inspirations

A Perfect Environmental Ecosystem!!

beautiful_waterfall_wallpaper

” Let’s fantasize for a moment and ask: What would an ideal farm in Brazil that was operating as part of such a Clean Energy System look like? Imagine Senhor Verde has a thousand-acre farm, with a river full of fish running through it that is adjacent to an expanse of natural forest loaded with a rich diversity of plants and animals. Here is how he would operate:

He would start his day using a smart tractor, the kind already made by john Deere. As he plows his filed, the tractor takes real-time measurements of the moisture and nutrient content of each square meter and automatically inserts only the exact amount of fertilizer needed to produce the yield he seeks, taht way there is no fertilizer left over to wash into his river and harm the aquatic life there and downstream. Less nitrogen fertilizer also means fewer emissions of nitrogen oxide-a potent greenhouse gas. Thanks to this technology, he is taking advantage all the time of the most productive parts of his land for farming, so he has less incentive to go into the rain forest or to denude the riverbanks of trees just to plant a few more acres of crops. In fact, he and his neighbors have worked with a local conservation NGO to zone their farms so that the most productive areas are farmed, and other areas are set aside and restored to their native vegetation, which protects the streams and allows wildlife to migrate across a much larger area of natural habitat. That smart tractor, by the way, is a plug-in electric hybrid, with a backup motor thjat runs on biofuel made from switchgrass planted in Brazil on degraded lands that were specifically set aside as part of a national plan to protect the Amazon from biofuel encroachment. All the information amassed about the amount of fertilizaer that went into every square meter of his land, and the yield it ultimately produced, is captured on the onboard computer so he can make smarter decisions next year and increase his yield, even as he reduces his inputs. The sprinkler system is also a smart system and adds only the precise amount of water per square meter that is needed. The crop itself has been engineered to grow with the least amount of fertilizer and the least amount of water and fewest pesticides, so it is much stronger and produces a higher yield than non-bioengineered crops. It has also been engineered to be more nutritious, so people get healthier and healthier from less and less foodIn addition, because he is using fewer and cleaner fertilizers, the impact on the local river is tiny, so the water can be recylced with less energy and fewer chemicals. Also, by not cultivating the banks of the river and by maintaining the trees, he is preserving from erosion his most valuable asset – the arable land that produces his crops – and providing through the roots of trees and wetlands a natural water filter, which keeps sediment out of the river and prevents degradation of the wetlands downstream. Because the rover is healthy, he can enjoy fishing it or swimming in it much more, but he can also license others to come and fish for peacock bass on it each summer, making another nice little side income. On the part of his land that abuts the tropical forest, he has built a small ecolodge, which draws all its electricity from a one-megawatt wind turbine and attracts hundreds of ecotourists each year “.

Friedman, TL. (2009: 243-244) Hot, Flat, & Crowded, Release 2.0,

 

Categories: inspirations, Sustainable Management | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Can citizens of Dubai adopt a bicycle culture?

Bike dubai

Entering my car early mornings everyday, leaving  home to go to work, my car is spewing carbon emissions, polluting the fresh morning breeze. While driving through our neighbourhood, and hearing the same routine roar from my car’s engine as I step on the accelerator, I always see a group of south Asian gardeners, bicycling around the neighbourhood, patiently & peacefully, at a very slow pace, in no rush.

Watching these bicyclists while listening to the sounds of birds early mornings everyday, gives me this feeling of peace and replenishment. Concurrently, I’m in awe of their daily routine ritual, which I very much envy. As I’m about to exit my neighbourhood to join all the other carbon emission vehicles heading to various destinations, to pollute every single corner of Dubai, at this very moment, I could wish for one thing only; if I could have  a single  day to drive a bicycle instead of a car to work,  that day, for me, would be a day to celebrate the breakage of a huge barrier, practically equivalent to the destruction of the Berlin Wall, to be precise.

Being a citizen of Dubai, you can go on all day long shooting at me various reasons why it is difficult to commute via bicycle, some of those reasons are:

  • It takes too long to reach to my desired destination.
  • I don’t want to come to work all sweaty and smelly.
  • It is difficult to carry a lot of of stuff with me, whether I’m carrying grocery items or a laptop along with maybe some office stationary.
  • Dubai’s weather is too hot and humid, am I nuts to drive a bicycle in this crazy weather.
  • I don’t have a bike. (This is one of those silly excuses that doesn’t make any sense, especially in Dubai, where every individual owns a car or two cars or more. If you have the budget to buy a car, then buying a bicycle for you must be peanuts).
  • There’s no way I could drive a bicycle from my house to Deira, BurDubai, Jumeira, JBR etc etc. (I would’ve understood the truthfulness behind this scenario a couple of years ago, but this excuse doesn’t seem too convincing anymore, and the answer to your question is: Why don’t you drive your bicycle to the closest Metro station, so you could catch a Metro to your desired destination).
  • Are you insane, It it is difficult for me to bike that far, I could get hit by a truck. (My answer to this question is: Everything is possible through practice and discipline. It is just a matter of building the habit of commuting via bicycle, and taking the necessary precautions prior to that. You just need to build the habit thats all).
  • biking is for kids, and for people who can’t own a motor bike or a car. (Sadly, this is the kind of response you would get from the majority of Dubai citizens, because as I mentioned earlier, most of us own a vehicle, and we’ve been brought up with this luxurious  means of transportation that, shifting from a car to a bicycle is considered, an insult).

These are just a few reasons why we opt out of picking a bicycle as a means of transportation in Dubai, I could offer you many more reasons and scenarios of why adopting a bicycle culture in Dubai is just impossible, but then the real question to be asked here is Can citizens of Dubai adopt a bicycle culture?

I deeply and emotionally understand that, for us to achieve such a goal, which if observed closely, is not practical, because of the rapid economic changes taking place in Dubai. But nonetheless, I’m happy to say that there are cities around the globe currently, whose citizens have already taught themselves and their children to passionately, confidently and proudly drive a bicycle. The Danish, with all their might and deeply rooted sporty culture, have been showing us how it is done.

If you are ambitious and adventurous enough to embrace driving a bike for your daily short/long travels, then you must be aware of  the many advantages that driving a bicycle could bring to the Environment:

  • Driving a bike, is like a free donation to clean the environment. It is not only a means to cut carbon emissions, but it also helps conserve natural resources that are used daily to produce automobiles.
  • You can save loads of money by using a bicycle for transportation instead of a vehicle. This includes the money to buy the vehicle, and the money used to fuel the vehicle. Imagine how much fuel money you can save every month, and multiply that by 12 months.
  • Biking daily can be the best means to stay fit, forever. You want to stay fit in Dubai and enjoy its delicious restaurants?  well then, the answer to your query is, drive a bicycle.

It is never too late to start a new habit, or to change a habit. it is just a matter of when, either today or never.

🙂

 

Categories: Green Tips, inspirations | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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