Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Catastrophic warning about the fate of humanity is given by 15,000 scientists who claim human destruction of the natural world will lead to 'misery' and an 'irretrievably mutilated' planet

Utter nonsense, as we expect from Greenies.  Nothing significant happened in response to their earlier prophecy of doom.  So what did they do?  Apologize?  No way!  They just issued a new and more lurid warning.  When they get ANY prophecy right will be the time to take notice of them. There have been many warnings of doom over the last thousand years but, despite them all, life has steadily got better for mankind

That various species have decreased in numbers may be true, though species counts are notoriously unreliable.  But that is what you expect from species competition.  Introduced species either eat or outcompete native species in what is essentially accelerated evolution.

And the most invasive species of all -- mankind -- also outcompetes other species for land and other resources.  Greenies see that as deplorable but that very success is the foundation of the better lives we live today.  You can't pretend it is bad for us.

And not all species are equally affected.  Species that can coexist with mankind are having a rare old time. Never have rodents had it so good! And trees are included in that.  The alarmists deplore the number of trees being cut down but "forget" to mention the expansion of woodlands in the USA and other technologically advanced countries

And many of their other claims are also tendentious. Global warming has been trivial over the last century and there is still no good evidence that mankind is responsible it.  And the increase in CO2 has been beneficial rather than detrimental.  It has greatly greened the planet, with desert areas like the Sahel shrinking

And the population trend is up only in poor countries. In advanced countries it is down. If Greenies would stop obstructing development, much of the third world could advance to Western standards of living and the consequent birthrates.

I could go on and fisk the whole thing but I have no inclination to clean out the Augean stables.

In sum, the "warning" below is just an assemblage of all the old and ill-founded Greenie scares.  As such, it is totally worthless

A prophetic 'warning to humanity' giving notice of perils facing the Earth has been issued by more than 15,000 scientists from around the world.

Climate change, deforestation, loss of access to fresh water, species extinctions and uncontrolled human population growth are all threatening mankind's and the Earth's future.

The letter, originally written in 1992 argued human impacts on the natural world were likely to lead to 'vast human misery' and a planet that was 'irretrievably mutilated'.

But a quarter of a century since a majority of the world's living Nobel Laureates united to sign a warning letter about the Earth, scientists argued too little was being done.

They pointed out that in the past 25 years:

- The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26 per cent.

- The number of ocean 'dead zones' - places where little can live because of pollution and oxygen starvation - has increased by 75 per cent.

- Nearly 300 million acres of forest have been lost, mostly to make way for agricultural land.

- Global carbon emissions and average temperatures have shown continued significant increases.

- Human population has risen by 35 per cent.

- Collectively the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish in the world has fallen by 29 per cent.

The message, posted online, updates an original Warning from the Union of Concerned Scientists and around 1,700 signatories delivered in 1992.

In the second warning letter to the globe, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries said humans had 'unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century'.

People should eat less meat, have fewer kids, consume less and use green energy to save the planet, the world's leading scientists urged.

'We are jeopardising our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats', it said.

'By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivise renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.'

But now it required the public to pressure their political leaders to take more decisive action.

This could include more nature and marine reserves, tougher laws to stamp out poaching and trade in wildlife, better family planning and educational programmes, more vegetarianism and less food waste, and massively adopting renewable energy and other 'green' technologies.

Professor William Ripple at Oregon State University said: 'Some people might be tempted to dismiss this evidence and think we are just being alarmist.

'Scientists are in the business of analysing data and looking at the long-term consequences.

He said that those who signed this second warning aren't just raising a false alarm.

'They are acknowledging the obvious signs that we are heading down an unsustainable path', Dr Ripple said.

'We are hoping that our paper will ignite a wide-spread public debate about the global environment and climate.'

The article 'World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice' notes 25 negative global trends.


Another declaration that ignores the evidence

This time it is the "2017 Global Carbon Budget".  All the factual statements below are true but all the interpretations are wrong.  CO2 levels DO NOT MATTER.  They don't cause warming.  In 2017 their levels are higher than ever but at the same time the planet is COOLING -- the exact opposite of the rule believed below.  Don't believe me?  Here are the numbers again:  The CO2 figures are here (see column 4) and the temperatures are here.

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry have renewed their climb after a three-year pause, driven higher by quickening economic growth and the failure to find alternatives particularly to oil, international researchers say.

Carbon emissions will rise 2 per cent in 2017 to almost 37 billion tonnes as the world economy heads for 3.6 per cent annual growth. Total emissions, including from land clearing, push that tally to 41 billion tonnes.

A slightly faster pace of GDP expansion in 2018 will also send emissions from industry and fossil fuel combustion higher for at least another year, according to the 2017 Global Carbon Budget.

"This year's carbon budget news is a step back for humankind," said Amy Luers, executive director of Future Earth, a sponsor of the report.


Australia's lush street trees face grave threat if emissions keep rising (?)

How strange that a group called the "Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub" found a problem!  Could they have done otherwise?  It's all arrant nonsense anyway. Plants generally like warmth.  A popular street tree in Brisbane is the colourful Croton.  But it only grows to shrub height here.  In Darwin, where the climate is much hotter, it grows to tree height.  And even in Sydney cumquat trees are planted as an ornamental shrub.  But in far North Queensland they grow to tree height. Warmth is more likely to make the trees BIGGER.

And they have overlooked something that flows from their own Greenie theories.  What they are warning against is a CO2-caused temperature rise.  But elevated levels of CO2 have a fertilizing effect, and can cause plants to colonize places where they were not previously found -- as has happened in the Sahel.  So in the unlikely possibility that a couple of degrees of warmth were bad for some tree, the higher levels of CO2 could well counteract that.  But they have completely ignored that factor.  So the assumption below that present distribution is also a distribution limit is very shaky.  It's a typically one-sided Green/Left document below

Much-loved leafy streets and shady parks in Sydney and Melbourne are in jeopardy, according to new research that found climate change severely threatens the health of more than one-third of tree species in Australia's cities.

The federally funded study of 1.5 million trees in 29 council areas across Australia found that higher temperatures and urban heat means new tree species may be introduced, existing trees must be given special care and some trees may disappear in certain locations.

More than four in 10 houses in Australia's capital cities have a street tree.

Trees can greatly affect people's experience of a city - providing shade, places for recreation and a sense of place and heritage. They also cool the city, capture rain, slow stormwater and provide habitat for birds and other animals.

But the study found 24 per cent of all public trees, or 35 per cent of tree species, were at high risk from increased temperatures under a business-as-usual scenario in which emissions continue to increase to 2070.

Some 14 per cent of all public trees, or 22 per cent of tree species, were at high risk of increased temperatures if emissions were limited, in line with international commitments, in the years to 2040.

Trees were deemed at high risk when predicted temperatures were warmer than 97.5 per cent of locations where the species is found – making them particularly susceptible to drought, physiological stress and pest and disease outbreaks.

In the City of Sydney, 50 per cent of trees were at high risk under a business-as-usual scenario. They included brush box, rose gums, grey oaks and several eucalypt species.

In the Sydney council area formerly known as Marrickville, now part of the Inner West Council, a business-as-usual scenario put 40 per cent of trees at high risk, including casuarina she-oaks, black locusts and several eucalyptus species.

Some 32 per cent of trees were at high risk under business-as-usual in the City of Melbourne. They included rose apples and several species of elms, oaks and eucalypts.

Melbourne's inner north City of Moreland would see 26 per cent of trees at high risk under a business-as-usual scenario, such as purple-leafed plums, prairie crabapples and the narrow-leaved ash.

Darwin had the highest proportion of trees – 85 per cent - most at high risk if emission levels rose to 2070, while Ballarat had just 1 per cent at high risk.

Risks to trees were posed by both rising global temperatures and the urban "heat island" effect, where localised warming occurs due to dark-coloured and paved surfaces, buildings and the emission of heat from human activities.

The study was conducted by the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, a consortium of four universities funded by the Department of Environment and Energy.

It said "changes to the composition and the traits of the urban forest will lead to changes in the sense of place and identity of cities."

"Many cities in south-eastern Australia have a strong European colonial heritage expressed in their many broad-leaved deciduous trees that is likely to change under future climates," it said.

Conversely, local native trees helped create unique city identities and connections to natural heritage and traditional Indigenous ownership.


Endocrine Disruption is a Medieval Spell in the Hands of Environmentalists

By Rich Kozlovich

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency is back on the endocrine disruption (ED) bandwagon and it's important we understand the history of this issue in order to make sure more "new" science on ED's isn't being made up as was the "old" science on ED's. Truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality - unless you're the EPA - then truth is meaningless. We need to get that.

In chapter one of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring she talks about some community where "a strange blight" crept over the area and everything began to change. Some evil spell had settled on the community".

Then she claims there were all sorts of maladies sickening and even killing the sheep, chickens, cattle, unexplained deaths among children and adults who would suddenly sicken and die....and the birds disappeared....and the people had done it to themselves. There was only one problem with this story. That town didn't exist! She even says it doesn't exist! Then goes on to claim some of these things are happening in a lot of communities - somewhere. Yet she conveniently fails to give a name to even one of those cities or towns. Why? Because these communities didn't exist!

Reality and green speculatory scare mongering rarely have anything in common, and time is the great leveler of truth. As the cancer scare was running out of steam, environmentalists needed a new voodoo scare. Endocrine disruption was just the thing. The National Academy of Science more accurately refers to them as hormonally active agents" (HAAs), a term that's bound to generate anxiety.

A 1996 book called Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival?--A Scientific Detective Story, caught the public's attention, especially when they called these chemical "environmental estrogens".........[that] disrupted normal hormonal processes, even at low exposure levels generally accepted as safe." According to the book mankind's future was in serious jeopardy because ED' s were going to impact our fertility, intelligence, cause attention deficit disorder and even jeopardize our survival.

According to Geoffrey C. Kabat in his book Getting Risk Right, "hormones are chemical messengers secreted by ductless glands and travel through the blood stream to affect distant organs. Hormones play a role in orchestrating the body's growth, maintaining physiologic balance, and sexual functioning and development." "Once secreted a hormone must be transported via the blood stream to the target organ by a carrier protein. Once ether it binds to a receptor and the hormone-reception unit binds to a specific region of a cell's DNA to activate particular genes."

As Michael Fumento noted in his paper " Hormonally Challenged": "Virtually any real or possible human or animal health problem may be blamed on these chemicals, including cancer, birth defects, falling sperm counts, lesbian seagulls (giving rise to the term "gender benders" for HAAs), and alligators with shrunken members", impacting all life like some medieval witch's spell in a Brothers Grimm fairy tale instead of science.

In comes Steven F. Arnold of the Tulane University Center for Bioenvironmental Research who along with his gang published a study in June of 1996 "claiming that combinations of pesticides and PCBs were up to 1,000 times more potent as endocrine disruptors than the individual chemicals alone."

Carol Browner - head of EPA at the time - declared: "The new study is the strongest evidence to date that combinations of estrogenic chemicals may be potent enough to significantly increase the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, birth defects and other major health concerns." She went on to say: "I was astounded by the findings. Dr. Lynn Goldman, EPA pesticide chief, claimed "I just can't remember a time where I've seen data so persuasive … The results are very clean looking."

But time - the great leveler of truth - once again came into play. According the journal Science, Arnold was found to have "committed scientific misconduct by intentionally falsifying the research results published in the journal Science and by providing falsified and fabricated materials to investigating officials." It was also found "there is no original data or other corroborating evidence to support the research results and conclusions reported in the Science paper as a whole."

Steve Milloy noted: "by August 1997, Arnold was forced to retract his study from publication. His retraction stated, "We … have not been able to reproduce the results we reported." He later added, "I can't really explain the original findings."'

Six months after the Food Quality Protection Act was enacted (which required the EPA to identify chemicals which were HAA's) it was reported there wasn't a lab anywhere in the world that could replicate the Tulane study, and it was then formally withdrawn. Now we know why — he cheated. The penalty imposed on Arnold was a five-year ban from federal grants. Although a lifetime ban and perhaps even criminal prosecution would have been more appropriate — after all, he was found guilty of "intentionally falsifying" taxpayer-funded research".

He wasn't alone by the way, there's hermaphrodite frog study and the small phallus alligator study, but space makes it impossible to discuss them all.

Yet the endocrine disruption component of the FQPA remains requiring the EPA to identify chemicals which are considered HAA's. In 2001 they were spending 10 million dollars a year attempting to meet that requirement. But they've had trouble declaring chemicals as HAA’s. Why?

Well there's that time as the great leveler of truth problem.

I've followed this issue from the beginning and I knew the problem they were having was - and still is - separating the ED potential of synthetic chemicals versus those which are naturally occurring. And that's the rub.

In his book The Really Inconvenient Truths Iain Murray states:
"The entire theory that industrialization is causing severe endocrine disruption falls completely apart when exposures to naturally occurring endocrine modulators are taken into account. Plants naturally produce endocrine modulators called "phytoestrogens" to which human being are expose at levels that are thousands and sometimes millions of time higher than those of synthetic chemicals. Humans consume these chemicals every day without adverse effects some even contend these chemicals promote good health."

He goes on to say

"Laboratory experiments have shown that there are so-called "endocrine disruptors" present in forty-three different foods common in the human diet, including corn, garlic, pineapple, potatoes, and wheat. Most amusingly, soybean, that product so beloved by liberal environmentalists, is a particularly potent source of phytoestrogens"....."it appears that on average human beings consume just over 100 micrograms of estrogen equivalents a day from natural sources. Compare that to the amount of industrial chemical amount of 2.5 micrograms."

He also notes:

"As it turns out phytoestrogens are actually much more potent than the chemicals that act like estrogens. Our friend DDT, for instance, has a relative potency to natural estrogen of 0.000001, meaning it takes one million molecules to have the same impact of one molecule of real estrogen."

And what is the most potent ED the public is exposed to? Oral contraceptives! And that number is massive. Oral contraceptives are the most potent ED in the nation's waterways today. But EPA only screen and test pesticide chemicals, commercial chemicals and environmental contaminants because they claim pharmaceutical regulation is a Food and Drug Administration concern. That's an easy way for the EPA to avoid facing the fact if they "compared contraceptives and phytoestrogens these two sources would dwarf the impact of pesticides."

Solution? Repeal or seriously revise the Food Quality Protection Act, which has nothing to do with food, protection or quality. But it has had a great deal to do with creating the national bed bug plague.    And that really is a Medieval Spell!


Geochemist Says Oil Fields May Be Refilled Naturally

Abiotic oil, anyone?

COULD it be that many of the world's oil fields are refilling themselves at nearly the same rate they are being drained by an energy-hungry world?

A geochemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts says she believes that hitherto undetected gas and oil reservoirs lying at very great depths within the earth's crust could stave off the inevitable oil depletion much longer than many experts have estimated.

The scientist, Dr. Jean K. Whelan, whose research is part of a $2 million Department of Energy exploration program in the Gulf of Mexico south of New Orleans, has found evidence of differences in the composition of oil over periods of time as it flows from greater to shallower depths. By gauging degradative chemical changes in the oil resulting from action by oil-eating bacteria, she infers that oil is moving in quite rapid spurts from great depths to reservoirs closer to the surface.

Skeptics of Dr. Whelan's hypothesis acknowledge that oil is almost certainly flowing into certain reservoirs from somewhere, but say her explanation remains to be proved, as does the exact extent of the phenomenon.

A site in the gulf of particular interest to the Pennzoil Exploration and Production Company and several independent scientific teams, including Dr. Whelan's group, is Eugene Island Block 330, which is not an island but a patch of sea floor 700 feet beneath the water's surface. Discovered in 1972, an oil reservoir some 6,000 feet beneath Eugene Island 330 is one of the world's most productive oil sources; it has yielded more than one billion barrels, or 42 billion gallons, and is still going strong.

But Eugene Island 330 is remarkable for another reason: Its estimated reserves have declined much less than experts had predicted on the basis of its production rate.

Dr. Whelan's somewhat controversial hypothesis is a possible explanation.

Although the reservoir from which Pennzoil is pumping oil was formed at the time of the Pleistocene epoch less than two million years ago, oil now being recovered from the reservoir has a chemical signature characteristic of the Jurassic period, which ended more than 150 million years ago, Dr. Whelan said. The implication, she believes, is that highly pressurized oil from lower levels of "stacked" reservoirs is frequently breaking through geological barriers and "burping" upward, eventually reaching the reservoir from which oil is being pumped. The source of the pressurized gas Dr. Whelan believes to be powering the process is a bed of Jurassic period "source rocks," more than 30,000 feet deep, which are rich in very hot hydrocarbons.

Oil created during the Jurassic period from the decayed bodies of plants and animals that lived during the age of dinosaurs would initially have been a liquid, but in some cases, geological processes are believed to have gradually dragged oil reservoirs downward to great depths, where pressures are enormous and temperatures are greater than 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Under these conditions, oil is "cooked," decomposing into hydrocarbon gases consisting mainly of methane.

The methane, however, cannot exist in its normal gaseous form at such pressures and temperatures, but is transformed into a "supercritical fluid" -- neither a gas nor a liquid but something in between. Large amounts of oil can be dissolved in supercritical methane, and the oil-and-methane mixture is probably capable of flowing upward from deep reservoirs through faults, cracks and geological "plumbing" to higher reservoirs. At the higher levels where temperatures and pressures are lower, methane can no longer remain in its supercritical state, and the mixture of gas and oil separates into its respective components.

"It could be," Dr. Whelan said, "that at some sites, particularly where there is a lot of faulting in the rock, a reservoir from which oil is being pumped might be a steady-state system -- one that is replenished by deeper reserves as fast as oil is pumped out." Extensive fault systems like those along the California coast might offer such a geological environment, she said.

The discovery that oil seepage is continuous and extensive from many ocean vents lying above fault zones has convinced many scientists that oil is making its way up through the faults from much deeper deposits. Faulting associated with such seepage is common along the Pacific Coast, in parts of the North Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, among other areas, Dr. Whelan said.

The amounts and types of hydrocarbons lying at great depths are highly uncertain, because oil companies have had little incentive to sink exploratory wells to depths of 20,000 feet or greater. The cost of drilling increases exponentially with depth, and there are still ample supplies of oil in relatively shallow reservoirs.

Dr. K. K. Bissada, a geochemist at Texaco Inc. in Houston, is doubtful that a true steady state exists in reservoirs that seem to be refilling themselves.

"I think we pump oil out much faster than oil can come in," he said. "But from a long-term perspective, I believe that hydrocarbons are coming in from great depths and are filling the newer reservoirs at shallower depths.

"It's impossible to put a number on the rate at which this goes on," Dr. Bissada said, "but I could imagine that this kind of stacked reservoir system, with favorable geologic plumbing between the reservoirs, might refill the upper reservoirs in, say, 10 or 20 years. If we were to go back to some old oil field that had been abandoned 50 years ago, we might drill a test well, and we might find fresh oil. The trouble is that that kind of experiment is too expensive in the present economic climate."

A recent report from the Department of Energy Task Force on Strategic Energy Research and Development concluded from the Woods Hole project that "these new data and interpretations strongly suggest that the oil and gas in the Eugene Island field could be treated as a steady-state rather than a fixed resource."

The report added, "Preliminary analysis also suggests that similar phenomena may be taking place in other producing areas, including the deep-water Gulf of Mexico and the Alaskan North Slope."

Dr. Thomas Ahlbrandt, chief of the United States Geological Survey's Petroleum Geology Branch in Denver, is among many skeptics who believe that the Woods Hole hypothesis has not been demonstrated, although experts appear to agree that an increase in estimated reserves is occurring at many sites.

"I have the impression that although the people who drilled at Eugene Island encountered a fault plane," Dr. Ahlbrandt said, "they did not find oil coming up through it. On the other hand, drilling is a high-risk proposition, and the fact that it didn't produce oil doesn't necessarily make the hypothesis wrong."

There is much evidence that deep reserves of hydrocarbon fuels remain to be tapped. A recent estimate by the Geological Survey of "conventional" oil resources within the 48 states and state waters offshore has doubled America's estimated oil reserves since the last estimate was prepared in 1989. Dr. Ahlbrandt said that the estimate of continental American oil resources was 60 billion barrels, up from 30 billion in 1989.

But Dr. Ahlbrandt hastens to add that this does not mean that prospectors are finding large new oil fields; it means that "people are becoming more clever at finding and extracting hydrocarbons from previously overlooked resources."

This results from a trend oil experts call "field growth."

In some cases, he said, an oil company may discover an oil field, pump it almost dry, and then, using new seismic techniques that produce three-dimensional images of the fine details of deep geological structures, discover that an unsuspected and untapped extension of the field exists in some new direction.

In other cases, Dr. Ahlbrandt said, prospectors may find new reservoirs by drilling beneath old ones, penetrating salt barriers that had obstructed seismic probes. Finally, oil companies sometimes unknowingly drill right through oil-rich deposits on their way to reservoirs they had identified at greater depths. From such drill holes, oil is sometimes discovered simply by piercing the drill casing with a few holes at relatively shallow depths and analyzing the fluid that flows into the pipe.

But petroleum experts agree that no one has more than a vague notion of how much gas and oil remain in the world, or how long it will last.




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


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