Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big issues. No #36G.

Can cosmetic surgery ever be green?

Nice to see the Londonistas getting to the 'meat' (sorry) of the big eco-issues.

I can see this really bothering my missus of an evening. Population control (major s**t-fight on the BBC this morning. And an interesting way of spinning it in The Observer), MMGW, etc... and getting perky in a way that will impress the gels at the next eco-gathering. Mind you, we do often get excited about plastics, so maybe it's 'in the zone'.

Sadly no option to respond.

My answer to the headline is.. 'Of course. A rusty blade. Limited access to medical care, a bit of gangrene and Bob's your uncle (or boobs the colour of pus-flecked corruption).

Probably just as well I didn't get the chance.

Next up... 'Is your fresh Tofu flown in AND offset?'


No, I think this one is better... and for real. Sadly:

The Aga saga: George Monbiot v William McGrath

PROF'S POSER - Up in smoke?

This is firmly in the 'Two wrong's do not...' camp, but I would like to know*:

Do you think the BBC environment correspondent will tell us how much CO2 and sulfur compounds has been released by the Tongan volcano in the last two days, and what % this represents of the sum of similar gases released by annual human industrial activity?

This may bring up an 'inconvenient' fact or two.

It becomes pertinent as one discusses the relative man-worsened aspects of anthropomorphic climate change. I wonder if we will get any discussion, much less answers, from some usual suspects quitekeen on rushing to print and screen with other data when it suits?

Times - Underwater volcano sends huge columns of ash into Pacific sky

Indy - Volcano shatters Pacific calm around Tonga


*I asked; I may have an answer (if from another source, and an unvetted one for now. And I await, with dread, the publishing of equally valid-looking data that claims the exact opposite) in another blog...

48. At 8:58pm on 21 Mar 2009, manysummits

We have injected a trillion (1 x 10 EEX 12) metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere since 1751, half of that in the last twenty five years, and we are increasing that by some two to three percent per year. Background volcanic emmisions from all volcanoes, including the 60,000 kilometer mid-ocean ridge system, are on the order of 0.2 to at most 1 billion (1 x 10 EEX 9) tons per year, two orders of magnitude less than we, anthropogens all, are emitting per year.

CO2 is up 38 percent over preindustrial levels (280 to 387 ppmv), and has never been above 300 ppmv for at least 450,000 years (four glacial intergalcial cycles).

The search continues.

ADDENDUM 23/03/09 - Alaskan volcano Mount Redoubt erupts -

But... do we get a big answer?

The Big Question: Does an impending shortage of vital resources threaten catastrophe?

Well, I am all for balance, but we end up with six.... 3 each way:

Will we be living in a dystopian nightmare world within 20 years?


* By 2030 we may lack about 50 per cent of the food and energy we need to sustain everyone on the planet

* Millions of people may have been displaced from their homes and nations by water shortages

* It is more than conceivable that critical shortages of resources will lead to global instability and war


* Don't take scientists' scare tactics too seriously. By overstating their concerns, they receive more funding

* A raft of technological advances and efficiency savings will ensure that the worst aspects of climate change are ameliorated

* We will certainly not become extinct – nature always finds a way

I merely note, especially as this is a climate pessimistic, action proactive paper, that the qualifiers 'may' seem to crop up in one section more, and not the one I'd imagined.