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Archive for the ‘soil’ Category

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

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A Snapshot of World “Disasters” this Week

Posted by edro on September 5, 2008

Haiti


Haiti’s second city, Gonaives, was deluged by Hurricane Hanna. Image: Matthew Marek/American Red Cross. Source:BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Haiti – Two hurricanes, Gustav and Hanna, struck the Caribbean’s poorest nation in little over 4 days, just two weeks after tropical storm Fay had already drenched the country. the hurricanes left at least 200 people dead. The death toll could still climb substantially as thousands of people who escaped to rooftops to avoid rising floodwaters continue to starve. See: Hungry Haitian Flood Victims Stranded on Rooftops.

In 2004, after Hurricane Jeanne struck the city of Gonaïves causing widespread floods and mudslides, more than than 3000 people died.

Nepal


People seek refuge from flood waters in east Nepal August 24, 2008. Twenty-four bodies have been discovered washed away by Koshi River at the Nepal-India border according to local media. More than 20,000 thousand people have been displaced due to a flooding after a dam burst. REUTERS/Nepal Army 11 Brigade/Handout (NEPAL). FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

Nepal – An appeal for assistance for Koshi flood affected people in eastern Nepal has been made by: WFP, FAO, UNICEF, WHO, OCHA, and OXFAM for a total of US$10,102,485.

  • WFP has asked for $5,000,000 to provide: Short to medium-term food needs and recovery support to flood affected persons
  • FAO requires $1,819,000 for: Support to provide fodder, treat sick draught animals/livestock and carcass disposal activities in support of the flood affected farming families
  • UNICEF asked for $1,795,065 to provide: Shelter, safe water, sanitation facilities, hygiene kits, school and student kits, emergency health messages and psychosocial support for flood affected families
  • WHO needs $853,150 to: Procure essential emergency/outbreak response medicines for Saptari and Sunsari districts, buffer stocks for Kathmandu and pre- positioning of international emergency health kits in all the regions
  • OCHA has asked for $600,000 to Capitalize Emergency Response Fund to allocate grants for emergency flood response
  • OXFAM requested a mere $35,270 to provide Support for shelter items, fuel wood, and to cover transportation costs of both IDPs and shelter kits in Saptari

[Note: The more experienced agencies never publish the required aid money in figures that are rounded to nearest thousands—,000.]

India

India – The flooding in the Bihar state of India has affected an estimated three million people. Without clean water, food, medicines and shelter many of them will perish.


A flood-affected man takes a nap outside a flood relief camp in Jankinagar village of Purniya district in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri. Image may be subject to copyright.

Cuba


People walk past a destroyed car as Hurricane Gustav passes in Los Palacios, 100 km (62 miles) west of Havana August 30, 2008. The Category 4 storm swept across Cuba in a matter of hours and now poses a threat to Gulf oil fields on a projected path that could take it ashore near New Orleans, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. REUTERS/Claudia Daut (CUBA)

Cuba – Hurricane Gustav destroyed or damaged about 100,000 homes in Cuba. Pinar del Río province was the hardest hit with its share of 70,000, and a total of about 500 damaged schools. In the municipality of Isla de la Juventud about half of the houses were damaged. In the municipality of Los Palacios 80 percent of the 13,000 homes were damaged, some 6,000 were completely destroyed.

Chile


A man rows a boat in a flooded street of Puerto Saavedra town in southern Chile September 3, 2008. Hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes during the storms that hit parts of Chile, according to local media.  REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Caballero. Image may be subject to copyright.

Chile – About 100,000 people have been affected by torrential rains in Chile, the worst in living memory; four people drowned.

In Araucania region, 700 km south of Santiago, rain has damaged about 10,000 homes, flooded rivers and canals, blocked roadways, destroyed bridges and inundated more than 200,000 hectares of farmland.

President Michelle Bachelet designated the region as a “catastrophe zone” on Wednesday.

Two hurricanes, Gustav and Hanna, struck the Caribbean’s poorest nation in little over 4 days, about two weeks after tropical storm Fay had already drenched the country.

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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.]

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edro

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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?)

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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.

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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.’

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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. ]

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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 »

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!]

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The Exponential Growth Economy Elephant in the Room

Posted by edro on July 2, 2008

Original Entry: Blind “experts” examining the elephant

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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?

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Is 350 ppm CO2 Safe?

Posted by edro on June 24, 2008

Original Entry: 350 ppm Safe? Hell, NO!

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Posted in atmosphere, economy, energy, environment, future, health, human migration, Human-induced climate change, ice dynamics, lifestyle, soil, war, water | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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

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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)

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California ‘Mojavefied’ by 2011?

Posted by edro on June 13, 2008

Water Emergency in Calif

As most of the croplands in the Central U.S. is submerged under floodwater, the heart of California’s farming area is feeling the heat. Gov. Schwarzenegger who proclaimed last week a drought in California, declared yesterday a state of emergency in nine counties in Central Valley.


Coyote Dry Lake, Mojave Desert. Image: AnimAlu via Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

Coyote Dry Lake is a dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert located about 24 km northeast of Barstow, and north of Interstate 15 in southern California. The lake measures about 10 km long and about 6 km wide at its widest section.

Main Entry:

Schwarzenegger Proclaims Water Emergency in Nine Counties

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edro

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Global Food Shortages

Posted by edro on June 2, 2008

Food riots caused by rising food and fuel prices are already a recurring nightmare. How ugly will the global scene get as Earth’s fertility erodes further?

Main entry: We Need Food!

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