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13 May 2017
Climate change

At http://climatechangedispatch.com/youre-calling-me-anti-science/ … is a post by a solar scientist who says that alarmists would call him anti-science as he doesn't believe co2 is the driver of recent warming – but claims a more active sun was responsible. He made the point that it is precisely because he is a scientist that he is a sceptic of CAGW alarmism. He adds that what concerns him is that members of the general public seem to have no understanding of the core issues being debated and yet heatedly support climate change against deniers such as himself. How can you defend something you don't know anything about?

At http://climatechangedispatch.com/dr-patrick-moore-climate-change-is-a-scam/ … we have a video of a discussion with Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace and one of the few actual scientists in that NGO. He has Ph. D. in Ecology and presumably knows a fair bit about the subject. He left Greenpeace when it abandoned science in favour of politicisation. In the video, he pulls the CAGW alarmist story apart at the seams – and he is an environmentalist.

On a completely different tack we have a discussion about growing food the hydroponics way. Does it lack essential nutrients and vitamins? It's an interesting read so go to http://notrickszone.com/2017/05/13/low-nutrient-vertical-farming-foods-c… … and a funny coincidence has occurred as I had a woman on the allotment the other day telling me that tomatoes in supermarkets were tasteless because they were grown by a hydroponics method. She said that tomatoes grown under glass or in plastic greenhouses, use the water and nutrient solution, and this is why they have a watery rather than a proper tomato taste. There is nothing quite like growing a couple of your own tomato plants – but you don't get a crop until late summer in the UK (unless grown in a greenhouse). Obviously, there is a huge market for tomatoes throughout the year as they are such a versatile vegetable (or fruit). It makes sense to grow them in plastic tunnels – and if hydroponics gets them growing by cheating mother nature that is a commercial success story. However, the story is not strictly true as there was a thriving tomato industry in Scotland prior to the UK joining the EU. It disappeared the moment that cheap tomatoes from Spain and Italy flooded the market – as it did in other parts of the UK and northern Europe. The Netherlands and UK fought back and now produce cheap tomatoes under plastic. Is that a bad thing?

Hydroponics is when plants grow in a water solution in artificial light conditions. Heat is also provided and the idea is to trick the plants into thinking it was high summer. They don't require soil or sunlight. In other words, plants are produced artificially, but the Green Blob are supportive, including vegans we may assume, as they visualise people in the future eating vegetables and abandoning meat and dairy produce. Even fish that live in a natural environment in the sea. I grow salad leaves in containers of soil and compost and it is only this week that I have been able to pick leaves of spinach, lettuce, rocket,  and water cress as they are not under glass. Hence, the fact that salad leaves (the object of concern at the link) can be grown all year round in the Netherlands and the UK must be a bonus – or is it? Do they lack the essential nutrients by growing them in artificial conditions. Plants extract nutrients from the soil – assuming the necessary nutrient are there in the first place. It requires fertiliser to put in those nutrients needed by the particular plants being grown in a farmers field. This is not too different from putting nutrients into a water solution. The real issue here seems to be are some of the vital nutrients lacking in the hydroponics methodology? Do plants get nutrients from sunlight – and the heat of the sun? There is of course nothing to worry about if you just buy a pack of salad leaves once or twice a week and add it to a meal that includes meat and eggs, or fish.  However, vegans may have an over-reliance on plants grown by the hydroponics method as they do not consume meat and eggs, for example. The article seems to be making a good point. However, I attended an event a few years ago where vegans were tasked with providing the meal. I was surprised by the variety of foods they produced – including cakes and breads etc. Salad leaves did not dominate.

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