Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘environment

Community gardening? Is this new life-style feasible?

Community gardening is supposed to allow people to help themselves to fresh, healthy food, that otherwise they might not get and strengthens the ties that hold communities together.

Sort of fancy that every able community members reserves a day off each week to grow the community own food? Would we all reap numerous lifestyle, health and environmental benefits…?

Andrew Simms published in The Guardian on Oct. 10, 2012 under “The growing appeal of national gardening leave

Less time in the office, and more time in the garden.

Add these two good ideas together and we can make an even better one. If all new employees in otherwise full-time jobs were given the voluntary option of a shorter, four-day working week, Britain could reap a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits.

This option is standard employment practice in the Netherlands. It could be done flexibly, either by working shorter hours, or by compressing a conventional working week into four days.

Individuals could spend the extra day however they liked. But, if the time was combined with supporting the rapid expansion of productive and pleasurable gardening in the nation’s towns and cities, it would help tackle a staggering array of urgent challenges.

Britain would be much better off if we adopted a scheme of “national gardening leave.

Growing things brings enormous individual health and wellbeing benefits. But the greening of urban space does much more than that. It makes for:

1. more convivial towns and cities,

2. can produce a more resilient food economy

3. acts as an important buffer against the extremes of a warming climate.

4. It’s effective against depression, dementia, cardiovascular complaints and a huge range of other medical conditions.

The combined cost of physical inactivity, poor diet and mental ill-health in the UK runs into tens of billions of pounds. Can a single activity such as gardening alleviate all three problems, reducing the need for some public services and increasing our capacity to care for each other?

The educational benefits in terms of helping restore attention spans benefit old and young equally. For example, re-familiarizing people with food through growing their own is one of the best ways to learn and improve a diet.

In some of the poorest, recession-hit neighborhoods from Detroit in the US, to Hackney in London, community gardening allows people to help themselves to fresh, healthy food, that otherwise they might not get and strengthens the ties that hold communities together.

Increasing urban green space reduces the lethal effect of heatwaves, set to worsen due to climate change, by cooling built-up spaces that become “heat islands”. They can improve air quality and temper flooding that follows intense rain, also likely to worsen in a warming world.

There are hard economic benefits here, the chance for better lives and a more resilient food system, with more of a buffer built-in against volatile weather and food and energy prices.

To reap all these benefits, however, requires two key ingredients that appear to be missing, in short supply, or otherwise hard to access.

These ingredients are the time to do it, and the physical space to do it in.

A study last year of New York, the most densely populated city in the US, found upwards of 6,000 acres that could be put to use in urban farming. How much space could London, or Birmingham or Manchester find if they really looked?

Every workplace and public institution in the UK could probably find at least some growing space: in a car park, a window sill or a roof. The roof of a Budgens supermarket in North London recently became the home of the initiative “Food from the sky.”

What about time? A long historical struggle reduced the norm of the working week to what we have now. The next step could make for happier employees, save money and reduce our carbon footprint.

That’s what happened in the municipality of Utah when, in response to the economic crisis of 2008 they put staff onto a four-day week. Absentee rates fell, millions of dollars were saved, and carbon emissions cut 14%.

In the UK we have high unemployment coupled with a culture of long hours and overwork. By distributing more equally the work available at any given point in time, more could enjoy the benefits of work while ameliorating the destructive aspects of overwork.

Normal isn’t working.

We need to do something different to improve the shape of life in Britain. To be a national gardening leave employer all you’d need to do is offer new staff (and existing ones where possible) the option of a four-day week.

Add a growing space for the rapid expansion of productive and pleasurable gardening, and we can make Britain better, starting now.

If you’re an employer, and think you can do this, get in touch.

Presidential Debates Silent On Climate Change: A first Since 1988?

The past 17 years have been hotter than 1988 — the hottest year ever recorded at the time. Crushing impacts like drought, wildfires, flooding, sea level rise, and ocean acidification are now hitting American communities… Remember Storm Sandy? And all the previous female mad hurricanes?

The US presidential debates needed badly a Sandy to discuss climate change: She came a week late! An climate was thrown out of the window from the organized debates by the polluter multinationals…

In solidarity with the climate activists marching in the streets in Florida, and those blockading the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Texas, leading climate activists from Bill McKibben to Jane Fleming Kleeb have added the CLIMATE SILENCE twibbon before the final presidential debate.

Brad Johnson published on Oct 22, 2012:

1988. That was the year of James Hansen’s now famous congressional testimony on climate change.

And it was also the first year that climate change came up in the presidential debate cycle.

On October 5, 1988, Chicago Tribune reporter Jon Margolis asked Vice Presidential candidates Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle about climate change and fossil fuels:

We’ve all just finished – most America has just finished one of the hottest summers it can remember. And apparently this year will be the fifth out of the last nine that are among the hottest on record. No one knows, but most scientists think, that something we’re doing, human beings are doing, are exacerbating this problem, and that this could, in a couple of generations, threaten our descendants’ comfort and health and perhaps even their existence.

The follow-up Question was: “As Vice President what would you urge our government to do to deal with this problem? And specifically as a Texan, could you support a substantial reduction in the use of fossil fuels which might be necessary down the road?”

Both agreed that it was time to act. 

In 1992, vice presidential candidate Al Gore shamed Dan Quayle and James Stockdale with an impassioned call to action on climate change as they promoted myths of scientific uncertainty;

In 1996, Jack Kemp attacked Gore for sowing “fear on climate”;

In 2000, Gore made an even stronger case for action as Bush questioned the science;

In 2004, Kerry blasted Bush’s anti-scientific record;

In 2008, even Sarah Palin described how climate change was damaging Alaska

In a debate with John McCain, Barack Obama blasted McCain’s efforts on climate change for their insufficiency:

So it’s easy to talk about this stuff during a campaign, but it’s important for us to understand that it requires a sustained effort from the next president.

Watch a compilation: youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAuRrmSUQ08%5D

Today, the science of climate change is incontrovertible.  Instead of a substantial reduction in the use of fossil fuels, consumption and pollution have grown exponentially.

And, yet, if Barack Obama and Mitt Romney don’t discuss climate change tonight, it will be the first time since 1988 that the issue was ignored during a presidential debate cycle.

In 2012, however, the candidates and the moderators are locked in a conspiracy of silence.

The moderators think only “you climate change people” care that the candidates talk energy, the economy, and national security without mentioning the greatest threat to civilization.

The Obama campaign hopes environmentalist voters will be satisfied with targeted messages and offhand mentions in campaign rallies, while the president focuses swing-state attention on a drill-baby-drill, Mr. Coal, all-of-the-above message.

Romney’s silence on climate change allows him to maintain the support of the carbon barons that rule the Republican Party, while still being able to act on the national stage like something other than a pro-pollution conspiracy theorist.

In short, both candidates are more concerned with the political strength of the fossil-funded Tea Party than either the outrage of environmentalists or the immorality of treating climate catastrophe like a fringe concern.

The refusal of the candidates for president and vice president to confront climate change is a clarion call for anyone who cares about the fate of humanity. We shall be represented by two of the four men for the next four years — their choice of silence in the face of calamity renders us mute as a nation.

We have no choice but to redouble our efforts in demanding that our politicians, corporate leaders, and the media recognize that global carbon pollution is the single greatest threat to our economic well being, our health, our national security.

For the past two months, members of Forecast the Facts, Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen, Energy Action Coalition, and other groups have been protesting the climate silence of both candidates.

We will continue that protest today.

In Florida, young people are marching to the debate location to demand that Romney and Obama break their silence. Across the internet, people are covering their profile pictures with duct tape, symbolizing how the men who call themselves leaders have taken away our voice.

While we can’t guarantee that those in power will respond, one thing we can guarantee today, tomorrow, and every day hence: we will be heard. Please take a moment to join us.

Brad Johnson is the campaign manager of Climate Silence.

Habitat for the year 2025 and beyond: : Like to dwell in a cool cave in the dunes?


Researchers at the university of California at Davis injected special bacteria, mixed with rich calcium alkaline bed, in a dune-type of soil; within a couple of hours, the 3 meter-square soil was stabilized. The bacteria secrete carbonate of calcium, a sort of cement to harden the ground.  We need to realize that over 40% of earth land is desert and arid and increasing fast in size.

The Swedish architect, Magnus Larson of 34 of age, is presenting his project to the London Architectural Association.  Larson wants to solidify the dunes and offer possibilities of dwelling in the 8,000 kilometers of dunes in the Sahara (the Sahel region in Africa), stretching from Sudan all the way to Mauritania.  The technique is valid for lands situated in seismic zones.

People dwelling in these dune houses will be able to grow vegetables and the tops will be covered with trees, since the humidity of the climate in the evening is over 80%.  The stabilization of the soil can go deep to 300 meters and facilitating the task and viability of planting many kinds of trees.

The late President of the African State Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara, had proposed in the 80’s to erect the Great Green African Wall of trees, with a width of 15 kilometers along the 8,000 kilometers of the Sahel that span 11 States. In 2006, the African Union Organization has ratified this vast project and over $115 million have been allocated in Germany by the International Environmental Fund in 2011 to the first phase of the Green Wall.

The dune dwelling can take advantage of the natural air flow and conditioning of the interior climate, as in termite habitat structure.  The walls in termite habitat are not meant to obstruct external climatic changes and variation, but to act as interface in order facilitate the exchange of fresh air within a limited range of air speeds and wind frequencies: Cool interior in hot seasons and warm climate in the winter. The cavities or alveolars in the walls of wasps are hexagonal in shape and allow in the “good air”.

For example, termites depose on the ground a mixture of wood and chewed up grass and herbs to forming a layer of a giant sponge, capable of storing 80 liters of water per day and able to counter-balance variation in humidity in the interior.

The giant Netherlands electronics company Philips has imagined a sustainable skyscraper labeled “Habitat 2020”.  The external walls are endowed with smart multifunctional cavities or membranes that expand and change directions according to sun, wind, and rain  intensity, speed, or direction.  The captors in the  thousands of membranes detect environmental changes and variations and get transformed accordingly. Electricity and droplets of water and humidity are stored and filtered as a sustainable interior environment.

New habitat are designed to redirect external air, rain, and water to underground systems (at 17 degrees all year round) and re-injected the cooled air to the interior of the habitat; a central tower-like cavity releases the polluted air.  There are photovoltaic panels with special lenses: 24 such panels can generate 80 KWH per day.  Four vertical Darrieus eolian can supplement another 40 KWH.

The illusion of knowing is the major obstacle to discovery; (October 4, 2009)

Even a century ago, a scientist would publish a single manuscript after a life time of research and toiling.

Transmission of opinions and suggestions among scientists were sent via long erudite letters by peers.

Translators of these remarkable books didn’t go unnoticed as today, but they were rewarded academically. Nowadays, any “respectable” scientist works for several institutions, private and public, and at various nations.

Even two centuries ago, scientists did not need to refer to Pythagoras or Archimedes.  Modern scientists have no time or need to refer to more recent scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Laplace, Lavoisier, or Kelvin. Soon Einstein and Heisenberg will be outmoded.

The team of the geeks in “Sciences and Future” met in August for brainstorming in “pause mode” to deliberate on the unique question confronting the team:

In the last few decades, what discoveries were true breakthroughs?”  The team reached an understanding on 5 scientific fields: climatology, neuroscience, astronomy, cellular biology, and Internet.

Consequently, I will answer a few of the questions that you might think you know in these fields so that our knowledge is no longer an illusion.

The internet shifts from the virtual to the real

There are 3 generations of internet or Web.

The first generation or Web1.0 was created from 2003 to 2005 and is represented by MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube that gathers people on common interest social aspects or making “friends”.

The second generation or Web 2.0 is represented by Twitter or the microblogging platform for messages restricted to 140 characters. Thus, these micro messages can be regrouped and analyze to constitute a story contributed by many Twitter bloggers.

The third generation of Web 3.0 is ready technologically; this generation is already labeled object oriented intelligence sources.  For example, you record a message on your cell phone and then stick a yellow sticker on a wall or an object. The next visitor will pass his cell phone over the sticker and copy your message of whatever you have seen or appreciated. This generation can zip all kinds of products and gather intelligence and compare with other resources.

Personally, I think that even the Twitter is already a perfect source of information by intelligence agencies; these centers can hire thousands of Twitter users and direct them on specific topic of interests in many countries.

Cells can be rejuvenated to its embryo stage

The lab technician would take samples of your skin. The skin cells can be treated to reach its first born state.

Whatever genetic diseases that cell inherited it will take another 30 years for the disease to emerge.  All the while you are thirty years younger. Better, skin cells can be treated to isolate a specific cell for any body member like liver, heart, brain, or whatever.

The sick tissue in any part of your body can be rejuvenated within a month. This biomedical technique of treating adult cells into embryo state was made possible because many laws prohibited using fetus embryo on the ground that the cell belonged to another person.

Is man’s activity altering nature more than geophysics?

Man feared the return of the ice age; it turned out that the climate is getting hotter and the poles are melting.

The emergence of urban and industrial societies as a geophysical force is altering the environment power for rejuvenation according to human threshold for survival.

Since 1824, Joseph Fourier theorized that gases in the atmosphere have the potential to increase surface temperature.

Even in 1896, John Tyndall predicted that the concentration of CO2 will increase temperature to 5 degrees by the end of the 20th century. Now, this is a fact and each year the casualties in man and nature are increasing by the violence of climatic changes. People are waiting anxiously the international summit on the environment in Copenhagen this December.

Awareness of man effective participation in climatic changes was proven when the ozone layer of O3 in the stratosphere was depleting. Seas level is increasing 3 mm a year since 1993.  So far, only Danemark produces the fourth of its power using eoliens or wind turbines.

Ex-President Bush Junior said in 1992: “The American way of life is not negotiable.”

The philosopher Michelle Serres said in 1990: “This world that we treated as an object is returning as a subject; capable of vengeance.

The humorist Coluche said: “For an ecologist to be elected as President, trees should be allowed to vote.”

The brain is in perpetual re-structuring

There are specialized neurons that can be activated when an action is executed or when an action is also observed (mirror neurons).  These mirror neurons are the biological basis for empathy, imitation, and training; almost every decision is influenced by our emotions.

Neurons have the potential to flow or transfer from one brain to another when recycling cognitive aptitudes such as reading and writing are elevated.  Neurons and connections are modified when training tasks are memorized.

We have 8 varieties of intelligence; mainly the visual, spatial, naturalist, logic-mathematics, corporal, musical, inter-personal, and intra-personal intelligences.

The new battery of experiments for testing cognitive and movements capabilities are designed to account for our eight kinds of intelligences. It is the quantity of synapses (connections) and not the weight of the brain that differentiate among the various intelligences.

There are phases in our sleep when brain activities are most intense while muscular activities are extremely inhibited; this phase is called “paradox sleep”.  We produce new neurons at every stage of growth, especially in the hippocampus and the smell brains.

Almost 10% of our synapses are established when we are born and they increase with our activities and cognitive demands (efforts, mental and physical, mean increase in fresh synapses and neurons).

Hormones or chemical messengers for the brains

Serotonin is a chemical messenger to the brains; it is implicated in sleep, feeding and sexual habits. A decrease in its production is associated to depressive moods. Anti-depressant drugs increase the concentration of serotonin in the blood.

Dopamine is a chemical hormone that controls movements, moods, addiction, and the circuit of pleasure; its deficiency generates rigidity in the muscles which is the symptoms of Parkinson disease.

Adrenaline is a chemical hormone that is secreted at moments of stress and is attached on large numbers of receptors to re-enforce cardiac functions, accelerate the heart beats, elevate arterial pressure, inhibit digestion and increase the level of glycemy.

Cortisol is secreted in moments of stress to increase the rate of glucose in the blood stream and liberating energy to counter dangers.

Insulin enhances the stock of glucose in the tissues and thus decreases glycemy.

Acetylcholine is a neuro-transmitter that excites the targeted brain when acquiring new training and for enhancing memory; its deficiency is the origin of Alzheimer disease.

Erythropoietin stimulates the synthesis of red blood cells; its deficiency results in anemia.  The word “doping” is related to sport competitors abusing of this hormone.

Soothing chimerical resolve: tackling our global problems; (August 10, 2009)

 

Note:  I posted the original essay on June 23, 2009 and I needed to re-edit it.  This post will focus on the global problems. The follow up post will consider viable global resolutions.

 

Fact one:  Climate and environment are quickly deteriorating.

Fact two:  Birth control is not efficient in the mostly under-developed States

Fact three:  Potable water and water for irrigation are dwindling fast.

Fact four:  The middle classes in China and India are expanding alarmingly.

Fact five:  The world economy is experiencing serious deflationary period.

Fact six:  The world is going through deep financial crisis and recession.

Fact seven:  Effective military spending should decrease but it didn’t.

Fact eight:  The identity crisis around the world is destabilizing order and security.

 

Fact One:  Climate and environment are quickly deteriorating.  The ten signs of alert are proven in the following evidences.

 

            Oceans are turning more acid.  At 8 kilometers of the Californian coasts shells and corals are being dissolved. In the Pacific Ocean, 30% of mussel has disappeared.  Planktons, the basic food chain for fishes, small and large, are no longer abundant; 30% has depleted since the industrial age.

 

            The Arctic is changing drastically. Ice field has melted by 27% in the last two decades. Temperature increased by 3 degrees in the last 5 years.  Thus, the more ice melt the larger the surface is exposed to direct sun rays and consequently the more the rate of ice melting increases. The level of oceans is increasing and covering more dry lands.

 

            The Amazon and tropical forests regions are drying up and liberating higher quantities of carbon dioxide.  This equatorial forest is liberating more CO2 than absorbing; absorbing CO2 was their primary function.  More trees are dying and thus liberating more CO2 by decomposition. The higher the concentration of CO2 the lesser trees “perspire” and the more reduced are rains in quantity and frequency.

 

            The climate in Antarctica, the main source of future potable water, is milder; temperature has increased by one degree since the fifties. Salinity of sea water in the southern globe is decreasing.  The Antarctic must be melting faster than observed.

 

            Seasons are in advance of schedule and migratory birds are suffering.  Spring is one week earlier in Europe: 75% of birds studied in Europe have declined in number and migrating further north and seek higher altitudes.

 

            Dry seasons are extending. Monsoons are rarefied; precipitations are decreasing and the desert in North Africa is expanding southward western Africa.  Deforestation might still be the main culprit but the warming up of the environment is catching up fast as the main factor.

 

            Methane gas, present as methane hydrate in maritime sediment, is escaping from oceans. The under layer of pergolas (pergelisol) used to act as a lid but more abundant hot water is being ejected in the Arctic seas; the concentration along the Russian coast is 200 times superior to normal.  Methane gas is far worse than CO2 (20 times more powerful in retaining heat) for the warming up of the environment.   

            Glaciers such as the Himalaya and the Quelccaya (Peru) are losing 0.85 meters in their thickness every year. Around 40 frozen lakes in Nepal and Bhutan are breaking up.

            Sea levels are climbing 3 mm every year on average; the levels in the Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean Sea are reaching the alarming climb of 20 mm a year.

 

            The warming up of the climate is accelerating dangerously. Temperature increased 0.6 degrees just in the last 30 years while it took a century to increase 0.2 degrees before then.  The concentration in CO2 has increased to about 400 molecules per million; it was just 270 before the industrial age.

 

            The liberation of methane gas and the drought of tropical forests are the two major factors that show evidence in the acceleration of environmental degradation.  The fast degradation has overtaken current research data that are no longer suitable for predicting the approaching calamity.

 

Fact Two:  Birth control is not efficient in the mostly under-developed States.

 

            China and India are supposed to have gotten birth rate under control but it is not because of higher educational level and better standards of living.  There are evidence of massive euthanasia practices on females and minorities camouflaged within laws interpreted very loosely and selectively. In the under-developed States political instability, poor security for law and order, unsustainable social institutions, and lack of financial and technical supports are exacerbating an already dangerous trend.  The UN is short on money and manpower in its specialized sections to counter this scourge. Over 50% of the population in Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, and Iran for example are under 15 years of age. (Global viable and alternative resolutions will be developed in a follow up article)

            In Japan and many European States the trend is reversed; over 30% of the population is elderly (above 65 years) and draining the health budgets.

             

Fact Three:  Potable water and water for irrigation are dwindling fast.

 

            Climatic changes, heavy river pollution, accelerated urban centers, high rate of birth, and the early melting of mountain tops are depleting potable resources faster than expected.  Many States rich in rivers, especially those witnessing drought seven months per year, have not be aided in erecting dams for emergency seasons.  More States conflicts are centering on equitable potable water sharing.  The criticality of water supply is one of the main problems facing people in the coming decade.

 

Fact Four:  The middle classes in China and India are at least three times larger than the combined numbers in the USA and Europe and growing quickly.

            China and India are experience much better increases in their GNP than the USA and Europe during this downturn.  Consequently, China and India will focus on their internal markets to grow their economies in the same manner as the USA has been benefiting for over three centuries.  Middle classes demand to have consumer goods available since they have the money to purchase them.  They certainly have this right.  The problem is that purchasing cars is the first priority for middle class citizens with investment in infrastructures and facilities to abuse of these vehicles.  China has already surpassed the USA in the number of purchased car this year. India is making available inexpensive cars marketed at $2,000 in India. The kinds of energy sources that will drive these cars will have great consequences.  Consumerism can drive economies but depletion of natural resources requires a cultural change to accommodate a sustainable earth.

 

Fact Five:  The world economy is experiencing serious deflationary period.

            The world economy is struggling and the downturn is expected to last for at least 5 years.  This might be the best excellent news for a sustainable world production and a strategy for an economy of sobriety in consumption. There is the need for drastic diminishing of redundant and irrelevant consumer goods that can be substituted easily for human survival. Globalization created economic blocks with objective of exercising political pressures on the established developed nations.  The economic or trade blocks such as South-East Asian States, the Southern Latin American States, the Gulf Arab/Iranian States, and soon a few African States are struggling to stay above water and keep up with the fast moving globalization trend.

            The International Monetary Fund extended three quarter of its resources on the already industrialized states since its inception in 1944.  The G20 decided to triple the IMF fund to $750 billions.  The G20 will extended 44% of the funds, the other developed State a third and the over 55 poorer States will cover 17%.  It was hoped the restrictions and conditions for funding projects will be reduced from 17 conditions to 5 but nothing has been materializing so far.

 

Fact Six:  The world is going through deep financial crisis.

            Millions of workers and employees lost their jobs in a few months and that trend is increasing faster than expected.  The infusion of trillions of dollars into banks in order to facilitate the flow of trade transactions did not save banks from declaring bankruptcy.  The meeting of the biggest 20 financial markets that produce over 85% of the world economical transactions has not reached any consensus as to the financial basket reference for money fluctuation or the control of paper money issuing rights of individual power States. Consequently, the financial crisis is opened to dangerous more frequent reversals on a downward trend.  The USA is heavily relying on China for covering its increasing debt by purchasing US Treasury Bills.  China will be facing enormous capital investment inside because of the consequences of rapid economical strategies.  The rivers in China are over polluted, drought seasons are more frequent, and over 30 millions working in urban centers have been forced to relocate to rural areas where no job opportunities are available.  The moment China decides to cut down on financing US debt the dollars will be devalued (for printing more paper money than the economy can support) and another financial crisis will loom on the horizon.

 

Fact Seven:  Effective military spending at the increase.

 

            People expected a rational decision by States in this economic and financial troubled times; people were hopeful that military budgets should decrease to balance other more needy budgets such as health, the environment, creating productive jobs, and education.  The reverse happened:  every major State that exported military hardware increased its military budget and it skyrocketed. The USA expenditure is more than double China and Russia combined and the fields of military operations expanding around the world. Societies are far more unstable and experiencing high unemployment rates and lower quality jobs for the qualified graduates. 

 

Fact Eight:  The identity crisis around the world is destabilizing order and security.

 

            After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Europe had to face up to the identity and ethnic crisis in East Europe such as ethnic and religious “cleansing” and the drive for independence of tiny States within the disintegrating Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. The European Union (EU) is the best representative for projects of unification among States with identity crisis.  The EU is clearly the most advanced union in matter of forging ahead with ethical issues. 

            Gorbachev has declared recently that Europe squandered 20 years of potential opportunities for stabilizing the European continent after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the defeat of communist Soviet Union.  If we revisit the problems that Europe had to deal with in priority then Europe had plenty of excuses.  First, West Germany had to absorb the cost of the re-unification of the crumbling economy of East Germany; then the EU had to battle the consequences of the disaster of 9/11 of 2001 and the frantic pressures of the Bush Jr. Administration to rally Europe to the invasion of Iraq; then the pronouncement of the Christian Conservatives alliance of the US administration of the binary dicta “either you are with us or against us”; then the declaration of an old senile Defense Minister Rumsfeld lambasting “old and senile Europe” and getting hold of the European oil investments in Iraq.  The EU has now to come with a plan for the increased illegal immigration as the ideal destination location.  It must be that Europe was in a rejuvenation phase to have forged ahead in short time to a successful unification program.

 

            Global problems to whom?  These problems affect us all but the “G20 something” think that they are the only one concerned.  Solution for the G20 is lending money to more mega polluting mega projects.  So far, the UN did not propose a program to deal with global problems.  Not a single President of the G5 went public to remind us that there is such a program.  Life is going on leisurely as if dirt is swept under the carpet and that is worrisome; citizens of earth are not asked to contribute and share in the responsibilities. A follow up article will attempt to offer viable global resolution and will tackle the troubles with religious extremism and state ideologies.  All that I am asking is to be offered soothing chimerical resolves of the international community that it is aware of the global problems and that it promises me at least a few plans and directions.

The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions; (June 23, 2009)

 

Note:  This essay was inspired by the manuscript “A World Adrift” by Amine Maalouf. I added and developed on more global problems.  The style is Levantine; Bible style because the problems are established and need urgent global resolutions.  I will mentions the facts separately and then undertake the analyses of the interactions of the global problems before considering viable global resolutions.  This post wil focus on the problem. The follow up post will consider viable global resolutions.

 

Fact one:  Climate and environment quickly deteriorating.

Fact two:  Birth control is not efficient in the mostly under-developed States

Fact three:  Potable water and water for irrigation are dwindling fast.

Fact four:  The middle classes in China and India are expanding alarmingly.

Fact five:  The world economy is experiencing serious deflationary period.

Fact six:  The world is going through deep financial crisis and recession.

Fact seven:  Effective military spending should decrease but it didn’t.

Fact eight:  The identity crisis around the world is destabilizing order and security.

 

Fact One:  Climate and environment are quickly deteriorating.  The ten signs of alert are proven in the following evidences.

 

            Oceans are turning more acid.  At 8 kilometers of the Californian coasts shells and corals are being dissolved. In the Pacific Ocean, 30% of mussel has disappeared.  Planktons, the basic food chain for fishes, small and large, are no longer abundant; 30% has depleted since the industrial age.

 

            The Arctic is changing drastically. Ice field has melted by 27% in the last two decades. Temperature increased by 3 degrees in the last 5 years.  Thus, the more ice melt the larger the surface is exposed to direct sun rays and consequently the more the rate of ice melting increases. The level of oceans is increasing and covering more dry lands.

 

            The Amazone and tropical forests regions are drying up and liberating higher quantites of carbon dioxide.  This equatorial forest is liberating more CO2 than absorbing; absorbing CO2 was their primary function.  More trees are dying and thus liberating more CO2 by decomposition. The higher the concentration of CO2 the lesser trees “perspire” and the more reduced are rains in quantity and frequency.

 

            The climate in Antarctica, the main source of future potable water, is milder; temperature has increased by one degree since the fifties. Salinity of sea water in the southern globe is decreasing.  The Antarctic must be melting faster than observed.

 

            Seasons are in advance of schedule and migratory birds are suffering.  Spring is one week earlier in Europe: 75% of birds studied in Europe have declined in number and migrating further north and seek higher altitudes.

 

            Dry seasons are extending. Monsoons are rarefied; precipitations are decreasing and the desert in North Africa is expanding southward western Africa.  Deforestration might still be the main culprit but the warming up of the environment is catching up fast as the main factor.

 

            Methane gas, present as methane hydrate in maritime sediment, is escaping from oceans. The under layer of pergelisol used to act as a lid but more abundant hot water is being ejected in the Arctic seas; the concentration along the Russian coast is 200 times superior to normal.  Methane gas is far worse than CO2 (20 times more powerful in retaining heat) for the warming up of the environment.     

 

            Glaciers such as the Himalaya and the Quelccaya (Perou) are losing 0.85 meters in their thickness every year. Around 40 frozen lakes in Nepal and Bhoutan are breaking up.

            Sea levels are climing 3 mm every year on average; the levels in the Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean Sea are reaching the alarming climb of 20 mm a year.

 

            The warming up of the climate is accelerating dangerously. Temperature increased 0.6 degrees just in the last 30 years while it took a century to increase 0.2 degrees before then.  The concentration in CO2 has increased to about 400 molecules per million; it was just 270 before the industrial age.

 

The liberation of methane gas and the drought of tropical forests are the two major factors that show evidence in the acceleration of environmental degradation.  The fast degradation has overtaken current research data that are no longer suitable for predicting the approaching calamity.

 

Fact Two:  Birth control is not efficient in the mostly under-developed States.

 

            China and India are supposed to have gotten birth rate under control but it is not because of higher educational level and better standards of living.  There are evidence of massive euthanasia practices on females and minorities camouflaged within laws interpreted very loosely and selectively. In the under-developed States political instability, poor security for law and order, unsustainable social institutions, and lack of financial and technical supports are exacerbating an already dangerous trend.  The UN is short on money and manpower in its specialized sections to counter this scourge. Over 50% of the population in Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, and Iran for example are under 15 years of age. (Global viable and alternative resolutions wil be developed in a follow up article)

            In Japan and many European States the trend is reversed; over 30% of the population are elderly (above 65 years) and draing the health budgets.

             

Fact Three:  Potable water and water for irrigation are dwindling fast.

 

            Climatic changes, heavy river pollution, accelerated urban centers, high rate of birth, and the early melting of mountain tops are depleting potable resources faster than expected.  Many States rich in rivers, especially those witnessing drough seven months per year, have not be aided in erecting dams for emergency seasons.  More States conflicts are centering on equitable potable water sharing.  The criticality of water supply is one of the main problems facing people in the coming decade.

 

Fact Four:  The middle classes in China and India are at least three times larger than the combined numbers in the USA and Europe and growing quickly.

            China and India are experience much better increases in their GNP than the USA and Europe during this downturn.  Consequently, China and India will focus on their internal markets to grow their economies in the same manner as the USA has been benefiting for over three centuries.  Middle classes demand to have consumer goods available since they have the money to purchase them.  They certainly have this right.  The problem is that purchasing cars is the first priority for middle class citizens with investment in infrastructures and facilities to abuse of these vehicles.  China has already surpassed the USA in the number of purchased car this year. India is making available unexpensive cars marketed at $2,000 in India. The kinds of energy sources that will drive these cars will have great consequences.  Consumerism can drive economies but depletion of natural resources requires a cultural change to accommodate a sustainable earth.

 

Fact Five:  The world economy is experiencing serious deflationary period.

            The world economy is struggling and the downturn is expected to last for at least 5 years.  This might be the best excellent news for a sustainable world production. There is the need for drastic diminishing of redundant and irrelevant consumer goods that can be substituted easily for human survival. Globalization created economic blocks with objective of exercising political pressures on the established developed nations.  The economic or trade blocks such as South-East Asian States, the Southern Latin American States, the Gulf Arab/Iranian States, and soon a few African States are struggling to stay above water and keep up with the fast moving globalization trend.

            The International Monetary Fund extended three quarter of its resources on the already industrialized states since its inception in 1944.  The G20 decided to triple the IMF fund to $750 billions.  The G20 will extended 44% of the funds, the other developed State a third and the over 55 poorer States will cover 17%.  It was hoped the restrictions and conditions for funding projects will be reduced from 17 conditions to 5 but nothing has been materializing so far.

 

Fact Six:  The world is going through deep financial crisis.

            Millions of workers and employees lost their jobs in a few months and that trend is increasing faster than expected.  The infusion of trillions of dollars into banks in order to facilitate the flow of trade transactions did not save banks from declaring bankruptcy.  The meeting of the biggest 20 financial markets that produce over 85% of the world economical transactions has not reached any consensus as to the financial basket reference for money fluctuation or the control of paper money issuing rights of individual power States. Consequently, the financial crisis is opened to dangerous more frequent reversals on a downward trend.  The USA is heavily relying on China for covering its increasing debt by purchasing US Treasury Bills.  China will be facing enormous capital investment inside because of the consequences of rapid economical strategies.  The rivers in China are over polluted, drough seasons are more frequent, and over 30 millions working in urban centers have been forced to relocate to rural areas where no job opportunities are available.  The moment China decides to cut down on financing US debt the the dollars will be devalued (for printing more paper money than the economy can support) and another financial crisis will loom on the horizon.

 

Fact Seven:  Effective military spending at the increase.

 

            People expected a rational decision by States in this economic and financial troubled times; people were hopeful that military budgets should decrease to balance other more needy budgets such as health, the environment, creating productive jobs, and education.  The reverse happened:  every major State that exported military hardware increased its military budget and it skyrocketed. The USA expenditure is more than double China and Russia combined and the fields of military operations expanding around the world. Societies are far more unstable and experiencing high unemployment rates and lower quality jobs for the qualified graduates. 

 

Fact Eight:  The identity crisis around the world is destabilizing order and security.

 

            After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Europe had to face up to the identity and ethnic crisis in East Europe such as ethnic and religious “cleansing” and the drive for independence of tiny States within the disintegrating Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. The European Union (EU) is the best representative for projects of unification among States with identity crisis.  The EU is clearly the most advanced union in matter of forging ahead with ethical issues. 

            Gorbachev has declared recently that Europe squandered 20 years of potential opportunities for stabilizing the European continent after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the defeat of communist Soviet Union.  If we revisit the problems that Europe had to deal with in priority then Europe had plenty of excuses.  First, West Germany had to absorb the cost of the re-unification of the crumbling economy of East Germany; then the EU had to battle the consequences of the disaster of 9/11 of 2001 and the frantic pressures of the Bush Jr. Administration to rally Europe to the invasion of Iraq; then the pronouncement of the Christian Conservatives alliance of the US administration of the binary dicta “either you are with us or against us”; then the declaration of an old senile Defense Minister Rumsfield lambasting “old and senile Europe” and getting hold of the European oil investments in Iraq.  The EU has now to come with a plan for the increased illegal immigration as the ideal destination location.  It must be that Europe was in a rejuvenation phase to have forged ahead in short time to a successful unification program.

 

A follow up article will attempt to ofer viable global resolution and will tackle the troubles with religious extremism and state ideologies.

“So, you want systems to fit people?” February 21, 2005

 “So far, it sounds that Human Factors in engineering is a vast field of knowledge and it could have many applications.”  You are absolutely right, the profession is multidisciplinary.

Let us consider the problems that an excellent human factors designer has to cope with when he has to incorporate the human dimensions into his design and the body of knowledge he has to learn and incorporate in his practice:

First, there are no design drawings for people as traditional engineers are familiar with because the structure of human organisms is approximately delineated and the mechanisms are imperfectly understood.

Second, people vastly differ in anthropometric dimensions, cognitive abilities, sensory capabilities, motor abilities, personalities, and attitudes; thus the challenge of variability is different from physics where phenomena behave in countable fashions and can be accounted for in design.

Third, people change with time; they change in dimensions, abilities and skills as well as from moment to moment attributable to boredom, fatigue, lapse of attention, interactions among people and with the environment.

Fourth, the world is constantly changing and systems are changing accordingly; thus interfaces for designing jobs, operations and environment have to be revisited frequently.

Fifth, contrary to the perception of people regarding the other traditional engineering fields, when we deal with human capabilities, limitations and behavior everyone feels is an expert on the basis of common sense acquired from living and specific experiences and we tend to generalize our feelings to all kinds of human behaviors. For examples, we think that we have convictions concerning the effects of sleep, dreams, age, and fatigue; we believe that we are rather good judges of people’s motives, we have explanations for people’s good memories and abilities, and we have strong positions on the relative influence of nature and nurture in shaping people’s behavior.  Consequently, the expertise of human factors professionals are not viewed as based on science.

To be a competent ergonomics expert you need to take courses in many departments like Psychology, Physiology, Neurology, Marketing, Economy, Business, Management, and of course engineering.

You need to learn applied statistics, system’s modeling (mathematical and prototyping), the design of experiments, writing and validating questionnaires, collecting data on human performance, analyzing and interpreting data on the interactions of human with systems.

You need updating you knowledge continuously with all kinds of systems’ deficiencies that often hurt people in their daily lives, and learn the newer laws that govern the safety and health of the employees in their workplace. 

All the above courses and disciplines that you are urged to take or to be conversant with have the well being of targeted end users in mind.  To be an expert well qualified designer you need to assimilate the physical and cognitive abilities of end users and what they are capable of doing best; you need to discover their limitations as well so that you may reduce errors and foreseeable misuses of any product or interface that you have the responsibility to design. 

You need to fit the product or interface to the users and avoid lengthy training or useless stretching of the human body in order to permit the users to efficiently manipulate your design.  An excellent designer has to know the advantages and limitations of the five senses and how to facilitate the interaction with systems under minimal stress, errors committed, and health complications generated from prolonged usage and repetitive movements of parts of the body.

I am glad, my newly found friend, that you are attentively listening to my lucubration.

I would like it better if you ask me questions that prove to me that you are enthusiastic.

Could you enumerate a few incidents in your life that validate the importance of this field of study?

“Well, suppose that I enroll in that all encompassing specialty, are there any esoteric and malignant courses that are impressed upon me?”

Unfortunately, as any university major and engineering included, many of the courses are discovered to be utterly useless once you find a job.

However, you have to bear the cross for 4 years in order to be awarded a miserly diploma. This diploma, strong with a string of grade of “A’s” will open the horizon for a new life, a life of a different set of worries and unhappiness.

I can tell you for sure that it is not how interesting are the courses but the discipline that you acquired in the process. 

You need to start enjoying reading, every day for at least 5 hours, taking good care for the details in collecting data or measuring anything, learning to write everyday, meticulously and stubbornly, not missing a single course or session, giving your full concentration during class, taking notes and then reading your notes afterwards, coordinating the activities of your study groups, being a leader and a catalyst for all your class associates.

You need to waking up full of zest and partying hard after a good week of work and study, staying away, like the plague, from those exorbitantly expensive restaurants and dancing bars because they are the haven of all those boring, mindless and useless people who are dependent completely on their parents.

Well, you will hear, frequently, that securing a University diploma is a testing ground for your endurance to accepting all kinds of nonsense.  It is.

Most importantly, it is testing the endurance of your folks who are paying dearly for that nonsense.

The Last Gorilla: The Environmental Branch (Fiction short story, Part 2). (Written in March 14, 2005)

Note: This part concerns the environment. The two parts of this story are a gross brush for a novel. 

            It was a time when those well established “Green Peace”-like movements were integrated within the UN. The genuine “Green Peace” proletarian groups were consistently being tamed by many subterfuge, such as trickling of financial aid, embargo policies, threats, sabotage, lack of State funding, misleading economic/ecological research results, which were funded by multinationals and hostile multinational mass media.

The consequence was that equatorial forests were practically deforested to make room for the lucrative industrial bio-agriculture, genetically modified to resist diseases, and which supposedly produced better and several crops around the year, and were void of any health risk in nutrition or natural diseases. 

An individual knew his nutritional type and could select the bio-food that suited his condition.

            For that aim, a centralized powerful organization, within the UN called “Defense of the Environment“, was created to encourage bio-diversity and promote vegetarian eco-systems.  The goal was poetic and laudable, but the secret plan was malignant and executed by ruthless mercenaries for bounty. 

Already, elephants and whales were exterminated because they polluted the seas and ravaged the vast cultivated lands in India and Africa; they were validated as of no use for mankind, and were easy to locate and exterminate. 

Many species were exterminated on the ground that the analyses of their genomes were completed, thoroughly known, and samples extracted for future reproduction on demands for private billionaires or lucrative zoos. 

The young generations had plenty of digital pictures, videos, documentaries, virtual animations, and cartoons of the animal world to keep them happy and busy.  Grown ups were too busy and militarized to care about this nonsense and redundant animal world, as long as they could keep dogs and cats as pets. 

Sheep, cows, chickens, and pigs were deemed essential for the time, until artificial meat products with various taste were chemically feasibly produced for mass consumption. The slaughtering of animals for meat-eaters, on daily basis, increased from 50 to 100 billion heads per year. Vegetarian people were cornered in specific regions in the world in order for cattle to feed on free lands and be exported to the northern States…

            Chimps, macaques, and their sorts were on the verge of extermination.  The problem resided in killing the gorillas

It was easy killing gorillas, but the UN had to account for the increasing number of suicide acts among the trackers and hunters. Testimonials and statistics proved that those who committed suicide looked directly in the eyes of gorillas.

Mind you that chimps are closer genetically to mankind than to gorillas, but myths are meant to last…

The imposing gorillas sat as statues, majestic, and intelligence piercing the eyes of the bounty hunters; the mute conversation said “You may kill me; I am ready but I pity you.  After you kill me you know that you will be next to go.  If you can kill intelligent and meek mammals then your own kinds will ruthlessly kill those of you who fail to obey orders”. 

The executive branch of the “Defense of the Environment” was ordered to desist momentarily in the plan to exterminate gorillas. This department was glad with the decision, since it had more serious categories to exterminate and they required qualitative tactics for mass extermination. 

For example, the department was disbursing plenty of grants to figure out how to subdue rodents, ants, and cockroaches.  The final selection of strategic methods zeroed on sterilizing the female insects.  One study suggested growing crops that would not hurt man but would sterilize those bloody females that plagued earth sensibilities.

Soon, restaurants were ordered to leave specially grown crops in strategic locations. 

Soon, every morning, people were traumatized with thousands of dead rodents and roaches, belly up, any which way they walked.  The people were very understanding and looked at this mess valiantly for a month; a few communities participated in the collect alongside the “sanitary” personnel or garbage men, wearing all sorts of gloves, masks, robes, and spraying in all directions, particularly towards their own body . 

Soon, people remembered stories of the plague and the dreadful and painful dying process when infected with cholera.

The worst story came from medical research: Published papers broke the surprise news that rodents, and roaches in particular, were mutating and defeating the genetically altered crops.  Other kinds of crops were to be researched, but this time the crops had to be slightly poisonous to mankind.

In the meantime, lethal new generations of anti-biotic were to be researched and produced in abundance to cope with a plausible cholera epidemic.  Old patent medical archives have to be dusted off in search of antibiotics that did not pass Federal regulations or were not commercialized for one reason or other, or were stopped at critical phases in the testing.

These untested drugs were immediately shipped to under-developed States for re-confirmation of the validation process, 

Things were getting out of hands and doom was greatly exaggerated by the scary, weak, and puny spirits who never had confidence in sciences in the first place.

Predicators took to the streets wearing all sorts of sacerdotal outfits or plain expensive three-piece suits and shiny red or yellow shoes that emulated cardinals or bishops or pagan shamans.

The favorite theme of the predicators and preachers was the “Coming of Time“, depending of which stage of the coming they forecasted and according to which religious sect they were proselytizing.

The Last Gorilla: The Confederation Branch (Short Story, Part 1) (March 14, 2005)

Note: I borrowed the title and a section on the environment theme to Christian Jacq.  The two parts of this story is a gross brush for a novel.  Keep your comments coming.

            It is the year 2050. A decade ago, the world community has lukewarmly agreed that earth is governed by a dozen superpowers from all continents that imposed their weight in size, population, technology, agricultural and energy self sufficiency.  These were the heavy weight dominating world economy, finance, military deterrence, and technologies: the USA, China, India, Russia, Brazil, the European Union, Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Viet Nam, and Nigeria.  The UN has been re-structured and two departments were extended practical executive responsibilities: the department of “World Confederation Regulatory Body”, and the department of “Defense of the Environment”

      It was a time when nuclear bombs or mass destructive devices were banned in the world and all the documentations burned and erased from computer storage; theories about their feasibility prohibited by law. Small nuclear energy generators were the norm and special lower level lethal fuel invented.  The only equipments for waging war at a distance were under the control of an international army, equipments such as tanks, ballistic missiles, long range guns, torpedoes and airplanes.  Civil wars could still take place: perceived injustices and famine were still inevitable; but killing has to be at short range, preferably man to man.

      It was a time where people could request an International passport, issued by an international committee after due process.   Holders of these special passports had to relinquish affiliation to any political party or citizenship of any country.  They were permitted to visit any country for short duration, and if they decide to work in any specific place, they could do it for up to 4 years on condition never to return, even to take care of business or visit relatives and families.  The issue of how to establish any kind of profitable enterprises in such a short period was a taboo; it was inconsequential; it was not the committee’s affairs.  It was assumed that people had to get into the internet or die.  Face to face business and paperwork were regarded pre-historic endeavors and these were third class people and barely classified as working people.  A new name was assigned to these low lives:  Bad Breath Creatures or Bugs.

 

               It was a time oligarchies were accepted, even encouraged, as long as the dynasty had accredited genes; the concept of nobility versus common people experienced strong resurgence in the UN corridors.  People could still revolt against their leaders; this inalienable right was to stay, at least on paper, because the USA insisted.  The rebels knew that such acts would result in a lukewarm intervention from the Confederation as long as the revolt is not directed against class hierarchy.  The leaders of States were pressured to act benevolent, peace loving, and especially, staunch believers in the new world order and very cooperative with the delegation of the Confederate.

            Slowly but surely, these superpowers negotiated a future for survival of the planet, based on rational models of sustainability that excluded any factors of sentimentality in the equations.   The world population was growing quicker than estimated and it was expected to reach 9 billions; regardless of discreet euthanasia policies (thought to be efficient) and prosecuted in the under-developed States that were considered to be just mouth to feed but no return in brain power or willingness to fight for survival.  Even within those sovereign super states, those hopelessly 10% of handicapped and unproductive citizens were systematically and legally made to have their normal longevity abridged by 10 years.

It was a time when leeches and bleeding were not administered for every ailment.  Most children were vaccinated according to a protocol, whether parents agreed or not.  Infants were still allowed to die in their sleep, but their genes were known and their death could be predicted within a couple of months, also according to a well established protocol.  Breast cancer was under control and the loss of bone tissues decelerated considerably.  Thus, women could be predicted to outlive their spouses by 20 years, simply because men revolted against the prohibition of eating meat, drinking milk, and smoking; men staunchly abstained from regularly eating vegetables and fruits.  Instances of men just helping their mates to conceive and then die within months were common occurrences:  The patterns of the Queen insects killing or eating their mates after the job is done was very appealing to the public consciousness.  The ideology of men waiting till they are diagnosed with terminal illness before they copulate was widespread and even encouraged.

What future for our kids? Hang on buddy! (November 8, 2008)

            Regardless of a scenario or a combination of scenarios, there are trends that have definite paths in the foreseeable future. For example:

1.              Population on Earth will continue to increase; it might or might not reach a plateau.

2.              Potable water will dwindle and its quality will deteriorate fast.

3.              Quantity of water for irrigation will diminish.

4.              Degradation of the soil for agriculture will resume its fast pace because of intensive methods and increase in fertilizers and pesticides and deforestation and acid rains…

5.              Cultivable lands will shrink to make rooms for increased infrastructures and habitable estates.

6.              The virgin forests in the Amazon, Canada, and Africa are disappearing much quicker than reforestation policies.

7.              The concentration of carbon dioxide is increasing exponentially and there are no effective policies to make do without oil and increased coal mining.

8.              Cheaper car productions in China and India will saturate the highways and deplete even faster the oil reserves.

9.              The prices of medicines and chemical products will shoot to the roofs because of lack of oil and the necessary ingredients in the equatorial forests.

10.           The ozone layer will continue is depletion process.

11.           Biological diversity will no longer be that diverse.

12.           Maritime sources of protein are already scarce and polluted.

13.           Renewable sources of energy will not match the ever increase in demands on energies.

14.           Concentration of people in mega cities; since China joined the free market 150 million Chinese peasants flocked to the major cities and the same trend is going on in India and everywhere.

Shall I go on?  There are several scenarios to remedy to this bleak future; not necessarily to stop the trends, but just to maintain the survival of human species a while longer. There are at least four scenarios. First, we might very plausible maintain the free market economy, consumerism, multinationals and higher rate of growth.  This policy has proven its catastrophic effects but no alternative economic policies are studied seriously.

            The second scenario is security first for the rich nations; the poor immigrants would be warded off these “islands” of prosperity and affluence and let the third world go to hell.  This scenario is gaining ground in Europe and the USA and tighter measures to exclude the other non-developed populations have been in place for some time.

            The third scenario is for the western nations to coordinate political policies through financial incentives and tax cuts and centralized planning with fixed objectives. Obviously, these centralized policies will be heavily biased toward the life-style of the developed and rich nations.

            The fourth scenario can be summarized by Gandhi’s statement: ” True civilization is not the multiplication to infinity the wants of man, but their deliberate limitation so that to allow each individual to share what is essential for survival”.  It is fundamentally a strategy of long term durability to maintaining the survival process by relying on the basic necessities.  This scenario screams for drastic cultural change in our behavior and consumption and the quest for renewable matters and sources of energies.

Well, we cannot expect the western civilization to make a dent in the fourth scenario; not because they lack moral character but because of the daily pressures to fit in a well established consumerism society.  This is basically the lesson of history that the vast majority has to sacrifice so that the very few could enjoy life to blotting!

In the meantime, there are these rarest of events or natural cataclysms that re-establish equilibrium to Earth survival and rejuvenation.  This time around it is man that would have been the catalyst. Human spices might or might not survive.  One thing is certain; if human kind survives the same cycle of development will recur, unless the fourth scenario culture has been inculcated deep in our psychic or animal instincts.

Have I increased your doze of pessimism? Anyway, we are all living a worried life to the benefit of the entertainment industries.  No wonder that terrorist activities are increasing; that mass destruction philosophies are common policies; that vast “collateral damages” are acceptable; that extreme, salafist behavior are widespread among all religions and sects; that mysticism is gaining wide disciples, and that patience for rational discussion is dwindling!  I would not kill your grain of hope.  Hang on buddy.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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