Hearing on the Biodiversity Report

by Judith Curry

The House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife is holding a Hearing today on Responding to the Global Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

The link to the Hearing page is here [link].

Based on my previous experience with this Committee, the written testimonies will not be posted, and the Hearing will live stream on their Facebook page [link]

Here is the list of witnesses:

  • Sir Robert Watson, Immediate Past Chair IPBES
  • Dr. Eduardo S. Brondizio, Co-Chair IPBES Global Assessment 
  • Dr. Yunne Shin, Coordinating Lead Author, IPBES Global Assessment
  • Dr. Patrick Moore, Chairman CO2 Coalition [link to written testimony Moore]
  • Mr. Marc Morano, Founder Climate Depot [link to written testimony Morano]
  • Dr. Jacob Malcolm,  Director Center for Conservation Innovation, Defenders of Wildlife

Quite an interesting list.  Clearly some of the leading honchos for the IPBES Report.  Surprised that the Republicans apparently got to pick several witnesses.

Having Marc Morano on this list is like waving a red cape before a bull.  True to form, Marc has prepared an extremely hard hitting report for his written testimony, which was sent to me (and others) via email.  Excerpts from Morano’s testimony are provided below:

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As a lifelong conservationist, I share concerns about the Earth’s biodiversity and particularly concerns about threats to species. I have advocated for a clean, healthy planet with a co-existence of humans and plants and animals.

But, as an investigative journalist studying the United Nations for decades, there is only one conclusion to be made of this new report: The UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), hypes and distorts biodiversity issues for lobbying purposes. This report is the latest UN appeal to give it more power, more scientific authority, more money, and more regulatory control.

According to media reports, the UN species report requires that “a huge transformation is needed across the economy and society to protect and restore nature…”

And just how does the UN justify this “huge transformation” of economics and society which it will lead? By invoking what the UN describes as “authoritative science” produced by — the UN of itself of course.

UN IPBES Executive Secretary, Dr. Anne Larigauderie declared: The “IPBES presents the authoritative science, knowledge and the policy options to decision makers for their consideration.”

At best, the UN science panels represent nothing more than “authoritative bureaucracy”, claiming they hype the problem and then come up with the solution that puts them in charge of “solving” the issue in perpetuity. A more accurate term for the UN than “authoritative science” may be “authoritative propaganda.”

This new biodiversity report follows the same tainted IPCC procedures that the U.S. Congress must be made aware of. The report is meddled with by UN politicians, bureaucrats as part of the process.

The report’s summary had to be approved by representatives of all 109 nations,” the AP reported. Let’s repeat, “The report’s summary had to be approved by representatives of all 109 nations.” These representatives are not scientists, but they are politicians, subject to lobbying and media pressure and their own self-interests. This is clearly a political process — not a scientific process.

Canadian UN expert Donna Laframboise, who has written several books on the biased UN “scientific” process, explains how this new species report was crafted behind the scenes:

“[The UN] draft a summary known as the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Then politicians and bureaucrats representing national governments attend a plenary meeting where the summary gets examined line-by-line and rewritten…But it gets worse. Over the next few weeks, the text being summarized – the underlying, ostensibly scientific document – will also get changed. That’s not how things normally work, of course. Summaries are supposed to be accurate reflections of longer documents. At the UN, they represent an opportunity to alter those documents, to make them fall into line…This is no sober scientific body, which examines multiple perspectives, and considers alternative hypotheses. The job of the IPBES is to muster only one kind of evidence, the kind that promotes UN environmental treaties.”  

“That’s how the United Nations works, folks. Machinations in the shadows. Camouflaging its political aspirations by dressing them up in 1,800 pages of scientific clothing.”

Laframboise also found a serious lack of transparency in this new UN biodiversity report, giving the report “a failing grade.” See: UN Biodiversity Officials Fail Transparency Test – ‘Provides no CVs for most members of its influential panel’

Within days of the UN’s report release, major questions about the scientific claims began to emerge. See: ANALYSIS: UN’s ‘1 Million’ Extinction Warning Does Not ADD Up – ‘The word ‘suggesting’ is doing a lot of work’ – ‘We’re just supposed to take it on faith’

Analyst Toby Young: “So how exactly did the [UN] IPBES arrive at the magic one million [species at risk] number? It seems we’re just supposed to take it on faith, which the BBC duly did. What about the IPBES’s claim that ‘around 25% of species… are threatened’? That seems a little pessimistic, given that the number of mammals to have become extinct in the past 500 years or so is around 1.4% and only one bird has met the same fate in Europe since 1852. Not bad when you consider how much economic growth there’s been in the past 167 years.”

“…All I could find online was a press release put out by the IPBES and a ‘summary’ of the report ‘for policymakers’. The press release states: ‘The report finds that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.’ It gives no source for this beyond the as-yet-unpublished report, but the summary makes it clear that it’s partly based on data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.”  

Geologist Gregory Wrightstone just issued a scientific rebuke of the new UN species report. Wrightstone and concluded: “This new [UN] extinction study is just the latest example of misuse and abuse of the scientific process designed to sow fear of an impending climate apocalypse.”

Wrightstone called the report “a case study of how those who promote the notion of man-made catastrophic warming manipulate data and facts to spread the most fear, alarm, and disinformation.”

Wrightstone’s research instead found: “A closer review of the most recent information dating back to 1870 reveals that, instead of a frightening increase, extinctions are actually in a significant decline. What is apparent is that the trend of extinctions is declining rather than increasing, just the opposite of what the new report claims. Also, according to the IPBES report, we can expect 25,000 to 30,000 extinctions per year, yet the average over the last 40 years is about 2 species annually. That means the rate would have to multiply by 12,500 to 15,000 to reach the dizzying heights predicted. Nothing on the horizon is likely to achieve even a small fraction of that.”

Wrightstone added; “In an incredibly ironic twist that poses a difficult conundrum for those who are intent on saving the planet from our carbon dioxide excesses, the new study reports that the number one cause of predicted extinctions is habitat loss. Yet their solution is to pave over vast stretches of land for industrial-scale solar factories and to construct immense wind factories that will cover forests and grasslands, killing the endangered birds and other species they claim to want to save.” (JC BOLD)

Other analyses of the new UN report were also less than charitable.

See: Studies Indicate Species Extinctions Decline With Warming – ‘Since the 1870s, species extinction rates have been plummeting’ – Habitat loss & predator introduction biggest threat — Not warming – May 17, 2019

Analyst Kenneth Richard: “During the last few hundred years, species extinctions primarily occurred due to habitat loss and predator introduction on islands. Extinctions have not been linked to a warming climate or higher CO2 levels. In fact, since the 1870s, species extinction rates have been plummeting.” – “No clear link between mass extinctions and CO2-induced or sudden-onset warming events.”

As we await the full report from the UN on Biodiversity, we must note that the UN track record on species claims has not been admirable.

2014: Der Speigel’s Axel Bojanowski: “The IPCC admits that there is no evidence climate change has led to even a single species becoming extinct thus far. At most, the draft report says, climate change may have played a role in the disappearance of a few amphibians, freshwater fish and mollusks. Yet even the icons of catastrophic global warming, the polar bears, are doing surprisingly well.”

In 2010, the NY Times examined UN species claims.

See: NY Times Andrew Revkin: UN IPCC Claims About Extinction ‘confusing’ — NYT: UN IPCC Scientists “acknowledge there was inconsistency and flawed writing’ in extinction section – ‘In the Summary for Policy Makers of the report on climate impacts, there are different summations of extinction risk within a few pages.”  

UN official on species in 2007: “Every hour, three species disappear. Every day, up to 150 species are lost. Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities. …Climate change is one of the major driving forces behind the unprecedented loss of biodiversity.” — Speech on 21 May 2007 by Ahmed Djoghlaf, then Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Contrary scientific studies abound:

Re-assessing current extinction rates” by Neil Stork in Biodiversity and Conservation, February 2010. Gated. Open copy. He cites the overwhelming peer-reviewed research evidence that claims of mass extinctions occurring today are exaggerated or false, and explains the reasons for these errors. Conclusions … “So what can we conclude about extinction rates? First, less than 1% of all organisms are recorded to have become extinct in the last few centuries and there are almost no empirical data to support estimates of current extinctions of 100 or even one species a day.”

Species–area relationships always overestimate extinction rates from habitat loss” by Fangliang He and Stephen P. Hubbell in Nature, 19 May 2011. Gated. “Extinction from habitat loss is the signature conservation problem of the twenty-first century. Despite its importance, estimating extinction rates is still highly uncertain because no proven direct methods or reliable data exist for verifying extinctions.”

John C. Briggs (Prof Marine Science, U South FL) in Science, 14 November 2014. – “Most extinctions have occurred on oceanic islands or in restricted freshwater locations, with very few occurring on Earth’s continents or in the oceans.”

Perhaps the most high profile species prediction failure of the UN and former Vice President Al Gore has been with polar bears.

Why has Al Gore has gone silent on the extinction scare of polar bears? Gore featured the bears in 2006 film, but how many references to polar bears were in Gore’s 2017 sequel? Five references? Three? No. How about zero. The polar bears were completely absent in his 2017 sequel. The reason? Simple. The polar bear population keeps rising.

See: New Study: Polar bears ‘thriving’ as their numbers may have ‘quadrupled’ – Attempts to silence research

Alaska’s coordinator for endangered species: ‘Polar bears are at an all-time high of abundance level’ – ‘The only reason the service listed them was based on speculation from fairly untested models based on what the fate of polar bears may be in the future’

This new May 2019 UN report is extrapolating huge future species extinction predictions from a much less alarming current reality and has only released its Summary for Policymakers which is fiddled with by UN politicians and bureaucrats and the underlying science report remains at large. And that underlying report must follow the dictates of the Summary for Policymakers. This UN political process that interferes with the scientific process has been called into question for violating the U.S. science policy guidelines.

Let me clear: I am not talking about the UN and its science reports in some abstract or vague way. I am here to say that the three lead witnesses representing the United Nations today on this new biodiversity report are explicitly part of these UN scientific manipulations.

I will be presenting and submitting for the record, the voices of current and past scientists that reveal the UN’s pre-determined narrative process and expose how the UN’s panels are not rooted in honest science.

[JC note:  read the full testimony for much material critical of the IPCC process]

I have been passionate about environmental issues since I began my career in 1991 as a journalist. I produced a documentary on the myths surrounding the Amazon Rainforest in 2000, which dealt extensively claimed species extinctions and how such claims are used to instill fear for political lobbying.

I have done extensive investigating reporting on species extinction claims, including how hyped up species concerns are used to shut down American mining and private breeders. One of my stories was a report titled Desert Stormtroopers and how nearly 30 state, local and federal agencies descended onto the Molycorp mine in California’s Mojave desert to protect the threatened Desert Tortoise. Based on these endangered species claims, the mine’s operations were halted, employees were forced to undergo “tortoise sensitivity training” and the U.S. federal government felt compelled to use heavy-handed tactics. It turned out that the Desert Tortoise was not even considered an “endangered” species, but a “threatened” species.

Concern over species can be used to justify massive government intrusion into business, private lives and property rights, therefore, it is extremely important that we get the science right.

See: Federal court: ‘No CO2 regulation under Endangered Species Act: Federal judge ruled against effort by environmentalists to force Fish & Wildlife Service to regulate greenhouse gases under ESA’

2014: Polar bear listed as a migratory species by UNEP to restrict oil exploration & extraction

Other efforts to “save” species have had mixed and sometimes woeful results. 

New 2018 report highlights failures of the Endangered Species Act: “The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been so ineffective at recovering species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has fabricated a record of success.” – Robert Gordon, The Heritage Foundation…Enacted in 1973, the ESA has managed to “recover” only 40 species, or slightly less than one species per year…“Federally Funded Fiction” – Even worse, almost half of the “recovered” species – 18 out of 40 – are what Gordon calls “federally funded fiction.” It turns out that these 18 “recovered” species were never endangered in the first place and were placed on the endangered species list due to poor data. This, however, has not kept the Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) from trumpeting their “recovery” as a success.”

My 2000 Amazon Rainforest documentary “Clear-cutting the Myths,” exposed the hopeful news on species and the natural world’s biodiversity.

Excerpt: “Duke University, published a study on the effects of logging in Indonesian rainforests. Dr. Charles Cannon examined land both one year and eight years after it had been commercially logged. What he found surprised many. Indonesia’s forests were recovering quickly from logging operations, with a healthy mix of plant species…Robin Chazdon, an ecologist from the University of Connecticut, has studied tropical rainforests for more than 20 years. Dr. Chazdon wrote this editorial that accompanied Dr. Cannon’s study in Science Magazine. “I do think that we have underestimated the ability of the forest to regenerate,” Chazon said. Scientific reforestation efforts are paying off in parts of the Amazon. In 1982, miners cleared a large tract of land in western Brazil. Once finished, they hired scientists to reforest the territory. New studies show that the rejuvenated forest is virtually indistinguishable from its original form. Ninety-five percent of the original animal species have returned. Proponents say these attempts at sustainable logging lowered costs and increased productivity, proving that man and nature can coexist in the Amazon.

UK scientist Professor Philip Stott, emeritus professor of Biogeography at the University of London, dismissed current species explained in my Amazon rainforest documentary.  

“The earth has gone through many periods of major extinctions, some much bigger in size than even being contemplated today,” Stott, the author of a book on tropical rainforests, said in the documentary.

“Change is necessary to keep up with change in nature itself. In other words, change is the essence. And the idea that we can keep all species that now exist would be anti-evolutionary, anti-nature and anti the very nature of the earth in which we live,” Stott said.

But this is not the first time we have warned about species. As early as 1864, “tipping points” about the “extinction of the species” were issued. And it turns out, economic prosperity may help save the species.

See: Analysis: UN claims a million species face extinction? Time to burn fossil fuels to save them! – ‘Best way to save wilderness is to increase the GDP of those in poverty’

Analyst Jo Nova: “Wealthy countries are solving all of these problems faster than poor countries are. The best way to save the wilderness is to increase the GDP of those in poverty. Free trade, fair agricultural markets. Less red tape. Less corruption. We’ve tied up lots of land, so the last thing we want is to use wilderness for useless solar and wind farms, or palm oil plantations. Why keep coal and uranium underground when we can save the forest instead? Again, in nations where there are healthy economies, fish stocks are being protected and are recovering. Whales too. Even great white sharks.”

Yet, despite a massive track record of scientific failure about climate and species “crises” the UN, the media and the usual suspect scientists like failed overpopulation guru Paul Ehrlich, are at it again.

This latest report has been touted as the IPCC for nature by the UN. “The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) included more than 450 researchers who used 15,000 scientific and government reports.

Also See: UN report urges ‘action’: Biodiversity crisis is about to put humanity at risk – 1 million species at risk of annihilation

ANALYSIS: UN’s ‘1 Million’ Extinction Warning Does Not ADD Up – ‘The word ‘suggesting’ is doing a lot of work’ – ‘We’re just supposed to take it on faith’

Environmental activist Tim Keating of Rainforest Relief was asked in the 2000 documentary if he could name any of the alleged 50,000 species that have gone extinct and he was unable.

“No, we can’t [name them], because we don’t know what those species are. But most of the species that we’re talking about in those estimates are things like insects and even microorganisms, like bacteria,” Keating explained.

Larry Kummer in 2018 countered: Who are those extinct animals? Mostly bugs. For the most accurate list of extinct and endangered species, see the IUCN Red List of extinctions. Wikipedia posts this in a more easily viewed form. Seldom mentioned in the alarmist articles is the big fact: most Animalia are bugs

But the persistent claims that not only are humans driving this driving a species catastrophe but that humans themselves go extinct will not go away.

Is the Insect Apocalypse Really Upon Us? ‘Claims that insects will disappear within a century are absurd’ – The data on insect declines are too patchy, unrepresentative, and piecemeal to justify some of the more hyperbolic alarms. At the same time, what little information we have tends to point in the same worrying direction…The claim that insects will all be annihilated within the century is absurd. Almost everyone I spoke with says that it’s not even plausible, let alone probable. “Not going to happen,” says Elsa Youngsteadt from North Carolina State University. “They’re the most diverse group of organisms on the planet…The sheer diversity of insects makes them, as a group, resilient—but also impossible to fully comprehend. There are more species of ladybugs than mammals, of ants than birds, of weevils than fish.

Scientists uncover 1,451 new species in the ocean in the past year – UK Daily Mail 2015: From a frilled shark to the frogfish, we’re finding four new sea creatures every day: Scientists uncover 1,451 new species in the ocean in the past year alone. Despite the expansion of our knowledge however, scientists estimate we still only know about a tenth of the marine life on Earth. The World Register of Marine Species – which aims to become an inventory of all known ocean life – numbers 228,000 species, with new names being added every day.

New Australian study: Marine algae species adapts to climate change, contrary to what was assumed until now

One Million New Plankton Species Found: ‘A worldwide expedition of the oceans to find out about climate change reveals a million new species of plankton’ – ‘These planktonic organisms are the life support system of the planet.’ — ‘They are the base of the food chain … if there’s no plankton, there’s no fish in the oceans…And they take CO2 out of the atmosphere by taking it into the interior of the ocean where it can be stored for thousands of millions of years so they’re an essential buffer against climate change due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere’

UN Earth Summit Rebuttal: ‘There is no scientific basis for claims that hundreds or even thousands of species are at risk’ – ‘Of 191 bird and mammal species recorded as having gone extinct since 1500, 95% were on islands…On continents, just six bird and three mammal species were driven to extinction…the greatest threats to species are the very policies and programs being advocated in Rio. Those policies would ban fossil fuels; greatly increase renewable energy use; reduce jobs and living standards in rich nations; and perpetuate poverty, disease, death and desperation in poor countries’

Nature Conservancy chief scientist admits ‘data simply do not support idea of a fragile nature at risk of collapse’ –demise of formerly abundant species can be inconsequential to ecosystem function’ – ‘Ecologists now know that disappearance of one species does not necessarily lead to extinction of any others, much less all others in the same ecosystem…A thorough review of the literature identified 240 studies of ecosystems following deforestation, mining, oil spills, & other types of pollution. The abundance of plant & animal species & other measures of ecosystem function recovered, at least partially, in 173 (72%) of these studies’

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JC reflections

While I have read Morano’s recent book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change (I recommend this book),  I was unaware that Morano had been following the species extinction issue so closely.

Witnesses selected by the minority party (at present the Republicans), typically have a week at best to prepare written testimony.  So it is clear that Morano’s materials must have been collected and examined over a period of time.

Without having read all the sources linked to by Morano, what he states is generally consistent with my more limited understanding of this issue (although there are many relevant issues not covered in his testimony).

And of course I haven’t read the full Biodiversity Report, since it is not yet available. I am appalled that they published the relatively short Summary for Policy Makers well in advance of publishing the full report (I haven’t even seen a publication date for the main report).  This fact in itself supports Morano’s contention that the intention of this Report is propaganda.  They got their headline regarding ‘1 million species at risk from extinction’ without providing the documentation that apparently can’t be very convincing.

It is very difficult to rebut Morano’s points without the full Report and its documentation.

The biodiversity and species extinction issue is associated with substantially much more uncertainty than say the IPCC WGI report on the physical basis for climate change.  The species issue is potentially uncertain by orders of magnitude, with the sign of some this even being uncertain.

And the irony of all this is that the biodiversity narrative rather gets in the way of the climate catastrophe narrative.  The climate issue is at best a minor issue in any biodiversity challenge.  At the same time, climate change ‘solutions’ are arguably a much bigger threat to species and biodiversity than climate change itself.

That said, the Report raises some serious issues and we can and should do better at reducing our impact on habitats and species.  But any sensible policies in this regard would undoubtedly get drowned out in climate change alarmism, and criticism of the Report.

Notes from the Hearing

I am watching the live hearing now (I tuned in a bit late). I thought that the oral testimonies of Shin, Moore, and Watson were very effective.  Both Shin and Watson highlighted ocean issues, mainly overfishing and coastal habitats, which are of substantial concern.  I don’t always agree with Moore’s statements about climate change, but with regards to biodiversity this topic is squarely in his domain of expertise.  Morano’s oral statements were a bit over the top and confrontational, and the Committee Chair is being rather hostile towards Morano.

The Ranking Member (Republican) is seeking common ground, and it appears that the ocean related issues of the Report are having an impact.

Watson agrees that monoculture biofuel production is not good for biodiversity.  Watson clearly coupled the biodiversity and climate change issues, stressing the importance of dealing with both together (makes sense especially if this causes reconsideration of biofuels and wind power)

In the questioning, Moore is challenging whether CO2 influences climate, CO2 is overall beneficial.

Interesting comment by one of the Members:  We are no longer seeing climate denial from the Republicans in Congress, but rather we are seeing climate avoidance, in terms of doing anything meaningful about it.

Morano was asked a question about ‘97% of scientists agree.’  Morano nailed it.  Moore effectively chimed in on this issue also.

Hard hitting remarks from one of the members about the fact that full Report has not yet been published, only the Executive Summary.

Moore is effectively communicating the ‘global greening’ seen by satellite.

Member Bishop raises concern about scientific integrity, in context of the Report not being released.

The Chairman in his 5 minutes is attacking Morano and the Republicans for inviting him.  Also criticizing ‘junior varsity think tanks.’

Watson admits CO2 contributes to greening.  He then hypes extreme weather, including drying as problems associated with CO2.  He started talking about economics and policy, and the Chair pulled him back to the science.

Shin brought that particular conversation back to ocean acidification.

The Chair criticized Republicans for inviting a political person (Morano) to testify.  But then Watson clearly wanted to talk about these issues also.

Moore hits hard on the ‘extrapolation’ issue, and the large number of the estimated 8 million species that haven’t been identified.

Moore raises the valid point about differences between biodiversity (species number) and species mass.  He understands that ocean biomass is decreasing, but is unaware of any actual species loss.

The Chair is now going after Moore.  Entering into the Congressional Record a statement from Greenpeace about Patrick Moore.

Watson can’t let go of the CO2/climate change issue regarding biodiversity.

Hearing is over.

189 responses to “Hearing on the Biodiversity Report

    • Yes this is an interesting discussion. Thanks to Judith for her presentation and her commentary. I agree that Morano is worthy of serious consideration, and I deplore those who avoid reasoned factual discussion in favor of ad hominem disparagement. If you disagree with something someone says, address the statement, not the person. If you don’t like the message, it doesn’t avail to kill the messenger. Thus funding, political partisanship, sexual orientation, or ethnicity have no necessary bearing on factual accuracy. The Cardinal was right on the tides and Galileo was wrong.

  1. Both Moore and Morano might be very knowledgeable about the subject matter but why do the Republicans give the Democrats easy targets who can be easily dismissed by the Democratic base as deniers.The non thinkers just write them off regardless of the validity of their points. The witnesses should have been unknown academics who have some intellectual heft and skills to communicate their ideas. At least the warmist activists would have had to do some work digging up irrelevant dirt on the witnesses in trying to discredit them.

    This hearing is as much about optics as it is about bringing up policy and scientific issues. Give the Republicans an F for witness selection. I’m not surprised at all that Morano was confrontational and the Democrats reacted as they did. Now, regardless of what he said, that will take a subordinate role in the debate to his persona.

    A couple of years ago I saw William Happer do a televised interview where he faced relatively gentle questions. He instantly became belligerent, a no no if you want to persuade the audience. Later, I watched him testify in front of Congress. Based on the interview I knew what was coming. Predictably he didn’t do well. Sometimes a superb resume isn’t the most important thing for a witness in front of a legislative committee.

    Republicans need to polish their act and be more astute in selecting witnesses who are pushing their points of view.

    • I disagree completely. The IPBES is a political stunt that needs to be called out as such, which is just what M&M did, and well. I can hardly wait for the report.

      Curious about the Happer interview. By coincidence I just launched a pilot for my Climate Change Debate Education project. It features collections of videos by prominent skeptics, including Happer.
      See http://ccdedu.blogspot.com/2019/05/videos-by-william-happer.html

      If you point out that video I would love to see it. Happer is one of the calmest, gentlest people I know, so it might be fun to see him get mad.

      • It was on CNBC live. Maybe he had a bad day. I didn’t think the interviewer was rough even though he is a lefty reporter for NYT. Actually not a bad guy.

    • Let me elaborate on M&M. The warmists have succeeded in pigeonholing all skeptics as scientific illiterate, Neanderthals who know nothing about the issue and are all on the payroll of Big Oil. Anyone who has studied AGW knows that is an absurd characterization but it is a view that most of their followers hold. I’m not questioning the capabilities of M&M. It’s just that they are prominent skeptics who in the Democrats view can be blown away with a simple “denier” label.
      For the Democratic Base, that is all they need to dismiss M & M. No critical thinking required. If critical thinking was a forte of the Democratic Base they wouldn’t be such believers in CAGW. Let the Base do a little mental work before they outright reject the testimony. Let the science do the heavy lifting.

    • Moore actually said that there was no proof that greenhouse gases caused warming. He is a fool lost at sea but still fighting battles – including this one – that have been lost. And it seems that some conservatives would rather go down with a sinking ship than guide public sympathy for environmental conservation.

      • Jim Steele

        Robert what proof? what evidence? do you have that CO2 has caused a single extinction???

        There is however ample proof that since the end of the little Ice Age in concert with rising CO2 and rising temperatures that plant growth increased, growing season expanded and marine productivity increased.

      • No one serious claims that modest warming thus far has had significant ecological impacts.

        But then no one serious oversimplifies the complex dynamical Earth system.

    • Kid, ceding any validity at all to ad hom arguments is a logical error and a moral failure. Simply point out the statements of fact, cite the evidence, and demand refutation. Galileo did not have academic credentials at first, only after his worth was recognized.

  2. Amazing! A heavyweight Congressional hearing on a report that has not been released.

    The U.S. government has debased itself by following the UN political tactic of politicians writing the summaries, then having the Lead Authors modify their summaries to please their masters.

    Anyway, thanks for the reporting Dr. Curry.

  3. Not only is Judith Curry one of our top climate scientists, she’s a top-notch reporter to boot. And Marc Marano’s report to the committee is mind-boggling.

  4. In the comment section on the Facebook page covering the hearing the heading begins with: “A IPBES report found that 1 million species are threatened with extinction”

    No – they didn’t ‘find;’ they are predicting. You can’t ‘find’ something which hasn’t occurred (or will not occur) yet.

  5. Curious George

    With this House, the hearing is a waste of time. Results have been predetermined.

  6. I would hope that they discuss the danger posed by wind turbines on endangered raptors and bats. I’d also hope that they consider the small environmental footprint of nuclear power.

  7. Biodiversity is a very serious issue. Particularly the loss of genetic variability with the reduction of a species individuals might not be recovered in tens to hundreds of thousands of years and puts the species at risk for that time by decreasing its capacity to adapt and face emerging diseases even if the number of individuals increases again. The cheetah came to the brink of extinction right at the end of the Pleistocene, 11,000-12,500 years ago, and only a few individuals might have survived, leading to a genetic bottleneck, and although the species recovered to many thousands of individuals genetic variability did not recover in over ten millennia, and cheetahs are like identical twins. The lack of genetic variability leads to low sperm count, decreased sperm motility, deformed flagella, difficulty in captive breeding and susceptibility to disease.
    https://phys.org/news/2015-12-genetics-african-cheetah.html

    The current loss of biodiversity is linked to a single factor, the increase in human numbers from millions to billions and our capacity to modify the environment. We seem to be unable to take political action to limit human growth (with the Chinese experiment now ended). The only effective policy to limit or reduce the loss of biodiversity is to set or return as much land (and ocean) as possible as natural reserves and control our waste products. Rich countries do this much more effectively than poor countries. It would be good to see the UN and world governments concentrating on aggressively expanding natural areas and combating pollution and waste production. Alas, there is no economic interest in doing this. It is easier to blame climate change and pursue policies that will make some people very rich.

    Most of the animal species that have gone extinct over the last two centuries have been species that can’t run away from humans. Island species facing human expansion and invasive species associated to humans, and freshwater species where human pressure for water use and pollution destroy the habitat.

    The expansion of the human species and our domestic species is at the expense of other species. It cannot be otherwise. It is not a mass extinction, but it could lead to one if unchecked. We should leave half of the planet (land and ocean) to nature and live out of the other half. Technology and knowledge makes that possible, as agricultural yields have increased many folds and we can now farm the ocean.

    • Why would you wish to limit the population of the most advanced life form on the planet?

      • I didn’t say limit the population, I said limit the extent. And the goal is to maintain natural biodiversity and ecosystems even at half the previous level. Then we can live at as a high density as we can tolerate and as depauperate lives as we wish.

        Perhaps you should read the short story 2430 A.D. by Isaac Asimov, where only humans inhabit the planet.

      • Yes, Javier, a very good story. As are the Motie books by Pournelle and Niven. And there’s Asimov’s other story, The Greatest Asset”.
        I think the Moties prospect is the more likely. Should we live so long.

      • The Copenhagen Consensus provides a cost/benefit analysis of measures that moderate population pressure. Provided in the context of aid and philanthropy – but ultimately only economic growth will get the job done.

        https://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/research-topics

        And you can’t go past John Brunner’s ‘Club of Rome Quartet’. Stand on Zanzibar, The Jagged Orbit, The Sheep Look Up and The Shockwave Rider. Over population, conflict and armaments proliferation, ecological collapse and computer worms, virus’ and cyber attacks. In the 1960’s new wave cyberpunk style. Gripping dystopian fiction. The only thing it misses is the smile of a child and hope for the future.

  8. Isn’t it curious? Leftists want the full un-redacted Muller report released – but are not demanding that this IPBES report be made public.

  9. Here is my written testimony to the Congressional Committee:

    I am an ecologist and was the director of San Francisco State University’ Sierra Nevada Field Campus for 25 years. My professional career was dedicated to promoting wise environmental stewardship. Despite my years of research to advance biodiversity, I’m gravely concerned about the recent Summary for Policymakers by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), where it suggests that 1± million species are now threatened with extinction.

    Based on my experience, that number is greatly exaggerated. It appears this
    organization grossly overstated species threats in order to promote their stated agenda that “goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors.”

    The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is considered the gold standard for identifying threatened species. As of 2019, they estimate that there are 1,733,200 described species (not total species) of which less than 10% (just 98,512) have been evaluated to some degree. Of those evaluated species 27,159 species appear threatened with extinction to some degree. That is a reason for concern, but the IUCN estimates of species loss are a far cry from a million.

    The IPBES suggested that the total number of threatened species could be derived by calculating the proportion of yet-to-be-evaluated species, using the same proportion of evaluated species that are considered threatened. Still such speculative math would still only result in 461,621 threatened species — again quite a few less than a million.

    To reach 1± million threatened species the stated, “The proportion of insect species threatened with extinction is a key uncertainty, but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10 per cent.” They then state that insects comprise 75% of the known 8± million animal and plant species. However that results in an estimate of 6± million insect species which 6 times greater than the scientific consensus. Such misleading exaggerations suggest this group has a hidden agenda.

    A key understanding is that 75%± of all mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian
    extinctions have occurred on islands, and 86% of those extinctions were the result of introduced non-native species. Island species had not evolved the defenses needed to resist introduced rats, cats and stoats. For example, in Hawaii the introduction of mosquitos and avian malaria in the 1800s decimated Hawaii’s native birds.

    Due to invasive species, 41%± of all highly threatened species (Endangered and Critically Endangered) now live on islands. The current threats to most island species are not the result of what humans are doing wrong today, but the result of introductions a century ago. Now aware of the problem, humans are trying to fix it. Private conservation groups and public land managers are now working to eradicate invasive species, but those efforts require much more resources. If IPBES was truly concerned about protecting threatened species, they could simply fund these eradication efforts. There is no need for “transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors.”

    Furthermore the IUCN’s criteria for designating threatened species (the total of Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable species) allows for much subjectivity. That subjectivity allows for overstating a species condition which would inflate the threat. For example to classify a species as “Threatened,” all one needs is “an observed, estimated, inferred or suspected population size reduction” The magnitude of the reductions determines if a species is Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered.
    That criteria is accurate for well-studied species for which quantitative studies have been carried out. However many ICUN evaluations “have no quantitative data available on densities or abundance” from which to determine the threatened status. The population reduction is then just inferred or suspected.

    An example of the problem with speculations is the Adelie Penguin. It was classified as a species of Least Concern in 2009, with a population of about 4± million individuals throughout Antarctica. They were up-listed to Near Threatened based on a 2010 climate modeling study that speculated global warming would reduce the sea ice they needed to rest on during the winter. However, after more intensive studies, researchers realized Adelie populations were actually increasing, and had now doubled to 8± million
    individuals. Due to good quantitative studies, the IUCN reclassified Adelies as Least Concern again.

    Speculation that a million species are threatened with extinction does not fully account for the conservation efforts that are improving species once they have been identified as Endangered. For example our current hunting regulations have allowed many whale species to return from the brink of extinction. Humpback and Bowhead whales were listed as Endangered in the 1980s. They have now recovered and are listed as species of Least Concern. Quantitative studies allowed for wise hunting quotas that quickly
    reduced the threat to many species. Again, there is no need for a “transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors.”

    Loss of habitat is a key factor that can result in species becoming endangered — and sometimes it is political decisions that can lead to these species threats. For example, government attempts to promote biofuels based on speculations about climate change have disrupted ecosystems and threatened more species. The European Union subsidized Palm Oil for years, resulting in the loss of tropical forest and threatening species like the Orangutans. Realizing their mistake, those subsidies will be withdrawn.
    Another example is that subsidies for sugar cane as a biofuel has prevented restoration of tropical forests in Brazil, and corn subsidies in the USA have encouraged corn plantation in the northern Great Plains disrupting prairie ecosystems and reducing aquifers.

    Yet another situation is that subsidies for industrial wind energy have resulted in increased bird and bat mortalities, in addition to the well-documented eco-system disruption. These representative example should make clear that “transformative economic and political changes” can cause more problems than they solve.

    I urge Congress to carefully peruse the IPBES claims. Their assertion of a million threatened species does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Their gross exaggerations appear to be a political gambit to control “transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors,” while offering very little to improve current efforts to protect biodiversity.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Steele

    Jim Steele was director of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus from 1984 to 2010. He was principal Investigator of the U. S. Forest Service Neotropical Migratory Bird monitoring in Riparian Habitats on the Tahoe National Forest, performed two USGS Breeding Bird Surveys in the area, and initiated the successful Carman Valley Watershed Restoration project.

    • A very good testimony, Jim. I am sure you are as concerned as me about the loss of habitat and biodiversity, particularly in developing countries, but there is no need to exaggerate and pursue agendas that are not only not related to the problem but can actually be more damaging than helpful.

    • Thanks Jim for injecting a strong note of reality.

      The Bio-Diversity Dogma is the Evil Twin (both are evil) of the CAGW Dogma.
      The radical environmentalists fundamentally view humans as an invasive species despoiling what otherwise would be utopian nature.I’m glad E.O. Wilson got a slight mention in the hearing, however not nearly what was deserved given his malign influence.

      E.O Wilson Quotes

      If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.
      We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity. E. O. Wilson
      Possibly here in the Holocene, or just before 10 or 20 thousand years ago, life hit a peak of diversity. Then we appeared. We are the great meteorite.”
      ― Edward O. Wilson
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/07/fabricated-climate-crises-scary-camp-fire-stories/#comment-2649097

      By temperament, Wilson is a deeply religious man. This goes back to his Baptist childhood in the American South. He describes his discovery of evolutionary biology as a conversion experience. His faith did not fall away: it changed horses.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/07/fabricated-climate-crises-scary-camp-fire-stories/#comment-2649135

      Science and religion are the two most powerful forces in the world. Having them at odds… is not productive.
      E.O. Wilson

      Are intellectuals allowing dogma in science but not in religion?
      Today, likewise, we see that evolutionism has its priests and devotees. Entomologist and sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University tells us that the “evolutionary epic is mythology,” depending on laws that are “believed but can never be definitively proved,” taking us “backward through time to the beginning of the universe.” Wilson knows that any good religion must have its moral dimension, and so he urges us to promote biodiversity, to amend our original sin of despoiling the earth. There is an apocalyptic ring to Wilson’s writings, and in true dispensationalist style, he warns that there is but a short time before all collapses into an ecological Armageddon. Repent! The time is near!

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      Wading birds in the Everglades built more nests in 2018 than any other year in the last 80, a record-breaking nesting event made possible by the right balance of wet and dry conditions in the delicate ecosystem. And after heading north to nest in recent years, the birds returned to the southern Everglades, their traditional nesting grounds.
      https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article230446334.html?fbclid=IwAR0iVijKesRi6tz8CmSzmet8qpCb-X_0XinljeYygBGzu2tN4gudQrBOy50

    • But Jim: you didn’t cite any science.

  10. On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing to investigate whether oil and gas drilling causes water pollution. It’s a very important topic. If drilling pollutes our drinking water, new restrictions would obviously be needed to safeguard public health.
    Fortunately the example of Texas shows well current industry practices and regulations are ensuring pure water along side of oil extractions operations. Here is a report by John Tintera
    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/fracking-update-texas-leads-us-in-pure-energy-pure-water/

  11. As a relatively young environmental scientist – it was apparent that only rich economies can afford environments. The data compiled by the World Wildlife Fund seems to confirm that we in the west are at least holding the line on the abundance of key populations. Holding the line is far from sufficient but it is a start.

    The transformation required is economic. The global economy is worth about $100 trillion a year. To put aid and philanthropy into perspective – the total is 0.025% of the global economy. If spent on Copenhagen Consensus smart development goals such expenditure can generate a benefit to cost ratio of more than 15. If spent on the UN Sustainable Development Goals you may as well piss it up against a wall. Either way – it is nowhere near the major path to universal prosperity. Some 3.5 billion people make less than $2 a day. Changing that can only be done by doubling and tripling global production – and doing it as quickly as possible. Optimal economic growth is essential and that requires an understanding and implementation of explicit principles for effective economic governance of free markets.

    The human future is cyberpunk – endless innovation on information technology and cybernetics will accelerate and continue to push the limits of what it is to be human and to challenge the adaptability of social structures. New movements, fads, music, designer drugs, cat videos and dance moves will sweep the planet like Mexican waves in the zeitgeist. Materials will be stronger and lighter. Life will be cluttered with holographic TV’s, waterless washing machines, ultrasonic blenders, quantum computers, hover cars and artificially intelligent phones. Annoying phones that cry when you don’t charge them – taking on that role from cars that beep when you don’t put a seat belt on. Space capable flying cars will have seat belts that lock and tension without any intervention of your part. All this will use vastly more energy and materials this century as populations grow and wealth increases.

    Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth. Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, reducing polluting greenhouse gases, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon and reduce health and environmental impacts, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions. A global program of agricultural soils restoration – a 4 parts per 1000 annual increase in soil organic carbon content – incidentally sequestering atmospheric carbon – is the foundation for balancing the human ecology.

  12. With the ability to recreate and save species using DNA, biodiversity is much less of a problem than it was 40 years ago, and in about 75 years, it is hard to imagine that it will even be a problem at all as science progresses rapidly and our knowledge of DNA increases. If there was one passenger pigeon left today, we would almost certainly be able to recreate new ones, which was not the case in 1914. (I wonder whether we still have DNA from the last surviving passenger pigeons still)

    JD

    • The radicals are already dreaming of Pleistocene ReWilding

      Pleistocene Rewilding: A Controversial Idea in Conservation Biology
      Some conservationists dream of returning to an ancient past of free roaming elephants and lions in the U.S. – let’s explore the controversial and intriguing idea of Pleistocene rewilding.
      http://thatslifesci.com/2019-02-25-Rewilding-a-Controverial-Idea-AGrade/

    • If there was one passenger pigeon left today, we would almost certainly be able to recreate new ones

      You are ignoring the problem of lack of genetic variability. You cannot bring back to life a species by cloning the same individual over and over.

      • If you can use DNA to recreate a species, you can use DNA to create genetic variability. We don’t quite have the keys to the kingdom, but will have them soon.

        JD

      • Random mutation plus natural selection are required to create genetic variability, and it takes tens of thousands of years. Introducing mutations doesn’t do it because the chance of them being detrimental is >99%. We can’t recreate evolution no matter how much we know about molecular genetics.

      • Javier wrote, “You are ignoring the problem of lack of genetic variability.”

        If you create a flock of genetically identical passenger pigeons and release them into the wild, mutations and therefore genetic variability will occur. And because they are in the wild, natural selection will occur.

        It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.

      • It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.

        It happens over tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Read about the Cheetah case from my comment above. After 10,000 years from its genetic bottleneck it hasn’t recovered its variability. They have only 5% of the genetic variability they should and are extremely susceptible to diseases like the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, that could wipe them out.

        In human terms once genetic variability is lost, it is lost for good. That it is recovered in half a million years is irrelevant to us and species with low genetic variability are very susceptible to becoming extinct before they recover it. That is why it is so important to keep natural populations as high as possible.

      • Javier
        Genetic variation accumulates by mutation faster than you indicate.
        During evolution several founder events have happened where animals have tree-rafted across oceans. It sounds incredible but it’s well established. Given millions of years the very unlikely happens. That’s how African monkeys suddenly appeared in South America a hundred million years after the two continents split. Likewise in Madagascar. (Unless it was aliens.) In such cases a single pregnant female survives an ocean crossing and founds a successful new lineage leading to many new species. This shows that from zero, genetic variation can grow by mutation to healthy levels.

      • Genetic variation accumulates by mutation faster than you indicate.

        No doubt but almost all of them are either neutral or detrimental, and they have to be sieved out by selection against. We are very complicated very perfected machines. Most changes are bad.

        Given enough time the lucky few survivors of the Chicxulub impact produced the Miocene fauna, but it took millions of years, and human civilization, and perhaps human species haven’t got millions of years.

      • Javier wrote, “Read about the Cheetah case … ”

        We have a cure for that.

        Attempts to increase the viability of a species by increasing genetic diversity is called genetic rescue. For example, eight panthers from Texas were introduced to the Florida panther population, which was declining and suffering from inbreeding depression. Genetic variation was thus increased and resulted in a significant increase in population growth of the Florida Panther. Creating or maintaining high genetic diversity is an important consideration in species rescue efforts, in order to ensure the longevity of a population.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_diversity#Human_Intervention

      • We have a cure for that.

        Not for species whose genetic diversity has been lost for good, like the cheetah. We can only increase the genetic variability of a population by breeding with other populations of the same species with different genetic background. That also destroys the subspecies and its adaptations, so it comes at a price.

      • Javier wrote, “We can only increase the genetic variability of a population by breeding with other populations of the same species with different genetic background.”

        Because we know that Earth’s flora and fauna sprang fully formed and diverse in the Garden of Eden.

        Ref: Mutagen. Transposition. Chromosome Aberrations. CRISPR.

      • Because we know that Earth’s flora and fauna sprang fully formed and diverse in the Garden of Eden.

        It took over 3 billion years of evolution to create every single organism alive today on Earth.

        We can introduce mutations with chemical mutagens, transposons, and radiation. I’ve done that many times. I used to inactivate genes in fruit flies to study their function using transposons. That doesn’t add the genetic variability a species needs because it is almost impossible to introduce mutations that will result in an organism equally or better adapted to the environment as nearly all mutations that have an effect it is negative. That’s why nature requires millions of years to create species, and that is why we are unable to do it. And, yes, I am a molecular geneticist in case you wonder, so I think I know what I am talking about.

      • Javier wrote, “it is almost impossible to introduce mutations that will result in an organism equally or better adapted to the environment as nearly all mutations that have an effect it is negative.”

        JAX and other labs making new mouse strains have long relied on a laborious multistep process that involves genetically altering mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, injecting them into an embryo, and breeding multiple generations of animals. Even JAX’s crack team took up to 2 years to engineer a mouse. CRISPR replaces all that with a molecular complex that can do targeted genetic surgery on a fertilized egg. It can produce a strain of transformed mice in 6 months. “It’s night and day,” Wiles says. “We had five or six people working with ES cells. They were close friends of mine and I said, ‘You better look for a job.’”

        Mice genetically modified to cripple or “knock out” genes or to add or “knock in” genetic information have become key research models for a wide array of human diseases, from cancer and atherosclerosis to Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s. Knockout and knockin mice also offer a powerful tool for probing the functions of specific genes.
        https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/any-idiot-can-do-it-genome-editor-crispr-could-put-mutant-mice-everyones-reach

      • Sure. We have been creating genetically modified organisms for decades. I myself have created lots of genetically modified bacteria, bacteriophages, and fruitflies. All of them viable in the laboratory, but none of them was equally or better adapted to the environment than the wild type strains, and would have been outcompeted in the wild pretty fast. That’s why the concern over genetic engineering in the 1970s that resulted in a moratorium in the US was unfounded. What we do in the lab is irrelevant to the wild type strains because nearly all mutations that we introduce are detrimental and result in less fit organisms that natural selection rejects very quickly.

        As I have said the problem is not introducing mutations. That’s the easy part. It has been done since Muller in the 1920s. The problem is producing mutations that are actually favorable to the individual in the wild and generate genetic variability that makes the species more fit. That is the work of natural selection, and natural selection cannot be done in the lab and requires thousands of generations to select and spread favorable variations.

      • Javier: “That’s the easy part. It has been done since Muller in the 1920s. The problem is producing mutations that are actually favorable to the individual in the wild and generate genetic variability that makes the species more fit. That is the work of natural selection, and natural selection cannot be done in the lab and requires thousands of generations to select and spread favorable variations.”

        As computing power, or whatever process replaces computing in the future, increases exponentially we will be sble to do billions of model runs which will mimic nature and natural selection, and in so doing recreate “extinct” species.

        JD

      • Ah, yes. The faith in science and technology replacing the old religion. I have been there. In 1976 it was believed by most that by now we should have cities in orbit and have colonized the moon.

        https://gizmodo.com/that-time-congress-considered-building-cities-in-space-1666207416

        Faith can’t be fought. Keep your faith. I am a man of facts and evidence. Not a single species has been revived except in popular movies. So yes, one day we all will have flying cars and domestic robots, cities in space, and old species brought back from extinction. Or not. Faith doesn’t move mountains, you know?

      • Javier
        One example of speciation happening on the timescale of human lifetimes is the phenomenon of “ring species”. This is where a species with variants exists in a ring-shaped geographical space. The salamander Ensatina distributed in a ring around California’s Central Valley is an often cited example. Species change is continuous around most of the ring except for one place where an effective species boundary is encountered. There is controversy whether the herring gull / black-backed gull is a ring species. However there is no doubt that there is species fluidity between these two types with the black-backed moving into North America to blend with herring gulls for instance. The two are close to but not quite at the point of separation.

        However actual stable speciation does indeed take about a million years – a lot of short term changes don’t stick:

        https://phys.org/news/2011-08-fast-evolutionary-million-years.html

      • Yes. I studied the example of Larus argentatus/Larus ridibundus at university and still remember their scientific names. Speciation is taking place all the time. But not by us. There is no single viable species that we have created in the lab.

      • Javier: “Keep your faith. I am a man of facts and evidence. Not a single species has been revived except in popular movies. ”

        In 1960, no human had been on the moon, but it happened. The fact that something hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. In 1960, you couldn’t put a computer in a pocket, now there are at least hundreds of millions of computers (cell phones) that can fit in a shirt pocket, that are way more powerful than the main frame computers of 1960.

        You lack the ability to viscerally comprehend the exponential increase in knowledge. My early 1990s 286 computer had a laughably small harddrive of 40 megabytes. My cell phone has a 16 gig memory. To use an extreme rate, but showing the illustrative effects of exponential increasing — If you double the amount of money every day and start with a penny, you will end up with $10,700,000. In 20 to 50 years, unimaginable things will happen because of the exponential increase in knowledge power, and it is quite reasonable to conclude that computing power will increase so massively that manipulating DNA to short circuit evolutionary changes and create genetic variability should be an easy task.

        JD

      • I don’t care what looks reasonable to you. The future is unknowable. Many things that looked reasonable 50 years have not happened. Practical fusion may never happen. Colonization of other planets may never happen. Resurrection of extinct species may never happen. The only thing that is sure is that the future won’t be like we imagine.

      • Javier: ” The future is unknowable. … The only thing that is sure is that the future won’t be like we imagine.”

        I agree that many, many things coming in the future are unknowable. Don’t agree that one of them is the ability to manipulate DNA and infuse species with genetic variability.

        However, if you really mean what you say, then there should be no concern about stopping the loss of species. So far, humanity has done fine as some species have become extinct. (huge numbers of people have escaped extreme poverty in the last 25 years) Taking your view to its logical conclusion, no one can know whether the loss of species will be a positive or negative in the future from the viewpoint of human beings as they may be living 25, 50 or 100 years from now.

      • Javier
        When a major mutation occurs during evolution, then the ongoing lineage leading to the new species descends from a single individual. Not only lack of variation, but even incest, are needed to establish the new mutation. With succeeding generations mutation generates new diversity. As a molecular geneticist you should know that mutation rates are high enough for this. Every chromasome in every human cell undergoes a strand break every 14 minutes. Most of the time it is repaired correctly, every now and then not. (This BTW is why the LNT hypothesis of ionizing radiation carcinogenesis is false. Biologists need to learn quantum physics. What happens at the small is different to what happens at the large.)

        You are overdoing your point about genetic bottleneck and lack of diversity. As so often, to the confounding of Ehrlich-esque doom prophets, nature finds a way and our lack of imagination is not an obstacle.

      • Phil, you have the same problem as jddhoio in what you don’t take into account that this is a two step process, the mutations have to be produced, and natural selection has to negatively select against the huge majority that are detrimental and select for the few ones that are advantageous. You both keep raising the first one, but it is the second one that requires tens of thousands to millions of years to generate the genetic diversity that can produce new species. That process cannot be done in the lab. If we reduce a species to a handful of individuals their genetic variability will not recover in tens of thousands of years, as the cheetah shows. The timescale of evolution is far longer than human timescales. The damage done to those species will not be undone in tens of thousands of years if ever, and during that time their chances of extinction are greatly increased even if we try to save them. Quite a few species and subespecies have been lost despite attempts to continue breeding the last remaining individuals. That was the case of the passenger pigeon or more recently the Pyrenean ibex. Since another subspecies is available the Pyrenean ibex was cloned, but the clone survived 7 minutes as it had a severe birth defect.

        Lets just say that we should try to keep wild populations as high as possible and give wild life its fair share of the planet. Our descendants will regret it if we don’t do it.

      • Javier
        There is no single viable species that we have created in the lab.

        Not even Spiegelman’s monster?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiegelman%27s_Monster

      • Javier: “you have the same problem as jddhoio in what you don’t take into account that this is a two step process, the mutations have to be produced, and natural selection has to negatively select against the huge majority that are detrimental and select for the few ones that are advantageous. ”

        I do take into account 2 step process. However, since species are interrelated and in 25 years computing power will probably be about one trillion times what it is now, I don’t think it will be difficult to reverse engineer both genes and mutations. It seems as though your inability to imagine the exponential growth of knowledge leads you to misconstrue my simple position. You can say my view is wrong, but you can’t say that I have ignored the issue.

        For a roughly analogous example of the power of reverse engineering of knowledge, one can look at what spy agencies can do with bits and pieces of knowledge to link them up and make accurate conclusions about the activities of people even though they might not have anything so basic as a name. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/04/23/the-obama-use-of-fisa-702-as-a-domestic-political-surveillance-program/

        JD

    • “With the ability to recreate and save species using DNA….”

      This is far, far from proven.

  13. Markets exist – ideally – in a democratic context. Politics provides a legislative framework for consumer protection, worker and public safety, environmental conservation and a host of other things. Including for regulation of markets – banking capital requirements, anti-monopoly laws, prohibition of insider trading, laws on corporate transparency and probity, tax laws, etc. A key to stable markets – and therefore growth – is fair and transparent regulation, minimal corruption and effective democratic oversight. Markets do best where government is large enough to be an important player and small enough not to squeeze the vitality out of capitalism – government revenue of some 25% of gross domestic product. Markets can’t exist without laws – just as civil society can’t exist without police, courts and armies. In a rich and resilient world all problems can be solved.

    The alternate world view involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of internal contradictions – leading to less growth, less material consumption, less CO2 emissions, less habitat destruction and a last late chance to stay within the safe limits of global ecosystems. And this is just in the ‘scholarly’ journals.


    https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/planetary-boundaries/planetary-boundaries/about-the-research/the-nine-planetary-boundaries.html

    In the real world – problems are analysed – solutions devised – information shared. Phosphorus and nitrogen?


    Some 50% on average of the populations of 10,000 odd charismatic species have been lost – hence the loss of genetic diversity – in the past 50 years. The remedy for this is reclaiming deserts and conserving and restoring soils, grasslands, woodlands, forests and wetlands.

    • “The remedy for this is reclaiming deserts and conserving and restoring soils, grasslands, woodlands, forests and wetlands.”

      I agree. That’s why it’s necessary to set aside some portion of the planet for wilderness alone, into which no human may transgress.

      1/4th of both ocean and land. 1/3rd is better. 1/2 would be ideal.

      • aporiac1960

        “That’s why it’s necessary to set aside some portion of the planet for wilderness alone, into which no human may transgress.”

        I sincerely hope that’s not necessary because it’s never going to happen. Do you have any other fantastical solutions you’d like to share?

        …Sorry, on reflection, I’ve realised I was mistaken about the practicality of your plan because I’d overlooked the key factor that would make it workable: patrols of flying pigs enforcing these exclusion zones. Please excuse me, but when faced with the ideas of a visionary, it is hard to elevate oneself to the same imaginative level.

    • “Markets exist – ideally – in a democratic context.”

      The same principles that deliver success in well functioning markets can be applied to the marketplace of ideas – free and open exchange in the closest we can get to an intellectually permissive environment + skin in the game. For the latter, Taleb is the reference (the best people to decide anything are the people who have practical reasons to give a damn). For the former, Philip E. Tetlock has the most useful insights (the statistical superiority of the judgement of dumb-asses compared to expert hedgehogs).

      • Hayek’s antipathy to central planning can be contrasted with Elinor Ostrom’s ‘skin in the game’ polycentric governance of commons.

        But in climate policy we can distinguish a foxes decision making under uncertainty from a hedgehog’s impossible certainty in one big idea. There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places – but these need to be implemented in a broad context of economics and democracy, population, development, technical innovation, land use and the environment.

        Electricity is just 25% of the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. A multi-gas and aerosol strategy is required – carbon dioxide. CFC’s, nitrous oxides, methane, black carbon and sulfate. Ongoing decreases in carbon intensity and increases in efficiency and productivity. And technical innovation across sectors – energy, transport, industry, residential and agriculture and forestry. The foundation is economic growth.

      • aporiac1960

        “technical innovation across sectors – energy, transport, industry, residential and agriculture and forestry. The foundation is economic growth.”

        I think this all arises organically, albeit (/necessarily) messily.

        “There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places”

        I agree, but I share Kierkegaard’s fear that modernity will be charactered by the replacement of human beings by the parody of human beings.

        Defeat requires an act of complicity. I predict an invasion of body snatchers without the invasion. I worry far less about the threat posed by the anthropogenic than the misanthropic.

      • A better word might be inevitable. But there is nothing inevitable about optimum economic growth, social development or environmental restoration.

      • aporiac1960

        Robert, this recent observational study may be of interest to you (assuming it hasn’t already crossed your radar): –

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-019-0220-7

      • The Loess Plateau and the great green wall.

  14. Pingback: Hearing on the UN biodiversity report | Watts Up With That?

  15. We could say that climate science has been intentionally misleading, a distraction from real-world concerns, a hoax, a scare tactic, a stalking horse (concealing academia’s role in the fall of Western civilization) but one thing we do know for sure by now– ‘polar bears’ have been a, ‘red herring.’

  16. Ireneusz Palmowski

    I am very sorry, but the circulation over North America points to heavy downpours in the central US.
    Surely you can not talk about drought in the US.
    http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/mtpw2/product.php?color_type=tpw_nrl_colors&prod=namer&timespan=24hrs&anim=html5

  17. Curious George

    We are stuck with Dr. Watson. No Sherlock Holmes in the UN.

  18. “This is not a new phenomenon. The so-called Sixth Great Extinction has been predicted for decades. It has not come to pass, similar to virtually every doomsday prediction made in human history.” ~Patrick Moore

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      It seems to me that many wild animals will return to the Mississippi valley this year.

      • We could say that climate science has been a big distraction from real-world concerns, intentionally misleading, a hoax, scare tactic, stalking horse concealing academia’s role in the fall of Western civilization and that the demise of the polar bears has been a big red herring.

  19. I had a recent conversation with an energy industry analyst who is well versed concerning the long term competition among nuclear, coal, natural gas, wind, and solar for control of America’s power generation market.

    In looking at what the major industry players are now thinking, he noted that the oil and gas industry expects that by 2050, gas-fired generation will hold 80% of America’s power generation market, wind and solar 20%. These figures are stated in terms of kilowatt hours actually produced, as opposed to nameplate capacity.

    In making its strategic planning decisions, the oil and gas industry also expects that by 2050, coal-fired generation will be entirely gone from America’s power generation mix, and nuclear will be mostly gone.

    Oil and gas industry planners understand it is impossible to go much beyond 30% penetration by the renewables without experiencing sharp increases in the price of electricity. As penetration levels begin to go beyond 30%, price increases begin to go exponential.

    These planners also know that as things stand today, gas-fired generation offers the most cost effective means for load following of wind and solar’s highly variable power output.

    At the prices people are willing to pay for electricity, buffered energy storage schemes such as utility-scale batteries and pumped hydro will never be practical at the scales required to properly support the renewables.

    Summarizing this analyst’s opinions, his assessment is that the oil and gas industry now has good reasons for believing it will control America’s production and consumption of energy many decades into the future.

    My general counterpoint to his opinion was my own long-held belief that although Peak Oil has probably been delayed by at least three decades, possibly more, it will certainly arrive within the next fifty years.

    His response was that at current rates of consumption, the world has enough oil and gas to last roughly another three-hundred years at a price most people will be willing to pay for the convenience of having it.

    If this is the case, if the world does indeed have another three-hundred years of oil and gas at today’s rates of consumption and at prices people will be willing to pay for it, then placing strict controls on the production and consumption of all fossil fuels is our only reliable means for achieving quick reductions in our GHG emissions.

    In other words, if it happens at all, it only happens through government imposed, strictly enforced fossil fuel rationing.

    • Consumption of energy will increase by at least 350% by the end of the century. Well before then access to fossil fuel becomes increasingly difficult and expensive.

      The Japan imported natural gas price for April 2019 is US$11.29/MMBtu.

      • Beta Blocker

        Robert, please see my response below. It is posted twice because of a misplaced font code in the first version.

    • at current rates of consumption, the world has enough oil … to last roughly another three-hundred years

      That’s absurd. We are reaching Peak Oil. The giant fields are very old and quite depleted, the rate of oil discovery is in a 50-year low, and we have had to resort to break rocks with pressure to get enough oil. We will be lucky if we have 10 years left before Peak Oil and I wouldn’t be surprised if we are reaching Peak Oil right now.

      • Beta Blocker

        Javier, please see my response below. It is posted twice because of a misplaced font code in the first version.

    • Robert and Javier, let’s examine a paragraph from my original comment and see how it fits into the topic of how climate change adversely affects biodiversity versus mankind’s more general impacts on the natural environment — cities, farmlands, paved roads, industrial pollution, deforestation, habitat loss, etc.

      Beta Blocker: “If this is the case, if the world does indeed have another three-hundred years of oil and gas at today’s rates of consumption and at prices people will be willing to pay for it, then placing strict controls on the production and consumption of all fossil fuels is our only reliable means for achieving quick reductions in our GHG emissions.”

      The energy analyst’s three hundred year figure isn’t the product of a nominally rigorous, highly detailed, formalized analysis on his part. Rather, the figure represents his informed opinion based upon looking at a number of different papers and articles concerning the future economics of oil and gas production.

      As it concerns Peak Oil, in examining all of these papers and articles, the analyst has built a partially subjective picture of the topic in his own mind and has then developed an informed opinion which reflects how that overall picture looks to him.

      I am highly skeptical myself of the analyst’s three hundred year figure, even if it assumes no increase in the world’s fossil fuel consumption. Fifty years at the very outside seems to me to be a more defensible opinion, as such opinions go concerning when Peak Oil happens.

      Nevertheless, my own picture of the situation concerning how quick reductions in our GHG emissions might be accomplished tells me that placing strict controls on the production and consumption of all fossil fuels is our only reliable means for achieving the quick reductions in GHG emissions climate activists now say are necessary.

      Is a partially subjective opinion more reliable as a policy guide than is a highly detailed technical analysis which purports to supply a solid basis for policy decision making? Or should an informed opinion carry just as much informational value if we are making public policy?

      Several years ago, I traveled to Irvine, California to get a second medical opinion from a physician who is a top expert in his medical field. There was a large building construction site next to the hotel I was staying in. The evening before the appointment, I happened to see a coyote chasing a rabbit across the construction area.

      The next day at the appointment, I mentioned this to the physician and asked if he thought that a coyote chasing a rabbit in the middle of downtown Irvine was a sign that Southern California’s pre-civilization wildlife might be making a comeback. He said this, “I’ll believe Southern California’s wildlife is making a comeback when I see a sabre tooth tiger chasing a mastodon.”

    • Here’s the same comment but without the misplaced italics.
      ————————————————————-

      Robert and Javier, let’s examine a paragraph from my original comment and see how it fits into the topic of how climate change adversely affects biodiversity versus mankind’s more general impacts on the natural environment — cities, farmlands, paved roads, industrial pollution, deforestation, habitat loss, etc.

      Beta Blocker: “If this is the case, if the world does indeed have another three-hundred years of oil and gas at today’s rates of consumption and at prices people will be willing to pay for it, then placing strict controls on the production and consumption of all fossil fuels is our only reliable means for achieving quick reductions in our GHG emissions.”

      The energy analyst’s three hundred year figure isn’t the product of a nominally rigorous, highly detailed, formalized analysis on his part. Rather, the figure represents his informed opinion based upon looking at a number of different papers and articles concerning the future economics of oil and gas production.

      As it concerns Peak Oil, in examining all of these papers and articles, the analyst has built a partially subjective picture of the topic in his own mind and has then developed an informed opinion which reflects how that overall picture looks to him.

      I am highly skeptical myself of the analyst’s three hundred year figure, even if it assumes no increase in the world’s fossil fuel consumption. Fifty years at the very outside seems to me to be a more defensible opinion, as such opinions go concerning when Peak Oil happens.

      Nevertheless, my own picture of the situation concerning how quick reductions in our GHG emissions might be accomplished tells me that placing strict controls on the production and consumption of all fossil fuels is our only reliable means for achieving the quick reductions in GHG emissions climate activists now say are necessary.

      Is a partially subjective opinion more reliable as a policy guide than is a highly detailed technical analysis which purports to supply a solid basis for policy decision making? Or should an informed opinion carry just as much informational value if we are making public policy?

      Several years ago, I traveled to Irvine, California to get a second medical opinion from a physician who is a top expert in his medical field. There was a large building construction site next to the hotel I was staying in. The evening before the appointment, I happened to see a coyote chasing a rabbit across the construction area.

      The next day at the appointment, I mentioned this to the physician and asked if he thought that a coyote chasing a rabbit in the middle of downtown Irvine was a sign that Southern California’s pre-civilization wildlife might be making a comeback. He said this, “I’ll believe Southern California’s wildlife is making a comeback when I see a sabre tooth tiger chasing a mastodon.”

      • Oil is a too important resource as the many oil wars attest. You will never read the truth of the oil situation ever. But the number of net oil exporting countries keeps decreasing, anticipating that the end Peak Oil is night. What will happen then is anybody’s guess, but things will not be the same, that’s for sure.

  20. “To disentangle the effects of increased effort invested in assessing species, and to focus only on genuine status changes (i.e., species that have genuinely improved or deteriorated in status), IUCN developed the Red List Index (RLI). The RLI provides a clearer view of real trends within different taxonomic groups, and for biodiversity as a whole.”


    “The IUCN Red List Index (RLI) of species survival for mammals, birds, amphibians, reef-forming corals and cycads. Coral species are moving towards increased extinction risk most rapidly, while amphibians are, on average, the most threatened group. An RLI value of 1.0 equates to all species qualifying as Least Concern (i.e., not expected to become Extinct in the near future). An RLI value of 0 equates to all species having gone Extinct. A constant RLI value over time indicates that the overall extinction risk for the group is constant. If the rate of biodiversity loss were reducing, the RLI would show an upward trend. The blue line indicates the overall RLI for all the taxa combined. Confidence intervals (shown in grey) are calculated to take into account the number of Data Deficient species in each group and the uncertainty over exactly when changes in status occurred, given that assessments are repeated only at multi-year intervals, and therefore the precise value for any particular year is uncertain.” https://www.iucnredlist.org/assessment/red-list-index

    Of the 100,000 odd species evaluated by the IUCN – there is clearly a decline in the conservation status of the 5 major taxonomic groups evaluated. The current reality is ongoing global ecosystem decline for many reasons. Perhaps rather than quibbling while Rome burns it may be wiser to consider what can be done within a classic liberal value system.

    “The Report presents an illustrative list of possible actions and pathways for achieving them across locations, systems and scales, which will be most likely to support sustainability. Taking an integrated approach:

    In agriculture, the Report emphasizes, among others: promoting good agricultural and agroecological practices; multifunctional landscape planning (which simultaneously provides food security, livelihood opportunities, maintenance of species and ecological functions) and cross-sectoral integrated management. It also points to the importance of deeper engagement of all actors throughout the food system (including producers, the public sector, civil society and consumers) and more integrated landscape and watershed management; conservation of the diversity of genes, varieties, cultivars, breeds, landraces and species; as well as approaches that empower consumers and producers through market transparency, improved distribution and localization (that revitalizes local economies), reformed supply chains and reduced food waste.

    In marine systems, the Report highlights, among others: ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management; spatial planning; effective quotas; marine protected areas; protecting and managing key marine biodiversity areas; reducing run- off pollution into oceans and working closely with producers and consumers.

    In freshwater systems, policy options and actions include, among others: more inclusive water governance for collaborative water management and greater equity; better integration of water resource management and landscape planning across scales; promoting practices to reduce soil erosion, sedimentation and pollution run-off; increasing water storage; promoting investment in water projects with clear sustainability criteria; as well as addressing the fragmentation of many freshwater policies.

    In urban areas, the Report highlights, among others: promotion of nature-based solutions; increasing access to urban services and a healthy urban environment for low-income communities; improving access to green spaces; sustainable production and consumption and ecological connectivity within urban spaces, particularly with native species.”

    Including on the best ways people have found to manage global commons.

    • Which of her principles apply to a context where massive energy companies have politicians under their thumbs:

      Principles for Managing a Commons

      1. Define clear group boundaries.

      2. Match rules governing use of common goods to local needs and conditions.

      3. Ensure that those affected by the rules can participate in modifying the rules.

      4. Make sure the rule-making rights of community members are respected by outside authorities.

      5. Develop a system, carried out by community members, for monitoring members’ behavior.

      6. Use graduated sanctions for rule violators.

      7. Provide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolution.

      8. Build responsibility for governing the common resource in nested tiers from the lowest level up to the entire interconnected system.

      • 9. A myopic vision involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of internal contradictions – leading to less growth, less material consumption, less CO2 emissions, less habitat destruction and a last late chance to stay within the safe limits of global ecosystems. And this is just in the ‘scholarly’ journals.

        Iriai is a Japanese word meaning to enter into the joint use of resources. There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places – but these need to be consciously designed in a broad context of economics and democracy, population, development, technical innovation, land use and the environment. There is a stark choice in which narratives of catastrophe and economic, environmental and social collapse have no place. Which future is for you and your children? Economic collapse, civil strife, war – or prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes?

        “To build a better world, we must have the courage to make a new start. We must clear away the obstacles with which human folly has recently encumbered our path and release the creative energy of individuals. We must create conditions favourable to progress rather than “planning progress.”… The guiding principle in any attempt to create a world of free men must be this: a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy.”
        —Friedrich A. Hayek

        Elinor Ostrom’s ‘principles’ apply to the scale between business and government at which landscape processes and common resources are best managed. But then Joshua is a child of modern folly and can’t imagine that people can solve problems without government telling them what to do. .

      • But then Joshua is a child of modern folly and can’t imagine that people can solve problems without government telling them what to do.

        So good of you, Chief, to explain what I can and can’t imagine. Your mind – reading skills are unparalleled.

        Meanwhile, outside of your fantasies about me, what I actually “imagine” is a process of stakeholder dialog and participatory democracy, as I have said in these threads on many occasions. Rather like:

        The effective management of a natural resource often requires ‘polycentric’ systems of governance where various entities have some role in the process. Government may play a role in some circumstances, perhaps by providing information to resource users or by assisting enforcement processes through court systems.

        https://iea.org.uk/publications/research/the-future-of-the-commons-beyond-market-failure-and-government-regulation

        Although, admittedly, in the face of the widespread market failure, such as the failure to reasonably price externalities (true “costs”) into the price of energy, I do see a role for government regulation through democratic systems of governance.

        Contrary to the fantasies of Shangri-La pursuing free-market fetishists, comparing democracies that regulate to countries where there is effectively little or no regulation, we can see that contrary to a “road to serfdom” we have in those countries a combination of greater freedom and a healthier natural environment.

      • Then it seems it is impossible to imagine what Joshua imagines. It seems to involve the lack of imposition by government of a tax to redress imaginary externalities that is the result of business corrupting government.

        And this presumably has some link to the loss of genetic diversity – a broader consideration than biodiversity – and how that might be halted.

        What is the reality he refuses to contemplate?


        https://www.heritage.org/index/book/chapter-4

        Markets exist – ideally – in a democratic context. Politics provides a legislative framework for consumer protection, worker and public safety, environmental conservation and a host of other things. Including for regulation of markets – banking capital requirements, anti-monopoly laws, prohibition of insider trading, laws on corporate transparency and probity, tax laws, etc. A key to stable markets – and therefore growth – is fair and transparent regulation, minimal corruption and effective democratic oversight.

        Markets do best where government is large enough to be an important player and small enough not to squeeze the vitality out of capitalism – government revenue of some 25% of gross domestic product with balanced budgets and an inflation target of 2-3% maintained on the overnight cash market.

        Markets can’t exist without laws – just as civil society can’t exist without police, courts and armies. Much is made of a laissez faire concept of capitalism – but this has never ever been a model of practical economics. It is not remotely Hayek’s mainstream economics or classic liberal social theory.

      • Since Judith moderates my comments, hopefully she’ll pass through the edited version:

        Chief –

        How does the Heritage Foundation measure economic freedom? Have you even considered the source for your analysis, or do you simply accept the view of Heeitage’s analysis at face value because it confirms your biased?

        Does it consider anything other than the time, costs, and steps it take to get electricity, open a business, close a business, or start a construction project, etc. ?

        Does it include government regulation of the environment, safety, etc?

        Consider Scandinavian countries. How do they rank on Heritage’s scale of economic freedom? How much to they regulate the environment?

        Do I take it your favor socialist forms of government?

        Or perhaps you prefer countries without the inconvenience of regulation and taxes. I hope you enjoy your retirement in Somalia!

        Here’s a homework assignment for you:

        https://academic.oup.com/economicpolicy/article/33/93/5/4833996?guestAccessKey=30b0a3f7-9dff-4bd9-95e9-e3ffad1691b5

      • What look to be a political scientist, an environmental engineer, a couple of economists and someone who imagines that googling for 10 minutes is a substitute for knowledge – and who can’t get past his political stereotyping.

        As an environmental scientist with decades of work writing, enforcing and complying with environmental regulation – my concern is not the cost but the failures of existing command and control systems and in finding better and more cost effective ways of improving environmental outcomes.

        The Australian Productivity Commission reported on regulatory regimes in respect of vegetation but the findings apply equally well to other environmental legislation. The Commission found that there are “several key underlying factors limiting their efficiency and effectiveness in promoting the delivery of the community’s native vegetation and biodiversity goals on private land.

        1. Regulation of native vegetation clearing prescribes the means of achieving a range of environmental goals across different regions. However:

        (a) there are likely to be other means of achieving at least some desired environmental outcomes at less cost (for example, well-managed pastures may also reduce soil erosion). Moreover, because the costs of regulation are largely borne by landholders, the cost benefit trade-off is obscured.

        (b) environmental problems are complex, dynamic and geographically heterogeneous and will require innovative and adaptive solutions drawing on local as well as scientific knowledge. Across-the-board requirements for retention of native vegetation are rigid and preclude innovation. Indeed, retention of native vegetation in some areas perversely appears to be exacerbating some environmental problems; and

        (c) ongoing management of native vegetation is essential to ensure its health and regeneration, but regulation of clearing focuses only on preventing its deliberate removal.” In addition to point (a) above, there are likely to be ways of producing better environmental outcomes in more flexible and cooperative regimes.

        https://watertechbyrie.com/2015/05/01/changing-our-approach-to-the-environment/

    • Do you imagine I link anything without reviewing methodology. Unlike some I tend not to make it up under cover of political sloganeering.

      https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

      But this post is on genetic diversity. How about the WWF?

      And yes – I have reviewed their methodology.

      • Walks like a duck….

        Does their index of economic freedom mean lower regulation?

      • Isn’t this where Elinor Ostrom comes to the party?

        It is well known what the problems are. The causes of the declines in biodiversity are land clearing, land salinisation, land degradation, habitat fragmentation, overgrazing, exotic weeds, feral animals, rivers that have been pushed past their points of equilibrium and changed fire regimes. The individual solutions are often fairly simple and only in aggregate do they become daunting. One of the problems is that the issues are reviewed at a distance. Looking at issues from a National or State perspective is too complex. Even if problems are identified broadly, it is difficult to establish local priorities. Looking at issues from a distance means that a focus on the immediate and fundamental causes of problems is lost. There are rafts of administration, reports, computer models, guidelines and plans – not to mention regulation – but the only on ground restoration and conservation is done by volunteers and farmers. Volunteers are valiantly struggling but it is too little too late. Farmers tend to look at their own properties, understandably, and not at integrated landscape function…

        Laudable as the goals of any single piece of environmental legislation may be, the larger picture is not addressed in a manner that integrates science, society and the economy and at the same time provides for conservation and restoration of our landscapes. The legislation applies to part of the problem but leaves huge gaps where the decline of ecological systems continues unabated.
        https://watertechbyrie.com/2015/05/01/changing-our-approach-to-the-environment/

        Fire regimes for instance?

        e.g https://watertechbyrie.com/2015/05/01/changing-our-approach-to-the-environment/


        https://www.clc.org.au/articles/cat/fire-management/

        Iriai is a Japanese word meaning to enter into the joint use of resources. There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places – but these need to be consciously designed in a broad context of economics and democracy, population, development, technical innovation, land use and the environment.

  21. Turns out emitting a trace gas CO2 is a truly lousy way of killing molluscs …

    A Seychelles snail once thought to have been among the first species to go extinct because of [global warming], has reappeared in the wild.

    https://www.news24.com/Green/News/Rare-Seychelles-snail-found-alive-20140908

  22. Judith, what business does Morano have testifying about biodiversity, let alone anything about any science?

    He has no scientific expertise whatsoever.

    He’s a whore paid to promote a certain opinion, reason-be-damned.

    • David: Why is Greta Thunberg addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos and a UN Climate Conference in Katowice? Why did you write about her poorly informed opinions at your website. After working on environmental issues for more than a decade, running ClimateDepot, publishing a book, Morano certainly knows far more about the issues than a high school student neglecting her education. Why is Al Gore testifying to Congress and making a horrendously flawed movie about Global Warming with photoshopped polar bears and confusing correlation with causation in Antarctic ice cores?

      The answer to all of these questions is politics. It’s all about winning; not who is right or wrong. In the case of Morano, I suspect some Republican hardliners wanted to have a former associate of Rush Limbaugh testify to illustrate how nasty things will get if any of their peers commit the heresy of supporting a carbon tax.

      Washington DC is filled with “wh*res paid to promote a certain opinion, reason-be-damned” in front of Congress. That is nothing new. You must be worried about the potential effectiveness of this particular wh*re.

  23. The closest analog to species extinction during global warming I can think of would be species extinction exiting the last ice age. Is there any work in this area?

    Terminations occur over several millennia, so some will argue that they aren’t a good model for the abrupt climate change that will occur in the 21st century. What models do we have for that? We have roughly 1 degK of warming in the last half century, beginning with mid-century temperatures that were already relatively warm compared with the previous 500 years. If we can’t attribute any extinctions to warming over the last half-century…

    The Younger Dryas and D-O events in Greenland might be a reasonable model for species extinction during abrupt climate change if those examples of climate change effected the ocean near Greenland or other places along the Atlantic Coast effected by sudden changes in the MOC.

    • The issue is very much confounded by the active participation of humans in the megafaunal extinction of the lower Pleistocene.

      But it is clear that the climatic madhouse of the Pleistocene with glaciations and interglacials every 40-80 thousand years has taken a heavy toll on many species. Too short a time to evolve before the change goes the opposite way rendering adaptations counterproductive.

      Our own species is probably a result of these changes from the expansion and retraction of the forests our ancestors inhabited.

      • Robert Clark

        The new ICE AGE began 18,000 years ago and we have putting ice at the poles because the earth is now loosing more heat every 24 hours than it keeps from the sun. The ocean will continue to go down again when enough of the ice shelf breaks off.

      • Hmm, I don’t follow you. The Late Cenozoic Ice Age started in the Oligocene, with the freezing of Antarctica about 34 Myrs ago. The world has been in an Ice Age ever since, as they are defined as periods with permanent continental ice sheets. The last glaciation took place between 125,000 and 11,700 years ago. While we are in an Ice Age, we are not in a glaciation, but an interglacial.

      • Robert Clark

        You are saying the ice in upstate New York was 5,000 ft high 11,700 years ago and began to melt and the ocean were 400 ft. lower than present. I say the ocean was near it’s present height then. I say the oceans were at 4oo ft. lower than present about 78,000 years ago.

      • What you say is inconsequential. Sea levels from the last glacial maximum to the present are known with a margin of error of a few meters.

        Lambeck, K., Rouby, H., Purcell, A., Sun, Y., & Sambridge, M. (2014). Sea level and global ice volumes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(43), 15296-15303.
        https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/111/43/15296.full.pdf

        11,700 years ago, when the Holocene started sea level was about 50 meter lower than now.

      • Javier wrote: “it is clear that the climatic madhouse of the Pleistocene with glaciations and interglacials every 40-80 thousand years has taken a heavy toll on many species. Too short a time to evolve before the change goes the opposite way rendering adaptations counterproductive.”

        Do you have any references supporting these sensible ideas?

        However, what I might deduce from your statement is that the species that have survived the last 2 million years of glacials and interglacial are those capable of adapting to climate change. As for rapid change, we forget that land species are used to a 10+ degC change between day and night, as well as similar and larger changes between summer and winter. We focus too much on the change in GMST ANOMALIES, and ignore the larger changes in absolute temperature.

        Diurnal changes in ocean temperature are unimportant, but season changes can be larger than expected AGW.

      • Do you have any references supporting these sensible ideas?

        Lots of bibliography on Pleistocene extinctions. One of the authorities is Anthony Barnosky. See for example:
        Barnosky, A.D., Koch, P.L., Feranec, R.S., Wing, S.L. and Shabel, A.B., 2004. Assessing the causes of late Pleistocene extinctions on the continents. science, 306(5693), pp.70-75.
        http://www2.hawaii.edu/~khayes/Journal_Club/spring2007/Barnosky_et_al_2004_Sci.pdf

        Species survived the Pleistocene climate madhouse so far by a combination of adaptation and luck. The hardest hit species are mid-latitude ones. They contract to southern refuges decreasing their populations when the ice advances and expand to reoccupy the areas when the ice recedes. But in this accordion they might run out of luck and become extinct despite being perfectly adapted. The Cheetah was extremely lucky in escaping extinction when it migrated from North America all the way to Africa. It became extinct in North America where it originated. Luck plays a very important role. In the words of Jacques Monod: “Chance and Necessity.”

        Surviving a cold night is obviously not the same as surviving a long winter that might result in a too short growing season. Why people have such a problem understanding biology I don’t know. Most plants in temperate and cold climates only care about the growing season as they spent the winter in a dormant highly resistant state.

      • Robert Clark

        An earlier post which explains the chart above.
        CO2 sharp rise at beginning of making Ice. 18,000 years ago.
        One of your recent posts in Climate ETC stated that at the height of the Ice Age the green foliage was large enough that it stifled the growth of foliage as the water receded. This explains the sharp rise of CO2 in the ice core as the new ice grows. When the melt of the core got to this point the green foliage was still not small enough to overcome the CO2 produced by nature. As the water rose the CO2 continued to rise until foliage was large enough where it could overcome that produced by nature. At this point the CO2 level begins to fall. The beginning of this ice age shows this with the sharp rise and the beginning of the fall in CO2. It falls for a few thousand years until man arrives.

      • Robert Clark wrote:
        “The new ICE AGE began 18,000 years ago and we have putting ice at the poles because the earth is now loosing more heat every 24 hours than it keeps from the sun.”

        No, the Earth now has an energy imbalance of about 0.7 W/m2, pointing inward. (That is, after all, why the Earth is warming up — to restore this energy imbalance.)

        “Improving estimates of Earths energy imbalance,”
        Johnson, G.C., J.M. Lyman, and N.G. Loeb
        Nature Clim. Change, 6, 639640, doi: 10.1038/nclimate3043 (2016).
        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v6/n7/full/nclimate3043.html

        From the abstract:
        “Here, we update our calculations (Fig. 1), and find a net heat uptake of 0.71 0.10 W m−2 from 2005 to 2015 (with 0.61 0.09 W m−2 taken up by the ocean from 01,800 m; 0.07 0.04 W m−2 by the deeper ocean4; and 0.03 0.01 W m−2 by melting ice, warming land, and an increasingly warmer and moister atmosphere1).”

      • Robert Clark

        “Here, we update our calculations (Fig. 1), and find a net heat uptake of 0.71 0.10 W m−2 from 2005 to 2015 (with 0.61 0.09 W m−2 taken up by the ocean from 01,800 m; 0.07 0.04 W m−2 by the deeper ocean4; and 0.03 0.01 W m−2 by melting ice, warming land, and an increasingly warmer and moister atmosphere1).”
        The first half we took the heat out of the oceans and made ice and deposited it at the poles. Kept average surface temperature costant.
        Now you say we are melting the ice and warming the land. Diffacult to do.

      • Robert wrote:
        “The first half we took the heat out of the oceans and made ice and deposited it at the poles.”

        Bullshlt. The oceans have been warming all along.

        https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

        You must admit you’re wrong on this one.

  24. Pingback: https://judithcurry.com/2019/05/22/hearing-on-the-un-biodiversity-report/ | Standard Climate

  25. Pingback: Gráficos de meter miedo y desaparecer un millón de especies. Ejemplo práctico. | PlazaMoyua.com

    • Judith,

      This is an interesting and important topic.

      Could you, or Javier, write a post on the impacts of the 4.2 ka event and the other events you mentioned in your subsequent comments)?

      I’d like to know:

      1. what the economic impacts might be for modern, industrial society, which is very different to the societies millennia ago

      2. How much change in GMST was involved

      3. What was the impact of global warming and want was the impact of global cooling events

  26. Ecological conservation and restoration is not primarily about the risks of climate change. Climate has always changed and there have always been risks. This is not to say that any risk – and that’s all it is at this time – from ahthropogenic factors can’t be simply addressed through technical innovation across sectors, and reduction of pollutants and aerosols. But it is a monomania that has distracted from the main game of human progress in a wild world for too many decades.

    These PBS videos – Earth a new wild – explore the place for humanity seen as part of our wild world.

    https://www.pbs.org/earth-a-new-wild/home/

    There are billions of hectares and millions of stories of hope in a new wild.


    .

    • Adding to RIE’s post, and “there have always been risks”. In my previous post above, re the 4.2ka BP event, here one can find several studies relating to turning-point events that were also climatic. It has become amply clear that Eddy cycle roots and peaks were turning-points, and 4.2ka bp was a root. Presently we are heading into a peak, and thus also a turning point.
      The conclusion in this paper is an eye-opener. Link: https://www.academia.edu/17783172/Troy_in_the_23rd_century_BC_environmental_dynamics_and_cultural_change._In_H._Meller_H._W._Arz_R._Jung_R._Risch_eds._2200_BC_A_climatic_breakdown_as_a_cause_for_the_collapse_of_the_old_world_Tagungen_des_Landesmuseums_f%C3%BCr_Vorgeschichte_Halle_12_Halle_2015_181_203
      Every turning-point brought a level of stress and disruption to civilisations everywhere. From the various papers it appears that built-in resilience of food supply was the main protection against hardship and collapse (ultimately that came about to some). And – unlike today- most were very close to nature.

      • The 4.2 ky event was not part of any cycle. It was a one odd event according to many proxies.

        Since 1998 soil scientist Marie-Agnès Courty has been defending that soil micro-fabrics bear the signature of a cosmic impact at the time (Courty et al., 2008). However there is no substantive evidence of it.

        We really have no idea what caused the 4.2 kyr event. It was too abrupt, too intense in a region of the globe for the known climatic mechanisms. To date the Northgrippian-Meghalayan transition at this event is a mistake in my opinion. It was mostly regional, centered around the Arabian Sea, although affecting surrounding areas through teleconnections, and it was not that important except for the people living from Egypt to Northwestern India.

    • Robert I. Ellison wrote:
      “Climate has always changed”

      Really? How much did climate change in the 10,000 years before the Industrial era?

      Compare to today’s change.

      • “Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.” https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/2

        The spatio-temporal chaotic Earth system shifts dramatically at many scales. Including in the 20th century.

        “Change occurs on all time scales, from minute to geological, but our limited senses and life span, as well as the short time window of instrumental observations, restrict our perception to the most apparent daily to yearly variations. As a result, our typical modelling practices assume that natural changes are just a short-term “noise” superimposed on the daily and annual cycles in a scene that is static and invariant in the long run. According to this perception, only an exceptional and extraordinary forcing can produce a long-term change. The hydrologist H.E. Hurst, studying the long flow records of the Nile and other geophysical time series, was the first to observe a natural behaviour, named after him, related to multi-scale change, as well as its implications in engineering designs. Essentially, this behaviour manifests that long-term changes are much more frequent and intense than commonly perceived and, simultaneously, that the future states are much more uncertain and unpredictable on long time horizons than implied by standard approaches.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

        And of course models miss intrinsic variation.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6

        But David will believe that his consensual bias is the true science. He is on no firmer ground here than on the technical details of emissions or on economics and practical social policy.

      • Oh, Robert, those situations were due to some extreme event — ice dams collapsing, comet or meteorite impacts, nonlinear events. They were discovered by the same scientists who today are so concerned about today’s climate change. And the same scientists who warn that such abrupt events are even more possible in the more energetic world we’re now creating.

        Yes, abrupt events happen. That’s EVEN MORE reason to worry about the climate change our CO2 emissions are causing.

      • LMFAO. So climate doesn’t change but it then it does?

        “Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.” op. cit.

        If only he’d read the next paragraph. But really it is the whole globally coupled spatio-temporal chaotic flow field. But it doesn’t mean that wind and solar are realistic responses – or that capitalism and democracy are optional.

      • Robert, what is the evidence today’s climate change is being caused by an abrupt event like the ones you linked to?

      • And again, you said energy consumption would increase. So why is the US’s energy consumption decreasing??

      • “These shifts also have a profound effect on the average global surface air temperature of Earth. The most recent shift in the 1990s is one of the reasons that Earth’s temperature has not risen further since 1998.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

        If you haven’t caught up by now you’re a lost cause.

        And if you think it has warmed since – it’s mostly low level cloud in the Pacific.

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

        Have the regime shifted again? Maybe – maybe not.

        And the EIA graph shows the increase in energy demand as mostly in the non OECD with rising populations and incomes.

    • The man who stopped the desert…

  27. Pingback: The New Green Deal and the coming Dark Ages – Piece of Mindful

  28. Javier, may I refer you to Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301621337_Why_we_shouldn't_ignore_the_mid-24th_century_BC_when_discussing_the_2200-2000_BC_climate_anomaly

    Quote ” However, it might be unwise to ignore the precisely dated, abrupt environmental downturn that occurs some 150 years earlier. Irish and English oak tree rings draw attention to a notable decade-long growth downturn spanning 2354 BC to 2345 BC with hints of inundation.”

    In my searching early on for answers to archaeological evidence, from Holocene temp anomaly (wiki) I identified ~23xx bce, 43xx and 62xx as possible identical events. Others confirmed 2345 (above paper), plus a 4375 date. The 6150 confirmation (the 8.2k event) came from other sources. Recently your own unexpected input here came with the Eddy cycle, with roots that correspond to those dates (plus to ~3200 and ~5200). I have no explanation, but it is no coincidence. (from hints from other a common element appears to be planetary alignment — a second surprise as of today). My 2c worth.

    • ”However, it might be unwise to ignore the precisely dated, abrupt environmental downturn that occurs some 150 years earlier. Irish and English oak tree rings draw attention to a notable decade-long growth downturn spanning 2354 BC to 2345 BC with hints of inundation.”

      That’s not the 4.2 kyr event. While the 4.2 kyr event had quite an impact in the Mediterranean and Middle East, it was barely noticeable in the British Isles. So it is not only too early but the wrong area. I have identified 23 abrupt climate events during the Holocene, and it is clear that there have been even more to be identified.

    • Events reverberate around the world – and even if we could isolate specific control variables – nonperiodic solar variability perhaps – they translate through Earth system mechanisms into abrupt changes in state space. There are leads and lags in temperature and hydrology across the planet.

      Mediterranean and Irish rainfall is influenced by circulation patterns in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The entire system is a coupled flow field. To miss this is to miss the arrhythmic beat at the heart of climate.

      “The hydrologist H.E. Hurst, studying the long flow records of the Nile and other geophysical time series, was the first to observe a natural behaviour, named after him, related to multi-scale change, as well as its implications in engineering designs. Essentially, this behaviour manifests that long-term changes are much more frequent and intense than commonly perceived and, simultaneously, that the future states are much more uncertain and unpredictable on long time horizons than implied by standard approaches.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

  29. Climate shifts globally every 20-30 years. As ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns shift.

    90% of terrestrial rainfall comes from oceans.

    For the Nile River basin – both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

    • Curious George

      No rain from the Indian Ocean?

      • Perhaps I should have said includes both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

        e.g. https://www.iucn.org/news/forests/201905/restoration-opportunities-heart-drc

        The point was that the 4.2ky Mediterranean drought had a global origin as it must.

        “In recent years, it has become paradigmatic that the Holocene was a relatively stable climatic epoch when compared to the last glacial period (e.g., Dansgaard et al., 1993). However, long-term, astronomically driven changes in insolation produced changes in temperature (Marcott et al., 2013, but see also Marsicek et al., 2018), associated with a progressive southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and a weakening of Northern Hemisphere summer monsoon systems (e.g., Wright et al., 1993; Fleitmann et al., 2003; Braconnot et al., 2007). A number of short, multidecadal- to centennial-scale climatic events, the origin of which often remains unclear, are superimposed over this long-term trend (e.g., Denton, and Karlén, 1973; Bond et al., 1997; Mayewski et al., 2004; Wanner et al., 2011). At the regional-to-global scale, some events appear synchronous and linked to specific changes in circulation patterns (e.g., Trouet et al., 2009; Dermody et al., 2012; Zanchetta et al., 2014). A good example is the Medieval Climate Anomaly in the Atlantic region, which has been explained in terms of an anomalously persistent positive mode of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) (Trouet et al., 2009).”
        https://www.clim-past.net/15/555/2019/

        Although the ’cause’ of all this is shifting patterns of coupled ocean and atmospheric circulation in response to small changes in multiple system controls.

  30. Ireneusz Palmowski
    Do you also post as “ren”, e.g. at WUWT?
    Or is that someone else.

  31. Pingback: Är 1 miljon arter utrotningshotade? – Klimatforum

  32. “That’s why it’s necessary to set aside some portion of the planet for wilderness alone, into which no human may transgress.

    1/4th of both ocean and land. 1/3rd is better. 1/2 would be ideal.” David Appell

    This is an appallingly worthless idea. I said the remedy is reclaiming deserts and conserving and restoring soils, grasslands, woodlands, forests and wetlands. It is – but over the whole Earth and with people inevitably central to the project.

    The most critical task for humanity is to double food production by 2050 – including more meat. Half of land is already used for food – with much of the the remainder hunted and grazed as commons. Or otherwise used for the resources it provides.

    The real secret is prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes. People as part of the web of planetary life. And not as the planet eaters in the febrile imaginings of fringe misanthropists.

    Iriai is a Japanese word meaning to enter into the joint use of resources. There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places – but these need to be consciously designed in a broad context of economics and democracy, population, development, technical innovation, land use and the environment.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/

  33. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #361 | Watts Up With That?

  34. Pingback: Weekly Local weather and Vitality Information Roundup #361 – IT INFORMATION

  35. Pingback: Weekly abstract of local weather and power information # 361 – Tech Field

  36. Pingback: Gregory Wrightstone: exposing the mass extinction lie | Watts Up With That?

  37. Pingback: Gregory Wrightstone: exposing the mass extinction lie - Fabius Maximus website

  38. Pingback: Gregory Wrightstone: exposing the mass extinction lie – All My Daily News

  39. Pingback: Gregory Wrightstone: exposing the mass extinction lie – Daily News

  40. Peter McIlroy

    The claim that no bird species have gone extinct since 1842 is preposterous. There is even a wikipedia page with a list of avian extinctions post 1500. There are a lot more than zero in the last 150 years. I don’t know about the rest of that report, but a claim like this makes me tend to discount it.

  41. Pingback: Atenti, alarmistas al poder… – Bpp Color

  42. Ireneusz Palmowski

    ‘Scientists estimate that the pilot whale population in the eastern North Atlantic is above 700,000 whales, with approximately 100,000 around the Faroe Islands.’
    Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/30/faroe-islands-defend-slaughter-whales-sea-turns-red-blood-9743755/?ito=cbshare

  43. Pingback: Exposing the Mass Extinction Lie | US Issues

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