Newsweek Features Permafrost Video

June 4, 2016

My 2013 video on permafrost was included with a Newsweek piece on the issue.
These videos get watched by, and help educate, the media gatekeepers. That’s the key to changing the conversation.

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Newsweek:

Discussions of global warming often center on the release of greenhouse gases like carbon into the atmosphere, mostly from burning fossil fuels. There’s talk of “leaving it in the ground,” locking potential gases up in benign obscurity as untapped coal or oil reserves, but rarely does one see carbon slowly and steadily unlocking itself. In the Goldstream Valley in central Alaska, you can see it almost everywhere you look.

But in one spot, that carbon is still in suspended animation. In the mid-1960s, as Cold War fears ramped up, the U.S. Army bored a tunnel directly through a hillside down the road from Wetzen’s house, about 10 miles north of downtown Fairbanks, to research whether permafrost might be a good place to hide heavy weapons. Now the tunnel, kept cold year-round, is a treasure chest of research material for scientists who come to scrape off bits of ice or grass from 20,000, 30,000 and 40,000 years ago. Mammoth femurs and tusks jut out from its walls, and in one place, a tuft of grass, first buried some 20,000 years ago, dangles in the dark, still green with chlorophyll that never had a chance to degrade. There is the frozen carbon, locked in place. Should this tunnel warm, that grass and all the rest would begin the rapid cycle of decomposition, releasing all its stores of carbon into the atmosphere. That’s already happening above ground.

Worse yet, when permafrost thaws beneath a lake, where oxygen is scarce, the microbes decompose the organic material and convert it to methane gas instead of carbon dioxide. Methane is an extraordinarily potent greenhouse gas, with up to 25 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.

None of the permafrost thawing beneath millions of lakes across the Arctic is accounted for in global predictions about climate change—it’s “a gap in our climate modeling,” says Katey Walter Anthony, a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher who studies permafrost thaw across Alaska and Siberia. She’s become famous in certain circles for finding methane bubbling up beneath the ice in frozen-over permafrost lakes, cutting a hole ice-fishing style and lighting the highly flammable gas on fire, sending up a column of flames 10 feet high. But most of the time, Walter Anthony is flying between dozens of Arctic lakes, lowering tiny handmade rigs fashioned from plastic valves, fishing line and 2-liter Coke bottles into holes cut into the ice, to capture and count how much methane is bubbling up.

Below, more from Richard Alley on Undersea Methane:

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30 Responses to “Newsweek Features Permafrost Video”


  1. […] But in one spot, that carbon is still in suspended animation.  Read more:   Newsweek Features Permafrost Video | Climate Denial Crock of the Week […]

  2. pendantry Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that natural (sic) gas is primarily methane…

    First we poked holes in the ground and stepped back when the black gold rushed out. Then we started riskier stuff, like offshore drilling. Now we’ve moved into fracking countrysides and parkland.

    Given a choice, I suspect that the fossoil industry won’t stop till they’ve figured out how to extract methane from permafrost and undersea clathrates to sell to us, too…

    • dumboldguy Says:

      More pendantric maunderings from a sniffer of the perfumed sleeve hanky.

      The Methane Bomb is nothing to joke about, certainly not with smug and sardonic cracks about something that is likely so impractical that even the greedy bastards wouldn’t attempt to do it.

      We know far too little about what is going on with the subsea clathrates and the permafrost in the arctic, and that knowledge failure may take the biggest bite out of the planet’s rear end if and when we pass some unknown tipping point and the methane starts to flow.

      For now, I see some small potential for converting that methane trapped below the lake ice into less damaging CO2. Make the phenomenon known to the local high school kids and they will soon have “methane flaring” parties, complete with beer and loud music, at the more accessible lakes—their facebook pages will be littered with “documentation”. Have “fun” and help the environment (and try to explain to Mom why you have no eyebrows).

      • pendantry Says:

        ‘Joke’? Who’s joking? Not me. Anyone who employs tobacco pundits to help persuade folks that their wares aren’t toxic is not averse to selling snake oil in as many forms as they can find.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Please put away the sleeve hanky (or stop putting so much “I am so impressed with my maunderings” perfume on it) and let your head clear.

          Then reread my comment and the others here, view the video clips, and go to the link to Walter Anthony’s “columns of flame 10 feet high”. Do so as many times as necessary until you understand what this post is really about.

          Try to resist answering my comment with yet another inane straw man like “Anyone who employs tobacco pundits to help persuade folks that their wares aren’t toxic is not averse to selling snake oil in as many forms as they can find”. There is NO mention of “tobacco pundits” ANYWHERE in this post.

    • redskylite Says:

      Quite a few nations have been studying using methane ice as energy for a long time now. If the extreme weather events that have been occurring recently, the strong probability of sea ice free summers in the Arctic, deaths and increased kidney disease by workers in the tropics, abandoned villages in the South Pacific and soon Alaska, and urging from COP21 doesn’t do the trick, then it will take a few more disasters & calamities to do the trick, involving the more comfortable citizens, I’m afraid. The way things are going we haven’t got long to wait.

      “Where climatologists see great peril, energy companies see great promise. Methane hydrate can expand 160 times its volume when it is transformed to methane, a gas. Japanese scientists have succeeded in extracting methane from seafloor hydrates”

      http://www.globalpossibilities.org/the-icy-fire-beneath-norways-seabed/

      • redskylite Says:

        P.S . . Did you read about the locust attacks in Russia this year ?

        Climate change reaches biblical proportions.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2016/06/05/climate-change-reaches-biblical-proportions/

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Yes, the Japanese would surely like to achieve “energy independence” by mining subsea clathrates. (Has anyone considered what a huge oxymoron the term “energy independence” really is?) Of course, their reserves will last only 100 years, and then….? And in the meantime?…..check out these other quotes from the links. If the greedy energy companies do in fact start harvesting clathrates, it will be yet another phase of the fossil fuel “grand experiment”, and probably more dangerous and more likely doomed to failure than what has gone before.

        “But a number of environmental challenges remain before large-scale extraction could begin. Removing crystallised methane from the sea floor could destabilise the seabed and cause landslides”.

        “Methane hydrates serve as a kind of cement of the sediments. Our fear is that if the cement gets dissolved, sediment might slide down the [continental shelf] slope,”

        “If a large volume of sediment is moving, this might cause a tsunami, which has happened before.” Some 8,000 years ago, an earthquake along Norway’s southern coast triggered a catastrophic expansion of methane hydrates, unleashing a tsunami that washed over a landmass the size of Iceland.

        “….like oil extraction, this could be a risky business. Disturbing hydrates in the seafloor could destabilize them and initiate a vicious cycle: More methane in the atmosphere creates warmer oceans, which, in turn, further destabilize hydrates”.

        • pendantry Says:

          I fail to see how what you’re saying is any different from what I said. Who is it who likes the sound of his own voice?

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Yes, your continuing “failure to see” is quite obvious. As is your need to make your “contributions” to this thread all about you rather than the topic at hand—-the “tipping time bomb” of permafrost. Why do you persist?

          • pendantry Says:

            You’re an obtuse, queer old bird. We’re on the same side, I don’t get your argumentativeness. You accuse me of straying off topic by mentioning tobacco; I guess you can’t have read ‘The Merchants of Doubt‘ by Oreskes and Conway. I recommend it; ‘follow the link’ and educate yourself.

            ‘I persist’ because I have as much right as you to voice my opinion.

  3. ubrew12 Says:

    To permafrost carbon feedbacks must now also be added boreal forest fire feedbacks
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/01/alaska-wildfires-climate-change
    and the feedback from SE Asia’s peat swamps (orangutan habitat being burned down and turned into palm oil plantations): https://news.mongabay.com/2016/05/se-asias-damaged-peat-swamps-could-release-8-7-gigatons-of-co2/

    These are significant additions of CO2 as a consequence of our Global Warming. I read that the Fort McMurray fire alone added 10% to Canada’s ANNUAL CO2 production.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Yep, and don’t forget the black carbon that comes from those fires as well. It is a potent “greenhouse gas” while in the atmosphere, and increases the snow and ice melt in the Arctic and the Himalayas once it falls out and lowers the albedo.

      I will tout once again the book “Fire and Ice” by Jonathan Mingle, an excellent look at the science behind black carbon, as well as the sociology and anthropology that underlies the whole global warming issue (with emphasis on the Himalayas).

      There IS some “cultural” commonality between folks in the Himalayas burning yak dung, Indonesians clearing forests for palm oil plantations, and the burning of fossil fuels everywhere. Man’s evolved behaviors do NOT look good for the long term survival the human species.

  4. Lionel Smith Says:

    Darn it DoG, you have just induced me to spend more money and risk the wrath of SWMBO as yet another book dropping through the door. The curse of wide interests.

    Bill McGuire in his ‘Waking the Giant’ gives methane clathrates a mention along with much other useful and important background to how we are inadvertently triggering environmental trip wires. On quakes and Tsunamis consider a ramped up hydrological system dumping torrents on a certain island in the Canaries, those living on the west coast of the US need to look this up.

    • Lionel Smith Says:

      …consider a ramped up hydrological system dumping torrents…

      And the portents are not good as RobertScribbler reports.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Don’t know how it is at your house, but when the SWMBO who has managed my life for 51+ years starts complaining about my accumulating books, I take her to the walk-in closet in the MBR and point out that my portion has shrunken to at most 20% of the whole, and that’s true for every other closet in the house. I also point out that I have never refused her room on my bookshelves or in my bookcases for any book she wants to keep.

      I had first checked Fire and Ice out of the library to read, and it was so valuable that I bought a copy for the shelf. I don’t think you’ll be sorry—-it really is a unique book.

  5. Lionel Smith Says:

    …consider a ramped up hydrological system dumping torrents…

    And the portents are not good as RobertScribbler reports.

    Now the idea of a collapse of the Canary Island’s La Palma volcano Cumbre Vieja causing a megatsunami that would flood the west coast of the US has had cold water poured upon it by some at the AGU, but note this therein:

    Most scientists recognise that the single, intact block collapsing very fast idea is theoretically possible, but that it is the extreme end-member of a wide range of scenarios, and thus is highly unlikely.

    Well ere yes, but then Arctic ice is disappearing faster than many forecast with brickbats having been thrown at scientists who dared to forecast an Arctic free of ice by 2015. Of course we know that did not become the case but being a matter of maybe a decade, or less, out is not promoting a lie as another website accuses Steven Ward, Simon Day and Bill McGuire of so doing with respect to Cumbra Vieja.

    According to La Palma Tsunami those scientists who appeared in a documentary which was part funded by the insurance industry and thus was using the research as a propaganda tool and invalidating any assessments of large flank collapse causing a megatsunami.

  6. otter17 Says:

    “The time bomb is ticking, and no one is listning. Is there any hope we’ll survive?”

    • dumboldguy Says:

      The video answers the question—–IMO, survival is not likely, at least not for the great majority. The only question is how long before the bomb goes off.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      I, for one, would prefer death to listening to another Disturbed song.

      • otter17 Says:

        Haha, it isn’t for everyone, but at least the imagery is powerful, eh?

      • dumboldguy Says:

        I agree, and solved the problem by quickly muting the sound and just watching the indeed powerful “imagery”—-a picture is worth a thousand words, etc.

  7. dumboldguy Says:

    In response to pendantry’s comment on June 7, 2016 at 12:58 am, to wit:

    “You’re an obtuse, queer old bird. We’re on the same side, I don’t get your argumentativeness. You accuse me of straying off topic by mentioning tobacco; I guess you can’t have read ‘The Merchants of Doubt‘ by Oreskes and Conway. I recommend it; ‘follow the link’ and educate yourself.

    ‘I persist’ because I have as much right as you to voice my opinion.”

    My response:

    I can accept being called a “old bird”, in that I actually am “old” in years (and have gained some knowledge and even some wisdom in my 76 years). I can even accept being called “queer” in the sense that I may seem “unconventional, unorthodox, and out of the ordinary” in some ways to some people, but I must draw the line at being called “obtuse”.

    Especially by someone like Pendantry who far better fits the meaning of obtuse, particularly with regard to being “ignorant, witless, uncomprehending, and slow on the uptake”, as he again demonstrates with this comment.

    Yes, it’s obvious that he doesn’t get my “argumentativeness” because of his obtuseness, and that’s not surprising from someone who bills himself as a “Wibbler, Phylarologist (part-time) and pendant. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist, wannabe poet, writer, and astronaut”. (He forgot to include “devotee of mental onanism” in that list).

    My “argument” was and remains simple—-stay on your website and play the dilettante over there—-save all your self-absorbed “cuteness” and phylarological and pendantric nonsense for your small band of followers there. Come on Crock and make meaningful contributions on the science, politics, economics, and sociology of AGW—-prove that we are on the same side.

    I am tempted to respond to the smugness and arrogance of “I guess you can’t have read ‘The Merchants of Doubt‘ by Oreskes and Conway. I recommend it; ‘follow the link’ and educate yourself” by saying “GFYS, Colin”, but I will instead return the favor by posting a commentary on getting “educated” and a reading list I put together for the obtuse folks on another blog. Pendantry should educate himself by reading a few of them.

    “In this complicated modern world, we all too often fall into what can be called “silo thinking”, which term derives from the vertical storage design of the silo—pile a lot of stuff up on a small base. It is used mainly in business to describe how different parts or departments of a business are too busy looking up at the world from the “silos” of their narrow specialties, and not sharing info and ideas that would help the whole business be more successful.

    “IMO, AGW, climate change, and mankind’s efforts to mitigate it (as well as why it happened) are part of a very complicated “web” of interactions that require an understanding of many fields—politics, history, sociology, economics, psychology, neuroscience, all areas of science, and a fair amount of math. Anyone who doesn’t seek understanding in all those fields is going to be looking up out of the silo and not seeing much. Anyone who does study widely is going to stand on top of a very broad silo, will be able to see into others, and will be able to make the interconnections necessary to really understand AGW in all its “glory”.

    I offer here a selection of books from those fields that I have read in full or in part over the past few years, and they have all helped my understanding of the crisis facing us. Copies of the ones with (*) are on my bookshelves, and looking in local used book stores is a great source—-I bought some of them for prices as low as $1.37 and $2.13. Most of them will be available in any fairly good sized library system”.

    (I apologize for the inconsistency in the list’s left margin—-the original had book titles in caps, authors names indented below their books—-it appears to have reformatted itself somewhat when copied over)

    *WHOLE EARTH DISCIPLINE: AN ECOPRAGMATIST MANIFESTO
    Stewart Brand
    BACKLASH
    TEAR DOWN THIS MYTH
    Will Bunch
    *OUR STOLEN FUTURE
    Colburn, Dumanoski, and Meyers, 1996
    COLLAPSE: HOW SOCIETIES CHOSE TO FAIL OR SUCCEED
    Jared Diamond
    *THE END OF THE LONG SUMMER
    Dianne Dumanoski
    *THE WORLD IS BLUE: HOW OUE FATE AND THE OCEANS ARE ONE
    Sylvia Earle, 2009
    BRIGHTSIDED: HOW POSITIVE THINKING IS UNDERMINING AMERICA
    Barbara Ehrenreich, 2009
    THE WRECKING CREW: HOW CONSERVATIVES GOVERN
    Thomas Frank, 2008
    THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AMERICAN RESISTANCE TO ORGANIZED WEALTH AND POWER
    Steve Fraser, 2015
    THE GREAT DISRUPTION
    Paul Gilding, 2011
    *THE ASSAULT ON REASON
    Al Gore, 2007
    *WINNER-TAKE-ALL POLITICS
    Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson
    STORMS OF MY GRANDCHILDREN
    James Hansen
    SCREWED: THE UNDECLARED WAR AGAINST THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS—AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT, 2006
    THRESHOLD: THE CRISIS OF WESTERN CULTURE, 2009
    Thom Hartmann, (Hartmann has written several other good ones)
    DEATH OF THE LIBERAL CLASS, 2010
    EMPIRE OF ILLUSION, 2009
    Chris Hedges
    *THIS CHANGES EVERTHING: CAPITALISM VS THE CLIMATE
    Naomi Klein
    *THE SIXTH EXTICTION: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY
    Elizabeth Kolbert, 2014
    THE REVENGE OF GAIA: EARTH’S CLIMATE CRISIS AND THE FATE OF HUMANITY
    James Lovelock, 2007
    *FIRE AND ICE
    Jonathan Mingle, 2015
    JUNKYARD PLANET: TRAVELS IN THE BILLION-DOLLAR TRASH TRADE
    Adam Minter, 2013
    *THE REPUBLICAN BRAIN, 2012
    *THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON SCIENCE, 2005
    Chris Mooney
    THE ELIMINATIONISTS: HOW HATE TALK RADICALIZED THE AMERICAN RIGHT
    David Neiwert, 2009
    *MERCHANTS OF DOUBT
    Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway
    *CLIMATE GAMBLE: IS ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIVISM ENDANGERING OUR FUTURE
    Parranen and Korhonen, (CreateSpace-Amazon) 2015
    WHEN THE RIVERS RUN DRY, 2006
    WITH SPEED AND VIOLENCE, 2007
    Fred Pearce
    WEALTH AND DEMOCRACY: THE POLITICS OF THE AMERICAN RICH
    Kevin Phillips, 2002
    *CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
    Thomas Piketty
    *WAKING THE FROG
    Tom Rand, 2014
    *LOST MOUNTAIN: A YEAR IN THE VANISHING WILDERNESS
    Erik Reese
    AFTERSHOCK
    Robert Reich
    CADILLAC DESERT: RHE AMERICAN WEST AND ITS DISAPPEARING WATER
    Marc Reisner, 1993
    *BEYOND FOSSSIL FOOLS
    Joseph Schuster, 2008
    *THE WORLD IN 2050: FORCES SHAPING CIVILIZATION’S NORTHERN FUTURE
    Laurence C. Smith, 2011
    *DENIALISM: HOW IRRATIONAL THINKING HINDERS SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS….
    Michael Specter, 2009
    *DEEP FUTURE: THE NEXT 100,000 YEARS OF LIFE ON EARTH
    Curt Stager, 2011
    THE ECONOMICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: THE STERN REVIEW
    Nicholas Stern, 2009
    THE GREAT DERANGEMENT
    Matt Taibbi
    *COOLER SMARTER
    Union of Concerned Scientists
    DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans: No More Gangs in Government
    Jesse Ventura (believe it or not—a very good read)
    *CLIMATE SHOCK: THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF A HOTTER PLANET
    Gernot Wagner and Maerin Weitzman, EDF
    COUNTDOWN
    *THE WORLD WITHOUT US
    Alan Weisman
    *CONSILIENCE: THE UNITY OF KNOWLEDGE
    Edward O. Wilson

    Has anyone read any of these books and is there any interest in talking about them?

    That list doesn’t even take into account the books from the “dark ages” that any science-literate person and environmentally concerned person should have been reading back in the days before and after Earth Day in 1970. Glieck on chaos theory, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, Ehrlichman, Garret Hardin, Rene Dubos, James Lovelock, Amory Lovins,, E.O. Wilson all come to mind.

    (PS IMO, Reading a few newspaper or magazine articles or looking at the web is no substitute for reading the evidence and arguments piled up in s few hundred pages of a book. Or am I just an old-fashioned D.O.G.?)”

    As a test of whether Pendantry has bothered to read this whole comment, I have left this to the end. He states “I persist because I have as much right as you to voice my opinion”. Yes, unfortunately, in this modern world, every fool has a “right” to spew bullshit on the internet via comments on blogs or by starting their own blog. I myself am more concerned about the validity and weight of the facts and arguments behind those opinions than one’s “right” to voice them. I will say again that your opinions on this thread have been weightless.

    • addledlady Says:

      “Reading a few newspaper or magazine articles or looking at the web is no substitute for reading the evidence and arguments piled up in s few hundred pages of a book. Or am I just an old-fashioned D.O.G.?”

      otoh, watching the occasional video sometimes gives you a wake-up call about things you’ve ignored or overlooked.

      I’ve been soothing my troubled soul the last couple of weeks binge-watching stuff about reforestation, agroforestry and “restorative agriculture”. I’d previously been a bit of a scoffer about using trees to absorb CO2, but having seen just how much area of forest, and its soil support, have been stripped of their carbon which has been returned to the atmosphere in the last 50+ years (on top of the previous 10000 years profligacy) I’m starting to rethink that a bit – especially when adding in the 3X storage in soils and root structures compared to the above-ground growth. Now I’m of the view that getting green cover of any sort, not just trees, onto as much land as possible would be a big and important step. And my soul _is_ a bit soothed. (Or was until I saw this week’s reports on the GBR.)

      However. A lot of this stuff is about the role of hilltop and hillside forests in hydrology and watersheds as well as the related process of retaining silt and organic matter – instead of having it blown or scoured away by wind and water moving over exposed soil surfaces. Do you by any serendipitous happenstance have any recommendations for a decent geography-hydrology-agriculture oriented text, or know of a likely author, that gives a reasonable overview of these processes? I don’t even know what I’d be looking for, let alone the reliability of any given person or text.

      (There are more than a few UN, NGO, government agency and academic papers on specific topics, policies and approaches, but I’ve not come across anything substantial that I can just sit down and _read_.)

      • Lionel Smith Says:

        You may like to <a href="https://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/ask that question here addledlady. Not as busy as it once was but Martin is responsive.

        There is one fascinating natural restoration project going on in Iraq with the Southern Marshes that were drained by Saddam so as to eradicate the marsh Arabs who existed there.

        A couple of links,

        Iraq’s First National Park: A Story of Destruction and Restoration in the Mesopotamian Marshlands

        THE “EDEN AGAIN” PROJECT

        There is a very good documentary about the efforts of the very gentle nature and people loving Dr. Azzam Alwash (that is how he comes across – making a mockery of the Trump Muslim characterisation) and those that assist him along with the hazards of working in such an environment. I did not manage to see it all but managed as far as when the issue of lack of water becoming an issue due to the many dams constructed upstream of the Tigris and Euphrates in Northern Iraq and Turkey.

        The documentary was titled ‘Braving Iraq’ in the US broadcast in November 2010 and ‘A Miracle In the Marshes of Iraq’ in the UK as a BBC Natural World production in January 2011.

        The building structures using reeds are amazing.

      • Lionel Smith Says:

        Darn it fell into the too many links spam trap I think, so I’ll split.

        You may like to <a href="https://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/ask that question here addledlady. Not as busy as it once was but Martin is responsive.

        There is one fascinating natural restoration project going on in Iraq with the Southern Marshes that were drained by Saddam so as to eradicate the marsh Arabs who existed there.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Sorry for the delayed response.

        I’m not aware of any author that has devoted a whole “readable” book to the topic. It appears as one of the “another thing of concern” chapters in many books on AGW and man’s impact on the biosphere. It’s likely that your “binge-watching stuff about reforestation, agroforestry and “restorative agriculture” is likely to give you most of what you need to understand the problem. IMO, it’s the economics, politics, and psychology that are keeping us from making much progress there. You may need to just keep reading those “UN, NGO, government agency and academic papers on specific topics, policies and approaches”, and piece it together yourself.

        I’m reading an interesting book by one of your countrymen—-Tim Flannery’s “Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis”. Like nearly all these books, he understands how we got into the AGW mess and describes the “symptoms” well, but presents mainly unproven and bright-sided ideas about how we might get out of it anytime soon.

        It’s actually quite amazing what trees do, and you do understand that, as evidenced by your “rethinking” comments. I have read how just ONE tree in a field has many positive impacts—-from soil and water retention to increasing the local biodiversity and numbers of beneficial critters in its immediate area—pollinators, soil dwellers, birds and small mammals, etc.

        You are right about getting green growing things planted wherever possible, but only trees and forests sequester carbon for any great period of time. I was recently part of a citizen movement that caused several hundred trees to be planted on a couple of hilly and unused grassy acres on the school property behind my house—-they had been mowing it—-every little bit helps, and our school board is now working to plant trees in similar places at all schools.

        • Lionel Smith Says:

          Your comments about how trees assist in a number of ways, something now being appreciated more in UK after the flash floods of recent years. Although warned by ecologists the authorities here are only now waking up to how trees can cause many times more water to be captured on its leaves, bark and roots underground, which when coupled with the development of mosses and lichens provides a system for slow release of all the water that can arrive in torrential downpours. The fact that the slopes can be stabilised is another plus avoiding the large masses of silt which can dam up the mouths of rivers or cause sudden shifts in direction of river flow.

          You write, ‘…but only trees and forests sequester carbon for any great period of time.’ Well yes but so do bogs as anybody who has trekked across such terrain can attest. I know from personal experience walking across the hills and glens of Scotland with full pack how many interconnected rivulets form, progress is more a case of jumping from tump to tump (whilst avoiding the pack on your back taking charge and tipping you face down into the wet from which rapid extraction may be difficult – glug, glug) rather than a steady paced walk and is thus extremely fatiguing. Scientists who work in these environments collecting data have my admiration. This as opposed to the armchair theorisers so common amongst the ranks of denial who idly make stuff up. The likes of Morano, Michaels, Christy, Spencer etc. should be sent on field trips to the wilds and rationed on luxuries (the nicer bits of ration packs) until they learn not to gripe or talk endless BS, else the accompanying scientists could be in for a trying time.

          Only when the above have contributed something positive should they be allowed to comment further.

  8. Lionel Smith Says:

    Dropped an html tag in the above. Never mind onwards with the remainder, will two links break the bank?

    A couple of links,

    Iraq’s First National Park: A Story of Destruction and Restoration in the Mesopotamian Marshlands

    THE “EDEN AGAIN” PROJECT

    There is a very good documentary about the efforts of the very gentle nature and people loving Dr. Azzam Alwash (that is how he comes across – making a mockery of the Trump Muslim characterisation) and those that assist him along with the hazards of working in such an environment. I did not manage to see it all but of the Trump Muslim characterisation) and those that assist him along with the hazards of working in such an environment. I did not manage to see it all but managed as far as when the issue of lack of water becoming an issue due to the many dams constructed upstream of the Tigris and Euphrates in Northern Iraq and Turkey.

    The documentary was titled ‘Braving Iraq’ in the US broadcast in November 2010 and ‘A Miracle In the Marshes of Iraq’ in the UK as a BBC Natural World production in January 2011.

    The building structures using reeds are amazing.


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