Is Humanity to Blame for the Scarcity of Water?

wasting water

 

Although skeptics don’t believe humans are the cause of global warming, or climate change, we may be responsible for the scarcity of our own water supplies. Water does more for our community than simply keep us alive. We use this liquid component in a variety of tasks from flushing waste down to sewers to cleaning toxic chemicals to the excessive use each time we frack for gas. Instead of looking for alternatives and examining how our actions affect communities and the planet, humans are more drawn to the quick and easy way to accomplish goals.

1. Deforestation – Less rainfall in particular areas of the globe can be correlated with the loss of plant life within those areas. The Amazon Rainforest, while being a prime example, isn’t the only area that has seen diminished rainfall from the lack of trees and plants. Deforestation has been greatly impacted by humans because of the need for cattle ranches, paper and other materials that could have been produced using other methods.

2. Cleaning and Waste Removal – Depending on the style of your toilet, you can use 3.5 to seven gallons of water with each flush. In a family environment, more than 100 gallons of water can be flushed down the drain each and every day. The water that fills this receptacle is the same water that we drink. While this is aside from the installation of “low-flow” toilets, showers and baths can consume a great deal of water for the family environment as well. While this depends on the shower head that is installed, a single 10-minute shower can use up 50 gallons of water. In a family environment, more than 350 gallons of water can be consumed just in the bathroom on a daily basis.

3. Fracking – Millions of gallons of water can be used in any particular “fracking” job in order to improve drilling for oil and natural gas. Although some of this waste water is recycled, a large portion of it is lost. Instead of investing in improved ways to drive our automobiles or keep the steam turbine generators spinning for power, we squander the very component life depends on even though droughts run rampant across the plains.

4. Existing Technology –
We have existing technology that can help drought-affected areas to support life, if not for the implications of a dollar amount. Large and small scale water condensers are being developed that can essentially pull the water right out of the air. Since it costs so much money to build these units, may don’t see them as a practical way to survive – as drought causes crops to suffer.

5. Lack of Effort – In areas that are affected by floods and where the humidity is so high, why can’t this extra influx of water be piped to areas that are suffering? Because it wouldn’t be cost efficient to do so. It would require effort by local and federal governments in order to provide a viable method to keep the populations alive with the one component that humans cannot survive without.

Climate change on a global scale may be caused by a natural occurrence of the planet, but humans do their part to be as detrimental to their own survival. Instead of being a species that cares for survival, we have become one that depends on the size of the pocket book. If it’s not profitable, it must not be the correct path, right?

 

 

This article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.

 

Going Green in Small Things

Going Green in Small Things

When we think of going green we typically think of things like adding solar panels to your home’s roof or massive wind farms or building a home out of used tires. However, going green does not have to mean making massive, expensive changes to your lifestyle. You can just do a few little things and make a big impact on the environment. Here are some little things you can change –

  1. Light Bulbs – We all know that the classic light bulb is a huge waste of electricity and heat. Thankfully we have other options today. Even big chain stores carry a variety of eco-friendly lighting choices. LED lights are becoming cheaper every year and use almost no electricity while still providing more than enough light.
  2. Car Maintenance –Keeping your car maintained is an easy way to help the environment. A well maintained car does not give off as much pollution and a car with inflated tires and a clean fuel injector assembly does not use as much gas. Not only are you reducing emissions, but you are also reducing the drain on non-renewable resources and the transportation and processing required to get them to your local gas station.
  3. Insulation –An easy and inexpensive way to make your home more eco-friendly is to replace your insulation. A well-insulated home stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing your need for utilities to heat and cool your home. It also helps to replace your windows with double paned glass. This double layer of glass means that less cool air will escape in the summer and fewer icy breezes will get in during the winter. You can even have your windows tinted or add dark colored screens to reduce sun exposure and keep your house cooler.
  4. Recycle –This simple idea has been around for a long time but is still something that we need to be reminded to do every once in a while. You should be recycling everything you can. Things like soda cans, glass jars, and plastic jugs can be recycled into new, useful things. Even paper products can be recycled. If your community does not have a recycling program you can form one or find your closest recycling center. Oftentimes your local public school will have a recycling program in place and would be glad for any donations you care to provide.
  5. Shop Smart –Las but not least, learn to shop smart. Try to buy locally as much as you can, reducing the transportation costs and emissions to get the products to the store. Try to find items that are made from recycled materials and thingsthat can be reused instead of thrown away.

All these little steps add up to really help the environment. Remember that you do not have to be rich to be green. Just a few thoughtful changes and a little effort on your part can help us to keep the Earth in shape for the next generation.

Author Bio:

Jason Miner plays a vital role for www.blogcarnival.com. He is an expert in writing topics of different categories. He is helping the carnival team to grow & working on making this an even better place for bloggers. 

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss


At the far end of town

where the Grickle-grass grows
and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows
and no birds ever sing excepting old crows…
is the Street of the Lifted Lorax.
And deep in the Grickle-grass, some people say,
if you look deep enough you can still see, today,
where the Lorax once stood
just as long as it could
before somebody lifted the Lorax away.
What was the Lorax?
And why was it there?
And why was it lifted and taken somewhere
from the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows?
The old Once-ler still lives here.
Ask him. He knows.
You won’t see the Once-ler.
Don’t knock at his door.
He stays in his Lerkim on top of his store.
He lurks in his Lerkim, cold under the roof,
where he makes his own clothes
out of miff-muffered moof.
And on special dank midnights in August,
he peeks
out of the shutters
and sometimes he speaks
and tells how the Lorax was lifted away.
He’ll tell you, perhaps…
if you’re willing to pay.

On the end of a rope
he lets down a tin pail
and you have to toss in fifteen cents
and a nail
and the shell of a great-great-great-
grandfather snail.
Then he pulls up the pail,
makes a most careful count
to see if you’ve paid him
the proper amount.
Then he hides what you paid him
away in his Snuvv,
his secret strange hole
in his gruvvulous glove.
Then he grunts, “I will call you by Whisper-ma-Phone,
for the secrets I tell you are for your ears alone.”
SLUPP!
Down slupps the Whisper-ma-Phone to your ear
and the old Once-ler’s whispers are not very clear,
since they have to come down
through a snergelly hose,
and he sounds
as if he had
smallish bees up his nose.
“Now I’ll tell you,”he says, with his teeth sounding gray,
“how the Lorax got lifted and taken away…
It all started way back…
such a long, long time back…
Way back in the days when the grass was still green
and the pond was still wet
and the clouds were still clean,
and the song of the Swomee-Swans rang out in space…
one morning, I came to this glorious place.
And I first saw the trees!
The Truffula Trees!
The bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees!
Mile after mile in the fresh morning breeze.
And, under the trees, I saw Brown Bar-ba-loots
frisking about in their Bar-ba-loot suits
as they played in the shade and ate Truffula fruits.
From the rippulous pond
came the comfortable sound
of the Humming-Fish humming
while splashing around.


But those trees! Those trees!
Those Truffula Trees!
All my life I’d been searching
for trees such as these.
The touch of their tufts
was much softer than silk.
And they had the sweet smell
of fresh butterfly milk.
I felt a great leaping
of joy in my heart.
I knew just what I’d do!
I unloaded my cart.
In no time at all, I had built a small shop.
Then I chopped down a Truffula Tree with one chop.
And with great skillful skill and with great speedy speed,
I took the soft tuft, and I knitted a Thneed!
The instant I’d finished, I heard a ga-Zump!
I looked.
I saw something pop out of the stump
of the tree I’d chopped down. It was sort of a man.
Describe him?… That’s hard. I don’t know if I can.



He was shortish. And oldish.
And brownish. And mossy.
And he spoke with a voice
that was sharpish and bossy.
“Mister!” he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
And I’m asking you, sir, at the top if my lungs”-
he was very upset as he shouted and puffed-
“What’s that THING you’ve made out of my Truffula tuft?”
“Look, Lorax,” I said.”There’s no cause for alarm.
I chopped just one tree. I am doing no harm.
I’m being quite useful. This thing is a Thneed.
A Thneed’s a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need!
It’s a shirt. It’s a sock. It’s a glove, It’s a hat.
But it has other uses. Yes, far beyond that.
You can use it for carpets. For pillows! For sheets!
Or curtains! Or covers for bicycle seats!”
The Lorax said,
“Sir! You are crazy with greed.
There is no one on earth
who would buy that fool Thneed!”

But the very next minute I proved he was wrong.
For, just at that minute, a chap came along,
and he thought the Thneed I had knitted was great.
He happily bought it for three ninety-eight
I laughed at the Lorax, “You poor stupid guy!
You never can tell what some people will buy.”
“I repeat,” cried the Lorax,
“I speak for the trees!”
“I’m busy,” I told him.
“Shut up, if you please.”
I rushed ‘cross the room, and in no time at all,
built a radio-phone. I put in a quick call.
I called all my brothers and uncles and aunts
and I said, “Listen here! Here’s a wonderful chance
for the whole Once-ler Family to get mighty rich!
Get over here fast! Take the road to North Nitch.
Turn left at Weehawken. Sharp right at South Stitch.”
And, in no time at all,
in the factory I built,
the whole Once-ler Family
was working full tilt.
We were all knitting Thneeds
just as busy as bees,
to the sound of the chopping
of Truffula Trees.

Then…
Oh! Baby! Oh!
How my business did grow!
Now, chopping one tree
at a time
was too slow.
So I quickly invented my Super-Axe-Hacker
which whacked off four Truffula Trees at one smacker.
We were making Thneeds
four times as fast as before!
And that Lorax?…
He didn’t show up any more.
But the next week
he knocked
on my new office door.
He snapped, “I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees
which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please.
But I’m also in charge of the Brown Bar-ba-loots
who played in the shade in their Bar-ba-loot suits
and happily lived, eating Truffula Fruits.
“NOW… thanks to your hacking my trees to the ground,
there’s not enought Truffula Fruit to go ’round.
And my poor Bar-ba-loots are all getting the crummies
because they have gas, and no food, in their tummies!
“They loved living here. But I can’t let them stay.
They’ll have to find food. And I hope that they may.
Good luck, boys,” he cried. And he sent them away.
I, the old Once-ler, felt sad
as I watched them all go.
BUT…
business is business!
And business must grow
regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.

external image s_lorax5.jpg
external image s_lorax5.jpg

I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
But I had to grow bigger.So bigger I got.
I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads
of the Thneeds I shipped out. I was shipping them forth
to the South! To the East! To the West! To the North!
I went right on biggering… selling more Thneeds.
And I biggered my money, which everyone needs.
Then again he came back! I was fixing some pipes
when that old-nuisance Lorax came back with more gripes.
“I am the Lorax,” he coughed and he whiffed.
He sneezed and he snuffled. He snarggled. He sniffed.
“Once-ler!” he cried with a cruffulous croak.
“Once-ler! You’re making such smogulous smoke!
My poor Swomee-Swans… why, they can’t sing a note!
No one can sing who has smog in his throat.
“And so,” said the Lorax,
“-please pardon my cough-
they cannot live here.
So I’m sending them off.
“Where will they go?…
I don’t hopefully know.
They may have to fly for a month… or a year…
To escape from the smog you’ve smogged up around here.

“What’s more,” snapped the Lorax. (His dander was up.)
“Let me say a few words about Gluppity-Glupp.
Your machine chugs on, day and night without stop
making Gluppity-Glupp. Also Schloppity-Schlopp.
And what do you do with this leftover goo?…
I’ll show you. You dirty old Once-ler man, you!
“You’re glumping the pond where the Humming-Fish hummed!
No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed.
So I’m sending them off. Oh, their future is dreary.
They’ll walk on their fins and get woefully weary
in search of some water that isn’t so smeary.”
And then I got mad.
I got terribly mad.
I yelled at the Lorax, “Now listen here, Dad!
All you do is yap-yap and say, ‘Bad! Bad! Bad! Bad!’
Well, I have my rights, sir, and I’m telling you
I intend to go on doing just what I do!
And, for your information, you Lorax, I’m figgering
On biggering
and BIGGERING
andBIGGERING
and BIGGERING,
turning MORE Truffula Trees into Thneeds
which everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE needs!”
And at that very moment, we heard a loud whack!
From outside in the fields came a sickening smack
of an axe on a tree. Then we heard the tree fall.
The very last Truffula Tree of them all!

No more trees. No more Thneeds. No more work to be done.
So, in no time, my uncles and aunts, every one,
all waved me good-bye. They jumped into my cars
and drove away under the smoke-smuggered stars.
Now all that was left ‘neath the bad smelling-sky
was my big empty factory…
the Lorax…
and I.
The Lorax said nothing. Just gave me a glance…
just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance…
as he lifted himself by the seat of his pants.
And I’ll never forget the grim look on his face
when he heisted himself and took leave of this place,
through a hole in the smog, without leaving a trace.
And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks, with one word…
“UNLESS.”
Whatever that meant, well, I just couldn’t guess.

That was long, long ago.
But each day since that day
I’ve sat here and worried
and worried away.
Through the years, while my buildings
have fallen apart,
I’ve worried about it
with all of my heart.
“But now,” says the Once-ler,
“Now that you’re here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.
“SO…
Catch!” calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
“It’s a Truffula Seed.
It’s the last one of all!
You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula.Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.”

Khakassky wetlands Siberia

Once again about wetlands

Every February the “Khakassky” Reserve tells about wetlands – the unusual places for common people. Actually, in the word “wetland” our beautiful Khakass lakes and steppe rivers are implied. The wetlands are the habitats of natatorial and semi-aquatic birds. However, except them, a large quantity of other kinds of plants and animals lives and breeds in these territories. Wetlands concentrate various kinds of life, both water and land.

Traditionally by February 2, the “Khakassky” Reserve opens a series of actions devoted to the World Wetlands Day. This year we have prepared an Internet quiz, intellectual game and have opened a small photo-exhibition dedicated to the wetlands of the world.

The Internet quiz, devoted to this important ecological day, was held from the 19th to 27th of January. It was the first time, when the “Khakassky” Reserve decided to involve Internet audience in such competition, and this attempt appeared to be successful. During the week, more than 150 letters from participants of our quiz had been arriving to the reserve’s e-mail. People from different regions of Russia took part in the competition. Except local participants, the quiz attracted the attention of people from such republics as Buryatia and Tyva, the Moscow, Smolensk, Volgograd, Tula, Voronezh, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Pskov oblasts, the Altai and Krasnoyarsk and some others regions. The age of participants was from 10 to 52 years. They were schoolboys, students, housewives and so on. 49 participants gave the right answers. All of them were given the memorable prizes. Six winners of the Internet quiz became participants of the intellectual game, which was held in a conference hall of the “Khakassky” Reserve. On February 2, in the World Wetlands Day, they fought the intellectual duel with a command of students from the Khakass State University, where they won one more victory.

The photo-exhibition, which was opened also on February 2, acquaints visitors with various wetlands of the whole world. We have tried to present all continents. Visitors of photo-exhibition can get acquainted with landscapes of the London Wetland Centre – the reserve located on 40 hectares of marshland in the center of capital of Great Britain, London. The Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre is located in Malaysia, Borneo and covers 24 hectares mangrove, and Lake Naivasha – fresh-water lake in Kenya in semidroughty area of the East African zone. The wetlands of Southeast Asia, Canada, Finland, Switzerland open their beauties before our visitors.

The World Wetlands Day is especially notable in a calendar of ecological dates of the “Khakassky” Reserve. Various kinds of world wetlands are present in the Republic of Khakasia. Khakasia is rich of high-mountainous lakes, bogs, marshes and river gulfs, fresh and salty lakes. Many kinds of grounds are protected by the “Khakassky” Reserve. The most well-known protected grounds are the lakesides of Bele and Shira lakes, and also such reserved lakes as Itkul and Ulug-Kol. In order to keep these known and unknown natural sites safe and not to let them disappear from the interconnected and interdependent wetlands system, the “Khakassky” Reserve will continue the educational and nature protection work.

Elena Kim

So can’t we just pipe the oil to where we need it?

 

You can do whatever you want but you might want to step back and make sure it’s a good idea.

The US is probably going to build a pipeline from Canada down to the gulf of mexico.  As you can imagine this is a source of concern for people living anywhere near this pipe.  This seems reasonable because transporting large amounts of toxic liquid great distances is inherently dangerous.  Trucks crash, boats sink, rigs explode, and pipes leak.  It is included in the cost of doing business.

Proponents argue that the project will create jobs and decrease our reliance on foreign oil.  How many and how permanent these jobs will be is still under debate.  Also we will be relying on foreign oil until it runs out or we find a cheaper alternative so I wish people would stop using that phrase.

The pipeline will be the equivalent of building a giant highway across the country that no one can drive on and poisons the drinking water.  So as of right now we will have to wait for the 2012 elections because god knows politicians can’t do ANYTHING while they are trying trick people into voting for them.

Cap and Trade Infographic

I have been meaning to write an article on cap and trade in the United States but it can be hard for people to understand and without other major polluting countries having similar programs, the whole thing seemed somewhat pointless.

In the US, however, the program will have an effect on our poor sad economy and thus should be addressed.  I still don’t want to write about though, so here is a great ideographic from the people at http://www.wellhome.com

 

 

Pollution in the Charles River

chales 2

pollution

I just read a book called Zodiac by Neal Stephanson and I liked it very much mostly because it takes place in Boston, the rivers and harbor which I know quite well.

It made me realize how different things are now in terms of pollution. In the eighties even the Charles and the Inner harbor were totally toxic, and I remember seeing the remnants.

44 Pleasant street in Watertown and behind all buildings to the west of there was poison. The small waterfall directly to the east had shopping cart, plastic bags, and all sorts of unidentifiable trash. I saw a large transistor and battery once.

Me and my friends played in the extensive muck  surrounding the beginning of the smooth Charles, past the tiny waterfall in Watertown.

Creepy trees growing out of slime

All still water a magic petroleum of rainbow colors

sink to the knees take many showers

But now like many places in Boston, IE Southie and the Combat Zone, the river has been gentrified.

Rich folks lead to clean rivers and corners and I suppose it’s not a bad thing, the Charles River in Watertown smells good and in the former combat zone there is nary a hooker or coke dealer to be seen.

The point is that at least in North America (excluding Mexico) the populous seems to have a proper outrage at being poisoned and so at least on the surface, plants can grow again.

charles-river-in-watertown5

What are China’s Priorities?

There is somewhat of a standoff going on between all the countries in the world over this cap and trade emissions idea.  Most notably is the US and China as we account for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions.

So what happens if we cap our emissions and China does not?

First we should look at what China wants because this is a hard thing to pin down.  It seems clear that the people in charge in China do not put the same value on human life or quality of life.  It follows that they could really care less about the environment or it’s inhabitants and wouldn’t pursue alternative energy on the grounds it poisons the planet.

China does want to be THE new superpower in the world and if they are clever they will have figured out that long term growth will inevitably require alternative energy infrastructure.  China already has some alternative energy initiatives in place.

if we cap and they don’t we could put carbon tariffs in place but that might just lead to a large black market…

So until peak oil declines and coal reserves run out, China won’t actually cap emissions because it is a short term economic restriction. They will invest in alternative energy but like everyone else they will use fossil fuels to the bottom of the barrel.

Of course we might be told that they have capped emissions but like most regulations in China, they will go unenforced.

garbage river

A short discussion of Cap and Trade

cap_and_trade_article
Emissions trading (or emission trading) is an administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. It is sometimes called cap and trade.
A central authority (usually a government or international body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Companies or other groups are issued emission permits and are required to hold an equivalent number of allowances (or credits) which represent the right to emit a specific amount. The total amount of allowances and credits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who pollute less. The transfer of allowances is referred to as a trade. In effect, the buyer is paying a charge for polluting, while the seller is being rewarded for having reduced emissions by more than was needed. Thus, in theory, those that can easily reduce emissions most cheaply will do so, achieving the pollution reduction at the lowest possible cost to society.
It’s not every day we get to invent a commodity…
TeamLDCO (6:46:36 PM): do you have a post about cap and trade anywhere in your blog?
IRAHit (6:48:59 PM): no
IRAHit (6:49:09 PM): that’s a good idea though
TeamLDCO (6:49:23 PM): are you for or against it?
IRAHit (6:50:39 PM): well it seems to be working in europe as another commodities market
TeamLDCO (6:50:53 PM): hmm
TeamLDCO (6:51:16 PM): then why do conservatives say its a failure if it’s working?
IRAHit (6:51:24 PM): but it might put the US at a disadvantage
IRAHit (6:51:37 PM): they say it won’t work in the states
IRAHit (6:52:38 PM): cause china india africa south america ain’t capping shit
IRAHit (6:53:39 PM): we could pay a heavy price for being green
IRAHit (6:53:58 PM): though in the long term it would pay off
TeamLDCO (6:54:14 PM): thats what i think too
TeamLDCO (6:54:30 PM): so republicans don’t want to pay the initial costs
IRAHit (6:56:02 PM): well they seem to have less of a concern about global warming
IRAHit (6:56:14 PM): but yeah basically
IRAHit (6:56:52 PM): when the oil runs out we will be glad we have a sustainable energy infrastructure
TeamLDCO (7:00:13 PM): and
TeamLDCO (7:00:17 PM): at the current pace
TeamLDCO (7:00:24 PM): oil will be gone in our children’s lifetime
IRAHit (7:00:59 PM): probably ours
TeamLDCO (7:01:07 PM): geez

The World Without US by Alan Weisman

This is a non fiction book largely concerning what would happen to the earth if homo sapians suddenly disappeared.  There were two directly competing TV specials on the same topic but the book is obviously much more in depth albeit without great CGI.

The book starts off my examining the only truly primeval forest in Europe, the Bialowieza Puszcza in between Poland and Belarus.  The author then proceeds to examine the world before people, which of our constructions will last longer than others, and the lasting impact of our existence.

The most interesting thing about the world before people is all the various gigantic animals that were hanging out.  Then when we came along and the African animals evolved alongside us and came to understand how dangerous we are. Large animals in other parts of the world had no idea what we can do so they were easy slaughter. This is why there are no elephants and such in the Americas.

The most frightening part of the book was the end times of a nuclear power plant.  Thousands of simultaneous meltdowns all over the world isn’t a very nice picture but I suppose Chernobyl was bad and the deer came back (just don’t look at the mutated offspring).

I did start to imagine what it would be like if I were stuck on a planet without any other people, and then I allow myself a few friends, and the fantasy goes on like that.

Anyway here is a useful fact for everyone:

From the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Sergi Scherbov. With regards to population growth, if we continue as is the population on the planet will be 9 Billion by the year 2050 (the current population is 6.5 Billion).  If each fertile female were limited to one child the population would be at 1.6 Billion by 2100.  I don’t think we should limit people’s offspring to one but the numbers how there should be a middle ground.

cape-crack1

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