Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Environment

Overpopulation has substantially adversely impacted the environment of Earth starting at least as early as the 20th century.There are also economic consequences of this environmental degradation in the form ofecosystem services attrition. Beyond the scientifically verifiable harm to the environment, some assert the moral right of other species to simply exist rather than become extinct. Environmental author Jeremy Rifkin has said that "our burgeoning population and urban way of life have been purchased at the expense of vast ecosystems and habitats. ... It's no accident that as we celebrate the urbanization of the world, we are quickly approaching another historic watershed: the disappearance of the wild."

Says Peter Raven, former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in their seminal work AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment, "Where do we stand in our efforts to achieve a sustainable world? Clearly, the past half century has been a traumatic one, as the collective impact of human numbers, affluence (consumption per individual) and our choices of technology continue to exploit rapidly an increasing proportion of the world's resources at an unsustainable rate. ... During a remarkably short period of time, we have lost a quarter of the world's topsoil and a fifth of its agricultural land, altered the composition of the atmosphere profoundly, and destroyed a major proportion of our forests and other natural habitats without replacing them. Worst of all, we have driven the rate of biological extinction, the permanent loss of species, up several hundred times beyond its historical levels, and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century."

Further, even in countries which have both large population growth and major ecological problems, it is not necessarily true that curbing the population growth will make a major contribution towards resolving all environmental problems.However, as developing countries with high populations become more industrialized, pollution and consumption will invariably increase.

The Worldwatch Institute said the booming economies of China and India are planetary powers that are shaping the global biosphere. The report states:

The world's ecological capacity is simply insufficient to satisfy the ambitions of China, India, Japan, Europe and the United States as well as the aspirations of the rest of the world in a sustainable way.

It said that if China and India were to consume as much resources per capita as United States or Japan in 2030 together they would require a full planet Earth to meet their needs. In the longterm these effects can lead to increased conflict over dwindling resources and in the worst case a Malthusian catastrophe.

Overpopulation

Overpopulation is a condition where an organism's numbers exceed thecarrying capacity of its habitat. In common parlance, the term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, theEarth.

Overpopulation does not depend only on the size or density of the population, but on the ratio of population to available sustainable resources. It also depends on the way resources are used and distributed throughout the population If a given environment has a population of 10 individuals, but there is food or drinking water enough for only 9, then in a closed system where no trade is possible, that environment is overpopulated; if the population is 100 but there is enough food, shelter, and water for 200 for the indefinite future, then it is not overpopulated. Overpopulation can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates due to medical advances, from an increase in immigration, or from an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources. It is possible for very sparsely-populated areas to be overpopulated, as the area in question may have a meager or non-existent capability to sustain human life (e.g. the middle of the Sahara Desert).

The resources to be considered when evaluating whether an ecologicalniche is overpopulated include clean water, clean air, food, shelter, warmth, and other resources necessary to sustain life. If the quality of human life is addressed, there may be additional resources considered, such as medical care, education, proper sewage treatment and waste disposal. Overpopulation places competitive stress on the basic life sustaining resources, leading to a diminished quality of life.The rapid increase in human population over the course of the 20th century has raised concerns about the Earth's ability to sustain a large number of inhabitants. In 2009, the estimated annual growth rate was 1.10%, and the world population stood at roughly 6.7 billion. Current projections show a steady decline in the growth rate, and a population of around 9 billion by the year 2050. The scientific consensus is that the current population expansion and accompanying increase in usage of resources is linked to threats to the ecosystem. The InterAcademy Panel Statement on Population Growth, which was ratified by 58 member academies in 1994, called the expansion in human numbers "unprecedented", and stated that many environmental problems were aggravated by the population expansion. At the time, the world population stood at 5.5 billion, and optimistic scenarios predicted a peak of 7.8 billion by 2050, a number that current estimates show will be reached around 2030.

Ozone depletion

Ozone depletion describes two distinct, but related observations: a slow, steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total volume of ozone in Earth's stratosphere (the ozone layer) since the late 1970s, and a much larger, but seasonal, decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earth's polar regions during the same period. The latter phenomenon is commonly referred to as the ozone hole. In addition to this well-known stratospheric ozone depletion, there are also tropospheric ozone depletion events, which occur near the surface in polar regions during spring.

The detailed mechanism by which the polar ozone holes form is different from that for the mid-latitude thinning, but the most important process in both trends is catalytic destruction of ozone by atomic chlorine and bromine. The main source of these halogen atoms in the stratosphere isphotodissociation of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) compounds, commonly called freons, and ofbromofluorocarbon compounds known as halons. These compounds are transported into the stratosphere after being emitted at the surface. Both ozone depletion mechanisms strengthened as emissions of CFCs and halons increased.

CFCs and other contributory substances are commonly referred to asozone-depleting substances(ODS). Since the ozone layer prevents most harmful UVB wavelengths (270–315 nm) of ultraviolet light (UV light) from passing through theEarth's atmosphere, observed and projected decreases in ozone have generated worldwide concern leading to adoption of the Montreal Protocol that bans the production of CFCs and halons as well as related ozone depleting chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride andtrichloroethane. It is suspected that a variety of biological consequences such as increases in skin cancer, cataracts, damage to plants, and reduction of plankton populations in the ocean's photic zone may result from the increased UV exposure due to ozone depletion.

Energy

In physics, energy (from the Greek ἐνέργεια - energeia, "activity, operation", from ἐνεργός - energos, "active, working") is a quantity that can be assigned to every particle, object, and system of objects as a consequence of the state of that particle, object or system of objects. Different forms of energy include kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational,sound, elastic, light, and electromagnetic energy. The forms of energy are often named after a related force. German physicist Hermann von Helmholtzestablished that all forms of energy are equivalent - energy in one form can disappear but the same amount of energy will appear in another form.Energy is subject to a conservation law. Energy is a scalar physical quantity. In the International System of Units (SI), energy is measured injoules, but in some fields other units such as kilowatt-hours and kilocaloriesare also used.

Any form of energy can be transformed into another form. When energy is in a form other than thermal energy, it may be transformed with good or even perfect efficiency, to any other type of energy. With thermal energy, however, there are often limits to the efficiency of the conversion to other forms of energy, due to the second law of thermodynamics. As an example, oil is reacted with oxygen, potential energy is released, since new chemical bonds are formed in the products which are more powerful than those in the oil and oxygen. The released energy resulting from this process may be converted directly to electricity (as in a fuel cell) with good efficiency. Alternately it may be converted into thermal energy, if the oil is simply burned in order to heat the combustion gases to a certain temperature. In the latter case, however, some of the thermal energy can no longer be used to perform work at that temperature, and is said to be "degraded." As such, it exists in a form unavailable for further transformation. The remainder of the thermal energy may be used to produce any other type of energy, such as electricity.

In all such energy transformation processes, the total energy remains the same. Energy may not be created nor destroyed. This principle, the conservation of energy, was first postulated in the early 19th century, and applies to any isolated system. According to Noether's theorem, the conservation of energy is a consequence of the fact that the laws of physics do not change over time.

Although the total energy of a system does not change with time, its value may depend on the frame of reference. For example, a seated passenger in a moving airplane has zero kinetic energy relative to the airplane, but non-zero kinetic energy (and higher total energy) relative to the Earth.

Environmental degradation

Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife.

Environmental degradation is one of the ten threats officially cautioned by the High Level Threat Panel of the United Nations. The World Resources Institute (WRI), UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme), UNDP (the United Nations Development Programme) and the World Bank have made public an important report on health and the environment worldwide on May 1, 1998.

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction defines environmental degradation as “The reduction of the capacity of the environment to meet social and ecological objectives, and needs”.

Environmental degradation is of many types. When natural habitats are destroyed or natural resources are depleted, environment is degraded.

Environmental Change and Human Health, a special section of World Resources 1998-99 in this report describes how preventable illnessesand premature deaths are still occurring in very large numbers. If vast improvements are made in human health, millions of people will be living longer, healthier lives than ever before. In these poorest regions of the world an estimated 11 million children, or about one in five, will not live to see their fifth birthday, primarily because of environment-related diseases. Child mortality is larger than the combined populations ofNorway and Switzerland, and mostly due to malaria, acute respiratory infections or diarrhea — illnesses that are largely preventable.

Soil erosion and climate change

The warmer atmospheric temperatures observed over the past decades are expected to lead to a more vigorous hydrological cycle, including more extreme rainfall events. In 1998 Karl and Knight reported that from 1910 to 1996 total precipitation over the contiguous U.S. increased, and that 53% of the increase came from the upper 10% of precipitation events (the most intense precipitation). The percent of precipitation coming from days of precipitation in excess of 50 mm has also increased significantly.

Studies on soil erosion suggest that increased rainfall amounts and intensities will lead to greater rates of erosion. Thus, if rainfall amounts and intensities increase in many parts of the world as expected, erosion will also increase, unless amelioration measures are taken. Soil erosion rates are expected to change in response to changes in climate for a variety of reasons. The most direct is the change in the erosive power of rainfall. Other reasons include: a) changes in plant canopy caused by shifts in plant biomass production associated with moisture regime; b) changes in litter cover on the ground caused by changes in both plant residue decomposition rates driven by temperature and moisture dependent soil microbial activity as well as plant biomass production rates; c) changes in soil moisture due to shifting precipitation regimes and evapo-transpiration rates, which changes infiltration and runoff ratios; d) soil erodibility changes due to decrease in soil organic matter concentrations in soils that lead to a soil structure that is more susceptible to erosion and increased runoff due to increased soil surface sealing and crusting; e) a shift of winter precipitation from non-erosive snow to erosive rainfall due to increasing winter temperatures; f) melting of permafrost, which induces an erodible soil state from a previously non-erodible one; and g) shifts in land use made necessary to accommodate new climatic regimes.

Studies by Pruski and Nearing indicated that, other factors such as land use not considered, we can expect approximately a 1.7% change in soil erosion for each 1% change in total precipitation under climate change.

Effects of Soil erosion

Approximately 40% of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded.According to the UN, an area of fertile soil the size of Ukraine is lost every year because of drought, deforestation and climate change. In Africa, if current trends of soil degradation continue, the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025, according to UNU's Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.

When land is overused by animal activities (including humans), there can be mechanical erosion and also removal of vegetation leading to erosion. In the case of the animal kingdom, this effect would become material primarily with very large animal herds stampeding such as the Blue Wildebeest on the Serengeti plain. Even in this case there are broader material benefits to the ecosystem, such as continuing the survival of grasslands, that are indigenous to this region. This effect may be viewed as anomalous or a problem only when there is a significant imbalance oroverpopulation of one species.

In the case of human use, the effects are also generally linked to overpopulation. When large number of hikers use trails or extensive off road vehicle use occurs, erosive effects often follow, arising from vegetation removal and furrowing of foot traffic and off road vehicle tires. These effects can also accumulate from a variety of outdoor human activities, again simply arising from too many people using a finite land resource.

One of the most serious and long-running water erosion problems worldwide is in the People's Republic of China, on the middle reaches of the Yellow River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. From the Yellow River, over 1.6 billion tons of sediment flows into the ocean each year. Thesediment originates primarily from water erosion in the Loess Plateau region of the northwest.

Cause of soil erosion

The rate of erosion depends on many factors. Climatic factors include the amount and intensity ofprecipitation, the average temperature, as well as the typical temperature range, and seasonality, the wind speed, storm frequency. The geologic factors include the sediment or rock type, its porosity and permeability, the slope (gradient) of the land, and whether the rocks are tilted, faulted, folded, or weathered. The biological factors include ground cover from vegetation or lack thereof, the type of organisms inhabiting the area, and the land use.

In general, given similar vegetation and ecosystems, areas with high-intensity precipitation, more frequent rainfall, more wind, or more storms are expected to have more erosion. Sediment with high sand or silt contents and areas with steep slopes erode more easily, as do areas with highly fractured or weathered rock. Porosity and permeability of the sediment or rock affect the speed with which the water can percolate into the ground. If the water moves underground, less runoff is generated, reducing the amount of surface erosion. Sediments containing more clay tend to erode less than those with sand or silt. Here, however, the impact of atmospheric sodium on erodibility of clay should be considered.

The factor that is most subject to change is the amount and type of ground cover. In an undisturbed forest, the mineral soil is protected by a litter layer and an organic layer. These two layers protect the soil by absorbing the impact of rain drops. These layers and the underlying soil in a forest are porous and highly permeable to rainfall. Typically, only the most severe rainfall and large hailstorm events will lead to overland flow in a forest. If the trees are removed by fire or logging, infiltration rates become high and erosion low to the degree the forest floor remains intact. Severe fires can lead to significantly increased erosion if followed by heavy rainfall. In the case of construction or road building, when the litter layer is removed or compacted, the susceptibility of the soil to erosion is greatly increased.

Roads are especially likely to cause increased rates of erosion because, in addition to removing ground cover, they can significantly change drainage patterns, especially if an embankment has been made to support the road. A road that has a lot of rock and one that is "hydrologically invisible" (that gets the water off the road as quickly as possible, mimicking natural drainage patterns) has the best chance of not causing increased erosion.

Many human activities remove vegetation from an area, making the soil easily eroded. Logging can cause increased erosion rates due to soil compaction, exposure of mineral soil, for example roads and landings. However it is the removal of or compromise to the forest floor not the removal of the canopy that can lead to erosion. This is because rain drops striking tree leaves coalesce with other rain drops creating larger drops. When these larger drops fall (called throughfall) they again may reach terminal velocity and strike the ground with more energy then had they fallen in the open. Terminal velocity of rain drops is reached in about 8 meters. Because forest canopies are usually higher than this, leaf drop can regain terminal velocity. However, the intact forest floor, with its layers of leaf litter and organic matter, absorbs the impact of the rainfall.

Heavy grazing can reduce vegetation enough to increase erosion. Changes in the kind of vegetation in an area can also affect erosion rates. Different kinds of vegetation lead to different infiltration rates of rain into the soil. Forested areas have higher infiltration rates, so precipitation will result in less surface runoff, which erodes. Instead much of the water will go in subsurface flows, which are generally less erosive. Leaf litter and low shrubs are an important part of the high infiltration rates of forested systems, the removal of which can increase erosion rates. Leaf litter also shelters the soil from the impact of falling raindrops, which is a significant agent of erosion. Vegetation can also change the speed of surface runoff flows, so grasses and shrubs can also be instrumental in this aspect.

One of the main causes of erosive soil loss in the year 2006 is the result of slash and burntreatment of tropical forest. When the total ground surface is stripped of vegetation and then seared of all living organisms, the upper soils are vulnerable to both wind and water erosion. In a number of regions of the earth, entire sectors of a country have been rendered unproductive. For example, on the Madagascar high central plateau, comprising approximately ten percent of that country's land area, virtually the entire landscape is sterile of vegetation, with gully erosive furrows typically in excess of 50 meters deep and one kilometer wide. Shifting cultivationis a farming system which sometimes incorporates the slash and burn method in some regions of the world. This degrades the soil and causes the soil to become less and less fertile.

Soil erosion

Erosion is the process of weathering and transport of solids (sediment, soil, rock and other particles) in the natural environment or their source and deposits them elsewhere. It usually occurs due to transport by wind, water, or ice; by down-slope creep of soil and other material under the force of gravity; or by living organisms, such as burrowing animals, in the case ofbioerosion.

Erosion is a natural process, but it has been increased dramatically by human land use, especially industrial agriculture, deforestation, and urban sprawl. Land that is used for industrial agriculture generally experiences a significant greater rate of erosion than that of land under natural vegetation, or land used for sustainable agricultural practices. This is particularly true if tillage is used, which reduces vegetation cover on the surface of the soil and disturbs both soil structure and plant roots that would otherwise hold the soil in place. However, improved land use practices can limit erosion, using techniques such as terrace-building, conservation tillage practices, and tree planting.

A certain amount of erosion is natural and, in fact, healthy for the ecosystem. For example, gravels continuously move downstream in watercourses. Excessive erosion, however, causes serious problems, such as receiving water sedimentation, ecosystem damage and outright loss of soil.

Erosion is distinguished from weathering, which is the process of chemical or physical breakdown of the minerals in the rocks, although the two processes may occur concurrently

Water Quality

Clean water is critical for sustaining life, yet polluted water and inadequate sanitation kills at least two children every minute worldwide. And even in the United States, where wastewater treatment is relatively advanced compared to some other countries, many people take the flow of water in and out of their homes for granted. Where does it all go after we flush the toilet or pull the plug on the drain? What’s more, how does this used water get cleaned and safely find its way back into the environment?

The answer is your local wastewater treatment facility, which operates 24/7 to make sure your community’s wastewater is treated properly and released back into waterways such as lakes, streams, rivers, where it flows to one of the great oceans or lakes. It can also be used again along the way for irrigation, commercial or residential use, groundwater replenishment, and even drinking water, or it evaporates into the atmosphere and returns as rain in some other part of the world. Water is used over and over again, and thousands of water quality professionals around the world work to protect its quality and cleanliness

Going Green



Most of the people around the world are having much knowledge about this Going Green project, and the exact meaning of this term is most of the people understand that using products and doing activities that are environmentally friendly. In simple terms, it means, thinking about our life, and what we are doing with natural energy sources. It means, we need to under stand that what we are buying and how we are using them and what is the exact effect to the nature with these products and many points to consider to the future of our planet. If you are thinking about this going green project, that means you need to give more important your family as well as the entire world. This is the main reason of popularity of the going green project. From the past decade, it has been observed that most of the consumers around the world are having much awareness about green technology and in many cases all of them are deciding that they would like to purchase products that will help to the natural world. In these technologies, internet has to become a source for any issue, and most of them are visiting the internet to access the information through the internet. And these products are the best one for our world to save the planet.
However, there are some important ways that we need to perform to save the world and our nature and environment.First point we need to do is recycling all components like cardboard to glass and electronics and paper also. And also we need to understand that we are using chemical free carpets and furnishings. By using biodegradable cleaning products, and as well we need to wear the clothes from natural fibers like cotton and limen.When we are planning t construct a home, we need to use the materials that made from renewable sources. And also we need to use the organic skin care products. And also we need to use cloth or biodegradable diapers for children.We need to control the natural energy sources like petrol and some other products. We need to use wind power, solar power, tidal power and many more to use.
And also we need to use the paper products that made from recycled material.And as well we need to know that the apple has patented a solar cell to use on its mobile phones. And now most of the companies are taking some eco friendly products are used in their premises.Finally, there are some well established and experienced organizations are manufacturing these products to use as a Green building. For more information and details, please visit their valuable web site.

IUCN

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN, or world conservation union) was establish at the conference which was hold in Fontainebleau of France and co-hold by the United Nations EducationalScientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the French government on October 5th in 1948, and named as International Union for the Protection of Nature at that time while has been changed name as International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in Edinburgh. The head office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources locates in Gland, Switzerland.

The purpose and task of this organization is that: through various ways to prevent the plant and animal resources of land and sea from damage, keep ecological balance so as to meet human needs of the present and the future; study the problems existing in the works of nature and natural resources protection, take protective measures to nature and natural resources based on the information materials from the monitors; encourage government agencies and civil organizations to pay attention to the work of nature and natural resources; help to work with the planning project of nature conservation and the work programs organized by the World Wildlife Fund; set up the Nature Conservation Development Centers, the Environmental Law Centers and the Nature Conservation Control Centers in Switzerland, Germany and Britain respectively; pay attention to contact and cooperate with the relative International Organizations.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources holds a Conference every three years. Up to November, 1998, this organization was consisted of 74 of government members, 110 government agencies and 706 non-governmental organizations (NGO). On October 20, 1996, China was to be a government member of this organization. The main publications are the World Conservation Strategy, the Iucn Bulletin and the Un List of Nature Parks and Protected Areas.

Jets and our Environment

Has it ever come to your mind how important it is to have a clean environment? On how this could impact our health and life?

More often than not, we forget how essential our environment is to us. Did you know that aircrafts and jets can affect our mother nature as well? I guess only a few jet companies really care about Mother Nature and our environment. It would be nice and a lot different feeling if you know that the jet which will take you to different destinations is also a friend of mother earth. A little research will not hurt and will in fact help you.

Imagine this, you are riding a jet, excited about the destination you are going to and you know in your heart that you are not just riding in a jet that will take you to any destination but a jet which cares to our environment. Somehow, if you will think about this, you are also helping the environment.

If people will only be more sensitive, we can encourage jet and aircraft companies to create jets and aircrafts which are environment friendly. They can use recycle materials to be able to come up with jets that will not hurt Mother Nature. Aside from that, it will also be a great help if people will use the technology in voicing out their concerns about these jet companies. Instead of writing their concerns in a paper they can just email it. These are just a few things that we can do and start with. There’s always something bigger when it comes to doing our part for Mother Nature.

As for jet companies, there are several ways on how to have their business well done at the same time not contributing to the harm the environment already has. Jet companies can use recycled materials to protect the environment. They can also educate other jet companies, share their knowledge and values on how to create jets and run a jet business with out sacrificing Mother Nature.

Being one with nature is more than running a jet business. It’s also like protecting our future lives and health.

The Tiger


Exalted, noble creature,
With primal beauty blest,
A most distinguished animal,
Night stalker ... slumberless.

Nocturnal, silent hunter,
A vision of the night,
Designed by God Almighty,
Defined by pride and might.

August, handsome beast,
In charge and in command,
The olympian of catdom,
That rules the Bengal land.

Cunning, clever, crafty,
Confident, certain, sure,
Dauntless, able, fearless,
Self-reliant, self-assured.

Regal, splendid body,
Of awesome weight and length,
Man in fear of tiger power,
Majestic beast of massive strength.

As created by the Master,
And fashioned by His hand,
Omnipotent, magnificent,
Made, perhaps, to humble man.

Ocean Waves




Waves loudly applaud,
In thank you to God,
And shout BRAVO on reaching full crest;
Then, they gently recede,
Being spent of their speed,
And lay back in still pools to find rest.

Then, gathering strength,
They stretch out full length,
And prepare for full praise once again;
With another proud roar,
They CRASH on the shore,
Then, creep back in their silent Amen.


Since the world began,
Unfathomable to man,
Is the respect nature pays to its Lord;
As ocean waves raise,
Themselves in full praise,
Why can't mankind behave in accord?

The mountain night.


There is unbroken quietness,
In the mountains, in the night;
A stillness even thoughts can't break,
Nor shatter as if light.

The night's protective blackness,
Like a velvet wrap is worn,
An embrace of one's whole body,
Sensuous and warm.

The stars ... a million dancing lights,
Choose one and it is yours;
One is enough ... please leave the rest,
For poets and philosophers.

A scent of wild Jasmine,
Pervades the soft night air;
An intoxicant so strong,
No match found anywhere.

Evening music of the woods,
Rustling sylvan chords;
God, I think, is whispering,
Hush! Don't miss His words!

Close your eyes in solitude,
Your Lord and you alone,
You've caught a glimpse of Heaven ...
You've caught a glimpse of Home.

We have nature, feels lucky.

Nature can bring a lot of beauty into our lives. Nature has a way of affecting our moods and it can force us to change our plans. Nature is responsible for the sun, clouds, rain, and snow. When it is sunny and bright outside, we feel cheerful inside. When it is cloudy and rainy, we often feel gloomy. When there is a beautiful and starry night, the moonlight makes us feel romantic.

When we see the leaves budding on a tree or when a timid flower pushes through the frozen ground, or when we smell the freshness of spring, new hope will always come to us. Nature is truly an intrinsic part of our lives.


When we wake and see a sunrise, when we walk and feel a breeze, when we gaze at the mountains and the splendor of the seas, when we see the earth renew its beauty at each season of the year, and when the stars shine at night, we should be so very thankful to the Lord for giving us all these wonderful and miraculous things. Learning to become more aware of nature can truly have a good effect on our lives in the way we look at things and in the way we feel about ourselves.

It is with much love that I dedicate these pages to a very special and wonderful person, Ginny Ellis. If it hadn't been for her, these pages would not be possible. I truly appreciate every beautiful poem that she has ever written. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Ginny, for bringing so much beauty into the world.

I would now like to share with you some of Ginny's and other poets verses and other things that capture Nature's moods and majesty. They may evoke some memories and dreams I do hope you will find something that you will enjoy.

Some of the authors are unknown but if you know the correct source of items listed, I will appreciate hearing from you so corrections can be made and proper credit given.

The beauty of Nature

I sometimes stare at the sky and wonder why we have made such a mess of things. I wonder how we can tear up the seas and use up the trees all in the name of progress. It is such a tragedy that we are damaging things so fast and they will soon be way beyond repair.

It is very sad to think future generations will not have the natural things to enjoy as we have had, and that they will be paupers when it comes to the offerings of the natural world.

But, preserving nature is one thing ... appreciating it is quite another. There is so very much beauty all around us to see, touch, and hear. Nature is so miraculous because it is always changing. No matter how many times you look at something, it is always different.

Nature can set a sky aflame at sunset or magically transform a familiar landscape into a snow-white wonderland. It can paint a rainbow in the sky, paint beautiful autumn colors on trees, or paint a clump of daffodils in the grass with glow of soft sunlight.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Your duty towards nature.


There are many things that parents, guardians, and teachers can do to helpchildren develop a love for nature.

Start young
If you love nature yourself, it is very easy to develop this love in your children. Expose them to the natural world from the time they are young. Encourage them to play in the garden. Let them pick up and observe leaves, flowers, rocks, etc. Point out and name trees, insects, birds, and animals to them.

Involve them in the garden
A great way to help children connect to nature is to get them to help in the garden. This will bring them in touch with the soil and they will encounter different kinds of insects, worms, and other intriguing creatures. Caring for plants, and seeing them grow and develop, is a wonderful opportunity for them to know the cycle of creation first hand. You can also help them set up a bird or butterfly feeder in the garden.

Take them into the wild
Make trips to the wild a regular part of their growing years. Plan regular picnics and outings to nature spots around your city. Introduce them to the joys of hiking. Spend vacations visiting national parks or wildlife sanctuaries such as Kanha, Ranthambhore, or Corbett, where children can see wild animals in their natural environment.

Arouse their curiosity
Encourage your children to observe things around them. Gift them with books or CDs about nature and wildlife. Take them along to museums or libraries. Better still, get them membership to a nature organisation such as the Bombay Natural History Society or the world wildlife fund, and encourage them to participate in the field trips and other activities organised by them.

Gift them a hobby
Enhance their enjoyment of nature by giving them magnifying lenses, a pair of binoculars, or a simple telescope. Encourage your children to observe things they see and record them. Teach them to take notes. Get them to make sketches of what they see. Give older children a simple camera, if they show an inclination for photography. Buy your children field guides to the common animals, birds, insects, or trees in your area; identifying plants and animals they see during their trips will help increase their knowledge and make a fun activity into a life-long passion.

Teach them to conserve
As they grow older, teach children to value nature. Encourage them to adopt conservation practices. More importantly, practice them yourself. Explain tochildren how small things like using water carefully and keeping lights switched off when they do not need them can contribute towards conserving nature.

Getting your children to cherish nature will not just help them become responsible citizens, but will even make them better custodians of our home planet, the Earth.

Education for children, protect nature


It is a disease of our age. In an age crammed with TV, computers, and electronic gadgets, children are isolated from the simple pleasures of exploring nature. As it is, academics, along with classes and extra-curricular activities, leave childrenwith little time to play outdoors. And even if they do, there are almost no green spaces left for them to enjoy. Even parks and playgrounds are often too manicured, and do not invite curious, open-ended exploration. Children today are thus robbed of a very essential part of childhood: of connecting on a one-to-one basis with nature.

Author Richard Louv, in his book, Last Child in the words: Saving Our Childrenfrom Nature-Deficit Disorder mentions that this sense of isolation is radically affecting our children. According to him, it is harming their physical and mental health and hampering their creativity. In fact, he has coined the phrase "Nature-Deficit Disorder" to describe this phenomenon.

NATURE LOVER

When I was a nature lover I desperately wanted to talk to animals. I wore my heart on my sleeve. I read poetry by Wordsworth and Rumi. I hugged trees. I thought birds sang love songs. I drew moral lessons from the life cycle of a butterfly. I believed in magic — in the enchanted forests. I took admonishments about having a relationship to nature seriously. I went out in nature. I communed with nature. I sought romance and adventure in nature. And I felt betrayed when my love wasn't returned — if my heart didn't bleed my finger did. ("It bit me!")

Eventually most of us grow out of being ga-ga and head-over-heels. I did. First, I discovered the theory of evolution. Then, I began to recognize that I was being held captive by my own ignorance, enthralled by other people's idealism and duped by my own imagination.

Nature lovers bash science. I recently read a book that promised to "help the reader explore and enhance the psychological and spiritual dimensions of your life." This was to be accomplished by "communing with nature." In such a pursuit, scientific inquiry is inadequate said the author. Furthermore, scientific inquiry may actually lead to "separation from nature." Imagine that.

A few years back I was with a small gathering in Northern New Mexico of so-called ecopsychologists. The group included, as I remember, a neo-luddite, a deep-ecologist, a direct descendant of Thomas Huxley, a permiculturist, and a friend of mine that I had invited who is an evolutionary biologist and an academic. I'll call him The Scientist. At one point in the discussion the deep ecologist turned to The Scientist and said, "The trouble with you scientists is that you destroy the enchantment." The Scientist pondered that for a moment and then said, "I study the reproductive behavior of a particular species of spider, a small population in Northern Montana. Every summer for 20 years I've gone up there with some students. And every summer for 20 years I've returned with my mind completely blown by new stuff that I've learned about what this nervous system the size of a pin head accomplishes. I'm enchanted." Later the Huxley guy said something outrageous, and The Scientist said, "Well, it's obvious you know nothing about evolution." I had to snicker; he said that to the great grand-nephew of Darwin's bulldog.

Like lovers everywhere, lovers of nature hang on to ignorance, fantasy, and mystery. Eventually, if they still care about the relationship, they have to deal with the hard work of intimacy. This requires, among other things, knowledge, patience and commitment. But lovers, as long as they can, seem to prefer mystery to enlightenment. The irony is that very passionate lovers of nature are often the well educated and the literary.

NATURE's CONDITION BLACK

On January 28, 1998, a monster weather system slammed into Oahu's north shore. The Coast Guard called a Condition Black -- all access to the water denied. It was every surfer's dream and nightmare combined, playing and replaying on a seemingly endless loop, as colossal waves up to 40 feet high surged over the beaches of Oahu in a monstrous, unstoppable procession. The stunning footage, some recorded on IMAX film, the stories of the surfers, and the storm itself form the breathtaking core of CONDITION BLACK.

The surfers had a few days' notice because a fierce storm forming off the coast of Japan was forecast to move eastward and toss huge waves ahead of it toward the Hawaiian Islands. Quickly, a buzz electrified the worldwide surfing network. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for the Eddie Aikau Memorial big-wave surfing competition, an event held on an ad hoc basis, when conditions warrant it, in honor of a local lifeguard who lost his life trying to rescue an endangered canoeing team in rough waters. But instead of the ideal, the surfers were confronted with the extreme. A combination of natural forces had intensified the effects of the storm, producing conditions that even the most experienced surfers had never seen before.

LATIN AMERICA


Latin America was a name coined by "Emperor of Mexico" Maximilian I in an effort to gain legitimacy, since his patron, Napoleon III, spoke French, a Latinate tongue like Spanish and Portuguese. Maximilian didn't last, but the coinage of "Latin America" is one of the most successful of all time. Latin America is traditionally defined as the regions of America whereSpanish, the language of Spain, and Portuguese, the language of Portugal, were spoken -- in other words, every part of the Western hemisphere that was not Anglo America. (English is aGermanic language.) Therefore, virtually all of the Western Hemisphere except the United States, Canada, and the non-Hispanophone countries of the Caribbean have tended to come under the heading of Latin America. Other areas wherelanguages derived from Latin, such as Papiamento and Kreyol, predominate are sometimes included and sometimes excluded from Latin America, depending on the speaker.

EUROPE


Europe is one of the traditional seven political continents, and a peninsular sub-continent of the geographic continent Eurasia. Europe is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by theMediterranean Sea, and to the southeast by the Caucasus Mountains, the Black Sea and the waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. To the east, Europe is generally divided from Asia by the water divide of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, and by the Caspian Sea. Europe is sometimes referred to as a "penninsula of penninsulas".

Europe covers approximately 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of the planet's total land area. It hosts around fifty sovereign states, the precise number depending on the underlying definition of Europe's border, as well as on the inclusion or exclusion of states which are not fully recognized internationally. Europe contains both Russia, the world's largest country by area and Europe's largest by population, as well as the Vatican, the smallest on both counts (not counting the non-sovereign Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific). Europe is the third most populous continent after Asia and Africa with a population of 731,000,000 or about 11% of the world's population. According to UN population projection (medium variant), Europe's share will fall to 7% in 2050, numbering 653 million. However, Europe's borders and population are in dispute, as the term continent can refer to a cultural and political distinction or aphysiographic one.

Europe is the birthplace of Western culture. European nations played a predominant role in global affairs from the 16th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonization. By the 17th and 18th centuries European nations controlled most of Africa,the Americas, and large portions of Asia. World War I and World War II led to a decline in European dominance in world affairs as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence. The Cold War between those two superpowers divided Europe along the Iron Curtain. European integration led to the formation of the Council of Europe and the European Union in Western Europe, both of which have been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

AFRICA


Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30,221,532 km² (11,668,599 sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 20.4% of the Earth's total land area, and with over 900 million inhabitants in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14% of the world's human population. Modern human evolutionary theory recognizes Africa, particular the area in and around present-day Ethiopia, as the cradle of humankind.

The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and theRed Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas and is the only continent to stretch from the northerntemperate to southern temperate zones. Because of the lack of natural regular precipitation and irrigation as well as glaciers or mountainaquifer systems, there no natural moderating effect on the climate exists except near the coasts.


The Asia Portal


Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world. It has a land mass at around 49,694,700 km² and covers 8.6% of the Earth's total surface area, or 29.4% of its land area. It is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of Africa-Eurasia lying east of the Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspianand Black Seas.

Asia is considered one of the most populous regions in the world, containing approximately 60% of the world's human population. Of these only 2% live in the northern and interior half (Siberia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai, western Uzbekistan andTurkmenistan).

The wealth of Asia differs widely between, and within, states. This is due to its vast size, meaning a huge range of different cultures, environments, historical ties and government systems. The largest economies in Asia in terms of nominal GDP are Japan, People's Republic of China and India, the smallest East Timor. In terms of Purchasing Power Parity however, the People's Republic of Chinahas the largest economy in Asia and the second largest in the world, followed by Japan and India as the world's third and fourth largest economies respectively.

Asia is also known for its rich history and culture. Asian art, music, and cuisine, as well as literature, are important parts of Asian culture. Eastern philosophy and religion also plays a major role, with Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Christianity all playing major roles. One of the most complex parts of Asian culture is the relationship between traditional cultures and the Western world.

GEOGRAPHY


Geography is the study of the location, extent, distribution, frequency and interaction of all significant elements of the human and physical environment on or near the Earth's surface, particularly its features and of the distribution of life on the earth, including human life and the effects of human activity. The word geography derives from the Greek γη (ge) or γαια (gaia) ("Earth") and γραφειν (graphein) ("to inscribe").Physical geography focuses on the physical, meteorological and ecological patterns and processes on Earth. Human geography focuses on economic, political and cultural processes and features in their spatial dimensions. In addition to studying human and natural features of Earth, Geographers also study Earth's place in the Solar System and the Universe and how this affects the Earth features (e.g. climate, sea currents and tides), as well as physical processes on other planets.

NATURE


Nature most commonly refers to the "natural environment", the Earth's environment or wilderness—including geology, forests, oceans, rivers,beaches, the atmosphere, life, and in general geographic areas that have not been substantially altered by humans, or which persist despite human intervention. This traditional concept of "nature" implies a distinction between natural and man-made, artificial elements of the Earth.

The term entered the English language in the 14th century and was derived from the Latin term natura - "that which has been born" - and may signify thenatural environment, natural areas unaffected by humans, the Universe, and forces that affect the world and space, such as astrophysics.

The term Natura was employed in Latin as a translation of the Greek word physis , which correlated plants, animals, and other features of the world as developing of their own accord. The concept of nature as a whole, the physical universe, is one of several expansions of the original notion; it began with certain core applications of the word by pre-Socratic philosophers, and has steadily gained currency ever since.

Earth (or, "the earth") is the only planetpresently known to support life, and its natural features are the subject of many fields of scientific research. Within thesolar system, it is third nearest to the sun; it is the largest terrestrial planetand the fifth largest overall. Its most prominent climatic features are its two large polar regions, two relatively narrowtemperate zones, and a wide equatorialtropical to subtropical region.Precipitation varies widely with location, from several metres of water per year to less than a millimetre. 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by salt-water oceans. The remainder consists of continents and islands, with most of the inhabited land in the Northern Hemisphere.

Earth has evolved through geological and biological processes that have left traces of the original conditions. The outer surface is divided into several gradually migrating tectonic plates, which have changed relatively quickly several times. The interior remains active, with a thick layer of molten mantle and an iron-filled core that generates a magnetic field.

The atmospheric conditions have been significantly altered from the original conditions by the presence of life-forms,which create an ecological balance that stabilizes the surface conditions. Despite the wide regional variations in climate by latitude and other geographic factors, the long-term average global climate is quite stable during interglacial periods, and variations of a degree or two of average global temperature have historically had major effects on the ecological balance, and on the actual geography of the Earth.