Saturday, February 20, 2010

Emaciated Corpses

This home video from last May is astonishing for the sheer blindness of the narrater. He says, look at all the spruce trees! with apparent delight - when well over 50% of them are completely denuded of needles.

Watching how oblivious he is to the carnage in front of his own eyes has convinced me that Significant Other is correct - people will refuse to recognize that we are killing the trees with toxic fuel emissions until one falls over and hits them on the head...if then!

I told him, this is the arboreal equivalent of someone walking into Auschwitz, chatting about the lovely brick architecture, and not mentioning or even noticing the emaciated corpses stacked like so many denuded logs alongside the crematoria. Because that is exactly what is on that video - emaciated corpses, lots of them! Millions!

Is it so hard to connect the dots from this carnage to crop failure to famine?

Here is a shocking report from none other than the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has a very reassuring moniker, and here promotes the substitution of biofuels for fossil fuels. The section about the impacts of ethanol on air pollution begins on page 48. This morning I wrote to a couple of scientists who have knowledge about this, and my question to them was...have the assumptions made in the rosy NRDC recommendation to pursue substituting ethanol for fossil fuels been realized?

Have any of the regulations that formed the basis of the recommendation actually passed, as anticipated in this report - and if so, what are they, and are they being enforced? Has the auto industry made the costly improvements to engines to reduce the projected increase in pollutants from ethanol, and has the national fleet of old cars turned over to new cleaner vehicles, as speculated?

Or are we just merrily burning along in the same old cars, and/or similar new cars - whilst adding significant percentages of extra nitrous oxides and aldehydes into the ozone mix? And is anyone, anywhere, researching the empirical results of this insane, uncontrolled experiment?

If either of them get back to me with answers, I will post them here. I would very much like to get answers, but the biofuel industry is heavily subsidized, with financial links that are daunting to most researchers dependent on big oil for funding. It's kind of funny to think that deniers constantly accuse Al Gore and Pachauri and climate scientists of being corrupt, when actually all the big money is there for scientific whores promoting business as usual!

8 comments:

  1. Amazing! I was there eight years ago, and I do't recall this at all... but then again, I, too, was oblivious back then. Why aren't
    the forest rangers speaking up? And where did you ever find such a fantastic video?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Anon, the video was sent to me via email by a reader, who is a forester. He and a couple of others have told me they have become discouraged about informing the public. There are very powerful multinational corporations with vested interests in maintaining our current pattern of energy production and consumption. The financial stakes couldn't be higher and so naturally they have a well-organized and funded campaign to actively discourage any dissent. Take the battle over mountain top coal mining as a good example, and that's right here in the USA. The extraction and production of energy resources in third world countries is quite literally a war against indigenous people.

    It is interesting that you say you do not recall such damage as recently as 8 years ago. From what I see, collapse can be very fast. I have been snorkeling in St. John twice, 10 years apart. In that time the corals went from a rainbow of vivid colors to dull grey.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Needs a Before/After image.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anon2, I don't see why. Obviously, the dead trees were once living. What you really can't see in this video and are uncounted are the dead trees that have already fallen to the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These photos are shocking! And you are right, most people don't know it's not normal. How would they know? Does the plaque put up by the National Park Service about the Spruce-Fir Forest Community say anything about the infestation? Can't really tell from the video...

    Apparently, these trees are dead because of the introduction of an aphid from Europe in the first half of the 20th century. The excerpt below is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Appalachian_spruce-fir_forest

    "The balsam woolly adelgid, the most noticeable threat to the southern spruce-fir forest, was introduced from Europe in the first half of the 20th century and quickly decimated the balsam fir stands in the northern Appalachians. In 1957, it was discovered atop Mount Mitchell,[4] and by 1963, it had spread to Mount Sterling in the Great Smoky Mountains.[12] Over the next few decades, the balsam woolly killed off most all of the mature Fraser firs of Southern Appalachia. While new Fraser firs live long enough to seed, most new firs are attacked and killed after just a few years. Attempts to exterminate the balsam woolly by introducing species known to prey on it have largely failed. Fraser fir repopulation efforts are further complicated by the fact that the fir's cones are prized by tree growers (especially Christmas tree growers), and the United States Forest Service is under constant pressure to allow cone collecting.[6]"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anon3, I can't read the plaque either, but check out the Park Service information here:

    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/air-quality.htm

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi there,

    This is a message for the webmaster/admin here at witsendnj.blogspot.com.

    Can I use some of the information from your post above if I provide a link back to your website?

    Thanks,
    Harry

    ReplyDelete
  8. Harry -

    It is my fondest desire that people find out that ozone is an existential threat before there are no viable seeds remaining.

    Help yourself and if I can be of any further assistance, email me at witsendnj@yahoo.com.

    Thank you for reading.

    Gail

    ReplyDelete

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