Category Archives: crop yields

Fisking Of The Posting “If Trump And GOP Don’t Understand Climate Change, The Don’t Deserve Public Office.”


The following fisking is of an article posted on CNN Opinion, by Jill Flipovic  on August 21 2018 titled “If Trump and GOP don’t understand climate change, they don’t deserve public office:.

I have added comments to Ms Filipovic essay in red.

The Trump administration’s latest efforts to undo more of Barack Obama’s efforts to slow climate change come as no surprise. Nothing gets this President more excited than trying to undo his predecessor’s legacy.

But his proposed new EPA rules — tagged with the laughable misnomer the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule — are not just vindictive, they are dangerous. The administration wants to allow coal-burning power plants to emit more deadly carbon and to give states greater leeway to allow big-money companies to pollute. The new rules would replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which is aimed at reducing carbon emissions.  

Several things wrong here. First “deadly carbon” is an ignorant thing to say.  Does she not know that virtually every living thing is composed of carbon?   The globe is greening due to the increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).  Wheat and corn fields are becoming more productive as atmospheric  CO2 increases.   Secondly, her ignorance shows.  She is wrong if she thinks shutting down US coal plants will have any effect on the planet.  Using the warmers own formula for calculating the effect of reduced CO2 emissions by a shutdown US coal plants,  shows that any temperature decrease will be too small to be  measurable.
Thirdly the emission of CO2 from US coal plants is pretty small compared to China.  Her rant is  missdirected.  China is  adding a new coal plant every week. And guess who gave the Chinese  permission to continue doing this until 2030 —none other than forward looking savior Barak O.   Obama thinks we should close our coal plants down but its ok for the Chinese to keep building them.  Not just China , world-wide construction of coal based plants is on the rise.  Coal sales are on the rise.

The proposal reflects a longstanding and fundamentally damaging idea in right-wing politics: That climate change is a matter of opinion, not fact, and that people who have no interest in the facts still deserve to hold political office. 

It is obvious, she belongs to the church of unending climate catastrophes.  If she would look at actual recorded temperatures versus the computer PREDICTION, she might come down off her high horse. Paraphrasing the last sentence, Those who hold catastrophic climate change based upon religious beliefs  do not deserve to write ignorant opinion pieces.

The deluded perspective is not confined to America’s Republican Party. Conservatives in Australia have also latched on to the theory that climate change is debatable, and that efforts to fight it are a liberal conspiracy against big business.

 Well, Germany, and other European countries are increasing their CO2 emissions.  The third world is increasing their CO2 emissions. The Paris Agreement is a scam.  This is evading Ms. Filipovic.  She lives in a world of make believe.  Perhaps that shows that only the US and Australia are not hiding under the covers.

The GOP has long been in the pocket of polluters, who have who have made clear that they are quite comfortable destroying the planet for our children and grandchildren in return for getting rich now. The party has helped to make this denialism politically feasible by systematically undermining the public. 

Once again Ms Pilipovic seems to be ill informed.  What President Trump is doing is to make electricity affordable.   Go look at the reports from England and Germany, two nations that have gone head over heals in renewable energy, about the poor people that are dying because they can no longer afford electricity.  Every intelligent person knows that the people that will suffer the most as energy prices go skyrocketing are the poorest people among us. 

That the new Trump rules will cost thousands of lives — 1,400 every year by the EPA’s own admission — doesn’t seem to matter to this President and his GOP enablers, who put corporate profits first, ahead of citizens’ health. In this, they are joined by a base that seems willing to accept any lie, indignity or even undermining of health and life.

When you read about the deaths of 1400 every year, you may wonder where that came from.   Ms Pilipovic may know but my guess is that she doesn’t.  The Obama EPA knew that the coal plant CO2 emissions were insufficient to justify the “Clean Power Plant” plan.  They needed something else. So, they settled on 2.5-micron particles.  Too small for you to see, but they postulated that people are breathing them in and dying.  They had a problem.  All the test they had run as well as other groups outside of the EPA never found that the 2.5-micron particles were killing people.  So, they got a group of “scientist” to run these tests again.  Guess what.  They found out that it was a serious situation.  Two things are fishy here.  The first that they would not publish their test data.  Of course, no one could disprove their results without access to their data.   BUT the EPA accepted the results.  A new bill has been passed saying that the EPA can no longer use “secrete science”.  And the group of scientists that did this secrete science have amassed over $20, 000,000 doing studies for the EPA.  They know who is buttering their bread.

It’s a sad state of affairs — but also a real and growing threat to a country experiencing wild weather mood swings, the largest wildfires in recorded history, floods, droughts and on and on.

The bible of the warmers is the IPCC reports.  These reports have consistently said that the “wild weather “is not a function of climate change.

In any reasonable universe, those who deny basic scientific facts that connect this grim reality to humans’ role in global warming would be deemed unfit to hold office.

Here we go again. Who is unfit to hold office is the catastrophic global warmers. Get this, James Hansen, the god father of the catastrophic global warming movement says their theory is all wrong.   Click here to read.

Imagine a congressman who questioned whether gravity was real, or a senator who insisted the earth was flat. We would rightly say that they’re intellectually deficient, and that their bizarre theories mean they probably shouldn’t be making vital decisions that affect millions of Americans (not to mention billions more people around the world).

Is this a mistake on her part?  Normally people would say Representatives and Senators not congressmen and senators.

But somehow climate change falls in a different category (along with, among a majority of evangelical protestants, for example, a disbelief in evolution).

This seems to be religious bias.  I was told that liberals never sank that low.

It’s one thing to be ignorant — and, to be sure, many non-climate-change-denying Americans don’t understand the basics of climate change either. But most Americans also don’t understand the details of how a bill becomes law, how our court system works, or how the national budget gets set — all things we expect of our nationally elected officials.

I think we have shown who are the Ignorant ones.

Politicians should similarly be expected to understand the basic science of climate change, and to listen to the scientific experts instead of seeking out the few outliers who confirm their own half-baked beliefs.

Oh yes, such people as Al Gore and Bill Nye are the biggest half baked, maybe only unbaked catastrophic global warmer educators.

Of course, Trump has appointed a series of cronies and amateurs to his cabinet, and he himself holds the highest office in the land, with zero previous experience for the job, zero intellectual curiosity, and zero ability to train his attention on just about anything other than Twitter and Fox News.

Gosh he only amassed several billions of dollars in his business career.  Of course  Barak Obama’s experience as a community organizer made him much more qualified than Donald Trump. (sarc)

Again, showning who the ignorant one is.

His presidency makes full mockery of the theory that those in charge should know anything at all. And with this latest green light to polluters and contaminators, all of us are again paying the price for that unapologetic greed and ignorance.

Repeat.

cbdakota

The Ice Age’s combined horrors – intense cold, permanent drought and CO2 starvation


The New York Magazine posted, “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells. Some observers think that this posting is so bizarre that it must be a parody; meant to be something like a posting on the ONION. 

I have been planning to discuss some information about CO2.  When I read Part V of Mr. Wallace-Wells essay subtitled “Unbreathable Air”, I had to make it part of the discussion to illustrate why some consider the New York Magazine’s posting is  a parody.  Wallace-Wells notes:

“Our lungs need oxygen, but that is only a fraction of what we breathe. The fraction of carbon dioxide is growing: It just crossed 400 parts per million, and high-end estimates extrapolating from current trends suggest it will hit 1,000 ppm by 2100. At that concentration, compared to the air we breathe now, human cognitive ability declines by 21 percent.

Where is he getting his information?  Let’s look at what experts have to say about CO2 .

CO2 is an asphyxiant gas and not classified as toxic or harmful.  The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist say that the TLV is 5,000 ppm.  The Threshold Limit Value (TLV) is the level which a worker can be exposed to day after day for a lifetime without adverse effects. Concentrations up to 1% (10,000 ppm), will make some people feel drowsy according to some sources.  Levels of 70,000 to 100,000 may cause suffocation.    So, Wallace-Wells’ value of 1000ppm is truly a laughable statement.  Perhaps anyone who reads the         “Uninhabitable Earth”  will experience a cognitive decline of 21%.

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CO2 And Climate Change Science–Part 2: A Summary Of The Science


The website CO2 Coalition has a post titled “Climate Change: A summary of the Science”.  It one of the best summaries I have come across lately.  It is fairly long, so I could do my usual and summarize it, but there is virtually nothing in it that I would want to skip over.  So, I will not deprive the reader. I will put it in, in its entirety.  I hope that my posting yesterday will fill in any blanks you may have otherwise had.

cbdakota

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News 26 Feb, 2017

Climate Change: A Summary of the Science

The climate change science is settled, but not how the climate alarmists want you to think.

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Administrator cbdakota Issues EPA Mission Statement


°If cbdakota were appointed the EPA Administrator, he might begin his work issuing this statement:

I thank President Trump for my nomination and the vote approving the nomination.

Our mission will be that the EPA continues to protect the environment and at the same time does not stifle our Nation’s productivity.

secret-epa-scienceOur initial review of the EPA has found some activities, regulations and guidance documents that need to be critically assessed, cancelled or expanded.  The following are several of the items that illustrate the issues we uncovered and our plan to deal with these issues:

Endangerment Finding:

The Endangerment Finding (EF) needs to be re-evaluated, revised and updated using current science.  The EF is largely based upon the IPCC pre-2007 climate science, making it more than 10 years old.  Furthermore, the projections of temperature, sea level and other variables do not match the actual measured temperature and sea level data. These EF projections greatly overstate the size of the changes thus putting into question the amount of endangerment.

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Drain The EPA Swamp-Part 1- Social Cost of Carbon


3swamp-1The Trump administration has formed a team charged with making recommendations for changes to the EPA. This action is needed because gone are the days when the EPA followed the legislation written by Congress.  Good things were accomplished by the EPA.  But now the EPA has over stepped it authority. The EPA task is to administer the law, not make it. For example, it has developed criteria to justify their own efforts, often invites “friendly lawsuits to expand their activities, and uses “secret science” to justify their regulations:

The following are some of the areas that the team need to address, in my opinion:

  • Social Cost of Carbon
  • Secret Science
  • Peer Reviewed Studies
  • Friendly Law Suits
  • The Endangerment Finding
  • Research Grants
  • Last Minute Regulations

 

Social Cost of Carbon

The Federal Departments are charged with providing the benefit that results from their regulations. The EPA’s decided that their benefit would be a calculation that they call the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC). Their SCC calculates the economic damage per ton of CO2 emissions. They form the SCC by considering all the bad things they say are going to happen if atmospheric CO2 continues to increase.  Sea level rise, terrible weather, crop failures, mass migrations.  These outcomes are predictions made by their computer models.   One thing we know about the computer model’s predictions is that they have consistently overstated the temperature rise and the sea level rise.  These two drive the cost side of the equation.  Thus, all their regulatory schemes are supposed to prevent these costs.   But the EPA fails to include the benefits of additional atmospheric CO2. One thing we know for sure is the increased atmospheric CO2 has resulted in a profound greening of the globe.  Food crop production has increased dramatically as CO2 is the primary food for plants.  The gentle global warming that has taken place has been beneficial as well.

Another problem with the SCC is the discount rate used by the EPA is unrealistic in the view of many economists.  The Federal Government’s Office of Management and Budget(OMB) believes a in different discount rate. When using OMB discount rate, the EPA cost estimates are reduced by 80% and is some cases cause the cost to be negative. And where the calculation goes negative, the increased atmospheric CO2 results in a benefit, not a cost.

 

Using these flawed computer predictions makes this calculation unsuitable for policy making.  Further, the benefits that are actually known (not computer predicted) are not included thus making the calculation even more useless. And lastly the discount rate chosen by the EPA would not likely be used by most economist.

Social Cost of Carbon calculation currently used by the EPA should be drained from the swamp.

Unfortunately, many new regulatory rules have been enacted based upon the social cost of carbon.  One survey found that between May 2008 and August 2014, some 68 major rules were sanctioned by the SCC.   This is an issue the new team should address.

cbdakota

GMCs—Part 2—Are They “Frankenfoods”?


 

The benefits are numerous but even so, there is considerable opposition to Genetically Modified Crops (GMC).  Is this opposition science based or is based upon intuition/emotion?  My previous posting “Genetically Modified Crops–Part 1—Are They Beneficial?  enumerates the substantial economic and environmental benefits and the scientific studies that have concluded that GMCs are as safe as unmodified crops.

Corn grows near a barn . MADATORY CREDIT Ken Kashian

Corn grows near a barn . MADATORY CREDIT Ken Kashian

The Scientific American posting by Stefaan Blancke titled “Why People Oppose GMOs Even Though Science Says They Are Safe” gives us some answers .    

The author says:

Psychological essentialism, for instance, makes us think of DNA as an organism’s “essence” – an unobservable and immutable core that causes the organism’s behaviour and development and determines its identity. As such, when a gene is transferred between two distantly related species, people are likely to believe that this process will cause characteristics typical of the source organism to emerge in the recipient. For example, in an opinion survey in the United States, more than half of respondents said that a tomato modified with fish DNA would taste like fish (of course, it would not).

Essentialism clearly plays a role in public attitudes towards GMOs. People are typically more opposed to GM applications that involve the transfer of DNA between two different species (“transgenic”) than within the same species (“cisgenic”). Anti-GMO organizations, such as NGOs, exploit these intuitions by publishing images of tomatoes with fish tails or by telling the public that companies modify corn with scorpion DNA to make crispier cereals.”

The author says that intuitions about purposes and intentions also have an impact on people’s thinking about GMO.  

“In the context of opposition to GMOs, genetic modification is deemed “unnatural” and biotechnologists are accused of “playing God”. The popular term “Frankenfood” captures what is at stake: by going against the will of nature in an act of hubris, we are bound to bring enormous disaster upon ourselves.”

“GMOs probably trigger disgust because people view genetic modification as a contamination. The effect is enforced when the introduced DNA comes from a species that is generally deemed disgusting, such as rats or cockroaches. However, DNA is DNA, whatever its source. The impact of disgust explains why people feel more averse towards GM food than other GM applications, such as GM medicine. Once disgust is elicited, the argument that GMOs cause cancer or sterility, or that they will contaminate the environment, becomes very convincing and is often used. Disgust also affects moral judgments, leading people to condemn everyone who is involved with the development and commercialization of GM products. Because people have no conscious access to the emotional source of their judgments, they consequently look for arguments to rationalize them.”

 

The author concludes his thoughts on intuitions and emotions with this:

“The impact of intuitions and emotions on people’s understanding of, and attitudes towards, GMOs has important implications for science education and communication. Because the mind is prone to distorting or rejecting scientific information in favour of more intuitive beliefs, simply transmitting the facts will not necessarily persuade people of the safety, or benefits, of GMOs, especially if people have been subjected to emotive, anti-GMO propaganda”.

In researching this topic, I find that the anti-GMC folks have an issue with Glyphosate.  Glyphosate is a herbicide.  Many of us have used Monsanto’s ROUNDUP to control weeds in our lawns and gardens.  Its big application is in controlling weeds in crop farming.  Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup.  Roundup is a very popular herbicide and is used on crops of all kinds to kill weeds.  It must be applied on the foliage and is not useable as a pre-emergence herbicide.  This limited the use of glyphosate until companies developed  genetically engineered crops that were tolerant to glyphosate.  It can now be sprayed on the crop plant and the chemical acts as a pre-emergence herbicide as well.  Major food safety bodies have concluded that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.

 

cbdakota

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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