The inconvenient truth

“Allow me for one to say that I am sick of the ‘Christians are anti-science’ bullshit that the left loves to harp on while giving the environmental movement a free pass. You will notice, if you are honest, that the areas where even the most fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible conflict with modern scientific work are in areas that Christians have an ethical objection to the way that life is manipulated or ended or in how things came to be on some level. The environmental movement on the other hand is generally wildly antagonistic to everything from GM foods to many promising alternative energy sources to nanotechnology.” Slashdot comment by MikeRT

Dark side of the other white meat

“Smithfield Foods, the largest and most profitable pork processor in the world, killed 27 million hogs last year. That’s a number worth considering. A slaughter-weight hog is fifty percent heavier than a person. The logistical challenge of processing that many pigs each year is roughly equivalent to butchering and boxing the entire human populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso, Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Louisville, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Las Vegas, Portland, Oklahoma City and Tucson.” Jeff Tietz, Rolling Stone

Liberation

“Police have warned fish farmers to increase their security after 15,000 halibut were released from their cages in an attack believed to have been carried out by animal rights activists… Thousands of dead fish are being washed up along the west coast of Scotland… The halibut died from starvation or getting caught in seaweed. They were also being eaten by herring gulls and otters.” Valerie Elliott, Times Online

Taken over by tourists

“And the unsettling truth sinks in: Travel is oversold… Overrun by yappy guides, European capitals have become giant theme parks. Beset by swarms of tourists, the Acropolis looks more like an anthill than a Greek temple. Invaded by cellphones, Westminster Abbey feels like a playpen for tour groups rather than a revered place of worship. Now, even distant Asian destinations have a surreal cast, overbuilt with golden arches and accented by Starbucks logos. As tourism infiltrates the far corners of the globe, the juggernaut seems unstoppable — and increasingly unmemorable. Far be it from me to begrudge the benefits of the travel boom for the poor countries and rich corporations that depend on the hospitality industry. But why trek to an exotic locale that is so utterly westernized as to be eerily familiar?” Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star

Waste samples

“Carpet samples contribute an estimated 1 million pounds of waste to America’s landfills every year. They are also expensive to produce—$250-500 each, a cost mills are forced to swallow as a loss leader.” BusinessWeek

The inconvenient truth

“Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention.” Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, on Al Gore’s warnings of climate catastrophe in his film “An Inconvenient Truth”

Al Gore

Global warming… it’s the Sun that’s to blame

“Global warming - at least the modern nightmare version - is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world’s politicians and policy-makers are not. Instead, they have an unshakeable faith in what has, unfortunately, become one of the central credos of the environmental movement: humans burn fossil fuels, which release increased levels of carbon dioxide - the principal so-called greenhouse gas - into the atmosphere, causing the atmosphere to heat up. They say this is global warming: I say this is poppycock.” Conservationist David Bellamy

Two billion people

“At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a serious scare about an imminent Malthusian crisis: the world’s rapidly expanding population was coming up against the limits of agricultural productivity… Earl Butz, Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture, was despised by organic farmers, but he might not have been wrong when he said, in 1971, that if America returned to organic methods ‘someone must decide which fifty million of our people will starve!’ According to a more recent estimate, if synthetic fertilizers suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, about two billion people would perish.” Steven Shapin, on the cost of sustainably grown and locally produced organic food

Water world

“30 to 50 litres of clean water is considered the basic daily need of every human for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. Africans consume 37 litres of water a day on average; Americans consume 420 litres a day.” Social Studies, The Globe and Mail

Thirsty World

“Today the world grows twice as much food as it did a generation ago, but it uses three times as much water to grow it. Two-thirds of all the water abstracted from the environment goes to irrigate crops. This use of water is massively unsustainable…” New Scientist