Sunday, June 12, 2005


I mentioned this on 3rd June. Here is more:

He may not look like a revolutionary, but Ulrich Joerin, a wiry Swiss scientist in his late twenties, is part of a small group of climatologists who are in the process of radically changing the image of the Swiss mountain world. He and a colleague are standing in front of the Tschierva Glacier in Engadin, Switzerland at 2,200 meters (7,217 feet). "A few thousand years ago, there were no glaciers here at all," he says. "Back then we would have been standing in the middle of a forest." He digs into the ground with his mountain boot until something dark appears: an old tree trunk, covered in ice, polished by water and almost black with humidity. "And here is the proof," says Joerin.

The tree trunk in the ice is part of a huge climatic puzzle that Joerin is analyzing for his doctoral thesis for the Institute for Geological Science at the University of Bern. And he is coming to an astonishing conclusion. The fact that the Alpine glaciers are melting right now appears to be part of regular cycle in which snow and ice have been coming and going for thousands of years.

The glaciers, according to the new hypothesis, have shrunk down to almost nothing at least ten times since the last ice age 10,000 years ago. "At the time of the Roman Empire, for example, the glacier tongue was about 300 meters higher than today," says Joerin. Indeed, Hannibal probably never saw a single big chunk of ice when he was crossing the Alps with his army.

The most dramatic change in the landscape occurred some 7,000 years ago. At the time, the entire mountain range was practically glacier-free -- and probably not due to a lack of snow, but because the sun melted the ice. The timber line was higher then as well.

The scientists' conclusion puts the vanishing glaciers of the past 150 years into an entirely new context: "Over of the past 10,000 years, fifty percent of the time, the glaciers were smaller than today," Joerin states in an essay written together with his doctoral advisor Christian Schluechter. They call it the "Green Alps" theory.

Joerin admits his theory goes against conventional wisdom. "It is hard to imagine that the glaciers, as we know them, were not the norm in past millennia, but rather an exception," he says while he and his companions dig out the tree trunk with shovels, axes and bare hands.....

Although glacier experts like Hanspeter Holzhauser have been collecting remains of plants in the vicinity of glaciers for years, they only began systematically analyzing the finds about 13 years ago. At first, he and his students collected over a thousand little chunks of wood and shreds of turf on their excursions along the glaciers, from the Engadin in the east to the Unterwallis in the west, from the Forno and Stei Glacier to the du Mont Mine Glacier. Finds include the remains of birch trees, willows, Norway spruce, pines, larch and a lot of the resilient Swiss stone pine.

There is a simple deduction that lends support to the Green Alp theory: The bits of trees that have been washed out of the glaciers must come from further up the mountain. And if trees grew up there, then the mountains could not have been covered by glaciers.

Schluechter sent over a hundred of the old bits of wood to a special laboratory for carbon dating. They discovered that the trees didn't grow up there continually, but rather within ten periods of time since the end of the last ice age.

"The history of the glacial cover apparently is more dynamic than had been assumed until now," says Schleuchter. According to this model, the glaciers were smallest about 7,000 years ago, largest during the "mini ice age" of 1650 to 1850. Since this last cold spell, the tongues of ice have been receding quickly -- for a paleo-climatologist 150 years are just a wink in time.

More here


China's booming economy is driving a rapid rise in water pollution so severe that densely crowded cities could be left without adequate supplies, a Cabinet minister said Tuesday. ``Limited water resources are threatened by pollution, and water safety in cities is facing severe challenges,'' said Qiu Baoxing, deputy minister of construction.

The unusually blunt warning came after a separate government report last week said Chinese cities are threatened by rising levels of acid rain from industrial pollution. The reports emphasize the high environmental cost of China's surging economy in a dry, crowded country whose ecology already is strained by the demands of sustaining 1.3 billion inhabitants.

The government has tried in recent years to rein in environmental damage, imposing air- and water-quality standards and restricting logging. But such efforts have had only limited success.

More than 100 of China's 660 cities face ``extreme water shortages,'' Qiu said at a news conference. Intense demand by booming Chinese industries, farms and sprawling cities _ some of them with more than 10 million people - has left many areas without adequate water supplies. China supports 21 percent of the world's population with just 7 percent of its water supplies, Qiu said.

Conflicts over water supplies have led to violent clashes. In April, scores of people were injured in the eastern province of Zhejiang when police clashed with villagers who occupied an industrial complex that they said ruined their crops by polluting water supplies.

The communist government has tried in recent years to rein in environmental damage, banning the clear-cutting of forests, imposing air-quality standards and forcing paper mills and other heavily polluting industries to close. Premier Wen Jiabao promised in February to make guaranteeing adequate supplies of clean drinking water a priority in his annual report to China's legislature on government plans for the year. ``This is an urgent matter,'' Qiu said.

More here


The environmentalist group Greenpeace has gone on trial in a Copenhagen court as the first organization charged under new Danish anti-terror laws introduced after the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. Greenpeace was charged under the new legislation last month following a protest by a group of activists in October 2003 at the Copenhagen headquarters of the Danish Agriculture association against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) used in the Scandinavian country's booming pork industry. The individual protestors, who entered the Danish Agriculture building and reportedly hung a banner reading "No to GMO swine" from a window, have been accused of violating domestic peace.

The new terror legislation allows the courts to hold organizations responsible for the actions of their individual members, which according to prosecutors clears the way for the charges brought against Greenpeace.

The group has meanwhile claimed that the charges constitute a violation of the new laws, which it insists are meant to lay responsibility for terrorist acts on the organizations that support them, and not punish "peaceful" groups for activist protests. "When the terrorism laws were introduced, the rule was that organizations could be punished for doing something illegal. But it was clear that the aim was to target organizations that supported terrorism," Greenpeace lawyer Steen Beck said in an interview on Danish public radio. "Now, they are trying to use the laws against a peaceful group like Greenpeace," he added.

Parties in opposition to Denmark's right-leaning coalition government have also criticized the application of the laws, pointing out that they risk stifling the political debate in the country. "Greenpeace hopes that the court will acquit the organization on the basis that the law is not and should not be directed towards the civil society," Greenpeace Denmark spokesman Sebastian Ostenfeld Jensen said. The trial was scheduled to wrap up on Friday, but it remained unclear when a verdict would be handed down.


What a lovely joke on a Greenie: ""After a True's beaked whale washed ashore in Virginia, Woods Hole chemist Emma Teuten toiled for seven months trying to whittle 10 kilograms of blubber down to a milligram of methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers – chemicals synthesized for use as industrial flame retardants and regarded as persistent environmental pollutants. But improved carbon dating methods revealed that these PBDEs were natural compounds, possibly originating in marine sponges."


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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