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Archive for the ‘World’ Category

Producing 1 kg or 2.2 lbs of veal releases the equivalent of 17 kg (37 lbs) of CO2 into the atmosphere, compared to 16 kg or 35 lbs for beef.

Posted by Digital Citizen on Sunday, May 31, 2009

Farting SheepThis data was from a British government-sponsored study, with media reference made by Jonathan Leake in the Sunday Times of London. The reason given for the higher CO2 footprint was that lambs burp (and probably farts to release methane and other greenhouse gases like you, me and the cows) a lot.

Problem was the study was advising to give up lamb roasts to save the planet, not beef. Sure, lamb roasts may be more popular in Britain than in North America, but I highly doubt it is more consumed than beef in either place. If anything, find a way to reduce cow farting and burping, possibly by altering their diets a little. Should be quite possible given you and I both know that if we don’t eat certain things, we don’t fart and burp nearly as much as other things we do eat.

Besides, even if sheep gave off more greenhouse gases than cows, I think most people would agree with me McDonald’s and other beef burgers generally make people fart more than with lamb roast, especially given what else you eat with fast food. We definitely make up for what the cows fart and burp less than the sheep.

Who does those studies and draws those kinds of conclusions???

Mary had a little lamb,
Which burped and farted lots,
Everywhere that Mary went,
She sure smelled like she rots!

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Posted in Biodiversity, Canada, Environment, Farming, Food, Global Warming, Lifestyle, Statistics, United Kingdom, United States, World, ZONE | 2 Comments »

There are currently over 18,000 pieces of space junk bigger than 4-inches in size being tracked, with the first satelite fender-bender just occurring to create 500-600 more!

Posted by Digital Citizen on Saturday, February 14, 2009

Space junk debris field around Earth, from Fast Company Magazine

Space junk debris field around Earth, from Fast Company Magazine, courtesy of the US Space Surveillance Network

Space… the final frontier… not for exploration but for polluting.

On Tuesday, at about 1700 GMT (12:00 p.m. EST), two satellites collided by accident in orbit about 500 miles (790 km) over Siberia. The collision was foreseen to be likely, but one that was not avoidable because the culprit was a Russian satellite launched in 1993 weighing a ton, believed to be nonfunctioning and out of control. The other was a half-ton (1235 lbs) Iridium commercial satellite, which was launched in 1997.

The immediate space above the Earth has become cluttered enough to allow this sort of thing to happen now, apparently, and it will only become more common in the future. With at least 18,000 pieces of space junk bigger than 4-inches tracked by the U.S. Space Surveillance Network (see photo), all whirling at tens of miles per hour, our immediate space is become a dangerous place to be! Even in the vast expanse that is space, we’ve managed to pollute it so badly it’s becoming a hazard. Where will we go pollute now?

The collision created another 500-600 pieces of debris, by the way. And it should also be noted that not unlike Earth, China is responsible for more than its fair share of pollution. China might not be thought of as a space power yet like the Americans and Russians are and have been over the years, but they’ve got as much junk up there as anybody.

The linked sources below have much more information on space junk, distributions, sources of the junk and so on, if you were interested. There are hopes, I should end with, for systems to help self-remove future space technology as they become dated. The Fast Company link below has some details. It’s a good start to help alleviate this problem before it gets more out of hand. Let’s just hope all the space players think responsibly to do it.

Physorg.com, Reuters, New Scientist, Fast Company

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Posted in Asia, China, Environment, European Union, Hazardous Materials, Solid Waste, Statistics, Transportation, United States, World | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

At least 21 countries have less than 1500 cubic meters of water available per person per year, which means they need to start importing food

Posted by Digital Citizen on Friday, February 13, 2009

The formula seems to be when a country devotes 40% of its renewable water resources or more to irrigation, it starts to face water allocation issues. It must import food, especially water intense crop.

Saudi Arabia, China and South Korea are among these countries. They are starting to lease land in Africa to grow food.

China is acquiring agricultural land in Southern Africa.

Daewoo Logistic is looking to lease land in Madagascar.

More countries in South Asia and the Gulf are considering similar moves because all countries in South Asia are projected to be at this point by 2030, among a projected 35 countries by then. Middle East countries are expected to hit 58% of its renewable water resources to irrigation by 2030.

BBC (Feb 2 2009).

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Posted in Africa, Asia, Environment, Farming, Food, Statistics, Water, World | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Guideline Policy Tool, Or Should I Call It “Style”?

Posted by envirostats on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Last month, I shared my Practical Guide to Facebook Etiquette (Netiquette), serving as a starting point from which people could customize their own Facebook Netiquette to help stay out of potential trouble with their Facebook activities. I chose that approach because it:
– was customizable to suit different individuals;
– was easily found by all wanting to know;
– was self-taught so all finding it could use it;
– had more details than “general advice” that already existed in excess, often neither effective nor comprehensive.

Since then, I’ve realized there are many problems for which the guideline policy “tool” or “style” would be perfect. These are problems where there may not be a clear entity expected to intervene or solve, like government, or none that can effectively do so, but problems where a little suggestion of practical action could help put it under the radar. These are problems involving legal human behaviours that can amount to big impact, for which there are no “obvious” answers unless one really thinks about it, for which effective guidelines could remove 90% of that work. These are problems resembling social epidemics from individual choice that can have impact from societal to environmental.

Why I think the guideline policy style would be so effective is because humans don’t like to be forced. We like choices, though too many choices can lead to decisional paralysis. The guideline policy style strikes a nice balance of convenience and individuality by giving starting points with options, and saving much thinking and research. The guidelines won’t ever be intended to solve problem entirely, due to voluntary uptake, but they can be expected to solve the problem sufficiently that it should no longer be a concern, to the individual or masses.

There are two main challenges to the guideline policy style approach. One is getting the word out, which a little Internet saviness can solve. The second is credibility. An effective set of guidelines could slowly build this, but the tiniest authoritative backing, by even just one person who might be viewed as authoritative enough to validate it, would be a tremendous boost. Any other source generally viewed to be authoritative enough to validate the guidelines would even be better, maybe like government, which should get involved, where possible, because guidelines are not intrusive in nature. I’ll leave it to you to imagine the difference between guidelines, credible or not, by someone unknown as me, compared to one by, say, government or a school board, accompanied with a press release or maybe just one journalist invited in for a newspaper story.

As a result of these conclusions, I have created a Guidelines Category on this blog in which I will be posting more guideline policies as I find problems I think I can help solve. If you have any suggestions, please share. I’m not promising to be able to solve everything or even try some,  just willing to share some common sense and putting some effort to package it in practical ways to freely share with others.

500 words

Posted in Canada, Guidelines, Internet, Lifestyle, Nova Scotia, Personal Reflection, Social Issues, World | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are You Around Careless Facebook Users?

Posted by envirostats on Sunday, December 7, 2008

I’ve written a series of posts recently on Facebook etiquette (or Netiquette) that users might want to pay attention to in order to keep themselves out of trouble or limiting their potential for jobs, scholarships and so on (short Practical Guide; details in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3,). If you’re a Facebook user, maybe you’ve learned or maybe you’ve never needed to learn because you’ve been careful.

However, the other potential for damage related to Facebook presence is that just by being around careless, or intentionally malicious, Facebook users, you could get yourself in trouble, whether or not you even use Facebook!

Think about that statement for a few seconds, because this is going to ultimately affect pretty much everyone given how many Facebook users there are in most countries around the world, but especially North America where it is so prevalent, spread all around rather than just isolated in any regions. It is also the far more difficult thing to avoid because you are not taking the action, and could be drunk or just not paying attention, so it’s not as obvious to you.

You are constantly going to have to be aware of your actions in public now as if you are a superstar or media figure. It’d be on a smaller scale cause you might not be on People’s magazine or the National Examiner, likely, but if it potentially affects you on the job, or keep you from getting one, or a scholarship for students who are most prone to all this stuff, it’s going to be a lot worse to your life than an appearance on a national magazine. So if you’re one of these people who want to be like a star, this is one very good reason you can do that. Just act like a good superstar, careful of what you say, but especially what you do that might be caught in photos or videos from anything like cell phones or video cameras, from your friends’ parties to public concerts where people are recording for YouTube sharing. I realize this is a lot harder to do when you’re drunk, but if you keep it on your mind, you might remember every now and then.  And if you doubt what I’m saying about the superstar approach, don’t ever go around thinking you’re not significant enough to ignore it. Sure, you might not be Sean Avery or Britney Spears where people are hanging on your every word and/or action, but to the people possibly hiring you, working with you, or potentially offering you scholarships, you certainly are and they will be hanging on everything you do, especially big corporations and institutions who have something to protect but also have resources to screen your on-line or Facebook presence!

Now, I know teachers who are very wary of this sort of thing because they know their young students are out there on Facebook and in the world with their cameras, and would love to see their teachers doing something inappropriate, whether to see the teacher out of his/her shell or to use it for a joke and to get at the teacher for something. However, even the very best of those who are constantly in the media spotlight, whose job involves the media, forget about this, and that’s why I’m posting this with emphasis.

Just the other day, Jon Favreau, who was  Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter for his campaign season and who likely has some future White House speechwriting role for Obama now that he is President, was in a photo at a party where he posed with his hand grabbing the breast of a life sized cardboard cut out of Senator Hillary Clinton (CNN, Dec 6 2008). To make things worse, it seemed he was the one who posted the photo, even though he’s in it so maybe it was his camera, but maybe it was someone else’s. The article was not clear on that. While Favreau took off the photo just 2 hours after posting, it was reported, and every other photo of himself except his profile, you should also know what’s on Facebook is Facebook property forever so there was no taking it back!

You did know that, right?

Hmm. I’m having doubts on that one. It’s an old topic but maybe I’ll post something about it to tie it into another idea I had. Regardless, you’d best be careful, even the photos you currently have on Facebook even now if you have stardom aspiration of any form, whether as a movie or music star, politician, serial killer or otherwise. Not to worry about Facebook digging up stuff on you cause that’s probably malicious intent you can sue them for, but if it’s there and someone identifies you, copies it to send to media, it’s not Facebook’s fault any more!

So beware of those careless Facebook users around you, whether or not you use Facebook!

Oh, as for Favreau, he did apologize to Senator Hillary Clinton, who has acknowledged his interest in working for the State Department but is still reviewing his application. Hmmm. This should be interesting. Even if he were hired, there are still going to be some awkward moments, I think, especially if she is his boss or client, as in having him write some speeches for her on certain topics every now and then. Let’s see what happens.

Posted in Asia, Canada, European Union, Facebook, Guidelines, Internet, Lifestyle, Nova Scotia, Poll, Social Issues, United Kingdom, United States, World | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »