Week 7: Reading Notes, Comments

February 25, 2020

Nature: Notes, Comments (Ch. 6-9)

P111. “We are also gradually recognizing that the landscapes of the American west, which nineteenth-century white adventurers, nature writers, and national park promoters hailed as exemplars of pristine and unadorned nature, were actually created by Euro-American incursion and reconceptualization.” The American West, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, were shaped as a result of digging and drilling and the repurposing of land and space in the West. The vast, harsh desert and mountain ranges were in part formed and altered by human incursion and are not the sole product of the natural world. As a result, does this idea of human influence forming nature change the concept of nature itself? Does nature have to be void of human influence to be “nature”?

Image result for the american west

P145. “The Nazi experience is important to them (scholars) because it highlights the difficulties of trying to situate green thought and practice neatly within an ideological spectrum running from bright red to vivid blue (and brown).” Stemming from the idea that environmentalism comes in many shades of colors and is hard to identify, the Nazi perspective is valuable.

P146. “Every culture projects its values onto nature and then holds them up as nature’s own authority” This relates to previous concepts of the law’s of nature and whether or not they change/vary depending on interpretive definitions of nature. Should aspects and laws of nature be dependent on culture/location? I think laws of nature should be uniform concepts.

P166. “In the late nineteenth century, Kulturpessimismus (cultural pessimism) boosted the manufacture of a mythological past rooted in nature.” It is interesting to see how groups of people identity with nature throughout history.

P174. “The grave announcement of Lake Erie’s ‘death’ through eutrophication (oxygen starvation) catalyzed American public awareness of an ecological crisis in the 1960’s.” Really interesting that one of the initial ecological catastrophes was here in Ohio..

Here is a link regarding the history and future of the ecological disaster of the Great Lakes freshwater system https://thevarsity.ca/2019/05/11/saving-the-great-lakes-from-ecological-disaster/

Image result for Eutrophication of lake erie
Eutrophication of Lake Erie (2017)

P179. “If ‘they’ (animals) are shown to be more like ‘us’ – not through religiosity or sentimentality but on purely intellectual grounds – then biocentric ecophilosophers might have an easier job persuading other people to include ‘them’ and their interests with our ethical circle.” Essentially, what is the nature of animals? Are they intellectual like us and as a result, worth protecting? Should this be a concern for everyone?


Week 7: Environmental News

February 25, 2020

They’re a scientific marvel- World’s first in vitro cheetah cubs born at Ohio zoo

https://www.They’re a ‘scientific marvel’: World’s first in vitro cheetah cubs born at Ohio zoousatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/02/24/vitro-cheetah-cubs-worlds-first-born-columbus-zoo/4856829002/

Image result for in vitro fertilization in cheetahs
Female cheetah- Izzy- and her in vitro offspring at the Columbus Zoo

The first cheetah cubs ever conceived through in vitro fertilization were born last Monday at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The two cubs, a male and a female, were born to a first-time mother, Izzy, at the Columbus Zoo. However, she is not their biological mother. Their mother is Kibibi, a 6-and-a-half-year-old cheetah also located at the Columbus Zoo. Kibibi has never reproduced and is too old to reproduce naturally now, and researchers were concerned about losing important genes in the species gene pool. As a result, in vitro fertilization was done.

Biologists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia fertilized the eggs obtained from Kibibi in a laboratory. The eggs were incubated, and embryos were created, which they then successfully implanted into Izzy.

Image result for in vitro fertilization steps in animals
Example of the process of IVF in animals

This scientific development is a huge milestone, as it helps maintain genetic diversity, which ultimately keeps offspring healthy. In vitro fertilization has only been attempted 3 times in cheetahs and has already been successful. This plan to maintain a diverse genetic population could help combat a decline in genetic diversity in the future as a result of the decreasing population of cheetahs in the wild. Cheetahs are currently considered vulnerable, with only about 7,500 animals left in the wild, and they only inhabit approximately 10% of their native historic habitat in Africa. This breakthrough discovery at the Columbus Zoo helps ensure the potential of survival of this species the wild.


Project Proposal

February 23, 2020

Covered Bike Shelters with Planted Roof

Project Participant(s): Lauren Kulazenka and collaborating with Janelle Valdinger

Description & overview of project: 

This project’s aim is to install green architecture on campus, starting with bike shelters that have planted roofs.  Currently, bike racks on campus do not have any protection, so bikes that are parked at them are left exposed to the elements, wearing the bike down faster.  Covering the bikes will prevent this from happening and encourage student to use bike to get to class instead of driving and parking in the overcrowded parking lots on campus. These covered racks have the added benefit of decreasing rain runoff (Nardin) and CO2 (Li) in the areas that they are in.

In areas that already have bike racks with proper clearance, they can easily be replaced with the bike shelters. For those that do not, and area to put the shelter will need to be made.  In order to make these shelters and eco friendly as possible, the shelters that will need to have a spot created can use pervious pavers instead of concrete.  The pervious pavers will direct water down into the ground instead of drains, decreasing rain runoff and increasing water going to the underground aquifer (Blundell).  The pervious pavers are also not as permanent as a concrete slab is, so if the rack needs to be moved for some reason, the ground can easily be replanted and put back to normal.

The plants on top of the bike racks, soak up rainwater, stopping rainwater runoff (Nardin), this paired with the racks that have pervious pavers should reduce runoff to almost zero.  Since these racks will be going into placed that have been developed, they will allow more plants to exist in these areas allowing for more CO2 to be captured and for more oxygen to be produced (Li).  The type of plants going on the top of the racks will be sedum, which is a succulent.  Being a succulent, they do not need much upkeep as they are drought resistant and can tolerate full sun.  they are also a type of groundcover plant and because of this they prevent undesired plants from growing.

As of right now, most of the work has been done. There is a tentative price for how much the racks will cost and the size of the racks has been provided.  Funding is the current issue and Janelle and I are working on finding a source that does not need to go through the Universities method of assigning funding.  I need to take a walk around campus and find suitable sites for the racks.  They need to have proper sidewalk clearance as well as building clearance.  They will also need to be in areas that provide adequate sun, so for taller building they may need to be located on the Southern or Eastern sides.  I also need to get an estimate for how much the pervious pavers will cost and the cost of installation.  Fortunately, this will only need to be done for some of the bike racks.

Outline of project:

  • What the racks are
    • Benefits of racks
      • Bike Protection
      • Rainwater runoff
      • CO2 and oxygen
  • Location of racks
    • Academic campus
    • Residential campus
  • Which racks have pervious pavers
  • Cost and funding
  • Approval

Annotated bibliography

  • Li, J., Wai, O., Li, Y., Zhan, J., Ho, Y., Li, J., & Lam, E. (2010). Effect of green roof on ambient CO2 concentration. Building and Environment, 45(12), 2644-2651.

This paper looks at the effect of a green roof on the surrounding CO2 concentration in order to assess the benefit of urban greening.

  • Nardini, A., Andri, S., & Crasso, M. (2012). Influence of substrate depth and vegetation type on temperature and water runoff mitigation by extensive green roofs: shrubs versus 16 herbaceous plants. Urban Ecosystems, 15(3), 697-708.

Study shows that green roofs have the ability to decrease rain runoff from buildings.

  • Women’s Sports & Fitness, vol. 7, no. 2, Mar. 1985, p. 24. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=8500001914&site=ehost-live.

Paper describes the health benefits of bicycling.

  • Blundell, Peter. “Pervious Pavers Provide New Solution for Stormwater Management.” WaterWorld, vol. 27, no. 11, Nov. 2011, p. 36. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=67442944&site=ehost-live.

Provides usefulness of flow rate and usefulness of the pervious pavers and how they have a wide range of applications.

  • Vasl, A., et al. ” Sedum —Annual plant interactions on green roofs: Facilitation, competition and exclusion.” Ecological Engineering, vol. 108, 2017, pp. 318-329. OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center, doi:10.1016/J.ECOLENG.2017.07.034.

Provides information about why sedum is used on green roofs.  Study in paper worked with adding in other plants to optimize growth of both plants.

  • Kitheka, Bernard. “INVENTORY OF STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THE CITY OF OXFORD, OHIO.” Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2010. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 23 Feb 2020.

A city with a similar climate as Delaware uses these pervious pavers on a large scale (parking lot). Also provides a cost benefit analysis compared to using concrete or asphalt as well as pollution reduction analysis.

Proposal written by OSU students to install a planted bike rack at OSU. Provides information about the racks and the benefits of them.

  • Janelle Valdinger

Collaborating with me on this project, she has been working on a similar project and knows who to talk to about funding and getting approval.

  • Wanner Metalworks

Company that made the covered shelters in Columbus and gave us an estimated cost.  Also provided schematics of the shelters and options for rack styles.

  • OWU B & G

Providing approval for the bike shelter areas once they are approved.


Week 6 book review; Nature

February 20, 2020

P10 

Even when nature is perceived to be beautiful it still serves a purpose in our society and still belongs to us 

That’s gross but makes sense. We can’t see anything outside of the lens we set up for ourselves.

P11

Ecological fall from grace with the domestication of animals 

The author points out the fallacy of this in a very similar way to the author of fanaticism of the apocalypse but less violently

Really that whole section has biblical references and diction

18

Argues nature as rights they deserve to be restored to them like minorities and marginalized groups

24

The people of the Roman Empire also deforested their land and used their resources poorly. This was surprising because I hadn’t thought about it before. I, at least, think of our unsustainable practices only becoming a problem since the industrial revolution. But the Roman Empire and other old civilizations also did this and made an impact. The romans deforested most of Italy and greatly decreased the soil quality of the whole region. They even had traffic jams and poisoned themselves with toxic chemicals.  Other civilizations tried to regreen the desert and had the same soil toxicity problems California is now. 

28

But also the Greeks knew that they were messing up the environment and they fessed up in a way that nobody does anymore because now everything is political. 

30 

Ecofemists claim things started going downhill after men started being dominant in society. This ties back to my news for this week. Emotionality and closeness to nature became sources of weakness

31 

A sacred tree started uprooting a statue of an unimportant person. They prayed and sacrificed and cut down the tree. The statue was fine. This is what we always do. We say we respect things and then kill them.

39 

 People can separate violence in one part of life from the others, kill by day and fret about the family dog by night. That’s a bizarre concept. But it makes sense. People are not as black and white as we would like them to be.

43

There used to be bears and leopards in Britain! I had no idea. I have never thought of that country having wild life except foxes and ravens and sometimes deer.

49 

Acknowledgement of the differing views of  individuals in the Christian faith.

67 

People are trying to track down the origins of man’s curiosity and exploitative nature. Why are you bothering to do that? You won’t find it. And if you did how would it help us now?

74 

A passage about how nature is a woman who can be violated.

It reminds me of the worst parts of Desert Solitaire. 

The whole 4th and 5th chapters were disgusting. A bunch of white men taking what doesn’t belong to them and claiming that makes them closer to god. They can’t just leave anything alone. 

88 

As much as I dislike these chapters, I’m glad the author is discussing the opinions of native Americans on his subject matter. I think they want the audience to feel the way I described about Europeans views on nature. It’s important to remember native Americans were humans too and still caused destruction like Europeans did.


Environmental News Week 6

February 19, 2020

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2020/02/19/boston-prepares-rising-seas-climate-change/?arc404=true

I looked at an article written in The Washington Post titled “Boston prepares for rising seas from climate change”. This title captured my attention as I live a short 15 minute drive north of Boston and this is something that could affect me personally later in life. The city has already been the process of raising streets and requiring new construction to utilize “water fences”. The city is actively spending $30 million every year to try to protect the city from a water filled future.

Boston has been ranked as the 8th most vulnerable costal city in the world for the effects of climate change. They’re predicting sea levels to rise by 3 feet in Boston by 2070 completely flooding neighborhoods and the airport at high tide. This flooding would disproportionately effect poorer neighborhoods in the Boston area. About half the city is built on low lying land fill as well posing a large risk. Boston is taking the right steps by preparing now before it’s too late and taking care of things at a more manageable cost as oppose to waiting for disaster to strike. Many low income housing projects were built on these low lying landfills and these places could be completely under water by 2100. The city is being proactive to protect it’s residents but it may not be enough.


Democratic Candidates Ranked for Environmental Action

February 19, 2020

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund ranked current (and some former – RIP Yang Gang) Democratic Candidates on their environmental stances. They used four criteria to generate an overall grade: stances on wildlife, public lands, environmental justice, and climate. The lowest overall scores were by Klobuchar (D) and Buttigieg (C-). The highest scores were by Bernie Sanders (A) and Elizabeth Warren (A-).

Check out the stances and reasons for some of the scores of the candidates here


Week 6: Project Proposal Noah

February 19, 2020

Noah Barehmi 

2/17/2020

Geog 360

Motion Sensor light switch for Williams Drive and Academic Buildings

I’ve noticed in my past 3 ½ years at OWU that our campus consumes a lot of electricity. The poses a potential problem to be fixed on campus do common spaces in academic buildings and residential halls and houses need to be on all of the time. The answer in my opinion is no these places don’t need to have lighting all of the time. I know that recently renovated buildings on campus have these motion sensor lights installed in hallways and bathrooms so it’s a functioning possibility on campus to have these installed. When doing my lighting inventory the other night I noticed the main problem for a lot of the buildings are these exterior light fixtures. Most notably two houses on Williams Drive have been vacant for years but lighting is still on inside and outside of the buildings those two buildings being 19 and 15 Williams Drive. I also observed wasteful electricity use other places on the residential side of campus. The welch connector has trees which are lit at their base. The bulbs being used are so massive that they create a large amount of thermal heat doesn’t seem necessary to me even if it’s for aesthetics. The new SLU’s seem to consume a lot as well. I noticed that they have giant flood lights on the rear of the building and porch lights that remain on all through the night. 

Then taking a look at the Academic side of Campus has many issues albeit less in general. I noticed that a lot of buildings remain with lighting on but inside. University, Merrick, and Phillips all had lights on inside with no one in the buildings. I couldn’t see any interior lighting.  What more important questions to be asking here I’ll need to find out from the head of Buildings and Grounds are a lot of these lights left on as a safety precaution or are they on with no real thought about their use in general. 

Project Outline:

I intend on trying to find pricing and potential cost for installing these motion activated light switches in common areas. This would mean hallways entrances living areas all would switch to motion activated. I believe If i’m able to price out cost for one building and be able to determine the savings the school would receive from the installation of these switches. I am hoping to meet with Jay Scheffel within the next week or two to discuss my findings and potential next steps. Also the possibility of more LED lighting on campus 

Sources

1.Petersen, John E., et al. “Electricity and Water Conservation on College and University Campuses in Response to National Competitions among Dormitories: Quantifying Relationships between Behavior, Conservation Strategies and Psychological Metrics.” PLoS ONE, vol. 10, no. 12, Dec. 2015, pp. 1–41. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144070.

Works with colleges on making competition for dorms helped incentivize the behavior and creating a lasting effect on many campuses. 

2. Hille, Stefanie, et al. “Consumers’ Preferences for Electricity-Saving Programs: Evidence from a Choice-Based Conjoint Study.” Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 220, May 2019, pp. 800–815. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.02.142.

This article looked at why certain consumers chose to use these electricity saving fixtures in their homes. They wanted to see if there were any differences or similarities between the 2 different groups. 

3. Wang, Jen Chun. “Analysis of Energy Use Intensity and Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Universities in Taiwan.” Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 241, Dec. 2019, p. N.PAG. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118363.

This article looked at many colleges and universities in Taiwan and studied their overall energy consumption. The country then used these pans to further plan the country’s energy consumption. 

4. https://www.abcfoxmontana.com/all_abc_fox/bozeman-business-boom-blue-gold-and-green-big-updates-to/article_049aa804-5186-11ea-8618-27013fa10408.html

University of Montana is renovating one of its oldest buildings on campus. They will be installing geothermal wells in the building for heating that can be stored and used for other buildings on campus as well. 

5. https://www.bevnet.com/news/2020/press-clips-pepsico-to-achieve-100-renewable-electricity-at-u-s-operations

Pepsi Co. is on track to become a corporation that runs solely on renewable electricity.