Friday, September 9, 2016

Either Climate Change, Deforestation & Ocean Dead Zones are real or Worldview obsessed Science takes funding priority

Big troubles within the Science of Physics & ongoing issues with Astrobiology
Photo courtesy of CERN
Science News: Supersymmetry’s absence at LHC puzzles physicists
The CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) took about a decade to build at a cost of $4.75 Billion to fund. It was started up in 2008, then abruptly shut down for repairs and restarted in 2009. Forbes estimated the total final cost of finding the mysterious Higgs Boson to be around $13.25 Billion. Of course Forbes estimated this back in 2012. Who knows the real costs today ? Here are some quotes from the article:
Some important quotes: "A beautiful but unproved theory of particle physics is withering in the harsh light of data."  
"For decades, many particle physicists have devoted themselves to the beloved theory, known as supersymmetry. But it’s beginning to seem that the zoo of new particles that the theory predicts —the heavier cousins of known particles — may live only in physicists’ imaginations. Or if such particles, known as superpartners, do exist, they’re not what physicists expected."   
"New data from the world’s most powerful particle accelerator — the Large Hadron Collider, now operating at higher energies than ever before — show no traces of superpartners."
Unbelievable. All this time it has been something mostly in the "Imaginations of Physicists" ? All these billions of dollars invested and nothing. As far as climate change, deforestation, ocean dead zones and a plethora of other Earth shattering realities, how much serious money and research have the world's authorities and leading experts actually put into the Earth's ecology ? Thus far all I continue to see is the Nightly News providing us with the usual ideologically driven political squabblings ? Well, enough of that, I believe it all speaks for itself. Now for my next pet peeve - Astrobiology

image: Proxima b, artist's vision, by ESO/M. Kornmesser via Science Daily.

The headlines last month were all a buzz with grandiose announcements and proclamations of another earth-like planet discovered. The illustrated image above is not an actual photograph, but rather an imaginary depiction by an artist as to what he believes it to be. No life of course:
Planet found in habitable zone around nearest star (Science Daily)
Then there was one headline from the (BBC) which read: "Neighbouring star Proxima Centauri has Earth-sized planet" - Then this remarkable admission and quote within the article by the BBC Science Correspondent, Jonathan Amos, who wrote, 
“the discovery of a planet potentially favourable to life in our cosmic neighbourhood is likely to fire the imagination.”
There's that word/term "imagination" again. Is anybody interested in reality anymore ? I suppose if you assume something, anything is possible. Same with imagination, if you just imagine enough, it seems to make it so. Kinda like the X-Files Agent Mulder's poster in his office, "I want to Believe." But imagination seems to be more and more an attribute Scientists call upon to mask their limited human inexperience. Astrobiology is steeped in imagination. It's the science discipline still looking for a subject. It's the science of "could," "maybe," "possibly," and "might."  It thrives on generalizations, conjectures, assumptions and assertions. Unfortunately imagining something does not make it so. And yet it gets wide funding. But there are clearly other more important scientific areas which deserve more funding based on the urgency. I've written previously about Astrobiology:
Astrobiology or Earth's Biology - which ?
Let's focus on just one important subject in dire need of more funding, "Climate Change"
Recent News out there now says that "La Niña" is a bust. It's fizzled. NOAA is calling for below average precipitation and above average temperatures in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, southern Alaska and the lower half of the USA in general. Interestingly, most people are comfortable with things staying just as they are. In the case of climate change and the ongoing lack of viable solutions from the scientific community, this spells disaster not only for the southwestern USA, but the entire globe. Still, valuable scientific resources and earnest efforts continue to fall well short. Sci-Fi World illusions allow people to escape our world's negative reality even if it's momentary. The bad news now is there will be no "La Niña" for the West coast of the USA for cooler temperatures. Just more of the same. If humans don't get a handle on this, their goose is cooked, literally. And it has to be a united effort to succeed. Fat chance of that actually happening. 
Important Update - October 5, 2016 
This article is beautiful & exactly what I'm talking about 
image - modernfarmer.com

Growing food and creating a livable environment are two engineering
challenges on Mars that are just as important as making fuel.
Those Martian settlements sound great, but something important is missing 
The article is interesting in that Annalee Newitz, Tech Culture Editor at Ars Technica, is clearly excited about a possible future Sci-Fi world mission to Mars, but also extremely caustious about the more important things first. Rocket technology, fuels, etc are important, but how will astronauts survive there ? They have no clue how to properly care for the Earth, let alone survive and live on Mars making this terribly uninhabitable place habitable.. 
"We still don't understand how to control our own planet's environment, let alone one on a world we've only been exploring for a few decades. That's why Martian environmental science will be important for Earth's future, too. If we can figure out how to live sustainably on Mars, we will have the tools to save the Earth many times over."

Image by John Rogers Cox - "White Cloud" (1943)
NOAA’s Official 2016/17 Winter Outlook for in the USA
For over the past two decades now the biggest problem boils down to the scientific community not paying attention to real scientific issues and as a result they've lost a lot of credibility even among relatively well educated people. Throughout the world and in particular the United States, the scientific community has immersed itself within all the various culture wars and as a result there is a growing majority consumed by purvasive apathy and complacency. The world leadership's opposing ideologues (Secular & Religious) who do nothing but bicker about various environmental crisis are in truth the mirror image of each other. Neither side likes hearing that, but it's true. They remind me of two entirely different people in an amcient Roman Public Privy sharing the same sponge after the job is done. Today in the United States there are two viciously opposed ideologies who believe they know what is best when it comes to the environment. Trust me folks, they both share the  Same exact sponge


Image from listvers.com, Roman Life

While there is certainly a plethora of negativity in most of the Nightly News Reports these days, I did read one nice piece by Marine Biologist, William Graham, who today wrote about Earth's web of life and the awesome interconnectedness within all ecosystems. Bill is presently teaching a year-long environmental education program to high school students that is based on the conservation of the web of life. The holistic character of Nature seems to make a lot of sense to many of his students. Below is the link to the article.

Nature's Web of Life
The Art, Soul, And Science Of A Connected Nature
http://www.freshvista.com/2016/our-web-of-life
Image - ENENEWS

William Graham's piece got me thinking however on what has become of the web of life today. He had a nicely defined summary of what it was in the past and is supposed to be in his post this morning:
“Web of Life” paints a metaphorical picture. It suggests a vision. One can almost see lots of living interconnected  organisms as the words roll off your tongue.  If you like to see dictionary definitions, “Web of Life” is described as a succession of organisms in an ecological community that are linked to each other through the transfer of energy and nutrients.
I love that description and in times past earth was once more that way than it is at present. The title, "Earth's Web of Life" got me thinking of the way humans have molded and mutated that web of life through their irresponsible custodianship. I found an archived photo I had saved of spider's webs from both the Chernobyl and Fukashima disasters. The Spider's web above is the result of radiation poison's effects on the spider and it's instinctive sophisticated ability at constructing the perfect fishnet spider web. Clearly this spider's genetic informational memory has been greatly altered by the negative epigenetic responses to damaging outside environmental influences. And I pondered how this web above is in reality more representative of what humankind has done to our once healthy Earth Web of Life that no longer exists as it once did. That Fukashima spiderweb photo is the exact representation of what human leadership has done to our Earth's Web of Life. Look at where the funding is going people and understand where their priorities lay.

2 comments:

  1. Kevin: I fully agree with you. By 2050, humanity will be facing huge problems caused by its steamroller approach to domination. Food shortage, wars over agricultural land ownership, etc. My students will be 50 years old then. Their kids will be thirty. It is this next generation who will be dealing with the altered web of life which you describe. Maybe I'm being simple minded, but my approach is to work NOW with these young people in hopes of building a new consciousness that might stop or reverse those altered spider webs that you speak of -- all while saving the race. But, as I've noted, Nature will go on with or without humans. We are expendable.

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    Replies
    1. Not sure if you've come back here again Bill, but I've updated this post with an article from someone who has the same observations about all this hype about going to Mars. Yet questions, when will we spend billions on fixing problems here. Is 2016 one of the most insanes years you've ever experience when it comes to the truth and logic ?

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