Archive for Mother Nature

The Magic Of Yellowstone

Posted in America, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Modern World, Nature, News, USA with tags , on 21/02/2014 by floroy1942

It’s amazing how a small, seemingly insignificant thing can change the path taken by Mother Nature. I saw this amazing video and thought I would share it with you. It concerns the changes that have occurred in Yellowstone Park in the USA since wolves were re-introduced. Far from decimating the park wildlife, they have redressed the balance which has had an amazing consequence. It is worth watching just for the photography, but don’t forget the story-line.

I hope you enjoyed watching the wonders of nature at work. Perhaps there is a lesson here for other parts of the world.

Roy.

The World Biodiversity Challenge – Should We Care?

Posted in America, Britain, Children, Environment, Europe, Forests, Health, Oceans, United Nations with tags , , , , , on 19/05/2012 by floroy1942

In encyclopedia’s, the definition of biodiversity is written as follows: “Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given species, ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions support fewer species.” To put that into simple language, biodiversity is the foundation to the existence of all life on our planet, so why are we so hell-bent on destroying it?

Planet Earth – Our Beautiful Home

New research out this last week has shown that we as a species, and indeed all species on the planet Earth, are on a collision course with Armageddon. That sounds so dramatic doesn’t it, but from this latest research carried out for the 2012 Living Planet Report, produced by the conservation agency of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), that statement is not so far off-track, incredible though that may seem.

As the dominant species on Earth it is reasonable to assume that we will make use of the world’s resources to better our lives, the trouble is, go too far and you put the scales out of balance and the whole edifice collapses. That is exactly what we are doing right now. Surprised! Some will be, but the more intelligent among us will not.

Incredible though it may seem, we are using up 150 percent of the Earth’s resources annually, that is to say, we are using all the new resources that the planet generates every year (100%) – plus another 50 percent! In other words, we are outstripping our worlds resources by 50 percent. Let me put this as simply as possible: You have ten litres of water which is supposed to last you ten days i.e. 1 litre per day, but you drink 1.5 litres a day instead. This means that by 16.00hrs on day seven you run out of water, whereas, if you had stuck to the prescribed amount you would not have gone thirsty!

Colby Loucks

Colby Loucks, the director of conservation sciences at WWF, compared humanity to bad house guests. “We’re emptying the fridge, we’re not really taking care of the lawn, we’re not weeding the flower beds and we’re certainly not taking out the garbage.”

Put in the form of a balance sheet, humanity is in debt to Mother Earth to the tune of 50 percent annually. Each year our planet is capable of providing only so much in renewable resources, land and waste absorption such as carbon dioxide sinks for example. At the current rate it is taking the planet one-and-a-half years to replace what we take out in one year. Even the dimmest among us can see that this situation cannot possibly go on if life is to continue on our planet for another thousand years and beyond.

The report has also tracked a 30 percent loss in the various areas of the Earth’s biodiversity such as plant and animal life, and it makes startling reading. Tropical species (animal and plant life) for example have fallen by 60 percent since the 1970’s while tropical freshwater species over the same time period have dropped by 70 percent. On a global scale, freshwater species have dropped 25 percent and saltwater species by 20 percent, again since 1970.

The report authors calculated the world’s worst offenders when it comes to resource use by defining each nation’s productive land capacity and compared it to the actual population and consumption per person. The top 10 greediest resource users per capita are: Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, United States, Belgium, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, and tenth, Ireland. As you would expect, those that use up the least of the world’s resources are the poorer countries. 

I can already hear the doubters and sceptics among us shouting: Rubbish! Who gives a rat’s ass! It doesn’t affect me! Well, you may not care and it may not affect you directly, but your children and their children will most certainly be affected, and in the long-term so will the entire human race. Some will say, “That’s OK, by then we will be living on the Moon and Mars and travelling the Galaxy”, as if it’s that easy. No matter what scientific and technical advances man makes, I am sure we will never travel outside our own Solar System and that is a fact we all need to learn. Science fiction is just that – fiction! Star Trek and travelling at the speed of light will never be achieved by man, of that I am sure.

 

Pacific Garbage Patches

There can be little doubt that despite what historians and the like say, we are currently living in the ‘Golden Age’ of Man because we can do as we please. Our technical advances know no bounds for we have gadgets coming out our ears, we have all the comforts Mother Earth can provide and we can travel where we will. But at what price? The planet is literally struggling to keep up with our current lifestyle. No-one seems to realise that eventually the Earth’s resources are going to run out – and what then?

So what do we do as the dominant species? Well, fairly high on the agenda is drastically cutting down on our rape of the Earth’s resources such as oil and natural gas. They are of sufficient quantity to last us for hundreds if not thousands of years if used wisely, but at the rate we are swallowing them up they will be gone forever relatively soon.

We must cut down on our mind-boggling energy consumption, and very important, put a restriction on procreation world-wide, especially in over-populated countries like India and China, although China has had controls in place since 1978. Our biggest enemy in the future is world over-population, meaning more mouths to feed, more demands for power, food, and natural resources.

Rain Forest Eco System

We need to manage our world’s vegetation and animal life much better. Cutting down the rain forests for example, may be profitable in the short term but it will eventually be a killer in the long term. Already we are seeing major shifts in the weather patterns across the globe caused by our destruction of the world’s rain forests, but how far will it have to go before we realize its our fault. It is also time to manage our waste much better and remove major pollutants like plastic before, for example, the Pacific ‘plastic island’ and others like it destroy our oceans.

However, I believe the most important change necessary will be the hardest to achieve, and that is ourselves. It is time we stopped thinking of just ‘me, me, me,’ and making more and more money, and start taking not only others but also our magnificent ‘home’ into consideration. We need to change our complete outlook on life so that we can appreciate this world around us and realise that it supports us, and will continue to do so only as long as we look after it!

Roy. 

Treasures Lost In Time

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Forests, Modern World, UK with tags , , , , on 11/05/2009 by floroy1942

It is indeed a sad indictment of our times that so much of England’s beauty has been lost, perhaps for all time. I came across the above picture on the Internet and couldn’t believe my eyes. That such a thing could still exist!

When I was a boy growing up in England, woods like the one above were everywhere, dotted across the countryside in their thousands. They provided a home for the wildlife across Britain, and a visit on a Sunday afternoon was a pleasant outing. In Springtime it was such a pleasure to walk through the local woods and see the carpets of wild flowers between the trees.

Wild daffodils, primroses, and bluebells among others were everywhere, covering the ground with a carpet of vivid colour that seemed to stretch on forever. When walking, we were always careful to stay on the paths and not trample the flowers, because that was the way we were brought up.

These colourful displays were not restricted to the woodland either, you very often found them on the roadside verges as you travelled along. As a child I glorified in the diverse natural beauty that abounded throughout rural England. At that time, England was indeed a ‘Green and Pleasant land’. Even so, as a Brit, I have to say it is still a beautiful country.

Away from the woods, walking along country lanes, you could see miles of hedgerows enclosing the farmers fields, each with it’s own unique environment. Birds and small creatures like dormice, insects by the million, all contributing in their own way to Mother Nature’s plan.

Farmers complained sometimes about certain species that lived in the hedgerows, but when all is said and done, we did not need hundreds of gallons of pesticide per acre to keep down the pests because the creatures of the hedgerows did it for us. Nature was in balance, and the farmers still got what they wanted, a good crop.

Then along came greed!

With the Sixties came the farming revolution that we know so well today. Most of the woodland and hedgerows were torn out to make way for fields that now stretch for half a mile as you drive along. Huge tracts of land had all the vegetation uprooted and removed to make way for the super-fields of the modern era.

Even then, it was obvious to anyone with a tiny amount of intelligence, that these super-fields would in time suffer from major problems.

First and foremost, such large open spaces gave the wind the opportunity it needed to remove the topsoil every time it blew. Secondly, the demise of the hedgerows removed vital, and natural, pest control.

With all that bio-diversity gone, we now see tractors spraying crops with what to us, must be poison. Daily we eat produce from these mega-farms with little thought to what has happened to it while it was growing. Even the fruit, we supposedly don’t eat enough of, is contaminated with all sorts of chemicals that are good for the farmer, but not for us.

It’s fine for the pesticide companies to shout that their product is safe, and for the farmers to say it is necessary, but is it? I wonder.

As with everything else these days, sad to say, its all about money. Farmers have been squeezed by the big supermarket chains since they become so popular, and it is firms like Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Asda and many more that are dictating the market prices for what we eat. This has led the farmers to get as much out of their land as they possibly can. Hence the relentless destruction of the countryside as I once knew it.

It is indeed a sad indictment of our times that we have destroyed this natural balance that has existed, and worked, since the birth of our planet.

It is a fact that some farmers have tried to reconstitute the hedgerow environment on their land, but it will take decades before we can get back to how it was.

When the hedgerows and woodland were destroyed, all the birds, small creatures and insects that inhabited them were destroyed also. This has had a knock-on effect by reducing the number of these creatures alive today.

Another of my favourite memories of summers gone by is the swarms of swallows and swifts that made their home in the UK each summer. In town or country they could be seen flitting around the buildings or trees in their search for insects. They would make an abrupt change in their flight path as they spotted an insect in the air, and you knew they had caught something, for they rarely missed. Now the numbers have fallen dramatically, which would indicate a significant drop in insect numbers.

We have had significant progress in the last thirty or so years in food production, but eventually the time will come when we have to pay the price, and I am afraid that day may not too far away.

Why do I say that? Well for a start, scientists have for the last twenty years been meddling with the very building blocks of our food source. By that I mean of course genetically modified (GM) foods.

I admit right away that I am not in favour of such manipulation, and wouldn’t touch them knowingly with the proverbial barge pole. I know the scientists tell us they can make drought and bug resistant crops that will increase the yield of farms, but to me it sound dangerous.

Despite what they say, no-one knows the effects this DNA manipulation of our food crops will have over an extended period when it eventually gets into the established plant-life, as it is bound to do sooner or later. No-one can say with certainty that it will not have a long term affect on our health and well-being. To me, we are playing a dangerous game with our future and that of our planet.

I just thank God that I am living my life now, and will not have to face the world in fifty years time.

Doom and gloom forecast? Not really, but I am happy I saw England’s beauty as it once was, and knew the time when english girls were known for their beauty and slim figures. I’m also glad I can still get fresh vegetables that do not as yet have the possibility to turn my offspring into something inhuman.

As time goes by I am sure we, the human race, will continue on this planet, because eventually all the bad things we have done to our home world will come back to haunt us, and those that are left will be able to start again knowing where we went wrong. Let us hope our descendants are more intelligent than we appear to be.


Live your life to the full, it’s a one-shot deal!


Roy.

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