Well it’s another day, another series of environmental beat-ups by the fund-hungry green science lobbies apparently.
Friday’s London frontpages were taken up with the report from a group of marine biologists suggesting that global fish stocks will be exhausted by the year 2048, if the catch expansion continues on current trends.
Turns out that it doesn’t matter however because there won’t be any water anyway – according to a report from the Wentworth group suggesting we may not have the resources to save all of Australia’s major river systems.
In the UK the double whammy has caused even the hardiest sceptic to check themselves, with The Times and the Daily Mail publishing pro-Stern articles, albeit somewhat grouchy ones. Australia’s triple whammy has brought even the Daily Telegraph into line.
The serious Stern skeptics (excluding by definition Andrew Bolt’s blog) are confined to Bjorn Lomberg in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal (reprinted in the Oz) and Christopher Monckton in the UK Telegraph. Lomberg’s defence is scrappy and focused on details and minor discrepancies, while Monckton’s is the more serious challenge, focusing on alleged errors in mathematical modelling.
It would be unkind to point out that Monckton (sorry, 3rd viscount of Benchley) was the inventor of the “eternity puzzle”, a post-Rubik’s toy that he was so confident would take between three and 130 billion years to solve that he offered £1 million to the first person to do so.
It took seven months, and he lost his ancestral home. Also irrelevant to point out that he was an advisor to Margaret Thatcher during the full flush of monetarism.
It’s unlikely, but possible – and I’d be real interested to see a critique of the critiques – that such critiques will turn out to be correct, and they’re certainly more pertinent than the desperate talk about ‘ice ages’ and the Green religion that the right usually pumps out.
But even if this is so, reports such as those on fish stocks, fresh water, oil, and others yet unmentioned – rare metals for example – are simply running out.
It’s becoming obvious to the mass of humanity that market mechanisms won’t sort this out – and market fundamentalist can either join the real debate or the Flat earth society.