Author Topic: Change and Effects  (Read 30680 times)

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Offline Raptorman

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Change and Effects
« on: April 04, 2010, 10:17:11 PM »
Something to think about:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC5UIEx83fo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC5UIEx83fo</a>

Offline Raptorman

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 12:59:37 AM »
The problem with farmed salmon in British Columbia.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTYhQAN9BW0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTYhQAN9BW0</a>

Offline Raptorman

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 01:33:49 AM »
We've known about this since 1998:



Catalytic Converters and Global Warming

SEPP COMMENTS Follow the story. Note possible reporting error and link to EPA correction that appeared later the same day.
Copyright 1998 THE NEW YORK TIMES

THE NEW YORK TIMES
Friday, May 29, 1998


"Autos' Converters Increase Warming As They Cut Smog: A Split Over Solutions"
By Matthew L. Wald

WASHINGTON -- The catalytic converter, an invention that has sharply reduced smog from cars, has now become a significant and growing cause of global warming, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hailed as a miracle by Detroit automakers even today, catalytic converters have been reducing smog for 20 years. The converters break down compounds of nitrogen and oxygen from car exhaust that can combine with hydrocarbons, also from cars, and be cooked by sunlight into smog.

But researchers have suspected for years that the converters sometimes rearrange the nitrogen-oxygen compounds to form nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas. And nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas, more than 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the most common of the gases, that is warming the atmosphere, according to experts.

This spring, the EPA published a study estimating that nitrous oxide now comprises about 7.2 percent of the gases that cause global warming. Cars and trucks, most fitted with catalytic converters, produce nearly half of that nitrous oxide, the study said. (Other sources of nitrous oxide include everything from nitrogen-based fertilizer to manure from farm animals.)

The EPA study also showed that nitrous oxide is one of a few gases for which emissions are increasing rapidly. Collectively known as greenhouse gases, they trap heat in the earth's atmosphere.

The increase in nitrous oxide, the study notes, stems from the growth in the number of miles traveled by cars that have catalytic converters. And the problem has worsened as improvements in catalytic converters, changes that have eliminated more of the nitrogen-oxygen compounds that cause smog, have conversely produced more nitrous oxide.

Wylie J. Barbour, an EPA official who worked on the recently published inventory, said that the problem created by the converter is classic. "You've got people trying to solve one problem, and as is not uncommon, they've created another."

Nitrous oxide, or N2O, is not regulated because the Clean Air Act was written in 1970 to control smog, not global warming. And no regulations exist to control gases that are believed to cause global warming.

The United States and the other industrialized nations agreed in Kyoto, Japan, last December to lower emissions of greenhouse gases to 5 percent below 1990 levels, over the next 10 to 15 years, but the agreement has not been approved by the Senate, and no implementing rules have been written.

"This hadn't really been on people's radar screen until climate change started becoming an issue," said one EPA official involved in reducing pollution from cars, who asked not to be identified by name.

The EPA has not proposed a solution at this point, and is seeking public comment on its study. Auto industry experts say they could solve the problem by tinkering with the catalytic converter, but some environmentalists suggest that the growing production of nitrous oxide is yet another reason to move away from gasoline-powered cars. The EPA's study estimated that nitrous oxide may represent about one-sixth of the global warming effect that results from gasoline use.

"It's like, clean is not green," said Sheila Lynch, executive director of the Northeast Alternative Vehicle Coalition, a public-private partnership that encourages non-traditional power sources.

Another expert, Christopher S. Weaver, an engineering consultant who wrote a study on the subject for the environmental agency, said, "We haven't cared enough to establish standards."

Precisely how much nitrous oxide the converters produce remains an issue. A report used by the EPA in preparing its greenhouse gas study, calculated that a car with a fuel economy of about 19 miles a gallon would produce .27 grams of nitrous oxide per mile. That represents an amount that is about one-third the limit of emissions for nitrogen oxide, the chemicals causing smog.

Steven H. Cadle, a research scientist at General Motors, said, "it's a huge number." In contrast, an older car without a catalytic converter produces much larger amounts of nitrogen oxides, but only about a tenth as much nitrous oxide, the greenhouse gas.

The EPA calculated that production of nitrous oxide from vehicles rose by nearly 50 percent between 1990 and 1996 as older cars without converters have neared extinction. Using a standard unit of measure for global warming gases, millions of metric tons of carbon equivalent, nitrous oxide emissions rose to 54.7 million tons from 36.7 million during those years, the study said.

The contradictory impact of the converter has not been lost on environmental officials or industry experts, who continue to debate not only the extent of the growing problem as well as how to reduce the emissions in future years.

Ned Sullivan, the head of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, said the converter problem requires a "comprehensive" response. "This specific issue fits into a broader context that our regulatory system has tended to deal with pollutants on an individual, rather than a comprehensive, basis," he said.

He and others favor moving away from today's typical car design, a big gasoline engine driving the wheels, to electric cars. Maine would like electric cars. Another solution is hybrid cars, which use small, efficient engines running on gasoline to help turn the wheels and to charge batteries for electric motors that also run the wheels. Those have much higher fuel economy, and thus lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Car industry experts, however, favor less drastic changes. They propose cutting nitrous oxide production by adjusting catalytic converters in future models. They suspect that the gas is produced when the converter is warming up, and believe the converters could be redesigned to reach optimum temperature faster. That would also help them destroy other pollutants better.

Weaver said that measurements on more kinds of cars and light trucks would be needed to be certain about the size of the problem. But Weaver said, "It is quite clear that you produce nitrous oxide in a catalyst, in some circumstances."

At the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group, an expert on transportation pollution, Roland Hwang, said, "We can't be pushing forward trying to reduce smog while making the global warming problem worse; we can't have programs that undercut each other." He said this was evidence that the transportation system would have to use something besides gasoline.

Cadle, of General Motors would not go that far. But, he said, "You have to be holistic and try and look at everything, which is obviously difficult."

Copyright 1998, The New York Times.

SEPP COMMENTS: The key phrase here is that people trying to solve one problem often as not create another. One only has to recall that the internal combustion engine was once the pollution solution to cities stinking of horse urine and manure.

If confirmed, the EPA report underscores the fact that a cleaner environment isn't necessarily one with fewer greenhouse gases. Making anything cleaner--waste water, high-sulfur coal, auto exhaust-- means using additional energy, and that generally means additional greenhouse gas emissions.

The catalytic converter reduces engine efficiency and creates less fuel efficiency than we could achieve without it, but we accept burning more gasoline to get a cleaner exhaust. In the process we also accept increased emissions of carbon dioxide--which in itself is not a pollutant, notwithstanding recent EPA claims to the contrary--and now, apparently, increased emissions of nitrous oxide.

Under current conditions, demands by Green political activists for the development and use of all-electric cars amounts to arguing both ends against the middle. An all-electric car--if one was available that was cheap, comfortable, and had a reasonable range--uses energy generated at a power plant.

The only emission-free power plants capable of meeting even current needs are nuclear and hydroelectric, both of which are being blocked by Green activists. Solar and wind turbines cannot produce enough energy to constitute a viable alternative (and certainly could not handle the additional energy burden of millions of electric cars). Moreover, some Green groups complain that wind turbines kill birds and that both wind turbines and solar panels are blights upon the landscape. Relying to a greater extent on natural gas power plants risks releasing more methane into the atmosphere from leaky pipelines--and methane is 60 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Government has to weigh the alternatives. The public expects the best possible air quality at the lowest possible cost. Fossil fuels are currently the least costly, but nuclear and hydroelectric are sound energy sources and emission-free, and the hybrid electric car just introduced by Toyota (and which U.S. automakers could certainly improve upon) is an important interim step until a breakthrough in power storage makes the all-electric car a marketable reality.

Emotional demands from those who always seem unhappy with the choices is not a good basis for policy. Quite apart from the ongoing debate over a putative global warming, nuclear and hydroelectric power and hybrid cars are just a few of the many ideas that make good sense and constitute progress.

NOTE: The New York Times reporter's statement that nitrous oxides now comprise 7.2 percent of the gases that cause global warming appears to be wrong. If N2O is 7.2 percent of the greenhouse gases, and it's 300 times more potent than CO2, that would make it the primary greenhouse gas. The primary greenhouse gas is water vapor. Either the EPA has omitted water vapor altogether in its calculations, which would be very wrong, or the reporter misread the report and what the EPA actually meant was that N2O accounts for 7.2 percent of a putative warming effect. Quite different. The N2O figure should not be cited until verified.



Source: http://www.sepp.org/Archive/controv/controversies/catalytic.html

Offline Cawatcher

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 09:22:18 AM »
Thank You raptorman for this insight!

Offline baysis

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 10:18:04 AM »
Raptorman - thank you very much for these articles.  I had not realised that Norwegian firms owned so much of the Canadian farmed salmon industry. 
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand (Confucius)

Offline AJL

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 11:21:05 PM »
Raptorman, thanks for starting this great thread. The information about the Aral sea  - and in addition, what all of those released chemicals have done, is horrifying. 
Those chemicals are continuing to destroy - the newer ones that are meant to be less dangerous, as dangerous as the old. We saw what they did to the Bald eagle, the Peregrine falcon, and then the frogs. Now their effects on humans are beginning to show in a big way.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, estrogen mimickers, and their effects on  males of our and other species.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjYn-HwDQns" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjYn-HwDQns</a>
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irgrje7jCBU
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20KkO1Wg_QU
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20KkO1Wg_QU
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2FyGxGWYVA
There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.  ~Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion and Other Essays

Offline birdvoyer

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2010, 07:36:35 AM »
AJL, these videos are blocked outside of Canada for "copyright" reasons. Could you possibly give a "Reader's Digest" summary? It would be of interest to know what you have provided as further info.

Offline AJL

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2010, 08:44:56 AM »
I'm sorry you can't see the videos outside of Canada. I will leave the links for those who can see them.
Quote:
"We are conducting a vast toxicological experiment in which our children and our children's children are the experimental subjects." Dr. Herbert Needleman
The Disappearing Male is about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system.
The last few decades have seen steady and dramatic increases in the incidence of boys and young men suffering from genital deformities, low sperm count, sperm abnormalities and testicular cancer.
At the same time, boys are now far more at risk of suffering from ADHD, autism, Tourette's syndrome, cerebral palsy, and dyslexia.
The Disappearing Male takes a close and disturbing look at what many doctors and researchers now suspect are responsible for many of these problems: a class of common chemicals that are ubiquitous in our world.
Found in everything from shampoo, sunglasses, meat and dairy products, carpet, cosmetics and baby bottles, they are called "hormone mimicking" or "endocrine disrupting" chemicals and they may be starting to damage the most basic building blocks of human development.
Unquote.
http://www.archive.org/details/TheDisappearingMale-CBC
(Is it possible to download it at this link?)
There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.  ~Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion and Other Essays

Offline Rajame

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2010, 10:36:23 AM »
Ajl,

Thank you for sharing the imperative and important information.  The consideration of what is happening and how we are unleashing toxins into our systems and the children, animals, etc. is daunting.  It is hard to wage a battle against the big companies (producers of the toxins), but we must.  People can make a difference.  There are many avenues that we can follow, #1 is to let our pocketbooks do the talking.  I could go on and on, but thank you for bringing this to our attention.  Our enviornment surrounds all of us.

Hugs,
Rajame  :heart
Your soul lights up the room as if the sun is beaming directly.

Offline NancyM

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 12:43:45 PM »
http://www.archive.org/details/TheDisappearingMale-CBC
(Is it possible to download it at this link?)

AJL, that link works for me here in the US - thank you for finding it.  The video at that site contains all 44+  minutes and can be watched right at that site or downloaded.

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 04:16:28 PM »
Thank you, Ajl.  I was able to have it start on my computer, and saved it for viewing later. 
Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature; he finds it attached to the rest of the world". ~John Muir

Offline birdvoyer

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 06:45:51 PM »
Thank you AJL for the additional link. I am just so fearful for my daughter's future and her children's future.  :ecsad

Offline boonibarb

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2010, 06:59:42 PM »
Yesterday i went to our community hall to have lunch.
While i was waiting for my yummy home made meal to arrive, i picked up two magazines & flipped through them.
One of them had Johnny Depp on the cover.  :mhihi
But HE is not what i*m writing about.
The other had an article on The Sea of Plastic.
i have watched a documentary on the subject, so i just flipped to the article & the two fotos caught my eye instantly.
One was a very close up of an albatross chick, gigantic, with a wide open beak.
The caption said that 40% of albatross hatchlings die from ingesting plastic.
Then there was a foto of a dead bird on its back.
A seabird by the look of it.
It*s chest was wide open & solidly packed with pieces of plastic, one of which looked like a lighter.
This OUTRAGES me!!!  :mgritted
It*s one thing that we*re killing ourselves with our damaging of our environment.
But these poor innocent birds, eating things that they mistakenly & trustingly believe to be food, & then dying.
i can*t even imagine what that death would be like!
i*ve been thinking about this for a day now.
That foto leaves me sick.
Look about you next time you*re out for a walk & notice how much plastic you see strewn about - produce bags, shopping bags, lighters, milk cartons, pop bottles, broken toys, broken car parts, the list is endless!!
& i was thinking of how we as people are now thought of as *consumers* by the corporations.
To put it simply, we are supposed to work hard all our lives & spend all our money on *stuff*.
We are supposed to consume.
This is what makes the economy go round these days.
But what makes our economy go round is destroying our world, & the world of the animals & the animals themselves.
We need to be more conscious of what we buy!
Next time you think of buying that thing at the dollar store, THINK!
That thing had to be made, probably from plastic.
That makes pollution.
The person that made that thing probably got paid next to nothing for their labour.
One day that thing will be broken & it will end up in the earth, in a landfill.
Or it will end up floating in the ocean.
EVERYTHING you buy will be garbage one day.
EVERYTHING eventually ends up in the ocean.
We only have one ocean & it is full of plastic.
Even if we stop buying right now we have an ocean full of plastic.
To me, it should be a priority that we clean up our mess somehow.
& stop making more mess.



This albatross chick died with 306 pieces of plastic in its belly. Some of them up to 6 inches long and jagged. (Photo: Claire Johnson/NOAA)



Click here for Article - Los Angeles Times - Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas



This is a short video about the plastics in our ocean & the problems they cause.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpaSewyddd4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpaSewyddd4</a>


Albatross Necropsy

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FinDNPopXQY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FinDNPopXQY</a>
wooohoooo!

Offline baysis

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010, 05:21:12 AM »
thank you for that, booni.  I first read with horror of the Great Pacific Plastic patch a few years ago, but didn't realise there was a similar one in the Atlantic (reported in the National Geographic News)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/03/100302-new-ocean-trash-garbage-patch/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/08/090820-plastic-decomposes-oceans-seas.html


I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand (Confucius)

Offline NancyM

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Re: Change and Effects
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2010, 07:54:40 AM »
That is indeed a sickening story and picture, booni!

Plastic pollution is a huge problem in the ocean and has been for decades.

I boycott balloons, because in spite of what the manufacturers would have us believe, I think most balloons and the attached strings are also a danger to marine wildlife (incl. birds, turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks).