Monthly Archives: January 2011

Rough Guide to the Tree Equivalent of Man and their Re-plantation

This is not referring to the commercial scale of replacement since the rate at commercial scale exploitation cannot be estimated to any accuracy.
This is based on the use of tree, timber and its products by man during his productive life.
If we were to sustain each man or women has to grow at least 10 trees and maintain them till their mature life. This  has to be done in 4-5 year cycles and older you (above 35 years) are the cycle has to be at least 1-2 years.

Ideally each man or woman plants a tree on his / her birthday!

1. The use as timber products for roofing and housing

2. To replace the use of paper products
3. Use of fire wood (this has to be in relation to the use)
4. The use of furniture
5. Wastage in every production line
6. The trees not sustaining themselves due to bad planting or weather conditions
7. The last 4 are for unaccountable felling and vandalism encountered and may have to vary according to the country.

This amount is to keep the balance of nature. If one has a house with 4 adults in it this estimate makes it 40 trees around their neighbourhood and the way the houses are built in a city next to each other there is is no room for to grow enough trees.

Not even a single tree or hedge to act as windbreaks and shade. (please look at how rich Americans build their houses and walkabouts).
That means every major city has to have a buffer zone (this is how the ancient people built cities) of tree cover equivalent the population that is incarcerated in the name of development.

Colombo city can never regain its splendor what ever we do now for it.

The Kandy city has almost 3 three times population density of Palestine Refugee Camps and we are going to be no different to Israel in another 10 or 20 years.

We are losing it faster than it’s regeneration.

Regarding the commercial exploitation the re-plantation has to be according to the tree’s cycle. If the tree grows to maturity in 4 years for every tree harvested 4 should be planted and only a few trees fall into this category.

For some trees, if it is lost it is lost for ever.

They take may be 400 to 500 years for it to grow to maturity and often not reproducing fast enough due to their longevity and this simple equation cannot be applied in recreating it natural habitat.

This is only a rough estimate and we have lost about 60% of our forest cover in 50 years of unsustainable use.

I do not think these people with mega-development ideas have understood the problem or have insight into the matters of concern we are facing now.

The have no futuristic goals but presence of mind for exploitation.

Very soon we will be like Dubai, the work we have to do now is enormous if we are to arrest these trends.

Growing Grass Under My Feet

Growing Grass Under My Feet

It is high time that we calculate the CO2 foot imprint of every living human being on this planet before it is too late.

It is one of the most important mathematical exercise that we can undertake now.

It may be easy to do that on an animal say a cow but it may be an extremely difficult proposition for even a forest dweller of today.

Since he carries his cell phone and at least a box of matches or a lighter to the deep jungle, his carbon footprint cannot be even remotely compared to a pre-historic man. Where ever he set foot even the deep-sea shore he leaves behind lot of CO2 footprints.

What we can do is to calculate it for an average American and then compare with a Chinese, Indian and hypothetical man who lives for 60 years.

On the alternative we can calculate for a bull or cow and extrapolate that to a sedentary American man.

American Man eats 3 to 4 cows by the time he is 45 and probably 5 by the time he says good-bye having consumed every possible advantage and resources available on this planet earth.

Then we calculate for a hypothetical bionic man who needs energy for all his activities including his air travel from say New York to New Delhi and all over the globe in one year to schedule a typical American company owner.

Then we have to figure out how many Americans live hand to mouth existence with minimum of a car ownership.

The equations will go like this

1.  5 bulls X USA (poor American)=USA (poor)

2.  USA X USA (Wealthy American) roughly equivalent to 25 bulls

3.  Total Bull consumption  = A x USA X USA (Wealthy) + B x USA (poor)

A= Total Rich Americans 

B= Total Poor Americans

4. Now 3  has to be divided by (American census-minus rich Americans)

5. Now 3 has to be divided by  (American census-minus poor Americans)

4 and 5 gives the ratio of consumption in nearest approximation to current American Standards

The results 4 and 5 should be multiplied to get a total figure

This figure should be now divided by the total current human population

My estimate even without going into nitty-gritty of the equation is like this.

  1. An average American (poor) will have a figure of 1000

  2. A rich American will be 1000 x 1000

  3. Average Chinese is 100

  4. Rich Chines will 100 x 100

  5. An average Indian will be 10

  6. Rich Indian 1000 x 10000 (more than that of a rich to American

The total CO2 foot print of China comes first.

America comes second. 

And India comes 3rd even though the population come only second to China since after many years of open policies some Indian still live and breath air and do not produce much CO2 since their meals are going down including onions.

This is what India call it 21st century progress and send rocket to the space and moon and still find a way to fail in Cricket World Cup including completing of venues.

While China is barely able to feed its masses India has failed to make a square meal for the poor whereas a poor American eats 100 times equivalent to a poor Indian.

Mind you a rich Indian with a Maharaja Image produces much CO2 footprint than an American. This equation has nothing to do with the bank balance or capital of an individual except it’s somewhat close relationship with affluence.

There are some rich people who do an enormous amount of work to decrease our impact on the planet and I appreciate their efforts. This is an indirect complement to them.

I  want an American Scientist to disprove my equation and discovery and publish a relevant article in the prestigious magazine, American Scientist.

While all this happening I grow grass under my feet to cushion the CO2 foot prints of mine with my urine added to make it’s growth luxurious unlike our banana growers.

Bamboo and the Windbreaks

This fastest growing plant rather a grass is one of the most vandalized plant in this country. Since it is growing fast we take for granted to destroy at every opportunity available and never care to plant any.

I have never seen a nursery for bamboo even though there are hundreds of varieties.

These plants are not seen in the temperate countries and in early as 18th century Americans took them from Asia and started growing them as ornamental plants.

 

While they do research on these plants we vandalize them.

 

Why?

 

We have plenty of them and we do not care for the mother nature.

 

If I write one plant a day and continue I may have to continue for years how we destroy our wealth of plants.

 

The plants going extinct were never recorded in our history and we have not even begun to take an inventory as a proactive exercise.

 

This is not to elaborate on that issue but to state how bamboo tree protects our river beds and roads that run along the rivers.

 

The do protect the embankments but what our guys do is to chop them at will since they are not protected by the local authorities.

 

River basin and embankment is nobody’s business in this country.

 

It also act as a windbreaks.

 

It cools the air on a warm day with with gentle air currents.

 

Not only that it reduces our CO2 foot prints.

 

None of these are taken into accounts since our guys who gets to the parliament have never studied any including social science and not at all pure science.

 

They use environment issues to form green parties but never practice what they preach once they get there.

 

If we want to do as little as possible for our mother nature grow a few bamboos around river path and the surrounds.

 

Like eating a banana a day (not poisoned by UREA) is healthy for our life growing a bamboo a day would protect our rivers, roads and environment (air) too.

 

That is my message for today.

Raindrops on Coconut Palm

I asked some of my students to list 10 important points about coconut tree as a creative thinking exercise and I couldn’t get anyone of them to think it as related to mother nature.

Then I told them we are the only animal species on planet earth who behave like aliens.

The coconut tree purifies the water and present us a drink superior to saline that we inject as a life support in an emergency. In the second world war it was used as saline substitute when things were in short supply.

It gives us water to drink.

It clears the carbon foot print of ours by taking in CO2 and releasing out O2.

The two most important things animal life need for its survival but yet we forget to mentioned them but obsessed with coconut milk and coconut oil.

Why?

We tend to think we are the only important living animals on this planet.

We are the only selfish animals on this planet.

That is true and will remain true for the current century unless we open ourselves to creative thinking and awareness of our mother nature.

We build houses.

We build roofs to protect us from rain and sun.

If we take the plant kingdom.

The story is different.

It lives by the day under sunlight but rest by night but never sleeps.

It takes rain as survival god never complains if there is snow or frost

They are in constant touch with nature and the air currents of change and wind

They are in harmony with all physical elements.

Remain and stay put for another day come sun or rain what it may.

 

When rain drops fall on the roof and runs through the gutters it makes a constant and a big racket and and I even  find it difficult to sleep at night.

But when rain drops falls on tree tops and leaves there is no rackety pitch.

We only hear the wind blowing but raindrops hardly make a noise. They gently touch the leaf surface and trickle down gently to the soil. No big gush and the roots soaks in as much so that the water that seeps through is clear.

But on a rainy day in a city we see all rubbish and mud that comes out of the gutters and finally minor floods all over the place till the rain ceases.

There are no tress with roots to soak the extra water.

Coming back to coconut tree it leaves take the water in a peculiar way not sen in other smaller leaves. The peculiar way it handles water make it and excellent covering for roofs and thatched coconut leaves that used to cover the village huts did not make a big racket on a rainy day but the asbestos sheets that cover us now are totally different and alien to mother nature.

Mind you the coconut tree takes all the shocks of thunder and lightening too.

If not many of us would be dead by lightening.

The golden rule was not to rest under a tall tree in a thunder storm.

None of these came out of my students’ creative thinking exercise.

What the hell the education system is doing to them in schools and university?

I do not know.

It is said that even in America in the first two years in the university they do not gain any extra incites or creativity.

Why?

Education is now a money spinner.

No more creativity left in it now.

Make money when going is good but leave the students without opportunities.

Coconut Tales of Tail Spin and the Windshield of Whirlwind

Coconut tree which lives over 50 years of productive life sometimes more than 80 years if left untarnished by human activity lives behind a tell tale story of the weather beaten life.

If one looks at a human face at 80 (eighty) it leaves behind a sad tale of wrinkles but never leave behind the tale of destruction he or she has caused over his or her life time, leave alone the junk that is collected and left behind.

On the contrary, the coconut tree tells us all the rough times it has had over the years, if we look at the way the trunk had twisted and turned against the air current around it, it bears the true tale of forbearance.

What a contrast?

In fact it can tell the exact time of the last grand cyclone it had managed to withstand on its own.

Unlike the humans they are a barometer of wind currents of today and tomorrow.
If one looks at its leaves, the gentle rustle they create with the wind and how it raises a rhyming tune with some alarming whirring of a whirlwind, foretelling a thunderstorm that is about to land is something we have taken for granted but never given thought in any scientific manner.

We take it for granted that the water is abundant but at the same time pollute it in every possible way from Adams peak to the sea.

The same story is true for the coconut tree.

It is vandalized to the stem and we cry hard only when the coconuts go high in price but never cared to listen to its story and the windshield it creates on a daily basis.

My observation days back to my childhood inquiry not necessarily based on any scientific themes. If I wanted to fly a kite I look at the coconut trees and their leaves and then bring out the kite if I consider the conditions are favorable.

Then I go to a place where I can get the kite over the coconut trees quickly and off I go with the wind.

I never paused to think what a service it does as a wind breaker.

This little piece is to finally put to rest and peace of my mind with the wind physics (theory) of biological nature and facts which I call the biophysics of coconut saga.

I should have done this decades ago!

Not only the coconut tree stands to the wind upright but it divide the wind to upstream high and a downstream gentle for us to live in peace. This we forget when we chop it for fast growing development and consumption as timber.

It is the scene of coconut trees that touches my heart when the plane lands at Katunayake. It was strikingly beautiful 30 years ago but now we see s few coconut trees near the airport and the sudden thud of landing.

The landing is also not as smooth as it used to be.

I even go to the extend of saying that the planes used to land smoothly due to the coconut plantation driving the unnecessary tailspin and head wind currents well above the plane as it touches down making it easy for the pilots to land.

Think about it this as food for for thought for scientists who are hell bent on discovering new source of energy along with foot prints of destruction.
I wish our veteran pilots do some study on this keeping in mind those who were on service during the second world war II might know it better than the present day autopilot youngsters.

Coconut tree is a wind breaker and a windshielder.

Of course it will provide its trunks to climb when the next tsunami comes if we start growing thousands and thousand of them around our beaches instead of constructing polluting hotels that divert the sewerage to the sea.

This is my wishful thinking but I am sure more trees will be down to move the fast development trends of our political mights.

Good Bye my friend windshield and welcome thy whirlwind of destruction in the name of construction!

How come a Pelican becoming a Flying Trainer in Ceylon

The pelican was his annual pilgrimage to Ceylon to avoid harsh winter and got trapped in the Batticoloa floods and was waiting to devour some unfortunate sea fish that have come ashore. When he was about to partake the first mouthful of fish in came the Tortoised Chief Minister (TCM) from nowhere and warned him not to do so.

He was puzzled.

I have been eating fish all my life how dare you intervene in my cuisine.

Brother do not be annoyed.

Be calm.

I will tell you the reason.

They are poisoned by accident and not by purpose or design.

 

We got a consignment of food for flood victims from UNO and in the transport of it on a vehicle with fertilizer by some strange coincidence the bags’ label changed from UNO to USA and a certain politician in Colombo decided that they were no good for human consumption and not even for animals.

 

Then the local politician requested that they were to be dumped into sea.

 

The transport man designed a coup.

 

The food items were quickly changed hands with a label UREA and UREA was changed to USA by substituting S for EA. Then only a few UREA bags that contained deadly cadmium were dumped with political acumen to the sea in front of starving residents and they were asked to go fishing in troubled waters!

 

So you may now go fishing in troubled waters!

 

The pelican was visibly annoyed.

I traveled over 8000 miles to land hear on my holidays and you guys spoil it for me.

Don’t you people advertise come here and tither?

Sorry for the misadventure it would have been a different story if the weather gods did not intervene.

 

The TCM said in a quiet voice.

 

You may go down further and find another island he suggested.

There are no islands till Antarctica and I haven’t got the strength to fly that far.

 

Then he asked are you good in navigation.

 

Yes of course and if I may ask you why you raised that question?

 

Even though I am here I still have some connection with the Air Force Top Brass and I can fix you a job with them till spring with full on board service.

 

He was not happy but picked the crab instead and took to flight and landed on a tree top.

He tried hard to pierce the shell bone but could not and in with anger dumped the fellow down but it landed with a thud and turned upside up downside down and side tracked safely to water.

 

This he has never seen before and went back to the now friendly TCM and asked how come the shell of a Sir-Lankan crab is so hard?

 

Elementary my dear!

 

He was in charge of my armed car when in service.

He was also in charge of making service to my vehicle with three quotation in hand which is the usual practice.

He was given the bullet proof metal sample for verification.

He without my knowledge changed the specification to inferior quality metal and hid the real metal sample under his helmet and pocketed out the contract extras.

Then in the final blast of which we all died in an unfortunate accident the metal got stuck to his skin.

He is a hard nut in any case and was difficult even for me to pierce his intentions!

 

In that case I say yes to your offer with some reservation.

That was how the pelican was made a the flying trainer for healthy remuneration.

 

You have to wait why he quit and deserted the post for my next edition on web.

Keep counting the SiRs please.

Good bye!

Please note even though these stories are quite akin to Buddhist stories and anthology, they are not designed for Dhamma sermons and any recitals without my implied consent will be strictly prohibited.

PS.

The chief minister who took over from the TCM was mildly hurt when in a routine test a bullet pierced the serviced part of the vehicle and went inside. It was an indirect hit; that is why the injuries were minimal.

He quickly dumped the vehicle to junk and bought a new one from the fresh quota allocated to him. He did not forget to send a telegram to the ex-officer thanking him for his service acumen.

I had to deliver it through my special courier service in conjunction with Apaya International.

Flying Officer Grounded

You may think that the war efforts are accomplished that most of the flying officers are grounded and not flying any more.

Nothing of that kind but a flight record of a blackbox conversation of the final 5 to 7 minutes of ill fated flight of SL (UL-Usually Late) named P.P.P.

Thank god it is not a civilian flight but a training flight with only two involved one surviving and the other succumbing to injuries ending at Mahabrahma for another round of life cycle.

I have to put the middle of the story first (but the beginning will related briefly in the flight record) to make it brief and interesting and I may have to go for another record for how Mahabrama (his assistant-that part would be interesting) dealt with the emerging crisis.

Flying is a pastime for some (politicians on our money and government coffers) and fantasy for many Sir-Lankans. Many a Sir-Lankan young blood wants to become a flying officer but never get a chance to get there.

I remember I wanted to become a volunteer officer many moons ago but even though I had all the qualifications and the paper work my application never got to the scrutiny table when Public Service  Commission was in operation.

In my case, I was able to make amends and fly almost once a year or more on my own money never a red cent reedemed from the Government and one of my posts  abroad down under was almost a Flying Doctor on distress calls (not me in distress but with adrenaline high and mood elevated)

It is a different story now that the Chief Minister decides the fate of everybody.

In this story Chief Minister also has a fair share of involvement.

Sit tight and listen to the flight recorded data.

The conversation is between a pelican (Flying Instructor) and the flying officer in training.

You may wonder what the hell the pelican doing in the cockpit.

He was not trapped in air but he was the trainer in white suit with beautiful avian stripes to adorn.

Yes he was the trainer.
Then who was the trainee?

The trainee was a typical Sir-Lankan man who went up the ladder by being a yes man all his life without any decoration or qualification to boast about

He was somewhat similar to Bun Ki Moon who is a yes man for the big nations and red bully for small nations.

I hope you got the picture.

If he say yes to big shots he will be sure of another term in UNO.

Our man of course did not have applied mathematics but a forged certificate to say he passed the “O” Level in mathematics applied and general.

The conversation went on like this rudely terminated in mid air.

Hello Sir!
You are my trainer?

Yes is there any problem?
No Sir have I got to Sir you.
It depends!

If you end up passing with flying colours yes but not otherwise.

He was bit confused but continued to say SiR to which the pelican with good senses did not object.

He was wanting to count how many times he Sirs him during the first flight.

Sir, you have a big beak but no hands.

So Sir, how are you going to help me with the joystick?

I have good eyes and a small brain and that were enough to navigate from Europe to Sir-Lanka to escape from harsh winter believe me I can navigate you if you listen to me carefully instead of saying Sir.

He firmly ascertained his navigation skills.

Besides you have too hands, don’t you?

Now nose up, flaps up and raise off the ground.

Yes Sir.

Now they were in flight in the first few seconds and the flying officer was inquisitive  enough and wanted to find the loop holes in his flight instructor’s credibility to get some bonus in the first flight itself.

Sir how you come you become a trainer in Ceylon (In heaven they still call it Ceylon coming from Cinnamon Garden).

It is easy any foreign joker or a bird can get a job in Sri-Lanka even in supermarkets without knowing the  food habits of locals. You just put a label for export and that works.

I had a export label tagged from my childhood he said.

Sir who appointed you and turned his head around to the right and the plane  the two seater veered to the left?

Look what you  are doing get the nose straight not your butt.

OK Sir!

It is your Chief Minister who appointed me and it is a long story.

But Sir, I would like to hear more, thinking one day he might become a trainer himself by getting in good books with the Chief Minister and twisting his arms.

But your ex-chief Minister is a tortoise now.

How come Sir, I thought he went to heaven by the celebration we had after his death.

He never got a chance. The way he abused official vehicles and the way he drove with the entourage annoyed the Maha and he decided to pace him down to earth and made him a tortoise.

Sir my goodness will the Maha makes me also a tortoise in my next birth Sir!

In the first place you have to die!
Are you ready for that.

Yes Sir!

This answer pleased the pelican very much since he knew he did not have to train this guy for long.

Where did you meet this Tortoised Chief Minister, SiR?

Near a lake flooded in Batticoloa with a water crab with him.

The water crab was his escort Police Officer. on entourage who could always bend the law of the country for his master’s favour in real life in Sir-Lanka.

But he could not prevent the premature death of the entourage who met with a fatal accident.

SiR why he was made a crab

Two reasons.
It is a delicacy in Sir-Lanka.
This officer could never walk straight with the law he always side stepped and went horizontally instead of straight.

By birth right he had to be a crab in next life.

SiR will I become a crab in next life.
This was too distracting for the pelican that the plane was in full speed now in turbulent weather.

He said autopilot now!

My friend in excitement put the nose down.
He was only educated in Sinhala and could not read the English word autopilot and he pressed the button right under his nose without reading it in the first place.

Pelican was very happy now that his flying lesson would end abruptly.

Pelican opened the cockpit door and before making a nose dive himself said, your first and the last flying lesson are over.

Good bye and slammed the door closed.

To which our yes man said.
Yes Sir!

The rest is history and the blackbox is the only evidence we have now.

Incidentally this plane was taxied from Hambantota and landed nose down in the newly build port at Hambantota.

The blackbox was traced within minutes since the water level of the harbour is deep enough to see even a blackbox from above and our pelican friend hovered around it as if he was looking for a dead body of fish that helped the Navy very much.

Unfortunately the body of the victim was never found and the air force is still looking for the deserted officer in flight training and the flight trainer.

Our flying officer trainer, the pelican disappeared from his post.

I will tell you the rest of the story if you could count correctly the number of times this unfortunately grounded officer said Sirs in his first flight lesson instead of concentrating on flying and why the pelican deserted his post!

Flight P.P.P stands for Paksheta Pashsha Pora and I hear even the Pakshaya is having a nose dive now!

Please note even though these stories are quite akin to Buddhist stories and anthology, they are not designed for Dhamma sermons and any recitals without my implied consent will be strictly prohibited.

P.P.P can  even stands for Paksheta Patata Pakshapatha (Pora)