The Sustainable Farm: The Drought-Resilient Farm Book Review

Struggling how to make a drought-resilient farm?

Let’s face it!

We are faced with ever changing climate especially drought. The only option we have is to be resilient.

If you are a farmer like us, then probably we share the same problem – how to make a drought-resilient farm.

While browsing the net, I came across with this helpful book which I will share to you.

Let me introduce to you

The Drought-Resilient Farm

Drought-resilient farm by Dale StrickenThe book was written by Dale Strickler with about 200 pages and fully illustrated. The author begins the book with a touch of personal experience as a farmer. Its a book that teaches how to manage farm under a condition where there is minimal water. Its a science-based book explained in lay mans term that ordinary people can understand the science of managing water and soil.

Each method on how to make a drought-resilient farm is complemented with an image. There are also long-term experiments how tillage affects plant available water holding capacity.

Actually, I love how each of the scientific terms being explained in a fashionable way that even those non-technical person will understand.

Lots of helpful tips to run your farm without worrying about drought.

Truly, a resilient farmer after reading this book.

Any individual will understand it. I am not an agriculture major but really I got interested in it after reading the book. It appears to me that agriculture is not that very technical as the author manages to explain it in the book.

Each chapter ends with a chapter summary which to me is an ideal format for any literature book.

There are many things that you will learn in the Drought -Resilient Farm book like:

  • Soil management;
  • How to keep water in the soil longer;
  • How Tillage affect rainwater shortage;
  • Improving water holding capacity of the soil profile;
  • How Organic Matter Affects Soil water-holding capacity;
  • How a cropping system affects water capacity based on soil type and plant.

and many more.

Of course when we say drought-resilient farm, it is not just about plants but also animals.

The author also shared valuable information how to provide water for your livestock. I was amazed at how easy to make a fence in a pond to provide access to your livestock for drinking.

Also how to make move water using only gravity. This is perfect in our farm is sloping and we have a pond. Don’t worry it is very easy to do. You will not get lost because it includes instructions on how to do it with pictures above.

Oppss… I am not done yet with the drought-resilient farm book review.

In the book, you will also learn how you can provide forage during emergencies especially in drought. So, this book is not just about water per se which I thought at first is dedicated to water management. But actually how to become resilient in your farm when drought strikes. When drought comes you need not only to manage water but also other areas in your farm such as forage.

Its a complete book of resiliency.

A must-read for anyone who want to be drought-resilient farm.

In conclusion, the author encourages the reader especially the farmer to take actions before and during the next drought occur through a checklist of activities.

With this, you will be guided easily as to what needs to be done.

There are many things to say about this book, but I suggest that you buy and read it yourself.

You can get the book at Amazon for $23.78 only. Its worth the price.

Climate Change Impacts on Human Health in Philippines

Climate change impacts on human health are increasing!

Wait!

Before I explain to you the climate change impacts on human health, I just want to share what our family has experienced.

I really wanted to write about this topic because of the incident that happened to our family. My father got sick, and after him, my mother.

It always comes back every other day.

When I called them and ask about their health situation, they would say that it’s because of the weather condition. Its January already and in our hometown and in the province of Samar and Leyte there has been a downpour of rain every day.

According to my mother, many of our neighbors got sick because of this prolonged rainy days.

What has the PAG-ASA projected?

In my research about climate change adaptation, I found

climate change impacts scenario
Courtesy: DILG, PAG-ASA 2011 Climate Change Scenario in Philippines

these climate change scenarios in the Philippines based on their report.  The projection is for 2020-2050 and it is based relative on the years 1971-2000.

Seasonal Temperature Change – increase in temperature all throughout the country (Philippines). It is expected that all areas in the Philippines will get warmer.

Increase in Rainfall – there will be an increased rainfall in Luzon and Visayas.

Download the full report here.

Going back.

What is the effect of climate change on health?

A report was published from UN about climate change impacts human health.

According to their report, there would be a tremendous effect on certain groups of people like pregnant women, elderly and children.

Infectious disease is also sensitive to climate change especially water-borne diseases like diarrhea.

Malaria is also influenced by climate change.

There is also an increasing variable rainfall pattern which affects the water supply. If there is lack of clean water supply, this would increase the risk of diarrhoeal disease.

Based on WHO factsheets:

Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.

The report, A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change (Full Report) itemizes the following impacts to climate change on human health.

Accounting for climate change impacts on human health.

Climate change has been a threat in the 21st century.

In developing country like the Philippines, these things are likely to happen.

The effect of climate change such as extreme rainfall can affect the transport of disease-causing organisms into the water supply thus would lead to water and food-borne diseases. In addition, there is a correlation of dengue to rainfall in the Philippines (ADB, 2011).

climate change impacts on human health
Courtesy: ADB, Accounting for Health Impacts of Climate Change

We are on the brink of Earth’s Final Crisis.

These things happening today are just signs.

We will experience more of this in the years to come.

These are just among the many climate change impacts to human health.

I know there are other things to list.

It’s just that I don’t have the time to list everything here.

Everything is widely observed.

All we got to do is to prepare ourselves.

Do you have something to say about climate change impact on human health?

Feel free to comment down.

Long-Term Crisis Survival Tips: How You Can Survive

Looking for long-term crisis survival tips?

This article will explain to you long-term crisis survival tips.

But first things first.

Let us study first what are the signs that we should know in the earth’s final crisis.

Do you know?

In the last scenes of this earth’s history, war will rage. There will be pestilence, plague and famine. The waters of the deep will overflow their boundaries. Property and life will be destroyed by fire and flood. We should be preparing for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for them that love Him. –Mar 174 (1897). {LDE 24.2}

Famine and pestilence

Our world today has grown to 8 billion people. With such numbers, it is inevitable that mankind has to compete for each other with resources. Economics tells us that we have a scare resource, but humans are not bigger in number. Hence, as theorized by Malthus, there will be a food shortage in the future, but it did not happen as we see it. Although there are places around the world that suffers from hunger.

Do you know that majority of the world’s undernourished people lived in developing countries? Two-thirds live in just seven countries, Bangladesh, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan and over 40 percent live in China and India alone (FAO, 2010).

In 2012- 2014, about 805 million people are undernourished (FAO, IFAD, and WFP 2014). South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara have the highest 2014 GHI scores, at 18.1 and 18.2 respectively (Global Hunger Index).

All these are attributed to poverty, urbanization, population growth.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

We have seen it, others experienced it. Some would say its a conspiracy. But we have already experienced it from anywhere. There are wars happening now nations between nations.

I cannot stress out more of the crisis that our society is facing today. In these risky society, it is inevitable that we human beings has to succumb to all these crisis.

Climate change

Not to mention the natural disasters and calamities due to changing climate.

These natural disasters are just the beginnings of the long-term crisis. In fact, climate change and natural disasters are one of the issues today that affects many countries.

Read climate change vulnerability indicators here.

Millions of money are spent on programs on achieving sustainable development goals. All these are in preparation for sustainable solutions to what we call as Earth’s final crisis.

But are we on the bright side?

Jeffrey Sachs mentioned in one of the free courses “The Age of Sustainable Development.”

Our generation/society today were not yet able to move an inch to mitigate the climate change.

Although there are many efforts made, but these are not enough. Still, we are on the brink of global warming pernicious effect.

And so, what can we do about it?

I have to quote this for you:

In the days of Noah the overwhelming majority opposed to the truth, and enamored with a tissue of falsehoods. The land was filled with violence. War, crime, murder, was the order of the day. Just so will it be before Christ’s second coming.-1BC 1090 (1891). {LDE 23.2}

Does this mean that it’s the new normal?

It’s not new yet, if we read the Last Day Events in our Earth’s history.

It is written,

The labor unions are quickly stirred to violence if their demands are not complied with. Plainer and plainer is it becoming that the inhabitants of the world are not in harmony with God. No scientific theory can explain the steady march of evil workers under the generalship of Satan. In every mob wicked angels are at work, rousing men to commit deeds of violence. . . . {LDE 23.3}

The terrible reports we hear of murders and robberies, of railway accidents and deeds of violence, tell the story that the end of all things is at hand. Now, just now, we need to be preparing for the Lord’s second coming.-Letter 308, 1907. {LDE 23.5}

What you have just read is a short part of a prophecy.

Get to know the stages of final crisis in world history in the The Great Controversy.

The above statements are already happening in our time.

By now you may wonder how to live in the long-term crisis?

As an advocate of sustainable development, I believe that there are more important issues to tackle in these last days. Not only solving water scarcity, food insecurity and energy saving problems, but our personal lives as well.

My question is, “which of these solutions to long-term crisis are sustainable?”

These survival tips are practical and important ways to live in the long-term crisis.

Learn Basic Survival skills

long-term crisis survival skill

According to Filip Tkaczyk, to survive at least you need this six basic skills.

  • Attitude
  • Shelter
  • Water
  • Fire
  • Naturalist Skills
  • Food

Learn the dangers of the food we usually at and try to avoid it. Download this book to know what foods to avoid in these last days to live a healthy lifestyle.

To me, attitude matters a lot. Many people when faced with emergencies are in total shocked and don’t know what to do.

In surviving an emergency, all we need is to be calm. Don’t fret a lot because this will aggravate the situation. Be on guard always. Have presence of mind. Attitude is important in survival, no matter where you are. Whether you are in the middle of amazon forest or in the wilderness. These survival tips to long-term crisis are helpful to you.

Watch this video to start learning how to survive in wilderness.

Learn to live out of your comfort zone

Our generation is a risky society – it has this fear of the future.

Ulrich Beck – a sociologist, noted that the more we deny risk, the more it becomes a reality. But even so, we are now facing it.

For me, let us embrace risk and survive to it.

Nowadays, people are not satisfied with the things they have, they want more and more.

We have to live out of our comfort zone. Not always sitting down in a luxurious hotel and bathing in a Jacuzzi. But learn how to live and survive in the wilderness.

How can you do this?

Go camping.

(For me, it’s the simplest thing that you can do).

Enjoy the nature and live with it.

Do you know?

God’s healing power runs all through nature. If a human being cuts his flesh or breaks a bone, nature at once begins to heal the injury, and thus preserve the man’s life.” (Medical Missionary 11.6). In this case, living out of your comfort zone and living with nature can also be therapeutic also.

Don’t spend so much time on gadgets. Spending so much time on electronic media has a negative impact on the lives not just for the youth but also adults.

Research shows that exposures to electronic gadgets influences the behavior of a child and may expose him in violence, obesity and at-risk behaviors (Journal of Adventist Education, 2014). With this, it is advisable that parents should spend time more on their children. One way to do it is through camping. This reduces the impact of getting at-risk behavior, but also on how to live on earths final crisis.

Learn the essential survival skills while camping.

Get all the camping gears you need.

Go here for the best camping gears available for you to buy.

Above all these, I have three things that are important and often times neglected by many.

 

 

Show Gratitude

During the international convention of the Role of Academy Science in Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

One of the plenary speakers nailed it when he said,

Sustainable Development is achievable. All we have to do is to change our lifestyle.

I appreciate the efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, but these are just temporal things.

If we love our mother nature, let us also love the Creator. Ecclesiastes put it like this “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” 12:13 That is what it means to Keep His commands. To take care of this Earth and all that is in it, including ourselves and neighbors.

God’s handiwork in nature is not God Himself in nature. The things of nature are an expression of God’s character; by them, we may understand His love, His power, and His glory; but we are not to regard nature as God. The artistic skill of human beings produces beautiful workmanship, things that delight the eye, and these things give us something about the idea of the designer; but the thing made is not the man. It is not the work, but the workman, that is counted worthy of honor. So, while nature is an expression of God’s thought, it is not nature, but the God of nature that is to be exalted.-8T 263. {MM 11.1}

Prepare to meet the Creator

Let us prepare ourselves to meet God, not just prepare ourselves how to live in the last days. Let us not just prepare how to survive in earths final crisis.

Don’t focused on all survival gears and kits that we have. These are useless at the time of trouble.

I am not saying that this is not useful, but it is. We also have to prepare ourselves that sooner or later we will leave this place.

In the stages of the final crisis of the earth, the righteous is safe while the wicked will have its punishment.

I am not trying to say something prophetic or religious here, but let us take this lesson. Satan is cunning and uses natural calamities to divert our attention the our God.

If you worry about those calamities that struck your place and the rumors of wars. Don’t be.

These are just the beginnings (Matt. 24) of the end or long-term crisis that human beings have to endure.

Science had proven that nature will come to its end and human beings too.

Well, I hope I did not startle you with some hard realities.

But my point is: to live in these last days, we must prepare to meet our Creator.

Prepare yourself to be with God. Store not riches on this earth, for it will pass away. Do good acts, share your blessings. With this you will be blessed too.

Practice what you preach

Live your life in accordance to the principle of God. If you believe in the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Then live up to those principles.

Many people argued that the ten commandments is not anymore binding today. I beg to disagree on this issue. Sorry.

If you say you love your God, then do his commands. For if anyone does not do what he commands is a liar. Its a simple thing but many of us forget this principle.

On the other hand, many would agree that we should segregate our waste, but few people and households have segregation bin.

In summary, to survive in long-term crisis in these last days means to:

  • Prepare ourselves with basic survival skills
  • Learn how to live out of our comfort zone
  • Show gratitude to our creator
  • Prepare to met God and
  • Practice what you preach.

With all these, I am sure that we could be safer. The safest place in this world is in the hands of God.

What federal environmental policies can we expect from Donald Trump?

Dear EarthTalk: What kinds of changes to federal environmental policies can we expect to see from Donald Trump when he assumes the presidency?           — D. Shelley, Bounder, CO

Like many Americans, environmental advocates are alarmed at the results of the 2016 election. What worries them most is Trump’s call for reneging on the landmark Paris climate accord which secured commitments from the world’s largest polluters to scale back emissions. The agreement just went into force and the U.S. is committed to it for four years, but Trump insiders report The Donald may try to submit the agreement for ratification by an unsympathetic Senate (Obama has maintained ratification isn’t necessary) in efforts to derail U.S. participation.

“If Trump yanks the United States out of the Paris agreement, the deal won’t die, but momentum could wane,” reports Brad Plumer on Vox.com. “One can imagine China and India deciding they don’t need to push nearly as hard on clean energy if the world’s richest and most powerful country doesn’t care. At best, progress would slow. At worst, the entire arrangement could collapse, and we set out on a path for 4°C warming or more.”

Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump is planning to tap leading climate change denier to lead a streamlined Environmental Protection Agency while finding a way to get the U.S. out of its emissions reduction commitments made by Obama administration under the Paris climate accord.
Photo: Gage Skidmore, FlickrCC

Another sore spot for environmentalists is Trump’s attitude toward the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Initially Trump said he would disband the agency, but more recently said he would keep it in a stripped down form refocused on its “core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans.” Myron Ebell, a leading climate skeptic with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and no friend to the environmental community, is slated to run the new leaner EPA.

Meanwhile, proponents of pipelines to move petroleum products from the great gas and oil fields of the northern U.S. and Canada are overjoyed at the Republican sweep of Election 2016. Given Trump’s stated goals of reducing the federal government’s role in energy and environmental policy while encouraging more infrastructure projects to connect production with markets and consumers, environmentalists are bracing for a revival of the much-disputed Keystone XL pipeline project that President Obama rejected last year. There are fears as well of a green light for the Dakota Access Pipeline project currently in a holding pattern as native and environmental protestors stage a civil disobedience camp-out nearby. Not surprisingly, shares in the two companies behind the respective projects rallied following the election.

For their part, environmentalists are already starting to refocus on what they can do without the support of the White House. “Under President George W. Bush, the environmental community took the battle to the courts and Congress and watch-dogged political appointees; we blocked attacks on the environment; we galvanized the public to take action,” says Kate Colwell, an activist with the non-profit Friends of the Earth. “After the more recent fights to kill the Keystone XL pipeline, ban fracking and shut down coal plants, the environmental movement is stronger than we have ever been.”

“We will have to harness our new energy, join together, and use every strategy possible to fight against hate and greed and environmental destruction,” she adds. “While I wish we had a different fight before us, we must fight the one presented to us. The future of our country and planet depends on it.”

 

CONTACTS: Vox, www.vox.com; Friends of the Earth, www.foe.org.

EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of the nonprofit Earth Action Network. To donate, visit www.earthtalk.orgSend questions to: question@earthtalk.org.

Sustainable Lifestyle Tips according to a Scientist

I was inspired to write this article when I heard these three things to live in a sustainable lifestyle from a scientist. This happened when I attended the international workshop on the Role of Academy Science in Climate Change and Sustainable Development sponsored  by National Academy of Sciences and Technology, Philippines.

The workshop was attended by international scientist on various fields and expertise on climate change, sustainable development, economics and urban development to name a few.

I was also honored and proud to met the National Scientist Gelia Castillo – a social scientist. I just knew her in books and then finally in that conference, I accidentally had a chance to take a photo with her.

Photo: With National Scientist Gelia Castillo
Photo: With National Scientist Gelia Castillo

Now, lets go back to my main idea in this post.

I do agree to the idea of the plenary speaker in that conference.

Sustainable development should not be a slogan per se. Many organizations both public and private are using the term sustainable development.

You can read all definitions of sustainable development in the Internet, but the point is it seems that the term sustainable development is just merely a slogan.

Maybe because this sounds appealing to the funding donors to support for programs and projects in sustainable development.

No wonder why the trend today is on sustainability – sustainable water resource management, sustainable living strategies. Every now and then we heard the word sustainable and its becoming a mundane.

To this, I agree that sustainable development should not be a slogan itself but a lifestyle.

Sustainable lifestyle is what we are aiming today. Advances in science and technology have given mankind a leap towards the future, but sometimes there are loopholes that needs to be taken care of.

Everything is invented for the good of mankind, but its latent function are more detrimental to mankind. For example, on the consumption of foods.

A lot of foods nowadays are processed by big industries for the convenience of customers. This convenience has put humans in the path to perdition because not all foods are healthy. For this reason, many people prefer organic foods. However, there are still debates on this in the agriculture science as to whether the food can be considered as organic or not.

And there is also the issue of GMO’s.

It doesn’t mean that a farmer is growing organic crops, the product is already organic. How about the inputs that were used in growing and producing the crops, is it organic?

In this sense, the more advanced our society, the more risk we have.

But this doesn’t mean that we will not eat at all. That is why our goal is to have a sustainable lifestyle.

Its utilizing our resources today for the benefit of all without putting our society or lives in peril in the near future.

So, the question is how to live a sustainable lifestyle?

According to Prof. Shamsher Ali, AASSA Vice President you have to answer yourself this three questions when making decisions on buying goods.

Photo: Prof. Shamsher Ali. This photo is taken from NAST.ph website.
Prof. Shamsher Ali. This photo is taken from NAST.ph website.

It doesn’t mean that when given the access to all resources you should use everything all at once.

Imagine if you are in a mall and surrounded by many clothes and shoes that you would love to buy. Granting that you have money to buy those goods, would you buy as many as you can?

Or if you are having a hard time to decide whether to buy new pants or not?

What would you do?

According to him, ask yourself these three simple questions to have a sustainable lifestyle.

Remember sustainable lifestyle is all about changing our behaviors and attitude.

So, when buying something ask yourself:

1. Do I need it?

Its plain and simple, if you need it, then buy it, if you don’t, then don’t make it hard for yourself to worry about it. Many people are confused about needs and wants. Sometimes people used this alternatively, especially if in their life they have the abundance of resources.

I remember an author once wrote,

“The cup most difficult to carry is not the cup that is empty, but the cup that is full to the brim. It is this that needs to be most carefully balanced. Affliction and adversity bring disappointment and sorrow; but it is prosperity that is most dangerous to spiritual life (Ministry of Healing, 211.3).

If you have answers to the first question, ask again the second question.

2. Do I badly need it?

Do you badly need it?

Then go, buy it.

Lastly, ask again the third question.

3. Can I live without it?

I read a quote from Facebook it says,

Photo: Credit to the Owner
Photo: Credit to the Owner

You don’t need everything in life. You only need the basic things. If you can find an alternative to what you need, the better.

Its simplicity that matters if you want to be live a sustainable life.

The wise man once said;

This is all that I have learned: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated. Ecclesiastes 7:29

If you have the answer to the top three questions, then you can make your own decision to practice and live a sustainable lifestyle.