Posted on January 30, 2011 by spbond
“Electric Bugaboo” by Tim Dickinson presents the fight over renewable energy development, and attempts to convince the reader that large-scale renewable energy projects are not something that we should be resisting. Although both sides have good points, I personally agree with the author because the corporations involved are environmentally conscious, are willing to work with the environmentalist organizations, and because we need to reduce our oil dependency.
On the one side, environmentalists are fighting the development of large projects. These environmentalists believe that the projects will disturb migratory routes, encroach on habitats, or disturb traditional lands.
On the other side, proponents believe that these projects are a good thing. They argue that without them, we will never reduce our dependency on oil products by an appreciable amount. The author also points out that the CEO’s behind these projects are trying to preserve the environment, and are willing to work with the environmentalist organizations to accomplish that.
According to the author some of the CEO’s behind the projects have environmentally friendly mindsets. They are looking for solutions to our current environmental conditions. They believe that they can reduce our dependency on oil without a significant environmental impact.
He also points out the fact that the corporations are frequently working with some of the environmentalist organizations to minimize their impact.
Finally, the author maintains that the projects are a good thing, because the threat of global warming is much greater than the environmental impact that these projects would have.
The author seems to be very knowledgeable on the subject matter and presents a well thought argument with plenty of supporting information.
Filed under: Energy, Reading Response, Spring 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 30, 2011 by spbond
Although the Sundance Channel’s series “Big Ideas for a Small Planet” aims to educate the public on environmental efforts, they are not as effective as they could be, because they don’t cover a broad enough scope, and they spent very little time on potential problems.
This is a neat little series on the Sundance Channel which aims to educate the public on environmental efforts. It seems to me that they did not effectively cover the scope of their topics. I realize that they have a limited episode length, but if their intent was to educate the public, then perhaps they would have been better served by covering more aspects of a topic in less depth. In the fuel episode as an example, they only covered fry oil and biofuels. They covered them in great detail, but someone coming away from this episode may think that those are the only options. They could also have covered the efforts to produce 200 and 300 mpg vehicles, hydrogen powered vehicles, and the advances in electric vehicles. There may be others I don’t know about. People can always find more information if they don’t feel like it was covered in great enough depth, but they need to know what to look for.
Also, aside from a brief comment on how minor of an impact alternative fuels have, they did not really cover the problems which may be encountered in the episodes I watched. Some things are impractical to implement in most cases, such as geothermal heating, because there may not be access to the necessary resources. There may be shortages in the sources of alternative energy, costs may be prohibitive, and it may ultimately have a relatively tiny impact on a global scale. Also, no one ever talks about the effect that these green technologies themselves may have on the environment by altering the natural state of things like water and wind currents.
Filed under: Conservation, Energy, Fall 2010, Reading Response, Sustainability, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 30, 2011 by tckohlhorst
According to Kathy Freston the author of the article “Vegetarian is the New Prius,” chickens, or livestock in general, produce a far greater impact on the environment than automobiles. Freston stated that this information comes from a United Nations report on livestock, and suggests that livestock is a leading cause for many environmental problems including global warming. Freston also believes that going vegetarian will solve many of these problems.
Though I agree that Americans are in need of a diet change due to obesity and overconsumption, switching to an all vegetarian diet will not fix the problem, it will only change it. For instance, according to Freston, one benefit to going vegetarian is that there would be less demand for animal agriculture. However, I feel that this benefit would be quickly offset by the increased demand for agriculture needed to be produced for human consumption. Additionally, Freston stated that there would be less animal waste, which would reduce the methane in the environment. I do agree that we have too much fertilizer due to the overproduction of animals causing many environmental problems. However this is where the problem doesn’t get fixed with such an extreme measure as eliminating meat from the American diet; the increased demand for crops would yield a great strain on the soil, so much so that additional fertilizer would be needed to yield the most crops per acre of land. Additionally, like meat our vegetables would begin to lose some health benefits, to make way for faster growing genetically modified strains. These less healthy strains would be needed as the healthier organic crops would not be able to supply the increased demand.
Ultimately, there is no one thing causing all of our problems in the environment as everything is interconnected. Therefore there is no one solution that will fix everything either. I believe that working towards finding a sustainable balance in general, instead of going to extremes, will yield the greatest benefit in the end.
Filed under: Climate change, Food, Reading Response, Spring 2011, Sustainability | Tagged: Environmet, Reading Response, Spring 2011, Sustainability | Leave a Comment »