31.8.11

Q vs A

Do we have to have the question in order to get the answers? What is an answer anyway without a question? Do they equally matter? Or the question itself matters the most?

It has been argued that it is an unidentified sign, what so called. How we make meaning of the process is what matters. Questions, more often, are answered with more questions.

But do we (unconsciously) get the question from the answers that we want to hear instead? Again, for most people, yes, the validation factors. But not if we keep an open mind and sincere heart. What’s important is the “seeking”, not the “finding”.

So the challenge will be, how to differentiate between what we want to find, and what we want to seek? I do not have the answer. There is no exact answer to this particular question. It is proven that question arises more question. From there, we (might) find the answer.

Thank you, Ka Ina, you are truly my inspiration J

30.8.11

Polluter Pays Principle

Konsep liable dan accountable seharusnya sudah diterapkan dengan baik, dimana perusahaan harus bertanggung jawab atas  segala dampak dari operasionalnya. Di dalam prinsip liability terkandung pula prinsip precautionary action dan prinsip polluter pays principle. Namun saat ini, tidak ada aturan di Indonesia yang mewajibkan perusahaan pertambangan melakukan proses penutupan tambang secara benar dan bertanggung jawab, dimana pelanggaran atasnya dapat mengakibatkan timbulnya konsekuensi hukum. Sebaiknya diberlakukan   suatu kebijakan  yang komprehensif yang dapat menjamin sustainable community dan lingkungan hidup dan industri secara sadar harus menginternalkan berbagai eksternalitas yang ditimbulkan oleh lingkungan melalui retribusi, pajak, pengutan dan iuran lingkungan, dalam komponen harga melalui kebijaksanaan ekonomi makro.Industri masa datang dibayangkan sebagai industri yang mampu berproduksi dalam jangka panjang dengan tetap memelihara ekosistemnya. Untuk melestarikan ekosistem kegiatan pembangunan industri harus mencegah pencemaran, mengurangi emisi-emisi, melestarikan keanekaragaman hayati, menggunakan sumber daya secara berkelanjutan dan mempertahankan keterpaduan ekosistem-ekosistem lain.

Water and drinking water quality, the problems and potential solutions

Indonesia as a developing country is still facing a great challenge of environmental issues, with no exception of the poor quality of water bodies, resulting poor drinking water quality. As the 2010 population was around 231 million and the number of poor people of 32,53 million, 45 million people still drink from unprotected sources. Based on Report by World Bank, 58% of household drinking water supply in 2007 sourced from ground water, and 15,6 % from river water and wellspring. As most of the people still have low awareness of the importance of drinking water source, such as community behaviour that still defecates at open places, resulting in poor water quality. In fact, 47% of the populations still defecate at rivers and other open places. As the result, report showed that most of river water quality in Indonesia did not meet water criteria class 1, while 6 major rivers in West Java do not meet requirement for drinking water raw water due to pollution by domestic and industrial wastes.

There are many consequences resulting from poor drinking water quality, one impact factor which brings dramatic consequence to public health is communicable disease like diarrhoea. Study illustrated that it was the highest rate followed by Pneumonia for the cause of death for infants with the age from 29 days-11 months in Indonesia. The use of technologies in household water management proved can overcome this issue and improve public health.


It's 4.45 am, and I'm thinking of this? (even looked up for the data)

26.8.11

I (wish) never ever think of this. What?

Randomly, I bought a book that wasn’t even interesting at all, at first. For its cover, the title, pages, you name it. Going through the book, I stumbled as I can’t stop reading it. 82 pages, one hour reading, and my guess, will be at least one month thinking. Dear Lord.

So it goes like this:

“Why do we read books? What do we seek through millions of pages? Couldn’t it be argued that all books are intended as answers, though only a few of them state the question? Isn’t it in the nature of human beings, to search for answers? Don’t we need to ask questions in order to get answers?

There are great writes who do not ask great questions, but are they considered great thinkers?

Does it all come down to the six questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Was it really believed that the answers to these six questions made a complete story? Or are there other questions, questions that are more complex. For which there is no consensus on answers, or questions whose answers are so troubling that we keep asking them as a way to avoid the answer?” Mark Kurlansky’s What? –genius



Damn it.

//Letters to a Young Poet//

You are so young, and have not even started, and I want to beg you, as strongly as I can
Dear Sir, to be patient with all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue.
Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

--Rainer Maria Rilke

24.8.11

Untitled


Water cycle

Earth is the only place that scientists currently know of in the solar system where liquid water exists. It is continually recycled in a process called the water cycle.
The quantity of water in earth doesn’t change--so it’s difficult to understand why many places don’t have enough??


Mathematics

Mathematics is very useful stuff. It’s perfect for working out whether you’re rich, for doing science and for keeping computer’s running. It isn’t just a useful tool either, it’s a whole world of full amazing and mysterious things.


Music

We are connected by sound
Music is the unifying factor: an unspoken language common to all
The inner urge of music isn’t something to ignore
If you have the gift of creating it, you best surrender and follow that strong impulse

ASOT 2010


Cats

If animals could speak the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much. With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:
Music and cats.


Albert Schweitzer & Mark Twain

Calling

I leave it all behind
The second hand rewinds
Lose the silence
Redefining
It’s complicated, separated

I walk a step behind
Stop the clock, rewind
Realigning
Redefining
It’s complicated, separated
from who we are

I see your face and fall into you
I hear your name
Calling, calling
I find my place and fall into you
I hear your name
Calling, calling

I see your face
Calling, calling
I hear your name
Calling, calling
I find my place
Calling, calling



----Audrey Gallagher

23.8.11

Maybe//Kaskade

Maybe...
Seems like the only word we trust
So uncertain...
We stumble to understand our fall.
Maybe we're starting to deal
Talkin' about us
Maybe this can be real
Won't be walkin' away
Maybe inside we feel

I'm not talking about us.

Maybe...
You can make me smile when you're around
You can be sunshine

But even sometimes the sunshine can bring me down

17.8.11

Academic Silence

When scientists, researchers, academia, analysts, are too “occupied” in their own world, too centred on their study, report, analysis, papers, achievements, degrees;  yet they forgot on the long term actual purpose of the study itself, they might lost the quintessence. Study in a long period of time. . .what for if you contribute nothing to your community, your society, your environment, your country?. Researchers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate returns on investments.

—Yet I feel like I haven’t contributed anything, except for my inner satisfaction, which I think it's kinda selfish. But I guess It’s not a bad thing, but it’s just waste of time, and a shame;  because the spirit is there, but maybe, just maybe, the “confidence” factor keep buzzing me. I think. – Well, stop thinking and analysing, let our voices be heard.

15.8.11

This doesn't mean that I'm a Geek. Right?

“Placing learners at the heart of learning process and meeting their needs, is taken into a progressive step in which learner-centred approaches mean that persons are able to learn what is relevant for them in ways that are appropriate. Waste in human and educational resources is reduced as it suggested learners no longer have to learn what they already know or can do, nor what they are uninterested in”.  (Edwards 2001:37)

Why we come to universities to pursue our degree? Universities are not just a "learning place to crashed into", or as a place to prove something to someone. University for me is a place for you to get lost,, and find yourself.
Though many people find themself not willing to learn for the reason of experiences are more valuable than degrees, than going to school or uni; I totally respect their opinions, their decisions, their preferences. I personally think the other way around, because I love to learn. Books are my salve. Listening to a teacher is my favourite routine. My wildest dream is to be a leading thinker of the unthinkable ( bear in mind, wildest). Where else I can find these type of activities except in Universities? They have their field of research, dissemination, consultation and technical assistance, provision and improvement of human resources, service analysis and also collaboration with industries. It's the best place.

Learning is not just about a preparation of living, but rather enables us to learn in the process of living.

--don't get me wrong, just saying

Renewable energy policies at the national level are more effective than the local ones??

---Yes, and No.
It will be more effective if it works both ways. National level policies should act as the umbrella, while the local level should act as the support policies. Integration between national and local level policies can be tricky. This means other aspects besides energy related policies should also be involved. For instance, in Indonesia, some Ministries have distributed free solar panels to some rural areas in Indonesia. However, this is not supported by an integrated program with a good education and dissemination of the benefit from solar panels, where many people are not aware of its maintenance, and then they eventually sell the solar panels. Success case happened in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), where power plants are built which utilize hybrid solar, wind, and biodiesel from the seeds of Kosambi, which in some remote areas in NTT, the number of Kosambi seeds are very abundant. This can be successful with the support from national legislation, supported by regional and local policies and also cooperation from the community itself, which was obtained from the equitable dissemination to get the community enthusiasm which is directed appropriately.

In terms of acceleration strategies, Indonesian government is encouraging the application of low-emission technologies in power generation and support development of power plants with renewable energy, as stated within the 2010 MDGs report for Indonesia. Carbon Capture and Storage Technology as one mitigation option would also be implemented to reduce carbon emissions from thermal power. Decentralized energy systems will be supported through a network system that utilizes renewable energy for every island in Indonesia at the local level.

Women influencing energy policy in South Africa

I think the energy needs of women have been neglected in energy planning. It started with the lack of women’s attendance in the energy-related meeting, this showed that women’s participation was not considered as an important issue in the forum, despite the fact that it was a National Forum. Only very few women were brave enough to speak their needs.  Even after WEG was formed, still the gap of ratio for men and women pointed during the development of the final energy document was still significantly shown. Along after one woman has been pointed to be the Deputy Minister for Energy, then women’s participation in the energy field slightly started to take into consideration. This showed that through leadership, a voice began to be heard. In the case study, gender equity was not taken into consideration, since energy planning seemed to be more focused on the objectives and targets as a country in one term, not considering the specific aspects, such as equity. In the 1990s, eras before MDGs, the energy planning was more focused on the effort to increase the supplies of country’s energy needs. For women, particularly whose most activities are done within the households was given low priority. Other reason is the fact the embedded idea of women’s level are below men and the majority of the women’s activities are at home, which does not require much energy. This thought is still considered as a part of a culture, especially developing countries, like Africa, where women are not supposed to do heavy works. Men are considered the most active creatures and require high energy.

THE DEVELOPMENT SET

Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet
I’m off to join the Development Set;
My bags are packed, and I’ve had all my shots
I have traveller’s checks and pills for the trots!
The Development Set is bright and noble
Our thoughts are deep and our vision global;
Although we move with the better classes
Our thoughts are always with the masses.
In Sheraton Hotels in scattered nations
We damn multi-national corporations;
Injustice seems easy to protest
In such seething hotbeds of social rest.
We discuss malnutrition over steaks
And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks.
Whether Asian floods or African drought,
We face each issue with open mouth.
We bring in consultants whose circumlocution
Raises difficulties for every solution –
Thus guaranteeing continued good eating
By showing the need for another meeting.
The language of the Development Set
Stretches the English alphabet;
We use swell words like “epigenetic”
“Micro”, “macro”, and “logarithmetic”
It pleasures us to be esoteric –
It’s so intellectually atmospheric!
And although establishments may be unmoved,
Our vocabularies are much improved.
When the talk gets deep and you’re feeling numb,
You can keep your shame to a minimum:
To show that you, too, are intelligent
Smugly ask, “Is it really development?”
Or say, “That’s fine in practice, but don’t you see:
It doesn’t work out in theory!”
A few may find this incomprehensible,
But most will admire you as deep and sensible.
Development set homes is extremely chic,
Full of carvings, curios, and draped with batik.
Eye-level photographs subtly assure
That your host is at home with the great and the poor.
Enough of these verses – on with the mission!
Our task is as broad as the human condition!
Just pray god the biblical promise is true:
The poor ye shall always have with you.

“Adult Education and Development” September 1976
Ross Coggins

12.8.11

Walk the Talk

“People are no longer satisfied only with declarations. They demand firm action and concrete results. They expect that the nations of the world, having identified a problem, will have the vitality to act.” –Swedish Prime Minister, 1972

Enough Said.

What is Stormwater Wetland anyways?

Stormwater wetlands as constructed wetlands can be used to manage stormwater runoff. It temporarily store runoff in shallow pools that support conditions suitable for the growth of wetland plants, and also promote the growth of microbial populations which can extract soluble carbon and nutrients and potentially reduce BOD and fecal coliform level concentrations

Stormwater wetlands are effective for pollutants’ reduction, where the efficiency can up to 40% of nitrogen removal using several processes such as denitrification, sedimentation, filtration, chemical adsorption, biological uptake, pollutant transformation, and pollutant storage. The climatic aspect is the main issues in pollutant removal efficiency. The interaction of hydrologic, hydraulic and botanical factors are also directly determines the treatment performance of constructed wetlands for stormwater management. More air, more micro-organisms and better treatment efficiency.

Not only the design criteria that should be aware of, but also the stormwater management aspects. Both land use planning and urban design must be coordinated and consider the downstream impact of urban development, with respect to water use and management and aquatic ecosystem conservation. A well managed plan is needed to be sure that sufficient water will be kept to manage the plant growth. The wetlands have to be maintained frequently, to ensure that public safety issues and environmental management considerations are taken care of, and also to keep the effectiveness of the wetlands. An environmental risk assessment of the sites can also be performed to ensure relevant controls and appropriate mitigation measures (depending on the level of risk) are highlighted for each site.

Ok this is boring—just saying.

Learning from Prof Emil Salim's leadership traits

A good leader has to be consistent from the very beginning of his journey. It is not just about his determination, but also his principles. He has to be dependable, and steadily focused on the problems, without having too much interruption that can affect his own ideologies.

Prof. Emil Salim is not born with leadership skills, yet he is simply just a person who is passionate and willing to do the small things that make big difference and make impact to other people. Although there were times where his perspectives sometimes affected by political views, but with his inventive thinking, charisma, general intellect and emotional intelligence, he was able to made many achievements, received high acclamation both from national and international, and the most important thing, made an impact on people’s point of view with the environment and raised people’s awareness to environmental issues, including myself.

Dr Salim’s leadership traits, his ability to communicate with people enables the effective communications initiative factor where organisations must have. With his passion, social skills, he contributed greatly not just to the creation of sustainable development concept, but maintains people’s trust through his charismatic performance and communication.

Leadership traits should be developed more and consider it as essential part in engineering practice nowadays as new essential elements in addition to the traditional mathematics, science, and engineering studies, in order to take a lead role as engineers.

A need of Institutional Reinforcement to Manage E-Waste

Seeing e-waste management initiatives from other Asian countries, the government of Indonesia can start to establish a new management concept such as specific regulation as a model, particularly in big cities, major waste issues. For instance, regarding legislation there has to be agreement and settlement to build the specific and effective waste management regulations in all contributing institutions, especially from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Industry. The objective is to have a better understanding of export-import procedures, where e-waste should be only allowed to be exported but prohibited to be imported, such as refrigerators, washing machines, TV, phones, air conditioners, printed circuit boards, valves and thermion tubes, or cold cathodes. The coordination between the central government and regional governments also need to be increased as soon as the regulation has been compiled.

Secondly, local governments can play a significant role to raise public awareness to implement waste management strategy in association with the “classic” reduce, reuse, and recycle. Raw materials  came from e-waste can be managed properly for recycling. In order to do that, public awareness has to be increased. In addition, local governments can provide on-site technical assistance programs to the private companies and facilitate the partnership between private, public and community. 

At national and local levels, local governments can promote eco-efficiency and cleaner production concepts in the industrial, consumer, and public sectors of the community. As such, educational programs to raise awareness in business and the community of the need to reduce waste and pollution and also conserve resources, or technical assistance programs that provide on-site help to companies and organizations in reducing pollution at the source. Regulatory programs that promote prevention through mechanisms such as codes, licences and permits, and also encourage manufacturer companies to be involved in managing e-waste of their products can also be promoted. In the industrial and private sectors, and also institutions and organizations itself, there has to be an effective communication, not only between those industries, but also with the local government in order to prevent missed application.

From external aspects, universities and researchers can act as facilitators not only for local governments, but also for the public, to compose a better definition and understanding of the current status of e-waste. Specifically in local communities, among the general public, and among manufacturers to be supported in applying cleaner production approaches.

10.8.11

Sustainable School: the simplest way to implement this (at least I think so)

The aims and hopes from this are basically to identify the behaviour of all school staff to bring out environmental improvements on daily work activities to enhance a natural motivation to act in an environmentally responsible way and increase the leadership attitude internally within the staff; also to demonstrate a good image of the School, to stand out as the Sustainable School.

Communication, behaviour, cultural issues and shared buildings are the major things that have to be focused on in order to implement a sustainability plan. In particular, the school’s executive needs to be committed to educating and encouraging staff to support green practices in the workplace. Several suggested communication tools can be as such staff internal e-mail (personal e-mail), staff engagement by staff retreats, staff meetings, rewards or intra department competition. A staff survey is also suitable for identification of environmental staff behaviour, which will focused on paper usage, electricity and water use, vehicle use, the current practices of catering, video conferencing and also bulk printing. 

Which type of cat are you?

--The Avoiding Cat--
"The avoiding cat plays games in her mind. If she needs to clean her fur, she hunts. If she needs to fill her belly, she sleeps. If she needs to explore her territory, she toys with a leaf. Her actions are often spirited, though misdirected. The avoiding cat is fear-filled. She has more comfort working with diligence on a different task, than facing her fear of the task at paw. If she fears she will hunt without success, she will do any other thing to avoid that failure. The longer she avoids, the more fear she builds, and the hungrier she'll get. The hunger will weaken her, and that will increase her fear, keeping her evermore from the hunt. The avoiding cat is not weak, lazy or inadequate, rather is afraid. To help herself, she must face her fear and do her tasks anyway. This is effortless to say, but difficult to do. Yet she must, as only clawing at fear can diminish it."

--The Heroic Cat--
" It is said that to find eternity, a cat must be heroic. The heroic cat cares for others as she cares for herself. She treats others with respect and kindness. Some think heroism is defined by courageous deeds. it can be. But it is also in a life well lived. The heroic cat will hunt for you when you are sick or injured. She will protect your kittens when you are using the sand. She will share her den if you are caught in cold winds. She will groom you, and make you purrr. The heroic cat does not trespass on your territory, leave scent in your spaces, or hunt your creatures. The heroic cat is she whom every cat should long to be."

--The Holding Cat--
"The holding cat has difficulty to let go. When summer approaches, he does not shed. he holds on to his winter coat, his appearance disheveled and unkempt. The heat of his unshed fur makes him clumsy and artless when he hunts. He sleeps fitfully, too warm to find release. His territory resembles his coat, with bits of bone,fur, and feathers around his den. His trails are overgrown and slow him when he runs. The holding cat clings to things that do not serve him. He may think this keeps him safe, for other cats rarely invade the territory of a holding cat. But when it is time to mate, the females do not answer his call. They do not want his messy coat near their gleaming fur. In this way, the holding cat hides from the rest of the world, never demanding of himself his obligations to the community. The thing he hoards have little meaning. The fur that covers him gives little pleasure. The holding cat holds only illusions."

--The Aspiring Cat--
"The aspiring cat wants more than an ordinary life. When others hunt mice, she hunts rats.When others settle for nesting chicks, she hunts birds on the wing. When others are pleased with a fish washed onto shore, she immerses herself in the stream. The aspiring cat dreams for her kittens, as well as herself. She teaches them to desire for themselves. The aspiring cat is rare. Most cats are content to fill their bellies, create litters, and defend their territories, but the aspiring cat wants more. She does not do these things out of greed or to humble those around her. It is a need deep within her heart. She is true to herself when she shows her ambitions. Her dreams can take many forms. She can be the best hunter, the most nurturing mother, the most popular mate, the greatest climber, the most diligent protector, or the wisest Mouser. If you are an aspiring cat, do not fight your dreams."

--The Enlightened Cat--
"You can live your life in ordinary ways. You will exist, you will eat and sleep and mate and die, and never quest for more. There is nothing wrong with this, as it is your choice to make. but some cats will embark on a journey. They do not have to travel a wall, or even wander from their territory. Journeys can take many forms. The enlightened cat sees the world and all other cats as her teachers, and she learns from each. She discovers the prized role of question and the ephemeral role of answers. She asks, and seeks, and quests, and maybe if she is open enough, she walks the path to enlightenment. if she reaches this state, she can let it all go--teaching as she was taught, divining new questions, and creating new journeys for those who sit avid in her shadow. The enlightened cat is a Mouser. You have the potential to be a Mouser, if that is the path you seek. This is the journey I have made, and I invite you now to follow."



From the greatest and most unique book my Mom ever gave me (The Wisdom of Yo Meow Ma, Joanna Sandsmark)

Cleaner Production through GREENSHIP, which (I Hope) not only comes as another “green movement” trend

GREENSHIP: an Indonesian green building rating tool; organizes familiarization activities using principles of sustainability in the planning, implementation and operation of buildings. It ensures the considerations in the selection of material products, the convenience and health aspects to the building users, and also the maintenance during operational phase of the product material and also the human behaviour. In terms of cleaner production, it has been shown to be a good tool, but has not yet been well implemented in Indonesia.

Green building concept creates significant green movement with its practices. Cleaner production deals with the whole life cycle of material, from the raw extraction of the material to waste disposal. Consumption of materials to build a new building cannot be avoided. In other words, the environmental impacts of material consumption are inevitable. Hence, being selective is required at least to suppress the negative environmental impact of the consumption activity. Building material has a life cycle at every stage that has an impact on the environment, directly or indirectly. Selective attitude is needed in material consumption is an election based on the origins, benefits and the end of life for the material.  GREENSHIP rating tool can act as the amplifier for cleaner production practices. For examples; by re-using the building material, using environmentally friendly processed product, certified wood, modular and regional material, using non-chemical pollutant material, and also ensuring to have a waste management plan for construction waste.

However, this concept should be promoted nationally within the industrial, consumer, and public sectors of the community, such as educational programs to raise awareness in business and the community of the need to reduce waste and pollution and also conserve resources, technical assistance programs that provide on-site help to companies and organizations in reducing pollution at the source, and also regulatory programs that promote prevention through mechanisms such as codes, licenses and permits from government organizations. Without those approaches, the concept will be just another sceptical movement.

The hope is that the more buildings conduct GREENSHIP certification; the market will eventually increase in demand for signal change for cleaner production practices in Indonesia. A need to provide eco labelling system in Indonesia is also very important, as it will ease the information provided to customers about the environmental impacts of a product or service carrying the label to develop recognition mechanisms for sustainable products, such as marketing, testing, and labelling of products; though individuals/industries in Indonesia are often still hesitant to change an already established process or method, since they are still have the mind set of green building implementation will actually cost more than existing practices, or regular building. Moreover, it will give the need for cleaner production information to ensure all sectors of industry and the community have access to the cleaner production information they need.


---We have to move together. Make the coordination works. But bear in mind, that nothing is perfect, and will never be perfect, as it said.---

2.8.11

Another Aha! moment

An interesting analysis I read on an article. Keep buzzing on my mind.----------
“We're not driven only by emotions, of course; we also reason, deliberate. But reasoning comes later, works slower; and even then, it doesn't take place in an emotional vacuum. Rather, our quick-fire emotions can set us on a course of thinking that's highly biased, especially on topics we care a great deal about.”
When we think we're reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing. Or to use an analogy: We may think we're being scientists, but we're actually being lawyers. Our "reasoning" is a means to a predetermined end—winning our "case"; and is shot through with biases. They include "confirmation bias," in which we give greater heed to evidence and arguments that bolster our beliefs, and "disconfirmation bias," in which we expend disproportionate energy trying to debunk or refute views and arguments that we find uncongenial.
That's a lot of jargon, but we all understand these mechanisms when it comes to interpersonal relationships. If I don't want to believe that my spouse is being unfaithful, or that my child is a bully, I can go to great lengths to explain away behaviour that seems obvious to everybody else—everybody who isn't too emotionally invested to accept it, anyway. That's not to suggest that we aren't also motivated to perceive the world accurately—we are. Or that we never change our minds—we do. It's just that we have other important goals besides accuracy—including identity affirmation and protecting one's sense of self—and often those make us highly resistant to changing our beliefs when the facts say we should.
--Chris Mooney, 2011—
Mother Jones, May/June 2011 edition—Politics, Science