Thursday, October 18, 2018

Global warming will make beer much more expensive, scientists forecast

This is nonsense on stilts. The authors ignore both agricultural economics and plant biology.

Economics: There is no way there will be a barley shortage.  Grain crops tend to glut, not shortage. A small price rise would produce a flood of it.

Plant biology: A warmer climate would produce MORE rain overall, not less, which is good for ALL plants. And higher CO2 levels would also make ALL plants more vigorous and able to thrive even in low rainfall areas.  The area growing barley could EXPAND under global warming. 

And it is a temperate climate crop originating in the Middle East so if some areas did become too hot for it, a small move poleward should restore it to congenial conditions. And there would be much more arable land in the North under warming -- in Northern Canada and Southern Siberia, for instance.

Don't expect much science from scientists these days

IF YOU weren’t already worried about the effects of global warming, this should definitely do it.

Scientists have looked at the impact climate change will have on barley — a vital crop for beer making — and come up with a grim prediction: a global beer shortage.

While Australia hit “peak beer” in 1974-75, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we still rank about 23rd in the world when it comes to beer consumption per capita.

So this is a very concerning forecast indeed.

The study was carried out by a small team of researchers in the US, the UK and China and published this week in the journal Nature Plants.

Scientists behind the study suggest that by the end of the century, increased drought and heat could hurt barley crops enough to cause a genuine shortage for beer makers, driving up the cost of a schooner.

“Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world by volume consumed, and yields of its main ingredient, barley, decline sharply in periods of extreme drought and heat,” researchers wrote.

“Although the frequency and severity of drought and heat extremes increase substantially in range of future climate scenarios by five Earth System Models, the vulnerability of beer supply to such extremes has never been assessed.”

So they set out to look at such a scenario under a range of different climate models.

Worldwide barley is used for all sorts of purposes, mostly feeding livestock. Less than 20 per cent of the world’s barley is made into beer. But in the United States, Brazil and China, at least two-thirds of the barley goes into six-packs, drafts, kegs, cans and bottles.

In Australia, barley has been losing ground to rival crops due, in part, to climate conditions and slowing overseas demand.

Barley is also one of the most heat-sensitive crops, making it particularly vulnerable to global warming and the extreme events brought on by climate change.

“We find that these extreme events may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide,” researchers said.

In their estimation, losses of barley yield could easily be as much as 17 per cent. That means beer prices on average would double, even adjusting for inflation. In countries like Ireland, where cost of a brew is already high, prices could triple.

Study co-author Steve Davis of the University of California, Irvine, said the beer research was partly done to drive home the not-that-palatable message that climate change is messing with all sorts of aspects of our daily lives.

They knew, people like me would write about it and people like you would read about it.

The findings come a week after a dire United Nations report described consequences of dangerous levels of climate change including worsening food and water shortages, heatwaves, sea level rise, and disease.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s early response to the report was to promise that Australia would be not be spending money on climate change conferences and “all that nonsense”.


Scott Morrison prepared to accept New Zealand refugee offer 'if lifetime ban law passed'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is inclined to take up New Zealand's long-standing offer to accept 150 refugees from Nauru and Manus Island on the condition the Parliament passes a stalled bill that would ban any of those people ever coming to Australia.

It marks a turning point in Australia's opposition to New Zealand's offer, with the government having previously said the proposal could only be considered once the United States resettlement deal had been completed.

And it comes as both major parties face increasing internal pressure to get people off Manus Island and Nauru, with MPs telling their leaders the situation is now critical and the public's sentiment is changing.

The so-called "lifetime visa ban" would prevent anyone who was sent to Nauru or Manus Island after 19 July 2013 from ever receiving a visa to come to Australia, including a business or tourist visa.

The government argues the rules are necessary to stop refugees settling in Australia after going to New Zealand, thus providing a pathway for asylum seekers to end up here after coming by boat.

In response to growing concerns of his own Liberal colleagues - including MPs Craig Laundy, Russell Broadbent and Julia Banks - Mr Morrison repeatedly noted the bill to close the "back door" from New Zealand into Australia had languished on the notice paper since 2016.

Labor, the Greens and a slew of crossbenchers had vowed to oppose the bill in the Senate, meaning it was sure to fail and was never put to a vote.

Fairfax Media understands the government will put the bill to a vote this week if there is sufficient support for it to pass, and is likely to accept New Zealand's long-standing offer once it is law.

However, the opposition vowed it was not for turning, even in light of Mr Morrison's offer. A Labor spokeswoman confirmed the party still opposed the legislation, and said the government should deal directly with New Zealand if it wanted to place conditions on any resettlement offer.

Opposition immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said it was "ridiculous" genuine refugees who are resettled in third countries would be banned from entering Australia as tourists in 30 years.

Dr O'Connor from Médecins Sans Frontières says refugee children have presented with depression and anxiety, with children as young as nine attempting suicide. Many children are also suffering traumatic withdrawal syndrome, unable to eat

"The Liberals' lifetime ban legislation has nothing to do with third country resettlement options because the US deal is already under way," he told Fairfax Media on Tuesday.

"If Malcolm Turnbull was able to negotiate conditions for the US deal to proceed, why is Scott Morrison incapable of negotiating similar conditions for the NZ deal?"

Labor on Tuesday said it would introduce legislation aimed at ensuring sick refugee children at the regional processing centre in Nauru were brought to Australia for medical purposes if necessary.

Mr Morrison's new offer will place enormous pressure on the Senate to acquiesce to the lifetime visa ban. If Labor and the Greens vote against it, it could still pass with the support of the crossbench.

The Centre Alliance party, which controls two crossbench votes, said it remained opposed to the bill as it currently stood, but was willing to negotiate.

"A blanket ban on entry to Australia is really cruelty for cruelty’s sake. We certainly will not be supporting a bill along these lines," Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff told Fairfax Media. "If they want to sit down and talk to us they can sit down and talk to us."

Independent senators Derryn Hinch and Tim Storer, whose votes are also critical, said they had not been approached by the government for talks about the bill. Senator Storer was not in Parliament when it was discussed in 2016, but a spokesman indicated he was unlikely to support it.

A One Nation spokesman indicated the party was inclined to support the bill, noting both major parties had promised people on Manus Island and Nauru would never come to Australia.

As of last week, 418 people had resettled in the US from both Manus Island and Nauru, under the deal struck by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and former US president Barack Obama.


Sydney Uni still opposed to Western civilization 

A Ramsay Centre-funded course at Sydney University would be badged 'Western tradition' rather than 'Western civilisation' in a bid to assuage concerns held by some academics about the proposed partnership.

The country's oldest university has offered staff worried about the Ramsay course a number of concessions in an updated memorandum of understanding it will put to the centre, including stripping Ramsay representatives of voting rights on academic and scholarship committees.

A Bachelor of Western Tradition would also have to comply with a university-wide plan to emphasise skills such as "cultural competence", or "the ability to engage ethically, respectfully and successfully in inter-cultural settings". The Herald understands the MOU was distributed to university staff and received by the Ramsay Centre on Tuesday night.

The Ramsay Centre board, which includes former Coalition prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, would need to accept the MOU before a deal progresses. If it agrees, Sydney University will draw up a curriculum that would have to be approved by its academic board.

The Ramsay Centre is offering millions to fund courses on the great books of the West at several universities. Universities, including Sydney, already cover similar content, but this proposal has inflamed the culture wars because opponents see it as cultural imperialism. Its supporters believe the resistance shows political correctness is taking over campuses.

The Ramsay Centre said it would need to time to consider the updated MOU before commenting.

Sydney University vice-chancellor Michael Spence sparked furious debate when he began talks with Ramsay earlier this year after the Australian National University pulled out. Queensland University has also expressed interest.

The ANU said Ramsay's demands would have curtailed its academic freedom. The centre denies these claims. Using "Western civilisation" to describe the course was a sticking point in ANU negotiations, with Ramsay rejecting the Canberra-based university's proposal to call it Western studies.

In an attempt to set clear boundaries around academic autonomy early in the negotiations, senior Sydney University staff drew up an MOU. The first draft gave Ramsay standard donor voting rights for an academic appointment and scholarship committees, but specified that teaching and content be controlled by the university.

But when the university surveyed staff's views on the MOU, reactions were mixed. A third of the 500 respondents were ideologically opposed to involvement with Ramsay, believing it would be a course in European supremicism, according to an email sent to staff on Tuesday night.

A third supported the course, and the remaining third supported the principles of the MOU but worried about how it would work in practice. "Following consultation, the draft MOU has been significantly revised," the email said.

Under the changes, Ramsay will be required to agree to the term tradition rather than civilisation; waive its voting rights on the committees; and comply with the graduate qualities program that begins in 2021.

The university has also amended the clause about a Ramsay review after four years, saying any review would need to be done by academics jointly chosen by the university and Ramsay. The university would also have control over the marketing of the course.

Staff opposed to the centre are planning a public meeting on October 29.


'It's a white supremacist song!' Aboriginal boxer calls for Australia's national anthem to be scrapped

He's always been a loose cannon.  Not a profound thinker.  At the time the song was adopted as the national anthem it was carefullly revised to eliminate anything politically controversial

He blasted the Australian national anthem as 'racist' last year and vowed to boycott the song before his fight with Danny Green.

And Anthony Mundine renewed calls for the national anthem to be scrapped during an interview with Hit 105's Stav, Abby and Matt on Tuesday.

The 43-year-old described Advance Australia Fair as 'a white supremacist song' and voiced his support for the creation of a new anthem which would 'bring people together'.

Anthony claimed the song 'was compiled in the late 1700s' and was a 'theme song for the White Australia Policy from 1901 until 1970 something'.

The song was actually composed in 1878, and did not become the country's official national anthem until 1984.

When the radio hosts asked whether Anthony wanted to update the song to make it more inclusive, he responded: 'Nah, change it man. We need a whole new song'.

The sportsman said he wasn't 'trying to bring people apart' and wanted to be more inclusive.  'I'm not against anybody, I have white mates, black… I don't care what you are. I'll treat you how your character is and your heart is.'

He stated: 'In order for us to move forward as a country, as a nation, as a people, we need to get this straight'.

It's not the first time the boxer has condemned the national anthem. Last year, he said the song is unjust to Indigenous Australians.

'I am a man that stands against wrong and I think that is a big wrong in our country. And I can't stand for something that I don't believe in,' he said at a press conference in January, 2017, prior to his match against Danny Green.

The reality star is no stranger to controversy.

During his time on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! earlier this year he stated: 'If you're going to be gay, do it behind closed doors'.

Anthony who converted to Islam in the 1990s, cited his faith and his Aboriginal heritage as reasons for making the comments.

'If we were to live in a society, just like in Aboriginal culture, (where) homosexuality is forbidden and you do it and the consequences are capital punishment or death, you think, 'are you going to do it?' Or think twice about doing it?' he said on the show.    

But in a July interview with The Daily Telegraph he said he was changing his tune and trying to be more considerate.

'I honestly don't care if anyone's gay. I'm not judge and jury. That's for the creator. Whether I believe it's right or wrong, I have to accept it. It's law,' he said.

'I've got gay friends. I've got gay family members. I have a cousin, she's gay. I was hurt that she was hurt. I want to uplift and inspire people, not hurt anyone.

'I was trying to say what happened in our culture back in the day. It comes out that I want gays to be killed. Of course I don't wish that on anyone. In Islam taking one human life is like taking the whole of humanity.'


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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