Maize

The poles aren’t melting, new report stabs Al Gore again

Al Gore said in his 2007 Noble Prize acceptance speech that the “Arctic ice could be gone in as little as seven years.”

Can we take back that Prize now…yet again a warmist prediction has failed.

A new report shows that the poles haven’t just not melted they have in fact grown in ice.

Last week, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reported:

“The North and South Poles are not melting.” In that report, oceanographer Ted Maksym noted that polar ice “is much more stable than climate scientists once predicted and could even be much thicker than previously thought.”

That Woods Hole study was confirmed by today’s NOAA  Arctic radar map which shows the Arctic Ice Cap at more than 4,000,000 square miles, larger than on any December 28 in the past five years. Reaching the North Pole requires either a dog sled or a nuclear sub; Al Gore’s cruise ship will stay in the tropics. At the South Pole,  Antarctic ice coverage is at the highest extent since radar measurement began 35 years ago.

NOAA’s Arctic Report Card; Update for 2014 provides similar data for the Earth’s other big ice sheet, Greenland. Data from the GRACE satellite and other sources has shown an annual average Greenland ice loss of more than 300 billion tons until 2013.  That loss has now dropped sharply by 98% to 6 billion annual tons since mid 2013. A loss of 300 billion tons adds about one millimeter to sea level rise.

All this frigid data parallels the 17 year pause in global land and sea surface temperatures as reported by NASA, NOAA, the UK Climate Research Unit, and the University of Alabama Huntsville Remote Sensing Systems program. That pause is occurring despite our annual release of more than 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide(CO2) from burning fossil fuels, especially coal. Half of that CO2 release stays in the atmosphere. But CO2 remains a trace gas, as the atmosphere weighs several quadrillion tons, and a quadrillion is a million times a billion.

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Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than petrol for global warming

Uh oh…more bad news for those proponents of biofuels…the so-called green fuels are actually worse for the environment.

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration’s conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

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Thanks to the hippies the poor can no longer afford their staples

The green taliban have foist so-called ‘climate mitigation’ programs upon us all…one of the most dodgy being bio-fuels.

It has achieved nothing other than make the staple crops of the poor unaffordable. Maize and wheat prices have gone through the roof.

Now the flipside of the green taliban coin, vegans and hippies,  are causing problems with another staple in Bolivia and Peru:

Not long ago, quinoa was just an obscure Peruvian grain you could only buy in wholefood shops. We struggled to pronounce it (it’s keen-wa, not qui-no-a), yet it was feted by food lovers as a novel addition to the familiar ranks of couscous and rice. Dieticians clucked over quinoa approvingly because it ticked the low-fat box and fitted in with government healthy eating advice to “base your meals on starchy foods”.

Adventurous eaters liked its slightly bitter taste and the little white curls that formed around the grains. Vegans embraced quinoa as a credibly nutritious substitute for meat. Unusual among grains, quinoa has a high protein content (between 14%-18%), and it contains all those pesky, yet essential, amino acids needed for good health that can prove so elusive to vegetarians who prefer not to pop food supplements.

Sales took off. Quinoa was, in marketing speak, the “miracle grain of the Andes”, a healthy, right-on, ethical addition to the meat avoider’s larder (no dead animals, just a crop that doesn’t feel pain). Consequently, the price shot up – it has tripled since 2006 – with more rarified black, red and “royal” types commanding particularly handsome premiums.

But there is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grainhas pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture.

Green taliban policies starving the poor, f*ck you very much

Because of green taliban policies mandating bio-fuel content in fuel supplies farmers in the US are switching crops from producing food to producing fuel. The resulting shortage of grains like corn is causing dire consequences in third world countries.

In a globalized world, the expansion of the biofuels industry has contributed to spikes in food prices and a shortage of land for food-based agriculture in poor corners of Asia, Africa and Latin America because the raw material is grown wherever it is cheapest.

Nowhere, perhaps, is that squeeze more obvious than in Guatemala, which is “getting hit from both sides of the Atlantic,” in its fields and at its markets, said Timothy Wise, a Tufts University development expert who is studying the problem globally with Actionaid, a policy group based in Washington that focuses on poverty.  Read more »