Michael Shellenberger: On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

https://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2020/6/29/on-behalf-of-environmentalists-i-apologize-for-the-climate-scare

On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

By Michael Shellenberger

June 29, 2020

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”

Climate change is not making natural disasters worse

Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003

The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska

The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California

Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s

Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level

We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change

Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels

Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

I know that the above facts will sound like “climate denialism” to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism.

In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other leading scientific bodies.

Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia.

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions

But until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilization, and called it a “crisis.”

But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.

I even stood by as people in the White House and many in the news media tried to destroy the reputation and career of an outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke, Jr., a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist who testified in favor of carbon regulations. Why did they do that? Because his research proves natural disasters aren’t getting worse.

But then, last year, things spiraled out of control.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.”

The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilizations.”

Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.

As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.

Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened.

I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence.

And so my formal apology for our fear-mongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

It is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialization, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.

Some highlights from the book:

Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress

The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land

The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium

100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50%

We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities

Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%

Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did

“Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions

Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon

The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants

Why were we all so misled?

In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never I expose the financial, political, and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable.” And status anxiety, depression, and hostility to modern civilization are behind much of the alarmism

Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped.

Will Apocalypse Never make any difference? There are certainly reasons to doubt it.

The news media have been making apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change since the late 1980s, and do not seem disposed to stop.

The ideology behind environmental alarmsim — Malthusianism — has been repeatedly debunked for 200 years and yet is more powerful than ever.

But there are also reasons to believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power.

The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, Covid-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people and shattered economies around the globe.

Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicization of science. Their future existence and relevance depends on new leadership and serious reform.

Facts still matter, and social media is allowing for a wider range of new and independent voices to outcompete alarmist environmental journalists at legacy publications.

Nations are reverting openly to self-interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.

The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.

The invitations from IPCC and Congress are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment. Another one has been to the response to my book from climate scientists, conservationists, and environmental scholars. “Apocalypse Never is an extremely important book,” writes Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “This may be the most important book on the environment ever written,” says one of the fathers of modern climate science Tom Wigley.

“We environmentalists condemn those with antithetical views of being ignorant of science and susceptible to confirmation bias,” wrote the former head of The Nature Conservancy, Steve McCormick. “But too often we are guilty of the same.  Shellenberger offers ‘tough love:’ a challenge to entrenched orthodoxies and rigid, self-defeating mindsets.  Apocalypse Never serves up occasionally stinging, but always well-crafted, evidence-based points of view that will help develop the ‘mental muscle’ we need to envision and design not only a hopeful, but an attainable, future.”

That is all I hoped for in writing it. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll agree that it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems that a lifelong environmentalist, progressive, and climate activist felt the need to speak out against the alarmism.

I further hope that you’ll accept my apology.

July 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

YouTuber Styxhexenhammer666: Michael Moore Documentary Censored… By the Far Left

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOQJ5UzNjSw

May 29, 2020. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Political correctness, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

Scientists Who Didn’t Predict A Single Thing Accurately For Last Two Months Confident They Know What The Weather Is Going To Be Like In 100 Years [satire]

https://babylonbee.com/news/scientists-who-whiffed-on-every-covid-19-prediction-confident-they-know-what-the-weather-is-going-to-be-like-in-100-years

Scientists Who Didn’t Predict A Single Thing Accurately For Last Two Months Confident They Know What The Weather Is Going To Be Like In 100 Years

April 29, 2020

WORLD – Authorities in the scientific community who touted faulty COVID-19 models are “pretty confident” they know what the weather is going to be like in 100 years, sources confirmed Wednesday.

“Yes, we were off by a factor of about 1 billion in our predictions for what happened over the last few months, but trust us: we know exactly what the climate is going to be like in a century,” said leading scientific authority Dr. Garth Wendybrook at a press conference. “See, I have this lab coat and this Bunsen burner here.” At this point, he gestured toward a Bunsen burner sitting on the table in front of him, but he accidentally caught his sleeve on fire. “Fire hot! Fire hot!” the scientist cried before diving in a nearby vat of acid to put it out.

Post-press-conference analysis indicated his observations were correct, and the fire was hot.

The scientists say they have settled on a climate model that confirms the earth’s average temperature will be either 1 million degrees Celsius or below freezing, give or take 1 million degrees.

May 4, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Attention Natalie Stoclet! Your use of water in the United States does not “affect the water crisis” in Cape Town, South Africa. The real reason that Cape Town has a “water crisis” is because it chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 3, 2020

A writer named Natalie Stoclet recently wrote this article, which is called “I lived a week without using any water – and it showed me just how much we’re affecting the water crisis.”

Stoclet describes the “water crisis” with these words:

663 million people in the developing world don’t have immediate access to water, yet the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day.

Stoclet then explains her attempt to address this problem:

There are many simple ways to conserve, from turning off the tap while brushing your teeth to taking shorter showers.

I went a week without water to try and see how much we really use and found the hardest part was the mental challenge.

That is not logical. The water that Stoclet avoided using during that week did not somehow get magically transported to the countries where those 663 million people live. Her week of conservation did absolutely nothing whatsoever to help any of those people.

Stoclet also wrote:

663 million people in the developing world don’t have immediate access to water. Millions of those may have to walk up to six hours to find it. This is a task often reserved for young children and this often means that they don’t even have time to pursue an education.

You think about cities like Cape Town, which just barely avoided the crisis of running out of water.

The reason that Cape Town has a shortage of water has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Stoclet’s use of water.

The real reason that Cape Town has a shortage of water is because it chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

Israel itself is a very densely populated country, in the desert, with perpetual drought.

If any country should have a shortage of water, it’s Israel.

But according to this article from haaretz.com, this is what desalination has done for Israel:

Over and Drought: Why the End of Israel’s Water Shortage Is a Secret

Remember all the years of being told to conserve ‘every drop?’ Well, times have changed: Today, Israel has so much affordable water, it can offer to export it. So why is this achievement being kept so secret?

There is now a surplus of water in Israel, thanks largely to the opening of several new desalination plants

Those desalination plants did not appear by magic. Instead, Israel chose to build them.

Cape Town, by comparison, chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

And Stoclet’s act of going a week without water will do absolutely nothing whatsoever to help the people of Cape Town.

According to the same article from haaretz.com, the cost of desalination in Israel is only 40 cents per cubic meter. That works out to less than 1/5 penny per gallon.

Stoclet wrote the following:

You think about cities like Cape Town, which just barely avoided the crisis of running out of water… Yet at the same time, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day.

Israel desalinizes that same amount of water – 300 gallons – for less than 60 cents.

And yet, Stoclet’s article has no mention whatsoever of desalination as a way to solve the “water crisis” that 663 million people are experiencing.

Instead, Stoclet mistakenly thinks that her own water consumption somehow “affects the water crisis.”

The 663 million people suffering from the “water crisis” don’t need Stoclet or anyone else to reduce their own use of water. Instead, what those 663 million people need is desalination.

Stoclet also wrote:

It has been made easy for us to treat water as a limitless resource

While it’s true that the earth has a finite amount of water, it’s also true that that water is infinitely recyclable. The water that we drink today is the same water that the dinosaurs drank 100 million years ago. And as long as we build enough enough desalination plants, and the people who use that water are willing to pay 1/5 penny for each and every gallon that they use, then we can indeed treat water as if it is a “limitless resource.”

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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March 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

One year after her first false denials, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still trying to pretend that she doesn’t want to ban airplanes and cows

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 29, 2020

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just stated  the following:

“… as we’ve discussed the Green New Deal, I’ve noticed that there’s been an awful lot of misinformation about what is inside this resolution – a tremendous amount of wild claims – everything from saying we’re seeking to ban airplanes to ending ice cream…”

You can see and hear her saying those words in this video. Skip to 1:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Fma_esNe4

While it’s true that the specific resolution that she is referring to does not say anything about banning airplanes and cows, Ocasio-Cortez herself does support such a ban.

A year ago, Ocasio-Cortez put a document on her official Congressional website which said she wanted to get rid of airplanes and cows.

After a huge number of people criticized her for this, she took the document down.

Fortunately, the internet archive has a copy of that same webpage from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website at this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20190207191119/https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq

The original link (which no longer works) to the page at Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq

In addition, NPR (a highly reliable source, which liberals love) published a copy of the same document at this link: https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

And in case NPR ever takes that page down, here is the internet archive of that NPR page: https://web.archive.org/web/20190207164217/https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

Here are Ocasio-Cortez’s exact words, as reported by NPR:

“Yes, we are calling for a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases. Anyone who has read the resolution sees that we spell this out through a plan that calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy. Simply banning fossil fuels immediately won’t build the new economy to replace it – this is the plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically. We do this through a huge mobilization to create the renewable energy economy as fast as possible. We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.”

The version from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is slightly different, as it replaces the phrase “farting cows” with “emissions from cows.” Since the version that she gave NPR is funnier, that’s the version that I quoted.

Anyway, that’s proof and more proof that Ocasio-Cortez really does want to ban airplanes and cows.

So her recent statement that she does not want to ban airplanes and cows is a lie.

And this is not the first time that she tried to pretend that she never said she wanted to ban airplanes and cows.

Her earlier denial from a year ago, as reported in this article by the Washington Post, was that Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, blamed “typos” for the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website said that Ocasio-Cortez wanted to ban airplanes and cows.

The Washington Post reported that Chakrabarti said:

“People are trying to take the focus away from the big picture to these little typos.”

Typos?

Seriously?

I’m not buying that.

A “typo” is when you type “pwn” instead of “own.”

There is no way that the following text from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is a “typo”

“The Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.”

There’s no way that those words are a “typo.”

Someone deliberately typed those words into the document.

And who might that someone be?

Well, as I explained in this previous post, the document’s metadata proves that the document was created by Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff.

That’s the same Saikat Chakrabarti who blamed “typos” for the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website said that Ocasio-Cortez wanted to get rid of airplanes and cows.

Chakrabarti’s lie about “typos” is just as unbelievable as the other lie that I mentioned in my previous post, where Ocasio-Cortez advisor and Cornell Law School professor Robert Hockett blamed “Republicans” for starting a rumor about the document being on Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website. Here’s the video of that again. Skip to 1:06

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qyx6eDkrmw

At the end of that previous post, I wrote:

“Hockett is a Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. So I’m 100% certain that he is familiar with the laws against defamation. I hope that he will apologize to the “Republicans” that he falsely accused of lying about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s positions on the above issues.”

Hockett must have read my post, because he later admitted that he had been wrong.

So first they blamed this on “Republicans.”

And then later, they’re blamed it on “typos.”

And now, with Ocasio-Cortez’s most recent statement, she’s still trying to pretend that she does not want to ban airplanes and cows.

Again, to be clear, Ocasio-Cortez was telling the truth when she said that the current resolution does not say anything about banning airplanes and cows.

Her lie is when she said that it’s a “wild claim” that she wants to ban airplanes and cows.

It’s not a “wild claim,” because she said it on her own Congressional website, as well as in a document that she gave to NPR.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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February 29, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Global warming hypocrite and wealth inequality hypocrite Bernie Sanders just took a private jet for a 10 minute flight

Bernie Sanders claims to be against global warming.

He also claims to be against wealth inequality.

But he just made both of those problems worse by spending his campaign donations to take a private jet for a 10 minute flight.

What a hypocrite, and what a hypocrite!

Here are some other blog posts that I wrote about Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders does not want you to see these photographs of the health care that regular Cubans get

The only way that rich people could pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax would be by selling enough stock to get the money to pay the tax. This would drive down stock prices, and would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela

 

February 29, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Larry Schweikart tweeted a link to my blog!

https://twitter.com/LarrySchweikart/status/1229405075677663232

https://twitter.com/LarrySchweikart/status/1229405075677663232

https://t.co/fBct189sqw?amp=1

NY environmental whacko group BK ROT forces employees to use feet as brakes on their bikes “Fred Flintstone style” going DOWNHILL with over 100 lbs of loads.

Welcome to the WL future.

February 18, 2020. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

A New York City environmental organization called “BK ROT” violates OSHA safety regulations by forcing its employees to dangerously use their feet as brakes, “Fred Flintstone style,” on a bicycle, while hauling “almost eight hundred pounds” down “substantial hills”

* A New York City environmental organization called “BK ROT” violates OSHA safety regulations by forcing its employees to dangerously use their feet as brakes, “Fred Flintstone style,” on a bicycle, while hauling “almost eight hundred pounds” down “substantial hills.”

* Sandy Nurse, the organization’s founder, is running for political office.

* Nurse also thinks she shouldn’t have to pay back her college loans.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 15, 2020

In New York City, a woman named Sandy Nurse created an environmental organization called “BK ROT.” The organization collects food scraps and other organic waste, and turns it into compost.

As part if its green mission, all of its employees travel by bicycle.

The New Yorker recently wrote the following about this:

Five days a week, Victor Ibarra rides a bicycle through North Brooklyn, collecting food waste from restaurants, coffee shops, and other small businesses and packing it into plastic tubs on a trailer that he tows with his bike. There are two substantial hills on his route, and when the tubs are full the entire load—waste, trailer, bike, Ibarra—adds up to almost eight hundred pounds. “Uphill is really hard,” he said the other day. “But, actually, uphill is a lot easier than downhill. Going downhill, I have the hand brakes pressed on, but the bike is still going.” To stop completely, he has to use his feet, Fred Flintstone style.

Ibarra is twenty-three. His employer for the past six years has been BK ROT, a nonprofit hauling-and-composting operation in Bushwick.

This is very dangerous, and certainly a violation of OSHA safety rules.

Nurse also thinks she shouldn’t have to pay back the money that she chose to borrow for college, even though she chose to sign a legal document promising to pay the money back.

CNBC recently wrote the following about this:

Sandy Nurse doesn’t see why she needs to be $120,000 in debt “just for trying to improve my understanding of the world.”

And so, after a decade of struggling to repay her student loans, she plans to stop trying. She hopes others will join her, too, in a national strike against the country’s outstanding student loan debt, which is marching toward $1.7 trillion.

“It’s a way not to look at ourselves as failures because we’re failing to pay back an excessive amount of money for knowledge,” said Nurse

Nurse’s comments are despicable. Instead of admitting that she is a deadbeat and a liar, she is trying to falsely portray herself as being a victim.

I wonder how Nurse would feel if her customers who paid for their compost with a credit card were to call their credit card companies and have the charges removed, and Nurse ended up not getting the money that her customers had promised to pay her.

To make matters even worse, Nurse is running for political office to become a member of New York’s City Council.

We already know that, in the name of being green, Nurse forces her employees to use their feet as brakes like in The Flintstones.

Since Nurse is running for political office, I wonder if she wants to force the entire population to do the same thing.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

February 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Baltimore County puts its “recycled” glass into a landfill

https://reason.com/2020/02/03/baltimore-county-admits-it-hasnt-been-recycling-glass-for-7-years-it-still-encourages-residents-to-recycle-glass/

Baltimore County Admits It Hasn’t Been Recycling Glass for 7 Years. It Still Encourages Residents to Recycle Glass.

When ritual is more important than reuse

February 3, 2020

Baltimore County residents’ have had their perceptions about where their glass ends up shattered.

Over the weekend, news broke that the county—which does not include the City of Baltimore—has not been recycling the glass it’s been collecting as part of its recycling program. For the past seven years, the jars and bottles that residents dutifully placed in their blue bins have been being junked instead.

“There are numerous issues with glass recycling, including increased presence of shredded paper in recycling streams which contaminates materials and is difficult to separate from broken glass fragments, in addition to other limitations on providing quality material,” county spokesperson Sean Naron told The Baltimore Sun.

Glass recycling reportedly stopped in 2013, the same year the county opened a $23 million single-stream recycling facility, according to the Sun article.

Single-stream recycling refers to the practice of letting people put all their recyclables into one bin, then sorting it at material processing facilities, rather than have people sort their papers, plastics, and glass into separate containers at the curb.

Baltimore County had adopted single-streaming for all homes by October 2010, part of a growing trend among municipalities trying to boost recycling rates. The thinking was that if you make recycling easier, more people will do it.

A study from the American Forest & Paper Association found the percent of the population covered by a single-stream recycling service that included glass grew from 22 percent in 2005 to 73 percent in 2014.

The trouble with single-streaming is that placing everything in the same bin increases the chances of contamination. Non-compatible materials get mixed together or coated with food waste. So a good deal of the glass isn’t pure enough to ground down and be shipped to glass manufacturers.

Chemical & Engineering News notes that only 40 percent of glass collected by single-stream recycling services ends up being recycled into new products, compared to 90 percent of glass in multi-stream collection systems.

The same article notes that the cost of transporting heavy glass from recycling centers to glass manufacturers is often prohibitively high, meaning it’s often more economical to just make glass out of new materials.

Regardless of the material in question, the American recycling industry has been going through a crisis over the last several years. Rising rates of contamination and the effective closure of a major export market in China, which stopped accepting most American plastic, have left material processing facilities with no willing buyers. Many of the recyclables that are collected therefore end up in landfills or incinerators.

And that’s what’s been happening to Baltimore County’s glass. Yet county officials are wary about telling people to stop recycling the stuff, according to the Sun. People, they fear, will fall out of the recycling habit. Ritual is apparently more important than actual reuse.

February 6, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Elizabeth Warren makes global warming and income inequality worse by riding on private jet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkPi-6qf0sk

 

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/class-warrior-warren-on-video-stepping-off-private-plane-in-des-moines

Class-warrior Warren on video stepping off private plane in Des Moines

February 4, 2020

A video provided to Fox News by a source shows Elizabeth Warren, whose Democratic presidential campaign has made railing against the “rich and powerful” a central theme, stepping off a private jet in Iowa Monday night. The Massachusetts senator was returning to the state after spending Monday in Washington, D.C., for the closing arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump.

At one point in the video, Warren seems to walk behind a staffer after apparently noticing the camera filming her in Des Moines.

Warren and her competitor for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have both used private planes to go back and forth between the nation’s capital and Iowa during the impeachment trial.

Warren, who funds her trips with campaign cash, tweeted as recently as last Thursday about Trump administration officials using private aviation on the taxpayer’s dime. She specifically referenced former Trump Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who still owes the U.S. government over $300,000 in travel expenses, according to an Inspector General report.

Between June and September, Warren paid over $150,000 to “Advanced Aviation,” a private jet charter service, according to FEC filings. Last week the Washington Examiner reported she had spent over $700,000 total on private aviation.

Warren, Sanders and the rest of the Democratic field still don’t know who won the Iowa caucuses after issues accurately reporting the vote total from the state. The Iowa Democratic Party had said that its backup systems worked even after the app it was using to report vote tallies failed, and that it should be able to release the majority of Monday’s results by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.

February 6, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

As our planet gets greener, plants are slowing global warming

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-planet-greener-global.html

As our planet gets greener, plants are slowing global warming

January 31, 2020

Chi Chen, a Boston University graduate researcher, and Ranga Myneni, a BU College of Arts & Sciences professor of earth and environment, released a new paper that reveals how humans are helping to increase the Earth’s plant and tree cover, which absorbs carbon from the atmosphere and cools our planet. The boom of vegetation, fueled by greenhouse gas emissions, could be skewing our perception of how fast we’re warming the planet.

Taking a closer look at 250 scientific studies, land-monitoring satellite data, climate and environmental models, and field observations, a team of Boston University researchers and international collaborators have illuminated several causes and consequences of a global increase in vegetation growth, an effect called greening.

In a new study, published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, the researchers report that climate-altering carbon emissions and intensive land use have inadvertently greened half of the Earth’s vegetated lands. And while that sounds like it may be a good thing, this phenomenal rate of greening, together with global warming, sea-level rise, and sea-ice decline, represents highly credible evidence that human industry and activity is dramatically impacting the Earth’s climate, say the study’s first authors, Shilong Piao and Xuhui Wang of Peking University.

Green leaves convert sunlight to sugars while replacing carbon dioxide in the air with oxygen, which cools the Earth’s surface. The reasons for greening vary around the world, but often involve intensive use of land for farming, large-scale planting of trees, a warmer and wetter climate in northern regions, natural reforestation of abandoned lands, and recovery from past disturbances.

And the chief cause of global greening we’re experiencing? It seems to be that rising carbon dioxide emissions are providing more and more fertilizer for plants, the researchers say. As a result, the boom of global greening since the early 1980s may have slowed the rate of global warming, the researchers say, possibly by as much as 0.2 to 0.25 degrees Celsius.

“It is ironic that the very same carbon emissions responsible for harmful changes to climate are also fertilizing plant growth, which in turn is somewhat moderating global warming,” says study coauthor Dr. Jarle Bjerke of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

Boston University researchers previously discovered that, based on near-daily NASA and NOAA satellite imaging observations since the early 1980s, vast expanses of the Earth’s vegetated lands from the Arctic to the temperate latitudes have gotten markedly more green.

“Notably, the NASA [satellite data] observed pronounced greening during the 21st century in the world’s most populous and still-developing countries, China and India,” says Ranga Myneni, the new study’s senior author.

Even regions far, far removed from human reach have not escaped the global warming and greening trends. “Svalbard in the high-arctic, for example, has seen a 30 percent increase in greenness [in addition to] an increase in [summer temperatures] from 2.9 to 4.7 degrees Celcius between 1986 and 2015,” says study coauthor Rama Nemani of NASA’s Ames Research Center.

Over the last 40 years, carbon emissions from fossil fuel use and tropical deforestation have added 160 parts per million (ppm), a unit of measure for air pollutants, of CO2 to Earth’s atmosphere. About 40 ppm of that has diffused passively into the oceans and another 50 ppm has been actively taken up by plants, the researchers say. But 70 ppm remains in the atmosphere, and together with other greenhouse gases, is responsible the land warming patterns that have been observed since the 1980s.

“Plants are actively defending against the dangers of carbon pollution by not only sequestering carbon on land but also by wetting the atmosphere through transpiration of ground water and evaporation of precipitation intercepted by their bodies,” says study coauthor Philippe Ciais, of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-sur-Yvette, France. “Stopping deforestation and sustainable, ecologically sensible afforestation could be one of the simplest and cost-effective, though not sufficient, defenses against climate change,” he adds.

It is not easy to accurately estimate the cooling benefit from global greening because of the complex interconnected nature of the climate system, the researchers say. “This unintended benefit of global greening, and its potential transitory nature, suggests how much more daunting, and urgent, is the stated goal of keeping global warming to below 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius, especially given the trajectory of carbon emissions and history of inaction during the past decades,” says study coauthor Hans Tømmervik of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norway.

February 2, 2020. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Leads 2020 Field in Private Jet Spending

https://freebeacon.com/issues/bernie-leads-2020-field-in-private-jet-spending/

Bernie Leads 2020 Field in Private Jet Spending

February 1, 2020

The Bernie Sanders campaign spent just under $1.2 million on private jet travel last quarter, outpacing the entire 2020 Democratic presidential primary field.

The most recent filing from Sanders reveals $1,199,579 in spending during the final three months of 2019 to Apollo Jets, LLC, a “luxury private jet charter service.” The campaign spent an additional $23,941 for transportation to Virginia-based Advanced Aviation Team.

The candidate who comes closest to matching Sanders in private jet spending was former vice president Joe Biden, whose campaign spent $1,040,698 to Advanced Aviation Team last quarter.

An analysis of private jet spending in filings from other top candidates found that Elizabeth Warren’s campaign spent $720,518 and Pete Buttigieg’s campaign spent $323,518. Michael Bloomberg, who pumped a whopping $200 million of his personal fortune into his campaign’s opening weeks, spent about $646,000 on private jet travel, about half of what Sanders spent.

Sanders has long leaned on private air travel on the campaign trail, despite his belief that limiting carbon emissions from the transportation sector is crucial to combating climate change. Traveling by private jet is estimated to produce roughly eight times the amount of carbon per passenger as traveling by commercial airliner.

“Global climate change is real, it is caused mainly by emissions released from burning fossil fuels and it poses a catastrophic threat to the long-term longevity of our planet,” he writes on his campaign website. “The transportation sector accounts for about 26 percent of carbon pollution emissions.”

Sanders further claims on his website that “climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet.”

The Sanders campaign has reportedly stepped up its use of private jet travel in recent weeks, chartering flights to get him back and forth between his duties in the U.S. Senate and the campaign trail in Iowa.

The Sanders campaign had previously spent about $380,000 on private air travel, also with Apollo Jets, LLC, according to previous campaign disclosures.

The Sanders campaign says the environmental impact of its private jet use is mitigated by the purchase of carbon offsets, which it purchases from NativeEnergy. Entering the final quarter of 2019, the Sanders campaign had purchased $9,030 worth of carbon offsets. It purchased an additional $23,200 in carbon offsets from NativeEnergy this past quarter, the most recent filing shows.

Alternatively, Amtrak offers service from D.C. to Iowa, which would cost Sanders $149 using the senior discount.

February 2, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders makes global warming and income inequality worse by spending his campaign donations on private jets

Bernie Sanders has repeatedly spoken out against global warming and income inequality.

However, I just came across this Politico article from last year:

In his campaign launch video last week, Bernie Sanders singled out the fossil fuel industry for criticism, listing it among the special interests he planned to take on. But in the final months of the 2016 campaign, Sanders repeatedly requested and received the use of a carbon-spewing private jet for himself and his traveling staff when he served as a surrogate campaigner for Hillary Clinton.

In the two years following the presidential election, Sanders continued his frequent private jet travel, spending at least $342,000 on the flights.

Increased scrutiny of his travel practices, which are at odds with his positions on wealth inequality and climate change, are among the challenges Sanders will face as he makes his second White House run.

Actions speak louder than words.

Sanders’ use of private jets proves that he’s lying when he says he’s against global warming and income inequality.

Here are some of my other blog posts about Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders said it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food. Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what it’s actually like to wait in line for food in Venezuela.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela

The only way that rich people could pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax would be by selling enough stock to get the money to pay the tax. This would drive down stock prices, and would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

Here’s a bunch of horror stories from the Canadian health care system that Bernie Sanders wants the U.S. to copy

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders says it’s “not acceptable” that some of his employees have complained about getting paid less than $15 an hour

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders changes his tune on “millionaires and billionaires” after the media reports that he is one of them

Bernie Sanders in the 1970s urged nationalization of most major industries

I have four questions for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and anyone else who calls themselves a socialist

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers

Bernie Sanders says he’s too busy campaigning to answer reporter’s question about the failures of socialism in Venezuela

Bernie Sanders says Uber’s employees are treated unfairly, so why does his campaign use Uber for 100% of its taxi rides?

Bernie Sanders supports $15 minimum wage, but only pays his interns $12 an hour

An open question to Bernie Sanders regarding your recent comment about deodorant

Bernie Sanders’ war on women

 

January 10, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Revealed: ‘Rank hypocrisy’ of globetrotting Extinction Rebellion jet setter’s lifestyle after she shed ‘crocodile tears’ over climate protest that stopped son seeing his dying dad

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7280851/Rank-hypocrisy-globetrotting-Extinction-Rebellion-jet-setters-lifestyle-luxury-holidays.html

Revealed: ‘Rank hypocrisy’ of globetrotting Extinction Rebellion jet setter’s lifestyle after she shed ‘crocodile tears’ over climate protest that stopped son seeing his dying dad

* Zoe Jones cried when she heard that a man couldn’t see his dying father in hospital because he was stuck in traffic caused by a climate protest in Bristol

* Extinction Rebellion activist apologised for ‘affecting his life in that way’ – but added: ‘I still believe we are doing the right thing’

* Now the 23-year-old English graduate, from Shropshire, faces claims of hypocrisy over her jet set lifestyle

* Photos have emerged from social media of Miss Jones holidaying in New Zealand and on safari in Africa as well as other far-flung locations

* A friend told MailOnline that she stopped flying two years ago when she realised its impact on the environment

July 25, 2019

An Extinction Rebellion activist who shed ‘crocodile tears’ over a man who missed his dying father’s final hours after being caught up in protests enjoyed a globe-trotting, jet set lifestyle, MailOnline can reveal.

Zoe Jones broke down and apologised after hearing how the man became stuck in traffic as he rushed to the hospital to see his dying dad because climate protesters glued themselves to a bathtub on one of Bristol’s busiest roads.

Miss Jones told a BBC reporter: ‘We’re incredibly sorry. We didn’t mean for our protest to affect your life in this way.’ But she continued: ‘I still believe we are doing the right thing. But it is incredibly difficult to hear stories like that.

Zoe Jones broke down in tears when she heard about a man who was unable to see his dying father in hospital due to her protest

Many viewers of her interview slammed Miss Jones’s ‘crocodile tears’ and called for her and fellow Extinction Rebellion – XR – protesters to leave the area.

Now the 23-year-old eco-warrior faces claims of hypocrisy after photos emerged of her carbon spewing lifestyle, globetrotting to far-flung exotic locations.

The 23-year-old Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman preaches about the affect of flying on the planet, but has enjoyed exotic holidays around the world including a safari in Uganda

Miss Jones, an English graduate, from Shropshire, posted this photo of her at Victoria Falls, in Zambia along with the caption: ‘Getting wanderlust again…’

Miss Jones’s social media is full of envy-inducing pictures of her travelling to picturesque locations. On this photo of her skiing posted in 2017 her uncle Mike asks if she is going to give him grandchildren yet, to which the eco-warrior replies: ‘Too busy enjoying my life sorry, Mike’

The activist posted this photo of friends drinking on the beach in Tauranga, New Zealand. A friend says they are jealous of her travels and she replies: ‘Who wouldn’t be jealous of that!’

Miss Jones flaunts her ecologically unsound jet-setting on social media, uploading snaps of herself skiing, posing at the iconic Victoria Falls in Zambia, and in apparent skydiving kit at an airfield.

Other exotic locations enjoyed by the fancy-free English literature graduate from Shrewsbury include a trip to Egypt and a bungee jump over the Nile, a safari in Uganda, holidays in Namibia, France and New Zealand.

Emphasising her soft spot for environment-damaging travel on Twitter, she wrote: ‘Impromptu trip to Paris… YES PLEASE’.

Her globetrotting began in 2014 when she visited Zambia and the following July she posed for the camera next to a giraffe on safari with a male friend in Africa.

A photo of her with some friends drinking on the beach in New Zealand on Facebook prompted an envious comment from a friend to which she replied: ‘Who wouldn’t be jealous of that!’

And in a picture of her skiing two years ago, her uncle Mike asks if she is going to give him grandchildren yet, to which she replied: ‘Too busy enjoying my life sorry, Mike.’

Miss Jones’s boastful social media pictures have led to some accusing her of double standards by preaching to others while flying around the world.

Lesley Alexander, a Bristol Conservative councillor, said: ‘Preaching one thing and doing another in a case of do as I say, not as I do, is hypocritical.

‘You can’t moan about the impact of travelling on the environment and then swan around the world by plane. It’s rank hypocrisy.

‘People are justified in feeling very angry about it, especially if they are being stopped from getting to work or seeing their dying father, things like that.’

Miss Jones’s boastful pictures have led to accusations of double standards, preaching to others while flying around the world

XR organiser Robert Boardman-Pattinson has also come under fire for advocating environmentally friendly living whilst also travelling to far flung places around the world.

He posted pictures onto Instagram from numerous skiing holidays, posed in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa as well of pictures of palm fringed exotic travels.

It comes after Hollywood actress and Labour supporter Emma Thompson was branded a ‘first class hypocrite’ when she flew 5,400 miles from Los Angeles to London to take part in a climate change protest.

Miss Jones hails from three generations of climate change activists and Corbyn supporters.

Her mother, Jackie Jones, runs her own yoga studio in Shrewsbury and offers to take well-heeled clients on spiritual retreats in exotic parts of Spain.

The campaigner who insisted that Extinction Rebellion were ‘doing the right thing’ by blocking the roads in Bristol last week, posted this photo of her doing a bungee jump, during her travels

Despite telling others not to fly and warning governments over the effects of cheap air travel on the planet, Miss Jones also posed in skydiving gear on an airfield as part of her world tour

Miss Jones hails from three generations of climate change activists. Her mother, Jackie Jones, runs her own yoga studio and offers to take well-heeled clients on spiritual retreats in Spain

On her website she boasts of having ‘travelled extensively’, claiming to have studied yoga in California and mediation in France.

In April, mother and daughter were both arrested at an Extinction Rebellion protest in Parliament Square.

Footage of the arrests show the women refusing to move from the street unless they were carried away by numerous officers.

Joining them was Jackie’s partner, Adam Shipp, secretary of his local Labour Party branch and the spokesman for the local branch of Extinction Rebellion, who glued himself to a road.

Their protest are also attended by Miss Jones’ 15-year-old sister, Jazmin, and her grandmother Jean, 83, who has posted extreme anti-Conservative material online.

The grandmother shows her eco-militancy despite her age, writing: ‘Power to the people. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family and will always go down fighting for them.’

Miss Jones broke down and apologised last week when she heard the story of the man who missed the chance to share some precious hours with his dying father on BBC Radio Bristol

Miss Jones was speaking as Extinction Rebellion protestors blocked the M32 motorway into Bristol last Wednesday with several members being arrested and removed by police officers

The man rushed to hospital after being called on Wednesday to say that his dad only had hours to live. He died before his son got there after the son got stuck in traffic caused by the protest

The eco-warrior family also played a central role in a ‘die-in’ at Barclays Bank in Shrewsbury earlier this month, claiming that the bank played a key role in perpetuating climate change.

Miss Jones’ social media presence shows a history of activism. One photograph, posted in 2016, shows her wearing a T-shirt instructing the world to ‘refuse to ignore people in crisis’ while on a sponsored walk to support refugees.

In social media posts she has described herself as ‘all human rightsy’, but admitted that her brain had been ‘pickled in alcohol’ at Leeds University.

A friend of Miss Jones said she has not flown for two years after realising its damaging impact on the environment.

Miss Jones herself declined to comment.

January 5, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Save the World with Nuclear Power – Leslie Dewan – TEDxUniversityofRochester

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoAcntoAVXE

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Global warming hypocrite Al Gore says he supports the Green New Deal, but his actions are the exact opposite

Al Gore just spoke out in favor of the Green New Deal.

However, his actions are the exact opposite.

This video is called, “Hitler gets mad at Al Gore’s global warming hypocrisy.” The video’s description includes links to sources to verify the statements that are made in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfr37Xn9IL8

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Humor. Leave a comment.

Matt Ridley on How Fossil Fuels are Greening the Planet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-nsU_DaIZE

December 4, 2019. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Rise Of The Climate Crazies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufZz39GVsao

December 2, 2019. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

A Century of Fire Suppression Is Why California Is in Flames

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/12/a-century-of-fire-suppression-is-why-california-is-in-flames/

A Century of Fire Suppression Is Why California Is in Flames

“The wake-up call has already happened.”

December 12, 2017

The acrid smell of charred wood still permeates the air as Sasha Berleman, a fire ecologist, and I walk along a dirt path up through the middle of a canyon in the Bouverie nature preserve in Sonoma Valley. On the left side, the earth is black as tar, and scorch marks as tall as a person scar the trunks of the mature oak trees scattered throughout the field. But on the right side, the ground is tan and brown, and you have to look hard at the still-green oaks to see any evidence of the fire that raged through here just a few weeks before. It’s no mystery to Berleman why the fire behaved so differently on the two sides of the trail at Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Bouverie Preserve. When flames hit the field on the left of the path, they met a dense wall of thigh-high grass that hadn’t been mowed, grazed or burned for 20 years. The flames must have been 5 or 6 feet tall. On the right side, however, Berleman had set a prescribed burn just this spring. So when the October wildfire hit, patches of fire blazed, but with so little fuel, the flames remained only inches high.

For more than a century, people have been snuffing out fire across the West. As a result, forests, grasslands and shrub lands like those in the Bouverie reserve are overgrown. That means that, when fire escapes suppression, it’s more destructive. It kills more trees, torches more homes and sends far more carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

The devastating fires that hit Bouverie and a large swath of Northern California’s wine country in October killed 42 people and destroyed nearly 7,000 buildings. In California’s Sierra Nevada in recent years, megafires have burned at much greater severity than those forests ever saw in the past, killing trees across large landscapes and unleashing enormous quantities of carbon. The remedy, Berleman and many other scientists say, is to reintroduce fire to the landscape by allowing more natural fires to burn and setting controlled burns when weather conditions minimize the risk of a catastrophic blaze.

“We have 100 years of fire suppression that has led to this huge accumulation of fuel loads, just dead and downed debris from trees and plant material in our forests, and in our woodlands,” says Berleman. “As a result of that, our forests and woodlands are not healthy, and we’re getting more catastrophic fire behavior than we would otherwise.”

Addressing the problem will require a revolution in land management and in people’s relationship with fire — and there are signs both may be beginning.

As a child in Southern California, Berleman was deeply afraid of wildfire. But at community college, she learned that Native Americans used fire for thousands of years to manage forests and grasslands and protect their villages. Tribes regularly burned California’s oak woodlands, for instance, to remove underbrush and fight pests. It helped them spot prey more easily, keep weevils out of the acorns they gathered for food, and safeguard their homes from wildfire. In 2009, Berleman transferred to the University of California, Berkeley to study fire ecology. There, she worked on her first prescribed burn. “I instantly fell in love with the ability to use fire in a positive way to accomplish objectives,” she says. She trained as a firefighter so she could put fire to use as a land-management tool.

Two years ago, while she was finishing her doctoral dissertation, she began working part-time at Bouverie. Last fall, she presented her boss with suggestions for using fire to restore overgrown landscapes, both at Bouverie and across the North Bay Area region. He approved, and Berleman, 28, started as a full-time fire ecologist in January, set her first burn in May and began organizing a taskforce to conduct burns and train local crews.

She knew how fire-prone the region is. Still, the big blazes in October caught her by surprise. “I thought I had more time to get work done,” she says.

High winds played a big role in spreading the California wine country’s deadly fires. But Berleman and other fire ecologists believe overgrown grasslands, forests and woodlands contributed as well. “I’m more certain than ever that there’s a lot we can do between now and the next time this happens to make it so that the negative consequences to people are nowhere near as dramatic.”

When fire hits overgrown wildlands, it burns hotter and is much more likely to kill stands of trees and threaten property and people’s lives.

But it also unleashes the carbon held by trees, other plants and soil. Forests store enormous amounts of carbon—more than double the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—and continuously soak up more, blunting the impact of all the greenhouse gases released by burning fossil fuels in power plants and cars. In recent decades, the size of fires, their intensity and the length of the fire season have all grown dramatically. The more destructive a fire, the more carbon it releases. In fact, largely because of fires, California’s forests emitted more carbon than they soaked up between 2001 and 2010, according to a 2015 analysis by National Park Service and UC Berkeley scientists. “After 100-plus years of fire suppression in forests, we’re seeing a lot more tree-killing wildfire,” says Matthew Hurteau, University of New Mexico fire ecologist and associate professor. “That has substantial implications for the carbon put back into the atmosphere.”

Further complicating the picture is climate change—the major factor behind the longer fire seasons and bigger fires. This creates a feedback loop, where megafires exacerbate climate change, which then encourages even bigger wildfires. One study found that from 1984 to 2015, climate change doubled the area burned by wildfires across the West, compared to what would have burned without climate change. As the globe keeps warming, scientists expect forests to continue getting warmer, drier and more flammable. Unless people reduce greenhouse gas emissions, climate change will significantly increase the frequency of wildfires. One study projected that if fossil fuels remain the dominant source of global energy and greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, by 2085 the acreage burned by fire in California will increase one-third to three-fourths. Elsewhere in the West, the size and frequency of fire is expected to increase even more dramatically. Until recently, intense fires were rare in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. But one study predicted that with climate change, fire likely would become so common and widespread there that by the middle of this century, the region’s forests as we know them will vanish, replaced by other types of vegetation that may store far less carbon.

In California’s Sierra Nevada, the combustible combination of climate change and overgrown forests already is transforming landscapes and unleashing massive amounts of carbon.

A four-hour drive east of wine country, gray trunks of dead incense cedar and white fir cover the steep slopes of the Eldorado National Forest. Deep into a canyon and up to a ridge in the distance, the trees are so close together that their branches touch. UC Berkeley fire ecologist Brandon Collins brought me here to show me the consequence of decades of fire suppression combined with climate change. This forest would usually burn nine times over the course of 100 years, but no fire had blazed here since at least 1908. “Without fire, you’re going to have these dense stands no matter what,” Collins says.

In 2014, the King Fire hit this unnaturally overgrown forest, leaping into the canopy and racing across a vast landscape. Limited patches of high-intensity fire would be natural in these forests. But in 47 percent of the 97,717 acres burned in the King Fire, the blaze was so hot that it killed nearly all of the trees. This included 14 areas where rare California spotted owls were known to nest. Before people started suppressing fires, this kind of all-consuming blaze did not happen in this type of forest, according to tree-ring studies. “We have seen no evidence you could ever have gotten a mortality patch this big,” Collins says.

The amount of carbon sent to the atmosphere from such an enormous fire is staggering. “It’s ugly,” says Collins. “It’s not only a huge initial loss just from the direct emissions, but it’s slow emission over time as these trees break and then fall to the ground and the decomposition process really gets underway. We’re looking at 30 years or 40 years of pure emissions coming from this area with very little on the uptake side,” Collins says.

Just the initial blaze released 5.2 million metric tons, roughly as much greenhouse gas emissions as 1.1 million passenger cars emit in a year, according to an estimate by Forest Service ecologist Leland Tarnay. It’s too soon to analyze the fire’s total carbon footprint.

It could take a long time for this landscape to start packing on carbon again. Though some trees’ cones require fire to reseed, these particular types of conifers won’t grow back because the fire burned their seeds. The silver lining is the native oaks, which are fire resilient and can resprout from roots or stumps, even after a trunk is killed by fire. Already, their seedlings are emerging from the sea of dead trunks.

Nearby, some strips of trees are still green. Their trunks are also more broadly spaced. In these areas, the Forest Service had set prescribed burns or thinned the forests by logging some trees. Forest Service surveys show the King Fire burned much less intensely in these areas. Flames were lower, staying on the forest floor rather than surging into the canopy of the trees. Firefighters used these areas to slow and stop the fire. More trees survived.

Just a few minutes’ drive from where the King Fire raged, Collins shows me where he and other scientists have been studying how people can help restore forests to more natural conditions. Thanks to firefighters’ efforts, UC Berkeley’s Blodgett Research Forest narrowly escaped the King Fire. Blodgett was clear-cut in the early 1900s, before the university took it over. After 100 years, it’s grown into a lush forest of incense cedar, ponderosa pine, white fir and oak trees.

The first patch of forest Collins shows me is the control forest, from which fire has long been banned. The understory is so thick with small trees and shrubs that it’s difficult to walk; we have to step over tangles of dead trees and branches. If a fire were to strike this area, it would easily climb from the ground to the lower branches and up into the canopy. “And then it can really spread,” Collins adds.

In the next patch of forest we visit, loggers cut down and sold some of the medium-sized trees in 2002. Then they shredded the small trees and underbrush using a big machine called a masticator, and spread the remnants on the forest floor. Now, the trees are widely spaced; sunlight shines through the canopy. The High Sierras are visible in the distance. If a fire were to come through here, Collins says, it likely would stay on the ground, and wouldn’t harm the trees or emit much carbon.

In another plot, crews set prescribed burns in 2002 and 2009. Scorch marks blacken the thick bark of some trees, but they’re still healthy. The forest is open, but more variable than the thinned forest. In one patch of tall ponderosa pines, the fire blazed hotter than in the rest of the forest. Several big trees were killed, leaving the kind of snags that woodpeckers love. This plot would also be likely to do well in a fire, Collins says.

A fourth plot shows some of the pitfalls of combining thinning and burning. Crews cut down some trees, shredded the noncommercial wood and scattered it on the forest floor. Shortly afterwards, they burned the forest. The fire burned so hot from all the wood on the ground that the remaining trees were injured. They haven’t grown or soaked up much carbon since.

Overall, the experiments at Blodgett suggest that prescribed burns and thinning can have long-term carbon benefits. But in the short term, carbon emissions will increase. Neither the burned nor the thinned plot has caught up with the carbon stored in the forest that was left alone. But with less competition, the trees are growing faster in the thinned and burned plots, and Collins predicts that eventually they will store more carbon than the denser stand.

Scientists have seen a similar pattern in another experimental forest in the Sierra Nevada—Teakettle, an old-growth forest with giant sugar pines. As in Blodgett, the forests initially stored less carbon after being burned or thinned. But the forests at Teakettle recovered their carbon stocks more quickly than Blodgett did, in about seven years. “If you restore forests, you do knock down the total amount of carbon, but you prevent very large tree-killing fires. Over time, the carbon stored in the forest is much more stable because you’ve taken steps to prevent big hot fires from occurring,” says Hurteau.

The old-growth trees in Teakettle soaked up carbon faster than Blodgett’s younger trees. But in both types of forests, carbon should accumulate faster in fewer big trees. And the thinned and fire-opened stands make big trees healthier by reducing competition for water and nutrients. That improves their odds in both fire and drought. Big trees are generally more fire resistant, meaning they’re more likely to survive a fire and continue to soak up carbon afterward. “If we want to maintain this ecosystem service of removing carbon from the atmosphere that trees provide, we need to make investments in doing what we can to protect the big trees, because they’re doing a disproportionate amount of the work,” says Hurteau.

A single tree that is 6 feet in diameter, like one of the big sugar pines in Teakettle, holds as much carbon as 60 small trees, 8 to 10 inches in diameter, says Malcolm North, a leading Forest Service fire ecologist and Hurteau’s colleague and former teacher. That’s a much more reliable way to store carbon. “The carbon in the big trees is a secure investment like gold,” North said, whereas the carbon stored in overgrown forests is more like “junk bonds.”

Despite the science, however, forest managers continue to snuff out most fires. For the decade ending 2008, the most recent data collected, only 0.4 percent of ignitions were allowed to burn as managed wildfires, North, Collins and other fire ecologists wrote in 2015 in the journal Science. “Changing climate and decades of fuel accumulation make efforts to suppress every fire dangerous, expensive, and ill-advised,” they wrote.

North was reprimanded for the article and forbidden to talk with the media for a year. But he’s speaking out again, because the dire consequences of overgrown forests are becoming so clear.

North says thinning is not a solution for much of the Sierra Nevada. Only 28 percent of the landscape can be mechanically thinned, he calculated; the rest is too steep or remote. “You cannot think your way out of the problem,” he says. “You’ve got to use fire.”

Official Forest Service policy has acknowledged this. The 2014 interagency National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy calls for expanding the use of prescribed burns and letting more wildfires burn. “It’s just not being followed; that’s the real problem,” North says. “Everyone knows what we’ve got to do. But it’s not being done.”

Sasha Berlemen encountered that stubborn resistance to letting fires burn this summer, when she was on a Forest Service hotshot crew. She fought fires in Plumas, Six Rivers, Modoc and Klamath national forests. Fire managers were aggressive, often sending her crew to the fire’s edge to try to prevent it from spreading. That contradicted what she learned in her fire ecology classes about letting wildfires burn larger areas. “There’s this disconnect that I didn’t know about until summer — between what everyone is saying in academia and what’s actually happening on the ground,” she says.

Some forest managers have begun to accept more fire, however, as have national parks. The 2013 Rim Fire, the biggest fire in Sierra Nevada history, burned at lower intensity in parts of Yosemite and Sequoia national parks than it did in national forests, killing fewer trees and producing less air pollution. The parks had previously allowed wildfires to burn when weather conditions, such as light winds, minimized risks.

The Forest Service has been more reluctant to let natural fires burn, in part because of checkerboard land ownership and because houses have been built in many forests on private property inholdings. “Ecological benefits don’t have a huge voice,” Collin says. “No one will sue for not letting fire burn. If you let a fire burn and something bad happens, someone will sue you.”

Air-quality regulations play a role, too. Both North and Collins tried for weeks to schedule burns this fall. Air quality concerns and a lack of available personnel — the wine country fires were still raging — delayed their burns. Both finally were able to burn at the end of October. “The Forest Service is cursed with lands with houses in middle of them, wildland-urban interface where people don’t want to breathe smoke,” North says. “Almost everything works against trying to work with fire. The only way it’s going to change is to get public support.”

Craig Thomas, conservation director of Sierra Forest Legacy, has been calling for more natural and prescribed fire in the Sierra for two decades. He believes that after the Rim, Rough and King fires, the public and policymakers better understand the threat of unnaturally overgrown forests. “They jarred California society in a big way,” Thomas says. “This disaster is a human creation; climate change is making it even tougher.”

In 2015, the Sierra Forest Legacy, the Forest Service, CAL FIRE, the state fire agency, and other agencies and groups signed an agreement to use more fire in wildlands management and increase training for fire managers and crews. Since then, the Forest Service has increased the total acreage where it has allowed natural fires to burn from an annual average of about 10,000 acres to 247,000 in 2016 and 130,000 this year. “That was a big jump,” says Rob Griffith, assistant director of the Forest Service Pacific Southwest region’s fire and aviation program.

Prescribed burns are up, too, from 20,000 acres on average before the agreement to about double that in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Some 96,000 acres of prescribed burns are scheduled for the next fiscal year, Griffith adds.

California’s commitment to tackling climate change is giving extra oomph to efforts to bring back fire. For instance, funding for the research at Teakettle and Blodgett comes from revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program. The state auctions allowances, which big polluters buy to receive the right to pollute. California doesn’t want the progress it’s making from switching to electric vehicles and renewable energy to be nullified by giant pulses of carbon released by wildfires.

Still, Berleman thinks it will take a revolution to get people to overcome their primal fear of fire. She knows how hard it is. She grew up in Temecula, an inland city between Los Angeles and San Diego, in a valley surrounded by chaparral-covered hills that burned nearly every year. When she was 4, she stood in her yard and caught ash in her hand and watched ash cover her lawn like snow. “I was afraid of fire,” she says. “I remember having night terrors that I’d have to try to save my family from wildfire.”

But her view has changed since then, and she hopes others can change their minds, too. She thinks the October fires will be a catalyst for policymakers and the public to accept that fire is the best protection against megafires and all the carbon they emit. They already have emboldened her to move quickly than she had planned to introduce fire to parts of the North Bay Area that escaped the October fires.

“Now that this has happened, we’ve decided the wake-up call has already happened,” she says. “We need to scale up if we’re going to get though this; it’s going to take all hands and all lands.”

She now plans to apply fire in five counties instead of just two. And instead of burning just grasslands, which produce far less smoke, she’ll burn forests and woodlands as well. If people push back, she knows what she’ll say: “By being afraid, we’re making our problem worse. There’s another option. That fear can actually inform a positive movement; you can take a fear of fire and decide, ‘OK, we don’t want megafires; we’re afraid of them.’ Let’s take action instead. Fire could be our favorite tool on our landscape, and we could have more beautiful and healthy landscapes. And people wouldn’t have to live in as much fear.”

October 31, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

Environmental hypocrite Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez flies to Denmark to tell everyone else to reduce their use of fossil fuels

https://nypost.com/2019/10/08/aoc-takes-first-international-trip-as-lawmaker/

AOC takes first international trip as lawmaker

October 8, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking the Green New Deal global.

The New York Democrat posted an Instagram story Tuesday afternoon showing herself walking through the airport as she headed for her first trip abroad as a freshman lawmaker.

She’s off to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the C40 World Mayors Summit.

“After a very busy week in district, I’m headed to Copenhagen for a global C40 conference where mayors and a lot of other public servants are going to be convening to discuss what we’ll be – what actions we need to take for the climate crisis,” she told her followers.

Mayors from Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia, among others, will all be in attendance. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not attend, The Post confirmed.

October 16, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Greta Thunberg is an environmental hypocrite

Greta Thunberg wants the whole world to think that she cares about the environment because she traveled across the Atlantic ocean by boat instead of by airplane.

However, in the real world, multiple yacht crew members flew on an airplane from Europe to New York in order to bring the yacht back to Europe.

Furthermore, the yacht itself was made from propane and petroleum – the very same things that Thunberg was protesting against.

Of course, this whole environmental movement is far more about virtue signaling than it is about actually protecting the environment, which is why pretty much every single environmental celebrity and environmental politician is, in reality, an environmental hypocrite.

This video, which I wrote the dialogue for, is called “Hitler gets mad at Al Gore’s global warming hypocrisy.” The video’s description includes links to sources to verify each and every claim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfr37Xn9IL8

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I never trust anyone who doesn’t live by the rules that they expect everyone else to live by.

October 9, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Netherlands Liberal MP Tjeerd de Groot calls for livestock production to be reduced by half

Last year, I published this blog post, which is called, “Here’s how most Venezuelans lost an average of 43 pounds in two years.”

Here’s a photograph from 2014 of people in Venezuela waiting in line for food: (posted here under fair use from http://www.businessinsider.com/long-food-lines-are-in-venezuela-2014-2 )

It looks like the Netherlands might be trying to achieve a similar effect.

The BBC just reported:

Liberal MP Tjeerd de Groot called for livestock production to be halved, meaning six million fewer pigs and 50 million fewer chickens

Meanwhile, I’d like to once again remind everyone that Bernie Sanders actually said that it was a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see and hear Sanders saying those words in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

Depending on how things go next year, Bernie Sanders may be the next U.S. President.

October 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Greta Thunberg without a script to read from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bwLt_5t73g

September 27, 2019. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Scott Adams: A Message for Children About Climate Change

https://www.scottadamssays.com/2019/09/23/a-message-for-children-about-climate-change/

A Message for Children About Climate Change

By Scott Adams

September 23, 2019

Dear Children,

I’m sorry adults have frightened you about climate change and how it might affect your future. You might be less afraid if you knew some facts that adults intentionally do not explain to you. I’ll tell you here.

The news was once a source of real information, or so we thought. But in the modern world, the news people discovered they can make more money by presenting scary news regardless of whether it is true or not. Today, much of the news on the right and the left is opinion that is meant to scare you, not inform you, because scary things get more attention, and that makes the news business more profitable. The same is true for people who write books; authors often make books scary so you will buy them. Most adults know all the scariness is not real. Most kids do not. You just learned it.

Nuclear energy used to be dangerous, back in the olden days. Today’s nuclear power plants (the ones built in the past 20 years all over the world) have killed zero people, and are considered the safest form of energy in the world. More people have died installing solar panels and falling off roofs than have died from nuclear power problems anywhere in the world for the past few decades. And nuclear energy is the obvious way to address climate change, say most of the smartest adults in the world, because it can provide abundant, cheap, clean energy with zero carbon emissions.

Nuclear energy as a solution to climate change is one of the rare solutions backed by several Democrats running for president and nearly all Republicans. Please note that two Democrats in favor of nuclear energy (Corey Booker and Andrew Yang) are among the youngest and smartest in the game. To be fair, the oldest Democrat running for president, Joe Biden, also supports nuclear energy because he is well-informed.

If you are worried about nuclear waste, you probably should not be. Every country with nuclear energy (and there are lots of them) successfully stores their nuclear waste. If you put all the nuclear waste in the world in one place, it would fit on one football field. It isn’t a big problem. And new nuclear power designs will actually eat that nuclear waste and turn it into electricity, so the total amount of waste could come way down.

The United Nations estimates that the economic impact of climate change will reduce the economy by 10% in eighty years. What they don’t tell you is that the economy will be about five times bigger and better by then, so you won’t even notice the 10% that didn’t happen. And that worst case is only if we do nothing to address climate change, which is not the case.

A number of companies have recently built machines that can suck CO2 right out of the air. At the moment, using those machines would be too expensive. But as they come down in cost and improve in efficiency, we have a solution already in hand should it ever be needed. It would be expensive, but there is no real risk of CO2 ruining the world now that we know how to remove any excess from the atmosphere. (Plants need CO2 to thrive, so we don’t want to remove too much. Greenhouses actually pump in CO2 to make plants grow better.)

Scientists tell us that we could reduce climate risks by planting more trees. (A lot more.) That’s all doable, should the world decide it is necessary. There are a number of other companies and technologies that also address climate change in a variety of ways. Any one of the approaches I mentioned (nuclear energy, CO2 scrubbers, planting trees) could be enough to address any climate risks, but there are dozens of ways of dealing with climate change, and more coming every day.

Throughout all modern history, when we humans see a problem coming from far away, we have a 100% success rate in solving it. Climate change is no different. All the right people are working hard at a wide variety of solutions and already know how to get there, meaning more nuclear power plus CO2 scrubbers, plus lots of green power from solar, wind, and more.

If you are worried about rising sea levels, don’t be. The smartest and richest people in the world are still buying property on the beach. They don’t see the problem. And if sea levels do rise, it will happen slowly enough for people to adjust.

Adults sometimes like to use children to carry their messages because it makes it hard for the other side to criticize them without seeming like monsters. If adults have encouraged you to panic about climate change without telling you what I am telling you here, they do not have your best interests at heart. They are using you.

When you ask adults about nuclear energy, expect them to have old understanding about it, meaning they don’t know the newer nuclear energy technologies are the safest energy on the planet.

What I told you today is not always understood even by adults. You are now smarter than most adults on the topic of climate.

My generation has a lot of faith in your generation. You will be the most educated and effective humans of all time. My generation (and a few generations younger than me) already has the fixes to address climate risks coming online. Your generation will finish the job.

We adults respect your passion and your energy on the topic of climate. But it isn’t fair for us to deny you the basic facts while at the same time scaring you into action. I hope this letter helps you sleep better. We adults have this problem under control, or will soon, and you’ll help us finish the job. So get some good sleep tonight. Together, we got this.

Scott Adams

September 26, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

TED Talk: Michael Shellenberger explains why he switched from being anti-nuclear power to pro-nuclear power

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciStnd9Y2ak

September 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

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