Monday, October 31, 2011

Climate Change Because of Global Warming

Khadija Al Mousa

Climate Change Because of Global Warming
Does Global Warming affect us as a group or as individual? Can people help decrease this problem? Global worming happens when the average temperature of the earth is high, and it gets high disasters can happen on many occasions. Moreover, high temperature will change the climate temperature in general. The global warming affect us as an individual before it affect us as a group based on the rights perspective.
What is the right perspective? As Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J, and Michael J. Meyer said about the Ethical Perspectives, they described the rights perspective as: “Identifies certain fundamental civil, political and economic rights that merit protection or respect because they pertain to the dignity of the human person. Each person has a fundamental right to be respected and treated as a free and equal rational person capable of making his or her own decisions. Examples of rights that are traditionally recognized in this approach include: the right to privacy, autonomy, the right to subsistence, freedom of conscience, the right to physical integrity, etc. The principle states: Act in ways that respect the dignity of other persons by honoring or protecting their legitimate moral rights.” Therefore, how can people stand for their rights? Well, by encouraging each other to save the planet. For example, decreasing the usage of cars, if the usage got low, then the temperature will get low, too.  
   Climate changing is caused by global warming which is becoming a big issue nowadays; because the earth is warming up. Anup Shah mentioned in her article “Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction” that not only people activities can cause the heat but also the environment cycle is another reason. In other words, our environment can be one of the reasons that can cause climate changing beside humans activities. For example, building greenhouses can be one of the reasons to cause that. We might do not see it as an effect to the environment; because trees take CO2 to breath and give us O2 which will clear the air. However, the main gas that comes out of the greenhouses is CO2. So again, the tress takes CO2 but when the wood dies, it will be returned back to the air. In those kind of situations, comes the “Ethical Dilemma” where you have two important things that you value a lot and you have to choose one of them. So you have either to save the environment or save other humans. In other words, what do you value more? Human rights or saving the environment? Personally, each person has to choose either save her/his life and the rest of people or choose to suffer and other people will suffer and probably die, too because I value human rights more. And what makes it important is each one of us should think as if s/he was responsible for the rest. And saving the world is in her/his hands and to make the right choose to save us all and make sure other generations have a better life to live. On the other hand, if nobody cared about this issue, each human being on earth will suffer at first from the heat and die eventually. Everyone in the world is responsible and involved to solve this problem. We all can decrease climate changing by using other sources for energy like the wind energy and local power provider.
Maurizio Petrone and SEO Specialist provide us with 5o ways to stop climate changing: “Use less hot water, take a shower instead of a bath, recycle your organic waste, cover your pots while cooking, use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full, reuse your shopping bag, keep your car tuned up, and try car sharing, etc.” In other words, if everyone did those ways we can all easily stop the climate changing or at least decrease it a little bit.
One of my friends when we brought up this subject she totally refused to help. She said: “It is the government and the people who care about the environment responsibility to solve the problem, I should live my life the way I want and they should find a way to protect me and make sure I live a safe life because it is not my fault.” She said that because she is looking at it for her personal perspective which is fairness. She also said that: “it is not fair for all of us because some people will kill them selves to safe the plant and make effort, who is defiantly not me, where the others will be damaging it more and more. So it is not fair to make people do the work while others do not care, we should all work together or I won’t do the work alone”. Personally, I disagree with her because it is our environment and our planet. There are people who is living with us we are not alone and we should think, act, and be like if we were one person. I do not think it is the government or people who should take care of the environment because if you think about it there is a few of them comparing to the rest of people. I always keep in mind a quote my mother always say to me which is: “ one hand do not clap” which means you can not do anything by your self you need other people to help you, get the work done, and survive. But what I really think it means is that one hand is me and the other hand is a person or a group who is helping me and when we work together and achieve something that is the sound I get when I clap my hands together but if I worked a lone and tried to clap with one hand I won’t hear a sound.
Decreasing the heat of the planet can be an easy problem if someone stood up and make it more obvious to others what exactly we are facing, what are the threats, what happen if we did this, what happen if we did not worked together, … etc. Each person should be responsible to save the earth, and this can happen by advising and telling them what to do and give them a clear and simple picture what it will look like if we all ignored climate changing.
In conclusion, climate changing is an issue that we might not be aware of. Keeping our life safe and make sure we get a better life; we first need to live in a safe environment. Therefore, if everybody tried to reduce the usage of cars, heated water, and used other energy sources which won’t hurt us. We all can be as a person and save our plant from global warming that causes climate changing. By focusing on what Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J, and Michael J. Meyer said in “Thinking Ethically: A Framework for Moral Decision Making”:The right not to be injured: We have the right not to be banned or injured unless we freely and knowingly do something to deserve punishment or we freely and knowingly choose to risk such injuries.” So, each human have the right not to be harmed only if we did something bad or wrong, but it is not right to get hurt because other people do not care about the environment and think it is the government or people who take care of the environment duty. We all value things which is different from others so let’s respect others values.
 
Reference
Anup Shah. (2009). Climate change and global warming. Retrieved April 5,2009, http://www.globalissues.org/issue/178/climate-change-and-global-warming
The effects of global. (1996). Retrieved April 7, 2009, http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/1848/global.html
Maurizio Petrone, SEO Specialist. (2009). Top 50 things to do to stop global warming. Retrieved April 7, 2009, http://globalwarming-facts.info/50-tips.html

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oregon's E-Waste Recycling Program


Since 2010, Oregon passed a law making it illegal to dispose of old computers in trash-cans and landfills. The Recycle Ban came into effect in January of 2010, stating that consumers must either reuse or recycle their old electronics. Fortunately, Oregon has a free E-cycling program that allows people to bring up to seven computers, monitors, and tv's. Starting in 2015, other items such as keyboards, mice, and printers will also  be required for recycling. To locate a nearby recycling site, call 1-888-5-ECYCLE (532-9253), or visit the Oregon E-Cycles website



Thursday, October 27, 2011

How does your local dairy farm affect the environment?


 by Natalia Sudol


 When one thinks of emissions, the mind of most quickly comes up with an image of a big SUV car or a huge truck. Not many think of dairy farms, which are responsible for 18% of the green house emissions.  Dairy farms emissions consist of making the products such as cheese or milk, but also taking care of the animals and their waste. [Cows produce 120 pounds of waste per cow per day. According to the article linked below.] Most farms are unaware of how much damage they are causing to the environment as whole or even to the towns surrounding them. One of the biggest dairy farms in the United States called Threemile Canyon Farms is located 160 miles away from Portland, OR.
The next question that one might have after learning about how dairy farms affect the environment is whether anything is being done about this issue. J-U-B Engineers Inc. of Boise took this issue seriously and designed a machine that is able to use some of the waste created by the animals and creation of dairy products and converting that into fuel for some of the machines used at the farms.  So far the experimental trials of this machine were conducted at the Threemile Canyon Farms and have proven to significantly lower the emissions.
The issue that has presented itself after the design was completed was who was going to pay to have these machines created for all the dairy farms in the United States. Some local dairy farms have taken action and have been collecting donations. Also some bigger corporations, such as NW Natural have asked their customers to contribute to this cause by increasing their utility bill by 6$.
What one can hope is that in the nearest future, the biodigester machine trials will be completed and the machine will become available to all dairy farms in an effort to reduce the emissions created by these farms. As this issue becomes more popular in the media, more supporters of this new way of helping the environment will gain supporters and hopefully financial donations will start flowing in the direction of the smaller local farms which can not afford such expensive machinery at their farms. 

Here is a shortened version:
1. Dairy farms are responsible for a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Biggest dairy farm is in Oregon, meaning it produces more greenhouse gas emissions than smaller dairy farms.
3. Green house emissions affects everyone, whether one lives within a 10 mile radius or on the east coast.  
4. If we bring attention to this issue, more people will know about it and will be able to help out in any way possible to get these machines into dairy farms across the United States, thus lessening the green house emissions.
  
 


For more information about this issue check out these articles:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To Our Loyal Readers

As you may have noticed the blog has recently had a face lift. We would love to get your feedback by having you complete a 3 question survey. Thank you for your time.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Lunch, Landfills and What I Tossed

Global warming is a major problem in the world nowadays. Much of this is caused by man himself or herself. For some experts, it is due to our irresponsibility with the way we live. Other experts argue about trends in weather patterns and matters similar to this. The bottom line is that global warming is here and it must be dealt with effectively. Letting the problem of global warming continue only increases the risk of self annihilation. You see... when the temperatures get too warm on Earth, we will be unable to grow certain crops that we depend on. In addition, food, which is necessary for livestock, will also have difficulty growing because of the weather change and we will be without food. However, there are things that we can do to make a change. We need to look more at how we live day to day. More specifically, we need to look at what we throw away into dumps, which can contribute massively to global warming. Things from diapers to batteries can give off harmful gasses, which can propel global warming to phenomenal heights. In the article Lunch, Landfills and What I Tossed, we get an inside look at what actually gets tossed into a garbage dump. I personally believe that with large metropolitan areas like New York, the amount of waste generated is tremendous undoubtedly. Millions of pounds of garbage gets disposed every year and some of what gets thrown out is absolutely mind boggling. Sadly, New York is putting up little effort to enforce a recycling program. As maintained by the author of the article, Mireyya Navarro, "New York, meanwhile, is going backward: it now recycles about 15 percent of the waste collected by the Sanitation Department, which is primarily from residences, down from a peak of 23 percent in 2001. And while city officials have said they are reviewing so-called “pay as you throw” systems, there is no indication that the city might adopt one." This to me is really scary, because it shows a city that is reverting back to its old ways of caring less about the environment and more about what really shouldn't matter. It is crucial that major players like New York City adopt recycling programs, because they play a huge role in the effects of global warming. Imagine if all the cities in the world with at least a million people were doing this. It would clutter the world, pollute the waters, and ruin the lives of many people and animals. Speaking of polluting the waters, the amount contamination is unfathomable everyday, which enters our oceans and lakes. This is because cities like New York have relatively lax policies on environmental protection it seems. In fact as stated before, the rate of recycling and eliminating of waste in landfills and other sensitive areas is decreasing, which means more stuff is ending up in rivers and water ways. Only we can make a change and that change needs to come now. The article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/nyregion/on-recycling-nyc-goes-from-leader-to-laggard.html

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Portland Finishes "Big Pipe"




When it Rains it....

  In older neighborhoods in Portland, OR, a series of pipes have been serving the residents by collecting both sewage and storm-water. The problem is that these pipes are designed to overflow when they have reached capacity. When this happens, as it does about 100 times each year, a mixture of sewage and storm-water flow straight into the Willamette River. With the completion of the 22ft wide, 6 mile long underground "Big Pipe" designed to collect overflow for treatment, things are looking better for the Willamette River. The number of yearly overflows should now be reduced to 5 times each year. 

  Portland is not unique in their struggle with sewage and storm water. As cities like Portland seek the economic benefits of increased urbanization, the increase in population density will also increase storm-water. A combination of infrastructural improvements and storm-water conscious architecture are necessary to make these cities sustainable.

Image Source:
http://blog.oregonlive.com/portlandcityhall/2007/12/portland_lays_big_pipe.html

Online Sources:
http://www.governing.com/topics/energy-env/New-Strategies-Controlling-Stormwater-Overflows.html
http://www.portlandonline.com/cso/
http://www.katu.com/news/63491192.html
http://news.opb.org/article/big-pipe-tour/

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Portland Composts!


Starting October 31, 2011, residents of Portland, Oregon will experience a change in their trash and recycling services. After a test conducted in a few neighborhoods, the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is rolling out the new plan to all Portland residents. This plan involves increasing the frequency of pickups for green yard debris bins to once a week, in addition to allowing food composting to be included in the bins. Garbage service will decrease to every other week to reflect the anticipated reduction in garbage with this plan. Residents will also receive free kitchen composting pails for collecting food scraps to go in the green composting bins. During the pilot program, residents ended up generating 30 percent less garbage each month, so there are strong results behind this plan.

If you live outside of the Portland area, you should contact your local municipal agency in charge of waste removal and recycling services and encourage them to adopt a similar program. Find out what recycling and composting services may already be available. If you own your own home, consider composting in your own backyard!

For more information on the Portland Composts! program, visit this website.

To start your own composting at home, visit HowToCompost.org for helpful guides on getting started.

http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=47246

http://wweek.com/portland/blog-27693-curbside_composting_.html

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

State Government Provides Resources To Help You To Reduce Your Waste



Cal Recycle is California’s government ran website that provides it’s residents with information on how to reduce their waste streams. The website offers it’s visitors information on current studies, laws and regulations, information on grants and loans to aid in recycling and waste clean up, and much much more. The website is geared towards schools and business’ in the state as well as individuals looking to do their part in reducing waste, and recycling. California offers a great deal of government funded programs to further education and local action in it’s communities. The availability of this site and others like it is a fantastic resource for Californians and very helpful in promoting awareness to everyone about waste streams and how we can reduce our own.


Find more information at:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

From Waste Streams to Renewable Energy

A possible solution to the disposal of waste streams is recycling them into an energy source via a process known as plasma gasification. This process involves the waste being heated to extremely high temperatures and converted into an energy source such as ethanol or synthetic diesel fuel. A company called S4 Energy Solutions LLC, which is a business venture between Waste Management Inc. and InEnTec LLC, is currently in the process of getting approval to add plasma gasification facilities to the Columbia Ridge Landfill in Arlington, Oregon which is already run by Waste Management Inc. The benefits of the process are said to be the reduction of solid waste by a ratio of 100 to 1 and the resulting fuel could replace some of the demand for other fuel sources that emit greater amounts of air pollution. 

Plasma Gasification Plasma Gasification

Image Source:
http://www.tech-faq.com/plasma-gasification.html

Article Sources:
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2009/05/18/daily45.html
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/07/waste_management_and_inentec_p.html
http://www.xconomy.com/seattle/2011/07/29/inentec-raises-20m-for-growth-of-garbage-to-gas-tech/
http://waste360.com/news/waste-management-to-build-plasma-gasification-facility-20100304
http://www.deq.state.or.us/news/publicnotices/uploaded/110818_222_ColumbiaRidgePN.pdf
http://www.tech-faq.com/plasma-gasification.html

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Greenwashing: More Common Than Not

Green-wash (green’wash’, -wôsh’) – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

Since 2007, Terrachoice has published reports on the “sins of green-washing”. Most companies are guilty of using false or misleading marketing and communications to convince the consumer that they are trying to be environmentally friendly. Companies use tactics to make claims by using false labels, by not disclosing all information (hidden trade off), by failing to provide proof of claims made, by using vague terms or names, by making consumers choose the “lesser of two evils” and by telling un-truths about their products.

While Terrachoice provides resources and solutions for companies to help them improve their claims to of environmental compliance within their marketing, there are still only 4.5% of companies that don’t commit at least one of these “sins” in their advertising.

Consumers are highly encouraged to demand that the products that they purchase indeed stand up to the claims of being environmentally friendly, chemical free, made with a certain percent of recycled products or whatever the company may be claiming.  By insisting that companies are truthful and not use products that are not living up to their claims, more of them will work harder to comply with environmental requirements and the true definition of being “Green”. 




For more information on The Sins of Greenwashing go to:

"Local" Greenwashing


Almost everyone has heard about the benefits of buying and eating “local.” Popularity for this practice grows, and why not, when the term itself has increasingly been used in partnership with words like “sustainability,” and “healthy.” So, is eating local really that healthy? The answer could be yes, or no, depending on just how much research has been done by the consumer buying the local products. Consumers need to be aware that local food producers, regardless of their actual farming techniques, are trying to cash in on the increasing popularity of buying local as a way to become more healthful. Yes, buying local has benefits, but just because foods are grown in the local area, doesn’t guarantee that the foods are safer for people to eat. Farmers close to home can use harmful chemical just as easily as farmers far away. Consumers should be aware of this, and if concerned, take some active steps to find out about the produce practices of the farmers in their area. It’s great to buy local, but since anyone can use the term to market their products, if healthy is the goal, a person may want to try organic. In our marketplace the use of the word “local” cannot be regulated, but the word “organic” can. Choosing organic foods that are grown locally could reap the most rewards for us and our planet.  

For a deeper look at this issue check out the following link:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Being Washed in Green

Walking down the house cleaning aisle at the grocery store I am bombarded with the latest and greatest of chemical detergents to clean my home. Some contain bleach, some are citrus scented, and others are “natural” and “green”. There is even a special section for natural and “green” cleaners, a significantly more expensive section with aromatic lavender and eucalyptus scented dye free products. While purchasing “green” items may be appealing to one’s environmental conscious, it is difficult to discern how green all of these expensive items really are. It may be surprising to some, but most of these items are displaying a tactic known as Greenwashing-a marketing technique that makes products appear greener than they actually are. With “going green” being the trend of the times, many big businesses (from those producing cleaning products to energy companies and beyond)are seeking to make a profit from this Earth friendly focus by decorating their products in multiple “shades” of seemingly environmentally friendly green.  Make no mistake, most of the products adorned with this fancy dress are not truly an earth friendly green. Household cleaners, for example, are in the same clunky plastic bottles containing most of the same ingredients all of the other traditional cleaners do. Sure they may draw consumers in claiming to be “chlorine free” and “derived from natural ingredients”, but I would not say they are exactly as environmentally friendly and pocket friendly as say vinegar and water.

Wastewater Treatments in the Chesapeake Bay





Living right on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, I am daily exposed to the various aromas that come floating off of the bay. Excess nutrients such as sulfur, phosphorus and nitrogen not only affect the smell of the area, but also the water quality. Residents, such as myself, use outside water sources for drinking and cooking. There are several programs working to make the water purer, better for drinking, better overall for the environment. One of the main programs, the Chesapeake Bay Program, is specifically working to rid a large percentage of the phosphorus and nitrogen nutrients.