Any fool can extrapolate the present. As the headline writer knows, anything “could” happen. From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein through Arnold Toynbee, HG Wells and Aldous Huxley, each human advance is accompanied by forecasts of disaster. In the 1960s, Paul Ehrlich shatteringly declared “the population bomb” would lead to mass starvation by the end of the 1970s. He was supported by Barry Commoner and his thesis of an imminent “closing circle” of ecological suicide. Optimism’s trump card is the past and present. It is facts. These too can lie, but those who say so must prove it. –Simon Jenkins, The Guardian, 1 September 2016
A generation after leading scientists and experts warned the world of an escalating series of horrendous famines, the crop gluts continue. The latest kick in the pants to the Malthusian doomsayers is a bumper global wheat harvest. Defying not only the Club of Rome doomsayers, but also the climate Chicken Littles who have been warning about damage from rising temperatures to world agriculture, food production is booming even as meteorologists call July 2016 the hottest month ever. This isn’t to say that there aren’t problems and worries in the world, but the combination of human ingenuity and the complexity of natural systems means that science is never quite as settled as publicity seeking scare mongers want people to think. —The American Interest, 3 September 2016
As if they haven’t heard enough bad news already, researchers are now letting farmers know that the world’s wheat yields are excepted decline in the near future, with the world standing to lose six percent of its wheat crop for every degree Celsius that the annual global temperature increases. That’s at least according to a study recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change, which details how expected wheal loss could total up to one fourth of the annual global wheat trade, which reached 147 million tons in 2013. “The simulations with the multi-crop models showed that warming is already slowing yield gains, despite observed yield increases in the past, at a majority of wheat-growing locations across the globe,” researcher Senthold Asseng, at the University of Florida, explained in a statement. –Brian Stallard, Nature World News, 16 January 2015
Through the first eight months of the year, 2016 seems to be racing toward what might be its place in history — as the second warmest year in the satellite temperature record. But just by a little bit, according to Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville: “While global average temperatures peaked higher this year than they did in 1998, temperatures fell faster this spring and summer to levels that are cooler than they were at this same time of year in 1998. We had three months this year that were warmer than their 1998 counterparts, and five that were cooler. There is really no reliable way of predicting what the next four months will do, compared to those same months in 1998.” –Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That, 1 September 2016 The University of Colorado professors who shut down climate change debate in
The University of Colorado professors who shut down climate change debate in class have landed on the radar of a top school official, who says he wants to make sure students are being “educated, not indoctrinated.” John Carson, a member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, said he plans to make inquires Thursday about an email from three University of Colorado at Colorado Springs professors who advised students to drop the class if they dispute climate change. “I have a lot of questions after reading this reported email sent to students,” Mr. Carson told The Washington Times. “We should be encouraging debate and dialogue at the university, not discouraging or forbidding it. Students deserve more respect than this. They come to the university to be educated, not indoctrinated.” –Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 2 September 2016
A leading cancer charity has challenged the claim modern life is largely responsible for a 40 per cent hike in cancer among young people. A spokesperson from Cancer Research UK said the statistic was misleading because it did not account for population growth. The theory environmental factors, such as eating junk food, were responsible for cancer in children was not supported by any good evidence, she said. She added it simply made parents “feel blamed” for their child’s disease. –Harriet Agerholm, The Independent, 5 September 2016
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