Saturday, July 18, 2009

Scientific ways to counteract Global Warming

  1. Mitigation. Mitigation of global warming involves taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation is effective at avoiding warming, but not at rapidly reversing it. Building insulation, fluorescent lighting, and public transportation are some of the most common examples of mitigation. For more about this, visit this Wikipedia site; Mitigation of global warming.
  2. Adaptation. Adaptation to global warming consists of ways to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems against actual or expected climate change effects. David King says that "adaptation to global warming is inevitable as it is unlikely that levels of greenhouse gases can be kept low enough to avoid a projected temperature rise of 2 °C". Because of the current and projected climate disruption precipitated by high levels of greenhouse gas emissions by the industrialized nations, adaptation is a necessary strategy at all scales to complement climate change mitigation efforts because we cannot be sure that all climate change can be mitigated. For example, increased use of artificial snow-making in the European Alps, adaptation is also anticipating future climate change, such as the construction of the Confederation Bridge in Canada at a higher elevation to take into account the effect of future sea-level rise on ship clearance under the bridge . For more about this, visit this Wikipedia site; Adaptation to global warming.
  3. Geoengineering. The modern concept of geoengineering is usually taken to mean proposals to deliberately manipulate the Earth's climate to counteract the effects of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions. To date, no large-scale geoengineering projects have been undertaken. The National Academy of Sciences defined geoengineering as "options that would involve large-scale engineering of our environment in order to combat or counteract the effects of changes in atmospheric chemistry". Examples of this include reducing the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth, removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and limiting Arctic sea ice loss. For more about this, visit this Wikipedia site; Geoengineering.

Another sustainable building product

I was browsing the web today when I saw a link to a site called "Nycon GreenBuilding Materials so I followed it up and here's what it said:
"As a structural material, Nycon's reinforcing fibers allow products to withstand the forces of nature for decades. Now, with NyconG fibers, your products are kinder to nature than ever before. In addition to superior three-dimensional fiber reinforcement, NyconG provides an environmentally sound choice for globally responsible, truly sustainable construction.Proven effective in countless applications, NyconG fibers are made from 100% recycled nylon from reclaimed carpet. For years little has been done with carpet waste besides throwing it away. Today, thanks to an advanced patented technology (U.S. Patent #6,971,784, other US and foreign patents pending), Nycon "harvests" carpet waste, much like an agricultural asset. Carpet once taken to landfills is now a resource for producing our proprietary, high-value reinforcing fibers. And more than just conserving landfill space, recycling carpet saves water and reduces carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.Along with outstanding performance properties at reduced cost, NyconG fibers provide a further incentive to "go green" : They facilitate the process of obtaining project certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Program, as well as provide tax credits to architects and owners."Green" is not a cliché and climate change is serious business. Everybody and everything can make a difference in the Green Revolution, and Nycon is committed to making a difference. We do this by reducing our reliance on scarce resources, extending the useful life of our reinforcing products--and now, with environmentally friendly NyconG fibers, reducing energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and landfill waste".
There is, of course a lot more about it, so to view the full thing, CLICK HERE.

Footprint Diary #3

This post is the third in a series, and to view the previous two follow the links below:
Footprint Diary #1
Footprint Diary #2
As it is still the school holidays, there is still not much that I can do to improve my goal of biking to school as often as I can.
The amount of waste that goes into landfills from my house has been reduced by probably about a shopping bag, and there is now a lot more air in the rubbish bag we put out to be collected.
My shower times have continued to grow smaller and my hot water use has been drastically reduced.

Why we need to be sustainable (Argument Writing)

Does the world need to be sustainable? Is the Pope a Catholic? In a word, yes, definitely or absolutely would be appropriate. Sustainability is a vital part of this world’s survival, and if the trees keep getting cut down, pollution being pumped into the atmosphere, and natural resources exploited, then there won’t be any earth left to live on. Research shows that there could have once been rivers and water masses on Mars, or even life forms. Now it is known for being a big red desert that couldn’t sustain a life form. No-one knows what happened on Mars, but I hope that the same doesn’t happen to Earth because of Global Warming.
One of the primary reasons to be sustainable is the trees; if we humans keep cutting the trees down to create paper, because it is all being wasted, then the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels in the air are going to keep rising. Trees absorb Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and then release Oxygen (O2) back into the atmosphere. This (at least partly) counters the emissions produced by humans, factories, cars, etc, and with the number of all these rising, we need trees more than ever. So why is it that trees are getting chopped down right when we need them the most? It is because of people who think that Global Warming will never affect them, and are not recycling their paper waste.
Another great reason for being sustainable is that if we keep polluting, then disastrous things will happen to the environment. Already, Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to a called the “Arctic Climate Impact Assessment”. Air pollution can cause very bad things to happen; aerosol sprays such as hair spray (or chlorofluorocarbons) can cause the Ozone layer to thin and get holes in it, this will increase the chances of us getting skin cancer (or melanoma) from being in the sun. For more about air pollution, see THIS SITE. Also, Greenhouse Gases will trap all the Sun’s heat on Earth, and cause the polar ice caps to melt and the world to become unbearably hot. To understand this better, follow THIS LINK. Greenhouse Gases are caused by burning natural resources, and that brings me into my last point.
The Earth’s natural resources take thousands (or even millions) of years to form, and us humans have evolved and come along and dug the Oil, Petrol, Diesel, Coal, and more up and just burned it like there’s no tomorrow (which, of course, there won’t be if we keep polluting the way we are). If we keep doing this, the fumes from the burning are going to pollute the atmosphere, and in turn, cause Global Warming. Secondly, those same fumes are going to cause major health issues for those who are stuck near, or working with, the fumes. And thirdly, if we keep burning the Earth's fossil fuels, then aside from ruining the environment, creating health hazards, and causing Global Warming*, burning them means that there will be no petrol, diesel, LPG, coal, or any of the other fossil fuels left for the next generation, and the generation after them. So I think that everyone should experience stuff, and the people of the future are going to miss out on this if we don't stop soon.
Likely side-effects of the Global Warming include melting of sea-ice (the Arctic especially affected), expansion of deserts, rainforests and forests growing smaller, increases in the intensity and regularity of extreme weather events such as tornadoes and flash floods, more species of animals going extinct, and many more. As I have mentioned, if we are not sustainable we will cut down all the trees and pay for it with our Oxygen, Global Warming and it’s by-products will destroy the environment, and the burning of natural resources will also cause major grief for the entire planet’s eco-system. So for all these reasons and also many more, we should be as sustainable as we can, else the past of our planet be in vain, the present a waste of time, and the future almost non-existent. There are simple ways to change, such as recycling and reusing paper and plastic, but also more scientific ways, such as Mitigation (the reduction of greenhouse gas release, though it would take centuries to work effectively), Adaptation (which involves various measures that range from installation of air-conditioning to abandoning cities and towns threatened by sea rise), and finally Geoengineering (pretty much just changing the Earth’s natural environment to suit us, like removing carbon and carbon dioxide from our atmosphere).

Monday, July 13, 2009

About Global Warming

See the following video for a simple explanation of Global Warming:

N.B. Contains slight violence and futuristic themes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Footprint Diary #2

To reduce my Carbon Footprint, I have set myself goals. To see these goals, follow this link:
Footprint Diary #1
I haven't had a chance to improve on the first goal, as it is now the holidays, but I have been walking almost everywhere I go, and started biking to school before I set the actual goal, so yeah.
My second goal has been improved apon almost as much as it can be, because I am doing as much as I can with the amount of influence that I have over my family's groceries.
And as for the last goal, I now have a timer that I use to decrease the amount of time I spend in the shower to save hot water and electricity.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Footprint Diary #1

We were supposed to start a diary of how we are improving our ecological footprint on the earth a while ago, but I missed the session so I am starting mine now.
I want to decrease my ecological footprint by firstly, biking to school no matter whether the weather is nice, or whether the weather is bad. Secondly, I want to recycle all my recyclables and not be lazy and just put them in the bin, also buy less non-recyclables in the first place. Thirdly, I want to take shorter showers to conserve electricity and power.
I guess that that's about the end of this post...