A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Hey, I'm back and to good news.....

First, I'm delighted to say that Vesuvius failed to erupt and bury Dr. S and me under a mound of mud as we pottered around Herculaneum or ate delicious vongole by the Neapolitan sea.

Secondly, the 'European Union lifts GM food ban' (BBC Online News, May 19). A six-year moratorium on genetically-modified food has been lifted by the European Commission. Here is a more formal announcement: 'Commission authorises import of canned GM-sweet corn under new strict labelling conditions - consumers can choose'. I hope to be the first to choose to buy a can from my local supermarket - nay, I want the green bunnies to be there protesting so that I can buy 10 tins just to annoy them. Always canny, you see.

Thirdly, Russian scientists break any consensus that might have existed on 'global warming' and the Kyoto Protocol..... and even The Groaniad reports it: 'Scientists hand Putin weapon to kill Kyoto treaty' (The Guardian, May 19 - but not, you will note, reported by its environmental(ist) bunnies):

"Leading Russian scientists told President Vladimir Putin yesterday that the Kyoto emissions treaty discriminates against Russia, would damage its economy and would not significantly reduce global warming, increasing the chance that the Kremlin will refuse to ratify the agreement.

Experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences submitted a report to the Kremlin containing their long-awaited assessment of the scientific virtues of the pact for Russia. The document, according to the Interfax news agency, said: 'Its effectiveness in reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in line with the framework convention on the climate change is low.'

The scientists added that global warming was occurring, but that to conclude that 'the warming is occurring exclusively due to anthropogenic pollutants, namely, manmade emissions' was questionable."

Good stuff. And lastly, there is my favourite holiday reading, the new Michael Dibdin 'Aurelio Zen' detective mystery, Medusa. In Zen's own words: "People would shake their heads and exchange fashionable worries about climate changing, but in truth it had always been like this." Dibdin is on top form again with Medusa, by the way. Do read it.

Well, it's nice to be back, though the Amalfi coast is a glorious memory, if not, I fear, Crapi!

Philip, in sunny mood. Lunch.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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