“consumers are barely aware of what it would mean to stop using the herbicide.”

That’s an understatement. Defending glyphosate: A ‘Roundup’ of German agribusiness sentiments.

I always say that people who’ve never seen a combine harvester in real life, have no idea of the scale of modern agriculture, and no appreciation for the history of what life was like before it was mechanized, and chemistry was applied can solve all the problems with modern agriculture while drinking their soy-latte.

Now I’m not an apologist for Monsanto, but you can’t just drop the use of Roundup and expect that nothing else will change. The linked article talks in part about the raising of sugar beets in Germany, and the use of glyphosate.

Critics of the herbicide in Brandenburg are quick to demand that weeds be removed mechanically, but Peters says they usually fail to mention the downsides of such an approach.

“Yes, another cultivation strategy would indeed be to remove the weeds mechanically with tractor-driven plows,” Peters admits. “But that would cost a lot more energy and increase the use of diesel enormously and our CO2 emissions respectively. Food products would become more expensive,” he notes. “And using plows extensively would harm our fields as it would worsen our already existing wind erosion problems.”

So does the Left want to reduce the use of diesel? Of course they are going to try and mandate the elimination of diesel as well. I hope everyone reading this is prepared to grow all of your own food if they do. Again, they’ve never seen a combine harvester, or a full size Deere tractor, or any other bit of Ag machinery up close.

Some statistics on life before agriculture was mechanized.

  • In 1790 farmers made up about 90% of the population. Agriculture was labor intensive.
  • In 1860 farmers made up 58% the working population. Several machines – McCormick’s Reaper in particular – had been introduced.
  • In 1900 farmers made up 38% of the labor force.
  • 1930: Farmers made up 21% of labor force. After the Dust Bowl, better conservation methods were introduced. (see quote above re: wind erosion.) Also the tractor (as we know it) came into widespread use in the 1930s.
  • In 1950 Farmers made up 12.2% of the labor force. The 1950s saw chemical revolution. Fertilizers had been available since before the Civil War, but now became cheap. Also herbicides and pesticides came into use.
  • 1980: Farmers made up 3.4% of labor force

There are more statistics, about hours of labor for 100 bushels of wheat, etc. over the years at that link.

So how far back to you want to turn the clock?

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Don’t Believe the Polls – Australian Edition

Remember how the polls said there was no chance Hilary could lose the 2016 election? Well they’ve done it again. This time in Australia. The expert who predicted Trump, Brexit – and Scott Morrison

The referenced article, or any of the others on the Australian elections, isn’t really of interest. What is of interest is the polling was wrong. Completely wrong. Again.

Despite trailing in every major poll for three years, the Coalition retained power on Saturday night and could yet form majority government.

With polling and betting markets missing the mark, experts are increasingly turning to social media to judge voter sentiment on a larger scale.

And with the crackdown on conservative thought by Big Social Media, even that will be hard to pin down.

So the next time some talking head, or politician, says that X percent of the population favors their latest Big Government power grab, ask them about 2016, or Australia.

So I’ve been trying to figure out how polling companies can get so much wrong. So I went looking for their methodology. Pew Research was my first (and only) stop. What I found is inexplicable. Trump’s Staunch GOP Supporters Have Roots in the Tea Party: Methodology.

This isn’t the only piece of Pew’s methodology I looked at. And what I saw wasn’t 100 percent uniform, but a whole bunch of what I saw, fell into this pattern.

The ATP [Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel] is a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults recruited from landline and cellphone random-digit-dial surveys.

They will determine that 312-555-12XX is in a particular part of the Chicago area (for example) and dial random digits. They do similar calling for blocks of numbers that are cellphones. I can’t think of a more self-selecting group to answer questions. If you “randomly” call my number, and you aren’t in my contacts list, I’m going to assume you are the credit fraud scammer, and ignore the call. (Anyone with real business will leave a message.) If Pew research left a message – which I don’t believe they do, but I’m not 100 percent clear on that – I wouldn’t call them back. Would you?

Maybe dialing people randomly could have worked back in the dark ages, before answering machines, but with caller ID and voicemail, and the proliferation of scams, who answers a call from an unknown number?

And this isn’t a poll from the dark ages. This is from a document published in 2019, based on group recruited to be on this panel in 2014 and 2015.

Polls in which the surveyed population is a self-selecting sample are not usually too good. People who will answer random calls from unknown numbers. People who will agree to work with Pew for years out. I don’t know anyone, of any political affiliation, that I think would fall into a group like this. Random sample? Not hardly.

And then I’m still a fan of Mike Royko’s call to lie to exit pollsters, from 1984.

But he said if enough voters lie, ‘The entire nation will be treated to one of the finest evenings of television viewing since the tube was unleashed.

‘As the evening wears on and the actual votes are counted, we will see Dan become more and more wild-eyed. We’ll see Peter hyperventilating. And even Davie will look like he is fully awake. And they’ll all be stammering about how ‘goodness, something seems to have gone wrong.’

Surprisingly good description of what happened in 2016, even if the players had changed.

Anti-vaccine Family Gets to Spend Vacation in Quarantine

And (maybe) they will be credited with starting an epidemic. French boy suspected of reintroducing measles to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica had been measles-free for 5 years.

An unvaccinated French child who went on holiday with his parents to Costa Rica is suspected of reintroducing measles to the Central American country.

The 5-year-old boy and his parents entered the country on February 18, Costa Rica’s Health Ministry said.

Authorities have quarantined the boy in a hospital and are searching for people he may have come into contact with since his arrival.

I’m sure they are happy they bought into the “vaccines are scary” narrative.

Measles vaccine prevented an estimated 21.1 million deaths worldwide from 2000 to 2017, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It isn’t just France of course, all of Europe has seen a huge increase in the number of measles cases in 2018.

The WaPo: “It’s Global Warming!”

I almost didn’t link to them, because they get enough clicks based on this insanity. Pacific Gas and Electric is a company that was just bankrupted by climate change. It won’t be the last..

The fires are totally the cause of Global Warming. PG&E deferring maintenance on the transmission lines, not doing brush clearing around the lines, and environmentalists fighting EVERY attempt at forest management to try and remove at least SOME of the dead trees, had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the fires.

The Sacramento Bee, on the other hand, manages to tell the truth about the situation, even while trying not to. ‘A statewide problem.’ How PG&E’s bankruptcy could soil California’s green-energy movement.

A year later, Williams is out, PG&E is bankrupt – and the utility is making noise about backing out of some of its commitments to use renewable energy. In a court filing Tuesday, PG&E told the bankruptcy judge it wants the authority to cancel some of its renewable-energy contracts – many of which force PG&E to buy power at above-market rates.

Since “deregulation” – right before the Enron disaster – to today, California energy markets have been micromanaged by the State. (Because legislators are SO competent to be in the power-engineering game.) And no, it wasn’t real deregulation, the state controlled what kinds of contracts the utility could sign. Which was only short-term contracts before Enron which left them open to price manipulation in a big way, and only long term contracts after Enron, which locked them into unusually high energy costs for several years. Today it is “green energy.” Because there is nothing the Socialists in California hate more than a free market, where individuals are free to do what they feel is best.

Now, however, the company has more contracts in place, as the California Legislature has dramatically ramped up the requirements on utilities to make use of renewable energy.

The state’s first “renewable portfolio standard” was signed into law by then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2002. The law required utilities to become 20 percent renewable by 2017.

A 2011 law established a 33 percent green-energy minimum by 2020 – the threshold that PG&E boasted about meeting three years early. And last September, former Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 100, requiring utilities to be 50 percent green by 2026, 60 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045.

Yeah, that sounds TOTALLY like a deregulated energy market. Or maybe not. Any bets on how stable the California power grid will be in 2045? (Hint: Take a look at Australia.) For a review of California’s Camp Fire, see this link.

$140 Per Day Electricity Cost in Australia

Because renewables. Nearly a billion dollars for electricity for just one day — $500 per family. That $140 (Aus) is per capita, so if you live by yourself, you might pay more. And 1 Australian dollar is 72 cents US, at the current exchange rate.

For South Australians, Thursday’s electricity bill was $140 per person. (So each household of four just effectively lost $565.) In both these states those charges will presumably be paid in future price rises, shared unevenly between subsidized solar users and suffering non-solar hostages. The costs will be buried such that duped householders will not be aware of what happened. Coles and Woolworths will have to add a few cents to everything to cover their bills, and the government will have to cut services or increase taxes. No one will know how many jobs are not offered or opportunities lost. This is the road to Venezuela. [My emphasis, Z-Deb]

Which seems to be the road that all the Left wants to be on.

How did Australia (Victoria in particular) end up here? Well, let’s look at an article from Victoria’s Herald Sun: VICTORIANS SWEAT THROUGH A GREAT GREEN HOAX. The story starts out with reiterating the usual Green mantra:

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s warmist Minister for Energy, in 2017 claimed Labor was helping to “deliver affordable, sustainable and renewable energy”.

Turns out, it is none of those things.

Affordable? Victoria actually had wholesale power prices hit $14,500 per megawatt hour – when prices used to average less than $40.

Sustainable? Wind power generators on Thursday delivered a feeble 3.8 per cent of the state’s power, thanks to fickle winds. They could not deliver when needed most.

Reliable? Victoria – which helped drive the giant Hazelwood coal-fired generator out of business – ran short of electricity in the heat wave, and suffered blackouts that hit 200,000 homes and premises, even after it ordered big power users like the Portland smelter to shut down.

And just for perspective, consider that people with health problems can be really impacted by blackouts. Oxygen concentrators stop working, and people have to switch to backup tanks. Which means a caregiver had better be present, and someone needs to be managing the backup supply – if blackouts are frequent occurrence. Even a lack of air-conditioning can be hard on the infirm. Insulin has been made shelf-stable, so the loss of refrigeration doesn’t impact diabetics the way it used to, but there are probably some medicines that need to be temperature controlled. (Should we talk about the use of diesel generators?)

The green contingent often downplay the economic realities, but a 36,000 percent increase in the wholesale cost of power, means you have just destroyed your economy. No one voted for that. Could you afford a $3000/month electric bill? Evey month? Most people can’t. Those who can, probably have to means to move elsewhere.

Why does Victoria, sitting on hundreds of years of supply of coal and big gas reserves, have an electricity system that can no longer deliver enough electricity?

In a word, Renewables. (Hat tip to Ice Age Now, and Pirate’s Cove.)

Forensic “Science”

JusticeIt is often more like forensic “old wives tales.” ‘I’ll always have a scarlet letter’: Mom cleared after being wrongly convicted of stabbing her son, 10, to death due to bad science says she is still shunned and feels ‘separated from society’ 20 years on.

This “science” is known as “bloodstain-analysis.”

In 2002 she was convicted of first-degree murder, largely based on the testimony of two bloodstain-pattern analysts.

However, she was exonerated in 2006 and acquitted at a retrial thanks to the work of a legal team from the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law in Chicago.

This was after a serial-killer confessed to the crime, and described it in terms that she had always used.

She can’t get a job, because her conviction still shows up in searches.

There were people convicted – and probably still in prison – base on “fire science” that was not in the least bit scientific. At least one was put to death. Because The Criminal Justice System, is often criminal, is not the least interested in Justice, and above all is a system, that rewards it players based on a win/lose percentage, that has nothing whatsoever to do with Justice.