Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet


The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

Popular Posts

Tuesday 18 December 2007


The world's sea-levels could rise twice as high this century (1.63m [64 inches]) as UN climate-scientists are predicting (81cm), according to a new study that looked at what happened last time the earth was as warm as it is predicted to be. See the BBC report.

And the Arctic is expected to ice-free in the summer of 2013, according to another new study, which says previous predictions had underestimated the processes that are now driving the loss of ice. See the BBC report.

But the blind ballyhoo in Bali is all the response we get. When will the dunderheads who 'rule the earth' get it into their misshapen heads that the earth rules us?

We face the worst enemy we have ever faced, the hardest to beat. Ourselves. We cannot stop the effects of global-overheating, because we have long passed the point of no return. We must go on to a war-footing to have any chance of heading off the worst.

Thursday 13 December 2007


A survey of 1000 professionals in government, NGOS and industry in 105 countries conducted by the IUCN (World Conservation Union), solar power for hot water and electricity came out on top and current bio-fuels were a sorry last, reports the BBC.

Sense is prevailing somewhere.

The solution is obvious: it rises every morning. Add fuel-cells, driven by hydrogen made from splitting water with solar-generated electricity, and you have a system in harmony with the planet. Nothing coming from the sky but sunlight and water; nothing going back to it but water.

The melting of Greenland's icecap is accelerating. The extent of the melt in 2007 was 10% ahead of the 2005 record, making it the largest since satellite measurements began in 1979, reports Science Daily. The IPCC's 2007 predictions for global sea-rise are therefore likely to be too low.

Wednesday 5 December 2007


The organism senses and functions, at the highest level, as an organism. Below that are the senses and functions of the organs, below that are the senses and functions of the structures within organs, below that are the senses and functions of the cellular networks, below that are the senses and functions of the cells, below that are the senses and functions of the molecular networks, below that are the senses and functions of the molecules, which are made of atoms, which have their own fundamental 'senses and functions,' the actions and reactions we call physics and basic chemistry.

On fundamental atomic 'sense' is built a higher level of sense, the molecular; upon that is built a higher level, the molecular networks; upon that is built a higher level, the cellular; upon that is built a higher level, the sub-structures of the organ; upon that is built a higher level, the organic; upon that is built the highest level, that of the organism.

In short, the intelligence of the organism is built on molecular intelligence, which is built on the natural logic of the atom. The intelligence and functioning of the organism is founded on molecular intelligence and its interaction with the organism through the ascending intelligence hierarchy.

In, around and under that is the quantum world, the world of particles, where, as Einstein put it, there is 'spooky action at a distance', quantum entanglement. Particles can be 'aware' of and 'in contact' with others, synchronising instantly, constantly, irrespective of distance. That defies logic and physics, it is incomprehensible to the reasonable laws of the physical--because they are no longer in operation. It must, therefore, be the level of the spiritual. Thus in our desire for ever deeper knowledge of the physical universe we have dug down so far that we have gone out of it altogether, and found to our surprise or chagrin that the whole thing is founded on the spiritual. We have found the point at which spirit and flesh divide. Physics is at loss to explain anything at that level because it just is, existing and functioning in the eternal now, the realm of the spiritual.

As Time magazine said years ago, 'The scientists, after slogging up the mountain of knowledge for centuries, arrive at the top to find the theologians sitting there waiting for them.'


The level above the spiritual, the molecular, is where all our physical actions start. The mechanism of feeling thirsty, for example, can be seen as having as its fundamental cause the fact that the nanomachines we call protein molecules are lubricated by water, and that its attendant 'minuet' is also vital to their proper formation. So when there is insufficient water for all that to happen as it should it is the protein molecules that will notice it first. That message passed up the chain causes you to head for the tap.

(It also seems reasonable to think that that 'water network' is also used in intermolecular communication, using water molecules as a choregraphed pigeon-post. The dance set up by one molecule used to interface with the dance of the next one, like so many ballerinas passing a particular step across the stage, or so many bees signalling to their peers by their dance where they should fly to gather nectar.)


This thread has been copied to and will be continued on another of my blogs, Bio-Molecular Logic.

Tuesday 4 December 2007


Global agriculture could go into steep, unanticipated declines in some regions due to complications that scientists have not considered adequately, say three new scientific reports. Details in this Science Daily report.

Friday 23 November 2007


If the researchers are right who have managed to 'wire up' using carbon nanotubes the bacterial enzymes called hydrogenases, they will be able to build fuel-cells without platinum, because the hydrogenases will do the catalysis. That would cut the cost of making and maintaining fuel-cells. Click here for the report in ScienceDaily.

Wednesday 21 November 2007


American researchers have proposed a method, reported in Science Daily, of using and enhancing the ocean's absorption of carbon-dioxide by building many hundreds of water-treatment plants round the world. They would extract hydrochloric acid from seawater, which would be neutralised with rock. That would make the oceans more alkaline, enhancing their ability to soak up more CO2. They say 700 plants would offset all our carbon-dioxide emissions.

Monday 19 November 2007


The fourth IPCC assessment this year says global 'warming' is unequivocal and could cause irreversible damage to the planet.

Click here for Science Daily's report, the New Zealand Herald's, and the BBC's. The BBC site has a link to the full 9.3MB report.

A sea-level rise of up to 1.4 metres is predicted. The IPCC says some of what it formerly predicted for 2020-2030 is happening now.

It is about time we called the situation, officially, what it really is: global over-heating. And admitted that it is far worse than the politicised IPCC reports would have us believe. They are bad enough. The reality is dire.

But don't worry. There's a spare planet in the cupboard.

Friday 9 November 2007


American researchers say they have found a way of accelerating a natural weathering process that can remove the surplus carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere in only decades. The full report is in

Thursday 8 November 2007


Science Daily reports on a study showing that the steady extinction of plant species could halve the productivity of natural habitats, affecting all humanity.

Monday 5 November 2007


Science Daily reports a British study showing that the microscropic particles of plastic that litter marine environments may pose a previously unrecognised threat to marine animals by attracting, holding and transporting pollutants such as PCBs. They have been found at the bottom of the foodchain, so their effect would be magnified further up.

Science Daily reports that the 'reduction in the sea ice extent has been much faster than global climate models predict. According to Douglas Bancroft, Director of the Canadian Ice Service, the record reduction in 2007 stunned the international operational ice charting community: "The overall extent was similar to what some of the models envisioned but decades in advance of when they expected that would occur. In fact, the summer of 2007 looked very similar to some climate-model forecasts for 2030 to 2050." '

Friday 26 October 2007


As this BBC report neatly puts it: 'In the language of James Lovelock's Gaia theory, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that have punctuated 2007 allowed us to take the planet's temperature; Geo-4 shows us what is going on in the blood supply, the lymph system, the intestines and the immune defences.'

In one word, it's sick.

The full report, which weighs in at 21.8MB, can be downloaded from the BBC site.

An international study has found that carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen 35% faster than expected since 2000, reports the BBC.

About half came from inefficiency in the use of fossil fuels, the rest from a decline in the natural ability of land and oceans to soak up CO2 from the atmosphere.

Tuesday 23 October 2007


The latest Worldwatch Institute report says our consumption of energy and other critical resources is constantly breaking records, disrupting the climate and undermining life on earth.

In 2006 the world used 3.9 billion tons of oil, our use of fossil fuels produced 7.6 billion tons of carbon emissions, and atmospheric carbon-dioxide reached 380 parts per million. In 2005 more wood was removed from forests than ever before.

A full summary of the Institute's chilling report is on Science Daily.

Monday 22 October 2007


Science Daily details an award-winning house built by University of Maryland students, which generates enough power to run both the house and the car, and employs a simple dessicant system to remove excess moisture from the air, thus eliminating the expense and complexity of an air-conditioning system.

Saturday 20 October 2007


Serious acidification of the oceans caused by dissolved CO2 seems to be taking place over decades rather than the centuries originally predicted, with potentially devastating effects for corals and the marine organisms that build reefs and provide much of the Earth's breathable oxygen.

Corals and plankton with chalky skeletons are at the base of the marine food-chain. They rely on seawater saturated with calcium carbonate to form their skeletons (the process is called calcification). But as acidity rises, saturation falls, making that harder and harder.

'When CO2 levels in the atmosphere reach 500ppm, you put calcification out of business in the oceans,' says Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of CoECRS and the University of Queensland (present levels are 385ppm, increasing at 2-3ppm per year).

'Global warming is incredibly serious, but ocean acidification could be even more serious.'

See Science Daily for the full report.

Friday 19 October 2007


A new wind-circulation pattern is blowing more warm air towards the North Pole than in the twentieth century, says a new US government study--click for the BBC report.

The report stresss that the fate of the Arctic affects the whole planet.

Saturday 13 October 2007


The IPCC report due in November, has been heralded by Australia's top conservation scientist, Tim Flannery, as saying that the level of greenhouse gases is worse than the the worst-case scenario foreseen in 2001, and that by mid 2005 they had already reached dangerous levels. Click here for the NewsDaily story.

As this blog has said many times, global-overheating has passed the point of no return. The sooner we pull our stupid heads out of the Arabian sands and the world's coal-mines and put planet-friendly technologies on a war-footing the better. We cannot roll this thing back but we can at least try to knock the top off the worst of it.

Saturday 22 September 2007


Some think so, after it shrank to the smallest area on record this year. The US National Snow & Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) says the minimum extent of 4.13 million square kilometres was well under the previous record low of 5.32 million square kilometres set in 2005. See the BBC report.

But that is hardly surprising, given the temperatures shown at this Website for this August. Look at the hotspot at the top of the world in the ENSO SST Analysis graphic, and look at how far it is above the baseline average. At this rate NOAA-NCDC will have to add a new colour to the right of the scale underneath. Funereal black?

Friday 21 September 2007


If carbon-dioxide emissions are not cut drastically, they will have so altered the chemistry of the oceans by the middle of the century that the water-quality criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency will have been violated. Not to mention creating a serious risk for what lives in them. Click here for the Science Daily article.

Thursday 20 September 2007


Global-overheating research and news items keep delivering more and more nasty stuff. Here are some more snippets.

Because we are making the planet warmer, the amount of moisture in the atmosphere has increased by 0.41 kilograms per cubic metre per decade since 1988. Details in this report from
Science Daily. A report three weeks later on the BBC's site on an article in Nature underlined the point.

A British-led study has offered the first evidence that climate-change has weakened the Southern Ocean carbon-sink . Click here for details

Then there's this report in
Science Daily to cheer you up, which says that the mortality of plants could increase 40% if land temperatures increase by up to 4 degrees Celsius, which modelling predicts for this century--unless you take the less conservative models which predict far higher rises.

Ex-president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, rightly worries about the world's water-supply. Creatures that are 80% water should. You would think.

Then there's the methane from bogs, which will obviously worsen the feedback-loop.

Meanwhile, over the US of A, a judge washes his hands in front of the world. It's political, not legal, he tells the State of California, dismissing its case against carmakers--see the BBC report. There are none so blind...

Tuesday 18 September 2007


Professor John Marburger, the US chief scientist and an advisor to President Bush, said
in this BBC interview that global-overheating is man-made and that there is no safe temperature increase.

Monday 10 September 2007


Mini-earthquakes and the acceleration of glaciers on the Greenland icecap are signs that global-overheating is speeding up, reports
Science Daily.

Estimates of the consequent rise in sea-levels by 2100 now range up to 2 metres, far more than the 20-60cm in IPCC's prognosis.

As if that were not bad enough, the Arctic sea-ice is getting thinner and thinner, as this report, also in Science Daily, makes alarmingly clear. Down to a metre, a 50% drop from what it was in 2001.

Saturday 18 August 2007


This blog has from time to time gone right off the topic of energy to publish ideas about DNA, cellular proteins and the detailed workings of neurons. It is gratifying to see that empirical research has now shown those ideas to have been correct--see this report in
Science Daily.

The point was underlined by another report that came out a month later, also in Science Daily.

For the earlier postings click here, and here, and here.

Friday 17 August 2007


Just when you thought it might be safe to come out of your climate-change bunker and stop living on slimmer's soybean and freeze-dried lawn-cuttings, you get this cheerful little item in
Science Daily.

Tuesday 14 August 2007


Research reported on the BBC shows that coral is vanishing from the earth faster than predicted. The UN expects 60% of it to have gone by 2030.

Arctic sea ice is also vanishing at a great rate of knots, and this year is expected to set a record for minimum cover. Click for the BBC's story.

Monday 6 August 2007


Tiny particles from burning wood and fossil-fuels in Asia are another significant contributor to regional overheating. Details in this BBC News report.

As if we needed another cause of global overheating.

Friday 27 July 2007


Oh dear! Just when optimists might have hoped that the news could not get worse, researchers have found a hitherto unknown driver of manmade climate-ruination, as this BBC News item shows.

That, on top of this research, also reported by the BBC, was enough to make this a most a joyous week for all the Earthlings that noticed and cared.

The report on the BBC World Service of that research on rainfall included an interview with one of the research team. He said they could not understand why the actuality was worse than the computer models had predicted. He said they would have to go back and look at the models.

Which underlines the point made so often in this blog. Things are worse than we are being told, and much worse than we know, so we are headed for a very nasty future on this planet.

Monday 23 July 2007


This article in the New Zealand Herald, which shows Greece on a 'war-footing' to combat the effects of the present heatwave, is the right idea--about forty years too late. We should have put the whole planet on a war-footing long ago so as to get us off the black-stuff long before the carbon-dioxide buildup went past the point of no-return and headed for critical. As it now has and is.

Saturday 21 July 2007


A new University of Colorado at Boulder study (funded mainly by the National Science Foundation and NASA), reported in ScienceDaily, the ice-loss from glaciers and ice-caps is expected to cause more global sea rise this century than the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets.

The researchers concluded that glaciers and ice-caps are now contributing about 60% of the world's ice to the oceans and the rate has been markedly accelerating in the past decade, said Emeritus Professor Mark Meier of CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, the lead author of the study. The contribution is about 415 cubic kilometres of ice annually--nearly the volume of water in Lake Erie--and is rising by about 12.5 cubic kilometres per year.

In contrast, the CU-Boulder team estimated that Greenland now contributes about 28% of the total global sea rise from ice-loss and Antarctica about 12%. Greenland is not expected to catch up to glaciers and ice-caps in terms of sea level rise contributions until the end of the century, according to the study.

The team estimated that the accelerating melt of glaciers and ice-caps could add 10-24cm of sea-level rise globally by 2100. That does not include the expansion of warming ocean water, which could double those numbers, to 20-48cm. A 30cm sea-level rise typically causes a shoreline retreat of 30 metres or more, and about 100 million people now live within a metre of sea level.

If the sea-level rise generated by melting glaciers and ice-caps is 60% of the total the total rise anticipated by 2100 by this study is 1.6 times the above numbers--i.e., up to 32-77cm. But the expected temperature-increase used in this study is not given. If it was only the IPCCC's modest figure, the change in sea-levels will obviously be far greater--even several times as much. Add what floods and storm-surges can contribute, and a very grim prospect is in store for all coastal cities and their ports and airports, and for low-lying countries, and thus for vast numbers of people.

Those who sneer at the massive amount of evidence for climate-change, and exist in deep denial of it, now have to put up with even more weighty disproof of their blind assertions, as this BBC News item shows.

On top of that is the news that this year is shaping up to be one of the warmest on record. The January-to-June data is now off the satellites and the numbers do not look good. Globally, for land, temperatures were the warmest on record, at an alarming 1.18 degrees Celsius above the baseline average. And for land and ocean combined they were the second warmest. Click here.

But don't worry about any of that, Junkheads. Just carry on driving your planet-trashers, and loving your coal-fired power-stations, and chopping down swathes of forest. Yay!

Monday 18 June 2007


This BBC story again underlines the truth of what this blog first daringly postulated in November 2006 and reiterated in May 2007--i.e., that the traditionalists' notions about DNA are as much junk as the moniker they have long attached to most of our DNA.

Why did it take them so long to see it? How could they be so blind or arrogant or both and just dimiss what they did not understand, but which had for some reason been there for aeons, as junk? From the time I first heard the phrase 'junk DNA' I thought we would one day find out that it was not junk, and I said so to a DNA researcher way back in 1994, although it was not till November 2006 that I realised what it was. My first vague thoughts had been that it was like the comments in a program--which was nowhere near the truth that it is the machine that processes the program. The whole thing is a continuum, with all parts being necessary.

What is incredible is that such superlative intelligence can be built into and contained in what seems nothing but strings of chemicals, albeit rather complex ones, built of such simple fundamentals. It is enough to make you ponder on the real nature of life, the universe and everything. It is certainly enough to make you realise that Darwin et alia hardly knew/know a blind thing.

One wonders how much intelligence is built into DNA, and whether it has sufficient processing power to experiment, and thus to play an active role in improving an organism or in producing offshoot organisms. We no know that bacteria can 'vote' and that the preponderant chemically-communicated 'opinion' rules, so perhaps the preponderance of a particular genetic luggage in an organism's DNA, due to the survival of the fittest, causes more than just weight of numbers giving rise to certain offspring. It also causes joint processing and thus a greater refinement in the direction pointed to by those numbers. In other words DNA plays an active role not a passive one.

Footnote (23/07/2007): This article in ScienceDaily, which overturns traditional notions of proteins, shows that the functioning of the body is at base molecular. Myriads of molecular engines make up a cell (and not just proteins, obviously); myriads of cellular engines make up an organ; many of organic engines make up an organism. The high-speed internal action of the molecular engines will always be beyond our analytical capabilities, so the so-called 'designer drugs', which were predicated on the notion that proteins were static in shape, will remain a mirage.

Friday 8 June 2007


'Confronting Climate-Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable, Managing the Unavoidable', written by an expert panel (SEG) organised by Sigma Xi, the scientific honour society, and sponsored by the United Nations Foundation, is outlined in the May/June issue of Update, the magazine of the New York Academy of Sciences. The report says accumulating evidence suggests that climate-change may not be gradual. Several major tipping-points, such as the collapse West Antarctic ice-shelf, major melting of the Greenland ice-cap, desertification of the Amazon rain-forest, and changes in the frequency of strong El Nino oscillations could cause sudden and catastrophic changes over a few years rather than a few centuries. The authors conclude that allowing the global surface temperature to rise more than 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius over the next hundred years would sharply increase the risk those catastrophic impacts. Greenhouse gases now in the atmosphere have already committed the planet to a rise of about 1.5 degrees.

We are therefore only 0.5-1.0 degrees away from the risk of swift catastrophe.

To stay within the recommended range, the researchers say greenhouse-gas emissions must stablise at not much more than present levels by 2015 at the latest, then fall to no more than a third of present levels by 2100.

Fat chance!

The sea is rising at about 3mm a year and Antarctic glaciers are surging along, which the IPCC report did not factor in.

For the full Sigma Xi SEG report, click here.

Wednesday 6 June 2007


Is this is a magic, climate-fixing triple bullet? Does the answer, literally, lie in the soil? Is a little charring all we need? Can we just 'char'm the global mess away with three simple steps?

You pyrolise biomass, which (1) generates renewable energy, and (2) makes 'agrichar' a material that reduces greenhouse gases, and (3) makes your soil far more productive (the only problem is that at the moment the supply of agrichar is miniscule). For details, go to this ScienceDaily article.

(Agrichar is a black-carbon byproduct of pyrolysis, in which green waste or other biomass is heated without oxygen to generate renewable energy.)

Tuesday 5 June 2007


China shows itself to be as incredibly stupid about the planet as America in this BBC report. What a wonderful way to mark World Environment Day!

Business-as-usual condemns the planet to become increasingly unusual, i.e., decreasingly good for human life. This NZ Herald cartoon says it all.

Saturday 2 June 2007


NASA's Goddard Flight Centre and Columbia University's Earth Institute say that the Earth's climate is dangerously close to a number of tipping points. Just 1 degree Celsius more above the average global temperature we had in 2000 will be enough to send things over the edge. Read the report on their latest research in Science Daily. Another report on the same research is here and the May 30 NASA article is here.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that we will be there soon. Nations are banking their futures on oil, huge investment is being put into oil pipelines, coal-fired power-stations are being built at a furious rate in China, America is tearing mountains to pieces to get vast quantities of coal to feed its power-stations, tens of millions of planet-trashing Black Stuff cars are being added annually to the 900 million already infesting the planet, etc., etc.

Friday 1 June 2007


The cover story in the latest edition of the National Geographic magazine (June 2007) is 'The Big Thaw.' It should be required reading for every in-denial-prat of a politician and petrol-head, every pusher of the Black Stuff (oil and coal), and every pusher of fossil-fuelled machines.

It talks of projections of ice-cover, which predict huge reductions, and the consequent rise in the sea-level, but it also says that the meltdown is happening far faster than former projections ever expected. Greenland and West Antarctica and glaciers all over the world are melting at an alarming rate.

Excerpts: 'But lately, the ice loss has outstripped the upward creep of global temperatures.'

'Eric Rignot, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who has measured a doubling in ice loss from Greenland over the past decade, says: "We see things today that five years ago would have seemed completely impossible, extravagant, exaggerated." '

'At the rate the Arctic is now warming [temperatures three to five degrees Celsius higher could be back soon]--"by mid-century, no problem," says Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona, who has studied the ancient climate [130,000 years before the last ice-age]. "There's just unbelievable warming in the Arctic. It's going much faster than anyone thought it could or would." '

'The latest signs from Greenland have persuaded many ice researchers that sea level could rise three feet [a metre] by 2100. Rignot, who has measured the rush of glaciers to the sea, says even that figure may turn out to be an underestimate. Greenland, he notes, could ultimately add ten feet to global sea level. "and if this happens in the next hundred years instead of the next several hundred years, that's a very big deal."

Indeed. Enjoy your coal-fired electricity. Enjoy your fossil-fuelled life-destroying vehicle. Enjoy the remains of Earth as we have known it for all of human civilisation. Enjoy your share of trashing the only planet we can live on in the entire universe.

Wednesday 23 May 2007


If you want to keep your funding, you don't upset the politicians, even at the expense of scientific facts, and even if you are the prestigious Smithsonian. The full report can be read in the
International Herald Tribune.

Money and the maintenance of old habits and institutions are always more important than the planet and the people who live on it. Well done, Smithsonian! You've junked science.

Tuesday 22 May 2007


So ran the BBC headline in an appropriately mortal pun.

Dead. Lock.

Locked in the habits of death. So goes the planet...

That should read unclimate, not UN Climate.

The National Climatic Data Centre of the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration in the United States has posted the preliminary data for
April 2007. Its summary says, 'globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was the warmest on record for January-April year-to-date period and third warmest for April. Global land surface temperature was warmest on record in April.'

Precipitation anomalies were all over the place, and the extent of northern sea-ice continues to decline.

The global temperature average on land for January-April was 1.35 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 baseline, and the global land+sea average was 0.69 degrees above, both the highest figures on record. Yet the IPCC says we must not go above a 2-degree increase if we are to avoid catastrophe. And this is only 2007.

Saturday 19 May 2007


An engineer at Purdue University, Jerry Woodall, has developed a stunning new way of making hydrogen from an alloy of alumunium and gallium. You just add water to pellets of it and out pours hydrogen. The waste products are gallium, which can be recycled back into the making of new pellets, and alumina (aluminium oxide), which can be recycled back into pure aluminium, and thus also into new pellets.

The Purdue process would eliminate the need to have hydrogen-storage systems using high-pressure tanks or those problematical metal-hydrides. You can have tanks of pellets and water and produce gas on demand, at a reasonable cost. The aluminium would, of course have to be produced using a planet-friendly source of power, such as hydro, solar or wind, but the process looks ideal. It has been patented. A new company in Indiana, AlGalCo LLC, has an exclusive licence to commercialise it.

If the process is as simple as it seems, it would be ideal for the EStarCar. The central bay in the car's chassis, instead of containing high-pressure hydrogen bottles, would have tanks for pellets and water. You get about a kilogram of hydrogen (12,000 litres) from every litre of water, so not much would need to be carried.

Friday 18 May 2007


This link on the BBC World Service site is a good general look at today's sophisticated climate modelling. The one used at the Hadley Research Centre (part of the UK Met Office) is one the world's best.

Climate scientists have long feared that the oceans, which have been soaking up vast amounts of the carbon-dioxide that we have been pumping into the atmosphere, would reach the point where they had taken all they could take, and would start spitting it back. They would change from carbon-sinks to carbon-sources, and global-overheating would therefore accelerate. Now that process has begun, as the BBC World Service reports--forty years ahead of 'schedule.' This is the
Times' report on the same research findings. And the Guardian's, which is perhaps the best of the three. Australia's Courier Mail makes clearest the fact that the former sink is now a source, that the planet's ability to soak up our stupidity is coming to an end.

The Southern Ocean, the ocean that surrounds the Antarctic, accounts for 15% of the absorption, so the change is signicant. The fear is that all the world's oceans are not far behind in choking on our 9.2 billion tonnes per year of CO2 sewage. Other carbon-sinks also have the potential to turn to carbon-sources, or at very least cease to be sinks. Forests can absorb only so much (see the sidebar stories at the BBC site given above).

As this blog has often warned, things are going to get much worse much faster than the official line would have us believe. We are well past the point of no return. The most we can hope for now is to knock the top off the worst of the effects of this global Black Stuff insanity.

Meanwhile, from the Homer Simpson kingdom of General (which has made more planet-trashing machines than anyone else) there has been an announcement that a million fuel-cell vehicles might be rolling off their production-lines after 2012. That is the very same GM that a few years ago was boasting that it would have a million FCVs coming off those same mythical production-lines by 2010. Nice to see such planet-friendly honesty spilling from the honest mouths of honest-to-goodness peace-criminals.

Wednesday 16 May 2007


As this blog daringly postulated in November 2006, purely from gedunken processes, empirical research has now established that the so-called junk DNA processes genes. But that ScienceDaily report (derived from Nature magazine) shows there is still a long way to go. The full power and detailed processing function of the 'junk' has yet to be revealed and understood.

Tuesday 15 May 2007


Daimler Benz bought Chrysler nine years ago for $US36 billion. Now it is selling it for $US7 billion. $US29 billion down the toilet. Even at GM's grossly outrageous figure (read off-the-wall fictional figure) for developing a fuel-cell car--$US2 billion--that would have done the job fourteen times over. And at the human-scale, real-world costing for the EStarCar it would have done it 58,000 times over.

Hubristic corporate games, once again, have got between humanity and keeping this planet fit for human life. The people responsible for this kind of shemozzle should be tried for in the International Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity and imprisoned for the rest of their lives.

(It is fitting that the outfit that has bought Chrysler is called Cerberus, which in Ancient Greek mythology is the name of the monstrous three-headed dog that guarded the gate of hell, because black-stuff-burning cars are turning the earth into an anti-human hell.)

Monday 14 May 2007


What we call democracy is not a true democracy--'government of the people, by the people, for the people.' It is actually an elected dictatorship, in which a small group uses an occasional popularity contest to win power over the majority. The resulting system is necessarily backward-looking and interested in maintaining the status quo for fear of losing popularity. Capitalism, too often a financial dictatorship, complete with marketing propagandists, is also backward-looking because it tends to keep doing what was profitable yesterday because of its invested interest and its fear of losing money in any change--even a change for the good of the planet.

The combination of 'democracy' and capitalism therefore has massive inertia against change, at the very time when we need very rapid change because the major product of that combination has messed up the planet irreparably. As Einstein said you cannot fix a problem using the same kind of thinking that caused it.

The length of time and the amount of space needed to stop an oil-tanker is an excellent and very apt analogy of the problem. Which is why it will not be solved in time.

Where there is a will there is a way. But bad habits prevent the operation of good will.

Saturday 12 May 2007


Winston Churchill might have been speaking of global-overheating when he said: 'Things do not get better by being left alone. Unless they are adjusted, they explode with a shattering detonation.'

Thursday 10 May 2007


A simple system for converting unlimited fusion-power to electricity has been operating for several decades in what has to be called nothing more than a global pilot scheme. Now that its success has been amply demonstrated it is well past the time it should be used to the hilt.

Virtually every building can be fitted with the system. There is a small drawback in that the only functioning fusion-reactor, albeit huge, is not close enough to the points of consumption to allow easy transmission by conventional means, such as wires, or even microwave beams. But, thankfully, the reactor itself operates a staggeringly powerful transmission system. The result is that enough power arrives every day at the sum of all the surface-points on earth to satisfy the energy-needs of all its inhabitants for over twenty-five years. And the technology used to tap this power is very simple. It is made from purified sand. There are no moving parts. The underlying principle was discovered by a Frenchman in 1839 and the first functioning device was built at Bell Labs in the United States in 1952. If the technology were in use everywhere the use of Black Stuff could cease (except for aircraft exhausts), and the planet would be a far better place.

(For those who have not yet seen the tongue-in-cheek point, the giant fusion-reactor is called Sol, aka the sun; the staggeringly powerful transmission system is sunlight; the device discovered in 1952 is the photovoltaic cell, aka the solar cell. Fusion power is staring us in the face. So why bother with that profligately expensive ITER project in France? If the same amount of money were spent on solar cells that were then given to millions of households we would achieve vastly beneficial results immediately. That 'fusion' dream-or-delusion keeps receding into the distance. The planet cannot afford to wait on its snake-oil peddling.)

IPCC reports are dangerously conservative because they are predicated on mid-range projections and are outrageously watered down for the sake of a careless political consensus, but it is still an enormous pity that no one took any real notice of them. The IPCC was formed in 1988, and issued its first report in 1990. It was not till its second in 1995 that any action was taken--and that was only the Munich Agreement of global-overheating: worthless Kyoto.

Tuesday 8 May 2007


Someone who flies is often accused of having a huge carbon-footprint, but the reasoning is false.

First, the entire airline industry accounts for only about 3% of the total greenhouse-gas emissions. If that was all we had we would have achieved a 97% cut, and the planet could easily handle what was left.

Second, whether that person flies or not does not affect the flight. It will still happen; its fuel will still be burned. There would have to be a mass, ongoing boycott to stop it. And most of the weight is in the aircraft and its fuel, not the passengers. In total they account for no more than about 10%, so adding one individual makes only a very tiny difference to the fuel-consumption.

In contrast the carbon-footprint created when that person drives to the airport is huge. So people who point accusing fingers at the airlines should reserve their venom for what is in their own garages and over at the coal-fired power-stations that generate their power. Or is that too close to home? Better to shift the blame to that extremely horrid 3% up there than face the fact that you are part of the catastrophic 97% right here. Otherwise you might have to think about giving up your own planet-wrecking habits. You might even have to turn thought to action. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarggh!

Monday 7 May 2007


A nice contrast! Last week we had two international conferences. One in Egypt on Iraq, the other on the planet in Thailand. The first ended with mortal warnings and a pile of recommendations, but no promises, no commitments, no money. The second ended with billions of dollars of promises and commitments.

We could handle a meltdown in Iraq. A meltdown of the planet does not bear thinking about. Three cheers for getting the priorities right!

Thursday 3 May 2007


The problem with reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is that they begin as science and end as committee politics. The truth gets watered down--i.e., changed to lies of the vested-interest kind. The latest batch of IPCC recommendations, however dire, underlines that, because they are all based on the message that as long as we don't go past a global carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere of 550 parts per million all will be well (see this BBC report).


This article in the New Zealand Herald (amongst many others that can be found by searching on "400ppm carbon-dioxide") shows that we cannot go past a mere 400ppm without guaranteeing catastrophe. We are now at 383ppm, increasing at over 2ppm per year (see the NOAA site). That gives us less than ten years to quit, absolutely, producing billions of tonnes of carbon-dioxide, which obviously will not happen, given the global addiction to the black stuff (coal and oil). The fictitious deadline of 550ppm will underline that sad fact in vast quantities of blood, sweat and tears.

There is also the small but important fact that the IPCC bases its science on computer modelling, and takes the mid line through the data. The actual readings are tracking along the top, heading for the worst.

The mountains at both ends of the earth are telling the terrible truth--see these reports in the New Zealand Herald on the permanent damage that climate ruination has done and is doing to glaciers on Mount Cook (NZ's highest peak) and Mount Zugspitze (Germany's highest).

But the vested interests are not interested. How long do they think we will listen to their falsified reports instead of to the planet?

Saturday 28 April 2007


China's industrial revolution is causing massive pollution, and it is on course to overtake the filthy United States as the world's worst. Pollution has no borders. Therefore every time we buy cheap Chinese goods we are buying another chunk of global pollution, and asking for more. Global overheating is thus for sale in every High Street. Very cheap. Roll up, roll up!

Thursday 26 April 2007


It is called Earth. As it was in 1790. Before we started burning the Black Stuff (that's fossil fuels, if you're new to this blog). Sadly, that planet no longer exists. Even more sadly, there isn't another one we can all go to. The problem is that Earth was invaded by aliens. Half were disguised as businessmen, but after two hundred years their voracious appetite for Black Stuff blew their cover at last. The other half were disguised as politicians, but so far their very clever camouflage (that voting for them is democracy) is holding up. Meanwhile Earth is becoming less habitable by the minute.

But if you clicked on the link to this post expecting to find something about Gliese 581c, then try this well-written article in the Daily Athenaeum, the paper of West Virginia University. Well said, that man. His four points near the end are, sadly, too true.

Wednesday 25 April 2007


So someone said in a recent debate on 'climate change' (read climate ruin) on the New Zealand Herald's site (click here for the paper's homepage).


What is the climate? It is the state of the sky. Can humans change the sky? Of course. The excretions from every exhaust-pipe and chimney-stack change it. The weather is an activity that takes place in the sky; the characteristics of a mixture have the characteristics of all its components; and we have changed the mix in the sky to one that has never before existed in the entire history of the planet. Only fools could think that that has had no effect on the climate and the weather. Ditto those who cannot see that there ARE weapons of mass-destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. They are called oil-wells. The excretions of countless oil-wells and coal-mines are turning the global sky into a WMD.

No, trumpet the fools, that is not true. No, no, that is not true. No, no, no that is not true. Yet every breath they take to utter that lie is a breath of changed air.

Tuesday 24 April 2007


A new satellite study aims to find out if the unsettling spread of 'night-shining' clouds is a sign of global overheating. Details in this Science Daily article.

Monday 23 April 2007


If this thing can be made to work, and if we can build the vast numbers needed to remove 10 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide from the sky annually, until we have wound the concentration back to 280ppm, which is what it was before we started burning black stuff, we will be OK.

IF and IF. Very, very big IFs. But watch that space.

Thursday 19 April 2007


Why can none of their addicts see that so-called 'bio' fuels (bio means life) are nothing to do with life. They still pollute, and, worse, they take food out of people's mouths, so they are nothing more than a blind attempt to keep the damn machines that mess up the planet.

As this
BBC report points out, the 10,000 who will still die from air-pollution if everyone used E85 would be fine if we changed to electric cars. And see this site for a comparison of CO2 generated by electric cars, which shows them far superior, even if the power comes from filthy coal-fired generation. They are also far cheaper to run, a point that has not been lost on the French Post Office, La Poste..

But ignore all that, because if you do--O goody, goody, goody!--you can carry on killing 10,000 people--three hundred times as many as were killed at Virginia Tech. Every single year. Without having to buy a gun. Just carry on using morifuels (mori means die).

Wednesday 18 April 2007


The United Nations Security Council has now recognised global overheating as the greatest threat to global security, and it is a fact that the United States is the world's worst polluter. It is therefore obvious that the US must be recognised as an evil empire, that it must be attacked by the rest of the world, and for the global good reduced to carbon-free rubble.

;-) ;-) ;-)

Saturday 14 April 2007


This report by the US Government Accountability OFFICE was headed 'US Needs A Peak Oil Strategy.' It says that when peak oil will occur is hard to pin down, but the consensus of various studies is somewhere between now and 2040. The report has drawn praise for its un-biased, no-nonsense approach.

So we have yet another reason to stop using the black stuff ASAP. But, of course, no one of any consequence will take a blind bit of notice. Carry on as if the world has not changed. As if there will always be a succession of tomorrows just the same as all our yesterdays. Until it is far too late.

If sufficient sponsorship can be found in time the EStarCar is to be entered for the prestigious X-prize. Click here for more details.

Monday 9 April 2007


The governments of over a hundred countries were prepared to work like galley-slaves for a week, then right through the night, to negotiate the text of the latest IPCCC report, but they they aren't prepared to negotiate the state of the planet and the quality of human life on it (see the BBC's news item, which includes a link to a PDF of the IPCCC's report).

In spite of some gerrymandering and watering-down the report makes clear that global overheating is already having a demonstrable, serious, negative impact on the climate of the entire planet, that the damage is lasting, and that the consequences will be dire. Between the lines it is clear that we have gone well past the point of no-return.

The stark truth is that the best conditions for human civilisation have gone. The worst are on the way. There is no good future for the human race. Increasingly, life will become nasty, brutish and short. Billions will die.

India encapsulates the state of the world. Its economy is booming, its technology is racing ahead, it is becoming a global power. But its environment and climate are going backwards. A vital example is that the Ganges is shrinking as the glaciers that feed it melt away. The tension between the forward and backward movements is inexorably rising, as if they were tied together by an enormous, unbreakable, rubber rope. Ultimately the regression that man is forcing on the planet will snap backwards his progress in economy and technology.

But don't worry about it, politicians. Just worry about hanging on to power at the next election. Don't worry about it, bureaucrats. Just worry about the next pettifogging committee meeting about regulatory trivia. Don't worry about, businessmen. Just worry about your market share and the size of your profits and bonuses. Don't worry about it car-owners. Just worry about getting from A to B regardless of the poison pouring from your exhaust-pipes.

Everybody, please continue to ignore clean solar-cell/fuel-cell technology, because that will keep their prices high and thus keep them unaffordable. Instead, please keep using planet-trashing technologies to the hilt, thus keeping their prices low. In short, please keep being murderous, suicidal fools. Carry on being the lemming-generation.

If you want to do something for this tattered planet and its polluted sky, click here. The EStarCar doesn't cost megabucks and decades to develop, it doesn't pollute the sky, its body can have whatever shape and function you want, it can be manufactured by small teams in small premises than can be rapidly multiplied all over the planet, most of it can be recycled (except for such things as tyres and rubber door-seals), and being alloy it will last decades longer than the heavy, rusting planet-trashers made by the Big Iron carmakers. Their bottom line is money and greed. This car's bottom line is the planet, which means life and the quality of life.

Monday 26 March 2007


That headline, on the BBC's website, should strike a chill of fear into every sentient human being. Sadly, few will notice, few will care, and nobody will do a blind thing about trying to stop the slow death of the largest portion of the Earth's lungs.

Thursday 22 March 2007


Perhaps, but far better overplayed than under, because the fight against it is being so underplayed as to be virtually non-existent. And with the quality of life of the whole human race at stake, plus the vitality of the whole biosphere, any 'overplaying' is entirely appropriate.

But every do-nothing politician, business, vehicle owner, coal-merchant, oil-baron, etc., is certainly guilty of grossly overplaying power, money, stupidity and ignorance. By their sins of omission and comission they militate against everyone who wants to do something. They thwart them at every turn by carrying on gearing things for profligate planetary ruin instead of the continuance of optimal human life.

Wednesday 21 March 2007


It sounds crazy, and it is; it beats all the insanities that human beings commit against themselves. But 'too busy for the planet', combined with the insane addiction to the black stuff, is why virtually no one is doing anything effective about global overheating and climate ruination. Certainly not the rich and powerful.

A rich man who was asked recently to spend a couple of hours considering investing in the EStarCar said he had too much on his plate. That includes preparing to sail round the very planet he does not have time to bother his stupid head with. He should look down at his feet, consider what supports them and consider whether its state of health has anything to do with his.

Insanity varies with the cube of wealth...

Wordsworth was right:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we have in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours
And are upgathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not...

Tuesday 20 March 2007


Yet another authoritative study shows that we have really messed up this planet for human habitation, and that there is a lot worse to come, as this media summary shows, backed by the NOAA report on which it is based).

Salient excerpts from the media summary make grim reading:

'Oceans worldwide absorbed approximately 118 billion metric tons of carbon between 1800 and 1994 according to a report published last year by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and NOAA, resulting in increased ocean acidity, which reduces the availability of carbonate ions needed for the production of calcium carbonate structures. In the past, changes in ocean acidity have triggered mass extinction events. According to a study published in the September issue of Geology, dramatically warmer and more acidic oceans may have contributed to the worst mass extinction on record, the Permian extinction. During the extinction event, which occurred some 250 million years ago, about 95% of ocean's life forms became extinct. The same fate could befall modern day marine life.'

'A draft U.N. report obtained by Reuters on Thursday said warming is expected to turn the planet a bit greener by spurring plant growth, but crops and forests may wilt beyond mid-century if temperatures keep rising. That report, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will be released on April 6.'

'The conclusions are negative for agriculture: it appears that the global warming process has produced damages to almost every commonly grown grains over 20 years. The damages are estimated at $5 billion.

'Warming temperatures from 1981 to 2002 cut the combined production of wheat, corn, barley and other crops by 40 million tonnes per year.'

Friday 2 March 2007


We do not set the maximum amount of carbon-dioxide and methane etc., that the atmosphere can take. The planet does. And we were told at the big scientific conference in London at the beginning of 2005 that 400ppm is it--and that 'there is no safe increase' from the 380ppm that we were then at. Which means we have reached the planet's cap. Any figure dreamed up by brain-damaged politicians is therefore irrelevant, and dangerous (because it looks like useful action), and very stupid.

Setting 'carbon caps' is like a doctor telling a cancer patient that he has to have a certain amount of cancer. Just live with it, sir. And die.

Monday 5 February 2007


The pushers of the black stuff, the coal and oil peace-criminals, actually sell climate-ruin, disease, death, smog and solar-dimming, Doom and gloom.

An old, wise, Roman saying says, 'When men cannot change things they change words', and Winston Churchill said, 'We build our houses then our houses build us.' The words we choose for things are very important, because they shape our thinking on them and generate our actions, or lack of action.

'Climate-change' and 'global-warming' sound so comfortable, so non-threatening. After all, a change is as good as a rest, variety is the spice of life, we are taught by advertising to thirst for the new. and everyone wants to be warm.

The truth is that we have climate-ruin and global-overheating. We have turned the sky into a weapon of mass-destruction; we are the cancer afflicting the planet.

Saturday 3 February 2007


BBC News put a very revealing article beside the latest IPCC report, which makes even more gloomy reading than what the IPCC said. The IPCC report is of course a much tugged-at piece, a climate camel assembled by a committee, a throttled-back compromise. But Dr Vicky Pope, Head of the Climate Programme at the UK Met Office's prestigious Hadley Centre, puts things very plainly: 'Man-made climate change is established beyond reasonable doubt and further climate change is inevitable.'

'The latest climate models predict similar possible global average temperature changes to models used five or 10 years ago, ranging from 1.6-4.3C (2.9-7.7F) in the current best estimates using a mid-range emissions scenario.

'However, we are much more confident about these ranges. Using Hadley Centre models we have even been able to start to assign probabilities to more dangerous high temperature changes at the upper end of this range that could arise if climate turns out to be very sensitive to increased greenhouse gases.'

Which means they are not sure. And the actual readings are tracking along the top of the official predictions, which means we are veering towards the worst scenario, certainly not the best nor even the head-in-the-sand middling stuff. Because in a world hooked on the black stuff you can forget the mid-range scenario. So prepare for the worst (which on-the-edge computer models put at 10-14C round 2100).

Thursday 1 February 2007


The bad news on this ruined planet keeps coming at an accelerating pace. This week alone we have already been told that the world's glaciers are melting three times faster than they were in the 1980s, that Sydney is headed for almost permanent drought and a temperature rise of 5 degrees Celsius above the new global average, whatever that will be, and that the IPCC says the Great Barrier Reef will become a dead zone.

Monday 22 January 2007


Now, at last, the IPCC is it seems going to tell us that we have passed the point of no-return, as the quotations below from The Observer, London, dated January 22nd, make chillingly clear.

'Global warming is destined to have a far more destructive and earlier impact than previously estimated, the most authoritative report yet produced on climate change will warn next week.

'A draft copy of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows the frequency of devastating storms will increase dramatically. Sea levels will rise over the century by around half a metre; snow will disappear from all but the highest mountains; deserts will spread; oceans will become acidic, leading to the destruction of coral reefs and atolls; and deadly heatwaves will become more prevalent.

'The impact will be catastrophic, forcing hundreds of millions of people to flee their devastated homelands, particularly in tropical, low-lying areas, while creating waves of immigrants whose movements will strain the economies of even the most affluent countries.

'The really chilling thing about the IPCC report is that it is the work of several thousand climate experts who have widely differing views about how greenhouse gases will have their effect. Some think they will have a major impact, others a lesser role. Each paragraph of this report was therefore argued over and scrutinized intensely. Only points that were considered indisputable survived the process.

' "This is a very conservative document -- that's what makes it so scary," one senior UK climate expert said.

'Although the final wording of the report is still being worked on, the draft indicates that scientists now have their clearest idea so far about future climate changes, as well as about recent events. It points out that: twelve of the past thirteen years were the warmest since records began; ocean temperatures have risen at least 3km beneath the surface; glaciers, snow cover and permafrost have decreased in both hemispheres; sea levels are rising at the rate of almost 2mm a year; cold days, nights and frost have become rarer while hot days, hot nights and heatwaves have become more frequent.

'And the cause is clear, say the authors: It is very likely that [man-made] greenhouse gas increases caused most of the average temperature increases since the mid-20th century, the report says.

'To date, these changes have caused global temperatures to rise by 0.6 degrees Celsius The most likely outcome of continuing rises in greenhouses gases will be to make the planet a further 3 degrees hotter by 2100, although the report acknowledges that rises of 4.5 to 5 degrees could be experienced. Ice-cap melting, rises in sea levels, flooding, cyclones and storms will be an inevitable consequence.

'The report reflects climate scientists' growing fears that Earth is nearing the stage when carbon dioxide rises will bring irreversible change to the planet.'

Really? As anyone with half an eye can see we have already passed that stage.

Underlining the point is the resetting of the Doomsday Clock, which now says global-overheating is as serious a threat to the human race as nuclear weapons. The clock now say it's five minutes to midnight. More than a tad optimistic obviously, but tick, tick, tick...

Monday 15 January 2007


But it is now far more subtle and lot less messy than when the Nazis did it. Instead of Auschwitz and Buchenwald we now have concentration camps of the mind and gas-ovens of the heart. But the result is the same. Good society goes up in smoke and generations are ruined.

In the story of the Emperor's new clothes, it was politically correct to say that his clothes were magnificent--'only fools cannot see them.'

The wise avoid the trap of allowing such psychological abuse to distort their vision and judgement, and their duty to cry out the truth.

Friday 12 January 2007


Van Jolissaint, Chrysler's chief economist (obviously a very learned scientist!), says
in this BBC item that climate-change is 'way, way in the future, with a high degree of uncertainty.', He was also scathing about the Stern Report, which put the cost of doing nothing at $US10 trillion.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, there is the prediction for 2007--that it will be the hottest on record (since 1860, that is). Is that 'way, way in the future'?

But Van Jolissaint knoweth better. For--behold!--he is the chief economist at Chrysler.

As this article in the New Zealand Herald shows, New Zealand's weather went very pear-shaped last year--and that is a country that used to have a stable climate. Before, that is, all the Van Jolissaints wrecked the planet. Is 2006 'way, way in the future'?

But Van Jolissaint knoweth better. For--behold!--he is the chief economist at Chrysler.

Then there is this dire
scientific prediction for Europe, which the EU takes very seriously.

But Van Jolissaint knoweth better. For--behold!--he is the chief economist at Chrysler.

No, he is a just another of the damned peace-criminals that have made hundreds of millions of planet-trashing machines, and called it good business. He, like them, is guilty of gross crimes against humanity. The number of deaths they have caused, and will cause, make Saddam Hussein look like a jolly saint.

But Van Jolissaint knoweth better. For--behold!--he is the chief economist at Chrysler.