Sustainable - Sustainability: Energy, Environment, Economy

The Pickle as Will and Idea

Is it possible to light up a pickle like a light bulb?

The seminal work on pickle electrification by Hamburgen et al.(1989) raised many further questions, of which this work will address none. Instead we propose to explore the zeitgeist of the electric pickle experience in a global context, limning as it were, the Jungian archetype of the Electric Pickle. In all its briny glory.

Part One.
There has been little sane theoretical or practical interest in pickle electrification in the last decade. Part of this disinterest was the characterization of this field (as implicit in the title of the original work) as ‘Organic Illumination’ while the greater part has been due to the Neo-Occidental conspiracy which ruthlessly suppresses all electric pickle related work through subtle innuendo and biting scorn.

Part Two.
In this series of experiments, we followed the general procedures of Hamburgen et al. with some modifications as the series progressed. Some of the pickles were sliced in a variety of ways to better observe the effects of the electric arc, and to appease the onlooking mob. The copper electrodes of the Hamburgen work were replaced by aluminum ones (0.159cm dia.). The current was delivered through copper clamps at 120V AC (rms) and 60Hz. (ie deadmans linecord + alligator clips on roofing nails in blocks o wood do not try this at home) Sophisticated safety systems( $5.00 powerbar w/ 5A circuit breaker + trained ape with finger on button) minimized (nobody got hurt) the inherent dangers of the procedure.

These experiments were recorded in digital video (mini-DV) format which allowed us 720×480 pixel resolution with full color and stereo sound. These were then transferred to various motion picture formats as shown in the next section. Electric Pickle

Part Three.
Results: will speak for themselves.

Too Harsh
2.4M Microsoft .avi video

1.5M Microsoft .avi video

4.6M Quick Time .mov video

The Pickle
90k jpg picture

The Set-up
139k jpg picture

Too Harsh MP3 .wav soundtrack

Part Four.
Mere words cannot express the electric pickle experience. One must see the event live.

Part Five:
We gratefully acknowledge the loving support of friends and family who rarely question our sanity.

“Characterization of Organic Illumination Systems”, B. Hamburgen, J. Mogul, B. Reid, A. Eustace, R. Swan, M. J. Doherty, J. Bartlett (1989)

“Implications of Pickle Electrification for Causal Determinism” J. Dunne, F. Tempus, A. Fugit (2234) to be published in Proceedings of the 14th Annual Temporal Physics Conference, Theros, Greece 2234.

Oil And Petroleum Products

(Turn out the lights… the fossil fuel party’s over.)

All of us depend upon oil. Almost everything we do involves oil. I am typing this message and you are reading it using products and energy that derive substantially from oil.

Here are some numbers:
world consumption in 2001: 77 million barrels per day out of this, 5 million barrels per day were consumed by OPEC countries. So, about 72 million barrels per day were exported to the rest of us profligate consumers.

In 2005, the number had risen to 80.29 million bbl/day

What do we pay for it: an average price in 2001 was about $20 per barrel: so 72 million barrels is $1.4 billion. Per day.
Half a trillion dollars per year.
About as big as US defense budget.
And a lot of that budget is spent safeguarding oil sources.
By comparison, US GDP is 10 trillion, world GDP is $40 trillion.

We spend more that 1% of the world GDP on oil. (Add in natural gas, we are well over 2%.)

But that does not take into account the other costs, one of which might be all the carbon dioxide released when we burn a great deal of the 72 million barrels.

And these numbers do not tell the whole story, for the world economy is predicated on cheap oil. As in, Wal-Mart could not afford to stock 70% Chinese goods, unless petroleum products were cheap enough for them to ship goods across the globe. In 2007, the price spiked to over $140 / barrel.

Which leads me to my next point: what do we use all that oil for?

Two thirds of oil goes toward transportation. Natural gas consumption is about 2/3 of oil again, and almost all of that goes into heat and electricity production.

The environmental cost of fossil fuel usage is unmeasurable. Oil is one of the largest contributing factors to human induced climate change. Low level ozone and greenhouse gases are major factors in global warming.

So, more efficient transport, heating and electric might be one way to look. Solar, wind and nuclear may also be solutions to both the economic and environmental costs of gas and oil.

Energy & Global Warming Facts

Scientists predict that if global warming continues at its present rate, by 2030 there will be no more glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park.
–National Wetlands Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey

Forty percent of the country’s lakes and rivers are unsuitable for fishing or swimming.
–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

If Americans unplugged their televisions when they turned them off, they’d save 8.45 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year. That’s twice the amount produced by the Hoover Dam.
–National Resource Defense Council; Department of the Interior

If SUVs complied with the same fuel-economy standards as ordinary cars, the U.S. would save one million barrels of oil a day, more than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could produce at peak volume.
–New York Times

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 3.5 hours.
–Can Manufacturers Institute

On average, a homeowner with an automatic sprinkler system overwaters his lawn by 112,000 gallons a year.
–Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Sixty-five million trees are cut down to make the 500 pieces of junk mail sent each year to every person in the country.
–New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

A family of four can save up to 20,000 gallons of water a year–the amount needed to fill an average-sized swimming pool–by using a low-flow showerhead.
–National Resource Defense Council

If all the cordless phones and answering machines sold in the U.S. in the next ten years were Energy Star-certified, consumers would save $4.4 billion in electricity bills.
–U.S. Department of Energy

Replacing a single incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb saves more than $50 in energy costs and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by nearly half a ton.
– Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Recycling two gallons of used motor oil provides enough electricity to cook 48 meals in a microwave oven.
–Utah Department of Environmental Quality

Skylights make it more difficult for your air conditioner to cool your house; a two-by-four-foot clear glass skylight requires 240 extra kilowatt hours of electricity every year, enough to run the average television.
– California Energy Commission, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The Department of Energy has introduced an initiative to encourage the installation of solar energy systems on one million roofs by 2010. If successful, it will reduce carbon emissions every year by an amount equal to that produced by 850,000 cars.
– U.S. Department of Energy

Compared with the average car, an SUV getting 13 miles a gallon wastes as much energy each year as leaving a bathroom light on for 30 years.
– Sierra Club

Underinflated car tires reduce fuel efficiency, wasting up to two billion gallons of gasoline a year.
– Seattle City Light

Donate My Body To Science

I asked sidd, “If i were to donate my body to science, how much energy could be produced from my mass? E=mc^2?”

Sidd replied:
First take your weight in kilos
Then, put in c=3×10e8 meter/s = c^2=9×10e16
E=72.3×9x10e16 = 6.5e18 joule

“How much is that,” I asked.
Well, lets see. If we turned you into energy, we could run a 200 watt computer for a billion years.

The earth is about 4 billion years old. So we can run our 200 watt machine for an appreciable fraction of the age of the planet.

Or, we could run a billion computers for a year.

Or, we could make a really big bang.

“How big,” he asked, eyeing me narrowly.

Well, how does 300 million fat hydrogen bombs sound to you?

Holy Cow! (The Poop On Poop)

An Overview of Eating Meat
Once I was talking to some farmers, and they made a joke about how many bushels of corn a person eats in a day. At first, I did not understand. I thought to myself, “Maybe I eat an ear of corn a day on average.” So, I prodded them further about what they meant.

“Hogs love corn, and it is their major food. One of the old ways of harvesting corn was to hog it, that is to let hogs in a field of ripe corn to help themselves.” — J. B. Calvert, University Of Denver

It takes about nine bushels of corn to bring a hog to market.
A cow eats 25 pounds of corn a day.
For every pound of beef you avoid, you also save 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water.
A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds. One bushel of corn converts to about 5.6 pounds of retail beef, 13 pounds of retail pork, 28 pounds of catfish, or 32 pounds of chicken.

Eating ocean bred fish is not a good solution, either. Not only does commercial fishing contribute to global warming, overfishing has caused severe damage to our ecosystem. Besides, pollution has made many fish toxic for humans to eat.

“Certain carnivorous fish such as shark, barracuda, gar and grouper can concentrate heavy metals such as mercury in their flesh. This can be very harmful to humans.” — U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of the Surgeon General

“Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.” “Another commonly eaten fish, albacore (”white”) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna.” — 2004 EPA and FDA Advice For: Women Who Might Become Pregnant, Women Who are Pregnant, Nursing Mothers, Young Children,
Global Warming and Eating Meat
Greenhouse Gases Emitted by Humans to Produce Meat
Operating farm equipment, such as tractors, irrigation pumps, grain elevators and climate control of animal shelters emits a huge amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. Fertilizer is also a major contributor to global warming. The transportation of meat to market is another factor adding to the problem. Cold storage refrigeration has had multiple negative impacts on the environment. Freon is thought to be the main cause of the ozone hole (see The Ozone Know Zone.) The energy needed to keep meat from spoiling is also significant.

In 2008, an average cow took 284 gallons of oil to bring to market. Holy cow!

Greenhouse Gases Emitted by Livestock
If that’s not enough to give you indigestion, consider the gas that comes out of a pig. I’m not talking about a human that burps, and you call a pig. I mean animal flatulence. Sheep and hogs give off a lot of gas. Cows spend much of there lives burping. New Zealand and other countries have imposed taxes on animal flatulence. Holy crap!

No. I haven’t even started talking crap, yet. Here’s the poop on crap. Chicken sh#*! Chicken manure produces a crap load of methane. Methane is a leading greenhouse gas.

“Animal manure is a source of methane gas produced through anaerobic digestion. A variety of policy instruments could be used to implement this greenhouse gas mitigation program.” — Manure Management, Climate Change What You Can Do, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

All kidding aside, we have a serious problem. Meat is an important part of a human’s diet. However, eating less meat and changing the way we produce meat could do a lot of good for the environment.

Eastern Ribbon Snake

Eastern Ribbon Snake and Global Warming

Eastern Ribbon Snake and Global Warming

The Eastern Ribbon Snake’s preferred habitat is wetlands. They are quite often found along streams and ponds. Frogs and other amphibians are their primary sources of food. The Ribbon snake is an adept swimmer and will pursue it’s prey which it eats live. The Ribbon snake rarely bites humans and will attempt to escape any encounter.

The range of the Eastern Ribbon Snake is from Florida to Maine (and into Canada) along the Atlantic Ocean and as far West as Indiana and Louisiana.

Between April and May they emerge from hibernation and mate. The females carry the 5-70 offspring until July-August when they give live birth. Adults usually grow up to 36 inches.

If conditions become too dry, the Ribbon snake will lay dormant.

In cold weather, they hibernate underground (usually in another animal’s burrow, rocks or other natural formations.) In the past, hibernation would begin in the fall. Temperatures must consistently remain above freezing with plenty of moisture for the Ribbon snake to hunt. Usually by October they migrate to their hibernaculums. However, on November 24, 2004, a Eastern Ribbon Snake was found active in Ohio at an approximate latitude of 40 degrees North. Typically, there would be a frost line that the snake would be under at this time of year.

Ten of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last fifteen years of the last century. In response, we see changed behavior of animals, birds, fish and reptiles, such as earlier migration patterns in spring and delayed onset of hibernation in winter. We expect to see more anomalous events such as this little snake active in late fall as the world warms.

P. S. On Nov 30th, this snake was spotted again, in the same location. Priscilla, the white fluffy cat who rules the yard with paws of iron, was playing with it. A sortie was mounted, and while one operative distracted Priscilla with catnip, another operative outflanked Priscilla, picked up the snake, and tossed it up the bank coming down to the driveway. Priscilla was not easily dissuaded however, and blocking maneuvers were necessary to cover the snake’s retreat. The engagement ended with Priscilla ostensibly giving up the field and flouncing haughtily off toward the compost heap. A watch was posted, and while Priscilla was later observed investigating the bank, it is felt that the snake did survive, to bask another day.

Invasion Of The Cuckoo Wasp

Arrival Of The Cuckoo Wasp

Arrival Of The Cuckoo Wasp

“Take the Hogweed which related to the true story in the press at the time about how the plant - Giant Hogweed - imported from Russia in Victorian times had become rampant thru the British countryside.”
– Paul (on Peter Gabriel & Genesis)

Well, I’ve mentioned several such concerns in the past (including the morning glory.)

At least these things are plants. Things with venom and/or stingers are of more interest. Take the cuckoo wasp.

Over the last few years, I’ve come in contact with almost all known poisonous, venomous and/or stinging things in the state of Pennsylvania — rattlesnakes, copperheads, bees, wasps, hornets, poison ivy, sumac and poison oak.

In general, these things are bland in color… beige, olive, greens, browns and grays.

About 3 years ago, I started seeing some strange insects. They were bright metallic looking “flies.” I noticed a couple of them outside and thought it odd that such a tropical looking insect would be around here. Then, last year I noticed more of them. However, it was not until this year that I captured one.

The space I work in has several natural bug traps. About 10 years ago I noticed an increase in the yellow jacket population. The number of yellow jackets appeared to be increasing, as well as, their aggressive behavior. It was about 4 years ago that I started noticing varieties of wasps that I’d never seen.

The first time I saw a “thread waisted” (sphecid wasp) I couldn’t believe it. I thought, “this must be some mutilated or mutated wasp?” (Click here to see a picture of a Thread Waisted Wasp.)

Over the last two years, I watched these populations first increase… and then decrease. The drop in yellow jackets and sphecid wasps actually seems quite amazing… or it did until I found out about that “metallic fly.” (So far this year, three cuckoo wasps have shown up in the “trap.”)

Here are some quotes on the cuckoo wasp:

“Cuckoo Wasp, common name for a group of mostly small, stinging wasps. Cuckoo wasps are brilliant metallic blue, green, or reddish in color. They are parasites that lay their eggs in the nests of bees, wasps, and certain other insects, which are called their hosts. There are approximately 3000 species of cuckoo wasps throughout the world, including about 230 species in the United States and Canada. Cuckoo wasps are also called gold wasps, ruby wasps, and jewel wasps.

Cuckoo wasps are only seen occasionally due to their small size and secretive habits. However, in open, sunny habitats they are often abundant on flowers and small shrubs, where they feed on nectar. Cuckoo wasps often lurk near the burrows of their hosts, waiting for an opportunity to sneak in and lay an egg. They have a thick, hard cuticle (outer covering) that is covered with pits. The cuticle provides protection from stings and strong biting mandibles of host insects, which may attack the cuckoo wasp. In addition, the underside of the abdomen is concave and allows the wasp to roll up into a protective ball, another defensive mechanism. Although cuckoo wasps sting, their stinger is very small. [editor's note: though the actual size of the stinger can be measured in centimeters, proportional to the body size -- it is the longest stinger I've ever seen. I thought the wasp was a fly, until I tried to subdue it.]

Cuckoo wasps can be divided into two chief types based on their lifestyles: parasitoids and cleptoparasites. Parasitoids feed on the larva of the host and cleptoparasites “steal” the host’s food. In both cases the host larva dies. The food-stealing behavior of cleptoparasite species resembles that of the cuckoo bird and gave rise to the cuckoo wasp’s name. Hosts of parasitoid species include bees, sphecid wasps, potter wasps, sawflies, silk moths, and the eggs of stick insects. Cleptoparasitic species feed on provisions of sphecid wasp nests, which may include dead spiders, true bugs, aphids, or thrips.”

I’ve found research that says the cuckoo wasp has been found as far north/east as Pennsylvania (though the closest sighting I could find was in West Virginia. During the last several decades, I’d never seen a cuckoo wasp in Eastern PA.)


yellow jackets –> sphecid wasps –> cuckoo wasps

This evidence in wasp populations leads me to believe that global warming is causing climatic changes. The climate changes have allowed south/west insect species to migrate north/east. After the populations increase, the next species in the food chain moves in.

Invasive Species, Growing Seasons, Life Cycles and Global Warming

Climate change changes the climate. What effects does the change in climate have upon life? Plants, animals and insects are impacted in a variety of ways. As the globe warms, growing seasons my be extended further north in the northern hemisphere and further south in the southern hemisphere. This allows some plants to migrate and flourish while it kills other plants. The same holds true for certain species of animals and insects. For instance, it reduces the hibernation period for some snakes. It has also been shown to extend the range of the cuckoo wasp. The cuckoo wasp is a parasite that kills native bees.

Invasive species in North America include the Burmese python, the snakehead (a carnivorous fish capable of walking across land a.k.a frankenfish), the zebra mussel, gobies and mile-a-minute weed.

By definition, “invasive species” are “an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health” (U.S. Executive Order 13112). It is estimated that invasive species cost $137 billion per year according to a 1999 Cornell University Study.

Invasive Plants: America’s Most NOT Wanted

While weeds and pests in the garden can be frustrating and time consuming to control, in nature invasive species can wreak havoc.

By definition, an “invasive” species is a non-native plant, animal or other organism that, once introduced into a new environment, out-competes native species for habitat and food. Although not all exotic species are invasive, those that are can cause tremendous problems.

Particularly troubling is the fact that a number of non-native plants that people have brought into their gardens as ornamentals have turned out to be some of the most damaging species when introduced into natural habitats. With global warming, many of these species are expected to gain even more of a foothold.

– National Wildlife Federation

Invasive Species

Since earliest times, humans have deliberately or inadvertently moved organisms from one place to another. Most of our food and forestry crops and domesticated animals, for example, are introduced species, cultivated far beyond their normal ranges. In recent years, though, the rate of such translocations has increased dramatically because of greater movement of the human population, providing numerous new pathways for unintended movement of organisms.

Not all introduced species are able to spread successfully and become invasive; most quickly succumb in their new environments. However, when species are introduced into environments free of the diseases and predators they faced in their native habitat, or when species grow and reproduce more rapidly than similar organisms in their new habitat, they may pose a significant threat to local ecosystem functions and biodiversity or even cause harm to human health. Their economic impact can be substantial; it reaches billions of dollars each year in the United States alone.

This Tracer Bullet lists selected books and other resources related to the many aspects of invasive species. Not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography, it is intended–as the name of the series implies–to put the reader “on target.”

– US Library of Congress

Wetlands and Invasive Plants in a Warming World

They’re out there. Little by little, a silent invasion is sweeping across the northeast landscape, and the rest of the world for that matter. An oft overlooked but devastating ecological crisis: invasive, exotic plants are exacting a toll on New England’s array of forests, fields, and wetlands.

The invaders – released outside their native lands, notably Europe and Asia – got their foothold here in the early 19th century. At that time, Americans were embracing plants from across the globe for both ornamental and agricultural purposes. Now infamous for escaping their garden boundaries, the ecological havoc wrought by these plants on our natural systems is well documented. Free from the insect and disease predators of their native countries, invasive plants can easily out-compete and displace entire native plant communities.

Let’s keep in mind why plants are crucial to life on earth. They are the only organisms capable of capturing the sun’s energy and, through photosynthesis, converting that energy into food for animals, including us. Insects play a critical role in food webs by consuming native plants, and in doing so, transferring the energy otherwise locked in plants to other animals (for example, birds and frogs) that prey upon them.

Most native insects cannot or will not eat invasive plants. When native plants are crowded out by invasives, insects — including many that are beneficial to people — are deprived of essential food sources, ultimately leading to a weakened food chain. As native vegetation and native wildlife are inextricably linked, what was once a healthy, tightly integrated assemblage of native plants and wildlife begins to unravel.

What, then, does the specter of plant invasions have to do with wetlands and global warming? Plenty. While much attention has been brought to anticipated sea level rise and increased frequency and intensity of storms due to climate change – all of which adversely impact coastal wetlands – much uncertainty remains about the fate of our inland marshes and swamps in the face of rising temperatures.

At least one variable seems a little more predictable, however: USDA plant scientists are finding that increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (a primary driver of climate change) appear to favor the growth of some invasive plants over their native counterparts. If such observations hold true, we could witness an even more dramatic expansion of non-native plants blanketing our most coveted open spaces, especially wetlands.

– Environmental Protection Agency (2008)

By 2050 Warming to Doom Million Species, Study Says

By 2050, rising temperatures exacerbated by human-induced belches of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could send more than a million of Earth’s land-dwelling plants and animals down the road to extinction, according to a recent study.

“Climate change now represents at least as great a threat to the number of species surviving on Earth as habitat- destruction and modification,” said Chris Thomas, a conservation biologist at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

According to the researchers’ collective results, the predicted range of climate change by 2050 will place 15 to 35 percent of the 1,103 species studied at risk of extinction. The numbers are expected to hold up when extrapolated globally, potentially dooming more than a million species.

As global warming interacts with other factors such as habitat-destruction, invasive species, and the build up of carbon dioxide in the landscape, the risk of extinction increases even further, they say.
– National Geographic (2004)

Ozone Know Zone

Q: What can I do to help with the ozone problem?

A: There are many actions you can take. First, it helps to understand the “double wammy” ozone problem.

1. Stratospheric ozone depletion
2. Tropospheric ozone creation

“Stratospheric ozone depletion is a concern because the ozone layer in the stratosphere keeps 95-99% of the suns ultraviolet radiation from striking the earth.” — NASA

Tropospheric ozone is low level ozone caused by humans. Tropospheric ozone is “bad ozone” that causes health problems in humans, plants to die and other destructive results.

“Tropospheric ozone is formed by the interaction of sunlight, particularly ultraviolet light, with hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which are emitted by automobiles, gasoline vapors, fossil fuel power plants, refineries, and certain other industries.” — National Center for Atmospheric Research

The double wammy is that as humans cause the depletion of the stratospheric ozone we accelerate the creation of tropospheric ozone. Therefore, anything we can do to reduce stratospheric ozone depletion will slow the creation of tropospheric ozone, and anything we can do to reduce the pollutants that cause low level ozone will slow the creation of troposhperic ozone.

You could think of it as having created a giant magnifying glass above the earth, as well as, lots of little explosive charges (potential reactions) near the Earth’s surface. On hot, sunny days there are lots of “bangs.” By reducing the power of the magnifying glass or reducing the amount of potential reactions, we could reduce the amount of bad ozone (tropospheric) being created.

Q: What can be done to help create, or slow the depletion of, stratospheric ozone?
This is the harder part of the problem. Creating stratospheric ozone is a slow process. Also, the causes of stratospheric ozone depletion are severe and long lasting. “It is estimated that one Chlorine atom can convert 100,000 molecules of Ozone into Oxygen before that chlorine becomes part of a less reactive compound.” ChloroFluorocarbons (CFC’s) are man-made and are thought to be the main cause of stratospheric ozone depletion. In the 1970’s the United States and sevearl other countries banned the use of CFC’s in aerosol-sprays. Since 1987, the United Nations have been trying to phase out the usage of ChloroFluorocarbons in air conditioning and refrigeration units, too. CFC’s are organic compounds composed of carbon, fluorine, chlorine, and hydrogen. CFC’s are manufactured under the trademarked name Freon (a DuPont trademark.)

“Despite considerable action to protect the ozone layer, there is no clear evidence of a recovery. Climate change may now be contributing to ozone depletion.” — Canada’s Clean Air On-line

Q: What can be done to slow the creation of tropospheric ozone?
Tropospheric ozone is highly volatile and does not last long. Therefore, the less gasoline vapors, fossil fuel power plants and similar pollution, then the quicker we can help solve the tropospheric ozone problem.

The solution to both the stratospheric and tropospheric ozone problems leads to same conclusion — slow human induced climate change. Following are some specific things we can do.

* Support nuclear power plants
* Encourage wind, solar and hydro electric
* Conserve, conserve, conserve
o Drive less, plan trips better and car pool
o Turn off appliances
o Use alternative methods for drying clothes and cooking
o Insulate
o Buy goods produced locally
o Get the most fuel efficiency from your car
o Turn down the thermostat on your furnace and hot water heater
o Turn up the thermostat on your air conditioning
o Wear clothing to minimize the need for climate control
* Eat less meat

Please think of how much this will help plants and animals. As for humans, stratospheric ozone depletion results in skin cancer, eye damage and other harmful health issues caused by UV rays. Tropospheric ozone creation results in lung damage, asthma and other impacts that are harmful to our health.

Also See: The Trees’ Canopy Collapse

The Trees Canopy Collapse

Foliage Spoilage and the Trees’ Canopy Collapse

1. Overview
It would appear that there is a complex chaotic system in play that is resulting in the deforestation of the Earth. There are many factors contributing to situation; however, low level ozone appears to be the leading cause of destruction. Following is an abstract from a study started in 2001 and continuing through the present.

2. Sampling Of Contributing Variables
1. Pollution
It is difficult to list “types” of pollution that are causing the death of trees. For instance, what is acid rain? Is it air pollution or water pollution? And, there are some forms of pollution that have not yet been widely recognized, such as, thermal pollution. Originally, we thought instead of trying to define the type of pollution that is contributing to the mass mortality of the forests, why not just consider how “human output” is to blame? However, it would appear decisive and immediate action needs to be taken if we are to have any hope of slowing the defoliation. At the top of the list of suspects is ozone. Quite a few studies have been conducted that show ozone pollution causes leaf death eventually resulting in dying trees.

2. Water
During the recent past there has been an unprecedented number of droughts and a measurable decline in the water table. Other severe weather including floods, winds, ice storms, etc. are also breaking records.

Too Much Rain (Water Pollution / Acid Rain)
Trees are being attacked both from above and below. Ground water contamination is causing damage to the trees. Perhaps more evident is the effects of acid rain and acid fog. For many years, there has been alarming documentation of massive deforestation due to acid pollution in precipitation.
3. Pests
Insects and Worms
Some of the tree mortality might be from regularly occurring life cycles of critters like the gypsy moth caterpillar and the elm borer. However, the decline of the bee population and changes in the worm population appear to be a relatively new phenomenon. There is a serious pollination problem due to the devastation of bee colonies. The cause is not fully understood. Tree deaths due to the change in worms is thought to be a result of pH changes caused by acid rain.
Alien Invasion
Eurasian, as well as, other “foreign” plants and insects are taking over many species that evolved in the Americas. [e.g ailanthus (tree of heaven), Queen Anne's Lace, earthworms colonizing North Eastern forests, MALB (Asian ladybug beetles), bamboo, morning glory, the list of invasive plants goes on and on.]
Examples: Beetlemania and Utah Beetles

3. Conclusion
Human activities are contributing to tree mortality and deforestation. Humans have also induced climate change in other ways. The combination of human induced climate change and human induced tree mortality are creating a cycle of exponential chain reactions. A better way to say it might be — the veiled causes of the current tree deaths are an unanticipated result of human activities. This new form of deforestation contributes to more global warming. An increase in global warming and human induced climate change intensifies the rate of tree mortalities. The result could very well be “foliage spoilage and the trees’ canopy collapse” in the very, very near future.

Also see:
Ozone Know Zone
Tropospheric Ozone = Low Ozone = Bad Ozone