Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Day 262: Well, we saw that coming - The Extinction of another Species...

 

The rhino, Angalifu, died at 44 of complications linked to his advanced age. The remaining members of her species — another elderly female at the park, two females and a final male living in a Kenya preserve — have failed to successfully reproduce on their own.

“Unfortunately we only had three rhinos here at the park and they were all of an advanced age,” Barbara Durrant, of the San Diego Zoo Institute of Conservation Research, said in a statement of the park’s two decades-long attempt to save the species. “We were not able to get them to breed and we have been sadly watching their species being exterminated in the wild.”

It’s rare that we’re able to count down the remaining days of a species in this way, though extinction itself is an all too common phenomenon — it’s the fate met by 95 percent of species throughout Earth’s 3.5 billion year history. But the northern white rhino, decimated by poaching in Africa and, to a lesser extent, habitat loss, stands as a suitable representative for what experts are calling the Sixth Extinction: a mass die-off of species as both the direct and indirect consequence of human activity.

An analysis published last week in the journal Nature puts that in stark terms: 41 percent of all amphibians, along with 26 percent of mammals and 13 percent of birds, it finds, are now at risk of extinction thanks to us: pollution, overfishing, the introduction of invasive species and the encroachment of agriculture all count among the ways we’re killing them off. If our current rate of loss continues on track, the review found, we face losing 75 percent of Earth’s species within the coming centuries. -

http://www.salon.com/2014/12/15/countdown_to_extinction_there_are_only_5_northern_white_rhinos_left_in_the_world/

shutterstock_97045997-620x412 So many animals paid the price for the continued human existence and many more will in time to come. Looking at the article above, there are only 5 of these rhino left in the whole world. I read something like this and try to imagine myself in a position of specie extinction. Imagine you were part of a species that was doomed to extinction; only one left knowing when you die all that will remain is a memory – all because of the actions of one race. It is Sad and I feel shame to be human.

It’s done and over and no going back – we have wiped out another animal from existence. And what it took to accomplish something like that? I mean this particular rhino was poached to extinction and the other rhino are soon to follow. It is a fact that more and more Rhinos are being killed every year, its basic math. Despite all the “save the rhino” charities and foundations and all the money being pumped into the booming business – it’s only a matter of time before they all become a simple memory of how great it is to be human.

How do you judge a species? We study animals and based on their general behavior patterns we conclude their particular temperaments and how they are. So let’s look at humans in general and the impact we have on earth and all the shit that we have created. We are sitting with the same shit over and over – always war, famine, poverty, slavery and all those bad things – it’s always here. I’m sorry to say this, but based on the general human behaviors – we are the worst organism to ever live on this planet and the real shame is that humans will be the end of this planet if we continue this complete disregard of life.

Is there a way we can stop this? How do you change human nature? Because that is the big problem – it is in our nature to be destructive. Everything we see on this earth and the outflows of our actions – that is human nature. We change human behavior we change our actions and thus change the world. That starts with you. Change your nature. Change yourself. Change the World.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

A Permanent Solution for the Neglected Produce Laborers of Mexico

 

Problem:

A Times reporter and photographer find that thousands of laborers at Mexico's mega-farms endure harsh conditions and exploitation while supplying produce for American consumers.

The Times found:

  • Many farm laborers are essentially trapped for months at a time in rat-infested camps, often without beds and sometimes without functioning toilets or a reliable water supply.
  • Some camp bosses illegally withhold wages to prevent workers from leaving during peak harvest periods.
  • Laborers often go deep in debt paying inflated prices for necessities at company stores. Some are reduced to scavenging for food when their credit is cut off. It's common for laborers to head home penniless at the end of a harvest.
  • Those who seek to escape their debts and miserable living conditions have to contend with guards, barbed-wire fences and sometimes threats of violence from camp supervisors.
  • Major U.S. companies have done little to enforce social responsibility guidelines that call for basic worker protections such as clean housing and fair pay practices.

http://graphics.latimes.com/product-of-mexico-camps/

iasfdex Where does our food come from? It is the fruits and veggies of other people’s labor. Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers. As you can see in the article it’s the actual labors that come out last.

The company utilizes advance growing techniques and very carefully employ sanitary measures to make sure their produce is safe and good quality, but at the same time they absolutely neglect the workforce. The produce has a higher value than the actual humans working there. One of these Companies actually recently took out full-page newspaper ads promoting its commitment to social responsibility.

The company these laborers work for use devious ways to keep profits high. It is law to pay workers their wages on a weekly base. To ensure that the people do not leave before their 3 month work contract the company often withholds their wages and only pays them at the end of their contract. In that time the workers get their food from the company store with its inflated prices. They often go deep in debt and at the end of their contract some go home without any money.

The conditions are so bad, yet people still go there to work knowing that they might not make money – some go just to stay fed. They go because they simply have no alternative and that is what the companies are exploiting. Is there any way to stop this Madness? Yes

Solution:

The main reason why people will work for a company like this and live with the miserable living conditions is because they need the money – no matter how little it is. So let’s see how the Living Income Guaranteed will drastically improve the situation:

With the Living Income guaranteed the workforce will no longer be able to be exploited, because that desperation to find a job no matter where it is or how terrible the work conditions are will no longer exist. When the people who cannot find work receive a Living Income they will no longer accept bad working conditions. The company will have to improve the working conditions otherwise they are going to have a hard time hiring the workforce needed to get the job done.

This Involves granting them good quality foods that they are used to eating, to create proper housing with full services for them - water, toilets - and proper working gear. Also what would need to be done is abolish all abuse – this means no threats and not deliberately creating debt for the workforce.  These companies will need to apply and live by their corporate social responsibility measures, currently it’s only a front to make the companies look good.

With the basic Income Double the Living income the laborers will be able to make a guaranteed decent living that will be paid on a weekly basis, no excuses allowed.

A living Income Guaranteed will provide effective and practical solutions to all the current problems these laborers are facing and it is something this world needs – a Solution.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Day 260 - Would you like some Plastic and Plutonium For Dinner? You may already have...

 

 

Researchers working around the world have come up with the most comprehensive estimate to date of the amount of plastic clogging the oceans, and it’s bad, bad news.

The grand total? They tallied 5.25 trillion individual pieces of plastic, weighing a collective 269,000 tons.

The study, which was spearheaded by Marcus Eriksen of the nonprofit 5 Gyres Institute and published in the journal PLoS One, found that most of the pollution consisted of microplastics, those tiny particles that remain when larger pieces of plastic break down — plastic being non-biodegradable, they never disappear completely.

“We saw turtles that ate plastic bags and fish that ingested fishing lines,” Julia Reisser, a researcher based at the University of Western Australia, told the Guardian. And the team identified less visible threats as well — plastic particles, they note, can soak up pollutants, potentially introducing toxic chemicals into the food chain. “Bigger fish eat the little fish and then they end up on our plates,” Reisser explained. “It’s hard to tell how much pollution is being ingested but certainly plastics are providing some of it.” - http://www.salon.com/2014/12/10/over_5_trillion_pieces_of_plastic_are_floating_in_the_worlds_oceans/

We are eating plastic.

weffw Even when I was child I heard the stories of how much we are damaging the oceans with our plastic. Plastic takes many decades to degrade and in that process it turns into micro-plastic particles. These particles get consumed by the fish and various ocean life. We humans then eat the fish.

We are eating more plastic.

The ocean has become humanities favorite dumping area. Its Huge, the ocean takes up most of the earth’s surface area and we humans can’t really do anything with it in term of living space. We need land. So what can we do with all that space? We have detonated a total of 2053 Nuclear bombs in the ocean. Yes – two thousand and fifty three nuclear detonations. Bound to be consequences there. Also we have dumped tons and tons of nuclear waste barrels. Apparently over 100,000 tons worth. Metal tends to rust - these barrels are leaking.

We are eating plutonium.

we need to stop seeing the earth as this huge infinite place where the thing we do have no consequences. Sure we do not see the effects right away or they do not affect us directly, but we are all on this ship called earth. Anything affecting the earth affects us all directly in a way. Our individual actions have consequences and its time we realize this. If we do not change our ways...we cannot live on plastic and plutonium.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Day 259: Its all about Perspective - Plants are alive

 

We tend to find it difficult to put some things in perspective. For example: Just how far is it to the Moon? The distance from the earth to the moon is about 384,400 km. When you look at a number like that its hard to imagine how far that is. Its like traveling around the world 9 times. Or you can look at it like this: You can fit all the planets (including Pluto) between the earth and the moon. Like this:

 

       CLqdeKf-580x326

                                               Puts things in perspective

 

Now we all the know that plants are living things. They grow and they die, but there is allot more to it. when you walk towards a plant in the grass and it looks like you might step on it, the plant reacts. It knows you might step on it and it really doesn't want that. There has been plenty of research on this point.

A cabbage was hooked up to machines to measure any sort of reactions. They took another cabbage and started cutting it up in pieces, what they found was that the veggie reacted to this event. Even more interesting is that whenever that same person walked into the room - the plant would react. Another study showed that a plant is aware of itself being eaten by a caterpillar for example.

groot What does this all show us? Firstly that we do not yet know the extent to which plants are aware. When you step on grass it "feels" it. When you cut a tree down or pluck fruit the tree is aware of this. Even the fruit we eat are alive.

We tend to see things based on our perception - meaning we look at plants and trees and cut them down. We do not hear a scream of pain or see any kind of reaction and from that we believe the tree is not actually aware, but the fact is that its aware.  Plants and trees are living things. 

 

Puts things in perspective...

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Day 258: Life lessons through Music – Specificity

 

 

pains Lately I have started practicing piano and currently I am working on a classical song that is very difficult for me. The thing about playing piano or any instrument is that to be good at it you need to be very specific in terms on finger placement, finger speed and velocity. If you are not specific in it you are going to make mistakes and play the music wrong.

What I do is learn the song one section at a time – once I am able to play it without mistakes I move on to the next section. Now, there are many sections in this song and what I found was that as I progressed I tended to rush through the sections. There are a few sections where I always make mistakes at the exact same place every time I play the song through.

This got very frustrating, but I finally realized why. When I first learnt and played those sections and when I first made the mistakes – I did not stop to correct them effectively. I kind of just skipped it because it’s such a small point I rather want to get on with the next section so that I can learn the whole song. Now what has happened is that I formed a habit and that mistake is actually now part of how I play the song. All because I did not stop and correct it the moment I made the mistake – I was not specific enough the first time I played it. Now I have to unlearn the mistake by repeatedly playing it correctly over and over until it sinks in.

And this basically related to life as well. We go through life and we make mistakes along the way. We learn how to deal with events in our lives and how to deal with things. For example as a kid somebody said something nasty to me and I took it personally and became angry – From that moment whenever a similar events plays out I do the exact same thing, because when it first happened I did not stop for a moment to realize that taking things personally is not necessary – I am the one who creates the reaction within me.

sdghsdghgesThere are so many examples of how we all made mistakes in life and never really learned from them, but instead created a habit to repeat those mistakes and that has become part of who we are. And to change that behavior requires us to consistently and repeatedly correct it whenever it comes up. For example with me and taking this personally – whenever I took something personally I to stopped and breathed and let go of the anger and reaction. Eventually over time this behavior faded away – I had to unlearn it.

Sure it would have been easier to stop the behavior as soon as it happened, but we are not taught or shown how to respond practically and effectively to situations in life.

A new Website opened where you can find video recordings all about supporting you in your life’s journey.  The video you’ll find there deal with everyday problems that you may be facing at the moment, that you have experienced in the past or that you may run into in the future. They offer insights based on common sense and solutions that you can apply in your life instantly. go here to find out more: Self and Living

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Day 257: Why it’s time to Redefine Thanksgiving

 

images Thanksgiving – a time of year were people and families come together to spend some quality time and be thankful for the food on the table. Ironically, it’s also the time of year were millions of pounds of food are wasted. Nothing says how thankful we are like wasting over 204 million pounds of turkey…

Let’s look at that figure a little closer: 204 million pounds of turkey is allot. It’s worth over $270 million. Imagine how many hungry families can be fed with all that wasted meat – it’s enough to give every food-insecure household in America 5kg of meat. And what about the water used to produce all that wasted turkey? A staggering 105 billion gallons. And all that meat ends up in landfills.

This is very contradictory .The tradition of thanksgiving when we look at what actually happens it seems what is being celebrated is being ungrateful and gluttony. So much food is simply being wasted. Sure, tiss’ the season of profits. The turkey factories cash it in this time of year – where the meat ends up does not matter as long as it’s being sold.

And then we have Black Friday afterwards. Nothing says thank you like reenacting the Zombie apocalypse every year after thanksgiving. I was very relieved when South Africans did not take part in these traditions, but unfortunately companies here in SA started with the Black Friday tradition as well.

efefefef What does it really mean to be thankful for the food on the table? Who is to thanks? To know the answer to that you have really look at what it took for that food to be on your table. From the turkey born to be slaughtered to the workers harvesting the veggies. The packaging and transport and water reuired. Even down to the oil that needed to be drilled to create the packing and fuel the truck and all the people involved in the process. Who at thanksgiving actually give thanks where it’s due? Who thanks the turkey?

What we should actually do is redefine thanksgiving. To stop buying and preparing too much food and only make enough. Or to take the leftovers and use it were it will not be wasted – you won’t have to look hard to find a hungry person to give the food to. And then to thank the turkey and every other part that was involved with getting that food on your plate. That would be an actual thanksgiving Dinner. And then we should do that with every meal we eat – practice real gratefulness through the understanding of how that food got in your plate.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

How the Living Income Guaranteed Will promote Environmental Sustainability

 

images As we all know – our continued human existence is having consequences on the earth and one of them is the earth warming up. And so scientist are trying to come up with solutions to stop this particular consequence and one of the options to stop Global warming is through GEOengineering – interfering with nature on a planetary scale.

Here are some of the GEOengereeing options that scientist are currently investigating:

1. Afforestation: This technique would irrigate deserts, such as those in Australia and North Africa, to plant millions of trees that could absorb carbon dioxide, but This vegetation would also draw in sunlight that the deserts currently reflect back into space, and so contribute to global warming. 

2. Artificial ocean upwelling: Engineers would use long pipes to pump cold, nutrient-rich water upward to cool ocean-surface waters. If this process ever stopped it could cause oceans to rebalance their heat levels and rapidly change the climate.

3. Ocean alkalinisation: This involves heaping lime into the ocean to chemically increase the absorption of carbon dioxide.

4. Ocean iron fertilisation: The method involves dumping iron into the oceans to improve the growth of photosynthetic organisms that can absorb carbon dioxide.

5. Solar radiation management: This would reduce the amount of sunlight Earth receives, by shooting reflective sulphate-based aerosols into the atmosphere.

As I read through this list I get kind of worried, because they are trying to stop the earth from heating up through wanting to do things like dumping iron into the oceans or spraying the air with sulphate. Won’t that simply cause more problems in the future? You don’t solve a problem with another problem.

Here is an analogy: You see a spider trapped in your bathtub. So you take a few sheets of tissue paper and very carefully burn your house down…

In a similar way that is how we deal with issues we face on this earth. With the above mentioned solutions we are simply going to create more problems.

index The way you deal with problems is stopping it at the source, which is the way we humans interact with the earth. Or more specifically how we have come to value profit over things that actually matter – like the earth. Our world leaders have for some time had those meetings on finding solutions to cut carbon emissions, but not many are actually doing that. The reason comes back to money, a factory pollutes the earth, but it also makes money. Currently cutting emissions equals less money made.

Eco friendly solutions cost allot of money so that is why it is not ever really implemented on global scale – it’s not cost effective. Also there is the factor that there is a massive profit being made by current use of available technologies – like oil and coal - and thus coming up with other solutions are discouraged.

So then what is the reason for all this pollution currently created? Money. And what would be the solution to clean up and stop pollution? Money. The planet has over 7 billion people on it. And I have read and seen solutions to control and get rid of pollution many times, but it never gets implemented, because the people coming up with these ideas do not have the necessary funds to implement these ideas or do more research. And in allot of these cases the people who come up with these ideas are those directly affected by the pollution.

With the implementation of Living Income Guaranteed we could ensure that all options are considered and see what will be the best solution. Not to say that LIG would be bad news to businesses around the world and force them to cut carbon emissions – no – rather more about focusing on ways to prevent this with the use of new technologies that are available and that are currently not being used because profit is placed over sustainability, which is how through Corporate Social Responsibility measures, corporations will also have to consider their own sustainability and assurance of production by stopping degrading measures that will cause more consequences for them and the community.

Also what is happening is that consumers are becoming aware of the consequences that factories have on the environment and are favoring eco –friendly production methods. So the company will have to start introduce environmentally friendly solutions and stick to the new trend to meet the customer demand in order to still make money.

Another point is that when an individual doesn’t have to worry about surviving and can start focusing on actual living – it opens doors and with it great potential. For example there are so many people who find passion in doing humanitarian work, or finding solutions to make factories more efficient and less polluting – but cannot focus on doing any of that, because they need money to survive. Who knows what potential we can unlock and ideas we can come up with and implement to reduce or even reverse the negative consequences we have created on this earth. The Living Income Guaranteed would bring us closer to finding the solutions we require.

Here are Videos that further explain how with the Implementation of the Living Income Guaranteed will promote Environmental Sustainability:

Environmental Sustainability

 

Technological Innovations for Sustainable Development