Tag Archives: Rainfall

Iran’s water crisis stokes another round of protests

The 42 years of Islamic fundamentalism proved that this so religious system is as corrupt like any other system where people in power try to earn as much they can for themselves (at the cost of the population).

We shall have to face not only political refugees but soon more ecological refugees.

Democracy for Iran

By Struan Stevenson

July 26 (UPI) –Prior to the 1979 revolution, Iran’s population of 34 million people relied on a stable water supply, sourced from millennia-old underground canals and aquifers. The Iranian revolution, hijacked by the mullahs, changed all that.

The theocratic regime handed control of the nationalized water industry — and indeed over 80% of all other business, industrial and service sectors — to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the regime’s equivalent of the Gestapo. The IRGC answers directly to the elderly supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It pays no tax and corruptly siphons vast financial resources into its own pockets and into financing proxy wars and terrorism across the Middle East and further afield.

The IRGC members use oil revenues stolen from the Iranian people to race ahead with the clandestine construction of a nuclear weapon and ballistic missile delivery systems capable of reaching Tel Aviv, Israel…

View original post 921 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Welfare matters

Four ways to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises simultaneously

A landmark report by the world’s most senior climate and biodiversity scientists argues that the world will have to tackle the climate crisis and the species extinction crisis simultaneously, or not at all.

That’s because Earth’s land and ocean already absorbs about half of the greenhouse gases that people emit. Wild animals, plants, fungi and microbes help maintain this carbon sink by keeping soils, forests and other ecosystems healthy.

Failing to tackle climate change meanwhile will accelerate biodiversity loss, as higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns make survival for many species more difficult. Both problems are intertwined, and so solutions to one which exacerbate the other are doomed to fail.

Luckily, there are options for addressing climate change and biodiversity loss together, called nature-based solutions. If implemented properly, these measures can enhance the richness and diversity of life on Earth, help habitats store more carbon and even reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, making ecosystems more resilient while slowing the rate at which the planet warms.

1. Protect and restore ecosystems

Everyone is familiar with the need to preserve tropical rainforests, but there are other pristine habitats, on land and in the ocean, which are in dire need of protection.

Mangrove swamps occupy less than 1% of Earth’s surface, but store the equivalent of 22 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s around two-thirds of total emissions from burning fossil fuels each year. These coastal habitats act as a home, nursery, and feeding ground for numerous species. More than 40 bird, ten reptile and six mammal species are only found in mangroves.

Under the canopy in a tropical mangrove forest.
Mangroves are particularly good at storing carbon. Velavan K/Shutterstock

Peatlands – those soggy ecosystems which include bogs, marshes and fens – store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests. The top 15cm stores more carbon below ground than tropical rainforests do above ground. In the UK, peatlands store the equivalent of ten billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and host precious plant and animals such as red grouse, mountain hares and marsh earwort.

Unfortunately, more than 80% of the UK’s peatlands are degraded in some way. A single hectare of damaged peatland can emit more than 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to the yearly emissions of seven family cars.

Protecting these ecosystems can prevent carbon being released into the atmosphere. Restoring them where they’ve been damaged can suck carbon dioxide from the air and guarantee shelter for rare wildlife. Diverse natural systems also bounce back better from climate extremes than do species-poor, highly degraded systems, and will keep helping biodiversity and people even as Earth continues to warm.

2. Manage farmland and fisheries sustainably

Not all of the world’s land and ocean can be left to nature, but the land and ocean people use to produce food and other resources can be managed better.

People currently use about 25% of the planet’s land surface for growing food, extracting resources and living. The global food system contributes one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Methods of farming – such as agroecology, which involves incorporating trees and habitats within farm fields – and sustainable fishing practices can protect and regenerate topsoil and seabed habitats, boosting biodiversity and improving how resilient these ecosystems are to climate change.

Rows of vegetable beds with lines of young trees.
Reforestation in tandem with food growing: lettuce, cauliflowers and tomatoes grow among saplings in Brazil. Luisaazara/Shutterstock

3. Create new forests – with care

People have already cut down three trillion trees – half of all the trees which once grew on Earth.

Creating new woodlands and forests can draw down atmospheric carbon and provide diverse habitats for a range of species, but great care must be taken to plant the right mix of trees in the right place. Vast plantations of non-native trees, particularly when they’re a single species, offer less useful habitat for wildlife, but a mix of native trees can benefit biodiversity and store more carbon in the long run.

A study in south-east China showed that forests containing several tree species stored twice as much carbon as the average single-species plantation.

We can do the same thing in the ocean by restoring seagrass meadows.

4. Shift to more plant-based diets

Globally, animal agriculture is a major contributor to biodiversity loss. Millions of hectares of Amazon rainforest, African Savanna and Central Asian grassland have been ploughed up to create pasture and plant feed crops for the cows, pigs and chickens that we eat. Nearly 60% of all planet-warming emissions from food production originate in livestock rearing.

Reducing demand for meat and dairy, through diet changes and cutting waste, would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions – which itself benefits biodiversity by limiting climate change – it would also lower pressure for farmland and so reduce deforestation and habitat destruction, freeing more land for the wider use of nature-based solutions.

A vegan burger with a side of sweet potato fries.
A vegan diet is better for wildlife and the climate than a high-meat one. Rolande PG/Unsplash, CC BY-SA

Meat, especially highly processed meat, has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and bowel and stomach cancer. Plant-based diets are healthier, reduce healthcare costs and reduce carbon emissions.

A note of caution

It’s important to remember that nature-based solutions aren’t a substitute for the rapid phase out of fossil fuels. They should involve a wide range of ecosystems on land and in the sea, not just forests. Wherever they’re implemented, nature-based solutions must proceed with the full engagement and consent of Indigenous peoples and local communities, respecting their cultural and ecological rights. And nature-based solutions should be explicitly designed to provide measurable benefits for biodiversity – not just carbon sequestration.

With all this in mind, the world can design robust and resilient solutions for the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, sustaining nature and people together, now and into the future.

*

About the authors:

Pete Smith currently receives research funding from UKRI, EU, Wellcome Trust and Scottish Government. He is on the science advisory team for Carbon Direct (https://carbon-direct.com/).

Mark Maslin is a Founding Director of Rezatec Ltd, Co-Director of The London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, a member of Cheltenham Science Festival Advisory Committee and a member of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group. He is an unpaid member of the Sopra-Steria CSR Board and Sheep Included Ltd Advisory Board. He has received grant funding in the past from the NERC, EPSRC, ESRC, DFG, Royal Society, DIFD, BEIS, DECC, FCO, Innovate UK, Carbon Trust, UK Space Agency, European Space Agency, Research England, Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation Sprint2020, and British Council. He has received research funding in the past from The Lancet, Laithwaites, Seventh Generation, Channel 4, JLT Re, WWF, Hermes, CAFOD, HP, and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Camille Parmesan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Ecological affairs, Food, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Welfare matters, World affairs

Here and Now

For years scientists warned politicians, but they would not listen and the citizens only thought of what was good for them at that moment, not interested to learn about the impact of their ecological and carbon footprint. No matter what happens nature shall show mankind that it is always stronger than the human being, which has to learn by falling and standing up again.

*

To remember

rainfall causes problems to roads, cars, and rail travel => Movement restricted

towns + surrounding areas plagued by floods this winter.

recollection of previous winters = cold mornings with frost covered lawns + a wind that slaps your face with a chilling sting

ground not prepared as no drainage is available + waterways are not viable

foliage not resting as trees + flora remain green > earth rest less

environmental change on animal life > effects of stress, lack of sleep + tiredness

wildlife struggle to maintain their habitats

Medicinalmeadows

image (2)My town and its surrounding areas have been plagued by floods this winter. Movement from town to town is restricted as rainfall causes problems to roads, cars, and rail travel. It seems to be raining for a season. My recollection of previous winters has been cold mornings with frost covered lawns and a wind that slaps your face with a chilling sting. If wet, lingering rain and floods are to be our depths of winter then we are certainly not prepared. The ground is not prepared as no drainage is available and waterways are not viable. The foliage is not resting as trees and flora remain green. I wonder what fauna make of all this weather? What effect is this environmental change having on the animal life?

robinIn our current ways of living we know the effects of stress, lack of sleep and tiredness. Will the earth rest less, will wildlife struggle to maintain…

View original post 108 more words

7 Comments

Filed under Ecological affairs, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

It’s a New Year!

Now and then human being have to be reminded that material is just dust. Often it is with less pleasant experiences that we are pushed with our face in the reality of life.

It is good that at such moments of truth people dare to tell others how they feel and what they experience. Such moments of calamity should make us to think about more important things. It should remind us of our Maker and about our reason being here and how we should relate to each other and our environment.

Institute of Mental Health 10, Nov 06

Institute of Mental Health 10, Nov 06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of the experiences we get in a year may be all too much. They can deliver us more worries and stress than our stress bucket can handle. That is the moment that this also will overflow – at which point we can start to experience symptoms of mental ill health. We can use coping strategies to help tap the bucket, and allow stress to flow away in a healthy and manageable way.

However, no matter how hard we try, no matter how good our coping strategies – exercise, medicines, meditation – no matter how much we avoid the things we know are bad for us – sometimes life throws in a brick and makes it impossible to avoid the inevitable splash. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

Living in this world, even with all the luxury around us certain things also for us can get too much, and our usual coping mechanisms then shall cease to be a match for our concerns, that this can lead us to develop emotional / mental health issues. Some might want to use their employees as machines, bu we are human beings not without inner feelings, and life throws things at us that we don’t always know how to deal with very well.

Sadly a lot of people may well be experiencing that overspill in the coming months –  widespread flooding across the North of the United Kingdom (and in Missouri, red.) has devastated lives, homes, businesses. People are still cleaning up, throwing out years worth of possessions and irreplaceable mementoes, wondering where on earth the money will come from to replace even the more mundane things like microwaves and kettles. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

When bad things happen in a certain region that is often also the time people are coming to know each other in an other, and hopefully in a better way.

The good news is that we have seen the most amazing evidence of the goodness of humanity – people helping eachother to clean up, everyone banding together. Volunteers travelling from near and far, donations pouring in – individuals and organisations and companies are doing a lot to ensure that things are put right as quickly as possible. I have a lot of hope that some minds have been changed, and eyes opened by the sheer generosity and kindness which has been shown by diverse communities from across the country in this little valley. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

Hopefully, that evidence of love and kinship will help people in more than just the practical ways. But in the weeks and months to come, people will start to be impacted by the trauma they have experienced. The exhaustion of the effort they have had to put in to get their homes dry, stay fed, keep themselved and their families safe – it will creep up on people and affect them in ways they may not expect. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

Some may think that such things will soon be forgotten, but they are not. Life has to go on and people will find a way to cope with it, but is shall leave its scars. It is perfectly understandable, and natural, that this will creep up on people and affect them in ways they may not expect.

Human beings have so much ignored nature around them that now nature is giving back an answer which is not so pleasant at times. 2015 may have been the warmest year since the measuring but it had its moments of heavy winds and pouring waters.

Storms have mercilessly battered Britain, one after the other over this festive period, bringing with them severe and unrelenting floods. The scale of damage and devastation was unprecedented, but it was not unpredictable. We’ve seen these storms growing with intensity every year. And, whilst a few might naively blame El Niño for this recent bout, we know that climate change is the driving factor. {UK flooding: the new normal in a changed climate}

Throughout the years we have shown our unrespectfulness and neglectfulness to mother nature that now time has come to have it respond to us on not such a friendly way either.

The harsh truth is that even if we cut all emissions today, we can’t undo what damage we’ve already done. The carbon we’ve pumped into the atmosphere will remain there for generations to come and so too will the weather it brings with it. The climate has changed, it continues to change and there’s no going back. These violent winter storms, and the floods they bring with them, are here to stay. {UK flooding: the new normal in a changed climate}

And that each rainfall will bring unease (indeed we know there is always a risk of the waters rising again – our last disaster brought two floods in one month). So it is vital that people recognise that their emotions, their mental health deserve as much care as their physical health, and that they seek help if they are struggling – in the same way they would seek help if they start to vomit / get toilet trouble that may come as a result of being in contact with the polluted flood waters. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

I think it would be particularly useful for those of us in the community who wish to support our friends and families – who perhaps know people they think might struggle to accept mental health difficulties in themselves and so not seek help when they need it. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

When the rivers retreat from historic and deadly winter flooding, leaving amid the silt a massive cleanup and recovery effort likely to take weeks if not months, people have to find a new way to continue their life.

The level of global change we’re experiencing now presents many interconnected, multi-faceted challenges that have affected and will affect different countries in different ways. It is hard to tell as a layperson what this means, but the experts have long since warned that the most severe effects in the UK would be powerful storms and increased flooding. There has been very little to suggest that the government has taken these warnings seriously, as they still seem to operate on the principle that it’s better to be sorry than safe. But they can’t keep living in denial, we are living in a different world. The Earth has warmed by one degree and it’s time we started acting like it. {UK flooding: the new normal in a changed climate}

Going into a new year lets think about all those people who are experiencing the worst things people can endure, war, floods …. and let us hope more people shall be willing to stand ready for them in need and help them to find the good things in life again.

May the good things in your life also be more lightening than your bad experiences of the year and let 2016 be a year of good health and a progression in the good direction.

God bless.

+

Further readings

  1. When life spills over the edge – can you help?
  2. Emergency responders manage risks as river rises above flood stage
  3. A Slightly Different View Of Aberdeen Beach Today…
  4. St. Louis area faces big cleanup effort after flooding
  5. Deluge
  6. Storms and Floods
  7. 2016 Start
  8. Deadly floods choke operations from oil to wheat in U.S. Midwest
  9. UK flooding: the new normal in a changed climate
  10. The EU Water Framework Directive & The Role Played By Green NGO’s
  11. The Perks of Escaping Your Mind Through Nature
  12. …And, she’s back!!
  13. Tired
  14. 1/3-stress on stress
  15. Self-Care Sunday: What’s Worked For Me
  16. Happy New Year
  17. Taking Stock
  18. God’s Words of Comfort in Times of Fear – January 3, 2016
  19. Not a bad start
  20. Shit I’m Gonna Try to Accomplish This Year
  21. Worry Stress: Make a Decision Now
  22. Growing Young
  23. Calm down.

+++

3 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Nature, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs