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Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

Fun with Flooding

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It’s like the song sung by Brian’s fellow crucified crminals as he hangs on the cross at the end of Monty Python’s Life of Brian:

Always look on the bright side of life.

To that end here is what some people did with the new, giant lake formerly known as The Domain in Auckland.

As architect Not PC puts it, amidst the hysterical screaming from the Warmists and the Left about the Auckland Friday night floods:

It’s natural, when disasters happen, to find someone to blame. To vent your anger. When a natural disaster happens, however, that’s pretty pointless. It looks like anger redirected. Like trying to deny the reality of the disaster that’s just happened.

Sure, there is plenty of bureaucratic bungling in evidence around Auckland since last Friday — much of it arguably because of Rodney Hide’s super-sized bloody council (a predictable man-made disaster about whose formation I’m still angry). And much of it, too, because too many have come to expect far too much from government appointees and electees, as if the power of government somehow makes them all super-human and immune to common bloody sense (well, that last part at least is true). 

But what caused the disaster is not those non-entities, you know; it’s all that bloody rain!

Reality has thrown at us Aucklanders rainfall of a magnitude that just isn’t designed for. Engineer’s design flood-resistant infrastructure for a 1-in-100 year event. Those buckets of rain represent something like a 1-in-500 year event. Rainfall of a magnitude that no stormwater or infrastructure engineer would have expected, or could realistically design for. Monsoon-level rain that’s caused at least four deaths. And yet for all the many slips and outages, and the tragedy of those lives lost and the many homes, families and businesses disrupted, we’ve come through it a whole lot better than you might have expected.

With exceptions so notable as to be newsworthy, the vast majority of us are still supplied with water and power and refrigeration, and are as warm and dry as we want to be — and able to offer help to those who aren’t.

The photo at the top of this post is a good reference point to the screamers. Not that they’ll take any notice because for Warmists who constantly tells us that weather is not climate (when there are inconvenient snowfalls or no Atlantic hurricanes) that doesn’t apply when they get a weather event they think they can link to their cult. Meanwhile for Leftists it’s a chance put the hate on the man who defeated them in the Auckland Mayoral election and with any luck set themselves up to win the next election or perhaps even force him to resign.

Every cloud has a silver lining eh? Unfortunately that usually means for everyone too, more’s the pity in this case.

And just for those Warmist screamers here’s a news story out of Sky News Australia from October 2021, How a Tongan volcanic eruption almost guarantees a ‘flooded summer’ for Australia’s east coast:

The southern annular mode, or SAM, is being powered by a strange source – the Tongan volcanic eruption (pictured) in January of this year – and will almost certainly lead to a wet summer, writes Sky News Australia meteorologist Rob Sharpe.

I expect La Niña or a La Niña-like pattern to tip the scales in favour of wetter than usual weather in Australia’s east until at least February and probably March. But it’s not the only climate driver increasing wet weather in the east this summer. The southern annular mode, or SAM, is being powered by a strange source – a volcanic eruption. 

By the time we get to the end of summer I’m expecting this event to go down in the history books as the “Flooded Summer” – even though it began in spring just like the Black Summer fires.

He was right on the money, with a forecast not only accurate but the rationale and reasons for it also being accurate, rather than it simply being a toss of the coin. Meanwhile our own NIWA appear to have been entirely focused on the expected fading of La Nina had this to say about our upcoming Summer:

“Everywhere except Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa are likely to see less rainfall than normal because of periods of excessive humidity and hot temperatures.”

So we get to add that to them also missing the Atmospheric River effect over Auckland on Friday night, although I think that is more forgivable.

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Written by Tom Hunter

February 1, 2023 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, New Zealand

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Revolutions fail unless they control the State

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A few months ago Sri Lanka was rocked by massive, nation-wide protests resulting from an economic crisis. The nation had arrived at the brink of bankruptcy and suspended payments on its foreign loans – which in turn meant no more foreign loans.

The country erupted with growing mass protests that were only made worse by the government’s heavy-handed use of riot cops and then the Army. Fighting Tamil terrorists is one thing: fighting an entire country quite another, especially when it’s your own people. And of course it was more than just protests. Hungry people were literally preying on wealthy residents and officials, burning their homes and cars, including those of numerous government MP’s. One MP was assassinated by an angry mob.

But that crisis in turn was the result of an ideological, scientifically ignorant decision by its (former) President to ban agrochemicals for farming:

Within six months of the ban, rice production in the country—a once very sufficient industry—dropped 20 percent, forcing Sri Lanka to import $450 million of rice to meet supply needs and surging rice prices rose nearly 50 percent.

Now, Sri Lanka will pay farmers across the country 40,000 million rupees ($200 million) to compensate for their barren harvests and crop failures. In addition to the funding, the Sri Lankan government will pay $149 million in price subsidies to rice farmers impacted by the loss.

The protests were wildly successful in at least one respect:

[On May 9] Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the de facto leader of the regime and the president’s brother, handed in his resignation and was forced to take refuge in a naval military base on the eastern coast of the country.

[On July 9 people stormed] the presidential palace, the Presidential Secretariat, and the official residence of the prime minister. This was an unprecedented moment in Sri Lanka’s political history. President Rajapaksa fled that evening to Maldives and handed in his resignation. 

That last article is titled the ‘Morning After’ Moment, and it could have been titled, So What Now? In other words what does a revolution do when it has succeeded in its immediate primary aim of deposing the top leaders? A Ceaușescu moment, followed by the implementation of a new system?

Not in this case, despite the unusual sight of political groups being caught out by their own voters, especially the Left who are supposedly always ready to Speak Truth To Power:

Many organized political forces tried to position themselves as its legitimate representatives; but the truth is that it was a remarkable and genuine uprising of the masses that surprised the organized left as much as the ruling political class. The country’s leading left-wing party, the People’s Liberation Front, even cautioned the public at the beginning against taking part in these unregulated protests, even if they were quickly forced to change their position and to claim a leadership role in the mass uprisings.

When you observe how detached most of the political Left in the West is from their traditional working class voters, this doesn’t sound unusual. Neither does the subsequent pandering. Sadly, niether does this:

What we are witnessing now is the return and the reorganization of the state. After the resignation of the president, the prime minister was sworn in as his acting successor. A few days later, the prime minister was officially elected, as per the constitution, by the majority vote of the parliament. The same allegedly corrupt MPs of the previous regime voted for him, meaning that their grasp on state power remains largely intact.

And “the masses” have gone home, presumably to eke out their lives as best they can. The security forces also got a second chance and have taken it with relish, with hundreds of activists arrested and thousands more being questioned by the police, plus some very dodgy imprisonment-while-awaiting-trial of the usual student activists, even though this revolution did not start in the universities. Again, looking at the outrageous treatment of the January 6 protestors in Washington D.C., with people held for months awaiting trial, one sees the similarities, as well as the US no longer being able to sneer at developing nations and their “extremist” laws. The following also struck a chord both for the USA and New Zealand:

Ironically, the president himself had allocated a nearby strip of land as the official “agitation site”[next to the Presidential Secretariat building]. Protesters, in a rare moment of agreement with the law, duly occupied the adjoining area—and began an occupation that continued for almost four months.

An allocated spot right outside the President’s building for any “Rivers of FilthTM” that may wish to turn up and protest about something. What a concept!

The writer points out that it isn’t all gloom. After all, something very significant and new in Sri Lanka’s history – a true people’s uprising that deposed a President and a Prime Minister (and decidedly dodgy and corrupt ones to boot), and that has to have some impact on voting and elections and “people’s representatives”, somewhere down the line. But the key point of such revolutions has to be remembered:

Most Sri Lankans are now waking up to the statist nightmare of “the morning after.” But it is also clear that there was no way a rational and concrete program, to be implemented later, could have emerged from such a people’s uprising…  it has to be admitted that as a pure eruption, a mass uprising cannot be posited as an alternative to politics as such.

Which is where revolutions and the State end up entangled with each other; either the revolution’s aims get embedded in the body politic via an election and the State changes, or their’s another revolution – perhaps next time destroying the existing State to replace it with it’s own (think Russia in 1905 vs 1917).

Written by Tom Hunter

December 23, 2022 at 1:45 pm

The next time you hear “Food Miles”

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It will likely be coming out of the mouth of an environmental activist.

Although it could also be coming from a European Union official looking for yet another angle via which tariffs and other restrictions can be placed on imported food from far-flung places like New Zealand, Australia and Asia.

You response should be as follows from this article, Eating local is still not a good way to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet:

Transport is just 5% of food emissions.2 Here we’re talking about emissions from ‘food miles’

The reason this number is so low is because most food that is transported internationally comes by boat. And, shipping is very carbon-efficient. Per kilometre, it emits 10 to 20 times less than trucks on the road. And around 50 times less than flying

Surprisingly, more than 80% of the CO₂ from food transport is produced by trucks. That means most emissions come from moving food around domestically not internationally. 

Even the dreaded act of flying food around is just 0.4% of food transport emissions because although it is fifty times less efficient than boat carriage, it forms a tiny part of food shipment globally.

The article is written as a direct response to another one written for Nature Food (ugh) that claimed that ‘food miles’ accounted for 20% of food GHG emissions, which they calculated by changing the definition of ‘food miles’, which is exactly the sort of deceptive argument I see from activists across the board nowadays. Presumably they’re operating on the assumption that the truth will never catch up with the lies before change is effected to make the truth irrelevant.

The following graph is a little more complex as it focuses on the GHG emissions of different types of farmed food, which suggests that’s where the focus should be if you think that your eating is causing the Climate CatastropheTM.

So this article has its own agenda, and one I don’t agree with, which is focusing on “plant-based foods” – more vegetarianism/veganism on the way – plus bugs. Can’t forget them. In which case maybe we should let the Nature Food article alone:

This is the message that should be clear to consumers. Instead, they get the message that ‘eating locally’ matters a lot. That’s appealing to many because it sounds and feels right. 

But when we step back to look at the data, it’s not effective at all. In fact, it runs the risk of backfiring and making things worse. If people switch from imported plant-based foods or chicken to local beef, their carbon footprint will rise.

Oh noes. What if the domestic, grass-fed, domestic steak I eat tonight also has onions shipped from South America? Does that work? Actually it doesn’t, but luckily I don’t care!

Written by Tom Hunter

December 23, 2022 at 7:26 am

We learned nothing from Swine Flu (2010)

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I love history, but it can be depressing when you realise that historic lessons are forgotten and we are forced to re-live a grim past as a result.

But it seems that humans don’t learn – or perhaps learn the wrong lessons from the mistakes of history?

The evidence of this failure are various remarks made about it by figures who lived through such history:

“Everything to be re-enacted twice over, once as grand tragedy and the second time as rotten farce” – Frederick Engels

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

So in 2010 an article was published in the Toronto Star, The real lessons of H1N1, in the wake of the WHO calling off the H1N1 “pandemic”, by two men not to be dismissed lightly:

Dr. Richard Schabas is the Medical Officer of Health for the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit and was Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health from 1987-97. Dr. Neil Rau is an Infectious Diseases Specialist and Medical Microbiologist based in Oakville and a Lecturer in the Department of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases) at the University of Toronto.

The analysis and conclusions – just like those around the earlier “population bomb” scare-mongering, and in the wake of our C-19 pandemic insanity – are sobering because of how little we’ve learnt from those panic attacks.

Some key quotes:

  • The supposed danger of H1N1 for healthy young people was grossly exaggerated. The median age of death from H1N1 in Canada was 53 — younger than usual from influenza but not exactly young — and the great majority had serious underlying health problems.
  • The picture was crystal clear by July 2009 following the winter outbreaks in Australia. Ironically, the more benign the evidence the more bellicose our rhetoric became.
  • Canada responded to H1N1 with an aggressive immunization program.
  • Immunization against H1N1 had very little benefit because it came too late.

Sound familiar?

And then the killer conclusions from 2010, exactly a decade before the c-19 insanity. Killer because we ignored all of these:

  1.  Look before you leap. When a new infectious disease problem emerges, the premium must be on gathering and analyzing reliable information rather than triggering preconceived and inappropriate responses. The perception that these events are emergencies requiring instant response is overstated. A little thoughtful reflection will be invaluable.
  2. React to facts, not fears. Pandemic plans gave little or no flexibility to scale down measures for a mild (or ultra-mild) pandemic. Everything was geared to a 1918-style disaster — more of a phantom than a real threat in our modern world. Once activated, the plans took on lives of their own. Can anyone honestly say that the likes of Michael Baker and Siouxsie Wiles ever provided calm and reasonable forecasts during the C-19 pandemic? They sounded calm but their forecasts were not.
  3. Keep the politicians away. Public health officials can and should change their minds when new evidence emerges. They can be wrong without shame so long as they stay flexible and open-minded. Reversing fields is much more difficult for politicians. Our persistence with H1N1 immunization long after it had any value had much to do with political face-saving.
  4. Never exaggerate. Public health’s greatest asset is credibility. The unfortunate tendency to overstate the dangers of H1N1 will only mean that some people will doubt our word when we have something really important to say. Refer back to point 2.
  5. Be your own toughest critic. Public health authorities – federal and provincial – have yet to produce any rigorous evidence-based analysis of the H1N1 experience. If we don’t identify our mistakes, how can we learn from them?

We learned nothing.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 21, 2022 at 6:00 am

Watch this heartfelt video on control

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Let kids be kids

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Back in 2003 when I was still watching broadcast TV and paying attention to the MSM in general, I was appalled by John Campbell’s coverage of one protest here in New Zealand against the looming Iraq invasion by the USA.

The reason I was appalled was that these protestors had hauled little kids, in many cases less than ten years of age, into the protest to hold signs and yell slogans along with the adults.

Campbell of course loved this; it fitted in so perfectly with his themes of how “everyone” was opposed to the war, especially innocent little kids (look at their faces, how terrible they feel this burden), and how the “Youf” are always on the side of the Left because the Left march forward endlessly into a brighter future – just like the kiddies. This has been a constant theme of the Left since the 1960’s and the Counter Culture revolution: I’ve heard this with every Lefty election victory: David Lange, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and of course Jacinda “Youth Adjacent” Ardern. They always make a meal of it.

In almost every case it’s bullshit; at their age they could have only the merest glimmerings of the issues that were at stake, they were present as tools of their activist parents.

Sadly, the practice has only increased in the two decades since then, especially when it comes to Climate Change which, they are told from almost every source, will blight or even destroy their future. Is the following thus any surprise:

The CDC found 45% of high school students were so persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 they were unable to engage in regular activities. Almost 1 in 5 seriously considered suicide and 9 pct surveyed tried to take their lives during previous 12 months.”

This was put up on a Twitter thread, from which the ChicagoBoyz blog extracted this comment by one poster.

One of my kids’ best friends went to a remote, outward bound style summer camp deep last summer. She came back giddy, and told her mom how amazing it was that the entire time she was there no one talked about climate change or politics or activism or genders. For 2 weeks, they were all allowed to just be kids again.

Parents – liberals in particular – think they’re churning out little warriors now, but they aren’t. They’re churning out depressed, confused, terrified, angry, despondent, lost, broken young adults.

As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting depression, seeing what we’re doing to our kids fucking infuriates me, and the idea that it’s perceived by so many as virtuous sends me over the edge.

Kids’ lives are so wrapped up in the twin harms of the shallowness of social media and the existential dread of things far out of their control that they’re breaking apart, and parents are facilitating it.

But read the other comments on that Twitter thread as well – and remember that some prominent people are just happy to get along and go along with all this:

I know that many here mock Greta Thurnberg, but she does seem to speak for a large number of young people. Look at the size of the 2020 secondary school climate strikes. Most of those students will be voting next year. Yes, I know they may seem young and foolish, but they are not as ignorant as some here seem to think.

He speaks for me

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Dave Read, that is, a sheep farmer in the North Island.

He writes here about the terrible growing impact of farmland being bought and turned into massive pine forests because of the Climate Change policies of successive New Zealand governments.

I had to laugh a little at his background, where he grew up on a farm but studied physics at university and learned to shear sheep a decade before going farming in 1990. He comes from a long line of farmers.

I have walked to every corner of the farm and feel an intimate connection to this land. Returning from elsewhere, I get to within 100km of home and feel the land reaching out towards me. When the land suffers under drought or flood, I feel it as a pain in my own body.

But he’s also feeling pain from another source now:

Right now, I feel like a contentious objector must have during the first world war. I am being reviled as an environmental vandal. The news feels like propaganda. A 2021 UN report calls for a 45 per cent cut in world methane. The report lays out targets for each sector and makes it clear most cuts should come from plugging pipeline leaks. Yet the commentary is summed up as … ‘New Zealand falls short of 45 per cent target.’

That article is actually in the Australian Spectator, likely because our MSM do want to see it. In Stuff it would likely be regarded as “Denialism”, the slur used in all areas by simple-minded people who can’t argue.

When I do the math, the UN target for ruminant stock works out to a 4.7 per cent reduction for New Zealand. This is under half New Zealand’s target, but no editor will print this fact because ‘readers don’t want complicated maths’, ‘you are not a climate expert’, ‘it would undermine the consensus achieved’.

What’s happening around him is grim:

I am forced to watch sustainable food production (my life’s work) destroyed even though it is expected that 1.4 billion people will be protein-deficient by 2050. I lie awake in the early hours, composing yet another submission to be filed and ignored by group of professional listeners in Wellington (the seat of our government). The road that used to be quiet at 4am roars with logging trucks carrying logs from trees planted in the 90s during the last wave of land-use change.

Transport carries on warming the planet; people drive to the store when they could walk; they fly to Sydney for shopping weekends instead of buying local.

Meanwhile my sector, the only sector of New Zealand no longer warming the planet, is being gutted.

I wonder how much longer this can go on? I wonder if a change of government in 2023 will mean any change to this at all?

I suspect not.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 5, 2022 at 7:38 am

How exactly is Net Zero sustainable?

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The forecast lithium demand to meet the Net Zero targets look to be completely unachievable. That is an enormous amount of new mining that would no doubt be opposed by self described environmentalists. The story of global growth and prosperity from the industrial revolution is tightly entwined with use of energy starting with coal, other fossil fuels and nuclear. It seems to me the underlying socialist green agenda is happily to take us all back to an agrarian lifestyle. They decry growth and seem happy to leave the undeveloped nations where they are and take the world down to their level, rather than encourage the use of fossil fuels to bring everyone forward.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

November 1, 2022 at 10:35 am

Protests (Good and Bad)

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Van Gogh’s sunflower, before and after the protest

As we all now know there are “good” protests and “bad” protests. The recent Van Gogh protest was so “good” that it was actually enabled by the museum, who did nothing to stop these vandals.

The litmus test is whether the protest is against something that the TPTB support (bad) or in favour of (“good”), and while the former got lots of MSM support from the 1960’s to about the 2000’s, it’s notable that with the demise of the old, square, conservative world and its replacement by the Counter-Culture, the MSM continues to align with the latter and no longer afflicts the comfortable or speaks truth to power – and all those other Nineteen Eighty Four’ish slogans that were chanted by the Left.

The latest is seen in the picture opposite and naturally receives the high praise of none other than one of those 1960’s/70’s Truth To Power protestors, John Minto, in a TDB article praising this group of people who blocked the Wellington motorway, screwing with the lives of decidedly non-powerful, ordinary people.

One of those people,”Terry”, spoke up on the post:

Okay so last week I took time off work as my elderly mother has a specialist appointment at Wellington Hospital. Due to these idiots we were late, causing a huge amount of stress…But fuck those white middle class wankers! I’ve taken my car to work all this week to spite them. And it’s turned out to be quicker and more convenient than the train at about the same price. I’m planning on using my car from now on.

Which drew this response from one “Ross Davies” that just oozes warmth and compassion…

Perhaps this is the definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face? Obviously you were looking for an excuse to use your car without having to think about the effect on the environment. And presumably you didn’t support their cause of passenger rail or climate action? And sorry about your Mum. She must be even angrier than you about all this.

That’s the mentality that drives this; the all-encompassing fanaticism of diamond-plated self-righteousness that allows for no empathy or ordinary decency: a trait no better defined than by C.S. Lewis writing on tyranny:

The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

However, the response to this bastard was gold:

“Fuck You” doesn’t get better than that.

But there are also funny protests, as when some group called “Scientist Rebellion”, recently glued themselves to the floor in the Volkswagen factory in another climate change protest. The response of the workers was to simply leave work for the day, switching off all the lights and heating (energy conservation is big in Germany). This left the protestors whining about how they had no food, light, warmth – not even “a bowl to urinate and defecate in a decent manner while we are glued”. Oh no, the horror, the horror:

But back to the “Bad protests”, the ones that nowadays don’t get MSM coverage, as noted by the website, NotTheBee:

Has the media told you about the MASSIVE protests happening all over Europe right now? Come watch them here.

Click on that link and you’ll see plenty of the following:

The reason they’re not getting MSM coverage is that they are the opposite of The Narrative that the MSM and TPTB have agreed upon, which is that people are willing to sacrifice the loss of reliable, affordable energy to battle Climate Change and Putin.

While I’m onboard with the latter fight it’s amusing to note that The Narrative simply cannot admit the connection between them. That Europe’s energy problems are a result of it’s insane pursuit of unreliable, renewable energy sources and forcible move away from fossil fuels (and in Germany, nuclear power also) – with the resulting back-handed, hidden reliance on Russian energy sources to compensate which has led them to this pass.

Plant-based foods

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I can’t even.

I’ll let this guy say it for me regarding plant-based foods (see The Metaphysics of Plant-based Bacon)

Just one fun fact from the link:

4. Bacon is 86 percent cheaper than it was 100 years ago.

Fortunately I think this will be bust:

Today we are looking at the plant-based meat category. Spoiler alert: I find the plant-based meat category bland and uninspiring. And honestly, I think we can reasonably lay plant-based meat mania to rest in peace in the history books, right alongside 1990’s emu farming mania in the US.

Leaving only mockery in its wake. A Nightmare on Bowen Street

That was later the theme for a nightmare from which I woke in a cold sweat, dazed and confused, similar to the feeling when opening an ACC bill.

I was seemingly attending a function in Wellington entitled ‘the NZ Showcase of Incompetency’. Our fearless leader was to be keynote speaker, however her fiance had just tested positive to something and she was also in a Zoom call with Sri Lanka’s regulators on “how to destroy your farming sector and democracy within a 12-month timeframe”.

The dress code was a moko and cowboy hat or socks and sandals – with the theme for the night “A Smorgasbord of Socialism”. The canapés were an unpalatable mix of plant-based righteousness and laboratory-created confusion, the drinks trolley empty apart from “an optional selection of Three Waters” which upon entry we were all lined up and forced to consume.

Read the whole thing.

Also read, Are Vegetarians Twice as Depressed as Meat Eaters?:

To investigate the relationship between a meatless diet and depression among adults, a team of Brazil-based researchers gathered data from more than 14,000 people between the ages of 35 and 74 over a six-month period. They evaluated participants using the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised instrument, a questionnaire that helps diagnose common mental disorders like depression and anxiety. “Depressive episodes are more prevalent in individuals who do not eat meat,” the authors concluded.

That chimes with my personal experience. Very dour people who don’t see much good in the world, although that may also be due to the 100% correlation with being Warmists and roughly 90% with being Leftists.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 7, 2022 at 1:01 pm