Archive for Toxic Waste

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. 

Swim in the Med, and Glow in the Dark!

Posted in Illegal Dumping, Mafia, Radioactive Waste, Toxic Waste with tags , , , , on 16/09/2009 by floroy1942

It never ceases to amaze me how low some people will stoop in worship of money. One of the most horrific cases of pure greed unfolded today, when it was announced that members of the Calabrian Mafia had been deliberately sinking ships full of toxic and radioactive waste in the Mediterranean Sea.

In response to a Mafia informant, who claimed to have set explosive charges to sink a ship loaded with toxic and radioactive waste, a robotic camera has been to the bed of the Mediterranean some 18 miles off the south west coast of Italy. The robot found and photographed yellow barrels clearly marked ‘Toxic Waste’ lying alongside the intact wreck.

The same informant stated he had personally blown up two other ships containing toxic and radioactive materials.

The disposal of these materials is, by necessity, a very tightly controlled business, but there are many who see bypassing these laws and dumping the material illegally as a lucrative business.

It has been rumoured for years that the Mafia had gotten involved in this filthy trade as a way of making easy money. Officials have said that should samples taken from the wreck prove positive, a search will be made for a further 30 vessels sunk with their cargoes over recent years by the Mafia.

I am well aware of what some people consider ‘acceptable’ practices to make money, you can’t get away from it these days, but to do this without a thought as to what they are doing to the environment is to say the least, unthinkable!

The fact that the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean have been used as a dumping ground for decades is bad enough, but in the ‘Med’, being a semi-closed sea, the results would be catastrophic for future generations.

Already the ‘Med’ has to absorb 650 million tons of sewage, 129,000 tons of mineral oil, 60,000 tons of mercury, 3,800 tons of lead and 36,000 tons of phosphates annually.

A 1994 study of the seabed around Spain, France and Italy using trawl nets, revealed an average of 1,935 objects of debris per square kilometre. Of this 76% was plastic, and of that, 94% consisted of plastic bags.

Pollution in the Eastern Med, which can be attributed to oil tankers using the Suez Canal, has already killed off all the coral reefs (and the life it supported) off the coasts of Egypt and Israel. Must we now do the same thing to the rest of the Mediterranean?

Has pure greed now reached proportions where we will deliberately poison the entire 2.5 million square kilometres of the Mediterranean? For What! An few thousand lousy Dollars?

Although the ‘Med’ is a semi-closed sea, through the Straits of Gibtaltar two mighty currents flow opposite each other. One flows from the Atlantic into the “Med’, and the other in the opposite direction. This ensures, over a very long period of time, that the water is refreshed. The only problem is, we are polluting it at a far greater rate than the Atlantic current can cope with.

If we continue on our present course, in a few hundred years you will not even be able to approach the shoreline because of the stink. And now, to top off all that, these senseless Mafia idiots are polluting the waters with radioactive waste.

If they have indeed sunk 30 cargo ships loaded with radioactive and toxic waste, that means we have literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tons of this deadly cocktail lying on the bottom waiting for the salt water to corrode through the barrels and release it into the water, where it will then be spread far and wide by the currents.

If that becomes a reality, your beach kit will comprise of, sunbed, towels, water bottle, sun tan lotion, book, and finally, Geiger Counter so you can measure your radioactivity dose after going for a swim! If at some time in the future we all start glowing in the dark after a swim, I am sure it will catch on as the ‘new vogue’ in the disco’s.

I hope all of these Mafia animals are caught quickly, so the Italian Government can start cleaning up the bed of the Mediterranean as soon as possible, hopefully before any of this waste starts leaking into the water.

As for punishment, if they are even caught, let them live their final days after being exposed to the core of a nuclear reactor! As their hair starts to fall out, and the radiation burns start to eat their flesh, perhaps it will be a warning to any other prospective polluters. The only problem is: There is no real justice in this world!

Heaven help our children, for we do not deserve this fine planet of ours!

Roy.

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