What is Bioremediation

What is bioremediation? Bioremediation is a gift of the growing biotechnology field to the world that is facing the threats of severe forms of environmental pollution. As the name suggests, bioremediation is made by joining two words; bio (related to biology) and remediation (to provide a remedy). Therefore, in the process of bioremediation, living organisms (plants, microorganisms) are used as potential sources to clean wastes from contaminated water or soil. Isn't it fascinating to discover that cultures of bacteria can eat up tons of wastes!Bioremediation for oil spills has become popular in the recent few years. It has been used to clean pollutants, especially hydrocarbons from seas during oil spill incidents. 

What is Bioremediation Process: An Overview

If you are wondering that how can organisms help in reduction of pollution, then you need to understand various steps involved in the bioremediation process. Metabolism is an essential process carried out in the cells of all organisms, be it bacteria, fungi or human beings. Metabolic activities are continuously in operation in the cells through various types of chemical reactions. Generally, the process of metabolism is carried in two ways:
  • Anabolism: In this phase of metabolism, cells construct molecules from smaller units present in the body. This process requires energy that is provided by another phase, catabolism.
  • Catabolism: Cells break complex molecular structures to simpler elements to release energy. Complex chemicals like lipids, nucleic acids, proteins are broken into simpler units like mono-saccharides and amino acids respectively. The energy released in catabolism is used to conduct tasks in the anabolism process.
The chemicals present in pollutant areas, soils, rivers and seas are treated by bioremediation process. If proper bacteria culture are placed in seas that face severe water pollution, the anabolism and catabolism processes going on in these cells will gradually take up necessary minerals from the pollutants and clean the water body. Microorganisms need variety of chemicals for cell building that includes phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sodium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, etc. All these chemicals are found in abundance in contaminated areas.

There are various types of bioremediation processes, named after the specific treatments or methods that are used in the process. If the contaminants are treated at the site, it is said to be in situ treatment and if the contaminated material is taken elsewhere for treatment, it is known as ex situ. In situ treatment is always a difficult task, as tackling natural conditions like soil quality, weather, etc., are difficult. In Phytoremeditation, transgenic plants are used for storing toxic chemicals like lead or mercury in their above root parts, which are harvested after sometime. In Biostimulation, nitrogen and oxygen is mixed in the water to stimulate the growth of bacteria. The water body is monitored carefully to know if the bacteria growth is causing a drop in the pollution. In another type of bioremediation, known as Intrinsic bioremediation, microorganisms grow naturally in contaminated soil or water to clean water. In Bioaugmentation, specific microorganisms are added in the soil or water to clean them up.

Nature has been designed in such a way that it maintains ecology and has self cleaning mechanisms. The ever growing field of biotechnology uses this very simple concept to provide us a cleaner environment. Scientists are trying to study and develop various microorganisms that can be used to clean specific pollutants. The field of genetic engineering is expanding by leaps and bounds and researchers are working towards producing pollutant specific microorganisms. 

After wastes are over in a contaminated area, the bacteria will naturally die due to lack of food. Therefore, bioremediation has no side effects and it doesn't produce any secondary environmental pollutants! Moreover, it is an extremely cost-effective method for cleaning huge areas of environmental pollution. So did you get what is bioremediation? It is, indeed, one of the most sought after mechanisms for bioremediating oil and gas industry water, not to mention soil pollution.

UN Climate Change Conference Brings Grim Warnings, Angry Protests

The second meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol is being held in Kenya, and tensions are running high.
By Linda Orlando

The United Nations Climate Change Conference got underway last week in Nairobi, Kenya, with speakers issuing stark warnings that the growing problem of climate change is going to quickly become one of the greatest challenges in the history of mankind.

"Climate change is rapidly emerging as one of the most serious threats that humanity may ever face," said the President of the conference, Kenyan Environment Minister Kivutha Kibwana. The President continued by saying that the crisis will affect the poorest people most severely. For those communities, resources that should be used for projects to further economic development will instead have to be used for health care crises, water shortages, or food stock failures. "We face a genuine danger that recent gains in poverty reduction will be thrown into reverse in coming decades, particularly for the poorest communities on the continent of Africa," Kibwana said.

The two-week conference is the 12th meeting of the 189 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is also the second meeting of the 166 parties to the Kyoto Protocol. It is the first UN climate summit to take place in sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa is considered to be the most at-risk continent from rising global temperatures, which have been blamed on greenhouse gas emissions, despite the fact that Africa produces the least amount of greenhouse gases of the planet’s inhabited continents. In Kenya itself, global warming is blamed for altering weather patterns that have resulted in a devastating cycle of drought and floods, endangering centuries-old cultures and traditional ways of life.

Grace Akumu of Climate Network Africa, an environmental group is attending the UN conference as an observer. She had some harsh criticism for African delegates to the conference for not doing enough to seek assistance for Africa to adapt to global warming. "Africa will be the most affected continent by climate change (yet) the African ministers are very weak," said Akuma, slamming Kenya’s environmental minister for "not extracting anything meaningful" at the talks. "The countries will see for themselves who is betraying them in the negotiations," she said.

Akuma’s group organized a protest over the weekend, where thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Nairobi to denounce delegates for failing to agree on urgent measures to address the problem of global warming. More than 2,000 demonstrators, led by a marching band, wore shirts reading, "Our climate, our survival." One banner held by community leaders, environmental activists, and school children said, "Western leaders, it’s time to take responsibility." Another featured a photo of U.S. President George W. Bush, along with the words, "Wanted for crimes against the planet," referring to Bush’s refusal to agree to mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Bush administration has staunchly refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol agreed to by 166 other countries, which seeks to cut emissions that scientists say are partly responsible for a 0.7-degree Celsius rise in temperature since 1900. Canadian Environment Minister Rona Ambrose is also under fire and must explain to the global summit why Ottawa has essentially abandoned the Kyoto Protocol despite Canada promising to agree to it. Toronto Star columnist Chantal Hebert said Ottawa's abandonment of Kyoto "casts a pall on the value of Canada's word" to the international community.

"If a country such as Canada can treat its signature on a treaty as a passing inconvenience, how many other nation-states will feel entitled to shrug off cumbersome obligations in the future?" she wrote.

One of the marchers in the weekend protest was Jackie Pasoi, 24, a Maasai woman from southwest Kenya. The Maasai tribe is a livestock-dependent community whose herds have been repeatedly wiped out by drought, the most recent of which hit Kenya and other areas of eastern Africa earlier this year. "Our livestock is finished because rain patterns are no longer the same," said Pasoi. "We are suffering." Akuma echoed the sentiments of Pasoi and other demonstrators. "They’re losing their livestock, they’re losing their lives," she said.

Others demanded an immediate end to the out of control deforestation that has resulted in a loss of trees, which convert carbon dioxide from greenhouse gases into oxygen. "People are cutting down trees," said student Brian Seiro, 15. "When people to that, the rains don’t’ come as we expected, and people starve." Last month, the UN World Food Programme said that it is still $44 million short of the necessary $225 millions required for a drought emergency operation to help 3 million people in Kenya who have been affected by the drought.

On Wednesday, the High Level Segment of the conference opened with addresses from President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, President Moritz Leuenberger of the Swiss Confederation, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Ninety-two ministers from different countries around the world were expected to attend. The opening speeches were webcast live on the Internet and broadcast on television by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

Climate Changes Could Cause Worldwide Crisis, says Report

A new report released by the National Intelligence Council makes dire predictions about a global destabilization scenario that could be in our near future.
By Anastacia Mott Austin

Citing their report that climate change "...will aggravate existing problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions" in some countries, members of the National Intelligence Council say that a possible worldwide crisis looms in our near future.

Thomas Fingar, chairman of the National Intelligence, testified this week before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Though the 58-page report itself is classified, Fingar released some of the report's dire predictions, including the fact that global disease may spread as refugees from low-lying coastal countries try to flee disaster conditions.

Fingar added that potential host countries may not be equipped to handle the possibility of millions of desperate refugees, and the fragile political systems in place may give way under the pressures caused by a global humanitarian crisis.

The report, called "National Intelligence Assessment on the National Security Implications of Global Climate Change to 2030" consisted of input from retired military personnel, from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and all 16 United States' intelligence agencies.

The report emphasized that while climate change by itself will not cause a worldwide destabilization, the effects of global warming will cause a series of worsening situations that all contribute to political collapse and human crisis.

"Climate change alone is unlikely to trigger state failure," said Fingar. "But the impacts will worsen existing problems - such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions."

Fingar stated that the most affected countries will be in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and central and southeast Asia.

Of Africa, Fingar says, "Without food aid, the region will probably face higher levels of instability, particularly violent ethnic clashes over land ownership."

Some areas of Africa may see their agricultural output decrease as much as 50% by 2020.

In addition, the report states that as many as 50 million more people than today could suffer from hunger by the year 2020, and 1.2 billion might face "water stress."

Fingar emphasized that while the United States may not feel the initial effects of global warming as keenly as some other nations, a worldwide crisis would eventually make itself felt even in comparatively prosperous nations like America. "The United States depends on a smooth-functioning international system ensuring the flow of trade and market access to critical raw materials, such as oil and gas, and security for its allies and partners," said Fingar. "Climate change and climate change policies could affect all of these with significant geopolitical consequences."

Reaction to the report ran predictably along party lines. Republican House committee member Darrell Issa (R-Ca) called the report "a dangerous diversion of intelligence resources."

But Democrat Committee Chairman Ed Markey told reporters, "Human beings all over the planet face death or damage or injury if we do not act."

Apple Quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce over Climate Change

Apple is the latest company to drop out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its disapproval of the chamber’s stance on climate change.
One has to be careful when reading the headlines about this type of story. The list of companies that has recently abandoned the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, citing climate change as one of their primary reasons for leaving, is long and prestigious. In addition to Apple, companies such as PG&E, Exelon and PNM Resources have all recently dropped their membership, while others like Nike, Johnson & Johnson and General Electric have been openly critical of the chamber’s policies on climate change. The quick assumption would be that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not taking a strong enough stance against climate change – and that assumption would be wrong.

Instead, critics of the chamber are upset that they are taking "too strong" a stance on the issue and, in the process, opposing legislation that is likely to pass through Congress and become law. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has set the bar extremely high with regards to its position on climate change, seeking a comprehensive and international approach to the problem. Many see that goal as unrealistic and sure to create legislation that will never make it into law. So companies such as Apple and PG&E, who for various reasons can benefit from some of the existing legislation, are making calculated PR moves by dropping out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The stories will emerge that Apple is taking a stand in favor of legislation designed to address climate change, when in reality Apple is supporting legislation that is not as strong as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would like it to be. And, likely it’s supporting legislation that is beneficial to Apple. It should be noted that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a membership of over 3 million companies and that the vast majority of its membership remains in good standing.

Formation of Acid Rain

Formation of Acid Rain

In the wake of development of major environmental problems like global warming, the issue of acid rains remains a bit neglected. Acid rains have destroyed forests, damaged buildings and also caused health problems. The only solution to resolve this problem is reducing industrial and automobile emissions. Instances of acid rains have increased after the onset of Industrial Revolution. John Evelyn, an Englishman however, noted that acid rains had occurred in as early as 17th century. Studying more about formation of acid rains should educate us about the underlying chemical processes involved in this phenomenon.

Acid Rain Formation

The formation of acid rain takes place as a result of many interrelated processes and chemical reactions. However, a short explanation of this phenomenon would be as follows: reaction of nitrogen and sulfur oxides with moisture in the atmosphere forms acid rains. Precipitation of these gases takes place in the form of sulfuric and nitric acids. The acid rains occur when oxides of sulfur and nitrogen come in contact with water. Industries and volcanoes are prime sources of sulfur and nitrogen oxides. Other factors that contribute considerably to the problem are automobile emissions, lightning and forest fires.

Chemical Reactions in Acid Rain Formation
A series of complex reactions take place in the process of acid rain formation. Before getting into the details of chemical reactions, take a look the Buzzle article on causes and effects of acid rains.

Oxidation of SO2
In this process, sulfur dioxide reacts with OH (hydroxyl radical) to form HOSO2. Immediately after this intermediate process, HOSO2 reacts with oxygen; this reaction leads to the formation of water and sulfur trioxide. These reactions can be depicted in a better manner with formulas presented below.


HOSO2 + O2 → SO3 + H2O

Sulfur Trioxide Converts to Sulfuric Acid
The reaction of sulfur trioxide with water forms sulfuric acid.

SO2 + H2O → H2SO3

Nitric Acid Formation
Formation of nitric acid takes place from the reaction between nitrogen dioxide and hydroxyl radical. This reaction can be depicted as below.

NO2 + OH → HNO3

All the reactions illustrated above take place in the gaseous form. Reactions which take place in humid atmosphere are different from that in a dry atmosphere. Continue reading to known more about the chemical processes which take place in liquid state (i.e., inside the clouds). Hydrogen dioxide reacts with water molecules and enters into a series of reactions presented below.

SO2 (g) + H2O is in equilibrium with SO2·H2O

SO2·H2O is in equilibrium with H+ + HSO3

HSO3 is in equilibrium with H+ + SO32−

The acid rains occur in two different forms i.e., wet and dry. The wet acid rains occur as a result of precipitation of acids contained in clouds. Snowfall and rainfall are the two forms of wet acid rains. In dry acids, the gases containing sulfur and nitrogen compounds deposit on the surface of plants, buildings and ground surface. When dry acids get washed off the ground surface by rainwater, dry deposition takes place.

Volcanoes and Acid Rains
Acids formed the by emission of volcanic ash and other materials have a pH of around 4. The acid rain which result from these emissions have a corrosive effect. Sources of drinking water too, are polluted by the occurrence of acid rains. The pH of acids precipitated by emissions of the infamous Poas Volcano is 2. Acid rains caused by this volcano are responsible for health problems and destruction of forests; irritation of eyes and lungs also is caused by these rains.

Understanding the process of formation of acid rains is important since it is one of the major environmental problems. Acid rains are considered to be far more dangerous than other environment issues because of the damage they cause. We should all try our bit to reduce air pollution through judicious use of petrol and other fuels.

Obama Heading to Copenhagen Seeking Climate Change Deal

Complex and difficult climate change negotiations are ongoing in Copenhagen among the world's leaders and President Obama is hoping to be the catalyst for broad agreement.
President Obama is going to make a quick trip to Copenhagen on Friday to meet with other world leaders and discuss the realities of broad-reaching agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global climate change. The problem that many analysts see for Obama at this point is that his credibility in Copenhagen is already going to be called into question. While the U.S. and other world powers are seeking assurances from developing nations, as well as China and India, that greenhouse gas emission reduction is going to be a real priority, many European countries already claim that the U.S. falls short of doing its part in the fight against global warming.

So no matter what Obama proposes or says, he's going to be met with resistance. If he leans toward increasing U.S. commitments on climate change, then he's likely going to draw the ire of Republicans and others domestically who believe that the U.S. must protect its interests first when negotiating to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Such opponents will call for greater commitments from the economies of China and India, where the U.S. is sure to face fierce competition in the coming years and decades.

Hillary Clinton has been in Copenhagen and pledged U.S. financial aid to poor nations who do not possess the financial resources to appropriately police and enforce programs calling for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. When one stops to think of the sheer enormity of the undertaking that is being suggested, you have to wonder about its viability on even the most fundamental level. Who is going to stop those in China or India - or some third world country - from creating whatever emissions they deem necessary to achieve whatever means they deem to constitute progress. It sounds impossible.

Osama Bin Laden Bashes U.S. on Climate Change

The al Qaeda leader released a tape on Friday that blames the U.S. and Western economies for climate change and called for boycott of all U.S. goods.
In what would seem to be a fairly politicized message from the normally jihad-focused al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden's most recent tape attacks the U.S. for its role in...climate change? This tape is perhaps the first glimpse for many Americans into the complexity of Bin Laden and the depth of his distrust and hatred of all things American and Western. Bin Laden explains in his tape that American economic policies are to blame for many of the world's problems, including chronic poverty and desertification, among several others.

In his message, Bin Laden calls on his followers to boycott all U.S. products and explains that the only way to bring about real change is to free the world from its dependence on America as an economic engine. This message mirrors much of the political talk in America that is currently driving a push toward greener policies and a drastic reduction in America's dependency on foreign oil. In both instances, it appears that the goal is for more self-sufficiency and ingenuity, which would ultimately be a good thing for everyone involved.

Bin Laden also declared that a world goal should be to remove the U.S. dollar as the dominant international currency for global commerce. Bin Laden acknowledged that these things would all be quite difficult, but he insisted that doing so is the only sure path to a better global future and freedom from U.S. oppression around the world.

UN Climate Talks Moving Full Steam Ahead

Climate talks in Cancun, Mexico have been much more successful than previous conferences, and by Friday a global climate could be in place.
Future cuts in carbon emissions and strictly monitoring countries’ actions were at the forefront of UN climate talks that are moving into their final stages this week. The talks, which include 193 nations, will end on Friday, and various government ministers and leaders have been applying as much political force as they dare in order to move toward a nearly global accord. The meetings, occurring in Cancun, Mexico, are pressuring many government officials to cobble together at least a preliminary agreement in order to restore some confidence in the summit, the last of which, in Copenhagen, failed to produce a binding agreement.

Noted Connie Hedegaard, "We cannot leave Cancun empty-handed." That was the sentiment of many at the conference which, among other things, seeks to establish a so-called "green fund" to help financially challenged nations reduce greenhouse gases, make it easier for nations to obtain patented green technology and compensate poorer nations for maintaining forested areas. Noted Hedegaard, "These texts cover all the elements for a balance package, and that is good. We have a basis to work from this week."

One major breakthrough of the conference came when China agreed to allow other countries within the group to review climate initiatives that have received financing internationally. The Chinese then agreed to open up all their initiatives – including those funded solely by the Chinese state – to international review. Altogether, the strides forward have been fairly significant, but by Friday even greater clarity should be achieved and we will know if a global accord has been reached.

Causes of Climate Change

High levels of industrial pollution and a number of man-induced processes have resulted in climate change. The various natural and human causes of the catastrophe are responsible for the drastic shift in average weather, global warming and variations in solar radiation...

Climate Change

Our planet is unique in its ability to support life. However, within the limitations of our understanding of the terms evolution and progress, we humans have contributed to a number of disastrous climate change triggers. Some of them are:
Increased carbon dioxide emissions.
Increase in greenhouse gas levels.
Increase in land, water and air pollution levels.
Climate change refers to a long-term change in the average weather patterns over a specific region, over a significant period of time. The abnormal variations cause subsequent effects on the Earth's atmosphere and significant regions like the polar ice caps and the natural habitat of different life forms. The various causes of climate change are identified and measured with the help of environmental policies that keep periodical track of environmental damage and the shift in any or all the dynamic Earth processes. The triggers are all interrelated human activities as well as external factors, and collectively take a toll on 'climate forcing'. In climate science, climate forcing relates to the change in net irradiance, calculated at tropopause.

Causes of Climate Change

The effect of climate change on the planet and various life forms that inhabit it manifests over an extended period of time. The internal variability is recognized in the form of hysteresis. In this measure, the climate change recorded does not correlate or correspond to planned input. However, climate change is not only the cause of rapid deterioration of our environment, but is also irreversible. Some of the major causes of climate change are:

Solar variation
There are a number of variations in solar activity that have been observed through the study of sunspots and beryllium isotopes. The sun provides the Earth with heat energy, an integral part of our climate. Solar variation has triggered a phenomenon called global warming.

Orbital variation
The elliptical path taken by the Earth around the sun plays a significant role in the distribution and amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth's surface. These Milankovitch cycles have a direct impact on glacial activity. The eccentricity, precession and axial tilt of the Earth, along the elliptical path, creates changes in seasons.

Plate tectonics
The landmass on the planet is made up of plate tectonics that shift, rub against one another and even drift apart. This results in the repositioning of continents, wear and tear of the mountains, large-scale carbon storage and increased glaciation.

Volcanic action
In the course of volcanism, material from the Earth's core and mantle is brought to the surface, as a result of the heat and pressure generated within. Phenomenon like volcanic eruptions and geysers release particulates into the Earth's atmosphere, that affect climate.

Thermohaline circulation
Climate changes also result from the atmosphere-ocean relationship. Climate fluctuations such as the El Niño Southern oscillation and the Arctic oscillation act as heat reservoirs within the oceans. Thermohaline circulation refers to the redistribution of heat via slow and deep oceanic currents.

Human influences
There are a number of anthropogenic factors that are responsible for change in the Earth's environment. The result of human influence on the climate is not only direct, but also unambiguous. Increase in carbon dioxide levels arising from fossil fuel combustion, release of aerosols or particulate matter, extensive land use and deforestation have resulted in severe climatic change.

Factors known as 'feedback' either amplify or reduce the effect of climate change on human life. These feedback comprise a number of interconnected processes that trigger a shift in related or subsequent changes in the Earth's climate. Among the most significant indicators of climate change on the planet are glaciers, vegetation, permafrost regions, fossil palynomorphs and global average sea levels.

Different Types of Natural Resources

Natural resources are resources in the environment that have not been disturbed by mankind. By resource, one refers to any physical entity which has limited availability. These resources occur in their natural form. Few examples of natural resources are:
  • Air, wind, and atmosphere
  • Plants (Flora)
  • Animals (Fauna)
  • Agronomy (the science of using plants for food, fuel, feed, and fiber)
  • Wildlife
  • Forestry and Agroforestry
  • Coal and fossil fuels
  • Range and pasture
  • Soils
  • Water, oceans, lakes, and rivers
Something that people generally aren't aware of is that everything we use in everyday life is derived from natural resources For example, milk, which comes from cows, makes animals a natural resource. Vegetables that come from plants, salt which is a mineral, are some of the other natural resources. Wood that we get from tree is a natural resource. It can be used to build a house, make paper, burn in fireplaces and in stoves for cooking, etc.

Man utilizes these resources in various ways. They are processed further so as to be made suitable for our needs. The table below is an example that shows in what way the resources have been utilized:

Natural ResourcesMan-made Products
RiverHydroelectric power
ClamsClam chowder
FarmlandPotato chips

Here are a few natural resources and their uses:

  • Used for growing crops (only 10% of the Earth's surface).
  • Soil can be used for shelter. Many tribal people all around the world make shelter with the help of soil.
  • Used for drinking (only 0.0007% of Earth's water is suitable for drinking. The rest is salt water, water trapped in glaciers, or polluted water.
  • Freshwater is used for irrigation of crops.
  • Water bodies such as oceans, lakes, and rivers of the world can be used for transportation.
  • Fishing is a valuable source of food that is provided by water.
  • Water in rivers is being used to generate hydro-electricity.

Minerals can be defined as naturally occurring substances obtained from the ground. Some examples are coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron, copper, gold, etc. They are also absorbed by plants from the Earth's surface, and are transferred to humans through food.
  • They (coal, natural gas, and fossil fuels) are a source of energy.
  • Used as ingredients to make other materials like iron ore, minerals are also used to make steel, and petroleum which is used to make a variety of products like gasoline, plastics, etc.
  • Can be used in natural form like salt.
  • Land is used for farming from which vegetables and fruits are grown.
  • Wood from trees is cut and processed to make furniture for home.
  • Wood is used for cooking and also as fuel to produce heat for warmth.
  • Clothing - clothes are made from cotton.
  • Plants are used as an ingredient in medicines.
  • Animals are used as food, and their waste is used as fertilizers for crops.
  • We get fur and hides from animals which are used for making clothes.
  • Used for transportation.
Natural resources can further be defined as renewable and non-renewable. Renewable resources are those that can be produced again, for example, plants and animals, whereas, nonrenewable resources are those which cannot be produced again, for example, fossil fuels.

We need to make serious attempts to use natural resources in an efficient manner because in recent years, natural resources have depleted as a result of their careless use. The seriousness of the problem can be understood from the words of former American president Theodore Roosevelt, "The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others."

People and Water - Water Talk with Slovak NGO Chairman Michal Kravcik on the Eve of Copenhagen Conference - 1/2

NGO Chairman Michal Kravcik

Water is a mirror of the human culture. The results of Copenhagen´s Conference could have fundamental effect on stopping adverse and risky trends of climatic changes on Planet Earth.
Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish in his "Memory for Forgetfulness" says about water": Who says water has no color, flavor of smell? Water does have a color that reveals itself in the unfolding of thirst... And water has the flavor of water, and a fragrance that is the scent of the afternoon breeze blown from a field with full ears of wheat waving in a luminous expanse strewn like the flickering spots of light left by the wings of a small sparrow fluttering low".

People and Water NGO encourages Slovaks to take advantage of their newly-minted democracy by organizing town meetings where citizens questioned officials about the legality of water usage. As result, in November 1996, the Environmental Ministry canceled the dam proposal. It was Michal Kravcik, Chairman of People and Water NGO who showed how drinking reservoirs had not been used in full and how much water was wasted by an old and repair - needed distribution systems. His alternative plan outlined the repair of these problems while minimizing the impact on environment.

The mission of the undertaking "People And Water" is to provide services to municipal and rural communities, mostly within the Carpathian region. The goal is to solve the economic, social, cultural and environmental problems on a grassroots level by encouraging citizens to be active through development, renewal and promotion of the traditional culture and diversity of this region.

In booklet "Alternative Wastewater Treatment" meant for professionals, local governments, and others wishing to solve problems related to the treatment and discharge of wastewater in small communities, Kravcik offers alternative, decentralized solutions to the traditional wastewater treatment plants typically used by larger communities. This pilot project is meant as model wastewater treatment for more than 2,400 villages in Slovakia.

Mr. Michal Kravcik, Chairman of the Slovak NGO People and Water, welcome to the interview

Q: With a group of Czech and Slovak activist, you are all set to participate at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen from 7 - 18 December 2009. Your contribution is titled "The Substantial Role of Water in the Climate System of the Earth". What are your expectations from Copenhagen conference and the role of water in the climate system of earth?
Michal Kravcik: My expectations are simple: to incorporate in the Copenhagen Protocol a mechanism of using water for recovery of the climate based not only on local and regional - but also on continental and global level of the Planet Earth. Until now, all initiatives for solution of climatic changes addressed only CO2 reduction, and through this, to stop the breakup of the Earth´s climatic system.

Somehow we keep forgetting that water is the thermoregulator of heat. So where there is enough water, the landscape heats only slowly, while where is dry weather, the landscape overheats fast reaching big differences in temperature e.g. between night and day - or winter and summer. According to our estimates, each year over 700 billion m3 rainwater vanishes from continents - that in the past had been soaked and saturated in soil, and evaporated in the atmosphere. This is how rainwater kept the climate within limits - without any extreme floods, droughts or sudden shifts in climate.

Q: Climate change is here. It's a reality. It's not in the imagination or a vision of the future. Climate change adds to the existing problems. It makes everything more complex. It's here now and we have to change. With your team you are author of "The New Theory of Global Warming", can you explain?
Michal Kravcik: Due to the built infrastructure of tiny canals, ditches, gullies and drains, the continents are getting rid of water from small hydrological cycles - water which then accumulates in the oceans. Because of reduction of volume of soaked rainwater in the soil, and reduction of evaporation, a huge amount of heat accumulates in the atmosphere, overheating it and creating chaos in the atmosphere. As a result, extreme weather increases, bringing about more frequent and more extreme floods, droughts and related risks of water insufficiency, famine and conflicts, while endangering the food safety.

In order to avoid all this, it is enough to create conditions globally that would allow rainwater - that has been currently flowing uselessly into seas - to stay and keep at the continents so that it could saturate in soil and evaporate into the atmosphere. Such creation of conditions for area / blanket / retention of rainwater at the continents requires a fundamental change in rainwater management, different to the existing principle - i.e. that rainwater is only a wastewater that we have to get rid of as quickly as possible - to a principle that it is vital to let rainwater to soak in the soil and return into the atmosphere. Change of water paradigm may result in the recovery of climate in ten years, while provide enough water for humans, food and nature.

Implementation of this concept may create several tens millions of jobs, which - in our present day global economic crisis - is by no means little.

Q: Your covering letter begins with a proverb of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who wrote over 18 centuries ago: "A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission" (Meditations, 9,5). The emperor-philosopher wrote part of his book on the banks of river Granova, what is now a Slovak river Hron. Can you explain and also the role of the Slovak river Hron?
Michal Kravcik: Emperor Marcus Aurelius mentions the Hron river as a place where he stayed when reinforcing his defense positions at the Northern borders of the Roman Empire. The river which in total length lies in the present Slovak territory, reminds us of the long years that this noble emperor spent at the then barbarians´ territory, and of his sense of duty to prepare himself for future threats.

Q: The need of the hour for humans is to change. One of my favorite songs by recently deceased King of Pop Michael Jackson says: "Make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race - there are people dying -if you care enough for the living -make a better place for you and for me. How we can do that?
Michal Kravcik: Water is a unique phenomenon on our Planet Earth, vital for the existence of life. Therefore, if we respect idea that water is our "common good", then it is unacceptable that we are expelling that "common good" from our environment - out to the sea. One of simple possibilities how to make good things is e.g. to let the rainwater pour down from the roofs not to the drains/sewerages, but to a garden pond, which will be giving joy not only myself, but also yourself. Such garden pond will contribute to recovery of the micro-climate in the area bringing back life and enjoyment of our environment, where we live, because the little pond´s micro-climate will have positive effect also on the surrounding environment´s micro-climate.

Water is a mirror of the human culture. The native people did not require mirrors to see themselves - they just looked into the water.

Q: At the same time voice are becoming louder that we shouldn't pin too many hopes on climate meeting at Copenhagen. What can be accomplished at Copenhagen?
Michal Kravcik: The results of the Copenhagen´s Conference could have fundamental effect on stopping the adverse and risky trends of climatic changes at the Planet Earth. There is, however, a great danger that some sort of "mass hysteria" may arise which would repress minority voices for possible alternative solutions - which could address the water issue in a more effective, cheaper and less conflicting way.

I feel that, up to now, the „carbon lobby" still persists and prevails, and is quite successful in making business with the greenhouse effects, without any essential attempts to stop the climatic changes. By adopting alternative approaches, the lobby would obviously lose profits. Strangely enough, this particular lobby managed to drag on their side also the most important environmental movements of the world.

My fear is that the Copenhagen Summit on the Climatic Change will be continuation of the fight against the climatic change only at the marginal front, without really adopting meaningful steps to stop the climatic change.

Q: The problem won`t go away and some say that the game of percentage cuts on past emission is fundamentally stupid, would it be better to talk real figures as how much more CO2 we can afford to dump into the atmosphere in the rest of this century. What is your view?
Michal Kravcik: I will answer by using the ideas of two Russian scientists, V.G. Gorshkov and A.M. Makariev: An organic carbon has been constantly entering the biosphere from the Earth´s crust. With the given inputs during the last billion of years, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere today should be a thousand times bigger in comparison with the current state. Thanks to the biotic regulation the sequestration compensated relatively very precisely the inorganic carbon emissions. In order to compensate the current anthropogenic carbon emissions, it would be enough to reduce the areas used by humans by ca 7 %, and at the same area, to restore the natural or close-to-natural ecosystems.

The Planet Mars´ atmosphere, for example, contains 95 % of CO2, while the Planet Earth´s atmosphere only 0,03 %. Despite this, the greenhouse effect on the Earth is six times greater than that on Mars. Even if we include the differences in both planets´s densities in the calculation, we can explain this discrepancy only by existence of water vapors and clouds at the Planet Earth. The difference in temperatures on Mars are more dramatic than those on the Earth. Despite the negative image created by mass media concerning fight against the greenhouse gases emissions, the climatic (and greenhouse) effect of water, which cools or heats the Earth according to needs, is vitally important for stabilization of climatic conditions on our Planet.

Q: The Czech President Vaclav Klaus, one of the world's most vocal skeptics on the topic of global warming, says there are increasing doubts in the scientific community about weather humans are causing changes in the climate of weather the changes are simply naturally occurring phenomena. In 2007 Klaus published a book on the worldwide campaign to stop climate change entitled "Blue Planet in Green Chains: What is under Threat - Climate or Freedom, please comment?
Michal Kravcik: Frankly, I have not read the Czech Presidents´s book. But personally I have no doubts that - apart from many other factors - part of climatic change has been caused by human activities. By shifting the majority voice on climatic changes to the marginal issue, only roots for the skeptics to argue that the climatic change in fact does not exist , or if it does, then it is beyond the human reach to influence it, because it is part of the Earth´s natural processes.

I consider this a very dangerous trend for the Planet Earth´s sustainable development.

Q: Water, water seems to be pouring from your writings. What water experts say, is that despite the world`s "wetter" status, the future of fresh water is in jeopardy. Are voices loud enough ?
Michal Kravcik: I often argue that it is not important how much water people use, but it is vital what they will do with it after they use it. The current civilization considers rainwater and used water as a waste - and this is a real tragedy! It is not enough to invent more and more sophisticated solutions how to use the last remaining bits of water more effectively. Now it is high time to launch the global restoration of small hydrological cycles at the continents. Only then it is possible to turn the dried-out yellowed regions into a green fertile land. At the moment, I with my partners work on the "Green Desert Project" in which we want to offer technologies that could restore water cycles also in the dried-up regions of the world.

Q: Conflicts over where the build dams, how to divert water to agriculture, who gets more water and why, have long been simmering issues that will only increase as worldwide population increases and water supplies diminish. These are tough questions. Are they also "moral questions"?
Michal Kravcik: The cause of lack of water on the Planet Earth is not the population growth, as often argued, but the fact that the management of water is based on metaphysical principle, i.e. we cannot interfere with it. As result, the legislation protects only water that we can see. We have a mental problem to understand that water which evaporated from the landscape is not a loss, but consequently returns back in nature in the form of rain. What follows is - that the water reservoir is a whole water cycle, which - if holed by e.g. city sewage system collecting and draining rainwater into the sea - starts to empty until it dries-up completely.

There are plenty of examples all over the world in form of extinct civilizations and cultures. Our current civilization works hard, too, to empty this water reservoir until dried-up, and the life with it.

Q: Areas with abundant water supplies are busily drafting contracts that guarantee them rights or profitable gains over their water. One would say the same story of human "greed". What other alternatives are there?
Michal Kravcik: Many mega-projects have been launched which will probably fuel the business spirals with the last remains of fresh water. Strangely enough, also in the dried-up regions it is possible to restore water resources - even to their original condition - like there were several thousands years ago, when that country was thriving with green, streams and rivers with clean transparent water. The alternative is to restore water in small hydrological cycles.

At the beginning of 90-ties, we have elaborated the "Blue Alternative" aimed at creation of water resources. In those days, the "Blue Alternative" was the alternative to a dam, financially several times cheaper . Gradually, we gained knowledge that this alternative addressed not only water resources, but also it restored the production potential of soils, biodiversity and recovered the climate.

Q: It is widely assumed that urbanization will continue. But this is not necessarily so. The growing scarcity of water and the high cost of the energy investing in transporting water over long distances may itself being to constrain urban growth. Are eco-cities and building cities in balance with nature the answer?
Michal Kravcik: It is historical fact, that cities grew both in population and in the territory. At the beginning, there was a community that usually settled next to a water source or spring. As the community grew, it was changing its environment including conditions of permanent supplement of water resource by rainfall, and so the resource dried-out. People started digging wells, gradually exploiting the underground waters. The community then transported water through pipelines from the close areas, later also from the more distant places, and so the water resources gradually dried-out and dried-out completely. As a result, the climatic conditions also changed (less rainfalls), until the community endangered its own existence , leading to sole jeopardy of the community itself. They consequently moved to another place, where there was water, and did the same mistakes again.

Today, we have attacked the last water supplies, and those who still have them can look forward to a big business in the 21st century. This, however, is not sustainable, as those resources are depletable, and ways of using water do not secure restoration.

Certain hope arises in the urban development concepts based on the eco-city principles, however, in present days it is still only in position of a fashionable hit - i.e. use of renewable energy sources, waste recycling, public transportation.

Water management, however, remains in position of an old paradigm : to drain away rainwater as quickly as possible, and to bring new clean spring water to cities from the nature. The principle of eco-cities will be functioning on ecological principles only provided that not even a drop of rainwater from the city area would be drained directly into the nearest stream.

Q: Early cities relied on food and water from the surrounding countryside, but today cities often depend on distant sources even for basic amenities. The evolution of modern cities is tied to advances in transport, initially for ships and trains combined with cheap oil that provided the mobility of people and freight that fueled the phenomenal urban growth of the twentieth century. In terms of water fresh water availability, how will the cities of future look like?
Michal Kravcik: In my native city of Kosice, we started first with working on a concept that not even a drop of rainwater flows away, and so that the owner of a house or land accepted the water use principles at priority, and uses energy of the site and recycles not only the waste, but also water. However, the politicians did not culturally accept the concept, as it would endanger their profits. In essence, this model elaborates a system that would recycles everything in the environment in which humans live. And we have to begin with water. The precipitation in a city amounting to e.g. 100 million m3 water annually represents an enormous potential, one can do wonders with it.

The existing concept of urban development is based on draining away of rainwater, and on bringing new water to the city from rural areas through pipelines. This is a double mistake and very short-sighted.

Q: Is Water becoming 'the new oil'? Population, pollution, and climate put the squeeze on potable supplies - and private companies smell a profit. Others ask, should "water" be a human right, what is your view?
Michal Kravcik: A human right cannot exist, where water is treated in a irresponsible way. I suppose it is irrelevant/incongruous to speak about e.g. rights for water if there is no responsibility for water. And where water is treated in a irresponsible way, there is lack of water, and „good business" with water is thriving. It is „in" to speak and lead campaigns against privatization of water resources. It is essential to realize that if there is more water in environment we live in, there will be no pressure on privatization of water resources.

Therefore we should return rainwater and wastewater after use back into the water cycle ; this is the way how we can address not only lack of water, but also strengthen human rights.

Ing Michal Kravcik, CSc, completed his studies in Waterworks Construction and Water Management at the Slovak Technical University and worked for the Institute of Hydrology and Hydraulics and the Institute of Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Ing. Michal is founder of the People and Water NGO in Kosice, Slovakia. He is the most prominent representative of the People and Water NGO, which has been awarded the EU-USA Prize for Deomocracy and Civil Society Development.

Michal Kravcik was awarder the Goldman Environmental Prize and is a member of ASHOKA - Innovators for the Public, an international network of innovators who contribute for common good.

Climate Deal Finally Reached at Copenhagen

At last some sort of agreement has been reached at the climate meet being held at Copenhagen.
Things looked bleak, there was a dead end in sight. The blame game was on and no one thought there was the slightest chance of any sort of agreement even, leave alone a deal. Time was running out. But the good news is that the United States has reached a climate deal with the BASIC countries. Yes it's true. President Barack Obama announced that the US has reached an agreement with India, China, South Africa and Brazil.

Obama went on to say, "We agreed to set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. It's a nonbinding goal, and the emissions targets "will not be by themselves sufficient to get to where we need to get by 2050. It is a first step, and that for many countries "this is going to be the first time in which even voluntarily they offered up mitigation targets. I think that it was important to essentially get that shift in orientation moving. For the first time in history, all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change." The president also added that he believes it is necessary that the countries work towards a legally binding treaty, but also said, "If we just waited for that, we would not make any progress."

This is not an entirely satisfactory deal that has been reached, but at least it is a start. And though it is not legally binding, a platform has been laid for world leaders to work ahead on. A lot more needs to be agreed upon and done ahead, if we are to save our planet, the only one we have that too!

Warmest Decade Ever

The last decade was the warmest ever on record.
Temperatures on our planet Earth have been recorded since the year 1880. And believe it or not, since that time, the hottest decade ever was the last one we have lived in. Yes! The first decade of the 21st century was the warmest ever. This is according to data provided by scientists at NASA.

In fact, 2005 was the warmest year ever recorded, with 2009 coming in a close 2nd. So that means in a span of 5 years, we have experienced the 2 warmest years ever on record. Since 1880, world's average temperature has increased 0.8 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. And even more alarming is that at present, average world temperatures are increasing at the rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius or 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit per 10 years. The reasons being many, from industrial pollution, to vehicle emissions, and release of methane gas in different ways. The effects of global warming on Earth is a cause for great concern, and leaders of all nations are trying to get together and reach a consensus on steps that can be taken to save our planet, before it is too late.

James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) said, "There's substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El Nino-La Nina cycle. When we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated."

These are clear warning signs that the human race needs to get its act together to save the only planet that we have at our disposal, before it is just too late to do anything.

NASA: Global Warming Continues Unabated

The decade 2000-2009 is the warmest on record, says NASA.
According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) , the decade January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest on record. 2005 was the warmest year, while 2009 came in second in a tie with four more years (2002, 2003, 2006 & 2007) in the same decade. However, in 2009 the Southern Hemisphere was the warmest, since 1880, when temperatures were recorded for the first time.

GISS director James Hansen said, "There's always interest in the annual numbers and a given year's ranking, but the ranking often misses the point. There's substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El-Niño-La Niña cycle. When we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize the variability, we find that global warming is continuing unabated."

Though 2008 was the coolest year in the decade due to the La Niña event over the Pacific Ocean, warm temperatures made a comeback in 2009. "Of course, the contiguous 48 states cover only 1.5 per cent of the world area, so the US temperature does not affect the global temperature much," Hansen said. Though the winter may have been colder in the United States, China and Europe, the Southern Hemisphere and the Arctic remained notably warm.

Climatologists have recently emphasized on the importance of understanding the difference between weather, i.e. day-to-day local events, and climate, i.e. long term global trends. According to NASA, the average global temperatures have been seeing a rise by 0.2 °C or 0.36 °F in the past three decades. In entirety, an increase by about 0.8 °C or 1.5 °F was seen in the average global temperatures since 1880.

The analysis was based on data sourced from meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations and Antarctica research station, NASA said.

List of Renewable Resources

The list presented below, classifies natural resources in a manner that helps us to become aware of the fast-depleting natural resources. While studying the subject of natural resources, kids should understand that their conservation is the a need of time. Educating them about how to make judicious use of natural resources is important. The information about renewable natural resources through examples of wind and tidal energy provided at the end should also prove to be useful.
  • Water: It is the most important natural resource and one cannot survive without water. We can see that life thrives/flourishes in the presence of water. It is a natural resource needed by all living beings not only for survival, but also to grow and develop.
  • Air: The most abundant and important natural resource for survival, air (in the form of oxygen) is needed by most creatures (except for anaerobic organisms) found on earth.
  • Sunlight: Just like air and water, sunlight is needed for survival of living beings. The process of photosynthesis is carried out in the presence of sunlight. With plants visibly circulating most of the energy in the food chain, one tends to forget that sunlight is the original source of energy for life on earth. The water cycle too cannot be completed without sunlight.
  • Plants: The plants are the main energy source for living beings on earth. Carnivores and scavengers obtain energy by feeding on other animals which in turn, feed on plants. Though plants are considered a renewable natural resource, their excessive use could deplete them. For example, the Amazon forest cover is fast shrinking which is a dangerous sign for the health of our ecosystem.
  • Wind Energy: It is one of the least used natural resources on earth. The process of obtaining energy from wind doesn't pollute the environment. Air pollution resulting from combustion of fossil fuels can be reduced to a great extent with the use of wind energy.
  • Tidal Energy: This form of energy is similar to wind energy in terms of functioning. In fact, the tides/waves of oceans used to obtain energy, originally obtain it from wind. More information in the form of facts about tidal energy should be useful.
  • Soil: It is one of the most abundant resources found on earth. Soil is needed for growing crops. The same soil can be used over and over for the purpose of agriculture. However, this natural resource needs to be protected from the menace of erosion. Increasing the vegetation i.e. forest cover is the best way to prevent soil erosion.
Classification of natural resources can be carried out also by taking into account the degree or level to which they are developed/processed into products for human consumption. Information about resources taking into account this criterion of classification is presented below.
  • Currently Used Resources: These are the natural resources currently used for human consumption. Coal, petroleum, etc. are some of the examples of these natural resources.
  • Potential Resources: These are the untapped resources of nature. The potential resources can be put to future use. Hydrogen is one such resource which has the potential to be used as fuel in the future.
The elements enlisted in the article give us an idea of the richness of earth's resources. The list of natural resources presented in the article is not an exhaustive one. This is because, a natural material takes different forms after it is processed. These different forms are used in different ways and the purpose for which it is used makes it a resource. Thus, only few of the important natural resources are listed in the article.

"Stormy Weather" After Copenhagen - Climate Talk with Scientist and Author Dr. Vladislav Bevc - Part 1

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man`s need,
But not every man`s greed".
-- Mahatma Gandhi

If anything, Copenhagen showed how fluid the global distribution of power has become. But Copenhagen stands out because it sits at the intersection of major trends that will define our coming century, from globalization and economic competition to resource scarcity and great power politics.

Every country came to the table with concerns that ranged from the existential - the tiny Maldives and Tuvalu islands are threatened with destruction - to the serious - most countries finally understand the human, environmental and economic cost of delaying action - to the perplexing demand by Saudi Arabia to be compensated for any action that results in lower oil consumption.

Some of their leaders, like Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the Maldives, a nation made up of more than a thousand islands in the Indian Ocean, have emerged as tigers, ready to fight. He is, in other words, unwilling to treat global warming as a normal political issue. On the dying coral reefs of the Maldives, the government's entire cabinet held don scuba gear and held an official underwater meeting to pass a 350 resolution for the Copenhagen -

Copenhagen leaves real work still to be done. For all the wrangling, the discussion was necessary and Copenhagen did focus the public eye on climate change. The best case scenario is not falter in taking many small steps forward.

But the greatest challenge is to lead the world into a new era of peace and humanism, to create more inclusive, just and equitable societies, through sustainable economic and social development, based on science, innovation and new technologies that will serve mankind and preserve the environment. Climate change, biodiversity, mitigation of natural disasters, water resources management energy and pandemics are the new key challenges in science which should be given priority.

Dr. Vladislav Bevc, welcome to the interview

Dr. Bevc: Let me comment, the implication here seems to be that there is some action indicated. In the following comments it is apparent that any action of the kind IPCC and the Maldivian "tigers" are trying so hard to foist upon us would be ill advised.

So Tuvalu and Maldives islands are threatened with destruction by flooding by the rising sea level. And the Americans are to blame for it! Let me explain, Tuvalu is an atoll resting on volcanic rock that is gradually subsiding into the sea. It is not the sea that is rising. On top of the volcanic rock is coral which grows rather slowly. Its lower layers die off by natural causes as they sink deeper into the ocean where the sunlight is blocked. Possibly, Tuvalu might not survive a rapid sea level rise predicted by global warming alarmists. These claim that the ocean level rose 8 to 12 inches in the previous century and predict it will rise another 18 inches by 2100.

On the other hand satellite radar measurements show that Tuvalu sea levels fell 4 inches over a decade. Tide gauges installed on Tuvalu in 1978 show that in 1997-1998 Tuvalu's sea level dropped by about one foot. This was caused by El Nino/Southern Oscillation which is a natural periodic event that does not affect long-term sea level trends.

Let me ask, why is Tuvalu's prime minister [they've got one, too] concerned?

Tuvaluans actually hope they may file suits against the United States and obtain large chunks of money as reparations for "global warming". In addition Tuvaluans hope to be allowed to move their 11,000 residents to Australia and New Zealand where they would be permanently supported by the relief agencies as they are neither capable nor willing to perform any useful work.

How these people treat their own native environment was described to me by two missionary friends who had lived on Kiribati, pronounced Kiribas, another such island. The beautiful beaches there are used as latrines for the local population so that they are all messed up. But then they do not flush toilets and this certainly earns them praise from the environmentalists.

On Tuvalu the islanders have been excavating sand for building projects. The holes they left behind were filled by sea water giving impression of flooding in places where there was no flooding 15 years ago.

The bottom line is: Tuvalu is not sinking! People are simply telling those lies to persuade Australia and New Zealand to take them in where they would live in idleness supported by the working citizens of these countries.

As far as Maldives is concerned, it does appear that it is geologically similar to Tuvalu, Kiribati and the like, namely that the volcanic rock on which the coral superstructure rests may be gradually sinking - quite unrelated to any atmospheric phenomena or ocean level fluctuations. For Maldives neither satellite altimetry nor tide-gauge records have registered any significant sea level rise.

Contrary to IPCC prognostication sea level there fell by 20 to 30 centimeters in the past 30 years (as reported by Morner in an article published in 2004). Here is an example of a natural phenomenon to which man may have to adapt rather than demand that the global evolution of the Earth be altered - as if this were possible in the first place. Perhaps scuba diving equipment is a good idea for the Maldivian cabinet - it will keep their mouth shut - for a while at least.

Throughout history people have migrated from areas where living was difficult or impossible to other areas, the situation with which Maldivians are faced in no different other nations have faced in the past. Instead of whining Maldivian government should prepare its population so that they would be welcome wherever they eventually move.

Q: Politicians struggle to cast Copenhagen as a success, while most observers will judge it a failure. What is your opinion ?
Dr. Bevc: The objective of Copenhagen was to put in place a worldwide agreement on mandatory restrictions on energy use, rationing, government control of industry and all economies. That agreement did not materialize for the time being for politicians smart enough not to knowingly join a suicide pact which such an agreement would represent.

The result of an agreement contemplated by Copenhagen would be that developed countries, mainly the United States, would be given a quota on how much fossil fuels they may use. As the quota would be discriminatory low such countries (mainly the United States) would be forced to buy so-called "carbon credits" from undeveloped countries, like Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tuvalu and the like which have no industrial production to speak of. Such purchases would represent a permanent entitlement to those countries or, rather, to the ineffectual and most often corrupt regimes.

The "program" would not reduce any emissions at all, it would only sap and eventually destroy the free market economies of advanced countries - the perennial objective of Marxists and the Greens.

Q: What we have witnessed in Copenhagen was a rare spectacle in global affairs: a massive exercise in political group think reaching its pinnacle precisely as the rational foundation for it begin to unravel in every public way. Let me ask what's cooking, is it the planet, or just the evidence?
Dr. Bevc: There certainly is no evidence of an impending catastrophe.

Q: It's like nothing we've ever faced before -- and we're facing it as if it's just like everything else. Is that the problem?
Dr. Bevc: If a problem such as depicted by alarmist promoters of industrial restrictions and control existed on a global scale we could do nothing about it.

The only way to deal with it would be adaptation with appropriate technological approaches.

Q: We Can't Wish Away Climate Change, can we?
Dr. Bevc: We cannot! Climate has been changing for about 4 billion years and has evolved in a rather stable situation. Climate changes are cyclical and are part of the world we live in. Life on Earth has adapted itself and evolved with the changing climate. It is megalomania to attempt to control the climate.

Total Pageviews