There were protests in Whitehall to save Geronimo, an alpaca due to be put down after testing positive for tuberculosis. How many alpacas are there in Britain?
— The British Alpaca Society claims to have 1,500 members who between them own 45,000 alpacas.
— The society’s annual show can attract as many as 600 animals for display.
— The wool from the animal, a native of South America, was introduced to Britain in 1836 by Sir Titus Salt, the industrialist and founder of Saltaire, the model villagein West Yorkshire.
Some of the less-reported findings from the IPCC report on global warming:
— ‘In recent decades the number of deep extratropical cyclones has increased over the southern hemisphere while the number of deep cyclones has decreased in the northern hemisphere.’
— ‘Since the 1970s a worldwide weakening of surface wind has likely occurred over land, particularly marked in the northern hemisphere, with low confidence in a recent partial recovery since around 2010.’
— ‘Antarctic sea ice area has experienced little net change since 1979 (high confidence), with only minor differences between sea ice area decadal means for 1979-1988 … and 2010-2019.’
Raking over the coals
Boris Johnson was attacked for claiming that Margaret Thatcher had made a headstart on cutting carbon emissions by closing coal mines. Under which government did coal production fall most?
Attlee (1945-51) +22%
Churchill/Eden/Macmillan (1951-64) -12%
Wilson (1964-70) -26%
Heath (1970-74) -25%
Callaghan (1974-79) +11%
Thatcher (1979-90) -24%
Major (1990-97) -48%
Blair/Brown (1997-2010) -63%
Cameron/May/Johnson (2010-) -89%
What percentage need to be vaccinated or infected to achieve Covid herd immunity?
— ‘About 60%’: Sir Patrick Vallance (March 2020)
— ‘80%’: Professor Peter Openshaw (May)
— ‘About 85%’: Professor Christiana Pagel (July)
— ‘88%’: Professor Paul Hunter (July)
— ‘High 80s’: Mark Woolhouse (August)
— ‘Not possible’: Sage (October 2020)