Sometimes do not is better

From the smallest act of kindness can come a large problem. Apparently, some individual(s) dumped their pet goldfish in Lake Tahoe rather than feed them to the cat. Now they are taking over the ecosystem and growing to massive sizes. This not the only place where goldfish have become a problem. Vasse river in Australia is being overrun with them.

It is through seemingly innocent acts of humanity that problems crop up. Like feeding squirrels. This leads to over population and the potential for the spread of disease and the infestation of homes. Animals, like us, will do whatever it takes to stay alive.

Follow the link below to learn more about the ‘goldfish apocalypse’.

https://www.livescience.com/27309-monster-goldfish-lake-tahoe.html

Think Global – Act Local

Time Mechanic

If you could travel back in time would you try and make things right by taking some kind of action? Or, would you learn from what was done wrong and not do it again? I know this has been written about by many people over the last 200 years but just go with me for awhile.

If you went back would you try and right the great wrongs of history by – say … killing Hitler’s mother before he was born and the same for Stalin, Pol Pot and Genghis Khan to name a few? Would their nonexistence then be filled by someone else we don’t know about? Their positions in time just being shadows of systems of thought in the greater population.

There are other people who have caused far greater damage to Earth and Humanity by the massive negative impacts of their work on the environment than these other men ever did. Their work was done with the best of intentions and hailed as breakthroughs but the long term negative results we have seen and will be seeing for centuries.

One of these men is Thomas Midgley. He was the inventor of Freon and tetraethyllead (which is used in leaded gasoline). These inventions are two of the greatest environmental threats of the twentieth century. It was never his intention to cause environmental disasters and human suffering but rather to help the world. Midgley’s work has “had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history.” The results were millions of tons of lead released into the air and the Earth’s ozone layer depleted.

What would I do? I don’t think I could leave my principles behind me when I went through time but I might try and turn a young Midgley’s mind in the direction of becoming an insurance salesman.

What would you do?

Follow the link to learn more about Midgley.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Midgley_Jr.

Act Local – Think Global!

River on fire – Frack it!

Fracking in Australia has caused the release of methane gas into a river one mile from the site of the mining.

The gas was set alight by an Australian politician using a stove lighter to make the point that fracking is not good for the environment. DUH! He gets burned a bit with the usual expletives uttered.

What do you think?

Think Global – Act Local!

Zen and art of Earth maintenance

If sirens rang, bells clanged and whistle blasts pierced the night but no one was listening  – would they be heard? Apparently, we’re not listening as the Earth’s average temperature jumped 1.21 degrees Celsius last month (February, 2016). This is a HUGE increase! The temperature broke records everywhere on the planet except Antarctica.

Tick, tick – tick …

Think Global – Act Local!

Silence in the coal mine

Years ago, I remember – so it wasn’t that far back, coal was mined underground by men with picks and shovels. It could be dangerous work with the ever present threat of cave-ins. Besides tunnel collapses another danger was poisonous gases like methane, carbon monoxide and dioxide. Back then electronic detection devices weren’t available to check for deadly gases so what we now call old school indicators were used – canaries.

Canaries were brought down into the mine in cages which were set in places where toxic gases were likely to accumulate. The canaries were normally singing or actively moving around in their cages. When a canary was doing these things all was good in the mine relative to gas buildup. When the birds weren’t doing any of these things or had died, and they would died quickly from toxic gases, it was time to leave the mine quickly before the miners passed out or there was an explosion.

Like the canaries there are many warning signs in our daily lives. Some examples being – yellow traffic lights, shortness of breath and the weight reading on our bathroom scale to name a few. The majority of us heed these warnings and if there’s are established protocols for dealing with the problems we follow them. These help us to live longer and healthier lives.

As a species we have been ignoring the warning signs of climate change for many years. Signs including: more hurricanes and typhoons; spring starting sooner; distributions of animals, plants and insects changing and global temperatures hitting new highs year after year.

The miners were always listening for the canaries’ song.
Are YOU listening?

Think Global – Act Local!

I’m Melting! Methane ice

Just when you thought you understood all the things that added to global warming one comes along that had been waiting for centuries under the oceans to surprise you.
When water freezes it forms a square crystalline structure. In the center of each square there is empty space . When, ice forms under pressure in the oceans in the presence of methane that gas is forced into the empty space. It’s called methyl hydrate. The methane stays inside the ice until it melts. With the oceans warming methane ice is starting to melt.
Methane gas is many times worse for global warming than CO2. Worldwide the amount of methane contained in methyl hydrates is conservatively estimated to contain twice the amount of carbon found in all the known fossil fuels on Earth.
There are major deposits of methane hydrate in Siberia which were discovered as part of drilling operations for natural gas. The are also large amounts in the ground below the permafrost on the northern slope of Alaska. Methyl hydrate has and is being discovered under ocean sediments by oil drilling operations and scientific exploration work all over the world. It’s distribution is worldwide but the largest deposits are found in the arctic and along the margins of continental shelves. If the methane hydrate is under the ocean when the methane is released a plume is formed.
Over the last ten years 160+ plumes of methane have been discovered off the coasts of Oregon and Washington. For more information follow the link below and search my BLOG using the key word methane – there are some dramatic videos.

Think Global – Act Local!

http://gizmodo.com/warming-waters-are-releasing-giant-plumes-of-methane-of-1736706656?ref=yfp

They ‘re Here!

Previously, I’ve written about water resource problems in California and some possible associated issues. One of these issues was the movement of California’s population elsewhere especially to the Northwest. It’s started.

Californians are buying up property in North Portland at over asking price and as a result bidding wars are now common. Native Portlanders and Oregonians are not receiving this influx of new California buyers too well. They are showing their concern by putting stickers with the shape of California covered with a circle and a line through it on home for sale signs. Check the ‘Oregonian’ article for more details.

http://www.oregonlive.com/front-porch/index.ssf/2015/09/no_californians_stickers_being.html

Think Global – Act Local!

The least controls the most

In North America we have always more than enough stuff. OK, a lot more than enough of everything we’ve needed for a couple of hundred years. We never had any limiting factor that stopped our growth as a nation for very long – we just moved further west and there it was, more stuff. That stuff was timber, arable and grazing land, wild animals and water.

When we hit the Pacific ocean and our population continued to grow without limit the wild animals were no longer there for food so we ranched. When the limitless forest was gone we started tree farms. For food we farmed every available acre. In all these cases there was something we thought would never run out – water.

In agricultural science there is something called Liebig’s Law of the minimum. It states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource (the limiting factor).

The limiting factor in California has been and is freshwater. It is quickly running out. Various data sources indicate that there is one to three years of water left without a relapse into former rainfall patterns.

Like the lemmings which mass migrate in a quest for food due to over population So Cal and the Bay area populations will have to move somewhere. Where will we put the ‘water refugees’? Steinbeck might have called this ‘Revenge of the dust bowl’.

Think Global – Act Local!

Hot!

July, 2015 was the hottest month on the planet ever recorded in human history.

Climate change – any questions?

Think Global – Act Local!

Release the Balls!!

The drought in California is getting worse and so are the water use regulations. Given that California and the west coast in general are known for coming up with new and innovative ways of doing things, it’s not surprising that they have come up with ‘Shade Balls’. They are round black polyethylene balls that float of the surface of the L.A.’s reservoirs. Their effect is to reduce evaporation, decrease algae growth and help reduce contamination from dust and wildlife. The cost is 39 cents each and the city of Los Angeles is releasing them into reservoirs. They are hollow with water inside so the wind won’t blow them off the reservoirs.

So far 96 million shade balls have been dumped into reservoirs around LA with the expectation that 300 million gallons of water a  year will be saved. I’m not sure if this will be part of a solution to California’s water crisis or it falls under the category of ‘Stupid Things Humans Do’.

So, now that California’s got balls we’ll just have to wait and see if they work.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/los-angeles-reservoir-shade-balls_55ca5a1ce4b0923c12be743d?utm_hp_ref=science&ir=Science&section=science&kvcommref=mostpopular

Think Global – Act Local!