Sunday, December 27, 2009

Raising Meat Rabbits

Planning for our extended family’s provision in the event of TEOTWAWKI turned out to require much more time and thoughtfulness than a few trips to the big box store. Although we had laid in a good volume of stored food supplies, we were concerned about sustainable sources of food possibly necessary for extended periods of time. During the planning stages, it became clear that the kind of protein we preferred (meat) was the most expensive to purchase and trickiest to preserve and store. After much research and thought we decided to begin raising rabbits. Our reasoning went along these lines:

  • Rabbits are prolific breeders with short, 31 day gestation periods.
  • Large breeds have large litters (6-14) and can be re-bred soon after raising a litter.
  • It takes only 12-14 weeks to obtain butchering weight (6 pounds yielding 3 pounds or more of meat).
  • They have very few health problems and no diseases we could determine were transferable to humans.
  • Care is relatively simple, as they need food and water and little else.
  • Their meat is very low fat and lower in cholesterol than most other meats.
  • And unlike larger animals, an entire rabbit can be consumed by a small family if no refrigeration is available.

We began our rabbit raising adventure 2 years ago. Our thought was to begin raising them before we actually needed to eat them so that we could gain proficiency and do any necessary problem solving before we were dependent on eating them. We have learned a lot; some from books, some from our own experience, but overall, we have found rabbits to be easy to raise and tasty.

RESEARCH: Learn as much as you can before you buy your first rabbit! We read lots online and purchased books. The best book we found was the eighth edition of Rabbit Production by McNitt, Patton, Lukefahr, and Cheeke published by Interstate Publishers, Inc. We found valuable information on the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) web site. We talked to local rabbit pet/show breeders to get general information, but we did not find anyone locally raising meat rabbits. We also joined the Professional Rabbit Meat Association for the contacts that yielded. Nothing about raising rabbits was hard, but talking to someone who has done it successfully really helps.

BREEDING STOCK: From internet research and talking to local 4H folks at the fair, we learned there were two major breeds of meat rabbits, Californian and New Zealand , both developed for meat production. Meat rabbits are small boned and heavily muscled and are rapid weight gainers. We eventually purchased rabbits from both breeds, but started with one Californian buck (male) and three does (females). We had a hard time finding these rabbits. We purchased them and all the basic equipment from a lady getting out of the business. We raised several litters of kits with these starter rabbits and learned as we went. We kept does and bucks that produced large litters and sold or ate the less productive ones. Our original animals were “inbred”; father bred back to daughter and granddaughter. This made us nervous at first and we later bought “purebred” rabbits from New Zealand stock. Oddly, the inbred rabbits were better producers on average, so we eventually culled many of the purebreds. Go figure. Our current stock of 12 does is mostly interbred Californian/New Zealand crosses. We freely breed to “relatives” and have seen absolutely no ill effect from this practice. We keep a mature buck and a younger up-and-coming one as a replacement in case something happens to the senior buck unexpectedly.

HOUSING/EQUIPMENT: Rabbits are very tolerant to cold, but intolerant to heat. We kept our rabbits in an open shed with walls on two sides only. This provided shade in summer, but little protection from wind in the winter. The rabbits tolerated this arrangement just fine, even in freezing temperatures; however, we did have to thaw water bottles twice a day during freezing weather. This got old fast. We bought several different used cages in the beginning, but soon determined that making our own cages would offer many advantages. Starting with used equipment had allowed us to determine if we would be successful at raising rabbits before we had invested much.

Once we determined that this was a good fit for us, we knew we wanted to build our own cages, so that we could make them specifically designed to meet our needs. Wire is expensive, but we saved some money by buying wire in 100-foot rolls from local feed stores and, later, from Bass Equipment. Additional supplies were also required. We bought several styles of water bottles and feeders that attach to the cages. We also bought nesting boxes and resting pads. We could have made the nesting boxes out of scrap lumber, but chose to invest in galvanized steel boxes for longevity and ease of cleaning between litters. Everything that goes into a rabbit’s cage must be chew-proof, or edible and replaced when it starts to disappear. Our cages are hung by 2x4 supports and wire, so that they are stabilized but free-hanging for easy cleaning. We placed them high enough to be out of reach of predators, but low enough for easy access for care and cleaning (about chest high). The waste piles up on the ground below and is shoveled into buckets for hauling out to the garden.

Last summer we put up a separate outbuilding for the rabbits and they are now housed in a four-sided structure with power, lights, a water source, windows for cross ventilation in the summer, and a small heater to keep the temperature just above freezing in the winter (for our comfort more than theirs). My husband also designed a system for collecting the waste into 5-gallon buckets. We will market some (as fertilizer) next summer, as many people have expressed an interest in buying it. The building was an extravagance and definitely not a necessity, but we felt it would add to the value of our property and make care of the rabbits easier for us.

FEEDING: Commercial rabbit pellets are designed specifically to put the maximum weight on young rabbits in the least amount of time. We started out raising rabbits solely on this feed, as most sources direct you to do for “best practice” meat production. We bought 50 pound bags from farm and feed stores for awhile until we found we could purchase in 1,500 - 2,000 pound “super sacks“ directly from a feed plant in our county. Over time we learned that rabbits can eat a large variety of things, but do require a high percentage of protein in their diet to allow for rapid weight gain. We have fed leftover garden vegetables, small amounts of fruit from our trees, and clover and dandelion greens from the lawn. You can feed fewer pellets daily if you supplement with high protein hay (clover or alfalfa, minimum 16% protein). Rabbits will not eat stale, moldy or damp feed; unlike many other animals. It became clear to us when we forked over the payment on our second “super sack” that we needed to plan for a sustainable food source for our rabbits. More on this below.

RABBIT TREASURE: What lands below a rabbit cage is valuable. Rabbit urine is more alkaline than most other animal urines. If your soil is too acidic and you are trying to raise the pH, it is easy to collect and supplement with rabbit urine. Rabbit manure is a magnificent “cold” fertilizer! It will not burn plants even when added immediately after leaving the rabbit. (You don’t have to “age” it.) We have been using rabbit manure for 2 years in our garden and greenhouse. Separated from the urine, the pellets are odorless in the greenhouse. I had 12 foot tomato plants last summer that produced like they were on steroids. Out in the garden, we threw manure mixed with urine all over the garden and everything did exceedingly well. We read about people raising worms in the piles of rabbit droppings directly below the cages. We weren’t sure about marketing worms; our county has plenty in every garden, but I suppose you could eat them for protein in a pinch.

STRESS: Rabbits are affected by stress. In the wild they are able to hide, run, or escape into underground burrows. In a cage, rabbits are exposed to the coming and going of humans, their children, and any animals that are in the vicinity, including domestic dogs and cats, or wild raccoons, coyotes, or other animals that may attack them through the wire cages. Meat rabbits are specifically bred to have light bones and heavy muscles. If they panic and stampede while confined in a cage, they frequently injure themselves seriously. The most common injury in this setting is a broken back. If you raise rabbits in the open like most people do, you may go out in the morning to find one or more of your rabbits paralyzed from the midsection down. If this happens, they are permanently unable to control their hind legs or their bladder and must be put out of their misery. Stress can also cause does to deliver their babies or “kits” outside of the nest box (kindling on the wire), fail to care for their young, or to cannibalize them. It is important to keep loud noises, animals and frightening stimuli away from the area that you use for raising rabbits.

BUTCHERING: Rabbits are stunned with a small club, hung upside down and bled. Done properly, they do not suffer or make any noise. They are skinned, eviscerated and packaged either whole or cut into manageable pieces. Each rabbit will yield 3 to 4.5 pounds of meat at 12 to 14 weeks of age. We freeze ours in zip lock bags as soon as they cool. The exact technique for butchering can be found in books and on-line. With practice we are now able to butcher a rabbit in 15 minutes. The skins can be processed, but we haven’t tried that yet.

MARKETING: There are pros and cons to selling your excess rabbit meat. The lady who sold us our original rabbits gave us a customer list of folks who were hoping we would continue to sell. Local regulations allow the sale of up to 1,000 rabbits a year without the interference of health officials. Check your state laws. Selling rabbits means people know you have them. If TSHTF, conceivably people might come looking to take them away from you. For us, a good arsenal and frequent target practice is the answer to many such problems. We decided to go ahead and sell locally because we live in an area with many ranchers and farmers and didn’t feel we would have very many people after our food. Additionally, selling the rabbits helped us offset feed prices. We sell for $3.50 pound at the present time and figure we about break even.

TROUBLESHOOTING: We lost lots of rabbit kits the first winter. Although we put plywood bottoms in the nesting boxes and plenty of hay, they seemed to be dying of the cold. Temperatures were in the freezing range at night when most young are born. We tried placing more nesting material at the disposal of the does, but they always “dug” down to the bottom of the material and delivered their kits on the bare plywood. They would be covered with a nice pile of hay and straw but cold as ice when we found them. We discovered nothing in the literature to help us; however, my husband hit on the idea of placing a narrow sheet of Styrofoam between the plywood and the bottom of the nesting box. This stopped the loss of frozen kits.

We had an eye infection in one litter which spread to all the kits. I used a canine eye ointment I had on hand and it cleared up nicely. I went back to the rabbit books and noted that eye infections can happen if the bunnies are in unsanitary conditions. We had been leaving the nesting boxes in the cages longer than recommended because it was cold outside. The kits were using the nesting box for a litter box (not all litters do this) and so it needed to be removed. The kits do just fine even in cold weather once they are old enough to start jumping out of the next box deliberately.

We also lost babies now and then for reasons we couldn’t figure out at first. We would find a baby out of the nest (dead) and it always seemed to be the biggest, healthiest ones. Kits are sometimes pulled from the nesting box holding the teat of the mother. Once out on the wire, they are unable to get back in the box themselves, and rabbit mothers are not capable of picking them up in their mouths to do so either. Since rabbits usually nurse just once a day in the middle of the night, we would never find these babies until it was too late. We may have hit on a plan to try to stop this problem; we’ll see how it works.

CUISINE: Rabbit is wonderful cooked a variety of ways. Domestic rabbit meat is mild. It can be fried, baked, or slow cooked in a crock-pot. Our favorite recipe so far is rabbit slow-cooked in Marsala wine. You can find many delicious recipes online for rabbit.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS: We are currently working on “dropped” nesting boxes that are suspended below the wire cage. These are supposed to decrease the amount of young accidentally misplaced outside the nesting box. We were interested in these from the start, but were concerned about them being within reach of predators. Now that we are in enclosed housing, it is safe to try. Our biggest future planning involves replacing commercial rabbit feed with a crop we grow ourselves. We have no experience “farming” other than a large vegetable garden. We plan to dedicate part of our 5 acres to growing a high protein alfalfa or clover crop. We have contacted the county extension program for help. We built the rabbit building bigger than needed so that we could also have a place to dry the hay/clover well enough to store. Again, rabbits won’t eat moldy feed, so it must be dried thoroughly. If we can figure out how to plant, grow, and harvest our own rabbit feed, we can produce meat indefinitely and stop writing checks to the feed company.

All in all, this has been a very good experience and we are feeling more in control of our food supply. Rabbits are easy to handle and care for. At any given time, we have about 40 rabbits, although the number ranges a bit higher when we have several litters nearing butchering. It takes us no more than 30 minutes every evening to feed, water and tend to them.


Dear Editor:
Pam N. wrote an excellent addition to the blog that was posted on December 24th. Their is a couple of points I'd like to add.

Be careful keeping rabbits in an area without a lot of ventilation. Rabbit urine puts off an ammonia type smell that evidently can damage their health. We regularly get freezing weather in the winter and then as high as 110 in the summer and our rabbits stay outside all year round.

While it's made very clear on the package not to use it on anything other than cattle, Ivomectrin is very helpful in treating rabbits. We have used it on dogs and rabbits for over a decade. The VetRX rabbit product should be in the vet kit as well.

Rabbits do require protein for good growth as Pam pointed out. However they will eat most any of your vegetable and fruit scraps, cut grass from your yard (non-weed sprayed of course), most whole grains and many deciduous (smaller) branches. Ours love fruit tree branches so at pruning time the trimmings are put right into a wheel barrow and go right to the rabbits. Whole green corn stalks are pulled apart and given to the rabbits after corn is harvested off of them, they love the green corn husks also. Our rabbit pellets go into 55 gallon drums that are kept outside near the rabbits. Usually they are rotated within a year's time.

We separate the young from the mother at around 6-to-8 weeks. Most folks say to butcher then but their really isn't much meat on them at that time. We put them into a separate larger cage that my son called "the playground cage" since the rabbits seemed to always be playing around in there. Usually they are kept another four weeks or so before they are butchered.

Their are several advantages and disadvantages to rabbits for the survivalist-


  • Small animal that can be eaten during one meal, thereby circumventing the need for refrigeration.
  • Small animal that could be taken with you during a vehicle bug out. Put 2-to-3 rabbits in one cage to conserve space. [JWR Adds: Sibling males that have been raised in the same cage together generally get along, but introducing a new male into a cage is almost certain to cause a fight, possibly a fight to the death. Also, does should always be taken to the buck's cage for breeding, rather than vice versa! And if a buck is rejected by the doe, he should be removed from the cage immediately. Breeding age does should generally be caged by themselves, although if need be, their own offspring can often be left in the same cage with their mother until they are close to butcher size.]
  • They are normally quiet as compared to chickens, goats, etc.
  • Meat, fur and fertilizer, guts get put in the fish traps or given to the dogs.
  • Can withstand cold weather pretty well. [But very high temperatures can be a problem.]
  • Very little veterinary care required as compared to cows, pigs, etc.
  • Low initial costs compared to larger animals.


  • Cannot forage for themselves while in cages
  • Require regular care versus a flock of chickens allowed to free range that may only require a little bit of supplemental feed.
  • Not a lot of fat on the carcass. Domestic rabbit will have some fat on it but nothing like beef or pork. This is good for health now but may be a disadvantage if the SHTF.

Prepping for Fishing in TEOTWAWKI, by W. in Atlanta

Much has been written in these pages and elsewhere about prepping for food: maintaining protein and caloric intake. Fish are an excellent source of protein, and will continue to be so under most post-SHTF scenarios. How does a person go about preparing to catch them, and convert them to food?

I write this as someone who has had the good luck to have fished over the last fifty plus years in every continent but Australia, and survived, and who has designed and built hundreds of rods in pursuit of every conceivable species of fish using a wide range of techniques. I prefer the anonymity that others on this blog use, but my articles on fishing have appeared in national and regional magazines over the years. I also happen to be a prepper. More correctly put, I have been a prepper for a while without realizing it, until I read Patriots and other writings by Mr. Rawles, and others!

I must qualify any recommendations I make:

  • First of all, fishing gear is the subject of exhaustive discussions on every possible media. It’s the nature of things that fishermen and women get very detailed, and opinionated, in what works and doesn’t. By making recommendations, it is not my intent to stir the pot. I have tried to keep my comments as brief and as practical as possible.
  • Secondly, name brands of gear. I happen to lean towards Penn and Abu reels with a preference for the older models, and make most of my own rods from blanks made by Calstar, Seeker, Loomis, Sage, Lamiglas, Amtak, Cabela's, Tiger, and more. However, these preferences are meaningless for the purposes of this letter. There is a lot of other gear out there that is high quality, made by these manufacturers and others such as Shimano, Daiwa, Bass Pro shops and others. Instead my recommendations are based on line capacities, which drive size, weight and to some extent drag performance, and commonly available rod lengths and lure sizes. You must pick out the outfit(s) that fit your situation.
  • Third, I am assuming in a TEOTWAWKI situation you will have no access to a boat (or if you do then you may lack a vehicle to pull it with) and will be on foot. In a boat, you can get by with a lot less casting, so the equipment recommendations may be different. What I present below is a set of opinions based on distillation of a lot of ideas and my experiences.
  • So, this is addressed to those intrepid souls who have their wits about them, even if not a lot of fishing infrastructure, as they diligently prepare for scenarios they may be confronted with. I’ll start with outfit types then move to terminal tackle, then inexpensive alternatives.

The spinning outfit. If I were limited to a single outfit for a vast majority of the situations I would encounter anywhere in the Americas it would be a spinning outfit. The technology enables a user to cast and manipulate small and large lures and baited hooks efficiently across a wide spectrum of applications, and species of fish.

The actual size outfit will vary, however, depending on where one is located:

  • For 80 percent of the applications in the Americas: that is where one may encounter fish up to, say, 20 lbs., in relatively unobstructed water, a rod in the 6 ½ - 7’ range designed to handle lures from ¼ to ½ ounce or so, with a reel having a line capacity of 200 yards of 10 lb. test line will handle things nicely.
  • If in higher altitudes and latitudes where trout, small salmon and char predominate, I would lean toward a lighter outfit; something in the 6 - 6 ½’ length designed to handle lures from 1/8 to 3/8 ounce or so, with a reel capacity of 200 yards of so of six pound line.
  • In lower altitudes and latitudes, in water full of trees and brush, as well as for light salt water use, I would go with a rod in the 7’ range designed to handle lures from 3/8-3/4 or so, sporting a reel having a capacity of around 200 yards of fifteen pound line.

A decent outfit meeting any of these descriptions can be had starting at about fifty bucks, and going upward from there (substantially upward!).

If you can, buy extra line for the reels in various line classes at, above and below the recommended ones, as these can be used as replacement lines or to quickly add a leader to the existing line of a smaller diameter to fool finicky fish, or larger diameter to prevent toothy fish such as pike (in fresh water) and mackerel (in salt water) from biting through your line.

The spin casting outfit. Also called “push button” “closed face spinning” and “under spin” reels, depending on whether they are mounted above or below the handle on a rod, these are instantly recognizable by their enclosed shroud inside which the line is stored. These are great outfits for kids to learn fishing with, but they have no place in a prepper’s set of tools, unless nothing else is available or as a backup.

I have a number of these reels, including some expensive models, and observe that drags are uniformly weak and the line pickups are poor. The line pickups for example are either a stationary – non-rolling – pin of steel or coated material, or are integral to the rotating head and have a serrated edge, not unlike like a bread knife, with a predictable impact on line wear. With these reels the line quickly twists and frays, as any dad with a fishing kid can attest. As a result, line life is very short compared to reels that have ball bearing line rollers such as spinning reels or reels where there is very little contact with the line as it is retrieved, such as bait casting reels.

Another factor: the design of these reels is utterly incompatible with saltwater because of its closed face which traps salt water, and quickly rusts the reel out unless you have the time and means to meticulously clean and air, re-lubricate and reassemble the reel after each use. So unless you have plenty of extra line and spare time to maintain the equipment, I wouldn’t bother with spin casting if prepping for a wide range of situations.

The fly outfit. These are far better suited to the gathering of fish protein than some would think, a fact which has been underlined by some well thought of outdoor writers such as HG Tapply of Tap’s Tips (Field and Stream) fame which I used to read avidly. In reality, the fly outfit is deadly at laying out not only flies and streamers, but also dangling worms from a distance, even flipping perch bellies for bass, pickerel and pike.

Once you figure out you are casting the line rather than the lure, things fall into place. Another plus is that, with a little practice, once you have made your first cast into an area it takes only a second or so to place a lure or bait into a productive fish zone if it has drifted away or if you are working a shoreline: there is no need to retrieve the line and cast it back out – you simply lift it off the water and with a flick move it to the next spot.

Simplicity is the key. For example, there is little need for a reel to do anything but hold line, so you can strip out the line you need when you start fishing, then wind it back on the reel when you are done (or need to move on to the next spot and don’t want to trail loops of line behind you on the ground). The fish is fought by stripping the line backward through your fingers. Thus, for most applications the typical “single action” fly reel is dirt simple: a spool with a 1:1 gear ratio which rotates on an axis mounted on a frame.

Some of the fancier reels for large fresh and salt water fish have serious drags so you can fight the fish “from the reel”. There are also “multiplier” reels where one turn of the handle generates more than one turn of the spool. But these are not a requirement for the vast majority of situations the prepper is planning for. The KISS principle applies here.

If I were to limit myself to a single fly rod, I would get something approximately 8 ½ - 9’ long that matches to a 7 or 8 weight line (with a preference for a “weight forward” or “bass bug” tapered line if I had either of those options over “level” or “double tapered” line) and a “single action” reel. I would attach a tapered leader to the fly line say 7 1/2 -9 feet long, and going down to as small as six pound test (10-12 lb. test for heavy situations such as farm ponds and larger fish).

For alpine lakes and rivers I would select an 8’ - 9’ rod that matches to a 4 or 5 weight line, with the shorter length rod being better suited to brushy streams, and the longer rod being for more open spaces. Leader would taper down to about 4 lb. test.

People ask, doesn’t one need an advanced degree in entomology (bug science) to be able to successfully fish a fly rod? Heck no! Here’s why: lots of bugs are “terrestrials” which is a fancy word for anything other than the genteel critters with the Latin names that “match the hatch”: Terrestrials are grasshoppers, bees, spiders, crickets and the like which occur pretty much everywhere. You can buy a pack of these flies at your local china-mart for a few bucks, and along with a few bare hooks (for garden worms, larvae, and strips of fish belly) are pretty much all you’ll need for terminal tackle for the fly rod. Tie one of those terrestrials on and the fish will hit it even if it does not match exactly their normal fare, because it will look like something that got blown into the water by the wind. By the time they taste it: too late!

You can buy a complete starter fly fishing setup including rod, line, reel and leader, with perhaps a few flies thrown in for about $80 at Wal-Mart or any reputable mail order catalog.

The bait casting outfit. This is a generic term for the revolving spool reel. This gear is most popular in the Americas in applications involving the casting of artificial lures and baits of 3/8 ounce and larger. They are by far the furthest casting reels in long distance casting competitions when a large weight of about 5 ounce is cast out three hundred yards and over (no kidding)! They are also excellent for trolling and bottom fishing, as quality models have the line capacity and the drags are able to tame very large fish. They happen to be my favorite category of reels.

For practical purposes, however, the minimum lure (or bait) size limitations will limit the usefulness of bait casting. In most fresh water applications the deadliest range of lures and baits for gathering fish protein is from about 1/16th to ½ ounce, and bait casting gear can comfortably accommodate only the upper end of that range. They are also more difficult to learn to use than, say, spinning gear.

Therefore, unless my retreat is on an ocean beach or a boat, I would not recommend this type of gear for the prepper except as a backup, especially when other choices are available.

Decent bait casting outfits can be had new for around seventy dollars and up.

Rod considerations. In the non-prepping world rod choices are generally lumped into one-piece (the best choice for most mainstream saltwater rods, and many bait casting rods), two-piece and “travel” (which may have three or more rod sections).

In the prepping world, where we are interested in addressing a wide range of applications with as little gear as possible, the choices narrow considerably (although they are still ample). First of all I would eliminate one piece rods, unless your plans call for staying in one place – they lack the portability of the multi-piece rods.

So the question becomes “am I better off with a two piece rod or a multi-piece “travel” rod?” The answer is not simple, because of a general rule that for the same amount of money, the quality generally goes down the more pieces your rod has. The best value is therefore a two-piece rod. However, if space and convenience is at a premium, a multi piece travel type rod may be the best alternative, even if more expensive. My advice would be not to scrimp, if you go the multi-piece route.

One option you may find very attractive is a combination travel fly and spin rod: one rod that can handle both fly and spinning applications. Eagle Claw and Fenwick came out with these in the sixties, and they were quite the ticket in those days, but the selection is greater now. This setup would be tailored for the lighter applications, however.

What about terminal tackle? For an extreme post-SHTF situation, you can get by with just some hooks, and perhaps an assortment of sinkers. One rule of thumb to follow is that – generally – you can catch a big fish on a small hook, but not a small fish on a big hook. Here’s a punch list since we have the luxury of shopping now. These are available from any Wal-Mart ("China mart") or outdoor mail order business:

  • Hook Assortment from about size 12 to about size 2. For saltwater, expand this hook size assortment to include hooks up to 4/0 (you’ll still want the small hooks for catching smaller fish and bait).
  • Sinker assortment from split shot to 1 ounce.
  • Bobbers or floats, from marble size through golf ball size.
  • Pre-filled “Beginner tackle box” sets loaded with hooks and sinkers, as well as some assorted lures can be had for perhaps 10 bucks.
  • Line – lots of spools in sizes ranging from 4-15 lb. test, as well as some 30-40 lb. test to use for leader material. This is inexpensive stuff. What you do not use will make excellent trading stock!
  • Some wire leaders. For most purposes single strand “piano” wire of 27 or 36 lb. test is the best of the alternatives.

Selection of artificial lures, some staples of which are:

  • Rapala floating minnows – silver in the 7 to 11 cm sizes
  • Mepps spinners – size zero through size 3. Also buy small ball bearing swivels if you use spinners.
  • Assortment of bucktail jigs.
  • Assortment of jig heads (unpainted) in sized 1/32 through ¼ oz
  • Assortment of “Curly tail” plastic lure bodies (which attach to the jig heads, above).
  • Selection of “terrestrial” flies, if you plan to fly fish.
  • A few “muddlers” “”black gnats” and “coachmen” (all purpose flies)


  • A couple fillet knives. These have a long, thin and flexible blade that allows you to separate the fish flesh from the bones.
  • A sturdy knife that can be used to sever heads from fish, or to cut bait with.
  • A simple knife sharpener. Can be a sharpening stone or steel.
  • Pliers: at a minimum a pair of needle nose pliers for removing hooks from fish. If you are in catfish country I’d add a standard set of pliers (for breaking spines and skinning)

The $5 or less solution! There are millions of folks out there (particularly outside the industrial northern countries) who fish with nothing more than a piece of line with a hook on the end. Now, their technique may not be as productive as with fancier gear, but if you are either not able or not interested in investing in this aspect of your survival preparations, you can certainly pull a kit together that will do the job, inexpensively even if not perfectly.

Line – there’s really no substitute for monofilament line. You could use cord, but you’ll still need a section of clear leader, and the cord may fall apart when wet. If I were limited to only one piece of line, and space was limited, I’d select about a 100 foot section of 30 lb. test line. For alpine lakes and rivers, I’d drop that down to 10 lb. test line. You can buy a hundred yards of line at a discount store for a couple bucks, easily.

Reel – For storage, you can store line simply by wrapping it around a piece of cardboard with a v notch at each end to hold it securely. For a reel, you can use, literally, a beer can – lots of people do. The line is wrapped around the outside and the “cast” is made by holding the can in one hand and pointing the can at your intended destination, then whirling the baited hook on circles with your other hand and letting loose with the line peeling off the end of the can. The retrieve is made by holding the can in one hand and winding the line back on with the other.

A variant on this is a cleaned out tin can with a plastic lid on it. The line is wrapped around the outside as per the beer can example, above. The can itself can be your tackle box, containing hooks sinkers, lures, etc. held in place by the removable plastic lid.

Other economical substitutes:

  • Small sinkers can be made from discarded metal nuts (as in nuts and bolts)
  • Big sinkers can be made from old spark plugs that have the electrode squeezed down to form a closed loop you can tie your line to. Clean off the smelly oil and gas sludge before using, the odor may (will!) repel fish.
  • Bobbers can be made from bottle corks. They can be attached to the line in a number of ways: a needle can thread the line through where it will be held under tension; or you can drill out a hole in the center then thread the line through, holding it in place with a match stick. Alternatively you can simply attach the line to the exterior of the cork with a rubber band, a twisty or a zip-tie.
  • The Boy Scouts tout the many uses of paperclips, including for hooks, but do yourself a favor - just buy an assortment of hooks.

The bottom line is that prepping for fishing is like lots of other categories of prepping. You can get about as detailed as you want. Just cover the basics if you have to!


This is in response to the articles on fishing. Depending on where you are, I would assume that everyone and his relations will be sitting on the bank and hoping for a fish to bite. Fishing is hit or miss, unless you have a boat and have spent a great deal of time on the water, you will starve to death waiting for a fish to bite. You will be sitting exposed and probably looking over your shoulder.

I have a better solution and it is one that will work every time it is tried. Assuming you are operating in survival mode, a device my dad and, now I, have is a simple thing called a crawfish (crayfish, or freshwater lobster) rake. You make a rectangular wire basket with a long pole on the top and the end facing you open. You thrust it out into the water and let it sink. Then you rapidly pull it back in by letting it drag along the bottom. You dump it on the bank and poke through all the leaves and sticks for all the small fish (occasional big fish), crawfish, frogs, mussels etc. You not only have bait, you can also add this to a pot of stew or gumbo, it may not look good but I assure you it will be good for you. I am attaching a picture of one I've used for 25 years. You can probably describe it better than I can for your readers.

You can easily supply the protein needs of a family with what you can drag out of a ditch, or most any still body of water. The murkier the water the better.

Another devise is a minnow seine, one or more persons will have to get in the water. One end is secured on land, the other is walked out into the water and then in a wide arc as it is slowly walked until you get the other end on shore. Then you simply keep walking until the net and its contents are on shore. I recommend at least a 20 foot one.

There is also a device called a cast net, it requires practice, but is very effective at catching fish.

Webbing is very effective, this requires a boat or shallow water and is extremely effective at snaring fish, turtles, etc. I have a 100 foot one stored in a duffle that will go with us when we bug out.

A hoop net is another type of net. There is a company in Jonesville, Louisiana called Champlin Net Company. They have been making and selling nets for as long as I remember (Hoop, webbing, gill, and even baseball). [JWR Adds: OBTW, the large mesh commercial fishing netting (1.5-inch squares) is also perfect to use for the base layer for assembling ghillie camouflage ponchos.]

Although bulky, fish and crab traps are also effective. They can be hidden and out of sight, just remember where you deployed them. And don't forget the trot line and simple lines tied to tree limbs that you run at intervals during the day and night.

Everyone likes to get out the rod and reels, but ask anyone who goes fishing how many trips they make to Wal-Mart or Academy Sports for supplemental gear for every trip. There may not be a sporting goods store to go to, so keep plenty of hooks, line and sinkers. Don't just keep monofilament line, it goes bad from old age.

Hope this helps, catching a mess of fish is great and the eating is good. But using any or all the techniques I have described above will feed you every day. Thanks, - Ken G.

Mr. Editor,
No offense to W. in Atlanta - but that isn't a TEOTWAWKI fishing article, it is geared more toward "what to consider before your weekend fishing trip" article.

First, my nephews catch just as many pan fish (from shore) on their $12 SpongeBob Squarepants and Batman poles as I do with my 10x more expensive Shimano/St. Croix rods. So while it's a good idea to have some more expensive/reliable equipment, you might also consider getting a number of bubble pack rod/reel units too. More hooks in the water, lots of spare parts,
and cheap.

Regarding fly fishing - It's difficult enough to remain semi-hidden when fishing from shore, but a fly fisherman flipping a 9' rod around while wading in waist deep water can be seen from a great distance. It also puts you at a serious disadvantage tactically. Another advantage of the cheap bubble pack rods is their short length, making it easier to cast from the cover of weeds, trees, or rocks - albeit at less distance.

Some additional equipment I'd add would be:

1) Gill nets with mesh sizes appropriate for the fish species in the nearest bodies of water, and nylon rope for trot lines. Draped under the waterline after dark, these hopefully go unnoticed during the day for retrieval the next night. These also allow you to be 'fishing' while you're performing other activities.

2) Minnow nets/traps for bait (and pet food).

3) Ice fishing gear, if applicable (or again, another use for the short bubble pack poles).

4) Devices capable of producing an underwater shock wave. ('Nuff said).

Lastly, don't forget to store lots of brine ingredients, seasonings, and freezer bags/wrap, cause at TEOTWAWKI we're going catching - not fishing.

I was thinking about the fishing e-mails and thinking: why are we talking [about using hand-held] rods?

In a true TEOTWAWKI situation [where present-day conventions and legalities on sport fishing have gone by the wayside] I don't want to be standing there for hours trying to catch dinner just like I don't want to be sitting in a tree stand trying to shoot dinner either. Like hunting, which I tend to agree with you on (you do it all the time by carrying your rifle and being ready at all times -- or at least some firearm capable of taking big game)...the same goes for fishing.

Should I find myself near a lake or pond that has fish in it I'll rig up a trot/trout line and get it set across the lake or between to jutting trees etc. Then I'll go back to surviving and check the line later in the day, even the next day. I don't have to sit there and watch it so I can gather wood, work in my garden (should I be fortunate enough to have one) etc etc..

When I was young I remember an older native lady who used to set up multiple poles on the pier she fished from. It was up north in British Columbia and far anyone so no worries about getting in trouble with the law. The point is, she put multiple hooks in the water then went back into her little shack and waited out the day doing something else.

She always caught lots of fish and you'd never know unless you watched her pull them up or put the lines in...she often set trout lines from one wharf to another also and always caught fish on them.

How did I know? I was an enterprising young lad who spent hours with my rod and reel to catch one or two fish, while she caught 10 or 12.

So it's just lines, hooks and gear of that sort for me with one or two compact rods to use if traveling.

Otherwise, why waste the time? - Erik

While a good discussion on fishing gear please remember that post-collapse the "old" rules no longer apply.

There are two excellent methods for getting fish that have not been mentioned.
The first is courtesy of Larry Dean Olsen (primitive survival expert) and I have tried this myself and it works like a champ. Basically you trap a small rodent (ground squirrel, prairie dog, etc. that you would not eat) and hang it over a deep cut bank on a stream or lake. As flies come maggots will grow and gravity being what it is, they will drop off the carcass and into the water. This process takes three days at a minimum. But it conditions the fish to come to that spot for a "free" meal. Then using a large net or other means, the fish are relatively easy to catch.

The second is courtesy of my brother who worked doing fish surveys for the Division of Wildlife in the back country of Utah for a number of years while finishing his education. Basically you drive two copper rods into the bottom of the stream or pond and attach them to your vehicle's electrical system (I use jumper cables). The 12 volt DC current acts as a magnet for the fish and you can pick and choose which ones you want for supper. Now I've only tried this in areas that are predominately populated by trout and char (brook and lake trout) so I do not know if it works on other species. - Hugh D.

Many of your readers seem to think that hunting and fishing are going to be feasible ways to feed their families after the balloon goes up. I guess this is possible in very remote areas, but I would caution them not to count on it. Even assuming the disaster that caused the collapse doesn't destroy wildlife (radiation for instance), wild game is a very undependable food resource.

The assumption is that without game laws, a resourceful fisherman can take many times more fish from a body of water than if he were following rules. This is absolutely true. Having fished with grenades in the past, I can vouch for the effectiveness of unrestrained fishing techniques.

Unfortunately, game laws are there for a reason: to keep the resources from being over-exploited. I participated in an exercise with a Tahan Pran unit (Irregulars attached to the Royal Thai Army) in 1986 and watched a platoon fish out an entire section of a fairly large river in just a few days. By the end of a week, they stopped throwing grenades in the water because there weren't enough fish to justify the activity any more. This small group of people basically denuded several miles of river and harvested all the fish available, including minnows. We ate a lot of fish that week, but their technique was too effective for long term use.

Even a large body of water has a finite carrying capacity and I expect most of them will be exceeded after the balloon goes up. Even if nobody is fishing with dynamite, lots of people are going to have the same idea and most bodies of water are going to be exploited much more heavily than they currently are. Most lakes, rivers and ponds are stocked regularly with fish to keep anglers happy. Without constant re-stocking and feeding programs, the watershed will be dependent on native fish breeding to restock. This is a slow process at best. Add to that over fishing by lots of hungry people and I expect water resources to be quickly depleted in most areas.

Hunting is even more prone to over-exploitation. Shooting deer from a feeding station or spotlighting them is very easy, but the downside is that anyone can do it. Deer, bear, and other large game may be poached to extinction in most areas and are going to be scarce wherever there are hungry people. Even rabbits and squirrels are likely to be in short supply.

Perhaps more serious is the topic of security. After TEOTWAWKI I expect fishing to be extremely hazardous. Water courses and lake shores are lines of drift and attract people. Standing around dangling a hook in the water seems to me to be a very dangerous activity and drifting around in a boat can make you a convenient target. You are vulnerable to rifle fire from basically anywhere on the shore. Tramping around in the woods is little better. If you run into anyone, you may find yourself on the receiving end of an ambush, or at best, in a battle, far from help.

Hunting and fishing are very time consuming (with the exception of traps and trot-lines). After TEOTWAWKI, there may be better uses for your time and energy. If you are truly isolated, hunting and fishing can be valid ways to put some meat on the table, but if you are anywhere near a population center, I would forget about buying fishing gear and use the extra money to store more food. - JIR

The Real Reason Newspapers Are Losing Money

Conventional wisdom is that the Internet is responsible for destroying the profits of traditional print media like newspapers.

But Michael Moore and Sean Paul Kelley are blaming the demise of newspapers on simple greed.

Michael Moore said in September:

It’s not the Internet that has killed newspapers ...

Instead, he said, it’s corporate greed. “These newspapers have slit their own throats,” he said. “Good riddance.”

Moore said that newspapers, bought up by corporations in the last generation, have pursued profits at the expense of news gathering. By basing their businesses on advertising over circulation, newspaper owners have neglected their true economic base and core constituency, he said...

And Moore cited newspapers like those in Baltimore or Detroit, his home town, with firing reporters that cover subjects that affect the community.

Ultimately, he said, this was self-defeating. It would be like GM deciding to discourage people from learning how to drive, he said.

“It’s their own greed, their own stupidity,” he said...

Similarly, Sean Paul Kelley writes:

I don't buy all the hype that the internet is even the primary culprit of the demise of journalism. The primary culprit is the same as it is all over the country, in every industry and in government: equity extraction.

Let me explain, in short: when executives expect unrealistic profits of 20% and higher per annum on businesses something has got to give. It's an unnatural and unsustainable growth rate. For the first ten or so years of a small to medium size company's life? Sure. But when you are 3M, or GE? Unrealistic and ultimately impossible.

So, when such rates cannot be achieved by organic growth in the business, executives start shaving off perceived fat and before they know it they're cutting off the muscle and then shaving off bone chips. And when they've gotten to the bone chips they borrow other people's money to buy new companies, load up those companies with debt and extract equity form them and then because it looks like the parent is still growing award themselves huge bonuses. It's a shell game.

That is what has happened to the news industry in America. The excessive obsession with unnaturally high profits has led to a vicious circle of cutting budgets, providing less services, which is then followed by even more drastic cuts. The local San Antonio paper is a great example of this. Twenty years ago there were two large dailies in my hometown. Both competed with each other for real scoops. Both had book reviews by local writers, providing local jobs. Both covered the local arts and sports scene. Both covered local politics in depth and local and state news in depth. Both had vigorous investigative teams. Both had bureaus in Mexico and both had offices and reporters on the ground in DC.

And then corner offices of Gannet and Harte-Hanks were populated with Kinsey-esque managers and the rout was on ... So, today, San Antonio has one daily that is as flimsy and tiny as the local alternative ... And 80% of this happened before ... the internet. All in the name of higher industry profits--not some overwhelming fear of the world wide inter-tubes. So, who's profiting? Certainly not the intellectual vigor of the locals? And certainly not the writers who are all now 'journalism entreprenuers.' The only people who profited are the executives who obsessed over profits, to lard up their own bonus pool ...

You can provide a public service with small profits for a long, long time, but if you demand large ones you will destroy it. Just ask the big banks.

Moral Hazard for Newspapers

There has been talk of bailing out newspapers for months.

But the newspapers have largely driven themselves into the ground with their never-ending drive for higher profits, which led to a reduction in news bureaus, investigation and real reporting, and an increase in reliance on government and corporate press releases.

The newspapers made a speculative gamble that reducing real reporting and replacing it with puff pieces would increase its profits, just as the giant banks made speculative gambles on subprime mortgages, derivatives, and other junk, and largely abandoned the boring, traditional business of depository banking.

Bailing out these newspapers would be a form of moral hazard equivalent to bailing out the giant banks. Instead, we should let the bad gamblers lose, and make room for companies that will actually serve a public need.

The banking industry has become more and more consolidated, which has decreased financial stability.

Likewise, Dan Rather points out that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations. As I wrote in July:

This fact has been documented for years, as shown by the following must-see charts prepared by:


This image gives a sense of the decline in diversity in media ownership over the last couple of decades:

If traditional newspaper companies are bailed out, they will be encouraged to continue their business-as-usual, and new, fresh media voices will face a handicap to competition (just as the small banks are now unable to compete fairly against the too big to fails).

We need more real reporting in this country, not less. Bailing out the traditional media will create more consolidation, just as it has in the banking industry.

The last thing we need is moral hazard in media.

What Do Readers Want?

As I wrote in September:

President Obama said yesterday:

I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.
But as Dan Rather pointed out in July, the quality of journalism in the mainstream media has eroded considerably, and news has been corporatized, politicized, and trivialized...

No wonder trust in the news media is crumbling.

Indeed, people want change - that's why we voted for Obama - but as Newseek's Evan Thomas admitted:

By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and reassuring....

"If you are of the establishment persuasion (and I am). . . ."

So traditional newspapers are also losing readers to the extent they are writing puff pieces instead of writing the kinds of things people want to read: hard-hitting stories about what is going on in the country and the world.

Finally, as I wrote in March, the whole Internet-versus-traditional-media discussion misses the deeper truth:

The whole debate about blogs versus mainstream media is nonsense.

In fact, many of the world's top PhD economics professors and financial advisors have their own blogs...

The same is true in every other field: politics, science, history, international relations, etc.

So what is "news"? What the largest newspapers choose to cover? Or what various leading experts are saying - and oftentimes heatedly debating one against the other?
The popularity of some reliable internet news sources are growing by leaps and bounds. For example, web news sources which run hard-hitting investigative news stories on the economy - and do not simply defer to Bernanke, Geithner, Summers and other people "of the establishment persuasion" - are gaining more and more readers.

It is not because it is some new, flashy media. It's because people want to know what is going on ... and some of the best reporting can now be found on the web.

Subtle, Unintentional Propaganda?

If there are bailouts of the newspaper industry, will the government take ownership of the media corporations, as it has in AIG and some of the giant banks?

Will that - in turn - lead to a situation in which the government representatives subtly and innocently censors anti-government stories? After all, the object of criticism might be the employer or friend of the government representatives on the newspaper board.

Indeed, the most cynical view is that this could eventually open the door to Pravda-style government control of media.


The Tablet Hype

They can't possibly save magazines and newspapers.

Sports Illustrated dazzled the technorati and knuckle-draggers alike earlier this month with a demo of a digital tablet prototype of the magazine promised for 2010. Radiating a wow-factor equal to some of the media gadgets in Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, the SI demo promises full-motion video, lightning-quick screen refreshes as you flick from page to page, and the power to customize the device per your preferences.

Time Inc., which owns Sports Illustrated, isn't the only publisher making digital reader noise. Engadget wrote about a similar, though less-polished demo of Condé Nast's Wired; the Hearst Corp. plans to start an online magazine and newspaper service in 2010 called Skiff, which will include a dedicated Skiff e-reader; and other newspaper and magazine companies are jumping into the mix.

Meanwhile, GQ and Esquire are releasing paid iPhone editions, the Kindle has new digital competition from Barnes & Noble's Nook, and folks can't stop talking about the much-rumored but unannounced revolutionary Apple tablet.

As someone who earns his living blasting targets with words, I can't help but applaud the rush of the magazine and newspaper industry to save itself exploiting a new publishing platform. But all the hoopla reminds me of the hype that greeted previous electronic publishing technologies, chronicled so well by Pablo J. Boczkowski in his 2005 book Digitizing the News: Innovation in Online Newspapers. Publishers spent hundreds of millions of dollars shoveling print content into videotex, audiotex, fax, CD-ROM technologies, and such proprietary online services as America Online, Prodigy, CompuServe, and Ziff Interchange.

Who can forget the excitement that the CD-ROM version of Newsweek generated in November 1992 when it was announced! Well, everybody. But believe me, it caused a stir upon its debut. Called Newsweek Interactive, the quarterly publication was among the first general interest magazines on CD. It featured recorded interviews, video, graphics, and three months' worth of Newsweek, and stories from its sister publication, the Washington Post. Then as now, the industry hadn't agreed on a universal standard, so the first edition of Newsweek Interactive was originally compatible with only a $999 Sony multimedia player, according the report in the New York Times. Newsweek President Richard M. Smith told the Times that his company's early experience with the CD-ROM product would give it a valuable head-start on the competition.

A head-start to last place, I should add. The CD-ROM and its fellow technologies flopped for a variety of reasons. Too expensive, too cumbersome, too wedded to a propriety platform, and not much fun.

The failure of the CD-ROM demonstrates in miniature the difficulty of translating one media form into another. But it's not the only example. Early TV news was often just a newscaster reading a script into a camera—essentially radio on TV. But even modern attempts to extend a media brand into a new technological form have proven disastrous. The New York Times lost millions trying to create a cable channel—Discovery Times—with the Discovery network. Closer to my corporate home, the Washington Post stumbled in its more modest effort to create Washington Post Radio on an AM station in D.C. (See Marc Fisher's postmortem of that venture.) Attempts to morph People magazine, Wired magazine, and USA Today into television shows likewise cratered. Time Warner famously squandered millions on the mistaken belief that its ultimate Web portal should be populated with the magazines it published. The site was called It's obvious to us today that what Time Warner should have done but didn't is start a great search engine.

As Boczkowski writes, even when established media companies attempt to innovate into a new media space, they end up hedging—not throwing enough energy into new media because they're too invested in the legacy media. Hedging isn't stupid. It makes sense to hedge as long as your legacy product remains profitable. But hedge too long and you miss making a profitable and timely transition to the new media form (example: the music business). The book industry, once aroused by the e-market, is now having second thoughts and hedging: Hachette, Simon and Schuster, Macmillan, and HarperCollins have all delayed the e-publication of some new titles to better protect their paper versions.

To its credit, the newspaper industry both hedged and aggressively embraced the Web starting in 1996. But inventing the media future has proven more difficult for newspapers. Today, many magazine and newspaper publishers feel like chumps for having given the online product away. They complain that online revenue has never matched predictions, and they blame the Web for destroying print circulation and advertising.

As publishers create tablet formats and iPhone apps, they vow they won't repeat the mistake they made with the Web by giving content away. But is $2.99 for an iPhone-optimized version of Esquire really the deal that you've been looking for? Not to take anything away from Esquire, but doesn't its iPhone app seem as vital as Newsweek on CD-ROM? Likewise, I wish Sports Illustrated's electrified version huge success, but I've got a couple of questions. Can the tablet version of SI really compete with the dozen channels of ESPN, Versus, and regional sports on my cable channel? If SI and Esquire are such hotbeds of tech and design creativity, why haven't I ever seen it on their Web sites? And if I were in the market for another video display (and I am!), would I pop $400 to $600 (or more!) for a battery-operated tablet, or would I buy a second HDTV (cheaper!) for my bedroom? Honey, make room for the new HDTV.

That's not to say that the tablet has no future. It's just if the past is any guide, the future of the tablet won't look like the SI or Wired prototypes—any more than Pathfinder turned out to be the future of the Web. I find it more likely that some young people at a startup will figure out the highest uses of the tablet form before SI or even Slate does. As Newsweek's president ultimately learned from his CD-ROM debacle, not all head-starts turn out to be valuable.

In an interview, Pablo Boczkowski explains why the tabletized magazines may not take off. "A large fraction of the public doesn't read the news online as they did in print," he says. They're more interested in browsing, searching, linking, and interacting than they are in long, sustained intakes of information. "Put differently," he continues, "getting the news online is normally surfing, less often snorkeling, and very rarely scuba diving. Most people need a simple surfboard, rather than the complex—and costly—diving gear."

The equation will change, of course, as Moore's law makes the tablets cheaper. But as the price drops, the number of features offered will increase, and step-by-step they'll start looking less like extraordinary, futuristic devices and more like conventional personal computers only smaller and more powerful. (That's already happening with the iPhone and other smartphones.) Once the various tablet devices and smartphones collapse into super-ultralight PCs, the tablet-optimized publications will find themselves regarded by consumers as just another Web site, and the proprietors who thought they had a new, impregnable platform from which to sluice profits will be right back where they started—one site struggling against many.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


HERE are the 100 reasons, released in a dossier issued by the European Foundation, why climate change is natural and not man-made:

1) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.


2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.

4) After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.

5) Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher – more than ten times as high.

6) Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time.

7) The 0.7C increase in the average global temperature over the last hundred years is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate trends.

8) The IPCC theory is driven by just 60 scientists and favourable reviewers not the 4,000 usually cited.

9) Leaked e-mails from British climate scientists – in a scandal known as “Climate-gate” - suggest that that has been manipulated to exaggerate global warming

10) A large body of scientific research suggests that the sun is responsible for the greater share of climate change during the past hundred years.

11) Politicians and activiists claim rising sea levels are a direct cause of global warming but sea levels rates have been increasing steadily since the last ice age 10,000 ago

12) Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London says climate change is too complicated to be caused by just one factor, whether CO2 or clouds

13) Peter Lilley MP said last month that “fewer people in Britain than in any other country believe in the importance of global warming. That is despite the fact that our Government and our political class—predominantly—are more committed to it than their counterparts in any other country in the world”.

14) In pursuit of the global warming rhetoric, wind farms will do very little to nothing to reduce CO2 emissions

15) Professor Plimer, Professor of Geology and Earth Sciences at the University of Adelaide, stated that the idea of taking a single trace gas in the atmosphere, accusing it and finding it guilty of total responsibility for climate change, is an “absurdity”

16) A Harvard University astrophysicist and geophysicist, Willie Soon, said he is “embarrassed and puzzled” by the shallow science in papers that support the proposition that the earth faces a climate crisis caused by global warming.

17) The science of what determines the earth’s temperature is in fact far from settled or understood.

18) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas, unlike water vapour which is tied to climate concerns, and which we can’t even pretend to control

19) A petition by scientists trying to tell the world that the political and media portrayal of global warming is false was put forward in the Heidelberg Appeal in 1992. Today, more than 4,000 signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries have signed it.

20) It is claimed the average global temperature increased at a dangerously fast rate in the 20th century but the recent rate of average global temperature rise has been between 1 and 2 degrees C per century - within natural rates

21) Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw, Poland says the earth’s temperature has more to do with cloud cover and water vapor than CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

22) There is strong evidence from solar studies which suggests that the Earth’s current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades

23) It is myth that receding glaciers are proof of global warming as glaciers have been receding and growing cyclically for many centuries

24) It is a falsehood that the earth’s poles are warming because that is natural variation and while the western Arctic may be getting somewhat warmer we also see that the Eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder

25) The IPCC claims climate driven “impacts on biodiversity are significant and of key relevance” but those claims are simply not supported by scientific research

26) The IPCC threat of climate change to the world’s species does not make sense as wild species are at least one million years old, which means they have all been through hundreds of climate cycles

27) Research goes strongly against claims that CO2-induced global warming would cause catastrophic disintegration of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets.

28) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels are our best hope of raising crop yields to feed an ever-growing population

29) The biggest climate change ever experienced on earth took place around 700 million years ago

30) The slight increase in temperature which has been observed since 1900 is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term natural climate cycles

31) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels of some so-called “greenhouse gases” may be contributing to higher oxygen levels and global cooling, not warming

32) Accurate satellite, balloon and mountain top observations made over the last three decades have not shown any significant change in the long term rate of increase in global temperatures

33) Today’s CO2 concentration of around 385 ppm is very low compared to most of the earth’s history – we actually live in a carbon-deficient atmosphere

34) It is a myth that CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas because greenhouse gases form about 3% of the atmosphere by volume, and CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere

35) It is a myth that computer models verify that CO2 increases will cause significant global warming because computer models can be made to “verify” anything

36) There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes

37) One statement deleted from a UN report in 1996 stated that “none of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases”

38) The world “warmed” by 0.07 +/- 0.07 degrees C from 1999 to 2008, not the 0.20 degrees C expected by the IPCC

39) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says “it is likely that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense” but there has been no increase in the intensity or frequency of tropical cyclones globally

40) Rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere can be shown not only to have a negligible effect on the Earth’s many ecosystems, but in some cases to be a positive help to many organisms

41) Researchers who compare and contrast climate change impact on civilizations found warm periods are beneficial to mankind and cold periods harmful

42) The Met Office asserts we are in the hottest decade since records began but this is precisely what the world should expect if the climate is cyclical

43) Rising CO2 levels increase plant growth and make plants more resistant to drought and pests

44) The historical increase in the air’s CO2 content has improved human nutrition by raising crop yields during the past 150 years

45) The increase of the air’s CO2 content has probably helped lengthen human lifespans since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution

46) The IPCC alleges that “climate change currently contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths” but the evidence shows that higher temperatures and rising CO2 levels has helped global populations

47) In May of 2004, the Russian Academy of Sciences published a report concluding that the Kyoto Protocol has no scientific grounding at all.

48) The “Climate-gate” scandal pointed to a expensive public campaign of disinformation and the denigration of scientists who opposed the belief that CO2 emissions were causing climate change

49) The head of Britain’s climate change watchdog has predicted households will need to spend up to £15,000 on a full energy efficiency makeover if the Government is to meet its ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions.

50) Wind power is unlikely to be the answer to our energy needs. The wind power industry argues that there are “no direct subsidies” but it involves a total subsidy of as much as £60 per MWh which falls directly on electricity consumers. This burden will grow in line with attempts to achieve Wind power targets, according to a recent OFGEM report.

51) Wind farms are not an efficient way to produce energy. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) accepts a figure of 75 per cent back-up power is required.

52) Global temperatures are below the low end of IPCC predictions not at “at the top end of IPCC estimates”

53) Climate alarmists have raised the concern over acidification of the oceans but Tom Segalstad from Oslo University in Norway , and others, have noted that the composition of ocean water – including CO2, calcium, and water – can act as a buffering agent in the acidification of the oceans.

54) The UN’s IPCC computer models of human-caused global warming predict the emergence of a “hotspot” in the upper troposphere over the tropics. Former researcher in the Australian Department of Climate Change, David Evans, said there is no evidence of such a hotspot

55) The argument that climate change is a of result of global warming caused by human activity is the argument of flat Earthers.

56) The manner in which US President Barack Obama sidestepped Congress to order emission cuts shows how undemocratic and irrational the entire international decision-making process has become with regards to emission-target setting.

57) William Kininmonth, a former head of the National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological Organisation, wrote “the likely extent of global temperature rise from a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C. Such warming is well within the envelope of variation experienced during the past 10,000 years and insignificant in the context of glacial cycles during the past million years, when Earth has been predominantly very cold and covered by extensive ice sheets.”

58) Canada has shown the world targets derived from the existing Kyoto commitments were always unrealistic and did not work for the country.

59) In the lead up to the Copenhagen summit, David Davis MP said of previous climate summits, at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Kyoto in 1997 that many had promised greater cuts, but “neither happened”, but we are continuing along the same lines.

60) The UK ’s environmental policy has a long-term price tag of about £55 billion, before taking into account the impact on its economic growth.

61) The UN’s panel on climate change warned that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035. J. Graham Cogley a professor at Ontario Trent University, claims this inaccurate stating the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.

62) Under existing Kyoto obligations the EU has attempted to claim success, while actually increasing emissions by 13 per cent, according to Lord Lawson. In addition the EU has pursued this scheme by purchasing “offsets” from countries such as China paying them billions of dollars to destroy atmospheric pollutants, such as CFC-23, which were manufactured purely in order to be destroyed.

63) It is claimed that the average global temperature was relatively unchanging in pre-industrial times but sky-rocketed since 1900, and will increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years according to Penn State University researcher Michael Mann. There is no convincing empirical evidence that past climate was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in average global temperature were unusual or unnatural.

64) Michael Mann of Penn State University has actually shown that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age did in fact exist, which contrasts with his earlier work which produced the “hockey stick graph” which showed a constant temperature over the past thousand years or so followed by a recent dramatic upturn.

65) The globe’s current approach to climate change in which major industrialised countries agree to nonsensical targets for their CO2 emissions by a given date, as it has been under the Kyoto system, is very expensive.

66) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had emailed one another about using a “trick” for the sake of concealing a “decline” in temperatures when looking at the history of the Earth’s temperature.

67) Global temperatures have not risen in any statistically-significant sense for 15 years and have actually been falling for nine years. The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed a scientific team had expressed dismay at the fact global warming was contrary to their predictions and admitted their inability to explain it was “a travesty”.

68) The IPCC predicts that a warmer planet will lead to more extreme weather, including drought, flooding, storms, snow, and wildfires. But over the last century, during which the IPCC claims the world experienced more rapid warming than any time in the past two millennia, the world did not experience significantly greater trends in any of these extreme weather events.

69) In explaining the average temperature standstill we are currently experiencing, the Met Office Hadley Centre ran a series of computer climate predictions and found in many of the computer runs there were decade-long standstills but none for 15 years – so it expects global warming to resume swiftly.

70) Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: “The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the Earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. Such hysteria (over global warming) simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth.”

71) Despite the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s status as the flagship of the fight against climate change it has been a failure.

72) The first phase of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which ran from 2005 to 2007 was a failure. Huge over-allocation of permits to pollute led to a collapse in the price of carbon from €33 to just €0.20 per tonne meaning the system did not reduce emissions at all.

73) The EU trading scheme, to manage carbon emissions has completely failed and actually allows European businesses to duck out of making their emissions reductions at home by offsetting, which means paying for cuts to be made overseas instead.

74) To date “cap and trade” carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions.

75) In the United States , the cap-and-trade is an approach designed to control carbon emissions and will impose huge costs upon American citizens via a carbon tax on all goods and services produced in the United States. The average family of four can expect to pay an additional $1700, or £1,043, more each year. It is predicted that the United States will lose more than 2 million jobs as the result of cap-and-trade schemes.

76) Dr Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has indicated that out of the 21 climate models tracked by the IPCC the differences in warming exhibited by those models is mostly the result of different strengths of positive cloud feedback – and that increasing CO2 is insufficient to explain global-average warming in the last 50 to 100 years.

77) Why should politicians devote our scarce resources in a globally competitive world to a false and ill-defined problem, while ignoring the real problems the entire planet faces, such as: poverty, hunger, disease or terrorism.

78) A proper analysis of ice core records from the past 650,000 years demonstrates that temperature increases have come before, and not resulted from, increases in CO2 by hundreds of years.

79) Since the cause of global warming is mostly natural, then there is in actual fact very little we can do about it. (We are still not able to control the sun).

80) A substantial number of the panel of 2,500 climate scientists on the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change, which created a statement on scientific unanimity on climate change and man-made global warming, were found to have serious concerns.

81) The UK’s Met Office has been forced this year to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by revelations about the data.

82) Politicians and activists push for renewable energy sources such as wind turbines under the rhetoric of climate change, but it is essentially about money – under the system of Renewable Obligations. Much of the money is paid for by consumers in electricity bills. It amounts to £1 billion a year.

83) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had tampered with their own data so as to conceal inconsistencies and errors.

84) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had campaigned for the removal of a learned journal’s editor, solely because he did not share their willingness to debase science for political purposes.

85) Ice-core data clearly show that temperatures change centuries before concentrations of atmospheric CO2 change. Thus, there appears to be little evidence for insisting that changes in concentrations of CO2 are the cause of past temperature and climate change.

86) There are no experimentally verified processes explaining how CO2 concentrations can fall in a few centuries without falling temperatures – in fact it is changing temperatures which cause changes in CO2 concentrations, which is consistent with experiments that show CO2 is the atmospheric gas most readily absorbed by water.

87) The Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy contains a massive increase in electricity generation by wind power costing around £4 billion a year over the next twenty years. The benefits will be only £4 to £5 billion overall (not per annum). So costs will outnumber benefits by a range of between eleven and seventeen times.

88) Whilst CO2 levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout history, the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and the growth rate has now been constant for the past 25 years.

89) It is a myth that CO2 is a pollutant, because nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere and human beings could not live in 100% nitrogen either: CO2 is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is and CO2 is essential to life.

90) Politicians and climate activists make claims to rising sea levels but certain members in the IPCC chose an area to measure in Hong Kong that is subsiding. They used the record reading of 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level.

91) The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998.

92) If one factors in non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements show little, if any, global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).

93) US President Barack Obama pledged to cut emissions by 2050 to equal those of 1910 when there were 92 million Americans. In 2050, there will be 420 million Americans, so Obama’s promise means that emissions per head will be approximately what they were in 1875. It simply will not happen.

94) The European Union has already agreed to cut emissions by 20 percent to 2020, compared with 1990 levels, and is willing to increase the target to 30 percent. However, these are unachievable and the EU has already massively failed with its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), as EU emissions actually rose by 0.8 percent from 2005 to 2006 and are known to be well above the Kyoto goal.

95) Australia has stated it wants to slash greenhouse emissions by up to 25 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, but the pledges were so unpopular that the country’s Senate has voted against the carbon trading Bill, and the Opposition’s Party leader has now been ousted by a climate change sceptic.

96) Canada plans to reduce emissions by 20 percent compared with 2006 levels by 2020, representing approximately a 3 percent cut from 1990 levels but it simultaneously defends its Alberta tar sands emissions and its record as one of the world’s highest per-capita emissions setters.

97) India plans to reduce the ratio of emissions to production by 20-25 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2020, but all Government officials insist that since India has to grow for its development and poverty alleviation, it has to emit, because the economy is driven by carbon.

98) The Leipzig Declaration in 1996, was signed by 110 scientists who said: “We – along with many of our fellow citizens – are apprehensive about the climate treaty conference scheduled for Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997” and “based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions.”

99) A US Oregon Petition Project stated “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of CO2, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

100) A report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change concluded “We find no support for the IPCC’s claim that climate observations during the twentieth century are either unprecedented or provide evidence of an anthropogenic effect on climate.”