Saturday, July 8, 2017

Beautiful Earth Kitchen in Wanathavilluwa

Beautiful Earth Kitchen

This is a great kitchen made completely with Earth (matti in Sinhala), Not only is it eye catching it is cost effective and very functional.  The kitchen was built by Mr. Dayananda and his wife Sumana by themselves. Mr. Dayananda's wife runs a medium scale plant nursery out in Wanathavillu (on the old Mannar Puttalam road). You may notice that Mr Dayananda is using one of the two or three many efficient ways of cooking with firewood (clay 1950-1978),
a) The double clay stove (CEB Two-pot Stove or the Clay Sarvodaya Version. 
b) Rocket Stoves:  Downside the wood needs to be chopped into small pieces. I have not seen one in SL. Does not mean there are none around. 
We/I use the double stove, readily available all over the country for around 150-250 LKR. It really cuts down on the firewood use and can have two pots being cooked at the same time. Unhappily I rarely see households using the double stove in this part of the country. The women walk half or more kilometer (depending on economic status) and gather firewood even though this area borders jungle. Thats because the village proper, is urban in the sense there are very few trees/firewood within the village.  Some villagers have have even commented after seeing the double clay stove why I bother. Yes some of those houses will have 50K sound setup or 30K flat screen TV, but not a 150-250 LKR stove that will cut down on firewood usage.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Preventive Maintenance of Brush Cutter/Back Pack lawn Mower.

Some tips on Preventive Maintenance of Brush Cutter/Back Pack lawn Mower. (sent by Anil Ratnayake)
  • Always Mix 2T Oil - 250 ml in 5 litres Petrol. (50 ml / liter)          
  • After work is over for the day - DO NOT use stop switch because 2T oil will condense in the engine and cause Damage when re starting. ALWAYS shut off petrol while the engine is running.               
  • Wash inside of shaft well with kerosene oil every 50 hrs.               
  • Grease drive cable in shaft every 50 hrs of use            
  • Oil Gear Head every 50 hrs of use (remove blade and pour oil)          
  • Knocking blade on stones damages gear head at the end of the shaft               
  • Sharpen long twin rotor blade with file daily as soon as work is over    
  • DO NOT USE CHOKE when starting warm engine.

Shaft Vibration: Check if blade has been properly installed and tightened.
Idle Speed: If blade keeps turning/rotating at idling speed, turn the idle adjusting screw counterclockwise.

Gear Head
Idle Speed Adjustment

Monday, April 24, 2017

Colombo, Meetotamulla Garbage is not to Puttlam but to Wilpattu

Kala-Oya/Lunu-Ela 200m away from proposed Garbage site

The old Quarry and proposed garbage site
Please see Update and Suggestions

The Meetotamulla garbage is not to Puttalam. Thats a red herring. The proposed site is on the Banks of the Kala Oya and bordering Wilpattu.

Wilpattu National Park is the latest location proposed to dump 470,000 cubic meters of garbage every year. That is the equivalent of a building 3 story high 33 feet x 33 feet of garbage every day.  .  Thats 479 large tipper trucks per day or a tipper truck every 4 minutes, 24/7. That garbage will grow to a mountain 250 feet high every year.

The location proposed is within 200 meters of the beautiful and historic Kala-Oya and in the Wilpattu National Park buffer zone.  Yes, the beautiful scenic Kala-Oya fed by the historic Kala-Wewa built by King Dhatusena in 455 AD.
Toxic Foam from Garbage in Bangalore

The proposed site at GangeWadiya / Aruwakkalu has a steep slope toward the Kala-Oya. It is just a matter of time when the seepage and overflow during the North East monsoon will turn the Kala-Oya into a toxic mess.

In addition any capping with concrete will crack because of dynamite blasting of limestone at the Holcim quarry 500 meters away

This beautiful pristine area is likely to end  up being like the Bellandur Lake in Bangalore and Toms River, New Jersey.  In Bangalore, toxic foam from Bellandur Lake covers the city.   In Toms River, New Jersey,  local residents are affected with higher rates of cancer and children with acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Toxic seepage from the garbage site into Kala-Oya  will kill fish, mangroves and contaminate the whole of  Puttalam Lagoon.  When toxic foams are created, the south west winds will carry the foam into the Wilpattu National Park and end up suffocating all animals.

To make matters worse, the garbage will cover the only visible Miocene Site, Wedi Pitiya, containing  stone tools, potsherds, beads and bony remains of prehistoric human habitation dating back to more than 250,000 years.

This author lived for 5 years (1998-2003) 7 km away from the largest landfill/garbage dump in the World in Staten Island, New York.  Now of course it is called Fresh Kills Park.   It looks nice from a distance, 14 years after its closure in 2001.  However still  "its presence is palpable in the four grassy monadnocks rising up to 225 feet tall, in the intermittent exhalations of landfill gases from passive vents, in the 386,000 gallons of leachate that daily ooze from the mounds into an on-site treatment plant, and in the hundreds of protruding gas wellheads and monitoring pipes".

Thats 467 large bowsers of chemicals every day, and this is 14 years after the land fill was close.

Map of Kala Oya and Garbage site. Click on Image for Google Maps

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Climate Change

First my personal opinion, I think whatever the consequences of increased human activity such as C02 emissions, increased population and deforestation are already baked into whats going to happen in the next 30-40 years. The consequences maybe (and its a big maybe) mitigated by actions now, but it will be 30-40 years before results will be seen. I'll be dead by then, so I have decided not worry my little head over whether mitigating strategies will work or not, but to have exit strategies for probable outcomes.

Anyway regards Climate Change (and thats the correct term not Global Warming, which a possible/probable scenario)

Whats Irrefutable Science
a) CO2 has increased from 280 parts per million in 1850 to about  385ppm  today and its all human.
The increase should really be much more, see missing sink.
b) CO2 increases temperature by long wave radiation attenuation (see Earths Radiation budget ) (for more see Stefan–Boltzmann law)
Long wave radiation gets absorbed by C02 (and other greenhouse gases including H20) and increases troposphere temperature to satisfy the radiation balance.
i.e. If we did not have feedback effects like clouds etc, the increase in temperature due to C02 could be calculated exactly (see here)

So what are the issues with the science

a) Feedback effects
e.g. Clouds. When temperature increases increased evaporation and/or increased humidity (even this sentence has so many feedbacks). That should increase clouds, which in turn can reflect (albedo) incoming solar radiation which in turn can reduce troposphere temperature. Clouds are some of the least understood phenomena in the climate system, i.e. formation, dissipation, albedo (reflection) etc.  Worked in this area for about 6 years, and published too. Worked on a huge atmospheric radiation project as well and published.
b) Missing sink in the carbon budget (maybe its here).
The total amount of human addition of C02 is known. The problem is the totals dont add up. i.e.  All the human output cant be accounted for, there is a missing sink. Terrestial sinks are well understood, and consensus has been the missing sink is in the ocean. This link has a first order numbers what carbon is where (  To further complicate the problem, what will happen to sinks if temperatures increase (increase the amount stored/decrease).  This is not even getting into issues like deforestation etc, draining of marshes and the feedbacks thereof

The article is an opinion piece, and does not seem like the author has the science background to evaluate the merits of the case.  It could be worse, there are authors who will write stuff that unless one has a deep knowledge of the field it is not possible to evaluate the merits of the research.

Below an article by Baumgardner that appears to infer based on science the Noah flood was real
The shallow water equations, and currents produced are correct. (The shallow water model is one all oceanography grad students get to play with in first year).
So whats the problem (two among many)
a) Tethys Sea and Pangea were 250 million years ago.  Humans have only been around 200K years at most. Right away conclusions of this paper are not appropriate (downright falsehood) for anything during the time of humans (primates and large mammal too for that matter).
b) The Tethys sea was around the equator. So authors are saying if at higher latitudes, then such currents could occur. So if we disregard the human/Noah component and take the paper for its sedimentary transport etc input, even that is very very bad science.

Some questions answered
>how do you support that the increase is all human?
Increase in C02 from 280ppm  to 385ppm is less than all the C02 emitted by humans
(i.e. Theres a sink somewhere for some of the C02 produced by humans).
First order accuracy of human C02 emissions is by coal, petroleum and natural gas combustion.
(Straight forward calculation, no hand waving)
All Fossil fuel combustion CO2 for last 100 years > 385-280 ppm * volume of atmosphere
i.e. All C02 increases in last 100 years is from humans is irrefutable.
>I've heard there is more CO2 in the ocean than the atmosphere and changes there could affect CO2 in the atmosphere.
Yes, please please see these links Missing sink and Carbon Budget
What you are referring to is a feedback, i.e. increase in ocean temperatures will reduce C02 carrying capacity and release C02 into the atmosphere.
>solid work on how much effect water vapor has in comparison to CO2
>I have heard some opinions that the water vapor is a larger effect.

Yes, C02, H20 and Methane are the most important greenhouse gases (i.e. by long wave attenuation).
See here for temperature contribution by each green house gas.
The atmosphere maximum water vapor content is determined by the temperature.
When water vapor reaches 100% humidity it precipitates, so there's a upper limit to water vapor in the atmosphere.
Its pretty clear, only control on water vapor is atmosphere temperature. 
C02 and Methane have no limits at current temperatures.
Methane is also green house gas.  Cows flatulence contains methane and there were some cows arse articles on cow flatulence being more important than CO2See here for a reply to that thinking