Trash As Art

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Portuguese street artist Artur Bordalo creates monumental three-dimensional sculptures of animals using, well, garbage that people routinely throw out, depositing their refuse not necessarily in or around designated garbage disposal places. Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама  The artist wants to draw public attention to environmental pollution.Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Arthur creates three-dimensional animals from garbage and old rubbish, which people throw out.Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Artur’s work can be found not only in Portugal, but also in other countries, in particular in the United States and Estonia. Presumably, he doesn’t transport his native Portuguese garbage but uses local materials easily found no matter wherever he goes.  Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама


Mother Earth Is A Disaster

earth1earth dayApril 22 is the International Mother Earth Day, the annual event meant to raise awareness about Mother Nature’s health and the efforts being made to protect it. Environmental groups in countries all over the world are gearing up to take their message of good stewardship to millions of people. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 on college campuses across the U.S.

Mother Earth is home to 7 billion people. Sometimes, though, the mother-planet can be a scary and dangerous place… The incidence of natural disasters worldwide has steadily increased, especially since the 1970’s, according to a report from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Image below courtesy of EM-DAT International Disaster Database, Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters, University of Louvain.

Natural Disaster999

Since 1990, natural disasters have affected about 217 million people every year.

Geophysical disasters include earthquakes, volcanoes, dry rockfalls, landslides and avalanches.

Climate-related disasters include hydrological events such as floods, storm surge and coastal flooding, while meteorological events include storms, tropical cyclones, local storms, heat/cold waves, drought and wildfires.

The number of geophysical disasters has remained fairly stable since the 1970’s, while the number of climate-related (hydro-meteorological) disasters has greatly increased.

Natural Disaster

The Chaitén volcano, located about 1,287 km south of the Chilean capital Santiago, entered a new eruptive phase for the first time in about 9,500 years on the morning of May 2, 2008. (UPI Photo / Carlos Gutierrez)

Natural Disaster6Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince after the earthquake of January 13, 2010. The picture was taken from a Red Cross helicopter. (UPI / American Red Cross)
Natural Disaster5August 24, 1999, in Izmit, Turkey, the tsunami caused by the earthquake, has flooded a coastal city. (jr / Seth Rossman / US Navy / UPI)
Natural Disaster4A Palestinian checks on dead sheep in the flooded area in central Gaza after heavy rains on January 19, 2010. The rainwater flooded about 40 homes in the Wadi Gaza, a Gazan countryside mostly inhabited by Bedouins. (UPI / Ismael Mohamad)
Natural Disaster3Mosque was the only structure left standing in the coastal village near Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, on January 4, 2004. US helicopters and sailors from the aircraft carrier “Abraham Lincoln” provided humanitarian aid after the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia. (UPI Photo / Jacob Kirk / Navy)
Natural Disaster2August 27, 2006.The house stands on top of a car on the Lower 9th Ward street in New Orleans a year after the Hurricane Katrina. (UPI Photo / A.J. Sisco)
Natural Disaster1The M/V Selendang Ayu, IMO number: 9145528 was a Malaysian-registered Panamaxbulk cargo shipchartered by the IMC Group. It ran aground off Unalaska Island in western Alaska’s Aleutian Islands on 8 December 2004 after its engine failed. Six crew members died when a rescue helicopter was engulfed by a breaking wave; the ship broke in two, resulting in a large oil spill

Human Engineering: Greener Little People

Fragment of Photo by David Stefanoff

Fragment of the photo by David Stefanoff

Dr. Matthew Liao, director of the Bioethics Program at New York University and his colleagues suggest that to create greener humans of the future, today’s off-green humans might have to tinker a bit with our underlying biology. “We’re not suggesting that we should mandate these ideas, but it would be good to make them options for people.”

[…] we consider a new kind of solution to climate change, what we call human engineering, which involves biomedical modifications of humans so that they can mitigate and/or adapt to climate change. We argue that human engineering is potentially less risky than geoengineering and that it could help behavioral and market solutions succeed in mitigating climate change. 


One strategy would be to reduce our resource use. We all heard at one time or another that greenhouse effect is caused — among other things (or sins) of humanity by livestock farming. 18%, actually, and growing with every cow. So if only that same human-folks ate less meat…

корова“We can artificially induce intolerance to red meat by stimulating the immune system against common bovine proteins,” Dr. Liao says. Perhaps, something akin to a nicotine patch that makes you dislike red meat.

Speaking of which, there is  evidence that people bitten by the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, found throughout the eastern, southeastern and south-central states, often develop allergies to red meat and forced to become vegetarians.  

Then there is a size of a human physique. “Reducing height by 15cm would mean a reduction in mass of around 25%,” says Liao. Although there’s a social stigma against being short, Liao counters that there are benefits too. Smaller people tend to live longer, “and you can fit in airplanes better!”  But seriously, it’s that’s a quarter less of human flesh to feed, water, haul around…  theIncredibleShrinkingMan

In 2013, artist Arne Hendricks  concluded that the ideal human height with minimal impact on environment is 50cm (19.685 inches). The idea won the Future Concepts category at the Dutch Design Awards. Coming from the country where the people’s height and the sea level have a tendency to go up, it must’ve been both ironic and flattering.  theIncredibleShrinkingMan

Human growth has become a synonym for our Western welfare society, but is it sustainable in the long term? With The Incredible Shrinking Man, Arne Hendriks investigates what the impact on the world would be if people would only be 50 cm tall. More people would fit on the same surface, and could manage with less food, that’s for sure. (Researching the implications of downsizing the human species to better fit the earth.)

Another thrilling proposition for protecting the environment — and heightening the role of humans in this noble process exponentially — comes from Japanese artist Ai Hasegawa. It promises to be easy and fun…  although somewhat removed from today (in time) and from common sense (in brain space). Hasegawa has suggested that women might one day be perfectly willing to become surrogate mothers for rare species, such as sharks, dolphin, or pandas. The image below came from Ms. Hasegawa site. Oy!deliverAShark

Humans are genetically predisposed to raise children as a way of passing on their genes to the next generation. For some, the struggle to raise a child in decent conditions is becoming harder due to gross overpopulation and an increasingly strained global environment.

Well, then… I have to think about this one some more. Greener is better  for the environment, of course. Riding chickens instead of horses might be an unexpected fun, but giving birth to a panda to have less people and more pandas…

Yes, I know, I’m primitive, not forward-thinking person of 5’3″. I understand that in a long run — very long run, I hope — modifying our biology might prove easier than trying to modify the climate. Living with the worst effects of climate change, my descendants  (average height humans, I dare hope) might be more willing to embrace the idea of birthing sharks, mandating growth-suppressing hormones and other biomedical modifications affecting their descendants. I’m glad I won’t see them riding chickens.


News From Mount Everest

Mount Everest captured from space

This odd looking picture is Mount Everest and surrounding vistas. The picture was taken in December 2013 as Nasa’s Earth Observatory satellite orbited over Nepal.

Over 60 years ago, in May 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay scaled Everest for the first time in history. As of March 2012, there had been 5,656 successful ascents of Everest. 223 people had died on Everest, thus fatality rate is 4 per cent.

Mountain climbing is major source of revenue for Nepal. Until recently, the fee per person for Everest climb was $25,000. Larger groups got discounted rates — the cost for a group of seven climbers was $70,000.  

To attract more mountaineers to the world’s highest peak, in 2014, Nepal is slashing fees for individual climbers from $25,000 to $11,000.


Hundreds of people heading to Nepal  in April and May of each year — the peak climbing season. Increased traffic — even with diminished fees — means more money for Nepal. It also means more trash left behind along the trails and at the base camp.


  • Decades of mountaineering have taken a toll on the world’s highest peak
  • The land is strewn with rubbish including oxygen cylinders, human waste and even climbers’ bodies that do not decompose because of the extreme temperatures.

Trash removal on Mount Everest.

Mount Everest  badly needs some sort of waste management. The Nepalese government decided it’s time to take steps toward major clean up. Under the new rules, each member of Everest climbing expeditions must bring back at least eight kilos of trash, not including their own refuse. Government authorities plan taking legal actions against climbers who fail to comply with the new rule.

They don’t just climb Everest. They pick up garbage as they go.

And lastly, on January 28th, German pilot Klaus Ohlmann and co-pilot Jona Keimer mounted the Modular Airborne Camera System (MACS) to the wing of a Stemme S10-VTX glider. The glider took off from the expedition base camp at Pokhara airport in Nepal. In an hour and a half, they reached the summit of Everest, 8,848 meters above sea level. Thus the work on the very first 3D model of Everest has begun.


More about the project and a short video clip:  Glider captures 3D images of Mount Everest.


Go Green But Stop To Think

ecologyEvery 1,176 written complaints about illegal logging leads to the destruction of one more trees.

To produce 1 ton of paper takes an average of two tons of wood. This is about 17 fallen trees. One page long written complaint about the illegal logging requires conversion to paper of about 100 grams of wood. 1,176 complainants — and one tree is gone.

The electronic footprint of emailing such complaint to persons of authority is yet to be calculated.

A Car-Free Day encourages motorists to give up their cars for a day. On this day more than 72 thousand tons of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. go carefree

Unbelievable, no? According to the research, one quiescent adult passes  700-800 liters of air per hour through his/her lungs,  absorbing some  30 liters  of oxygen and exhaling 20-25 liters of carbon dioxide. In contrast, actively moving pedestrian while walking briskly, covers  an average of 5.4 kilometers per hour (3.35 mi), passing approximately 1,080 liters of air through his/her lungs while absorbing as much as 54 liters of oxygen and exhaling 46 liters CO2, which is nearly twice as much as in a state of rest.

To compensate the loss of about 180 calories a non-vegetarian person would consume about 100 grams (3.52 oz) of meat. According to data released by the New Scientist magazine, producing a kilogram (2.2 lb) of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide.  Vehicle, driving the same distance, emits greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to about 0.8 kilogram of carbon dioxide.

Therefore, if 100 million people in more than 1,500 cities around the world abstain from driving for one day annually in favor of walking or biking, at least 72,000 tons of carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere on top of the “normal” level of emission.

On the other hand, an hour long walk makes a much healthier person, and 100 million healthier people in 1,500 cities around the world…

Glastonbury Music Festival under the auspices of Greenpeace “enriches” the planet with 1,100 tons of garbage.Glastonbury

Every year Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid come together to promote their common goal to make this world a safer, fairer, more sustainable place to live. However, during the three days of the festival, thousands of enthusiastic about saving the world  — close to 200,000 people —  leave behind no less than 1,100 tons of garbage.

Glastonbury Festival is a fabulous place where 200 thousand people gather around a fabulous idea… if only those 200,000 fabulous people would’ve  gathered their rubbish or, better yet, learned to produce less of it.

Growing one ton of organic vegetables in cold climates increases the amount of additional carbon dioxide emission by 13,000 cubic meter.veggies

Organic vegetables are called environmentally friendly products and considered more beneficial for human health. To grow one kilogram (approximately 2 pounds) of non-organic vegetables in modern greenhouses requires at least 1.1 cubic meters of gas for heating and lighting.

According to the report of the Manchester Business School, growing organic tomatoes in heated greenhouses in the UK and in any other country with similar climate, requires nearly twice as much electricity as growing “conventional” vegetables.

Thus, raising 1 ton of organic tomatoes it is necessary to burn 22,000 cubic meters of natural gas, while about 26,000 cubic meters of carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere.

1,000 views of the Greenpeace video “Save electricity!” need about 23 kW/h of