Triple-E Carriers

February 23, 2011

New breed of vessel

In order to reduce carbon emissions for container vessels, Maersk Line is producing a fleet of shippers that can carry close to 18,000 containers at once, 16% increase. While carbon emissions from ocean liners and shiping only makes up roughly 5% of global emissions, Maersk Line is hoping for both a better world image as well as other liners following suite.


Hybrids vs. Non-Hybrids The 5-Year Equation

February 23, 2011

In this article hybrid and non-hybrid cars are being compared with each other to see whether it is really beneficial to buying a hybrid or sticking with current non-hybrid cars.  In several case brought up in the article it is said that a person who spends extra money on a hybrid could actually be loosing money in the long run.  According to the article if a person buys a hybrid car that costs them an extra $6,200 to buy the hybrid version of the Lexus RX will get the money back within 5 years.  However, this is only if gas reaches $8.77 per gallon.  This goes with several other types of hybrid cars as well, including the Toyota Prius.  This article was very interesting and makes you think about whether or not buying a hybrid is actually worth it.  The article however fails to mention the benefits to the environment that having a hybrid promotes which should also be calculated in their equation of Hybrid vs. Non-Hybrid cars.

Enviro and Society Part Two

February 23, 2011

This textbook gave a lot of information in a really clear and outlined manner that made it easy to follow and understand the main ideas that they were trying to focus on.

Carbon Dioxide is one thing that is really ignored and it should be addressed.  Since carbon dioxide is the largest greenhouse gas emitted into our air we need to pay attention to the damage it can do.  This is in part caused by our large increase in population.  This was an interesting part to me because I just transformed my project to seeing if there would be a possibility of imposing a green tax on campus and maybe even a carbon tax.  This would be one step in the right direction to reforming the damage that has been occurring.

I found the part about bottled water and its detrimental effects to the environment to be a very important aspect of this book.  I feel as though sometimes people resort to bottled water simply because it is easy and convenient.  I have a friend whose Dad owns a spring that produces water for Poland Spring.  Although it is nice for their family because they are well of and have made money because of the spring I feel as though it is somewhat unfair that they have claim over something like this water spring and they are charging people for something they have an abundance of.  I think it would be far more beneficial for people to buy water bottles such as nalgenes or clean canteens and refill them with water.  Part of the problem with this is that it is not always easy to find filtered water.  I know that I can taste the difference in the water that comes out of the water fountains around school.  My mom prefers to drink bottled water because she does not trust getting water from just around anywhere.  We have a “pur” filter thing on our faucet at home but when she is at work she does not have that always available.  Maybe if the water were more filtered and people could not taste some of the chemicals in it they would be more inclined to fill a water bottle rather than buy a bottle of water.

Environment and Society P 2

February 23, 2011

The second part of this book was much more interesting because it touched on several issues that I found correlated with what I learned in environmental economics.  Carbon Dioxide emissions which are plaguing our atmosphere at a swift rate are something any environmentalist looks at as a key priority to be dealt with.  By using tax and trade system we as a society can help reduce the amount of emissions produced by not only our country but to those less developed countries in which produce the most emissions.  Taxes which would be charged to corporations who pollute excessively could help government programs in building better ways through technology to help the environment.  Also this would allow governments to put the money back into rebuilding forests and doing other projects in which benefit the environment.

The planting of trees in a massive plantation is a good idea at first but it is killing the diversity of trees in one area.  Different kinds of trees should be planted every time.  Not the same one over and over.  Trees hold a valuable part in the ecosystem.  They promote life all kinds.  Humans try to interfere with nature too much.  While we have good motives to do the right thing for the environment, sometimes we just need to let nature take its course.  Plants and animals are becoming more endangered every day.  We need to change our ways and not the plants and animals.  Sea life and over fishing has become a big concern with environmentalist today as the book states.  I do not agree with genetically engineered salmon to be massively produced.  What if one of the salmon got out of the farm and ended up mating with a wild salmon?  or What are going to be the repercussions of the drugs they give the salmon 30 years down the road?

Another issue pertains to bottled water. Bottled water in the U.S. is out of control.  No one really recycles and everyone uses them once to just throw them away in the trash.  I do not understand why people do not use filters.  They are just as safe as bottled water and SO much more environmentally friendly!  They last forever and all you have to do is change the filter in them.  The book touches on another problem in the world and more importantly in the United States.  Obesity.  The amount that the U.S consumes over other counties is absurd.  Fast food is the main cause of this and the government should put regulations on fast food companies and the food that they are selling.  This book overall was a good read and it kept me interested because it hit some of the main points that are currently happening today in the world.  We need to be more aware of what we are doing and our long-term actions on the environment.

Possible future project

February 23, 2011

So as stated in my summaries, I am not a fan of bottled water. And I am not the only one. Look around and I bet you can find at least 10 bottles of water! Some schools have tried banning plastic bottled water. Some have been successful, others have not. Here is an unsuccessful attempt. The school board ended up voting “no”, probably because of strings attached to the companies that sell bottled water to the school. But, if bottled water companies pretty much created a desire, what type of tactic does there need to be to to “uncreate” this desire? hmmm?

Environment Society Part II

February 23, 2011

Ah, the second part of this book really uncovered some “puzzles”!

Not really goign to go much into the Carbon dioxide chapter, because it is pretty much everything we already know. Co2 is a byproduct of our massive consumption and addiction to fossil fuels. Unfortunately, don’t expect much to be done until there is a larger DEMAND for clean fuels. The moral implication of creating policies on limiting emissions of this pollution, is just that. It limits production. How can a country like the US tell other countries, “yes, we used this to get ahead…but you can’t.” Also, we don’t call tunnels in Pittsburgh “tubes”.

People need trees, and trees need people. We are a somewhat symbiotic relationship. We need trees to absorb some of the C02 we use, and we most certainly need the oxygen the trees give us…or we die. This is such simple concept, yet the way people have treated trees in history, is not very tree-centric. We cut them down, burn them (which releases more CO2), deforest to the max, we treat them like they are useless!! But we KNOW they are not useless since they are so critical to our survival!! And society scoffs at the people chaining themselves to the trees, making them seem crazy (which okay sometimes its crazy). But what if we just cut down all trees, and no one cared…we would probably die.

When wolves were reintroduced the Yellowstone in 1995, it seemed like a huge step for environmentalist. But at a deeper look, it can be just as anthropocentric as eradicating them in the first place. Realizing the ecological importance wolves have (that cater to humans), there was talk to reintroduce. Also upon researching wolves, people began to see resemblance to humans, the way they divide up powers. If wolves didn’t provide ecological services, or displayed “human-like” qualities…would we still care?

In the chapter on Tuna really shows the implications to tuna fishing. Comparing fishing to Blood Diamond, really helped paint a better yet vicious, violent, terrible, and terrifying picture in my head. I added terrifying mostly because I have ichthyophobia–a fear of fish. Some people are scared of spiders, and I am scared of fish. Weird. But what seems to be the problem with tuna fishing, is how commercialized fishing has become. This is true for the meat industry as well. My problem with meat/fish consumption is not necessarily the animal rights aspect, but the inefficient and energy wastefull-ness of it all. It is unsustainable. Commercial anything is usually going to cause a problem. It all goes back to the tragedy of the commons, when things are up for grabs, humans have a tendency to take more than is needed. But my critically thinking behind all this is, there are so much talk on saving the dolphins, yet it seems the KILLING of the fish are completely brushed aside? Do we humans give certain animals more worth and value?

Okay, seriously…WHAT IS THE POINT OF BOTTLED WATER?! I have contemplated this forever. And cannot even come up with a logical reason for the consumption of bottled water in the United States (and any developed country that has access to clean fresh water). Its ridiculous, millions of people are without clean water, yet people feel the need to pay a ridiculous amount to get the same water that comes out of the faucet! I cannot even fathom the idea that we pay 60 times more money for bottled water than that in Mexico. Its outrageous. My parents really really hate this part of my liberal-ness. They are pretty liberal themselves, but they get so tired of me kvetching about bottled water. They don’t care. This is definitely a market that invented needs and desires for consumers, because as stated in the chapter, there are no health benefits of bottled water!! Here is NRDC’s test to prove it!! Yet many believe that there are, its crazy. Buy a water bottle, fill it up, reuse, wash it. Its great. I promise.

The analogy to using ‘french fries” as a way to describe homogeneity and globalization, was a way authors could related something so American as fries, to the global issue. Ever wonder why no matter where you go, McDonalds fries look and taste the same (this is from memory I can’t eat their fires anymore!). Well it is no coincidence. It is all perfectly thought out down to the way the potato is grown to the factories to the deep fryers. So much goes into consideration, yet NO ONE CONSIDERS  the ecological implications of french fries. You first must grow it the certain way and that takes a lot of energy and water, then ship the potatoes to factories THEN tot he restaurant where they are deep fried. We all know fries are bad for you, yet special interest groups are always finding new things that are “most” bad for you. What will it be next? Will people finally be like uh FRIES ARE BAD IN GENERAL? Nope. (I do like them, I will admit but not the golden arches, they still use beef tallow in production YUCKA!)

Project Proposal: Downtown Recycling Bins

February 23, 2011

After Speaking with the Crew Leader of Delaware City Refuge, I’ve gathered this  information:

No there are no specific laws/City codes that need to be passed for the Recycling bins to be placed throughout the city of Delaware.

A problem with placing the bins into Delawares’ downtown is that with the public parking on the streets it is hard for the drivers to see over and through the cars parked on the streets, due to the bins being so small.

Another problem is that with the blue recycling bins the city use now don’t have lids.  Terry Davenport head of refuge said that when downtown, the buildings act as a wind tunnel, so for individuals who try to recycle any type of loose paper  would create more of a mess then it would to help it, due to the wind currents created by the way our downtown buildings were architect-ed.

This project has been proposed before, then only thing it comes down to is a money issue.  The type of recycling bins that the city wants to install downtown are cast iron cans, very similar to the trash cans downtown, only green not black.  The problem with this is the each can will cost roughly $700.00.  This is a big issue for the city because they have to spend money carefully due to other things that come up throughout the year.  Terry said they are waiting on a grant for the city to be able to purchase the bins.

He and I talked and came to the conclusion that there will be 1/3 of the recycling bins as there are trash cans located throughout the downtown area, which is roughly one per major block, on both sides of the road.

Although the city doesn’t offer recycling for private business owners downtown, each business is able to fill out an application for the city and become registered for cardboard pick up.  Terry said that with offering full-time recycling would be too many stops for the drivers since they’re already on a full days route.

One thing that has become successful is that the city has given 8 large recycling bins to the newest nursing home in Delaware, Willow Brook off of St. Route 36 and it has speed up the process, to where the driver is not picking up 40 little blue bins, but instead only emptying 8 bigger 32 gallon green tip carts, similar to the blue tips cans the city offers for trash.