Study shows global forest loss over past 35 years has been more than offset by new forest growth

Satellite measurements show that between 1982 to 2016, the total global land area covered by trees increased by a net amount equal to the combined area of Texas and Alaska.

This does not surprise me, because I already knew that among countries with an annual per capita GDP of least $4,600, deforestation has ceased to exist.

 

https://phys.org/news/2018-08-global-forest-loss-years-offset.html

Study shows global forest loss over past 35 years has been more than offset by new forest growth

August 9, 2018


a, Mean annual estimates. b, Long-term change estimates. Both mean and change estimates are expressed as per cent of pixel area at 0.05° × 0.05° spatial resolution. Pixels showing a statistically significant trend (n = 35, two-sided Mann–Kendall test, P < 0.05) in either TC, SV or BG are depicted on the change map. Circled numbers in the colour legend denote dominant change directions: 1, TC gain with SV loss; 2, BG gain with SV loss; 3, TC gain with BG loss; 4, BG gain with TC loss; 5, SV gain with BG loss; and 6, SV gain with TC loss. Credit: Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0411-9

A team of researchers from the University of Maryland, the State University of New York and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has found that new global tree growth over the past 35 years has more than offset global tree cover losses. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes using satellite data to track forest growth and loss over the past 35 years and what they found by doing so.

There has been a growing consensus in recent years that because humans cut down so many trees (most particularly in the rainforests) that global tree cover is shrinking. In this new effort, the researchers have found that not to be the case. They contend that global tree cover is actually increasing.

To track global tree cover changes, the researchers studied data from advanced very high-resolution radiometers aboard a series of 16 weather satellites covering the years 1982 to 2016. By comparing daily readings, the researchers were able to see small changes occurring regularly over a relatively long period of time—which added up to large changes. Over the entire span, the researchers found that new tree cover had offset tree cover loss by approximately 2.24 million square kilometers — which they note is approximately the size of Texas and Alaska combined.

The researchers report that most of the new tree cover occurred in places that had previously been barren, such as in deserts, tundra areas, on mountains, in cities and in other non-vegetated land. They further report that much of the new growth came about due to efforts by humans (such as reforestation efforts in China and parts of Africa) and because of global warming—warmer temperatures have raised timberlines in some mountainous regions, and allowed forests to creep into tundra areas. Other areas of new tree growth resulted from large farm abandonments in places like Russia and the U.S. The researchers report that their calculations showed that human activities have directly caused approximately 60 percent of new global tree growth. They suggest their technique for monitoring tree cover could be used to predict tree cover changes in the future due to global warming.

More information: Xiao-Peng Song et al. Global land change from 1982 to 2016, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0411-9

Abstract

Land change is a cause and consequence of global environmental change. Changes in land use and land cover considerably alter the Earth’s energy balance and biogeochemical cycles, which contributes to climate change and—in turn—affects land surface properties and the provision of ecosystem services. However, quantification of global land change is lacking. Here we analyse 35 years’ worth of satellite data and provide a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics during the period 1982–2016. We show that—contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally—tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1% relative to the 1982 level). This overall net gain is the result of a net loss in the tropics being outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics. Global bare ground cover has decreased by 1.16 million km2 (−3.1%), most notably in agricultural regions in Asia. Of all land changes, 60% are associated with direct human activities and 40% with indirect drivers such as climate change. Land-use change exhibits regional dominance, including tropical deforestation and agricultural expansion, temperate reforestation or afforestation, cropland intensification and urbanization. Consistently across all climate domains, montane systems have gained tree cover and many arid and semi-arid ecosystems have lost vegetation cover. The mapped land changes and the driver attributions reflect a human-dominated Earth system. The dataset we developed may be used to improve the modelling of land-use changes, biogeochemical cycles and vegetation–climate interactions to advance our understanding of global environmental change.

Journal reference: Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0411-9

August 11, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Video: Living off grid with solar panels and batteries

The woman in this video talks about what it’s like for her and her family to live off grid with solar panels and batteries. She and her family are real environmentalist who practice what they preach. She says there are some inconveniences, but that they have manged to get used to them. She also says their daily electric usage fell from 60 kwh to between 4 and 6, not counting their limited use of air conditioning, which brings their daily usage up to 10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLhlm-iZFVI

 

August 10, 2018. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Technology. Leave a comment.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just buy new crayons?

A woman named Emily Skopov started a non-profit organization called No Crayon Left Behind.

The charity collects used crayons from restaurants and other organizations and gives them to people who can’t afford them.

When the collected crayons are misshapen, Skopov melts them down on her own stove and molds them into new crayons.

Skopov said she spends approximately 45 hours a week volunteering for No Crayon Left Behind.

In addition, she hired a consultant and has a paid staff as well.

She also rents an office.

Skopov said of her endeavor:

“I purposely haven’t kept track of how much I’ve spent because it would freak me out, but it’s got to be thousands of dollars.”

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart sells a box of 64 brand new crayons for $2.94.

So here’s my question: Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just buy new crayons?

 

 

July 12, 2018. Tags: , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. 1 comment.

Media bias: Wikipedia has repeatedly removed reliably sourced information about how hunting endangered animals, when done properly, makes their populations get bigger

Wikipedia has repeatedly removed the following reliably sourced information from its Trophy hunting article. (The deletion history can be seen here, here, here, and here.)

In 2015, a Texas hunter who had won an auction paid $350,000 for legal permission to kill an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia. The Washington Post wrote the following about the particular animal that was chosen for this kill: “The bull, Knowlton said, was a problem in his own herd. The animal was too old to breed but so aggressive that it had already killed calves, cows and and other male rhinoceroses in a jealous rage.” The money was used to fund conservation efforts. Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism had approved of the kill. The meat was eaten by residents of a nearby village.

In 2017, a hunter paid $35,000 for permission to kill one bongo at a ranch in Texas. The ranch’s manager said this was enough money to feed the ranch’s approximately 30 remaining bongos for an entire year.

In 2017, wildlife experts said the ranches in Texas had more blackbuck antelope than their native country of India.

In 2018, a hunter from Kentucky legally killed an adult male giraffe in South Africa. Because this particular male was too old to breed, and because it had previously killed three younger adult males who were capable of breeding, this particular kill caused the population to get bigger, not smaller.

The above content is notable, relevant, and reliably sourced. There is no legitimate reason to not include it in the article.

July 2, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , . Animals, Economics, Environmentalism, Media bias, Wikipedia. Leave a comment.

Shame on the mainstream media for ignoring government tampering with global temperature data!

Real Climate Science just posted this article, which claims that the NOAA has been tampering with its global temperature data.

The article links to government data to support its claims that the government has been tampering with the data.

This is the first chart shown in the article:


The article includes these links to government websites to verify that the government really has been tampering with global temperature data:

Raw NOAA Data:

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2.5/ushcn.tavg.latest.raw.tar.gz

Adjusted NOAA Data:

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2.5/ushcn.tavg.latest.FLs.52j.tar.gz

Unfortunately, the mainstream media is not reporting on this government manipulation of global temperature data. Shame on them!

March 21, 2018. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism, Media bias. 3 comments.

The Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is getting bigger, but I don’t expect most environmentalists to celebrate

On the one hand, this report from phys.org is good news for anyone who has been truly worried that the land area of the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu was getting smaller due to the rising sea level caused by global warming. Although the sea level is indeed rising due to global warming, wave patterns and sediment dumped by storms have actually caused the land area to get bigger. The study was conducted by the University of Auckland.

On the other hand, for environmentalists who have been using this island’s alleged shrinking as an excuse to promote a political agenda, this is bad news, not good news. They will not celebrate this news. Instead, they will ignore this news, and they will get mad at anyone who does bring this news to their attention.

Based on past experience, I think that most environmentalists will fall into the later group. I say this, based on the following three things:

1) Most environmentalists ignore the fact that so many of their past predictions of doom have failed to come true.

2) Most environmentalists show zero intellectual curiosity as to why their past predictions of doom failed to come true. (By comparison, real scientists are always curious to know why their past predictions failed to come true.)

3) Most environmentalists actually get mad at me whenever I bring up the fact that their past predictions of doom have failed to come true.

Anyway, here are some predictions of doom from the first Earth Day in 1970 that failed to come true. Most environmentalists absolutely hate it when I point out these predictions. Try showing this list to any environmentalists that you know, and see how they react:

* Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day, wrote, “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”

* Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, stated, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

* Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, stated, “… by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions… By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

* Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, predicted that between 1980 and 1989, 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would starve to death.

* Life Magazine wrote, “… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”

* Ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

* Watt also stated, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil.”

 

February 9, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. 4 comments.

Democratic fascist Ian Calderon wants to give six months in jail to any California restaurant employee who gives a straw to a customer without being asked

Ian Calderon, the Democratic majority leader in California’s lower house, has introduced a bill that would give six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 to any California restaurant employee who gives a straw to a customer without being asked.

After being contacted by the media, a spokesperson for Calderon said they intend to remove the fine (although, apparently, they have not done so as of the time of publication of this article). Also, apparently, the six month jail term will remain.

 

http://reason.com/blog/2018/01/25/california-bill-would-criminalize-restau

January 25, 2018

Ian Calderon wants restaurateurs to think long and hard before giving you a straw.

Calderon, the Democratic majority leader in California’s lower house, has introduced a bill to stop sit-down restaurants from offering customers straws with their beverages unless they specifically request one. Under Calderon’s law, a waiter who serves a drink with an unrequested straw in it would face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Update: Reason spoke with Voleck Taing, a senior assistant to Assemblyman Calderon, who said they intend to amend the bill to remove the fines.

January 28, 2018. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Police state. Leave a comment.

When measured in kwh per square foot, Al Gore’s Tennessee mansion was rated as an “energy hog,” and used more than four times as many kwh per square foot as homes that were rated as “energy efficient”

http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA679.html

August 2017

Many Gore defenders point to the large size of his residence as an explanation for his massive energy consumption.

The facts, however, do not bear this argument out.

According to Energy Vanguard, a company devoted to making homes more energy efficient, an “efficient” home uses between 5-10 kWh of electricity per square foot each year. A house that consumes 15 kWh per square foot or more of electricity per year is categorized as “bad” due to its inefficiency and excessive electricity consumption. Homes that expend more than 20 kWh of electricity per square foot each year are labeled “energy hogs,” which is Energy Vanguard’s worst rating.

Gore’s home consumed 22.9 kWh per square foot in the past 12 months, more than quadrupling the electricity consumption of homes that are considered energy efficient, regardless of size. Based on its kWh per square foot measure, the house would easily earn an “energy hog” rating.

Even by apples-to-apples comparison, Gore’s home is extraordinarily energy inefficient and consumes an astonishing amount of electricity.

August 4, 2017. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

My response to New York Magazine’s “The Uninhabitable Earth” is to remind you of these bogus doomsayer predictions from the first Earth Day in 1970

On July 9, 2017, New York Magazine published this article, which is called, “The Uninhabitable Earth.”

On July 14, 2017 – just five days later – New York Magazine said that the article

“… is already the most-read article in New York Magazine’s history.”

My response to this article is to remind you of the following bogus doomsayer predictions that were made during the first Earth Day in 1970:

* Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day, wrote, “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”

* Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, stated, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

* Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, stated, “… by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions… By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

* Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, predicted that between 1980 and 1989, 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would starve to death.

* Life Magazine wrote, “… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”

* Ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

* Watt also stated, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil.”

Real scientists learn form their mistakes, and from the mistakes of others.

However, the environmental doomsayers who have been making these bogus predictions for many decades have expressed absolutely zero interest in learning why these predictions of the past failed to come true.

Instead, these doomsayers pretend that these failed predictions were never made, in the hopes that their current audience has either forgotten about them, or was never even aware of them in the first place.

Whatever happened to the scientific method?

Whatever happened to a willingness to admit to being wrong?

Whatever happened to the desire to learn from one’s mistakes, as well as from the mistakes of others?

For the scientifically illiterates out there who don’t know that carbon dioxide is the bottom of the food chain, here is an article form NASA called “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds.”

Also, back when the dinosaurs were alive, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were five times as high as they are today, and global temperatures were so high that there were no polar ice caps. But the earth was not “uninhabitable.” It was actually the exact opposite, which is why it was home to the biggest land animals that the planet has ever had.

I wrote this blog entry, which is called “The world’s supply of resources is getting bigger, not smaller.” It includes links to verify its claims.

I also made this video, which is called “Hitler gets mad at Al Gore’s global warming hypocrisy.” The video’s description contains links to verify its claims:

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

 

July 16, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Overpopulation, Politics, Science. 1 comment.

World Health Organization: United States among least polluting nations on the planet

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/05/who-united-states-among-least-polluting-nations-on-the-planet/

WHO: United States Among Least Polluting Nations on the Planet

June 5, 2017

Despite recent attempts to paint the United States as a major global polluter, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. is among the cleanest nations on the planet.

In the most recent WHO report on air pollution, the United States was listed as one of the countries with the cleanest air in the world, significantly cleaner in fact than the air in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Japan, Austria and France.

While France and other G7 countries lamented the U.S. exit from the Paris climate accord, America’s air is already cleaner than that of any other country in the G7.

Following standard practice, the WHO measures air pollution by the mean annual concentration of fine suspended particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameter. These are the particles that cause diseases of all sorts and are responsible for most deaths by air pollution.

According to the WHO, exposure to particulate matter increases the risk of acute lower respiratory infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.

The report, which analyzed the “annual median concentration of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) for both urban population and rural and urban population” found that the United States was one of the most pollution-free nations in the world.

The annual mean concentrations of particulate matter in the air range from less than 10 to over 100 µg/m3, the report states. At the very low end of the spectrum, the United States has a concentration of just 8, while China has a concentration more than seven times higher at 59, India at 66, Egypt at 101 and Saudi Arabia with the worst air pollution at 127.

“The mean annual concentration of fine suspended particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameter is a common measure of air pollution,” the WHO states.

The WHO report is corroborated by a series of other such studies on air and water pollution.

In a recent list of the 25 cleanest cities in the world, the only country to boast three cities among the cleanest on the planet was the United States of America, with Chicago coming in second place, Honolulu coming in fourth, and Portland, OR, coming in sixteenth. Unsurprisingly, no cities from China, Russia or India made the list at all.

Similarly, another list of the 15 most polluted cities in the world featured three cities from China, three cities from Saudi Arabia, and a whopping seven cities from India. No U.S. city made the list.

A third list, ranking the ten cleanest and ten most polluted cities in the world, placed two U.S. cities on the list of cleanest cities on the planet. The list of the most polluted cities in the world was led by two cities from China followed by two more cities from India. Two Russian cities also made the list. Again, no U.S. cities were found here.

With such relatively clean air throughout America, how can even reputable news agencies like Reuters continue spreading the well-worn lie that the United States is one of the “biggest polluters” in the world?

Rather than follow the time-tested practice used by the World Health Organization, which measures levels of disease-causing pollutants that get into people’s lungs, some have played a shell game, swapping a new measure of “pollution” based solely on emissions of carbon dioxide.

The problem with this ploy is that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and it is dishonest to say it is. CO2 is colorless, odorless and completely non-toxic. Plants depend on it to live and grow, and human beings draw some into their lungs with every breath they take to no ill effect whatsoever.

Growers regularly pump CO2 into greenhouses, raising levels to three times that of the natural environment, to produce stronger, greener, healthier plants.

Current levels of carbon dioxide concentration in the environment are substantially lower than they have been during earlier periods in the planet’s history. Without human intervention, the concentration of CO2 has climbed as high as 7,000 parts per million (ppm) in prior eras, whereas at present the concentration is just over 400 ppm.

Some experts, such as UN climate scientist Dr. Indur Goklany, have defended rising CO2 levels as a good thing for humanity. Goklany has argued that the rising level of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere “is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally.”

“The benefits are real, whereas the costs of warming are uncertain,” he said.

While the United States must remain vigilant to keep the level of real, dangerous pollutants to a minimum, it may take some consolation in the fact that among G7 nations, it has the cleanest air of all.

June 5, 2017. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Nature: “Continued U.S. membership in the Paris Agreement on Climate would be symbolic and have no effect on U.S. emissions.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3309.epdf?shared_access_token=by1S4GXzN-UCvp5a0p4J5dRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0MMaWb67ZuNosbRzMzZvfYDoC67OPvXIleME-qWdTTGP4rMIIsfv3m60DsuCVkktBakKVcErllhnGnTZcfCSrHJ-7hYUuMRcH75sS0h9TSg2sEgq30QnQ_t1-z_2ptZOQE%3D

May 22, 2017

Continued U.S. membership in the Paris Agreement on Climate would be symbolic and have no effect on U.S. emissions.

 

June 3, 2017. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism, Politics. Leave a comment.

Support for Paris Agreement = admission that Kyoto Protocol was a scam

Two decades ago, we were told that the world needed to pass the Kyoto Treaty in order to stop manmade global warming from reaching dangerous and destructive levels. The treaty was passed.

But now, we are being told that the world needs the Paris Agreement in order to stop manmade global warming from reaching dangerous and destructive levels.

Therefore, support for the Paris Agreement is an admission that the Kyoto Protocol was a scam.

 

June 3, 2017. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism, Politics. 1 comment.

On Earth Day, Hitler gets mad at Al Gore’s global warming hypocrisy

I wrote the dialogue for this. The video’s description contains links to verify every claim:

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

April 20, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Humor. 2 comments.

This person says the Vortex Bladeless cannot produce the claimed power, and is just a scam to raise money

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9VjJ1e1nIY

April 16, 2017. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Wouldn’t this “toxic” Mountain Dew syrup have eventually ended up in the public sewers anyway?

I just found out that last month in Howell, Michigan, at a Pepsi bottling plant, 7,200 gallons of concentrated Mountain Dew syrup was spilled. The relevant people successfully prevented this “toxic” substance from entering the public sewer system.

But let’s say that the spill had not occurred, and the “toxic” syrup had been used for its intended purpose.

Then wouldn’t this “toxic” syrup have eventually ended up in the public sewer system anyway?

 

April 10, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Food. 1 comment.

Environmental hypocrites who were protesting against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, burned oil to keep themselves warm! They also left enough litter to fill more than 250 garbage trucks!

Environmental hypocrites who were protesting against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, burned oil to keep themselves warm!

They also left enough litter to fill more than 250 garbage trucks!

Fox News writes of this: (the bolding is mine)

What was once a bustling makeshift city is now a largely abandoned garbage pit. Teepees and yurts, thousands of sheets of plywood and tents, kerosene and propane stoves, diesel and gasoline generators, food, clothing, cars and mountains of human waste lie in what was once a pristine floodplain that abutted the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Nothing but bison and horses roamed here. Unless the debris is moved, state officials say it will wash into and contaminate the Missouri River.

Already 250 loads of trash have been removed, but much more remains. And police say they need to get everyone out to finish the job.

This suggests to me that the real reason for their protest has nothing to do with protecting the environment.

I think this fake environment protest is all about the egos of the protestors, and has nothing to do with actually protecting the environment.

I think the real reason for their protest is so they can smugly pat each other on the back, and falsely claim that they “protected” the environment.

Actions speak louder than words. And their actions show that they don’t give a darn about the environment that they claim to be “protecting.”

 

February 22, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. 2 comments.

Videos show huge piles of litter left by environmentalist protestors at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota

Environmentalist protestors at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota left massive amounts of litter.

The litter has frozen, and could become toxic.

It will take an estimated 250 garbage trucks to carry away the litter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHgmoIno5PU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sdbcXt6m90

http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Sanitation-crews-work-to-remove-massive-amounts-of-garbage-from-DAPL-protest-camp-before-spring-thaw-412954433.html

Sanitation crews work to remove massive amounts of garbage from DAPL protest camp before spring thaw

February 6, 2017

CANNON BALL, N.D. – Last week, we showed you all the garbage that was left by Dakota Access Pipeline protesters at the Oceti Sakowin Camp.

Now, we’re showing you where all that trash will end up.

Sanitation crews are working hard to dispose of six months’ worth of garbage from a community the size of Wahpeton or Valley City. The mountains of debris need to be moved before the spring thaw occurs.

Making a dent in the immense amount of trash being hauled out of the Oceti Sakowin protest camp is being hindered by the weather. All the garbage that was left behind is now frozen into massive chunks of junk.

In a month, all this trash could become toxic.

“Standing Rock Environmental Protection Agency and Dakota Sanitation are working together to try and advert an environmental tragedy,” says Tom Doering, Morton County Emergency Manager.

It’s estimated it will take 250 trucks filled with litter to clear the camp.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” says Doering.

Each load that’s dumped is inspected by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

February 8, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. 2 comments.

New York Times: “cold weather is responsible, directly or indirectly, for 17 times as many deaths as hot weather… as global temperatures rise, milder winter temperatures are likely to result in fewer cold-related deaths”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/well/beware-winter-is-coming.html?_r=0

Beware: Winter Is Coming

December 19, 2016

Most of the Northern Hemisphere is now in the throes of the deadliest time of the year. Cold kills, and I don’t mean just extreme cold and crippling blizzards. I mean ordinary winter cold, like that typically experienced, chronically or episodically, by people in every state but Hawaii from late fall through early spring.

While casualties resulting from heat waves receive wide publicity, deaths from bouts of extreme cold rarely do, and those resulting from ordinary winter weather warrant virtually no attention. Yet an international study covering 384 locations in 13 countries, including the United States, found that cold weather is responsible, directly or indirectly, for 17 times as many deaths as hot weather.

Over time, as global temperatures rise, milder winter temperatures are likely to result in fewer cold-related deaths, a benefit that could outweigh a smaller rise in heat-caused mortality. In winter in the United States, mortality is generally 10 percent to 15 percent higher than on typical summer days.

The study, published in July 2015 in The Lancet, was based on an analysis of more than 74 million deaths and calculated mortality attributable to heat and cold in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Britain and the United States.

The researchers found that extreme temperatures of heat or cold were responsible for less than 1 percent (0.86 percent) of total mortality. “Heat stroke on hot days and hypothermia on cold days only account for small proportions of excess deaths” related to temperature, the research team wrote.

Less extreme temperatures, on the other hand, contributed to many more deaths, with temperature playing a direct or indirect role in 7.71 percent of deaths over all. The vast majority of these “temperature-attributable deaths” (7.29 percent) occurred on days when temperatures were below the “optimum temperature” — the temperature in each country that is associated with the lowest death rate — whereas only 0.42 percent were associated with above optimum temperatures.

Yet most weather-related public health plans focus on heat waves, even though the death rate during cold spells exceeds that during heat waves, and minimal if any attention has been given to the life-threatening risks linked to everyday cold.

One likely explanation is that cold is a stealth killer. Extremes of heat tend to kill quickly, with spikes in deaths striking within days of a hot spell. But cold exacts a more protracted toll, with an increase in cold-related deaths occurring as long as three or four weeks after a cold snap.

Furthermore, unlike what you might expect, the overwhelming majority of cold-weather casualties do not result from vehicular accidents, falls on ice or snow-related activities. Rather, they are attributable to leading killers like heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease, and are especially common among those aged 75 and older.

Writing in the Southern Medical Journal in 2004, W.R. Keatinge and G.C. Donaldson of Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of London reported that “cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths” in nearly all countries outside the tropics, and “almost all of them are due to common illnesses that are increased by cold,” including heart attacks, strokes, flu and pneumonia. The authors added that “even in climates as warm as Southern Europe or North Carolina, cold weather causes more deaths than hot weather,” prompting them to suggest that “rising temperatures could reduce overall mortality rates.”

In other words, with respect to minimizing deaths everywhere but in the tropics, milder winters would save more lives and have a much greater impact on mortality than hotter summers.

Surprising though it may seem, people living in countries with relatively mild winters are more likely to succumb to the cold than those who reside where subfreezing temperatures are commonplace. In relatively cold Sweden, for example, cold contributed to an estimated 3.9 percent of deaths, while in warmer Australia it was responsible for 6.5 percent — one death in 15, according to the international study. It is not just a matter of adaptation. A more likely explanation: Swedish homes are better built and equipped to keep out the cold, and residents are more likely to have and wear appropriate winter attire.

An Australian blogger, Adrian Barnett, an associate professor of public health at Queensland University of Technology, wrote that in winter, “temperatures inside a flimsy wooden Queenslander” — the typical home in the region — “are often below 18°C,” or 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit, “whereas Swedish homes will be a comfortable 23°C,” or 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit, “whatever the weather. Many Australian homes are just glorified tents, and we expose ourselves to far colder temperatures than the Scandinavians do.” The same might be said for folks living in the southern United States, compared with those in the much colder Northeast.

How, you may wonder, does cold exact its deadly toll? About half of cold-related deaths result from blood clots that cause heart attacks and strokes, the British researchers reported. Blood becomes more concentrated during exposure to cold because blood flow to the skin is reduced to conserve body heat. This results in an excess of blood in the central parts of the body. To counter the excess volume, salt and water move from the blood into the tissue spaces, leaving behind “increased levels of red cells, white cells, platelets and fibrinogen” — thickened blood that is more likely to clot. Blood pressure, an important risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, also tends to rise with exposure to cold.

During cold weather, people typically spend more time indoors and congregate in smaller spaces. This helps to spread respiratory infections like cold, flu and pneumonia that can take a heavy toll among people with underlying chronic ailments like heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, asthma and even cancer and dementia.

Of course, the winter months have more than their fair share of accidental deaths. In addition to cardiac deaths among people middle-aged and older who, like me, choose to shovel their own stoops and sidewalks, there are some who wind up in the morgue after a slip or skid on icy streets and roads or who crash a car in a blinding snowstorm.

There are also far more fire-related deaths in cold weather, resulting from faulty or overtaxed wiring, improper use of indoor heaters and errant sparks from fireplaces. With windows and doors closed and tightly sealed to keep out the cold, the risk of carbon monoxide death also rises.

January 1, 2017. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

NASA: “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds”

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds

April 26, 2016

From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

carbon-dioxide-fertilization

This image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015. Credits: Boston University/R. Myneni

Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth.

However, carbon dioxide fertilization isn’t the only cause of increased plant growth—nitrogen, land cover change and climate change by way of global temperature, precipitation and sunlight changes all contribute to the greening effect. To determine the extent of carbon dioxide’s contribution, researchers ran the data for carbon dioxide and each of the other variables in isolation through several computer models that mimic the plant growth observed in the satellite data.

Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect, said co-author Ranga Myneni, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. “The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 percent. So we see what an outsized role CO2 plays in this process.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOwHT8yS1XI

About 85 percent of Earth’s ice-free lands is covered by vegetation. The area covered by all the green leaves on Earth is equal to, on average, 32 percent of Earth’s total surface area – oceans, lands and permanent ice sheets combined. The extent of the greening over the past 35 years “has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” said lead author Zaichun Zhu, a researcher from Peking University, China, who did the first half of this study with Myneni as a visiting scholar at Boston University.

Every year, about half of the 10 billion tons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere from human activities remains temporarily stored, in about equal parts, in the oceans and plants. “While our study did not address the connection between greening and carbon storage in plants, other studies have reported an increasing carbon sink on land since the 1980s, which is entirely consistent with the idea of a greening Earth,” said co-author Shilong Piao of the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences at Peking University.

While rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air can be beneficial for plants, it is also the chief culprit of climate change. The gas, which traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere, has been increasing since the industrial age due to the burning of oil, gas, coal and wood for energy and is continuing to reach concentrations not seen in at least 500,000 years. The impacts of climate change include global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice as well as more severe weather events.

The beneficial impacts of carbon dioxide on plants may also be limited, said co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais, associate director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-suv-Yvette, France. “Studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising carbon dioxide concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time.”

“While the detection of greening is based on data, the attribution to various drivers is based on models,” said co-author Josep Canadell of the Oceans and Atmosphere Division in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra, Australia. Canadell added that while the models represent the best possible simulation of Earth system components, they are continually being improved.

Read the paper at Nature Climate Change: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3004.html

November 4, 2016. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science. Leave a comment.

Experts said Arctic sea ice would melt entirely by September 2016 – they were wrong

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/10/07/experts-said-arctic-sea-ice-would-melt-entirely-by-september-201/

Experts said Arctic sea ice would melt entirely by September 2016 – they were wrong

October 8, 2016

Dire predictions that the Arctic would be devoid of sea ice by September this year have proven to be unfounded after latest satellite images showed there is far more now than in 2012.

Scientists such as Prof Peter Wadhams, of Cambridge University, and Prof Wieslaw Maslowski, of the Naval Postgraduate School in Moderey, California, have regularly forecast the loss of ice by 2016, which has been widely reported by the BBC and other media outlets.

Prof Wadhams, a leading expert on Arctic sea ice loss, has recently published a book entitled A Farewell To Ice in which he repeats the assertion that the polar region would free of ice in the middle of this decade.

As late as this summer, he was still predicting an ice-free September.

Yet, when figures were released for the yearly minimum on September 10, they showed that there was still 1.6 million square miles of sea ice (4.14 square kilometres), which was 21 per cent more than the lowest point in 2012.

For the month of September overall, there was 31 per cent more ice than in 2012, figures released this week from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) show. This amounts to an extra 421,000 (1.09 million square kilometres) of sea ice, making the month only the fifth lowest since records began.

October 8, 2016. Tags: , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Hypocrisy alert! Most environmental groups OPPOSE Washington state’s carbon tax initiative

Well, well, well. Even though pretty much every economist agrees that the most effective and efficient way to reduce carbon emissions is by placing a tax on each ton of carbon emissions, most environmental groups are actually against such a proposal in Washington state because the revenue from the tax would be used to lower other taxes.

In other words, protecting the environment is not the primary goal of these environmentalists.

Instead, their primary goal is to make the government bigger.

And this proves it:

 

https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/most-environmental-groups-oppose-washington-states-carbon-tax-initiative

Most environmental groups oppose Washington state’s carbon tax initiative

August 19, 2016

Many environmental groups have come out against an initiative in Washington state that would impose the first carbon tax in the nation because it is revenue neutral.

Environmental activists in Washington State running a campaign called “Carbon Washington“ successfully obtained the required number of signatures to get ballot initiative 732 (I-732) on the November ballot.

I-732 would impose a carbon-dioxide tax of $25 per metric ton on fossil fuels consumed in Washington State. If the voters approve the initiative, Washington would become the first state in the nation to impose a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

The initiative aims to be revenue neutral, reducing the state sales tax a full percentage point and providing up to $1,500 per year for 400,000 low-income working households. In addition, in a nod to the fact the carbon-dioxide tax will increase the cost of manufacturing in Washington State, relative to competing states, the initiative effectively eliminates the state’s Business and Occupation tax for manufacturers.

Most environmental groups—including the Sierra Club, the Washington Environmental Council, Climate Solutions, and the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy—say they oppose I-732. They say rather than using the revenues generated by the tax to fund programs they support, the referendum returns the money to taxpayers.

“Revenues from its carbon tax would not be invested in ramping up jobs in clean fuels infrastructure or energy efficiency,” says the Sierra Club on its website.

Fox News reports the Audubon Society is nearly alone among national and state environmental organizations in supporting the measure. Speaking with Fox News, Gail Gatton, executive director of Audubon Society-Washington State, said, “I think for us, I-732 isn’t about money. It really is about what are the market-based incentives that will drive people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Gatton also told Fox News, it’s the first time that she can remember in which the Audubon Society was at odds with the Sierra Club and other green groups in the state.

Battle Is for Revenue, Not Carbon Cuts

Some believe the rift exposes a secret about the environmental movement: Many regulations and green programs are about money, not protecting people or the environment.

“Are left-wing environmental activists more afraid of climate change or tax cuts?” said Todd Myers, environmental director at the Washington Policy Center. “Their opposition to this initiative makes it clear they fear tax cuts more.

“The same people who say ‘we can’t wait’ to fight climate change are willing to wait if the policy doesn’t increase taxes and expand government,” said Myers. “It is the type of hypocrisy we see again and again from the Seattle environmental community.

Robert Bradley Jr., CEO of the Institute for Energy Research, says the fact environmental groups are fighting the I-732 in Washington State shows they are against consumer choice.

“The anti-fossil-fuel Left is playing some strange new cards,” said Bradley. “Some now want nuclear no matter what the cost, and the latest is any carbon tax must add to existing taxes for new tax-and-spend programs.

“A clearer example of anti-consumerism could not be given,” Bradley said.

August 30, 2016. Tags: , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Change.org petition: Remove air conditioning from all US State Department property

http://www.change.org/p/remove-air-conditioning-from-all-us-state-department-property

Remove air conditioning from all US State Department property.

John Kerry

 

WHEREAS, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has suggested that air conditioners are as big a threat as ISIS, and

WHEREAS, it is the duty of our elected and appointed government officials to lead by example,

THEREFORE, we call upon the U.S. Department of State to remove air conditioning from all property that the Department owns, rents, or otherwise employs, including but not limited to embassies, consulates, office buildings, etc., all vehicles owned and/or operated by the Department, and any other property, real or movable, owned, rented, or otherwise employed by the Department.

July 25, 2016. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

The world needs more black women studying STEM subjects like Jasmine Burton!

With so many college students, and especially so many blacks and women, majoring in fake, useless, worthless subjects that will leave them with nothing but huge amounts of debt that they will never be able to pay back from the low wages they will get from working at coffee shops and fast food restaurants after they graduate from college, here’s a wonderful story about someone who chose to study something that is actually useful in the real world. More people should follow Jasmine Burton’s lead and study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects:

http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/22/smallbusiness/safichoo-toilet-jasmine-burton/

This plastic toilet could save lives

Jasmine Burton


Jasmine Burton helped design an inexpensive, portable plastic toilet to address the lack of basic sanitation around the world.

January 22, 2016

Everybody poops. But not everyone has access to a toilet.

“It’s shocking that this basic necessity is unavailable to nearly half of the world,” said Jasmine Burton, founder and president of Atlanta-based Wish for WASH.

Burton, 23, was a freshman at Georgia Institute of Technology when she learned that as many as 2.5 billion people don’t have access to a toilet.

It bothered her even more that this sanitation problem disproportionately affects women and young girls.

“Young girls in the developing world frequently drop out of school because there isn’t a toilet,” she said. “It angered me as a woman in higher education and as a product designer.”

Just 18 at the time, Burton channeled her feelings into a mission: She would design a toilet.

While at Georgia Tech, she collaborated with three other students to invent an inexpensive, eco-friendly mobile toilet that could convert waste into renewable energy. They called their sanitation system SafiChoo Toilet.

Made of plastic, the toilet is designed for sitting or squatting, which is a common practice in some countries. It can be placed directly on the ground, or it can be elevated by adding an attachable base. It can also function with or without water.

The system features a waste collection unit (that can go above or below ground), which separates the waste into liquids and solids. There’s also a manually-operated bidet that can be attached.

Burton said these features are intended to help curb contamination and the spread of diseases.

The SafiChoo toilet costs about $50. “That’s the highest price point we want it to be,” she said.

In 2014, Burton and her team won first place and $25,000 at the Georgia Tech InVention competition, the nation’s largest undergraduate invention competition.

“We didn’t think we’d win because products at the contest were always high-tech with super sexy designs,” she said. “Ours was a simple toilet.”

The win enabled Burton to pilot SafiChoo (which means clean toilet in Kiswahili) at a Kenyan refugee camp. She also launched Wish for WASH, the parent company of SafiChoo.

John Zegers, director at Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing, contacted Burton after her InVention competition win. “We thought it was a great product that needed a little bit more development,” he said.

The Center gave a grant to Georgia Tech to develop a SafiChoo prototype and helped Burton’s team find an Atlanta-based manufacturer.

Zegers said he hopes that Wish for WASH is able to keep the toilet a Made in America product.

Burton is currently living in Lusaka, Zambia, as she tests the toilet there. The company is also running an Indiegogo campaign to support the Zambia pilot.

She hopes to begin selling the toilet to U.S.-based customers and to NGOs in 2017.

“It’s amazing when you see how many people have never used a toilet before and what [the SafiChoo Toilet] could mean for them,” she said.

May 16, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Education, Environmentalism, Health care, Science, Technology. 2 comments.

Plastic-munching bacteria can make trash biodegradable

If this is true and it can be used on a large scale, it’s fantastic news.

 

http://www.livescience.com/54016-plastic-eating-bacteria-could-reduce-trash.html

Plastic-Munching Bacteria Can Make Trash Biodegradable

March 10, 2016

A durable plastic called PET is considered a major environmental hazard because it’s highly resistant to breakdown. But researchers have found a potential new match for this hardy plastic: a newly discovered microbe that is astonishingly good at eating it.

An estimated 342 million tons (311 metric tons) of plastic are produced annually worldwide, and currently, only about 14 percent is collected for recycling, according to the World Economic Forum.

Most plastic degrades extraordinarily slowly, but PET — short for poly(ethylene terephthalate) — is especially durable, and about 61 million tons (56 metric tons) of the colorless plastic was produced worldwide in 2013 alone, according to the researchers.

Previously, the only species found to break down PET were rare fungi. Now, scientists in Japan have discovered bacteria that can biodegrade this hardy plastic.

“The bacterium is the first strain having a potential to degrade PET completely into carbon dioxide and water,” said study co-author Kohei Oda, an applied microbiologist at the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan.

The researchers collected 250 samples of PET debris from soil and wastewater from a plastic-bottle-recycling site. They scanned these samples for bacteria that could eat PET.

The scientists identified a new species of bacteria, which they named Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, that could almost completely break down a thin film of PET after six weeks at a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). Appendages from the cells might have secreted compounds that helped to dissolve the plastic, the researchers said.

Genetic and biochemical analyses identified two key enzymes involved in the breakdown of PET. One enzyme worked with water to break down the plastic into an intermediate substance, which the other enzyme broke down into PET’s basic building blocks, the scientists said.

These findings could have a wide range of real-world applications, because bacteria should be easier to incorporate into devices to break down PET than fungi is. “We hope that we can develop a technology to handle such a lot of wasted PET,” Oda said.

In the future, the researchers would like to “improve the ability of the microorganisms to degrade,” Oda said.

It’s not known how these enzymes evolved, Oda said, and both enzymes bear little resemblance to the enzymes most closely related to them.

The scientists detailed their findings online today (March 10) in the journal Science.

 

March 11, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Here are some predictions from the first Earth Day in 1970

The following predictions were made during the first Earth Day in 1970:

* Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day, wrote, “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”

* Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, stated, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

* Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, stated, “… by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions… By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

* Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, predicted that between 1980 and 1989, 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would starve to death.

* Life Magazine wrote, “… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”

* Ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

* Watt also stated, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil.”

January 17, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Overpopulation, Politics, Science. 1 comment.

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