Tag Archives: CSIRO

Too grim a reality

It is not a new concept, it is not even original. My first introduction to the concept of mass executions was in a Star Trek Episode of 1966, ‘The Conscience of the King‘, the story about Kodos “the Executioner”. The backstory was: “In 2246, an exotic fungus destroyed most of the colony’s food supply, and its inhabitants, of which there were eight thousand, faced starvation. Kodos, implementing his own theories of eugenics, selected four thousand of the colony’s residents to be put to death, so that the remaining four thousand might survive on the limited food supplies available“, so when we were introduced to Infinity War and Thanos, the scope changed but the premise did not. This is not an attack on Marvel in any way, the idea existed and that is not an issue. Yet the reality we face is actually a lot grimmer. It is a lot more dangerous, because in my view Thanos was an optimist. At this point we (due to political inaction), we might have to cull 97% of the human race.

Scary is it not?

To see this, we need to take a look at the guardian. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/08/un-environment-report-how-australias-political-parties-plan-to-respond-to-the-crisis) gives us: ‘experts rate Australian political response to extinction crisis‘ and that is where the problem starts, politicians are there to cater to big business (for the most) and this is not in the interest of big business. Politicians have a long standing history of not doing the right thing and not putting their foot down, so inaction remains for now the best we can hope for.

So where is the problem?

The responses give a much larger issue that they have been ignoring. When we see: “review but keep existing environment laws; a $100m environment restoration fund to clean up coasts and waterways, protect threatened species and reduce waste; $189m over four years for the “direct action” climate solutions fund, in part for revegetation of degraded land” reads like an absolute joke.

For this we merely need to look at the Adani Carmichael mine. ABC reported: “The CSIRO and Geoscience Australia said the modelling used by Adani was “not suitable”, and also cast doubt over the company’s plans to protect important environments. “A number of limitations were also identified in the proposed monitoring and management approaches, indicating they are not sufficiently robust to monitor and minimise impacts to protected environments,” the agencies’ report said.” Even when we consider “Boost early warning monitoring systems between the mine and the nearby Doongmabulla Springs wetland“, as well as “Respond immediately to any unexpected groundwater impact“, when it happens it will be too late and the impact damage will have been done and finish it for generations. There is more; I wrote about it in January 2018, in the article ‘Vision or imagination‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/01/13/vision-or-imagination/) I looked at the Guardian, as well as the Cairns Post where we see “During a recent patrol blitz during the Christmas-New Year period, GBRMPA and partner agencies detected 41 instances of people fishing in the wrong zones, including no-take areas“, unless we change the rules where ANY transgressor gets their boat impounded and auctioned off for repairs of the Great Barrier Reef, this degradation will continue. In a setting where there is coral bleaching to any degree in 93% of the reef is a stage where we need to act differently, or we impose draconian laws to protect the reef, or we cull 97% of the population, I will let you decide, yet remember, politicians are all about promises and discussion, but they lack the balls to act or enforce. It makes for a better case to reduce the population (and resolve affordable housing at the same time).

It is even worse than you think

For that we need to see the words of Melissa Price, the environment minister. Her idea of: “investing in the protection of our native species and their habitats. We are investing billions of dollars to deliver a cleaner environment“, I have no idea what drugs she is on, but I would love to sample them as they are truly psychedelic in nature. You merely need to look at the impact of Cyclone Debbie and “Adani has been fighting to hide details of what it told the Queensland Government about the risk of pollution to the Great Barrier Reef ahead of Cyclone Debbie in 2017” (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-10/adani-spent-a-year-trying-to-hide-reef-spill-details/10090632). So when we see: ““Just give me a little detail and we can include and update [the temporary emissions licence],” a department staff member replied“, as well as “Adani admitted to breaching its licence, spilling polluted water into the Marine Park that was 800 per cent dirtier than was allowed” my case is pretty much made. With the apology if I sound too sexist, listening to Melissa Price and reflecting on ‘the protection of our native species and their habitats‘, I feel like I am reading a debate where a vibrator is defining the need of income for the service of any huhu where that owner shows it owns the vibrator it bought (a real graphic an none personal analogy).

So when I read in the article the response from Adani giving us: “We have elected to have the matter heard by a magistrate rather than pay a $12,000 fine, which should not have been issued in 2017 following Cyclone Debbie, and we look forward to resolution of the matter.

A $12,000 fine? Are you out of your fucking minds (I apologise; emotions got the better of me at this point)? In the end, we see that last month Adani paid the $13,055 (according to various sources) and the laughable failure of this shows just how massively the environment department failed Queensland, failed the Australian people and how it failed the environment. In light of such transgressions, in light of the utter failure what is laughingly referred to as: ‘The Environment Department‘ a clear case could be made to cull the population by 97%, CEO’s, CFO’s and politicians get to be at the front of that line.

Oh, and before you think this is me against Adani, you are wrong, Adani is merely one of the more visible examples from a list that includes hundreds of transgressors and the Australian Environment department is merely one of many that has been unable to protect the environment and truly pressure fines that start in the high millions and optionally demand and exercise a right of closure of plants who make these kinds of errors, yet that was not what this was about, merely a symptom of a much larger problem.

It is not much better on the other side of the isle. Even as we see what I regard to be labor party puppets giving us the blame game (like Tony Burke), we see “It is now clear we are on the pathway to a million extinctions, we are potentially facing the sixth mass extinction in the history of the planet [and] Australia remains the extinction capital of the world. This reinforces the need for Labor’s comprehensive policy agenda to fight extinction“, just like other Labor party sided members (like Jeremy Corbyn). We see part of this in “The Greens were “deeply concerned that Labor has taken a weaker climate policy in 2019 than what they proposed in 2016, which was weaker still than what they took to the 2013 election”“, it is not all a given, but the facts are there. Even as this is more a tug between Di Natale and Bill Shorten, the issue is that they are all weak on the environment, because there is too much debt, too little work and for the most politicians have a track record of letting big business walk all over them, so a billionaire family like Adani and several others do not consider Australian politicians to be any more of the loud windbags than the politicians in America and they made an equal disastrous mess of it all.

If we go by the Conversation (at http://theconversation.com/shorten-distances-himself-from-green-overtures-on-climate-policy-116360) we see: “The decision for Bill Shorten is whether he follows the take-it-or-leave-it approach of Kevin Rudd in 2009, or negotiates with the Greens, just like Julia Gillard did in 2011, to deliver a climate policy that gives future generations a chance“, yet what we should see is: “Whomever gets elected has only this term to act, or the final approaching certainty that there will not be any future generations will become a slow but certain given“.

They all talk some talk, not the talks and NONE are willing to start increase fines by no less than 15,000% as well as mandatory closing of no less than 15 months of whatever plant makes the transgressions. In addition, the entire response of ““Just give me a little detail and we can include and update [the temporary emissions licence],” a department staff member replied” need to be met with draconian changes to the employment of whomever made that ‘little’ short-sighted consideration. The time to be nice has been over for well over a generation and the political players need to openly acknowledge that, as well as underwrite whatever law changes are required.

Any response of ‘but Adani will walk away‘ should be regarded as null and void, in the end if there is money, they will come, we need to stop facilitating to large corporations and truly change the way we do business and change the way that they are allowed to do business. The failure is seen when we look at Apple (perhaps the clearest example), when we see: “Revenue was up nearly 13 percent hitting $9.1 billion, compared to $8 billion in 2017“, yet we also get: “With bigger revenue comes a bigger tax bill. Apple incurred a tax bill of $164.1 million for the year, comprised of $127 million in income tax, a $30 million tax adjustment related to prior years and another deferred tax income expense of $7.3 million“, this implies that Apple pays a mere 1%, how will you fund any program for any environment when large corporations vulture entire nations? And when we see the Australian Financial Review (at https://www.afr.com/news/politics/national/uber-in-labor-s-sights-in-multinational-tax-crackdown-20190505-p51k9n) with the smug response “the Tax Institute of Australia warned about extra regulation for multinationals, saying it could discourage companies from setting up operations here“, my clear (and slightly less diplomatic) response would be: “Oh, please let them fuck off! When they lose 20 million customers in Australia and an optional 68 million customers in the UK they will lose more and more, more market share and all the momentum they had!

Facilitating to big business is one of the main reasons we see a loss of environment and biodiversity in the first place. That evidence is shown to some degree by American documentary maker Sue Williams. She gives us (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-09/environmental-impact-of-the-iphone/7825360) in 2016: “more than 50 million tonnes of e-waste will be generated this year alone“, with the added: “this ends up in China, India and Africa, the devices were then broken down in unsafe ways where toxic chemicals end up in the water and air.” It shows a much larger issue and even as Australia might not be the place of the largest transgressions, we see that Australia has failed its people and environment in the most total way possible at present.

I wonder if the people will ever vote for the parties that truly are out there trying to set up proper laws to protect the environment, when that happens we will see a rush of panic from anyone riding some sort of gravy train, I merely expect it will be too late at that point.

So, even as we wonder on Marvel and its success, we should also consider that Thanos was an optimist; removing 50% of the population will no longer get it done. When you realise that actual truth, will you ignore it or actually demand change before you have to sacrifice the life of one or more of your children? You might laugh at this as it is not realistic, and it might not be in this generation, but that setting is not a given for THEIR children, not merely because the population will surpass 8 billion within the year, but the fact that when their children are born our population will surpass 9.5 billion, it will be too late at that point. Oh, and when we all accept the compromise to put in place the Chinese one child policy on a global scale, what excuses will nations offer when that policy is breached? Humanitarian reasons perhaps?

Should you think that this is some new revelation, think again! Especially when you consider the dangers that the movie Koyaanisqatsi (life out of balance) showed in 1982, almost 37 years ago. The mere realisation of what the city of New York needed to feed its masses (overfeed its masses more accurately), and we see that the matter got worse, the inaction of politicians globally makes even less sense.

I merely wonder what excuse the politicians give, and who they blame when the collapse biodiversity is at our front door awaiting the label ‘extinct now‘. As we get reports upon reports and denials from its opposition, we need to take heed of the inaction on acts like overfishing and poaching, clear criminal acts that have little or no punishment, when truth comes to bare, remember that any elected politician after 1983 is directly responsible for the mess we see today. The entire push it forward is not to be regarded as a defence, or as an optional response. In my view there is no ‘I was not involved in that decision‘ it will be on their names and the names of their prodigy. If you doubt that, look into history on what the people did in anger to those called: ‘German Girls‘, Women from the Netherlands, France, Norway, Spain, Italy, Greece and a few other places; women who fell in love, had a flirt or for mere survival reasons got attached by a German soldier. They were according to records: “Women who married German soldiers and their children were stripped of their citizenship, interned and deported to Germany. Many of the offspring who remained were abused, attacked and confined to mental institutions because of their parentage. As well as the French part where about 20,000 women accused of sleeping with the enemy had their heads shaved; others were covered in tar, physically assaulted, stoned, spat upon and shunned. As many as 6,000 people considered collaborators, including many women, were killed“, when you read that part, will these people proclaim innocence, state some defence that ‘we’ are better than that now and demand safety for their children? I don’t think you comprehend the masses when it is enraged, these people will all be out of options, and let’s face it, when the big environmental disasters start hitting, the groups of soldiers and police and fire brigades will all be hit with other first casualties, and they will not be much of any protection for these exulted high earners. WW2 was perhaps the foulest example in history, yet it will be nothing when the biodiversity collapses under the pressure of pollution and too large a population, the political inaction will enrage billions on a global scale.

So even as we laugh at the silver screen and Thanos snapping its finger, we are getting to a place where we get to see the infrastructure and resources collapsing, and there will be someone pointing a finger at the politicians, at that point what will that person do? Will he (or she) become a version of 1966 Kodos the destroyer? Will he/she (too late) invoke draconian laws to undo the presented damage, whilst they know it was already too late?

I cannot tell, but I can tell that we are at the end of our ropes to instigate a solution, too many species have become extinct, we did allow our natural biodiversity be permanently affected to that degree.

I am however also aware that there is opposition to my view, one blogger gives a really good setting (at https://conservationbytes.com/2014/03/17/if-biodiversity-is-so-important-why-is-europe-not-languishing/), the blogger is  CJA Bradshaw and he gives another version, a less pessimistic version (in 2014 mind you), I do not agree, but I will not dismiss this view as it is well phrased, well written and gives good examples. He gives at this point a realistic view, yet at the end of this, we will be growing towards a population of 10 billion and there is a limit to what we can get from an acre of agrarian land, knowing that the planet is 30% land and the stage that the population that land supports went from 6.6 to 7.9 billion in a decade gives us a 19% growth in a stage where the growth of land is set to 0%, actually, that is wrong, some scientist claim (I use claim as I never delved into that data) that land capable of being ploughed and used to grow crops (arable land) decreased by almost 30% due to erosion and pollution, so not only are there more people, there is less place to grow their food, and that is actually really important. So as we create more land for crops, the ‘wild lands’ where the animals roam decreases more and more. To see additional dangers, we need to look towards places like Borneo lost in the time between 1985 and 2005 an average of 850,000 hectares of forest every year. If this trend continues, forest cover will drop to less than a third by 2020, so by next year Borneo and all the oxygen producing forests is merely a third of what it was, whilst the population grows and grows, is anyone worried about breathing yet? The same is happening in the Amazon region, the two largest oxygen producing areas gone to the largest degree. At what point will anyone realise that oxygen tends to be an essential need?

All unattended issues and we are actually running out of time, so who is willing in the end to snap their fingers Thanos style?

 

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Under cover questions

Yes, it has been a week. When the fire was first reported I steered clear. It was a fire. What was weird was the ferociousness of the fire, I had questions from the moment I saw the fire, but I waited. I had no Intel, I had no facts and it was a fire after all. Fires happen. Yet, those who saw the limelight seeking photos from the Telegraph might have noticed a thing or two. You see, the fire was like a fire that Hollywood could not do. The Towering inferno was not that intense. The fact that the fire had a casualty list that is massive is also an odd part in all this. So I decided to wait, I would not be the one shouting arson on something that was not that. The consequence is a little too unsettling. Yet now, a week later I found myself collecting what I could. It started with the noise on cladding.

The first thing I found was a similar issue in Victoria, Australia. On April 30th 2015 we see: “Testing conducted by the CSIRO in mid-April on behalf of MFB found that the Alucobest cladding material installed by building company failed to comply with high-rise combustibility requirements“, in addition there is “The external cladding material on this building did not prevent the spread of the fire as required by the Building Code of Australia,” said MFB chief officer Peter Rau“. It was a fire that happened in 2014. So these events had been happening for years. This now gets us to Rydon Ltd in East Sussex. They got the job, because they were £2.5 million cheaper. Like in the Towering Inferno, that place went down in the story because of cutting corners. So my initial thought was that this might be the case here too. The question is ‘Was that the case?‘ You see, it is all good and fine in books, but the reality is how were the materials tested, how did the makers of the original cladding present their materials? One of the parts is ‘Celotex RS5000 PIR thermal insulation‘, when we look at those specification we see: “Fire propagation ‘BS 476: Part 6′, Pass” and “Surface spread of flame ‘BS 476: Part 7′, Class 1“. It comes with the footnote “The fire performance and classification report issued only relates to the components detailed above. Any changes to the components listed will need to be considered by the building designer”

The entire issue becomes more of a mess when we consider that ITV business editor Joel Hills stated that he had been told that the installation of sprinklers had not even been discussed (at http://www.itv.com/news/2017-06-15/grenfell-tower-original-proposed-contractor-was-dropped-to-reduce-cost-of-refurbishment-project/), the ITV article focusses on the ‘cost saving‘ which is correct, yet the one part they do not raise is whether the materials were up to scrap. In addition they do mention two parts that are essential. One is “In 2013 the government wrote to every local authority to encourage them to retrofit sprinkler systems in older tower blocks. It did so at the request of a coroner who leads an inquest into a fire in Camberwell in which six people died“, the second one was “Before passing judgement on whether the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management therefore acted irresponsibly, bear in mind that, according to the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, only 100 older tower blocks in Britain have been retrofitted with sprinklers since 2013. Around 4,000 have not“, the councils were apparently put off by the costs, which in this was about £1150 per apartment. We read more about these tests as presented by Celotax (at http://www.ecosafene.com/EN/firetesting/building/228.html), so we get some clarity here. Yet the surface flame test (BS 476-7, linked in the referred page), gives us “Extinguish the pilot flame 1 min after the start of the test“, yet these numbers will not add up, because there were no sprinklers, no dousing the flame, so the entire operation will be working on different elements. This does not invalidate the test, yet if I look at the Ecosafene site I am now looking at ‘BS 476-15Fire Tests on Building Materials for Measuring the Rate of Heat Release‘ as well as ‘BS 476-5 Fire Test to Building Material for Ignitablity‘, you see, this caught fire somehow, after that Bob is your crispy dead uncle (in this case). Yet in all this, we did not mention Celotex. Their site gives us “As with the rest of the nation our thoughts continue to be with those affected by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in London. On Wednesday, as soon as we were able to, we confirmed that our records showed a Celotex product (RS5000) was purchased for use in refurbishing the building. We wanted to provide an update to that statement and provide further information as we are able to. It is important to state that Celotex manufacture rigid board insulation only. We do not manufacture, supply or install cladding. Insulation is one component in a rain screen system, and is positioned in that system behind the cladding material“, It is what we now see in the Metro that kinda takes the biscuit. “Controversial cladding was added to Grenfell Tower in part to improve the view for nearby luxury flats“, which must have been a nice clambake to watch I reckon. It is the term ‘Controversial cladding‘ that now becomes the focus. You see, the Birmingham Mail and others are all about: “Grenfell Tower £8 million refurbishment ‘met all required standards’“, yet the fire does seem to tell a different story. The Guardian has another article linked to all this. The article ‘Complex chain of companies that worked on Grenfell Tower raises oversight concerns‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/15/long-builder-chain-for-grenfell-a-safety-and-accountability-issue) gives a few items a few answers and more questions. In opposition I need to give the quote “Ben Bradford, a fire safety expert who is managing director of the risk consultancy BB7, said the multiple links in the chain of contractors could cause safety problems. “There are probably multiple failings that have occurred in this particular case,” he said. “The work, in terms of fire stopping, often falls to a sub-contractor. They don’t always realise the critical nature of the components they’re installing in the overall system“, I have an issue here. It is not untrue what he is stating, yet the elements on the page give us a little clarity. You see Rydon used Harley Curtain. This setup is not unique. Rydon cannot afford the amount of people needed, hence a subcontractor is used. They would work according to the requirements of Rydon. That link is seen with the subsequent links to Celotex and Arconic. So Celotex is the insulator and we saw all those links, yet now the actual cladding remains. ‘Reynobond PE‘, in the end Rydon had to sign off on that, in clarity, at present Rydon is the responsible part (until valid defence is given). You see, when we go to Arconic, we see “Reynobond PE features a polyethylene core that adds strength and rigidity to the coil-coated aluminium panels. This maximizes its flexibility and formability, while maintaining a light weight for easy installation“, you see, when I went to High School (early 70’s) I was told that polyethylene was combustible, it is a common trait in the polymer group as they are all inflammable family members. You see, perhaps it is just me, but the brochure states: ‘building code recognition‘, is that the same as passing a test? The tests Canadian fire tests CAN S101, CAN S102 and CAN S134 are a nice mention, yet the idea that an AMERICAN company is relying on Canadian fire tests got me thinking. I have not found the answer; I am merely puzzled by it. The question is what did Rydon know on that part? They are supposed to be the expected experts, I am not!

The question still gives us a concern, you see the fact that the outside got to play the part of Roman candle is one side, at that point the sprinklers inside the building would have been pretty useless at that point. What is interesting is the mention on page 5 of the brochure: “It’s perfect for new and retrofit projects less than 40 feet (three stories) high” This is an interesting part because the ‘why‘ comes into play, why only 3 stories? That part becomes a point of discussion, as page three shows a 7 story high building in the images. On page 6 we see the safety rating form flames and smoke as a pass with Class A as per ASTM E84. That part revealed two elements. One is the mention ‘This test method measures flame growth on the underside of a horizontal test specimen, using the Steiner tunnel test‘, the operative word is ‘horizontal‘, the next one is shown (at https://www.astm.org/Standards/E84.htm), here we see “This test method exposes a nominal 24-ft (7.32-m) long by 20-in. (508-mm) wide specimen to a controlled air flow and flaming fire exposure adjusted to spread the flame along the entire length of the select grade red oak specimen in 51/2 min“, in addition they do not give ‘measurement of heat transmission‘, which seems a pretty important element in VERTICAL applied cladding, as flames tend to ignore gravity and move upwards adding to the temperature, for those extra crispy roasted victims. More important the ‘effect of aggravated flame spread behaviour of an assembly resulting from the proximity of combustible walls and ceilings‘ and as polyethylene is combustible, we now have an issue. From my point of view, if Rydon signed off on this there is an issue. Yet more important, the fact that there is documentation that goes back to 2014 in Australia and there are a number of buildings in London that have this issue, London Town there is a much larger issue in play. Now, we see that everyone is bashing Theresa May, and as she made me no Bundt cake I am fine with that. Yet this is a long term failure. It has an impact on several administrations on both sides of the political aisle. There is a clear call, one made by MP David Lammy in the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-corporate-manslaughter-arrests-david-lammy-mp-labour-london-kensington-a7790911.html). I agree that ‘corporate manslaughter‘ is more than a fair call. As the Tottenham Labour MP states this, there is a call for the executives of Rydon to explain and show their elements in all this. They should be in defence mode and it could result in their arrest if clear evidence of negligence is found. The elements I found clearly support that and that is merely the 45 minutes getting through some of the brochures and going through the fire tests. You see, the earlier quote from the Birmingham Mail with ‘met all required standards’ does not hack it in my view. I found three issues in mere minutes, so we either have a systematic failure of government allowing this to continue (even more damning in light of the concerns from the occupants that had been going on for some time), the other side is that underlying communications might or might not exist. There is no way to tell until this is brought into the open. David Lammy might not ‘name’ anyone, but I did, and they should be named. Yet that also means that they can and should defend themselves as they might not be the guilty party, but no matter what, they are to a larger extent, the accountable party until properly investigated. And this is not because I am trying to have a go at Rydon, I want this to come out into the open. The failure that we saw burn is just one of several buildings where cladding has been applied to, and as the train wreck is pushed into the limelight carriage after carriage, only then will we see the complete extent of the failure and there is no ‘walk softly’ that option has been taken away by the dozens of fatalities. A little limelight is the least of the problems these people need to face.

Even as we saw the ‘cost saving‘ there is still going to be a backlash to KCTMO, you see, they made a call on the cheaper option, which might be fair, but why was the ‘other‘ solution cheaper? When those elements are brought to the surface there will be questions as they tend to come, fair or not. This all gets to get political soon thereafter as we saw the ‘reasoning’ of ‘improve the view for nearby luxury flats‘, you see, I am not buying a Versace suit so that I look more appealing to my neighbour. She (and he) can bloody well move to Knightsbridge and get a more expensive view there. Yet, that is just me.

rs5000_productdatasheet_aug16

Reynobond_Brochure

 

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