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Old 07-09-2011, 12:40   #61
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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Birds and other animals do it all the time. Species ride the oceans and on the backs of other animals to make their ways across the oceans. We just speed them up. But in general, I too disagree with introducing one species to deal with what we see as a problem of another species. The real solution would be to quite making things worse and let the earth heal herself.
Last species I remember that was introduced into a non native habitat was the African "Killer" Bees. Last I heard, that was not working out real well. Intended or not.
I understand some species piggy back on currents, others roam and others stay in their home range. Was not some star fish transplanted onto the great barrier reef and now its killing the reef? And the solution? Introduce the starfishes primary predator?? Its like we did not learn a thing.

I just dont understand the reasoning. Im with you, quit sticking our nose into the things we do not understand.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:53   #62
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

I do understand the concern about introducing non-native species to an ecosystem.
Dr. Higa's research showed that the particular organisms that were selected for the Effective Microbes solution were already present/indigenous around the globe. In many cases these microbes were suppressed due to chemicals that had been applied or arrived via runoff but these same organisms were already there.
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:22   #63
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

I, for one, do not need scientists to tell me that nature is under too much pressure. I have been out there I have seen what is going on. People who claim human impact is insignificant are dangerous ignorants.

But it is comfortable to be an ignorant - and keep on sticking to the old ways. After all, we will be out of here in no time. Future generations can live on a landfill, who cares.

?

Sad.

b.
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:44   #64
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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I do understand the concern about introducing non-native species to an ecosystem.
Dr. Higa's research showed that the particular organisms that were selected for the Effective Microbes solution were already present/indigenous around the globe. In many cases these microbes were suppressed due to chemicals that had been applied or arrived via runoff but these same organisms were already there.
It appears there may be *some* validity to Dr. Higa's claims.

However, Science Electronic Library, sited in Peru as part of a joint project with Brazil, lists a peer reviewed paper titled Effective Microorganisms: Myth or reality?

It goes into a lot of detail, but the easiest to understand are the conclusions, which are as follows (verbatim):

1. There is a great amount of non-reliable information about EM. This information is always positive about the effectiveness of EM with a clear business oriented targets.

2. Educate the society towards a critical way of thinking when choosing a product to use. Having on mind that there is no magic product that solves their problems.

3. Due to the fact that there could be a beneficial effect of EM in tropical countries (where research has been carried out with satisfactory results although no reliable and testable data have been published) and unexpected findings with potential benefits have been found, more research is needed.
So, non-reliable, not replicable information, not a good thing. Indications that it *may* have some positive effects in tropical countries require further research.

We always need to be careful with these magic bullets that come out, especially if broad reaching claims are made.

Solutions for specific problems (soils in tropical conditions) may not be applicable in other cases.
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Old 07-09-2011, 16:36   #65
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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. . . A group of geologists has formally proposed designating a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene, which would encompass the past 200 years or so of geologic history. The action is appropriate, say the authors, because during the past 2 centuries, human activity has become the primary driver of most of the major changes in Earth's topography and climate. . .
With that concept of "Anthropocene" epoch I can heartily agree except the are missing a zero from the "past 200 years." Make that "past 2000 years." Every since the Greeks, Romans and subsequent major civilizations start cutting down every tree within eyesight for ship building and masts making and other purposes the surface of the earth has been drastically altered faster than anything Mother Nature can do.
- - Over-cropping, denuding natural watersheds and gosh - the list goes on and on - humans have seriously changed things in the necessary purposes of feeding and housing and transporting humanity across the surfaces of the planet.
- - Only recently - witness the greening of the desert and permaculture have humans started to address the need to restore areas to production. So maybe there is hope after all.
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Old 07-09-2011, 17:21   #66
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

You know that all we need to do fix the problem is to outlaw medicine; all of it. Only take a couple of generations for everytime to balance back out as the population drops like a rock.

Who has that Smallpox stuff stored?

Who wants to start?
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Old 07-09-2011, 17:30   #67
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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You know that all we need to do fix the problem is to outlaw medicine; all of it. Only take a couple of generations for everytime to balance back out as the population drops like a rock.

Who has that Smallpox stuff stored?

Who wants to start?
my kids have a great game along thse lines....PANDEMIC -2

Play Pandemic 2, a free online game on Kongregate
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Old 07-09-2011, 18:54   #68
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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The world's population is around 7 millions. If you assume an average stand up space for each human of 1.6 meters high by .4 meters wide by .3 meters thick you could fit the whole human population of the world in a box about 1.1 km each side.
...
OK, that's a pretty amazing fact.

But the real point is, well..., what is the real point of fitting the earths population in a 1 kilometer cube?

Hmmm...

Let's do some math.

.4 meters x .3 meters is about 1.29 square feet.

Just because I already had some of the math done, let's use 1 square foot instead.:

At only 1 square foot per person, 7 billion people would cover a little over 610 km2.

But, really, how many people live in only 1 square foot? How much of the earth are we really using?

Total land area - 149 million km2
Unusable - 59 million (arid land; steep, high mountains)
Usable - 90 million

Urban - 5 million (paved, buildings, etc.)
Crops - 13 million
Pasture - 34 million
---------------------
Total used - 52 million

Usable but unused - 33 million

% of usable land left unused? 37%

So, average square feet used by one person? 79,576

Total population the earth could hold if each used the same amount of land? 11.5 billion

A fair number of the figures above came from here:
==> Areas -- Arid Lands and Other Biologically Non-Productive Lands

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Old 07-09-2011, 20:04   #69
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

It took a million and a half years for the human population of this planet to reach one billion. That happened around 1805-1810. When I was born in 1940, the world population was 2.24 billion. Now it is 7 billion [close anyway]. When I was a kid in Maine there were miles and miles of forestland and hills that I could roam over, often not seeing anyone else all day. Now I volunteer with the Forest Service to help out on popular trails in the North Cascades and we often speak to over 100 visitors per day. I have watched the landscape defiled and the waters polluted. It does not matter if humans have caused, affected or exacerbated the climate change which is occurring. It is happening. Without zero population growth we cannot slow or ameliorate the coming disaster. There are just too damn many of us, and we wield our technology in silly, childish ways.
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Old 08-09-2011, 00:18   #70
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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We always need to be careful with these magic bullets that come out, especially if broad reaching claims are made.
Your insinuation that I consider or present the Effective Microbes culture as a "magic bullet" is patronizing and uncalled for.

If you need a peer reviewed study before you can make a decision or try something new you will miss out on much that nature and life has to offer. So sad.

I do not need randomized double blind placebo controlled trial or peer reviewed study to tell me when something is working. In the course of my academic and working career I have coordinated enough research studies and clinical trials to know that the concept of a double blind trial as
absolute proof of efficacy is fallacious. The design of a study can often be (and frequently is) adjusted to favour a particular outcome favourable to the sponsor. This is why seemingly similar studies can produce mixed results. Sometimes the study design is excellent, sometimes just plain sloppy.

We continue to use the EM culture because it works well in the areas to which we apply it. I first heard about it from friends who run a small dairy in Costa Rica. They spray their milking parlour and adjacent holding pen with an AEM solution daily to keep the odours down, which keeps the fly population down. Knowing that I have a sensitive nose, they suggested we try it in the marine head and in the RV. Prior products were simply perfuming the odours rather than eliminating them. With AEM, the odours are actually eliminated and the plumbing even works better. We continue to find new uses for it. If it works, we keep using it.

I send samples of my garden soil and compost to the ag lab for testing twice a year. There has been a measurable improvement in my soil and compost since we started using EM. Our garden is producing a larger quantity of higher quality vegetables, fruits and grains with fewer inputs and minimal insect or disease pressures. The amount of EM that we need to use each year is decreasing as the beneficial microbe population stabilizes. BTW, I garden in a Mediterranean climate, not a tropical one.

The statement in the Wageningen research article that farmers continue to use EM simply because of "the amount of positive information circulating all over the world about EM" is ludicrous. Farming has very narrow profit margins. Farmers are not going to spend money on a product that doesn't provide a benefit, especially in the poorer regions of the world.

Humans can chose to work and live in harmony with nature, or against her. Nature will always win in the end.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:10   #71
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

BareFtGrl mentioned TED but I didnt see any link to Jeremy Jackson's TED presentation about Ocean Destruction 2 years ago. The great thing about TED is that it is always involves science and statistics. Jackson does not disappoint in that regard, especially when it comes to overfishing.

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In this bracing talk, coral reef ecologist Jeremy Jackson lays out the shocking state of the ocean today: overfished, overheated, polluted, with indicators that things will get much worse. Astonishing photos and stats make the case.
Link: Jeremy Jackson: How we wrecked the ocean | Video on TED.com
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:42   #72
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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Your insinuation that I consider or present the Effective Microbes culture as a "magic bullet" is patronizing and uncalled for.
I was not referring your characterization of EM, but Higa's. The peer reviewed paper I previously posted states the same.

Quote:
If you need a peer reviewed study before you can make a decision or try something new you will miss out on much that nature and life has to offer. So sad.

I do not need randomized double blind placebo controlled trial or peer reviewed study to tell me when something is working. In the course of my academic and working career I have coordinated enough research studies and clinical trials to know that the concept of a double blind trial as
absolute proof of efficacy is fallacious. The design of a study can often be (and frequently is) adjusted to favour a particular outcome favourable to the sponsor. This is why seemingly similar studies can produce mixed results. Sometimes the study design is excellent, sometimes just plain sloppy.
I sat on our province's Endangered Species board for 14 years, evaluating among other things, the implementation of recovery plans proposed by the scientists who were experts in their fields. Previously, I sat for 7 years on our Wildlife Advisory, which oversaw the funding of research projects.

I understand science well, I understand the process well, and have seen processes that pass scientific rigor and those that don't. I believe I am qualified to make judgments on peer review as well as anyone.

A key issue is replicability, one that Higa himself agrees is of concern.

Quote:
We continue to use the EM culture because it works well in the areas to which we apply it. I first heard about it from friends who run a small dairy in Costa Rica. They spray their milking parlour and adjacent holding pen with an AEM solution daily to keep the odours down, which keeps the fly population down.
And this is exactly what was said in the paper I posted as point 3 in its conclusons, that there is some evidence that it works in tropical countries:

"3. Due to the fact that there could be a beneficial effect of EM in tropical countries (where research has been carried out with satisfactory results although no reliable and testable data have been published) and unexpected findings with potential benefits have been found, more research is needed."


Quote:
The amount of EM that we need to use each year is decreasing as the beneficial microbe population stabilizes. BTW, I garden in a Mediterranean climate, not a tropical one.
That only emphasizes that more research is applicable, don't you think? What you are experiencing shows there is some evidence that further research should be done, which is exactly what the conclusion said.

It also said that what is out now has too much emphasis on commercialization, and that always raises red flags, don't you agree?

Quote:
Humans can chose to work and live in harmony with nature, or against her. Nature will always win in the end.
You have NO idea how much you and I agree on this one.

Quoting from this Wikipedia entry:
"The Effective Microorganisms concept may be considered controversial in some quarters and there may not be scientific evidence to support all of its proponents' claims. This is acknowledged by Higa in a 1994 paper co-authored by Higa and soil microbiologist James F Parr, a USDA Research, they conclude in that, "the main limitation...is the problem of reproducibility and lack of consistent results."[2]."
So Dr. Higa himself acknowledges there may be limitations, and is confirming the same issue raised by the paper that I posted earlier.

MermaidMuse, when you look at these issues in totality, and with your research background, I think you would agree that there is some evidence (including your own experiences) that EM works, in some cases. I would hope you would agree that it needs much further study to determine the efficacy in other cases.

My concern is that the emphasis is on marketing (a plethora of companies do so with glowing claims), as opposed to more relevant studies. The concept has been around long enough one would think that researchers would have picked up on it by now.
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Old 08-09-2011, 13:30   #73
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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. . . I sat on our province's Endangered Species board for 14 years, evaluating among other things, the implementation of recovery plans proposed by the scientists who were experts in their fields. Previously, I sat for 7 years on our Wildlife Advisory, which oversaw the funding of research projects. . .
As having been where you have been you must be acquainted with "unintended consequences" - something that few if any, including supposed and actual scientists ever spend much time thinking about. This naive narrow-sightedness problem helped spawn the need for "environmental impact statements."
- - The mass introduction of a biological "cure" has more than once come back to bite with a new problem worse than the original. Not always, but enough to make intelligent folks wary.
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Old 08-09-2011, 14:31   #74
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

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As having been where you have been you must be acquainted with "unintended consequences" - something that few if any, including supposed and actual scientists ever spend much time thinking about. This naive narrow-sightedness problem helped spawn the need for "environmental impact statements."
Actually, significant thought is put into "unintended consequences" when contemplation of mitigation efforts are discussed by the scientific experts.

The negative impacts of prior human actions in attempting to "fix things" or "let's introduce (pick your favorite critter) here because the climate is similar" has caused most credible scientists from seriously considering such strategies for some time now.

Quote:
- - The mass introduction of a biological "cure" has more than once come back to bite with a new problem worse than the original. Not always, but enough to make intelligent folks wary.
Exactly, which is why I get concerned when "magic bullets" that cure all sorts of evil get promoted, especially if the science behind them is sketchy or nonexistent.
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Old 08-09-2011, 22:10   #75
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Re: Man's Effect on Deep Ocean - Scary Study

I'm leary of any biological cure that uses non-indigenous or man made (or artificially altered) organisms. Sadly there are a number of peer reviewed "scientific" studies that promote the safety of these as well.

I don't believe in magic bullets either. I do believe in working with nature, using materials that nature provides. Nature has better engineering skills.
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