With the latest UN conference on climate change fast approaching, a couple of articles help us to put things into perspective.
First, that 'scare' last week about red meat being cancer-causing, and all that stuff? Turns out it's part of the whole climate change agenda. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The case against processed meat is dubious ... According to the IARC report, each 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. That might sound scary, but the absolute risk is what really matters. As an example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2% of 40-year-olds will develop colorectal cancer over the next 30 years of their lives. What the IARC study suggests is a slightly higher rate - say, 2.4% over 30 years - for those 40-year-olds who tear through a 16-ounce package of bacon every week without fail.
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Now we get to the connection between climate alarmism and the meat-is-bad movement. In advance of the Paris climate talks, the World Health Organization released a lengthy report about climate pollutants and global health risks. The section on agriculture discusses the need to direct consumers away from foods whose production emits high levels of greenhouse gases: "A key action with large potential climate and health benefits is to facilitate a shift away from high-GHG foods - many of which are of animal origin - and towards healthy, low-GHG (often plant-based) alternatives."
The report specifically mentions red and processed meat: "In affluent populations, shifting towards diets based on careful adherence to public health recommendations - including reduced consumption of red and processed meat and/or other animal-sourced foods in favor of healthier plant-based alternatives - has the potential to both reduce GHG emissions and improve population health."
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In other words, meat is a double threat that governments should contain. Hang on to your T-bones and sausages, folks.
There's more at the link.
To make matters even more interesting, French mathematicians have condemned the conference as 'a costly and pointless crusade'.
“You would probably have to go quite a long way back in human ... history to find [such a] mad obsession,” according to a translated summary of the document released in September by the Paris-based Société de Calcul Mathématique SA.
The mathematicians harshly criticized a “crusade [that] has invaded every area of activity and everyone’s thinking," noting that "the battle [against] CO2 has become a national priority.
"How have we reached this point in a country that claims to be rational?” they ask, adding that mathematicians “do not believe in crusades. They look at facts, figures, comments and arguments.”
“There is not a single fact, figure…[or] observation that leads us to conclude the world’s climate is in any way ‘disturbed,” the paper states. “It is variable, as it has always been. … Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet’s overall temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable.”
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The French mathematicians also said that the UN’s climate models have failed to take into account natural phenomena that affects climate far more than human activity.
Human impact on the climate is “tiny, quite negligible in comparison with natural causes,” they point out. “Human beings can do nothing about solar activity, the state of the oceans, the temperature of the Earth’s magna, or the composition of the atmosphere.”
Furthermore, the work done by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does not meet the basic standards set by reputable scientific journals because its “conclusions go [contrary] to observed facts; the figures used are deliberately chosen to support its conclusions (with no regard for the most basic scientific honesty); and the variability of natural phenomena is passed over without comment.”
Again, more at the link.
I can't recall when last I saw such a swingeing condemnation of shoddy science. As Christopher Booker observed, while predicting that the Paris conference will be 'the flop of the year':
The only real question that will remain after the failure of this bid for a binding treaty in Paris is how much longer it can be before the most expensive and foolish scare story in history finally falls apart.