Simple solutions that can change the world
|March 30, 2010||Posted by Jeffery J. Smith under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Simple solutions that can change the world
Dirty water kills more people than violence
Humans dont have to foul their nest. And with geonomics we probably wouldnt. The policy would enable the presently poor to prosper and afford apt-tech. And it would charge the well-off polluters, guiding them to sustainable ways. Maybe humans could adopt what works in time to save the honeybee. We trim, blend, and append six 2010 articles from: (1) the Christian Science Monitor, Mar 22, on water by Mike Pflanz; (2) the Associated Press, Mar 22, on water by Ronald Bera; (3) MarketWatch, Mar 26, on solutions by Thomas M. Kostigen, author of The Green Blue Book: The Simple Water-Savings Guide to Everything in Your Life”; (4) BBC, Mar 22, on early deaths; (5) BBC, Mar 22, on Hong Kong; and (6) Associated Press, Mar 24, on bees by Garance Burke and Seth Borenstein.
by Pflanz, by Bera, by. Kostigen, by BBC, and by Burke & Borenstein
- UN: Dirty water kills more people than violence
Dirty water is killing more people than wars and other violence, the United Nations announced on World Water Day.
This includes 2.2 million people whose deaths are attributed to diarrhea, mostly from dirty water, and 1.8 million children aged under five who succumb to water-borne diseases.
More than half of the world’s hospital beds are filled by people suffering from water-related illnesses.
In developing countries poor people dump their feces and other waste in the same rivers they draw water for consumption.
Almost all dirty water produced in homes, businesses, farms, and factories is washed into rivers and seas without being decontaminated.
Up to 60% of supplies that have been purified to the point that they are potable are lost through leaky pipes and ill-maintained sewage networks. Saving half of these lost supplies could give clean water to 90 million people without the need for costly new infrastructure.
Just $20 million could pay for drip-irrigation and tread pumps to draw water from wells, which could lift 100 million poor farming families out of extreme poverty.
- UN: Developed nations pollute water, too
Improved wastewater management in Europe has resulted in significant environmental improvements there, but dead zones in oceans are still spreading worldwide. Dead zones are oxygen-deprived areas caused by pollution.
- Simple solutions that can change the world
In many OECD countries it now costs more to get rid of wastewater than to bring in drinking water.
Just five beverage companies consume enough water over the course of a year to satisfy the daily water needs of every person on the planet.
Twenty percent of the world’s water supply goes to support industry. That’s twice as much as is used to support municipal supplies for our personal use.
Solutions abound in the workplace. An extra cup of coffee left at the bottom of the coffeemaker each workday multiplied by every business in the country equals more water than a billion people need per day for drinking.
Over the course of a year, manufacturing the paper we use at work requires 68 million trees and 82 billion gallons of water, or more than 1,000 gallons of water per worker.
JJS: From wasting water to fouling air.
- Call to tackle pollution ‘role in 50,000 early deaths’
A Commons Environmental Audit Committee report said the UK should be “ashamed” of its poor air quality which was worsening asthma, heart disease, and cancer.
EAC chairman Tim Yeo said: “Air pollution probably causes more deaths than passive smoking, traffic accidents, or obesity.
Airborne particulate matter is estimated to reduce people’s lives by an average seven to eight months, while in pollution hotspots vulnerable residents, such as those with asthma, could be dying up to nine years early.
Air pollution also damages wildlife and agriculture, with ground-level ozone estimated to reduce wheat yields in the south of Britain by 5% to 15%.
The health costs of pollution are estimated at between £8.5bn and £20.2bn each year.
Failure to reduce air pollution could cost millions in EU fines.
Transport accounts for up to 70% of pollution in towns and cities.
- Hong Kong’s air pollution reaches record levels
Air pollution levels in Hong Kong reached a record high, more than quadruple the level at which people should stay indoors, prompting government warnings to people to avoid going out.
Schools were told to cancel sporting activities. Some schools stopped children playing outside. Elderly people have sought emergency help for shortness of breath.
The record levels follow severe sandstorms thousands of kilometres to the north around the Chinese capital.
“Hong Kong’s air pollution is bad already, but this shows we’re not dealing very well with the most severe weather situations,” said Edwin Lau, director of Friends of the Earth Hong Kong.
Across the border in southern China are tens of thousands of factories which adversely affect Hong Kong’s air quality; roadside pollution also remains a large part of the problem.
JJS: Were poisoning not just ourselves but also the species we need.
- Bees in more trouble than ever after bad winter
The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees’ pollen and hives laden with pesticides.
Bees play a vital role in our food supply. About one-third of the human diet is from plants that require pollination from honeybees, which means everything from apples to zucchini.
Bees have been declining over decades from various causes. But in 2006, adult bees began to abandon their hives and fly off to die. “Colony collapse disorder is likely a combination of many causes, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, and pesticides.
Zac Browning, one of the country’s largest commercial beekeepers, shipped his hives from Idaho to California to pollinate the blossoming almond groves. When he checked on them, he found hundreds of the hives empty, abandoned by the worker bees.
The losses were extreme, three times higher than the previous year and have led to a $1 million loss this year.
Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
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