Author Topic: Environmental issues  (Read 80739 times)



DougMacG

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Re: Ocean plastic
« Reply #202 on: November 21, 2018, 07:04:57 AM »
second post
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/20/asia/indonesia-whale-plastic-scli-intl/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1jiq13awmWfZS5QbV8-5onHCAdfqyFwwygxKVzhB1fQMXl1vfv3ifRJWI

95% of the plastic in the oceans comes from 10 rivers (in Asia)
https://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1118.msg108880#msg108880

When do we go from studying this to stop doing it?  The amount of plastic and other packaging materials we use here is obscene.  But NONE of my garbage or recycling is going into the oceans.  In Africa and Asia, they use the rivers for waste dump; it's an intentional act, not litter blowing into the ocean from the US.

Everything it seems to me in the environmental movement is designed around stopping capitalism but our prosperity and consumer culture is not what is clogging the oceans.  It is the lack of real capitalism and prosperity in the world that is doing this.

I drink tap water, cart groceries out of the store without bags and drive a 60mpg car but have to constantly take the guilt of being human and American.  The answers we hear are bans and mandates but the filth always turns out to be far worse where they have the LEAST economic freedom.

I wonder how much wasted government climate change money it would take to clean this up.

G M

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Re: Ocean plastic
« Reply #203 on: November 21, 2018, 07:48:07 AM »
second post
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/20/asia/indonesia-whale-plastic-scli-intl/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1jiq13awmWfZS5QbV8-5onHCAdfqyFwwygxKVzhB1fQMXl1vfv3ifRJWI

95% of the plastic in the oceans comes from 10 rivers (in Asia)
https://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1118.msg108880#msg108880

When do we go from studying this to stop doing it?  The amount of plastic and other packaging materials we use here is obscene.  But NONE of my garbage or recycling is going into the oceans.  In Africa and Asia, they use the rivers for waste dump; it's an intentional act, not litter blowing into the ocean from the US.

Everything it seems to me in the environmental movement is designed around stopping capitalism but our prosperity and consumer culture is not what is clogging the oceans.  It is the lack of real capitalism and prosperity in the world that is doing this.

I drink tap water, cart groceries out of the store without bags and drive a 60mpg car but have to constantly take the guilt of being human and American.  The answers we hear are bans and mandates but the filth always turns out to be far worse where they have the LEAST economic freedom.

I wonder how much wasted government climate change money it would take to clean this up.


It’s not about protecting the environment, it’s about power and control.

DougMacG

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Re: Environmental issues, wildfire climate drivel
« Reply #204 on: November 21, 2018, 07:53:03 AM »
https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/417319-congress-cannot-ignore-climate-change-as-california-burns

How much more warming can we take, it's already gone up zero degrees and it's accelerating!  

Accuweather today in Paradise, California, 50 degrees F. 40% humidity, winds SE 8 mph.  It's November in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

I believe the book was called Fahrenheit 451 where paper will combust without spark.    We have a ways to go.

From the article:  "Congress must pass meaningful legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Good grief.  For one thing, I didn't know Congress governed China where the new coal plants are being built.

The number one greenhouse gas trapping in the heat of the earth oddly is water vapor, an antidote to fire.

The number one emission from fossil fuel combustion is water vapor.
https://www.princeton.edu/ssp/64-tiger-cub-1/64-data/combustion-chemistry.pdf

What if we ended fossil fuel use instantly and droughts and fires got worse?  That's what the science says.

In a world where politicians believe water vapor causes drought, "green" movements prevent forest management and "wild"fires are 90% human caused, I don't think we can be this stupid and solve a major problem.  Don't expect things to get better soon.

One idea, why don't we make California's National Forests state forests and move control over it to the people who have the most stake in it.  Tax their air pollution as it comes across state lines until someone stops the fires.

If an oil companies had fires this big and damaging you can bet they'd find a way to stop it.

DougMacG

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Re: Ocean plastic
« Reply #205 on: November 21, 2018, 07:59:42 AM »
"It’s not about protecting the environment, it’s about power and control."

When it becomes all about protecting the environment (not in our lifetime) and not about power and control, I'm in.  Nothing would clean up the oceans and the environment like rampant, unbridled free enterprise-based prosperity.

DougMacG

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Wildfire climate drivel continued
« Reply #206 on: November 21, 2018, 08:51:10 AM »
Further irony, isn't everything you can use to fight a forest fire fossil fuel based?

Water trucks, aircraft, excavation equipment, logging equipment, pipelines, pumping stations, lots and lots of horsepower, evacuations, ambulances, flying in additional resources, even the air conditioning over at Sierra Club headquarters, they are all fossil fuel based.  Shut 'em all down and still not stop 'global warming'.

Now try that in a state or nation that shut down its own energy supply before the (90% human caused) fire.

More resources wisely brought to the fire is better.  Prevention is the only cure.

How much carbon is released by a forest fire?
https://slate.com/technology/2007/10/do-forest-fires-have-a-significant-impact-on-global-warming.html
https://www.nature.com/articles/nature01131

How much heat is released by a forest fire?!  1400 degees over 7 million acres?

What is the environmental cost of not managing our forests?

ccp

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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #207 on: November 21, 2018, 10:00:23 AM »
" Further irony, isn't everything you can use to fight a forest fire fossil fuel based?"

Yes

I don't see solar panelled firetrucks do you !  :))

Now if only we could harness the energy from all that fire........

BTW aren't we reading about possible ice ages now.  No solat spots .  Of course that is Trump's fault too.

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #209 on: November 22, 2018, 08:52:48 AM »
ttt

DougMacG

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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #210 on: November 24, 2018, 04:34:58 AM »
Coldest Thanksgiving since 1871 per Drudge and accuweather.  The odds of that happening 100 years into an irrersible, atmospherically caused heat spiral are ___ .  Mathematically zero?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 04:36:54 AM by DougMacG »


Crafty_Dog

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POTH: Insect Apocalypse
« Reply #212 on: November 29, 2018, 10:37:16 AM »
Could someone please post the content of this article?  TIA

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/magazine/insect-apocalypse.html

DougMacG

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Re: POTH: Insect Apocalypse
« Reply #213 on: December 07, 2018, 09:49:49 AM »
Could someone please post the content of this article?  TIA

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/magazine/insect-apocalypse.html

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here
What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?

CreditCreditPhoto illustrations by Matt Dorfman. Source photographs: Bridgeman Images.

By Brooke Jarvis
Nov. 27, 2018

Sune Boye Riis was on a bike ride with his youngest son, enjoying the sun slanting over the fields and woodlands near their home north of Copenhagen, when it suddenly occurred to him that something about the experience was amiss. Specifically, something was missing.

It was summer. He was out in the country, moving fast. But strangely, he wasn’t eating any bugs.

For a moment, Riis was transported to his childhood on the Danish island of Lolland, in the Baltic Sea. Back then, summer bike rides meant closing his mouth to cruise through thick clouds of insects, but inevitably he swallowed some anyway. When his parents took him driving, he remembered, the car’s windshield was frequently so smeared with insect carcasses that you almost couldn’t see through it. But all that seemed distant now. He couldn’t recall the last time he needed to wash bugs from his windshield; he even wondered, vaguely, whether car manufacturers had invented some fancy new coating to keep off insects. But this absence, he now realized with some alarm, seemed to be all around him. Where had all those insects gone? And when? And why hadn’t he noticed?

Riis watched his son, flying through the beautiful day, not eating bugs, and was struck by the melancholy thought that his son’s childhood would lack this particular bug-eating experience of his own. It was, he granted, an odd thing to feel nostalgic about. But he couldn’t shake a feeling of loss. “I guess it’s pretty human to think that everything was better when you were a kid,” he said. “Maybe I didn’t like it when I was on my bike and I ate all the bugs, but looking back on it, I think it’s something everybody should experience.”

I met Riis, a lanky high school science and math teacher, on a hot day in June. He was anxious about not having yet written his address for the school’s graduation ceremony that evening, but first, he had a job to do. From his garage, he retrieved a large insect net, drove to a nearby intersection and stopped to strap the net to the car’s roof. Made of white mesh, the net ran the length of his car and was held up by a tent pole at the front, tapering to a small, removable bag in back. Drivers whizzing past twisted their heads to stare. Riis eyed his parking spot nervously as he adjusted the straps of the contraption. “This is not 100 percent legal,” he said, “but I guess, for the sake of science.”

Riis had not been able to stop thinking about the missing bugs. The more he learned, the more his nostalgia gave way to worry. Insects are the vital pollinators and recyclers of ecosystems and the base of food webs everywhere. Riis was not alone in noticing their decline. In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period. With other, less-studied insect species, one butterfly researcher told me, “all we can do is wave our arms and say, ‘It’s not here anymore!’ ” Still, the most disquieting thing wasn’t the disappearance of certain species of insects; it was the deeper worry, shared by Riis and many others, that a whole insect world might be quietly going missing, a loss of abundance that could alter the planet in unknowable ways. “We notice the losses,” says David Wagner, an entomologist at the University of Connecticut. “It’s the diminishment that we don’t see.”

Because insects are legion, inconspicuous and hard to meaningfully track, the fear that there might be far fewer than before was more felt than documented. People noticed it by canals or in backyards or under streetlights at night — familiar places that had become unfamiliarly empty. The feeling was so common that entomologists developed a shorthand for it, named for the way many people first began to notice that they weren’t seeing as many bugs. They called it the windshield phenomenon.

To test what had been primarily a loose suspicion of wrongness, Riis and 200 other Danes were spending the month of June roaming their country’s back roads in their outfitted cars. They were part of a study conducted by the Natural History Museum of Denmark, a joint effort of the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and North Carolina State University. The nets would stand in for windshields as Riis and the other volunteers drove through various habitats — urban areas, forests, agricultural tracts, uncultivated open land and wetlands — hoping to quantify the disorienting sense that, as one of the study’s designers put it, “something from the past is missing from the present.”

When the investigators began planning the study in 2016, they weren’t sure if anyone would sign up. But by the time the nets were ready, a paper by an obscure German entomological society had brought the problem of insect decline into sharp focus. The German study found that, measured simply by weight, the overall abundance of flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by 75 percent over just 27 years. If you looked at midsummer population peaks, the drop was 82 percent.

Riis learned about the study from a group of his students in one of their class projects. They must have made some kind of mistake in their citation, he thought. But they hadn’t. The study would quickly become, according to the website Altmetric, the sixth-most-discussed scientific paper of 2017. Headlines around the world warned of an “insect Armageddon.”

Within days of announcing the insect-collection project, the Natural History Museum of Denmark was turning away eager volunteers by the dozens. It seemed there were people like Riis everywhere, people who had noticed a change but didn’t know what to make of it. How could something as fundamental as the bugs in the sky just disappear? And what would become of the world without them?

Anyone who has returned to a childhood haunt to find that everything somehow got smaller knows that humans are not great at remembering the past accurately. This is especially true when it comes to changes to the natural world. It is impossible to maintain a fixed perspective, as Heraclitus observed 2,500 years ago: It is not the same river, but we are also not the same people.

A 1995 study, by Peter H. Kahn and Batya Friedman, of the way some children in Houston experienced pollution summed up our blindness this way: “With each generation, the amount of environmental degradation increases, but each generation takes that amount as the norm.” In decades of photos of fishermen holding up their catch in the Florida Keys, the marine biologist Loren McClenachan found a perfect illustration of this phenomenon, which is often called “shifting baseline syndrome.” The fish got smaller and smaller, to the point where the prize catches were dwarfed by fish that in years past were piled up and ignored. But the smiles on the fishermen’s faces stayed the same size. The world never feels fallen, because we grow accustomed to the fall.

By one measure, bugs are the wildlife we know best, the nondomesticated animals whose lives intersect most intimately with our own: spiders in the shower, ants at the picnic, ticks buried in the skin. We sometimes feel that we know them rather too well. In another sense, though, they are one of our planet’s greatest mysteries, a reminder of how little we know about what’s happening in the world around us.

We’ve named and described a million species of insects, a stupefying array of thrips and firebrats and antlions and caddis flies and froghoppers and other enormous families of bugs that most of us can’t even name. (Technically, the word “bug” applies only to the order Hemiptera, also known as true bugs, species that have tubelike mouths for piercing and sucking — and there are as many as 80,000 named varieties of those.) The ones we think we do know well, we don’t: There are 12,000 types of ants, nearly 20,000 varieties of bees, almost 400,000 species of beetles, so many that the geneticist J.B.S. Haldane reportedly quipped that God must have an inordinate fondness for them. A bit of healthy soil a foot square and two inches deep might easily be home to 200 unique species of mites, each, presumably, with a subtly different job to do. And yet entomologists estimate that all this amazing, absurd and understudied variety represents perhaps only 20 percent of the actual diversity of insects on our planet — that there are millions and millions of species that are entirely unknown to science.

With so much abundance, it very likely never occurred to most entomologists of the past that their multitudinous subjects might dwindle away. As they poured themselves into studies of the life cycles and taxonomies of the species that fascinated them, few thought to measure or record something as boring as their number. Besides, tracking quantity is slow, tedious and unglamorous work: setting and checking traps, waiting years or decades for your data to be meaningful, grappling with blunt baseline questions instead of more sophisticated ones. And who would pay for it? Most academic funding is short-term, but when what you’re interested in is invisible, generational change, says Dave Goulson, an entomologist at the University of Sussex, “a three-year monitoring program is no good to anybody.” This is especially true of insect populations, which are naturally variable, with wide, trend-obscuring fluctuations from one year to the next.

When entomologists began noticing and investigating insect declines, they lamented the absence of solid information from the past in which to ground their experiences of the present. “We see a hundred of something, and we think we’re fine,” Wagner says, “but what if there were 100,000 two generations ago?” Rob Dunn, an ecologist at North Carolina State University who helped design the net experiment in Denmark, recently searched for studies showing the effect of pesticide spraying on the quantity of insects living in nearby forests. He was surprised to find that no such studies existed. “We ignored really basic questions,” he said. “It feels like we’ve dropped the ball in some giant collective way.”

If entomologists lacked data, what they did have were some very worrying clues. Along with the impression that they were seeing fewer bugs in their own jars and nets while out doing experiments — a windshield phenomenon specific to the sorts of people who have bug jars and nets — there were documented downward slides of well-studied bugs, including various kinds of bees, moths, butterflies and beetles. In Britain, as many as 30 to 60 percent of species were found to have diminishing ranges. Larger trends were harder to pin down, though a 2014 review in Science tried to quantify these declines by synthesizing the findings of existing studies and found that a majority of monitored species were declining, on average by 45 percent.

Entomologists also knew that climate change and the overall degradation of global habitat are bad news for biodiversity in general, and that insects are dealing with the particular challenges posed by herbicides and pesticides, along with the effects of losing meadows, forests and even weedy patches to the relentless expansion of human spaces. There were studies of other, better-understood species that suggested that the insects associated with them might be declining, too. People who studied fish found that the fish had fewer mayflies to eat. Ornithologists kept finding that birds that rely on insects for food were in trouble: eight in 10 partridges gone from French farmlands; 50 and 80 percent drops, respectively, for nightingales and turtledoves. Half of all farmland birds in Europe disappeared in just three decades. At first, many scientists assumed the familiar culprit of habitat destruction was at work, but then they began to wonder if the birds might simply be starving. In Denmark, an ornithologist named Anders Tottrup was the one who came up with the idea of turning cars into insect trackers for the windshield-effect study after he noticed that rollers, little owls, Eurasian hobbies and bee-eaters — all birds that subsist on large insects such as beetles and dragonflies — had abruptly disappeared from the landscape.

The signs were certainly alarming, but they were also just signs, not enough to justify grand pronouncements about the health of insects as a whole or about what might be driving a widespread, cross-species decline. “There are no quantitative data on insects, so this is just a hypothesis,” Hans de Kroon, an ecologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands, explained to me — not the sort of language that sends people to the barricades.

Then came the German study. Scientists are still cautious about what the findings might imply about other regions of the world. But the study brought forth exactly the kind of longitudinal data they had been seeking, and it wasn’t specific to just one type of insect. The numbers were stark, indicating a vast impoverishment of an entire insect universe, even in protected areas where insects ought to be under less stress. The speed and scale of the drop were shocking even to entomologists who were already anxious about bees or fireflies or the cleanliness of car windshields.

The results were surprising in another way too. The long-term details about insect abundance, the kind that no one really thought existed, hadn’t appeared in a particularly prestigious journal and didn’t come from university-affiliated scientists, but from a small society of insect enthusiasts based in the modest German city Krefeld.

Krefeld sits a half-hour drive outside Düsseldorf, near the western bank of the Rhine. It’s a city of brick houses and bright flower gardens and a stadtwald — a municipal forest and park — where paddle boats float on a lake, umbrellas shade a beer garden and (I couldn’t help noticing) the afternoon light through the trees illuminates small swarms of dancing insects.

Near the center of the old city, a paper sign, not much larger than a business card, identifies the stolid headquarters of the society whose research caused so much commotion. When it was founded, in 1905, the society operated out of another building, one that was destroyed when Britain bombed the city during World War II. (By the time the bombs fell, members had moved their precious records and collections of insects, some of which dated back to the 1860s, to an underground bunker.) Nowadays, the society uses more than 6,000 square feet of an old three-story school as storage space. Ask for a tour of the collections, and you will hear such sentences as “This whole room is Lepidoptera,” referring to a former classroom stuffed with what I at first took to be shelves of books but which are in fact innumerable wooden frames containing pinned butterflies and moths; and, in an even larger room, “every bumblebee here was collected before the Second World War, 1880 to 1930”; and, upon opening a drawer full of sweat bees, “It’s a new collection, 30 years only.”

On the shelves that do hold books, I counted 31 clearly well-loved volumes in the series “Beetles of Middle Europe.” A 395-page book that cataloged specimens of spider wasps — where they were collected; where they were stored — of the western Palearctic said “1948-2008” on the cover. I asked my guide, a society member named Martin Sorg, who was one of the lead authors of the paper, whether those dates reflected when the specimens were collected. “No,” Sorg replied, “that was the time the author needed for this work.”

Somewhere in creation there is a species that evolution primed for conscious, intentional, rational long-term collective thinking and planning. They will exist for a long, long time. We are not them.

Sorg, who rolls his own cigarettes and wears John Lennon glasses and whose gray hair grows long past his shoulders, is not a freewheeling type when it comes to his insect work. And his insect work is really all he wants to talk about. “We think details about nature and biodiversity declines are important, not details about life histories of entomologists,” Sorg explained after he and Werner Stenmans, a society member whose name appeared alongside Sorg’s on the 2017 paper, dismissed my questions about their day jobs. Leery of an article that focused on him as a person, Sorg also didn’t want to talk about what drew him to entomology as a child or even what it was about certain types of wasps that had made him want to devote so much of his life to studying them. “We normally give life histories when someone is dead,” he said.

There was a reason for the wariness. Society members dislike seeing themselves described, over and over in news stories, as “amateurs.” It’s a framing that reflects, they believe, a too-narrow understanding of what it means to be an expert or even a scientist — what it means to be a student of the natural world.

Amateurs have long provided much of the patchy knowledge we have about nature. Those bee and butterfly studies? Most depend on mass mobilizations of volunteers willing to walk transects and count insects, every two weeks or every year, year after year. The scary numbers about bird declines were gathered this way, too, though because birds can be hard to spot, volunteers often must learn to identify them by their sounds. Britain, which has a particularly strong tradition of amateur naturalism, has the best-studied bugs in the world. As technologically advanced as we are, the natural world is still a very big and complex place, and the best way to learn what’s going on is for a lot of people to spend a lot of time observing it. The Latin root of the word “amateur” is, after all, the word “lover.”

Some of these citizen-scientists are true beginners clutching field guides; others, driven by their own passion and following in a long tradition of “amateur” naturalism, are far from novices. Think of Victorians with their butterfly nets and curiosity cabinets; of Vladimir Nabokov, whose theories about the evolution of Polyommatus blue butterflies were ignored until proved correct by DNA testing more than 30 years after his death; of young Charles Darwin, cutting his classes at Cambridge to collect beetles at Wicken Fen and once putting a live beetle in his mouth because his hands were already full of other bugs.

The Krefeld society is volunteer-run, and many members have other jobs in unrelated fields, but they also have an enormous depth of knowledge about insects, accumulated through years of what other people might consider obsessive attention. Some study the ecology or evolutionary taxonomy of their favorite species or map their populations or breed them to study their life histories. All hone their identification skills across species by amassing their own collections of carefully pinned and labeled insects like those that fill the society’s storage rooms. Sorg estimated that of the society’s 63 members, a third are university-trained in subjects such as biology or earth science. Another third, he said, are “highly specialized and highly qualified but they never visited the university,” while the remaining third are actual amateurs who are still in the process of becoming “real” entomologists: “Some of them may also have a degree from the university, but in our view, they are beginners.”

The society members’ projects often involved setting up what are called malaise traps, nets that look like tents and drive insects flying by into bottles of ethanol. Because of the scientific standards of the society, members followed certain procedures: They always employed identical traps, sewn from a template they first used in 1982. (Sorg showed me the original rolled-up craft paper with great solemnity.) They always put them in the same places. (Before GPS, that meant a painstaking process of triangulating with surveying equipment. “We are not sure about a few centimeters,” Sorg granted.) They saved everything they caught, regardless of what the main purpose of the experiment was. (The society bought so much ethanol that it attracted the attention of a narcotics unit.)

Those bottles of insects were gathered into thousands of boxes, which are now crammed into what were once offices in the upper reaches of the school. When the society members, like entomologists elsewhere, began to notice that they were seeing fewer insects, they had something against which to measure their worries.

“We don’t throw away anything, we store everything,” Sorg explained. “That gives us today the possibility to go back in time.”

In 2013, Krefeld entomologists confirmed that the total number of insects caught in one nature reserve was nearly 80 percent lower than the same spot in 1989. They had sampled other sites, analyzed old data sets and found similar declines: Where 30 years earlier, they often needed a liter bottle for a week of trapping, now a half-liter bottle usually sufficed. But it would have taken even highly trained entomologists years of painstaking work to identify all the insects in the bottles. So the society used a standardized method for weighing insects in alcohol, which told a powerful story simply by showing how much the overall mass of insects dropped over time. “A decline of this mixture,” Sorg said, “is a very different thing than the decline of only a few species.”

The society collaborated with de Kroon and other scientists at Radboud University in the Netherlands, who did a trend analysis of the data that Krefeld provided, controlling for things like the effects of nearby plants, weather and forest cover on fluctuations in insect populations. The final study looked at 63 nature preserves, representing almost 17,000 sampling days, and found consistent declines in every kind of habitat they sampled. This suggested, the authors wrote, “that it is not only the vulnerable species but the flying-insect community as a whole that has been decimated over the last few decades.”

For some scientists, the study created a moment of reckoning. “Scientists thought this data was too boring,” Dunn says. “But these people found it beautiful, and they loved it. They were the ones paying attention to Earth for all the rest of us.”

The current worldwide loss of biodiversity is popularly known as the sixth extinction: the sixth time in world history that a large number of species have disappeared in unusually rapid succession, caused this time not by asteroids or ice ages but by humans. When we think about losing biodiversity, we tend to think of the last northern white rhinos protected by armed guards, of polar bears on dwindling ice floes. Extinction is a visceral tragedy, universally understood: There is no coming back from it. The guilt of letting a unique species vanish is eternal.

But extinction is not the only tragedy through which we’re living. What about the species that still exist, but as a shadow of what they once were? In “The Once and Future World,” the journalist J.B. MacKinnon cites records from recent centuries that hint at what has only just been lost: “In the North Atlantic, a school of cod stalls a tall ship in midocean; off Sydney, Australia, a ship’s captain sails from noon until sunset through pods of sperm whales as far as the eye can see. ... Pacific pioneers complain to the authorities that splashing salmon threaten to swamp their canoes.” There were reports of lions in the south of France, walruses at the mouth of the Thames, flocks of birds that took three days to fly overhead, as many as 100 blue whales in the Southern Ocean for every one that’s there now. “These are not sights from some ancient age of fire and ice,” MacKinnon writes. “We are talking about things seen by human eyes, recalled in human memory.”

What we’re losing is not just the diversity part of biodiversity, but the bio part: life in sheer quantity. While I was writing this article, scientists learned that the world’s largest king penguin colony shrank by 88 percent in 35 years, that more than 97 percent of the bluefin tuna that once lived in the ocean are gone. The number of Sophie the Giraffe toys sold in France in a single year is nine times the number of all the giraffes that still live in Africa.

Finding reassurance in the survival of a few symbolic standard-bearers ignores the value of abundance, of a natural world that thrives on richness and complexity and interaction. Tigers still exist, for example, but that doesn’t change the fact that 93 percent of the land where they used to live is now tigerless. This matters for more than romantic reasons: Large animals, especially top predators like tigers, connect ecosystems to one another and move energy and resources among them simply by walking and eating and defecating and dying. (In the deep ocean, sunken whale carcasses form the basis of entire ecosystems in nutrient-poor places.) One result of their loss is what’s known as trophic cascade, the unraveling of an ecosystem’s fabric as prey populations boom and crash and the various levels of the food web no longer keep each other in check. These places are emptier, impoverished in a thousand subtle ways.

Scientists have begun to speak of functional extinction (as opposed to the more familiar kind, numerical extinction). Functionally extinct animals and plants are still present but no longer prevalent enough to affect how an ecosystem works. Some phrase this as the extinction not of a species but of all its former interactions with its environment — an extinction of seed dispersal and predation and pollination and all the other ecological functions an animal once had, which can be devastating even if some individuals still persist. The more interactions are lost, the more disordered the ecosystem becomes. A 2013 paper in Nature, which modeled both natural and computer-generated food webs, suggested that a loss of even 30 percent of a species’ abundance can be so destabilizing that other species start going fully, numerically extinct — in fact, 80 percent of the time it was a secondarily affected creature that was the first to disappear. A famous real-world example of this type of cascade concerns sea otters. When they were nearly wiped out in the northern Pacific, their prey, sea urchins, ballooned in number and decimated kelp forests, turning a rich environment into a barren one and also possibly contributing to numerical extinctions, notably of the Steller’s sea cow.

Conservationists tend to focus on rare and endangered species, but it is common ones, because of their abundance, that power the living systems of our planet. Most species are not common, but within many animal groups most individuals — some 80 percent of them — belong to common species. Like the slow approach of twilight, their declines can be hard to see. White-rumped vultures were nearly gone from India before there was widespread awareness of their disappearance. Describing this phenomenon in the journal BioScience, Kevin Gaston, a professor of biodiversity and conservation at the University of Exeter, wrote: “Humans seem innately better able to detect the complete loss of an environmental feature than its progressive change.”

In addition to extinction (the complete loss of a species) and extirpation (a localized extinction), scientists now speak of defaunation: the loss of individuals, the loss of abundance, the loss of a place’s absolute animalness. In a 2014 article in Science, researchers argued that the word should become as familiar, and influential, as the concept of deforestation. In 2017 another paper reported that major population and range losses extended even to species considered to be at low risk for extinction. They predicted “negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilization” and the authors offered another term for the widespread loss of the world’s wild fauna: “biological annihilation.”

It is estimated that, since 1970, Earth’s various populations of wild land animals have lost, on average, 60 percent of their members. Zeroing in on the category we most relate to, mammals, scientists believe that for every six wild creatures that once ate and burrowed and raised young, only one remains. What we have instead is ourselves. A study published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that if you look at the world’s mammals by weight, 96 percent of that biomass is humans and livestock; just 4 percent is wild animals.

We’ve begun to talk about living in the Anthropocene, a world shaped by humans. But E.O. Wilson, the naturalist and prophet of environmental degradation, has suggested another name: the Eremocine, the age of loneliness.

Wilson began his career as a taxonomic entomologist, studying ants. Insects — about as far as you can get from charismatic megafauna — are not what we’re usually imagining when we talk about biodiversity. Yet they are, in Wilson’s words, “the little things that run the natural world.” He means it literally. Insects are a case study in the invisible importance of the common.

Scientists have tried to calculate the benefits that insects provide simply by going about their business in large numbers. Trillions of bugs flitting from flower to flower pollinate some three-quarters of our food crops, a service worth as much as $500 billion every year. (This doesn’t count the 80 percent of wild flowering plants, the foundation blocks of life everywhere, that rely on insects for pollination.) If monetary calculations like that sound strange, consider the Maoxian Valley in China, where shortages of insect pollinators have led farmers to hire human workers, at a cost of up to $19 per worker per day, to replace bees. Each person covers five to 10 trees a day, pollinating apple blossoms by hand.

By eating and being eaten, insects turn plants into protein and power the growth of all the uncountable species — including freshwater fish and a majority of birds — that rely on them for food, not to mention all the creatures that eat those creatures. We worry about saving the grizzly bear, says the insect ecologist Scott Hoffman Black, but where is the grizzly without the bee that pollinates the berries it eats or the flies that sustain baby salmon? Where, for that matter, are we?

Bugs are vital to the decomposition that keeps nutrients cycling, soil healthy, plants growing and ecosystems running. This role is mostly invisible, until suddenly it’s not. After introducing cattle to Australia at the turn of the 19th century, settlers soon found themselves overwhelmed by the problem of their feces: For some reason, cow pies there were taking months or even years to decompose. Cows refused to eat near the stink, requiring more and more land for grazing, and so many flies bred in the piles that the country became famous for the funny hats that stockmen wore to keep them at bay. It wasn’t until 1951 that a visiting entomologist realized what was wrong: The local insects, evolved to eat the more fibrous waste of marsupials, couldn’t handle cow excrement. For the next 25 years, the importation, quarantine and release of dozens of species of dung beetles became a national priority. And that was just one unfilled niche. (In the United States, dung beetles save ranchers an estimated $380 million a year.) We simply don’t know everything that insects do. Only about 2 percent of invertebrate species have been studied enough for us to estimate whether they are in danger of extinction, never mind what dangers that extinction might pose.

When asked to imagine what would happen if insects were to disappear completely, scientists find words like chaos, collapse, Armageddon. Wagner, the University of Connecticut entomologist, describes a flowerless world with silent forests, a world of dung and old leaves and rotting carcasses accumulating in cities and roadsides, a world of “collapse or decay and erosion and loss that would spread through ecosystems” — spiraling from predators to plants. E.O. Wilson has written of an insect-free world, a place where most plants and land animals become extinct; where fungi explodes, for a while, thriving on death and rot; and where “the human species survives, able to fall back on wind-pollinated grains and marine fishing” despite mass starvation and resource wars. “Clinging to survival in a devastated world, and trapped in an ecological dark age,” he adds, “the survivors would offer prayers for the return of weeds and bugs.”

But the crux of the windshield phenomenon, the reason that the creeping suspicion of change is so creepy, is that insects wouldn’t have to disappear altogether for us to find ourselves missing them for reasons far beyond nostalgia. In October, an entomologist sent me an email with the subject line, “Holy [expletive]!” and an attachment: a study just out from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that he labeled, “Krefeld comes to Puerto Rico.” The study included data from the 1970s and from the early 2010s, when a tropical ecologist named Brad Lister returned to the rain forest where he had studied lizards — and, crucially, their prey — 40 years earlier. Lister set out sticky traps and swept nets across foliage in the same places he had in the 1970s, but this time he and his co-author, Andres Garcia, caught much, much less: 10 to 60 times less arthropod biomass than before. (It’s easy to read that number as 60 percent less, but it’s sixtyfold less: Where once he caught 473 milligrams of bugs, Lister was now catching just eight milligrams.) “It was, you know, devastating,” Lister told me. But even scarier were the ways the losses were already moving through the ecosystem, with serious declines in the numbers of lizards, birds and frogs. The paper reported “a bottom-up trophic cascade and consequent collapse of the forest food web.” Lister’s inbox quickly filled with messages from other scientists, especially people who study soil invertebrates, telling him they were seeing similarly frightening declines. Even after his dire findings, Lister found the losses shocking: “I didn’t even know about the earthworm crisis!”

The strange thing, Lister said, is that, as staggering as they are, all the declines he documented would still be basically invisible to the average person walking through the Luquillo rain forest. On his last visit, the forest still felt “timeless” and “phantasmagorical,” with “cascading waterfalls and carpets of flowers.” You would have to be an expert to notice what was missing. But he expects the losses to push the forest toward a tipping point, after which “there is a sudden and dramatic loss of the rain-forest system,” and the changes will become obvious to anyone. The place he loves will become unrecognizable.

The insects in the forest that Lister studied haven’t been contending with pesticides or habitat loss, the two problems to which the Krefeld paper pointed. Instead, Lister chalks up their decline to climate change, which has already increased temperatures in Luquillo by two degrees Celsius since Lister first sampled there. Previous research suggested that tropical bugs will be unusually sensitive to temperature changes; in November, scientists who subjected laboratory beetles to a heat wave reported that the increased temperatures made them significantly less fertile. Other scientists wonder if it might be climate-induced drought or possibly invasive rats or simply “death by a thousand cuts” — a confluence of many kinds of changes to the places where insects once thrived.

Like other species, insects are responding to what Chris Thomas, an insect ecologist at the University of York, has called “the transformation of the world”: not just a changing climate but also the widespread conversion, via urbanization, agricultural intensification and so on, of natural spaces into human ones, with fewer and fewer resources “left over” for nonhuman creatures to live on. What resources remain are often contaminated. Hans de Kroon characterizes the life of many modern insects as trying to survive from one dwindling oasis to the next but with “a desert in between, and at worst it’s a poisonous desert.” Of particular concern are neonicotinoids, neurotoxins that were thought to affect only treated crops but turned out to accumulate in the landscape and to be consumed by all kinds of nontargeted bugs. People talk about the “loss” of bees to colony collapse disorder, and that appears to be the right word: Affected hives aren’t full of dead bees, but simply mysteriously empty. A leading theory is that exposure to neurotoxins leaves bees unable to find their way home. Even hives exposed to low levels of neonicotinoids have been shown to collect less pollen and produce fewer eggs and far fewer queens. Some recent studies found bees doing better in cities than in the supposed countryside.

The diversity of insects means that some will manage to make do in new environments, some will thrive (abundance cuts both ways: agricultural monocultures, places where only one kind of plant grows, allow some pests to reach population levels they would never achieve in nature) and some, searching for food and shelter in a world nothing like the one they were meant for, will fail. While we need much more data to better understand the reasons or mechanisms behind the ups and downs, Thomas says, “the average across all species is still a decline.”

Since the Krefeld study came out, researchers have begun searching for other forgotten repositories of information that might offer windows into the past. Some of the Radboud researchers have analyzed long-term data, belonging to Dutch entomological societies, about beetles and moths in certain reserves; they found significant drops (72 percent, 54 percent) that mirrored the Krefeld ones. Roel van Klink, a researcher at the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, told me that before Krefeld, he, like most entomologists, had never been interested in biomass. Now he is looking for historical data sets — many of which began as studies of agricultural pests, like a decades-long study of grasshoppers in Kansas — that could help create a more thorough picture of what’s happening to creatures that are at once abundant and imperiled. So far he has found forgotten data from 140 old data sets for 1,500 locations that could be resampled.

In the United States, one of the few long-term data sets about insect abundance comes from the work of Arthur Shapiro, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis. In 1972, he began walking transects in the Central Valley and the Sierras, counting butterflies. He planned to do a study on how short-term weather variations affected butterfly populations. But the longer he sampled, the more valuable his data became, offering a signal through the noise of seasonal ups and downs. “And so here I am in Year 46,” he said, nearly half a century of spending five days a week, from late spring to the end of autumn, observing butterflies. In that time he has watched overall numbers decline and seen some species that used to be everywhere — even species that “everyone regarded as a junk species” only a few decades ago — all but disappear. Shapiro believes that Krefeld-level declines are likely to be happening all over the globe. “But, of course, I don’t cover the entire globe,” he added. “I cover I-80.”

There are also new efforts to set up more of the kind of insect-monitoring schemes researchers wish had existed decades ago, so that our current level of fallenness, at least, is captured. One is a pilot project in Germany similar to the Danish car study. To analyze what is caught, the researchers turned to volunteer naturalists, hobbyists similar to the ones in Krefeld, with the necessary breadth of knowledge to know what they’re looking at. “These are not easy species to identify,” says Aletta Bonn, of the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, who is overseeing the project. (The skills required for such work “are really extreme,” Dunn says. “These people train for decades with other amateurs to be able to identify beetles based on their genitalia.”) Bond would like to pay the volunteers for their expertise, she says, but funding hasn’t caught up to the crisis. That didn’t stop the “amateurs” from being willing to help: “They said, ‘We’re just curious what’s in there, we would like to have samples.’ ”

Goulson says that Europe’s tradition of amateur naturalism may account for why so many of the clues to the falloff in insect biodiversity originate there. (Tottrup’s design for the car net in Denmark, for example, was itself adapted from the invention of a dedicated beetle-collecting hobbyist.) As little as we know about the status of European bugs, we know significantly less about other parts of the world. “We wouldn’t know anything if it weren’t for them,” the so-called amateurs, Goulson told me. “We’d be entirely relying on the fact that there’s no bugs on the windshield.”

Thomas believes that this naturalist tradition is also why Europe is acting much faster than other places — for example, the United States — to address the decline of insects: Interest leads to tracking, which leads to awareness, which leads to concern, which leads to action. Since the Krefeld data emerged, there have been hearings about protecting insect biodiversity in the German Bundestag and the European Parliament. European Union member states voted to extend a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and have begun to put money toward further studies of how abundance is changing, what is causing those changes and what can be done. When I knocked on the door of de Kroon’s office, at Radboud University in the Dutch city Nijmegen, he was looking at some photos from another meeting he had that day: Willem-Alexander, the king of the Netherlands, had taken a tour of the city’s efforts to make its riverside a friendlier habitat for bugs.

Stemming insect declines will require much more than this, however. The European Union already had some measures in place to help pollinators — including more strictly regulating pesticides than the United States does and paying farmers to create insect habitats by leaving fields fallow and allowing for wild edges alongside cultivation — but insect populations dropped anyway. New reports call for national governments to collaborate; for more creative approaches such as integrating insect habitats into the design of roads, power lines, railroads and other infrastructure; and, as always, for more studies. The necessary changes, like the causes, may be profound. “It’s just another indication that we’re destroying the life-support system of the planet,” Lister says of the Puerto Rico study. “Nature’s resilient, but we’re pushing her to such extremes that eventually it will cause a collapse of the system.”

Scientists hope that insects will have a chance to embody that resilience. While tigers tend to give birth to three or four cubs at a time, a ghost moth in Australia was once recorded laying 29,100 eggs, and she still had 15,000 in her ovaries. The fecund abundance that is insects’ singular trait should enable them to recover, but only if they are given the space and the opportunity to do so.

“It’s a debate we need to have urgently,” Goulson says. “If we lose insects, life on earth will. ...” He trailed off, pausing for what felt like a long time.

In Denmark, Sune Boye Riis’s transect with his car net took him past a bit of woods, some suburban lawns, some hedges, a Christmas-tree farm. The closest thing to a meadow that we passed was a large military property, on which the grass had been allowed to grow tall and golden. Riis had received instructions not to drive too fast, so traffic backed up behind us, and some people began to honk. “Well,” Riis said, “so much for science.” After three miles, he turned around and drove back toward the start. His windshield stayed mockingly clean.

Riis had four friends who were also participating in the study. They had a bet going among them: Who would net the biggest bug? “I’m way behind,” Riis said. “A bumblebee is in the lead.” His biggest catch? “A fly. Not even a big one.”

At the end of the transect, Riis stopped at another parlous roadside spot, unfastened the net and removed the small bag at its tip. Some volunteers, captivated by what the study revealed about the world around them, asked the organizers for extra specimen bags, so they could do more sampling on their own. Some even asked if they could buy the entire car-net apparatus. Riis, though, was content to peer through the mesh, inside of which he could make out a number of black specks of varying tininess.

There was also a single butterfly, white-winged and delicate. Riis thought of the bet with his friends, for which the meaning of bigness had not been defined. He wondered how it might be reckoned. What gave a creature value?

“Is it weight?” he asked, staring down at the butterfly. In the big bag, it looked small and sad and alone. “Or is it grace?”

Brooke Jarvis is a contributing writer for the magazine. She last wrote about American children of undocumented parents.


« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 10:02:31 AM by DougMacG »

DougMacG

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Environmental issues, Media Fake News, Political: The Hurricanes haven't changed
« Reply #214 on: December 07, 2018, 10:00:11 AM »
More people are building more homes, more businesses of greater value in their path, but you won't get research grants with that story.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/11/26/new-paper-shows-no-climate-trend-in-hurricane-damage-losses/

Wrong narrative, I wonder which publications won't cover this scientific study:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-018-0165-2



"[Measure] economic losses from a historical extreme event if that same event was to occur under contemporary societal conditions."

And lose all the alarmist conclusions?  Why would you do that?




Crafty_Dog

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Cow Flatulence and Global Warming
« Reply #217 on: December 10, 2018, 04:38:57 PM »
"“According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the largest sources of US GHG emissions in 2016 were electricity production (28% of total emissions), transportation (28%) and industry (22%). All of agriculture accounted for a total of 9%. All of animal agriculture contributes less than half of this amount, representing 3.9% of total US greenhouse gas emissions. That's very different from claiming livestock represents as much or more than transportation. Why the misconception? In 2006 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization published a study titled "Livestock's Long Shadow," which received widespread international attention. It stated that livestock produced a staggering 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. The agency drew a startling conclusion: Livestock was doing more to harm the climate than all modes of transportation combined. This latter claim was wrong, and has since been corrected by Henning Steinfeld, the report's senior author. The problem was that FAO analysts used a comprehensive life-cycle assessment to study the climate impact of livestock, but a different method when they analyzed transportation. For livestock, they considered every factor associated with producing meat. This included emissions from fertilizer production, converting land from forests to pastures, growing feed, and direct emissions from animals (belching and manure) from birth to death. However, when they looked at transportation's carbon footprint, they ignored impacts on the climate from manufacturing vehicle materials and parts, assembling vehicles and maintaining roads, bridges, and airports. Instead, they only considered the exhaust emitted by finished cars, trucks, trains, and planes. As a result, the FAO's comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock to those from transportation was greatly distorted.” READ FULL ARTICLE IN LINK: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Fgiving-up-meat-wont-save-planet-2018-10&h=AT0ELlybL2jfrP7A2mjAiQcUHaKBvzFi-AdpLrL3fbZHZLgaON3WvuMTWSHX_bI5XUmL7ghEWUsnfS1cIsJQNQkYUyi2d6UwepaGU-o4ts3-aCjrP1ljfWy3O-Q1iQGEsvs9mT5J63uYwzzKaVc"

DougMacG

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Re: Cow Flatulence and Global Warming
« Reply #218 on: December 11, 2018, 05:06:30 AM »
Great to see the math and measurement systems equalized here.  It still begs the question, what is the the right or optimal amount of greenhouse gas emissions?  Without a 'greenhouse' effect, life on earth as we know it ceases, is zero emissions for transportation or animals the right answer? 

Even Al Gore believes a wasteful lifestyle can be "offset":
https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/al-gores-climate-change-hypocrisy-is-as-big-as-his-energy-sucking-mansion/
Someone should check his math as well.

Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Environmental issues, Climate, Adjusted Data
« Reply #220 on: December 13, 2018, 02:01:59 PM »
See Pathological Science thread for extended coverage of adjusted data.

Agenda 'scientists' give lots of good reasons why data gets adjusted.  They just don't explain why all adjustments made are in the direction of exaggerating global warming.

Global warming (whatever that means) is real.  Humans make a contribution to it.  But the agenda driven narrative overstates it by 2 1/2 to 7 times in my humble opinion.

Here are some links to follow:

Temperature Adjustments Account For ‘Nearly All Of The Warming’ In Government Climate Data
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/06/bombshell-study-temperature-adjustments-account-for-nearly-all-of-the-warming-in-government-climate-data/

https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/ef-gast-data-research-report-062717.pdf

https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/19930-nasa-s-own-data-refutes-2014-warmest-on-record-claim

https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/ef-gast-data-research-report-062717.pdf
Each new version of GAST has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire
history.  That was accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern. This was true for all three entities providing GAST data measurement, NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU.

Even Though Warming Has Stopped, it Keeps Getting Worse?
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/03/even-though-warming-has-stopped-it-keeps-getting-worse/
The largest adjustments were to earlier years in the dataset, which were made colder.



https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11395516/The-fiddling-with-temperature-data-is-the-biggest-science-scandal-ever.html
The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever.
One of the first examples of these “adjustments” was exposed in 2007 by the statistician Steve McIntyre, when he discovered a paper published in 1987 by James Hansen, the scientist (later turned fanatical climate activist) who for many years ran Giss. Hansen’s original graph showed temperatures in the Arctic as having been much higher around 1940 than at any time since. But as Homewood reveals in his blog post, “Temperature adjustments transform Arctic history”, Giss has turned this upside down. Arctic temperatures from that time have been lowered so much that that they are now dwarfed by those of the past 20 years.

https://stream.org/noaa-whistleblower-claims-global-warming-data-improperly-adjusted/

NOAA Whistleblower:  https://sites.agu.org/leadership/leader/john-bates-2/

Major research interests include satellite observations of the global water and energy cycle, air-sea interactions and climate variability. B.S., meteorology, 1976, Florida State University, M.S., meteorology, 1982, and Ph.D. meteorology 1986, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1986-1987), Meteorologist NOAA Boulder Climate Diagnostics Center (1988-1999), Meteorologist NOAA Boulder Environmental Technology Laboratory (1999-2002), Supervisory Meteorologist NOAA National Climatic Data Center (2002-2012).

Dr John Bates, a now-retired climate data expert, late of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), a branch of NOAA, claimed the agency “breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.”

Bates said that Thomas Karl, who was until recently the director of NCEI, was “insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximised warming and minimised documentation … in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy” (ellipsis original).

The data, Bates claimed, was never “subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process.” When Bates complained, “His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.”

“Thomas Karl and his colleagues … tripled the warming trend over the sea during the years 2000 to 2014 from just 0.036C per decade — as stated in version 3 — to 0.099C per decade.”

Bates said, “They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and ‘corrected’ it by using the bad data from ships.”

Similar statistical manipulations were done to land-temperature data, with adjustments being of the same low level. Bates not only questioned the timing and direction of adjustments, but said the programs used to make them were “highly experimental” and “afflicted by serious bugs.”

Karl “admitted” to the Daily Mail that “the data had not been archived when the paper was published,” making replication by colleagues impossible or difficult. Karl also said “the final, approved and ‘operational’ edition of the [data] would be ‘different’ from that used in the paper’.”


NASA : Doubling Global Warming By Altering The Data
https://realclimatescience.com/2018/05/nasa-doubling-global-warming-by-altering-the-data/



At the time, there was unanimous consensus among scientists that Earth was cooling.
https://realclimatescience.com/2018/11/fake-data-the-basis-of-climate-science/

Doctored Data, Not U.S. Temperatures, Set a Record This Year
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/06/13/doctored-data-not-u-s-temperatures-set-a-record-this-year/#634c07496184
Raw temperature data show that U.S. temperatures were significantly warmer during the 1930s than they are today. In fact, raw temperature data show an 80-year cooling trend. NOAA is only able to claim that we are experiencing the hottest temperatures on record by doctoring the raw temperature data.

Audit of global warming data finds it riddled with errors
https://www.nexusnewsfeed.com/article/climate-ecology/audit-of-global-warming-data-finds-it-riddled-with-errors/
The first ever audit of the world’s most important temperature data set (HadCRUT4) has found it to be so riddled with errors and “freakishly improbable data”  that it is effectively useless.
http://joannenova.com.au/2018/10/first-audit-of-global-temperature-data-finds-freezing-tropical-islands-boiling-towns-boats-on-land/





DougMacG

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Politics of Environmental issues
« Reply #221 on: December 14, 2018, 07:26:20 AM »
When do we mock back on climate?  A few people get this.
https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/12/mocking-the-climateers.php
https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2018-12-12-when-will-it-be-ok-to-laugh-at-the-climate-campaigners

At the latest 'climate conference' they booed the speaker who mentioned fracking.

Coincidentally only one country lowered its emissions, the country that dropped out of 'the accords', the US and we did it with fracking.  Nuclear energy and cleaner use of existing fossil fuels represent far more potential immediate gains with emissions reductions than all  others combined.  If anyone cared...

On the Climate Crusaders' side, their policies lead to failure.  Their practices of flying from conference to conference with huge numbers of activists are beyond hypocritical.  Innovation, not cronyism subsidies and arbitrary prohibitions, is what works.

In Venezuela, they are producing less oil and they forced out the capitalists for a double win.  How's that going for the people?

Meanwhile take a look at nuclear energy, the only current technology that could power the grid carbon free when we start plugging in all our cars and trucks.  We are projected to build zero more new nuclear power plants in our lifetimes.  https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-04-16/exelon-official-no-new-nuclear-plants-to-be-built-in-the-us

If you believed in smart planning, subsidies and cronyism, and believe Carbon Dioxide released in the combustion of the fossil fuel is the biggest threat ever to life on the planet, why wouldn't you crony your government up to this industry and make something big happen?

So much for wanting to be carbon free.

DougMacG

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Re: Politics of (Energy and) Environmental issues, Glenn Reynolds Instapundit
« Reply #222 on: December 17, 2018, 10:59:50 AM »
Doug 12/14
Meanwhile take a look at nuclear energy, the only current technology that could power the grid carbon free when we start plugging in all our cars and trucks.  

Glenn Reynolds 12/16:
UNSUSTAINABLE: We Might Not Have Enough Materials for All the Solar Panels and Wind Turbines We Need. Actually, we don’t need very many of them. We need nice, clean nuclear plants.
https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/

Famous people caught reading the forum.

G M

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Re: YES! Plastic Clean up of the Ocean
« Reply #223 on: December 18, 2018, 05:39:06 AM »
https://www.facebook.com/Upworthy/videos/966555456864427/?hc_ref=ARTmLqmECuU3DzlnorobeEg7D02jgxRUlENrXwMRrW52gSyx9--tqiC-du62UgUEP0k&__xts__[0]=68.ARAPkKbUzmVVGFzbKSXeXaXGbbUZfSVzK7gF4cwSHCSJAmB1_GmlpfFOIO_wqG1W_RlkmvsAx3sT6YJZ2j3V4nA4wUCx2k5MHBExQP-5VLbpbBP9Me_C7XqFMfrUNkRZMuU81L4HmjnAL-T2dA-m34GdIqiuIBfTGC1EMRsJaH0Imf58XH4APH0&__tn__=FC-R&fb_dtsg_ag=AdwjqEjCOqnNJVoGB7GNo5H9FpfSG1GWYSZml0jcgo_2BQ%3AAdzV3rbrB5PeO_0F27vrFKFAli7nOcWDepY__4EQrGlzfg

How much does each trip to empty the plastic catcher cost? How often does it need to be emptied? How much plastic is removed on each trip?

Another self-licking ice cream cone enviro-scam.

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Massive-boom-in-Pacific-Ocean-not-corralling-13472624.php


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #224 on: December 18, 2018, 08:53:01 AM »
Thanks for the follow up on this.




Crafty_Dog

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Recycling circling the drain
« Reply #228 on: March 06, 2019, 09:09:49 AM »


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DougMacG

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Environmental issues, Solar Waste, not nuclear waste, is the problem
« Reply #234 on: April 03, 2019, 04:54:10 AM »
"Clean" Solar energy has 200 times more toxic waste than nuclear, and it is uncontained.

Instead of subsidizing, we should be taxing that externality and capturing the cost to society at the manufacturer and consumer level.  Right?

https://twitter.com/ShellenbergerMD/status/1111641590366261253
Mike Shellenberger, hat tip Alan Reynolds

“What about the waste?”

nuclear waste
- never hurts anyone
- forever contained
- low & declining radiation
- tiny amount
- already paid for

solar waste
- sent to poor nations
- forever toxic
- uncontained
- 200x more than nuc waste
- burden on future generations

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress.
--------------------------------------
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/05/23/if-solar-panels-are-so-clean-why-do-they-produce-so-much-toxic-waste/#6dc496df121c

If Solar Panels Are So Clean, Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste?
 Michael Shellenberger, Forbes Magazine 5/23/2018

The last few years have seen growing concern over what happens to solar panels at the end of their life. Consider the following statements:

The problem of solar panel disposal “will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment” because it “is a huge amount of waste and they are not easy to recycle.”
“The reality is that there is a problem now, and it’s only going to get larger, expanding as rapidly as the PV industry expanded 10 years ago.”
“Contrary to previous assumptions, pollutants such as lead or carcinogenic cadmium can be almost completely washed out of the fragments of solar modules over a period of several months, for example by rainwater.”
Were these statements made by the right-wing Heritage Foundation? Koch-funded global warming deniers? The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal?

None of the above. Rather, the quotes come from a senior Chinese solar official, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. solar industry, and research scientists with the German Stuttgart Institute for Photovoltaics.

With few environmental journalists willing to report on much of anything other than the good news about renewables, it’s been left to environmental scientists and solar industry leaders to raise the alarm.

“I’ve been working in solar since 1976 and that’s part of my guilt,” the veteran solar developer told Solar Power World last year. “I’ve been involved with millions of solar panels going into the field, and now they’re getting old.”

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2016 estimated there was about 250,000 metric tonnes of solar panel waste in the world at the end of that year. IRENA projected that this amount could reach 78 million metric tonnes by 2050.

Solar panels often contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals that cannot be removed without breaking apart the entire panel. “Approximately 90% of most PV modules are made up of glass,” notes San Jose State environmental studies professor Dustin Mulvaney. “However, this glass often cannot be recycled as float glass due to impurities. Common problematic impurities in glass include plastics, lead, cadmium and antimony.”

Researchers with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) undertook a study for U.S. solar-owning utilities to plan for end-of-life and concluded that solar panel “disposal in “regular landfills [is] not recommended in case modules break and toxic materials leach into the soil” and so “disposal is potentially a major issue.”

California is in the process of determining how to divert solar panels from landfills, which is where they currently go, at the end of their life.

California's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), which is implementing the new regulations, held a meeting last August with solar and waste industry representatives to discuss how to deal with the issue of solar waste. At the meeting, the representatives from industry and DTSC all acknowledged how difficult it would be to test to determine whether a solar panel being removed would be classified as hazardous waste or not.

The DTSC described building a database where solar panels and their toxicity could be tracked by their model numbers, but it's not clear DTSC will do this.

"The theory behind the regulations is to make [disposal] less burdensome," explained Rick Brausch of DTSC. "Putting it as universal waste eliminates the testing requirement."

The fact that cadmium can be washed out of solar modules by rainwater is increasingly a concern for local environmentalists like the Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake in Virginia, where a 6,350 acre solar farm to partly power Microsoft data centers is being proposed.

“We estimate there are 100,000 pounds of cadmium contained in the 1.8 million panels,” Sean Fogarty of the group told me. “Leaching from broken panels damaged during natural events — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. — and at decommissioning is a big concern.” 

There is real-world precedent for this concern. A tornado in 2015 broke 200,000 solar modules at southern California solar farm Desert Sunlight.

"Any modules that were broken into small bits of glass had to be swept from the ground," Mulvaney explained, "so lots of rocks and dirt got mixed in that would not work in recycling plants that are designed to take modules. These were the cadmium-based modules that failed [hazardous] waste tests, so were treated at a [hazardous] waste facility. But about 70 percent of the modules were actually sent to recycling, and the recycled metals are in new panels today."

And when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last September, the nation’s second largest solar farm, responsible for 40 percent of the island’s solar energy, lost a majority of its panels.

Destroys Solar Farm in Puerto Rico BOB MEINETZ
Many experts urge mandatory recycling. The main finding promoted by IRENA's in its 2016 report was that, “If fully injected back into the economy, the value of the recovered material [from used solar panels] could exceed USD 15 billion by 2050.”

But IRENA’s study did not compare the value of recovered material to the cost of new materials and admitted that “Recent studies agree that PV material availability is not a major concern in the near term, but critical materials might impose limitations in the long term.”

They might, but today recycling costs more than the economic value of the materials recovered, which is why most solar panels end up in landfills. “The absence of valuable metals/materials produces economic losses,” wrote a team of scientists in the International Journal of Photoenergy in their study of solar panel recycling last year, and “Results are coherent with the literature.”

Chinese and Japanese experts agree. “If a recycling plant carries out every step by the book,” a Chinese expert told The South China Morning Post, “their products can end up being more expensive than new raw materials.”

Toshiba Environmental Solutions told Nikkei Asian Review last year that,

Low demand for scrap and the high cost of employing workers to disassemble the aluminum frames and other components will make it difficult to create a profitable business unless recycling companies can charge several times more than the target set by [Japan’s environment ministry].

Can Solar Producers Take Responsibility?

In 2012, First Solar stopped putting a share of its revenues into a fund for long-term waste management. "Customers have the option to use our services when the panels get to the end of life stage," a spokesperson told Solar Power World. “We’ll do the recycling, and they’ll pay the price at that time.”

Or they won’t. “Either it becomes economical or it gets mandated. ” said EPRI’s Cara Libby. “But I’ve heard that it will have to be mandated because it won’t ever be economical.”

Last July, Washington became the first U.S. state to require manufacturers selling solar panels to have a plan to recycle. But the legislature did not require manufacturers to pay a fee for disposal. “Washington-based solar panel manufacturer Itek Energy assisted with the bill’s writing,” noted Solar Power World.

The problem with putting the responsibility for recycling or long-term storage of solar panels on manufacturers, says the insurance actuary Milliman, is that it increases the risk of more financial failures like the kinds that afflicted the solar industry over the last decade.

[A]ny mechanism that finances the cost of recycling PV modules with current revenues is not sustainable. This method raises the possibility of bankruptcy down the road by shifting today’s greater burden of ‘caused’ costs into the future. When growth levels off then PV producers would face rapidly increasing recycling costs as a percentage of revenues.

Since 2016, Sungevity, Beamreach, Verengo Solar, SunEdison, Yingli Green Energy, Solar World, and Suniva have gone bankrupt.

The result of such bankruptcies is that the cost of managing or recycling PV waste will be born by the public. “In the event of company bankruptcies, PV module producers would no longer contribute to the recycling cost of their products,” notes Milliman, “leaving governments to decide how to deal with cleanup.”

Governments of poor and developing nations are often not equipped to deal with an influx of toxic solar waste, experts say. German researchers at the Stuttgart Institute for Photovoltaics warned that poor and developing nations are at higher risk of suffering the consequences.

Dangers and hazards of toxins in photovoltaic modules appear particularly large in countries where there are no orderly waste management systems… Especially in less developed countries in the so-called global south, which are particularly predestined for the use of photovoltaics because of the high solar radiation, it seems highly problematic to use modules that contain pollutants.

The attitude of some solar recyclers in China appears to feed this concern. “A sales manager of a solar power recycling company,” the South China Morning News reported, “believes there could be a way to dispose of China’s solar junk, nonetheless.”

“We can sell them to Middle East… Our customers there make it very clear that they don’t want perfect or brand new panels. They just want them cheap… There, there is lots of land to install a large amount of panels to make up for their low performance. Everyone is happy with the result.”

In other words, there are firms that may advertise themselves as "solar panel recyclers" but instead sell panels to a secondary markets in nations with less developed waste disposal systems. In the past, communities living near electronic waste dumps in Ghana, Nigeria, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India have been primary e-waste destinations.

According to a 2015 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of electronic waste is illegally traded and dumped in poor nations. Writes UNEP:

[T]housands of tonnes of e-waste are falsely declared as second-hand goods and exported from developed to developing countries, including waste batteries falsely described as plastic or mixed metal scrap, and cathode ray tubes and computer monitors declared as metal scrap.

Unlike other forms of imported e-waste, used solar panels can enter nations legally before eventually entering e-waste streams. As the United Nation Environment Program notes, “loopholes in the current Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives allow the export of e-waste from developed to developing countries (70% of the collected WEEE ends up in unreported and largely unknown destinations).”

A Path Forward on Solar Panel Waste

Perhaps the biggest problem with solar panel waste is that there is so much of it, and that's not going to change any time soon, for a basic physical reason: sunlight is dilute and diffuse and thus require large collectors to capture and convert the sun's rays into electricity. Those large surface areas, in turn, require an order of magnitude more in materials — whether today's toxic combination of glass, heavy metals, and rare earth elements, or some new material in the future — than other energy sources.

Solar requires 15x more materials than nuclear EP
All of that waste creates a large quantity of material to track, which in turn requires requires coordinated, overlapping, and different responses at the international, national, state, and local levels.

The local level is where action to dispose of electronic and toxic waste takes place, often under state mandates. In the past, differing state laws have motivated the U.S. Congress to put in place national regulations. Industry often prefers to comply with a single national standard rather than multiple different state standards. And as the problem of the secondary market for solar shows, ultimately there needs to be some kind of international regulation.

The first step is a fee on solar panel purchases to make sure that the cost of safely removing, recycling or storing solar panel waste is internalized into the price of solar panels and not externalized onto future taxpayers. An obvious solution would be to impose a new fee on solar panels that would go into a federal disposal and decommissioning fund. The funds would then, in the future, be dispensed to state and local governments to pay for the removal and recycling or long-term storage of solar panel waste. The advantage of this fund over extended producer responsibility is that it would insure that solar panels are safely decommissioned, recycled, or stored over the long-term, even after solar manufacturers go bankrupt.

Second, the federal government should encourage citizen enforcement of laws to decommission, store, or recycle solar panels so that they do not end up in landfills. Currently, citizens have the right to file lawsuits against government agencies and corporations to force them to abide by various environmental laws, including ones that protect the public from toxic waste. Solar should be no different. Given the decentralized nature of solar energy production, and lack of technical expertise at the local level, it is especially important that the whole society be involved in protecting itself from exposure to dangerous toxins.

“We have a County and State approval process over the next couple months,” Fogarty of Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake told me, “but it has become clear that local authorities have very little technical breadth to analyze the impacts of such a massive solar power plant.”

Lack of technical expertise can be a problem when solar developers like Sustainable Power Group, or sPower, incorrectly claim that the cadmium in its panels is not water soluble. That claim has been contradicted by the previously-mentioned Stuttgart research scientists who found cadmium from solar panels “can be almost completely washed out...over a period of several months...by rainwater.”

Third, the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Partnership for Waste Management, as part of its International Environmental Partnership Center,  should more strictly monitor e-waste shipments and encourage nations importing used solar panels into secondary markets to impose a fee to cover the cost of recycling or long-term management. Such a recycling and waste management fund could help nations address their other e-waste problems while supporting the development of a new, high-tech industry in recycling solar panels.

None of this will come quickly, or easily, and some solar industry executives will resist internalizing the cost of safely storing, or recycling,  solar panel waste, perhaps for understandable reasons. They will rightly note that there are other kinds of electronic waste in the world. But it is notable that some new forms of electronic waste, namely smartphones like the iPhone, have in many cases replaced things like stereo systems, GPS devices, and alarm clocks and thus reduced their contribution to the e-waste stream. And no other electronics industry makes being “clean” its main selling point.

Wise solar industry leaders can learn from the past and be proactive in seeking stricter regulation in accordance with growing scientific evidence that solar panels pose a risk of toxic chemical contamination. “If waste issues are not preemptively addressed,” warns Mulvaney, “the industry risks repeating the disastrous environmental mistakes of the electronics industry.”

If the industry responds with foresight, Mulvaney notes, it could end up sparking clean innovation including “developing PV modules without hazardous inputs and recycled rare metals." And that's something everyone can get powered up about.

Michael Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress. Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment."

DougMacG

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Environmental issues: 95% Fewer Climate-Related Deaths Over Last 100 Years
« Reply #235 on: April 03, 2019, 05:48:24 AM »
Bjorn Lomborg: 95% Fewer Climate-Related Deaths Over Last 100 Years

Prosperity gives us our resilience.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/04/02/bjorn_lomborg_95_fewer_climate-related_deaths_over_last_100_years.html


ccp

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globalchange.gov
« Reply #237 on: April 13, 2019, 07:32:35 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #238 on: April 13, 2019, 07:34:03 PM »
Any answer on the merits?

My son has quoted this to me.

ccp

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wish I could
« Reply #239 on: April 14, 2019, 11:14:33 AM »
comment on the merits?

I wish I could.  I tried searches but I don't know who or what to believe honestly.

merits could be true or not true for all I know.


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Re: What do we make of this? NCA 2014
« Reply #240 on: April 15, 2019, 06:17:55 AM »
https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.15752-0/p280x280/56811443_362566221038080_2881268721643421696_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_ht=scontent-lax3-1.xx&oh=6d3a69a7122ec4a0523451c431183840&oe=5D4D07EF



"Using climate models to simulate the climate of the past century"

No climate model accurately 'predicts' the climate outcomes of the past, much less the present, much less the future.  I notice they use that in the plural, acknowledging that no climate model to date can be accurately applied to the past and obtain the actual results.  If there is such a model, name it, and let's see if it accurately explains the past, present and future.  It doesn't.  For example, who predicted the cooling of the 70s?  Who predicted the pause of the last almost 20 years.  Who predicted the record colds of this winter?  Who predicted the recent ice gains in Greenland?  Who predicted the Arctic Ocean level falling when the other ocean levels were rising - at the same rate they were rising before the industrial age?

To the contrary, the "best" climate models predicted acceleration of growth, cf. the "hockey stick", now fully discredited.  The "best" models predicted the Arctic will be free of ice by the end of 2010., oops that now is 2040: 
https://physicsworld.com/a/late-summer-arctic-sea-ice-could-disappear-by-2040/

Climate writers write with certainty.  Scientists don't.

The "best" climate models do not take into account the variability of clouds and cloud cover.  The "best" climate models do not take into account the variability of wind.  Why not?  Because scientists don't understand these major forces and their effects on the climate and cannot predict them.  Not because they aren't important or aren't variable.

How much has the earth warmed in the last 100 years?  To how many digits is that accurate?  What is the margin of error?  Margin of what error, statistical or sampling error?  What are the other errors?   What proportion of that warming comes from human sources?  From urban heat island causes?  From human use fossil fuel based CO2 sources?  From volcanoes, from methane that leaks out of the ground without human intervention?  From solar variation?  From atmospheric variations that are not human caused?  No one writes specifics on these because no one knows with any degree of accuracy.  At least not before this particular study.  We don't have 98% agreement of scientists on any of the details asked above.  We don't have 98% agreement on the catastrophic prediction of anthropogenic warming, only that there is some warming and there is some human-based component in it.

From the report:
"Atmospheric water vapor is increasing in the lower atmosphere because a warmer atmosphere can hold more water."https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/report-findings/our-changing-climate#intro-section-2

Warmer air holds more water vapor so that is the cause of the higher level of water vapor.  Warmer air also hold more CO2 in this case they have the cause reversed.  Why?   CO2 is a much less efficient greenhouse gas than water vapor, yet the CO2 is causing the heat.  How do we know they don't have this exactly backwards?

From the post:
"Another line of evidence involves so-called “fingerprint” studies that are able to attribute observed climate changes to particular causes. For example, the fact that the stratosphere (the layer above the troposphere) is cooling while the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere is warming is a fingerprint that the warming is due to increases in heat-trapping gases. In contrast, if the observed warming had been due to increases in solar output, Earth’s atmosphere would have warmed throughout its entire extent, including the stratosphere."

This is written with an impressive amount of certainty in a field poorly understood by the experts.  Taken literally, the percentage of warming attributable to humans in this report is more than 100%.  I don't believe that, but if true, doesn't it mean the sun is losing its energy and its ability to heat the earth, and if so, don't we want to trap in all the heat we can find for as long as we can?  Funny that the heat trend of the earth was upward prior to the industrial age and after the debunking of the acceleration theory has continued that trend.  The timing, the time periods covered and the scale in all charts depend on the agenda of the person or organization creating them.

Where in this debate do they honestly account for the corruption of the science and the scientists proven in climategate email disclosures, where those in 'scientific' power actively prevented dissenting views from attaining peer review and publication?

Here is a beautiful chart in the report implying CO2 warming causation certainty:
https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/sites/all/themes/nca3/interactive/chart-toggle/global-temperature-co2/img/data.png  (Needs to be resized to be shown here.)

Never referenced in the beautiful charts is the component of reported warming that is the result of adjustments to the data.  We have documented the corruption of these numbers well on this board and those charts almost perfectly match these, on the micro and on the macro scale.  Because of our bifurcated media, most viewers of the climate alarm charts have not seen or been made aware of the data adjustment charts that systematically adjust older temperatures downward and newer temperatures upward:

https://stream.org/noaa-whistleblower-claims-global-warming-data-improperly-adjusted/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/06/13/doctored-data-not-u-s-temperatures-set-a-record-this-year/#4d870e9e6184
https://www.nexusnewsfeed.com/article/climate-ecology/audit-of-global-warming-data-finds-it-riddled-with-errors/
http://joannenova.com.au/2018/10/first-audit-of-global-temperature-data-finds-freezing-tropical-islands-boiling-towns-boats-on-land/
https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/ef-gast-data-research-report-062717.pdf
https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/19930-nasa-s-own-data-refutes-2014-warmest-on-record-claim
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11395516/The-fiddling-with-temperature-data-is-the-biggest-science-scandal-ever.html
https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/the-stunning-statistical-fraud-behind-the-global-warming-scare/

Even with all the adjustments, the chart shows a lengthy "pause" that was not predicted by any of the models.  All of a sudden, other natural causes are greater than the human causes?  That is not the conclusion of the study or the premise of the models.

More of the NOAA reported warming since 1895 comes from DATA ADJUSTMENTS than from any other source.  These revelations mostly came after the publication of the 2014 report under discussing.

Lastly, watch what people do instead of what they say.  Have those who are most convinced by the data changed their own behavior, or do they accelerate their own air travel while calling for more and more government curtailment on others?  Climate scientists notoriously jet around the world to meet each other in person and petition governments for more rules and more funding.  If the science is settled, if the models are perfected, what is the need for more and more research?  In truth, like studying the human body, the more we learn about climate science the more we realize how little we know. 

In a rare moment breakthrough, James Hansen, former chief data adjuster at NOAA, is now supporting nuclear energy - or greatest known source of clean energy.  Nuclear power creates carbon-free power with 1/200th of the toxic waste of solar panels per kWH, yet the purveyors of catastrophic warming have most often shunned this too, along with fossil fuels.  Also they have opposed fracking right while the conversion from coal to natural gas offers is cutting those CO2 emissions in half.  If these are the greatest minds of our time, where are the great solutions, other than asking prosperous nations to give up their freedoms and developing nations to stop developing?  If there is one thing we learned in the recent history of environmental science it is that a prosperous society is more able to clean up its mess than a poor society.  The economically free countries of the last generations were far cleaner than the Soviets and the socialists.  Yet nearly all of the proposals that come out of climate alarmism call for fewer freedoms and sacrificed prosperity.

My view is that the science is in its infancy and the solutions offered are mostly lousy.  Given all the unknowns, skeptics and alarmists should still agree on action to move our economies away from CO2 emissions, gradually and decidedly, using honesty, economic freedom, prosperity and innovation as our methods.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 06:51:46 AM by DougMacG »

ccp

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Warning when reading Bloomberg businessweek expect
« Reply #241 on: April 15, 2019, 06:55:04 AM »
LEFTIST propaganda to pop up out of nowhere now and then .

In one of the  Boomer's businessweek article about Wegman's grocery store chain opening a store in Brooklyn 
Wegmans had to elevated the area a few feet to avoid flooding if it recurs like it did during hurricane Sandy (which occurs in NJ NY every 50 yrs or so)

BUT, the way they describe it is Wegmans had to combat ***climate change*** (hurricane Sandy) as though it is 100% clear and done deal that man-made climate change caused the hurricane.

I notice when reading articles there are often sudden LEFTist propaganda or anti Trump like positions thrust into the middle of an article out of nowhere .

The leftist stance jumps out every now and then . 
More like a pro business wall street leftist like Howard Schultz perhaps


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POTH: Jerry Taylor changes his mind
« Reply #242 on: April 25, 2019, 10:31:03 AM »


 
Op-Ed Columnist

For anyone worried about climate change, Jerry Taylor is an intriguing figure.
He “spent years as a professional climate denier at the Cato Institute, arguing against climate science, regulations, and treaties in op-eds, speeches, and media appearances,” the MIT Technology Review explains. Taylor’s view, as he told Vox’s David Roberts, was that “it’s unclear how big a problem it is, there’s a lot of uncertainty, and there’s probably more of a chance that it’s going to be a relative non-problem than it will be a problem.”

But then Taylor began to change his mind.

First, he was willing to continue reading the scientific evidence with an open mind. And it became strong enough to persuade him. “While one can do some gymnastics to continue to defend the ‘there’s nothing to see here, folks’ argument, it became harder and harder,” he told Roberts.

Second, he was influenced by a couple of arguments from other conservatives — much as I hope that his own arguments may now persuade still other conservatives. One argument pointed out that climate change damages private property and impinges on people’s freedom. Another came from the risk-management ideas of Wall Street — that even small risks with terrible potential consequences must be taken seriously.

“If this sort of risk were to arise in any other context in the private markets, people would pay real money to hedge against it,” Taylor said.

In 2014 Taylor founded the Niskanen Center, which is doing important work imagining what a healthy conservative party could look like in this country. (David Brooks and New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait have written more broadly about Niskanen’s work.) Having a non-destructive climate policy is, of course, a big part of the answer.

For anyone looking for other conservatives making the case for climate action, try:

•   Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post, who — perhaps not coincidentally — is based in the coastal state of South Carolina. “Make no mistake,” she wrote after Hurricane Harvey battered Texas. “We are being warned.”
•   Debbie Dooley, a pro-Trump conservative whom The Times has profiled.
•   Students for Carbon Dividends, a group with multiple college chapters.

Several of these conservatives think a carbon tax is more politically realistic than I do. Taylor, for example, makes the case for such a tax in his recent critique of the Green New Deal. But I’ll say this: If the conservatives who are worried about the climate can win enough Republicans to their side, a carbon tax may become more feasible than it is today. That would be very good news.


Our biggest disagreement

I thought of Taylor this week, because my colleague Ross Douthat suggested we devote another segment of “The Argument” podcast to climate change. He did so after I told him that it had been the hardest subject for me to discuss with him. On many other subjects — health care, religion, abortion, criminal justice and more — I understand where Ross is coming from even when I disagree with him. But I don’t understand how someone as smart as he is can be blasé about climate change.
In this follow-up conversation, we managed to find more common ground, just as he predicted. If you listen and have thoughts, send me an email at leonhardt@nytimes.com.






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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #246 on: May 10, 2019, 02:29:19 PM »
A response on my FB page to the Dr. Soon clip:

" I'm really struggling with the format of his talk. It isn't terribly scientific and isn't geared toward much of a scientific discussion. I do appreciate the Bach at 22:00 though.

"The solar irradiance curves have been evaluated previously and the energy input part of the equation is obviously important. If you look at the change, the implication is that a 5 W/m^2 change over 200 years has caused the apparent global warming. That's a change of 0.3% which doesn't sound that significant to me but is quite similar to the temperature changes we are talking about which is 1 deg. C / 273 Kelvin. People that are running models of course have access to the solar irradiance numbers (it would be a huge oversight to not account for it) so it is part of everyone's calculus here.

"So we are showing an approximately 1:1 change in solar irradiation and temperature. Seems pretty decent. But 30% of all sunlight is reflected back into space. Now our correlation becomes 0.7:1. Not quite as good. The percentage of the planet that faces the sun is only 1/4 mathematically speaking so our correlation now becomes 0.28:1. Not very good at all. None of this was discussed in the talk which seems like a surprising oversight."

G M

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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #247 on: May 10, 2019, 02:54:58 PM »
Any answer on the merits?

My son has quoted this to me.

Ask your son if the climate model predicted the snow in Las Vegas, Phoenix and LA this year. Vegas is on the way to breaking a 20 year record for rainfall. All the Warmin' Church scare articles from 2018 tell how Vegas will be getting hotter and dryer.


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #248 on: May 11, 2019, 06:53:00 PM »
I want to thank everyone for the citations on this thread on the issue of plastics in the ocean.  They just enabled me to respond well on FB.

Here is to what I was responding:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/11/world/basel-convention-plastic-waste-trade-intl/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0URvxlvr6oLvjNhnbQHVEFTUmPU6WQD67Fjd0j3-r9Ib_siQAEnb_Jk10

G M

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Re: Environmental issues
« Reply #249 on: May 11, 2019, 07:04:37 PM »