Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Warmists take note: Scientists are stunned by corals as big as cars and thriving marine life at Bikini Atoll site where 23 atomic bombs were dropped

Corals and much else are not in danger anywhere on this  evidence.  It is also evidence that the harm from radiation has been much exaggerated

Bikini Atoll, the former paradise island used by the US to carry out 23 nuclear weapons tests 70 years ago, is now teeming with life, scientists have found.

The Pacific Ocean island has blooming populations of plants and animal life, filled with fish such as snapper, sharks and tuna while boasting corals as big as cars.

Crabs the size of hubcaps are said to be feasting on coconuts filled with radioactive groundwater as part of an ecosystem described by experts as 'remarkably resilient'.

Scientists are now sequencing the DNA of the Bikini Atoll coral to better understand how they are able to survive.

The study may help researchers better understand how certain DNA can combat genetic diseases, such as cancer.

During the Cold War, the US detonated 23 nuclear bombs at Bikini Atoll, including a device in 1954 that was 1,100-times more powerful than the Hiroshima atom bomb.

The blasts, detonated in the years between 1946 and 1954, exposed corals and other species to persistent, high levels of radioactivity.

At the time of the tests, residents of the islands were moved to other locations, and the site has remained uninhabited  beyond a handful of caretakers since.

A 2012 report to the United Nations stated that there was 'near-irreversible environmental contamination' to the former nuclear site.

But scientists have found that populations of coral, crabs, fish and sharks are thriving at Bikini Atoll.

A researcher told the Guardian that fish populations are thriving because they have been left alone - 'in a strange way they are protected by the history of this place'.

The findings, led by scientists at Stanford University in northern California, featured in an episode of Big Pacific aired on June 28, a natural history TV series on PBS.

The five-part series, which looked at strange wildlife populations in the Pacific Ocean, did not air in the UK but will be available to buy on DVD later this year.

The study focused on reports of mutant sharks that are missing their second dorsal fin around a submerged hydrogen bomb crater near the island.

Professor Steve Palumbi, a marine scientist at Stanford whose team have been studying the effects of radiation poisoning on marine life, said the bizarre ecosystem is 'remarkably resilient'.

He said that, to the naked eye, the crabs, fish and corals around Bikini Atoll look perfectly normal, and some of the coral has been around for decades.

During the Cold War, the US detonated 23 nuclear bombs at Bikini Atoll, including a device in 1954 that was 1,100-times more powerful than the Hiroshima atom bomb.

The blasts, detonated in the years between 1946 and 1954, exposed corals and other species to persistent, high levels of radioactivity.

The researchers discovered plentiful schools of fish at a lagoon near the Micronesian island, located halfway between Hawaii and Australia.

Professor Palumbi told the Guardian that fish populations are thriving because they have been left alone - 'in a strange way they are protected by the history of this place'.

'It is a remarkable environment, quite odd,' he said.

The fish spawn around the island's waters using an abundant population of coral that seems unaffected by the deadly radiation at the site.

Professor Palumbi and his team are now sequencing the DNA of the Bikini Atoll coral to better understand how they are able to survive.

The study may help to develop research into genetic diseases, such as cancer, in humans.

'The terrible history of is an ironic setting for research that might help people live longer,' Professor Palumbi said.

'By understanding how corals could have recolonised the radiation-filled bomb craters, maybe we can discover something new about keeping DNA intact.'

Although local wildlife appears to be flourishing, the Bikini Atoll site is still considered dangerous to humans.

A 2012 report to the United Nations stated that there was 'near-irreversible environmental contamination'.

'This is the most destructive thing we have ever done to the ocean, dropping 23 atomic bombs on it, yet the ocean is really striving to come back to life,' said Professor Palumbi.

'The fact there is life there and the life there is trying to come back from the most violent thing we've ever done to it is pretty hopeful.'


Russia suspected of using Bermuda shell company to exploit American anti-fracking activists  

Russia’s propaganda schemes and shell companies are so complex that investigators call them “matryoshkas” for the Russian nesting dolls that hide one inside the other. Capitol Hill lawmakers say they are now wrestling with one that appears to have twisted American oil and gas policy in Moscow’s favor.

Adding fresh intrigue to the multiple Russia probes underway across Washington, top Republican lawmakers are demanding that the Trump administration immediately investigate a Bermuda-based shell company with suspected Kremlin ties that is accused of working in the shadows to move millions of dollars to anti-fracking activists across the U.S.

Capitol Hill investigators say the Bermuda fracking case underscores the complexity of recent Russian influence operations that attempt to use Americans as pawns in money laundering or propaganda schemes.

“If you connect the dots, it is clear that Russia is funding U.S. environmental groups in an effort to suppress our domestic oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracking,” Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican Texas, said in a statement.

The fracking revelations dovetail with a recently declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that concluded that Russia’s state-owned media outlet Russia Today, or RT, also engaged in a vigorous anti-fracking campaign to benefit the leading Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom.

In recent years, NATO chiefs have criticized Russia for conspiring to undermine technology in Europe by supporting anti-fracking protesters in Romania and Bulgaria. Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind the efforts.

Fracking involves blasting shale rock with water, sand and chemicals to release trapped natural gas. Although it has led to a boom in U.S. gas production, environmental groups have voiced opposition, saying it contributes to global warming.

Russia has aligned itself with the anti-fracking movement for fear that aggressive U.S. fracking will cut into Moscow’s global gas profits, analysts say.

An investigator speaking to The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity for security reasons said Moscow does not care whether it’s using Democrats or Republicans in an influence campaign.

“The Kremlin seeks to influence American debate in ways that look natural,” the investigator said. “To do this, they use what we call ‘useful idiots,’ or people who are unaware they are being used.”

Shell companies

On Capitol Hill, worries over the Russian anti-fracking scheme led Mr. Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, to send a letter late last month to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

The six-page letter asks Treasury officials to investigate “what appears to be a concerted effort by foreign entities to funnel millions of dollars through various nonprofit entities to influence the U.S. energy market.”

Co-signed by Rep. Randy K. Weber Sr., Texas Republican, the letter targets the San Francisco-based environmental group the Sea Change Foundation, which is alleged to have taken $23 million in 2010 and 2011 from Bermuda-based shell company Klein Ltd., which reportedly has ties to Russian oligarchs.

According to IRS documents, Sea Change Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation.

After receiving funds from Bermuda, Sea Change is suspected of passing millions of dollars to U.S.-based environmental groups opposed to fracking, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.

Last week, Klein Ltd. responded to the Capitol Hill accusations and denied funneling Russian money to environmental groups.

“Our firm has represented Klein since its inception, and we can state categorically that at no point did this philanthropic organization receive or expend funds from Russian sources or Russian-connected sources and Klein has no Russian connection whatsoever,” Klein attorney Roderick M. Forrest said in an email to The Times last week.

House investigators, led by Mr. Smith, believe the scheme potentially violates federal statutes pertaining to agents of foreign governments or those lobbying on behalf of domestic and foreign interests, but others on Capitol Hill are less sure. They note that private U.S. foundations may accept foreign contributions and that Moscow might have exploited that loophole in this particular case.

The League of Conservation Voters also denies all charges that it has any Kremlin associations.

“This seems like nothing more than an attempt at distraction away from the Trump campaign’s well-publicized interactions with Russian interests to influence the election,” league spokesman David Willett said in an email. “We have no connections to Russia and have been an effective advocate for environmental protection for over 45 years.”

Other environmental groups have blasted the House Republicans’ call for an investigation as “pathetic,” and Klein insists all its work is legal and operates within Bermuda’s strict regulations against money laundering.

Long shadows

Russia’s propaganda shadow has hung over environmental groups for some time. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on record calling out Russia for creating “phony environmental groups” opposed to pipelines and fracking.

“We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand against any effort — ‘Oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you’ — and a lot of the money supporting that message was coming from Russia,” Mrs. Clinton said in a June 2014 speech.

House investigators are unsure how much more they will be able to unearth about Sea Change, which was first exposed in a 2014 report by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. That report closely connected Klein with Russia’s state-owned oil giant Rosneft and Russian energy investment groups including Firebird New Russia Fund and VimpelCom Ltd.

The report singled out that Sea Change functioned as a “pass-through” financing organization. Investigators say such opacity is what they confront when they attempt to prosecute complex international Russian schemes.

One investigator compared the Sea Change probe to a recent Interpol investigation into a suspected Russian mafia money laundering operating that infiltrated Portugal’s top football teams. Because of the Portuguese scheme’s complexity, which included multiple shell companies, tax fraud, corruption and forgery of documents, Portuguese law enforcement code-named the case Operation Matryoshka Dolls.


Tired of Being Wrong, Climate Alarmists Move Doomsday to Next Century

If the climate alarmists weren't still so politically powerful and represented in Congress by their devoted cult members, it would almost be easy to pity them. Why? Because they're so spectacularly wrong about so many things.

They keep the hype coming regardless, as in this article that cites the fact that it's hot in the desert in the summertime to say that air travel may be doomed.

The cult's leader — Al Gore — said in 2009 that there was a 75 percent chance that the entire arctic polar ice cap would melt by 2014.

It's still there.

The year before the North Pole was supposed to be gone, noted climate scientist Hans von Storch went against cult orthodoxy in an interview with Spiegel Online in 2013 and had some interesting things to say about the climate prediction models so revered by the alarmists.

After noting that “climate change seems to be taking a break,” von Storch had this to say about the models:

“If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”

He followed that up with this after being asked what might be wrong with the models:

There are two conceivable explanations — and neither is very pleasant for us. The first possibility is that less global warming is occurring than expected because greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed. This wouldn't mean that there is no man-made greenhouse effect, but simply that our effect on climate events is not as great as we have believed. The other possibility is that, in our simulations, we have underestimated how much the climate fluctuates owing to natural causes.

After so many swings and misses while attempting to predict doomsday as being just around the corner, the alarmists have decided to provide themselves a little cover:

Climate alarmist James Hansen's prediction of Manhattan being underwater by 2018 seems to not be happening, so he's moving his own goal posts and saying “50 to 150 years” now.

That's the beauty of being one of the “we believe in science” people: there's never any penalty for being wrong. Every prediction that doesn't come true isn't a cause for reflection about perhaps adjusting the conclusion; it's merely an opportunity to pull a new prediction out of thin air.

Perhaps they are finally getting embarrassed, though. Tossing all of the predictions a century down the road at least saves them from having to be around when those are proved wrong.

Unless, of course, the real scientists who are working on aging and extending life have some big success soon.


Swiss Physicist Concludes IPCC Assumptions ‘Violate Reality’…CO2 A ‘Very Weak Greenhouse Gas’

A Swiss scientist known to have published hundreds of scientific papers in physics journals has authored a new scholarly paper that casts serious doubts on the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas influencing Earth’s temperatures.

This paper has been added to a growing volume of peer-reviewed scientific papers that seriously question estimates of a high climate sensitivity to significant increases in CO2 concentrations.

Below are some of the key user-friendly (non-technical) points from Dr. Reinhart’s paper entitled Infrared absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

A summarizing conclusion from the calculations may be that if we doubled today’s concentration (400 ppm) to 800 ppm, the consequent temperature response would be less than 1/4th of a degree Celsius.  Even with a ten-fold increase in today’s CO2 concentration (400 ppm) to 4,000 ppm, the resulting temperature change would amount to just 0.8°C.

Based on all these facts, we conclude that CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas. We emphasize that our simplifying assumptions are by no means trying to minimize the absorption potential of CO2. To the contrary, they lead to overestimating the limiting values. The assumption of a constant temperature and black body radiation definitely violates reality and even the principles of thermodynamics.

Our results permit to conclude that CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas and cannot be accepted as the main driver of climate change. The observed temperature increase since pre-industrial times is close to an order of magnitude higher than that attributable to CO2. We find that the increase of CO2 only might become dangerous, if the concentrations are considerably greater than 4000 ppm. At present rates of increase this would take more than 200 years. Therefore, demands for sequestering CO2 are unjustified and trading of CO2 certificates is an economic absurdity. The climate change must have a very different origin and the scientific community must look for causes of climate change that can be solidly based on physics and chemistry.


Australia: Plastic bags are GOOD for the environment -- compared with the alternatives

News that Australia’s two largest supermarkets were completely phasing out single-use plastic bags was met with praise from environmental groups on Friday.

The move will affect shoppers in NSW, Victoria and WA, bringing them into line with South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, which already have statewide bans on plastic bags. A statewide ban in Queensland comes into effect next year.

From next year, shoppers will have to pay 15 cents each for heavier, reusable plastic bags.

Jon Dee, managing director of environmental lobby group Do Something and founder of the National Plastic Bag Campaign, called on the federal government to institute a nationwide ban. “Such a national ban would reduce Australia’s plastic bag use by at an estimated six billion bags a year,” he said.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said the supermarket handed out more than 3.2 billion plastic bags a year and “hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage”.

“Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously,” he said.

The problem with scrapping plastic bags, however, is it increases use of bin liners.

In 2012, a review of South Australia’s bag ban found just 15 per cent of consumers purchased bin liners before the ban, compared with 80 per cent after, “increasing some scepticism about the broader environmental benefit”.

The review suggested that “any future initiatives should include a focus on changing household bin liner behaviour”. That’s because bin liners “do not break down well in modern, highly compacted landfills”, a 2014 WA government study noted.

In 2011, a report by the UK Environment Agency found single-use plastic bags actually had the lowest overall environmental impact in eight out of nine categories compared with heavier options, when the entire production and transport life cycle was taken into account.

A paper bag would have to be reused seven times to have the same “global warming potential” as a traditional plastic bag used as a bin liner, a heavy-duty plastic bag nine times, a tote bag 26 times and a cotton bag 327 times.

That study calculated that just over four in 10 of all lightweight plastic bags were reused in the place of heavier bin liners.

With 90 per cent of households using either bin liners or plastic bags to line their bins, plastic bags being phased out and bin liners discouraged, the natural question becomes — what exactly are you meant to use?




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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