Monday, October 5, 2009

Oct. 5 - America is a toxic dump‏

Dear Friends,

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America is a toxic dump

The US is one of the world's leading garbage producers. Our unnecessary wastefulness is creating a deadly brew

There are some places in the world where there is no word for garbage. The idea that an object could have no purpose, or be brought into being only to be discarded, is so alien that the concept simply does not exist. America is not one of them.

On the contrary, we have become such a disposable society that we are one of the top garbage producers in the world, dumping an estimated 254 million tons a year, less than a third of which is recycled. That's enough rubbish to fill more than 82,000 football fields packed six feet deep. Needless to say, all this waste is wreaking havoc on the environment and depleting our natural resources. But rather than focusing our efforts on reducing consumption and more effective recycling, billions of dollars are spent each year collecting, crushing, burying, burning and exporting the evidence of our destructive ways.

The worst part is that so much of what we throw away would not fit with most people's perception of rubbish. I recently took part in an urban foraging tour in New York. I had intended only to be a casual observer, but when I saw the range of goodies on offer – organic still fresh fruits and vegetables, fancy olive breads, cured meats, bagels, donuts and other delectables, still sealed in non-biodegradable packaging, it seemed an awful shame to let it go to waste. Another dumpster dive led me to more durable goods like books, clothes, toys, furniture and electronic items in near perfect condition. Nothing, it appears, is too good to be discarded here.

Unfortunately only a tiny percentage of the city's refuse is reclaimed by foragers. The rest (which amounts to about 4,385,000 tons a year) is gathered by collection trucks which instantly crush it into compact piles, eliminating the possibility of further salvaging. It is then taken to a transfer station and from there either to an incinerator where it will be burned, releasing cancer causing dioxins into the air, or more likely to a landfill where it will decompose into a hazardous brew that leaches liquid waste into the soil and water and releases landfill gases into the air.

These gases consist mostly of lethal methane, which according to the Environmental Protection Agency is a major contributor to global climate change, being 21-times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Garbage's contribution to climate change does not stop with the polluting effects of the waste itself, however. As Heather Rogers points out in her book Gone Tomorrow: the Hidden Life of Garbage, the fact that the goods we throw out need to be continuously replaced leads to more pollution-causing processes and a further drain on our resources.

The other travesty of our current waste-disposal system is that almost 60% of our landfill contents are compostable, and a further 30% consists of non-recyclable packaging and disposables which should never have been produced in the first place. But when you start looking into why this is the case, you come head to head with the biggest threat to the environment of all: the pursuit of profit.

Lobbying groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, headquartered in Washington, have fought tooth and nail for decades against any restrictions on the highly profitable production of disposable containers and packaging. And at the other end of the equation, the equally powerful waste-management companies (a multi-billion-dollar industry) work on the simple premise that more trash equals more cash. It is far more profitable and much less labour intensive to dump unsorted garbage in a landfill than it is to separate it for compost or recycling.

And so the pillage of nature continues unabated. Instead of any meaningful effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, we export any waste we can't handle to poorer countries and find ever more ingenious ways to cover up the problem at home.

Many US landfills, including the infamous Fresh Kills in New York, have been capped and sealed and reclaimed as public spaces. While this is definitely good for the neighbourhood, burying our sins and hiding them from view is not the answer to our problems and quite possibly has the effect of convincing consumers that it's OK to throw away.

We should keep in mind that no more than a mortician's magic can render a corpse anything other than dead, no amount of top soil or innovative landscaping can render the toxic cocktail beneath anything other than deadly.

Unlike the societies with no word for garbage, America has several – the most common being trash. The dictionary definition of trash is anything "useless, disreputable, worthless, foolish, pointless or nonsensical".

When you think about our current approach to the growing problem of garbage, that pretty much sums it up.
Sadhbh Walshe

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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