Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
exposed US government attempts to pressure foreign countries to accept GMO seed:
"Wikileaks continues to rock the political world by shedding light on conspiracies, corruption and cover-ups. The latest batch of diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks reveals what can only be characterized as a U.S.-led conspiracy to force GMOs onto European countries by making those countries pay a steep price if they resist."
Here's another version of the story, from Rodale. GMO seeds, of course, mean Monsanto. So from reading about the bees and pesticide use in agriculture eventually I wound up watching the following movie, which is about Monsanto, and, oh, global domination. A feature length French documentary that gets off to a slow start (and the voice recognition software translation has similarly ludicrous inflections to this parody of first daughter's indoor riding ring construction project!) but really, it's a gripping saga - everyone should be aware of the incredible lies, manipulations, and government complicity in what amounts to just about the greatest fraud imaginable. So here it is, for when you have time to watch - meanwhile there remains much to say about trees dying from ozone, the purpose of this blog, continued below...
I've been snowed in (duh!) and it's been very cold with vicious winds, so instead of taking pictures outside I have been huddled indoors, noodling around on the intertubes in search of images of dead trees. There are lots! Who knew that pictures of dead trees could be so beautiful!? This first one is from Ohio.
|Found at FreeNaturePictures.com|
There is an incredible range of different light, weather, and times of day.
In this snowscape the center pines are already bare of needles, and the taller specimen on the right is thin.
All of the pictures that follow were taken by Kevin Day, and will be interspersed with news of interest.
Regular readers of this blog know that the Basic Premise page at the top of the blog has a long list of research indicating that virtually all species of trees are dying, and that toxic ozone is the underlying cause. Well, we can now add orange trees to the list - they are dying in Florida, and it is being blamed on an incurable insect-borne bacterial disease, predicted to wipe out the citrus industry in 7 to 8 years...unless genetic engineering can save it!dying pecan trees in Texas (with a video version), which is being blamed on nearby coal plants - and notes that this time, it's been reported that other species in a greater range have been dying as well:
"'I have noticed for over 20 years how the Coleto Creek power plant's sulfur dioxide has been damaging hundreds of the trees on our property — live oaks, white oaks and pecans,' Faupel wrote. 'Most of the white oak trees are already dead. The surviving trees don't have as much foliage and they're becoming more diseased, I believe, from the plant's sulfur dioxide weakening the trees over time.'"rates of asthma in the world! Did they not get the memo from the EPA that ozone causes asthma?
Kevin Day has taken many shots of the same particular dead tree, which he refers to as "old friend" from different vantages... at the top of this post there are five, and what follows is a series of them, each lovelier than the next.NOAA page, evidence which should put to rest the notion that impacts are restricted to urban locations, as if any more were needed.
"At the fall AMS Mountain Meteorology Conference, Andy Langford and Bob Banta (CSD) discussed results from airborne lidar measurements of ozone made above the Los Angeles Basin in 2009. Their results—also published in Geophysical Research Letters with Christoph Senff, Raul Alvarez, and Michael Hardesty of CSD—indicate that the mountains push polluted air up into the free troposphere, where it can travel as far as western Colorado."
Here's another intriguing report about the role of nitrogen:
"Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants; limits on available nitrogen constrain how much plants can grow. This in turn affects the amount of carbon dioxide plants can absorb, which affects the global climate."
"Using a framework that considers interactions of carbon and nutrients, Wang and Houlton have developed a new global estimate of nitrogen fixation rates."
"The authors considered the amount of nitrogen plants require to store additional carbon and found that a substantial deficit of nitrogen exists for plants in most areas of the world."
"They argue that most climate models that do not take into account nitrogen have overestimated carbon uptake and therefore underestimated predicted global warming."
"The authors suggest that it is important that the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consider interactions between the nitrogen and carbon cycles."
According to this article in Science Daily, the nitrogen cycle that has been so dangerously disrupted on land is replicated in the oceans as they acidify. Who knew?
"'Ocean acidification will have widespread effects on marine ecosystems, but most of those effects are still unknown,' says David Garrison, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Biological Oceanography Program, which funded the research along with NSF's Chemical Oceanography Program."
"This report that ocean acidification decreases nitrification (the amount of nitrogen) is extremely important," says Garrison, "because of the crucial role of the nitrogen cycle in biogeochemical processes-processes that take place throughout the oceans."this editorial in the Guardian UK, Why biodiversity loss and climate change are equal threats.
"Without protecting and enhancing biodiversity in forests and other systems we are losing our biggest ally. These living systems can lock away carbon at a fraction of the price that technical solutions for carbon storage could only do at huge cost and by expending even more energy."
That seems sensible, and I couldn't agree more with this:
"For the most part, people have seen biodiversity as being about saving endangered species, or setting aside special natural habitats as national parks. However the truth is that biodiversity is an issue of mainstream economic importance, with consequences that are wide-ranging; from helping mitigate floods and droughts to providing a pharmacopeia of future medicines. It is as much about how we as consumers make informed choices about the products we purchase as it is about preserving exotic animals in far away places."
"The first target from Nagoya is the call for all people to understand the importance of biodiversity by 2020. Such an endeavour is no simple turning over of a new leaf, no easy New Year's resolution. The topic needs to be covered in our education curriculum at all levels. It will require the vision from responsible government and business to ensure this issue is placed at the heart of aspirations for a successful, emergent green economy. It will require a sea change of awareness among the majority of media editors and producers that this is not only of relevance to their audiences, but that it is a central news story that will run and run for the decade to come."
Monday, December 27, 2010
here to watch the JibJab Christmas card from "a former Republican", to Palingates...and thanks to crystalwolfakacaligrl for sending me this wonderful comic relief! ...compare it to the story of George Washington and chopping down the cherry tree...
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Here's the final proof for the Climate Hawk Pin, the idea being that us folks who are aggressive about clean energy can recognize each other - and, wearing it will initiate conversations that might otherwise not transpire. The yellow color in the image will actually be brass. Once I get the pins, I'll post a photograph that is more accurate.
Hopefully, this will be delivered within the next 3 weeks, and will be available for purchase, $10 including US domestic shipping. When I break even for the minimum order (~150 pins) I'll order more, perhaps with different designs. Suggestions welcome! Climate Hawk pins are hawt!!!
(click to enlarge detail)
Christmas is over so it's time to catch up with the onslaught of studies and reports about our failing life support systems. I was so happy to have my three girls all in one place together, which doesn't happen nearly often enough.
Sophie especially loves the crystal icicles from Germany.
favorite section of Forest Encyclopdia Dot Net which was fowarded by Highschooler, where it is quite explicitly explained that trees that are exposed to environmental pollution, such as acid rain leading to calcium depletion in soils, are more vulnerable to insects (best parts in red):
"Emerging Examples in the United States and Europe
In addition to the well-established connections between Ca depletion and tree health outlined above, new associations between the Ca status and health of trees periodically emerge—particularly in regions that experience continued pollution-induced Ca leaching. Differences in the susceptibility of eastern hemlock trees to damage by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA; Adelges tsugae Annand) in the Northeastern United States may provide an example of this. The HWA is a small, aphid-like insect that was likely introduced to the mid-Atlantic States from Asia in the 1950s and has since expanded its range and influence, devastating hemlock forests over an ever-widening portion of eastern hemlock’s native range (Orwig and Foster 1998). Although it was first believed that little or no variation in susceptibility to HWA damage existed among hemlock trees (McClure 1995), recent work has shown that differences in site conditions and the presence of other stressors are associated with differential damage and decline (Orwig and Foster 1998, Sivaramakrishnan and Berlyn 1999).
In particular, Pontius and others (2006) recently concluded that foliar chemistry was linked to the infestation and susceptibility of eastern hemlock to HWA. Among other evidence, results of a regional monitoring effort showed that concentrations of Ca, K, N, and P were strongly correlated with HWA densities (a driving factor in hemlock decline). From this and other findings, they hypothesized that, whereas foliar N and K concentrations may influence hemlock decline through an alteration in insect behavior due to palatability issues, Ca and P concentrations may deter severe HWA damage through an alteration in tree physiology (Pontius and others 2006). Experimental tests are needed to assess whether these changes in physiology involve Ca-induced alterations in plant stress response systems.
Evidence of acid deposition damage to forest health and productivity in Europe is anything but new or emerging. Indeed, media attention and resulting public concern about the possible connection between pollution exposures and forest death (Waldsterben) helped spur initial efforts to control acidifying pollution additions (Kakebeeke and others 2004). Research eventually identified pollution-induced cation depletion (particularly Mg and Ca) as an instigating component of forest decline (Schulze 1989). Although the mechanism through which acid deposition influences the health of European forests has not been explicitly defined, it is generally agreed that it acts as a predisposing agent, weakening forests and making them more susceptible to damage by other stresses including insect attack, extreme climate events, or storm damage (Materna and Lomský 2002, UNECE 2004).
This scenario is strikingly similar to the Ca depletion and stress response suppression hypothesis developed primarily using evidence from declines in the United States (Schaberg and others 2001). In fact, a recent example of forest damage in Europe that is thought to be predisposed by pollution exposure involves the reddening and abscission of foliage of Norway spruce in the late winter, presumably due to freezing injury (Lomský and Šrámek 2002, Materna 2002). Patterns of injury (preferentially impacting the youngest foliage with the intensity and extent of damage increasing with elevation, Lomský and Šrámek 2002, Materna 2002) are identical to those documented for red spruce winter injury (DeHayes 1992, Lazarus and others 2004), which has been mechanistically linked to Ca depletion (see previous section)."
Following is a story about the reduced yield of tea - another example of the mounting evidence that vegetation is declining, which is most usually blamed on climate change - as well as the aforementioned insects (or fungus, or disease) - even as it is acknowledged that heat and drought cannot fully account for the observed changes!
"Climate change is affecting the cultivation of Assam tea, with rising temperatures reducing yields and altering the distinctive flavour ofIndia's most popular drink, researchers say.
Mridul Hazarika, director of Tocklai Tea Research, the oldest tea research station in the world, said rainfall and minimum temperature were two of the most important factors affecting both quality and quantity of harvests.