As the oceans’ chemistry is altered by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the response of sea-dwellers such as fish, shellfish and corals is a huge unknown that has implications for fisheries and conservationists alike. But the researchers attempting to find an answer are often failing to properly design and report their experiments, according to an analysis of two decades of literature. The past decade has seen accelerated attempts to predict what these changes in pH will mean for the oceans’ denizens — in particular, through experiments that place organisms in water tanks that mimic future ocean-chemistry scenarios. Yet according to a survey published last month by marine scientist Christopher Cornwall, who studies ocean acidification at the University of Western Australia in Crawley, and ecologist Catriona Hurd of the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia, most reports of such laboratory experiments either used inappropriate methods or did not report their methods properly. –Daniel Cressey, Nature, 5 August 2015
At the very moment President Obama has decided to shutter America’s coal industry in favor of much more expensive and less efficient “renewable energy,” coal use is surging across the globe. A new study by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences detects an unmistakable “coal renaissance” under way that shows this mineral of fossilized carbon has again become “the most important source of energy-related emissions on the global scale.” Coal is expanding rapidly “not only in China and India but also across a broad range of developing countries — especially poor, fast-growing countries mainly in Asia,” the study finds. Why is coal such a popular energy source now? The NAS study explains that many nations are attracted to “(relatively) low coal prices . .. to satisfy their energy needs.” It also finds “the share of coal in the energy mix indeed has grown faster for countries with higher economic growth.” –Stephan Moore, Investor’s Business Daily, 7 August 2015
I used to think there was a consensus among government-funded certified climate scientists, but a new study by Strengers, Verheegen, and Vringer shows even that is not true. The “97% consensus” is now 43%. —Jo Nova, 30 July 2015
Labour would start buying up shares in the “big six” energy companies under a Jeremy Corbyn government until it owned a controlling stake, the party’s leftwing leadership contender has said. Mr Corbyn, whose support has surged during the campaign and is now narrowly the second favourite to win, wants to nationalise British Gas, SSE, Eon, RWE Npower, Scottish Power and EDF, as well as the National Grid. –Kiran Stacey, Financial Times, 7 August 2015
BBC journalists are meant to be impartial, but climate change hack Roger Harrabin is whipping up criticism online among Greens of a programme made by his own employer. Radio 4’s What’s The Point Of… ?, looked at alleged politicisation of the Met Office. The show was made by the Mail’s Quentin Letts. ‘From what I can gather, Comrade Harrabin has blown his top,’ Letts says. ‘All the hot gas he is producing may rupture the ozone layer.’ –Sebastian Shakespeare, Daily Mail 7 August 2015
Climate change is the subject of a complex debate in which, increasingly, experts disagree with each other. So you’d expect the BBC’s ‘Environment and Energy Analyst’, Roger Harrabin, to proceed with caution. Not so. Harrabin is paid by the licence payers. Yet, judging by his Twitter feed, his views are even more partisan than those of Richard Black. When he’s not plugging a Guardian conspiracy theory involving US Republican sceptics and BP, he’s wringing his hands at the cut to wind subsidies or lamenting the lack of civil servants to enforce ‘smarter’ environmental laws. –Damian Thompson, The Spectator, 6 August 2015
Very surprisingly and somewhat boldly, on Wednesday morning Radio 4 put out a programme by the Mail’s Quentin Letts which ran flatly counter to the BBC’s normal party line on one of its very favourite subjects, global warming. Under the title What’s The Point Of The Met Office?, Mr Letts focused on the way our national weather service has long been known to share with the BBC an obsession with climate change. Indeed, the way this has in recent years tended to skew so much of its forecasting has made it something of a national joke. After the programme was broadcast, the heresy of it having included such a dissenting voice as this, speaking in a manner the BBC would never normally dream of allowing on its airwaves, provoked the BBC’s own climate activists to rage in print and on Twitter. –Christopher Booker, Daily Mail, 7 August 2015
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