How do we become a viable species?


Most of our conversations and debates are symptomatic of 'root cause' that we collude to keep hidden as hard truths are not the fad of the moment.
For example - when you read this article posted below...
What stands out for you about....

  1. Your inner response...
  2. The truth of the matter in question...
  3. The science...
  4. The basic assumptions of society...
  5. The real message that you would replicate...
Pesticides found in honey around the world
By Erik StokstadOct. 5, 2017 , 2:00 PM
Insecticides are cropping up in honey samples from around the world, a new study finds, suggesting that bees and other pollinators are being widely exposed to these dangerous chemicals. The commonly used insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, are absorbed by plants and spread throughout their tissues. When pollinators collect and consume contaminated pollen and nectar, they can suffer from learning and memory problems that hamstring their ability to gather food and sometimes threaten the health of the whole hive. That’s a pressing concern because of the important role of honey bees and wild bees in pollinating crops, particularly fruits and vegetables. To get an idea of the extent of the threat to pollinators from pesticides, researchers in Switzerland asked their friends, relatives, and colleagues around the world to provide locally sourced honey. They found neonicotinoids most frequently in samples from North America, where 86% had one or more neonicotinoid, and least often in South America, where they occurred in 57% of samples. Globally, just over a third of samples had levels that have been shown to hurt bees, the researchers report today in Science. None of the samples had concentrations dangerous to human health. More than two types of neonicotinoids turned up in 45% of the honey samples, and 10% had four or five; the effects of mixtures are not known, but suspected to be worse. The team calls on governments to make more data available on the amounts of neonicotinoids being used in agriculture, which would help clarify the relationship between the amounts used by farmers and how much turns up in honey.
Posted in: Plants & Animals
Erik Stokstad
Erik is a reporter at Science, covering environmental issues and UK research.

Christopher Cooke
36 months ago

5 answers


Maybe use less insecticides and less pesticides when growing plants on farms. Growing more organic food. GMO's were supposed to make food producing plants more drought resistant, more disease and pest resistant while producing more fruits and vegetables than a non GMO plant.

David Barckhoff-Sag-Aftra/Producer, Director
31 months ago
David - Thanks for your comments. Yes the root cause of our health needs to be more fully appreciated so that we can make batter quality decisions across society. Best regards. - Christopher 31 months ago
Actualy I would go a stage further to add that it is clear that we do not need to use any pesticides - or any 'cide' - And the results are economically, socially and ecologically beneficial and measurable in factors of 10 benefit not small %. best regards - Christopher 31 months ago

Another way to maintain our species is to build a base on the moon and mine it for ra materials that can be used on Earth in manufacturing.

The famous Astronomer Carl Sagan said "We need to be a two planet species". We need to build a base on Mars. Humans need to colonize it and work towards terraforming it. If a catastrophic event occurs like the one which destroyed the dinosaurs, life for humans can continue. Sagan also said "The reason the dinosaurs became extinct was due to, they didn't have a space program". We not only learn about the solar system and the universe by exploring space, but e learn more about ourselves and hen we may have come from as well as the building blocks of life. I did an internship working on the Mars Phoenix Lander. It was a fun project to be a part of and an important one for exploring the North Pole region of Mars. I hope to see the first humans to land on Mars in my lifetime, just like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin who landed on the surface of the Moon watched by my parents and millions of others during the previous generation.

David Barckhoff-Sag-Aftra/Producer, Director
31 months ago

It appears to me that there are MORE people today with food allergies than there were in the 1970's and 1980's when I was in school. I never heard of someone being allergic to peanuts or wheat/gluten in the 1970's or 1980's. These allergic reactions could be a result of using more (Genetically modified plants) and /or Genetically Modified Organisms and pesticides in and on our food plants along with using more growth hormones/antibiotics in farm animals that are grown for humans to eat. Humans need to be more health conscious. They need to be more active. Exercise more. Eat more healthy. Eat more organic foods and less processed foods. Start growing more food in their own garden or in a neighborhood garden.

David Barckhoff-Sag-Aftra/Producer, Director
31 months ago
Yes - I agree there is something upsetting us! and there are many things we can do - but what seems to be at play is the fundamental weakening of our immune system. A big question here being how to know what to trust in our food supply...? - Christopher 31 months ago

To increase the accessibility of clean, disease free, freshwater for people and animals to drink, use for cooking, use for bathing, irrigating crops, etc si to build more desalination plants along the coasts of the USA and other countries who are experiencing water shortages from either drought, reduced freshwater sources, over population or over use. These plants need to be co-located next to an electricity producing power plant. This will provide the needed power to the desalination plant to process the seawater into purified drinking water. This will also provide the country, region, city etc, with additional electricity to power their society. The average cost of electricity per year to power a desalination plant i $10 million US dollars. The Tampa Florida desalination plant can provide about 25 - 30 million gallons of freshwater per day out of seawater. This water is used by about 2.5 million residents every day plus used by a variety of businesses. This would be an excellent way to get freshwater to many desert and drought stricken areas in the middle east, africa, Australia and in the United States.

David Barckhoff-Sag-Aftra/Producer, Director
31 months ago
This is a great exploration of what possible. And what about enhancing the effectiveness of our water cycle... De-salination has a massive cost and unintended consequences. - Christopher 31 months ago
What are you referring to as "unintended consequences" when referring to desalination? As I've outlined, there is an enormous benefit to having more freshwater available for humans to use. What is the down side to it? - David 31 months ago
David, This type of technology is best viewed as temporary until a more effective natural water cycle can be 'recovered' and become 'regenerative'. Questions to ask are - At the point of blending at the Regional Blending facility what % of the Cities Water is supplied by the desalination plant? What does it cost mg? 19 mgd of concentrated seawater that is returned to the bay! - What are the - Christopher 31 months ago
Chemical residuals? Also for the treated stream how is quality monitored? - Christopher 31 months ago
And what might be possible if the effective rainfall for the region were improved by 1" per annum ? - Christopher 31 months ago
Great technology but how does this take away the opportunity to address the root cause of the shortfall - Much can be done in this domain at point of use. - Christopher 31 months ago
The cost per making 1,000 gallons of freshwater from saltwater in Tampa Florida in 2012 was $3.06. - David 31 months ago
WIth the planet Earth consisting of about 70% saltwater, this is NOT a temporary supply. It's not going to disappear overnight. There are least 150 desalination plants worldwide providing clean drinking water. Would you prefer everyone die of thirst first until you Chris find a better solution to water shortages? Desal is a plan I sent to the UN to reduce water shortages worldwide & it's working. - David 31 months ago
David, I want to go back to the original question - about how do we become a viable species? At one level this means that we can manage our resources in an enduring manner - In my view an enduring manner means that the resources of Earth are able to regenerate and renew - ie the process of creative evolution may continue. This means that yes we will use technology but in a broader context...More - Christopher 31 months ago
At some point the earths resources will not be enough to sustain an ever increasing population. We will need to look for other supplies through mining the Moon, Mars, Asteroids, Comets. The earth can regenerate some items but some can't be regenerated. This is why a strong Space program is necessary. Thanks Chris. Good questions. - David 31 months ago

It’s increasingly crucial in a world where freshwater resources are progressively strained by population growth, development, droughts, climate change and more. That’s why researchers and companies from the United States to Australia are fine-tuning a centuries-old concept that might be the future of quenching the world’s thirst.
“When it comes to increasing water supplies, you have four options: Increase your amount of reuse, increase storage, conserve it or turn to a new source,” says Tom Pankratz, a desalination consultant and current editor of the weekly trade publication "Water Desalination Report." “And for many places around the world, the only new source is desalination.”
Costly Process
Desalination technology has been around for centuries. In the Middle East, people have long evaporated brackish groundwater or seawater, then condensed the vapor to produce salt-free water for drinking or, in some cases, for agricultural irrigation.
Over time the process has become more sophisticated. Most modern desalination facilities use reverse osmosis, in which water is pumped at high pressure through semipermeable membranes that remove salt and other minerals.
Worldwide about 300 million people get some freshwater from more than 17,000 desalination plants in 150 countries. Middle East countries have dominated that market out of necessity and energy availability, but with threats of freshwater shortages spreading around the world, others are rapidly joining their ranks. Industry capacity is growing about 8 percent per year, according to Randy Truby, comptroller and past president of the International Desalination Association, an industry group, with “bursts of activity” in places such as Australia and Singapore.
In the United States, a $1 billion plant is being built in Carlsbad, California, to provide about seven percent of the drinking water needs for the San Diego region. When it goes online in late 2015 it will be the biggest in North America, with a 50-million-gallon-per-day capacity. And California currently has about 16 desalination plant proposals in the works.
But desalination is expensive. A thousand gallons of freshwater from a desalination plant costs the average US consumer $2.50 to $5, Pankratz says, compared to $2 for conventional freshwater.
It’s also an energy hog: Desalination plants around the world consume more than 200 million kilowatt-hours each day, with energy costs an estimated 55 percent of plants’ total operation and maintenance costs. It takes most reverse osmosis plants about three to 10 kilowatt-hours of energy to produce one cubic meter of freshwater from seawater. Traditional drinking water treatment plants typically use well under 1 kWh per cubic meter.
And it can cause environmental problems, from displacing ocean-dwelling creatures to adversely altering the salt concentrations around them.
Research into a suite of seawater desalination improvements is underway to make the process cheaper and more environmentally friendly — including reducing dependence on fossil fuel–derived energy, which perpetuates the vicious cycle by contributing to climate change that contributes to freshwater shortages in the first place.
Membrane Upgrade
Most experts say that reverse osmosis is as efficient as it’s going to get. But some researchers are trying to squeeze more by improving the membranes used to separate salt from water.
Membranes currently used for desalination are mainly thin polyamide films rolled into a hollow tube through which the water wicks. One way to save energy is to increase the diameter of the membranes, which is directly correlated with how much freshwater they can make. Companies are increasingly moving from eight-inch to 16-inch diameter membranes, which have four times the active area.
“You can produce more water while reducing the footprint for the equipment,” says Harold Fravel Jr., executive director of the American Membrane Technology Association, an organization that advances the use of water purification systems.
A lot of membrane research is focused on nanomaterials — materials about 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. MIT researchers reported in 2012 that a membrane made of a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms called graphene could work just as well and requires less pressure to pump water through than polyamide, which is about a thousand times thicker. Less pressure means less energy to operate the system, and, therefore, lower energy bills.
Graphene is not only durable and incredibly thin, but, unlike polyamide, it’s not sensitive to water treatment compounds such as chlorine. In 2013, Lockheed Martin patented the Perforene membrane, which is one atom thick with holes small enough to trap salt and other minerals but that allow water to pass.
Another popular nanomaterial solution is carbon nanotubes, says Philip Davies, an Aston University researcher who specializes in energy efficient systems for water treatment. Carbon nanotubes are attractive for the same reasons as graphene — strong, durable material packed in a tiny package — and can absorb more than 400 percent of their weight in salt.
Membranes have to be swapped out, so carbon nanotubes’ durability and high absorption rate could reduce replacement frequency, saving time and money.

David Barckhoff-Sag-Aftra/Producer, Director
31 months ago

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