This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Welcome back John.Pleased to see that you are feeling better.Your piece on Carbon is brilliant.What were you on again?
I wonder if there are any secondary school science teachers that will (or would) use it to give some balance.That would be very interesting to know.
I also note that the the reason my plum and apple trees have been so prolific this year must be this sudden alleged surge of CO2 combined with the wet summer.
Mind you the plum tree did well last year but the apple produced not a single thing in 2006.
So, whether or not any of the reports are accurate all I can think is that we are fortunate to be in a somewhat beneficial state of fruit fertilisation potential at this time as John's piece illuminates.
The only downside is that amount of energy I am consuming trying to do something with the bountiful supply - especially the apples. Half are falling before I can get ot them, the other half are being cooked - these apples are not 'keepers' being very large and somewhat soft. I need more containers to freeze the output and at the rate things are progressing, perhaps another freezer for storage. It's funny how nature provides me with carbon one minute and demands it back the next having lightened my wallet at every twist.
On a slightly different slant related to health matters - back in the days when I smoked and travelled on planes regularly (before smoking on flights was entirely banned) and considering how much interaction I had with people in various office environments in various countries as well as hanging around in airports, I seemed to get perhaps fewer colds and similar than did my non-smoking office based colleagues. I can't prove that of course but mostly it seemed that way. There could have been other factors of course ... but other smokers seemed to have similar experiences and certainly on the two or three accasions when I gave up the weed for extended periods colds and the like became regular events.
I always reckoned that the tar might have had some preventative effect that disabled the ability of the germs to take a real hold.
Probably rubbish of course. And I have to say that since I gave up I have not particularly noticed a greater propensity to suffer with colds or other debilitating infections. I assume my time for them will come at some point.
I have only observed smokers, but from what I saw, most smokers wouldn't know if they had a cold, the way they coughed most of the time. This is all based on memory though. I am lucky to see a smoker these days. Not sure if that is because it has been banned or because I leed a monastic life sealed away in my office, only accessible by phone.
I would not claim that excessive smoking is good for anyone and there is likelihood that for some individuals even light smoking (but not occasional thrid party exposure) may not suit their health.
However, during my smoking 'career' I did manage to abandon the weed on a couple of occasions for several months at a time. During those periods I was almost always with cold.
After about 6 months of not smoking and suffering perpetual colds - I admit it was through a winter period but I was living in a smallish village not a major city and working in a small company and had no kads at the time so exposure risk was minimised to some extent - I had to endure a long cross country trip with a colleague who chain smoked.
At the time I was full of cold and very congested. After about an hour in the car with his smoke I could breath more easily. With another 2 to 3 hours to go (and the return journey later in the day) I decided to I may as well join him puffing away. So, of course, I resumed the expensive habit for many more years.
Much later, about 12 years ago now, I decided the economics were getting silly, especially as my travelling days and access to duty free supplies were largely behind me. So I weaned myself off the habit over a few months and then stopped completely by giving up even the Friday Lunchtime cigar a few weeks later.
For whatever reason I was not immediately oppressed by colds so I guess either my body had enough resistance by that time or other factors influenced that result. Or maybe the gradual withdrawl had allowed time for adjustment. I really don't know and I am not suggesting that smoking is a healthy exercise for anyone. But I do suspect that, as David Taylor suggests in his reply, that not all aspects of smoke, tobacco or other forms, are entirely negative in all circumstances.
If they were humanity would never have reached this stage.
(Which thought makes me wonder if the Anti-smoking drive we see in the 'civilised' world is a green policy to eliminate certain immune system 'protections' and thus create a weaker population more prone to disease. Given time that could result in a drastic global population reduction and even elimination ... - probably a conspiracy theory too far.)
Grant, Re “probably a conspiracy too far”
Yes, there definitely is a conspiracy, but not from your source. These people are just the unwitting tools (fools) who are being exploited by the Bureaucracy to further their agendas, as are most of our politicians, irrespective of their 'choler'.
The real conspiracy is between the Bureaucracy and Industry, 'Big Business'. Here in the UK it is abundantly clear, due to our foolish entanglement with the EU, that a deal has been struck. It goes something like this, EU Bureaucrats have said to Big Industry, “don't interfere with our Social Engineering Policies, cooperate with us, and we will deliver your Markets on a plate”. Clearly, the same thing can be seen to be happening in the USA, (it is just taking a little longer, probably due to the obstacle of your written constitution). Note the behaviour of your EPA! All aided and abetted by the United Nations (sic'). --- We should re-name the UN, to the UB, United Bureaucrats. Seriously. Nations, Nationality, and above all Sovereignty are no longer on their agenda, if indeed they ever were. I believe that the UN is really after gaining Suzerainty over the West.
Evidence:- 'Follow the money', follow the money, and, FOLLOW THE MONEY! And then, 'Follow the corruption', follow the corruption, and, FOLLOW THE CORRUPTION!!
I remember the good old days when Industry lobbied Politicians and Government, we knew where we were; healthy Capitalism at work, swings and roundabouts, the Ballot Box. No more , no more alas. Our Politicians are fast becoming appointees of the new Bureaucratic Elite, voting is just a sop to the masses.
Hello Grant, re your comment:-
"On a slightly different slant related to health matters - back in the days when I smoked", colds etc.
In demonising smoke,'ASH'and their ilk' demonstrate yet again the art of 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'. In this instance, they throw away the accumulated wisdom of the entire human race!
When we came down from the trees, we huddled together in unhealthy close proximity in unventilated caves. (Potentially, the human race could have been wiped out then through the spread of airborne disease). Fortuitously we exploited fire, we burned hydro-carbons, we unavoidably tasted the smoke, and our wonderful IMMUNE SYSTEM came to our rescue.
Prophylaxis was borne then; through the direct observational experience and wisdom of our elders it was passed on that WOOD SMOKE,(in moderation) was an important Prophylactic. --- "We are talking about Survival here"!
'Epidemeogorists' just haven't done their homework here, the historical references of the beneficial effects and uses of wood and tobacco smoke are legion.
We use it to preserve food, we use it to fumigate contaminated premises, we use it to control insect infestation, etc. etc. etc. --- Of course smokers derive a degree of immunity to airborne infections, but then so do oil industry workers, road workers, and anybody who spends time in the vicinity of liquid aromatic hydro-carbons.
Smokers cough a lot, but why? Because smoke contains irritants, and our response to any irritant is to step up the production of saliva and mucus which intercepts, and neatly wraps up offending particles, disease carrying bugs etc. The cough reflex is switched on and it says, Cough and Expectorate Now! I want you out of my system! --- This is just one of the clever tricks employed by our Immune System to take what it wants and reject that which has no utility. So, please, cough on and maintain your defenses, it is a small price to pay!
Consider this: we know exactly how our immune system works, we know that it is the most exquisite feed-back response system but it is a 'use it or lose it' system. If it is not continuously exposed to the many toxins in our environment, then it cannot produce the anti-bodies and other defense mechanisms to keep us healthy.--- So exposure to smoke in our environment is a form of innocculation, and as smoke contains some powerful anti-oxidants (which cancer cells do not like) we should be singing its praises as John has done with Carbon, it is after-all Carbon.