Wednesday, 18 February 2009
While I am not a vegetarian, I believe that Factory Farming is abhorrent. I was at the Pilsdon Community yesterday, and while there, members were building a run for their pigs. It was a large section of a field and they are going to put 3 or 4 animals in it. They will live free range in good conditions and be fed decent food for all their lives. Compare this to what Factory farmed pigs have to put up with, tiny crates and not seeing sunlight or touching the earth.
After much public concern, interest and attention, the UK pig breeding standards were raised and are now the highest in the EU... sadly the public that were so concerned found out that high standards costs more, and so many UK pork breeders went out of business as the public went for the cheaper imports.
Above is a film trailer about a company called Smithfield. This relates to the United States market as well as the UK and EU as they are Factory farming pork in Poland to flood our markets with pork reared using antibiotics in conditions that are, in my opinion, quite frankly tortured.
We would, I am sure, quite rightly call our animal welfare organisations if a neighbour kept their pet in such a way, so why should we tolerate our food chain animals being so treated?
In Matthew 22:4 - Jesus told a parable of a king who killed oxen and fatted cattle for a wedding feast. Meat eating is a symbol of partaking of the blessings of God's kingdom so I do not believe that Jesus would use something immoral to symbolize the blessings of the kingdom, but I do not believe for one moment that he would approve of His creation being abused in the way the film above shows.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 04:07
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Cosmos 954 was a Soviet Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite (RORSAT) which was powered by a nuclear reactor. Cosmos 954 had a special problem however; on January 24, 1978 it went out of control.
Cosmos 954 fell out of orbit and came crashing into the Great Slave Lake area of the Northwest Territories in Canada, disintegrated during re-entry into a shower of radioactive debris which spread over some 124,000 square kilometres. A massive search was begun to locate the debris that was made up of over 200 troops from both the Canadian Air Force and the US military and lasted until October. After the clean-up, the Canadian Government sent a $15 million bill to the Soviets. The Soviets paid less than half of this amount and agreed not to take back the spacecraft. The Canadians were happy with the amount they received and were happier still that the Soviets had acknowledged the spacecraft's existence.
Of the thousands of radioactive fragments that reached the earth's surface, some were potentially lethal however, less than 1% of radioactive material was recovered so 99% of the radioactive parts of this satellite are still out there in NW Canada.
Fast forward to Feb. 11, 2009 and two big communications satellites collided nearly 500 miles over Siberia. The crash produced a pair of massive debris clouds, and the magnitude of the situation will not be known for weeks at least, said Nasa spokesman Kelly Humphries.
"We knew this was going to happen eventually," said Mark Matney, an orbital debris scientist at Johnson Space Centre in Houston. The collision involved a commercial satellite, launched in 1997, and a Russian satellite launched in 1993 and believed to be non-functioning. The commercial satellite weighed 1,235 pounds and the Russian one nearly a ton. No one has any idea yet how many pieces were generated or how big they might be."Right now, they're definitely counting dozens," Matney said. "I would suspect that they'll be counting hundreds when the counting is done." As for pieces the size of micrometers, the count will likely be in the thousands, he added.
At the beginning of this year there were roughly 17,000 pieces of man-made debris orbiting Earth, Johnson said. The items, at least 4 inches in size, are being tracked by the U.S. Space Surveillance Network, which is operated by the military. The network detected the two debris clouds created Tuesday.
So not only does mankind pollute the God’s earth, we now pollute His space and I only hope and pray that when that debris does fall to earth, as its orbit finally decays, then it will not be radioactive or fall on an inhabited area.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 10:06
Saturday, 7 February 2009
The Zeer pot could not be simpler or easier to make or operate and yet as a refrigeration device it is truly an example of just how simplicity can work when sophistication cannot. It is a simple fridge made of local materials, clay and sand, consisting of one earthenware pot set inside another, with a layer of wet sand in between. As the moisture evaporates outwards from the wet sand through the outer earthenware pot it cools the inner pot, keeping up 12kg of produce fresh for up to three weeks. The shelf life of Tomatoes and Guavas are extended from 2 to 20 days, carrots from 4 to 20 days and Rocket from 1 to 5 days.
Fruit, vegetables and water are all kept fresher for longer – providing much needed help to starving families and can mean the difference between potential starvation and having enough food.
The Zeer pot is cheap, easy to make (see the video) environmentally friendly and works on Solar Energy. Now didn't Paul say something in Phillipians 4:19 about God meeting our needs?
You can find more about Practical Action's work in the Third World here
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 08:02
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Bio Gas is already used in the Third World but in the West has little take up. However this could soon change, as a report from Ernst & Young, commissioned by The National Grid reports that if the UK’s various waste streams were harnessed to produce biogas, half of the nation’s homes could be heated from it. The biogas would be generated from sewage, animal manure, and other waste, and be connected to the existing natural gas grid.
While there are no technical or safety barriers in generating this much biogas, the UK government will need to enacted to develop a waste management policy to ensure each waste stream is directed to the appropriate biogas technology and an incentive scheme to encourage biogas producers to send their gas to the natural gas grid, rather than generate electricity from it as is currently promoted in the Renewable Energy Obligation scheme.
All it needs is the money... about £10 Billion should do it and make the UK far less dependent on imports of gas from unstable regions of the world.
We have all these God given resources so, UK government, how about it? The banks were given £37 Billion last year and reliable reports say that this will rise to £75 billion in 2009, it's a gift at £10 billion surely?
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 01:09