October 25

Disappearing Oceans History Perth Is The Tip Of The Iceberg

Disappearing Oceans History Perth Is The Tip Of The Iceberg

This Thursday is World Oceans Day. The United Nations convened a high level conference to discuss the future of the oceans. While the conference’s main focus was ocean conservation, a second aspect of our oceans has been glaringly overlook. the immense amount of human history that lies beneath them.

Millions upon millions of shipwrecks lie beneath the ocean. The most famous is the Titanic, which lies almost four kilometers below the North Atlantic. These relics, which preserve a history about our relationship with the seas, are as important as terrestrial ones like the Egyptian pyramids and the temples in Angkor. This underwater cultural heritage, like other marine ecosystems is under threat from climate change, pollution and development as well as fishing and looting.

Just this week, maritime archaeologists from Australia and Indonesia reported that HMAS Perth (a World War II shipwreck lying in the Sunda Strait, where hundreds of men rest) has sustained extensive and recent damage. The ship is now down to half its original size.

Stories From The Sea Oceans

The human relationship to the ocean goes back thousands of years. Our oceans have been food sources, connected civilisations and facilitated trade, travel, conquest and conquest. They also serve as sacred places of veneration. The ocean floor is home to three million sunken cities and shipwrecks.

They include a shipwreck from the 9th century that was discover off Indonesia’s Belitung Island in 1998. It was built in the Middle East and carry a lot of Chinese ceramics. It is the oldest evidence of maritime commerce between Southeast Asia, China Tang Dynasty, and the Middle Eastern Abbasid empire.

These vestiges of the past are not limit to shipwrecks. Archaeologists discover evidence of sunken civilisations that bury beneath silt and soil for many centuries. Relics of Alexandria’s ancient city include temples and palaces as well as the Pharos Lighthouse measuring 130m, which is one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World. Egyptian authorities are now planning to build an underwater museum in order to share their discoveries with a wider audience.

Sometimes the smallest objects found underwater can reveal more than a whole city. The 2000-year-old Antikythera mechanism, which lost in the waters of Crete for centuries, now known as the first computer to use gears and dials to track the moon phases and predict eclipses. Scientists hope to find genetic information from the bones to help them understand ancient shipwreck victims.

Mother Of Pearl Collected Oceans

Inlays of mother-of-pearl collected by early breath-hold divers and made by artisans – found at a Mesopotamian location indicate that humans have responded creatively to the ocean’s resources since 4,500 BCE.

These past activities have left an underwater heritage that bears witness to both ancient and modern civilisations. The significance of ocean artifacts goes beyond travel, trade and recreation. This heritage can be used to show the effects of rising sea levels on human lives. This information can serve as a stark reminder of the impacts of climate change and help us find solutions to the environmental problems that we face.

Ulrike Guerin, UNESCO Secretariat of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage explains.

Sea levels were lower for 90% of humanity’s existence than they are today. Humans have lived in close proximity to water for most of their development. Only in the last decade has there been an acknowledgement of the importance of the missing data from the submerged shelf.

The underwater cultural heritage can be used to help assess the effects of the ocean on human lives and monitor issues like oil pollution and unexploded ammunition from WWII shipwrecks. Guerin believes that the protection and research of this heritage can result in better conservation of coastline and marine areas. This will also bring about increased economic benefits for small islands developing countries and less developed countries through tourism.

A Sea Without History?

As with coral reefs and fish stocks, the underwater cultural heritage is at risk from over-development, climate change and marine pollution. Fishing and other industrial activities are becoming more of a concern.

Deep-sea fishing trawlers are used to destroy fishing stocks and well-preserved vessels. These bottom trawlnets are like ploughs. They dig up the ocean floor and tear down archaeological sites. Every year, thousands of artificial fishing nets are lost in the Baltic Sea. These ghost nets become entangled in wrecks and trap fish and seals. The massive trawl nets that permeate every metre of the ocean floor in Southeast Asia have cause historic shipwrecks to be destroy in Thailand and Malaysia.

Illegal salvaging and looting of underwater heritage is just as dangerous as illegal poaching. Three near-pristine Japanese shipwrecks were recently disturb in Malaysian waters. This has resulted in the destruction of marine ecosystems. These wrecks have caused severe damage to small-scale fishermen and local diving companies. These illicit activities are becoming more sophisticated and bolder in Indonesia, with the latest damage to HMAS Perth.

October 25

Become A Space Tourist Finally Can Sign Your Life Away

Become A Space Tourist Finally Can Sign Your Life Away

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s Space Launch Company, has announced that it will sell its first flights to microgravity to highest bidder. Blue Origin, along with its biggest competitors in space tourism, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic claim that they are advancing humanity by democratizing space. These joyride are not opening space access for everyone.

The Changing Landscape Space

Space tourism is an exciting prospect. It promises a quicker path to space than that taken by astronauts who must complete rigorous training, higher education and compete for selection. Because few countries have human spaceflight programs, astronauts must have the right nationality.

The opening of commercial spaceflight should, in theory, make space more democratic and accessible. This is not true in all cases. What was once the exclusive domain of the wealthiest countries is now dominate by commercial entities.

These companies can take greater risks than government programs, because they don’t have to justify spending or failings to the public. Blue Origin and SpaceX both have witnessed many explosions during past tests. Yet, fans are more excited than dismay.

This has led to rapid advancement of space technologies. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which has just completed its tenth successful launch, is a reusable rocket that has lowered the cost of launching by tenfold. Reusable technology not only reduces costs but also solves the problem of sustainability.

Considering Sustainability Space

Since 1957 when the Soviets launched the first human-made object (Sputnik I), there have been thousands upon thousands of launches. Except for Falcon 9, every launch vehicle was use once and dispose off immediately, much like an aeroplane being thrown away after one flight.

With 114 launches in 2020, the number of launches is increasing every year. The uncontrolled reentry by debris from China’s Long March 5B rocket was a major news story because of its size and potential for damage. This is only one example of the issues of space debris management and traffic management.

Safety is an important issue in human spaceflight. There are currently approximately 3,400 satellites and 128 million pieces debris in orbit. Each day there are hundreds of possible collisions. Operators can avoid them by costly and complicated maneuvers, or wait for the best if they are at low enough risk.

Countries will have to impose stricter requirements on satellites that are de-orbit at the end of their life, in order to ensure they do not burn up upon reentry, if we increase human spaceflight. It is acceptable to either de-orbit a satellite after 25 years or to place a satellite in an unoccupied orbit. This only slows down the problem for the future.

Nations will also have to follow the 2019 United Nations Guidelines on the Long-term Sustainability Activities in Outer Space.

Another important aspect of launch operations is their environmental impact. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 burns more fuel than an average car over 200 years for one launch.

There are many impacts on the ground, including waterways and terrain. These should be considered when we build future Australian launch sites. Launch permits require that environmental impact statements be completed, but they should also include long-term effects as well as carbon footprints.

How To Keep Billionaires Under Control

It will be vital for independent spaceflight companies in the future to be strictly regulate. Virgin Galactic has advocated for a shirtsleeve environment. Where customers can enjoy the luxury of spaceflight without being restricted by uncomfortable spacesuits. Spaceflight is still dangerous, as evidenced by the 2014 death of one its test pilots. Comfort requires more caution and greater safety at high altitudes.

While space tourism regulators like the US Federal Aviation Administration have stringent safety standards, spacesuits that are pressurize are not. But they should. Space tourism operators may require passengers to sign waivers of liability in the event of an accident.

While it is admirable that Blue Origin and SpaceX are making technological leaps in the right direction. Their business plans do not reflect diversity, inclusion, or global accessibility. All of the first space tourists were entrepreneurs. Dennis Tito purchased a seat aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in 2001 to visit the International Space Station (ISS). Eight more space tourists have paid between US$20 million-US$30 million to fly through Russia since then.

October 25

Time To Reopen Our Borders States Still Recording New Cases

Time To Reopen Our Borders States Still Recording New Cases

We’ve witnessed heated debate this week between state governments over the question of reopening borders among Australian states and territories. Gladys Berejiklian, the premier of New South Wales, is calling for interstate travel to be reopen. This will help Australia recover from the pandemic.

Other Australian premiers Mark McGowan (West Australian) and Annastacia Palaszczuk (Queensland) have opposed the reopening of borders at this stage. They believe that it risks new cases crossing state boundaries. An epidemiological perspective would suggest that it is safer to wait for two states to have eliminated disease before opening borders.

Each State Sets Its Own Rules Borders

It is important to have disease control strategies in place for pandemics at all levels, from the individual, family, community, state, and national. In an effort to decrease disease transmission, some states and territories have shut down interstate travel. The Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, and NSW are the exceptions. However these states encourage people to delay non-essential travel.

The jurisdictions that have closed their borders impose their own regulations and exemptions, including the requirement for entrants who arrive to self-quarantine 14 days after arrival. Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, recently announced a three-step plan for recovery. The plan included the possibility of interstate recreational travel, but it was up to each territory and state to determine the timing.

Except for Western Australia, all states and territories are still in stage 1. They will not move to stage 2 before June. If we follow the three-step process, it is possible for states and territories to push for interstate travel.

Elimination Should Be A Green Light Borders

To eliminate disease, there must be no new cases in a given area. It is not necessary to stay in the same place for a set period of time. This usually depends on the time taken between the initial symptoms and being expose to the virus. COVID-19’s incubation time is between 1-14 days. Therefore, if no new cases are found within a 14-day period, it can said that a territory or state has eliminated COVID-19.

Research has shown that there is a 1 percent chance of someone getting ill and becoming infected beyond 14 days. To be 100% safe, it is prudent to prolong this time. One sensible way to approach the elimination of COVID-19 is to make it a 28-day period without new cases in any territory or state. This would double the incubation time. A state or territory could then open its borders to any other territory or state that has achieved disease elimination.

Jeanette Young, chief health officer for Queensland, has advocated this type of approach. What would happen if interstate travel is allowed in states that have yet to eliminate the disease? Infectious persons can cross into states or territories that have achieved elimination of disease and then reseed a new epidemic. Although the risk is small, the consequences can be serious.

This elimination approach could also be used with international borders (yesterday was the fourth consecutive day without any new cases in New Zealand), but this is still a long way away.

Are We Close?

Although Victoria and NSW continue not to see a lot of new cases, other states and territories are beginning to see the possibility of elimination

  • Since May 7, 2015 (15 days), South Australia has not had any new cases.
  • Since May 18, (four days), Western Australia has been free from cases
  • Tasmania’s last case was filed on May 15, (seven days).
  • The last cases in the Northern Territory or the ACT occurred on May 2, 20 days.

Although the data may differ depending on where they came from, I believe that no territory or state has eliminated COVID-19 to this date. As such, we are not yet at the point where we should relax current border restrictions.

There’s no question Australia is doing well. We must be vigilant with the current ease of restrictions which could lead to some new cases.