Archive for Global Warming

From Brownfields to Greenfields.

P1010195Brownfields are abandoned once industrialized locations that suffer from pollution and deserted heavy factory industries. Unfortunately, as hazardous as these locations might sound, the poor make up a large population in these dreadful lands.

A newly proposed green movement actually advocates a full sweep of a green revolution into these neighborhoods. With the combination of reducing poverty and protecting the environment, a switch to a greener life-style can actually be what those in poverty need. With greener jobs and a switch to new forms of alternative energy, these brownfield dumps can be the starting point for the domestic transition to a greener world.

Not only is equality and the economic status change to a richer community, but the abandoned locations can make as great wind farms, solar power sites, nuclear power plants that give the poor jobs and incorporate them into the policy making process that opts for the green movement. Is it a coincidence that both “eco” show up in both economy and ecosystem? The two are both dependent on each other and luckily, we’ve found our starting point in the revolution.

-Nicholas Chan

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Rock On, World.

 Tina Fey, a member of Saturday Night Live’s cast, was not shy when dressing up as once Vice President Candidate, Sarah Palin. In the humorous comedy sketch, she noted that global warming is just God hugging us a big closer to the sun. Instead of these illogical solutions to a much bigger problem, recent studies have indicated that there’s a new rock found near Oman that is capable of soaking up large amounts of carbon dioxide. Peridotite, has the ability to react with C02 and reduce global warming. Though lacking funding, the rock has the potential to be transported to factory plants, grounded into small pieces, and then combined with smokestack gases to collect emissions. Geologist Peter Keleman and geochemist Matter made the discovery in an Oman desert. Their discovery found that peridotite naturally absorbs anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. New discoveries have found that the rock might also be found new New Guinea, Greece, and the former Yugoslavia. Luckily for the United States, some studies have found the resource new California. When the rock is exposed to high amounts of carbon dioxide it has the ability to convert it into other minerals like limestone or marble. Unfortunately, the funds to research further into peroditite and other rocks are quickly diminishing. Further research and development could potentially answer our prayers when it comes to the issue of global warming and greenhouse carbon dioxide. 

-Nicholas Chan

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Now, Switch!

grasssssFrom fossil fuels to corn ethanol, Americans need to switch over to brighter and greener forms of energy. Switchgrass, a fast growing plant is looking quite promising, but is overlooked among citizens. The Department of Energy truly believes that biofuels are the keystone transition from dependence to independence. The native crop can easily reduce reliance on foreign oil, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen the agricultural sector. The major problem with corn ethanol is the price fluctuation and the fast paced transition instead of a gradual switch over.  Switchgrass, however provides many benefits such as the cost competitiveness, the push in biodiversity, and the lack of a need for pesticides. It is one of the fastest growing crops that can be processed into a biofuel, but with corn ethanol and oil overshadowing the true potential of the grass, switchgrass is still stuck in the research and development phase. It is also empirically proven that switchgrass actuall adds organic nutrients to the soil ensuring a long lasting harvest. With its strong roots, the cash crop can last through the winter and prevent soil erosion. The air produced from the plant reduces carbon dioxide and it slows the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Naturally, since we don’t eat grass, price spikes won’t occur as with corn ethanol. Only with determination and public knowledge can society bring this promising grass to the forefront, so American, now, switch!

-Nicholas Chan

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In A Nutshell

All of us each peanuts or sum sort of peanut product (actually all of us who aren’t allergic). One thing that we may not have know is that peanut shells release carbon as they decompose. But one thing that you could do to deter from emitting carbon into the atmosphere is to create biochar. Biochar is basically “green coal”. This sort of charcoal is created form the any form of biomass waste that is burned, in a kiln AKA  industrial oven, with an airless burning technique also known as pyrolysis. Then you take the coal and dig it into the ground that way the carbon is locked into the soil. By doing this you could anchor soil nutrients extremely well at a time when the planet’s soils have lost half of their carbon thanks to industrialized agriculture. In May 2009, the Biochar Fund received a grant from the Congo Basin Forest Fund to implement its concept in Central Africa. The Observer gives it a light bulb rating of 5 out of 5 which translated basically means this will mostly be one thing that steps in a will most likely save the planet and possibly humanity. One thing that should be noted though is that biochar is not limited to just peanut shells, but can be used for any type of biomass.

– Funmilayo Amubieya

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Financial Drains, Environmental Gains

If developed countries implement adaptation strategies now, how will we reduce the financial costs of climate change down the line?

Every single one of us share mother Earth, but those that are economically advantaged barely give back. Developed countries working under the Organization of Economic Cooperation (OECD) consist of 30 democratic governments all over the world ranging from Australia to United States; have been making long strides and efforts in attempts to adapt to climate change. From financial aid to material based aid, developed countries have made attempts to slow climate change and its effects, but more needs to be done. If more developed countries contribute then adaptation strategies can be implemented faster, which will inevitable slow the effects of climate change.

Now once more developed countries meet their obligations seeing as how they’re one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions, then the financial costs will be reduced. Not directly reduced, but we can see how drought in Ethiopia, flooding in Bangladesh, more frequent storms in Philippines, sea levels rising in Maldives, and food shortages in Malawi are all prime examples of the drastic effects of global warming. The amount of damage done and the financial drain on, most commonly, those undeveloped countries paves a path for developed countries to take charge not only to rebuild nations around the world that need assistance, but attack the root cause of the problem by adapting to climate change. If policies are enacted to adapt to climate change and are continuously successful, then we’ll see how those financial costs will radically reduce while environmental gains will become more and more apparent in society. Although we can’t sew up the hole in the ozone layer, we can at least patch things up to prevent further devastation. No action is too small or insignificant as long as it contributes to the overall picture of adapting to environmental problems. Not only will undeveloped countries get back on their feet with the help of developed countries because they’re not incessantly spending funds from environmental disaster damage. This allows even undeveloped countries to build up their economies, create global partnerships with other leaders around the world, and make global efforts in attempts to acknowledge our past mistakes towards our treatment of mother Earth and finally take a step in the right direction.

-Nicholas Chan

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The Tide is High…

hyturbineThe tides are rising and so is the demand for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. OTEC is a new alternative energy source that generates electricity from water as a heat engine. The temperature difference from our oceans actually creates efficient energy. Currently, the problem with OTEC is that it doesn’t generate a lot of energy, so it’s up to Congress to determine if the costs outweigh the benefits, but changes in heat exchange show promise. 70% of the Earth is currently covered with water and the sun is heating the waters to generated electricity. With a combination of solar energy and hydropower a new alternative energy source and actually dominate the wind energy markets. Recent attempts at implementing OTEC failed because of costs and low efficiency rates, but if thermal efficiency were to increase in magnitude, electrical sources might be changed altogether. In a cost-benefit analysis, the sum of money Congress has to put out may gut the economy, but the overall benefits from saving our natural resources will greatly outweigh.

-Nicholas Chan

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Searching for the Rainforest

Out of all the green search engines shown so far, Ecosia is most definitely one of the most green-intensive and useful. While EcochoGreenmaven, and Greenseek are both heavily specialized and good in their own rights, they do not plant quite as much or contribute as much as Ecosia does. Thank you to the blogger who made the comment that brought this to my attention!

Ecosia’s purpose is to help save the rainforest from deforestation that hits it. In order to do it, every search manages to save 2.4 square yards of rainforest land. That means that after just 10 searches, a land area about the size of a living room! 80% of its advertising revenue goes towards the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) program, which helps to support this measures. Tack that on with the green servers that it uses, and the large FAQ’s and detailed explanations on how all this is possible, and you’ve got a reliable search engine that any green enthusiast should use.

What makes it even better is that both Yahoo and Bing are powering it, meaning that if you regularly use these engines, you will be able to do so in a way that will do more then simply get you some information that you want!

So if you haven’t been convinced to use an engine more useful then the previous contenders, then this is something you should seriously consider! Nothing better then getting the same results and helping the world at the same time.

~Jay Meza

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