Thank you for this opportunity to explain about what IEDRO is, what IEDRO does and what is so darn important that we feel compelled to tell everyone about IEDRO!
This “spaceship called Earth” is inhabited by humans who have the power to prosper or to annihilate their species as well as many others
We live in a very fragile and ever-changing environment that in geologic terms hasn’t been around very long. Current scientific thinking is that the earth has been around for about 4.5 Billion years. The first plants and animals date back 550 million years and humankind only about 50,000 years.
All the factors that make us human - our hopes, happiness, love, caring, and, exist within a very thin envelope less than 20 miles thick surrounding our ball of rock in the middle of nowhere.
The TV advertisement for Las Vegas says – “What goes on here, stays here!” That applies not only to Las Vegas but to the whole earth and its atmosphere as well - What we do individually, as a nation, as all of humanity – here...stays here .
The problems we face individually, are faced by every human being within this envelope of life. What one does affects us all…regardless of our wealth and community standing or where on this sphere we call home. We are all connected to...and with... each other regardless of our differences in color, sex, religion, language, nationality, culture, etc.
So…what needs to be done by all of humanity to continue to prosper begins, and entirely rests with us individually .
As we travel through the rest of the presentation, think how you as an individual on this fragile rock filled with life can contribute to sustaining it, not only for your sake and the sake of your children but for all the children of the world…
As Chief Seattle said nearly 200 years ago, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
How can we, as supposedly the most intelligent beings best protect and preserve the Earth and all creatures who call it home? How can we, both as individuals and together as communities make the greatest positive impact on this very fragile world and all its vulnerable living things? What single human endeavor can reduce pain, suffering and death within all of the earth’s biological community more than any other single endeavor? More than a cure for AIDS... More than a cure for CANCER... More than a cessation of all armed conflicts... More than anything else...
Huh? Data WHAT? What Data? What do you mean “rescue”? What the heck is “Data Rescue” and how could it possibly be more important than cures for diseases...stopping wars... How can anything be THAT important … if no one knows what it is? What is “data rescue” ? Data Rescue does not refer to salvaging your files from a crashed computer hard drive… Data rescue refers to the “rescue” of old, historic environmental records or data. These mostly paper-based data are disappearing at the rate of over 100,000 data values each day due to fire, vermin, flood, age and lack of storage space. Once these critical data are lost, they are lost forever. So…prove it! What can data rescue do for anyone?
Data Rescue can help prevent starvation….
Data Rescue can help prevent the spread of disease and forecast where it is going to strike next.
Data Rescue will enable safer construction.
Data Rescue will prevent people from drowning with better flood forecasts
Data Rescue yields better weather forecasts
Data Rescue will help us detect and understand climate change and global warming so actions can be taken
In just these six areas , the rescue of existing historic environmental data can save many times the people who die from disease and wars combined.
Let me show you Why Data rescue is so important.
Between 8,000,000 and 9,000,000 people, mostly the elderly and children die every year of starvation, and malnourishment-based diseases. Many, if not most of these dead are family members of the 1.8 Billion subsistence farmers who barely feed their own families during the “good” years.
This is one of the ways IEDRO is helping alleviate starvation – by providing many of the 1.8 Billion subsistence farmers information that will allow them to choose crops and certain varieties of seeds that will produce the maximum output for their climate. These same data also allow these farmers to understand the chances of floods or droughts in their regions so they can save some of their crops for the lean years. Dr. Rick Crouthamel, IEDRO’s Executive Director, spent several weeks in Bangladesh in the mid 1980’s. Bangladesh is a delta country, not unlike the state of Louisiana and about the same size as Wisconsin. Unfortunately Bangladesh’s population is 30 times Wisconsin’s moving past the 150,000,000 mark to over half the population of the entire U.S. Dr. Crouthamel interviewed a subsistence farmer near the port city of Chittagong on the southeast coast. Sameer had a wife and three children who all helped grow their main food crop – rice. Dr. Crouthamel asked Sameer how he prepared for the periods of drought-caused famine that regularly visit the region. Sameer said he saves 10% of each year’s rice crop for the year of famine since the droughts occur every 12 years. “ A sound practice”, said Dr. Crouthamel who then asked the farmer, “On what information are you basing the expected frequency of drought in the Chittagong area?” Sameer proudly said he had been farming in the area for 12 years and had experienced one drought. Thus he felt confident that by saving 10% of his annual rice crop, he and his family would be safe from starvation.
Unfortunately, examining the frequency of drought based on the 28 years of historic weather data Dr. Crouthamel was able to find, indicated a frequency of about 7 years. Thus if Sameer followed his “experienced” frequency of drought, some members of his family would undoubtedly starve within the next few years. If we were able to locate, rescue and digitize the world’s historical weather data and distribute those data to the 1.8 Billion subsistence farmers and their families in the world, and if only 1/10 th of 1% of these farmers adjusted their crop selections and crop saving practices accordingly, between 2 million and 3 million lives could be saved from starvation every year . Is Data Rescue important? Absolutely! Is Data Rescue being done? Hardly at all! Why not? It is neither glamorous nor exciting.
How can data rescue help prevent disease? Let’s take a hypothetical example... An outbreak of malaria ( a disease that kills 1-2 million people per year ) occurs in Bamako, the capital city of Mali a poor west African nation. The spread of malaria is caused by infected mosquitoes. There are only a few doctors and nurses available to help stop the spread of the disease and only two mosquito spraying systems in operation.
Where does the government of Mali send these health care professionals to provide the population with anti-malaria drugs and to get the standing water areas sprayed to kill the mosquito larva? Mali is a large country and there are not nearly enough resources to cover the areas around Bamako in every direction. Since the previous outbreaks of malaria have been compared to the historical weather observations at the time, the health officials were able to correlate the movement of the mosquitoes carrying the malaria virus with the weather conditions.
The Mali National Weather Service now provides the health officials with a forecast of temperatures, humidity, and wind forecasts for the surrounding areas. Over the next three days the area of temperatures above 90 degrees F and relative humidites over 85% (conditions the studies indicate the mosquitoes love) will be to the east of Bamako, near the town of Kita. The health care teams are sent to Kita in advance of the malaria and hundreds of lives are saved. Without those historic weather observations the correlations could not have been made and the spread of the disease could not have been predicted. Is Data Rescue important? Absolutely! Is Data Rescue being done? Hardly at all! Why not? It is neither glamorous nor exciting.
For this application of rescued historic meteorological data let’s give a hypothetical example. A bridge is planned to span a major river in the U.S. It will carry 100,000 commuters each day with 1,000 on the bridge at any single moment. The cost of the bridge will be $2,000,000,000 (two Billion dollars) and will take 4 years to build. The City Government along with their insurance companies draft the construction specifications. Of course, the stronger the bridge will be built, the higher the construction costs so a trade-off of cost versus safety must be made. The bridge architect, contractors, city fathers and insurance underwriters check all readily-available digital historic weather records to feed the extreme weather conditions into the bridge design software. The most critical factor is the strength of the wind on the new bridge. These digital historic weather records obtained from the U.S. National Weather Service indicate the strongest wind recorded in the vicinity of the new bridge location was 93 mph on January 23, 1901. Thus the strongest wind during the past 107 years was 93 mph!
To be on the “safe side” all agree to increase the bridge specifications by 20% to ensure the safety of all who use it, raising the bridge’s sustained wind tolerance to 112 mph. The bridge is completed in 2012 at a cost of $2,300,000,000 and carries about 1,200 people at any one time. On April 11, 2017, during the afternoon rush hour, the bridge experienced sustained winds of 123 mph and collapsed. 986 people are killed including children in five school buses returning from a class trip. Resultant lawsuits and costs to replace the span top $10,000,000,000. IEDRO data detectives go back into the National Weather Service’s old archives and find weather observations still handwritten on deteriorating paper with fading ink dating back to 1843. These old, paper-based, non-digitized, forgotten or ignored weather observations showed sustained wind speeds at the bridge site reaching 128 mph on July 5, 1863 and of 126 mph on January 30, 1891.
If the contractors, city fathers, insurance underwriters had these newly-discovered weather observations readily available, do you think the bridge specifications would have been increased to handle these wind speeds? ABSOLUTELY! Would such actions have saved nearly 1,000 lives and the anguish of their families? ABSOLUTELY! Would the insurance underwriters have saved their companies $10,000,000,000. ABSOLUTELY! The cost to locate, rescue and digitize those two weather observations showing past wind speeds in excess of the bridge specifications $1 . To rescue & digitize those all additional 58 years of data - $240,000 or 1/40,000 of the cost of the bridge failure. We think rescuing and digitizing old weather records are worthwhile! Is Data Rescue important? Absolutely! Is Data Rescue being done? Hardly at all! Why not? It is neither glamorous nor exciting.
Better Flood Forecasting
River and Flash Floods kill more people than all other natural disasters (other than drought) combined . More than tornados, lightning, earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches, and mud slides put together. We are lucky in the United States. Our river and flash flood computer programs run by the National Weather Service are very accurate, many times forecasting the arrival of the flood crest within minutes of its occurrence with a forecast flood height within a few inches of what actually occurs. People in the U.S. die in floods mainly through their own stupidity in trying to cross flooded areas in their cars. However, in most developing countries, their weather forecasters are not able to provide any accurate warnings and many people die. It isn’t always due to the lack of education and training of the country’s forecasters. Nor is it always due to a lack of sophisticated flood forecast computer models.
After hurricane Mitch devastated Central America in 2000, the National Weather Service provided computers, forecast models and training to one country and set up a River Forecast Center (RFC). This new RFC began forecasting floods for its largest river basin. Although the computers, computer flood models and the capabilities of the forecasters were equal to the U.S., they could not forecast the arrival of the flood crest within hours nor get the forecasted height within several feet. What was wrong? Why couldn’t their forecasts approach the accuracy of the forecasters in the U.S.? Data! Actually the lack of digitized data. Where the U.S. forecasters enjoyed having 50 years of rainfall and river flow data to baseline their computer models, this country had three years of digitized data. It is like trying to forecast the winner of a horse race when for one horse you have the results of two races in which it participated and for the other horse you had the results from twenty. Which is likely to be the more accurate? This country DID have many more years of historic rainfall and river flow data for the basin…forty-three years of data! Unfortunately, all those data existed on 16,000 paper charts which cannot be entered into the computer model until those data are digitized. Digitizing cost about $45,000…the cost of an expensive new car…to provide accurate flood forecasts that could save hundreds of lives. Is Data Rescue important? Absolutely! Is Data Rescue being done? Hardly at all! Why not? It is neither glamorous nor exciting.
Better weather forecasts
While the accuracy of weather forecasts over the past quarter century has gotten significantly better…(No the forecasters are NOT wrong most of the time)…accuracy of the 24 hour forecast is somewhere above 92%. The unfortunate situation is called: “The Weatherman’s Lament” When we’re right, no one remembers! When we’re wrong, no one forgets! But…there is room for improvement. Forecasters study past weather events like devastating tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, torrential rainfall and associated floods trying to see how they could have made more accurate or timely forecasts and warnings. The researchers thoroughly study each significant weather event many times using data that was not available to the duty forecaster at the time…weather observations that were taken but not transmitted to the forecaster. These data often hold the key as to why a particular weather situation turned severe. These data, not having been transmitted electronically so that they could be digitally archived, still reside on their paper observation forms in storage rooms waiting to be discovered and digitized for the researchers use…before they become illegible or discarded and gone forever. This isn’t so much a problem in developed countries like the U.S. but it is business as usual in poor countries. Is saving these data important…YES, just as important as saving these data in wealthy countries. Is Data Rescue important? Absolutely! Is Data Rescue being done? Hardly at all! Why not? It is neither glamorous nor exciting.
Climate Change Prediction
We saved the best reason to locate, rescue and digitize environmental data for last….. CLIMATE CHANGE – GLOBAL WARMING…FACT OR FICTION??? Although nearly all scientists agree that climate change is occurring and that the average temperature of the earth is increasing, there is still debate as to whether or not these changes are caused entirely, in part, or not at all by human activity. It is NOT IEDRO’s purpose, goal or objective to prove or disprove these concerns. It IS IEDRO’s goal to locate, rescue and digitize every piece of old environmental data we can find so that ALL scientists and researchers have the most accurate and complete record of what has happened in the past so that rational , scientifically-based , and unbiased causes for climate change can be discovered. The one thing both “sides” of the controversy can agree on is that additional data would be very helpful, if not absolutely critical, to determining what is really happening and why. IEDRO’s efforts in this area COULD positively affect the lives of literally EVERY LIVING THING on this planet…for IF global warming is occurring and is being caused by humans, BILLIONS of people are at risk and actions mitigating this risk must occur now! Is Data Rescue important? Absolutely! Is Data Rescue being done? Hardly at all! Why not? It is neither glamorous nor exciting. Do you need IEDRO to succeed, NOW? You better believe it!
Our success so far….
Over 1,000,000 old weather observations have been rescued by IEDRO and all the countries we are helping have agreed that their data can be shared with the entire world community for everyone’s benefit. 1 MILLION !!! Sounds like a lot doesn’t it. We estimate that we are losing one million old environmental observations every 10 days ! We are losing them to rotting paper and fading inks and just being discarded because the space they occupy is needed for something else that is obviously more important. Hundreds of millions of data values are also dying locked on magnetic tape dating back to the 1950s or on microfiche and microfilm that is fading and will soon be unreadable. For all the reasons cited in this presentation and for hundreds more, we need to act and we need to act now…before it’s too late…if it isn’t already. Data Rescue & Digitization …. More important than a cure for AIDS... More important than a cure for CANCER... More important than a cessation of all armed conflicts... More important than anything else we can do...
Ore than What we need now… NOTORIETY: Tell folks about us…not only the scientists and researchers who need the data we rescue and digitize, but educators, politicians, your kids and neighbors. VOLUNTEERS: We have over 25 dedicated, passionate volunteers throughout the U.S. and overseas who sometimes put in long days for no pay to help us move toward our objectives of rescuing and digitizing every piece of historical environmental data we can find. If you have some time for what we feel is THE most worthwhile human effort on the planet, please send us a note by e-mail, snail-mail (U.S. Postal Service), telephone or fax…and we’ll let you know how you can help. DONATIONS: IEDRO is a 501(c)(3) certified non-profit, fully tax deductable organization . Without your donations, we will have to depend in our Executive Director’s retirement annuity and we can’t get far with that. Seriously, when you make a donation of your time or money, you are helping yourselves , your children , your grand children , and every living thing on our Earth more than anything else you can do.
Here’s something you all can do that costs you neither time or money yet helps us immediately… Please go to the website: http://GoodSearch.com This search engine contributes a penny to IEDRO for every search you do. It costs you nothing yet brings IEDRO significant contributions. It’s easy to set up. Please participate and tell your family and friends.
Sample Rescue Donations provide… Some of our audiences wonder what we buy with the donations since no one at IEDRO receives a salary. Here are some of our costs…if anyone would feel better about donating an item rather than contributing money, we will be happy to send you the particulars. [read the examples]
Thank you for this opportunity to tell you about IEDRO. Each one of you CAN make a substantial difference in what we do. If you feel this presentation would be good to show to other groups or schools, please contact us and we’ll send you a CD with the PowerPoint presentation and any other information you need to give the presentation or we will be happy to see if one of our volunteers can present to your group. Please note our web site at http://IEDRO.ORG
Here’s our contact information
1. <ul><li>I nternational E nvironmental D ata R escue O rganization [ IEDRO ] </li></ul><ul><li> a 501(C)(3) non-profit , non-governmental organization that... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>locates, rescues and supports the digitization of all environmental data , worldwide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>works with governments, foundations, and individuals to find funding for these efforts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http//:IEDRO.ORG </li></ul>
11. DATA RESCUE !
12. Why... DATA RESCUE ?
13. Starvation Prevention
14. Disease Prevention
15. Safer Construction
16. Better Flood Forecasting
17. Better Weather Forecasts
18. Climate Change Prediction
19. <ul><li>Starvation Prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Disease Prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Safer Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Better Flood Forecasting </li></ul><ul><li>Better Weather Forecasts </li></ul><ul><li>Climate Change Prediction </li></ul>Why... DATA RESCUE ?
20. Why... DATA RESCUE ? Why Indeed!!!
21. Starvation Prevention
22. Environmental Data Collection can Prevent Starvation Over 8 million people , mostly elderly and children, perish every year from starvation and diseases that result from mal-nourishment. Many of them are from the families of the 1.8 Billion subsistence farmers who could barely feed their own families.
23. “ Give a man some grain and he eats for a day . Enable a man to improve his crops with better climate information and he and his family eat..... every day . If we had the historic data , IEDRO could tell these subsistence farmers the chances of floods or droughts in their regions to save some of their crops for the lean years.
24. STARVATION PREVENTION <ul><li>1.8 Billion subsistence farmers could use weather history to choose their crops. </li></ul><ul><li>Rescued data allows for longer history of information to base future crop selections and planting times. </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers plant more appropriately and the result is that their families do not starve. </li></ul>
25. Disease Prevention
26. Disease Prevention Between 1 to 2 million people, mostly the elderly and children die every year of air borne diseases. <ul><li>These diseases include: </li></ul><ul><li>MALARIA </li></ul><ul><li>YELLOW FEVER </li></ul><ul><li>ENCEPHALITIS </li></ul><ul><li>DENGUE FEVER </li></ul>
27. Disease Prevention <ul><li>Research links disease spread to past weather conditions available from data rescue work. </li></ul><ul><li>Health officials using weather forecasts, can then determine when the disease will enter a village (disease vectorization). </li></ul><ul><li>Many of those who perished could have been saved by early inoculations or spraying before the disease spread into their villages. </li></ul>
28. DISEASE PREVENTION Data Rescue leads to accurate timing in spraying and inoculating in advance of the disease arrival to save lives!
29. Safer Construction
30. SAFER CONSTRUCTION <ul><li>Environmental conditions destroy under-designed structures </li></ul><ul><li>Additional historical data provide more realistic construction specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Property and lives are saved. </li></ul>
31. SAFER CONSTRUCTION <ul><li>Environmental conditions destroy under-designed structures </li></ul><ul><li>Additional historical data provide more realistic construction specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Property and lives are saved. </li></ul>
32. SAFER CONSTRUCTION <ul><li>Environmental conditions destroy under-designed structures </li></ul><ul><li>Additional historical data provide more realistic construction specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Property and lives are saved. </li></ul>
33. Better Flood Forecasting
34. FLOOD FORECASTING <ul><li>Floods kill more people than all other natural disasters combined </li></ul><ul><li>Computer programs provide accurate flood warnings if many years of historical observations are available. </li></ul><ul><li>Those data aren’t available in developing countries so …. people drown! </li></ul>
35. FLOOD FORECASTING <ul><li>43 years of environmental data…on paper charts! </li></ul><ul><li>Absolutely necessary to baseline flood forecast models. </li></ul><ul><li>Digitizing these records = Hundreds of lives saved. </li></ul><ul><li>Worth the effort & expense ! </li></ul>
36. Better Forecasts
37. BETTER FORECASTS <ul><li>More historic data leads to better understanding of severe weather events. </li></ul><ul><li>Better understanding leads to more accurate forecasts and warnings. </li></ul>
38. Climate Change Prediction
39. CLIMATE CHANGE/GLOBAL WARMING 1941 2004 <ul><li>Historic weather data assist in forecasting the direction and speed of climate change so we can decide how best to mitigate either the change or discover the adaptation humankind must take. </li></ul>
40. Success so far….
41. Success so far…. <ul><li>328,000 upper-air observations rescued Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal and Zambia </li></ul><ul><li>190,000 surface observations rescued in Uruguay and 504,000 surface observations at a private museum in Punta Arenas, Chile </li></ul><ul><li>“ Open and Unrestricted Exchange of digitized Data ” accepted by all participating countries </li></ul>
42. <ul><li>What we need now… </li></ul><ul><li>Notoriety </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Donations </li></ul>
43. Donations… Please go to the website: http:GoodSearch.com This search engine contributes a penny to IEDRO for every search you do. It costs you nothing yet brings IEDRO significant contributions. It’s easy to set up. Please participate and tell your family and friends.
44. Sample Rescue Donations $20 (tax deductable) will locate, rescue and digitize 500 weather observations $45 Blank CDs & postage to send the data images to us for digitizing $110 a copy stand for a developing country to rescue data. $225 a digital camera to photograph data at risk. $1800 a data expert to train local volunteers. $2200 a computer to copy images to CDs $4400 to get a developing country started
45. Thank You! Dr. Rick Crouthamel, D.Sc. Executive Director Ms. Judy Emily Soh, Presentation Volunteer and 6,800,000,000 people throughout our world http://IEDRO.ORG
46. I nternational E nvironmental D ata R escue O rganization IEDRO International Headquarters 901 Main Street Deale, Maryland 20751-9609 USA Phone: (410) 867-1124 Fax: (410) 867-9259 Web: http://IEDRO.ORG E-mail: [email_address]