Friday, May 30, 2014

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.


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