Introduction to Operation OASIS

The massive waste water problem that currently pollutes our bathing waters costing £billions to process throughout the world can be used to irrigate and reforest desert coastlines to induce rainfall.

Our aim is to use the return ballast capacity of super crude carriers which currently transport sea water half way around the world at great financial and environmental cost. This ballast is discharged into the sea, often introducing invasive marine species which affects the stability of indigenous species of flora and fauna.

The E.U. is legislating against this practice and tanker operators will be forced to seek an alternative.

Operation OASIS offers an exciting opportunity for ballast water. Transporting treated waste water to irrigate and reforest arid coastlines to induce rainfall has to be the way forward.

One tanker loaded with 300000 cubic meters of treated waste water would support 57 hectares of forest for a whole year.

Reclaiming deserts to enable people to feed themselves and grow great forests will offset the carbon emissions from shipping.

With global food shortages upon us we are already feeling the strain on our pockets in the developed world and renewable resources are in rapid decline. Drought is affecting all major food producing countries and wells are running dry. Water scarcity poses major problems for us and our children. We need to act fast in order to avert a major global catastrophe.

When the mighty river Amazon dries up and it's fish stocks die it is time to take stock on how we manage our fragile environment. For more detailed information visit our website and forum at:

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Consume and dump is practised by all life on Earth.

Consume and dump is practised by all life on Earth. 
The only difference with ourselves and other animals is that we frequently consume produce from the soil and return our waste to the ocean either directly or via streams and rivers, and no matter how we try to fool ourselves with elaborate water treatment processes, we simply cannot disguise the fact that our bodily waste and the water we waste in our homes should be returned back to the soil.

Current treatment processes involve either aeration or anaerobic digestion from bacteria and the resulting chemical reactions to destroy most of the harmful pathogens and odours, both of which emit CO2 into the atmosphere. The same can be said for natural composting within the soil, although dry composting does not involve wasting billions of cubic kilometres of highly processed drinking water as a vessel to move our waste from A to B.

When we import grain, fruit, timber etc we are effectively importing all of the water and nutrients used to grow these products and often with dire consequences for the exporting countries as we continually deplete their ground water reserves and plunder humus and nutrients from their fragile soils.

We then sell these countries chemical fertilizers in a bid to address this imbalance and of course make a buck or three from their toils.

End result of this practice is civilisation collapse, as demonstrated by all great past civilisations.

We have even reduced the most intelligent of all species to following our pet dogs around with plastic bags to pick up their poop, which is understandable in our concrete cities but in the open countryside? Better to flick it off the path with a stick perhaps?

What we need to do right now is to add a spoonful of common sense into our habitual one way global environmental suicide pact and begin to address the massive losses of arable land and forestry. Some of these exposed soils have taken thousands of years to develop and a few flash floods along with wind erosion and exposure to the sun can destroy the lands turned over to grass crops within 5-10 years rendering it into unusable desert.

We have one shot at getting this right and to do so we need to close our one way unsustainable trading chains by returning our used water, humus and nutrients back to where the soils are baron to increase the production of the materials we need to sustain our lives. I do not want my grandaughter to watch millions of people around the world eating dirt and perishing in relentless drought and famine as we say in the Great Ethiopian and Somalian Famine. I do not want her to see the winds blow away top soil in great dust clouds, destroying the lives of the people that destroyed the soils. I do not want her to see wars over dwindling water supplies and oceans full of rotting fish from pollution. I do not want her to see wild fires ravaging the last remnants of once great forests and great areas of productive land submerged beneath the rising ocean.

This is why was conceived and should we succeed in demonstrating a pilot this simple, feasible and common sense approach to already in place trading practices can be rolled out on every shore affected by waste water pollution or desertification.

The question is how long will it take to fire up the will and release the modest finances required to turn this dire environmental apocalypse around?

No time left for talking and thinking, the preserved mummies of farmers who ignore the need to manage soil sustainably are in the sands of the Atacama desert. Can we not learn from history?

Andrew K Fletcher

Monday, 13 June 2011

U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon We are running out of time!

U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon We are running out of time!

Davos, Switzerland, 28 January 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks to the World Economic Forum Session on Redefining Sustainable Development

Ban Ki-moonFor most of the last century, economic growth was fuelled by what seemed to be a certain truth: the abundance of natural resources.
We mined our way to growth. We burned our way to prosperity. We believed in consumption without consequences.
Those days are gone.
In the 21st century, supplies are running short and the global thermostat is running high.  Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete. It has rendered it extremely dangerous. Over time, that model is a recipe for national disaster. It is a global suicide pact.
So what do we do in this current challenging situation?How do we create growth in a resource constrained environment?How do we lift people out of poverty while protecting the planet and ecosystems that support economic growth?How do we regain the balance?All of this requires rethinking.

Here at Davos – this meeting of the mighty and the powerful, represented by some key countries – it may sound strange to speak of revolution.
But that is what we need at this time. We need a revolution. Revolutionary thinking. Revolutionary action. A free market revolution for global sustainability.It is easy to mouth the words “sustainable development”, but to make it happen we have to be prepared to make major changes -- in our lifestyles, our economic models, our social organization, and our political life. 

We have to connect the dots between climate change and what I might call here, WEF – water, energy and food.

I have asked President Halonen of Finland and President Zuma of South Africa to connect those dots as they lead our High Level Panel on Global Sustainability.
I have asked them to take on the tough questions: How we organize ourselves economically?How we manage increasingly scarce resources?Those same questions guide our discussion here. I have asked them to bring us visionary recommendations by the end of December so they can be feed into intergovernmental processes until Rio 2012.

But as we begin, let me highlight the one resource that is scarcest of all: Time.

We are running out of time! Time to tackle climate change. Time to ensure sustainable, climate-resilient green growth. Time to generate a clean energy revolution.The sustainable development agenda is the growth agenda for the 21st century. To get there, we need your participation, your initiative. We need you to step up. Spark innovation. Lead by action.Invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy for those who need them most – your future customers. Expand clean energy access in developing countries – your markets of tomorrow.Join our UN Global Compact, the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. Embed those sustainability principles into your strategies, your operations, your supply chain.To government leaders sitting here and elsewhere around the world, send the right signals to build the green economy.

Together, let us tear down the walls.

The walls between the development agenda and the climate agenda. Between business, government, and civil society. Between global security and global sustainability. It is good business – good politics – and good for society.
In an odd way, what we are really talking about is going back to the future. The ancients saw no division between themselves and the natural world. They understood how to live in harmony with the world around them. It is time to recover that sense of living harmoniously for our economies and our societies.
Not to go back to some imagined past, but to leap confidently into the future with cutting-edge technologies, the best science and entrepreneurship has to offer, to build a safer, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.

There is no time to waste.

Thank you very much for your commitment
 Operation OASIS Ticks all of the boxestick_box_green and offers a sound and economically feasible solution

Operation OASIS Has Connected the Dots between Water Energy and Food in a marriage between Shipping, Wastewater and Sustainable Arid Land Management.

We must act now!

U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon We are running out of time!

We have to connect the dots between climate change and what I might call here, WEF – water, energy and food.

In1984 Bob Geldof and Midge Ure released Do They Know it's Christmas to generate food aid for the Ethiopian and Somalian Famine, I began to ponder on why there was drought in these areas. Being a habitual lateral thinker I thought at the time that this approach was never going to resolve the causes and that more famine and drought would be on the cards in many countries affected by water scarcity. The first question was of course why had the rains failed and could we interfere with precipitation in these arid areas?

So got to thinking about where the clouds come from and where they were heading. Began by looking at the Hadley cell and how hot dry air circulates from the coast back towards the content interior. It soon became apparent that the interface between the continent and the sea on the arid coastlines of deserts was the obvious place to start. Not having access then to the Internet, research was mostly purchasing books and watching video documentaries, particularly open University Programmes.

I looked into past civilisations to learn of malnutrition, poor soil management and unsustainable grain crops used to fuel the labour that built the impressive monuments and buildings that remain. Civilisations in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, South America, China, and many others all showed the same evidence of malnutrition in skeletal remains.
Today, we have fortunately the Internet at our disposal and we can see images from satellites that show the marks of irrigation channels in many deserts around the world, depicting their attempts at sustaining food production and today we are following the same pattern of poor soil management, with deforestation, desertification and desert encroachment baring witness to this folly.

Most major food producing countries are experiencing devastating crop failure and global food shortages is becoming a very real concern for us. We can see here in the U.K. massive food price increases.

So why is this happening?

When deforestation occurs on a coastline and biodiverse vegetation is removed in favour of growing grass crops to support grain production and grazing. The soil becomes depleted of organic matter. Because grass crops have shallow roots, modest shortfalls in rain cause these surface crops and the surface soil to dry out rapidly, whereas the deeper rooted biodiverse system that was removed would have remained tapped in to underground water reserves, affording surface vegetation shade from the sun and protection from the desiccating effects of wind erosion and flash flood damage by providing the soil with the capacity to absorb and hold on to water. Trees and crops transpire water into the atmosphere and this lowers local atmospheric temperature and increases humidity.

Overgrazing by goats, camels, sheep and cattle and indeed crop pests such as locusts prevents natural regeneration. Irrigation follows in a desperate attempt to address the lack of rainfall and for a time it works and business as usual continues, depleting the underground none-renewable water reserves, which in turn causes the salinity in the soils to increase, and salt water moves in from the ocean as aquifers are drained, which in turn causes crops to fail. The end result is soil slainity which ultimately becomes a salt desert. The Aral Sea is a good example of this unsustainable model.

Once the water table has been lowered, the remaining trees begin to die and the coastal soil becomes sand and stone, which rapidly heats up under the intense radiation from the sun.
The heated air from arid coastlines rises high into the atmosphere and then circulates back towards the continent interior. The air on the ocean side of the coast also rises and circulates back towards the sea causing clouds and mist to roll along the coastline, where it is channelled by prevailing air currents

Now we have in place an effective thermal barrier of heated air, which for centuries has provided migrating birds with a navigable river of air from Europe to Central Africa and the Middle East. And on most arid coastline around the world. Nasa Images illustrate fog banks which are in effect low clouds that are channelled along these coastlines and unable to cross over from the sea to the land. The thermal air from the arid coastlines rises high into the atmosphere buffeting aircraft’s as they cross over it and we call this turbulence. Pilot handbooks state that turbulence can be expected when crossing over dry land but not over vegetated land. Glider pilots use these thermals to sustain their flight. It is not difficult to understand why some areas soon become swamped by flooding while others become desertified when the thermal barrier is taken into account.

The knock on effect in this case means that forests and crops inland from the coastline are starved of water. Forests begin to burn out of control, whether started deliberately or by lightning strikes the result is inevitably. Forest fires in France, Spain, Greece, Australia, South and North America, are in the news with depressing regularity yet a connection between the coast and mainland forest fires has not been considered.
When the River Amazon stops flowing as we have seen in the last 2 years we really do need to start asking why this has happened. We all know that logging and a switch to grass farming is an integral part of the problem but how many of us realise that by moving the forests from the coastline we can inadvertently cause the rainforests to be affected by drought? A quick look to the eastern coast of Brazil on Google Earth shows developments, buildings and grass farming has replaced tropical rainforests along a huge strip of coast. Could this have prevented clouds from crossing over onto the land?

As a child, my brother myself and a few friends had eaten tomatoes that we learned later had grown on an old sewage bed in Oldbury West Midlands. They were the best I had ever eaten. The seeds from which these tomatoes had grown had passed through the bowels of someone who had eaten the fruit from another plant, survived the treatment process and germinated in the best growing medium that nature could provide. Human Manure. We came to no harm although we were a bit concerned at the idea of eating food that had grown in someone else's No2.

In my early teens another introduction to humanure came when a friend was growing vegetables unsurpassed by his rivals. Turned out he had treated and fully composted manure delivered from the same sewage beds to his home and used this on his vegetable garden. The seed was sewn then on how to resolve famine and drought in arid lands, though I didn't realise it at the time.

Intrigued by waste water, I was drawn to become a sewer engineer in the West Midlands, learning about how we process wastewater and how we spend a fortune treating it only to discard the treated effluent and solids. This practice to this day is still apparent along most of Europe's coastlines where raw sewage is frequently discharged into the sea, particularly during heavy rainfall, where combined outfalls bypass the treatment processes, despite £billions in investment.

So we take the most precious of all resources that falls from the sky for free, pay a fortune to make sure it is safe to drink wash our clothes in it, bathe in it and flush it down the toilet. We then pay to clean this sewage and waste water costing a fortune, evident in today’s exorbitant water charges.

Lateral thinking is about taking information and arranging it in a way that makes sense, then applying it to resolve a problem.

So we have on one hand a problem with water scarcity and on the other hand a problem with abundant supply of wasted water, how do we marry them together to resolve both problems?

The answer to this comes from normal shipping ballast practices. Today, as has been the case for bulk shipping for many years, shipping requires a return cargo after delivering it's main cargo and to achieve this they use sea water, which is pumped into separate ballast tanks that demand one third of a super tankers (VlCC's and ULCC's) total capacity. Ballast is required to stabilise these giants of the sea and lower the propeller back into the water. Sea water ballast has for years been involved in introducing invasive marine species and organisms into distant shores, often with devastating consequences for indigenous marine flora and fauna. Not long ago, the main tanks were used for both crude oil and ballast water and this practice required flushing out the heavily contaminated cargo into the sea, which we all remember frequently being washed up on the shores as tar balls and birds covered in oil.

Many tankers and other bulk shipping that rely on sea water ballast are now fitted with expensive sterilization equipment to reduce the risk of introducing non indigenous marine species to coastal waters, though this practice of using sea water ballast is under review for legislation prohibiting it's practice in the future by the E.U. This means of course that a land based system of ballast supply and demand will need to be put in place.

This current ballast practice is an insane waste of valuable resources which inflates the cost of our energy.

Using treated waste water as ballast on the other hand offers an exciting and feasible answer that resolves coastal waste water pollution, provides shipping with a paid return cargo and at the same time enables sustainable reforestation and agroforestry to take place along arid coastlines.

When countries realise the value of anaerobic digestion for treating waste water we will find that our energy requirements from methane gas produced by this process will become more sustainable and that the bi-products from this system will provide much needed nutrients, cleaner effluent and natural fertilisers that will significantly lower our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels.

When shipping realises that their carbon emissions can be offset against newly planted forests and agroforestry the demand to scrap older shipping prematurely will significantly lower oil and gas energy costs. We will see a significant reduction in CO2 levels

When developed countries realise that by importing food products from one country to another they are exporting not only the product but all of the water used to grow that product and that this practice of a one way flow of virtual water and nutrients is unsustainable and is responsible for land degradation and waste water pollution at both ends of the supply chain we will see that in order to guarantee continued global food security this one way trading needs to be closed by returning this water back to lands affected by an inherent lack of rainfall.

By demonstrating Operation OASIS in a pilot project we aim to show how we can breach the coastal thermal barrier and cause it to rain more frequently on productive land that was previously desert.

Following the pilot project, we aim to scale up the operation to include countries like Ethiopia and Somalia to enable local people to grow food and sustain themselves, removing their dependency on food aid while providing food and timber exports to help to resolve global food shortages.

Once the thermal barrier has been moved inland by reforestation and clouds and fog are again moving onto the land, the Hadley Cell depicts that these clouds will move towards the continents interior and in doing so will cross over the deserts. With clouds crossing over the Sahara towards Sub Saharan Regions, we will not only have assisted rains to fall more frequently on the coast but induced rainfall to support desert reclamation on both fronts of the worlds largest desert. And as those clouds cross the desert they will afford shade by screening out the sun and lower temperatures. One pilot project will demonstrate the principles and a hundred thousand projects that follow will pave the way to combating climate change.

Initial applications of waste water will require strict controls from source to applications to make sure food safety protocols and guidelines are followed. Forestry and fruit trees on the other hand offer crops that do not come into contact with newly applied treated wastewater, unlike salad crops etc. Once the local climate has been favourable modified to improve precipitation and fog interception by trees, natural sources of water will enable farming of edible food crops grown in soil. Bacteria, mould, fungi, worms and insects and solar disinfection rapidly transform manure and leaf litter into fertile soil. Desert sand and stone is in effect soil with all of the organic matter removed by wind, sun and rain. Therefore bio-solids from waste water treatment is essential to accelerate the restoration of organic matter in soils. Currently this waste product is either discharged into seas and rivers untreated in many countries, or is treated and then either incinerated, used on farmland or disposed of in landfill sites. You may have already eaten food that has been grown on soil conditioned by someone else’s digestive products. In fact septic tanks are frequently emptied directly onto farmland in many countries.
In Kinshasa, Zaire, plastic sacks were used as grow-bags filled with a mixture of earth, urine and excrement. Called "The Eco-Lavatory" the bags were used to nurture plants again in arid and infertile regions. Seeds where sown in holes in the plastic bags, which were sunk into the land.
The bags had the advantage of preventing the spread of contamination and retaining water.

When, countries on both sides of the climate change fence begin to embrace Operation OASIS as a solution to wastewater pollution, water scarcity, energy, food security, timber resources and desertification and this important project is scaled up to it's full potential with land reclamation occurring on all continents affected by deserts and water scarcity we will begin to see stability in nations and peaceful trading relations emerging to form a concerted effort to address climate change. When people go hungry and prices rise the stability of Governments are blamed and overthrown.

The Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (30 January 1882 – 12 April 1945) (Letter to all State Governors on a Uniform Soil Conservation Law (26 February 1937) Following the Great American Dust bowl that lasted 8 years resulting in unprecedented losses of once fertile soil.