Desalination of Sea Water Can Augment Our Water Supply Without Harming Sea Life

Since the Colorado River may not supply us with all the water we need, we should turn to the oceans.

Desalination of sea water can produce the freshwater we need to augment our natural supplies. The most common method is reverse osmosis where the sea water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane which removes the salt.

However, the process is energy intensive which some environmentalists claim will put more dread carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if the electricity comes from fossil-fuels. That can be solved by powering the plants with small, dedicated nuclear generators. (Powering such plants with wind or solar energy will make freshwater production intermittent and unpredictable.)

The other claim by some environmentalists is that the effluent from the desalinization process, very salty brine, is harmful to wildlife. A new study shows this concern is overblown.

A seven-year study, jointly conducted by Southern Cross University and the University of New South Wales at the Sydney (Australia) desalination plant found that when the plant was in operation, fish population in the area almost tripled. Fish populations decreased to normal when the plant was not operating. The Sydney plant has a capacity of producing 74,000 acre-feet of water per year.

Lead researcher Professor Brendan Kelaher said, “At the start of this project, we thought the hypersaline brine would negatively impact fish life. We were surprised and impressed at the clear positive effect on the abundance of fish, as well as the numbers of fish species. Importantly, the positive effects on fish life also included a 133 per cent increase in fish targeted by commercial and recreational fishers. As to why fish like it so much, we think they might be responding to turbulence created by dynamic mixing associated with the high-pressure release of the brine. However, more research is needed.” (Source) The report mentions no detrimental effects on fish or other sea life. The research was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.9b03565

I did try to find information on negative impacts to marine life of concentrated brine being pumped into the ocean, but all I could find was speculation, no actual physical evidence. Apparently harm is minimal. As noted by marine biologist Daniel Cartamil of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, intake water may contain tiny organisms (plankton), including the eggs and larvae of marine life. None of these organisms survive their journey through the plant. However, this entrainment typically accounts for only about 1 percent or 2 percent of plankton mortality in a given area. Cartamil says this about the salty brine discharge: “In theory, marine life (particularly plankton) could be harmed by prolonged exposure to salinity levels higher than those they normally cope with. The most common solution to this problem is to mix the brine back into the seawater with high-speed jets, a process so efficient that salinity levels are effectively back to normal within 100 feet of the release point.” (Source)

Perhaps Arizona, California, and Mexico will take heart and build more modern desalination plants near the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean to help ease our dependence on the Colorado River. Some of the salt could be recovered for industrial applications. There is a desalination plant in Yuma, built in 1992 to treat agricultural runoff and conserve water in Lake Mead. But its technology is outdated. There is also a desalination plant just north of San Diego with a capacity of 56,000 acre-feet per year. Building more and bigger desalination plants powered by nuclear generators is technologically feasible but politically problematic.

Articles on small nuclear reactors:

A New Type of Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor

Small Modular Reactor by Westinghouse

What are small modular nuclear reactors, and why are three provinces uniting to build them?

Advanced Small Modular Reactors

Rancher Jim Chilton Has To Police The Border Himself

Jim and Sue Chilton own a ranch in southern Arizona just south of the town of Arivaca. Their southern ranch boundary is the Mexican border which is guarded by a barbed-wire fence which 80-year old Jim Chilton can cross with ease as do smugglers and illegal immigrants.

Watch this eleven minute video as Jim and Sue tell their story:

Note: Jim and Sue Chilton are friends of mine and I have been on their ranch.

See also: Chilton Vs The Center For Biological Diversity

A Petition from Southern Arizona Ranchers on Border Security

Rancher Responds To Trump’s Invitation: ‘Mr. President, We Need A Wall’

Our Unsecured Border

Buenos Aires National Game Refuge where endangered species and illegal immigration collide

Tim Ball: The Evidence Proves That CO2 is Not a Greenhouse Gas

The following is a condensed version of an article by Dr. Tim Ball which first appeared in Technocracy News. Read the full paper here.

The CO2 error is the root of the biggest scam in the history of the world, and has already bilked nations and citizens out of trillions of dollars, while greatly enriching the perpetrators. In the end, their goal is global Technocracy (aka Sustainable Development), which grabs and sequesters all the resources of the world into a collective trust to be managed by them. ⁃ TN Editor

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claim of human-caused global warming (AGW) is built on the assumption that an increase in atmospheric CO2 causes an increase in global temperature. The IPCC claim is what science calls a theory, a hypothesis, or in simple English, a speculation.  Every theory is based on a set of assumptions. The standard scientific method is to challenge the theory by trying to disprove it.

In other words, all scientists must be skeptics, which makes a mockery out of the charge that those who questioned AGW, were global warming skeptics.

The most important assumption behind the AGW theory (Human caused global warming) is that an increase in global atmospheric CO2 will cause an increase in the average annual global temperature. The problem is that in every record of temperature and CO2, the temperature changes first. Think about what I am saying. The basic assumption on which the entire theory that human activity is causing global warming or climate change is wrong. The questions are how did the false assumption develop and persist?

The answer is the IPCC needed the assumption as the basis for their claim that humans were causing catastrophic global warming for a political agenda. They did what all academics do and found a person who gave historical precedence to their theory. In this case, it was the work of Svante Arrhenius. The problem is he didn’t say what they claim.  Anthony Watts’ 2009 article identified many of the difficulties with relying on Arrhenius. The Friends of Science added confirmation when they translated a more obscure 1906 Arrhenius work. They wrote,

Much discussion took place over the following years between colleagues, with one of the main points being the similar effect of water vapour in the atmosphere which was part of the total figure. Some rejected any effect of CO2 at all. There was no effective way to determine this split precisely, but in 1906 Arrhenius amended his view of how increased carbon dioxide would affect climate.

The issue of Arrhenius mistaking a water vapor effect for a CO2 effect is not new. What is new is that the growing level of empirical evidence that the warming effect of CO2, known as climate sensitivity, is zero. This means Arrhenius colleagues who “rejected any effect of CO2 at all” are correct. In short, CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

The IPCC through the definition of climate change given them by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were able to predetermine their results. 

a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.

This allowed them to only examine human-causes, thus eliminating almost all other variables of climate and climate change. You cannot identify the human portion if you don’t know or understand natural, that is without human, climate or climate change. IPCC acknowledged this in 2007 as people started to ask questions about the narrowness of their work. They offered the one that many people thought they were using and should have been using. Deceptively, it only appeared as a footnote in the 2007 Summary for Policymakers (SPM), so it was aimed at the politicians. It said,

“Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.”

Few at the time challenged the IPCC assumption that an increase in CO2 caused an increase in global temperature. The IPCC claimed it was true because when they increased CO2 in their computer models, the result was a temperature increase. Of course, because the computer was programmed for that to happen. These computer models are the only place in the world where a CO2 increase precedes and causes a temperature change. This probably explains why their predictions are always wrong.

An example of how the definition allowed the IPCC to focus on CO2 is to consider the major greenhouse gases by name and percentage of the total. They are water vapour (H20) 95%, carbon dioxide (CO2) 4%, and methane (CH4) 0.036%. The IPCC was able to overlook water vapor (95%) by admitting humans produce some, but the amount is insignificant relative to the total atmospheric volume of water vapour. The human portion of the CO2 in the atmosphere is approximately 3.4% of the total CO2  To put that in perspective, approximately a 2% variation in water vapour completely overwhelms the human portion of CO2. This is entirely possible because water vapour is the most variable gas in the atmosphere, from region to region and over time.

In 1999, after two IPCC Reports were produced in 1990 and 1995 assuming a CO2 increase caused a temperature increase, the first significant long term Antarctic ice core record appeared. Petit, Raynaud, and Lorius were presented as the best representation of levels of temperature, CO2, and deuterium over 420,000-years. It appeared the temperature and CO2 were rising and falling in concert, so the IPCC and others assumed this proved that CO2 was causing temperature variation. I recall Lorius warning against rushing to judgment and saying there was no indication of such a connection.

Euan Mearns noted in his robust assessment that the authors believed that temperature increase preceded CO2 increase.

In their seminal paper on the Vostok Ice Core, Petit et al (1999) [1] note that CO2 lags temperature during the onset of glaciations by several thousand years but offer no explanation. They also observe that CH4 and CO2 are not perfectly aligned with each other but offer no explanation. The significance of these observations are therefore ignored. At the onset of glaciations temperature drops to glacial values before CO2 begins to fall suggesting that CO2 has little influence on temperature modulation at these times.

Lorius reconfirmed his position in a 2007 article.

“our [East Antarctica, Dome C] ice core shows no indication that greenhouse gases have played a key role in such a coupling [with radiative forcing]”

Despite this, those promoting the IPCC claims ignored the empirical evidence. They managed to ignore the facts and have done so to this day.

Thomas Huxley said,

“The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a lovely hypothesis by an ugly fact.” 

The most recent ugly fact was that after 1998 CO2 levels continued to increase but global temperatures stopped increasing. Other ugly facts included the return of cold, snowy winters creating a PR problem by 2004.

The people controlling the AGW deception were aware of what was happening. Emails from 2004 leaked from the University of East Anglia revealed the concern.

The assumption that an increase in CO2 causes an increase in temperature was incorrectly claimed in the original science by Arrhenius. He mistakenly attributed the warming caused by water vapour (H2O) to CO2. All the evidence since confirms the error. This means CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. There is a greenhouse effect, and it is due to the water vapour. The entire claim that CO2 and especially human CO2 is absolutely wrong, yet these so-called scientists convinced the world to waste trillions on reducing CO2.

See also:

Testing the hypothesis that variations in atmospheric water vapour are
the main cause of fluctuations in global temperature (link)
Because water has been considered as providing positive feedback to warming primarily from CO2 its possible forcing effect has been overlooked. But as shown here by several different means, the more potent effect of applying water previously in the ocean or deep in the ground to dry surfaces with air in strong water deficit can be sufficient to affect global temperature. Clearly, the water vapour content of the troposphere is the major cause of the natural greenhouse effect, contributing up to two-thirds of the 33°C warming. Spatial and temporal variations in soil moisture and relative humidity of the atmosphere are the main factors controlling the regional outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), in contrast to the more even effects from well-mixed greenhouse gases such as CO2. This is well illustrated in the 4-6 year El Nino cycles, resulting in a global mean temperature variation approaching 1 oC compared with La Nina years. Longer term, the proposed Milankovitch glaciations of paleoclimates result in declines of atmospheric temperature around 10°C, consistent with the major reduction in tropospheric water vapour approaching 50%. Weather conditions and climate as illustrated in the greenhouse effect are clearly demonstrated in the distribution of water, particularly on land. The apparently linear relationship between the water content of the atmosphere is direct verification of the greenhouse warming effect of this greenhouse gas. By contrast, other than by correlation, there is no such direct verification possible for the greenhouse effect of CO2.
Ivan R. Kennedyand Migdat Hodzic
Periodicals of Engineering and Natural Sciences ISSN 2303-4521
Vol. 7, No. 2, August 2019, pp.870-880

 

People for the West newsletter for January 2020 now online

See https://wryheat.wordpress.com/people-for-the-west/2020-archive/2020-01-january/ 

This newsletter gives links to many climate and energy articles. I notes that even a complete elimination of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would avert only 0.08°C to 0.17°C of warming by 2100.

The newsletter also discusses How CO2 emissions and fossil energy improve human prosperity

Our Motto: Real environmentalism can go hand in hand with natural resource production, private property rights, and access to public lands

Book Review – “Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People” by Dr. Roy Spencer

“Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People” written by Dr. Roy Spencer is available on Kindle.

Dr. Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Formerly he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

The following review was written by Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) It is slightly edited. (Source)

Spencer wrote an exceptional book on the issues between knowledge and speculation as applied to climate science. Well written and easy to understand, the book discusses basic components of the major issues. It presents evidence from both sides, emphasizing that the greenhouse effect is well established, but the positive feedbacks are not. The fear of CO2 as promoted by the IPCC and others is attributed to the feedbacks. The book briefly discusses the benefits and costs of increasing CO2, with the costs lacking physical evidence, such as increasing sea level rise and ocean acidification.

Spencer asks five big questions:

1) “Is warming and associated climate change mostly human caused?

2) Is the human-caused portion of warming and associated climate change large enough to be damaging?

3) Do the climate models we use for proposed energy policies accurately predict climate change?

4) Would the proposed policy changes substantially reduce climate change and resulting damage?

5) Would the policy changes do more good than harm to humanity?

Spencer: “The answers to all five questions need to be ‘yes’ in order to make substantial changes to our energy policies beyond what free market forces dictate. Yet, it is not obvious to me that the answer to any of the five is ‘yes.’”

Among the many issues he raises are the accuracy of natural energy flows, which are not well known. Without compiling knowledge from measurements, not calculations used in unvalidated models, we cannot establish that the warming from a doubling of CO2 will be different than a modest 1.2 º C, far less than claimed by the IPCC.

To achieve a doubling of CO2 from the current level of slightly over 400 parts per million (ppm) would require burning more fossil fuels than are known to exist in the world. Furthermore, it is doubtful that even this would be sufficient to prevent an inevitable future ice age, a true killer climate.

Spencer points out that just because a research paper assumes the cause of warming is CO2, it is not necessarily true, then states:

“Why don’t more papers tackle the thorny issue of determining how much warming is natural versus anthropogenic? For at least three reasons:

1) We cannot separate human from natural causes of warming (there are no human fingerprints).

2) We have only a poor understanding of natural causes of climate change.

3) We cannot compute how strong human-caused warming is from first physical principles (the climate sensitivity problem, discussed later).

Chapter 13; Why is Warming not Progressing as Predicted? addresses the big problem of IPCC’s reliance on climate models in its policies.

“Climate models [in use today] probably over-predict warming because they[the models] produce too much positive feedback, which is necessary for high climate sensitivity. The small amount of direct warming from a doubling of CO2 (a little over 1 deg C) is magnified by about a factor of three in climate models due to warming-induced changes in clouds and water vapor, while the [actual] observations suggest there is little magnification at all.

“The positive feedback processes contained in climate models are very uncertain, yet are responsible for most (about 2/3) of the warming the models produce.

While the models are indeed mostly made up of fundamental physical principles that are pretty well established, it is these few poorly known feedback processes that determine how serious the global warming problem will be. Out of hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code making up the models, it could be that only a few lines of code representing very uncertain assumptions about the climate system are mainly responsible for producing too much [predicted] warming.

“This is why I call the climate research community’s defense of the current climate models as ‘bait and switch’. The well-understood basic physical principles the models are built on produce only about 1 deg. C of warming in response to 2Xco2, [a doubling of CO2] while the additional 2 deg. C of warming they produce from positive feedbacks is very speculative. They sell you on the well understood physics supporting the 1 deg. C of direct warming, but then switch to the full 3 degrees of warming the models produce as similarly reliable.

“How clouds might change with warming (cloud feedback) is particularly uncertain, a fact that is admitted by modelers. The climate models cannot include the actual physics of cloud formation and dissipation because computers are not nearly fast enough to be run with the fine detail contained in clouds. In fact, we don’t even understand some of the microphysical details of what happens in clouds, preventing us from modelling them even if computers were fast enough.”

According to Spencer the models have clouds forming at a humidity as low as 85% but in reality, they require a relative humidity of 100%. This is but one of many issues with the efforts to model the climate. To depend on the results of such modeling in establishing energy policy is absurd.

There are a number of good books on the weaknesses of climate science proclaimed by the IPCC and its followers. This is one of the finest.

As an aside, using Spencer’s numbers and IPCC’s logic one could say that the IPCC’s science is one-third science and two-thirds science fiction.

See also: The Toxic Rhetoric of Climate Change by Judith Curry

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/climate-in-perspective/ a 30-page essay on all aspects of global warming

The toxic rhetoric of climate change by Judith Curry

Note: Dr. Judith Curry is President (co-owner) of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) and was previously Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The following is her response to an email she received from a worried UK youth. (From her blog: climate etc., Article Source)

Dr. Curry writes:

We have been hearing increasingly shrill rhetoric from Extinction Rebellion and other activists about the ‘existential threat’ of the ‘climate crisis’, ‘runaway climate chaos’, etc. In a recent op-ed, Greta Thunberg stated: “Around 2030 we will be in a position to set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that will lead to the end of our civilization as we know it.” From the Extinction Rebellion: “It is understood that we are facing an unprecedented global emergency. We are in a life or death situation of our own making.”

It is more difficult tune out similar statements from responsible individuals representing the United Nations. In his opening remarks for the UN Climate Change Conference this week in Madrid (COP25), UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that “the point of no-return is no longer over the horizon.” Hoesung Lee, the Chair for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said “if we stay on our current path, [we] threaten our existence on this planet.”

So . . . exactly what should we be worried about? Consider the following statistics:

Over the past century, there has been a 99% decline in the death toll from natural disasters, during the same period that the global population quadrupled.

While global economic losses from weather and climate disasters have been increasing, this is caused by increasing population and property in vulnerable locations. Global weather losses as a percent of global GDP have declined about 30% since 1990.

While the IPCC has estimated that sea level could rise by 0.6 meters by 2100, recall that the Netherlands adapted to living below sea level 400 years ago.

Crop yields continue to increase globally, surpassing what is needed to feed the world. Agricultural technology matters more than climate.

The proportion of world population living in extreme poverty declined from 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015.

While many people may be unaware of this good news, they do react to each weather or climate disaster in the news. Activist scientists and the media quickly seize upon each extreme weather event as having the fingerprints of manmade climate change — ignoring the analyses of more sober scientists showing periods of even more extreme weather in the first half of the 20th century, when fossil fuel emissions were much smaller.

So . . . why are we so worried about climate change? The concern over climate change is not so much about the warming that has occurred over the past century. Rather, the concern is about what might happen in the 21st century as a result of increasing fossil fuel emissions. Emphasis on ‘might.’

Alarming press releases are issued about each new climate model projection that predicts future catastrophes from famine, mass migrations, catastrophic fires, etc. However these alarming scenarios of the 21st century climate change require that, like the White Queen in Alice and Wonderland, we believe ‘six impossible things before breakfast’.

The most alarming scenarios of 21st century climate change are associated with the RCP8.5 greenhouse gas concentration scenario. Often erroneously described as a ‘business as usual’ scenario, RCP8.5 assumes unrealistic trends long-term trends for population and a slowing of technological innovation. Even more unlikely is the assumption that the world will largely be powered by coal.

In spite of the implausibility of this scenario, RCP8.5 is the favored scenario for publications based on climate model simulations. In short, RCP8.5 is a very useful recipe for cooking up scenarios alarming impacts from manmade climate change. Which are of course highlighted and then exaggerated by press releases and media reports.

Apart from the issue of how much greenhouse gases might increase, there is a great deal of uncertainty about much the planet will warm in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide – referred to as ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’ (ECS). The IPCC 5th Assessment Report (2013) provided a range between 1 and 6°C, with a ‘likely’ range between 1.5 and 4.5ºC.

In the years since the 5th Assessment Report, the uncertainty has grown. The latest climate model results – prepared for the forthcoming IPCC 6th Assessment Report – shows that a majority of the climate models are producing values of ECS exceeding 5°C. The addition of poorly understood additional processes into the models has increased confusion and uncertainty. At the same time, refined efforts to determine values of the equilibrium climate sensitivity from the historical data record obtain values of ECS about 1.6°C, with a range from 1.05 to 2.7°C.

With this massive range of uncertainty in the values of equilibrium climate sensitivity, the lowest value among the climate models is 2.3°C, with few models having values below 3°C. Hence the lower end of the range of ECS is not covered by the climate models, resulting in temperature projections for the 21st century that are biased high, with a smaller range relative to the range of uncertainty in ECS.

With regards to sea level rise, recent U.S. national assessment reports have included a worst-case sea level rise scenario for the 21st century of 2.5 m. Extreme estimates of sea level rise rely on RCP8.5 and climate model simulations that are on average running too hot relative to the uncertainty range of ECS. The most extreme scenarios of 21st century sea level rise are based on speculative and poorly understood physical processes that are hypothesized to accelerate the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. However, recent research indicates that these processes are very unlikely to influence sea level rise in the 21st century. To date, in most of the locations that are most vulnerable to sea level rise, local sinking from geological processes and land use has dominated over sea level rise from global warming.

To further complicate climate model projections for the 21st century, the climate models focus only on man-made climate change – they make no attempt to predict natural climate variations from the sun’s output, volcanic eruptions and long-term variations in ocean circulation patterns. We have no idea how natural climate variability will play out in the 21st century, and whether or not natural variability will dominate over man-made warming.

We still don’t have a realistic assessment of how a warmer climate will impact us and whether it is ‘dangerous.’ We don’t have a good understanding of how warming will influence future extreme weather events. Land use and exploitation by humans is a far bigger issue than climate change for species extinction and ecosystem health.

We have been told that the science of climate change is ‘settled’. However, in climate science there has been a tension between the drive towards a scientific ‘consensus’ to support policy making, versus exploratory research that pushes forward the knowledge frontier. Climate science is characterized by a rapidly evolving knowledge base and disagreement among experts. Predictions of 21st century climate change are characterized by deep uncertainty.

As noted in a recent paper co-authored by Dr. Tim Palmer of Oxford University, https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/early/2019/11/26/1906691116.full.pdf, there is “deep dissatisfaction with the ability of our models to inform society about the pace of warming, how this warming plays out regionally, and what it implies for the likelihood of surprises.” “Unfortunately, [climate scientists] circling the wagons leads to false impressions about the source of our confidence and about our ability to meet the scientific challenges posed by a world that we know is warming globally.”

We have not only oversimplified the problem of climate change, but we have also oversimplified its ‘solution’. Even if you accept the climate model projections and that warming is dangerous, there is disagreement among experts regarding whether a rapid acceleration away from fossil fuels is the appropriate policy response. In any event, rapidly reducing emissions from fossil fuels to ameliorate the adverse impacts of extreme weather events in the near term increasingly looks like magical thinking.

Climate change – both man-made and natural – is a chronic problem that will require continued management over the coming centuries.

We have been told that climate change is an ‘existential crisis.’ However, based upon our current assessment of the science, the climate threat is not an existential one, even in its most alarming hypothetical incarnations. However, the perception of man-made climate change as a near-term apocalypse and has narrowed the policy options that we’re willing to consider. The perceived ‘urgency’ of drastically reducing fossil fuel emissions is forcing us to make near term decisions that may be suboptimal for the longer term. Further, the monomaniacal focus on elimination of fossil fuel emissions distracts our attention from the primary causes of many of our problems that we might have more success in addressing in the near term.

Common sense strategies to reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events, improve environmental quality, develop better energy technologies and increase access to grid electricity, improve agricultural and land use practices, and better manage water resources can pave the way for a more prosperous and secure future. Each of these solutions is ‘no regrets’ – supporting climate change mitigation while improving human well being. These strategies avoid the political gridlock surrounding the current policies and avoid costly policies that will have minimal near-term impacts on the climate. And finally, these strategies don’t require agreement about the risks of uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions.

We don’t know how the climate of the 21st century will evolve, and we will undoubtedly be surprised. Given this uncertainty, precise emissions targets and deadlines are scientifically meaningless. We can avoid much of the political gridlock by implementing common sense, no-regrets strategies that improve energy technologies, lift people out of poverty and make them more resilient to extreme weather events.

The extreme rhetoric of the Extinction Rebellion and other activists is making political agreement on climate change policies more difficult. Exaggerating the dangers beyond credibility makes it difficult to take climate change seriously. On the other hand, the extremely alarmist rhetoric has frightened the bejesus out of children and young adults.

JC message to children and young adults: Don’t believe the hype that you are hearing from Extinction Rebellion and the like. Rather than going on strike or just worrying, take the time to learn something about the science of climate change. The IPCC reports are a good place to start; for a critical perspective on the IPCC, Climate Etc. is a good resource.

Climate change — man-made and/or natural — along with extreme weather events, provide reasons for concern. However, the rhetoric and politics of climate change have become absolutely toxic and nonsensical.

In the mean time, live your best life. Trying where you can to lessen your impact on the planet is a worthwhile thing to do. Societal prosperity is the best insurance policy that we have for reducing our vulnerability to the vagaries of weather and climate.

JC message to Extinction Rebellion and other doomsters: Not only do you know nothing about climate change, you also appear to know nothing of history. You are your own worst enemy — you are triggering a global backlash against doing anything sensible about protecting our environment or reducing our vulnerability to extreme weather. You are making young people miserable, who haven’t yet experienced enough of life to place this nonsense in context.

Why We Depend on China for Most of Our Medicines

The price of drugs has been a concern of everyone. But, the source of our medicines is not mentioned very much. Unfortunately, we depend on China for most of our supply. The following article is from the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness newsletter. See the original article at https://www.ddponline.org/2019/11/01/drug-dependence/

Drug addiction is devastating. Drug dependence may be unavoidable, as with insulin-dependent diabetics. Modern medicine depends on the availability of life-saving drugs. And the U.S. now depends on China for most drugs. The U.S. even lacks the capacity to produce penicillin, as Rosemary Gibson reveals in her book China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Drugs.

In 1988, Oak Ridge National Laboratory published Expedient Antibiotic Production: A Final Report. This includes a how-to guide to build/rebuild antibiotic production facilities if they were damaged or destroyed. It has a map of the location of such production facilities in relation to a possible nuclear attack on industrial or military facilities.

Today, most of this capacity is gone, as manufacturing has been outsourced to the cheapest supplier. In 2004, the last U.S. penicillin production facility, in Syracuse, N.Y., closed. It was also making the starting material for cephalosporins. Launched in 1943, the facility had made 70% of the world’s penicillin until the mid-2000s.

In the 1980s, the Chinese government began to invest in the production of penicillin ingredients, and by 2001 had built vast industrial capacity. China had the great advantage of rules that tolerate massive air and water pollution, and antibiotic production is dirty industrial work. From 2004-2006, Chinese companies dumped penicillin ingredients on the global market at very low prices. After competitors were driven out of business, prices increased spectacularly in 2007.

Something similar happened to U.S. steel production, but the steel industry advocated for protection. No one advocated for protecting the antibiotic production base. “Antibiotic stewardship” is now urged to reduce usage in order to minimize development of resistance; why not stewardship of production capacity, Gibson asks.

After the 2001 anthrax attacks, the U.S. government bought 20 million doses of doxycycline. The European company that supplied the U.S. military obtained the starting material from a plant in China. The other antibiotic useful in anthrax, ciprofloxacin, requires a chemical for which China is the largest exporter. The active ingredient for vancomycin, needed for C. difficile and resistant staphylococcal infections, is also made in China.

The U.S.-China Trade Relations Act of 2000 removed tariffs on goods from China. Within 4 years, the last penicillin fermentation plant closed; the vitamin C cartel formed in China and drove U.S. prices up 600%; the last U.S. aspirin manufacturer closed when cheap Chinese product flooded the market; lethal heparin imports began.

After 80 patient deaths were tied to tainted heparin in 2008, Chinese authorities promised to crack down on suppliers, but illegal ingredients are still an open secret.

It is far more expensive to inspect a facility located abroad. The average cost is $52,000 compared with $23,000 in the U.S. China may refuse access to inspectors, and producers in China may submit false documents and refuse audits.

Instead of using soybean oil to make the initial building block for cephalosporins, some producers used “gutter oil” from restaurant frying pans, grease traps, and sewage drains. A criminal racket sold 100 tons of it to unnamed pharmaceutical companies.

Censorship of unfavorable news is routine in China. In 2015, a massive explosion at a Tianjin chemical warehouse created fireballs so huge they were detected by satellite, raining down a toxic chemical brew. The FDA warned companies purchasing drug products from the area to check for contamination, but declined to reveal the contaminants to check for or the names of potentially contaminated drugs. An online search revealed that Tianjin Tianyao Pharmaceuticals makes prednisone and other anti-inflammatory products used to treat asthma, allergies, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Four months after the explosion, shipments of drugs contaminated with hydrogen cyanide were stopped.

Dangers of contamination and counterfeits notwithstanding, drugmakers cannot at present do without active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from China.

“If China stopped exporting [APIs] to the U.S., within three months all the pharmacies would be empty,” stated Guy Villax, CEO of Hovione.

In some cases, known defective medications have been left on the market because of a lack of alternatives to life-saving drugs.

Even if the drugs are safe, a highly centralized global supply chain may result in shortages. A diversified manufacturing base and a shortened supply chain are imperative as a matter of national security, Gibson writes.

Gibson recommends the online pharmacy Valisure, which tests all the products it sells for certain impurities and for correct dosage.

HIGH PRICES, ESSENTIAL DRUG SHORTAGES

The prices of essential medications, such as insulin and even of generics that have been on the market for decades, have been sky-high. Patients can pay more than $400/month for insulin that costs $18 to manufacture, three times as much as in 2002! Hospitals have also been experiencing shortages of critical drugs and supplies such as anesthetics and intravenous solutions.

“Doctors and hospitals are rationing drugs, and patients are being forced to use substitutes that are less effective or more expensive, or both,” write Robert A. Campbell, M.D., and Philip L. Zweig, M.B.A., of Physicians Against Drug Shortages. “Lately, this crisis has reached a new level of absurdity: the U.S. is now importing sterile saline solution (a.k.a salt water) from Germany, Norway, Spain, Brazil and Mexico, and sodium bicarbonate solution from Australia! Drug shortages and astronomical prices are nothing less than a public health emergency” (https://tinyurl.com/y32tqasj).

Reasons for this include coverage of pharmaceuticals by third parties, especially Medicaid and Medicare Part D, bringing in middlemen such as Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs). In return for getting a drug placed on the formulary, PBMs receive a “rebate” (kickback) that is shielded from anti-kickback laws by “safe-harbor” rules. PBMs could add $100 billion per year to spending for prescription drugs. The higher the list price, the bigger the “rebate.” Single-source contracts negotiated by PBMs also help to drive potential competitors out of the marketplace (https://tinyurl.com/y6a962vl).

Three PBMs account for more than 80% of the market, according to the Council of Economic Advisors (https://tinyurl.com/ya62ukd6). More than 20% of spending on prescription drugs was taken in as profit by the pharmaceutical distribution system. The size of manufacturer rebates and the percentage of the rebate passed on to health plans and patients are kept secret. Insulins and drugs to treat hepatitis C have “rebates” of 66% and 62%, respectively (JAMA 4/23-30/19).

Another factor in high prices, CEA recognizes, is government regulations that prevent, rather than foster, healthy price competition. Additionally, the fixed cost of bringing a new, patented drug to market has increased rapidly, to about $2.6 billion. ☼

Climate Madness 14 – Prof Mickey Mouse declares climate emergency

The following stories appeared recently in the “main-stream” media. Most hype a “climate emergency” that will either kill us all or may require drastic changes in the way we live.

My Favorite:

More than 11,000 scientist declare a “climate emergency”

BioScience, an academic, peer-reviewed journal from Oxford University Press, found 11,224 scientists, from 153 countries, who signed off on the latest climate change drivel. All they had to do was click on a website petition to add their names. The list of names was available. It was checked by researcher Casey Plunkett (and others, link, see also here and here ). Plunkett found that only 240 individuals with professions that can be construed as bona fide meteorologists, climatologists, or atmospheric scientists. “Conversely, this list contains plenty of ‘experts’ who have zero credibility on the topic of climate change, coming from fields such as infectious diseases, paleontology, ecology, zoology, epidemiology and nutrition, insect ecology, anthropology, computer science, OB-GYN, and linguistics.”

Among the signatories were these names:

“Mouse, Micky” from the “Micky Mouse Institute for the Blind, Nambia.”

Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts

Araminta Aardvark from the fictional University of Neasden. ☼

Hungry elephants fight climate change one mouthful at a time

By Eva Frederick

As African forest elephants graze, they munch trees and plants with stems smaller than 30 centimeters in diameter—a little wider than a basketball—often damaging or killing them. Researchers used a model to predict what a forest might look like after years of elephants eating down these smaller plants. The bottom line: Slow-growing, shade-tolerant trees thrive with less competition for water and sunlight. The resulting forest has fewer, taller trees with denser wood, and the overall mass of vegetation above the ground is higher, meaning more carbon is stored, the team reports in Nature Geoscience. So… if elephants cool the planet… This means that the megafauna extinction ended the Ice Age! (Source)

No, Hurricanes Are Not Bigger, Stronger and More Dangerous

by Roger Pielke

Earlier this week a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by a team of authors led by Aslak Grinsted, a scientist who studies ice sheets at the University of Copenhagen, claimed that “the frequency of the very most damaging hurricanes has increased at a rate of 330% per century.”

If true, the paper would overturn decades of research and observations that have indicated over the past century or more, there are no upwards trends in U.S. hurricane landfalls and no upwards trends in the strongest storms at landfall. These conclusions have been reinforced by the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), U.S. National Climate Assessment, and most recently of the World Meteorological Organization.

In fact, however, the new PNAS paper is fatally flawed. The first big problem is that the paper purports to say something about climatological trends in hurricanes, but it uses no actual climate data on hurricanes. That’s right, it instead uses data on economic losses from hurricanes to arrive at conclusions about climate trends. (Read more)

Climategate: Nearly ten years later

Climate alarmists are still promoting junk science, fossil fuel bans and wealth redistribution

Dr. Kelvin Kemm

This month marks the tenth anniversary of “Climategate” – the release of thousands of emails to and from climate scientists who had been (and still are) collaborating and colluding to create a manmade climate crisis that exists in their minds and computer models, but not in the real world. The scandal should have ended climate catastrophism. Instead, it was studiously buried by politicians, scientists, activists and crony capitalists, who will rake in trillions of dollars from the exaggerations and fakery, while exempting themselves from the damage they are inflicting on everyday families. (Read more)

What Blackouts? Californian Climate Fanatics Demand All Electric Homes

No more fire in the kitchen: Cities are banning natural gas in homes to save the planet

by Elizabeth Weise

Fix global warming or cook dinner on a gas stove? That’s the choice for people in 13 cities and one county in California that have enacted new zoning codes encouraging or requiring all-electric new construction. The codes, most of them passed since June, are meant to keep builders from running natural gas lines to new homes and apartments, with an eye toward creating fewer legacy gas hookups as the nation shifts to carbon-neutral energy sources. For proponents, it’s a change that must be made to fight climate change. For natural gas companies, it’s a threat to their existence. And for some cooks who love to prepare food with flame, it’s an unthinkable loss. (Source)

Latest Climate Culprits: Asthmatics

By Jim Treacher

By now you should know that you hate the planet if you eat beef, instead of mashed-up bugs or heavily salted soy protein or algae or whatever. And of course, you hate the planet if your car uses gasoline instead of electricity, which is generated by, apparently, magic. But did you know that now you hate the planet if you have asthma but you insist on breathing anyway?

Take a deep breath, if you’re able, and read this from Jeffrey Kluger at Time: According to a new study published in BMJ Open, the familiar lightweight, pocket-sized aerosolized inhalers that make breathing easier for so many of the 235 million people worldwide who suffer from asthma may be choking the planet on a powerful greenhouse gas they release in the process…methane. (Read more)

Yankees Hire Climate Activist To Excite Fans About Global Warming

by Penny Starr

Allen Hershkowitz hopes to make climate change a regular feature on the sports pages of American media whether fans like it or not. And the new environmental science adviser for the New York Yankees hopes to convince people to embrace global warming just like the team they love. (Read more) Doesn’t traveling to attend a game raise your carbon footprint?

Climate Activists: Cancel Thanksgiving To Save The Planet

By Alexa Moutevelis

The annual liberal dissertations on how to talk to conservative family members at Thanksgiving were obnoxious but this new lefty idea is a real turkey. HuffPost recommends forgoing Thanksgiving altogether to save the planet from global warming. Because traveling to gather with family and friends to offer thanks is selfish. (Read more)

Gov. Cuomo Claims Tornados Didn’t Exist Before Climate Change

In an interview on MSNBC, gov. Cuomo said:

“Anyone who questions extreme weather and climate change is just delusional at this point. We have seen in the state of New York what everyone has seen, we have seen these weather patterns we never had before. We didn’t have hurricanes, we didn’t have super storms, we didn’t have tornadoes.” (Source)

Never Have US Health Professionals Been So Foolish

Last month, 74 US medical and public health groups released a “U.S. Call to Action,” declaring climate change a “true public health emergency” that can be solved by “urgent action.” The statement calls for a transition away from hydrocarbon energy and a move to a low-carbon economy. But actual weather and health trends don’t support either the alarm or the demanded actions.

The statement proclaims that “extreme heat, powerful storms and floods, year-round wildfires, droughts, and other climate-related events” are caused by “fossil fuel combustion,” which is said to be the “primary driver of climate-change.” They go on to say that we can solve these problems by transitioning away from hydrocarbon fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas, and toward renewable energy and energy efficiency. Read more to see how Steve Goreham takes them apart.

British MP Demands an End to Affordable Food, to Combat Obesity and Climate Change

by Eric Worrall

According to British MP Michael Gove, cheap food damages the environment and encourages poor people to overeat. The true cost of cheap, unhealthy food is a spiralling public health crisis and environmental destruction, according to a high-level commission. It said the UK’s food and farming system must be radically transformed and become sustainable within 10 years.

The commission’s report, which was welcomed by the environment secretary, Michael Gove, concluded that farmers must be enabled to shift from intensive farming to more organic and wildlife friendly production, raising livestock on grass and growing more nuts and edible seeds. It also said a National Nature Service should be created to give opportunities for young people to work in the countryside and, for example, tackle the climate crisis by planting trees or restoring peatlands. (Source)

 

“Climatology is becoming an increasingly dubious science, serving a political project… the policy cart is leading the scientific horse.” – Dr. Judith Curry, City Journal, Winter 2019.

“Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck.” —Thomas Jefferson (1822)

Previous Climate Madness articles:

Climate Madness 1

Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4  

Climate Madness 5

Climate Madness 6

Climate Madness 7

Climate Madness 8

Climate Madness 9

Climate Madness 10

Climate Craziness, Politics, and Hypocrisy

Climate madness 12 – California is the craziest

Climate Madness 13 – Climate Emergency Scam and other nonsense

The Lyre Snake – just mildly venomous

The Lyre snake is named for a V-shaped marking on the back of the head. This marking is often more prominent on females. Dark brown saddles occur on a light brown to light gray back. The underside is creamy-white or yellow with scattered brown spots. At first glance the Lyre snake may look like the common king snake. But, the Lyre snake’s neck is narrow, making the head appear more triangular, similar to other venomous snakes. Also, the eyes have pupils that are vertical slits rather than round as are on non-venomous snakes. Lyre snakes can get up to four feet long.

The Lyre snake (Trimorphodon lambda) is usually a nocturnal hunter, but can be found basking in the sun in the spring and fall. The main prey are lizards and mice, but the snake also goes after other prey including birds (It does climb trees).

The range of this snake includes most of Southern Arizona, and extends to southern Nevada and Utah, as well as northern Mexico. It favors the lower rocky canyons and arroyos of hills and mountains from sea level to 7400 feet (2300 m). A rock dweller, it wedges itself in the many crevices and fissures that are abundant in rocky areas. This snake is an occasional resident of flat lands, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

According to the Tucson Herpetological Society:

Lyre snakes are not usually dangerous to humans. “When threatened, the Sonoran Lyresnake will often rattle its tail. It will sometimes raise the anterior portion of the body, and strike and bite if further provoked.” The Lyre snake does not have fangs. Rather, “Toxins produced in a Duvernoy’s gland are delivered to prey and attackers via elongated, grooved teeth in the rear of the upper jaw. A large individual is capable of delivering a venomous bite to a person. Symptoms range from none to local redness, itching, swelling, and numbness, particularly if the snake is allowed to chew.”

 

For more photos and a very detailed description, see an article from the Tucson Herpetological Society: https://tucsonherpsociety.org/amphibians-reptiles/snakes/sonoran-lyresnake/ .

More snake articles:

Arizona Coral Snakes – pretty and very venomous

The Coachwhip a colorful snake

Gopher snakes

Kingsnakes versus Rattlesnakes

Mexican vine snakes

Rattlesnakes

Speckled Rattlesnakes

 

People for the West November 2019 newsletter

The People for the West November newsletter is now online. Main subject: Property rights.

“Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.” by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders (Fifth Amendment Treatise, 1997).

Read the whole newsletter at: https://wryheat.wordpress.com/people-for-the-west/2019-archive/2019-11-november/