The Climate Is Changing. We’re Not Ready.

Melinda shared this link:

Humans Have 30 Years To Stave Off Climate Catastrophe, ‘Uninhabitable Earth’ Author Says, WBUR, 13 May 2019

It’s an interview with David Wallace-Wells, author of “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.”

Excerpts:

The planet is already hotter than it’s ever been in all of human history, and it will surely change more, which means that everything we know about human life and human civilization grew up under conditions that no longer preside, and we’re living in a different enough environment — it may even be better to think already that we’re living on a different planet — and given where we’re headed, things are going to change even faster, even more dramatically in the decades ahead.”

On climate change’s effects on the human body:

“The most, to me, horrifying story in the book isn’t about humans at all. It’s about the saiga antelope, which is this dwarf antelope that lived in Siberia, and a few years ago — I think it was in 2015 — the entire species got wiped out because a bacteria that had lived inside their guts for millions of years was rewired by a summer that was especially hot and humid, and what had been a quite happy cohabitant of that saiga digestive tract became an enemy of the animal and killed the entire species.

“Humans are complicated. Biology is as well. We have millions and perhaps billions of bacteria living inside us and viruses living inside us. And while it’s probably the case that the overwhelming majority of those won’t be affected by temperature rises of just 2 or 3 or 4 degrees, the chance that one of them or several of them is transformed in that way is quite serious. And that doesn’t mean that humans are going to be made extinct. But there’s a relationship between schizophrenia and viruses that you’ve been exposed to. There’s a relationship between mood disorders. There’s a relationship with obesity. So many aspects of the way that we think of our relationship to the world are determined in part by these other creatures that are living inside us and every single one of them is subject to the transformations that will be brought about by climate change.”

Microorganisms live on us and in us. They likely outnumber our own cells although that debate is ongoing. Our microbiome impacts our health and can either contribute to or protect against cancers, inflammatory diseases, depression and mood disorders, metabolic diseases, and others. This was the first time I read how climate change might affect the microbiome with consequences to health.

Will you be alive in 80 years? This is what you may be facing:

That is the course we are speeding so blithely along — to more than four degrees Celsius of warming by the year 2100. According to some estimates, that would mean that whole regions of Africa and Australia and the United States, parts of South America north of Patagonia, and Asia south of Siberia would be rendered uninhabitable by direct heat, desertification, and flooding. Certainly it would make them inhospitable, and many more regions besides.

In the last Democratic debate, “not a single question about the biggest threat facing residents of the United States, and the world, was asked of the 12 candidates who qualified for the debate.” Does that trouble you? It troubles me!

Where I live on the US East Coast, there are some noticeable effects of climate change. In the last several years the weather has been hotter and wetter. We’re breaking temperature and rainfall records as each year passes. Plants are dying when the ground gets waterlogged. Mold is becoming more of a problem. We experience more days when AirNow.gov says the local air is too polluted for vulnerable groups to go outside. There used to be a vibrant, colorful Fall. But now, since it stays hotter later into the year, the leaves remain green longer. Then a burst of cold air turns them brown, bypassing the reds and oranges and purples I remember from my youth (and see in old photographs). Swarms of migratory blackbirds are half their size. But, as Greta Thunberg says, I’m one of the lucky ones.

Have you noticed any changes where you live?

Will Most Food In The Future Be Lab-Grown?

Think Tank Foresees Major Disruption In Food, AG In Next Decade, Institute of Food Technologists, 18 September 2019

[A report by the independent think tank, RethinkX] predicts that by 2030, the dairy and cattle industries will have collapsed as animal-derived foods are replaced by modern equivalents that are higher quality and cost less than half as much to produce. The rest of the livestock industry will suffer a similar fate.

One of these modern technologies is called precision fermentation:

Precision fermentation (PF) is a process that enables the programming of micro-organisms to produce almost any complex organic molecule.

I can’t imagine that the dairy and cattle industries will be decimated in a mere 10 years. But I do think there will be a lot of lab-grown food in the future. I’ll also predict that food grown organically, in soil, outside, will become even more exclusive.

How Do You Feel Talking About Diet With Your Doctor?

Below is a good summary of the benefits of a plant-based diet. It was written by Dr. Kim Williams, a cardiologist and former President of the American College of Cardiology.

Healthy Plant-Based Diet. What Does it Really Mean?, Kim Allan Williams Sr. and Hena Patel, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, July 2017

Here’s an excerpt:

These data are strengthened by several recent landmark publications, including Song et al.’s recent large prospective cohort study of U.S. nurses and other health care professionals, describing the association between animal protein intake and cardiovascular, cancer, and all-cause mortality (9). In this large cohort study, higher intake of animal protein (including processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, dairy, poultry, and eggs) was positively associated with mortality, whereas the inverse was true for high intake of plant protein. In another recent meta-analysis, Kwok et al. (10) found similar results with vegetarians experiencing a 29% lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality relative to nonvegetarians. These findings suggest the importance of protein source and support recommendations to increase plant protein intake, which in turn calls for education of physicians, patients, and the public about the largely unrecognized protein content of plants (e.g., peanuts and beef having the same protein content, 26 g per 100 g).

Two comments:

1. Peanuts and beef have the same protein content. I like how he put that.

2. I wonder how people feel having their physician discuss diet with them. Is it something patients want? Do people generally trust a physician’s nutrition advice? What if the patient has chosen to eat low-carb or keto and the physician suggests a more high-carb, plant-based diet? Or vice-versa? What if the patient is being treated for high blood glucose and their doctor tells them to “watch the carbs?” How do they reconcile that with the kind of high-carb diet Dr. Williams is promoting? I once mentioned to a doc, who did not know my background, that I was trying to cut back on meat and their reply was, “Oh! You gotta watch doing that!” These discussions could get messy.

Navy Pilot, David Fravor, Speaks About His Experience With The Tic Tac

Below is an interview with the pilot who engaged with the UFO/UAP known as the Tic Tac. It was the incident that got me started asking “What is this?” I first saw it in this New York Times’ article a few months ago (the incident itself occurred in 2004):

2 Navy Airmen and an Object That ‘Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen’, New York Times, 16 December 2017

It’s a new interview, posted two days ago on Joe Rogan’s podcast site. I find the pilot, Fravor, credible, which makes his account fascinating. Remember, the Navy just came out and said officially that they don’t know what this Tic Tac is, calling it an “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon” or UAP (UAP is the Navy’s new name for UFO). That’s after 15 years of studying it! They also said that the Tic Tac video was not approved for release to the public.

It’s 2 hours long. I haven’t watched it all yet but I’ll throw it up here in case anyone else is interested.

Notes:

1.  The Pentagon said that they researched UFOs/UAPs through a program called AATIP. Fravor divulged that AATIP was exempt from FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) requests.

2.  Here’s a video of the fleet of crafts that the Mexican Air Force encountered a few months before Fravor encountered his Tic Tacs. Similar ships, same location, Fravor said:
Mexico pilots release ‘UFO film’, BBC, 2004

3.  Fravor told a story that a fellow pilot relayed to him about an odd submerged object. I was going to write it up but saw that Kyle Mizokami had done it already, in this article:
The Weird History Of Unidentified Submerged Objects, Popular Mechanics, 9 October 2019

According to Fravor, the eyewitness was a former pilot of the MH-53E Sea Dragon [this is a heavy-lift helicopter] … based at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, on the island of Puerto Rico. Twice while recovering spent practice munitions out of the water, the pilot spotted a weird underwater object.

In the first incident, the pilot saw a “dark mass” underwater as he and his team retrieved a flying practice drone. The pilot described the object as a “big” mass, “kinda circular,” and he was certain it wasn’t a submarine. In the pilot’s second sighting, a practice torpedo that the pilot was sent to recover was “sucked down” into the depths of the ocean in the presence of a similar underwater object. The torpedo was never seen again.

Fravor’s account is more detailed (e.g. the guy being lowered into the water screams to be pulled up when he sees it). How this links to Fravor’s Tic Tac experience:

The only reason [Fravor] had seen the now-infamous “Tic Tac” UFO was because it was hovering above a mysterious larger object that was sighted underwater. Fravor describes the object as cross shaped and approximately the size of a Boeing 737 jetliner. He has further described the water above it as though it were “boiling” or “frothing,” and said the object disappeared after it caught his attention.

These are professional pilots and trained observers. I’m curious … What are these things? Why can’t the Navy or the Air Force make at least an educated guess?

“GMO Organic”? Say It Isn’t So

Right now, we have organic crops that may be grown from non-organic seed (when claimed that no organic seed was available or nefarious labeling), in soil that has been fertilized with manure from factory farms, and to which some synthetic pesticides may be applied. That’s all legit. It looks like organic standards may be eroded further by the use of gene editing. That’s right, GMOs could one day be used in organic production.

Should Gene Editing Be Part Of Organic Production? USDA Opens Debate, Food Ingredients First, 29 July 2019

29 Jul 2019 — Greg Ibach, Under Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has hinted that gene-editing methods should be allowed within organic production. The comments he made before the House Agriculture Subcommittee could lead to a loosening of the restrictive genetically modified organism (GMO) legislation, long-called for by both scientists and the Trump administration. Supporters of genetic engineering argue that it can be used to help increase production yield and nutrition at a time when food security is an increasing concern within the global food industry.

“As the National Organic Standards Board set the rules originally, GMOs are not eligible to be in the organic program. However, we’ve seen new technology, including gene-editing, that accomplishes things in shorter periods of time than a natural breeding process can. I think there is the opportunity to open the discussion to consider whether it is appropriate for some of these new technologies that include gene-editing to be eligible to be used to enhance organic production and to have drought and disease-resistant varieties, as well as higher-yield varieties available,” he says.

One of the hallmarks of the organic label is the prohibition of genetic engineering, meaning that this move would be drastic.

Food security is more about access, not production. We have enough food to feed all the people in the world. What the world has a problem with is distributing that food equitably.

As I keep saying, “organic” has become a marketing term. Its association with more natural (I’m sorry to use that word!), more humane, more sustainable food production has gone out the window.

Our Galaxy, The Milky Way, Is A Tiny Part Of The Observable Universe

If you hold up a grain of sand, the patch of sky it covers contains 10,000 galaxies.

There are at least one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe.

This is our galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy. It is just one of those 100 billion galaxies.

The band of the Milky Way stretching across the Wyoming sky in Grand Teton National Park. Photograph by Babak Tafreshi, National Geographic

The Milky Way Galaxy contains about 100-400 billion stars. Our Sun is just one of those stars.

What are the chances that life as we know it came about only on our one planet attached to our one star? What about intelligent life? How would you define “intelligent life”?

One Person’s Educated Take On UFOs/UAPs

In my quest to understand what these things are, I keep reading. This morning I read this:

The Villager And The F-18

It was written by Deep Prasad. Here’s his profile: “CEO of ReactiveQ, BASc. Industrial Engineering ’18, University of Toronto, Physicist and Entrepreneur. Building the world’s most advanced multi-physics system.”

This is just an excerpt. He goes into more depth than this, and his engineering background is on display. If you approach it with an open mind, you’ll find it fascinating.

2 questions. Why are frequent incursions happening in restricted Navy airspace in the first place? And more importantly perhaps, how has this problem of frequent UAP incursions not been stomped out by the world’s most powerful military already? I don’t have an answer to the first question, I don’t know why these incidents are happening. I do think I know the answer to the second question however. UAPs are doing the equivalent of flying a drone in and around the restricted parts of the Area51 base and getting away with it. To understand how they pull it off, let’s look at a real world example of what the Navy considers to be a UAP. Out of the incidents depicted in the 3 videos the Navy refer to, the incident with the most amount of publicly available data, witness testimonies and scientific papers is the 2004 Tic-Tac event. It involves extremely experienced fighter pilots, F-18 Hornets and the USS Nimitz and USS Princeton guided-missile cruiser. These vessels housed the world’s most advanced radar and threat detection equipment at the time. There was a group of anomalous objects being tracked by the USS Princeton, these things were demonstrating hypersonic velocities and would sometimes travel in groups of 10 or more at a time. After more than a week of observing this, radar operator Kevin Day decided it was time to intercept these things to figure out what they were. This is when commander Fravor in the video below stepped in and went with a squadron to the location of the objects that were currently being observed. All of them instantly disappeared and only one stayed behind by the time Fravor and his crew got there in their F-18s.

I’m updating this to include the paragraph with links to supporting analysis:

As you can see, he says the object looked like a Tic-Tac, except it was 40 feet long. Here is a link to a 270 page paper doing an extensive scientific analysis of every data point that the team could get their hands on in the public domain. Here is another paper, this time from Dr.Kevin Knuth, former NASA research scientist and currently a professor of physics. It is peer reviewed and analyzes a handful of UAP cases, with the Tic-Tac being one of them. Both papers are chock filled with mathematical models that attempt to calculate and infer the g forces and velocities the Tic Tac was able to reach during its interaction with Fravor and his team. This is where things get interesting. According to Kevin Day, he said he tracked the Tic-Tac commander Fravor intercepted go from 28,000 feet to sea-level in approximately 0.8 seconds. This means the Tic-Tac was capable of achieving a velocity of at least 23,864 mph, which is 31 times the speed of sound. The maximum speed of the commander’s F-18 is 1,190 mph. This means the Tic-Tac is 20 times faster than the F-18 (23864mph/1190mph = 20).

There Are Now Almost 20,000 Patients Suing Monsanto Alleging Roundup Caused Their Cancer

Monsanto Parent Bayer Said To Propose $8 Billion Settlement Over Roundup Claims, CBSNews, 9 August 2019

Monsanto parent company Bayer is said to be offering an $8 billion deal to settle about 18,000 claims that its weedkiller Roundup causes cancer.

In its most recent annual report, Bayer said it expects more lawsuits to emerge.

Only 3 cases have been heard so far, and Bayer/Monsanto lost all three, with unusually large pay-outs.

Will Litigation Over Roundup Continue? Reports Say Bayer AG May Propose $8 Billion Settlement, Forbes, 9 August 2019

1. Dewayne Johnson, a California groundskeeper, was diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that he alleges was caused by his regular use of the herbicide at his job. He won his case, eventually landing a finalized payout of $78 million. The jury in his case unanimously decided that the manufacturing company failed to warn consumers about the possibly carcinogenic cocktail of ingredients that make up Roundup.

2. The same occurred in the first federal trial regarding Roundup, in which Edwin Hardeman blamed the product for causing his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after years of consistent use on his properties. After reductions, his final payout totaled $25 million.

3. The second federal and most recent trial of Alva and Alberta Pilliod resulted in a payout of almost $87 million after its reduction, which was a whopping $2 billion at first. The California couple had also used Roundup regularly over the course of decades and had both been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Here’s a list of 38 countries throughout the world that have taken steps to either restrict or ban glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.

Guess which country isn’t on that list. The United States:

Despite the IARC report’s 2015 conclusion that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. As such, glyphosate is not banned by the U.S. government; Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides are readily available for purchase throughout the country.

However, the EPA is a captured agency, meaning it is dominated by the industry it presumably regulates. Internal company documents now public in the Monsanto Papers demonstrate that EPA prioritizes the interests of corporations like Monsanto or political groups over the interests of the public it is charged with protecting.

What I have learned from this:

  • Exposure to Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • If we’re not going to ban it, as Bayer said, expect more lawsuits.