi-Bred Seeds. Unfortunately, the project has been unable to get South African regulatory approval for its field trials. The test planting will now have to be done in the U.S., though African trials would be a better test. Also in South Africa, researchers are working on insect-resistant biotech potatoes for Africa’s [...]
The skeptics of man-made global warming have now created an important legal precedent for rejecting man-made warming alarmism. Last month the Montana State Supreme Court denied a petition demanding state regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
CHURCHVILLE, VA—Our ironic thanks to Smoky the Bear’s campaign manager, the Sierra Club, and all those well-meaning folks who have just delivered the second-largest wildfire in Arizona history. The Wallow Fire has burned more than 600 square miles of Ponderosa pine forest at this writing—and it is still burning. It still has a chance at exceeding the 732 square miles of the Chediski fire in 2002.Hmm. The two biggest forest fires in Arizona history have both occurred within the last decade. Is there a pattern developing? You bet there is, and it is happening all across the western U.S. and has [...]
This week’s headlines: Another huge, awful outbreak of food-borne bacteria. This time the worst in modern history; perhaps 2000 sickened, and more than 20 dead. At least 500 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome. That means liver damage—and potential death from kidney failure. More than 1000 cases of severe diarrhea. Usually it is the very young and the elderly who are most at risk of serious consequences, but this outbreak targeted young adults, mostly women.
Churchville, VA—The anguish in the news media over the opening of the spillways along the Mississippi is a gorgeous example of the journalists’ determination to find sorrow and danger at every turn in our lives. The AP lamented earlier this week that “Over the next few days, water spewing through a Mississippi River floodgate will crawl through the swamps of Louisiana’s Cajun country, chasing people and animals to higher ground while leaving much of the [farm] land under 10 to 20 feet of brown muck.”Now, the floodgates have been opened. Thousands of acres of crops most likely have been lost for [...]
CHURCHVILLE, VA—U.S. Energy prices have risen to more than 6 percent of consumer spending—which may be a historic “tipping point.” Our food prices, meanwhile, have had their steepest increase in a generation, to about 6.5 percent of spending. That’s a double whammy consumers haven’t suffered since Jimmy Carter’s infamous “stagflation,” a painful mix of weak economic growth, high unemployment, and rising inflation in the late 1970’s.Both the high oil prices and the high food prices trace directly back to the Obama Administration. Oil has gotten no scarcer during the Obama years, but the dollar has weakened by about 17 percent. The [...]
Extended droughts were far worse in the Little Ice Age that ended just 150 years ago, but big droughts are also likely in the world’s future if we are in a new warming cycle. This prospect pushes the un-exciting Black-Eyed Pea into an unlikely starring role.
The Wall Street Journal recently made a dreadful error in a news story. That’s “dreadful” as in causing consumers to dread the potential loss of the antibiotics we need to cure pneumonia, tuberculosis, and infected scratches. On January 10, the WSJ online told its readers that America’s hog farmers were overusing antibiotics in their hogs’ feed—and that could lead to more antibiotic resistance in humans. Food editors eagerly pounced on the scare story. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, however, issued a correction statement on March 18, saying that the WSJ had “wrongly interpreted” a statement by one if its research administrators [...]
In the old days, we cooked hamburgers rare, juicy and flavorful. In recent years, because of E. coli 0157:H7, we’ve had to content ourselves with hamburgers that were gray and dry or run the risk of serious illness. E. coli 0157:H7 is the relatively new and vicious “Jack-in-the-Box” bacteria that killed four kids in Seattle in 1993. It was seen first by researchers in the 1980s. Since then, it has killed hundreds and sickened thousands more with bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, and even liver failure.
CHURCHVILLE, VA—The air over northeastern Japan is slightly radioactive—not at dangerous levels for people, but an indicator that higher levels might come. The newspapers in Japan and here are talking earnestly about failures in pressure vessels and falsified safety reporting, as they should. But now, a slightly hysterical Surgeon General of the United States is recommending that millions of U.S. residents buy iodide crystals to ward off potential thyroid cancer—from a nuclear event thousands miles away. Four thousand people were on the site of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986; nine have died from thyroid cancer exposure. Greenpeace, under a [...]