The Decaying Sewage Infrastructure of Calcutta, India

Calcutta-India-sewer-cleanerKolkatan sewers were once the envy of the world, built during the Victorian era and spanning 90 kilometers below the city. Because the Kolkatan sewer system is now 130 years old, it no longer functions as it should, especially when accounting for the increasingly large modern day population of Calcutta, India. Due to this, teams of workers with buckets enter the sewers every night all over Calcutta to shovel and remove excrement so that blockages don’t occur. Workers typically work 11:00 PM – 5:00 AM because this is when the least amount of people are awake to use the bathroom. The problem is becoming increasingly worse as time progresses, being that more and more people are now connecting into the central city sewage line as incomes and quality of life increases throughout India

 

The Revolutionary Iron Age Technology of the Rotary Quern

rotary-quern

During the Iron Age, grain was milled by rubbing a smaller rock against a larger rock with the grain in between the discs. This was back breaking labor which is evidenced by the injuries found upon skeletal remains of ancient people. A quantum leap forward however emerged as the rotary quern, a composite tool comprised of a stone base with a wooden pole or dowel in the center, and a movable rotating top donut shaped piece which was also made of stone, but with a handle so that it could be turned. Grain was placed into the middle of the tool and because the tool was slanted upon a 45 degree angle, gravity would pull grain down. This allowed for a single person to mill much more grain than what would have traditionally been possible using antiquated Stone Age technology. This new design freed up both time spent working as well as the amount of people required to meet a specific quota (e.g. 150 – 200 grams per person per day). Because more people could be better fed, with less effort and resources, the population of those with access to the technology in Britain expanded quickly which occurred around 400 B.C.

China’s Desire For Ivory and the Effect Upon African Countries 

Chinese-ivory

China is one of the only countries in which recently acquired ivory can be sold legally, and because it is in such high demand, China’s insatiable thirst for ivory is devastating elephant populations around the world. 80% of the Chinese middle class own one or more pieces of ivory and 84% of those people intend to purchase more in the future. Trade between Africa and China between 2003 and 2013 has jumped from $6,000,000,000 ($6 billion) to over $100,000,000,000 ($100 billion). China has been investing in Africa, building roads and shipping ports as a way to streamline the trading process. Some of the most popular goods traded include turtles which are eaten, shark fins which are also ingested, rhinoceros horn which is ground up and consumed, and elephant ivory which is carved into decorations. 60,000 shipping containers enter Chinese ports each day, with less than 1% being searched, making Chinese ports a smugglers paradise. Only 16% of ivory sold in China is legally traded and can be verified to have been sourced from legally acquired sources. Kenya has achieved success with elephant protection due to private philanthropy which funds the ability to patrol Kenyan parks via helicopter and land vehicles with armed security personnel, trained guards who have been authorized to shoot to kill when poachers have been identified actively poaching or attempting to poach

World Population Growth

dense-population

200 years ago, the world had approximately 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) people. Today there are more than 7,000,000,000 (7 billion) people worldwide. By the end of the century, it has been predicted that Earth will have approximately 10,000,000,000 (10 billion) people. The majority, but not all, of the world’s population increase is due to impoverished third world countries as the governments of these nations are not meeting the same standards of industrialized countries in terms of educating their populous regarding sexual activity and birth control as well as affording free or subsidized birth control interventions. It is estimated that the world will not exceed 12,000,000,000 (12 billion) people as many countries, both industrialized and non-industrialized are now declining in their birth rates, due to conscious efforts made by governments to educate the general public in respect to sexual health