Hearing on the UN biodiversity report

Reposted from Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

Posted on May 22, 2019 by curryja

by Judith Curry

The House Natural Resources Committee Submcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife is holding a Hearing today on Responding to the Global Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

The link to the Hearing page is here [link].

Based on my previous experience with this Committee, the written testimonies will not be posted, and the Hearing will live stream on their Facebook page [link]

Here is the list of witnesses:

  • Sir Robert Watson, Immediate Past Chair IPBES
  • Dr. Eduardo S. Brondizio, Co-Chair IPBES Global Assessment
  • Dr. Yunne Shin, Coordinating Lead Author, IPBES Global Assessment
  • Dr. Patrick Moore, Chairman CO2 Coalition [link to written testimony Moore]
  • Mr. Marc Morano, Founder Climate Depot [link to written testimony Morano]
  • Dr. Jacob Malcolm,  Director Center for Conservation Innovation, Defenders of Wildlife

Quite an interesting list.  Clearly some of the leading honchos for the IPBES Report.  Surprised that the Republicans apparently got to pick 3 witnesses (bottom 3).

Having Marc Morano on this list is like waving a red cape before a bull.  True to form, Marc has prepared an extremely hard hitting report for his written testimony, which was sent to me (and others) via email.  Excerpts from Morano’s testimony are provided below:

<begin quote>

As a lifelong conservationist, I share concerns about the Earth’s biodiversity and particularly concerns about threats to species. I have advocated for a clean, healthy planet with a co-existence of humans and plants and animals.

But, as an investigative journalist studying the United Nations for decades, there is only one conclusion to be made of this new report: The UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), hypes and distorts biodiversity issues for lobbying purposes. This report is the latest UN appeal to give it more power, more scientific authority, more money, and more regulatory control.

According to media reports, the UN species report requires that “a huge transformation is needed across the economy and society to protect and restore nature…”

And just how does the UN justify this “huge transformation” of economics and society which it will lead? By invoking what the UN describes as “authoritative science” produced by — the UN of itself of course.

UN IPBES Executive Secretary, Dr. Anne Larigauderie declared: The “IPBES presents the authoritative science, knowledge and the policy options to decision makers for their consideration.”

At best, the UN science panels represent nothing more than “authoritative bureaucracy”, claiming they hype the problem and then come up with the solution that puts them in charge of “solving” the issue in perpetuity. A more accurate term for the UN than “authoritative science” may be “authoritative propaganda.”

This new biodiversity report follows the same tainted IPCC procedures that the U.S. Congress must be made aware of. The report is meddled with by UN politicians, bureaucrats as part of the process.

The report’s summary had to be approved by representatives of all 109 nations,” the AP reported. Let’s repeat, “The report’s summary had to be approved by representatives of all 109 nations.” These representatives are not scientists, but they are politicians, subject to lobbying and media pressure and their own self-interests. This is clearly a political process — not a scientific process.

Canadian UN expert Donna Laframboise, who has written several books on the biased UN “scientific” process, explains how this new species report was crafted behind the scenes:

“[The UN] draft a summary known as the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Then politicians and bureaucrats representing national governments attend a plenary meeting where the summary gets examined line-by-line and rewritten…But it gets worse. Over the next few weeks, the text being summarized – the underlying, ostensibly scientific document – will also get changed. That’s not how things normally work, of course. Summaries are supposed to be accurate reflections of longer documents. At the UN, they represent an opportunity to alter those documents, to make them fall into line…This is no sober scientific body, which examines multiple perspectives, and considers alternative hypotheses. The job of the IPBES is to muster only one kind of evidence, the kind that promotes UN environmental treaties.”

“That’s how the United Nations works, folks. Machinations in the shadows. Camouflaging its political aspirations by dressing them up in 1,800 pages of scientific clothing.”

Laframboise also found a serious lack of transparency in this new UN biodiversity report, giving the report “a failing grade.” See: UN Biodiversity Officials Fail Transparency Test – ‘Provides no CVs for most members of its influential panel’

Within days of the UN’s report release, major questions about the scientific claims began to emerge. See: ANALYSIS: UN’s ‘1 Million’ Extinction Warning Does Not ADD Up – ‘The word ‘suggesting’ is doing a lot of work’ – ‘We’re just supposed to take it on faith’

Analyst Toby Young: “So how exactly did the [UN] IPBES arrive at the magic one million [species at risk] number? It seems we’re just supposed to take it on faith, which the BBC duly did. What about the IPBES’s claim that ‘around 25% of species… are threatened’? That seems a little pessimistic, given that the number of mammals to have become extinct in the past 500 years or so is around 1.4% and only one bird has met the same fate in Europe since 1852. Not bad when you consider how much economic growth there’s been in the past 167 years.”

“…All I could find online was a press release put out by the IPBES and a ‘summary’ of the report ‘for policymakers’. The press release states: ‘The report finds that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.’ It gives no source for this beyond the as-yet-unpublished report, but the summary makes it clear that it’s partly based on data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.”

Geologist Gregory Wrightstone just issued a scientific rebuke of the new UN species report. Wrightstone and concluded: “This new [UN] extinction study is just the latest example of misuse and abuse of the scientific process designed to sow fear of an impending climate apocalypse.”

Wrightstone called the report “a case study of how those who promote the notion of man-made catastrophic warming manipulate data and facts to spread the most fear, alarm, and disinformation.”

Wrightstone’s research instead found: “A closer review of the most recent information dating back to 1870 reveals that, instead of a frightening increase, extinctions are actually in a significant decline. What is apparent is that the trend of extinctions is declining rather than increasing, just the opposite of what the new report claims. Also, according to the IPBES report, we can expect 25,000 to 30,000 extinctions per year, yet the average over the last 40 years is about 2 species annually. That means the rate would have to multiply by 12,500 to 15,000 to reach the dizzying heights predicted. Nothing on the horizon is likely to achieve even a small fraction of that.”

Wrightstone added; “In an incredibly ironic twist that poses a difficult conundrum for those who are intent on saving the planet from our carbon dioxide excesses, the new study reports that the number one cause of predicted extinctions is habitat loss. Yet their solution is to pave over vast stretches of land for industrial-scale solar factories and to construct immense wind factories that will cover forests and grasslands, killing the endangered birds and other species they claim to want to save.” (JC BOLD)

Other analyses of the new UN report were also less than charitable.

See: Studies Indicate Species Extinctions Decline With Warming – ‘Since the 1870s, species extinction rates have been plummeting’ – Habitat loss & predator introduction biggest threat — Not warming – May 17, 2019

Analyst Kenneth Richard: “During the last few hundred years, species extinctions primarily occurred due to habitat loss and predator introduction on islands. Extinctions have not been linked to a warming climate or higher CO2 levels. In fact, since the 1870s, species extinction rates have been plummeting.” – “No clear link between mass extinctions and CO2-induced or sudden-onset warming events.”

As we await the full report from the UN on Biodiversity, we must note that the UN track record on species claims has not been admirable.

2014: Der Speigel’s Axel Bojanowski: “The IPCC admits that there is no evidence climate change has led to even a single species becoming extinct thus far. At most, the draft report says, climate change may have played a role in the disappearance of a few amphibians, freshwater fish and mollusks. Yet even the icons of catastrophic global warming, the polar bears, are doing surprisingly well.”

In 2010, the NY Times examined UN species claims.

See: NY Times Andrew Revkin: UN IPCC Claims About Extinction ‘confusing’ — NYT: UN IPCC Scientists “acknowledge there was inconsistency and flawed writing’ in extinction section – ‘In the Summary for Policy Makers of the report on climate impacts, there are different summations of extinction risk within a few pages.”

UN official on species in 2007: “Every hour, three species disappear. Every day, up to 150 species are lost. Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities. …Climate change is one of the major driving forces behind the unprecedented loss of biodiversity.” — Speech on 21 May 2007 by Ahmed Djoghlaf, then Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Contrary scientific studies abound:

Re-assessing current extinction rates” by Neil Stork in Biodiversity and Conservation, February 2010. Gated. Open copy. He cites the overwhelming peer-reviewed research evidence that claims of mass extinctions occurring today are exaggerated or false, and explains the reasons for these errors. Conclusions … “So what can we conclude about extinction rates? First, less than 1% of all organisms are recorded to have become extinct in the last few centuries and there are almost no empirical data to support estimates of current extinctions of 100 or even one species a day.”

Species–area relationships always overestimate extinction rates from habitat loss” by Fangliang He and Stephen P. Hubbell in Nature, 19 May 2011. Gated. “Extinction from habitat loss is the signature conservation problem of the twenty-first century. Despite its importance, estimating extinction rates is still highly uncertain because no proven direct methods or reliable data exist for verifying extinctions.”

John C. Briggs (Prof Marine Science, U South FL) in Science, 14 November 2014. – “Most extinctions have occurred on oceanic islands or in restricted freshwater locations, with very few occurring on Earth’s continents or in the oceans.”

Perhaps the most high profile species prediction failure of the UN and former Vice President Al Gore has been with polar bears.

Why has Al Gore has gone silent on the extinction scare of polar bears? Gore featured the bears in 2006 film, but how many references to polar bears were in Gore’s 2017 sequel? Five references? Three? No. How about zero. The polar bears were completely absent in his 2017 sequel. The reason? Simple. The polar bear population keeps rising.

See: New Study: Polar bears ‘thriving’ as their numbers may have ‘quadrupled’ – Attempts to silence research

Alaska’s coordinator for endangered species: ‘Polar bears are at an all-time high of abundance level’ – ‘The only reason the service listed them was based on speculation from fairly untested models based on what the fate of polar bears may be in the future’

This new May 2019 UN report is extrapolating huge future species extinction predictions from a much less alarming current reality and has only released its Summary for Policymakers which is fiddled with by UN politicians and bureaucrats and the underlying science report remains at large. And that underlying report must follow the dictates of the Summary for Policymakers. This UN political process that interferes with the scientific process has been called into question for violating the U.S. science policy guidelines.

Let me clear: I am not talking about the UN and its science reports in some abstract or vague way. I am here to say that the three lead witnesses representing the United Nations today on this new biodiversity report are explicitly part of these UN scientific manipulations.

I will be presenting and submitting for the record, the voices of current and past scientists that reveal the UN’s pre-determined narrative process and expose how the UN’s panels are not rooted in honest science.

[JC note:  read the full testimony for much material critical of the IPCC process]

I have been passionate about environmental issues since I began my career in 1991 as a journalist. I produced a documentary on the myths surrounding the Amazon Rainforest in 2000, which dealt extensively claimed species extinctions and how such claims are used to instill fear for political lobbying.

I have done extensive investigating reporting on species extinction claims, including how hyped up species concerns are used to shut down American mining and private breeders. One of my stories was a report titled Desert Stormtroopers and how nearly 30 state, local and federal agencies descended onto the Molycorp mine in California’s Mojave desert to protect the threatened Desert Tortoise. Based on these endangered species claims, the mine’s operations were halted, employees were forced to undergo “tortoise sensitivity training” and the U.S. federal government felt compelled to use heavy-handed tactics. It turned out that the Desert Tortoise was not even considered an “endangered” species, but a “threatened” species.

Concern over species can be used to justify massive government intrusion into business, private lives and property rights, therefore, it is extremely important that we get the science right.

See: Federal court: ‘No CO2 regulation under Endangered Species Act: Federal judge ruled against effort by environmentalists to force Fish & Wildlife Service to regulate greenhouse gases under ESA’

2014: Polar bear listed as a migratory species by UNEP to restrict oil exploration & extraction

Other efforts to “save” species have had mixed and sometimes woeful results.

New 2018 report highlights failures of the Endangered Species Act: “The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been so ineffective at recovering species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has fabricated a record of success.” – Robert Gordon, The Heritage Foundation…Enacted in 1973, the ESA has managed to “recover” only 40 species, or slightly less than one species per year…“Federally Funded Fiction” – Even worse, almost half of the “recovered” species – 18 out of 40 – are what Gordon calls “federally funded fiction.” It turns out that these 18 “recovered” species were never endangered in the first place and were placed on the endangered species list due to poor data. This, however, has not kept the Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) from trumpeting their “recovery” as a success.”

My 2000 Amazon Rainforest documentary “Clear-cutting the Myths,” exposed the hopeful news on species and the natural world’s biodiversity.

Excerpt: “Duke University, published a study on the effects of logging in Indonesian rainforests. Dr. Charles Cannon examined land both one year and eight years after it had been commercially logged. What he found surprised many. Indonesia’s forests were recovering quickly from logging operations, with a healthy mix of plant species…Robin Chazdon, an ecologist from the University of Connecticut, has studied tropical rainforests for more than 20 years. Dr. Chazdon wrote this editorial that accompanied Dr. Cannon’s study in Science Magazine. “I do think that we have underestimated the ability of the forest to regenerate,” Chazon said. Scientific reforestation efforts are paying off in parts of the Amazon. In 1982, miners cleared a large tract of land in western Brazil. Once finished, they hired scientists to reforest the territory. New studies show that the rejuvenated forest is virtually indistinguishable from its original form. Ninety-five percent of the original animal species have returned. Proponents say these attempts at sustainable logging lowered costs and increased productivity, proving that man and nature can coexist in the Amazon.

UK scientist Professor Philip Stott, emeritus professor of Biogeography at the University of London, dismissed current species explained in my Amazon rainforest documentary.

“The earth has gone through many periods of major extinctions, some much bigger in size than even being contemplated today,” Stott, the author of a book on tropical rainforests, said in the documentary.

“Change is necessary to keep up with change in nature itself. In other words, change is the essence. And the idea that we can keep all species that now exist would be anti-evolutionary, anti-nature and anti the very nature of the earth in which we live,” Stott said.

But this is not the first time we have warned about species. As early as 1864, “tipping points” about the “extinction of the species” were issued. And it turns out, economic prosperity may help save the species.

See: Analysis: UN claims a million species face extinction? Time to burn fossil fuels to save them! – ‘Best way to save wilderness is to increase the GDP of those in poverty’

Analyst Jo Nova: “Wealthy countries are solving all of these problems faster than poor countries are. The best way to save the wilderness is to increase the GDP of those in poverty. Free trade, fair agricultural markets. Less red tape. Less corruption. We’ve tied up lots of land, so the last thing we want is to use wilderness for useless solar and wind farms, or palm oil plantations. Why keep coal and uranium underground when we can save the forest instead? Again, in nations where there are healthy economies, fish stocks are being protected and are recovering. Whales too. Even great white sharks.”

Yet, despite a massive track record of scientific failure about climate and species “crises” the UN, the media and the usual suspect scientists like failed overpopulation guru Paul Ehrlich, are at it again.

This latest report has been touted as the IPCC for nature by the UN. “The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) included more than 450 researchers who used 15,000 scientific and government reports.

Also See: UN report urges ‘action’: Biodiversity crisis is about to put humanity at risk – 1 million species at risk of annihilation

ANALYSIS: UN’s ‘1 Million’ Extinction Warning Does Not ADD Up – ‘The word ‘suggesting’ is doing a lot of work’ – ‘We’re just supposed to take it on faith’

Environmental activist Tim Keating of Rainforest Relief was asked in the 2000 documentary if he could name any of the alleged 50,000 species that have gone extinct and he was unable.

“No, we can’t [name them], because we don’t know what those species are. But most of the species that we’re talking about in those estimates are things like insects and even microorganisms, like bacteria,” Keating explained.

Larry Kummer in 2018 countered: Who are those extinct animals? Mostly bugs. For the most accurate list of extinct and endangered species, see the IUCN Red List of extinctions. Wikipedia posts this in a more easily viewed form. Seldom mentioned in the alarmist articles is the big fact: most Animalia are bugs

But the persistent claims that not only are humans driving this driving a species catastrophe but that humans themselves go extinct will not go away.

Is the Insect Apocalypse Really Upon Us? ‘Claims that insects will disappear within a century are absurd’ – The data on insect declines are too patchy, unrepresentative, and piecemeal to justify some of the more hyperbolic alarms. At the same time, what little information we have tends to point in the same worrying direction…The claim that insects will all be annihilated within the century is absurd. Almost everyone I spoke with says that it’s not even plausible, let alone probable. “Not going to happen,” says Elsa Youngsteadt from North Carolina State University. “They’re the most diverse group of organisms on the planet…The sheer diversity of insects makes them, as a group, resilient—but also impossible to fully comprehend. There are more species of ladybugs than mammals, of ants than birds, of weevils than fish.

Scientists uncover 1,451 new species in the ocean in the past year – UK Daily Mail 2015: From a frilled shark to the frogfish, we’re finding four new sea creatures every day: Scientists uncover 1,451 new species in the ocean in the past year alone. Despite the expansion of our knowledge however, scientists estimate we still only know about a tenth of the marine life on Earth. The World Register of Marine Species – which aims to become an inventory of all known ocean life – numbers 228,000 species, with new names being added every day.

New Australian study: Marine algae species adapts to climate change, contrary to what was assumed until now

One Million New Plankton Species Found: ‘A worldwide expedition of the oceans to find out about climate change reveals a million new species of plankton’ – ‘These planktonic organisms are the life support system of the planet.’ — ‘They are the base of the food chain … if there’s no plankton, there’s no fish in the oceans…And they take CO2 out of the atmosphere by taking it into the interior of the ocean where it can be stored for thousands of millions of years so they’re an essential buffer against climate change due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere’

UN Earth Summit Rebuttal: ‘There is no scientific basis for claims that hundreds or even thousands of species are at risk’ – ‘Of 191 bird and mammal species recorded as having gone extinct since 1500, 95% were on islands…On continents, just six bird and three mammal species were driven to extinction…the greatest threats to species are the very policies and programs being advocated in Rio. Those policies would ban fossil fuels; greatly increase renewable energy use; reduce jobs and living standards in rich nations; and perpetuate poverty, disease, death and desperation in poor countries’

Nature Conservancy chief scientist admits ‘data simply do not support idea of a fragile nature at risk of collapse’ –demise of formerly abundant species can be inconsequential to ecosystem function’ – ‘Ecologists now know that disappearance of one species does not necessarily lead to extinction of any others, much less all others in the same ecosystem…A thorough review of the literature identified 240 studies of ecosystems following deforestation, mining, oil spills, & other types of pollution. The abundance of plant & animal species & other measures of ecosystem function recovered, at least partially, in 173 (72%) of these studies’

<end quote>

JC reflections

While I have read Morano’s recent book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change (I recommend this book),  I was unaware that Morano had been following the species extinction issue so closely.

Witnesses selected by the minority party (at present the Republicans), typically have a week at best to prepare written testimony.  So it is clear that Morano’s materials must have been collected and examined over a period of time.

Without having read all the sources linked to by Morano, what he states is generally consistent with my more limited understanding of this issue.

And of course I haven’t read the full Biodiversity Report, since it is not yet available. I am appalled that they published the relatively short Summary for Policy Makers well in advance of publishing the full report (I haven’t even seen a publication date for the main report).  This fact in itself supports Morano’s contention that the intention of this Report is propaganda.  They got their headline regarding ‘1 million species at risk from extinction’ without providing the documentation that apparently can’t be very convincing.

It is very difficult to rebut Morano’s points without the full Report and its documentation.

The biodiversity and species extinction issue is associated with substantially much more uncertainty than say the IPCC WGI report on the physical basis for climate change.  The species issue is potentially uncertain by orders of magnitude, with the sign of some this even being uncertain.

And the irony of all this is that the biodiversity narrative rather gets in the way of the climate catastrophe narrative.  The climate issue is at best a minor issue in any biodiversity challenge.  At the same time, climate change ‘solutions’ are arguably a much bigger threat to species and biodiversity than climate change itself.

That said, we can probably do better at reducing our impact on habitats and species.  But any sensible policies in this regard would undoubtedly get drowned out in climate change alarmism, and criticism of the Report.

Really, seems like the UN is its own worst enemy here.

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Lewis P Buckingham
May 23, 2019 2:26 am

‘(I haven’t even seen a publication date for the main report).’
Perhaps they were forced to provide a summary because of some other vote or agenda in the UN, without actually having a report.
Morano’s quick uptake shows that he has done the homework while the UN could not have completed it yet.
So they covered with a summary, write the report later.
If this be so it is like the line from Wayne and Shuster ‘Only the facts have been changed to fit the evidence’.

mark from the midwest
Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
May 23, 2019 3:15 am

Or perhaps, as with all highly political organizations, there is so much in-fighting about which agenda items get the most hype that the whole thing gets tabled. One of the more interesting aspects of the U.N., which makes it similar to a number of political parties in nations around the world, is that there substantive agendas become subordinate to their political power-grabs, and then the populists get a toe-hold, and it’s game over.

May 23, 2019 2:32 am

I wonder if the BBC will broadcast that it was misled by a propaganda document over this when the report is finally, if ever, published?

I won’t hold my breath though.

It is criminally irresponsible to make these reckless claims, people are changing their lives, most not in a good way I suspect, on the back of these UN pronouncements. They are scaring people, particularly children when their gullible school teacher recite this type of nonsense and we will have a generation of resentful and confused young adults who won’t know who to trust when they realise nothing dramatic is happening.

There will be a backlash from all this and it won’t be good.

Reply to  HotScot
May 23, 2019 4:27 am

re. the backlash

The Guardian says we must start talking about Climate Catastrophe because Global Warming and Climate Change aren’t getting the job done.

We’re starting to see the backlash. The riots in France. The AfD in Germany. Now we have a party in Finland that is explicitly talking about climate hysteria. link

Reply to  commieBob
May 23, 2019 6:46 am

It will be Climate Apocalypse in a couple of months and a couple after that Climate Armageddon. Isn’t quite clear to me where they go from there 🙂

Reply to  LdB
May 23, 2019 11:10 am

Climate Endgame?

Reply to  HotScot
May 23, 2019 5:22 am

Doubt that BBC would admit error because this report feeds directly into political agendas. eg

Rewild a quarter of UK to fight climate crisis, campaigners urge
Subsidies to restore woodlands and meadows would also boost wildlife, says Rewilding Britain
A quarter of the UK’s land could be restored to nature, making a significant contribution towards cutting the nation’s carbon emissions to zero, under a new rewilding proposal.
The plan, published by Rewilding Britain, calls for billions of pounds in farm subsidies to be redirected towards creating native woodlands and meadows and protecting peat bogs and salt marshes. The group says wildlife would benefit, farmers would not lose money and food production need not fall.

Reply to  brent
May 23, 2019 6:40 am

re. re-wilding Britain

Before humans arrived …

The natural ecology of England was uninterrupted and rather boring forest. link

So biodiversity improved after humans arrived.

Rhys Jaggar
Reply to  commieBob
May 23, 2019 7:27 am

Define ‘boring’.

Natural forests are not just trees, they harbour nesting birds, squirrels; they can contain wild pigs, boar etc; all kinds of degenerative bacteria and fungi helping to decompose leaf litter and fallen trees; there can be cover plants, climbers, understoreys.

Then there are the species prevalent on the forest boundary. Inasmuch as you increase the edge lengths by having interruptions to forests, there may be more diversity through not having one single forest.

Upland forests can have streams and pools within them, creating wetland ecologies and providing buffer sponges to prevent heavy rainfall leading to devastating flooding.

No-one should accept rewilding demands uncritically, but nor should they be dismissed derisively just because you do not like the politicsof those that propose it.

To claim that forests are just trees would be a gross misrepresentation.

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
May 23, 2019 9:39 am

He didn’t say forests were “just trees.” He said England was covered with uninterrupted and boring forest.

Think of all the wondrous machinations going on inside of a computer, or one of John Harrison’s chronometers; yet to just sit and watch them would indeed be boring.

Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
May 23, 2019 10:52 am

I was also a bit off-put by the cavalier statement of boring forests.
I would say that boredom exists in the mind of the individual. If you find observing and contemplating “wondrous machinations” boring, well there you are.
Each to his own.

Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
May 23, 2019 2:35 pm

Rocketscientist May 23, 2019 at 10:52 am

I was also a bit off-put by the cavalier statement of boring forests. …

The point is that the arrival of humans led to much greater biodiversity. The activists insist that human influence is always bad and that’s clearly wrong.

Reply to  HotScot
May 23, 2019 6:03 am

Oh for proper skepticism and straight talking such as this in UK Parliament hearings, which tend to be dominated by the usual suspects competing for the prize of the most virtuous.

May 23, 2019 3:28 am

“The House Natural Resources Committee Submcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife is holding a Hearing today on Responding to the Global Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.”

Say what! Can you repeat that again slooooowly for normal folks?

May 23, 2019 3:45 am

‘I produced a documentary on the myths surrounding the Amazon Rainforest in 2000, which dealt extensively (with?) claimed species extinctions”
“But this is not the first time we have (been?) warned about species. As early as 1864, “tipping points” about the “extinction of the species” were issued.”
“But the persistent claims that not only are humans driving this driving a (extra”driving”?) species catastrophe but that humans themselves (may/will?) go extinct will not go away.”

Great job Marc and good luck. They attacks by left will not be pretty. (petty yes, but definitely not pretty)
I hope I can manage to watch the whole hearing without get nauseated by the lefts imbecilic attacks..

May 23, 2019 3:53 am

The UN is turning in to the monster it was originally intended to help getting rid of…..

Reply to  NorwegianSceptic
May 23, 2019 6:49 am

It is what happens when you put bureaucrats in charge with no oversight. I think at some point World leaders are going to have to withdraw from it and defund it.

Reply to  LdB
May 23, 2019 8:11 am

They are turning science into a the proverbial committee’s “camel”.

Reply to  NorwegianSceptic
May 23, 2019 8:00 am

“is turning into a monster” is turning ??
The UN has been a monster since before its inception. It has always been a political power hack.
Many, if not most, of its programs have been clear and ambitious power and money grabs by politicians, of and by politicians.

On the other hand, some efforts have been positive. The effort to reduce poverty in the poorest nations has had a positive effect and along with normal economic growth many millions of people are not longer literally dirt poor but now at least have enough to eat and shelter, along with come cash income.

May 23, 2019 4:35 am

With the Democrats running the House, facts will be missing during the hearing.

May 23, 2019 4:36 am

So one million species will just POOF! vanish within XXX years , but no one can name them.

This is one of those times when I wish I had time travel so that I could go back to the Carboniferous period and grab a few griffinflies and bring them back here. And some of those giant centipedes would be nice, too. And then there’s the inimitable (and probably hungry) Pelargonis sandersi, a toothed bird with a 28-foot wingspan, that would probably make a nice house pet if it had its own spot on one of NYC’s taller buildings.

These people are not really fooling anyone, no matter what they think. They want money – yours and ours – because money = power and that is their only goal – world domination. Time to dissolve the UN and move on.

Bryan A
Reply to  Sara
May 23, 2019 12:15 pm

as long as you’re traveling, bring back about 30 breeding pairs of pteorsaur and build their nests atop the UN building

May 23, 2019 5:02 am

“”Really, seems like the UN is its own worst enemy here.””

Yes. AGW is too big scare to handle, because nature is not co-operating. So next very big is coming.

And as predicted, biodiversity is now officially the big, scary trouble.

To NorwegianSceptic : UN is not turning in to the monster. It IS the monster. It can live only if there is global disaster. UN creates monsters for living. One fades away, and next one is always coming (soon).

If there´s any kind of warning from UN, it´s always a hoax. Well written, well planned and wery frightening chaos just waiting.

Guide books are “Mein Kampf” and “1984”. Both works very well for Global Monster Governance.

Mumbles McGuirck
May 23, 2019 5:24 am

Really, seems like the UN is its own worst enemy here.

Sorry, Dr. Curry, but the UN is OUR worst enemy, but it is serving its own purposes quite well. It hopes to spread panic and then take greater power for its bureaucracy as a result.

May 23, 2019 6:31 am

Climate alarmists might be on the endangered species list. In MY mind, they are already extinct.

May 23, 2019 6:59 am

One of the tell-tale signs of a scam is this: THEY tell you that you have a problem but THEY offer the fix for the problem you didn’t know you had. (This doesn’t cover every scam.) For example, the tech support scam. You get a call (or a pop-up alert delivered via malvertising) and someone claims to be from Microsoft and says you have been hacked. In other words, THEY told you that have been hacked. You didn’t know it, and more importantly you have no way of verifying the claim. Then the person claims he can stop the hack if you pay them money. In other words, THEY can fix the problem THEY just told you about.

The UN biodiversity/climate change has all the tell-tale signs of a scam. THEY — the UN — tells us that climate change is a problem and loss of biodiversity is a problem and THEY can fix the very problems THEY told us we had but we didn’t know we had if we pay them lots of money and surrender our rights. Marc Morano may not know it, but if he just changed a few words in his testimony he can perfectly describe the tech support scam.

Gary Pearse
May 23, 2019 7:02 am

They’ve had inordinate success using the same technique with Ippc and Extreme A Global Warming. That they refer to IPCC shows they found the formula. They, unfortunately for them,went for killing the Golden Goose to get it all. Had they started off with the thin edge of the wedge: Hey, no problem. We got your back on this. A biilion bucks each and Bob’s your uncle. This cash gets invested in finding out that a bit more is needed. Then start some ‘wild’ fires and see a somewhat bigger problem….

Saying global warming is going to result in economic collapse, death of democracy, end of civilization, mass starvation and death so we need to introduce a command by elitist totalists which will lead to …er … economic collapse, a Dark Ages for 99.99% of us, mass starvation and death isn’t a Madisin Avenue tecommendation

May 23, 2019 7:03 am

“Every hour, three species disappear. Every day, up to 150 species are lost.

Last time I checked, 3 x 24 = 72, not 150.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  MarkW
May 23, 2019 9:25 am

You obviously didn’t use the correct computer model to calculate your numbers. We will give you a grant to create a model that will give us the number we want.

Bryan A
Reply to  MarkW
May 23, 2019 10:14 am

UN paid Social Science Propagandists obviously use Weapons of Maths Distruction

May 23, 2019 8:34 am

Here is my written testimony to the Congressional Committee:

I am an ecologist and was the director of San Francisco State University’ Sierra Nevada Field Campus for 25 years. My professional career was dedicated to promoting wise environmental stewardship. Despite my years of research to advance biodiversity, I’m gravely concerned about the recent Summary for Policymakers by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), where it suggests that 1+ million species are now threatened with extinction.

Based on my experience, that number is greatly exaggerated. It appears this organization grossly overstated species threats in order to promote their stated agenda that “goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors.”

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is considered the gold standard for identifying threatened species. As of 2019, they estimate that there are 1,733,200 described species (not total species) of which less than 10% (just 98,512) have been evaluated to some degree. Of those evaluated species 27,159 species appear threatened with extinction to some degree. That is a reason for concern, but the IUCN estimates of species loss are a far cry from a million.

The IPBES suggested that the total number of threatened species could be derived by calculating the proportion of yet-to-be-evaluated species, using the same proportion of evaluated species that are considered threatened. Still such speculative math would still only result in 461,621 threatened species — again quite a few less than a million.

To reach 1± million threatened species the stated, “The proportion of insect species threatened with extinction is a key uncertainty, but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10 per cent.” They then state that insects comprise 75% of the known 8± million animal and plant species. However that results in an estimate of 6± million insect species which 6 times greater than the scientific consensus. Such misleading exaggerations suggest this group has a hidden agenda.

A key understanding is that 75% of all mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian extinctions have occurred on islands, and 86% of those extinctions were the result of introduced non-native species. Island species had not evolved the defenses needed to resist introduced rats, cats and stoats. For example, in Hawaii the introduction of mosquitos and avian malaria in the 1800s decimated Hawaii’s native birds.

Due to invasive species, 41% of all highly threatened species (Endangered and Critically Endangered) now live on islands. The current threats to most island species are not the result of what humans are doing wrong today, but the result of introductions a century ago. Now aware of the problem, humans are trying to fix it. Private conservation groups and public land managers are now working to eradicate invasive species, but those efforts require much more resources. If IPBES was truly concerned about protecting threatened species, they could simply fund these eradication efforts. There is no need for “transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors.”

Furthermore the IUCN’s criteria for designating threatened species (the total of Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable species) allows for much subjectivity. That subjectivity allows for overstating a species condition which would inflate the threat. For example to classify a species as “Threatened,” all one needs is “an observed, estimated, inferred or suspected population size reduction” The magnitude of the reductions determines if a species is Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered. That criteria is accurate for well-studied species for which quantitative studies have been carried out. However many ICUN evaluations “have no quantitative data available on densities or abundance” from which to determine the threatened status. The population reduction is then just inferred or suspected.

An example of the problem with speculations is the Adelie Penguin. It was classified as a species of Least Concern in 2009, with a population of about 4+ million individuals throughout Antarctica. They were up-listed to Near Threatened based on a 2010 climate modeling study that speculated global warming would reduce the sea ice they needed to rest on during the winter. However, after more intensive studies, researchers realized Adelie populations were actually increasing, and had now doubled to 8+ million individuals. Due to good quantitative studies, the IUCN reclassified Adelies as Least Concern again.

Speculation that a million species are threatened with extinction does not fully account for the conservation efforts that are improving species once they have been identified as Endangered. For example our current hunting regulations have allowed many whale species to return from the brink of extinction. Humpback and Bowhead whales were listed as Endangered in the 1980s. They have now recovered and are listed as species of Least Concern. Quantitative studies allowed for wise hunting quotas that quickly reduced the threat to many species. Again, there is no need for a “transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors.”

Loss of habitat is a key factor that can result in species becoming endangered — and sometimes it is political decisions that can lead to these species threats. For example, government attempts to promote biofuels based on speculations about climate change have disrupted ecosystems and threatened more species. The European Union subsidized Palm Oil for years, resulting in the loss of tropical forest and threatening species like the Orangutans. Realizing their mistake, those subsidies will be withdrawn. Another example is that subsidies for sugar cane as a biofuel has prevented restoration of tropical forests in Brazil, and corn subsidies in the USA have encouraged corn plantation in the northern Great Plains disrupting prairie ecosystems and reducing aquifers.

Yet another situation is that subsidies for industrial wind energy have resulted in increased bird and bat mortalities, in addition to the well-documented eco-system disruption. These representative example should make clear that “transformative economic and political changes” can cause more problems than they solve.

I urge Congress to carefully peruse the IPBES claims. Their assertion of a million threatened species does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Their gross exaggerations appear to be a political gambit to control “transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors,” while offering very little to improve current efforts to protect biodiversity.


Jim Steele

Jim Steele was director of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus from 1984 to 2010. He was principal Investigator of the U. S. Forest Service Neotropical Migratory Bird monitoring in Riparian Habitats on the Tahoe National Forest, performed two USGS Breeding Bird Surveys in the area, and initiated the successful Carman Valley Watershed Restoration project.

Rick C PE
May 23, 2019 9:01 am

As I understand evolution, new species (more accurately sub-species) result from random mutations. But the vast majority of mutations are evolutionary dead ends so there must surely be a large number of plants, insects, bacteria and animals that ‘evolve’ and go extinct in a blink of an eye on geological time scales. The fact that over 99% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct indicates that millions of species coming and going over the course of centuries or millennia is probably just business as usual for Ma Nature.

May 23, 2019 9:23 am

The Bio-Diversity agenda provides another cudgel for the radical environmentalists to attack Albertans. Not only is the jurisdiction a major sinner in their eyes because of CO2 emissions. But they are also are sinners against Bio-Diversity Dogma because they control rats !!

‘We’re winning’: how a Canadian province the size of France stays rat-free
Alberta is one of the world’s only places without a breeding population of rats – thanks to skilled pest controllers and a take-no-prisoners approach
From his base in rural Alberta, Phil Merrill has fielded phone calls from around the world. And whether they’re dialling him up from New Zealand or Ireland, the question is always the same: how do you get rid of rats?
For nearly 50 years, Merrill has been on the frontlines of a singular – and victorious – battle, transforming the western Canadian province into one of the world’s only rat-free jurisdictions.

May 23, 2019 9:48 am

The Vatican of course is right onside with the Bio-Diversity agenda : (

Conservationists at Vatican conference call for protecting biodiversity

Bryan A
May 23, 2019 10:12 am

Every hour, three species disappear. Every day, up to 150 species are lost. Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities. …Climate change is one of the major driving forces behind the unprecedented loss of biodiversity.”

Every hour, three species disappear (equates to 150 per day?) 3 x 24 = 72…150 per day is 6 per hour.
Every day, up to 150 species are lost (equates to 18,000 – 50,000 per year?) at least that adds up 54,000
3 per hour equals 26,280 per year. 18,000 = 2 per hour.

So it is now 10am, whay 30 species went extinct already today??
David Middletons fave
Zero point Zero

Reply to  Bryan A
May 23, 2019 10:14 am

Dean Wormer is everywhere… 😉

HD Hoese
May 23, 2019 10:15 am

Sprules, W. G. 2007. Ecological change in Great Lakes communities – a matter of perspective. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science. 65:1-9. Wonder if they know about that paper. All this obscures real problems that might need (and have) solutions. PERCEPTION is reality?

Joe Crawford
May 23, 2019 11:16 am

“At the same time, climate change ‘solutions’ are arguably a much bigger threat to species and biodiversity than climate change itself.”

No wonder the environmentalists ‘True Believers’ rant and rave like idiots from the asylum. The truth of that statement by itself is enough to drive any thinking person a bit too far off their rocker.

May 23, 2019 3:48 pm

Sara, May 23 , sums it up very well ..

The UN has become just a lobby group for ther so called 3ed World

The way their “Summaries” are put together, with the none scientists
diplomats doing the bidding of their bosses, is just straight out of Sir
Humphrey and Jim Hacker in the “”Yes Prime Minister”” BBC series.

So why do so many of our politicians accept what is clearly nothing but 3rd
World propaganda ?

The answer of course is that it too suits their own political agenda.

Solution. Abolish the United Nations. The old League of Nations was
useless too.

The USA seems to be the number one “Milch Cow”” so they should stop financing it.


Reply to  Michael
May 23, 2019 6:02 pm

Why on earth are we making UN propaganda-based myths and outright lies into national law? The UN needs to be abolished, it’s poisoning all international debate and politics, and doing its very best to undermine the credibility of science. And they sure are not interested in the truth, only in the money they can scam for global taxpayers, especially from those who actually work.

Environmental collapse, via a 10,000 UN parasites sucking all vitality and sustainability out of the global economy.

Mike Dubrasich
May 23, 2019 8:53 pm

Two things to consider:

1. “Biodiversity” is defined (scientifically) as species count – area ratio. See Simpsons Diversity Index, etc. Such measures clearly show that biodiversity increases towards the Equator and declines towards the poles. That is, the warmer the climate, the greater the biodiversity. Warmer is Better for biodiversity.

2. Species protection by governments is a cruel joke. Example: in the 25 years since “protections” were enacted to save the Northern Spotted Owl, the population has crashed, from ~18,000 in 1994 to less than 3,000 today. Despite a total shutdown of stewardship on 25,000,000 acres, at a cost of over $10 billion per year, the “plan” has failed catastrophically. Quackery has led to a very expensive and tragic malfunction.

John Rosa
May 24, 2019 10:14 am

What we are really seeing is an attempt to create a world government. This government would control issues as diverse as economic growth (obviously none) to human reproduction, ZPG. Of necessity this government could not be democratic, Far too many illiterate people. Far too many selfish people who might want food, clothing and shelter.
This government must therefore be dictatorial of nature. The United Nations would need to form a committee to run our world government. This committee would have to be self-sustaining to avoid outside pressure. The committee would appoint new members as needed. Of course, the committee members and their families would have to be supported to an appropriate lifestyle (opulent). An army would be raised, one army for the entire world.
All this might be called a dictatorship of the prolitariate. KARL MARX would-be prould.

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