Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oil Change and the Environment by Roger W. Louton

Oil Change Intervals: Every 3000 miles?
Roger W. Louton
PHS 100
David Terrell

Warner Pacific College

Oil Change Intervals and New technologies
A question pondered by Steve Swedberg, (2010), is: "How often should I change my oil? Is it every 3,000 miles or 7,500 miles?” “Is my driving pattern ‘severe’ or ‘normal’?” “Does the drain interval differ if I’m driving a gasoline-fueled car or a dieselpowered light truck?” Automobile owners ask all of these questions, and usually hear the answer from quick lubes, car dealers and garages” (p.20). We all know what they are going to suggest, and that is change your oil every 3000 miles because it means more sales for them, and more oil sold by the oil companies. The old adage which often accompanies the 3,000-mile recommendation is “its good insurance.” There is better way to determine the right oil change interval, one that has been scientifically studied and is more definitive.
Ever since the 1960’s, the recommended oil change for vehicles operating in severe service has been 3,000 miles. That number has remained basically unchanged in most drivers’ minds, even though improvements in engine design and oil quality have made it a very conservative number. At the same time, the push for a cleaner environment has resulted in increased oil recycling and pressure to dispose of used oil properly. The logical extension of these forces has been a shift to suggest waiting longer between oil changes. That would certainly be a safe recommendation for today’s advanced vehicles and better formulated oils.
One situation to compare is what the standards are for oil change intervals in Europe. There are virtually no quick lube outlets in Europe; “Do-It-For-Me” oil changes are done by authorized garages or dealers. In 2004, David McFall wrote “European oil changes, tied tightly to the vehicle’s overall maintenance schedule, usually require a customer to make an appointment and invest half a day to get the work done. The price approaches $100 using Euro Standard oil, and with longer European drain intervals and less average annual driving (about 9,000 miles per year, versus about 12,500 miles in the United States) means that an oil change and maintenance is usually not needed more than once a year, although at least one “top off” may be required.”(LNG, p14)
“In the USA, “Do-It-For-Me” oil changes are rapidly approaching 75 percent of all oil changes in the U.S. private sector”, according to Nancy J. DeMarco (2010). A customer can drive into a quick lube for an oil change without an appointment and be finished within 30 minutes at a basic price of about $30. Despite the lower cost of a quick-lube service in the United States, the cost for oil change customers is about even. U.S. quick lubes promote an oil change every 3,000 miles or three months, that is, four or even five times a year, for an annual tab of at least $120. The European driver who changes once a year pays about the same, even with the higher priced oil. Why is the oil change interval for European cars twice as long as “recommended” for US vehicles, despite them both using the same oil formulas? It would have to be profits. For any oil change chain or oil manufacturer to agree to this would cut directly into their sales and stockholders profit sharing checks.
One major consideration of unnecessary oil changes is what happens to all that used oil that was not really needed in the first place. According to David McFall (2004) “Every year in the United States, this too-short drain interval results in the unneeded production of 300 to 400 million gallons of engine oil; excess consumer expenditures of around $1.5 Billion, and tens of millions of unnecessary oil changes”. While “Do-It-Yourselfers” can take their used oil to almost any garage, quick oil change facility or service station for disposal, the fact is that many do not. Instead, much DIY used oil is disposed of on the ground, down a storm drain or in the trash. It is estimated that up to 80 percent of used oil generated by DIYers is disposed of improperly, a 2006 report from the U.S. Department of Energy stated — some 348 million gallons a year. “There is a certain segment of the consuming public that is not convinced that the small amount of oil they dispose of is significant enough to cause serious harm to the environment,” it added. Longer oil change intervals would reduce this volume of used oil being improperly disposed of. (McFall)
One major automotive company, General Motors, came up with an idea to finally define what the oil change interval should be. Beginning in 1984, Donald Smolenski and Shirley Schwartz of General Motors Research started working on an idea that would allow the engine to tell the motorist when the oil needed to be changed. They figured that engine usage could be equated with oil change intervals and went to work to identify what parameters should be followed.
For the next two years, Schwartz and Smolenski worked on proving their theories through field testing of various engines. First, they ran field tests on vehicles operating in various driving cycles and conditions, with regular used engine oil analysis measuring a number of oil properties. They collected and analyzed data to develop a pattern of useful oil life. It turned out that an algorithm could be based on the engine’s operating temperature and the total number of engine revolutions.
After 20 years of oil life monitor (OLM) use, and with massive amounts of engine data available, GM believes there is potential for significant oil life extension. OLM’s are now found in almost all North American GM vehicles, and over 6,500 miles is a common drain interval today. In December 2009, Smolenski told the ICIS Pan American Base Oils & Lubricants Conference that the 3,000-mile interval is not “cheap insurance” — it’s sheer waste. Especially with the OLM, oil change intervals of between 6,000 and 15,000 miles are achievable. “If all U.S. GM vehicle owners used the GM Oil Life System as intended, more than 100 million gallons of engine oil could be saved annually,” he urged. (Swedberg)
In the oil change market that has seen steady sales at around 1 billion gallons per year since 1980, those 100 million gallons would be a noticeable dent! With all the recent attention about oil spills, and the dangers oil drilling poses to any environment it is taken from, a standard for oil change intervals should be defined and promoted by the oil industry, the automotive industry and the Environemntal Protection Agency. These industries should not put profit in front of the environment and instead, should use the new standards to prove to the world that they are now doing their best to protect the environment. They could even use that standard as a selling point as to why a customer should buy their vehicle or use their oil, or oil change service.
Along with this subject, our excess usage of oil, I will take away from this class that all members of society can act as individuals and make a large impact on our environment when it comes to making lifestyle decisions. What can I do to limit my carbon footprint? How can I use less energy? How can I influence others to do the same? Actions speak louder than words, and there is a big difference between saying you are going to do something instead of actually doing it. So I am going to do just that, let my actions speak for me, and do what I can to make a difference.

Swedberg, S. (2010, March). Oil Changes by the DASH. In Lubes N’ Greases Magazine, (p.20)
Retrieved from
McFall, D. (2004, October). Worlds Apart. In Lubes N’ Greases Magazine, (p.8)
Retrieved from
DeMarco, N. (2010, July). Shell Slams Motor Oil Shams. In Lubes N’ Greases Magazine, (p.3)
Retrieved from
McFall, D. (2003, March). Drain Intervals:How Long Must We Wait? In Lubes N’ Greases Magazine, (p.1)
Retrieved from

Finding alternatives by Kalah Hanken

Finding Alternatives to Petroleum
Kalah Hanken
PHS: 100
Environmental Studies
Professor David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
July 26th, 2010

There are many changes that need to take place in our society to confront future development and sustainability. A sustainable society is one in which all creatures, wether it be man, animal, or plant, thrives and is a part of nature. The goal is a high quality of life without harming the environment.
One of the major issues I see that we will soon have to confront is finding an alternate energy source to fossil fuels. “Fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—are America's primary source of energy, accounting for 85 percent of current US fuel use. Production, transportation, and use of oil can cause water pollution. Oil spills, for example, leave waterways and their surrounding shores uninhabitable for some time. Such spills often result in the loss of plant and animal life.” (The Hidden Cost of Fossil Fuels).
“The Department of Energy projects the nation's consumption of fossil fuels will continue to rise — increasing 34 percent by 2030. When burned, these carbon-based fuels release millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where the gas traps heat and is believed to contribute to global warming” (Wise).
One such spill is the BP oil spill of April 2010 that we are still working on containing. It is hard to imagine the devastating consequences we will see in the coming months from all the crude oil spilt. “Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently detected huge deepwater plumes of dispersed oil up to 30 miles long, seven miles wide and hundreds of feet thick. According to NOAA researcher Samantha Joye, the undersea oil poses a direct threat to large marine wildlife, such as fish, sharks and cetaceans, and also to the tiny stuff, including zooplankton, shrimp, corals, crabs and worms. By endangering these latter populations, the foundation of the marine food chain, the oil could have chronic long-term effects on the wider Gulf ecosystem, including the industries -- more shrimp and oysters come from the Gulf than anywhere else in the world -- that rely on them. (Gauging Long Term Effects).
Other concerns involve the chemical dispersants that we are using to break up some of the oil in the ocean. We do not know what the long term effects will be on the ocean itself and the life in the ocean and the people working in the Gulf to clean up the oil.
Yet another issue with our dependence on fossil fuels for energy is the pollution it creates. The burning of any fossil fuel will cause carbon dioxide to be emitted into the atmosphere which is believed to be one of the major causes of global warming.
Some of the other costs to consider are cost of labor to drill for oil, of labor and materials to build energy-generating plants, and of transportation of oil to the plants. (The Hidden Cost of Fossil Fuels.)
We could avoid all this damage to the environment one day if we can find an alternative energy source. Some promising alternatives that are being looked into include biodiesel, methanol, electricity, hydrogen, wind power, vegetable oil, and other biomass sources such as hemp fuel.
Biodiesel consists of vegetable oil mixed with an alcohol and is used to run diesel engines. It is very clean substitute to petroleum and can help dispose of used vegetable oil that usually ends up in landfills. It then becomes a recycling solution as well as a clean fuel alternative.
One surprising alternative I came across was the use of hemp as a fuel substitute. “The thought of hemp production as a cheap alternative to oil and gas is appealing because it can be converted to “biomass” that is in turn converted to energy. Farming only six percent of the continental U.S. acreage with biomass [from hemp] crops would provide all of American’s gas and oil energy needs, ending dependence upon fossil fuels. Each acre of hemp would yield 1,000 gallons of methanol. Fuels from hemp, along with the recycling of paper, etc., would be enough to run America virtually without oil.” (Fennucio).
“At first glance, hydrogen would seem an ideal substitute for these problematic fuels. Pound for pound, hydrogen contains almost three times as much energy as natural gas, and when consumed its only emission is pure, plain water. But unlike oil and gas, hydrogen is not a fuel. It is a way of storing or transporting energy. You have to make it before you can use it — generally by extracting hydrogen from fossil fuels, or by using electricity to split it from water.” (Wise).
My career choice is in the direction of addiction counseling. I will be working with low-income, homeless, mentally ill, and drug addicted people. My job will be to help these people find the resources and the counseling they need to get their lives back. I do not see that I will have much opportunity to use what I have learned in Environmental Studies in my profession. One way I might be able to use some of my knowledge would be to offer little tidbits of information to my clients while counseling them.
Having taken the Environmental Studies course I have gained much knowledge of environmental issues and can see that I myself can have an impact on the issues effecting my community. Before this course I knew that there were a lot of problems effecting our environment and the animals in it; but I didn't really go in depth into any reasearch on the subject. I always knew it was good to conserve water and electricity and that we should all recycle and limit our driving but I did not truly understand the reasons why. I feel I have a better knowledge base now so I can better educate my son on why we should respect our planet and preserve it for future generations.
We have many promising options being researched and tested, and some are even being used currently like biodiesel, my hope is that soon using fuel alternatives to run our cars and heat our homes will become the norm.

Alternative fuel. Retrieved July 24th, 2010 from:
Fennucio, J. (2005). Hemp seen as fuel substitute. Retrieved July 25th, 2010 from:
Gauging the long term impacts of the BP oil spill. The Daily Green. Retrieved July 25th, 2010 from: 460610
Skinnarland, K. Sustainable Seattle. Retrieved July 24th, 2010 from:
The hidden cost of fossil fuels. Retrieved July 25th, 2010 from: of-fossil.html
Wise, J. (2006). The truth about hydrogen. Retrieved July 24th, 2010 from:
Withgott, J. , & Bennan, S. (2008). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd
ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings

Population Control by Shawn DeWall

Environmental studies
David Terrell
Warner pacific
July 26, 2010

Growing up in a little suburban town fifteen minutes south of Portland, we as children did not have the same technology in the nineteen seventies that our children have today. We did not entertain ourselves with three dimensional video games, hand held computerized games or even cartoon characters that simulated personal exercise. To our complete intelligence, we had dirt clod fights; and we liked it! Why did we have dirt clod fights? because we had the open fields to do so. Not smart, but we did it anyway.
Every Sunday from early fall season to the cold bitter chill of winter warmth, was occupied with one thing and one thing only: football! The local kids had their favorite open green fields marketed out and ready for battle (As much as a seven year old could battle).
There was the ever popular field just on the outskirts of the haunted four acre forest. We believed that if you could ride your bike through the tree like maze without being taken by evil spirits, you were blessed.
We also had the yearly plowed dirt field that was top choice only when it rained. Due to our wet Oregon winters, one can imagine how often we played there. It was hard to immolate our favorite professional football stars when we could not stand upright for any long period of time. It always seemed that no matter what shoes we wore for traction, the six inch deep molasses mud pie always won the fight. On those unfortunate days that got in the way of Saturday and Sundays (Like school days) we played in the street. We played from lamp post to lamp post, curb to curb; everything was fair game.
I was also lucky enough to grow up on a magically road. Magical in the way that when early spring came around, that same lamp posts to lamp post, curb to curb football field, could turn into a massive roaring baseball stadium over night. None of our “stuffy old parents” could see it, but we could see it. Just like Santa Clause, he is present if you believe him to be.
The once haunted forest is now an over built industrial area accompanied by hundreds of personalized apartments; I guess it was not haunted after all.
The open green fields we grew up in are now claimed by our juvenile justice system. The same spot we used to draw up football plays in the dirt is now being used to draw up plans to decide whether a child is going back the parents, foster care or jail.
The same place that used to house our famous “Mud bowl” game is now home to the Oregon state health building. To qualify for assistance, one must be at poverty level for government help. Here you can apply for food stamps, well fair, medical needs, and classes that facilitate better parenting skills.
Our Roaring baseball stadiums and lamp post to lamp post football fields gave way to the nonstop assembly line of motorized vehicles. The things we cherished as kids have turned into systems we literally pay for as adults.
Knowing full well that there are plenty of downfalls when it comes to our over populated land, I will focus my energy on the negative affect this worldly issue has on our most prized possession; our children.
This week I started my volunteer work; geared towards foster children that have been taken out of their homes and either placed with strangers or other family relatives. After thirty hours of class study, it became very apparent that one of the main issues surrounding neglected or abused youth is one of stress. I do not believe it is a coincidence that when our economy falls, the number of foster children rises.
Many of the foster cases I have read belonged to cultures that do not believe in birth control. Some stemmed from personal religious reasons and others from being uneducated on the matter.
Let’s say you have three to five children with one parent bringing in an income. Throw on top of that an economy that is not stable and you have the makings of something disastrous.
You might have both parents working to eliminate some of the stress over money, but then you have to turn around and pay for day care for those same three to five kids; on some salaries that can be the whole paycheck.
Suppose that same parent who had the solid employment loses their job. What do you do? the answer is easy: get a new one. When an individual has to go up against hundreds of other un-employed individuals for the same position, easy is out the window. This is where stress comes into play. This is where the opportunity for neglect and abuse can happen. This is where over population rears its ugly head.
Our population issues are a prime example of the importants of a bio-diversified society.
When one thing is taken out of the equation of human survival, there can be a massive ripple effect that can be felt for generations to come. The one thing that has been removed from our own culture is balance; the balance between birth to death ratio ( ). For every three children born, one person dies. As you can see, there is no balance on any level.
The easy thing is report on the population over growth. The more difficult task is to come up with solid ideas on how to make a difference in the scenario.
Education: Whether or not, we as a culture, a society, or even a village, believe in educating our young on the responsibility of sexual activity; doing nothing should never be an option. We should be implementing education on birth control in our middle schools. We should make it a mandatory class for each male and female to participate in the “take a baby home” program. This is a class where the student is sent home with a baby type doll that reacts like a real baby would react. This child must be held, fed, nurtured, and most importantly, it will cry at any given time. At the end of the day, the plastic baby doll is plugged into a computer. The results will be posted on how well the student did; how quickly was the baby nurtured after a crying spell or even if the baby was held at all. This program definitely gives an insight into the real world of having a child. Unfortunately not many males sign up for this class. That should change!
We need to educate to keep these unready mothers and fathers from over populating our child well fair system.
Religious beliefs: I understand that in some cultures it is frowned upon to use birth control. It is celebrated to have large families. In today’s age, this is a monumental problem.
The question is how can we as the United States regulate the birth rate or even our birth rights of our citizens? I do not know if we can but I believe we should try. Remember, doing nothing is not an option.
Should we go the route of China and put a limit on how many children can be conceived by a married couple or should we go one step farther have all males become sterilized after their second child is born?
On the other end of the spectrum, should we start to pull back on medical advancements that are keeping our elders growing older at a solid rate? Should the focus be on the death rate and not the birth rate? How can we get the birth to death ratio balanced again? Maybe we don’t.
These are important questions that do not important answers yet.
I know in my personal field of choice, I will be working for and with children; being an advocate in any way possible. On the other hand, maybe my goal is to be out of work. Live in a world where we do not need foster parents. Live in a world where we do not need services to protect our children from abuse and neglect. Live in a world where we teach all methods of birth control; and ultimately, live in world where our children cannot and will not be treated as after thoughts.
If we as a nation cannot control population, maybe we can all learn how to put the one thing that is most important in our lives first - our kids!

Green Burials by Sandie Freshner

Green Burials:
Good for Families AND the Environment
Sandie Freshner
PHS-100/Environmental Sciences
Professor David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
July 28, 2010

Good for Families AND the Environment
As a funeral director, and where I plan to use my degree, burials play a major roll. Because of this course, I wanted to take the opportunity to see if there is anything my chosen industry can do to help the environment. In this paper, I plan to discuss the environmental benefits to natural or green burials.
“Returning to the earth in little more than a shroud is what most of humanity has done for thousands of years until the advent of the modern "deathcare" industry” (Funeral Consumers Alliance, 2007). According to Jewish burial tradition, a deceased is wrapped in a shroud, placed in a casket made exclusively of wood, and buried without an outer burial container. Mr. Ira J. Fleisher, a Jewish funeral director, says this, “We drill holes in the bottom of the casket to quicken the deterioration process and help the body go back to the earth faster. It doesn’t get much “greener” than that.” The Muslim tradition does not even use a casket. The deceased is shrouded and carefully placed directly into the grave. In both cultures, the decedent is not embalmed.
“Natural burial is a new idea—the idea that in choosing how and where we are buried, each one of us can conserve, sustain, and protect the earth… the earth from which, we came and to which we shall return” (Center for Natural Burial, n.d.). Natural burials can occur anywhere. The State of Oregon has no regulation as to where a family may bury their loved one. They do discourage burying on private property, but it is not illegal. “We have cemeteries for a reason,” says Carla Knapp of the Oregon Cemetery & Mortuary Board. “Cemeteries are sacred ground. A family does not have to worry about their loved one being dug up because the new landowner wants to put in a pool.”
“The [Green Burial Council] has developed the first certifiable standards for greener good-byes. One set is for Natural Burial Grounds, which are cemeteries required to follow ethical and ecologically sound practices” (Funeral Consumers Alliance). There are now over 300 natural burial cemeteries in the United States. Here, families can be sure their loved one will rest among the earth as they choose. “A natural burial allows you to use your funeral as a conservation tool to create, restore and protect urban green spaces” (Center for Natural Burial), therefore families must realize monuments or grave markers are not allowed so there is no permanent marker for the deceased.
There are other benefits to green burials besides the earth benefits. “A green burial reduces environmental impact and conservation easements preserve our open spaces, important not only to plants and wildlife…we find serenity when close to nature. Interment in a beautiful and natural setting honors those we love” (Green Burials, 2008). Natural burial grounds have more of park feeling with plants, trees, and bushes. They give our birds, squirrels, and deer another place to live. And many families find it more comforting to visit in a park than a cold, stark, formal cemetery with rows of headstones.
Another concern with end of life care is the embalming process. The chemicals used in the embalming process may not necessarily be very good for the environment either. Even if an embalmed body is placed in the most “green” burial container, the embalming chemicals will still contaminate the ground. The funeral industry is working on alternatives. According to Bill Hanks:
Another major issue is that of the chemicals used for body preservation. Formaldehyde free embalming will keep the toxic chemical out of the soil. A newer biodegradable embalming fluid, which is non toxic will be introduced by the Champion Company of Springfield, Ohio this summer (Hanks, B. 2009).

The Champion Company says this about its new chemical, “Based on a complex mix of essential plant-based oils in a near-anhydrous carrier, ENIGMA chemicals deliver significant chemostasis effects with good cosmetic restorative results, excellent temporary sanitation and acceptable temporary preservation” (Enigma-Champion Company, 2001-2009). These chemicals are reportedly a safe, effective, and non-toxic alternative to the traditional formaldehyde embalming fluids.
Because there are not green, or natural, burial grounds everywhere, people interested in this type of burial can consider other ways of helping the environment. Not embalming is the most obvious. Cremation is another option. The cremated remains of a deceased are completely organic material. Scattering cremated remains is completely legal and does no harm to the environment. The law in Oregon says that cremated remains can be scattered anywhere, including private property as long as you have the permission of the property owner. There are no toxins released in the air during cremation, and as long as the urn is not buried, the remains take no space in the ground.
Finally, the last benefit I see with green burials is the cost for the family. A funeral with traditional cemetery burial is a very expensive process. With a natural burial, families do not pay for embalming, costly caskets, outer burial containers, cemetery costs or marker/headstones. This could save a family literally thousands of dollars.
For the reasons I have mentioned here, I believe green burials is definitely a way for my industry to help preserve our environment. Because I am the family’s link between a death and a burial, I will consider looking further into the process so I can give my families the information they need to make better informed decisions.

Center for Natural Burial. (n.d.). Giving life back to the Earth. Retrieved July 24, 2010 from
Enigma-Champion Company. (2001-209). Ecobalming chemicals for the 21st century. Retrieved July 24, 2010 from
Funeral Consumers Alliance. November 26, 2007. What is green burial? Retrieved July 24, 2010 from
Green Burials. September 17, 2008. What are the benefits of a green cemetery over a traditional cemetery? Retrieved July 24, 2010 from
Hanks, Bill. April 21, 2009. Even death is going green: Cardboard coffins & biodegradable embalming fluid. Retrieved July 24, 2010 from

Eating Habits Affecting the Environment by Lucia Aleman

Environmental Studies P-100
Professor David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
July 28th. 2010

This refers on what and why people eat (including drinks) some specific food or beverage, where on in which store they get those products to consume. Sometimes we should think on what are the circumstances that make us to take the decision to eat or drink. It could be depending on the situation, culture, society, food conservation, hygiene including recycling systems, food prices, etc. Because all humans eats to survive, in some situations there are families that even don’t have nothing to eat, so it is when the person who have something to eat, start appreciating the importance to have at least something to take to the mouth and feel satisfaction by he/her self to not be hungry. On the next paragraphs I am going to discuss some factors that contribute and affect the environment in different aspects by the eating habits.

Culture: Cultural eating habits might refer if there is the situation when in some cultures, traditions or religion it could be acceptable or unacceptable the food. For example in Mexico in some regions, there is the belief that if the person who is taking medicine or antibiotics, he/she is not suppose to eat pork meat because his/her skin gets damage or with white spots on some areas in the body. Some religions does not permit people eat red meats (pork, beef), just because their beliefs doesn’t allow them to eat these meats.

Society: In many places there are applicable some rules concerning on what or where it is appropriate to eat or drink, for example if we are in a medical facility, there is a sign telling that we are no suppose to eat or drink anything inside during our visit, and they have an specific area to eat or drink.

Some people don’t care on what they are eating, if it is junk food, not nutritious food, not eating on regular basis times, not eating the appropriate amount or nothing because they are in “diet”; not physical activities, etc.. So when it is continuous for long periods of time, the consequences are that they are not in a good emotionally conditions, they are stressed out, they get sick, etc. so then, they are no able to behave properly in the society.

Food Conservation: Sometimes people use to buy in the market too much food that should be in the freezer, but unfortunately they don’t have too much space on the freezer to store
the food or meats obtained and they place these on the fridge without taking in consideration that the food (specifically meats) gets damage very soon, and it is when the bacterial contamination start spreading all around other produces inside of the fridge. It is the same when people don’t care when is cooking and mix vegetables with uncooked meats, the vegetables gets contaminate and consequently people who eat that food get sick.

Hygiene: is another factor that contributes to the contamination or health problems like when people don’t wash their hands before or after they eat; don’t wash the fruits or vegetables before these are eaten; drinking water that is not suppose to be consume by humans. When we are not using waste garbage disposals (Oregon Recycling Systems): We are not taking care about where we have supposedly to throw away the garbage after we eat or drink, and what are the consequences of this inappropriate behavior, and how the environment gets contaminated.

Food Prices or Not enough food: Rising or increasing food prices is also likely to impact essential care and support vulnerable children. Low income families who are struggling

to work to raise income to buy food, affects their household, working in agriculture sometimes they don’t have a full time job; they don’t have permanent place or housing to live, etc. It makes parents offer to their children any food they have available to eat, sometimes it is not nutritious food such as (chips, sodas, etc) and the consequences are the malnutrition.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (Strategic Environmental Assessment) published in 2005, states: “Meeting the food needs of the world’s growing population while reducing poverty and protecting the environment is a major global challenge. Private- and public-sector organizations must decide how to spend limited agricultural research funds in order to achieve maximum impact with regard to finding sustainable solutions to ending hunger and poverty”. Potentially, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) could be used to ensure that environmental considerations are evaluated in the research and priority-setting process”.


Environmental Studies make us to be awareness in how important it is for everybody to persevere the environment from different angles. We as a good citizen can be able to manage different situation such as: culture, society, hygiene, food conservation, etc. and avoid to affect the environment and our health with inappropriate eating habits by eating properly; respect restricted areas that prohibit to eat or drink in there; manage an appropriate hygiene; ensure what products we are eating or consuming; appreciate and value what God provides us to survive; and lastly, awareness of the use of the recycling systems the State of Oregon have established for different programs to use, and learn how to sort and place the recycle stuff in the appropriate

way. So part of our responsibilities are also to educate and encourage others, including our family members to participate on this recycling program by telling them what is the Oregon Recycling Program purpose and what the benefits are for humans, wildlife and for the entire planet to try to avoid the contamination caused by eating habits.
International Food Policy Research Institute (SEA), published in 2005, Washington, DC

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hazards by Robert Elsen

PHS 100
Professor David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
I have experienced vulnerability to natural hazards all of my life, as I am sure most of us have. I grew up in a family where many of my immediate relatives used tobacco products, very heavily. In fact, I believe everyone they were friends with also smoked or chewed tobacco. I can recall riding in the back seat of my father’s car with the windows rolled up and watching my father smoke one cigarette after the other and never thinking twice about how hard and uncomfortable it was for me and my brother.
Yes, I know some will say, “That’s just the way it was back then” and I know it was not meant to be a malicious act by them. It still dumbfounds me how people that smoke are oblivious to people around them, especially family and children. My wife can recall growing up with the same situation in her home, with both parents smoking and most, if not all of their friends also smoking. What haunts her is her oldest brother always coughed violently most of the time, later in life he found out he had asthma. The doctors now confirm that the early years of second hand smoke can make or break how bad your asthma will be.
My wife and I have made a hard stand on smoking in our lives, I have never even smoked cigarettes once in my life and she has tried to smoke one time as a teenager. We have also seen lost relationships and family gatherings stop because of this problem. It is our belief that no one will smoke in our home and no one will smoke around our kids. So, if you invite us over to your home and you choose to smoke, then we will leave.
I feel that you should still be able to smoke in your own home, as long as you don’t have children. However, I also believe that if you invite me to your home and you know I don’t want my family to be around second hand smoke, then you should be respectful enough and wait until we leave before you decide to light-up. If you do it anyway then you are telling me you do not ever want me to come back and you do not respect me and my families health.
I recall working in environments that allowed smoking, in fact, the establishment that I have worked for today for 17 years has just in the last five years stopped employees from smoking in the workplace. I have had far greater issues with this company than that when it comes to hazards. I work for a truck manufacturing company on Swann Island in Portland, Oregon, so you can imagine all of the environmental and human dangers that have appeared over the years.
Just within the last couple of years they were nailed by the EPA for disposing hazardous material into the ground dating back to the mid 1970s. It was probably a disgruntled employee or a heavy hearted individual that turned them in. It just kind of made me feel like they could care less what they exposed us to or what they were doing to the environment, I am sure they just got fined.
Even today it seems the company still shows a lack of concern for our health and the environment. As the trucks are nearing completion they are not suppose to be started until it is time to drive them out the door; however, some mechanics still start the trucks prematurely causing them to fill the air with pollutants. As employees working nearby, we ultimately inhale these toxins posing a significant health risk to us. This all happens under the nose of management without anything really ever being done to make sure it does not happen again. It has always been obvious to me that they have really never cared too much about the employee’s health.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Natural Resources and Regulating Environmetal Impact by Barb Laney

PHS 100
David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
July 19, 2010

Natural Resources and Regulating Environmental Impact
For thousands of years, humans have treated the planet’s resources, both limited and unlimited, in the same fashion: using them with little concern for the generations to come, or for the impact on our surrounding environment. With population growth and affluence, the increased need for renewable and non-renewable resources has forced us to face some difficult decisions on what to leave future generations and how to manage waste. Intelligently managing the remaining resources, whether through regulations, a free-market economy or both, may be critical to the continued existence of our species and enjoying a good quality of life.
As the population of the world grows and becomes more affluent there is increased need for resources to provide for the needs and wants of everyone. The resources that are in demand may be continually renewable, or renewable over a period of time. There are some resources that are considered non-renewable because the forces that have created these materials have worked for many thousands of years. The continually renewable resources are areas that should be considered as primary choices because they will always be available. The ones that renew over a fairly short period of time should be used in moderation and continually replenished so that they will be there for future generations. We must carefully and intelligently manage the ones which cannot be renewed. We need to make some assessments to learn how much we currently use and project how much we will need in the foreseeable future. This can be done using data that is available and calculating the growth of the population and any projected growth in world prosperity that will increase the use of any given resource. Then we need to estimate how much of these resources there are still available. Geologists and specialists can make very educated estimates of these resources. With this data we can calculate and project how long the current use rates can continue until we run out. As we study alternative sources it can be calculated how supplementing with other, renewable resources will allow some of the non-renewable substances to last longer.
As stewards of the earth, man must be very cognizant of the fact that action taken will have some impact on the environment. Plowing the land, building a home, digging a well, harvesting vegetation – all will change the “natural” state of an area. There is an increasing awareness of the damage that some types of actions have on the landscape and the resources in that locality. In order to reduce the negative or harmful impact we are making on the planet, governments often create regulations.
There are advocates to these limitations as well as critics. Adhering to environmental regulations can be costly to a company. The company absorbs the cost of following regulation by passing the cost on to the consumer in the finished product. This makes the product cost more and therefore may put the product out of some people’s price range. There are some instances where a company could not afford the price of following regulations, so they have been forced to close down their business. Some governments have policies in place which will encourage clean industries by giving subsidies to desirable companies (Withgott & Brennan, 2008)
Regulations have a many layered effect on culture. They protect the local environment, giving better health to local populations. They affect the price of things. They can have a divisive effect on public opinion. They cost tax money to set up, monitor and enforce. As citizens of a country and of our planet we can make our judgment about the value of regulations and the drawbacks of imposed regulations, and let our voices be heard as policy makers decide on what they will do with these issues.
Many scientific and sociological studies show that the poor suffer a disproportionate amount of impact from environmental damage and toxic by-products. Often the poor are less educated and do not realize the danger that some types of development or procuring of resources can cause. It has also been shown that they often do not know enough about the political process to find a way to advocate for themselves. If we are to consider ourselves an ethical nation we will take into account the impact of anything we do. This impact affects people, animal life, plant life and the landscape. This is not to discourage growth and progress, but to assure that progress in one area does not result in damage or harmful pollutants in another area.
Regulation can be costly to developers. Some of the regulations that are advocated by ecologists or the anxious public ask more than is reasonable and ignore some factors. Some regulation result in saved lives and better quality of life. It is hard to measure the value of these benefits. Everyone should consider the value of basic things like clean air, clean water, indoor plumbing and so many other things we almost take for granted. We want these to be perpetually available for now and for the future. There are other services and benefits that are of value to us. We can influence public policy to protect the things that we need and enjoy. We can do so with respect for all people. With intelligent management, our resources have the potential to bless our lives for many generations to come.

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

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Scientific Method: Its Emergence and Use in Western Culture by Barb Laney

The Scientific Method;
Its Emergence and Use
In Western Culture

Barbara Laney

PHS 100
David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
July 12, 2010

In every science fair across the country the young students are instructed to use the scientific method. In this systematic way of drawing conclusions the student must follow each step in the process in order to come to a provable answer. This gives two desired results. The project outcomes are supportable with data, and the student comes out with a clearer understanding of how science works. The conclusions derived using the scientific method are based on observable data and analysis. This is the foundation of science today.
Using the scientific method involves a step-by-step approach by making careful observations. This involves much more than merely “seeing,” and must continue throughout the entire exercise. When you carefully observe the world and the phenomena, information and materials that are contained within it you will naturally be led to questions. The true scientist is curious about how things work and about changes or trends over periods of time. When there is an observation and a question, a hypothesis is created. There is definitely some conjecture involved, but good and thorough observation will lead to a good question will tend to lead to some answers that are more likely to be true than others. The scientific mind has made some predictions about what the outcome of his work will be. It is imperative at this point that the individual be committed to continued objective observation. It is common to want to be correct in our predictions, but in pure science one has to be willing to have their prediction disproved. “What makes good scientists isn’t that they have no expectations at the start, but the fact that when the results don’t match those expectations, the scientists believe what nature is saying. Instead of ignoring or suppressing the results, they change their idea about what those results should be” (Trefil, 2008). The next step is devising a way to test the prediction. This is simple for some questions, but very challenging for others. For a testing process to be of value, the item in question must be isolated in order to allow for a true conclusion. Doing the testing or experimentation is the next step in the process. Recording the results accurately and then analyzing the data will then lead to a conclusion. It will show that the hypothesis is more likely true or false. Over a long period of time, and testing by many researchers, similar hypotheses that continue to be proven to be true will result in a scientific theory that will be a generally accepted rule unless better technology shows the theory to be incorrect.
This process has given us great advances, not only in thought, but in standard of living, as well. There is power in knowing how things work because we can then discover ways to make nature work in our favor.
The roots of the scientific method reach back to ancient Greece. The Greco and Roman empires represent the beginnings of western culture and thought, therefore the world cultures that have sprung from Greece and Rome have naturally inherited the methods that were put into place by ancient philosophers, naturalists and scientists.

The first natural historians whom we would recognize as such lived, observed and theorized in the city states of ancient Greece. In an atmosphere of relative freedom and prosperity, and unconstrained by religious authority they had time to deliberate about matters beyond day-to-day survival. No longer held back by superstitions, the new thinkers of Greece could speculate on the causes of natural phenomena and the origins and workings of the universe. The application of reason to what they could see, hear, or feel was the key to understanding, and the observations of the great philosopher-naturalists such as Aristotle and Theophrastus were to paint a picture of the natural world that was to persist for centuries, later passed on unchallenged to less free-thinking societies. (Huxley, 2007)

The Greeks lived in an environment in which they were free to question the nature of this world. Among the populace in around 600 B.C. was found “A group of thinkers (who) initiated a serious, critical inquiry into the nature of the world in which they lived – an inquiry that has stretched from their day to ours” (Lindberg, 1992, p. 26). The system of inquiry is not the only contribution they made. Early Greeks can be credited with devising the Genus/Species system for classifying animal and botanical organisms. It was the life work of some very gifted individuals. Their contribution has been broadly accepted by the scientific world as a whole and has not limited its influence to western cultures. The tradition of inquiry and observation they embraced has survived many cultures and eras, with some opposition along the way. Over the centuries science has been challenged by religions, governments, and sometimes by traditionalist within its own disciplines. Because the method is both true and helpful, it survived all the opposition. Over the eras of time, the use of this pattern of thinking gave rise to the agricultural era which resulted in greater prosperity for the human family. It also encouraged larger communities. Later, as the need for more materials within communities arose, the industrial era grew. Natural resources fed this growth and innovations in machinery and production were necessary. These pursuits necessitated further use of science and innovation.

Just as mankind has been successful in using science and scientific principles to continue to increase our comforts, we are also coming to an era of greater respect for our planet and a consciousness of the impact that our advances have made and continue to make on limited resources that support our health and the long-term health of the earth. Although it is not necessary that everyone be a scientist, it is imperative that the human family have an understanding of basic science and an awareness of the things that we are learning today. We have the technology and the intelligence that are the summation of centuries of using the scientific method which has been refined to become a solid foundation for the science we have today.


Huxley, R. (2007). The Great Naturalists. London, England: Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Lindberg, D. C. (1992). The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Pholosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Trefil, J. (2008). Why Science? New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our Natural Resources and Environmental Regulations: Cultural and Lifestyle Impacts by Angela Webber

Angela Webber
PHS 100 Environmental Studies
Instructor David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
June 28, 2010


The continued debate over environmental regulations and their impact on culture and lifestyle is looked at from different viewpoints. Around the world, scientists and everyday citizens are affected by the environmental regulations designed to preserve natural resources worldwide. These affects are positive and negative in nature and can range from economic to social. Assessing the current state of natural resources is essential to knowing what future regulations may be required for further protection and which regulations are no longer necessary.
Keywords: Scientific Natural Resources, Environmental Regulations

Our Natural Resources and Environmental Regulations
For several decades there has been a tug of war between balancing the need to have environmental regulations in order to protect our natural resources and the need of society to advance technologically. Recently there has been a greater emphasis placed on the need to regulate everything from sport fishing to the carbon footprint allowed by businesses. While the goal of environmental regulation is to improve the state of our natural world, that protection does not come without some cost to the culture and lifestyles that humanity enjoys. The goal of this essay is to look at the process of assessing the state of our natural resources, examine the impacts of environmental regulations on society, and the long term direction of environmental regulation.
Natural resources are considered “the various substances and energy sources we need to survive” (Withgott, p. 3). Natural resources exist in two forms: renewable and nonrenewable. Renewable resources include sunlight, wind, and wave energy. These forms of renewable resources are replenished over a short period of time. While renewable resources can be regenerated naturally over a period of time, nonrenewable resources are those that can be depleted with overuse and cannot be restored. Examples of nonrenewable resources include coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Without better management of these precious resources, they face possible total consumption within the next century or so.
In order to better protect our natural resources, it is imperative to assess their current state. In order to do this we must take an inventory of sorts. While it may be impossible to fully measure the exact amount of any given resource, we can, with a fair amount of certainty, assume that any renewable resource such as wind or sunlight is perpetual and therefore not in danger of extinction. But unlike renewable resources, those resources that are nonrenewable can be measured to some degree. Guidelines such as past amounts of consumption, average growth of the human population worldwide, and the development of industry can be used to estimate future use of resources such as coal or oil.
Humanity has made great strides in the detection of natural resources present at various locations worldwide. One example is the presence of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. While there is no way to accurately account for the total amount of oil present, we can say with a fair amount of accuracy that there is between 5.7 and 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil located under that arctic tundra. This estimate is considered to be a “prospective resource” and therefore is not scientifically proven to be accurate.
The discovery of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has led to the discussion of the costs and benefits of its recovery. In 1980, this section of 19 million miles of northeastern Alaska was established by Congress to be a federally protected wilderness under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. This plan required that any drilling in a 1.5 million acre subsection of ANWR be approved by Congress prior to beginning. It is also required that a detailed inventory of fish and wildlife in the area be taken prior to any oil drilling. As imagined, the prospect of drilling for oil in this pristine wilderness ignited a large amount of controversy on both sides of the issue. Environmentalists have taken the standpoint that the natural beauty of the area and the presence of a diverse ecosystem deserve to remain undisturbed, regardless of the potential for economic windfall for the United States. On the other side of the issue are those that believe that the prospect of recovering oil from this region should be pursued in spite of the potential risk to the Alaskan landscape.
It is an easy extrapolation to state that either decision will impact the culture of the state of Alaska as well as that of the United States. With the drilling of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the US would be less dependent on foreign oil to meet our demands. The decrease in demand would therefore lower the average price of a barrel of oil which would lead to lower gasoline and heating oil prices. Lower oil prices would allow the American consumer to drive more and would also alleviate the pressure some Americans feel to forego heating their homes. The other benefit to drilling this resource would be to provide tax revenue to the state of Alaska and the native population living within Alaska’s borders.
In summation, the issue of environmental regulation does have positive and negative effects on society. How those are weighed depends on which side of the issue you come down on. The key point that should be kept at the forefront of this issue is that all natural resources need to be treated with respect and a sense of stewardship. If we make it a priority, environmental regulations can be enacted with an eye to the cultural impact that they can make.


Withgott, Jay, & Brennan, Scott. (2008). Environment. San Francisco, CA: Prentice Hall
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Wikipedia. Retrieved June 21, 2010 from l_reserves,
USGS Arctic Oil and Gas Study released. Retrieved June 28, 2010

Natural Resources and Environmental Regulations by Sheana Dunn

Natural Resources and Environmental Regulations
Sheana Dunn
Environmental Studies
Professor David Terrell, Ph.D.
Warner Pacific College
June 30, 2010

Natural Resources and Environmental Regulations
As our population increases and our world becomes ever more interconnected we must protect our nations natural resources and plan for their sustainability for the future. One way we can manage this vital task is to implement environmental policies, laws, and regulations.
An environmental policy is a policy with concerns of human contact with the environment and regulates a natural resource or reduces contamination, upholds human welfare, or protects natural systems (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S., 2008, p.58). For a policy to be successful we must have “input from science, ethics, and economics” (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S., 2008, p.58). Science provides the data from the research and the analysis. Ethics and economics offer the reason or standard to access the degree and the character of the problem (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S., 2008, p.58).
The environmental policy process has six steps. The first step is to identify the problem. Is a natural resource depleting? Or perhaps pollution is recognized in our water ways like the Cuyahoga River in Ohio. The second step to identify the causes of the problem. Turning to environmental scientists to gather the information and scrutinize all possible causes is the most effective way to accomplish the second step. The next step is to envision a solution. What are the pros and con’s of the solution. What impact will the solution have on other resources and quality of life of human’s? Is the solution economical and ethical? The first three steps must not be overlooked or rushed to create a valuable policy. The forth step is to get organized and prepare to present the policy. The fifth step is to lobby for the policy and finally ushering the policy into law (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S., 2008, pp. 66-75).
Environmental policies and regulations have an impact on society as well as the environment. Early history of the United States the environmental policies were made to address land management issues and promote citizens to leave their eastern cities and settle to western territories. The government implemented the Homestead Act which provided people a way to achieve prosperity. The Homestead Act allowed the public to claim property for little money if they lived on the property for five years and cultivated the land (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S., 2008, p. 64). The Timber Culture Act was also passed during this time and approved any citizen a area of land as long as they promised to cultivate the trees on it (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S., 2008, p. 64).
The second movement of U.S. environmental policies tackled the impacts of the land management acts approved by mitigating the decrease in natural resources connected to the westward population migration. During this time society’s view of natural resources began to change instead of giving natural resources away they saved them by creating national parks, the national forest system, and wildlife refuges.
The third major environmental concern in the United States dealt with pollution. The industrial movement had created chaos on the environment in many ways: air pollution, water contamination, toxic chemicals, and waste were top priority for this generation and still are today. During the 1960’s and the 1970’s pollution was very obvious such as the Cuyahoga River any sighted person could see the waste in the water. Citizens were also awoken to the dangers they could not see such as the use of pesticides and industrial chemicals. The news of these hazards instilled the fact that everything in the environment is interrelated and one environmental harm dominoes into another.
Currently the United States has created standards and groups to protect our environment such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess, monitor environmental quality, and enforce standards of our natural resources (Withgott, J., & Bennan, S., 2008, p. 68). The National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) is a program that evaluates the incident, amount, and outcome of chemical contaminants in water (USGS, 2005). Another program is the National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) this group provides an aerial picture of the states to assess changes in land and vegetation (USGS, 2005). These are just a few environmental groups created to protect our natural resources.
Today the citizens of the United States are largely much more educated on the environmental issues and are facing different obstacles that were not recognized in past generations such as ethics and economics. Society’s knowledge has pushed the decision makers to take all ethical and moral concerns into consideration before making environmental laws and policies. Environmental problems must be solved by consulting whether or not it is economically sound or not. By assessing the environmental issue using ethical and economic guidelines citizens do not always agree whether it is necessary to act on a perceived environmental problem. Decision makers have to weave their way through special interest groups, lobbyists, and others to get informed information so they may make a policy that is well balanced and good for the environment and the welfare of human beings.

USGS. (2005). Assessing Our Natural Resources. Retrieved June 27, 2010, from
Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2008). Environment: The science behind the stories (3rd ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings.


Industries Influence on Water Equality by Shawn DeWall

The Willamette Paper Mills
The Industries influence on Water Equality
Shawn DeWall
Environmental Studies
David Terrell
Warner pacific
June 30, 2010

In the mid nineteen seventies, my father landed a well paying job at one of the two local paper mills. His wages were sufficient enough to pay the home mortgage, utility bills and double car payments.
As a kid, I thought it was really cool that my dad made the paper that I used in school. I was more than comfortable informing my fellow class mates that my father had personally made the paper they were constructing their finely tuned art projects with. To me, he was the Superman of the paper world! After almost twenty five years in the pulp industry, my father called it a career.
There were two paper mills operating in the same area; one on the West Linn side of the Willamette river, and the other, directly across the way on the Oregon City side.
The two things that were highly visible when passing these mills was the amount of steam that was being shot in the sky and the amount of foam that was floating down the river. As a child, I just assumed that the foam was just a product of bubbles, like a big friendly bubble bath.
The only time I felt concerned with this process, was on a day when the wind may not have been blowing or precipitation may not have been falling; leaving a solid blanket of smoke smothering the sky.
As I grew older, I realized neither one of these things were positive outcomes for our environment.
My father used to tell us that a particular environmental group would express their concerns, but would not do much about the pollution that was endangering our surrounding areas; overlooking the rules for the better of the economy. When it became obvious that there was an over abundants of foam floating down the river, these groups would check in to vocalize their concerns. The punishment would be possibly a small fine and a slap on the wrist.
If at any moment one of these mills was shut down for environmental safety reasons, there would be hundreds of works laid off or fired in the process. The negative impact that would have on the local community would have been devastating.
As one can see, there was no balance between natural resources and environmental regulations.
The nice friendly foam was actually a sulfite bleaching agent used to whiten the paper products (Ruthburd). The company called this chemical the sulfate cooking liquor (Furber).
As this product was very efficient in whitening the pulp, it was not healthy for the local waters. As the foam would float down the Willamette River, it would collect in particular areas damaging the wild life and plant growth. There were even reports of mutated looking Salmon floating about.
By the early nineties, the days of a “free ride” were over. As environmental issues became more popular, so did the demands of accountability. It was no longer acceptable to look the other way for the greater good of our local economy.
The regulations came in the form of stiff penalties and incentives to improve day to day operations. Companies were encouraged to find ways to recycle the sulfite run off; while studying ways to bleach the pulp with different products.
While the results are not perfect, strong changes have been made. It has been reported that there has been a fifty percent decline in waste runoff since the early nineties (west linn paper co).
Along with company environmental changes, twenty to thirty percent of the paper being made is from recyclable resources. (2010)
Like stated; not perfect, but very strong progress is being made.


Furber. (2010). Willamette river health.
Retrieved June 27, 2010, from www.clarckscollege/

Ruthburd. (2010). West linn paper mills.
Retrieved June 27, 2010, from

West linn paper mill. (2010). Environmental safety standards.
Retrieved June 27, 2010, from