water in your area? ("Your perspective on water differs whether you live near the Great Lakes, in the arid west, or by the coast."(McCarthy, 2009)
Outline a brief water conservation plan for your own daily use. How will these changes affect your personal life? What impact will it have on your local water supply?
There is plentiful water in my region (I live in the Great Lakes region). Nonetheless, a brief water conservation plan is the following:
To use water for just its needs and to ensure that tap water is not left running in between those needs.
To double used bathwater as water that can be used for washing the floor.
To, as much as possible, use rainwater for gardening
In order to supply water to humans certain technologies must be utilized.
Desalination is one of the methods that are used for promoting pure water supply. It literally means separating slat form water and thereby increasing the water supply that way, but it is a controversial solution since, although it works, it is also costly.
Australia's Sydney was recently torn over desalination plans. They planned to build a desalination plant that would extract a reasonable amount of seawater from his water, pump the rest back to sea, whilst the purified water would be pumped into houses, businesses and so forth.
One of the advantages of desalination is that it can act as backup if dam levels are low, or if there is a drought.
The disadvantage, however, is that construction of this plant is costly and can consume too much energy such as heat and electricity. It also consumes too much oxygen levels and results in an increase of the density of waste water. None of this is good for the environment.
Further detrimental for the environment is the fact that there will be an increase in production of greenhouse gas emissions.
These are the advantages and disadvantages of desalination, and it is for these reasons that Sydney was torn over the idea. (H20. Not worth one's salt.)
global climate change.
Part I. Questions:
Do you agree with President Obama's proposed commitments during the Copenhagen Climate Conference?
Obama called the conference a 'meaningful agreement', but it seems as though Obama's trip to the Copenhagen Climate Conference was a farce. He proposed that the world regulate their temperature rises to no more than 2C and that the UN assist developing nations in economically helping poor countries fight global warming.
On the one hand, the UN talks were symbolically important showing the need for global change. On the other hand, the talks were unrealistic and even counterproductive since media focus (e.g. Groves, 2009 ) was turned on Greenpeace activists who were turned away and the event was contrived to block out protestors.
Rather than focus on the lack of a binding UN treaty, the administration would do better to focus on the real problem which is the concentration of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere.
As reality, the world's two top greenhouse gas emitters -- China and the United States -- are reluctant to make drops in greenhouse emissions due to economic reasons rather than lack of concern for the climate. No UN treaty will change this. The best way to change this, in fact, is through developing cheap new energy technology rather than through a UN treaty.
Another more practical strategy would have been to promote existing low-carbon technologies, such as nuclear power and creating greater incentives for creating and globally disseminating new energy technologies. The UN could have massed to discuss more practical aspects such as cooperating in international research and development investment fund that would share intellectual property rights as well as creating policies that would guide and structure these endeavors. Domestic policies for limiting emissions that would differ from country to country would have been another reasonable issue.
In short, the climate conference -- and Obama's talks in it -- was symbolic, but practical and realistic measures are needed (U.S. News, 2009)
Farmers, animal breeders, and scientists have been making genetic selections for desirable characteristics in farm plants and animals for centuries using traditional breeding methods. Genetic engineering has the potential to accomplish this in a fraction of the time. However, the production of genetically modified plants and farm animals using the new techniques in molecular biology is controversial. Furthermore, the development of genetic engineering technology opens possibility of cloning human body parts or even individuals.
What is your opinion on creating, growing, and consuming genetically modified plants (GMOs)?
Proponents of GMOs see these as the benefits:
-GM crops can be made resistant to viruses, fungi and bacterial growth.
-GM crops can be engineered to grow faster.
-GM crops can be engineered to be naturally pest-resistant, undermining the need for pesticide chemicals.
-GM crops can be engineered to tolerate extreme weather conditions, such as cold fronts or droughts, allowing for a geographically diverse range of growth sites.
-GM crops can be engineered with added vitamins and minerals, which is especially beneficial in third world countries dealing with malnutrition.
On the other hand, critics are worried about the following:
The possible long-term environmental effects of GM crops
The possible health risks to humans
Cross breeding may create new food allergens
This may be a downward loop to genetically modifying animals too simply for consumption
These are valid concerns, particularly the concern on health (The possible health risks to humans). This is especially so given the comparative short amount of time that GM has been on the market and the FDA itself cannot guarantee the safety of GM food:
"FDA recognizes the desirability of establishing consensus within the industry, the scientific community, and the public on the agency's scientific assessment approach to food safety presented in this guidance section"
For this reason, caution should be taken and acceptance of GMO should proceed slowly. (Forbes.com (11/03/2012)
Can genetic technology offer a solution to world food shortages (an environmental problem)?
Whilst Bill Gates believes that it can produce new valuable crops, scientists such as Peter Rosset, director of Institute for Food and Development Policy in California, and organizations such as the FAO (FAO report reveals GM crops not needed to feed the world), believe, for different reasons that this is a myth. The FAO believes that this is a myth due to the complications of genetic technology and the 'iffiness' of the technology that make such hopes unrealistic.
Rossett, on the other hand, believes that this is a myth since the real problem with world food shortages is not food but poverty. These starving countries have an excess of food growing on their soil. The real problem is destruction of the wealth, and hunger can only be eliminated when purchasing power is widely dispersed. Poverty makes the rural poor become increasingly pushed form the land and, therefore, they are less able to demand the available food. The available food is, thereof, disproportionally allocated. Most developing countries see wastage of food or booming of exports whilst their own people have starved. New methods of genetic engineering of foods will not reduce world starvation (It is a myth that world hunger is due to scarcity of food)
Choose a success story related to the environment utilizing at least one reference source. Background to the success story
Summary of the success
Application of the success to other environmental issues or problems
The Clean Water Act of the 1970s made more of the nation's rivers and lake waters clean so that one can swim in them, drink form them, and fish in them. Salmon, for instance, have returned to the Penobscot River in New England; there was none in that River in the 1970's. The Lake Erie beaches, too, are open for swimming again and the lake has once again attracted all types of fish, including walleye that had deserted it. The fish population too has expanded. Furthermore -- due to hat Act - the Willamette River in Oregon, that was once called a "biological cesspool" (in 1967), thrives with migratory salmon and native trout.
The greatest achievements of the Act are the introducing of international, clean drinking water and treated wastewater leading to dramatic increase in and enhanced quality of longevity and quality of life.
The next task -- and one that activists and government is working on -- is focus on protecting watershed, water systems and aquifers, and chemicals and pathogens in the water supply. (Greenopolis.)
F#3 Constitution Day
Part I: Questions
The preamble of the U.S. Constitution directs the Federal Government to "promote the general welfare"...."secure the blessings of liberty" ..and protect "ourselves and our posterity." When thinking about our obligation to protect the environment, can a case be made that we are constitutionally bound to do so based on the quotes I gave you? What do you think? If so, how does that play into our responsibility to conserve and lessen our ecological footprint? If not, why not?