Saturday, October 22, 2005

Rape of the Earth

It continues relentlessly and apparently even worse than ever imagined. Selective deforestation (mahogany) can only be properly estimated by satellite pictures. Vast areas of destruction are obvious, but this is more subtle. Heavy equipment dragged across country has its own mode of destruction: just trampled and crushed. Total waste and wanton destruction.

The hunger for paper is as bad (worse) as that for oil. They both involve the consumption of a resource except that at least paper can be recycled to some extent. So much for the paperless office ethic. It was never going to happen. The hardcopy backup is still preferred to electronically stored information. Both can be altered though the electronic method is perhaps easier. It’s becoming a less clear boundary virtually on a daily basis. Watch out for the Man-to-Mars journey: how will we ever detect a hoax? Lessons will have been learnt after Apollo to deflect questions ever being asked. Billions of dollars later what is there to account for it all? What is the real purpose of such an alleged mission - it won’t happen, of course.

But I digress. It must be too soon to be sure that the large number of hurricanes globally (2005) has anything to do with global warming. Possibly. There are always many such storms in any hurricane season. More northern hemisphere hurricanes than southern hemisphere cyclones in 2005? It just seems that this year is worse than previous years. Is this my perception (I have never personally experienced a hurricane first hand - thank goodness!) or is it a reality?

At least it must be yet another wakeup call to someone who is still sleeping.

Bird Flu

A scenario is developing that could become something of gigantic proportions. Taiwan has apparently announced a desire to protect its citizens by starting a small scale production of the antiviral drug 'Tamiflu' - a Roche product protected by a current patent. This would be an unlicensed copy - a generic. If Roche cannot produce sufficient or will not - after all it is likely that a lot more countries will face a similar prospect - this could create a situation where a company will start legal proceedings against a foreign government. Roche has a legal right to protect its patent. It is not even known how effective this drug may turn out to be. It’s all there is at the moment, but the downside is that it could stifle research into better and more effective drugs.

It seems nature is once again taking a hand in testing Man’s behaviour. Corporate concerns and the survival of a business against the survival of potentially millions of people worldwide. This situation may not happen if the virus does not mutate and jump across species (bird to human) though it might demonstrate a throwback of early human history being linked to a flying creature (arms become wings as the species adapts and evolves).

This one should be watched since it highlights a fascinating moral/legal debate. Rather like the UK/Iraq situation.

Dolphins to the Rescue

It’s quite depressing to see once again humans being absolutely selfish and probably not even being aware of it. Pregnant women giving a possible advantage to the unborn child by contact with the dolphin. Yet it is obvious that the dolphin must be incarcerated. Kept a prisoner in a pool (or something like it) to make sure the dolphin is available on demand.

That these highly intelligent mammals being used in such a selfish way to infer an unquantifiable advantage is a tragedy. Such animals should be free. Left alone. Dolphins in their natural environment will come to humans if they want to. By free will. You can’t get something good from such a crass attitude of forcing a thinking animal to be compliant. The spiritual connection between humans and dolphins is well documented. Any imprisonment of an animal is wrong. It hasn’t done anything. It just is. The creature exists. There is no justification. No argument can make a case.