Friday, May 30, 2014

Future Perspective by Renee Pinkerton

Environmental Studies
PHS 100A
May 29, 2014
 Connecting and Considering

There are times I find that daily living can exist in a vacuum of sorts. I take care of myself and my family with the resources that are available. I know that there are big issues out there in the world that need to be addressed like education, poverty, healthcare and the environment but who am I to tackle such huge issues? This past year has brought forth opportunities for me to consider and make some changes as I live on this earth.
My adult son and I were driving home as I noticed a billboard that stated, save the environment, stop eating beef.  I cynically looked at my son and said what in world does eating beef have to do with the environment? My son proceeded to enlightened me of the impact upon the environment due to the grossly large stock yards necessary to provide beef and dairy products for today’s consumers. In order to provide the land necessary for livestock some countries have chosen to use forest lands and others have allowed over grazing. Livestock on an intensive scale in industrialized countries has become a major source of pollution of water and the atmosphere (FAO,2013). I had never really considered how the environment was being impacted by our food choices
A documentary was shown in a class, Food Inc. produced by Robert Kenner in 2008. It asked the question do you know what you are eating and where your food is coming from.The documentary talks about how food production has been impacted by the fast food industry. The modern food industry is about doing things faster, fatter, bigger and cheaper and no one is thinking about the impact it is having on our health system (Leake,2010). Wendall Berry states that people are fed by the food industry that pays no attention to health and are healed by the health industry that pays no attention to food (Eytan, 2013). I had never really considered how our food and health were being impacted by today’s efficient but not so effective lifestyles.
A customer comes into the store and tells me his story about the way his health has been impacted by the gluten in wheat that has been genetically modified. He tells me that the modifications were done to help wheat grow quicker and to be resistant to environmental harms. The new modified wheat has developed a protein that has impacted many in a negative manner. I start doing some research on my own and make some changes in the way we eat from the findings. I had never considered that efforts to resolve hunger may result in doing more harm than good.
A clip from the sci-fi movie Soylent Green (1973) shows a world in  2022 that has been depleted of all natural resources and what awful measures humanity will resort to, to survive. Today we still have many attempting to prophesy about future catastrophes as a result of misuse of the world’s resources or ways that the predicted population growth of nine billion by 2050 will not be sustainable (Rupp, 2014). These efforts are done to call others to wake up and purposely create fear. I do know that fear can cripple a person.
Fear evokes what is call survival brain and it can have three primary outcomes (Laton,2005). Freeze we become overwhelmed and feel we are paralyzed to do anything about the circumstances so we live as a victim of our circumstances. Flight we run away from the problem and find a small community were we can live making the best life we can without thinking about others. Or we can respond to the fear by fighting back. Fighting back seems to be the best response to the fear that is evoked but it must be a rational response to a real problem.
My ultimate goal of attending college is to attain a degree in mental health and/or human development. Issues of the environment and food supply are critical to our mental and physical health. Studies show that the impact of not having the basic needs of humanity met is grave for ones future and creates a high cost upon societies. This generation is responsible to address serious concerns and to do what we can to make sure future generations have the opportunity to live responsibly and well.
How do we responsibly respond to the fears for the future? First we need to recognize that were are not powerless to make changes. As consumers and citizens we have loud voice and industry will respond to persons who persevere in discussion for the good of humanity. David Platt in his book Radical Together uses this powerful illustration.
      Atop the Andes Mountains, the rays of sun strike ice, a single drop of water forms gradually joining with other drops to become a steady stream. Hundreds of miles later, the mightiest river on earth: The Amazon, flowing in the Atlantic Ocean at a rate of seven million cubic feet per second, the Amazon is more powerful than the next ten largest rivers combined.
(2011 p.1)
As we connect with others on the path set before us we become a mighty force for change. As we become aware of things to consider we need to respond to the circumstance by gaining knowledge and doing the things we can to impact for good. We are without excuse in today’s world to be ignorant of circumstances that cause concern. I am hopeful for the future even with all the concerns that arise because concerns do arise, and because people arise to speak and act on behalf of humanitarian issues.

Eytan, T. (2013) Comparing US food system and healthcare stats. Retrieved from:
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2013). World agricultural: towards 2015-2030, and FAO perspective. Retrieved from: 
Kenner, R.(2008) Food Inc. Participant Media
Layton, J. (2005). How Fear Works. Retrieved from:  29 May 2014
Leake, L. (2010). Some highlights from food inc. documentary. Retrieved from:

Platt D. (2011). Radical Together. Multhomah Books. Colorado Springs, CO.

Confronting Future Development and Sustainability by Cammi Hubert

PHS 100A Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
May 29, 2014
Confronting Future Development and Sustainability
            As this course comes to an end I cannot help but express my concerns about what we will leave for our children and their children. I think that our society has become so greedy and consumed with having the best, biggest and the most that many people look the other way when it comes to giving back what they have so freely taken. I cannot say that I was not aware of the condition of our environment, but I can say I will never look at the world around me the same. After having some education relating to sustainability and our future I see red flags all around me.
            In a previous paper I wrote about an attitude that whatever is depleted in our environment there will always be someone finding a substitute and everything will again be free for the taking. It feels to me like our society expects the government and other pertinent agencies to refill our empty barrels. I often wonder if people take so much for granted because there has always been something or someone to produce a solution. Is the idea that we will continue to use our resources until we are living on other planets because the earth is finally unable to sustain life a logical solution? Or is it because we are such a spoiled nation that most only think about today and not what life will be like in 100 years? If we, meaning everyone, continue to do what we are doing life as we have always known it will no longer be the life that our future generations know.
            As I begin to realize that there are things that can be done to help preserve our natural resources it occurs to me that we will be chasing the damage and only be able to address what is happening now not what has already been destroyed. Our text book writes “The United States with less than 5% of the world’s population consumes 20% of the world’s resources” (Laposata & Withgott, 2014). That is outrageous!
I wonder how many people have ever seen an undeveloped area? With the way we travel, communicate, work and shop most of our society has never experienced a connection with our natural environment. Everything appears material and in the quest to have “things” our consumption of goods and services cannot last forever. When a cell phone is used, a laptop is opened or writing with a simple ink pen is there even a thought about how this is only possible because of the minerals we mine. Every single day we as human beings take the use of a belt buckle or putting on cosmetics for granted. I am curious how many people actually have a concept of how these luxuries are even made.
            Our vast use and destruction of our environment reaches much farther than cleaning up waterways or recycling our plastics, our depletion of the earth is not just surface but underground as well. We mine minerals needed to produce almost everything we use on a daily basis. What happens when the minerals are gone? “ The Minerals Education Coalition estimated that in 2013 the average American consumed more than 17,200 kg (38,000 lbs.) of new minerals and fuels every year” (Laposata & Withgott, 2014). When we compare this to every person in the United States the consumption rate is astronomical. “At the current rates of use, a baby born in 2012 is predicted to use over 1.3 million kg (3 million lbs.) of minerals over his or her lifetime” (Laposata & Withgott, 2014).
            With all of this in mind the world needs to pay attention. I believe we can make a difference in our environment and hopefully stop destroying what is left. If everyone makes a conscious decision to do their part our environment, our health and our quality of life can be maintained without sucking our planet dry. Minerals are a resource that appears to be taken from the earth faster than the earth can reproduce it. Therefore the likelihood of not having the minerals necessary to move forward with things like solar power is very real.
One of the minerals being seriously depleted is indium used in LCD screens and other luxuries.  If we continue to tap into our supplies of this mineral it is possible that it won’t be available in 30 years! This mineral, as well as others, are used in the production of high efficiency cells for solar power. We are just beginning to truly understand all of the benefits that could be realized from the use of solar energy. Discovering that we can create electricity from the sun can put things in a new perspective. When I look around me I realize that electricity is one of the most fundamental components of our everyday lives. For those countries that continue to remain in the dark solar energy could be one of the main changes that could impact every human being on the planet.
            The exposure to the possibility of using the sun to create electricity could make a huge difference in so many ways. The possibility of reducing electricity bills to the point that the power companies could actually owe a credit to the consumer is amazing to me. The enormous amounts of overhead costs from the use of electricity could be decreased so significantly that more people could benefit from these types of savings.
            I can visualize for instance just one residential alcohol and drug treatment facility could realize such an enormous savings from solar power that there would be more funding to help more people. The use of electricity to light up the building; heat up the water, run the furnace and/or the air conditioner , power a commercial kitchen as well as all of the little necessities that require power is so expensive that the numbers of people that benefit from A&D services are essentially limited.  The amount it costs to pay overhead to run one of these facilities could be reduced so significantly that the savings could be put back into funding needed desperately for more services to reach more people.
            The solution is simple; we need to stop taking from our planet and begin working with our planet to utilize the resources that are right in front of us. The sun has always been there and likely always will be. Taking advantage of what is produced naturally by the sun makes sense. We need to let the planet rest and refresh itself instead of depleting and destroying it then maybe there will be something left for the generations to come.

 Laposata, M., & Withgott, J. (2014). Environment:the science behind the stories. (5 ed., pp. 636, 667). Glenview , IL: Pearson Education, Inc.

What to expect for the Future by Bethany Patterson

Warner Pacific College
May 29, 2014

            As of 2014 we are currently innovating ways to convert our old recycled products into something we can use. I believe in a couple years we will have solar panels on most if not all houses, and I hope to see more businesses convert to solar as well. Here is a little bit about solar panels; solar power is produced by collecting sunlight and converting it into electricity. This is done by using solar panels, which are large flat panels made up of many individual solar cells. It is most often used in remote locations, although it is becoming more popular in urban areas as well. This page contains articles that explore advances in solar energy technology. Here is a fun fact did you know who is the most competent solar power expert, according to a research team from Tel Aviv University? It is the humble common Oriental hornet found in our gardens! Much to the astonishment of the scientists and researchers, the hornet utilizes solar power much like a plant and it produces electricity. Think how much easier it would be if only we could unravel how the hornet manages it. This discovery could revolutionize future solar power harvesting.
            New York City's Brooklyn Bridge Park is getting even greener with the addition of a solar powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station – the first of its kind in New York City. Brooklyn Bridge Park has already added a number of green areas with lush grass, making it a great spot for both locals and tourists to enjoy the fabulous view of Manhattan and this EV charging station is the latest and unique green energy addition. The station will likely reduce the carbon emission inside the park to a great extent. Yes, as of 2011, The Empire State Building, one of the world's largest buildings has achieved the distinction of becoming the largest buyer of green renewable wind power. The Empire State Building will be using more than 100 million kWh of wind energy in the coming couple of years approximately. It will be totally - 100% - wind-powered from now on! This is not the only feather in the lofty Empire State Building's green cap. Already the tall building has executed the refurbishment of fitting of all its - some 6500 or so - windows with a unique type of insulating glass for power savings. Some $13.2 million very well spent in boosting the green credentials.
A German owned company IMO has set-up a plant in USA that will make the largest solar tracker solar panels to tap solar energy. As per Ruediger Unverzagt and Klaus Pless, respectively the CEO and vice-president of this company, these solar tracker solar panels are the largest in Summerville in South California. IMO is looking forward to commercially sell these solar tracker solar panels. Despite being huge in size, they are very easy to assemble and one can assemble them just outside the building where they are to be installed. The United States of America will now produce clear power that can light up as many as 11000 to 277500 homes in the country. The Sectary of Interior Ken Salazar has given a go ahead to the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating system, a project proposed by Bright Source of Oakland that can produce up to 370 megawatt of clear energy and generate nearly 1100 opportunities for employment. The project, located in San Bernardino Country, California, is the inaugural large-scale solar energy project on US public soil to use the power tower.
Power-Curve Society, written by David Bollier, examines how technological innovation is restructuring productivity and the social and economic impact resulting from these changes. It addresses the growing concern about the technological displacement of jobs, stagnant middle class income, and wealth disparities in an emerging "winner-take-all" economy. It also examines cutting-edge innovations in personal data ecosystems that could potentially unlock a revolutionary wave of individual economic empowerment. Power-Curve Society is the Report of the Twenty-First Annual Roundtable on Information Technology, a dialogue convened by the Communications and Society Program. Despite agreement that new technologies are providing valuable productivity gains and economic growth, there was a subtle but significant division among conference participants about what issues require urgent attention. “Without overemphasizing this,” said Charles Firestone of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, “we can detect a split between those who see the new economy as a natural phenomenon that we must come to accept—‘embrace the machines and figure out how to use them’—and those who worry about the people being left out economically, and who want to find effective interventions—government policies, institutional practices, education or other means—to help them.”
There was wide agreement that education is central to people’s ability to participate in the new economy, so much conversation focused on how education is changing (and not changing), and what strategies can help people compete in the new economy. Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, offered his own iconoclastic perspective on these questions. Something I found amazing was this story I found on a hydropower ocean system. Till now, hydropower has mostly been generated at dams. Now, turbines around the world are being designed to harness the power of the ocean. Blue Energy Canada is close to commercializing a turbine that captures energy from ocean currents and already has purchase power agreements in India, Indonesia, and New Zealand. With a set of subway-size floating turbines, Pelamis Wave Power is converting wave power into electricity off the coast of Scotland. Following this was a story that will change the world around us, the first round of biofuels caused a spike in global food prices. Now companies are developing the next generation from non-edible sources.
Scientists at ADM (ADM) are creating cellulosic ethanol from corn stover and other companies are experimenting with switch grass, woodchips, and miscanthus. The simple things in life can also be some of the greenest. Biking to work slashes overall carbon emissions when compared to driving or using public transportation, contrary to what state legislators may say. Turn that idea into a 10,000-strong bike share program, and you can revolutionize the way a population thinks about going green. The average American throws about 40 percent of their food away every year, and nearly 100 cities have launched composting programs to try and keep it out of landfills. Curbside composting has spread across the country from uber-green San Francisco, which started their program 15 years ago and now collects more than 600 tons of compost daily. Of the 250 million tons of trash created in the U.S. in 2010, 34 percent of it was diverted to composting or recycling programs, according to the EPA.
I read a new story about an environmentally safe way for a burial that was just disturbing to me. In my opinion yes it is nice to be economically and environmentally sound but when you are going through a tragic moment like that you want the best looking casket or urn that you can get not something that looks like you would plant plants inside of it. Death isn't the best thing for the environment. Cremation sends more than 6.8 million tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere every year, caskets take a long time to biodegrade and burial leads to methane emission (the second most prevalent greenhouse gas). But environmentally-friendly burial options are becoming more prevalent. Wicker and cardboard coffins can replace traditional wood, and dry ice is used rather than formaldehyde. And green burial services are popping up around the globe to curb post-mortem emissions.
            Something I admire is that we are not the only country that is coming up with new was to save money and our environment. Recently my friend decided to travel the world she has spent six months in Spain and is currently in japan teaching kids how to speak and write in English. In her travels she found out that in Asia they have a battery that is fueled by urine. However disgusting it maybe it is pretty smart to reuse something that we just flush away. There is also a new car in Germany from a company called Genco that runs off our waste. This VW Beetle is roaming the streets of Bristol in the UK thanks to poo-power. That is to say, it runs on biogas, a fuel derived from the breakdown of organic matter like manure or sewage into methane. There is no doubt that this is a viable, sustainable source of energy (the waste from 70 homes in Bristol generates enough methane to power the car for a year) — but I shudder to think what filling stations might smell like in the future.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Nicky Guyton's view on Our Society's Vulnerability to Natural Hazards

            Throughout my essay I will be discussing our society’s vulnerability to natural hazards.  I will focus on my personal experiences with natural hazards and give a few examples of our society’s weaknesses towards natural hazards.
            There have been multiple natural disasters that have caused our society major losses in population, along with property and other miscellaneous losses.  These natural disasters include floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, and much more.  Due to some recent natural disasters it is clear to me that we cannot be fully prepared to fight against or be fully prepared for natural disasters, nor can we predict exactly the damage it may cause to our society.  This to me is a huge vulnerability we have as a society.  If we had better technology, or possibly more knowledge on certain storms, then maybe we can be more prepared for what may come.  Or are we ever going to be fully prepared for what nature brings us, or is our society no challenge for nature?
            Since I was a little girl I have always been completely frightened of tornados.  It may be due to the movie Twister, as I did watch it at a young age.  But, I believe it is a mixture of that movie giving me nightmares, along with my family being from the south and that being an area where they are most susceptible to tornados.  This natural hazard has always been a fear of mine because I believe us as humans and as a society; we are very vulnerable to tornados.  Yes we may be able to predict when and where the tornadoes may hit, but what can we do to prevent a disaster?  What can we do to protect ourselves and our homes?  As I stated previously my family is from the south, to be more specific they are from Alabama.  A few years ago now, Auburn, Alabama was hit by a tornado.  My family did not have underground safe houses, so my aunt and my cousin sat in their home in complete terror as they watched the storm brew outside.
            Not only was there trees flying sideways through the air but there was water flying sideways and slashing against their windows like the sound of rocks being thrown at your window nonstop at high speeds.  A large tree went through their roof with a trunk the width of around four feet.  Luckily none of my family members were hurt.  Sadly they lost a few of their animals, their yard was a disaster, and there was a tree through their roof, but they were ok.  This proved to me that there are no controlling natural hazards and we as a society are vulnerable to most natural hazards.  As much as we try to be prepared, we cannot be fully prepared nor can we prevent disasters from happening.
            Within my essay I included how vulnerable our society really is towards natural hazards.  Included were personal experiences I have had with natural hazards and some input on my opinion towards our society and the vulnerability we have towards natural hazards.        

Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2014) Environment the science behind the stories. United States:     Pearson Education, Inc.
Slingo,J. (2012) Environmental science institute. UK
            Retrieved From:
Alexander, D. (2012)  Models of Social Vulnerability to Disasters. RCCS Annual Review
            Retrieved From:

Bethany Patterson's view on Vulnerability to Natural Hazards

Warner Pacific College
May 22, 2014

            Vulnerability means the potential to be harmed. Vulnerability to natural hazards is thus the potential to be harmed by natural hazards. Some people and places are more vulnerable to certain hazards than other people and places. While any one extreme event may be unusual, there are broad trends in natural hazards. These trends are due to characteristics of both natural systems and human systems. By characterizing these trends, we can understand who and what is vulnerable and in what ways they are vulnerable. This in turn helps us reduce vulnerability and, when extreme events occur, reduce the damage. This work saves lives, and much more. Some disaster trends over time generally speaking, disasters are becoming less deadly but more costly. Fewer people are dying in disasters, but damages are costing more in dollars. Improved science and technology is a main reason that fewer lives are lost. We are now better at forecasting disasters, and our buildings and other structures can better withstand the physical impacts. This increases our resilience to hazards. Growth in population and the economy is a main reason that more money is lost. Simply put, society now has more of value that is exposed to hazards. Even though much of this is also more resistant to damage, the total dollar amount of damage has been increasing.
            The risk of specific natural hazards varies widely from region to region. For example, floods tend to occur in low-lying areas near water. The Sahel region (the southern edge of the Sahara desert in Africa) is periodically plagued by droughts. Forest fires tend to occur (as you might guess) in forests. Earthquakes and volcanoes tend to occur near boundaries of tectonic plates. Many of the world’s earthquakes and volcanoes occur along the edge of the Pacific ocean, along the boundaries of the Pacific Plate. This region is known as the Ring of Fire for its intense volcanic activity. Within the United States, some regions are more vulnerable to natural hazards than others. For example, Pennsylvania has a relatively low vulnerability, whereas Florida has a relatively high vulnerability. Pennsylvania gets a lot of hot weather in the summer, cold weather in the winter, and rainfall throughout, but while this all can be inconvenient or unpleasant, it is usually not dangerous. Florida, on the other hand, doesn't have to bundle up so much in the winter, but it does face frequent hurricanes. Some studies show that elderly people are more vulnerable than younger people due to the fact that not only can they not move as fast as younger people. Also there are some tests that state that men are also more likely to survive longer than women in a natural disaster based on the soul reason that they tend to be stronger and they are more prone to being handy outdoors.
Currently Oregon is showing us it’s vulnerability to the natural hazards of flooding, hurricane force winds and landslides. It has been in the news every day for the last week. A mother and child were killed when the car they were riding as passengers in was suddenly swept away from a creek overflowing in a grocery store parking lot. Passes to the coast have been closed due to landslides and damage to roads along with flying debris from hurricane force winds. Houses have been flooded and others have shifted off their foundations. Mount Bachelor Ski Resort closed last week because of extreme snow fall making it hazardous if not impossible to reach the resort with a concern for avalanches. In 1998 the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries cited five categories of natural hazards that include floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis (Earthquakes and other natural hazards in the Pacific Northwest, 1999). They further state that all five of these hazards have occurred in the last century. I remember becoming stranded at my mother in laws while visiting her in Beaverton during the flood of 1996/97.
I believe that was the same year as the worst ice storm I remember. I had been in Fairview and had to slip and slide my way home, it was quite frightening. We had another ice storm in 2003 and I had a new baby and lived on the second floor of an apartment building with rickety stairs made out of wrought iron and stone. I didn’t feel safe trying to carry my new baby down those stairs and chose to stay inside my apartment. I was fortunate enough to have my adult step daughter bring me supplies when needed. In April 2011, the Oregon House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 3 (sponsored by Rep. Deborah Boone, D-Cannon Beach), which directs Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC) to “lead and coordinate preparation of an Oregon Resilience Plan that . . . makes recommendations on policy direction to protect lives and keep commerce flowing during and after a Cascadia (mega thrust) earthquake and tsunami.” The Plan and recommendations were delivered to the Oregon Legislative Assembly February 28, 2013.
The Oregon Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (NHMP) identifies and prioritizes potential actions throughout Oregon that would reduce our vulnerability to natural hazards. In addition, the plan satisfies the requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure that Oregon is eligible to receive hazard mitigation and disaster assistance funds from the federal government. The current version of plan was approved on March 5, 2012, and this update will be adopted in early 2015. The State Interagency Hazard Mitigation Team (State IHMT) provides project oversight and policy direction. The Oregon Military Department, Office of Emergency Management facilitates and supports the IHMT, and manages federal mitigation planning and disaster assistance funds. The Department of Land Conservation and Development manages the project. A vulnerability analysis is a methodology which documents the extent of exposure that may result from a hazard event of a given intensity in a given area. The analysis provides quantitative data that may be used to identify and prioritize potential mitigation measures by allowing communities to focus attention on areas with the greatest risk of damage.
A vulnerability analysis is divided into five steps: asset inventory, methodology, date limitations, exposure analysis for current assets and areas of future development. Emergency Management Performance Grant funding requires local hazard vulnerability analyses be current and updated within the past ten years. The State of Oregon requires the update every five. The City of Portland’s Hazard Vulnerability Analysis was updated in 2006 and will be updated in 2011. The Citywide Asset Report outlines criteria for replacement and maintenance of city-owned infrastructure and buildings. The 2008 report specifically identified risk analysis from unforeseeable occurrences as a factor to be considered in the study. Risk consequences and likelihood of failure were outlined as process elements that each bureau should incorporate into their asset management plan. The 2008 report concluded that most bureaus have limited capacity to predict likely failure modes for assets and have not estimated the likelihood and consequence of asset failure. City facilities were estimated at $23.1 billion in replacement value (Appendix H Reference: Portland 2009i). City assets include parks, structures and infrastructure.
 A conservative exposure-level analysis was conducted to assess the risks of identified hazards. This analysis is a simplified assessment of the potential effects of the hazards on properties at risk without consideration of probability or level of damage. I am really happy that Oregon has this plan because it will come in handy when global warming takes its toll. The earth is changing and with it comes great responsibility and this puts us in great danger as well. I will do my part to make sure I have a contingency plan will you?


Friday, May 16, 2014

Renee Pinkerton's views on Environmental Regulations

May 15, 2014
 Regulations and Environment
When I think about government regulation of the environment I find myself with two opposing opinions.  I resonate with the statement that environmental regulation often means expense and inconvenience (Laposta and Withgott 2014).
 I had chosen to be the general contractor for the remodel of our home. My family has always been people who chose “do it yourself” whenever possible. The process of working through all the issues of building codes and regulations was nothing less than frustrating. Often I would get two different responses as to what was permitted and necessary. Some of the regulations were out of date for the neighborhood and the community. Others did not seem to make sense, like needing to install a drywell in order to manage our storm water.  It felt like a nightmare trying to comply with all the codes and regulations when all we wanted to do was improve the livability of our home. The codes increased the cost of the remodel significantly. When all was said and done I had a less than favorable opinion of city planning department they felt like an enemy instead of a partner in helping residents make their community better. This sentiment is echoed in blogs and commentaries of many who seeks to make changes and run into regulatory agencies (Luddy, 2012).
On the other hand seeing the effects of no planning or regulations has on communities and its residences is appalling. The unsafe and unfinished buildings, raw sewage everywhere, limited if any safe drinking water, no traffic structure and so much more was observed as I have had opportunities to visit other less regulated countries.  I realize that all the hassle I incurred was well worth the benefits I and the community now have because of the regulatory structure that exists.
Why is there a need for regulation? Tragedy of the Commons philosophy states that persons will use a resource until it is depleted (Laposta and Withgott 2014).  I have certainly seen this to be a true statement. Public oversight through government is a common way to address issues and to manage the resources they.
There are other means that have been effective in regulating resources, such as the bottom-up co-operative approach where resource users unite to maintain the resource so that it will be sustained. Or by privatization, if it is yours you will make greater effort to maintain it.  These and other methods have worked at times but many times it becomes clear that enforceable government regulation is the most effective. (Laposta and Withgott 2014).           
Our remodel project was significantly impacted with greater costs by the regulations, so it is also true of any situation where regulations are required. The adding of a drywell seemed unnecessary but as I have learned this was very important to helping us manage our storm water in an ecofriendly manner. The   regulation that stated that we could not add a two car garage because we were zoned as a “one buggy” neighborhood, was no longer a true reflection of the neighborhood. Because government is not efficient in addressing regulations that are not effective, citizens become frustrated with the expense and effort it takes to work with government regulatory agencies. Government regulatory agencies are not the rule makers they are the rule enforcers. It is important that we as citizens comply with regulation that are current and relevant and at the same time be diligent to address regulations that are ineffective and irrelevant.  

Laposata, M and Withgott, J. (2014) Environment and the science behind the stories, fifth edition. Pearson Publishing, Glenview, IL
Luddy, R. (2012) Government regulation is killing economic growth. US News and World Report. Retrieved on May 15, 2014:
The Economist. (2012). Over-regulated America. Retrieved on May 15, 2014 from: 

Environmental Regulation and Economic Development by Cammi Hubert

Warner Pacific College
May 15, 2014

Environmental Regulation and Economic Development
             I believe the most concerning consideration to environment and economy is the assumption that a great deal of our population has relating to resources being infinite or substitutable. It appears that most of the focus of whether to deplete a resource is essentially believed that the resource itself will be substituted by some replacement. I feel that most people’s interest’s in their environment is based on instant gratification and a huge portion of our population tends to not think at all about the long term cost of using up a natural resource.
            In the 50 years that I have been alive I have witnessed the absolute destruction of our air, land, waters and wildlife. There are more and more species of animals that are becoming extinct, not because we have hunted them to death but because we have taken so much of their habitat that they are not able to survive without the necessities that sustain their future.
            Even with the cost and benefit analysis it appears that the benefits are presented and the costs take a back seat. “Problems arise when not all costs and benefits can be easily identified, defined, or quantified. It may be simple to quantify the value of bananas grown or cattle raised on a tract of land cleared for agriculture, yet difficult to assign monetary value to the complex ecological costs of clearing the forest” (Laposata & Withgott, 2014). Environmental regulations are necessary and need to be enforced but they also need to take all of the costs into consideration when regulating any resource.
            In my opinion the human population prefers to have the benefit of any kind of value in the present and appear to have an attitude that what matters is the moment and not how we can be affected in the future. This is called discounting in economic terminology.  “Discounting encourages policymakers to play down the long-term consequences of decisions” (Laposata & Withgott, 2014).  Because the problems that will likely arise in the long term from an environmental decision or policy are so gradual that the depletion of the resource, pollution buildup or any other long term impact is discounted. By discounting the future consequence of an environmental decision we are essentially projecting the problems onto future generations.
            So what do we owe our future generations? I believe we have a responsibility to provide protection for our environment before we no longer have an environment to protect. If we want to support sustainability we have to support our environment. Many of the luxuries we have today are directly related to the resources we have accessed from our natural environment. Populations, not just in the United States, but in many other countries continue to increase at alarming rates. What will be left for our children and their children?
If we destroy the environment, we will commit a crime to the future generations. So we should attach importance to environmental protection in order to leave a better living space to our future generations. Besides, environmental protection is the requirement of the order of nature.
            I feel that we as a human race have the information, education and technology to do something about this serious dilemma. We are members of the natural world along with the waterways, forests, mountains and other species and we must remember that without nature we would have no growth. It has to stop and if we stop it now there is a chance we will have something left. Environmental regulation is imperative to the protection of the world around us. What is being overlooked is the long term impact of our decisions and just because we will no longer be alive does not mean we will not be affected. Our future is the present and we need to pay attention now.            

 Laposata, M., & Withgott, J. (2014). Environment:the science behind the stories. (5 ed., pp. 146, 147). Glenview , IL: Pearson Education, Inc.

Environmental Protection Agency by Teri Jo Byers

 Warner Pacific College
May 14, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental agencies regulate the impact of businesses on the environment (Environmental Regulations). The EPA develops and enforces regulations that put into place environmental laws approved by Congress (Environmental Regulations). Many people agree that it is beneficial to our environment to have administrations such as these enforcing regulations intended to keep our environment safe. However, there are also those who feel that the cost is great.
When we look at government funded administrations like the EPA, there are both pros and cons to consider. On the plus side the EPA has benefited the environment by seeing that certain environmental hazards are controlled such as: vehicle and industrial air pollutants, hazardous and toxin substances and materials, agricultural and food pollutants, solid wastes and drinking waters, sewage, industrial, oil and mining pollutants, runoff and agricultural wastewaters, and coastal and fisheries pollution (EPA at 40: Pros and Cons). They also ensure the protection of: endangered flora and fauna, and cultural, historic and scenic resources (EPA at 40: Pros and Cons).
However, although there are benefits from the EPA, there are also things some people and organizations, like The National Association of Manufacturers, may be concerned with. The National Association of Manufacturers are concerned that the EPA may be overregulating. They explain that manufacturers are troubled by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) “aggressive agenda” and the “significant impact its regulations will have on manufacturing in the United States” (EPA Overregulation). They state that, “The EPA's actions will add new burdens and restrictions, increase costs, destroy jobs and undermine U.S. manufacturers' ability to compete in the global marketplace” (EPA Overregulation).  The EPA’s strict regulations also contribution to the unemployment rate and inflation. Since the EPA expanded, the unemployment rate has risen by 33.3% (EPA at 40: Pros and Cons). This is a concern for U.S. citizens who need jobs to provide for their families. This is also a concern for businesses who need to hire more employees to keep their businesses running smoothly but cannot afford it because of environmental regulations inflicting on their budget. Also, environmental regulations effect inflation and the costs of goods, services, energies and activities (EPA at 40: Pros and Cons).
            So although there are clearly benefits to our environment that we get to enjoy by environmental regulations, there is also a price to pay to uphold these regulations. Everyone most likely wants a healthy and clean environment, however it can be difficult on many people to deal with what it costs to achieve it.
Environmental Regulations | (n.d.). Environmental Regulations | Retrieved May 14, 2014, from
EPA at 40: Pros and cons. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2014, from
EPA Overregulation. (n.d.). - National Association of Manufacturers. Retrieved May 14, 2014, from

Small business and the EPA by Nicky Guyton

Warner Pacific College
May 15, 2014

            This essay will include my personal views on environmental regulations.  I will elaborate on regulations that inspired me the most in regards to how strongly I feel towards them.  This essay will also include some examples and information to back up my views on certain regulations and what we can do to abide by those regulations. 
            The environmental protection agency also known as EPA regulates the impact of small businesses on the environment.  The EPA develops and enforces regulations that implement environmental laws enacted by congress.  Environmental regulations that intrigue me the most have to do with how small businesses can effect the environment.  I hope to own my own business one day, whether it is my own hair salon or something else, this is why I am most interested in environmental regulations towards small businesses.  Environmental regulations can affect a business at any time. Whether you produce products that could potentially harm the environment, are engaged in agricultural farming, or need to dispose of pollutants or hazardous or non-hazardous waste, you must comply with the law. Businesses impacted by disasters such as flooding or fire, are also required to implement cleanup plans to avoid pollutants entering and damaging the ecosystem.
            The regulations for small businesses include national emission standards for hazardous air pollution, lead-based paint activities, renewable fuel standards, national primary drinking water regulations, and the list keeps going on.  All of these regulations are made to keep the business as environmentally friendly as possible.  My views on these regulations are simple, I agree with the regulations on keeping as much pollution out of the air as possible as well as the environment.  There was one regulation I included previously that stood out to me that described in case of emergencies such as a flood or a fire regulate your products and materials that you have within your business that could be harmful.  There are no regulations that state everything in your business has to be one hundred percent environmentally friendly but limit certain things that could be harmful let’s say in a fire.
            In this situation what stands out to me would be a chemical product.  If you have chemical products within your business I would say to keep your stock as low as possible and learn how to manage your inventory.  Meaning that, have products going out as fast as they are coming in.  In my opinion it would be nice for every business to come up with ways that their products could all be environmentally friendly, but there is a very low chance of that happening.  I know within my line of work, which is hair, we work with many chemicals for coloring hair and many products for styling and cutting hair that are not so great for our environment.  I hope by the time I own my own business, possibly a hair salon, that someone comes up with environmentally friendly products and that would be the line of products I would carry, 
            Throughout this essay I elaborated on my views on environmental regulations, specifically ones that pertain to small businesses.  I also including regulations that stood out to me most and explained how we as business owners can abide by those regulations provided by EPA.
(2014). The Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved May 14, 2014 From:
Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2014).Environment the science behind the stories. United States:             Pearson Education, Inc.
(2014, March 16). United states environmental protection agency.
            Retrieved May 14, 2014 from:

Aaron Hochstrasser's view on "Federal Government's Environmental Injustice"

 Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
May 13, 2014 
“Federal Governments Environmental Injustice”      
Since the founding of The United States the position of the various entities in charge has been in a constant state of change with regards to the environment and natural resources. This has had a positive effect and today there is still conflict but I feel we are heading in the right direction. A large part of this change is due to the shift in public opinion over time.
When independence was declared in 1776 The United States was a coalition of colonies that had been prospering from selling resources and goods to Europe. The resources in the new land seemed endless. People settled in the New World for many reasons like religious freedom, entrepreneurship, and to simply homestead. Early environmental policy like the General Land Ordinances promoted development and western expansion. This helped with crowded eastern cities and ensuring control of the continent from European powers. (Withgott, 2014) I think overall these laws were the right policy at the time. I am not sure our nation would be the same today if it were not for our leaders implementing these laws.
Then we come to the 19th century when the evidence of corruption and the power of greed is ever so prevalent. Expansion happened at an uncontrollable rate and I believe special interest groups took advantage of a developing nation that had no continuity in the government allowing for all kinds of bribes and unjust laws. Some of these laws were both good and bad like The Homestead Act of 1862. This law allowed people to claim 160 acres of land for a fee if they lived on it for five years. The time limit was meant to ensure the land was intended for personal use. However, if you paid a larger fee you could shorten your waiting period to 14 months. (Withgott, 2014) This became the difference between settlers and entrepreneurs.  I feel that we should still have a law that allows for homesteading by private parties for personal use. Although that will be very complicated given the fact that corporations are viewed today as individuals. There was a need for economic growth and prosperity as we developed into a world power, but reining that in was a struggle in the 20th century.
While there are many reasons that I can find to disagree with Theodore Roosevelt I cannot be more thankful for his role in the creation of our national park, national forest, and national wild life refuge systems. These were major steps in stopping the exploitation of natural resources. The public position began to shift and people began to understand that the resources are exhaustible. In the latter half of the 20th century we began to not only understand that our resources are exhaustible but we started to see the impact of our actions and industry on the environment. The presents of pollution was in everyone’s face and on everyone’s mind. Policy makers responded with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 (Withgott, 2014); which was a great piece of legislation.
In our nation’s history environmental policy has been an afterthought. As I stated above some of this has been the cause for our expansion and prosperity, but it is my opinion that we must be more proactive today. The best way to understand the impact of our policies and/or actions is to use science to our benefit and attempt to understand all of the second and third order effects of our decisions.      

Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2014). Science and Sustainability: An Introduction to Environmental Science. Environment: the science behind the stories (5th ed., ). Glenview: Pearson Education.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Disposal of prescription drugs by Renee Kostrba

 Warner Pacific College
May 15, 2014

Response Paper Workshop Three
As a nation we are progressively facing an ethical issue, the proper disposal of prescription drugs that have not been used or have expired. This has become an urgent public health issue in the U.S. as the rate of prescription drug abuse rises, along with accidental poisoning, and the prevalence of chemicals found in the drinking water has gained nationwide attention. Most recent example of fluoride in the water to prevent childhood tooth decay was voted down in Portland, Oregon to keep chemicals out of the water. Consumers want to know how to keep their water pure but at the same time they want to know how to keep their loved ones and community at large safe from medication diversion. “Disposal of unused prescription drugs, and controlled substances in particular, is a complicated issue. Unused drug take-back programs are emerging across the country as one strategy for reducing drug abuse, accidental poison­ing, and flushing drugs into the water supply. Current laws and regulations regarding controlled substances, however, limit these programs from accepting all drugs without strict oversight from law enforcement” (Avalere 2008).
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has regulations that state who can handle controlled substances, and more challenging how to dispose of unused or expired drugs. The law and regulations specifically does not allow pharmacies, providers, and hospitals from collecting controlled substances from patients. Meaning if a patient had been already dispensed a controlled substance and on the rare occasion, a provider may want to change treatment, the provider is unable to take possession of the unused medications prior to the patient picking up a new prescription.  In these situations, general rule of thumb is that the patient may be asked to dispose of the medication in the provider’s presence. In compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines and the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) opiate disposal down the drain sewer (flushing) is an acceptable destruction option. That same destruction method would also apply to fentanyl patches. Unused patches are to be removed from their pouches, folded so that the adhesive side of the patch adheres to itself, and flushed down the toilet.
Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the EPA regulates the production, storage, transport, treatment, and disposal of pharmaceutical wastes that are defined as hazardous. Some common examples of prescription medications that are hazardous when disposing of them include nitroglycerin, warfarin, and some chemotherapy agents. It is estimated that approximately that five percent of pharmaceuticals are listed as hazardous. Local, state, and federal protocols vary and control disposal practices. Law enforcement officers, under supervision of the DEA, are able to accept controlled substances at take-back events. Due to budgets these take-back events are held inconsistently across the nation less than twice per year. The DEA has outlined proper disposal methods on their website but, many patients hold onto unused/expired prescriptions “just in case” or due to lack of education on how to dispose of them properly.
As can be imagined this ownership can pose several risks related to diversion, accidental overdose, and ingesting of expired substances. The existence of these unused or expired prescriptions are directly tied to the growing rates of prescription drug abuse among Americans and teenagers in general. Teenagers often succumb to Superman complex; invincibility, and/or mistakenly believe that it is safer to use prescription drugs than street drugs. “Nearly 60 percent of people ages 12 and older obtain prescription painkillers for free through friends or family” (Avalere 2008).  The growing rate of prescription drug abuse is propelling demand for a much needed thorough and functional drug disposal program. Thanks in part to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) National Anti-Drug Media Campaign more parents are aware of this issue.
“To date, scientists have identified numerous pharmaceutical compounds at discernable concentrations in our nation’s rivers, lakes, and streams” (EPA, Aug. 2008). The EPA has been researching how the drugs are entering waterways and what dynamics contribute to the situation since 2007. The research on unused or expired prescription medications does not include what has been excreted through human waste or void.  The EPA has also been working diligently with local, state, and federal agencies to better understand the consequences of surfacing chemicals or contaminants detected in our water (drinking, waste, surface, and ground). As well as continues to actively evaluate routes and levels of exposure, and potential effects on public health and aquatic life. At this point in time, there is little data suggesting the public and aquatic health is at risk due to these pharmaceutical chemicals. The data does suggest there is more risk in diversion, abuse, and poisoning. Local, state, and federal government really need to take on the responsibility for achieving the goal of a controlled substances disposal system.

Avalere (2008). Safe disposal of unused controlled substances: current challenges and opportunities for reform. Retrieved from:

American society of consultant pharmacists (2014). Pharmaceutical waste practice resource center. Retrieved from:

Environmental protection agency (2007-2009). Health care industry unused pharmaceuticals detailed 2007-2009 data collection and outreach. Retrieved from:

Environmental protection agency (Aug 2008). Unused pharmaceuticals in the health care industry: interim report. Retrieved from:

U.S. Department of justice drug enforcement administration office of diversion control (Dec. 21, 2012). Rules – 2012. Retrieved from: