Friday, January 19, 2018

How exactly does one go about fixing what ails the Salton Sea ???

Interesting set of articles recently from the Los Angeles Times on various schemes for fixing the problems of the Salton Sea 
Animated Gif - Los Angeles Times

(Gary Coronado /Los Angeles Times)
The issue with the eventual fate of the Salton Sea is at a critical point now. It actually always has been critical, but clearly the present set of negative ecological circumstances surrounding the sea encompass so many other health and ecological issues as never before. There have been many proposed solutions over the years, but nothing has ever really gotten done. After the initial Colorado river bank breach was corrected back in 1907, the sea level has been maintained by the irrigation runoff from farms in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys and two rivers (horribly polluted) coming out of Mexico, the Alamo River and the New River. The danger became even more elevated when the impending legislation to transfer some of the local farmers’ share of Colorado River water to San Diego County. Even then the studies showed that this disastrous decision would make the shoreline recede by more than a mile. And this is where the concentrated salinity and toxic pollution increases causing massive fish kills and bird dieoffs. Another side effect which damages human health are all the toxic dust storms from the dry fine silty lake bed where the sea has receded.


Animated  Map - Los Angeles Times

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Dead trees, debris and dead fish dotted the shoreline of the Salton Sea in 2015. This is now a common  site everywhere along the Salton Sea's shores and beaches. For folks who are old enough to remember what the Sea once looked like, it's an incredible sadness to know how so much life has been destroyed. I'm fascinated with the Sea's historical creation back in 1905 with the irrigation canal construction blunder over in the Mexico area south of Yuma and some of the incredible wildlife changes which facilitated miles of shoreline ecosystem freshwater (at worst brackish) habitat. I'm even more fascinated with the sea's ancient freshwater Lake Cahuilla creation 1000s of years ago. I imagine the area was incredibly rich in all manner of wildlife, including the Sonoran beaver which would have existed in Southern California. The non-profit organization "Martinez Beaver" has a wonderful reprinted document from the state of California Fish and Game entitled, The Status of Beavers in California. Scroll down to page #23. This was an amazing piece in that it reveals the development of beaver activity in fresh water all the way to the Salton Sea via Alamo & New Rivers, which originate from the south at Mexican border. It documents a trek once taken down the Alamo River in April of 1940, by Robert Hart, from the California Division of Fish and Game, who examined this river by boat along its entire course in California from Mexico to the Salton Sea. He found evidence of Beaver activity from the Mexican border, through Holtville, through Brawley, through Calipatria and all the way into the Imperial Game Refuge near the Salton Sea past Calipatria and west of the town of Niland.

Click Here to Magnify
In one description there is mention of Beaver in and around several lakes on either side of the Alamo River next a Finney Gun Club. The map on the right shows the location of this hunting club being near Hwy 111 south of Calipatria where the highway crosses over this game refuge. Looking on Google Earth you can see the interesting pattern of these lakes (Finney, Ramer & Wiest lakes) along the Alamo River and also numerous smaller Ox-Bow Lakes which were created decades ago prior to the build up of towns and farmland creation when the Alamo was allowed to meander back and forth which is the nature of most rivers on floodplains. Now the river is pretty much maintained and kept channelized so as to not disturb the existing bordering farm fields which has tightened the river channel. But it was this region that had the heaviest concentration of beaver which would have all thrived in the rich abundant native riparian vegetation of a wide meandering floodplain, plus the same meander created countless ox-bow ponds everywhere which still exist in places. Keep in mind that prior to 1934, the Tamarisk and Arundo cane had not yet taken over and destroyed the native riparian ecosystem as it has done today. There were later drought years from 1931 and especially 1934 which brought serious water shortages to Imperial Valley. The regulation of the river by Lake Mead didn't begin until 1935 and eventually freed the Imperial Valley from the periodic water shortages and inferior water quality which usually resulted from droughts in earlier years. This same year, 1934, started the dramatic drop in beavers populations in this region and over in the New River which had a huge population they completely disappeared. Less water into the valley meant complete shut off which dried many places up to mere saline seeps. The new All American Canal started construction in 1934 so that irrigation water delivery would never again be dependent on coming up through Mexico. Still, Salton Sea has so much potential as a wildlife draw, but not under the present system of maintenance. Something radically has to change and it's starts with completely stopping the toxic pollution on both sides of the border. Fat chance that ever happening! 😒


Image - Google Earth

The image above is from Google Earth on the Hwy 111 bridge in Imperial Valley just south of the town of Calipatira, California. The view is looking south at the Alamo River which comes out of Mexico. Often at this point in the Alamo you can even see those giant foamy suds floating downstream towards it's goal north to the Salton Sea. As you can see the vegtation here is predominantly non-native Tamarisks and Arundo cane. Neither of these plants are favoured by beaver as compared to the willows, Ash and cottonwoods which dominated in the early descriptions of accounts of beaver in Imperial Valley. Although Beaver have been found to chew on Tamarisk in the Colorado River where no other palatable plants exist. If you venture over to Google Earth to this exact location and turn completely around viewing the Alamo River looking north, you will see some natives like California Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera) which in my almost 40+ years of experience viewing this region are in fact on the increase as a result of birds. Grackles most likely.
The original Breach in Irrigation Canal Construction which gave us the Salton Sea
Animated Historical Map - Loa Angeles Times
http://www.greetingsfromsaltonsea.com/flood.html
Courtesy of Chris Landis collection

Fascinating Read on the original breach along the Colorado
Popular Science Monthly/Volume 70/January 1907/The Possibilities of Salton Sea

Resulting Consequences to Wildlife
CREDIT: DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE

Photo - Milton Friend
Back in the 1950s the Salton Sea was once known as the “California Riviera” which gave life to real estate schemes of a Las Vegas by the Sea known as Salton City. Now it's one of the United States of America’s worst ecological disasters. Nothing more than a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up millions of dead fish and birds. It's been estimated that around 100 million fish thrive in the Salton Sea, but problems such as algal blooms caused by excess pollution (Miracle-Gro for Algae) in the water from Imperial & Coachella Valley agriculture and the raw filth coming from Mexico via the New & Alaamo Rivers which flow straight out of the city of Mexicali have led to these massive die-offs such as this one (above) affecting gulf croakers. I remember back in 1996, the news reports of thousands of white and brown pelicans in the Salton Sea were being killed off by this avian botulism, marking the first time that fish-eating birds succumbed to the disease. The potential for wildlife of all sorts was huge at the very begining of the Sea's modern re-creation at the hands of an irrigation canal contruction blunder at the Colorado River in 1905.


US Fish ans Wildlife Service

Flocks of snow geese (above) rest on an upland habitat adjacent to the Salton Sea that is part of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. This scene flashes me back to a time when Spanish Explorer, Juan Bautista de Anza, came through Imperial Valley, there was no mention of the great Sea's existence in 1774-1776 in his journal when they camped at San Sebastian Marsh where San Felipe Creek enters into the Salton Sink. Oddly enough at the time, the climate was far different. Both Fray Pedro Font and Anza made reference on the second journey the following year of a fierce snow blizzard they encountered at San Sebastian Marsh (about the area of Hwy 85 Border Patrol Checkpoint), where conditions were so miserable that they lost several livestock and horses which they brought with them on the expedition. Hard to believe such a weather event like this happened if you've ever passed through here and seen the area's lunarscape appearance. But interestingly, when they did leave Anza Valley in the San Jacinto Mountain range and looked down into the Hemet-San Jacinto Valley from the higher elevations coming down through present day, Bautista Canyon, he did comment on what had the appearance of a massive snowy landscape in the valleys below. In reality once the Spanish expedition arrived on the Hemet-San Jacinto Valley floor, they found a massive riparian habitat where millions upon millions of aquatic birds like snow geese, maybe even white pelicans, egrets, etc covered the landscape. Ancient Lake Cahuilla (Salton Sea) must have at one time (before Anza) looked like that scene when the Colorado followed the same ancient pathway where the canal construction breach took place at the Colorado River in 1905.
1950s Las vegas by the Sea gone Bust

Postcard Image - From Wanderland
SALTON CITY: A SEASIDE WASTELAND ADVENTURE
At the start of the 1950s, the sea was viewed as having so much potential as a tourist Mecca. Indeed as the post card above promises, this was a resort of Las Vegas caliber and so close to L.A. and San Diego in the west and Phoenix to the east. But that was then. Modern Science in the 1950s brought mankind the not so Green Revolution, where those miracle chemicals Allied & Axis Power Chemical Companies (DuPont, Monsanto, Dow, BASF, Bayer, Etc) used for bomb making during World War II, could now suddenly be used to make deserts artificially green. Either way those chemicals destroy things. But this was the beginning of the end for the Salton Sea with this scientific miracle, sorry I meant debacle. Unfortunately, looking at the Salton Sea today and the surrounding post apocalyptic appearance it has along all it's beaches & shoreline, one could almost agree with the online gamer description of it as nothing more than "a putrid, salt-rich lake whose waters are unlikely to be home to anything you’d want to go fishing for." The Salton Sea is clearly a toxic mess, in which the same online gamer again described as being able to "burn through a man's lower intestine in seconds" if you were to ingest any of it's foul liquid. Yuck, but that's the feeling you get anyway.
So are there any real viable Soultions ???

SDSU Center for Inland Waters

Comments from readers in the original article in Yahoo News
"Dig a tunnel to San Diego and fill it up."
This comment above had the right idea, but the logistics were a way off their target. Something closer to home - Mexico!
"The best thing for the Salton sea is to let it return to it's natural state as a dry lake bed."
Okay now this was a totally out of touch. True, the modern day Salton Sea was a dry lakebed prior to the construction accident in 1905, but allowing it to go back to a dry lakebed is not the answer and creates massive amounts of health issues. Both for human as well as wildlife. There was once a water pipeline plan dismissed years ago which may not have been an attractive option to save the beleaguered Salton Sea way back when, but now it may be the only best way to buy the region more time. Below here are three links to info on the scheme of building a sea level canal from Sea of Cortez to Salton Sea. This really is the only viable option, but as usual it's only a mere fix-it-pill approach which is generally the way humans ever accomplish anything. While this proposal in interesting, there should also be a side by side second canal or pipeline which should act as a release valve back to Sea of Cortez in case of another Hurricane Kathleen in 1976 and Doreen the following year 1977 flooded which made the Salton Sea level rise significantly enough to flood several coastal towns like Bombay Beach. But here are the links to canal info.
http://www.fdungan.com/salton.htm
Desert Sun: How Waters from Mexico can Save the Salton Sea
Why an Unpopular Idea Could Be the Salton Sea’s Best Solution 
“Bureaucracy, made up entirely of petty minds, stands as an obstacle to the prosperity of the nation; delays for seven years, by its machinery, the project of a canal which would have stimulated the production of a province.”
Honoré de Balzac - French Novelist & Playwright 
Animated Map Sources: Tim Krantz, professor of environmental studies, Salton Sea Database program director, University of Redlands; Lisa Benvenuti, GIS analyst, University of Redlands; California State Parks.
References about Salton Sea It's Creation, it's historical Drawdowns and eventual Death
I'm reserving this spot for a furture post which deals with why the ancient Lake Cahuilla disappeared in the first place. The post is almost completed and I'll place it here, as well as the Networkedblogs Facebook page.
Los Angeles Times: "Riverside County has a new plan to fix the Salton Sea — or at least a part of it"
Los Angeles Times: "Drawdowns and death of the Salton Sea"
Los Angeles Times: "State unveils a 10-year plan to restore habitat and control toxic dust storms along the Salton Sea's receding shoreline"


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Nature and a different kind of "Pay to Play"


Phoney Outrage, Self-Righteous Indignation add to these the words/terms bogus, false, fake, pseudo, assumptions, ostentatious, insincere or pretentious, etc. Shall I go on ???

The angry fist illustration has become the universal symbol all across our planet. It doesn't matter what the cause, the complaint or justification for the angry hatred. People everywhere just seem to have their collective knickers in a twist now days over any little thing that sets them off. The problems of today's vaious controversies also seem to be exacerbated by this group think mentality found on many modern day social network sites where the anger of others flow freely and feed this herd mentality for angry activism. The effect has been to pursuade many people who historically have never been a part of angry activism, but suddenly find themselves swept up in the riptide undercurrent of charismatic activist guru propaganda. But lets focus on just one thing here with this post, the National Park Service of the United States of America's decision to raise the day use entrance fees of it's National Parks and Monuments. Below is a quote from the High Country News journal which attempts to pursuade folks why everyone should be outraged.

(Brad Sutton/National Park Service)
High Country News: The price of a national park fee hike
Philosophical hostility to fees also emerged. In the 1930s, Utah Republican Reed Smoot led a growing group of lawmakers in opposition to the idea that Americans should pay anything to access lands that belonged to them. A 1932 Park Service policy barred the agency from seeking “financial gain” and asserted that parks should "be free to the people without vexatious admission charges and other fees.”  
Yet entrance and camping fees remained part of public-land management. Although revenue generated by user fees has risen sharply since 1996, it still makes up roughly the same portion of the Park Service’s budget that it did decades ago. In 1947, 11 percent of the agency’s budget was generated by user fees. In 2016, 9 percent was, with the remainder coming from donations and congressional appropriations.
So apparently there is a long history of people being upset when Park Service fees of any kind are raised. It's almost like the subject of taxes being raised or lowered. Somebody some where is going to be disturbed and outraged. Still, only 9% of the fees now raised only go towards National Park budgets ? Wow! We live now in a world where many believe that all governments owe them and they should have to pay for nothing. And that's really what this is all about. The USA has a new administration in charge and half the country hates that situation. Interestingly any decision this new administration group makes is considered outrageous and to be resisted. Oddly enough had the previously leadership in power made such a Park fee hike decision, it no doubt would have been celebrated as forwards thinking and hailed as brilliantly innovative. But now there is one interesting quote from High Country News which really exposes the unfortunate ideological motive behind this article's demand for protest:
“Rich people can see wildflowers in Rocky Mountain National Park at the best time of year, and poor people can’t see them at all.”
More than anything else, this is the main tool and justification for the resistence. I'll address the poor people question below with the situation in Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona Arizona at the end.

National Park Service Photo

National Park Service Proposes Targeted Fee Increases at Parks to Address Maintenance Backlog
The ideas behind much of these rate hikes for fee entrance is to do much needed rehabilitation work like this trail in Grand Canyon National Park by the National Park Service and the American Conservation Experience personnel which was funded in part by entrance fees. Below here is a document which contains a fact sheet about the National Park Service's targeted fee increase proposal and a spreadsheet showing the current and proposed entrance fee rates (regular season and peak season) for 17 national parks.

TARGETED FEE INCREASES AT PARKS TO ADDRESS MAINTENANCE BACKLOG FACT SHEET
So the entrance fees during peak season, which varies but is generally from May 1 to September 30 for most parks, would be raised to $70 per private non-commercial vehicles, $50 per motorcycles and $30 per person on bike or foot. The increase would be nearly three times the current rate for some parks. But interestingly a year Pass card to visit all Parks would be about $75 to $80. I thought about a comparison of sorts with two of my favourite nature parks, the San Diego Safari Park for which I always had a yearly membership and San Diego Zoo.
1 Day Pass - $54 Adult (Age 12+) & $44 Child (Age 3-11)
2-Visit Pass - $86.40 Adult & $76.40 Child 
Annual Pass (Zoo & Safari Park) - $112 Adult & $54 Child
http://www.sdzsafaripark.org/tickets
Wow, what a difference. But of course it is closer and convenient. Like the National Parks maintenance is high and fees probably don't cover everything which is why they also rely on outside funding by grants and donors. Only the annual pass provides free parking, otherwise the daily fee or two day pass is still separate from the parking fee you must pay. This also doesn't generally provide discunts towards concession services and stores, but there may be some with the yearly pass. The point is the fees when you take all things into perspective with today's outrageous inflation shouldn't be such a problem. I also find it interesting that people have no problem with using money for other things less important, even going into sign on the dotted line debt for many things in life they want. For example, what about that new 40 inch HD Television sey, or an NFL Game Pass Sunday Subscription, that new XBOX one, Galaxy Note, Iphone 8, verizon unlimited monthly bill, new seasonal clothes selection at your favourite retail outlet, that choice of the big SUV over the compact vehicle, weekly outings to favourite restaurants just to name a few flavourites. Stop and reflect all you do before before you whine about an annual pass to a national park. Something else is a miss. Another thing that has always puzzled me is that most people who claim to be for Nature and ecology are rarely known for actually getting off their back sides and actually doing some type of land restoration or park volunteer work somewhere - anywhere. But what if the Fee whiners would volunteer in the Parks for a certain amount of hours to get a free Pass ??? Then there wouldn't be any reason for crying about the fees. Some of these parks around the country wouldn't even be open if it wasn't for the volunteers. You find them everywhere, but no one ever considers this when they are invited to participate in the latest civil disobedience activism anarchist event. It seems to be more of a problem with who you wish to target the blame. Take that last quote again:

“Rich people can see wildflowers in Rocky Mountain National Park at the best time of year, and poor people can’t see them at all.”
Oak Creek Canyon & Slide Rock, Arizona where "Pay to Play" helps
==================================
"July trash helped make Oak Creek unsafe to swim"

Photo from Red Rock News
"With a final 2016 summer cleanup still scheduled for Indian Gardens in less than two weeks, two Oak Creek Ambassadors Nick Kowall and Max Tapia reported the removal of 800 pounds of trash from Oak Creek last month, including over 150 pounds of poop — primarily from people."
(Source: - redrocknews.com)
Let's take the subject of those poor folks and the "Pay to Play" game. Back in 1976 when I first visited Sedona Arizona and Oak Creek Canyon, I thought this place was the koolest spot I'd ever found. Slide Rock State Park was amazing. It was beautiful. Later in 1983 and 1985 when we visited, we were told by residents at a place of business in Sedona that the canyon and creek were kept clean by locals who volunteered on Mondays to pick up the filth left by city people who came up for the weekend. If they hadn't, then over time the area would have looked like the rough areas of Los Angeles or Phoenix. The second to the last time I went there in 2001 with my son, we went to Slide Rock State Park. It was packed with, *cough-cough*, many of these same poor people the protest folks are whining about. I won't go into a deep description of these folks (culture, ethnicity, etc), but lets just say they were all from the greater Phoenix area and packed out Slide Rock State Park because it was a no Fee required area. You could hardly walk around there were so many people, filth was everywhere and like this article above, there was massive amounts of adult poop and 100s & 100s of baby diapers thrown in bushes everywhere. Unbeliebly this once beautiful place was now a foul mess. But now the last time my wife and I visited, this past 2015, there was a change. Cleaned up quite a bit, less people because no parking allowed along highway and the only parking is limited and costs anywhere from $20 to $30, depending on time of year you visit. Some eco-activists want less humans around to save nature, even going so fas as to calling human beings a plague on the earth. So wouldn't a fee hike helping to keep more humans away from Nature be considered a positive thing ??? In any event, most industrial recreation is as bad or worse, than the conventional things that usually ruin our natural world and fees being raised can barely cover what many nature lovers have destroyed in the past for no other reason than massive sheer numbers in popular areas. Seriously eco-folks, go out and volunteer more and pay less attention to all those social media gurus who keep you stirred up. Proof that you care about Nature has nothing to clicking "LIKE" on someone's Facebook group page.

Image from Canyon Country Zephyr



Friday, January 12, 2018

Ingredients vs Michel Roux Jr (Another Origins Fail)

PopSci Journals are amazing. They can be totally wrong, later change their story, invoke unseen phenomena, and claim they are providing “understanding” of the natural world's reality. And when their fables are exposed as fraud, the ignorant gullible public just keeps coming back for more. Let me provide an analogy 😉
image - allposters.com

photo - Janwikifoto 2008
Michel Roux Jr., is a British two-star Michelin chef at the London restaurant Le Gavroche. You've seen him before if you've ever watched the British version of the "Masterchef" series where he often co-starred with the show's presenter Greg Wallace. Early in his career, Michel Roux, served apprenticeships with Maître Patissier Hellegouarche in Paris and Alain Chapel in Mionnay, and two years working at the Elysée Palace under French Presidents D’Estaing and Mitterrand, he ended up in 1991 as Chef de Cuisine at Le Gavroche, the restaurant his father Albert and uncle Michel Sr founded in 1967. Now what do you suppose Michel was doing all that time while serving under all those apprenticeships ? Was he simply finding and collecting the best ingredients ? Well, that was actually a small part of it, but certainly not the most important part. The most important part was the experience he gained by researching techniques for putting the ingredients together with the guiding hand of his mentors.


Michel Roux compiled serveral fantastic recipes from his term as head chef at Le Gavroche, as well as recalling some old favourites from the restaurant’s 33 years as one of London’s most celebrated dining rooms. Michel stated that almost all of the recipes detailed in his book should be relatively easy for any confident cook. His book was not a book of ingredients. I mean it might also help to know exactly how long, for example, to steam the lobster in spinach which you can find on page 230. Should it be nine or 11 minutes ??? Will two minutes too long ruin the dish ??? Questions, questions, questions. A mere book of ingredients offers nothing of real value. So does everyone get the point here ??? What I'm leading up to here is a recent CNN clickbait article which claims to answer the question of life's origins on Earth's, but reality never does any of that. This should not surprise anyone since most Pop-Sci journals never do either. They have a following whose worldview needs to be coddled and cuddled for profit.
Ingredients for Life  found in meteorites that crashed to Earth
"Our reverence for science has led to a culture of “new findings” and sensationalistic headlines" Science Writer, Simon Oxenham
Photo Credit: Dr. Queenie Hoi Shan Chan
"Two Meteorites, called Monahans and Zag, are the first discovered to contain the ingredients for life: liquid water, amino acids, hydrocarbons and other organic matter.  A chemical-makeup analysis of blue and purple salt and potassium crystals from the meteorites was published in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday.  Although it’s not exactly proof that life exists beyond Earth, the traces of water in the salt crystals could date to the earliest days of our solar system. The researchers compared it to finding a prehistoric fly preserved in amber."
(Source: CNN)

The article admitted that these various material elements, "ingredients," are “not exactly proof” of extraterrestrial life. Really ??? Seriously ??? Fact, it's no proof at all! Even a child can scoop up a handful of dirt and comprehend that living things are made from the dust elements. But clearly more than dirt is involved here. To ignore that something far more important than dirt is involved would be like saying the english alphabet represents the "ingredients" or content of Michel Roux's "Le Gavroche" cookbook. Go ahead, try randomly multiplying the letters of the alphabet and see if they appear in the correct order you find in Michel Roux's cookbook. So it would seem that Michel Roux's mind does play a role in the origin of that cookbook after all. It would also be a total waste of time for anybody to try and discuss or even debate the content of this CNN article which is of no value at all, other than it's intended purpose for CNN to use as clickbait for suckers. It would be like walking into Home Depot, Lowes, Hornback or BauHaus and declaring you discovered how house appear because you found all the ingredient materials (wood, stone, cement, plumbing and electrical conduits, insulation, paints, etc) from which houses are made of while totally ignoring all the tools and intelligent skill sets of the tradesmen who specialized in various chronologically ordered aspects of actually building a house. I won't waste anymore time on this anymore, but I'll point out something environmental lawyer, Gustavo Speth, once said.



We are at a critical point where life itself is in danger of disappearing if immediate radical changes aren't made soon. Rather than seriously pursue such solutions, PopSci treats us to nonsense. Our planet's natural world was lost a long time ago. Forget everything you've ever heard about rewilding, reversing climate change, forest restoration, alternative energy, etc. To ignore life's basic fundamentals (DNA has real information, Survival of the Mutually Cooperative cancels out Survival of the Fittest dogma, etc) that even your average child gets, exposes just how many of these ecology movements are doomed to failure. It's not about the material substrate folks, it's about the informational content of DNA that defines life. Here's a suggestion to ALL PopSci Journals who attempt to masquerade as Science Sources. Next time you attempt an origins subject discussion, it would behoove you to forget the ingredients living things are made of. Even children get the handful of dirt concept. Instead why not explain through proven experimentation just where all that information inside all living organism's DNA came from which brought lifeless material substrate to life. If Science suddenly decides to change it's worldview on that, then we may be able to find real world viable solutions for saving life now and reversing the damage done on almost all of Earth's ecosystems through the practice of Biomimicry.


animation - computing.co.uk

Why we'll never get good Science  from the conventional News Journals with Science Sections

Back in March 2016 there was an article by a science writer, Simon Oxenham, who bluntly exposed the reasons PopSci fluff is so popular among most conventional news outlets. Here's what he said:
"If we want to live our lives based on evidence (and who doesn’t?), it makes intuitive sense to live according to what we read in the science section of the newspaper. First things first, don’t do that. Newspapers are actually one of the worst places to get information about scientific matters. Now this isn’t some kind of revelation. Anyone with a good understanding of science knows this is as clear as night and day."
Well, no mistaking his straight forward approach. It's most unfortunate that the today's media is where most of the common lay people get their science education and understanding. Most people in today's modern society find themselves living in a horribly dismantled natural world where life seems to have less and less purpose and so most people are for the most part apathetic. Like the old time religion of the past, most people are lazy and allow the prevailing ruling Scientific Orthodoxy to do their scientific study, research and thinking for them. Simon Oxenham's article went on to further explain why modern day journalism is not more honest and thorough when producing a well balanced and well thought out educational Science article.
"This is because a well-considered and balanced article is not only time consuming and challenging to write, but ultimately sells less copies, brings in less traffic, and consequently less advertising dollars than shock-horror headlines. All journalists who want to tell substantive, well-researched stories face this problem."
(Source) 
Historically, the entire natural world has been interconnected by trillions of lines of codes within a mutualistic cooperation system that has probably existed for countless milennia before humans ever arrived on the scene and introduced their own unique version of malware which has had a catastrophic effect ever since as the infection spreads throughout all Earth's ecosystems. According to published scientific research, this degradation of Earth's ecosystems by human beings started about 6000-years-ago. About 150 years ago bad scientific innovation based on gross ignorance of the informational content of DNA has only sped up and accelerated the degrading this process. Gowever, this still begs the question about why the Media won't ever publish an article which focuses attention on the origins of the informational content of DNA rather than focussing on the material substrate for which all Life is made out of which even a child gets ??? I guess we all know the religiously driven ideological worldview obsessed reasons why will never happen!

Friday, November 17, 2017

When Alternative Energy Goes Wrong

Wind Turbine Syndrome Illustrated 😱 😵
Photo - Kevin Key /Oct 2017)

"War of the Worlds"  😵
Back this past October, San Diego California photographer, Kevin Key, posted on his Flickr page a night image of the eerie looking Ocotillo Wind Farm. He actually is very taleted on taking fascinating night sky images down in the Imperial Valley desert scenery. But this partcular image reminded me of some Hollywood remake of an H.G. Wells classic, "War of the Worlds." The latest film Martian machines used in the newer movie version are far different than those of the original 1953 classic. These newer version Tripod Martian machines looked like many of the countless modern wind turbines machines manufactured by Siemens from a distance. Especially at night. Only these new improved version of  Martian machines are more more sophisticated and efficient than those at the controversial Ocotillo Wind Farm Turbines which don't often move and function as originally advertised. 

Image - Kevin Key
By coincidence, Kevin Key, does uses a Tripod. Hmmmmm 😉, just like those Martian machines. But the similarity to wind turbines is uncanny when it comes to their immense presence and scary noise. The environmental effects on human beings and wildlife by their mere presence is also uncanny with both the real and Sci-Fi machines. The ecogreen crowd will disagree of course. The majority of those folks claiming to champion and support wind turbines are generally not living within the vicinity of these wind farm locations (often over 100+ miles away) and their only real support has been clicking LIKE on some Facebook page. Go figure! 😒 This is not to bash the real need for alternative safer energy production, but thus far the responsible science has been grossly lacking here in favour of profiteering. Take a close look at Kevin Key's Ocotillo Wind Turbine night scenery and listen to this repetitive sound effects used by "War of the Worlds." Doesn't get anymore illustrative than that folks.


Okay Okay, so yeah I'm exaggerating a bit here. Surely real wind turbines are not even close to those spooky Sci-Fi sound-effects. Or are they ? The residents of Ocotillo were told in the beginning that those Pattern Energy Wind Turbines would be as quite as being in a Library. Well maybe you be the judge. Now think for a moment, could the reverberations at low frequencies really affect people's (or wildlife) inner ears ??? Check out this one single turbine video and imagine what an entire army of them must be like. Listen: Ocotillo Wind Turbine Syndrome ??? Wow, I think those Sci-Fi War of the Worlds version of sound effects are far easier to deal with. Aside from the human factor, can you imagine how this horrible noise must be effecting the sensitivites of wildlife like bats, birds and other animals ? Still, the Sci-Fi sound effect and the nightly red glow of the Ocotillo Wind Turbines speaks volumes. This isn't the first time I've made Ocotillo landmark comparisons to Sci-Fi world. Take another look below.
They Both Crashed & Burn to the Ground
Image - Kevin Key (Nov 2016)

Image - Stan Winston
And of course the Ocotillo Wind Turbine Facility has had it's share of problems with turbines crashing and burning. So on November 21, 2016 a 500-foot-tall wind turbine at the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility collapsed in the morning, spewing debris and three blades each weighing many tons across the desert floor. The cause of this failure is still being investigated. Perhaps a blade came loose and struck the tower - causing it to bend ? Maybe the transmission gears suddenly jammed and the force of the spinning blade suddenly stopping was too much for the tower to handle? Note that it was NOT exceptionally windy at the time of the collapse. Also, the tower did NOT bend at a seam. Interestingly they are also notorious for leaking massive amounts of gear oil and other lubricants. Funny, weren't these created to end petroleum ???But yet even here is yet another uncanny similarity with these turbine machines and the crashing and burning of those Martian Tripod machines. Go figure!


The people of Ocotillo were clearly upset from the very beginning with the move in of giant industrial business interests and with what has happened to their once picturesque desert scenery and lifestyle which now seems ruined forever. The industrial complex has been plagued from the start with all manner of breakdowns, fires, lubricant leakage, etc. These turbines are continually being worked on every day from sun-up to sun down. The original studies which were created pinpointed this particular geographical location as the prime spot for such an industrial business venture now appear to have been flawed from the start. These Turbines have been documented as being idle most of the time and to make matters worse, taxpayer grants and other subsides to the tune of  millions upon millions of dollars. Maybe when they admit defeat and failure and tear these things down, perhaps they'll create a token monument like the one above by sculpter Michael Condron's "The Working Martian,"  in 1998 which is made to look like the first alien capsule to hit Earth, half buried into the ground. This Martian Cylinder erected in Woking England to celebrate the centenry of H.G Wells' "The War of the Worlds" which the author, then a resident of Woking, set in and around the area he lived in. But it's a perfect fit to illustrate the story of an alternative energy scheme gone terribly wrong in Ocotillo, California.
The Other Imperial Valley Meltdowns - Solar Energy Farms
(Photo Credit: 8minutenergy)
"Imperial Valley agencies bet on renewable energy for jobs"
Image . Green Prophet
Or so read the headline in the California Economic Summit story. This is another alternative energy scheme gone wrong because it was not very well thought out because of the challenges it would face. Really it was doomed from the start because of the all too common, "You scratch my back I'll scratch yours 😎" political backroom dealing. I won't elaborate, but will post all the Desert Sun investigations on the subject at the end of this section and you can read it for yourself. I'll deal with a couple of major logistics problems regarding location, maintainance nightmares and why the existence of many massive farm settings actually works against reversing global warming. The reality is it can contribute further to it. Also, new research out of Germany finds big solar farms may be actually killing beneficial insects. First the dirty side of Solar.


World Bank Photo Collection

One of the biggest problems of massive solar farms in the desert is the maintaining of clean glass so that they are always kept at optimal performance. That's a tough job in the deserts because Dust is the biggest obstacle and it's #1 commodity after Heat. Research has found that Air Pollution & Dust cuts Solar Cell Energy output by over 25%. Of course cleaning with water works, but water is scarce and like gold in desert regions. In fact it's the biggest wasted resource. Although there are researchers looking to use Martian Technology proposed for zapping Dust from Solar Panels. Go figure, just can't get away from that Martian Technology. 😄 Another major issue believe it or not is that these massive Solar Farms contribute to huge rise in temperatures. Back in 2016 Nature published a study, The Photovoltaic Heat Island Effect: Larger solar power plants increase local temperatures

Seriously folks, if forest trees in snow create heat island effects, how much more so would a massive Industrial Solar Farm infrastructure complex create higher temperatures ??? Again, believe it or not folks, there are actually some scientists out there who believe that Cutting Down Trees Might Actually Help Save the Planet because trees cause snow to melt faster and that's a bad thing. I kid you not 😔. The point here is that these solar farms are supposed to reverse global warming, not increase it. Now another important negative is the fact that many solar farms depending on the type and technology used are killing all manner of birds that fly over head. We have glaring examples of numerous birds and insects being almost instantaneously nuked in the Mojave Desert regions like Ivanpah.

Source: Rolf Disch

Solar Housing, Freiburg, Germany
Moreover other research, like some done in Germany found that for many insects, Solar panels could be a threat to aquatic insects, which I find interesting because back in May 2017, I wrote a post about research from Germany again showing major decline in Bioabundance of all insect species in their Nations Forests and Parks. Now what's interesting is that Germany leads the globe in alternative energy, especially solar everywhere. Could this have been more of a cause insect decline than the usual suspect Agro-Chemicals ??? Then there's the scandalous news of Imperial Valley's alternative energy scheme, getting rid of actual agriculture and farming with Solar Farms. The Coachella Valley's online journal Desert Sun has been the watch dog here on Imperial Irrigation District's attempt at massive industrial Solar Farm schemes which benefit insiders with government approvals, funding & profiteering. Here's the latest article by Desert Sun (Public agency approves $5 million for solar farm amid allegations of financial conflicts) and you can google search more within their archive, but green energy has been plagued by scandalous behaviour from the beginning. There's really no reason for further comment other than something I've always found puzzling here. If Imperial Irrigation District was going to get into the Solar Energy biz, why not use existing irrigation canal infrastructure in building Solar structures over these canals as many poorer 3rd world nations have done ??? Like India ??? See this picture below ??? Try and think All American Canal or Coachella Canal, and Westside Main Canal, etc and why solar wasn't built over those water transporting infrastructures to take advantage of free water for cleaning which would immediately fall back into the canal ??? Why rip up new raw environmentally sensistive desert lands or destroy good farmland ??? Hello ??? 😮


Solar Power Project - Vadodara Branch Canal, Hyderabad.

Further info on Solar, see - World's Catch 22 with Alternative Energy Schemes
While I'm on the subject of  Global Warming & Imperial Valley
US Gypsum Plant Plaster City - Getty Images


Images by Tony Hoffarth
This photograph above is of the US Gypsum Plant in Plaster City just west of Ocotillo. For years after working in El Centro and driving back home from work to San Diego, I'd drive past this place at night on the Olde Hwy 80 or Evens Hewes Hwy in Imperial Valley. This night scene always reminded me of that almost deadly accurate Sci-Fi masterpiece known as, "Soylent Green."  This photo on the right hand side is the refinery in the City of El Segundo that was the actual  location used as the Soylent Green Factory. This old refinery is currently an NRG Power Plant. It's located is at 300 Vista del Mar, El Segundo. Most older generation movie goers will remember the 1973 Sci-Fi movie "Soylent Green" that takes place in a 2022 overpopulated New York City on a environmentally disastrous global warming planet Earth. While most of the filming took place on a studio backlot, Los Angeles stood in for New York for a couple of locations. I wrote about the uncanny similarity of the movie's infamous Soylent Corporation & our real world infamous Monsanto and how both are obsessed with pusuing power and wealth much the same way. The other uncanny similarity (which is incredibly spooky) was the timeline in which this Sci-Fi Corporate entity bought up all of it's competition and monopolized it's supremacy in the food industry. The other uncanny component was the climate change timeline which is almost identical to our own present time. In both case scenarios (Sci-Fi & Real world), we also have bizarre sci-fi world technological concepts which attempt to deal with population explosion and climate change. No really folks, this is serious. 😲 But there's more, there are some legacy building billionaires who have ideas of their own utopian visions.
Bill Gates firm buys Arizona land for $80 million to create 'smart city'
Image by TechViral

TechViral: Bill Gates Is Building His Own Futuristic Smart City


Well, apparently the Arizona-based Belmont Partners, one of Gates’ investment firms, purchased close to 25,000 acres of land in Tonopah, around 50 miles west of Phoenix, to create a “smart city” which you pass when traveling on Interstate 10. Their futuristic scheme is to "create a supposedly forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs." So goes the utopian vision. But why the desert of western Arizona ? Why not some other location that has plenty more available water ? Arizona has so little water and the Colorado River drainage system hasn't exactly obliged in the recharge department over the last several years. How in the world will 80,000 new homes be serviced ? Also there are plenty of already existing depressed communities which could be rehabilitated and turned into his vission of a secular techie paradise. Well no mind. Below is a news video describing the location and vision of this city Bill Gates envisions. It starts off by means of a fly over describing the desert landscape saying, "It looks like a whole lot of nothing," which is the typical opinion of Wind Turbine and Solar Farms developers. Frankly I love deserts and don't find them offensive. Swedes over here in Gothenburg think I'm crazy when I tell tem I mis deserts and heat. Mostly I miss the monsoon season. But deserts have always been considered nothing worthless wastelands and have been viewed that way for 100s of years. 






This post isn't slamming the need for alternative energy, but the bottomline here again is that there was this rush to save the planet and obtain as much profit as early as possible. And incredibly not many of the proponents are even remotely willing to question anything when it comes to alternative energy's glaring flaws. Their knowledge of the subject mainly is often solely based on a virtual world of social networking hype from various eco-groups. This fear has allowed for recklessness in developing and actually perfecting the technology. It would seem nobody really bothered to look at the side effects and consequences on our natural world which it was supposed to save. It's also created unfortunate opportunities for greed and outright fraud by unscrupulous individuals who've taken advantage of government land grants and billions in taxpayer subsidies. However well meaning those policies & taxpayer subsidies were from the beginning, the entire program has become one giant train wreck where many hopeful ecology people are encapable of recognizing that. This past October 31st, it was reported that Germany no longer has the money for subsidies to keep these non-sustainable machinert running. t also appears their shelf life isn't as long as advertised.
Kaput!: German Wind Farms Set for Dismantling as Subsidies Dry Up

Source: Patrick Pleul / dpa (icon image)
"Several thousand wind turbines in Germany are likely to be phased out in the next decade because their state subsidies expire. "If electricity prices do not rise over the next decade, only a few plants will hold their own in the market," according to Berlin-based Energy Brainpool."
Frightening Stats to consider for our Planet 
US Department of Energy

Image - sunshieicity.com

Palm Springs Wind Turbines
The graph above showing percentages of differing types of energy used around the globe also illustrates a caution here. While clearly oil and coal are dirty technologies as are the means by which mankind's industrial science has invented extracting natural gas from shale in a technique known as fracking, the present alternatives show an equally frightening potential for maring the Earth's landscape, while at the same time being less than efficient as advertised. Sorry folks, much of this stuff just doesn't work as well without the subsidies and that's not how most real world viable businesses really work. Take a look at this picture on the right which is illustrative of where many prime wind locations show massive cluttering of industrial infrastructure which is said to be ecogreen. Yet when you look at the graph above, how much of the scenery would have to be carpeted with solar farms and wind turbine industrial complexes to be considered a viable replacement to conventional energy production ??? Scary isn't it. Sadly there are no satisfactory comforting answers to the world's energy crisis and reversing climate change or global warming from a human standpoint. 😨

In the mean time take a look at some of Kevin Key's beautiful night phography below of desert night visions. 😎

References
http://www.kevinkeyphotography.com