Biased Facebook “fact checkers” need to be fact-checked

“You may recall that I posted an article last month called “Green ideology, not climate change makes wildfires worse”. The post is here, but essentially it was sourced from an article last March by the Volunteer Firefighters Association of NSW, which pointed out that the major factor in why Victoria’s bushfires at the time were so bad was poor management of national parks and the failure to reduce hazardous fuel loads and clear vegetation.” click here


Coral reef fish not impaired by ocean acidification

Timothy D. Clark, Graham D. Raby, Dominique G. Roche, Sandra A. Binning, Ben Speers-Roesch, Fredrik Jutfelt, Josefin Sundin. Ocean acidification does not impair the behaviour of coral reef fishes. Nature (2020) doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1903-y

The partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans has increased rapidly over the past century, driving ocean acidification and raising concern for the stability of marine ecosystems1,2,3. Coral reef fishes are predicted to be especially susceptible to end-of-century ocean acidification on the basis of several high-profile papers4,5 that have reported profound behavioural and sensory impairments—for example, complete attraction to the chemical cues of predators under conditions of ocean acidification. Here, we comprehensively and transparently show that—in contrast to previous studies—end-of-century ocean acidification levels have negligible effects on important behaviours of coral reef fishes, such as the avoidance of chemical cues from predators, fish activity levels and behavioural lateralization (left–right turning preference). Using data simulations, we additionally show that the large effect sizes and small within-group variances that have been reported in several previous studies are highly improbable. Together, our findings indicate that the reported effects of ocean acidification on the behaviour of coral reef fishes are not reproducible, suggesting that behavioural perturbations will not be a major consequence for coral reef fishes in high CO2 oceans.

Decarbonization is economically unsustainable

“A prominent economist says that Britain’s climate and energy policies are ‘futile gesture politics’, and will fail to bring about any change to the climate.” click here

PFOA/PFOS emerges as an election issue

In an election year political statements raising ‘hot button’ environmental issues like PFOA and PFOS are to be expected (e.g. click here). Ms. Dingell’s characterization of PFOA and PFOS are not based on science or even a proper understanding of environmental law.

The article below presents the only publicly available, independent peer-reviewed published paper examining the full implications of regulating of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

F.W. Pontius. Regulation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and
Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) in Drinking
Water: A Comprehensive Review. Water 2019, 11, 2003; doi:10.3390/w11102003

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are receiving global attention due to their persistence in the environment through wastewater effluent discharges and past improper industrial waste disposal. They are resistant to biological degradation and if present in wastewater are discharged into the environment. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued drinking water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS at 70 ng/L each and for the sum of the two. The need for an enforceable primary drinking water regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is currently being assessed. The USEPA faces stringent legal constraints and technical barriers to develop a primary drinking water regulation for PFOA and PFOS. This review synthesizes current knowledge providing a publicly available, comprehensive point of reference for researchers, water utilities, industry, and regulatory agencies to better understand and address cross-cutting issues associated with regulation of PFOA and PFOS  contamination of drinking water.

Fires are necessary for a healthy forest

The claims (e.g. here) that the Australian bush fires indicate a global warming “tipping point” has been passed and the earth is doomed are complete nonsense. There have been much larger fires in Australia in the past (e.g. here, here and here). Fires are a natural and necessary component in the life cycle of a forest. 

Press reports on climate do not correspond to reality

Australian bush fires are a natural occurrence

“The current claim by many that human-caused climate change has made Australian bushfires worse is difficult to support, for a number of reasons. Bushfires (like wildfires elsewhere in the world) are a natural occurrence wherever there is strong seasonality in precipitation, with vegetation growing during the wet season and then becoming fuel for fire during the dry season.” click here