The War against Poachers

Anti-poaching action leads to multiple deaths of rangers and poachers alike.

The International Ranger Federation reports that 269 rangers were killed across Africa between 2012 and 2018, the majority of them by poachers….

[R]esearch on organized crime estimates that between 150 and 200 poachers were killed in the Kruger National Park alone [between 2010 and 2015]. In neighboring Botswana, anti-poaching action has reportedly resulted in dozens of deaths, and the country’s controversial “shoot to kill” policy—which gives rangers powers to shoot poachers dead on sight—has drawn allegations of abuse.

From Cathleen O’Grady in the Atlantic.

And more:

South Africa’s most recent rhino-poaching crisis came out of the blue. In 2007, the country lost just 13 rhinos to poaching; the next year, that number jumped to 83, kicking off a nightmarish escalation. Losses peaked at 1,215 in 2014, and deaths are still high: 2018, with 769 rhinos killed, was the first year that losses had dipped under 1,000 since 2013. South Africa is home to 93 percent of Africa’s estimated 20,000 white rhinos and 39 percent of the remaining 5,000 critically endangered black rhinos, making South Africa’s rhino crisis a global rhino crisis.

What Do California and Australia Have in Common?

Periodic fires. Environmental regulations that make things worse. Climate change alarmists who want to blame anyone who doesn’t think like they think.

In Australia, the prime minister is getting the heat. James Morrow, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says:

[T]he narrative that has been built around the fires and broadcast around the world points the finger only at man-made climate change—and specifically at Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Activists insist that if his government had an effective “climate policy,” it would somehow help snuff out the flames. Never mind that Australia emits only around 1/77th of the world’s man-made carbon dioxide. The country’s complete deindustrialization wouldn’t budge the global thermostat.

And regulations, too.

Byzantine environmental restrictions prevent landholders from clearing scrub, brush and trees. State governments don’t do their part to reduce the fuel load in parks. Last November a former fire chief in Victoria slammed that state’s “minimalist approach” to hazard-reduction burning in the off-season. That complaint is heard across the country.

We’ve Just Had the Best Decade in History

We are using less energy. We are using less land. Forests and wildlife are on the upswing.


Matt Ridley writes:

Extreme poverty has fallen below 10 percent of the world’s population for the first time. It was 60 percent when I was born. Global inequality has been plunging as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America; child mortality has fallen to record low levels; famine virtually went extinct; malaria, polio and heart disease are all in decline.

And here is the environmental good news: We are using less stuff:

The quantity of all resources consumed per person in Britain (domestic extraction of biomass, metals, minerals and fossil fuels, plus imports minus exports) fell by a third between 2000 and 2017, from 13.7 tons to 9.4 tons. That’s a faster decline than the increase in the number of people, so it means fewer resources consumed overall.

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We are using less energy:

John Constable of the Global Warming Policy Forum points out that although the UK’s economy has almost trebled in size since 1970, and our population is up by 20 percent, total primary inland energy consumption has actually fallen by almost 10 percent.

We are using less land:

In 2012, Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University and his colleagues argued that, thanks to modern technology, we use 65 percent less land to produce a given quantity of food compared with 50 years ago. By 2050, it’s estimated that an area the size of India will have been released from the plough and the cow.

Forests and wild life are on the upswing:

In 2006 Ausubel worked out that no reasonably wealthy country had a falling stock of forest, in terms of both tree density and acreage. Large animals are returning in abundance in rich countries; populations of wolves, deer, beavers, lynx, seals, sea eagles and bald eagles are all increasing; and now even tiger numbers are slowly climbing.


A modern irony is that many green policies advocated now would actually reverse the trend towards using less stuff.

Is Anybody Abiding by the Paris Agreement?

Only Morocco and Gambia, it seems.

As noted in a recent Washington Times article, nearly four years after the Paris agreement was enacted with full force, only two of the 32 top emitting countries — Morocco and Gambia — have actually “enacted policies consistent with holding global temperature rise from pre-industrial levels below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, according to the Climate Action Tracker.” Faced with public backlash (on the streets and at the ballot box) against costly climate policies that have raised energy prices, the European Union and Japan — the two main driving forces behind the demand for stringent emissions reductions — have enacted policies that have increased their greenhouse gas emissions since the Paris agreement was signed. And there’s more from H. Sterling Burnett in the American Spectator. (

Municipal Bond Markets Don’t Believe the Global Warming Alarmists

Coastal cities say one thing in court suits, another in bond disclosure documents.

If you believe the rhetoric of mayors and city council members in coastal cities, their areas will be under water in only a few decades. But when they sell their own bonds, these dire predictions are nowhere to be found in required disclosure statements.

Buyers of coastal city bonds appear not to believe the predictions either. There is no statistically significant difference in long term bond rates between coastal cities and cities in the interior of the country.

A Government Accountability Institute report says:

For example, the City of Oakland, the City of San Francisco, and San Mateo County, in filing individual lawsuits against ExxonMobil, Chevron, and other major oil companies, made specified claims of damages to their cities due to the impacts of climate change… [Oakland] claimed the threats were so real that “by 2050, a ‘100-year flood’ in the Oakland vicinity is expected to occur… once every 2.3 years … and by 2100 … once per week.”

However, language used to disclose risks to investors in a 2017 bonds document states, “The City is unable to predict when seismic events, fires or other natural events, such as sea rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm, could occur, when they may occur, and, if any such events occur, whether they will have a material adverse effect on the business operations or financial condition of the City or the local economy.”

Two more examples of inconsistency:

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has repeatedly railed against the dangers of climate change, yet has presided over the permitting of multiple buildings that would flood if his own predictions about climate change were correct, while the City of Boston mentioned “climate change” just once in its disclosure statements.

Low-lying Miami and Miami Beach paid lip service to sea level rise, but did not let it get in the way of lucrative building in flood-prone areas, especially where the mayor owns property.

Are You Willing to Bet Money on Your Environmental Views?

Andrew McAfee is offering to take a number of bets centered around predictions and implications from his new book More from Less.

  • In 2029, the US will consume less total energy than it did in 2019.
  • In 2029, the US will produce less total CO2 emissions than it did in 2019, even after taking offshoring into account.
  • Over the five years leading up to 2029, the US will use less paper in total than it did over the five years leading up to 2019.

HT to Alex Tabarrok. More here.


Photo by Florian GIORGIO on Unsplash

Make Dishwashers Great Again!

Trump administration proposes loosening the energy rules that make automatic dishwashers operate so poorly.


Dishwashers used to clean a full load of filthy dishes in under an hour. But now they take an average of two and a half hours and STILL leave dishes dirty!

From a FreedomWorks online petition.

Did you know the federal government regulates dishwashers? Trump wants to change the rules. Guess who wants to keep things exactly like they are? Dishwasher makers!

Photo by Florian GIORGIO on Unsplash