Friday, May 20, 2011

German “Green” Biogas Plants Producing Deadly Botulism – fatal to cattle and wildlfe

German sporting and dog magazine Wild und Hund reports that thousands of domestic and wild animals are falling ill from tainted waste from green “climate-friendly” biogas plants, which is then used as an agricultural fertilizer in fields.

Wild und Hund has put out a press release announcing a report appearing in its latest issue, now available at news stands today. The Wild und Hund press release reads as follows (slight editing added for international readers):


There’s been a terrible suspicion for years. The residue from biogas plants that produce “clean” green electricity is causing a deadly disease among domestic and wild animals, and humans - chronic botulism.

Wild und Hund not only examines the disease, but also looks into the background as to why such a hazard has not been publicly discussed for 10 years. In the aftermath of Fukushima, the public wishes to shift to renewable energy sources. Today in Germany already over a million acres of land are producing corn for biogas plants. German Agriculture Minister Ms Ilse Aigner announced on 27 April 2011 that land used for growing plants for producing energy will be significantly expanded to an area anywhere between 4 to 6 million acres. Today biogas plants are sprouting everywhere in the countryside.

However, the supposedly environmentally friendly supply of energy is likely hiding lethal bacteria in its waste. Christoph Boll of the hunting magazine WILD UND HUND has investigated the disease, whose existence has been denied by the industry, and whose impact on wildlife could be catastrophic to wildlife.

In the German region of Vogtland in Saxony, 600 cows and the farmer himself fell seriously ill. Diagnosis: chronic botulism. And that was no isolated incident says Professor Dr. Helge Böhnel of the University of Göttingen. The scientist reveals that the number of sick animals observed runs to 4-digit numbers. Dr Böhnel is convinced that chronic and visceral botulism could impact all birds and mammals – including humans.

In general botulism is a lethal type of poisoning. But chronic botulism can also stealthily drag on in small quantities for years. Dr. Böhnel believes that biogas plants are “very likely” the source.

How is it caused exactly? In early spring when harvesting biomass plants, foremost green rye, young wildlife end up getting minced by harvesters and end up as an ingredient in the biogas plant brew. In a addition slaughterhouse waste and other meat, such as old hens, along with manure slurry, get thrown in as raw material.

At a brewing temperature of 40°C, bacteria multiple with abandon, which in turn leads to the production of enormously resistant botulinum spores that survive the hygienisation process (heating to 70°C). The waste material that is left at the end of the biogas process then gets used as fertilizer for agriculture, and so the spores wind up spread all over the landscape where they get ingested by grazing animals (domestic livestock, wildlife, birds, etc.). Once in the digestive tract they then convert into the bacteria that produce the deadly toxin. Often the amount of toxin is not sufficient for a quick death, rather the poisoning is slow and chronic.”

So add another to the list of wonderful things delivered by the green revolution, which already includes a mercury contaminated environment from energy saving lights, birds getting shredded by windparks that have devastated the local landscape, biofuels that drive up the price of food and so lead to hunger for millions more, etc.

Finally, I wonder if they use this all-natural fertilizer from the “clean” biogas plants as a fertiliser for the organic food farms?

Cause of the suffering and dead cows: chronic botulism. Worse! The infected cattle shown that are still alive are being slaughtered and sold as fresh meat to supermarkets! The moderators says:

“The state veterinary officials say chronic botulism does not warrant the cattle be stopped from being slaughtered. ‘For the delivery of cattle for slaughter…there are no restrictions.’ “


"Experts say up to 1000 farms may be affected – thousands of dead animals are the result.”

In the meantime, the infected cattle are being sent to slaughterhouses, and the meat to the supermarkets. The German health officials don’t want to hear about it, the report says. The Green movement keeps moving. This is a scandal.


Vostok Ice Cores Show Zero Climate Sensitivity (Temperature is not affected by CO2)

Vostok is a Russian base in the centre of the Antarctic -- so ice cores from there should be least affected by external influences. Warmists make a lot of use of ice-cores in their fairy tales but ignore any history that does not suit them, of course

Vostok ice core data

Over the last sixty years, atmospheric CO2 has risen almost 50% higher than at any other time during the last 400,000 years. Temperatures at Vostok during that time have been flat to down.

The implication is that climate sensitivity is zero, and that past (lagging) changes in CO2 are are due to outgassing and absorption of CO2 by the oceans.

Why is this obvious fact being ignored by climate scientists?

SOURCE (See the original for links)

When Will Science Get Serious about Global Cooling?

There is a very good chance the Earth is barreling towards another Little Ice Age within the next 10 to 30 years, perhaps sooner, and you wouldn’t know it by turning on the television. A calamitous event that could lead to widespread crop losses and the starvation of millions is being covered up by complicit climate scientists and the main stream media because it doesn’t fit with the politically correct narrative that humans are responsible for out of control global warming.

Predicting the coming cooling is pretty straightforward. There have been numerous heating and cooling periods in world history that have been linked to entirely natural solar, ocean, and atmospheric cycles.

The 60 year Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) ocean cycle is now entering a cooling phase. Between 1968 and 1972 the AMO was estimated to cause a 0.3 degree Celsius drop in Northern hemisphere temperatures.

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), an atmospheric phenomenon that influences Northern hemisphere temperatures, has just begun a 30 year cooling phase.

The most important influence on global temperatures, the sun, appears to be entering an extended period of decreased sunspot activity. While the exact mechanism is still under debate, the correlation between solar sunspot cycles and global temperatures has been well documented.

The previous solar cycle 23 had a length of 12.6 years, much longer than the historical average of 11 years. Especially long solar cycles are often followed by cooler global periods. Combined with solar cycle 24, which may have already reached solar maximum after only 2.5 years of activity, the sun appears to be mirroring the beginning of the Dalton Minimum 1790 AD to 1830 AD which burdened Europe with a number of especially long and cold winters and poor growing seasons.

We are in the midst of the convergence of 3 major solar, ocean, and atmospheric cycles all heading in the direction of global cooling. Last year the Southern hemisphere experienced its coldest winter in 50 years and Europe just went through two particularly cold winters in a row, and the cooling trend has only just begun. The likelihood of a repeat of the Year Without a Summer in 1816 or The Great Frost of 1709 is growing with every day.

With billions more people to feed than ever before, mass starvation becomes a very real possibility in the case of large scale crop losses. All the modern technology in the world can’t make a bean stalk grow if the ground is frozen stiff.

Even though disaster is staring the world in the face, far too many climate scientists remain beholden to liberal anti-human politics to do anything useful about it. At a time they should be sounding the warning siren for society to prepare for possible food and energy shortages, most still amazingly insist that an insignificant atmospheric molecule (CO2) is more responsible for warming the Earth than the Sun.


EPA Doles-Out Taxpayer Dollars to Environmentalist Activist Groups

In November 2009, a dozen protesters triggered a traffic jam in an intersection of Chicago’s financial sector by laying down in a circle in the middle of the road, locking their arms together inside pieces of pipe. They were protesting the city’s climate exchange, part of a scheme to regulate CO2 emissions through permits. Ironically, it was a case of a left-leaning plan being attacked by the far left.

After a few hours, the activists were arrested, including among their ranks members of groups like the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, about six months later, the agency awarded LVEJO a $25,000 environmental justice grant, which was to be directed to “…work[ing] in coalition with their partners to implement 3 areas of Climate Change Mitigation…” The first “area” is to “…conduct a grassroots Clean Power Campaign in the Chicago Region to address coal power plant emissions…”

If EPA’s grant was an attempt get LVEJO to change its tactics, it doesn’t seem to have worked. After getting the grant, a half dozen activists from LVEJO and other groups were arrested after climbing the fence to a coal-fired power plant and unfurling a banner that read: “Close Chicago’s Toxic Coal Plant.” Even amid America’s deficit crisis, the EPA has enough walking-around money to fund green radicals harassing EPA-regulated businesses in President Barack Obama’s hometown — coincidentally, the same President who spoke of bankrupting new coal-fired power plants.

Although the rest of the nation has had to tighten its belt, that has not been the case for the EPA. The Obama Administration’s first budget increased EPA funding to $10.3 billion, a whopping 36% over the preceding fiscal year. While the President’s current budget request is down from the all-time high, it is still more than 20% over the FY 2008 budget.

As we search for means to cut Washington’s waste, grants like the one to LVEJO should move to the front of the line, where it should have lots of company. According to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, there are 2,141 federal grant programs with some 109 coming out of the EPA. By the EPA’s own grant database, over the last ten years, the agency has bellied up to the bar and bought drinks for many of its friends at the taxpayers’ expense. Within the past decade, the EPA awarded or continues to have open more than 7,500 grants, totaling $3,847,160,250 to non-profit groups alone.

While some EPA grant recipients like the American Lung Association may seem more palatable than LVEJO, many have shown themselves to be reliable reactionaries for the EPA. The American Lung Association recently came to the agency’s defense, stating:

"Polluters and some members of Congress want to interfere with EPA’s ability to protect public health. Most Americans believe that the Clean Air Act needs protecting. We are fighting hard to prevent anyone from weakening or undermining the law or the protective standards the law provides. We are fighting to ensure EPA has the legal authority and necessary funding to continue to protect public health.”

Exactly what kind of nefarious plans by “[p]olluters and some members of Congress” to damage public health is the American Lung Association seeking to thwart? One of their efforts is targeted at defeating a bill that seeks to stop the EPA from doing an end run around Congress and regulating greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide – under the Clean Air Act. Money can’t buy passion like that, but if it could, the 164 EPA grants to various American Lung Association groups totaling over $20,000,000 within the past decade might help.

Other EPA grantees grab grants of tax dollars in one hand while collecting attorney fees from the federal government with the other. Wild Earth Guardians, for example, states in its annual report that it received grants not only from the EPA, but also the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, which, along with state, county and city grants, totaled well over a half million in 2009.

The Washington Post recently reported on a settlement between Wild Earth Guardians and the federal Government “that could pave the way for an avalanche” of endangered species. Under the settlement the US Fish and Wildlife Service will take action on 251 species considered as “candidates” for addition to the Endangered Species List — along with 9 subspecies of the same species of pocket gopher in the state of Washington, 36 insects including 10 kinds of cave beetle, 18 clams and 23 snails is Digitaria pauciflora.

For the non-botanists, the common name of this species is Florida Pineland crabgrass and yes, it belongs to the same group of crab grasses (it is one of 68 such species) that suburbanites constantly battle. The fear is that Florida Pineland crabgrass could be driven to extinction if global warming causes the oceans to rise and swallow the tip of southern Florida, this species’ habitat. While USFWS states this threat is “currently low, but expected to be severe in the future,” one must ask, even if the preposterous apocalyptic scenario played out, wouldn’t there be bigger worries like, say, the fate of Miami?

The list goes on with environmental justice groups like North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN) and Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice. The former seeks to “to accomplish [its] goals through organizing, advocacy, research, and education based on principles of economic equity and democracy for all people.” The latter’s worldview (along with NCEJN’s), is outlined in “17 Principles of Environmental Justice” that it adopted.

The preamble to that document states that, among other things, signatories “do hereby re-establish our spiritual interdependence to the sacredness of our Mother Earth…” and seek “to secure our political, economic, and cultural liberation that has been denied for over 500 years of colonization and oppression…”

The EPA even has a history of giving taxpayer money to the California Indian Basketweavers Association, which doesn’t just dedicate itself “to preserving, promoting, and perpetuating California Indian basketweaving cultural traditions” but also champions “a healthy physical, social, spiritual, and economic environment for basketweavers…”

Throwing money around like this goes far beyond waste. It is a brazen offense to most taxpayers. If Congress doesn’t have the will to slash this kind of stuff, what can it cut?


No Decline in Polar Bear Population

The Polar Bear Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the organization of scientists that has attempted to monitor the global polar bear population since the 1960s, has issued a report indicating that there was no change in the overall global polar bear population in the most recent four-year period studied.

“The total number of polar bears is still thought to be between 20,000 and 25,000,” the group said in a press release published together with a report on the proceedings of its 15th meeting

20,000 to 25,000 polar bears worldwide is exactly the same population estimate the group made following its 14th international meeting.

“The total number of polar bears worldwide is estimated to be 20,000–25,000,” the scientists said in the report they issued after that previous meeting.

The 15th meeting of the IUCN’s Polar Bear Specialist Group took place from June 29-July 3, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark—four years after the 14th meeting, which took place in Seattle, Wash., June 20-24, 2005. But the report on the 15th meeting and its conclusions about the polar bear population—including subsequent information that was developed through March 2010—was not published until this year (on Feb. 25, 2011).

The February report concedes that scientists still have limited scientific data about the polar bear population in many parts of the Arctic—lacking sufficient information to even determine whether the population is increasing or decreasing in 7 of 19 subpopulations.

“Reviewing the latest information available, the PBSG concluded that one of 19 subpopulations is currently increasing, three are stable, and eight are declining,” said the group’s press release on the report.

“For the remaining seven subpopulations available data were insufficient to provide an assessment of current trend. The total number of polar bears is still thought to be between 20,000 and 25,000,” it said.

The group said it viewed anticipated changes in the Arctic environment caused by “climate change” to be the greatest threat to the future of the polar bear.

“The PBSG renewed the conclusion from previous meetings that the greatest challenge to conservation of polar bears is ecological change in the Arctic resulting from climatic warming,” the group said. “Declines in the extent of the sea ice have accelerated since the last meeting of the group in 2005, with unprecedented sea ice retreats in 2007 and 2008.”

“The PBSG confirmed its earlier conclusion that unabated global warming will ultimately threaten polar bears everywhere,” it said.

At the same time, the report cited an American scientist who told the group that a research team had used a collar to track a polar bear that swam for more than 650 kilometers across the sea. “He described the extensive spatial data recovered from one particular collar that showed the bear swimming more than 650 km in the Beaufort Sea,” said the report.

Despite its concern that climate change could threaten the polar bear, the group also said it supported the right of human beings to “harvest” the bears.

“The PBSG recognizes that where habitats are stable, polar bears are a renewable resource, and reaffirmed its support of the right of aboriginal groups to harvest polar bears within sustainable limits,” said the group’s release.

In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the polar bear a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The declaration was not based on an actual decline in the polar bear population but on the government’s conclusion that future declines in Arctic sea ice will reduce the bear’s habitat and put it at risk.


A Better Way to Frack?

A new technique for natural gas extraction eliminates fears about contaminated water and stops opponents in their tracks.

In a major energy security speech this March, President Barack Obama had some nice things to say about a new technique for extracting domestic natural gas deposits: “Recent innovations have given us the opportunity to tap large reserves—perhaps a century’s worth of reserves, a hundred years worth of reserves—in the shale under our feet.”

The innovation that has unlocked those vast new reserves of natural gas is a process known as hydrofracking—or fracking for short—in which horizontal drilling is combined with blasts of pressurized water and sand. But for Obama, along with other more strident critics, the natural gas unlocked by fracking may come at too great a cost.

The biggest, most headline-grabbing fear is that fracking chemicals will contaminate drinking water. Last week, environmental scientists at Duke University published a study titled “Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing,” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study found that natural gas concentrations in water wells within 3,000 feet of gas wells were higher than in wells that were further from gas wells. Interestingly, the researchers included water wells near Dimock, Pennsylvania where it is well known that improperly constructed natural gas well casings had resulted in the fugitive gas contaminating local water wells.

Sounds like bad news. But when you read the fine print, the Duke researchers admit that “based on our data, we found no evidence for contamination of the shallow wells near active drilling sites from deep brines and/or fracturing fluids." Despite its misleading title, the study did not find that fracking as a technique contributed at all to the natural gas found the nearby water wells. In fact, the gas-rich shale lays several thousand feet below strata of impermeable rock from shallow surface drinking water aquifers. Instead, bad well casings that also occur with conventional gas wells appear to be the culprits. States already set standards for constructing proper well casings and impose penalties when companies fail to comply.

Another major fear about hydrofracking is that chemical-laden wastewater spills will contaminate surface waters. Fracking uses mostly water and sand to blast open cracks in the shale deposits thousands of feet below the surface to release the trapped natural gas. Drilling companies add small amounts of chemicals to prevent corrosion, reduce friction, and kill fouling bacteria.

In April, the Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives released a report listing the chemical contents of the 2,500 hydraulic fracturing products used by the 14 leading oil and gas service companies. Some of the chemicals such as diesel (used in 51 products), naphthalene (44 products), formaldehyde (12 products), benzene (3 products), and lead (1 product) are deemed hazardous and carcinogenic.

In addition, some of the water and chemicals used in fracking flow back out of the gas wells containing dissolved salts and other minerals from the shale. This wastewater can often be reused, but some is treated and disposed of. There have been cases in which wastewater has escaped impoundment and flowed into streams or contaminated surface drinking water wells. Another issue raised by opponents is that the dissolved salts in well wastewater contain traces of radioactive elements derived from the shale. The good news is that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection reports that tests downstream from wastewater plants that treat gas well water find that levels of radioactivity are below federal standards for safe drinking water.

In short, the use of water is the aspect of fracking that worries citizens and drives activism against the technique.

Luckily, there may be a technical fix that addresses these water worries and does an end run around drilling opponents: gas-fracking. Developed by GasFrac Energy Services in Alberta, Canada, gas-fracking uses liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which consists mostly of propane, instead of water to crack open shale formations to release oil and natural gas. Robert Lestz, GasFrac’s chief technology officer, and his colleague Audis Byrd spent 10 years developing the technique. Lestz explains that the company produces a LPG gel using phosphate esters, iron sulfate activator, and magnesium oxide. None are seriously toxic or are thought to be carcinogenic. The injected LPG gel combined with sand fractures shale formations to release trapped oil and/or natural gas.

As a hydrocarbon, propane easily mixes with natural gas and returns to the surface where it can be recovered and reused or flared. Since essentially no water is used and the gelling chemicals are relatively benign, there is no possibility that well wastewater can contaminate wells or streams.

Gas-fracking is also more efficient than hydrofracking. In conventional hydrofracking, injected water tends to block the pores and cracks through which natural gas would otherwise flow into the well. This does not happen with gas-fracking. As a consequence, Lestz claims that gas-fracked wells often produce 20 to 30 percent more natural gas than do hydrofracked wells. One more advantage: hydrofracked wells often need to be flared for a couple of weeks to purge fracking fluids. This wastes saleable product and emits extra greenhouse gases. Gas-fracked wells, which need far less flaring, save gas and can go into production sooner.

There are, however, additional safety concerns when dealing with large quantities of propane. Unlike water, LPG is flammable. In January 2008, a well site in Alberta suffered a blast as a result of a propane leak. Three workers suffered non-life-threatening burns and GasFrac suspended its operations to devise techniques aimed at preventing future accidents. Lestz claims that insurers give the company the same risk rating as conventional hydrofrackers. So far the company has fractured 300 oil and gas wells in both Canada and the United States.

Lestz has spent time recently at various forums talking with concerned citizens in New York and Pennsylvania. “I have been real surprised at how well accepted our process has been by communities up there,” he said.

In his March energy speech, President Obama declared, “We’ve got to make sure that we’re extracting natural gas safely, without polluting our water supply." So far the evidence suggests that the worst fears about hydrofracking appear to be considerably exaggerated by opponents of natural gas drilling. Nevertheless, a technology like gas-fracking may be just what the president is looking for.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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