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Weather 03 - 10 - 2002

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Weather Warm Greetings, We are now treading on grounds that are still, and very much so, related to our health and well being, but an area in which we have much less control than what we put on our plates. I still strongly feel that weather we can contribute, in whatever small way, it is our duty to do so. If we now suffer because of the previous (and our) generation's mistakes, maybe we can undo, in a small way, the harm we have done, so that our children will benefit and continue the road to the recovery of our wonderful spaceship called earth. Here is a fascinating article taken from the "Life Science" course and written by Mike Benton. " The monument had stood in the Egyptian sands for over 35 centuries. "Cleopatra Needle" it was called, and it had thousands of beautiful carvings and drawings all upon it. Somehow the ancient monument had survived the raging desert sands and hot Egyptian sun for over 3000 years. In 1880 the monument was transferred to downtown New York. 100 years later, the monument had eroded away so that all the drawings upon it had completely disappeared. The polluted air of New York City had accomplished what the sandstorms of Egypt for 3500 years could not do. The ancient drawings had been eaten away by the sulfur oxides in the dirty city air. The chemicals in the air today are equally destructive of human health and life, and with every breath we take, we are taking in chemicals compounds that never even existed a few years ago. Air pollution and the chemicals we are forced to breath should be an area of great concern to the health seeker. Much more important than the food we eat is the air we breath. After all, we only eat 3 times a day. We breath about 15 times every minute. Clean, pure air is one of the primary requisites for superior health. A philosopher once said, "The fish shall be the last to discover water" He meant that it is often hard to see clearly what is often taken for granted. Humans take the air they breath for granted, and we always assume that each morning we can wake up and take a nice, deep breath of life-giving air. Some day that might not be the case. Almost all life on earth is supported by a layer of air less than 2 miles (3km) thick. Without this protective layer of air, the earth would reach a daily high temperatures of (about) 105C, and drop to an overnight low of (about) 130C BELOW zero. Right now, we have about six thousand billion tons of air on this planet. We won't run out of air, but we may run out of breathable air in the near future. Almost all of our air is either nitrogen (78%) or oxygen (21%). A gas called argon make up 95% of the remaining atmosphere, and carbon dioxide take up another 3% of the remaining air. Less than two-hundredth of a percent of our atmosphere contains other gasses, such as helium, neon, methane, ammonia, hydrogen, sulfide, and carbon monoxide. Yet in that small percentage of other gasses lies the pollution problem. Only a very small amount of dangerous gasses and chemicals need to be present in the atmosphere to affect all of us greatly. Naturally occurring air is never completely clean. There has always been foreign matter in the atmosphere in the form of volcanic ash, pollen, spores, salt particles from the ocean and even cosmic dust from the upper atmosphere. These particles actually serve a useful function in the play of nature by acting as a stimulus for rain and precipitation. The foreign particles fall to earth with the rain and the air is cleaned. Meanwhile, plants are busy recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen, and the giant oceans are re-circulating and cleaning the air all over the planet. But then the balance was upset. With the coal-burning industries of the 19th century, abnormally large amounts of foreign particles and gasses escaped into the air. The rain could no longer clear the air completely, and the oceans became polluted. The oxygen-producing forests and fields were leveled and made into concrete sites for buildings. More garbage was being dumped into the air than nature could handle. Finally, the whole atmosphere all over the globe became contaminated, dirty, and unhealthy." And on that gloomy note we will part. Until next week, The Crazy Nut Team

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