Sunday, October 19, 2014

Are eco-friendly bulbs BAD for the environment? LEDs attract 50% more insects and could damage ecosystems

Blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been receiving positive attention after its inventors were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics last week.

They use around 90 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last for 100,000 hours compared with 1,000 hours for tungsten filament light bulbs.

But while they may be good for the environment, a new study claims that the discovery may a problem for insects, which are more strongly attracted to the LED spectrum of light.

The research, by New Zealand-based institute Scion, found traps placed near LEDs captured 48 per cent more insects than traps near sodium-vapour lights.

Sodium vapour bulbs, which emit yellow light, are commonly used in street lighting as they are more efficient than pre-LED lights.

Insects are attracted to both white and yellow light, but it seems they are even more attracted to blue light which is generated by LED bulbs.

Overall, the researchers caught and labelled more than 20,000 insects, with moths and flies were the most group of bugs.

They claim the attraction can be fatal, causing flies to be thrown off their usual path and into the jaws of predators, disrupting the food chain.


You guessed it!  Ebola caused by climate change

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted on its website an article that claims Ebola is a “direct consequence” of manmade climate change.

The article also stated that the virus specifically threatens conservation efforts focused on ape and monkey populations in Africa, including those in Guinea, one of the countries experiencing an Ebola outbreak and where the U.S.-run Chimpanzee Conservation Center is located.

“The larger conservation connection, however, is perhaps less obvious: Ebola appears to be a direct consequence of deforestation and human disturbance,” the article stated.

“Outbreaks are linked to long dry seasons (a consequence of deforestation and climate change), during which there is scarcity of food in the forest and all the animals, including fruit bats, feed on the same remaining fruit trees, usually fig trees,” it added.

“Human development, including logging and mining, road construction and agriculture, is increasingly cutting back on forest habitat and bringing animals and humans in closer contact, which can facilitate disease transfer,” the article stated.

“Some even speculate that the illegal trade in apes may be the actual culprit behind the current Ebola outbreak,” it stated.

The article also referred to apes and monkeys as “some of our oldest living relatives” and said protecting animals being hunted for food is a “major conservation concern.”

The article has a link to a blog written by Estelle Raballand, director of the Chimpanzee Center, that said while the Ebola virus may be protecting some monkeys and apes that were hunted for food before the latest outbreak, the virus is now threatening fish in the Niger River, and some people are killing monkeys and apes, because they are seen as having Ebola.

“While Ebola may protect some animal species from being hunted for bushmeat, illegal fishing is becoming in some areas a larger and more serious conservation issue. In some areas primates are also being targeted because they are perceived as carriers of Ebola,” Raballand wrote.

“As the director of the CCC, I hope that more education regarding Ebola both in Guinea and abroad will help to put an end to some of the false information that is leading to panic and unfounded fear in Europe and the United States, and to the targeting of primates in some regions of Africa.”


NOAA Says Global Warming Not Linked to Extreme Weather

Contrary to claims often repeated by environmental radicals, global warming is not responsible for extreme weather events, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Explaining Extremes of 2013 from a Climate Perspective, NOAA’s new report, examined claims global warming was behind various droughts, floods, unusually cold weather and blizzards, cyclones, etc. – and found no identifiable connection between them and rising greenhouse gas emissions.

In California, for example, a prolonged drought has been blamed by climate alarmists on global warming. The liberal Center for American Progress and media outlets including the Washington Post and Associated Press have published stories claiming global warming caused or worsened the California drought. NOAA’s scientists beg to differ, writing, “[F]or the California drought, which was investigated by three teams from the United States, human factors were found not to have influenced the lack of rainfall.”

It would seem President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who regularly cite the California drought as evidence of man’s fiery influence on climate, need to follow the research more closely, since their own scientists disagree with their take on the matter.

Environmentalists follow their own talking points and not the science again when they claim global warming is responsible for extreme cold, surprising blizzards, or heavy snowfall. NOAA could find no evidence linking such events to global warming. NOAA reported, “Analysis of UK cold spring showed the probability of occurrence may have fallen 30-fold due to global warming.” In other words, global warming decreased the likelihood of extreme winter storm events.

This was true when looking at the tragic Colorado floods of September 2013, as well. The NOAA report found global warming may be making such tragic events less likely.

If anything is truly alarming in the discussion of global warming, it is the widening gap between what the science finds and what the media, backed by alarmists, report.


Must not mention Greenie money in politics

Billionaire Tom Steyer gives millions to Greenie causes

This is hilarious: Scott wrote here about a video contest sponsored by far-left MoveOn and MAYDAY.US. Announcing the contest, MoveOn urged applicants to “make a 30-second ad to wake up America to the crisis of big money in our politics.” The public could vote on the contest entries.

The conservative group American Commitment took MoveOn at its word. They made this terrific video about Tom Steyer, the biggest hypocrite on the current political scene, and entered it in the contest:

Then a funny thing happened: conservatives flocked to to the contest site and voted for American Commitment’s video. Sure enough, American Commitment’s video was winning the contest. So what did the leftists who are running the contest do? They changed the rules! They have, in effect, wiped out all of the votes cast so far, and they are starting the voting over, as of today. Phil Kerpen documents the change on Twitter. The contest originally was supposed to terminate on October 16, now it begins on October 16. Not only that, voting will last for only 24 hours:

Is that pathetic, or what? But it’s not too late. Voting continues, under the new rules, until tomorrow at 5 p.m., Eastern time. You can vote here for the American Commitment video. Of course, no matter how many votes it gets, MoveOn’s far left panel of “judges” will no doubt award the prize to someone else. But still, making the Tom Steyer video the number one vote-getter is worthwhile. We did it once, we can do it again!

UPDATE: A representative of American Commitment wrote us earlier today:

"American Commitment’s Tom Steyer ad about money and politics is absolutely trouncing the competition with 15 times more votes as its nearest competitor with only 4 hours remaining under the original contest rules…

The most amazing thing is how they are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prevent a video about the country’s largest political donor by far from winning a contest about money in politics. Because he’s a liberal."


A new one! Concrete's life span is shortened by global warming

I live in a warm part of the world and concrete lasts perfectly well here

Climate change may reduce concrete's durability, with long-term consequences for buildings, roads and bridges constructed with the common material, according to a recent study.

Matthew Eckelman and Mithun Saha of Northeastern University focused their research on how infrastructure in Boston will be affected by the most extreme climate change scenarios.

They predict about 60 percent of Boston's buildings will have some structural deterioration by 2050. Eckelman and Saha published their study results in the journal Urban Climate.

"Starting in 2025 is when [we expect] to see the concrete cover on buildings start to fail, assuming they were built to code," Eckelman said.

Concrete is considered one of the most solid structures humans have engineered. Modern concrete structures and roads are further reinforced with steel bars to make the material less brittle. However, over time both carbon dioxide and chloride ions seep into the concrete and corrode the steel bars, called rebar. This corrosion expands the concrete, destabilizing it. Eventually, the damage becomes visible when the facade of a building cracks or chunks of concrete break off.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is expected to increase with climate change, and Boston in particular is vulnerable to chloride because of its proximity to salt water.

Under current building codes in the United States, buildings' concrete coverings have to be about an inch and a half thick for the structures to last three-quarters of a century. However, the researchers noted that these building codes don't take into account how climate is likely to change over that amount of time. When climate change is considered, buildings built today will likely last between 50 and 60 years, roughly 25 years less than if temperatures remained the same, the researchers said.

Eckelman and Saha said the biggest effect will likely be higher construction costs to reduce corrosion, like adding 3 to 12 millimeters of thickness to buildings' concrete cover. This could increase building costs by between 2 and 4 percent.

The buildings most at risk in the near term are those built in the 1950s and '60s because they are built with weaker concrete.

The American Concrete Institute, which provides guidelines for setting building codes, is going over its standards while taking into account global warming


The EPA is a major reason why Americans aren’t feeling Obama’s ‘vigorous recovery’

President Obama is trying, according to CNN, to “convince voters of a vigorous recovery that a majority still doubts.” Describing comments the president made on October 2 at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, CNN calls his attempt, the “political problem inherent in having to describe an economic recovery that many Americans still aren’t feeling.”

The coverage points to polling data that shows the public still sees that the economy is “poor” — with 56 percent disapproving of how Obama has handled the economy.

Perhaps people are beginning to sense what a new documentary makes clear. We may not officially be in a recession, as some numbers have ticked slightly up, but people, as CNN pointed out, aren’t feeling it.

What are they feeling? Higher electricity rates at home, plant closures, and jobs being sent overseas, while few new jobs are being created at home.

On a recent radio interview, a caller told me that companies shouldn’t be allowed to move their business — and the jobs previously held by Americans—overseas. He wanted laws passed that prevented closing an American plant and reopening in China, hiring the locals. I believe laws can be passed that would slow, what Ross Perot called, the “giant sucking sound”—the sound of jobs and economic growth being sucked from America to Mexico, China, or some other country that makes it easier to do business. Instead of controlling whether or not a company can do what is best for its bottom line, wouldn’t it be better to make America the best business environment?

Current government policy is actually the cause of that “giant sucking sound,” the reason people aren’t feeling a supposed economic recovery. These policies, in the form of regulations — especially those from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are keeping people from living the American dream and are even lowering the standard of living from that of our parents.

While we may not technically be in a recession, we are in a regcession — an economic decline caused by excessive regulations. The cost of complying with the regulations makes it virtually impossible to meet them and remain competitive or make a profit. The result of these regulations: Americans lose their jobs, as businesses close or move to more hospitable countries.

Released on October 7, a new documentary (on YouTube): “Regcession: The EPA is Destroying America” boldly posits that regulations are actually causing more world-wide pollution, destroying American jobs, and even putting America itself at risk.

Citing President Abraham Lincoln: “If America is to be destroyed, it will be from within,” Regcession makes a strong case illustrating Lincoln’s wisdom.

Regcession proclaims: “Instead of standing up to regulatory insanity, companies have taken the path of least resistance and sent jobs to China.”

Detroit is one such example. President Obama proudly claims the bailout of General Motors (GM) as one of his great successes. We taxpayers had no say in the $49.5 billion we funded to keep GM afloat—supposedly saving jobs and saving Detroit. Yet, as Obama-appointed GM CEO Dan Akerson (2010-2014) said during a 2011 visit to China’s Shanghai Auto Show: “Our commitment to working in China, with China, for China remains strong and focused on the future.” He called the eleven joint ventures with China “eleven keys to success” and bragged that seven out of ten cars GM makes are made outside the U.S. Only one-third of GM’s workers are in America.

We bailed out GM. China’s economy is booming, while Detroit became the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. GM sells more cars in China than in the U.S., while American’s can’t pay their mortgage — let alone buy a new car. Regcession points out that Americans are increasingly driving older cars.

“China’s unregulated industry and underpaid workers, combined with free trade policies make it impractical for American corporations to keep American jobs in America,” states Regcession.

The film features Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) saying: “This administration has generated nothing short of a mountain of red tape — hundreds of new regulations. Of these, at least 219 have been categorized as significant. What that means is that they will cost more than $100 million a year.” It shows TV host John Stossel, author of Give Me a Break and No they Can’t, surrounded by boxes — the 160 thousand pages of new regulations. Yet, the EPA keeps proposing more regulations.

“Anything that hurts the economy, hurts the American worker,” Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville, states. “Environmental regulations in general, while originally well intended to try to protect the environment, end up going overboard and ultimately destroying jobs.”

Since the Clean Air Act was revised in 1990, demand for electricity in the U.S. — along with the American lifestyle — has dropped. Concurrently, China’s demand for electricity — and its lifestyle — has gone up. A growing economy requires more electricity, not less.

America used to manufacture goods that the world wanted. But manufacturing is messy and regulations sent industry away. We now send China, for example, our coal and our lumber. Due to regulations and free-trade laws, it is cheaper and easier for companies to use these American raw materials and manufacture products there and then ship the finished goods to the U.S. America loses the jobs, economic growth, increased property values, and the taxes that would have been generated through the entire process. China puts our cash in its pocket.

Using mitigating human-caused climate change as the excuse, EPA regulations increasingly ratchet down on American industry and electricity generation. Hundreds of billions of dollars have already been spent to remove sulfur, mercury, and particulates from emissions — only to have new regulations force those same factories and power plants to shut down over new carbon dioxide regulations. Jobs go overseas, electricity rates rise for the average American, global pollution goes up.

Don Blankenship, Regcession Executive Producer, explained to me, that with the debt trajectory, the U.S. will be broke — thanks to excessive regulations — long before the planet’s projected warming takes place. Yet, the business community is afraid to fight, as regulators have punitive power.

Industrial chemist Chris Skates, author of Going Green, explains it this way: “If we have an amalgam filling in our mouth for a cavity, there’s enough mercury vapor in the vapor of our breath to contaminate the sample. My question is, if the levels we are testing for are that low, who cares?”

Regcession concludes: “The American dream is being eroded by abusive overregulation, corporate greed, union misrepresentation, environmentalists, and a president whose priority is supposed to be protecting and improving lives of Americans, yet is instead hurting Americans.”

But all is not lost. Americans can end the regcession, by abandoning the doomsday-based regulations and instead have practical, meaningful regulations that give American workers a chance to compete. Dumping bad regulations would be an economic shot-in-the-arm, a true “vigorous recovery.”

President Reagan said we needed to do whatever it took to protect the last bastion of freedom that is America — it is too big, too important to fail. Let’s protect America, not change it.

Stand up for America. Stand up for American jobs. Stand up against over-regulation.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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