Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html en-gb 30 Wed 02 Sep 2015 18:43:47 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=98#comment77 @Shadorne #77"The failure of "multiple safeguards" is an extremely unusual event in any industry. It would never be normal business practice"It's like this.Safety measures are expensive. It isn't fair on business X that they shoulder the financial burden for safety when safety should be business Y's job. Similarly it isn't fair on business Y that they shoulder the financial burden for safety when safety should be business X's job. Meanwhile they are both competing with business Z who they know isn't wasting money on excessive safety measures.It only needs one correctly operating safety measure to prevent disaster. But there is no fair way to work out who should pay for it, and those that do have higher costs and lower profits than their rivals. So therefore implicitly safety measures should not be taken. But because this is implicit no one realises that safety measures are not being taken until everyone is playing by the implicit rules.If we've skimped too much on the amount of cement, that's OK, the tests will catch it. If the procedures suggest more expensive or longer tests, that's OK, the cheaper quicker tests have worked in the past. If the tests give ambiguous results that's OK, we've got the Blowout Preventer. If there's a broken seal on the Blowout Preventer that's OK, the Blowout Preventer has other safety measures. If there's a flat battery in the Blowout Preventer that's OK the Blowout Preventer has other safety measures. If there's a test shear ram in place in the Blowout Preventer that's OK, there's lots of other safety measures. Lots of safety measures so nothing will ever go wrong. Bit like throwing ten heads in a row with a coin. Never happens, even if you've got 1024 people trying. Put your accountant's hat on. Why should business X waste money on excessive safety procedures. Safe safe safe."if the other parts of the oil industry behaved this way then they would already have been bankrupt long ago. Have you seen the damage to the market caps of the companies involved?"Exxon Valdez"erroneous"Can't actually see any big discrepancies between my comments and the info at the Oil Drum. They seem to have flagged up issues of flaws in the well design, procedures that should have been followed but weren't, test results that should have led to further investigations and multiple faults in the Blowout Preventer.Meanwhile is also quite clear that the "Blowout Preventer" isn't just one safeguard, it is multiple safeguards, a correctly operating Blowout Preventer offers multiple opportunities to prevent the blowout or provide an early fix the leak.http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6462http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6453http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6493"I refuse to speculate myself as I think we will all know the details in good time.""Good time"? It's a knife edge between the counterproductive kneejerk measures that will occur if BP and Obama continue to be the public's bogeymen and leaving it so long that there is insufficient public attention to get things done. Tue 15 Jun 2010 12:59:53 GMT+1 Shadorne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=97#comment76 @jane: The reason why I think my assertion that other parts of the oil industry might be taking the same shortcuts are: 1. The Deepwater Horizon accident involved the failure of multiple safeguards.This shows why your assertion is incorrect. The failure of "multiple safeguards" is an extremely unusual event in any industry. It would never be normal business practice and if the other parts of the oil industry behaved this way then they would already have been bankrupt long ago. Have you seen the damage to the market caps of the companies involved? Why would anyone flagrantly flirt with disaster like this? I think not. This is an exceptional situation not normal business.You touched on a few points that the media picked up - much of it erroneous. There are blogs were drilling engineers have listed what are valid potential root cause concerns. The Oil Drum has some good technical discussion regarding the specific well design and procedural issues - no point repeating that here on a thread about snakes but you can read it online at the Oil Drum. I refuse to speculate myself as I think we will all know the details in good time. Sun 13 Jun 2010 05:03:16 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=96#comment75 @CanadianRockies #71(@Lorax)"Obama is simply scapegoating BP for the failings of the government."Both Obama and Hayward are being scapegoated for actions by their predecessors and a strong pro-oil anti-regulation element in politics that meant neither Obama nor Hayward had the time or the resources to fix before the accident. Sat 12 Jun 2010 11:00:17 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=94#comment74 @Shadorne #68@msyelf #72Oo typo. That should be Halliburton (cement). Two "L"s in Halliburton. Sat 12 Jun 2010 10:58:55 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=93#comment73 #72 Realistpaul wrote:"it is a great sadness that the expanding human population is having such an impact on the planet."Yet again, expecting an eloquent silence as an answer, I ask: What do you think kept the human population low before now? Sat 12 Jun 2010 10:44:37 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=92#comment72 @Shadorne #68"14,000 successful wells in more than 2,500 feet of water"They didn't just lose one well. They lost a whole rig. And I think the people in the Gulf of Mexico might prefer you to talk about a whole regional economy.(PS, nice to see you source your stats.)Meanwhile here's another rig lost in more than 2,500 feet of water (1300m of water is approx 5000 feet).http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1233083.stm"14,000 successful wells in more than 2,500 feet of water and the terribly painful consequences for any company making an error - all suggest that your assertion is certainly NOT "likely" to be the case.Sure I agree with you that terrible accidents can happen."This wasn't a simple accident.The reason why I think my assertion that other parts of the oil industry might be taking the same shortcuts are:1. The Deepwater Horizon accident involved the failure of multiple safeguards.2. Those multiple safeguards involved multiple oil industry firms, not just BP, but also Haliburton (cement), Transocean (rig owner and blowout preventer owner) and Cameron (blowout preventer manufacturer)http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601072&sid=ax4MXMZVVp6w3. From existing testimony some of the failed safeguards appear to be down to incompetence or negligence or other shortcuts. The only thing that superficially appears out of their control was an apparent bubble of methane triggering the events. But the oil industry knows about methane and the safeguards should have dealt with the methane. Both methane in the oil field itself. And methane clathrates on and in the ocean floor.I note the well cementing process can be adapted to cope with methane clathrates, but that this version of cementing takes longer to set the cement.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_clathratehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/20/deepwater-methane-hydrates-bp-gulf4. The oil industry has previous on disasters caused by a failure of multiple safeguards down to incompetence or negligence.Currently our civilisation is stuck with oil. But we don't need to be stuck with oil related safety p***-takes as well. Sat 12 Jun 2010 10:19:18 GMT+1 Realistpaul http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=91#comment71 Yet another story about a possible declining species. Is anybody really surprised anymore? I like to think of myself as an optimist, but you've got to be a realist also. Mankind is destroying habitat and it is a great sadness that the expanding human population is having such an impact on the planet. Just look around to see how many new industrial estates stand idle in the UK. We could re-use land, but still build, then put 'To-Let' signs up. Look worldwide to see de-forestation and creeping human populations. There are no easy answers, as people in poverty stricken parts of the world will do what they can to survive and money in the affluent nations will dictate land usage. Wouldn't it be nice to have a reasonable sustainable level of human population all with reasonable living standards and to live in harmony with other species? Or do we just continue to use and waste until the planet kills off our species? Well I won't be around long enough to see the end of the planet, but I hope some kind of balance can eventually be struck. Sat 12 Jun 2010 07:57:36 GMT+1 CanadianRockies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=89#comment70 #70 - Thanks for that first person insight Lorax.Which begs the question of why the US allowed their corrupted system to go on... as if we didn't know The left loves to blame Bush-Cheney but it goes back much further. And in 1995 Clinton passed a bill that encouraged deep water drilling. Obama is simply scapegoating BP for the failings of the government. That's his sleazy style. And while BP must deal with the leak, as they have the best expertise to do that, Obama has been asleep at the wheel if not obstructionist on the prevention of this spill reaching shore and on the cleanup. In the meantime, its a sad, sad situation, and I hope they get their act together and minimize the damage... Fri 11 Jun 2010 20:44:17 GMT+1 Lorax http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=88#comment69 #69The key thing they did was to transfer safety to the Health and Safety Executive, away from the Department of Energy. That separated those with a responsibility for production from those with a responsibility for safety - a situation I understand is not the case in the US. The North Sea has become much safer as a result.I lived a couple of streets from the main Aberdeen Hospital on the night of Piper Alpha, and I can still remember the constant stream of helicopters coming to the hospital helipad with the survivors. It seemed to go on all night.Lorax Fri 11 Jun 2010 19:59:56 GMT+1 CanadianRockies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=87#comment68 So why didn't they shut down all North Sea drilling after the 1988 Piper Alpha rig accident off Scotland that killed 168 people?Why didn't Thatcher attack that American company the way Oblama is attacking BP? Fri 11 Jun 2010 18:51:01 GMT+1 Shadorne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=85#comment67 Jane,Please re-read my comments. I only had a problem with your assertion:JaneBasingstoke: "But firstly BP's rivals are likely to be taking the same shortcuts."14,000 successful wells in more than 2,500 feet of water and the terribly painful consequences for any company making an error - all suggest that your assertion is certainly NOT "likely" to be the case.Sure I agree with you that terrible accidents can happen. Airplanes crash and kill 200 people from time to time also. It is terrible and the airlines do their utmost to avoid accidents and each incident involves a lengthy investigation and often new regulations are added - but still mistakes can happen. Fri 11 Jun 2010 16:05:08 GMT+1 Brunnen_G http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=84#comment66 @rossgloryThose predictions all sound very familiar. Ah yes, of course. Earth Day, 1970. The experts of the day predicted global famine, doom and destruction within 'the next couple of decades' and for remarkably similar reasons.You'll forgive me if I don't start building a bunker based on yet more visions of apocalypse from second rate prophets. Fri 11 Jun 2010 15:49:31 GMT+1 MangoChutney http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=83#comment65 @manysummits #30Mango #29 re "Project your worst characteristics onto your opponent."See the 'rules of denial', by George MonbiotI originally said "What kind of "scientist" doesn't have a hint of scepticism about AGW, especially when it's not their field and don't understand feedbacks and climate sensitivity?" in response to your claim that you were a scientist.How on earth is a lack of scepticism my "worst characteristic?Your posts, manysummits, have become more and more irrelevant, way off the mark, full of religious fervour and just plain stupid. And if that is either playing the man and not the ball, an ad hom attack or further examples of my "worst characteristic", then so be it.You really need some fresh air, manysummits/Mango Fri 11 Jun 2010 12:33:09 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=82#comment64 @Shadorne #61"I am not saying there was not a problem. I never said that and I never implied that."Actually your #58 used the low proportion of oil losses as an attempt to prove that the oil companies weren't being complacent. That involves the implication that the low proportion of oil losses is an appropriate yardstick to measure the problem. And you didn't soften this implication with caveats or acknowledgements of other issues with oil spills. So yes you implicitly suggested it.Kerching!"All I am saying is that you cannot assume that the whole industry is taking shortcuts because of ONE really bad incident."Just "ONE really bad incident"? Interesting theoretical scenario. You didn't click on my links in #57, did you. Are you writing off Piper Alpha because it was too long ago or because the 167 deaths weren't accompanied by a ruined coastal economy? Are you writing off Exxon Valdez because it was too long ago or because there weren't any direct human casualties? Are you writing off today's Nigerian oil spills because, because, why are you writing off Nigeria?http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-delta-shellhttp://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters/article/818219--gulf-spill-not-world-s-worsthttp://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-06/exxon-nigerian-unit-oil-spill-caused-by-corrosion-update1-.htmlhttp://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=18292http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=18765"something went very very extremely badly wrong on one particular well""Something"? Not "a number of things"? The cement used on the well? Other features of the well? The broken blowout preventer? The Browne era BP costcutting regime that Hayward had been trying to reverse that meant Deepwater Horizon pressed ahead with broken equipment and after failed tests? The deregulation culture within Western politics, especially during the Bush era, that meant that inspections couldn't prevent this? The newer "drill baby drill" culture within American politics that made Obama tackling deregulation before Deepwarter Horizon a political impossibility?http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/deepwater_horizon_glitches_pri.htmlhttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7128842.eceCurrently our civilisation is stuck with oil. But we don't need to be stuck with oil related safety p***-takes as well. Fri 11 Jun 2010 11:39:36 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=80#comment63 #44 smiffie"In the past peasants gave up their lives in rural England and moved to the slums of the Industrial Revolution because for them it was an improvement."might be worth thinking about the very complex chain of events that gets food on your table and its dependence on exploitation around the world, a diminishing area of fertile land, predictable rain seasons, very cheap and abundant oil and relatively low competition from less developed countries.all that will change in the next couple of decades so i hope you have a plot of land ready......and a few gardening tools. Fri 11 Jun 2010 08:57:05 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=79#comment62 #48 Kamboshigh"but when the cat went missing and all that was left was a pile of hair it does not make me feel at all pitiful." - it's no fun losing a pet.....but i've always been too much of a bird lover to have a lot of affection for cats (one species that is unlikely to go extinct any time soon). Fri 11 Jun 2010 08:42:22 GMT+1 rossglory http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=78#comment61 Thanks Richard. I think this research highlights one thing clearly, we aren't (and haven't been) doing enough to monitor the life support systems of our planet. I'm willing to bet that the cause of the decline of snakes is similar to that of amphibians and bees (and many more)......us.Until we recognise that we must now be the guardians of the planet's fragile ecosystems, not just exploiters this will just get worse and worse. I'm not feeling particularly optimistic at the moment. Fri 11 Jun 2010 08:38:24 GMT+1 Shadorne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=76#comment60 @Jane: "You cannot just point to the low proportion of lost oil and then suggest there isn't a problem."Jane I am not saying there was not a problem. I never said that and I never implied that.All I am saying is that you cannot assume that the whole industry is taking shortcuts because of ONE really bad incident. This is EXACTLY the kind of giant leap of faith towards a preconceived notion that is responsible for the unfounded conviction with which many needlessly worry about "man-made Global Warming". The warmth we have seen recently (last 30 years) is not enough to imply catastrophe (it is not even the least bit unusual on a recent historical basis or over geologic time). It is the same with drilling offshore - 14,000 existing wells in water depths greater than 2,500 feet are proof that it can be done safely - despite the fact that something went very very extremely badly wrong on one particular well. Thu 10 Jun 2010 23:48:59 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=75#comment59 @Shadorne #58When things go wrong with oil they can go very wrong. This is why people from all parts of the political spectrum expect rather more safeguards than seem to have been implemented in the run up to the Deepwater Horizon explosion. You cannot just point to the low proportion of lost oil and then suggest there isn't a problem. Thu 10 Jun 2010 23:00:04 GMT+1 Yorkurbantree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=74#comment58 Re: Kamboshigh @48:"yet another mess created ultimately by the green movement"Yeah it's all those awful environmentalists fault! First they campaign against the drilling in the first place, then they campaign for tighter regulation of the drilling and...wait a minute - that's the opposite of being at fault. Are you taking the mick!! Thu 10 Jun 2010 21:22:23 GMT+1 Shadorne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=73#comment57 Jane"Few"??????????????????????????????????????Yes "Few"...let me put things in perspective.World Oil Production is north of 80 Million barrels of Oil every single day. A simple calculation shows that the current leak in the Gulf is around a hundredth of a percent of World production. A 99.99 % success rate means the industry "overall" has "few" failures (especially when you consider that from a historical perspective, accidents of this scale are also exceptionally rare). This is not the kind of performance you would expect if the industry was as complacent as you (and all the media) appear to think. Thu 10 Jun 2010 21:00:59 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=71#comment56 @Shadorne #47(@manysummits)(@LarryKealey)"Nobody but nobody would take any short cuts in these kind of operations." Shadorne #47"Nobody"?"it's ridiculous to suggest that the entire industry and regulators (let's not forget that the government sets the regulations & supervises everything) are all taking shortcuts" Shadorne #47"Ridiculous"???"This accident may simply boil down to a few key decisions of a few key individuals over a few days or a weekend." Shadorne #47"Few"??????????????????????????????????????http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/6/newsid_3017000/3017294.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/415572.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/441520.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/beds/bucks/herts/8359005.stmhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/report-blames-shell-over-coverup-of-nigerias-oil-spills-1726207.htmlhttp://www.lycos.com/info/exxon-valdez-oil-spill--supreme-court.htmlhttp://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article4212940.ece Thu 10 Jun 2010 19:26:55 GMT+1 Dr Brian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=70#comment55 On the subject of snakes has anyone figured out what point today's cartoon in the Telegraph is trying to make. It shows the leader of Iran and a couple of other figures (? Arabs) enmeshed in the coils of a huge snake labeled Israel. A small snake nearby is labeled sanctions.Unusual for the Telegraph to slur Israel as a snake (though the Independent would) and sanctions as a snake????Answers on the back of a psychiatric report on the cartoonist please. Thu 10 Jun 2010 19:26:11 GMT+1 Brunnen_G http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=69#comment54 #54 CanadianRockies wrote: #manysummits - By my quick count, of the 52 comments here 25 are from you. None appear to be directly relevant to this story.#Like most people with nothing to say, he says it a lot. Thu 10 Jun 2010 18:59:46 GMT+1 CanadianRockies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=67#comment53 manysummits - By my quick count, of the 52 comments here 25 are from you. None appear to be directly relevant to this story. Thu 10 Jun 2010 18:19:32 GMT+1 Dr Brian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=66#comment52 I couldn't stand Carl Sagan because he kept referring to "the coesmoes". You figure it out. Thu 10 Jun 2010 18:10:28 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=65#comment51 \\\ Disturbed Personalities - Continued ///"And yes they had better clean up the mess, yet another mess created ultimately by the green movement." - 48. At 5:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, Kamboshigh re BP & Deepwater- Manysummits - PS: One of the hallmarks that I have found of the lobby in general, but not in all cases, is the degree of invective present.One wonders how such hatred is produced - the ultimate causes? Thu 10 Jun 2010 17:07:18 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=64#comment50 \\\ Carl Sagan ///http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_sagan=======================For me, personally - In politics there was John Fitzgerald Kennedy.On the world Ocean - there was Jacques Yves Cousteau.But on the world stage, embracing as comprehensive a knowledge of human nature and of science as I have ever seen - there was Carl Sagan.At the beginning of his book, "The Demon-Haunted World," Carl has a saying by Albert Einstein:"All our science, measured against reality,is primitive and childlike - and yet it isthe most precious thing we have."- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)==============Or is the most precious thing we have each other?- Manysummits - Thu 10 Jun 2010 16:58:28 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=62#comment49 \\\ Casting Light in a Dark Place ///To the Lobby:Your constituency is large.I will illustrate with excerpts from Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World" (1995): (moderators permitting)===================="Surveys suggest that some 95 percent of Americans are scientifically illiterate...Of the 535 members of the U.S. Congress, rarely in the twentieth century have as many as one percent had any significant background in science...The last scientifically literate President may have been Thomas Jefferson. (although claims can be made for Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter)"- from Chapter 1, "The Most Precious Thing"- Manysummits - Thu 10 Jun 2010 16:50:01 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=61#comment48 \\\ Argumentum ad Hominem - a Logical Fallacy ///http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominum========================================42. At 12:33pm on 10 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:#30 manysummits wrote:"Brunnen_G # 23 re: "Falsely accuse the other person of ad hominem attacks, while making vicious ad hominem attacks of your own."So you didn't refer to me as 'a disturbed personality'?You don't want the world to move to an industry free subsistence farming economy which could support no more than 2 billion humans? (where are the other 5 billion supposed to go, Narnia?)What you call a vicious ad hominem attack, I call the reality of your pipe dreams.========================To Brunnen_G & The Lobby:You are quite right - I do consider you to be disturbed personalities.That is my personal opinion after, I think, long and patient consideration (since December 24, 2008).As it is an opinion, you are free to discard it - as you wish.But it is not an 'Argumentum ad Hominum.'From Wikipedia: (see link at the top of the page)"In reality, ad hominem is unrelated to sarcasm or personal abuse. Argumentum ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker's argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing the argument."===============Repeatedly, since December 24, 2008, I have provided back up for 'facts.'I appeal to authority, I cite highest quality scientific sources, and I am always prepared to change my view if new and reputable evidence is made available.Literally, since December 24, 2008, I cannot think of one instance in which the legions of 'skeptics,' denialists, 'the lobby', has ever presented a credible argument to counter in any meaningful way the findings of modern science, or have revised their thinking to reflect the categorical evidence presented before them (the lobby). And this has been the experience of the other presenters (warmists) who have argued as have I - with evidence and backup, from what I have seen.But I can remember in inverse relationship to this paucity of new evidence, innumerable instances of appeals to ideology, and aspersions cast on our most esteemed scientists, bodies of science and institutions, and, more personally, myself.You are entitled to your own opinions, no matter the source.But you are not entitled to your own facts - especially if they infringe upon the security of others - and if distortion of the trith actually threatens the integrity of our world, your own 'facts' take on an ominous undertone.If you knowingly misrepresent the truth, skew it to the advantage of vested interest - then there is criminal intent to add to ignorance.This also is my personal opinion.The link at the top of the page goes over the Ad Hominem idea in painstaking detail.I trust that those using the term on such a public forum are aware of the difference between personal abuse and the logical fallacy known formally as 'Argumentum ad Hominum.'- Manysummits - Thu 10 Jun 2010 16:39:59 GMT+1 Kamboshigh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=60#comment47 I doubt any of you actually have any experience with snakes on a daily basis, if you want to scare yourself to death then walking into your office to find a meter long snake sitting in your chair is a good way to start.Part of me say snakes are getting rarer "well bring it on", I have two in the garden well it appears to be 2, but when the cat went missing and all that was left was a pile of hair it does not make me feel at all pitiful. When you have to check branches of trees for vipers and watch were you walk when fishing, well they just don't seem to be on a priority list.On the other hand they do keep the vermin down (better than the lazy cats)as to the report what total waste of time and money. Doc, BP shares will bottam out in the next 7 days they are under valued at present with all the political bailouts from angry pensioners etc. Start looking from Wednesday onwards. Also Obama's main sponser for the presidency was BP, so this is a political storm in a tea cup. And yes they had better clean up the mess, yet another mess created ultimately by the green movement Thu 10 Jun 2010 16:09:49 GMT+1 Shadorne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=58#comment46 JaneBasingstoke: "But firstly BP's rivals are likely to be taking the same shortcuts."Jane you must be kidding. Do you realize the stakes here? Nobody but nobody would take any short cuts in these kind of operations. Who wants to risk their entire company, livelihood and the lives of their workers? Absolutely Nobody. Nobody.Several things must have gone wrong...very badly wrong. Eventually we will find out what happened (I refuse to speculate) but it's ridiculous to suggest that the entire industry and regulators (let's not forget that the government sets the regulations & supervises everything) are all taking shortcuts. This accident may simply boil down to a few key decisions of a few key individuals over a few days or a weekend. The regulators & industry will no doubt address this through more stringent controls but your comment is like saying that all bankers are corrupt because of what Jerome Kerviel got up to. Complex operations of this nature are all dependent on the decisions of a few key individuals. Thu 10 Jun 2010 15:54:54 GMT+1 Smiffie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=57#comment45 Obama is getting upset because a foreign company made a mess his back yard. Who do BP think that they are? Union Carbide? Thu 10 Jun 2010 15:24:47 GMT+1 Dr Brian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=56#comment44 Re...."BP engulfed in controversy again"I'm becoming deeply suspicious of Obama's attitude in this disaster.He's not a stupid man so the most generous analysis of his attitude, that he simply doesn't understand that BP is attempting to seal the blow-out under conditions never attempted before and needs moral support rather than scouring, can't be right.Most commentators think that he is playing politics by having a go at BRITISH Petroleum (BP for the last 10 years) because of the upcoming mid-term elections. In which case he is playing with fire by antagonising America's most staunch ally. It wouldn't take much prodding for us to turn our backs on Afghanistan!The worst possible explanation is that he is attacking Britain over slavery. He made a big deal of it during his election so it's possible. In this case he obviously need a lesson in history centering on William Wilberforce and the role of Canada as the end point of the Underground Railway.If this last possibility is true it reveals a deep, dark psychological problem at the heart of the American Presidency. This is one to watch.Anyone got any tips on when to BUY BP shares? Thu 10 Jun 2010 13:44:14 GMT+1 Smiffie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=55#comment43 Manysummits’s vision of utopia does make me wonder whether it would be better to be one of the 2 billion who has to toil on the land for the rest of our short lives or whether it might be better to be one of the 5 billion who get liquidated.In the past peasants gave up their lives in rural England and moved to the slums of the Industrial Revolution because for them it was an improvement. Thu 10 Jun 2010 13:40:45 GMT+1 jazbo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=53#comment42 This post has been Removed Thu 10 Jun 2010 11:58:34 GMT+1 Brunnen_G http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=52#comment41 #30 manysummits wrote:"Brunnen_G # 23 re: "Falsely accuse the other person of ad hominem attacks, while making vicious ad hominem attacks of your own."So you didn't refer to me as 'a disturbed personality'?You don't want the world to move to an industry free subsistence farming economy which could support no more than 2 billion humans? (where are the other 5 billion supposed to go, Narnia?)What you call a vicious ad hominem attack, I call the reality of your pipe dreams. Thu 10 Jun 2010 11:33:32 GMT+1 JaneBasingstoke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=51#comment40 @manysummits@LarryKealey@ShadorneI don't want BP taking all the heat for this. Not because they don't deserve it. But firstly BP's rivals are likely to be taking the same shortcuts. And secondly because BP were not acting on their own and there is likely to turn out to be a chain of mistakes that caused the disaster.BP taking all the blame is a prescription for a repeat event involving one of their rivals. Thu 10 Jun 2010 11:32:15 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=50#comment39 To ChangEngland #37:That's very nice - thank you.Manysummits Thu 10 Jun 2010 09:58:28 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=48#comment38 To Richard Black, re "the value of nature":I thought you might like this.From Carl Sagan's "Cosmos," chapter 2, 'One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue'"Biology is more like history than it is like physics. You have to know the past to understand the present. And you have to know it in exquisite detail. There is as yet no predictive theory of biology, just as there is not yet a predictive theory of history. The reasons are the same: both subjects are still too complicated for us."Regards, Manysummits Thu 10 Jun 2010 09:54:18 GMT+1 andy765gtr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=47#comment37 "Governments are meeting in South Korea with the aim of making a final decision on whether or not to establish such a body.Its title wouldn't be as compelling as The Silent World - the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will win few contests for snappiness - but it could potentially give us global snapshots of nature and its value, and how we're losing that value, in a way that's never been done before."nice idea, but still tinkering around on the periphery of the main problem. until we have an "Intergovernmental panel for the reduction of human population and economic growth", all this talk of 'saving species' is just a waste of time. Thu 10 Jun 2010 09:33:18 GMT+1 ChangEngland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=46#comment36 @Wolfiewoods Now there are two members of the manysummits supporters club :)a 50% month on month growth or an annual rate of 600%! Get your shares in MSSC here! Look at the growth rate of this fast expanding service!!Statistics LOL! Thu 10 Jun 2010 09:26:06 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=44#comment35 Another PS to #32 to jr4412:"Although many would prefer a more orderly transition to this new future, human history and human nature argue against 'orderly.'We have to step up to the brink, or have some calamity befall us - before we act.The brink and the calamity are here - no need to wait any longer.Now we'll see what we're made of!" (#32)==========================I think that's what Woody Allen was getting at when he said we'd have to choose our road:'Either despair and hoplessness'or'total extinction.'Despair and hoplessness are in reality strong feelings, and are thus a part of the life force. They are spurs to action, if you stay away from external drugs.When things get really blue - make it worse - sing the blues - and you will recover, and be stronger for it!We have forgotten so many things as civilized people. Indigenous cultures taught their young about pain and suffering and lonliness as children came of age - we prescribe medication.Manysummits Thu 10 Jun 2010 09:13:21 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=43#comment34 PS to my #32 to jr4412:"Think Bolivia; think Dark Mountain Project, and all of the artistic involvement in environmental issues; think the Hartwell Paper; Nicolas Stern's 'Revival of the Spirit of Rio'; think Obama and Deepwater; ...That's an awful lot going on - on many fronts - none of them non-trivial."Should read: all of them non-trivial.- Manysummits - Thu 10 Jun 2010 09:01:06 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=42#comment33 To Wolfiewoods @ #31:re "Manysummits, sorry if I got you a bit wrong when I first started posting here a few months back."=============Not a problem! I've been known to confuse even myself on numerous occassions.Regards,ManysummitsPS: Thanks for the encouragement - always welcome. It is lonely out here - often. Thu 10 Jun 2010 08:53:49 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=41#comment32 To jr4412: re 'Case in Point - Deepwater - Gulf of Mexico'"Indeed, given its chequered recent history and experience of controversy, perhaps the most surprising thing about the Gulf oil spill is just how badly BP has handled the publicity surrounding it."BP engulfed in controversy againBy Richard AndersonBusiness reporter, BBC Newshttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10274260.stm=====================Here's my take.BP thinks they will get off lightly - like EXXonMobil did in the 1989 Valdez tanker-spill in Alaska. And so they are over-confident.BP can fight this in the courts for decades - like ExxonMobil did, and come out ahead.My gazillionaire acquaintance from the coffee shop just bought BP shares on the dip, and will undoubedly buy more as the share price drops further, believing that BP will work its wily way out of financial grief - passing the costs along to the American Public - externalizing their costs.Tony Hayward is only the CEO - I think a position like President George W. - the real power lies elsewhere.I doubt he can commit BP legally to the costs he has said publicly that BP will bear - ExxonMobil and the Exxon Valdez should make this abundantly clear.He is a stooge, in common parlance, like George W. was a stooge.I realize this is a descent into ad hom territory - or is it?Is it not the truth?Do we really think power in the American Empire, or in a company the size of BP, is vested in one man?Think again, 'me hearties.'Then again, maybe, just maybe, Obama will come through???Chances - one in five hundred.- Manysummits - Thu 10 Jun 2010 08:48:51 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=39#comment31 To jr4412 #25 re IUCN; "I'm not buying it; from 1948 to now the organisation has grown tenfold but its message is not getting across, today's arguments still revolve around economic 'growth' exclusively."===========================Note the number of governments involved in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature!It's sort of a permanent IPCC for Nature.So yes, I agree your point is valid. And Maurice Strong is a businessman, as well as an environmentalist. Similar to Nicholas Stern, the UK economist turned environmentalist - as I see it anyway.However, with all these marine sanctuaries coming along - there is cause for hope I think.While the percentage of protected areas in the world ocean is still less than one percent, even that wasn't there until recently.So I think we need to look at trends rather than accomplishments of magnitude just now.Trends are revealing - but interpretation is difficult.It seems to me that initiatives such as Sylvia Earle's through her TED talk, and through the IUCN, and with National Geographic, and as a former chief scientist at NOAA - well, she is obviously mainstream 'big science' in a big way, and believes in this approach - not least because of her life's work - she is iconic I think - a mainstream trendsetter - and like the British Bulldog so liked by Winston Churchill - she will 'hang on' while others falter.Not a bad person to have on our side! And in reading her book jr, Wow - does she know the Ocean - and Ughh - do We - Not Know the Ocean!There is a threshold in public opinion and perception, as well as in physical science, and I think we are rapidly approaching this citizen bifurcation at the same time we are approaching a number of natural tipping points.It's in fact a race - like to the Moon.When this happens, one thing is sure - a lot will happen quickly.Think Bolivia; think Dark Mountain Project, and all of the artistic involvement in environmental issues; think the Hartwell Paper; Nicolas Stern's 'Revival of the Spirit of Rio'; think Obama and Deepwater; ...That's an awful lot going on - on many fronts - none of them non-trivial.Think the very likely implosion of the finacial system - again!Although many would prefer a more orderly transition to this new future, human history and human nature argue against 'orderly.'We have to step up to the brink, or have some calamity befall us - before we act.The brink and the calamity are here - no need to wait any longer.Now we'll see what we're made of!- Manysummits - Thu 10 Jun 2010 08:31:45 GMT+1 Wolfiewoods http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=38#comment30 manysummits @ #20 said“Do you really believe I write to convince you, or any of the lobby?Let me assure you I don't.I write to those with ears, and eyes, and a conscience.”Well said manysummits. This is the BBC, although the masses have never heard of Richard Black’s Blog, many of the people who do visit without posting are researchers, decision makers & policy formers – these are the people that manysummits and others are talking to. I hope that manysummits’s coming return to work will not prevent him from continuing his valuable work here.Manysummits, sorry if I got you a bit wrong when I first started posting here a few months back. Thu 10 Jun 2010 08:22:06 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=37#comment29 Brunnen_G # 23 re: "Falsely accuse the other person of ad hominem attacks, while making vicious ad hominem attacks of your own."CR #28 re "Ignore or gloss over the most substantial criticisms."Mango #29 re "Project your worst characteristics onto your opponent."See the 'rules of denial', by George Monbiot:http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/06/09/madder-and-madder/- Manysummits - Thu 10 Jun 2010 08:06:26 GMT+1 MangoChutney http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=35#comment28 @manysummits #24Because of scientists like myself.What kind of "scientist" doesn't have a hint of scepticism about AGW, especially when it's not their field and don't understand feedbacks and climate sensitivity?/Mango Thu 10 Jun 2010 06:19:25 GMT+1 CanadianRockies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=34#comment27 #24. manysummits wrote:"Because of scientists like myself."Tooooo funny. Thanks for the laugh! Thu 10 Jun 2010 04:19:34 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=33#comment26 "One Wish to Change the World; TED Talk; Sylvia Earle; 2009I have just finished Sylvia Earle's book, "The World is Blue."What can I say?How if we let Sylvia Earle speak for herself?http://www.ted.com/talks/sylvia_earle_s_ted_prize_wish_to_protect_our_oceans.html- Manysummits - PS: With the move to marine sanctuaries, "hope spots," we may be making a form of progress. Thu 10 Jun 2010 02:07:48 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=32#comment25 This post has been Removed Thu 10 Jun 2010 01:57:23 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=30#comment24 manysummits #21.I'm not buying it; from 1948 to now the organisation has grown tenfold but its message is not getting across, today's arguments still revolve around economic 'growth' exclusively. Thu 10 Jun 2010 01:40:36 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=29#comment23 Brunnen_G:"The planet has survived ice ages, it has survived eons when jungle covered virtually all the land, it even survived a period when it was entirely covered in ice." (#23)=================How could you possibly know this?Because of scientists like myself./////////////// Thu 10 Jun 2010 01:08:40 GMT+1 Brunnen_G http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=28#comment22 #20. At 11:35pm on 09 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote: "To Brunnen_G #17:For you, an exception.Do you really believe I write to convince you, or any of the lobby?"No, I think you write to quiet the voices in your head. The voices that tell you stopping people from having children is okay, it's for the planet (how many kids you got?). Reducing the human population is okay, it's for the planet. Taking away people's freedom is okay, it's for the planet.You're a not very closeted fascist. You think any measures you deem necessary are justifiable, because it's all for the planet.The planet has survived ice ages, it has survived eons when jungle covered virtually all the land, it even survived a period when it was entirely covered in ice.It will even survive would be bullies and armchair dictators like you. Wed 09 Jun 2010 23:04:08 GMT+1 Shadorne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=26#comment21 Mannysummits @12, 13 and 14?...rambling again. Have you estimated how much taxes & royalties these oil companies have paid in the last thirty years alone, and how many people they employ, and how many depend on their fuel products for farming, transportation, heating and industrial activity?#13 manysummits wrote: "To the disturbed personalities who deny the changes present all around us, I have no words."Of all people, it is you who seem to have a disturbed view of the world - especially if you cannot see that these industries overall do a great service to society and operate, for the most part, strictly adhering to the law, and even if they make costly unacceptable mistakes sometimes - to err is human - remember nothing ventured is nothing gained - consider do we really want to go back to the horse & cart? Just how much worse would the US balance of payments and energy security be without deepwater Gulf production? Industry and regulatory authorities clearly need to improve and address the kind of unacceptable lapses you refer to - but you seem to profess to a desire for the destruction of industry and industry leaders beyond what the law and courts will decide. This used to happen in your neck of the woods - it is called a lynching. FWIW I am thankful we no longer run society by mob rule and that blog rants are just that ....rants. Wed 09 Jun 2010 23:00:33 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=25#comment20 To jr4412 #19 re IUCN Red List:Some interesting information on the IUCN and Maurice Strong, from "The World is Blue," by Sylvia Earle:Paraphrase Summation, p.196-199; on Sylvia's attending Maurice Strong's 80th birthday celebrations in 2009:1) 1948 - International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) formed with '18 governments, 7 international organizations and 107 conservation groups.'2) Maurice Strong plays leading role in fostering this organization, which NOW 'represents more than 1000 government and non-governmental organizations, nearly 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.'3) Maurice Srong first Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm ca 1972 - first UN meeting on the environment.4) Timeline - fast forward to 2009:- 1972 - "it seemed that there was time to wait for more scientific clarification..."- Rio Conference 1992 - "a sense of urgency for action had grown..."- 2002 - Johannesburg - "the concerns had become acute..."- 2009 - "Strong said, eight decades of experience weighing on every word,":\\\ "We are out of time. We know what to do. Now we must act." ///==================Here is a quote from the same chapter, by former Senator for Colorado Timothy Wirth:"the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment." (p.197)- Manysummits - Wed 09 Jun 2010 22:53:28 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=24#comment19 To Brunnen_G #17:For you, an exception.Do you really believe I write to convince you, or any of the lobby?Let me assure you I don't.I write to those with ears, and eyes, and a conscience.I am convinced there are mutitudes like this - all of us abused by the likes of you from time immemorial.Now back to your playpen.- Manysummits - Wed 09 Jun 2010 22:35:34 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=23#comment18 Richard Black."Every year, the Red List of Threatened Species and other publications detail the increasing pressures on nature, and how nature is succumbing; and on a global scale, the pressures go on rising, with inevitable consequences.Something else is needed, many argue; a more coherent institution that will collate all the available data and present it in structured form, that will set out the ecological and economic costs and benefits of various courses of action, and allow peoples and their governments to make properly informed choices.By the end of the week, we could have such a body."hurrah, another talk shop. Wed 09 Jun 2010 22:11:09 GMT+1 Brunnen_G http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=21#comment17 @yorkurbantreeHeavens no. What I look for in a good article, especially one from the world's leading news source, is firstly for the journalist to report the facts without injecting his own opinion. Secondly, good journalism would have at least asked for the opinion of other herpetological researchers, rather than taking the word of one incomplete study as gospel.This article fails straight out of the gate. And no, I do not need an article to confirm my opinions, I prefer my opinions to be challenged.However, I do object when journalists force their opinions down my throat and expect me to sit nicely and like it. Wed 09 Jun 2010 22:03:15 GMT+1 Brunnen_G http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=20#comment16 #13 manysummits wrote: "To the disturbed personalities who deny the changes present all around us, I have no words."Yet it won't stop you posting.Or complaining about personal attacks, despite being a net exporter of same.My favourite though, is that you have the cheek to call others 'disturbed'. You who would kill billions and enslave mankind to realise your Orwellian nightmare. Wed 09 Jun 2010 21:49:20 GMT+1 Yorkurbantree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=19#comment15 Good article. Balanced and to the point.Brunnen (5) and Jason (9): Rather than ranting and raving like insufferable teenagers, perhaps you might want to critique the article with some substance - like CR does at post 6. Presumably the only type of article that would be classed as 'good' journalism would be one that says climate change is 'definately make believe' every two lines. Simply pathetic... I'd also like to know the answers to questions raised in post 14. Wed 09 Jun 2010 21:40:21 GMT+1 molamola http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=17#comment14 I was a great fan of Jacques Cousteau and still am I suppose. Did you know though that in his younger days he was he was an expert spear fisher and reputedly with just a few other divers decimated the southern coast of France of it's largest predatory fish. Top of the food chain predators that are slow growing. Maybe this is what woke him up to the ocean's plight.Snakes are very difficult to study in their natural habitat, by nature secretive and difficult to find. Also, perhaps easily disturbed. Maybe the people doing the studying are actually causing the decline or apparent decline. A bit of Schroedinger's cat possibly? Wed 09 Jun 2010 20:54:26 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=16#comment13 To Kealey: re #10 \\\ A Snake & a Lawyer ///Have you any ideas on how to ensure this does not happen again?I.E. BP gets off lightly?Alternatively, as an expert, what do you rate the chances at - of BP getting off as lightly as did ExxonMobil?- Manysummits - Wed 09 Jun 2010 20:46:36 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=15#comment12 \\\ Drums ///It's raining outside - a nice steady rain. Low grey clouds are scudding in from the northeast.Canada is one of those 'favored' locations as the planet heats up.Instead of wondering whether I and my family should migrate somewhere else, while there is time, we are wondering who will be arriving on our doorstep next?I say Welcome.To the disturbed personalities who deny the changes present all around us, I have no words.- Manysummits - - Manysummits - Wed 09 Jun 2010 20:42:09 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=14#comment11 \\\ The Value of a man's (?) word ///Do you believe anything BP CEO Tony Heyward says?- Manysummits - Wed 09 Jun 2010 20:35:30 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=12#comment10 1998 Coral Reef Bleaching in Indian Ocean Unprecedented, NOAA Announces(NOAA Release 7/2/98)http://www.fishingnj.org/artcoral3.htm=====================Coral bleachingThermal stress indices Coral Reefs - sites: 1871 to dateLook at this graph to get a feel for the relative magnitude of the 1998 event:http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/research/coral-bleaching/thermal-stress/tsi-images.html#figure01"There has also been increased number of reports of mass coral bleaching events since the mid-1970s (e.g. Glynn, 1996) coinciding with an increased rate of warming of global temperatures (e.g. IPCC 2001) and growing concern about the potential impacts of global warming due to the enhanced Greenhouse effect on the frequency of such events (e.g. Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999)..."http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/research/coral-bleaching/thermal-stress/thermal-stress-indices.html=====================- Manysummits - Wed 09 Jun 2010 20:28:06 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=11#comment9 This post has been Removed Wed 09 Jun 2010 20:10:31 GMT+1 jazbo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=10#comment8 I to read this and was waiting for the dreaded c word (not that one, the climate one) to appear.So lets recap on what you are saying:Amphibians have been on the decline since the 1970's, and its been mostly due to a previously unknown fungal infection.Yet the link you supply is a 2009 one to someone screaming for conservation and blaming war, climate change and just about everything else man made. Should the rant not have been about better detection of and more work on disease control?So having learned that we made a big mistake blaming climate change on amphibian decline, what do we have here. Oh of course, an immediate link to climate change in regards to snake decline despite historical evidence that this is a dubious starting point.The lesson learned here for me is that the eco fascists never learn to step back and look, they just carry on steam-rolling their pre-conceived agenda - a decline in anything = climate change causation, despite being proved wrong by the little frogs.Where are they declining? What populations, what areas? Is there correlation with areas with alleged temperature increases in 1998? Are we suggesting your average snake cannot cope with a temperature fluctuation of less than a degree?Poor, lazy journalism again, with the climate change bogeyman thrown in as usual. Wed 09 Jun 2010 20:10:13 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=8#comment7 To Richard Black:In her magnificent book "The World is Blue" (2009), Sylvia Earle mentions a few of her heroes repeatedly, or so I asume them to be from her wording and general style.One of them is Jacques Cousteau, mentioned and pictured in this thread, red watch cap and all.I was in the mountains when Jacques died, in the Lake Louise area, and I, a founding year member of the Cousteau Society, was wearing a red watch cap when I climbed my next mountain in Jacque's memory.Also mentioned repeatedly in Sylvia's book are the biologist E.O. Wilson, and Carl Sagan.Good company. I swear to this day I felt a tremor in the force the day Carl died.In discussing biodiversity, one of the underlying themes in this thread, Sylvia quotes several people. One stands out, to the effect: (paraphrasing for effect)'In one teaspoon of deep ocean tubeworm are billions of chemosynthesizing bacteria, of the Domain Archaea. 70 percent of Oxygen comes from photosynthesizing bacteria in the oceans surface waters...We need them - they don't need us.'- Manysummits - Wed 09 Jun 2010 20:01:37 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=7#comment6 As I said Bowman - you and the lobby argue as children.- Manysummits - Wed 09 Jun 2010 19:49:46 GMT+1 CanadianRockies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=6#comment5 "in the snake study I mentioned earler, all the populations not shrinking were under protection plans."Although I haven't looked into the details, this would make sense.But for those who would eagerly jump to the popular 'climate change did it' conclusion, this point raises a major problem. These plans would not protect them from any climate changes they may have experienced.Richard, happy to see that you didn't make that knee-jerk jump to a conclusion, and good that you mentioned that fungus problem for amphibians... which some people had initially screamed was all due to ozone depletion as I recall.The irony of that fungus problem is that in some cases researchers spread it on their boots before it was recognized, and then documented the resulting declines and blamed them on their predetermined conclusions.In this snake case, one needs to know ALL the details of each declining population (habitat changes, predation by humans and other species, etc.), as well as the populations that are not declining to begin to reach any kind of scientific conclusion as to cause. But, as you note in the article, the basic data is very limited. These declines could just be local, or cyclic, or caused by all sorts of reasons. I would guess that there have been much more significant changes in their habitats than whatever climate changes may have occurred. Wed 09 Jun 2010 19:31:48 GMT+1 Brunnen_G http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=5#comment4 "Mention of the year 1998 inevitably raises the question of climate.The year saw abnormally high temperatures in many parts of the world, due to the combination of the long-term warming trend and particularly vigorous El Nino conditions; could this have affected the snakes directly, or their prey, or their reproduction - and could it really have done so on three continents?The jury is well and truly out" That's some poor quality journalism, especially from a BBC journalist.Whenever I read your blogs I count how many paragraphs it takes you to to trot out the climate change boogeyman and use it to scare and impress the duller readers of the blog. I was fairly impressed that you managed 9 whole paragraphs without mentioning it until I realised all those 'paragraphs' were one sentence long.You admit that the people who wrote this study have no idea what is causing the decline in population or even if there is a real decline in the first place. Impressive that you didn't let little things like facts, checkable data or a total lack of evidence stop you from pulling out the boogeyman. Again.Very poor show. Is this really what the BBC has come to? Wed 09 Jun 2010 19:26:33 GMT+1 Shadorne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=3#comment3 Richard,It may be worth pointing out that every current possible potential problem in nature and every future possible potential catastrophe in nature - that haven't happened yet but might - well all of this "speculation" has already been attributed somewhere or other to man-made Global Warming.Although, there is a groundswell that all these problems, including the Snake future possible potential catastrophe, may all simply be a load of Snake Oil.See this: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1612851Is it possible that Snake Oil is the only thing wrong with our Snakes? Wed 09 Jun 2010 19:03:03 GMT+1 bowmanthebard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=2#comment2 Anyone who measures anything a lot spends much time worrying about and trying to improve the calibration of the measuring instrument.Which "instrument" was used to measure the population of snakes? Who worries about calibrating it?A "study" is not a measuring instrument. Wed 09 Jun 2010 18:33:28 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=1#comment1 A worldwide issue would lead one to believe that it is the result of a worldwide problem. Could be anything from rising temperatures to the increase in chemicals spewing out of coal-fired plants or some combination. Or as the skeptics would say...coincidence. Wed 09 Jun 2010 18:19:19 GMT+1 manysummits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/snakes_seascapes_and_the_value.html?page=0#comment0 Great article Richard!More later,Manysummits Wed 09 Jun 2010 17:58:10 GMT+1