Archive for Global

Water Woes

With the recent floods in the United States, we can see that water prices, water shortages, and disaster flooding are problems being dealt with all around the international community. Currently countries like Bolivia, have failing water pipes and the water sector is being privatized which is driving prices for water. It is suggested that the United Nations pay for the upgrade of the water system. They are an international organization that specializes in helping countries that are in need. Multiple countries are a part of the U.N and they are mostly all developed countries. They have the obligation to chip in pay help out a country in need. The water pipes should all be fixed and even privatized like in United States. Because there is a shortage of water, first fixing pipes and allowing the Bolivian government to deal with it will allow for it to be a prosperous industry in the future. A shortage of water in Saudi Arabia will cause water wars in the Middle East that will spillover into the oil industry. This will affect investors and drive up oil costs as well as create conflict in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is a corner stone country that is integral to the international community. A shortage of water will affect the economy of the country because it is so heavily reliant on oil and with water wars, the country will eventually crumble. Humans don’t prepare for floods with urbanization because the soil from land is capable of absorbing the water, but building the streets will prevent that from happening. To reduce these effects, we can reduce urbanization, improve sewage/drainage systems, and prepare for flooding disasters.

-Nicholas Chan

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BioChar: The New Approach to Carbon Sequestration.

Coal, a fossil fuel, emits foul and harmful gasses into our atmosphere, and with a lack of political support for clean coal, a new alternative is here, biochar. Biochar is a newfound way of trapping carbon with so called “green coal”. Biomass waste we would never think of using, such as peanut shells actually release carbon when it decomposes. However, by burning the remains in a process known as pyrolysis, what’s left over is biochar or green coal. South American societies began this process and dug back this green coal in the ground in order to lock in carbon instead of allowing it to widen the hole in the ozone layer. If this process is applied efficiently and effectively, scientists agree that billion of tons of carbons could be sequestered in soil instead of being released into our atmosphere. Carbon sequestration can be an effective approach to runaway global warming. This new green coal is proved to be more effective than nature’s natural approach to the problem. While trees or plants lock in the carbon for only 15-20 years, biochar could possibly lock in carbon for possibly 100 years. Along with its obvious benefits, the nutrients brought back into the soil could also spur the industrial agriculture sector, signifying a thumbs up from not only farmers, but those attempting to combat climatecharcoal_d change.

-Nicholas Chan

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Aluminum is Greener than Plastic: The Evolution of the Water Bottle

When is the last time that you drank from a water bottle? When is the last time that you recycled a water bottle?

In today’s society, efficiency and cost-effectiveness has taken precedence over environmental concerns: a person would rather throw a plastic bottle into the trash than walk an extra ten feet to the nearest recycling bin.

According to a National Geographic Kids article on Feb. 14, 2008, approx. “for every six water bottles we use, only one makes it to the recycling bin. The rest are sent to landfills. Or, even worse, they end up as trash on the land and in rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Plastic bottles take many hundreds of years to disintegrate.”

So where is the disconnect? Why are people choosing to deliberately pollute the environment when they could simply recycle their bottles?

Because it is not convenient.

GreenBottle™, an aluminum water bottle corporation, is working to make environmentally-friendly acts coincide with “conveniency.” On their website, they provide excellent information on the importance of the green movement, and allow schools to raise funds for their programs through selling these environmentally-friendly bottles. Varying in shape, size, design, and even species (for humans and dogs!), these bottles are an perfect way to recycle, while having a mobile container of the drink you like.

– Cameron Clark

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When you were a child, you most likely heard your parents talk to you alot about cleaning up after yourself when you eat, play, or do anything that may be messy. Alot of officials haven’t been listening to their parents. In the age of rapid modernization and “Empire”, the aim of most countries is to gain hegemony or global influence through economical means. They choose to go about their goals by building more to strengthen their economies, but they find it unnecessary to analyze their methods and the effects of them. This is exact problem that Dubai finds itself in at the moment. While their skyline is one of the most beautiful of the middle eastern area, the ground is a whole different story. The challenge of water is evolving to much more than just a problem: due to the recent growth much of their water has been tainted by waste and unfortunately the water treatments plants in the area don’t have the energy to clean all of it up. To respond to this problem, Dubai has decided to increase its erudition in nuclear energy. This venture seeks to solve the problem of desalination, and the lack of energy for the new buildings. It’s necessary to clean up after yourself, and, in fact, plan out clean up before you begin your endeavor.

-Jesse Anyalebechi

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Clean Up After Yourself

When you were a child, you most likely heard your parents talk to you alot about cleaning up after yourself when you eat, play, or do anything that may be messy. Alot of officials haven’t been listening to their parents. In the age of rapid modernization and “Empire”, the aim of most countries is to gain hegemony or global influence through economical means. They choose to go about their goals by building more to strengthen their economies, but they find it unnecessary to analyze their methods and the effects of them. This is exact problem that Dubai finds itself in at the moment. While their skyline is one of the most beautiful of the middle eastern area, the ground is a whole different story. The challenge of water is evolving to much more than just a problem: due to the recent growth much of their water has been tainted by waste and unfortunately the water treatments plants in the area don’t have the energy to clean all of it up. To respond to this problem, Dubai has decided to increase its erudition in nuclear energy. This venture seeks to solve the problem of desalination, and the lack of energy for the new buildings. It’s necessary to clean up after yourself, and, in fact, plan out clean up before you begin your endeavor.

Jesse Anyalebechi

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Hot, Helpless, and Soon To Be Homeless

polar-bear-sadAs discussed in earlier blogs, we see that natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, and unpredictable changes in weather are just some of the terrible byproducts of global warming. These events alone have much of the public shaking in terror, but if you think that only humans  are seeing the worst of it, you are wrong.

Our carelessness also impact many animals that are not to blame, but suffer none the less. Thanks to our pollution efforts polar bears are sitting on thin ice…literally. Last year the government officially decided to put polar bears on the list of endangered species, and pictures of polar bears floating around on chunks of ice have become almost iconic. Some of these pictures even illustrate cubs being separated from their mothers. Of the existing 25,000 polar bears in the Arctic scientist expect a 30% decline in population due to environmental issues. If ever you get too lazy to walk over to a recycling bin, just look at one these pictures, and remember that you can give them one of their “bear” necessities…a home.

-Christine Umeh

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Trick or Trees

Many of us know that trees are beneficial, but a large percentage of those do not understand why. We constantly cut down forests and plants around us in order to satisfy our own need, yet we do not know that when we wipe out these trees, slowly it will begin to hurt us.

When we trash the land around us, it will continue to be there unless we get rid of it. This can be applied to the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Trees not only serve as the beauty that nature exhibits, but it also filters our air. When we breathe out carbon dioxide, trees intake it and release out oxygen. If this is true, why would we allow deforestation to happen? Our population is growing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we should go on an environmental rampage just so that we can have large houses and big backyards. Not only should we stop killing mass amount of trees, but we should grow more. For the immense amount of carbon dioxide we emit, it wouldn’t hurt to reduce the CO2 in the air to mitigate temperature change and to reduce the unhealthy substances in the air that we breathe.

~Christine Umeh

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