Monday, July 21, 2014


By: Nancy J. Thorner
7/21/2014 06:00 AM

This article originally appeared on

Attendees of The Heartland Institute’s 9th International Conference on Climate Change held in Las Vegas from July 7-9, “Just Don’t Wonder About Global Warming, Understand It,” heard some of the world’s leading climate scientists and researchers discuss the latest state of global warming science, including questions of whether manmade global warming will harm plants, animals, or human welfare. 

Eight hundred participants gathered to hear 64 speakers from 12 different countries despite the fierce summer heat of Las Vegas. At one point 4,000 individuals were listening to the conference as it was streamed live from Las Vegas.

Speakers addressed myths of climate alarmism, specifically refuting the often-repeated assertion that 97 percent of scientists disagree with so-called global warming skeptics. On the contrary, speakers noted, only 0.5 percent of the authors of 11,944 scientific papers on climate and related topics over the past 21 years have said they agree most of the warming since 1950 was manmade, and that is only one of the necessary preconditions for an asserted global warming crisis. Speakers also cited the Remote Sensing Systems satellite record which shows there now has been no global warming for 17 years and 10 months.

Busting Myths

During the opening dinner, meteorologist Joe Bastardi explained extreme weather events are not becoming any more frequent or severe as the planet warms. To the contrary, Bastardi documented how hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other extreme weather events are declining in frequency and severity. To the extent there are short-term increases in extreme weather events at some places within the overall global decline, Bastardi showed those follow weather and climate patterns that existed long before recent global warming.

During the breakfast session on Day 2, Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore chronicled the radicalization of once-noble environmentalist groups. Standing before photographs of himself leading environmental protests and provocative actions against whalers and other corporate entitites, Moore explained how Greenpeace and other environmental activist groups are now harming human health and welfare by demanding so many resources be dedicated to the fictitious global warming crisis. True environmental progress would be made fighting for land conservation and other real environmental concerns rather than trumped-up global warming claims, Moore explained.

Patrick Michaels, a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and former program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society, explained during the Day 2 luncheon how government research grants are promoting the false notion of an alarmist consensus. Large government research grants are handed out almost uniformly to scientists who will promote the idea of global warming crisis, which ensures more budgetary dollars for government agencies addressing the topic and subsequently more research grants for the participating scientists, he noted.

Presenting the Science

The breakout sessions featured additional dozens of compelling presentations.

Howard Hayden, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Connecticut, demonstrated how all energy sources have environmental drawbacks. Hayden, moreover, showed scientifically how wind, solar, and other renewable power sources simply cannot meet the nation’s energy demands. Wind and solar power require tremendous amounts of land to produce even a very small amount of electricity. Although there may be room for expensive renewable power at the margins, global warming strategies that aim to shut down conventional power will not find enough replacement renewable power to keep the lights on, Hayden demonstrated. True land conservationists, said Hayden, are among the most vocal opponents of wind and solar power facilities.

Dr. John Dunn, a medical doctor, attorney, and advisor for the American Council on Science and Health, debunked EPA assertions that restrictions on power plant emissions will save lives and benefit human health. Dunn documented that human mortality rates are much higher during cold spells and winter months than during heat waves and summer months. Addressing EPA’s claims that tangential reductions in particulate matter and other emissions will save lives, Dunn showed that EPA’s assertions are totally unsupported and defy comprehensive health and mortality data. Also worth noting, EPA reports power plant emissions of the Six Principal Pollutants have already declined 70 percent even without EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide restrictions. Existing rules and regulations will reduce those emissions even further, with or without the proposed carbon dioxide restrictions.

Heartland Institute Senior Fellow James M. Taylor provided a concise and compelling summary of the scientific evidence for modest instead of severe global warming. Taylor’s presentation, along with all of the ICCC-9 presentations, was videotaped and is available online. Taylor gave a lively 10-minute talk with visual-friendly charts and graphs to share with family, friends, and acquaintances who would like to learn more about the global warming debate.

Denying Blessings of Modernity

At the final panel discussion, “Panel 21: Global Warming as a Social Movement,” on Wednesday afternoon, the distinguished panelists included E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., founder and national spokesman of the Cornwall Alliance; Paul Driessen, J.D., a senior advisor to the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise; and Peter Ferrara, J.D., a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute. Serving as moderator was Minnesota State Rep. Pat Garofalo.

Panelists Beisner, Driessen, and Ferrara all argued climate alarmists tend to be radical environmentalists who view people primarily as polluters and consumers who use up Earth’s resources and poison the planet in the process, never seeing free people as voluntarily being good stewards of natural resources.

 Through the manmade global warming alarm, activists have used governments to deny affordable and reliable energy and other modern blessings to the developing world, panelists noted.

Nancy J. Thorner ( is a writer based in suburban Chicago.

SeaIntel: Carriers to secure big savings from the Nicaragua Canal

Quality journalism requires investment. Please use the link below when sharing this article with others. 

President Daniel Ortega together with the canal project's major Chinese invstor, Wang Jing.
Photo: Esteban Felix

If the Nicaragua Canal is realized carriers will secure significant savings in terms of sailing time and - especially - fuel consumption by using the new alternative to Suez and Panama.

Published 21.07.14 at 13:07

There could be massive savings in store for carriers opting to use the planned Nicaragua Canal going forward. 

The canal will connect the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea, and was approved by an authority committee in the country on July 8.

In a new analysis SeaIntel takes a closer look at the canal, which will form a de facto alternative to the canals in Suez and Panama if the USD 40 billion project is actually realized. 

If carriers sailing from Asia to the US East Coast (USEC) opt to use Nicaragua as a shortcut instead of Panama, the analysis shows that the carriers could reduce their bunker consumption by 17 to 30 percent, depending on the size of the ship, according to SeaIntel.

"Our analysis clearly shows that it would be beneficial for the carriers from a cost perspective to use the coming Nicaragua Canal on the Asia-USEC services instead of using the Panama Canal, due to the shorter sailing distance and the possibility for the deployment of larger vessels," 
says SeaIntel, stressing in the analysis that the canal still remains mostly an idea even though there is currently a comprehensive feasibility study underway to assess the costs of the project, with major consulting firms studying various aspects of the canal.

SeaIntel bases the analysis on two services from Asia to the US East Coast. One through Panama and one through Suez. The route through the Panama Canal has a total distance of 21,500 nautical miles, while the same service replaced with the Nicaragua Canal has a total distance of 20,200 nautical miles, which according to SeaIntel corresponds to a 6 percent reduction. If the Suez Canal is replaced with the Nicaragua Canal, the result is a 5.5 percent reduction.

"As the carriers will be able to reduce the sailing distance by 6 percent by switching to the Nicaragua Canal there is a clear incentive to make the switch in itself, but the Nicaragua Canal also allows the carriers to deploy larger vessels through the Nicaragua Canal on the Asia-UESC services."

Battle for the big ships

And the possibility of using the biggest ships in the Nicaragua Canal, which is expected to start construction in December this year and be ready for use in 2020, gives the canal an advantage over the other two canals. An expansion of the Panama Canal has been underway for years, set to be completed and ready for ships of up to 2013 teu in 2016. In comparison the new generation of container ships, such as Maersk Line's Triple-E, will be able to use the Nicaragua Canal. SeaIntel notes that the ports must be able to handle the bigger ships on the various services in order for Nicaragua to benefit from this advantage. However, several ports are getting ready for the bigger ships.

"Irrespective of whether it will be possible for the carriers to deploy larger vessels on the Asia-UESC services through the Nicaragua Canal, they will still see a considerable reduction in their bunker cost by switching from the Panama Canal to the Nicaragua Canal,"
 says the analyst agency.

The analysis shows that if the carriers use ships of 12,500 teu it will be possible to reduce the speed from 14 to 13 knots by using the Nicaragua Canal instead of the Panama Canal. This amounts to a 17 percent annual reduction in fuel consumption, and if the ports on the services are ready to handle ships of 17,500 teu by 2020 the carriers will be able to reduce their bunker costs by 25-30 percent for 15,500 and 17,500 teu vessels, respectively.

Maersk Line supports the Nicaragua Canal

As Suez is currently able to handle the ultra-large vessels the bunker saving will not be as significant here, though the carriers will be able to cut around 12 percent from their fuel costs for ships of less than 15,500 teu. But it is mainly Panama that is set to take a hit if Nicaragua successfully realizes the canal:

"If the proposed Nicaragua Canal becomes a reality, the Panama Canal Authority will face a significant challenge in maintaining the Asia-UESC services sailing through the Panama Canal."

Cementing sustainability

Nicaragua's president Daniel Ortega has been a major driving force behind the project, which was approved on July 8th, where the Chinese CEO of the development project together with the president announced a more specific plan for the project. The 278 kilometer long canal will run from the mouth of the Brito river by the Pacific to the Punto Gorda river on the Caribbean side, as was proposed by the Chinese company HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment.

Around 4,000 people from consulting firms around the globe - such as American McKinsey - have spent approximately one year working on a comprehensive feasibility study to map the sustainability, both financially and economically, of digging a canal.

The study should have been completed in July, but it has been postponed to October.

 The canal will be 230-250 meters wide and 28 meters deep, writes SeaIntel.

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15 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Nutrition


JUL. 15, 2014, 12:08 PM

Jason Lee/Reuters

There is way too much nonsense going around in nutrition.

People don’t seem to agree on anything and trying to make sense of it can be overwhelming.

However… eating healthy does NOT have to be complicated if you keep a few things in mind.

Here are 15 things that everyone needs to know about nutrition.

1. Meat Does Not Rot In Your Colon

One of the most ridiculous myths about meat, is that it rots in your colon. This is absolute nonsense, kept alive by people who want to scare others away from eating meat.

The truth is that meat gets broken down by stomach acid and enzymes, then absorbed, mostly as amino acids and fatty acids. The human digestive system is well equipped for meat consumption and our bodies make full use of the proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals found in meat.

If you want to know what really rots in your colon, then it is indigestible plant matter, also known as fiber.

This is actually a good thing… the friendly bacteria in the intestine digest the fiber and turn it into short-chain fatty acids that have important benefits for health (1).

2. Everywhere The Western Diet Goes, Diseases Follow

Most chronic, Western diseases are relatively new. They appeared recently in evolutionary history and populations that don’t eat processed foods don’t get them.

The truth is… everywhere the Western junk food diet goes, chronic diseases follow. This was well documented by researchers (including the legendary Weston A. Price) in the earlier parts of the 20th century, when many populations were on the brink of Western influence.

When these populations abandoned their traditional diet in favor of modern “luxuries” like sugar, refined flour and processed oils, they got sick. They got fat, their teeth started to rot, they became diabetic and started dying from heart disease and cancer. It happened within a few years.

These diseases are often referred to as the “diseases of civilization” – which are currently the biggest health problems in the world. Most of them are exacerbated or downright caused by the modern diet.

3. Most "Studies" Reported By The Media Are Absolute Nonsense

The way nutrition studies are reported in the media is a disgrace.

These studies are often taken completely out of context and weak studies are made to seem like they prove something. Usually, these studies are observational studies, which can not prove anything.

Such studies can only show a statistical correlation and give researchers ideas for something to test in randomized controlled trials. Unfortunately, this leads many people to make important health decisions based on bad and misleading science.

4. Refined And Processed Oils Are Extremely Unhealthy

Processed seed- and vegetable oils like soybean and canola oils are often mistakenly assumed to be healthy.

This is a huge mistake. These oils weren’t available to humans until a hundred years ago, because the technology to process them wasn’t available. Their fatty acid composition is completely different than anything we were ever exposed to throughout evolution, being very high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause problems when consumed in excess (23.

These oils are also loaded with trans fats… which are highly toxic and strongly associated with metabolic problems and heart disease (4, 5). It is best to eat healthy, natural fats like coconut oil, butter and extra virgin olive oil avoid processed seed- and vegetable oils like the plague.

5. "Natural" Doesn’t Necessarily Mean "Healthy"

It is a mistake to assume that everything that is natural is healthy. True… it is a very good rule of thumb to choose natural foods instead of processed.

But there are many examples of so-called natural foods being just as harmful as their processed counterparts… if not worse. One example of that is a “natural” syrup called Agave nectar.

This syrup used to be very popular in the natural health community and found its way into all sorts of “health foods.” However, when looking at the nutrient composition, it contains even more fructose than plain old sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Fructose is the most unhealthy part of sugar and agave is loaded with it, making it even unhealthier than regular sugar.. and that’s saying something.

6. Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat

It seems intuitive that eating fat would make you fat.

After all, the stuff that lodges under our skin and makes us soft and puffy, is fat. So, eating more fat should make us store more of it. Fat also has more calories per gram than protein and carbs, another reason some people believe fat to be inherently fattening.

But the body is much more complicated than that and this depends entirely on the context.

Many studies show that diets that are high in fat (but low in carbs) actually lead to more weight loss than diets that are low in fat but high in carbs (6, 7, 8).

7. Carbs Don’t Make You Fat

Many low-carbers believe that carbs are inherently fattening, but this is false.

Even though removing carbs can (in many cases) reverse obesity, it doesn’t mean that “carbs” per se caused the problem in the first place. There are many examples of populations that ate a very high-carb diet (with real foods) and didn’t have obesity or other chronic, Western diseases.

This includes the Okinawans and Kitavans, as well as Asian populations that ate a lot of rice.

If you’re just a healthy person trying to stay healthy, then a low-carb diet may be completely unnecessary. Just stick to unprocessed carb sources that include fiber. The prevention doesn’t need to be the same as the cure.

8. Protein Is The Most Important Macronutrient To Lose Weight

When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients. Numerous studies show that it can boost metabolism (calories out) and reduce appetite (calories in).

A high protein diet can increase the amount of calories you burn by 80 to 100 calories per day, because protein requires energy to be metabolized (9, 10, 11). There is also a study showing that eating 30% of calories as protein made people automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day and lose 11 pounds in 12 weeks, just byadding protein to their diet (12).

If you keep protein high, then you should automatically tilt the energy balance equation in your favour and make it easier to lose weight over the long term.

9. Sugar Is A Disaster… And Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Are The Worst

The harmful effects of sugar go way beyond empty calories. It is now known that due to the large amount of fructose, sugar can lead to all sorts of metabolic problems and is strongly associated with the risk of chronic disease (13).

Sugar is bad, but consuming it in liquid form is even worse. Liquid sugar calories don’t get registered by the brain in the same way as solid sugar calories, so the brain doesn’t compensate by eating less of other foods (14).

If anything, sugar-sweetened beverages are the single most fattening and disease promoting aspect of the modern diet. One study shows that the risk of obesity in children is increased by 60% for each single daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage (15).

Unfortunately, fruit juice isn’t much better. It is very similar to a sugar-sweetened beverage and the small amounts of vitamins do NOT make up for the large amounts of sugar.

10. The Best Diet (Or Way Of Eating) For YOU Is The One You Can Stick To

The “right” diet for an individual depends on numerous things. This includes age, gender, activity levels, metabolic health, food culture and personal preference.

It is a huge mistake to assume that there is such a thing as an optimal diet for everyone. Of course, there are some diets that work best for certain health problems… a low-carb diet for diabetics, for example.

However, if you simply want to lose (or maintain) weight and prevent disease, perhaps the single most important factor is finding something that you can stick to in the long run.

This is ultimately the key determinant of long-term success… finding something that you like and can stick to for life. Losing weight is a marathon, not a race.

11. Dietary Cholesterol Is Not Harmful

In the past, dietary cholesterol and saturated fat were demonized. However… new massive studies have shown that there really is no link to heart disease. It was a myth all along (16, 17, 18, 19).

Studies on the low-fat diet still recommended all around the world show that it is 100% useless. It does not lead to long term weight loss or prevent heart disease or cancer (20, 21, 22).

It is time to retire the low-fat fad.

12. Never Trust What Manufacturers Put On The Label

Unfortunately, food manufacturers aren’t very honest about the true health effects of their foods. They often put misleading health claims on the packaging, deceiving people into thinking that their products are healthy.

This includes “whole grain” labels on sugary breakfast cereals and low-fat labels on yogurts. Usually these foods are loaded with sugar, or they really don’t contain what they’re claimed to. In any case, small amounts of a healthy ingredient do NOT make up for large amounts of unhealthy ingredients like sugar or refined seed oils.

Keep this golden rule in mind… if the packaging of a food tells you that it is healthy, then it probably isn’t.

13. Calories Count, But You Don’t Necessarily Need To Count Them To Succeed

Some people say that all that matters when it comes to losing weight, is calories in and calories out. It is true that in order to lose weight, more energy (calories) needs to be leaving the body than entering it.

This is dictated by an unbreakable law of physics called the First Law of Thermodynamics. However… the human body is an immensely complex metabolic machine and there are many complex factors at play.

There are many things you can do to achieve negative energy balance, without ever counting a single calorie. This includes cutting carbs, eating more protein and/or simply abandoning processed foods in favour of real, unprocessed foods.

Calories count, that is a scientific fact. But that doesn’t mean that counting them is necessary.

14. If It’s Labelled "No Fat" Or "Low-Fat" Then It's Probably Bad For You

When researchers and the media started demonizing fat, all sorts of processed foods were put on the market. The problem is, natural foods taste horrible when the fat has been removed from them.

The food manufacturers were well aware of this problem, so they added a whole bunch of sugar and artificial chemicals to make up for the lack of fat. Most low-fat foods have had the fat removed, only to be replaced with something much, much worse.

15. Real Food Is The Key To Good Health; Processed Junk Food Is Not

Even though nutrition can be extremely complicated, eating healthy is simple. The most important thing is to stick to whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they looked like in nature.

If the ingredients list has more than 5 items, or chemical sounding names that you don't understand, then it's probably bad for you. Keep in mind that real food doesn’t even need an ingredients list, because real food IS the ingredient.