Thursday, October 29, 2015

Farts and fires and rice fields oh my

I hate to go to Manila because of the air pollution exacerbates my asthma.

And the huge traffic jams don't help. They have "alternate day" driving (according to your license) but it doesn't do much good.Possibly using electric jeepneys or hydrogen based ones will help a bit, but most local rich people use SUV's, and of course trucks are there delivering stuff and contribute to the pollution. What is helping is the new transit systems, using overhead trains that link to buses/jeepneys for local trips.

So when Joy and Ruby go to Manila, they have been staying with her relatives and commuting to Ruby's homeschool base for her extracurricular activities.

One result: Joy now has sore knees, from climbing up and down the stairs.

but below, I joked that farts and rice fields in rural area also contributed to global warming. (In cow/sheep rich New Zealand, the tax on animals who emit methane is called the fart tax by annoyed farmers).

And of course, organic rice etc is pushed by the gov't, but to kill weeds for organic rice you flood the paddies so that the weeds are destroyed and the rest are easly to hoe out of the soft mud. This results in a lot of the greenhouse gas Methane...The alternative is a dry way to farm, using herbicides...China did this in many areas and reduced their greenhouse emissions.

but now the "traditional" agricultural methods are coming to the world's attention: Slash and burn agriculture in Indonesia is polluting the air and even shutting down airports in SEAsia..

Mother Jones has a report.

 Indonesian President Joko Widodo cut short a visit to the United States and headed home to oversee efforts to extinguish a rash of epic wildfires that have engulfed his country.
Joko was in Washington, DC, for a photo op with President Barack Obama, to talk about climate change, and to promote Indonesia as a choice venue for foreign investors. His trip was also supposed to include a stopover in San Francisco for meetings with tech industry executives. But Joko's decision to return to Indonesia early underscores the challenges his country faces in stopping the worst deforestation on Earth—deforestation that is playing a critical role in global climate change.
MJ blames the fires on palm oil plantations, but this is outside my area of expertise, and they don't mention how many fires were started to plant palm trees and how many fires were started by local farmers needed fresh soil to grow food (something that could be reversed if they developed ways to enrich the soil using fertilizers etc).

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