EDRO

Seeding Socioeconomic Avalanches! [Hacked by WordPress; filtered by Google!]

Archive for the ‘pollution’ Category

Image of the Day: Hong Kong Skyline at Night

Posted by edro on November 17, 2008

Hong Kong: Facing an Increasingly Uncertain Future

Hong Kong may be among the world’s first Megapolises to experience a total collapse


The night skyline of Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon
, as seen from Victoria Peak, the tallest mountain on Hong Kong Island. With a population of more than 7 million, HK is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Author: Diliff. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Related Links:

Advertisements

Posted in energy, environment, future, lifestyle, pollution | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thought for the Day: VLS Food Production

Posted by edro on September 5, 2008

VLS Accelerated Food Production Amid Environmental Chaos

The most highly sought after technology in the next 12 – 24 months could be VLS accelerated hydroponics. That is the know-how to produce large amounts of food in confined (or semi-confined) environments within a short time cycle and without the need for soil.

VLS: Very Large Scale

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Remember this Image!

Posted by edro on September 4, 2008

Coming to a City Near You!


No Food, No Freshwater, No Shelter!
[A flooded road outside Gonaives, Haiti, September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer. Image may be subject to copyright.]

Related Links:

edro

Posted in atmosphere, future, lifestyle, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

An Effective System of Mass Extinction

Posted by edro on August 21, 2008

The Exponential Growth Economy is Committing Life to Extinction

Yet, our top scientists want to preserve the economic system, instead of sustaining life on Earth!

Instead of urging an immediate end to the exponential growth economy and demanding a zero-growth, low carbon, waste-free oikonomia for managing the environment, welfare of humans and other living species, and a system of ‘housekeeping’ for the planet’s natural resources to sustain life on Earth, the country’s top scientists are looking for ways of serving the economic Titanic.

Read Original Entry: Protect Economy from Climate??!

The Environmental Cost of US Economy (carbon footprint only!)

  • US GDP (2007 PPP) : $13.8 trillion [World Bank]
  • US CO2 Emissions (2007) : 6,825.733 MMT [based on CDIAC data updated by MSRB/CASF]
  • Virtual CO2 content of US dollar (2007) : 494 g (The average amount of CO2 produced each time a dollar was paid or received in 2007. SEE: How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?)

Related Links:

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Collapse Engine Revving UP!

Posted by msrb on August 18, 2008

The problems?

  • Water scarcity. About 3 billion people are affected by water scarcity caused by diminishing reserves of freshwater (excessive use), climate change (drought, extreme climatic events, vanishing snow caps…)
  • Excessive volumes of wastewater produced by growing urban population
  • Increased demand for crops to feed growing urban population

The “Quick Fix!”

Irrigating urban agricultural land with untreated wastewater!

A possible outcome:

Spread of pandemic diseases leading to large scale collapse

A new 53-city study conducted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) reveals that about 80 percent of the cities studied use untreated or partially diluted wastewater for agriculture. At least 50 percent of the urban agricultural land in those cities is irrigated with raw or diluted wastewater.

“Irrigating with wastewater isn’t a rare practice limited to a few of the poorest countries. It’s a widespread phenomenon, occurring on 20 million hectares across the developing world, especially in Asian countries, like China, India and Vietnam, but also around nearly every city of sub-Saharan Africa and in many Latin American cities as well,” said IWMI researcher Liqa Raschid-Sally.

“It’s a widespread phenomenon, occurring on 20 million hectares (50 million acres) across the developing world, especially in Asian countries, like China, India and Vietnam, but also around nearly every city of sub-Saharan Africa and in many Latin American cities as well.”

Wastewater is most commonly used to produce vegetables and cereals, especially rice, pose a health threat to the farmers as well as the consumers.

“The negative and positive implications of wastewater agriculture have only recently received attention. This study offers the first comprehensive, cross-country analysis of the conditions that account for the practice and the difficult tradeoffs that arise from it,” said Colin Chartres, director general of IWMI.

About 200,000 people in Accra, 10 percent of the urban population of Ghana’s capital city, consume vegetables produced on just 100 hectares of urban agricultural land, which is irrigated with wastewater, according to the IWMI report. “That gives you an idea of the large potential of wastewater agriculture for both helping and hurting great numbers of urban consumers.” Raschid-Sally said.

“And it isn’t just affluent consumers of exotic vegetables whose welfare is at stake. Poor consumers of inexpensive street food also depend on urban agriculture.” She reported.

Related Links:

Posted in 286W, Accra, climate change, economy, energy, environment, future, ghana, lifestyle, pollution, soil | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Good Bye, Tuvalu!

Posted by edro on August 13, 2008

Original Entry:

Global Warming Tolls the Death Knell for Tuvalu

‘I want to leave this country. When the spring tide comes and the gale winds blow, it will be over for us. We realize that disaster is all too certain to strike us.’

Related Links:

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, future, lifestyle, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Much CO2 Are You Producing?

Posted by edro on August 8, 2008

Original Entry: World CO2 Emissions

World Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Consumption (including Flaring) Cement Production and Tropical Deforestation

CO2 This Year ( From 1-1-2008 to 8-8-2008 )
23,803.61 MMT CO2

CO2 Total 2007
38,058.66 MMT CO2

Anthropogenic CO2 Total (1750 – Today)
1,358,931.31 MMT CO2

Total atmospheric CO2

3,008,879.36 MMT [3,008.88GT]

How much CO2 are YOU producing?

Each dollar you earn or spend produces 584 g of CO2. [See Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar]

How much CO2 was there before?

Measurements of CO2 levels in Ice cores collected in Antarctica and Greenland indicate that the preindustrial carbon dioxide level was 278 ppm. Between 1000 and 1800 A.D. that level varied by no more than 7 ppm.

What about human activities?

The CO2 levels have now reached 386 ppm, which means human activities have increased the concentration of atmospheric CO2 by 109 ppm or 39 percent.

Notes:
MMT: Million Metric Tons
GT: Gigatons (billion tons)
Sources: CASF/MSRB; CDIAC; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency; Earth Systems Research Laboratory; Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data.

The following data were used to calculate the total mass of atmospheric CO2 :
1. Mass of dry air: 5.1352 × 1018 kg
2. The mean molar mass of air: 28.9625 g/mol.
3. Molar mass of CO2: 44.0095 g/mol.
4. Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data: 385.60ppmv

[Note: On various websites reporting the carbon dioxide emissions since 1750 the cumulative amount varies from about 1.3 – 1.8 trillion tons. On one website the amount is published once as 1.36 trillion tons and again as 1.71 trillion tons of CO2 on separate pages. Understandably, no sources are quoted. ]

Related Links:

Posted in air pollution, atmosphere, carrying capacity, climate change, collapsing ecosystems, dynamics of collapse, economy, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, ocean acidification, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar

Posted by edro on August 5, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member

How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?

Definitions

GDP is gross domestic product at purchaser prices. It is the sum of the gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources. PPP GDP is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. (Source: World bank)

GDP = consumption + gross investment + government spending + net exports

United States one dollar bill (obverse).

.

[Important: for 3/4 & 1-1/2 U.S. Secret Service money illustration rules click here! See also Copyright rules.]

.

GNI (gross national income) is gross domestic product (GDP) plus net receipts of primary income (employee compensation and investment income) from abroad. GDP is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output. (World Bank)

GNI per capita is gross national income divided by midyear population. PPP GNI is gross national income converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GNI as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. (World Bank)

World Population and GDP figures

World population 2007 (World Bank) : 6.61billion
GNI per capita 2007 (PPP) : 9,816 (International Dollars)
World GNI : 64.9 trillion (International Dollars)
World GDP: 65.17 trillion (International Dollars)

[PPP is purchasing power parity; an international dollar has the same purchasing power over GNI or GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States.]


CO2 and Other Exhaust gases spewing out of an industrial plant.

Energy and GDP

To create the above economic figures [GNI and GDP,] the world economies consumed about 531 exajoules [503 quads] of energy in 2007. [Sources: CASF and MSRB]

To produce a GDP of 65.17 trillion (International Dollars), the world economies emitted about 10.38 billion metric tons of carbon [~38.06 billion tons of CO2.] That is, for every dollar paid (or received) each time in 2007 an average of about 160 grams of carbon, or 584 g of CO2 were released to the environment! [Sources: CASF and MSRB]

Notes:
1. 1kg (1,000g) is about 2.21lb [1 lb ~ 453.6g]
2. The above figure of 584g of CO2/GDP dollar is a global average. In the US the pollution figure is 578g of CO2/GDP dollar. In China the CO2 amount per GDP dollar of economic activity rises to 1,282g – about 2.2 times the global average of CO2/GDP dollar. [Updated Sept. 2008 ]

Related Links:

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, pollution, war | Tagged: , , , , , , | 84 Comments »

Cyprus Collapse May Be Imminent!

Posted by edro on July 19, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member

Cyprus’ extreme environmental stress may lead to early collapse!

Ex-govt official: “We are going through a visual process of desertification.”

Main Causes of Collapse

Climate Change
– Persistent Droughts
– Disruption in climatic patterns
– Low Precipitation
– Higher than normal temperatures
– Heatwaves
– Wildfires and other natural phenomena [disasters] exacerbated by warming

Land
– Urbanization
– Land use and land cover change
– Loss of topsoil
– Soil degradation, especially salination
– Soil erosion caused by high temperatures, low precipitation and hot dry winds

Water
– Extreme water shortages throughout the island worsened by additional [including unforeseen] factors

Tourism
– Causing additional environmental stress
– Creating excessive waste and pollution
– Weakening the Island’s natural defense mechanisms

Main Effects

– Reduced ability to produce food
– Crop failure
– Continued water scarcity (compounded by economic/monetary issues)
– Breakdown of sewage, water and sanitation systems
– Spread of disease pandemics
– Overshoot of Carrying Capacity: The Island may have already passed the tipping point
– Resumption of the Cypriot civil war between the north and south enclaves reignited by the specter of ecological collapse
– Collapse of local ecosystems
– Desertification
– Land abandonment
– Population displacement/climate refugees

Possible Timeline

2011- 2013

Country Data

Estimated Population: 793,000 (July 2008 Estimate)
Area:
Total: 9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
Land: 9,240 sq km
Water: 10 sq km

No. of Tourists: About 3,000,000

Land use:
Arable land: 10.81%
Permanent crops: 4.32%
Other: 84.87% (2005)

Irrigated land: 400 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
: 0.4 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.21 cu km/yr (27%/1%/71%)
Per capita: 250 cu m/yr (2000)

Primary Energy Consumption year 2007: 0.13 Quad BTU [CASF estimate based on EIA data]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 20.8 percent

Fossil Fuel consumption (excluding aviation fuel) year 2007: 2,431,399 tonnes of oil [source]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 18.4 percent

CO2 Emissions From Consumption of Fossil Fuels year 2007 : 9.65 MMT [CASF estimate for 2007]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 22.5 percent

Natural hazards: moderate earthquake activity; droughts

Environment – current issues:
water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island’s largest aquifer, increased salination in the north); water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes; coastal degradation; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization.

Human Rights Issues
Cyprus [like New Zealand] is primarily a destination country for a large number of women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of sexual exploitation; traffickers continued to fraudulently recruit victims for work as dancers in cabarets and nightclubs on short-term “artiste” visas, for work in pubs and bars on employment visas, or for illegal work on tourist or student visas. (Source CIA Factbook, Wikipedia, others)

Population density: It is estimated that at peak tourist season, the effective population density of [Southern] Cyprus exceeds that of the Netherlands (ranked world’s 25th most densely populated).


Location map: Cyprus (dark green) / European Union (light green) / Europe (dark grey). Credit: User 3meandEr, via Wikimedia Commons

Water Facts

  • After little winter rainfall, the drought in Cyprus is now in its fifth year.
  • Cypriot water reserves are at their lowest for 100 years; however, the effective population of Cyprus (citizens and tourists) have multiplied by about 150 folds.
  • “As long as the population remained [as] low [as] in the pre-industrial period, the water was sufficient for supplying cities which received water either from the mountains through the aqueducts or through the groundwater supply.” Said Chris Schabel, medieval historian at the University of Cyprus.
  • The entire island including both the Turkish Cypriot north and the Greek Cypriot south divisions are drought stricken.
  • The Island has an annual requirement of about 210 million cubic meters of water.
  • As of July 16, 2008 the water reservoirs were only about 6.5 percent full. Down one percent in the last three weeks (33 percent of the level 12 months ago).
  • Southern Cyprus’ 17 main reservoirs currently contain a paltry 17,733 cubic meters of water, some of which may be unsuitable for drinking.
  • Emergency measures have limited the supply of running water to homes to only twice weekly.
  • Most of the municipal wells have been shut down to avoid the risk of seawater contamination.
  • “The British policy of drilling boreholes throughout the island resulted in a serious depletion, due to excessive pumping of the groundwater reserves, in the main water bearing areas of Famagusta, Morphou and Akrotiri. It was calculated a few years ago that groundwater resources of Cyprus are over-pumped every year by 40 per cent over the allowable safe yield.” (Source)
  • Cyprus is buying from Greece 8 million cubic meters (2.1 billion gallons) of water to be delivered by November 2008 at a cost of €40 million (US$64 million). The water will only be distributed in the Greek Cypriot south.
  • The first ship carrying water from Greece arrived June 30 at Limassol (Cyprus’ main port). The officials then realized they could not pump the water from tanker because their makeshift pipeline was 10 feet short. Because of the delay, the water turned “odorous” and was deemed unsafe for drinking. The entire tanker load of 40,000 cubic meters was subsequently pumped into the ground, instead of the city’s water network due to contamination fears!
  • Under the initial agreement, two water-laden tankers were scheduled to leave Elefsina near Athens bound for Cyprus every day for six months (6 tankers delivering 200 shipments) between June and November 2008.
  • The Turkish Cypriot north is negotiating a separate arrangement with Turkey for their water needs.
  • The Greek Cypriot south plans to build a third desalination plant.

Agriculture, Wildfires, Desertification

“Extremely hot and dry weather conditions in Cyprus, combined with strong winds led to a disastrous upsurge of forest fires and wildfires in the Troodos Montain area on 29 June 2007. … Small villages had to be evacuated. Some houses were destroyed. Cyprus reported severe material damages in the area. Moreover, two forest fires hit Cyprus on 16 July 2007 in touristic areas of the Island. The first hit the vicinity of the Kalavasos village area … The other was close to Kornos village, which is located 20 km south of Nicosia [capital city]. The total burnt area … in Cyprus measured from satellite imagery on 31 July 2007 was 12 286 hectares.” European Civil Protection.

Climate change is pointing at us “like a loaded gun,” warned the EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel at a conference on water policy last week.

“Global warming is happening,” she said. “It’s taken thousands of years for global temperatures to rise by just one degree. In this century we expect to see an increase in global temperatures of between two and six degrees Celsius.”

“Climate change has arrived. Drought has arrived. We need to take out insurance now. Good business sense demands better use of water. For those farmers caught unprepared, climate change could be a sledge hammer,” said Boel. “Maybe there are areas that will benefit from this, like in the north, but we expect climate change to leave a wave of destruction. We expect more heat waves, drought, floods and crop failures.”

We are going through a visual process of desertification. Krasochorio near Limassol, has lost its environment [Ecosystems have collapsed]. Around 85 per cent of the population has left. In Lania, 30 villas are surrounded by burnt land after the fires. What can the villagers do with them now?” Said the former Cypriot Agriculture Ministry official, Antonis Constantinou.

“What Cyprus is not good at is holding water, avoiding erosion, adapting to water shortage, and not giving incentives which can’t guarantee a better future for the island. We are also not so good at keeping greenery, avoiding fires, fighting fires, giving incentives to people to manage land, even non-agricultural land owners,” he added. (Source)

Recent History

Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey, north of Egypt, and east-southeast of Greece, It is the third-largest Mediterranean island and a busy tourist destination, attracting about 3 million tourists each year.

A former British colony, it gained independence from the UK in 1960 claiming sovereignty over 97% of the island and surrounding waters, with the United Kingdom controlling the remaining three percent. It became a member of the European Union May 1, 2004.

In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and an attempted Greek Cypriot coup d’état aimed at annexing the island to Greece and sponsored by the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, Turkey invaded and occupied one-third of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. Cyprus is thus divided to:

  • The area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island
  • The Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey)
  • The United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two
  • Two “Sovereign Base Areas” or military bases Akrotiri and Dhekelia, where United Kingdom is the sovereign despite Cypriot independence. (Source: Wikimedia)


Map of Cyprus: WSBA and ESBA (British military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia) are in pink, UN buffer zone dividing the northern (Turkish) and southern (Greek) administrations is shown in gray. The map is adapted from the CIA World Factbook map. (Source).

Related Links:

edro

Posted in climate change, health, politics, pollution, soil erosion, topsoil, Tourism, Travel, war | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Nature Must Be Stopped!

Posted by edro on July 14, 2008

Let’s make a new, more disciplined Nature, one that knows how to work effectively!

Humanoids ignorance of Nature’s defense mechanisms hasn’t improved in 12,000 years! Take California’s wildfires, for example. Tackling the wildfires has become strictly a Freudian affair.

Having reached the peak of Freudian Assault Against Nature Syndrome, there are only two courses of action available to humanoids:

See Original Entry: Nature Must Be Punished, Look at California!

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, Nature’s defense mechanisms, pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Land Erosion Rates Accelarate

Posted by edro on July 2, 2008

Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people


“A goat walks along the sun-baked bed of Cyprus’s largest reservoir at Kouris, March 20, 2008. Cyprus announced on Monday emergency water cuts to deal with a crippling drought.” REUTERS/Stringer [Image may be subject to copyright. See EDRO  Fair Use Notice!]

Related Links:

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Exponential Growth Economy Elephant in the Room

Posted by edro on July 2, 2008

Original Entry: Blind “experts” examining the elephant

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nature’s Defense Mechanisms

Posted by edro on June 27, 2008

How Do Natural Events Form Nature’s Defense Mechanisms?

1. Extremity. They exceed the normal parameters creating significant differences in the events outcome.
2. Selective Targeting. This phenomenon could probably be explained as reflex action.
3. Change of Rhythms. Changes in the established cyles, patterns, tempo and behavioral modes of natural events may offset positive feedback systems.
4. Other Mechanisms.

Are Extreme Precipitation Events Nature’s Defense Mechanisms?

Related Links:

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments »

Ice on Mars

Posted by edro on June 22, 2008

Does it really make any sense looking for ice on Mars as life becomes extinct down here on Earth?

Wouldn’t it be more sensible if NASA’s budget for discovering life on Mars
was reallocated to securing life on Earth?

Original Entry:
Our world is a few extreme events away from total catastrophe

Related Links:

.

Posted in atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, future, lifestyle, pollution, soil, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nature and You

Posted by edro on June 15, 2008

A Place in the Cosmos

The time has come for humanity, you, to consider a fundamental issue about your place within the cosmos. Can you answer the following questions?

  • How important is your role to the cosmos?
  • Do you have a role to play?
  • Can nature do without you?
  • How do you make your role indispensable?

Violent death of an old sun-like star!


Dusty Eye of the Helix Nebula [NGC 7293] Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Su (Univ. of Ariz.)

An infrared image of the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet known for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye. The nebula, located about 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, belongs to a class of objects called planetary nebulae—the carcasses of deceased sun-like stars.

When sun-like stars die, they blow out their outer gaseous layers. The layers are heated by the hot core of the dead star, called a white dwarf, and shine with infrared and visible colors. (Source: Spitzer Space Telescope )

NEW Stars Are Born!


N90 is one of the star-forming regions in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The rich populations of infant stars found here are formed in an environment that is very different from the Milky Way Galaxy. Image taken buy the Hubble Space Telescope. (ESA/NASA)

Posted in air polluttion, atmosphere, climate change, economy, energy, environment, failing ecosystems, future, lifestyle, natural disasters, pollution, soil, topsoil, war, water | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »