- Politics and Social Issues
7 Ways to Save The Planet - Quiz
The End of the World
The economy is on the brink, riots are everywhere, protests are in full swing and wars and disputes are happening on several fronts. The climate is warming, the weather is unpredictable and animal species are driven to extinction.
So can anything be done to reverse the situation? Climate change and global warming are a reality so is it too late, therefore, to take a stand?
The Mayan Calendar runs out in 2012 and many consider that the world will end at that time. That would mean it is too late to change our course. But maybe they are wrong,
If anything can be done to save the planet it must start now. The cures outlined here will possibly turn most readers off before they even see what they about. But the wise ones will probably stick around because they are traditionally anxious to preserve the beautiful creation we enjoy and of which we are the keepers.
This work deals with 7 challenges and there are polls and comment boxes throughout the lens while the Guest comment box is at the end. Please read the entire lens before leaving your final comment. Thanks
Challenge 1. - Unblock the Ears of the Religious Deaf
Recent television footage on Niger and the conditions people are enduring showed hunger and death among young and old alike. The ground is barren, no rain is falling, no crops are growing. Mothers hold their dying infants and the world does nothing, or can do nothing to save them.
This is basically a Moslem country and the emirs in the Mosques tell them that Allah is in control and whatever happens is his will. As in all religions everywhere people have been taught to put their worries aside and hand them over to their gods. The problem is it is not working.
While they preserve their faith by abiding to what their holy books teach them they are being led down blind alleys with death waiting at the end. They are led there by ignorant misinformed leaders whose livelihood depends on their gullibility. One gets the feeling that if only they could be shaken from their dreams of paradise and other things they could come to grips with doing something for themselves.
The first thing to address is overpopulation. Even as one baby dies of starvation another is growing inside it's mother's womb ready to replace it. Recent figures show that on average women have seven children each and each man has at least 2 wives.
Blinded by faith some take to boats to fish oceans that are overfished and where this food resource becomes increasingly illusive. The people cannot even sell their animals because no one has money to buy them. So they start riots as hunger kicks in and all hope fades. But they are locked into their belief system by power and control and there is no way out for them.
Surrounding Niger is Chad, Ghana, and a heap of other countries in the same boat. The UN has sent some help of usually just a few peace keepers who are flat out preserving their own lives let along saving those of others. There is a downwards spiral happening here that is being repeated elsewhere as other countries face similar situations.
Many poverty stricken nations blame western countries for not deliivering food aid but there is only so much aid to deliver. The facts are that the rains have stopped in many other parts of the world as well while flood, cyclones, tsunamis and so on have played their role in reducing food crops to a fraction of their normal size.
But who wants to hear? Who on earth wants the responsibility to change their own lifestyle and bring down their religious ideals to help others do the same. The only aid people offer is ways to keep everyone alive, no matter the cost to the rest of us. Instead of pills and vacines they should be handing out contraceptives and help for women to escape male influence that sees many produce baby after baby irrespective of whether they survive or not. Are these harsh words or common sense solutions?
Where do you stand?
Do you think Overpopulation is a threat to the planet's survival?
Challenge 2. Reduce the Power of Big Business over Governments
Powerful companies rule countries as politicians know they create jobs. If a person has a job then he usually has security and there is relative peace in the community if everyone is working. There is little argument against that premise. However, big business aims for big populations as more people mean more profits. It is this scenario that works against the planet's survival.
More people mean more profits as there are more to buy goods, more money to go into CEO's pockets, more taxes for governments to enjoy and even bigger companies and wealth in the hands of a few individuals who cling to their billions while others suffer.
The riots and protests in Greece and Spain are about the average person fighting big business and super profits while many are without a job, some have lost their homes and are living on the streets, and they are paying the price for the imbalance in the economy that they did not cause.
Civilisations have wiped themselves out in the past for just such a scenario and we are facing major upheaval and civil wars, if not a world war, on an unprecedented scale. When a lid is placed on a boiling pot it will reach higher temperatures and eventually either explode or the contents will rise and spill over. If the spillage is volatile it wil cause a major fire with the potential to burn down the house.
That is what the world is facing now. We are watching companies and others pouring fuel on the fire and threatening to burn down our home because we cannot stop the pots of discontent and overpopulation from boiling over. The challenge is to take the heat out from under the containers by denying the wealthy the fuel and to remove the volatility by laws and actions against them.
No person needs millions of dollars to live on while millions around him are dying of poverty and starvation. No bank needs to post billions of dollars in profits while they strip families of their homes. No government needs to play the wealth game with billionairs who threaten their survival at the expense of those within communities who have little or no voice except to riot and protest.
Wealth is modern day terrorism and ignoring the problems it creates is as bad or worse then if we had ignored Hitler and allowed him to proceed with his take-over of the world. But we are in the hands of someone far worse. He is referred to in the bible as 666.
So what is happening now has been in the making for some 2000 years. It has captured the imagination of people everywhere and it is a force we cannot overturn immediately.
Challenge 3. Tackle Pollution
How hard is it to stop polluting the environment? Well, an impossible task from the evidence available. Aside from the carbon poured into the atmosphere in massive proportions and the plastic that is killing off species and causing horrendous problems in the ocean and for animals everywhere, there is the reluctance for people to alter their lifestyles.
We depend on electricity produced by coal fired power stations, and that's just one of the issues. We drive petrol guzzling cars, trucks and other things while riding in aeroplanes, buses and such that are also heavy polluters. Who wants to give up the family car and walk for a change? We obviously are not prepared to go back to the horse drawn carriage when cars are far more convenient. What would drive the computer, washing machines, heaters and other things we have come to depend on for communication, warmth, convenience, and other needs without power.
Just about everything we use in and around our homes, places of work and in the things we drive, play with or use for banking purposes is plastic or has a plastic component. Many people are addicted to soft drinks and bottled water, all delivered to them in plastic. Much of the clothing we wear and the carpets and blankets in our homes, seat covers in the car and even the food storage containers are a form of plastic (synthethic materials) made from oil.
Behind all these things is convenience and big business. Can we stop it? Not likely!
Are You Learning Things Here?
Will you do your bit to help the environment?
Challenge 4. Stop Deforestation
Jungles everywhere are disappearing fast and many have gone forever. The cause is a hunger for timber that defies belief. The beautiful forests of Tasmania are being stripped bare by companies who send some of the world's finest wood off to wood chipping factories before shipping it off to Japan.
My research shows that the Japanese use it for things like forming for cement piles in buildings and for other purposes. This is a dreadful waste of trees that have been growing for sometimes up to a couple of millennia when there are obvious alternatives. Trees that just may have stopped the huge cyclones and tornadoes now devastating many areas.
The Andean rain forests are being denuded at such a rate that it is hard to post figures for it. Some say the areas devastated are around the size of eight to ten football fields in an hour others nominate it is ten times plus that number. Illegal felling of trees is not the only cause of this wilful waste as big companies are using monstrous machinery to clear land for agriculture, mining, new settlements, and other activities.
When the trees go so do the animals depended on them and the biodiversity of the genetic pools. That doesn't mean a lot to those who are ignorant of what genes are all about but, believe me, it is important.
Trees extract carbon dioxide from the air and help to lower the temperature of the earth. They turn that gas into fruit which is a healthy alternative to farm produced products where herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals are used in the growing process. Trees also help to prevent strong winds and other weather conditions, such as drought. The countries where droughts are occurring are usually those where deforestation has occurred and desertification is taking place.
With the loss of trees salt rises in the soil and it eventually becomes less productive. Because not many plants will grow in salt the land is then abandoned and becomes waste land and desert.
We don't need to fell trees in forests if more sensible approaches are taken to ease the situation. The goal of home owners should be to grow trees of the type that were felled to allow their settlement to take place. Put nature back and stop destroying it and the animals and birds will reward you with their presence as well. That way we can maintain the biodiversity and allow the trees to help stop global warming.
Is This Something You Would Like to See?
Would you like to see desert instead of good healthy jungles?
Challenge 5. Protect Fresh Water Rivers and Lakes
It may not be obvious to everyone but land animals and plants depend on fresh water and we are decimating rivers. It is not only the pollution and by-products of mining, such as heavy minerals, that are affecting them but toxic waste from agriculture and many other things including weirs and dams built across them are having a devastating effect.
It's happening globally as governments use water to generate electricity, provide better conditions for agriculture and over allocate water rights to farmers, industry and other businesses along the river's course. The more water that is available means the more food that can be produced and the more human population for the world to deal with.
The picture is of water racing tsunami fashion through an area in Queensland where many were killed. Children were washed from parents arms, the elderly stood little chance and the strongest of men were simply washed away. Entire homes were ripped off their foundations and in some cases children were saved but lost parents and grandparents.
There was no escape as the water supposedly controlled by the Wyvenho Dam was suddenly released due to water pressure and it flooded thousands of acres and homes right down into Brisbane where the devastation cost billions of dollars. Animals and people stood little chance as the water tore through the land.
Leaders were once satisfied with large statues of themselves as iconic symbols of their rule. Lately, however, many are opting for dam construction and to construct ever bigger, better and what they perceive as more effective. These are the lasting monuments that do not fade out over time and whose presence will be devastating for many decades to come. Once built the water security they provide allows for increased population and more profits for big business.
Authorities should also leave nature as it is meant to be on the riparian zone around rivers and lakes but that is not happening. Many are stripped of natural flora and rocks and bricks are used to line them in such a way that they resemble man made canals. This is not surprising as official documents frequently describe rivers as sewers. That's not far from the truth when they also carry effluent and waste from factories, homes, even cities, built along their path.
In Australia, as elsewhere weirs constructed by farmers to partially dam the rivers for their own convenience are hindering animal life. They remain in place well after their use-by date and trap debris that would normally be flushed from the system. Such a build-up of rubbish greatly handicaps river animals and fish who migrate along the water ways for spawning and other purposes.
In this country, as elsewhere, carp were released into the system having been brought out from Europe to supply fish to migrants who were used to them as a food source. These parasites are now devastating local fish, such as the beautiful Murray Cod, because they devour the eggs and churn up the river bottom as they are mud feeders. Authorities are at a loss to find a solution while the introduced cane toad is also devastating the native fauna and it lays thousands of eggs at a time.
Animals like the platypus and other native species are now being driven to extinction by the effect of poisons, changes to the river bank, loss of natural flora on which they feed, introduced species and pollution. Carp destroy the banks allowing the river to spread out beyond its normal course due to such erosion. Native fish do not cause this type of damage.
Many rivers are now so changed that they readily produce huge algae blooms over the surface suffocating life below the surface while producing more toxins. The challenge is to clean up our rivers and lakes, get rid of the rocky lining and restore the riparian zones so nature can do its work.
These Images are here forever - Beware - they are hard to look at.
Have you been in an earthquake?
Did you escape injury?
Challenge 6. Stop Genetic Engineering
Genetically engineered products might sound like a bright idea as nature appears to be defeated by it. Plants can be made to be more tolerant of adverse conditions and animals made to grow faster while cloning of animals is by-passing normal methods of reproduction. These things are happening for profit but excuses are used to explain the changes to naturel But there will be a hefty price to pay as such things escape into the landscape and change things forever.
No one knows the long term effect of adding a gene from a fish to a tomato to help it to overcome the in-built rotting process. Or what moving a gene from one form of life to another will do to the rest of the species. So why are we doing it. The answer is money.
Scientists are being paid handsomely by companies who are taking out a monopoly on the seeds they sell to farmers for disease free crops or those that will grow under adverse conditions. The claim is that they need to do these things to feed the world. The problem is they might be successful in the short term but what happens if and when a few years down the track the entire plant system fall apart?
The facts are that everything evolved in perfect order. As one thing progressed there were food resources, environmental conditions and reproductive codes to enable it to survive, thrive and increase the number of its type. This happened largely because of genes. They carriy the information within the animal or plant that makes them a perfect match for their role in life. They are perfectly matched to deal with all aspects of their survival and ongoing role in the world.
But those genes are under threat. Scientists who appear to have little respect for the millions of years it has taken to produce this system are flat out altering it without any knowledge of how they are changing the sattus quo. It will soon be too late to reverse the carnage that is taking place now on genes and we have no knowledge of the long term effects on life that will result. If we wait another twenty years to find that out we might just run out of time.
Challenge 7. Recycle, Reuse and Reduce Waste
Just about everything can be reused but with the mentality of the 'Throw Away Society' and the influence of what people see on the media and in films the world is straining under the weight of waste. Whenever something is new and shining it appears that people cannot do without it. We have also lost the urge to reuse and the skills to make our own rather than buy everything.
Once everything was made to last but now it is terminal with a view that purchasers will replace goods in a short time. But goods made prior to that attitude were solid, had little or no plastic components, and are fixable. They can be restored and used for years to come and that's where the mindset needs to change.
Take an old washing machine, for example, without a computer component. They can be restored and second hand dealers make money doing just that. Instead of heading off to a department store to buy the biggest, shiniest one on sale, therefore, why not get the pre-loved version. I have had one such machine that lasted over ten years and so too has my sister. They do the job and very efficiently.
Old clothes made from natural fibre can be remade into modern styles but synthetic goods cannot. The latter are doomed to the landfill after a few months of wear. So instead of buying cheap synthetics try always to get natural fibre and it will last at least 10 times longer and the purchase price, therefore, is not expensive.
Governments don't want you to know these things because they want the economy to go around. They need for money to be constantly spent so they collect taxes. Business people want more and more profits so the more you have to buy the better for them. The movie industry is not interested in environmental issues and they promote only the biggest and best knowing that people will crave the lifestyles they promote.
Waste is more a state of mind than anything else. Instead of heading for the waste can why not head for the compost bin. Anything organic can be recycled in this way and then used on the garden as compost. The ground will be more productive and will subsequently produce well if used for vegetables and fruit for the home, thus saving money otherwise spent at the supermarket or green grocer. Instead of nurturing lawns try setting up garden beds, even in the front yard. Here you grow things to your heart content and have produce to offer to others or to sell.
Learn also to preserve your produce for use during the year. Make your own jams and pickles, sauces and stock as well as preserved fruit and vegetables. This is not hard to do and will involve only a little of your time but the rewards will be truly worth it. There are so many ways to save the environment and recycling, reusing and limiting waste is just one of them.
Building a Compost Heap
Is it Possible?
to implement any or all of these steps to save the planet?
Still images from Dreamstime - click here
© 2012 norma-holt