Friday, July 19, 2019

Joshua Trees Will Be All-But-Extinct by 2070 Without Climate Action, Study Warns

There were many periods in the history of the earth that were hotter than the present and the trees survived then so they will survive now.  Fires may be a problem but that is at the foot of the Greenies -- as they interfere with good fire management practice.  There are some extraordinary scientific bloopers below.  The article is total rubbish

Joshua trees — some of the most unusual and iconic plants of the American Southwest — have survived as a species for some 2.5 million years in the inhospitable Mojave Desert. Now, they may face imminent extinction due to climate change.

In a new study published June 3 in the journal Ecosphere, researchers and volunteer scientists surveyed nearly 4,000 trees in southern California's Joshua Tree National Park to figure out where the oldest trees tended to thrive during historic periods of extreme heat and drought. (A single Joshua tree can live up to 300 years.) Then, the researchers estimated how much of these Joshua safe zones (or "refugia") would survive to the end of the century based on a range of climate change predictions.

The study authors found that, if greenhouse gas emissions are seriously curbed and summer temperatures are limited to an increase of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius), about 19% of the park's Joshua tree habitat would survive after the year 2070.

If no action is taken to reduce carbon emissions and summer temperatures rise by 9 F (5 C) or more, however, only 0.02% of the tree's habitat would survive to the end of the century — leaving the rare tree a hair away from extinction.

"The fate of these unusual, amazing trees is in all of our hands," lead study author Lynn Sweet, a plant ecologist at the University of California, Riverside said in a statement. "Their numbers will decline, but how much depends on us."

Survivors in the sand

Joshua Tree National Park covers 1,200 square miles (3,200 square kilometers) of sandy, hilly terrain in the desert between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Arizona. The spiny-armed Joshua trees have survived millions of years of climate ups and downs by holding on to large amounts of water to carry them through the region's harshest droughts.

However, the study authors wrote, young Joshua trees and seedlings aren't able to store enough water to weather these dry spells. During long droughts — such as the epic, 376-week-long one that lasted from December 2011 to March 2019 in California — various parts of the park became too parched to support young Joshua tree growth, preventing the species from reproducing properly.

As global temperatures rise, more and longer droughts are expected to occur around the world [Rubbish!  Warmer oceans would produce MORE rain], and that means fewer and fewer new Joshua trees surviving to adulthood. To find out which parts of the tree's desert habitat were safest and which were most at risk of drying up, a team of park researchers and volunteers counted thousands of trees in various parts of the park, noting each tree’s height (which helped predict the tree's age) and the number of new sprouts in the area. They found that, in general, trees growing in higher-elevation spots, which tend to be cooler and retain more moisture, survived much better than those in lower, drier regions.

The team compared these survey results with historic climate records to predict how much of the Joshua tree's habitat was likely to shrink as temperatures rise and rainfall decreases over the rest of the century. Under the best-case scenario, they found, just 1 in 5 Joshua trees will survive the next 50 years.

Taking swift action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the only way to save the Joshua trees from extinction, the researchers found. However, even trees in the best-hydrated habitats will still face a serious threat from wildfires, which have also been occurring with greater frequency and intensity as the climate warms, they said. According to the researchers, fewer than 10% of Joshua trees survive when wildfires rush through their habitats — thanks, in part, to car exhaust coating desert shrubs with flammable nitrogen [FLAMMABLE nitrogen??? Most of the atmoshere is nitrogen. It hasn't burst into flames yet]This, at least, is a threat that can be addressed on a local level, right now.

"Fires are just as much a threat to the trees as climate change, and removing grasses is a way park rangers are helping to protect the area today," Sweet said. "By protecting the trees, they're protecting a host of other native insects and animals that depend on them as well."


Watch: Flashback 1990 CSPAN climate debate between Dr. Fred Singer & Greenpeace

Greenpeace business model

Although Greenpeace relies heavily on marketing, advertising, and free market principles, they promote socialist and anti-capitalist ideals in their messaging.

Greenpeace have successfully created a public perception that they are fighting to protect humanity, nature and the environment from the evils of corrupt industries and vested interests. This perception is so popular and wide-spread that whenever Greenpeace speaks out on an issue it is automatically assumed to be true, and anybody who questions Greenpeace’s claims is assumed to be corrupt. However, as we will discuss in this report, the reality is almost exactly the opposite...

Greenpeace is a very successful business. Their business model can be summarized as follows:

Invent an “environmental problem” which sounds somewhat plausible. Provide anecdotal evidence to support your claims, with emotionally powerful imagery.

Invent a “simple solution” for the problem which sounds somewhat plausible and emotionally appealing, but is physically unlikely to ever be implemented.

Pick an “enemy” and blame them for obstructing the implementation of the “solution”. Imply that anybody who disagrees with you is probably working for this enemy.

Dismiss any alternative “solutions” to your problem as “completely inadequate”.

At each of the four stages, they campaign to raise awareness of the efforts that they are allegedly making to “fight” this problem. Concerned citizens then either sign up as “members” (with annual fees) or make individual donations (e.g., $25 or more) to help them in “the fight”.

This model has been very successful for them, with an annual turnover of about $400 million ($0.4 billion). Although technically a “not for profit” organization, this has not stopped them from increasing their asset value over the years, and they currently have an asset value of $270 million ($0.27 billion) – with 65% of that in cash, making them a cash-rich business. Several other groups have also adopted this approach, e.g., Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, WWF and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Although their business relies heavily on marketing, advertising, and free market principles, they promote socialist and anti-capitalist ideals in their messaging. As a result, their campaigning efforts appear to resonate strongly with left-leaning parties and liberal media. By draping themselves in “moral clothing” (see Appendix 4), Greenpeace have been very effective at convincing these progressive organizations that anything Greenpeace says is “good” and “true”, and whatever they criticise is “bad” and “corrupt”. However, as we discuss in this report, Greenpeace are not actually helping to protect the environment, or exposing real problems. Instead, they are:

Creating unnecessary feelings of guilt, panic and frustration among the general public. Greenpeace then make money off this moral outrage, guilt and helplessness (Section 1).

Vilifying the innocent as “enemies”. Once you have been tarred by Greenpeace’s brush, any attempts to defend yourself are usually treated with suspicion or even derision (Section 2).

Deliberately fighting honest attempts by other groups to tackle the “environmental problems” that Greenpeace claim need to be tackled (Sections 3 and 5).

Distorting the science to generate simplistic “environmental crises” that have almost nothing to do with the genuine environmental issues which should be addressed. (Sections 4-5)

Actively shutting down any attempts to have any informed discussions about what to actually do about the “problems” they have highlighted (Appendices 2-4).


Deceased Navy Veteran’s Name Cleared in ‘Clean Water’ Case

After being convicted, fined, and imprisoned under the Clean Water Act for digging ponds to protect his Montana home from forest fires, Joe Robertson had his name cleared last week.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Robertson’s conviction in a legal victory that comes posthumously, since the Navy veteran died four months ago at age 80.

Robertson was 78 when the federal prosecution led to his prison sentence in 2016; he completed his 18 months behind bars in late 2017. At the time of his death March 18, he was supposed to be on parole for another 20 months.

Robertson also had been ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution through deductions from his Social Security checks. 

The 9th Circuit initially upheld a lower court ruling against Robertson in November 2017 and denied him a rehearing in July 2018. But last November, he petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case.

On April 15, the high court responded by vacating the 9th Circuit ruling and sending the case back to that appeals court for further review.

Robertson’s widow, Carrie, had stepped in to carry on his legal battle. The Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit, public interest law firm specializing in property rights, represented the Robertsons in their legal dispute with federal officials.

“We are very pleased that the 9th Circuit agreed that Joe’s convictions should be vacated and very pleased for Carrie, who will no longer have a $130,000 federal judgment hanging over her head,” Tony Francois, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, said in a press release.

Prior to his conviction, Robertson operated a business that supplied water trucks to Montana firefighters.

In 2013 and 2014, Robertson had dug a series of ponds close to an unnamed channel near his home, to store water in case of fire. The foot-wide, foot-deep channel carried the equivalent of two to three garden hoses of water flow, his petition says.

The Environmental Protection Agency claimed the ditch was a federally protected waterway under the Clean Water Act, and Robertson needed a federal permit to dig the ponds.

But the Montana man argued that he didn’t violate the federal law because digging the ponds did not discharge any soil into “navigable waters,” since the flow in the channel didn’t amount to that. The ponds are more than 40 miles away from “the nearest actual navigable water body,” the Jefferson River, his petition argues.

With the 9th Circuit’s action July 10, Robertson’s case has been settled in his favor.

The federal government will return to his widow the $1,250 in restitution that Robertson already had paid, according to Pacific Legal Foundation’s press release.

“It has been an honor to represent Joe and now to be able to complete his vindication on behalf of his wife, Carrie,” Francois said.


Australia’s growing dam crisis

Australia is a dry continent – that is a fact of geography and global climate.

However, per head of population, we have abundant fresh water resources in rivers, lakes, dams, soils and underground. But we do not conserve enough of it, and much of what is conserved is wasted by foolish policies.

Politicians welcome (and sometimes subsidise) population growth, migrants, refugees and tourists but they neglect or prevent water conservation. And green schemers and globalist politicians are deliberately turning occasional water shortages into an on-going crisis.

Our main problem is that enormous volumes of flood water flow into the sea during rain events while the same rivers run dry during droughts. Sensible people would moderate both floods and droughts with well-planned dams and weirs.

Australia’s rainfall is not well distributed – usually there is abundant water on the coastal side of the ranges, but the vast inland is largely dry land and desert.

More than 80 years ago, Dr John Bradfield, the great Australian engineer who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, could see what was needed – build dams to catch water on the rainy side and transfer it to the dry side, preferably generating some hydro power in the process. Water transfer could be achieved using tunnels and/or pipes-pumps assisted by syphon, wind or hydro energy. We have engineers and equipment able to drill huge traffic tunnels – let’s show similar skill in water management and transfer.

Once we had people with the determination and skills needed to create farsighted water projects like the Snowy Mountain Scheme, the Ord Scheme, the Gordon Dam, the Burdekin Dam and the Perth Kalgoorlie Water Pipeline. Those days are past.

Today we have far more people but we are not conserving more water. It is 30 years since we build a large dam in Australia. And we neglect or waste underground water resources.

Urban dwellers demand cheap, clean, abundant water for long showers, washing dishes and cars, public and private pools, verdant lawns, fountains, gardens, parks, golf courses and weekend retreats.

However, many of these same people tend to lead the vocal opposition to any proposal for a new dam. They criticise farmers who conserve water to grow our food and fibre, and promote high water prices in order to crush farm demand for it.

A sensible society would identify the best dam sites and have a long-term plan for acquiring and storing the land rights needed for them. We do the reverse. Decisions are postponed until the need is critical. Then landowners with vested interests, green busybodies and media stirrers manage to scare the politicians, and the water conservation proposal is killed.

Then the “No Dams” Mafia takes over, trying to sterilise the site for all future dams by quietly changing land-use and vegetation classifications.

Sydney shows how to create a water shortage such as the current one that caused the sudden weekend imposition of water restrictions. We need to remember the history of this crisis.

Back in 2002 the Carr Labor government killed the proposal to build the Welcome Reef dam on the Shoalhaven River near Braidwood. To ensure this proposal never arose again Premier Carr gazetted 100 new national parks between the Bega Valley and Nowra.

Green destroyers have also grossly mismanaged stored water by insisting on excessive and ill-timed “environmental” flows. This is a scheme where you build a dam to catch water and then try to manage the water as if the dam did not exist. It is very slow and expensive to get this lost water back from the sea using the Flannery desalination plants.

We have businessmen who can spend millions of dollars on election advertisements and casinos, and politicians who can contemplate spending billions of dollars on games and stadiums, but they can always find an academic to debunk expenditure on a new dam.

American pioneers learned from the beavers how to preserve the life blood of rivers by building weirs. Our stressed Darling River has such a low gradient that a string of weirs could preserve the river environment and sensibly ration available water supplies for fish, farmers and wildlife. And it has tributaries that could support dams.

However Greens and fellow travellers can be guaranteed to oppose every new dam or weir proposal. Judging from overseas trends, they will soon be suggesting that existing dams be destroyed. If they can find a rare frog or a native plant, or can invent a dreamtime story, any dam proposal can be delayed for decades.

It is time for real conservation – conserve our water.



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

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