Don’t let them eat meat?

The UN report into land use and climate change makes interesting reading. According to the media it is about persuading more people to eat less meat, though they concede it fell short of requiring everyone to become vegans or vegetarians. It claims that the global surface temperature has risen by 0.87 degrees C comparing 2015 with the flat temperature average of 1850-1900, the so called pre industrial period. No-one told the Victorians to remain pre industrial. It argues that further rises in temperature could be damaging. It points out that in recent years there has been more greening  than  browning of the planet overall, though some areas have been dried to the point of  becoming deserts whilst more  places have become  greener and more productive. It rightly states the importance of water and soil management to wellbeing and food production.

The detailed summary for policy makers is wide ranging and suggests various ways to lower the warming gases output of agriculture. It tells us food  production accounts for 23% of the greenhouse gases released by human intervention. Most importantly it reads as a plea to limit population growth. It sets out how the 150% growth in  population from 1961 to 2017 is the single biggest cause of more agricultural emissions. It also points to the 80% increase in obesity as a strain on the system  and argues that livestock account for half of the CO2 from agriculture. It asserts that there are 2bn overweight or obese adults worldwide.

The Report highlights the way that around 30% of food output goes to waste, and states that if this could be brought down it could make as useful a contribution to controlling gases as change of diet might make. It also urges more forests, and the retention of the forests we already enjoy, as good carbon sinks.

It sketches various scenarios for the future. The best is one where the population is stabilised at around 9bn, gets richer and better at managing soils, farming and diets. The worst is where the world population continues climbing to 13bn  with continuing wide contrasts between rich and poor, some persistent poor diets and very varied farming including methods destructive of the environment.

It would be good if this Report triggered a proper debate about population growth, soil and water management as its authors probably wish. Instead the issue of should we eat meat is more eye  catching and invites heated debate in the countries rich enough for meat eating to be a regular option.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Two brief comments:

    1. How accurate were the temperature measurements around the globe in 1850?

    2. If the climate change alarmists are right and the human race as a whole actually gets it wrong Nature will reduce the population without doubt. That should put things right.

    Meantime, according to some, we should pay through the nose for energy and eat crap.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Us – and them…
      We KNOW about Climate Extinction: they are too thick!

      Actually I resent being treated like that. I am quite capable, I reckon, of understanding the arguments if fairly presented and, yes, there is a scientific and sensible set of questions which even now are being presented – and not really addressed.

      • Richard
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        One economical idea: Allan Savory, an ecologist from Zimbabwe has demonstrated with a series of practical experiments in animal husbandry that ‘Holistic planned grazing’ is able to reverse desertification. Desertification is a cause of global warming and migration. 20 years after his textbook was published and despite 5 decades of refinement & successful implementation by many rural communities [because it is simple & can have a positive IRR] it is still very much resisted by NGO’s & government aid bureaucracies. We need more dispassionate experiments like Savory’s.
        (see YouTube 2013 TED talk “How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change” ; 2018 documentary “Running out of Time | Documentary on Holistic Management”)

        • James Bertram
          Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          Good to see Allan Savory mentioned, Richard. I will try and write a piece on soil management later this weekend – probably will be at the end of these posts. I think it might interest you.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      You are confusing issues.

      The main factor in carbon dioxide emissions is industrial, not agricultural, but all reductions will help.

      The debate about population control has already been had, in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The global consensus is that it should happen. Birth rates in Europe have fallen to fewer than two per couple. China implemented its one-per-family policy, and rates have fallen markedly in India, in Africa etc.

      People who react logically, to diligently-obtained data, and to sound science are not alarmists. Those who do not are simply unhinged.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        World population is currently growing at a rate of 1.07% adding 82 million people a year.
        In the 20th century world population grew from 1.6 billion to 6 billion and is estimated to carry on increasing, reach 9.8 billion by 2030.
        Source UN report June 2017

        • James Bertram
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Good post, Edward.
          Quite bizarre of Martin to think that World population is an outdated concern that was somehow solved in the late 20th century.
          (He adds a rather embarrassing last paragraph – if the cap fits, Martin.)

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            Thank you James.
            My aim was to counter the claim that population was under control having been encourage by Martin to provide some “diligently obtained data ”
            Not that I have ever been an advocate of telling or forcing other nations as to how many children to have.
            I found the policies of the past foisted onto India and taken up by China to be very unpleasant.
            All my life various experts have told me the world would end because we would all starve if population rose above a certain level and they have been proved wrong many many times.
            Yet here we are in 2019 in the grip of another doomsday movement.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        People who react logically, to diligently-obtained data, and to sound science are not alarmists.

        I agree the alarmists and the UN and the BBC however to not react logically, to diligently-obtained data, and to sound science they are religious priests trying to appeal to people’s irrational emotions and to scare them.

        Still some good news it seem they are now confident that Asteroid 2006 QV89, a space rock the size larger than a football pitch (that’ll pass closest to Earth on September 9), will not now strike Earth (this time anyway). So they will not need to adjust their absurd 100 year + climate forecasts yet.

        • Got the tee-shirt
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          Lifelogic, I always agree with much you write.
          “Sound Science” and “diligently-obtained data” ? I feel you would agree now and then that these terms can be almost as theological as “Greenhouse gases”.
          UK. It is not known for sure how many people live here. Nor how many baked beans each one of them eats. Knowing that data could save the world and travelling by underground tube tolerably pre-informed.
          Maybe there are off-peak hours for beanies on toast. Yes such data should be given an airing.

      • dennisambler
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        If CO2 were really doing what is claimed for it, I could worry about it. The last 30 years in the UK show no rise in average temperatures.

        The current level of temperature occurred over the period from 1987 to 1990, almost 2 degrees, there has been no monotonic rise year on year, clearly shown by public Met office data. It coincides with a rise in the Arctic Meridional Oscillation, the CO2 theory does not explain this rise.

        The previous 30 years showed a decline in average UK temperature against a rise in CO2. The theory is broken.

        From 1944 to 1978, global data show no rise in temperature against a continuing rise in CO2.

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          The Economist reported last week that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet-this summer temperatures have peaked at 8-10 degrees warmer than average.Separately,Novatek, the Russian operator of the Arctic gasfields announced two weeks ago that one of it’s LNG tankers has traversed the Northern Sea Route in record time-six days.

        • hefner
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          As for the Arctic Meridional Overturning Oscillation, it links the increase in Arctic temperature to a decrease in sea-ice coverage. So tell me how has this amplification of the AMOC started?

      • Gareth Warren
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Actually our farming is industry, the green revolution of the 1960’s trippled or more crop yields.
        This was done through hydrocarbon use, diesel for machines, large amounts of oil based pesticides and gas based fertilizer. In the UK we also rely on our source of potash that is mined in the UK’s longest mine – under the north sea.

        For these reasons my fear of our hydrocarbon resources failing, that is not running out but supplying too little is still my chief fear.

        Here the apocalyptic fears of peak oil were clearly wrong, but its chief warning is still true, oil supplies increase in price after we have consumed 50% of reserves (reserves itself is a topic in itself though). Put another way, no one would be interested in fracking in the 1950’s.

        There are estimates where our food chain costs up to 2000 calories per a calorie of food consumed – salads transported 1000’s of miles.

        I believe we should eat meat if we want to, but put money and resources into ways to reduce our resource usage. This is a very different activity than that we do today for “climate change” where we often end up using more. An example here is plastic bag usage, now we consume more plastic in “bags for life”, why not make cardboard bags free?

        I do not believe the science of climate change, but I do believe the hydrocarbons we need will get increasingly expensive. I also believe there are a few too many humans, birth rates though are going the right way in most places on the planet, we should encourage the holdouts to change.

      • NickC
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink


        You are confusing issues.

        JR was addressing the MSM hysteria about meat eating driven by the notion that it causes considerably more CO2 release in agriculture than a vegetarian diet. He was not maintaining that agricultural CO2 emissions were the “main factor” above industrial CO2 emission, as you claim he was.

        To advance the cause of “population control” because it is the “global consensus” as you do is neither logical, nor diligent, nor sound science. It is merely the trashy “everyone says” argument.

        Believers in the CAGW hoax are simply unhinged.

      • Dennis
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Martin – ‘ China implemented its one-per-family policy, and rates have fallen markedly in India, in Africa etc.’

        But are they still greater than 2? Also I have read that there is no emperical evidence, as yet anyway, that CO2 warms the planet. If you have a link(s) otherwise please post here.

        • sm
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          Birth rates have certainly not fallen in South Africa, they are in fact up by more than 2%.

    • A different Simon
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      It’s not just how accurate they were but that surroundings of the weather stations make readings taken 150 years apart incompatible :- e.g. development of the surrounding area , cutting back forests , increased water abstraction etc .

      Many weather stations which have been included in aggregations of current measurements did not exist when the previous set of measurements were taken .

      The whole idea that it is possible to calculate an average earth temperate over some unspecified time interval is junk science and junk maths .

      Going on to stating differences between two such aggregate readings to a precision of 2 decimal places seems to be a deliberately dishonest attempt to make it sound credible .

      Regardless on whether one is decided or remaining open minded on the issue , the absolute junk statistics the proponents are using discredit their claims .

      If I were convinced that man was significantly affecting the climate then I would be upset that shysters and charlatans with ulterior motives have commandeered that position .

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        The whole idea that it is possible to calculate an average earth temperate over some unspecified time interval is junk science and junk maths .

        Indeed it is! What temperature are we taking the surface, the atmosphere (at what height), the sea (and at what depth). The cities with their urban warming centrally heated effects? Heathrow airport was it not last time when a jet went past perhaps?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Simon, if someone asked you to run blindfold across the M25, then apparently you would be quite willing to do it, on the basis that the probability of your being killed could not accurately be calculated by science as it stood, and therefore you’d assume it to be safe enough.

        • sm
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          A poor analogy, Martin. The evidence of risk in your scenario is there in front of you, and is not dependent on interpretation of a wide variety of historical data and/or predictions.

        • NickC
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Running blindfold across the M25? That’s a comment that Andy made a few weeks ago. Are you one and the same person? Or do you both just copy and paste from a ‘CAGW Hoaxers Guide’? I think we should be told.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          The M25 is usually stationary when I am on it. Perhaps 10-20 mph on a good day but perhaps I am unlucky. So fairly safe I would have thought even blindfold.

      • Atlas
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Agreed Simon.

        Unless you can truly compare like with like then the results will be meaningless.

        Also the temperature was rising before 1850 – it was called the end of the little ice age. These so-called climate scientists are just selecting data that suits their left-wing agenda which, incidentally, just so happens to keep them in research grants as well…

        • A different Simon
          Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          They don’t even have to have a left wing agenda .

          The global establishment has pumped vast amounts of money into promoting the castastrophic anthropogenic climate change hypothesis .

          The route to financial security is not to try and travel against the grain but to go with the flow and reap the rewards .

          It can mean the difference between owning a big house somewhere nice and forever renting dumps which doesn’t allow you to start a family .

          We are deluding ourselves if we expect scientists to exercise greater integrity than supposedly irreproachable auditing firms which keep quiet to keep being reappointed .

          Similarly if we expect scientists to be less motivated by self interest and money than government ministers who charge for facilitating access to important people and other services .

  2. Mark B
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    This is the world we are going to have to live in – The Tyrany of the minority. Small, well organised pressure groups founded by governments and organisations with access to the UN and global media to push their nonsense.

    When it comes to population increase it is usually the poorest countries that have the largest increases. This despite meat not being in great supply. So I am all for population reduction but let us focus on where that growth is and take measures accordingly.

    Meat, like sugar, is set to be taxed. What next ? They’ve done fresh air with the Congestion Charge and Climate nonsense.

    • NickC
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, Yes, you’re right, the tyranny of the well funded pressure group minorities is terrible. As for population growth, it is well known that as a nation becomes more wealthy, its birth-rate drops.

      So the climate hysteric minority needs to cease preventing the build of coal-fired electricity generation in Africa, for example, which would then allow Africans to develop healthier wealthier societies where the birth-rate drops naturally.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Particularly when everyone else is building them!

        Megawats of coal power capacity under construction end 2018:-

        S Africa………..6,352
        S Korea………..5,429

        Source:Global Energy Monitor

      • Dennis
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        The birthrate in Africa may drop when they are more wealthy but when will it drop to a ngeative rate which is necessary? Ever?

      • Richard
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        “Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal, according to tallies compiled by Urgewald, an environmental group based in Berlin. Many of the plants are in China, but by capacity, roughly a fifth of these new coal power stations are in other countries. Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries”

        Move the year-slider and watch Europe go dark as Asia & Middle East lights up.

  3. Frances Truscott
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Several religions are pro natal and think it is their right to be so. We see the results in conflicts and mass migrations.

    • bigneil
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      We also see the results in increased Foreign Aid and the constant Charity appeals.

  4. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Let those who wrote the report lead by example.
    Why this obsession with a plant food when the report says it is making the earth greener.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Don’t stop there, lets have all the MPs who voted for a Climate Emergency show us how to live a zero carbon existence, and the MSM, especially the BBC who never lets up with the global warming propaganda, do the same. I am fed up of the ‘do as we say not as we do’ lot preaching to us, its time to bring some accountability to them and their rhetoric.

    • bigneil
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Exactly – just like the Climate Change lot who fly all over the world for meetings – what is wrong with Skype? – – “I’m all right Jacks” the lot of them- what a load of Grade One hypocrites.

      And how many of the EU “Wave them all in” brigade live anywhere near those they wish to import, to be a burden? – – I’ll guess NONE.

    • rose
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      And if they had an argument about the ever upward trend of global warming they would show us the position of the Middle Ages in the graph.

  5. Norman
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    And shall this ‘anaemic’, p-c controlled world-order bring a new peace to humanity??? I think we all know the answer…!

    • margaret
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Greens are plentiful and rich in Fe.

      • Norman
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        We could argue about this Margaret: Vitamin B12, and how people in arid climes are supposed to live off the land, and the effect of pastoral animals on soil fertility, and if anyone wants to be a vegan, that’s fine. But I really meant ‘anaemic’ in another sense – a pseudo-idyllic, micro-controlled regime of global government now coming into view, in which all opposition is silenced in the name of the mass-hysterical arguments of the sort we are now being daily exposed to. Such a humanity is indeed anaemic, in the fullest possible sense.

        • margaret
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Macrocytic hypochromic problems are causing problems here in meat eaters by the dozen and B12 is to be found in other foods rather than meat.Semantics are all too often in the way.

        • margaret
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          Usually when writing, the idea is to use the contextual adjective / word to describe the whole meaning. Of course to mislead the reader one can put a word in which can be taken in other ways , but then the phrase ideally requires a phrase, either sub textual or contrapuntal to elucidate one or two points.
          Since we are talking about the ingestion of food,the word was extra textual and an aberrant misjudgement which thereby diverts the idea of humanity in a state of pallor and not in the slightest believable.

      • Yorkie
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Yes but all are farmed by meat eaters

  6. Leaver
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    I agree. Sadly, the environment has become rather politicised. I find it astonishing to believe there are still people who do not believe in manmade climate change when the evidence is outside their window. Equally, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air keeps increasing every year. I think it’s a fair argument to say it’s very difficult to assess exactly what will happen to the climate as it is very complex. But, to actually deny human-made climate change is a political opinion with no substance to it whatsoever, and does no favours to its proponents.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Please tell us the percentage mankind is causing the approx one degree of global average temperature rise since 1850.
      Is it 100% or a figure between zero and 100%.?
      Asking for a friend.

      • Leaver
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Just to correct a lot of ignorance here. CO2 is measured by the Mauna Loa observatory and by drilling into the Antarctic ice. By doing this, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and many other gases can be measured over millions of years. And yes … volcanoes have had an effect. But when you look at the CO2 level, it starts going up around the industrial revolution and accelerates from there. This information is readily available on the internet if you choose to look. It’s gone from around 200 to 250 parts per million before the industrial revolution to 400 parts per million now. Patrick Moore and Nigel Lawson are not part of the recognised scientific community … and sure, if you hunt hard enough, you can find people arguing whatever you want, but it doesn’t make it true. Though I do have some sympathy for the argument that it’s hard to know the exact consequences of climate change. Also, the earth was 8 degrees centigrade hotter a few million years back, and we are still in the tail end of an ice age. However, this doesn’t mean we can simply stick our fingers in our ears, go la la la la and ignore the situation. I love my green and pleasant land and I want it to stay that way.

        • cornishstu
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          The overall trend from the maunder minimum is an increase in temperature with CO2 levels following this started before the industrial revolution if you look further back in the ice cores you will find much higher concentrations of CO2 with lower temperatures, how if CO2 drives temp? Incidently below 150ppm plant life ceases to function. Two recent papers one from Norway the other from a Japanese team reconfirmed that temperature is driving CO2 levels and not vice versa.

    • tim
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Evidence? When a volcano erupts, in one hour it releases more man made climate change than man has made in the last 500 years. There are lots of active volcanoes. Climate change is a milti Billion Billion £ industry, it rivals the Drug indusrtry. Stop allowing your self to be Brainwashed by the British Brainwashing corporation!

      • hefner
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Complete bulls..t:
        1/ when volcanoes erupt, a lot of different things might happen as there are different kinds of volcanoes. Overall they do not produce so much CO2 but mainly sulfur-based gases and particles, which overall after various chemical transformations tend to cool the parts of the atmosphere they are in. This cooling effect can last anything from a couple of months to a couple of years depending where the original volcano is located on the Earth, the height reached by the plumes, and the prevailing winds. So what is YOUR evidence?
        2/ the latest has been reported by the BBC but not produced by it. If you are not able to make the difference, the angels cry.

      • Pominoz
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink


        I am not sure where you got your evidence about the 500 years worth of effect on climate change by a volcano compared to what mankind can do – but that does not mean you are incorrect. Look back at Krakatoa which resulted in a dramatic drop in temperatures around the globe for a number of years.

        I am afraid that the fear on man-made climate change is, quite frankly, due to the arrogance of man (and, dare I say even more women) all of whom overestimate their ability to control and affect the future of our planet. Nature itself, whether by means of volcanos, earthquakes, sunspots, temporary ozone holes, meteor strikes or other yet unknown forces makes whatever efforts we attempt totally insignificant.

        Environmental impact – e.g. London smogs of the 1950s, Beijing pollution and many other examples are quite clearly influenced by the actions of mankind, but, with sensible action can be relatively quickly overcome. Climate change is uncontrollable by us mere mortals, so why create unnecessary practical, financial and social crises due to almost religious doctrines when the solution is entirely outside our ability to resolve.

    • Bob
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink


      “the evidence is outside their window”

      I just looked out of the window and saw nothing to support the AGW conjecture.

      BTW did you know that without mankind’s contribution to the CO2 content of the atmosphere we may by now have been experiencing global plant die out?

      Recommend you switch off the BBC and have a look at Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore’s lecture “The Power of Truth” on Youtube.

    • agricola
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Define manmade as separate from the Sun and then quantify them. You can look out of your window and observe the frequency and period over which roses flower for instance and then leap to any conclusion that suits you, however don’t try to tell me that the Sun, arbiter of climate for millions of years is on a vacation and has let man take over. Utter nonesense.

      By all means clean up the human act on all matters environmental. It would improve our lives immeasurably and reduce pressure on the NHS for one. When you have achieved perfection don’t be surprised if temperatures continue to increase or for that matter decrease because the Sun dwarfs anything man can do. It will finally arrange the end of planet Earth.

      • Pominoz
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:47 pm | Permalink


    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Germany has a per capita CO2 output of 9 tons, Syria 1.6 tons. Move a million people from Syria to Germany is not good for your global warming , but oddly we don’t hear a peep out of the Climate Change panickers about mass immigration into the West. The simple reason is that the Green lobby has been captured by the hard left, for they see it as a route to impose a command economy on us , for the left like nothing better than to tell other people how to live, and mass immigration they see as a tool to unpick Western society.

      So even though population is a key factor in environmental sustainability, it is a subject never to be included in the Global Warming Climate Change agenda for the left’s mass immigration policy contradicts with their green policy, so it is a subject never to be spoken about, and the likes of the BBC is happy to not embarrass them on it.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        The command economy is quite popular with corporate monopolists too.Davos is not exactly a hotbed of Marxism-Leninism!

    • dennisambler
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      “when the evidence is outside their window. ”

      What evidence would that be exactly? It’s raining today, is it caused by CO2? Last week we had a couple of hot days, and also at the beginning of July. Has that never happened before?

      In 1976, still the hottest summer in the CET record from 1659, Labour appointed Denis Howells as Minister for Drought. It worked, because within days there were thunderstorms and flooding. Clear evidence, just by looking out of the window, that his appointment brought the drought to an end, .

      He was then made Minister for Floods and the following year became Minister for Snow. There are many politicians today who believe they can control the weather by taxing the population on its most basic requirements, energy and food. The poor will be the sufferers, not those proposing the radical solutions to a non-problem.

    • NickC
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Leaver, What we know, rather than what we conjecture, is:
      1. CO2 is a “greenhouse” gas, that doesn’t work like a greenhouse;
      2. The atmosphere is incredibly complex;
      3. The GCMs don’t predict well (Prince Charles in 2009: less than 100 months to prevent “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse”);
      4. The Sun drives climate not just by its emissions, but with its magnetic field (which varies markedly).

      We do not even know that the global temperature has risen by “0.87 degC” in the last 120 years because we cannot go back and check the accuracy of the few measurements made that long ago. Moreover, even today, temperature measurement across the entire globe is sparse. So the missing bits are filled in with guesses. We do not even know that increased CO2 drives an increased global atmospheric temperature (correlation is not causation).

      Then the inaccuracies, omissions, guesses and errors are compounded by climate models that don’t properly model clouds or take into account the Sun’s magnetic field influence on the Earth and on cosmic rays (which influence cloud formation). Then the nodes that are calculated are kilometers apart rather than meters. And so on.

      Frankly it’s a mess. And it has become too politicised for it to be classed as “science” any more.

  7. Dominic
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    As an aside

    Blasphemy laws have no place in a free country with free peoples and if your party now in government decides to introduce one you will destroy all that makes the UK the country it is

    It is unacceptable for a Tory party to act in this manner.

    Your job is to protect freedom of expression against attack from whatever quarter without which we are nothing. It is the fundamental building block of a free society and it is still under attack by a determined minority who will never rest until they get their oppressive laws onto the Statute book with help from Marxist Labour

    Stop PANDERING to minority rights fascist whose intention it is to crush debate and silence the political enemy. Open discussion is essential to get at the TRUTH

    • Bob
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      The previous Prime Minister’s nasty intervention to deny refuge to Asia Bibi in case it offended communities across the UK was sickening.

      No wonder they call her Theresa the appeaser.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      They fear being called Islamophobic , unfortunately defending our right to free speech comes second to that.

    • NickC
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, Absolutely right – freedom of speech is the key to democracy and individual liberty. Freedom of speech must not be sacrificed on the altar of special interests, whether CAGW enthusiasts, or adherents of religions.

      • Iago
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        There ain’t free speech on this athenaeum.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    “It also urges more forests, and the retention of the forests we already enjoy, as good carbon sinks.”

    Well a fully grown forest is not really taking up much more carbon net. Old wood is decaying (or being eaten or broken down) at about the same rate as any new wood is growing. It you chopped it down and buried the wood and then grew a new forest to chop down then perhaps! The UK government’s idiotic policy however is to chop down bio-fuel (wood) overseas then ship to the UK in diesel ships and then burn it at Drax!

    In short they are largely talking green wash and green crap.

    The slightly higher C02 levels helps new plants and trees to grow more quickly anyway.

    The worlds temperature sensitivity to CO2 concentrations is not as high as they pretend it is – it is not really a problem. But is they admit this their religion and excuse for world government falls away.

    As to population control people tend to control this better when they are richer and more developed. The expensive “renewable” energy agenda of the greens make people poorer and mitigates against this.

    It is impossible to take governments (Emma Thompson, Prince Charles/Harry types seriously when they continue to allow (and use) private jets, helicopters and first class travel. It they really believed ever 10% of the hell on earth religion they come out with they would ban these (and meat eating) and not do them themselves – but they do not.

    Judge politicians and these people by their actions not their words.

    Most sensible scientist are luke warmers like Matt Riddley, Richard Lindzen. Pier Corbyn.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Of course if we go down this bonkers line then pet cats, dogs and horses and the meat/food they eat and carbon they emit is totally unacceptable and should be banned. Horse racing banned and all land turned to forests.

      I shall take it all seriously when the Royal Family cull their 30+ corgis and all their thoroughbred horses – and when Boris puts the Downing St cat to “sleep” live on YouTube.

      Until then I shall enjoy my rib of beef & horse radish. I remember it was wonder value and very tasty indeed during the BSE “beef on the bone” scare. I had no trouble sourcing it still on the bone right through the EU ban.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Cyclist and walkers eating meat is even more unacceptable as they you are powering their transport from meat eating which is hugely inefficient.

        Sun to grass to cow, to abattoir, to butchery, to steaks, to freezer to plastic packaging to delivery to supermarket, to delivery to home, to cooking, to mouth to digestion to glucose to muscles to get me to work each day. Not many more inefficient ways of fueling transport than that are there?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        Cyclist and big walkers eating meat is even more unacceptable as they you are powering their transport from meat eating which is hugely inefficient.

        Sun to grass to cow, to abattoir, to butchery, to steaks, to freezer to plastic packaging to delivery to supermarket, to delivery to home, to cooking, to mouth to digestion to glucose to muscles to get me to work each day. Not many more inefficient ways of fueling transport than that are there? Plus they seem to need all those see through (oil based I assume) Licra outfits.

      • Pominoz
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink


        Many years ago, my local butcher took great delight, one Christmas during the BSE scare, in declaring that the other half of the bone-in rib he was supplying to me would be enjoyed by Lord Lichfield.

        It was delicious!

    • dennisambler
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      “chop down bio-fuel (wood) overseas then ship to the UK in diesel ships and then burn it at Drax!”

      And their Head of Sustainability and Policy at Drax, Rebecca Heaton, is a member of the Climate Change Committee:

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Lunacy and lunatics in charge it seems.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Interesting piece by Charles Moore in The Spectator today about the link between the climate alarmists and the “let’s reduce the population hugely” types and some of the mass shootings.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Also from the current edition of Spectator (USA edition) an interesting article by Claire Berlinski:”The Czarist Image of Mass Shootings.(6/8/19)”

        “There is an eerie similarily between America’s shooter culture and the sinister and contagious form of violent nihilism that emerged between 1861 and 1866 in Russia….the cradle of modern terrorism….they(the shooters) could have walked off the pages of Dostoevsky’s “Demons”.

        That’s the third article that I can recall reading in the past c15 months which likens life in modernday America to that portrayed in that particular Dostoevsky novel.

        Oh dear!!

  9. agricola
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    It would appear a well balanced report from your description. The media will no doubt sensationalise aspects of it.

    The most important factor is population growth. We could tax to discourage it, but only in the UK. We should be in a good position to ignore all the usual religious bigotry concerning unlimited reproduction. We must also cease to be the destination of choice for economic migrants in our part of the World. Our population needs to revert to around a stable 45 million as opposed to the current 65 million and growing. We cannot control the rest of the World, but we could set an example.

    I would not dictate what people eat, just suggest that a balanced diet between meat fish and vegetables is the best way to go. The war should be fought against obesity and all those food suppliers who have a vested interest in promoting it. Combine this with lots of exercise at school. This might turn our obsession with football from a spectator sport to a participation sport.

    Before blaming it all on CO2 remember that the sun is the predominant controller of climate on this planet. Learn to live with it and you will all be much happier. Man can control the environment and has failed in too numerous ways to mention. Clean up your own act.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Sensible comments, Agricola.

      [Penultimate sentence, I think you meant to say ‘Man cannot control the environment’ (i.e the nature of the planet and universe)]

      • agricola
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        See around 12.00

  10. JimS
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t we be keeping our woods and forests in Europe rather than cutting them down to make room for Asians and Africans, especially as Europe can’t produce enough food to feed itself whereas Asia and Africa have the potential to produce surpluses?

  11. Nigl
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Yes. Their job is not to critique it rather than capture a juicy headline or two to sell their product.

    Sorry to keep banging on but isn’t this a good excuse/trigger etc for you in government to have a real look at have a real look at how overseas aid is spent and if you must make Alzheimer’s patients etc suffer to pay for it, at least ensure it is for the long term good of the planet especially around reforesting and population control.

    For the record I do not buy the anti climate change ‘rants’ that we see from time to time. I wish the debate was more objective and self interest groups identified for what they are.

  12. sm
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    The UN wants population growth limited. Good luck with that!

    Do they have any proposals in this report as to achieving this goal? Will they be persuading the Pope to rethink Catholic doctrine? Will they recommend Government-enforced sterilisation on the poor and uneducated in the Indian and African continents? Will cascades of showbiz personalities descend in vengeance upon those societies that promote total male supremacy over women by demonstrating their ability to father as many infants as possible?

    The UN is a waste of money and resources.

    • Andy
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Naturally, I am a vegetarian. Some of us choose to not deliberately harm the planet.

      It is perfectly easy to eat well without eating meat.

      The important point is, though, that nobody is calling for you not to eat meat. It is simply urging you to eat less of it.

      Think of it like this.

      If you currently eat one big meaty meal per day, you could cut your meat intake by almost 15% is you replaced one of those a week with a vegetarian meal.

      If you ate two main vegetarian meals per week your meat intake would reduce by almost a third.

      If pretty much everyone did this the positive impact on the environment would be huge.

      And, genuinely, the hardship to you is zero. Non meat meals are cheaper too. Give it a try. Even the professional Victor Meldrew’s on here could manage!

      • Yorkie
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Andy, you’re a vegetarian? No one would have guessed

      • Edward2
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        “nobody is calling for you not to eat meat”
        Complete nonsense andy
        There is concerted campaigns by the UN the EU and our government.
        Added to distuptive demos in town centres near me, invasions of supermarkets and attacks on butchers shops by eco fascists

        • margaret howard
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


          “Added to distuptive demos in town centres near me, invasions of supermarkets and attacks on butchers shops by eco fascists”

          Blimey Edward, where DO you live? There is nothing that interesting in any town near me.

          Still, living in Lincolnshire…………………… -:)

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

            Many cities gave had such demos.
            In London shops and cafes selling meat and milk have been invaded by militant eco fascists demanding they stop selling such products.
            I dont find it “interesting”as you put it Margaret, I find it exemplifies the rise of the minority bullies wanting others to do what they think is the right way to live.
            Encouragement not coercion is the best way.

      • sm
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        1. I prepare a vegetarian meal every day (and shop accordingly) primarily for one member of my household but also shared with the others, and I entertain vegan and vegetarian friends, so I’m not in the slightest need of any culinary lectures from you.

        2. My post was about the likelihood of population reduction.

      • NickC
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Andy said: “nobody is calling for you not to eat meat”; and then you do precisely that!

        Eating meat does not “harm the planet”. Even if you are a CAGW enthusiast, meat is from animals which eat grass which fixes CO2 from the atmosphere in order to grow, just like vegetarians eat other crops which fix CO2. Animal meat just adds one more step in the food chain. There’s no difference in principle.

        As for vegetarians and vegans, my experience is they tend to the hysterical, and the bad-tempered, presumably because they lack B vitamins in their diet.

      • Oggy
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        What makes you think you are not harming the planet ? If you exhale CO2, belch and fart CH4 you’re harming the planet.

      • Pominoz
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

        “If pretty much everyone did this the positive impact on the environment would be huge”

        And your evidence for this assertion is?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      The best way to limit population growth is to make people more prosperous and healthy. They then tend to choose lower fertility rates. Conversely a good way to make them poorer is the Climate Alarmist Religion and expensive energy. Deal with wars, disease, clean water, basic nutrition that is the way forwards.

      How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place Paperback – 1 Mar 2014
      by Bjorn Lomborg is sound on this.

      Meanwhile I will wait to see the Royal Corgi Culling! If people cannot eat meat clearly dogs and cats have to go!

      • Dennis
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        LL – ‘The best way to limit population growth is to make people more prosperous and healthy.’

        Doesn’t that make them consume more and damage the environment and use up more non rnewable resources?

  13. Old Albion
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Climate change hysteria led by a 16 year old girl!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Indulged by the foolish English Graduate Gove (who want to kill private schools) and who made us all suffer the appalling Theresa May.

    • NickC
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion, Though it is (just) beginning to change. This is a quote on GWPF from Jeff Gibbs about the documentary “Planet of the Humans,” promoted by filmmaker Michael Moore and directed by Jeff Gibbs:

      It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Is there really much difference between a fully grown forest (both decaying and growing) and all the insects and animals that live off it and a similar area of meadows with cows and other animals living of it in terms of C02 net emissions? If you really want to capture carbon would have to grow things then not use them and store/bury them.

    But if we really needed to capture carbon dioxide (or cool the planet) there are far more effective and less expensive and far more effective ways to doing it than the above. The real science suggests there is no need for this as the sensitivity to C02 has been vastly exaggerated by the alarmist religion.

    • Bob
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      The suggested correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures is fake, the charts show that increased CO2 levels follow warming – they do not precede it.

      A lot of people still get their information from the BBC, so they are fed propaganda instead of facts, since the BBC will not allow AGW theory to be challenged on their platforms.

      Did you know that the reports of dwindling polar bear populations are also fake news?
      The truth is that polar bear numbers are increasing, to the point that they are posing a threat to the Inuit.

      • Dennis
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        ‘The truth is that polar bear numbers are increasing, to the point that they are posing a threat to the Inuit.’

        Could it not be that the numbers just look more as the bears come to the towns looking for food as global warming has diminished their usual methods of catching food? Maybe wrong but this explanation was not rejected.

        • Bob
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink


          The US Geological Survey estimated the global population of polar bears at 24,500 in 2005. In 2015, the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group estimated the population at 26,000 (range 22,000–31,000)7 but additional surveys published 2015–2017 brought the total to near 28,500. However, data published in 2018 brought that number to almost 29,5009 with a relatively wide margin of error. This is the highest global estimate since the bears were protected by international treaty in 1973.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear the climate alarmists surely will not want all those meat eating polar (and other meat/fish eating bears). We will need to teach them all to become vegetarians.

        Is there much seaweed for them near the north pole?

    • dennisambler
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Exactly right. Professor Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of BioGeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, wrote this in 2003:

      “At the end of the last ice age, only some 12-18000 years ago, the tropics were covered by seasonal savannah grasslands, cooler and much drier than now. There were no rain forests in the Malay Peninsula and much of Amazonia, and, despite the increasing human development of forested space, there are still more rain forests persisting than existed then.

      As in Europe and North America, the forests came and went as climate changed; there is no Clementsian “long period of control” under one climate. Beneath many rain forests, there are sheets of ash, a testimony in the soil to past fires and non-forested landscapes.”

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, I’ll try and write a short piece on soil management. It will surprise you.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Please do.

  15. oldtimer
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Comparisons of temperatures over time are unreliable and contain an unknown margin of error. Climate scientists reduced the number of stations used to record temperatures in 1990 to around 1200 from the c4500 previously used. But only c200 stations were common to the pre and post 1990 change. It became clear after a HoC investigation into the climategate emails that the University of East Anglia had not retained its pre 1990 records. This rendered it impossible to create a parallel run to compare the two sets of temperature records and what difference that change caused.

    I have always understood that it is not good practice to change instrumentation in the course of a scientific experiment. Yet this is what happened and no effort was made to determine its implications. In fact the whole historic temperature record is subject to variability on account of changing technology, changing processes and on decisions where to locate temperature recording stations that can be readily accessed. The fact that climate scientists are so keen to push the meme of man made global warming makes me extremely suspicious of precise claims about global temperature changes over time and that they are mostly man made.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Do you remember the case of “plebgate”, oldtimer?

      There, it was found that a witness was lying. He wasn’t even there.

      However, the accused was still penalised. So how is that?

      Well, there were other witnesses, and they were not lying.

      So the lesson is, that to succeed in perhaps discrediting one witness, does not in itself destroy a case.

      Some people need to grasp that, it seems.

      • John C.
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        You ARE Andy. Your tone is exactly the same. Anyway, what are the other indicators of climate change than scientific instruments, which you seem to agree, may be suspect witnesses?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          The one paragraph per sentence is another giveaway JohnC.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Quite agree!
      There are also the Met Office ‘adjustments ‘ to temperature records so that the warm 1930s are made cooler to exaggerate current temperatures and give more of a hockey stick curve ,usually on a graph with distorted x and y axes .

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I imagine this is where all the recent MSM chat re eating insects comes from?
    When Churchill had huge numbers of cattle slaughtered ( because he decided they would not be able to be fed) at the beginning of WW2, lack of manure depleted the land to such an extent that crop growing became difficult.
    Will we be happily munching on cricket sand….oh ….um no manure….no wheat….no bread…no salad…no cricket sandwich. So just crunchy old crickets then. No food for the crickets either!
    The UN really needs to think this one through and weak kneed politicians need …just for once…to stand up to what they must know (?) is total madness.
    ( Won’t be many supermarkets either…and for oil…maybe they will have to start whale hunting again??).

    • Dennis
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      ‘lack of manure depleted the land to such an extent that crop growing became difficult.’

      No worries, chemical techno fixes will surely come – Monsanto to the rescue!

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink


      ” lack of manure depleted the land to such an extent that crop growing became difficult.”

      So how do people in say, India where whole regions are inhabited by vegetarians who depend on crop growing for their food supplies, deal with this?

      • Dennis
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Margaret – ‘So how do people in say, India where whole regions are inhabited by vegetarians who depend on crop growing for their food supplies, deal with this?’

        They have holy cows, oxen and water buffalo everywhere.

  17. John Struan Robertson
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Great they recognise that population growth is the cause, seems to be a good report.

    We need to get away from the dogma that you grow an economy by immigration. Tear up the green fields in England to build houses for people around the world. One way to control the population growth here is to stop building more homes and homes in the country side.

    Instead of closing down high tech car washed to employ a dozen Eastern Europeans earning under £12k and paying no tax we should focus on improving productivity. Ceasing the massive house building program would help encourage increased productivity and better for the environment.

  18. Ian Wilson
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Reducing meat eating to mitigate climate change assumes the premise that human originated CO2 is a major influence on warming, which is almost certainly wrong – pace Leaver above, over 31,400 scientists including some of the biggest names in physics like Edward Teller signed a statement that there is no scientific evidence of human originated gases causing warming. I think their views should carry more weight than the schoolgirl ministers like to consult.

    Meanwhile NASA’s SABER instrument shows atmospheric COOLING stated last year. Bet the BBC and Greenpeace won’t report that.

    Population is another issue and a cause of genuine concern, not least in Britain where it is driving house prices to levels unattainable to young people as well as destroying our countryside.

    • hefner
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      NASA’s SABER measures the temperature in the thermosphere and mesosphere, not really where most of us live.

      • John C.
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Still, I would like to know why this cooling occurred.

        • hefner
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          What about the absence of much water vapour in the mesosphere and thermosphere, which prevents the overlap between absorption bands of H2O and CO2 from occurring at those heights and therefore induces the so-called ‘cooling-to-space’ by more intensive CO2 emission/absorption bands?
          Where lower down in the troposphere the simultaneous presence of H2O and CO2 bands at roughly the same wavelengths tends to enhance the so-called ‘greenhouse’ effect: increase concentration of CO2 => relatively small direct increase in temperature by this increased CO2 => for the same relative humidity, increase in absolute humidity => increase effect of H2O-CO2 overlapping absorption bands => slightly bigger increase in temperature as originally due to simple increase in CO2 concentration. What these bloody atmospheric scientists (BAS) call a positive feedback.
          What the same BAS have also shown after Dick Lindzen’s original papers on the Iris hypothesis (he was hypothesizing that increased CO2 and increased temperatures would lead to stronger convection (particularly in the tropical regions) and thus drying (lower relative humidity at around the tropopause level) and therefore negative feedback and stabilization of temperature, is that Lindzen’s idea only applies to convection and convective clouds in a limited set of (geographical and atmospheric) conditions and does not occur globally and certainly not as a global negative feedback (sorry LL) due to an awful lot of additional problems like the formation of ice crystals, their sizes and the type of aerosols around which (droplets and) ice crystals tend to form.

      • NickC
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, No connection or influence between the layers, then? All entirely separate? I must remember to tell the next passing CO2 molecule when I spot one.

        • hefner
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          You might want to have a look at the temperature profile (globally and annually averaged). There are plenty of introductory books on the topics, some for children some for adults but telling the same facts. You might see in the troposphere the temperature decreasing from the surface to the tropopause, increasing in the stratosphere from the tropopause to the stratopause, then decreasing again from stratopause to ‘mesopause’ in the mesosphere and then … basically these things not making much common sense because of the number of molecules tending to zero (so no pressure nor temperature as such).
          What you might understand when talking to your next passing CO2 molecule is that it might have to follow some physical process known as buoyancy and that a change from a negative temperature gradient in the troposphere to a positive one in the stratosphere might somewhat hinder its upward (or downward) motion.

          • NickC
            Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            Hefner, Hand waving. That was not what I said. To put it as a statement so you can understand, the atmospheric layers are not isolated from each other. The number of molecules tending to zero is because of gravity, not magic “layers”, even though different physical effects come into play as height increases.

            And no “greenhouse” gas creates IR (heat) energy – like all insulators they are passive, slowing down the escape of heat. The weather (example: wind) helps to create the so-called “greenhouse” effect by (re)distributing heat as well as IR absorbing/radiating molecules. You might want to look to your last paragraph which confuses cause and effect.

          • hefner
            Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            Well, well, well, you are simply wrong: how is radiation ‘created’ if not by a jump in energy linked to one or several electrons jumping from one higher (excited) orbit to another orbit with lower energy? That happens to all atoms/molecules. The only difference between atoms/molecules are their masses (depending on the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus) and the number of electrons. Depending on which transition (passage from one higher orbit to a lower one) some energy is emitted (or absorbed when going to lower to higher orbit), and that energy is linked to a frequency/wavelength/wavenumber (choose your preferred unit) in some particular location in the electromagnetic spectrum. That’s the Planck formula if you want to look for it. That gives rise to emission/absorption lines over the whole electromagnetic spectrum. For atmospheric purposes, that can be between 0.2 micrometer (UltraViolet radiation) to about 100 micrometers (far-infrared radiation).

            As for heat/temperature, that is linked to the motion of gas atoms/molecules: go back and revise your statistical definition of temperature in a given volume, and PV=nRT for the relationship between pressure, volume and temperature.

            Furthermore, I never said the layers were isolated, simply that the exchanges between them are very dependent on/limited by the prevailing conditions of temperature. Have you ever wondered why the highest clouds (whether top of cumulonimbus clouds or cirrus clouds and assimilated) are mainly located below the tropopause (about 15-17 km in the equatorial region going down to 7-8 km in the polar regions) and not above, and that for all sorts of convective and stratiform clouds.

            The only noticeable exception is the so-called polar stratospheric clouds, which form (not so often) under very different conditions.

  19. Shirley
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    The rising human population is the problem, but nobody seems willing to tackle it.

    If you search Youtube with the words ‘gumball population demonstration’ you will see that current actions solve nothing and in fact make the situation worse.

    • Kathleen P
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      An excellent video. Highly recommended.

      • Dennis
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        What did Richard Nixon in 1969 have to say about population? –

        Population Control
        One of the greatest threats to the well-being of mankind is the burden of excessive population growth. If things continue as they are, this planet, which at the beginning of the century supported about 1.6 billion lives, and which now supports-often inadequately-some 3.7 billion lives, will be called upon to sustain about 7.5 billion human beings by the end of this century. Already there are many areas of the world where population growth makes improvements in standards of living intolerably slow, if not impossible. And this is most often true where living standards are lowest. The world is already experiencing a population explosion of unprecedented dimensions. We are, in short, in a rush toward a Malthusian nightmare. That surely is not our destiny.
        Therefore, while respecting fully the rights, the consciences and the responsibilities of other nations, we have taken steps on three fronts to help curtail the growth of world population. First, in line with my statement on population in July of 1969, the United States has embarked on a major effort to support private decisions that will slow the growth of our own population. Second, the United States has given active support to the work of the United Nations agencies in this field. We have again pledged to match contributions from other countries to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, this time up to a total of $12.5 million for 1971. Third, when it is requested of us, we extend technical and financial assistance to the family planning programs of developing nations.

  20. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    This report triggers many responses, primarily being that the UN cannot be trusted.
    Problems about water..? 72% of the planet is water FGS – and all it takes is a little technology, not less, to make it usable.
    Over population cannot be that much of a problem when The UN actively encourages large families to move to the West, does not even suggest contraceptives to them, but lectures the rest of us. Feeding and housing are management issues – OK so we are expanding – Work out how it can be done – These are the things government is supposed to do – rather than the oppressive approach the UN is taking to move us back to the dark ages.
    We have the technology and the space for the population to double, so why doesn’t the UN stop suppressing innovations, reverse it’s socialist nature and start planning to manage the population growth, with a real future.?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Indeed. On water it either runs down the rivers into the directly sea and comes back as rain or we extract it, use it and then it runs into the sea – so what is the difference why not use it?

      Anyway slightly warmer tends to mean more rain & precipitation not less. Contrary to the summer droughts that the alarmist and BBC promised us a while back.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Indeed – we have still not gotten around to managing the free resources we have effectively, while oppressives want to limit what we use, as in water metering, just because nobody can be bothered to do a proper job on estimate and supply.

  21. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your summary Sir John. Assuming that your precis is more representative than the shrill headlines from the mainstream media then….

    The Reverand Thomas Malthus gave a solution many years back. Population growth should be naturally checked by natural disaster, genetics and stupidity. The do gooding hand wringers who insist something must be done everytime we see a disaster and campaign to send more funds are encouraging population growth. Similarly 0.7% foreign aid is contributing to climate change. Closer to home out benefits system, cap on energy bills for those who won’t shop around and welcoming refugees is also contributing to climate change by discouraging natural culling.

    That the obese (of which I am one) are chief contributors is no surprise and we should be shamed and taxed into weight reduction.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Insist on airlines charging by pound weight of passenger over say 12 stone so as to encourage some slimming! Some fat shaming is perhaps needed? I could do with losing a stone.

      • gregory martin
        Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Ground breaking stuff!!
        New simplified taxation policy.
        Annual weighing of citizens, (possibly at the local butchers shop, sadly neglected) Declared variable rate per stone, displayed publically and charged to your debit card. ‘Fat cats’ pay more tax ! Result.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      NS – obesity probably comes under the Malthuian category of ‘stupidity’ and is part of Nature’s ‘natural culling’.

      ‘In those who were moderately obese (BMI 30 to 35, which is now common), the lifespan was reduced by three years. Severe obesity (BMI 40 to 50, which is still uncommon) reduced life expectancy by about 10 years; this is similar to the effect of lifelong smoking.20 Mar 2009’.

      Yes, I too am a little stupid in this respect.

      Foreign Aid spent on Population Control (education, empowerment of women, access to birth control, etcetera) is clearly worthwhile expenditure that helps both developing nations and the West (except businesses that want more consumers).
      However, much Foreign Aid is currently mismanaged. This is not an argument for reducing our Foreign Aid budget – just change the priorities and get rid of the numerous parasites (managers) that suck money out of the industry/system.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        @ James – obesity probably does come under stupidity but the hand wringers insist that we do not shame nor tell the obese that it is their fault but hat we offer them treatments at no cost on the NHS.

        The hand wringers then tell us we must do something about climate change.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Spare us from those who would interfere

          • James Bertram
            Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Yes, NS – I dread getting old and losing my independence, ‘helped’ by do-gooders. I shall be so grouchy.

  22. Dan
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    At risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s well worth reading Hans Rosling’s Factfulness

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Indeed a simple short book full of good rational sense.

  23. Martyn G
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Respectful climate scientists posit that CO2 forms 0.04% of earth’s atmosphere, 98% of which is formed by nature (volcanoes etc). Mankind, it would appear, is responsible for just 2% of the 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere i.e. just 0.0008 of the total. How likely is it that unless we reduce our minuscule CO2 input the world faces climate change?
    Meanwhile, solar physicists are observing that the sun – the engine of world climate – is probably entering a very quiet phase without any sunspot activity. In the late 1600s the sun went quiet for 40 years and the world entered a deep cold phase (the Maunder minimum), with ice fairs being held on the Thames and northern Europe rivers and crop failures. Imagine if that were to happen again now, would our energy sources be able to cope with a massive demand for heating, industry etc during lengthy, freezing winters?
    In my very inexpert view, from reading the pros and cons of CO2, climate change and what is happening to the sun, it is more likely that the world will experience prolonged cold periods arising from a very quiet sun than it is for increased CO2 driving the earth into heated climate disaster.

    • hefner
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Again, water vapor, H2O, represents about 1% in atmospheric concentration and is responsible for practically all the weather over the globe. As you say, CO2 is only 0.04 % in concentration, but is one of the most potent gases in radiative effect in the infrared spectrum, particularly so as contrary to H2O which through the hydrological cycle has an average residence time of only a few days, CO2 has an atmospheric residence time of centuries. Indeed, the contribution by humans is very small, but taking the example of an already full bathtub with just a leak at the bottom, if one is to continuously add water in excess to what is leaked, what do you think will happen?
      And to all the usual contributors with Ordovician counter-examples, don’t damage your pretty fingernails wacking the keyboard, that’s another meaningless argument as the conditions of the Earth is those days were not exactly the same as today’s conditions, didn’t you notice?
      As for the coming ‘quiet Sun’, this is likely to be seen in the amount of UV-A, UV-B radiation (i.e., not reaching the Earth’s surface) but affecting the thermosphere, mesosphere and possibly the stratosphere (via increase/decrease? in the occurrence of so-called sudden stratospheric warmings).

      • roger
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Did you read that on the BBC?

        • hefner
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          No, there are other sources of information than television. What about books?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        @Hefner- you appear to be in a most dismissive and patronising mood today. Good sport if a little superior.

        What have you to say on overpopulation? Surely a bad thing.

        • hefner
          Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          I completely agree that as a species we are going to the wall.
          What makes me laugh on this blog is the number of people condemning DfID and often the same being very concerned by overpopulation and not realizing that one of the DfID programs is?/was women’s empowerment including access to contraception. In my patronizing mood, I’ll add that after a certain age it might be difficult for some here to see the connections.

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I would also add that the earths orbit around the sun wobbles, there is no agreed cause for this but theories of a massive extra planet could both explain it and the comets knocked out of the Oort cloud.

      What is also interesting is this 26,000 year cycle was clearly know and mapped in thousands of years BC, odd since a one degree move takes 72 years.

      So sometimes the earth is significantly closer to the sun, surely a reason for warming.

      • hefner
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, and could you tell us the order of magnitude of such a fluctuation. What about the potential impact on either the incoming solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere or better the impact on the global temperature or even better the impact on the UK surface temperature. You can provide annual means if you can’t do daily fluctuations. Thanks in advance.

        • NickC
          Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          Hefner, No, and neither can you. Because, if you could, all the “climate” scientists might as well pack up and go home because you would have perfectly modelled the climate. Since the models are lousy predictors, that is not the case and you can’t predict accurately either.

          • hefner
            Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            I fully agree that I can’t predict. I was (kind of) trying to point out that the order of magnitude of these fluctuations is very likely to be minuscule compared to what I think the addition of various gases is/will be doing to the Earth’s atmosphere, and that the timescales for these orbit fluctuations and the effect of this addition are very different. But I agree that Milankovitch has explained pretty well the various states of the Earth in the past from these variations in orbit parameters.

        • Gareth Warren
          Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          I read distances varying between 91.4 and 94.5 million miles over a year, for us in the west its more important locally what our tilt is towards the sun at what stage in our orbit. That runs on a 26,000 year cycle.

          Couple that with activity in the sun (something like a 20 year cycle from memory) and I’m rather unconvinced by climate change science.

    • rose
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      This seems to be the consensus among independent people who think. We should be making the most of this benign warmth.

  24. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Something many in Parliament still don’t get, and it should be more clear given the lessons we’ve seen with fake news on BREXIT.
    On a regular basis we’ve been told ’12 years to save the Earth’ – But can anybody make us aware of how many of the predictions, scare stories, fake news, have come to pass – The answer is ZERO…! The oceans have not risen, and we are still getting differences in weather we’ve experienced for thousands of years.
    When these zealots make their false predictions, to scare us, they know full well that they cannot factor in all possible contributions to a changing weather pattern in their simulations. For example, the oceans are heated from below which feeds into weather fluctuations. The tilt of the earth over 41, 000 years produces it’s own weather patterns. While the sun has varying cycles, but as it ages it gets hotter, hence more heat for us.
    It is time more people recognized the controlling nature of the UN and the fake stories it has been responsible for – The question we should be asking is WHY …!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Vested interests.
      Extinction Rebellion = useful idiots.
      Get people terrified ( which most are not!) and they will buy into ridiculous windmills and all “green” technology.
      Seen the disgusting ad for smart meters?? It implies that if you don’t get one children’s futures will be ruined.
      The corporatocracy learned a long time ago that there is a great deal of money in fear.
      Take the 19th century ramped up fear of food adulteration for example…
      Packaging…brand loyalty….ker ching!!

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Yes – I did see that ad about smart meters – more brainwashing, and they do not address any of the concerns….

        The trouble that that is just the start – we are seeing ad’s that play on fears for a whole host of things – all relying on false data to make them look good – Disgusting…

  25. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    If 30% of our food production is going to waste there must be merit in tax breaks for farmers or other enterprising individuals to bring the produce rejected by supermarkets to the mass market. I have no fears of buying asymmetric vegetables and cheap cuts of meat. But supermarkets now seem to charge a premium for these. Neck, belly, skirt and skrag all used to be good value because of the amount of preparation required. Now they sit at the same price points as premium cuts.

    Volume pricing on perishables also encourages waste.

    • DanielJames
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      An attempt in Wiltshire near me to utilise the food waste into an anaerobic power plant has been repeatedly challenged and blocked by environmentalists and Nimby’s. We have acres and acres of former farmland turned into solar panel fields but turning one or two fields into a ‘waste food to power ‘ biogas power station that would make use of it rather than sending it to landfill is wrong? It seems like a sensible part of the solution to me.

  26. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink


    In your estimation, how long will it be before eating meat becomes a criminal offence?

    • IanT
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      There will have to be medical exemptions from any legal meat ban – I have a genetic condition that requires meat consumption (e.g. I’m a carnivore).

      If a ban on meat is introduced, I’ll expect Sir John (and a cross party team) to go to Canada and visit a cattle ranch, sample a good steak (to see if they sleep any better) and return to an ecstatic mass media welcome on their return… I’m sure McDonalds or Beefeater will sponsor the trip!

    • BOF
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      At that time, I shall be on the run!

  27. MPC
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    When in my 20s I thought the world was coming to an end just like some young people feel today. In those days it was called Ecology and we had prophets of doom such as Paul Ehrlich ‘The Population Bomb’, and the dire predictions of the Club of Rome. But I grew out of it with age and knowledge. Unfortunately today much climate science is anything but science and is little more than biased computer modelling. We owe it to our young people to somehow force the televised media into a balanced approach to these issues. It’s very sad that the BBC is set firmly against such a stance.

    • Dennis
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      MPC – ‘and we had prophets of doom such as Paul Ehrlich ‘The Population Bomb’, and the dire predictions of the Club of Rome. ‘

      But that has happened, he was right – the Population Bomb has causd housing, hospital problems, road gridlocks, air pollution, seas full of plastic, more chemicals for farming, hormones in cattle, fish farms needing chemicals, over fishing, environmenta damage, species destruction etc., etc. all to provide for a massive population.

      • James Bertram
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        See my post near the end of today’s comments – mentions Paul Ehrlich

      • MPC
        Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Thanks but my point was that Ehrlich argued that we’d run out of resources and the ability to feed the world population which clearly hasn’t happened due to GM crops for example, and our ability to otherwise adapt and innovate.

        • James Bertram
          Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          Thanks MPC. I’ve begun to look more into the discrepancy between Ehrlich’s 2 billion and the UN’s view of maintaining current population at 7-8 billion.

          I note the criticism’s of Ehrlich’s view regarding failure to account for increases in food production. The main criticism (Rosling) is that man will adapt and innovate to counteract population growth. This would seem to account for maybe why the political consensus has moderated its views on Ehrlich’s predictions (although I am concerned that capitalism and business might be promoting population growth for their own commercial agenda).

          However, this is all well and good for man to adapt and survive, but it seems to have little concern for the damage such growth is doing to other species and to habitats – my main concern. This would seem to be why David Attenborough is so keen to limit population growth.

  28. Lifelogic
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Cyclist and big walkers eating meat is even more unacceptable as they you are powering their transport from meat eating which is hugely inefficient.

    Sun to grass to cow, to abattoir, to butchery, to steaks, to freezer to plastic packaging to delivery to supermarket, to delivery to home, to cooking, to mouth to digestion to glucose to muscles to get me to work each day. Not many more inefficient ways of fueling transport than that are there? Plus they seem to need all those see through Licra outfits.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      A 16 year old who does not understand real science and one indulged by the foolish English Graduate Michael Gove (who wants to kill private schools with VAT and bans) and who made us all suffer the appalling liar Theresa May by knifing Boris. Costing me my wager too!

  29. Sydney Ashurst
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    The population in Western Europe is deliberately declining, yet the population in poorer Countries is increasing with a consequent migratory invasion. Is this ethnicity change with different birth rates destabilising?
    Is the 0.87°C increase since 1880 really down to man made carbon dioxide emissions with 25% attributed to animal husbandry?
    The Earth is greening, is that a bad thing, and what should the natural percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere be? Certainly the destruction of forests reduces the sink.
    Man is destroying forests to produce biofuels and burn in power stations.
    In the IPCC reports the natural variation in solar radiation over the years is ignored. We accept that the seasons are due to the annual variation of the heat from the Sun.l
    There is no formula/equation for climate sensitivity to CO2.
    Research by Northumbria University – A new mathematical formula has been discovered which allows researchers to accurately plot the Sun’s activity cycles over hundreds of thousands of years.
    Because all planets orbit around the Sun in an elliptical, or oval orbit, their position can vary depending on the stage of their orbit. The Earth’s orbit is becoming more circular, increasing the amount of solar energy to hit the surface of the Earth. This movement will occur over the next 600 years and will slowly lead to an increase in the average terrestrial temperature by around 2.5°C.
    This would suggest that change in temperature is more due to nature than Politicians would give credit to.

  30. Everhopeful
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Why is the EU busily engaged in trying to get beef trade deals with South America?
    Surely a handful of insects would suffice?
    Obviously the EU has cracked transatlantic CO2-free transport?
    Let the cattle swim?

  31. StephenJ
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Sir John, a good piece, your last paragraph gets to the heart of the matter.

    In similar vein, somebody alerted me to the work of a gentleman from Zimbabwe called Dr. Allan Savory.

    After some sixty years of experimentation, ha has concluded that desertification is not caused by global warming, or climate change at all, but rather by land mismanagement.

    He has set about testing his thesis, that a pencil and paper and a willingness to challenge established but clearly failing practises, are all that is missing. There isn’t after all, some massive problem with exploiting the planet’s resources.

    He noted that with the explosion in human population had come an associated destruction of the huge herds of heavy wild animals that used to roam where we didn’t. In this they broke the ground, fertilised it with their dung, and prepared it for next year’s growth. So his idea is to mimic this grazing behaviour.

    His theory is that we DON’T HAVE ENOUGH heavy animals breaking the ground, so as a consequence the ground dies, loses its integrity and then washes away in the next rain storm, leaving behind a growing desert.

    Weirdly, the people that make their living out of selling environmentalism strongly object to Dr. Savory. Perhaps it is because, they could very quickly find themselves out of work and laughed at for their devotion to their disguised socialism.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Dr Savory is part of the Rewilding movement.
      Rewilding seriously challenges many previous ideas on conservation.
      I will try and include this in a short piece on soil management below.

  32. Lifelogic
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Indulged by the foolish English Graduate Gove (who want to kill private schools) and who made us all suffer the appalling Theresa May.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      The whole idea that it is possible to calculate an average Earth temperate over some unspecified time interval is junk science and junk maths.

      Indeed it is! What temperature are we taking? The surface, the atmosphere (at what height), the sea (and at what depth). The cities with their urban warming centrally heated effects or the hills? Are we including the warm cows, machinery and humans or not? Heathrow airport was it not last time when a jet went past perhaps?

      • hefner
        Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Well, well, well. You basically show that despite your multiple BScs in maths, physics, engineering and whatever, you do not have a clue about the procedures enforced by the World Meteorological Organization to ensure the consistency and reproducibility of measurements of temperature, pressure, humidity, wind in synoptic stations all over the world, and similar standards applied to all sorts of measurements by aircrafts, balloons, buoys, satellites, …
        It would appear from your postings here that your way of thinking can be summed up by: because the great Lifelogic is not directly associated to that work, all those who are can only be clowns.
        Fortunately there are people involved in such work who did not waste their education and ended up becoming a multi-BTL landlord.

  33. Kevin
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Thou shalt not kill is still the best foundation for a debate on the subject
    of population growth.

  34. Oggy
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Off topic – apologies.
    So Corbyn thinks leaving the EU on Oct 31st as per UK and EU law is undemocratic, but not respecting/accepting the 2016 referendum result is perfectly ok. The man is a complete idiot and hypocrite.

  35. Anonymous
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I gave up meat since Margaret Howard’s harrowing description of pigs being slaughtered. I want as few sentient animals as is possible to be terrified in their last moments on my account. Otherwise I agree with this post.

    O/T The Tory Party have lost it on being the party of law and order. Not just the machette attack on the police officer yesterday but what I’m hearing from my prison officer friends – that prisoners now rule the roost in prisons.

    I have witnessed things getting notably worse in my frontline role at work. Last night dealing (yet again) with a disruptive and physically threatening young man high on drink and drugs. We are heavily monitored and CCTV’d so that our actions are scrutinised afterwards. We are not allowed to lay a finger on such persons unless they strike first or are themselves in imminent danger.

    This means these people can cause chaos until the police arrive – which is very often never.

    The law and the authorities are ranged against the people trying to keep the country running. The oft quoted “It’s their human rights” was a major cause of Brexit.

    Neither Newmania nor Andy have to deal with such situations.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      The “They must strike first …” policy means that we have to get hit before we are allowed to take back control.

  36. Andy
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I wonder what my children’s children will call the great Tory economic decline of 2019?

    The Brexcession maybe?

    The downturn 17.4m people – who claimed to know best – voted for!

    • Edward2
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      So why is Germany heading for recession?

    • NickC
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Why do you suppose that being independent of the EU – as the other 165 nations in the rest of the world are – should be damaging to the UK? Do you know something those 165 states don’t? Or is every other nation in the world composed solely of far-right angry Tory pensioners opting for poverty too? Or maybe you’re just a fact-free ranter.

  37. Kathleen P
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Nils-Axel Morner, former head of the Paleo-Geophysics and Geodynamics Department in Stockholm was interviewed on Australian TV recently. He is the former chair of the only IPCC international committee on sea level changes. A world renowned expert on the subject.
    It was a fascinating interview in which he says it can be proved and tested that absolute sea level is not rising more than about 1mm per year in the Northern hemisphere. At the Equator, it is not rising at all and levels have been stable for 50-70 years. The (alarmist) IPCC chapter on sea level changes was produced by 37 people who were not sea level scientists.
    He is adamant that CO2 is not the driving mechanism in climate change and he is not the only one to say that it is solar activity that is the dominant factor. According to Prof. Morner, we will be in another phase of low solar activity within a decade or so and a solar driven cooling period is not far off.
    He says 80-90% of physicists know that this CO2 hypothesis is wrong. Among geologists and astronomers, 80% know that ‘CO2 causes global warming’ is wrong.
    Metereologists, however, agree with the hypothesis and most of their funding comes from that.
    In his view, promoters of the hypothesis have ulterior motives. It is a wonderful way of controlling people and taxation but such organised and deceitful forces are dangerous to society.
    Censorship of alternative views and restrictions on research funding are stifling any meaningful debate. When a friend posted the Morner interview on his FaceBook page, he was immediately informed that it was misleading and that posting it would affect traffic to his page. He took it as a thinly veiled warning and he self-censored and took it down. The media will not allow a debate with alternative views and anyone who wishes to question assumptions is shouted down by unwavering believers in the new faith.
    How can we possibly raise sensible questions about how we plan and organise and change if we are not allowed to have a reasoned debate?

    • John C.
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Fascinating. It seems to me the clearest indication that there is a massive fraud afoot, driven by vested interests, is the restriction and fear of free and open discussion. In fact, to non-scientists like myself, it is much the surest evidence of skulduggery.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Thanks for this, Kathleen.
      I think this link is what you are referring to (Dr. Morner from 6 minutes in):
      Important listening.

      Sir, John, I know you are not keen on links because of the work it entails to monitor them, but I very much hope you will have a chance to listen to this.
      It really does put a huge question mark over May’s recent Climate Change CO2 policy – and the direction of the UN on this topic.
      This needs more exposure.

  38. Mick
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I get pretty fed up of the likes of the flip flop wearing tree hugging cave dwelling greens Lucas woman spouting on about climate change, if the likes of her ilk had there way we would still be living in caves or mud huts eating berries and leaves to survive, me I’ll stick to meat and milk produce and keep some muscle and fat on my body and not the stick thin amaseated bodies of the vegans/veggies

  39. JoolsB
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Sorry everyone, I don’t mean to preach and many will not agree with me but wouldn’t it be a kinder world anyway if we didn’t eat animals? I’m not into climate change and I don’t know what effect animals or humans are having on the planet, but I am an animal lover and for that reason only, a vegetarian, and find it barbaric what we do to animals so we can eat their flesh.

    • StephenJ
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I am a vegetarian too Jools…

      I only eat vegetarian animals, like cows, sheep and goats.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Jools, do some research into the amount of animals intentionally killed to protect crops and the damage land grabbing is doing to grow soya. Yes some of this is used to feed cows etc but not all. Ducks are shot in their thousands and its the same for mice, rodents, snakes, amphibians, pigeons, deer and rabbits. Are you saying their lives are worth less? Crops are sprayed with poison to kill mice and their deaths are slow and tortuous so all this talk of killing animals is tosh. Its all nasty. We just have to live with it. Owners of cats and dogs have to remember that their food comes from other animals in our food chain. Where did all this rubbish come from?

      • James Bertram
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        ‘It’s all nasty. We just have to live with it.’
        No we don’t, Fedup. We just need to farm by using natural processes, and by working with Nature rather than trying to dominate it.
        But thanks for pointing out what goes on on most industrial farms, and how we treat wildlife.
        Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ was a seminal book on this subject.

  40. a-tracy
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    A quick google search says: “The new population projections indicate that nine countries will make up more than half the projected growth of the global population between now and 2050: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States of America” www.

    So although I agree the UK should make changes the random protests and general inaction by the same members of the public crying about it then zooming off on their planes won’t make any difference, the plastic bag fact check was illuminating.

    Personally, I don’t use bags for life or plastic bags as I have three bags I’ve used for 10 years for collecting food from stores which I clean and reuse. I don’t fly every year, my family aren’t obese, I recycle, don’t waste clothes or over-purchase food – this blanket accusatory punishment taxation and reporting just annoys me.

  41. Special Powers
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The evidence on man-made climate change is now overwhelming.

    I am blessed, in the same way that Greta is, and we can both actually see the number of CO2 molecules rising in the atmosphere all around us.

    Oh, if only there were more people with the same Special Powers, the Climate Deniers could be rebutted, once and for all.

  42. graham1946
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    My village is surrounded by arable farm land, no animals in sight except once or twice a year sheep are brought in for a few weeks to graze. Yesterday I passed a beautiful field of gold, which had just been cut as it has for centuries. Next year that beautiful field will be 1200 houses. How is that supposed to help the environment? We are urged to eat more vegetables, at the same time politicians are urging farmers to sell land for development which will never again produce a crop except of more humans. The clamour for doing away with planning will only make matters worse and all in the name of short term profits for builders and landlords. When will builders be required to re-develop brown land instead of prime agricultural land which is done simply because no preparatory work is involved and houses can be built in a few months and profits be realised quickly?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Agree Graham. Its all contradictory

  43. James Bertram
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    ‘It would be good if this Report triggered a proper debate about population growth, soil and water management as its authors probably wish.’

    Sir John, I couldn’t agree more that we need a proper debate worldwide about Population Growth/Reduction. (And Soil and Water Management).

    I would like to emphasise the use of your word ‘probably’. From my skim read of the Summary for Policymakers I could see no mention of lowering the World’s population from today’s level. The authors seem to have been politically neutered on suggesting any scenario with a radical population reduction from today’s level. The best case scenario they examined was a Shared Socio-economic Pathway 1 of a world population of 7 Billion in 2100. It suggests that the UN has every intention of avoiding a proper debate on radical Population Reduction.

    I posted this on 3rd August (on plastics in the ocean): We can stop overpopulation by dramatically reducing births around the world. Increasing numbers of resource experts agree that in order to stop global overconsumption, depletion of resources and unprecedented loss of species – and significantly reduce dire human poverty – total world population needs to be between 1 and 3 billion people.

    I also recommended the Population Matters website. However, it seems they too have had their ambitions neutered (by the UN? By the US? Or by our Government threatening to withdraw grants to their charity?) to only talking about maintaining current world population levels, not radically reducing them: e.g. from their current website:
    ‘The UN’s projections show that very small changes in the size of families across the globe make an enormous difference – between a population of 7.4 billion by 2100, and an unthinkable 16.6 billion by the same year.’

    From Wikipedia ‘Optimum Population’ we read:
    The optimal world population has been estimated by a team co-authored by Paul R. Ehrlich.[6] End-targets in this estimation included:
    Decent wealth and resources to everyone
    Basic human rights to everyone
    Preservation of cultural diversity
    Allowance of intellectual, artistic, and technological creativity
    Preservation of biodiversity
    Based on this, the estimation of optimum population was to be roughly around 1.5 billion to 2 billion people.[6]
    [6]: Gretchen C. Daily, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich. Optimum Human Population Size. Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies Volume 15, Number 6, July 1994 01994 Human Sciences Press, Inc.

    Now Paul Ehrlich is a current Patron of Population Matters.
    Why is the leading scientist in optimum population studies now supporting a UK charity that campaigns, like the UN, for a world population of 7-8 billion; when his own studies, and that of the US charity World Population Balance, suggest that the world population should be around 2 billion.

    There seems something seriously wrong here. The issue itself, and the suppression of ambition to lower world population to 2 billion, clearly needs a proper debate. And so I hope you might dig into this more (perhaps raise questions with Population Matters? Or with Paul Ehrlich?) and perhaps raise this entire issue in parliament.

    Many thanks for whatever you can do on this.

  44. Hunter
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    So cows, sheep, goats should be allowed to roam free and assisted back into the wild? Put in zoos?
    Are we to cull cows? Should we allow big game hunters to shoot them dead? Will we see them in safari parks amid signs saying “Don’t milk the cows!”

  45. Sydney Ashurst
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Isn’t time to ignore the APOCALYPTIC CLIMATE CULT.
    They ( mainly youngsters) no little about science or meteorology.
    Unfortunately the BBC and the Met Office like to hit the headlines with their record breaking claims.
    Pay more attention to the fact man made structures create heat islands.

  46. Re-al Nature
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    If we think of meat cattle as machines rather than animals deserving survival, allowed to increase their children without dictatorial implementation upon their lives by another animal some at best called humans denying them animal rights then one answer is to devise a more efficient fuel for them to eat that reduces exhaust gases and, re-engineer their engines, stomachs, to process and use all of that fuel without wasteful excessive gases.
    It is possible in regard to the fuel most certainly without increasing our scientific knowledge. Genetic engineering the those animals’ has taken place at superficial levels and it is called stock breeding.
    Of course such measures in line with our ‘scientific’ graving out to suit our new or old deity Mother Nature ( a most horrific and amoral spirit ) are dependent on the current belief that increased CO2 and methane are detrimental when it was in fact such greenhouse gases allowed us to thrive from day one. ( whatever date and process human animals put on that to serve their know-all arrogance. )

  47. Alec
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    More climate alarmism drivel. Global temperatures have been declining for 8000 years and this year we have had record crop losses and cold temperature records broken in every continent.

  48. Sue Doughty
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    My degree in Agric tells me the great plains of the USA ddn’t have dustbowl problems until people turned grazed grasslands producing meat into production of food from plants. Animals are good for he soil. To my mind meat production is higher value food, uses less land than vegan food production and it is done closer to the consumer, less food miles.

  49. agricola
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    In reality James I meant that man can control the environment to a large degree by ceasing to dispose of plastic rubbish in the sea. In the case of the UK not exporting our rubbish but recycling it or converting it to power. We could use science and engineering to eliminate the toxicity of the internal combustion engine. Electric vehicles should be a matter of personal choice, at least until they have a genuine range of 500 miles. We should stop killing elephants for their ivory. There is much we can do to clean up the way we interact with the planet. No doubt you can think of others.

    The elimination of asthma, heart disease and many others would be a real bonus, not least for the NHS. Population reduction could have a real beneficial effect in the UK in particular.At the end of this process, and assuming the rest of the World got into line we could assess it’s effect on climate change. My gut feeling is little or none. The Sun is the driver of climate and always has been. We must learn to live with it and try to mitigate it’s effect. Higher tides mean a potential for flooding, but this is within our means to prevent if we so choose. On the other side of the equation we can enjoy more home produced wine.

    In summary, climate and the environment are two separate subjects. Climate is controlled by the Sun, the environment we live in is largely in mans hands.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, well put, Agricola. Sound common sense.

  50. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea that I haven’t caused an animal to be murdered so I can eat it since 1984. If I am causing less greenhouse gases – that’s a bonus.

    Mind you, I do think it is important that all children should have asthma so we must keep burning oil at all and any cost.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Mike, rubbish. Do some research and see that animals are still being killed to protect crops worldwide and it is intentional not accidental. Do you think some animals are more equal than others and if so what gives you the right to judge?

  51. Martin King
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that a top down approach to limiting demand for meat and dairy produce will have unforseen and unintended consequences.
    Most sheep are reared on the poorest of ground, much of which can never be used for crops – mountains and steep hills. So decrease demand and output for lamb and there will be no increase in crop production.
    The most productive arable land is already being used for crop production but some of the soils are being slowly degraded, through organic matter depletion, though attempts are being made to counter this.
    In between these extremes there are medium quality soils that produce good yields of quality crops but only by using the waste material from pigs, poultry, beef and dairy farms. So decrease the amount of animals in the countryside and there will be a knock on effect on the output from arable crops in these areas.
    So ,if we are not careful, we shall see decreasing food production from both crops and livestock. As usual, the “quick fix” for climate change is being looked at in isolation.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Martin, soil management is an important part of the process (and the interaction of animals with the soil is quite complex).
      We also need to rewild unproductive lands.
      I think you would enjoy ‘Feral’ by Goerge Monbiot and ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree.

  52. julie williams
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Maybe what we need to do is stop considering issues such as Brexit, Trump or Global Crisis and actually start to understand the nature of the human species; an anthropological approach, if you like.
    We all like to think that we are unique, intelligent and rational. We may even like to think that we have moved beyond religion and superstition…but what if we have simply replaced this with new orthodoxies and goodness help anyone stepping outside them.

    Just look at the language, hostility and “shunning” which goes on in forums if you dare to express an alternative opinion on certain issues; if you dare to step outside the “group”; you can almost imagine these people in the Reformation watching the protestant/catholic unfortunate burning at the stake, depending which Tudor monarch had sway at the time and yet…

    Haven’t we had the “Enlightment”, haven’t we had incredible scientific advances, shouldn’t we be able to come to a conclusion about “Global whatever” using science and adult debate? Instead of an Einstein saying that E=MC2 we appear to have a new “Joan of Arc” on her way to the USA on a private yacht , we have Prince Harry giving lectures to the “super rich” who all arrived by private jet, but they all probably felt good about themselves afterwards because they had done their bit.Let scientists have an honest debate amongst all parties and come back to me with the facts; if the deniers are truly embarrassing…let them embarrass themselves with your incontroversial evidence!

    In the meantime, I’ll do my bit with plastic bags and recycling, I’ll turn off lights and avoid food waste, I won’t buy water in plastic bottles as a matter of course( I wouldn’t have done so anyway because my parents were children of the Depression and WW2 and waste was an anathema).

    I won’t jump on any bandwagon when I see pictures of the mess that environmental protesters leave behind them!

  53. Re-al Nature
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Show me a Climate doom political merchant cum Animal Rights Activist and I will show you The Spayer of Worlds.
    Smashing aren’t I, mixed-metaphorically speaking of course.

  54. BR
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Population control is difficult as long as the woolly liberal ideas go unchallenged in the political debate.

    Their assertion that it is people’s *right* to have kids (presumably, as many as they wish) has never been properly challenged/analysed and seems to have become mainstream thought.

    A right only exists as long as everyone else accepts it – or as long as you have ways to enforce it (via the law, or in some cases and in some societies, by force).

    Allowing people to continue to have kids beyond the number that they have the means to support by dint of their own efforts is doomed to failure – not only in terms of population quantity, but even more so in terms of quality.

    The elephant in the room, which politicians in the modern PC world cannot mention, is that some people do not bring their kids up to be the best that they can be, or to be able to take advantage of the opportunities they have in the UK, starting with their ‘free’ education.

    Too many are brought up to a life of petty crime and benefits or to a life of looking for types of menial/manual work that are increasingly scarce, such as industrial or warehouse roles, working in high street shops etc. And, most worrying;y of all, they see the only work they are qualified to do as being beneath them, labelling as ‘immigrant work’ anything such as picking fruit or veg.

    And that brings us to the other issue. The real UK population growth is from immigration. For every production non-UK national it seems that they bring with them a large extended family of non-productive people who extract from the State a large amount in benefits (my thoughts are based on the stats for ethnic minority women in work).

    Controlling immigration is key. But ensuring that the indigenous population is properly educated and qualified to do the increasingly high-tech jobs of the future is even more so.

    It begins with challenging the mind sets of members of ‘working class’ communities (or should that be ‘non-working class nowadays?). Good parents want their kids to do well, to exceed the parents’ own achievements and have abetter life. Bad parents, for reasons unknown, do not wish or care about such things.

    How can the modern politician challenge these attitudes without the ‘liberal’ thought police bleating them out of office?

  55. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Could someone explain how planting yet more and more trees is compatible with the need to grow more crops? If we are to eat less meat there will be a need for more grown food. The fact that meat is more nutritious is lost to the unthinking.

    Government, and swathes of MPs, are not of course interested in such a reactionary view having sold out long ago to eco-fanatisism and the belief that more votes lie there. A cowardly and unprincipled lot. All ready to apologise even for the act of breathing.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      PrangWizard – This is from the top of my head, but I think I recall that meat production uses about 8 times the resource as does crop production to produce the same calories. So, clearly, if we use land for crops rather than for raising animals, this frees up a lot of land to produce the same calories to feed mankind – and too, that extra land can be used for agroforestry/forestry.

      This is not from my head:
      Food Choices and the Planet
      It takes 2,500 gallons of water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of feedlot beef.
      Food intervention programs to achieve health … – EarthSave

  56. Re-al Nature
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Ask the UN to state their learn-ed research results, statistically if they really must, the exhaust fumes resultant from vegetable consumption as opposed to meat consumption across all the human, animal, insect, bird, bacteria, of each and every species on Earth.
    Then they may only perhaps, engage in idle talk best kept to a bedroom be it in a casual hotel or in their official domestic residences.
    They are, dopey.

  57. Dominic
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Who do we believe?

  58. Jiminyjim
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The CO2 discussion is aiming at the wrong target. What we can and should be doing is tackling land and sea pollution. It’s indisputable and it cannot be caused naturally. Those who believe that CO2 levels are causing global warming and that such warming is entirely caused by man’s activities have many major hurdles to overcome. It is probably correct to assert that we are going through a period of slight warming (but it’s not certain, for reasons given on this site) but it’s almost certain from contemporary accounts that we’ve had major climate anomalies many times before in earth’s history. Those who point to weather anomalies cannot explain why there were some of the worst weather events in history in the 1600s. But we should no longer turn our backs on the real problem, which is the poisoning of the earth and the seas. The worst offenders tend to be in the third world and their activities (tipping waste chemicals on the land) receive no attention at all from the climate change lobby or politicians. Please give us a break from all the CO2 speculation and tackle this instead!

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Sensible comments, Jiminyjim.
      Pollution is a really big problem that we can do something about.

  59. James Bertram
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    This Wikipedia : World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity may be of interest to today’s readers. It has pdf links to the 1992 and 2017 reports. Between 1992 and 2017 the world population increased by 2 billion people, a 35% increase on the 1992 figure.

  60. Susan Weeds
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Can somebody remind me how many million bison used to roam the planes of North Ametrica.? Perhaps they didn’t phart.

  61. Norman
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Or we could listen instead to the inspired words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy:
    “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Tim 4:1-5

  62. Edward2
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    So let’s imagine we all do not eat any animals nor any fish.
    I’m wondering what man will do with all the animals and fish when they become over populated in our fields rivers and oceans?
    I lived for years in a rural area where deer, partridge, pheasants, rabbits, ducks and geese lived wild and thrived in numbers.
    Then there were salmon trout and other fish in abundance.
    By careful culling the gamekeepers and others kept the numbers to a sensible level therefore protecting the crops they fed on and provided food for the table.
    Without that intervention I wonder what would happen
    Would we have to let bears and wolves into the areas to keep numbers down or would we kill some every year and just throw them away?

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Edward – I think you would enjoy ‘Feral’ by George Monbiot. Too, Mark Avery has some more radical views on gamekeepers in his book ‘Inglorious’.

  63. Martin King
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    The cattle, that I tend, drink about 3 gallons of water per day and take about 18 months from birth to finishing. This equates to approximately 1642.5 gallons of water consumed per animal. These animals average over 650 pounds deadweight. They are finished on feed that would be waste from a dairy unit and so the inputs to this have already been counted.
    I fail to see how the inputs in this system come anywhere near the figure that you quote for one pound of beef. Clearly there are differing beef production systems.
    Similarly, when replacing meat with crops, calories are not the only consideration. It would be difficult to replace the protein with crops, grown in this country.

    • Norman
      Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      Plus, in many cases, cattle (and sheep) are raised on hill land where you could not grow crops, and are finished on grain-based rations unsuitable for human consumption. Straw for bedding and fodder is bought in as a byproduct from lowland farms, and cattle finished on lowland farms produce organic manure that improves soil structure on arable land.
      Lamentable interference by busybody ideologues, but in the end, the market will decide – hopefully before too much damage to our traditional farms.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 10, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Martin, thanks for the balance, and from direct experience too.
      The Earth Save figures are from US farming and ‘feedlot’ beef – so the cattle never get to see a field, or blade of grass. Too, I expect they have used extreme figures to support their agenda. (It has references to sources if you wish to follow them up).
      But I was trying to give Prangwizard a general answer to his question:
      Growing crops is more efficient in land usage than raising animals in order to feed humans. Thus, if we raise less animals and grow more crops so as to feed the same number of humans the same amount, then this should free up land for things like forestry and agro-forestry.
      [The dilemma Prangwizard posed was: Could someone explain how planting yet more and more trees is compatible with the need to grow more crops? If we are to eat less meat there will be a need for more grown food. The fact that meat is more nutritious is lost to the unthinking.]

      Norman, thanks for the comments too.
      What I do not favour is high capital, high input, large-scale, intensive farming (as John Redwood seemed to be proposing in his articles of 30th/31st July). What I do favour is small, family-run, farms working closely with natural processes. This would include ‘traditional farms’ if by that you mean returning to some of the practices used before the war. [George Henderson ‘The Farming Ladder (1944) may be of interest to you ‘If all of Britain was farmed this way (traditional mixed-farming system), our country could easily feed a population of a hundred million people’, he wrote.]

      This is what I wrote previously: I think farms need to be run without subsidy in the long term, and without tariffs and taxes. I would favour small farms with subsidy and set a limit as to acreage that can receive subsidy (eg only subsidise the first 200 acres), and encourage working with natural processes (organic and low-input, set-aside, rewilding of less productive land, lower land prices, low barrier to entry, increased employment etcetera) rather than heavy investment in high-tec solutions, high land prices, big farms and monocultures that destroy nature and create wastelands (as does much industrial fishing of the sea).
      Small farms are more creative and more nimble and adaptable in response to markets. They provide higher employment and stronger community. They are far less damaging to the environment. Self-employment is preferable to employee status. (Perhaps the comparison between large out-of-town supermarkets with that of small independent High Street retailers is a good analogy?)

  64. Newmania
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey the lights keep going off and we are in a recession and we are the laughing stock of Europe. Its just like old times isn`t it !
    Anyhoo The new small-family pattern will change everything. In a developed country like the UK the dependent grey cohort has only been balanced by the inward migration. As the generations work through ,the world’s population will peak at about 13bn and then reduce fast. It will ease environmental pressures but as the old –wave surges around the world who knows what further damage may be done
    In the UK 70% of 18-24 year old voted remain ,62% of 25-34 years olds. They not even regarded as people by this administration Both Trump and Brexit are irresponsible cheap fuel addicts who dump borrowing and environmental damage into the future to pay for spending now.
    The good news for the old societies is that they will be the first to emerge from the age of the wrinkly . Things will change fast and the spasm of foolishness will be a curiosity .

    • Edward2
      Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      You are a climate change believer NM
      You know zero carbon by 2030 or whenever that schoolgirl tells us it must be.
      You presumably like the moves away from generating electricity by using fossil fuels so welcome to your power cuts.
      It is just the start as demand keeps rising and rndrating capacity is reduced.
      You are wrong about the world population.
      UN figures show increases predicted for decades.
      And as has been said many times; people’s opinions alter as they get older.
      Otherwise only one political party would get repeatedly elected today compared to a few decades ago.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        Typo..generating capacity

  65. Raymond
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    It sounds like a re-hash of Malthus. As per capita wealth increases so the reproduction rate declines, which it has being doing worldwide in recent decades. This being so, in this regard, the less the UN does the better. The stated or implied ‘solution’ of the taking of innocent human life between conception to natural death is to be avoided.

  66. Martin
    Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood as a no deal Brexit man I thought you would be saying “let them eat fish” (apologies to Marie Antoinette). Of course the fish will include prawns and squid that the UK consumer has not been greatly keen on!

  67. BillM
    Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of the following molecules: nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), argon (1%), and then trace amounts of carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, xenon, ozone, iodine, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. Lower altitudes also have quantities of water vapor.
    Some greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, while others result from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels such as coal. Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
    CO2 is an insignificant amount in the atmosphere and just a small portion compared with the major of Green House gas, Water Vapor.
    Furthermore and contrary to popular AGW belief, CO2 is the RESULT of increased temperatures around the globe and not the cause or rising temperatures. Test it yourself with 2 cans of fizzy drinks. Open one and put it in the cold fridge and the other open on the worktop. Check which one goes flat the first. Hotter air releases more CO2 than cold.
    In fact, on Earth, there is a lag of over 600 years between a rise in temperature and a subsequent rise in CO2 emissions. It is this cause and effect scenario that has been inverted by the Global warming disciples and it is the basis of their claims. They are totally wrong and the scientific data from the Ice Packs from Greenland and Antartica have proven the point.
    With this in mind, can we now go back to what we were doing? Eating meat at will and growing forests for their beauty and for controlled lumber gathering? And for capturing CO2 and pumping out O2? Rather than cutting them down releasing millions of tons of CO2 to make room for the growing of BioFuels, which is an absurdity.
    The biggest problem for our atmosphere is, ‘Air Pollution’ and that certainly is down to man and his machines. And flatulent farm animals, if you live in the countryside!

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Bill, I agree with a lot of this. I am unconvinced by the claims of climate activists that CO2 is such a massive problem, and one considerably due to Man’s actions.
      Someone referenced ‘Patrick Moore – The Power of Truth’ video on youtube. It’s worth a look.

      However, there are far more demonstrable problems that are of real concern – loss of habitat, loss of diversity and species, pollution, resource depletion, the welfare of animals, being among them. Overpopulation, and how we manage and allocate the Earth’s resources, is central to that. And thus how we farm (and how we maintain the fertility of the soil) is of considerable importance.

      • BillM
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Agreed. It should really be of great concern to the naturalists that animals are forced from their normal habitats because of the acres of forests that are felled daily by stupid man in pursuit of the impossible. So where are they? Or have they too been seduced by the cash generated by this 21st Century scam?
        AGW, now corrupted into “Climate Change”, is all about money. £Billions of it for those that provide the “Information” and those that take such action to “save the planet”! What irony! Piers Corbyn cam tell you more.
        Re Pat Moore – a fine lecture from a Green Peace leaver. who left because he disagreed with their questionable philosophy.

      • Richard
        Posted August 11, 2019 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        The scientific data from the Greenland and Antartica Ice Cores, sea floor mud, stalagmites, archaeological & historical records all also proves that the Holocene Climatic Optimum was 7-8,000 years ago, thereafter the temperature has generally been steadily falling, but the Minoan, Roman, Medieval and Modern Warm Periods were all warmer than today. Evidence summarised on eg or

        The permafrost obviously thawed out in those previous warm periods… and this scientific study confirms less Methane than expected & additionally points out that Methane bubbles readily dissolve in sea water.

        • Richard
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          typo – now is the modern warm period, the latest in a pattern of lower highs.

    • hefner
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      What about the perfect gas equation PV~T. In the fridge T is lower than outside so the volume (the potential expansion of all gases) is smaller than outside. So outside the gases originally within the drink are more likely to escape, and that whatever the gas. It appears with the cans of carbonated water, but would happen with any other gas kept confined in the can.
      For being convincing, your argument needs refining.

  68. James Bertram
    Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    John writes: ‘It would be good if this report triggered a proper debate about population growth, soil and water management.’
    The UN report is entitled ‘Climate Change and Land’ and is, in general, about land as a source and a sink of greenhouse gases.
    It is written from the view that reducing greenhouse gases is a good and necessary thing.

    I’ve mostly commented on population growth; but soil (and water) management have received little comment.

    There have been a few comments on the work of Allan Savory, and Richard’s recommended video’s (3rd post on this thread) are important. It is largely about combating desertification in the drylands of the world. And he claims that his methods could lower greenhouse gas concentrations to pre-inustrialisation levels in a matter of decades. He has his critics (see ‘Allan Savory’s Holistic Management Theory Falls Short on Science’ by C Ketcham 23rd Feb 2017), the main criticism being that no grazing is often better than ‘mob-grazing’. More recently (2015) the French launched their ‘4 per 1000’ initiative – that by increasing the carbon contained in soils by 0.4% a year, through restoring and improving degraded agricultural lands, would halt the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is less ambitious, but seems to neutralise the problem of CO2.

    A book that I recommend is ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree (much of this post is derived from that.) It describes their change from intensive farming (which was driving them towards bankruptcy) to rewilding of a 3,500 acre estate (grade 3 / 4 agricultural land) on the clay lands of the Weald. It is thus more relevant to UK farming. She discusses soil management in particular on pages 274-290.

    She notes that the world’s soils hold more carbon as organic matter than all the vegetation on the planet, including rainforest. 82% of the carbon in the the earth’s land surface and adjacent atmosphere (that is, where life exists) is held in the soil. She writes ‘Improving the structure of our soils and returning unproductive agricultural land to a permanent pasture could be a crucial weapon in the battle against rising levels of CO2.’ She talks of the importance of earthworms, of bacteria, of mycorrhizal fungi, of glomalin. She also explains how high inputs and repeated harvesting (intensive farming) ruins the soil (killing life within it, damaging its structure and water/nutrient retention); and has considerably reduced the nutritional value of food we eat. She concludes ‘The great concerns of our time – climate change, natural resources, food production, water control and conservation, and human health – all boil down to the condition of the soil.’ What she has to say is much more interesting than I can put in this short piece. Organic farmers and organic gardeners will be familiar with her view.

    This is a brief note on a vast subject.

  69. Martin King
    Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I have not, as yet, read the “Wilding” book as recommended by you. I have, however researched the book superficially. The project sounds very interesting but seems very reliant on the current subsidy system, that gives money without the need for agricultural output. The results sound very impressive, from the point of view of increasing natural diversity and indeed soil structure and content on the estate involved. I shall endeavour to read the whole book as recommended.
    I have read John Harvey’s book “The Forgiveness of Nature” and have read articles on mob grazing. My thoughts are that the ideas in these hold more promise for the improvement of agricultural land that has become degraded. Clearly the bulk of agricultural land cannot become a nature reserve, if the population is still to be fed.
    As with the French idea, that you highlighted above, there needs to be a concerted effort to increase the organic matter ( carbon levels ) in most crop producing land.
    I still feel that organic waste from cattle has a big role to play in this land improvement and therefore trying to interfere with the demand or supply of meat products risks being counterproductive from an overall food production point of view.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Martin – a good article, and UK-based farming (Sussex, predominantly) I’ve just looked up helps support what you’ve been saying (and too, shows you were wise to question the water consumption of cattle figures I quoted earlier): ‘The Case for sustainable meat’ by Keir Watson on
      This is the concluding paragraph:
      ‘The possibility of livestock farming being part of the solution rather than the problem is looking increasingly probable, logical, and exciting. But for it to succeed, consumers of all tendencies need to be aware of the issues and make choices about the kind of meat they buy and eat. It does not mean we all have to eat meat, but conversely, we should think twice before promoting vegetarianism as the default green option. By many counts, permanent pasture is greener than arable land and silvopastoralism is better still. Your choices as a consumer determine which we see in the future.’

      There is also the book: Defending Beef by N H Himan (US farming) – I’ve not read this, but Amazon writes: ‘… The impact of grazing can be either negative or positive, depending on how livestock are managed. In fact, with proper oversight livestock can actually play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by performing the same functions as the natural herbivores that once roamed and grazed there. She shows how dispersed, grass-based, smaller-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production….’

      I’ve just ordered myself a copy of ‘Grass-Fed Nation’ by Graham Harvey which I hope will be interesting.

      From memory, I think you are right in that the ‘Wilding’ project did well out of subsidies, and I’m not sure how that will apply to similar ‘wilding’ projects post-Brexit.

      I agree that organic waste from cattle has a big role to play in land improvement. But trying to interfere with demand or supply of meat products only risks being counterproductive from an overall food production point of view if that interference is misjudged. At the moment the market for farm products is heavily distorted by subsidy, and by the dominance of supermarkets, big agro-business, high cost of land and large-landholdings – and that all affects price. And the consumer tends to choose product more on price than quality of product, care for the environment, or welfare of the animals. Once these current ‘interferences’ have been properly addressed (and Brexit gives us the opportunity to make radical change in the farming sector) then we may have more of a ‘real’ market driven by actual consumer demand (with a hiher ethical element, hopefully) and ‘farmer’ supply. I think the UK’s cheap food policy needs to end, and that consumers need to be better educated as to their food purchases (perhaps with better education at school on this). Correct labelling is essential.

      My own view regarding farm animals is that if nobody ate them then no one would farm them, and so they would not exist; but, as an animal-lover, I am very concerned that the animals have as good welfare as possible in their farming and slaughter. (In some farming systems the animals have such a rotten miserable life it is better that they never existed at all). So, when I buy meat occasionally, and dairy frequently, I try to support this objective with my purchasing power, and to buy high welfare and local.

      The very best of luck with the farm.

  70. James Bertram
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    A good article by George Monbiot on the farm subsidy system:

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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