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Friday, March 11, 2016

Biomass research is a dead giveaway of the politics at WUWT, with Agenda 21 conspiracy theories

Sou | 11:27 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts has an article (archived here) about a new paper in Nature. The paper was about how humans have altered the land surface so that the biomass is a net emitter of greenhouse gases, which was a surprise to them. The scientists looked at the net emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide from every region of land.

Source: Carnegie Science

From the press release at
Co-author Anna Michalak of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology remarked, "Typically we think of land as a net 'sink' of carbon dioxide. But we found that the sign of the human-induced impact is reversed if we also take into account methane and nitrous oxide."

The scientists looked at the so-called biogenic fluxes or flow of the three greenhouse gases on land that were caused by human activities over the last three decades and subtracted out emissions that existed "naturally" during pre-industrial times. Biogenic sources include gas emissions from plants, animals, microbes, and the like. They were interested in finding out how human activities have changed the biogenic fluxes of these gases. Historically, such emissions have included methane emissions from wetlands and nitrous oxide emissions from soil. Human activity and human-caused climate change have changed the magnitude of these fluxes, however, as well as added new categories of biogenic fluxes such as those resulting from sewage, cattle, and fertilizer use.

The scientists first added up all biogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, then subtracted out those that occurred naturally prior to human intervention to get to the net amount. The study did not include non-biogenic gas emissions from activities like fossil fuel burning or natural gas production.

The team discovered that the human impact on biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions far outweighed the human impact on the terrestrial uptake of carbon dioxide, meaning that humans have caused the terrestrial biosphere to further contribute to warming. In other words, the terrestrial biosphere, through human action, is now contributing to climate change rather than mitigating climate change. This runs counter to conventional thinking based on previous studies, which had focused only on carbon dioxide and had emphasized the climate change mitigating effect of human impacts terrestrial carbon uptake.

The scientists found that greenhouse gas emissions vary considerably by region. Interestingly, the human-induced emissions of the gases in Southern Asia, including China and India, had a larger net warming effect compared to other areas. Southern Asia contains some 90% of the world's rice fields and more than 60% of the world's nitrogen fertilizer use. Thus, methane emissions in this region are largely from rice cultivation and livestock, while human-made fertilizers are a major source of nitrous oxide.

The dead giveaway

It was the last paragraph in the press release that prompted Anthony to act out of character and, in addition to his normal "claim" headline (meaning his readers aren't to "believe" science), to add a comment composed all by himself. The last paragraph of the press release was:
"This study should serve as a wake-up call to governments, policymakers, and individuals around the world," said Michalak. "We must expand our focus and devise strategies that target the biogenic emissions of these other greenhouse gases if we are to change the course of climate change." 
I know. You'll be wondering what Anthony might have said about that. Well, what he did was hint at a logical fallacy and show his conspiracy theorising. He wrote:
Of course the dead give-away that this is a political science paper rather than a real science paper comes from the last sentence.

More dead giveaways - it's a multi-disciplinary conspiracy!

Prompted by Anthony Watts' keen eye, I thought it might pay to see what other research is done by political scientists posing as other experts. It turns out they have not just taken over climate science - they are everywhere. It's a giant multi-disciplinary conspiracy to rob us of our freedoms. Here are a few examples I came up with, which are clearly by social engineering wannabees of the leftist variety who want to restrict the freedom of science deniers of all sizes.

This first was the final paragraph in a press release about a paper on the benefits of exercise, in which the authors, posing as scientists, are really political animals who want to bring in draconian laws infringing the freedoms of deniers everywhere. Sheesh they aren't even coy about it, talking about behavioural and lifestyle changes:
"Once we can identify why bones in individuals with obesity and Type 2 diabetes are weaker and how they become weaker, we can start developing more treatments through lifestyle and behavioral changes," Hinton said.

This next press release shows how people posing as medical experts want to prevent all freedom-loving individuals from inhaling loads of tar. It's political science at its worst. The lead author is even talking about surveillance, for heaven's sake! Next someone will be calling for the banning of the ancient and much-loved hookah.
"Our results show that hookah tobacco smoking poses real health concerns and that it should be monitored more closely than it is currently," said lead author Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., assistant vice chancellor for health and society in Pitt's Schools of the Health Sciences. "For example, hookah smoking was not included in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey System questionnaire, which assesses cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and many other forms of substance abuse." 
Then there are political activists posing again as medical researchers, who want to impose flu vaccinations on the elderly. Here is an excerpt from the press release:
Mor said the results are likely applicable to all elderly people, the vast majority of whom do not live in nursing homes. Vaccination rates among the elderly in the community, however, tend to be much lower than in nursing homes.

Co-author Dr. Stefan Gravenstein, adjunct professor of medicine and health services, policy and practice, agreed.

"This study evidences protection for an elderly population for whom vaccine efficacy has been questioned," he said. "Annual vaccination is the only way to maximize the benefit of vaccine, no matter what the age."

There are also political scientists posing as road accident experts. I wonder how many of them were posing as engineers? This is from a press release about the cause of traffic accidents. It's a thinly veiled attempt to increase the cost of motor vehicles. They even admitted that the study was funded by the EU, just a hop skip and a jump away from the UN and Agenda21.

The difference between a five-star rated car fitted with EBA and ESC and a four-star rated one without these features is striking, he suggests. So-called “injury accidents” would be reduced by 47%, he says, while severe to fatal accidents would be cut by as much as 70%.  

From the WUWT comments

Anthony Watts isn't the only one who's awake to the political infiltration of science. Most aren't awake to anything but a few of them are quite astute when it comes to conspiracies. Here are some of the thoughts of his fans:

Marcus  doesn't understand the press release or its implications but he just knows it's a sign of desperation.
March 10, 2016 at 9:03 am
…Ahhhhh, I love the smell of liberal desperation in the morning, …..It smells like…VICTORY !

Tom O is an Agenda21 conspiracy theorist. I expect he's anxiously awaiting the day when all his property is confiscated and he's frogmarched off to a FEMA concentration camp:
March 10, 2016 at 10:20 am
Actually, can you say agenda 21? They believe they have won the deal on carbon dioxide, thus destroying energy production, now it clearly appears that they are after access to “wilderness” and growth of population centers. Lowered food production, no energy, sounds like we are on the verge of a population collapse – planned though it may well be.

The conspiracy theory held by imoira hints it's an even darker plot:
 March 10, 2016 at 11:33 am
Tom O: Yes, that is the plan. I think that Global Ecology is a euphemism Eugenics. 

tetris is very canny. He sees a flaw in the plan of the Agenda21 conspirators, and foresees their demise:
March 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm
What the various folks at the top always appear to forget is that the way larger number of folks at the bottom from time to time get terminally fed up with the excesses of the bien pensant folks at the top. At which point out come the pitch forks, flails, machetes and the like or in a more organized form the guillotines.
Any real attempt by the agenda 21 crowd to actually prevent the rice farmer from making a living by providing food for the other folks at the bottom may well result in said agenda 21 folks being turned into compost to fertilize the rice paddies. There are plenty of examples of similar outcomes throughout history. 

Francisco got as far as reading the press release, which is more than you can say of many WUWT readers. He sees everything through the lens of money.
March 10, 2016 at 9:17 am
But if we are vegans we generate more emissions; however, if we are meat eaters we generate more emissions…. yeah, the only way to save the earth is to kill the human race…. or tax everything, because if you tax it then it is no longer a problem 

indefatigablefrog lets his or her imagination run riot, with sarcasm. The press release said nothing about money or taxation, it was about the biosphere being a net source of greenhouse gases.
March 10, 2016 at 9:50 am
Yeah, taxing everything more is the big idea. It’s the only idea that they have,
Because, why let individuals spend money on efficient solutions to the precise problems that they confront within the context of their own lifes?
When a bunch of self-appointed Govt. monkeys can take it off them and then pay it to themselves, hurl it about as inefficiently as conceivably possible or spend it directly on shit that nobody asked for, nobody wants and nobody needs!!!
(erm… some sarc. there) 

I wouldn't be surprised if Marcus hasn't read the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests. What he does know is that it's a giant conspiracy by 178 nations to do something or the other to him.
March 10, 2016 at 10:30 am
…READ Agenda 21, part of the U.N. ‘s early documents !

csanborn has been misinformed by the "CO2 is plant food" crowd. Plants don't do so well in extreme heat, drought or when topsoil disappears from floods and fires.
March 10, 2016 at 9:19 am
But doesn’t a warming earth mean an earth better able to produce even more agricultural products, i.e. more food. That’s what I understood…

Forrest Gardener asks what changed to get the increase in atmospheric methane around 2007:
March 10, 2016 at 10:24 am
The first graph shows the usual hockey stick shape, but only since about 2007. I’m pretty sure that quite a few people in Asia grew rice before then. What is supposed to have changed in 2007? 

A.D. Everard promotes the "fudging for grants" conspiracy theory so beloved of science deniers:
March 10, 2016 at 12:47 pm
“They found surprisingly…”
Surprisingly, huh. Well color me shocked. Sounds to me more like this is from the “Let’s move the scare on from carbon dioxide to something else because it’s not working” department, from the University of QSOF (Quick, Save Our Funding). 

References and further reading

Hanqin Tian, Chaoqun Lu, Philippe Ciais, Anna M. Michalak, Josep G. Canadell, Eri Saikawa, Deborah N. Huntzinger, Kevin R. Gurney, Stephen Sitch, Bowen Zhang, Jia Yang, Philippe Bousquet, Lori Bruhwiler, Guangsheng Chen, Edward Dlugokencky, Pierre Friedlingstein, Jerry Melillo, Shufen Pan, Benjamin Poulter, Ronald Prinn, Marielle Saunois, Christopher R. Schwalm, Steven C. Wofsy. The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Nature, 2016; 531 (7593): 225 DOI: 10.1038/nature16946
Rationalwiki article on Agenda21 and the varied conspiracy theories

Agenda 21, UNCED, 1992 - the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests.

SA bushfires: Farmers fight to save topsoil after devastating 85,000-hectare blaze - article by  Kerry Staight at ABC News


  1. Thanks Sou for bringing this to my attention. I'm just glad these political scientists have not put alcohol in their sights.

  2. I'm surprised the WUWTers didn't do another of their instant turnarounds and happily accept a little bit of global warming that doesn't originate from burning fossil fuels.

  3. Funny how Watts and acolytes object to people from outside climate science authoring papers on climate science. There were once upon a time a mining consultant and an economist who did just that to great acclaim at wuwt. "Citizen Scientists" was the vogue expression I seem to recall.

    1. Funny thing is that everyone on the author list is associated with an environmental science department. No one obviously from the social sciences side of things at first glance.

    2. Ah but check the cross-appointments!!! All are connected to poli-sci departments. And I'll prove it as soon as I look at the author list. :)

    3. It is one thing to allow a scientific conclusion to affect one's political or social opinions. It is quite another to create pseudo-scientific conclusions in service to a political or social agenda.

      The latter is destructive to society as well as to honest inquiry. The former is an unavoidable outgrowth of doing science within the confines of the Real World(tm).

      It's also easy to tell the difference, by examining the data and logic behind the (real or alleged) science.

      A social or political awareness is not necessarily a Bad Thing. Creating nuclear weapons was an act of applied science. One can argue over whether it was a good idea, and whether it would be a good idea in the future to allow nuclear weapons development to continue. That discussion -- over whether society benefits from nuclear weapons -- can only be had if we admit the reality of the science not only of how nuclear weapons work, but what their effects are when they are used, and what are the alternatives, and the effects of those alternatives.

      Similarly here. Creating climate change denialism because one has a short-term social or political goal is rather like pretending nuclear weapons are simply bombs, no different from hand grenades. It isn't possible to rationally decide among alternatives if one's conclusions were pre-decided.


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