Whale of a Time

Marisa painted a large painting for the conference “Whale of a Time” at Birkbeck College, London University, that featured also an intensive selection of films, lectures and paintings on the subject of conserving oceans and rainforests.

For more on the events visit their website 

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Wildlife among humans

Usually the discussion is on the environment and wildlife on this blog but we can be pretty wild also. Recently there were 2 programs on UK TV about WW1, the Great War as it was first known. Max Hasting and Niall Ferguson, both well known in Uk, discussed whether it would have been better for us to stay out of that conflict and whether we prolonged the agony, as it indeed was.You may find  the debates online,Max Hastings case was more logically argued, Niall Ferguson rather shot himself in the foot with his arguments, that didn’t really work, and we have no idea what may have happened if we had stayed out. Human beings seem to like killing each other, it may be a method by which excess men are gotten rid of in development terms, in which case we should expect China to next erupt as they have engineered such a situation.

 

Instead, we see the problem coming from the Ukraine’s uprising against an unpopular ruler. At once, on comes our inbred aggression as Russia spots an opportunity for grabbing some extra territory. We have all these systems in place after the WW2 to try and behave in a civilised manner, but we go back to the wild as easily as anything. Apparently the Ukraine gave up it’s nuclear arsenal on independence with assurances against invasion, now we see what happens with unilateral disarmament. This conflict could well embroil us all in another major war, if we thought that Russia should be stopped from it’s land grab.

And there have been so many minor wars since WW2 so maybe we should swop and say that we are the wild ones and animals are the civilised ones? We are certainly destroying their environment with all these conflicts, and may end up taken over by another species, if we cannot find a resolution to our urge for combat. It was recently the anniversary of Darwinism and I was interested to see that P.Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid Theory has been re published. It was just myself, I think, that found and read it’s dusty self while at college. Here we have a completely different take on evolution to the one that became prevalent. Kropotkin was a geographer primarily, although known as an anarchist, and mapped uncharted Siberia. His observations among really wild animals was that species that co operated were more successful than just the predators. When humans do this they achieve so much but all this can be lost by our dark, what Christianity teaches as “fallen”, side.

Let us hope that we can not follow these traits and have even more conflict, Thracymacus, a Plato dialogue demolished Justice as being the interest of the Stronger, in antiquity, and we need to grow up.

 

UK flooding

The floods have been a long time coming but are, of course, exacerbated by our building on floodplains, failing to dredge rivers and the draining of peat bogs. There are so many competing aims; people want homes so flood plains are built on as it is cheaper for developers than clearing brown field sites or refurbishing existing stock.
As soon as this event is over, there will again be a push to carry on with this as we operate on a push me pull you form of Government.
Having studied so much about this and understanding the issues and what needs doing, I feel I should apply for the job of chairing the Environment Agency, although these jobs are usually a shoe in for time served.
So I will be posting up some pics done for an exhibition in France last June. These are of storks that migrate across the mountains down in the Eastern Pyrenees and some that stopped and made a nest. Then will return to the topic of peat bogs which sink and store much CO2 , Methane and of course water.

Grey Whales and Dolphins feeding

 

This picture shows how the Grey Whales have made an amazing recovery since the ban on Whaling was introduced and now only have to run the gauntlet of killer whales in their migration from the Artic to the Baja Penninsula off Mexico each year.There is some debate as to whether they feed while in the lagoons where they calve and I have painted them indeed feeding while there. They are bottom feeders and scoop up large amounts from the sea bed and filter it to glean small crustaceans and other food through their baleen. A large eco tourism has evolved to allow people to have close encounters with these wonderful creatures, WDS should have lists of ones working within sustainable guidleines.

Floods in Pakistan

Hopefully will be doing something to help with “Other Asias” before the end of the month.It seems unbelievable that such an arid country could have such floods leading to such suffering and devastation.What could have caused them? Is it overlogging in the Himalayas? Climate change moving weather patterns?
There are floods also in China, could they be linked? We need to have a clearer idea of what has caused them in order to safeguard against re occurrence and then see what can be done to help prevent another catastrophe.
In Britain there are often yearly floods on a much milder level but both here and abroad it should not be beyond the environment agencies to study methods such as used in Holland in order to know how to build against disaster.
Could extra reservoirs be built with sluices that could open and run off an amount of flood water? We all need water and that would store it for future use.It would be great to hear comments from those working in the field.

Sustainableart is website of the month on http://www.cultureartist.org/

“What is a ‘Culture Artist?’
Deep Ecology is the principle that humanity cannot be separated from the environment; that human beings and nature are one and the same. Somewhere along the way, humankind seems to have forgotten that we aren’t separate from nature.

Since our culture at present revolves more around material wealth and accumulation than family, friends and the environment around us, some of us feel that we need to modify our culture to make room for nature; to return to our roots.

Those of us who use the principles of Deep Ecology to make cultural change are artists working with the medium of culture itself: we are Culture Artists, working to change the world for the better.”

This is a quotation from this interesting site where my site is featured. One often thinks that Americans are only interested in slash and burn but here one can see there are thoughtful ones too. Also the Solar Power Stations are set to take off in California if they can handle the rare animals that live on the projected sites. It is a great to be site of the month with Cultural Artist who share many of the aims of my own work.
http://www.cultureartist.org

The Indus River Dolphin

The following two articles are from the conference held recently in Lahore Pakistan on “Re-doPakistan” ,organised through;

www.OtherAsias.com

The Indus River Dolphin

There is a wonderful rare dolphin in the Indus River that could become extinct as in the Yantese River in China. These animals are a good indication of the health of the river, if they die out it shows that too much water has been siphoned off and also that it could be polluted. They are also part of the heritage of Pakistan, a joy for our children to see and a source of pride and income from tourism for the local people. Various groups are trying to look after them and their web addresses etc are included below.

These paintings were inspired originally by a large work done for the group WDCS, in Speyside, where the indigenous dolphins that live in the Moray Firth in Scotland are at risk from drilling for oil in their habitat. My painting can be seen there and the charity uses the image to help raise funds. It led to researching the dolphins in Pakistan and hoping that people will want to preserve Indus River ones for future generations.

indus dolphinpainting

www.sustainableart.co.uk

Marisa Rehana Samiullah Mann

REFERENCES

Pakistan Wetlands Program: http://www.pakistanwetlands.org

www.animalinfo.org/species/cetacean/platmino.htm –

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indus_River_Dolphin

indus dolphins

http://www.wdcs.org/submissions_bin/indus_river_dolphins_pakistan.pdf –

http://www.defence.pk/forums/general-images-multimedia/20511-indus-river-dolphin-endangered-freshwater-river-dolphin.html

http://indusdolphin.org.pk/about/

http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/what_we_do/freshwater/publications/index.cfm?uNewsID=21901

http://www.wwfpak.org/sc_indusriverdolphin.php

This group is helping people and dolphins showing how less water and agrochemicals can be used in growing rice and cotton

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.wildlifeofpakistan.com/indusdolphin3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.wildlifeofpakistan.com/RiverDolphin.html&h=262&w=450&sz=15&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=3YTROa5u-FtbiM:&tbnh=74&tbnw=127&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dindus%2Briver%2Bdolphin%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26channel%3Ds%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official

an image and write up about the dolphin

Email: sajjad.musavi@gmail.com

An Urdu speaking group

This group helps local people ;

http://indusdolphin.org.pk/about/urdu/urdu_01.asp [urdu version]

http://un.org.pk/undp/sgp/green-pioneers/chap-15.htm

http://indusdolphin.org.pk/river_dolphins/ [some also seen near Amritsar]

“Tragedy of the Yangtze Dolphin” New Scientist, 15 September 2007,UK,Lacon House,84 Theobald’s Road, London, WCIX8NS

Re do Pakistan Solar Power Stations

Re do Pakistan Solar Power Stations

Artist; Marisa Rehana (Samiullah) Mann

There are many ideas that can transform Pakistan and one of them is to envisage solar power stations. They could provide clean energy that will never cease and allow all Pakistanis to have a good standard of living. Solar Power Stations are to be contrasted with solar panels that are good on a local or individual level, (CSP) Concentrated Solar Power, as they are known are for powering industry, transport and buildings. They would take a large start up cost but that could be loaned from World Organisations or countries such as the Arab States. Already some are planned; the far sighted Abu Dhabi is building a Solar City at Masdar and CSP plants are planned in Morocco, Libya and Algeria. A unified grid would be needed, known as (HVDC) high voltage direct current, to enable the power to be circulated; excess can be stored in melted salts. My painting is of a Dish power station. There are also other ones including a Power tower, parabolic trough and Fresnel mirror system.

CSP is a particularly good technology for hot desert regions as the heat gathered from the sun using mirrors is concentrated and used to power a steam turbine thus creating the electricity. Desalination plants could be set up and also powered near the coast to provide water for the station giving water and shade as waste products. It may be possible to thus also grow vegetables and fruits around the plants.

Other systems could also be fed into the grid; hot rock, wind, HEP and tidal turbines. This will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air so as to help global warming, as otherwise deserts will increase, and without the set up and decommissioning costs of nuclear power.

This sounds like a story but it is only for us to open our eyes and look, use our brains and work together and this concept together with my other to help maintain the Indus River are 2 ideas envisaged for Pakistan

solar dish in Pakistan

Sources

http://www.desertec.org/concept.html – 28k

http://www.trec-uk.org.uk/ – 23k

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Mediterranean_Renewable_Energy_Cooperation – 59k –

http://www.desertec-iran.org/

http://www.desertec-india.org.in/

Time magazine February 25 2008

International Climate Forum

London June14 2008

www.campaigncc.org

“Green grid”, New Scientist 14 March 09

http://www.openhydro.com/technology.html

P249-256, Global Fever, How to treat climate Change, William H. Calvin 2008, University of Chicago Press