Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for October, 2007

Crimes Against Earth and Humanity

Posted by feww on October 29, 2007

A Disturbing Report from Rachel’s Democracy & Health News [#930]

– Industry’s Plan for Us
– Dioxins Can Alter Normal Sex Ratios for Births
– Criminal Element
– The Lethal Consequences of Breathing Fire
– Environmental Nasty Surprises as a Window on Precautionary Thinking

– How the Fossil Fuel Corporation intend to “re-engineer” our planet for us!
– How early exposure to dioxins (emitted as far as 25 km away) increase the risk of cancer later in life.
– How could the civilized society systematically poison its children with neurotoxins?
– How incinerating garbage poisons our world.
– When will the next environmental nasty surprise emerge? Read more…

Posted in cancer, children, dioxin, Fossil Fuel, garbage incinerators, neurotoxins, Oil companies, society | Leave a Comment »

GEO-4: Another ‘Optimistic’ Report

Posted by feww on October 26, 2007

UNEP REPORT: Sixth Major Extinction Is Under Way

The fourth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4), a 570-page report, was released by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) October 25, 2007.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: “The systematic destruction of the Earth’s natural and nature-based resources has reached a point where the economic viability of economies is being challenged — and where the bill we hand on to our children may prove impossible to pay…”

“A sixth major extinction is under way, this time caused by human behaviour,” report says. Unfortunately, like all other UN reports, which are distorted by politics and corporate agendas, the timeline for this report is too OPTIMISTIC!

The “experts” are like the “blind elders” who were sent to examine the giant elephant that was about to enter the town; they could only report what they “felt” as each one of them touched a separate part of the elephant’s anatomy, “it’s rather like a rope,” “nay a curved stick,” “a fan,” “a tree-trunk,” “a wall …” because none of them could actually “see” the whole elephant.

Some Key Points from GEO-4

  • Concentrations of the greenhouse gas C02 are roughly a third higher now than they were 20 years ago.
  • In 1987, around 15 per cent of global fish stocks were classed as collapsed. GEO-4 says this has roughly doubled to 30 per cent.
  • 20 years ago around a fifth of fish stocks were deemed over-exploited this has now risen to about 40 per cent.
  • More than one billion people in Asia are now exposed to out door air pollution levels above World Health Organization guidelines linked to the premature death of about 500,000 people a year.
  • Globally more than two million people may be dying prematurely as a result of out door and in door air pollution.
  • Land use intensity, with links to land degradation, soil erosion, water scarcity, nutrient depletion and pollution, has increased. In 1987, a hectare of cropland yielded 1.8 tonnes. Now the figure is 2.5 tonnes.
  • In Latin America and the Caribbean, desertification—caused by deforestation, over grazing and inadequate irrigation—affects a quarter of the region.
  • Ecuador’s Antisan glacier retreated eight times faster than in the 1990s than in earlier decades and Bolivia’s Chacaltava glacier has lost over half its entire area since 1990.
  • Energy consumption per head in Canada and the United States has grown by 18 per cent since 1987.
  • Available freshwater resources are declining; by 2025, close to two billion people are likely to live with ‘absolute’ water scarcity.
  • In West Asia, freshwater availability per person per year has fallen from 1,700 cubic metres in the 1980s to around 907 cubic metres—it is expected to decline to 420 cubic metres by 2050.
  • Populations of freshwater vertebrates have declined on average by nearly 50 per cent since 1987 as compared with an around 30 per cent decline for terrestrial and marine species.
  • About 40 per cent of big estuaries in the United States including those that link to the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay suffer severe eutrophication—which can lead to deoxygenated ‘dead zones’—because of nitrogen enrichment. Farm fertilizers account for about two thirds of the nitrogen entering the Gulf via the Mississippi.
  • In the Caribbean, over 60 per cent of coral reefs are threatened by sediments, pollution and over-fishing.
  • Exploitation of West Africa’s fish by European Union, Russian and Asian fleets increased six-fold from the 1960s to the 1990s with African countries receiving only 7.5 per cent of the processed value via license fees.
  • Canada has three of the top ten most sprawling urban areas—Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. Sprawl from coastal cities in the United States can stretch up to 80km inland.
  • War and conflict has raised the number of refugees and internally displaced people in West Asia to about four million.
  • Between 2000 and 2003, 13 out of 16 outbreaks of Ebola in Gabon and the Republic of Congo resulted from the handling of gorilla and chimpanzee carcasses. Read report …

Related links:

Earth’s Terminal Energy – ETE
Reality Check: Is a Future Possible?
Only Zero Emissions Would Avert Dangerous Warming

Posted in environment, future, politics, Sixth Major Extinction, UNEP | Leave a Comment »

Raging Wildfires: Mother Nature ensuring the cycle of life?

Posted by feww on October 24, 2007

Mother Nature using her defense mechanisms to ensure the cycle of life? Or our lifestyles killing what’s left?

cal-fires-2007.jpg

NASA satellites capture images of about 14 massive wildfires raging in Southern California, which have scorched about 1,500 square kilometers from Ventura to Mexico.

The devastating fires, enhanced by Santa Ana winds, have killed eight people and destroyed or damaged about 2,050 homes and 100 businesses. Two 500,000 volt lines and several 230,000 volt lines have gone out of service. More than 500,000 residents have been told to evacuate.

Total monetary cost: $2.2billion

Related Links:

New Links Added July 2008

Posted in california, ecosystems, environment, Mother Nature, urban sprawl, wildfires | 2 Comments »

Should We Be Afraid of MRSA?

Posted by feww on October 22, 2007

MRSA [Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] was discovered in the United Kingdom in 1961, but it is now a global concern. MRSA (also known as CA-MRSA, community-acquired MRSA, and HA-MRSA, hospital-acquired MRSA) is a variation of a common bacterium, which has evolved as a “superbug” with the ability to resist treatment with antibiotics, including methicillin and penicillin.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MRSA is responsible for 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths each year in the United States. [In comparison, the AIDS virus killed about 12,500 Americans  in 2005. ]

Related Links:
CDC – Healthcare-Associated MRSA

MRSA infection

Posted in CDC, disease, MRSA, pandemic, superbug | 2 Comments »

Death by Lethal Pollution

Posted by edro on October 16, 2007

Accumulation of toxic pollution in the environment is one of the dynamics that is driving the ecosystems to the verge of collapse. In the worst case scenario, which could unfold by as early as 2012¹, about 20% the world’s cities become unsustainable and begin to collapse. Massive waves of human migration from the affected areas create domino effect that causes the collapse of most of the remaining population centers. It may be too late to make a significant difference to the final outcome; however, we still have the option to change the worst case scenario! See Collapsing Cities

1. The date “2012” is based on the dynamic model simulations analyzing the impact of excessive energy consumption on the environment. The CASF Committee and its Members do NOT endorse the Mayan Calendar or any New Age, ancient, or bible prophecies whatever.

Legal Limits on Pollution

The idea of having ‘legal limits’ on how much damage you can inflict on nature must surely be a Freudian design. It’s like imposing the death penalty on the victim; and nature isn’t even ‘legally’ represented!

Freud said: “Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will. [And if the technique guided by science fail to reverse the ‘marsification’ of Earth that it started in the first place, you can always hide behind more abstractions!]” Excerpt from The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1)

Defendant: Planet Earth (AKA, Blue Marble)
Age: 4.5 billion years
Color: Blue
Verdict: The Defendant stands convicted of the serious felonies of aiding and abetting humanoids by way of providing them with life and material support including air, water, food, land, atmosphere, ecosystems, energy… and majestic splendor.
Sentence: Death by Lethal Pollution [the sentence shall be carried out in the early morning of the Third Millennium, CE.]

water-pollution.JPG“Troubled Waters” by U.S. PRIG

Pollution pouring into nation’s waters far beyond legal limit

San Francisco Chronicle
Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Friday, October 12, 2007

More than half of all industrial and municipal facilities across the country dumped more sewage and other pollutants into the nation’s waterways than allowed under the Clean Water Act, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental group. Read more…

Download the full report, Troubled Waters, by U.S. PRIG Education Fund. (1.12 MB, PDF)

Related Links:

Posted in death penalty, environmnet, governmnet, politics, pollution | Tagged: , | 23 Comments »

Only Zero Emissions Would Avert Dangerous Warming

Posted by feww on October 15, 2007

The following is a response to an article in the New Scientist titled Zero emissions needed to avert ‘dangerous’ warming. The response was submitted by The Management School of Restorative Business. The original article is posted below.

RE: Zero emissions needed to avert ‘dangerous’ warming

MSRB concurs with the overall conclusion of the University of Victoria report that the only way to stabilize the temperature is by total elimination of industrial emissions.

However, according to our model, even with the total elimination of industrial emissions effected immediately the temperature would stabilize above 3.2oC probably by 2025.

Further, their timeline appears to be too optimistic. According to our model the global warming “tipping point” occurred in mid 2006, beyond which all changes are irreversible [in the short run.] We expect to experience catastrophic climatic events starting by 2009-2010. By as early as 2015, we believe dramatic ecosystems collapses including ozone holes, global heating, extreme climatic events, toxic pollution, depletion of food and natural resources, unethical conduct, war and disease pandemics would result in the depopulation of most of our population clusters.

The world entered a double exponential* phase in 1980, when Earth’s “torching energy,” exceeded 9.51 terawatts {q[torch] > 9.51TW.} According to MSRB model the countdown toward the Earth’s “Terminal Energy” had started. The q[torch] for the first half 2007 averaged at 16.8TW. See http://msrb.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/the-point-of-no-return/ and http://msrb.wordpress.com/stop-burning-earth/

*[Note: Double exponential functions grow even faster than exponential functions.]

Apart from the obvious political reasons, most climate models are fundamentally flawed because they (i) use tired old formula to “predict” the future changes based on empirical analysis, (ii) base their calculations on the “official” data, (iii) are “one-dimensional” and therefore unable to model accurately or forecast the behavior of sophisticated, highly interdependent systems such as Earth’s ecosystems.

The best [and the only intelligent] course of action on global and national levels would be an immediate “powerdown” to the “safe” energy consumption levels of about 60EJ, while allocating most of the resources to creating low-energy communities that provide food, shelter, education and safety for as many people as possible.

The Management School of
Restorative Business (MSRB)

Related Links:

Original Article:

http://environment.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn12775&print=true
Zero emissions needed to avert dangerous warming
16:56 11 October 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Catherine Brahic

Only the total elimination of industrial emissions will succeed in imiting climate change to a 20C rise in temperatures, according to omputer analysis of climate change. Anything above this target has been identified as “dangerous” by some scientists, and the limit has been adopted by many policymakers.

The researchers say their study highlights the shortcomings of governmental plans to limit climate change.

A warming of 20C above pre-industrial temperatures is frequently cited as the limit beyond which the world will face “dangerous” climate change. Beyond this level, analysis suggests the continents will cease to absorb more carbon dioxide than they produce. As the tundra and other regions of permafrost thaw, they will spew more gas into the atmosphere, adding to the warming effect of human emissions.

The end result will be dramatic ecological changes, including widespread coastal flooding, reduced food production, and widespread species extinction.

Established model

In January 2007, the European Commission issued a communication stating that “the European Union’s objective is to limit global average temperature increase to less than 20C compared to pre-industrial levels”.

Andrew Weaver and colleagues at the University of Victoria in Canada say this means going well beyond the reduction of industrial emissions discussed in international negotiations.

Weaver’s team used a computer model to determine how much emissions must be limited in order to avoid exceeding a 20C increase. The model is an established tool for analysing future climate change and was used in studies cited in the IPCC’s reports on climate change.

They modelled the reduction of industrial emissions below 2006 levels by between 20% and 100% by 2050. Only when emissions were entirely eliminated did the temperature increase remain below 20C.

A 100% reduction of emissions saw temperature change stabilise at 1.50C above the pre-industrial figure. With a 90% reduction by 2050, Weaver’s model predicted that temperature change will eventually exceed 20C compared to pre-industrial temperatures but then plateau.

Stark contrast

The researchers conclude that governments should consider reducing emissions to 90% below current levels and remove what is left in the atmosphere by capturing and storing carbon (see Chemical ‘sponge’ could filter CO2 from air).

There is a stark contrast between this proposal and the measures currently being considered. Under the UN’s Kyoto protocol, most developed nations have agreed to limit their emissions to a minimum of 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. What happens beyond this date is the subject of ongoing debate and negotiation.

The European Union nations have agreed to limit their emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, and support dropping global emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.

“There is a disconnect between the European Union arguing for a 20C threshold and calling for 50% cuts at 2050 – you can’t have it both ways,” says Weaver, who adds: “If you’re going to talk about 20C you have got to be talking 90% emissions cuts.”

Vanishing point

Tim Lenton, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia in the UK, agrees that even the most ambitious climate change policies so far proposed by governments may not go far enough. “It is overly simplistic assume we can take emissions down to 50% at 2050 and just hold them there. We already know that that’s not going to work,” he says.

Even with emissions halved, Lenton says carbon dioxide will continue building up in the atmosphere and temperatures will continue to rise. For temperature change to stabilise, he says industrial carbon emissions must not exceed what can be absorbed by Earth’s vegetation, soil and oceans.

At the moment, about half of industrial emissions are absorbed by ocean and land carbon “sinks”. But simply cutting emissions by half will not solve the problem, Lenton says, because these sinks also grow and shrink as CO2 emissions change.

“People are easily misled into thinking that 50% by 2050 is all we have to do when in fact have to continue reducing emissions afterwards, all the way down to zero,” Lenton says.

Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters ( DOI: 0.1029/2007GL031018 )

Fair Use Notice: See Article 107, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 17 of U.S. Copyright Code

Posted in collapse, double exponential phase, ecosystems, environment, fossil fuels, Global Warming, lifestyle, Zero emissions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Aquaculture Dilemma

Posted by feww on October 14, 2007

UPDATE: Eat Fish! Don’t Eat Fish!

Here’s the aquaculture (fish farming) dilemma: Farmed fish are safe to eat; wild fish are NOT. To produce 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of farmed fishmeal, the fish are fed about 5 kg (11 lbs.) of smaller wild fish.

[Note: It takes about 20 kg of wild fish (also known as pelagic, open-ocean, or “trash” fish) including anchovies, mackerel and sardines to produce 1 kg of high protein ranched tuna.]

Aquaculture’s intense reliance on wild fish for feed poses significant ecological risks. Aquafarms pollute the environment with tons of fish feces, antibiotic-laden fish feed, and diseased fish carcasses.

There are other collateral problems created by industrial scale aquaculture: the destruction of coastal habitats through waste disposal, the introduction of diseases and the possible escape of exotic species that can threaten indigenous breeds.

Other Links:

Cat Suicide Dance
The Poisoning of Minamata
Minamata Disaster
1 in 6 American women have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood

Still Ill
Mercury Rising: The Poisoning of Grassy Narrows
Mercury Exposure
Mercury poisoning:
1 in 6 babies are at risk of developmental problems

Posted in aquaculture, diet, fish, health, mercury poisoning, pregnancy | 2 Comments »

Pregnant Women, Eat Fish! Don’t Eat Fish!

Posted by feww on October 5, 2007

The Daily Green writes:

[quote]

Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers Should Eat Fish

Coalition Advice Counters FDA Concerns Over Mercury

Eating 12 ounces of fish per week does more to promote than inhibit healthy brain development, despite government warnings that pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid fish because of mercury contamination.
[Read more…]

Mothers who are still concerned about mercury would be wise to choose fish carefully. Many species that are lower on the aquatic food chain contain no or very little mercury (or other contaminants, like PCBs) and yet still contain high levels of Omeg-3 fatty acids. Some of those fish, according to Oceans Alive, include:

  • Abalone (U.S. farmed)
  • Anchovies
  • Arctic char (farmed)
  • Catfish (U.S. farmed)
  • Caviar (U.S. farmed)
  • Clams (farmed)
  • Crab – Dungeness, snow (Canada), stone
  • Crawfish (U.S.)
  • Halibut – Pacific (Alaska)
  • Herring – Atlantic (U.S., Canada)
  • Mackerel – Atlantic
  • Mahimahi (U.S. Atlantic)
  • Mussels (farmed)
  • Oysters (farmed)
  • Sablefish/black cod (Alaska)
  • Salmon – wild (Alaska), canned pink/sockeye
  • Sardines
  • Scallops – bay (farmed)
  • Shrimp – northern (Canada), Oregon pink, U.S. farmed
  • Spot prawns
  • Striped bass (farmed)
  • Sturgeon (U.S. farmed)
  • Tilapia (U.S.)

For more information on choosing the best fish to eat, visit this Oceans Alive Web site. For more information about the study, click here.” [Original Story…]
[end quote]

FEWW asks…

Assuming a few of the items on the Oceans Alive’s “safe fish list” are less deadly than the others, how would the average pregnant woman or nursing mother ensure the fish she eats is, say, the Atlantic mackerel (!) and not the king [mercury, PCB, dioxin] mackerel, or farmed striped bass, instead of the wild [PCB, mercury, dioxin] striped bass?

See also:
Sustainable Lifestyles & Healthy Food
,
UPDATE & New Links

Fish Farming: The Hazards & Environmental Impacts
TITO: Toxin In, Toxin Out

Posted in diet, fish, health, mercury poisoning, pregnancy | 4 Comments »