Monday 31 May 2021


  The Radical Greens’ Role In Africa’s Locusts Crisis

Richard Tren and Jasson Urbach, CapX
The tragic consequences of UN, European and environmentalist campaigns to deny insect-resistant GMOs and modern pesticides to developing nations.

Two weeks ago a Boeing 737 on final approach to Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, flew into a massive cloud of locusts swarming above the airport. The insects were sucked into the plane’s engines and splattered across the windshield, blinding the pilots to the runway ahead.
Throttling up to climb above the swarm, the pilot had to depressurize the cabin so he could reach around from the side window and clear the windshield by hand. Diverting to Addis Ababa, the plane was able to land safely.
The locusts that almost brought down the 737 are part of the worst infestation to hit Africa in 75 years.
Swarms of locusts can blanket 460 miles at a time and consume more than 400 million pounds of vegetation a day; and the grasshopper-like insects increase logarithmically, meaning locust swarms could be 500 times bigger in six months.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calls the threat “unprecedented,” but attempts at aerial spraying have been too little, too late — largely because of FAO’s own politically-driven agenda to limit pesticides — and experts fear Africa may once again be tilting toward widespread famine.
As poor farmers futilely shoo the voracious insects away with sticks, this modern plague highlights the urgent need for pesticides to protect crops and save lives. It also casts into stark relief the tragic consequences of UN, European and environmentalist campaigns to deny these life-saving chemicals to developing nations.
Over the last decade, development organizations and activist NGOs have increasingly pushed organic-style agriculture on the poorest nations, making assistance dependent on a highly politicized version of “agro-ecology” that arbitrarily limits pesticides, bans advanced hybrid crops and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and extols the virtues of “peasant” farming. The result is that Africa has been left virtually defenseless against successive natural assaults to the continent’s ability to feed itself.
The locusts arrive on top of Africa’s on-going struggle with the Fall Army Worm (FAW), which has already spread to some 44 countries. It feeds on a range of plants, but prefers corn, the staple food for most Africans, and has reduced yields by 50% in many regions.
In the Americas, FAW is kept in check by a combination of insect-resistant GMOs and modern pesticides. Yet most African countries have not authorized GMOs because of well-funded environmental propaganda campaigns demonizing the technology — claiming GMOs cause everything from impotence to cancer and autism — and fear of losing their primary export market in Europe, which has arbitrarily restricted critical pesticides used in every other advanced, developed region of the world. The FAO, while discouraging pesticides and GMOs, advises farmers to pick off the insects one by one and crush them with their hands.
Add to this epidemics of Wheat Rust (potential crop loss 100%); Banana Wilt (50% crop loss); and Cassava Mosaic Virus (up to 90% loss). There are thousands of pests around the world that attack agricultural plants, and they don’t just kill crops. Molds that can only be controlled with pesticides produce highly poisonous metabolites called mycotoxins that, if they don’t kill you immediately, can give you cancer and destroy your immune system. They probably constitute the number one food health threat even in wealthy nations, but we keep levels safe with pesticides, GMOs, and expensive food inspection regimes — all things Africa is being denied or can’t afford.
Then there are the insect-borne diseases like Malaria, Zika, Dengue, and countless other parasitic and viral infections. When Zika or West Nile threaten our cities, we haul out the spray cans and ignore the griping of environmentalists. In Africa, however, the anti-pesticide groups hold sway. At their urging, Kenya may soon ban over 200 pesticides that evidence-based regulatory agencies around the world have deemed safe and that Kenya’s farmers desperately need.
Those who think small-scale organic farming is friendlier to mother nature are wrong. Organic farmers use lots of pesticides. They’re simply “natural” ones, like copper sulfate or neem oil, which are highly toxic to people and wildlife. They’re also less effective against pests, so they have to use more of them. Modern pesticides are among the most carefully tested and regulated chemicals in use, and they are used increasingly in targeted, precise ways to limit wider environmental impacts.
Most importantly, modern farming allows us to produce more food on less land. According to Rockefeller University’s Jesse Ausubel, US corn production has quintupled on the same amount of land.  He estimates that if American farming techniques were to be adopted globally, an area the size of India could be returned to nature over the next 50 years.
“Better Living Through Chemistry” was the catchy DuPont slogan of the 1960s. The slogan rings true for those of us living longer, healthier lives of plenty, with more food than at any time in human history. But if the campaigns against chemicals and the demonization of modern agriculture are successful, these gains may well be reversed.
Full post

Saturday 29 May 2021



The State of the Climate 2020


No sign of a 'climate emergency'

London, 29 May - A new review of weather and climate data based on observational data from 2020 finds little evidence to support the idea of a “climate emergency”.

The annual report, by Professor Ole Humlum, reviews a wide range of temperature and weather data, as well as records on sea-level, storms and ice and snow cover.
Temperature records for the Earth’s surface show that 2020 was a comparatively warm year, but that by the end of the year there was a marked cooling driven by natural ocean cycles in the Pacific. This cooling was also observed higher in the atmosphere.
Sea ice levels globally remained low, but are now increasing in the Southern Hemisphere. Global snow cover remained stable and there is still no significant trend in tropical storms.
Professor Humlum said:
“The weather and weather extremes we are experiencing are still dominated by natural fluctuations. Rapid and frightening changes are nowhere to be seen in the observational data as this annual review shows.”

The State of the Climate 2020 (pdf)

Tuesday 25 May 2021



Government U-turn on fining gas boiler use is welcome

Now we need a U-turn on the gas boiler ban


"A tremendous political revolt lies ahead unless ministers carry the public on this radical new journey" -- Steve Baker MP

London, 25 May - The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has welcomed the government's promise to backtrack on fines for homeowners who refuse to replace their gas boilers. It warned, however, that government plans to penalise millions of homeowners through the backdoor will turn the Net Zero agenda toxic.
The adoption, from the 1960s onwards, of natural gas for domestic heating and then for electricity generation brought huge advances in prosperity and human well-being in the UK. The Conservative Party’s attempt to wind the clock back and force householders to discard natural gas prematurely, compelling them to use a more expensive and in many cases inferior heating source is to be deplored.
Even government itself seems to be getting cold feet. It is backtracking on earlier reports that it would fine householders that refuse to move over to heat pumps, which can cost more than ten thousand pounds to install, only work well in heavily insulated modern buildings, and will be very expensive to run as electricity costs rise due to the adoption of expensive low carbon sources.

But the promise not to “fine” comes with the barely concealed threat to coerce or penalise householders in other ways, for example through high taxes on natural gas and a surcharge on natural gas boilers.
It seems that ministers are aware that the heat pumps are just not good enough to make their own way in the market, and feel they need to use a big stick to force reluctant consumers to sacrifice their comfort and well-being.

Steve Baker MP said:
“While the policy making elite have persuaded themselves there is a consensus for their views, the public are increasingly at odds as the costs of Net Zero become apparent. A tremendous political revolt lies ahead unless ministers carry the public on this radical new journey."

Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF director, said:
“Voluntary adoption of heat pumps where they are economic is fine and needs no government pressure. But bullying consumers, first with rumours of fines, and now with threats of taxes and surcharges on a fuel – natural gas – that is cheap, clean and extremely effective in keeping homes warm shows that the government doesn’t really believe its own heat-pump propaganda.
"If it doesn't reconsider its planned ban on gas boilers it risks public outrage, turning the Net Zero agenda toxic."
Further reading

Net Zero cost sheet: Cost of decarbonising housing

Decarbonising homes to meet Net Zero targets will cost £20,000, MPs warn

Friday 21 May 2021


 I was very glad to hear that Steve Baker MP has publicly announced that he is joining the Global Warming Policy Foundation. This is excellent news, as Steve has been a very influential MP who was a key member of the ERG group that enabled a proper Brexit to happen. You can read his recent article on the effect of climate change policy here

I hope he will form a group of MPs to warn the public of the cost of net zero policy and perhaps lead the government away from the disastrous course they are set on.

Wednesday 19 May 2021


 This article highlights yet another feeble attempt to make people believe that there have already been significant increases in temperatures, when in fact the data shows that this is not the case. The IPCC reports show that we have only had an increase of 1.1 degrees C since the mid nineteenth century and the modern satellite records show we are currently warming at an average of 0.13 degrees C per decade. Obviously if that were to continue for a few hundred years eventually it would become uncomfortably hot. However, the climate is always changing due to a whole range of phenomena. The past records show that the Earth has had more cold spells than hot. 

Tuesday 4 May 2021



This article should give us all cause to think. While we obsess over fears of global warming, the Chinese, while paying lip-service to GW, are continuing to rapidly develop on all fronts, including nuclear fusion where they seem to have developed a big lead over the West. 

Monday 3 May 2021


Incomplete in that it does not include all the factors needed to explain what is happening and why the warming is much less than has actually happened. 

In its Second Assessment Report (AR2, 1995), the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claimed that a modest warming of the surface, particularly over the Tropics, would result in a significant increase in water vapor amplifying a modest warming from CO2 and resulting in more turbulent weather systems. It claimed this to be a “distinct human fingerprint” on climate. This was a late addition and was not agreed upon during peer review.

Clmate scientist Fredrick Seitz stated the claim was the worst abuse of the peer review process he had witnessed in 60 years of science. The distinct tropospheric warming fingerprint (the "hotspot") has never been found. 

Saturday 1 May 2021



This article makes some excellent points. I particularly liked this excerpt:

 hyping the event as the “last chance to save the world”, with the result that the public ends up taking it about as seriously as shoppers took the man who spent decades walking up and down Oxford Street with a sandwich board carrying the words “prepare to meet thy doom”. People remember that we only apparently had five years to save the Earth 15 years ago. The fact that we are still here – in spite of carbon emissions that have continued to rise – somewhat undermines the message.  



This piece shows how the Met Office are putting out fake news to push the climate alarm message which is not supported by the facts.