Tag Archives: environment

The ice and the icing

Ah, it is the environment that was taking a hit yesterday. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/18/arctic-permafrost-canada-science-climate-crisis) is giving us: ‘Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted‘, and at this point, we can all agree that we have a really serious problem. I know, the people at Wall Street would more likely than not be in a stage to dismiss and debunk the news, yet this is not about merely melting ice, this is about permafrost melting. This is no small matter; you see the Arctic and Antarctic both have places where the ice never melts, that ‘never melting’ ice is now actually melting. Consider if you can, a piece of ice on Antarctic, twice the size of the state of Texas, close to half a mile high, that is now becoming water (which in Antarctic terms does not seem much). Now we also know that ice loses volume when it melts, yet it is only 10%, so over the foreseeable future we end up with a water mass 800 meter high and the size of Texas being added to the oceans. Water levels will rise and to a decent amount, in all this, there is also the arctic to consider, it is not land, it is all water and they too will add levels of water to it all.

Then there is a new development, which we see at (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/19/himalayan-glacier-melting-doubled-since-2000-scientists-reveal), the problem is are we have been sold for too long and too often a package of goods? Is it such a stretch that the media ‘suddenly’ has a whole range of ‘revelations’? I am not stating that these are fabricated, but the timing is an issue. As I personally see it the people have been ‘handled’ for far too long, giving less and less reliability on what we see. Even as we see ‘Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show‘, more important, why did it require a spy satellite? Yes, I get it when we see “more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed“, so when was that revealed? It gets to be worse when we see: “This is the clearest picture yet of how fast Himalayan glaciers are melting since 1975, and why“. Fair enough the work ‘Acceleration of ice loss across the Himalayas over the past 40 years‘ published in Science Advances 19 Jun 2019: Vol. 5, no. 6, eaav7266; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7266 is seemingly an academic work by J. M. Maurer, J. M. Schaefer, S. Rupper and A. Corley might be good and it might all be top notch work, but the timing of it all gives it a little bit of a bitter taste. Now, this is not some hidden attack, the work looks really good (at https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/6/eaav7266), it has uncertainty assessments, how it was dealt with, how the data was captured, this is a real piece of academic work with references and all (a lot of references), yet timing is everything we know that and it still feels like we are being handled. Part of me is speculating that this game is not by the scientists, but that certain previous white house players have been suppressing or delaying certain reports. It is highly speculative and I have no evidence, but that is what it feels like, the more the political player gets into bed with big business, the less environmental consideration we tend to see.

The entire matter increases when we consider: “The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually” this implies another part which we see in the National Geographic (at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise/). When we see: “Rising seas is one of those climate change effects. Average sea levels have swelled over 8 inches (about 23 cm) since 1880, with about three of those inches gained in the last 25 years. Every year, the sea rises another .13 inches (3.2 mm)“, we see the other part of the coin, so how about your beachfront property in 2045?

We can go long on the yay and nay sayers, but in all this, the media needs to stop facilitating to their shareholders, their stake holders and their advertisers, because the bulk of them are clearly in denial of environmental changes, as well as clearly opposing change. In 2012, the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/may/30/companies-block-action-climate-change) gave us: “An analysis of 28 Standard & Poor 500 publicly traded companies by researchers from the Union of Concerned Scientists exposed a sharp disconnect in some cases between PR message and less visible activities, with companies quietly lobbying against climate policy or funding groups which work to discredit climate science“, I believe that this is still going on, however these companies have become more clever in their actions and acting indirectly. In 2014 we see a Journalist names Mark Green giving us (at https://www.api.org/news-policy-and-issues/blog/2014/10/21/americas-oil-and-natural-gas-industry-be) “97 percent of all oil and natural gas company stock – held by millions of Americans across the country. These include retirees and middle-class Americans saving for retirement“, it is now less about the opposition it is that being ‘in favour’ is dooming the middle class a reversed reverse psychology if you will.

Do you still think that shareholders and stake holders are a stretch? How many financial institution advertisement have YOU seen in the last week alone? And when it comes to the sceptical and the 197 excuses they have, let me add utterly bogus excuse 198: “Women warm the hearts of men and with 4 billion men one woman can raise the planetary temperature by at least 1 degree, so what about the other 99 in the hot 100 (graphic evidence added)?” We see lists of excuses yet to overall need to take a serious look at the matter and give serious airtime to those trying to warn us is also a topic for debate.

When we pass over that episode and we add to the matter (Antarctica, Himalaya, Arctic, Greenland) there is a stage where we have surpassed essential milestones, milestones that can no longer be undone (not within the next two generations). Me, I am still all in favour of culling the human population by 85%, and fortunately for me this time around, the politicians are actually helping me.

It’s the Icing

When it is about the icing we can go in two directions, in the first it is about the topping of a cake, we all have tried it, yummy chocolate icing, marzipan topping, our sweet tooth desires a scrumptious load of icing and the larger your slice of the cake, the better the sugar rush. The second direction is mostly for Canadians (LOL), it is seen in hockey when a player shoots the puck from behind the centre red line, across the opposing team’s goal line, whilst the puck remains untouched. It is a rule to oppose a quick win, netball has a similar option; you need to win by being the better player in each segment of the field. It nullifies a play like Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos achieved in 2013 by kicking that piece of air filled leather for 64 yards, an achievement for sure, but at that point the game becomes about the kickers and it becomes less about the full game. An icing stops this option, making it about the game and this matters as we see in: ‘Diplomatic offensive aims to dissuade Tehran from breaching uranium limits‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/19/uk-france-germany-last-ditch-effort-save-iran-deal), you see I am slightly less convinced that they are not their yet (or disgracefully close to it). When I see: ““We want to unify our efforts so there is a de-escalation process that starts,” Le Drian said. “There is still time and we hope all the actors show more calm. There is still time, but only a little time.”” to be honest I wonder what drugs Jean-Yves Le Drian is on (and can I have some please?) The idea that Iran adheres to any kind of agreement is short sold to begin with, the entire Hezbollah proxy war counts as evidence in that matter.

So when I see: “We need to de-escalate through dialogue. It is a time of ‘diplomacy first’ and that’s what we are committed to” I merely wonder who is fooling who. It is seen when the most stupid of all actions is given with: “If Iran did breach the uranium limits, the deal, known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, gives both sides time to go into a disputes mechanism before it is declared void“, is it really that bad, after the ‘breach’ Europe still wants to talk? Did you learn nothing from the Adolph Hitler European tour of 1939-1945? We could ask the State of Israel with its 15 million votes, oh sorry, there are apparently 6 million absentee ballots, they can no longer vote; does anyone remember that little fact in the entire equation?

If it is slightly too crude, then it is intentional. We have facilitated for tea parties and long winded talks going nowhere for too often and for far too long. It is now time to act before it is too late, or merely accept the culling that comes afterwards, which will be good for the environment as well.

Ice and Icing, all events linking to intentional violations to norms, to boundaries and to standards of life and living, how many more violations will we endure until we are given the sad reality our children and grand children face soon enough, we have left them nothing and for too long we would not adhere to that reality until it was too late for the next generation. We are shown too much pieces of evidence that we are doing this, whilst denying the facts presented. This might be the best evidence that we are bad parents and that we are unworthy of titles of parent and custodian, the evidence is all out there in colour, in black and white, on all levels including the academic one.

If this was a match, then it would be the face-off between the two Global Hockey teams: the Bogusses versus the Professinators, the problem is that no matter who wins, the people lose, this game has been on for too long and time is a luxury we actually no longer have and the media have been all about getting the limelight and the time to let all the voices be heard letting exploitation reign (aka circulation and clicks). The Great Barrier Reef with over 50% now bleached to death (source: National Geographic), is merely one casualty of all talk and no actions, I wonder how many more needs to be lost for people to finally force actions against politicians and corporations. In opposition we see the New York post giving us (at https://nypost.com/2018/09/12/the-great-barrier-reef-was-never-dead/) “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is “showing signs of recovery,” a new study shows, after massive bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 threatened the world’s largest living structure”. It is time to properly vet the media for what they publish and cater to on a much larger scale, because in this age of strife they win, as do their advertisers. We could of course accept the second option and allow for the culling, it will solve both matters at hand as it means that there are too few left to advertise to.

6 of one, half a dozen of the other is a term we see, and we think that it is the same, yet we are too often not told that it was no longer about apples or oranges, it was relabeled as an issue about fruit, now we get to deal with fruit whilst our individual preference of apples and oranges is no longer an option to cater to, did you realise that small part of the equation as well?

 

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Scolding Labour’s Energy call

In the UK Ed Milliband is at it again. Of course, as Labour is getting closer to the elections, more interesting offers will be made to the electorate in a hope to get the votes up by a lot. As Mr Milliband is not polling to strong, more is needed.

Sky News reported on the notion that Ed Milliband has voiced options to freeze energy prizes, should Labour make it as the new tenant, getting the keys to that famous door on Downing Street (I think it was number 10).

Yes, freezing prices. It is an option to offer, but as Sky news showed in more than one way, it is not a very realistic one. I reckon that all parties need to realise that the next 3 terms will be about cutting the deficit. If the economy is to have ANY kind of a chance to get stronger and to get the UK back on some level of forward momentum, then the deficit and the debt need to go. Not realising that this is to be the number one priority is the party that has self, not the nation in mind.

The Dutch are dealing with this in a bad way. They have to cut 6 billion, or face a billion in fines. The survival of ALL the European players is to cut outstanding debts. It is a lesson the USA is currently not willing to face and it is about to get a lot harder for them.

Labour has more issues, but about that more soon. If we focus (not just UK) on these options, then we have options to strengthening all our economies. When we consider the option to unite the labour surplus and shortage of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK then we might cancel out a few shortages. If the world is a global workforce then the Commonwealth has one of the most global covering work force on the planet. Why is this not more strongly investigated? if we can get work flowing, then we get revenue moving and the reduction on welfare could be the start of it all. If we believe the news then there are many young workers looking for a job. Why not enable that workforce to work in any of these nations in certain areas? Even, if it is only for 1-2 years. That means hundreds of thousands could end up having an income. And the nice part is except for Quebec they all speak English (in Quebec they speak an additional language, so you could end up learning a second language there).

Anyway, this is not about language. Or is it?

The language of Labour has been off in several nations. In the UK the language is stretched for the votes, yet that could change sooner rather than later. In Australia Labour lost on message and on a public getting sick to watch the labour bickering. First there was Kevin Rudd, then Julia Gillard, then Kevin Rudd again and now after the Labour defeat the new ringleaders are in a rope pulling match between Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten. Watching the ‘who gets to be in charge fight’ is immensely less entertaining to the labour supporters, if nothing (I mean way too little) is getting accomplished.

Ed Milliband has a different power struggle. His is about energy and the non-reality that these prices can get frozen. The margins are not that great when investments and infra structures are considered. If we believe the Guardian, then the energy moguls are in the market for cold blooded profiteering, which came from an article they published in April 13th 2013. Is this about profit? Who pays for the investments? We all are so nice about carbon emissions, getting green energy and such, but how does that get paid for?

Let us not forget that these are Commercial energy providers and they live on that pesky little thing called profit. British Energy is part of EDF, a combination that pays for almost 20,000 people. So if the income in Pounds is set to an average of 26,500, then they need to make a profit of over half a billion to just pay the average income (and this is only one of the six providers). Where will all that money come from?

So, apart from the workforce there are the plants, which need gas, oil, Uranium or other materials to create the energy. Not really a high yielding profit margin. I know about those ‘cheaper’ options, but for now a water powered fusion reactor remains a non-reality.

So as Ed Milliband makes this vow to freeze prices and as we know everything gets more expensive and these workers want a raise at some point. How can this promise be met? I do apologise for playing the realistic focussed pragmatist. It is just not a reality to see that happen. Not without adding to the debt by large steps, which in the end will be the UK downfall, missing whatever small curve of industry they could get.

So I remain, to be honest, as a conservative in a mindset that the UK alone might not hack it (not because they do not want to), but because the negative waves are too strong. Yet, the UK does not stand alone, we are all together the commonwealth. I prefer the old name, we ARE the British Empire. If Australia has such shortages in engineering (Western Australia), and healthcare in the UK is falling short, can we not slam our hands together? There is also Canada. With these three, we cover the entire global timeline. So many companies promise 24:7 support and then outsource it to India (also a Commonwealth nation), which gave many all kinds of language issues at times (not all the time mind you).

If labour needs a strong message, then why not focus on solutions, especially those not in the box. That part is shown with the NHS that does not fit into any box (apart from a coffin it might soon end up in, if nothing gets done right quick).

We should not rephrase messages, we should not change messages and we all need to look into new messages. Not doing so is a disservice to all constituents. The US to some extent still goes for the message “In god we trust all others pay cash“, Let our message not be some political clarion call, but a message that reverberated strongly throughout India, driving it to independence and turning it into a world power in less than 65 years. Not the worst example to follow! We all need to embrace both Mahatma Ghandi’s and Jawaharlal Nehru’s call for Global Cooperation. As they were both honourable members of the Inner Temple, we could see their view as one that had British foundations (that’s me thinking wishfully) and remains one that is worthy of pursuing.

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A plea for our future

This is a call to students, teachers and companies all over. It is to the group that work in the field of chemistry, environments and other areas. We need their help and we need it more desperately then even they can imagine.

The issue is Fukushima!

Yes, we all know issues happened, we know mistakes were made and we know that nature itself has had an impact on the events. Fukushima stands alone, but is not the only danger we face. Yes, there are al kinds of environmentalists cheering and partying on how the bad, evil and unneeded nuclear power solution is just not a solution. This is not about their inherent lack of insight. This is about finding a solution that works!

We need to find a way to diminish radiation and a way to clean up irradiated water. Yes, I get it, there are in some conditions options where we do not need to rely on nuclear power. Yet, consider that wind farming is not always an option. The London array consists of 175 huge windmills and they give less than 50% of an above average sized nuclear reactor. Yes, the Aswan Dam is Hydroelectricity gives of a lot more then that, yet many nations lack the options to get such a solution (it’s not like every nation has a waterfall or a Nile to dam in). So Nuclear power is here to stay (for now).

Why the plea? Japan is facing more and more hazardous events with the Fukushima power plant. The water around it seems to be getting irradiated and the radiation levels in the area are too high and in some places rising. A person would get killed there in less than 4 hours. We need to find new solutions!

Not just for them, or for this situation. We see the need for nuclear type solution in many more places. Until a better solution comes, we get to live with this risk. If someone stated, no we do not! Then that person must sign a voucher approving coal plants and accepting to live in smog. If it is abroad then your taxation in carbon tax will still be levied at $500-$750 per person on national scales and a power usage limit that is 20% lower than these persons have today. See the picture?

We either accept to live in smog like conditions forever, live without view or find something better. Until true fusion comes around Nuclear reaction is what we are faced with. Just so you know, even though true fusion will be cleaner on several levels, once an accident happens there, your goose is likely cooked on a massively larger scale then a nuclear reactor could achieve. If we believe the past, then we will have to face at least two fusion reactor accidents. This gives additional power to the need to find solutions for Fukushima. Whatever direction we take, we need to find alternative ways.

Can we suck away radiation?

I am not coming with answers here, but I learned many times over that nature is a mother, a taskmaster and a teacher. If depleted Ozone was reason for UV-radiation, is this not a lesson we could use in the opposite way? I do know that they are different forms of radiation, I just wonder if scientists took a good look at alternative approaches to the Fukushima disaster. If we have a leaky basement we need a sponge to suck the last water of the floor. If the current sponge does not do the job, we will need to invent one that does. I am not claiming that there is a simple solution; I am more worried that certain scientific quests have been neglected and forgotten about.

If we do not push ourselves forward then we can never be ready for the larger quest that will hit us around the corner. There are many industrialists who will counter this with their needy call on how the new innovation will also bring new solutions. There is a truth in there, but their answers are misguided and intentionally misdirected. Because cleaning up is not a profit, it is for those people a cost. A cost that is later pushed onto others anyway. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is clear evidence of that.

Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) is struggling to deal with the vast – and growing – volume of water it has used to cool the broken reactors. Growing? So if that is the case, what would happen if we treat the core with liquid nitrogen or liquid oxygen? These users seem to go for the readily available options, what if we step away from that? What other options are there?

This is exactly the issue, when a solution does not work; some seem to use it longer, hoping that this will solve it. The initial quote as we read it in the South China Morning post “The world’s nuclear watchdog has urged Japan to explain more clearly what is happening at Fukushima and avoid sending ‘confusing messages’, the country’s atomic regulator revealed.”

If that is true, then the Japanese government should hereby be placed under a mandatory position to reveal the complete chain of communications. From the spokesperson to the one giving out the information, reveal the entire chain! If we are to solve anything then it is only with proper information. It could even be that people like Kazuhiko Shimokobe and Naomi Hirose might be removed from office. This is not about bowing and apologising, this is about solving the issues. Like any scientific endeavour, that will only ever work if complete and correct information is given out. I reckon that this is even more prudent when we look at the fact that this disaster, not unlike the events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki could change the Japanese landscape for decades.

The world events are also in play. The dangers of a dirty bomb has not diminished, it has actually only increased. Now consider that in the late 70’s NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) wash streets were designed to deal with radiation and irradiated dirt on vehicles and on personnel. This was 40 years ago and since then no real forward steps have been made. In 40 years of innovation, no better solution was produced. Seems odd doesn’t it?

In an age where more energy is needed on a global scale, in places where those in charge just blunder forward and where profit is the bottom line, we need to find new solutions for questions not answered for decades. We need to find them now, before we irreparable poison the well we all eat and drink from.

 

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A problem from luxury

It is Saturday and again the news station NOS (www.nos.nl) brings an interesting piece. Going back to my youth, I would love to walk around the marinas. I would admire the boats and their shapes. Those owners, so proud, they had their ‘yacht’. Boating in the Netherlands had always been big, now almost 40 years later thousands of boats are there. Neglected and in poor condition. Those who bought metal boats can sell it as scrap and end up with a few coins; those who bought polyester now own boats that are in a state where they are floating environmental disasters. These boats will not degrade; they are there to remain a pox on the Dutch landscape and especially marina’s from where they have no place to go, the people are often gone, many in no financial position to fess up to their choices. So now we get the issue that a fund needs to be created to clean up the mess others made. Government funding that would be needed to clean up the mess of these owners who claimed (or once were) wealthy.

So what gives?

Well, the question becomes what to do next. This is not an area of expertise for me, to the next part could be a well-intended effort to find a solution that is just plain BS (for that my apologies).

I have done a little reading and see that in some cases plastic bottles are recycled into polyester the clothing industry uses. So, if that is the case and agreeing that this initially could cost the government something, is it not an idea to crunch a boat into smaller parts and then process it into something better? Even crunching it into flakes might make this marina based solution into a less useless obstruction.

If you think that this is not an issue, or a rich person’s issue, then think again. Even though due to the size of the Netherlands (a really small nation), this nation has well over 200 marina’s, making this more than just a small problem. But what is involved?

1. Disown these neglected boats. Not unlike a car when it is no longer road worthy, if a vessel is no longer water worthy in its current state, then the owner would need to receive a writ, stating that it is fixed within a certain time, or the owner will be disowned, yet not financially disowned, so whatever loans he has out there on the boat, they will remain. The owner will get a processing fee (it is not up to a government to foot the bill for environmental hazards) and what was formerly known as a boat will be removed.

2. How to process the boats? To be honest, that is the true issue. Burning is not an option because of the toxic fumes (which are also not that environmental friendly). A boat usually will be made of polyester (the bulk/hull), aluminium (mast), metal (wires) and wood (sometimes deck, mostly internal parts). The hull is actually the big thing. That needs to be crunched into little parts. Whether we can dump the entire boat into some giant nibbler, or first manually remove parts as much as possible and then nibble it to splinters is part of this consideration.

3. What to do with the polyester. To just assume that what works for plastic bottles, would work for boats is just crazy. There are numerous versions of polyesters, which will mean that they might not be that mixable.

So what are the solutions my little brain could come up with in 30 minutes?

Option 1.

Can the polymers be liquefied and then turned into some tile, which could be used as some kind of insulation? Can they be used to be reprocessed into some other usable plastic (like bags or other usable items), especially if these are items that could be revenue making to some degree to counter the costs of processing this.

Option 2.

Can they be processed in some form to become collectible s that even not bio degradable, they could be used as some kind of foundation that even though not bio-degradable, they could be ‘dumped’ into natural places as they would not hurt nature and only take up space.

Before you attack option 2, consider that a thousand non usable boats are a blight on nature as is, to be able to bury them in a minimum size (providing we can prove it will not harm nature) is not the worst idea. The worst idea is to not do anything about it, which is what happens now.

In an age of such bad economy, this might actually prove to be a point of light. This is a niche market that has potential and seems to be in non-existence for now. Even if this is the most visible in the Netherlands, due to a largely lack of size, yet they have a massively sized marina market. Beyond this there is France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and a few more places where this, even to a smaller extent might be an issue.

The Netherlands do have one advantage. They have Wageningen University, which is one of the most renowned universities when it comes to environmental studies. When it comes to Chemistry, there are the Dutch Universities of Leiden, Rotterdam, Delft and Amsterdam. So, if a solution would be possible, then the Netherlands will be able to solve the issue that is most visible to them and create a possible new European market in the process.

An environmental issue that could help start a ‘new’ economy, who would have thunk it?

 

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