Merry Christmas, fresh start, who knows?

The picture was taken long before Christmas, but the image is emblematic of the endless dualities presented by life even in its essential neutrality. We receive good and bad, sorrow and joy, luck and hardship, wealth and poverty, sickness and vigour – we play with nothing but what we’re given and for which if we’re wise we’re thankful. Christmas and the New Year is a season for reflection, as light and dark alike reflect on the moist land. See, there is the oh so neutral water you are obliged to live in — you might as well dive in boldly as timidly dip your toe. May you be at home there. May your prosperity be prolonged. May you be inspired and inspiring. May your joy soar.

Merry Christmas to all

Climate change threatens future of pasta

This is from Newsweek on 10 December and I know it’s been expertly dealt with elsewhere, but it’s so questionable I can’t ignore it. From notes I made at the time, the links below start to argue with their alarming premise.

Hurricane Sandy’s recent devastation of New York and neighboring states reminded Americans of what Hurricane Katrina demonstrated in 2005: global warming makes weather more extreme, and extreme weather can be extremely dangerous. But flooding coastlines aren’t our only worry. Climate change is also imperiling the very foundation of human existence: our ability to feed ourselves.

Three grains—wheat, corn, and rice—account for most of the food humans consume. All three are already suffering from climate change, but wheat stands to fare the worst in the years ahead, for it is the grain most vulnerable to high temperatures. That spells trouble not only for pasta but also for bread, the most basic food of all. (Pasta is made from the durum variety of wheat, while bread is generally made from more common varieties, such as red spring.)

“Wheat is a cool-season crop. High temperatures are negative for its growth and quality, no doubt about it,” says Frank Manthey, a professor at North Dakota State University who advises the North Dakota Wheat Commission. Already, a mere 1 degree Fahrenheit of global temperature rise over the past 50 years has caused a 5.5 percent decline in wheat production, according to David Lobell, a professor at Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment.

via Bakken Oil Boom and Climate Change Threaten the Future of Pasta – Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

But here are production figures that contradict that story: Continue Reading →

Carbon emissions could slow for decades

Only in the USA

Carbon Emissions Projected to Remain Flat for Decades – Forbes.

So the good news is the alarmists might be slightly pleased and quieten down a bit.

The bad news is the price of slowing the pace of the Western industrial miracle that’s been relentlessly pulling the world out of poverty, ignorance, sickness, early death and misery for over two centuries.

Will the alarmists reflect on the poverty, lack of medical care, loss of education and general reduction in levels of happiness this will bring?

Anyway, this slow-down concerns emissions only from the US. Considering they emit less than China does, it can’t make much difference to the global climate.

Tornadoes not part of increase in extreme weather

Peter Griffin: Tornadoes don’t indicate extreme weather is increasing – NZ Herald.

Old news alert (6 Dec) – I’m catching up.

This is good news. Nobody wants tornadoes to increase. Of course, there are other indications that extreme weather will increase – is perhaps already increasing – so please don’t stop worrying.

But it’s disappointing to see the Herald recycling posts from SciBlogs.