Sunday, February 20, 2011

All consuming baby boomers are the country's biggest polluters



So claims an article in today’s Sunday Times (you are only going to be able to read this if you have a subscription).

The above chart and the claim are taken from a 120 page report “Demographic change and the environment”.

How weird that this is the only ‘fact’ that is selected to be promoted about this report. I guess you should never let a chance go by to do a bit more boomer bashing.

We learn from the article that Tony Juniper, the environmental adviser to the Prince of Wales and former head of Friends of the Earth, said his contemporaries needed to learn to consume fewer material goods, take a smaller number of flights and even eat less meat because rearing animals leads to land clearance, the creation of large amounts of methane gas and mass grain production.

What a pile sanctimonious hogwash.

Let’s dig a bit into these claims and the learned Mr Juniper – nearly forgot – he has no qualifications in statistics or climatology. What do we find? Well the research behind these claims originated back in 2007 and then had a work-over in 2010. The shame is that as far as I can see it is fatally flawed.

At the time when it was originally published I wrote about the methodology and highlighted its limitations. This hacked off the research authors but they never responded to my criticisms. The same happened when it reappeared - still no answers.

You do have to wonder what is going in this country when such dubious research is allowed to become the key claim of a Royal Commission report.

Pity Mr Juniper didn’t dig a bit deeper before making these claims.

If there are answers to my criticisms of the research then I would be delighted to publish them, otherwise I will stick to my original criticism that this is shoddy research that doesn't improve the more times it is repeated. Dick Stroud

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