Post for Jan 1-7 2012 (Tidbits and Nuggets)

TaN: Trees play a much more significant and vital role in the equilibrium of the global environment than most people realize and/or are willing to accept or admit.  Trees are the key to climate change – aside from the total and unconditional cessation of all business and human activities that require the generation of automated and/or inorganic power (i.e., those that do not directly result from physio-biological activity) and traverses or exceeds local (i.e., population centers or groupings of the smallest.lowest unit) or community boundaries.

A large part of the reason behind increasingly worsening of global weather patterns and phenomenon and the rising global environmental temperature is the dramatic reduction in evaporation from trees.  It is not just a matter of the heating of water and turning it into water vapor to make it rise up and form clouds then to rain down on the earth.

It is known that the structural arrangement of the elements of a molecule affects its properties – physical and chemical behavior.  The best example of this is the element of Carbon.  Some popular forms of carbon are: graphite, amorphous coal, and diamond.  Even though they are all forms of carbon, their physical appearance and properties are extremes.  While coal and graphite are black, diamonds are (practically) transparent.  While graphite is soft and spreadable, diamonds are the hardest known natural substance.  This alone is enough to conclude that how the elements (i.e, atoms and other minute particles) are arranged in a molecule affects its characteristics.

This being said, water is no different.  Even though water is always H2O, how the H and the OH are attached to each other makes water behave in different ways and possess different properties.  Note that when laundry – hung out to dry on an outdoor clothesline – is rained on and, after the downpour, you rewashed half of the laundry, the rewashed laundry will dry ahead of those un-rewashed.  And yet, they were all subjected to water.

Furthermore, ever notice how plants look more vibrant and alive after a substantial rainfall than if they were drenched in tap water?  Or how some people catch cold from the rain but is unaffected even if they spend an afternoon in a pool?

In this light, I am postulating that groundwater, after being drawn up by the roots and as it is delivered to the leaves, undergoes a “transformation” where the tree (or plant) re-arranges the molecular structure before it is “released or evaporated” into the atmosphere.  But what is the significance?

I further propose that the molecular arrangement of the majority of atmopsheric water vapor in the clouds determines the properties of a weather phenomenon – such as a storm.  A storm is violent because a significant portion of its water vapor load came directly from surface water.  I believe that the predominance of tree cover over the planet surface in the past accounted for the milder storms; and, when much of the forest covers were logged, the storms increased with intensity, with more destructive power and effects.

Trees actively evaporate water into the atmosphere, unlike surface water heated by radiant energy, which is passive.  I am willing to wager that bringing back all the lost forest cover – back to pre-industrial levels – will restore the global climate to its equilibrium.

As a final note, a tree gift is among the limited examples of a gift that keeps on giving.

TaN: Ever since the catastrophic tsunami of December 2004, there was a “push” to establish a multi-billion dollar tsunami warning system, but progress has yet to be reported.  And now another devastating tsunami that hit Fukushima Dai-ichi, Japan.  Meanwhile, in an article titled “Indian Village Beats Tsunami with Tree Power” and dated January 31, 2005 (see: http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/29275/story) – believe it or not, I encountered the article in 2005 but did not retrieve it, so it took me the last two years just to locate it again – it can be gleaned that an obscure and insignificant Indian village (literally, in the middle of all the devastation) was able to do, even back then, what our best scientists, engineers, and so-called experts could not think of…a cheap way of not only providing a warning system against tsunamis but establishing a method of dramatically mitigating the destructive power of a tsunami.

This only shows that if we let conventional thinking be influenced or motivated by western capitalistic profit-driven thinking (or “educated” in the traditional schools of thought), the so-called “solution” will always be: technologically intensive, complicatedly patentable, massively expensive, and operationally complex.  This serves two purposes: (1) to guarantee that people will continually think and believe that only hi-tech solutions – possible only from First World countries – are doable and the “only way to go”, and (2) to ensure huge profits and to keep it among themselves.  Any attempts of recommending – even just hinting – any solution, no matter how sensible or feasible, will be “met” (or “shot down”) with ridicule and with debasement.  And, should the source of the idea be from a learned or a person of stature, his/her name and reputation will be discredited or besmirched.

Over the years, there has been many beneficial low-tech solutions that were discredited – among them being a cheap air pump-based solution to the lahar deluges from Pinatubo by a UP (University of the Philippines) engineering faculty instead of the expensive river dredging, a simple capillary action-driven air hoses to drain or lower the water level in the lake that formed in the mouth of Mt Pinatubo instead of an expensive lake-rim gateway project by a European engineering firm, and a canine-based vehicular emission testing system instead of the expensive hi-tech electronic equipment currently in use.

In the United States of America, every now and then, low-tech solutions are being developed – especially during these times of financial crisis and recession.  For instance, there was the case of a county in California that junked their expensive fossil fuel-powered grass cutters and shifted to goats and the use of human hair to soak up oil spills instead of the expensive and environmentally-destructive chemicals (like Corexit, used in the BP or British Petroleum Deep Horizon).

The point being driven at is that there is a persistent, unrelenting and conscious intent to undermine legitimate and beneficial solutions to significant and pressing problems without resorting to or depending on hi-tech solutions.  The main obstacle to these practical but low-tech and unpatentable solutions is the profit motive (greed), over the common good.

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