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Scientific American: black death and slavery cause the little ice age?

Looks like Scientific American has gone a bit “cosmic”: The Little Ice Age was apparently caused by black death, small pox, and slavery. The theory goes that there was a small spikey dip in CO2 levels in 1610, which was man-made. So hold your breath, that means a whole new era should start from then. This small dip of dubious causality, plus the correlation of oddly unclimatic things like slavery, seems to make the spike worthy of an impressive sciencey title, lo, a new era is born  — The start of the Anthropocene.

Let’s not mention that temperatures started falling from 1400 AD. That’s 200 years  before the CO2 spike down. Cause and effect are so passe in postmodern science.

Mass Deaths in Americas Start New CO2 Epoch

Scientific American:

The atmosphere recorded the mass death, slavery and war that followed 1492. The death by smallpox and warfare of an estimated 50 million native Americans—as well as the enslavement of Africans to work in the newly depopulated Americas—allowed forests to grow in former farmlands. By 1610, the growth of all those trees had sucked enough carbon dioxide out of the sky to cause a drop of at least seven parts per million in atmospheric concentrations of the most prominent greenhouse gas and start a little ice age. Based on that dramatic shift, 1610 should be considered the start date of a new, proposed geologic epoch—the Anthropocene, or recent age of humanity—according to the authors of a new study.

In any climate astrology it is important to have a hockeystick graph. I know of no global proxy that produces a temperature graph like this. But it’s easy to get this shape by comparing smoothed low res old proxies to high resolution modern adjusted thermometers. It’s just a really bad way to do science. I want the same proxy from start to end. Give me the modern temperature in tree rings or clam shells or sediments, but let’s stop pretending there are no proxies left on Earth after 1980. Has Earth ran out of mud, trees, corals or shells, or do those “modern” proxies give the wrong answer?

120 Northern Hemisphere proxies show the world was as warm as now 1000 years ago.

 

See how CO2 dipped in 1610. Note how temperature didn’t.

 

The whole theory rests on the “coincidence” of a CO2 dip of 7ppm in 1610 with the depth of the Little Ice Age, er, apparently 180 or so years later (according to their graph). Greenhouses gases can absorb infra red at the speed of light, and they drive the climate, we just don’t see the correlation, right? Yeah, baby.

The CO2 drop coincides with what climatologists call the little ice age. That cooling event may have been tied to regenerated forests and other plants growing on some 50 million hectares of land abandoned by humans after the mass death brought on by disease and warfare, Lewis and Maslin suggest. And it wasn’t just the death of millions of Americans, as many as three quarters of the entire population of two continents. The enslavement (or death) of as many as 28 million Africans for labor in the new lands also may have added to the climate impact. The population of the regions of northwestern Africa most affected by the slave trade did not begin to recover until the end of the 19th century. In other words, from 1600 to 1900 or so swathes of that region may have been regrowing forest, enough to draw down CO2, just like the regrowth of the Amazon and the great North American woods, although this hypothesis remains in some dispute.

Maybe humans caused the CO2 dip (maybe) but the climate was cooling before it, and kept on cooling after it as though nothing had changed.

Scientific American goes on to navel gaze about exactly when this mythical era called the Anthropocene began. They could change the name to Science Fashions Monthly. Should we chuck out the name “Holocene”? Vote Now!  Plus Three great: Anthropocene Moments. Don’t miss it!

The man-made global warming camp has had no answer to the skeptic’s point that global warming started a long time before our CO2 emissions rose, and their models don’t know what caused the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age. This Nature paper and Scientific American article tells us nothing about the climate, but everything about the power of monopolistic funding to frazzle logic and reason.

 

REFERENCES

Simon L. Lewis & Mark A. Maslin (2015) Defining the Anthropocene  Nature, vol 519, p 171–180, doi:10.1038/nature14258

(Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

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114 comments to Scientific American: black death and slavery cause the little ice age?

  • #
    Peter C

    I do know someone who still buys Scientific American, but I think that he does it because he is old and he has had a subscription for many many years.

    Looking at the graph I wonder who or what is Orbis GISP? Did the Pleistocene and the Holocene exist simultaneously? What is the Anthropocene?

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    • #
      Peter C

      Pleistocene ended 11.700 years ago, not 1600 AD as shown on the graph.

      The Pleistocene /ˈplaɪstɵsiːn/ (symbol PS[1]) is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world’s recent period of repeated glaciations.

      Charles Lyell introduced this term in 1839 to describe strata in Sicily that had at least 70% of their molluscan fauna still living.

      Wikipaedia

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    • #
      Gary in Erko

      Unlike Playboy it’s worth buying for the pictures. Playboy buyers of course only want the articles.

      240

      • #
        Another Ian

        Gary

        Back in 1981 when SA seems to have been considered science reputable they had

        Gale, N.H and Stos-Gale, G. Lead and silver in the ancient Aegean. Vol 244 (6) 142 – .

        And I’d be interested in seeing a better photo of a cleavage in a scientific article if you can produce one. And Playboy doesn’t count here.

        Plus they did have some interesting (to me anyway) items on ancient warfare way back when.

        00

    • #
      Peter C

      The graph comes from an article recently published in Nature (online):

      Defining the Anthropocene
      Simon L. Lewis
      & Mark A. Maslin
      Affiliations
      Contributions
      Corresponding author
      Nature 519, 171–180 (12 March 2015)

      Abstract only available, since there is a paywall (and I don’t suppose anyone wants to pay to read this).

      Still looking for Orbis GSSP!

      50

    • #
      me@home

      Jo you say “Looks like Scientific American has gone a bit “cosmic””. I prefer comic.

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    • #
      Jon

      Black death hit the World from 1340s and it took the world 150 year to come back population wise. That’s the 1500s and by 1610 population should be even more. They probably think there is a 250 years CO2 lag from the effects of Black Death? Strange there isn’t the same CO2 lag today?
      http://geography.about.com/od/culturalgeography/a/Impacts-Of-The-Black-Death.htm

      00

    • #
      Just-A-Guy

      Peter C,

      How easily Lewis & Maslin can be outed:

      The death by smallpox and warfare of an estimated 50 million native Americans—as well as the enslavement of Africans to work in the newly depopulated Americas—allowed forests to grow in former farmlands.

      and

      The enslavement (or death) of as many as 28 million Africans for labor in the new lands also may have added to the climate impact.

      The whole point of bringing those slaves to The Americas was to work on farms! Hello! Remember the cotton plantations?

      Even if we accept the hypothesis that native Americans were farming extensively???, the influx of native Africans took up where the native Americans left off. There’s a wash in total land use for farming. These took over for those, even if they didn’t work the same lands.

      And who said the slave trade was based on African farmers being sold into slavery? Maybe some, but certainly not all. And even if they were, isn’t more than likely that others came in to take their place?

      . . . although this hypothesis remains in some dispute.

      You can say that again.

      Abe

      00

  • #
    Mike Jowsey

    This is not science – mere speculating academics on a gravy train, trying desperately to stich together a bunch of trendy jargon, with the ever-present coulds and may-have-beens and a rediculous graph. Come on! 7ppm?!?! Out of how many ppm CO2? They call that ‘dramatic’. Good grief…..

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    • #

      Any old theory-inoculation will do, kinda’like any port
      in a storm.

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    • #
      aussieguy

      For those who don’t have a strong scientific background, it can be explained in simple words for the general public:

      => They pulled an excuse out of their butt to support their Climate Change narrative. They published it in a “scientific” magazine. This is to deceive people into thinking they are scientifically legit. This isn’t science. They don’t offer hard facts. This is propaganda and activism. Their approach solely relies on the fact that most people are not well practised in the scientific method.



      This is the kind of despicable behaviour that resulted in me NOT renewing a number of my magazine and other membership subscriptions in the last few weeks. I don’t fund BS artists and academic activists. I want the truth through exploration, experimentation, analysis, and raw/un-tinkered data. I want to know their methods. I want to know how they got their results. I want to know what led them to make such conclusions and claims.


      In fact, one should archive all these nonsensical articles and note the authors and editors in a vast wiki-style database. That way, whenever these people publish new propaganda in the future, we can quickly search and cross-reference things. It would be a useful tool to show the public the kind of people who have a history of publishing nonsense. The objective is to save science by ripping away those who wish to politicise it for their agenda. Science must stand on its own. Not to be used as a political tool.

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      • #
        Measurement uncertainty

        A 7 ppm drop out of several hundred ppm of Carbon dioxide is not significant, it would be well within the measurement uncertainties. I’ll refer readers to the Horwitz function – at 100 ppm the expected uncertainty would be in the order of 5 to 10%, given the nature of their methods (the Horwitz function is about how well you do with respect to everyone else – it doesn’t matter how accurate you are, it’s what others can do that really matters) and sampling (accurate ice-core sampling ? – give me a break) I’d estimate that their uncertainties should be in the order of 30% if not higher.

        Looks more like a lets make the white middle-class males feel bad about themselves (again), ’cause they caused slavery (apparently only the white man invented that) and gave smallpox to the Americanians and everything since has been their fault – maybe we should call this era the Whiteguiltocene.

        http://www.rsc.org/images/horwitz-function-technical-brief-17_tcm18-214859.pdf

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      • #
        Another Ian

        Aussieguy

        “In fact, one should archive all these nonsensical articles and note the authors and editors”

        In fact it is called your own personal reference database with appropriate categories.

        00

      • #
        Senex

        As a very funny and wise Texan I once worked with told me, when you pull figures (excuses, etc) out of your ***, sooner or later you have to smell your fingers..

        00

  • #
    el gordo

    The graph also creates the illusion that temperatures follow CO2, I’m speechless.

    160

  • #
    FrankSW

    If the loss of 50-80 million American/Africans can cause such a pronounced dip in the 1600′s does this mean that the 100-200 million deaths from the Asian/European black death 300 years prior to this is just a myth?

    80

    • #
      sophocles

      No, it only counts in America. That’s where klimate change is man-made and that’s where all klimate change is dangerous. The rest of the world has no effect and is, therefore, of no concern.

      20

  • #
    aussie pete

    Scientific American:

    The atmosphere recorded the mass death, slavery and war that followed 1492. The death by smallpox and warfare of an estimated 50 million native Americans—as well as the enslavement of Africans to work in the newly depopulated Americas—allowed forests to grow in former farmlands.

    I can’t even get passed these first two sentences. It reads like gibberish and has given me a headache.
    Can someone please explain.

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    • #
      aussie pete

      It seems to be saying that when Columbus arrived in 1492 there was a massive farming industry going on. By 1610, 50 million native Americans were wiped out, along with their farms. Forests had regrown to the extent that they were sucking up the excess co2. A very busy 118 years i must say. By the way i always understood the first African slaves arrived in America in 1619.

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    • #
      Mike Jowsey

      Yes, Pete, I’m not surprised about your headache. I think they are trying to say that the atmosphere has some records somewhere (written in the clouds perhaps), and forests permanently sequester CO2 forever, to infinite and beyond. Hope that helps. If not, take some ibuprofen. ;-)

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      • #
        Just-A-Guy

        Mike Jowsey,

        (written in the clouds perhaps)

        From the article preview:

        anthropogenic signatures in the geological record

        Colonial Graffiti

        00

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Mike, sure can explain it. It is Klimate Séance caused by leftists governments and leftist non-profits flooding the world with grant money earmarked for the radical left pseudo-scientists with more money than they can spend. So they just charge many salaries to the project for people that never heard of it. Their paychecks keep coming and the institution employing then rakes off huge overheads.
      Meanwhile a progress report and a publication need to be approved under the grant funding.
      So they get the séance team together, a few munchies , the bongs, and astrological signs chart.. Smoke, smoke, munch, munch, and then a new theory is born.

      30

    • #
      Other_Andy

      “The death by smallpox and warfare of an estimated 50 million native Americans can be seen in the global CO2 record…”

      Yet nothing when the Black Death caused the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people around the 1340s or de death of around 80 million Hindus by Muslim invaders.

      10

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal in Oz

      Hi Pete,
      Actually, I think it’s very easy to explain. The warmists are getting increasingly desperate, and are trying absolutely anything to keep the already bamboozled in acquiesent state until after their Paris jaunt. And also give the complying media “reporters” something to publish.
      In the words of one famous expert from Oz, it’s all crap.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      41

    • #
      Senex

      It was a fair exchange. Europeans brought smallpox to the Americas, and took syphilis back to Europe.

      10

    • #
      Senex

      Most Native Americans were not farmers by any accepted definition. Some did grow crops, but had to move every few years as they exhausted the soil. Most peoples were hunter gatherers, many dependent on a single resource such as bison, deer or fish. The percentage of arable land that was under cultivation was insignificant.

      10

  • #
    En passant

    Ah! The Great Science Casino (GSC) for short. I have never recovered from the experience of walking through a casino many years ago and hearing someone at a roulette table say with conviction “No. 7 is lucky tonight.” It has always stuck with me and when I hear people say something absurd (on any subject at all) I often interject “That’s because No. 7 is lucky tonight.” They have no idea what I am talking about, but I have never been challenged to explain the correlation of No. 7 to the absurd. There is no such thing as ‘Climate Science’, but there is a lot of money to be made from pretending it exists, but that is because No.7 is lucky tonight.
    Complete rubbish from pseudo-scientists.

    331

  • #
    handjive

    Humans came to dominate the Earth around the year 1610 (pasthorizons.com)

    “The human-dominated geological epoch known as the Anthropocene probably began around the year 1610, with an unusual drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the irreversible exchange of species between the New and Old Worlds, according to new research published in Nature.

    The study authors systematically compared the major environmental impacts of human activity over the past 50,000 years against these two formal requirements. Just two dates met the criteria: 1610, when the collision of the New and Old Worlds a century earlier was first felt globally; and 1964, associated with the fallout from nuclear weapons tests. The researchers conclude that 1610 is the stronger candidate.”
    ~ ~ ~
    > It is the height of ignorance to think that any ancient advanced civilisation was incapable of traversing the world oceans prior to 1610 (or Columbus)

    It is fact that traces of nicotine & coca are found in Egyptian mummies.
    Both are endemic to the Americas only, known as ‘new world plants’.

    The Phoenicians are prime candidates; Transatlantic crossing: Did Phoenicians beat Columbus by 2000 years? (cnn.com)

    Some claim there is evidence of the Phoenicians mining Australia.

    Though later than Phoenicians, Five 1000-year old coins from the ancient African kingdom of Kilwa were recently identified after being found in the Northern Territory in 1944.
    . . .
    “The human-dominated geological epoch known as the Anthropocene” is the wet-dream of the 97% corruptors of science.

    101

  • #
    James Bradley

    “The atmosphere blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, depopulated Americas blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, 1610, the growth of all those trees had sucked enough carbon dioxide out of the sky to cause a drop of at least seven parts per million in atmospheric concentrations of the most prominent greenhouse gas and start a little ice age blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,”

    Say the f@ck what?

    “…1610, the growth of all those trees had sucked enough carbon dioxide out of the sky to cause a drop of at least seven parts per million in atmospheric concentrations of the most prominent greenhouse gas and start a little ice age

    Seven fricken parts less per fricken million plunged the planet into a little ice age????

    That means that man made CO2 has actually saved the planet and all who live on it it from another fricken ice age… that is unless the currently abundant growth of forests due to the extra man made CO2 sucks up that same CO2+++.

    Which means we have to decrease life on earth to decrease CO2 to save the planet.

    Now I understand the true purpose of the wind turbines, the spanish solar farms and Sarah Hanson-Young’s support for illegal boat people.

    371

  • #
    ROM

    Scientific American!
    Like those old fables of many a year ago, it was once great and informative and much looked forward to publication in this household.

    Regretfully cancelled when it got to the Little Green Men on Mars level about 25 years ago and became totally irrelevant as far as science was concerned.
    Nor by then did it even meet accepted Science Fiction standards anymore.
    Rather it became the outlet for the ramblings and mouth frothing of semi literate science oracle wannabes who nobody else would publish.

    Now we all know that America is a great and powerfull and very influential country but some trees growing in one very small miniscule part of the whole North American continent which itself covers just 16.3% or just over one eighth of the total global surface, are apparently so influential and such carbon / CO2 sucker uppers that they altered the entire climate and environment of the planet and thusly the entire social structure of mankind and his descendents for all of the history of his residence on this planet.

    Seems I have read and heard about this sort of highly influential, in fact global climate changing trees before.

    I don’t know why Michael Mann even bothered with that Siberian Yamal tree, the most influential tree in the world on which the entire Hokey Schtick was based when he had those all powerful, CO2 sucking North American trees right at his back door to core and research.

    PS; Do 40 million Canadians and their few hundred million trees get any say in this or are they such nonentities in the Scientific American’s editor’s eye that they can safely be completely discounted as irrelevant to this conclusion?

    And do I need a SARC/ x2 ?.

    251

  • #
    Ursus Augustus

    It strikes me fropm this post that we are as susceptible to shamans and witch doctors to catastrophists and general all round doom sayers as we have ever been. It seems that the enlightenment was just a passing phase of temporary immunity to such intellectual, viral nonsense which is now being wound back by the evolution of what amounts to intellectual staphlococcus. It is no accident that the most virulent golden staph breeds in hospitals and similarly that the most virulent voodoo has bred in science departments and the media offices around the world. Only the fittest virus’s and only the most skillfully constructed frauds survive.

    Very apt. I like this metaphor Ursus – J

    170

    • #
      sophocles

      Well said!

      Like it or not, despite our knowledge and science, Man is still a superstitious animal. Instead of a god or goddess inhabiting every tree, stream or boulder, we have advanced to one or two or a few or … overarching omnipotent and omniscient super-gods. There’s Yahweh/Jehova, that one starting with A who will remain nameless, and others. Despite all that, everything which changes is because of Man, influenced by Man and Those Responsible are The Enemy. Those Responsible are always the True Unbelievers.

      If the sun went out, someone, somewhere would claim it’s man’s fault. By the way, has anyone seen the Solar remote control?

      The Witch hunts of the 15th through the 17th Centuries were the response to the bad weather of the LIA. It was the fault of people trafficking with The Devil. They had to be rooted out of society.

      The modern meme-set almost exactly parallels that time.

      It must be witches! –> It must be deniers!
      Kill the witches! –> Kill the deniers!

      Charles Mackay’s essay on the Witch hunts in his Popular Delustions and the Madness of Crowds should be compulsory reading and discussion material in all schools.

      I’m wondering if I should look forward to the coming cooling. Some are going to claim credit because of `mitigatory action.’ Others are going to say it was going to happen anyway. The war of words from there is predictable.

      The Medieval Warming started about 900 – 950 AD. There was the Oort Minimum about 1050 AD and about 50 or 60 years of cooling before warming reasserted itself. That went through to the Wolf Minimum starting about 1280 or so. There was a brief warming before the Sporer minimum.

      The current activity of the present Eddy warming seems to following a similar trail.

      Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

      40

    • #
      Senex

      Great post, Ursus but I think “intellectual dysentery” is even better..

      11

  • #
    PeterK

    ROM: We Canadians have hundreds of millions of trees. You see, when the 7 ppm of CO2 that was being sucked up by those American trees, up here in Canada we were basking in Florida type weather but alas, that all went south due to those American trees. Once those American trees sucked up the 7 ppm CO2, it caused Canadian weather to turn bitterly cold and we still, to this day, have not recovered.

    380

  • #
    Peter C

    The Siberian Yamal tree seems to have come from a paper by Keith Briffa.

    Michael Mann seem to have just picked it up so he did not have to do any work himself.

    110

  • #
    pat

    no crazier than the following!

    13 March: Business Spectator: Tristan Edis: Unprecedented stall of global carbon emissions in 2014 while economy grows
    In what has been described as a real surprise by the International Energy Agency (IEA), annual global emissions of carbon dioxide experienced zero growth in 2014, even as the globe’s economy continued to grow. According to IEA data CO2 emissions for 2014 were 32.3 billion tonnes, the same as 2013, meanwhile the global economy grew by 3 per cent.
    While this is not the first time that growth of emissions has stalled, on previous occasions it was coupled with a significant economic downturn such as the Global Financial Crisis in 2009 and the collapse of industrial production with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    On this particular occasion it appears to be driven by structural changes in China and decarbonisation and enhanced energy efficiency across China, the United States and Europe…
    In addition, China has become the largest installer of renewable energy across both wind and solar…
    The US has also been active in decarbonising its electricity supplies and pushing improvements in energy efficiency. The boom in shale gas has been one driver but other factors have also been important. Last year solar PV represented 32% of all newly installed power generating capacity and wind made up another 23%. This followed on from 2013 when solar and wind made up 36% of new capacity and 51% in 2012.
    In the European Union a surge in the installation of renewables and flat to declining electricity demand has also pushed out fossil fuel generators and led to disastrous financial results for some major power utilities…
    This recent news could help to build momentum for a favourable agreement out of the major climate conference scheduled for Paris in December this year.
    **The IEA’s chief economist, Fatih Birol commenting on their data, told the Financial Times: “There could not be better news for Paris.” …
    ***With China, the US and Europe all demonstrating significant emission control efforts, this may help overcome such fears in Paris.
    https://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2015/3/13/carbon-markets/unprecedented-stall-global-carbon-emissions-2014-while-economy-grows

    ***13 March: Reuters: Alister Doyle: Chinese, U.S. power firms top inefficient coal plants list
    Chinese and U.S. firms generate the most electricity from inefficient coal-fired power plants that pump out more greenhouse gases and use more water than newer power stations, a study said on Friday.
    “There is a strong case for investors to evaluate the risk of companies exposed to the least efficient coal plants,” said Ben Caldecott, lead author of the report and director of the Stranded Assets Programme at Oxford University.
    Chinese and U.S. companies dominate the list of the top 100 corporate portfolios of coal-fired power plants ranked by the total amount of power generated with inefficient, “subcritical” technology, the study said.
    Fifty-nine of the 100 companies were state-owned…
    Many fossil fuel companies say their production is vital to meet growing energy demand from a rising global population.
    Still, last year the U.N. panel of climate scientists said world greenhouse gas emissions would have to fall to zero by 2100 to keep global warming below an agreed ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/13/energy-coal-idUSL5N0WE4TV20150313

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    • #
      llew Jones

      Here’s a different, more realistic perspective on fossil fuels from the WSJ:

      Fossil Fuels Will Save the World (Really)

      A couple of excerpts:

      “Wind power, for all the public money spent on its expansion, has inched up to—wait for it—1% of world energy consumption in 2013. Solar, for all the hype, has not even managed that: If we round to the nearest whole number, it accounts for 0% of world energy consumption.”

      On Nuclear Power:

      “The second argument for giving up fossil fuels is that new rivals will shortly price them out of the market. But it is not happening. The great hope has long been nuclear energy, but even if there is a rush to build new nuclear power stations over the next few years, most will simply replace old ones due to close. The world’s nuclear output is down from 6% of world energy consumption in 2003 to 4% today. It is forecast to inch back up to just 6.7% by 2035, according the Energy Information Administration.

      Nuclear’s problem is cost. In meeting the safety concerns of environmentalists, politicians and regulators added requirements for extra concrete, steel and pipework, and even more for extra lawyers, paperwork and time. The effect was to make nuclear plants into huge and lengthy boondoggles with no competition or experimentation to drive down costs. Nuclear is now able to compete with fossil fuels only when it is subsidized.”

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/fossil-fuels-will-save-the-world-really-1426282420?mod

      120

  • #
    ROM

    You are quite correct, Peter C
    :-)

    40

  • #
    Mardler

    So, CO2 is the most prominent greenhouse gas?

    And Nature published this crap?!

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    • #
      Thomas The Tank Engine

      Yes sonny, it’s the “control knob” or “thermostat” for the klimate….. dincha know??

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Well, it can’t be water vapour, because you can see that. It has to be something invisible, otherwise it wouldn’t be real.

      Stands to reason …

      70

  • #
    llew Jones

    It seems that it is not only the AGW/ACC alarmist, religious who have a lot of trouble with the numbers but demographers of past populations, depending on their ideological bent, suffer from the same mental affliction.

    Refer the 50 million Native Americans in the days of and post Columbus mentioned in the little bit of nonsense about the 7ppm drop in CO2 causing a temperature decline:

    “While it is difficult to determine exactly how many Natives lived in North America before Columbus,[6] estimates range from a low of 2.1 million (Ubelaker 1976) to 7 million people (Russell Thornton) to a high of 18 million (Dobyns 1983).[7]”

    This excerpt has a climate change fraternity rationale for number fiddling ring about it:

    “…Historian David Henige has argued that many population figures are the result of arbitrary formulas selectively applied to numbers from unreliable historical sources. He believes this is a weakness unrecognized by several contributors to the field, and insists there is not sufficient evidence to produce population numbers that have any real meaning. He characterizes the modern trend of high estimates as “pseudo-scientific number-crunching.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas

    By the way we engineers get by quite well with the use of proven mathematical formulae.

    Wonder how much effect 7ppm would have inserted in the equation:Tb-Ta = K Ln (CO2b/CO2a).

    Strange none of the alarmists want to use this “settled science” equation for any of their projections or as a check on say the last 50 or 100 years.

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    • #
      aussie pete

      Do they use the same formulae to homogenize historical demographics as they do with temperature. I am an uneducated but very interested numbskull when it comes to climatology, but i can spot an absurdity at 50 paces.

      120

  • #
    pat

    o/t but want to post these two because they are similarly orwellian:

    12 March: RTCC: Ed King: Shell warns oil demand could fall without climate solution
    Demand for oil and gas could fall if major producers fail to find economically viable and publicly acceptable ways of cutting their climate-warming gas emissions, Shell has warned.
    The oil giant revealed its fears in its Strategic Report for 2014, released on Thursday, telling investors that new climate change regulations “may result in project delays and higher costs.”
    “Furthermore, continued and increased attention to climate change, including activities by non-governmental and political organisations, as well as more interest by the broader public, is likely to lead to additional regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” it said…
    ***In his foreword, Shell chairman Jorma Ollila said carbon pricing and technology to capture emissions remained the best ways to address climate change, but both needed “widespread” government support.
    “I was encouraged to hear at the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit in New York in September 2014 that the need for effective carbon pricing systems had broad support,” he wrote.
    “I hope that significant progress can be made on this at the crucial UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015.” …
    In 2014 the company recorded an improvement in earnings, US$19.0 billion compared with $16.7 billion in 2013, on a current cost of supplies basis…
    ***Despite the threat of increased regulations as a result of a proposed global climate pact, Shell said its investments in natural gas, biofuels and carbon, capture and storage (CCS) place it in a strong position for growth into the 2020s.
    In 2014 the company secured millions of pounds of UK government funding for a pilot CCS plant in Scotland, which aims to be the world’s first scale project at a gas-fired power station.
    “We expect that, in combination with renewables and use of CCS, natural gas will be essential for significantly lower CO2 emissions beyond 2020.
    “With Shell’s leading position in liquified natural gas (LNG) and new technologies for recovering gas from tight rock formations, we can supply natural gas to replace coal in power generation.”
    New equipment to tackle spills would also allow it to drill for oil in the Arctic in 2015, the company said, an area it classes as one of its “future opportunities” and “resource plays”.“Large reserves” in Iraq, Kazakhstan and Nigeria could also come available it added.
    http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/12/shell-warns-oil-demand-could-fall-without-climate-solution/

    12 March: Reuters Alister Doyle: Oil price fall may aid long-term Arctic exploitation-Norway
    A fall in oil prices may help long-term exploitation of fossil fuels in the Arctic by averting a short-lived “gold rush” into the vulnerable icy region, Norway’s Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said on Thursday.
    Exploitation of oil and gas required long planning to safeguard the fragile environment, which is heating up faster than the world average because of global warming, he said.
    “It is safe to assume that Arctic gas will have its day,” he said in a speech at an Arctic conference, saying that burning natural gas emitted half the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide as coal.
    Brende said some projections for an opening of the Arctic to shipping, oil and gas exploration and mining, had been too optimistic amid a thaw that has cut the extent of winter sea ice on the Arctic Ocean close to a record low this month.
    “We should be very happy that there was not a ‘gold rush’,” he told reporters in Oslo. “A ‘gold rush is not positive, it’s throwing oneself at resources at breakneck speed.”
    “The Arctic is a very vulnerable area where we have to go step by step” with strong environmental rules, he said.
    Still, he said that fossil fuels would continue to dominate the world’s energy mix and would be needed from more Arctic areas.
    Statoil’s Snoehvit gas field, in the Barents Sea, is so far Norway’s only Arctic offshore field. Eni’s Goaliat field is due to start producting oil in mid-2015…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/norway-arctic-idUSL5N0WE3OT20150312

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    cedarhill

    When one believes in fairy tales, there’s no Grimm story that’s false.

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      john robertson

      Have you noticed that the folk tales are no longer favoured reading?
      How many under 30 even know these classics?
      The Emperors new clothes indeed.

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        Senex

        Not true. The bulk of most official school curricula is made up of fairy tales and myths these days.

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  • #
    Andrew RIchards

    It ought to be crystal clear to any sober-minded citizen who takes the slightest interest in the current plight of the former western liberal democracies – as evidenced by official rejection of reason, logic and objective truth (ie. objective science) – that a New Order of humanity-hating tyrants, have, once again, seized the reigns of power. History has often disagreed with the adage: ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. Sadly, the sober-minded citizenry in almost all of the western liberal democracies, find they have been disarmed. I put it to you the pen will once again prove to be unsatisfactory.

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    Radical Rodent

    Bit of a volte face, surely? For long, we have been assured that things like the Little Ice Age, MWP, Dark Ages and Roman Warming Period were not really real; now, it seems, they are saying that sceptics were right, but for the wrong reasons. Odd, though, how it all remains the fault of the White Man…

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    sillyfilly

    re:

    “120 Northern Hemisphere proxies show the world was as warm as now 1000 years ago.”

    Hmm the same paper suggests a very different appraisal:
    “A very distinct warm peak occurs in the new reconstruction in the second half of the 10th century with temperatures up to 0.6 C warmer than the calibration period 1880–1960 AD, equalling the temperatures of the mid-20th century. This warm event represents the climax of the MWP.”
    FYI

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      Find me the global proxies that go right through to modern times. Lets do the temperature comparisons without comparing modern thermometers and a totally different method.

      Where are they?

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      tom0mason

      SF
      As the saying goes
      “Believe that and I got a bridge to sell you!”

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      Radical Rodent

      …equalling the temperatures of the mid-20th century.

      Yet we still do not have farms in Greenland, as the Vikings did, 1,000 years ago. Funny, that, how “equalling” works.

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  • #

    It’s really hard to believe how terrible the United States was when it came to slavery. I mean, from 1619 until slavery was abolished in 1865, almost 600,000 slaves came from Africa.

    Those awful Americans.

    Just from 1700 until 1800, 1.7 Million slaves were sent to Brazil, and over the time Brazil had slavery, and they were the last Country to abolish it, in 1888, an estimated 4 Million slaves were sent to Brazil from Africa.

    Those awful Americans.

    Tony.

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      Chris, Hervey Bay.

      Hi Tony,
      I was in Gettysburg yesterday, Friday.
      Very moving.
      I was surprised to learn that the population of the US was 33 Million in 1865. And over 600,000 lost their lives in the civil war.

      And in Aus. we only have 23 Million today.

      Chris in Newtown, PA.

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      nfw

      And not only that, while the Americans may have been the buyers I wonder who were the sellers? Not too many white guys out there in the jungle brining in the human cargo were there? Of course it had nothing to do with islam or black on black racism as only white Europeans are capable of that. Anyway it now looks as though correlation does mean causation or vice versa. Anything the amazing 97% seems to say goes with stats it seems.

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        sophocles

        I wonder who were the sellers?

        The British and the Arabs. The British Blackbirders bought from Arabs and shipped the `cargo,’ in atrocious conditions, to the Americas.

        `Blackbirding’ was widely practised around the Pacific to provide cheap labour wherever it was needed in the 19th and even the 20th Centuries, despite the collapse/cessation of American slavery. Slavery is alive and well even now.

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      tom0mason

      You may wish to peruse this article on African slavery.
      A quote from it says -

      “The reality is that black Africans were buying and selling slaves as well, and slavery has only recently (as recent as the 1980’s) been abolished in many African countries. ”

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    red breast

    That’s not science. THIS is science!

    Climate change ‘could make steak worse’
    EDs: Not for use before 0001 (AEDT) on Sunday, March 15

    CANBERRA, March 15 AAP – A good old Aussie BBQ may not taste quite as good for future generations, according to new research.

    A study of the impact of climate change on 55 foods grown in Australia, found the quality of beef and chicken may plummet, eggplants may look weirder than they already do and carrots could taste worse.

    The report by researchers at the University of Melbourne said Australia’s dry deserts will become hotter, heavy rain will increase in areas like NSW and cyclones will become less frequent but more intense in the north.

    It found those predictions will impact agriculture production and force farmers to adapt to changing conditions.

    That could mean cattle farmers switch to more heat-tolerant, but lower eating-quality, cows and winemakers will have to migrate south or face lower-quality yields.

    The cost of apples could rise as farmers try to combat extreme temperatures with shade cloths, while bananas could go back to 2006 post-Cyclone Larry prices if cyclones of severe intensity chew up Queensland crops.

    Cheese could be harder to get as extreme heat reduces milk production and the fight against disease in Atlantic salmon farms could be more difficult.

    University of Melbourne associate professor Richard Eckard said the report was a wake up call, with some of the affects predicted in the next five decades.

    “It makes you appreciate that global warming is not a distant phenomenon but a very real occurrence that is already affecting the things we enjoy in our everyday lives,” he said.

    Crop farmer Rob McCreath, from Felton, QLD, said farmers were at the pointy end of climate change.

    “Last year was our hottest on record, this ones shaping up to be even worse, and we’ve got a raging drought over a vast area,” he said.

    “In spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence, our idiotic politicians are hooked on coal and gas, which is the cause of the problem.”

    The report was developed as part of the Earth Hour campaign, which encourages Australians to switch off lights on March 28.

    © AAP 2015

    Forget switching off the lights, these people already have and there’s nobody home!

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    RB

    75-200 million Europeans died in the mid 14th century from the Black Death (1346–53) and 25 million in China (how many in the rest of Asia?). Social upheaval meant that farms were abandoned. This was farming with a plough using horses or oxen.

    What do you reckon, a drop in CO2 levels of 14ppm minimum?

    It killed between 30-60% of the population so I suspect the truth is that the Native American populations were reduced by half.

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    We could just read the newspapers from the time the CO2 began to fall and the previous rise.
    1561
    “one of the best and most convincing pieces of evidence would have to be the epic Nuremburg “space battle”
    https://youtu.be/Bg7wUrpTpNY
    Freaked out version.
    https://youtu.be/shCDhVoU5bg

    1490
    “The number of people who were struck and died from the stones was several ten-thousands. A separate source mentions that all the residents of one city fled elsewhere under the rain of stones.”
    https://www.mail-archive.com/meteorite-list@meteoritecentral.com/msg80757.html

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    Greg Cavanagh

    Assuming that blue band is the error bar, it’s interesting that the error is uniform through time.

    Also interesting that it follows the line rather than the numbers at the right hand side, what’s up with that?

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    Barry

    They must have had Al Gore analyse the graph for them.

    Remember the ‘notice something there’ comment at the beginning of his original money-maker.

    70

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    Yonniestone

    This reminds me of an article in the Reader’s Digest 1933 titled “Eugenics, why Negros are destroying crop rotation in America” truly inspiring thoughts that blazed the way for CAGW.

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    el gordo

    Ho hum, 1964 makes more sense, as you know that is when extraterrestrials took a closer look.

    http://io9.com/when-did-the-anthropocene-begin-here-are-the-two-most-1690905743

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    Ruairi

    The theory revealed on this page,
    Is a warmist attempt to upstage,
    Solar experts who hold,
    That the sun caused the cold,
    Which brought us The Little Ice Age.

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    manalive

    The most profound effect humans have had on the Earth started about 40,000 years ago with the extinction of the megafauna which started in Australia and spread around the world with the spread of human populations.

    70

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      Thomas The Tank Engine

      The most profound effect humans have had on the Earth started about 40,000 years ago with the extinction of the megafauna

      Right, so it was the diminishing of mega farts, causing a rapid fall in atmospheric methane (a far more powerful GHG than CO2), which caused the last Ice Age….

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      I am now pretty old.
      However, I started as an apprentice woodcutter in the Nullabor forrest.

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    PeterS

    I can see why the global warming alarmists are focusing on the past to perpetrate their ideological crap. They have lost the argument of the present and the past can be interpreted any which way once chooses because it can’t be proven or disproven unless one has a time machine to observe the actual events of the past. As far as I’m concerned, Scientific American is anything but scientific. It’s about varying opinions and superstitions.

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  • #
    Bobl

    Is it possible to commit a whole magazine to the funny farm? Because Scientific American appears to have lost all grip on reality…

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      bemused

      They haven’t lost their grip on reality, they’ve simply manufactured an alternate reality; as is ever the way with the Greens et al.

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    Theo Goodwin

    Unbelievable chutzpah. So, 50 million “native Americans” had cut down the forests and were farming grain? And the 38 million slaves who were brought over, they were replanting forests? I don’t think so. The magazine is now run by kool-aid fueled robots.

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    tom0mason

    The guys that wrote this paper —
    What were they smoking?

    I presume this utter rubbish will soon be a published as super quality, peer-reviewed, government funded BS dressed-up as pure unadulterated hokum!

    50

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    Yonniestone

    I believe their moving in another direction and renaming as “Scientific American Enquirer”
    , look forward to headlines such as….

    - Mann sick of deniers, declares Dendrochronology rooted.
    - Oreskes admits climate change ‘was’ history.
    - Trenberth looks into Mariana’s trench and likes what he sees!
    - Huge fossilized turd directly linked to Algoresaurus.
    - Bi-o fuels could swing either way.

    It’s science Bob but not as we know it.

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    pat

    Scientific American, which is part of Nature Publishing, is now owned by German publishing house, Holltzbrinck:

    15 Jan 2015: HOLTZBRINCK PUBLISHING GROUP AND BC PARTNERS ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO MERGE MAJORITY OF MACMILLAN SCIENCE AND EDUCATION WITH SPRINGER SCIENCE+BUSINESS MEDIA
    Joint venture will create a leading publishing group with c. EUR 1.5 billion turnover and 13,000 employees
    London and Berlin: Holtzbrinck Publishing Group (Holtzbrinck) and BC Partners (BCP) announced today that they have reached an agreement to merge Springer Science+Business Media (owned by funds advised by BCP) in its entirety with the majority of Holtzbrinck-owned Macmillan Science and Education (MSE), namely Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education.
    This is a strategic transaction by Holtzbrinck and BCP aimed at securing the long-term growth of both businesses. It will create a leading global science and education publishing house with the opportunity to better serve its authors, the research community, academic institutions, learned societies and corporate research departments, as well as to extend its reach within the education and learning markets…
    http://se.macmillan.com/Media/News/HOLTZBRINCK-PUBLISHING-GROUP-AND-BC-PARTNERS-ANNOUNCE–AGREEMENT-TO-MERGE-MAJORITY-OF-MACMILLAN-SCIENCE-AND-EDUCATION–WITH-SPRINGER-SCIENCE-BUSINESS-MEDIA/?taxId=145

    expect more articles such as the one being discussed in this thread. this is from, or linked from, Holtzbrinck’s homepage:

    Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
    Responsibility
    Our responsibility extends beyond our daily work: we are committed in a larger sense to having a positive effect on the earth and on the society in which we live…
    At Holtzbrinck we are committed to the long term health of the earth’s many cultures and societies as well as to the planet itself…
    Scientific American, in its 168 year history, has published over 240 articles from Nobel Laureates including Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling, Francis Crick, Hans A Bethe, Steven Weinberg, Harold Varmus and Al Gore. Nature has published many scientific breakthroughs since its start in 1869…
    If you want to learn more about our sustainability efforts, please visit the following sites:

    Responsible Business
    Sustainability
    It is a pleasure and privilege for us to support the following institutions and societies amongst many others:

    Cancer Research, UK and various cancer charities in the USA
    Carbonfund.org, USA
    Common Purpose, UK, Germany and South Africa
    Creative Commons
    Euroscience Open Forum
    Förderverein Kinderfreundliches Stuttgart e.V., Germany
    Goethe Institut, Germany
    International Association of Teachers of English
    Literacy Partners, USA
    London University of the Arts, UK
    Macmillan Cancer Support, UK
    Max-Planck-Society, Germany
    Museum on the Seam, Israel
    National Book Foundation, USA
    New York Public Library, USA
    Oxfam, UK
    PEN International
    Pilotlight Foundation, Australia
    The Publishing Training Centre, UK
    S. Fischer Stiftung, Germany
    Skip Lunch Fight Hunger, New York
    Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, Germany
    Stiftung Lesen, Germany
    The American Academy in Berlin, Germany
    The Nature Conservancy, USA
    TYCA Outstanding Community College Teacher award, USA
    UK Science Media Centre
    United Jewish Appeal, USA
    Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

    from the Sustainability page:

    Macmillan’s Goals for Carbon Reduction…
    In 2009, corporate sustainability became part of the very mission of Macmillan. Not just as a press release, not just around the edges, but woven into the very fabric of our company. As part of this effort, we decided to focus on CO2 emissions as our most pressing issue, with a goal of a 65 percent reduction in our carbon footprint (over our 2009 baseline) by the end of the current decade in 2020. If you do not share our conviction in the likelihood of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions leading to a climate crisis—because it is not an absolutely proven fact—perhaps you might agree that the consequences of its being ultimately proven true are so dire that it is more prudent to take preventative action now rather than past the point where a catastrophic situation is beyond remedial action…
    https://www.holtzbrinck.com/

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    Rod Stuart

    The following is off topic. I was waiting for an unthreaded weekend.
    It does have to do with the ridiculous concept of “settled science” and consensus.
    Apparently, prior to his death at the age of 90, Karl Popper wrote an essay that sort of blasts Darwin’s theory of evolution.
    Pardon, it rather suggests that Darwin may have had a point, but the interpretation of post-modern science is only the tip of the evolutionary iceberg.
    For some reason, this essay was not submitted to the Royal Society. Supposedly, Popper wanted to do more work on it so that it would be bullet proof.
    After his death, it as well as several other manuscripts were quarantined until 2019. Why? By whom?
    In any event, a researcher named Niemann has procured this one, five years early.
    Fundamentally it proposes that Lamark evolution is not a dead theory after all.
    I thought our resident philosopher Rereke would be interested.

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    • #
    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Rod;

      Darwin could never explain how evolution operated. Indeed at times he invoked Lamarck. This was the basis of the opposition from Richard Owen, who despite believing in evolution, was written out of history because of that opposition. Owen sought a religious reason for the original impulse. Owen is back in ‘fashion’ because he has ideas about the subject which were rejected with him.
      Alfred Russel Wallace also suggested the same idea as Popper. He suggested that a population might split because of geographical reasons, e.g. a river changing course, and develop differently. He postulated that even when the 2 races were still cross fertile they might fail to cross because of behavioural factors.
      Lamarck didn’t really foreshadow this idea. It was Geoffroy Saint Hilaire who postulated the embryo as the site of change. The idea was taken up by Grant at the University College at London and subjected to attack by Darwin, Owen, Buckland and just about everyone else.

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        tom0mason

        Graeme No.3
        Well I live and learn just reading your and Rod Stuart’s comments.

        That is completely the opposite effect of reading the BS dressed as science from Sciency Amerikant.

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    Ross

    I wonder whether Scientific America would publish this sort of information re bird kill totals by wind farms , esp. the free pass Obama is gives golden eagle kills

    http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/new/us-windfarms-kill-10-20-times-more-than-previously-thought.html

    If these warmists were true environmentalists they should be marching on the White House.

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    pat

    15 March: SMH: Peter Hannam: Hotter, harder times forecast for the farm as climate changes food production
    Australia’s agricultural sector faces profound challenges from climate change over coming decades forcing the migration of some crops and the use of new varieties of others, a new report by the University of Melbourne researchers.
    A warming, largely drying climate for a range of foods from almonds to zuchinis has been identified by the The Appetite for Change study, finding few likely winners.
    “Food production in Australia will need to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change,” said Richard Eckard, an associate professor. “But there are limits to the temperatures and extreme weather events that farmers will be able to adapt to.”…
    For farm animals, the main impact may be caused by heatwaves, which are anticipated to become more intense, more frequent and last longer. According to the latest research by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, the number of extreme heat versus extreme cool daily records since 2001 is running three-to-one for maximums and five-to-one for minimums.
    “In a heat event, they all suffer heat stress,” said Professor Eckard, who is also director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, a joint venture between Melbourne University and the Victorian government…
    Whereas rising carbon dioxide levels assists plant growth – the so-called fertilisation effect – the benefits are curtailed if there is insufficient water, phosphorous, nitrogen and other nutrients. Wheat, for instance, may increase in quantity but have lower levels of protein.
    “You get nothing for nothing in nature,” Professor Eckard said…
    Banana plantations are concentrated in north-east Queensland, leaving them exposed to cyclone strikes, such as from Cyclone Yasi in 2011. Cyclones may become less frequent but more intense, according to climate studies…
    Despite farming generating some $48 billion in 2012-13 and already exposed to Australia’s famously fickle climate, the Abbott government’s green paper on agricultural competition published in December omitted any mention of climate change.
    “The federal government’s really behind the eight-ball on this because they are playing politics,” Professor Eckard said…
    ***The Appetite for Change report’s release marks the launch of Earth Hour, in which millions of people in 160 nations are expected to switch off their lights for 60 minutes. This year’s event kicks off at 8.30 pm, AEDT, of Sunday, March 28…
    Foods affected include:…blah blah blah
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/hotter-harder-times-forecast-for-the-farm-as-climate-changes-food-production-20150314-143xai.html

    LinkedIn: Richard Eckard
    Associate Professor and Director at The University of Melbourne
    Richard Eckard is an Associate Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, a joint initiative between the University of Melbourne and the Victorian DPI.
    He sits on science advisory panels for the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments on climate change research in agriculture and leads research programs in enteric methane, nitrous oxide and whole farm systems modelling of mitigation and adaptation strategies.
    Richard has published over 90 scientific publications, holds a number of national and international science leadership roles, being a keynote speaker at numerous industry and international science conferences over the past few years.
    Education:
    The University of Natal
    PhD, Agriculture 1979 – 1982
    http://au.linkedin.com/pub/richard-eckard/42/360/239

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    manalive

    Memo to Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin:
    There are at least about 5 billion people in the world who would like to live and work in comfortable conditions like you, who would like to afford good food, good clothes, furnishings and the rest, pleasant surroundings, a car or two, three to four weeks (or more) annual holidays in faraway places, have their children survive infancy, have them educated at good schools and universities, get good well-paid jobs like you and live to a ripe old age as you expect to.
    If that’s what you want to call it then roll on ‘Anthropocene’.

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    PeterD

    50 million Native Americans were land-clearing farmers c1500??

    Ah yes, silly me. They were supplying kinnikinnick to … um, . Ok, I’ll get back to you.

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    john karajas

    Scientific American has gone down-down-downhill in quality these last twenty years. A pity, it was an excellent buy and read before that. I have also gone off the subscription list of The Economist. Why it has accepted the Warmists propaganda hook line and sinker is beyond me but maybe they wish to be viewed as “right thinking”. Vapid conformity is what it is.

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    Roy Hogue

    Nothing is too outrageous for Scientific American. Voodoo American suits them much better than Scientific.

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      Roy Hogue

      Of course if you look long enough specifically for CO2 causing something you can eventually find it. But it’s just confirmation bias.

      I wonder why it took them so long to think of this particular exercise in “science”.

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    Truthseeker

    Jo,

    Sorry about the lack of a link. I am having a problem commenting on some sites from home and even tried different browers. It is good to know that the moderation was actual moderation and not a technical one.

    By the way, here is the link I should have given …

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Myths-of-Islam.htm#slavery

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    Alamo47

    You’ve mentioned stressed steaks. Off topic a little I’ve noticed over the past few years that my beloved medium rare steak has no juice in it. Previously even a medium rare steak had juices running, and a rare steak was happily swimming in its own juices all over the place. What has happened? Well I think it is all due to the halal certification that has been imposed on us. In his recent articles on halal Pickering said that ALL meat in Australia is now halal certified, i.e. the beast has been slaughtered in accordance with islam practice. The result of this is that much of the blood is bled from the beast at slaughter, so when the steak arrives on your plate it has very little blood in it. Now I love my steak, and I love a nice juicy one, but I must take objection in allowing 2% of the population dictate to the other 98% how their steak should be produced. Happily I enjoy a nice pork cutlet and some bacon so all is not lost, but I think it a ridiculous state of affairs that halal certification is allowed in our country.
    [The article that mentioned stressed steaks, post dates where you have placed this comment. I suggest you copy it, and find a suitable place for it on the "Be afraid for your red wine and steak now" thread.] Fly

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      Rod Stuart

      While I certainly agree with the complaint you make, I am more than a little skeptical about the premise regarding juicy steak.
      Although I have never worked in an abattoir, I grew up on a farm where we slaughtered and butchered our own meat.
      When a cattle beast is humanely slaughtered, it is stunned immediately before the carotid artery is severed.
      This does not mean the animal is dead when bled. It is unconscious, heart still pumping, and it dies unconscious due to being bled out.
      For some reason the Muslims and Jews believe in some religious ritual in which the more pain that can be inflicted on the poor animal the better. (Not sure that is specifically the case with kosher). Civilised people, on the other hand, try to minimise the pain and suffering because then the meat is not tainted with adrenaline as is the case due to the animal’s anxiety. In fifteenth century Europe, it was thought that the more anxiety and pain the better, hence the introduction of the Bulldog into the operation. All I can say is that they must have liked their steak tough as old boot leather in those days. A Bulldog latches onto the animals nose until it eventually suffocates. That is not kosher.
      Therefore I would take a great deal of convincing to think that there is any difference in the carcass to be butchered.
      If you read all of Pickering’s stuff, I think you will find that just because meat is “halal certified” bears no relation whatsoever to anything other than a certification payment to an extortion ring.
      When we slaughtered a hog back home we would shoot him at close range in the forehead with a .22. This is not sufficiently lethal to kill the animal, but renders him unconscious. But then, you don’t seem to hear a lot about halal bacon and pork spare ribs. I hope I haven’t grossed you out. A moose shot cleanly through the neck and then bled out provides tender, succulent lean steak. If you have to chase him for a mile, he is like eating a rubber ball. They must like that in the desert.

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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Civilised people, on the other hand, try to minimise the pain and suffering because then the meat is not tainted with adrenaline as is the case due to the animal’s anxiety.

        In the middle-eastern countries I have visited, meat tends to be double cooked. A “joint” will be roasted, and then, when cold, shredded and mixed with rice and legumes, and cooked again so that it can be eaten with he fingers of one hand. ;-)

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        Just-A-Guy

        Rod Stewart,

        For some reason the Muslims and Jews believe in some religious ritual in which the more pain that can be inflicted on the poor animal the better. (Not sure that is specifically the case with kosher).

        In the case of meat and poultry ritually slaughtered according to the kosher dietary laws, the blade used to kill the animal must be sharp enough to cut completely through a very specific location of the animals neck ‘in one movement’. That location is where the primary nerve leading to and from the brain passes through to the rest of the body. After each cut, the blade is checked for nicks by running it along one of the finger nails at a certain angle. If there is any imperfection the blade is resharpenned.

        As soon as that nerve is cut there is no longer any pain felt by the animal and any movement left in the body is just latent electrical activity. c.f. running around like a chicken without head.

        As far as the blood being drained, the belief is that the soul is connected to the body via the blood and so forbidden for consumption.

        It’s actually more involved than this but I’ve intentionally made the explanation as short as possible because I’ve seen the mods object to allowing threads devolve into religious arguments (and rightly so in my opinion) which as we all know can get pretty heated.

        Abe

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          Rod Stuart

          Fair enough. I guess I provided too much information. What I really meant to say is that I am very skeptical that Halal certificates have anything to do with how ‘juicy’ a steak is. They are, nonetheless, essentially a tax which we pay at the grocery store that is collected for some purpose for which we simply do not know the justification. (or the recipient). It was not my intention that it evolve into a religious confrontation.

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            Just-A-Guy

            Rod Stewart,

            I am very skeptical that Halal certificates have anything to do with how ‘juicy’ a steak is.

            So am I. Blood isn’t the only liquid in the body. Every cell, except maybe bone and cartilage, is primarily water anyway. How juicy a steak is probably has more to do with how it’s cooked than how much blood it has.

            As far as the religion thing, one of the main reasons I like this blog is precisely because there’s none of the flame wars associated with it here. Of course the open, honest skepticism is also a key point. Also, Jo and all the rest of you here, have created an overall feeling of being welcome to join in.

            It was not my intention that it evolve into a religious confrontation.

            I never thought you did nor did I take offence. :)

            Abe

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    Owen Morgan

    There is simply no reliable evidence as to what the loss of life was from diseases introduced by Europeans into the New World. Yes, smallpox, measles, malaria and various viruses killed many, but we have no idea how many, or what the population was either before or after the Europeans arrived. Estimates vary wildly, very wildly. (The greenies, who presumably condemn the Europeans for spreading malaria, also want to put Rachel Carson, malaria’s saviour, on the US$20 banknote.)

    Archaeological evidence from the time of the Emperor Justinian I indicates that a significant drop in temperature preceded the outbreak of a bubonic plague epidemic (which is what the Black Death also was).

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