Saturday, June 4, 2016

World Environment Day 2016

World Environment Day 2016 is also on doorstep. This years focal theme was "Go wild for Life". It means Whoever you are, and wherever you live, show zero-tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife in word and deed, and make a difference.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Data & information - the boom and blame

           The life on earth had evolved from stone age to modern age. The development history of mankind during this evolution is amazing. The current age is termed as information age in which development is at a lighting speed.
           In ancient days there was little importance for keeping an information in written form. In India only a few people who were regarded as higher caste were able to read and write. Others were denied the right for studying ! Hence the data they received from their ancestors were transferred to their successors in a traditional way among the high caste only.
         When human progressed he began to think himself. When his thoughts became restless he began to search for information. These searches lead him to the scripts kept in the houses of high cast people. Once he received those data he began to think for a safe custody of the same. Some people even thought about a storage that every one can access. Thus there came the idea of internet storage of data and information.
         The data and information had significally changed the life of ordinary people. Once upon a time people were totally unaware of the forthcoming natural calamities like storm , earth quake etc. Even birds and animals knew about them in advance while intelligent human didn’t. Hence after such a calamity the life loss was tolling to 1000s. On the other hand now , the weather data can be collected by satellites and processed at satellite centres. These information can be broadcast to people likely to be affected. So they can be moved to a safe place in advance.
          Eventhough technology had developed, man had became time less. The duration of a day in stone age was 24 hours! Still it is 24 hours ! But in the run for life we feel days are splashing behind curtains. Now he had no time to visit even his blood relatives including parents. So it ends in a phone call , message or a mail. The job is not confined to his or her office only but can be carried out at any place. The work time is not fixed, any time round the clock he can work. Banking and shopping not need his physical presence at that place , but can be carried out through internet. How is all these possible? Just one answer – all the information to carry out these transaction are already stored.


          My state Kerala is going to step to a new era of information flow. Through the introduction of e-governance project common people will get a lot of services that he needed , through internet. He himself can get all those services from the respective authorities within some clicks. Surely this online activities will reduce corruption. Also as all actions are electronically recorded there will not be any time delay. Even he is able to check the status of his service request. So the life of people will get a lot of convenience if he utilizes these services effectively.
           In spite of all these information overflow , the curse of third world countries poverty and pollution are still growing. Eventhough people in developed countries knows that the food that he wastes everyday is enough to feed a starving family, the technology has not developed to that level of distributing them to the needy. Eventhough some organizations are acting in this field the speedy transfer from place to place is always a barrier. So I don’t think data and information will rescue people from poverty.
          The million dollar question is still remaining – will all data and information add to the health of the planet ? My answer is definitely it will add. In ancient days in my country India  the information were stored in palm leaves by inscribing on it. Cutting of the leaves resulted in destroying a lot of palm trees.

Palm leave manuscripts

 Later there came the paper storing method. But the papers were also made from bamboo. Finally there came the  storage of data and information in internet. So the use of papers were reduced to a larger extent which helped to save trees and there by to protect the greenery of earth. At the same time the threat of e-wastes has been increased due to the thoughtless usage of e-gadgets.

         The data and information had given a boost to human progress. But its by products had given a boost to the ill health of the earth. So it is the responsibility of every human being to use the technological developments wisely. Let us keep an eye on earth.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care


Mother earth has  4.54 billion years of age. Almost same is the age of most of the natural resources in this earth. The existence of human beings in this earth started about 200000 years ago. It means mankind has 200000 years of history to deliver. The ever and prime story that the he proudly narrate will be the invention of fire. Since then he began to eat meat after cooking. For cooking he used log collected from forests. There we started the consumption of natural resources and it still continues.

The natural resources that the mankind use include coal, water, petroleum and above said log. Out of these coal and petroleum are called fossil fuels. They are formed inside earth after a series of transformation of dead bodies of all living beings. Thousands of years are needed for this. If we look into the past history of countries having rich deposit of fossil fuels , at least one natural calamity like storm  , earthquake or flood aging back to more than thousand years can be spotted. So it is obvious that the coal or petroleum that are dig today is the energy of our grand grand parents ! A humour says that fossil fuels will not be produced in earth in future as humans and animals are rescued from calamities in advance ! So resource shortage will be the challenge that the next generation going to face soon.

The shortage of natural resources will affect not only the producing countries, but all the consumer countries across the globe. The first effect will be on the economy of the country which will lead to many emergency situations. The first shot of financial problems will be toward employment. Youth being dominating in the planet , no doubt, immediate steps is to be initiated by the youth itself.

Regarding my country India the youth population may cross 2 billions by this year. The new generation is crazy towards vehicles. In my state Kerala (otherwise called God’s own country) nowadays there is no house without a single motor vehicle. All these vehicles are using fossil fuels like petrol, diesel. LPG etc. In addition to consumption of natural resources they pollute this earth in many ways. It is estimated that , if current rate of consumption and production pattern continues and population rise, one earth will not be enough to sustain , instead three planets will be required! So the first step to start is from each individual itself. Youth has to rethink on their lifestyles. They have to control the use of natural resources. They have to use it judiciously.

Some may call us alarmists as we talk on the threats rather than the charming future. But it is real. Once upon a time it was believed that food supply will not end or starvation will not be there in this earth. But now most of the African countries are under the curse of starvation. At the same time 1/3rd of global food production is wasted. During the theme study of World Environment Day 2013 (Think Eat Save) it was observed that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted all over the world which is more than enough to feed the hungry across the world! So the lifestyle of youth is to be changed.

So for a better quality of life to all the wasteful consumption pattern of people especially the youth below 25 ,who are going to dominate more than 50% of world population should change. They should be tuned towards sustainable development. I remember the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi’s words “The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed” . So consume with care as there is one and only one planet earth which at present bears 7 billion dreams to bloom.

Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Showers to Flowers or Toilet to tap

The title of post may be catching. But the subject behind it is the threat that every one in the world going to face. It has been predicted that a third world war will set out for water. The prediction was a fun when it came first , but now around the world the situation is too worse. water crisis is too severe.

Recently I read a news about California ,the golden state in America. California is the state where the agriculture sector of United states is mostly concentrated. But now the state is facing serious drought. The fields in California are becoming dry and dry. Hence the residents of Golden state are thinking about a new idea of toilet to tap which they call as showers to flowers for water reuse.

California has the largest water recycling plant in the world. This was installed to face the threat of Orange County’s running out of water. In the third year of drought in West America , more than half California is reported to be suffering the worst drought. As a measure of control of water usage the state had made some water usage actions illegal. The main among them are use of hose. Operating fountains are also made illegal. The offence will lead to a fine upto 500 dollars.

The main sources of water in California were ground water. The other sources were imported water from Colorado river and snow melt from Sierra Nevada. But all these sources are in decline. Realising this decline the Orange County has been using highly purified waste water to recharge the ground water resources. Waste water from showers , kitchens , washing machines and toilets of residences are collected by Fountain Valley recycling plant. About 70 million gallon water per day are converted to drinking water through highly purification methods. As the demand of drinking water is raising day by day the capacity is going to increase to 100 million gallon per day from next year onwards. Still it will cater only 8.5 lakhs people’s needs. That is only one third of population of Orange County is covered still after  expansion!

Now most of the readers will have a doubt. Will these waste water be drinkable after purification as it is collected from toilets and kitchens. As per their words the purification is done in three stages. In first process the bacteria are removed by filtration through a series of tiny straws. Second stage is removal of dissolved chemicals and other materials through reverse osmosis. The final stage of purification is ultra violet light exposure with hydrogen peroxide. After these series of purification the Water coming out will be distilled water.


The toilet to tap is not a common situation at present. But the thoughtless use of water and water resources will lead every country or state to the current situation of Orange county. So before spoiling the next drop of water just think about showers to flowers of California and decide what to do – save or spoil  ?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Muthalamada – A Toxic Hub of Kerala

The killer pesticide Endosulphan had banned globally 3 years ago. Still it is extensively used in many crops especially in mango gardens. The mango city of Kerala named Muthalamada in Palakkad district is one of such place where endosulphan is used by farmers thoughtlessly.

Muthalamada is one of the largest mango production centre in whole India. Acres of land is solely used for mango tree cultivation. During the flowering season of mangoes the whole area will be filled with the nice smell of mango flowers and the scenery also will be very beautiful. But the high end pesticides like Malathion , Azoxistobin, Omethoate etc are sprayed in these gardens to kill pests and mites. They attack the mango trees mostly during flowering season. Pest attack at this season will affect the production of mangoes as well as its quality. So farmers indiscriminately use high end pesticides.


 Local environmental activists are raising sound against these pesticide usage. Kerala had already witnessed the bad affect of thoughtless use of endosulphan at Kasaragod district creating a toxic hub. Eventhough the endosulphan application had stopped in Kasaragod , babies are still born with many abnormalities and disabilities. But the farmers in other parts of Kerala are not taking it seriously. In Muthalamada the Endosulphan reaches in large cans without any label from Pollachi in Tamilnadu. Most of the farmers are unaware of the deadly impact of endosulphan in their life. In most cases the nozzle of the endosulphan sprayer is directed to sky and hence it immediately reaches the lungs of spraying man. Instantly it starts its action , and begins killing the affected person inch by inch.


Muthalamada earns crores from mango export. A rough statistics says that about 200 crore rupees mangoes are exported from Muthalamada in every mango season. The mango orchards of Muthalamada is about 20,000 acres. February to June is the season of Muthalamada. Hundreds of trucks rush in and out of Muthalamada mango tree gardens during these months. Almost all the best varieties of mangoes in India are produced in Muthalamada.  Malgova, Alphonso, Neelam etc are the favourites in mango market and all these varieties are produced in Muthalamada.

Mangoes reach in world market mainly from Latin American countries like Peru and Venezuela. But one advantage of Muthalamada is that they are the early birds in mango market. Before getting ripened the mangoes from Peru and Venezuela these Muthalamada mangoes are ripened. Hence they reach in world market earlier than the other items.


But the indiscriminate use of pesticides especially endosulphan will oust Muthalamada mangoes from world market soon. Before happening it another danger will occur in Kerala. After Enmakaje and other villages in Kasaragod district a new toxic hub will be set up in Muthalamada.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Rise in Nilgiri Tahr population

        The Nilgiri Tahrs were abundant in Western Ghats once upon a time. But the thoughtless hunting for meat reduced their count near to 100. Then only a sense of protection of Nilgiri Tahrs came in minds of authorities. The area where Nilgiri Tahrs were abundant was Eravikulam which was declared as National Park after this stunning news. Now the wild life census shows that their count is 894 at present.Read more.
       

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

World's Greenest Cities

Today is another earth day. It is happy that through continuous awareness , talks and news people had began to think on environment. The frequent natural calamities at different parts of world also  directed our thoughts towards environment. 
Every year  April 22nd is observed as earth day. People around the globe take more effort than usual to focus on the issues facing our planet earth. 
This year’s Earth Day comes with the theme of “Green Cities“. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities and hence concept of green cities have great importance. The list below shows the 30 greenest cities in the world. They are selected according to their different performance in environment protection.

The 30 greenest cities are -

  • Oslo in Norway
  • Malmo in Sweden
  • Reykjavik in Iceland
  • Barcelona in Spain
  • Copenhagen in Denmark
  • Birmingham in England
  • Stockholm in Sweden
  • Zermatt in Switzerland
  • Vancouver in Canada
  • Toronto  in Canada
  • Chicago in USA
  • Eugene in USA
  • Costa Rica in Costa Rica
  • San Francisco in USA
  • Austin in USA
  • Portland in USA
  • Minneapolis in USA
  • New Delhi in India
  • Singapore in Singapore
  • Tokyo in Japan
  • Accra in Ghana
  • Cape Town in South Africa
  • Nairobi in Kenya
  • Melbourne in Australia
  • Sydney  in Australia
  • Adelaide  in Australia
  • Curitiba in Brazil
  • Bogota in Columbia
  • Bahia de Caraquez in Ecuador
  • Belo Horizonte in Brazil
Why they are Green?
  • 70% of Oslo is covered in agricultural land
  • 30% of Malmo’s population commutes by bike
  • All but 1% of Reykjavik’s energy is from renewable sources
  • Barcelona has a 113,000 sq ft solar panel in the city
  • 50+% of people in Copenhagen travel by bike
  • Birmingham has over 3500 hectares of open space
  • 99% of household waste in Stockholm is recycled or used to make energy
  • Zermatt uses horse carts or manual carts to transport goods through the city
  • Vancouver wants to be the greenest city by 2020
  • Toronto has reduced its greenhouse emissions by 40%
  • Chicago has planted over 2 million sq feet of rooftop gardens
  • Eugene is known as the “Emerald City” for being so green – literally
  • Costa Rica is working on reforestation
  • San Francisco recycles 77% of their waste
  • Austin aims to have 20% renewable energy by 2020
  • Over 60% of workers in Minneapolis commute with public transport
  • Accra is constructing a huge monorail system
  • Singapore has 480 green certified buildings
  • New Delhi produces the least waste of any city in Asia
  • Tokyo has the lowest Carbon Dioxide emissions in Asia
  • 10% of Cape Town’s homes have solar panels
  • Nairobi is at the head of a fashion upcycling trend
  • Melbourne has many car free zones in the city
  • Sydney is aiming to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions by 70% in 2030
  • In Curitiba, poorer residents are rewarded with food and supplies in exchange for recycling
  • Bogota relies heavily on public transport and has many green spaces
  • Bahia de Caraquez has the world’s first certified organic shrimp farm
  • Belo Horizonte aims to reduce their greenhouse gases 20% by 2030
So it is now our turn to make our cities also green in coming future by adopting some method to make it eco friendly. If there is a will there will be a way. So let us try jointly.