Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Global Climate Change and a Greening Earth

While the climate change "woe is me" crowd promotes the "earth is boiling" narrative, a study from 2016 by Ziachun Zhu and 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight nations et al looks at an aspect of global environmental change that receives very little attention from the aforementioned crowd.


As background, green leaves use photosynthesis to convert light energy (sunlight) to chemical energy (sugars).  The light energy constructs the sugar molecules, mainly glucose, from water and carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen as a byproduct of the process.  The glucose molecules serve as fuel/energy for the cells of the leaf.  The inorganic carbon from the carbon dioxide used during photosynthesis is incorporated into organic molecules in a process termed carbon fixation resulting in fixed carbon which can be used to build the organic molecules needed by plant cells.


Here is a diagram showing the process by which vegetation turns light and carbon dioxide into sugars and oxygen:


The process of photosynthesis removes large volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases large volumes of oxygen gas as a byproduct which is necessary for most non-plant life.  Furthermore, studies show that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to higher levels of photosynthesis which spurs increased plant growth.


On April 25, 2016, Nature Climate Change published Zhu's article entitled "Greening of the Earth and its drivers".  In this research, Zhu et al used three long-term satellite leaf area index (LAI) records and ten global ecosystem models to better understand the four key drivers of LAI trends over the period from 1982 to 2009.  The authors used trends of leaf area index using three remotely sensed data sets sourced from satellite data from NASA's Moderate Resolution Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments.  These data sets provided the authors with the amount of leaf cover over earth's vegetated regions.


Trends from the long-term satellite LAI data sets show positive increases over a large portion of the global vegetated area since 1982 with the largest greening trends being located in southeast North America, the northern Amazon Basin, Europe, Central Africa and Southeast Asia.  The authors note that there are several factors that may account for increased plant growth including nitrogen, land cover change and climate change (i.e. temperature, precipitation and sunlight changes).  That said, their simulations suggest that carbon dioxide fertilization contributes 70 percent of the greening effect followed by nitrogen deposition at 8.8 percent and climate change at 8.1 percent, noting that climate change effects actually negatively impact the greening trend in some areas.


Here is a graphic showing the change in leaf area between 1982 and 2015 from the article on the study which appeared on NASA's website:


The increase in greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the area of the continental United States.


Here is a summary of their findings:


"Understanding the mechanisms behind LAI trends is a first, yet critical, step towards better understanding the influence of human actions on terrestrial vegetation, and towards improving future projections of vegetation dynamics. By making use of three LAI data sets, an ensemble of ten ecosystem models, and a fingerprinting technique, we assessed the consistency of observed greening and browning patterns with the effects of key environmental drivers. The use of a ten-model ensemble increases confidence in the attribution, although model simulations diverge in some aspects, particularly for the impacts of climate change and LCC, which suggests an area for future model improvements. Overall, the described LAI trends represent a significant alteration of the productive capacity of terrestrial vegetation through anthropogenic influences."

If there is anything that the past four years have taught us it's that science is far from cut and dried.  There are always different perspectives on the same issue, in this case climate change, so it's critical to prevent oneself from taking an unwavering stance on an issue without a thorough understanding of alternate explanations to observations.   Science is always evolving and accepting that evolution is the key to learning.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Nuclear Brinkmanship - Russia's Response to Its Threatened Borders

In two recent postings on Telegram, Russia's former President and Prime Minister and current Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dimitry Medvedev clearly lays out how the future will unravel if Russia is attacked by NATO and if the nation is forced to return in its 1991 borders.  His proposal is, to say the least, alarming. 

Here's the first posting on his Telegram account dated February 7, 2024:


Here is a translation thanks to Yandex Translate with my bolds for emphasis:


"Sunak, Scholz, Macron, Norwegian, Finnish, Polish and other chiefs from NATO countries say that "we must be ready for war with Russia."


And although Russia has repeatedly said that there are no plans for conflict with NATO and EU countries, extremely dangerous chatter on this topic continues. The reasons are obvious. It is necessary to divert the attention of voters in order to justify the multibillion-dollar spending on the hated Bandera "Ukraine". After all, huge amounts of money are not spent on solving social problems in these states, but on a war in a dying country alien to taxpayers, whose population has scattered across Europe and is terrorizing local residents. Therefore, every day the leaders of these countries broadcast: we need to prepare for war with Russia and continue to help Ukraine, and therefore we need to produce more tanks, shells, drones and other weapons.


But all European bosses cynically lie to their citizens. If, God forbid, such a war happens, then it will not go according to its scenario. It will not be conducted in trenches using artillery, armored vehicles, drones and electronic warfare.


NATO is a huge military bloc, the population of the Alliance countries is almost 1 billion people, and their combined military budget can reach one and a half trillion dollars.


Therefore, due to the disparity of our military capabilities, we simply will have no choice. The answer will be asymmetric. Ballistic and cruise missiles with special warheads will be used to protect the territorial integrity of our country. This is based on our doctrinal military documents and is well known to everyone. And this is the notorious Apocalypse. The end of everything.


Therefore, Western politicians should tell their voters the bitter truth, and not hold them for brainless idiots. To explain to them what is really going to happen, and not to repeat the false mantra of readiness for war with Russia."


As though that weren't enough of a threat against the Western powers that have spent the past decade blocking Russia into a "diplomatic corner", here's what Medvedev had to say on February 18, 2024:



Here, again thanks to Yandex Translate, is the translation:


"Some time ago, I wrote here on my TG channel: "A nuclear power cannot lose a war." Immediately, snotty Anglo-American suckers jumped out with heart-rending cries: "No, it's not like that at all, even the United States lost in wars." This is a blatant lie. I wasn't talking about Vietnam, Afghanistan, or dozens of other places where the Americans waged colonial wars of conquest. I wrote about historical Wars in which the defense of one's Fatherland takes place. Their land, their people, their values. These are the kind of wars the nuclear powers have never lost to anyone.


Why am I writing about this again? Yes, I read the words of all sorts of Pistorius and Shapps and I think: are they really such assholes or are they pretending? "The world cannot afford Russia's victory in this war." How is that? But here's how.


OK. Let's imagine for a minute that Russia lost, and "Ukraine and its allies" won. What would be such a victory for our neo–Nazi enemies with their Western sponsors? Well, as it has been said many times, a return to the borders of 1991. That is, the direct and irreversible collapse of present-day Russia, which, according to the Constitution, includes new territories. And then there was a furious civil war with the final disappearance of our country from the world map. Tens of millions of victims. The death of our future. The collapse of everything.


And now the main question is: do these idiots really believe that the people of Russia will swallow such a division of their country? That we will all think something like this: "Well, alas, it happened. They won. Today's Russia has disappeared. It is a pity, of course, but we must continue to live in a crumbling, dying country, because nuclear war is much more terrible for us than the death of our loved ones, our children, our Russia..."? And that the leadership of the state, headed by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, in this case, will tremble to make the most difficult decisions?


And so. It will be completely different. The collapse of Russia will have much more terrible consequences than the results of an ordinary, even the most protracted war. For attempts to return Russia to the borders of 1991 will lead to only one thing. To a global war with Western countries using the entire strategic arsenal of our state. In Kiev, Berlin, London, Washington. To all other beautiful historical sites that have long been included in the flight objectives of our nuclear triad.


Will we have the courage to do this if the disappearance of a thousand-year-old country, our great Homeland, is at stake, and the sacrifices made by the people of Russia over the centuries will be in vain?


The answer is obvious.


So it's better to let them return everything before it's too late. Or we will return it ourselves with maximum losses for the enemy. Like Avdiivka. Our warriors are heroes!"


Looking from the Western perspective, this is the kind of idiocy that passes for diplomacy in Washington when dealing with Russia, in this case, a response to Russia's movement of nuclear weapons into Belarus which would result in all-out nuclear war with NATO should Russia use its weapons:

The "gentlemen" sponsoring this Senate resolution make themselves somewhat useful by volunteering to fight on the front lines should hostilities break out between Russia and NATO.  

Western leaders, particularly those in Washington, have convinced themselves and their voters that Russia is on the brink of a humiliating loss in Ukraine.  They seem to ignore history which shows that a cornered Russian bear is one that will act to protect its borders.  Just ask those who still remain alive among the Nazi soldiers that felt the brunt of Russia's defensiveness when Rossiya-matushka is threatened.  Washington and its NATO puppet states would be wise to learn from the past.

Nuclear brinkmanship is an unwinnable game.  We all lose.  Even Senators Lindsay Graham and Richard Blumenthal. 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Researching Electric Vehicles and Guardrail Safety - How Safe Are EVs?

With the number of electric vehicles increasing on highways around the world, the safety aspect of these vehicles is of concern to drivers.  Recent research sponsored by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Midwest Road Safety Facility should raise questions about the drive of governments to get us all into "environmentally friendly" electric vehicles.  


Let's start with some numbers first.  I'm just going to select a couple of example vehicles so that you can compare the curb weight of those equipped with internal combustion engines to those with electric motors and lithium batteries:


1.) 2024 Hyundai Kona ICE FWD - 2999 to 3146 pounds


2.) 2024 Hyundai Kona EV - 3751 to 3883 pounds


That's a difference of between 752 and 737 pounds or roughly 25 percent.


3.) 2023 Ford F-150 XLT ICE 4WD - 4705 pounds


4.) 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning EV - 6015 pounds


That's a difference of 1310 pounds or 28 percent.


5.) Rivian R1T - 7148 pounds

The Rivian is 2443 pounds or 52 percent heavier than the Ford F-150.


In all of these cases, the internal combustion engine vehicles weigh substantially less than their EV counterparts.  This is similar throughout the EV world as the lithium batteries used to power electric vehicles are extremely heavy and result in a lower centre of gravity than is found in ICE vehicles.


Now, back to the subject of this posting.  For the first time, an EV truck has been crash tested into guardrails to better understand whether the current standard for guardrails is sufficient to protect occupants .  This is critical given that thousands of fatalities result from more than 100,000 run-off-road accidents every year.  The test was conducted on October 12, 2023 using a Rivian R1T pickup truck with a curb weight of 7148 pounds, well above the normal curb weight for a traditional pickup truck powered by an internal combustion engine.  The guardrail system used in the test was constructed 31 inches above the roadway using 12-gauge corrugated steel which was attached to 6 inch deep steel posts and mounted on blockouts that were 8 to 12 inches thick.


Here is a video showing the result of the test:


The 7100 pound plus Rivian R1T went through the standard guardrail as though it didn't even exist and one went through one section of concrete barriers that are typically found along roadways to separate lanes.  Can you imagine the result of this crash had there been a cliff on the other side of the guardrail rather than a secondary set of concrete barriers?


Here is a quote from the press release from UNL's Midwest Roadside Safety Facility:


"Midwest Roadside Safety Facility research suggests that EVs are involved in run-off-road crashes at about the same rate and about the same speeds as gasoline vehicles. That would mean an EV crashing into a roadside barrier could have 20% to 50% more impact energy.


“It is going to be necessary to re-examine the designs of roadside barriers even beyond the EVs,” he said. “It’s a critical and timely need....


Today’s challenge is to again adapt roadside barriers to match the mix of heavier electric vehicles, lighter gasoline vehicles, taller SUVs and pickups, and smaller cars. Fulfilling the challenge requires collaboration with diverse backgrounds in defense, transportation, design and crash safety.


Should you happen to think that this is a one-off result, a September 2023 test of a 2018 Tesla Model 3 "lifted the guardrail and passed beneath it", likely because of the lower centre of gravity of EV vehicles.


UNL is currently creating next-generation roadside barriers, a laudable task given the increasing average curb weight of vehicles on our streets and highways thanks to EV adoption, however, it is unimaginable how much it will cost to replace the current barriers to ensure that all drivers are safe in run-off accidents.  We would be smart to wonder what took so long to get this testing done, wouldn't we?  In the haste to electrification of transportation, elected officials seem to forget the real world consequences of their policies.

Friday, February 16, 2024

A Globalist's Solution to Transportation Emissions

There is little doubt that Canada is a world leader when it comes to a kakistocracy and, it's government is also well known as a haven for globalists of the World Economic Forum-type.  This is readily apparent with one of Canada's most influential government ministers, Stephen Guilbeault, the Trudeau government's sad excuse as Minister of the Environment.  We'll start this posting with some recent comments by Guilbault at a conference held in Quebec followed by a look at his travel expenses which are paid for by Canadian taxpayers.


Here is a quote from Gilbeault's luncheon speech given at the Trajectoire Quebec conference, a group that focuses on public transit, held on February 12th, 2024 at the Westin Montreal in Montreal Quebec with my bolds:


"Our government has made the decision to stop investing in new road infrastructure. Of course we will continue to be there for cities, provinces and territories to maintain the existing network, but there will be no more envelopes from the federal government to enlarge the road network. The analysis we have done is that the network is perfectly adequate to respond to the needs we have. And thanks to a mix of investment in active and public transit, and in territorial planning and densification, we can very well achieve our goals of economic, social and human development without more enlargement of the road network....


The solution to mobility will not consist only of electrification. Electrification is a component but it’s not the only thing. There is the question of urban planning that is hyper important. … If you are a decision maker and you decide to build a government institution far from public transit systems, then by default you are inciting people to use their cars to access that public service. All of our planning practices have to be coherent with these mobility objectives, for the reduction of the ecological footprint of transportation and of greenhouse emissions."

So there you have it - the globalist's solution to transportation emissions is to eliminate funding for the building of vehicular transportation infrastructure.


Guilbeault went on to note that the money spent on "asphalt and concrete" would be better spent on projects that will help fight against and adapt to climate change 


Now, let's look at Guilbeault's transportation carbon footprint as a Member of Parliament and that of his office.  Here are screen captures from the Parliamentary Proactive Publication of Financial Information website showing his detailed travel expenditures for three fiscal quarters:


Given that the transportation costs are in the $200 range, I am suspecting that this is mileage charges (roughly 55 cents per kilometre which has increased to 58.5 cents per mile for 2024) for use of his vehicle to travel back and forth from Ottawa to his constituency office in Montreal (a distance of 200 kilometres one way) given that the cost of a return plane ticket is in excess of $500.  It is also possible that he used VIA Rail given that the cost of a two-way business class ticket with that routing ranges from $160 to $200 plus taxes however, given the lack of detail in his report, we cannot be certain.


Here is a screen capture from the Expenditures of Ministers' Offices webpage showing how much the Department of Environment and Climate Change spent on travel over the fiscal year from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 with the travel expenses being highlighted:



Here are some more examples of his travel as Minister of the Environment:

For a fellow who is so concerned about the transportation carbon footprint of the serf class, he certainly gads about the globe with trips to India, Japan, Belgium, Columbia, Chile, Egypt, Ghana, Germany, the United States and Sweden since he took over the posting as Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada in October 2021.

And, lastly, we have this:


Yes indeed, flying to Beijing for a two-day trip can only be defined as environmentally responsible!

So, while the sweaty masses continue to drive on more and more congested roadways, thanks to cuts in federal funding, the ruling class will continue to make ill-advised decisions on our behalf that will make it ever more uncomfortable to leave our allocated 15 minute city limits while they travel as though their much touted climate change narrative is fictional.

Remember the mantra of the globalist ruling class - do what I say, not what I do and you'll be happy to own nothing" and, might I add, go nowhere!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

NATO and the Long War with Russia

In a recent article that appeared on February 10, 2024 in Germany's Welt am Sonntag, NATO Secretary General and Chief Warmonger, Jens Stoltenberg weighed in on NATO's future with Russia:


"NATO is not looking for war with Russia. But we have to prepare ourselves for a confrontation that could last decades."


"If Putin wins in Ukraine, there is no guarantee that Russian aggression will not spread to other countries."


On the same day at a campaign rally in South Carolina, presumptive Republican presidential candidate and former President of the United States, Donald Trump recounted the following:  


One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?   “I said, ‘You didn’t pay. You’re delinquent.’ He said, ‘Yes, let’s say that happened.’ No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them (Russia)  to do whatever the hell they want.” 


In the February 12th edition of Welt, Stoltenberg responded to Trump as quoted here:


"After statements by US presidential candidate Donald Trump, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned against hints that allies could not fulfill their duty of assistance in the event of an attack. "Any hint that the allies will not defend each other undermines all our security, including that of the USA," Stoltenberg said on Sunday.


This means a higher risk for American and European soldiers. He expects the USA to remain a strong and committed NATO ally, regardless of who wins the presidential election. Trump wants to stand for the Republicans again in the vote in the November vote.


Stoltenberg stressed on Sunday that NATO was ready and able to defend all allies. "Every attack on NATO is countered with a united and energetic response."


To put these comments into perspective, here is a transcript of comments made by Stoltenberg from February 7th, 2024 meeting of all National Security Advisers from all NATO nations held in Brussels with my bolds throughout:


"In our meeting today, NATO Allies discussed our preparations for the Washington Summit in July including Ukraine; deterrence and defence; and the growing challenge posed by China.


Today, Allies reiterated their support for Ukraine.  This is not charity.  It is in our own security interest.  A Russian victory would weaken us, and embolden not just Moscow, but also China, Iran, and North Korea.  That matters for Europe’s security.  And it matters for America’s security.


By spending a fraction of our military budgets, we have helped Ukraine to destroy a substantial part of Russia’s combat capacity.  


Our support is also an example of true transatlantic burden sharing.  Where both Europe and North America are making critical contributions to preserve Ukraine’s freedom.  Last week in Washington, I heard strong support for Ukraine from Congressional leaders – both Republicans and Democrats.  The debate continues in Washington on funding for a number of important priorities.  It is vital that the United States Congress agrees on continued support for Ukraine in the near future.  And I count on all Allies to sustain their commitment.


Today, we also discussed further bolstering NATO’s deterrence and defence.


At the Summit, we will demonstrate that we are delivering on our commitments.  Including by fully resourcing our new defence plans, investing in new capabilities and accelerating efforts to strengthen our transatlantic defence industrial base.


Since last July, NATO has agreed industry deals worth some 10 billion US dollars, including 5.5 billion dollars for 1,000 more Patriot air defence missiles just last month.  A deal that will build more production capacity in Europe for this vital capability.


The world has become more dangerous.  But NATO has become stronger.  With more forces, higher readiness and increased defence investment...


NATO is now holding Steadfast Defender - our biggest military exercise in decades.  Our exercise demonstrates that there should be no room for miscalculation in Moscow about NATO’s readiness and resolve to protect all Allies.


In our meetings today, we also addressed the growing challenge posed by China.  Our competitors are increasingly joining forces.  And Russia's increasing cooperation with China, Iran, and North Korea raises serious concerns.


So it is even more important that NATO is working more closely with partners like Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea."


One might almost think that NATO's chief warmonger is preparing us for an all-out, protracted war with Russia, isn't it?  


Given that Russia, China, North Korea and Iran have been driven into each other's arms by American-style bullying, it's very clear that the growing global divide being created as the world's secondary powers become more militarily powerful and more tightly linked and the United States and Europe/NATO fade as the world's most powerful ruling nations could well result in a war that has the potential to destroy humankind.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

The Democrats - Using Illegal Immigrants as an Electoral Pawn

Immigration has become one of the key hot button issues in the 2024 election cycle, particularly across the southern border of the United States.  For one political party, immigration policy has been a key to the political landscape in the United States as you will see in this posting.


Let's start with this graphic from U.S. Customs and Border Protection showing the number of land border encounters along the southwest frontier by month for the past year:


In fiscal 2023 (October 2022 to September 2023 inclusive), there were 2,475,669 encounters with immigrants attempting to enter the United States along the southwestern border and, so far the first three months of fiscal 2024, there have been 785,422 encounters, an increase of 66,405 over the previous year.  It is also notable to observe that encounters hit a new record of 302,034 in December 2023.


Here is a graphic from the Center for Immigration Studies showing how the population of illegal immigrants has changed over the Obama, Trump and Biden Administrations:



Back in April 2013, this report appeared on the Center for American Progress website:



As background and for those of you who aren't aware of the Center for American Progress, it claims to be " independent, nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country."


This liberal-leaning think tank was founded by the well-known Democrat, John Podesta, in 2003.  Podesta was the White House Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton and Chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign so it is very clear that he leans very strongly to the Democratic side of the spectrum.

The report opens with this (my bolds):


"In the wake of the overwhelming Latino and Asian American support for President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election—support that was critical to his re-election—the political winds on immigration have shifted significantly to favor immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country. A full 71 percent of Latino voters and 73 percent of Asian American voters supported the president in the election, and poll after poll illustrates that these groups strongly opposed the “self-deportation” policies of Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and instead supported President Obama’s immigration-reform efforts. Changing demographics, especially the rapid growth of the Latino population and their power as voters, ensured that key swing states such as Florida, Colorado, and Nevada voted for the president."


Here is a quote from Marco Rubio (R-FL) that is used in the report as a reason why immigration forms a key part of electoral victory in America:


It’s really hard to get people to listen to you on economic growth, on tax rates, on health care, if they think you want to deport their grandmother.


The report clearly notes that the Democrats need the Latino vote to keep them in office, thus, promoting a pro-immigration stance was/is/would be a key tool for ensuring electoral victory in the future.  


Here is a graphic from the report showing how the estimated number of Latino voters is projected to increase in 12 states when comparing the 2014 midterm election to the 2016 presidential election:


The authors of the report examined the relationship between the increase in the growth of the Hispanic community in Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Virginia and how this growing population supported President Obama in 2012.  They also looked to the future, laying claim to short-term future wins in Arizona and North Carolina and long-term wins in Georgia and Texas all because of the Hispanic demographic shift.


The report closes with this:


"Even leaving California out of the picture, the states analyzed in this issue brief comprise 137 electoral votes. In 2012 Democrats won 332 electoral votes to the Republicans’ 206, but if Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia were to shift Democratic, that would bring the grand total of electoral votes to 412—an insurmountable margin.


Whether these states flip from red to blue is an open question. But two things are abundantly clear: In each of these states, voters of color, particularly Latino voters, are becoming an ever-larger share of the total voting population. These voters care deeply about how both parties talk about immigration, and use it as a litmus test for how candidates from either party feel about their communities as a whole. In fact, immigration reform has become the number one political issue for Latino voters. The voters have spoken, and the message is clear: Getting right on immigration and getting behind real and enduring immigration reform that contains a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country is the only way to maintain electoral strength in the future."


It's pretty clear that the Democratic Party believes that illegal immigrants can be used as a pawn.  In the opinion of their experts, a relaxed immigration policy will lead to electoral wins which may, in part, explain their current reluctance to act on the crisis along the southwest frontier of the United States.  What the Biden Administration seems to be failing to grasp is that today's illegal immigrants are no longer mainly Latino, in fact, they represent nations from Asia, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa who may not share the political views of earlier unauthorized immigrants.