To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom. Dietrich Bonhoeffer:


Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.---RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.---ABRAHAM LINCOLN
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.---ALEXANDRE DUMAS
“It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones" --- Alexander Solzhenitsyn quotes (Russian novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature (1970), b.1918)
“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.” ---Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Thick smog hangs over Hong Kong. Air pollution reached dangerous levels one of every eight days in 2009, according to news reports (EPA)

The main cause of global warming also known as the rise  in the temperature of the earth is POLLUTION. Everybody knows this fact I suppose. Way back in elementary studies we were taught how can pollution affect the earth and the future if not manage carefully.

Pollution creates greenhouse gases and these gases that we produce everyday when we travel by car or by plane, when factories operate, and when we use electricity or appliances like TVs or computers  STOP the sun's heat from escaping  and so the earth gets hotter.

Each person creates these gases, no, not just by mere existence but by what  one does. A person can measure how much his carbon emission is and  this is called  his CARBON FOOTPRINT.  Everyone has one. We need to be aware of  our carbon footprints and how we do affect or  help reduce global warming.

Yes, this has something to do with lifestyle. The more a person is into modernity and or as what we perceive conveniences in life, the greater his carbon footprint is. A poor person in Africa compared to an elite living in New York is far different from the other, this is beside the point of wealth and innovation. The one in New York evidently pollutes the earth, not the one in Africa.

Those who are living in urban areas with such modernity and technology have more carbon emissions generally. The question then how should one  lessen the  devastation of  everyday living and  what can a person do to make his carbon footprint less?

These some tips I got from a textbook can surely help.

1. Use trains not planes - choose public transportation and avoid long trips by plane. Cars and planes leave big carbon footprints and use up the planet's natural resources. The price of individual convenience indeed is not so agreeable to planet Earth.

2. Eat local - choose food that grows in your own country. Then food doesn't have to travel a long way by plane. Greens and other organic produce are the best.

3. Eat less meat -choose vegetables for some of your meals. Animals create a lot of greenhouse gases. Any  livestock farms produce more carbon dioxide when more people eat less meat and poultry it could mean lesser  farms which help minimize carbon dioxide emissions. 

4. Switch off  - don't leave computers and televisions on when  no one is using them. Unplug is the best word and not just for saving money but for energy all in all. 

5. Reuse and recycle - don't throw things away. If you can't use them, give them to someone else. More waste means more pollutants unless a certain place or city has a proper waste disposal system, nonetheless, lesser wastes mean less CO2.

We don't have to wait for ten years or so, the future starts now. We know that our planet is changing and we have been experiencing the effects of the  instability. This could get worse if we won't act  today. It's a fact that it's getting hotter and it isn't good! What exactly will happen to our planet anytime from now?
When pollution gets worse, the temperature will rise, lakes and rivers will dry up, ice in the Polar region will melt, oceans will rise, there will be more floods, there won't be as many  trees as there will be more forest fires. And after that, what?     ....... I'll leave that up you. 

For once, I thought it was insane for us to dream and even aspire for wealth and  affordability of  having these modern technologies when these  all eventually harm the very place we live in. And amazingly, we make some people richer by polluting the earth. Take account on airplanes, these contribute a huge amount of CO2 and they are not cheap to avail, how much does it cost to get an airline ticket? Well, it's not less. Perhaps so more people can't afford any?  Nonetheless, these give more income and profit to those operating the kind of business. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just pointing out the effects of these developments as we thought.  Yes, right, it's a business of convenience that unfortunately  damages the planet. 

We aspire on getting ourselves these brand new  technologies that are being introduced from time to time when they're slowly killing our mother earth. Many  go for birth control pills  believing having less people offers more conveniences, more financial favorable circumstances and this saves the earth when in fact, these pills cause estrogen pollution  which is not just a  potential human health  but also a huge marine life DISASTER.

I once asked my class why do we all dream of getting rich when in fact we just need to accommodate our needs for survival? Out of the blue my clever student uttered, BECAUSE WE ARE STUPID!. I was surprised, I myself didn't see that answer coming I was just apparently  in wonder.

The SIMPLER  life is, the LESS CARBON FOOTPRINT but who would care for the next generation when one thinks life is just about self and these present amenities and comfortable living nothing else? My   thirteen-year-old-student  is probably right.

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