Friday, July 23, 2010

Knowledge & Life Continued: Floods in Pictures

Many times throughout our lives we have in contact with water. Our body physicly and chemicly depends on water for lubrification, as a substrate for chemical reactions and during the metabolic processes. Metaphorically speaking the human shell contains as much as 40 litres of water (applied to a regular male at ideal mass according to height). Water has provided a source of food and hygiene for generations. In some places in the world water is so scarce mothers are forced to give up drinking water to save their children's lives from dehydration. However water in unamiganably large quantities can be a great hazard for life as we know it. A flood according to wikipedia is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. This is one of the most common natural disasters all over the world, sometimes bringing benefits when small and localized but mostly submerging land, buildings and people. In the last decade floods have affecte 1.5 billion people which is quite a heavy amount.
What follows below in my first photography post is the most deadliest and famous floods of all time. The horrors and losses that these innocent people experienced and dealt with is quite frankly beyond me.

Madeira, Portugal February 2010
Yizhou, Guangxi Zhuang, China June 2008
St.Louis USA August 1993

Machu Picchu, Peru January 2010
Jakarta, Indonesia February 2007

Des Moines, USA June 2008

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Knowledge & Life: The Temple Of Wind

This post is coming to you directly from my grandparent's cottage in the middle of nowhere. The Internet is so slow that I have to wait for the text I write to appear on the screen. It is quite extraodinary how such slow internet connections still exist, in a world as technoligically advanced as our own. But to more important matters... I recently picked up a polish science mag to experience their views on today's science.  I was not surprised to see that they as BBC Focus before them also believe in false promises of scientific endevours. I shall translate as best I can. Also forgive my spelling errors, there is no spellcheck on this computer and no author finds all his mistakes. I shall try to show you these childish scientific promises one by one. 

Wind. Earth. Sea. Sun. All of these are interconnected forces of nature that make our world turn around. Without them there would be no life. We depend upon them. They serve us and we them. I plan to make a series of posts about these powers. Today I shall start with wind...

"By the year 2020 one fifth of the electrical energy consumed by euro citizens will come from renewable sources"

How wonderful and lovely does this sound now doesn't it? Of course if we follow our recent history of energy consumption (first decade of the 21st century) we realize that this plan is doomed to fail. Not only are we increasing our renewable energy too slowly, we are also increasing our fossil fuel consumption far too much.

However, back to wind energy. You have probably already seen those bright white turbines that are scattered throughout the countryside. Although many people think of them as nuisances I quite like the look of them while driving through the monotonously green rural areas. Well nowadays these wind farms are also present at sea. Norway it seems has big plans for these turbines as they seek to build as many of them as they can across their vast and quite windy coastline. A good idea one might say. But let's take a closer look. Wind turbines have so far proven to be very costly ventures both due to the building cost and their low power output. Well from where do these funds come from? From the cheap source of oil located in the Norwegian sea. They even say this in the article. How do they hope to achieve green energies if they still depend on the old ones? It's another paradox.

If the Norwegian plan  comes to fruition (very unlikely but possible, governments still give big funding to such projects so anything may happen) the total amount of power that Norway will benefit from amounts to: 329Mw.
Enough to power 120 thousand households. That may seem much in Norway but not in countries like the U.S. where 120,000 households is a small city. Whatever way you put it, wind energy will not be the ultimate power source that will be present in the future. It will be somewhere in the shadows outshined by nuclear and fossil fuel power. No miracles, just simple reality.