Friday, May 21, 2010

Portland OR Hub For Environmental Development

Every single day we read news about the metro area of Portland OR related to environmental development. Environmental groups sprout survive and prosper in this environment and many expertize is being created.
Local and regional governments are, of course, involved and more is to come. Not only in the arena of high tech as solar panel factories and research facilities such as the one mentioned in today's Oregonian Solexant seeks loan from state but also from individuals that are taking all opportunities to live a more sustainable life like producing some of their vegetables in their back yard! video and of course being responsible citizens when dealing with their waste.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Societal Changes by Lisa Vaughan

Societal Changes in Development and Sustainability
Lisa Vaughan
PHS 100 - Environmental Studies
Professor: Dr. David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
May 19, 2010

In this paper, I will explain the need in our society to confront future
development and sustainability in the fishing and seafood industry. Included in this paper, I will explain how my dual major in Business Administration and Accounting will be affected by
environmental issues and how I will be using this course to be steward of the environment.
There has been a significant shift in focus in the business world towards sustainability. What does it mean to have sustainable development? Sustainable development is the development that satisfies our current needs without compromising the future availability of natural resources or our future quality of life (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. 2008). Confronting development and environmental sustainability is everybody’s challenge.
As a society, it is important we make ecologically and ethically sound choices, which conserve ocean resources and provide a sustainable and healthy food source for present and future generations. Marine ecosystems are not in a steady state, but are affected by the environment, which varies on many spatial and temporal scales (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. 2008). Fish populations respond to the variation in different ways. Changes in the ocean environment may result in changes in the distribution patterns of migratory fishes and can affect reproduction and recruitment in other species that has an impact on the fishing industry. Scientists strive to understand how these mechanisms work and to incorporate this knowledge into the management and conservation of the nation's living marine resources.
Having worked in the fishing and seafood industry these last ten years, we have made many changes to confront the needs of our society. To reflect on the development and sustainability issue my company’s sustainability mission is the Pacific Advantage. The Pacific Advantage is “to promote and support socially and ecologically responsible resource management practices worldwide with the understanding that improving the state of our shared seafood resources is our legacy.” As a company and as a society it is up to us to make a change.
The Pacific Advantage gives us the opportunity to choose to process, procure and market only verifiable legally harvested species. We have a systematic recycle program from the office to our processing facilities and participate in responsible management of resource and supporting of people and organizations that promote sustainable harvest of our natural resources. Some may speculate at what prolonged warming over the next century could bring, and our best guesses would be based on the types of variability in fish observed in the coming years.
With all the changes needed in our society to confront future development and sustainability, it feels good to be apart of a company’s commitment to stewardship of a sustainable resource and support responsible management practices backed by the most current research and science.
How my dual major in Business Administration and Accounting will be affected by environmental issues is simple, because with the improvements that have been made in renewable energy, not considering the alternatives to doing things the way they have always been done is essentially leaving money on the table. Regarding my accounting major it plays a big role in the environment too. Going green has profit considerations that we have not had to make before. Things are becoming more and more intertwined. For example, using an energy efficient filleting machine saves my company money… does it save it at the administrative level or does it save it at the product cost level. Administrative is the easiest answer, but to effectively evaluate the benefit of it through activity based costing and understand what the benefit would be if you increased production you would have to break it down to the item level.
In conclusion, how I will be using this course to be steward of the environment is through dedication. Being dedicated to practices of responsible management of the resources, as I have begun to understand that this is our legacy. Understanding the benefits of using renewable energy and being able to present the benefits in a way which gets them considered by my employer. For me personally, this will also carry into my home. Since looking at things on a grand scale puts up big numbers and is more eye-catching. It will lead me down a more energy efficient path at home to save money too. As society moves forward in the 21st Century sustainable development will increasingly be seen to be a resilience issue for protecting and enhancing our quality of life within ever decreasing environmental limits.

Business Dictionary. Retrieved May 11, 2010, from

Withgott, J. , & Bennan, S. (2008). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd
ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN: 13: 978-0-8053-9573-0

Monday, May 17, 2010

Energy Needs by Vickie Johnson

Wind Energy
Vickie Johnson
Environmental Studies
Dr. David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
May 1, 2010
Wind Energy

Since the industrial revolution our country has benefitted from both renewable and non-renewable energy resources. Without our non-renewable energy resources such as fossil fuels, oil, coal and natural gas, technology would not have advanced to its current levels, providing us with the luxuries we enjoy today. The development and retention of these vital energy resources is essential to the inner workings of our country. Unfortunately, progress is not perfection and we have managed to deplete our precious energy resources to a level which indicates they may disappear in the coming decades or centuries. This realization has encouraged mankind to research and implement new energy resources or better utilize those resources which are currently available without limitation from our creator.
Dating back to 3200 B.C., the ancient Egyptians utilized wind power to sail their boats along the Nile River. It is believed the Chinese invented the windmill and historians purport the Persians were using windmills to grind grains and pump water around 200 B.C. By 1000 A.D. the Vikings had explored and conquered the North Atlantic because of the power of the wind. The Dutch needed windmills to pump water from their flooded fields and the French farmers were able to transport water using wind energy to irrigate their crops. Throughout time we have been harnessing the mighty power of the wind. By gaining a better understanding of how wind energy is generated we may be able to preserve our priceless natural resources and find a sustainable solution to our energy problems. (“Comparing,” 2009).
Wind energy is an indirect form of solar energy and is generated by different air temperatures in different locations. The ideal location for wind turbines is on large bodies of water, which also proves to be the most expensive location in terms of installation, maintenance and retention of electricity produced. Coming in second, oceanfront property, mountainous regions, plains or plateaus with nearby bodies of water generally have consistent winds. Winds are created by warm air rising during the day and cooler air from oceans or lakes rushing into the warmer regions. For example, the Columbia River Gorge is an ideal location for wind turbines due to the consistent winds during particular months. Cool, coastal air is pulled into the Gorge by the warm, desert air, producing a vacuum effect. Global wind patterns like prevailing trade winds are created due to differences in air temperature between tropical and polar regions. Technological advances have allowed us to “harvest” the wind, creating electricity in the process. (“American Wind,” 2010).
Wind flow, or kinetic energy, when harvested by modern wind turbines is converted by a generator to produce electricity to power homes, businesses, schools, and the like. Wind turbines, like aircraft propeller blades, turn in the moving air and power the electric generator supplying an electric current. Simply stated, a wind turbine is the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity. Windmills were introduced to the United States in 1854 and the first wind turbine to generate electricity was constructed by inventor Charles Brush in Cleveland, Ohio. (“Comparing, 2009).
The oil crisis in the 1970’s started the interest in wind power and renewable energy in the United States. Wind energy is the fastest growing energy sector and has expanded globally over twenty-five percent each year between 2000 and 2005. Currently, many countries throughout the world are utilizing wind energy to produce electricity. In fact, Germany and Spain meet thirty-five percent of their electrical needs by harnessing the wind. In 2008, the United States wind energy industry installed over 8,500 megawatts of new generating capacity, enough to serve over two million homes. Meteorological evidence suggests wind power could meet electrical needs of the entire country. When exploring renewable energy development, the costs should always be considered. (“Wind Energy Development,” 2010).
Even though the cost of wind power has decreased dramatically in the past 10 years, the technology requires a higher initial investment than fossil-fueled generators of electricity. Roughly 80% of the cost is the machinery, with the balance being site preparation and installation. Off shore sites are more expensive to develop due to installation, maintenance and retention of electricity costs. Fortunately, costs to develop wind farms have decreased due to economies of scale and new technology, falling nearly twenty percent since 2005. After a wind farm is established and producing electricity, they are financially sound. (“Alternate Energy,” n.d.).
Wind turbines have been shown to produce twenty-three times more energy than they consume. Comparatively, nuclear energy produces sixteen times more energy than consumed, coal eleven times more energy and natural gas only five times more energy than is consumed. Long term potential for wind energy is believed to be five times the 2006 global energy consumption or forty times the electricity demand. Distribution of the electricity will remain stable as it cannot be affected by fuel market price fluctuations. (Brennan & Withgott, 2008).
There are additional benefits to the development of wind energy. By offsetting more polluting forms of energy generation, wind energy can actually improve air quality and our health by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Wind energy decreases our dependence on non-renewable energy resources such as fuel imports and does not require the use of fossil fuels. Economically, continued development of this industry will prove to be financially beneficial to society.
The installation of wind turbine farms increases employment opportunities through the implementation, maintenance and access of such sites, in addition to the creation of mechanical parts to construct the machinery. Approximately 85,000 people are employed in the wind industry today, up from 50,000 one year ago. In addition, the infrastructure is usually improved with the installation of wind farms due to road, transportation and power upgrades which benefit the local community and land owners. With the recent reductions in agricultural uses of farm land, farmers will have income producing opportunities once again through the leasing of their property for wind development, increasing their revenues and providing additional property tax income for the local government. (“Wind Energy Facts,” 2010).
Further development of wind energy will continue to make important contributions to our economic growth and stability. It has already become apparent that the installation of wind farms encourages ecotourism and supports the dialogue and progression we are engaged in as a society in becoming more “green,” always seeking new ways to both protect and power our planet.

Alternate Energy Sources. n.d. Retrieved from: Retrieval date: April 20, 2010.

American Wind Energy Association. (2009). Retrieved from: Retrieval date: April 21, 2010

Brennan. S., Withgott, J. (2008). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories. San Francisco,
CA. Pearson Education, Inc.

Think Quest Organization. Comparing Alternative Energy Forms – The History of Wind Power. (2009) Retrieved from: date: April 25, 2010.

Wind Energy Development. Retrieved from:
Retrieval date: April 21, 2010

Wind Energy Facts. Retrieved from:
Retrieval date: April 20, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blogging about blogging

This is a great blog: Best Green Blogs Directory
From composting to "this week featured blogs" this is for sure a must read for all interested in sustainable living. As more and more information is becoming available the need for synthesis and condensation becomes urgent.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Matt Brown's "Environmental Steward"

Matt Brown
Environmental Studies
PHS 100
Warner Pacific College
May 3rd, 2010

Solara: What was it like before?
Eli: People had more than they needed, people didn't know what was precious and what wasn't. People threw away things they kill each other for now
(Book of Eli, 2010)
In The Book of Eli, Denzel Washington’s character shares about how things were different before a nuclear war destroyed most everything. The story takes place where there are very few plants, ash falls from the sky and people kill over shampoo. I share this quote because I hope to become a teacher and I do not want to spend my days desperately trying to explain why I am nostalgic for how the Northwest once was beautiful.
One of the best ways I can think to try and protect what I love is to not get caught up in terms and political controversy. I want to get to the heart of the issue. There is so much we can do that will benefit us directly without the added long windedness that often accompanies the necessity of being right. I don’t care if a person believes in global warming or not. What I want to know is: if there are things on this planet worth protecting then what are you willing to do for them? Essentially, I don’t want to know what a person thinks as much as I want to know how they live.
I love the northwest. We have amazing forests, rivers, and mountains. The air is fresh and the water tastes good. Yet, when I consider driving less it really has nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions. I like the peace of riding my bike. I like the money it saves me. I like being outdoors. Similarly, when I recycle I’m not really thinking about global warming or landfills, but that I want to be a good steward of what I have. I don’t want to waste.
Despite the things I do with no environmental motive, I do take immense pride in where I live, I do pick up trash when I see it. I do support local business. I do maintain a vegetable garden and go to the farmers market. I compost and I have redone a lot of my house to make it more energy efficient. Though these things are environmentally motivated I still believe all of these things are worth doing for their own sake.
Our society is neutralizing itself by missing this idea. The things behind one person’s philosophy might be intrinsically important to another person even though they disagree with the philosophy itself. I know people who would tell you with vehement pride that they ride a bike, because they don’t want to add to the green house emissions of the world. I know others who swear veganism is the only way to save the planet. Yet, I’m not really sure if it matters that we believe the same things if we take care of what is good in this world either way.
As a future teacher it is my hope that I might be able to teach students about how extraordinary our planet is and how worth wild it is to take care of it. I believe in social modeling, but I also believe in Lev Vygostsky’s idea of proximal zone of development. Not only can I make sure that I’m living an example of environmental stewardship, but I can create a classroom atmosphere that entices students to wonder and then when they’re ready to learn I can teach them.
For example my classroom can be a display of healthy living and environmentally caring things. I can use recycled objects. I can utilize low energy technology. I can make their projects inherently environmentally friendly. I can use real life stories and movies to show how practical things are. I can give them the same sense of awe over creation that I have. I can let my own excitement become contagious.
Another aspect of bringing my own stewardship to bear on those around me would involve expanding the idea of living locally. I can choose to live near the things I want so as to lesson my gas dependence. I can frequent business that support direct trade, free range and clean energy. I can offer to recycle things for my friends and family when I’m going to be headed there anyway.
I’m not saying that forming beliefs about things is wrong, but I think we can have more of an impact by loving life and living in an environmentally sound way. I think people get caught up in ideologies that don’t make a lot of sense in regards to other things they agree with. a person might not believe in global warming, but they may believe that their actions can have an effect on their immediate environment anyway. My goal for myself (and I hope for most of society) is to get behind the things I love even if people I disagree with love them to.

Hughes A. & Hughes, A. (2010). The Book of Eli [Motion Picture]. United States: Alcon

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Natural Resources by Angela Covington

Angela Covington
Natural Resources
Environmental Studies
PHS 100
David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
April 29, 2010

Natural Resources
God has blessed us with all of the natural resources that we need, right here on earth. We have air, food, water, energy, trees, plants, and animals. Everything that we need to survive, we have. Over the years with the population growth and over consumption of resources, our natural resources have become limited, resulting in costs to all of us.
At one time we were free to use all of the natural resources that we have, abundantly. People were careless, uneducated about our environment, and even greedy and decided to use more than they needed, and caused a problem for the environment as a whole. A lot of times people don’t really give much thought to human nature, and our environment, and what it takes to preserve it. We take a lot for granted, not thinking that all of the things that we have access to, might one day be in jeopardy. Like for instance, our water, and our air. We consume and use a lot of water, and a lot of it is wasted. We run water to keep our grass green, then there becomes a shortage, and the government steps in and asks us to slow down on our water usage, by not flushing our toilets every time it is used, or don’t water our grass in the summertime. We pollute our air by driving cars that burn oil that pollutes it. There are several things that we can do to help cut down on using too many of our resources too quickly.
For the most part, I believe the reason for our resources being depleted comes from us not being educated, and knowing what it takes to preserve those resources, which is why the government had to step in to place restrictions on what and how much of each of the resources we could use. That is another reason why we pay so much for our water and sewage, natural gas, and electric bills. After reading and getting a little better understanding on our environment, I think it was something that had to be done, in order for us to continue to have some of the important resources that we have today. If those regulations had been put in place a lot earlier, we would probably have a lot of those non-renewable resources that we no longer have today.
A lot of us don’t think about the future of our children, or those to come after us, and that is no different than the polluting of the rivers. Those that are further upstream don’t think about the effects of what they are throwing into the water, may have on those that are further downstream.
Like for example, there was a time when a person could go fishing, and catch as many fish as they wanted to, or could catch. That created a problem for all of us. There became a shortage of fish, so there would not be enough fish for everyone else. If everyone had the same mentality of greed, all of our resources would be depleted very quickly.
Based on our cultural backgrounds, this could differ in what is important and what is not and can influence our personal perception of the world, and our place within it. Like the Mirrar clan from Jabiluka, they believed that the land they lived on was sacred, and they fought to keep hazardous wastes that the mine would create, out of it.
By the government placing environmental regulations on, it helps us to understand the importance of preserving these resources, and knowing which resources are renewable and those that are not renewable. Once educated, we can all do our part to preserve those resources that are still around, by recycling, cutting down on paper waste, doing our part to keep our air clean by buy smarter cars, etc. It is going to take each one of us doing our part to change things so that we can have a healthier environment for our future generations to come.

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

Natural Resources by Leticia Lares

Leticia Lares

Workshop Three: Response Paper II

Warner Pacific Adult Degree Program

Professor: Terrell

April 23, 2010

Our Natural Resources and Environmental Regulations

Society as a whole or at least the majority needs to care about sustaining the environment they live in. We need to get educated about how our ecosystem works and what it does for us. We are very dependent on several of the natural resources around us. Too often it is out of ignorance or selfishness that we do not live a life that could be friendlier to our ecosystem. The author points out that we should study our environment from a systems perspective using the information that scientist have discovered and incorporating the policy process. This method should help us or at least is a step in the right direction to assess our natural resources and to help us establish environmental laws that will help us preserve our natural resources.
Honestly, before taking college courses at Warner, my knowledge of our natural resources was very limited and I was not as curious about how the ecosystem works. What I have learned thus far is that our environment works by itself in a lot of ways by utilizing natural resources like sunlight for example. We utilize this resource in many ways, to grow crops and flowers and for energy to power our electric appliances. The trees conserve the water from the rain. Our ecosystem can outlive us humans.
Sustainability is a key element of the preservation of natural resources. We need to learn to manage our current resources and to be careful of not depleting them. We need to educate ourselves and the rest of the world on how to do more with less. I like to see how the commercials advertise and promote recycling. Other times I have watched commercials on water conservation especially during the summer months. At work we have stickers next to the light switches that read, “Empty rooms like the dark. Please turn off the lights.” I also like to see that there is a tax on certain bottled drinks which makes me want to recycle that bottle to collect my five cents or give it to someone that stops by my house going through the recycling bins.
I am a Family-Community Resource Coordinator at an elementary school in Vancouver, Washington. Our school can best be described as a revolving door. We have a 40% mobility rate, the highest in our district and more than double in comparison to others. Our school is at 50% poverty level and close to 90% of our students qualifies for free or reduced meals. These are hard facts and not the best statistics. In my role I am responsible to budget and manage with very little resources for an area that is of high needs. Several of our students and families have many basic needs. That is were I come in. I help them with things like clothes, shoes, belts, underwear, socks, food, shampoo, and connect them with other local resources for affordable housing or preschool for instance.
After working here I am more appreciative of what I have and how I earn my money. My biggest paycheck is when I see the student’s big smiles or get a hug from them. However, this job has also taught me that we are capable of changing for the better and that we are also capable of caring about our communities. We have several community partners that donate items or money to help our Resource Center. I find that many of them are not aware of all the needs but once they realize what it takes to keep programs running are more than happy to contribute their time or money.
So to answer the question posed for this assignment of “How as a society can we establish environmental regulations that have an impact on our culture and lifestyle”, one person at a time. We can do this by informing our stakeholders and policy makers of the importance of living in ways that conserve our resources. We need to have laws that support our natural resource preservation and sustainability as well. There needs to be more support for our scientific community that spends hours on end researching these things.

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

One Minute For Peace!

Do you know how much is spent in the military every minute? Check it out: The website has a very interesting clock so you can see how much is spent in the time you visit the website!
Imagine that we use that kind of money to support the environment! Imagine we use that kind of money to support peace! Just imagine for one minute that we follow Christ!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Green PDX

There are many organizations that are doing a great job regarding taking care of our environment. One is GreenPDX
If you would like to get involved with this organization you can look them up at the meetup site.