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The Truth About The Hungry

How we engineered the food crisis | Henry Miller | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Thanks to dysfunctional regulation of genetic engineering and misguided biofuels policy, the world's poorest are going hungry

Quite, green policies killing poor people - it is getting the Guardian commentators spluttering into their free-range muesli this morning. And of course Moonbat will be along in a minute to say bio-fuels and Anti-GM campaigns are nothing to do with the Greens.

Comments

starvation was the norm back then(anytime)

and it will be the norm ,as the population grows

ENDANGERED SPECIES
a.n.ditchfield
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For forty years, environmental activists have been indifferent to the fate of a widespread endangered species, on a path to extinction evidenced by its declining birth rate. Aspecies beset by enemies who treat it as plague that must be destroyed before it destroys the planet. Homo sapiens is the name of the endangered species. The enemies of the species have three principles they accept with an act of faith:
· · We are running out of space. The world population is already excessive for a limited planet, and grows at exponential rates, with effects that will be disastrous.
· · We are running out of resources. Non-renewable resources of the planet are being depleted by ever increasing consumption, at a rate that renders further expansion of a global economy unsustainable.
· · We are running out of time, as tipping points are reached making climate processes irreversible. The carbon dioxide emitted by human activity brings about global warming that will soon cause catastrophic climate change making the planet uninhabitable.
We are asked to believe because Prince Charles believes the Main Stream Media journalists believe the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes the scientists believe. The daisy chain of acts of faith is too long to hold. Belief has no place in dealing with measurable physical phenomena. When issues are quantified, the contrast between true and false stands clear.

THERE IS PLENTY OF SPACE
Is overpopulation a serious problem? So it may seem to the city dweller of a congested metropolis living under local discomfort, but it is not something that can be generalized for the planet. The sum of U.S. urban areas amounts to 2% of the area of the country, and to 6% in densely populated countries like England or Holland. And there is plenty of green in urban areas. If the comparison is restricted to the ground covered by buildings and pavements, the area around the world amounts to 0.04% of Earth's land area. It was estimated that 6 billion people could live comfortably on 100 000 square miles, the area of Wyoming, or 0.2% of total land. With about 99.8% of free space, the idea that the planet is overpopulated is an exaggeration. Demographic forecasts are uncertain, but the most accepted ones of the UN foresee stability of the global population to be reached in the 21st century. According to some, the world population will start to decrease at the end of this century; aging population is what emerges as the issue of concern. With so much available space it is untenable that the world population is excessive or has the possibility of becoming so. Such facts are denied only by flat-earthers or by those ignorant of geometry.

RESOURCES ARE ADEQUATE
It is argued that, ultimately, a limited planet will not allow unlimited growth. It can also be counter-argued that, ultimately, non-renewable natural resources do not exist on a planet governed by the Law of Conservation of Mass, which in popular form, states that "nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes." It is a fact denied only by believers in other doctrines, dropped when Lavoisier stated the law of conservation.
Human consumption never subtracted one gram from the mass of the planet and, in theory, all material used can be recycled. The feasibility of doing so depends on the availability of low cost energy. When fusion energy becomes operational it will be available in virtually unlimited quantities. The source is deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen found in water in a proportion of 0.03%. A cubic kilometer of seawater contains more energy than would be obtained from combustion of all known oil reserves in the world. Since the oceans contain 3 billion cubic kilometers of water is safe to assume that energy will last longer than the human species. Potable water need not be a limitation, as is sometimes said; innovative nanotube membranes hold the promise of reducing energy costs of desalination to a tenth of current costs, which would make feasible the use of desalinated water for irrigation along the coast continents (750,000 km).
There is no growing shortage of resources signaled by rising prices. Since the mid-19th century, The Economist periodical, has kept consistent records of prices of commodities; in real terms, they fell over a century and a half, with technological progress. The decline has been benign. The cost of feeding a human being was eight times higher in 1850 than it is today. Even in 1950, less than half of the world population of 2 billion had a proper diet of more than 2000 calories per day; today, 80% and have it, while the world's population tripled.
No historical precedent backs the notion that human ingenuity is exhausted and that technology will henceforth remain stagnant at current levels. Two centuries ago, this idea led to the pessimistic Malthus prediction about the exhaustion of resources to feed a population that then seemed to grow at exponential rates.

MANMADE GLOBAL WARMING IS UNCERTAIN
A scientific consensus is alleged on climate change issues, but such a notion is inexact. What is fair to say is that there is wide political acceptance by European governments of ideas of a faction of climate researchers who believe that there is worrisome global warming, from carbon dioxide generated by human activity.
Until recent times no university offered a B.Sc. degree in climate science. Climate studies rely on a hundred fields such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, botany, zoology, paleontology, etc... Indeed, there is no climate science with forecasting power comparable to that of astronomy and such power may never come into existence. Climate has a chaotic behavior, in the mathematical sense, and is thus subject to a high degree of uncertainty, which will not be diminished by advances in scientific knowledge.
Given the uncertainties of honest science, opinions became polarized between two political camps, each with its own agenda. One camp appeals to the authority of climate research professionals in support of an anti-industrial policy, admitted as painful but necessary, the other camp claims lack of scientific basis for such a policy, which it qualifies as suicidal. At each pole there are interests that turn the alleged global warming into a political and a journalistic phenomenon, with no resemblance to a scientific one.
Suspect from the start is the haste with which restrictive measures are promoted to curtail fuel use on the grounds that we are reaching tipping points of irreversible climate change. There are political circles that use this unverifiable hypothesis as a pretext for taxation to inhibit economic expansion. They put in the dock an Industrial Revolution, which has over the last two centuries redeemed much of humanity from extreme want. However, one quarter of humanity still has no access to electricity and suffers from all the evils arising from it. It is fair to apply to the matter a maxim of Roman law, In dubio pro reu, which states that where there is doubt, justice should benefit the accused. It also expresses the rigor of true science, skeptical of unproven links of cause and effect.
Two reasons stand against the hypothesis of a correlation between increased carbon dioxide and global warming. One reason is the constancy or decline in temperature since 1995, after the temperature rise for the two previous decades that triggered the alarm of environmental activists. It now becomes clear that there are natural forces shaping the climate, of magnitude greater than the effect of carbon dioxide. These include cyclical swings in ocean temperatures, sunspot activity and the effect on cosmic rays of the sun's magnetic activity. While these natural cycles are known, mankind can do nothing for or against forces of this magnitude. Sensible public measures are welcome to mitigate effects of climate change, if and when they occur and whatever the cause.
A second reason is the discredit of climate studies released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), after the revelation of misconduct in what became known as Climategate; it led to questioning the credibility of studies assembled by so called professionals. They can err. There is no place for Magister dixit, a Byzantine reference to the authority of the word of Aristotle as final because the master says so. This argument merits retort with the Royal Society's motto, Nullius in verba, according to which science rejects the word of authority above proof backed by verifiable experimental evidence and logical deductive reasoning.
Lacking support in solid theory and empirical evidence, the mathematical models underpinning the UN IPCC predictions are speculative thought, reflecting the assumptions fed into models to support interests of sponsors. These computer simulations provide no rationale for public policies that inhibit economic activity "to save the planet." And carbon dioxide is not toxic or a pollutant. It is a plant nutrient in the photosynthesis that sustains the food chain of all living beings on the planet.

RECKLESS ALLEGATIONS OF ZEALOTS
Stories of disaster are reported in strident tones, typical of the propaganda of totalitarian regimes that once incited masses duped by demagogues. Anything that happens on earth is attributed to global warming: an earthquake in the Himalayas; the volcanic eruption in Iceland; the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean; tribal wars in Africa; heat wave in Paris; plague of snails on the tiny Isle of Wight; in Australia, wildfires, dust storms in the dry season and floods in rainy season; recent severe winters in North America, the collapse of a bridge in Minnesota, the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, in cycles long known. Evo Morales blames the U.S. for summer floods in Bolivia.
THE GREEN POLITICAL AGENDA
Reckless allegations of cause and effect are explained by Chris Patten: "Green politics at its worst amounts to a sort of Zen fascism; less extreme, it denounces growth and seeks to stop the world so that we can all get off". In the view of Professor Aaron Wildavsky global warming is the mother of all environmental scares. "Warming (and warming alone), through its primary antidote of withdrawing carbon from production and consumption, is capable of realizing the environmentalist's dream of an egalitarian society based on rejection of economic growth in favor of a smaller population's eating lower on the food chain, consuming a lot less, and sharing a much lower level of resources much more equally."
It is the hippie dream of a life of idleness, penury, long hair, unshaven face, blue jeans, sandals and a vegetarian diet; a personal choice to be foisted upon the world by dictatorial decree of an eco-fascist regime with worldwide power and justified by fantasies about a doomed planet.
An agenda to impoverish mankind as a prelude to its extinction is a fad that is not politically sustainable for long. The species will prevail.


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