The Impact of Off-Shore Drilling

When I do research for a writing project such as this, I imagine myself as a wide-eyed child learning about his world. This project originated as I was remembering such television shows such as Flipper, the Free Willie movies, and videos of whales crashing through ocean waves. The question came to me what would happen to these creatures.

The Learning Started

zooplankton
Tiny zooplankton, like these crustaceans, is an important food source for larger ocean animals.
Photo Credit: Credit: NOAA Photo Library

The term zooplankton describes any animal that can’t swim against current and drifts on the sea. There are 7000 species. The most well known is Krill. These shrimp-like creatures feed baleen whales, fish, and seabirds.

There are species of plankton that begin life floating as something but later evolved into something entirely different. Baby fish, shellfish, and Black Marlin. The Black Marlin can weigh as much as a thousand pounds and accelerate to 80 miles per hour. There are siphonophores which are drifting invertebrates that can grow a hundred feet long. Whales, dolphins, turtles, fish, and snorkelers are called nekton. These animals can float against the current.

Most humans do not think of plankton let alone their importance zooplankton are hard to relate too. None of the 7000 species are cuddly like dogs, cats, or long-eared bunny rabbits. Some don’t even have a face, but they have worth.  These little are lunch for anchovies, herring, and sardines which feed bigger fish, marine mammals, and sharks. Without the foundation of the food chain, the more massive sea creatures would not live either.

For oil and gas to be found the searchers plan to use seismic air guns would blast compressed air into the seabed which would kill significant amounts of zooplankton. The scientist has evidence that airgun blasts affect other animals even when what the blasts are set at a lower level frequency.  The evidence shows that blasting affects communication, feeding, and breeding of whales.  One question remains to be answered: What about the displacement and reduction of the catch rates of popular and commercially important species.

Because the evidence remains unclear what the far-reaching effects of airgun blasting on zooplankton. So in March 2015, the much-needed tests were performed off the southern coast of Tasmania. Before, during and after the tests nets full of zooplankton were collected. Before the trial, 19% of the zooplankton were found dead of natural causes. After the tests, the death toll was at 32%, and this included baby krill and Ceopods which are crustaceans. The death toll stayed high at least a kilometer away from the boat. It turns out the test although noteworthy did not prove impact.

Looking Into the Future

If we assume that seismic testing does kill plankton, then environmentalist must hope high-level predators would be drawn in first. If the zooplankton doesn’t bounce back quickly, then the result would be starvation for the countries that rely on the ocean for food. Further testing on computers have predicted that zooplankton will bounce back quickly in the tropic, but their rate of recovery north of the equator is unknown.

The concerns over the testing off the Tasmanian coast can be found elsewhere. While there are different species of plankton, they share physical similarities and are all affected by seismic airgun blasts.

Zooplankton being at the bottom of the food chain feed whales and fish. Of the commercial species, lobsters and oysters start as larvae drifting in the currents. Commercial fishermen will suffer if the proposed air gun blasting does decrease these favorite foods.

Finally, we should consider this “oil and gas were once considered zooplankton adrift at sea and as the new study shows air gun blasting to find these fuels may threaten the very creatures that made them.

 

Freedom and Equality Took Another Hit

In the broadest of terms, the right to vote is a form of freedom of speech.  When a person goes to vote they are expressing their individuals view of who should represent them in the office. During a primary in my state, the vote must specify which party he is voting for.  With the judge’s decision to give access to the voter fraud commission, he has opened the door for the people of the United States to voter intimidation and tyranny. I can just envision the brown shirts marching down the main street of every town.

 

A Laymen’s Look At The Paris Accord

A Layman’s Look At The Paris Accord

When I heard of the President’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement, I was discouraged, but when I thought about it: his decision reminded me of a line from one of my favorite movies. In the movie the Wrath of Khan, in an anti-climatic scene, a dying Spock whispers to Captain Kirk “Logic dictates that the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few.” In the president’s mind, the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

 When I first heard of the Paris Accord I wanted to shout from the rooftop. This was the first time these many nations came together to agree on a strategy for a major crisis. That is other than war. So when Trump announced that the U. S. was going to withdraw from the Paris Accord. In my mind, I heard “the needs of the few outweigh the the of the many.”

 148 nations met adopt green energy resources and to limit the rise in global temperatures. At the same time, these countries are cooperating to cope with the impact of unavoidable climate change. What the agreement acknowledges is that the threat of climate change is urgent and irreversible. The signatories felt that the problem of emission reduction could only be addressed through the cooperation of all countries.

What is the effect of the cuts?

      According to the agreement: “Holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”

The goal of 2 degrees as a limit had been discussed for several years. The global warming will still increase, but it won’t be as significant if nothing was done. The agreement notes that even if every signatory meets their obligation of 2 degrees world temperatures will still rise by 2 degrees. However, this is just a first step. It is the hope of all the signatories that the world will figure out how to get to the 2-degree goal, in time.

The accord goes onto a goal of pursuing loftier limits of 1.5 degrees temperature increase. The agreement states, “and to continue the efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

 If the initial target of 2 is an ambitious goal, the Paris Accord goes to further suggest an even harder ambitious goal. The reason for the second ambitious goal was because of the campaigning of small island nations. These countries argued “noting that even if the temperature increase was held at 2 degrees, the resulting rise in sea levels would devastating for them.

Those island nations weren’t able to establish the 1.5 degrees as the primary target; the representatives were successful getting it into the Paris Accord. The reality is the 2-degree goal is lofty, and no one is sure if or how that is going to be achieved. The 2 degree Celsius may be the target, but world leaders have not figured out how to obtain it.

I am sure you have heard the figure $100 billion dollars in conjunction with the Paris Accord. This money is to be used to help developing countries swap from fossil fuels to greener resources and also to adapt to the effects of climate change. This contribution is the bottom level estimate of developed countries would have to contribute. Over the years this contribution is going to rise.

 The nations do not expect that they will be able to reduce emissions shortly. When the countries came to Paris every one of them had a voluntary pledge. Those pledges are now codified which sets a framework for the reductions to begin by 2020. That year is also the projected time to submit long term plans for the future. Not a pledge for the short term, but for one for future generations.

 The one element of the deal that President Barack Obama supported was that in the year 2020. In 2020 the reductions are supposed to begin. Every five years, every nations target will be reevaluated to move the world closer to the 2-degree target.

 President Obama support for this idea was to have each country’s goals submitted 9-12 months before they are finalized. This allows time to be created for other nations can seek clarity about the proposed targets. The goals should reflect progress from earlier targets. The target should be the highest each country can achieve. This framework should drive climate ambition while technologies improve and circumstances changes.

The target date for climate improvement is roughly mid-century or 2050. That is when the world is supposed to meet the goal of zero emissions of green house gases. However, no one expects the world to quit using every form of technology that greenhouse gases use. One example is the removal of carbon dioxide which could be accomplished by growing more trees. I guess that is why President Trump targeted Giant Sequoia National Monument. Those trees absorb two-thirds of the carbon dioxide for their species.

Personal Conclusion

 I have to agree with Trump’s supporters that the document is a lot of words. However, it is a lot of words targeting a particular problem setting real goals, not just talking about it. If we do not believe there is a critical issue with climate change: Please consider this all buildings and vehicles emitting fossil fuel emissions for ninety decades. Don’t you think there could be some damage?

 

 

 

 

 

An Attack on Creation

                                 An Attack on Creation

The reason I loved to camp was I was able to observe as many of God’s wonders as I could. For me, the best part of those camping trips was sitting around a camp fire gazing at the stars. While I stared at the stars, I had a sense of peace. It gave me time to contemplate on the awesome power of our creator. Everyday people across the world benefit in multiple ways by elements of creation.

Ever since the last 1970 humanity has become aware of depletion of the ozone layer due to green house gases. Ever since the Montreal Protocol of 1987, an international treaty of nations dedicated, to the phasing out the substances that have caused the problem. These chemicals are man-made and contain chlorine and bromine. The ozone layer provides protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Another debate which confuses the issue is global warming which leads to climate change. The causes of global warming are carbon dioxide and other heat causing gases are forming a blanket in the upper atmosphere and trapping heat around the earth.

As of January 20, 2017, the client change deniers have a new self-proclaimed leader. He believes that climate change is a hoax, started by China. President Trump and his administration, people that benefit from the drilling and mining of the fossil fuels. This group argues that the EPA creates restrictive measures on the oil and mining industry.

  • President Trump is attacking all parts of creation. So far the attacks have been in the following form:
  • On February 1 Congress dismantles the Stream Protection Rule which guaranteed clean water for communities near mining operations.
  • February 28, of this year received an easement from the Army Corp. of Engineers to construct the Dakota Pipe line
  • March 24, President Trump gives his approval to continue building the Keystone Pipeline

April 3, President Trump signed a bill which allows wolves and their pups to be killed in their dens. This bill also allows bears to be gunned down in bait stations. These acts are allowed in Alaska’s national wildlife refuges. Also the act allows aerial gunning and the use of steel-jawed leg hold traps. This type of trap holds the animal in place until they are killed.

In the budget for 2018 The President has proposed steep budget cuts in the EPA and the ESA. Also, the President and various congressional members are calling for the elimination of the EPA and the ESA.

Since, these attacks were announced, I knew I was going to become involved. The first step, would be to learn as much as I could.

The EPA’s Mission

air polution

The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) mission is to protect this nation’s citizens from significant risks to human health and environment in their living, learning, and work places. Their best efforts to reduce environmental risks nationally, are based on the best available scientific data. It enforces federal laws that protect human health and the environment, fairly and effectively. The factors that are used in establishing environmental policies natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade. All parts of society have access to information to participate in managing human health and environmental risks. These parts include communities, individuals, businesses, state and local and tribal government.

Water pollution

How the EPA Succeeds

First they develop and enforce regulations. After our federal government lawmakers create an environmental law, the EPA uses the law by writing regulations. They set standards which all to states are required to enforce through their own regulations. If the states and tribes fail to meet the standards, the EPA helps them. The EPA ensures that companies understand the requirements.

The EPA uses grants to achieve their goals by using grants. These grants are given to state environmental programs, non profits, and educational institutions. The money is used for scientific studies that helps the EPA make decisions for community cleanups.

This organization uses’ laboratories scattered throughout the nation. They do this to identify and attempt to solve environmental problems. In an effort to learn more the EPA shares information with other countries, academic institutions, other agencies, and organizations in the private sector.

The EPA can’t and don’t protect the environment on their own. Some of the organizations that the EPA works with are businesses, non profit organizations and state and local governments through dozens of partnerships. Some of these partnerships include conservation of water and energy, reducing green house gases, and get a handle on pesticide risks.

Clean air

New Energy Technologies

Below is a list of four new energy technologies. While there are many more tested and viable. This short list makes the point new energy technologies are here.

  • Radiant Energy: on some devices can produce the same results which are estimated at less than 1% of the cost, of ordinary electricity. However it does not behave like normal electricity which has led to a misunderstanding in the scientific community. Radio Energy is a term most often used in radiometry, solar energy, lighting and heating.
  • Permanent Magnets: Dr. Tom Bearden has two working models of a device called permanent magnetic powered electrical transformers. These devices use six watts of power as input to control a magnetic field coming out of a magnet. By channel the magnetic field to a series of output coils rapidly and repeatedly can produce 96 watts of output without any moving parts.
  • Super Efficient Electrolysis: When water is hit with its own molecular resonant frequency it collapses into water and oxygen gas, with little electrical input. For the cost of water Hydrogen can drive engines like your car.
  • This is a small list of the least known technologies. The full lists of dozens of technologies that are well tested, known, and proven. Still there are forces in the world that keep people from learning about them. There are four forces to keeping these and other technologies from being made available. These forces are (1) wealthy families and their central banking institutions, (2) national governments jockeying for leadership positions, (3) Deluded inventors and con men, (4) and all the rest of us.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973

This act was designed to protect imperiled animal and plant species from facing extinction. Imperiled species are the result of economic growth and inadequate concern for conservation. The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 28, 1973. At that time the U. S. Supreme Court found that the “the plain text of Congress was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction at whatever cost.”1 Two agencies administer the act; they are the United States Fish Wildlife Service(FSW) and the National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration(NOAA).

The call for wildlife conservation started in 1900. This occurred after the near extinction of the bison and the disappearance of passenger pigeons. Some cause for the low numbers of wildlife were communities and farm land grew, the widespread use of pesticides.

A tragic story which gathered widespread attention was that of the Whooping Crane. This bird’s range extended from southern Canada to Mexico, from Utah to the Atlantic Ocean. By 1890, the Whooping Crane had disappeared from its primary breeding grounds in north central United States. This was due to unregulated hunting and the habitat loss. In 1941 the number of estimated Whooping Cranes in the wild was 16. A conservation highlight in 2007 was the statement of 340 Whooping Cranes in the wild and another 145 found in captivity.

Conclusion

The first conclusion I have drawn since I started my research. That the current administration and its supporters want to eliminate any organization that stands in the way of profit. However, they don’t realize what has happened since air and water pollution became part of the national debate.

In a report last July 1, 2016, Fiona McDonald reported in “The Hole in the Ozone is Finally Closing Up” that:

“Scientists have found evidence that the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is finally beginning to heal. If progress continues, it should be closed permanently by 2050.”2

In an article in the New York Times and written by Henry Fountain on June 20, 2016 wrote, “Full recovery of the ozone hole is not expected until, the middle of the century.”3

Both articles were reporting on results from a study led by Susan Solomon, a lead researcher, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At about the same time the National Aeronautical Space Administration(NASA)speculated that the ozone hole would be closed by the year 2100. The point I want to make is that the human race is successfully changing the amounts of chlorine and bromine in the atmosphere. So the agencies that our president is targeting in his attacks are a benefit to mankind.

Not only has the president targeted the EPA through budget proposals, but through naming its new director, Scott Pruitt. Scott Pruitt was the Oklahoma Attorney General, and has close ties to the fossil fuel industry. Pruitt rejects, the scientific consensus, that human activity is a primary cause to climate change.

I am not sure why the president targeted the ESA. But, for whatever reason the attack is extreme and cruel. In the bible, we are told, “everything has a purpose.” That is what amazes me about the creation. Just as God gave everything a purpose, mankind was given the ability to adapt. Just like the animal kingdom has the ability to adapt to changes in their environment so can humans. The proof is the studies mentioned earlier and the rise in the number of people getting involved in marches and signing petitions.

Since these attacks began the following environmental organizations have responded; Sierra Club; Center for Biological Diversity; and Friends of Earth. Specifically the Center for Biological Diversity celebrated the announcement of a victory for the environment on May 1st, when Congress passed a budget bill funding the government throughout 2017. Secondly, almost none of the 160 anti environment riders passed into the final bill. The Center accredited people for people telephoning, and emailing members of Congress, and attending town hall meetings, for this success.

I have left out our administration’s attack on senior citizens and the poor. I have two reasons for this: I didn’t want this essay to be a rant regarding that subject. Secondly, I have seen the best of our world, enjoying pristine water and beautiful skies. I have seen wolves, bears, moose, and an eagle is their natural environment and I want those experiences to be available to other people. The earth doesn’t need humans to survive. However, humanity does need clean air and water to survive.

Finally, I leave you with the words of a former statesman that fought for conservation over a hundred years ago.

On May 13, 1908, in a speech at the White House, to a Governors Conference on conservation. As President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt said:

“We have become great in a material sense because of our lavish use of our resources, and we have just reason to be proud of our growth. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils will have further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields. These questions do not relate only to the next century or to the next generation. One distinguishing characteristic of really civilized men is foresight; we have to as a nation, exercise foresight for this nation in the future; and if we do not exercise that foresight, dark will be our future!”4

I believe the above quote is correct in that it foretells the junction that our nation and our leaders find themselves. Roosevelt continued to say:

“We should exercise foresight now, as the ordinarily prudent man exercises foresight in conserving and widely using the property which contains the assurance of well being for himself and his children. We want to see him exercise forethought for the next generation and need to exercise it in some fashion ourselves as a nation for the next generation.”5

References

1.Endangered Species Act. (2017, April 06). Retrieved April 22, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered_Species_Act

2.http://www.sciencealert.com/the-ozone-hole-is-finally-closing-up,ScienceAlert,The Hole in the Ozone is Finally Closing Up

3.http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/science/ozone hole show-sign of shrinking, scientists say, Henry Fountain

4.Roosevelt: In His Own Words, Weider History, Pg: 74

5.Roosevelt: In His Own Words, Weider History, Pg. 74

 

OBAMA Care or Affordable Care Act

I can honestly say that I always knew Obama Care and the Affordable Care Act are the same. But I recently saw  a report that some people actually belief they are different things. So sad, but considering what happened or could happen to thirty million people, it is believable.

Our law makers in Washington, D. C. violate the inalienable rights of thirty million people. In my opinion the repeal would deny all people the liberty to seek affordable health care. It would deny them the right to life since they could not get affordable health care they do not have life and without life they would be able to pursue happiness. Of course I am just a lay man my interpretation of these rights doesn’t amount to much. But let me refer to another source on the subject. Matthe

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”