Sunday, November 1, 2009

Contingency Planning Summit

Severe space storm coming

As if Hurricane Katrina in the US, iceberg meltdown in the North Pole, the Typhoons Frank, Ondoy, Pepeng, Lupit in the Philippines and the tsunamis of Southeast Asia were not enough, the world has to prepare from between 2010 - 2013 for severe space storms caused by what NASA predicted as solar maximum occurrence similar to the solar storm British astronomer Richard Carrington observed in 1859.NASA reports that:

The 1859 storm - known as the "Carrington Event" after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare -- electrified transmission cables, set fires in telegraph offices and produced Northern Lights so bright that people could read newspapers so bright that people could read newspapers by their red and green glow. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could case $1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused "only $80 to 125 billion in damage. See the NASA forecast here

The need to plot strategies, programs, plans and target activities for when this event will happen is the reason for the 2010 Geo Hazard Mapping and Environment Summit. Despite the HMES 2010 advocacy to strengthen the gathering of information from outer space, using high technology implements, there is absolutely no contradiction to proposing measures to undertake mapping while knowing fully well about the forthcoming severe space event.

HMES 2010 is merely a pro-active measure to produce a wholly functional cooperation on creating the road map today for what is to take place between 2010 or 2011 up to 2013.While it is true that GIS could be reliant upon information from outer space, the heart of the HMES 2010 conference is to plot out a mechanism whereby a highly usable hazard map would be drawn today, before the space storms happen and other more dangerous disasters take place and put in place special contingency plans for unveiling and assembling properly stored devices unharmed from the effects of the magnetic storm. For all purposes and intents, the replacement equipment and infrastructure might be downgrades of the original structure destroyed by the solar calamity, making do with earth based remote sensing and even line of sight data and digital video transmission, at least the world will not be blind.

The organizers of HMES 2010 envisioned creating from out of the existing world geo hazard map, a back up hazard GIS and response plan that will be maximum safe kept -- possibly in a demagnetized environment -- and taken out when the Carrington-event type of disaster or the combination of that event and other calamities strikes the planet.

All measures relevant to humanitarian assistance should already be laid out in advance and implemented to a T at the appointed time.

Since this is not easily done without proper consensus, UN member nations must agree to the proposal, vote as one and willingly sign the attendant declaration of solidarity.


Possibly related articles:

Letter to the United Nations Secretary General

October 31, 2009

Secretary General
United Nations

Dear Mr. Secretary General:


Every 5th of June since 1972 is commemorated by the United Nations as the World Environment Day.

In 2010-2011, scientists report that there will be a solar maximum that has not occurred since fifty years ago as reported in this article from Science@NASA:
a (solar) storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958. Read more about it here
This and other factors will result in major disasters during the period in question. Our group of professionals advocating environment protection and disaster damage diminution respectfully request the United Nations to support our effort to organize a Geo Hazard Mapping and Environment Summit in 2010 and we are determined that this gathering be convened in Manila, Philippines.

In this connection, may we respectfully request the following:

1. United Nations and its concerned departments participate in the Summit and help in organizing said event
2. The Year 2010 be declared as the International Geo Hazard Mapping Year
3. The month of April 2010 be declared as the International Disaster Risk Reduction Month; and finally,
4. The date of April 17, 2010 be declared as the first World Hazards Awareness Day.

That these declarations be formally announced in Manila prior to the Summit.

Thank you ever so much! Mabuhay!!!

Respectfully yours,

Organizers HMES 2010

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Local People Starting To Move

Politics and Science should meet

On Monday, October 26, 2009, the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) held an ANC Forum dubbed as “Wired for Disasters”. Figures from the academe and science were invited by ANC and participated in the forum. The ABS-CBN website published a brief item about the forum on the internet.

Mahar Lagmay of the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS) said that they are developing a map of flood-prone areas with the help of UP-NIGS research assistants and the Ateneo de Manila University's Manila Observatory.

The map will serve as a warning in future disasters. Lagmay said, "That [Ondoy disaster] happened because we were not aware that that kind of disaster could happen."

Monday, October 26, 2009

DENR on Climate Change Act

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. says:


October 26, 2009

The Climate Change Act of 2009, which President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed into law, puts local government units into the center stage of governance, given the important roles city, town, and barangay leaders play in the implementation of whatever plans and programs on climate change adaptation and mitigation measures that will be crafted by a body tasked under the new law.
The substance and efficacy of Republic Act (RA) 9729 will only be as good as those executing climate change measures. The new law may even be a potent tool in bringing about a stronger green-minded electorate because of the centrality to local elected officials in mainstreaming the climate change agenda into their platforms of governance at the provincial and down to the barangay level.
See more about Sec. Atienza's post here...

Policy Regime Change, Re-engineering

Climate part of still bigger problem

My colleague Earl, one of the organizers of HMES 2010, recently visiting from Kuala Lumpur complains:
  • They are building a high rise tower in Shaw Boulevard. The edge of the building is the very edge of the sidewalk, hugging the street with all the affection it can give.
  • Who approved that kind of design? Who gave permission for that building to be built?
  • Look at Manila Water and Maynilad, they've been cutting all streets in several pieces and not returning them to their original shape. And the MWSS and MMDA, the DPWH doesn't care about sewerages. Just keep building the streets, repairing, rebuilding, but all for terrible waste of public funds.
  • That kind of mentality makes people here prone to risk, danger, disaster, etc., etc.
  • Back in Malaysia, you look at the streets, they're all wide and spacious and no buildings impose themselves on the streets nor on the sidewalks.
  • Now in Malaysia, all permits for building are evaluated through the criteria of Green Technology. That's how they are now in Malaysia.
  • The Philippines is doing the opposite; clearly we are headed for bigger disasters in the future.
Returning from Japan last year, Mr. Michael Buquid says: "They build their streets, bridges, etc. differently in Japan. They build them in layers and layers that when it rains, you can't even see water piling up to a few millimeters on the street surface. All of the rainwater get's soaked up inside the layers. It might be raining hard in Tokyo streets and bridges, but you can see the surface. No rain piles up on top. Amazing!"

And of course we were told long ago how a Japanese architect instructed a local contractor: "You Filipinos build street first. Then when remember, you build sewer. Japan, many years ago already, we do not first build street; we build sewer. If sewer working, we put street on top." Good. But that was said in 1990. It is now 2009.

Well, one doesn't have to go all that far. In Sendakan, that is only a stone's throw away from one of the Philippines' last island in the far Southerns, Taganak Island (it's so small you wonder how they even got a Chinese Mayor there), they're so environment conscious. Sendakan people have been very guarding and protective of their home towns and home province and the even birds frequent their place. That made them a bird watchers' paradise. They earn so much tourist revenues just from bird watchers. I'm even writing a book slowly about that subject.

Some coordination the soon-to-be created, new Climate Change Commission will be doing indeed.

And what about the Philippine version of the Japanese buraku min who thrive in our own sewerages and the sewers and other areas underneath bridges?