Gaia Can’t Stomach Spagbol

Where would we be without climate science — or, more particularly, what of carbonphobic academics if the global warming scam were ever de-funded? Why, researchers who devote their energies to the planet-despoiling peril of pasta with meat sauce would need to find something productive to do!

spagbolFight global warming by reducing CO2 emissions from your spaghetti bolognaise! This is the recommendation of two  academics associated with Melbourne’s  RMIT University whohave found that the farm-to-fork “Global Warming Potential” (GWP) of pasta with meat sauce can be significantly reduced by eliminating beef and substituting kangaroo. They recommend that for an even greater impact on global heat, rising seas, coral bleaching, tempests, bushfires and ocean acidification, you should dispense with the kangaroo too, and make your spagbol topping with lentils and kidney beans.

The Journal of Cleaner Production study, reprised at The Conversation, is by RMIT Principal Research Fellow Karli Verghese and Stephen Clune, senior lecturer in sustainable design, Lancaster University and formerly an RMIT Research Fellow. The authors say, “We hope that chefs, caterers and everyday foodies will use this information to cook meals without cooking the planet.”

A Conversation commenter, William Hollingsworth, self-identifying as “a Marxist monarchist”, suggests another planet-saving refinement to our favorite family fare. “Reduce the footprint for spaghetti bolognaise even further by cooking it in one pot, not by boiling the spaghetti separately which doubles the amount of energy needed for cooking and adds another pot to be washed up. Tastes just the same,” he says.

The true hero of RMIT’s spaghetti bolognaise-led crusade against global warming is not Skippy the Kangaroo but Oscar the Onion. The carbon footprint of onions, say the researchers, is so low it would take 50 medium onions (5.8kg) to generate 1kg of greenhouse gases. By contrast, a mere 44gm of premium beef spagbol topping generates a similar 1kg carbon footprint.

The authors, who are clearly not silly, stop short of recommending 50 medium onions for dinner. “Due to different culinary and dietary requirements,” they explain, “it is hard to argue that you can replace beef with onions.” (Insert flatulence jokes here.) A commenter, possibly a Scot[i], remarks that he would much rather eat 2.6kg of oats than 5.8kg of onions for the same greenhouse emissions.

From the paper, we discover that the five cloves of garlic in a spagbol recipe generate a mere 10 grams of harmful emissions, and the grated zucchini only 20 grams. There seems no need for either the Turnbull federal or Andrews state government to include garlic and zucchini emissions in their CO2 reduction targets. Nor do garlic and zucchini emissions bulk large in the global annual emissions tally of 42 billion tonnes.

The authors see their rankings of 168 kitchen foods’ footprints and the GWP of 1718 food stuffs’ values as relevant to the concerns of Gaia-loving householders and catering companies. If you’re fretting about your food emission “hot spots” from buffalo milk, eel, brassica, pollock, pepo,  swedes,  carp, hesperidium, true berries and pinto beans, just use their ready reckoner for planet-saving purposes.

But the  researchers lament that the emissions intensity of peanuts, goat, turkey, duck, quinoa, ostrich, emu, and rabbit  are not yet calculated – a task crying out for hefty research grants if ever there was one. Even the carbon footprint – rather,  macropod print – of kangaroos needs re-calculation. “Such information is critical if attempts are made to inform dietary choice for environmental purposes,” the authors say. Perhaps “critical” is over-stating things a bit; I’d rank cancer cures, rice yields and dark matter higher in the “critical” research category.

The academics model climate-friendly Australian weekly shopping lists and find lentil-heavy supermarket baskets can cut family emissions by between 30% and 50%. But their model didn’t cover things like travel to the shop, food storage at home, and the consequent environmental overhead of excretion.

The pair are part of the global academic horde feeding off the myth of catastrophic human-caused warming. The mortar-board mob must number in the scores or even hundreds of thousands, supported by untold billions in taxpayer funding. The spaghetti bolognaise paper alone cites nearly 100 supporting studies.

But not one such academic has noticed that no significant global warming has occurred for the past 20 years, contrary to all the computer models on which their scare depends. If the scare were ever to be scotched, research funding for spaghetti bolognaise and similar climate studies would dry up, and then what would these academics do?

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.

[i] Dr Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defines oats as ‘a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.’


  1. Bill Martin

    The final sentence of this article raises a concern of considerable importance. What, indeed, would all those avid “climate scientists” do if the scare of CAGW were conclusively debunked? Here is a simple, ready-made solution to that disconcerting scenario: Global Cooling! A considerable volume of work and publicity on the subject is available by just dusting off some of the “research” and spruiking that arose back in the 70s. Admittedly, it was nowhere near as thoroughly developed as is the current alarmism, but “researchers” could quickly overcome that handicap by utilising their vast expertise honed over the past couple of decades of generating unadulterated hogwash.

  2. Don A. Veitch

    Global cooling?
    Back in 1958 I was told by my science teacher that a New Ice Age had begun. I was very scared. How happy I was when I found out years later it was, indeed, global warming that had begun.
    Global warming holds no fears for me.

  3. Lawrie Ayres

    I think it is fair to say that these “scientists” are indeed parasites. Those millions who do real work and who expend real effort in order to earn a quid to feed their families and to even have some over to enjoy themselves should be outraged that there are people with little talent, an unpaid HECs bill and a desire to bludge who want tax dollars to indulge their personal fantasy. If this research was vital there would be a corporation somewhere that would willingly fund it in order to make a future profit. Why do governments believe it is reasonable to take from the productive so the parasitic can live their preferred life? It really is time to rebel.

  4. Davidovich

    If these so- called scientists do not know that a true bolognaise sauce has neither garlic nor zucchini, then how can we possibly take their prognostications seriously?

  5. Dallas Beaufort

    Eating raw oninons saves lives while 300 atmosphers of pressue to produce hydrogen for green cars makes better sense, Noodle nation ahoy.

  6. Keith Kennelly

    Won’t all those farts add to global warming … or don’t the elites fart?

    • padraic

      Keith, you took the lentils right out of my mouth. If we all did as we were told by the veganistas the world would have to cope with dangerous levels of human produced methane. Lentils and kidney beans are among the worst culprits. They contain a certain amount of plant protein but not as much as meat. Protein is essential for the development and replacement of brain cells and hence the pure protein of meat and similar animal protein(skim milk etc)will give a better result minus the gaseous exudates. It may also explain why certain academics smell bad and are a bit dull witted.

  7. Ian MacDougall

    Where would we be without climate science — or, more particularly, what of carbonphobic academics if the global warming scam were ever de-funded? Why, researchers who devote their energies to the planet-despoiling peril of pasta with meat sauce would need to find something productive to do! 

    This is a search for justification here: not one for truth.

    The global warming “scam”, ie the proposition that the Earth is warming, and that anthropogenic CO2 is mostly responsible, is endorsed by 197 scientific organisation world-wide, including the Royal Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and our own CSIRO. But if we are to follow the lead of Tony Thomas, we arrive at the conclusion that the purposes and motives of those scientists are quite base, venal and indeed fraudulent: a ‘scam’. It is a grab for money (ie research grants) and to blazes with any other consideration.

    It also rests on the proposition that all the climatologists and other endorsing scientists are involved in a cynical conspiracy that dwarfs any other in all of human history. Nothing that haunted the mind of a Caligula, Stalin or other paranoid despot even comes close.

    For a start, a conspiracy in order to work has to be 200% watertight. If just one of the conspirators involved succumbs to temptation and blows the whistle on it, it is not just game over for the conspirators: our whistleblower can dine out on it for the rest of his or her life, and enjoy a shower of awards, gongs, knighthoods, ticker-tape parades and such to whatever extent he or she pleases. Said whistleblower would have saved the whole world from the most monstrous fraud of all time.
    Meanwhile, the venal conspirators would deservedly face criminal prosecutions and civil actions galore, and if they were individually lucky, would finish up sharing a cell with a con artiste, cat burglar, bank robber, pickpocket or mere used car dealer.

    • Salome

      Academic conspiracies are more subtle than you think. An orthodoxy emerges, and people toe the line–they know what’ll get published and consequently what’ll get funded. That said, wasn’t there a bundle of leaked emails at one point that were swept under the carpet by an internal inquiry?

    • Rob Brighton

      You ignore is the venal behaviour of AGW proponents. They lie for Gaia constantly. When they will lie about the little things, they will bullshit you mercilessly when there is a quid involved.

      When Flim Flam Flannery states water levels will rise 8 stories and subsequently buys a waterfront, you can understand why people call him a liar and question the validity of all that he says.

      When the ABC talk doom and gloom whilst showing images of water vapour as if it is clouds of CO2 being emitted into the air, you can understand why many will call the proposal into question.

      When Close the Gate mob deliver brochures on the evils of fracking that states “we do not need gas to run our power stations because solar can produce base load power”, you can understand why people think AGW is BS.

      The scams are not the fundamental proposal of the existence of AGW, they are the leeches suckling on the life blood of the proposal.

    • mags of Queensland

      It wasn’t ” 197 scientific organizations” it was 197 scientists. That’s a start. Then the other issue is that those scientists who did not agree with those 197 were shut down and labelled ‘ deniers’.

      Even the IPCC admitted that its data was flawed. So where’s your argument now? There is much more evidence of the scam than there is that it’s not.

      And the last important point is that this is a THEORY, not actual, provable, repeatable fact.


      Ian, it is difficult to get a person to understand something when his salary depends on his/her not understanding it (Upton Sinclair)

    • RayB

      Boring, Ian. 600 years ago, the Pope, all his bihops, priests, & nuns, and every royal family in Europe believed that the Sun orbited the Earth. They used to kill people who made claims that this was not so.
      Guess what, Ian – all those X-spurts were wrong – just like your list of X-spurts.
      You are one of the drips under pressure which combine to make a spurt!


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