Category: Environment

Deep Ocean Marine Worm Laetmonice Wyvillei, Costa Rica

Laetmonice wyvillei, a species of marine worm that lives in the deep ocean, is examined in the main lab of the ship. Photo: JoAnna Klein

Laetmonice wyvillei, a species of marine worm that lives in the deep ocean, is examined in the main lab of the ship. Photo: JoAnna Klein

Laetmonice wyvillei, a species of marine worm that lives in the deep ocean, is examined in the main lab of the ship. Photo: JoAnna Klein

This marine worm, from a deep ocean near Costa Rica, looks pretty out of this world. There’s so much we don’t know about our oceans. There’s a lot to research. This photo was taken on the R/V Atlantis. Wonder and curiosity.

China’s Coast Guard Law, 2021 Jan 22: A Little Peek

China’s Coast Guard Law, adopted 2021 Jan 22, effective 2021 Feb 01, gives many of its neighbour countries great concern, and with good reason. The law, in Chinese, is quite long. If you view this document as concerning a police force, its contents are not as shocking, but as I believe, most country’s Coast Guards are not maritime police forces, but part of the Ministry of Natural Resources, or even part of the military during war times. This is not the case for China. China’s Coast Guard is certainly a maritime police force, and has all the powers of one.

Sandstorms in Northern China, Horrendous Air Quality

China, Changzhi air quality is so terrible it is off the AQI scale. 2021 Mar 15. aqicn.org

China, Changzhi air quality is so terrible it is off the AQI scale. 2021 Mar 15. aqicn.org

The air quality in Northern China is the worst in a long time. The PM2.5 and PM 10 levels are off the scale it is so bad. This endangers the health of a wide swath of people in Northern and central China.

China, Changzhi air quality is so terrible it is off the AQI scale. 2021 Mar 15. aqicn.org

China, Changzhi air quality is so terrible it is off the AQI scale. 2021 Mar 15. aqicn.org

Sandstorms and pollution in China Beijing, 2021 Mar 15, where air quality levels were so terrible they were off the charts.

Sandstorms and pollution in China Beijing, 2021 Mar 15, where air quality levels were so terrible they were off the charts.

Moen 7400 Series Faucet: Overall Excellent Quality

Moen 7400 Series Kitchen faucet, Bought around year 2000, I don't even recall, but with free parts, it continues to work very well. Photo by Don Tai

Moen 7400 Series Kitchen faucet, Bought around year 2000, I don’t even recall, but with free parts, it continues to work very well. Photo by Don Tai

Some objects in life you just use every day and take them for granted. They just work, day in and day out, until something goes wrong and then you really notice them. Our Moen 7400 series kitchen faucet is one of our house appliances that just seems to last and last. When I think that, yes, it is time to replace it, I call Moen for free parts, they ship them to me, I install them and the faucet goes right back to working just as the day I bought and installed it. Smooth, problem free, drip free, to again fade into the background. Often times I use the kitchen faucet while thinking of something else and really don’t pay attention.

The Ingenuity of Virus Transmission

Viruses have been with mankind before there was mankind. I don’t even know if we can determine when they were created. As with all things that persist for a very long time, they have grown and adapted in surprising ways in order to stay alive and flourish. Our newest, and certainly not the last, virus is CoVid-19, which has thrown the world into a pandemic. This virus, and other corona viruses, may not have a brain, but are extremely smart in knowing how to use our human behaviours in order to proliferate. We do need to give credit where credit is due: These viruses are remarkably efficient.

Underlying Causes of Climate Change and Why Solutions are Difficult

As the world grapples with unexpected “100 year” weather events that seem to be more and more common, we need to acknowledge that climate change is real and needs urgent attention. Scientists are tracking unprecedented glacial melt that cannot be explained any other way. The damage to habitat and human existence is obvious to those experiencing it. But how do we repair and stabilize our planet?

I watched Bill Gates on the “60 minutes” TV series talk about investing in tech solutions, necessary to reverse climate change. I kept wondering how a tech solution can reverse our deep human mistakes, ones that we continue to make. I do not think it can.

Two Different Country Viewpoints on Dealing with CoVid-19: Strict Lockdown or Economic Balance

The 2019 CoVid-19 pandemic has not ended, and may not end for many a month, even years. While it is difficult look to the past for guidance and then to look forward with any certainty, we still need to try. There are two country strategies that I see in the world: 1) All-out zero tolerance containment, and 2) balance between public health and country economy. It is with certainty that the pandemic has decimated world economies. The question is what strategy is best suited to get out of this pandemic.

Doughnut Economics: A Different Way of Thinking about Living

It seems almost quaint: Live so you are comfortable but still not deplete the world’s resources. This is called doughnut economics. The third world should strive to bring up their standard of living, but the first world should not live beyond their means and deplete the world’s resources. Huh?

Amsterdam Doughnut Economics

Amsterdam Doughnut Economics

It seems pretty reasonable, really. China, India and other poorer countries strive to economically improve and pull people out of poverty. That can only be a good thing. But then you have the first world countries consuming way beyond their means, because they are rich and because they can. As China and India improve, why should they not also consume beyond the earth’s means as well? The reason is that the world will then be depleted and we, as a species, will all suffer.

The Pandemic in Toronto: Going Poorly

It looks like a true failure of leadership, here in Toronto. We trust in our provincial leaders and they have let us down. Instead our infection rates are fast rising, with very little holding them back. Yet it is difficult to understand the rise, as the government is not very transparent with the infection data.

We do know that: