Monthly Archives: June 2013

Air Quality- Guatemala

air-pollution-guatemalaIt is not uncommon to see thick haze hanging over Guatemala in April. People burn their fields for planting seeds before the rains. Go on a drive and you are likely to find things smoky. Apart from agricultural burning, forest fire also contributes to it.

When you add to these facts that more than half of all energy consumption comes from burning firewood, the reasons behind the haze begin taking shape.

In urban areas, public transportation network is often the biggest culprit. Old, recycle buses belch out black clouds of diesel fumes. In addition to auto exhaust, burning garbage from the city dump and pollution from industrial facilities combine to make the thick haze. Thankfully, there has been some work recently for revamping of the city’s public transportation system.

Thermal inversions may cause the haze to hang in a low-altitude pollution gulag. Concentrations of particulates, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide often exceed safety standards of World Health Organization. When the haze is washed away the by the rains during the rainy season, the atmosphere becomes free of pollutants.

Smoke and ash from occasional volcanic eruptions may also occasionally add to the air pollution, it is mainly the reasons given above.

Threat to the Oceans Looming

I’m feeling disgusted. I thought to take a dip in the ocean last night, only to fill my nostrils with oil. A tanker had collided there with a liner, leading to the oil spill. A hundred miles area around the spot had become a dead zone.

I feel to say an Ah! loudly. When will the humans learn from their mistakes? For centuries we have regarded the oceans as an inexhaustible supply of food and a useful transport route. There was nothing wrong in it. But we made oceans a convenient dumping ground as well. Perhaps we just don’t care how our actions affect Earth.

Humans, get up and take notice. Your activities over the last few decades have pushed oceans to their limit. Overfished, polluted and carelessly destroyed, the largest living space on Earth may just refuse to hold life if we don’t show some care.

Major threats to the oceans include unsustainable fishing, unhindered tourism, dumping of rubbish water and oily waste, and inadequate protection of marine life. Lost or discarded fishing nets entangle thousands of sea animals every year causing them to drown.

Should I ask, they have as much right to live on Earth as us.

Earth Girl’s Plea Against War

Earth GirlWar gives my mother Earth an ugly face and I plea to all not to do that to her. The face I see is so kind, so beautiful, so full of compassion…I feel her warmth for me when I sit in her lap. I wake every day to see her smiling for me and allowing share everything she has.

She’ll never complain no matter what we, her children, demand from her. Mothers don’t complain. She won’t utter a word when we go on a tree-cutting spree without thinking twice or blast right into her heart to explore the ores. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a duty to her. We need to keep the extraction of resources to the minimum. The future generation has as much right on them.

When we go to war, it is the worst thing we do to her. What would be for a mother to see her children fighting? War means end of sublimities, extinction of art and faith, and opposition to logic. It would be hard for mother Earth to bear it.

If you really want to fight, why don’t do that against violence, discrimination and superstition? In fact, it is harder to wage a war against these.

Deforestation – Guatemala

deforestation-guatemalaDegradation of natural resources in Guatemala is striking. Anyone who has had the opportunity to explore Guatemala of yesteryears will be alarmed at the rate of deforestation and illegal exploitation of forests and slash-and-burn subsistence agriculture.

Major environment issues in the country are deforestation in the Peten rainforest, soil erosion and water pollution. Precious natural resources of Guatemala are getting depleted rapidly.

There needs to be a campaign to get Guatemalans to fully appreciate the abundant natural heritage they have been blessed with. Success can be met if the conservation of these resources becomes a source of economic and moral value for the people there.

Environment preservation is ignored when it comes down to a question of sustaining the forest or cutting it down to plant subsistence crops. Moreover, any attempts for protection conflict with the interests of the lumber barons, drug cartels, cattle ranchers and peasants who are hungry of land. There are Guatemalans who have stood up to raise environment awareness in the face of death threats and intimidations, and their efforts need to be appreciated.

Eco degradation can also be linked to overwhelming lack of education of the general populace and endemic poverty. People living in the remote corners in the country are cut off from the mainstream. To get things back on track, these issues have to be addressed as well.