Archive for January, 2010

Generating Energy From Waste

>Scientists are testing out biofuels made from wastes at teeside university. Biofuels are usually made from organics such as crops. What these researchers are doing is seeing if they can use waste materials such as domestic refuse and sewage sludge to produce biofuel instead of crops. If they are succsessful we can hit two problem causing “birds” with one stone. Eliminate the build up of waste, and fix our energy problems, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. heres a link
Esteban Pacheco

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What makes us happy?

After the final chapter of The Myth of Progress, I wondered what personal fulfillment really entails. In psychology, our discussion of happiness turned my original view upside. Personal fulfillment really comes from selfless awareness. An increase in income does not raise a person’s life satisfaction once a person’s basic needs are met. Living in a sunny environment such as near Mexican and Californian beaches does not increase happiness. Instead, making time for friends and family connection creates a better state of mind.

Claudia Wallis, The New Science of Happiness, January 9th 2005, Time Inc.

Katie P.

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Consuming Kids

“The consumer embryo begins to develop during the first years of existence.”

This video, shown in my introduction to sociology class, shows the power of commercialization in our country. It was eye opening to see how companies manipulate children into becoming consumers at a young age. I find the strategies of marketing disturbing. Parents should obviously be responsible for their children. But it is impossible for parents to protect them from the media 24/7. The video raises a lot of interesting questions. What will it take to improve the health of future generations? Should the FTC have more authority?

Katie P.

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The Solar Powered Home

I was watching the news today and they had a report on solar homes. They mentioned that people save roughly 40-50% on their electricity bills yearly, and oregon just passed a bill for them to put in 250 to try it out. If this turns out to be a success our economy will be well on its way to living sustainably. If the people along with alternative energy companies keep putting pressure on the government with our demands for clean, renewable energy, one of these days, they will have to provide it whether they like it or not.

~Cody Males

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State of the Union

Yesterday President Obama said “…to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. (full-chamber applause) It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. (full-chamber applause) It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. (full-chamber applause) And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.” (No Republican applause)

Do you think these are good ideas, bad ideas, enough, not enough?


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How is climate change going to effect us

Since we have been doing all this research on water problems in places all around the world, I wanted to do some research on our water situation here in the North West. I found this article that talked about climate change and how we will have to change water flow at some North West dams. Washington and Oregon water managers say they are going to fill reservoirs earlier in the spring to minimize the impact of climate change on power production and salmon. They predict that even if the temperature rose by 2 degrees Celsius they would lose 25% of hydro-power production. However if they start filling the reservoirs earlier in the spring then they could reduce power loss to 18% instead of 25%. It is interesting to see what is being done here at home to prepare for “climate change”.

-Jeff Grimberg

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