June 1, 2009

Environmental bullshit in the media

If the globe is not warming, let's look at other ways to hamstring CO2 production (and thereby capitalism) If CO2 goes into the atmosphere, it will cause the Oceans to acidify and this will cause the coral reefs to deteriorate. This pseudo-science piffle can be found at the Australian branch of News.com:
Acid seas 'attacking shellfish, corals'
From correspondents in Bonn, Germany

CLIMATE change is turning the oceans more acid in a trend that could endanger everything from clams to coral and be irreversible for thousands of years.

Seventy academies from around the world urged governments meeting in Bonn for climate talks from June 1-12 to take more account of risks to the oceans in a new UN treaty for fighting global warming due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.

The academies said rising amounts of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas emitted mainly by human use of fossil fuels, were being absorbed by the oceans and making it harder for creatures to build protective body parts.

The shift disrupts ocean chemistry and attacks the "building blocks needed by many marine organisms, such as corals and shellfish, to produce their skeletons, shells and other hard structures", they said.

On some projections, levels of acidification in 80 per cent of Arctic seas would be corrosive to clams that are vital to the food web by 2060, it said.

And "coral reefs may be dissolving globally" if atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide were to rise to 550 parts per million (ppm) from a current 387 ppm.

Corals are home to many species of fish.

"These changes in ocean chemistry are irreversible for many thousands of years and the biological consequences could last much longer," they said.

Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, the British science academy, said there may be an "underwater catastrophe".

"The effects will be seen worldwide, threatening food security, reducing coastal protection and damaging the local economies that may be least able to tolerate it," he said.

The academies said that if current rates of carbon emissions continue until 2050, computer models indicate "the oceans will be more acidic than they have been for tens of millions of years".
Another example of this twaddle can be found at the BBC from this January:
Acid oceans 'need urgent action'
The world's marine ecosystems risk being severely damaged by ocean acidification unless there are dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions, warn scientists.

More than 150 top marine researchers have voiced their concerns through the "Monaco Declaration", which warns that changes in acidity are accelerating.
First of all. Reef systems are dynamic. They advance and retreat. They come and go. Some are better than others. The Hawai'ian reefs have always been marginal while the Caribbean reefs are awesome. This is a simple fact of life and chance, not anything to do with CO2. A few years ago, the enviros had their panties in a twist over how the Great Barrier Reef of Australia was doomed, doomed I tell you. Segue to today -- the Science Daily of April, 2009:
Spectacular Recovery From Coral Bleaching At Great Barrier Reef Marine Park In Australia
Marine scientists say they are astonished at the spectacular recovery of certain coral reefs in Australia�s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from a devastating coral bleaching event in 2006.
Reefs are a dynamic system - change happens and the idea that we can affect them with our own actions is pure hubris. Now: CO2 If you show an Aquarist, especially someone who specializes in tropical reef habitat aquariums the above two news stories, they will snort their coffee out through their nose and call you an idiot (or worse). Check out this section of the Marine and Reef Aquarium Supply home page:
There is a whole section on hardware for the specific purpose of adding gaseous CO2 to freshwater and saltwater aquaria. The CO2 in freshwater tanks is plant food -- if we did not have CO2, we would not have plants. When it comes to Reef tanks, things get interesting. Here is a quote from the Drs. Foster and Smith site:
Calcium Reactors
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

What They Do�How They Work In nature, seawater bathes coral reefs in many minerals and elements. Of all the minerals and elements present in natural seawater, no mineral is consumed as quickly or in as large of amounts as calcium. Hard corals, which are the building blocks of the coral reef, demand large amounts of calcium to build their skeletons. Providing enough calcium to meet the demands of all the corals, invertebrates, and algae in a closed ecosystem creates a real challenge for the hobbyist.

To help you meet this challenge, consider adding a calcium reactor to your aquarium system. Calcium reactors automate the process of replenishing calcium as well as other minerals and trace elements.

A calcium reactor is essentially a chamber full of aragonite, which is the crushed skeleton of ancient hard corals. Aquarium water is pumped through this chamber along with pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 lowers the pH in the chamber to an acidic level, which dissolves aragonite into the aquarium water. In addition to dissolving the calcium, this process also dissolves nearly all the minerals and trace elements the coral used in order to grow. Therefore, a calcium reactor takes much of the guesswork out of adding trace elements to your reef aquarium, because it replenishes these minerals and elements in the near exact proportions that the corals need to thrive.
Emphasis mine -- these 'reactors' are mimicking the chemistry that normally happens on a reef. Again, reefs are not static, they are dynamic, they change. Old reefs die, new reefs are born and the presence of Carbon Dioxide gas in the water is the vital transport mechanism to this ancient cycle. Sure, you can bubble CO2 through a flask of some seawater until you have a saturated solution and then drop in a chunk of coral, that coral will dissolve. --BUT-- it will have been turned into food for new corals. Your little experiment in the lab may support your pet theory but it in no way represents the dynamics of reef life and what goes on in the real world. Take a look at the historical record of temperature and CO2 over the last 600 Million Years (derived from Ice core samples):
The late Ordovician had CO2 levels about ten times what we are now experiencing, the average temperature was from 22C to 12C - 71F to 53F. It was a time of incredible Coral growth. From the middle Ordovician in the Paleozoic major coral groups were contributors to massive reef systems. There, in the late 1920s, the young Australian geologist discovered a rich deposit of fossil corals from the Palaeozoic era. (The Ordovician s part of the Palaeozoic era) The politicians/lobbyists and the environmentalists have two very specific agendas. The politicians are looking to grab power and money. If they control the purse strings on legislation regarding CO2, they will control who gets to do what and who is rewarded for this. The environmental movement has sadly been hijacked by cultural marxists who want to destroy the United States and bring everyone back to the Middle Ages. Sometimes I despair that these people are not thinking through the consequences of their actions. CO2 is not an enemy, it is an old friend. Global warming or global cooling will happen regardless of what we do one way or the other. The Sun drives our climate, not some small whiff of gas. There is no "tipping point" as all studies have shown that there is a negative feedback regulatory action in the Earth's temperature, when it gets hot, it will cool off, when it gets cold, it will warm up again. Right now, we are recovering from a recent Ice Age, the Earth has been warming up to around 1998 when it started cooling off again. More people die from cold than from heat so we should really be looking at developing nuclear power instead of pissing away our limited petroleum resources on "alternative" sources that will never ever deliver baseload and any peaking will be unreliable. Yes, I am ranting but... When I see abject stupidity like the two leading news items, stuff published without even picking up the phone and calling a University Oceanography department, I sometimes wonder what the Mainstream Media's role is in all this. What thrill up their leg do they get by helping to hamstring our progress. Bleagh. Off to the DaveCave(tm) to check email and to bed... Posted by DaveH at June 1, 2009 7:49 PM