Biodiversity

24 August, 2017

 

A great number of negligence caused the accident of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez on March 24, 1989 in Alaskan waters. It left the port of Valdez, loaded with crude oil and crossed the Straits of Valdez when the disaster occurred. The tanker was in an area where the radar system was obsolete; therefore, there were shadow areas. Thus, ships that cleaved these waters sometimes could not be located. Likewise, because a permit was needed to navigate there, that night the captain left the command of the ship to a pilot with no experience in that area.

And the tragedy happened: the oil tanker crashed into an iceberg. It opened a huge way in the single hull and began to spill oil.

The Coast Guard was alerted. The oil tanker took responsibility due to the aid delay. At first, physical barriers were applied, but due to the stain was very extensive chemical dispersants were applied. This was a technique never used before and for that reason it did not work.

The best way was to use fire. This greatly reduced the extension. However, the natural disaster was made and thousands of animals died in those nauseating waters. Rescue teams did what they could. They cleaned animals with soap, but it did not work much, because these animals washed themselves and swallowed toxic substances.

The consequence of this natural disaster was the human disaster since inhabitants supply with sea-products. Thousands of families run out of fishing for seasons…

This account is a brief description of what happened in one of the biggest man-made environmental disasters. And all was caused for a number of human negligence. It was the consequence of a bad or half-assed job.

 

José Antonio Calvo

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School bullying and moral education

24 August, 2017

School bullying, or bullying, is one more of manifestations of violence in current society, and due to its effects in children and above all in adolescents-in-training, has sensitized schools, families and society against it and has provoked Ministry of Education and Culture to decree 74 measures for removing it.

As many others forms of violence the origin of this one comes from the fact that human nature is not naturally good, but perfectible by means of education. Hence one of the first reasons to reduce or eliminate violence includes particular attention to education. Education consists essentially of acquiring habits, i.e., virtues, competences, in order to give the person a second nature. The specific and proper aim of education is the perfection of human faculties, training man to act the right way. But to fulfill this purpose education has to be comprehensive, and encompass all the capacities and dimensions of person, from physical educations to spiritual or religious one if it is desired, and also the education of cognitive skills (senses, mind, memory, creative imagination), the sensitive desire (feelings, emotions and passions), the superior desire or will with its different acts and virtues (prudence, strength, justice and temperance), all of them the basis of moral education. At least, from the classic Greece until de seventies of the last century, moral education has been a priority in school, not because of will is more nobly than intelligence, but because “if will is not good it does not matter others faculties to be so, taking into account that their use depends on will itself”. We live today in a very complex society, with a recent crisis of values, the emergence of new technologies and their premature use by children and adolescents, and the multiple risks for their formation. Therefore, it is indispensable to insist, more than before, in youngsters’ moral education in different stages and successive phases they move through in their development; and those phases are:

    First stage: from birth to age 3, a period of breeding. It corresponds to the moral of functional disciplines (everything related to nurturing, sleeping, washing, bladder/bowel control), and means a first submission to an order of societal moral. This stage is particularly important for structuring the child’s brain, by means of impressions from the outside world through the senses. It is therefore important to create a suitable family atmosphere. The genetic basis is modified by the number and quality of sensations child receives.

    Second stage: from age 3 through 6 or 7 years of age. This is the stage of the moral of good manners, the moral of habits, and among them, values. Obedience is considered as the first of virtues, not referred now to functional disciplines like the previous stage. It relies, at the same time, on submission to the orders given and to prohibitions established, always in a reasonable way, after the age of 4 or 4 and a half. The child’s love for their parent rests on confidence and admiration. Their moral education is made easier to a great extent when home and school offer the warmth and friendliness and the good examples they need.

Third stage, from age 6 or 7 through 11 or 12 years of age. This is the stage of the moral of norms and rules. Children have to accept behavior rules whose sense and significance they begin to understand, and perform them playing. It is different from the previous stage, due to not being a compulsory demand, but being based on a standard considered as good and valuable for everybody. Its virtues or values are loyalty, mutual aid, and above all, justice as their central concept. This is the moment to begin learning School Regulations, local laws, those of their autonomous community, the Spanish constitution, the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Man, and also for believers, the Commandments of God’s Law, even though these have a different origin.

Forth stage: from age 11 through 16 or more years of age. It is the stage of the moral of “self”, personal, autonomous or post-conventional moral. This is the difficult age (preadolescence and adolescence), due to great changes happening in their bodies and minds. Is a moral of sentiments, resting on the love to good; virtues or values come together now around the sentiment of honour. Some of these values they try to imitate through exemplary lives are self-sacrifice, sincerity, compassion, heroism, courage, respect for a man’s word when it is given. The passage of the moral of rules or conventional in autonomous one can have a critical point, that of not to believe in the conventional criteria of previous moral, but without finding out an alternative, and so parents and teachers have to be vigilant to provide the aid required in order they can build being mature, prudent, sensible and responsible life projects.

And for this to happen schools at every stage of the education system must satisfy psychological and basic needs of affection, success, sense of life, and provide pupils with the necessary living conditions for practicing every value and norm, in order for them to become good habits, without neglecting monitoring, especially, for students with difficulties.

    Miguel Zapater Cornejo


An example of welfare: the “Inclusa”

11 July, 2017

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“Inclusas”, hospices or orphanages were places of welfare, most of them founded by the Church in the XVIII Century, where needy children, abandoned by their parents and delivered to those Institutions were welcomed and brought up.

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Are we only earth, maybe?

15 April, 2017

   It appears that only the temporal matters. It seems that we are only guided by the desire to live according to our physiological needs. Where is our spirit? It is as if we were unable to think. And so it is, at least when we accept opinions and promises without checking them, without valuating them previously. There is something as an inclination to get carried away, provided that no effort has to be taken. And this is the most effective way to become formless mass, suitable for being handled by others. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan and Muslims

15 April, 2017

   There are a lot of circumstances given and still giving around terrorist acts we are suffering lately in Europe, including in such circumstances the warped and sectarian reaction from a great part of the left wing, above all in Spain, and about the feeling of guilt they have been able to instill in European society, but I shall confine myself to two of them. Read the rest of this entry »


24 February, 2017

   

   The nudity of the indigent world could be dressed up in the leftover decorations of those who are vain, affirms Goldsmith. Moreover, Socrates used to call wealthy those who used their riches for goodwill, while the other opulent rich – even though they rejoice in wealth – remained proscribed among the poor, because their misadventures are grave since they are heartless and loveless. Read the rest of this entry »


How far can your freedom go?

18 January, 2017

   German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe once explained that if someone who in the name of liberty gives up being one’s true self, then it is like that person is committing suicide. Read the rest of this entry »