Practical guide for Planet Friendly, 21st Century beings


Is the Earth ‘trying’ to Eradicate us?

Volcanicfountain

Is earth’s Geology and natural evolutionary processes trying to eradicate us, along with all of our fellow life forms? Do we stand a chance?

As everyone knows, geologic time moves much more slowly than the time scale we use in our fleeting human life spans. We marvel at the brief life spans of flies and insects, some measured in just days, but most fail to realize that in terms of earth geological timelines, we are the flies. In fact, we may not even be noticed as inhabitants of the earth by our geological counterparts? No matter how hard we try, how far we drill, how much we dig and scrape or how much we pollute it, the earth just keeps right on changing and arranging, unimpeded by man or beast. Volcanoes, tectonic plate movements, earthquakes, tidal waves, tornadoes; all part of the grand scheme of our earth to reinvent itself and re-sculpt it’s features, as the molten magma at it’s core just keeps flowing, day in – day out, like a huge steel mill, melting and crushing and forging all the elements around it.

Could this be the function of a living planet in our universe? To wipe itself clean in anticipation of the next iteration of life until its life span is over?

Scientists date the formation of the earth back to 4.6 Billion years ago. The first human beings arrived approximately 2.5 Million years ago. So, if you’re counting, that would be ( 4.6 billion – 2.5 million = ) four billion five hundred ninety-seven million five hundred thousand years that the earth was inhabited by non-human life forms.

Some of these ancient life forms can now be found as fossils, embedded in sedimentary rocks and carbon dated back millions of years. Interestingly enough, as proof of our imminent demise, fossils of ancient sea life and sea floors existing millions of years before us can now be found at the highest peaks in the world. Sea beds from ancient oceans thrust upward to form the tops of modern mountain ranges. That’s geology at work, creating one thing while destroying another (e.g. nature’s way). Our tectonic plates simply move about the earth, like huge islands of rock floating on a sea of magma, until they run into something. That’s when they begin their work, grinding either over or under the neighboring plate, heaving up the earth ahead of it into mountain ranges and grinding the old plate under its massive weight to be recycled into the waiting magma, life forms and all. Nothing is spared and nothing is wasted. It’s a perfect system of give and take.

This will be the future of all life forms on our planet ,until the planet itself cools and its geologic life processes cease to function, thus transforming itself into a dead world unable to sustain life of any description. Just cold rock hurtling through space along with all the other cold rocks.

So, the question remains, is our earth trying to eradicate us? Probably not intentionally, but more so, as a consequence of its own life processes, similar to the process of killing bacteria when be bathe ourselves? It’s all just natural and a point to ponder when thinking too far out of the box regarding humanity and it’s importance to the planet and our universe. Everything comes, everything goes. The universe goes on ashes to ashes, dust to dust, magma to rock.

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FREE WATER ! FREE WATER !! PART II (deux)
September 11, 2009, 4:33 pm
Filed under: Articles of Interest, Energy, gardening, Green, hobby farming, New age

OK everyone, now that we have an overview of how to procure water free from industrial usage, municipal tax and utility company charges we now need to determine whether we can actually drink the stuff? What’s in it? Is it safe? Can it replace groundwater?

Rainwater, since it falls through the atmosphere, will inherently contain whatever particles and pollutants it happens to pick up on its way down to earth. It is naturally soft water and devoid of minerals since it has not yet interacted with the rocks or soil. It also has a low ph level and is slightly acidic due to a reaction with carbon dioxide in the air. It is usually safe but requires various stages of filtering before being considered drinking water. Always check with your local drinking water filtering/purification standards before drinking local rainwater.

Normal drinking water or ground water, as we know it, is created when rainwater falls to earth, picking up minerals along the way through its interaction with the rocks and soil, becoming ground water or ‘drinking water’ as it leeches through the soil and rocks into the underground aquifers, lakes and streams. Nature’s supply chain can get corrupted though, when human beings pollute the ground so thoroughly that our potential source of drinking water is forced to leech through polluted rocks and soil. By the time it ends up in the underground aquifers and lakes it needs to be tested and treated for a myriad of chemicals deemed harmful to human beings. One day its potable water from the sky then the next day it’s become contaminated (poisoned) by local industry, landfills or farm chemical runoff.

Our normal groundwater/drinking water also contains minerals that we human beings, over the millennia, have come to rely upon for our daily health and well being, which rainwater happens to be devoid of. But these minerals, which are absent in rainwater can, according to experts, be acquired by adding certain foods to our diet and in most cases it is actually easier and more efficient to absorb them through food rather than through our drinking water.

A quick primer in minerals; our bodies consist of approximately 4% minerals, classified as trace and major minerals. The trace minerals are; zinc, iron, copper, selenium, fluorine, iodine and chromium. The major minerals are; calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, chlorine and sulfur. These minerals are useful in forming bones and teeth, regulating cellular metabolism, maintaining normal heart rhythm, neural conductivity and muscle contractility among other things.

So, now that we know what our bodies require and what we must avoid in order to live a healthy life we now need to figure out a way to get our drinking water free and clear of any government or industry involvement and clean. Our way out of this conundrum is to catch the water before anyone can use it and abuse it. Rainwater is the answer. You don’t need to be a tree hugger to understand the benefits of government free, industry free, tax free water, although it helps?

Rainwater does require treatment though, in order to become drinking water and depending on your part of the country the rainwater may be completely un-drinkable due to heavy atmospheric pollution? Some research has been done on the issue of rainwater treatment and filtering for human consumption and the following is an excerpt of a very informative article on the subject that I found during my research for this article and is quite useful in our understanding of the technical requirements of filtering rainwater.

Excerpted from Short Note 4 Expatriate Bangladeshi 2000 Md. Khalequzzaman, Assistant Professor of Geology, Georgia Southwestern State University.

Full text available at http://www.eb2000.org/short_note_4.htm

Studies of the chemical composition of rainfall have been carried on for many years starting in late 1880s in the United States and in Europe. Rainwater collected in various parts of the USA contains (in milligrams per liter): Fe (0.015) , Ca (0.075-1.41), Mg (0.027-1.2), Na (0.22-9.4), Ca (0.075-1.41), K (0.072-0.11), HCO3 (4-7), SO4 0.7-7.6), Cl (0.22-17), NO2 (0.02), NO3 (0.02-0.62), and Total Dissolved Solids 8.2-38), and pH of 4.9 to 6.4. Although most of these concentrations fall within the safe limit prescribed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, some exceed safe drinking water limit.

Rainwater in rural areas – away from atmospheric and industrial pollution – is fairly clean except for some dissolved gases it may pick up while traveling through the atmosphere. Some scientists consider rainwater as the “gold standard” of water. However, rainwater is not free of pollution. It contains most of the atmospheric gases in dissolved form in proportion to their abundance. In addition, rainwater contains sediments, dust, aerosols, particulates, and anthropogenic gases that result from industrial discharge, biomass and fossil fuel burning. Gases such as H2O, SO2, NH3, NO2, N2O, HCl, CO, and CO2 are produced in substantial amounts by burning of fuels, by metallurgical processes, and by other anthropogenic activities, and also by biochemical processes in soil and water. Carbonates, nitrates, and sulfates in the atmosphere can react with water vapor and form carbonic, nitric, and sulfuric acids, respectively. These acids washed down with rain and form acid rain, which is detrimental to ecosystem and water quality. Since rainwater is not pure water, some precautions will have to be taken before the water is consumed. Sediments will have to be removed, and water further purified by using a reverse osmosis distillation system. This is a membrane permeation process that separates pure water from a less pure solution containing dissolved chemicals. Rainwater purifying techniques also involves passing through a pipe surrounded by an ultraviolet light, which kills most pathogens. Based on the Texas Water Development Board’s “Texas Guide to Rainwater Harvesting”, a scientist named Krishna developed a rainwater harvesting system in 1998 and received approval from the city of Portland, Oregon, to use his system for all household use. The rainwater harvesting system costs less than $1,500 and consists of the following components: a 1500 gallon plastic cistern, a 1/2 horsepower shallow-well pump, plastic (outdoor PVC and indoor CPVC) piping, two particulate filters in series, rated at 20 and 5 micron particle sizes, an ultraviolet light sterilizer, screen covering the cistern, a 20 gallon water butyl rubber diaphragm pressure storage tank, and a reduced pressure backflow prevention device. The cost to install a similar system in Bangladesh will be much less, because indigenous equipment will be cheaper than buying from the United States.

Rainwater harvesting is in use in many parts of the world. There is a long established tradition of rainwater collection in some parts of Alaska and Hawaii. City of Austin, Texas, offers rebate for using rainwater for some household uses. According to the “Sourcebook Harvested Rainwater”, in some areas of the Caribbean, new houses are required to have rainwater capture systems. Hawaii apparently is currently developing (or has already developed) guidelines. The island of Gibraltar has one of the largest rainwater collection systems in existence. Rainwater offers advantages in water quality for both irrigation and domestic use. Rainwater is naturally soft (unlike well water), contains almost no dissolved minerals or salts, is free of chemical treatment, and is a relatively reliable source of water for households. Rainwater collected and used on site can supplement or replace other sources of household water. Rainwater can be used as drinking water if proper treatment is done before using. McElveen, a physician from Texas, also developed methods to treat rainwater for drinking purposes. For drinking water treatment, McElveen relies on 5-micron and 1-micron cartridge filters and an ultraviolet (UV) treatment. He runs an Environmental Protection Agency test every 8 months for the same contaminants as municipal utilities test for: heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, pH, and hardness.

So there you have it, Rainwater can be used as a source of clean, free drinking water as long as it is not overly polluted by local air quality and is properly filtered according to strict guidelines for drinking water purity in your area. Unless you live very close to (or in) a major urban center or near heavy industrial activity the chances are pretty good that you already have a constant source of free, clean drinking water falling from the sky just waiting to be collected, filtered and used by you and your family for years to come. By using these rainwater collection and filtering techniques along with green housing designs like the Earthships we could all someday live in a world where natural resources are no longer squandered and polluted but instead are coveted as a free natural resource that anyone can afford and maintain by themselves anywhere on the planet?

It’s worth a shot so; let’s start collecting our FREE WATER before they figure out a way to charge us for it!

Reference

http://www.traceminerals.com/humanhealth.html

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:3HTmlrcYCRsJ:www.dnr.state.oh.us/water/pubs/pdfs/fctsht47.pdf+minerals+found+in+ground+water+rainwater&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6

http://www.puretap.ca/delivery.html ; explanation of different types of water



The Human Philosophy of Earth and Non-Human Life

Wildlife in the wild 

Seems there is a paradox concerning the human quest to be good citizens of the planet and our treatment of the non-human citizens of our planet?

Human beings, over the ages, have adopted religion and philosophy in an attempt to be ‘good’ people and more recently have also adopted an environmental protection attitude, striving to be the protectors of our one and only planet before we can tear it’s eco-systems to shreds, thus undermining our tenuous hold on human existence. Some claim to be liberal, some claim to be holy. Some simply claim to be concerned citizens and environmentally focused but there is a contradiction here that can’t be easily dismissed. What about the rest of the citizens of our one and only planet? The beings we refer to as ‘Animals’. They have been largely left out of the Big (human) Picture as human beings see it and are largely thought of as third class citizens (we reserve the ‘second class’ moniker to refer to our human under classes). In effect, and in reality, the ‘Animals’ have become commodities, much like corn, wheat, soybeans and all the other commodities we buy, sell and trade on the open market.

I say this is a contradiction because when we claim to be good citizens of the planet or any of the above descriptions, we are leaving out the fact that we share the planet with other citizens who are largely defenseless to our many assaults upon them and whom we view and treat as just so much currency or potential currency. How can we claim to be good citizens of our planet if we continue to view our animal citizens (beings) as lesser or beneath humanity?

This thought came to me the other day when I drove by a ‘puppy store’ and I thought to myself ‘a puppy STORE?’ Since when did puppies become a commodity, to be bought and sold on the open market; just walk right in an buy a puppy? This is, of course, accepted practice and I shouldn’t have been shocked by it, if it weren’t for the sudden realization. I’ve driven by the same place for 20 years now. Then it hit me, human beings treat every animal ‘being’ like a commodity, from the largest Elephant and Blue Whale to the tiniest shrew or kiwi. Everything on our planet can be bought or sold, except for human beings. The line seems to be drawn there.

There are stores to buy any animal being on our planet as it turns out? Our Zoos purchase wild beasts from exotic places everyday. The beasts are simply living somewhere one day and procured the next by a human being wanting it to be caged somewhere else besides the wild place it really belongs. We corral the wild beasts into smaller and smaller areas of ‘our’ countries then lament that the animals are encroaching on our fields or properties with their ‘wild’ ways. They are shot, trapped, electrocuted, beaten, starved, poisoned. They are eaten or fed to other animals at our whim and priced by the pound for connoisseurs and ‘wildlife’ institutions. We are now at the point of having to protect them from us. What is the driving force behind this ‘idea’ that human beings (human animals) are superior to all other animals and their existence is subject to our discretion dependent upon their relative worth from our perspective? From whence did this ‘idea’ evolve? Where did this arrogance originate and how is it being propagated still?



FREE Water ! FREE Water !
July 26, 2006, 6:46 pm
Filed under: Articles of Interest, Energy, gardening, Green, hippie, hippy, New age, recycle

Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library

  Ok folks, today we’re going to talk about FREE water for your home, farm or cabin.

The first point I’d like to make is that IT’S FREE !!!!

The second point I’d like to make is that IT’S EVERYWHERE !!!

Not only is it FREE but it’s also FREE of contaminants that continually seep into the underground water aquifers.

If you currently have a well, the water is probably stinky and mineral laden ( iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell )) and may require filtering to remove these elements.

If you have a municipal water hookup then you’re paying for the local water treatment facility to find water for you, clean it, filter it, add chlorine to it and pump it to your house. In other words, a bill every month for someone else’s water ( a bit simplistic but you get the point? ).

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about by now but just in case you don’t, it’s called RAIN WATER.

Note: There are airborne pollutants that can affect the quality of rain water so you should check out the air quality standards and proper drinking water filtering and purification methods in your area before drinking the local rainwater.

You can collect it and use it to supplement your current garden watering needs including water features and bird baths using rain barrels (pickle barrels) or you can go all out and install cisterns (big giant plastic storage tanks) and filter it for grey water usage (washing dishes, showering) and drinking water (if properly purified), more about this later.

Add solar power and wind power to this setup and you’re ‘off the grid’ ! I can’t say enough about utilizing natural resources that remain untouched by human hands before we use them.

Rain water is as free as sunshine and windy days. It just needs to be collected and treated and that is where technology comes into play. There are many ways to collect rain water and the best one is the one that fits your lifestyle the best.

 ‘Rain garden’ technology; walk around your property during a rain storm (not a thunderstorm please) and look for low spots on the lawn or grounds where water naturally collects into puddles. You can use these low spots to plant bushes or trees that would basically water themselves if you have enough rain. The water would pool in the low spot then filter down through the soil/compost/sand mixture, used to fill in the depression, in sufficient quantities to maintain a healthy root system. Using this principle you could probably also build a sort of looping ‘French drain’ system around planting areas to collect water and moisten the ground right at the level of the root systems.

Rain BarrelRain barrel’ technology utilizes pickle barrels with a filter on top and a pump (sometimes a sump pump motor or submersible pond pump is used) to extract the water to the garden areas. You can also use manual (gravity) methods to extract the water via a hose connected at the bottom of a rain barrel on a raised platform or even a simple bucket method to scoop the water out. This is a great way to get started and to figure out what works best for you. You could also replace the electric motor with a solar pump if you wish?

‘Rooftop Rainwater Collection Systems’ capture rain fall from your roof, channel it through a series of downspouts into a giant cistern. The water collected is then processed through a series of filters according to it’s usage in the household. No sustainable home building architecture utilizes this system better than the Earthship Biotecture. Earthships and Earth Homes also utilize solar, wind, insulation design and lot placement to create self sustaining house designs that sever the ties between free human beings and the corporate power conglomerates.

There are lots of great books on Rainwater Harvesting out there so, just pick your preferred method of rainwater collection and distribution system and see how much FREE water you can collect and utilize. You’ll be saving yourself some money, helping the planet and feeling much better about your role as a planetary being. Not a bad payoff for utilizing a FREE resource?

FREE WATER! FREE WATER! PART II

More information on rain water collection :

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: This agency’s excellent Web site has much guidance, many links, an instruction manual (with suggested planting plans) that can be printed out and ideas for involving kids. See www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/nps/rg/.

Rain Gardens of West Michigan: A Grand Rapids-based coalition of environmental groups has advice and instructions at www.raingardens.org.

Friends of Bassett Creek: The Web site of this Minneapolis river conservation group has a good short primer and plant list: www.infinetivity.com/(tilde)stack/rain/index.htm

Maplewood, Minn.: This city’s Web site offers ample information, including suggestions for different types of sites and plantings: www.maplewoodmn.govoffice.com/index.asp

Rain Barrel Gadgets. An Excellent source of Rain Barrels, Kits and planet friendly products.  http://www.naturalrainwater.com/order_rainbarrel.htm

Earthship Biotecture http://www.earthship.org/

The Natural Home Building Source http://www.thenaturalhome.com/index.html

Davis Caves Earth Sheltered Homes http://www.daviscaves.com/index.shtml

Green Home Building http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/conservewater.htm

Sustainable Village http://www.thesustainablevillage.com/servlet/display/products/toc/ 

Rain Barrel Guide http://rainbarrelguide.com/rainwater_collection_links.html 

Rain Barrel Tutorial http://www.geocities.com/rainsystem/howto.html

The Path to Freedom http://www.pathtofreedom.com/newsletter/thepath_13.htm

Drinking Rain Water http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/wea00/wea00044.htm