Friday, February 27, 2009

Well, That's a Bummer...

Hi, guys!

The "Save the Planet" people just keeping getting loonier.  

I love this planet -- it's the only one I will ever inhabit, so it feels like home.  God made it for us and we should take care of it.  But there are some limits.

Here's an article from London in today's Daily Mail.  Some highlights in green.  I'm not making this up.

Luxury toilet paper is more harmful to the environment than gas-guzzling cars

Last updated at 1:51 AM on 27th February 2009

More than 98 per cent of toilet paper in the U.S.A. comes from virgin forests

More than 98 per cent of toilet paper in the U.S. comes from virgin forests

Extra-soft toilet paper is more harmful to the environment than gas-guzzling cars, campaigners claimed yesterday.

An obsession by Americans for the expensive quilted and multi-ply paper means that thousands of trees are being cut down for the U.S. market every year.

More than 98 per cent of toilet paper in the country comes from virgin forests and uses hardly any recycled materials. 

Toxic fumes are also released into the atmosphere because of the chemicals used in paper pulp manufacture.In Europe, up to 40 per cent of toilet paper comes from recycled products.

Scientist Allen Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defence Council, said: 'This is a product that we use for less than three seconds and the ecological consequences of manufacturing it from trees is enormous.

'Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. 

'Making toilet paper from virgin wood is a lot worse than driving Hummers in terms of global warming pollution.

'I really do think it is overwhelmingly an American phenomenon.

'People just don't understand that softness equals ecological destruction.'

Greenpeace has launched an ecological guide to toilet paper in an effort to counter the multi-million pound marketing budget of luxury toilet paper manufactures.

Lindsey Allen, Greenpeace's forestry campaigner, said: 'We have this myth in the U.S. that recycled is just so low quality, it's like cardboard.'

Americans use more paper than paper than any other country - about three times more than people in the UK, and 100 times more than the average person in China.

Toilet paper manufacturer Kimberly-Clark denies that its products are damaging the environment.

Spokesman Dave Dixon said his company used paper from sustainably farmed forests in Canada.

He added: 'For bath tissue Americans in particular like the softness and strength that virgin fibres provides

Well, a thought or two on the above.

1.  I now understand why Europeans always seem so dour and downbeat.  Hemorrhoids can do that to you.

2.  The three seconds that Europeans use toilet paper may also be as a result of the pain of wiping with the recycled cardboard or corn husks or whatever that stuff is made of.  Have you ever used European toilet paper?  Not pleasant, let me assure you.  

3.  The three second wipe must also mean only one or two "sheets of pain" are used very quickly by Europeans, which may, perhaps, ofter some insight as to the smell on the Metro in Paris or the Tube in London.

4.  Since Eurpeans apparently do not cut down trees nor use chemicals to process pulp, just how exactly do they get paper?  The husks and cardboard answer is beginning to make sense.

5.  Since "luxury toilet paper is more harmful to the environment than gas guzzling cars,"  perhaps we should elevate hydrogen sulfide to become the "leading greenhouse gas," replacing the evil CO2.

Somebody go ask the bears - you'll usually find them with their roll of corn husks, in the woods on the high ground.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chicken Little Was Right...

Hi, guys!

An important article up on the AP website this AM.  Wanted to be sure you didn't miss it.  I have highlighted a few points.

 A rocket carrying a NASA global warming satellite splashed into the ocean near Antarctica early Tuesday after a failed launch.
The Taurus XL rocket carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory blasted off just before 2 a.m. from California's Vandenberg Air Force BaseBut minutes later, a cover protecting the satellite during launch failed to separate from the rocket, a preliminary investigation found.
The 986-pound satellite was supposed to be placed into an orbit some 400 miles high to track carbon dioxide emissionsThe rocket landed in the ocean near Antarctica
A group of environment ministers from more than a dozen countries met on the southern continent this week to get the latest science on global warming. 
The observatory was NASA's first satellite dedicated to monitoring carbon dioxide on a global scale. Measurements collected from the $280 million mission were expected to improve climate models and help researchers determine where the greenhouse gas originates and how much is being absorbed by forests and oceans.
Carbon dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas and its buildup helps trap heat from the sun, causing potentially dangerous warming of the planet. Carbon dioxide emissions rose 3 percent worldwide from 2006 to 2007, according to international science agencies."

Well, several thoughts come to mind.

1.  Launching a rocket named "Taurus" was certainly not too wise.  The only worse choice would have been to launch one named "Edsel."

2.  Okay, the purpose of the program was to track carbon dioxide.  Where does it come from and where does 50% of it disappear to?  Give me the $280 Million this failed Taurus mission cost and I'll answer the question.  0.117% comes from human activity, the rest from nature.  That's $31 Million  per word.  Next question?

3.  I'll bet that in a about a week or two, some "scientist" is going to report a "spike" in the ocean temperature near Antarctica.  Of course, it will be attributed to global warming, not to the fiery crash of a NASA rocket.

4.  I am curious as to where the "environment ministers" from more than a dozen countries met in Antarctica this week.  Did the Ross Ice Shelf Hilton have a series of cancellations which permitted the ministers and their myriad of straphangers to slip in?

5.  Finally, AP reports that carbon dioxide is "the leading greenhouse gas."  Leading in what?  Certainly not in quantity - water vapor is 95% of greenhouse gas, while CO2 is only 3.618%.  Maybe "leading" is as in "leading lady?"  Or perhaps "leading" means leading the uninformed public around by the nose?  In truth, carbon dioxide is "THE MOST MISLEADING GREENHOUSE GAS!"  Strong opinions follow...

Best wishes to John, Kirk, Denise, Jean, Sonya and others who are working their way through health issues at this time.
When you're up on the high ground, be certain you're not downrange from any rockets named after Ford products...  

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Birds and the Puhleeze...

Hi, Guys!  It's been only a few days since my last post, but I got tired of reading the thousands of pages of the Porculus Bill, so I found this in The Washington Compost this morning.  They never fail to start my day with laughter.

Here's the quick summary.  Researchers put small transmitters on songbirds and then tracked them during their migration to Latin America and back in the fall/spring of 2007-08.

"As one researcher held the bird still, another would slide a Teflon loop around one of the animal's legs -- in much the way that a parent slips a backpack over a child's shoulders -- before working a second loop around the other leg and then stitching the loops together with Kevlar thread.  Set free, the 14 wood thrushes and 20 purple martins took off that fall on their epic seasonal voyages to South America, with the 'geolocators' resting 
comfortably on their backs."

I would like to see the transcript of the birds being polled as to how comfortable the little backpacks were.  When the birds returned, even though their 'geolocators' allowed researchers to "calculate where each bird was on any given day," only SEVEN of the 34 birds were found.  This appears to have been a flight test in which only one fifth of the tested aircraft survived....

At the same time, the researchers tracked the bird's flight path both soutward and northward.  Much to their surprise, the birds took more direct flight paths to get to Latin America, while flying the long routes heading back north.  These researchers obviously have never gone to a vacation site in record time, then come home a little slower...  However, one researcher noted:

"One northbound wood thrush, opting for the scenic route, took 29 days to fly 2,852 miles, choosing not to cross the Gulf of Mexico.  The fact that it did not attempt the more than 12 hour non-stop crossing could indicate that it was underfed and tired because its wintering ground in South America had become degraded."

There it is!  The obligatory reference to how global warming is harming even the most lovable of creatures - small songbirds.  No mention of the possibility that the cute little 'geolocator' backpack may have had any role in the wood thrush's being tired  and hence his choice of northward routes. 

The scientists concluded:

"There's no sign at all that the songbirds even know they're wearing the backpacks.
The team is hoping to collect more data this spring; it placed 'geolocators' on 20 more purple martins and 35 wood thrushes in 2008.

The scientists still do not understand why they were able to recapture only two of the purple martins last year but will continue to pursue the research unless they find out this year that only a few purple martins return."

I suppose it's the birds fault for being unable to give signs that humans understand, like, "Get this stupid thing off my back!" 

Looks like it's gonna be a tough year for the purple martins trying to avoid be captured and fitted with the "cute little backpack of death."

Meanwhile, the National Association of Birds Doing Research on Humans (NABDROH) has proposed a similar experiment to track humans in their annual movements.

Large birds will be used to select and capture human "volunteers" for the "cute little backpacks" the small birds will place on them.  Head for the high ground.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Be Afraid, Again

Hi, guys!  It's been a month since I've posted, probably because all the news has been bad and getting worse daily.  But today was different...

You've heard me previously refer to our local paper as The Washington Compost.  That's for obvious reasons due to the odor of most of its reporting.  But today it earns its name because it is The Washington Comedy Post.  

As the Queen's sister, Sylvia (the one with the megawatt smile) always says, "There's nothing like a good snake story."  Well, the Compost had one this morning that I just couldn't pass up.

The big snake depicted above is not just big, it's TITANIC!  Claimed to be nearly 43 feet long and weighing in at over a ton, this baby's fossil part (a vertebrae) was found in a coal mine in South America, where it lived about 60 million years ago.  Aptly enough, it has been named Titanoboa cerrejonensis, roughly translated from the Latin as "big snake from Cerrejon."

It is claimed to have feasted on very large turtles such as shown in the drawing as well as eating entire huge crocodiles in a single swallow.  It is said to have been able to eat a cow in one bite, although cows weren't around 60 million years ago, so how that was guessed is beyond me.

But here's the best part.  Snakes are pretty scary, right?  Well, when all the latest science is going the wrong way on Global Warming and London just had its worst snowstorm in 60 years, something is needed to get people back into their "Day After Tomorrow" mentality - where global warming caused New York to freeze over... huh?

So, cue the monster snake!  The lead scientist for the article published in Nature is a guy named Jason Head.  Based on his report, his nickname is probably "Hop."  Dr. Hop reported that the average temperature in the Colombian jungles during the time of Titanoboa was somewhere between 86 and 93 degrees Fahrenheit, about 10 degrees hotter than it is there today.  So, just fairly small changes in temperature can apparently produce things that will eat Bossy in one bite...

Wait, says Dr. Hop. 

"It is a big leap to go from a natural kind of global warming that takes place over tens of thousands to millions of years to human-induced climate change taking place over decades.   (back pedal)

(Leap anyway) That being said, it should make people pause and consider what might be the effects of heating up the equator as well as heating up the high latitudes through global warming."

Human induced climate change... If you've been following this blog for any time at all, you'll know that the Kernal is a skeptic on that.  95% of all the greenhouse gas affecting the Earth is Water Vapor (H2O) which God makes and of which man produces almost none. (0.001%)  3.618% of greenhouse gas is Carbon Dioxide of which man produces and emits 0.117%.

So Dr. Hop Head is telling us to shut down the world's economy (in the middle of a pretty serious slowdown to boot) in order that we may reduce our ONE EIGHTH OF ONE PERCENT contribution to climate change (formerly known as global warming)?  Absolutely -- let people starve and return to their agrarian roots - - - lest there be snakes...  Big snakes!  Scary snakes!  Big, scary snakes! 

Stay tuned for the next Washington Comedy Post episode of "Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid"  The expected topic will be Gargantuspidersanfranciscus.

Until then, keep fighting, Kirk!  We'll see you on the high ground!  No snakes allowed.