Our Environment. One Vision and Many Thoughts. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


Our Environment. One Vision and Many Thoughts. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

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GMO’s, Food… For Thought. Water, Medicine… For The Spirit. Climate, … A Fashion Choice. Energy, … Renewable Waste. Plants, … A Silent Patient. Air… An Invisible Dump Site. Diego Fdez-Sevilla… Another One.

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Sometimes it is really difficult to choose what it is important, or more important than. Many times the straggle comes from identifying the right way of prioritising.

When we talk about the environment and our surroundings, very often it is suggested to divide and to separate in bits the whole. The concept behind is that it should make easier to handle each part as a single whole. Such practise requires to adopt measures towards deciding which are the limits that are applied to find the division between the parts. At such extent that it is even suggested that it is good to avoid considering some synergies in order to make the cut between parts. In studying our environment that creates restrictions over whom and what discipline it is recognised to play the “trustful” role of studying what. But also, the rules applied in our social and professional lives are applied in order to stablish some barriers between what is right and wrong. So knowledge has to be aseptic, objective and unemotional. Then it is converted in information which has to be relevant, and then entertainment, which only needs to be catchy.

Well, this article is about what I see, as a whole, from a personal point of view.

Many Thoughts

Every time I see or think on something that find relevant I begin to write a draft on it. I have made different drafts for individual topics and I have just thought that actually, one key issue in today’s mindset is to actively push to believe that everything is separated. And it is not. When you put things together, it creates a more realistic picture…

Here I will share brief pieces of information talking about what our environment is made of.

GMO’s, Food… For Thought.

I have already shared my position over GMO´s in previous publications in this blog and I believe that an article published recently serves to complement my assessments.

  • Nutritionally-Enhanced GM Crops? Too Bad About the Deformed Butterflies. Link. May 4th, 2016. The Ecologist. by Claire Robinson / GM Watch

It looked like such a good idea: take the pressure off wild fish stocks by growing GM oilseeds that produce health-enhancing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, writes Claire Robinson. But as a new study has established, those fish oils, novel in terrestrial ecosystems, cause wing deformities in cabbage white butterflies. Yet a third open field trial of these GM crops could soon be under way.

Water, Medicine… For The Spirit.

I believe that the following article can be of some interest in this discussion:

  • Drugs in Our Drinking Water?. Experts put potential risks in perspective after a report that drugs are in the water supply. By Kathleen Doheny. WebMD Feature. Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD. Reviewed on March 10, 2008. (link)

Tiny amounts of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, hormones, mood stabilizers, and other drugs — are in our drinking water supplies, according to a media report.

In an investigation by the Associated Press, drinking water supplies in 24 major metropolitan areas were found to include drugs.

According to the investigation, the drugs get into the drinking water supply through several routes: some people flush unneeded medication down toilets; other medicine gets into the water supply after people take medication, absorb some, and pass the rest out in urine or feces. Some pharmaceuticals remain even after wastewater treatments and cleansing by water treatment plants, the investigation showed.

Although levels are low — reportedly measured in parts per billion or trillion — and utility companies contend the water is safe, experts from private organizations and the government say they can’t say for sure whether the levels of drugs in drinking water are low enough to discount harmful health effects.

Among other things I find relevant the following comment: “Boiling will not solve the problem, Janssen says. And forget bottled water as a way to escape the low levels of drugs found in some public water supplies. “Twenty five percent of bottled water comes from the tap,” she says, citing an NRDC report.”

Also back in 2014 I was aware of a project named Great Lakes Restroation Initiative (GLRI)). It looks into water quality across the Great Lakes Region in relati0on with ecosystem but I believe that they not look into the impact from drugs being drained from urban sewers into the lakes. http://glri.us/index.html
However, the following article addresses the problem of enclosed bodies of water, like the lakes, receiving drugs from sewage outfalls:

The Great Lakes are home to one fourth of the world’s surface fresh water and provide drinking water to over 40 million people in eight states and two Canadian provinces. They are an undeniably precious water resource and if harmed or altered, there could be devastating effects to the environment, economy and people’s health.

That’s why recent studies and new research out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are troubling. These reports have revealed that pharmaceuticals are indeed present in the Great Lakes and highlight the urgent need for long-term health and environmental studies to be conducted.

Climate, … A Fashion Choice

I wouldn’t know where to begin. You choose this one. My take is biased by my research.

Energy, … Renewable Waste.

The mentality behind production, efficiency and consumption keeps being implemented in the design of “renewable” solutions. Such mentality is not renewable or efficient because lies on keep consuming resources as the underlying pillar base required to make possible to build, perform maintenance and absorb the disposals from renewable technologies and, furthermore, adds pressure to those countries having to increase production in order to have profits which to use to pay for all of that and/or to buy the patents. There is no such a thing as renewable waste if you need to keep consuming raw resources to deal with them.

Energy. Looking For Sources of Something We Waste. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on

What Is Wrong With The Concept “Bio”? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on

Air… An Invisible Dump Site

  • Air pollution rising at an ‘alarming rate’ in world’s cities. Outdoor pollution has risen 8% in five years with fast-growing cities in the developing world worst affected, WHO data shows. (Link)

While all regions are affected, fast-growing cities in the Middle East, south-east Asia and the western Pacific are the most impacted with many showing pollution levels at five to 10 times above WHO recommended levels.

According to the new WHO database, levels of ultra-fine particles of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5s) are highest in India, which has 16 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities.

China, which has been plagued by air pollution, has improved its air quality since 2011 and now has only five cities in the top 30. Nine other countries, including Pakistan and Iran, have one city each in the worst 30.

Air pollution levels were generally much lower for cities in developed countries with Sydney, New York and London registering 17, 16 and 22 micrograms per cubic metre for PM10s respectively. However, the data only includes measurements for particulates and does not include forms of air pollution such as NO2 and ozone.

“We have a public health emergency in many countries. Urban air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on human health. It’s dramatic, one of the biggest problems we are facing globally, with terrible future costs to society,” said Dr Maria Neira, director of public health at the WHO in Geneva.

“The cost for countries is enormous. Air pollution affects economies and people’s quality of life. It leads to major chronic diseases and to people ultimately dying,” she said.

Plants, … the silent patient

Glyphosate, the greatness of being dangerous, even to human health.

Contrary to what has been initially propalated in that Glyphosate is fixed immediately in the soil, this herbicide is equally strongly adsorbed on dissolved humic matter (DHM) and therefore may be easily leached down to groundwater with water percolating through soil pores. The richer in DHM the soil leaching water, the more Glyphosate used for weed control may seriously pollute groundwaters and put animals and men health at risk.
To know more ask for pdf reprints of scientific reports in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Volume 13, Issue 11, 1994, Pages 1737-1741(http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/etc.5620131104/full) and in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Volume 44, Issue 8, August 1996, Pages 2442-2446 (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jf950620x).

Nutrient Pollution

Nitrogene. From a beneficial fertilizer to becoming a pollutant.

  • EPA. US Environmental Protection Agency. Link.

Nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, and is caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water.

Nitrogen and phosphorus are nutrients that are natural parts of aquatic ecosystems. Nitrogen is also the most abundant element in the air we breathe. Nitrogen and phosphorus support the growth of algae and aquatic plants, which provide food and habitat for fish, shellfish and smaller organisms that live in water.

But when too much nitrogen and phosphorus enter the environment – usually from a wide range of human activities – the air and water can become polluted. Nutrient pollution has impacted many streams, rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters for the past several decades, resulting in serious environmental and human health issues, and impacting the economy.

Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water causes algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to survive. Large growths of algae are called algal blooms and they can severely reduce or eliminate oxygen in the water, leading to illnesses in fish and the death of large numbers of fish. Some algal blooms are harmful to humans because they produce elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people sick if they come into contact with polluted water, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink contaminated water.

Soils, … the grounds holding our dreams.

  • World’s soils are under threat. Article published 29 Feb 2016. Link

The Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils has completed the first State of the World’s Soil Resources Report. Globally soil erosion was identified as the gravest threat, leading to deteriorating water quality in developed regions and to lowering of crop yields in many developing regions. We need to increase nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer use in infertile tropical and semi-tropical soils – the regions where the most food insecurity among us are found – while reducing global use of these products overall. Stores of soil organic carbon are critical in the global carbon balance, and national governments must set specific targets to stabilize or ideally increase soil organic carbon stores. Finally the quality of soil information available for policy formulation must be improved – the regional assessments in the State of the World’s Soil Resources Report frequently base their evaluations on studies from the 1990s based on observations made in the 1980s or earlier.

One vision

Sir, how would you like your information to be cooked and served?

– Well done, with ketchup and served with aseptic professionalism. I don´t want to taste the flavour of reality and neither empathise with the employees.

Professional Performance

One Vision Diego Fdez-Sevilla

Even though the image represent a fake letter, as it has been pointed out, it brings into the table a very useful point. If this image generates such an easy response finding empathy on many, it must be because it represents a fraction of reality worthy to pay attention into.

Wherever I look, it brings back the same vision. And I wonder about how it comes that you need to have built your credentials upon somebody else judgement in order to make your word count. Don´t wait for others to describe what your eyes, skin, ears and nose perceive. You don´t need to be told that you are capable to think and communicate what YOU see. Many people working in rural areas are capable to share more accurate assessments over the variations in the seasonality of crops that scientists holding grants. How can that happen? Where is the communication?

Bright, humble and ambitious person, seeks help …

I have received some feedback from some people expressing what they describe on my work as to be bright and even humble.

Being bright is a perception which can vary between people.

Being humble is easy, you just need to receive a couple of messages like the following that I have received in different occasions and the last one as recent as two weeks ago:

“We regret to inform you that, on this occasion, your application has been unsuccessful in progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process. Due to the fact that the University is currently receiving high levels of applications we are unable to provide you with any feedback on your application.”

Being ambitious is the killer. It can be seen as an asset or as an attitude that challenges the perception of those validating your work.

Not Humble, Ambitious

When I have seen someone saying that I am humble, it makes me uncomfortable. I am not humble, I just do not have nothing to brag about.

Meanwhile many people use their CVs to impress an audience, I am well aware of my limitations and how useless can be anyone shaking a shiny CV. That kind of awareness raises when facing a situation like having “A medical doctor suggesting that your father needs to check some health problems with a biopsy”.

All the knowledge or understanding of the world that I share, and it seems to make me so bright for some at linkedIn, it makes no difference to me when I can not apply it to help those around me.

Not only my knowledge is not valid to address this type of problems, but furthermore, I don´t even make a profit from holding such bright perception making me able to help economically what I lack professionally. In my case, the cuts being implement by the Spanish government in the public health system keep restricting and increasing delays in the access to treatments, which would imply trying to seek for options economically viable in private sectors.

I don´t consider myself humble, because I am ambitious, and that is frustrating.

Until now, I haven’t been humble enough to accept a job as a waiter because I believe that I can do something which has the potential to reach a wider purpose. I have challenged my assessments against the judgement from professionals being members of groups in Linkedin based on profiles from AGU and NOAA whom have hold their breath before saying anything against my judgements, and that represents something in itself.  (link and link)

I have invested everything that I have to show what I think is relevant to be considered in addressing current developments in environmental evolution. In order to avoid lacking access to information being published in academia worthy to be considered I have used everyday, for more than two years, the  library from the local university as my office. I have increasingly used my time and my savings to create a credible and accurate assessments on the developments in course, at global scale and in all fronts, studying synergistic interactions.

However, I am not a profile built upon articles published in Scientific journals allowing me to compete in job selections. Therefore, in order to have those publications I would need to be already working in academia. So it is a catch 22 situation. The only way I can overcome such handicap is by having public recognition and references.

And yet, I know that expecting that from fellow researchers in their work is almost fiction since that challenges the whole infrastructure of scientific publishing and would demand too much courage from those feeling compromised their personal career expectations. But, moreover, that would mean nothing if the credibility behind those papers is not accompanied by a multidisciplinary consensus implementing those assessments in functional policies. Having myself performed as peer reviewer, what sense does it make to have published a paper which is being crushed afterwards by worthy points of view? I rather prefer to expose my work for judgement first and let time and fellow researchers to make it worthy.

But time keeps flowing, and I have been surviving upon my savings for too long already.

So in the near future, my performance will have to change its focus of attention, from scientific research to more real and humble questions, like having an income from any type of job. That will make me be humble enough to not perceive that my work is being used by other scientists without attribution.

I know that I am not humble because when I see the use of scientific knowledge in all type of media I only see confusion. Scientific assessments are not treated similarly to the assessment from a doctor. When a doctor tells you that something is not right,  your actions are not going towards endorsing the skills of the doctor at Linkedin and click “like”, so, why is that  enough towards scientific assessments?

There is a lot of confusion between information, knowledge and entertainment.

And that makes me feel nothing near humble.

The performance of my work is limited by my access to resources and stability. So far that is what I have able to offer but if you want the best of me, share your thoughts because in order to keep going and improve my share, somebody will have to invest in me.

—xxx—

PerspectiveSince October 2013 I have been studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com). All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License,  WordPress.com license and it is being implemented at my profile in researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.

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About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com. By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/bibliography/citations#! Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my previous work as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After couple of years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, I find myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my research. In the present competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv and wait for my next opportunity to arrive, I have decided to invest also my energy and time in opening my own line of research showing what I am capable of. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this blog has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my work and the intellectual rights represented by the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in this line of research. Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome. In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) gmail.com or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2016. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/
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55 Responses to Our Environment. One Vision and Many Thoughts. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

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