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The old cane pole

01 Jun 2022 | News Roundup

According to National Geographic, the climate crisis is indeed everywhere including the ol’ fishing hole. If you are familiar with Boxcar Willie’s song “Winds of Yesterday”, or indeed with Boxcar Willie period, we do not expect you to fess up to having seen the world from a boxcar door. But NG gets into the spirit of his “children at the old swimmin' hole, and fishin' on the river with an old cane pole” with the news that casting a RAT or similar (a RAT being a Canadian “Roy Angus Thompson” fly famous among people among whom such things are famous) “has never been simply a pastime. Fishing is summer camp. It’s Saturday with your buddy or your daughter. For millions of people, fishing is a way to grasp the wriggling natural world in your hand. In many families, fishing is art passed down as heirloom, a tradition fashioned of wisdom and bound with 10-pound test line and a Palomar knot.” And now mean old climate change is crossbreeding the fish and it’s all over.

NG profiles a Montana fishing camp and “a fly-fishing guide and climate activist” and wouldn’t you enjoy finding out that’s who you’ve just booked 8 hours in a boat with. She says clients are catching more hybrid fish, something we’re struggling to place in the Book of Revelation. See “one of the gravest threats posed by climate change to fish is genetic: Introduced fish are mating with native cutthroat trout, a mixing that has been abetted by changing water flows. If left unchecked, this could wipe out the cutthroat population, devastating a cherished American fishery.”

You’re blaming introduced fish on climate change? Not, let’s see, the people who stupidly introduced them? And your trout being a mongrel is the end? Apparently so, given that when it comes to climate change, it’s all bad news: “Rainbow trout are roughly equivalent to factory-farmed chicken. When they breed with native cutthroat, they adulterate thousands of years of wild genetic wisdom. The mongrel fish aren’t as suited to their environment or as nimble at adapting to change.” Though the Darwinians in the audience will regard that one as self-correcting, since their ungainliness in adapting to change should wipe them out leaving just the genetically wildly wise cutthroats.

Except they’ll all die unless they don’t. Evidently “Worldwide… freshwater fish went extinct twice as fast as other vertebrates during the 20th century. In North America almost 40 percent of inland fish are imperiled, a 2008 survey found – at 700 species, nearly double the number from just 20 years earlier.” That wouldn’t have anything to do with our changes to the landscape would it? As a matter of fact it does.

“We have bulldozed rivers and made them run as straight as aqueducts. We have logged mountainsides, paved riversides, and built homes there, sending silt and pollution into streams. We have introduced fish from elsewhere that outcompete the locals. And now comes climate change to land yet another blow, like a roundhouse to a battered boxer.”

Yeah. Or a character who was never even in the book appearing in the last chapter to get blamed for stuff that had already happened. Of course the story also says the creek is rising (in temperature), snow melt is falling and as for walleyes in Wisconsin, “by 2090 they’ll be unable to sustain themselves in a third to three-quarters of the lakes in the state that now hold them.” No ifs, ands, buts, or citations… including to scientists speculating based on RCP8.5.

What a fish story.

One comment on “The old cane pole”

  1. I am sending this for your information I hope it might be of use:-
    By: Ian Plimer [Emeritus Professor] 24 May 2022
    See definition for: ‘sequestration’ at end of this article.
    Australia has a landmass of 7,692,024 square kilometres with a sparse inland population, greenhouse gas-emitting livestock, and heavy industry.
    Combined with the transport of livestock, food, and mined products over long distances to cities and ports and the export of ores, coal, metals, and food for 80 million people, there is a high per capita emission of carbon dioxide. If for some perverse perceived moral reason we reduce our emissions of plant food, then we let millions in Asia starve. Our food exports contribute to increasing the standard of living, longevity, and health of billions of people in Asia.
    The forestry, mining, and smelting industries have been under constant attack by green activists who are happy to put hundreds of thousands out of work and destroy the economy. They train their sights on the cheapest and most reliable form of electricity and want to replace it with unreliable subsidised wind and solar power simply because the burning of fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide which they fraudulently deem is a dangerous pollutant. The next target will be food-producing farmers. They, like the forestry and mining industries, have nowhere to go if destroyed by green activists. Australia cannot import food if there is no export revenue generated to pay for imports.
    With inflation and debt on the rise, Australia has far greater economic priorities than to shift the whole economy into uncharted waters, increase energy costs, destroy a successful efficient primary industry, decrease employment, and decrease international competitiveness because its emission of the plant food carbon dioxide is deemed sinful. It is a very long bow to argue that Australia’s emission of one molecule of plant food in 6.6 million other atmospheric molecules has any measurable effect whatsoever on global climate.
    Ice core shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide rises follow natural temperature rises and, in past times when atmospheric carbon dioxide was up to 100 times higher than now, there were ice ages and no runaway global warmings. Furthermore, it has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming. Why even bother about the minuscule Australian carbon dioxide emissions when the big emitters don’t?
    Annual Australian per capita carbon dioxide emissions are in the order of 20 tonnes per person. There are 30 hectares of forest and 74 hectares of grassland for every Australian and each hectare annually sequesters about one tonne of carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. Australia has 4 per cent of the world’s global forest estate, the world’s sixth largest forested area, and the fourth largest area of forest in nature conservation reserves. On the continental landmass, grasslands and forests remove by natural sequestration more than three times the amount of Australia’s domestic and industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The expansion of woody weeds, crops, reduction in regular burning, and vegetation clearing restrictions further increases natural sequestration.
    Australian forests absorb 940 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum compared to our domestic and industrial emissions of 417 million tonnes. Add to that the absorption of carbon dioxide in continental Australia to the carbon dioxide adsorption of 2,500,000 square kilometres of continental shelf waters and Australia sequesters some five times as much carbon dioxide as it emits. Australia does more than its share of the heavy lifting for global sequestration of carbon dioxide.
    Australia’s net contribution to global atmospheric carbon dioxide is negative. We are already at Net Zero! This is validated by the net carbon dioxide flux estimates from the IBUKI satellite carbon dioxide data set.
    None of these calculations involve the fixing of biological carbon compounds and atmospheric carbon dioxide into soils. Soils contain two or three times as much carbon dioxide as the atmosphere. Soil carbon increases fertility and water retention and reduces farming costs. Natural sequestration in Australia locks away carbon dioxide and to lock it away carbon dioxide by industrial sequestration in deep drill holes is a foolish fashionable way of wasting large amounts of taxpayer’s money.
    Using the thinking of the IPCC, UN, and activist green groups, Australia should be very generously financially rewarded with money from poor, populous, desert, and landlocked countries for removing its own emissions from the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide emissions from many other nations. By this method, wealthy Australia can take money from poor countries.
    Net Zero has nothing to do with the environment and climate change and is all about power and the transfer of hard-earned wealth.

    Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer’s latest book, ‘Green Murder’, is published by Connor Court Publishing.

    Carbon Sequestration:

    Carbon sequestration refers to a series of processes of storing carbon in a carbon pool. Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is naturally captured from the atmosphere through biological, chemical, and physical processes. These changes can be accelerated through changes in land use and agricultural practices, such as converting crop land into land for non-crop fast growing plants. Artificial processes have been devised to produce similar effects, including large-scale, artificial capture and sequestration of industrially produced CO₂ using subsurface saline aquifers, reservoirs, ocean water, aging oil fields, or other carbon sinks, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, biochar, ocean fertilization, enhanced weathering, and direct air capture when combined with storage.

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