Earthly Matters


#1

I would like to propose a subcategory for Science, which would be about our home planet Earth. This subcategory is about all things sciencey about Earth, be it geological, meteorological, oceanographic, climatological, ecological … etc., just not woo woo navel gazing … !


#2

To kick this off I would like to place on the table the matter of the wildfires in the west United States, specifically California.

My point is if we had proper land management we would not have this problem. We seem to be operating under the idea of letting nature run its course, which is fine, but not where humans live. We need to go back to cutting down old growth forests to let new ones grow. Naturally this is done by fires, but around human populations we just can’t do this. By managing the land, cutting down old growth and planting new we can mimic nature without burning whole neighborhood to ashes.

Thoughts?


#3

We have had the same locally here in the Sounth East of the UK. for a long time the nature lobby won out and stopped the management of Ashdown Forset (Where Whinne the Pooh is from) and surrounding woodlands … to the point that it had detrmental affects on the wildlife. These areas have been managed by man for so long now that withdrawing that management caused a lot of issues including higher fire risks. Now they are finally doing controlled burns of the heather and copeseing the woodland again and it is having a marked effect. They are also cutting down the fast growing pine trees planted in the area after WW2 to replace what was taken. These are not natual to the area they are re-planting with broad leaf slower growing trees as that is what should be there. This is all costing large amounts of money to undo what the do-gooders did. Good sensible management can be very good for local wildlife whilst reducing fire risk. I would agree where properity and life is not at risk letting nature take its course is a sensible and fiscally responseable idea. However in areas that have been heavily managed and around areas where property and llife may be at stake it is just not sensible to go backwards. I hope your authorites see sense. Controlled burns and cutting out of old/dead wood etc is just good sensible steps to take for safety and it may turn out for wildlife.


#4

There’s really no silver bullet that mitigates wildfires on the scale that we’re seeing. They’re a product of a multitude of things beyond just bad management of lands:

-Climate change making wind patterns that exacerbate fires occur earlier and last longer
-2016-2017’s wet winter generating more growth for fuel
-2017-2018’s drought, plus Summer 2018’s record heat drying out that fuel

And one that almost everyone overlooks but is likely the most important in terms of loss of property and life:

-The encroachment of urbanization on wildlands

The LA Times has a pretty good article from 2017 about the fires then and the factors that goes into their cause: Why the 2017 fire season has been one of California’s worst - Los Angeles Times


#5

I’ll take your word on the article (apprently both my home ans VPN location are on the naughty countries list for the LA Times.) indeed those issues excerbate the situation good managent close to populations would/should help that would include expanding into wild areas. The latter not being such an issue in the UK we basically have very little of a natural areas left they are nearly all managed in one way or another. Lets not forget though the choice to not do something is also in a way managment. You are right though no silver bullet :frowning: but maybe a few bullets with silver tips?


#6

Hmm… I may have put this post in the wrong place … maybe it needs its own thread?

Was thinking about space suits…especially while on Mars… and thinking how inconvenient they were especially if you had an itch somewhere…

so I thought maybe something like a “john carter” 4 arm white ape of Basoon (without a head) suit could work well… image

The smaller lower arms would be used if needed for more fine manipulation where the pilot would stick his real arms into them.

At other times the “pilot” could use the larger external arms. Like these from skeletonics. Notice that the “pilot” can scratch his face and fix his hair (2:10 mark of the video) …and you probably wont need the feet mechanics. It may be heavy but Mars gravity is weak… Exoskeleton Suit by Skeletonics - Project Jarvis

At the very least it would be a good workout :slight_smile: and you can scratch your …


#7

BlockquoteThe encroachment of urbanization on wildlands

Granted. Nevertheless, what is better for humans? Is it better for humans to concentrated in large urban areas or spread out across the land?


#8

Sounds like we’ve got a good topic for the return of TMRO:Cities :wink:


#9

Don’t forget arsonists…