Two Stroke Engine Illustration
Something most folks may not be aware of is that standing behind a idling scooter is about 1000 times worse than standing behind a idling car breathing in fumes – that’s because common two-stroke scooters which make up a large portion of the vehicles in Asian countries especially Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and India process fuel in a way that leaks fuel out of the exhaust port after each cycle.
These two-stroke engines have been banned in certain cities in China already, but are a cheap way to buy transportation in 3rd world countries and most likely will remain for years to come. This is something everyone should be cognizant about when going about their daily activities – avoid being around these scooters and hold your breath if they pass by you. The emissions from these vehicles in essence is attaching toxic benzine and organic aerosols to dust and dirt in the air just ready for unsuspecting victims to inhale. You can compound the problem if there is already pollutants suspended in the air.
For reference purposes below is a visual chart showing pollutants by vehicle type and running versus idling.
Click on Graph to See Pollutants Per KG of Fuel
Gallagher, Sarah. “Scooters Pollute More than Lorries.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 20 May 2014. Web. 20 May 2014.
I currently work in Malaysia and in my office there are small ants crawling around because sometimes food is left on tables etc. What I noticed one day was that there was a line of ants going up and into a neighbour’s laptop through the heatsink. The first thought that comes to mind is, they must have found a good place for a nest inside the running laptop. Then reality kicks in, no way the ants would get fried in there!
Today I read an article about ‘Crazy Ants’, that have been taking over in Texas as the head honcho based on their chemical excretions that neutralize fire ant poison that also double as a chemical weapon of their own. These ants, unlike fire ants, like to steal their homes rather than build them from scratch. In fact, they would prefer to fight and kill a colony of fire ants and steal their home than build their own. Another place they like to live, unlike fire ants, is in electronics or any man-made home. Additionally, I found that when these crazy ants get zapped by electronics they emit the ’emergency’ chemical that signals to the other ants they are in trouble and need help. That brings the other ants over, and whala! My answer to why these ants at work are crawling into a hazardous heatsink of a computer is solved!
How do you deal with a genetically superior ant that is naturally from Brazil but wreaks havoc among Texas’s natural ecosystem? These crazy ants are taking food that would be traditionally eaten by bugs that birds enjoy eating – however birds understandably aren’t too keen on eating these smelly chemically laden ants that like zapping themselves in electronics. Fire ants, also from Brazil, are beginning to seem like old friends when it comes to these crazy ants. Perhaps the birds are just going to have to adapt to eating these smelly creatures.
On most subjects I am a free market proponent, but when it comes to the environment and things that obviously ruin the environment for folks I am a proponent of controls. The planet’s ecosystem has been durable for the larger part of human residency but given the massive quantity of humans and the large footprint that follows their activities have started to hurt themselves and folks thousands of miles away from them. The extinction of honeybees, the shortening lifespans in Asia, and the melting of the polar caps are just three of many consequences of human activity that will surely cause pain in suffering to none other than other humans. From an American perspective, that means the some peoples’ right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is being denied by others who may or may not have a choice in the environmental harm they commit.
Looking at the lives of people living in heavily polluted cities, such as the ones in China where pollution levels have reached twenty times the dangerous amount and simply breathing in the air is like constantly smoking I would pay thousands of dollars and forgo earning tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to not threaten my health with such hazards. Unfortunately the people there don’t have a choice, and the coal power plants along with auto-mobile pollution and factory pollution make this a daily routine. Even though the capital city Beijing has tried to clean up the factories in their city, the change does little as factories dot the surrounding cities and is carried and hovers over the area. Only time will tell how bad this has been on the people but even now medical experts are claiming living in these areas will reduce the average life expectancy around 15 years!
The problem isn’t population per say, as India’s cities are more densely populated than the polluted ones in China, it is the way economic growth has been archived. The United States and especially England went though this period during the industrial revolution and also had massive pollution. This was to a smaller scale, however, since it was between 250 and 150 years ago when populations were smaller and most pollution was isolated to coal powered steam factories and coal power plants. Will the earth ever recover its lost glaciers and reclaim polar ice land area, or will we continue to see a gradual progression to a more arid world with less protection from solar flares and more solar radiation along with conventional pollution?
There are folks out there that seriously don’t care about the environment, they are just trying to get by economically. However, I argue that the same argument can be made from someone stealing bread from another person – the economic gains made through sacrificing the environment impose harsh penalties on others who want to live in a clean world free from newly created environmental hazards they may not be able to afford to protect themselves from.