Archive | Human Intervention

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We Pollute Everything With The Plastic We Make

Posted on 17 June 2016 by Jerry

The number of people has grown around the world. The estimate is the world’s people created 275 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2010. Of this, some eight million metric tons of plastic waste found its way into the ocean from costal countries in 2010.

Fortunately this plastic degrades. Unfortunately UV radiation, chemical degradation and the action of waves breaks it down into smaller pieces of plastic. It does not go away. Instead the plastic becomes less than 5 millimeters in size. Swedish scientists have documented that perch larvae consume these small pieces of plastic.

The researchers concluded that the fish that did hatch were “smaller, slower, and more stupid” than those hatched in normal, clean water. This was the conclusion of the lead author of the study, Dr. Oona Lonnstedt, from Uppsala University. She also said, “They (the larvae) all had access to zooplankton and yet they decided to just eat plastic in that treatment. It seems to be a chemical or physical cue that the plastic has, that triggers a feeding response in fish.”

As reported by the BBC in a June 2, 2016 article said, “In the study, the researchers link the decline of species such as perch and pike, observed in the Baltic Sea over the past two decades, to increased deaths at the juvenile stage. They argue that if plastics are impacting young fish across species, it could have ‘profound effects’ on ecosystems.”

An article in the August 26, 2014 issue of the New York Times said, “Hundreds of species mistake plastics for their natural food, ingesting toxicants that cause liver and stomach abnormalities in fish and birds, often choking them to death. We know that one of the main bait fish in the ocean, the lantern fish, eats copious quantities of plastic fragments, threatening their future as a nutritious food source to the tuna, salmon, and other pelagic fish we consume, adding to the increasing amount of synthetic chemicals unknown before 1950 that we now carry in our bodies.”

Which countries lead the rest of the world in polluting the oceans with this plastic waste? The following compilation estimates the top eleven producers of plastic waste in both the years 2010 and 2025. MT represents metric tons.

2010                                       2025

China                     8.82 MT                                17.8   MT

Indonesia              3.22 MT                                 7.42 MT

Philippines            1.88 MT                                 5.1   MT

Vietnam                 1.83 MT                                41.7   MT

Sri Lanka               1.59 MT                                 1.92 MT

Thailand                1.03 MT                                 2.18 MT

Egypt                       .97 MT                                 1.94 MT

Malaysia                 .94 MT

Nigeria                    .85 MT                                 2.48 MT

Bangladesh             .79 MT                                 2.21 MT

India                                                                      2.88 MT

The U.S. was the 20th country listed largely because of the high per capita creation of plastic waste. The U.S. actually had a higher per person generation of plastic waste than China in 2010. The U.S. generated 5.6 lbs. per person versus China’s 2.4 lbs. China however has many more people than the U.S. and the U.S. has far more efficient garbage handing than most of the other countries on the list. Assuming rates of growth we now accept the U.S. will not rank within the top 20 on the 2025 list of countries with large amounts of plastic waste.

Our performance in the outer years to control plastic pollution does not affect the estimates now shown above. We are poisoning the fish in the ocean and making them stupid and less effective at reproducing. We are creating dead zones in the ocean that stretch for miles around the equator. For example we know of five major garbage patches drifting in the oceans north and south of the Equator.

The rest of the plastic waste ends up in landfills in many countries where it takes up to 1,000 years to decompose, and potentially leaks pollutants into the soil and water.   This is the result of our commitment to plastic. It is a bad habit we must break if we want to save the lives of the fish in the ocean.

We share the oceans with all the people of the world. Unfortunately we never counted on this many people or their ability to pollute the great oceans. It is happening and it is entirely under our control. We need to follow the example of leaders in the elimination of plastics and use the oil that remains for that which is other than plastic products.

Use the following links to gain more information or access the original articles that served as the basis of this report.

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Who Heard of Oil & Gas Quakes in Oklahoma?

Posted on 05 March 2016 by Jerry

When we move out from fracking to waste water disposal to the oil industry we see that it is the wastewater disposal in the U.S. of the oil and gas industries that are causing earthquakes in the center of the country. Each year the number of earthquakes has grown in unison with the increase in fracking and the disposal of the wastewater it generates.

The state of Oklahoma had only three earthquakes greater than magnitude-3 in 2011. Magnitude-3 is the level at which earthquakes can generally be felt. Oklahoma had 109 magnitude-3 quakes in 2013 mushrooming to 585 of them only one year later or 2014. The total number of earthquakes in Oklahoma in 2014 was 5,415 at all magnitudes. In 2015 there was a record of more than 900 earthquakes greater than a magnitude-3. In 2016 a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck Oklahoma.

Earthquakes are being felt in Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma. Unfortunately these have become a regular daily occurrence.

Of course the dropping price of oil has put all companies relying on a higher price of a barrel of oil in jeopardy. The oil barons in the region led by Saudi Arabia have consciously let the price fall and refused to cut back on production. They are consciously attempting to force oil companies having higher costs (fracking entrants in the United States) to go bankrupt.

As an example, the companies that are going broke in Oklahoma are under the jurisdiction of Oklahoma regulators that are attempting to stop the rising number and magnitudes of earthquakes. Under a recent plan by these same regulators, Sandridge Energy Inc. was asked to reduce injection volumes at 65 of its wells. This request would also force the company to shut down six wells. Because of its finances, it refused the regulatory request and only agreed to a deal after being threatened with legal action.

There continues to be confusion about the cause of these earthquakes in other countries. Questions among Canadian geologists are still revolving around fracking as a cause of earthquakes in Canada. The largest induced Canadian earthquakes are reputed to be in British Columbia, the largest of which has been measured at around 5.0 on the Richter scale. The Canadians believe there is still evidence that some different phenomena are at work.

Arthur McGarr of the United States Geological Survey has said, “Among the earth science community I don’t think there’s any doubt. The scientists are all on the same page. Wastewater disposal, at least in the U.S., has been the primary cause of earthquakes. In Canada, it’s not clear that things work the same way. That’s still a debated question.”

David Eaton, a University of Calgary geophysicist, has said, “But the evidence which is coming through in these studies is that features that are mappable with seismic imaging are not necessary problematic, whereas features that are very difficult to see with the geophysical technology that we’ve got may actually be the problematic ones.”

Oklahoma and other states have recently eclipsed California in total number of earthquakes but these earthquakes have only caused researchers to once again look at California quakes. California is the third largest oil producer in the continental United States. Certainly some of its quakes over the years have been the result of pumping water into disposal wells like the rest of the nation.

Researchers know that the high-pressure wastewater spreads out from the well sometimes lubricating ancient faults and causing them to relieve some of their pent up pressure as induced earthquakes.   A Santa Cruz researcher, Thomas Goebel has published a 2016 study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters looking at an earthquake swarm in the Tejon Oil Field south of Bakersfield in September 2005.

The oil field had produced three quakes larger than magnitude-4. This was very close to the White Wolf fault that had been responsible for a major California earthquake decades ago. Five months earlier than the September 2005 quakes a new, large wastewater well was opened up only five miles away in the Tejon Oil Field.

The results of his analysis and assessment program were that earthquakes were predicted that matched the performance of the surrounding terrain. A KQED program in February 2016 stated, “The results were a decent match to the record: the pumping would raise the underground pressure by about 1.5 pounds per square inch, enough to push a fault to failure, and the timing was right too. This was cutting-edge scientific work that relied on excellent seismic records, an area of well known geology, and earthquakes of appreciable size.”

It is probable the oil and natural gas industries have caused the high number of earthquakes that have ravaged a number of states. This phenomenon may disappear due to the price pressure of oil having fallen below $30 a barrel. Many U.S. oil companies are going broke and this bodes well for solving the burgeoning earthquake problem.

We need to ask what is being taught in all of the geology classrooms across the country.   If up to this point the teachers and professors have portrayed earthquakes in the normal way they are doing an injustice to their students and misrepresenting their science. Our children need to know this is another instance of human beings having a pervasive effect on their environment. They need to know our greed is causing the earthquakes everyone is feeling.

This is just another example of human beings raping the planet as a result of their all-consuming greed. Now we are causing earthquakes that are shaking up populations all other the world, causing fear and damage amongst their citizens. We need to speak out against these industries and politicians that allow this rape to continue. We must make the difference and stop the ongoing greed that is using up the resources of our planet.

Use the following links to obtain more information or access the source documents that served as the basis of this article.


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Find Out Who Pays for “Denials”

Posted on 21 January 2016 by Jerry

Increasingly investigators are trying to find out who is paying for denial of the truth. We all watched for 50 years as the tobacco industry paid many people to lie about the dangers of smoking tobacco. If we had a smoking gun (no pun intended) like we had in the later years, we would have put warnings on cigarettes much sooner. It was the government’s filing of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) lawsuit that ended the cigarette industry’s deception. We need to know who is paying for falsehoods today.

We see lies and denials on a variety of issues. Probably the most famous deniers are in the climate change environment. We know they are being paid or are receiving campaign donations from wealthy individuals who run businesses that will benefit from stalling negative public reaction, political retribution or regulation.

We know for example that Harvard scientist and climate denier Wei-Hack Soon took a $1.2 million bribe from oil companies to produce 11 papers denying climate change since 2008. According to his deal, the papers were just “deliverables” he completed in exchange for their money. We subsequently found out he was actually an aerospace engineer and only a part-time employee at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

We can infer who is paying the deniers by looking at the companies that officially deny man-made climate change. Look at ExxonMobil as an example. Of 938 papers recently cited by a web site, sixty-seven papers denying climate change were written by Dr. Sherwood B. Idso. Dr. Idso is also the president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, an ExxonMobil funded think tank. The second greatest number of articles was written by Dr. Patrick J. Michaels a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Michaels receives about 40% of his funding from the oil industry.

These deceptions are in the face of overwhelming evidence that these issues are settled science. For example, turning once again to climate change, between 1991 and 2012 there were 13,950 peer reviewed climate articles published. Of these only 24 rejected global warming. This translates to a 0.17% occurrence of climate deniers. These documents show there is no lingering debate about climate change in the scientific community.

Articles identify Willie Soon, John R. Christy and Sallie L. Baliunas are frequent writers and deniers affiliated with the George C. Marshall Institute. This institute asserts, “…Efforts to reach agreement on inferences about human influence on the climate system that can be drawn from science and policy prescriptions for addressing the climate change risk have been controversial.”

We also know that Florida officials have banned state government use of offensive terms. We know that the state of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection was ordered to not use the terms ‘climate change’ as well as ‘global warming’. This department has about 3200 employees and a $1.4 billion budget.

While this order was never put on paper, the order was passed down verbally within each organization once republican Rick Scott was elected governor of the state. He is backed by the state’s real estate industry that is afraid of a lessening of demand for the state’s beach property, 30 percent of which is threatened by rising ocean waters in future decades.

We see investigations of the truth all around us. We see this in many ways including leaked documents, Freedom of Information requests, and university disclosures related to studies subsidized by government grants. These methods are being used in a variety of venues. For instance Justin Goodman is using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests of the government to find out how U.S. laboratories and university labs are mistreating monkeys and other animals.

These same FOIA requests are being used to seek university and college documents surrounding government funded research on genetically modified (GM) organisms. The US Right to Know organization of Oakland, California is using this procedure. They are asking for copies of emails for example between Michelle McGuire, a nutrition scientist at Washington State University, and some 36 or so organizations and companies. What is being looked for is evidence of collusion between various researchers and the agricultural biotechnology industry.

We all need to know the truth of people’s motivation. Why would they deny knowledge and conviction to the rest of us? They want us to have doubt that leads to hesitation or downright refusal to act. They want to delay us from doing what is right. The question is how do these people rationalize their actions?

We must accept the reasons given by those who sell out to others. Their motivation is personal greed. The questions we have are for those who pay them to lie. How do they look at themselves in the mirror each morning? Do they know how their actions will damage human understanding and progress? Is their motivation just greed?

Why not take their successful companies and reposition them to offer the people of the world products that are relevant to the future not the past. Why not use their considerable resources to help humanity rather than hinder it.  We know that many of them believe they are doing the right thing. They must however, re-examine the evidence and give it the thought it deserves, the thought the rest of humanity deserves.

It is for us to decide. We cannot make a good decision if we have inaccurate information or reasonable doubt. Trying to do what is right will not guarantee agreement. Valid information however, is absolutely necessary to making good decisions. It is the first step to agreement. We applaud all of those truth tellers who are warning us against the foolish delay and the counterproductive results.

Use the following links to obtain more information or access the source documents.

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We Can Put a Roof on Climate Change

Posted on 30 October 2015 by Jerry

We learn a valuable lesson from Mediterranean cities; roofs are white or at least light colored. They reflect light and keep heat from the interior of houses and buildings. Some jurisdictions in the U.S. (states and cities) have suggested contractors use solar panels or required them to put a ‘green’ roof with planted vegetation or paint a roof white, on the top of office buildings and multi-tenant dwellings. The laws and regulations in most locations exempt single-family homeowners. This frames our opportunity.

Scientists have studies that show that dark surfaces, especially tar roofs, create ‘heat islands’ and will significantly warm the surrounding cities.   Unfortunately, living in a large city with lots of row houses I see roof after roof that have black tar coverings that absorb as much light and heat as the sun will put out. These houses put out their retained heat all day.

For this reason cities are hotter than their surrounding rural areas. The temperature change continues into the night. The retained heat is emitted at night raising the city’s nighttime temperature as well. This is something each of us can change.

There are two measures of a surface. One is the absorption where light and warmth is allowed in and retained under the surface that raises the house’s temperature. For example, if it is a sunny day and you walk barefoot on asphalt, because it is black and absorbs heat, you will burn your feet.

Another measure is the amount of light that is reflected back into the sky from a white or lighter surface, its albedo. No light with its accompanying heat is absorbed. Instead the light is sent back into the atmosphere. This keeps everything, including the roof and the underlying structure, cooler to the touch. This article is about reflecting the light (and its heat) back into the atmosphere.

A California state government database includes two charts that show how high the temperature gets on a roof in direct sunlight in a variety of conditions. These charts show temperatures roofs can reach with a variety of covers. For instance, it shows a measured temperature of a roof that is single ply covered by EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer (M) class rubber) at 173°F. A BUR (built up roof) topped with aggregate rocks measured 159°F. A BUR topped with a capsheet was measured at 158°F in full sunlight. However, a roof with a “cool” rated paint on a single ply roof came in significantly cooler at 121°F and a “cool” coating over a BUR roof was measured at an even cooler 108°F.

All roofing paint manufacturers set up a rating scale for their roof coverings to comply with, among others, the California Title 24 rating for emissivity and reflectivity in roofing materials. This gives a rating to their roof paints and coverings that states how they will reflect light and reduce heat.

Both scales are expressed as a percentage between 0 and 1. The higher the percentage number in reflectivity the more light and heat it reflects and keeps from penetrating the material. So paint with a perfect rating of 1 (or 100%) reflects all of the light that hits it. The same is true for thermal emittance. A material with a high heat emittance rating will give up its absorbed heat more readily. A perfect rating of 1 gives up all its retained heat very quickly.

This is a simplistic description of actions and benefits that does not represent all of the contrasting opinions that painting one’s roof represents. There are contrary positions that cite a variety of limitations. For instance, in snow areas white roofs defeat keeping a home heated, many would argue that snow on the roof is just as damaging. Recognize there is controversy. I would suggest you talk to your roofing painting company or Google the appropriate sources for their advice. I would argue that a white roof is beneficial in almost all surroundings.

We should each paint our roofs with the highest reflectivity and emittance ratings we can find. This will reduce our collective contribution to climate change and global warming. At the very least it will keep our homes cooler in the hotter temperatures and not create controversy if we live in the hotter regions of the country.

This is finally something, a small thing, most of us can do. We need to move ahead and take a personal stand against climate change. We need to, for example, conserve water, drive a hybrid car, turn off lights, conserve energy, and paint our roofs white to reflect the sun’s rays back into space. Of course there are many other things we can champion to our elected representatives. You may not agree with one or two of the steps we need to take but we each need to act. Only our collective action will save our planet and keep a healthy world to pass on to our children.

Use the attached links to obtain more information or look at the source documents used for this article.

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We Must Practice Real Relief for Refugees

Posted on 29 August 2015 by Jerry

We can use 2015 as a test of the world’s ability and willingness to help millions of refugees as we practice our preparation for displacement due to global warming. So far the world has failed to satisfactorily resettle and accept the displaced millions from the wars in Syria, Afghanistan and numerous other abandoned homelands.

United Nation’s statistics from the end of 2014 pegged the level of the world’s refugees at 59.5 million people. Of these 19.5 million were refugees that have actually left their home countries, 38.2 million who have been displaced from their homes and 1.8 million that have formally applied for asylum in another country.

The displaced Syrian citizens represent some 7.6 million people. This total is how many people and families have lost their homes.   At least 4.3 million of the 7.6 million were forced to leave the country as refugees.

A July 2015 article in the Guardian identifies “Turkey is now the largest refugee-hosting country in the world, sheltering 1,805,255 Syrians. Lebanon has taken in 1,172,735 Syrian refugees, Jordan 629,128, Iraq 249,726 and Egypt 132,375. About 24,055 Syrians are refugees elsewhere in North Africa. The latest UN figures do not include the more than 270,000 Syrians applying for asylum in Europe.”

We have forced the neighboring countries to keep their borders open.   They provide temporary shelter and sustenance for these refugees.  This allows everyone to avoid opening their doors and actually helping these people resettle in other countries. Various articles have identified limitations placed on refugees who are largely being held in refugee camps set up in the various counties.

For example, because Turkey offers sanctuary but no permanent residency all refugees cannot work legally in Turkey. In the EU there is a “Dublin” agreement that all asylum seekers must remain in their country of entry into the E.U.  This causes Italy, Greece and Bulgaria to complain about their status as the countries of entry and has caused much criticism of their treatment of asylum seekers.

Many who cross lightly protected or patrolled country borders to go onward to more prosperous European Union countries complain of repeatedly being “pushed back” into Turkey. These refugees have been caught by police and have been returned to Turkey. This has most often happened at the hands of Bulgarian border guards.

This issue is fluid and very topical at this moment because of the flood of refugees coming out of Syria and looking for access and safe passage to various countries in the E.U. Violence has erupted in Germany because the country expects to accept and resettle some 800,000 refugees this year.   This has proven to be very controversial amongst Germany’s citizens.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was heckled in the town of Heidenau, Germany.  She said that xenophobia would not be tolerated.  Merkel was quoted as saying in a speech to the crowd, “There is no tolerance for those who are not willing to help where legal and human help is required.  The more people who make that clear…the stronger we will be.”

Her speech did not silence the Prime Minister of Serbia who has said he will not close the borders of his country to refugees.  Many are crossing through Serbia to Hungary where they can enter the EU if they get past the fence that Hungary is building along its border.  Prime Minister Alexander Vucic of Serbia stated, “What we want to hear tomorrow from Chancellor Merkel…from Frederica Mogherini…is what is the plan?”  Merkel and Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, are meeting soon in Vienna at a conference of Balkan leaders.

Some countries point to the money they have sent to help the refugee camps being set up by the neighbors of Syria. This is most common in countries that refuse to take the actual refugees as new citizens.

The most representative examples of this are the United Kingdom and the United States. The United Kingdom has maintained a policy of keeping its borders closed to refugees seeking asylum. It keeps pointing to the over £500 million pounds it has sent to the region.

The U.S. has just announced, as reported by the National Public Radio, that it will allow 5,000 to 8,000 Syrian refugees to resettle in the U.S. in 2016. It has repeatedly mentioned the over $4 billion in humanitarian aid it has sent to aid refugee resettlement. These pronouncements are meant to shift the focus away from the less than 1,000 Syrians it has accepted this year. The U.N. has identified the resettlement of refugees in the U.S. in 2014 as 73,000 people. Most of these refugees did not come from Syria but were rather from Afghanistan.

All nations of the world should be using this exodus to test the resettlement procedures they plan to use when global warming results in the displacement of many more citizens. We should be putting expectations on countries that will need additional citizens to cope with favorable weather conditions that will cause their countries to prosper.

Many of these countries are not under any pressure to accept today’s refugees and they should be. Where are Canada and the Soviet Union? How may refugees have been resettled in their territories? The money presently being spent by the U.S., U.K., and others to give temporary shelter and sustenance to refugees in camps is being wasted when it could be spent to offer refugees what they are seeking.

Resettlement could be offered to those who agree to work on public projects to build new infrastructure in their adopted countries. Countries of the world should cooperate to rebuild, or in some cases build for the first time, infrastructure for their citizens. This infrastructure could help them cope with the negative results of global warming. Countries that do not want to accept immigrants should pay others for resettlement.

At the same time these people should be trained to assume a productive job when their work on public works projects is completed. These people want a new place to settle that offers them meaningful employment and the training necessary to support their new future in their adopted countries. This is what we should be spending our dollars on rather than temporary shelter that has to be paid for year in and year out.

Frankly, no country should want to keep refugees out of their sight. This only enables them to ignore the problem. Refugees cannot be ignored when hundred of millions, yes I said hundreds of millions, migrate to areas of the world to escape climate change and just to stay alive. There will not be enough money in the world to keep the problem contained.

Present estimates of country commitments to contain climate change still allow the world’s temperature to climb between three and four degrees. This will force hundreds of millions to flee the large desert areas that will be created in southern Europe.

I cannot imagine a world in which citizens will find acceptable the total numbers of deaths from starvation just beyond their closed borders. I am hoping that today’s handling of their devastation is not indicative of the help the world will offer. I expect countries will change leadership until they have leaders who are willing to play a larger role on the world stage. In short, I am an optimist who believes we will not let our fellow man down in their hour of greatest need.

If we continue to refuse to control climate change, we must prepare to accept millions of fleeing human beings. They will be the refugees of tomorrow testing the methods, practices and statements of intent we implement and give evidence of today.

Use the following links to obtain more information on this topic or access the source documents used to write this article.


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