Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Threats Of War Trigger Planning For Asian Disaster Recovery

No Comments »

We safely and comfortably live in our own little bubble until disaster strikes. By then, all our daily routine is put to a halt. The thoughts of school, work, and other life pursuits become insignificant. Whether in your home life or in businesses, it is always imperative to set up a business disaster recovery plan of sorts. You can’t just afford to be careless especially that many nations are at war and even Asia is not spared. The threat of an impending nuclear war remains because North Korea continues to hold its ground and resists being intimidated by many Western nations. And that is not the only issue we have that involves war or conflicts between Asian nations.

Making such preparations is even more important if you own a business, big or small. Ensuring data is backed up, and servers can be recovered is key. There is a lot at stake and you can’t afford to lose a business you have grown from scratch. And considering that we use technology in almost all of the things we do, a disaster business plan similar to what many progressive Western countries have should also be considered by many Asian entrepreneurs because it is better to be safe than sorry, after all.

Megacities, defined as urban areas exceeding 10 million inhabitants, accumulate impressive physical, human and intellectual resources. Experts argue that over time megacities will contribute higher income and living standards for their citizens by increasing economies of scale and reducing production costs.

Independent studies document that today’s 29 megacities are the decisive factor in the world economy. In fact, global gross domestic product (GDP) is much more dependent on the largest megacities than it is on the world’s 200 sovereign nations. In addition to contributing to a significant chunk of their national GDPs, megacities also play important roles as global hubs for finance and commerce.

For Asia, the megacity phenomenon has special importance. This is underlined by a number of facts:

  • 16 of today’s 29 megacities are Asia-based
  • The world’s three most populous megacities are Tokyo (38 million), Delhi (26 million) and Shanghai (24 million)
  • Gigacities—those with more than 50 million people—are expected to emerge in the region in future

For now, megacities have become the cornerstone for development and prosperity. However, their rapid growth also brings a broad range of challenges, which need to be given special considerations.


Moreover, the threat of natural calamities continues to be a constant threat to both individuals and businesses each year aside from armed conflict and terrorist activities. Add to that the dangers of global warming and climate change that has made these natural disasters worse and leave irreparable damage at times aside from claiming countless lives can make you lose your business in a snap.

With cities and communities across the world facing bigger challenges than ever before, emerging digital services are giving governments the tools to address many common problems.

Delivering the keynote at the event today, John Giusti, chief regulatory officer at GSMA (pictured), said: “Rapid urbanisation is putting strain on cities’ infrastructure, pollution, natural disasters, and humanitarian crises need to be better monitored and managed, and a growing population will require access to essential services.”

The digitisation of services and the rise of the IoT – the creation of networks of intelligently connected devices and interoperable services – allows citizens to seamlessly interact with different aspects of their life all over digital channels, he explained.

For a glimpse the impact a digital future will have, he gave a number of examples in Asia Pacific. Local governments in China are using IoT to monitor public buses and use the data collected to deliver more effective and efficient transportation.


You wouldn’t want to start from scratch in the aftermath of a disaster or a nonsense war. Businesses need capital in order to work and you likely spent a great deal of your time, effort, and money in starting your business only to see it ravaged by calamities both natural and man-made because you didn’t have the foresight to prepare for it when you still had the time. While coming up with such a plan isn’t a walk in the park, it should not be ignored either or risk suffering big business losses you’ll be regretting for years.

Computers are now the lifeline of businesses because most transactions have gone digital. The first thing that often suffers when computers are damaged is the hard drive, which happens to be where all your precious data is stored. can help you come up with a disaster recovery plan, so you no longer have to go through the hassles of data recovery, which is the common issue faced by business owners in disaster-prone areas and war-torn nations. Always remember that disaster planning should be a part of your business’s operation procedures and not as a mere afterthought. That’s how you transform a small business into a mighty empire.

Is The US Sabotaging The Environment?

No Comments »

Most of us can’t get enough of all the perks offered by our modern life. Boredom is virtually nonexistent as there are a number of things you can do on your own that will definitely put a smile on your face. You don’t even have to go far since you can do all those things in the palm of your hand. Yes, smart technology transformed ordinary cellular phones into handy multi-functional devices that can connect us to the web and do all sorts of crazy things we never thought were possible a little over a decade back. It’s been 10 years now since the first iPhone was released and I’m sure many of you can no longer remember what it was like living in a low-tech world. The US is almost always at the frontier of tech innovations as most of these tech wonders were born in American soil.

Now, fast-forward to 2017 and a new president, America seems to be going backward in terms of the measures it takes to protect the environment. It is most crucial now more than ever with global warming and climate change making living and simply surviving difficult for many of us. These are just some of the downsides of our modern life and if we can’t give up all the comforts of modern living, then we should at least double our efforts in reducing its dangers to the environment before it is too late for us to do damage control at all. Aside from signing out of the Paris climate agreement, the current US administration continues on dismantling federal environmental regulations that supposedly should protect the planet from the amount of stress and abuse it is receiving from us.

The Trump administration’s dismantling of environmental regulations has intensified a growing civil rights battle over the deadly burden of pollution on minorities and low-income people.

Black, Latino, and disadvantaged people have long been disproportionately afflicted by toxins from industrial plants, cars, hazardous housing conditions and other sources.

But political leaders, academics and activists spoke of a growing urgency around the struggle for environmental justice as the Trump administration peels away rules designed to protect clean air and water.

“What we are seeing is the institutionalization of discrimination again, the thing we’ve fought for 40 years,” said Robert Bullard, an academic widely considered the father of the environmental justice movement.


Many citizens have expressed outrage over the blatant neglect of the environment these days. It’s because President Trump thinks climate change is a hoax and is perhaps the reason why he does not give any importance to major environmental issues the world is facing. Worst is he appears to be sabotaging it on purpose. And as a highly progressive country, America contributes greatly to the abuse and misuse of the world’s resources. Meanwhile, struggling and impoverished nation suffer from the wrath of Mother Nature while bigger and more powerful nations like ours have total disregard of the sensitive state of the environment.

But amidst the cacophony, Donald Trump has had quieter personal successes, particularly with his international and environmental agendas.

On the environment, he has paved the way for climate deniers and science skeptics to hijack the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and use bureaucracy as a political tool for censorship and deregulation. (The climate change EPA web page is still unavailable.) He has led millions of Americans to doubt the basic concepts of truth, facts, evidence and science. He has dismantled America’s global climate change agenda by taking steps to formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. National Geographic keeps a running list of environmental assaults committed by the Trump administration as a way of monitoring the national government’s anti-science crusade.


Many may actually persecute President Trump and laugh at his apparent failure in revamping the federal healthcare system by abolishing Obamacare but it seems he has his little successes that he is silently celebrating for and clearly the environment is one of the major victims here. The sad truth here is that we will eventually suffer from all these neglect because this is the only planet we live in and whatever the state of the planet will become is because of our actions today. Considering how big of a country the US is, it is easy to visualize its impact to the planet at large if it continues to violate nature and continue to ignore the relationship between irresponsible human actions to the pathetic state of the planet right now. Knowing the environmental policies being pushed for by the US right now, it is up to you to decide whether or not it is pro or anti-environment after all.

In The Midst Of An Environmental Crisis

No Comments »

The planet is changing at a rapid level. Many changes are taking places that are not always good for everyone on land or even those in water. You may not be able to see all these changes by simply looking outside your window, numerous things are happening on a global scale that has a big impact on virtually everyone on the planet. Climate change, for instance, is no longer just a threat but a reality we are all facing every single day. The ocean is rising and so is the planet heating up. They may all seem irrelevant to the ordinary man but they play a big role to how the world works as a whole. And when you hear someone saying we are now in the midst of an environmental crisis, it can’t be any truer.

Everything we do, big or small, has an impact on the world. If we want to protect the planet and make sure we don’t suffer that often in the hands of Mother Nature, let us also reduce our carbon footprint and we should practice more environment-friendly ways in everything we do. Even the little things we do count a lot in saving the world and somehow making it a better place for each and every one of us. Nobody will help us except ourselves. In the end, it is us who will also suffer if we don’t step up and do something about all the environmental issues we are facing because after all, we only have one planet to live in. Let’s stop making it unlivable by cleaning up our acts and considering how the environment will be affected in all of our actions.

The proposal to have environmental education as a subject in schools has been finalised.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today said he was ready to discuss the proposal with the Education Minister.

He said top officials from his ministry and the Education Ministry have been discussing the proposal for months and those in the discussions were receptive to the idea of having such a subject.

“Once I get the report from the deputy secretary-general, who headed the ministry in the talks with the Education Ministry, discussions between the Education Minister and I can start.


And since the youth is the future of any nation, it is only logical to start educating the youth about the importance of the environment and what measures can be done to safeguard it from further harm. Human activities are the number one reason why the planet is what it is today. Our abuse and misuse of natural resources have led to widespread natural disasters that took human lives aside from destroying properties and ravaging communities. Looking at the state of the environment right now, it is inevitable for stronger and more destructive natural calamities to come and wreak havoc on human lives at the rate things are going now. Only through education can we do something big that can have a lasting impression to everyone as to why the environment needs protection.

Tens of millions of people will be forced from their homes by climate change in the next decade, creating the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen, according to a new report.

Senior US military and security experts have told the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) study that the number of climate refugees will dwarf those that have fled the Syrian conflict, bringing huge challenges to Europe.

“If Europe thinks they have a problem with migration today … wait 20 years,” said retired US military corps brigadier general Stephen Cheney. “See what happens when climate change drives people out of Africa – the Sahel [sub-Saharan area] especially – and we’re talking now not just one or two million, but 10 or 20 [million]. They are not going to south Africa, they are going across the Mediterranean.”


You can probably see it in the news right now. Every now and then there is this awful disaster that destroys towns and cities and leaves people displaced for weeks, even months on end. Recovery is often a slow and painful process and it can break you in ways that you’ve never imagined before. If you don’t want to suffer and turn your life upside down especially if you live in a high-risk area, do your part in saving the planet today, not tomorrow. Try to influence and educate others as to why we need to pitch in and do our part in environmental conservation efforts rather than just rely on the government and big organizations to initiate and work on conserving the planet and its vast resources before the time comes when we are too late for saving.

How Climate Change Is Shaping The World Today

No Comments »

You don’t have to look far to see the changes in the world right now. Just step out of your home and you can see how polluted and hot the world has become. Weather systems have intensified as well as natural calamities that hit us with such force each year. There are actually certain parts of the planet that are more prone to experience these disasters than other places. Typhoons, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc., they have all posed a threat to our lives because we can’t really tell when some of them will happen but we can’t avoid it either.

Climate change is especially evident in the ocean. Just head out to sea or just even on beaches and you can see for yourself how global warming has changed people’s lives. Not only certain animal and plant species become extinct as the days go by, island nations are at risk of disappearing off the face of the planet because the sea level is rising as more heat is trapped inside the atmosphere. Consequently, it melts down polar glaciers that make the sea level rise and is now a major global concern because it has become a reality that puts people’s lives at risk.

Climate change means the sea level is rising, storms are intensifying and seasons are becoming unpredictable. Coral is increasingly torn away from the islands and returned to the lagoon floor. These days, repairing them does little more than delay the inevitable.
Solomon Islands has a population of 560,000 people and a growing number of them are being forced to leave their homes – not just in Lau Lagoon, but also low-lying coastal areas on Malaita, and across the entire atoll, one of the world’s largest. 

It has been more than a decade since the island of Tauba in Lau Lagoon was first submerged completely during a high tide.


While most people only think about beaches and paradise islands as dream getaway destinations for a well-deserved vacation, people actually live in many of these places 365 days a year. And as such, they have to brace for everything Mother Nature has in store for them all year round that many tourists rarely get to see because these things mostly happen during off-peak seasons. These locals have survived island life for generations but the complexities and unpredictability of the environment right now are forcing many of them to relocate because living became more of a drag and the risks are greater too.

Temperature records are being broken frequently in Australia, with hot records 12 times more likely to be set than cold ones since 2000, Drs Lewis and King reported in a 2015 paper.

A heatwave last month smashed many records across eastern Australia with more than half the NSW stations with more than 20 years of data registering their hottest September day, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Under a high carbon emissions scenario, 50-degree days could arrive “as early as the 2040s”, Dr Lewis said, adding that even with a concerted reduction in pollution, those temperatures could be reached by about 2060.

Dr King said hospitals, electricity systems and infrastructure would all struggle during such heat spikes.


This problem is no laughing matter as it can spell life or death for many people living in high-risk areas. Imagine living on an island all your life and it suddenly is at risk of submerging in the ocean as the sea level continues to rise. Now, where do you go? Everyone should work hand in hand and change our ways because we only have one planet to live. If we don’t act now and save whatever is left saving, we might have the same ending as previous generations that have long since disappeared because they weren’t a match to the wrath of Mother Nature when it went amock and we only know about them in history books.

The Air That Canadians Breathe

No Comments »

Environmental issues have been around for ages. It’s not that the planet was any better centuries ago because our ancestors also faced countless natural disasters that threatened their survival and their very existence on the planet. Even during the time of the dinosaurs, the earth wasn’t always a safe haven for everyone. They’re extinct now, right?! And the same can be said about the problems we are facing today such as global warming and climate change. Not only have they worsened weather phenomenon and made natural disasters more intense than they ought to be but climate change, for instance, has a big impact our daily lives.

People who live in different places in the world do not necessarily experience the same thing all the time because of differing geographical location. They face risks that are not experienced by others. Canada today is battling air quality issues because of a massive wildfire that not only reduced entire forest ecosystems into ashes but filled the entire sky with smoke. People living nearby are already suffering from respiratory problems and travelers are likewise advised to prepare for visibility issues because of the excessive smoke and haze filling the neighboring areas and its skies.

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality alert as wildfire smoke is blanketing much of southern Manitoba, resulting in poor air quality and reduced visibility.

According to the alert, westerly winds are spreading significant amounts of wildfire smoke across the prairies and will continue to do so until a cold front pushes through the region. The cold front is expected to move through western Saskatchewan this morning, and then slump southeastwards, moving through eastern Saskatchewan by Tuesday evening, and then across southern Manitoba on Tuesday night. As the cold front passes, cleaner air will move in from the north.

For many areas, this event will be seen by very hazy skies with moderately elevated Air Quality Health Index values in the four to seven range. However, due to local effects, some areas will see significant reductions in air quality, with AQHI values exceeding seven (high) and potentially exceeding 10 (very high).


The wildfire in itself is already a safety and health risk as fire is not a friendly element at all. It will destroy everything in its path and we are not even talking yet about the many local wild animals that were killed or displaced by this horrific disaster that is also engulfing the air that many Canadians breathe in a thick blanket of smoke.

“The wildfires burning in Waterton Lakes National Park continue to produce widespread smoke and poor air quality over southwestern areas, especially near the park boundaries,” the weather agency said on its website. “Over the next few days, a persistent weather pattern will result in very little improvement in conditions.

“The poor air quality may even spread into adjacent regions by mid week.”

On Sunday, Alberta Health Services said it was asking people to “refrain from visiting at Cardston and Pincher Creek Health Centres until further notice.

“Air quality has improved slightly, but smoke is still entering the buildings when doors are opened,” AHS said. “We sincerely thank everyone for their patience, understanding and co-operation during this time. We understand these restrictions may pose an inconvenience.”


Let us not wait for the time to come when we even have to buy the air that we breathe. It has happened now with water and many other life essentials. Most of the things people in the past took for granted like water and free food in their surroundings and other natural resources are now being sold to us modern people at a high price. If we don’t get our act together and start protecting what’s left of the environment right now and do some major damage control by changing the way we live, it may very well be the reason of mankind’s undoing in the near future.

How To Go Solar

No Comments »

We now live in a society consumed by technology and the unending demand for energy (mostly non-renewable as is the custom now in the world). And it makes sense considering the number of tech contrivances we use day in and day out. Energy is not just a precious commodity, it is already a staple in all aspects of human life. Yet we all know the many issues we face when it comes to energy use. Not only is there a big possibility of a non-renewable source like fossil fuel eventually running out but also the dangers its continued use poses to the environment.

Why then does the majority of the population patronize non-renewable energy? Perhaps it is because they are convenient to use. There are already big businesses that market these products to the people and some that consequently made other related products that make use of this energy resource for them to work like most vehicles, appliances, smart gadgets, etc. when in all honesty, renewable energy is just as easy to use yet often ignored by society.

Given the gains made in reducing costs and improving efficiency for photovoltaic cells, it’s time to turn the solar office’s attention to thermal solar with or without the grid study, said David M. Hart, professor of science and technology policy at George Mason University.

“So for me it makes sense to rotate funding to less mature technologies,” Hart said.

Concentrated solar power, which requires local workers to construct and operate plants, also fits snugly into another Trump goal of creating jobs.

“It generates local employment,” said Yogi Goswami, a solar energy expert and professor at the University of South Florida. Photovoltaic panels, Goswami noted, can be (and are) manufactured abroad more cheaply in China


Most progressive countries like the US and China are actually the biggest energy users and contributors to the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere (hence global warming and climate change) because these places have countless manufacturing plants and industries that make just about everything you can think of that can thrive in a highly capitalist world. While some have already shifted to the use of solar energy years ago, many still miss out on what the sun can still offer aside from natural daylight.

“We started thinking that seems strange because if you look around the world, if you look on the ground, there’s a lot of solar energy going in, so we went back to the forecast, we looked back over 15 years and looked at what people predicted, what happened to solar energy five years out, and it was consistently under-counting how much solar there actually was,” Nemet said.

As for why solar’s potential was underestimated, there are a number of reasons, but Nemet said the biggest driver is that solar is getting cheaper and faster than originally expected.

While technology is making solar increasingly more efficient and cost-effective, there are still challenges associated with the power source.


While it is perfectly understandable that most people are concerned about the many limitations of solar power, let us not overlook its many advantages as well aside from being 100% environment-friendly. The main issue here is that why the government is turning a blind eye to the harnessing of solar energy in fueling our energy needs and gradually make the shift from the use of fossil fuel to that of sunlight. The weather may change now and then and it is not always sunny all the time but those things can be resolved with proper strategic planning and federal government support and funding to make solar energy more accessible to the public and replace whatever we are using right now.

The Need For Green Spaces In The City

No Comments »

The world’s natural space is fast disappearing what with rapid urbanization and all. Most green spaces are turned into agricultural, residential, and commercial spaces to meet the growing needs of the public for natural resources and living space. As a result, Mother Nature takes all the blow just so we can continue to live in utter comfort and safety. If you live in a big city like most people do these days, you likely won’t be seeing a lot of trees and green scenery because almost everywhere around you is full of towering skyscrapers that house businesses and residents alike.

To make urban living healthier and better for our mental health, most land developers and builders are now incorporating green spaces into the living spaces they build. You can see patches of green parks or gardens in an inconspicuous corner or city centers to give the people a feeling of living with nature. Green spaces in busy city streets offer a lot of health benefits. They filter dust and other harmful pollutants in the air that is common in city living. They also help in cooling down the temperature and providing shade that is a welcome relief in cities that are mostly devoid of big trees. It is even helpful in reducing the rate of erosion in waterways as well as protecting rivers and streams by filtering toxic runoff.

The World Health Organisation stipulates that all residents must live within 15 minutes of a green space. Western countries have tended to adopt a norm of 20 square metres of per capita green space. Many of them, however, overshoot this requirement. So, in Dutch cities, the per capita green space is 228 sq m, while in the Greater Paris region, it is 80 sq m. In India, according to the “Urban Greening Guidelines, 2014”, a report from the Ministry of Urban Development, the per capita green space in metropolitan cities is abysmal — 0.81 sq m in Chennai, 2 sq m in Bangalore and 1.24 sq m in Mumbai. Smaller cities like Varanasi (24.78 sq m), Bhopal (18.62 sq m) and Chandigarh (17.43 sq m) fare much better in this respect. Gandhinagar fares spectacularly with 162 sq m of green space per person.

The component of urban greens that is most conspicuous by its absence in Indian cities is neighbourhood parks. Even in small western towns, every neighbourhood has a park where children screech and run wildly around see-saws and slides while their mothers catch up with each other. It is a great stress-busting space that allows free play for children of all social strata.


We can’t just ignore it anymore. Urban living isn’t really the healthiest type of lifestyle for us but we find it hard to disconnect from our tech-crazed world. The tighter these cities become as more and more people converge in these crowded places. More land is then converted into homes and high-rising condominiums to accommodate the growing number of people requiring a place to live. As a result, more trees are cut down and land is cleared in preparation for building and constructing work. It is an endless and vicious cycle of abuse at a global scale that is happening more rapidly now than it did in the past.

While we cannot blame planners for causing all these issues, they do have the ability to intervene and thus a role to play in improving urban life. Design guidelines, for example, can help by ensuring people have more accidental social encounters in spaces like cafes, at mailboxes or in gardens.

So too can more strategic interventions such as community gardens – places where people grow not only food, but also friendships. More green space can also potentially buffer noise, heat and light, and provide respite from crowds.

In car-dependent outer suburbs and new housing estates, planners would do well to focus on first developing social facilities such as clubs, sporting facilities and parks. Public transport is another important intervention in such suburbs. Good access to public transport also reduces a household’s commuting expenses.

Our research suggests planners and built environment professionals have surprisingly low levels of knowledge about depressogenic environments.


Human health improves in the presence of a green environment. A person’s mood improves and brightens when they get to commune with nature. Even the sight of green plants and trees can do lots of wonder to a person’s overall health and well-being. People who are cooped up in physical structures tend to be less active. Experts even coined the term “depressogenic” to describe the poor mental health of individuals living in urban cities. We subconsciously get overwhelmed of the various distractions in our immediate environments such as bright lights, loud noise, and busy streets that it increases your cognitive load leaving you mentally stressed-out.

Better urban planning is needed to help counter the major flaws of urban living. Adding green touches like gardens, parks, trees, and other greenery is the first step to correcting this problem especially that we can’t just abandon our modern lifestyle that easily and decide to go off-grid in a heartbeat. There may be problems but there are also solutions if we just open up our minds to all the possibilities and perhaps declutter our lives a little for the sake of our health and sanity.

How Meat-Eaters Harm The Environment

No Comments »

Humans are known omnivorous eaters. It means we eat both plant and meat-based food. While it is essential for human survival, animal farming is proving to be more detrimental to the environment than we’d like to acknowledge. It is even more harmful than traditional crop farming for a variety of reasons. The soil is lost, trees are cut down and water is consumed in raising these animals especially when it involves factory-farming where hundreds, if not thousands, of these animals, are raised for human consumption at a time.

Animal waste that gets washed down to rivers and streams pollute these water sources aside from increasing the carbon footprint due to untreated animal waste and is next to air pollution from vehicle combustion as the biggest threat to the environment. Marine life disappears (they either die or leave the place) as the nutrients coming from animal waste fosters the growth of algae that in turn reduces the amount of oxygen available in the water not to mention the accompanying stinky smell from excessive algae growth in the water. Aside from that, these harmful wastes pollute drinking water and can lead to a long list of health conditions that are completely avoidable if we just limit our consumption of animal meat. Animal agriculture contributes to 51% of the greenhouse gas emission all over the world. Moreover, these animals consume just as much food in order to grow in size and produce sufficient flesh to be later sold in most markets.

The global meat industry, already implicated in driving global warming and deforestation, has now been blamed for fueling what is expected to be the worst “dead zone” on record in the Gulf of Mexico.

Toxins from manure and fertiliser pouring into waterways are exacerbating huge, harmful algal blooms that create oxygen-deprived stretches of the gulf, the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, according to a new report by Mighty, an environmental group chaired by former congressman Henry Waxman.

It is expected that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) will this week announce the largest ever recorded dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to be larger than the nearly 8,200 square-mile area that was forecast for July – an expanse of water roughly the size of New Jersey.


The problem has grown considerably despite efforts to minimize its damage to the environment. It does not help that the demand for meat (of all types) continues to increase as the majority of the population are oblivious to the dangers posed by meat eating to the natural world. Environmental groups are raising awareness on the problems caused by meat farming in an effort to discourage the people from consuming more meat or reducing the demand for it at the very least.

With scientists tomorrow expected to confirm the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico ever recorded, Environment America renewed its call for Tyson Foods, Inc. and other corporate agribusiness companies to curb the pollution flowing from their fields and factory farms.  The demand for Tyson to “clean it up” was today joined by Mighty Earth, which released a new research report on pollution from meat companies like Tyson.

“From the Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, giant meat companies like Tyson are now responsible for huge volumes of pollution pouring into America’s waterways,” said John Rumpler, clean water program director for Environment America.


Agri-business is a large and profitable industry in America alone. Hence, claiming that its harmful effects are also on a massive scale is but an understatement to the real danger it poses. Major US waterways are contaminated by these harmful pollutants that likewise make it impossible for marine life to thrive. However, this problem is not easily addressed as most people eat meat in their day-to-day life. While going vegan is not the absolute solution to the problem, understanding how it impacts our lives is the first step to addressing this issue for good.

Sustainable Energy: The Solution To Climate Change

No Comments »

The world is changing and I’m not just talking about the technological advancements that dominate the world today. We also can’t deny the fact that too much technology is damaging our environment. Climate change is no longer just a threat but a reality that we all face. If you are observant enough, you’d notice how natural calamities have intensified over the years. Storms have gotten stronger and droughts longer. But whose fault is it anyway?

However, enough with the finger pointing. We are all responsible for the gradual destruction of our planet. While the damage has been done and we can’t undo our past mistakes, we can still change now and salvage as much as we can on what is left. Every good deed we do can go a long way in protecting and preserving Mother Nature. Using sustainable energy is the best, easiest and most cost-effective recourse we now have, so why not start at home?

The global community has been trying to achieve sustainable development for the past 25 years, but the world is faring poorly against most environmental indicators. What’s causing this failure? Griffith University’s Michael Howes investigates.

In 1992, more than 170 countries came together at the Rio Earth Summit and agreed to pursue sustainable development, protect biological diversity, prevent dangerous interference with climate systems, and conserve forests. But, 25 years later, the natural systems on which humanity relies continue to be degraded. 

So why hasn’t the world become much more environmentally sustainable despite decades of international agreements, national policies, state laws and local plans? 

These are the probable culprits why we can’t still move forward with our sustainability initiatives:

So what’s going wrong with sustainability initiatives? We found that three types of failure kept recurring: economic, political and communication.

The economic failures stem from the basic problem that environmentally damaging activities are financially rewarded. A forest is usually worth more money after it’s cut down – which is a particular problem for countries transitioning to a market-based economy.

Political failures happen when governments can’t or won’t implement effective policies. This is often because large extractive industries, like mining, are dominant players in an economy and see themselves as having the most to lose. This occurs in developed and developing countries, but the latter can face extra difficulties enforcing policies once they’re put in place.

Communication failures centre on poor consultation or community involvement in the policy process. Opposition then flourishes, sometimes based on a misunderstanding of the severity of the issue. It can also be fed by mistrust when communities see their concerns being overlooked.


Despite the odds, there are still efforts to embrace this sustainable living wherever in the world you may be. There is still hope to save the planet and everyone else living in it.

A new United Nations-backed report has revealed overwhelming consensus that renewable power will dominate in the future, with many experts saying that even large international corporations are increasingly choosing renewable energy products either from utilities or through direct investment in their own generating capacity.

“[The report] is meant to spur discussion and debate about both the opportunities and challenges of achieving a 100 per cent renewable energy future by mid-century,” said Christine Lins, the Executive Secretary of Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) – a global renewable energy policy multi-stakeholder network hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

“Wishful thinking won’t get us there; only by fully understanding the challenges and engaging in informed debate about how to overcome them, can governments adopt the right policies and financial incentives to accelerate the pace of deployment,” she added.

At a press conference at UN Headquarters today, Ms. Lins said that 2016 was the third year in a row where the global economy continued to grow, by three per cent, but emissions related to the energy sector decreased. And that was mainly due to renewable energy and efficiency investment in China and in the United States.


We need a collective effort to help realize this dream. Let us all remember that we are not doing this for a monetary gain but to save the very planet where we live in. If we continue abusing the environment and not find a way to reduce our carbon footprint (with airlines as well), what will be the Earth like ten to twenty years from now? Will it still be livable? Back in the days, we did not have to buy water or air, but now, purified water is the only form of safe drinking water in many countries and air conditioning units are a must in many households once the summer heat strikes.

Let us take accountability for our actions. One of the best ways we can protect Mother Nature and prevent further environmental degradation is through the use of sustainable energy. Fossil fuel will not last us forever. Just how many dead dinosaurs can we get power from? There’s the sun. Each day its shining rays can fuel homes and cities. Wherever the wind blows, there is also energy. Even water can be exhausted in a way that generates power. The government should look into all these things but we also have a personal obligation to keep. By simply reducing our energy use and recycling our trash we already contribute a lot to saving the planet.

A Trip Down America’s Parks

No Comments »

Our days may be consumed by work or school but we still make it a point to unwind once the weekend comes. Rest day is for the family and spending quality time with them is a must. Malls and theme parks may be a staple when it comes to a family getaway but let us not forget that the country is full of beautiful public and state parks where your family can have a good time at a fraction of the price.

Take the time to get in touch with the entire family minus any techy gadgets and enjoy the beauty of nature. Nothing compares to the relief of breathing the fresh air and the joy of sleeping under the stars.And now is the best time to commune with nature when

And now is the best time to commune with nature when these important parks are still around. They may be gone in the years to come with constant threats of modernization and human abuse. Furthermore, not receiving the funding and attention it needs from the national government contributes to their degradation.

Over the past few years there have been budget cutbacks for state parks across the US, which have resulted in a reduction in management staff, lack of new equipment, and shorter visitor center hours. In 2016, general funding for Wyoming’s Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources was cut by 7.18 percent. As a result, park employees have struggled with loss of staff. Last year, funding to Connecticut’s state parks was reduced by 10 percent, and in West Virginia, cuts led to the closure of several state park pools along with employees layoffs. Both Utah and Alabama have struggled to buy equipment under budget constraints, and Alabama closed five state parks in 2016, though several have since reopened. Over the past several years, California, too, has struggled with the idea of closing dozens of state parks due to budget cuts and maintenance backlogs, among other factors.

However, the future of these parks does not look promising with budget cuts from the new administration.

Proper funding is essential to maintaining our state parks and the ecosystems they preserve, but with the cut in funding in Wisconsin, it is uncertain where money will come from. In late 2016, the state Department of Natural Resources, which operates the parks, outlined options for generating additional funds for the park system. Proposals included further raising the price of admission, higher camping fees, and the authority to solicit donations and sponsorships, but Ben Bergey, state parks director, says major funding changes must come from the legislature. “It’s not really fair,” says Stacey Balsley, president of the Waukesha County Green Team, a local environmental organization in Wisconsin. “We need to look at this plan again and ask ourselves if it’s sustainable for the future of our parks. There is a real threat of decline in our parks, and we need to step up and do something about it.”


And many can’t hide their disappointment about the new administration’s policies that aim to cut the funding on health, safety, education, the environment, the workplace and the overall economy in favor of things like homeland and border security.

“It’s fitting for President Trump to release his budget in March, because this is simply madness. This budget would decimate the very foundation of what makes America great: our parks, public lands and historic leadership on conservation. Instead of investing in conservation programs that provide clean drinking water, protect public health and support a booming outdoor recreation economy, Trump is rigging the system to solely benefit oil executives and private developers at the expense of essential conservation programs that benefit all Americans.”
Cameron Witten, government relations and budget specialist, The Wilderness Society

“Trump’s budget will accomplish nothing besides making it easier for corporate polluters to boost their profits at the expense of our families and the places we love. Plans to gut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior clearly show that Trump’s billionaire budget is only helping Wall Street and corporate polluters, not our wildlife and natural legacy, our nearly $650 billion outdoor economy or the air our children breathe and the water they drink.”
Melinda Pierce, legislative director, Sierra Club

“Polluters won’t police themselves and water pollution doesn’t stop itself. President Trump’s billionaires’ budget makes huge cuts to the EPA that would strain its ability to enforce landmark laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act. This reckless budget would make it harder to stop polluters from destroying sources of drinking water and threaten EPA’s ability to identify water pollution threats, to set strong protections for our rivers, lakes, bays, streams and wetlands, and to enforce laws that protect public health.”
Bob Wendelgass, president and CEO, Clean Water Action


The wildlife population in these parks are also in danger. These parks are perhaps the last frontier in the country for most of these animals and they have nowhere else to go once these parks disappear. Our hands are already tainted with the extinction of many animals in the planet because of poaching, loss of their homes, etc., among the most recent, is the Western Black Rhino.

The entire country will suffer once we lose our natural parks and wildlife. The new administration does not realize the gravity of their policies right now. We may end up losing many of our national parks to most land developers with a simple budget cut in say, land protection. And environmental issues like this can worsen climate change, a problem that has disastrous consequences for our planet if not addressed right away.