Monday, April 30, 2012
Forced sterilizations to stop climate change are already a reality in India
And you doubted that misanthropy is the prime motivation of Greenies? Indians are good people who suffered much under Muslim rule then under socialist rule and now this. This is especially grievous to me as I know Indians well and think highly of them. I have been to India three times and there are always brown faces in my house
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.
The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.
Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.
Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.
Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.
The latest allegations centre on the states of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, both targeted by the UK government for aid after a review of funding last year. In February, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh had to publicly warn off his officials after widespread reports of forced sterilisation. A few days later, 35-year-old Rekha Wasnik bled to death in the state after doctors sterilised her. The wife of a poor labourer, she was pregnant with twins at the time. She began bleeding on the operating table and a postmortem cited the operation as the cause of death.
Earlier this month, India's supreme court heard how a surgeon operating in a school building in the Araria district of Bihar in January carried out 53 operations in two hours, assisted by unqualified staff, with no access to running water or equipment to clean the operating equipment. A video shot by activists shows filthy conditions and women lying on the straw-covered ground.
Human rights campaigner Devika Biswas told the court that "inhuman sterilisations, particularly in rural areas, continue with reckless disregard for the lives of poor women". Biswas said 53 poor and low-caste women were rounded up and sterilised in operations carried out by torchlight that left three bleeding profusely and led to one woman who was three months pregnant miscarrying. "After the surgeries, all 53 women were crying out in pain. Though they were in desperate need of medical care, no one came to assist them," she said.
The court gave the national and state governments two months to respond to the allegations.
Activists say that it is India's poor – and particularly tribal people – who are most frequently targeted and who are most vulnerable to pressure to be sterilised. They claim that people have been threatened with losing their ration cards if they do not undergo operations, or bribed with as little as 600 rupees (£7.34) and a sari. Some states run lotteries in which people can win cars and fridges if they agree to be sterilised.
Wind farms produce WARMING
Air turbulence from giant turbines causes air temperatures to rise around wind farms, scientists say.
Researchers including Associate Professor Liming Zhou from the State University of New York examined conditions around 2,358 turbines at four Texas wind farms.
Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, Professor Zhou and colleagues reported a temperature increase of up to 0.72 degrees Celsius per decade at wind farm locations, compared to nearby areas.
They also found the effect to be greater at night than during the day. The study could help researchers better understand the impact of wind farms on local environments.
After discounting the impact of surface features such as vegetation, roads, light reflection and surface structures, the researchers concluded that the temperature change was caused by air turbulence generated by the turbines' giant rotor blades.
"Turbine rotors were modifying surface-atmosphere exchanges and the transfer of energy, momentum, mass and moisture within the atmosphere," they wrote.
The findings are based on nine years of satellite data covering an area of central western Texas, where some of the world's largest wind farms are located.
The results match modelling studies showing wind farms can significantly affect local scale meteorology by increasing surface roughness, changing the stability of the atmospheric boundary layer, and enhancing turbulence in the wake generated by rotor blades.
Professsor Zhou and colleagues said a large enough wind farm could even effect local and regional weather and climate.
NYC shows that warmth is good for trees
City streets can be mean, but somewhere near Brooklyn, a tree grows far better than its country cousins, due to chronically elevated city heat levels, says a new study. The study, just published in the journal Tree Physiology, shows that common native red oak seedlings grow as much as eight times faster in New York's Central Park than in more rural, cooler settings in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. Red oaks and their close relatives dominate areas ranging from northern Virginia to southern New England, so the study may have implications for changing climate and forest composition over a wide region.
The "urban heat island" is a well-known phenomenon that makes large cities hotter than surrounding countryside; it is the result of solar energy being absorbed by pavement, buildings and other infrastructure, then radiated back into the air. With a warming climate, it is generally viewed as a threat to public health that needs mitigating. On the flip side, "Some organisms may thrive on urban conditions," said tree physiologist Kevin Griffin of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who oversaw the study. Griffin said that the city's hot summer nights, while a misery for humans, are a boon to trees, allowing them to perform more of the chemical reactions needed for photosynthesis when the sun comes back up.
With half the human population now living in cities, understanding how nature will interact with urban trees is important, the authors say. "Some things about the city are bad for trees. This shows there are at least certain attributes that are beneficial," said lead author Stephanie Y. Searle, a Washington, D.C., environmental researcher who was a Columbia undergraduate when she started the research.
In spring 2007 and 2008, Searle and colleagues planted seedlings in northeastern Central Park, near 105th Street; in two forest plots in the suburban Hudson Valley; and near the city's Ashokan Reservoir, in the Catskill foothills some 100 miles north of Manhattan. They cared for all the trees with fertilizer and weekly watering. Maximum daily temperatures around the city seedlings averaged more than 4 degrees F higher; minimum averages were more than 8 degrees higher. By August, the city seedlings had developed eight times more biomass than the country ones, mainly by putting out more leaves. The researchers largely ruled out other factors that might drive tree growth, in part by growing similar seedlings in the lab under identically varying temperatures, and showing much the same result. Due to air pollution, the city also has higher fallout of airborne nitrogen-a fertilizer-which could have helped the trees as well, said Searle, but temperature seemed to be the main factor.
Seedlings did eight times better in New York City's Central Park than at comparable suburban and rural sites. (Wade McGillis/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)
Other experiments done in Japan and Arizona have shown that higher temperatures, especially at night, may promote growth of rice plants and hybrid poplar trees. A 2011 study by a Lamont-based group showed that conifers in far northern Alaska have grown faster in recent years in step with rising temperatures. Some Eastern Seaboard trees also seem to be seeing growth spurts in response to higher carbon-dioxide levels alone, according to a 2010 study by scientists at the Smithsonian Institution. However, heat can cut both ways; in lower latitudes, rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns appear to be pushing some species over the edge by causing ecological changes that stress them; massive die-offs are underway in the U.S. West and interior Alaska. There is already some evidence that with warming climate, New York area forest compositions are already changing, with northerly species dwindling and southerly ones that tolerate more heat coming in, said Griffin. Red oaks are probably not immune to increasing heat, so there is no guarantee that they would do well in the New York City of the future.
New York City has some 5.2 million trees and is in the midst of a campaign to plant more. "Cities are special places-they might be laboratories for what the world will look like in coming years," said Gary Lovett, a forest ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., some 90 miles north of Manhattan. With temperatures projected to rise, he said, "what kinds of trees are doing well there now might be related to what kinds might do well up here in a number of years."
Another bizarre outcome of Warmist thinking: Have dwarf kids!
Biologist Wynne Parry proposes reducing our human size. She suggests that we can alter ourselves through human engineering where one chooses whether to have small size children or not. Smaller in size and height (dwarf-like) to reduce demand.
This would mean instead of having 500 buses in Kampala, we would require 80 of them to solve transport problems in Kampala, one car would be enough for a family of 10 people. Much as this would reduce GHG emission levels, this approach may remain in theory forever.
Family planning does not check on size but checks on numbers at household level. If we can reduce global population, we shall have cut on consumption levels thus reduced destruction of vegetation and fewer locomotives in the transportation and industrial sectors. This will reduce emission levels.
High emissions are a result of demand for goods and services that come as a result of increased population. Family planning presents a better approach as it focuses on reducing the cause agent "population". Lets us clean the atmosphere by changing our reproducing behavior.
Crucifying Oil and Gas on a Cross Made of You and Me
The revelation of the EPA’s “philosophy” used in their regulation of oil and gas companies—“crucify” and “make examples” of, just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience—provides proof of what many have known: policy decisions are made on ideology and emotion rather than fact, sound science, and economic or human impact. For this, we should all be grateful to Al Armendariz, EPA Administrator for Region 6. His honesty, in a 2010 video made public on April 26, allows us all a glimpse behind the shroud.
Armendariz has been making, according to Senator James Inhofe, “comments specifically intended to incite fear and sway public opinion against hydraulic fracturing.” In Thursday’s hearing, Inhofe says Amendariz frequently claimed a “danger of fire or explosion.” Inhofe cited the Parker County Texas case as the “most outrageous.” There, in 2010, Armendariz’s region issued an Emergency Administrative Order against Range Resources—overriding the Texas state regulators who were already investigating the claim that hydraulic fracturing was contaminating well water. “Along with this order, EPA went on a publicity barrage in an attempt to publicize its premature and unjustified conclusions,” Inhofe said.
The Emergency Administrative Order was dropped earlier this month, but was done, as Inhofe called it, by “strategically attempting to make these announcements as quietly as possible.”
Both the EPA and the White House are trying to distance themselves from the Armendariz comments. Cynthia Giles, the EPA's assistant administrator in charge of enforcement said, “Inevitably, some will try to imply that the unfortunate and inaccurate words of one regional official represent this Agency's policy. Rest assured that they do not—and no honest examination of our record could equate our commonsense approach with such an exaggerated claim.”
Yet, history shows that the Armendariz model is used more frequently than most would believe. Decisions are often made on ideology and emotion rather than fact, sound science, and economic or human impact. Those decisions are often walked back—making the future look more like the past. Two current examples include the decision to use “timid” approaches toward preventing malaria in Africa and Germany’s environmentalist-appeasing, post-Fukushima decision to shut down their nuclear plants.
More than 100 years ago, the source of malaria was determined to be the bite of the mosquito—rather than the “bad air” as previously assumed. As I chronicle in the DDT chapter of my book Energy Freedom, DDT had nearly eliminated malaria in the western world when the ideology and emotion of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring led to the ban of DDT—despite the faulty science, and detrimental economic and severe human impact. Since DDT was banned in 1972, malaria has become Africa’s largest killer. In the West African country of Sierra Leone, malaria accounts for more than 40 percent of outpatient mortality and is the top killer of children under five. Since the seventies, prevention has focused on “protecting people rather than halting mosquitoes: bed nets and drug systems prevail. Now the authorities want to return to eradication.” The new strategy calls for the indoor residual spraying of insecticides such as DDT, bendiocarb, and the newly reformulated chlorfenapyr. Indoor spraying pilot projects have shown success. In areas where the spraying has taken place, for the first time, malaria is no longer the top killer of children under five. Dr. Samuel Smith, manager of Sierra Leone’s malaria control program, reports that “a combination of spraying and bed nets has a better impact”—making the future look more like what worked in the past.
Imagine the lives that could have been saved in Africa if DDT was dealt with using fact, sound science, and economic or human impact rather than ideology and emotion.
In Germany, the future could look more like the past as well. Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, a decision was made to shut down 8 of its 17 nuclear reactors with the remainder being phased out within a decade—before their life expectancy is over. Critics of the Merkel administration, say it “never formulated a coherent strategy for switching to new forms of energy or for upgrading the country's electricity grid.” The decision was motivated by ideology and emotion rather than fact, sound science, and economic or human impact.
One of the closed plants is Unterweser, located in the town of Kleinensiel. Maik Otholt, a Kleinensiel resident expressed his frustration with the decision: “Our facilities were serviced every year; they're in perfect shape. Nothing ever went wrong. And so now what are we doing? We're buying nuclear energy from France. Their plant is just over the border. And now we're buying that expensive electricity. It’s crazy.”
To make up for the loss of electricity from the nuclear plants, Germany is now, as Maik Otholt said, importing nuclear-generated power. Before the closures, Germany had electricity to spare and sold it to other countries. Additionally, Germany is building or modernizing 84 power plants—and more than half of those will be run on fossil fuels including many on coal. The use of coal-fueled electricity generation has angered the very same environmentalists who cheered the nuclear plant closures.
Addressing Germany’s increased use of coal, Stefan Judisch, chief executive of RWE Supply & Trading, said, “If we were to replace (nuclear) baseload with renewable energies and gas, then electricity would become expensive.”
While environmentalists are touting the ideology of a carbon-free future, Germany has to face a reality that is far from a carbon-free future—making it look more like the past.
As the anti-fracking ideology and emotion continues to climb, remember the philosophy of Al Armendariz who punished to “ensure obedience” and the EPA’s “publicity barrage in an attempt to publicize its premature and unjustified conclusions.” In Texas, as well as Wyoming and Pennsylvania, the EPA has had to walk back the accusations as the science didn’t support them—but by then the public had already been swayed by the fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
Don’t let ideology and emotion shape America’s energy future. It needs to be based on fact and sound science with consideration for the economic and human impacts.
Australians now 'indifferent' to environment
CONCERN for the environment has dwindled into a "middling" issue that many people do not have strong feelings about, a major study into Australian attitudes towards society, politics and the economy has found.
Food, health, crime, safety and rights to basic public services - the tangible things that people confront on a daily basis - are dominant national concerns.
"Australians are effectively indifferent to global and societal issues, rating these significantly lower," said the report What Matters to Australians, produced by the University of Technology, Sydney and the Melbourne Business School, with the support of the Australian Research Council.
"What we see in these results is a picture of a relatively conservative society concerned with local issues that influence its members' daily lives."
People's concerns about industrial pollution, climate change, renewable energy and depletion of energy resources plummeted when compared with an identical study in 2007, with only logging and habitat destruction remaining among the top 25 issues of concern to Australians.
In 2007, environmental sustainability was the only set of global issues that was ranked as highly important. When the same questions were repeated last year, no global issues appeared among the nation's top concerns.
"Overall, this reveals a startling decline in the Australian population's concerns about environmental sustainability," the researchers wrote.
"It is possible that 2007 was nothing more than an aberration when the debate about environmental sustainability became a matter of ordinary, everyday concern. What we now see in Australia and across Western countries is likely closer to a long-term trend in the value of environmental matters to the general population."
The study is based on a sample of 1500 adults, weighted to represent the population as a whole, who completed detailed questionnaires that forced them to rate a vast array of issues relative to each other.
The subjects were forced to select a series of different issues they felt strongly about and gradually exclude the least compelling ones until only the most important remained.
Parallel studies were conducted in the US, Britain and Germany, with Australians exhibiting a similar range of concerns to Americans and Britons. The German responses, however, were markedly different.
"You can pretty much read German history in the German responses," said a lead author, Timothy Devinney, a professor of strategy at the University of Technology, Sydney.
"They are very concerned about privacy, civil rights, global issues, questions of peace and turmoil. While Australia is globally oriented in some ways, the tyranny of distance means most people aren't actually engaged with global issues as much as some might expect."
Professor Devinney said the lower priority accorded environmental concerns might indicate that 2007 was an "outlier" year in terms of large attention being placed on environmental issues, with last year being a return to the norm.
The findings also show that Australians are relatively disengaged with party politics.
"More than two-fifths of people in the study were either aligned with an independent political position or did not feel their political values aligned with any of the political representation options available to them through organised party politics," the report said.
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Posted by JR at 3:43 PM