Waxman Malarkey 4: Impact Zone Ireland

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In part 4 of this series, I take a look at the Waxman Markey claims about the Emerald Isle, Impact Zone Ireland. My previous analyses of the same site were Waxman Malarkey: Impact Zone US Northeast, Australia, and Alaska.

Having run short of other scares, the W/M folks want to convince us that Ireland is facing a simultaneous drought and flood … it’s the alarmist’s dream, the universal disaster:

Figure 1. Our future according to Waxman-Markey

How does that work?

Here’s their claim:

THE MISTY ISLAND DRIES OUT

Irish citizens have access to 5 times as much fresh water as the average European. High measures of annual rainfall and low evaporation rates have left a legacy of short coastal streams on peat covered hills and a maze of bogs and lakes along flood-prone inland rivers. However, this legacy may be broken as climate change could yield too much water in some places at some times and too little of it in other places at the same time. Scientists predict that by 2050 winter rainfall will increase by 12 percent and summer rainfall will decline by the same percentage.

Most of the current primary crops in Ireland are already showing evidence of decline. The potato in particular is highly dependant on adequate water supply so it may cease being a commercially viable crop. It is difficult to comprehend that the potato, a part of the landscape so intertwined in Ireland’s culture and history, may not feature strongly in its future.

With hotter, drier summers reducing the summer water supply in inland areas, water accessibility, which currently isn’t necessary for the majority of Irish farming, may necessitate the development of new irrigation systems, which will compete with industrial and residential water demands.

Let me take these claims one at a time. First:

Irish citizens have access to 5 times as much fresh water as the average European.

The citation to this is a site called “Irish Climate”. I do not find any support for the “5 times as much fresh water” claim there … or anywhere. But then “Irish Climate” is a strange site, chock full of unverified claims and alarmist scenarios. In addition, their advertising scheme is to drop ads for things like “Online Slots” into the text at random. I was particularly taken with this one:

So yeah, too bad that things could maybe kinda change in Ireland…it’s not like in Africa, where they had it sooooo good until global warming and then BAM! Online Slots! Suddenly people were poor and starving and sick and illiterate and slaving under corrupt and brutal gangs posing as governments and religions. All since, like, 2006 or so, when the media and corporate and political world started using hip words like ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ to prove that Things Were Being Done.

I never knew online slot machines could cause so much damage. (I disabled the link in that quotation from the site, to prevent further child deaths). But I digress …

I find no scientific support for the “5 times” claim. Actually, I was surprised when I looked into the famous Irish rain to find that the island only gets about about 1.1 metres (46″) of rain per year. So are they saying that Europeans are only getting a fifth of that (230 mm, or 9″) of rain per year? No way. So what do they mean? The world wonders.

In any case, my investigation of the Irish rain leads me to their second claim, that:

However, this legacy may be broken as climate change could yield too much water in some places at some times and too little of it in other places at the same time. Scientists predict that by 2050 winter rainfall will increase by 12 percent and summer rainfall will decline by the same percentage.

“Scientists predict”? I doubt it. Ireland is a postage stamp sized country, there’s no climate model in the world that claims accuracy at that small a scale. And climate models do very poorly at predicting rainfall in any case. So let’s look at some data. Figure 2 shows two different rainfall datasets, once again from the marvelous KNMI site.

Figure 2. Historical Irish rainfall for summer (March-August) and winter (September-February) for the area bounded by 50°-55°N, 5°-10°W.

As you can see, there is no trend in Irish rainfall, either in the summer or the winter. So once again their claims are nothing but alarmists crying wolf.

Next, let’s look at their claim that:

Most of the current primary crops in Ireland are already showing evidence of decline. The potato in particular is highly dependant on adequate water supply so it may cease being a commercially viable crop. It is difficult to comprehend that the potato, a part of the landscape so intertwined in Ireland’s culture and history, may not feature strongly in its future.

The site for investigating claims like this one is marvelous UN FAOSTAT site.  It contains every agricultural statistic imaginable. It shows that 90% of Ireland’s crop production (by tonnage) is in five crops – barley, oats, wheat, potatoes, and sugar beets. Here is the production of those crops since 1961, the start of the FAO database:

Figure 3. Production of the five main Irish crops. The sugar beet data ends in 2005, with the other datasets going to 2008.

So is potato production dropping as they claim? Most definitely … but not because of any change in the rainfall. It has been dropping since the start of the record. Why? Because farmers plant what they can make the most money on for the least effort and risk. Farmers aren’t fools.

Note also that the total production of the five main crops has not changed in half a century. This shows that, rather than Irish production decreasing because of any change in climate, all that is happening is the farmers are shifting from one crop to another.

There is another way to see if the changes in food production are climate related. This is to look at the yields of the crops. “Yield” is the amount of the foodstuff which is produced per hectare. Figure 4 shows the change in yields over a half century:

Figure 4. Crop yields for the main Irish crops

If changes in the climate were affecting the crops, we would see a reduction in the yields. Instead of seeing that, we see that the yield of every one of the crops has been increasing over the period. So whatever has been convincing the Irish farmers to change their mix of crops, it hasn’t been the climate.

Finally, further down on the page, the Waxman Markey site makes the following claim:

The Irish landscape faces many pressures from global warming that will result in visual changes to vegetation and land use. Losses of habitat vital to many species of flora and fauna and the stability of the landscape itself will change due to greater weather extremes.   Arable land in particular regions of the country will continue to grow fields of wheat, barley, and corn as climate changes. In other regions, however, with the emergence of warmer and dryer summers, brown fields of grass during the summer months will become much more common.

The curlew, a beloved Irish bird known for its distinct cry, is endangered by climate change.

But even a rabid AGW carbon control site like the Conservation Volunteers of Northern Ireland doesn’t believe that. They say (emphasis mine):

Threats to the Curlew

There has been a rapid decline in the population of breeding curlew in Northern Ireland over the last 25 years. The most recent survey in 1999 suggested that breeding pairs have declined by 58% since 1988. This rapid decline has been reflected in other parts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The decline of the curlew is linked to the loss of their wetland habitat mainly through more intense agricultural practices, drainage of wetland areas and overgrazing by livestock. It is thought that curlews are now more vulnerable to predation and this is having a further impact on their population. As the birds nest on the ground, they are vulnerable to recent increases in predators such as foxes and crows. The poor survival rate of young birds is known to be a key factor in the decline of curlew.

In Northern Ireland, the curlew is a legitimate quarry species during the open season, although it is thought that the numbers shot are very small. It is fully protected elsewhere in the UK.

Summary: The claimed future changes in Irish rainfall have no scientific validity. The changes in potato production are unconnected to the climate. Agricultural production is not declining. The drop in numbers of the curlew is due to drainage of wetlands. And once again, the Waxman site contains nothing but malarkey.

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97 thoughts on “Waxman Malarkey 4: Impact Zone Ireland

  1. The only threat to Ireland’s potato crop is global cooling. This past winter saw €30,000,000 of potatoes destroyed by prolonged severe winter cold which froze the ground to depths in the soil as low as 30″. Ask any farmer in Ireland about the risk they face , they will all tell you the same story, the risk from cooling is the only consideration. They have excellent memories and none remember experiencing a winter like it in living history.

  2. “Most of the current primary crops in Ireland are already showing evidence of decline”
    It is funny how they worry about crops. Seems to me they are the ones who WANTS the crops to fail. They say there are too many people on this planet.
    The numbers must be reduced, they say. So how, exactly will they proceed to reduce the numbers?
    Fortunately for us, a different kind of scientists have made sure there has been a couple of revolutions. Real “green” revolutions.
    Thanks to them, we can have enjoy life on this planet.

  3. I just love this way to take a close look at such alarmist nonsense and set reality against it. Great job. Keep going.

  4. “Scientists predict that by 2050 winter rainfall will increase by 12 percent and summer rainfall will decline by the same percentage.”
    Well isn’t that just precious? Forty years from now these “scientists” will all be either retired or dead and thus at no professional risk should their predictions turn out to be metaphorical hot air.

  5. One other comment, in Ireland everybody pays a carbon tax on petrol(gasoline). Introduced last December it was initially 5 cent/ litre. But as it varies on the price paid at the pump, that price is now about 9/10 c litre or approx $0.45/ US gallon carbon tax. This summer carbon tax was introduce on coal, home heating oil and agricultural diesel. It hits everybody twice, higher fuel cost, higher food production cost and the entire irony of it is that 90% of the people are more concerned about the cold than warming and that the real damage to the economy has been the cold in the past. They pay for global warming even thought it is the cold that causes the damage. Impossible to do anything about it.

  6. Too bad that the news media no longer has its reporters conduct actual research anymore. Imagine what an impact it would make if the mainstream media would investigate some of these wild alarmist claims instead of just quoting the news releases they are given. Thanks for doing a great job of fact checking.

  7. I just think it should be called Taxman/Malarkey as I’ve been doing for quite some time.
    Thanks. Carry on.

  8. In fact the Irish famine was caused by not diversifying their crops so that when the potato virus struck it hit communities hard, not just in Ireland but in England and Holland too.
    The Irish have been reducing potato production and diversifying into other crops ever since that time, 150 years ago.

  9. I note in passing that the intentional statement of a falsehood to a member of the government is a felony known as obstruction of justice. This is true no matter if you are under oath or not. As such the individuals who have created this site, should be arrested and charged with this crime. There is no immunity for federal officials to my knowledge. Nixon is an example. About time these folks faced the music before the judge.

  10. Really wish people would stop putting backgrounds on their graphs. It is horribly distracting and makes the graphs nearly impossible to read at times. That’s all…sorry for the rant but these aren’t the first graphs that I haven’t been able to read because of it.

  11. Having been to The Emerald Isle once, for a week, a few years ago. I can report that the issue with Irish rain is not quantity, it’s quality!!!!! Irish rain is by far the wettest I have ever experienced, anywhere.
    I would also caution visitors about standing still for too long, your boots or shoes will start to take root.
    And as for kissing the Blarney Stone……………………
    john

  12. The sugar beet was no longer grown after 2005 because the only sugar factory in the state was closed when it became unprofitable due to a World Trade Organisation ruling allowing cheap sugar imports from Brazil.
    Contrary to popular belief Irish people do eat foodstuffs other than potatoes. The potato blight – which devastated the crop and was a major factor in the deaths a million people here – occurred in the mid 19th century. The last minimum of the Little Ice Age.

  13. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram says:
    July 1, 2010 at 1:40 pm
    In fact the Irish famine was caused by not diversifying their crops so that when the potato virus struck it hit communities hard, not just in Ireland but in England and Holland too.

    ——————————————————
    That’s not completely true. Other crops were grown but the produce was exported by profiteers while the Irish starved.

  14. Ireland, like Great Britain is having a hot dry summer. This happens every once in while (it did in 1976 for instance). I was there in summer 2009 – everyone was complaining about the constant rain – and these were Irishmen – who one would think would be used to it! It rained for at least a few hours every day I was there and I was there for a month.
    This is just the usual idiocy. When we have a cold fall winter and spring it is “just weather”. But hot summers are “climate change”!

  15. What is the rainfall in Idaho – the potato state. I’ve been to both places a few times and I usually don’t take an umbrella to Idaho.

  16. These politicians know next to nothing about agriculture. Importing french fry seeds to America has hurt the potatoe business in Ireland.
    If it gets so hot, wouldn’t raising partially cooked potatoes cut down on energy at McDonalds?
    The new hot product is pommes frites. It will cut demand for the Irish spuds.
    Waxman hasn’t read the bill with his name on it.

    After 45 seconds Waxman said he hasn’t read the stupid bill. He relies on “scientists”
    Whcih have faltered according to this thread.

  17. Taxman Malarkey says:
    “However, this legacy may be broken as climate change could yield too much water in some places at some times and too little of it in other places at the same time.”
    I guess that “legacy” was broken centuries ago, across the length and width of the USA. It is absolutely common for farms less than 5 miles apart to have significantly different rainfall totals, and corresponding differences in crop yields, in any given summer. The summer afternoon pop up thunderstorms tend to be local events and randomly distributed, with some farms in the path of a cumulonimbus thunderhead being deluged and gully washed with an inch of rain and adjacent areas receiving none. We just called that ‘normal weather’, were I grew up.

  18. ‘Because farmers plant what they can make the most money on for the least effort and risk.’
    So true, and here in EU that means no farming, because, well, farmer have the option of getting paid from EU not to farm say potatoes. Then you can lease the land to a windmill muppet, or energy forest muppet, and get a little extra, and the odd part is then those muppets can get paid for doing green stuff or just take the carbon credits and run. How goes the wheels on the buss….
    What? The eurolegislation being full of holes?!? Oh my look at the time.
    Now the eurocrats also pay fishermen not to fish. But I wonder if them fishermen are allowed to keep their vessels, because that’d be truly screwy, good for the old folks wanting to retire early though, selling the boat on the side, or just renting it out to someone not ready to retire just yet.

  19. As a Science Fiction writer, I recognize what is going on here.
    A bunch of socially awkward misfits sat down one day and said, “hey, let’s write a series of short stories given the following premise: uncontrolled planetary warming.” So they did… first they lay the groundwork with dishonest charts and graphs “showing” warming (no matter what had to be manipulated to do so). Then the slightly modified reality to show current problems from this fabricated warming.
    But, as with all fiction, the real fun is in projection. A rousing game of “what if?” is always good for a writer… they can let their imaginations fly. What if precipitation patterns changed? What if it turns out the problem is us? What if people were dying from heat? What if crops start failing? What if… ?
    Unfortunately for us, these fiction short stories have become mainstream media. Which is okay, that was also the plot of a 60s era Science Fiction story by, I believe, Larry Niven. Can’t remember for sure, if it’s important I’m sure someone can correct me.

  20. I have lived in ireland and the weather forecasters could not predict the weather 3 hours in advance let alone what it is going to be like 40 years down the road.

  21. “Irish citizens have access to 5 times as much fresh water as the average European.”
    (Irish rainfall/Irish population density)/(average European rainfall/average European population density)
    Sounds about right. Ireland is somewhat more rainy than average, and considerably more sparsely populated.

  22. Man, sometimes the CAGW BS comes down so fast you need an umbrella.
    Thanks for the umbrella, Willis.

  23. The only thing affecting the Irish landscape is the bloody wind turbines which are popping up everywhere like dandelions. We are also afflicted by a particularly nasty strain of lefties and eco-loons. We had a documentary on CAGW recently which would give you all a laugh – unfortunately its not viewable outside the country. It had James Hansen on saying that most of the Arctic Ice was already gone!!

  24. It’s incredible that the W&M site is allowed to exist at all given the complete lack of anything resembling reality on their pages. We should be reDublin our efforts to get it closed. It’s Corked!

  25. nice!
    1 July: WaPo: Juliet Eilperin: Penn State clears Mann in Climate-gate probe
    Staff writer Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.
    While the panel called Mann’s decision to share “unpublished manuscripts with third parties, without first having received express consent from the authors of such manuscripts… careless and inappropriate,” it unanimously concluded “that there is no substance to the allegation” that Mann engaged in academic misconduct.
    Mann welcomed the panel’s findings…
    http://views.washingtonpost.com/climate-change/post-carbon/2010/07/by_juliet_eilperin_a_pennsylvania.html

  26. As I have said some times ago, they are preparing the world for the “warming”, while the world is cooling. But is it the way to eliminate 30% of the population that threat some peoples of the rich countries. And they known that…
    You are right: The dream of this guys is an global catastrophe. They sleep all the nights waiting for more hurricanes, droughts, heavy rains, extreme climatic events, and all kind of things that give to this criminals some minutes in media, until the true be unveiled. Crime against humanity. Is what they are doing.

  27. report dated 4 June? full details in here:
    Nature Mag: Jeff Tollefson: Penn State clears Michael Mann again; legal battle continues in Virginia
    In a 4 June report that was released on Thursday, a separate committee made up of Penn State faculty unanimously concluded that there is “no substance” to the accusations of research misconduct against Mann. In a 19-page document goes into little detail about Mann’s practices, the committee breaks that question into its component parts, looking at his behavior in proposing, conducting and reporting research.
    On the first question, the committee cites Mann’s success in applying for grant money and leading research, saying such success “would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards” for proposing research.
    On the question of research conduct, the committee found that Mann has identified the source of all data and wherever possible made the data publicly available; similarly, the committee found that although Mann was initially reluctant to release computer code and initial calculations, Mann switched to a simpler programming language in 2000 and has since been releasing all codes and “intermediate data.” If anything, the committee found that his behavior in this arena has exceeded evolving scientific standards. More broadly, the committee noted that Mann’s work has been independently verified by other scientists using publicly available data and has earned him honors within the field. …
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2010/07/penn_state_clears_michael_mann_1.html

  28. kwik says: July 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    “They say there are too many people on this planet. The numbers must be reduced, they say. So how, exactly will they proceed to reduce the numbers”
    Well if they are so keen to reduce population, a good way to start would be for them to slit their own throats. That might be an end to the nonsense.

  29. Last August we went to Kerry in south west Ireland. It rained, and it rained and it rained. Dry ground and a land in need of water I didn’t see. And if Ireland supposedly gets too much rain I don’t know how one would notice.
    Ireland and Scotland are the first lands that the moist South Westerly winds hit. As there is a lot of high ground it is going to rain regardless of what Mr Markey thinks should happen.
    I will add it was a great holiday and Ireland is very beautiful.

  30. Being Irish I’d like to point out that ‘summer rainfall’ is generally just called Summer in Ireland. Actual Summer is 2 hours after lunch, generally around the July 2nd or 3rd. If you are lucky.

  31. The sadness of it all is that as soon as I come across the word “scientists” followed by a verb (eg scientists say…, scientists predict…) in any article I’m immediately on alert for propaganda.
    This site is clearly egregious, as the excellent Mr Watts and Willis Eschenbach have shown. But the long-term damage to any kind of credibility for science or scientists must surely make mainstream academia wake up and start to address the zealotry and “activism” which has been injected into their veins?
    The whitewashing of Michael Mann by Penn State in classic bureaucratic style is a canonical example of professional wagon-circling. When will the sections of academia with any remaining sense of “rigour” begin to realise that their entire enterprise is being fatally tainted by these self-righteous clowns?

  32. waxman/malarkey – sounds like traditional names for irish leprechauns.
    We’ve been promised a good summer for several years now, but no delivery.
    Last winter was the coldest in living memory for most irish people after a forecast of a mild winter!
    Too much rain or too little rain? .. sounds to me like these leprechauns are hedging their bets in typical CAGW style. In Ireland we always get too much or too little rain – nobody seems to know the exact amount we should get!
    Why don’t you americans rise up and put an end to this craziness?
    I’m asking you Americans because Europe is crippled and beyond all hope.
    God bless America.
    tim

  33. “Scientists predict that by 2050 winter rainfall will increase by 12 percent and summer rainfall will decline by the same percentage.”
    I was in Ireland last summer; it rained every day. A 12% reduction will mean one dry day most weeks in summer. What’s not to like?

  34. Willis, the warmists must hate your clear headed guts!!! Another demolished lie!!
    ——
    Let’s go back into time……
    Potato BlightPhytophthora infestans
    The following environmental conditions are necessary for late blight development:
    TEMPERATURES- Below 78 F
    HUMIDITY– 90% and higher
    MOISTURE– free moisture for 8-12 hours
    source
    ———
    The Great Irish Famine – 1845–51 (caused by Potato Blight)
    “Altogether, about a million people in Ireland are reliably estimated to have died of starvation and epidemic disease….

    Comparison with other modern and contemporary famines establishes beyond any doubt that the Irish famine of the late 1840s, which killed nearly one-eighth of the entire population, was proportionally much more destructive of human life than the vast majority of famines in modern times.” source
    —-
    “The Prime-Minister, Sir Robert Peel, set up a commission of enquiry to try to find out what was causing the potato failures and to suggest ways of preserving good potatoes. The commission was headed by two English scientists, John Lindley and Lyon Playfair. The farmers had already found that blight thrived in damp weather, and the commission concluded that it was being caused by a form of wet rot.” source
    I don’t think the Irish are too concerned about a slight drop in rain considering crop yeilds have actually gone up since 1961. My silly guess is that they are worried about too much rain.

  35. kwik says:
    July 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    They say there are too many people on this planet.
    The numbers must be reduced, they say. So how, exactly will they proceed to reduce the numbers?

    That’s already arranged for. Since the Cold War was won all nations got rid of unnecessary food stockpiles and businesses, adopting the just-in-time inventory strategy, have not made up for it. Recently the world is run on a food reserve of several months worth.
    At the same time according to this paper a responsible government should be able to feed the populace at least for seven years under any circumstances. This advice is not followed.
    Therefore only patience is needed until a major volcanic eruption occurs again like Tambora in 1815, the event of 535 or Toba, 70,000 BC.
    If there is nothing to eat, people simply die en masse (in less than three months). The phenomenon is called famine and is well known from history. It’s closely followed by three other Horsemen (plague, war and death).
    The planet is saved.

  36. Jackie says:
    July 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm
    “The only threat to Ireland’s potato crop is global cooling. This past winter saw €30,000,000 of potatoes destroyed by prolonged severe winter cold which froze the ground to depths in the soil as low as 30″…. ”
    Jackie, it seems that something is missing in your explanation of the reason for the large loss of potato crops.
    We have a farm in Central Alberta, Canada. We regularly grew potatoes from 1974 to 2004 and still grow them now in our backyard.
    The area around Edmonton, Alberta, is, where irrigation has been employed to augment rainfall (if necessary), good and productive potato-growing land.
    We have a short growing season, on average in the order of 91 contiguous frost-free days long. The ground in this area of Alberta freezes on average to a depth of 1.80m (about 6′ or 72″), seldom deeper than to a depth of 2.00m.
    Most people who plant their potatoes for personal use plant them in about the second half of May. That avoids putting them into the ground when the ground has not yet sufficiently warmed. It also avoids having the potato stalks emerge before late frosts around the end of May can damage them and set them back. If emerging stalks freeze, that does not kill the below-ground portions of potato plants; they will resume growing anew after just a few days, but then the harvest will be a bit late and cramped for time in the fall. We planted potatoes as late as the first of July and still harvested them before the first frosts occurred in the fall (in the beginning of September).
    The joke goes that each year Alberta gets nine months of winter and three months of poor sledding.
    Still, I have never heard of anyone around here losing a potato crop, unless it was for a totally different reason than the one you described. It has happened very rarely that the fields could not be worked for planting or harvesting because they had been turned to mud on account of excessive rains.
    Do you have information that provides plausible, substantiated reasons for those large potato-crop losses in Ireland? Can you point out a source for that information?
    Your opening sentences are a real puzzler but may contain a clue in as much that the losses may be related to “prolonged severe winter cold”.
    That is obviously not a problem here even though winters are considerably longer and always much more severe than they are in Ireland, unless winter cold affects potatoes in storage facilities. That is not likely to happen to anyone here, as storage facilities are heated (and refrigerated when necessary) to keep potatoes in storage at just above freezing.

  37. I have a rule that I only ever comment on an article where I am adding to the information on the subject and not just saying “hooray for our side”. However coming from an Irish farming background I feel well qualified to comment on both the Waxman article and Willis response.
    First up, the Waxman article is total bull of the worst kind. All the “effects” referred to have nothing to do with climate change. Except ironically the bog bursts which, though still very rare, have increased somewhat in recent years due to construction work associated with wind farms! The costal erosion is due to the battering which Ireland takes from the Atlantic storms and has been going on for millenia. The decline in the acreage of potato crop is due to the fact that potato growing is now the preserve of large specialised growers and most small farmers no longer grow a couple of acres of spuds for their own use. Changes in other arable crop rates are due to EU subsidy policies which actively encouraged less land to be used for planted crops.
    Ireland is wet and will continue to be wet for a long long time.
    In relation to temperature, as everyone should know Ireland is host to the absolute best long temperature series anywhere in the world ( at Armagh Observatory) which shows little warming since the late 18th Century ( by the way GISS prefers not to use these records relying instead on RAF Aldergrove.)
    Willis does miss a couple of points though. Grass is by far the largest crop grown in Ireland, with huge quantites converted into silage (think sauerkraut made fom grass) for winter feeding of cattle and sheep. The principal agricultural exports are (rather excellent) meat and dairy produce. In comparison the cereals sector is tiny. From bitter experience it is difficult to grow wheat, barley or maize in the damp climate.
    The sugar beet industry is dead as the last factory processing it closed in 2006. Those interested in the whole sorry story should google Greencore Sugar.
    I also would not be suprised if we had 5 times more access to fresh water than the rest of the EU mainly due to the low population density. Ireland still has a lower popualtion now than it did in 1830.

  38. OT – The things people do to save the planet.
    BBC – 1 July, 2010
    Police to investigate Gore masseuse assault claims
    “After the alleged incident, the woman said she was dissuaded from contacting the police by friends of hers.
    One friend “was basically asking me to just suck it up, otherwise the world’s going to be destroyed from global warming“, she said.”
    Is there a pun somewhere? :o)

  39. When you do midwest, it has a lot in common with Ireland. Midwest will suffer droughts and flash floods at the same time. Also no mention of the dust bowl at all either. It should be quite fun to debunk.
    All of these remind me of shooting fish in a barrel….the entire website just looks good..end of story.
    I full expect cap and tax to pass this year and see energy taxes incorporated in order to support an even larger government that can put out more waste like this website.

  40. Derryman says:
    July 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm
    …awesome comments
    Everyone wants to plot info on graphs. The secret variable is not weather at all. It is price and subsidies. I get a gubment check every year to NOT plant rye. Input costs also influence choices of what to plant. Eutopia or Europa have crop subsidies.

  41. Plenty ‘o’ data here (all the way back to 1800 and a bit). Lost the will to graph or otherwise test the data but a quick glance says nothing much has changed in 200 years.
    Is there any alarmist nonsense that the site hasn’t promoted?
    “Leprechaun clothing could be up to 5% less colourful by 2050 says man in Galway pub.”
    Never mind fish in a bucket, day old puppies tied up in a very small box is nearer the mark.
    Keep it up o merciless one.

  42. CodeTech says:
    July 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm
    As a Science Fiction writer, I recognize what is going on here.
    A bunch of socially awkward misfits sat down one day and said….

    However this, unfortunately, it is not SF. Of course there were many SF/PF stories back in the 1950 and 1960´s which dealt with the actual scenarios happening now.
    A world order which we are not choosing, which nobody voted for it and which nobody asked us if we agree or not, which was thought and planned by an elite who think they are doing their best in providing us with a “Brave New World”.
    In order to know the origins and ulterior developments you have to get back when the UN was founded, who donated the land on which it was built, etc.,etc.
    and.. http://www.green-agenda.com/

  43. “So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.”
    -Voltaire
    Emotional terrorism like the “Impact Zone” BS is a part of the structure of tyranny.
    regards

  44. Why is it that I can’t see doom and gloom on the Irish agricultural horizon?

    Independent.ie – Tuesday June 29 2010
    “The dry weather has been an enormous help, both in keeping disease levels low and in terms of getting protection on to crops at the right times so cereal crops are staying good and clean.
    The number of suitable spraying days this year has been well ahead of last summer, making the task a whole lot easier to get done.
    Disease levels on winter crops continue to be very low and most crops are showing good yield potential. ”
    http://www.independent.ie/farming/crops/crops-still-need-protection-2238173.html

    —————————-

    Teagasc
    * 80% of agricultural area is devoted to grass (silage, hay and pasture), 11% to rough grazing and 9% to crop production.
    * Ireland exports nine out of every 10 beef animals, making it the largest beef exporter in the EU and one of the largest in the world.
    * Dairy exports account for 75% of total production while 60% of all sheepmeal is exported.
    http://www.teagasc.ie/agrifood/

  45. Paul Birch says:
    July 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    “Irish citizens have access to 5 times as much fresh water as the average European.”
    (Irish rainfall/Irish population density)/(average European rainfall/average European population density)
    Sounds about right. Ireland is somewhat more rainy than average, and considerably more sparsely populated.

    Are you taking lessons from Waxman? Put some numbers on it. I get:
    (1161 mm/63 people/km2) / (751 mm/112 people/km2) = 2.7, a long way from five.
    How come I have to do the hard lifting? If you have a good idea, do your homework, look up the numbers, come up with the answer, cite your sources. Otherwise, it’s just handwaving.
    SOURCES: Rainfall KNMI, population density Wikipedia

  46. All these foolish Waxman Malarkey claims are either plain old lies or about what the future may bring. They are not based on any observed trends. Whenever Willis takes a closer look he tends to find the opposite of their claims or at the very least nothing to write home about.
    I’m sick to death of the scaremongering lies based on computer models, the weather or uninformed, wild speculation. Future generations may laugh and ridicule this current batch of ‘leaders’ and climate ‘scientists’ who ‘were’ motivated by greed, power, scientific status or just plain wrong.

  47. Derryman says:
    July 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I have a rule that I only ever comment on an article where I am adding to the information on the subject and not just saying “hooray for our side”. However coming from an Irish farming background I feel well qualified to comment on both the Waxman article and Willis response. …

    Derryman, many thanks. You say that grass for silage is the main crop. Unfortunately, the FAOSTAT database doesn’t count that. They give the 2008 production for all listed crops as:
    item, tonnes
    Barley, 1249700
    Wheat, 950700
    Sugar beet, 380000
    Potatoes, 371900
    Oats, 176600
    Mushrooms and truffles, 75000
    Cabbages and other brassicas, 45000
    Vegetables fresh nes, 40000
    Carrots and turnips, 24000
    Rapeseed, 23400
    Apples, 16000
    Tomatoes, 12000
    Onions, dry, 8700
    Beans, dry, 8500
    Cereals, nes, 7400
    Cauliflowers and broccoli, 7000
    Lettuce and chicory, 5500
    Fruit Fresh Nes, 5000
    Peas, dry, 3800
    Peas, green, 2600
    Cucumbers and gherkins, 1550
    Beans, green, 1500
    Strawberries, 1400
    Chillies and peppers, green, 400
    Rye, 400
    Currants, 140
    Berries Nes, 100
    Raspberries, 100
    Hops, 40

    (“Nes” means “Not Elsewhere Specified”)
    Your local view is much appreciated.
    w.

  48. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!
    Are you going to vote these jokers in next time?

  49. Didn’t that letter to Congress say the human race would be extinct by 2050? So what’s the big deal if Ireland simultaneously floods and dries up? There won’t be anyone to care.
    I seem to remember an after school special in the 70s where a guy shot the last of the curlews.

  50. Only 40 tonnes of Hops Willis? it’s a vital ingredient in Guinness .
    that can’t be right 🙂

  51. Dutch newspaper Telegraaf.nl reports on June 29th that Ove Guldberg has been named as lead author on “ocean chapter”. Any truth to this?

  52. Looks like that curlew is the Irish polar bear.
    Why didn’t they blame the absence of snakes on climate change?

  53. Berényi Péter says:
    July 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm
    kwik says:
    July 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    They say there are too many people on this planet.
    The numbers must be reduced, they say. So how, exactly will they proceed to reduce the numbers?
    That’s already arranged for. Since the Cold War was won all nations got rid of unnecessary food stockpiles and businesses, adopting the just-in-time inventory strategy, have not made up for it. Recently the world is run on a food reserve of several months worth…..
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Thank you for mentioning this. People in the USA seem to think only kooks worry about the food supply.
    The disaster waiting to happen can be traced back to the international grain traders and the World Trade Organization. Specifically Dan Amstrutz, VP of Cargill, who wrote the 1995 WTO Agreement on Agriculture and The 1996 USA “Freedom to Farm” Act.
    Here are some good articles about the treat to our food supply:
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/History-HACCP-and-the-Foo-by-Nicole-Johnson-090906-229.html
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2009/12/the-festering-fraud-behind-food-safety-reform/
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/05/food-safety-reform-and-the-enclosure-movement/

  54. We Kiwis have appeased Mother Gaia by buying into the ETS so its now highly unlikely New Zealand will appear on Malarkey’s website of future climatic catastrophes – so there take that.
    Nothing twisted about me……

  55. I just had a thought: are there places and regions where the temperature trends as shown by raw data actually look like the IPCC/global trend data?
    That would be cool to see where it really is warm. Central Park in New York City won’t cut it, by the way.

  56. The premise is laughable but the result will be millions of human deaths, The evil lurk among us.

  57. Reference the Curlew…”drainage of wetland areas and overgrazing by livestock”.
    “Most of the Irish peat drainage was associated with the aim of reducing flooding but drainage schemes altered and accelerated after the second World War due to the need to increase livestock production in upland farms (Stephens and Symons, 1956; Common, 1970). In Northern Ireland there are only 169 km2 of intact peat left compared with 1190 km2 of total peatland (Cooper et al., 1991).”
    from http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/485/1/holdenj7.pdf
    So that big sponge is not there to slowly release water anymore……Oh no! I forgot, its the hotter dryer summers!
    When will this garbage end Willis? I know its important to fight this stuff but its keeping me out of the bar and Guinness sales are in free fall!

  58. Why don’t the Green Weenies just let us all die off from tipping points already. The more oil we burn the sooner we’ll be gone. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of these Luddite hypocrites.

  59. So, Waxman is FOS, no surprise. He has been on every issue I’ve ever seen him voice an opinion. This isn’t an indictment on Waxman. He’s crap. Anyone that has cared to watch him already knows that he doesn’t care one whit about his country. It is an indictment upon the people that keep re-electing him. Samuel Adams could not have said it better. ““If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”
    I truly wish they knew the meaning of that statement, and I truly wish they understood that it isn’t a past sentiment, but one which holds meaning to many.

  60. OT but an idea example for all of you out there itching to toss a monkey wrench into the AGW Monster Truck bent on trashing your neighborhood with alarmism:
    Take a place that has more than a century of rainfall records and sort them according to the length of the solar cycle they occured in:
    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/TempGr/WvPrecipSC.GIF
    In my area, the shorter solar cycles can have much drier results.
    Your mileage may vary.
    Got the idea from David Archibald’s new book. Thanks, David.

  61. How about this prediction: In less than two hundred years, global warming will cause the death of everybody alive today.

  62. “Most of the current primary crops in Ireland are already showing evidence of decline.”
    I don’t have time to check, if that actually is true. It very well may be, but it should not automatically be attributed to climate change or drought. In the EU, farmers get paid very little per crops produced. The EU pays subsidies per area cultivated. As the prize of fertilizers has gone up during the last years, farmers may have done the logical thing: Reduce fertilizers and care less about how much you produce.

  63. tim O’Brien says:
    July 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm
    waxman/malarkey – sounds like traditional names for irish leprechauns.

    Here’s wordplay with the names:
    Wax/Key
    Wax/Mark
    Wax/Mar
    Wax/ey

  64. Myron Mesecke says:
    “Too bad that the news media no longer has its reporters conduct actual research anymore. Imagine what an impact it would make if the mainstream media would investigate some of these wild alarmist claims instead of just quoting the news releases they are given. Thanks for doing a great job of fact checking.”
    ….How journalists make it all up
    “You can’t make this stuff up.”
    Well, somebody did.
    I can’t believe the level of idiocy these days in the journalism profession. Have they not noticed that this year’s Arctic ice is greater than last year’s; or that last year’s is greater than the year before?
    What total tools. I will tell you how this stuff gets reported like this. I will share a secret. The reporter gets a “press package” with the story already written. It’s done by a professional PR agency, often an agency that specializes on “progressive” causes like Fenton Communications in the US.
    They might be given a list of individuals who would be available for interview or if there is an event or “protest”, they are given a press liaison contact. If they attend the event and make contact with the liaison, they will be given a “press packet” there that gives the “correct” background information. They will be briefed and explained to them what the importance of various things are and guided to the best locations for photographs and possibly be directed to key individuals for comments.
    It’s the difference between a photograph and a painting. “Journalist” means you write things down. It’s different than being a reporter and digging for facts. The truth is many “journalists” are lazy and more interested in hanging out with the “cool” people so they can count themselves among them.
    In laying out what “scientists will warn of” next week, he had to have been given access to the press packet. He is likely re-stating what was dropped on his desk.
    Rupert Murdoch (and the late Kerry Packer) are the architects of their own demise. Between them they raided a fair proportion of the news media in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States (in alphabetical order). They employed a manufacturing model to centralize the “production” of the news in “hubs”, thus getting rid of a large number of specialized journalists, and practically all journalists working at the grassroots level for small-town newspapers.
    There is no time for investigative journalism any more – journalists now rely on Press Releases, delivered by “spokespersons” to give them “leads” for their news items. The print media is now is all about advertising revenue – hence the increase in sensationalism and the decrease in impartial analysis. This trend has since been extended to New Scientist, Scientific American, National Geographic, et al.
    The blogosphere (and private sector intelligence organizations) are now following the laws of biology, by moving into an environmental niche that has been vacated by its previous occupants.
    If you want an in-depth analysis, see “Flat Earth News”, by Nick Davis, published by Vintage Books, and endorsed by the Financial Times.
    Remember this…
    The mass media is NOT your friend.
    They exist for the purpose of selling you fear, keeping you in a Just-Over-Broke, keeping you paying your 78% taxes and feeding the machine.
    The constant barrage of world-wide negativity, mass mediocrity and the paralysing fear of murder, government corruption, the financial crisis and increasing taxes is THE Number 1 Conspiracy of the modern world: A conspiracy to pollute your mind, break your spirit and leave you with an overwhelming feeling that you are small, insignificant, weak, and helpless
    I almost never watch the news. Someone will tell me the important stuff: it is all anyone ever talks about: THE NEWS.
    However, whilst on a train to London, I picked up a paper that was left on the seat: it was a shopping list of catastrophes and mind-numbing trauma. I know that *the news* is “normal” to “normal” people. However, most normal people accomplish fairly little in their lifetime. Those of us who are going somewhere in life have better things to do than watch the relentless droning of crimes and disasters we have no power to solve.
    Right now, the world is FULL of negativity.
    You, as a free-thinking individual, MUST resist this – passionately and proactively. Because if you don’t it will kill your soul, kill your ambition, kill your dreams and everything you really live for, and love.
    Not only must you protect yourself from the media world of depression, you need to combat it with your family and your loved ones. You need to tell them what’s GOOD. You need to smile. You need to greet everyone you meet with encouragement. Your vendors, the Real Estate Agents, your friends & family.
    You need to talk about what’s really HAPPENING.
    In Your world. In a Good world. In a Real World – YOUR REAL WORLD.
    You need to celebrate tiny little victories EVERY SINGLE DAY.
    And… when you have a major victory in your life, share it with people who will celebrate it with you.

  65. In the UK there is a serious crime known as “Misleading Parliament”. Given that Greenpeace, Fiends of the Earth, the Civil Service, Minsiters and various “scientists” have been “Misleading Parliament” for several decades now, I wonder when we will see them charged with this offence – regarded as being as serious as committing Treason?

  66. Re: Walter Schneider Request.
    Harvesting fears as frost lingers.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8446707.stm
    Consumers and farmers are counting the cost of the harsh weather which has brought vegetable harvesting to a halt and resulted in sharp price increases for some produce.
    Northern Ireland potato growers, who have still 15% of their crop in the ground, are facing some of the biggest losses because of frost damage.
    Angus Wilson of one the main potato packing companies, said that while the spud harvest in Britain has been safely gathered in, local growers experienced difficult planting and growing conditions which has meant harvesting has been late.
    “If potatoes are in contact with frost, even for a day or two, they just go into a jelly and they become absolutely inedible,” said Mr Wilson.
    Fields are frozen solid to a depth of more than six inches and in many cases the entire crop may be affected by frost damage.
    For every acre of spuds lost to the frost, growers will lose around £2,000………..
    The harvest was set late as a result of excessive rain, an almost annual occurence and usually does not affect the potato crop until you have extreme freezing conditions that penetrate the soil like the last winter. As of June 1st these same farmers are now playing an absolute fortune in carbon taxes for a warming planet. The irony about carbon taxes is the colder the weather the higher the tax take. Food costs are rocketing because of the cold across Europe this year yet we are hit with carbon taxes for global warming that is non existant. This winter will be much the same yet the Global Warming Prophets told us we would never see snow across UK & Ireland ever again.

  67. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm
    Paul Birch says:
    July 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm
    “Irish citizens have access to 5 times as much fresh water as the average European.”
    (Irish rainfall/Irish population density)/(average European rainfall/average European population density)
    Sounds about right. Ireland is somewhat more rainy than average, and considerably more sparsely populated.
    Are you taking lessons from Waxman? Put some numbers on it. I get:
    (1161 mm/63 people/km2) / (751 mm/112 people/km2) = 2.7, a long way from five.
    How come I have to do the hard lifting? If you have a good idea, do your homework, look up the numbers, come up with the answer, cite your sources. Otherwise, it’s just handwaving.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Come off it! You made the mistake in your original post (forgetting to include the pop density). I pointed out your error and said – truthfully – that the factor of five seemed “about right”. The onus on you if you want a more accurate calculation. Preferably not one relying upon Wikipedia. From my Times Atlas of the World (a real book) the pop density for Ireland is 46/km2 (or from the Guinness World Data Book (which ought to be “good for you” re Ireland!), 50/km2). It looks to me as if the wikis eurostat pop estimate includes Northern Ireland. The figure you picked out for “Europe” is for the EU only. Precisely what areas should be chosen is debatable – even arbitrary – but a factor ~5 is certainly supportable. If you want to be pedantic, perhaps we should also include the ratio of the runoff fractions, which dictate how much fresh water is accessible.

  68. “…It is difficult to comprehend that the potato, a part of the landscape so intertwined in Ireland’s culture and history, may not feature strongly in its future….”.
    What utter tosh — it was important to the natives in the last few centuries because the invaders confiscated just about everything else — you might as well say nettles and seaweed are “intertwined in Ireland’s cultural history”.
    I’ve dragged out a book I bought about 30 years ago The Irish Landscape, Frank Mitchell 1976 (Trinity College Dublin) which is a brief history of the Irish geology and climate etc.
    In the chapter covering AD 300 – 1900 he quotes Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales c.1146 – c.1223) who travelled to Ireland in 1185 (at the height of the MWP) and wrote an account for Henry II (as his chaplain):
    “…Ireland is the most temperate of all countries…. snow is seldom and lasts only for a short time….there is a plentiful supply of rain, such an ever-present overhanging of clouds and fog, that summer scarcely gives three consecutive days of really fine weather…”.
    “…The land is fruitful and rich in its fertile soil and plentiful harvests….crops abound in its fields, flocks on the mountains, wild animals in the woods it is rich in honey and milk…exports cow-hides, sheep-skins and furs…much wine is imported …”.
    Not bad.
    “…. only the granaries are without their wealth….the crops give great promise in the blade, even more in the straw, but less in the ear…. for here the grains of wheat are shrivelled and small and can scarcely be separated from the chaff….because of the unceasing rain [Lughnasadh wheat harvest day is 1st August]…”.
    Pre-Mann et al. Mitchell comments: “…what Giraldus has to say about the wheat failing to ripen is of particular interest, because a temperature curve shows he was writing at a time when mean annual temperature in England — and presumably in Ireland also — was rising to its thirteenth-century peak [here he reproduces H. H. Lamb’s 1000 yr. temperature reconstruction]….”.
    Mitchell observes that some say that there is no such thing as climate in Ireland, but only an irregular sequence of fronts bringing wind and rain — that maritime influences predominate.

  69. I was in the west of Ireland last week, and visited Inishere, one of the Aran islands in Galway Bay. They had had no rain for weeks. Things were getting worrying – Reservoirs low, water rationing, and the prospect of shipping water in. Whoever wrote the initial article must have been there then! One farmer had to sell cattle as he couldn’t water all his stock. One of the problems with this part of Ireland is the fact that the underlying rocks are the limestones of the Burren, and now is the height of the tourist season (perhaps they should bring their own water). However rain is now arriving, so I hope this helps them even if it does mess up the theories noted above.

  70. Paul Birch says:
    July 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm
    “Irish citizens have access to 5 times as much fresh water as the average European.”
    (Irish rainfall/Irish population density)/(average European rainfall/average European population density)
    Sounds about right. Ireland is somewhat more rainy than average, and considerably more sparsely populated.

    We have indeed got “access” to plenty of fresh water as long as we’re prepared to take a bucket and walk to the nearest well, but right now there are water shortages and hosepipe bans in some parts of the country (see http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0624/1224273187074.html), and only the predicted arrival of rain next week looks likely to stave off a similar ban and rationing where I live, in north Dublin, and maybe not even then.
    The original quote seems to be intended to convey the impression that the Irish (uniquely in Europe) benefit from a glorious abundance of fresh water available at the turn of a tap, which is now threatened by global warming. If so, neither inference would be correct. We have more than enough water for any conceivable need, and that is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future, but getting it from where it falls to where it’s required is so badly served by inadequate and neglected infrastructure that just a few weeks of drier than average weather is enough to result in the farcical situation we have right now.
    And it’s not just dry weather either – last winter was so cold that water mains froze and burst, causing significant disruption to supplies, to which our sanctimonious Green Minister for the Environment responded by lecturing us about our ‘wasteful’ use of water. In Ireland, no less.
    You would think that one of the few benefits to living in a country as wet as Ireland would be plentiful water, but it ain’t necessarily so.

  71. I lived in Ireland for many years, many years ago, south east, Waterford, and it was almost continually wet during autumn/winter. A fine drizzle for 3 months, not a rain, nothing I’ve experienced anywhere else, not quite a mist and not quite a drizzle. Everyday having to “strip down” and hang clothes in front of an open fire (No central heating back then) to dry them all out for the next day.
    Plenty of railfall, few catchments for drinking (During my time that is).

  72. Derryman and Dinjo are right.
    stevengoddard: Supply of Guinness is abundant everywhere, but Guinness does not travel well so it tastes a lot better in Dublin.

  73. Jackie, thanks for the link to the BBC article on the potato-harvesting problems: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8446707.stm
    The BBC article is dated Thursday, 7 January 2010. I suppose it is not normal to leave Irish potatoes in the ground until then.
    Going by my experiences and that of other potato growers around here, adaptation is an effective means for coping with inclement growing or harvesting conditions. The BBC is not necessarily the best authority for suggesting improved harvesting methods over the one they chose to illustrate in their article: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/47059000/jpg/_47059714_ff4web.jpg
    A variety of equipment is being used here and other potato-growing areas to overcome the drawbacks posed by tools that date back to the time before industrialization: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Potato+Harvester&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
    Equipment like that ensures that virtually always the potato-harvesting operations will be completed in September. Mind you, even though that speeds up the harvest enormously in comparison to the method illustrated by the BBC, potato harvesting machines will not work well or cannot be used at all if excessive rains cause muddy fields.
    Muddy fields that put a stop to all harvesting around here are rare. The last time that happened was in 1973.
    It seems that the BBC article did clear up my suspicion of what the primary factor was that caused the harvesting delays in Ireland: “local growers experienced difficult planting and growing conditions which has meant harvesting has been late.” Although the BBC article did not state the details of that, it is probably be safe to assume that excessive rain and lack of sufficient dry weather were likely causes, not broken digging forks or winter cold.

  74. Sorry about that. In the last paragraph of my previous comment it should have been “it is probably safe to assume” instead of “it is probably be safe to assume”

  75. Here is a full report http://www.c4i.ie/docs/IrelandinaWarmerWorld.pdf
    The only problem in Ireland with water supply is all the old leaky pipes, its cheaper to let them leak than replace them because water is cheap.
    When there is a wet summer like the last few we are told yes but its the wrong sort of rain because it comes in downpours.
    There was flooding in Ireland last November and much of the problems were that new developments were built in the last few years in areas that flood every few decades but there were let build on the sites because they had not flooded in a few decades

  76. Major Climate Impact in Ireland revealed.
    Today, I finally used up the bottle of Sun Tan lotion I bought in 2006. Apart from this June, we have had no sun in Ireland for 4 years.
    40 Shades

  77. Excellent post.
    A quibble: You say “If changes in the climate were affecting the crops, we would see a reduction in the yields. ”
    I think this leaves out the possibility that a small rise in temps (longer growing season) and/or CO2 may be benefitting the crops (along with improved farming methods).
    Hence the motto “Happiness is a warm planet!”
    KW

  78. I’ve been to Ireland several times. It’s wet even when it’s dry. The good side is that it has some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth (especailly on the West coast) and if you steer clear of the bigots, the people are pretty good too.

  79. Paul Birch says:
    July 2, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Come off it! You made the mistake in your original post (forgetting to include the pop density). I pointed out your error and said – truthfully – that the factor of five seemed “about right”. The onus on you if you want a more accurate calculation. Preferably not one relying upon Wikipedia. From my Times Atlas of the World (a real book) the pop density for Ireland is 46/km2 (or from the Guinness World Data Book (which ought to be “good for you” re Ireland!), 50/km2). It looks to me as if the wikis eurostat pop estimate includes Northern Ireland. The figure you picked out for “Europe” is for the EU only. Precisely what areas should be chosen is debatable – even arbitrary – but a factor ~5 is certainly supportable. If you want to be pedantic, perhaps we should also include the ratio of the runoff fractions, which dictate how much fresh water is accessible.

    I made the mistake of “forgetting to include the pop density”? The original quote says nothing about population density, or per capita rainfall. It said that “Irish citizens” as a whole have access to more water than the “average European”. You have proposed that they are talking about per capita rainfall amounts, which is possible. However, there is no evidence that that is the correct interpretation, it may be something entirely different. So I took a look at your claim to see if that might be the right interpretation, but I didn’t “forget” anything.
    Next, if you object to using the EU as the “average European”, what would you use instead?
    Next, yes, the rainfall figures include Northern Ireland. Ireland (the country) actually has less rainfall than Ireland (the island) has.
    Next, you are using outdated references. The 2010 CIA World Factbook gives the population density of Ireland of 60.5 people per square km. And yes, that excludes Northern Ireland.
    Finally, even if we use your figures, we don’t get an answer of 5 times. So my conclusion is that either they are using off the wall numbers, or they are not talking about rainfall per person but about some other calculation.

  80. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    “I made the mistake of “forgetting to include the pop density”? The original quote says nothing about population density, or per capita rainfall. It said that “Irish citizens” as a whole have access to more water than the “average European”. You have proposed that they are talking about per capita rainfall amounts, which is possible. ”
    You made the clearly false assumption that this was talking about raw rainfall rates and tried to rubbish the article based on this false assumption. I pointed out that if you go by rainfall per capita, which is what makes sense in the context, the factor of five is reasonable (and even more reasonable if you include runoff fractions).
    “Next, if you object to using the EU as the “average European”, what would you use instead?”
    I don’t “object” to it, if that’s the comparison you want. It’s not the comparison stated, though. The obvious answer, based on the standard meaning of the English words, would be to average over the whole of Europe. I have no idea what particular figures were actually used to get the factor of five, and don’t much care, since it was very obviously only intended as a rough indication of how more blessed with water Ireland is.
    “Next, yes, the rainfall figures include Northern Ireland. Ireland (the country) actually has less rainfall than Ireland (the island) has.”
    Then they shouldn’t. Northern Ireland is in the slightly lower rainfall part of the island, east of the 1m/yr isohyote.
    “Next, you are using outdated references. ”
    Maybe, but I don’t believe they are so outdated that the Irish population has increased 37%. Ah, no, I can see what’s happened. The figures you’ve been quoting are for the resident population, not the 3.7m Irish population (that is, the Irish citizens the article mentions). There are currently many non-Irish EU citizens living there.
    I am frankly amazed that you’re making such an absurd fuss, instead of simply thanking me for clarifying the intended meaning of “5 times as much fresh water”, which is what I expected. I certainly did not expect you to take it as an attack, nor for you to attack me in return.

  81. Paul Birch says:
    July 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    You made the clearly false assumption that this was talking about raw rainfall rates and tried to rubbish the article based on this false assumption. I pointed out that if you go by rainfall per capita, which is what makes sense in the context, the factor of five is reasonable (and even more reasonable if you include runoff fractions).

    We have no evidence that is what they meant. You have not been able to jimmy the figures to get to five. Their meaning is still unknown. As such, your crowing is premature.

    “Next, if you object to using the EU as the “average European”, what would you use instead?”

    I don’t “object” to it, if that’s the comparison you want. It’s not the comparison stated, though. The obvious answer, based on the standard meaning of the English words, would be to average over the whole of Europe. I have no idea what particular figures were actually used to get the factor of five, and don’t much care, since it was very obviously only intended as a rough indication of how more blessed with water Ireland is.

    Perhaps I’m missing something. What is in the “whole of Europe” that’s not in the EU? Yeah, I know that Monaco is not in the EU, but how will the EU figures be significantly different from whatever you’re talking about?
    And yes, I understand that you “have no idea what particular figures were actually used to get the factor of five, and don’t much care …”. But I’d like to know what it is they are talking about, and we still don’t know. It may not be rainfall per capita. It may be domestic water usage per capita. It may be reservoir capacity per capita. It may be river flow per capita. And since the numbers are the only way we have to figure out what they are talking about, why are they suddenly unimportant?

    “Next, you are using outdated references.”

    Maybe, but I don’t believe they are so outdated that the Irish population has increased 37%. Ah, no, I can see what’s happened. The figures you’ve been quoting are for the resident population, not the 3.7m Irish population (that is, the Irish citizens the article mentions). There are currently many non-Irish EU citizens living there.

    Right. Using that logic (divide total rainfall by Irish citizens only) would mean that the other ten million people living there have no access to fresh water at all. I’m sure that’s what they meant … not.

    I am frankly amazed that you’re making such an absurd fuss, instead of simply thanking me for clarifying the intended meaning of “5 times as much fresh water”, which is what I expected. I certainly did not expect you to take it as an attack, nor for you to attack me in return.

    You waved your hands and said “this is what they mean” without actually looking at the numbers. You didn’t bother with doing the hard yards, you’re only into it for the big picture. I did the hard yards and ran the numbers, and didn’t get anything near five. You immediately accused me of forgetting things and doing it all wrong. But your numbers don’t get to five either.
    But hey, thanks, Paul … I really appreciate your clarifying the meaning. Except for the small detail that the numbers don’t support your theory, and so we still have no clarity on what they actually meant, you’ve been a big help, many thanks.

  82. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm
    “We have no evidence that is what they meant. You have not been able to jimmy the figures to get to five. Their meaning is still unknown. ”
    I repeat, you made the clearly false claim (that they were referring to the raw rainfall rates). It is plain to anyone with common sense that that is not what they meant. Precisely how they got the figure five is not clear, and I never claimed it was. It is, however, obvious that some notion like rainfall or river flow per capita is implied. It is also obvious that this was never intended as a hard scientific statement or accurate statistic, but as an order of magnitude figure, a general indication of how comparatively water-rich the Irish people are. For that purpose the figure five is reasonable. By careful choice of comparison figures I could probably get it above ten, if I thought it worth the effort, which I don’t. You seem so determined to attack these people that you insist upon reading far too much into general remarks. This detracts from what might otherwise have been a valid critique.
    “What is in the “whole of Europe” that’s not in the EU?”
    Most of Europe, for a start! Apart from countries like Switzerland and Norway, there’s a huge area of Central and Eastern Europe outside the EU. And some of the EU (such as overseas departments of France, or Cyprus) isn’t in Europe at all! Though the way we often talk about “Europe”, it is probable that the area they had in mind was actually more like “Western Europe”, which would exclude EU countries like Poland.

  83. Paul Birch says:
    July 5, 2010 at 7:06 am
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    “We have no evidence that is what they meant. You have not been able to jimmy the figures to get to five. Their meaning is still unknown. ”

    I repeat, you made the clearly false claim (that they were referring to the raw rainfall rates). It is plain to anyone with common sense that that is not what they meant.

    It is plain to anyone with common sense that I did not claim they were referring to the raw rainfall rates. I specifically said that they were not referring to that, and that I did not know what they were referring to. Here’s my quote:

    So are they saying that Europeans are only getting a fifth of that (230 mm, or 9″) of rain per year? No way. So what do they mean? The world wonders.

    Please stop putting words in my mouth. I did not make a “clearly false claim”, you had a clearly false fantasy. I made no claim at all, I said that I did not know what they meant.

  84. Paul Birch says:
    July 5, 2010 at 7:06 am

    “What is in the “whole of Europe” that’s not in the EU?”

    Most of Europe, for a start! Apart from countries like Switzerland and Norway, there’s a huge area of Central and Eastern Europe outside the EU. And some of the EU (such as overseas departments of France, or Cyprus) isn’t in Europe at all! Though the way we often talk about “Europe”, it is probable that the area they had in mind was actually more like “Western Europe”, which would exclude EU countries like Poland.

    “Most of Europe” is not in the EU? Hardly. Here’s a map:

    Looks to me like everything’s in the EU but Norway, Switzerland, and the old Yugoslavia.

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