Saturday, August 10, 2019

GWPF Newsletter - Greta Walks Out: Apocalyptic Climate Cult Shows First Signs Of Division

Global Meat-Eating Is On The Rise, Bringing Surprising Benefits

In this newsletter:

1) Greta Walks Out: Apocalyptic Climate Cult Shows First Signs Of Division
BuzzFeed News, 7 August 2019
2) Extinction Rebellion Prepares To Shut Down London Fashion Week
The Times, 6 August 2019

3) Fraser Myers: An Establishment Rebellion
Spiked, 8 August 2019
4) Someone Tell The IPCC: Global Meat-Eating Is On The Rise, Bringing Surprising Benefits
The Economist, 4 May 2019 

5) Groundwater Reserves In Africa More Resilient To Climate Change Than Thought
The Conservation, 7 August 2019
6) German Agency For Disaster Preparedness Calls On Citizens To “Be Ready For Widespread Blackouts”
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 7 August 2019
7) Qantas Boss Alan Joyce Warns Climate Hysteria Threatens Air Travel
The Australian, 8 August 2019
8) And Finally: So Hot That We Can See Those Urban Heat Islands From Space
Jo Nova, 8 August 2019

Full details:

1) Greta Walks Out: Apocalyptic Climate Cult Shows First Signs Of Division
BuzzFeed News, 7 August 2019

Greta Thunberg was among a group of young activists who protested over a disagreement about the Fridays for Future movement’s demands.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Greta Thunberg was among 30 young activists who walked out of a major European meeting of more than 400 students who have spent the last nine months boycotting school on Fridays to demand action on climate change.

Thunberg, 16, has become the most visible spokesperson of the Fridays for Future movement after launching a solitary school strike in Stockholm in Stockholm. But during an emotional meeting Wednesday morning, the group left the main hall and sat down outside the front door, which BuzzFeed News witnessed, just before the conference was due to take up a draft platform of the movement’s demands.

“We’re on strike,” said Janine O’Keeffe, an adult activist who lives in Sweden and has been active with the strike movement since its early days, and who had been participating in a committee drafting the movement’s demands. Multiple other participants also described the walkout as a “strike” to BuzzFeed News.

Thunberg did not respond to requests to comment before this story was first published. But she said in a text message to BuzzFeed News after publication that she did not personally view the gathering as a protest.
“I did not ‘join a walk out’ or ‘join a sit in.’ We are going in and out of meetings all the time,” she wrote.

“In this case I sat down outside the auditorium to comfort a friend of mine who was sad and upset at the time.” […]

The split began to emerge in meetings that BuzzFeed News sat in on Tuesday, but came to a head Wednesday as the conference was preparing to take up a list of demands. A committee had met the day before to revise a draft that outlined more than 20 specific policy recommendations, covering everything from reforming agriculture to curbing carbon emissions from boats.

Thunberg and group of others recommended scrapping these proposals in favor of much broader principles like “follow the science” and “climate justice for everyone.”

“Not one of us agreed to all these demands, because they’re too specific,” Thunberg said in making the recommendation. Saoi O’Connor, a 16-year-old from Ireland, was even more emphatic in arguing against specific demands as the meeting broke up. “Our movement is strong because we haven’t had to do this,” BuzzFeed News heard them say to another participant.

Full story

2) Extinction Rebellion Prepares To Shut Down London Fashion Week
The Times, 6 August 2019

Britain’s fashion industry faces extinction as radical climate activists attempt to destroy ‘environmentally destructive’ fashion businesses.

Models at London Fashion Week in February this year in front of an Extinction Rebellion roadblock - GEORGE CRACKNELL WRIGHT/REX FEATURES

London Fashion Week is where showbiz meets the cutting edge of couture.

However, the likes of Kendall Jenner and Victoria Beckham may find that the event next month is disrupted by Extinction Rebellion, the environmental activists who held mass demonstrations against global warming in London in April. It plans to “shut down” the five-day trade show to raise awareness of the ecological damage caused by the fashion industry.

“We are planning non-violent direct action civil disobedience,” said Ramón Salgado-Touzón, of Extinction Rebellion’s fashion action group, which has demanded that organisers cancel the event, which starts on September 13.

More than 1,000 activists were arrested after April’s protests, with some glueing their hands to the ground on Waterloo Bridge.

A repeat is promised. “People taking part will be arrested,” Mr Salgado-Touzón said. “Let’s hope that they’re not going to be charged but if they are, everyone is prepared.”

Organisers suggested that they would focus more on preventing people getting in to events rather than storming the catwalk. Bel Jacobs, of Extinction Rebellion’s Boycott Fashion group, said: “People need to get places quickly. And that is a way to disrupt Fashion Week.”

Somerset House, home to the British Fashion Council, which hosts the week, and New Bond Street are targets. Ms Jacobs added:

“We need to change our culture around consumption. People have no idea how environmentally destructive fashion is.”

Full story

3) Fraser Myers: An Establishment Rebellion
Spiked, 8 August 2019

Why the elite loves the eco-warriors.

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired a number of artefacts associated with Extinction Rebellion (XR), the protest group campaigning to reduce Britain’s carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2025. Apparently, just nine months since Extinction Rebellion’s first public stunt, its paraphernalia deserves to be housed alongside some of the world’s best art and design works of the past 5,000 years.

It is hard to think of any supposedly radical protest movement in history that has been so readily embraced by the establishment as Extinction Rebellion. And the love-bombing isn’t just coming from the usual luvvies like Dame Emma Thompson and activist celebs like Lily Cole and Charlotte Church. Recently, XR attracted the attention of wealthy philanthropists. Last month, three wealthy Americans (one of whose family wealth comes from the oil industry) donated nearly £500,000 to XR and vowed to raise millions more. Other wealthy backers include a hedge-fund manager, who remains anonymous.

Then, there is the literary establishment – from heavyweight authors like Margaret Atwood and Phillip Pullman to big-name publishers like Penguin, it has thrown its weight behind Extinction Rebellion, too. This Is Not A Drill, XR’s protest handbook, was recently rushed out for release by Penguin. Penguin’s editor breathlessly declared that climate change was so pressing that XR’s book needed to be published several months before its initial release date: ‘This is an emergency, and we have to react like it’s an emergency.’ The book even features a contribution from Rowan Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury – the former head of the established church.

The reason for this establishment love-in is that Extinction Rebellion represents no rebellion at all. It has the appearance of a rebellion, certainly – protesters glue their hands to buildings, block roads and get themselves arrested. But the message is one that affirms and flatters establishment opinion rather than challenging it.

Parliament, for instance, was quick to heed XR’s demand to declare a ‘climate emergency’. More significantly, the group’s main aim of reducing UK emissions to ‘net zero’ is one that is shared not only by the Conservative government, but also by MPs of all stripes. The ‘net zero’ target for 2050 was nodded through parliament with just an hour and a half of debate and without a single vote needing to be cast. XR is only more impatient in its demand, calling for a 2025 deadline.

Many have tried to compare Extinction Rebellion’s climate crusade with past movements for progressive change. Justifying the V&A’s decision to acquire Extinction Rebellion artefacts, senior curator Corinna Gardner compared their punchy colour palette to that of the Suffragettes. Similarly, XR leader Roger Hallam claims his protesting is in the ‘tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King’.

These comparisons are delusional, pretentious and insulting. But they unwittingly highlight something important. Whether it was the Chartists, the Suffragettes, the civil-rights movement, or the gay-rights movement, these genuinely progressive campaigns were all despised by the elite at the time. These were campaigns that sought to expand human freedom, to wrest rights and resources from the establishment.

By contrast, environmentalist campaigns like Extinction Rebellion are, by their very nature, against freedom. They seek to place new limits on human activity: on industry, on economic growth, on our travel, on our diets, and on childbirth.

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4) Groundwater Reserves In Africa More Resilient To Climate Change Than Thought
The Conservation, 7 August 2019

Mark O. Cuthbert and Richard Taylor

Groundwater reserves in Africa are estimated to be 20 times larger than the water stored in lakes and reservoirs above ground.

These are the freshwater stores that flow in rocks and sediment beneath the Earth’s surface. They are a vital source of drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa, where groundwater is often the only year-round supply of fresh water in rural areas. Increasingly it is being used in towns and cities as well.

Accessed through wells, boreholes and springs, groundwater is so valuable because it can be found almost anywhere and is generally high quality. It’s often a more reliable source during drought than other water sources. As climate change affects the reliability of water supplies at the surface, more freshwater will likely be drawn from beneath the ground to support rising populations and to irrigate crops. The big question is how much groundwater can be used sustainably as the climate changes?

Despite its obvious importance, surprisingly little is known about how groundwater in sub-Saharan Africa is replenished and how resilient it is to climate change. The main reason for this is that, until now, scientists haven’t had access to groundwater level records that go far enough back to see how the climate and groundwater are linked. So regional assessments of groundwater have, to date, relied on computer simulations that aren’t tested by groundwater data.

Since 2014, scientists from across Africa and the world have compiled and analysed decades of groundwater and rainfall records from across sub-Saharan Africa. The aim is to understand how the amount of water stored underground varies from place to place according to the climate and the geology. The team found 14 long-term records from nine countries, with environments ranging from very dry deserts to humid areas with more rainfall and vegetation.

Groundwater levels are determined by the relative balance between recharge – the process by which groundwater is replenished – and discharge – the flow of groundwater to springs, streams, wetlands and the sea. The withdrawals people make, for irrigation or drinking water, also contribute to reducing the amount of stored groundwater.

By analysing long records of groundwater level and rainfall, our team showed that in wetter parts of Africa groundwater is mostly replenished by rainfall that trickles down through the soil to the water table, and that this occurs consistently over large areas.

But in drier regions, groundwater is mostly recharged locally by water leaking into it from temporary streams and ponds, which only flow after particularly heavy rainfall. This finding is important because previous studies have ignored how much leaking streams and ponds contribute to groundwater, and so are likely to have underestimated how well groundwater can be replenished in dry regions.

Climate change’s silver lining?

This has profound implications for our understanding of how resilient groundwater in Africa will be to climate change. It reveals that groundwater recharge is very sensitive to the intensity of rainfall, not just the overall amount of rain. This is especially true in the most naturally water scarce parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

These findings challenge predictions from computer models that freshwater will become scarcer in African drylands as climate change reduces rainfall. Instead, global warming is making rainfall come in fewer but heavier bursts – that could actually be good for increasing groundwater recharge overall.

Full story
5) Someone Tell The IPCC: Global Meat-Eating Is On The Rise, Bringing Surprising Benefits
The Economist, 4 May 2019

As Africans get richer, they will eat more meat and live longer, healthier lives.

[…] In the decade to 2017 global meat consumption rose by an average of 1.9% a year and fresh dairy consumption by 2.1% -- both about twice as fast as population growth. Almost four-fifths of all agricultural land is dedicated to feeding livestock, if you count not just pasture but also cropland used to grow animal feed...

It is largely through eating more pork and dairy that Chinese diets have come to resemble Western ones, rich in protein and fat. And it is mostly because their diets have altered that Chinese people have changed shape. The average 12-year-old urban boy was nine centimetres taller in 2010 than in 1985, the average girl seven centimetres taller. Boys in particular have also grown fatter...

The shift from pork to beef in the world's most populous country is bad news for the environment. Because pigs require no pasture, and are efficient at converting feed into flesh, pork is among the greenest of meats. Cattle are usually much less efficient, although they can be farmed in different ways. And because cows are ruminants, they belch methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. A study of American farm data in 2014 estimated that, calorie for calorie, beef production requires three times as much animal feed as pork production and produces almost five times as much greenhouse gases. Other estimates suggest it uses two and a half times as much water...

Sub-Saharan Africans currently have tiny carbon footprints because they use so little energy -- excluding South Africa, the entire continent produces about as much electricity as France. The armies of cattle, goats and sheep will raise Africans' collective contribution to global climate change, though not to near Western or Chinese levels. People will probably become healthier, though.

Many African children are stunted (notably small for their age) partly because they do not get enough micronutrients such as Vitamin A. Iron deficiency is startlingly common. In Senegal a health survey in 2017 found that 42% of young children and 14% of women are moderately or severely anaemic. Poor nutrition stunts brains as well as bodies. Animal products are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals.

Studies in several developing countries have shown that giving milk to schoolchildren makes them taller. Recent research in rural western Kenya found that children who regularly ate eggs grew 5% faster than children who did not; cow's milk had a smaller effect.

Full story

6) German Agency For Disaster Preparedness Calls On Citizens To “Be Ready For Widespread Blackouts”
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 7 August 2019

The President of the German Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe (Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, abbreviated BKK) is calling on citizens, government offices and companies to be prepared for widespread blackouts.

In an interview with German national daily Die Welt, BBK President Christoph Unger warned that in the future Germany faced higher probabilities of natural disasters arising from climate change, such as droughts, heat waves and flooding, but said his greatest concern was a power outage.

“After 24 hours without electricity we would have catastrophic conditions,” Unger told Die Welt.

He was particularly concerned about how the power supply could be switched off by a cyber attack. “We have to prepare ourselves for such a scenario and prepare ourselves for it”.

Unstable grid, more frequent interventions

He then told Die Welt that although the German power supply is relatively stable and secure in a global comparison, “the German Federal Grid Agency is having to intervene more and more frequently in order to compensate for grid fluctuations.”

Over the years Germany has added more and more volatile supplies of wind and solar power to feed into its power grid. This has made keeping the frequency within the needed range an increasingly difficult challenge.

“Faced multiple collapses”

For example, the German DWN here reported how in June earlier this year “Europe’s electricity grid faced multiple collapses” and how grid frequency in Germany had “plummeted several times to such an extent that Europe’s entire power grid had been endangered.” Some aluminum mills had to be taken offline.

Keep candles and matches on hand

To prepare for blackouts, Unger told Die Welt that citizens needed to keep “candles and matches” and always have a “batter-powered radio on hand in order to be able to receive news even when the power is out.” He added: “Every household should have a supply of food and drinking water.”

Full post

7) Qantas Boss Alan Joyce Warns Climate Hysteria Threatens Air Travel
The Australian, 8 August 2019

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has spoken out against climate change hysteria and “flight shaming”, saying additional taxes on airlines could take the world back to the 1920s.

Climate change events were on the increase, he added, pointing to Europe’s recent record heatwave, but he warned against “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”.

His comments come after the French government last month announced an “eco-tax” on all flights from French airports would raise $300 million a year.

The Netherlands has also flagged a tax of $11.60 per passenger and the EU is facing calls for a continent-wide levy.

Airlines are also facing pressure from activists such as Swedish teen Greta Thunberg lobbying for a boycott of air travel and “shaming” those who refuse to heed their call.

Mr Joyce said the introduction of new taxes was designed to limit flights — by increasing costs on airlines and travellers — which was not the solution to climate change.

“We don’t want to go back to the 1920s and not have air travel,” he told the annual Centre for Aviation summit in Sydney yesterday.

“We need to make sure that we keep the baby, because it is important for the world economy to have connections.”

Full story (subscription required)

8) And Finally: So Hot That We Can See Those Urban Heat Islands From Space
Jo Nova, 8 August 2019

New satellite images taken by NASA during the June heatwave show how the central core of European cities is much hotter than the surrounding natural landscape due to the urban heat island effect.

The NASA Ecostress map for Paris   | Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

During the June heatwaves in Europe NASA was studying the “Ecostress” of various cities.

The heat coming off Charles De Gaulle’s runways is easily visible from space. (As are all the other ideal locations for putting climate change thermometers.)
Hands up who thinks thermometers in 1880 were reading too warm? Anyone…

The shots were taken in the early morning:

They show how the central core of each city is much hotter than the surrounding natural landscape due to the urban heat island effect – a result of urban surfaces storing and re-radiating heat throughout the day.

The fact that surface temperatures were as high as 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit (25-30 degrees Celsius) in the early morning indicates that much of the heat from previous days was stored by surfaces with high heat capacity (such as asphalt, concrete and water bodies) and unable to dissipate before the next day. The trapped heat resulted in even higher midday temperatures, in the high 40s (Celsius) in some places, as the heat wave continued.

So these heat sinks have had all night to lose their extra heat yet here they are still radiating. Even at lunch time the next day.

Rome- Ecostress Heat map  |   Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Nice of them to mark the airports.

See Milan and Madrid below.

Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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