turtles

Climate Craziness, Politics, and Hypocrisy

In my opinion, the greatest danger we face from global warming is that politicians think they can stop it. Politicians decree that we must reduce carbon dioxide emissions from use of fossil fuels even though there is no physical evidence that those emissions play a significant role is controlling global temperature. (See: Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect)

The policy of reducing CO2 emissions is costing billions, even trillions, of dollars that could be put to better use. For instance, Germany will have to spend more than 1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) to meet even the lower end of the European Union’s 2050 target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, according to a draft of a study commissioned by the BDI German industry group. (Source).

Several counties and municipalities in California as well as New York City have filed lawsuits against energy companies. These suits are seeking to force oil and gas companies to pay reparations for severe weather and infrastructure advancements to guard against future storms and rising sea levels. Read more However, as noted by Valerie Richardson in The Washington Times, the risks posed by human-caused climate change were apparently alarming enough to prompt seven California municipalities last year to sue ExxonMobil, but not serious enough to disclose in full to their investors. “Notwithstanding their claims of imminent, allegedly near-certain harm, none of the municipalities disclosed to investors such risks in their respective bond offerings, which collectively netted over $8 billion for these local governments over the last 27 years,” said ExxonMobil in its petition in Texas District Court. Read more.

Back in the year 2000, Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, predicted that within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren’t going to know what snow is. Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.” (Source) Residents of the northeast U.S. would disagree due to the very cold weather and snowfalls this winter.

Also, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (January, 2018), climate activists set up a base camp to educate world leaders about man-made global warming. Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, however, as the “Gore Effect” kicked in and dumped about six feet of snow on their little stunt during the last six days. The weather at Davos did not deter the arrival of 1,000 private jets owned or chartered by elites who lecture the rest of us about limiting our “carbon footprint.” The hosting organization for the Davos forum has a formal sustainability policy that vows to “limit our environmental impact” and addresses such issues as climate change and deforestation.

Just plain crazy:

Researchers at The University of Manchester have carried out the first ever study looking at the carbon footprint of sandwiches, both home-made and pre-packaged. They considered the whole life cycle of sandwiches, including the production of ingredients, sandwiches and their packaging, as well as food waste discarded at home and elsewhere in the supply chain. Of the recipes considered, the most carbon-intensive variety is a ready-made ‘all-day breakfast’ sandwich which includes egg, bacon and sausage. Read more

Researchers at the University of Arizona set out to learn more about how people’s perception of the threat of global climate change affects their mental health. They found that while some people have little anxiety about the Earth’s changing climate, others are experiencing high levels of stress, and even depression, based on their perception of the threat of global climate change. Read more

Alarmist scientists have found a terrifying new ‘climate change’ threat: mutant transgender turtles. Their study, titled Environmental Warming and Feminization of One of the Largest Sea Turtle Populations in the World, warns that global warming could turn the world’s sea turtle populations female, possibly leading to their extinction. Read more.

And even this: A Canadian government website claims Santa Claus signed an international agreement to relocate his workshop to the South Pole to escape the effects of man-made global warming in the Arctic. Read more.

See also:

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

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Our Desert Tortoise

Turtles, tortoises, terrapins are members of the order “Testudines” – what’s the difference? It seems to be a matter of semantics that varies throughout the world. In the United States, Testudines that live in freshwater, oceans, and on land are called turtles. Those that inhabit brackish waters of marshes and river inlets along the coast are called terrapins. The Testudines that are wholly terrestrial are called tortoises.

The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii aka Xerobates agassizii) occurs from tropical areas in northern Sinaloa, through Sonora, Mexico, in Arizona throughout the Sonoran Desert, and in the Mohave Desert in southeastern California, and southwestern Utah and southern Nevada.

Desert tortoise

 

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM) describes the Desert Tortoise as follows:

“Tortoises differ from other turtles in having cylindrical and elephantine hind legs and short, broad, club-shaped feet. The genus Gopherus also has flattened forelimbs for digging. The adult desert tortoise can measure up to 14 inches (35.5 cm) in length; the hatchlings are only about 2 to 2½ inches (5 to 6.5 cm) long. The carapace [shell on top] is brown to gray and rounded. The yellowish plastron [shell on bottom] is not hinged and is connected to the carapace at the sides. The male’s plastron is concave at the posterior to accommodate the rounded carapace of the female during copulation. The female’s plastron is flat. Like all turtles it is toothless; the large tongue helps push food back in the mouth. There are no visible ears.”

Turtles are the most ancient of reptiles. They first appeared about 200 million years ago and have changed little. The Desert Tortoise lineage began about 50 million years ago in the Tertiary tropical forests that existed here before advent of the desert.

Desert tortoises in Nevada and Utah generally live in valleys. They dig extensive burrows and live in groups. In Arizona, by contrast, desert tortoises occupy rocky hillsides and generally are loners.

According to ASDM:

“Desert tortoises are well-adapted to withstand the extended dry periods typical of deserts. Although they extract much of their water from the plants they eat, tortoises drink prodigiously from temporary rain pools. They have large urinary bladders that can store over 40 percent of their weight in water and urinary wastes. Urea is precipitated as solid uric acid in the bladder, freeing additional water and useful ions. During periods of inactivity in winter (hibernation) or summer (estivation), metabolic rates, digestion, and water loss from defecation and urination are greatly reduced. As soon as fresh water is available, the solid urates are eliminated from the bladder. Well-hydrated tortoises are able to eat dried plants and store fats in the body. Dehydrated tortoises are physiologically stressed and cannot digest dry plant foods.”

“Tortoises are generally active in times when water stress is reduced (early morning or evening); they can be diurnal or crepuscular depending on temperature and season. Mohave tortoises are mostly active in the spring months from February to May. Sonoran tortoises are primarily active in the summer monsoon months from July to October. Estivation [slowing or ceasing activity] during the hottest, driest parts of the summer helps conserve water because burrows or rock shelters are relatively cool and relative humidity of up to 40 percent reduces evaporation. Without extensive burrows it is unlikely that tortoises could survive the dry Mohave Desert summers. The common defensive behavior of emptying the bladder when molested or handled can have serious consequences in drier periods.”

Desert tortoises are herbivores, but they will eat carrion and insects. They can digest cellulose.

ASDM notes:

“The social behavior of tortoises is relatively straightforward — males fight all adult males and court all adult females they encounter. Mating occurs throughout the summer, although females lay eggs in late June or early July in the Sonoran Desert. Mohave Desert tortoises typically lay a second clutch of eggs at the end of the summer. Retention of viable sperm in the cloaca of the female for at least two years is an excellent survival strategy in non-colonial animals: it ensures fertilization during extended droughts when males are less active or populations crash. The eggs contain all of the water and nutrients necessary for complete development of the hatchlings. Hard egg shells retard desiccation. The normal incubation period of about 90 days in the summer can be much longer later in the year as temperatures fall.”

Desert tortoises can live up to 35 to 40 years. In Arizona, they are protected. They cannot be collected, killed, transported, bought, sold, bartered, imported, or exported from Arizona without authorization by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. ASDM has a tortoise adoption program where you can acquire or drop off a tortoise. Captive tortoises should not be released into the wild because they may carry diseases and introduction may upset the local order of tortoises.

To find out more about ASDM’s tortoise adoption programs go to http://www.desertmuseum.org/programs/tap.php
That site also has more information on tortoise natural history.