Global Nation Organization

Securing the Future With Love, Hardwork and Integrity

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It baffles me how people continue to live in a flood plain and then expect the government to pay to clean up after a flood. The solution to Midwest flooding is not better levies, is not a better FEMA, is not faster response, is not halting “global warming”, but to either stop living there or to get smarter about the way buildings are constructed.

First off, my condolences go out to the families who have lost a loved one or their property. I know this is a difficult time for you. I do not wish to seem like I am insensitive to your current plight. I know many of you have lived through floods before. I am sure it never gets easier. However, I prefer to see things from a futurist perspective. If you see a problem, fix it the right way.

With that said, if people choose to live in a flood plain, it should be their responsibility to construct their property to withstand floodwater damage. There are two alternatives; raise structures onto stilts or as create amphibious buildings that will float when the river plain rises.

This is not a new concept and I had written about it previously in my post on Innovating the Future with Amphibious Homes. I find the amphibious solution to be the most attractive because for most of the time the home is on the ground. A building on stilts would be too challenging for anyone with a physical disability. Even something as minor as arthritic hips or knees would make it difficult to walk up a flight of stairs.

I realize this will do nothing for the farms that are facing a total crop loss for this year. Looking down the road, my best recommendation is to ask them not to plant in a predicted flood year. They could have save their money and give their land a break every fifteen or so years. The timing for such an endeavor is trickier than it sounds, but right now it is the best I can come up with.

While the local, state and federal government gets busy with another clean up, perhaps someone in legislature will think to revise building codes to facilitate living in a flood plain. Either insist people conform to the smarter building codes or they should shoulder the responsibility for damages themselves. Remember, they call it a flood plain because it floods there! So make the choice now; move to higher ground or get smart about your structures ability to withstand whatever nature has in store for her.

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Toxic Earth

I am not sure how much people understand the problem that is being posed by China’s cavalier attitude to product and environmental safety. If you think the toys your children are playing with are the only threat for toxicity you are wrong. Hidden problems exist.

Exactly what do you think is being done with the millions of tons of toys being recalled from lead and other heavy metal contaminants? I can tell you it will be one of two things. First, the toys will get distributed into countries with no standards for toxicity. Second, the products will be recycled. Now that may sound like a good option, but truthfully, it is not. The recycle process will separate and segregate the various parts for reprocessing. Metal pins and rods will get melted down and reformed. The plastic will get be reground and put back into the raw material supply chain.

The lead in these parts will not disappear by reheating and remolding into a new product.

On the plastic side, it is possible some of the regrind will be used for seemingly inert products, like dimensional plastic lumber. But others will be sold to plastic producers who will make who knows what with them. Most likely a lot of it will get molded into black plastic parts. Why black? Because black is the only color that will mask ALL other colors. I know this because I’m a plastic manufacturer. Internally, we reuse our scrap by regrinding and introducing small amounts back into the production process on certain parts. When making black parts we’ll increase the use of regrind. Because we are selective on the parts we will use our regrind on, we don’t use as much scrap as we make and sell it on the open market. So trust me, this is happening in China too.

The potential for toxicity is still very high and will require even more diligence on companies who are purchasing the finished products to test for heavy metal additives. There are lead test kits that home-owners can purchase, but what about all the other heavy metals such as Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, and Mercury.

Again this goes back to survival strategy. How will China’s disregard for human and environmental safety affect your personal survival, let alone the human species? This is something each of us needs to address on an individual level before contamination spirals out of control.

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Yesterday I wrote about whether human actions are in concordance with our survival. I am not sure if I was clear enough though. While I do not believe humans are impacting global climate change, I do believe we are impacting our ecology. A perfect example are the two oil spills this weekend; one in San Francisco and the other along the Black Sea.

The San Francisco spill is downright puny at 58,000 gallons compared with 560,000 spilled in the Black Sea. So far 30,000 birds and an uncountable number of fish have been killed from a Russian oil tanker splitting open in bad weather. In addition, several humans have been killed. The damage to the ecology in the Black Sea will be devasting. It will take decades to cleanup. This type of occurence is the best reason to stop using oil for fuel.