Monday, November 11, 2013

A Valley of Life and Death

Mural and Poem by Dr Abe V Rotor


A valley of death, so stories go,
     for the old and the young, too;
and who would dare this fateful
     place but a lonely soul?

A valley of tears with barren shed,
     evil on nature its final bed, 
with a sprig of promised peace
     and temporary ease.

A valley of life of verdant green,
     once a full blooming scene;
life of the river down the sea,
     a world of wonder and free.  

A valley of promise, heed its call,
     words in the pulpit and hall,        
and in make believe by painting, 
     not at all worth praising.

A valley of suffering takes its toll;
     blind and deaf, the prayerful
waits for the angels to be sent   
     to this valley of death. ~   

Original title, "Dirge over a Watershed Mural." The wall mural is found at St Paul University Quezon City along Aurora Blvd.  It needs restoration.   

Gypsy Air

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday
Gypsy family on the move to the city

Faithful bullock (Sta Gertrudes breed)

Oh, how the children followed the gypsy cart,
       the city bred their eyes shine in awe;
the old remembering the rustic scenes of art,
       a spectacle of parade and show. 

I remember the lady gypsy of Notre Dame, 
       the sea gypsies and the nomads; 
how free, how simple they live sans destiny. 
       known only and guided by their gods.  

One afternoon the sound of greaseless wheel
       and hoof, cart creaking and rickety,
brought into my home the gypsy air of old, 
       giving life to legend and fantasy. ~

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Energy shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy - today's global revolution

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

Giant wind turbine in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, at your finger tips. 

1. Solar or sunlight is the most plentiful energy source; virtually no place on earth is without sufficient supply throughout the day in all seasons of the year. Sunlight has many applications, from domestic (eg laundry) to agriculture (eg drying grain and fish). Here is a short list of utilizing solar energy
  • General drying
  • cooking
  • sterilization 
  • disease control
  • heating of homes
  • natural lighting 
  • desalination (saltwater to potable water)
  • solar battery (computer)
  • solar car 
  • electricity generation
  • arts, photography
2. Wind power has been the fastest growing energy source in the world since 1990 (Time). In the US wind power supplies 1.4 of total energy needs - from almost 0% of the total in 1973. What boost wind power is the government's large subsidy of $5 billion in 2010. Wind power is among the first to be used in industry.  Holland is among the countries that use it in driving mills, irrigation and manufacturing. The wind mill is romanticized by Miguel de Cervantes in his novel, Don Quixote.
  • sailing
  • ship mast
  • farm windmill
  • home ventilation 
  • wind tunnel
  • winnowing
  • kite flying, gliding
  • land surfing
  • electricity generation
3. Biofuel.  This includes ethanol from corn, sugarcane and cassava. Biogas from farm waste (piggery, ranch, poultry, organic wastes ( domestic) constitute 4.5 percent of the total energy production in the US, up from 2 percent in 1973. The US subsidy for biofuel is $6.6 billion in 2010.

  • alcogas 
  • ethanol
  • methane gas 
  • gasoline substitute
  • lubricant
  • drug, medicine
  • sludge (organic fertilizer)
  • bio fertilizer (Azolla, Nostoc, Anabaena)
4. Dendrothermal energy comes from wood. Firewood is still the num,ber one kitchen fuel in the world.
Burning rice hay is waste of energy and potential fertilizer and forage
  • firewood (gathering) 
  • firewood (farmed) 
  • crop waste (bagasse, rice hull, corn stover, hay) 
  • sawdust 
  • particleboard 
5. Hydrothermal energy cromes from natural hotsprings and fumarols. It is volcanic in origin.
Hydrothermal circulation in its most general sense is the circulation of hot water; 'hydros' in the Greek meaning water and 'thermos' meaning heat. 
  • steam power
  • electricity generation
  • bath, resort
  • manufacturing, industry 

6. Hydroelectric generation works of gravitational force of flowing water which drives turbines to produce electricity. Other than this moving water produces tremendous energy which can be harnessed.
  • SWIP (Small water impounding project) irrigation and electricity
  • water transport
  • submersible turbine (electricity)
  • water impounding
  • rain harvesting 
7. Other renewable sources of energy
  • tide (high-low cycle)
  • wave action 
  • labor-saving devices (pendulum principle)

Dry twin waterfalls Patapat, Pagudpud (IN) - result
of watershed destruction. Photo taken in December 2011

Saturday, November 2, 2013

We are destroying the Earth - our only ship in space.

Dr Abe V Rotor
We are destroying the Earth - our only ship in space.

Deceiving view of wasteful and ostentatious  living at the expense of the environment.

2. What and Where is the so-called Good Life? The Good Life is shifting with the transformation of agricultural to industrial economy.

3. The Good Life is synonymous to Affluence. People want goods and services beyond what they actually need. Want leads to luxury - to waste.

4. The world’s population is 7 billion. Another billion will be added in less than 10 years. Runaway population is the mother of human miseries

5. The proliferation of cities, growth of cities to metropolises and megapolises, each with 10 to 20 million people ensconced in cramped condition. Cities breed Marginal communities

“People, people everywhere, but not a kindred to keep," in condominiums, malls, schools, churches, parks, sharing common lifestyles and socio-economic conditions. They are predisposed to common health problems and vulnerabilities from brownouts to food and fuel shortage, force majeure notwithstanding.

6. Loss of Natural Environment – loss of productivity, loss of farmlands, and wildlife. Destruction of ecosystems - lakes, rivers, forests, coral reefs, grasslands, etc. Destruction of ecosystems is irreversible.

7. Species are threatened, many are now extinct, narrowing down the range of biodiversity. Human health depends largely on a complex interrelationship of the living world. No place on earth is safe from human abuse. Coral Reef – bastion of terrestrial and marine life, is now in distress.

8. Wildlife shares with our homes, backyards and farms, transmitting deadly diseases like SARS, HIV-AIDS, Mad-Cow, FMD, Ebola, and Bird Flu which can now infect humans, allergies notwithstanding.

9. “Good Life” cradles and nurses obesity and other overweight conditions. Millions of people around the world are obese, wih 34% of Americans in the US obese.

10. Global warming stirs climatic disturbance, changes the face of the earth.

11. Globalization packages the major aspects of human activity – trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, the arts, education, science and technology, politics, religion and the like.

12. . Mélange of races - pooling of genes through inter-racial and inter-cultural marriages produces various mixed lines or “mestizos” - Eurasian, Afro-Asian, Afro-American, Amerasian, and the like. Native genes provide resistance to diseases, adverse conditions of the environment. But will this advantage hold on even as the native gene pools are thinned out?

13. Modern medicine is responsible in reducing mortality and increasing longevity. It has also preserved genetically linked abnormalities; it cradles senility related ailments. It made possible the exchange of organs and tissues through transplantation, and soon tissue cloning. It has changed Evolution that is supposed to cull out the unfit and misfits. Man has Darwinism in his hands.

14. The first scientific breakthrough is the splitting of the atom that led to the development of the atomic bomb as the most potent tool of war as evidenced by its destruction at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and the nuclear reactor which still holds the promise of providing incessant energy to mankind. The second scientific breakthrough – Microchip led to the development of the Internet which “shrunk the world into a village.”

16. The third breakthrough in science, Genetic Engineering, changed our concept of life - and life forms. It has enabled man to tinker with life itself. Revolutionary industries Examples: In vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, Human Genome Project (HGP or gene mapping), multiple childbirth, post-menopausal childbirth, DNA mapping, etc. Birth of the prototype human robot – pampered, he lives a very dependent life.

17. Genetic Engineering gave rise to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Gene Therapy. It has also primed Biological Warfare into a more terrifying threat to mankind and the environment. On the other hand Gene Therapy aims at preventing gene-link diseases even before they are expressed; it has actuallty revolutionized medicine. More and more countries are banning GMO crops and animals through legislative measures and conservation programs, including protection against “biopiracy”

18. Today’s Green Revolution opened up non-conventional frontiers of production – mariculture, desalination, desert farming, swamp reclamation, aerophonics (rooftop farming), hydroponics, urban farming, organic farming, Green Revolution adapts genetic engineering to produce GMOs and Frankenfoods. We may not be aware, but many of us are eating
genetically modified food (GMF or Frankenfood) everyday – meat, milk, chicken, corn, potato and soya products, and the like mainly from the US. Many food additives and adjuncts are harmful, from salitre in longganiza to pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables, aspartame in fruit juice to MSG in noodles, formalin in fish to dioxin in plastics, bromate in bread to sulfite in sugar, antibiotic residue in meat to radiation in milk.

• Hydroponics or soiless culture makes farming feasible in cramped quarters, and it increases effective area of farming.

A return to marginal existence
after destroying the environment 

. Aeroponics or Multi-storey farming Vertical Farming Farming in the city on high rise buildings
• Post Harvest Technology. is critical to Food Production. PHT bridges production and consumption, farm and market, thus the proliferation of processed goods, supermarket, fast food chains, food irradiation, ready-to-eat packs, etc.

19. Exploration into the depth of the sea and expanse of the Solar System - and beyond. We probe the hadal depth of the ocean. We build cities in space - the Skylab. Soon we will live outside of the confines of our planet earth. Now we aim at conquering another planet, another Solar System to assure continuity of mankind after the demise of the earth.

20. Regional and International Cooperation is key to global cooperation: EU, ASEAN, APEC, CGIAR, ICRISAT, WTO, WHO, UNEP, WFO, FAO, like fighting pandemic diseases – HIV-AIDS, SARS, Dengue, Hepatitis, Bird Flu, etc.