Thongchai Thailand

Archive for May 2010

Mr Obama’s promises to extend the hand of friendship to unpleasant nations have been slapped down by dictators.

Pyongyang is clearly capable of attacking the South for no reason at all as in response to international censure and restrictions.

North Korea has literally shot itself to new depths of incivility.

A North Korean torpedo was responsible for the death of 46 sailors who perished despite its denial.

An explosion buckled the ship and sent it to the bottom as unexpectedly as a North Korean bomber blew up a South Korean airliner near Thailand.

War is unthinkable on the Korean peninsula. So too, however, are murderous and unprovoked attacks.

Reference: Ocean’s fish could disappear, Bangkok Post, May 19, 2010

A UN report called “The Green Economy” says that our oceans are running out of fish (Ocean’s fish could disappear, Bangkok Post, May 19, 2010) and that environmental upheaval, ecological destruction around the planet, over-fishing, over-population, and government subsidies to the fishing industry are to blame.

This scare is not new. It was used at least twice before, first in 1977 (“Sea’s riches running out”) and again in 1994  (“Oceans running out of fish”). However scary the 2010 version of this story may be, with the reader left to contemplate oceans devoid of fish, it is comforting to note in retrospect that the catastrophic forecasts in prior scares about oceans running out of fish turned out to be wrong.

It appears that calamity scientists are running out of ideas having lost their grip on both the ozone hole scare and the global warming scare and now find themselves fishing for calamities.

Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

If you think that the objective of foreign aid is to help poor countries to get economic development started or to end poverty as so nobly stated by Jeffrey Sachs in The end of poverty, you will find that it has been a complete and utter failure and that if anything it has done more harm than good.

In other words, if you look at how foreign aid has benefited recipient countries, you find an industry that has spent trillions of dollars since its inception and has achieved nothing. As reference to support this conclusion, take a look at one of these books.

  1. Graham Hancock, The lords of poverty
  2. Michael Maren, The road to hell
  3. Dambisa Moyo, Dead aid
  4. Bill Easterly, The white man’s burden
  5. Glenn Hubbard, The aid trap

They tell of the utter failure of foreign aid to achieve any of its stated objectives of economic development and poverty reduction as described in The end of poverty.

On the other hand, if you look at how foreign aid has benefited donors you get an entirely different picture. From case studies of foreign aid one may derive certain perverse motivations that have more to do with gains to donors than the end of poverty. Some gains from foreign aid that has accrued to donors include the following:

  1. provide employment for economists, aid workers, and specialists
  2. protect agriculture markets and subsidies
  3. develop markets in recipient countries for goods and services
  4. explore and capture investment opportunities
  5. explore and capture sources for energy and raw materials
  6. export values and culture
  7. develop soft power
  8. cultivate values and practices in the recipient country to benefit the donor
  9. maintain the rich-poor divide with the rich nations as caretakers of the poor
  10. leverage international trade advantages
  11. leverage political and military advantages

The rich donor nations compete with each other for global dominance and influence and it would seem that foreign aid is one of the tools used in this game. The international aid business should therefore be judged according to these more meaningful goals because it has been shown that the attempt to evaluate them according to their stated goal of ending poverty has not led to any meaningful results.

Conclusion

The international aid business does not make a lot of sense if you look at it from the recipient’s point of view but it can take on new meaning and interpretation when viewed from the donor’s perspective.

Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

 

 

 

SHOWN ABOVE IS THE DESCENT OF THE PLANET FROM ITS PRISTINE PRIMEVAL CONDITION TO ITS HELLISH END IN THE ANTHROPOCENE. THE FOUR STAGES OF DESCENT ARE SHOWN AS (1) THE ARRIVAL OF HUMANS, (2) THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION WHEN THE RELATIVELY HARMLESS HUNTER-GATHERERS SETTLED, CLEARED FORESTS, BUILT HOMES, AND BEGAN SETTLED AGRICULTURE, (3) THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION WHEN THE USE OF FOSSIL FUELED MACHINES AND THE RISE OF CAPITALISM VAULTED MAN INTO HIS OWN GEOLOGICAL EPOCH CALLED THE ANTHROPOCENE, AND (4) THE FULLY FOSSIL FUELED ECONOMY.

 

 

 

  1. A clean and pure pristine primeval planet earth existed for a billion years in natural perfection, wholeness, and wholesomeness – unpolluted, untainted, untarnished and uncorrupted in the perfection of the harmony of nature. The geology, biology, and climatology were in a state of perfection. The climate was stable and unchanging with no extreme weather. Living creatures both plants and animals lived in peace and tranquility as essential elements of nature itself. There was no ozone depletion, no climate change, no skin cancer, no hurricanes and no species extinction from bad weather. Modern day ecofearology is a yearning for this humanless state of nature – a yearning for a return to what the planet was like before humans came along.
  2. Then the devil appeared in the form of humans who came on spaceships from outer space. Humans are not part of nature but an external force alien to nature and an abomination. They will soon turn this heavenly planet into a living hell with human activity because their nature is to consume and destroy.
  3. At first the alien humans were relatively harmless living off the land as hunter gatherers in harmony with nature. But they were just biding their time and waiting for their numbers to grow. When their population reached 6 million, they made their first move for the conquest of the planet. It was a fundamental change in human behavior that has come to be called the Neolithic Revolution.
  4. In the Neolithic Revolution, the humans gave up their eco-friendly hunter-gatherer lifestyle and cleared forests to build homes and farms and to grow crops and raise animals in an extensive and intensive land use change that would forever alter the ecology of the earth. The strategy was immensely successful for the humans who now commanded incredible wealth and power over all other life forms. Their numbers grew rapidly in a population explosion from 6 million to 60 million.
  5. By the year 1750 the population of humans had surged to one billion. Their affluence from agriculture, tool-making, medical care, and new knowledge about the earth had rapidly increased their power against nature. But the greater and more devastating change was yet to come in the form of the Industrial Revolution made possible with the transition in their source of energy from animal power, wind, and running water to machines burning hydrocarbon fuels dug up from under the ground. This new found energy source and the machines gave them immense power. Nature would soon be at their mercy.
  6. By the year 1950, the population of humans had more than doubled to 2.5 billion and more and more machines were invented so that almost everything the humans did was driven by fossil fueled machines. These included cars and trucks for surface transportation, fossil fueled ships for crossing the oceans, and fossil fueled aircraft for their conquest of the atmosphere. Nuclear bombs were invented, tested, and used. Space travel was opening up new tools and ways for humans to conquer nature. The Anthropocene was now in full force. Whereas humans had once been at the mercy of nature, the tables had been turned, and nature and the planet itself were now at the mercy of humans and human activity.
  7. The consequences of these changes and of the implications of the complete capture of nature by humans for the ability of nature to sustain humans in the future are the primary concerns of the new science of Ecofearology. The science involves the study of nature and human activity as a way of protecting nature and managing nature to preserve its ability to sustain humans. It is based on EIGHT PRINCIPLES.
  8. PRINCIPLE#1: There are no natural or cyclical changes on earth. All measured changes in nature are trends and all trends are human caused.
  9. PRINCIPLE#2: The concentration of all chemicals in the atmosphere and oceans is important. If the concentration is going up it’s a bad thing and its accretion is caused by human activity. Higher concentrations of this thing will be the end of the world.
  10. PRINCIPLE#3: If the concentration is going down it’s a bad thing and its depletion is caused by human activity. If we run out of this thing it will be the end of the world.
  11. PRINCIPLE#4: Humans are not part of nature but space aliens that invaded this once pristine planet. The planet was fine until the dreaded humans arrived.
  12. PRINCIPLE#5: All human caused trends lead to catastrophic results for the environment and by extension, the planet itself. It is not possible for a human caused trend to benefit the planet because humans are not part of nature but space aliens and unnatural.
  13. PRINCIPLE#6: Human scientists can save the planet from the other humans because the impact of bad human intervention in nature can be undone only by good human intervention prescribed by human scientists because they know a lot of science and physics and stuff like that. Human intervention is necessary to save the planet from human intervention.
  14. PRINCIPLE#7: Even if deniers find fault with the science of human caused catastrophe, we must ignore the deniers because we can’t take the chance that the scientists could turn out to be right.
  15. PRINCIPLE#8: The human invaders of this once pristine planet are now the managers of nature and the operators of the planet. Therefore we humans must take care of nature and run the planet because nature can no longer take care of itself like it once did now that the human invaders are here.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY: DID THE ANTHROPOCENE BEGIN IN THE HOLOCENE?

  1. 1998: Carcaillet, Christopher. “A spatially precise study of Holocene fire history, climate and human impact within the Maurienne valley, North French Alps.” Journal of ecology 86.3 (1998): 384-396.1 If, within a vegetation type, fire regimes are climate dependent, then fire patterns should be synchronous at regional scales. If they are not synchronous, then fires may be dependent on local processes such as human‐induced disturbances. 2 Two fire chronologies were developed using 34‐radiocarbon dating measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) from wood charcoal buried in soil. These charcoal fragments were sampled in two study sites 10 km apart in the Maurienne valley (Southern Vanoise massif, Savoy, France). 3 Asynchronous temporal fire patterns were seen at Aussois and Saint‐Michel‐de‐Maurienne. This demonstrates the dependence of fires on local‐ or stand‐scale environmental forcing; any direct relationship with climate is therefore rejected. 4 Slash‐and‐burn practices are probably the main source of Holocene fires in the Maurienne valley. However, deforestation did not occur throughout a site in any period, nor simultaneously at the same elevation in two different sites 10 km apart. The cultural landscape was shaped as early as the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, between 6000 and 3000 bp. 5 Deforestation at both study sites probably occurred in many stages in many small areas. The fire intervals were c. 500–1000 years. Deforested areas increased in extent over 2000–4000 years, until the present‐day cultural landscape was established. This process stopped c. 2500 bp at Saint‐Michel‐de‐Maurienne but is still active at Aussois.
  2. 2000: Yasuda, Yoshinori, Hiroyuki Kitagawa, and Takeshi Nakagawa. “The earliest record of major anthropogenic deforestation in the Ghab Valley, northwest Syria: a palynological study.” Quaternary International 73 (2000): 127-136. Pollen analytical studies on the sediment core from the Ghab Valley in Northwest Syria detected a large-scale anthropogenic deforestation of deciduous oak forest as early as 9000 14C yr BP. Following the lateglacial climatic amelioration, deciduous oak forest gradually expanded at the foot of Mt. Ansarie since 14,500 14C yr BP. Then this forest was cleared by Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) people 9000 14C yr BP, supposed to be the oldest record of forest clearance by humans. After this deforestation, the vegetation was replaced by secondary pine forest, possibly with some cultivated plants such as olive and wheat. Forest clearance by PPNB people might have been severe enough to change the lake environment, accelerating soil erosion and nutrient supply as is reflected in the increase of Pediastrum. The clearance of Lebanese cedar trees began 7700 14C yr BP by the Pottery Neolithic people. Due to the forest clearance by Early Bronze Age people, the deciduous oak and Lebanese cedar forest had almost disappeared from the eastern slope of Mt. Ansarie by around 4900 14C yr BP. Olive groves expanded instead of deciduous oak forest. As described in the epic of Gilgamesh, forests completely disappeared from the Mesopotamian and Mediterranean districts.
  3. 2000: Ren, Guoyu. “Decline of the mid‐to late Holocene forests in China: climatic change or human impact?.” Journal of Quaternary Science: Published for the Quaternary Research Association 15.3 (2000): 273-281. Fossil pollen data from China indicate continued forest decline during the mid‐ to late Holocene in most regions north of the Yangtze River. The earliest forest decline can be detected ca. 5000 yr BP in the middle and lower Yellow River regions. North, northeast and northwest from this region, forest decline became progressively later, and almost no decline took place in the northernmost part of northeast China and in the remote areas of west China during the last 5000 yr. Climate changes could hardly account for the temporal and spatial patterns of the forest decline. Instead, anthropogenic disturbance may have been of overwhelming importance. Ancient agriculture and high‐density settlement expanded outward from the middle and lower Yellow River regions in similar patterns to those of forest change. This study also indicates that land‐use and land‐cover changes may have started in the early stage of Chinese civilization in an extensive area of the country
  4. 2002: Marchetti, Mauro. “Environmental changes in the central Po Plain (northern Italy) due to fluvial modifications and anthropogenic activities.” Geomorphology 44.3-4 (2002): 361-373. The fluvial environment of the central Po Plain, the largest plain in Italy, is discussed in this paper. Bounded by the mountain chains of the Alps and the Apennines, this plain is a link between the Mediterranean environment and the cultural and continental influences of both western and eastern Europe. In the past decades, economic development has been responsible for many changes in the fluvial environment of the area.This paper discusses the changes in fluvial dynamics that started from Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene due to distinct climatic changes. The discussion is based on geomorphological, pedological, and archaeological evidences and radiocarbon dating. In the northern foothills, Late Pleistocene palaeochannels indicate several cases of underfit streams among the northern tributaries of the River Po. On the other hand, on the southern side of the Po Plain, no geomorphological evidence of similar discharge reduction has been found. Here, stratigraphic sections, together with archaeological remains buried under the fluvial deposits, show a reduction in the size of fluvial sediments after the 10th millennium BC. During the Holocene, fluvial sedimentation became finer, and was characterised by minor fluctuations in the rate of deposition, probably related to short and less intense climatic fluctuations. Given the high rate of population growth and the development of human activities since the Neolithic Age, human influence on fluvial dynamics, especially since the Roman Age, prevailed over other factors (i.e., climate, tectonics, vegetation, etc.). During the Holocene, the most important changes in the Po Plain were not modifications in water discharge but in sediment. From the 1st to 3rd Century AD, land grants to war veterans caused almost complete deforestation, generalised soil erosion, and maximum progradation of the River Po delta. At present, land abandonment in the mountainous region has led to reafforestation. Artificial channel control in the mountain sector of the basins and in-channel gravel extraction (now illegal but very intense in the 1960s and 1970s) are causing erosion along the rivers and along large sectors of the Adriatic coast. These changes are comparable with those occurring in basins of other Mediterranean rivers.
  5. 2003: Staubwasser, Michael, et al. “Climate change at the 4.2 ka BP termination of the Indus valley civilization and Holocene south Asian monsoon variability.” Geophysical Research Letters30.8 (2003).  Planktonic oxygen isotope ratios off the Indus delta reveal climate changes with a multi‐centennial pacing during the last 6 ka, with the most prominent change recorded at 4.2 ka BP. Opposing isotopic trends across the northern Arabian Sea surface at that time indicate a reduction in Indus river discharge and suggest that later cycles also reflect variations in total annual rainfall over south Asia. The 4.2 ka event is coherent with the termination of urban Harappan civilization in the Indus valley. Thus, drought may have initiated southeastward habitat tracking within the Harappan cultural domain. The late Holocene drought cycles following the 4.2 ka BP event vary between 200 and 800 years and are coherent with the evolution of cosmogenic 14C production rates. This suggests that solar variability is one fundamental cause behind Holocene rainfall changes over south Asia.
    Citing Literature
  6. 2006: Larsen, Clark Spencer. “The agricultural revolution as environmental catastrophe: Implications for health and lifestyle in the Holocene.” Quaternary International 150.1 (2006): 12-20. One of the most fundamental developments in the history of our species—and one having among the most profound impacts on landscapes and the people occupying them—was the domestication of plants and animals. In addition to altering landscapes around the globe from the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, the shift from foraging to farming resulted in negative and multiple consequences for human health. Study of human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts shows that the introduction of grains and other cultigens and the increase in their dietary focus resulted in a decline in health and alterations in activity and lifestyle. Although agriculture provided the economic basis for the rise of states and development of civilizations, the change in diet and acquisition of food resulted in a decline in quality of life for most human populations in the last 10,000 years
  7. 2006: Kuper, Rudolph, and Stefan Kröpelin. “Climate-controlled Holocene occupation in the Sahara: motor of Africa’s evolution.” Science 313.5788 (2006): 803-807. Radiocarbon data from 150 archaeological excavations in the now hyper-arid Eastern Sahara of Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and Chad reveal close links between climatic variations and prehistoric occupation during the past 12,000 years. Synoptic multiple-indicator views for major time slices demonstrate the transition from initial settlement after the sudden onset of humid conditions at 8500 B.C.E. to the exodus resulting from gradual desiccation since 5300 B.C.E. Southward shifting of the desert margin helped trigger the emergence of pharaonic civilization along the Nile, influenced the spread of pastoralism throughout the continent, and affects sub-Saharan Africa to the present day.
  8. 2016: Boivin, Nicole L., et al. “Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113.23 (2016): 6388-6396. The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens. A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to biodiversity have included extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition, diversity, and community structure. We outline key examples of these changes, highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like ancient DNA (aDNA), stable isotopes, and microfossils, as well as the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades. We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity—the Late Pleistocene global human expansion, the Neolithic spread of agriculture, the era of island colonization, and the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks. Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations that have created novel ecosystems around the world. This record has implications for ecological and evolutionary research, conservation strategies, and the maintenance of ecosystem services, pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between archaeology and the biological and environmental sciences.

RELATED POSTS

The Anomalies in Temperature Anomalies

The Greenhouse Effect of Atmospheric CO2

ECS: Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

Climate Sensitivity Research: 2014-2018

TCR: Transient Climate Response

Peer Review of Climate Research: A Case Study

Spurious Correlations in Climate Science

Antarctic Sea Ice: 1979-2018

Arctic Sea Ice 1979-2018

Global Warming and Arctic Sea Ice: A Bibliography

Global Warming and Arctic Sea Ice: A Bibliography

Carbon Cycle Measurement Problems Solved with Circular Reasoning

NASA Evidence of Human Caused Climate Change

Event Attribution Science: A Case Study

Event Attribution Case Study Citations

Global Warming Trends in Daily Station Data

History of the Global Warming Scare

The dearth of scientific knowledge only adds to the alarm

Nonlinear Dynamics: Is Climate Chaotic?

The Anthropocene

Eco-Fearology in the Anthropocene

Carl Wunsch Assessment of Climate Science: 2010

Gerald Marsh, A Theory of Ice Ages

History of the Ozone Depletion Scare

Empirical Test of Ozone Depletion

Ozone Depletion Chemistry

Brewer-Dobson Circulation Bibliography

Elevated CO2 and Crop Chemistry

Little Ice Age Climatology: A Bibliography

Sorcery Killings, Witch Hunts, & Climate Action

Climate Impact of the Kuwait Oil Fires: A Bibliography

Noctilucent Clouds: A Bibliography

Climate Change Denial Research: 2001-2018

Climate Change Impacts Research

Tidal Cycles: A Bibliography

Airlines are rushing to switch from time tested kerosene-based jet fuel to biofuels at great cost and risk (Lufthansa will start using biofuels on flights by 2012, Bangkok Post, May 11, 2010). They are lured by the riches of the carbon credits they can sell in the emissions trading market. Biofuels have value in the emissions trading market because global warming scientists were pushing biofuels as an antidote for climate change.

When their call was heeded by Asian palm oil growers and they began to plant new palm oil plantations to supply the new biodiesel market  thus created, climate scientists made a u-turn on the biofuels idea. Headlines in 2008 proclaimed palm oil as a disaster saying things like “Asia’s growing palm oil farms seen as climate change threat”, “Biofuels are harming developing countries” and “Palm oil may be an ecological disaster”.

So now, since this onslaught on biofuels by climate scientists in 2008, biofuels have lost their previously advertised value as renewable energy that can save the planet. Yet, it still carries billions of Euros in carbon credit value in the emissions trading market set up to save the planet. As things stand today, in 2010, climate science rewards biofuels consumption while at the same time calling for a ban on its production. It is one of many contradictions that have confused, befuddled, and discredited climate scientists and their half baked campaign against carbon dioxide.

Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

Bernard Trink quotes James Rollins to ask why we have magnets in our brain (Book Reviews, Bangkok Post, May 14, 2010) as if that were a mystery. It used to be one but now scientists report that if you wave a magnet near the right TPJ section of our brain it impairs our moral judgement of other people’s behavior. They conclude that the magnets must therefore have a moral judgement function. The media has been quick to label the magnetic property of the TPJ a ” moral compass”.

Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

Thailand does not have the power to influence every decision and every case brought before the UN human rights body after tomorrow.

One can hope that the new members will try to take advantage of quiet diplomacy.

The world body and its successive leaders have the power to use the bully pulpit and inform world opinion.

UN members also voted in countries that were far from being considered democratic exemplars like Pakistan, Egypt, China, and Cuba.

We will be staring at the next problem of the drought, which looks set to come after the oppressive hear.