Climate-change damage called irreversible

January 28, 2009

I found this article in the Columbus Dispatch about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s (NOAA) reports that claim that the effects of climate change are irreversible at this point in time. In other words, we are past the point of no return. The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims that we are past the stage in climate change where whatever we do, will not have an impact on the atmosphere until a long time from now. It claims that even if humans were to stop emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere immediately, the climate change would not cease to affect the earth until around 1000 years from now. They also stress that while this climate change is now irreversible, we must still work to curb carbon emissions in an effort to keep climate change from getting worse and working faster. This is important, as the longer we wait to do something, the higher the levels of irreversible climate change we must adapt to. This may include long lasting droughts in some of the most important areas in the world for cultivating crops to a gradual sea level rise. It is predicted that sea level will rise anywhere from 1-9 meters by 2100. If sea levels rise even 1 meter above current levels, it could encompass an area of 2.2 million square kilometers of land, displacing almost 200 million people. Nearly 634 million people live within 9 meters of the current sea level and 2/3 of the world’s cities with over 5 million people are located in these low lying areas. Climate change may be irreversible now, at least for our generation, but the strides we make today will slow the current rate of climate change.

Project Ideas, or Lack Thereof

January 27, 2009

Really, I guess I’m sort of unsure what I could do a project on.  I tried to look over Molly Verhoff’s project statistics, however I think that it is a little odd that she weighed each specific category rather than counted them. Paper cups weigh significantly less than plastic bottles (for example) and therefore it is hard to determine which products people at OWU are using the most.

I think that it is weird that there are no outside recycling bins around campus, but there are plenty of trash cans scattered throughout campus. Perhaps a project where recycling cans are obtained and placed around campus would be a good idea?

Other than that I am currently unsure. I will try and think more about project ideas tonight and tomorrow, as I will have more free time tomorrow before class.

Any project idea suggestions are welcome!!

The Meadowlands, Trouble with the Wilderness, Google Jockying and Blogs

January 27, 2009

The Meadowlands– Robert Sullivan

I found Sullivan’s The Meadowlands very interesting. I had no clue that “a thirty-two-square-mile wilderness, part natural, part industrial” existed “…five miles from the Empire State Building” (18). I liked learning about the history of the Meadowlands and also learning about the different histories of the people who were involved in the Meadowland’s history. To me this was the best part of the book: I could care less about Sullivan and Dave’s own personal adventures with their canoe.

Some of the “history side stories” that I enjoyed included the story about the great inventer Seth Boyden; General Robert Swartwout’s obsession about trying to develop the Meadowlands; John Schmidt aka Smith’s mosquito work; and lastly the story about Leo Koncher who lost his wife and devoted his time to searching in the Meadowlands.

I think that it would be very interesting to go exploring in the Meadowlands or a place similar to it. It seemes to be filled with so much polluted history that you would never know what you would find.

The Trouble with the Wilderness- William Cronon

This article was, eh, sort of interesting? I felt that it was a little bit long and hard to hold my attention. Some of the things that interested me the most in the article were simple small facts that the author mentioned. For example, I never really thought about how 250 years ago no one wanted to voulentarally go to the wilderness. I also thought that it was interesting that American wilderness aren’t preserved as they way that they were, because technically there used to be Native Americans living on the land. Another one of my favoite facts that Cronon mentioned in the article was that “The very men who benefited from urban-industrial capatalism were among those who believed they must escape its debilitating effects.” I find it very humurous that Cronon mentioned that rich urban men preach about how they need to go to the wilderness in order to become more manly, and how they knock the society that made them who they are.

7 Things You Should Know About Google Jocking- Educause Learning Initiative

I had never heard the term “Google Jocking” before reading this article, but I find that the concept and the term make complete sense. I would find the idea of a “Google jockey” to be very annoying, however. I would feel that the Google jockey wouldn’t be able to pay attention to the presentation, as they would have to find appropriate websites to cooralate to the presentation. I think that the idea of looking up sources on the internet is a good idea, but I would not want two different people doing two different things at once. I feel like it would hinder the presentation rather than enhance it.

7 Things You Should Know About Blogs- Educause Learning Initiative

I didn’t really learn anything new upon reading this article. I believe blogging is well known, and I have used blogging for another one of my classes before at OWU.

Brecksville dam bad for river, good for canal

January 27, 2009

This damn has been slowing currents and allowing a historical lock to be used at a visitor center. EPA says that this damn however has been keeping the health of the river from returning to the pre-industrialization era. This damn allows fro stagnate pools that keep polluted sediment from being pushed down the river, and keeps fish from moving up river to spawn. Damns recently removed from other areas have had remarkable increase in life throughout the areas. This has become a large debate about river health, or a Historical Lock.
Article can be found here

$20 Million Settlement Reached in Gallia County Plant Dispute

January 27, 2009

In our country’s short history, we have seen many small towns turn into “ghost towns”.  This still happens today, and in 2002 the village of Cheshire was bought by American Electric Power(AEP) for $20 million.  This village is located in my home county of Gallia, Ohio.  The 221 residents of Cheshire hired a team of lawyers from Washington D.C. to make a deal, ending years of complaints of pollution.  Cheshire is located in close proximity to the Gen. James M. Gavin Plant or aka Gavin Plant.   In 2000, the EPA stated that the Gavin Plant had clearly violated the Clean Air Act. Years of pollution continuously irritated this community with soot, acid haze, milky droplets, and other irritants.  The $20 million easily covered the $6 million value of the 86 homes in Cheshire.  I remember these events as they happened when I was in high school.   Relocation was hard for many of the families that had lived in Cheshire for generations. The area also has mixed emotions concerning AEP, due to the large amounts of jobs provided to the community.  There are approximately 5 AEP plants in a 1 hour driving range from Gallia County. To view the entire article please click here.

Meadowlands and the Wilderness Readings

January 27, 2009

The Meadowlands
Through out this book you think back to the beginning of when it talks about how beautiful the place is and really question how you could ever call it a nice place. It is a dump made up of many different things that you could hardly call beautiful. Starting with all the garbage that is there, just huge amounts and that is just the start. What about all the rotting corpses that have yet to be found there. Since it most of the landfills were ran by mob bosses it was an easy dump spot for bodies. That might be the most interesting part of the Meadowlands. After reading the beginning you would not realize all that has happened in the area. With all the waste and trash there I would never think of the Meadowlands as a nice place no matter how it looks.

The Trouble with Wilderness
This easy really brings a new side of what wilderness is. I still think of wilderness as a remote area with little to no civilization. This essay brings up the point that many of these wildernesses are actually habited by Indians. I feel like Indians are apart of wilderness though since they still live a very primitive life, living off the land. This essay talks about the wilderness as a place to get away from it all. Some people would say that they are most worried about the way that the average American looks at the environment.

Week 3 Readings

January 27, 2009

The Meadowlands:

            I’m not really sure what to think about this book.  I don’t know if it is for the Meadowlands or against it or if it is just sort of documenting the history of it.  Either way it seems like an amazing place with a ton of history.  I don’t know if I would ever want to visit them but they are pretty interesting.  It just seems pretty amazing that this guy would want to explore this place.  I mean it’s literally a dump.  There are gently rolling hills that if you dug underneath them you would find nothing but trash.  Even though there is so much trash there is also a lot of history.  Some interesting things about the history is that that there have been a ton of pro soccer players to come out of Kearny that is located in the Meadowlands.  It’s incredible that such a place could produce such great talent.  Another interesting fact about the Meadowlands is that if you dig long enough you are likely to find dead bodies because it had served as an execution site for mob bosses and may even be the final resting place of Jimmy Hoffa, but if your lucky enough then you just might find some pirate gold that had been stashed there.  After reading this book I don’t know if I can describe what the Meadowlands is actually like.  It seems like no one would ever want to visit there let alone live there and yet they have towns and shops and hotels.  It’s a place that houses more trash then imaginable yet some of that trash is part of history like Penn Station that was torn down and thrown away in the Meadowlands.


The Trouble with Wilderness:

            This essay reminded me of the first day of class when we would say the first thing we thought of when we thought of wilderness.  Overtime the definition of wilderness has changed from one that is scary and unknown to one that is pleasant and a place that anyone would want to visit.  It was also interesting that when the first national parks were being set up around the US as pure unadulterated wilderness it came at the expense of the Indians.  We like to think that the wilderness in America was completely uninhabited when in fact there were already people living there off the land.  This essay also made it seem that wilderness as we think of it no longer exists.  We tend to think of wilderness as untouched by man.  Something that just grows wild, but in order to do this we have to put our hands into it to shape it.  Then after that we go in and we enjoy it, but this to defeats the purpose of a true wilderness.


7 Things You Should Know About:

            This article points out new tools that can help with interacting with students as well as applications that can put you in touch with people around the world.  Most of these technologies I have never heard of before, but a year ago my teacher did actually record all of her lectures on her ipod and made them available for students to download into their itunes and listen to at their leisure.  One of the technologies that really caught my attention was the one about using the Wii to help teach kids in the class.  I have played the Wii before and it is pretty awesome and really fun.  I think that by incorporating it into the classroom teachers will be able to get the kids attention easier and to keep it longer.