some environment quotes and reforestation quotes, including agroforestry quotes, deforestation facts, figures and quotes, climate change quotes, science quotes, political quotes, conservation quotes and diagrams, etc. See also the “Environment Posters” page, and the “Climate Change Quotes” page.
I hope you find some of these quotes inspirational, or educational and thought-provoking.
I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, but some of them certainly made me stop and think. One of my favourites is:
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,
it is time to pause and reflect”,
by one of my favourite people to quote – Mark Twain.
If you like any of my photos on this site you are welcome to download them, use them as screen savers, print them and share them with friends etc. (i.e. for personal use, but not for commercial use without my permission).
Science and environment quotes:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
“It is the duty of scientists to use science to relieve hunger and poverty. If more of us did that, it would help overturn the political mismanagement and corruption that is the biggest cause of human misery.”
Gordon Sato. Winner of the Rolex award for enterprise and the Blue Planet environmental prize. In: Warne, K. 2011. Let Them Eat Shrimp: the tragic disappearance of the rain forests of the sea. Shearwater Books. ISBN-13:978-1-59726-683-3. Pg. 126.
“When you’re dealing with ecosystems, always assume you are wrong.”
Allan Savory, inventor of holistic management and planned grazing. Permaculture No. 77 Autumn 2013, pg. 50.
I like the honesty and humility of the above quote.
“20% of Latin America is protected land and marine areas – it is by far the world’s leader in this category.”
National Geographic Global Atlas. 2014. Pg. 70.
This is especially fortunate considering the high biodiversity in Latin America. The rest of us need to lift our game.
The virtue of scepticism in science:
“Our belief in any particular natural law cannot have a safer basis than our unsuccessful attempts to refute it.”
Karl Popper. Conjectures and Refutations. 1963.
“Nullius in verba”
“On the word of no one”, or “Take nobody’s word for it” is the motto of the Royal Society (the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge). “It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment”. The Royal Society was founded in 1660 and is a learned society for science, and possibly the oldest such society still in existence. Source: Wikipedia.
A high and noble aspiration, and perhaps not always achievable.
“Most institutions demand unqualified truth: but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue.”
Robert K. Merton.
“Half of the planet’s wetlands disappeared in the past century”
National Geographic Global Atlas. 2014. Pg. 32.
“Since 2006 the number of mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has increased from 340 to 400 due to tourism conservation.”
http://www.mhlatini.com. Nice to hear some good news. No doubt the local rangers have worked hard and risked their lives to achieve this! It is well worth watching the DVD “The Thin Green Line”, by Australian ranger Sean Wilmore, now the managing director of the Thin Green Line Foundation. Visit: https://www.thingreenline.org.au
You may be interested to visit my web site https://camouflagepatterns.wordpress.com/ where I have designed camouflage which I hope will be used by anti-poaching rangers to protect endangered wildlife. More on this further down the page.
COP 21 – quotes, analysis and recommendations
A mostly satirical commentary about the 2015 climate change conference.
Update: November 2016:
I wasn’t invited to the climate change conference in Morocco! And here I was, hoping to give the opening and closing addresses. Rejected. I wonder why?
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
H. L. Mencken.
which leads into the next quote from Ban Ki-moon about the 2015 climate change conference:
“Evidently Ban has listened to the people – the young, the poor and the vulnerable, including indigenous people, from every corner of the globe. (Let’s just forget about Ban’s carbon footprint shall we?) “They seek protection from the perils of a warming planet, and the opportunity to live in a safer, more bountiful world. They have demanded that world leaders act to safeguard their well being and that of generations to come.”“
Ban Ki-moon (quote in bold text). Judith Sloan, The Australian newspaper, Dec 29 2015. Page 12.
It worked! For years the people have been subjected over-and-over-again to a misleading global brainwashing campaign, a barrage of disinformation, and have been menaced with the imaginary hobgoblin of a “warming planet”, and are now alarmed and clamorous to be led to safety!
Billions have been spent to fool most of the people most of the time, and now billions will be willingly provided by a menaced and therefore clamorous populace to solve a contrived non-problem. Meanwhile the rich and powerful become even richer, stay in power, and become even more powerful, while the poor are fleeced of their money and civil liberties. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together! The Hegelian dialectic in action! (for more on the hegelian dialectic see – http://www.crossroadto/articles2/05/dialectic.htm)
Worse than that, some of the funds will no doubt be used to continue the brainwashing, so that the brainwashed pay for their own brainwashing, to be brainwashed into giving even more money… for more brainwashing for more money… to be continued…
COP 21 Context
The quotes should be taken in context:
There has been no significant global warming for the past 18 years, while Co2 has continued to rise steadily over the same period. Disasters such as floods, landslides, tornadoes etc., have and will continue to occur of course, but there has been nowhere near the huge increase in intensity and frequency of wild weather events that have been predicted (see the Andrew Bolt article further down this page). The menace is not so much climate change, but baseless wild speculations. In addition, some of these disasters are in fact caused or at least exacerbated by deforestation, and land degradation such as overgrazing from set stocking, rather than anthropogenic climate change, and could be largely if not entirely solved by the reforestation/ecological restoration techniques and systems promoted on this site.
More Co2 in the air generally increases plant growth, and more carbon in soils improves soils, and generally increases plant growth. Therefore a golden opportunity exists to make the most of increased Co2 levels to increase reforestation and agricultural production. Also, this is an opportunity to make long term improvements to soils by fixing some of the Co2 as biochar, and adding it to soils, as well as building up organic matter/humus levels in soils (and increasing soil life).
In the 70’s we were told that we faced impending doom from an upcoming ice age – or has there just been a “pause”? Could it be that it has simply “stopped”? Or it was never the big issue it was made out to be in the first place? What if there had been climate change conferences then, which decided to burn as much coal as possible, to increase the temperature, and to add as much Co2 as possible, to ward off the catastrophic ice age? Later the big scare was global warming, and now climate change (a bet each way, you can’t lose) where there has been a “pause” for 18 years.
About 40,000 people attended COP21, many at the expense of tax payers from around the world (with the lion’s share coming from US tax payers – 22% of UN funding comes from US taxpayers).
Most Australians are now global warming sceptics (see the Andrew Bolt article further down this page). Australia is supposed to be a democracy, i.e. “government of the people, by the people, for the people“. Politicians are supposed to represent (government by the people) and act on the wishes of the people (government for the people), and since the majority of Australians are sceptics, it was against the express will of the majority of the people of Australia to have even sent a delegation to COP21, much less to sign up to any agreements. An illegitimate and enormous waste of taxpayers’ money, for which they should be held accountable. Furthermore, since there is no mandate from the people for them, all agreements, signed or otherwise, are illegitimate, null, and void.
“If all the industrialised nations cut their greenhouse emissions to zero it would not be enough to meet a 2C target because 65 per cent of the world’s emissions come from developing countries. Legacy arguments about historic carbon dioxide emissions from Western countries are weakening – by 2030 half of the world’s historic carbon dioxide emissions will have come from developing nations.”
Put simply, about two thirds of the world’s emissions come from developing countries, and their emissions are expected to equal the historical emissions of the West in a mere 14 years. See the map below, and visit the “Environment Posters” page for more.
So COP21 wants tax payers of Western nations to give hundreds of billions of dollars to developing nations, who are presently the cause of two thirds of the problem, and whose legacy of historical emissions is predicted to match that of the West in just 14 years.
In 2030, will the developing nations pay that back? With interest? Bear in mind that some of those developing nations are headed by people like Robert Mugabe, a murderous tyrant, who was not only allowed to visit France (the loophole being that he is presently head of the OAU), but he also gave a speech at COP21. Would he, and others like him, spend the money on reducing emissions, or murdering more of his people? This reminds me of when Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize. This is both irrational and immoral.
“It is imperative these finance deals are not used to redistribute wealth across the globe – as seems to be the hidden agenda behind much of the posturing – but to deliver the required emissions reduction.”
Both of the above quotes: John Kerry, US Secretary of State. “The Weekend Australian” Newspaper Dec 12-13, p 23.
So COP21 has and will continue to cost tax payers of developed nations hundreds of billions of dollars, to perhaps solve one to a few percent of a supposed problem which has not existed for the past 18 years. Nonsensical. Farcical. Like the Monty Python cheese shop sketch (where there was no cheese).
What guarantees are there that money given to developing nations will be spent on reducing emissions, and only on reducing emissions? Will it be policed? If so, how and by whom? What punitive measures are in place? Will they be implemented? What mechanisms are in place to restore the funds to tax payers if the funds are misspent? How will they prevent the funds ending up in the hands of corrupt officials, and from there perhaps to drug cartels, illegal loggers, arms dealers, terrorists, criminal and terrorist organizations involved in poaching endangered wildlife, people smugglers, etc.? What will be done if it does?
This is really a money grab (socialists hate capitalists, but they want the capitalists’ money), and an attempt to (1) undermine/cripple Western, industrialised, capitalist, democratic nations, and (2) to prevent the industrialisation of developing nations, and so keep them in crippling poverty. Some evidence below:
if it was genuinely about reducing Co2 emissions, agreements would have been signed to deal with the two thirds of emissions from developing countries, including:
enormous amounts of Co2 produced from deforestation and the burning of peat bogs to establish oil palm plantations (mostly Malaysia and Indonesia – Indonesia being the world’s third largest Co2 emitter according to some sources, but you don’t hear about it),
putting out burning coal seams which emit large amounts of Co2 while achieving nothing (this has been going on for decades, and will continue to go on for decades, and is prevalent in India and China),
the use of wood and dried cow dung for heating and cooking,
increasing R&D funds for cost-effective carbon capture in coal-fired power stations (especially in China and India, where they multiply overnight),
preventing deforestation and land degradation,
reforestation projects around the world to fix carbon,
biochar R&D and implementation,
But no, none of this is addressed or promoted (and much of it not even mentioned), nor are solutions to these problems funded. Real problems and real solutions (such as reforestation) are largely ignored because the real agenda is about focusing on the industrial emissions of Western nations, in order to penalise and undermine those nations, and to prevent further development in developing nations.
Perhaps a better idea would be for those who are sincerely concerned about climate change to simply donate money to organisations that are already active in the area, such as the Humane Society International, Oxfam, Green Peace, WWF, etc. Perhaps in addition, governments around the world could set up climate funds to which citizens could volunatarily donate. Perhaps those donating could have a choice of specific projects, e.g. R&D into renewable energy, carbon capture, reforestation, etc.
Perhaps future conferences could be funded from crowdfunding, and only from this source. This would be a much more democratic solution, and would more accurately reflect the actual level of concern of citizens. However, extorting money from tax payers who do not agree, and cannot afford it, is absolutely not acceptable in democratic countries.
Another idea. Perhaps there could be some funding for R&D into directing the warm, moist, Co2 rich air from coal fired power stations into greenhouses, to increase plant growth, with the plants capturing the Co2, and producing food, or tree seedlings for reforestation, etc. Or to grow fast growing grasses (e.g. Miscanthus, Napier grass) and/or Sesbania, as fuel for the power station. Or perhaps the power stations could produce biochar? From these grasses/Sesbania? Possibly C02 could be combined with calcium or magnesium to form solid compounds (lime, dolomite) which could then be used to improve acid soils and increase agricultural productivity (and therefore carbon fixation), or possibly used to increase ocean alkalinity?
“The food was a notch above previous meetings, with pastries and bottles of Mouton Cadet reserve wine.”
Eight lessons from the Paris climate change conference, the Australian Financial Review.
“Let them eat cake”! They ate cake, while much of the world does not have enough bread, and this in France where the expression “let them eat cake” comes from. Delicious irony!
They drank fine wines, while some of the tax payers who funded all this, work in the public transport industry, where you are obliged to have zero alcohol, and if you don’t, you instantly lose your job. So much for the “equality”, in France’s “liberty, equality, fraternity”. Or is this just an example of their “some animals are more equal than other animals” attitude? (expression from the book Animal Farm by George Orwell).
Recommendations for future conferences
Plant trees. If 40,000 people each plant 25 trees, that is a million trees. If they planted 25 trees per day, for each day of a conference, that could mean over 10 million trees. If this was done, then every conference could honestly be called a success, and a genuinely helpful legacy would be left for the host country. In Morocco, where the next conference is planned, some possibilities include: venerable olive trees Olea europaea, date palms Phoenix dactylifera, stalwart Pinus halepensis, which is tried-and-proven in Israel’s world famous reforestation projects, majestic cedars Cedrus atlantica, unique argan trees Argania spinosa, Opuntia for fruit and living fences, Acacia saligna for fodder and fuel, grasses and herbaceous palnts, e.g. perhaps Atriplex nummularia for fodder, etc.
No more public funds to be used to mislead and brainwash the people.
A referendum should be held in each country to decide whether to send a delegation at all. If a delegation is sent, another referendum should be held in each country before any agreements are reached, including even tacit, voluntary, unsigned agreements.
Conferences be crowdfunded to truly and democratically reflect the actual level of concern of citizens in democratic countries, without burdening unwilling tax payers.
Conferences could be teleconferencing or Skype or similar, or even just good old fashioned phone calls, if crowdfunding is insufficient for face-to-face meetings in exotic locations.
The majority of funding should be allocated to reforestation/ecological restoration in regions which give the highest return on investment (the wet tropics, which equals much of the developing world), and places where HANPP exceeds NPP (e.g. the Sahel, Pakistan/India, China). Funding could be in instalments, with future funding withdrawn if quantifiable targets are not met.
Funding for biochar research and its practical application.
Funding for R&D into cost-effective carbon dioxide capture/utilisation in coal fired power stations.
Funding for R&D into renewable energy, with the target being as cheap and reliable as coal.
Funding for agricultural R&D, especially to increase productivity of small hold farmers in developing countries, and thus reduce poverty, slash-and-burn agriculture, and environmental degradation generally.
Funding for R&D into ecological restoration/enhancement techniques and systems, such as holistic planned grazing, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, the Animal Improved Dung plus Seeds treatment, direct seeding techniques, etc.
Future conferences should be cake-free.
Conferences should be zero alcohol with random breath and blood tests, and anyone found with any alcohol in their blood instantly loses their job. What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. After all Climate change is so important (the greatest challenge facing humanity, according to former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd), the least that tax payers have a right to expect is that the delegates be sober while making such important decisions. If zero alcohol is introduced at the next conference, we can anticipate the possibility of about 35,000 people instantly dismissed from their jobs, including most of the world’s prime ministers, presidents, foreign ministers, UN representatives, media, etc.
Those who attend the conferences should spend two weeks beforehand at a health resort, detoxing, and living only on carrot juice and the occasional stick of celery. After all, it is so important that they are clear-headed, to make such important decisions about such an important matter. The carrot juice and celery regime could continue till the end of the conference – that might speed things up a bit, reduce costs, and reduce the carbon footprint.
The opening and closing speeches at future conferences should be given by Andrew Bolt. If he is not interested, I would be prepared to do it, although I could not fill his shoes. However, I plan to spend most of my time planting cedar trees in the Atlas mountains (doing something useful, and hopefully the trees will be around for hundreds of years after I am gone – fixing carbon – what an awesome privilege), with only the occasional visit to the conference, to get my fair share of the cakes and fine wines, and to give the speeches. Next year in Morocco!
Those who attend should get there by sailing, plus walking, bicycle, donkey or camel, as needed, but not by flying, or any other form of transport which uses fossil fuels, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the conferences. Who knows, the last minute of the flight of the last delegate to arrive in Paris, a la chaos theory, may have caused the world’s climate to reach a tipping point, and now the climate will spiral wildly out of control, destroying all life on earth. And all this after “Peak Oil”! What were they thinking?
Lighting/power for advertising signs, such as “1.5 degrees” on the Eiffel tower, be supplied by renewable energy.
A much more pressing environmental problem
In the military, if a country is about to be attacked and invaded, this is called a “clear and present danger”, and climate change has been referred to as just that by Ban Ki-moon. Possible catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is more realistically and honestly an “uncertain and future danger”, or even a “vague and distant danger”. Since Co2 emissions have continued to rise for the past 18 years, while at the same time there has been no significant global warming, we cannot say with any certainty what or how much of an effect anthropogenic Co2 emissions are having or will have, if any, at present, or in the future, on the world’s climate. In fact, there are some who are concerned about the potential for future global cooling. I suggest that an honest answer from a scientist, who has a professional obligation to be sceptical, would be “I am not sure, we don’t really know with any certainty”. Therefore, to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to possibly reduce a small percentage of anthropogenic Co2 emissions, which may or may not be much of a problem anyway, and which will certainly damage developed nations, and prevent developing nations from lifting themselves out of poverty, is not a wise prioritisation of meagre resources. A better response would be to embark on worldwide reforestation/ecological restoration projects, which could fix much of the Co2 anyway, and be beneficial around the world, regardless of what the climate does, or what causes the climate to change.
If you are genuinely and deeply concerned about environmental issues, I suggest that the following really does constitute a clear and present danger, and organizations involved desperately need donations right now:
This is real. This is now – or even a few years ago. Obviously a “clear and present danger”, which is woefully underfunded, while we spend hundreds of billions of dollars on reducing Co2 emissions by an amount which is unlikely to make any significant difference to the climate years from now. Can I encourage you to donate to a cause which is certain, urgent and desperate?
More on anti-poaching further down this page.
“There’s almost a universal consensus that coal has no long-term future.”
Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale.
Oh no, not another consensus!
Volcanic eruptions produce co2, and future eruptions could wipe out any emissions reductions that we achieve, so we should all get together and form a consensus that there should be no more volcanic eruptions. That should do it!
“The reality check is that China, India and even Germany are still looking to coal for baseload power. China has approved 155 coal plants with a capacity of 120 gigawatts this year alone. India has plans to double domestic coal production, and all the long-range forecasts have coal providing the biggest share of electricity for decades to come.”
Both quotes above: Graham Lloyd. “The Weekend Australian” Dec 12-13, p 17.
Enough about COP21… some more environment quotes:
“To put a limit on the use of fossil fuels… is to condemn the Third World to perpetual structural poverty.”
Deepak Lal. Poverty and Progress Realities and Myths about Global Poverty. https://www.cornwallalliance.org/
“1.3 billion people, mostly in the developing world, do not have access to electricity.”
National Geographic Global Atlas. 2014. Pg. 67.
But, paradoxically, “Growth in mobile cellular use has recently been led by developing countries, which accounted for more than 80% of new subscriptions in 2011.”
Ibid. Pg. 79.
“Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties.”
James Jeans. English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician. The Mysterious Universe (1930) ch. 1.
“From the intrinsic evidence of his creation, the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician.”
Ibid, ch. 5.
The Largest Living Organism
The largest known living organism is a fungus, Armillaria solidipes, which covers an area of 9.6 square kilometres (3.7 square miles) and is 3.8 k across (2.4 miles), in Oregon, USA. It is believed to be between 1,900 and 8,650 years old. (bbc.com/earth/story/20141114-the-biggest-organism-in-the-world).
The Heaviest Living Organism
The heaviest known living organism is a clonal colony of a single male quaking aspen tree (Populus tremuloides) which weighs 6,000,000 kilograms, known as the Pando tree, in Utah, USA (wikipedia).
“Reducing childhood malnutrition is another excellent target. People of every age deserve to be well nourished, but nutrition is especially critical for young children. A good diet allows their brains and muscles to develop better, producing lifelong benefits. Well-nourished children stay in school longer, learn more and end up being much more productive members of society. The available evidence suggests that providing better nutrition for 68 million children each year would produce more than $40 in long-term social benefits for every dollar spent.”
Finn Kydland, Bjorn Lomborg, Tom Schelling, Nancy Stokey. “Smarter ways to help save the world”. Article in “The Australian” newspaper, May 13 2015, pg. 26.
Another brilliant “hit the nail on the head” statement from Bjorn Lomborg (et al). $40 dollars return for every dollar invested is a fantastic return on investment (contrast this with the preposterously poor return on investment attempting to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – see books by professors Carter and Plimer). Educated people tend to care more about the environment, and in developing countries particularly, this starts with good nutrition.
Arborloos, Zai holes, mixed improved fallows and sack/bag gardens could play a major role in improving nutrition (in terms of quantity and quality, as well as diversity) for children, and adults, around the world. Perhaps you can do your bit promoting these ideas.
“That’s the most exciting thing about wetlands: they bring instant gratification. If you are a conservationist with a short attention span, go for wetland restoration. Restoring an ancient forest takes a little longer – say 1,000 years. In the right place you can get a wetland up and running in one year, thriving in five. Dig a pond in your garden in the spring and you’ll have pondskaters on its surface before you’ve filled up.”
Simon Barnes. “Just add water”. BBC WILDLIFE magazine, Feb 2015, volume 33 Number 2, pg. 62.
An excellent article, written about British wetlands, and I would suggest that in the wet tropics you can get similar results in half the time, or even less (possibly thriving after two wet seasons!). On a personal note, I worked at Cosmeston Country Park in South Wales in the UK in about 1978, my first job that had anything to do with conservation or the environment. Amongst other things, the reed beds there attract Bearded Tits. See also the “Wetlands” page on this web site.
“Dragonflies can fly backwards, forwards and sideways, hover and glide, accelerate rapidly and turn almost instantaneously. They can do a slow 90 degree yaw in just two wingbeats”. That’s more than our most modern and sophisticated aircraft can do – Apache and Westland Lynx helicopters can’t do this, F-22, Sukhoi and Eurofighter jets can’t do this.
They can also fly in a coordinated fashion while joined together as can be seen in the photo below:
“Some dragonflies may migrate from India to Africa across 3500 kilometres of ocean… there is some evidence (outlined by Charles Anderson) that the wandering glider (Pantala flavescens) travels both ways, which would be the most impressive journey of any insect. This glider has also been recorded higher than any other dragonfly – at 6300 metres in the Himalayas – and is the world’s most widespread dragonfly. It was one of the first insects to settle on the Bikini attol after nuclear tests ceased.”
Booth, C. and Thynne, J. 2015. “Celebrating the dragons of the sky”. Wildlife Australia magazine, Spring 2015, vol. 52, no. 3, pgs 22-27.
Education, philosophy and politics:
“One of the first duties of man is not to be duped.” Carl Becker.
“Men willingly believe what they wish.” Julius Caesar, The Gallic War. Axelrod, Alan. (2000). The Quotable Historian. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-135733-5. Pgs 163, 165.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela.
“Books and all forms of writing are a terror to those who wish to suppress the truth.” Wole Soyinka.
Wildlife Poaching and anti-poaching units
From an article about the anti-poaching work of the Kenyan based NGO, the Northern Rangelands Trust:
“As many as 1,000 park rangers have been killed in battles with poachers over the past decade.”
“By some estimates, wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest international crime, carried out by global criminal syndicates, for whom the trade is almost as lucrative as drugs but far safer. There’s even evidence that poaching now fuels terrorism – militant groups like Somalia’s al Shabab derive a portion of their income from wildlife trafficking.”
Walsh, Bryan. Save the Animals. Time Magazine, August 18, 2014. Pg 28.
“At least 56 rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty in the past 12 months, 29 of whom have been killed by poachers, according to the International Ranger Federation.”
Prerna Singh Bindra. From a letter to the editor, BBC Wildlife magazine, Feb 2015, pg 58.
Camouflage uniforms for anti-poaching units
These anti-poaching ranger heroes are risking their lives, and don’t even have camouflage uniforms specifically designed for the terrain in which they operate. The uniforms, (and many park rangers in many National Parks around the world don’t even have uniforms) are monochromatic dark olive green (olive drab), or dark woodland designs, which stand out in terrain where for more than half the year, dry, light, straw-coloured grass predominates. Even in the wet season, the green grass is a lighter green than the uniforms.
Given the link with terrorism, perhaps some of the funding to fight terrorism could be allocated to anti-poaching work – funding for uniforms, weapons, training, camping equipment, drones, etc. Also, instead of spending billions of dollars on climate change, some of that money could be diverted to anti-poaching personnel. It would also be helpful if the government of China, and many other SE Asian countries, spent some money on public education programs, informing people that the idea that rhino horns and tigers’ penises are aphrodisiacs is superstitious nonsense. If you need them, stick with the little blue pills, guys!
I have started another site https://camouflagepatterns.wordpress.com/ where I have designed more suitable camouflage for these heroes involved in anti-poaching work. I now have over 200 camouflage designs available, and many are specifically designed for the different seasons and multiple terrains where conservation work occurs. I can be contacted at email@example.com. Perhaps if you have sufficient funds, together we can provide some anti-poaching units with better camouflage uniforms, to help them be more effective in their work saving endangered wildlife, and to help conceal and therefore protect them from armed and dangerous poachers.
Some recent climate change research
Reported in “The Australian” newspaper, 15 Oct 2014. pg. 3. http://www.theaustralian.com.au
Plants warm to the effect of carbon emissions
Researchers have found upsides to global warming, with two US-led studies suggesting climate scientists are underestimating the ability of plant communities to limit climate change – or even benefit from it. The studies, published in the interdisciplinary journal PNAS, show how far the scientists are from understanding the complex interplay between vegetation and CO2. ” He goes on to write “And both underline the importance of maintaining vegetation as a buffer against warming”. Thank you sir. I have been saying and writing that maintaining and preferably increasing vegetation through worldwide reforestation would act as a buffer against climate change, for years.
“This “inherent structural deficiency” in the models has led to a 16 per cent underestimate of the contribution of increasing CO2 to plant growth, potentially explaining why climate models consistently overestimate growth in atmospheric CO2.” I have not read the original research, so I could be wrong, but I suspect that this figure does not include the roots, which for rain forest trees is usually about 20 per cent of the tree, and for prairie grasses, the roots can be as much as 80 per cent of the plant. I also doubt that the biomass of soil life, such as mycorrhizal fungi, which would be stimulated by increased additions of organic matter and root exudates, has been accounted for. Dr Christine Jones states that “The world’s soils hold around three times as much carbon as the atmosphere, and over four times as much carbon as the vegetation.”
The article continues to describe an eight year prairie grass CO2 enrichment experiment, where one of the authors said “… her team had been “somewhat surprised” to discover it (CO2 enrichment) actively benefited biodiversity.” The present level of CO2 in the atmosphere is a severe limitation to potential plant growth, just as the lack of water in a desert limits plant growth, or a lack of nutrients on a sand dune of silica sand… if you add water, or nutrients, or CO2; or whatever is deficient, you can reasonably expect an abundant proliferation of plant growth, along with an explosion of soil life and insect life, etc. I would have been surprised if CO2 enrichment had not increased plant growth and biodiversity.
Of course the climate change caliphate cannot bear the thought of anthropogenic CO2 emissions having beneficial effects, so they have to put a negative spin on it. “Melbourne University energy systems analyst Roger Dargaville said… “the findings did not remove the need to reduce emissions”. “Plant uptake may be larger than expected, but a larger carbon turnover does not necessarily mean higher net (carbon) storage, in the same way that larger cash turnover in a business does not necessarily result in larger profits.” That is unlikely but possible in a business, but that is not how things work in nature. If plant growth increases (due to an increase in CO2 for example), organic matter (carbon containing materials) additions to the soil increase, which ultimately forms increased amounts of humus, which is a long-lasting form of stored carbon. Not only that, but increased plant growth means more roots and root exudates, which means more soil life, another form of stored carbon. The increase in humus also improves the soil, which results in still more plant growth, and even more carbon storage. This can occur until another limiting factor, such as a lack of light, comes into play. So, yes, more plant growth does equal more carbon fixation and storage. There is also the opportunity of converting some of the carbon containing plant material to biochar (not mentioned of course), which stores carbon for tens of thousands of years. Biochar can be added to soils to still further increase plant growth, and thus even more carbon fixation and storage, and some of this could be made into biochar, and so on, in a synergistic system of compounding benefits.
Climate science far from settled
Graham Lloyd Environment editor
Discussing the same research, “In particular, it provides great encouragement for reforestation and other land-based approaches to sequester CO2”. Thank you sir. I have been saying and writing this for years. He concludes “Models have been unable to accurately predict several key issues, including the unexpected growth in Antarctic sea ice to record levels. The reality is models will always be only as good as the information they process. That’s why science will always be a long way from being settled”. Well said.
Climate Change Liars.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. Goebbels. I did not want to italicise the above quote, or make it bold, as it disgusts me.
Australia’s most read journalist, Andrew Bolt, wrote an article in the Herald Sun (Nov 6 2015) and other newspapers, commenting on the recent finding that most Australians are now global warming sceptics. He lists some of the outrageous disinformation presented to Australians as if they were indisputable scientific facts, much of which comes from people or organisations who are funded by hard working Australian tax payers – in other words we are paying for the privilege of having our intelligence insulted, and being treated like mushrooms (kept in the dark and fed bullshit). In one example, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Association), Australian tax payers pay $1.1 billion a year for the privilege of being repeatedly, a la Goebbels, besieged with left wing propaganda and brain washing.
“For almost a decade, reporters claimed the vast majority of you believed man really was heating the world dangerously. And the media campaigned furiously to make sure you did. You were bombarded with propaganda. Your doubts were mocked. You were told that the world’s temperature was soaring, when there’s actually been no significant warming for some 18 years.
You were told we were getting more and worse cyclones, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report in fact admits neither seems true and, if anything, we’re getting fewer.
You were told by Professor Tim Flannery in 2007 that warming could dry out the dams of Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide within a couple of years because “even the rain that does fall isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems”. Except it did, repeatedly, to the point of flooding.
You were told by the ABC’s chief science presenter, Robyn Williams, the seas could rise up to 100m this century, thanks to a dramatic melting of the Antarctic, which NASA last week said was instead increasing in ice mass.
You were told by the UN that the world’s food crops would fail, when they’ve instead set new records.
You were told to beware of giant hailstones (Professor Ross Garnaut), dengue fever (Professor Tony McMichael), tsunamis (World Vision boss Tim Costello), killer heatwaves (Professor Peter Doherty), seas as high as “an eight-story building” (Flannery), a “permanent drought” (Greens leader Bob Brown), and a dead Great Barrier Reef by 2050 (Professor Ove Hoegh-Gulberg).”
Andrew Bolt sums up with…
“Face facts: the public smells the warmist bull and is finally crying: “Enough!” The time for truth is now.”
Andrew Bolt nails it again.
To me, all the lies and deliberate corruption of science are a heart breaking tragedy. What happened to telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”? Deliberately telling lies, distorting the truth, and deceiving and misleading people with half truths, is at best immoral. In a court of law, telling lies is called perjury, and is a criminal offence. Deliberately telling lies which result in a negative impact or in some way undermines or sabotages a nation, used to be called treason and used to be taken seriously, and in extreme cases, was punishable with the death penalty.
Today we are frequently bombarded with wild speculations stated as absolute scientific facts, with no responsibility taken by those making the claims, and no consequences for those making the claims, and no reparation for the consequences of those claims. Of course I am not suggesting the death penalty, but if, for example, you tell people that the sea level could rise 100m this century, and thus de-value coastal properties, and millions of people with coastal properties lose millions, then there ought to be some punitive consequences. Meanwhile, if you simply express doubts about the relative impact of anthropogenic Co2 on the climate, which is your right in a democratic society which is supposed to guarantee freedom of speech, and scepticism is your professional duty if you are a scientist, there is now talk of tribunals and such.
An article in the Cairns Post “Cairns urged to go ‘zero carbon'” by Hayden Smith (Nov 7, 2015), reports on some comments made by Dr Karl Kruszelniki, “renowned scientist and media personality”. In Dr Karl’s vision tourists “will say while I am here I want to have a look at how they produce their renewable energy which averaged out over 30 years is half the price of fossil fuels – how do they do that?”
Firstly, an important contribution to the Cairns electricity supply already comes from the Barron Gorge Hydro power station. I have been a tour guide for about 18 years, and for years took tourists to Barron Gorge, and at a rough estimate, I would say that less than 10% of tourists were interested in visiting the hydro power station’s visitor centre – so much for increasing tourist visitation to the region to see renewable energy.
Secondly, where does he get the estimate that renewable energy averaged out over 30 years is half the price of fossil fuels? If there are numerous studies from around the world which prove this, please cite them. If it is just wishful thinking, then say so. The last time I looked, renewable energy was more expensive than fossil fuels. In Carter (Taxing Air, page 213) there is a table “Australian power generation costs” (2010) where coal generation costs are 7.5 – 8.5 c/kWh, while wind farms are 18 cents and photo voltaic solar is 43 cents.
“He said the Far North could one day join countries like Costa Rica and Iceland as regions solely reliant on renewable energy”. How? And at half the price! What is the plan for a painless and economically viable transition? Dr Karl is presumably aware that Iceland is boiling over with geothermal energy. Most other countries are not. To make this comparison is deliberately misleading about what is achievable, or is just plain silly. If he thinks this is a fair and reasonable comparison, is he suggesting that we use geothermal energy? Practically, this would mean we try to provide North Queensland with its total energy requirement from Innot hot springs! Or do we import boiling mud from Rotorua?
“The fact is that from 1979 to 2012 we lost 50% of the reef (the Great Barrier Reef), and from 2012 to 2022 we’re going to lose another 25%”. The thrust of his argument is that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is killing the reef, and so we should change to renewable energy. Note also the typical dogmatic, categorical, absolute nature of these statements and speculations about the future. These figures come from De’ath et al 2012, (see the Australian Institute of Marine Science web site for this paper and others).
“Lost” and “lose” sounds like this could mean lost and gone forever. However, no mention is made of the fact that new corals grow where coral has died, so that the “lost” areas of cover are being recovered, and that additional new corals are growing in additional new areas.
The areas affected are calculated to be due to cyclones at 48%, crown-of-thorns 42%, and bleaching 10%, all of which have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen, regardless of anthropogenic emissions, as a part of natural cycles occurring for thousands of years. We do not know to what extent increased carbon dioxide is to blame for any loss of coral coverage, if at all, but the impact is likely to be small and in proportion to the small increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and given that global warming has largely stopped for the past 17 years (during which time the rate of die off has supposedly increased), it is not reasonable to place the entire blame on anthropogenic emissions, nor is it a reasonable basis for a rapid 100% change to renewable energy. No mention is made of other contradicting studies, such as Osborne et al 2011, where the researchers concluded that “there appears to be no evidence of consistent, system-wide decline in coral cover since 1995”.
For more, see Carter, “Taxing Air” pages 175 -177.
While we are on marine topics, the so-called “ocean acidification” is a scary emotive term, and not a scientifically accurate term, which sells newspapers, and instills fear into the populace (job done). I know this is pedantic, but science is meant to be pedantically accurate. The fact is that sea water is alkaline, with a pH of 7.6 to 8.3. The scientifically correct term is therefore a “slight reduction in the alkalinity” of sea water, or a “slight neutralisation”, but these terms don’t sell newspapers, undermine industrialised nations, nor cause civil unrest. See Co2science.org for more.
There are many more climate change quotes further down this page, but here are a couple of disturbing quotes I found recently, exposing some of the deception:
“Heat likely for Bureau. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology could face a sweeping review because it alters climate data to ensure it shows temperatures increasing. Maurice Newman, who chairs the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council, is highly critical of the BoM’s process of adjusting historical climate records and has accused it of being caught up in global warming politics. “BoM should explain why their process consistently turns cooling trends to warming and why pre-1910 records were dropped and, with them, the extreme heatwaves of the Federation drought” he said.”
Cairns Post 02/10/2014, pg. 16.
The warming, ladies and gentlemen, is coming from the kitchen, where they are cooking the books.
“DEAD PLANT = CLIMATE CHANGE. To convince a doubting friend about global warming, do so on a hot day in the presence of dead plants. A study by Nicolas Guegen found that students surveyed for their beliefs about various current affairs expressed a stronger belief in global warming in the presence of a dead pot plant than they did with a live plant or no plant. Three dead plants strengthened their belief more than one. Homo sapiens is vulnerable to subconscious influence by subtle environmental cues. The suspicion is that unconscious activation of the concept ‘dead’ also activates concepts like ‘heatwave’ and ‘water shortage’ associated with climate change.”
Journal of Environmental Psychology 2012. 32: 173e177, in Wildlife Australia Autumn 2013 VOL 50 NO. 1, pg 3.
A few things to note about this quote:
1) They are themselves deluded, having believed their own hype, but also
2) they tell outright lies to deceive others, and, compounding their crimes,
3) they convince and coach others to tell lies, and finally, to top it all off,
4) they are apparently shameless or perhaps even proud and bragging about it.
This is a shameful disgrace, a scandalous smear on the high and noble profession of science. Can you imagine Sir Isaac Newton manipulating figures from his experiments to deliberately deceive people, as well as telling others how to deceive even more people?
When you are dealing with habitual liars, a reasonable response is to habitually deny and disprove their lies, and to be habitually sceptical about everything they say. This is healthy and scientifically professional, and perhaps even a moral obligation. In my opinion, the integrity of science needs to be defended against this immoral Machiavellian political onslaught… woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.
There is much more deception of course, including the “Inconvenient Truth” (plenty of lies, proven in a British court of law), the “hockey stick”, the climategate email scandals, convenient errors in predicting glacial melting rates in a supposedly gold-plated peer review process, etc., etc.
I strongly suggest a visit to www.climatism.net/, for more quotes.
The following two quotes are not specific to environmental issues, but are a good philosophy of life, and can be applied to reforestation projects:
“Start where you are,
with what you have,
make something of it,
and never be satisfied.”
George Washington Carver.
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt. A similar but lengthier quote known as “The Man in the Arena” by Theodore Roosevelt is well worth finding and reading.
Click on the “Environment Posters” button at the top of the page for more free printable environment posters. Some of my paintings, photos and posters are now available as fine art prints and postcards from http://www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/david-clode.html
“I know that when human beings apply themselves to Earth restoration, Nature responds by regenerating at an exponential rate.”
Maddy Harland. Editor, Permaculture U. K. magazine, N0 77 Autumn 2013, Pge. 1.
“We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.”
Leonardo Da Vinci.
“The fault is great in a man or woman
Who steals a goose from off a common
But what can plead that man’s excuse
Who steals a common from a goose?”
The Tinkler Magazine February 1821 (in Pizzey, Graham. 1988. A Garden of Birds. Pg.57).
“Similarly there is a perception by managers – and probably quite a legitimate one – that researchers, especially in the natural sciences, are better at identifying problems than solving problems. There does need to be a cultural shift by researchers to embrace ‘solution science’.”
“Conservation science needs to focus on becoming ‘solutions science’ rather than solely the identifier of management problems (Medawar 1967).”
Stephen Goosem et al, in Stork and Turton (2008). Pgs. 615, 616.
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“The tallest oak tree in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground.” Anon.
“The man with a new idea is a crank, until the idea succeeds.” Mark Twain.
Some dung beetle quotes
“In 1973 an incredible 16,000 dung beetles climbed onto a 1.5 Kg pile of elephant dung on the African savannah.”
“One dung beetle can bury 250 times its own weight in one night.”
Twist, Clint. 2006. Dung beetle’s dinner. Minibeast series. Ticktock Ltd. pge 29.
“…dung beetles participate in mixing nutrients from dung with minerals of the soil. This activity increases the permeability of soil to air and water, increases its organic content, and improves soil structure. In the process of doing all this, dung beetles can bury up to a ton of dung on a hectare of soil.”
“The dung beetles of Africa are accustomed to dung pads of every imaginable size, texture, and composition: from the large imposing pads of elephants and rhinos to the small pellets of antelopes and gazelles. Even before dung hits the ground, some dung beetles have picked up its scent and rush to claim these highly prized resources. Elephant dung alone is the preferred habitat for 150 species of dung beetles. A count of more than 7,000 of these beetles on a pad of fresh elephant dung hints at just how popular dung pads can be.”
Nardi, James B. 2007. Life in the Soil. University of Chicago Press. ISBN-13: 978-0-226-56852-2. Page 152.
“Pound for Pound, few creatures match dung beetles for economic value. One study suggests that the insects contribute $380 million each year to the American economy. By burying dung, they improve arable nutrient recycling and soil structure, as well as protecting livestock from invertebrate pests that congregate near mounds of dung.”
BBC Wildlife magazine, Feb 2015, pg 35.
“In Tanzania, an elephant stool weighing 8 Kg was found to contain 12000 Acacia tortilis seeds.”
Lamprey et al. 1974. “Interaction between Acacia, bruchid seed beetles and large herbivores”. E. African Wildlife J. 12, 81-85; in Fenner, Michael. 1985. Seed Ecology. Chapman Hall.ISBN 0-412-25930-3.
“After organic matter passes through an earthworm, for example, its bacterial population can increase fivefold.”
James B. Nardi. Life in Soil. pge. 31.
“One trial found worms built an 18 cm thick topsoil in 30 years.”
“Of all animals, few have contributed so much to the development of the world, as we know it, as these lowly creatures.”
Charles Darwin 1881.
“In a single year, the combined activities of earthworms may produce as much as 500 metric tons of castings per hectare. The castings are very fertile, containing 5 times the nitrogen content of the surrounding soil, 7 times the phosphorus, 11 times the potassium, 3 times the magnesium, and 2 times the calcium.”
Raven, Peter H. 1986. BIOLOGY OF PLANTS, FOURTH EDITION. WORTH PUBLISHERS, INC. ISBN 0-87901-315-x. Pge. 523. (These incredibly high figures are commonly found in the literature, but have been questioned by some earthworm experts. The quote below is more likely in most circumstances).
“Earthworm casts therefore contain around 50 percent more calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and bacteria than the surrounding soil.”
James B. Nardi. Life in the Soil. Pge. 75.
Click on the “Earthworms, Mulch, Compost” page for more about earthworms.
“…one 1,000-member population of northern cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) consumes approximately 4 to 5 million arthropods, mostly insects, per year. Amphibian populations therefore play a dominant role worldwide in the natural regulation of invertebrate populations”.
And, just when you thought frogs eat insects…
“This species (Hyla truncata in Brazil) makes its home in the water-filled cups of bromeliads and feeds mostly on fruit. By this feeding habit, these tree frogs also contribute to the dispersal of plant seeds and do so more effectively than some other fruit-eating animals, such as small lizards. This is because the frogs deposit the plant seed in or near the bromeliads where germination conditions are ideal”.
Hofrichter, R. (Ed.). 2000. The Encyclopedia of Amphibians. Key Porter Books Ltd. ISBN 1-55263-073-0. Pgs. 173, 174.
Agroforestry and permaculture
“What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet.”
Dr. David Suzuki.
“Every function should be performed by two or more elements and every element should perform two or more functions.”
Bill Mollison, co-founder of permaculture (this may not be a word-for-word perfect quotation).
The following quote gives an indication of the advantages of an overhead canopy of trees in Coffee production. These advantages could reasonably be extrapolated to cocoa and possibly oil palm production, probably livestock production and possibly some other agricultural enterprises:
“We now understand that biodiversity indeed contributes to ecosystem function and thus the structure of the agroecosystem may have a major effect on the delivery of ecosystem services. For example, the bird biodiversity, known to be higher in shaded coffee systems (plantations that have an overhead canopy of trees) compared to sun systems, contributes to the amelioration of insect outbreaks (Perfecto et al. 2004), therefore contributing to the ecosystem service of pest control. More subtly, the complex interaction of predators, prey, diseases and spatial structure can affect an ‘autonomous’ control over potential pests, illustrating how it is not just the number of species involved but also the diversity of the way in which different components of the biodiversity interact (Vandermeer et al. 2010).
Therefore it is possible to conclude that shade management (keeping the trees/growing trees) in coffee agroecosystems has a major impact on biodiversity in landscapes where coffee is grown, and that the consequent biodiversity may be ultimately involved in the delivery of key ecosystem services. Transforming landscapes such that shade systems are reduced (cutting the trees down) can therefore be expected to have a negative influence on biodiversity with concomitant loss of critical ecosystem services.”
Comments in brackets have been added to help clarify the passage.
John Vandermeer and Yvette Perfecto in Lindenmayer et al. (2012). Land use intensification: effects on agriculture, biodiversity and ecological processes. CSIRO Publishing. Pge. 130 (123-133).
Some deforestation facts, figures and quotes
“Environmentalists recommend that countries should have a minimum of 10 percent forest cover.”
“Slash-and-burn agriculture has cost the country of Ethiopia more forest cover than most other African nations. Within the past 40 years, Ethiopia’s forest cover has been reduced from 40 percent of the land to only 2.7 percent.”
“Kenya has also lost most of its forests, which now cover just 1.7 percent of the land.”
“Slash-and-burn farming has also decimated wide sections of the tropical rainforests of Madagascar, the large island nation off the coast of southeastern Africa. Famed for its huge variety of plants and animals, Madagascar contains 200,000 different species. Three-quarters of these are endemic species (found naturally nowhere else in the world), such as the long-tailed, monkey-like lemurs, which make their home in the island’s rainforests. Over the years, farmers growing rice and other crops have eked out a living on Madagascar by clearing land at the expense of rainforest habitat. Some researchers estimate that just 15 percent of Madagascar’s original forest cover remains today.”
“According to some estimates, the Congo rainforests are being destroyed at a rate of 10 million acres (4 million hectares) per year.”
The above deforestation quotes come from: Gelletly LeeAnne. 2007. Ecological issues in Africa – Africa: progress and problems. Mason Crest Publishers. ISBN 13: 978-1-59084-956-9.
Of course there are similar stories in Central and South America, and Asia from India through to Indonesia, and so on. All this points to an urgent and desperate need for preservation of existing forests, for increased agricultural productivity per unit area of land, through mixed improved fallows for example, to reduce the clearing of forests for agriculture, and for massive worldwide reforestation utilising cost-effective reforestation techniques (e.g. FMNR, AID plus seeds system).
“Indonesia loses 2.8 million hectares (7 million acres) of rainforest a year and recently overtook Malaysia as the world’s largest producer of palm oil-an industry whose growth has come at the price of rainforest destruction. Moreover, Indonesia has been identified as the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind the United States and China, with three-quarters of its emissions arising from deforestation, peatland degradation, and forest fires.” ” In one Indonesian state at least-Aceh, where the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami inflicted its greatest damage-moves are afoot to preserve old-growth forests through a United Nations initiative called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which provides what Kyoto didn’t: a mechanism to generate income from keeping existing trees standing-and sucking up carbon dioxide. At the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks, delegates gave a green light to the program, so there is now a good chance that “avoided deforestation”-the retention of existing forests, mangroves included-will be included in future global climate policy regimes.
Mangroves should feature high in REDD initiatives because they sequester up to fifty times more carbon in their soils than terrestrial tropical rainforests do. Meantime, there is no reason why countries that have already squandered their mangrove forest resources should not choose to replant, gaining both a tradeable asset and a coastal defense-not to mention easing the planet’s carbon burden.”
Warne, K. Pg. 101-102. See reference near the top of this page.
Note the Cambodian disaster: 2850,000 hectares lost, against 69,000 hectares planted.
Reforestation North Queensland, Australia
“The overall area of cleared land on which active replanting efforts had re-instated vegetation up to 2002 is around 10 km2, which is equivalent to 0.5% of the 1800 km2 of rainforest estimated to have been cleared from the region”
Catterall et al, in Stork and Turton (2008) pge. 511.
Just o.5%. This is reforestation in a developed country (usually with meagre funding but still more funding than is likely in developing countries), with the latest and best scientific research. The reforestation was mostly achieved with hand planting, which has been highly successful, and includes high biodiversity. However, while the quality is extremely high, there is a worldwide need to reforest vast areas, certainly much greater than 0.5% of the deforested area. Realistically, this calls for more improvisation, compromise, and more pragmatic, cost-effective, high return-on-effort/investment reforestation methods. To achieve this more research is needed in numerous fields, especially direct seeding, and the adoption of cheaper methods/systems which utilise less human labour and materials, perhaps with a greater emphasis on using mechanical/agricultural/mine rehabilitation methods of direct seeding, and the utilisation of wildlife and livestock to do most of the seed dispersal work in order to reforest much larger areas. This may result in vegetation skewed towards a mix of species which establish easily from direct seeding (and large, direct-struck cuttings), as well as species that rely on seed dispersal by animals, but on the plus side, much larger areas could be reforested/revegetated with fewer resources.
For an article which mentions using a modified mechanical turf seeder to reconstruct grassy communities, click here: firstname.lastname@example.org_20141007_093512
This approach would work best where reforestation projects are close to existing forests/vegetation, where biodiversity would be increased later by wildlife visiting or moving into the reforested area resulting in additional natural regeneration. Projects which are remote from existing forests would need more biodiversity, established by a greater variety of reforestation methods, which is likely to include manually planting trees.
Some urbanisation quotes
Quotes from the DVD “Supersized Earth. The story of our manmade world.”
“More than half of us live in cities (2008).”
“Almost as many people live in urban areas today, as existed on the entire planet in 1970.”
“In 1970 just two cities had a population of more then 10 million, now there are 21.”
“If all the cities of the world were combined in one place, they would cover half of Australia.”
“Half of the population of Caracas now live in slums.”
“In Lagos, 70% of the residents make up one of the largest slums on the planet.”
The trends are obvious. Most of us are crammed together, some of us in slums, which is why this web site covers not just reforestation in rural and natural areas, but also topics such as increasing food production in small spaces, for example:
Arborloos, mixed improved fallows, bag gardens/sack gardens, Zai holes, stacked gardens, greenwalls, greenroofs, etc. Click on the relevant buttons in the menu bar at the top of this page. Click here for an article on growing more food in less space: vegsand .
From the National Geographic Global Atlas:
“Some 50% of city dwellers in Latin America and the Caribbean engage in urban agricultural activity.” Pg 65.
“Urban and built up areas cover less than 1% of Earth’s total land area.” Pg. 29.
Nationa Geographic Global Atlas. 2014. ISBN 978-1-4262-1201-7.
“A typical Midwestern prairie produces three tons of roots for every ton of shoots.”
James B. Nardi. Life in the Soil. page 15.
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”
Climate change quotes
Regarding the opportunity cost of money spent on climate change, Bjorn Lomborg puts things in perspective:
“…the cost of the Kyoto Protocol for the U. S. alone, even with Annex 1 trading, would more than amply cover the entire expense for providing the whole of mankind with clean drinking water and sanitation. It is estimated that this would avoid several million deaths every year and prevent half a billion people becoming seriously ill each year. This would probably be a far better help for the devloping countries than a temperature reduction from Kyoto of 0.15 degrees C in 2100.”
See also his quote about the link between increasing agricultural yield and deforestation on the home page.
Lomborg, Bjorn. The Skeptical Environmentalist. Measuring the Real State of the World. 2001. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0 521 80447 7 hardback, 0 521 01068 3 paperback. Pge. 315.
“I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with consensus.
There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.
Michael Crichton, 2003, in Carter, 2010. Climate, the counter consensus.
“There’s absolutely no proof that carbon dioxide will kill us all. It’s not a poison, it’s the most important gas in the world. Carbon dioxide is an airborne fertilizer. How can farmers grow increasing amounts of food without a rise in carbon dioxide?”
Professor David Bellamy. “Acres Australia”. Volume 20, Number 1, January 2012, Issue #99. Pge. 38.
“The analogy that I use is that my car is not running very well, so I am going to ignore the engine, which is the Sun, and I am going to ignore the transmission, which is water vapor, and I am going to look at one nut on the rear right wheel, which is human-produced CO2. The science is that bad.”
Dr. Tim Ball. http://drtimball.com/
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
“Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases mainly due to deforestation” (Mainly due to cutting down the rainforest and burning peat bogs to grow oil palm plantations). Fragile Earth. Collins. pg. 165. Why aren’t the greens up in arms about this, marching and protesting around the world? Could it be that their real agenda is to attack and attempt to cripple developed, democratic, capitalist, industrialised nations?
The following quotes are from the book: Taxing air: facts and fallacies about climate change. 2013. Kelpie Press. ISBN 9780646902180. Authors: Carter, Robert; Spooner, John. Quotes reproduced with the kind permission of Professor Bob Carter.
“Global air temperature has not increased for the last 16 years, despite a nearly 10% increase in CO2.”
“As a nation, our territory absorbs up to 20 times the amount of CO2 that we emit”. (Australia).
“The declared intention of the IPCC was to provide disinterested summaries of the state of climate science as judged from the published, refereed scientific literature. In reality, the four successive Assessment Reports in 1990, 1996, 2001 and 2007 (all available at the IPCC web site: http://www.ipcc.ch/ ) have promulgated an increasingly alarmist view of human-caused warming (Table 1). At the very same time, the evidence for a human influence has been weakening, and the more balanced views on the issue of many qualified independent scientists have been marginalised or ignored”. Taxing Air, pages 44-45.
“The agenda of modern radical environmentalism is not saving or improving the environment, if ever it was, but to control and fundamentally restructure capitalist societies through the manipulative management of energy resources”. Taxing Air, Pge. 60.
“…more carbon dioxide is likely to be beneficial. Where plant growth is concerned, however, ‘likely’ has nothing to do with it, for it is certain that moderate increases in carbon dioxide beyond present levels (say to a doubling or tripling) will enhance plant productivity; combined with which, plants use water more efficiently at higher carbon dioxide levels. Recent studies have estimated that between 1989 and 2009 about 300,000 km2 of new vegetation became established across the African Sahel region in parallel with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. In other words, the recent increases in carbon dioxide have helped to green the planet and feed the world. What’s not to like?” Taxing Air, Pge. 112.
Top emitters per capita
“…the four top ranking emitters are Qatar (53.5t/person), Trinidad and Tobago (37.3t/person), United Arab Emirates (34.6t/person) and Netherlands Antilles (31.9t/person), with Australia in 11th position at 18.9t/person.” Taxing Air. Pge 200.
Oh, those naughty Qataris! Surely there must be a way to impose an onerous carbon tax on them to force them to reduce their evil emissions!
“…Lord Christopher Monckton has estimated that the same 5% cut in Australian emissions will result in 0.00007 degree C (about1/14,000 degree C) of warming prevented. Or, put another way, the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere in 2020 would be reduced to 411.987 ppm compared with the 412 ppm that it would be in the absence of globally co-ordinated action.
It is difficult to know whether to be more amazed at the insignificance of the warming that theoretically would be averted by a 5% cut in Australian emissions, or that politicians think it sensible to strive to attain such cuts, or that so many media reporters and commentators have failed to inform the Australian public of the relevant figures.
In any event, a direct cost of $127 billion by 2020 alone – as estimated by the Federal Treasury, and that without taking flow-on increases in energy or fuel costs into account – for the first steps towards a notional warming averted by 2050 of between 0.00007 degree C and 0.0007 degrees C seems unlikely to be greeted as a good idea by your average Aussie battler.” Taxing Air. Pge 204.
“Exercising penal taxation against human-related carbon dioxide emissions, including the demonisation of cheap coal-fired power stations, therefore acts in precisely the wrong direction. By denying or increasing charges for power in under-developed nations, carbon dioxide taxes and trading schemes ensure that environmental and health damage continues unchecked, for example, by forcing people to use wood, charcoal or dried dung as a primary energy source. The taxes and trading schemes also inhibit much-needed development and wealth generation, and are thereby a direct source of unnecessary deaths.
In short, and as is indeed going to be only too apparent to your grandchildren, carbon dioxide taxes, trading schemes and similar policy options are not just economically damaging but immoral to boot.” Taxing Air. Pge 208.
In my opinion, not just immoral, but a crime against humanity. I suggest we make amends: get rid of the carbon tax (this has since happened), trading scams, junkets to Bali, Paris etc., etc., etc., and instead increase funding for overseas aid (which has been cut from an already dismally low figure), and increase funding for agricultural and medical research (just a few examples of better ways to spend Australian taxpayers’ money, in areas in which we excel).
May 2015 – Australia’s overseas aid budget has just been cut again!
16 Aug 2013. In a debate last week between the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, and the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbot, on the topic of climate change, Kevin Rudd said to Tony Abbot “Unlike you, we never doubted the science” (or similar).
Actually, even the latest research findings are uncertain and should always be doubted, as scientific research is an ongoing process, and the weight of evidence and probability of something being more-or-less true can change at any time with new and ongoing research. Also, the scientific method is supposed to set out to disprove an hypothesis, and definitely not to attempt to prove an already-held, cherished notion. That is the antithesis of science. That is wishful, superstitious nonsense. In addition, phrases like “the science”, implying that there is consensus, and furthermore the ridiculous notion that the truth can be determined by consensus, and especially “the science is in”, and even worse, dogmatic categorical statements such as “the science is settled”; are loaded and tainted political statements, usually used for brainwashing and propaganda purposes, and hardly qualify as valid scientific statements.
The truth, as well as the integrity and credibility of science, scientists and the scientific method, have been compromised and become tragic casualties of the mostly political global warming/climate change lobby.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
“Anthropogenic climate change is a storm in a tea cup.”
Food security and food production
See also the pages and articles on Zai holes, Arborloos, stacked gardens, biochar, etc., (click on the menu bar at the top of the page).
“Current global food production is sufficient to feed the world’s seven billion people, which is in contrast to the fact that more than one billion people are malnourished today with poverty being the major cause of malnutrition (Chappell and LaValle 2011). There is enough food, even under scenarios of human population growth up to nine billion people, but the poor do not have the money to buy it (Chappell and LaValle 2011).
Quantification of food availability also has to take into account the inefficiency of our current ways of food production and consumption (e.g. Chappell and LaValle 2011; De Schtter 2011):
(1) about one third of global cereal production is used as feed for cattle, with eight calories of grain producing just one calorie of cattle meat;
(2) post-harvest losses from pests account for about a third of the yield; and
(3) about 30-50% of all food is thrown away uneaten.”
Lindenmayer et al. (Eds) (2012). Land use intensification: effects on agriculture, biodiversity and ecological processes. CSIRO publishing. ISBN 9780643104075 (pbk). Pge. 11.
Some comments on the above quote:
First paragraph: lack of food and poverty is primarily a moral and political issue as stated in the “About” page of this site.
(1) grain-fed beef. If the grain is of low quality, or spoiled and unfit for human consumption, then it would otherwise not only be a loss for human consumption, but also a problem waste product. If it is still good enough to be fed to cattle (or other livestock), a waste product can thus still be used to produce valuable products, including meat, and potentially leather, milk, cheese, glues, fertilizers etc. The livestock should still have a varied diet (not just grains) for the livestock to be healthy, and for the meat to be healthy for human consumption.
Using calories as a measurement demonstrates inefficiency in terms of energy conversion, but fails to provide all the facts, such as the nutrient density and high quality proteins in beef, compared to people eating just grains. It should also be said that to produce high quality animal protein efficiently, the feed conversion rates of deer and Eland (for example) are better than cattle, poultry are better still, and fish are better again. Also, some fish can be fed on plant material only, such as grass carp, and could be fed on high biomass producing plant material, such as Napier grass, (or a mixture of complementary plants, e.g. possibly Napier grass and Sesbania grandiflora) in a highly efficient system, producing more animal protein with less feed in less space.
In my opinion, it is better overall if red meat is produced from a combination of grass, herbaceous plants and fodder tree leaves/pods rather than grains, in a grassy woodland setting, with the livestock managed in a planned grazing/holistic management system, where the livestock can be managed to actually improve the environment/soil. It should also be remembered that grains for human consumption can only be produced from relatively fertile and well-watered arable land (which is very limited in area) and not from the poorer but much more extensive rangeland. Finally, animal products produced on rangeland, while a less energy efficient system than crops grown on arable land, are nevertheless a net addition to the food supply.
A couple of interesting books: “Should meat be on the menu?”, and “Why didn’t my grandmother get fat?…and why did I?” by David Mason-Jones, are definitely worth reading. Avaialble from email@example.com, and www.journalist.com.au.
(2) Post-harvest losses from pests. More research into protecting stored grain from insect pests such as weevils using natural, free, and available materials e.g. Neem leaves/products and perhaps the leaves of Milletia pinnata (syn. Pongamia pinnata) and possibly leaves of some Crotalaria species, etc., would be helpful.
Aid organisations could perhaps prioritise the provision of insect-, rodent-, and water-proof containers for domestic and larger scale storage of grains. Edible wattle seeds for example, may last for decades, providing food security.
(3) Food thrown away uneaten. This could just be a waste, but is not so bad if it is recycled by being fed to pigs, poultry, fish, earthworms, black soldierfly larvae (the last two can be food for poultry and fish) etc, and/or is composted and used to produce more food.
“A society grows great when old people plant trees, knowing that they will never sit in the shade of those trees.”
Based on an Ancient Greek proverb.
“It is a noble occupation to plant trees, you think of it many years after with content.”
Hopefully, more to come.
A camouflaged Phasmid or Stick Insect, vertical, on the left (on an introduced Guava, Psidium guajava). Barron Gorge National Park, Cairns, Australia.