Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Global Maps from Orbiting Carbon Observatory

 

 

 

 

  This is very important because it clearly uncouples fossil fuel co2 from the burning of savanna in the southern hemisphere and makes our whole global CO2 story dicey.    Remember we use only Hawaii and now it is clearly driven by rising southern hemisphere CO2.  Worse we can no longer apply that number to the Norther Hemisphere at all.


It could well be that we have been wrong all the way along.  Our proxy may only be measuring the trend in agricultural waste burning in the tropics.  Better yet the only CO2 hot spot is China as fully expected in the northern hemisphere.  What appears worse is that northern CO2 is visually at least an order of magnitude less intensified


There are also anomalies.   Just why India is not providing a signal needs to be understood.  This is all good.


First Global Maps from Orbiting Carbon Observatory

 http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/19dec_oco/

Dec. 19, 2014: The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission show elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across the Southern Hemisphere from springtime biomass burning and hint at potential surprises to come. 

At a media briefing  at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California; Colorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins; and the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, presented the maps of carbon dioxide and a related phenomenon known as solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and discussed their potential implications. 

Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11, as recorded by NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Carbon dioxide concentrations are highest above northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 
A global map covering Oct. 1 through Nov. 17 shows elevated carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere above northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil. 

"Preliminary analysis shows these signals are largely driven by the seasonal burning of savannas and forests," said OCO-2 Deputy Project Scientist Annmarie Eldering, of JPL. The team is comparing these measurements with data from other satellites to clarify how much of the observed concentration is likely due to biomass burning. 

The time period covered by the new maps is spring in the Southern Hemisphere, when agricultural fires and land clearing are widespread. The impact of these activities on global carbon dioxide has not been well quantified. As OCO-2 acquires more data, Eldering said, its Southern Hemisphere measurements could lead to an improved understanding of the relative importance in these regions of photosynthesis in tropical plants, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and biomass burning, which releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. 

The early OCO-2 data hint at some potential surprises to come. "The agreement between OCO-2 and models based on existing carbon dioxide data is remarkably good, but there are some interesting differences," said Christopher O'Dell, an assistant professor at CSU and member of OCO-2's science team. "Some of the differences may be due to systematic errors in our measurements, and we are currently in the process of nailing these down. But some of the differences are likely due to gaps in our current knowledge of carbon sources in certain regions -- gaps that OCO-2 will help fill in."


splash

This map shows solar-induced fluorescence, a plant process that occurs during photosynthesis, from Aug. through Oct. 2014 as measured by NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. This period is springtime in the Southern Hemisphere and fall in the Northern Hemisphere. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has no distinguishing features to show what its source was. Elevated carbon dioxide over a region could have a natural cause -- for example, a drought that reduces plant growth -- or a human cause. At today's briefing, JPL scientist Christian Frankenberg introduced a map using a new type of data analysis from OCO-2 that can help scientists distinguish the gas's natural sources. 

Through photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and use sunlight to synthesize the carbon into food. Plants end up re-emitting about one percent of the sunlight at longer wavelengths. Using one of OCO-2's three spectrometer instruments, scientists can measure the re-emitted light, known as solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF). This measurement complements OCO-2's carbon dioxide data with information on when and where plants are drawing carbon from the atmosphere. 

"Where OCO-2 really excels is the sheer amount of data being collected within a day, about one million measurements across a narrow swath," Frankenberg said. "For fluorescence, this enables us, for the first time, to look at features on the five- to 10-kilometer scale on a daily basis." SIF can be measured even through moderately thick clouds, so it will be especially useful in understanding regions like the Amazon where cloud cover thwarts most spaceborne observations. 

The changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide that OCO-2 seeks to measure are so small that the mission must take unusual precautions to ensure the instrument is free of errors. For that reason, the spacecraft was designed so that it can make an extra maneuver. In addition to gathering a straight line of data like a lawnmower swath, the instrument can point at a single target on the ground for a total of seven minutes as it passes overhead. That requires the spacecraft to turn sideways and make a half cartwheel to keep the target in its sights. 

The targets OCO-2 uses are stations in the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON), a collaborative effort of multiple international institutions. TCCON has been collecting carbon dioxide data for about five years, and its measurements are fully calibrated and extremely accurate. At the same time that OCO-2 targets a TCCON site, a ground-based instrument at the site makes the same measurement. The extent to which the two measurements agree indicates how well calibrated the OCO-2 sensors are. 

Additional maps released today showed the results of these targeting maneuvers over two TCCON sites in California and one in Australia. "Early results are very promising," said Paul Wennberg, a professor at Caltech and head of the TCCON network. "Over the next few months, the team will refine the OCO-2 data, and we anticipate that these comparisons will continue to improve."

NASA monitors Earth's vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth's interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet. 

For more information about NASA's Earth science activities this year, see: http://www.nasa.gov

Pope Francis is the Man who Would Not be King





The church was never meant to anoint a king. Now we have a pope who clearly understands that. In fact applying his influence correctly, the church could usher in the true kingdom of heaven as an imitation of Jesus and his brilliant demonstration of the Rule of Twelve.


We are due also. The current econimic model is literally about to dissolve, just as fast as we can produce automobile motors. That ends the fuel tax on all incomes globally and hte surplus of cash washing around the economy will underwrite a total rebuilding of our economy.


As one can expect change is coming so persuasive that no one is even able to imagine it except to be fearful of their own small piece of it. The surprising thing is that the Church itself could be the best agency to manage this huge revolution.



As an aside, it has always bemused me that Popes so easily accepted the accoutrements of high office. It was rightly thought of as a form of hypocrisy that was unbecoming. That the church at times became a true petty crown in the medieval sense did not help matters much although it must be said that such bred reaction that physically cleansed the church and has led to far more universally devout organization we see today.


In what other way could such true moral leaders have ever arisen?



Pope Francis is the Man who would not be King


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014

BY GORDON MACRAE


http://www.speroforum.com/a/ZXBHBDAQLZ44/75362-Pope-Francis-is-the-Man-who-would-not-be-King#.VIvngivF-no


Media reports about the Vatican Synod on the Family inflamed divisions in the Church. Pope Francis drew fire for accommodations to the left and capitulations to the right.


Martin Barillas, the devoutly Catholic editor of Spero News for which I am an occasional columnist, recently gifted me with a set of leather-bound Latin breviaries published in 1927, and are in superb condition. I am struck by how foreign it feels to pray the Divine Office in Latin, and yet how strangely familiar and wonderful. In prison, I had forgotten how beautiful and majestic prayer in Latin can be. Martin has given me a wonderful reminder that the treasures of Catholic Tradition must be preserved and guarded.


I am also most grateful to Carlos Caso-Rosendi for his guest post “Love Through the Tempest” while I have been stranded with limited means to write. The comments on that post were excellent, and helped put to rest the unease of many readers struggling to understand Pope Francis and his agenda for the Church. The ongoing tensions between traditionalist and progressive Catholics arose anew as the media filtered Pope Francis during and after the recent Synod on the Family.


While Carlos penned his post from his home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I was busy writing “Pope Francis and the Scandal of Listening“as a follow-up to it forTheseStoneWalls. Neither Carlos nor I knew in advance what each other would be writing, but it came as no surprise to me that we both focused on the tempest surrounding Pope Francis.


So what is this pope really up to, and why? From the first days of his papacy, the first non-European to sit in the Chair of Peter in over 1,200 years drew the cheers of progressives and the unease of traditionalists. He declines to wear those papal red shoes. He insists on living in a Vatican guest house instead of the Apostolic Palace. He seems, for lack of any better description, the pope who would not be king.


ON THE COVER INSTEAD OF DUCKING FOR COVER


Meanwhile, some very worldly accolades have been thrust upon Pope Francis. Forbes just listed him as one of the four most powerful men on Earth. He was on the cover of Time magazine as “Man of the Year” for 2013. When Fortune magazine announced its 2014 list of the world’s fifty most effective leaders, Pope Francis topped the list at number one.



It is most suspect that much of the Western World’s left-leaning news media finds this pope to be fascinating. The news media seems to have forgotten, as have our uneasy Catholic traditionalists, that just two years ago, news about the pope took the form of things like SNAP’S attempt to indict him at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for a media-hyped charge of “Crimes Against Humanity.”


It was an ignorant and bigoted attack on the papacy and the person of Pope Emeritus Benedict that I wrote of in “SNAP’s Last Gasp” Most Catholic progressives and traditionalists were silent. When Pope Benedict XVI, still beloved of most of us, went to England for the Beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman, celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins created a media spectacle by calling for his arrest and imprisonment when he set foot on British soil. Most Catholic progressives and traditionalists were silent.


And when that hapless United Nations committee I described in “The U.N. in the Time of Cholera” aimed its sights at Pope Emeritus Benedict, despite its being the height of hypocrisy, most Catholic progressives and traditionalists were silent.


Were we better off when scorn and derision were the face of the Church and papacy? Have traditionalist Catholics become so accustomed to anti-Catholic slurs in the media that we find it suspect when the Pope and Church are honored? In just a year and a half, Pope Francis has changed the image of the papacy with approval ratings that the U.S. President must envy right about now.


I get it – and we should all get it – that the world’s “approval ratings” should not be of any concern to this Pope. There’s an argument to be made that the world’s approval comes at a price we should not pay. It may be for good reason that the accolades of the world thrust upon Pope Francis make a lot of us, the Catholics in the trenches who are living and defending our treasury of faith, most uneasy.


As I alluded at the end of “Pope Francis and the Scandal of Listening,” my Catholic traditionalism begins with the most fundamental tradition of belief about the occupant of the Chair of Peter. He is chosen by the Spirit working within the Church despite our discomforts, and despite media misrepresentations he endures.



“GOD IS NOT AFRAID OF NEW THINGS!”


Of course God is not afraid of new things! For all the rest of us, however, change can be suspect, especially when it appears to surrender ground in a long, hard-fought culture war. I know that Pope Francis raises the alarm of Catholic conservatives when he engages culture in a dialogue of inclusivity. He is listening to people and issues many of us would prefer that he not hear from so willingly.



But let’s face it, a dialogue of Catholic Exclusivity has harmed the Church far more. Yes, this Pope’s recent sound bite, “God is not afraid of new things,” has been endlessly quoted out of context by the Catholic left. But to be fair, that other now famous papal quote, “Who am I to judge?” has been a repeated and cynical taunt of the Catholic right.



It isn’t that we fear change so much as we reverence the things that this world would casually, callously dump by the wayside of history to accommodate and feed a frivolous, self-indulgent culture. The Catholic Church in America, especially, has seen that ground taken by fiat, legislated from the bench in a sort of judicial eminent domain. Like all things American, judicial fiats of commission, like Roe v. Wade, and omission, like the Supreme Court’s recent nod to same-sex marriage, spread unquestioned through the Western World.



After the recent synod, the news media would have us believe that the story of pope Francis is simple: a left-leaning Pope whose progressive social agenda has been held back by stodgy traditionalist Catholics who “won this round.” It’s the media view, but it’s by no means an accurate view. One surprising source of sanity and accuracy was a recent TIME article by Elizabeth Dias entitled, “Sorry, but Media Coverage of Pope Francis is Papal Bull,” (TIME, October 29, 2014):



“Every news outlet both major and minor has got the story wrong proving once again that the mainstream media has no understanding of the Church, and this madness shows no signs of stopping.”



It’s a madness that goes far beyond mistranslating this Pope. The news media has an agenda, and its reporting is very much in the service of that agenda. I believe that Catholic writers, including and especially Catholic bloggers, have a sacred duty to rise above partisanship to write in service of the Church and the truth, and not just in service of their particular mindset, right or left.


This recently posted statement by Cardinal Raymond Burke portrays the harm that can be done when agendas rule our allegiance:


“I did not state that Pope Francis has harmed the Church… Sadly, confusion, such as that generated by this particular interview, has been used to portray those opposed to Cardinal Kasper’s thesis as motivated by a personal animus against the Holy Father. This is just not the case, though it no doubt helps those with certain ideological axes to grind to make this appear so” (Interview with Raymond Cardinal Burke).


THE LEFT AND RIGHT IN AN UNCIVIL WAR


A week or so before the U.S. elections on November 4, I had a telephone conversation with a life long friend I grew up with in Massachusetts. She had seen my post, “Dangerous Liaisons,” in which I described efforts by Martha Coakley, a prosecutor who just ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Massachusetts, to keep wrongly convicted people in prison. TSW readers may readily see why I had such a concern.


My friend agreed with me that this was a HUGE problem, that it created a great conflict for her, but added that she had no choice but to vote for Martha Coakley. When I asked why, she said, “Because she’s the Democrat; right or wrong, she’s the Democrat.”


It was a stark reminder of something that played out in the background during our most recent Catholic tug-of-war between left and right: the midterm elections in the United States. If you had the misfortune of watching even a half-hour of American television during the last two months, then you observed first hand the negative attack ads and the obsession with winning and losing into which our politics have degraded. America is descending into an ideological civil war.


The evidence for this might have been a global scandal in a more just and even-handed world. It might have been a scandal if not for the fact that the news media is itself so ideologically driven. In this month’s midterm elections, the political left and right spent more than $4 billion attacking each other in television ads. That $4 billion for a single partisan election is without precedent in American history.


Three Senate races, in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee, each spent in excess of $100 million for TV attack ads. And for what? For the simple and simply base purpose of one party dominating over another? To no longer serve American interests, but party interests?


Like all things American, this great divide now dominates Western Culture. Just look at how quickly and seamlessly the American social change over same-sex marriage – a change imposed by judicial fiat – swept the Western World. It should come as no surprise that the Catholic Church in America is also descending into this ideological civil war.


I have many questions and some grave concerns over this Pope’s challenges to Catholic Traditionalists. I am very concerned about the justice and charity in the handling of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and other groups that have held fast in expressions of Catholic Tradition. But above all, Traditionalists must respond with grace and charity, not leave the Gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the field of battle.


Pope Francis is very fond of the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). He employs its imagery often and, for what it’s worth, so do I – most recently in “Pope Francis has a Challenge for the Prodigal Sons Older Brother.”


Francis has said that within that parable can be found the entire Gospel. The parable is also about the always faithful older brother concerned that the doors of his Father’s house are opening to the one who left to squander his inheritance on the peripheries.


The symbolism is very rich. In issuing his protest in the parable, the faithful older brother stands outside the house while his brother celebrates inside. “You have always been with me,” pleads his Father, “and everything I have is yours, but your brother was lost, and now he is found” (see Luke 15:31-32).


That, for me, is the key to being a faithful Catholic Traditionalist. There is no problem with our expressions of concern, or even our protests. But we must never issue them while standing outside the house. The great challenge is to stand with Francis – cum Petra - in trust of the Holy Spirit even as the waves of anxiety about the forces of this world crash over us.


That takes certain grounding in another unassailable truth of the Gospel: Standing with Peter, the Gates of Hell cannot prevail against us.

Scientists Link Autism To These Toxic Chemicals During Fetal Development


This work is tightening up the story for autism.  Add in the recent knowledge of pathological changes in the brain as well and we have clear targets for the first time.  Again, the circumstantial linkage between roundup and brain defects leading to autism is compelling and convincing.  Yet regulators are sitting on their hands.


Add in the bee collapse and it is becoming clear that our chemical protocols as well as our chemical fertilizer systems are becoming unsustainable.  Thus transition to organics could well become mandatory and completely necessary.


This push is likely to make it far faster than i had expected.  The damage is too deep and too real to fend off.  As it is the customers are already shifting and supply chains are springing up to demand proper product.  


I am also sure every farmer is investigating how he might go there.  Thus while it took sixty years to create this industrial agricultural model, it can take far less to tear it down.  we already have the power assist and know how is shared easily today.



.
Scientists Link Autism To These Toxic Chemicals During Fetal Development


May 11, 2014 by Arjun Walia


http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/05/11/new-study-links-autism-to-toxin-exposure/

The cause of autism is still unknown, but we are definitely closer to figuring it out. A new study published in the journalPLOS Computational Biology, from researchers at the University of Chicago revealed that autism and intellectual disability (ID) rates are linked with exposure to harmful environmental factors during congenital development.
Essentially what happens is during pregnancy… there are certain sensitive periods where the fetus is very vulnerable to a range of small molecules – from things like plasticisers, prescription drugs, environmental pesticides and other things. Some of these small molecules essentially alter normal development. Autism appears to be strongly correlated with rate of congenital malformations of the genitals in males across the country, this gives an indicator of environmental load and the effect is surprisingly strong. The strongest predictors for autism were associated with the environment; congenital malformations on the reproductive system in males.” (1) –  Andrey Rzhetsky, professor of genetic medicine and human genetics at the University of Chicago
The team analyzed data that covered more than one third of the U.S. population. Data from individual states and more than 2,100 counties were used. Fetuses, particularly males, are sensitive to multiple toxins such as environmental lead, medications and a wide variety of other synthetic molecules, like pesticides, mercury and more. Exposure to these toxins during critical stages of development is thought to explain a large portion of congenital reproductive malformations.
“It’s really a very significant study, and should trigger the medical community, the scientific community and the government, looking at this especially interesting avenue for the prevention of autism. We know that one of the ways to show that there is a problem with pollution is to show through the presence of these reproductive defects and we know that there is a relationship between the presence of these defects and the presence of autism related disorders” Dr. Harbut, Providence-St John Environmental Medicine Expert
This isn’t the first time that scientists have linked autism to the environment. In 2009, Hertz-Picciotto and Lora Delwiche of the UC Dais Department of Public Health Sciences analyzed 17 years of state data that tracks developmental disabilities.
“It’s time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California.” (2) – Irva Hertz – Picciotto, epidemiology professor at University of California, David
Our environment is full of neurodevelopmental toxins, which means they alter how the brain grows. Mercury, polychlorinated diphenyl, lead, brominated flame retardants and pesticides are a few of many examples. Don’t forget about insecticides and herbicides.
Another recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicinecompared brain autopsies of autistic children who had died from unrelated causes to those of normal ones. The autistic brains demonstrated abnormal patches of disorganized neurons that disrupted the usual distinct layers in the brain’s cortex. The study suggests that abnormalities occurred in utero during key developmental stages between 19 to 30 weeks gestation. It’s not just the toxin, it’s the timing of the exposure as well.(3)
In the United States alone, autism rates have risen from 1:10,000 in 1981 to 1:68 in 2014. Again, multiple studies point to the prevalence of toxins in our environment as the culprit, and there are toxins in many things. No doubt about it, we might not be looking at one cause for autism, but multiple factors associated with how we choose to live our lives on a daily basis.
So, let’s take a look at some of these toxins that could be linked to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
One factor I’d like to touch upon first is the fact that autism rates in Europe have remained pretty steady over the last decade. This coincides with the fact that in more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or complete bans on the production and sale of GMOs and the pesticides that go with them. In the United States, government agencies have approved massive amounts of pesticides, completely ignoring the fact that they are linked to numerous health ailments. Not long ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently raised the allowable concentrations of Monsanto’s glyphosate, also known as “Roundup” on food crops, edible oils and animal feed (you can read more about that here). Although we don’t know for sure, it’s important to at least consider the large increase in Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs) and the massive amount of chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) that are dumped on them every year. These pesticides have been linked to numerous health ailments.
A group of scientists put together a comprehensive review of existing data that shows how European regulators have known that Monsanto’s glyphosate causes a number of birth malformations since at least 2002. Regulators misled the public about glyphosate’s safety, and in Germany the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety told the European Commission that there was no evidence to suggest that glyphosate causes birth defects.
This study was published by Earth Open Sources, which is an organization that uses open source collaboration to advance sustainable food production. The report was headed by Dr M. Antoniou, Head Gene Expression and Therapy Group, from the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London School of Medicine, UK. Dr. Antoniou was joined by 6 other doctors who have a similar biography. The report provides a comprehensive review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature documenting the serious health hazards posed by glyphosate and Roundup herbicide formulations. You can read the entire document here.
“Our examination of the evidence leads us to the conclusion that the current approval of glyphosate and Roundup is deeply flawed and unreliable. In this report, we examine the industry studies and regulatory documents that led to the approval of glyphosate. We show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s and 1990s that glyphosate causes malformation – but that this information was not made public. We demonstrate how EU regulators reasoned their way from clear evidence of glyphosate’s teratogenicity in industry’s own studies to a conclusion that minimized these findings in the EU Commission’s final review report”
Here is another study that shows Glyphosate can cause abnormalities. It was published in 2010 by the American Chemical Society, the research was conducted at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“The direct effect of glyphosate on early mechanisms of morphogenesis in vertebrate embryos opens concerns about the clinical findings from human offspring in populations exposed to glyphosate in agricultural fields.”
Another study outlines how glyphosate toxicity leads to suppression of critical enzymes, and as a result links the Western diet to heart disease, Alzheimer, Parkinson, autism and more. (4)
Glyphosate has also been linked to cancer, and various other health ailments. There are numerous studies documenting this and you can find our more information here.
It’s no secret that the brain of an embryo, fetus, or infant is at risk for significant and permanent damage from exposure to chemicals, like pesticides. Not long ago, a study published in the Journal Reproductive Toxicologysuccessfully identified the presence of pesticides – associated with genetically modified foods in maternal, fetal and non-pregnant women’s blood. They also found the presence of Monsanto’s Bt toxin, and warn about toxin exposure during critical stages of development. (5)
The study concluded, apart from pesticides, that Monsanto’s Bt toxins are clearly detectable and appear to cross the placenta to the fetus. Some studies have linked Monsanto’s Bt toxin to cancer, damaging kidney cells, and more, especially when they are combined with Round-up
Multiple studies outline the need for further research when it comes to GMOs before we can say they are 100 % safe for consumption.
“Given the potential toxicity of these environmental pollutants and the fragility of the fetus, more studies are needed, particularly those using the placental transfer approach. Thus, our present results will provide baseline data for future studies exploring a new area of research relating to nutrition, toxicology and reproduction in women. Today, obstetric-gynecological disorders that are associated with environmental chemicals are not known.  Thus, knowing the actual concentration of genetically modified foods in humans constitutes a cornerstone in the advancement of research in this area.” (5)
There is more research confirming that mothers who are exposed to commonly used, “safe” pesticides give birth to children with lower intelligence, structural brain abnormalities, behavioral disorders, compromised motor skills, higher rates of brain cancer and small head size. (6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)
In Late 2013, the European Food Safety Authority determined that pesticides, like neonicotinamides (linked to killing millions of bees, read more about that here) may negatively affect the development of neurons and brain structures in unborn babies. (16)
These are largely produced by Bayer pharmaceuticals.
“Given the ubiquitous exposure to many environmental toxicants, there needs to be renewed efforts to prevent harm. Such prevention should not await detailed evidence on individual hazards. Toxic exposure to chemical pollutants during these windows of increased susceptibility can cause disease and disability in childhood and across the entire span of human life.”(17)  – Worlds foremost pediatricians, toxicologists, environmental scientists and epidemiologists at a conference held in 2007
Scientists at the conference (quote above) emphasized that common exposure to chemicals during critical stages of development of the fetus or newborns increases their chances of contracting diabetes, cancer, thyroid damage and more.
“Chemical pollution represents a serious threat to children, and to Man’s survival.” (18)  – The Standing Committee of European Doctors.
Did you know that Americans alone are exposed to approximately 100,000 industrial chemicals? When it comes to babies, all pregnant woman are literally stuffed with hazardous chemicals. One study illustrated the tracking of just 163 chemicals, in which 99 percent of pregnant women tested positive for at least 43 different chemicals. (19)
There has even been significant concentrations of glyphosate found in the urine of people across Europe. You can read more about that here.   A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey, titled “Pesticides in Mississippi Air and Rain: A Comparison Between 1995 and 2007,” reveals that Roundup herbicide (aka glyphosate) and its toxic degradation byproduct AMPA were found in over 75% of the air and rain samples tested from Mississippi in 2007. You can read more about that here.
The above makes it clear, toxins, especially when fetuses and newborns are exposed to them have the potential to be extremely harmful.  So what else are they exposed to at a young age apart from environmental toxins? They are exposed to toxins commonly found in vaccinations.
Let’s be clear, more and more researchers are now considering the fact that toxins at critical stages of development can play a role in autism (as stated and illustrated many times in this article). The vaccine/autism debate has been a controversial one, but for pro-vaccine advocates, saying there is absolutely zero cause for concern is ridiculous. Just because something hasn’t been found, does not mean there is zero cause for concern. So lets look at both sides.
A study published in March of 2013 determined that “Increasing exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides (antigens) in Vaccines is Not Associated with Risk of Autism.” You can view that study here.
On the other hand, a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Translational Neurodegeneration provided epidemiological evidence supporting an association between increasing organic-Hg exposure from thimerosal-containing childhood and the risk of ASD diagnosis. You can take a look at that study here.
A paper published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health titled Thimerosal Exposure and the Role of Sulfation Chemistry and Thiol Availability in Autism  concluded:
“With the rate of children diagnosed with an ASD in the US now exceeding 1 in 50 children and the rate of children with neurodevelopment/behavioral disorders in the US now exceeding 1 in 6 children, and the preceding evidence showing that there is vulnerability to ™ that would not be known without extensive testing, the preponderance of the evidence indicates that ™ should be removed from all vaccines”
The list goes on and on, bottom line, vaccines are full of toxins, and they are administered at critical stages of development, which includes pregnant woman. This study (study linking autism to toxin exposure) further pushes the importance of looking at the multiple vaccines babies are bombarded with at birth, and the toxins found within them. For more CE articles on vaccines and autism, click HERE.
It also doesn’t help that vaccine manufactures and health authorities have known about and covered up (hidden from parents) dangers associated with vaccinations in order to protect herd immunity. Documents obtained by Lucija Tomljenovic,  PhD, from the Neural Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Opthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia reveal that vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and health authorities have known about multiple dangers associated with vaccines but chose to withhold them from the public. (20)
At the end of the day, you always have a choice and you shouldn’t make that decision based on fear. Ridding your personal environment from harmful pesticides and toxins does contribute to a healthier environment. From personal experience, living in a virtually chemical free environment for a few years now, the difference felt when stepping into another is overwhelming. It’s amazing how desensitized we’ve become, and how we fail to notice these things on a daily basis.
Sources:
6.Rauh V, Arunajadai S, Horton M, Perera F, Hoepner L, Barr DB, et al. 2011. Seven-Year Neurodevelopmental Scores and Prenatal Exposure to Chlorpyrifos, a Common Agricultural Pesticide. Environ Health Perspect 119:1196-1201. 
7. Bouchard M, Chevrier J, Harley K, Kogut K, Vedar M, Calderon N, Trujillo C, Johnson C, Bradman A, Barr D, Eskenazi B. Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticides and IQ in 7-Year Old Children. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1003185
8. Engel S, et al. Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphates, Paraoxonase 1, and Cognitive Development in Childhood. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1003183
9. Horton M, et al. Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Piperonyl Butoxide and Permethrin on 36-Month Neurodevelopment. Pediatrics 2011; 127:3 e699-e706; doi:10.1542/peds.2010-0133
10.  Horton M, Kahn L, Perera F, Barr D, Rauh V. Does the home environment and the sex of the child modify the adverse effects of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos on child working memory? Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.ntt.2012.07.004
11. Rauh V, et al. Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide. PNAS 2012 109 (20) 7871-7876; published ahead of print April 30, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203396109
12.Oulhote Y, Bouchard M, Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate and Pyrethroid Pesticides and Behavioral Problems in Canadian Children Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306667
14. Greenop K, Peters S, Bailey H, et al. Exposure to pesticides and the risk of childhood brain tumors. Cancer Causes & Control. April 2013
15. Kimura-Kuroda J, Komuta Y, Kuroda Y, Hayashi M, Kawano H (2012) Nicotine-Like Effects of the Neonicotinoid Insecticides Acetamiprid and Imidacloprid on Cerebellar Neurons from Neonatal Rats. PLoS ONE 7(2): e32432. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.003243
(19) Tracey J. Woodruff, Ami R. Zota, Jackie M. Schwartz. Environmental Chemicals in Pregnant Women in the US: NHANES 2003-2004. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002727

Mysterious Origin of the Viking Sword Ulfberht

An Ulfberht sword displayed at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany. (Martin Kraft/Wikimedia Commons)














How does one recreate master craftsmanship derived from millennia of empirical research that has been lost? At least they still make real Samurai swords.

It is this that has made these famous swords almost mystical in reputation. Here we get further hints regarding what went into such craftsmanship.


The sword has at least been replicated and that is a great step.

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A Step Closer to the Mysterious Origin of the Viking Sword Ulfberht



The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In "Beyond Science" Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide.

Ulfberht was like a Medieval luxury brand for swords—but unlike your Gucci purse, the swords were of such high quality they were almost … mystical.

Dozens of these swords—made with metal so strong and pure it’s baffling how any sword maker of that time could have accomplished it—have been found in Europe, along with some knock-offs. They are all marked with the Ulfberht name and two crosses, though some of the imitations are missing a letter here or there.

New research brings us closer to the source of the swords, to the kiln in which these legendary weapons were forged.


A previous theory held that the swords may have their origin in the Middle East or Asia, but surprisingly it seems the materials were sourced closer to where they were found, in Central Europe.
At the time the Ulfberht swords were forged (approximately 800–1000 A.D.), equally perplexing swords made of a substance called Damascus steel were being produced in the Middle East out of a raw material, known as Wootz steel, from Asia. Both Damascus steel and the Ulfbehrt’s so-called “crucible steel” had high amounts of carbon.

Ulfberht’s Perplexing Composition

Carbon can make or break a sword; if it’s not controlled to just the right amount, the sword will be either too soft or too brittle. But with just the right amount, carbon greatly strengthens the blade. The Ulfberht has a carbon content about three times higher than that of other swords of its time. It would have been astoundingly stronger and yet more flexible than other swords, as well as light-weight. It also had almost no impurities, known as slag. This would have allowed for a more even distribution of carbon.

It was thought, before Ulfberht was discovered, that the capability to remove slag to such a degree only became possible during the Industrial Revolution. Iron ore must be heated to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit to accomplish this, a feat the Ulfberht makers apparently accomplished 800 years ahead of their time. With great effort and precision, modern blacksmith Richard Furrer of Wisconsin forged a sword of Ulfberht quality using technology that would have been available in the Middle Ages. He said it was the most complicated thing he’d ever made, and he used methods not known to have been used by people of that time.






swords-Damascus-1
A sword made of Damascus steel. (NearEMPTiness/Wikimedia Commons)
Damascus Steel’s Perplexing Composition

The secret of making the Middle East’s Damascus Steel has only reemerged under the inspection of scanning electron microscopes in modern laboratories. It was first used around 300 B.C. and the knowledge seems to have been inexplicably lost around the mid-18th century.


Nanotechnology was involved, in the sense that materials were added during the steel’s production to create chemical reactions at the quantum level, explains archaeology expert K. Kris Hirst in an article written for About Education. It was a kind of alchemy.


Hirst cited a study led by Peter Paufler at the University of Dresden and published in the journal Nature in 2006. Paufler and his team hypothesized that the natural properties of the source material from Asia (the Wootz steel), when combined with materials added during the production process in the Middle East, caused a reaction: “The metal developed a microstructure called ‘carbide nanotubes,’ extremely hard tubes of carbon that are expressed on the surface and create the blade’s hardness,” Hirst explained.


Materials added during the production of Damascus steel included Cassia auriculata bark, milkweed, vanadium, chromium, manganese, cobalt, nickel, and some rare elements, traces of which presumably came from the mines in India.


What happened in the mid-18th century was that the chemical makeup of the raw material altered—the minute quantities of one or more of the minerals disappeared, perhaps because the particular lode was exhausted,” Hirst wrote.


But, the Ulfberht had nothing to do with the mines of India or the Wootz steel or the milkweed or the forges of the Middle East, according to recent research.

At the Source?

Robert Lehmann, a chemist at the Institute for Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Hannover, told local publication Süd Deutsche in October that the material from which the Ulfberht was forged “certainly does not come from the East.”


He studied an Ulfberht sword found in 2012 on a pile of gravel excavated from the Weser River, which flows through Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany. This sword’s blade has a high manganese content, which signalled to Lehmann that it did not come from the East.

Article Quote: A Step Closer to the Mysterious Origin of the Viking Sword Ulfberht
A photo taken in the Taunus region of Germany. (Chris Küm/Wikimedia Commons)

A photo taken in the Taunus region of Germany. (Chris Küm/Wikimedia Commons)
The guard was made of iron with a high arsenic content, which suggests a European deposit. The pommel was covered with a sheet of tin-lead alloy. Lehmann had compiled in previous studies a map of Germany’s lead isotope sources, allowing him to determine that the pommel plate lead had come from a site in the Taunus region, just north of Frankfurt, Germany. The lead would not likely have been mined and transported elsewhere for processing, since the deposit was already largely exploited in Roman times.

This suggests that the sword was forged close to the source, bringing researchers perhaps a step closer to the elusive Ulfberht—if that is indeed the name of a swordmaker or other personage connected to the sword. While some monasteries in the Taunus region are known to have produced weapons at that time, the name of Ulfberht has not been found in their records.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Strangest Abduction Case with Brad Steiger

 


Curiously,  I no longer find this report bizarre at all.  It conforms wonderfully with my rapidly expanding understanding of our natural physics with only a small but probable additon to my knowledge base.  Yet as little as several months ago I set aside all abjuction cases as unexplanable at the least.  I had already reached the point that hallucination was failing miserably.


The key here is understanding the paramountcy of the spirit body itself and that with assistance, this spirit body is extremely capable.  It thus appears from this report and a goodly number of conforming reports, to be able to transition its material body through space at its convenience and then is also able on return as demonstrated here, able to also put back in place its original physical situation.  I am more disturbed that they did not simply heal this person as well.  That happens to be the one thing missing in all such abduction reports.  It is not like it is much of a secret anymore. 



Rather tellingly, the patient has the ability to not bother with physical transitioning at all and promises to not do it again.  The witness is excellent and is checking as best as he can.   If i had not already had a clear explanation, this report alone would have forced my hand regarding the whole abduction narrative. 


Conjecture: A large part of the UFO phenomena is substantially from the spirit world with scant involvement of the physical at all and represents an ongoing monitoring of our physical condition.  How else might they get the data?


MY STRANGEST UFO ABDUCTION CASE

Those readers familiar with my work know that I am quite skeptical about the vast majority of abductee reports.  Listening to abductees tell about their having been taken up through ceilings, out through walls, levitated out windows and taken to an alien spaceship or medical laboratory seem more to me like bizarre visionary or hallucinatory experiences.  I have no doubt that something unusual, something very special, happened to these experiencers--but what?
I first began interviewing UFO contactees and abductees in 1966 and have included their accounts in a number of books beginning with New UFO Breakthrough (with Joan Whritenour) 1968 and continuing to the present with Real Encounters, Different Dimensions, and Otherworldly Beings (with Sherry Steiger.  I have tried to consider the accounts of abductees in an objective manner, while, at the same time, wondering if the occurrences that they report might not really be personal mystical experiences that have taken place in dreams, visions, or out-of-body experiences.  My extensive study of the paranormal has convinced me that it is possible for the human soul/spirit to soar free of the normally accepted limitations of time and physical space.  An abductee’s account of being taken aboard a UFO might actually be descriptions of a spiritual/nonmaterial experience rather than an actual physical/material one.
With those introductory remarks, I have in my files the most incredible case of abduction which I have ever encountered--and there was physical proof of a most tangible kind.  This is a remarkable account of an individual who had either discovered a doorway to other dimensions of reality, along with the ability to dematerialize his physical body, or he had been granted these unique talents through his interaction with UFO entities. If the following report were not attested to by a very matter-of-fact physician associated with one of the largest, most prestigious hospitals in the Midwest, I would be extremely hesitant about sharing it with the public. 
I made contact with “Dr. William” through a correspondent who had taken a course in medicine with him. According to my correspondent, Mrs. E., William had not mentioned the experience during the several weeks' duration of the course, but one day after a class session he had mentioned it over a cup of coffee. According to William, the following occurrence took place in a hospital in Hawaii in 1968. William was then about nineteen years old, serving in the medical corps and assigned to the military section of the hospital. 
For obvious reasons I will not mention the name of the hospital in Hawaii.  Neither will I give William's full name. He is a quiet, sincere man who wishes to continue his medical career and cannot see that hisassociation with such an account would enhance his reputation as a doctor. Briefly, this is what happened: 
A bedridden patient who was in traction and totally unable to move, with pins through his tibiae and femurs, told William that he would be gone that night for one hour to join his friends in a UFO. He said that William might accompany him if  he truly believed in UFO's. 
William indulgently told the patient that he would be unable to join him that night, as he would be busy. 
Later, at bedcheck, true to his word, the patient had disappeared, leaving the metal pins on the bed. An extensive search of the hospital and the surrounding grounds by military policemen failed to produce any trace of the medically immobile man.
Here follows my questioning of Dr. William over the bizarre occurrence:
How old was this man, and why had he been brought to the military section of the hospital? 
He was about sixty, a veteran of World War II. He was kind of a sixty-year-old hippie. He had been on an LSD trip when he walked in front of a semitruck and broke both of his legs in several places. 
What was his name? 
It was a Spanish-sounding kind of name, something like "Espinia." He had bushy eyebrows, shoulder-length blondish hair, very large eyes. He had a round face, a flattened nose. His height was about five-foot-six and he was a bit chubby. 
Did you often engage Espinia in conversation? 
It was difficult not to. He was always talking about his weird techniques for meditation. 
Espinia had a strange accent. By the time I was assigned to that hospital, I had already been around the world a couple of times, and I'm a bug on accents anyway; but I simply could not place Espinia's. And he always seemed to have marijuana, or at least he seemed to be high a lot. We couldn't figure out where he was getting it. He had some pretty farout friends who came to visit him, but we always tried to search them carefully. 
 Was there anything particularly unusual about his friends? 
They were just young hippie types. Espinia was always talking about peace, love, brothethood. You know, how we should get out of the war in Vietnam. 
The night he disappeated, I was working the 11 [P.M.] to 7 [A.M.] shift. When I made the bed check, Espinia told me that he would be gone for about an hour, and he reminded me that I could come along if I wanted to. I chuckled and walked on to see about the rest of the patients. 
Espinia was in a six-man room, but that night he was alone. My post was almost right across from his room. When I sat at my desk, I could survey the entire corridor. No one could get on or off the floor without my seeing them. And, of course, there were nurses, doctors, interns, and MP's walking around. 
When I checked Espinia's room a bit later--maybe out of curiosity--he was gone. The traction weights were hanging there; the pins were on the bed; bur Espinia was gone. 
I put out an alarm, and MP's and other hospital personnel searched the place thoroughly. 
Espinia was gone. No one had seen anything. 
Oh, just a minute!  Some other patients said that they had seen a bright light, a very bright light, on that side of the building, and that would have been just before Espinia's disappearance. 
Is there any way that Espinia could have somehow removed the pins and the traction bars himself and crawled away? 
Well, first of all, a man would faint from the pain if he tried to pull those pins out. I mean, this guy was lying in that bed with both legs up, his femurs broken. Think of the terrible pain of trying to crawl under such conditions. It would be impossible! 
\
After searching the hospital--and even the grounds--for an hour, somebody looked in Espinia's room, and there he was again, back in traction, pins in place. The patient had been gone for one hour. He told his interrogators that he had been with his "friends." 
 Every pin was in its place. A doctor on the floor said that while it might be possible for a man to pull the pins out, it would be impossible for anyone to shove them back in by himself. 
Four MP's grilled him for hours, but Espinia wouldn't even reply to their questions. When they finally left him, he looked at me and told me that I could have come along with him, but his UFO friends knew that I didn't really believe in them. He said that he and his friends had spent a delightful hour flying over the Hawaiian Islands and chatting about metaphysics. 
When I chastised him for having caused such a disturbance in the hospital, Espinia became a bit sheepish and said that the next time  he went flying with his friends, he would leave his body there and just go with them in his mind. 
William swears that this iucident really happened. As I listened to him tell the story in his apartment, William's wife of a few months expressed her amazement. William had never mentioned the experience to her, and she said that she was hearing it for the first time that evening.

Gadget

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