Post for May 15-21 2011 (Tidbits and Nuggets)

TaN: Meat consumption is one of the major contributors to global warming and to climate change.  How?  In a recent video I downloaded and perused, it was explained that due to the big and sustained push of and by the meat industry and all current agricultural lands are devoted to food production for human consumption, traditionally protected rainforests and woodlands have to be cut down to make way for huge tracts of plantations to grow animal feeds (principally, GM soy and GM corn).

However, since the soil condition of rainforests is vastly different from arable (or agricultural) land – in the sense that the soil is practically barren or sterile – there is now a need to apply vast amounts of (inorganic or crude oil-based) fertilizer, as well as pesticides.  [Pesticides become necessary with the use of inorganic or artificial fertilzers because the latter do not offer or provide complete (as in a wide variety, including micronutrients) nutritional components.]  The clearing of prime rainforests and woodlands drastically reduces the number of trees that are a vital part in the hydrologic and meteorologic cycle – drawing carbon dioxide from and evaporating water into the atmosphere.  In addition, the application of fertilizers and of pesticides adds to the release of greenhouse gases, as well as upset the soil chemistry and the microorganic balance.

These cleared lands are planted to animal feed crops (like GM soy and like GM corn).  Upon harvest, the animal feed crops will have to be transported great distances – burning huge amounts of fossil fuel and increasing the greenhouse gas emissions – to supply the corporate feed lots and the contract growers.  These animal feed crops must be repeatedly replanted to sustain the animal feed supply continuous until the animals are ready for slaughter – the fastest food animal is poultry which takes a few weeks to be ready for market; food that would have otherwise gone to feed the hungry legions.

Finally, since the animal feed crops are not traditional foods of cattle, of poultry, and of pigs, their respective digestive systems have difficulty coping with the unfamiliar food.  As a result, the food is not digested, but fermented.  Fermentation causes the intestinal flora to produce large amounts of gas – flatulence.  [BTW, flatulence is a bad sign because it preceeds the development of cancer.  Cancer cells ferment sugar for cellular respiration and metabolism.]  This flatulence contributes as much as 6 percent of the global greenhouse gases, adding further to the already large amounts released.  Add to this the increasing consumption of meat that brings (lifestyle) diseases which will be “addressed” with inorganic vitamins and mineral supplements (sourced, again, from crude oil and from coal tar).  And, these reduction in carbon-arresting rainforest trees, increase in greenhouse-gas flatulence and in carbon emissions from transporting long distances all redound to climate change and global warming.

TaN: Share global but think local.  I recent trip to Baguio, I contemplated how the average prices of goods and services (with a few exceptions) can be kept reasonably low.  Then it hit me.  Since rent and food comprise practically 80-85% of income in most urban centers, it stands to reason that the cost (not standard) of living in Baguio would be relatively low.  This is because most of the locals (because it is more of a university town than a regular city) own the real estate and the commercial establishment – so this takes care of the rental – and the food comes from the surrounding communities – so the availability and transportation cost is minimal.  Furthermore, the huge (transient) student population – which makes up more than half of the population – for most of the year virtually guarantees steady revenue (from their board and lodging and their other incidental expenses for the duration of their semestral stay).  This “captive” market assures a steady revenue which will cause the average prices to be lower than normal because the only “lean” months – i.e., during the summer break – will be offset by the tourist influx, especially during the Holy Week break.

So, what does this have to do with the “share global but think local”?  First, the thrust here would be on reversing the detrimental effects of the global momentum of corporate practices, especially on climate and the environment.  “Share global” means that knowledge and experience are to be shared FREELY to all.  “Think local” means concentrate on satisfying the needs of the local; never make the global the priority, especially for money.  Exporting is done only with excess production and production should never have an excess exceeding 10 percent of the consumption capability of the local population.

Climate change and global warming are direct results of environmental destruction arising from abuse and mis-use of natural resources born of corporate greed and insensitivity and inconsideration to the natural equilibrium and to nature’s ability to restore an imbalance.  The failure to “think” and patronize local and natural resources and “gifts” also directly impacts on the local population health.  Healthy food to one may not necessarily mean healthy food to another who is in a very different geographical climate.  Aside from the climate having an impact on one’s health, as each generation inherits changes in the DNA to adapt to the local climate, over the years, it becomes fine-tuned to the specific geographical climate.  Eating foods healthy in another distant location will not be beneficial unless the two locations share similar climates and environmental conditions.

Sharing globally knowledge and experience gained from solving local problems helps other peoples solve similar problems, while thinking locally helps conserve and preserve local natural resources.  Exporting only the excess from local consumption satisfies the local needs as well as permit others with a taste of our products – only a taste; it is not intended to be a staple in others’ diets.  This way, we share with others without putting a strain on the local environment and tilting the equilibrium too far that it takes a long time for equilibrium to be restored, naturally.

TaN: Labor is the most valuable resource any people can have.  The values, the accumulated knowledge and experience, the wisdom of the generations, and the culture are the most precious of resources.  And, the most untapped segment of any people is the senior citizens; the senior citizens who are “forced” into retirement and be relegated into the forgotten outskirts of society.

Senior citizens have the most to offer and have unique advantages.  For one thing, they have accumulated wisdom that no education can ever offer – what they have learned cannot be found in textbooks and have been tried and tested.  Further, they have all the time in the world to teach and not saddled with work schedules and with commitments.  They have very little need for monetary compensation because they will have their pension and the support from their grown and working children.  Finally, they will be given the opportunity to continue to contribute to society, to feel as if they are still useful, and not to atrophy.  It can be noted that the retired elderly who no longer lead active and “useful” lives are usually the ones that tend to “go” first.

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