Category Archives: Environmentalism

CFC’s and evil SUV’s

In honor of yesterday’s “Earth Day” status I thought that I might write a small piece outlining many common environmentalist myths… Oh, and I’ll debunk them too!

As usual I plan to keep this post in the spirit of the blog as a whole. In other words I will do my best to keep statistical analysis and scientific studies out of this post.

You may be asking your self “how do you know that you are right and the environmentalists are wrong without showcasing the science of it all?”

If you ask your self this question give your self a pat on the back. You are asking the right questions. However, the simple fact is I have looked into the studies behind all of these myths. And not only have I look into it, I could talk about each and every one of these myths for a very long time discussing the difference in results between studies. But I won’t…

Not only would this be boring it’s also unnecessary. You see many of the myths that are tossed around day to day amongst people who fancy themselves environmentalists are so outright stupid and contradicting that all it takes is a little logical thought in order to see through the lies.

Don’t believe me? Stick around you’ll see.

*Disclaimer*

All points below have implied caveats. This piece is intended to be more food for thought than anything. If you want to dive deeper into the science behind climate change and the “health” of planet earth comment and I will post some very point specific references. In the mean time don’t be afraid to check out Watt’s Up With That. It is a terrific place to start.

Myth Number 1 – The evils of plastic in our landfills…

As many of you know recycling is all the rage these days. Society has bought into this lie about how bad it is to have plastic in our landfills. Now there is a multitude of reasons why plastic in our landfills is not a big deal.

The first of which begins with the nature of a landfill. For those of you who don’t know landfills are essentially large piles of trash that is compacted and stacked in order to fill voids in the land. Later on after the landfill is exhausted (the void in the land is filled) us evil parasitic humans build beautiful things upon them. Take for example Newport Beach. Newport Beach is home to Orange County’s first successful landfill habitat restoration project, Coyote Canyon. Coyote Canyon used to be a landfill… Now it’s not… Good job Newport Beach!

If you have ever seen the area today you will know that it is surrounded by beautiful high-class neighborhoods. And guess what, there are even trees, plants and other green stuff growing there! Turns out its a nature reserve and endangered native plant life has been planted there so that it could make its comeback.

In order for humans to eventually build on top of landfills, they have to be “constructed” (so to speak) in such a way that different variables associated with garbage don’t cause harm to the area, or people in the area. That being said landfill owners are required to have plastic in their landfills so that it may act as a “low permeable barrier.” This layer is supposed to “prevent leachate from reaching the groundwater,” which is caused by the above layers.

What are these low permeable plastic barriers made out of? High Density Polyethylene…

hmm… Polyethylene you say? Isn’t that the stuff plastic milk jugs are made out of?

Interesting. So even if you recycle your milk jugs they could end up in a landfill anyways… AND WITH INTENT!!!

What does this say about plastic? It does In a way confirm that it takes longer for plastic to degrade. However like literally ALL THINGS it will eventually decay.

More importantly, this information suggests that maybe plastic in our landfills is not quite as bad as we all believe

Again, remember I disclaimed that there are caveats to every statement made. Lengthy discussions on the details of this subject are possible and welcomed. Hit me up!

Myth Number 2 – Electric cars will help stop global warming…

I am sure most of you remember the BP Oil spill as president Obama dedicated an extensive amount of time to discussion of the matter on tv.

It is undeniable that the used the event as a way of pushing green energy and demonizing big oil.

However, oil in the gulf is not my intended topic, though an interesting one for sure.

I had a buddy tell me about an interview he saw on TV with one of the high ups at BP, shortly after the event took place. He explained to me that the interviewer asked the BP employee if BP was looking into green energy. Must have been a Fox interviewer as no leftist interviewer would’ve allowed BP that kind of out.

Anyways my friend then inform me that the BP employee said yes. When asked to elaborate the BP employee then explained that the company was looking into researching hydrogen fuel cells.

For those of you that do not now, hydrogen fuel-cells are at this point in time pretty much the only thing that we know of that would make electric vehicles a practical possibility (and even that is a stretch). Sure there are fully electric vehicles on the market today, but all of these said vehicles have limitations.

With that in mind many have turned to hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative to fossil fuels. The main limitation of electric cars today is mileage. You see electric vehicles, even the best models, are only able to do about 300 miles on one charge. After that 300 miles, further travel becomes a bit complicated. As anyone who has ever charged a device knows, charging takes much longer for certain devices then fueling up a gas powered vehicle.

While electric cars today may work (and just barely btw) in metropolitan areas, they fail when it comes to long distance transportation. Not to mention the fact that electric cars are powered by electricity, which is generated at this point in time, by traditional power plants (coal, Natural Gas, etc.)

Meaning that if everyone today switched over to electric powered vehicles, electricity generation would have to go up in order to meet demand. This also means that traditional powerplants would increase their carbon emissions.

But I digress…

In order to meet the demands of most human beings in this first world country, the auto industry has to come up with an alternative to fossil fuels that can yield more than 300 miles on one charge. Thus far the alternative considered by most is hydrogen fuel cells.

While hydrogen fuel cells do not emit CO2 (relative to fossil fuels) they do in fact, as all energy sources, have a by product. Water vapor…

“It’s just water vapor, what’s wrong with that?”

If you are asking your self this question, you have clearly not done enough research on anthropogenic global warming theory.

You see in anthropogenic global warming theory, the warming agent is water vapor, not CO2. The CO2 only acts as the greenhouse gas that starts the so-called “positive feedback loop.”

The theory is that if CO2 begins to decrease the amount of heat that escapes our atmosphere it will at a maximum increase our global temperature at around 1°C. when this happens the atmosphere will warm and in turn, it will be able to hold more water vapor. At the same time the increased warmth should increase water evaporation, increasing in turn water vapor in the atmosphere. Water vapor is the primary warming agent in anthropogenic global warming theory (actually causes a noticeable increase in heat.) It is estimated to increase temperatures at a maximum of around 4°C. (Bolded because not sure on exact numbers but I know approx… scientists don’t know exact either so… lol)

This positive feedback loop is believed by a few super silly scientists to continue until the earth reaches a new equilibrium temperature.

Now, there are a whole lot of reasons why this theory is completely incorrect. Primarily because if a theory is to be proven as fact it must first be observed as defined in the scientific method. It has not been, but let’s save that statistical analysis for a later date.

In the meantime I would like you to ponder this…

If water vapor is the only greenhouse gas that actually warms the atmosphere at a rate in which it would be noticeable, why is it that supposed environmental scientists are proposing that we use hydrogen fuel-cell technology in the future?

Possibly because they don’t know what global warming is as a theory.

Or it could possibly be that they know you don’t know what global warming is.

Ever heard of cap and trade?

I leave you with this…

True electrically powered cars with normal modern batteries would increase the carbon footprint of our traditional power plants, how does that decrease the carbon footprint of the average citizen, assuming all average citizens are driving electric cars.

Given that most sane people would not drive electrically powered vehicles, hydrogen fuel-cell’s are the current propposed alternative to the problem. Why would these experts tell us to look into hydrogen fuel cells when literally, or I should say practically, the only byproduct of a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle is water vapor?

Mind blown…

Myth Number 3 – Polar Bears are feeling the effects of global warming.

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For those of you who don’t know, probably most of you, I am a hobbyist/pro nature photographer.

In high school I traveled all over North America, some parts of Mesoamerica, as well as Europe. During my north America photo expedition the object was to photograph every kind of bear in North America. There are three types of bears in north America grizzlies, black bears, and polar bears. Some people count the spirit bear as a fourth kind of bear, however it is technically a black bear with a genetic mutation.

When I traveled to the Sub-Arctic to photograph polar bears I was accompanied by a man who, while not a bear biologist officially himself, has spent an extensive amount of time alongside bear biologists during studies that he volunteered for on polar bears and their interactions with their environment.

During dinner one night after a day of shooting, the conversation somehow shifted to global warming.

This conversation was one that I found extremely informative. Not only was I able to gain the perspective of someone who lives in the Arctic Circle on a regular basis in regards to global warming, but I was also able to ask questions of someone who has spent an extensive amount of time studying polar bears.

This man was a Canadian. He was the only Canadian at the table during dinner. He explained to my American friends that when Al Gore and his home diggities decided to make their movie “An Inconvenient Truth” they failed to include any truth at all in regards to polar bears.

The conversation started with him explaining to us how Al Gore and his buddies came up with their number for the polar bear population. He explained the team tasked with coming up with the polar bear population for the film did nothing more than fly up in a helicopter with a counter and counted the amount of polar bears they found in one specific area. They then extrapolated out the amount of pullovers and the entire Arctic Circle based on that one specific area. Obviously this is inaccurate.

He continued by mentionimg to us that the polar bear population is not only entirely stable, but also increasing as the days go by. These are observations and his team of biologist made during the number of studies he was included in. I do not have any citation for this, this is only what the man told me.

However in order to help back up his claim he explained to me a bit more about why this is.

First off he claims that global warming is in fact taking place, contrary to all scientific evidence, but that it is not caused by man. He then stated that since the ice caps are melting and sheet ice is forming all over the Arctic Ocean. This would seem like a bad thing as this means that polar bears have to swim further in order to reach actual land. However he then explained to us and proved to us with photographic evidence that polar bears are able to swim as far as 200 miles without stopping if they need to. He also told us that polar bears more often than not voluntarily swim from mainland to sheet ice a great distance in order to hunt seals. You see, she ice is prime habitat for seals, the number one item on the menu for polar bears. If sheet ice continues to form, the seal population should increase as their habitat will allow for it. That being said polar bears should intern see an increase in their population, as there will be more food available to them with more seals around.

This is pretty much all you need to know in order to understand the truth about polar bears and their lack of habitat. However one interesting anecdote that this man did relate to me is that polar bears hunt every year in order to prepare for hibernation.

During this hunt the polar bear will leave the mainland and swim out to sheet ice in the Arctic Ocean in order to hunt seals. While this is somewhat interesting, the most interesting part of the story is that polar bears almost without exception are able to swim back to the very point that they left literally months before on the mainland.

It seems to me that these polar bears are more well adapted to their environment then we give them credit for.

When ever you see a polar bear on a small piece of sheet ice, do not despair odds are this photograph was taken by a photographer in Svalbard on an icebreaker looking for these exact kind of shots. I only know this because the group that I go to photograph wildlife with plans this trip every year. However, regardless of this fact, a polar bear on a piece of sheet ice is no big deal.

Sources:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/18/1239747/-Think-your-plastic-is-being-recycled-Think-again

http://fotoprikolov.net/415138-rubbish-the-archaeology-of-garbage-download.html

http://www.epa.gov/osw/education/quest/pdfs/unit2/chap4/u2-4_landfills.pdf

https://www.teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php?url=collection/cub_/lessons/cub_enveng/cub_enveng_lesson05.xml

http://www.banthebottle.net/articles/plastic-water-bottles-impose-health-and-environmental-risks/

https://www.plasticsindustry.org/AboutPlastics/content.cfm?ItemNumber=790&navItemNumber=1124

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leachate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-density_polyethylene

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landfill_liner

http://thetollroadsblog.com/tag/coyote-canyon-landfill/

http://articles.latimes.com/1993-09-12/local/me-34323_1_coyote-canyon-landfill-san-joaquin-wetland

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/recycling.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin_identification_code

http://ecowatch.com/2013/11/26/new-york-biggest-solar-array/

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/fuel_cell.html

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/hydrogen_basics.html

http://www.driveclean.ca.gov/Search_and_Explore/Technologies_and_Fuel_Types/Hydrogen_Fuel_Cell.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_of_recent_climate_change#Water_vapor

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/why-are-some-polar-bear-populations-in-decline-while-others-are-stable

http://www.defenders.org/polar-bear/basic-facts

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