“Solar power plant will rise on Kearny landfill”

August 31, 2009

This is a small article I came across today dated August 26th, 2009 about the construction of a solar power plant in New Jersey. Kearny is about 3 miles from where I live outside of school, and it is just west of New York. Ironically this is a significant location covered in Sullivan’s The Meadowlands. While solar power can get into the broader scientific and political field of energy resources, it is nonetheless a vital component of environmental issues today. It says here that the plan is meant to generate 20 megawatts of solar electricity by the year 2020. To me it seems like more false hope not only because of the long historical line of dreamers who envisioned perfect communities and utilized facilities to be erected on the constantly reshaping dump. It is ambitious, but at least the goals are realistic: to aid America’s energy independence from this location in New Jersey. The economic benefits should, ideally, bring nothing but profit for workers and consumers.

here is the original link, if you want to view it: http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/kearny/index.ssf?/base/news-0/125126793122120.xml&coll=3


Introduction: Matthew Jordan

August 31, 2009

Hello Everyone!

I am a junior from Washington, D.C. majoring in environmental studies and international studies. This  is my second year living in the Tree House, a SLU promoting awareness in the community on environmental and social justice issues. I am very interested in local and sustainable agriculture, and this summer I had the opportunity to work on a small organic farm in Maine. I would love to see more locally grown food in the cafeterias of Ohio Wesleyan. Everyone has to eat, so I think consuming more food from the state and the region is one of the most fundamental steps that can be made to lower one’s carbon footprint.

I am also fascinated by urban planning and the way we design the communities in which we live. I grew up in a walkable/mixed use neighborhood, and this has shaped my desire to see American cities place more emphasis on people rather than the rapid movement of  many cars. My interests include biking, reading, and porch-sitting. I am hoping to study abroad next semester in Geneva, Switzerland.


Are You an Eco-Douchebag?

August 31, 2009

bread_sign

Environmental scientist Jennifer Jacquet poses they question, “Are You an Eco-Douchebag?” The test is simple: read this sign [“Dear customers: Please be advised that our Bread Slicer is used for both Organic and Conventional items”] (recently photographed at my local Vancouver market, which is owned by Whole Foods) then gauge your response…”

The responses to the blog posting are worth reading.

Via Boing Boing


Museum of Animal Perspectives (MAP)

August 31, 2009

animalcams

Strap a camera on an armadillo, cow, wolf, turkey, scorpion, goat, tortoise, horse, tarantula, lamb, housefly, pheasant, cricket, chick, mole, duck, bee, caribou, pig, alligator, falcon, frog, and bison and get an “animal perspective.”

Museum of Animal Perspectives (MAP) at flickr


Hello my name is Becca Kelly…

August 31, 2009

…and I am a senior Zoology major, environmental Science and History minor here at Ohio Wesleyan. My life has been rooted in Dayton, Ohio, were my mother, father , five siblings and my niece and nephew all reside.  I have known that I wanted to study Zoology since the second grade. My mom still has the paper that I wrote describing that when I grew up I wanted to work at a zoo with all the baby animals. Although I no longer want to work with baby animals, I have turned my love of science, the environment, and teaching, into a potential career path in environmental or science education. One of my favorite ways enjoy the outdoors is in a saddle on the back of a horse. I love to take horses trial riding but also love the competition of the show ring. When I am not riding you can find me watching movies, goofing off with my friends, or chasing after my niece and nephew!


How much Carbon Dioxide do Computers Emit?

August 30, 2009

smoking_computer

The environmental impact of air travel has gained much attention as of late.  For example, Ohio Wesleyan is investigating joining the University President’s Initiative on Climate which would require paying for offsets for all university related air travel.

But what about all those computers? They too have a significant impact on the environment, on par with air travel as it turns out, according to a new study. Computing Climate Change reviews a new study looking at the environmental impact of computers.

A potential topic for course projects.


Emerging Green Geopolitical Crises

August 30, 2009
Lithium Mining in Chile

Lithium Mining in Chile

The majority of lithium, used in batteries for electric vehicles, is in a region shared by Chile and Bolivia, who have a long history of animosities. The great increase in demand for lithium for batteries may revive these animosities.

•••••

The typical discourse about environmental issues today tends towards a grim present, filled with diverse environmental crises, and a series of “green” developments which will alleviate these crises.

But casting forward, one can also anticipate crises emerging from most of the “green” alternatives to current practices. An article in Foreign Policy magazine – Is a Green World a Safer World? – summarizes the potential conflicts arising from green trade wars, declining oil powers, nuclear energy, water wars, and lithium (for batteries) development conflicts.

The idea of global conflict spurred by green developments would be a great course project topic, and is related to this year’s Sagan National Colloquium on Global Issues.