TaN: We may not recall something but we never forget anything. People have the usual belief that we forget certain things – over time – not realizing that the brain has an almost infinite capacity to store all information it receives, regardless of the length of time and in all the forms information may take (from visual to aural to tactile to olfactory to gustatory to any other form).
What we understand or generally regard as forgetting is actually an inability to recall what was received. The difference is that forgetting means the information is no longer existing (somehow purged or erased) while not being able to recall means the information is still there except that it cannot be “found”. There are many reasons why we cannot recall something.
One, a traumatic experience was experienced and the brain’s defense mechanism – to protect itself or preserved its “sanity” – has somehow “blocked” the information. This can be likened to hysterical blindness where the brain attempts to protect itself from seeing or visualizing an event again by blocking visual images from the eye. Likewise, information may be prevented from “resurfacing” thus causing a non-recollection.
Two, one may be experiencing information overload where the brain can no longer accommodate any information in its primary storage – much like that of a computer where information in secondary storage units must be brought “forward” to the primary processing area to be worked on otherwise there is no processing.
Third, there is physical or chemical damage to that particular area in the brain where the desired information was stored or the pathways by which that information may be retrieved from are not functioning or non-operational. Chemical factors would also involve neurotoxins, such as mercury (Latin “hydrargyrum“, chemical symbol Hg) and lead (Latin “plumbum“, chemical symbol Pb), which attacks and damages neurons or involve other substances that negatively impact neurons, such as excessive sugar or artificial sweetener intake.
Fourth, due to a “mix-up” in the storage of information received, a memory may be “misplaced” or “mis-associated” with something else that renders it non-retrievable – due to a wrong access pathway.
Finally fifth, a psycho-biological trauma may be experienced that causes “lapses” (like amnesia resulting from a head trauma or contusion) or under-utilization (like senility resulting from decreasing utilization because one is advancing in years or because one believes that it is a natural progression of aging) so synapses are “severed” or “withers” and neurons lose their “connections or linkages” and memory is no longer accessible.
In all the above cases, the information is still intact in the brain. It is just that it cannot be retrieved, for one reason or another. We cannot recall the memory but it does not mean it is not there (i.e., forgotten). In further support of this argument, take the case of people who were born with severe hydrocephalus where water occupied almost three-fourths of the skull cavity, stunting the growth of the brain. After the water is drained, the “victim” not only lead normal lives with normal brain functions but there are many cases where they even exhibit near-savant characteristics and abilities, approaching genius levels.
TaN: Shifting from fossil fuel to electricity will not solve the issue of global warming but merely delay the inevitable, if at all. The problem with conventional thinking is that converting to electricity is somehow going to “save the planet” from catastrophic climate change via global warming. Never did we think or consider how the electricity – that will charge and operate our electrical devices and vehicles – is generated.
Conventional electricity is generated from burning fossil fuel. So, in truth, we are merely adding another step in (and to) the process of energy generation. In other words, we still burn fossil fuel, except that it is further turned into electricity before final consumption – as compared to direct consumption by burning fossil fuel.
If we truly want to halt or even reverse global warming – and, ultimately, human-caused or -driven climate change – it is not only vital but essential to, immediately, cease and desist all fossil fuel burning and, more importantly, the mining and deforestation of the environment. There is a reason why fossil fuel and certain earth minerals are found deep beyond our normal and usual reach – that we cannot access unless it is deliberate. Those minerals and resources that are deep underground is not meant to be used by man. They could be there as a reserve or because they are harmful or as a buffer or for whatever reason except for use as resources.
Mining destroys the environment by stripping the fertile top soil – the first 6 inches contain all the nutrients needed by plants and soil organisms for life and sustenance and beyond that depth is barren as can be – and turning everything topsy-turvy. The claim by the mining companies that they restore and even improve the landscape after ravaging it of the desired minerals or ore is false by replanting with balled full-grown trees is a palliative effort to project an environmentally-responsible public image. In truth, the transplanted trees are surviving on the nutrients in the balled earth that came with it and, when the nutrients are depleted, there will not be enough in the “restored” landscape to support the nutrient demands of the transplanted tree/s.
As for the deforestation, few – even among most environmentalists – and it is just beginning to be disseminated to the general public that trees are among the principal engines that drive the weather and climate control. Contrary to conventional knowledge, it is not the rain that brings the forest but the other way around. It is because of the presence of trees that rains come.
The environmental water cycle is powered and sustained by evaporation originating from trees. Without trees boosting the rate of evaporation from the land, there will not be enough moisture (i.e., water vapor) rising up to the upper atmosphere to form clouds – please see: http://www.dump.com/rainrainforest/. As further proof, we are now reclaiming deserts by replanting gardens, forests, and other vegetative growths.
The sun can only evaporate surface water. The trees draw from beneath the surface and provide a greater surface (through its leaves) for evaporating much larger quantities of water. Deforestation – whether for logging and timber or for clearing land for agriculture or plantation-type mono-agricultures – dramatically reduce the rate of evaporation to form clouds.
Moreover, the evaporation by direct sunlight appears to produce a more “violent” (or high-energy) form of water vapor and this can be attested to by the destructive power of storms originating (or drawing its energy) from bodies of water. In contrast, the gentle showers – though sometimes coming down in torrents – usually occur directly over forests from which they were formed.
Anyway, the only true sustainable technology/ies to mitigate or even reverse global warming and climate change is/are those that do not involve combustion – like solar, wind, wave, geothermal, mechanical, biochemical, gravity, physical, electromagnetic, etc. But, this is not to say that we can and should do away with fossil fuel. Just like tobacco, it is how we use things that determine their benefit or harm. Tobacco is beneficial is used correctly and properly – because it has very good medicinal and chemical properties. As for fossil fuel, we can use oil as a lubricant.
Finally, to return to the topic, we must learn to look beyond the immediate and the short-term and see what awaits further down the road. Before we all shift to electrical power, let us first make sure that the electrical power is not generated by burning fossil fuel.