Principles of Earth by NAYAN KUMAR
Aligning a nexus between the elements of the Earth and the needs of human being to ensure sustainable living.
Every person in this world is aware about the changes which has happened. Some learn through the history while some are an evidence for the actions undertaken. But the steps to resolve are much less than the actions against them.
Little has been the time for everything, be it a problem or a solution. But we humans were just successful in making the adjustments in most cases rather than adding fuel to the solutions. And hence the world has much more issues than the one’s highlighted by the United Nations. The SDG’s is just a glimpse of what has happened and indeed calls the need of hour to focus on the protection of the Principles of Earth. But there are many other problems which were complimentary to these problems.
So, what could be the possible outcome?
The classical elements of earth should be the primary area for consideration as it has a direct nexus between the need to protect the earth and the human.
What actions do you propose?
ON LAND: Well the problems may list out a lot, but the core issue which I have selected is drought. Research suggests that if global warming reaches 2°C (3.6°F) then the world will become considerably drier and more desert-like. Aridification would emerge over about 20-30 per cent of the world's land surface. The areas most affected areas are parts of South East Asia, Southern Europe, Southern Africa, Central America and Southern Australia. These areas are home to more than 20 per cent of the world's population - that's over 1.5 billion people.
To overcome such a situation, we need to develop an intensive study and analysis on the earth’s surface and its cycle but due to lack of proper tools and methods no proper solution exists. One such solution which I would like to propose is that the carbon cycle must be taken into base for any analysis. The table 1.1 below depicts on the carbon pools on the earth. Hence it can be observed that the oceans are the greatest absorbers of the CO2. The sea level rise can be attributed to these such areas thereby making the land viable for cultivation and soil fertility. This in turn would result in creation of more dams and lakes in such areas which can help in absorbing the CO2. & help in air purification as more trees would be implanted. The trees help in storing the water below the land and help in absorbing the CO2 through the process of photosynthesis.
An alternative is grinding and terrating, or grinding and composting. The concept is to dramatically increase the surface area of the bio mass, and place it into a warm moist environment that promotes growth of bio mass eating microorganisms.
To improve soil, you need to put as many nutrients back into the soil as possible. Grinding and terrating improves the soil, but it takes far longer to break down the material into plant useful nutrients. Composting is better, but it requires keeping it warm and moist, and occasionally you need to turn the piles and mix them up (oxygenation). To break down woody substances, you need Fungi (Mushrooms, etc). During the Carboniferous period, there were no Mushrooms, so the carbon just sat in the swamps and was compressed to create lignite (coal). When Fungi learned to process Lignin, the materials changed from coal to peat (the undigested cell walls of wood). Thus, grinding is used to promote access of Fungi to the material inside the cells of the wood. During the Carboniferous (359 MYA to 299 MYA) the CO2 concentration dropped from 2,000 ppm to 400 ppm over the 60-million-year period. At the same time the O2 increased from 20 % to 30%. Even during the Permian (299 MYA to 251 MYA) the CO2 continued to drop from 400 ppm to 300 ppm. At the end of the Permian the CO2 suddenly increased from 300 ppm to 2500 ppm and the temperature increased from 130C to 220C. The increase in CO2 by burning, any burning, including bio mass burning is a proven global warming process. The question becomes, which process produces less CO2?
Grinding, Composting, and Terrating biomass, or burning, and tilling. Both processes require machinery that requires petroleum products for combustion, but Geologic History indicates that burying biomass produces less CO2 than burning. It may also mean that buried biomass promotes more tree growth that pulls more CO2 from the atmosphere. The lesson here is to limit the area of disturbance required for agriculture, promote tree growth in unused areas to pull CO2 from the atmosphere, and when you cut down, or harvest, return the rest back to the soil to improve both the soil and the atmosphere.
A classic example would be the development of Powai of Maharashtra, & the Chandigarh City in India. Both these places were vacant lands with little water lakes and a proper planning and architecture of the same made them one of the best cities to live in over the world. The soil fertility in these cities are also very suitable after the Green revolution. These two places home to more than a million-people providing access to various facilities in a quality that stands as a perfect example for the attainment of the most SDGs. Such practice was enforced before and shall be made now too.
ON WATER: Water is the most important ingredient to almost all forms of living beings. The storehouses for most of all water on Earth are the oceans. It is estimated that of the 332,500,000 cubic miles (mi3) (1,386,000,000 cubic kilometres (km3)) of the world's water supply, about 321,000,000 mi3 (1,338,000,000 km3) is stored in oceans. That is about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water. It is also estimated that the oceans supply about 90 percent of the evaporated water that goes into the water cycle. Also, almost everyone knows that the oceans cover about 70 percent of the Earth's surface, and that about 97 percent of all water on and in the Earth, is saline.
By the way, the concentration of salt in seawater (salinity) is about 35 parts per thousand. In other words, about 35 of 1,000 (3.5%) of the weight of seawater comes from the dissolved salts; in a cubic mile of seawater the weight of the salt, as sodium chloride, would be about 120 million tons.
Worldwide, agriculture accounts for 70% of all water consumption, compared to 20% for industry and 10% for domestic use. In industrialized nations, however, industries consume more than half of the water available for human use. Belgium, for example, uses 80% of the water available for industry. Freshwater withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years. Demand for freshwater is increasing by 64 billion cubic meters a year (1 cubic meter = 1,000 liters)
- The world’s population is growing by roughly 80 million people each year.
- Changes in lifestyles and eating habits in recent years are requiring more water consumption per capita.
- The production of biofuels has also increased sharply in recent years, with significant impact on water demand. Between 1,000 and 4,000 litres of water are needed to produce a single litre of biofuel.
- Energy demand is also accelerating, with corresponding implications for water demand.
- Almost 80% of diseases in so called "developing" countries are associated with water, causing some three million early deaths. For example, 5,000 children die every day from diarrhoea, or one every 17 seconds. (Source: Worldometers).
Source: World Resource Institute.
Water recycling is the need of the hour as the demand increases. But such a process should increase with respect to the current levels of sewage treatment plants and in multiple locations.
Next, the studies conducted by the space organisations must be integrated with the practices such that there is a clear distinction between the natural events and the man-made practices. As solving earth’s climate problem or its challenges require more satellite vision.
Also, the groundwater levels have been decreasing at an alarming rate. No proper study was conducted before with the world in large. Hence, we should ensure that the ground water levels are first restored to such a level that the land is made fertile and suitable for the future years. This would reduce the CO2 content in the atmosphere by absorbing them into the land and the oceans as the water is been stored underground which along with salt shall turn into minerals in the future and make it sustainable for the life below the earth. These actions will help in improving the life below and above the land.
With the above said proposals it is only the literates who have the capability to understand and communicate to the other people shall ensure that the motive and the message is been shared with everyone. Hence those who are illiterate shall also contribute in making the world of tomorrow. This synergy is required between the government, public and private institutions, and the people in large. The United Nations shall ensure that the peace, justice and strong institutions are prevailed to guard to Principles of the Earth.
Every company has a board of directors who control the activities of the company. Even with the Independent directors on board, the influence of such person fails to influence the business activity which effects the climate change in most of the cases. Also, there is lack of awareness among the people about the activities which can reduce the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Hence with the proper education to the people and bringing in a concept of Environmental Director in the board would be a viable option.
Environmental training is missing with most of the people which is essential for a healthy living. If the concept is introduced by large corporates and some small and medium enterprises, then such an act would not be less than a corporate social responsibility.
What Sustainable Development Goals are targeted by the implementation of such proposal?
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health & Well Being
- Quality Education
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and clean energy
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Reduced inequalities
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Climate action
- Life below water
- Life on land
- Peace, justice and strong institutions, and
- Partnership for the goals.
Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?
The global warming has its effect with the entire stakeholders of the planet. Hence to bring equality and harmony within the planet, we must enforce the stakeholder concept to sustain. The stakeholder theory of any economy should be that where the findings reveal that the management’s action is not in the interests of the world in large, then the lenders of the company or such person as appointed by the competent authority who is already engaged into similar business activities shall take over the company with full control and shall have a right which is equal to the rights of the actual owner of the assets of the company.
Where will these actions be taken and how could they scale?
Stakeholder actions must be enforced all over the world. Where no such regulation exists the government must interfere in to prevail justice and subsequently monitored by the United Nations. For instance, in India, the members of the parliament have made a trend to adopt villages of a country and Sachin Tendulkar, Member of Parliament of India, has adopted two villages under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yogana (SAGY) of the Parliament of India. The SAGY is based on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, which envisages integrated development of the selected village across multiple areas such as agriculture, health, education, sanitation, environment and livelihood. If such a kind of practice is adopted by the governments of the world and other major corporates, then the world shall be assured to achieve the SDGs well ahead of its schedule while integrating peace and harmony.
In addition, specify the countries where these actions will be taken.
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
Well there is no proper method adopted for such calculation, but it shall help to reduce the Co2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach?
The following actions highlight the innovativeness and strengths in the proposal -
- Appointment of Environmental Director on the Boards of the Companies.
- Mandating Environmental Training.
- Stakeholder Right Enforcement
- Burying Biomass
- Development of Integrated Township/Cities.
- Grinding and Composting in soil.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
The only cost associated with such a project is the cost of political influence over the illiterate persons. If such cost is handled effectively then this would lead to smooth implementation of the proposal. Also, if the climate insurance is added as a product to the cover the damages of the impact which are beyond the control of the humans. This would act as a shield for the government towards its public expenditure.
About the Authors
Nayan Kumar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and is currently in pursuit of being a Company Secretary for a Good Corporate Governance. His passion includes to research and create such solutions which are innovative and environment friendly, share solutions and collaborate with people for its implementation.