Comments by bilwil

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Posted on July 12 at 4:16 p.m.

Nick Welsh cites state water board officials' opinion that reactivation of our local desalination plant “would probably win approval so long as it mitigates its deadly impacts on microscopic sea life … [and] comes equipped with the most restrictive mesh screening to keep tiny sea creatures from being sucked into the expensive … water-making machine.”

The recent book “Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Oceans,” by Lisa-ann Gershwin, has raised concern as to what may be an unstoppable worldwide proliferation of jellyfish; this being fed by sea waters' warming, increased acidification, and depleting oxygen (on which jellies thrive) as well as by the massive creation of floating home bases for jellies' offspring created by plastic bags and by the escalating disappearance of jellies' predators - sea turtles - via plastic bag ingestion.

Teisha Rowland, in a November 18, 2010 Independent article, wrote, in part “...increases in jellyfish numbers have … caused ...damage to desalination and nuclear power plants (by clogging pipes carrying water)”

Indeed, in 2006 the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan had to leave its Australian port because jellyfish were destroying the cooling of its nuclear plant by massively clogging its water intake pipes.

Is there a plan to avoid this possibility in a resurrected desalination plant, not only perhaps by jellyfish, but by other organisms that, though not sucked into the system, could massively clog its vents?

William Smithers

On Santa Barbara Paying More for Less Water

Posted on July 10 at 12:43 p.m.

For those who would like further information on the uses and consequences of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in our community, please take a look at this half-hour television interview with Chris Wrather, Chair of Los Alamos' Planning Committee and Bob Field, president of a Santa Ynez Valley water company.

William Smithers

On No on P

Posted on June 17 at 2:51 p.m.

I urge readers of The Independent to take a look at this half-hour television interview with Chris Wrather, Chair of the Planning Commission in the Los Alamos Valley and Bob Field, Chair of the Planning Commission in the Santa Ynez Valley (and president of a local water company) as they discuss the wisdom of fracking in Santa Barbara County.

(The program includes film produced by The Ecologist that prominently features Cornell University's Professor of Engineering Tony Ingraffia, described by that organization as "a pioneer in fracture mechanics.")

William Smithers

On The Fracking Truth

Posted on April 4 at 7:19 p.m.

For many years, whenever I'm on the 101 between Montecito, Santa Barbara and Goleta, I drive in the slow lane at 55 mph to conserve fuel and to minimize my contribution to global warming.

I'm sorry to say the only other cars traveling at that speed are the ones behind me waiting to get off at the next exit.

William Smithers

On Every time you drive your car, do you think about ...

Posted on April 2 at 1:28 p.m.

The citation of the year 2050 is significant.

A number of climate scientists have said that if global warming is not drastically altered by 2050, that year may well be a "tipping point," beyond which there is nothing to be done but suffer the catastrophic consequences.

The response to this warning by the Santa Barbara County Supervisors, including Supervisor Janet Wolf, is in effect identical to what is on record from other politicians: "Remind me in 2049."!!

The California Coastal Commission rejected the Board's previous attempt to deal with erosion at Goleta Beach. The rock wall (revetment) that the Board now proposes to keep has been illegal for more than five years.

In other words, our county representatives have done nothing more than kick the can down the road. Forgive me for suggesting that when the s**t hits the fan on this coast, they won't be looking for votes anymore.

For those who would still like to see a thorough explication of Goleta Beach 2,0, please take a look at this award-nominated half-hour television interview with the Environmental Defense Center's Brian Trautwein. It includes video taken on Goleta Beach with clear descriptions of the significant features of Goleta Beach 2.0, and what has been attempted previously to deal with erosion there.

On Wolf and the Beach

Posted on March 13 at 2:10 p.m.

For those who'd like to review the actual features of Goleta Beach 2.0, please take a look at this half-hour television interview of the Environmental Defense Center's Brian Trautwein. It includes video footage taken at the beach and explains clearly the vital features of the county's proposed way to deal with coastal erosion there.

On Protect and Restore Goleta Beach

Posted on February 18 at 7:37 p.m.

I challenge any of you Snappy Sneerers - who characteristically offer nothing of substance - to deny any of the following:

In its 3rd Assessment, the International Panel of Climate Scientists, told us that, merely to maintain the then-current level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, we'd have to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels by 60 – 80 percent.

Instead, the world has consistently increased its use and production of same; within a matter of years we will reach, for the first time in the history of human life on earth, 400 parts per million.

Within the next few years – for the first time in at least three million years – we will see an ice-free Arctic summer.

Methane is 25-30 times more virulent than carbon dioxide as a stimulant to rising temperatures.

There are vast quantities of methane -far exceeding the amount of CO2 now lodged in our atmosphere - buried in the top ten feet of soil throughout the planet, including the sea beds of previously or currently iced over oceans.

When ice and frozen soil trapping this gas melt and thaw, methane is freed to join Co2 in the atmosphere.

Currently, millions of square miles of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf are bubbling with escaping methane; recent studies say twice the amount previously estimated. In the US, scientific journals report 50% to 150% more methane is vaulting from oil and agricultural operations than previously had been thought.

If the current escalation of earth, air and water temperatures begin to warm the Arctic Sea and its floor and cause the escape of these long-trapped reserves of methane, thereby multiplying the existing effects of CO2, we may reach an average Earth temperature of 4.5 – 6.0 degrees Celsius, or more, above normal.

Should that happen, plant life cannot adapt to the escalating heat in time to provide adequate food supplies.

Scientific reports show that even now the oceans have lost 40 percent of their phytoplankton, the base of the oceanic food chain, due to climate-related acidification and atmospheric temperature variations.

There is therefore the distinct possibility that, as a result of our relatively ineffective attention to these phenomena, we humans may not be able to feed ourselves and will not survive.

Finally, the findings and the consensus of the global scientific community: “Climate change has not hit a 'speed bump.' The planet's temperature is not remaining steady and it certainly isn't cooling. Earth, especially its oceans are heating up … and rapidly”

William Smithers

On Elizabeth Kolbert on the End of the World

Posted on February 17 at 11:25 p.m.

Between 150 and 200 species are currently going extinct daily, 1,000 times the "normal" rate during the "Great Dying" period millions of years ago, which was closely related to increased levels of methane, according to UCSB atmospheric and oceanic scientist Ira Leifer.

Methane, a product of the decay of organic matter in an oxygen-deprived environment, is now the most deadly threat to us all, being 25-30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as stimulant to increased temperatures. As earth air and water warm, the vast quantities of methane buried in previously frozen earth and ice just beneath the land and Arctic sea beds are being released into the atmosphere, multiplying the effect of carbon dioxide.

If there is sufficient release of these immense quantities of methane, the escalating earth temperatures will not be able to sustain plant growth. This, coupled with the known decrease of 40% of the ocean's phytoplankton - the basis of the seas' food chain - spells possible eradication of the human species, since there will then not be enough food to sustain life.

If you question this, please read the Op-Ed Piece "Death by Gas - the Sentence for Us All?" in Noozhawk under "Opinions."

William Smithers

On Elizabeth Kolbert on the End of the World

Posted on January 8 at 10:39 p.m.

Which of the following is meant by "Just Sayin'"?

1) I don't stand behind anything I say; I just like to shoot my mouth off.
2) This MIGHT be my opinion, but if it is don't hold it against me.
3) If the wind blows in a different direction, I might shift with it. You understand, don't you?


On Global Freezing?

Posted on January 8 at 6:50 p.m.

" ...the scientists set out to PROVE warming by documenting increased melting ice." ???!!!

Is anyone pretending that this is not a false statement?

Scientific organizations all over the world are attempting to add to our knowledge by, among other things, measuring the thickness and extent of ice coverage in various areas - Arctic Sea, the Antarctic, Bering Ice Shelf, mountain ranges, etc., etc. in an effort to establish WHETHER OR NOT there has been ice loss in these areas. The result, of course, is meant to add to our knowledge of what is taking place.

Is anyone pretending that the original poster's intention was not to throw doubt on the useful purpose of the entrapped scientists and to imply that the media should have suggested the silliness of their efforts: gee, surrounded by ice when trying to measure ice.,


On Global Freezing?

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