Sustaining Future

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Why don't we do this on a global scale?

The following videos show how, by restoring local vegetation and the ecosystem, the livelihood of the people is vastly improved. China can do it. Uganda can do it. Everyone can do it. Why don't we do this on a global scale?

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Green house gas and the race to renewable energy

It strikes me as extremely short-sighted when climate deniers cannot see the great economic potential in adopting a renewable energy stance. Carbon cap and trade is an economic tool to jump start renewable energy sector. With it or without it, human civilisation needs to move to renewable energy. The question is not IF, just a simple WHEN. The earlier a country starts, the more the country will gain in the upcoming economic race.

The worry is human has passed the point of no return - when the climate will change so much that we cannot limit the average rise of temperature to within 2oC. The science is telling us that we need to decrease the atmospheric CO2. It is NOT limiting GHG, what is needed is to reduce GHG.

I am very disappointed at the result of at Copenhagen this week.


Friday, December 18, 2009

What is being destroyed by climate change?

Yes, the current known civilisation and way of lifes, million of species which would not be able to adapt quick enough (including us), many land will be immersed,....

BUT nature will go on with or without us. Climate change is not going to destroy the earth. Planet earth is not going to explode. Human is destroying ourselves unless we act and act quickly.


Who is responsible for fixing the climate problem?

Please spend 5 minutes to watch the video linked at the title of this post. Naomi Klein exposed the bullying tactics from USA. Denying global warming will be guilty of killing the current known human civilisation - that will only take a few more years to become so clear that we will have passed the point of no return. The global warming is caused by human economic activities - that should be no doubt. Just understand how the developed countries have burnt off all the stored fossil fuels. It does not take any deep reasoning to see how such a large amount of carbon dioxide would have contributed to the accumulation of green house gases. Of course, the clearing of forest is another main source of green house gases.

If the developed nations are not willing to take responsibility, the result will be a total collapse. That's MAD - mutually assured destruction. If anything needs to be done, it would need money. If that burden is shifted to the developing or undeveloped countries, there will be no funding. By definition, developing and undeveloped countries are poor countries!

Playing brinkmanship makes no sense here as well. Who is going to lose more, the developed or the undeveloped?

Yes, when the first wave of sea level rise comes, the low lying regions - many of the undeveloped countries, will be hit first. BUT, major cities like New York, London, Sydney will ALL be totally immersed too.

Please, PLEASE ask our "leaders' to lead - agree to binding cuts of green house gases before it is too late for everyone!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

What makes me sleepless?

Human civilisation is facing unprecedented challenge: over population, peak everything and climate change.

Over population, especially when the main growth will be coming from undeveloped and developing countries, is certainly a human tragedy. At the current population level, the hunger is caused mainly due to inequity. Just as an example, 5% of the world's population consumes 23% of world's energy. If that inequity is spread more equitably, many people would not have fallen under the poverty line. While a solution is not forthcoming any time soon, a reasonably effective solution is just a matter of political will.

Peak everything is a physical limitation which we should be aware of long time ago. Unfortunately, somehow, it has been under the radar for too long. The main economic driver was energy. In 2006, 36% of world's energy came from oil. As oil runs out, many traditional ways of life have to change. However, renewable sources will replace the portion currently supplied by oil. It is not a matter of "if", it is just a matter of "when". During the process, huge business opportunities are available. Imagine replacing all American's cars with electric cars. Imagine installing solar panels on every roof top in the world. Switching to renewable energy sources will NOT cost money. Switching to renewable energy actually helps to build a country's economy. Is there sufficient solar energy to meet the need? Yes, many many times over. It is estimated that the sun provides 8000 times the energy per year consumed in 2004. Even at a one percent conversion efficiency, the sun provides us with 80 times the energy we need (yearly averaged). [source]

Yes, oil is used to produce fertilizers. If we stop burning oil, it can be used to produce fertilizers. Better still, perma-culture has proven itself to be a more productive and sustainable technique - and in permaculture, the nature fertilises itself!

So, both over population and peak everything do not really make me sleepless. What has kept me awake at night is climate. The IPCC climate model has been too optimistic about the effect of the green house gases. In this video, Dan Miller (chapter 2 in the video) shows the summer ice cover in the North pole. The IPCC model is way too optimistic. The satellite image indicates that the North pole will not be covered by ice in the summer as early as 2017. Do human still have sufficient time to prevent the run-away effect of global warming? Do we still have to argue whether human was responsible? What we need today is action. If we do not start removing CO2 from the atmosphere, our grand children will not survive!


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Stop the desert

Desert is growing, stopping it is not easy. Here is a scheme which may work:


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Living biblically for year


Water harvesting - wisdom from hundred years ago

How to harvest water with only 6cm of rain fall per year and for use the whole year?