Just a small general note about the Japanese earthquake to start with: The damage caused by the quake itself was small. Japanese buildings are built to withstand quakes. The big disaster was the tsunami that was caused by the earthquake. Note that "tsunami" is a Japanese word, as Japan has always had a lot of them. Because of that there are in coastal Japan both tsunami barriers and tsunami warning systems. The barriers give people something to shelter behind and the warnings tell people to run towards higher ground.
This tsunami was so high, however, that it surged right over the tsunami barriers. So only the tsunamu warnings helped much. It was mainly people who couldn't or didn't run fast who got swept away -- JR
Just hours after the horrific earthquake and tsunami devastated coastal areas of Japan, global warming alarmists like the BBC are already injecting climate change propaganda into their coverage of the story, hastily exploiting the tragedy as a vehicle through which to push their increasingly desperate and discredited enviro-fascist agenda.
If you thought that climate change alarmists wouldn’t be so insensitive as to build their warped argument on the bodies of freshly dead corpses, then think again. Within 24 hours there’ll be a whole slew of neo-libs pointing to the suffering in Japan as a reason why we should hand over more untold trillions to globalists in the form of a carbon tax.
The BBC is already at it – in a discussion about a whirlpool caused by the tsunami, BBC reporter Humphrey Hawksley hastily piggy backs a dubious argument about the tiny South Pacific nation of Tuvalu disappearing under the threat of global warming on the back of dramatic pictures out of Japan. By making this completely disjointed connection, Hawksley implicitly suggests that man-made climate change also contributed to the Japanese earthquake.
In reality, alarmists’ lies surrounding Tuvalu are well documented. Al Gore’s claim in his Inconvenient Truth film that the residents of Tuvalu all had to evacuate to New Zealand as climate refugees because rising sea levels were swallowing up their homes was ruled incorrect by a British judge. “There was no evidence of climate refugees from the Pacific having to be evacuated to New Zealand or anywhere else to escape rising seas,” explains Andrew Bolt.
So before the likes of Al Gore, Danny Glover, and the San Francisco Chronicle, who all blamed last year’s Haiti earthquake on global warming, along with the rest of the climate change cultists attempt to exploit the latest natural disaster for political grist, it is important to stress that earthquakes are caused by tectonic plate movements and have been for thousands of years – they are not caused by Bubba driving his SUV down the highway.
An earthquake occurs in Japan every 5 minutes because, as the Telegraph’s Aislinn Laing explains, “Tokyo is situated on Japan’s main Honshu island which is turn sits at the intersection of three continental plates, the Eurasian, Pacific and Philippine Sea plates, which are slowly grinding against each other, building up enormous seismic pressure that every so often is realised with ferocious force.”
Massive earthquakes were killing humans in staggering numbers before the onset of heavy industry, ubiquitous car ownership and increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and they will continue to kill humans as long as we are on the planet. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was similar in strength to today’s Japanese quake and it killed over 3,000 people, the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California’s history.
Attempts to claim that melting glaciers contributed to earthquakes in 2008 were initially swallowed whole by the mainstream media but subsequently discredited. Indeed, global warming alarmists themselves have been responsible for causing earthquakes. A geologist in Switzerland went on trial for causing mini-earthquakes by using deep drilling equipment to search for renewable energy. One such attempt caused a 3.4 magnitude quake to rock the city of Basel.
The horrifying consequences of the biggest earthquake to hit Japan since records began are only just beginning to be discovered, with the tsunami that followed causing massive devastation and engulfing cities and airports, and leading to the declaration of a nuclear emergency.
But that won’t stop climate change alarmists from offensively hijacking the opportunity to lecture the rest of us about how we caused the carnage by daring to maintain a decent standard of living, and how we must pay an indulgence tax to the likes of Al Gore, Maurice Strong, the Rothschilds and a gaggle of other globalists who own the carbon trading schemes.
Earthquakes are called natural disasters for a reason – they are not caused by emissions of that deadly, poisonous, toxic, hateful gas known as carbon dioxide, the life-giving substance that humans exhale and plants breathe.
However, this fact won’t give pause to alarmists desperate to sink their teeth into a new tragedy to reinvigorate momentum behind their failing effort to completely eviscerate the western middle class and concurrently destroy the third world’s hopes of ever lifting themselves out of poverty.
A factual reply to the nuclear panic sparked by the Japanese disaster
As Japan deals with its earthquake-crippled nuclear power plants, questions are being asked. Why does such a geologically active region have nuclear power stations?
For an energy-hungry but resource-poor country with skilled engineers, nuclear power was and is an obvious answer. The industry has performed well for more than 40 years and helped propel Japan to technical and economic leadership.
In Australia, opponents of nuclear power already point to the situation in Japan as evidence of the dangers of nuclear reactors. They conveniently sidestep the loss of life and damage caused by exploding oil tanks, burst gas mains, electrical fires: hazards that come with living in a tectonically active region.
Japan has 55 reactors that generate about 30 per cent of its electricity. Half of these reactors are in eight power plants in the Sendai region. When the magnitude 8.9 earthquake hit, 20 reactors were operating. Eleven shut down as sensors reacted to the shifting earth and the remaining nine continued to operate safely. As they were designed for a geologically active region, the shutdown of the reactors went according to plan.
Under normal circumstances the core of a reactor operates at about 600 degrees C. Water circulating around the core is heated beyond boiling point, and the steam drives a turbine that produces electricity. A nuclear core is analogous to a coal or gas-fired furnace.
Without sufficient circulating water, however, even when a working reactor is shut down residual radioactivity can push the core temperature to levels well in excess of 1000 degrees, causing dangerous pressure increases from steam and hot and radioactive gases. If unchecked, a partial core meltdown could follow, rendering the reactor inoperable. This happened at Three Mile Island in the US 1979.
Following the insertion of control rods to stop the chain reaction, cooling must be maintained. However, at the Fukushima plant where four reactors were online, the earthquake knocked out mains electricity and then the tsunami front flooded and destroyed some backup power supplies.
For one, and perhaps two reactors, this created an especially difficult situation as cooling circuit pumps failed. Reviews ahead may well investigate whether such a situation could have been better planned for.
The focus of the Japanese nuclear community has been to restore sufficient cooling to these reactors. However, as shown in graphic television pictures, the housing of the 35-year-old Fukushima No 1 reactor, though not the steel containment vessel within which resides the nuclear core, was blown out following an explosion that is presumed to be from excessive build-up of hydrogen associated with the cooling problem. This makes access to this reactor more complicated. (Nuclear reactors cannot have an atomic explosion but the combination of high-pressure gases, superhot water and electrical circuitry contains all the components for a powerful chemical or electrical explosion.)
Instruments to measure heightened levels of radioactivity are extensively deployed and very sensitive. Whenever radiation leakage is measured in the vicinity of a power station, a series of protocols is followed: community warnings, then evacuation from progressively larger areas. If there is a likelihood of measurable fallout, a subsequent step is distribution of iodide tablets to help saturate relevant organs in our body with benign iodine and inhibit the uptake of radioactive iodine in the air or from food. This is especially critical for young children.
Most of us are exposed to about 4 millisieverts (mSv) of mainly background radiation each year. Radiation workers are allowed 50mSv per year. At the current radiation level reported at the perimeter of the damaged Fukushima plant, an individual dose would exceed 50mSv after about a week's continuous exposure. Measurable radiation poisoning occurs at a much higher level still.
Controlled venting of excess and mildly radioactive gases is happening, will result in some community exposure to radiation, but is very unlikely to have an effect on community health. At this time, only workers on site are likely to have had elevated radiation exposures. In the context of the general devastation from the earthquake and tsunami, any health or property damage arising from the affected reactors is likely to be small.
If core cooling can be satisfactorily restored, then in the best case local residents could return to their homes in days.
Engineers have taken extraordinary steps to get coolant to the reactor of most concern, flooding the core with seawater. This is a step probably not in the playbook and reflects grievous concerns about core integrity. Still, the combination of venting and seawater flushing should stabilise the situation in the days ahead. The reactor itself is a write-off.
Plans in Japan anticipate further growth in nuclear power but an earthquake of this magnitude followed by a huge tsunami may well demand another look at design specifications.
We will learn from the tragic Japanese experience how to build more robust reactors, how to ensure multiple layers of protection work properly, how to better contain radioactive gases. But when the grisly causes of fatalities, injuries and asset damage are eventually itemised nuclear facilities may not even feature.
Sen. Rand Paul Smacks Down Environmental Nannies
Speech of Thu, March 10, 2011
UK Govt's Clueless Carbon Guru wants to blow £250 Billion
Britain’s top green bureaucrat on Carbon Markets and Climate Change admits she doesn’t know what she is doing with £250 billion of UK taxes.
European Commission Directorate General of Climate Action, Jill Duggan exposes her utter ignorance in an Australian radio interview when challenged about the costs and benefits of Britain’s rush to a ‘green’ economy.
Duggan is visiting Australia as head of Britain’s International Emissions Trading scheme and was hoping to win over new converts to her cause. Duggan (and Britain’s ‘Big Green’ goofball government) are aiming to cut emissions of carbon dioxide (that trace gas that comprises less than 0.04 percent of the atmosphere) by 20 percent by 2020.
Duggan appeared on Melbourne Talk Radio, on the Steve Price Breakfast Show (March 9, 2011) and when questioned live on air floundered badly exposing the staggering depths of her incompetence.
For those who doubt the following transcript of the radio interview is real and is perhaps some nightmarish early 'climate denier' April Fool’s joke, then listen to the actual recording here (acknowledgement: Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun).
Aussie journalist, Andrew Bolt (AB) leads off by asking Jill Duggan (JD) some pointed questions:
AB: Can I just ask; your target is to cut Europe’s emissions by 20% by 2020?
AB: Can you tell me how much - to the nearest billions - is that going to cost Europe do you think?
JD: No, I can’t tell you but I do know that the modelling shows that it’s cheaper to start earlier rather than later, so it’s cheaper to do it now rather than put off action.
AB: Right. You wouldn’t quarrel with Professor Richard Tol - who’s not a climate sceptic - but is professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin? He values it at about $250 billion. You wouldn’t quarrel with that?
JD: I probably would actually. I mean, I don’t know. It’s very, very difficult to quantify. You get different changes, don’t you? And one of the things that’s happening in Europe now is that many governments - such as the UK government and the German government - would like the targets to be tougher because they see it as a real stimulus to the economy.
AB: Right. Well you don’t know but you think it isn’t $250 billion.
JD: I think you could get lots of different academics coming up with lots of different figures.
AB: That’s right. You don’t know but that’s the figure that I’ve got in front of me. For that investment. Or for whatever the investment is. What’s your estimation of how much - because the object ultimately of course is to lower the world’s temperatures - what sort of temperature reduction do you imagine from that kind of investment?
JD: Well, what we do know is that to have an evens chance of keeping temperature increases globally to 2°C - so that’s increases - you’ve got to reduce emissions globally by 50% by 2050.
AB: Yes, I accept that, but from the $250 billion - or whatever you think the figure is - what do you think Europe can achieve with this 20% reduction in terms of cutting the world’s temperature? Because that’s, in fact, what’s necessary. What do you think the temperature reduction will be?
JD: Well, obviously, Europe accounts for 14% of global emissions. It’s 500 or 550 million people. On its own it cannot do that. That is absolutely clear.
AB: Have you got a figure in your mind? You don’t know the cost. Do you know the result?
JD: I don’t have a cost figure in my mind. Nor, one thing I do know, obviously, is that Europe acting alone will not solve this problem alone.
AB: So if I put a figure to you - I find it odd that you don’t know the cost and you don’t know the outcome - would you quarrel with this assessment: that by 2100 - if you go your way and if you’re successful - the world’s temperatures will fall by 0.05°C? Would you agree with that?
JD: Sorry, can you just pass that by me again? You’re saying that if Europe acts alone?
AB: If just Europe alone - for this massive investment - will lower the world’s temperature with this 20% target (if it sustains that until the end of this century) by 0.05°C. Would you quarrel with that?
JD: Well, I think the climate science would not be that precise. Would it?
AB: Ah, no, actually it is, Jill. You see this is what I’m curious about; that you’re in charge of a massive program to re-jig an economy. You don’t know what it costs. And you don’t know what it’ll achieve.
JD: Well, I think you can look at lots of modelling which will come up with lots of different costs.
AB: Well what’s your modelling? That’s the one that everyone’s quoting. What’s your modelling?
JD: Well, ah, ah. Let me talk about what we have done in Europe and what we have seen as the benefits. In Europe, in Germany you could look at, there’s over a million new jobs that have been created by tackling climate change, by putting in place climate policies. In the UK there’s many hundreds of thousand of jobs.
The above is just excerpt to vividly illustrate how liars, incompetence and junk science are stealing our taxes.
Conclusion: Jill Duggan should be fired and a moratorium on all programs relating to climate change put on hold until an independent commission of international experts fully examines this carbon fraud and determines who should be prosecuted and put behind bars.
Excerpt from an interview with eminent physicist Freeman Dyson
Q. What is a heretic in your view and why are they important?
A. Most of the time, we are happy going along with what other people are thinking, and very often what other people are thinking is wrong. So, if you are a heretic and stick out for something unorthodox, you have a chance to do something important.
Q. You said that most people are comfortable going along: that's not the impression I think of scientists.
A. I think we have a romantic vision of scientists sitting in a laboratory, seeking truth.
Q. Why do you think there is groupthink in science.
A. I see it all around me. I'm a victim of it myself, especially in astronomy, because the universe is far away and long ago, and you have all sorts of pictures about it--what we call models, which are descriptions of the way we think it is. And of course they are hopelessly oversimplified; but still it's nice to have a model to have some picture of what it is you are talking about. People just tend to believe their own models after a while, lose awareness that the model may be very different from reality.
Q. Have you seen many cases in your experience where a scientist who has devoted a significant chunk of time and passion to a model say it was wrong?
A. Very often. That happens all the time. Particularly in astronomy. One of the famous examples was the drifting continent idea of the German--what's his name? [Alfred Wegener--ed.]--this German, in the 1920s propounded the idea that continents are moving around and nobody believed it for a long time. They preferred to think of the continents as fixed. For no particular reason except that that was the majority view. Turned out that after all they do drift. We now measure it and know exactly how it happens.
Q. Great example, because there's one data point that is obvious to everyone, which is that it looks like Africa fits in nicely in gap between South and North America. Of course, that could just be a coincidence.
A. Yes, that was the starting point of the whole thing.
Q. There's a famous story about Einstein--I wonder if you could verify it. When he made his prediction about light being bent by the gravitational force of the sun, there was a famous experiment to test that; and it was confirmed, to the delight of many, including Mr. Einstein. And someone said to him: What would you have done if it turned out to be wrong? And he said: I wouldn't have believed it because I know my theory is right. Is that a true story, do you think?
A. Yes, more or less true. He was, of course, a heretic, and he had this model, instinct for what was really there; and he had this sublime confidence, could test. Turned out to be right. Of course, sometimes he wasn't right, but mostly he was. Presumably there would have been enough data at some point to convince him he was wrong. If he lived long enough to see some of his theories proved wrong. Well, he never did, of course. I don't think any of his theories really turned out to be wrong. His great failure was unified field theory, which wasn't so much wrong--wasn't even wrong; never well-formulated and never clear enough to be wrong. That's a great advantage to some theories. Well, to him of course it was a great disappointment. But he never actually said it was wrong; but at the end of his life he knew he wasn't getting there. Must have been very sad.
Q. Did you see it in him?
A. No, I didn't know him personally.
Q. The question of data and testing theories, and the difficulty of admitting that you are wrong raises a question often in the news today about consensus. Is consensus a meaningful way to think about how science moves forward?
A. No; of course, consensus does have a good meaning--when large numbers of people agree about something, that's a consensus. But it's not something you necessarily believe in. Consensus may be right or it may be wrong. It's certainly quite real. In the example of climate science, where this is an acute problem, the whole subject has become political, which makes it a much more dubious undertaking because so many people are in it for political reasons, and then, of course, consensus becomes politically important. That distorts the science in an unfortunate way.
Q. What do you mean when you say it's political? Well, that there's a very large political fight going on about climate change, strong passions involved on both sides; and large amounts of money. Very big economic question, what to do about climate change. Very large numbers of people whose livelihood depends on keeping the public alarmed. That's unhealthy. They've responded by saying there's a lot of people on the other side who have a big financial stake in keeping the public sleepy. Right. That's true of course. But financial interests on both sides.
Q. So, how does the layperson, a non-expert, evaluate those sides?
A. I would say: Keep an open mind as long as you can. That's true whether you are a scientist or not. Always be skeptical; don't necessarily believe because somebody's an expert he knows what is true. Experts are usually experts in a very narrow field, so they don't have a good view of the whole story. My view is that sometimes experts are right, and sometimes experts are wrong.
Q. Right. Your continental drift story, plate tectonics, that's definitely an example. There are so many examples in medicine and science where a heretic on something like ulcers, continental drift; in the case of economics, monetary policy, maverick view is viewed as unacceptable and outside the mainstream. Until it turns out to be true.
Q. Quote of Dyson's from a few years ago, about climate change but I see it as a quote about economics, and really any complex system where you struggle to figure out what the world would be like without the intervention that you care about or the change that you care about. So, you have to have a model of the underlying reality.
When I listen to the public debates about climate change, I am impressed by the enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations and the superficiality of our theories. Many of the basic processes of planetary ecology are poorly understood. They must be better understood before we can reach an accurate diagnosis of the present condition of our planet. When we are trying to take care of a planet, just as when we are taking care of a human patient, diseases must be diagnosed before they can be cured. We need to observe and measure what is going on in the biosphere, rather than relying on computer models.
Have your views changed since you wrote that?
A. No. I would stick with that.
Q. How would you respond to the people who say: There's a threat and the natural, healthy thing to do is to reduce our risk and respond to it as best we can, even if we don't understand it perfectly; if we wait till then, it will be too late?
A. No, that's not the choice you have. Everything you do is risky. You don't, just by trying to reduce burning fossil fuels--doesn't mean you've got rid of the risk. Merely means you are taking different kinds of risk. They could be worse. It could very well be that the welfare of the planet would be damaged by reducing carbon dioxide. We just don't know.
Q. So, what do you advise?
A. I advise just waiting to see what the processes are, so we understand well enough to take action where we know what the results will be. There are certain things you can do, of course, which make sense, undoubtedly a lot of the actions we could take--using less energy, using energy in a less wasteful fashion--that's good no matter what. There's a great deal you can do. But the real question is whether you put a price on carbon, which makes the poor people poorer and enriches the people who have solar panels on their roofs. That kind of thing, to my mind, is likely to be counterproductive.
Q. You've suggested some creative ideas for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. You've also made the observations many have--that there is a natural cycle; we're not fully understanding the role of human intervention into that cycle. We may be facing an ice age some time in the future--it seems likely. May or may not be possible to avert that with human intervention. You've proposed a lot of creative ideas--tree planting, topsoil--as have some other scientists. Does anybody take those seriously? Do they get a hearing?
A. Yes, I think some of us do. I make a distinction between what they call geo-engineering--which is big, colossal schemes for changing the whole planet in some big fashion--and land management, which is doing it on a local basis, much more conservative fashion. Those two are very different, but the public doesn't make much of a distinction. So, on the whole, big geo-engineering schemes don't make sense, but land management on a local level does make sense and it could be quite effective.
Just reading an interesting piece called "Growing Cows on Grass," about the ecological benefits of growing cows on grass as opposed to growing corn and feeding the corn to the cows in feedlots. That actually could make a big difference. Some farmers in Minnesota are actually doing it on grass and some doing very well. That's the sort of thing I believe does make sense. Might taste better. Might be more consistent with our evolutionary insides. The main point is you can make mistakes and it's not catastrophic.
Much more HERE
Australia: His Eminence comes out fighting
CARDINAL GEORGE PELL has rebuffed the head of the Bureau of Meteorology, who had said Australia's highest-ranking Catholic was "misled" in his views on global warming.
Dr Greg Ayers told a Senate estimates hearing last month that the Archbishop of Sydney's argument against human-induced climate change was based heavily on a book by Ian Plimer, Heaven and Earth - Global Warming: The Missing Science, which had been discredited by scientists.
"The contents of the book are simply not scientific. I am concerned that the cardinal has been misled [by its contents]," the director of the bureau said.
But Cardinal Pell told the Herald the statements by Dr Ayers, an atmospheric scientist, were themselves unscientific. "Ayers, when he spoke to the House, was obviously a hot-air specialist. I've rarely heard such an unscientific contribution."
The cleric, who has questioned global warming in his Sunday newspaper column, even likened himself to the federal government's climate adviser Ross Garnaut when he expressed disappointment last week that the public debate on climate change was often divorced from scientific quality, rigour and authority.
"I regret when a discussion of these things is not based on scientific fact," Cardinal Pell said. "I spend a lot of time studying this stuff."
But Professor Garnaut had also said he was more certain the mainstream science supporting global warming was sound, and there was no "genuine" scientific dissent.
Cardinal Pell argued against human-induced global warming in a written submission to the hearing, claiming increases in carbon dioxide tended to follow rises in temperature, not cause them. He also stated, based on Professor Plimer's book, that temperatures were higher in Roman times and the Middle Ages.
Dr Ayers, a former CSIRO marine and atmospheric research chief who holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from Monash University, told the hearing Professor Plimer's book had not been peer reviewed and many of his assertions were not supported by scientific evidence.
He also cited one example in the cardinal's submission that referred to nitrogen in a list of greenhouse gases.
"That is not a greenhouse gas; it is 78 per cent of the atmosphere. You cannot have people out there telling the public that nitrogen is a greenhouse gas because it is not," he told the hearing.
Cardinal Pell told the Herald statements by Dr Ayers to the hearing were "all abuse and waffle about poor old Plimer", before defending the geologist as a man who "deals in many, many facts". But he was prepared to meet leading climate scientists to discuss the issue, he said.
Dr Ayers told the hearing the cardinal "may well become an ambassador for the quality of climate change science if he is exposed to the quality of the science that is done" in Australia.
Cardinal Pell made his comments to the Herald after a public lecture by the Vatican's highest judicial officer, Cardinal Raymond Burke, entitled "The Fall of the Christian West" in Sydney on Friday night.
Cardinal Pell had earlier told the 200-strong crowd about the value of the "years of study and professional devotion" undertaken by Sir Thomas More, who was executed for treason in 1535. "There's no substitute for knowing what you're talking about," he said.
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