Archive for the Nature Category

Heading For Annihilation

Posted in America, Britain, Conservation, European Union, Forests, Health, Modern World, Nature, News, Traffic with tags , , , , on 06/08/2017 by floroy1942

Water Stress Graphic Across The World

According to the scientific data, in 1975 we reached the the maximum capacity of the Earth’s renewal of the planet’s resources, now in 2017 we are using 175 times the Earth’s replacement possibilities. It may seem strange, but Australia is using 5.2 times the Earth’s ecological footprint and next is the USA with 5 times the ecological footprint. Down at the bottom of the scale is India with o.6. In total the world is using 1.7 times the amount of resources on Earth, and our planet cannot replace it.

It is no surprise that the resources are getting used up quickly for we have been thinking only of ourselves and not the planet we live on. We are also contaminating the atmosphere at an ever increasing rate year on year.

If this continues mankind will cease to exist on this planet of ours. Through overfishing, over harvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can replace, humans are demanding more from the earth than it can produce, and this will lead to catastrophe.

Another Forest Fire Due To High Temperatures

Our trees across the world provide us with the much needed oxygen, but they are being destroyed by fire because of the dry weather in some countries, and cut down in others at a devastating rate and soon it will hit all of us. The oceans of the world also provide us with oxygen but they are being contaminated as never before.

Natural resources are being used up far quicker than they can be replaced and this too will lead us to catastrophe. “Our planet is finite, but human possibilities are not. Living within the means of one planet is technologically possible, financially beneficial, and our only chance for a prosperous future,” said Mathis Wackernagel, CEO of Global Footprint Network and co-creator of the Ecological Footprint. I fully agree with what he says, for unless we reign in our appetite for more and more we will cease to exist on this planet. When the amount of water, soil, and clean air that our planet can regenerate is spent before the year is up we can expect big problems in the future.

On today’s news it is said that large parts of the Earth, like central Africa, will be uninhabitable by 2040. This is all due to the steady rise in temperatures and the impossibility of growing food. This could also be true of the United States, for it is undergoing huge drought in central areas.

Already we have millions dying of thirst and hunger in Africa, and if we continue to use up the planet’s resources before they can be replenished we will all be in trouble. Most westerners think nothing of this catastrophe, for we have everything we need on hand, but consider other parts of the world where there is drought, famine and a great lack of water and the people that have to put up with this hardship.

On top of this we are using up all the world’s natural resources faster than they can be replaced. Eventually, at some time in the future we will run out of oil and then what will happen. Back to the stone age I guess. Farmers are also grossly contaminating the soil that grow crops in order to make more money. What will happen when the ground is so contaminated that we can no longer grow food? Already our food is contaminated with all sorts of pesticide which in my view is leading to a lot of the illnesses we see in the west.

Governments the world over must make rapid changes to the way we live, or mankind will cease to exist on this planet. Already some European governments are going to ban the sale of all diesel cars by 2040, why not earlier. By then we will be in dire straits as the temperatures continue to rise. Here in Spain we are undergoing a heat wave such as we have never seen before. Temperatures are rising in some parts of the country to over 40 degrees and this is unheard of in the past. With the man-made pollution of the atmosphere these temperatures are certain to rise year on year, and not only in Spain.

It is imperative that we do something to lower the pollution across the globe by rapidly reducing the number of cars on the road and getting rid of all diesel vehicles. This cannot wait twenty odd years, we must start doing it now.

It makes me very sad to witness the madness of human beings on this planet for very few people, especially in the west, don’t even think about the way the world is going and just shrug it off as it’s not their concern. Meanwhile millions are dying all across Africa but who cares anyway, that is their problem.

What people don’t realize is that eventually it will spread all around the world and then what will we do?

Roy.

Say Goodbye To Elephants and Rhinoceros

Posted in America, Britain, Conservation, Environment, European Union, Nature, News, Torture, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 25/09/2016 by floroy1942

The fact that we are destroying our world is becoming more and more evident, and I don’t mean the atmospheric, land and ocean pollution. From reports out today it would seem that we are destroying the world’s animals too at an ever increasing rate.

The Decline In The Elephant Population

The Decline In The Elephant Population

In particular I am writing about elephants and rhinoceros in Africa where 30% have been destroyed in the last seven years. If this keeps up, in 15 years time there will be none left, and like so many other species, they will disappear into history.

Whatever you like to think about this, mankind is the most destructive force on the planet, and taking that into consideration the planet will not survive must longer, or at least we won’t.

Poachers At Work

Poachers At Work

These animals are killed for their horns which some Far Eastern countries like China, Indonesia and Vietnam, believe can be made into a miracle cure for all sorts of diseases. How they arrived at this conclusion is beyond me, for none of it is true and science has proved it. When you take it down to the bare bones, its all about profit and making money.

Walking through the tourist areas of Far Eastern cities you find sculptures carved from the horns of elephants and rhino’s, all to attract sales from the gullible tourists. Buying such things just assists the destruction of these wild animals.

We have lost 42 species of animals and birds in just the 20th century, including the Barbary Lion, various species of tiger, the Kamchatka bear, Dawson’s caribou, the Greenland reindeer plus a host of birds and insects. They are all gone never to return.

Some people call this progress, but the tragic reality is that we are destroying our world at an ever-increasing pace. The sad thing is, nobody cares. I am in my latter years, but nobody thinks about what our children and their children will face with the legacy we are leaving them.

A Rhino De-Horned But Left Alive

A Rhino De-Horned But Left Alive

One by one the animals and birds of the world are disappearing and the rate has increased ten-fold in the last 100 years. Not only that, but we are poisoning our atmosphere, the ground, and the oceans at an ever increasing rate. What does that say for the future of this planet and our children?

Billed as the largest gathering in the 43-year history of the convention, the 17th Conference of the Parties will see more than 2,500 delegates from more than 180 countries come together in Johannesburg. What will they achieve? In my estimation, very little. We have had these talking shops so many times in the past, but all have achieved nothing on the grand scale of things.

In my opinion, the only way to put an end to this mindless shooting of elephants and rhino’s for profit is for all countries to make it a capital offence. When caught you will be hung.

An Ivory Carving

An Ivory Carving

The governments of the Far East must close down all these ‘doctors’ who prescribe ointments and such made from tusks and ensure they never practice again. All tourist shops selling items made from ivory should have their stock confiscated and destroyed.

I know many will think this is impossible, and it probably is, but we must do something to save these species of animals. Once all the elephants and rhino’s have disappeared what will these people turn to next? Your guess is as good as mine.

Roy.

Killing The Wilderness Will Kill Us All

Posted in America, Brazil, Britain, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Nature, News, Oceans, Plastic Rubbish with tags , , , , on 10/09/2016 by floroy1942
Deforestation

Deforestation

No! This is not some made up story, but in years to come it will come true. The areas of wilderness on Earth, i.e. areas of land like the Amazon in South America and Central Africa among others, are the lifeblood of our planet and yet we are destroying them at an ever-increasing rate.

The Amazon

The Amazon

Before 1970 the Amazon forest covered 4,100,000 sq.kms, but by 2015 it had shrunk to just 3,331,065 sq.kms. This means that mankind has destroyed 768,935  sq.kms (almost the size of Turkey) in just 39 years, reducing its size by 18.8%. Despite all the warnings about what this was doing to our ecological status, the destruction still goes on.

In 1950 the Indonesian forest cover was estimated to be 145 million ha of primary forest and another 14 million ha of secondary and tidal forest.  Between 1990 and 2000 20% of the forest area in Indonesia had been lost (24 million ha) and by 2010, only 52% of the total land area was forested (94 million ha).

According to the World Resources Institute, more than 80 percent of the Earth’s natural forests have already been destroyed world-wide. Up to 90 percent of West Africa’s coastal rain forests have disappeared since 1900. Brazil and Indonesia, which contain the world’s two largest surviving regions of rain forest, are being stripped at an alarming rate by logging, fires, and land-clearing for agriculture and cattle-grazing. And so the destruction of our live-giving forests goes on unabated, and no-one is doing anything to stop it.

Rain Forest Destruction

Rain Forest Destruction

What most people do not realize is that trees are the lifeblood of this planet, and without them we will all die very quickly because they are the number one provider of our most important essential – oxygen. But what the hell, profit is more important that life, right!

We all know that the pollution levels on our planet are steadily rising, what with CO2 pollution world-wide and the ever increasing contamination of the world seas and the ground but no-one seems to care.

Plastic Pollution

Plastic Pollution

Our oceans are steadily being heavily polluted with plastic among other things which is causing untold problems. We have huge areas of every ocean on the planet where plastic is collecting on the surface called plastic gyers.

For more information you might perhaps  want to read:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/welcome-to-plastic-island/

Ocean Life Destruction

Ocean Life Destruction

Another problem with the oceans is over-fishing. Where forty years ago a fishing boat would capture maybe a ton of fish, now the giant fishing trawlers are capturing 100 tons of fish in a single catch, and it doesn’t end there.

Not only are we destroying the seas, but also the land on which we grow the crops that feed us. For the last forty years we have increased farming production to the extent where the ground does not have the ability to recover. For this reason we are using chemicals to help make the crops grow, and this is polluting the earth. Not only that, but it gets into our streams and flows into rivers where it ends up in the sea.

Years ago when I was young a farmer would always leave one field without crops for an entire year so that it could recover the minerals that help our crops grow. Now that is all out the window as everyone wants to make more and more profit.

The seas and the ground are important to us, but we are also fouling the air that we breath. From the turn of the century, when there were probably no more than a few hundred thousand vehicles on our roads it has risen to over a billion, and each one is pumping out poisonous gasses that are contaminating our atmosphere. It is well known that the levels of CO2 in our atmosphere are causing problems world-wide. The loss of forests and woods across the world means that nature has totally lost control, and can no longer rectify this problem.

Smog In The Far East

Smog In The Far East

In some Far Eastern cities people have to walk around with a mask to prevent the minute particles from vehicle exhausts getting into their lungs. Western nations have also had their share. The effect this has had on the human population is evident in the increased number of cancer deaths.

Most people will have heard about the disastrous droughts in places like California, parts of Africa and even Europe where there has been no rainfall for many months. This has had a catastrophic effect for farmers, many of whom have gone bankrupt. And yet, more areas are suffering hurricanes in places where this is unheard of in the past, like Britain for example. Our uncaring attitude to the world is causing disasters in places where such things are unheard of. If we continue as we are you can guarantee this will only get worse.

Centuries ago life on this planet was balanced because of the low levels of contamination we pumped into the seas, ground and air. But now with scientific progress all that has changed and we are slowly destroying our planet, and ourselves. If nothing changes within the next few decades mankind will be no more.

Roy.

Paris Climate Conference – COP 21

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, Conservation, Environment, Europe, Insanity, Nature, News, Oceans with tags , , , , on 29/11/2015 by floroy1942

Next week sees the next round of international climate conferences in Paris and many people are wondering what agreements are going to be reached. What is just as is important is how effective the agreements will be. Will governments live up to the actions they have agreed to take, or will it be just like all the previous conferences where everything is forgotten after the doors close behind them?

Some People Just Do Not Believe What Is Staring Them In The Face

Some People Just Do Not Believe What Is Staring Them In The Face

I have a tendency to believe in the latter, for up until now not much has been done about the major threat of climate change despite all the agreements reached in the past. The evidence for urgent action is happening every day, and yet most people just ignore it or simply do not believe it.

Major hurricanes/typhoons, flooding and drought all across the world are indications that things are changing rapidly, and it is up to mankind to make the necessary alterations in the way we live otherwise they will escalate, and life on Earth will become precarious indeed.

Polar Ice Cap Loss

Just One Example – Polar Ice Cap Loss

Most people scoff at the idea of climate change because they do not know how the climate behaved 50-60 years ago, and they have nothing to compare todays weather patterns with. Those of us who are old remember clearly the mild weather patterns of the 1950’s and 60’s when for example, hurricanes were totally unheard of in Britain. You cannot say that now. We old ‘uns remember when we never had major flooding, and long periods of drought like we do now in Britain. I can say much the same about the United States.

It is only when you have the real knowledge of what our weather patterns were so long ago that you begin to realize how much it has changed in the last thirty-odd years. Looking around at what is happening in the world at the moment I find it hard to believe that most people just do not see what is going on.

Too Many Cars

Too Many Cars

I can well understand the young people today who decry the very idea of climate change, because what we experience today is all they have known since they were born, but that does not mean they should not listen to those who have experienced better times.

Most governments are crying out about capping global temperature increases to just 2 degrees celsius but none of them are taking any concrete steps to make this happen.  But there will surely come a time when they realize the mistake they have made, but sadly, it may well be too late by then.

Loss Of A Major Asset

Loss Of A Major Asset

We still have the coal-burning factories, more than a billion cars on the road worldwide all contaminating the air we breath. We are still contaminating our farmland and waterways with chemicals to grow food, while at the same time decimating the world’s great forests like the Amazon which provide us with so much oxygen. We are also doing irreparable harm to our oceans with over fishing and plastic contamination. I have to admit, it makes me shudder to think what the world will be like for our children, and in particular, our grand and great-grandchildren.

Loss Of A Major Asset

Loss Of A Major Asset

It is indeed sad that people today are so self-centred, they do not give a single thought to what their children and children’s children will have to put up with in the future. It’s all about themselves and what they can get out of life, and sod tomorrow!

It is true that the world’s governments can only do so much in avoiding major changes in world weather, a lot of it has to come from the people themselves. We the people have to begin working together to drastically reduce the effects of global warming wherever we can, for if we don’t, future generations will pay a heavy price.

Roy.

African Plastic Ban – Something We Can All Learn From

Posted in America, Britain, England, Environment, European Union, Illegal Dumping, Nature, News, Oceans, Plastic with tags , , , , on 13/04/2015 by floroy1942

I watched with interest a news item on France 24 channel yesterday that should point the way for the whole world. The headline is: Plastic is banned in Rwanda.

Good Night Out Last Night - What Did You Do With Your McDonald's Hamburger Box?

Good Night Out Last Night – What Did You Do With Your McDonald’s Hamburger Box?

Non-biodegradable plastic has for years been a plague on our planet and it is without doubt time that its use is severely limited. Our towns, cities and countryside, and more important our oceans, are becoming clogged with the stuff. Everywhere you go these days you will find plastic bags, cartons, bottles, wrappers and the like littering our streets, our waterways and the seas.

It would seem that many manufacturers cannot think past plastic. If you buy even fruit or vegetables in a supermarket these days, chances are they will come in a plastic tray with a plastic film wrapper. WHY! If the goods need to be in a tray, which I don’t believe they do for these are purely for presentation, then why not a cardboard one as in the old days?

High Winds - Who Knows Where It Will End Up?

High Winds – Who Knows Where It Will End Up?

In Britain alone a total of eight billion plastic bags were handed out to customers by supermarkets and shops in 2012. Add that to the rest of Europe and it comes out at trillions per year. You should ask yourself how many of yours ended up in the wrong place because you didn’t care!

Up to the sixties everything came wrapped in paper, cardboard or a derivative, and everyone was happy. Today it all comes down to profit because plastic is cheaper.

Eventually To End Up In The Oceanic Gyre?

Eventually To End Up In The Oceanic Gyre?

Here in Marbella you do not need to walk far on the beaches before you come across a discarded plastic bag, water bottle or wrapper. We have become so careless with waste disposal these days that even though there may be a litter bin a few metres away, it is too much trouble for many to dispose of litter properly.

As I have reported in previous posts (https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/welcome-to-plastic-island/) plastic is steadily clogging up our oceans to the extent that there are country sized accumulations in all our oceans called gyres.

I NEVER Throw These Away Without Cutting Open All The Loops First!

I NEVER Throw These Away Without Cutting Open All The Loops First!

Plastic is breaking down in sunlight into micro-plastic that is eaten by fish and sea birds, and much of the fish ends up on our dinner table. What most people seem to forget is that normal plastic is non-biodegradable! It will still litter our planet in one thousand years after it is carelessly thrown away!

- And This Is Why!

– And This Is Why!

It was reported recently that even the Mediterranean Sea now has huge gyres of plastic that are steadily being eaten by the fish. If it continues, it will become a major problem for the extensive fishing industry in countries bordering the Mediterranean as in other parts of the world.

Says It All!

Rwanda – Says It All!

It is for these reasons that I applaud the actions taken by the Rwandan government to ban non-biodegradable  plastics in the country. Top of the list is plastic shopping bags, for these have received an outright ban. The people are now being forced to use paper bags to carry the shopping.

Passengers arriving at Kigali Airport are now searched for plastic, and any found is confiscated. If you have a package or suitcase wrapped in plastic it is cut off and confiscated before you can enter the country. The same goes for the country’s borders.

Refreshing To See A Nice Clean City

Refreshing To See A Nice Clean City

It has been reported by people travelling through Rwanda that now-a-days everything is a lot cleaner. No longer is there the spectacle of plastic bags blown around on the streets and in the countryside, and no longer are the trees festooned with plastic caught on branches. A lesson for us all in our supposedly ‘civilized’ world.

Europe vainly tried a couple of years ago to limit the use of supermarket plastic bags by charging for them, locally its ten cents, but that was a waste of time. You still see people leaving the supermarkets with a trolley full to the brim with shopping in a dozen or more plastic bags.

Litter On The Street -  A Regular Occurence In Europe

Litter On The Street – A Regular Occurence In Europe

In Europe as in most western countries it is a common sight to see shopping bags or other plastic items littering the streets, they are everywhere. In many cases these items find their way into rivers and streams and pollute our water supply, but who the hell cares, its only a plastic bag.

Few people realize the damage that is being done to our environment by discarded plastic, and sad to say, many don’t care anyway. Unfortunately it is not about the here and now, but what we are doing to future generations with our careless plastic pollution.

What Would You Think If This Ended Up On Your Dinner Table?

What Would You Think If This Ended Up On Your Dinner Table?

It is time for the rest of the world, in particular the richer nations to follow this example set by Rwanda and enforce an outright ban on plastic carrier bags as a start, and then move to other plastic wrapping materials. It may cost a little more, but at least it will be a step in the right direction towards saving our planet.

Roy.

The California Drought – Worse To Come?

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, Environment, European Union, Nature, News, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , on 03/04/2015 by floroy1942
California Drought

California Drought

It was interesting to read today that the governor of California  Jerry Brown has imposed a state-wide restriction on water usage to combat the current severe drought, which is quoted as being “the worst in 1,200 years”, although how anyone can draw that conclusion is beyond me.

Sierra Nevada Snowpack

Sierra Nevada Snowpack – Jan 2013 and Jan. 2014. In 2015 None

Normally California’s water comes from melted snow in the Sierra Nevada, but experts who visited the mountain range found no snow whatsoever. This is bad news for California.  The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) said in a statement on Wednesday, “This was the first time in 75 years of early April measurements at the Phillips snow course that no snow was found there.” The DWR stated in a news conference that readings from Wednesday put the state’s water level  content at just 5% of the historical average for the date.

The drought has been going on for four years and is exacerbated by high temperatures, which indicate things are getting desperate. Last year the governor imposed a voluntary  water restriction that did not achieve much, so he has been forced to take the unprecedented step of imposing a mandatory 25% reduction in usage this year.

Lakes Are Drying Up

Lakes Are Drying Up

Californian’s have always had to battle drought during the hot summer months, but in recent years it has gotten worse as is indicated by the governor’s desperate measure to conserve this precious commodity. From the reports it would seem that farmers will not be covered by these restrictions for obvious reasons, but every household in the state will feel the effects.

During the last few years there have been regular reports of drought in the central states, along with many other places on Earth, and from the looks of things it will only get worse. Why? – Global warming, that thing that most people scoff at, and who’s existence they deny.

california-drought-waterScientists have for years been warning us of the consequences of this global phenomena, and slowly, but slowly they are being proven right. Year on year we see droughts where none existed before, plus larger and more destructive typhoons and hurricanes across the globe causing massive destruction.

Snow Plough Almost Buried In Snow - New York

Snow Plough Almost Buried In Snow – New York

Just this last winter we witnessed unprecedented winter storms with massive snowfall in the north-east of the United States, but still no-one believes there is something wrong.

The tragedy is, the longer we ignore this and refuse to each do our part in stopping it, the worse it will get. But what does it take to convince people? Perhaps not until it is too late will people wake up to this deadly danger. I hope not!

Roy.

Science Is Getting More Laughable!

Posted in America, Atlantic, Britain, Canada, Conservation, Environment, Nature, News, Pacific with tags , , , , on 01/01/2015 by floroy1942

I sometimes get the impression these days that science has lost its way! Some of the experiments, and the results that come from them, seem to bear no relationship to intelligent and rational thinking whatsoever. This week I came across some ‘scientific results’ that seem to test the limits of basic intelligence.

The first one concerns shipping, and a bunch of scientists from Leeds University have come up with the idea that we should have all ships ‘generate smaller bubbles in their wake to reflect more of the sunlight back into space’.

Make The Bubbles Smaller?

Make The Bubbles Smaller?

Their hypothesis is that the bubbles created by the turning propellers of a ship as it passes through the water should be made smaller. By doing this, the white froth left behind by all moving ships could last up to 24 hours instead of the normal few minutes, and thereby reflect more sunlight. It would seem to me that we need to increase the number of ships on the world’s oceans by a few million for this idea to work.

Naturally, this is part of the Global Warming Project and is part of an effort to reduce the rising temperature of the planet. Leeds’ Prof Piers Forster said the bubbles idea was a plausible scheme. “A lot of these technologies are completely hypothetical, but “The one advantage about this technology – of trying to generate these tiny ‘micro-bubbles’ – is that the technology does already exist.”

Part of Leeds University UK

Part of Leeds University UK

Julia Crook, also from Leeds, explained: “The technology required for other forms of solar radiation management is a long way off being ready, whereas micro-bubble generators already exist. The Japanese are already experimenting with micro-bubbles under ships’ hulls to make them more streamlined and more fuel-efficient. This could have a double benefit.”

She added: “This form of solar radiation management has the advantage over stratospheric aerosol injection, in that one could move ships with bubble generators to different parts of the ocean, providing more control on the regional temperature and precipitation changes induced.”

The Last Time Many Ships Sailed Together Was In WW2 Convoys

The Last Time Many Ships Sailed Together Was In WW2 Convoys

A quick search showed me that there are roughly 104,304 ships in the world including fishing boats and pleasure craft. This number, if all sailing the sea together would not even cover the area of the Black Sea. When you consider they are spread all across the globe their impact would be negligible, and the amount of reflected sunlight would be so small as to be unmeasurable. Not even worth the effort of converting a single ship never mind over 100,000, although the scientists consider such technology has ‘the potential’ to reduce temperatures by 0.5C. The one thing they did say was that there is a distinct possibility this measure could increase rainfall in some areas, as if we don’t get enough in many parts with massive flooding!

The second scientific report concerns of all things, Arctic Ground Squirrels! According to the Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, US, we can blame the the humble Arctic ground squirrel for increasing world temperatures too. For it seems their burrowing into the permafrost at these northern latitudes is releasing large amounts of CO2 that is normally trapped in the frozen ground. These findings were presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Killing Our Planet?

Killing Our Planet?

Dr Sue Natali, from Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, US, said, “Carbon has been accumulating in permafrost for tens of thousands of years. The temperature is very cold, the soils are saturated, so that when plants and animals die, rather than decompose, the carbon has been slowly, slowly building up. Right now the carbon storage is about 1,500 pentagrams (1,500 billion tonnes). To put that in perspective, that’s about twice as much as is contained in the atmosphere.”

Nigel Golden, from the University of Wisconsin, looked at ground squirrels: small, fluffy rodents that are found across the Arctic. He said:, “They are soil engineers. They break down the soil when they are digging their burrows, they mix the top layer with the bottom layer, they are bringing oxygen to the soil and they are fertilizing the soil with their urine and their faeces. We saw an increase in soil temperature in the soils the Arctic ground squirrels were occupying.”

To me these ideas are about as crazy as sowing the clouds with salt so as to reflect more sunlight. I am no scientist, but it seems to me that if we do that we end up with salt water rain and a fat lot of good that will do anyone.

But at least we can, in part, blame the Arctic ground squirrels for our current climate problems. Ah Well! At least its not all our fault (sigh of relief)!

Roy.

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