Category: Environment

Zhengzhou, China floods: Netizens vent on Foreign and Chinese Journalists

Tragedy can be heartbreaking, and the Zhengzhou floods in China’s interior Henan province on 2021 Jul 20 is no exception. Within 3 days the area received a year’s worth of rain. This massive rainfall in such a short period of time is a natural disaster. What multiplied this natural disaster were human errors that multiplied the death count. Further, after the disaster and death, to threaten and assault news reporters for reporting on the news is incomprehensible. People need to know what happened so that it does not happen again. Yes, face might be lost in the short-term, but so many people were killed, who did not have the choice to lose face, instead losing their lives. It did not need to be this way.

The CoVid-19 Pandemic Continues, even with Vaccines

It has been a long haul of 16 months in Canada, and specifically Ontario. Ontario has made some major mistakes in its pandemic response, resulting in prolonged lock down, but all that is now in the past. Now we are in a better place, with over 50% of citizens double vaccinated and near 78% single vaccinated. Lock down measures have been greatly reduced. But is the pandemic over? Not by a long shot.

Minimal Consumerism: A Possible Solution, but Could it Work?

Buy when you need something, but only what you need. Buy better quality products that can be repaired and last a long time. Eschew throw away consumerism. Repurpose products when these products are no longer needed. With these rules, people will buy less but better, putting much less pressure on Mother Earth. It is a possible solution to reducing the effects of climate change.

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.