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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Real Environmentalists Should Shut Up About Climate Change

Everyone knows Americans are skeptical of experts including scientists--and with good reason. While the basic physics of climate change is difficult to argue, the climate prediction models, even for most reasonably unbiased scientists, are closer to educated guesses than hard evidence. This is not disparaging the intelligence or competance of scientists employed by organizations such as NOAA, it's just a simple fact that the complexities of climate make any concrete predictions unreasonable. Scientists can't even agree on proper methods for obtaining the current avergage temperature of the Earth, let alone the temperature 50 years from now.

How do we--or do we--incorporate and interpolate ocean temperatures?
What about climate stations that have no universal standards throughout the world?
How about the climate station that just had a parking lot built next to it after 30 years of operation and is still taking readings from the same, now slightly heated, spot?

Hmmm...no wonder so much skepticism. The problem is scientists should not even make these predictions. As I said, the evidence behind the simple physics of greenhouse gasses is difficult to argue against,(though a few die-hards will contest even this) We should focus on the what carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gasses do, not specific temperature predictions. And I'll say it again, those concerned about the environment should be shouting the seemingly endless string of negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels that are easily seen by everyone. The gulf oil spill is just one big example of this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Local Ecological Knowledge Key to Sustainable Ecosystems

Combining local ecological knowledge with sound scientific method is the key to managing sustainable ecosystems. Scientists should not only make token gestures of obtaining this knowledge but use locals as part of a bottom up approach to their applicable research. Local ecological knowledge often saves researchers time and money through offering solid evidence of ecological functions that lead to better management strategies. Read more

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Illegal Immigrants Say Take Our Jobs!

This is slightly off topic but the way I see it this is a sustainability issue. Illegal Mexican immgrants are saying legal United States residents would not do the agricultural jobs that they do. Uh...what! As kids almost all of us worked in the corn fields. Many of my relatives worked these jobs for long periods until...um they were no longer availaible due to a workforce arriving that is more easily taken advantage of. In case anyone reading did not know, a peso is still worth far less than a dollar. This means illegals can come to the States and work for a few months and live the majority of the rest of the year in Mexico on what they made.

I'm a college euducated American, doing OK financially, yet I took this challenge. I have no problem with legal immigrants in the U.S. but this is an insult to ALL legal residents, no matter their heritage. Americans need to be self sustainable and take back our lives from corporations, and big business who are willling to hire illegals and do anything they can to keep us busy so they can further entrench us into wave slave status!

I say take the challenge Americans and contribute to a really sustainable U.S. Let's just see if they hold up their end and contact me now.

See More discussion about this illegal immgrant innitiative.
UPDATE:

I got an email with a link to a website where I was told to put in Farmworker in the type of employemt field and do a search for every state in the U.S. Nothing available in my state. I guess no illegals are willing to give up their jobs in Indiana! I know there are plenty here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reverse Logistcs and Sustainable Business

Reverse logistics is an important concept for any green business. Theoretically "technical nutrients" could be part of a reverse logistics network that could create sustainable business networks. Policy must be oriented to allow the construction of these reverse logistic networks. Too often environmental policy is aimed at one particular technology or chemical. Policies that make sense, eliminate artificial barriers to things like reverse logistics. Read more about reverse logistics and add your thoughts on my latest AC article. I was recently awarded "Best of AC 2010" for the "Green" category!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Overpopulation Myth Hurts Environment

Have to plug my recent AC piece on my frustrations with environmentalists and their cries of overpopulation. While I agree reasonable measures should be taken to limit population in some areas, it is mostly not needed. Even China has come to realize this. Jump off of the one child policy talk and start solving real environmental issues! Getting in the way of natural cycles always backfires. Humans are natural...get over it. For more on this argument and to see other's feedback check out "Overpopulation Fears and Talk of A One Child Policy Hurt the Environment."

Friday, April 30, 2010

Oil Spill Worse than Thought; Obama Halts New Drilling

So, the oil explosion and subsequent spill has turned out to be a bigger environmental disaster than originally thought. Wow, about as surprising as seeing smoke where there is a fire. President Obama has at least temporarily halted any new oil drilling, which he had recently approved. The ironies just keep coming, after the rig sank on Earth Day. Meanwhile the Cape Cod offshore wind farm plan was finally approved by the Obama administration, but the fat cats there are still fighting it. Their precious view of the coast and skyline may be altered by the appearance of some wind turbines a few inches above the horizon. How bout we just blast away until we find some oil off the coast of Cape Cod and start drilling? We do it in the Gulf. These Cape Codians (are whatever they are called) were fueled by Ted Kennedy's vocal resistance to the project. Talk about an extreme version of environmental injustice and NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome.
The severity of the spill is summed by this quote from the AP by David Kennedy of NOAA: "I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind boggling."
To hell with climate change, what do all the supporters of big oil have to say about the potential to devastate thousands of species but also families who rely on The Gulf fishing industry for a living. What about the human race who like to have the protein from sea species. To hell with anyone defending big oil, and to hell with the Cape Codians!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oil Rig Explosion Should Affect Climate Bill

The explosion and resulting oil leakage that was likely to cause little disruption or environmental harm according to some oil company officials is seen from satellite in this image. There is no doubt of significant environmental impacts, and there could be disruption in Gulf drilling, and tourism if the slick is not dissipated in some way.

While crews scramble to use robotic arms to plug leaks and think of schemes like burning off the oil, the U.S. legislature still sits, having done nothing in regards to a climate bill. How is a climate bill best done, without making the rich richer and hurting the little guys the most? As Annie Leonard's "Story of Cap and Trade" puts so well, it sure will not be with a market scheme.

For more info on the rig that sank on Earth Day 2010, you will find this helpful.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Recycling, Reducing, and Designing for the Environment

Packaging waste handling in the European Union is drastically different than in the U.S. What is amusing politically is that while many U.S. politicians who also vote against most environmental initiatives pride themselves on "less" government. I argue that in most EU nations their waste handling system is less government because it takes the financial burden of collection off of the municipalities and onto the producers. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a concept and policy tool which began a the German 1991 ordinance. It is being experimented, in a mostly watered down form, with by some U.S. states for products such as cathod ray tubes. EPR has taken hold in the EU not only concerning packaging waste, but also with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. Read more about this important policy tool for recycling, and reducting waste.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sewage in the River...oh well Just Build a New Stadium

My recent AC piece is an overview of combined sewer overflows and how certain muncipalities are trying to deal with them. This is an example of mis-management and politics at its' finest. Than again, it's not mismanagement for those profiting off of gross misuse of tax dollars and priorities which are so far gone Keith Richards couldn't reach them. And they don't live anywhere near the overflow pipes dumping raw sewage in the river.

Beginning to think Americans will never see real change. We are to busy letting the media tell us to argue over "left" and "right" politics to deal with real issues of sustainability and justice. Hmm...time will tell, and I hope our children will do a better job than we have. For more on CSO's and the only way to really deal with them check out the entire article.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Will UK Panel end “Climategate” scandal?

The AP reported yesterday that a parliamentary panel cleared scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit of allegations that they misrepresented global warming data. The panel also stated they are sympathetic to lead scientist, Dr. Phil Jones, for being used as a "scapegoat" for climate change politics.

However, the report also lambasts the climategate scientists for being too worried about how to stonewall critics as opposed to just getting the data out. There are two more reports yet to be issued by the panel, which are promised to be more thorough.

So the short answer is no, of course this will not end climategate. It will only serve to prolong it, creating fuel for theorists across the internet and our airwaves who shout at us how Al Gore is a maniacal genius who can plot the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the human race. That's giving a lot of credit to the guy who could not win the hanging chad election.

Anyway, no matter how you feel about the climate change debate, this is a testament to what happens when physical scientists have agendas. Oh well, let the soap opera continue.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Environmental Degree Options

For anyone thinking of going to school for an environmental science oriented degree there are some new fields emerging that may be of interest. Check out this unique overview of some options.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Water Vapor Study Proves Climate Change Skeptics Right?

Rev up the Hummers, crank up the AC and leave the lights on all night because human induced climate change has been proven a myth. This is what the hard core anthropocentric climate change skeptics want you to think and they will use any shred of “evidence” to “prove” their point. The latest “proof” being expounded on certain (generally conservative) blogs and news networks is an intriguing collaborative study conducted by scientists from NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ERSL), the University of Colorado, and the University of Bern.
Read more

Sunday, January 31, 2010

U.S. High Speed Rail; More Than Jobs

In announcing the massive high speed rail investment on Jan 28, President Obama may have altered the direction of U.S. transportation forever. The impact on the environment is not clear cut, though I am certain a successful rail expansion will be positive for our quality of life in general. How can anyone argue against decreased commute times, less congestion and decreasing traffic fatalities/injuries?

In a nation more than willing to go into debt for weapons making, perhaps some investment in our future happiness is not such a bad idea!

The problem is a one time $8 billion investment is tiny compared to what will be needed to see 100mph trains zipping from city to city. With the fickleness of U.S. voters, and the uncooperative nature of our political "leaders", continued investment is unlikely. We can always dream.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cold Blamed on North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)

I found a piece on TerraDaily which has European meteorologists describing how the NAO is responsible for the recent cold snap in North America, Europe, Northern China and parts of Northeast Asia. As can be found in any explanation of the NAO, these cold snaps are associated with the negative phase of the teleconnection. NOAA's data on this phase concurs that we have indeed been in a negative phase since around the end of November.

This is a good example of a phenomena mentioned in my recent post "Local Cooling, Global warming." For one, other parts of the world have still been experiencing record heat, as the article points out, sections of North Africa and the Mediterranean have been warm.

This also is an example of how temporal patterns (even those in periods of years) could be decieving when it comes to whether or not the atmosphere overall is experiencing warming . This is especially true when we have patterns that affect the northern hemisphere differently than the southern. This is because we have so much more land in the north and land has a much lower specific heat than water.

TerraDaily article:http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Despite_icy_weather_overall_trend_is_warmer_experts_999.html
NOAA NOA data: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao_index_mrf.shtml

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Designing Packaging To Be Recyclable

Considering packaging waste makes up more than 30% of the U.S. metropolitan waste stream, the importance of minimizing packaging and designing environmentally friendly packaging is difficult to understate. All of this waste is made apparent during the holidays when we throw "away" all the packages from the goodies we had to have. Check out more on environmentally friendly packaging over at the "Green Living" section of Bright Hub!