Thursday, November 26, 2009

The expert thing and global warming

Okay, so I have made myself into some kind of an expert according to this blog, but what does that mean and why?
First I no way did I every intend to be an expert, I just wanted to be a bench chemist, that is the work I love.
I did not go for a masters degree because that would mostly mean administrative work and i really wanted to be on the bench. I did not want to get a PhD, but obviously with the peer reviewed research i have done, I guess I could have, but that is not what I wanted to be known as.
What I wanted to do was two fold - I wanted to feel useful to others and i wanted to satisfy my curiosity.
The job at the Health Department was the door, my boss was the vehicle, he let me "go" in anything environmental as long as we did not have to spend too much money getting there.
When i worked for private industry, what you did with a sample was strictly limited to what you were asked to find, even if you "saw" hints of something that might be important.
At the Health Department, if I wanted to look at chloride for every sample that came into the lab, I could. If I decided nutrients were a was of time for beach samples, it was my decision.
The restriction was my curiosity.
That of course led to the first paper on softener discharge and increased salt levels in the water nearby wells.
The learning programming languages and databases help all of that, I could compile information easier and look at more variables with much greater ease.
Curiosity is then my major thing. If i saw nitrite in well water, i looked for bacteria. If they had a softener treatment on the water, I looked for chloride levels.
Learning about bacteria at beaches help begin processes at a national level.
I was just curious.
And that brings me acknowledgment from state and Federal scientists, that certified me as a expert, but it was all curiosity, always asking questions. Always asking: "What is this telling me?"
Global warming - I said i was going to say something about this.
It is based on a simple observation this year.
I have lived in Connecticut 33 years and seen 33 winters and 33 Thanksgiving and I always wanted to have parsley from my garden in the feast.
This is the first tine in 33 years that has happened.
Global warming is real.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What has happen, we have done to ourselves!

This is not about the dump, even though the Advocate wrongly says the underground water for North Stamford is bad.
No, this is about a whole host of things that have happened as we push "suburbia" further into undeveloped land.
The first portion of this is Lyme disease, it was discovered relatively recently, but in all actuality, it has existed for a long time.
As we pushed housing developments further into the woods, we eliminated the various predators of deer and the white footed mouse. The change in species allowed a proliferation of both and Lyme and the tick became more prevalent. This is not my study, this was a study done in Westchester county and clearly categorized the changes in species, but anyone could easily tell that the deer population has increased.
The second portion is Long Island Sound - this year there were fewer fish than ever before and everyone who has concerns is worried because all the things they have done to "clean up" the Sound have failed miserably.
How we changed the Sound and made it dependent on our "organic" pollution (Read treatment plant waste) and then fed into it all the things we put on ur lawns to make it prety has killed the Sound. Although I am involved, the biggerstudies have been done by the Marine fisheries division of NOAA and some graduate students in New York.
The third portion has to do with our drinking water - This is more complex, but still our fault.
Small farms , which prospered after World War II, did so using the new and amazing chemicals we made to control pests. Soon it was not profitable to have a farm of only a 100 acres or so and the land became more valuable as real estate. Small farms were subdivided into lots where houses were built and who would ever think that they were time bombs? They were away from public water and wells were drilled.
So for 30 to 50 years, these homes have been pulling down the clean out products of the farmer. the land was not pristine, it was hazardus, for after every spray with these "wonder" chemicals, the farmer had to clean out his canisters and those become hot spots.
Others of us dumped still more chemicals into land fills and backyards and into septic systems never dreaming that there would ever be a problem.
This has been found by epidemiologist studing developed farm land and cancer clusters.
We did it to our selves in our precieved needs and our lack of understanding.
All of these occur because