Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dandelion Farmers of the World Unite!

Even I could grow Dandelions, but I have a difficult time not growing them, if you know what I mean.

That which may seem to be bad news can actually lead to some good news upon occasion. For example, Time Magazine has awarded the invention of the year to those who invented a way to make rubber from Dandelions:


A fast-spreading fungus is ravaging the world's rubber trees. But thanks to researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, there's now an alternative: dandelions. Scientists have long known that the weed's sap contains latex, but it's difficult to harvest because dandelion ooze polymerizes — goes gummy — when it hits the air. The Fraunhofer team overcame that sticky problem by switching off a key enzyme. The new, improved dandelion produces 500% more usable latex than the old weed does.

(Time). Add to that the fact that the methanol economy would allow plastics and fuels to literally be made from the air / atmosphere around us, powered by wind, wave, and solar generated electricity, and we can say "the green revolution got game baby"!

We could have the best year ever in 2010 if we really want to. I mean really want to in the sense of rejecting some world destroying bad habits.

Monday, December 21, 2009

eMail: Alliance For Climate Protection

Dear Friend,

In the United States, more than half of all global warming pollution comes from just a handful of sources.

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to use the Clean Air Act to reduce emissions from these big polluters. It is a major decision, and the EPA wants to hear from you about it first.

Tell the EPA you wholeheartedly support their proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from our biggest polluters.


The Clean Air Act has proven an extremely effective weapon in reducing other types of air pollution. Using it to reduce emissions from our biggest GHG polluters, including coal-fired power plants, would be a powerful tool for reducing the carbon placed into our fragile atmosphere and thus for fighting the climate crisis.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA could require new facilities to utilize technologies that would limit their greenhouse gas emissions. It would also require existing facilities to limit their emissions should they upgrade. The EPA has successfully used this process for decades, and it works.

Tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: "I support the EPA's proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our biggest polluters."

Last week we scored a major victory when the EPA finalized their determination that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. That decision gives the EPA access to new tools to fight pollution -- including using the Clean Air Act to regulate the biggest polluters -- and it was pushed forward by over 380,000 public comments from across America.

We need to continue voicing our support for these EPA efforts and demanding real action to reduce carbon pollution. The EPA is leading the way to curb our carbon pollution and we must support them in their efforts.

Using the Clean Air Act to regulate GHG pollution by the worst offenders would help reduce harmful emissions while advancing the development of clean energy technologies and ultimately a new clean energy economy.

Tell the EPA today that you support this common sense, cost effective approach:

http://acp.climateprotect.org/epadec

Thanks,

Maggie L. Fox
President and CEO
The Alliance for Climate Protection

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Lovely Planet In The Neighborhood?

Upton Sinclair is said to have made a very lasting observation concerning an aspect of the nature of humanity: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it".

Scientists are paid salaries, which seems to make them very energetic in the direction all about what they "should" be all about:


The extrasolar planet, now named GJ 1214b, is about 40 light-years away.

It orbits a red dwarf star.

It is the only known "Super-Earth" exoplanet — worlds that have masses between Earth and Neptune — with a confirmed atmosphere.

"Astronomically speaking, this [planet] is on our block," meaning it's in our cosmic neighborhood, said study leader David Charbonneau of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Mass. "For perspective, our own TV signals have already passed beyond the distance of this star."

(Space). Sometimes "astronomically speaking" is misleading, but for the most part it is probably just a bad habit.

For example, our B.C.E. technology (burning chemicals to produce thrust in rockets) which we fondly call rocket science, is not going to get us to the part of "the block" where the "near" star with planet GJ-1214b is.

Light travels at about 670,618,800 miles an hour (186,283 miles per second x 60 x 60) or 5,878,644,400,800 per year (670,618,800 x 24 x 365.25).

A planet orbiting a star 40 "light years" away, then, is 235,145,776,032,000 (5,878,644,400,800 x 40) miles away.

Our spacecraft Voyager I and II travel at about 38,000 miles per hour, or 333,108,000 miles a year (38,000 x 24 x 365.25).

So it would take them 705,914.53 years (235,145,776,032,000 / 333,108,000), one way, to get to that planet salaried scientists say is "on our block".

Many scientists' salaries come from military sources in the Pentagon budget.

The military scientists are only concerned with being able to destroy things on the earth, so "rocket science" is the apex of their intellect.

If a new discovery kills better than the last one, they will love it.

The scientist whose salary must depend on our use of current military rocket science, which is based on principles of technology developed thousands of years ago, is literally involved in a dead end endeavor in more ways than one.

This "rocket science" is not what I call modern, nor is it compliant with the tenets of ecocosmology, because we will cease to exist as a species unless we develop competent space travel technology.
...
For those who think I might have been a bit hard on the boys, note that my speed calculations were liberal.

That is, the speed I gave as the probable speed for current space craft was probably a bit more than the speed at which they really travel.

I came across an article quoting salaried scientists who did some of that "astronomy speak" I mentioned above.

Notice the way speed is portrayed:

The spacecraft is just a little past the midpoint between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, and is speeding toward Pluto at a speed of about 750,000 miles (1.2 million km) per day.

(Speedy Spacecraft Now Halfway to Pluto). The rub comes when you calculate the miles per hour of the vehicle (750,000 / 24) which comes out to 31,250.

I had given them a speed of 38,000 miles per hour in the calculation that it would take us 705,914.53 years to get to a star "on our block".

The "Speedy Spacecraft" would take longer than that at 31,250 so note that I was giving the salaried scientists, who tend to bloviate sometimes, the benefit of the doubt.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Email From 350 Dot Org

Dear Friends,

We need you to read this closely, if you would.

You've always counted on us to tell the truth, and it would be useless to pretend we're happy with the outcome of the Copenhagen climate talks.

You'll likely hear the Copenhagen drama spun in a thousand different ways, but here's our honest take on the outcome: our leaders have been a disappointment, and the talks have ended without any kind of fair, ambitious, or legally binding global agreement. It's unclear whether the weak "accord" which emerged early this morning will provide a platform strong enough to deliver the kind of action we'll need in 2010 and beyond.

That doesn't mean you have failed. On the contrary, the movement you have built around the world allowed everyone to understand the scientific issues at stake. Over and over in Copenhagen, UN delegates came up to anyone wearing a 350 t-shirt with words of wonder and gratitude. We were told repeatedly how much this movement has altered both the tone and substance of these negotiations.

For the first time since these climate talks began almost 20 years ago, a citizens' movement has made it much harder for the great powers to simply impose a weak agreement on everyone else - that's why the US, China, and India had to cut their own deal amongst themselves. Many small nations, poor nations, and vulnerable nations simply refused to go along smoothly with a global suicide pact-because they knew that 350 equaled survival.

Indeed, that very chant--"Three-Five-Oh...Sur-vi-val!"--went up spontaneously among the crowd of hundreds of young people who gathered in the freezing cold at 1 a.m. under the subway stop outside the Bella Center, where the talks were being held in Copenhagen. They hadn't been allowed inside for days -- last night they came to stand outside and deliver the verdict from the movement: this is not enough, this is not over, and we are witnessing a monumental failure of leadership.

That failure can't be allowed to stand. It is our future, the future of every spot on earth and of every person in every generation to come. So we will together, in the weeks and months ahead, figure out how to build a stronger movement, one that will head this earth back where it needs to go. You'll hear from us in the weeks ahead with new ideas, and if you have some of your own please share them by e-mailing organizers@350.org.

We're approaching a period of holiday around much of the world, and when the new year dawns it won't be all that we'd hoped for. But we are confident, and that confidence comes from you. From every corner of the world, in places warm and cold, poor and rich, Muslim and Christian and Hindu and Buddhist and Jewish and none-of-the-above, we share one basic message: 350 equals survival, and we'll stop at nothing to get there.

On we go.

The 350.org team

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Way Out Of Here

It is fun to touch upon the countless ways to avoid destroying the home we live in, our home planet the earth.

A German firm builds fully compliant human houses, which they describe as "triple-zero" construction:

Overlooking the city of Stuttgart in southern Germany, a four-story modern glass house stands like a beacon of environmental sustainability. Built in 2000, it was the first in a series of buildings that are "triple-zero," a concept developed by German architect and engineer Werner Sobek, which signifies that the building is energy self-sufficient (zero energy consumed), produces zero emissions, and is made entirely of recyclable materials (zero waste) ... The most recent addition to the triple-zero series raises the bar for energy efficiency: It produces more energy than it uses, Sobek said.

(Scientific American). What an attitude these people have to do it instead of saying it can't be done.

Not only can we can live at peace with the earth, we must, because it is essential to our being able to avoid extinction by passing The Test.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mystery Hexagon The Great

The hexagon on Saturn is one of the greatest mysteries the Cassini mission has encountered.

Saturn has a 15 year "day / night" cycle, so when Voyager first took pictures of the hexagon nearly 30 years ago, it was taken in visible light because the Sun was illuminating Saturn's north pole way back then.

Now as the hexagon emerges from the night into the daytime of the "visible light" world of Saturn once again:

After waiting years for the sun to illuminate Saturn's north pole again, cameras aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft have captured the most detailed images yet of the intriguing hexagon shape crowning the planet.

(NASA). Previous Cassini images had to be taken with the infrared cameras because the north pole of Saturn was covered in darkness, in terms of visible light.

As it turns out, these new photos have not accomplished much toward solving this mystery within the Saturn equation, in fact, it may have increased the mystery a bit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Let The Planet Hunt Begin" - NASA

Some people do not understand space missions to be an endeavour mandated by the tenets of ecocosmology.

Or that the strategy of space travel is necessary because of the nature of our solar system and our sun.

Ecocosmology states that human space endeavours must fundamentally be a mission to find a home world we can colonize so as to perpetuate the human species.

NASA says this about the Kepler mission:

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has begun its search for other Earth-like worlds. The mission, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on March 6, will spend the next three-and-a-half years staring at more than 100,000 stars for telltale signs of planets. Kepler has the unique ability to find planets as small as Earth that orbit sun-like stars at distances where temperatures are right for possible lakes and oceans.

(NASA Kepler, emphasis added). The obvious in that NASA statement may escape some scientists, but the reality is that focused scientists know that we must find another home world or cease to exist as a species.

They know that because they know the Sun will eventually destroy all of the life on this planet.

What we do not know is when the Sun will destroy the earth.

Tenet one discussions point out that the "when" has become more uncertain due to the recent, unexpected, and revolutionary discoveries concerning a star's life cycle.

Thus, the sooner we find other habitable planets with the Kepler mission the better.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mafia Contract Out - On Mother Earth

The most disgusting microcosm of what our species is doing to the earth has recently surfaced.

The Sicilian mob is sinking ships in the Mediterranean Sea.

These are not normal ships that would potentially make a beneficial reef.

No, these are ships that contain deadly radioactive material on board:

Pressure is growing on the Italian government to act over revelations that 30 or more ships with radioactive cargoes, deliberately sunk by the Mafia, may be polluting the Mediterranean.

(The Independent). I think we can dispense with the "may be" and get right to the point.

This is a crime against humanity and should be dealt with as such.

There are reports that human skulls may be in the radioactive material so there is a possible murder case involved as well.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Illusion of Environmental Security

The general illusory feeling "it can't happen here" is spreading into the environmental catastrophe realm.

It is getting to be chic to think environmental catastrophe is something that happens to the other people, but not to us.

Thus, it is an illusion.

Currently about half of the earth is suffering drought conditions, in seven years it will be about 60%, and in fifteen years 70% will be suffering from drought.

It causes massive upheaval:

Norman Myers, an Oxford University professor and one of the first scholars to draw attention to the unfolding problem, estimated that by 2050 there will be more than 25 million refugees attributable to climate change, which will replace war and persecution as the leading cause of global displacement.

"The numbers could go off the charts," he said.

(LA Times). Some of the causes of these catastrophic problems cannot be undone because we have already gone too far.

Even the scientist quoted above in the LA Times has his blind spot:

Africa would be heaviest hit because so many people's livelihoods are dependent on farming and livestock.

(ibid, emphasis added). Did you notice that pattern? The "other people" depend on farming but we don't depend on farming because we get our food at the supermarket.

Wrong, every human being and every society is as dependent on farming as the other.

Food does not magically show up in the supermarket by using the Star Trek food making computer.

Reliance on "heroes of war" or superheroes will not change the reality either.

Our food production and delivery system, as well as other life support systems, are subject to severe damage from many natural sources:

IT IS midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation.

(New Science, emphasis added). It is a fact that people who know how to farm and raise livestock, who are not dependent on delivery trucks and supermarkets, could in fact be more secure and last longer when environmental catastrophe and upheaval takes place.

It depends on where they are as well as the circumstances involved.

In an old Mothers of Invention song there were some prescient lyrics:

We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You're the other people too

(Mother People). It was a wise thing to consider, so don't reject truth or fact because of where or who it comes from.

The suicide bombers are not the only ones to think the other people are the only ones that will be harmed.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sun Spots Reappear

After an unusual hiatus sun spots are back.

There are some posts on Dredd Blog that explain why sun spot activity is a national security issue.

Also discussed is why it is an issue in the greening of the power grid which will be done by upgrading it to accept wind and solar generated electricity.

During the upgrade the power grid needs to be made more safe from other events associated with Sun Spots, or catastrophic results may develop.

The good news is that the Sun has not gone strange on us into some mode we do not understand with our current scientific model of the Sun.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Judas Rising North of America

It hurts when those one expects to behave badly do so, but it really, really hurts when those who have always been friends turn to become bad actors.

According to Monbiot, this is exactly what the government of Canada has done to the people of Canada and to the world:

When you think of Canada, which qualities come to mind? The world’s peace-keeper, the friendly nation, a liberal counterweight to the harsher pieties of its southern neighbour, decent, civilised, fair, well-governed? Think again. This country’s government is now behaving with all the sophistication of a chimpanzee’s tea party. So amazingly destructive has Canada become, and so insistent have my Canadian friends been that I weigh into this fight, that I’ve broken my self-imposed ban on flying and come to Toronto.

So here I am, watching the astonishing spectacle of a beautiful, cultured nation turning itself into a corrupt petrostate. Canada is slipping down the development ladder, retreating from a complex, diverse economy towards dependence on a single primary resource, which happens to be the dirtiest commodity known to man. The price of this transition is the brutalisation of the country, and a government campaign against multilateralism as savage as any waged by George Bush.

...

In Copenhagen next week, this country will do everything in its power to wreck the talks.

...

It feels odd to be writing this. The immediate threat to the global effort to sustain a peaceful and stable world comes not from Saudi Arabia or Iran or China. It comes from Canada. How could that be true?

(Monbiot, see also Guardian UK). The people around the world who have considered Canada to be one of the beacons, one of the sources of environmental sanity, one of the places to always be a solid hope for the future of humanity, now fear that Canada has fallen into the abyss of human error.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some Way Out of Here

It isn't often that I can see a path that fits what the Joker said to the Thief: "There must be some way outta here said the Joker to the Thief ..."(All Along The Watchtower, by Bob Dylan).

I mean some way out of the energy crisis.

A device has been built by University of Michigan scientists and students.

It takes water current (e.g. wave motion) and converts it into electricity:

A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim.

(Ocean Wave Electric Generator). A technical discussion of the physics and mechanics of it are discussed here.

The electricity produced by the generator can then be used to convert earth atmosphere into methanol.

This process actually takes the "green house gas" carbon dioxide (CO²) out of the atmosphere during the process. Yes, green house gas is converted into clean energy in the form of methanol during the process.

Another positive in this approach is that methanol works in current internal combustion engines, including gas and diesel versions. Methanol is not ethanol.

See, there is a way "outta here". Several ways.

The next post in this series is here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What Do You Mean - World Civilization?

World civilization means the nations of the world interconnected by trade, travel, treaties, and international commerce.

So, when climate change scientists talk about dangers to the existence of civilization they do not mean that the population of human beings as a species is going to become extinct.

In other words, the human species would live on even if civilization ended.

For example, Greenland alone has enough ice that if that ice was to melt it would raise the world's ocean level by 21 feet (~7 meters).

That alone would destroy the ocean-port cities of the civilized world, and thereby destroy world civilization by destroying its primary commerce.

But if you add Antarctica to the equation, much more than just the coastal ports would be lost, because the ocean level would rise beyond belief.

Scientists have not been worried about Antarctica before 2006 when it was shown that some of its western ice sheet was getting a bit shaky.

The eastern ice sheet, however, was considered to be "inviolate", meaning "not to worry", nothing will ever happen to it.

But like many things climate scientists considered to be "inviolate", the eastern ice sheet of Antarctica is now going somewhere:

Using gravity measurement data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, a team of scientists from the University of Texas at Austin has found that the East Antarctic ice sheet-home to about 90 percent of Earth's solid fresh water and previously considered stable-may have begun to lose ice.
...
"While we are seeing a trend of accelerating ice loss in Antarctica, we had considered East Antarctica to be inviolate," said lead author and Senior Research Scientist Jianli Chen of the university's Center for Space Research. "But if it is losing mass, as our data indicate, it may be an indication the state of East Antarctica has changed. Since it's the biggest ice sheet on Earth, ice loss there can have a large impact on global sea level rise in the future."

(Science Daily). I am really sorry if that scares Barbie and Ken, but we must keep in touch with reality if we are to do anything about it.

Write your congress people and the president to let them know you do not want this trend to continue one second longer than it has to.

Otherwise we will be giving new meaning to "Atlantis" some day if our descendants live far inland from what is now considered to be the coastline.

They would live in a society that would be much like the society now living in the mountain regions of Afghanistan and Tibet.

Space exploration as we now know it would be ended to await the development of a new civilization which would again have to resume what humanity must do in order to survive the demise of the Sun.

The next post in this series is here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Extinction Is Not For The Sane At Heart

Nations become suicidal sometimes when enough people lose a grasp on reality to begin to act like an individual person does when that individual threatens to jump off the bridge.

Take NAZI Germany in the late 1930's as an example. Thankfully Germany fully recovered.

We have a growing problem of suicidal thinking in the United States.

People who are primarily not college graduates, or otherwise educated about ecology and environment, are buying into a notion that humanity can do no permanent or serious damage to the environment, in terms of changing the climate.

Some Russian hackers stole emails from a climate research facility which they interpreted as proof of a vast global conspiracy to deceive the world about climate change.

A NASA scientist was interviewed to get his take on the situation:


Last week, someone leaked e-mails obtained by hacking into the server at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Activists who have long denied the reality of climate change ... say they show that climatologists have engaged in a grand conspiracy to manufacture a case that global warming is occurring due to human activities. Do the hacked e-mails undermine the case for anthropogenic climate change?

No, they have no effect on the science. The evidence for human-made climate change is overwhelming.

(Newsweek [they "lost" it, so here is the Wayback Machine version]). The Piltdown man scientific fraud, a clear case of scientific fraud, did not mean that all evidence for human evolution was thereby made fraudulent. The hacked email controversy is not a clear case, but even if it was it would not prove the case alleged by the climate change deniers.

It is essential that we learn the tenets of Ecocosmology so that our understanding is expanded to a cosmic understanding.

That is, a broader understanding of what humanity must do, including taking care of the earth, in order to avoid extinction of the human species.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Solar Wave Of The Future Now

Scientists have now confirmed that waves much higher than the size of the earth form on the surface of the Sun.

The wave in the photo shows a surfer at "Ghost Tree", a northern California surf spot.

The entire earth would be about the size of the surfer on one of these solar waves:

Years ago, when solar physicists first witnessed a towering wave of hot plasma racing along the sun's surface, they doubted their senses. The scale of the thing was staggering. It rose up higher than Earth itself and rippled out from a central point in a circular pattern millions of kilometers in circumference. Skeptical observers suggested it might be a shadow of some kind — a trick of the eye — but surely not a real wave.

"Now we know," says Joe Gurman of the Solar Physics Lab at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Solar tsunamis are real."

(NASA). Surfs up on the Sun. Only the fittest surfers will survive when the Sun eventually "does the Sun thing", like all stars do, and destroys all the planets near it.

The reality that humanity is very tiny in the cosmos should inspire us to become fit to survive, to pass The Test.

Ecocosmolgy tells us that we are a tiny species surrounded by enormous giants that are certain to destroy us utterly, so we should band together as a sane group working to help each other.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The World Beneath Their Feet

Many people remember the movies about hidden worlds beneath our feet, such as Journey To The Center of the Earth. As it turns out, there is a world underneath the feet of the many people wearing warm boots while doing their research in Antarctica.

They have found a world that no one expected, a world that has caused lots of textbooks to be recycled, rewritten, or worse.

It is a world where liquid water, beneath an always subzero ice shelf miles deep, makes up some 70 lakes.

One lake is the size of Lake Ontario of the Great Lakes between the United States and Canada.

They have found a world of mountain ranges, valleys, rivers, plus they found ancient life in the form of microbes and the like. The finding is not yet over:

Currently the drilling works are interrupted because of the huge risk of contamination by further drilling the way it has been done. No matter what mysteries the lake keeps in itself, today the scientists are concerned with the question on how can researchers study a place so unique and delicate without contaminating or, even worse, destroying it? All possible alternative to drilling methods are being examined, all possible methods for studies and researches are still going on.

(United Nations). Perhaps the bigger picture is the impact on future space exploration this find may have.

Many scientists think that one of the moons of Jupiter, Europa, and one of the moons of Saturn, Enceladus, may have an ocean under their ice layered surfaces.

Thus, the information to come from these discoveries may eventually help to establish an outpost in our solar system, on one of those moons that seem to be like Antarctica, where there is plenty of water deep underneath the ice covered surface.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All Weather Is Local

How many times we have heard the political pundits repeat the statement that "all politics is local"?

A well known saying that has been attributed to Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.

Some have likewise observed that "all weather is local" in the same sense it was intended by Tip.

The posts "Parochial Climate & Parochial Mentality" and "Coldest July or Warmest July?" point out the fact that people tend to base global climate concepts on the phenomenon of their local weather, the same way they fashion their political views.

Something close to home strikes them as being the way things are everywhere, which gets them in deep trouble on the world scene.

The parochial global climate view of things makes it difficult for governments to fashion a global policy because of a million beliefs that "all weather is local".

For that reason theory is emerging which states that governments will be forced to deal with the climate induced environmental catastrophes headed our way with a policy of triage.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parochial Climate & Parochial Mentality

This blog has been pointing out the folly of those who cite local weather as proof of global climate trends.

Or the folly of using an unreasonably small span of time to replace longer term trends.

Such folly is tantamount to using a local city counsel as proof of what foreign nations are doing.

In short the folly of parochial climate arguments is brain dead.

The Atlantic is quiet this year, in terms of number of hurricanes, but the Pacific has been more active than the Atlantic, with several recent typhoons and hurricanes. The news of note may be the ineffective ability to react:

The homes of nearly 1.9 million people in the capital and surrounding areas were inundated by flooding unleashed by Tropical Storm Ketsana at the weekend, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said. Nearly 380,000 people have sought shelter in schools, churches and other evacuation centers.

(Guardian). This Katrina syndrome and the growing triage syndrome is not the preferred policy, however, cash strapped governments simply are not able to do the job alone.

The slow down this year was a relief, but long term planning should not be based on a parochial mind set.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Coldest July or Warmest July?

It depends on where you look on the map.

The blue areas were colder in July, the red areas were hotter in July, and the other colors were in-between degrees. Thus, depending on the location the answer is "both".

If you look at only the local data in some northern states you can argue that it was one of the coldest July's, but if you look else where you can find it was the hottest July.

As we have pointed out here, the big picture is the true picture and the big picture is the global picture:


NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) has determined that July of 2009 was the second warmest July globally, since records were kept going back well over a hundred years.

(Huffington Post, AccuWeather, emphasis added). If you want to be intellectually honest about global climate you can't cite the weather in Paducah, Kentucky as the true picture for the entire global reality.

Proper analysis also depends on whether you are talking land mass or oceans, because there is some evidence that "July was the hottest the world's oceans have been in almost 130 years of record-keeping."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Disparate Or Equal Climate Change?

When you read wacko blogs which say there is no global climate change caused by the behaviour of human civilization, you will most often run across reasoning based upon a unified climate change dogma.

In other words, they labour under the illusion that climate change will treat every square mile of the globe equally, without variation, because it is "global climate change"; and so they find a narrow area of the globe that fits their pre-conceived climate viewpoint, then cite that as representative of the whole picture around the globe.

Thus, their analysis can't help but misrepresent the case.

The reality is that some areas may warm up for a time, then cool for a time, some areas will grow drier while others become wetter, rain measurements will fluctuate, but in general over the long haul there is an observable trend.

For example, Arctic sea ice so far this year is not radically out of whack when compared to some recent years, however, the big picture is:


Arctic sea ice reflects sunlight, keeping the polar regions cool and moderating global climate. According to scientific measurements, Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over at least the past thirty years, with the most extreme decline seen in the summer melt season.

(NSIDC, emphasis added). There is a general trend which can be observed in a thirty year window, but which may not appear in some areas using only the results of a few years.

For example, if we take Greenland, the sea ice in Greenland is at its lowest in 800 years, not just 30 years, and within that 800 years there has been fluctuation up and down.

The thing to focus on, then, in global climate change analysis, is trend over a longer period of time.

Challenges to some who embrace the local weather focus led government officials to order that ice-field photographs from satellites be kept secret.

These localized photos could scare anyone who did not realize you have to keep trends as well as the global picture in mind.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Will We Destroy Food - The Salmon?

The odd looking creature is one of the favorite foods of Salmon, and Salmon is one of our favorite fish foods.

A problem we are causing in our oceans is very likely to cost us dearly for generations to come:

The same things that make Alaska's marine waters among the most productive in the world may also make them the most vulnerable to ocean acidification.

According to new findings by a University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist, Alaska's oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, which could damage Alaska's king crab and salmon fisheries.

(Science Daily). One of the crude and rude sayings of some environmentalists, when trying to get the point across to dullards who do not get this "pinko environmental conspiracy", is "don't sh*t where you eat", that is, don't crap where you eat.

We eat from the ocean in a sense, and therefore we should not crap there, is the lesson for dullards to take from the saying.

Related post: Will We Destroy Food - The Bees?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Icy Stares Of The Ice Wars

It is astounding that there are those of the species, including some within government, who do not consider the import of the notion that the planet and the Sun must remain in a healthy condition for the species to survive.

The import of the effect of climate on economy is also sometimes missed even in a time where we have been focused on economy because it was devastated by the Bush II regime.

A recent report which looks at evidence and indicators going back hundreds of years indicates that ice is at a low in some telling areas of the globe:


By combining the curve of the climate with the actual historical records of the distribution of the ice, researchers have been able to reconstruct the extent of the sea ice all the way back to the 13th century. Even though the 13th century was a warm period, the calculations show that there has never been so little sea ice as in the 20th century.

...

"We see that the sea ice is shrinking to a level which has not been seen in more than 800 years", concludes Aslak Grinsted.

(Science Daily). I am sure that the meaning and significance of this study as well as any others that can be done, will not dissuade some from ideology and policy that is a danger to our planet and life on it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Life According To Science

The Sun will eventually "burn out".

Before that happens the Sun will expand out to about the orbit of Mars, well beyond the Earth.

All planets within that orbit level are doomed and have a time limit upon them. All life on those planets is in jeopardy in the very long run:

Earth's fate is precarious. As a red giant, the Sun will have a maximum radius beyond the Earth's current orbit, 1 AU (1.5×1011 m), 250 times the present radius of the Sun. However, by the time it is an asymptotic giant branch star, the Sun will have lost roughly 30% of its present mass due to a stellar wind, so the orbits of the planets will move outward. If it were only for this, Earth would probably be spared, but new research suggests that Earth will be swallowed by the Sun owing to tidal interactions. Even if Earth would escape incineration in the Sun, still all its water will be boiled away and most of its atmosphere would escape into space.

(Tenet One Basics). The only way out for the human race, according to non-religious doctrine, is to learn space travel.

After that humanity must colonize other planets within the solar system first, then branch out to other solar systems in this galaxy.

In other words find another habitable planet before the Sun destroys us.

To do that the people of the earth are going to have to allow the earth to last perhaps one to two million years. Who knows, maybe more, because it depends on technology and its proper use.

But the earth can't be destroyed or the story is over. The human story will be over.

So the mission for humanity is to survive that long. At the current rates the earth will be destroyed by humanity well before that time. We are headed for that disaster if we don't care for the planet and for ourselves.

To survive we must learn to live together, eventually get rid of the weaponry that would destroy humanity if used. We must have a functioning world order where nations live together in peace like our states live together and let live here in the United States.

The petty, mindless, and doomed wars and fightings while thousands starve each day has got to go. Or humanity has to go.

Noam Chomsky says it is not clear that we will make it long enough to mature.

Perhaps it is natural for species, who cannot develop social skills, to perish.

It looks as if the solar expansion and collapse in the great distance of time is sort of a time limit or the test.

We are very, very, very far from that date ... yet we are considering human survival even now, because we seem to want to beat the Sun to utter human destruction.

That is to say we are underscoring the notion that perhaps we can't make it to that distant date under our current social means and methods. The critical skills are missing.

We need survival skills.

If we were to escape off into space beyond our solar system before we became cosmic, mature, and wise adults, we would only be spreading the disease to another location.

If we did solve our social problems before the solar problem gets us, and did develop the skill of space travel, then we would be spreading social wisdom out into the universe.

We have to decide which side we are on ... destruction of life or survival of life ... then work in that direction.

While browsing I found a David Ho painting that depicts (to me anyway) humanity's current efforts to find a new star. I found it at astropixie, a very interesting blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Mother of All Memes

The graphic to the left shows The Mother of All Memes without her clothes on or with her clothes on, depending on which scientists you are prone to believe.

One would think that her children, poor little ole memes, could have a life of their own free from the tugs, pushes, and pulls of the gravity of scientific bloviation, hypothecation, and even pontification.

But not so, alas, all things are within the grasp of scientific thought-gravity so each and every lowly meme is pulled and tugged asunder, abroad, to, fro, ever looking for a home but always a captive somewhere somehow.

The tug of war begins between the competing camps concerning the likely mother of all memes, the mind and/or the brain.

That old tug of war started by the philosophers, but now pumped up with cosmic steroids by the quantum mechanics, those meme bags even Mr. Goodwrench bows down to.

In the beginning (cool meme huh?) there was dualism and monism gravity which pulled folks into the belief that mind is a non-physical component on the one hand, but pulled folks into the belief that mind is the result of purely material processes of the physical brain on the other hand:

Philosophy of mind is a branch of modern analytic philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind-body problem, i.e. the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as the central issue in philosophy of mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind that do not involve its relation to the physical body.

(Philosophy of Mind). Well now doesn't that make a meme a bit insecure, in as much as every meme has been told that it is:

a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena

(Wikipedia, Meme). One of the scientists, a meme maker of cosmic proportions in terms of causing gastric pains to the establishment scientists, one Roger Penrose, is constantly causing memetic gamma ray wars between factions within the 100 year meme war community.

He is a master at hiding from both sides of the meme grabbers, so he postulates that:

In my view the conscious brain does not act according to classical physics. It doesn’t even act according to conventional quantum mechanics. It acts according to a theory we don’t yet have.

(Discover, emphasis added). Oh my the man is saying we have had 100 years of psychotherapy but we do not know fundamentally what we are talking about?

The memes are shuddering. No, he is saying we work on faith in science some times. His new book deals with the faith of science and will ruffle feathers.

But he is saying we don't know how the mind works at the fundamental level, so we activate our science based upon what the mind does, not on what the mind is.

That is why this blog calls for a new approach based upon what the human species needs to do in order to survive, not what we need to do just to win silly arguments.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shadow of Time Governs The Earth

Time is everywhere and there are different types of time.

Song writers mentioned that "time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future" in a popular song some time back.

The exclamation "just in time" indicates that only a portion of the vast amount of the totality of time is available for some efforts.

Time is another one of those invisible realms, like gravity, that governs the earth from "the shadows", that is, from the realm we cannot see even though we can see the effects of the unseen power at work.

Dredd Blog talks about a shadow that governs in the sense of a powerful unseen movement.

A movement that influences the national governments without there being any conspiracy involved.

And that is the sense of this post, a notion of vast unseen realms that govern the entire earth from the shadows.

That is, "govern" in the sense that no single nation can change what is going to happen globally to climate patterns.

(One example of that can be discerned in the discussion of the G8 Summit in a previous post on Dredd Blog.)

The graph above shows world population numbers increasing, thereby, adding to the problems the nations of the earth face; whether they want to face those problems or even can face those problems or not:

That's the simple idea at the heart of the warning from John Beddington, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, of a possible crisis in 2030.

Specifically, he points to research indicating that by 2030 "a whole series of events come together":

* ... population will rise from 6bn to 8bn (33%)
* Demand for food will increase by 50%
* Demand for water will increase by 30%
* Demand for energy will increase by 50%

He foresees each problem combining to create a "perfect storm" in which the whole is bigger, and more serious, than the sum of its parts.

(BBC News). Everyone, from the Mayan date 2012 watchers to the scientist quoted above, calculates something happening at a particular point in time.

What is really being said is that there are powerful energies at work in the shadows which we cannot seem to govern.

Instead, they seem to govern us, so the best we can do is watch the effects which we think will converge to have tangible results at a particular time.

But, that has not proven to be a timely indicator, because, scientists are as surprised as politicians are from time to time.

This does not bode well for the hope that the human species will pass "The Test" of Ecocosmolgy by conforming to the governing requirements of the cosmos.

The next post in this series is here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No Need To Shoot In The Dark

Life After People
Imagine a large city on a planet near a star. A star that will be called a nova in a hundred years or less.

The SETI institute and NASA through its Kepler Mission are looking for planets that are, or can be, inhabited. Which means that they are looking near stars.

Some of which will go nova, or destroy the planets near them in another way.

Under current scientific models the stars which have planets near them will destroy those planets at some time. Our star, the Sun, will do so by expanding in size to a point out near the orbit of Mars.

Since we know that, it seems obvious that we will try to leave this planet to find another star with habitable planets. It seems obvious because if we do not do that, we cease to exist as a species.

We can assume that any other intelligent life species that wanted to continue to exist would do the same. They would try to find another home world.

I offer a search technique for consideration, which could fine tune the search Kepler and SETI are doing.

Look for signals from solar systems where the star has gone catastrophic, that is, has gone nova, super-nova, or has expanded out to destroy the planets near it like the Sun is going to to us. If there was any life on any planets there, the looming catastrophe may have caused signal transmission from any intelligent life there, well before the solar destruction.

But when we do the looking, we should look at the record of events before the catastrophe, we should also look back as many years before the catastrophe as possible, in cases where we have those astronomical records in our grasp.

For those systems where there were species who could not develop a way to do space travel to another planet, we might detect a signal for help.

And in those cases where the species could and did develop space travel, did find another star with a habitable planet, then did thereafter travel to it, we would expect a different signal to find its way toward us.

But remember that, in any search of this type, any signal will in most cases be older than our species, since great distances of space are involved.

Which involves great spans of time for signals to travel through, even at the speed of light.

Any signals received will be very, very old.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Will The Earth Follow The Sun?

The song "I'll Follow The Sun" mentions that the singer will do just that, some day.

Lets hope the Earth does not do that, does not do what the Sun is going to do again, until we get ready for it.

On February 15, 2001 the Sun flipped its lid, and the Sun's north magnetic pole switched to the south magnetic pole, and vice versa:

The Sun's magnetic north pole, which was in the northern hemisphere just a few months ago, now points south. It's a topsy-turvy situation, but not an unexpected one.

"This always happens around the time of solar maximum," says David Hathaway, a solar physicist at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "The magnetic poles exchange places at the peak of the sunspot cycle. In fact, it's a good indication that Solar Max is really here."

The Sun's magnetic poles will remain as they are now, with the north magnetic pole pointing through the Sun's southern hemisphere, until the year 2012 when they will reverse again. This transition happens, as far as we know, at the peak of every 11-year sunspot cycle -- like clockwork.

(NASA). What about the Earth, what is the big deal about the Earth flipping its lid like the Sun does every 11 years?

That would not be good because the human species has not been paying attention, at least those of us in this modern space and computer age have not:

Earth’s magnetic field also flips, but with less regularity. Consecutive reversals are spaced 5 thousand years to 50 million years apart. The last reversal happened 740,000 years ago. Some researchers think our planet is overdue for another one, but nobody knows exactly when the next reversal might occur.

(NASA, above, emphasis added). And nobody knows exactly what would happen to human civilization; civilization meaning our modern space age, computer age, electronic machine age, way of life.

Human civilization could be destroyed even though there would be plenty of human survivors remaining to rebuild our civilization in due time:

The collapse of the Earth's magnetic field, which both guards the planet and guides many of its creatures, appears to have started in earnest about 150 years ago. The field's strength has waned 10 to 15 percent, and the deterioration has accelerated of late, increasing debate over whether it portends a reversal of the lines of magnetic force that normally envelop the Earth.

During a reversal, the main field weakens, almost vanishes, then reappears with opposite polarity. Afterward, compass needles that normally point north would point south, and during the thousands of years of transition, much in the heavens and Earth would go askew.

A reversal could knock out power grids, hurt astronauts and satellites, widen atmospheric ozone holes, send polar auroras flashing to the equator and confuse birds, fish and migratory animals that rely on the steadiness of the magnetic field as a navigation aid. But experts said the repercussions would fall short of catastrophic, despite a few proclamations of doom and sketchy evidence of past links between field reversals and species extinctions.

(NY Times, emphasis added). That is the number one problem our modern engineers and scientists have been lax about, as was mentioned in a post on another blog:

IT IS midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event - a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun.

It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn't create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.

(Dredd Blog Post, emphasis added). In that post (see UPDATE comments in that post) engineers and scientists were urged to use the current green grid modifications debate and remedies to beef up the power grids.

Those grids need to be upgraded so they will be able to handle a magnetic pole reversal, because such an event might allow a time of no protection from solar flares, or might damage the power grids even if protection from solar flares stays intact during the reversal.

We must pay closer attention to the things listed in the Tenets of Ecocosmology if we are to survive as a species.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Death & Resurrection Of Memetics

Some of us watched and participated in The Journal of Memetics, hoping against hope that it would lift off like the "aircraft" of the Wright Brothers.

But alas, the winds beneath the wings were frivolous, so the final transmission from that part of space was "This incarnation of JoM-EMIT is now terminated".

In light of the recent post about our Sun and its star type in our galaxy, and the limited time intelligent species have as sojourners with that Sun, this Ecocosmology Blog will make the bold statement that memetics is the next realm of cosmic evolution.

Memetic evolution follows biological evolution in the sequence, replacing biological evolution as a means of survival of the fittest, indeed, as a means of avoiding human extinction.

The Tenets of Ecocosmology point out two ways that memetic evolution may avoid human extinction:
The first is memetic evolution whereby competent astronomical searching for, then finding, habitable planets orbiting stars develops into competent space travel whereby we colonize those newly found habitable home worlds with our species. This must be repeated ad infinitum as each newly found star eventually dies out.

The second is memetic evolution whereby we morph into a species that does not require biologically habitable planets orbiting Sun-like stars for our existence.

In either case, memetic evolution is mandated by this cosmos, which means we must lose the biological evolutionary discourse and creationism discourse as the means of going forward, because that wastes time with useless rear view mirror historical perspectives.

We need a memetics which looks out the wind shield into the space of the future to find where we are going, because where we must go is not determined by where we biologically came from.

The old memetics that tried somehow to cognitively mimic biological evolution was buried with the eulogy "This incarnation of JoM-EMIT is now terminated".

The new memetics must free us from all of that history so we may become a cosmic species focused on where we must go instead of where we have been.

The new memetics must develop the new physics that will bring us close to, or take us beyond space travel at light speed.

The new memetics must free us from conflicts of war that constantly sap us of our global potential and strength.

The new memetics must counsel us to treasure our oasis in space, our home world of wonder we call the Earth, so we may all be healthy going forward.

Finally the new memetics must use all the talent available to get us there by fusing, using, sharing and always respecting the respectable in science and in religion.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rebel Science: Gravitating Conflicts

When papers are published in journals of science or law the "well behaved" tend to bow down and accept the assertions and enlightenment in that paper.

But there are rebels among us who just will not accept things as they should, but instead like to rock the boat to make us a bit nervous.

When the robe-wearing scientist publishes a decree, unlike those proclaimed by the robe wearing judges, there is no system of appeal.

Even though some church systems have appellate systems, science tends not to.

So, some miffed scientist will hoist up the pirate flag and fire off a few rounds into the grotto so as to tell those who published the papers what for. We recently pointed out one such altercation over "dark matter" here and here.

Another case in point is the attempt to measure "the speed of gravity" or the "speed at which it propagates". Note that the two may not be the same according to some scientists.

Anyway, after an experiment was done the results were declared to the American Astronomical Society. That article generated a rebuttal paper that was published a few months afterwards.

The rebuttal paper pointed out or argued that the experiment hadn't proved or disproved anything concerning the speed of gravity.

That controversy is still ongoing with points and counterpoints going to and fro at the speed of paper, as the fate of humanity awaits the outcome of the controversy to some degree.

The Fittest Stars, Planets, & Species

As it turns out the survival of the fittest does not apply exclusively to biological organisms or to species.

It applies also to non-biological stars and planets in the sense of the evolution of sentient beings who want to become fit to survive in this cosmos.

The tenets of Ecocosmology map out the route or path which the fittest must take in order to master survival instead of becoming extinct.

Those tenets point out that biological evolution only goes a tiny part of the full distance of that route. That aspect of looking forward is focused by a study conducted by some scientists who have done a survey of stars in the milky way galaxy.

They have found that our Sun is of a type of star that only makes up roughly about 10% of the stellar population in our own Milky Way galaxy.

That discovery ends up being very significant in several ways:

The distinction between habitable planets and planets harboring intelligent life is based on the fact that intelligent life requires stars with lifetimes greater than the time required for intelligence to evolve. For example, in the case of this solar system, we could not find ourselves around a star with a lifetime less than 4.5 billion years.

Indeed, sun-like stars seem to have the right balance: They are of high enough mass that they are more likely to host habitable planets, but they are of low enough mass that they live long enough for intelligent life to develop, and are not extremely scarce. Whitmire estimates that 10 percent of the Milky Way's stars might fall into the category they've outlined. This would still leave over 10 billion candidate stars in the Milky Way alone.

(Space). The factor that leaves biological evolution behind on this route toward fitness to survive is the factor that these Suns eventually destroy all the planets in the habitable zone, together with all biological life on them.

Survival of the fittest, which Ecocosmology calls "The Test", requires that intelligent life which develops on any habitable planet must develop competent space travel, must develop the ability to locate other younger stars with habitable planets, then must colonize those planets.

As if that were not enough, the tenets of Ecocosmology point out that those intelligent planetary species must then continue that behavior ad infinitum because all stars die out or otherwise destroy life on their planetary neighbors.

Thus, the greater part of survival of the fittest is in developing competent astronomy followed by the development of competent space travel so as to successfully locate then colonize new home worlds.

The bottom line of this area of science is that we are cosmic nomads until, as tenet 3(f) says, we "morph into a species free from that type of solar/planetary cosmic dependence".

Will We Destroy Food - The Bees?

There has been concern in the past ten years or so about the mysterious disappearing of entire groups or hives of bees.

Bee keepers and scientists alike share the concern, and we who rely on the bees should too:

It has been stated by several biologists that, if it were not for the honey bee pollinating plants, humans would only last 3 or 4 years as our food supply would disappear [but see here].

(Space). How it got to this is debatable, but we can agree to describe the bee / human relationship not as symbiotic, because the bees do not rely on us in return in the way we rely on them.

We are intelligent but they are intelligent too. A professor was doing an experiment, moving a source of nectar 25% further away each day, testing their navigation skills.

His student charged with the duty of calculating and moving the nectar each day called in one morning reporting to the professor that he had car problems and could not do the task on that day. The professor opted to do it himself:

When the professor arrived at the nectar source there were no bees present. But when he arrived at the place where the nectar should have been for that day (but had not been moved there yet), there were all the bees waiting for him! Not only had the bees gotten the math correct (25% farther), but the implication is that they had demonstrated the imagination to be able to picture the future by picturing the nectar—not where it was—but where it was going to be! The professor wrote that he would never have done such an experiment on purpose since he never would have thought that the bees could have been so intelligent!

(ibid, Space, link above). Those of you who read the biomimicry posts know that one of the tenets of Ecocosmology urges us to remember that we can learn about how to bring about our own survival by watching and studying nature appropriately.

Learning such behavior from nature is called biomimicry.

We must also be careful to not destroy the bees or their habitat, because then we could cease to exist as well, according to some scientists.

The next post in this series is here.