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The Making and Life of a Blogger: The Story Continues: Chapter Twenty-Four–My Environmental and Nature Postings

To diversify my postings a little, I have written articles about Nature and the Environment. My background is in the sciences, after all. While the leaders of many of the developing nations and even many of the developed ones treat the world as their own private fun house and dumping ground, a large portion of the world’s population know that we have to do a lot better. Unfortunately, many politicians are using the environment and the climate to push their distinctively and environmentally unfriendly agenda. While it is true that our environment needs to be taken care of, it is also not a fragile commodity like most of these politicians let on. All you have to do is study the origins and history of our world to know this to be true. Our planet has suffered through growing pains that put to shame anything that we have done to this planet and could possibly do it with the possible exception of a Nuclear Armageddon.

There have been five great extinction events:

  1. Ordovician–Silurian Extinction–Around 439 million years ago, 86% of life on Earth was wiped out. Scientists believe two major events resulted in this extinction: glaciation and falling sea levels. Some theories suggest that the Earth was covered in such a vast quantity of plants that they removed too much carbon dioxide from the air which drastically reduced the temperature. Falling sea levels were possibly a result of the Appalachian mountain range forming. The majority of the animal life lived in the ocean. Trilobites, brachiopods, and graptolites died off in large numbers but interestingly, this did not lead to any major species changes during the next era.
  2. Late Devonian Extinction–Estimates propose that around 75% of species were lost around 364 million years ago. Information is unclear as to whether the late Devonian extinction was one single major event or spread over hundreds of thousands of years. Trilobites, which survived the Ordovician-Silurian extinction due to their hard exoskeletons, were nearly exterminated during this extinction. Giant land plants are thought to be responsible as their deep roots released nutrients into the oceans. The nutrient rich waters resulted in mass amounts of algal blooms which depleted the seas of oxygen and therefore, animal life. Volcanic ash is thought to be responsible for cooling earth’s temperatures which killed off the spiders and scorpion-type creatures that had made it on land by this time. A distant amphibian cousin, elpistostegalians, had also ventured onto land but became extinct. Vertebrae did not appear on land again until 10 million years later, the ichthyostegalians from which we all evolved. If the late Devonian extinction had not occurred, humans might not exist today.
  3. Permian–Triassic Extinction–This mass extinction, which occurred 251 million years ago, is considered the worst in all history because around 96% of species were lost. Ancient coral species were completely lost. “The Great Dying” was caused by an enormous volcanic eruption that filled the air with carbon dioxide which fed different kinds of bacteria that began emitting large amounts of methane. The Earth warmed, and the oceans became acidic. Life today descended from the 4% of surviving species. After this event, marine life developed a complexity not seen before and snails, urchins, and crabs emerged as new species.
  4. Triassic–Jurassic Extinction–The Triassic-Jurassic extinction happened between 199 million and 214 million years ago and as in other mass extinctions, it is believed there were several phases of species loss. The blame has been placed on an asteroid impact, climate change, and flood basalt eruptions. During the beginning of this era, mammals outnumbered dinosaurs. By the end, dinosaurs’ ancestors (archosaurs) reigned the earth’s surface. This extinction laid the path that allowed for the evolution of dinosaurs which later existed for around 135 million years.
  5. Cretaceous–Paleogene Extinction–Perhaps the most well-known of the Big 5, the end of the Cretaceous-Paleogene brought on the extinction of dinosaurs. A combination of volcanic activity, asteroid impact, and climate change effectively ended 76% of life on earth 65 million years ago. This extinction period allowed for the evolution of mammals on land and sharks in the sea. (1)

These extinctions are fact and are agreed upon by reputable scientists around the world. Mass extinctions are a fact of life on this planet. There is no question if another event will happen but only when one will occur. Instead of wasting resources and time fighting each other, we should be united against a far more deadly foe and that is the Universe that we live in. It is known that, at least, one asteroid caused one of these extinctions and there most assuredly will be another one in our future. The question is will we be ready to prevent it from happening or will we suffer from yet another global extinction?

I have often thought how I could be classified related to my interests. I am not a historian nor am I an environmentalist, nor a scientists or a photographer. I guess, the closest classification that fits me the best would be a cross between a biologists or someone who studies life and a humanist or someone who studies literatures, the arts, history and philosophy. Or maybe you could just call me a curious individual who enjoys learning new things.

In this blog, I have tackled topics like natural selection and evolution, global warming, the creation of our planet, sharks, fracking, pollution, forest fires, and endangered species. As the dominant species and apex predator of this planet, it is our responsibility to manage our resources, so that all can share in the bounty provided for by our planet. There is no denying that we can destroy our natural environment or kill off species with little effort. That requires little skill and knowledge to do so and is no real challenge. The real challenge is to not only correct the messes we caused but to not do the same stuff over and over again, that it turns out is quite difficult. Mainly because it takes thought and foresight, something we seem to be in short supply of and have limited ability to act in a thoughtful manner.

Global warming is probably the biggest lie in science today. We know that our climate has changed throughout the ages. We know this because of the ice sheets that have existed in Antarctica for millions of years. By drilling core samples of this ancient ice, we can tell a lot of things about the history of our climate. One of the hottest times was during the Jurassic age, and unless I am sadly mistaken, dinosaurs lacked both the intelligence and manual dexterity to make machines or to pollute the atmosphere, unless you count their ability to pass gas. Another very hot time was during the peak of Egyptian culture, another decidedly non-industrial period. So what caused the elevated temperatures? Unfortunately, we do not have a definitive answer as of yet. Politicians and liberals are using global warming and the green new deal as a hammer to drive home their crushing agendas.

Another very harmful and decidedly shortsighted practice that we have been engaged in the last few decades is shark finning. We are killing millions of sharks a year just for their fins which is nothing but cartilage and which we could substitute with cartilage from a meat packing plant. A very intelligent and knowledgeable individual named Jacques Yves Cousteau once said that if the shark disappeared from our planet, the oceans would die within a year or so. Once the oceans died, it would only be a matter of time before the rest of the planet followed soon behind. Since the advent of scuba diving, it has increasingly become more popular. Many islands in the Pacific Ocean rely on the revenue from tourism and scuba diving. Shark dives have become increasingly popular and are very lucrative. As a matter of fact, there is more money to be made from these dives than could ever be made from the sale of shark fins. Mainly because it is a self-sustaining industry. Besides you can only kill a shark once while you can watch sharks indefinitely.

In the next section of this chapter, I include some excerpts from some of my postings in this category.

Sharks, Sharks Everywhere, Oh My

Sharks first appear in the fossil record roughly 420 million years ago, a time when fishes began to evolve. The ocean was a very different landscape, with most creatures lacking a backbone. Trilobites, creatures distantly related to spiders and horseshoe crabs, scurried across the seafloor while shelled cephalopods, relatives of squid and octopus, reigned as the top predators above in the water column. Chimaeras are cartilaginous fishes, but not technically sharks. It is thought that sharks and chimaeras may have diverged up to 420 million years ago. The earliest shark-like teeth we have come from an Early Devonian (410-million-year-old) fossil belonging to an ancient fish called Doliodus problematicus. Described as the ‘least shark-like shark’, it is thought to have risen from within a group of fish known as acanthodians or spiny sharks.   By the middle of the Devonian (380 million years ago), the genus Antarctilamna had appeared, looking more like eels than sharks. It is about this time that Cladoselache also evolved. This is the first group that we would recognize as sharks today, but it may well have been part of the chimaera branch, and so technically not a shark. As active predators they had torpedo-shaped bodies, forked tails and dorsal fins.   

An extinction event at the end of the Devonian killed off at least 75% of all species on Earth, including many lineages of fish that once swam the oceans. This allowed sharks to dominate, giving rise to a whole variety of shapes and forms. By the Early JurassicPeriod (195 million years ago) the oldest-known group of modern sharks, the Hexanchiformes or sixgill sharks, had evolved. They were followed during the rest of the Jurassic by most modern shark groups. By the Carboniferous and Permian periods, sharks of all kinds roamed the world’s seas. The lineage leading to the megalodon first appeared about 60 million years ago. The megalodon is a member of the lineage of lamnoid sharks (Lamniformes), which also include the great white, mako and thresher sharks, among others. This lineage can be traced back to the Cretaceous Period.  

At the beginning Cretaceous of Period (145 million to 66 million years ago) sharks were once again widely common and varied in the ancient seas, before experiencing their fifth mass extinction event. Fossil teeth show that the asteroid strike at the end of the Cretaceous killed off many of the largest species of shark. Only the smallest and deep-water species that fed primarily on fish survived. While much of life became extinct during the End-Cretaceous extinction event, including all non-avian dinosaurs, sharks once again persisted. Sharks soon began to increase in size once again, and continued to evolve larger forms throughout the Palaeogene (66 to 23 million years ago). It was during this time that Otodus obliquus, the ancestor to megalodon (Otodus megalodon), appeared. Despite what many might think, megalodon is not related to great white sharks. In fact it may have been in competition with the great white shark’s ancestors, which evolved during the Middle Eocene (45 million years ago) from broad-toothed mako sharks.

Around 2.6 million years ago, around the time when the megalodon disappears from the fossil record, large mammals in the ocean were undergoing significant changes in response to a changing climate. At the beginning of the Miocene, marine mammals were at the height of their diversity and abundance. But later during the Pliocene, there was a drop in ocean temperatures that likely contributed to the megalodon’s demise. For much of the Cenozoic Era, a seaway existed between the Pacific and Caribbean that allowed for water and species to move between the two ocean basins. Pacific waters, filled with nutrients, easily flowed into the Atlantic and helped sustain high levels of diversity. That all changed when the Pacific tectonic plate butted up against the Caribbean and South American plates during the Pliocene, and the Isthmus of Panama began to take shape. This tectonic collision caused volcanic activity and the formation of mountains that stretched from North to South America. As the Caribbean was cut off from the Pacific, the Atlantic Ocean became saltier, and the Gulf Stream strengthened and propelled warm water from the Equator up into the north. Today, the salty water of the Atlantic is a major engine for global ocean circulation. Ecosystems, too, reacted to the closure of the seaway. Cordoned off from the nutrient-rich waters of the Pacific, Caribbean species needed to adapt. The barrier led to the creation of pairs of related species, such as the Pacific goliath grouper and the Atlantic goliath grouper, but other species didn’t fare so well. It is likely that the giant megalodon was unable to sustain its massive body size due to these changes and the loss of prey, and eventually went extinct. ( Smithsonian Institution Article “The Megaladon” by Danielle Hall) (2)

There is no single reason sharks survived all five major extinction events – all had different causes and different groups of sharks pulled through each one. One general theme, however, seems to be the survival of deep-water species and the dietary generalist. It is possible that shark diversity may also have played an important role. Sharks are able to exploit different parts of the water column – from deep, dark oceans to shallow seas, and even river systems. They eat a wide variety of food, such as plankton, fish, crabs, seals and whales. This diversity means that sharks as a group are more likely to survive if things in the oceans change.

Global Warming and Other Environmental Issues

Imagine, for a moment, sitting at a prestigious steakhouse in Palm Beach, Florida, a hot spot for some of the most wealthy and famous — Donald Trump, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, James Patterson, Rush Limbaugh, and hundreds more.

And, imagine dining with a handful of men you’ve only read about. Some of them are worth millions, others published best-selling books, and some have held prominent positions at the White House.

In essence, you’re sitting at a five-person table of VIPs.

You’re about to take a bite of your New York strip when one of the men, a top U.S. intelligence agent, slams a 164-page document in the middle of the table.

This document, you soon find out, contains damning evidence that a network of politicians, corporations, and scientists have conspired together to promote the fear of “global warming” . . . despite evidence clearly stating no such “global warming” exists.

The motive: $22 billion per year.

To be clear . . . that’s $22 billion of taxpayers’ money . . . the amount that our government pays to stop the “global warming” epidemic.

That comes out to $41,856 every minute.

Or, to put it in perspective, that is twice as much as what our government spends on securing our borders.

Then, imagine this top U.S. intelligence agent turning to you, and asking for you to join him on a mission to out those involved in the “global warming” lie.

Doing so would cost a lot of money, a lot of time, and could cost you your reputation. But, pretending you never saw the document, and carrying on with your life, would allow the scandal to continue and actually put lives at risk.

So, imagine if you were at that table, and the scenario I just described happened to you.

How Would You Respond?

My name is Tom Luongo, and I’ve recently had this exact experience.

In the following few pages, I am going to show you the alarming research in the document that was laid before me that night in Palm Beach.

I will tell you why this network of politicians, corporations, and scientists tried to hide this research . . . and how you can be part of a newly formed initiative with the aim of getting this research into the hands of every American.

This research proves, once and for all, that “global warming” is a sham . . . a sham perpetuated by a network of dirty government officials, greedy corporations, and bought-off “scientific” organizations.

How you respond will be up to you.

I can guarantee you one thing: After reading the next few pages, you will never look at government officials the same way . . . you will never trust what you hear in the media again . . . in fact, you will become skeptical of any and all authority figures going forward.

It’s unfortunate, but the betrayal you’re going to discover today runs very deep, and revealing the truth about “global warming” comes with great risk.

As a scientist for over 20 years, I’ve always upheld the truth.

I’ve worked with the University of Florida to do some amazing things . . . I’ve helped make crop yields more productive for third world countries . . . I helped create an intermetallic coating for gun barrels that dropped maintenance requirements on firearms by half . . . and I’ve helped cure diseases.

I have seen a lot of research go across my desk. But none of it can compare to the 164-page document that landed in front of me that night in Palm Beach.

That’s why I’m going to lay the facts from this document before you today, and then I’m going to ask that you join me, and the man who composed this document, on our mission to defund the “global warming” sham . . .

All it will take is a click of your mouse.

With one click, you’re going to put more momentum behind what I hope to be the largest effort . . . ever . . . to annihilate the “global warming” lie and defund the government’s multibillion-dollar spending frenzy to keep it alive.

Now, before we begin, I ask that you excuse any “rough” elements in this letter. What I’m sharing with you today is so urgent that I’ve made a huge effort to get the research in this 164-page document available to you as quickly as possible . . .

With President Obama’s recent speech about getting tougher on “global warming” issues I think it’s critical that we don’t waste a minute in getting this information out.

The sooner we get this information into the hands of the public . . . your hands . . . the more informed voters will be when they cast their ballots.(3)

The Skinny on Fracking

Fracking, What is it?

Fracking, also spelled fracing or fraccing, also called hydrofracking, in full hydraulic fracturing, in natural gas and petroleum production, injection of a fluid at high pressure into an underground rock formation in order to open fissures and allow trapped gas or crude oil to flow through a pipe to a wellhead at the surface. Employed in combination with improved techniques for drilling horizontally through selected rock layers, fracking has opened up vast natural gas deposits in the United States and elsewhere. At the same time, the rapid rise of the practice, frequently in regions with no history of intensive oil and gas drilling, has raised concerns over its economic and environmental consequences.

The Rise Of A New Technology

The technology of fracking has been in use since the 1940s, when liquids such as gasoline and crude oil were injected into poorly performing gas and oil wells in the central and southern United States with the aim of increasing their flow rate. Over the following decades, techniques were improved—for instance, treated water became the preferred fracturing medium, and finely graded sand or synthetic materials were adopted as a “proppant” to hold open the fractures. However, fracking did not enter its current modern phase until the 1990s, when the use of new steerable drill bit motors and electronic telemetering equipment allowed operators to direct borehole drilling and monitor the fracturing process with great precision. Shortly after, a market favourable for natural gas began to be created by high crude oil prices and by environmental regulations that discouraged the burning of oil and coal. In response to these conditions, developers began to open up so-called unconventional gas reservoirs—rock formations that previously had been left undeveloped because, under older production methods, they released the gas contained in them too slowly or in too small a quantity to be profitable.

Gas from unconventional deposits includes coal bed methane (gas located in the joints and fractures of coal seams), “tight gas” (gas locked into relatively impermeable sandstone or limestone formations), and shale gas (gas incorporated into dense microporous shales). Fracking has been used to recover all these gas types, but it has been practiced most prominently in recovering shale gas.(4)

Forest Fires and Other Natural Disasters And Their Effect on the Environment

This article is about the environment and how CO2 emissions effect Global Warming. In June I wrote an article on Global Warming, entitled “Global Warming and Other Environmental Issues” and an article entitled “Our Western Fires” which also tested base with global warming. This article will be a more in depth study of CO2 emissions and their effects on Global Warming.

In my previous article I discussed natural events such as earth wobble and how it affects the earth temperature and ice ages. Now I will study less large scale changes, such as volcanic activity, forest fires, industrial revolutions. Typically global changes in temperature usually have small yearly fluctuations, however large scale temperature changes usually take hundreds and thousands of years. If you look at the graphs posted below, you will see that our levels of Co2 were steadily climbing every decade, while the levels in the 1970’s were not as high as they are today, the winters were colder than they had been in over 50 years. Now you may ask how is this possible? I don’t know but I do know many weatherman were predicting that we were starting to enter into an ice age. So now 50 years later are CO2 levels have increased steadily and our temperatures are going in the opposite direction. So now we are out of the “ice age” and are experiencing global warming. Humm makes you think what is up?

Prior to the 1800’s man produced little CO2. Our industrial revolution has continued from that time to the 1970’s, when we finally put our environment first, and we started cleaning up our act. We followed emission laws, started using unleaded gas, built more fuel efficient cars, added the catalytic converter to reduce pollutants and emissions, stared doing smog checks and so on. Even though our levels of CO2 increased the temperatures seemed to be fluctuating on their own time line.

Lets study the table of historical temperature changes. In 1100 BC we had the highest spike in temperature, even higher than it is today. Now lets look at the CO2 levels for the last 10,000 years. We do this by studying ice core samples. While there is a lot of debate about both temperatures and CO2 levels from millions of years ago. But the evidence is much firmer for the last 800,000 years, when ice cores show that CO2 concentrations stayed tight between 180 and 290 ppm, hovering at around 280 ppm for some 10,000 years before the industrial revolution hit. So according to the ice core samples there still does not seem to be a direct correlation between temperature and CO2 levels. Until the industrial revolution, CO2 levels only fluctuated gradually, but temperatures still fluctuated.

Remember that these are just excerpts from my some of my postings on the environment. If you are interested in learning more you can go to common-sense-in-america.com and go the Category Nature and the Environment.

Resources:

(1)worldatlas.com, “Timeline Of Mass Extinction Events On Earth.” By Amber Piriona;

(2) toughtco.com, ” Shark Evolution.” By Bob Strauss;

(3) newsmax.com, “Scientist Confesses: ‘Global Warming a $22 Billion Scam’.” By Tom Luongo;

(4) britannica.com, ” Fracking,” By Britannica editors;

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