Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In the news

This was published yesterday Tuesday July 26, 2011 in the Oregonian:"BILLINGS, Mont. -- Wildlife advocates will be in federal court today to challenge a move by Congress that stripped gray wolves of their endangered status across most of the Northern Rockies." It seems that we have an issue with gray wolves that will not be resolved in many years. To read the whole article go to Oregon Live. The other interesting news is about the position of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden that has cosponsored two bill that environmental groups in Oregon do not like. To read about it link to Oregon Live, this is part of what the article says "U.S. Senator Ron Wyden is in hot water with environmentalists for co-sponsoring two bills in recent weeks that protect timber owners from increased federal regulation and delay air pollution rules for industrial boilers.

The bills, including one titled the "EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011," aren't what's expected of an Oregon Democrat rated highly on environmental scorecards, say Wyden's sometime allies."
The paper continues saying that Senator Wyden has been given hight marks in the past by environmentalists so it came as a surprise that this is happening. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Message from Jorge Melendez

Peace in Christ,

The more I experience and walk the road of faith, the more I find how special the walk is. Throughout all of my life’s experiences I have found how wonderful God really is and how special he is to me and those I love. I am constantly reminded how wonderful God’s unfailing love is, especially when I consider his forgiveness & patience towards me. God’s loving nature has profusely impacted me in many different ways and at various levels. His love has taught me to love, his patience has taught me to understand others, and his forgiveness has taught me to forgive.

Then I see my “natural man” (my flesh, and me before accepting Christ) and I am reminded of how difficult it is to be a sincere Christian. It seems at times that my flesh experiences separation anxieties, from the old man (2 Cor. 5:17), and I see my old self desiring to return. It seems that the old me creeps out from nowhere, and quickly. I don’t completely understand the old man and why he is the way he is, but I do see how dangerous the old man is and how easily he can take over, if I let him. I use “I” to exemplify all of us and the struggles we all face within ourselves.

We are constantly faced with the reality of our flesh, to this extent Paul wrote to the brothers in Rome and explained that within us (our mind) we face a war between the spirit and the flesh. It’s a war that will not end until we die and or at the LORD’s return. Because of this reality, being a faithful Christian is a difficult endeavor and it is no wonder that so many that reach for the title of Christian cannot live up to its demands. This reminds me of the Special Forces within the U.S. Military. Not just anyone can become a member of a special operations unit; anyone can apply, however, not everyone makes it (Matt. 22:14). I see the test of Christianity in this light, we are currently going through the trial period (boot camp) in this world, a period that will determine our eternal status.

During this trial period, God asks of us some very difficult things. When I consider what it takes to be a true Christian I must say I see no easy task. The LORD has asked of us, among other things, love our enemies and turn the other cheek (Matt. 5:39), forgive or we will not be forgiven (Matt. 6:15), and not to be brawlers (Titus 3:2), I see how very difficult it is for one to be true to God. This walk is not for the faint of heart, it requires complete dedication and sacrifice, two very high prices.

You might be asking what the disciples asked, “who then can be saved” (Matt. 19:25). The LORD responded by saying,”with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Through many of the LORD’s teachings we have come to understand that when we are struggling we need to go to him for help and he will get us through our struggle; don’t run away from him, run to him. When we are running to him [God] we must bear in mind what Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 6:10-18 when he talks about putting on the full Armor of God. Like soldiers we must be equipped with all the elements of war so that we may battle this flesh and the attacks of the enemy and win. Let us continue to battle our old self so that the old will not dominate the “new creature.”

Your brother in the faith,

Jorge Meléndez

Friday, July 1, 2011

Do Your Part: Environmental Responsibility

Janet Woods
Environmental Studies PHS 100A
Warner Pacific College
June 30, 2011

Do Your Part: Environmental Responsibility

Can one person make a difference in lowering our carbon foot print? Each person has a responsibility to do his or her part to prevent further damage to the environment. There are many ways to accomplish this task; some simple, other changes may be a little more difficult. If every person changes behavior in a few ways, much will be saved. Each person can make a huge difference.
Walking through the house and turning off unused lights saves on a person’s electric bill each month. Changing light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs will also save in the long run. The energy efficient bulbs are slightly more expensive, but will save on how much is spent each month in payments to the electric company. A statement in article on the internet from the Environmental Protection Agency says, “if every American home replaced just one conventional light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes a year” (EPA, Green tips, 2011). Imagine 3 million homes, for a year, from just changing a light bulb.
An average person may also save approximately ten percent of their electric bill by decreasing what the power companies call phantom energy. Phantom energy is lost by leaving appliances plugged in at all times. A suggestion to lower the cost of the electricity would be to bundle the television, DVD player, DVR recorder, or computer, monitor and printer into one power strip and then turn the power strip off when not in use. Chargers for power tools, cell phones, and digital cameras are also a drain on the power because the chargers are often left plugged in even when not charging the objects. The chargers continue to draw electricity, standing ready to charge whatever is to be attached.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages the purchase of renewable “Green” electricity. The purchase of renewable energy lessens the reliance on fossil fuel. The EPA also recommends the purchase of Energy Star appliances. The cost of a new appliance is less overall than running a ten year old refrigerator for six months.
Another way a person would be able to take responsibility for the environment is to conserve water. One obvious way to conserve water is to not rinse dishes prior to placing them in the dishwasher and only run the dishwasher when it is full. Some newer dishwashers only use approximately four gallons per load.
The purchase of water saving fixtures conserves waters helps tremendously. Taking a five minute shower uses approximately ten to twenty-five gallons; whereas taking filling the bath tub requires approximately seventy gallons of water. Choosing the appropriate setting on the washing machine also conserves water and energy. Newer washing machines use approximately twenty- eight gallons compared to the forty gallons of an older washing machine.
Reduce, reuse, recycle is a phrase that has caught on with many people. Composting has been used for many years in a variety of ways. Food scraps will make good fertilizer saving money on the purchase of package fertilizer. Grass left on the newly cut lawn will decompose back into the lawn, helps against the bagging of the clippings. The process of reducing the amount of trash that by individual household generates by encouraging people to buy items that will with stand vigorous usage, mend or repair items such as clothing, shoes and appliances.
The use of reusable shopping bags assists in cutting back on the waste of plastic or paper bags distributed at the local markets. Some retailers encourage the use of the bags by reducing the overall cost of the groceries by a few cents per reusable bag. Other retailers charge the consumer a few cents per non-renewable bag he or she uses.
The EPA recommends being creative with egg and ice cream containers, suggesting them as seed starters or planters. Looking for containers with the symbol of recycling may take a few moments longer or even possibly cost slightly more, but it helps the environment tremendously.
Walking when we have the opportunity will not only save on the cost of gasoline, but it will also lower air pollution. Using public transportation cuts back on the pollution, saves on gas and “Leaving your car at home just two days a week will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year” (EPA, Green tips, 2011). Combining trips or errands so the car leaves the garage fewer times is another way to lower pollution.
There are many ways for an individual to make a difference. God supplied a beautiful earth. Each and every person has a responsibility to do what they can to help the environment and maintain the beauty. If an individual did just one or two of these suggestions there would be an impact for good on the environment. These suggestions are not difficult and many are very simple.

Do your part. Choose one or two and make a change.


Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2011). Environment: the science behind the stories (4th ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. Retrieved 6-22-11 Retrieved 6-22-11

Obesity and its relation to climate change

Floyd Wills
Environmental Studies
PHS 100A
Warner Pacific College

June 30, 2011

“This might be the first generation where kids are dying at a younger age than their parents and it's related primarily to the obesity problem.”
Judy Davis

You read about it in the newspaper, hear discussions on the different talk shows and radio programs about the damage it does to the health of countless millions of people, the strain it puts on our healthcare system, and its contribution to the acceleration of climate change. This destructive epidemic is obesity. According to (2011) the definition of obesity is, a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. A person has traditionally been considered obese if they are 20% over their ideal weight. Adult obesity rates have more than doubled since 1980 from 15% of the population to a current 34%. If that is not bad enough, childhood obesity rates have more than tripled since the 80’s! Currently 17% of all children in the U.S. are obese. One quarter of all healthcare expenses are related to obesity. You might be saddened by these statistics, but you might be asking the question, “So what does this issue have to do with climate change?” Let us take a look at how obesity contributes to climate change; according to Shaweta Chauhan, the author of the article, “Obesity leading to climate change,” (2009). Obesity affects our climate in the following ways:
• People who are obese consume more food, which causes more carbon emissions resulting from extra food production.
• Obesity creates a greater load on transport vehicles, resulting in more fuel consumption.
• It is more difficult to move around in a heavy body than it is to move around in a slim body, so obese people are more likely to use their car for transportation as opposed to walking or riding a bicycle.
• Poor and excessive eating habits increase fossil fuel consumption, because more chemical fertilizers are used, along with food processing, packaging, and transport.
• Not only is it contributing to climate change, obesity brings with it health problems such as increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
Everywhere you turn there is a fast food restaurant on every corner. Billboards with enticing pictures of juicy hamburgers, golden french-fries, and ice cold Coca-Colas adorned with such phrases as, “I’m lovin it!” More like, “I’m hating it when I have a heart attack from eating all this fattening food!”
So what are the costs of being a fast food nation? What many people do not stop and think about is how much resources are required in order for you to get that Big Mac in your hand. In the article, “The Repercussions of Eating Meat,” (2010) the author references a 2006 UN published a report that stated that the livestock industry is a top contributor to the damage that is being caused to our environment. In order to get the meat we love to consume, massive amounts of livestock must be fed, watered, transported, and slaughtered on a daily basis. The crops alone to feed these animals amount to 70% of all the crops in the world! High consumption of meat has led to global deforestation. Farmers clear the forest so they can plant more crops in order to provide food to the livestock so we can butcher them for their meat. The livestock produce large amounts of waste in the form of manure that piles up and can potentially find its way into drinking water. In addition, the methane gas the livestock produces equals to about 65% of the nitrous oxide that pollutes the air and accelerates climate change on a global scale.
What can we do to stop obesity? The first thing we can do is to start with ourselves by reducing the amount of meat we consume on a regular basis. I enjoy eating meat, and do not think I could go vegan, but if I cut my meat consumption down to half of what I normally eat, I can still make a huge difference in the carbon footprint I am leaving on this planet. Another way we can stem the tide of obesity is by getting regular exercise. There are so many benefits to taking care of your body, both physically and mentally. Besides, this is the only body you get while on this earth, so you might as well take good care of it! I believe our educational systems need to step up and offer our children healthier food choices. Let’s get the junk food machines, and fast food stalls off of our campuses! Children and adults need to be educated on making healthier food choices and how those choices not only affect them, but also how they impact the environment as well. I don’t understand why some of the schools are cutting physical education programs for children when we need these programs now more than ever! We have generations of kids who do not get enough exercise. When I was a kid, I remember playing outside for hours on end, running, playing various physical games, climbing trees, and going out in the fields to pick berries so I could make enough money to buy my school clothes. Nowadays, it seems many kids are just playing video games, watch television, and surf the net. How do we reach these generations? It is time for society to teach our children the value of living a healthy lifestyle. If we live a healthy lifestyle, we set an example to our children and those around us to follow.
How does the issue of obesity affect my career path of becoming a counselor? I believe in the future when I am working in the field of professional counseling, I will be working with some clients who struggle with obesity. In an article on The American Counseling Association website titled, “More than meets the eye,” (2009). The author, Lynne Shallcross writes, "We have become a nation of convenience, and certainly, packaged food products, fast food restaurants and portion sizes all play a role," says Judith Warchal, a psychologist at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Reading, Pa. "But it's not just about the food that we eat. It's a far more complex issue. If it was just ‘Stop eating,' it would be a far easier problem to solve. Alcoholics can stop drinking (and still survive), but we can't stop eating. So it becomes a more complex issue in trying to manage the food that we eat." These individuals might be dealing with such issues as, addiction, social isolationism, shame, low self-esteem and confidence, depression, or even sexual abuse issues, connected with their obesity. Often times, overweight and obese people experience bias and discrimination because of their weight. I will need to be knowledgeable in the biochemistry behind weight management, basic anatomy, biology, and chemistry. I will also need to have the appropriate resources to provide my clients with regards to living a healthy and balanced life.
People often wonder if they can really make a difference when it comes to our sustainability with all the pollution that goes on around the globe. I believe the answer is a resounding “yes.” When we start by making simple life style changes that are good for us and our environment we are setting of a chain reaction to those around us. Many small changes can equal huge change. Each of us is on this planet for a short period of time, like a traveler passing through on a long journey, eventually returning to the place from which we came. On this journey each of has a choice about how we are going to treat and interact with the world around us, knowing from within that what we do while we are here will leave an imprint for the next generation to follow.


Shallcross, L. (2009). More Than Meets The Eye
Retrieved June 29, 2011 from

Shaweta, C. (2009). Obesity leading to climate change.
Retrieved June 29, 2011 from

(2009). The Repercussions of Eating Meat
Retrieved June 29, 2011 from

How does our diet impact the environment?

Angela Avey
PHS 100A
Warner Pacific College
June 30, 2011
How does our diet impact the environment?

In America, the average adult consumes 222 pounds of meat and poultry annually. In contrast, consumers in the United Kingdom average 175 pounds per year. With this much demand for meat, what is the impact on our environment? Are there better ways to raise livestock that will not affect our air, water and land in such harmful ways? What can we do as a society to lessen the burden of resources needed to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for meat and dairy products?
Between 1961 and 2008, domesticated animals raised for food rose from 7.2 billion to 24.9 billion globally (Pimental & Pimental, 2011). This great increase in livestock has spurred wide-spread land usage for the production of meat. In addition to grazing land for the animals, more and more farmland is required to grow the grain and soy needed to feed the animals. This has resulted in the loss of many natural habitats and prairie pools which were once common in the mid-west of the United States. A loss of biodiversity is unavoidable when these important natural resources are lost.
More than 260 million acres of forest have been clear-cut in the United States alone to provide space for animal agriculture (Hackett, J. 2010). Much of these lands are used to commercially raise cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys and buffalo. In the everyday workings of a factory farm, precious fossil fuels are consumed while transporting feed to farms, live animals to slaughterhouses and animal carcasses (in energy-hungry refrigerated trucks) to processing plants. Once processed, the final products are then shipped to stores around the country and the world. An interesting fact I uncovered while researching this topic is that the energy & resources required to make a single hamburger is equivalent to driving 20 miles in a small car! This is attributed to the amount of water, grain, and land space needed to produce just a half pound of ground beef (Hackett, J. 2010). To produce 1 pound of feedlot raised beef product, approximately 2,400 gallons of water and 7 pounds of grain/corn is needed.
Another harmful by-product of factory farms is the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. Methane has 21 times more Global Warming Potential (GWP) than Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide has 296 times more GWP than C02. The livestock industry is a major contributor of these gases (Pimental & Pimental, 2011). These emissions are a primary cause of global warming, which is responsible for increasing the world’s temperature which in turn melts glaciers and polar ice caps resulting in rising ocean levels.
So, the news surrounding the effects of animal agricultural are certainly disturbing and do not provide a hopeful outcome for the future of farming. With the global population expected to rise to an estimated 9.1 billion people by 2050, the demand for meat and poultry is expected to increase right along with the population. Is it possible to farm sustainably? Yes. Low-input agriculture is one way in which we can reduce the amount of precious resources such as fossil fuels and clean water used for meat production. Organic farming is also useful in the reduction of harmful chemicals and pesticides commonly used in industrial agriculture.
But how do we combat this impending issue altogether? I believe the clear answer is to reduce our demand and consumption of meat. At a staggering 222 pounds per year, the US is once again setting a horrible example of gluttony and consumerism to the world, in my opinion. It is a simple fact that a person who exists primarily on animal proteins requires 10 times more land to provide adequate food than a person who lives on vegetable proteins (including nuts). This alone makes a switch to vegetarianism/veganism worth the effort. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes and soy is not only healthier for your body, but healthier for the environment.
The Director of the Centre for Global Food Issues, Dennis Avery has said, “The world must create 5 billion vegans in the next several decades, or triple its total farm output without using more land.” While this is a wonderful ideal, it is simply not going to happen. People will always want meat and dairy products, but my take on it is that (like most things we consume) we do not need the amounts we are consuming. I, for one, will be very diligent in the future when planning family meals. My family does not “need” to eat meat every day and lessening our consumption won’t impact us as much as it will certainly help sustain our environment and our precious earth.

Avery, D. (2007, January 10). Center Director an authority for vegan activists. Center for Global Food Issues. Retrieved from
Hackett, J. (2010, October 8). What does eating meat have to do with fossil fuels? Vegetarian. Retrieved from
Novak, S. (2011, June 7). UN urges a vegan diet to feed a growing population. Planet Green. Retrieved from
Pimental, D. & Pimental, M. (2011, May 27). Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based Diets and the Environment. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved from