Category Archives: Environment

All about being an environmentalist

There are many people these days who venture into unusual careers. They want to do something that is out of the way. They have made up their minds a long time ago that the run of the mill careers is not for them. They have causes that they want to fight for, and they want their lives to mean something beyond rushing to office every day, being a part of the rat race, and making a living.

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Some people want to become environmentalists. They have a passion for nature and they decide that they want to do something for our planet. This is not a normal run of the mill profession that has ample information on it like engineering or medicine. In many cases it need not even be a profession. It can simply be a passion. People can take up environmental causes in their spare time. But it does not really matter whether it is a passion or a profession. Those who undertake this noble task will find that it is truly rewarding, fun and fulfilling.

The first thing that people can do is to see how they can help. What are the causes in their area that needs that attention? Some people will find that the garbage has been left uncollected in their area, and this is causing quite a mess. Other people will find that there are factories in the vicinity that are polluting their environment and causing harm to the people in their area. There are times when they will be walking on the road, and they will look at cars emitting dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide in the air. Something in their heart will tell them that this is not right, and they will decide to take this up as a cause. So one can deduce from all this that to be a good environmentalist, one needs to have a cause that they are willing to fight for.

Then the next thing they need to look at is whether they have the talent to achieve their goals. Yes, they are concerned about our world, but can they translate this passion into meaningful achievements. It mostly depends on what kind of skills different individuals possess. Some people are introverts, but they are good at writing. So they espouse their cause through the power of the pen. Others are extroverts. They are good with people. They have the ability to raise money for charities, get groups of people together for a march, organise functions, and generally make sure that things involving people get done.

There are a myriad range of activities when it comes to saving the environment, and it requires people of all hues to achieve different things. So people simply have to look at where their skills fit in and make themselves useful in that particular range of activities. Becoming an environmentalist is primarily about passion, and there are no economic rewards that can be gained here. So make sure that you are in it for the right reasons.

Why does thunder make a rumbling sound?

Since centuries man has been speculating on the cause of thunder. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher’s theory in the third century has contributed to the first theory for the cause of thunder. The early speculation said that it was caused because of collision of clouds. As a result other theories were propounded.

Rapid expansion and contraction of air can cause thunder, surrounded by a lightning bolt. Lightning being very hot, approximately five times hotter than the earth’ surface causing air around the lightning bolt to get heated tremendously. Within fraction of a second, the air rapidly expands. In any case, the air does not get much heated for long times and dissipates quickly the heat again in fractions of a second. This rapid contraction and expansion of the air creates a compression wave that we hear as thunder.

The rumbling sound is because of two reasons:

  • A lightning bolt is not necessarily a straight line and is not at equal distance from people at all points. Therefore the compression waves formed by each part of the lightning bolt reaches on earth at different times. The sound wave travelling to higher distance would be softer and arrive late than a compression wave which is created by a part of the lightening bolt which was nearer to earth.
  • The other reason for rumbling sound is because of the compression waves bouncing around and off the clouds, other objects nearby and the ground. Which is why the thunder can get loud, soften little after that and then get loud again.

A flash of lightning, followed after some seconds by a rumble of thunder proves the fact that sound significantly travels much slower than light. This difference could be used, one can calculate the distance of the bolt of lightning by fixing the interval between watching the flash and hearing of thunder.

Bits of fact:

Thunderstorms generally occur on a hot summer day, when the air becomes warms and sticky. They start in high cumulonimbus clouds turning the sky blue and black. Some of them can be massive too. The tallest can grow 18km high, which is twice the height of Mt Everest.