Archive for the Pacific Category

Land Clearing And Pollution

Posted in Brazil, Britain, Children, Environment, European Union, Health, Human Rights, Modern World, News, Pacific with tags , , , , on 12/12/2017 by floroy1942

All across the world trees are being cut down at a fantastic rate and it will never end. In the Amazon, and all across the world, the forests are being decimated as mankind ignores the fact that we rely on trees for oxygen to breathe. The oceans of the world also give us the essential oxygen, but they are so polluted that we can no longer rely on them.

Huge swathes of the Amazon have disappeared due to farmers wanting more land for their cattle, and to grow crops. In the Far East large areas of forest have disappeared completely for the purpose of getting more farming land. If this continues we will be starved of oxygen within decades.

We are polluting the atmosphere with more than a billion vehicles on our roads and and they increase year by year, and soon we will have no clean air left the breathe. When you look at the traffic jams around the world you see that most cars have only the driver and no-one else. Very few have more than one occupant. Perhaps we should introduce pick-up points where drivers can travel with someone else instead of all taking their own cars to work. It was tried many years ago but failed.

Electric vehicles are slowly being introduced, but will take tens of years to fulfil before we see all petrol and diesel vehicles disappear from our roads. But what of the supply of electricity? With millions of electric vehicles on our roads we will be hard pushed for power stations to supply enough energy, and what of the domestic supplies that are required to power our homes and gadgets. This will be another big problem for mankind.

We humans are slowly but surely destroying our world, but nobody seems to care except the scientists. They tell us we are heading for big trouble in our world but no-one takes any notice. We all go on with our daily lives and do not care what our children and their children will face in the coming years. Without a doubt they will face hard times as the pollution gets worse and worse.

We have to think of our children and what sort of life they will inherit, for if we do not, they will suffer greatly. Mankind must wake up to the dangers we are putting our lives into, and prevent the end of the world.

Roy.

How On Earth Could This Happen?

Posted in America, Britain, England, European Union, Insanity, Modern World, News, Oceans, Pacific, USA with tags , , , on 21/08/2017 by floroy1942

Nations search for 10 missing after US destroyer collision

                                                USS John S. McCain

How on earth could such a collision happen? It seems to me totally inconceivable that two ships could hit one another in this day and age. Twice now we have had American warships involved in a collision with other ships. First we had the USS Fitzgerald off Japan, and now another one, USS John S. McCain off Singapore.

The only thing I can think of is the crews must have been totally incompetent on both ships. They both have sophisticated radar and it should have been easy to avoid a collision. The captain’s of both ships have been held accountable, and so they should for it was sheer incompetence for them to have a collision.

Image: The Arleigh Burke-class Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Fitzgerald, Damaged by Colliding with a Philippine-flagged Merchant Vessel, is seen at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka

                                                      USS Fitzgerald

They must have seen on radar that the tankers were heading on a collision course and the officer on the bridge should have taken avoiding action. It is inconceivable that in this day and age, with all the technology that the Navy has that they could have been involved in a collision at sea.

The collision cost the lives of sailors who were doing their job and this is a scandal. In my view, the captains of both ships should serve jail time, plus the people on the bridge at the time. To needlessly throw away the lives of sailors through sheer stupidity must be a criminal offence.

Roy.

Science Is Getting More Laughable!

Posted in America, Atlantic, Britain, Canada, Conservation, Environment, Nature, News, Pacific with tags , , , , on 01/01/2015 by floroy1942

I sometimes get the impression these days that science has lost its way! Some of the experiments, and the results that come from them, seem to bear no relationship to intelligent and rational thinking whatsoever. This week I came across some ‘scientific results’ that seem to test the limits of basic intelligence.

The first one concerns shipping, and a bunch of scientists from Leeds University have come up with the idea that we should have all ships ‘generate smaller bubbles in their wake to reflect more of the sunlight back into space’.

Make The Bubbles Smaller?

Make The Bubbles Smaller?

Their hypothesis is that the bubbles created by the turning propellers of a ship as it passes through the water should be made smaller. By doing this, the white froth left behind by all moving ships could last up to 24 hours instead of the normal few minutes, and thereby reflect more sunlight. It would seem to me that we need to increase the number of ships on the world’s oceans by a few million for this idea to work.

Naturally, this is part of the Global Warming Project and is part of an effort to reduce the rising temperature of the planet. Leeds’ Prof Piers Forster said the bubbles idea was a plausible scheme. “A lot of these technologies are completely hypothetical, but “The one advantage about this technology – of trying to generate these tiny ‘micro-bubbles’ – is that the technology does already exist.”

Part of Leeds University UK

Part of Leeds University UK

Julia Crook, also from Leeds, explained: “The technology required for other forms of solar radiation management is a long way off being ready, whereas micro-bubble generators already exist. The Japanese are already experimenting with micro-bubbles under ships’ hulls to make them more streamlined and more fuel-efficient. This could have a double benefit.”

She added: “This form of solar radiation management has the advantage over stratospheric aerosol injection, in that one could move ships with bubble generators to different parts of the ocean, providing more control on the regional temperature and precipitation changes induced.”

The Last Time Many Ships Sailed Together Was In WW2 Convoys

The Last Time Many Ships Sailed Together Was In WW2 Convoys

A quick search showed me that there are roughly 104,304 ships in the world including fishing boats and pleasure craft. This number, if all sailing the sea together would not even cover the area of the Black Sea. When you consider they are spread all across the globe their impact would be negligible, and the amount of reflected sunlight would be so small as to be unmeasurable. Not even worth the effort of converting a single ship never mind over 100,000, although the scientists consider such technology has ‘the potential’ to reduce temperatures by 0.5C. The one thing they did say was that there is a distinct possibility this measure could increase rainfall in some areas, as if we don’t get enough in many parts with massive flooding!

The second scientific report concerns of all things, Arctic Ground Squirrels! According to the Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, US, we can blame the the humble Arctic ground squirrel for increasing world temperatures too. For it seems their burrowing into the permafrost at these northern latitudes is releasing large amounts of CO2 that is normally trapped in the frozen ground. These findings were presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Killing Our Planet?

Killing Our Planet?

Dr Sue Natali, from Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, US, said, “Carbon has been accumulating in permafrost for tens of thousands of years. The temperature is very cold, the soils are saturated, so that when plants and animals die, rather than decompose, the carbon has been slowly, slowly building up. Right now the carbon storage is about 1,500 pentagrams (1,500 billion tonnes). To put that in perspective, that’s about twice as much as is contained in the atmosphere.”

Nigel Golden, from the University of Wisconsin, looked at ground squirrels: small, fluffy rodents that are found across the Arctic. He said:, “They are soil engineers. They break down the soil when they are digging their burrows, they mix the top layer with the bottom layer, they are bringing oxygen to the soil and they are fertilizing the soil with their urine and their faeces. We saw an increase in soil temperature in the soils the Arctic ground squirrels were occupying.”

To me these ideas are about as crazy as sowing the clouds with salt so as to reflect more sunlight. I am no scientist, but it seems to me that if we do that we end up with salt water rain and a fat lot of good that will do anyone.

But at least we can, in part, blame the Arctic ground squirrels for our current climate problems. Ah Well! At least its not all our fault (sigh of relief)!

Roy.

Japan Stops Whale Hunting

Posted in Atlantic, Conservation, Environment, Europe, Modern World, Nature, News, Oceans, Pacific, Politics with tags , , , , on 02/04/2014 by floroy1942

I must admit to feeling satisfied when the International Court of Justice decreed that whale hunting by Japan was not for scientific research as they claimed. The only thing that surprised me is that it has taken so many years for them to decide this.

It was in 1986 that the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling, but Japan continued its hunting practices using the excuse that it was for scientific research. How killing whales can be called research is beyond me, but they got away with until now.

At last legal steps have been taken to stop this malpractice, which according to the latest reports, Japan has accepted today. It is well known the Japanese consider whale meat a delicacy that has been available to them since they first began hunting them in the 12th century. One can hardly imagine the number of whales they have killed since then.

The ban has received a mixed reception in Japan, with mainly the younger generation less inclined to be against it.

Up until this ban they were killing approximately one thousand Minke whales a year as part of the ‘scientific’ programme. Unfortunately for them Australia and various environmental groups challenged this and took it to the court and won. Japan had argued “that Australia’s legal action was an attempt to impose its own cultural conventions, equivalent to Hindus demanding an international ban on killing cows”.

Unfortunately the ban is only a temporary one while the system of whaling permits is examined, which could see the whaling fleets setting sail again soon. Japan also has a small fleet that hunts whales in the Pacific that does not seem to be affected by the ban.

It is fair to note that both Iceland and Finland refused to abide by the 1986 decision but do not kill as many as the Japanese. Hopefully common sense will prevail and the authorities can do something to stop our continued rape of the seas.

Roy.

First The Horse Meat Scandal, And Now Fish!

Posted in America, Atlantic, Britain, Environment, Europe, Health, Oceans, Pacific, UK, USA with tags , , , on 13/03/2013 by floroy1942
Tuna

Tuna

Many of our favourite dishes have been found to contain a high percentage of horse meat, instead of the labelled beef. In America, there is now a new and bigger scandal that involves fish products. An ocean protection group called Oceana, carried out a series of tests on many of the fish products commonly sold in the U.S.A. like tuna, red snapper, halibut and cod among others, and each was found to contain substitute fish.

Another major consideration is the contaminants in fish.

Escolar

Escolar

When testing was carried out on canned tuna, 59% of the contents were not tuna at all, but a substitute. In red snapper samples, a huge 87% was found to be a substitute, of which 85% was escolar, which can cause severe gastrointestinal problems. In America, this problem has been found in sushi bars, restaurants and grocery stores, and was found in 44% of all premises visited. ‘Mislabeled’ products were found in every sushi bar visited.

Take Your Pick!

Take Your Pick!

At this moment the authorities are calling it ‘mislabeling’, but I have a suspicion that its pretty much the same as the horse meat scandal in Europe, i.e. where someone was hoping to make a lot of money by deliberately substituting cheap horse meat for beef.

Do You Think This Does Not Affect The Fish We Eat?

Do You Think This Does Not Affect The Fish We Eat?

Considering that many people are already put off fish by the incessant oil spills in ocean waters, the ever-growing contamination of our seas, and not forgetting the Fukushima nuclear disaster, its possible this will do even more damage to the industry.

However, these two scandals indicate to me that these days, some people will go to any lengths to ‘make a buck’, and as usual its the consumer that suffers.

Roy.

 

What’s The Point Of The Rio+20 Environment Conference?

Posted in America, Britain, Environment, Forests, Oceans, Pacific, Plastic Rubbish, UN, United Nations with tags , , , , on 22/06/2012 by floroy1942

Why are so many world leaders gathering in Rio de Janeiro if they knew beforehand that it will accomplish nothing? The run-up to the conference has been splashed across the news for the past week, and any fool who imagined something useful would come out of it will be disappointed. I, like most other people, thought it a waste of time and that nothing would be achieved. We are not wrong!

Jaw Flapping and Empty Promises

When leaders get together in this fashion to discuss something as important as the future of mankind on this planet of ours, all we get is jaw flapping and empty promises.  The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNep) has a team of very gifted scientists who warned prior to the conference that humanity may be heading for a ‘tipping point’ which will become ‘irreversible’. That is to say, we are currently doing so much damage to our environment and the planet’s biodiversity, that we will soon reach a point where the damage cannot be undone.

Despite all the empty promises made by governments during the last twenty years of the conference, improvements have been made on only four issues like green house gases and the ozone layer, while the rest, which include the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, preservation measures for the world’s oceans and seas, safeguarding the world-wide fresh water supplies and over-population are still awaiting any concrete proposals after twenty years.

Brazilian President

It is without doubt ironic that this years conference is being held in Rio, situated in a country that is doing more than any other to contribute to the devastating storms, floods and drought being experienced in the western hemisphere by decimating the Brazilian rain forest.  

The Amazon, the largest rain forest on the planet, is steadily being burnt and hacked away, and at the current rate will be a shadow of its former self in just a decade or two. The world’s oceans are rapidly becoming a cesspool of discarded plastic and rubbish, and the fish stocks are being decimated without being given time to recover. Fairly soon water shortages in many countries will become so acute, as to cause mass migration to areas more capable of sustaining human life. This in itself will cause major upheaval across the world.

Another problem such conferences fail to discuss is the steadily climbing over-population in the world. China is the only country that has imposed limits on how many children a married couple may have in order to stem the booming population growth, and that was enacted in 1978.

Population Growth

India is another nation with an unsustainable population growth, but is doing nothing to address the problem. Within a couple of decades we will surely see many other countries enforcing a similar rule to that of China, for population growth is expanding like a runaway train, and pretty soon the Earth will simply not be able to sustain that level of life.

Biodiversity is also being hit hard, and soon we will begin to see the effects of our carelessness as more and more species of plants, insects and animals disappear for ever. 

But can we expect governments to address these problems comprehensively, not on your life! As an example let me use the oil producing countries and the oil industry. They refuse to even hear about removing the subsidies on fossil fuels – why? Because the former will sell less oil and the latter will make less profit!

The World’s Plastic Islands

Knowing full well about the country-sized gyres that have become floating islands of discarded plastic in all our oceans, does any government look to ban a simple thing like the plastic bag – No? Why? – Because it is being blocked by the plastic industry.

The Brazilian government has the power to stop illegal loggers and farmers devastating the forest with their activities, but do they do it – no! Why? – Because there’s money in it.

Biodiversity Loss

Why don’t the fishing nations crack down on illegal fishing and declare far more areas of our oceans protected in order to allow the fish stocks to recover? Why are the Japanese still allowed to ignore the ban on hunting whales with the laughable excuse that ‘its for research’?

We all need to put some serious thought into these problems and force governments to take positive action to save the planet, for if the scientists are correct, we have a very small window of opportunity to act before its too late.

Roy. 

Plastic May Kill You In Years To Come

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Modern World, Pacific, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Toxic Waste, USA with tags , , , , on 30/01/2012 by floroy1942

Now that’s a bold statement if ever there was one, and I am sure more than a few people will be wondering what the hell is going on. Well, it would seem that plastic rubbish on our beaches is not the only problem we are facing, for scientists today have made yet another discovery that could have a far reaching effect on mankind, well, our offspring actually. It all revolves around the weekly washing (or daily if you have kids)!

The Weekly Wash – Not So Innocent

A group of scientists have discovered that a new, possibly deadly substance is getting into the environment from our weekly wash. Every day millions of people put their dirty clothes in the washing machine and think no more about it. Its a perfectly normal occurrence, and who thinks about what goes down the drain during the operation. Its just dirty water with some detergent in it, and anyway, the water company takes care of it, right!

From the latest research it seems that is not the end of the story, because, if some of the garments you washed contain man-made fibres i.e. polyester, acrylic, or polyamides (nylon), that water from the washing machine contains so-called ‘microplastics’.

Microfibres – The Hidden Menace

It seems these are tiny fibres of plastic, less than a millimetre long, that detach from this type of garment during the wash cycle, and a single item can lose more than 1,900 fibres per wash. Via the drains and water treatment plants (where applicable) these fibres end up in rivers or the sea where they are being eaten by fish and other creatures. Because they are so small, they even end up in the stomachs of plankton which of course is the main diet of many species of fish and mammals. Naturally, not only fish are contaminated with this fibre, but also land animals that get their water from rivers.

The dangerous part is that their small size allows them to be not only ingested by e.g. the fish, but once in the stomach they enter the bloodstream, and hence the blood of the host. It has been found to accumulate in the cells of fish during research by Dr. Mark Brown of the National Centre For Ecological Analysis ans Synthesis (NCEAS) in The States, and Prof. Richard Thomson from the University of Plymouth in the UK.

By Comparison, A Minor Problem

The team tested seawater from various points around the globe and the sewage outlets of many cities and found that the contamination was strongest near large population centres as you would expect. Testing of water from washing machines proved the link with items of clothing produced using man-made fibres.

It should be obvious that when the fish or animals are contaminated with this plastic, it is already in the food chain. Should it have the same effect on human physiology, i.e. get locked up in our cells, who knows what harm this will cause to our bodies. Whatever happens, it’s a fairly safe bet we have not heard the last of this problem.

Roy

%d bloggers like this: