Category: Daily News

Claim: Climate Change to Kill Coffee and Avocados (Again)

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Don’t they ever get tired of being wrong?

Coffee may become more scarce and expensive thanks to climate change – new research

January 28, 2022 12.27am AEDT

Denis J Murphy
Professor of Biotechnology, Head of Genomics & Computational Biology Research, University of South Wales

The world could lose half of its best coffee-growing land under a moderate climate change scenario. Brazil, which is the currently world’s largest coffee producer, will see its most suitable coffee-growing land decline by 79%. 

That’s one key finding of a new study by scientists in Switzerland, who assessed the potential impacts of climate change on coffee, cashews and avocados. All three are important globally traded crops that are mainly produced by small-scale farmers in the tropics. 

Coffee is by far the most important with an expected revenue of US$460 billion (£344 billion) in 2022, while the figures for avocado and cashew are respectively $13 billion and $6 billion. While coffee mainly serves as a stimulatory beverage, avocados and cashews are widely consumed food crops that are rich in monounsaturated plant oils and other beneficial nutrients

Read more: https://theconversation.com/coffee-may-become-more-scarce-and-expensive-thanks-to-climate-change-new-research-175766

The abstract of the study;

Expected global suitability of coffee, cashew and avocado due to climate change

Roman Grüter, Tim Trachsel, Patrick Laube, Isabel Jaisli

Published: January 26, 2022

Coffee, cashew and avocado are of high socio-economic importance in many tropical smallholder farming systems around the globe. As plantation crops with a long lifespan, their cultivation requires long-term planning. The evaluation of climate change impacts on their biophysical suitability is therefore essential for developing adaptation measures and selecting appropriate varieties or crops. In this study, we modelled the current and future suitability of coffee arabica, cashew and avocado on a global scale based on climatic and soil requirements of the three crops. We used climate outputs of 14 global circulation models based on three emission scenarios to model the future (2050) climate change impacts on the crops both globally and in the main producing countries. For all three crops, climatic factors, mainly long dry seasons, mean temperatures (high and low), low minimum temperatures and annual precipitation (high and low), were more restrictive for the global extent of suitable growing regions than land and soil parameters, which were primarily low soil pH, unfavourable soil texture and steep slopes. We found shifts in suitable growing regions due to climate change with both regions of future expansion and contraction for all crops investigated. Coffee proved to be most vulnerable, with negative climate impacts dominating in all main producing regions. For both cashew and avocado, areas suitable for cultivation are expected to expand globally while in most main producing countries, the areas of highest suitability may decrease. The study reveals that climate change adaptation will be necessary in most major producing regions of all three crops. At high latitudes and high altitudes, however, they may all profit from increasing minimum temperatures. The study presents the first global assessment of climate change impacts on cashew and avocado suitability.

Read more: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0261976

The claim that ranges for growing Avocados, Coffee and Cashews are limited in any meaningful sense is a myth.

For starters, there are plenty of Southern Andean highlands which are currently way too cold for such crops. Global warming would fix that.

In my native Queensland, Avocado trees pretty much grow wherever you drop a seed, over a vast area of land and a large range of climatic conditions.

I’m not so familiar with Cashews, but I’m willing to bet they’re pretty tolerant to a broad range of conditions as well.

As for coffee, in Australia we grow delicious lowland coffee. Australia doesn’t have high alpine regions on the scale of South America, East Africa or Indonesia, so we had to develop strains of coffee which can still produce a delicious beverage when grown at relatively low altitudes. Guess what, after decades of effort, we succeeded.

No remotely plausible amount of global warming would have any noticeable impact on the availability of global staple crops, other than possibly a small shift in growing range.

via Watts Up With That?

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/01/28/claim-climate-change-to-kill-coffee-and-avocados-again/

January 28, 2022 at 08:25PM

ELECTRIC VEHICLE BUYERS BE WARE!!

 This article should be a warning to anyone tempted to buy an electric vehicle:

Mercedes owner ‘horrified’ new battery will cost him £15,000 – more than the car is worth | NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT (wordpress.com)

So be sensible and avoid them!

via climate science

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January 28, 2022 at 04:23PM

Obama Judge Throws Out GOM Lease Sale

Guest “@#$@$%!!!” by David Middleton

Firstly, a quick review of the past year…

We knew this was coming…

Biden Hits ‘Pause’ On Oil And Gas Leasing On Public Lands And Waters
January 27, 2021
NATHAN ROTT, SCOTT DETROW, ALANA WISE

In an effort to slow the nation’s contribution to climate change, President Biden has signed an executive order to begin halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

The much-anticipated move is one of several executive actions the president took on Wednesday to address the worsening climate crisis and the broader decline of the natural world, but it won’t come without pushback.

[…]

The oil and gas industry, hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to challenge the move, as are fossil-fuel rich Western states whose economies are closely linked to extractive industry on public lands.

Anticipating the move, Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, which represents oil and gas companies in many Western states, said: “We’ll be in court shortly thereafter.”

Fossil fuel extraction on federal lands generates billions of dollars in royalties and revenues for local and state economies. But it’s also responsible for nearly a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and the Biden administration appears to be serious about cutting the country’s outsized contribution to global warming.

[…]

Biden’s halt on new oil and gas leasing also does nothing to affect activities on private or state lands, where roughly 90% of the country’s oil and gas development occurs.

“The industry has a lot of leases in production, a lot of leases that have been issued, so it won’t have an immediate impact. But it will give an immediate opportunity for the administration to think about how we move forward,” said Nada Culver, the vice president of public lands at the National Audubon Society.

[…]

“Ending permitting would be extremely difficult,” said Rebecca Watson, who served as assistant secretary for lands and minerals management at the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush. “You have sold a property right, a lease, so you’ve paid for a lease and then you can’t develop it. I think there would be lawsuits and, rightly so, over a move like that.”

A permanent leasing ban would also be subject to lawsuits, she said. Under the Mineral Leasing Act, the government is required to hold quarterly lease sales. The Biden administration could make fewer or all lands unavailable for leasing, but Watson thinks a court might find that illegal.

Mark Squillace, a law professor at the University of Colorado who worked at Interior under the Clinton and Carter administrations, agrees that a permanent ban would run into more problems than a temporary pause. But he thinks the administration can make a big statement with its immediate actions.

[…]

NPR

Biden’s oil lease ban lifted by federal judge
By JENNIFER A. DLOUHY AND ROBERT BURNSON on 6/16/2021

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) –A federal judge lifted the Biden administration’s temporary ban on new oil and gas leases on public lands and offshore waters.

In a victory for 13 states that filed the legal challenge in Louisiana, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday blocking President Joe Biden’s Jan. 27 executive order while the litigation continues.

[…]

The Interior Department said it’s reviewing the ruling and will comply with it.

The agency said it’s working on an interim report that will “outline next steps and recommendations for the department and Congress to improve stewardship of public lands and waters, create jobs and build a just and equitable energy future,” according to an emailed statement.

Doughty’s ruling requires the Interior Department to immediately restart its leasing program, even as the agency continues its review of the effects of drilling.

Doughty, appointed to the bench in 2018 by former President Donald Trump, ruled that Biden’s executive order violated federal laws governing oil and gas leasing. He also faulted the Biden administration for failing to offer “any rational explanation” for its pause.

[…]

World Oil

OCS Sale 257 was held today. This was the first Gulf of Mexico lease sale since the current occupant of the White House illegally halted Federal lease sales a few days into his maladministration.

About 300 leases received bids, mostly deepwater tracts.

Now, just this morning…

Federal Judge Annuls Massive Gulf Of Mexico Lease Sale
By Irina Slav – Jan 28, 2022

A federal judge threw out the biggest oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on the grounds that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management broke the environmental law—the National Environmental Policy Act—by failing to properly factor in the emission-related impact of the lease sale.

Ruling on a case brought against the Department of the Interior, the American Petroleum Institute, and the state of Louisiana, District Judge Rudolph Contreras sent the lease sale back to the Interior Department to decide what to do with it.

[…]

President Biden imposed a moratorium on drilling leases for federal lands as soon as he took office, but oil-producing states successfully challenged the moratorium in court, and the Interior Department was forced to proceed with the lease sale.

The tender brought in $192 million in winning bids for 307 tracts covering 1.7 million acres. The interest around the sale was significant in part due to the low carbon footprint of the crude extracted from these waters, compared to the higher footprint of foreign plays or U.S. onshore wells.

[…]

OilPrice.com

The Obama-appointed and incredibly corrupt Rudolph Contreras essentially directed the Interior Department to continue breaking the law. This is not the first time Contreras has unlawfully blocked a Federal lease sale.

Companies had argued to the court that vacating the lease sale would compromise the confidential bids that were submitted for the tracts, making their competitors aware of who was bidding on what, and for how much.

[…]

Any disruptions that revoking the lease sales might cause, he wrote, “do not outweigh the seriousness of the NEPA error in this case and the need for the agency to get it right.”

NY Times

While the Interior Department almost certainly won’t appeal this ruling – They wanted to lose. The American Petroleum Institute (API) joined the lawsuit as intervener-defendants and will almost certainly appeal.

Time for another SCOTUS slap-down!

via Watts Up With That?

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January 28, 2022 at 04:16PM

Melbourne University Circles the Green Drain

The university has created a new religion out of “Sustainability”

About 6200 final-year secondary students from 700 schools have been invited to start at Melbourne University (UoM) this year, UoM being a world 30-40th top-ranked university. Good luck to the kids. They’ve suffered eleven school-years of climate doomism; the university will dish out more of it. Two professors in UoM publication Pursuit, for example, see the prospect of another 0.5degC warming by 2030 as a “shrieking emergency siren”.

UoM’s 2020 annual report (p88) says (emphasis added)

Planning for a suite of online modules for all commencing undergraduate students … commenced in 2020 … The Sustainable campuses and communities module, developed in 2020, explores the impact of humans on climate and the environment. 

UoM is awash in “sustainability”, code for anti-conservative politics and zero-emission fantasies. A few months after the toothless 2015 Paris accord, the university adopted its “Sustainability Charter” , and then came the 2017-20 plan “Integrating action on sustainability across all areas of institutional activity for the first time”. UoM’s goal is to force Sustainability dogma across every campus, every faculty, every subject and every cafeteria (vegan synthetic steaks, anyone?).[i] Faculty who resist this politicising of their subjects – and the university admits such hold-outs exist (p2) – are being counselled on right-think.

“Sustainability” is literally Melbourne University’s embedded cross-curricula priority, just as in national and state school curricula.[ii] The word means whatever anyone chooses. As one Melbourne University senior fellow has written, “Everyone has a different definition of sustainability.” Borrowing from the national school curriculum sounds better but involves crystal-balling:

Sustainable patterns of living meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

As if anyone knows what Australians of 2080 will be prioritising. We might all be speaking ChineseUoM’s 2020 Sustainability Reportbemoans (p37) “the absence of a practical definition of ‘sustainability’ research”. Canadian Financial Post writer Peter Foster put it well a few weeks ago:

Like the word ‘social,’ ‘sustainable’ tends to vitiate or reverse the meaning of words to which it is attached. Thus ‘sustainable’ development is development retarded by top-down control. Commitment to sustainability is now mouthed by every politician, bureaucrat, marketing executive and media hack on Earth.

UoM courses in engineering, architecture and law are already saturated in sustainability hype. But the university says in its 2017-20 Sustainability Plan (p24-6),

By 2020, all undergraduate degree programs can demonstrate (at the course and/or major level) that core and compulsory curriculum enable students to understand and apply sustainability knowledge and values to practice in their field. … Achieving this depends on significant, whole-of-University action…

Enforcement orders went out to Associate Deans of Academic Divisions. The Academic Board stands over the lecturers (p26) to

♦ ensure all formal course proposal and review processes require Academic Divisions to identify how graduate attributes relevant to sustainability are developed through teaching and learning 

♦ encourage graduate attributes, including leadership for sustainability, to be documented in students’ Australian Higher Education Graduation Statements 

Special software was to be developed to “enable documentation of curricular and extracurricular activities demonstrating graduate attributes such as sustainability leadership.” Does the converse apply to the records of unwary kids who let slip sceptic sentiments in the uni pub?

Zealous staff and students, surveyed in 2020, wanted to go further to embed and integrate sustainability “across all University campuses and all courses. Introduce sustainability targets/KPIs for faculties/departments. Introduce sustainability training modules and induction sessions for students and staff.”

These true believers want to bring out the truncheon. One proposal cited favorably by the survey report (p60) was to embed sustainability

Through mandatory subjects that teach sustainability principles, how the sustainable development discourse has evolved and how the global power mechanism that maintains neoliberalism was created in the aftermath of colonialism.

From the 400 self-selected responders came calls (p16 – Key Themes) for

mandatory sustainability orientation module for all students and staff.

I can picture invigilators escorting new professors into the campus Melbourne School of Design Theatre to be harangued by 25-year-old Extinction Rebels. The professors’ names are noted to prove their attendance, and they are set free after passing a multiple-choice exam.

UoM’s “sustainability” sidesteps to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.[iii] The 17 unprioritised SDGs (whittled down from 1400 in bureaucratic bunfights among 120 NGOs) will “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all”. (Most members of the 193 UN states which created the SDGs in 2015 are basket-cases run for the personal benefit of their autocrats. Denmark’s Bjorn Lomborg has eviscerated the SDG follies.)

I favour Emeritus Professor of Geology Ian Plimer’s take on green “Sustainability”:

I charge the greens with murder. They murder humans who are kept in eternal poverty without coal-fired electricity. They support slavery and early deaths of black child miners. They murder forests and their wildlife by clear felling for mining and wind turbines. They murder forests and wildlife with their bushfire policies. They murder economies producing unemployment, hopelessness, collapse of communities, disrupted social cohesion and suicide. They murder free speech and freedoms and their takeover of the education system has ended up in the murdering of the intellectual and economic future of young people. They terrify children into mental illness with their apocalyptic death cult lies and exaggerations.”

UoM Professor of Education Sophie Arkoudis, whose CV lists no output on climate science but a lot on student issues, led a team looking at how to force the environment into all the university’s offerings, saying

The challenge lies in embedding sustainability knowledge and values in undergraduate degrees and majors, as some academics may struggle to see the relevance of sustainability to their particular degree program.

The university in 2017 ran a cross-faculty forum to work out the nitty-gritty. The Professor comments,

Unsurprisingly, some broader debates about the nature of education have become (and remain) an important part of the conversation: for example … whether hope and fear play a role in an academic education, and the role of advocacy in learning.

Oh great! Kids’ courses larded with hope, fear and advocacy.  She foresees in UoM courses:

Management: business students draw from “sociology and critical studies” to identify how some business practices harm people and environments. And kids are to “utilise corporate social responsibility frameworks to guide more ethical business practices.” I hope the kids’ future employers appreciate that.

 Medicine: Students draw on learnings about “Ecohealth”. (I’d mention that global warming has saved 500,000 lives in England and Wales alone in the past 20 years, according to the Office of National Statisticsnewly released figures.[iv]

 Creative Arts: Students study “individual and societal responses to environmental challenges in various artistic media.” Professor Arkoudis reminds the students to “consider the sustainability implications of an international career” – if she’s referring to jet contrails, well said Sophie!

Science: Students use their maths/stats to “anticipate future impacts of environmental change.” How nice to be so certain about the future!

Woke staff and students, especially the student-led Fossil Free Melbourne University, demanded UoM divest from fossil fuel companies by 2021, namely the world’s “CU200” top coal and petroleum producers, more than 20 of whom — unfortunately — happen to be major supporters of the university (p36).[v] So after thousands of words sucking up to woke activists, UoM discovered that divestment is actually a crappy solution compared with positive investments in low-emission fuels.[vi]Sense from UoM, but for the wrong reasons.

 UoM is thick as thieves with Premier Dan Andrews’ hard-left minions and “stands together with the Victorian Government as a [Take2 climate pledge] founding partner.” Covid 19 (’20/’21/’22) created no let-up in UoM zealotry, with the 2020 annual report bragging how UoM “continued to work to tackle the impacts of global warming and to demonstrate exceptional green credentials”, and “continued to raise the bar on the University’s sustainability goals.” One example (p88) involved 18 deluded staff and 30 students doing a virtual “Climate Reality” coaching course sponsored by extreme emissions hypocrite Al Gore (net worth $US300m and touting his honorary UoM Doctorate of Laws).[vii] 

Further lifting up of UoM rocks, one discovers in the 2022 course handbook  “Sustainability: Hope for the Earth?” worth 12.50 points, and more fit for Religious Studies.

In its Sustainability Charter, the University of Melbourne recognizes its responsibility to help shape sustainability on Earth through ‘knowledge, imagination and action’. .. Achieving sustainability on Earth requires global values and actions that are ecologically sound, socially just and economically viable… We will consider sustainability of systems at multiple scales and through diverse ways of knowing including scientific, historical and Indigenous perspectives. [Note the equating of these perspectives].

The course welcomes all students interested in ‘climate change, land management, extractive industries and more.’ (I doubt the teaching on “extractive industries” is positive). Arts and Music students are invited to “explore the intersection between power, hope and the arts (huh?) to influence societies (sic) ideas” while Commerce students get “an insight into the history of capitalism” and the environment (again, don’t expect positivity). Youngsters will emerge “Identify[ing] relationships between all beings and their physical environments … There is no exam in this subject.”

This planet-saving course bulks up degree courses including Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) for “expanded dance thinking and performance”. Extinction Rebellion galoots prancing for the evening TV news perhaps? UoM claims, “Expertise in dance as a way of knowing opens doorways for careers as performers, makers, leaders, activists, collaborators and cultural partners in a global world.”

For loopiness, try UoM’s Environmental Arts & Humanities Network: “A post-disciplinary space for stories and conversations about art-activist-academic thinking-making-being to support living systems and multispecies justice.” These pampered idiots aim to

critically and self reflexively investigate intersectional ecological practices and pedagogies, environmental phenomena, climate in/justices, temporalities, narratives, grief, trauma, laws, science and activisms in the Global South… Critically and generously question and re-frame what scholarly-artistic-activist knowledge looks, sounds, and feels like in a climate-changing world… Attend to undervalued perspectives and oppressed knowledges [and] Nourish co-existence on the planet.

Other UoM insights:

♦ Although Pro-Vice Chancellor Mark Hargreaves axed the university’s Marx-loving Sustainable Society Institute last December, it’s retained several like-minded institutes such as the net-zero “Melbourne Climate Futures”.[viii]

♦ Among cutting-edge UoM research is a project led by a Professor Rodney Keenan – “Maternal futures: Motherhood and the climate crisis . Focusing on how the climate crisis is shaping women’s experiences around reproductive decision-making and childrearing practices.”

♦ UoM researcher Amelia Leavesley has written in the university’s official magazine, Pursuit, a piece headed “Liveable Melbourne a Blessing Amid Weary Lockdowns”

Despite all the hardship, Melburnians have benefited from going through lockdown in one of the world’s most liveable cities … Increased demand for mental health services over the course of this pandemic has seen the Victorian Government invest a record $A3.8 billion funding for mental health and wellbeing in the 2021-2022 State Budget… 

When compared to the COVID-19 impacts experienced by other cities – we’re in a very fortunate situation. This is not to undermine the sacrifices and hardship of Melburnians’ pandemic experience – characterised by an endless loop of new restrictions, general uncertainty, and home-job haircuts…While the journey isn’t over yet, we can be fortified with the knowledge that we have much to be grateful for. Not least, that we’re still in this together. 

What of individual students? The UoM survey of 2020 (p76) found support for lionising and weaponizing climate extremists on campus, i.e. “enable passionate sustainability advocates to develop, lead and/or implement initiatives.” These students – perhaps Extinction Rebellion glue-babies – would be “leveraged” to increase their “communications reach.” I’ll instance two young stalwarts but change a student’s name – I wouldn’t want her UoM excitements to dog her career.

BA student “Pearl Fearless” won an Australasian 2021 Green Gown award for campus sustainability work. She’s an advocate for turning urine from office and apartment blocks into fertiliser for sustainable food production, after getting rid of the faeces and other unsavories. (Making fertilisers, as usual, from methane seems simpler and less messy). “Pearl follows her passion for climate and inter-generational justice,” said the citation. It cited her leadership in Al Gore’s Climate Reality propaganda coaching; representing UoM at the 2020 Global University Climate Forum; and an internship enjoying Tim Flannery’s Climate Council hysteria about routine weather events.

But Pearl caught the UoM intolerance virus. Here’s how: UoM late last year set up on campus, with $7m federal funding, the Robert Menzies InstituteApart from being Australia’s longest-serving prime minister (18 years), Menzies was a Melbourne University law graduate and Chancellor from 1967-72.

Of course Carlton’s ferals mobilised to strangle it at birth, notwithstanding that Western Sydney University has a Whitlam Institute with identical $7m federal funding, and SA University and Curtin University host Hawke and Curtin institutes respectively.[ix] And every US president is honored with a presidential library.

The ferals’ petition claimed Menzies was a “staunch supporter of countless acts of war and genocide”, and the proposal “ignores the many who suffered or perished because of him and his political project.”

It boasted of Leftists’ previous success in stifling a Ramsay (conservative) Centre at Sydney and Queensland Universities (it should also have mentioned stifling the orthodox climate academic Bjorn Lomborg proposed thinktank at UWA). Among signatories was our Pearl Fearless, then an incoming student union official.

Signatories at the university’s thought-leading Associate and Professor level totalled close to 25, from departments including law, pure maths, “Culture and Communications” (sic, and heavily represented), German, philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, development studies, literature, art history, management, environment, obstetrics, workplace leadership (sic), biochemistry, and political science. (Another signer: Roz Ward, LaTrobe’s Marxist co-founder of the Victorian State’s gender-fluidity project aka“Safe Schools”).[x] At the Institute’s November opening, students and staff with megaphones rioted at the Old Quad, chanting “F**k the NLP”, banging on doors and windows and encircling the event while being held back by security guards. The event was cut short to protect attendees. At least two elderly ladies, one with a walking stick, required escorts from the function.[xi] I don’t know if Pearl was there, but a student union Facebook post said at the time,

Thanks to everyone who came along to the protest against the Menzies Institute yesterday!! 🔥…Incoming 2022 UMSU Education Officers Ben Jarick and “Pearl Fearless” are committed to continue the fight against the Menzies Institute next year, so stay tuned.

A Green Gown UoM “excellence award” finalist was lead kindergarten teacher Harriet Deans, of the Early Learning Centre and a doctorate researcher. She’s gung-ho for educating toddlers about her vision of sustainability:

Her work is directed towards empowering the children she teaches to develop the skills and values to care for others and the environment. Harriet has formally researched (Ethics ID 1646280.1) a unique ‘Learning in Nature Program’ (LNP) which led to the development of an ‘Ecocentric Curriculum’ specifically for preschool children…EfS [education for sustainability] as a priority in the early years provides children with opportunities to develop eco-centric values, attitudes, skills, and behaviours, necessary to contribute to a sustainable life, now and into the future… Early childhood education can develop children’s deeper understandings of and responsibility for current matters of social and environmental concern.

Both Ms Deans and UoM take pride in their role as UN camp-followers. Ms Deans works with the panoply of UN bureaucracies, particularly the Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communications and Education Project (MECCE). This group, well plugged into UoM, pushes for mandatory climate alarmism in primary schools and upwards, along with “climate justice” and “socio-emotional or action competences” about the “ecological crises”. (Actually, global temperatures have fallen in the past six years, according to the satellite data). 

To reach the climax of this disturbing piece, click here

via Climate Scepticism

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January 28, 2022 at 02:52PM