"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, June 08, 2019

Links - 8th June 2019 (1) (Climate Change/Environmentalism)

Is Paul Ehrlich The Fifth Stooge? - "Basically, Ehrlich seems to perceive himself to be a modern-day Yahweh, wanting to rid the Earth of its infestation of sinful humans. While I would not go so far as to embrace Julian Simon’s enthusiasm for a large population, aside from a desire to see the backsides of certain individuals, the current planet is just a little crowded for my tastes. But to suggest putting contraceptives in people’s food, as Ehrlich has done, is beyond shocking. Especially on the back of such horrible research. Any number of scientists and experts have noted that Ehrlich has not only been laughably wrong and that he not only doesn’t acknowledge it, but considers himself prescient... As Gardner (p. 227) notes, “In two lengthy interviews, Ehrlich admitted making not a single major error in the popular works he published in the late 1960s and 1970s.”... In response to those who note his errors, he only admits to being off on the timing of events, but the reality is that things have moved in the opposite direction of what he predicted... There is an entire community of neo-Malthusians and anti-technologists who are not just misguided but hold flat out wrong opinions, yet are treated like rock stars. Ehrlich’s Wikipedia page lists eighteen awards and honors of which maybe half are from ecological or environmental groups. (By contrast, Julian Simon, whose work is much more scientific than Ehrlich’s, has only one.)... Ultimately, there needs to be a way to deal with demonstrably incorrect theories and to have discredited work acknowledged as such. Until we can, debate will too often be dominated by inverse Cassandras, those who are always wrong, but always heeded. Perhaps we should label them Ehrlichs"

Scotland's food waste causing more greenhouse gas than plastic - ""It might seem bizarre but scraping that leftover lasagne, mince or salad from your plate into the bin is seriously damaging the planet, because when those scraps of pasta and lettuce which you never got around to eating end up in landfill, they rot."As they break down, they emit methane, which is many times more harmful in the short-term to our climate than carbon dioxide (CO2)."Food waste is actually a bigger cause of climate change than plastics."... Zero Waste Scotland calculated that the carbon footprint of food waste collected from Scottish households that year was nearly three times that of plastic waste collected from people's homes, at roughly 1.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) compared to 0.73MtCO2e."
Cutting down on food waste costs companies profits, so good luck with that

Climate change: I work in the environmental movement. I don’t care if you recycle. - "One word about my five years at the Natural Resources Defense Council, or my work in the climate justice movement broadly, and I’m bombarded with pious admissions of environmental transgressions or nihilistic throwing up of hands. One extreme or the other... I don’t blame anyone for wanting absolution. I can even understand abdication, which is its own form of absolution. But underneath all that is a far more insidious force. It’s the narrative that has both driven and obstructed the climate change conversation for the past several decades. It tells us climate change could have been fixed if we had all just ordered less takeout, used fewer plastic bags, turned off some more lights, planted a few trees, or driven an electric car. It says that if those adjustments can’t do the trick, what’s the point? The belief that this enormous, existential problem could have been fixed if all of us had just tweaked our consumptive habits is not only preposterous; it’s dangerous. It turns environmentalism into an individual choice defined as sin or virtue, convicting those who don’t or can’t uphold these ethics. When you consider that the same IPCC report outlined that the vast majority of global greenhouse gas emissions come from just a handful of corporations — aided and abetted by the world’s most powerful governments, including the US — it’s victim blaming, plain and simple... industries have redirected the environmentalist narrative to blame consumers since the ever-so-problematic “Crying Indian” ad campaign of the 1970s... While we’re busy testing each other’s purity, we let the government and industries — the authors of said devastation — off the hook completely. This overemphasis on individual action shames people for their everyday activities, things they can barely avoid doing because of the fossil fuel-dependent system they were born into. In fact, fossil fuels supply more than 75 percent of the US energy system.If we want to function in society, we have no choice but to participate in that system. To blame us for that is to shame us for our very existence"

James Lovelock: environmentalism has become a religion - "Environmentalism has "become a religion" and does not pay enough attention to facts, according to James Lovelock.The 94 year-old scientist, famous for his Gaia hypothesis that Earth is a self-regulating, single organism, also said that he had been too certain about the rate of global warming in his past book, that "it’s just as silly to be a [climate] denier as it is to be a believer” and that fracking and nuclear power should power the UK, not renewable sources such as windfarms... Lovelock said of the warnings of climate catastrophe in his 2006 book, Revenge of Gaia: "I was a little too certain in that book. You just can’t tell what’s going to happen."“It [the impact from climate change] could be terrible within a few years, though that’s very unlikely, or it could be hundreds of years before the climate becomes unbearable," he said."

Why Is It So Hard to Predict the Future? - "In the 30 years since Ehrlich sent Simon a check, the track record of expert forecasters—in science, in economics, in politics—is as dismal as ever. In business, esteemed (and lavishly compensated) forecasters routinely are wildly wrong in their predictions of everything from the next stock-market correction to the next housing boom. Reliable insight into the future is possible, however. It just requires a style of thinking that’s uncommon among experts who are certain that their deep knowledge has granted them a special grasp of what is to come... experts were, by and large, horrific forecasters. Their areas of specialty, years of experience, and (for some) access to classified information made no difference. They were bad at short-term forecasting and bad at long-term forecasting. They were bad at forecasting in every domain. When experts declared that future events were impossible or nearly impossible, 15 percent of them occurred nonetheless. When they declared events to be a sure thing, more than one-quarter of them failed to transpire. As the Danish proverb warns, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Even faced with their results, many experts never admitted systematic flaws in their judgment... Hedgehogs are deeply and tightly focused. Some have spent their career studying one problem. Like Ehrlich and Simon, they fashion tidy theories of how the world works based on observations through the single lens of their specialty. Foxes, meanwhile, “draw from an eclectic array of traditions, and accept ambiguity and contradiction,” Tetlock wrote. Where hedgehogs represent narrowness, foxes embody breadth.Incredibly, the hedgehogs performed especially poorly on long-term predictions within their specialty. They got worse as they accumulated experience and credentials in their field. The more information they had to work with, the more easily they could fit any story into their worldview.Unfortunately, the world’s most prominent specialists are rarely held accountable for their predictions, so we continue to rely on them even when their track records make clear that we should not"

Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us - "major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world. The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents... Already, according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 'catastrophic' shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war"
From 2004

A multi-country analysis on potential adaptive mechanisms to cold and heat in a changing climate - "despite the progressively warmer temperatures, our findings indicate a strong reduction in vulnerability to heat in the past decades in most of the countries included in the present study. This suggests that the pace of decrease in susceptibility to heat has been faster than the observed warming, which indicates scope for adaptation to further warming under climate change... health burden attributed to ambient temperatures persisted at the end of the study period in most of the locations, with a considerably larger extent for cold"
Cold is more deadly than heat, and heat is actually a decreasing problem

Climate Change is a Problem But Not the End of the World - "Bjorn does believe that sea levels would rise but that this is not a big overall cost.Hurricanes will go from 0.04% of world GDP damage to 0.02% of world GDP by 2100. However, it would have declined to 0.01% of world GDP if there was no global warming.There will be 2-4% of economic impact in 2100, but this is from a projected increase of 1000-3000% in world GDP. This would mean that the GDP of 2100 would be the GDP of 2099. We would lose one year of growth.The Doha round of world trade agreements would have made everyone in the world on average $1000 per year richer in 2030. It would have raised 146 million people out of poverty... Bjorn lists the costs and benefits of the smartest solutions to twelve global problems. If $75 billion were spent over four years.The highest ranked solution – meaning that it yields the most benefit for the least cost – is to spend $3 billion over four years, on a bundle of micronutrients and medicines to reduce under-nutrition and improve education in preschool-aged children.For about $100 per child, this bundle could reduce chronic under-nutrition by 36 percent in developing countries. More than 100 million children could start their lives without stunted growth or malnourishment.Because these children will lead healthier, more productive lives as adults – a virtuous cycle of dramatic development – each dollar spent addressing chronic under-nutrition has a $30 payoff in economic terms. Ultimately, when all the benefits are translated into economic terms, every dollar spent on malnutrition will likely do $63 worth of global good.Other top-ranked solutions include expanding malaria treatment (generating $35 in benefits for every dollar spent), immunization for children, and deworming"
Given how many people excitedly gush about how humans will go extinct and deserve to, it's clear that many people have a death wish and this goes beyond simple concern for the environment

FACT CHECK: Did Patrick Moore, a Doubter of Anthropogenic Climate Change, Co-Found Greenpeace? - "Patrick Moore was an early and influential member of Greenpeace who now espouses climate-skeptic views...
Moore left Greenpeace in 1986. Speaking of that decision, Moore wrote in 2005:
By the mid-1980s, the environmental movement had abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism. I became aware of the emerging concept of sustainable development: balancing environmental, social and economic priorities. Converted to the idea that win-win solutions could be found by bringing all interests together, I made the move from confrontation to consensus."

Global warming a ‘fear campaign’ by scientists ‘hooked on government grants,’ Greenpeace founder says - "Moore argued that on top of “the green movement creating stories that instill fear in the public” and the “media echo chamber ... repeating it over and over and over again to everybody,” the narrative is bolstered by “green politicians who are buying scientists with government money to produce fear for them in the form of scientific-looking materials” and “the green businesses, the rent-seekers, and the crony capitalists who are taking advantage of massive subsidies, huge tax write-offs, and government mandates requiring their technologies to make a fortune on this.“And then, of course, you’ve got the scientists who are willingly, they’re basically hooked on government grants”"
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