An Environmental Disaster Caused By Lack of Hunters

Somewhere a Democrat’s head is exploding. Up to Here in Deer: As Fewer Vermonters Hunt, the Growing Herd Is Becoming a Problem.

Chittenden County forester Ethan Tapper surveyed the scene with dismay. The woodland was “a little ecological disaster zone,” he declared.

White-tailed deer had ravaged the area, Tapper said as he crouched to examine a cluster of three-inch-high ash saplings in a thicket of ferns. Hungry deer had munched them down to the ground repeatedly, he said. The acres of maple and ash seedlings all around him had been decimated.

As a result, no understory of trees is growing to replace the overstory of 80-year-old maples. The forest is open to an invasion of buckthorn, honeysuckle and other nuisance species.

Go read the whole thing. But to the point, forward the Vermont article to anyone who questions why people should hunt.


Oh Those Crazy (1980s) Environmentalists

It turns out (as anyone with a brain-cell could have guessed) dumping tires in the ocean isn’t a good idea. France reverses car tyre sea sanctuary — an environmental flop.

Vallauris (France) (AFP) – What seemed a like a crazy idea turned out to be just that: a 1980s experiment that saw 25,000 car tyres dumped into the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean to create a sanctuary for sealife off the French coast is being cleaned up after it was found to be polluting.

Now France could have been forgiven, if they were the first idiots to try this. They weren’t.

In France, the idea of a “tyre reef” was tried only here, but a local academic working on the clean-up operation said authorities in other countries, particularly the United States, had tried the same failed idea.

“Repeating the same behavior and expecting a different outcome…”

Failure To Take Conditions Into Account Results in Sinking

If you are sailing, you should never have a schedule, and you should never disregard current conditions. Drama in the northwest passage. (Yes, the article is in German, but Chrome will translate for you. Or see the link below.)

So the famed Northwest Passage. Sailing from East to West through the Arctic in the summer when there is no ice. Only one problem with that. This summer, the ice was persistent. But someone decided they knew better than the Canadian Coast Guard, and paid a steep price. (They didn’t qualify for the Darwin Award, but they are both young.)

Yesterday night, the French-flagged yacht “Anahita”, an Ovni 345, sank north of the coast of Canada in the Northwest Passage. The disaster occurred in the Depot Bay, east of the Bellot Strait. According to initial information, the ship has been trapped by drift ice from which the crew could no longer free it.

The boat was crushed by the ice, and sank within minutes. The 2 crew took refuge on the ice and eventually were picked up by other boats in the area.

A quick search only turned up one Ovni 345 boat for sale. It is a used 1997 with an asking price of €137,000. The boat that sank had been “specially converted for the journey into the ice.” (Which I take to mean it probably had additional insulation and maybe additional heat sources added.) I’m not sure, but I doubt that any insurance will pay out. Does insurance protect you from being an idiot?

The Canadian Coast Guard had warned people that the ice was not likely to break up this year, and that yachts in the area should head south, or find refuge in ports in Greenland.

The skipper of the “Anahita”, Pablo David Saad, had deliberately ignored the official warning and instead oriented himself to the skipper of another yacht, who has traveled the passage several times and who had been hoping in the last few days still for a withdrawal of the ice , Saad has been on long-distance sailing for several years with changing crews. He as well as his current companion come from San Martín de los Andes, a city in southwestern Argentina near the border with Chile.

Hat tip to Watts Up With That, who has other stories of ships getting stuck in the ice.

Times Like This, I’m Glad I’m Not on the Water

The red tide smells bad, and the dead fish smell worse. Gallery of Red tide.

The picture above showing just how red, the red tide is. The caption of the 1st picture in the gallery follows.

Decaying fish corpses litter the sands of Causeway Islands Park on Sanibel Island, Fla., Aug. 30, 2018. A toxic algal bloom has been growing off Florida’s southwestern coast for about 10 months. (Zack Wittman/The New York Times)

The main article that goes with that photo gallery is Red Tide roll: from respirators on Siesta Key to DIY fish cleanups in Manatee.

A Government-mandated Solution and the Problems It Caused

The Law of Unintended Consequences seems to especially love .gov mandates. Biofuels and the Environment: The Second Triennial Report to Congress.

It is a government document, written in the turgid style that only academics can beat.

So the Congress passed (and George W. Bush signed) a law with a wonderful-sounding name, The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. It was supposed to spur an increased production of “clean renewable fuels.” It is the reason that we put corn into our gas tanks. It was supposed to help the environment. Turns out, not so much.

You see the EPA was SURE – so completely positive – that if they required ethanol be used in fuel, that all kinds of alternative sources including “advanced biofuels” would leap to market. Instead, corn and soybeans constitute most of the source for ethanol we burn in out vehicles. They found this out in 2011, and reaffirmed in 2018:

the environmental and resource conservation impacts of biofuel production and use as delineated in Section 204 of EISA were, on balance, negative [That’s from the Executive Summary of the document.]

An increase in the number of acres planted at the expense of habitat, seems to be the one most to the EPA’s dislike (though they hand wave some of it away.)

In the “Future Impacts” section, they are still hopeful that “past performance is no guarantee of the future” as they see some hope that those “advanced biofuels” will finally arrive to save the day, but mostly…

Available data suggest that current trends using corn starch and soybeans as primary biofuel feedstocks, with associated environmental and resource conservation impacts, will continue in the near term.

And as someone said, in the long term, we’re all dead anyway.

The hubris to think you can control the future, control the markets. I don’t know who is more to blame, the EPA or Congress.

The problems identified.

  • Land Use – as habitat is converted to farmland
  • Air Quality – the emissions caused by growing stock, manufacturing and delivering ethanol
  • Water Quality – specifically algae blooms
  • Water Quantity – in irrigation
  • Etc.

The document also touches on the importation of biodiesel and the impacts that can have overseas, but given what is happening in Indonesia, they certainly gloss over it.

So will this law, which was supposed to save the environment, but turns out that it is hurting the environment, be repealed? Of course not. That would be painted as being anti-environment. Besides, those “advanced biofuels” will be here in the blink of an eye, and we’ll all be driving electric vehicles anyway. (And the corn-growers love the fact that the price is higher.) Hat Tip to Legal Insurrection and also to Tuesday Links from Clair Wolfe.

Animas River Spill: Imagine the Outcry If This Happened Today

But it happened three years ago today, during a Democratic administration, so, “oops!” EPA crew accidentally turns Animas River orange – CNN

(I like this image because it catches the leading edge of the toxic plume. You can see at the top of the photo, what the color of the water should be, and at the bottom of the photo what the EPA did to the river.)

As far as I can tell, the EPA hasn’t paid any claims about this. They haven’t answered the leading question of, “How the hell did you allow this to happen?” But then they’re a .gov bureaucracy, they exist to make lives of citizens miserable, not the other way around. And no one was charged with a crime. Just an innocent mistake. (Can’t see that being the case today, somehow.)

If you click through the link above, there is a 15-second or so video from a drone flying over the contaminated river. The music is annoying and its on a loop, but it does give a good view of what happened as a result of the disaster.

Electric Cars – Not the Climate Answer You Were Looking For

Batteries are weak spot in electric cars, in more ways than one. Swedish survey: Production of electric car batteries emits tons of CO2

VL The Swedish Environment Institute has investigated the influence of lithion-ion batteries on the environment from the Traffic Administration and the Energy Agency from a life-cycle perspective. Batteries intended for electric cars are included in the survey. The authors Lisbeth Dahllöf and Mia Romare have done a metastudy – that is, they have reviewed and compared available studies.

The report shows that the production of batteries leads to high emissions. For each kilowatt hour of storage capacity in the battery, emissions of 150-200 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents already produced at the factory.

Considering both the Nissan Leaf, and the Tesla Model S…

Already when you buy the car, there has been a discharge corresponding to approximately 5.3 tonnes and 17.5 tonnes for batteries of this size, respectively. The numbers may be difficult to relate to. By comparison, a trip round Stockholm-New York by air causes emissions of about 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

(A tonne is 1000 kilograms for you metrically-challenged Americans, or about 2205 pounds)

Running costs (in terms of carbon-footprint) will depend on how your electricity is generated locally. The article notes that Sweden gets the bulk of its power from two sources, nuclear and hydroelectric, so they look quite good on the going-forward costs. (Leftists’ heads exploding over nuclear power in three, two, …)

Okay, it always fun to explode people’s preconceived notions (that attitude got me into a lot of trouble in my youth), but if you read the fine print, the data quality may be a bit suspect. (What is the energy consumption of Cobalt mining in the Congo? Who really knows. Its human-cost in terms of child labor, etc is usually what people worry about. That, and the fact that it has quadrupled in price in 2 years.) But it is clear, that these vehicles aren’t the answer to everything.