“Nothing Wasted, Everything Gained,” by Alan Weisman is an article that is mean to inspire and give hope that one day we may be able to subsist on eco-friendly means of energy production. The main audience for this article is the general public. It is informational and tells the world about this feat that one town has accomplished. The article is effective because it doesn’t tell you about all the horrible things that we are doing and just leaves a small seed of what could be. One counterargument is that Gaviotas is a small town with a small population. I imagine that people have to be specially trained to do certain jobs and its more work to use eco-friendly means than it would to just use petroleum bases in your products for example. Sure, they are able to survive this way but is this method capable of sustaining large towns? What about countries? If so, how do we motivate people to do these jobs and convince the populations to live on less? If I were to research this further, I’d like to look into the science behind all of these methods. For instance, how much power are the solar panels collecting and how do the ‘kitties’ work? This town is a great idea but all I think it does is raise more questions than anything else.
Reading response 10-Drinking water should be of higher quality than a chemistry class discard container
“Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering,” by Charles Duhigg is an article about poor water quality in the United States. The article is for the general public and is extremely effective. The article starts out by telling a story of what is happening in West Virginia. A little boy is covered in scabs and painful rashes from bathwater and nothing seems to be happening to fix it. The article goes on to tell you about the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act that, while being reinforced, isn’t preventing illegal dumping and pollution. The implications on the environment are huge. Heavy metals and chemicals are being dumped into rivers and other bodies of water which then changes the chemical composition in the water. These acts can be extremely harmful to marine life just like it is to the little boy that got essentially chemically burned by his bath water. I would like to look further into what exactly, other than fining, the EPA does about this. Bathwater and especially drinking water should not be as harmful as it is in some places.
Technological firms are always the ones you hear in the news doing something crazy. This is because they not only posess the money, but also the technological know-how and creativiy to make it work, or at least try. You never hear of retail chains or automobile manufacturers trying to control the weather (1) (2) or making a viable business out of the model that Google uses. I am not trying to say that the higher executives in retail are stupid, or uncreative, I am simply saying that when it comes to changing the world and dreaming of how the world can be changed, it is the people who stand at the forefront of technology that are capable of doing so because technology is the future.
Take twenty German Blue chip companies, who are launching a green energy initiative worth four-hunded billion euros, a remarkable amount. The idea is to build solar panels in the Sahara and Middle East just south of the Mediterranean. If even as littl as 0.3% of sunlight that fell was captured, it could power not only all og Germany, but all of Europe as well.
This raises some interesting ideas. Would it be possible to make a much greater portion of the world run on solar-power? While a lot of the world is civilized and can’t have dedicated solar fields, it should definitely be possible on a much smaller scale if each building was equipped with a solar panel. While a high-rise in Manhattan might need a dedicated source to run everything, much smaller buildings such as retail or residential homes should be able to get most, if not all, of their power from solar panels on the roof. The need for power plants would be diminished dramatically if more people utilized personal solar panels.
I looked over the Kleen Kanteen website for this response and I have to say, I’m impressed. The website indirectly proposes that instead of buying bottled water, you should buy one of their reusable kleen kanteens. The website is geared toward adults looking to do a little something for the environment. However, they have water bottles for everyone: children, adults, boys, girls, big, small, tall and short. They have it all.
This website boasts that kleen kanteens are three things: healthiest for you, of the highest quality and eco friendly. Because they’re made of food-grade stainless steel, they don’t need to be line with anything. This makes them safer for you to drink and 100% recyclable. This has an impact on the environment because not only do you save the planet from your portion of bottled water but if you decide you don’t like your kleen kanteen then you can recycle it.
Overall, this website its self is very effective. It is simple to use and conveys all of the features and options well. There are tons of choices so that each person can customize their own kanteen with all of the attributes they want and none that they don’t. I have personally seen them almost more than I see nalgene bottles. It is a great and well designed website.
“Fast Food,” by Mike Rdsenwald is an entertaining and mind blowing article. It is aimed at everyday people. The title tricks you into thinking that maybe it another McDonalds article or something when it fact, its about eco friendly, biodegradable formula one racecars! It is effective because the title catches you and the article keeps you reading. Its almost so unbelievable that you have to finish reading. The implications are that we may be moving into an age where you can you your garden to build a car (at least most of a car anyway). I have to wonder what this could potentially do to the cost of food. Its like the demand for corn when ethanol was new. Corn was not only used for food but for fuel as well and this drove up the price of corn because it was being torn so many ways. What should we expect for the price of carrots and vegetable oil? I would like to next research the viability of using vegetables and nut shells as car parts. How cost effective is this process and is it a good economic tradeoff? What are the opportunity costs that go along with this and could the funds be better spent on a more efficient process?
“Oil exploration can be a boon to Alaskans and environment,” by Don Young is geared toward the general audience. Its main goal is to convince readers that drilling for oil in ANWR is a good idea. It bathes everything in rose colored light without mentioning the problems that could arise. The article is effective by outlining what is area is going to be drilled, what drilling means for wildlife populations and what the money from the drilling will do for some of the small villages around ANWR. He offers up heating in schools, indoor plumbing and clean water as incentives for drilling. The implications for the environment are that only a tiny amount of ANWR will be drilled and wildlife will coexist without problems. No counterarguments were mentioned but drilling will have an impact on the surrounding environment. Wildlife will be displaced. I would research next the economics of drilling in ANWR. I would like to know who will fund the project, how long will the whole process take, where will the money go, whether jobs will be provided for locals, how will it get back to these villages and how much the whole process of extraction and refinement will cost. I would also like to know how wildlife is going to be effected.
Captain Charles Moore discovered a patch of garbage in the ocean in 1997. While it is not nearly so thick as to be a large island or a landfill in the middle of he ocean, the density of garbage in this area is at least enough to note that at least one piece of garbage floating by.
Plastics enter the ocean through the land-based industries, which are all over the world from Los Angeles to Japan. It is a global problem. This garbage is not only an eyesore, but it is a danger to marine life. Since plastic comes in every shape and size, causing marine animals to mistake it for real food. Which they either choke on, or fill up on and become full, even though they haven’t eaten anything of value.
However, the pollution isn’t limited to plastics. There are plenty of chemical pollutants, including petroleum, that marine life ingest. These toxins can accumulate in a marine animal’s body, and if it is an animal that we fish, this could mean that we are also eating our own pollution.
The only real solution to this problem, and it is not an easy one, is to consider a product’s true value and reusability, not it’s hidden-cost to the environment. Converting industries from polluting to non-polluting will not happen overnight. But, it is important to remember that the current situation didn’t come about overnight, either. Wih some time and planning, real change can happen.
The findings presented in the article Eating Mercury were shocking. The author Alexandra Gross states that mercury has been found in food and beverages containing high fructose corn syrup. The IATP tested several products and found them to contain mercury.
This article is to sheds light on the presence of mercury in food products with high fructose corn syrup. The audience is the general public, specifically the American public. The article is not effective in that it does not go into detail on how the mercury becomes present in the corn syrup, but the aritcle does a fantastic job at scaring the audience into believing that their health is in danger. The only implication for the environment concerns the human body and how the mercury levels present in the corn syrup have a negative health effect. The information presented in the article is based on the findings of one particular study and not on a large FDA investigation. Certain food product companies that were negatively targeted due to the results of this study, reacted by stating that perhaps the study’s findings were incomplete or did not accurately represent the true data. To pursue this issue further would need a further dive into the actual study that the article is based on. I would like to know how the mercury came to by present in the corn syrup and why the FDA isn’t doing anything to change it?
Who Wants My Biofuel? is an article by Rebecca Buckman about the lack of market for biodiesel in todays market, even in light of the government subsidies and massive support for the industry. The audience for this article are everyday people interested in biofuels and the market for them.
As a product made from plant based oils, it has not had the impact that it was proposed to have. The main point of the article is to show how biodiesel was popularized by governments all over, and the amount of money put into infrastructure supporting biodiesel production.
The article also goes into great detail about how the market fell apart for biodiesel and some of the shortsightedness in the planning stages of production of the product in general. Environmental implications for the production and use of biodiesel are pretty vague. On one hand, it has been argued that if we use vegetable oils for all of our fuel, we would greatly increase the amount of land we’d need to farm in order to supply it. On the other hand, biodiesel has had varying results as far as cleaner burning fuel is concerned.
While it might seem like a great, green, environmentally conscious choice, biodiesel may not be all its cracked up to be. Counterarguments to this article are things like finding ways to use scrap or recycled plant based oils to convert to fuel, how effective that could be along with the use of biofuels on a local level from local plant sources and how that could help out some of the cost effectiveness.
Pursuing further reading on biofuels could be done by looking further into the conversion process from plant oil to biofuel, along with some of the financial figures that make up the arguments in this article. Why does vegetable oil cost $2.60 per gallon and why are we importing palm oil from Asia for a product that touts itself as a domestic energy source?
Peter McLean, a biology teacher, makes some excellent points with regards to planning for the future of our race and the environment in his article “The Need for Sustainability.” Until caring for the environment and understanding how our actions and choices on the individual and local level will affect it become ingrained in our culture, anthropogenic impact on the environment will only get worse.
McLean’s article would have been perfect, if only he left the global warming dreck out of it. Rather than bemoaning the problems the human race faces in its self destructive tendencies, McLean offers solutions to members of his own community, biology teachers. He outlines ways they could make a difference by conserving resources and making an effort to recycle at community events. He suggests that teachers attempt to instill a feeling of environmental responsibility in their students, presumably by encouraging an understanding of ecological balance and the effects of irresponsible actions.
I am concerned with McLean’s acceptance of anthropogenic global warming only because it will impact the teaching methods of his fellow biology teachers if they take his words to heart. It’s funny how global warming became global cooling last year, and climate change this year, when “the effects on human and natural communities are already being felt.” It sounds more like nobody knows what is going on to me, if the phenomenon can’t even be accurately labeled. Focusing on the doomsday scenario of global warming (because arctic ice fifty degrees below freezing is magically going to melt if it is forty-eight degrees below freezing…) will only detract from real issues that could be addressed instead, such as the throwaway culture we’ve come to in America.