Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Plastics in the Marine Environment

We need to really start paying attention when it comes to our plastic what we do with it. When you use or purchase a plastic or a light weight contaner make sure the you do the right thing once you are done using it recycling it be what you should do with it. Because we dont always do that we have some people that just throw it away it some how ends up in our ocean and it is affecting our marine environment. There are plastic flotting out in the ocean and fish are getting caught in them. There is so much flotting out there it's the size of an island that we need to come up with some thing to get ride of this problem before we keep losing more our marine life. check out this website http://www.blueoceansociety.org/plastics.htm it has a lot of info on this.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Our Oceans are turning into plastic....are we?

This is a scary article that discusses this huge spot in the Pacific ocean as big as Texas that is full of plastic and garbage. The article discusses the fact that this plastic is very dangerous for animals All of the animals from the smallest to the largest such as whales are in danger. There was a picture of a sea turtle that was being suffocated bt a piece of plastic wrapped around his middle. This was causing his shell to form an hourglass figure. The article also goes on to discuss the dangerous chemicals found in plastics.

Global Warming Effects

So many things can occur in our environment because of global warming. There is a visual map on this website that shows all the effects global warming has on this earth such as rising sea levels,threatened cultures, reductions in sea ice, loss of biodiversity and so much more. You can click on each icon and it will give you a brief synopsis of what its about. http://green.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-impacts-interactive.html

Mysterious Clouds More Common Due to Climate Change?

In this article which can be found on the National Geographic website states that very bright and illuminating clouds have been more common in polar skies. According to this article, the possible cause for this may be climate change. So-called noctilucent clouds, which streak across the sky in vibrant colors during polar summers, are ten times brighter than previously believed, according to recent data from NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite. A likely explanation for the clouds' surge is that temperatures in the upper atmosphere have gotten even colder due to the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The evidence linking carbon dioxide to changes in night-shining clouds is still tentative, Russell (AIM principal investigator) said. Go to: nationalgeographic.com and check out the images of the night shining clouds, they actually look really nice.

Crime Against Humanity

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/11/06/an-agricultural-crime-against-humanity/By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 6th November 2007
This is a really interesting article. It just blew my mind. It is about the government wanting to use ethanol as fuel. This would mean people in countries such as Swaziland will go hungry. These people are already in a bad drought. The author claims that the U.S. has several thousand hectares of land reserved to start producing ethanol. Ethanol comes from cassava those peoples staple crop.The author talks about the fact that food prices are already rising and people could not afford the food when it was inexpensive. Also, this takes more land which decreases the amount of arable land and water, which is already limited. The author also says that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says this is the lowest global food reserve in 25 years.
Amber Urias

Artic Sea Ice Gone in Summer within 5 years?

As shocking and in some respects not so shocking, some scientists had first estimated that the Arctic Sea Ice could melt away by the year 2040, however, NASA scientist Jay Zwally is now stating that the ice cap could be gone as early as 2012! As many of us now know, the cause of something like this occurring is due to such activities such as burning coal, oil, and other fossil fuels. Unforutunately when something like this happens the sea level will eventually rise and the global temperatures will gradually change. If you want to read more about this and check out some pictures of melting iceburgs go to -http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/33860636.html

"Mickey Mouse of the Dessert"

Watch this first ever video of the “Mickey Mouse of the Dessert.” This small rare threatened rodent is getting a lot of attention because of this clip. Scientists are choosing a few threatened species and providing a lot of awareness so people can help do their part to save these animals. So far it is working out pretty well.

Climate Conference in Bali


Al Gore is in Bali, Indonesia right now and was talking about how the U.S. is responsible for blocking process in the talks about emissions reductions. A lot of people took offence to Gore’s comment and one said "The U.S. is being open and working very constructively with the other countries that are here. We are rolling our sleeves up and really working to come up with a global post-2012 framework." Gore is also confident that the next president is going to support environmental changes and the Kyoto Protocol.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Surf Scoter Ducks

I thought this was an interesting article about the surf scoter ducks. The big San Francisco oil spill occurred at the same time these poor ducks migrated to the Bay. They came to S.F for the climate and for its abundant food supply of clams, crabs and mussels. These sea ducks are already having trouble surviving and this has just made it worse. So far, more than 1000 birds have been found dead but more have been saved and rehabilitated at a wildlife center.
These ducks are not on any endangered lists but their population has “declined 50 to 70 percent in the past four decades” and some of this is linked to global warming issues.

Kyoto Protocol: Austrailia Ratifies

As of December 3, 2007, Australia ratified the Kyoto Protocol after more than a decade of opposition. This leaves the United States as the only country not involved in this world fight over global warming. George W. Bush did not want to be included in this program because of some of the inconsistencies between the requirements of the developed and undeveloped countries.
I am willing to bet that in the next election a democrat is going to be president and will probably ratify this protocol. I think like most political issues in the United States, the political parties are split down the middle, not thinking about the entire picture or compromise but what is best for themselves. The Kyoto Protocol would require us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below levels specified in the Treaty. “These targets must be met within a five-year time frame between 2008 and 2012, and add up to a total cut in GHG emissions of at least 5% against the baseline of 1990.”


In class we have been talking a lot about how to recycle more efficiently. I thought this article was really interesting because provides a lot of tips on how to recycle almost anything. It supplies plenty of resources to contact to get rid of old vehicles, batteries, oil, other chemicals, phones, clothes, electronic devices, glasses, lights, food, books, art supplies, newspapers, paint, boxes, bags, carpet, plastic, peanuts, pans, envelopes, smoke detectors, Styrofoam, videotapes, even wire hangers. These are just a few of the examples this article lists.
I wouldn’t think about how to recycle most of these things and without easy access to a solution I would probably get rid of it without thinking about the effects on the environment. I think this is the case for most people and without widely available information and awareness this problem of waste will not improve. I realize recycling is expensive but if we find other ways to reuse products or find other people who can, we can each do our part to save the world.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

global warming

if you want to watch a video that really makes you think about global warming, this is a good one

Northern lights...just thought this was interesting

SAN FRANCISCO -- Scientists think they have discovered the energy source of the spectacular color displays seen in the northern lights.New data from NASA's Themis mission, a quintet of satellites launched this winter, found the energy comes from a stream of charged particles from the sun flowing like a current through twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting Earth's upper atmosphere to the sun.
The energy is then abruptly released in the form of a shimmering display of lights visible in the upper latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, said principal investigator Vassilis Angelopoulos of the University of California, Los Angeles.Results were presented Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting.In March, the satellites detected a burst of northern lights, or auroras borealis, over Alaska and Canada. During the two-hour light show, the satellites measured particle flow and magnetic fields from space.To scientists' surprise, the geomagnetic storm powering the auroras raced 400 miles in a minute across the sky. Angelopoulos estimated the storm's power was equal to the energy released by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake."Nature was very kind to us," Angelopoulos said.Although researchers have suspected the existence of wound-up bundles of magnetic fields that provide energy for the auroras, the phenomenon was not confirmed until May, when the satellites became the first to map their structure some 40,000 miles above the Earth's surface.Scientists hope the satellites will record a geomagnetic storm next year that's now in the making, and end the debate about when the storms are triggered.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Valley Air Quality Improving

Although this news piece may be two months old, I still found this to be very intriguing. According to a news piece on KSEE 24, our valley air quaility is the best it has been in the last thirty years, which I personally think is amazing considering that we do live in the Central Valley where a lot of the pollution settles. According to this article ozone violations have gone down almost in half since 2002. I think that this kind of news gives those who live in this area some hope that our air quality can and will improve even more in the years to come. What do you think? What do you think has caused this improvement of air quality?


The San Joaquin river and Salmon

On December 6, the Fresno bee reported on the proposed bill to return water and salmon to the San Joaquin river that was first introduced a year ago. The bill proposes that both water and salmon to be returned to the San Joauquin river below the Friant dam. Debates are going on discussing on who would pay for the project and if it would really help the salmon. A resolution is being hoped for in the near future.


On December 7, the Fresno bee reeported that Chukchansi resort and casino has received a permit to that allows treated waste water to be discharged unto coarsegold creek. Many locals and residents who live downstream protested at the first talk of this idea. The casino had been tied up in courst for months due to opposition but a casino representative claims that the pernit will not be used immediately. The casino is also in development of adding an 11 story hotel tower, raising questions of the reason for the water permit. Chanel Wright, a spokewoman for the casino stated, "Chukchansi Gold resort and Casino has no intentions of discharging water at this time, the permit is merely a measure the casino is taking in the event the water discharge is needed." The permit takes effect January 4th. This causes a major problem for organic farmers because they must certify that they dont use recylced water.

Global warming and take action now

Should we take action now or just sit around to see whether global warming is happening ? Here is a video that explain the role you may take and what would be the results of taking action right away.

Sustainable Agriculture

Just because something is grown locally doesn’t mean that it is better for the environment. Researchers at the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program are trying to figure out what the “greenest” way of shipping food is. What is better for the environment a bunch of local farmers driving their produce to farmers markets or one huge truck delivering all the food at once? These are the types of questions that the researchers are looking at to find the most sustainable way of shipping food.


Fresno air quality image

Here is a link to the NASA site that shows Fresno and Bakersfield's air quality. You can clearly see the haze over the central valley and southern part of the central valley.

Diablo nuke plant waste could travel through San Luis Obispo

Diablo nuke plant waste could travel through San Luis Obispo
12/10/07 05:21:09
Related Content http://www.sanluisobispo.com

Nuclear waste from the coastal Diablo Canyon power plant could be shipped by truck over San Luis Obispo County roads for loading onto trains heading for a proposed desert disposal site.
The federal Department of Energy says the exact method for transporting radioactive waste to Nevada's Yucca Mountain will be made on a case-by-case basis. Rail and barge methods are being considered.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune newspaper says that means there is still a possibility that Diablos waste could be taken by barge to Port Hueneme for loading onto Nevada-bound trains.
Federal officials hope to open Yucca Mountain in about nine years with shipping of spent fuel from Diablo Canyon coming seven years after it opens

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Conservation International

This is an awesome website that I happened to stumble upon when I was looking for articles on Ecological Footprints. It talks about everything we've been going over in class, has informational quizzes, and A LOT of really good information. Check it out. Google conservation international or simply type www.conservation.org into your URL and it will take you directly to the site. Enjoy.


In the spirit of our recent Ecological Footprint analysis, I found a free online quiz that anyone can take to determine their very own ecological footprint. I highly recommend this quiz to anyone who is interested in their analysis rather than going through the month long data collection that we had to do. This is much less time consuming, and will probably give you about the same results as our analysis that we went through. Visit http://www.conservation.org/act/live_green/Pages/ecofootprint.aspx and spread the word.

Challenge your knowledge

Just for fun, you can challenge yourself to online quizzes from the World Book Encyclopedia. Just go to www.worldbook.com and click on the link below the Trivia Question of the Day for a number of different quizzes on any subject imaginable. I took a couple of quizzes in the Science and Nature category, and surprisingly, I didn't do to bad thanks to the information I've learned throughout this class. Give it a try, you might surprise yourself.

Local Food Have Impact Beyond Kitchen Table

Read, listen, or watch the story of locally grown food and the impact it's having on society and their choice to buy locally grown rather than in supermarkets at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/social_issues/july-dec07/localfood_11-22.html. This is an interesting story of how society as a whole are making a movement to support local farmers and buy locally grown foods because the closer to home you can get it, the better it seems to taste. This is the opinion of most of the consumers in this story, and frankly, I agree. I would much rather buy food that is locally grown and know exactly what went into growing it and where it came from exactly, then not know any of the above. Check out this story and maybe you'll to think twice the next time you're at the grocery store.

Fresno State Pledges Campus Sustainability

In a recent article from the campus Collegian newspaper, writer Shirley Lau talks about how the university plans on taking a more environmental friendly approach to the everyday hustle and bustle of campus life. During the grand opening ceremony of the solar parking lot, Lot V, on November 9, 2007, university president John Welty signed the Talloires Declaration. This is a 10-point plan calling for the incorporation of programs such as research and teachings of environmental issues into the higher education system. The thought is, that since most of the people who manage society's institutions are part of or attending the university, this is the prime place for the environment awareness to be introduced and reinforced. As part of making the students and faculty on campus more aware of environmental sustainability, the new Henry Madden Library is one of the focal points of this project. The university sought out furnishings and carpet among other things to help make the library more environmentally sound. Another way that the university is trying to spread awareness of sustainability, is by providing more recycling deposits around campus alongside regular trash deposits. Right now there are only about 50 recycling deposits, but considering how many trash deposits there are around campus that number highly exceeds the number of recycling deposits. Just think, if there was one recycling container for every trash container, students and faculty would be more inclined to throw there trash and recycling in the appropriate deposits instead of just what was convenient at the time. Overall, I think it's a wonderful step towards sustainability awareness. If everyone on campus joined the movement and did their part, we would save more of the environment over time than we realize.

Go Green

In the Wednesday, November 28, 2007 edition of the Collegian (Fresno State's campus newspaper) the front page headline was "Go Green". The article talked about how for the past three semesters, teachers, students, and volunteers have been trying to cut down on the universities overall power usage. Student organizers were able to get 85,000 Energy Star light bulbs donated from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to hand out during free giveaway's through out the year. Amazingly, 20,000 light bulbs were given out during the first week alone. The students also handed out other items that had a long shelf life and would be a consistant reminder for the owner to do their part to reduce, recycle, and conserve as much as they can. Another big idea that the students came up with which has really made an impact throughout the university is labels for the light switches. They are reminders to students and teachers that when leaving an empty classroom, the last one out should turn off the light. This has had and will continue to have a huge impact on the conservation of energy and electricity throughout the campus. You can check out the Collegian online at http://collegian.csufresno.edu

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Do Global attitudes and Behaviors Support Sustainable Development?

The global population continues to stil grow. The rate of growth continutes to decline almost everywhere. Proverty had 63 % of blames of unfair treatment by society and 26% of laziness of being poor themself. 33% in U.S. said that the government was helping out too much. Yes, I think that is alot still and its just going to keep growing more and more. Because people in the U.S. don't care and rather than working use foodstamps. It is really sad to see people pay with foodstamps.

Ecological Footprint quiz in Mexico


Municipal solid waste management

Littering of ogranic wastes creates favourable conditions for rodents and other diseases.
Waste was used as fuel for indoor burners and destroyed in fireplaces or outdoors bonfires. Waste is also deposited in open bodies of water, such as ponds, bogs, lakes, and rivers and the ocean.
The industrial revolution increased the population of cities in America and even Europe. The industrial revolution transformed America into an urban nation.

illegal logging

In Indonesia the government has allowed loggers to come in and clear the forests. Now Palm oil plantations are replacing the forests because palm oil is used as biofuel. Indonesia releases more carbon dioxide than any other country because of the deforestation. This is now becoming a global issue because of the amount of greenhouse gases that are being released. The problem is how can countries stop illegal logging? Some people suggest the use of satellite can solve the problem.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Road to Kyoto

Though the road to Kyoto started in the year of 1985 where evaulations of the climate changes were happening, the Kyoto Protocol was not negotiated until Dec. 11,1997 in Kyoto, Japan( hence the name). It basically targeted the reduction of greenhouse gases that were being emitted in developed countries which aided in the global climate change. Also the countries that were involved in the protocol would participate in different stratagies such as emissions trading. Emission trading basically is where the developed countries in which secreet the most greenhouse gases would by permits, and traded credits from the developing countries that do not have a high cost in reducing their pollution. By doing this it would help reuce pollution in hope to reduce the rate of the climate change. The UN had realized that pollution was becoming a huge issue, they wanted to reduce CO2 emissions by 2005 to 20 percent below those of 1988.
The United States and Australia were not in agreement with the Kyoto Protocol. This Kyoto Protocol was a good step in taking action to reduce the effects of the greenhouse gases it has on Earth.

Global Warming

I found this article on the Fresno Bee website. This article talks about global warming and effects that are happening right now all around the world. At the rate of increasing global temperatures, at this time, it can cause major extinctions in 30 percent of the Earth's species. What is happening is that temperatures are rising everywhere in which certain species are not capable of evolving or adapting to the environment as quickly as it is changing. Different habitats around the world are being altered by the weather with increasing temperatures that it is changing the habitats completely. Some examples of the start of extinction in some species that this article gives are: over 3000 bats called the flying foxes have dropped dead from trees in Australia and butterflies have gone extinct in the Apls. because of the extreme increase in weather. It is evident that global warming is happening right now and it is a treat to different species all around the world.