Thursday 29th of July 2021

yes we know...





















The climate impact of wild pigs around the world is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 1.1m cars annually, according to new research.

Modelling by an international team of researchers estimates that feral pigs release 4.9m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year globally by uprooting soil.


Researcher Dr Christopher O’Bryan of the University of Queensland said feral pigs were one of the most widespread vertebrate invasive species on the planet.

“Pigs are native to Europe and parts of Asia, but they’ve been introduced to every continent except Antarctica,” he said.


“When we think of climate change, we tend to think of the classic fossil fuel problem. This is one of the additional threats to carbon, and to climate change potentially, that hasn’t really been explored in any global sense.”

Feral hogs uproot soil while searching for food, in a process O’Bryan likens to “mini tractors that are ploughing soil”. Doing so exposes microbes in the soil to oxygen. The microbes “reproduce at a rapid rate and then that can produce carbon emissions [in the form of] CO2.”

“Any form of land-use change can have an effect on carbon emissions from the soil,” O’Bryan said. “The same thing happens when you put a tractor through a field or you deforest land.”

The researchers estimate that wild pigs are uprooting an area upwards of 36,000 sq km (14,000 sq miles) in regions where they are not native.

Oceania had the largest area of land disturbed by wild pigs – roughly 22,000 sq km – followed by North America. The pigs in Oceania accounted for more than 60% of the animal’s estimated yearly emissions, emitting nearly 3m metric tonnes of CO2, equivalent to about 643,000 cars.

The findings of the study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, were drawn from three models. One model predicted wild pig density globally across 10,000 simulations, based on existing information about wild pig populations and locations.


A second model converted pig density into an area of disturbed land, and a third estimated the amount of CO2 emitted when soil is disturbed.

Nicholas Patton, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury, said there was some uncertainty in the modelling as a result of the variability of the carbon content in soils and the densities of wild pigs in different areas.

“Areas that are peat bogs or black soils … especially ones that have a lot of moisture, they’re a sink for carbon,” said Patton. “When pigs get in there and root around, they have a lot more potential for that carbon to be released [than from other soils].”

In addition to their climate impacts, the destructive impact of wild hogs has been well documented. O’Bryan said managing the animals was a challenge that would involve prioritising whichever of their impacts was deemed most significant.


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the pigs that drive...

How many cars are there in the world currently?


It is estimated that over 1 billion passenger cars travel the streets and roads of the world today. The 1 billion-unit mark was reached in 2010 for the first time ever. It's likely that including trucks an motorbikes there are 2.5 billion fossil fuel driven vehicles on the roads of the world in 2021...




This week it’s floods in Germany, 170 dead and terrible devastation.

A few weeks ago people were dying from the heat in Canada, which reached about 49 degrees Celsius in Lytton, British Columbia.

Wildfires are now breaking out across North America.


This is from the global warming that has already occurred, which is about 1.2 degrees above the pre-industrial age.

The world is now trying to stop it going above 1.5 degrees by getting emissions down to net zero by 2050.

Even if we succeed in that, which is far from guaranteed, the extreme weather events will be significantly worse and more frequent than they are now.

But at what point will governments hit the real panic button?

Because net zero by 2050 is not it.

Weighing up risk

The reason many are still negotiating, prevaricating and putting it off is that governments and businesses are not looking at global warming in terms of risk, but are using scenario analysis instead.

For example, the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority issued a draft prudential practice guide on climate change in April, which included 4 degrees of warming as one of its two “scenarios” for banks to use in their future planning.

A 4 degree rise in the average global temperature would make large parts of the planet uninhabitable and lead to the total collapse of the banking system. No need for any planning.


The other APRA scenario was for 2 degrees of warming or less, consistent with the Paris Agreement, which should happen if all countries meet their Paris pledges, which so far they’re not.

And even under that scenario, the banking system barely survives.

There was nothing especially wrong with APRA’s guidance note – it was just a typical example of the arse-covering required by bureaucrats and corporate executives to cover their environmental, social and governance (ESG) obligations, with a paper trail to prove they did it.

But it highlights the problem with using scenarios instead of risk analysis.


Since most countries are now committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, even though the policies to achieve that have not been implemented, everyone can assume that the scenario of 1.5 degrees is locked in – a likelihood of 100 per cent. But that’s not correct.

Even then there would still be a two-thirds risk of it being 2 degrees instead of 1.5, because of feedback loops caused by more carbon dioxide being released by the warming that has occurred.

Current policies, unchanged, would result in 2.4 degrees of warming, which would be terrible, but there would be a high risk (about 67 per cent) of 3 degrees, which would be catastrophic.


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not zeros bezos...

Billionaire Jeff Bezos will blast into space on Tuesday, in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard.


He will be accompanied by Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pioneer of the space race, and an 18-year-old student.


They will travel in a capsule with the biggest windows flown into space, offering stunning views of the Earth.


New Shepard, built by Bezos' company Blue Origin, is designed to serve the burgeoning market for space tourism.


"I'm excited. People keep asking me if I'm nervous. I'm not really nervous, I'm curious. I want to know what we're going to learn," Bezos said in an interview with CBS News.


"We've been training. This vehicle's ready, this crew is ready, this team is amazing. We just feel really good about it."


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When billionaires burn more oxygen in one flea-flight than a million farting pigs in a Germanic forest, one should ask questions... Come back safely, please...


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joy rides...

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, completed training on Monday for Blue Origin NS-16, a suborbital spaceflight slated to launch on Tuesday. Bezos will be joined on his company's historic launch by younger brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old aviation icon Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.

During a Monday interview with CNN, Bezos took time to respond to critics who have asserted that he and Virgin founder Richard Branson, who recently completed the 22nd flight test for the VSS Unity, are turning space travel into "joyrides for the wealthy." 

"There has been a chorus of critics saying that these flights to space are just joy rides for the wealthy, and that you should be spending your time and your money and energy trying to solve problems here on Earth," CNN's Rachael Crane said to Bezos and his crew, some 24 hours before the NS-16 launch. 

"So what do you say to those critics?" she asked, to which Bezos replied that "they're largely right." 


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