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                                                 A Mixed bag  of goodies
                                 Hope some is of interest to you!
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   1  Gaia theory                                  The science behind the theory

   2  Observations of nature                    Beautiful things happen all around us.  You just need to keep still
                                                                                                                                         and   watch.
   3  Ideas to improve the way we live        ideas to save energy, to reduce CO2 production etc.

  4  The future        The future will be different, of that  we can be sure .  Several scenarios, some bizarre!

  5   The operating system  Here are some short stories with a central theme, the operating system.   Companies target a vital
            technology and try buy up or intimidate all the competition in that sector. They then use this monopoly to
            gain other monopolies in  related sectors.
          The most successful of these are Microsoft (the operating system for most computers)
           and Monsanto  ( DNA being the operating system for farming and food).

   6   History of water power             Operating systems for water Power?  A Parallel to the computing story!
   7   Pulser Pump  measures up!      Pulser pumps can fit in and are efficient enough , even in an electricity
                                                           dominated world.
   8 Guest writers   If I think something is really well written and informative
                                               and if the author agrees, It ends up here!
                                                  First article is about pumped storage
   9  Plastic in contact with food.  Poison?
 10  Genetic theft  The "saving" of endangered rain forest plants can now be seen for what it was!
 

1. Gaia Theory
Gaia is the greek goddess of the earth. She was invoked by James Lovelock (an English Scientist) to explain some unusual features of this planet.
Over time,  the earth has spiralled a little closer to the sun and the sun has got considerably hotter. Yet over time the earths surface temperature has actually gone down! Why?
It is one  very big puzzle!
James Lovelock claimed that life (collectively) actively controlled  the the temperature of the planet!
     His most famous story was of how a planet with just 2 life forms a black and a white flower could control its temperature.
In a cool world, Black flowers predominate because only they can absorb enough energy to keep warm enough to grow. As they multiply, planetary temperature rises, white flower grow and they gain an advantage because they do not absorb too much  heat. (plants have a comfort zone as you know). Models for this very simple world show that the surface temperature remains remarkably stable even when its star cools or warms quite a lot. The ratio of black and white flowers just change a little.  (a simplification of this kind is often necessary to explain an idea).
James Lovelock did much more than this of course!
His critics rounded with some major holes in the theory. There is a carbon  and a nitrogen cycle but no way of returning sulphur and phosphorus to the land. Why didn't life fill the gap?
So off he went on a research vessel and found algae which released gaseous sulphur and phosphorus compounds into the atmosphere. Nobody had looked before! Sea birds and salmon are other vectors for moving micro nutrients onto the land.
Admittedly, some sea birds tend to concentrate phosphorus a bit too much but nothing is perfect!
The trend of cooling is difficult to explain. It seems that higher forms of life need progressively cooler conditions to evolve,
(perhaps there is some reason in physics). Anyway, it has happened and life is the only suspect.
I will eventually put in a book page and you can follow up there. The theory continually develops!
The future for gaia?
                               If you read the charts, CO2 increases, Extinction's at an ever accelerating rate,
Habitat loss everywhere, Ozone depletion, it becomes clear that we are messing up the system.
    Raising the heat is one of the most likely consequences. Perhaps it will kill us off and real intelligent life may eventually develop.
Perhaps the replacement is already here. Silicon chips work best at cooler temperatures. (Remember that cooling trend!)
Individually, we can do little. The old boring Reuse, Recycle mantra, Car pooling, support for Carbon taxes, support for tight
planning regulations. All Gaia friendly stuff!
(Compact towns are easier for mass transit, and utility provision. Suburbia and urban sprawl is a great destroyer).
Why not do that little bit anyway? Perhaps it can still go either way and your push at this time can be the vital extra help that
Gaia needs.
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