Tuesday, May 26, 2009

From Doretta Rilea: how about some regulations?

This website is funny and gives an idea of how environmental regulations have to be well planned and information about their benefits readily available!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Affordable Sustainability by Mistie Beaudoin

Affordable Sustainability
PHS 100 Professor David Terrell
May 12, 2009 Warner Pacific College
While growing up I am sure we all fantasized about the future and what its technological advances would bring; flying cars, robots, super computers that did just about everything for us. Though not many of these things have come true, the advancements we have made, even since the 1980’s are astronomical. However, with these advancements have also come a price we have paid, or yet, our environment has paid for what we consider everyday necessities and some luxuries. Now in the 21st century we have had to reevaluate our way of life and see how we can perhaps take a step backwards in protecting our environment. Although we cannot turn back time on what we have done, we can change our way of life just slightly to make our world and our children’s world a better one. Though our past technological advances may have put a major dent in our ecosystem, our current and future advancements seem to be making steps to be more sustainable and consciences of our environment, without causing major inconveniences to our normal daily routines. We now have homes that have electricity completely sourced from solar panels, electric and hybrid cars, and building materials made out of all recycled products. Each person in this world has new ways of contributing by buying products that will greatly reduce their impact on the world, but with all the new advancements of sustainable products, how much are they costing, and how does the average, and even below average person afford these products. It seems as though the majority of the population in the United States is middle to low income families, and with the majority of sustainable products being at a much larger cost how are the majority of us suppose to contribute more than the everyday recycling or riding mass transit?After researching the cost of solar panels, I found that it costs about $16000 to have a home and all its contents run completely off solar energy. This high price does not include the cost of a battering bank or something called an inverter, needed due to the sun not shinning 100% of the time. Though the savings on an average electrical bill was quite high after installing solar panels, on a very fixed income, it is nearly impossible to come up with an amount close to the cost of the average solar panel install. A much higher price tag seemed the case for just about all items that were “more sustainable”. Even everyday products like a washer and dryer were far more expensive with the energy star logo attached. A price difference of $200 for someone with not a lot of money to begin with, buying a new item in general is quite a stretch, but to add $200 because it is rated more efficiently is an even bigger stretch.Presently I am a single mother, I work full time, and barely scrape by, and unfortunately this seems to be the case for the majority of single mothers in the world. So how do I, or anyone in similar situations, afford to purchase the newer, more sustainable products? Currently I am working on my degree to work in the social service field with other single mothers and low-income families like myself, and it seems that it would be very beneficial, for our environment, for companies market these products to everyone and not just those who can afford them. Even though there are tax credits for those who purchase more efficient and sustainable products, this is not enough to attract a lower income bracket of people to purchase such costly products.Though the government has made some steps to provide more sustainable products to lower income families, such as providing free fluorescent light bulbs when getting electricity bill assistant, not enough is being done to help them move closer in being stewards for our planet. Perhaps greater emphasis on educating about recycling could help or making it mandatory that every low income family is provided with reusable grocery bags because for many who think that these are such small things, such inexpensive items, others these are very out of reach.While recycling and being green seem to be the “in” thing, not all are as educated in doing so. Moreover, while buying the latest sustainable products may be an easy task for those willing to go the extra mile; these items are at a very far reach for those with little income. Although, another government handout is not the answer in creating more individuals willing to sacrifice a little in order for our environment to thrive, with a little education and more affordable and sustainable products, everyone can make the steps in helping our environment.
References: Unknown (2009). How many solar cells would I need to provide all of the electricity my house needs? Retrieved on May 12, 2009 from, http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/energy- efficiency/question418.htm

Sustainable development by Violeta McKean

Development and Sustainability
Environmental Studies PHS 100
Warner Pacific College May 12, 2009
Development and Sustainability Environmental studies is a fascinating topic. I have learned so manythings on the last five weeks of school. I am happy that this subject is one of our required subjects, because if we start taking care of our planet, our children will have a better chance of enjoying all the natural wonders that God created for us.Our society needs to make many changes to confront future development and sustainability; from recycling, to changing the way we eat. In my household, my children and I are aware of the importance of recycling, but this alone is just not enough. Lately due to my high cholesterol levels, I decided to avoid all red meat and not eat dairy products as much as I did in the past. I have since switched to soy products, which a lot of people consider somewhat bland and unappetizing. I don't mind the taste, and as a matter of fact after doing some research on the benefits of not drinking cow's milk, I tend to like it even more.Soy products are thought to contain many nutrients that are beneficial in the reduction of many ailments ranging from heart disease, osteoporosis, menopause, and several other health issues, on top of that, it is also considered an excellent source of protein (Novic, 2000). Cow's milk on the other hand, has been linked to causing intestinal colic, intestinal irritation, intestinal bleeding, anemia, allergic reactions in infants and children, as well as infections such as salmonella, viral infections such as bovine leukemia or AIDS like virus, as well as concern for childhood diabetes. There is also a great risk of contamination of the milk by blood and white (pus) cells, as well as a variety of chemicals and insecticides (Kradjian, 2009).Even thought the research is still ongoing about the beneficial aspects of soy, at this point it seems to be a better choice to go with rather than cow's milk. Soy was not taken seriously until the 1920's when its nutrient value and inexpensive production became widely known. Today, three quarters of a century later, our country grows one-third of the total world supply, mostly for livestock feed and non-food commercial products. Only 2% of the soy production is destined for human consumption, in the form of tempeh, tofu, and so on (Kradjian, 2009).Scientists advice that in order to save our planet we have to make changes and one of those changes that are being suggested, is to eat less meat and fewer animal products in general (Bittman, 2009). Unfortunately, the demand for meat has multiplied in recent years. Americans eat about eight ounces of meat a day, roughly twice the global average. At about five percent of the world's population, we “process” (that is grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than fifteen percent of the world's total. This has created the need to build huge confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories, consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require increasing amounts of corn, soy, and other grains. This has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world's tropical rain forests to produce grain for animal feed (Bittman, 2008). Also, the agriculture in the United States—much of which serves the demand for meat—contributes nearly three-quarters of all the water-quality problems in the nation's rivers and streams, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (Bittman, 2008).The production of meat, uses so many resources; for example, according to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, 30 percent of the earth's ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production. The NFAO, also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world's greenhouse gases—more than transportation (Bittman, 2008).It amazes me how everything is connected in someway or another. For example, the environment and us. The foods that we eat and our earth. The choices we make and the effects on our planet. So I find it only fit to include how changing the way we live or simply the way we eat, will affect the way we develop as humans. My major is Human Development, and it is easy to see the connection to how children are developing in different parts of the world, due to the circumstances they are being raised in. For example, children who are being raise in Mexico's Yaqui Valley, are suffering neurological effects due to pesticide poisoning. This is just an example of a plethora that exist. In destroying our environment, we are not only destroying the place that we live in, but the chances that a child might develop to their full potential. This in turn pushes third world countries to create a vicious cycle that will continue until we decide to make changes and take the poor into consideration.According to Mark Bittman from The New York Times, with all the grain we grow to feed cows to produce meat, we could feed the people that are starving and suffering from malnutrition due to lack of food (Bitman, 2008).Obviously, there is a lot that needs to be done to save our world, for now though, I have switched to soy milk and stayed away from red meat, I also recycle and turn my lights off when not in use. All of these are just small changes to the way I live. Some of these changes might require a little more effort than others, but in the end every bit helps. I encourage everyone out there to try not eating meat for at least a couple of day and staying in the lower trophic levels which provide more nutrition anyway. One person making a change, does not make a huge impact, but if more of us take a stand for our planet, we will be able to see the difference and our children and grandchildren might thank us some day.
References: Bittman, M. (2009). Eating Right can Save the Planet. Retrieved on May 12, 2009 from: http://www.npr.org Bittman, M. (2008). Save the Environment: Eat less meat. The New York Times, Retrieved on May 12, 2009 from: http://www.ujf.net Kradjian, R., MD (2009). How Our Food Choices can Help Save the Environment. The milk letter. Retrieved on May 12, 2009 from: http://www.earthsave.org Novick, J. (2000)/ Will Soy Save the World. Retrieved on May 12, 2009 from: http://www.jeffnovick.com Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2008). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN: 13: 978-0-8053-9573-0

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Floods and Landslides by Lisa Thompson

NW Floods
Flooding in the NW WS4 PHS 100 Environmental Studies
Professor David Terrell Warner Pacific College
May 5, 2009
We as a society are always at the mercy of the weather which usually is tied to natural disasters. Some natural disasters which can happen, have all happened in our little section of the world we call the Pacific Northwest, (Floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and landslides). I will be looking at some of the flooding that has occurred here locally, a little about flooding, and what to do about flooding. I was born and raised in the Portland area, living here all my life I have seen my share of rain and I remember not too long ago the flooding we had along the Willamette River in 1996. I will get to that in a moment, but first… What is a flood? According to Floodsmart.gov, “Anywhere it rains, it can flood. A flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow”. It also says ‘Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future”. The article mentions that Flood risk is not always based on history; it’s based on factors such as rainfall, river-flow and tidal surge data and changes because of development and building. (floodsmart.gov) Flooding can happen anytime of the year but some main causes can be Tropical Storms and Hurricanes, which luckily we don’t have around this area, Levees and Dams, (there are a few in Oregon), spring thaw, (we definitely see that when things warm up) heavy rains, which we do have a lot of, (off and on), flash floods and new development to name a few. (floodsmart.gov) Levees are made to protect against a certain level of flooding, but they can decay over time which makes maintenance a challenge. Levees can fail during a large flood, creating more damage than if it wasn’t even there. “Because of the escalating flood risks in areas with levees, FEMA strongly recommends flood insurance for all homeowners in these areas.”
I looked online and in Oregon there are ten levees and dikes but none are in the Clackamas County area or close by, there are four in Tillamook County, two in Columbia County, two in Klamath Area County: Howard Bay, one in Klamath Area County: Crystal Springs and one in Lake Area County: Summer Lake. (itouchmap.com) Flash flooding has happened in Oregon but is not very common, I found a few cases online but they are rare, and they are not usually in the Portland area. Heavy rains occur more frequently here which can cause flooding in warm temperatures if there already has been a lot of rain and snow in the mountains. Why would new development have anything to do with flooding? I discovered when I was researching this subject that according to floodsmart.com, “Construction and development can change the natural drainage and create brand new flood risks. That’s because new buildings, parking lots, and roads mean less land to absorb excess precipitation from heavy rains”.
Why do you need to protect yourself from floods with flood insurance? Because homeowners insurance doesn’t cover floods and, “floods are America’s #1 natural disaster,30% of all flood insurance claims come from areas with minimal flood risk”. (floodsmart.gov)Besides investing in flood insurance, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from losses due to flooding and to keep your family safe. Make a “flood file” which contains information about all your possessions which includes receipts, photos and videos. Copies of important documents like bank and financial records. Make sure you have a family emergency plan, and make a safety kit with canned food, water, first aid, blankets, radio and a flashlight. “Plan and practice an evacuation route with your family”. (floodsmart.gov) I have never been affected badly by flooding personally but I remember seeing the flooding of the Willamette River in 1996. My mother was working at a place called Willamette View which is located off River Road in Milwaukie with a view of the Willamette River. My son Jeremy (who is 15 years old now) at the time was little and about 2 years old. I remember my mother called me and said I should come down and get a look at how high the water was because the ground is high enough that it is safe there. I took Jeremy down to visit my mom and see how high the water was. I have a picture of us down there and I remember looking down at a house that was flooded and you could only see the top of the roof. Besides the Willamette River, the only other local rivers to me are Johnson Creek and the Clackamas River. I have heard about flooding along both of these rivers recently also. In conclusion, Even though I feel safe living in the Pacific Northwest, I realize that a natural disaster can occur anytime. I still believe we are lucky to live the Pacific Northwest where the climate is mild, and it is beautiful and green.
Unknown Author, (April 23, 2009), The official site of the NFIP, Retrieved May 6, 2009, from http:// www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/preparation_recovery/after_a_flood.jsp Unknown Author, (2009) Oregon Levees, Retrieved May 6, 2009, from http:// www.itouchmap.com/?s=or&f=levee

Working under a car by Tim Fast

Natural Hazards
Week 4 PHS 100 Professor Terrell
Warner Pacific College May 5, 2009
The afternoon temperature sits above 100 degrees as I find coolness on the floor of a garage as I attempt to change the oil in an old pickup. The single jack is in the back of the front wheel as I slide under the truck between the front and rear wheel and reach the oil filter located near the transmission housing. The oil filter is difficult to reach as I need to use both hands to enhance the leverage needed to loosen the filter. While reaching both arms as high as I can, and not in a very comfortable position, I feel the truck moving quickly in abrupt movements. Then I notice that my body is also being shaken back and forth as I look around for the prankster that is trying to annoy me. When I notice that no one is near the truck, I immediately conclude that an earthquake is happening while I am underneath three tons of metal. I quickly slide out from under the truck and run outside to safety. This earthquake measured over six on the richter scale and was the largest earthquake that I have ever been involved in. Emotions begin to emerge as I conclude that God has granted me one more day of life with my wife and 3 infant children. Within the past five years I had lost two of my friends in separate incidents to vehicles falling on them and crushing them while working on their cars...at home in their garage with their family finding them too late. The emotion that I had that day caused me to relive each of my friends and their families loss of life. Society is vulnerable in so many physical attributes associated with destruction, but one of the longest lasting results come from the emotional trauma that occurs following destruction. Some statistics show that 38-49% of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused from disasters are reached within a 2 year time frame. In Science Daily, June 4, 2008, an article titled “Brain’s Gray Cells Appear To Be Changed By Trauma Of Major Events Like 9/11 Attack, Study Suggests”.
The article said that “healthy adults who were close to the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have less gray matter in key emotion centers of their brains compared with people who were more than 200 miles away, finds a new Cornell study. "This suggests that really bad experiences may have lasting effects on the brain, even in healthy people," said Barbara Ganzel, the study's lead researcher and postdoctoral fellow at Cornell's College of Human Ecology.” Vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder runs in families and one author says that “earthquakes have aftershocks—not just the geological kind, but the mental kind as well”. We see these examples from soldiers returning from war and other traumatic events. These vulnerabilities especially are played out in large events such as floods, tsunamis, war, fire and other natural disasters. Researchers find that 41% of PTSD symptoms are due to genetic factors and 61% from depressive symptoms attributed to genetics. This information was found in Psychiatric Genetics journal. This information makes sense, because I have fears associated with flooding because of an event that effected my father and mother.
My wife has fears of heavy snow because of a friend of hers that was involved with an avalanche. I am sure that many of our fears revolve around past fears deep within our heritage

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

California Freezing by Diana Blake

Society’s Vulnerability to Natural Hazards
PHS 100 Professor David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
May 6, 2009
Society’s Vulnerability to Natural Hazards Natural hazards are tragedies in themselves; destroying the environment,wiping out cities and devastating lives. Societies must prepare and assess their vulnerability to possible natural hazards and make appropriate plans. Understanding the environment, the social culture and economics of a society can be vital in eliminating, or at least minimizing some of the some of the catastrophic repercussions.I have personally been affected by a natural hazard. While it may not have been a nationally reported incident, it certainly wreaked havoc on my life as well and many others. Living in a city outside Sacramento, California, our winters were cold but nothing like those of Portland over the last few years and certainly not as cold those in the eastern part of the states. In 1990, we experienced a very hard freeze. While my home was newly constructed and well insulated, there was a section of pipe that had been missed.There was some warning that there would be freezing temperatures and warnings to wrap pipes. I had taken the necessary steps to the best of my knowledge. I decided to leave town since it was during the holidays, I was pregnant with my daughter, my son was three and my husband was serving in Desert Storm. I was woken in the middle of the night by a phone call from my neighbor who said they had broken into my house after seeing water running down my driveway. My house was flooded by a broken pipe in the ceiling.As the temperatures warmed, the section of piping that was not insulated had burst from the pressures producing a steady rush of water into the attic and eventually into the rest of the house. Water has its way of traveling everywhere. Over two-thirds of the house was damaged. The water not only came down through the ceiling, soaking the drywall, then pooling on the floor. With the carpet acting as a sponge, the water made its way back up the drywall.Because our area was not accustomed to this type of climate change, many homes were affected. Carpenters were in high demand. Some took advantage of the situation and were charging astronomical prices for the repair work and taking on more jobs than they should have which meant the repair time was longer. I was lucky enough to have great insurance. They were very supportive and understanding of my situation (which you would hope them to be). My son and I were put up in a hotel for two and a half months during the reconstruction of our home.This was a devastating time for my son and I, but nothing compared to natural disasters where family members are killed and personal possessions are destroyed. Even more devastating are the countries without the resources to notify their citizens of what is headed their way or the means to rebuild from the damage. Thankfully there are organizations such as the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Their mission is “to mainstream disaster reduction and climate change adaptation in country development strategies to reduce vulnerabilities to natural hazards”.
ReferencesWithgott, J. & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment: The Science Behind Stories (3rd ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) web site. Retrieved May 5, 2009. http://gfdrr.org/docs/GFDRR_Brochure_At_a_glance.pdf [pic]

Earthquakes by Maria Buchanan

PHS 100 Instructor: David Terrell Warner Pacific ADP
May 6, 2009 Workshop 4
Natural Hazards can range from Volcanoes; Tornados; Floods; Monsoons;Hurricanes; and the list can go on and on.
The one natural hazard that I have experienced and am not very fond of are Earthquakes. The first time that I felt an earthquake was when I was about eight years old. We lived in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico and an all of a sudden our beds starting to rock. At first we did not think anything of it, but when my parents came to our room, we knew that something was not right. My dad came to our bedroom stating that we were experiencing an Earthquake.The earthquake in Mexico occurred in 1985 and it was an 8.1, the earthquake was felt in many areas through out Mexico. It was not a pleasant experience, but then again, I was only eight and things tend to fade after a while. However, a small fear stayed with me in regards the fact that earthquakes were not good, for the earthquake in Mexico had killed thousands of people.When my parents decided to bring my brothers and sisters to the United States, we moved to East Los Angeles area. Life was different in LA, but we adjusted and it seemed that things were turning out okay. Then, one morning as my siblings and I are getting ready to go to school, my older sister tells me to go put our dog in the back yard, and as I’m carrying our dog all of a sudden the ground starts to move.At first I thought that I must be imagining things, but when the ground starting shaking, I knew that this was something more than my imagination. Fear overtook me and I was not sure what I needed to do, and the only thing that came to mind was to hold on to anything that was close, so I held on to the wire fence.This I came to find out later that is not the right thing to do, but at the time I felt that there was no other option. Then what seemed like an eternity it all stopped. The question that came to mind, was what in the world did just happen? I ran inside to make sure that my brother and sisters where okay. We did not know what to do, so we all walked to school as it was only a few blocks away from our house.The devastation and emotional turmoil was everywhere. Fear, despair and agony were in the faces of everyone. As we are waiting to find out what has happened, the news hits me like a ton of bricks, an earthquake has jut- hit Whittier, California and it’s measuring at 6.1. This was the largest earthquake to hit California since 1971. Till this day, it is still shocking to know that my family had been thru that ordeal, and I wanted to find out exactly what caused an earthquake.Per a website The Geography Site it states that an earthquake is a sudden tremor or movement of the earth’s crust, which originates naturally at or below the surface. There are two main causes of earthquakes: First, that they can be linked to explosive volcanic explosions which most of the time accompany eruptions. Second, they can be triggered by Tectonic activity associated with plate margins and faults. These types of earthquakes are the majority of earthquakes that happen worldwide.Someone had mentioned to me that the San Andreas Fault runs thru California and that is why there are so many earthquakes in California. In doing some research, I learned that the Earth’s crust is fractured into a series of plates. These plates have been moving slowly for millions of years thru the Earths surface. The San Andreas Fault is two of these moving plates and they meet in western California.The interesting part of all this is that the Pacific plate (which is on the west) moved northwestward in correlation to the North American Plate (which is on the east), when these two plates are moving it causes earthquakes along the fault. I now that there are many other reasons as well as why we get earthquakes all over the world. After being aware to the fact of how earthquakes happen, it gives me a different perspective of what can happen during an earthquake. The devastation is still the same, but how to prepare ourselves when a natural disaster happens is our personal responsibility.Natural disasters are going to happen regardless if we want them to happen or not, this is Mother Nature’s way of “fixing” herself. However, it is important to know that we as human beings cause human made disaster and we can prevent that, but we cannot control what Mother Nature has in plan for us.
ReferenceUSGS (1997). The San Andreas Fault. Retrieved April 28, 2009 from http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/earthq3/contents.html

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Environmental Regulations by Trudy Chimko

Environmental Regulations Do They Make a Difference?
PHS 100 Professor David Terrell April 30, 2009
Trudy Chimko
Environmental regulations are rules or legal restrictions handed down inthe form of policy, intended to maintain and sustain our environmental quality. There is no question that population growth and advanced technology have escalated concern with respect to depletion of our natural resources and the condition of the world water and air supply. The government has taken many steps towards regulating how we utilize our resources in order to sustain them for future generations. But the question remains whether the cost spent to initiate and control these regulations outweighs the desired effects.An example of an agency well known for its commitment to preserving our environment is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This agency was developed as a result of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) signed into law by President Nixon in 1970. The EPA is focused on “conducting and evaluating research, monitoring environmental quality, setting and enforcing standards for pollution levels, assisting the states in meeting standards and goals, and educating the public.” (Withgott, J. & Brennan, S. 2008, p 68)The EPA has been involved in setting policy in a variety of critical areas including air pollution, water, food toxins, and issues surrounding asbestos, radon, and lead. The policy process includes identifying the environmental problem, pinpointing specific causes of the problem, setting goals to eliminate or stabilize the problem, getting organized by gaining support of officials, and managing the development of the policy (p 74).This agency has received some negative publicity when implementing policies. One public criticism is that the EPA uses adult standards for their linear response curves when testing toxicity. It is suggested that this eliminates the potential response to exposure to children and infants who may be susceptible to hazards much quicker because of their size and weight.
Another negative response given to the EPA is the fact that they use risk management in their decision making. Risk management is a strategy to minimize risk but it can be difficult to compare or measure cost versus benefit consistently. Benefit value is based on economic results and cost value is related to health. (pg 403). In the 1980’s, some began to complain that environmental regulations were causing an unfair tax burden and the government began to relax the enforcement of some of its policies. Our current political situation suggests a new form of environmental policy in the making that will focus on sustainability.Environmental regulations are here to stay. Regardless of the political party in place or other world events that may take immediate precedence, the benefits of agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency appear to be making a difference to our environment. Most of my research done was in reading the class text and in reviewing articles or government websites online. My goal was to get an accurate description of the purpose of the agency, their mission statement, and their roles and agenda, to make an informed decision on my view of environmental regulations.By all accounts, the United States is succeeding in eliminating or decreasing much of our concern with respect to waste and pollution because of agencies such as the EPA. These agencies continue to research current environmental conditions, use scientific knowledge as part of their commitment and decision for change, formulate responses to new concerns, and implement policies to initiate action. I chose to comment specifically on the EPA in this paper because of its extensive involvement in all areas of our environment such as air, water, human health, waste and pollution, climate, and green living issues. Their website has a wealth of information with respect to their current programs and twice a year, they provide a report that summarizes their various programs and past achievements. Although I cannot speak to the accountability of the funds used for these projects and I cannot confirm that taxpayer’s money is always used wisely in all situations, it does appear that the benefits outweigh the cost. We just need to take a walk, look up at the sky, and take a deep breath to know there is a difference.
Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment: The science behind thestories (3rd ed.). New York, Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
Retrieved April 27, 2009 on http://www.epa.gov/epahome/aboutepa.htm

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ethical Obligations by David Davis

Ethical Obligation
While the entire global community speaks of being more ecologicallyresponsible and proactive, it is obvious not everyone is participating. Many countries, cities, and neighborhoods are fully engaged but many are not. This holds true with businesses as well. Some businesses are fully engaged in becoming greener. They pursue every avenue to help reduce their environmental footprint while others appear indifferent.
One company forging ahead to make a positive environmental impact is Starbucks, the company many environmentalists love to hate. Is it simply a marketing ploy? It may be but even if it is, the entire global community is benefiting. Proudly posted on their website is their environmental philosophy. It opens with, “It’s our commitment to do things that are good to each other and the planet.” (Starbucks, 2009) What are they doing to fulfill their corporate ethical obligation to protect the environment, our environment?Starbucks outlines their plan to be good stewards of the environment with a three-point approach as outlined on their website:1. Ethical Sourcing: We’re committed to buying and serving the highest quality, responsibly grown, ethically traded coffee to help create a better future for farmers and a more stable climate. • Goal: Purchase 100% of their coffee from farmers who can prove their coffee is responsibly grown and ethically traded 2. Environmental Stewardship: We’re committed to minimizing our environmental footprint, tackling climate change, and inspiring others to do the same. • Goal: 100% recyclable cups • Goal: Recycling stations in every Starbucks store 3. Community Involvement: We’re committed to being a good neighbor and to bringing together our partners, our customers, and their communities. • Goal: Inspire action within the communities around their stores • Goal: Education community members on effective recycling practices Starbucks freely admits that the goals they have for where and howthey buy their coffee and other supplies are lofty. They do however expect to reach all of their environmental goals 100 percent by 2015. The proactive stance Starbucks has taken has caused some environmental activists who once reviled the company to become strong supporters. Many who once complained of the vast over usage of natural resources now point to their “green stores” as examples of how all businesses should function.Starbucks is joined by many other large companies in their attempt to affect the environment less. McDonalds has greatly reduced the amount of solid waste it produces and now uses biodegradable wrappers. They are also working to develop a more environmentally friendly cup. Also joining the effort are Burger King, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble and many others.The effort to clean up business practices is expensive and can be very tedious for a large corporation. The commitment to take on these challenges is a trend that we should all expect from the giant resource users. We expect that our neighbors to be environmentally responsible we should expect no less from the businesses within our communities. Is this movement to be more ethically responsible for the environment a clever marketing plan? Maybe but Mother Earth, this generation, and those to come are the benefactors of this effort.
Brennan, S. & Withgott, J. (2008). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN: 13: 978- 0-8053-9573-0 Brennan, S. & Withgott, J. (2008).
Enviornment: The science Behind the Stories (3rd ed.).Retrieved April 18, 2009 from http://www.myenvironmentplace.com/
McDonalds (2009) Environment Retrieved April 28, 2009 From http://www.mcdonalds.com/usa/good/environment.html
Starbucks (2009) Shared Planet: You and Starbucks. Its Bigger than Coffee. Retrieved April 28,

These Ideas from General Chemistry

Kristina Schumacher
General Chemistry II
May 4th, 2009
The Most Important Thing I learned in Chemistry This Semester
I have taken two quarters of chemistry at my Community College and one this semester at Warner Pacific. I gained a new knowledge from days spent in chemistry classes. However, this semester had one of the greatest impacts in my life. I didn’t just learn facts and theories. Instead, I learned how these facts and theories actually impact our lives. For instance, I learned about bonding, hybridization, and the molecular orbital diagram. I can now make sense of how these factors make up molecular shape and the VSEPR Theory.
Osmosis and osmotic pressure was one of the most valuable concepts I learned this semester. Osmosis is essential to our survival. This process takes place in our bodies to regulate our blood pressure. Also, chemical equilibrium and pH levels are so vital to our human physiology. This helps me believe that we are God’s creation. He has created such complex beings that involve internal buffers to control the pH in our bodies. Organs require certain pH levels which the buffers help maintain.
It was interesting to understand the basis of batteries. I could construct one knowing about standard reduction potentials, cell potentials, and free energy. I can picture the drawing we did in class on fuel cells and understand it fully. I know where the anode and cathode is. I know in what direction the electrons flow. In aqueous solutions, I can predict the reduction reaction and the oxidation reaction. In other words, which element or compound is being reduced or oxidized. Knowing these half reactions, I can balance complex chemical equations.
I felt so accomplished when I learned the basic nomenclature of organic chemistry. It made me more aware of how many times I hear butane or methane gas. Now I am able to construct the chemical formula and structure just by knowing the name of various organic chemical compounds. I can classify the compound as alkanes, alkenes, or alkynes. The organic chemistry aspect of this semester was the most intriguing to me because I want to become a nutritionist and study organic medicine. The way these molecules behave is essential to how learning how they behave in our bodies. Health is a major concern in our society. I want to gain the ultimate knowledge about nutrients in order to express my distress. I also want to become educated in organic medicine, the most nature form of medicine. I feel like our bodies are temples made in God’s image; therefore should be cared for in the finest ways possible.
Overall, I have learned enough information to regurgitate on a test, but the most important thing I learned this semester in how to make sense of the facts I learned. I was able to think critically on certain topics and relate them to my life. Chemistry affects every second of our lives, and this semester taught me how to realize how God can make the most complex systems work. We tend to take how God made chemistry such an important part of our lives for granted. Now I am so much more thankful.