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  • Earthling 7:07 am on 29th April 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , food scarcity, usage of water for mining, , water and conflict, water conflict in peru and chile, water scarcity, water water, water water water   

    Will there be wars over the ownership of water? Yes. 

    Image from Graham Dean on Flickr, CC2 licensed

    By Carroll Colette J. Yorgey
    Today in many parts of the world there are already conflicts over water rights, so it is very conceivable that wars could be started or fueled by people’s ability to use water. A shortage in water will also lead to shortages in food supply, since water is necessary to grow food.
    In Africa, water is extremely vulnerable. There are very few mountainous regions where ice caps can melt into the flowing waters of rivers, especially in the northwestern and southern regions. This can cause rivers and streams to dry up more quickly and it is already doing that in certain areas where there are high temperatures.
    Global warming will cause less rain to fall in Africa within the next 50 years. With a 20% drop in rainfall, Botswanna will completely dry up and so will Cape Town in South Africa.
    According to professor Adil Najam of Tufts University, “Many people in Africa spend more time and money on acquiring water than nearly any other resource.” He states that when “water becomes scarce, people will do what they must to obtain it.” He also states that water is nonnegotiable and that you don’t stop drinking water because you are poor. African rivers cross international boundaries and less river water may heighten international conflicts, he further states. (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/03/0303_060303_africa_2.html).
    In Peru and Chile there are already conflicts over water between gold and copper mining companies and poor farmers. Many farmers have successfully blocked the start-up of new mines, and the larger more powerful mining companies have instituted a system whereby they extract water from the Pacific Ocean for use in their mining operations. The main large mining companies that have adopted this procedure are Cerro Lindo in Peru and Antofagasta Minerals in Chile.
    “Conflicts over water, especially in Peru, where they often turn violent, have delayed billions of dollars of investments in new mines.” Poor residents are afraid of losing access to fresh water supplies.
    Mining companies typically use billions of gallons of water in their mining operation, which may last 40 years or more.
    According to climate change specialist with the Peruvian government, Alvarez Lam, “The scarcity of water will cause economic conflict – it already has in parts of Peru and it will affect the development of industry.” (www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN21383591)
    When food and water are in scarce supply the world over this could cause conflicts that could lead to war, or heighten ongoing conflicts between nations. According to Lester R. Brown at (www.earth-policy.org/Books/Seg/PB2ch03_ss2.htm) “Since the overpumping of aquifers is occurring in many countries more or less simultaneously, the depletion of aquifers and the resulting harvest cutbacks could come out roughly the same time. And the accelerating depletion of aquifers means this day may come soon, creating potentially unmanageable food scarcity.”
    What will happen when food is scarce the world over and the waters are also depleted? Water and food are more precious than oil and the metals of gold and silver. We can survive without oil, gold, and silver. But we can’t survive without food and water.
    It is important for people to wake up and understand priorities. Our basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter come first. Food and water are the most basic needs of all.
    Copyright © 2018 Carroll Colette J. Yorgey. All rights reserved.
    [Editor’s comment by Zebulon Goertzel: Indeed, the situation concerning the Nile looks dangerous. Already in 1875-6, Egypt tried to conquer Ethiopia in its quest for control over the whole Nile region. Ethiopia’s construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, said to be the source of most of the Nile, has provoked threats from Egypt. For now the two countries are negotiating, but when resources become truly scarce, things may get ugly again. There is also the issue of water disputes between India and Pakistan, which have more than enough tensions without the added factor of water. Then there is Central Asia, which is full of poverty and deserts, and has a long history of incessant tribal conflicts; the Soviet Union literally destroyed the biggest lake in the region, the Aral Sea.]

  • Earthling 7:07 am on 29th April 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: biogas facilities, dog poo power generation, electricity from feces, generating power from feces, importance of feces for power generation, pet poop power generation, poop power, poopy power, the power of feces, waste-to-energy conversion   

    Can power be produced from pet feces? 

    By Carroll Colette J. Yorgey

    Power Generated by Pet Feces
    Power can not only be generated by pet feces, but also by human and livestock feces. The conversion of animal waste to power has been used minimally around the world for quite some time, but more recently there is a greater focus due to our knowledge of the destructive effects of Climate Change. In the late 1970s I wrote a paper in undergraduate school entitled, “Love City: A Planned Urban Environment,” where I envisioned and proposed biological treatment centers at the periphery of the city to decompose and process human and animal waste into a source of power.
    If people could get over their hang-up of using poop power they might realize a better way to deal with an environment that is disintegrating into global warming, groundwater contamination that affects our drinking water, and air pollution in crowded cities.
    It does seem however that a few enlightened beings have decided to embark on the poop power mission and have demonstrated also that it works.
    San Francisco has become the first American City to use pet-poop power by converting dog feces to a renewable energy source. Norcal Waste Management, San Francisco’s waste management contractor noticed the large amount dog feces being picked up and decided on another way to go green in San Francisco.
    San Francisco generates 6,500 tons of dog poop per year. Since January 2006, Norcal has been collecting dog feces throughout the city by depositing dog-waste collection carts complete with biodegradable bags.
    Here’s how it works:
    The pet poop is first put in an anaerobic digester, which uses bacteria to convert organic waste into methane gas. Burning methane produces energy in the form of electricity, natural gas, and liquefied natural gas. The 2 week long digestion process also produces valuable compost for agriculture.”
    Dogs and cats alone contribute nearly 10 million pounds of fecal waste per year, which accounts for 4% of all waste in landfills.
    A few cattle ranchers have also started using this energy producing process saying, “it is a lot cheaper to use the poop.”
    The Anaerobic Digester has been “used in sewage treatment centers for some time now.”
    Rwandan prison facilities recently received the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy for their work in producing biogas from human waste. Prisoner’s feces are converted to biogas and used for cooking at the prison. It has reduced their wood fuel costs by 60%.
    Due to overpopulation at the prison with huge amounts of human waste being produced, the processing of it had become increasingly difficult with a large proportion of it ending up in the river, polluting the drinking water. They had to do something.
    Rwandan biogas facilities contribute at least half the energy needs to their 30 prisons around the country.
    Biogas is used in homes in Nepal and to power trains in Sweden. Biogas is odorless, as is the odor-free fertilizer also produced through the Anaerobic Digester process.
    Ken Silverstein, Energy Biz insider in an article titled “The Appeal of Animal Waste,” states: “The whole idea stinks. But generating heat and power from livestock manure is appealing. The technology is an important component in the fight against climate change. Normally, farms store the waste in a lagoon and then later use it as fertilizer. But that natural decomposition creates methane, which is actually 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it come to affecting the Earth’s temperature.”
    Other places getting into the Poop Power act are:
    1) Pacific Gas and Electric. They are teaming up with farms throughout California to use animal waste to create electricity.
    2) Portland General Electric is partnering with dairy farms in Oregon to also convert animal waste to electricity.
    3) The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Development are partnering the “digester” program in Ohio.
    (from “The Appeal of Animal Waste by Ken Silverstein, Energy Biz Insider).
    So there you have it. Generating power from pet feces is going to help with global warming. Also all types of feces can get in the act. We sure could generate a lot of clean power by utilizing waste materials more efficiently and this would help tremendously at reducing greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.
    The fact is that Methane Gas is much more potent than CO2 or Carbon Dioxide; and leaving it to seep into soils and groundwater, and to migrate into the atmosphere, is creating devastating pollution effects. We all need to think responsibly about the way the world is headed. Are we headed to extinction or to life? Global warming affects us all.
    Copyright © 2019 Carroll Colette J. Yorgey. All rights reserved.

  • Earthling 7:07 am on 27th April 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aswan dam, damned dams, dangers of river exploitation, death of great rivers, death of rivers, dying rivers, , future of great rivers, future of water security, grand renaissance dam, killing rivers, rivericide, the evils of hydrotechnology   

    Will Great Rivers Die? Yes. 

    Image of dry river bed from Kolforn on Wikimedia, free to share under CC4 Share-alike Atrribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)

    By Carroll Colette J. Yorgey
    Water is our most important commodity. Without water we can’t live and societies cannot flourish or in some cases cannot even subsist. The rivers of the world which provide the water for agriculture, mining, drinking, and hydroelectric power are in trouble.
    The water tables are declining in many major areas of the world due to global warming, climate change, and the building of dams for irrigation purposes, which results in water evaporation.
    There are two types of aquifers that supply water: replenishable and nonreplenishable. The aquifers of India and North China Plain are replenishable, but the Ogalla aquifer in the United States, the deep aquifers of the North China Plain, and the aquifers of Saudi Arabia are nonreplenishable. The drying of rivers in these areas means the end of agriculture in the southwestern US and the Middle East.
    The hardest-hit areas where rivers are already drying up are:

    • The United States, where the water table has dropped by 100 feet (30 meters) in Southwest US and where thousands of wells have gone dry in the Southern Great Plains.
    • Gujarat, India, where the water table is falling by 20ft/year. 95% of the wells owned by small farmers have dried up.
    • Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel, and Mexico are experiencing severe water shortages caused by the overpumping of aquifers.
    • The Colorado River in Southwest United States, the Yellow River in North China, the Nile in Egypt, the Indus in Pakistan, the Ganges in India are all experiencing depletions in river volume and flow. Smaller rivers have disappeared.

    The Colorado River rarely makes it to the sea and is usually drained dry be the time it reaches the Gulf of California. The Yellow River ran dry in 1972 and since 1985 does not reach the sea. The Nile rarely reaches the sea. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers are also in trouble. Many of the smaller rivers or tributaries of the great rivers around the world have already dried up.
    Africa will probably be the hardest hit by global warming which will cause less rain to fall in Africa within the next 50 years. A small decrease in rainfall can cause a substantial decrease in available river water. The prediction is a 10 to 20% reduction in rainfall by 2070. [1]
    Today the copper and gold mines in Chile and Peru are pumping water in from the Pacific Ocean to lessen the stress on streams and waterways within the farming districts of these areas. But how much water can be pumped from the oceans?
    So will our great rivers die? It all depends on how the people of the world relate to this problem of global warming and climate change and how they go about trying to conserve water, the ecosystems, and the environment. It might also depend on evolutionary forces.
    According to research scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre, the University of Exeter, and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the increase of carbon dioxide levels will cause plants to use less water, which will allow more water for rivers causing “river flow increases.” [2]
    So will some rivers dry up and new rivers form? Or will all rivers dry up? Without human intervention regarding the detrimental causes of environmental pollution, global warming, and climate change, the rivers will continually dry up. However without any intervention whatsoever, the rivers will dry up, and new rivers may form.
    Didn’t the great Mississippi River form millions of years ago through the melting of glacial ice caps? So isn’t it possible that the glacial ice caps melting in the Himalayan Mountains could foster new rivers forming in China? However we are reading that the glacial ice caps melting in China due to global warming are causing rivers to dry up. But the Himalayan glaciers are melting at an “unprecedented rate” and the rivers are drying up due to temperature rising and “over-exploitation” of water systems. [3]
    So will our great rivers die? Our Great Rivers are the Mississippi, the Thames, the Amazon, the Nile, the Zambezi, the Yangtze, and the Volga. They are still intact and sometimes overflowing. New waterways are continually formed due to changes in rainfall and temperatures. These will empty into the great rivers.
    But still man must make every endeavor to not overuse our natural resources and find more efficient methods for power and irrigation. Dams and hydroelectric power are helping to kill our rivers.
    We need our Great Rivers for the survival of the human race and the animal kingdom.
    [1] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/03/0303_060303_africa_2.html
    [2] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070905083617.htm
    [3] http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/06/20/1993/
    Copyright © 2018 Carroll Colette J. Yorgey. All rights reserved. Minor edits made by Mr. Goertzel.

  • user 10:00 pm on 15th April 2019 Permalink | Reply  



  • Earthling 12:15 am on 15th April 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1891 anglo-italian protocol, atbara, british empire, colonial diplomacy, ethiopian history, italian empire, Kassala, nile diplomacy, nile water diplomacy, scramble for africa, sensibly modifying the flow of the atbara into the nile, spheres of influence, white nile   

    History: 1891 Anglo-Italian Protocol Concerning the Scramble for Africa 

    The 1891 Anglo-Italian Protocol was signed between Great Britain on behalf of its colony Egypt, and Italy on behalf of its colony Eritrea. It was signed on April 15, 1891 in Rome. This agreement had as its official purpose the clarification of colonial borders and spheres of influence between Italy and Great Britain. Italy had recently acquired Eritrea, and Great Britain had colonized Egypt and was desirous of expanding its colony into Sudan and the rest of the Nile Basin area. Since both powers were expanding in the region at the same time, an agreement was necessary to reduce the risk of conflict between them and thereby support their effective and profitable exploitation of the region.

    This agreement took place in the context of the “Scramble for Africa”, in which European powers rushed to grab up African land before the other powers did. Several big things happened in the region before the Protocol: in 1889, Ethiopia’s king Yohannes IV was slain in battle by Mahdist Sudan; in the same year, Ethiopia established a colony in Eritrea and signed a treaty with Menelik II, who went on to replace Yohannes IV. Britain was concerned with protecting the flow of the Nile and the interests of Egypt, so they warned foreign powers against interfering with their Nile influence. It was in this context that the 1891 Protocol was signed.

    The Protocol acknowledged the legitimacy of Italy’s colony and included the Ethiopian highlands in their sphere of influence, while limiting Italy’s potential to exploit the White Nile’s resources in the event that they expanded in that direction.

    Article 3 of the Protocol concerns the Nile and vaguely resolves the issue of how the Atbara’s resources would be shared between the two colonial powers. The upper reaches of the Atbara were near Kassala, which Italy had claimed. The majority of the river was controlled by Sudan. Italy agreed not to build anything on the Atbara River which would “sensibly modify” its flow into the Nile. The exact words of Article 3 are “the Italian government engages not to construct on the Atbara river, in view of irrigation, any work which might sensibly modify its flow into the Nile.”

    The main beneficiaries of this Article were Great Britain and its colonies. The vagueness of the words “sensibly modify” limited the usefulness of the Article, since no specific volume of water was stated. Italy could hypothetically have used small amounts of water and claimed it was not “sensibly” modifying the flow. The Protocol was also signed without the later-discovered knowledge that the Blue Nile in Ethiopia is the most major source of the Nile. However, it clearly gave Britain a sort of diplomatic upper hand.

    The Protocol was signed with no regard for third parties, notably Ethiopia. It served its purpose for Britain well, by establishing boundaries in its favor and giving Britain a diplomatic advantage in case of conflict over the Atbara. The concession may have helped secure Italy from conflict with Britain in British-dominated East Africa. As with the Wuchala Treaty that Italy signed with Ethiopia in 1889, the 1891 Protocol served to gain foreign recognition of Italy’s Eritrean colony. It indicates that the Italians were not preoccupied with trying to control the Nile, though they still had hopes of expanding into Ethiopia.

    Since the Protocol only concerned two colonial powers, it was not binding upon Ethiopia in any way, and it lost all legal significance when the European colonial empires collapsed.

    The 1891 Protocol was the first European agreement on the usage of the Nile waters, and it set a legal precedent that has persisted to this day, the precedent of Egypt and to a lesser extent Sudan being granted privileged access to the Nile’s resources. The Protocol only legally confirmed a Nile water usage pattern that had been in place for thousands of years, but which is now being realized as obsolete due to advancements in hydrological technology and increased development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Earthling 7:07 am on 7th April 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advantages of organic shopping, hepling small farmers, how to help small farmers, small farmers   

    How to Help Small Farmers Around the World 

    By Carroll Colette J. Yorgey
    The best way to help small farmers around the world is to first think of climate change, global warming, the environment, and natural disasters. These issues all affect on how well a small farmer can utilize his land for optimum crop yields.
    In almost all cases, education is the best way to help the small farmer. Due to changing weather patterns and environmental conditions, small farmers should be taught all aspects of sustainable farming such as how to replenish degraded soils, how to prevent land erosion, how to stabilize existing erosion, planting the right crops for a region, planting the right crops for the climate and weather, crop rotation, how not to use chemical fertilizers, alternatives to pesticides and herbicides, composting, growing food during a natural disaster, and the economics of farming.
    Agricultural organizations
    Agricultural organizations worldwide should gear themselves to helping the small farmer by providing funding, education, and farming agents. Agricultural organizations should also study small farms everywhere to determine the needs of specific geographical regions and provide written materials to farmers in these regions on how to best utilize their lands according to weather and climate patterns.
    Community economics
    A good example of how to help farmers in developing countries is the Community Economic Development program at Southern New Hampshire University that offers a program for international students. Students come from many different developing countries to learn the economics of operating sustainable farms in their communities. They take back to their community better ways to operate their farms to yield the best crops under their existing conditions.
    Other agricultural organizations, universities and colleges, environmental organizations, and NGOs could offer similar programs to help the small farmer.
    The individual
    As a member of society, any person who wanted to help the small farmers of the world could volunteer their time at one of the organizations that helps small farmers. In order to do this, a person should become familiar with best farming practices such as organic farming, sustainable agriculture, community gardens, best environmental practices for growing healthy and nutritious foods, and how to combat natural disasters. Once a person feels he knows the essentials about good farming he should volunteer his services.
    Buy locally
    Another way to help the small farmers around the world is to buy locally. Buy local produce in your own community. Local produce is usually grown by small farmers. Buy buying locally you are supporting your own community. If everyone supported their own community all communities would benefit.
    Buy organic
    If you are purchasing imported foods such as coconuts, pineapples, bananas, and coffee it is best to buy organic, because these organic products are usually grown by small farmers in developing countries. They need your support to continue farming as small farmers. If you continually buy foods at supermarkets that are not organic you are not helping small farmers, you are helping multinational conglomerate farms that pollute the soil, our water systems, and contribute to global warming and climate change, thus creating a vicious cycle of environmental degradation, poor food quality, and small farmers who will have no way of making a living.
    In conclusion, to help small farmers worldwide, buy locally and organic; and support organizations that educate and fund small farmers around the world.
    Copyright © 2018 Carroll Colette J. Yorgey

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