Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating bluefin tuna.
Bluefin is a delicacy, not usually eaten as steaks. It is usually three small slices, certainly no more than five or six, on a plate containing three or four species of fish.
In the controversies surrounding fishery management and questions of species abundance in the US and Europe, environmental organizations may tend to overstate the issues, and for very good reason: Environmental organizations are essentially lobbyists and mostly depend on public donations for their livelihood. Therefore, they tend to overstate in order to attract the attention of the public to a given issue. And that is precisely how public opinion has been shaped on the issue of bluefin.
Anyone who reads the news knows that these days NOAA is not considered a compliant partner of US fishermen. NOAA’s decision to not place Atlantic bluefin under protection of the Endangered Species Act at the end of May 2011, was not a capitulation to the bluefin fishermen, but an historic decision based upon exhaustive study undertaken over 12 months and involving US and European scientists and fishery management specialists both inside and outside of government. Some of the best minds in bluefin science had input into this exhaustive process. There is no doubt that if NOAA had any way of validating the probability of extinction or even the threat of extinction, they would have listed the bluefin under ESA. The simple fact is that there is no creditable pelagic scientist who will sign their name to a statement saying that Atlantic bluefin is, 1/ endangered with extinction, 2/ threatened with extinction or, 3/ near [or “on the edge of..”] extinction.
As to the issue of commerce driving the bluefin to extinction, we can thank the media for this misunderstanding. There are no US bluefin fishermen who have Mercedes parked in front of their homes. Practically every article written on bluefin never fails to mention that bluefin sells in Tokyo for upwards of $150,000 “for one fish”. It is amazing to me that journalists have never even bothered to check on this. Auction data from Tsukiji Market for bluefin is available every day online. US bluefin fishermen receive approximately $4-8/lb for their fish, less than they would get if they fished for scallops. The US bluefin fishery is a small, artisanal fishery in which the fish are caught sustainably using hand techniques. The Pew has recently validated this statement. No industrialized fishing methods are allowed. Each vessel is a sole proprietorship, owned by its captain. The US bluefin artisanal fishery is the most highly regulated bluefin fishery in the world. The limit per day in season is three fish and the minimum size must be 73”. A fisherman would be very lucky to catch three fish in one day. It is true, however, that once every year or so, usually in Dec or Jan, an Asian restauranteur dramatically bids up the price of one bluefin at Tsukiji Market as a publicity stunt and this is what finds its way into the media.
From: Maurizio Morabito
Date: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 8:32 PM
Subject: factual error in book review “Polar Distress” by Holly Morris (last weekend’s)
To: Letters IHT , Letters NYT
Dear Sirs or Madams
Ms Morris quotes from Ms Wheeler’s book about
one boggling case: Endocrine-disrupting chemicals handed up the food chain have triggered changes in the sex of unborn children in the first three weeks of gestations, resulting in the birth of twice as many girls as boys in some villages in Greenland and among the Inuit nations of eastern Russia
That is an unwarranted claim that originally appeared in The Guardian in 2007 and was attributed to the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), AMAP itself has distanced itself from that very same claim, for example writing in its 2009 SOAER report that
Systematic epidemiological studies, including all possible confounders and other relevant contaminants, must be performed before any conclusive statements can be made about contaminants and sex ratios in Arctic populations
And if you check, AMAP has been consistently reminding its reports’ readers about the preliminary nature of any suggestion of a link between pollution and sex ratios in humans, at least since 2006.
Neither Ms Wheeler, and worse, nor Ms Morris appear to have been curious enough to verify what they were writing about, and especially concerning such a “boggling” example. Please publish a correction as soon and as prominently as possible, otherwise your readers will find themselves severely mislead by a demonstrated falsehood.
Thanks in anticipation
World Exclusive: CIA 1974 Document Reveals Emptiness of AGW Scares, Closes Debate On Global Cooling Consensus (And More…)
(originally published on Dec 3 in my climate blog)
An eye-opening “global cooling consensus” CIA document dated 1974 has just been re-discovered in the British Library by Yours Truly and is extensively mentioned today in the (printed) pages of The Spectator (UK) and Il Foglio (Italy).
(the (suitably degraded) scan of the Spectator article is at the bottom of this blog)
“A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems” will make quite an embarrassing reading, especially for:
- the most obdurate catastro-warmists (when they will notice that almost all AGW scares are a search-and-replace job from “cooling” to “warming”), and
- the history deniers fixated on ‘demonstrating’ that a scientific consensus about Global Cooling in the 1970’s were a ‘myth'(*)
And there is more (much more), from ever-improving climate models promising to become good in a few years’ time to the unsettling apparent ease with which Government agencies then (as now) could get scientists to agree on whatever they needed them to agree on.
Nobody aware of the CIA document’s contents should be able to avoid a good chuckle after reading any of the current AGW reports on famine, starvation, refugee crises, floods, droughts, crop and monsoon failures, and all sorts of extreme weather phenomena; on climate-related major economic problems around the world; on Africans getting in climate troubles first; and so on and so forth.
Why? Because it is all too clear that those scares cannot be real, since they have already been mentioned verbatim in all their dramatic effect, but about Global Cooling.
The whole lot of them, they are just empty threats, instruments of doom-and-gloom policy manipulation with no relation to reality.
It is deeply ironic that it takes a 35-year-old document, available on the web so far only in title, to show the absolute vacuity of the vast majority of pre-COP15 reports and studies. It is time to ditch everything we hear about collapsing ice sheets, disappearing glaciers, species extinctions, and each and every “it’s worse than we thought” report by “scientists”.
It is time to become climate adults.
As I wrote for The Spectator:
This might be the most important lesson of the 1974 report on global cooling: that we need to grow up, separate climatology from fear, and recognise – much as it pains politicians and scientists – that our understanding of how climate changes remains in its infancy.
(stay tuned for the full text of the Spectator article, and the PDF of the PDF of the CIA document)
(*) Anybody thinking about Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s largely mistitled “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Volume 89, Issue 9, September 2008, pp 1325-1337)? Well, think again after reading this little gem of theirs:
By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972), the notion of a global cooling trend was widely accepted, albeit poorly understood
As I wrote a little more than a year ago: “Widely accepted”: check. “Global cooling”: check.. There was a global cooling consensus among scientists, at least up to 1974. And it went on to appear in Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times and many more media outlets around the world, at least up to 1976.
This is the scanned Spectator article
In the Obama Administration, Energy Secretary Steven Chu wants to start “addressing the scientific and technical challenges of climate change“. Meanwhile, Climate Czarine Carol Browner is on the record for stating that global warming is “the greatest challenge ever faced“.
But is that a vision shared by the President himself? Hardly so. Very recently at the Costa Mesa Town Hall Meeting in California (March 18) President Obama singularly failed to mention climate in a list of upcoming challenges including the cost of health care, the dependency on oil imports and education.
It appears that for the current President, “climate” is a useful but merely ancillary issue to “energy”. But how can “the greatest challenge ever faced” be subordinate to energy or anything else? And how long will the likes of Chu and Browner, and everybody else one the side of Al Gore, tolerate such a situation?
It will be interesting to see if the “doom and gloom” camp will be able to get any traction against President Obama’s very own “Yes we can” mantra.
Joanna Benn ponders in the BBC web site if “baby decisions” are “adding to the world’s woes”.
Luckily among the general doom and gloom, there is at least one reader making a very important comment to Benn’s absurdist thinking:
Hearing Ms Benn wonder aloud “how green it is” to have a child is chilling. My parents lived in a time when certain people asked each other, in deadly earnest, how “Aryan” some personal choices might be. One might turn and ask Ms Benn “how green it is” for HER to continue to walk the earth. After all, Ms Benn, with a residence of her own, undoubtedly consumes more valuable resources than an infant who simply
lives with its parents. But that is what we come to when we start running life by the numbers.
Seajay, Seattle, Washington
What Ms Benn does not realize, and what many people concerned about overpopulation don’t realize, is that it is one thing to wish a more manageable number of people to roam the world; but it is another, wholly different thing to behave and to reason as if children were things to hate.
And the latter is, frankly, monstrous.
Observationally, they have nothing to show to support their claims of upcoming climate disasters. Scientifically, they got it mixed up and regularly distort what Science is and is not showing. In practice, they are using persuasion tools developed to save pandas and the Hudson river, and those are the wrong ones because Anthropogenic Global Warming is not a species in peril now or a river polluted at the present, but a risk for the end of the century.
No wonder then, Climate Change activists have been fighting a mostly political battle for at least two decades. And the main objective appears time and again to force their solutions upon us, and to stifle all forms of dissent.
In desperation, what else have they got?
From today’s ( Oct 8 ) printed International Herald Tribune:
I understand Thomas Homer-Dixon and David Keith (“The ultimate sun-block,” Views, Oct. 7) when they state that it is better to study global-warming-related geo-engineering now rather than waiting. But what I do not understand is the interest in “flooding the atmosphere with manmade particles.”
Throwing colossal amounts of particles more or less at random into the sky, with no chance of retrieval, is surely a recipe for environmental upheaval.
Maurizio Morabito Orpington, England
Of course the above is a brutally shortened version of my full letter, as published in blog “Only Controllable Geo-engineering, Please!” where I did make the point that it is vital for all human anti-warming interventions to be fully controllable.
And before anybody refers to the ongoing atmospheric experiment called “the emission of additional CO2 from fossil fuels” let me clearly re-state the following: if we really need to combat the effect of the “CO2 emissions experiment” it makes no sense to experiment with a different set of emissions.