Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ezra the Science Chicken

Ezra Levant: The Golden Life on Shallow-Tailings Pond : For the Birds.

I have blogged a few times about lifecycle. Everyone has an understanding, but nobody can truly quantify what it is. By nature, it is complex. We all have a different perspective and ,by nature, the science and mathematics of lifecycle is a model or speculation. Why can we not fully understand nor predict natural systems? Ask the Weather Channel. In nature, there is no "yes" or "no", those are human constructs, symbols. All we actually have is reality.

We have models, like our theory of gravity. We are getting better at these complex models everyday. Just look at Watson, from IBM. That is complexity you can understand. It is not perfect, but, much better than 99.99% of what is out there. I hope you understand my perspective, so far. Watson did not provide a yes or no, Watson did some crazy computer stuff. I hope you can appreciate the math! I do!

Lifecycle can be applied to any natural system: the events of ones own life, the life of something like an Oak tree or the bird that lives in it. From an environmental perspective, lifecycle comparisons must also include the total ecosystem: meaning to mathematically equate two events, one must use science to demonstrate the total impact on the environment. The complexity of each system must also be understood. Which is lifecycle more complex? In nature, simplicity wins, it uses less energy.

On tailings pond: Here is the article that Ezra wrote.

Honestly trying to correlate “tarsand tailings pond victims” to “wind turbine bird victims” is environmentally unethical and mathematically ignorant, especially when showing a numerical resultant without the supporting calculations, nor numerical analysis.

Looking at any “singular event”, and excluding the “total impact, as a whole” is unethical in science. An ethical professional scientist would not endorse “a dishonest study”, since it would knowingly fail peer review, by scientists. If you get a group of unethical scientists or ones you can easily fool, maybe you can start consulting tomorrow for Stephen Harper, just like Ezra.

Ezra, in Koch damage control, it teeing up the next volley of truthiness about wind turbines. A scientist understands the risks that wind turbines pose on the environment. Things that hit the turbines can get injured. Birds that land in tailings ponds also get injured. Darwin taught us some lessons in this. Ezra comparing the ethics of wind versus the ethics of tarsand is a funded enterprise. Darwin taught us some lessons in survival. Ezra lives on “Golden Pond”.

The total environmental impact of tarsands exploitation versus the wind industry is a simple analysis for smart people. Why? Because an honest comparison is laughable, just like Ezra. Ezra trashing wind to justify the ethics of tarsand is classical Koch Law, and Ezra excels at dishonest discourse, it is his job.

For demonstration purposes, lets take a quick look at the mathematical complexity of both. This is not scientific, but quickly demonstrates why the ethics of wind is superior to that of oil. It also demonstrates that Ezras' argument is just another for profit exercise for his slick masters.

Quick Wind Risk Lifecycle:

The rotors spin around and generate electricity when there is wind. Energy required to manufacture and transport and erect the turbine. Energy required to maintain the system. Animal risks: hitting the blades = not good. Operation provides clean power.

Quick Tarsand Risk Lifecycle:

On tailings pond, the birds are not the lone victims. The tailings pond is just part of the total tarsand system. One must also include the physical landscape that is striped for bitumen ( destroying the ecosystem of plants, trees, watersheds and digging up the homes of animals, insects, microrganisms, bacteria and lets not forget the invertebrates). Look at the capital investments in the “total machinery used” ( that consumes oil and energy ) to destroy ( using energy ) the ecosystem to expose the bitumen product. Then the product is transported ( using energy & perhaps squashing a black footed ferret en route ) to the processing facility ( think of the resources and energy to build the facilities: very expensive to maintain and operate and waste heat energy and produced pollution) where the toxic mess is processed, using more energy and large volumes of local clean water resources that release toxic and GHG emissions, resulting in the crude oil product. This oil is then transported, again, and sold to be further processed, then transported, again, to customers. This oil is then consumed as gas, plastic and other nasty and some useful stuff.

So, when we look at the total lifecycle, we must add up the facilities. But, I am not done yet, it never finishes. If we look at the total extraction of tarsands from Alberta and Saskatchewan and the disruption over the total lifecycle of the entire project you will finally come to the conclusion that Ezra Levant is being paid to lie and spin the facts. Surprised? Of course not.

The anti-wind conservatives have been nailing wind in Ontario hard. So much so, they got offshore wind projects delayed. The groups are well organized and I have blogged about their distaste for offshore wind. This same theme is being played out in the USA and the UK. Rich people that think looking at a wind turbine destroys the beauty of nature. It also serves the purpose of maintaining dirty energy and scare people into believing that wind is dangerous.

The anti-wind groups have published their “findings” which are re-purposed faulty science studies used in the US to fight environmental progress. What is most interesting is that if one looks at the fine print on these anti-wind sites, they tell you that they do not endorse the science. That would make them liable, something any lawyer will tell you is a bad thing, much like what Ezra is doing.

Saying that wind turbines kills 445 times more birds than the oilsands is a weak statement. The city of Toronto, alone, has over 1,000,000 bird fatalities per year from striking buildings.

You do the math. If you believe Ezra, then you should enroll in some math courses and learn that Ezra is a liar and a dishonest person.


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