segunda-feira, 27 de outubro de 2008

How to stop climate change: the easy way

We have about 100 months left. If global greenhouse gas emissions have not begun to decline by the end of 2015, then our chances of restraining climate change to within the two degrees "safety line" - the level of warming below which the impacts are severe but tolerable - diminish day by day thereafter. This is what the latest science now demands: the peaking of emissions within eight years, worldwide cuts of 60 per cent by 2030, and 80 per cent or more by 2050. Above two degrees, our chances of crossing "tipping points" in the earth's system - such as the collapse of the Amazon rainforest, or the release of methane from thawing Siberian permafrost - is much higher.
Despite this urgent timetable, our roads continue to heave with traffic. Power companies draft blueprints for new coal-fired plants. The skies over England are criss-crossed with vapour trails from aircraft travelling some of the busiest routes in the world. Global emissions, far from decreasing, remain on a steep upward curve of almost exponential growth.
Sure, there are some encouraging signs. Media coverage of climate change remains high, and a worldwide popular movement - now perhaps upwards of a million people - is mobilising. But with so little time left, we must recognise that most people won't do anything to save the planet unless we make it much, much easier for them. This essay outlines my three-part strategy for stopping climate change - the easy way.

sábado, 25 de outubro de 2008


Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions setting minimum normal annual rainfall between 1750–2000 mm (68-78 inches).
Rainforests are home to two-thirds of all the living
animal and plant species on Earth. It has been estimated [who?] that many hundreds of millions of species of plants, insects and microorganisms are still undiscovered. Tropical rainforests have been called [who?] the "jewels of the Earth," and the "world's largest pharmacy," because of the large number of natural medicines discovered there. Rainforests also supply 28% of the world’s oxygen, processing it through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide.
undergrowth in a rainforest is restricted in many areas by the lack of sunlight at ground level. This makes it possible to walk through the forest. If the leaf canopy is destroyed or thinned, the ground beneath is soon colonized by a dense, tangled growth of vines, shrubs and small trees called a jungle. The two types of rainforest are:
1. Tropical rainforests are rainforests in the tropics, found near the Equator (between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn) and present in southeast Asia (Myanmar to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, northern and eastern Australia), sub-Saharan Africa from Cameroon to the Congo, (Congo Rainforest), South America (the Amazon Rainforest) Central America (Bosawás, southern Yucatán Peninsula-El Peten-Belize-Calakmul), and on many of the Pacific Islands(such as Hawaii). Tropical rainforests have been called the "Earth's lungs," although it is now known that rainforests contribute little net oxygen additions to the atmosphere through photosynthesis.[1][2]
2. Temperate rainforests are rainforest in temperate regions. They can be found in North America (in the Pacific Northwest, the British Columbia Coast, and in the inland rainforest of the Rocky Mountain Trench east of Prince George), in Europe (parts of the British isles such as the coastal areas of Ireland, and Scotland, southern Norway, parts of the western Balkans along the Adriatic coast, as well as in the North West of Spain and coastal areas of the eastern Black Sea, including Georgia and coastal Turkey), and in East Asia (in southern China, Taiwan, much of Japan and Korea, and on Sakhalin Island and the adjacent Russian Far East coast), and also Australia and New Zealand.

Information taken from:

Environment In Its Relationship To Health And Disease

The two words "health" and "disease" are used daily, but few know anything, except in a general way, of what either means.
The general conception is that health is a fixed, ideal state or entity, and that disease is a fixed state or entity whose particular purpose it is to war on health.
In aboriginal man's conception, disease was an evil spirit. In the early days epilepsy was caused by the devil. According to the Bible, an epileptic was a person possessed of the devil, or of devils.
A doctor in Cincinnati has discovered that epilepsy is caused by a particular germ, which the doctor has named "bacillus epilepticus."* (* Since this was put in type the doctor has recanted.) This devil germ takes up his abode in the colon, and from this throne torments his victim.
The Bible doctors cast out the devil Epilepticus in the name of the Lord. The Cincinnati doctor advocates casting the throne or habitat of this devil bacillus out by a surgical operation, on the theory that by destroying his abode Mr. Devil will depart forever.
It takes about as much faith to accept the germ theory as the devil theory. Indeed, both are conceptions built out of hypotheses that have their foundation in the false theory that the universe is governed by two Deities--namely, God and Devil. The whole germ theory is a refined and modernized demonology.