8 November 2006

SPEED 8 - ENVIRONMENT - TAMPERING WITH NATURE

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I was born in a forest but that doesn't give me any authority to write about forests as I have lived in a city all my life. The forest where I was born is no longer there. It has disappeared.

40% of India was forest in 1947, Now its 3%
Yes THREE PERCENT is all that is left now.


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I spend lot of time in forests of Kerala Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. After seeing massive deforestation in Himachal, Uttaranchal, Nepal I have stopped going for Himalayan treks, it is quite depressing. what I say is based on my observation and what I feel. I am not a scientist.


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Thorny bush !
Is nature unkind to us ?
We have not understood nature fully, It doesn't want us to enter the forest and cause any damage. But nature doesn't have any answer to our bulldozers. We have bulldozed our way into the forest.


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Sword butterfly on Elephant dung


There is absolutely no waste in Nature.
It has a perfect waste management system, perfectly balanced.
Waste of species A is the resource for species B.

The environmentalists have been on tree planting and forest creating drive from past 30-40 years.
Has the global warming come down ?


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Forest is a highly complex network. We can't create a forest by planting thousands of trees and having some friendly animals running free. You can call that a plantation or a park.


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A forest is not made by trees alone. It is made by millions and millions of micro organisms visible and invisible, like bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms, and all kinds of insects above and below the soil. Out of these, bacteria and fungi constitute about 80%, This is a highly complex interdependent network.


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I avoid taking my friends on my forest treks. I don't go there to enjoy any tranquility.
There is no tranquility in a forest.
You'll observe million times more activity than you'd find in New York city. I am more alret in a forest than crossing a busy road, a pair of eyes are not enough. Something is always creeping under my t shirt and I can't see it.
I don't belong there, I am an intruder.


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When I come back to my base its a ritual to pull out leeches stuck on my body drinking my blood. Its so fascinating to study leeches. They have no eyes, they sense body heat and they know where you are and leap on you and crawl under your dress.


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This is my hand after a leech bite. They secrete an anti coagulant and blood keeps oozing out for nearly half an hour.
The best part is you are completely unaware that ten or twelve leeches are drinking your blood. Leech bite is less harmful than a mosquito bite, actually not harmful at all.

There is no peace in a forest. There is a constant struggle for survival going on at all levels, most of it is invisible. Its fascinating, at times scary


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This is what I feel would happen to artificially created forests in a tropical country.

Waste of species A is the resource for species B. In the absence of species B, waste of species A piles up. Nature has to come up with some micro organisms to dispose that waste piling up. It may take years. The new organism may or may not be friendly. If it is not friendly and if they multiply rapidly we have a situation. One of the adavantages of genetic engineering is, it helps the trees to grow faster. Thought about this just now, Dumping of unsold GM food products is as lethal as toxic nuclear waste. If micro organisms or ants insects grow eating them, their behaviour would be utterly unpredictable.


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Species D survives on eating species C. In the absence of species D in an artificial forest, species C multiplies. Ants, termites, rats. They will multiply to phenomenal proportions, multiplication may go out of control.


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This sweet chap is eating a flying insect, and most of them eat bees ants and termites. Growth or multiplication is always kept in check.


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Unlike human evolution, ant evolution is in multiples of 6 days. Behaviour of fourth generation of ants will be completely different from the first generation, If they grow eating GM plants or dumped GM food waste, their behaviour would be unpredictable. We will have absolutely no time to control them. You can apply the same to rats termites or other small organisms. They will multiply so fast that entire forest would be swarming with ants. They can eat up the entire population of India Pakistan and Bangladesh within a short period.

The forest that we had created with all our love to help the planet may become the reason for our extinction.



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The web was so fine that I did not see it. there's a dragon fly trapped in it. The spider would slowly eat it little by little. Inter dependancy keeps the growth and multiplication in check in a naturally grown forest.


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What do we do ? We want to help nature, we want to do something.

First of all the nature does not need our help. We are too small. The people who are abusing the earth and the self styled defenders of the earth have absolutely no idea how small we are. They have no clue how powerful nature is. Tampering with nature is lethal, if it gets angry no one can save us.


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Have you seen grass growing on abandoned roads ? through the asphalt, through concrete ? The grass grows if we let it grow.
This was a busy road once, now lies abandoned.



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All it takes is a drop of water or a bit of moisture. And we have life growing.


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This was my table once, dismantled and the wooden planks dumped on the terrace. A little bit of moisture and we have life growing on it.


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We normally don't observe the silent power of nature, It grows silently. The growth is so powerful that it can rip through thick concrete. we realise the nature's power only when disasters like hurricane Tsunamis tornados strike us.


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This house is abandoned from past 10 years. It was a strong and a well built house. Locked due to court cases. Roots peneterated into 4 feet thick concrete foundation. The growth was so powerful that it ripped through the strong thick concrete ceiling with supporing iron beams and MS rods running through it. One day the whole ceiling caved in, within 6 months the second floor roof collapsed. Now the neighbours have lodged a complaint to the authorities that the roots are creeping into their foundation.

Nobody planted these trees, they grew by themselves.


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Best thing to do is to select a large area of fertile land say 400 sq kilometers and abandon it.

No trees ?

No trees, we'll be planting wrong kind of trees. Let the nature choose.

Leave a 10 kilometer width as a no man's land around it. Better burn everything, burn all the trees and houses and abandon it. Burning is good for regeneration. The area should be guarded to ensure no interference. In countries like India such an abandoned place would become a haven for criminal activities. Big time criminals are the politicians, the saints and the cops themselves. Best people to guard it is the Army. You can't trust the cops.


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One rainfall, and life grows. From a blade of grass to huge trees.


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All necessary micro organisms will come automatically, and we have to make sure that the environmentalists don't introduce anything new. Don't allow them to touch anything. Not even an inspection. Leave the place alone, for 100 years.


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Its a slow process. It will take 400 years 600 years, We may not be able to see it grow, but the future generations would be benifited. Please do not expect quick results, The environmentalists are impatient, they are in a hurry to see the result and prove to the world how right they are. With Genetic engineering, tempering with natural process, We may see short term gains or improvements but in the longer run it will be as lethal as dumping a truck load of plutonium rods in the open.


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We have to select such patches at different places, as many as possible. The courts should be advised not to entertain any cases or petitions against it. It needs govermental support to pass the law and unfortunately I don't see it happening, not in this generation. We have far too many greedy Multi Nationals and politicians serving their own interests all over the world. The Younger generation is smarter. Hope they will have a better life taking care of the mother earth.

This sweet little tribal child will have a better future, Priya is her name.

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BLUNT KNIFE
WILDPIC

55 comments:

Cari said...

as always rauf than u for the revelations and photos

i feel like i can make a bigger impact on saving the enviroment too...i was once an active part of both an enviromental and human rights organization back in school..

through the years i have neglected to remember to play an active role.

now that i am thinking about my son's future, you can imagine that the enviroment plays a big role in both of their well being...

i am going to have to teach them what society is neglecting to teach them..and like u said they are much smarter then us so I think they will be aware they will have to battle the wrong that men/women did before them

Edithdyqgzdf said...

Thanks Rauf for your words and the fantastic pictures to this issue. I truely think most people are aware of the danger of the destuction of our beautiful earth. But as long as the politicians not are feeling the consequences on their own way of living nothing will be changed. It's very painful but the rulers always will have it their way - sorry enough, and looking back in time it always has been this way. We can pray for a miracle. I believe we will get help from above when we need it the most. Edith.

her indoors said...

i feel i have just been on a wonderful walk through the forest with you rauf, your photos are as always amazing. it would be wonderful if we could let nature catch up with itself, but society has no time everything is needed now

Ruth said...

Did you ever see "The Naked Jungle" with Charlton Heston when the army ants take over a plantation? That is what your post reminded me of. Thank you for showing the power of Nature. We keep fighting it back, manipulating it, but it continues to show its strength.

Rauf said...

So glad Cari that you took active part in creating awareness, that itself is a great contribution. No one wants to see our home destroyed or tampered but unfortunately it is happening. I am very confident that Tyler and Dylan will have a better cleaner and healthier environment. I have hopes on the younger generation Cari.

Rauf said...

Edith, quite true, most of us are aware and want to put and end to further abuse of our environment and stop the pain and hunger all over the wold . But the few who are abusing it are so powerful. So far the earth has adapted itself to human folly. The day before I saw some lovely flowers blooming in the middle of a very busy and most polluted highway.

Rauf said...

Talking a walk in a Tropical rain forest is a tricky business HER INDOORS. Perhaps the environmentalists wanted to create a safer and walk in the park hand in hand romantic kind of forests. Good idea, But it will have problems, growing trees is a good idea too but a wong tree at a wrong place could be a problem. I have heard about bringing different species of birds and animals which don't belong there. Not a good idea HER INDOORS,

Yes I agree with you, we have to let nature decide for itself.

Rauf said...

No Ruth, never heard, what leads to the ants taking over ?

Saw a film 'Naked Prey' shot in the forests of Africa, animals cannibals after this guy. It was a very good film, came perhaps in the late sixties.

There was another stunning wake up call starring Charlton Heston, it was a science fiction called Soylent Green. Just saw the details of the film which came in the early seventies. The story takes place in the year 2022, we seem to be very close to it.
Nothing grows on earth, people dream of greener days, people kill each other for a dried decayed apple. Special natural Last meal and a movie of our green past is offered to people who submit themselves for suicide. Their flesh is made in to some kind of a green cookie called soylent green and sold to people. They have nothing else to eat.

Gangadhar said...

Rauf,
your pics gave me feeling as if i was in the forest right then..The fourthone from top(wiper wallah),especially..
Omg..only 3%..so sad to know these statistics..
yeah..you're sotrue about..We can't create a forest by planting.......Now a days govt's encouraging to grow park like forests in the heart of the cities..but they don't come par with the original forests..
And Rauf, i sincerely wish your works about this concept would reach more and more people of the world..

take care

Chinna said...

As far as i know eating gm food cannot alter your genetic make up. it will not alter your behaviour either.

A good step in environmental protection maybe to keep everyone out of the few unspoilt wildernesses - like the arctic, poles, etc.

They should be no go zones even for environmentalist who go there to study it in their all terrain vehicles!

Ruth said...

Oh Rauf! How could I forget "Soylent Green!"

"Soylent green . . . is PEOPLE!"

It's a very strong moment when that discovery is made, after people have been eating this thing. It sounds so corny now!

Rauf said...

Thank you Gangadhar, Andhra is the most fertile place in India, very green.
Ideal place for a forest to grow.
But There should be some compensation for the poor farmers.
Actually farmers are not very poor in Andhra unlike TN or Karnataka. complex situation any way

Rauf said...

Chinna, food alcohol drugs change human behaviour.

Now we have 'smart genes' So no more attending classes, eat one smart apple before the exam and you get top marks.

Rauf said...

Yes, Ruth, When Charlton Heston discovers that, How can I forget. The movie had a great impact on me.
Still fresh, very emotional scenes too, when people are shown images of green fruit bearing trees and flowers swaying in the breeze on a big screen before they die.
Another film I liked was ' Logans Run' when people turn 30 they have to offer themselves in a ritualistic suicide. One chap wants to live and runs away. They don't know what growing old is. So this chap( Michel York) brings back a very old man, Peter Ustinov. They had never seen an old man before as they all die at 30. Beautiful film.

e2d said...

More inconvenient truths with a dash of lime and a touch of salt!

e2d said...

i mean truth

e2d said...

not truths :)

Rauf said...

E2DEES WAAT ?
wat truth trooths tooth ?
I just talk. I talk to the walls too.

Anonymous said...

Rauf helloooo

your photos are awesome! those tree roots or branches look amazing. love the spider on web...Beautiful shots! i thought i saw a man in the tree but it was part of the branch.

I saw the movie Naked prey! good movie! the little african girl singing her song was so cute. thats one movie I'll never forget.

Rauf thank you much for bringing us close to nature through your awesome photos.

Rauf said...

Thank you Kathy, saw the movie long back late 60's perhaps, I remember this guy eating a snake.
After the movie i was so hungry, I came back home and stuffed myself.

and while watching Lawrance of Arabia I felt so thirsty that I rushed out of the theatre and had a lemonade.

Anonymous said...

u got hungry watching somebody eating a snake? hmmmm...actully i should say uggggg.

thank you for this post though, it was very informative and really made me wonder..where will my beloved country be in another decade? Its scary. so true about leaving the land open and let nature choose its own existence.

glad you liked the song.

Rauf said...

Oh No Mystic Rose !!
Throughout the movie this guy is running in the forest, hungry and the cannibals are chasing him.
Wonder if you have seen Megan McCormick, love her to bits, she anchors 'globe trekker' on discovery, i have seen her eating scorpions in china. Ian wright, another one who presents 'globe trekker' eats almost everything on camera.

"Angeldust" said...

Hello Rauf, you have been wonderfully busy again my friend.
A phenomenal post!
I tel you, you manage to move at each visit.

We are coming to understand to leave a lot of the forest fires alone!
The eruption of Mount Saint Helen’s in the US has taught us all lessons on nature regenerating itself.

I recently purchased "free range" range chicken eggs from of the local green grocers; the yokes were a pale butter colour.
At my next visit I asked If I was given the right eggs and the annoyed woman told me that they came in all shades including pale (first time for me) to find out, after some insistence that the chickens might be fed corn!
All corn in NA is GM - that entirely defeats the purpose of "free range" chicken eggs.
I went back to what we call "designer eggs"... which chickens are not fed any meat bi-products... oh there is so much to go on and on this topic, it never ends!

Which brings me to the rains, out "Pineapple Express" (comes from Hawaii) is not as strong as your Monsoons, but for us is too much to handle - which brought me to think about you and your "not haiku" and leaky ceiling...

It's always a pleasure to interact with you.
Take good care.
Love and joy

Lord Boo said...

Fantastic post, Poms ! it has actually left me deeply absorbed in thought. Saddening thought, actually, the fact that we are so helpless in helping Nature out. There's nothing that we can do except watch all these MNCs and politicians rip Nature apart before us ! Angry and saddening it is ! *hugs*

P.S: I'm reading the posts from Speed 8 downwards

Claudia said...

Beautiful and thought provoking. A fascinating glimpse into a world I do not know.

Cindy said...

I've always thought it much better for man not to interfere with God's creation. We are slowly and systematically destroying it with our "good" intentions.

The shots of those tree roots are awesome- sort of fascinating and creepy at the same time.

Rauf said...

Hi Angeldust Thank you
Oh yes, country chicken is expensive for a reason. So are the country eggs, you can see the difference. Organic food is very expensive, 3 times expensive actually. Now you can see where the governments are heading. Safe and healthy food will be available only to the very rich.

In India where almost everything is adulterated you can't trust even the organic food.

Now Scientists have isolated something called 'smart genes' When they isolate and introduce smart genes in fruits and vegetables they can isolate and introduce 'dumb genes' as well
and you know the result.
It becomes easy to control the society and it is quite possible.
It has been tested on mice already and you have smart mice and you have dumb mice. If you become the President which brand of people you would like to have in your country ? I would choose the dumb brand, no trouble no protest rallies.

It is still raining here Angeldust and my roof is still leaking and I am getting more ideas.

Rauf said...

My sweet little boo ! the best thing to do is do nothing. We would be doing nature a great favour if we leave it alone to grow
ummmmmas and Huggs reeee boo !

Rauf said...

I wish and hope that I am wrong Claudia. I hope the nature continues to adapt itself or rectifies human folly. I have great faith in younger generation.
Please vote for a younger Prime minister next time. A younger version of Margret Thatcher would be fine. Please read my concluding post Claudia, just 2 more to go in this environmental series.

Rauf said...

We are nature's children Cindy. Hope Mother earth does not punish us for our sins. Poverty is a sin too Cindy, this is against nature, this is something we the humans have created. Poverty is an environmental issue like the others.

Thank you so much Cindy. Pictures of those trees were taken in the forests of Karnataka, south India.

Rauf said...

Sweet Lord boo drew my attention to this please check

http://www.newstarget.com/019957.html

Bobbie said...

Another thought provoking post. I absolutely love your photos. They make your country look very beautiful. There is no doubt mother nature will take back the earth if given a chance. It's getting people to leave undisturbed land that's the problem.

I hope you are right about the new generation. Here in the US kids seem much more interested in video games and malls than nature. Everything is about consumption. There are, of course, exceptions. Some days I am more optimistic than others. I do have a little nephew that just loves animals and natural places. Maybe you are right.

mysti said...

Thank you for sharing such thought provoking info. Whenever I come to your site, I not only am amazed by the pictures you share with us, but by all the info. As always both are awesome. Thank you for sharing with us.

Mysti

Rauf said...

There are extremes about India Bobbie, most beautiful and perhaps the ugliest, the most cruel and the most kind. Knowledge and ignorance. Everything is here.

'If we let' is most important. We have to let the nature grow. You are right about the younger generation. But today we have less drug addicts, more health conscious, no bad habits, arrogance is ofcourse a part of growing up, soon they will be tired of technology, and turn towards nature.

Rauf said...

Thank you Mysti. Unfortunately people who have flowers in their gardens think that the whole world is a paradise.

krystyna said...

I agree with you that we can't create forest by planting trees, we can call that plantation or park.
You know about hirudotherapy (your pic with leech).
Hirudotherapy should be regarded not only as a preventive maintenance,but also as a method of treatment at ishemic diseases of heart,insult and other vascular pathologies,at diseases of exchange,at endocrine diseases,nerwous diseases, at all inflammatory diseases and so on.As a result it’s necessary to note that the success of hirudotherapy depends not only on biological properties of leeches secret but also from the experience of a doctor and joint actions of a patient and a doctor.

samuru999 said...

Rauf
As always a great post!
But, I feel saddened!
Nature is so very beautiful...and I feel like it's being destroyed!
What can I do?
Your pictures are just amazing Rauf!

Thank you!

Margie

Rauf said...

oh yes Krystyna, I have heard of hirudotherapy, but never witnessed one so far. Thanks so much for the information. Next time I go on a forest trek I'll find out more from the tribals. They have their own remedies which are quite different from Ayurveda and siddha.

Rauf said...

Hi MAARGE ! How are you ?

Don't worry this can't go on for long, there is lot of awareness now, something to do with the evolution of human mind. Hurting nature is no longer accepted by the younger generation.

Ruth said...

That is so right. As we change, so will what is acceptable. It will take time, and a lot of awareness.

I meant to tell you the fungus growing on the table is so incredible! I've never seen anything quite like it. The photos are gorgeous. You've chosen the photos for this post very well. I also like the one with the arch. These could be from a sci fi movie, any of the ones we've mentioned here.

FOUR DINNERS said...

That first photo took me breath away. Soz to sound melodramatic but it did. the trees n the mist. I wanted to be there. (N I might be. A couple of guys I play football with are travelling away next year and I've been invited and I'm going. It's either India or South America. Dunno yet)

Anonymous said...

:)ok. that made me smile..so u get involved witht he character when you watch a movie...:)

i did away withtthe tv a long itme ago..but discovery history, etc. are the kind of chanels i really miss.

the pics are so so beautiful! just filled my spirits. could i ask you the permission to use them in my blog?

--mystic rose. cant seem to comment whenim logged in.

Rauf said...

Ruth, The fungus on the table was during last year's rain, I loved the texture and the stunning design. took lots of pictures.
The arch is India's lost glory. one of many palaces in ruins, This one was shot in the historic City of Ujjain, Madhaya Pradesh, Central Indian state, but the city is little towars north. In a small city there are more than two thousand temples.

Rauf said...

FOUR DINNERS, If you want to win it is India, Any junior school can defeat the best of all India fotball team. Our football teams make a lot of noise, specially in the state of Kerala where foot ball is passionately followed, but they can't defeat any international sub junior football team.

Its a different story when it comes to Cricket. Cricket is passion, Cricket is religion here, and the team is pretty good.

Rauf said...

Mystic Rose, yes there are problems posting comments. I am switiching over to beta once I complete the environment series. I tried before but it was rejected as my blog is too large. So created a new blog in Beta


http://8pennylane.blogspot.com
still testing. I have posted a picture. Have to shift there if this blogger keeps giving problems, beta seems to be their first priority.

Please use any picture as you please without seeking my permission, either from daylight again or blunt knife blog. I want to share my pictures with every one.

Rauf said...

Yes Yes Mystic Rose, Yes I get involved with the movie, specially those re incarnation janam janam kind of movies and I imagine myself in different characters in my previous lives, i have imagined myself as a cave man too.

"Angeldust" said...

Dear Rauf
It is still raining here too.
I taped up my large window (facing the bay) this week as we had hurricane strenght winds gusts! About 125km/hr ...
The winds have somewhat subsided and so did the rain yesterday.
We are expecting two more storms and no end is in sight… We have over One Million people - for the first time - on water boiling advisory. No one remembers a storm like the one we had - no one.

~~~ >

A couple of years ago there were some independent laboratory tests done to "regular" and "organic" foods.
Apparently there wasn't much found to support the organic food industry claims of being more nutritious, therefore more beneficial... on the contrary, some rather disturbing levels of fecal matter found found in a diversity of those foods tested.
Organic food is now taking over a large section of our green groceries section with truly obscene prices, here too.

Take good care.
Back to my wet suit.
:)

Rauf said...

Angeldust, I remember a beautiful movie of Sandra bullock Ben Afleck
'Forces of nature'

Please be safe, take no chances.

There is no way of making sure that we are eating organic food. Here in India it is much more difficult. first preference of any organic food grower is exports. So they are not available for local consumption. They are very expensive. And you are not sure.
The importers of organic food have been checking and certifying before they buy organic food, but they too can be easily cheated.
I don't know if there is any official certification.
Traders would swear on their living or dead mothers that they are selling organic to get more money.

Hope the storm crosses quietly and peacefully Angeldust. Please take care

Sangita said...

Wish I cld see the pics here..In hubby's laptop htey do not even open :-( What u say makes sense
but It all again goes back to same old problem land which is becoming so precious day in day out..
rauf unless we find a solution to that nothing is going to work out..I get quite confused by such topics where I do not see any solution in sight??Don't u ??I mean good that u r writing it all here but neither I nor u guys are capable of leaving any land alone..So what is it that I as an individual can do?? Does that bother u at times..It does bother me quite a lot..Not sure what all I wrote but hope u got it and will get some answers :-)

Rauf said...

Sangita, normally it takes less than a minute to load all the pictures. If you have a dialup connection it will take longer.

There are no immediate solutions Sangita, what ever steps we take it is going to take years to produce results. As an individual you can create awareness and rest is upto governments to implement the laws. We have to go to the beginning to find where things started to go wrong. Poverty is an environmental issue. where it began ? You don't find a rich and a poor monkey. This will take years and younger generation who are more environmentally conscious will have some answers. I'll make an attempt in the final episode of this environmental series.

jac said...

Your pics are 'numero uno'

Rauf said...

Thank you Jac

Anonymous said...

none of this stuff is true u've made me so mad because you probably brainwashed hundreds of poeple you should be shamed

Anonymous said...

hi i'm nine years old and i don't like wut you put about noah's ark God is the best being in the universe and no one will go to heaven if they believe the same thing as you its not fair for any one you probably just say that you have feelings toward this, but you don't. if you are a true christian, you can feel in the deepist part of your heart that none of this is true you did a poor job, but you can still be saved just saying. all i want to do is help

Rauf said...

Anonymous, i don't recall what i said about Noah's Ark. i don't find it in this post, please specify if you are refering to some other post.

i see that you are well guided and brought up by your parents. You have to continue obeying your parents, what ever they say or do would be for your good and it will help you in your future.

i was very religious at your age. i realised later that all the stories you find in the Bible Torah Khurraan , Ramayan Mahabharat
have one purpose, to make you a good human being.