Monthly Archives: October 2016

Genetically Modified Crops–Part 1—Are They Beneficial?


Genetically modified crops (GMC also known as GMO) are plants that have their DNA modified by the addition of other sourced DNA. This is done to impart additional characteristics to the plant so as to reduce their vulnurability to attacks by certain viruses, insects, and molds, for example. This ability has made GMCs in demand world-wide .

According to Wikipedia:

Between 1996 and 2015, the total surface area of land cultivated with GM crops increased by a factor of 100, from 17,000 km2 (4.2 million acres) to 1,797,000 km2 (444 million acres).[2] 10% of the world’s arable land was planted with GM crops in 2010.[3] In the US, by 2014, 94% of the planted area of soybeans, 96% of cotton and 93% of corn were genetically modified varieties.[4] Use of GM crops expanded rapidly in developing countries, with about 18 million farmers growing 54% of worldwide GM crops by 2013.[1] A 2014 meta-analysis concluded that GM technology adoption had reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%.[5] This reduction in pesticide use has been ecologically beneficial, but benefits may be reduced by overuse.[6] Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries

SAFE FOR PEOPLE

Is the use of GMCs safe? From  Wikipedias we learn that:

There is a scientific consensus[7][8][9][10] that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food,[11][12][13][14][15] but that each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction.

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

Lets go back for some history related to hybrid crops. Past, modifications to crops:

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Earth Is Greening And It Is Caused By Atmospheric CO2


Because the Earth is greening and the cereal crops are setting new records for production, one needs to ask why, especially since the catastrophic man-made global warming crowd have predicted that can’t happen. Drought, you know. Temperatures too high. Etc..

Yet  NASA ‘s “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds” posted on 26 April 2016 states the following:

“From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.”

The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.”

“Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect, said co-author Ranga Myneni, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University.”

 

Because they don’t want to be ostracized, their press release also adds the usual about how CO2 is in fact a bad thing. Further they say it CO2 levels can get too high and all this will stop.

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Want-To-Be Warmers Are Only Getting Part Of The Story


 

This posting uses an article from the Cosmopolitan magazine. Not a place where you would expect to find something about global warming. The title of the piece is “8 Signs You’re Not the Environmentalist You Think You Are” by Yvette d’Entremont. It is not too profound but it has a lot of honest values that most would be environmentalist never are exposed to. I have extracted just pieces of the author’s reasons why they have been misled. If you read all of her article, she makes some more good points

gorecarbonman

The following are the eight signs:

1. You buy only organic.

Organic is definitely not better for you, and it uses older, dirtier farming techniques that are, across the board, not as environmentally friendly. Contrary to rumors, organic farming uses pesticides, in some cases equally toxic pesticides that need to be applied more frequently.

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The First US Nuke In 20 Years Goes Online—TVA Project


The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced that the Watt Bar Unit 2 nuclear generation unit is now online at full power, providing commercial electrical energy.  It is the first new nuclear power generation unit in 20 years.  Good for them. TVA has 6 other Nukes providing power.

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TVA president and CEO Bill Johnson said:

“TVA’s mission is to make life better in the Valley by providing reliable, low-cost energy, protecting our area’s natural resources and working to attract business and growth – all priorities simultaneously supported by the completion of Watts Bar Unit 2..”

A Westinghouse pressurized water reactor is expected to generate 1,150 megawatts (summer net capability). The capital cost of the complete generation unit was $4.7 billion.

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James Hansen Misfires Again.


Robert Bradley Jr  has made a posting on the MasterResource web site and I am reposting it in its entirety.    Bradley takes on James Hansen,  the so-called  god father of man-made global warming as well as Hansen’s  neophytes.  Hansen has long believed he knows everything there is to know about this issue.  He doesn’t of course and Bradley begins the posting with one of Hansen’s many bad predictions.   It is a good read.

cbdakota

James Hansen: Time to Go CO2 Negative!

By Robert Bradley Jr. — October 5, 2016

“We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

– James Hansen, “The Threat to the Planet.” The New York Times Review of Books (2006).

“Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”

– James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

Ten years ago, James Hansen predicted doom if mankind did not “fundamentally” reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in ten years. This ultimatum to the world came due this summer.

 

But far from raising the white flag, the father of the modern climate alarm now demands via legal action that CO2 and other GHG emissions go negative “if climate is to be stabilized on the century time scale, as a result of past failure to reduce emissions.”

He continues: “If rapid phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, most of the necessary CO2 can take place via improved agricultural and forestry practices, including reforestation and steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content.”

And:

‘All deliberate speed’ will be a dominant issue for climate.  Our governments have not accepted the reality dictated by the laws of physics and climate science: we must phase out fossil fuel emissions rapidly. Mother Nature will not wait for bumbling half-baked government schemes for reducing emissions. It will be essential that the Court not only demand all deliberate speed, but continually examine the reality of what the government is accomplishing, and that the government have both short-term and long-term plans of action.

Hansen states that a negative trajectory is possible. Don’t tell that to Americans or to the industrializing world. And don’t look to carbon capture and storage. Or politics.

The obvious question is: when will he throw in the towel and turn from government-directed mitigation to market-directed adaptation. Richer, freer societies adapt to change much better than command-and-control, CO2-rationed economies, after all.

Pretense of Knowledge

Dr. Hansen is dead certain that he understands the physics and economics of climate change to know the problem and the solution. He believes that climate models understand real climate, economic models understand real economies, and policymakers can implement ideals.

Hansen is the ultimate central planner, imaging not only that he has unique knowledge but that the real world will conform to his edicts. In short, Hansen is possessed by a fatal conceit.

It begins with computer models, which have over-predicted real world warming. “We do not know much about modeling climate,” climate scientist Gerald North of Texas A&M University once explained to me. “It is as though we are modeling a human being. Models are in position at last to tell us the creature has two arms and two legs, but we are being asked to cure cancer.” On another occasion, he added: “The problem is difficult, and there are pitifully few ways to test climate models.”

“Computer models just weren’t reliable,” James Lovelock recently stated in reference to his about-face on climate catastrophism. “I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy, this climate change.” Which brings up the futile crusade of James Hansen, which is allowing a speculative, unsolvable problem to divert real resources from here-and-now human needs.

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Svalgaard Discusses How He Forecasts Solar Cycle Activity–Cycle 25 Will Be Up Soon


Before Solar Cycle 24 began, estimates of how active it would be were made by many experts. Because the Sunspot counting system has changed, the estimates have to be translated from the predictions made before the change. NASA’s top Expert using Sunspot as a proxy for activity, estimated it would be in the well over 160 (new system number ca. 265). Most of the estimates at the time were like NASAs. However, Cycle 24 has been much less active than most of the experts expected. The count using the new numbering system for Cycle 24 peak Sunspots at the Solar Maximum is 117. On the other hand, Leif Svalgaard and his partners estimated about 70 (new system ca. 117) which turns out to be as good as it gets. Estimating what Solar Cycle 25 will look like is already underway with many expecting Cycle 25 to be less active that has been the case with Cycle 24.

Because Svalgaard had forecast that Cycle 24 would be much less active and the forecast came reasonably close to the actual number count, it makes me curious about how he did it and what is he is predicting about Cycle 25 now. Well, I have already given that away in my 22 March 2016 blog titled “Dr Svalgaard makes a preliminary prediction of Cycle 25 size.” He thinks it will be close to the size of Cycle 24 and prehaps a little bit bigger. Once again he seems to be the contrarian.

So, how does he make these predictions. This blog will let you see the method he uses.

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Pew Research Report Data Not Supported By The Interviews. Human Caused CO2 Claimed To Be 48% But In Reality Is 31%


Pew Research Center has just released a survey of American’s opinions about global warming. They interviewed about 1500 people over a period from 10 May to 6 June this year. There are many findings but the one I want to take issue with is their claim that about half of the American’s interviewed say Earth is warming due to human activity. From the Pew Research Center survey the chart displayed says that 48% believe Earth is warming because of human activity, 31% because of natural patterns and 20% say there is no solid evidence that Earth is getting warmer.

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The Pew document presents the results of the interviews. The above conclusion was made from the following interviews:

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Above is the first interview results. Only 26% said global warming is caused by human activity. Wow that would not do. I guess they were saying “how can we fix this. We can’t publish this.” So they came up with a plan.

Some of the interviewed said they were not sure or had no answer. So they decided to re-interview these people to see which of the three statements would be their second choice. Now there were 1534 interviewees in the beginning. Thus the “not sures” and the “no answers” would be 0.15X1534=230 people. In the next chart it appears that they only re-interviewed only 156 of the 230. Below are the results of the re-interview.

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The results of the re-interview is that 29% said their second choice would be human caused warming, 20% said the warming was natural and 41% there was no evidence that the world is getting warmer.

Now comes the magic. You can see it in the bottom part of the above chart where it says the “combined responses” gave a new set of percentages for each of the three possible answers. However the answer for one of the three changed. It now includes both human caused and natural caused warming even though there still is a natural caused warming category.

I have gone through the math. The “human caused” in the first interview was 26% or 398 people. The “natural” was 45% or 690 people. “No evidence” was 14% or 215 people. As noted above the number re interviewed was 156 although the percentage would have called for 230. Note also that the percentage listed in the chart is only 90% or 140 people. The bottom line for people actually giving an opinion looks to be 1443 rather than the 1534 they began with. But the discrepancies in total number make little difference to the outcome. The human caused would be 398 original people plus 45 of the re interviewed for a total of 443 representing the share of the total 31%. Natural 690 plus 31 for a total of 721 and 50%. No evidence came in with 215 plus 64 for 279 and 19%. So only 31% said warming was human caused.

Obviously the surveyors could not let the initial result stand—–only 26% thought warming in human caused. So they came up with a way to obscure the results.

I have plowed through the rest of the interview material. It is obvious that most of the people have little concept of the issues surrounding renewable fuels/renewable energy.

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Their level of the science knowledge is probably pretty well summed up by the interview question shown above where they were asked to name the major gas that makes up our atmosphere. Seventy-three per cent did not know the answer. I would hazard a guess that most of our politician would do no better on that question.

If you want to look in detail at the full report and the interviews click here and then click on “Complete Report PDf

cbdakota