Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blair Hardy's view on Mass Media and the Environment

Mass Media affect on Environmentalist:
A Cultural Influence
Blair Hardy
PHS 100A
Dr. Terrell
Warner Pacific
November 29th 2010

Mass Media affect on Environmentalist
A funny thing happened the other day when I was sharing some recently learned environmental information with my husband. We got onto a great discussion about the state of the earth and some possibilities that could come from the depletion of our natural resources. After awhile, my husband looked at me and said, “You’re not going to turn into one of those crazy environmentalists, are you?” Initially, I laughed and then I asked myself, why is having concern for the earth and wanting to change my family’s impact on the environment viewed as such a “crazy” act? Maybe being an environmentalist isn’t crazy; maybe not being one is. In the following paragraphs, I hope to elaborate on the negative impact main-stream media has had on the meaning of environmentalist.
There have been many times in my adult life that I have actively decided NOT to watch the news. Anymore local and national broadcasters report nothing but sad and depressing stories that are covered more for fear factor than for anything else, and stories on environmental findings are no different. “We get primarily negative news not because the journalists have evil intentions, but because the news media are placed in an incentive structure that makes it profitable to focus on negative occurrences” (Lomborg, 2001, p.41). To be attracted to negative situations is part of our human makeup. One could say, on average, more people slow down to look at a car crash than they do a scenic night sky. Humans are naturally drawn to negativity and mass media may be taking advantage of that; it is up to each individual to decipher what’s legitimate and what is not. “We must bear in mind that the stream of information we are receiving is unbalanced[;] we hear many negative and problematic stories every day that should not necessarily be taken at face value” (Lomborg, 2001, p.42). Mass media has become a much needed and widely used avenue for creating environmental awareness while assisting scientist with their intended agenda of manufacturing grants and funding to operate environmental studies. The dooms day approach is a great way to obtain grants but it’s also created a negative foreshadowing of any and all scientific reports and/or discoveries.
The complexity of what’s occurring across the world on an environmental level cannot always be easily translated in laymen’s terms.
“The communication and interpretation of science to the general public is achieved through a variety of media [.] It is understandable that environmentalists will want to maximize the exposure of science supporting their agenda. Unfortunately, the careful, measured language of science is not well suited to the sound bite sensationalism that is the typical mode of communication of most of the contemporary news media. The distortion of information that occurs as science is translated into the language of the popular media has led to accusations of press sensationalism” (Jepson, Ladle & Whittaker, 2005, p.231).
Sensationalism is a form of theatrical over-dramatization of news related issues; because environmentalists often use mainstream media to relay environmental findings their intended messages are often over-hyped for appeal. These repeated occurrences have had an adverse affect on environmentalists and the public their trying to reach. Many viewers have grown skeptical of environmentalist and their scientific findings, which is opposite of the change they’re trying to evoke.
In closing, it is common knowledge that mankind is having an adverse affect on the earth. It is also true that we, as a society, have the ability to change the size of our environmental footprint in the world. There are many everyday environmental changes that are needed to take place in our individual lives to maintain resources for our future generations. With that being said, one can only hope that environmentalist will be more adamant about presenting their findings in a less sensationalistic way, if not for the truth, for the integrity of science itself.

Jepson, P., Ladle, R.J. & Whittaker, R.J. (2005). Scientists and the media: the struggle for
legitimacy in climate change and conservation science. INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE
REVIEWS, vol. 30, no. 3, 231-240. Retrieved on December 8th, 2010 from
Lomborg, B. (2001). The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the real state of the world. New
York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on December 8th, 2010 from

Friday, December 10, 2010

Aimee Oman's view on Natural Resources

PHS 100 Environmental Studies
David Terrell Ph. D.
Warner Pacific College
December 9, 2010

When using natural resources it is important for us as a community to educate ourselves on what resources are available as well as the pros and cons of the different resources. Some natural resources that are available are air or wind, plants, animals, forestry, coal, soils, sun, and our water ways. As time goes by and we are using up one source it is becoming increasingly important for us to find new and creative way to create energy sources using other types of natural resources. Growing up in the 1980’s my family use to sale solar powered energy systems. At the time we were way ahead of the environmentally conscious community and the systems were too expensive for the average America to be able to purchase. However, many improvements have been made to make this natural resource more economic.
According to the website Alternative Energy News, “Solar power is produced by collecting sunlight and converting it into electricity. This is done by using solar panels, which are large flat panels made up of many individual solar cells. It is most often used in remote locations, although it is becoming more popular in urban areas as well.” In fact, even Wal-Mart is getting involved according to one of their articles. This website is full of useful information on many different natural resources and shares a lot of the most current information available. This website is just one of the tools that can be useful for our community to educate ourselves on natural resources.
The government’s involvement has impacted our lifestyle in many ways. For example, the majority of the states have enforced a litter law. Some states have fines while other states have possible jail time that can be enforced. In Oregon the fine is, “Class A misdemeanor. Fine not exceeding $6,250 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.” (NCSL, 2010) In establishing these fines, the government has reduced the amount of trash and helped to make our environment a friendlier, cleaner place. They have also played a major role in our parks and wildlife being maintained for us now as well as for our kids in the future. Without the US Forest service our parks would not be in the well maintained manner they are currently in. It would also make it so that they would not be sustained for our children to enjoy many years from now. Without the government we would not have laws such as the clean air act that regulates emissions and is helping to protect our ozone or the Clean Water Act that regulates pollutants in our waters.
It is important for us as a community to get involved and not simply wait until the government sets a mandate as to the different types of sources we are allowed to use. If we become more involved than we could possible stop the destruction before it happens. The easiest way for us to get involved is by being conscious of how we are using our resources. This includes conserving water, recycling when possible, and be generally conscious of the environment and our actions. While recycling bins are common in most schools and work places in Oregon I know that we are ahead of the curve when compared to the rest of the nation. If we all get involved we can help the government to accomplish the daunting task of preserving our environment and in turn our lives.

World Legal Directory (2010) Environmental and Natural Resources Law – US, Retrieved December 9, 2010 from http://www.hg.org/environ.html
National Conference of State Legislation (2010) States with Littering Penalties, Retrieved December 9, 2010 from http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13215
Alternative Energy News (2010) Solar Power, Retrieved December 9, 2010 from http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/headlines

Capturing Wind by Wendy Fullet

How to Access Natural Resources?
Environmental Study
Warner Pacific College

December 9, 2010

For many residents of the Columbia River Gorge the term “chasing wind” is going with the flow of Mother Nature. When the wind blows gather your kite board and run for the river. For scientists specializing in renewable energy the motive is more like “capturing the wind”. With an impressive wind power classification of level six, Oregon has become a leader in the production and utilization of wind power as an energy source forging new ground in the advancement of this industry.
Before there were acres of wind farms and grounds to test urban wind/solar hybrid turbines there were assessments required. The purpose of the research is to examine the sustainability, impact and the balance of the ecosystem when introducing an exotic 80 meter (262 ft) wind turbine with 130 ft blades to the local environment and the affects on indigenous species. How do we go about assessing the value of our natural resources and determine the considerations for our choices? There is a cliché that “knowledge is power”. It can also be our survival. To be good stewards of our land and natural resources, we must strive for further advancement in our understanding, improve our technologies and better utilize what is constant like the sun, wind and waves. To avoid any adverse affect, we must also walk through life and leave behind a better place than how we found it. Can life be as simple as what we learned in boys and girls scouts? While easier said than done, there is a price to pay, a cost to bearer for our economy, environment and quality of life. What is the price tag or value we as society will place on Earth’s ecosystem services? For a wind farm the assessment might include soil erosion, disturbance, habitat for fauna to migrate, noise pollution and survey of public opinion. The laws of supply and demand determine price in the free markets of our economy. For decisions regarding natural resources and our environment, we take a view of cost vs. benefit approach. If the infinite resources like wind can be substituted for less or replaced then vote with fewer Greenbacks. Unfortunately, it’s not like the next generation of iPhones or Apple TV’s. Throw- away society produces creative destruction of limited renewable or nonrenewable resources that can lead to depletion with no real solutions. And, what do we do with the obsolete power cords and old phones nobody wants?
How does environmental regulations and policy impact our culture and lifestyle? Policymakers rely on scientific research and regulate through a command-and-control approach. Other tools government can use to mandate economic policy are tools like subsidy to incent a desired effect, impose green taxes on undesirable activity, and permit trading in a cap-an-trade system that allows companies to receive credits and sell to other parties. Taking this approach allows the free markets to find more innovative optimal solutions and generally at a lower cost of the administrative policy. This can be viewed in some instances as a win/win of government and the private sector working together. The economic effects of wind energy are very beneficial. Wind is free to harvest. The cost is minimal for wind generators and turbines. In the 1980’s wind energy cost 40 cents per kWh, compared to today with cost less than 5 cents kWh. (The Solar Guide). The economic and quality of life benefits are significant from replacing energy sources that are hard to locate or extract such as oil, gas and coal. Wind is efficient to capture. Wind does not pollute the air we breathe and no waste is generated like nuclear power. Specializing in this industry demands high-tech pay job and landowners benefit from the benefit of leasing the land. While we may not know the downside long term effects of harvesting wind power the evidence of current information is we should be relying more on this technology and less on other hard to extract energy sources. If I were participating in the game of Settlers of Catan, seeking land on the leeward side would be advantageous. It would be like The America’s Cup of energy!

Withgott, Jay and Brennan, Scott (2008) Environment The Science Behind the Stories
Pearson Education, Inc.

Ben Benton's view on "Regulations and culture"

PHS 100 Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific

Regulations and culture

In this paper I will discuss my opinions on how society can asses our natural resources and how environmental policy affects our culture. As a very conservative person I understand that it is important to be a good steward of the natural resources the United States has been blessed with. I also understand that there is a certain amount of exploitation that is needed to sustain our needs. Assessing natural resources is important because if we do not know how much there is we cannot know how much can be used. Unfortunately, assessing natural resources is easier in some cases and harder in others.
The fisheries in Alaska produce approximately half of the fish caught in US waters (NOAA, 2010). There are 842,000 nautical square miles in the fisheries in Alaska. The NOAA is quite good at ensuring that both the amount of fish harvested and the way the fish are harvested remains sustainable. If the fish population is too small or does not meet the NOAA’s requirements, the season is delayed or suspended. After all, it would not take more than a few seasons of overfishing before the fishery would not produce and would have to be shut down for an extended period of time to recover (like Oregon’s Salmon fishery). By fishing sustainably more fish will be removed through time.
Less than two months ago in the same state, another natural resource was found to have been assessed quite incorrectly. The US Geological Survey issued a report in October stating that Alaska’s oil reserves are now 896 million barrels (USGS, 2010). This is a lot of oil and will continue to be pumped out of the ground, provide jobs and energy for the United States. The problem with the updated assessment is that it is ninety percent lower than the 10.8 billion barrels that were previously estimated.
The 2002 survey that estimated 10.8 billion barrels of oil and the 2010 survey that revised that number were both derived from test drilling in the oilfields. The 2010 survey differed in that it had access to the actual production numbers for the now producing wells. It also had the results of additional test drilling that took place to expand oil production (USGS, 2010).
Both the management of the fishery and assessment of the oil fields are handled by professionals in Federal departments that should be free from political tampering (we can only hope). The fact remains that one department sustainably manages the fishery while the other one was ninety percent high in their estimate. Unfortunately this happens. It will be interesting to see how the revised oil reserve information unfolds in Alaska.
Once resources are identified and quantified they are normally exploited. This can be pumping water from deep aquifers to water crops in the Midwest, this can be cutting trees down in Oregon, and this could be pumping oil from the ground. Typically the government controls the regulations governing the exploitation of the resources. Sometimes the regulations work and sometimes they do not. In almost all cases there are two sides trying to influence the regulations. I liken this to the cartoon character with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. One side wants complete access, and the other wants no access. In my opinion, neither side can claim to be the angel as there are positives and negatives to resource use.
My example of this is in ethanol use in gasoline production. Ethanol was required to be added to gasoline in 2006 after the MTBE disaster. The mechanical problems with Ethanol are that Ethanol is a solvent, Ethanol absorbs water (which can be bad for some engines), and the supply of Ethanol for fuel is of inconsistent quality. The environmental issues with Ethanol are that Ethanol is made from Field Corn that takes water to grow, Field corn is used in animal feed but it takes land to grow; land that could be used to grow food corn and Ethanol uses approximately four gallons of fresh water to make one gallon of Ethanol. There is no doubt that food production is an important issue especially in our hemisphere where more corn is an important staple. Ethanol uses Field Corn, and then only the starch is used to make Ethanol. The rest is used for animal feed. This still takes land away from food production. By far the most important environmental issue with Ethanol is its requirement for water. One Ethanol plant can make 100 million gallons of ethanol a year. This requires 400 million gallons of water per year or as much as a town of ten thousand would use. There is no question that freshwater is going to be one of the scarcest resources in the 21st century. From Ethanol usage to sprawling suburbia and their huge lawns to watering crops to keeping the thirst of the cities quenched, water management will be a central issue.
Assessing resources can be as easy as counting fish within 842,000 nautical square miles of ocean or as difficult as guessing how much oil is miles below the ground between geological formations. The regulations can be as clear as no dumping motor oil in to the storm drain or as cloudy as water management. One of the few certainties in life will be that the time to pay the piper will come and then we will see which cartoon angel was right.

Works Cited
NOAA. (2010, December 8th). NOAA Fisheries Alaska home page. Retrieved December 8th, 2010, from NOAA Fisheries Alaska: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/
USGS. (2010, October 25th). Arctic Assessment. Retrieved December 8th, 2010, from USGS.gov: http://energy.usgs.gov/alaska/

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Greg Hartnell's view on Environmental Regulations


Environmental Regulations My View
Greg Hartnell
Environmental Studies, PHS 100
Professor David Terrell, PH. D.
November 30, 2010

Would it not be comforting to know that each time an environmental regulation passed through the legislative process it received a 100% approval rate when implemented? Sure it is easy to think that all of society wants to breathe clean air, drink pure water, and look out over an unspoiled landscape—anyone who did not might earn a label from those who do…capitalist, greedy, non-enlightened, or maybe just deadbeat. And then again, those people (the deadbeats) might reverse label their counterparts as…tree huggers, environmental whackos, nature freaks, or maybe just hippies.
Rest assured, a newly implemented environmental regulation that was intended to bring about a positive benefit to the majority would surely be met with opposition from the minority. Some will feel threatened; some will cry out that the government wants more and more control over the environment—and in turn the individual; some will voice their concern over economic loss; while others will say that environmentalists are ‘taking over.’
A 100% approval rate is not likely, given the diversity of interests that rage throughout our society. Even though there are (seemingly) winners and losers in most environmental regulation scenarios there is (fortunately) a system in place that allows the government to analyze the financial implication and ‘weigh’ the costs of federal regulations against the economic benefits resulting from the regulations. Withgott, Scott (2008)
Coupled with historical data studies, practical application studies that show control results, and sufficient ‘real world’ implementation and procedural studies, I believe that I could make a valued judgment on any newly implemented environmental regulation.

Environmental Regulations My View

Corporate America is not a quick study. Again and again, companies
have responded to proposed environmental rules by threatening bankruptcy,
huge layoffs, foreign inroads into American markets, even an end
to the car-based American way of life — and it has never worked. Finally,
though, companies are acknowledging that the sky did not fall every time
they were forced to clean up their act and their air. (Deutsch 1997)

Good policy decisions require accurate benefit and cost estimates. Put another way,

economic efficiency and a balancing of competing social objectives require careful analysis of

the costs and benefits of environmental regulations. (Hodges)

The key point of Hodges’ statement is “good policy decisions.” Decisions based on suppositions and ‘feel good’ hypothesis need to be subjected to the scrutiny of cost comparison analysis. During the early days of environmental regulatory design (from the 70s through the 90s) companies first thought that complying with the new regulations would be “over the top” expensive—what was found after time was the reality that compliance almost always never cost as much as originally estimated. The terminology for measuring the differences in cost estimates of compliance is ex-ante vs. ex-post [cost estimates].
The ability to weigh the costs vs. the benefits of new environmental regulations is an important first step to implementing the regulation. As important are ‘studies of practicality.’ Can the new regulation be implemented without turning the world upside down? Will compliance be met with willing acceptance? These are just two questions that come to mind—there are more for sure. My aim is to keep an open mind when a new regulation hits the books.
I have the duty and responsibility, as a member of a small town planning commission (in the Columbia River Gorge) to review and enforce a number of new environmental regulations—many concerning water—believe me some you scratch your head over, while others make a lot of sense. One in particular is the Shoreline Act. This Act provides legislation for the establishment of firm setbacks from waterways…to the point where any development is prohibited within fifty feet of the shoreline. The exceptions are few and the permitting process expensive, but, more salmon are now running in the river as a result—to me (and many) the benefit of the Shoreline Act far outweighs the inconvenience and the cost.
The downside to all regulations, especially in light of the fact that governments are becoming increasing more powerful—with departments and agencies vying for power within the “top dog” structure of government—is the “takings” by government fiat. More and more of our land use rights are being restrained to the point where it is virtually impossible to contain the power government wields in the name of the ‘environment, or the ‘common good’ of the people.
Can we find a balance—at this time I would say no because those in power have the upper hand.

Works Cited
Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment, the science behind the stories. In J. Withgott, & S. Brennan, Environment, the science behind the stories (pp. 3-13). San Francisci: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

http://www.epi.org/page/-/old/briefingpapers/bp69.pdf Retrieved 11/30/2010 FALLING PRICES:
Cost of Complying With Environmental Regulations Almost Always Less Than Advertised
by Hart Hodges

The Big Picture by Blair Hardy

The Big Picture Perspective:
Environmental Regulations
Blair Hardy
PHS 100A
Dr. Terrell
Warner Pacific
December, 6th 2010

The Big Picture Perspective
When I was fourteen I got my first job as a barista at a small coffee shop. I remember feeling so grown up and so responsible for working and making my own money. I tried to work as many hours as I could, so that I could have my own money for my own things. After working there for about six months my dad said to me, “Blair, don’t grow up too fast, you have to be an adult for an awfully long time”; initially I thought, Of course I want to grow up, I hate being a teenager. Now looking back at that moment as an adult, I see what he meant. My dad was trying to give me a glimpse at the bigger picture of my life, and I couldn’t see it. In a lot of ways, I think many of us refuse to see that bigger picture, whether you’re 15 years old or 51 years old. In the following body I hope to elaborate on our societal tendency to look at short term effects on the environment, verses the big picture of factual past and present devastations to our lands.
In the United States of America we are blessed to have an agency known as the Bureau of Land Management as well as many other environmental government agency that ensure proper use of land to maintain a sustainable society. These agencies have the responsibility of overseeing public lands to preserve healthy, diverse and productive land for generations to come. The Bureau of Land Management helps our government maintain a long term perspective, in other words the big picture, of land conservation. Not only do they diversify land use but they also manage the wild and naturally present species that dwell in these publicly owned regions. Maintaining public lands and regulating some privately owned lands will assist in preservation which is beneficial for future generations as well as for our present day society.
Environmental regulations are essential for preserving the beautiful world around us. There are many examples of how environmental regulations have aided the quality of our life and agricultural needs. In our text, Environment: the science behind the stories, there are many stories of devastations that have developed due to the lack of regulations; like that of the 1992 case of Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council. Though this is a hot debate amongst many constitutionalists, this case brings to light some painful truths of why we need regulations. Though Lucas’ argument of losing out, economically speaking is quite true, the possibility for the devastation that comes with eroding land, and houses for that matter, is much more financially and ethically damaging (Withgott & Brennan, 2008).
Another story that caught my eye was that of the historical “Dust Bowl” event in the early 1930’s. Many people, myself included, don’t often realize how damaging our acts are on the world around us. Humankind loves to view the world as a resilient and indestructible mass of resources; unfortunately, it is not.
“Between 1879 and 1929, cultivated area in the region soared from around [12 million acres] to [100 million acres]. Farmers grew abundant wheat, and ranchers grazed many thousands of cattle, sometimes expanding onto unsuitable land. Both types of agriculture contributed to erosion by removing native grasses and breaking down soil structures” (Withgott & Brennan, 2008, p. 246).
The 1930 drought intensified the already eroding lands in the southern great plains of America. Human impact coupled with the drought and the regions strong winds, an average of 4 inches of topsoil was removed from this agricultural region. Enhanced crop production and grazing cattle for slaughter was the primary short-term focus of farmers in the Dust Bowl region. Today, government regulations and incentives help farmers maintain soil integrity for sustainable land use.
In closing, government agencies that regulate today’s human impact to insure future population survival is a necessity for our world, let alone our country. I see little difference in the regulations of land and that of what my father was trying to say to me so many years ago. Just focusing on the here and now financial gain is often a regretful road to travel; life is too good and too short to succumb to a monetary world.

Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2008). Enviroment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN: 13

Friday, December 3, 2010

Anita Siller's view of the connection between the Scientif Method and Western Culture

PHS 100A
Professor David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
December 2, 2010

The scientific method is consisted of the collection of data first through observation followed by experimentation and last the foundation of testing and one’s hypotheses. During observation it is important to write down ones educated guesses to invalidate those assumptions in the future and to come up with a pattern during the experiment to turn those presumptions into real facts. Ideas are powerful and real by asking questions about the ideas followed by analyzing and going through a thought process will help with those developments leading to creative innovative inventions that are economical and at the same time improve the environment by making products that are safe.
A rational assumption is usually a wrong way to approach an experiment. When everyone assumes the most logical answer it tends to be incorrect. Many variables factors require consideration into the data, research and experiment. For example: when experiments are mostly done indoors then further testing is required outdoors, one needs to consider wind, location, environment. Furthermore, environment, economic and social aspects are a part of the process whether it is stated or not. Most that have ideas consider these whether or not they are environmentally friendly or not. It is a must in today’s economy to consider costs and how it will affect business to succeed. Many people want products that are affordable and will choose a safer product to a product that is harmful. Socially it’s wise to choose a more favorable product; a good reputation behind a good product will be a win-win situation.
It is also by many trials and error that real great inventions have taken place. Most great inventors do not look at failures as failures they look at them as ways not to make those same mistakes again and to move forward overcoming those obstacles. Those that truly strive to pursue look at the future and the outcomes become a reality as they stay focused on the idea of a finished product.
Ben Franklin said it best “I found 100 ways how not to make the light bulb, I only needed to find one that worked.” It was inventors like him that paved the way for us to have electricity now. He used this scientific method of research, hypotheses and experimentation to produce the results he got. After the invention of the light bulb many others took this and found new creative
ways to incorporate new electronics we rely on today. By testing electrons many saw the potential this new idea could have; even today as resources become limited we find new ways to utilize the products we have to make them more efficient and economical.
Scientific method has been the foundation for western culture. Most Americans today want to utilize resources but with so many laws and regulations in place as well as cost of benefits require careful consideration. With science constantly changing what appears to be a “environmentally safe” product one year may be harmful to the next and is the cause of depleting natural resources.
Scientific method compliments what we know as the Western culture and vice versa they go hand in hand to provide a backbone to one another. We rely on science to give us new products and rely less on resources that are depleting. Western culture is that new idea waiting to be discovered and/or improved.

Ben franklin. (2010, December 01). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin

Scientific method. (2010, November 30). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Western culture. (2010, November 30). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_culture

Withgott, j, & Bennan, S. (2008). Environment: the science behind the stories 3rd edition. New York: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Intuitive Intelligence by Laura Knechtges

Environmental Studies PHS/100
Warner Pacific College
November 28, 2010

Intuitive Intelligence
Is it an intuitive intelligence which creates awareness of habitat alteration, deforestation, pollution in our waters and animal extinction? Is it our natural curiosity that is the trajectory for scientists and society to ask questions that result in conservation or preservation?
Or is it in the moments of silence, whether it is a walk in the forest, a stroll on the beach, or a picnic in the park when we learn how we could be better stewards to our earth? All of these questions could have been what lead scientist to assess society behaviors and the impact we humans have on the earth.
We currently have the pioneers, and pilgrims of our lifetime working in the field of restoration ecology. The practice of such crusaders may give us one of the greatest results of our history. The results come from an essential part of the scientific method of observation before developing a hypothesis. It is in the observation and assessment that we begin to see the enormous footprint humans are leaving upon this land.
One example currently underway from science assessments is “the prairie plants restoration project”. Jay Withgott and Scott Brennan mention the prairie plants restoration project in their text Environment. The prairie project is occurring in the Midwest. Due to agriculture in the 19th century the prairie grass lands were devastated and are nearly nonexistent. “A number of efforts are underway to restore small patches of prairie by planting native prairie vegetation, weeding out invaders and competitors and introducing controlled fire to mimic the fires that historically maintained this community” (Withgott & Brennan, 2008). Another effort of restoration in the United States is an ongoing effort to restore the Florida Everglades, because observations of over 90-95% of wading birds have disappeared.
Withgott and Brennan also mention “One of the most exciting restoration projects is being done in Iraq”. The project is beginning the process of restoring the Mesopotamian marshes between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. It is the history of thee Rivers which create enthusiasm for their preservation.
Having an understanding how communities live together harmoniously and competitively that lead us to these great and wonderful discoveries about our society and earth. Another important aspect of society and culture are the environmental regulations an intelligent society have implemented to protect what we value most.
As a culture and society, we have the ability to look at problem solving tools. It is within the tools and policies that create what we believe are ethical for our communities at large. It is our laws, politics, and governance which is the fundamental foundation for which we contain that which if important to our society.
Within our laws, communities create environmental policies, with the intention of protecting our environment. One example of laws is the “Clean Water Act”. This was a bill passed by President Nixon in the 1970’s. It was during the Nixon administration that the Environmental Protective Agency was also created. This agency was implemented to protect our Air, Water and other environmental issues.
It is this agency we rely on to keep society aware of the environmental issues that may arise, such as oil spills, catastrophic pollution spilling into the air we breathe.
Our intentions are good and it is within this goodness we develop what we believe is right. Not only right for us but for the children of our future. It is this good intention that we create our foundational laws.

Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment; The science behind the stories. San Francisco CA.: Pearson Education, Inc.

Elaine Holt's view on "A Comparison of Resource Assessments Pertaining to Oil Drilling in Northern Alaska"

Warner Pacific College
November 29, 2010

U.S. government regulation oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been controversial for decades. Petroleum industry groups, petroleum companies, and some politicians, say that the potential oil and gas deposits there are greater than any found in the United States in the last 25 years. They argue we should drill for these resources in order to provide jobs, support U.S. demand for energy, reduce the cost of fuel, and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil (Arctic Power website, anwr.org)
Environmentalists, scientific organizations, researchers, and local Alaskan Natives counter, that at best, the proposed drilling site would produce about 600 days worth of oil, at great cost to the largest, and most pristine, wildlife reserve in the United States (US Fish and Wildlife website, 2001).
A variety of government agencies, and other groups, perform resource assessments in order to advise courses of action regarding natural resources and to inform future decisions. These assessments vary greatly in content, scope and conclusions. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) resource assessments are narrow in scope. They address the amount, location, and accessibility of resources such as oil, gas and minerals for mining, drilling or other methods of removal. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assessments consider the same, as well as impacts to the land, wildlife, and habitat. Other assessments, such as those of the National Academies of Science and their partners, are often broader in scope.
The USGS website page titled, “Natural resource assessment: Estimation of the actual or potential value of natural materials and processes.”, (U.S.Geological website, 2010) provides a listing of reports and fact sheets on various geological locations in the United States and their associated resource potential. The USGS 2010 Updated Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA), assesses the “potential reserves of natural gas and oil within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and adjacent State waters”. (D. Houseknecht et al. pp. 1).
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2001 assessment entitled, “Potential Impacts of Proposed Oil and Gas Development on the Arctic Refuge's Coastal Plain: Historical Overview and Issues of Concern”, addresses a much broader range of considerations than does the USGS assessment. The Fish and Wildlife assessment speaks to: “The History of the Arctic Refuge as it relates to Oil in Alaska”, “How much Oil is in the Arctic
Refuge? ”, “The Unique Conservation Values of the Arctic Refuge”, and “Potential Impacts of Oil and Gas Development on Refuge Resources.”
As the nation struggles over whether or not to allow petroleum companies to explore and drill in this region, missing from the picture is an assessment of the impact to the local native people. A video available on the Arctic Power website (anwr.og, director and producer not cited, no date), implies that the people would be better off, and the local economy and access to education would be improved, if oil exploration and drilling were allowed to take place in the ANWR.
The Committee on Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska’s North Slope assessment (The Committee) is much more comprehensive when compared to either the USGS or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife assessments. The Committee is comprised of members from the Board on Environmental Research Toxicology, The Polar Research Board, The Division on Earth and Life Studies, and the National Research Council of the National Academies. The Committee’s assessment addresses on all of the topics surveyed by both the USGS and Fish and Wildlife. It also includes comprehensive interviews with, and assesses impacts to, the peoples of the North Slope.
The Committee reports that oil development has improved human services generally, but there greater incidents of alcoholism and diabetes. It reports loss of traditional culture and negative impacts to Alaska Native subsistence harvesting. In interviews with Native Alaskans, the Inupiat said they worry about a major oil spill, and our ability to contain and clean up such as spill, while the Gwich'in Indians, who rely on caribou for food and clothing, are concerned about the impact to the herd, particularly when the caribou are calving. This 288 page assessment also provides detailed recommendations on planning, further recommended research, the potential risk of an oil spill and the challenges of mediating such a spill.
In conclusion, there are many ways to assess natural resources. Assessments may be narrow in scope, with a very specific purpose and considering impacts to only one or a few elements, or they may be broad, such as that of the The Committee on Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska’s North Slope. It may be that these more critical comprehensive assessments are doable because the work is performed by several organizations with a variety of mandates, and because there is no single leader.
We need to consider all aspects and impacts prior to making decisions regarding our precious non-renewable natural resources, whether these resources are animal, vegetable, mineral or people. This underlines the importance of assessments like that of The Committee on Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska’s North Slope.


Arctic Power website. (no date). Anwr.org. retrieved at http://www.anwr.org/topten.htm on November 27, 2010

Committee on Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska's North Slope (2003). Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activies on Alaska’s North Slope. 9 pp. National Academies Press. Washington D.C. Retrieved athttp://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10639&page=133 on November 27, 2010

D.W. Houseknecht et al. (2010). Updated Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA). 4 pp. Retrived at pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2010/3102/pdf/FS10-3102.pdf on November 27, 2010

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2001. Potential impacts of proposed oil and gas development on the Arctic Refuge’s coastal plain: Historical overview and issues of concern. Web page of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,Fairbanks, Alaska. 17 January 2001. http://arctic.fws.gov/issues1.htm
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey (2010). U.S. Geological Survey Website. (2010). Retrieved at www.usgs.gov/science.php?type=theme&term=773 on November 27, 2010

How Society Assesses Natural Resources by Lisa Burton

Warner Pacific College
Submitted on November 29, 2010

There are many tools that society uses to determine how to best use our natural resources. One of the most common ways is to do a cost-benefit analysis. Estimated costs for a proposed action are totaled up and compared to the sum of benefits estimated to result from the action. (Withgott and Brennan 2008).
Today’s capitalist market system follows the pattern of neoclassical economics. Four fundamental assumptions of neoclassical economics have implications for the environment:
• Resources are infinite or substitutable.
• Costs and benefits are internal.
• Long-term effects should be discounted.
• Growth is good.
(Withgott & Brennan 2008)
However, when dealing with environmental issues, this would not be the best way to asses our resources as natural resources are not infinite, for the most part. An example of this is unregulated mining. Some companies may over mine the land; draining it of its resources.
Another principle is that cost and benefits are only internal and do not affect others in society. Yet, in environmental related issues, this isn’t usually the case. Many external costs are not calculated into the equation. These costs are such things as the effects on the environment and the people who live in the region. A good example of this would be when a company drains the natural resources and also creates harmful byproducts that affect the environment negatively, which then in turn, affects the economic structure of a society. This commonly leads to higher poverty rates.
Another principle is that long-term effects should be discounted. Societies tend to look at only the short-term effects and do not usually calculate in any potential long-term problems. In the case of mining, long term effects could by many, from the effects on the surrounding environment to the probable and possible effects to the economic welfare of the people.
The last principle is that growth is always good. Often, when dealing with environmental issues, this would not be the case. Sometimes growth may actually harm the very resource that a society is using or the method in which said resources is harvested may harm the land or people who live near the resource.
For decades, economists have assessed the robustness of an economy by calculating the Gross Domestic Product (Withgott & Brennan 2008). One recent alternative to this is to use the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). The GPI calculates costs beginning with the conventional system then adds in any positive contributions that are not monetary and subtracts negative impacts. The GPI summarizes more forms of economic activity than the GDP It factors in and differentiates between economic activity that increases societal well-being and activity that decrease it (Withgott & Brennan 2008).
There are many governmental and private agencies that work to accurately calculate the various impacts on society. These agencies help to create and enforce policies and laws intended to advance societal welfare (Withgott & Brennan 2008).
Governmental agencies, such as The World Trade Organization and The United Nations, and nongovernmental organizations, can exert influence. The World Trade Organization represents multinational corporations and promotes free trade by reducing obstacles to international commerce and enforcing fairness among nations in trading practices (Withgott & Brennan 2008). The WTO has the authority to impose financial penalties on nations that do not comply with its directives (Withgott & Brennan 2008).
Many nongovernmental organizations have been successful with using the federal government to enact environmental laws. The process is a long one. First, they must identify the problem. Second, they must discover a specific cause of said problem. They must also envision a solution to the problem; this is the third step in the process. The fourth step is to get organized. Organizations are more successful than individuals as they are not as easily dismissed. The final step is to gain access to politicians who can help to enact the changes. This is done through lobbying, campaign contributions, and the revolving door (where individuals who were employed by government-regulated industries take jobs with the government agency that regulates such industry.
Politicians can help these agencies by voting for laws and policies using the legislative branch of the government. They introduce these as bills, and they are voted on in the House and the Senate and enacted by Congress.
These regulations have an enormous impact on culture and lifestyle. It stands to reason that if a mining company drains the land of its resources and pollutes the air and water, then the people who live in that area would be impacted negatively. They would most likely suffer from food shortages, illness due to pollution and economic poverty.
Governments enact laws and policies to not only protect our resources, but also to protect the economic and social viability of the people. If corporations were allowed to use resources and were not regulated, the effects would be devastating.
Environmental policies are enforced in various ways. Most often, an approach called command and control is used. It sets rules or limits and threatens punishment for violating these policies (Withgott & Brennan 2008).
Other methods used are tax breaks, subsidies, and instituting green taxes. Green taxes are intended to help fund the negative costs on the environment as well as to make corporations more responsible for any pollution they create.
Cultures and lifestyles are impacted by any and all events that surround us. If governments do not regulate use of natural resources and try to lower pollution, then lifestyles are negatively impacted. If the lifestyles of the people of a society are hurt due to the negative effects of business on the environment, the culture of the society would suffer also.
One example of this is the Mirrar Clan and the Jabiluka Uranium mine. The Mirrar depend on the resources to live and view the land as sacred. It is part of their culture. A main reason they fought the mine in Jabiluka was over the sacred spiritual sites of the tribe. Another was the negative environmental impact that the first mine in the area had on the surrounding land (Withgott & Brennan 2008).
In enacting these policies, all nations have the ability to affect their citizens lifestyles; therefore, greatly affecting the culture of the people.

Withgott, J & Brennan, S. (2008) Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd Ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Euriziel Perez: A Banana Journey – From Planting to Eating:

PHS 100
November 29, 2010.
One hot humid morning in “La Plantación”, Juan was hard at work trying to cover all the banana plants with blue bags. He has been up since dawn and it was almost time for his morning break. He wipes sweat off his brow and looked up at the banana plants, overwhelmed. This season has been particularly hard for Juan, who after eight years of marriage and trying to conceive a baby, had found out from his doctor that his blood stream has a high level of Armagon. This meant that he would be permanently unable to conceive a child. Juan felt shocked because this was the only job he had ever had, and it was a good job, but it was making him sick. He sighed and wished that none of this had ever happened. He wished that he would have known his job was doing this to him.
Hundreds of men like Juan become sick as a result of the toxic way corporations harvest bananas. In fact, there are three important areas that contribute to this problem: growers, large corporations based in the U.S., and demand by consumers. All of these create an unstable environment and many unhealthy workers. The current method of banana production that the mainstream corporations employ is harmful to the environment and should be changed.
Everyday, hundreds of plantations around the world ship bananas to America and European markets; however, few people know the journey of a banana before it reaches the commodity of Western homes. Bananas are one of the fruits most individuals experience during their first years of life, probably because it contains vitamin B, B1, B2, B6, vitamin C, vitamin A, folacin, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc (Harpelle 26). Some people might consider banana as a great source of vitamins while others might probably eat bananas due to their sweet flavor. In any case, most people agree that bananas are pretty inexpensive in comparison to other fruits and the fact that they come from very far away.
The use of DBCP has resulted in the mass sterilization of hundreds of thousands of plantation workers from Central America, and the Caribbean to the Philippines and West Africa. Carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity are just some of the symptoms that chemicals applied to bananas have on the harvesters. But what about the plastic bags that cover banana bunches which are saturated with chemicals like chlropyrifos. Although no study has found risks for human beings in direct contact with chlropyrifos, Rachel Carson, in her book Silent Spring ads,
“The whole problem of pesticides poisoning is enormously complicated by the fact that a human being, unlike a laboratory animal living under rigidly controlled conditions, is never exposed to one chemical alone. Between the major groups of insecticides, and between them and other chemicals, there are interactions that have serious potentials. Whether released into soil or water or a man’s blood, these unrelated chemicals do not remain segregated; there are mysterious and unseen changes by which one alters the power of another for harm”(194-195).

In this case it is very difficult to clearly determine the precise risks of human beings once they are in direct contact with a variety of chemicals, as it is the case with many banana harvesters and millions of banana consumers around the world.
One could think that the banana problem does not concern us; however, every time we buy bananas from multinational corporations, we become guilty by association because in a direct way, we are contributing to the destruction of human lives. Even if one does not care for the conditions in which banana harvesters are working, at least one can be concerned about the product we as consumers receive. The high amount of chemicals that is used to produce bananas affects the environment. Many people might think that we live too far from that environment and it does not affect us; however, just a few miles outside Portland Oregon, an industrial landfill in Sauvie Island could grow up to 45 feet on a site that is zoned for farming. This measure has residents up in arms (Swart 1). How many of us spend summer afternoons at Sauvie Island picking berries, peaches, vegetables, and other fruits? probably many. Would you be willing to go to Sauvie Island again next summer if next to the farm you can see a landfill the size of 28 football fields? Probably not because we would be concern about the impact that this landfill could have in our immediate environment and specially the impact the landfill would cause in the fruit we bring to our homes and share with our families. Just like we care about the fruits produced here; we must care about fruits that come from afar, as well as the harvesters here or there, everyone deserves a safe environment and healthy food.
In order to create a favorable situation for every human being, education needs to take place in a massive way. Consumers need to find more about the produce we are buying. I know economics play a big role in the produce most people buy; however, if we all take steps towards natural produce, the prices will come down. Multinational corporations might not be or feel obligated to provide information on the side effects of pesticides and chemicals utilized in the growing process of their produce to their employees in the fields so that they can know the consequences of their exposure to the chemicals as well as to the consumers, as a human resources manager, it would be part of my goal to create bulletin boards, training sessions to assure that employees have a clear understanding of the risks and how they can still harvest the product in a safer way.
Multinational corporations based in America play an important role in the economy of many countries around the word. The changes in environmental friendly practices and better working conditions for workers have to change. It would be difficult to expect for it to change immediately because human lives are been affected due to the lack of implementation of safe material handling. Workers and consumers must stand in the same side because we are all impacted by the utilization of chemicals in our produces.

Work Cited Page
Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Boston:First Mariner Book,2002.194-195.
Cothran, Helen, ed. The Environment: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego
Greenhaven, 2005.85.
Harpelle, Ronald,eds. Banana Stories -The Banana in All Its Splendor. Thunder
Bay:ShebaPress, 2003.
McWhirter, Cameron, and Mike Gallagher. "“Subsidiaries Have Sprayed Toxic
Cocktails, Varying Mixtures of Potent Chemicals, on Their Plantations Without Removing Workers First." Cincinnati Explorer 3 May 1998. 20 Nov. 2010 .
Swart, Cornelius. "This Place is a Dump." Sentinel Nov. 2010, 12 ed.: 1-6.
"Corporate Reponsability." Chiquita Banana. 11 Dec. 2007. 20 Nov. 2010
"Organics to You Farm Fresh Home Delivery." Organics to You. 2006. Nov..
2010 .

Maintaining a Smaller-Footprint Therapeutic Garden by Julie Brown

PHS 100
Warner Pacific College
November 29, 2010

This paper will serve as one of an initial collection of papers to be used for a hospital therapeutic garden maintenance manual. Often maintenance strategies and tolerance thresholds are misunderstood in the hospital setting. The manual is intended for horticultural therapists, maintenance providers (the gardeners), and healthcare staff. The goal of the manual is to clearly state purposes of the gardens, advocate for willingness to change standards in landscaping in favor of reduced-footprint influences, and increase awareness and respect of natural rhythms; to promote the understanding of universal design and its implications. An overall goal is to increase awareness of gardens in healthcare, AND to emphasize the necessity of properly trained gardeners.
The goal of this paper is to address the environmental portion of maintenance, which is usually the first principle people will accept and appreciate.

Maintaining a Reduced-Footprint Therapeutic Garden
The therapeutic garden is not the rare space it used to be. Hospitals, care centers, and one park in Portland, Oregon have built therapeutic gardens to enhance the treatment milieu. Using nature as a therapeutic medium is almost as old as humankind and new and novel in our present day. Lacking a standardized, one-definition explanation, we can find Therapeutic Gardens described as a natural space that supports an identifiable population while in agreement with universal design; "often with a specific purpose, such as encouraging seniors to get outside for exercise, sunlight, and fresh air; or allowing children to 'blow off steam' during a hospital visit; or helping patients learn to use a wheelchair on outdoor surfaces before leaving the hospital. They should be designed using the most current research available. This is called evidence-based design " (www.healinglandscapes.org/gardens-overview.html). Universal design is best described as a design to include and be usable by as many people as possible without the need for adaptations.
The Portland Memory Garden (PMG) is located in Ed Benedict Park, 104 SE Bush St. is well used by the neighborhood and the larger community, but was designed specifically for people with memory disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Garden features that address memory disorders and physical frailty include a circular design to bring the visitor back to a central place, and so if a person wanders they cannot get lost or be stuck in a dead end. From the main entrance which is slightly elevated, a caregiver has a view of the entire garden. Many seating areas invite frequent rests. Shade, cover, and bathroom facilities also address comfort and safety; the Memory Garden is maintained for safety, with careful plant selection, pruning for open spaces and high visibility. The most effective safety feature is the main gate that can be closed to allow the dementia visitor to walk freely and their caregiver to relax knowing their loved one cannot wander away. Other activities in the garden include special events: weddings, engagement and Quinceria photos because of the lovely backdrop. The garden is the site of regular and scheduled community events with young families and bicycle clubs and senior facilities. The reader is encouraged to see much more at the Portland Memory Garden website at http://portlandmemorygarden.org/. With all of this human activity, it is unthinkable to have fussy, high maintenance plants sprayed with poisonous pesticides. So, how is the therapeutic garden maintained to favor sustainability and what are principles and changes we can make to reduce our footprint there?
What to change
Responsible environmental practices and the therapeutic garden share similar principles: kindness to garden visitors and kindness to the earth. The whole person is valued and treatment is based on the least invasive methods. The garden respects the soil and the life found there, and uses the least toxic pest treatments. How can we care for the garden with a gentler, more thrifty, and less invasive touch? We can change the way we landscape. The changes needed to address the future and sustainability are in our attitudes and perceptions of beauty and attitudes toward healing. Real change begins with attitude.
This writer's attitude is also (my) opinion based on 10 years of work in therapeutic gardens, and most of that in hospital gardens. It is not backyard gardening where we can plant with few restrictions and putter around on Saturdays, neither is it landscape maintenance that treats vast areas in minimum time and uses stock industrial strength plants. The tolerance threshold for each element, pests, grooming and pruning, is unique to each garden; more respect is given the natural life cycle and the possibility of nature solving imbalances. The therapeutic garden considers wildlife an equally important part of maintenance and respect for natural cycles. The garden must also work within a budget. Still, the most important attitude change I have experienced is understanding that plants need our care only because we put them in our care. The care given also reflects that given to the hospitalized patient and family, so we must be careful to respect and treat each element of the garden (family) with extreme value.
The Right Plant in the Right Place
Because we put them in our care it is right and just to cause little disruption to the natural environment. We use the “right plant in the right place” as the basis for almost all further plans and decisions. The right plant is happy where it is…it requires less attention, which means less water, fertilizer, pest control measures, less time on the clock caring for it. The adage about self change, "it's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world" applies well to small-footprint gardening. The right plant does not require a change in the immediate environment (soil pH, water, fertilizer), that plant's cultural requirements will fit into the immediate environment because it is native to the area or from similar environment. Taking cues from nature we can build healthy soil, conserve water, and use organic gardening techniques.
Plant the right plant in soil build with organic material and use an appropriate mulch, one that is found in nature. Ideal soil contains 50% solid material, minerals and organic matter, and 50% open pore space for water, air passage, earth worms and other creatures. Compost, leaves, manure, holds water and makes the nutrients needed for strong and healthy plants available to plant roots. It keeps the soil light and friable and allows roots to penetrate. Organic material supports the microbial life that in turn breaks down more organic material and makes nutrients available to the plants (Reiley, H., Shry, C., 1997. pgs. 32-38). More information on building soil, improving structure, can be found at www.organicgardeninfo.com. Follow the many links for even more information.
A word on changing attitudes and natural rhythms and systems: allow the therapeutic garden to slip naturally into fall and winter. Yes, we are called to complete our fall clean up before the fungi have a place to incubate, (so do clean up old wet leaves) but to honor the cycle and allow perennial seeds to remain on the stem. Finches and other small winter birds love Rudbeckia, sunflower, and Echinacea seeds. Educate visitors and encourage them to appreciate old brown seeds for their part in the winter cycle and the nourishment of little birds. Cultivate appreciation for the system, the elements working together, each affecting the other in some way.
Water conservation
An excellent online resource for basic garden water conservation is found at www.conserveh2o.org., website of the Regional Water Providers Consortium, which promotes cost-efficient use, wise stewardship, and protection of our water resources with the goal of meeting the values of members and the needs of future generations. The Consortium educational materials include a downloadable book of water-wise plant choices for the Pacific Northwest. Conservation tips, design, and strategies to employ: use a rain barrel. They hold 55 gallons of rain water to supplement or replace regular watering. Mulch with organic material to prevent excess evaporation. The rain garden is a no-extra-resource-needed specialty sink garden that establishes plants with spring rain and runoff, and survives the summer without supplemental water. The rain garden is a product of design and plant selection that trades beauty for less water down the storm drain.
Again, the right plant will not need excess water, that is by its second year. Drought tolerant means after the plant is established.

Pest review
Make careful and informed decisions for pest problems and grooming. Any chemical controls will affect beneficial insects also. Much better to provide biological and mechanical controls for pests. Biological controls are predators: insects that feed on or otherwise use plant pests and disease. A tiny wasp lays eggs in a tinier caterpillar or white fly for example, or a thousand Ladybugs released on an aphid infestation will control the aphids (Flint & Gouveia, 2001, pgs 98, 99, 104). A control that depends on the changed attitude concerns the hop vine. If you cannot tolerate aphids, don't plant hops. If you love hops, be willing to live with aphids. Treat with ladybugs in June, an learn about the ladybug life cycle. Hunting and picking slugs by night is a darkly satisfying mechanical control. To sum up, never use chemicals. They wash into drains and into sewer systems or the water supply. Chemicals are indiscriminate: the will kill butterflies, bees, lacewings, spiders and more. Instead, use the right plant; the right plant will not be easily stressed, which weakens and makes it susceptible to disease and insects.
The time has long come to cease a heavy handed human style of taming the landscape. The changes needed to address the future and sustainability as the relate to the garden are in our attitudes and perceptions of beauty, the appreciation for natural rhythms, and our willingness to refrain from invasive procedures. A holistic approach in people takes in mind body spirit; with nature a whole approach is location, selection, and an eye for true beauty. The environment impacts all three. Real change begins with attitude.

Flint, M.L., & Gouveia, P. (2001). IPM in Practice. Oakland, CA.: University of California.
Reily, H., & Shry, C., (1997). Introductory Horticulture. Albany, N.Y. Delmar Publishers

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mt Hood Eruption: Addressing Vulnerabilities by Julie Brown

PHS 100
Professor D. Terrell
Warner Pacific College
November 19, 2010

Mt. Hood Eruption: Addressing Vulnerabilities
Scientists say an eruption of Mt Hood is unlikely, still the possibility is enough to give pause and to assess our vulnerabilities and resources in the event of an eruption or other natural disaster in the northwest. The U.S. Geological Survey has monitoring and response programs in place to warn and prepare for volcanic events; other agencies, the American Red Cross for example, have funds, materials and human resources to mobilize in emergencies. My concerns lie mainly on emotional health of our community and our ability to effectively and soundly manage challenges associated with the longer term effects of a volcanic eruption. I will offer personal speculation on who and what might be vulnerable in a local volcanic event.
Before an Eruption
The U.S. Geologic Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) in Vancouver, Washington, was founded in 1980 following the eruption of Mount St. Helens. The observatory works in partnership with other USGS centers and emergency agencies to monitor volcanic activity and provide timely warning of eruptions, and assess hazards from volcanoes (pyroclastic flow, ash clouds, lehar flooding). They continue to improve on methods to better monitor and predict behavior of volcanoes; and work to educate all levels of the public and media about what volcanoes can do. The CVO also shares volcano information with emergency-management and planning officials which include the Emergency Alert System, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and relief organizations.
Empowerment through preparedness
One factor in anxiety disorders including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the nature of the unexpected. If a person has an opportunity to anticipate a potentially traumatic situation, assume an amount of control, and take action, then that one is less likely to suffer serious lasting affects (Mills, Reiss, Dombeck, 2010). Therefore, early warning acts as a major influence in the emotional health of volcano survivors.
The Emergency Alert System continues to adapt to new technologies for various communication applications. CNN Tech news (http://articles.cnn.com/) announces new technologies in emergency notification, including text messaging available now. Emergency response agencies, government agencies including military and FEMA, and relief services mobilize and provide rescue (consider the National Guard being the first on the scene to lift Katrina survivors from rooftops), evacuation plans, and relief. The Red Cross provides counselors on staff in addition to emergency food, shelter, medicine, clothing. Sadly, hurricane Katrina served as a tragic lesson in emergency preparedness follow through, and one I believe America will not repeat.
The vulnerable
The vulnerable in our communities include the elderly, infants, those with disabilities, and language barriers, which can cause greater feelings of risk. Survivors of past trauma are particularly vulnerable to anxiety disorders. Other influences, according to the American Red Cross, adults at risk for mental health problems think that they (a) are uncared for by others, (b) have little control over what happens to them, or (c) lack the capacity to manage stress.
Health and help for trauma
The American Psychological Association offers information on symptoms of stress and how to help. Symptoms in brief:
• Intense feelings, unpredictable at times
• Physiological responses including rapid heartbeat, sweating, cognitive impairment or delay
• Interpersonal relationship strained: conflict and arguments, or withdrawal and isolation.
Helping yourself and family:
• Be patient, give yourself time to heal.
• Ask for support: support groups, loved ones.
• Take care of your body, sleep as best as possible, nourishment, avoid alcohol and drugs
• Seek the spiritual
The last entry is from my personal experience. When I have felt I have nothing left God has been there to remind me that I actually have everything.
Standing at the Weyerhouser Visitor's Center twenty-five years after the blast at Mt St Helens I am profoundly humbled by the remains of an explosion to rival approximately 20,000 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs. There remains an enormous gaping hole in the earth. This is more power than I can imagine, more destruction than I can conceive. Should an eruption, flood, tornado or tsunami occur any time soon, I believe lessons learned and the continual improvement of technology will offer even better preparedness, which is the crux of limiting mental, emotional, physical and environmental impacts of natural disasters.

FCC Approves Emergency Alert Text Messaging System Retrieved 11/21/10 from http://articles.cnn.com
David A. Johnston Cascades Volcano Observatory U.S. Geological Survey
Retrieved 11/21/10 from http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/
Mt St Helens and Catastrophism Retrieved 11/20/10 from http://www.icr.org/article/mt-st- helens-catastrophism
Stress: perception and reality Retrieved 11/22/10 from http://www.apa.org/

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Laura Knechtges' view of "Scientific Method and Western Culture"

Environmental Studies PHS/100
Professor Terrell, Ph.D.
Warner Pacific College
November 20, 2010

Scientific Method
The only sound that could be heard was the alien chatter between the birds, which was muffled by the wind, filtering through the limbs and branches of the canopied forest. The light from the sun weaved through the squared and triangulated shapes, the trees made with its majestic limbs. This must be what the first Westerners soon discovered as they began to unravel the mystery of the new Western World. Many including David Thoreau wrote of the beauty of the environment the forest creates.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived" (Lenat, 2009).
Thoreau believed from his core that living simply would be the very thing that would keep the lasting beauty of the chattering birds and the weaving of sunlight between the trees.
Westerners adapted many beliefs and values for the environment. We have had those with radical behavior and chain themselves to a tree, because the core of their being believes it will end the cutting of trees.
Or you may find yourself reading about a heavily polluted lake sitting near an improvised neighborhood because the ore, coal or oil needed to sustain a lifestyle of the people.
The continuum of thought keeps the pendulum swinging; from the far right to the far left as we begin to develop ideas of what is ethical about the earth. This is the democratic way of western civilization; the foundation of our society.
If we were to ask what is the foundation of western culture with its relationship to the environment we might take a scientific approach. What would be the method for coming to a conclusion regarding our belief about our responsibility to the earth, other living creatures?
The beauty of science often looks at the detail, facts and evidence that come forward, when facts are revealed.
Several steps and techniques are involved in the scientific method. Jay Withgott and Scott Brennan write “The scientific method relies on universal functions with fixed natural laws that do not change, all events arise from cause of events, we use our natural senses to detect cause and effect relationships we observe in nature” (Scott, Withgott 2008). There is a formalized procedure used in the scientific method which includes; observations, asking questions, developing a hypothesis, make predications, test the predictions, analyze and interpret results.
The scientific method is fist set into motion with an observation which is followed by a question. It is the curiosity that may drive science. Once the inquiry occurs then it may be followed by a statement of explanation. It is not until the statement has been tested by an experiment which involves variables that are dependant or independent called a controlled experiment.
Once the experiment is concluded it is analyzed and interpreted with quantitative and qualitative data.
It is important to remember that the hypotheses are tested in different ways; manipulative experiments and natural experiments. The manipulative experiment provides the strongest evidence.
Once all testing and research has been completed the scientific process ends with a peer review; a written journal examined by other scientist then often the process ends with presentation to others and the hope is to have the research funded by grantees.
Science has found this to be the most democratic way to get out the information founded by scientists’. The democratic way of science seems of course is a Western philosophy and science may work in an entirely different manner around the world.

Lenat, R. (2009). Thereau Reader. Retrieved Nov. 20, 2010, from Thoreau Reader, EServer web publishing project, at Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa.. Web site: http://thoreau.eserver.org/citesite.html.
Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment, the science behind the stories. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education Inc,.

Scientific Method and our Western Culture by Greg Hartnell

Western Culture and Science
Environmental Studies, PHS 100
Professor David Terrell, PH. D.
November 20, 2010

At first the prospect of writing a paper on “What is the scientific method and how it has been the foundation of Western Culture” seemed a daunting task. Understanding the processes of the ‘scientific method’ that scientists use when undertaking a scientific study is not all that difficult. As implied in our text there is nothing mysterious about it; it is merely a formalized version of the procedure any of us might naturally take, using common sense, to resolve a question. (Withgott & Brennan, 2008)
The active involvement by scientists, utilizing the scientific method has driven our modern culture to new heights of awareness in two important disciplines: Social science and natural science—giving way to environmentalism.
Now, by understanding the scientific method (in its rudimentary form) I am able to begin my own process of discovery as to its (the scientific method) place in the foundation of our Western Culture.

Western Culture can be characterized as an ‘advanced’ civilization due in large part to the broad spectrum of knowledge gained by the key element of science—the scientific method.
What is the scientific method? It is an observational technique used by scientists to test ideas—in an orderly manner. However, this ‘orderly manner’ may differ from one scientist to another, respective of their field of endeavor and the particular challenge they face. In circumstances that warrant an ‘out-of-the-box’ approach a scientist may be inclined to stretch the basic methodology but, the scientist will still very much rely on the tried and true assumptions as outlined in the PHS 100 text (Withgott & Brennan, 2008):
 The universe functions in accordance with fixed natural laws that do not change from time to time or from place to place.
 All events arise from some cause or causes and, in turn, cause other events.
 We can use our senses and reasoning abilities to detect and describe natural laws that underlie the cause-and-effect relationships we observe in nature.
 The scientific method as outlined is as follows: Observation, questions, hypothesis, predictions, test and results. A hypothesis may be rejected which would be an immediate result, or it fails rejection which then moves the process to the prediction stage, testing stage, and finally the results stage. It must be noted that there plausible variations of this model.
As written in the Introduction of this paper, “understanding the processes of the scientific method is not all that difficult.” That being said, applying the methodology to specific situations to achieve a result requires a learned and trained mind capable of the aforementioned analytical processing.
When I think of our “Western Culture” in the context that its foundation is rooted in the scientific method—I am conflicted by the remembrance of that old saw; “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Was the scientific responsible for the elevation of knowledge that brought about the rise of Western Culture, or did the creative arts cue the rise of knowledge and awareness?
The scientific method may be a pillar of the Western Culture; but a culture cannot stand on a single pillar. The enlightenment that began in the Renaissance era was rooted in science and the arts. Coupled with an endowment of generational experience and cumulative world knowledge our Western Culture has evolved mainly because it has embraced and enhanced the scientific, the arts, and the freedom to explore all possibilities. Western Culture has and will continue to evolve as humans continue their quest for the certainty of their observations.


Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment, the science behind the stories. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Quiet Down and Listen" by Debora Southworth

Energy Dependence in the United States:
PHS 100 Environmental Science
Dr. David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
November 12, 2010

Many Americans are still resistant to the idea that we as a nation are addicted to fossil fuel as a means of energy production. In the past 25 years, the idea has begun to gain ground not only with the conservationist community where the idea has always been popular, but the general public as well. A portion of us are finally awakening to the fact that this country needs to become less dependent on fossil fuels to power our daily lives and produce our sustenance goods. We are also becoming aware that our economy is suffering from our dependence on foreign oil imports. Yet there are still huge pockets of resistance to the need to actively conserve the resources we have left to us. Phrases like “drill baby, drill” and “if I can pay for it, it isn’t too expensive” are still a part of our daily language. This paper will talk about how it is possible to wean this country slowly from oil and other fossil fuels and the alternatives to these substances that are in research and development for common consumption.

Quiet Down and Listen

The United States and China are now in competition for the title of World Energy Hogs. Up till very recently, the United States was the biggest user of fossil fuels in the world. Second to none, since the glut of cheap sweet crude that glutted the marketplace, our usage and dependence has skyrocketed. OPEC is seeing record profits and they are coming out of the pockets if the American and Chinese consumers.

Anyone who can read that sentence and not feel a chill run down his or her spine still lives under the misguided impression that a miracle will happen and the oil producing companies will discover an ocean of oil that will last till the end of time and gas prices will drop to levels not seen since the late 1960s. Dream on consumer, dream on. Here are the realities;
A) The world currently sits at the top of the peak of fossil fuel consumption. It looks something like this;
(Foss, 2004)
B) As it is perfectly obvious from looking at this chart, demand and prices are going up while production is going down. Feeling a little dizzy yet? Is your pocket book having tremors? Just wait, it gets worse.
C) China is experiencing an upsurge in their economy which is placing an increased demand not only on fossil fuel, but other non-renewable resources.
(Staniford, 2010)
This is what their consumption levels look like. Do you see a similarity here?
So, here it is in a nutshell; we are heading toward another oil crisis. OPEC has tightened exports and crude oil prices are spiking much as they did in the 1970s during the oil embargo. This country had to rely solely on its own oil output to survive. For those who were born in the 1980s or later and are unaware of what happened during the oil embargo, please allow this writer to enlighten the reader from personal experience. So, let’s all quiet down and listen.

As a long time resident of North Portland, this writer can recall that at one point, there were 11 full service gasoline stations on North Lombard from North Portsmouth to North Leavitt Streets. That is 6 stop lights and more than 60 blocks. In the early 1970s that meant the gasoline station also included an automotive mechanic and an attendant who not only gassed up your car, but cleaned the windshield, checked the air pressure in your tires and made sure all the fluids in your car were at appropriate levels. When the oil embargo first struck in mid 1973 after the OPEC nations flexed their political muscles after the U.S. and Great Britain committed the ultimate faux pas of standing by a political ally in the mid east, the privately owned family run stations were the first to feel the effects of this political decision. (Barsky, 2004) They sold out their supplies to local consumers in a matter of days to panic buying.

Then the panic deepened. There were lines of cars stretching the length of Lombard from the St Johns end to North Greely. Cars would run out of gas waiting in lines for fuel from gas stations that had run out of fuel themselves as fights broke out over the last two gallons of gasoline at stations that had been out for more than five days. Many small owners went out of business in a very short time. This author’s family was one of those who lost their business when prices began to rise exponentially. At the beginning of the embargo, gasoline sold for an average of 35 cents a gallon. By the end of it in 1973, gas prices had tripled. It took an act of diplomatic legerdemain by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to negotiate prices back down to “only” double what they had been only 1 year before.

Gas rationing became a national catch phrase again. The last time fuel rationing had been done in the US was during WW II when supplies were running short because of shipping restrictions due to war. The nation was under siege and held hostage by its own addictions to cheap fuel. Then President Gerald Ford lowered the nation’s freeway speed limit to 55 miles per hour in response to the nation’s call for solutions. For more than a year, this country made due without easy access to gasoline. It was a matter of several months before the country was put on a system that allowed people to obtain gasoline in a more orderly manner.

Fast forward to the present day. There is no such thing as a steady gas price. Fuel that had once been less expensive per gallon than a candy bar sells for more than eight times what it sold for in 1973. OPEC countries are sitting squarely on the largest deposits of crude oil in the world. The USA and China are the world’s largest users. But those deposits won’t last forever. They may not hold out another 10 years at our current rates of consumption. This time permanent steps to scale back our use of fossil fuels MUST be taken. There are no other options open to us all. Here is one option that has been presented many times and yet there are still those who oppose it.

The Pacific Northwest sits in a solar and wind rich region. There is technology available to us that will steadily decrease our needs for these dwindling fuels.

Wind turbines have been set up in The Gorge. Wind is a common fact of life in our region. People will feel about these turbines much the same way residents of Texas felt about the oil wells that sprung up and dotted their landscape 70 years ago. The difference is that the wind turbines don’t make noise and produce smells that make people physically ill. Sure, they hinder the view, but the trade off is less dependence on fossil fuels to power our homes.

Solar panel farms must be set up as well. The experiment by the State of Oregon to power the freeway lights along the I-205 and I-5 corridors between Wilsonville and Portland have been a raging success, provided a way to keep the metal thieves out of them is found. The technology may not be perfected now, but the future holds great things in store for us if we can be the forward thinkers we have been in the past.

Alternative fuels for vehicles have been a source of contention for 30 years or more. Now the time has come for us to put aside our pugilistic natures and work together. Although the way our leaders are treating each other these days, it looks like that may not happen unless the public makes it clear by a clear and concise vote of our pocketbooks that these things are what we want and what we need in order to survive.

Someone once said that it is only on the precipice that human kind is capable of change. The precipice is exactly where we stand. Change is never easy out here, east of Eden. There is no God to speak to us in an audible voice and tell us that this is what we MUST do. He speaks to us in a soft Voice that it is up to us to hear. And we must quiet down and listen. Science and science fiction are great places to start our process. After all, thanks to the late, great Gene Roddenberry, we have today’s cell phones and automatic doors. Just think of what we could do if we looked around and said to ourselves, “Look at that. I wonder if we can develop this into a usable product.” If not for that question, we would still have suppressed the Electric car and the Volt, the Leaf and the Prius would never have been developed and now sold to the buying public.
Now, we just have to get ourselves into the right habits. Recycling EVERYTHING is a great start. The Depression Era population could teach us a thing or two about using it up and wearing it out; we just need to quiet down and listen.
Barsky, R. B. (2004). Oil & The Macro Economy. Journal of Econmoic Perspectives , 18 (4), 115-134.
Foss, B. (2004, July 2). The Earth's Best Defense. Retrieved November 12, 2010, from Natural Resources Defence Council: http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp
Staniford, S. (2010, January 7). Early Warning. Retrieved November 12, 2010, from The Risks to Global Civilization: http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2010/01/where-are-chinese-cars-in-their-oil.html

Hal Linton's view of "Alternative Energy System"

Warner Pacific College
A reality facing all of us is that there is not enough oil, at our current consumption rate, to keep the world’s economy going. The cost of filling up our vehicles at the pump has increased by more than 30% in the past two years and people are worried because our nation is so dependent on the rest of the world for oil. Everyone has a responsibility to make sure we have the energy we need for future generations while at the same time protecting our environment.
Everyone wants to save energy and reduce their bills. There are many things we can do around our house to lessen the energy we consume and, which if practiced, will save us money. Change the air filters in your furnace. A clogged air filter will make your furnace run roughly and may damage it. Do not close air registers in unused rooms. Forced-air furnaces are meant to heat a certain amount of square footage. Closing the register is pointless as the furnace does not know that the register is closed and the air has got to go somewhere. In addition, the cold air from the room will actually cool the rest of the house down. Some appliances, if left plugged in, will continue to draw power even if they are turned off. Either unplug them or get a power strip where you can cut power to the circuit and stop the draw of electricity. Use only the normal cycle on your dishwasher as it will clean the dishes just as well as the heavy cycle. Applying these simple practices around your home can save energy (Energy Refuge.com 2009).
Many of us leave our computers running continuously. The rule is that it uses less energy to keep it running than it does to shut them down because the majority of the power they consume is during start-up. This may not be so true now. The new Microsoft Windows 7 has a much faster boot time so it will be easier now to turn your computer off since it can be re-started much quicker (AlternativeEnergy.com 2010).

We must all work to harness the renewable resources available to us so we can reduce the cost of energy, pollution, and our dependence on foreign oil. Engineers and scientists are working in the private sector as well as the public sector to find new ways to use renewable energy that are more cost effective and dependable. Some of the technologies being worked on are, solar energy, Biofuels like biodiesel, straight vegetable oil, wind power, Hydrogen fuel, Hybrid and Electric Cars, Geothermal and mini hydroelectric (TLA 2008).
Computer hardware manufacturer Logitech is soon to release a new solar powered wireless keyboard for your computer. This will free you from the hassles of changing batteries and eliminate the environmental concerns of disposing of the battery. Various small inventions such as these can and will make a difference in our environment and help conserve our limited natural resources.
Opponents contend that there are too many technological challenges to overcome before alternative energy can replace even a small portion of fossil fuel energy. Currently they are correct but we must continue to research and develop these new technologies so future generations will be able to survive and live in a clean environment. Arjun Makhijani, PhD, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research stated “With the right combination of technologies, it is likely that even the use of coal can be phased out, along with nuclear electricity.” That is a powerful statement and one we should all hope will be true

Alternative Energy.com (2010). Solar-Powered Keyboards. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from
AlternativeEnergy.com (2010). Win 7 Saves Energy. Retrieved November 17, 2010 from http://www.alternativeenergy.com/

EnergyRefuge.com (2009). Do You Make These Energy Mistakes? Retrieved November 17, 2010 from http://www.energyrefuge.com/archives/do-you-make-these-energy-mistakes.htm

ProCon.org (2007). Can alternative energy effectively replace fossil fuels? Retrieved November 19, 2010 from

TLA, Inc (2008). My Energy Friends - Alternative Energy - Renewable Energy. Retrieved November 18, 2010 from http://www.myenergyfriends.com/

Evelyn Hull's view on "Society’s Dependence on Energy Resources"

PHS 100 Environmental Studies:
Professor D. Terrell
Warner Pacific College
November 19, 2010

Society’s Dependence on Energy Resources
As a society we are dependent on energy resources and we have an opportunity to develop an alternative system to satisfy the energy needs of our society. The first water wheel that first generated electricity was built in 1882 and when the United States began building dams to help generate electricity they were small and did not adversely affect the flow of the river. As we began to expand westward, the small dams became insufficient.
The Depression of the 1930's, coupled with widespread floods and drought in the West, spurred the building of great multipurpose Reclamation projects such as Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, Hoover Dam on the lower Colorado River, and the Central Valley Project in California. This was the "big dam" period, and the low-cost hydropower produced by those dams had a profound effect on urban and industrial growth. Farming was tremendously important to America during the war and continues to be today. Reclamation delivers 10 trillion gallons of water delivered to more than 31 million people each year.
The theory is to build a dam on a large river that has a large drop in elevation. Gravity causes it to fall through the penstock inside the dam. At the end of the penstock there is a turbine propeller, which is turned by the moving water. The shaft from the turbine goes up into the generator, which produces the power. Power lines are connected to the generators that carry electricity to homes and businesses.
The reservoir acts much like a battery, storing power in the form of water when demands are low and producing maximum power during daily and seasonal peak periods
There are some major advantages of the hydroelectric power plants is that they do not require any fuel for producing power. The hydroelectric power plants utilize renewable energy of water to generating electricity. Since the hydroelectric power plants do not burn any fuel no pollution is caused by them. It does not emit harmful gases and particulate matter, thus keeps the surrounding atmosphere clean and healthy for living. The life of hydroelectric power plants is longer than the life of thermal power plants. There are some hydroelectric power plants that were built more than 50-100 years ago and are still running with no foreseeable issues. Wind farm life expectancy is only 20 years and coal-fired power plants last about 30 years. Water from the dams can also be used for the irrigation of farm lands thus producing the agriculture outputs throughout the year even in the areas where there is scanty or no rainfall. The dams also help prevent floods in the areas adjoining the large rivers. Since no fuel is required for the hydroelectric power plants, the cost of electricity produced by them is more or less constant. It does not depend on the cost of fuels like coal, oil and natural gas in the international market. The country does not even have to import the fuel for running the hydroelectric power plant thus saving lots of local currency. For the working of hydroelectric power plant very few people are required since most of the operations are automated, thus operating costs of hydroelectric power plants are low. Further, as the hydroelectric power plants become older, the cost of generation of electricity from it becomes cheaper since initial capital cost invested in the plant is recovered over the long period of operations.
It is estimated that the total hydropower that has the potential to be converted into hydroelectricity is about 14 000TWh (tera watt hours), which is five times than the potential hydroelectricity which is being exploited today. There are 82,600 dams in the world - only 3% generate power. It would be great if as a society used the energy produced by these dams instead of letting just lie there.

Diesendorf, M. 2004. Comparison of Employment Potential of the Coal and Wind Power Industries. International Journal of Environment, Workplace, and Employment, 82-90.
Khemani, Haresh. 2008. Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Plants. Retrieved from
http://www.brighthub.com/environment/renewable-energy/articles/7728.aspx on November 10,2010
Khemani, Haresh. 2008. Past, Present and Future of Hydroelectric Power Plants - Part 3: Future. Retrieved from http://www.brighthub.com/engineering/mechanical/articles/9017.aspx#ixzz15lBR77iu on November 10, 2010