Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Global sea level rise will inevitably effect lowland and coastal environments such as areas of Asia with current ice mass melting trajectories in the future. Continued debates over reliable scientific evidence is always speculated in the media arena drawing on examples of past warmings and coolings. Chances of warming, allegedly due to greater carbon dioxide emissions from meeting the needs of more people on the earth than ever before however, seems very probable. Noticeable changes to the human eye may only be apparent on a lag basis; gradual at first and then more sudden - whereby a threshold has been overstepped. Increases in insurance policies for coastal properties may be a nervous twitch indicator of times to come, but at least holidays to the Maldives will be cheaper.
Bestseller Cormac McCarthy's The Road comes to screen in early 2010 (UK cinemas). Directed by John Hillcoat, starring Viggo Marensen and Kodi Smit-Mcphee. Dark post-apoclyptic drama.. Although fictional, perhaps a gritty hint towards life of bulging population growth with limited resources on marginalised land in the face of an unpredictable natural disaster. discuss.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Topical conversations suggest that alternatives to overfishing the world's oceans, seas and lakes with global markets such as seaweed farms are a great idea. In Indonesia this is reality some island communities have been introduced to for some years, but many people wonder how beneficial they really are to families living in coastal environments. I spent some time following a typical seaweed farming family in south Bali, on Lembongan island. Seemed like all had a role to play in the processing of the seaweed. Gathering, sorting, drying and bagging and no one was fishing except on a subsistance basis. Most homes were slightly rustic structures you would typically associate with island dwelling and there was a lot of rubbish floating about. However, in some areas of the village I saw new concrete homes with clean tiles and rendered patios. Can't help but think there were some bigger fish in the seaweed farms than others. A few weeks would probably give fairer insight than an afternoon but I had been told 'ecotourism' has a hand in shaping lives here, especially so close to Bali's cosmetic trade. Talking to a visiting reef researcher, Greg pointed out that seaweed farms often encroach delicate coral gardens and disrupt juvenile fish habitats...etc. etc. So in a coconut shell - appears its all a bit swings and roundabouts but with growing numbers of mouths to feed/ bodies to cosmeticate (?), undoubtedly there will be more pressure on marine environments like this in the future.
Inspiration for new wind farm design?
Apparently so. I read this week, after shooting these fascinating patterns of schooling jack in the Coral Sea Indonesia, that scientists are modelling wind farm turbine design with this concept. It is widely understood that fish school to conserve energy; individual fish capture kinetic energy from their neighbour to swim with less effort. The idea being that turbines would be orientated parallel to the ground now, similar to a carousel and not upright as originally designed. Like fish, if close enough, the swirling wake energy would be constructively harnessed by each turbine and believed more energy produced than individual turbines alone.
'school of turbines'.. . .new collective noun.