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Ellen Yeatman
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I like how the modern environmental movement is moving more and more towards grassroots organization and using people, not science, to make the real impact - not that true science has ever been able to make an impact through our tongue-tied political system. Knowlton realizes that her scientific research is useless unless she spreads the word of the current and future "doom and gloom" and makes people realize they can make a difference. Her use of success stories is very effective. This goes along with my second point that I don't think we need to try to learn EVERYTHING about EVERY species in the ocean. The ocean is meant to be mysterious. We know the basic atmosphere - ocean chemical interactions and we know approximately how much carbon the ocean stores and that it is maxing out on carbon storage (i.e. the corals are turning white and crumbling to nothing!). There is enough information to make people realize that we must change our habits in order to save the health of the ocean.
I saw the Lorax last weekend and it is a scary coincidence that the Thneedville mayor invests in "fresh air" as a product sold in water bottles just as these start up companies are trying to capture and sell CO2. The privatization of water is already a major global issue so I hesitate to support this CO2 capturing technology that could privatize air! What's next privatization of sunlight? It is sad that even that is a possibility. These are my extreme thoughts, but my overall point of view about this article is that the CO2 capturing technology has a possible sustainable future if EOR is not involved and water conservation and other sustainable environmental strategies are implemented. We should not try to extract more oil especially the harder to get oil. Nature is making it hard to extract for a reason. Also, I would be interested to know how much water this technology requires. Overall, this technology could be a solid carbon wedge in mitigating climate change even if it doesn't become a buzzing industry, which may be a good thing.
This is a typical concern that has stayed in the back of everyone's mind for the past forever years, but hopefully political domination through media will become a larger societal concern because it is the harsh reality. We are seeing the modern day environmental movement push for bridging the gap between science and politics. A couple of students in my environmental studies capstone class are focusing just on this - why "politics overwhelms science" and how we can stop issues from becoming politically biased. We had a long conversation the other day about developing an apolitical organization that regulates/advises environmental policy, but apolitical is impossible! Independent would be a better term, but an independent regulatory organization could still be swayed by politics especially if money is involved. This brings up another point . . . politicians twist science for their personal gains and usually the most environmentally friendly decision is the most costly.
but if it becomes "trendy" to be a part of the sustainable development movement, whether it is green building, recycling, buying items made out of recycled materials, going paperless, etc., the big oil companies will have to follow suit because the next natural step for people and businesses that support this green movement will be to demand clean energy to support their new lifestyle. When the over-bearing oil guys come to their senses and realize that clean energy will be successful and profitable and it is a plus that clean and renewable energy has a long-lasting future ahead of it, unlike the oil industry, they will pursue this market. There are big corporations that have already realized what is happening here and what is happening to our climate, such as Apple, HP, Coca Cola, Starbucks, even McDonalds, which have all marketed their green initiatives to attract those "green" customers. I think it is possible and it has to be possible for oil companies to coexist with sustainability. Great article by Jeff!
It is awesome, but there is still the problem of the source of electricity . . . it is dirty coal plants! This summer I worked for a solar panel company and did a lot of research for them on solar charged EV charging stations. Solar power in combination with this new wireless charging technology would be EPIC.
I only read the abstract, but it sounds like a depressing survey! Pricing the life of a stranger... eek! I don't know how I would respond. It would be interesting to survey if people think valuing the environment (including the biodiversity, which would be live animals and plants) is the same as valuing a human life. All in all, an impressive undertaking by John Whitehead.
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2012 on Nice work from John Whitehead at Jolly Green General
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Jan 24, 2012