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Wed, 29 Nov 2023
The World for People who Think

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The climate sure is changing when doubt gets an airing

Hmm, I could be wrong. Maybe the climate is changing after all.The intellectual climate, I mean. For years it's been a social crime to doubt man is heating the world to hell. But suddenly the ice is cracking - and no, not the ice around Antarctica, which has actually grown.

Take a few signs from last week alone.

Australia's pre-eminent academic geologist, Prof Ian Plimer, published Heaven and Earth, challenging the gospel that the world is warming dangerously and that human-caused gases are to blame. In fact, says Plimer, what warming we saw until a decade ago was not unusual, not dangerous and most likely caused mainly by solar activity. What's more, temperatures now seem to be falling.

Bizarro Earth

US: 3.8 Earthquake Reported Near Alabaster, Alabama

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake has struck near Alabaster today according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake struck around 5:25 a.m. today and could be felt all around Birmingham.

The quake's epicenter was 7 miles north of Centreville near the intersection of highways 5 and 219. The depth was 8.8 miles below the earth's surface.

The earthquake was 25 miles southwest of Alabaster, 30 miles east southeast of Tuscaloosa and 40 miles south southwest of Birmingham.

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Spreading Antibiotics In The Soil Affects Microbial Ecosystems

Antibiotics used extensively in intensive livestock production may be having an adverse effect on agricultural soil ecosystems.

In a presentation to the Society for General Microbiology meeting at Harrogate International Centre March 30, Dr Heike Schmitt from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands described how antibiotics passed from the animals in manure that was then spread on farmland. Although higher organisms, such as earthworms, would only be affected at unrealistic concentrations of antibiotics, changes in soil bacterial communities have been found repeatedly using molecular microbiological techniques.

Newspaper

It's Alternative Media That's Cooling Global Warming Hysteria

The latest Rasmussen poll reports that the lowest number of voters ever polled -- one-in-three -- believe that global warming is caused by human activity. That's an astonishing figure, especially considering the all-out green propaganda assault the mainstream media (MSM) exposes the public to on a daily basis.

After all, it's become nearly impossible to open a magazine, unfold a newspaper or turn on the television without being scolded about the selfishness of your energy consumption and the damage your unworthy existence does to the planet. And yet, Friday's Rasmussen found that forty-eight percent of all likely voters attribute climate change to long-term planetary trends, not their so-called carbon-footprint. That's up 4% in less than three months.

Bizarro Earth

US: 'Superweed' explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands

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"Superweeds" are plaguing high-tech Monsanto crops in southern US states, driving farmers to use more herbicides, return to conventional crops or even abandon their farms.

The gospel of high-tech genetically modified (GM) crops is not sounding quite so sweet in the land of the converted. A new pest, the evil pigweed, is hitting headlines and chomping its way across Sun Belt states, threatening to transform cotton and soybean plots into weed battlefields.

In late 2004, "superweeds" that resisted Monsanto's iconic "Roundup" herbicide, popped up in GM crops in the county of Macon, Georgia. Monsanto, the US multinational biotech corporation, is the world's leading producer of Roundup, as well as genetically engineered seeds. Company figures show that nine out of 10 US farmers produce Roundup Ready seeds for their soybean crops.

Bizarro Earth

Scientists say genetically engineered crops encourage stronger weeds

Genetically engineered crops do little to improve yields and instead promote the proliferation of herbicide-resistant weeds that actually curb production, according to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Corn and soybeans modified to resist insects and the herbicide glyphosate haven't been proven to boost yields, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based group says in a 44-page report. The modified plants have increased the number of glyphosate-resistant weeds that compete for soil nutrients and moisture, reducing production, the group says.

Bizarro Earth

6.4 magnitude earthquake jolts northern Japan, Russian far east

A strong undersea earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 jolted the far north of Japan and Russia's far east early on Sunday, a Japanese government agency reported, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

There was no threat of tsunami from the quake at 4:19 a.m. (1919 GMT). It centred in the remote and sparsely populated Kuril Islands northeast of Hokkaido, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its website (www.jma.go.jp).

Bizarro Earth

6.2 earthquake hits Indonesia

A strong 6.2-magnitude quake struck in Indonesia's north Sulawesi province on Sunday but there were no reports of damage or injuries, the geophysics agency said. The quake hit at 1.23pm about 20 kilometres (12 miles) north-east of Melonguane city at a depth of 50 kilometres.

No tsunami alert was issued.

'Tremors are felt in the area but not significant ones. There's no report of damage,' agency official Suharjono told AFP.

Igloo

Climate change is a cold certainty

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© Unknown
Ice, ice and yet more ice
Russian sea captain Dimitri Zinchenko has been steering ships through the pack ice of Antarctica for three decades and is waiting to see evidence of the global warming about which he has heard so much.

Zinchenko's vessel, the Spirit of Enderby, was commissioned in January last year to retrace the steps of the great Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, marking the century of his Nimrod expedition of 1907-09.

Spirit of Enderby was blocked by a wall of pack ice at the entrance to the Ross Sea, about 400km short of Shackleton's base hut at Cape Royds. Zinchenko says it was the first time in 15 years that vessels were unable to penetrate the Ross Sea in January. The experience was consistent with his impression that pack ice is expanding, not contracting, as would be expected in a rapidly warming world. "I see just more and more ice, not less ice."

Alarm Clock

New Milepost for Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Catlin Arctic Survey Team
© Catlin Survey

Two of the Arctic ice sites show April 16 ice at recent record levels. The Japanese site IJIS has a seven year April record going back to 2003, and reports 2009 levels at the highest extent on record for the date: 13,649,219 km2.
AMSRE Sea Ice Extent
© AMSRE
AMSRE Sea Ice Extent

The Danish Meteorological Institute has a five year database, and also shows April 16 ice extent as the highest in their short record.