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.



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


Sunday, April 29, 2012

The pain in Spain

Until very recently Spain had what was undoubtedly the "Greenest" government in the world.  Not only did the Leftist government spend a large amount of the money it raised in taxes on "sustainable" development and "green jobs" (mainly windmills and solar panels) but it also borrowed heavily for the same purposes and gave big tax incentives which  enticed much of Spain's private capital into "green" spending also.  In today's news we read the result.  See below.  Can you believe 25% unemployment?  It should be an abiding lesson for the whole of the rest of the world but it won't be

SPANISH leaders have warned that their country is mired in a "crisis of huge proportions" as the government reels from the latest downgrade of its credit rating and is faced with record unemployment.

The jobless rate in the eurozone's fourth-largest economy hit 24.4 per cent, the highest in the industrialised world, in the first quarter of this year, signalling one in four Spanish workers is jobless. Among under-25s, the rate climbed to 52 per cent.

At least 1.7 million households now have no wage earner, an increase of almost 10 per cent since the start of the year.

Retail figures for last month showed sales fell for a 21st consecutive month as the country's recession bit down on consumer spending.

"The figures are terrible for everyone and terrible for the government," Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Foreign Affairs Minister, said. "Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions."

The gloomy figures piled pressure on Madrid after Spain's government debt was downgraded by Standard& Poor's, one of the triumvirate of global credit-rating agencies. The country's rating was cut by two notches from A to BBB+ with a negative outlook late last week, reflecting a loss of confidence in its ability to shoulder its national debts.

The tide of bad economic data from Spain is fuelling worries that the country will follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal into requiring an international bailout.

S&P said it did not expect Spain to default on its debt repayments. Nonetheless the yields, or implied interest rates, on 10-year Spanish government bonds surged to 6 per cent, seen as a psychologically important barrier for the markets, before falling slightly to the 5.9 per cent mark.

Spain is also faced with a fragile banking sector. Central bankers in Madrid said the country's lenders were saddled with problem property loans which totalled _184 billion ($234 billion), about 60 per cent of their property portfolios.

S&P sees "an increasing likelihood that Spain's government will need to provide further fiscal support to the banking sector".


Nationalist Greenies in Germany

LOL!  The Guardian article below is reasonably sophisticated in that it admits that the prewar Nazis were Green too but says that modern-day German nationalists are "using" the Greenie movement  -- suggesting that the Nationalist committment to Greenie ideals is superficial and not sincere.  But if Das dritte Reich was passionately environmentalist, why can their modern-day successors not be equally passionate about their beliefs?  Environmentalism is no facade for them.  It is central to their beliefs. 

And The Guardian is careful not to look too closely at what differentiates  the two sorts of Greenie.  It is nationalism only.  Both sorts of Greenie are authoritarian -- wanting to impose their own will on others.  The recipe is simple:  Greenie+Nationalism = Nazi.  No other adjustments necessary.  And in fact the modern product is potentially even more nasty than before.  The 1930s Nazis didn't like Jews, whereas Greenies today don't like PEOPLE

German consumers are being warned that when they buy organic produce they may be supporting the far-right movement, following the revelation that rightwing extremists in Germany have embraced the ecological movement and are using it to tap into a new generation of supporters.

Debunking the popular view that equates eco-friendliness with cuddly, left-leaning greens, rightwing extremists have even begun to publish their own conservation magazine, which is believed to have the backing of the far-right National Democratic party (NPD). Alongside gardening tips and reports on the dangers of genetically modified milk are articles riddled with rightwing ideology and racial slurs. Bavaria's domestic intelligence agency has described the magazine, Umwelt und Aktiv (Environment and Active), as a "camouflage publication" for the NPD.

"We have to get used to the fact that the term 'bio' [organic] does not automatically mean equality and human dignity," said Gudrun Heinrich of the University of Rostock, who has just published a study on the topic called Brown Ecologists, a reference to the Nazi Brownshirts and their modern-day admirers.

Hotbeds of far-right eco-warriors are to be found throughout Germany. In the Mecklenburg region in the north, they have been quietly settling in communities since the 1990s in an effort to reinvigorate the traditions of the Artaman League - a farming movement whose roots lie in the 19th century romantic ideal of "blood and soil" ruralism, which was adopted by the Nazis. Heinrich Himmler, the SS leader, was a member. "They propagate a way of living which involves humane raising of plants and animals, is both nationalistic and authoritarian, and in which there's no place for pluralism and democracy," said Heinrich, adding that the NPD is closely linked to the settlers, helping the party become "deeply rooted in these rural areas".

The settlers produce "German honey", bake bread from homegrown wheat, produce fruit and vegetables for sale, and knit their own woollen sweaters. Observers have noted that the far-right farmers have been able to profit from the cheap and spacious swaths of land left by a population exodus from impoverished states in the former East Germany, such as Mecklenburg.

Political scientists argue that the NPD is trying to wrest the ecological movement back from the left, particularly the German Greens, who rose to prominence in the 1980s to become Europe's most successful ecological party.

Hans-Gnter Laimer, a farmer in Lower Bavaria who once ran for election for the NPD and is linked to Umwelt und Aktiv, questions why the left has been allowed to dominate the organic scene for so long. "What is the difference between my cucumbers and those of someone from the Green party?" he said.

A representative of the Centre for Democratic Culture, in Roggentin in Mecklenburg, who did not wish to be identified for security reasons, recently told the Sddeutsche Zeitung newspaper: "They want that people don't think about politics when they hear the word NPD. They want as far as possible to build subtle bridges into the lives of other citizens . ecological topics are becoming increasingly important for rightwing extremists."

At the same time as it was butchering millions of people, the Nazi party supported animal rights and nature conservation. But it is disturbing for many Germans to think that while they support local producers and reject genetically modified food, pesticides and intensive livestock farming, there is now little - superficially at least - to distinguish a supposedly well-meaning, leftist Green from a far-right eco enthusiast.


More data in support of Svensmark's theory

Today the Royal Astronomical Society in London publishes (online) Henrik Svensmark's latest paper entitled "Evidence of nearby supernovae affecting life on Earth". After years of effort Svensmark shows how the variable frequency of stellar explosions not far from our planet has ruled over the changing fortunes of living things throughout the past half billion years. Appearing in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, It's a giant of a paper, with 22 figures, 30 equations and about 15,000 words. See the RAS press release  here

By taking me back to when I reported the victory of the pioneers of plate tectonics in their battle against the most eminent geophysicists of the day, it makes me feel 40 years younger. Shredding the textbooks, Tuzo Wilson, Dan McKenzie and Jason Morgan merrily explained earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain-building, and even the varying depth of the ocean, simply by the drift of fragments of the lithosphere in various directions around the globe.

In Svensmark's new paper an equally concise theory, that cosmic rays from exploded stars cool the world by increasing the cloud cover, leads to amazing explanations, not least for why evolution sometimes was rampant and sometimes faltered. In both senses of the word, this is a stellar revision of the story of life.   Here are the main results:

* The long-term diversity of life in the sea depends on the sea-level set by plate tectonics and the local supernova rate set by the astrophysics, and on virtually nothing else.

* The long-term primary productivity of life in the sea - the net growth of photosynthetic microbes - depends on the supernova rate, and on virtually nothing else.

* Exceptionally close supernovae account for short-lived falls in sea-level during the past 500 million years, long-known to geophysicists but never convincingly explained..

* As the geological and astronomical records converge, the match between climate and supernova rates gets better and better, with high rates bringing icy times.

Presented with due caution as well as with consideration for the feelings of experts in several fields of research, a story unfolds in which everything meshes like well-made clockwork. Anyone who wishes to pooh-pooh any piece of it by saying "correlation is not necessarily causality" should offer some other mega-theory that says why several mutually supportive coincidences arise between events in our galactic neighbourhood and living conditions on the Earth.

An amusing point is that Svensmark stands the currently popular carbon dioxide story on its head. Some geoscientists want to blame the drastic alternations of hot and icy conditions during the past 500 million years on increases and decreases in carbon dioxide, which they explain in intricate ways. For Svensmark, the changes driven by the stars govern the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Climate and life control CO2, not the other way around.

By implication, supernovae also determine the amount of oxygen available for animals like you and me to breathe. So the inherently simple cosmic-ray/cloud hypothesis now has far-reaching consequences.

Much more HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

The environment's getting worse, yet humanity's doing better than ever. What gives?

Most ecologists would agree that humans are plowing through the Earth's natural resources at an unsustainable rate - and pushing up against some worrisome thresholds in the biosphere. (Here's an old article of mine on "planetary boundaries" that offers the grim overview.) From our carbon-laden atmosphere to stressed oceans, the planet's ecosystems are hurting, and this is widely believed to have adverse consequences for human beings. But at the same time, humanity itself has never been better off. People are living longer, healthier, richer lives than ever before.

So why the disparity? And does this mean that we shouldn't fret too much about global warming, ocean acidification and other budding ecological crises, since recent history suggests that people will just continue to grow more prosperous even as we cause irreversible damage to the planet? (Indeed, some economists have tried to make exactly this point.)

Back in 2010, a team of researchers led by McGill's Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne tried to figure out how to resolve the "environmentalist's paradox," in a paper for the journal Bioscience. Here were their four big hypotheses:

Maybe humanity isn't actually better off. That's one possibility to consider. Perhaps the decline of ecosystem services is having an adverse effect on us and we just haven't noticed. But this is hard to square with the data. It's true, natural disasters seem to be walloping more people than ever before - likely due to the fact we're heating up the planet with all our carbon pollution. But, the authors point out, that's vastly outweighed by the fact that things like life expectancy and per capita GDP have never been higher. The Human Development Index has plenty of data on this. There's still inequality and poverty and disease, but on the whole, the trend's heading upward. So this probably isn't the answer.

Advances in food production are more important than anything else. It's hard to think of a broad technological advance that has done as much for humanity as the Green Revolution. Modern-day farming may be extremely chemical-intensive, it may disrupt nature's nitrogen cycle, and it may deplete water tables, but there's no question that the widespread use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and other assorted farming techniques have enabled the world to feed itself even as the population has ballooned to 7 billion. And food, the authors note, just might override all those other concerns. (That said, it's still an open question.whether the benefits of industrial agriculture will continue to outweigh the downsides in the decades ahead.)

Technology makes us less dependent on ecosystem services. This is another possible way to resolve the paradox. We've been able to grow more crops on less land. We've been able to desalinate water. We've been able to shelter ourselves from heat waves. After Britain chopped down all its forests in the eighteenth-century, it developed another energy source (coal) and kept on chugging. So perhaps technology will continue to allow us to thrive even as ecosystem services decline. That's possible, although it's still hard to imagine what technologies will shield us from widespread ocean acidification or an increasingly likely 4øC rise in global temperature. Which brings us to the fourth hypothesis.....

The worst impacts of ecosystem degradation are yet to come. This is one of the more plausible explanations for the paradox. We've put a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, but it takes a few decades for those effects to fully manifest themselves in the climate. There's a lag in the system, and our ecological debts haven't come due yet. Likewise, a number of researchers have suggested that certain trends in environmental degradation - like the disruption of the nitrogen cycle or extinction rates - may have "tipping points," whereby things seem to be crumbling slowly until suddenly, rapid and potentially irreversible shifts take hold.

What's interesting about the BioScience study is its emphasis on the fact that researchers still don't seem to have a solid grasp on the relationship between ecosystem services and human well-being. (In the two years since it was published, follow-up papers have stressed the need for better data on this link.)

For the moment, human existence keeps improving - in genuine and meaningful ways


It's Not Easy Fueling Green

Okay, officially color me confused. My hand to God, I honestly thought the Obama Administration was in favor of green energy. (You in the back, yes you with the retirement package from Solyndra, quit laughing or leave the room.).

After all, wasn't this the president who had touted the benefits of running your sub-sub compact on fuel derived from algae just a few short months ago?

Yes it was. And despite the fact that I stand behind the job growth inherent in, and affordability of traditional fuels, like any reasonable person I support keeping the options box full when it comes to energy, and that includes biofuels.

And a president who is courting the granola vote should be in favor of biofuels which are the epitome of renewable resources, since all one has to do is plant more. It doesn't get much greener than that. Think of the convenience: Your next tank of gas could be sprouting right now next to your green beans.

Or maybe not.

The Administration and its pitbull, the Environmental Protection Agency have not exactly been friendly to the biofuels industry.  That may seem odd on spec, but then again this is the same president who took credit for natural gas production by private companies on private land, so it only seems fitting that the same president could tout the benefits of super high-test algae on one hand, while cutting the roots out of the biofuels industry with the other.

According to George Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom and biofuels advocate, the EPA is planning new and intrusive regulations and policies on companies developing biofuels, as opposed to allowing entrepreneurs who have a vested interest in creating a quality product at an attractive price find innovative ways to solve the present fuel crisis.

And it may be unrelated, (somehow, I doubt it) but while many favor non-food biofuels made from wood products, grasses and algae; Landrith notes that the EPA is considering a 50% increase in ethanol mandates and also alleges that some ethanol producers have been hard at work lobbying the government to increase ethanol requirements in gasoline from 10 to 15% and thus increase the demand for their product.

That, notes Landrith, would not sit well with vehicle engines, but would in fact provide ethanol providers with "a little walkin' around money."

It would appear that be it electric cars or biofuels, this administration is more interested in Cash, Command and Control than it is in providing real energy solutions.

I would pity the poor fuel fools who believe him, were the rest of us not being dragged behind this electric car of an administration headed straight for an economic runaway ramp.


The most toxic thing about mercury is the EPA's attempt to ban it

EPA's recently announced regulations on mercury from power plants will, in fact, do nothing substantial about the amount of this element in the global atmosphere. If they were really serious, they would ban volcanoes and forest fires, which are much larger sources.

Total annual releases of mercury to the atmosphere from such natural sources are about 5,200 metric tons per year. The world's volcanoes tend to concentrate along the Pacific Rim, where the great tectonic plates that define the world's continents are in flux, and in the mid-Atlantic, where continental drift is expanding the Atlantic ocean, opening up huge rifts that extend far beneath the surface. Forest fires tend to take place where there are forests-especially dry ones like those in the western U.S.

Data published in the refereed scientific journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions indicate that the amount of mercury released into the atmosphere by human activities-mainly from smelting of metals and combustion of coal-is about 2,320 tons, for a total atmospheric increment (natural + anthropogenerated) of a bit over 7,500 tons per year. The human contribution makes up about 31% of the annual total.

Now it gets good, and we can see how absurd EPA's perseveration on mercury from U.S. power plants is.

The total contribution from all human activity in the United States to the global mercury flux is approximately 120 tons, or about 1.6% of the total. The amount coming from U.S. coal-fired electricity plants is around 48 tons, 0.6% of the global load. But mercury can reside a long time in the atmosphere-up to two years, so, unless it quickly rains out as "wet deposition", it's likely to disperse far, far away. In fact, only about 25% of the mercury emitted by our power plants, or 0.2% of global emissions, falls on our soil.

For that we are going to close 68 power plants supplying electricity to about 22 million homes?

Both the EPA and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) used different models to estimate how much of the mercury deposited in the U.S. comes from power plants, and how much comes from foreign sources. They arrived at even lower numbers than we show here. According to EPRI's 2006 Issue Briefing on mercury:

    "Analysis of mercury emissions from U.S. sources, including coal-fired power plants, shows that about 2/3 of this emitted mercury leaves the United States. Most of it is assumed to join the global atmospheric pool. Only about 1/15th of the mercury depositing in the U.S. originates from U.S. power plants, even though they account for nearly 40% of U.S. mercury emissions. Mercury deposition occurring over 70% or more of the U.S. surface area originates in other countries, and is often transported thousands of miles before arriving in the U.S. Thus, reducing domestic power plant sources of mercury will not result in proportional reductions in deposition occurring across the U.S."

The fact that the relative numbers are inconstant across the various sources shows how impossible detecting any effects of mercury emissions reductions will be. Further, there is simply no evidence linking mercury from power plants in the U.S. to any single specific case of illness or death.

The fact of the matter is that, in the near term, natural gas is likely to continue to displace coal for electrical generation as it has now become less costly due to the exploitation of the huge amounts of gas and oil lying beneath the nation's surface in shale rock deposits. There is little doubt that, if this continues, power companies would gradually switch away from coal as plants aged. Unfortunately, the EPA's activity accelerates this process, inducing unwanted costs and permanently displacing thousands of Appalachian coal workers, for no detectable mercury-related health effect.

SOURCE  (See the original for links and graphics)


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


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hansen's rhetoric gets really weird:  Now talking about "boiling" oceans

He sounds like he has flipped his lid.  Even the most extreme IPCC prediction goes nowhere near that.

But let's look at a couple of places where the oceans are warm anyway.  Below are plots of sea surface temperature at Fiji and the Cook Islands in the mid-Pacific.  Also on the graph is the sharply rising plot of atmospheric CO2.  So the sea-surface temperature must be rising like crazy too, right?

The facts speak for themselves

More HERE (See the original for links)

Turning Homeland Security into the Green Police

Just when you thought the federal government’s “greening” of America couldn’t get any more ridiculous, along comes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with its first-ever Environmental Justice Strategy. (link here)

Yes, that’s right. When determining how best to secure our nation against al-Qaeda, Iran, North Korea, China and other assorted threats, DHS must determine if its actions place “disproportionately high and adverse effects on the human health and environment of minority or low-income populations.”

Starting this year, DHS will prepare an Annual Implementation Progress Report to address the department’s efforts concerning: “(1) implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act; (2) implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; (3) impacts from climate change; and (4) impacts from commercial transportation and supporting infrastructure (“goods movement”).”

In order to comply with the new strategy, senior leadership at DHS must ensure that “environmental justice is appropriately integrated into their specific mission: maritime safety, security, and stewardship; federal assistance authority; emergency management programs; border security; transportation security; immigration services; law enforcement training; science and technology research; and mission support and asset management.”

Further, “[a]s the Department’s capacities and mission areas evolve in response to improved understanding of emerging threats to safety and security, the concepts of this strategy will be extended to match the commitment to environmental justice in those new areas.”

There now, don’t you feel safer?


If Only the Romans had the EPA to Crucify the Dissenters

A recently surfaced video of an EPA official's rant confirms what many of us already knew about the Obama Administration: they imagine themselves to be the rulers of conquered territories populated by restless barbarians who must be subjugated at any cost, complete with indiscriminate and severe exemplary punishments.

Al Armendariz, Administrator for EPA's South Central Region (appointed by President Obama on November 5, 2009), thought he was among his cohorts when he said this:

"The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years."

Considered to be one of the 25 most powerful Texans, Armendariz has used his government position to do just that - crucifying some oil companies on trumped-up charges in order to terrorize the others."

But his reference to a "Turkish town" gave me pause. Turkey didn't exist at the time the Romans conquered Asia Minor. At the time, it was inhabited mostly by Greeks.  Romans could only conquer a Turkish village if they were to take a time machine ten centuries into the future, given that Rome fell a thousand years prior to the Turks brutally invading Asia Minor and calling that land Turkey.

But random execution so as to terrorize conquered peoples into submission was exactly what the Muslim Turks later did in order to subjugate the non-Muslim natives in their own ever expanding empire, as the Ottoman Empire swept over much of the former extent of Rome's empire.

This Texan Young Turk's appalling knowledge of history makes me wonder about his knowledge of other fields, including environmental science and business management. Knowledge and the scientific method of inquiry have been replaced with the feeling of righteousness and superiority towards the "savages" - i.e., those of us who do not share his "progressive" worldview.

From my unprogressive "barbarian" perspective, however, if the Romans had today's EPA to crucify the dissenters, the Roman Empire would still be around today and the Turks would be in real trouble. And not just the Turks; the rest of us would also live under the fascist jackboot.

I would have liked to make a prediction that if fascism were to come to America, it would come wearing a friendly smile as a protector of the people and the planet. But such a prediction is too late: the friendly, smiling fascism is now here.


Obama’s “None Of The Above” Energy Policy

Via Resouceful Earth we received news of a story on EE New’s Greenwire reports that the Obama Administration is actively working, one must assume, to “Keystone” the Pebble Mine project in Alaska under the auspices of the Clean Water Act.

U.S. EPA is defending its review of large-scale development in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed amid strong concerns from state leaders, including Attorney General Michael Geraghty.

At issue is the controversial Pebble Limited Partnership’s gold and copper mine in southwestern Alaska, which could become one of the largest in the world. Opponents worry the project could hurt tourism and a valuable salmon fishery.

In a recent letter, Geraghty questioned EPA’s legal authority to conduct the assessment, since the company has yet to submit permit applications (Greenwire, April 3).

But in another letter earlier this month, EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran said the Clean Water Act gave him the authority to establish programs and conduct research for pollution prevention. He also offered the state an olive branch by agreeing to meet to discuss concerns.

Remember that last month the EPA was roundly smacked down by the Supreme Court for their fine first, investigate later use of the Clean Water Act. That rebuke has not dissuaded them from trying to use the Act to shut down the Pebble project before it has even formally been proposed. More from the Greenwire article:

Groups, including Alaska Native tribes, have been at odds over EPA intervention and a possible pre-emptive Clean Water Act permit veto of the project.

“In order to give due consideration to these conflicting requests,” McLerran wrote, “the EPA decided to collect and evaluate available scientific information on Bristol Bay fisheries and their vulnerability to large-scale mining development.”
With the draft watershed assessment scheduled for release next month and peer review and public meetings planned in its wake, both opponents and supporters of the mine have intensified their lobbying efforts.

The Pebble Partnership has touted the attorney general’s letter and said EPA’s assessment might lead to a veto of the project, which state and company officials call illegal and unprecedented (Greenwire, Feb. 9). The agency is not discounting the possibility of such an action.

The Pebble project, like Keystone before it, is just one large example of the trend under this president. While publically saying that they are pursuing an “all of the above” energy and resource strategy, down in the trenches (out of public view for the most part) what is really happening is that administratively and bureaucratically they are ensuring that “none of the above” ever see the light of day.

Marita Noon at Townhall shows that Obama’s reelection could well depend on preemptively shutting down Pebble and other similar projects to appease his green constituency. The environmentalists want total government control of all natural resources and want bureaucrats to determine what air, land, and ocean uses are acceptable.

Yet another thing that is at stake in this election…


Royal Society Hammered in Latest Plug of Post Normal Science

Britain’s once illustrious Royal Society is exposed again selling out to an elitist agenda promoting de-population and eco-evangelism

Latest whistleblower on this disturbing trend is Ben Pile of Climate Resistance. Pile pens a punishing new piece exposing the sinister rise of Malthusianism cloaked in post-normal platitudes. With his article. ‘The Royal Society Takes Another Step Away from Science ‘ Pile hammers the RS hard declaring:

“The scientific academy has sensed that it in today’s world, it wields political power. As the call for evidence suggests, the Royal Society has already decided that population is a problem, and the size of the population ought to be managed by political power, not by the individuals it consists of.”

The Royal Society is shown abandoning its faltering campaign to trumpet man-made global warming alarm to switch to alarm about so-called over population; all in the same anti-science Malthusian vein that humans are inherently “bad.”

Back in October 2010, the same author had written an article for Spiked that first identified the sinister politicization of this once venerable institution:

“It is no coincidence that, as it was preparing to moderate its statements on climate change, the Society has been seeking to intervene in the debate about population. In July this year, it announced that it would be ‘undertaking a major study to investigate how population variables will affect and be affected by economies, environments, societies and cultures’.”

If ever there was a compelling argument made for the need of a truly independent and non-political forum for science voices here it is.

A new forum for non-politicization of science is Principia Scientific International. It takes much the same hard-hitting line as Pile to denounce national academies such as the Royal Society that expound political dogma in place of scientific fact. The Royal Society has skewed science itself by abandoning it’s legitimate role as a powerful mode of inquiry to promote a pretence of science by exploiting a position of political authority.

As such we now live in an age where creeping rise of junk “post-normal” science threatens the traditional norms of evidence-based research.


Green "failures" are not failures if you understand their true purpose

With the Solyndra, First Solar, Sunpower, Fisker, and related Obama administration Department of Energy scandals, President Obama is following a trail blazed by Vice President Al Gore in the mid-1990s.  Similar scandals -- failed (or failing) green technology companies intertwined with Democratic Party fundraising -- will continue to arise until we understand their genesis.

Doubtless there are sincere entrepreneurs and enthusiasts in the green technology industry.  Nonetheless, I suspect that these green ventures fail so frequently because their political backers have about as much stake in their success as did Bialystock and Bloom in the success of Springtime for Hitler.

Perhaps these ill-starred ventures appear so often with substantial DOE funding precisely because they are successful in their primary surreptitious purpose of providing a Wall Street "pump and dump" vehicle for channeling cash to Democratic Party insiders.  Considering that until recently insider trading was actually legal for congressmen, the insidious nature of such scandals is particularly compelling.

To begin to understand these phenomena, it is illuminating to review the record of the original, the prototypical failed green technology scandal.  It began in 1995 when Vice President Al Gore visited Fall River, Massachusetts to offer an Earth Day speech touting Molten Metals Inc.  This company failed soon thereafter.
[T]he stock plunged from $28 to $14 in a single day in October 1996 when the company lost Department of Energy funding for a research contract. Doubts were raised about the commercial viability of Molten Metal's waste disposal system.

In the aftermath of this collapse, there was a congressional investigation.  However, House Republicans could not prove that Peter Knight -- who was Al Gore's senatorial aide and chairman of the Clinton-Gore election campaign -- had used his connections to the vice president when lobbying very successfully on behalf of MMT.  In addition, there was a suspicious grant of stock to Mr. Knight's son -- perhaps an inept attempt to conceal the ownership of these shares.  One can only wonder whether other "insiders" successfully concealed their ownership in MMT.  According to a lengthy article in the New York Times, Nov. 4, 1997:

The Republicans want to know why Zachary Knight, the son of a lobbyist, Peter S. Knight, was given nearly $20,000 in stock by William M. Haney 3d, the chairman of Molten Metal Technology Inc., a Massachusettes [sic] environmental-technology company. The gift from Mr. Haney and his wife came just two weeks after Mr. Knight was named chairman of the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign in May 1996.

Republican investigators say they believe the gift was a form of payment to Mr. Knight, who had worked as a $7,000-a-month lobbyist for Molten Metal before becoming campaign chairman. Before voluntarily giving up his job as a lobbyist, Mr. Knight had helped the company win $32 million in Federal grants while urging its executives to contribute and raise $132,000 for the Democrats and President Clinton's re-election effort.

The Republicans plan to argue that Molten Metal won most of its grants because Mr. Knight used his ties to Mr. Gore and because the firm and its employees contributed heavily to the Democratic Party. Mr. Haney is a longtime supporter of Mr. Gore.

Indeed, the Republicans will try to show that Mr. Knight helped arrange for Mr. Gore to visit Molten Metal's plant in Fall River, Mass., to commemorate Earth Day in April 1995. At the ceremony, Mr. Gore described the company's hazardous waste cleanup technology as "a shining example of American ingenuity, hard work and business know-how."

We see here the outlines of what is driving these cynical scandals. It is the opportunity for insiders to be given shares in these companies prior to (vice) presidential speeches touting their DOE-funded technologies.  According to a Forbes April 21, 1997 account of the scandal:

Al Gore helped send the stock flying when he called Molten Metal "a shining example of American ingenuity."  Sound familiar?  Who can forget President Obama's iconic May 2010 speech touting Solyndra?  He uses language nearly identical to Gore's.  I'm led to the conclusion that Al Gore perfected a 7-step fundraising formula that has been repeated by Democrats ever since:

Al Gore's Formula for DOE Green Technology-Scandal

Form a political partnership with insiders at Company A developing "Green Technology."

Distribute cheap stock in Company A to political insiders -- with ownership concealed.

Shower Company A with insider-directed DOE grants, contracts, and loans to artificially pump up its financials and Potemkin-prospects for success.

Tout the ingenuity of Company A in major political speeches -- even if you have to manufacture a global warming "crisis" to justify the company's product.

Advise political insiders to discreetly dump their overpriced stock a little at a time to avoid a run in the market but well before the inevitable collapse.  This gradual insider-trading will not trigger alarm in the market or scrutiny from the SEC, which is normally on the hunt for large stock-trades suspiciously timed to specific events.|

Collect campaign contributions from gratified and newly enriched political insiders.

Wash, rinse, and repeat the fleecing cycle with Company B.
The deviousness of this formula is that Treasury funds are not stolen directly.  Such stealing is very difficult to conceal because Treasury funds are closely tracked and subject to audit precisely to avoid massive misappropriation.  For example, today's GSA scandal is marked by not only brazenness, but also stupidity, since there is doubtless a paper-trail leading directly to the perpetrators.

Instead, with Gore-style green scandals, ostensibly legitimate but actually politically (mis)directed flows of government "investment" are suborned to puff up companies; the actual payoff is taken from untraceable Wall Street capital transactions unconnected to the Treasury.

OWS-types take note: such scandals are particularly cynical since the victims of the fraud (in addition to taxpayers) are the very Gaia-worshiping, Earth Day-celebrating Trustafarians (i.e., Al Gore's fawning base) who actually buy into the confidence-game concerning our future "Green Economy" and who then invest their trust funds in these hoax green companies.  Many of these folks would, I'm sure, further emulate Max Bialystock's little old lady investors and forgive their prince even if they became aware of his fraudulent conduct.

Al Gore was rewarded by the Democrats for inventing this winning fundraising formula by being nominated as their presidential candidate.  If not for the election of 2000, we would not have had to wait until 2010 to see so many repeats of the MMT scandal scenario.  As it turned out, Al Gore landed at Kleiner Perkins, one of the leading Silicon Valley venture-capital firms, where he is perfectly positioned to carry out steps 1 and 2 of the formula above.

Concealing political-insider ownership of shareholdings is the work of but a moment if you can rely on investment services from someone in your "crew" like Jon Corzine of  Goldman-Sachs, who, it is worth noting, is still a reliable "campaign bundler" for President Obama even amid the unfolding MF Global scandal.

Am I being hyperbolic in detailing Step 4 above with the phrase "even if you have to manufacture a global warming 'crisis' to justify the company's product"?  Perhaps not, if you consider that Al Gore's close confidant, Maurice Strong, was on the MMT board of corporate directors.  Forbes has this note from Jan. 12, 1998:

A member of Molten's board, Strong sold some shares at around $31 apiece a month prior to the stock's October 1996 collapse. Today the stock is at 13 cents a share and Strong is being sued by San Diego class-action shark Milberg Weiss.

What was Strong's reward for his part in the MMT fiasco?  During the Bush interregnum, the Democrats decided that he was eminently well-qualified to be bumped upstairs to the U.N., where he eventually founded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Connecting the dots from the green technology scandals of the Clinton-Gore administration to those of today may help illuminate the Obama era.  Not only are the DOE and other government agencies corrupting science with grants to buy academic "research" that supports the "scientific consensus" over global warming hysteria, and not only is the DOE using the false "crisis" to block commonsense energy initiatives like the Keystone Pipeline, but the DOE is also using the "crisis" to justify vast "investments" of taxpayer funds, a gigantic green thumb on the financial scales that distorts Wall Street's normal ability to finance economically sustainable new enterprises instead of this era's continuing series of politically correct yet rapid failures.  No wonder we're in a prolonged depression.

One begins to understand the scope of the problem.  With vast tranches of Wall Street cash being manipulated very profitably by well-connected greens, the enormous financial interests propelling the continuing "global warming" hoax will fund continued political resistance to any reform effort targeting enactment of a traditional American common-sense approach to energy and investment.

These greens will whip up their eco-fanatic storm-troopers and OWS types if there is any attempt at reform.  Wall Street wins regardless, so there is no help to be expected from that quarter, although it explains the growing divide between the financial industry and Main Street.  While understanding the problem can be the first step in solving it, Tea Party patriots and other reformers have our work cut out for us.



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


Friday, April 27, 2012

Cut world population and redistribute resources, false prophet urges

That the Guardian is giving space to Ehrlich is yet more evidence that for the Left there is no such thing as right and wrong  -- in any sense of those words.  Black can be white if it suits the Green/Left.  Do I really need to spell out Ehrlich's widely-proclaimed false prophecies in the 1960s?  Here's a sample:

   “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

    “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

    “[A] minimum of ten million people, most of them children, will starve to death during each year of the 1970s. But this is a mere handful compared to the numbers that will be starving before the end of the century.”

    “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

    [By 1984], “the United States will quite literally be dying of thirst.”

[I forecast] “a new Ice Age … with rapid and drastic effects on the agricultural productivity of the temperate regions.”

The world's most renowned population analyst has called for a massive reduction in the number of humans and for natural resources to be redistributed from the rich to the poor.

Paul Ehrlich, Bing professor of population studies at Stanford University in California and author of the best-selling Population Bomb book in 1968, goes much further than the Royal Society in London which this morning said that physical numbers were as important as the amount of natural resources consumed.
Link to this audio

The optimum population of Earth – enough to guarantee the minimal physical ingredients of a decent life to everyone – was 1.5 to 2 billion people rather than the 7 billion who are alive today or the 9 billion expected in 2050, said Ehrlich in an interview with the Guardian.

"How many you support depends on lifestyles. We came up with 1.5 to 2 billion because you can have big active cities and wilderness. If you want a battery chicken world where everyone has minimum space and food and everyone is kept just about alive you might be able to support in the long term about 4 or 5 billion people. But you already have 7 billion. So we have to humanely and as rapidly as possible move to population shrinkage."

"The question is: can you go over the top without a disaster, like a worldwide plague or a nuclear war between India and Pakistan? If we go on at the pace we are there's going to be various forms of disaster. Some maybe slow motion disasters like people getting more and more hungry, or catastrophic disasters because the more people you have the greater the chance of some weird virus transferring from animal to human populations, there could be a vast die-off."

Ehrlich, who was described as alarmist in the 1970s but who says most of his predictions have proved correct, says he was gloomy about humanity's ability to feed over 9 billion people. "We have 1 billion people hungry now and we are going to add 2.5 billion. They are going to have to be fed on more marginal land, from water that is purified more or transported further, we're going to have disproportionate impacts on how we feed people from the population increase itself," he said.


Matt Ridley Responds To The Royal Society's 'People And The Planet'

John Sulston's committee argues that the more people there are and the richer they are, the more resources they consume. True. But it does not follow that the damage they do to the planet is greater. In important ways it gets less.

Why are many ecological and conservation problems worst in poor countries? Haiti is 98% deforested, and parts of Africa are seeing the devastation of wildlife populations, whereas in Europe and North America, forests cover is increasing, rivers and lakes are getting cleaner and deer numbers are rising. It is now more than 150 years since a native European bird species went globally extinct.

Some of that is because rich countries export their problems. But more of it is because economic development leads to a switch to using resources that no other species needs or wants (iron ore, oil, uranium, radio frequencies), instead of taking resources from living nature. Above a certain average level, income correlates negatively with many kinds of ecological damage as countries can afford to devote money to conservation. (China just passed that level and is reforesting again.)

Contrast Haiti, which relies on biomass (wood) for cooking and industry, with its much (literally) greener neighbour the Dominican Republic, which subsidises propane for cooking to save forest. Contrast the spasm of megafaunal extinction caused by early hunter-gatherers in America with the resurgence of deer, wolves, beaver and bald eagles there today ­made possible by the fact that people don't need to eat them or wear their skins.

Above all, economic growth leads to a more sparing use of the most important of all resources - land. As Helmut Haberl has shown, fertilizer and irrigation can vastly increase the productivity of ecosystems in rich countries sometimes more than compensating for the theft of calories for human consumption and thus not just sparing land for wildlife, but potentially enhancing wild ecosystems. It is entirely possible that this century will see ecological restoration gradually get the upper hand over ecological destruction, but only if people move to cities, further intensify farm yields, use oil instead of biofuels, un-dam rivers to replace hydro with gas or nuclear, build with steel and glass rather than timber and so forth. Seven billion people going back to nature would be a disaster for nature. Remember: no non-renewable resource has yet run out, whereas several renewable ones have: great auks, for example.

Of course, if human populations were smaller there would be less impact on the planet's resources. But since voluntary mass suicide does not appeal to people, the key question is: what level of economic activity leads to lowest birth rates? The surprising answer from all continents over 200 years is: the higher the better - though of course other factors also matter. As babies stop dying, people have fewer of them.


So Fake It’s Real: Global Warming is Reality TV for the Media Elite

Here’s my challenge to all the global warming apologists:  Explain to me why the “settled science” of global warming has to manipulate headlines to make information appear scarier and more threatening than the actual data shows. If global warming is so settled, why do you and your friends take the opportunity to exaggerate, obfuscate and slant every piece of news that comes out to make it seem relevant to today?      

You can see an example of this in the headlines below:

“Climate Change Main Contributor to Corn Volatility, Study Says” writes Bloomberg-BusinessWeek. “Climate Change Has Outsize Effect On Corn Price Volatility,” trumpets Climate Central. “Warming set to make corn prices pop,” says Agence France Presse.

“Climate Change to Affect Corn Prices, Study Says,” echoes the New York Times.

Nature Climate Change, a journal for the care a feeding of the climate change industry that masqeraudes as a peer-reviewed science rag, has published a new study that warns that “US corn price volatility to increase sharply in response to global warming projected to occur over the next three decades.”

Projected to occur over the next three decades.

The study  does not say that global warming is affecting the corn prices that are making today’s news, but rather corn prices that will be news in ten years or so.

But in another attempt to scare people into believing that a crisis has burst upon us, the media is using a self-serving expert study-  a study that is expert mostly at arguing propositions that are self-evident- to ratchet up the fear that global warming is out of control and to blame for high corn prices today.

You don’t have to be a grammarian to catch the tense and other tricks that the MSM is using to hype the results of the study.

The study says that if the climate change model predicted by global warming alarmists comes to pass, that the warming will have a bigger effect on corn prices than say, federal ethanol policies.

So in other words, the same dynamic- namely, crop yield derived from weather conditions- will continue to drive the price of corn in the same way crop prices have been affected for thousands of years.    

Yet if you were to read the headlines, you’d think the current trend of high corn prices are the result of global warming, not the real culprit: mismanagement of monetary policy by Obama and the central banks which has had an inflationary affect on many commodities including corn, oil, gold and silver.

Certainly if temperatures in the corn-belt go up by an average of ten degrees by the end of the century, as predicated in the study, I can confidently say that, yes, corn prices will be affected more by warming than any other factor.

But the summary of the Nature report come with a lot of ifs, and, buts that add up to a great deal of uncertainty: “Closer integration of agriculture and energy markets moderates the effects of climate change, unless the biofuels mandate becomes binding, in which case corn price volatility is instead exacerbated.”

Got it? Integrate agriculture and energy, whatever that means, and you moderate volatility. Use agriculture as energy and you get more volatility.

It’s this kind of reporting by the MSM that has climate change skeptics like me increasingly convinced that much of the data is being intentionally manipulated by a media elite that can not tolerate debate, especially when they are really, really, really wrong.

We saw the same type of reporting lead to widespread predictions that killer hurricanes were becoming more commonplace, as a result of global warming. We had farfetched predictions every year of a dozen or so tropical cyclones bearing down on humans who refused to stop messing with Mother Nature. This continued until the results failed to materialize and the adults in hurricane science finally put and end to the farce with a report showing that no, global warming has had no affect on hurricanes.

We saw this same type of reporting lead to the hypothesis that polar bear cannibalism was on the rise as a result of global warming by the same discredited fools who predicted that polar bear populations were declining, when in fact, the polar bear populations are growing.

Last year every weather event from a drought in Texas, to cold weather in Europe has been blamed on global warming. This despite, um, little or no evidence: “"This is not the new normal in terms of drought. Texas knows drought. Texas has been toughened on the anvil of droughts that have come and gone. This is not a climate change drought. What we do anticipate from climate change is a situation where temperatures progressively increase," said Dr. Robert Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research meteorologist, who was a lead author of the U.S. Climate Change Science Plan Synthesis and Assessment Report and definitely a supporter of warming models.

We are at the point that we could have a record cold  snap around the world for several years in a row and global warming acolytes would work furiously on models to blame it on…global warming.

That ain’t science folks. That’s reality TV.

And while the clown college that makes up the dwindling media elite in this country continues to exaggerate, obfuscate and slant every piece of news that comes out to make it seem relevant to today, expect the folks at home to continue to give them the Donald Trump treatment.


Another dubious "proxy" -- salinity

What do we need salinity for when we have thermomenter records for the period concerned?  And we all know how naughty proxies can be.  Sometimes you need to "hide the decline" in them

New research suggests that global warming is causing the cycle of evaporation and rainfall over the oceans to intensify more than scientists had expected, an ominous finding that may indicate a higher potential for extreme weather in coming decades.

By measuring changes in salinity on the ocean's surface, the researchers inferred that the water cycle had accelerated by about 4 percent over the last half century. That does not sound particularly large, but it is twice the figure generated from computerized analyses of the climate.

If the estimate holds up, it implies that the water cycle could quicken by as much as 20 percent later in this century as the planet warms, potentially leading to more droughts and floods.

"This provides another piece of independent evidence that we need to start taking the problem of global warming seriously," said Paul J. Durack, a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the lead author of a paper being published Friday in the journal Science.

The researchers' analysis found that over the half century that began in 1950, salty areas of the ocean became saltier, while fresh areas became fresher. That change was attributed to stronger patterns of evaporation and precipitation over the ocean.

The new paper is not the first to find an intensification of the water cycle, nor even the first to calculate that it might be fairly large. But the paper appears to marshal more scientific evidence than any paper to date in support of a high estimate.

"I am excited about this paper," said Raymond W. Schmitt, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who offered a critique of the work before publication but was otherwise not involved. "The amplification pattern that he sees is really quite dramatic."

The paper is the latest installment in a long-running effort by scientists to solve one of the most vexing puzzles about global warming.

While basic physics suggests that warming must accelerate the cycle of evaporation and rainfall, it has been difficult to get a handle on how much acceleration has already occurred, and thus to project the changes that are likely to result from continued planetary warming.

The fundamental problem is that measurements of evaporation and precipitation over the ocean - which covers 71 percent of the earth's surface, holds 97 percent of its water and is where most evaporation and precipitation occurs - are spotty at best. To overcome that, scientists are trying to use the changing saltiness of the ocean's surface as a kind of rain gauge.

That works because, as rain falls on a patch of the ocean, it freshens the surface water. Conversely, in a region where evaporation exceeds rainfall, the surface becomes saltier.

The variations in salinity are large enough that they can be detected from space, and NASA recently sent up a new satellite, Aquarius, for that purpose. But it will take years to obtain results, and scientists like Dr. Durack are trying to get a jump on the problem by using older observations, including salinity measurements taken by ships as well as recent measurements from an army of robotic floats launched in an international program called Argo.

Dr. Schmitt cautioned that the work by Dr. Durack and his co-authors, the Australian researchers Susan E. Wijffels and Richard J. Matear, would need to be scrutinized and reproduced by other scientists.

Another expert not involved in the work, Kevin E. Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., said that Dr. Durack had produced intriguing evidence that global warming was already creating changes in the water cycle at a regional scale. But Dr. Trenberth added that he doubted that the global intensification could be as large as Dr. Durack's group had found. "I think he might have gone a bit too far," he said.

Assuming that the paper withstands scrutiny, it suggests that a global warming of about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past half century has been enough to intensify the water cycle by about 4 percent. That led Dr. Durack to project a possible intensification of about 20 percent as the planet warms by several degrees in the coming century.


Consensus Argument Proves Climate Science Is Political

Claims of a consensus was an early sign climate science was political. It was used to support official science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a public relations campaign to offset and divert from bad science, inadequate data, and incorrect assumptions. It’s in use again as the science of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis fails and people are not persuaded.

Many scientists were fooled, including James Lovelock, a central figure to environmentalism with his Gaia hypothesis. In 2007 he said:      “Before this century is over, billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic.”

Recently he revised his view:     “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened.”      “We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now.”

How could a reputable scientist be so wrong?

Some words have different meanings for the public than for professionals. For example, calling someone a skeptic is considered derogatory, yet it’s a necessity for a scientist. When warming became climate change skeptics became deniers, a nasty ambiguous word. It means you refuse to acknowledge information, but it’s specifically used for a few who deny the holocaust, arguably the most horrendous event in history.

There’s a negative implication to the word consensus. If you’re not part of it you’re out-of-step, stupid, antisocial, or all three. There’s no consensus in science. Even in politics it’s rare to assign a number to a consensus. Apparently to pretend credibility current users say there’s a 97 percent consensus about IPCC climate science.

Numerical measures of the consensus argument appeared early in climate As I recall, approximately 6000 people associated with the IPCC represented the original consensus. That number decreased to 2500 today, but they’re still the consensus according to RealClimate, the web site about which Michael Mann wrote in a 2004 email:      “…the important thing is to make sure they’re loosing (sic) the PR battle. That’s what the site is about.”

A 16 December 2004 entry asks:      “Is there really “consensus” in the scientific community on the reality of anthropogenic climate change?”

Evidence used was the now discredited study of Naomi Oreske that claimed of 928 articles selected objectively by a three word google search, 100 percent supported IPCC science.

On 22 December 2004 there’s another RealClimate insight:     We’ve used the term “consensus” here a bit recently without ever really defining what we mean by it. In normal practice, there is no great need to define it – no science depends on it. But it’s useful to record the core that most scientists agree on, for public presentation. The consensus that exists is that of the IPCC reports, in particular the working group I report (there are three WG’s. By “IPCC”, people tend to mean WG I).

This admits consensus is unnecessary in science, but necessary for climate science “for public presentation” or propaganda.
It’s another circular argument that pervade IPCC science and politics. For example, they hypothesize that CO2 causes temperature increase, program a computer model accordingly, then say the model proves that CO2 increase causes temperature increase. RealClimate says,

   “The main points that most would agree on as “the consensus” are:

    1.The earth is getting warmer (0.6 +/- 0.2 oC in the past century; 0.1 0.17 oC/decade over the last 30 years (see update)) [ch 2]

    2.People are causing this [ch 12] (see update)

    3.If GHG emissions continue, the warming will continue and indeed accelerate [ch 9]

    4.(This will be a problem and we ought to do something about it)

    I’ve put those four points in rough order of certainty. The last one is in brackets because whilst many would agree, many others (who agree with 1-3) would not, at least without qualification. It’s probably not a part of the core consensus in the way 1-3 are.”

So the consensus is their IPCC Reports.  Here are the facts of the consensus today.

1.The rise of 0.6°C has an error of ±0.2°C or 33 percent – which is scientifically meaningless. Phil Jones a senior member of the IPCC produced the number. The earth is not warming any more.

2.The only evidence people are the cause is in their computer models.

3. Temperature increase precedes CO2 increase in every single record anywhere, except in their computer models.

4.An application of the precautionary principle.

RealClimate said about consensus:     “In normal practice, there is no great need to define it – no science depends on it.”

But climate science of the IPCC and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia was not normal practice: a political consensus was their only hope. As Michael Crichton said:     Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled."

Sounds familiar; the science is settled, and the debate is over because there’s a consensus.


Boston Parking Lot To Discount ‘Green’ Vehicles, Penalize ‘Gas Guzzlers’‏

Let‘s say you’re in Boston and you’re driving to a Celtics or Bruins game. If you’re driving a snazzy “clean” energy vehicle and you want to park in that new lot they’re putting in Bulfinch Triangle, you may be getting a discounted public parking rate.

But if you’re driving a vehicle that gets less than 15 miles per gallon, expect to pay a 10-cent “gas guzzler” penalty.
“Whatever car you buy is your choice, and they shouldn’t charge you more because you don’t have a hybrid or because you drive a ‘gas-guzzler,”’ one Boston resident (who owns a Jeep) told the
Boston Herald.

Boston’s Dinosaur Capital Partners is collaborating with California’s [of course] Streetline Inc. to outfit a parking lot in the Bulfinch Triangle area (near TD Garden) with machines that will charge clients based on the cars they drive.

“People who park hybrids or electric cars at the Green Park & Charge lot…will get a 10 percent discount on the expected $10-an-hour rate,” the Herald reports. “But those who drive sport-utility vehicles or other rides that get fewer than 15 miles per gallon will pay a 10 percent penalty.”

How do the folks behind this “green” energy scheme explain themselves?

“We feel strongly that not only is this the right thing to do, but that we’ll attract customers who feel the same way,” Dinosaur Capital’s Scott Oran told the Herald.

“A big SUV has a cost both in terms of the environment and in terms of being a heavier vehicle that causes more wear and tear on our lot,” he said. “We think that should be reflected in our price.”

The company is spending $1.5 million to build the lot, which will include 12 parking spaces outfitted with free electric vehicle charging stations.

And guess who’s picking up the $50,000 tab to keep those charging stations free? That’s right: taxpayers.

“I don’t expect too many SUV owners will be ticked off, because they understand that they’re driving a car that costs more to operate and to park,” Oran said.

Not surprisingly, a few Boston drivers interviewed by the Herald think the 10-cent “gas guzzler” surcharge is, uh, ill-advised.
John Roberts, who drives a GMC Sierra, says the surcharge “is not fair. It’s like they’re trying to make money off of people who are not environmentally conscious.”

Another resident, a Jeep owner, said: “I don’t think it’s going to matter really. People with gas-guzzlers will just park somewhere else.”


Summertime Blues

Planning a vacation this summer to Miami’s Biscayne Bay for a little fishing?

Think again, because the National Park Service wants to set aside a large swath of the pristine area as a marine reserve zone, so you might have to leave the fishing poles at home. And the boat.

Perhaps horseback riding is more your speed and the family plans to ride through California’s Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks? Sorry, but all of the permits were pulled for those activities this summer.

Or maybe you just want to lounge on the soft sands of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and read a novel, fly a kite with the kids, toss a Frisbee to the dog, and watch dad catch some fish?

No, no, no and no.

Beachcombers along specific stretches of those legendary shores are seeing signs telling them to leave their kites and pets at home, and to watch where they step.

“Leave no footprints behind. Walk in water where footprints wash away,” read the signs posted in February by federal officials.

Beaches that once welcomed fisherman to drive up to the water’s edge are also off-limits to the vehicles, and so is fishing.

These vacation destinations are all national parks that once encouraged such recreational uses and enjoyment but their new “no trespassing” attitudes have angered the local communities, and some in Congress as well.

In March, Rep. Walter Jones (R–N.C.) challenged the restrictions imposed by the beach signs, which were the result of battles with environmentalists to protect certain species.

The park service that operates the Cape Hatteras National Seashore pledged to replace them, and the new signs will read: “Walk near water’s edge. Stay below high tide line.”

Still not allowed: kites, pets, vehicles, or fishing. Sunbathing is permissible if you don’t mind getting hit by the waves every few minutes.

Beach access

“The federal government needs to remember that Cape Hatteras was established to be a recreational area for the American people,” Jones said. “But taxpayers can’t recreate without access to the beach. The goal of management ought to be a balanced approach between visitor access and species protection.”

Roping off national parks to the public and limiting opportunities for recreation, which in some cases were at the request of environmental groups, is a growing trend that lawmakers say they will examine during an oversight hearing of a House Resources subcommittee on April 27.

Florida’s Biscayne National Park is one of the largest urban recreational fishing and boating parks in the United States, but federal park employees say the coral reef is declining; so, boating and fishing must be restricted in certain areas.

Florida Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and David Rivera are challenging the proposed rule, which would close off 20 percent of the park to boating and fishing.

“The park service appears to have decided that it knows best, and that allows it to ignore the public in the pursuit of its own notions of sound conservation,” a group of Florida marine and fishing organizations said earlier this month in a letter to the editor of Soundings Trade Only Today.

Companies fold and jobs lost

In California, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes says that by eliminating horseback rides to the backcountry, the National Park Service has essentially blocked the only access that many Americans, including those with disabilities and the elderly, have to wilderness areas. The new restrictions are the result of a lawsuit brought by environmentalists who say the activity may be a threat to nature.

Losing the permits means that at least 15 companies that provided horseback rides are out of work this summer, along with an estimated 500 employees.

“This is just another example of the Obama administration actively killing jobs,” Nunes said. “They have the authority to seek permission from the courts to put these folks back to work, yet they have so far refused to entertain the option.”

“Ironically, the Obama administration is pushing backcountry horsemen out of business at the same time it is urging Americans to ‘get outdoors.’ The White House could demonstrate an interest in protecting these outdoor jobs with a simple act,” Nunes said.

Nunes wrote to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar April 17 asking that the administration intervene to reissue the permits.

“The national parks are funded by these taxpayers who have the right to access these parks,” Nunes said.

A spokeswoman for the National Park Service said they have received Nunes’ letter but have not issued a response. They are also aware of the congressional hearing, but no testimony has been drafted.

A statement from the park service office in North Carolina said the new rules there “will protect and preserve the unique natural and cultural resources of this dynamic barrier ecosystem while permitting the use of vehicles on seashore beaches and provide a variety of safe visitor experiences while minimizing conflicts among various users.”

Additionally, the park superintendent of Biscayne National Park says that restricting fishing to 7 percent of that park will increase opportunities for snorkeling and promote a healthy coral reef.

“Biscayne’s coral reef is its Old Faithful, the signature feature that draws visitors time and again,” Mark Lewis said in an April 9 letter to Soundings Trade Only Today. “Let’s showcase the reef and make this the wonderful tourism destination it should be,” Lewis said.

Jones has authored legislation specifically to address the situation in North Carolina, which he says would preserve access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Jones’ bill tells Salazar that pedestrian and vehicle access for recreation should be restricted on small portions of the beach and for a shorter period of time.

Park service ‘heavy-handed’

John Couch, who owns the Red Drum Tackle Shop in Buxton, N.C. and is president of the Outer Banks Preservation Association, said the community supports protections for the birds and turtles, but that the park service is being unreasonable and “heavy-handed” by cutting off miles and miles of access to the beaches and the recreation it provides.

“Experiences that visitors expect are now closed off because of hugely excessive and unprecedented buffer zones that just closes off the beach,” Couch said. “These are immense obstacles.”

Couch says the restrictions have already proven to be bad for the tourism industry.

“These overzealous restrictions have taken a heavy toll on the tackle shop; business is off by 30 and 50 percent. It’s bad,” Couch said.

“On the other side, the environmentalists have good intentions, but this plan is not working. I’m suffering as a member of the business community. I have no expectation of what to expect,” Couch said.

“It’s fine and dandy to protect the environment, but at the same time we have a mandate to provide protection of resources, as well as enhance the future and present recreational opportunities. But that’s not what’s going on. Now it’s a single mandate which is to protect the environment,” Couch said.

Couch said humans are not the threat to the birds and turtles, but severe storms and predators such as foxes, possums, raccoons, otter, mink and nutria are its natural enemies.

“Man doesn’t have a hand in this,” Couch said.

During one outing with the Park Service to the beach to discuss the new human restrictions, Couch said he and others watched as a ranger pulled out a rifle and killed a nearby fox

“They shot the thing right there in front of us,” Couch said.

“We’re all for the birds and the turtles, but when government and pressure from environmentalists close down the beach access in an inequitable favor to these birds at the expense of the economy and the visitors, that’s wrong,” Couch said. “We can protect the birds and provide for the sustainability of the island community.”

“We’re trying to sell the beach, we’re trying to sell family fun, and all our visitors want to do is fish, sun, and pick up some seashells.”



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