Posts Tagged ‘environment’

When will earth reach her carrying point for humans? So the debate goes on in the scientific community. On one side of debate we have the idealist scientist who fell earth can never have too many humans. The gloom and doom philosopher will point out that we are already at earths carrying capacity.  Are you confused yet.

Let me try to clear up Monday’s muddy waters. Thomas Malthus was an 18th century philosopher, who wrote that the earth would reach a carrying capacity. The amount of people the earth can sustain has been argued, and I think will continue to be argued over for a very long time, by scientists from all areas.

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You see most recently Eward O. Wilson wrote in his book, “The Future of Life”, that the Earth’s maximum capacity is 10 billion people. Wilson bases this calculation off of a limited resource model. However, remember the idealist scientist from the opening paragraph of the post?  The idealist will point out that sustainability can be reached and maintained despite growing populations. The maintenance of earths sustainability despite growing populations hinges on humans consuming resources smartly.  I know today is muddy waters Monday, muddy Monday and I apologize for the confusion, but allow me to explain.

Resources are limited, this is both true and false. In science there is a rule called the “conservation of mass” this rule states simply that no matter is created or destroyed it merely changes state. So a better way to state the whole “limited resources statement” would be “our optimal state of resources has a shelf life”.

More of an explanation can be seen in the timber industry. Paper and wood products are all around you an the industry has really begun to embrace a sustainability model that is admirable. Acres of trees are planted, cultivated destroyed and then replanted. This model is a prime example of resources changing shape and an understanding of conservation and sustainability.

Many energy companies are beginning to look into some  sustainable models for generating clean energy. There is much research to be done. The world still lacks the understanding of how crude oil is formed? But learning is taking place at a record breaking rate. So with the knowledge being gleaned from research into the earth and her many mysteries as well as responsible corporations, I way the future looks bright.

Now being a caring citizens of earth that we are, of course we look for ways to help out. What can I do?  According to a recent CBS news story, humans consumption of earth’s resources is currently unsustainable.  {I know gloom and doom right?) Hope is not lost though, as stated before many industries are working on research, building and implementation of sustainability models and at home we can take a page from our grandmothers advice and “just take what we need”.  Thee is an interesting website, that has a fun quiz you can take. The quiz will give you your “global footprint” and the website will give you tips for reducing this (if you need to). The tips are common sense things and most center on wasting nothing and not taking more than we need.

This idea of waste not want not is not new. It is tried and true, and, can make a huge impact on a personal level. When used, one will find that he or she basically has everything they need to live and enjoy a full life, without taking part in what seems to be an insatiable consumer desire. “Waste not, want not.” — Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin one of the founding fathers of the United States of America,  was a leading author, printer, political theoristpoliticianpostmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. It would be a hard sell to convince someone that Benjamin Franklin lead an unfufilled life, and yet he made famous the quote “waste not want not”

We would be smart to let the scientific community continue to debate the carrying capacity. While they debate we can do our part by not being wasteful and live a more full and rich life.

peace

john3c

 

 

 

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So there was some news the other day about the environment. The world now has more carbon than in the air than it has in 3 million years and air pollution kills more people now than high cholesterol.   Whatever you feel about climate change, or global warming the argument that air pollution is a problem should not be an argument at all. Pollution is a serious global problem.

When I was a kid my mom took us trick or treating and our dad was working the night shift. Without someone to stay at the house and hand out candy to neighbourhood ghosts and goblins mom was worried but as moms always do she came up with a plan. Mom found a huge white plastic bowl filled it with candy and put a sign on it. The sign read happy Halloween, please take only one.

The world is growing and man is consuming more each year. http://www.worldometers.info/ is an interesting website which has numbers on the worlds consumption. It is interesting to watch the numbers rise on the site. You can see the world’s population numbers, the consumption of everything and then if you scroll down the page you will see numbers on obesity. After reading the obesity numbers you can then read the numbers about the starving, impoverished and the deforested numbers.

It seems not everyone has taken only one from the candy jar. With pollution problems. Resource management will become and should be a priority for everyone. When we over eat we suffer in form of obesity and when we participate in a decadent lifestyle we pay for it with air pollution.

I guess the lesson from air pollution is take only what you need and if you want more than your needs change your wants. Until we reign in consumption we will see our planet destroyed and we will choke ourselves in our greed and over consumption.

peace

john3c

 

 

I throw an aluminum can into a trash bin and I respond to my co workers reprimand about recycling with the quip “everything is recycled eventually.”  I usually try to find the recycling bin at the office and place refuse which belongs there in it but on the current day the bin was missing and I couldn’t find it. However when you think about it recycling does take place eventually.

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I guess the question is when would you like this item to be reused or recycled. A lot of things happen with or without or actions. I am not sure about you but I like to believe we are to certain degree “masters of our fate” I am not so sure sometimes though when I see things happen despite precautions I have taken it is almost as though the universe has decided something would happen. So what do I do about things that will happen eventually? Do I fight and flee, embrace and nurture the changes or maybe a little bit of both?

What do you do about things that happen eventually? How much do you fight it? How much do you embrace it? I guess the answer depends on two questions which really shape your entire being. What is happening to you and who are you?

peace

john3c

imagesToday is Stephen Hawkings 71st birthday. So Happy birthday Stephen and thanks for all the knowledge you have given the world. Through Stephen Hawkings research the universe has become a smaller and more accessible place than ever before. We know things about black holes and energy that have benefitted communications and exploration in outer space as well as here on earth.
As I was reading about Stephen Hawkings birthday this morning my girlfriend was reading and watching videos about sea life and the giant squid discovered off the coast of Japan.
I find it, odd that on the birthday of a man who understood space better than anyone she would be reading about the ocean. President Kennedy made the comparison between space and the ocean in his “Space is the new ocean”and on a clear night when someone sees the endless inky sky littered with what seems to be endless stars the comparison cannot help but be made. When questioned about extraterrestrial life Stephen Hawkings mentions that an encounter with this life on earth may be a hostile one. “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet” He goes on to point out how man has raided and exploited lands like North America when the Europeans came.
At work about a year ago there was a short water cooler discussion about alien life. One of the discussions members offered that if we wish to see some amazing life forms we need not look to outer space, but simply the ocean. The Ocean is teaming with life it is in the ocean were all life began and it is the ocean that has not received the respect it greatly deserves from mankind. Am I suggesting we stop eating seafood? No not at all. However there should be respect for the life in the ocean when it comes to fishing and pollution. Above all there should be respect for our fellow-man. I am not sure how aliens would treat our species but I hope it would be better than our species has treated other species and our own.
peace

john3c

On the way into work this morning the radio carried a story about a hearing, which sounded more like an inquisition, into the electric utility companies response to the hurricane Sandy disaster. There were stories told by men and women about the trauma they experienced living without electrical power in their homes and I couldn’t help but think how odd it was that electricity is considered a utility and not a luxury.

Is electricity intrinsic to human survival? I would say no. So electricity is not a necessity, but it is not a luxury, or is it? I guess it depends on who you ask. There is a useful for electricity it is useful and nice to have. I guess the word utility is appropriate than and should be remembered for what it is a utility not a necessity. I wonder if the men and women conducting the inquisition kept in mind the nature of electricity would the inquisition be as harsh as it is.

 

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 Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the utility as much as the next guy, but I hope I can always keep in mind, especially when the power is out that it is not a need but a want and the generation and distribution of electricity is a feat in and of itself, that may not always work as it seems it should.

peace

john3c

 

The devastation from hurricane Katrina in throughout the state of Louisiana is still being felt some 7 years after the hurricane hit land fall and broke records for destruction and mayhem. Lives were lost, property destroyed families uprooted through a massive evacuation. It seems hard to look for a silver lining in such a tragic and sudden event, it also seems like an effort to trivialize something monumental. Let be be clear this post is in no way an effort to ease anyone’s pain or down play the tremendous loss suffered from this natural disaster. This is an effort to answer both a child and adult question about the natural occurring phenom called hurricanes. Why?

Sometimes to understand and answer why we have to look at the what and how. What besides destruction does a hurricane bring?  Well it brings to the tropics a hospitable climate in which life can survive and thrive. The Earths delicate eco system is the only one we know of so far in the universe which will allow human life. To keep a balance hurricanes play an important part in this.  They are formed from warm ocean air rising from the water’s surface lower pressure air rises and swirls through the higher air pressure.

We now know why hurricanes happen and how they happen and a new question from billionaire, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Gates,  has been brought to the table. If we could should we prevent hurricanes from happening?  It seems mr. Gates has a theory about cooling the warm water and preventing hurricanes. I am not sure if the technology will work, but one has to wonder if the eco system is employing hurricanes to keep the balance what will it resort to when the hurricanes are prevented?

Disaster strikes for various reasons, some disasters are avoidable others are not understanding a disaster can sometimes help with the fall out from it but the fact remains that more often than not loss and disaster are a major part of life. Why does disaster strike? Well it depends on what it is and when it happens.  My wish is not that we avoid all disasters because that would be avoiding life but in the midst of and through the disaster we find strength and courage.

peace

john3c

 

Saturday afternoon six kids and the threat of boredom creeping in, propelled us to take to the road. In about 14 minutes we were pulling up to Fort Morris in Midway GA. Fort Morris is a historical site in Midway GA. The Fort Morris historic site is where a military post of 200 patriots stood to protect coastal GA from the British troops. We pay the park ranger in the gift shop, he then directs us to a small movie theater where the kids take their seats and we see a film about Sunbury GA and it’s importance in 1700’s to the continental U.S. As we listen and see how important and big the old sea port city once was we hear the kids pipe up with a, “I am learning about this or that in school” and the “oh I know who that is'” 

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I am pleased that the boredom killer is working, so far and that maybe they are learning something. I am also in shock to hear about the size of Sunbury GA. The port city, as I mentioned earlier was one of the larger cities in GA and worth protecting. The reason I find this hard to believe is the lack of physical evidence in the city for a town of any substantial size let alone bustling. Sunbury is an empty deserted marsh part of Liberty County GA. Even the historic site, Fort Morris has no man-made structures left from the time it was a fort.

Nature has come behind man and now stand where there were once houses, Live oak trees with spanish moss. Where once you could hear the clip clop of horses and the hum of machinery you hear the abundant cacophony of a myriad of birds and wildlife. The location of the fort has a mile long nature trail that we follow and as we do we read the narrative that tells the history of a hard-fought battle. The kids are rescued from the brink of boredom and I am once again amazed at the power of mother nature and the beauty of it all.

peace

john3c