A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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IPCC announces Fatwa on meat eating

The Steak is coming to get you.

Good news, the Intergovernmental Holy Panel has finally released the new World-Saving IPCC Diet (WSID) which will stop storms, volcanoes and the spread of jellyfish. It also solves all those difficult dietary questions — instead of worrying about your weight, your blood pressure, or your brain, you can sip on a soy latte and know that even if you get dementia from the B12 deficiency or the tofu, you are A Virtuous Signaller. Lucky you.

And even though an atmospheric physicist supposedly can’t advise us on the climate, it’s fine for a climate scientist to tell us what to eat. They already tell us what car to drive and how many kids we should have. Why not?

Vegetarian diets and a “sin” tax on unsustainable meat could help to limit climate change, a major new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.

–The Australian

Sinning with meat for 2 million years?

Humans have been eating meat for 2.6 million years at least, or about 100,000 generations, but it’s time to take the precautionary principle and toss that genetic heritage to the wind.

Meat is a good [...]

Burn oil so we can eat more chocolate

The fake scare of the season — “climate change is impacting chocolate production”.

Chocolate is produced from the beans that grow on cocoa trees. These plants can only grow in a fairly narrow range of conditions, which makes them vulnerable to changes in the environment.

Unfortunately, climate change is threatening some of these key growing regions. According to the IPCC, rising temperatures and a relative reduction in rainfall could make areas like West Africa less suitable for cocoa production in the future. Changes to the climate are also pushing cocoa-growing regions to higher altitudes in some parts of the world, which can make some crops unsustainable.

We can see just how hard cocoa crops have been hit by record heat and 500 billion tons of carbon.

Global Cocoa production

Since 1989 humans have put out more than 50% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions since homo sapiens went sapien. There is an undeniable trend here.

Happy Easter to everyone.

h/t Dave B

Who wants to aim for the Paris policy, or worse the 2 °C target, and starve 84 million more people?

Fujimori et al estimate that if we aim for the 2°C Paris commitment as many as 84 million more people will be going hungry by 2050. Their solution, naturally, is to still aim for futile, global weather management targets, but to add another layer of socialist complexity and welfare. It’s only money.

If we feed corn to cars instead of people, and we limit land-use to carbon storage rather than food crops, how could the outcome be any other way? A million dead here, a million dead there, and pretty soon someone will be using their deaths to ask for for a grant, a tax, and a supranational committee.

For thirty years people have been saying we need to reduce our emissions as a precaution even though we can’t predict the climate. But when we can predict that people will starve, the principle seems to be do it anyway and “give them your money”. I can find zero mentions of the precautionary principle in their paper.

This paper is, yet again, another variation on a plea for more governance, more tax, more fiddling with global systems.

Inclusive climate change mitigation and food security policy under 1.5 °C climate goal Abstract [...]

Death, disease, coming in 2050 says model of model

“Half a million deaths by 2050!”

The Lancet study in a nutshell: Take climate models that don’t work, and guesstimate what might happen to agriculture because of the climate we probably won’t get. Then use those guesses of food production in 2050 to fantasize what that means for human mortality. After all, we don’t know how many people are killed today by “4% less fruit and vege and 0.7% less meat”, but we can estimate what that dietary change will do in 2050 after a medical revolution, 35 years of plant breeding and agricultural changes. Not to mention a few more rounds of global food fads and phases of Vegan, Paleo, Atkins, and 5:2 Fasting. (But how did they factor in the mortality effect from another 2,000 episodes of MasterChef?)

Seriously, CO2 has increased crop yields, and will continue to do so until we hit 1000ppm (or maybe 2000). Around the planet, plants grow in warm places, and shrivel up and die in cold ones. So do people. Cold kills 20 times as many people as heat does. It must take a lot of modeling to calculate “more deaths” from two good outcomes.

Look at where fruit grows. [...]

Global Warming to destroy sea-food as well

It’s a disaster for fish and chip shops. Children won’t know what a sea-food restaurant is.

Our oceans are warming by 0.005 °C per year (if you believe a thermometer system with a 0.5 °C error). But fish that cope with five degrees of natural variation will apparently be devastated by an average rise of five thousands of a degree per year. Who knew?

Earth’s oceans vary from 0 – 30° C. Warm and cold currents wander, eddy currents swirl. Very little of the ocean’s surface is actually at the exact “average” temperature. In any one spot, temperatures can be a full five degrees above or below average (as in this NOAA graph, below).

The sea surface temperature varies by up to five degrees from average every day

Humans may well be changing global fish stocks, but why toss in the unscientific advertising for “climate change”? As for the acidification scare, ocean pH changes on a daily basis, and hundreds of studies show that marine life might even benefit from a slight increase in “acidification”.


Seafood supply altered by climate change

The global supply of seafood is set to change substantially and many people will not [...]

Chocolate is the fountain of youth, eat blocks, live long, be slim

We have found the holy grail and it is chocolate. Lo, “Eating 100 g of chocolate daily linked to lowered heart disease and stroke risk”. One hundred grams a day! That’s about a quarter of the average adult woman’s total daily calorie intake. (About one sixth for a man).

So much for the 99% certain consensus that chocolate was junk food.


Eating up to 100 g of chocolate every day is linked to lowered heart disease and stroke risk. The calculations showed that compared with those who ate no chocolate higher intake was linked to an 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25% lower risk of associated death.

They base their findings on almost 21,000 adults taking part in the EPIC-Norfolk study…

Around one in five (20%) participants said they did not eat any chocolate, but among the others, daily consumption averaged 7 g, with some eating up to 100 g.

Chocolate was associated with younger age… (we want some of that, right?)

Higher levels of consumption were associated with younger age and lower weight (BMI), waist: hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins, diabetes and more regular [...]