Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

Category Archives: New energetic resources

I got a heart.

Every day, an average of 18 people die waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The problem is that there are to many patients awaiting for a heart and fewer donors. Doctors recur to the Berlin heart for smaller children and Thoratec HeartMate II for adults, which help doctors to keep their patients alive. It is revolutionary as it has prevented many deaths of awaiting donors.

The past Christmas, occurred a wave of “holiday donation”, it was believed that patients with the electronic heart who were in a prior position in the waiting list would receive their transplant. It was a prediction made by doctors who are dwelling with the stagnation of heart transplant donors, the reason it was made is because doctors believe that during the holidays there are more accidents, suicides “or something of the sort” that create more donors as stated by the cardiologist Dr.Parag Patel.

An experiment was made by the doctors dividing the holiday months and non-holiday months. The results were contradictory: there were more transplants in the month of July than in December, in fact according the to the CDC suicide rates are lowest in December. However, Dr.Parag stated that the deaths in July were young people who died from non-natural death ( gunshots…) so he concluded it there was nothing different from the holiday donors.

Other features influence the transplant donations but the most accurate is that predictions can not be made. Donors are becoming scarce especially because only 1% of people who die sign in the organ donor list and the final decision in made by the family.

Transplants are subjects that don’t wait, they don’t have the physical time to wait for a thought out decision made by the donors, the doctors or the recipients ( as vital organs can only live 40 hours to it maximum after the person’s death).

Heart transplant procedure

REFERENCE:

Klein, J. (2014, December 24). The Myth of Holiday Heart Transplants. Retrieved January 9, 2015, from http://motherboard.vice.com/read/holiday-hearts

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Electric Cars

Pollution is a matter that is in everyones mind, and so, even car makers can’t denied that is becoming a huge problem. Some researchs have been made through years, however we only could get cars with less contamination systems, technical improves or hybrid types; but we couldn’t make them totally work without gas.

Thankfully, they start improving and making cars that could work only with electricity, and so, the first electric cars were made. Nowadays, sadly, we can’t see many types of this car, they didn’t become so popular.

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An invisible threat: Fracking

The international NGO Greenpeace has recently published a report about the newly began Fracking activities, this report is called “Fractura hidráulica para extraer gas natural (fracking)” and it explains, through various questions, the methods, reasons as well as consequences of the Fracking. I did not know much about it so I decided to start a searching mission around it. That is when I found another interesting and meaningful information resource, this second web page was called http://www.dangersoffracking.com  and offered me a graphic travel through the natural gas extraction we were talking about; it is the Fracking.

As Greenpeace’s report reflects, the Fracking is a new technique to extract natural gas from the deepest side of the Earth, but how does it work? It seems a simple process. However, its complexity is more serious than most people think.fracking

This report explains how Fracking is based on a pressured stream formed by million litres of water and a compost of different chemicals. It happens with certain sedimentary rocks that their special characteristics of impermeability and inside structure and materials allow the methane accumulation.

Greenpeace’s experts have showed, when areas formed by this kind of rocks are discovered, a process of well building starts. Enormous amounts of huge wells are constructed and lots of lorries are moved to transport the water to the chosen place. The water is injected, encouraged by pressure streams, into the crevices of the rocks. This water has previously been mixed up with a chemical cocktail whose components have not even be identified. What we only know for sure is that, according to the Greenpeace experts´ report: “It is known that there are, at least, 260 chemical substances in the 197 different products used during the process and many of them are toxic”.

It is a new technique that has been popularized in the United States of America although its short period of use since it started. However this report also reflects that, just as every new technique, the Fracking has its advantages and disadvantages.

As the commercial sector has said, we are being witnesses of a revolutionary way of extracting natural gas but, do we know about the consequences?

First of all, lack of drinkable water is a real problem in hundreds of countries all over the world and this new method needs between 9.000 and 29.000mof water for each single well. Apart from that we must include the enormous amount of lorries that have to be moved to transport all this water to the determined place, 4.300 to 6.600 lorry-travels for each well-platform.

Natural_Gas_Fracking_0On the other hand, we have the chemical mixture. It is a secret composition and many of these chemicals are out of regulation in Unite States, because they have little information about them. We do not know much about them so, why bother? Well, we do not know about the cocktail and about the consequences of injecting it inside the rock which could be really dangerous but what we already know is that many of the chemicals used in the process are both, toxic and carcinogenic. This means that the simple contact with an underground aquifer could pollute a whole source of drinkable water.

This activity is getting extended in an incredibly velocity. As Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge said: “The more natural gas the United States extracts from shale rock, the safer the country will be.” As I said, we do not really know the real consequences of this method, and it would be saver if people decided to make some more experiments and analysis about it before being too late, because this problem, unlike others, is about an invisible threat.

References

Detrow, Scott. (September 7, 2011). Ridge: Shale Drilling makes America Safe. StateImpact. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2011/09/07/ridge-shale-drilling-makes-america-safe/

FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act). 2013. What goes in and out of Hydraulic Fracturing.  Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.dangersoffracking.com/

Greenpeace. 2013. Fractura hidráulica para extraer gas natural (fracking). Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.greenpeace.org/espana/Global/espana/report/cambio_climatico/Fracking-GP_ESP.pdf