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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Jackie

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.

kwik

“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.

kwik

Modify to; Thanks to them, we can enjoy life on this planet.

jaypan

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

Dave Springer

“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.

Jackie

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.

Myron Mesecke

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.

movielib

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

Potato production has always been very stable in Ireland, except when millions of people were starving to death during the potato famine. Must have been all the SUV drivers during the 1840s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)

Vincent

Sounds like an ideal “paper” for the next IPCC report.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

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.

ShrNfr

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.

Eddie

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.

john ratcliffe

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

FergalR

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.

FergalR

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.

Alexa Hamilton

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”!

Gary Pearse

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.

Henry chance

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.

Mac the Knife

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.

1DandyTroll

‘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.

Enneagram

Not according to our friend Vuk:
AMO data plot added to the Arctic temperature anomaly.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm

CodeTech

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.

robert

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.

“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.

Gary Hladik

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

drchassis

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!!

jeef

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!

pat

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

Hi Willis: I have done a review of the Markey committee’s impact zone study of the US Midwest here: http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/SelectCommitteeLies.htm

JoeFromBrazil

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.

pat

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

Doug in Dunedin

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.

pat

bishop hill has the entire report:
RA-1O Final Investigation Report Involving Dr. Michael E, Mann
The Pennsylvania State University
June 4, 2010
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/storage/Final_Investigation_Report.pdf

Data from the Agricultural and Food Development Authority in Ireland shows only a 29mm increase in rainfall for the last 10 years vs the 1950-2009 average, and a 0.3 degC increase in average temperature….. and these guys are monitoring grass growth:
http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/moorepark///grassgrowth/grassgrowth.asp

Stephen Skinner

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.

Micky C

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.

Vargs

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?

tim O'Brien

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

Snufflegruff

“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?

Jimbo

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.

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.

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.

Derryman

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.

Jimbo

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)

Ben

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.

Henry chance

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.

3x2

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.

DonB

Does subsistance farming count as a green job?

Enneagram

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/